Barnacle Boy Guide

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If you have been a fan of the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoons for a long time now, you would probably know who Barnacle Boy is. He is the loyal yet cranky sidekick of Mermaid Man, and together, the duo became an underwater icon. He has made a ton of appearances in different episodes, and each time, he never fails to become hilarious. He is the logical mind between the pair, which makes him a crucial cog.

Unfortunately, he, alongside his partner, Mermaid Man, has retired from the series for a long time now. Sure, he may occasionally appear in some recent episodes, but he does not speak. His character got put in the backseat of the car if you catch my drift. Still, he is an incredibly memorable person among the cast. As an O.G. lover and fan of the SpongeBob SquarePants series, he will always remain in my heart.

If you did not have the pleasure of witnessing his magnificence during the early days of the cartoon, this guide would help you know him a lot better. Here, I will mention the episodes that he would appear in and make major contributions to the story. With this guide, you will fully understand why a lot of people, myself included, love this character.

Barnacle Boy and mermaid man

Bottom Line Up Front

Barnacle Boy is a superhero and the sidekick of Mermaid Man. His real name may either be Tim or Kyle, and he is 68 years old. He debuted in the season one episode “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy” back in 1999. His voice actor is Tom Conway, who died in 2019. Mermaid Man’s voice actor, Ernest Borgnine, died in 2012. Thus, the producers retired his character alongside Barnacle Boy.

  • Real Name: Tim (or Kyle)
  • Home Address: Shady Shoals Rest Home, Bikini Bottom, Pacific Ocean
  • Occupation: (Former) superhero; security guard at Rock Bottom Museum (in video game Battle for Bikini Bottom and Battle for Bikini Bottom: Rehydrated)
  • Gender: Male
  • Skin: Fair
  • Eye Color: Black
  • Species: Human
  • Children: (Unnamed) son
  • Grandchildren: Four (unnamed) grandchildren
  • Relatives: (Unnamed) daughter-in-law
  • Debut episode: Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy
  • Voice Actor: Tim Conway; Burt Ward (as young Barnacle Boy in “Back to the Past” episode); Tom Kenny (as young Barnacle Boy in “Super Sitters” episode)

Who Is Barnacle Boy?

Barnacle Boy is a 68-year-old human male who became a superhero together with his friend and crime-busting partner Mermaid Man. He first appeared in the 1999 episode “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy” and has become a fan favorite since. His motif of being an underwater sidekick to a superhero could be a parody of D.C. Comics’ Aqualad or Aquaman. It could also be a parody of Robin, Batman’s sidekick.

His voice actor, Tim Conway, died in 2019, but the show’s producers retired his character alongside Mermaid Man after the latter’s voice actor, Ernest Borgnine, died in 2012. He is part of the three supporting characters in the show that the produced retired alongside Grandma SquarePants, though the duo still appears from time to time either as toys or as non-voiced characters.

Tim Conway, Barnacle Boy voice actor

Barnacle Boy’s Personality

He has a cranky yet logical attitude, often becoming the duo’s voice of rationality. Mermaid Man often angers him unintentionally because of him treating Barnacle Boy like a child, despite being a senior citizen. At one point, Barnacle Boy even formed a group of villains after an argument between the pair, which he called E.V.I.L., short for “Every Villain is Lemons.”

He does not like anyone treating him like a child in general. He probably does not like his superhero name at times because he would often get teased about the “boy” part in it. He easily gets annoyed, too; for example, he got annoyed after bickering with SpongeBob’s desire for them to get out of retirement. He also got annoyed when SpongeBob and Patrick painted their invisible boatmobile.

Barnacle Boy and mermaid man watching tv

Barnacle Boy’s Powers

Barnacle Boy has several superpowers in his arsenal, as shown in their debut episode, “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.” He has similar powers to his partner, Mermaid Man, though the writers have not shown the extent of their differences. His powers include:

