Many villains have come and gone in the 23 years that SpongeBob SquarePants has been airing.
Most SpongeBob villains featured within the TV series, while others were main antagonists in the SpongeBob movies and games.
Not all SpongeBob villains are entirely evil – many are nuisances who enjoy annoying or humiliating others. But that makes them no less villainous.
With so many characters introduced to SpongeBob through the years, it can be hard to track who poses the biggest threat to the lovable sponge and his friends.
Here are the top 10 villains in SpongeBob SquarePants, ranked from the least villainous to downright evil.
10. Squilliam Fancyson
Squilliam Fancyson may not pose any particular threat to SpongeBob himself, but he is no less mean and awful to other characters in the show.
Because he thinks he is better than everyone else, especially Squidward, Squilliam is excellent at making everyone around him feel useless or stupid.
As a younger, far more successful musician than Squidward, Squilliam leads a privileged life that he takes great joy in showing off to other people.
His arrogance and tendency to monopolize Squidward’s low self-esteem earn him a place as one of SpongeBob’s top villains.
9. Dirty Bubble
Dirty Bubble is such a supervillain in Bikini Bottom that even Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy struggle to defeat him.
However, by himself, Dirty Bubble doesn’t hold any real power and is more aggravating than harmful.
He does not have the same ability to cause any real damage as other villains.
Though he proclaims himself a villain, Dirty Bubble is very easy to defeat.
Often, an accidental move or mistake with a sharp object causes Dirty Bubble’s bubble to pop, making him much less threatening than he claims.
He does have the ability to trap people in his bubble, but he is very easy to incapacitate.
Unless he has other villains helping him, Dirty Bubble is just a harmless menace.
8. The Flying Dutchman
One of the most recurring villains in SpongeBob, The Flying Dutchman is a favorite fan villain. Mostly because of his paranormal powers and comedic scares.
His ability to not only shapeshift but also change what other characters perceive as reality, simply because he wants to, makes The Flying Dutchman a great villain.
So much so that The Dutchman was made the primary antagonist for several SpongeBob video games.
As his name would allude, The Dutchman was a pirate when alive with the sword skills and physical abilities to put up a good fight.
However, his ghastly looks alone are usually enough to ward other characters away from him in death, so rarely physically harms people.
The Dutchman is more of a nuisance than a dangerous villain despite the powers at his disposal.
He prefers to scare people, which can be emotionally distressing but is not necessarily done with the intent to harm someone. Rather annoy them instead.
7. Flats the Flounder
What makes Flats the Flounder such a villain is that there is no explanation for how he treats SpongeBob.
He is a bully who one day decides that SpongeBob is the perfect victim. The emotional trauma he causes makes him one of the worst villains in SpongeBob.
Unlike most people SpongeBob meets, Flats is not instantly won over by his whimsical, childish personality.
The first thing Flats ever says to Spongebob when he debuts in season 3 is, “Hi SpongeBob. I’m gonna kick your butt.”
SpongeBob is (of course) a sponge, so Flats’ physical assaults can never really hurt him. However, that doesn’t make SpongeBob’s encounters with Flats any more pleasant.
He may start as a joke at first, drawn by SpongeBob after a magical pencil lands in Bikini Bottom, but DoodleBob is no laughing matter.
DoodleBob is essentially an evil version of SpongeBob who is nearly impossible to kill and almost gets the best of SpongeBob.
SpongeBob draws DoodleBob as a self-portrait that then magically comes to life. For some unknown reason, DoodleBob lacks all of the innocent kindness of the real SpongeBob.
Instead, he is completely crazy, wreaking havoc on Bikini Bottom with the power of the magic pencil on his side.
When SpongeBob tries to destroy DoodleBob by erasing him, he forgets to erase one of DoodleBob’s arms, allowing him to escape and try to erase SpongeBob as revenge.
However, as SpongeBob explains: DoodleBob is not evil. He is just a drawing in a “three-dimensional aquatic world, longing for a purpose.”
