Patrick Star (seasons 1-5, 9b-present)
"Once there was an ugly Barnacle, he was so ugly that everyone died! The end"— "Something Smells"
"You may be an open book, Spongebob, but I'm a bit more complicated than that. The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma."— "Secret Box"
Patrick Star is the deuteragonist of the SpongeBob SquarePants series and the titular main protagonist of his very own spin-off series The Patrick Star Show.
He is an overweight, lazy, dimwitted, unmannerly, naive, and ignorant starfish, who is best friends with SpongeBob SquarePants lives under a rock in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom next door to Squidward's moai. He is voiced by Bill Fagerbakke.
Creation and Design
Stephen Hillenburg first became fascinated with the ocean and began developing his artistic abilities as a child. During college, he majored in marine biology and minored in art. He planned to return to college eventually to pursue a master's degree in art. After graduating in 1984, he joined the Ocean Institute, an organization dedicated to educating the public about marine science and maritime history. While he was there, he initially had the idea that would lead to the creation of SpongeBob SquarePants: a comic book titled The Intertidal Zone. In 1987, Hillenburg left the institute to pursue a career in animation.
A few years after studying experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts, Hillenburg met Joe Murray, creator of the Nickelodeon series Rocko's Modern Life, at an animation festival, and was offered a job as a director of the show. Martin Olson, one of the writers for Rocko's Modern Life, read The Intertidal Zone and encouraged Hillenburg to create a television series with a similar concept. At that point, Hillenburg had not even considered creating his own series. However, he realized that if he ever did, this would be the best approach.Production on Rocko's Modern Life ended in 1996. Shortly afterwards, Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob SquarePants.
For the show's characters, Hillenburg started to draw and used character designs from his comic book—including starfish, crab, and sponge. He described Patrick as "probably the dumbest guy in town". The character was conceived as a starfish to embody the animal's nature; according to Hillenburg, starfish look "dumb and slow", but they are "very active and aggressive" in reality, like Patrick. Hillenburg incorporated character comedy rather than topical humor on the show to emphasize "things that are more about humorous situations and about characters and their flaws." He designed Patrick and SpongeBob as such because "they're whipping themselves up into situations—that's always where the humor comes from. The rule is: Follow the innocence and avoid topical humor."
In spite of being depicted as having a good temperament or state of mind, Patrick has been shown in some episodes to have a tantrum. Patrick's emotional outbreak was originally written only for the first season episode "Valentine's Day", where SpongeBob and Sandy try to give Patrick a Valentine's Day gift, and "was supposed to be a one-time thing". However, according to episode writer Jay Lender, "when that show came back it felt so right that his dark side started popping up everywhere. You can plan ahead all you want, but the characters eventually tell you who they are."
Every main character in the show has its own unique footstep sound. The sound of Patrick's footsteps is recorded by the show's Foley crew, with a Foley talent wearing a slip-on shoe. Jeff Hutchins, show's sound designer said, "[Going] barefoot makes it tough to have much presence, so we decided that Patrick would be performed with shoes on."
Patrick's voice is provided by actor Bill Fagerbakke, who also does the voices of numerous other characters on SpongeBob SquarePants. While creating the show and writing its pilot episode in 1997, Hillenburg and Derek Drymon, the show's then-creative director, were also conducting auditions to find voices for the show's characters. Fagerbakke auditioned for the role of Patrick after Tom Kenny, SpongeBob's voice actor, had been cast. Fagerbakke said, "Steve is such a lovely guy, and I had absolutely no feeling for the material whatsoever." He described his experience in the audition, saying "I was just going in for another audition, and I had no idea what was in store there in terms of the remarkable visual wit and really the kind of endearing child-like humanity in the show. I couldn't pick that up from the audition material at all. I was just kind of perfunctorially trying to give the guy what he wanted."
Steve Hillenburg actually played for me a portion of Tom [Kenny]'s performance as the character, and they were looking for a counterpoint. And I do the big dumb stuff. That's my deal ... that's what I do [sic]. It was such a neat experience. Typically, when you audition for any kind of voiceover stuff, you're in a studio, but as I remember it, this was, like, in a weird conference room somewhere, and he had one of those little old cassette decks that's about half the size of a shoebox, and there was something so endearing about it.
— Fagerbakke, on his audition for the role.
Fagerbakke referred to Patrick as "AquaDauber" (a reference to his role as Michael "Dauber" Dybinski on the 1990s sitcom Coach) in the first few years of working on the show. Patrick is "enormously entertaining to portray" because, according to Fagerbakke, "when I'm performing Patrick, there are many secrets that I could never divulge". Fagerbakke's approach in voicing Patrick is "much the same way I would do [to] any kind of character." "I'm always looking for opportunities to explore that freewheeling imagination and insanity of children. To be able to plug in to that and let that carry you in to a performance is such a gas, I have so much fun with that. I love kids; I raised two girls and I love being a parent," he said. The cast members record as a whole cast. Fagerbakke says that the situation improves his performance as a voice actor because "there is something remarkable that happens when people are working together that is unique to that." Fagerbakke modeled his performance whenever Patrick is angry after that of American actress Shelley Winters.
