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Mermaid Man was a part of an allied group of other superheroes, called the I.J.L.S.A. (International Justice League of Super Acquaintances), a parody of the names Justice League and Superfriends. Not only do the duo star in a cartoon, but also used to really protect the citizens of Bikini Bottom, but retired as both are now very old.
Mermaid Man is a semi-retired superhero. He was voiced by Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine.
His costume mostly resembles the costume of the comic book hero Aquaman, with the addition of a star-shaped mask, a scallop-shell bra, and a pair of fuzzy slippers. Mermaid Man's underwater lair and method of crime fighting is a parody of Batman, and the "invisible Boat-Mobile" is a parody of both the Batmobile and Wonder Woman's invisible jet. It is unknown how he can live in Bikini Bottom, as he, along with Barnacle Boy, are the only true humanoid characters on the show (although he could be Atlantean or otherwise super-powered). He has an obsession with the word "EVIL!" and is often seen running wildly about shouting that word.
Much like the heroes he is based on, Mermaid Man also has a sidekick, Barnacle Boy, who he treats like a child even though Barnacle Boy is sixty-eight years old. Mermaid Man appears to be in the advanced stages of senility, often forgetting what he was talking about, or what he was doing. This is not a problem for SpongeBob and Patrick, who unconditionally adore the two heroes and managed to coax them out of retirement and back into television. SpongeBob has appeared with them in eight different shorts — often involving a supervillain, a gadget, or some combination of the two. In one episode, he and Patrick made a film about the heroes.
Mermaid Man has several nemeses that he fought long ago. Dirty Bubble, a sentient dirty bubble. Man Ray, a humanoid with a stingray themed costume who does evil things and was frozen in the Mermalair. Atomic Flounder, a fish who can shoot nuclear blasts from his mouth. The Moth, a humanoid moth who steals light, is another one of Mermaid Man's enemies, and according to him, he has been searching for the Moth for 57 years.
Mermaid Man enjoys watching television and playing checkers with Barnacle Boy. He eats almost anything. His favorite foods are meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli, Krabby Patties, and ice cream.
According to Mermaid Man, his powers are all in his costume. He uses abilities similar to Aquaman's such as: summon and control sea creatures, high speed swimming (used to create an effect dubbed the Raging Whirlpool), water balls, and the ability to survive underwater. While Mermaid Man retains all of these abilities, they are not as powerful as they were in his prime. Also, Mermaid Man has Super Telescoping Vision according to a scene cut from the storyboards of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V.
In addition to this, his belt houses a wide array of various weapons, most commonly seen as some kind of beam or ray. The only one named on the show is the Small Ray, which shrinks things, as well as the reverse large ray dubbed "Wumbo" by Patrick. His belt features other powers such as the Building Obliteration Button, the Chin Cam, and various radioactive beams that cause bizarre mutations and various effects to the subject, such as causing them to suddenly catch on fire, turn inside out, or to be cut in half by scissors. They are only briefly shown, all afflicting Squidward.
Barnacle Boy is Mermaid Man's side-kick. He is voiced by Emmy Award-winning comedian and actor Tim Conway.
Barnacle Boy is a semi-retired superhero sidekick, although he still is more sane and aware than Mermaid Man. He, along with Mermaid Man, are the only real humanoids on the show. His costume is a cross between the Silver Age Aqualad and Gilligan of Gilligan's Island. Barnacle Boy also exclaims "Mumblin' Morays!" when excited. Although he turned evil and won against Mermaid Man, forcing him to give in to his demand of being called Barnacle Man, he soon reverted to being called Barnacle Boy.
Mermaid Man, his mentor, treats him as if he were a young boy, in spite him being an adult. He often calls Mermaid Man an "old coot." In true sidekick fashion he takes the brunt of the physical comedy upon himself.
