Pearl was the second main character that Stephen Hillenburg created for the show. He was inspired to design her while working as a supervisor for whale watches at the Ocean Institute. Hillenburg often received letters that asked why Pearl is a whale while her father is a crab. The answer is simple: Hillenburg wanted each member of the main cast to be a different animal.
The in-universe difference in species between Pearl and Mr. Krabs has never been addressed in an episode, but the official trivia book states that Pearl takes after her unseen mother, who was also a whale. Stephen Hillenburg was strongly against revealing the identity of Pearl's mom and kept it a secret throughout the show.
Pearl was the second main character that Stephen Hillenburg created for the series. He was inspired to create Pearl while working at the Ocean Institute in California, where he tended to a whale skeleton exhibit and supervised whale watches.
In Hillenburg's first sketch of the main SpongeBob characters, Pearl had flukes (a tail) and pigtails. He made Pearl a whale rather than a crab like her father because he wanted each member of the main cast to be a different species, which allowed their character designs to have variety and be more interesting. Pearl was named after the phrase mother-of-pearl, a common term for the inner layer of some sea-dwelling mollusks' shells. Her lack of a mother is a reference to the phrase as well.
At first, Pearl's full name was Pearl Crabs and she lived at the Krusty Krab (then called the Crusty Crab) with her father. However, Stephen Hillenburg decided that it would be funnier and more memorable to replace the C's with K's. He also figured it would be more practical to have the Krabs family dwell in a house rather than their restaurant, so he designed an anchor home for them to live in.
When he was first developing them as characters, Hillenburg wanted Pearl and Mr. Krabs to travel around town in a caravan boat with a whale-sized teardrop trailer connected to the back. The trailer did make it into the series, but it was only used rarely in early episodes such as "Squeaky Boots." However, it did make a reappearance in the season nine episode "Food Con Castaways."
Major aspects of Pearl's personality from when SpongeBob was first pitched to Nickelodeon were her large brain, intelligence, and insecurity about liking stereotypically nerdy hobbies. These were outlined on her original character biography, but they were mostly phased out after a while. "Mall Girl Pearl" marked the return of these traits, particularly her insecurity about liking "lame" pastimes.
Pearl is voiced by Lori Alan. When Alan first auditioned for the role, she was shown an early drawing of the main characters. Her first reaction was noticing how tall Pearl was compared to the others, so she wanted to make Pearl's voice reflect her large size. She did this by making it deep and full in tone. Alan has described Pearl as a character having an "abnormally large voice" while still sounding "spoiled and lovable" and "somewhat like a child." The casting crew at her audition wanted Pearl's voice to be loud "without sounding like a special-needs child," fearing that it might come across as offensive if they chose a voice too exaggerated. When Lori Alan read a script with the voice that Pearl had in season one, they did not ask her to modify it at all; the casting directors said "no, that's her!" and immediately knew they wanted to have Alan play Pearl.
Rodger Bumpass, who voices Squidward, has praised Lori Alan's portrayal of Pearl, calling it a "unique and wonderful take on how this teenager should be ... No one else has a teenager that sounds like Pearl."
"Daddy!" has become one of Pearl's catchphrases, said whenever she wants something from Mr. Krabs. This was developed as a quote before the first season started airing, but it did not become a repeated line until later on. Lori Alan knew to emphasize the line whenever she had to say it after a recording session in 1998, when an unused rehearsal script had the line fully capitalized as "DAAAADDY!"
Throughout the series, Pearl's voice has gone through some slight changes. In the first season, her voice was more quiet, less exaggerated, and somewhat raspy at times. Over the course of the show, her voice has become higher-pitched and more clear. In episodes from the ninth season onwards, Pearl has developed a habit of placing an unusual emphasis on some single-syllable words. This is especially noticeable in "Married to Money" and "Bulletin Board," when she says "Gross!" and "Oh!" respectively.
Pearl was born to Mr. and Mrs. Krabs. She seems to have inherited most of her mother's physical traits and her father's small size. On the day she was born, Mr. Krabs bought a celebration banner on sale. It had the words "it's a boy" on it, so he crossed boy out to write girl. Pearl has had the same bed, which her father got for $30, ever since she was a newborn.
When Pearl was a baby, she was much smaller than Mr. Krabs and only had one little strand of hair tied in a bow. She had a single tooth like Patrick. As a toddler, Pearl gained a full head of hair, but was still shorter than her father. She grew taller than Mr. Krabs when she became a teenager. She has had a heart shape on the front of her face forever, indicating that it might not be lipstick.
Throughout her early childhood, Pearl was always babysat by Squidward Tentacles. She calls him "Uncle Squiddy." He is not actually her uncle, but an honorary one (this title is often given by a parent of a child to a close family friend, like Squidward is to Mr. Krabs).
At one of Pearl's earliest birthday parties, all of her guests had to share one balloon. At a later birthday party, Mr. Krabs performed a song called "Pearl's Me Daughter" and gave Pearl a pair of squeaky fishing boots that he later handed down to SpongeBob. On the day afterwards, he got her a pair of flipper slippers. The book Nautical Nonsense reveals that on an unknown birthday, she and Mr. Krabs tried to see the musical Fiddler on the Reef but ended up seeing a "dive-in" movie after it was sold out. On Pearl's fifteenth birthday, Mr. Krabs passed out paper clips as party favors. She turns sixteen in "Whale of a Birthday" and has presumably stayed that age since.
Rather than enrolling Pearl in Mrs. Puff's Boating School, Mr. Krabs taught Pearl how to drive a boatmobile himself. He figured it would be too expensive to send her to Mrs. Puff's school since it costs $100 per semester. Despite this, Pearl planned to take Mrs. Puff's course in the game The Yellow Avenger, in which she says she cannot drive yet. One level shows SpongeBob giving her a ticket for a free driving lesson at Mrs. Puff's school, and Pearl thanks him because she will finally be able to drive. Pearl must have ended up not using the ticket.
Pearl has attended Bikini Bottom High School for a long time. She is the tallest student by far and all of her peers know her, but she is not popular and has never had a steady group of friends. At one point, Pearl had braces. She had to visit the "orca-dontist" (an orthodontist for whales) when she first got them.
