Sheldon J. Plankton, the owner of the Chum Bucket, has been a staple of Spongebob Squarepants since the first season. His nefarious schemes are always foiled in one way or another, and his life’s goal to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula never leaves him. He is a beloved character on the show, and fans enjoy watching his plans consistently get ruined.
Sometimes, though, Plankton shows a more caring side. This adds depth to his character and further contributes to his popularity as a character. Some episodes give Plankton the storylines he deserves, allowing him to show more of his personality.
Often remembered as one of Spongebob Squarepants‘s funniest episodes, this episode was the first to show a more sympathetic side to Plankton. When he is befriended by Spongebob, he appears to genuinely enjoy having a friend before switching to his usual habits by attempting to steal the formula.
While he is ultimately the villain of the episode, he receives a more three-dimensional story, which teases that there may be more to him than simply theft. This episode also features one of the most iconic songs from the entire series, making it one of the most quoted episodes.
The first appearance of Sheldon J. Plankton features him attempting to steal a Krabby Patty, initially on his own, and then by taking over Spongebob’s brain. While this episode certainly paints him as an unforgivable villain, it sets him up as comedic relief, as well.
It is clear from this appearance that Plankton will stop at nothing to steal the secret formula, and it shows just how far he is willing to go to get it. Plankton’s thieving attempts would become one of the funniest running gags in the Spongebob Squarepants series.
8 The Fry Cook Games
While he is not the antagonist in his usual way, Plankton catalyzes the conflict of the episode. While Spongebob prepares to compete in the Fry Cook Games, Plankton hires Patrick to compete against him. This results from a previous disagreement between the two friends.
Plankton is shown in a different light in this episode, being treated as a legitimate competitor to the Krusty Krab as opposed to a failed restaurateur. He and Mr. Krabs have an old rivalry in the games, giving their relationship more depth.
7 Imitation Krabs
When he creates a robot version of Mr. Krabs to fool the employees of the Krusty Krab into giving him the secret formula, Plankton gets in over his head when he has to deal with Spongebob. Plankton’s presence in this episode is so interesting because it shows the depths to which he is willing to go to get what he wants, including spending time with Spongebob for several hours.
In the end, he would have succeeded if not for an unfortunate self-destruct sequence. Some of Plankton’s most memorable moments come from this episode, largely from his frustration.
6 Band Geeks
Although the episode may be partially famous for one of Patrick’s funniest quotes, it is also a great episode for Plankton. Although it does not feature him extensively, his appearances are incredibly memorable. The most notable one involves Squidward checking on the progress of his band members.
When he comes to Plankton, Sheldon demonstrates his harmonica skills, running up and down the length of the harmonica to play notes. He collapses to the floor at the end, exhausted from his actions. This bit, while brief, is one of the funniest of the episode. It is also one of the first times Plankton appears in an episode in a non-evil capacity.
5 Friend or Foe
The origin story for the relationship between Plankton and Mr. Krabs, this episode shows both of them in an entirely new light. While both have their own versions of the events of their past, it is clear that they once cared deeply about each other until an argument tore them apart.
This adds a significant layer to Plankton’s story, showing why he is so interested in the secret formula. While the episode ends with Plankton partaking in his usual antics, it shows that there is a possibility that the two could one day make up.
4 Krusty Krab Training Video
Plankton is featured in a short section of the video in which he is the subject. He is shown attempting to steal a Krabby Patty and is almost immediately thwarted. This brief but memorable appearance shows how interesting of a character Plankton is, only needing to be in an episode for several seconds to leave an impression.
It also shows that Plankton is such a well-known part of the Krusty Krab that he demands an entire section devoted to his antics. This adds to the humor of the situation.
3 Plankton’s Army
When Plankton wants to recruit family members to assist him in stealing the secret formula, he is surprised when he finds that they are not what he was expecting. Regardless, his plan works, although the formula he finds is a decoy.
Perhaps the most memorable part of this episode is the reveal of Plankton’s first name. This is still one of the most famous moments from the show. While the plan ends up with his defeat, this episode shows that Plankton is capable of succeeding with his evil plan.
2 The Algae’s Always Greener
A dissatisfied Plankton uses an invention to swap lives with Mr. Krabs, becoming the owner of the Krusty Krab. He learns that this life may not be all he imagined, and he learns to enjoy his existence more. This instance is unique because it is one of the few Plankton appearances where he does not end up seeking the secret formula.
This episode is one of the times many fans felt bad for Plankton, but he learned a valuable lesson from it. He embraces certain aspects of his life that he previously did not appreciate, demonstrating an unusual amount of character growth for the series’ villain.
1 Best Frenemies
Longtime enemies Plankton and Mr. Krabs team up to attempt to take down a business that is threatening them both financially. The two argue for much of their temporary partnership, but it is clear at some points that the two have some sort of respect for one another.
When the episode ends, the two seemingly enjoy each other’s company, further solidifying the idea that they are not such mortal enemies after all. This episode is one of Plankton’s best, as it shows him in a much different capacity than many other episodes.