Posted by Tom Chapman @tchapman
tweet: tomtomchap Warden of the North - bearded, tattooed and square eyed 'til the end
Tom Chapman

We all know that a management job at McDonald's can be a lucrative step on the career ladder, but can the same be said flipping burgers down at The Krusty Crab? Looking at Spongebob Squarepants, Redditor MasterLawlz asks just how exactly the residents of Bikini Bottom are able to live such lavish lifestyles.

He estimates that with the titular Spongebob working 23 hours a day, seven days a week, he could be bringing home $60k a year. That is some serious sunken treasure, but I am not convinced so put on your diving gear – we're heading under the sea to find out more.

Image: Viacom International Media Networks
Image: Viacom International Media Networks

See also:

A Pineapple Under The Sea

Image: Viacom International Media Networks
Image: Viacom International Media Networks

Q: How can Spongebob afford that house?

A: He grew it.

If you really are earning $60k a year, can you afford your very own pineapple, in prime real estate, and with an ocean view? While you may question the effects of photosynthesis under the sea, it seems likely that Spongebob grew his house from a seed, then hollowed it out in the ultimate DIY project. There you go – rent free, mortgage free, trouble free – but what about all of his furniture?

Well, Spongebob's house is no Ikea. Most of his furniture looks like it has been up-cycled from old bits of debris as a money-saver. A one bedroom, one bathroom pineapple can't realistically be going for that much – $0.99 at Walmart to be precise. However, we are forgetting one of the house's most distinguishing feature, Spongebob's library. Something like that, plus a loft conversion, must set you back a bit!

Mr. Krabs

Q: How much does Mr. Krabs pay his staff?

A: They pay him!

At least Spongebob has his job though. How much do the staff at The Krusty Krab actually get paid? Well, in reality it might actually be nothing. We all know that Eugene Krabs is a walking, talking, dollar bill, but one episode reveals that Spongebob used to pay him $100 per hour when he started working there. Another episode sees Mr. Krabs paying Spongebob in "Wacky Bucks," a Monopoly style money system that is actually make-believe.

Image: Viacom International Media Networks
Image: Viacom International Media Networks

In the episode "Squid on Strike," The Krusty Krab is destroyed and Mr. Krabs forces the pair to work for him until they have paid off their debt. The episode ends with Spongebob and Squidward still working there as skeletons. However, looking at The Krusty Krab itself, the only other places to eat in town are The Chum Bucket, or the super fancy restaurant.

Given The KK's good reputation, it is sure to be heaving – that explains where Eugene gets his money. Mr. Krabs isn't exactly into profit sharing, and none of this adds up to $60k a year for Spongebob.

Squidward Tentacles

Image: Viacom International Media Networks
Image: Viacom International Media Networks

Q: What about Squidward?

A: He comes from money.

Unlike the pineapple, Squidward Tentacles's house is a more grand affair, with its grand staircase and double-heigh ceiling. Admittedly someone could have dropped a tiki head into the ocean and Squidward set up camp, but I think he is hiding a fortune under that giant nose of his.

Here you need to note that Squidward is normally seen as the cashier (and sometimes manager) of the Krusty Krab, so is either on a higher wage or could be fiddling the tills, but chances are that a cashier gets paid more than the grill chef anyway. Squidward may also be awful at playing the clarinet, but as a side job he could be tutoring (badly) on the side as extra income.

Also Squidward knew the wealthy Squilliam Fancyson III, having gone to the same school. Given Squilliam's background, it is safe to assume that it was a pretty exclusive school, and also came with a hefty entrance fee. Finally, when Squidward refers to his parents, it is always in past tense – did Mr. and Mrs. Tentacles die, leaving Squidward their fortune?

Patrick Starfish

Image: Viacom International Media Networks
Image: Viacom International Media Networks

Q: Does Patrick have any money?

A: No, that's why he lives under a rock.

What about the unemployed, but slightly obese starfish – where does his money come from? Well, if you look at Patrick's house, it is a pretty simple affair – sure it has a TV antenna, but he could be syphoning his electric from Squidward or Spongebob.

Secondly, all of Patrick's furniture is made of sand – a free, and readily available, material on the sea bed. He never changes out of his green shorts, so that alleviates washing costs, and the fact he only wear these could represent his abject poverty. There was one time though when Patrick did come into some money (stay tuned), but that seemed a short-lived adventure.

In Conclusion

Image: Viacom International Media Networks
Image: Viacom International Media Networks

Q: Seriously, where does Spongebob get his money?

A: Spongebob lives with the King.

On a serious note though, with the amount of accidents Spongebob has had, his medical insurance must be through the roof. And although he may not have a car, he is constantly having driving lessons with Mrs. Puff, which we all know isn't cheap either. In addition to this, he is always off on adventures instead of working. Ultimately, not to sound like a bank manager, something clearly doesn't add up.

Though there is a solution to Spongebob's money woes – the episode "Rule of Dumb" saw Patrick become the King of Bikini Bottom (he came into some money too), only to be dethroned when it is revealed that Gary the Snail is the rightful heir. There you go, maybe we should just assume that Spongebob's riches must come from Gary, his pet snail.

For those questioning that King Neptune is already ruler of the sea, Redditor tom641 already has that one covered too:

If Gary really is from royal descent, then there is a fair bit of money floating around in that pineapple.

Image: Viacom International Media Networks
Image: Viacom International Media Networks

You know when people say that money doesn't grow on trees, well it looks like it does in Bikini bottom. And there is one last theory on why everyone in the town is so frivolous – all the townspeople were created due to nuclear testing in the '50s.

If you think about it: You are a genetically modified fish who the government are keen to keep a secret. NASA send an astronaut squirrel to keep an eye on you all, and meanwhile throw a load of money at the town to keep the human/sea creature hybrids quiet – game, set, and match internet!

Despite all of this though, remember this is all just a cartoon. Relive some of Spongebob's wackiness, and don't forget to take part in our poll below:

Poll

Where does Spongebob get all his money?