Pearl has been on the high school cheer squad for at least two years. Her father thinks she is the "best little cheerleader in the seven seas." In the book Chuckle and Cringe, when Pearl was auditioning for her second year on the squad, SpongeBob tried to help. He figured the school coach could not turn down Pearl if she had her own personal cheerleader, so he became one by dressing up in his sweatshirt with Pearl's picture printed on the front. He then did a routine for Pearl, performing a cartwheel and yelling "P-E-A-R-L spells Pearl!" until he slid into the bleachers. All the while, Pearl performed a tryout cheer. The coach let her join, deciding that she definitely belonged on the team if she could remember a routine throughout so much chaos.
In the future, Pearl will graduate from high school and go off to college. Her father desperately wants her to attend college, because if she does not, she will never leave home and he will have to support Pearl for the rest of her life. After she finishes college, Pearl will inherit her father's fortune and the Krusty Krab. Once she becomes the restaurant's owner, Pearl will assume all of the duties Mr. Krabs usually fulfills. Pearl is nervous about her future and does not want to disappoint Mr. Krabs. However, she does not share his interest in fast food management and would rather not work at the Krusty Krab while she is young.
In SpongeBob Comics No. 76 and No 77, the two-part epic "Untidaled" shows that Pearl once saved the entire town of Bikini Bottom from death and destruction. In the story, a fish-eating Kraken traps all of the ocean water in a giant jar. It takes Pearl prisoner, which devastates Mr. Krabs, prompting him to lead the Krusty Krew on a dangerous journey to face the Kraken and rescue her. However, it ends up taking them as well. At the insistence of Mr. Krabs, Pearl uses her loud and booming singing voice to crack the jar and rescue the Bikini Bottomites. As a celebration, she performs a song at the Krusty Krab after everything goes back to normal.
Pearl celebrates many holidays every year, mainly Christmas, Halloween, and Parents Day. Every Christmas, she gets horrible gifts from Mr. Krabs, such as old used batteries that "still have a little juice left in 'em." On Halloween, she has dressed up as a witch and as the bride of Frankenstein. Pearl usually dreads having to celebrate Parents Day because her father is so awkward.
Pearl has gray skin and is very tall compared to the other characters. She has blonde hair that she ties in a ponytail with a pink scrunchie. There is a red heart shape on the bottom of her nose that turns into lips when she kisses. She has solid blue, oval-shaped eyes and six eyelashes on each eye. Pearl has five ventral pleats on her neck, usually drawn as five lines with the middle one longer than the rest. Usually, only four pleats are visible since she is normally seen from the side. Pearl is one of the few characters with one eye on each side of her head, meaning she has monocular vision.
Pearl's normal outfit is a pink cheerleader dress with a purple skirt and the letter "P" stitched on the front. She also sports barnacle-crafted white go-go boots. One of Pearl's most common outfits is her prom dress, which she first wears in "The Chaperone." She has since used the dress for many different occasions, such as her birthday and the fake wedding between SpongeBob and Sandy in "Truth or Square." Pearl sometimes wears a pink tiara along with this dress. The type of pajamas Pearl wears changes throughout the show. She wears purple footie pajamas and a nightcap in earlier episodes, but as of "The Slumber Party," her pajamas are a pink and purple nightgown. Her current pajamas bear a strong resemblance to her normal attire, but with a different skirt and no "P" on the front of her shirt.
"Band Geeks" shows that, from a far-away aerial view, all of the other characters appear to be colored specks but Pearl's nose is oversized and clearly visible in the crowd. Similarly to SpongeBob's square body, Pearl's head is in the shape of a rectangular prism and it is drawn very differently when she is facing forward or from the back. Normally, her eyes are visible on the sides of her head when it is drawn from the front. However, they are occasionally not there.
Pearl has two different stop-motion forms. The first is seen in "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" and related media based on the special. This version is a three-dimensional, plush/felt rendition of her normal look. The only difference is that she wears a knit winter hat and, in some scenes, a scarf. In "Whale Watching," a different stop-motion version of her appears when she goes on land. This form makes her look like a real sperm whale, complete with many sharp teeth and a tail. It is also a more blueish shade of gray than her usual skin color.
Stephen Hillenburg's original sketches of Pearl in his series bible (a book that outlined the show's main aspects, characters, and locations) were somewhat different from her appearance in season one. The first sketch of Pearl included a visible tail, and her hair was styled in pigtails instead of a ponytail. Pearl and Mr. Krabs's clothes had matching yellow and orange color schemes at first, but they were given individual colors sometime later in pre-production.
Despite the fact that she's one of the tallest characters in the show, she is likely short compared to an average whale. This is perhaps because her father is a crab, not a whale.
Just like real sperm whales, which have the biggest brain size of any extant species on Earth, Pearl's brain is the largest out of all the Bikini Bottom residents. She is gifted in math, which is why Mr. Krabs would like it if she became a bookkeeper for his restaurant. However, she is still young and has not matured yet, so she spends most of her time and money at the mall.
Pearl is cheery, naive, well-meaning, and high-spirited. She wants nothing more than to fit in with the other residents of Bikini Bottom, but this is impossible to do because she is literally the biggest teenager in the ocean. She is very friendly and trusting to her peers at the Bikini Bottom High School, despite how they usually are not the same way with her.
Pearl is a huge fan of Mecha Baleen (parody of DC Comics' Cyborg) and The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, but does not want any of her classmates at Bikini Bottom High School to know about her interests. She wishes she could spend her teenage years with good friends and become popular, but her peers are all too shallow to accept her for who she is. A running gag is that Pearl will have a completely different group of friends whenever she is seen hanging out with her classmates. They are very disloyal friends and usually laugh at Pearl, make fun of her, or abandon her. Sometimes, Pearl will even refer to another student as one of her best friends, only for that friend to completely disappear from the show after that episode. Aside from the main characters, the only friends Pearl has that have never betrayed her are the mermaids.
Aside from being gifted in math, Pearl's talents include cheerleading, playing the saxophone, and playing the piano. She often keeps a pair of red or pink cheerleading pompoms with her. Being a whale, she shakes the ground whenever she tries to perform a cheerleading act and endangers whoever is in the same building as her. However, she does not seem to notice this and Mr. Krabs thinks she is very talented.
