"I lost my restaurant because of you! And I thought I was evil." - Plankton referring to how Mr. Krabs became a monster in "The Krabby Kronicle"
Eugene Harold Krabs (born November 30, 1942), commonly referred as Mr. Krabs, is one of the ten main characters in the Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. He is not only the money-obsessed founder of the Krusty Krab, but he is also the father of Pearl Krabs, the boss of SpongeBob and Squidward, and the business rival of Plankton who owns the Chum Bucket that is right across the street from The Krusty Krab.
Although he's one of the series' main protagonists, Mr. Krabs has been depicted as anti-heroic and even villainous (especially in seasons 6-10), eventually going so far as to become the direct antagonist of several episodes.
Why He Was a Crustaceous Cheapskate
Note: This only applies to his character as depicted in seasons 6-10 of SpongeBob SquarePants, where he was flanderized.
- In a vein similar to Daffy Duck's atrocious flanderization during the dark age of Looney Tunes, he’s been flanderized badly from a greedy business owner with some redeemable qualities to an abusive and heartless monster who’s even greedier than before and only cares about money and nothing else due to his obsession. In fact, these seasons generally depict Plankton as a huge butt-monkey in most of the situations where Mr. Krabs is at his worst and Plankton is completely harmless, making Krabs out to be an evil crab who is far more evil and depraved than Plankton ever was.
- Much like SpongeBob, Patrick, and Pearl Krabs, he has lost almost all of his charm and likability from the first three seasons, though it varies whether he's in character or not in seasons 4, 5, 9 and 10, depending on the episode. However, he's at his absolute worst in seasons 6-8.
- He may have been greedy and therefore took his love for money way too far at the cost of others' welfare at times before, but not to this extent.
- Like modern Stan Smith, the way he's written and portrayed in seasons 6-10 is all over the place. While he is supposed to be seen as sympathetic, most of the time, he commits even more crimes than Plankton does even stealing money.
- He is just as villainous as, if not worse than, Plankton. In the infamous season 7 episode "One Coarse Meal", he tortured and corrupted Plankton to the point where he becomes depressed and suicidal, when in reality, Plankton was hardly doing a thing. This is considered both his worst moment in the series by fans, and the most ironic, since he is supposed to be the main protagonist and Plankton is not. And to make it worse, he overreacts over mimes since he fears them which is a stupid fear to begin with.
- He broke the law and violated workers' rights countless times. In fact, he's broken more laws than Plankton ever has.
- He also doesn't always care for the health and well-being of his employees, unlike previous and later seasons. While he lets SpongeBob have a sick day when he becomes ill in the earlier seasons, an injury is a different story during these seasons. The greatest example of this is "Squid Baby", where, in that episode, Squidward got hit in the head and gets a brain injury that causes him to act like a baby. He still has Squidward work, despite not being able to, and he also does not listen to SpongeBob and Patrick when they try to explain this to him.
- He pathetically makes huge molehills out of mountains for stupid reasons, such as when the Chum Bucket started getting a regular customer in "Plankton's Regular".
- Speaking of which, he hardly ever cares for other people, and he even wanted to get Squidward "out of the picture" just to sell his paintings for a higher price in "Out of the Picture". So "heroic". Even worse, he tried to murder Squidward with a hammer. This wasn't even the only time where he considered killing his employees for money.
- He also committed animal cruelty, particularly when he used Gary as a magnet to steal coins from a local arcade game room. In fact, he seems to casually get away with crimes throughout the series or at least not get the proper punishment for them, from imprisonment (various episodes) to trying to get Plankton to straight up kill himself ("One Coarse Meal") right up to downright attempted murder ("Out of the Picture").
- He sometimes gets no punishment for his actions since, owing to his naivety, SpongeBob overly patronizes him like a saint and follows his orders without question. He doesn't even stand up against his boss to stop him from furthering his schemes as he did in the early seasons, except on occasion, making him a karma houdini.
- He has a very strict set of rules for his customers. It’s mandatory to order a side of fries, napkins, and refills cost extra, and there are absolutely no freebies for anyone – royalty or not. In fact, according to Mr. Krabs, all the money brought into the Krusty Krab must be spent. Even the people who aren't hungry are dragged in and forced to order food. Sure, there's a money-back guarantee, but it's so small it's almost impossible to see. No matter what it takes, Krabs will make sure that nobody even goes near his restaurant without emptying their wallets. One time, he even charged his customers $1 per footstep in the restaurant as seen in "Kracked Krabs" when he was showing the guys at the Cheapest Crab Convention how cheap he can be.
- He doesn't seem to care about the lives of his customers, as seen in "Mutiny on the Krusty", where he had his own customers pull the Krusty Krab back to Bikini Bottom while leisurely sitting on the roof with SpongeBob, laughing.
- In "SpongeBob's Place", he digs a circular trench around the Krusty Krab and places molten lava on it when the customers almost leave.
- In "Life Insurance", he explains to SpongeBob that a person with life insurance get money when someone dies, then he cheers for Squidward before he falls into hot lava just for money.
- His greed in these seasons are so overblown beyond belief, it borders through obsession or even insanity:
- Whenever an opportunity for profit presents itself to him, he instantly grabs it without any thought and transforms his business into whatever the opportunity is given, only for it to backfire at the end. Such examples are, but not limited to, publishing newspapers, cashing in on SpongeBob's popularity, or pawning the Krusty Krab in exchange for forming a band (which he does through theft of other people's possessions). Oftentimes, he changes the rules or eliminates them altogether, throwing away all moral high ground he might have.
- He once tried to marry money while trapped in a safe, to the point that it caused him to have hallucinations in "Safe Deposit Krabs" and was fooled by one of Plankton's disguises, actually succeeding in marrying money in "Married to Money".