  • Concentrated Water Balls: He can create balls of concentrated water and launch them toward his enemies, causing physical damage. However, because of his old age, the water he creates has become incredibly weak and only splashes when the balls land on their target without causing any damage or harm.
  • Dog Paddle: Together with Mermaid Man, he can swim using the “dog paddle” swimming style towards his enemies. The pair circles around their enemy and, through their speedy swimming, creates a whirlpool that traps their target, immobilizing them.
  • Marine Life Communication: He can use his mind to telepathically summon the varying sea creatures in Bikini Bottom to aid them in their fight. However, because of his old age, he could only call elderly fishes towards them, though they helped the pair by throwing their targets away from the battlefield. The range of their telepathic summoning is unknown.
  • Sulfur Vision: He can create lasers out of his eyes, similar to how Superman’s heat vision works. However, because of his old age, he can only produce them at an extremely short distance. He got exhausted quickly after trying to destroy a shell using his sulfur vision.
dog paddle
Barnacle Boy and Mermaid Man use their dog paddle

Barnacle Boy’s Origins

Barnacle Boy’s origins is a funny story that the writers made a gag about; in an episode titled “Mermaid Man Begins” in season eight, SpongeBob and Patrick learn about the superhero duo’s origins. After they failed to watch an origin story episode on T.V. due to a power outage, they go to Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy themselves to ask about their beginnings.

Mermaid Man tells them that he was once a regular human who got washed up into the ocean and stuck in a whirlpool. As he is about to drown, some mermaids bestowed upon him a magical starfish which allowed him to breathe underwater. Then, he saw Barnacle Boy before his superhero phase; he was scraping off barnacles off a ship. Mermaid Man gave him the ability to breathe underwater.

However, the original special showed their true beginnings; Ernie (Mermaid Man’s real name) and Tim (Barnacle Boy’s real name) were roommates who were cooking popcorn for a movie night. Suddenly, they got swept into a lot of random events, which included radioactive stuff. Just as you think that this was their superhero origin, they got back in their apartment without any harm done.

They continue on with the movie night and get the popcorn from the microwave. However, after eating the overcooked popcorn, they got the ability to breathe underwater and fight crime using several powers. As SpongeBob and Patrick try to get the duo’s powers by overcooking popcorn in a microwave, the duo tries to stop them.

mermaid man begins

What Does Barnacle Boy Look Like?

Barnacle Boy is a thin, tall, and bald man with a round head and an incredibly large nose which points downwards due to gravity. He has puffy ears and missing teeth. At one point, he shows his bald head to reveal tiny patches of hair on his scalp. He tends to have a bad posture, possibly due to old age. During his youth, he was much buffier with short hair.

He wears a white sailor hat on his head, which hides his scalp, and a black mask over the top of his ears to his eyes. He has a turquoise neckerchief along with a red long-sleeved shirt. He covers his hands and feet with dark blue rubber gloves and flipper-like boots, along with black rubber shorts to complete the look. When he was young, he retained most of his outfit except for the gloves and boots.

The young Barnacle Boy had light blue gloves that extended to almost his elbows. His boots resembled flippers more and were also light blue. His shorts had a thin golden belt with a seashell attached to its middle. He also wore round glasses with dark rims. Before he became a superhero, he wore a white shirt, blue jean pants, and red and white sneakers. He also wore rectangular glasses instead.

barnacle boy

Barnacle Boy Episodes

Barnacle Boy appears in 38 episodes from season 1 to 12, with eight of them having him for a major role, six of them for a minor or supporting role, and the other 24 for cameos, non-speaking roles, and the like. Below are the episodes where Barnacle Boy is in, separated by seasons.

Barnacle Boy in Season 1

Barnacle Boy debuted in season within the episode “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.” Throughout this season, he appears in two episodes having major roles in both.




Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy Major (debut episode) SpongeBob and Patrick find out that the superhero duo retired, and they try to persuade them to go back into the crime-fighting business.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II Major SpongeBob obtained a conch shell through a contest that can summon Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, much to the gradual annoyance of the pair.

Barnacle Boy in Season 2

Barnacle Boy only appears in one episode during season two, having a minor role in it.




Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III Minor Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy go on a vacation and leave SpongeBob and Patrick in charge of the Mermalair, without knowing that the pair would free the evil Man Ray.

Barnacle Boy in Season 3

Barnacle Boy appears twice in season three, with one of them having him for a supporting role while the other for a major one.




Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV Supporting Barnacle Boy accompanies Mermaid Man to the Krusty Krab, but the pair run off after seeing SpongeBob. However, his partner accidentally leaves behind a Shrink Ray in the hands of the eager fan.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V Major Barnacle Boy becomes angry from being treated like a child by everyone and turns to evil. He teams up with Man Ray and the Dirty Bubble and forms the “Every Villain is Lemons” (E.V.I.L.).

