10 Lessons Kids Can Learn From Mr. Krabs

The miserly Eugene Krabs, owner of the Krusty Krab and the longtime boss of kid favorite SpongeBob SquarePants, can be viewed as a walking cautionary tale. Though he started life as a relatively mild character, show creator Stephen Hillenburg has since stated that Mr. Krabs is one of the primary antagonists of the animated series. For kids that can’t get enough of the underwater adventures of SpongeBob and his gang, here are ten lessons that could be learned from Eugene Krabs.

  1. Greed is No Fun – The defining characteristic of Eugene Krabs is his overwhelming greed; his refusal to part with a single penny is the plot device of several episodes. Watching the lengths that Mr. Krabs will go to in order to save a dime can teach kids the difference between being frugal and being a miser.
  2. There’s More to Life Than Money – Because of the way that Mr. Krabs love for money has shaped him, he’s a quite one-dimensional character. Kids observing the quality of life that Mr. Krabs has because of his avariciousness can plainly see that there are more important things in the world than money.
  3. Obsessions Are Not Healthy – Losing a penny is enough to send Mr. Krabs into hysteria, proving that such a fixation is bad for your health. His irrational behavior in regards to acquiring more wealth is a great example to kids of how such single-mindedness can negatively affect your well-being.
  4. Rivalries Can Ruin Friendships – Mr. Krabs’s worst enemy is the rival business owner Sheldon J. Plankton, who was once his very best friend. Competition for business and dozens of dastardly recipe-stealing attempts later, children can see the effects of greed and rivalry on a once-solid friendship.
  5. Depression Can Change People – It has been hinted in some episodes that much of Mr. Krabs’s behavior can be chalked up to the depression that he feels after serving in a war; despite his now-sucessful business, there are often allusions to his military past. For kids, it’s easy to understand that some people are greatly changed by depression.
  6. Know Your Strengths – The Krusty Krab may be a wildly successful restaurant, but it’s revealed that Mr Krabs is actually a terrible chef when Squidward offers him a chef’s position. After creating an appetizer that attacks the restaurant’s guests, Mr. Krabs is proof that it’s best to know and stick with your strong suits.
  7. Our Fears Can Be Influential – The lack of technology and primitive conditions of the Krusty Krab are the result of Eugene’s automatonophobia, or fear of robots. Though modernizing his operation could potentially lead to even greater earnings, the only thing stronger than Mr. Krabs’s greed is his fear. Kids can learn a valuable lesson about overcoming fears to achieve their goals from watching him refuse to do so himself.
  8. People Are More Important Than Money – The health and safety of the Krusty Krab’s employees and diners ranks far below turning a profit on Mr. Krabs’s list of priorities. Seeing the damage caused by his insistence on placing more importance on money can teach kids that friends are actually the most valuable thing in life.
  9. Your Vices Could Lead to Your Downfall – Though the well-meaning SpongeBob has, on more than one occasion, attempted to save Mr. Krabs from imminent danger, Mr. Krabs has instead opted to stay in the restaurant in an attempt to make more money. This even led to Mr. Krabs being eaten by whelks on one notable occasion.
  10. You Can Have Too Much of a Good Thing – Seeing Mr. Krabs frantically knocking holes into the walls of his restaurant in order to accommodate more patrons and make more money is a great way for kids to see the concept of “too much of a good thing” in action.

Again, the negative traits of a cartoon character like Mr. Krabs, often speak volumes to kids about what kind of person they do NOT want to be, while entertaining them at the same time.