- He at one time had been so obsessed with a single penny in "Penny Foolish" that he believes SpongeBob picked up that he even trespasses and breaks in his employee's house. He didn't get it out of his system, despite the fact that it was only chewing gum (in turn a wet paper bill), as he kept digging randomly through SpongeBob's front yard just to find a penny.
- He often puts money on a higher pedestal than even himself, making him a borderline nihilist.
- He will commit even counterfeiting to further his desires.
- He literally and shamelessly embraces his greed. That's the bottom line.
- Despite his genuine love for his daughter Pearl, their contrasting personalities often clash, resulting in more harm than good:
- Due to his greedy nature, he goes to extreme lengths to please her while protecting his money, like stealing other people's food to feed her in "Growth Sprout".
- He often neglects his daughter's needs or wants, such as an allowance or an expensive item. Instead, he makes or comes up with cheaply made or crude substitutions to please her, which often backfires.
- His greed also prevents him from being open-minded about Pearl's desires.
- More often than not, he acts like a stereotypical "Dad thinks his kid's still a baby" kind of parent, to Pearl's own embarrassment.
- There are times when he outright neglects her well-being, such as using Krabby Patties to make soap, which caused barnacles to appear on Pearl's face. If he wants to make bars of soap instead of buying them, why can't he just use safer, more fragrant materials?
- He can also be awful to his girlfriend, Mrs. Puff, as well. Particularly in "Summer Job", where he spends the entire episode blackmailing and treating her terribly after forcing her to work at the Krusty Krab in exchange for not telling anyone about how she destroyed part of the restaurant after driving into it.
- His character in those seasons, especially seasons 6-8, where he was at his absolute worst, basically represents the greedy, money-hungry side of the Nickelodeon executives who have been milking the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise for years.
- Unlike the other characters who redeemed themselves during Season 8 or 9, he did not redeem himself from flanderization until season 11.
- He acts immature, despite being 40 years older than SpongeBob.
- Overall, his flanderized character (particularly during season 6-8), much like Patrick during Seasons 6-9a, destroyed the reputation the original character had and succeeded in turning him into one of the most universally hated characters of all time. In other words, he gives the original Mr. Krabs a bad name.
- He was a much more decent character in seasons 1-5 and has massively redeemed himself since season 11. He also redeemed himself in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.
- Time and time again he still realizes that his greed would be his own undoing, causing him to usually revert whatever alternate business he had back to where it was before. He often also realizes the error of his ways.
- He still loves his daughter Pearl, and still cares about his friends for the most.
- He still does possess other interests in life than money, such as doing everyday outings, but usually, his parsimony overshadows it all.
- He still shows genuine friendship with other people, like SpongeBob, his old Navy mates, as well as formerly his rival Plankton.
- He still has a good reason on why he doesn't want Plankton to take at least one Krabby Patty, as Plankton is evil and wants to conquer the whole Bikini Bottom (or in Plankton's words, the world) after he runs Krabs out of business, which is his top priority. Despite his Napoleon complex, his machines potentially help him achieve his goals, as seen in the first film. But it still did not excuse all the atrocities he inflicted on his rival.
- Despite sometimes getting away for his actions, there are times where he gets punished for his actions for the most part.
- In "The Cent of Money", he lost all the coins he stole to a hospital bill.
- The ending of "Married to Money" could be considered his karma for the way he treated Plankton in "One Coarse Meal" and "Plankton's Regular".
- He lost a lot of customers after firing SpongeBob to save money in the episode "SpongeBob, You're Fired!".
- He did get arrested in the end of the episode "The Wreck Of The Mauna Loa" by a cop who appeared out of nowhere and at the same time was standing right behind Mr. Krabs and had him handcuffed due to the latter being placed under arrest for nearly killing and hospitalizing the citizens of Bikini Bottom.
- He does still show genuine affection for his mother, and his daughter Pearl; however, his parsimony results in a strained relationship with the latter.
- He occasionally apologizes for his actions, but not so much after season 5 and before season 11.
- Although he hasn't completely redeemed himself from flanderization in seasons 9 and 10 unlike the rest of the SpongeBob SquarePants cast; he was much more tolerable in those seasons than he was in seasons 6-8.
- Clancy Brown still portrays him amazingly and memorably, In fact, he even admitted he hated voicing Mr. Krabs in "One Coarse Meal" due to how Mr. Krabs was written as a cruel and psychotic monster.
- He's still a decently funny character at times.
- He sometimes has his original personality, and there are some episodes where he is tolerable.
- A good example of this is the infamous "A Pal for Gary" of all episodes - in it, he actually understands SpongeBob's needs to tend to Gary, and he lets his employee go home early.
- At least he didn't participate in the harassment against SpongeBob in "Little Yellow Book" unlike all the other characters who thought it was funny.
- He also helped SpongeBob in the episode "Shell Shocked", where he lends him his own shell to Gary after SpongeBob accidentally broke it as well as all the other shells in Angry Jack's.
- He also taught SpongeBob how to drive in the episode "Tutor Sauce" because the latter failed his boating school, despite his tutoring methods being illegal. In that same episode, a rare generous side of him is shown towards his daughter Pearl, as he willingly gives his daughter Pearl some money in order for her to buy shoes.
- Mr. Krabs has many internet memes associated with him, including the infamous "Moar" close-up from "Jellyfish Hunter".
- In a theory based on SpongeBob and his friends representing "The 7 Deadly Sins", Krabs is considered to be the "Greed" as several examples were shown in many episodes that always shows how much he loves so much for his money, even in the most ridiculous ways possible.
- His voice actor, Clancy Brown, publicly admitted that he hated recording lines for the character in "One Coarse Meal".