Tentacles is the tritagonist of the SpongeBob SquarePants series. He is the neighbor between SpongeBob and Patrick. Squidward is a cephalopod. His species is an octopus, according to the series creators, despite his name containing the word "squid" and him having six legs instead of eight legs. Squidward lives in a house shaped like an Easter Island head (Moai head).
He works as the cashier at the Krusty Krab, a job he absolutely loathes. SpongeBob works along with Squidward at the Krusty Krab. Squidward is a very selfish individual and displays an unjustified air of superiority.
He also has over 500 self-portraits and is delusional about his talents (such as playing the clarinet) though nobody around him considers him to be very good. The series' animators made Squidward with six tentacles, believing that giving him eight tentacles of an octopus would have made him look too burdened and would be too difficult to animate.
In Squidward's childhood, he had to sit near the garbage cans at lunch, as he is not known as a friend by many people, as revealed in the episode "Boating Buddies." When he was an adult, he became part of the Krusty Krab along with Jim and later, after Jim had quit, with a fry cookwhose name is yet to be revealed. One day, Squidward was gardening, when suddenly; a pineapple from a boat above fell on him and destroyed his garden. A sponge named SpongeBob SquarePants then moved into the pineapple and Squidward has been grumpy ever since.
Squidward's personality is grumpy, hot-tempered, selfish, Angus and of course, miserable. In spite of this, he is still one of the most intelligent characters, and out of the ten major characters, he can be categorized as the most educated one, along with Sandy, Plankton, and Gary. He has a sarcastic attitude and sees others as uncivilized morons, while failing to accept his own personal shortcomings. Squidward sees himself as misunderstood and unappreciated, blaming society for his failures.
He is annoyingly pretentious in his pursuit of fame and is either unwilling or unable to spot talent and creativity, even belittling it. He lauds "cultivated taste" and accepted standards. In the episode "Artist Unknown," he insists that his pupil SpongeBob "show his method", even when it is painfully clear that SpongeBob has artistic genius. In the episode "Bubblestand," he belittles SpongeBob's brilliant bubble blowing.
Squidward is also jealous of those who are more artistic than he is, for example: Nat Peterson, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Squilliam Fancyson and even the puppet Big Nose.
Squidward is generally portrayed as an overall failure. His musical skills with the clarinet are generally portrayed as sub-par, from mediocre to excruciatingly horrible. However, there have been numerous exceptions: in "Bubblestand," he plays nice after practicing SpongeBob's 'technique', at the end of "Christmas Who?" He manages to play great with the one SpongeBob carved for him. In "That's No Lady," he manages to play a nice to woo Patricia. In addition, in "Best Day Ever," he even has a concert where he plays beautifully and receives thunderous applause from the audience. SpongeBob was even on the VIP list for it. It seems that he is actually capable of playing the Clarinet very well by providing the full effort.
His overall artistic style is shown to be abstract and overly sophisticated, and his works are commonly panned by his audiences. His critical failure is shown to be more due to his bad taste, rather than a genuine lack of talent. It is worth noting that the majority of his art centers on himself, apparently holding his very being to be an artistic wonder. In the episode "One Krab's Trash," Squidward is shown bringing flowers to a gravestone reading "Here Lies Squidward's Hopes and Dreams." Despite his lack of success, Squidward is tireless in his pursuit of artistic achievement. In "Dunces and Dragons," Squidly, Squidward's medieval ancestor, vowed that if he could not learn to play the clarinet right, his seventh great-grandson would be cursed tenfold. In "Squilliam Returns," Squilliam Fancyson mentions that Squidward was voted "Most Likely to Suck Eggs" in high school.
Given how Squidward is depicted as a loser in most regards, it is likely that his 'narcissism' is actually a defense mechanism to make him feel as if he has some form of self-worth. Outwardly, he shows signs of modest success: he lives in a nice, well-tended house, with no signs of slothfulness, and finds plenty of time to lead an active, involved life.
