But it's becoming increasingly obvious. I can deny it no longer!... I am small.Plankton's most famous quote.
Sheldon James Plankton, or better known as Plankton, is the main antagonist of the Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants franchise. He serves as the main antagonist of the TV show and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, the anti-heroic deuteragonist of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and the overarching antagonist-turned-supporting protagonist in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on The Run. He is the best friend-turned-archenemy of Mr. Krabs and the arch-enemy of SpongeBob SquarePants.
He runs an unsuccessful restaurant called the Chum Bucket along with his robotic wife/sidekick Karen, and constantly plots to both expand his business (usually by stealing the Krabby Patty secret recipe) and eventually take over the world.
Plankton works with the help of his sidekick/wife by the name of Karen, a sentient computer who gives him most of his evil plans. He is a planktonic copepod and the business rival of Mr. Krabs, the owner of the Krusty Krab where SpongeBob SquarePants works. Despite being portrayed as an antagonist in most incarnations, he frequently appears as an anti-hero (an example being the second movie The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water) and he has that role in almost all the newer episodes.
While the Krusty Krab is popular among the sea creatures of Bikini Bottom, Plankton's own restaurant, the Chum Bucket, gets little to no customers. Plankton's plans all revolve around stealing the elusive "Krabby Patty Secret Recipe", so that he can copy it and make the Chum Bucket popular. He lives inside his restaurant, where he has an elaborate laboratory that contains Karen's system.
Plankton is shown to be an evil mastermind through and through, with signs of having a napoleonic complex due to his very short stature. His plans always involve technological devices and weapons, all for the sake of the formula. Although sometimes, he merely wants to expand his business or ruin the Krusty Krab. His main goal has always been throwing the Krusty Krab out of business. In Seasons 1 to 5, he was shown to be a poor businessman, being completely unable to acquire any success for his Chum Bucket restaurant (as a majority of his schemes involving attempted theft of the Krabby Patty recipe). However, in both events of the first movie and later seasons (which chronologically still set between the first film and season 5), he was now able to get more chances of success other than stealing the Krabby Patty formula, such as having an attractive restaurant place where the people will come to observe the underground complex beneath both his and Krabs' restaurant. Other examples are putting slogans such as "Chum is Fum" and "Fum is Chum" (where Patrick Star helped him in his slogans until the starfish's both low IQ and literally overheated brain became the setbacks) and one person named Nat Peterson kept coming to buy chum to eat, although he was only doing it since Karen paid him to do so. Therefore, his poor business skills are mostly because of his lack of foresight.
All in all, Plankton's small stature, the fact pretty much everyone else in his life looks down on him, and his poverty all-cause Plankton to feel very insecure and even defensive. He clearly suffers Napoleon syndrome, and his desire for conquest stems from his deep-seated desire for respect, and even admiration, both of which are absent from his life. From his childhood of poverty, all the way to his adulthood of feeling neglected, and downtrodden, his bitterness and hatred of nearly everyone has grown, and consumed him, almost molding him into a full-fledged psychopath who brings a lot of his bad luck on himself. However, traces of empathy are to be found, as he truly loved Spot, his pet amoeba, and even though he seems to look down on and belittles Karen, as he does actually love her, and Karen returns this love in spite of often being snarky to him, much to Plankton's frustration. Furthermore, during the second movie, he expressed his love for Karen before she shut herself down, so that he and SpongeBob could time travel.
Also, it is worth mentioning, due to his small size, and the fact he tends to have huge flaws in all his plans, no one in Bikini Bottom really sees Plankton as a threat, let alone is aware of his presence in the town or what he will do. For instance, when Sandy managed to capture Plankton for stealing her fur, the police arrested her instead for her unintentional public nudity and barely notice his presence in spite of him being in extremely close proximity. Most people who know him and aware of his presence in Bikini Bottom merely see him as a pest and dismissed him as a mere annoyance. Only a handful individuals who aware with how dangerous Plankton can be: Mr. Krabs, who acknowledges that if he DID get the formula, he would make the Chum Bucket a bigger risk to the Krusty Krab that made him vigilant around Plankton (though this doesn't stop Mr. Krabs from mocking him); and SpongeBob, whom was truly afraid of him and his outlandish schemes, especially since the events of his debut episode where he used a mind-control on the sponge and nearly discovered the Krabby Patty's formula in the process (though failed, this was enough to alarm SpongeBob about Plankton's villainous qualities and dangers that he can pose to the others).