Pearl is usually upbeat, unlike her dad, who can be crabby at times. Episodes such as "Mid-Life Crustacean" contrast Pearl's demeanor with Mr. Krabs' bitterness due to his old age. In the episode, Pearl makes him a big breakfast of bran products and feeds him his daily pill. She does this all while smiling incessantly, but Mr. Krabs is sour the entire time, saying "I hate the pill!" and then asking Pearl if he is out of touch.
Ironically, Pearl's favorite food is salad, despite how sperm whales are the largest toothed predator currently on Earth. She also likes tea and Krabby Patties. SpongeBob's Book of Excuses reveals that she usually has Kelpo cereal for breakfast. "Best Frenemies" shows that Pearl once enjoyed Kelp Shakes, the addictive drinks served by the Kelpshake restaurant chain. This distressed Mr. Krabs greatly when he found out, since Kelpshake was a competing restaurant. "One Coarse Meal" reveals that Pearl does not eat plankton. This makes sense because toothed whales do not eat plankton; baleen whales do.
Since Pearl is a whale and mammals have lungs, she needs air to breathe. It is revealed in "Bubble Troubles" that she holds air in her nose in order to breathe when underwater. In order to get air to her lungs, she regularly goes to the water's surface and breaches. It is shown in "Bossy Boots" that Mr. Krabs taught her how to breach, although he is a crab and should not be able to.
Pearl's favorite place to visit is the Bikini Bottom Mall. She is the opposite of her father when it comes to spending; Mr. Krabs wants to save every penny he earns and is very stingy, but Pearl loves to spend big amounts of cash on superfluous things. She was the one who introduced the mermaids from the Bikini Bottom Triangle to the mall. Pearl convinced them to join her on a shopping spree by describing the mall as "the most awesome place to get the best, super-coolish, glittershly fabulous new stuff you want!"
Pearl's favorite television show is Mega Watts Dance, which broadcasts a weekly dancing contest similar to Dancing with the Stars. The host of the program is Tom Sturgeon, one of Mr. Krabs' old friends. Pearl has some knowledge of dance fads such as "the Whack" and "the Sponge."
Several episodes hint that Pearl may have fantasies of becoming a famous movie star. "Culture Shock" shows that Mr. Krabs wants Pearl to become a star, and Pearl partially fulfills this dream in "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture." However, her role in Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's movie is far from glamorous; she plays the Invisible Boatmobile and her lines are all car noises. However, she comes to think that it is a great role after Mr. Krabs tells her that "Mermaid Man wouldn't be anywhere without you." In the comic Dye-ing for the Part, SpongeBob helps Pearl win a TV commercial audition.
Despite Pearl's huge brain and mathematical knowledge, she is still a kid, and can be immature at times. The fairy tales she heard as a child have impacted how she views life. As shown in "Married to Money," this has caused Pearl to have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. In the episode, she thinks that getting a stepmother would turn her life into the fairy tale Cinderella. She says to her father, "I have seen stepmoms in movies, Dad. She'll make me sweep up the cinders, and then she won't let me go to the ball! And then I'll never meet my Prince Charming!"
Pearl can get overdramatic and very emotional at times. A running gag is that whenever Pearl is upset, she will cry literal rivers of tears. This often results in flooding the Krusty Krab or whatever building she is in; as a matter of fact, the Krabs house has drain plugs built into the floors so the rooms can be emptied after Pearl cries or spouts water from the blowhole on her head. Whenever Mr. Krabs hears Pearl crying, he often says "Thar she blows!" or "Batten down the hatches!" as a warning to take cover from Pearl's crying. One of Nickelodeon's character descriptions for Pearl says: "When her famously frugal father Mr. Krabs gets the credit card bills, he's usually hopping mad. But Pearl knows how to play him like a cheap fiddle—after all, she does have the bigger brain. She just turns on the water works and melts his krusty old heart."
Making Krabby Patties: Pearl is able to make great Krabby Patties, although Patrick thinks SpongeBob's are a little better than Pearl's. She can make them because she knows the secret formula.
Math: Pearl is a very skilled math student because of her brain size. However, she does not like to use her math skills as a bookkeeper at the Krusty Krab or to count French fries.
Soccer: Pearl is great at being a goalie in soccer, because her head is so large that it fills the entire goal and prevents any soccer balls from entering.
Basketball: In "The Chaperone," Pearl is revealed to know how to play basketball. She is good at playing it because she is so tall. In the episode, SpongeBob molds into the shape of a basketball so that Pearl can shoot a hoop with him.
Bicycling: "Selling Out" shows that Mr. Krabs taught Pearl how to ride a bicycle at a young age.
Bubble art: Mr. Krabs says that Pearl is an expert bubble-blower in the Hooray for Dads! book, and she is able to rival SpongeBob's bubble skills.
Playing the tuba and piano: Pearl can play both the tuba and the piano, as revealed in "Band Geeks" and "Barnacle Face." The Krabs house has a grand piano in it.
Strength: Due to her enormous height, Pearl has been shown to utilize her strength on numerous occasions. She can cry to the point of creating a flood; her tears can also be used to break through walls, as seen in "Whale Watching." She had the ability to break through the second floor of her house in "Whale of a Birthday" and is also used as a race car in "Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture."
Pearl works as an assistant at Grandma's Apron, a store on the bottom floor of the Bikini Bottom Mall. The other students of Bikini Bottom High think that it is the lamest store, but Pearl absolutely loves it there and does not care what they think about it. Her favorite things to do at Grandma's Apron include sitting in a rocking chair, dusting tchotchkes, baking cookies, and knitting all kinds of clothes for herself.
When she grows older, Pearl will inherit the Krusty Krab from her father and become the owner. Her future inheritance of the place is a plot point in the 2017 Broadway musical and a focus of "Daddy Knows Best," the song that Pearl sings in the production. Until she grows up, Pearl holds various occasional positions at the restaurant. It is shown in "Welcome to the Bikini Bottom Triangle" that Pearl manages the Krusty Krab whenever Mr. Krabs cannot. In these situations, she takes over both SpongeBob and Squidward's jobs, cooking Krabby Patties and serving them to customers. She has her own Krusty Krab employee hat, spatula, and cook apron.
Pearl lives in an anchor with her father at Mr. Krabs and Pearl's house in Bikini Bottom. While most of the house has wooden walls and a nautical theme, Pearl's bedroom is very different from the rest of the rooms in terms of appearance. The walls are turquoise with a flower print pattern. Band posters and sports flags can usually be seen on the walls. Behind Pearl's bed is a photo of her surfing above the surface. Her room is on the top floor of the house, which is an absurd decision on Mr. Krabs' part because Pearl is so heavy and has broken through her room's floor before.
