My Favorite Post-Millennial Cartoon Villain

If you have boys over the age of six in your house, I’m willing to bet that Spongebob Squarepants is a fixture on your television screen. I defy you to find a time of day when it’s not on Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Nickelodeon West, TeenNick, or all four at the same time. It’s basically Cameron’s soundtrack. He’s usually drawing, writing, or building something, but always has it on. Listening to it is utterly exhausting at times. But, if you don’t have to hear four episodes in succession while you’re trying to do something else, and you sit down and watch a half hour of it, the show is actually very well done, and quite hilarious. I’ve always liked cartoons anyway, so it’s probably not a stretch that I would find a chuckle or two in it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the characters are: Good-hearted and childlike Spongebob, who is a yellow sponge, though not shaped like a sea sponge, but a kitchen sponge. Patrick, Spongebob’s none-too-bright sea star best friend. The nerdy and uptight Squidward, perpetually exhausted by Spongebob’s juvenile antics. Mr. Krabs, Spongebob and Squidward’s frugal and money-obsessed boss, owner of the Krusty Krab restaurant. And Plankton, Mr. Krabs’ nemesis whose life dream is to get his hands on the secret formula for the Krabby Patty recipe.

Sheldon J. Plankton is delightfully evil, but as with most comic foils is a subject of pity as well. His diabolical plans to steal the formula for the Krabby Patty are dashed time and time again. He is constantly being stepped on (literally and figuratively), and he is browbeaten by his nagging computer wife, K.A.R.E.N. Plankton explains his schemes in great detail in long soliloquies which often end with the unrestrained proclamation, “…and I will RULE THE WORLD!!!”

One of my favorite Plankton moments is when he changes the words to SpongeBob’s jaunty song about friendship that spells out the word “fun.” Plankton enthusiastically sings, “F is for fire that burns down the whole town, U is for uranium…BOMBS, N is for no sur-VI-vors…”

F.U.N. Song

If you’re wondering why I’m writing about my affinity for Plankton, it’s because when the kids were watching it earlier tonight, I walked into the living room, and heard Plankton say, “There’s nothing duct tape and a little surgical tubing can’t accomplish.”

I have no idea what the plot of the episode was even about or the context in which that line was delivered, but for some reason, I have been giggling about it for most of the night. Hence the ode to tiny, wannabe maniacal overlord, Plankton. Like the immortal Wile E. Coyote, you sometimes just have to root for the poor bastard to win just once in his life.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2012


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