Squidward Tentacles character is presented as that of a rude, cynical, and snobbish individual whose style is generally not appreciated by others. He has a sarcastic attitude and sees others as uncivilized morons, while failing to accept his own personal shortcomings. Squidward sees himself as misunderstood and unappreciated, blaming society for his failures. He is annoyingly pretentious in his pursuit of fame and is either unwilling or unable to spot talent and creativity, even belittling it. He lauds "cultivated taste" and accepted standards. In the episode "Artist Unknown", he insists that his pupil SpongeBob "show his method", even when it's painfully clear that SpongeBob is creating works of artistic genius. In the episode Bubblestand, he belittles SpongeBob's brilliant bubble-blowing. Squidward is also jealous, jealous of those who are more art than him for example: Nat Peterson, SpongeBob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Squilliam Fancyson and even the puppet Big Nose
Squidward is generally portrayed as an overall failure. His musical skills with the clarinet are generally portrayed as subpar, from mediocre to excruciatingly horrible. However, In Best Day Ever", he has a concert where he plays beautifully and receives thunderous applause from the audience. SpongeBob was on the VIP list for it. His overall artistic style is shown to be abstract and overly sophisticated, and his works are commonly panned by his audiences. His critical failure is shown to be more due to his bad taste rather than a genuine lack of talent. It is worth noting that the majority of his art narcissistically centers around himself, apparently holding his very being to be an artistic wonder. In "One Krab's Trash", Squidward is shown bringing flowers to a gravestone reading "Here Lies Squidward's Hopes and Dreams." Despite his lack of success, Squidward is tireless in his pursuit of artistic achievement. In "Dunces and Dragons", Squidly, Squidward's medieval ancestor, vowed that if he couldn't learn to play the clarinet right, his seventh great-grandson would be cursed tenfold. In "Squilliam Returns", Squilliam Fancyson mentions that Squidward was voted "Most Likely to Suck Eggs" in high school .
Given how Squidward is depicted as a loser in most regards, it's likely that his 'narcissism' is actually a defense mechanism to make him feel as if he has some form of self-worth.
Outwardly, he in fact shows signs of modest success: he lives in a nice, well-tended house, with no signs of slothfulness, and finds plenty of time to lead an active, involved life.
Squidward is well-educated and knows his history. When at the Krusty Krab, he is a lazy, sloppy, employee (as shown in the Krusty Krab Training Video) who has an intense dislike of the Krusty Krab and its management, however given the managements treatment of the employees his attitude towards the company is more realistic than Spongebobs. In the episode "Squid on Strike", he organizes a worker's strike at the Krusty Krab. He even causes the destruction of the Krusty Krab, although indirectly and accidentally.
In the episode "Squidville", he moves to a town filled with his own peers, other octopi who share his tastes and outlook on life. Here, he is forced to face how boring and oppressive his desired lifestyle really is, and he is able to ultimately break free of its bonds with a bit of inspired silliness.
In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V," it is implied that Squidward at one point had a girlfriend when he remembered the good times he had at make-out reef.
In "SpongeBob's Last Stand" he doesn't care about the environment, even when Jellyfish Fields became a wasteland.
Spongebob and Patrick are constant annoyances to Squidward. Although earlier episodes portray Squidward as simply being grouchy and intolerant, Spongebob and Patrick have progressively become more troublesome and idiotic, making Squidward much more sympathetic and justified in his anger.
Though Squidward hates both SpongeBob and Patrick, his animosity is particularly geared towards SpongeBob himself. When Squidward does express his frustration against him, SpongeBob is usually unable to take no for an answer. Such as in "The Thing" where even after Squidward telling them to go home and him slamming the door in their face they still break into his house and park themselves on his couch, loudly and obnoxiously slurping juice boxes. In the episode "House Fancy", SpongeBob spies on Squidward through his window; when Squidward catches him, he asks, "You want me to get the cops down here again?", indicating that this has happened before. Incidents where SpongeBob and Patrick leave home for a few days are shown to make Squidward genuinely happy, as he will have a few days of peace and quiet while they're gone, and he relishes the thought of SpongeBob moving away: in "Home Sweet Pineapple", he is shown dancing happily and repeatedly chanting "SpongeBob is leaving, he's leaving, he's leaving" on the remains of SpongeBob's pineapple before a new one grows in right on top of him. In "The Camping Episode", he relishes the thought of SpongeBob and Patrick getting permanently lost in the woods; and in "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?", he is the only one among the main characters who is genuinely happy that the amnesiac SpongeBob has left Bikini Bottom, and only decides to look for him when Mr. Krabs bribes him with a fancy egg, which is ultimately broken when SpongeBob regains his memory and returns to Bikini Bottom. In episodes such as "Funny Pants" and "Choir Boys", the sight of SpongeBob sad and/or depressed actually serves to cheer Squidward up. Often, Squidward's attempts to get away from SpongeBob and/or Patrick get him into trouble, such as being covered head-to-toe in cement and being mistaken for a member of an unknown species in "The Thing", running a stop sign and being forced to go to Mrs. Puff's boating school alongside SpongeBob in "Boating Buddies", and being forced to do a lifetime of community service every Sunday alongside SpongeBob and Patrick after his newly-installed security system goes haywire and destroys most of Bikini Bottom in "Good Neighbors". Patrick has actually noticed that Squidward didn't like them early on, but was corrected by SpongeBob. Even when the two perform acts of kindness for him, such as giving him his Sunday paper in "Good Neighbors," Squidward shows no gratitude or kindness.