There are many photos of Pearl throughout the house, in addition to some of the generic sperm whales whose relation to the Krabs family are unclear. One of the paintings shows a sperm whale of normal size swimming under a boat. Another shows a pink-red Mr. Krabs next to a yellow Pearl.
Pearl's mother, Mrs. Krabs, was another sperm whale who married Mr. Krabs long before "Help Wanted." Pearl is the biological offspring of this whale and Mr. Krabs, and as stated in SpongeBob SquarePants Trivia Book, she simply takes after her mother rather than her father. Pearl's mother has somehow left Bikini Bottom, although the details are unclear. Rodger Bumpass and Lori Alan stated in 2015 that her whereabouts are secret and joked that Mrs. Krabs was taken to SeaWorld, implying that she is still alive.
Mrs. Krabs' absence has negatively affected both members of the immediate Krabs family. Mr. Krabs mentions his former wife often; he says "Mother of Pearl!" whenever he is startled or shocked, the first instance of this being in "MuscleBob BuffPants." Since he only uses this phrase when he is dismayed or frightened, it is possible that Mrs. Krabs' departure was tragic. As shown in "Krusty Love," Mr. Krabs has become very lonely ever since Mrs. Krabs left. While he is ready to love again and has entered a relationship with Mrs. Puff, Pearl is not keen on the idea of a new mother. In "Married to Money," when a happy Mr. Krabs tells her after meeting Cashina, "I may have found you a new mom." This greatly upsets Pearl, who responds "No way!" and begins to describe how terrible a stepmother would be. It is unknown if Pearl ever knew her mother, but her immediate objection to the idea of a stepmom implies she does not want a replacement.
Photos of Pearl's early life seen in "Selling Out" hint that Mrs. Krabs was taken away while Pearl was just a baby. The pictures all show Mr. Krabs taking care of Pearl alone. As seen in "Bossy Boots," Mr. Krabs had to teach Pearl important whale skills such as breaching all by himself. It is implied that Mr. Krabs has not told anyone from his side of the Krabs family about Pearl, most notably his grandfather Redbeard. In his only appearance, Redbeard mistakes Pearl for a monster and orders for her to be killed. It is highly possible that whales are discriminated by crabs, which is why Mr. Krabs has never told his family about Pearl or, presumably, Mrs. Krabs.
Stephen Hillenburg was strongly against directly revealing the identity and whereabouts of Pearl's mother in an actual episode, so he kept it a secret. According to Vincent Waller, Hillenburg received many letters requesting an origin story for Pearl. A plot outline for a special episode revealing her origin was once written and it started early development stages, but the episode has been shelved for an unknown period of time due to Hillenburg's disapproval of the concept.
Pearl and SpongeBob are good friends, but their relationship is more complex than that. It is unknown when SpongeBob met Pearl, and their first encounter has never been shown or described. "The Chaperone" is the first instance they interact in the series, but they are already familiar with each other. In the episode, Pearl's old boyfriend Octavius Rex rudely stands her up and SpongeBob is volunteered to be her new date. He spends an entire night preparing to ensure it will be a special prom for Pearl, showing that he really cares for her. The wording SpongeBob uses in this episode implies that he is her new boyfriend: he says to Gary, "how am I supposed to compare with Pearl's old boyfriend?" SpongeBob then makes his own attire so that he will be long, tan and handsome like Octavius. He inadvertently messes everything up at the prom, but Pearl ends up having fun. SpongeBob, however, feels bad and thinks he ruined Pearl's night so he cries. Pearl cheers him up by dancing with him and they have a good time. When they return to the Krabs house later, they hold arms and look into each other's eyes until Mr. Krabs startles them.
Other episodes show a running theme of SpongeBob going to extreme measures just to help Pearl. He is often even friendlier to Pearl than he is to Mr. Krabs, in spite of his undying loyalty to his boss. In "Barnacle Face," SpongeBob makes it his duty to rid Pearl of barnacles growing on Pearl's face. She needs them off before the big school dance. SpongeBob starts by trying to scrape them off, then tries to use a jackhammer on them, and then tries to hide them with concealer. Nothing works, so he uses all of Mr. Krabs' priceless jewels to hide the barnacles and make Pearl's face sparkle. This is one example of how SpongeBob can care for Pearl more than Mr. Krabs.
In the book Just Say Please, SpongeBob goes out of his way to help Pearl and even tries to permanently change Mr. Krabs to make Pearl happy. Pearl is awfully nervous about her school's upcoming Parents Day celebration because Mr. Krabs wants to come but dresses sloppily and has bad manners. In order to give her a good Parents Day, SpongeBob spends an entire day giving Mr. Krabs a complete makeover and teaching him manners. When Parents Day finally comes, Pearl is so happy that her father is behaving but later realizes that he is pretending to be someone he's not. Even during the dancing part of the celebration when she gets to hold hands with SpongeBob, she cannot help but feel bad for her dad. "Please change him back!" she says to SpongeBob, wanting her father to just be himself. SpongeBob is shocked but decides that he has to do what is right for Pearl. When he changes Mr. Krabs back to his old self, Pearl thanks him dearly, saying "You are a true friend."
SpongeBob similarly takes drastic means to make Pearl happy in "Whale of a Birthday" when he buys millions of dollars worth of presents for her birthday. In the episode, Mr. Krabs gives SpongeBob his credit card, expecting him to buy one present for Pearl. However, SpongeBob buys everything Pearl wants at the mall—including a boat mobile, a sea-pony, a comb, glitter gloss, a straw hat, shoes, and even Billy Fishkins. There are so many presents that SpongeBob needs to get a delivery truck to bring them all to the Krusty Krab, where Pearl's party is taking place. It arrives just in time, after Pearl thinks her party has been ruined by her father's cheapness. Pearl is ecstatic with SpongeBob's gifts, especially the grand finale: a personal performance from her favorite band Boys Who Cry. It all costs Mr. Krabs a ridiculous amount of money, but SpongeBob sees giving Pearl a good birthday as a bigger priority.
