Could SpongeBob SquarePants’ real villain be none other than his best friend, Patrick Star? A fan theory suggests so – here’s why.
SpongeBob SquarePants has introduced the audience to the main character’s closest friends, most notably Patrick Star, but some fans have pointed out that all those “quirks” in Patrick actually show that he’s the real villain of the show – here’s how. SpongeBob SquarePants has been unstoppable since its debut on Nickelodeon in 1999, becoming the most successful Nicktoon to date as well as one of the longest-running American animated series. SpongeBob and friends show no signs of stopping soon, and they are now branching out with spin-off shows in addition to the movies and video games already released.
SpongeBob SquarePants is all about the daily adventures of the title character and his friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. Accompanying SpongeBob through all types of trouble and more are his best friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks, his neighbor and coworker Squidward Tentacles, and his boss Mr. Krabs, with his pet snail Gary also joining the fun from time to time. The series has put special attention to the friendship between SpongeBob and Patrick, explaining they have known each other since they were very young (as seen in the spin-off series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years), and their bond has sometimes been put into question as some have found it to be controversial, but underneath all that there might be some red flags when it comes to good old Patrick Star.
Patrick is a lazy, dim-witted, and generally ignorant pink starfish who literally lives under a rock. Patrick is SpongeBob and Squidward’s neighbor, much to the annoyance of the latter, so he’s often playing and creating chaos alongside his best friend. Although his personality is similar to SpongeBob in both being childish and overly enthusiastic, SpongeBob is more responsible and intelligent than Patrick, with the latter considered one of the dumbest and laziest citizens in Bikini Bottom. However, there have been some moments throughout SpongeBob SquarePants that have made the audience believe Patrick is the real villain of the show, as he’s not the good friend everybody thinks and can even be labeled as a “sociopath”.
A fan theory suggests Patrick is the “monster” of the show, and the author has found similarities between the character and sociopaths. The author explains that they label the lazy starfish as a “sociopath” due to him having an antisocial personality disorder, and with that comes a long-term pattern of “manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others”. The author offers various pieces of evidence to support the theory, beginning with Patrick’s stupidity, which could be part of his manipulative ways to make those around him think he’s harmless. A notable example of Patrick’s destructive and potentially dangerous behavior is in the episode “I’m With Stupid”, where SpongeBob pretends to be stupid to make Patrick look smart in front of his parents. This plan starts off well, but Patrick seems to forget (or chooses to) that SpongeBob is pretending, and starts bullying his supposed best friend.
Another important example can be found in the episode “Valentine’s Day”, where SpongeBob takes a while to give Patrick his gift and this one thinks SpongeBob forgot, so he goes on a rampage and causes a lot of chaos at the amusement park, even threatening innocent civilians, all because he didn’t get what he wanted. Patrick, then, is only pretending to be stupid so he can manipulate others and cause destruction around Bikini Bottom without facing any major consequences. While some might argue that Patrick is just short-tempered and doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, truth is that the Patrick Star in recent seasons of SpongeBob SquarePants isn’t the same as the one in the first episodes, and he has gradually become a messier, more chaotic character that some might find to be problematic and more of an antagonist than an ally.