Squidward is well educated and knows his history. He is actually intelligent and has a lot of worldly knowledge, especially compared to those of SpongeBob and Patrick. Squidward is also a skilled driver, as he manages to drive virtually everything, from a traditional bike, a boat/car, and even a tractor. Squidward is a good-natured and caring person; he just does not like to get too involved in things.
When at the Krusty Krab, he is a lazy, sloppy, employee (as shown in the "Krusty Krab Training Video") who has an intense dislike of the Krusty Krab and its management. He is considered "inattentive, impatient", with "a glazed look in the eye." However, given the management's treatment of the employees, his attitude towards the company is more realistic than SpongeBob's. In the episode "Squid on Strike," he organizes a worker's strike at the Krusty Krab. He even causes the destruction of the Krusty Krab, although indirectly and accidentally.
In the episode "Squidville," he moves to a town filled with his own peers, other octopi who share his tastes and outlook on life. Here, he is forced to face how boring and oppressive his desired lifestyle really is, and he is able to ultimately break free of its bonds with a bit of inspired silliness.
Even though Squidward has tentacles, he is shown or implied to have fingers, toes and even nails in episodes such as "Once Bitten," "House Fancy," and "Giant Squidward."
In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V," it is implied that Squidward at one point had a girlfriend when he remembered the good times he had at Make-out Reef.
In "Love That Squid," it revealed he has not dated for a long time before Squilvia came into his life.
Squidward Tentacles is a light turquoise octopus, and has purple suction cups at the end of his tentacles. He has six limbs in total, two being arms and four being legs, which tend to make the shape of a plus when he stands in place. Whenever he walks, his suction cups stick to the floor, meaning that he walks with a distinct squelching noise. Squidward has a large cranium with eight holes on the top of it, presumably show his baldness. However, in the episode "The Original Fry Cook," it showed that he had long blond hair once. He also has a skinny body, big droopy nose, a wide mouth and yellow eyes with rectangle vertical dark red irises and rectangle red pupils. When he laughs, his nose appears to deflate and inflate repeatedly. He wears a brown short-sleeved shirt, which is sometimes shorter. In reality, Squidward is only eight inches and two ounces.
His color is inconsistent throughout the series. While he is shown to be lighter green in earlier episodes, in later episodes he is shown having a lighter and more blue color.
In the episode "Just One Bite," it shows a close up of Squidward's face, revealing it disturbing and very morbid. This has scared some kids that watch the show. In the episode Frankendoodle, he was wearing fancy clothing in one scene.
In the episode "Sandy's Rocket," Squidward is shown to be wearing an old version of his nightwear. It is pink with magenta-colored flowers on it. In newer episodes such as "Sentimental Sponge," Squidward is seen wearing his real nightgown. In this episode, he refers to it as a "nightshirt". It is a light purple nightgown that comes with a matching hat. It is the third version of his nightwear. The second version would appear in episodes like "Funny Pants" and "Employee of the Month."
Squidward has a considerable antagonistic side, frequently taking advantage of the situation to keep SpongeBob from tormenting him, which only backfires and worsens.
- In "Fools in April," Squidward gets annoyed with SpongeBob pulling playful and harmless pranks on people at the Krusty Krab, and pulls a very cruel and harmful prank on SpongeBob in retaliation. Squidward then laughs at him when he comes out of the trash, which makes SpongeBob run out of the restaurant sobbing hysterically, and the Bikini Bottomites turn on him. Squidward tries to apologize, but he is physically unable to apologize until the very end of the episode, where SpongeBob has the last laugh: all his friends were standing behind him in his house and witnessed Squidward's apology. As a result, Squidward suffers a mental breakdown and runs off back to his house laughing maniacally after shouting that he had just fooled them as well.