When SpongeBob visits Pearl's dream in "Sleepy Time," she is having a tea party and wants him to join her. When SpongeBob says he actually meant to enter Mr. Krabs' dream instead, Pearl becomes visibly sad but continues to play tea party with her stuffed animals. In "Hooky," SpongeBob's clothes get torn off when he ignores Mr. Krabs' orders not to play on hooks in Fish Hooks Park. He is splattered onto the translucent doors of the Krusty Krab without any clothes and in front of Pearl. To his embarrassment, Pearl obviously likes seeing him like this, since her eyes widen, she giggles at him, and she says "it's SpongeBob NudeyPants!"
Pearl and SpongeBob are shown to have a very close relationship in "Bossy Boots." In the episode, Pearl redesigns the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob loves the new uniforms and teams up with Pearl to think of a new name for the restaurant. Pearl says SpongeBob is "full of style" and "oozes fashion." When they come up with a new name, the Kuddly Krab, they hug and laugh. Their friendliness with each other contrasts with Squidward's angry attitude throughout the entire episode. At the end, Pearl sadly reveals to SpongeBob that she does not like working at the Krusty Krab and wants to get fired. When SpongeBob volunteers to help her get fired, she gives him a bone-crushing hug and says, "Gosh, you'd really do that for me? You're a great pal, SpongeBob. How can I ever thank you?!" When SpongeBob fires her, Pearl gives him a big kiss on his forehead.
The episode "Tunnel of Glove" reveals that Pearl's classmates think SpongeBob is her boyfriend. When Pearl and SpongeBob are at Glove World, SpongeBob inadvertently supports this by saying "Well, I am a boy, and I am her friend." Even Patrick believes it. Pearl tries to deny it so that her friends will stop mocking her, but it becomes difficult to pretend she does not like SpongeBob when the two get paired up on the Tunnel of Glove ride. A clueless Patrick causes all kinds of problems with the ride, sending Pearl and SpongeBob on a dangerous journey through the tunnel. When they finally reach the end, they hug and smile at each other—only for Pearl's classmates to see everything and conclude that they have to be boyfriend and girlfriend.
In "The Slumber Party," SpongeBob betrays Pearl by helping Mr. Krabs spy on her at her slumber party. Pearl's slumber party is completely harmless, but Mr. Krabs is convinced she will destroy the house and enlists SpongeBob's help to make sure she does not. SpongeBob repeatedly uses disguises in an attempt to trick Pearl so that he can join the party. She sees through everyone, but in the end, SpongeBob unexpectedly decides to have a personal talk with her. He wins her over by saying, "Can we talk, Pearl? Whale to sponge?" When Pearl allows him to join, he tries to prove that he can be fun, but destroys the Krabs house in the process.
A running gag in many episodes is that Pearl will be reluctant to do something with SpongeBob, only to end up admitting that she had a lot of fun with him. She does this in "The Chaperone," "The Slumber Party," and "Tunnel of Glove." Often, she becomes afraid that SpongeBob's spontaneity will cause trouble, only for his quirkiness to help her in the end.
SpongeBob owns a sweatshirt with Pearl's face printed on the front, as shown in Chuckle and Cringe. In "Mimic Madness," SpongeBob imitates Pearl by morphing into the shape of her head and doing an impression of her voice. His Pearl voice is much deeper than his normal speaking voice. "Pearl Krabs aka Caller #5!" reveals that Pearl's favorite song by SpongeBob is "My Tighty Whiteys."
In Employee of the Month, SpongeBob says "I LOVE whales!" and even says that they are graceful. He alludes to possibly having a "crush" on a whale. In the Adobe Flash game I Love SpongeBob, Patrick puts on a dating game show where SpongeBob must guess who has a valentine for him. Pearl is a contestant, and when the player guesses her correctly, she looks at SpongeBob and gets hearts in her eyes. SpongeBob makes a happy pose and hearts fly out from behind him.
In an interview with Pop My Culture, Pearl's voice actress Lori Alan said that in the "murder, marry, make love" game, Pearl would choose to get in a relationship with SpongeBob. However, it should be noted this is not canon.
"Anything for me little angel Pearl." —Mr. Krabs, "Tutor Sauce"
Mr. Krabs is Pearl's father. They share a close bond and, although it is not always apparent, love each other very much. In "Culture Shock," Squidward convinces Mr. Krabs to hold a talent show at the Krusty Krab by promising that Pearl will become a star with her name up in lights. He tells Squidward, "you've got a deal, make my little girl a star!" Although Pearl's performance at the show—in which she gives a cheer routine by jumping around and shaking the entire restaurant—is less than amazing, Mr. Krabs is blinded by his love for his daughter and says, "Now that's what I call talent!"
In "The Chaperone," Mr. Krabs is shown to care deeply for Pearl's high school career. When Pearl's prom date stands her up, he even volunteers to take her himself. However, he gets SpongeBob to become her new boyfriend instead. When Pearl goes to prom with SpongeBob, he tells her, "Go easy on him, lassie! I can't afford to break in a new fry cook!" When they return home, Mr. Krabs expresses great gratitude for SpongeBob's help with Pearl. After Pearl explains how much fun she had, Mr. Krabs winks at SpongeBob and says, "Good job, laddie."
Because Mr. Krabs is rather old, Pearl often has to take care of him. She makes his breakfast, which usually consists entirely of bran products, every morning. Pearl also has to hand-feed Mr. Krabs his daily pill, which is oversized and even wider than his body.
Mr. Krabs' relationship with his daughter is mainly tainted by one thing: his relentless cheapness, which can cause trouble between them. This is shown in "Squeaky Boots" and "Whale of a Birthday" when Mr. Krabs is revealed to have thrown extremely cheap parties for Pearl every year. He almost ruins her sixteenth birthday by neglecting to get any gifts or entertainment. This saddens Pearl tremendously and she says to him, "You couldn't stop being cheap. Even for me." Luckily, SpongeBob manages to save the day by delivering a pile of fantastic presents he bought with Mr. Krabs' credit card. Despite the enormous bill he receives, Mr. Krabs lets Pearl keep everything, showing that he truly does care for her more than money after all.