Often, Squidward infers SpongeBob's simple-minded comments to be challenges, such as SpongeBob's comment of "Have fun inside" in "The Camping Episode". Proceeding this, he often goes entirely out of his way to prove to SpongeBob that he can win the "challenge", often taking the whole thing too seriously; for example, in "Snowball Effect", SpongeBob and Patrick secretly sneak away from a massive snowball fight between themselves and Squidward after Squidward hit Patrick with his clarinet while throwing an enormous barrage of snowballs. One of Squidward's greatest dreams and desires is to either have hair or to buy a wig. He seems to think he would look good with hair. In "The Original Fry Cook", it is revealed that he once had hair but it fell out, ironically right after he said it would never fall out. Aside from his musical "talents", he enjoys painting several pictures of himself, and hanging them up around his house. The artworks shown in Squidward's house vary between episodes.
In the episode "Artist Unknown", SpongeBob signs up for Squidward's art class and proves to be a better artist than Squidward. Eventually, SpongeBob creates an amazing statue that is beyond Squidward's capabilities as an artist. However, Squidward degrades SpongeBob's art and claims it is missing a very important element (a large nose similar to Squidward's), yet an art critic later points out that the nose is the only flaw. His sneaky attempts to undermine SpongeBob's confidence prove to be his own undoing, as SpongeBob refuses to do anything outside of the art rule book because of Squidward's lessons.
In the episode "Squid's Day Off", Squidward assigns SpongeBob to man the cash register when Mr. Krabs is at the hospital getting his arms reattached. Meanwhile, Squidward leaves the Krusty Krab for a day of relaxation, but he foolishly had SpongeBob convinced that he was doing "very important errands."
Although Squidward openly despises SpongeBob and Patrick with a passion, they view him as a very close friend and cannot be convinced otherwise, even during some of his hostile actions towards them, such as chasing them down with a bulldozer in "Opposite Day", rubbing it in SpongeBob's face that Santa didn't come in "Christmas Who?", ridiculing SpongeBob's tan in "Sun Bleached", stating that his wish for Mr. Krabs' wishing well was that SpongeBob and Patrick were stuck in a dark hole and away from him in "Wishing You Well", literally kicking SpongeBob out of his house when he attempted to warn him of an invading biker gang in "Born to Be Wild", and referring to SpongeBob as "the bane of his existence" in "Boating Buddies" when SpongeBob is sitting right next to him. SpongeBob fails to realize the clearly obvious fact that Squidward hates him, even after Squidward openly said "I hate you" to his face in "Graveyard Shift".
In "Breath of Fresh Squidward", Squidward set up an electric fence in an attempt to keep SpongeBob and Patrick from sneaking into his bedroom every single morning to watch the sunrise, but ended up getting electrocuted in it and becoming a much happier and goofier person, as well as becoming more annoying than SpongeBob and Patrick combined. In the end, he was turned back to normal after a second electrocution, and SpongeBob and Patrick were also shocked, becoming angry and mean, just like him.
SpongeBob and Patrick always encourage Squidward to participate in their games, but this only annoys him. In particular, SpongeBob and Patrick often ask him to go jellyfishing with them. In "SB-129", while he was trying to avoid SpongeBob and Patrick, Squidward locks himself in the Krusty Krab's freezer Krab's freezer and is revived 2000 years in the future by a robotic descendant of Spongebob. Squidward then attempts to return home using a time machine, but accidentally winds up in prehistoric times, where he meets primitive ancestors of Spongebob and Patrick. While here, Squidward inadvertently invents jellyfishing.