Fagerbakke has been compared to Patrick's character, which he concurs with. Kenny said that "Bill [Fagerbakke] is a big guy. The world is almost too small for him. He's a force of nature, like Patrick." Writer Jay Lender said, describing Fagerbakke in the recording studio, "Bill Fagerbakke is the most thoughtful performer I've ever seen in the booth—he was always asking questions and really trying to get into the mindset, such as it is, of Patrick." Writer Kent Osborne said of Fagerbakke, "He is this big guy, and he plays Patrick so well. He's just this big guy, and he lumbers around." Fagerbakke said, "I'm clumsy. I'm goofy. I make mistakes all the time" and agreed that "I guess I'm a lot of Patrick."
Why He's Not A Pinhead
- He may be dumb and quite moronic, but he presents his idiocy hilariously (not always, however).
- With that said, his eccentric behavior as a comedic goofball can be just as hilarious if not more.
- Similar to his fellow comic reliefs (such as Dory from Finding Nemo and Donkey from Shrek), Patrick is one of the most memorable comic reliefs in all of animation and TV in general. Not only he has made a ton of internet memes, but he even manages to steal the show at times.
- Even when he was a Karma-Houdini/Idiot-Houdini of some sort in season 5, he does get his comeuppance for his bad actions in some episodes.
- Despite his stupidity being considered annoying at times, he has honest intentions for his behavior or actions.
- He is simple-minded but charming.
- While usually slothful, messy, and lazy at home, he can be fun-loving like SpongeBob and is also charmingly silly at the same time.
- He is amazingly and memorably voiced by Bill Fagerbakke in an iconic yet goofy manner (or sometimes in such different ways of speaking like in the Patrick Smartpants episode).
- Uncle Al also does a great job voicing him and his impression almost sounds like his original voice.
- He was responsible for creating such memetic material with some expressions and quotable moments he's made from the series to the 2004 movie and such memeable scenes his existence has made with many worldwide.
- He has a cute character design, like SpongeBob and many characters done by Hillenburg. He's greatly animated as well.
- He also at the same time, made some quotable lines and timeless scenes that were quotable like the "Game over" scene from "Patrick! The Game" or memeable like the "The ugly barnacle" story or the "Look at it" scene both from "Something Smells" for example.
- He has shown to have a great, strong and healthy friendship with SpongeBob with thoroughly helping SpongeBob whenever he's at his lowest or even motivating him like in the pilot episode of SpongeBob in such a relatable and childlike fashion that he is quite lovable to be around when he isn't trying to be stupid, but rather a supportive stooge instead.
- Speaking of which, he is a very pleasant, helpful, affable, and loyal character to be around when he wants to be.
- Despite being an idiot, he's usually very understanding to his friends like SpongeBob and even other characters who loathe him like Squidward or Sandy.
- Also, a lot like Homer, he can have some brilliant moments with showing high intelligence on occasion aside from his usual stupidity. Especially where he was marginally intelligent in season 1, however, he just got a lot stupider over time.
- He managed to recover from his flanderization from seasons 6-9a, since season 9b, where he managed to become a likable character again and thankfully managed to get his character back in shape.
- Many memorable quotes like:
- "I'll have uhh... uhhhh..."
- "NO! THIS IS PATRICK!"
- "My name’s not Rick!”
- "Who you callin' Pinhead?"
- "We should take Bikini Bottom and push it somewhere else!"
- "Is mayonnaise an instrument?"
- "Aww, I got dead again! This game stinks!"
- "Livin' Like Larry!"
- "THINGS ARE GONNA GET CRRRAZZZY!!!"
- "Where's the Leak Ma'am"
- He can be smart at times.
- He was terribly flanderized during the sixth to the first half of the ninth season of the show where he would become a brain dead idiot and a malicious jerk to SpongeBob.
- Likewise, it varies whether he was in character or not in seasons 5 and 12. Though he isn't as bad as he was in seasons 6-9a.
- Even prior to his flanderization, he can be clueless and ignorant for the wrong reasons.
- He can be very unlikable in some episodes before and after his flanderization, such as “I’m with Stupid”, “Ink Lemonade“ and “Jolly Lodgers”, just to name a few.
Mermaid Pants and Barnacle Star!
- He spawned countless memes, the "Is mayonnaise an instrument?" meme being the most well-remembered out of the many.
- He got his own show called “The Patrick Star Show”, which first premiered on July 9, 2021.
- He is the first SpongeBob SquarePants character to receive a spin-off show, that being The Patrick Star Show.
- He was born on August 17, 1984, making him a Leo.
- This date was provided by the 2014 SpongeBob Annual book.
- In a theory based on SpongeBob and his friends representing "The 7 Deadly Sins", Patrick is considered to be the "Sloth" as several examples were shown in many episodes that he shows how incredibly lazy he is.