While Plankton often appears as a bumbling comic foil, he actually can be a real threat under certain circumstances, manipulating others to get his way, and when the odds are in his favor, he can be surprisingly successful, though this success is usually short-lived. Even his first appearance has him lose because of his bad luck as his scheme proved made him a dangerous threat to SpongeBob.
In the newer episodes, he has become less evil and more similar to an anti-hero as he even helps SpongeBob when they're outside of their businesses, and has occasionally shown a more good-hearted side of him as a result. However, he is still as mischievous and calculating as ever, and is still willing to exploit SpongeBob's gullibility to his own advantage.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
Curses! It's not fair. Krabs is being interviewed by Perch Perkins, and I've never even had one customer!Plankton ranting about Mr. Krabs' success in opening the Krusty Krab 2 and that he never had any customer at the Chum Bucket.
Oh, Karen, my computer wife, if only I could have managed to steal the secret to Krabs' success, the formula for the Krabby Patty. Then people would line up to eat at my restaurant. Lord knows I've tried.Plankton confiding in Karen his wishes to obtain the Krabby Patty formula
I've exhausted every evil plan in my filing cabinet...from A to Y. (Karen: A to Y?) Yeah, A to Y. You know the alphabet. (Karen: What about Z?) Z? (Karen: Z. The letter after Y.) W, X, Y, Z. Plan Z! Here it is, just like you said. (Karen: Oh, boy.) Oh! Oh! Ohhh! It's evil. It's diabolical. It's lemon-scented. This Plan Z can't possibly fail!Plankton deciding to use Plan Z, adamant that it will not fail
So enjoy today, Mr. Krabs, because by tomorrow, I'll have the formula. Then everyone will eat at the Chum Bucket, and I will rule the world! All hail Plankton. All hail Plank...! Ow! (SpongeBob: I'm ready! Promotion! Ew, I think I stepped in something!) Not in something, on someone, you twit! (SpongeBob: Oh, Sorry, Plankton. Are you on your way to the grand opening ceremony?) No, I am not on my way over to the grand-opening ceremony. I'm busy planning to rule the world! (SpongeBob: Well, good luck with that. I'm ready. Promotion. I'm ready. Promotion.) Stupid kid.Plankton telling SpongeBob he does not have time to go to the grand-opening ceremony while being busy plotting to rule Bikini Bottom.
Time to put Plan Z into effect. Starting at the undersea castle of King Neptune.Plankton going to King Neptune's castle to steal his crown and frame Mr. Krabs for the theft.
Plankton succeeding in stealing Neptune's crown.I got it. I got it!
Hi, Mr. Krabs. This is Clay, the guy you sold Neptune's crown to. Yeah, I just wanted to say thanks again for selling me the crown. Neptune's crown. I sold it to a guy in Shell City, and I just wanted to say thanks again for selling me the crown. Neptune's crown. Which is now in Shell City. Goodbye.Plankton, through a fake phone call, misleading a furious Neptune into assuming that Mr. Krabs sold his crown to Shell City
Plankton goating about his success after tricking Neptune who yells in frustrationPlan Z. I love Plan Z.
Ding-a-ling. Hey there, old buddy. Freeze! One secret formula to go, please. No, no, don't trouble yourself. I'll get it. Well, I'd like to hang around, but I've got Krabby Patties to make... over at the Chum Bucket. Plan Z, I love ya!Plankton taunting an already frozen Mr. Krabs as he gets the formula and goes back to the Chum Bucket.