5. Man Ray
Man Ray is another of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s enemies, but he is more dangerous than Dirty Bubble.
Mostly because while Dirty Bubble is relatively powerless, Man Ray is quick to anger and intelligent enough to manipulate his enemies without having to use brute force.
Man Ray also has a wide variety of weapons at his disposal, which he makes sure to use whenever possible. Though he doesn’t necessarily need them.
His ability to shoot lasers, fly, decapitate himself without injury and think up quick plans when he is in trouble all help him in his dastardly quest to take over Bikini Bottom. And then, the world.
Even with all his abilities, Man Ray’s biggest asset is his connections to other villains and evil alliances.
He is well equipped to take on any threat or enact revenge on those who have wronged him or made him angry.
Which, with his anger issues, is pretty much everyone.
4. The TattleTale Strangler
When it comes to dangerous SpongeBob villains, The TattleTale Strangler has to be mentioned.
Unsurprisingly, TattleTale Strangler is one of the most dangerous criminals in SpongeBob.
Even his name reflects his love for violence, specifically his love for strangling his victims to death.
Typically, SpongeBob remains lighthearted, even when it comes to the more evil characters. Most have harmed others but have not explicitly killed them.
TattleTale Strangler is one of the very few characters in SpongeBob who is notorious for having actually killed people.
He seems obsessed with wanting to break the law, often hurting people along the way.
Though TattleTale Strangler doesn’t always set out with the intention to strangle someone to death, he will promise to do so if any witnesses to his crimes report him to the police.
He may only be featured in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, but from the moment that Cyclops is shown on screen, he is as scary as he is malicious.
Cyclops is one of the few human characters in SpongeBob.
This means that he is physically much bigger than SpongeBob and Patrick, making them easy victims when he kidnaps them from the ocean.
The deep-diving hard helmet and suit that Cyclops wears make him appear much more ominous and threatening than the other human characters in SpongeBob.
He slowly dries out the sea creatures he kidnaps so that he can sell them as knick-knacks – a method that causes the creatures a lot of pain along the way.
Cyclops cackles and takes great pleasure in seeing those he captures in pain.
It is this sadistic joy that makes him one of SpongeBob’s top villains.
Dennis has only one job and one purpose in SpongeBob… to kill SpongeBob. And he is more than capable of doing so.
When hired by Plankton in the SpongeBob movie to ensure Mr Krab’s death (which SpongeBob and Patrick try to prevent from happening), Dennis is instantly recognizable as the villain of the film.
He embodies the mean tough guy from his knife necklace to his skull belt buckle.
Dennis appears fearless, meaning nothing can stop him from completing a deadly job.
Worse yet, Dennis just can’t seem to die.
Even when Cyclops stands on him, temporarily squishing him, he remains stuck to Cyclop’s shoe only to reform as though nothing happened.
Dennis is one of the top SpongeBob villains because he is more than willing to hurt anyone who gets in the way of his deadly jobs, never stopping to consider if his actions are wrong.
1. Sheldon J. Plankton
Sheldon J. Plankton is SpongeBob’s biggest enemy and arch-nemesis, constantly finding ways to trick and hurt SpongeBob.
As such, Plankton should be considered SpongeBob’s top villain simply because of the lengths he is willing to go to get what he wants.
However, Plankton is not pure evil like other SpongeBob villains.
His anger at being betrayed by Mr Krabs when they were younger fuels Plankton in his never-ending quest to steal the Krabby Patty recipe that has made Mr Krabs so successful and Plankton’s restaurant a complete failure.
Still, Mr Krab’s selfish deeds do not excuse the amount of manipulation and harmful plans that Plankton carries out time and time again in his quest for revenge and power.
He is the show’s main antagonist for a reason, after all.
Plankton’s obsession with enacting revenge on Mr Krabs eventually evolves into the desire for world domination.
This isn’t uncommon for a SpongeBob villain, but Plankton’s abnormally high IQ makes him the most likely to succeed in his evil quest.