Barnacle Boy once became a villain briefly in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V," teaming up with Man Ray and the Dirty Bubble following a dispute about a Pipsqueak Patty (a very small version of a Krabby Patty intended for children) at the Krusty Krab. After a protracted fight — and a painful parody of the Justice League called the International Justice League of Superhero Acquaintances (IJLSA) with the regular cast; he and Mermaid Man patched things up. Barnacle Man, as he likes to be called, gets a little more respect now (even though he cannot finish an adult-sized Krabby Patty). In the same episode, Barnacle Boy mentioned he was so old he had hairs growing out of the wrinkles on his liver spots. He also has a nose similar to Squidward's, although larger. This is referenced in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV" when Barnacle Boy and Squidward are locked in a battle of wits involving them calling each other "Big-nose." Barnacle Boy also runs security at the Rock Bottom Museum.
In the video game Battle for Bikini Bottom, it was revealed that Barnacle Boy has a son, a daughter-in-law, and four "screaming" grandchildren.
Barnacle Boy possesses powers similar to Mermaid Man, though he lacks the belt. However, he does have "Sulfur Vision" (a form of heat vision) that Mermaid Man does not. Like Mermaid Man, his powers are not what they used to be.
The Invisible Boatmobile is Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's vehicle, located in the Mermalair. The boat is a regular-sized boatmobile with many superhero features to it, such as the origami button. Whether the boatmobile itself folds up into an origami shape or just the people in it is unknown. SpongeBob claims to know lots about the boat, like knowing where the windshield wipers are, but pressed the aforementioned button. As seen in the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II." It is said for the boatmobile has a more powerful engine than others to enable the heroes to get to the situation where their help is needed faster. In addition to the engine, the boatmobile has manual transmission and a "torpedo mode" ejection system.
The boatmobile was once almost completely painted black by SpongeBob and Patrick, thus defeating the purpose of it being invisible.
Barnacle Boy commonly gets burned by the tailpipe of the boatmobile when Mermaid Man starts it up.
To drive it one needs an invisible license. (the credibly of this is uncertain, considering this was stated by Patrick)
Barnacle Boy thinks that making it invisible was a stupid idea.
In SpongeBob's Mermaid Man movie, the invisible boatmobile was played by the visible Pearl Krabs and a mountain climber. As seen in the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy VI."
When using the Invisible Boat alarm, the Boatmobile is fleetingly visible and revealed to be a beat-up pink Cadillac convertible. However, when SpongeBob and Patrick paint half of the Boatmobile, or when they run it into a street light, it appears to be shaped like a boat. Also, the game, "Lights, Camera, Pants!" it was seen for a brief moment to be pink. In the GBA version of battle for Bikini Bottom in a mini game you drive the boat mobile, if you crash it flashes briefly and looks like a red jalopy. It is similar to the car driven by Mickey Mouse
As revealed in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV," the boat runs on manual transmission (when the two are trying to escape from SpongeBob in the Boatmobile, Barnacle Boy exclaims "I told you we should have got the automatic!")
In "Back to the Past," it is referred to (by Barnacle Boy) as the Invisiboat. Whether this is just another name for it, or the old name was changed is unknown.
International Justice League of Super Acquaintances
The I.J.L.S.A. (International Justice League of Super Acquaintances) is a team of superheroes, who are aligned with Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. They were first mentioned in the episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V." In "The Bad Guy Club for Villains," SpongeBob and Patrick watch the Lost Episode of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. In it, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy call their friends in what was then known as the "International Justice Lodge of Super Acquaintances," comprised of Captain Magma, The Elastic Waistband, Miss Appear, and The Pi-Right Ponderer. The villains were unfamiliar with these superheroes, and so it can be certain that the name was later changed to the "International Justice League of Super Acquaintances," in which a new member named The Quickster joined up, and The Pi-Right Ponderer was never seen again.
Captain Magma - who has a volcano on the top of his head from which he can shoot lava by yelling, "Krakatoa!" (the name of a volcano). A parody of Firestorm from the JLA and the Human Torch from the Fantastic Four. He was once portrayed by Squidward Tentacles. He is called Professor Magma in "The Bad Guy Club For Villains."