(Perch Perkins: Excuse me, Plankton. Perch Perkins, Bikini Bottom News. Can I get a minute?) Anything for you, Perch. (Perch Perkins: All of Bikini Bottom wants to know, how did you get the Krabby Patty?) Well, Perch, before my dear friend Eugene Krabs was frozen by King Neptune... I'm sorry. He confided in me a secret wish. "Sell the Krabby Patty in my absence at the Chum Bucket," he said. "Don't let the flame die out." (fake sobs) By the way, act now and you get a free Chum Bucket bucket helmet with every purchase. Here you go, Perch. (Perch Perkins: Thanks.) Bucket helmets for everyone!Plankton being interviewed by Perch Perkins about how did he get the Krabby Patty and offering bucket helmets to everyone.
Karen, baby, I haven't felt this giddy since the day you agreed to be my wife. (Karen: I never agreed.) Evil Plan Z is working perfectly. Nothing can stop me now! (Karen: Nothing except SpongeBob and his pink friend. My sensors indicate that they're going after the crown. If they make it back, Neptune might discover some fingerprints. Tiny fingerprints. Stubby, tiny fingerprints.) Evil Plan Z is way ahead of you, baby. I've already hired someone to take care of those two. He's a vicious, cold-blooded predator!Plankton assuring Karen that he hired a hitman to prevent SpongeBob and Patrick from retrieving the crown.
(Squidward: So you're selling Krabby Patties, eh, Plankton?) That's right, Squidward. And there's a free bucket helmet with every purchase. Care for one? (Squidward: No. You may have hoodwinked everyone else in this backwater town, but you can't fool me. I listen to public radio.) What's that supposed to mean? (Squidward: It means you set up Mr. Krabs. You stole the crown so Neptune would freeze him and you could finally get your stubby little paws on the Krabby Patty formula. [Plankton looks at his hands] It was you all along. But you made one fatal mistake. You messed with my paycheck. And I'm gonna report you to the highest authority in the land, King Neptune!) We'll see about that, Inspector Looselips.Plankton prepares to capture Squidward so he can't tell the truth to King Neptune.
(Karen: Now activating helmet brain control devices.) (Squidward: Huh?) (A radar rises out of the Chum Bucket restaurant, and the helmets on the people's heads cover their faces. They all stand up and drone: All hail Plankton.) (Squidward: What's going on here?) (Plankton puts his headphones on) Seize him, slaves! (Drones: All hail Plankton.) (Squidward: Ah! I'm getting out of here!) (Squidward tries to escape the Chum Bucket, but runs into other drones and he runs into the corner. Everyone marches toward him as they continue droning "All hail Plankton". Squidward screams in terror) (Plankton chuckles evilly) Who can stop me now?! (laughing) WHO?!Plankton turning the people in Bikini Bottom into slaves.
No resting! This monument celebrating my glory isn't gonna build itself. Move faster!Plankton pressuring his slaves into building Planktopolis.
Sorry about this calendar. March 14. Wait, that's not right. It should say "The day that Krabs fries!" Guess who's here.Plankton planning to have Mr. Krabs executed by King Neptune.
This is the best seat in the house. All right, Neptune, let's get it on!Plankton before Mr. Krabs' execution.
(King Neptune: Eugene Krabs, the time has come...) (Mindy: No.) Yes. (King Neptune: ...for you...) (Mindy: No.) Yes. (King Neptune: ...to fry...) (Mindy: No.) Yes.Plankton cheering on Neptune while the latter attempts to execute Mr. Krabs mere seconds before Spongebob and Patrick return with the crown
Oh, yes. Well done, SpongeBoob. (SpongeBob: Sorry to rain on your parade, Plankton.) Oh, don't worry about me. My parade shall be quite dry under my umbrella! (Spongebob, Patrick and Mindy: Umbrella?) [A bucket helmet falls on Neptune's head while unsuccessfully trying to take it off] (Mindy: Daddy, no.) Daddy, yes. (King Neptune: All hail Plankton.) [Spongebob, Patrick and Mindy scream in terror before the other mind-controlled slaves storm into the Krusty Krab 2 and Neptune aims his trident at the three of them]Plankton sarcastically complimenting SpongeBob before mind-controlling King Neptune.