Mr. Krabs is also far too overprotective of Pearl, especially when it comes to letting her hang out with friends. He is concerned for both her well-being and what she does to his house and wallet. "The Slumber Party" best exemplifies how excessive he can be when it comes to protecting Pearl. On the night of Pearl's slumber party, Mr. Krabs creates a long list of rules that will keep her and his money safe. The most important one is "no boys allowed," since he fears the seemingly destructive nature of teenage boys. Mr. Krabs sends SpongeBob to spy on Pearl to make sure she does not get into any trouble, but his employee (the only boy at the party) ends up destroying the Krabs residence himself. To make it up to Pearl, he pays for an expensive shindig hosted by Pearl at Goo Lagoon.
While Mr. Krabs was in the navy and loves everything about being a pirate, Pearl does not share his interest in sailing. She does not seem to know much about pirates or what they look like, as shown in "Grandpappy the Pirate" when Pearl mistakes her father's pirate outfit for a funny costume. This is ironic, because whales have been strongly associated with seafaring throughout history whereas crabs have not been nearly as prominent in sailor folklore.
"One Coarse Meal" shows a very strange side of Mr. Krabs' relationship with Pearl; when he discovers that Plankton has developed a fear of whales, Mr. Krabs pays Pearl to scare Plankton once. He then uses a Pearl costume to routinely frighten Plankton and drive him insane. While he is doing this, it is revealed that he can imitate Pearl's voice perfectly (either because he knows exactly how she sounds or because the voice runs in the family) and that he is able to make a lifelike Pearl mask.
Pearl can get embarrassed by her father's miserliness, but deep down, she loves him for who he is and would never want him to change. This is the central theme of the book Just Say Please, where Pearl is nervous about how Mr. Krabs will act at her school's big Parents Day event. Eventually, she realizes how much she cares for her dad and compliments him: "Oh, Daddy! You look coral!"
Pearl always looks out for Mr. Krabs, no matter what. This is shown in the comic Stolen Kelp-Cake when Pearl "steals" the cake that Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob worked hard to make for her birthday. Being a huge whale, she tries to take a small taste and ends up eating the whole thing. She is too embarrassed to explain herself, leading Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob to start investigating who "ruined" Pearl's party. In the end, they find out Pearl ruined her own party, but she explains that she still thought of her dad. She says to Mr. Krabs, "But before I tasted it, I saved the very bestest piece for you, Daddy!" and they hug again.
Mr. Krabs has suspected that SpongeBob wants to date Pearl, but he is not fond of the idea. This is first hinted in "The Chaperone" when SpongeBob and Pearl are about to embrace but he startles them and yells, "Stay away from me precious flower!" It turns out that he meant an actual flower in his yard, not his daughter, but SpongeBob and Pearl thought the latter. The book SpongeBob's Secret Valentine illustrates this perfectly when SpongeBob asks Mr. Krabs for advice about girls. "Stay away from me only daughter, SpongeBob!" yells Mr. Krabs. When SpongeBob explains that he just wants some help with a non-romantic valentine card, Mr. Krabs tries to educate him on his choices. He talks about the ups and downs of sending a valentine to a squirrel vs. to a whale. The picture shows him pointing to a whale diagram instead of a squirrel and smiling.
Squidward is Pearl's honorary uncle, since he is not related to the Krabs family by blood or marriage. Pearl calls him Uncle Squiddy in episodes such as "Bossy Boots" and the book Good Ideas... and Other Disasters. They do not like being seen with each other, as shown in "The Chaperone" when Pearl does not want to go out with him to prom. However, they have quite a lot in common. This is shown in "Welcome to the Bikini Bottom Triangle" when she and Squidward sit side-by-side and read magazines together. In the same episode, Squidward calls her a drama queen. Pearl thinks Squidward is a barnacle and a stick in the sand, since he does not like to have fun like SpongeBob.
They may share interests, but Pearl and Squidward's demeanors are almost polar opposites of each other: Pearl is upbeat and loud, whereas Squidward is usually glum and quiet. In "As Seen on TV," Pearl and Squidward star as Amy and Jen in the Krusty Krab commercial. Pearl tries her best to act as a hungry paying customer, but Squidward is completely disinterested in being in the commercial. Their performances are a good example of how different the two characters are. Even when Squidward eats a Krabby Patty (revealed to be Squidward's all-time favorite food in "Just One Bite") in the commercial, he looks very unhappy while Pearl is smiling.
In "Whale of a Birthday," Squidward creates a sculpture of Pearl out of Krabby Patties and loves it, calling it a masterpiece. He says of Pearl's portrait: "It takes true genius to transform 400 pounds of raw Krabby Patties into a work of such majesty." Later, he tries to perform a song by Boys Who Cry at Pearl's party but fails miserably. "Drive Thru" shows that Pearl is willing to play pranks on Squidward. She encourages her fellow high schoolers to play a prank on him and describes him as "weird" to them. They use a megaphone while talking to Squidward from the drive-through window.
The Good Ideas book shows that Pearl deeply cares for Squidward. She decides to do something nice for her Uncle Squiddy by getting him a pet worm to cheer him up. Her plan seems to majorly backfire because the worm eats all of the food Squidward has in his house. He says, "Pearl, you are going to have to take this beast back home with you!" and Pearl solemnly responds, "I'm sorry, Squidward." However, the worm takes a liking to his clarinet playing and wins Squidward over. He changes his mind and shows a rare hint of happiness: "This worm is terrific, Pearl. I think I'll name him Mishka!"
In "Whale Watching," Pearl and Squidward's relationship is the main focus. Mr. Krabs lets Squidward babysit Pearl while he is out, saying it will be "just like when you were little." Squidward tries to interest Pearl in the activities that she loved as a kid, like coloring pictures and playing with her Cetaceous Sally doll. However, she is terribly bored and wants to go to a cool teen party instead. She sneaks out, leaving Squidward to chase after her. He tries to win Pearl back by playing music and swinging yo-yos, but Pearl just wants to breach with her new friend Dylan. However, she gets beached on Bikini Atoll, and all of her supposed friends leave her stranded there. Squidward saves her all by himself and brings her back down into the water. Devastated that she was ditched, Pearl starts to cry, but Squidward cheers her up by getting the idea to play a prank on Dylan. They ring his doorbell and leave annoying, hyperactive SpongeBob to surprise him. The episode ends with Pearl and Squidward laughing with each other, proud of their prank.
Much to Squidward's chagrin, his rival Squilliam Fancyson wears clothes that Pearl adores. In The Yellow Avenger, Pearl describes Squilliam as someone who "looked a bit like Squidward, but he was wearing the coolest, most far-out clothes! I've never seen anything like them in Bikini Bottom! You've just got to find out for me where he shops!"