- In "Can You Spare a Dime?," Squidward accepts SpongeBob's offer to live in his house until he finds a new job. However, he takes advantage of SpongeBob's hospitality by lying in bed all day and essentially making SpongeBob his domestic slave, staying so long that the Narrator quits and not even attempting to find a job. This eventually proves too much for SpongeBob who for one of the few times in the series becomes angry with Squidward, who soon begins aggressively giving Squidward obvious hints to get a job, which Squidward either doesn't notice or chooses to ignore. Eventually, SpongeBob confronts Mr. Krabs in an attempt to force him to give Squidward his job back, and in the process accidentally reveals that Mr. Krab's first "dime" (a stone-age wheel) was in his pants the whole time, and that Squidward did not steal it.
- In "Squidward, the Unfriendly Ghost," wlahen SpongeBob and Patrick believe they have killed Squidward and that he is now a ghost, he takes advantage of this by making them his slaves. Eventually, SpongeBob and Patrick, after reading a magazine about the Flying Dutchman's death, get the idea that Squidward is being mean and angry because he was never put to rest. SpongeBob and Patrick attempt to bury Squidward, which ultimately brings him to confess that he is actually alive. However, SpongeBob and Patrick still think that Squidward is a ghost in denial and send him to
the "great beyond" by trapping him in a bubble, which floats up into the sky where the pelicans are.
- In the episode "Grandma's Kisses," Squidward and the customers at the Krusty Krab ruthlessly tease SpongeBob for having a kiss on his forehead given by his grandma. At the end of the episode, it is shown that they have been spying on SpongeBob with his grandma through her house's window.
- In the episode "Employee of the Month," SpongeBob and Squidward viciously compete with each other for the employee of the month award, both of them trapping each other in hopes of getting to work first.
- In "Funny Pants," SpongeBob's laughing annoyed him, so he told SpongeBob that he had a "laugh box" that would burn up if heughed within 24 hours and could never laugh again. SpongeBob eventually thinks he lost his laugh and goes into "spiraling depression." which proves to be too much for Squidward to handle.
- In "The Splinter," Squidward tells SpongeBob that Mr. Krabs will have to kick him out for getting a splinter at work.
- In "Sponge-Cano!," He scolds everyone in the Krusty Krab and yells at SpongeBob for humming.
- In "Professor Squidward" Squidward says he is Squilliam, but the principal finds a real Squilliam and then Squidward was arrested and sent to jail.
- In "I ♥ Dancing," Squidward gets jealous that SpongeBob has an audition in a musical, and "teaches" him how to dance in order to steal the spo
t for himself, training SpongeBob to the point of exhaustion. While he wins, he is to star in Squilliam's musical, and is forced to train to perform a dance that SpongeBob had performed earlier, with Squilliam clearly planning to run him ragged just as Squidward had done to SpongeBob.
- In "Good Ol' Whatshisname," Squidward steals What Zit Tooya's wallet, ran a red light in front of a police officer, is arrested, and was sentenced to ten years in prison.
- In "The Lost Mattress," while retrieving the mattress, Squidward nearly threatened to murder SpongeBob, and then he used him and Patrick
as "worm bait". However, Squidward becomes the worm's prey.
- In "Krusty Towers," He made several ridiculous requests with the purpose of driving Mr. Krabs crazy (though Krabs did have this coming).
- In "New Fish in Town," He dragged SpongeBob, Patrick, and Howard's homes down a trench.
- In "That Sinking Feeling," He tried to separate SpongeBob and Patrick by drawing a line, and later, he threatened them that if Squidward's house was not back to normal on the count of three, he will grind them into chum (kill them).
- In "Restraining SpongeBob," Squidward had a restraining order placed on SpongeBob to keep SpongeBob away from him. When Patrick began to annoy Squidward far worse than SpongeBob, he released SpongeBob, and added Patrick to said restraining order.
- In "Little Yellow Book," Squidward reads SpongeBob's work diary in front of the customers, which made SpongeBob sad. He sees that he has been known as a "diary thief," but does not feel be until his house was repossessed. Later, he even reads SpongeBob's personal diary. This behavior even upsets Mr. Krabs who is considered the secondary antagonist of the series.
Despite Squidward's antagonist side, he has been blamed many times for things that were not his fault.