The Elastic Waistband - who has the ability to bend his body into fantastic shapes and forms. This hero is a parody of Plastic Man, Elongated Man, both from the JLA, and Mister Fantastic from the Fantastic Four. He was once portrayed by Patrick Star. His costume is similar design to 18-Volt of WarioWare, Inc.
Miss Appear - who has the ability to become invisible. A parody of Invisible Woman, part of the Fantastic Four. She was once portrayed by Sandy Cheeks. In "The Bad Guy Club for Villains," she resembles Wonder Woman.
Pi-Right Ponderer - an early member of the group, who was known for giving advice. but doesn't fight much. He does not appear in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V."
Dirty Bubble - A giant dirt bubble who is Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's number one nemesis and SpongeBob's favorite villain. He enjoys making his enemies eat dirt. When he first appeared, he tried to capture the heroes, who attempt to ditch SpongeBob. He successfully captured the two, before SpongeBob accidentally pops him with a pencil while attempting to get his autograph. Later, in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V," Dirty Bubble somehow returns. In the episode, Man Ray has teamed up with him to form an organization called E.V.I.L. (Every Villain Is Lemons). When Barnacle Boy tires of Mermaid Man treating him like a little kid, he joins the two, and commits crimes. In the end, Barnacle Boy returns to the good side, leaving Man Ray and Dirty Bubble disappointed. He is a champion at paddle ball, as seen in "Have You Seen This Snail?" He is also shown in "Back to the Past" when Barnacle Boy shows SpongeBob and Patrick the dirty bubble wand. He blows the wand and popped the Dirty Bubble. His latest appearance is in "Patrick-Man!" when he is disguised as Mabel and captures SpongeBob, only to be popped by Patrick's ice cream cone helmet when he bends down to eat a Krabby Patty. The Dirty Bubble was originally voiced by Charles Nelson Reilly and later voiced by Tom Kenny.
Man Ray - Man Ray was first mentioned in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy" by SpongeBob when he's trying to get Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to come out of retirement. He later appears in person in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III," where SpongeBob and Patrick released him from frozen tartar sauce. When he discovers that he has a tickle belt, Man Ray tricks the duo to teach him kindness. After the class, Man Ray grabs the Aqua Glove and the Cosmic Ray from Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's arsenal to take over Bikini Bottom. When he discovers that he has become good, he quits villainy. However, the episode that he appears after the one he decides to become a nice headless man, he's evil again. He even used a flashlight to actually see two fish kiss. Then, he got arrested the next day after the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy became friends again. His head is made up of his mask/shoulder pads combo and is headless underneath that. Later, in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V," he becomes evil again (and somehow recovers his head), and brings back the Dirty Bubble and they team up with Barnacle Boy (who became evil) to form E.V.I.L. At the end, Barnacle Boy becomes good again, leaving Man Ray with Dirty Bubble in the middle of a long winded story.In Bad Guy Club for Villains he called Dirty Bubble Dirty. Additionally, even though he took off the Tickle Belt in Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III, he's shown wearing it in later episodes. In "Back to the Past," he took revenge. Though it may be an Anti-Tickle Belt which allows him to continue to be evil. In "Shuffleboarding" (when's he good) it is acknowledged that he had a friend called Mable who went to high school with him. Man Ray also took her to the prom. He may be a parody of the Aquaman villain, Black Manta and his name seems to be derived from the Batman villain, Man-Bat. His name could also be a reference to the American artist Man Ray or the manta ray. Man Ray's original design was not of what he has been featured. In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy," his original design is that of an actual manta ray as described of an episode SpongeBob recalls of him. John Rhys-Davies and Bob Joles voice Man Ray.
Atomic Flounder - A retired villain from 1952 who can blast hot radioactive beams from his mouth. Capable of third degree burns from his beams, he wears a radioactive suit and speaks with a Kennedy-esque New England accent. He is voiced by Carlos Alazraqui. Also seen in "The Bad Guy Club for Villains" voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. In this appearance, Atomic Flounder was lavender and his eyes are like aliens, a tail,. Just a thing used for box fights. Barnacle Boy said he could snap just like this. It is also known that he has an atomic touch so if he touches you you'll become atomic and the only way to reverse this is to make him touch you again. He is the only villain who is retired and who had aged. Also, unlike the other villains and heroes on the show, he is seen in plain clothes.
