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A SpongeBob SquarePants Secret Makes Mr. Krabs The Show's Most Tragic Character

"SpongeBob SquarePants" is the undeniable crown jewel of Nickelodeon, taking its place as the brand's foremost cartoon shortly after its 1999 debut. Now 25 years into its tenure, it still ranks highly among the best Nick shows of all time, with plenty of standout episodes, gags, and even emotional moments to its credit. It has also shone a spotlight on countless residents of Bikini Bottom over the years, including some who are regarded as the best "SpongeBob" characters of them all. One of its most popular names is Mr. Eugene Krabs (Clancy Brown), who, according to one fan theory, maybe the show's most tragic character.

TikTok user @asheleyspam posits that Bikini Bottom is comprised of various objects tossed into the sea by humans, hence why so many buildings appear to be made of car components. With this in mind, it's worth highlighting that Krabs' restaurant, the Krusty Krab, is shaped like an old-school crab trap used by crab fishermen. They theorized that at one point Krabs could've been locked inside this trap, only for him and it to sink to the bottom of the ocean. Once freed by some means, he becomes an entrepreneur, converting his former cage into the site of his immensely profitable business venture.

This is a compelling idea, and it could very well be true. After all, "SpongeBob SquarePants" hasn't been particularly consistent with Krabs' past and the history of the Krusty Krab.

SpongeBob canon includes more than one origin for the Krusty Krab

Overall, "SpongeBob SquarePants" isn't a series overly-concerned with continuity. Certain stories and moments are occasionally referenced after they've taken place, but there's not too much connective tissue from episode to episode. Some details even appear to contradict previously established ones. This lack of consistency when it comes to the "SpongeBob" canon is very much on display when covering the history of Mr. Krabs and the Krusty Krab. Details of his past and the circumstances surrounding the restaurant's origin have been changed multiple times over, making the aforementioned crab trap theory all the more plausible.

One of the most famous origin stories for the restaurant comes in the 2002 episode "Krusty Krab Training Video" — one of the best "SpongeBob" episodes, according to IMDb — where it's revealed Krabs started it after an unspecified war and falling into a deep depression. He purchased the retirement home called the Rusty Krab and converted it into the eatery known and loved today. However, 2009's "Grandpappy the Pirate" claims that the Krusty Krab was once Krabs' ship during his time as a pirate. After firing his crew, he left the pirate life behind to become a restauranteur.

Time will tell if "SpongeBob SquarePants" will someday take a more definitive stance on the creation of the Krusty Krab, or if the series will continue to keep fans guessing. Maybe even the crab trap idea will get some time to shine in some form down the road if the restaurant's origin continues to change.