- In "Your Shoe's Untied," SpongeBob constantly keeps tripping over his untied shoelaces, making dozens of Krabby Patties fly into Squidward's mouth. The customers blamed him for eating the food, even when Squidward told them it was SpongeBob's fault.
- In "Krab Borg," Mr. Krabs yelled at Squidward for tying him up and destroying his items, even though SpongeBob had a hand in it and was the one who convinced Squidward that Mr. Krabs was a robot in the first place. In fact, the only reason SpongeBob was let off the hook was that he had to "feed Gary,"
- In "Squid on Strike," Squidward is outraged, and goes on strike due to Mr. Krabs instead of paying him for his "work" made him pay Mr. Krabs. SpongeBob tags along (as he did not know that he would lose his job) so to get their jobs back he destroys the Krusty Krab. Mr. Krabs then makes both of them work to pay off the damages, despite the fact that Squidward did not play a part in demolishing the Krusty Krab.
- In "Can You Spare a Dime," Mr. Krabs blamed Squidward for stealing his missing dime since he was near the cash register. This causes Squidward to quit his job, lose everything, and drive SpongeBob mad. It was soon revealed that Mr. Krabs' dime was in his pocket the entire time, and Squidward was hired back. Even so, he later accused Squidward for putting the dime in his pants, and history likely repeated itself.
- In "The Lost Mattress," he wrote Mr. Krabs a card saying that he got him a new mattress (even though it was all SpongeBob and Patrick's idea). However, he actually caused Krabs to go into a "Cash Coma" because all his money was in the old mattress. He was then forced by the police to get the mattress back. However, this could count as karmic punishment, since he wanted to take credit for SpongeBob and Patrick's work.
- In "Good Neighbors," SpongeBob and Patrick interrupt Squidward's Sunday morning by trying to be "good neighbors." Squidward then installs a security system to keep them away from him. However, it malfunctions causing his house to come to life, and destroy the town. After it was turned off, he was given a sentence to community service every Sunday (even though he really did not do anything).
- In "Cephalopod Lodge," SpongeBob, and Patrick follow Squidward to a secret club of his thus causing him to be kicked out, when he really did not know they were even coming. In fact, he carefully checked his surroundings to try to avoid this.
- In "Boating Buddies," Squidward was being annoyed by SpongeBob, so he got in his boat and attempted to drive away, however SpongeBob accidently causes Squidward to crash, thus sending him to SpongeBob’s boating school. He was then injured many times due to SpongeBob’s bad driving, thus he was unable to take the test despite the fact that he knew the right answers.
- In "Truth or Square," he, SpongeBob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabs were stuck in the air vents. Patrick then took out a radio that he "borrowed" from Sandy. He then tried calling for help, but he did not know how to use it. Therefore, Squidward used it to call Sandy. However, Sandy then accused him of stealing it from her.
- In "Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful," Squidward was given eight tickets to community service by the end of the episode. Even though he never actually littered, and instead was just assumed to have littered.
- In Sentimental Sponge, SpongeBob becomes a hoarder off the idea that random garbage holds valuable memories. He later throws it into Squidward's yard. This angers Squidward, and he ends up calling the police on SpongeBob. They then condemn SpongeBob's house for being unsanitary, and then Squidward's for being covered in his garbage. Even though none of it was Squidward's, nor was he a hoarder.
- In "The Googly Artiste," Patrick becomes famous off his "art" (ironically Squidward's seemed better from the viewers' perspective), and Mr. Krabs becomes mad at him for making his art from Krabby Patties in which he sold for more money than he bought them for. He then said he was just following Squidward’s advice, thus getting Squidward into trouble. However, that was not what Squidward meant when he was giving "advice."
- In "Fiasco!," he was sent to prison when he really did not do anything bad at all. He led the police to SpongeBob's house saying that SpongeBob, Patrick, and Gary are making noise. In fact, he actually did the police a favor by leading them to Plankton, who stole the famous art piece Fiasco. He probably was arrested for blaming someone that had not done anything. It is possible that he went to jail for the fact that Fiasco’s paining he discovered was worthless.