Kelp Thing - Seen in Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture. Kelp Thing is a humanoid, possibly human, covered with seaweed. He doesn't appear to have super powers and parks illegally, prompting Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to tow his car. In SpongeBob's Mermaid Man movie, he is represented by a piece of seaweed with goggle eyes who 'torments' Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy by waving up and down on a string. Possibly a parody of DC's Swamp Thing (or Marvel's Man-Thing.)
Sneaky Hermit - A super hermit crab who plans to rule the world by means of sneakiness. He steals buildings in a sneaky fashion. His weakness is pepper. Seen in Lights, Camera, PANTS!. In the New Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy episode in that game, he called Man Ray, Moron Ray and the Dirty Bubble, the Dopey Bubble.
Snorelonn - Only mentioned in Nickelodeon Magazine, in the special SpongeBob issue. His evil plan is to wake everyone up with loud snoring noises. SpongeBob and Patrick were playing Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy and said that Squidward was Snorelonn. He was possibly made up by SpongeBob and Patrick when they were playing Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
Prawn - He threw Mermaid Man's red clothes in the laundry with his white clothes. Like Man Ray, he was unfrozen by SpongeBob in the frozen tartar sauce in Battle for Bikini Bottom. He is voiced by Mr. Lawrence.
Reflecto - Squidward was mistaken for Reflecto when SpongeBob and Patrick were playing Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Reflecto uses mirrors in his evil schemes, and if he is ever cut off from sunlight, he loses his power. He was most likely made up by SpongeBob and Patrick when they were playing Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, mainly because SpongeBob refers to Reflecto as his "arch enemy." In SuperSponge, Barnacle Boy tells SpongeBob that "Reflecto has nothing on you."
Sinister Slug - Seen as a cardboard cut out with darker green skin,eyes on antennae and yellow eyes with red pupils in Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II. He was also featured in The Lost Episode in The Bad Guy Club for Villains in a redesigned appearance as a green slug with red eyes, sharp teeth, lived in the sewers and voiced by Mr. Lawrence.
Dr. Octofish - Barnacle Boy used his paddle ball of fury to break this villain's concentration. Mentioned in Lights, Camera, Pants! Possibly the villain at the beginning of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. "Doctor Octofish" is a possible parody of Doctor Octopus from Spider-Man.
There was also a villain in the first episode who appeared on the show; he took a lollipop from a child, but was defeated with a whirlpool. He was probably a reference to Black Manta.
Drippy Bros. Studios - Created a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy movie, only they used actors and not the real Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. It may be a parody of Warner Bros. Studios and their 1989-1997 Batman film series.
E.V.I.L. - An organization of super villains and a parody of the Legion of Doom from the Super Friends. It stands for "Every Villain Is Lemons." It was only temporary, in which, Man Ray, the Dirty Bubble, and Barnacle Man (Barnacle Boy betrayed Mermaid Man because he did not like to be treated as a little kid) were the members. They committed such crimes as ringing doorbells and running. Barnacle "Man" rejoined the side of justice after the I.J.L.S.A. defeated itself and Mermaid Man was forced to give in to Barnacle Man's demands. Here where some of the things that the E.V.I.L. did:
B.G.A.T.F.B.C. - Short for "Bad Guys All Together For Book Club," it consisted of Man Ray, Dirty Bubble, Sinister Slug, Atomic Flounder, and Jumbo Shrimp. It was featured in the Lost Episode occurring in The Bad Guy Club for Villains where Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy alongside the I.J.L.S.A. to find out what they were up to which turned out to be their personal book club.
In Bikini Bottom media
In Bikini Bottom, there is a cartoon called The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. These are some of the episodes:
Episode #1: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy chase after a bank robber.
Episode #17: Mermaid Man uses the Tickle Belt on Man Ray.