While seemingly the eternal pessimist, he occasionally tries to be like SpongeBob (often with hopes that doing so well stopped SpongeBob from bugging him), but does not ever get the hang of it. In "The Paper", however, he finds himself putting a piece of paper on his nose and dancing a jig in insanity. When SpongeBob isn't looking, Squidward will start to act more like SpongeBob from time to time, especially in the earlier episodes like "Bubblestand" and "The Paper". Squidward's voice reveals a lot about his personality and attitude, much like SpongeBob's voice. In the episode, "Selling Out", he is forced to keep a smile glued to his face by the manager of Krabby O' Mondays, which creates an interesting effect, as Squidward hardly ever smiles while showing his teeth. In fact, he also shows a hypocritism to SpongeBob and Patrick's entertainment like in the episode Snowball Effect when he said that snowball fights are for immature children, in the end he become over-obsessed with it.
Despite the fact that he often shows little more than animosity towards him, in many episodes Squidward shows feelings of sympathy and outright compassion towards SpongeBob, even concern for his well being, possibly meaning that he does indeed like him deep down. In "Graveyard Shift", when the two believe that the Hash-Slinging Slasher is about to kill them, he says to SpongeBob, "No matter what I've said, I've always sort of liked you". in "Dying for Pie", after thinking he allowed SpongeBob to eat a pie-shaped bomb, he felt truly guilty about it and spent the day playing many of SpongeBob's childish games in order to make SpongeBob's "final" hours the best of his life. In "Fools in April", in an attempt to apologize to SpongeBob for his cruel April Fool's Day prank in that same episode, he says "I like you…and everybody else I'm forced to be in contact with". in "Squidville", Squidward moves to Tentacle Acres after SpongeBob and Patrick accidentally blow up his house, and, after several weeks of the same routine, he gets tired of it, and it is implied that he could not really enjoy himself without them around to keep life interesting. In "Pizza Delivery", he saves SpongeBob from being hit by a truck, and angrily force-feeds their customer his pizza after he refuses to pay for it and gets unnecessarily mad at SpongeBob for forgetting a drink that he never even ordered. Finally, in "Born Again Krabs", when Mr. Krabs shamelessly trades SpongeBob to the Flying Dutchman for sixty-two cents, Squidward is genuinely angry and shouts that Mr. Krabs should be ashamed of himself.
When Squidward is very happy, he does tend to treat SpongeBob and Patrick like they are his friends, especially when they're responsible for it. A good example is the Season Eight episode, Enchanted Tiki Dreams; after Squidward screams at them and even cries when SpongeBob and Patrick are seriously annoying him, SpongeBob and Patrick feel extremly guilty, and make it up to him by making a magical tiki world, that is a absoulete paradise for him, even to the point when he dances with SpongeBob and Patrick in happiness. Unfortently, his dream world was destroyed when Patrick acidently knocked down a torch, which started a fire that burned it to the ground, and showing the poorly-made mechanical parts of the world. Squidward then broke down to tears, but then got happy again, when he rode on a swinging ship carnival ride-like copy of his tiki boat, which would send SpongeBob or Patrick flying whenever it would ram into ethier's side, with SpongeBob and Patrick seemingly not minding at all.
in Spongebob's adventures in Lion King, he unintendsonaly helped founded the shell louge squad, and to add up to his dismay, he takes part to facing the forces of villainy, however, since he secretly cares for spongebob, and irreguardless of being annoyed by him, Squidward stands by Spongebob due to his secret caring of Spongebob. Squidward is like the grumby, but logitcal uncle of the louge. even though he would be consider one of some of the brains of the louge, he is propbuly the member who does not really want to take part in the adventure, but really has no choose, as he'll see what he can do. sometimes, the pressure of a dangerious adversary and if not protacted, Squidward would intinttaiously panic.
Squidward is a spoof star in such spoof videos like (Insert something here) drops by Squidward's house, where random characters from various shows, films, games or whatever appear in squidward's house, and freaks him out, on some occations, these appearing characters either kill him or end the video in a bizzare way, another is as a co-star in Patrick hates (insert related subject) where a tv appears out of nowhere, and appears a show that causes Squidward to get a closer look of the thing that is on the tv, but Patrick changes the channel, stating he dislikes the one on (I hate this channel).
- "How did I ever get surrounded by such loser neighbors?"
- "I can't hang out here all night. I've got a life."
- "(Looking at Shovel creature in Tulgey Wood) Remind me to have one of those in my garden."