An avid patron of the arts, Squidward has a strong affection for interpretive dance, sculpting, painting, and playing the clarinet. However, he seems to have almost no talent for any of them whatsoever, although he does play the clarinet beautifully at the end of the "Christmas Who?," at the end of "Bubblestand", and in "The Two Faces of Squidward." He has often tried to impress the public with his artistic exhibitions, but is always either unrecognized, mocked by his audience, or upstaged by SpongeBob. Squidward always wants to be the center of attention but rarely ever is. In "Best Day Ever," he had a concert where he played beautifully and received thunderous applause from the audience. SpongeBob was on the VIP list for it, which is ironic, considering Squidward's intense hatred for him. Squidward also misses many chances to become famous, even in his dreams.
All of his artwork, from sculptures to paintings, depicts himself in a way, even repainting existing works to include his own face. He surrounds himself with said art throughout his house, a clear indication of his narcissist tendencies. These arts have occasionally been admired greatly by Patrick and SpongeBob, but are universally hated by the rest of Bikini Bottom.
He has tried several things to reach the fame he desires: hosting a talent show, starting his own astrology spin-off, forming a band, and so on, yet he cannot seem to get much of a following. Mr. Krabs and Patrick also seem to like him, though it may be argued that Mr. Krabs only likes Squidward because of his allegiance with the Krusty Krab. It is interesting to note that Squidward once stated, "Anyone can be a big shot in a hick town like Bikini Bottom", yet he cannot make a name for himself.
Bad but Good Art
Despite Squidward said to be a bad talentless artist, his art has been turned down many times for something that ironically was not as good.
In "Sleepy Time," Squidward is in his dream playing his clarinet to the king. SpongeBob then causes Squidward to break his clarinet by accident, and thus Squidward is forced to use SpongeBob as a replacement. It sounds horrible but everyone loved it.
In "Squid Wood," Squidward becomes jealous of Mini Squidward when he was "stealing his life" by doing all the same artistic things Squidward did (including jokes) but Squidward was always turned down for Mini Squidward despite the fact that they were both doing exactly the same things.
In "The Masterpiece," Squidward made a large statue of Mr. Krabs to eliminate the competition of the Sea Chicken Shack; however, it was turned down, and was replaced by the real Mr. Krabs.
In "The Googly Artiste," Squidward made a statue of himself, which was turned down by an art critic. Patrick then made a pet rock (nothing more than a rock with google eyes) and Squidward was turned down for a pet rock.
Despite his reputation of being a "bad artist", he has made art that people had enjoyed.
In "Bubblestand," Squidward blew a huge bubble by using the "technique," and successfully played the clarinet by playing jazz music.
In "Artist Unknown," Squidward goes crazy in the end, and creates a great statue in the process.
In "Best Day Ever," Squidward does a clarinet concert in which people seem to enjoy.
In "The Two Faces of Squidward," Squidward becomes handsome after a face injury caused by SpongeBob.
In "Giant Squidward," Squidward gets a new clarinet that sounds good.
In "Suction Cup Symphony," Squidward has an orchestra perform a song he wrote to Bikini Bottom (while attempting to ignore SpongeBob and Patrick along the way).
Squidward's archrival is Squilliam Fancyson, whom he first met in high school band class, who, like all other octopi on the show, looks and acts similar to Squidward, but wears a robe and has a unibrow. Unlike Squidward, however, Squilliam is extremely successful in everything that Squidward has failed in, and is living Squidward's dream of being a wealthy celebrity artist with crowds of adoring fans, usually with many admirers following his presence. In Squilliam’s debut episode, "Band Geeks", he calls Squidward, at his home, to once again, rub his success in his face, saying that his band is signed to play at the Bubble Bowl but cannot come, and sarcastically asking Squidward for his "band" to cover for them. Squidward, caught in the moment, claims that he does have a band and will play at the Bubble Bowl, forcing him hastily to put together a band from the residents of Bikini Bottom. Thanks to SpongeBob, their performance turns out to be much better than Squilliam could have ever expected, causing him to have a heart attack.