Battle with Man Ray - featured in "Back to the Past." Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy use tartar sauce to defeat Man Ray. After SpongeBob and Patrick Traveled back in time, Patrick ate the tater sauce, therefore causing a time paradox that allowed Man Ray to take over Bikini Bottom.
The Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy Origin Special - was the never before seen episode that was premiered at the beginning of "The Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy Television Marathon." It is about how Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy came to be. It was seen in "Mermaid Man Begins."
Unnamed Episode: there was only a fragment of the episode shown of MM and BB pop the Dirty Bubble. It was seen in "Mermaid Man Begins."
Unnamed Episode #2: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy stop a bank robber and Mermaid Man takes all the credit.
Unnamed Episode #3: Man Ray captures Barnacle Boy, so Barnacle Boy uses his Tentacle Zapper on him; Mermaid Man orders a pizza.
The Case of the Curious Cliffhanger: A long lost episode that no one has ever seen. It is a two-part special.
There is also a cartoon called The New Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, which is the new series, that SpongeBob convinced Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to create. These are some of the episodes:
Episode #1: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy "defeat" SpongeBob and Patrick and come out of retirement.
Episode #2: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are playing checkers and the phone rings. Mermaid Man announces that they need to get the phone fixed.
Episode #3: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy go on vacation, and leave SpongeBob and Patrick to watch the Mermalair.
Episode #4: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are at the Krusty Krab, and Mermaid Man is taking a long time to order. As seen in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V."
Episode #5: SpongeBob and Patrick make an action movie of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
Episode #6: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are stuck at a dead end with Man Ray about to use a laser on them. However, Man Ray gets trapped in glass, unable to shoot Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, making them able to escape. It was seen in "Patrick-Man!."
There are only three known movies involving Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
A new movie was being created by Drippy Bros. Studios, but with actors, and not Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
Another movie (called "The Real Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy Movie" by SpongeBob) was made at the same time that SpongeBob made to compete against the real movie:
Sandy Cheeks as Mermaid Man's stunt double (role assigned in the hasty remake of the movie)
A piece of green cardboard with googly eyes on two pipe cleaners suspended from completely visible strings as Kelp Thing
Nat Peterson pulls Pearl Krabs (the visible boatmobile) up a mountain.
This scene was not shown because Patrick didn't take the lid out of the camera's view, so Pearl Krabs and the fish didn't appear in the REAL movie.
The movie was first produced differently. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy were driving the Invisible Boatmobile (Pearl Krabs) and were pulled by a fish up a rocky hill. Later, Mermaid Man recited the plot of episode #912 before the movie ended. However, it was ruined because Patrick Star had the lens cap on.
Takes of one scene of the film
Take One: Mermaid Man tells Barnacle Boy "We have to get back those swollen Krabby Patties." SpongeBob says "Cut! No! It's '...stolen Krabby Patties'!"
Take Two: Mermaid Man tells Barnacle Boy "We have to get back those stolen Maggy Daddies." SpongeBob says "Cut! No, Mermaid Man! It's '...stolen Krabby Patties'!"
Take 5003: Mermaid Man tells Barnacle Boy "We have to get back those stolen Krabby Patties." (The scene was ruined because Plankton could not hold up the mic and it kept appearing in the frame, eventually falling into Mermaid Man's mouth.)
A warehouse filled with thousands of Krabby Patties is present. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy just discover that the Krabby Patties have been stolen by one of their enemies: Kelp Thing! Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy proceed to the underground city. They drink cheese coffee. They encounter Kelp Thing. They defeat the enemy and get back the stolen Krabby Patties.
The film has only been screened once at the Krusty Krab. Although the reactions from the film's crew were very positive, the rest of the audience present at the screening gave it highly negative reviews (They only came because the real movie was sold out and their facial expressions expressed otherwise).
On the opening night at Krusty Krab, the film grossed over $200 with 200 tickets being sold. Despite the highly negative reviews from the nerds at the Krusty Krab, the film can be considered a financial success because there was almost no budget for the film (supposedly).
In "SpongeBob LongPants," there is a movie called The Dark Tide Rises, a parody of The Dark Knight Rises. Only posters and billboards are seen for this movie.