(Patrick: Spongebob, what happened?) (SpongeBob: Plankton cheated.) Cheated? Hold on there, baldy. Oh, grow up. What, you think this is a game of kickball on the playground? You never had a chance to defeat me, fool! And you know why? (SpongeBob: Because you cheated?) No, not because I cheated! Because I'm an evil genius. And you're just a kid. A stupid kid!Plankton mocking SpongeBob and calling him a stupid kid. [Plankton, Neptune and the other slaves laugh at Spongebob
His dance moves are impressive, but I'm in control. Seize him! Plankton ordering his slaves to capture SpongeBob only for them to be blasted away by the latter.
Plankton yelling in total defeat while SpongeBob frees the mind-controlled Bikini Bottom residents. What? No! My precious helmets!
Come on, I was just kidding. Come on, you guys knew that, didn't you? With the helmets and the big monuments...Wasn't that hilarious, everybody? I will destroy all of you!Plankton's last words in the first film before he is sent away to prison.
- Plankton found Mr. Krabs' life to be worse than his own when he experienced it in "The Algae's Always Greener" and "Spy Buddies". In "The Algae's Always Greener", he found lots of reasons that make Mr. Krabs' life difficult:
- SpongeBob is always asking him for a Weekly Performance Review on Tuesday and throws a temper tantrum if Plankton refuses. He also keeps yelling "SOILED IT! SOILED IT! SOILED IT!" when he accidentally gave a customer a large soda when the customer wanted a medium soda.
- Squidward, the lazy, grumpy, pessimistic worker at the restaurant, complains to Plankton that he doesn't want to work with SpongeBob. Later, when Plankton put him in charge of fry cooking, a customer got angry because the Krabby Patty that Squidward cooked was very ugly, disgusting-looking, and hideous.
- Pearl, his virtual reality daughter, throws a big temper tantrum because she doesn't get more than $1 advance to her allowance.
- Krabs tries to steal the Krabby Patty formula (which Plankton actually does in the show's reality), and Krabs NEVER gives up like he does. This version of Krabs, while not as smart as Plankton, is even more unhinged in his attempts.
- In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Plankton was a lot more evil and depraved than he was in the series as he was ultimately grown into an alarmingly dangerous threat to the entire ocean. In the said movie, he stole King Neptune's crown, frames Mr. Krabs for it, sends Dennis to kill SpongeBob and Patrick rather than merely get rid of them, enslaves Bikini Bottom (which also includes not allowing his slaves to earn a single rest or break and just work nonstop) and shows excitement and joy when Mr. Krabs is going to be killed (in spite of their former friendship, though his past relationship with Krabs had yet to be established when the movie came out). He also enslaved King Neptune, in which gave him a potentially powerful asset in conquering the whole ocean and the world.
- However, it is revealed that Burger-Beard had previously surpassed Plankton (if one count the second movie as prequel to the first film) as aside managed to instantly steal the Krabby Patty recipe simply by rewriting the magic book that records everything that occurs in the ocean (especially events in Bikini Bottom includes conflict between Plankton and Krabs), the pirate was able to destroy Bikini Bottom and render it into post-apocalypse state in an instant. Even in order to defeat Burger Beard, it took the superpowered SpongeBob, Sandy, Patrick, Krabs, Squidward, and Plankton himself to defeat him.
- Early in the series, Plankton is considered a true villain. Later, as Krabs becomes more dramatically greedy (said greed ultimately drove him insane) and Plankton becomes less dramatically evil and less of a genius, the role of the main villain of the series becomes more debatable as lots of people think that Mr. Krabs is evil. Plankton also acknowledges this himself when he begins to question whether he or Krabs is truly evil. On the other hand, once seasons 9-12 started reducing Mr. Krabs' less pleasant traits, Plankton ended up becoming the true villain again. Even then, it depends on who is writing the episode.
- He and Mr. Krabs were born exactly on the same date.
- He may not have became the Big Bad at first, because Steven Hillenburg didn't know what to do with him, but Mr. Lawrence are liked him and so create many ideas how to use him.