Santa Claus is a character who first appears in the episode "Christmas Who?"
In all of his forms throughout the series, Santa is seen with a long white beard and gloves. His outfit usually consists of a white and red hat and a white and red outfit. He drives a green sleigh accompanied by many reindeer.
Role in series
Santa gives Squidward a letter for his help to the Bikini Bottomites in playing his role during his absence. He is seen riding on his sleigh with his reindeer in the distance immediately after Squidward reads his letter, and he laughs maniacally. Squidward, who initially did not believe in his existence, is speechless that he was wrong. He then makes a remark of being insane and goes back inside. Santa continues his laughter as he flies off.
SpongeBob thinks that claustrophobia means that one is afraid of Santa Claus as Squidward tells him it actually means someone is afraid of tight spaces. Patrick purposely says "Ho, ho, ho!" to taunt Squidward about his fear beforehand.
Santa comes to Bikini Bottom with the intention to dish out coal to everyone because they are on the naughty list. He nearly gives the Krabby Patty secret formula to Plankton, seeing as he appears to be "good." When Plankton's robot SpongeBob appears, he sets his sights on destroying Santa but SpongeBob destroys the robot.
Afterward, Santa discovers Plankton created the machine and punishes him by giving him all the coal originally meant for the whole town.
Santa appears after Squidward abruptly wakes him up and helps Sandy and her friends fix the moon. After SpongeBob destroys the moon, Santa shoots several water guns at him for SpongeBob to absorb them and take the moon's place.
At the end, it is revealed that Santa will replace the moon for Christmas, something SpongeBob ends up spoiling for the people of Earth. Santa flies by and tells SpongeBob he is still a menace.
He appears on the sides of the page where SpongeBob and Patrick are making snow angels.
The stop-motion Santa in "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" has received criticism due to the fact that he looked like a pig. The animators responded to this comment about their interpretation of Santa Claus, saying "[They] definitely wanted to keep an element of strangeness, almost scary aspects in the story." Mark Caballero explained that the idea of making Santa Claus look tired and strange came when they saw a drawing of him by Marc Ceccarelli or Luke Brookshier. Caballero said, "We thought that was a great idea. So we came up with our own little back story where Bikini Bottom is the last stop for Santa. He's tired, he wants to get home, take his shoes off... We honed in on the old descriptions of Santa being a jolly old elf. We pictured him as humanoid, but not necessarily directly human."
He is one of the few characters in the series to have a live action, stop motion, and animated form.
In "Plankton's Old Chum," SpongeBob's alter-ego, Chumta Claus, is a reference to Santa Claus himself.