Patrick is a friend of Pearl. He is sad and cries when SpongeBob tells him that, if they spend their lives on the outskirts of Bikini Bottom, there will be "no more Sandy or Pearl or Mr. Krabs" in "Life of Crime." Pearl makes a Krabby Patty for him in "Welcome to the Bikini Bottom Triangle." He says to SpongeBob while eating it, "Pearl doesn't make 'em as good as you do, though."
In "Tunnel of Glove," Patrick accidentally puts Pearl and SpongeBob in grave danger. At the beginning of the episode, when Pearl's classmates tease her about being SpongeBob's girlfriend, Patrick says "I didn't know you had a girlfriend." Later on, Patrick learns that Pearl and SpongeBob are stuck in the Tunnel of Glove. He mistakes a square-shaped control machine for SpongeBob and takes it, causing all kinds of problems in the tunnel such as a power outage. He sits on a lever and sends the ride into "Dangerous Super Fast Mode," scaring SpongeBob and Pearl. He also leans on a button that causes all of the animatronics in the ride to become evil and hunt SpongeBob and Pearl. Finally, he uses the water pressure area as a restroom, causing a waterfall to send SpongeBob and Pearl flying.
In SpongeBob Comics, Mrs. Puff gives Patrick a flower that makes him fall in love with the next person he sees. When he sees Pearl, he tells her "I love you!" Pearl reveals that she likes him, but not in "that way." Patrick also has a crush on the mermaids, who are good friends with Pearl. The mermaids reject Patrick and call him creepy in "Welcome to the Bikini Bottom Triangle," whereas they befriend Pearl because she shares their love of collecting things.
In Dancing With The Star, Pearl is the judge of a dance contest that Patrick enters. Patrick is very nervous about his performance, but the training SpongeBob gave him pays off and he shows Pearl his impeccable dancing skills. Pearl gives him a perfect score of 10 and Patrick wins the contest.
In 2002, SpongeBob crew members hosted a Nick.com chat session and answered questions as SpongeBob and Patrick. When asked why Pearl's species is different from her father's, Patrick answered: "Pearl's a whale?" This shows that Patrick is so clueless that he does not even realize she is a different animal from Mr. Krabs.
"Mr. Krabs gets to eat real food. Just look at his daughter. She's as big as a whale!" —Plankton to Karen in "The Algae's Always Greener"
Pearl has a very strange relationship with Plankton. In "The Algae's Always Greener," Plankton uses an invention to switch lives with Mr. Krabs. As a result, he becomes the father of an alternate universe Pearl called Pearl Plankton. With no idea how to raise a child, he gives her one measly dollar as an allowance. She thinks Plankton hates her and says she will run away to find a new daddy. Later in the episode, this version of Pearl calls Mr. Krabs' alternate universe counterpart (who assumes Plankton's life) the "saltiest of all the sea dogs" as an insult, implying that the normal Pearl views Plankton as this.
The episode "One Coarse Meal" disregards Pearl and Plankton's previous interactions. Although they are still familiar with each other in the episode, Plankton is said to have a fear of whales like Pearl since they eat plankton. Plankton's fear is actually irrational and erroneous, since baleen whales eat microorganisms, not toothed sperm whales like Pearl. Sperm whales do, however, eat cephalopods like Squidward. In this episode, Plankton becomes so scared of Pearl that Mr. Krabs uses a Pearl costume to scare him. Plankton even has a fear-induced nightmare about a zombie Pearl chasing and eating him. This fear is retconned in later episodes and is never brought up again.
In "Married to Money," Plankton disguises himself with a robotic stack of dollars called Cashina in a plan to trick Mr. Krabs into marrying his faux alter-ego. In order for his scheme to work, he needs to get Pearl to like Cashina as well. Pearl is strongly against getting a new mother, so when Plankton comes over to dinner as Cashina, she voices her disapproval: "Stop trying to mom at me, lady! I don't need you!" Plankton tries to complement Pearl's rouge and shoes, but it backfires because her rouge is actually a rash and her shoes are just barnacles. 'Cashina' eventually wins her over by going to Pearl's room and having a funny conversation about experiences Cashina supposedly had in the past.
Prior to Season 11, Karen didn't like Pearl and does not care about her very much. In "The Algae's Always Greener," Plankton tells Karen that Pearl is "as big as a whale" (not realizing that she is actually a sperm whale). Karen dismisses this comment and seems to understand Pearl's species better than her husband. In "One Coarse Meal," Karen does not take Plankton's temporary phobia of Pearl seriously and seems to think he is crazy. This shows that she is not afraid of Pearl.
The first time the two directly interact is in "Patnocchio." Pearl gets a stomachache because Patnocchio and Geppetto are inside her. Karen, as Karen the Computer Fairy, is friendly to her and gives her an analgesic: Gush and Flush.
In "A Cabin in the Kelp," Pearl joins Karen, Mrs. Puff, and Sandy as a part of the Gal Pals. From that moment they became friends.
"You've got to help Sandy. She needs to share your air!" —SpongeBob to Pearl, "Bubble Troubles"
Pearl and Sandy share a mutual friendship because they are both mammals, and Pearl believes that mammals need to stick together no matter what. In "Bubble Troubles," Pearl helps Sandy by giving her air. SpongeBob attaches Sandy to the blowhole on top of Pearl's head, and they share air until the end of the episode when Sandy is back to normal. At the beginning of the episode "Mr. Krabs Takes a Vacation," Sandy and Pearl sit together while Mr. Krabs gets everyone (except Squidward) excited about the story of the Krabs family's vacation. In "Texas," Pearl is at the Krusty Krab and wants Sandy to stay in Bikini Bottom. She cheers for Sandy when she decides to stay in Bikini Bottom. In "Feral Friends," Pearl attends Sandy's birthday party. In "A Cabin in the Kelp" she become newest member of Gal Pals.
Pearl is on good terms with Mrs. Puff, which is a good sign for the romantic relationship between Pearl's father and Mrs. Puff. However, Pearl is one of the very few characters who can drive but did not attend Mrs. Puff's Boating School. Instead, Mr. Krabs taught Pearl how to drive a boat himself to save money. This was shown in "Tutor Sauce." An alternate story is presented in the video game The Yellow Avenger, in which SpongeBob gives Pearl a ticket for a free driving lesson at Mrs. Puff's school.