Squilliam returns in the aptly named episode "Squilliam Returns," in which Squidward meets Squilliam and a crowd of his fans. Squilliam tries to embarrass Squidward by showing the crowd his lowly position as a cashier, but Squidward claims to own a five-star restaurant, and Squilliam agrees to take the group to dinner there, expecting this claim to be exposed as a lie. Squidward's attempts at converting the Krusty Krab into a five-star restaurant are initially unsuccessful, until he gets SpongeBob to clear his mind of everything "except fine dining and breathing." SpongeBob is able to turn the Krusty Krab into an extremely extravagant and fancy diner. Everything goes well until Squilliam, who is admittedly impressed, asks his waiter (SpongeBob) his name. SpongeBob, having erased everything else from his mind, forgets his own name and subsequently everything else, going insane and destroying the "fancy restaurant" environment, with the help of Mr. Krabs' disgusting "appetizer" coming to life.
Squilliam appears again in "House Fancy" where Squilliam calls Squidward to boast about how his enormous house was chosen as fanciest house on the show House Fancy. Squidward then calls the show's host and claims his house is better. Then with the help of SpongeBob, he attempts to make it look better but ultimately ends up destroying his house. This, the show’s host thinks is a revolutionary house design and for the second time Squidward is able to beat Squilliam.
- During October 2007, where Nickelodeon characters were shown dressed as various monsters during commercial breaks, Squidward was dressed as what appears to be the Phantom of the Opera.
- Squidward appears to be not much older than SpongeBob and Patrick, although Patrick and SpongeBob are often called kids, probably due to their childlike tendencies and immaturity.
- Squidward has a distinct laugh, which always makes his nose inflate and deflate (much likely being a reference to the octopus's contractile mantle).
- Squidward can also be seen dressed in a Santa costume during a "Happy Ha Ha Holidays" commercial, due to his portrayal of Santa Claus in "Christmas Who?" to avoid hurting SpongeBob's feelings.
- Some people online have stated that Squidward's birthday is on October 9. However, the SpongeBob staff member have unconfirmed this.
- In the Krusty Krab, Squidward sometimes has different jobs from his regular cashier job, usually replacing SpongeBob as fry cook when he is absent.
- In "Can You Spare a Dime?, Squidward says he is allergic to newsprint but he has touched newsprint in several episodes.
- Squidward often mentions the running length of one episode of the show (Eleven minutes), usually in subtle ways. A recognizable quote would be, "I'll give him eleven minutes." from the episode "Nature Pants," or "Oh, why must every eleven minutes of my life be filled with misery?!," from "Club SpongeBob."
- A character resembling Squidward make a cameo appearance in the japanese anime Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Sometimes his middle initial is different. It's either "Squidward Q. Tentacles" or "Squidward J. Tentacles."
- In the episode "Sweet and Sour Squid," Plankton reveals that Squidward has worked at the Krusty Krab for 20 years. This means he is at least around mid-30s or early 40s, since it would be logical that he began work as a teenager or young adult.
- In the episodes "Sweet and Sour Squid," "The Good Krabby Name," and "Super Evil Aquatic Villain Team Up is Go!," Squidward can successfully cook Krabby Patties. However, he was bad at it in "Pickles" and "Hooky." It is possible that he learned to be a better cook because of all of the times SpongeBob was gone in all those episodes.
- In some episodes, Squidward reads magazines at his job. The title varies a lot. Titles include "Dance!," “Art," "Squid Ink" and "House Fancy"
- In Japanese, Squidward's name has been changed to "Ikardo Tentacles," Ikardo being a portmatueau of ikara (the Japanese word for squid) and Ricardo.
- In "Restraining SpongeBob," it is stated that Squidward is allergic to seaberries.
- Encyclopedia SpongeBobia