SpongeBob SquarePants has a lot of friends, but he’s not everyone’s favorite. Squidward, for example, is often rude to him – and here’s why.
Squidward is known for his cynical attitude and strong dislike towards SpongeBob and everything he does, but why does he hate him so much? Created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg, SpongeBob SquarePants made its debut on Nickelodeon in 1999 and has since become not only the most successful Nicktoon but also one of the longest-running American animated series.
SpongeBob SquarePants follows the daily adventures of the title character (a sea sponge who looks like a kitchen sponge) and his closest friends and enemies in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob is often accompanied by his best friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks, but also by his neighbor Squidward Tentacles, who SpongeBob considers a friend, but it’s not a mutual feeling. Squidward is the complete opposite of SpongeBob and has very little patience towards his yellow neighbor, and has never been discreet about his intense dislike towards him. But after all these years, a big question remains: why does Squidward hate SpongeBob so much?
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Squidward can’t seem to get rid of SpongeBob, no matter how hard he tries. SpongeBob is not only his neighbor, but also his coworker, and even when Squidward traveled in time (by accident), he just couldn’t avoid crossing paths with SpongeBob. The source of Squidward’s hate towards SpongeBob is unclear, though a potential reason was shown in season 6’s episode “Truth or Square”. In it, Squidward was living a happy and peaceful life at his home in Bikini Bottom, where he had a fancy garden right next to his house. One (bad) day, a pineapple fell off a boat and crushed his garden, and that pineapple later became the home of SpongeBob. Squidward has been shown to be very protective of everything he owns and takes a lot of pride in the things he makes with his own hands, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this event kickstarted his hate for SpongeBob.
Of course, there’s also the simple fact that SpongeBob is the opposite of Squidward: cheerful, loud, and always happy, and he’s not good at respecting Squidward’s personal space. Ironically, their ancestors have been shown to be friends, specifically in the episodes “Ugh” and “Pest of the West”, though the Tentacles ancestors still had their moments of hostility towards the SquarePants. However, Squidward hasn’t always been rude and hateful towards SpongeBob, and he has shown that he cares about him and even enjoys his company a couple of times. On very rare occasions, Squidward has even apologized for hurting SpongeBob, as he did in season 1’s episode “Fools in April”, where he struggled to apologize after playing a nasty trick on him.
Squidward’s animosity towards SpongeBob won’t change as it’s a very important part of SpongeBob SquarePants and the dynamics between the characters, and every hero needs an antagonist, who can sometimes be an ally. Plus, Squidward serves as a balance to SpongeBob’s personality, which can sometimes be too over-the-top, with Squidward being a more grounded type, even if he’s sometimes a bit too pessimistic.
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