"Party Pooper Pants" shows that Pearl and Mrs. Puff are already familiar with each other, as they talk together. Pearl says "Gee, SpongeBob really knows how to throw a great party!" and Mrs. Puff replies, "Oh yes, everything is quite lovely." There are many episodes where Mrs. Puff and Pearl are seen in the same room together.
"Feral Friends" is the first episode to explicitly show Mrs. Puff romancing Mr. Krabs in the same area as Pearl. Pearl generally seems to be happy about her dad's relationship with Mrs. Puff.
In "Hiccup Plague," Pearl and Mrs. Puff showed that Pearl and Mrs. Puff knows each others.
In "A Cabin in the Kelp," Pearl becomes the newest member of Gal Pals group. To officially induct her into the group, they take her camping at a cabin in Kelp Forest. Pearl gets the feeling that they will try to prank her, so she packs SpongeBob in her backpack and tells him to scare the other Gal Pals when they are telling ghost stories.
In "The Kwarantined Krab," they are locked in Krusty Krab with SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward and Mrs. Puff.
In "Kooky Cooks" Pearl is waiter on Mrs. Puff and Mr. Krabs' date.
Betsy Krabs, the mother of Mr. Krabs, is Pearl's paternal grandmother. Pearl and Betsy appear on screen together as part of Mr. Krabs' imaginary funeral in "Lame and Fortune." In SpongeBob Comics, it is revealed that Betsy helped raise Pearl. A recreation of a flashback from the comic shows Betsy holding Pearl when she was just a toddler.
Pearl is one of the main characters in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical, the 2017 musical based on the series. In the 2016 Chicago previews, she was played by Emmy Raver-Lampman. In the actual production, she was played by Jai'len Josey.
In the musical, Mr. Krabs is preparing to make Pearl the manager of the Krusty Krab. However, she is distraught because he never listens to her, especially when she tells him that she would much rather pursue a musical career than run the restaurant. Pearl sings a duet with Mr. Krabs called "Daddy Knows Best," through which she laments being unable to follow her actual dreams. Pearl runs away and gets a chance to sing with her favorite rock band, the Electric Skates. When the Skates prove to be rude to her and Squidward, the town stages a new concert, in which she and Squidward are the lead singers.
David Zinn, the costume designer for the musical, said this of Pearl's character: "She's a cheerleader and she's cool. Also, she's a WHALE and her father is a crab, so we wanted to really exaggerate her height and the ungainliness of being a whale when everyone is so much smaller than you. We gave her really great custom platform sneakers- sort of Spice Girls meets Frankenstein, we designed some custom Electric Skates (her favorite band) merch for her to wear, and gave her a whale-ish pompadour."
The only time Pearl has ever called Mr. Krabs something other than Daddy or Dad is in "As Seen on TV" when she (in character as Amy) says "Yippee, it's Mr. Krabs!" with her Uncle Squiddy cosplaying as Jen.
The book Nautical Nonsense reveals that Pearl has visited the Arctic before. This is fitting because sperm whales migrate to Arctic regions such as Iceland and Norway every year.
Pearl has ventral pleats on her neck, but these are not found on sperm whales. Only baleen whales have them.
The book SpongeBob Exposed! states that "You really shouldn't have!" is one of Pearl's catchphrases, but she only uses it once.
Pearl's teeth are usually flat and square-shaped, unlike the teeth of real sperm whales which are pointed. She is occasionally seen with more realistic pointed teeth in episodes such as "Safe Deposit Krabs."
"That is so coral!" is Lori Alan's favorite Pearl quote.
Pearl has been arrested once. In the comic "The Cinematic Cheapskate," she goes to see a scary ghost movie with a fish named Darren. When Darren tries to put his fin around Pearl, he accidentally touches the person sitting next to Pearl in the theater, and both he and Pearl get arrested for "assault-ed popcorn."
In "Life Insurance," Mr. Krabs dresses in a cheerleader outfit and a blonde wig that bear a striking resemblance to Pearl's original design.
Pearl mistakes ocean currents for Zante currants (a type of raisin).
On the "Ask SpongeBob" section of Nickelodeon's New Zealand website, "How many pairs of shoes does Pearl have?" was one of the sample questions. However, it was never answered.
Pearl appears without Mr. Krabs in the episodes "Tunnel of Glove," "Patnocchio," and "Goons on the Moon."
Since Pearl is a whale, and mammals have lungs, she needs air to breathe. It is revealed in "Bubble Troubles" that she holds air in her nose to breathe when underwater.
Pearl's line "A goofball?" in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie ends up becoming a crucially important one. She says it when Mr. Krabs asks what SpongeBob would be defined as. SpongeBob takes Pearl's suggestion of a goofball to heart and reiterates it at two major moments, first when he and Patrick are about to die at Shell City. He says to Patrick, "We did all right for a couple of goofballs." This causes him and Patrick to tear up and sing a bittersweet rendition of the Goofy Goober Song. Later, SpongeBob uses the term in his speech to Plankton about accepting who he is. "And I'm also a goofball. And a wingnut. And a Knucklehead McSpazatron!"
Out of all the main characters, she has the fewest individual appearances.
In "Goons on the Moon," it is revealed that she is part of the “Science Scout” troop.
Since Squidward lost his hair when he started working at the Krusty Krab in 1999, Pearl must have been born after 1999 because Squidward has already lost his hair on her baby photo.
She was mentioned by Kim Seok-jin (aka Jin) from the K-pop group BTS in a June 2019 video, where he said a blue plush toy of the character Mang looked like Pearl.
Pearl stays a teenager for the whole show. While not intentional, this makes sense because whales have a longer lifespan than most sea creatures, meaning she also stays a teenager longer than others.
In some scenes, Pearl's pupils are briefly colored black instead of the usual blue. This can first be seen in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V" when she is standing behind Sandy and Patrick at the Krusty Krab.
In "Evil Spatula," Pearl's photo shows her with blue irises and black pupils like SpongeBob's eyes.
On several promotional images, Pearl's hair elastic is not colored in and blends in with her hair.
Pearl's bottom three eyelashes are sometimes missing.
"Married to Money" shows that her rouge is a rash and her shoes are barnacles. However, in "Whale Watching" she has real shoes.