Barnacle Boy in Season 4

In season four, Barnacle Boy got his first episode where he only makes a cameo. He also has another episode where he has a major role.




Have You Seen This Snail? Cameo/Mentioned Barnacle Boy, together with his partner, Mermaid Man, appears on a package that SpongeBob brought home.
Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy VI: The Motion Picture Major SpongeBob and Patrick discover that the superhero duo has a movie, but the production uses actors instead. So, they went to the real deal and made their own movie starring them.

Barnacle Boy in Season 5

Barnacle Boy appears twice in season five, with one episode having him for a minor role and the other for a major role.




Night Light Minor SpongeBob, gaining a fear of the dark, gets a lighthouse that makes a giant “M” in the sky. This light summons Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob Major Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy attract customers to the Krusty Krab through a commercial, much to the anger of Plankton, who later on controls the pair via a mind-controlling shampoo.

Barnacle Boy in Season 6

Barnacle Boy appears four times in season six, though none of them has him for a major role. Instead, two of these episodes only have him as a supporting character, while the remaining two only show an image of him.




The Card Cameo (through cards) Barnacle Boy and Mermaid Man make a cameo through the cards that SpongeBob bought, which he thought were valuable.
Ditchin’ Supporting Barnacle Boy, together with Mermaid Man, attends a book-signing event that causes SpongeBob to ditch driving school.
Shuffle-boarding Supporting Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy get injured after SpongeBob’s sudden visit. They need to attend a shuffle-boarding competition as celebrity guests, but due to their injuries, they let SpongeBob and Patrick represent them.
Toy Store of Doom Cameo (as a toy) SpongeBob and Patrick are trapped in a toy store, and Barnacle Boy appears as a toy in this episode, although his figurine is all chewed up.

Barnacle Boy in Season 7

Barnacle Boy has roles in five episodes during season seven, with two of them being major ones, two of them being cameos, and one of them only mentioning him.




SpongeBob’s Last Stand Cameo Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy only make a non-voiced appearance in this episode, with them sitting on a bench as SpongeBob approaches them.
Back to the Past Major Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy invite SpongeBob and Patrick to their warehouse with a time machine. The pair go back in time, which causes some trouble for the superhero duo.
The Bad Guy Club for Villains Major SpongeBob and Patrick obtain a tape in the mail that contains a lost episode of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s series. The episode contains a few adventures from the duo, along with their enemies.
A Day Without Tears Mentioned A news anchor announces that Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s T.V. show went down from airing eight times a day to seven times a day.
The Cent of Money Cameo (through a fridge magnet) Gary accidentally swallowed a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy fridge magnet, which caused a strong magnetic pull.

Barnacle Boy in Season 8

Season eight is the last season where Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy have speaking roles in all the episodes that they appear in. They both appear twice, with one having them for a major role while the other for a supporting role.




Mermaid Man Begins Major SpongeBob and Patrick discover the origins of the superhero duo personally from them after they visit them in their Mermalair. In this episode, it is revealed that the pair were humans who got their powers from overcooked popcorn.
Super Evil Aquatic Villain Team Up is Go! Supporting SpongeBob attempts to recruit Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to thwart Man Ray. The superhero duo eventually arrests him after the villain got fat from eating too many Krabby Patties.

Barnacle Boy in Season 9

Starting from season nine, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy only have non-speaking roles (except for Patrick-Man!), whether it be through cameos, episodes where characters mention them, and the like. Season nine has five episodes containing them in this degree.




Patrick-Man! Cameo Barnacle Boy appears in an episode on a T.V. show that Patrick watches; the superhero duo defeats the Dirty Bubble in it. (Note: this is the last episode where Barnacle Boy, along with Mermaid Man, has a speaking role.)
Company Picnic Mentioned Barnacle Boy is mentioned in this episode where Mr. Krabs and Plankton host a picnic on the same day, with the former doing so to boost morale.
SpongeBob LongPants Cameo (through posters and billboards) Barnacle Boy appears with Mermaid Man on a billboard for a movie reboot about them titled “The Dark Tide Rises.” They also appear signs and posters all about the movie.
Mall Girl Pearl Cameo Barnacle Boy appears in this episode walking through the mall with Mermaid Man. The mall is where Pearl gets a job, but only at the lamest store there.
Snail Mail Cameo (through a magazine) Barnacle Boy appears in this episode in his younger image through a magazine about pen pals. The magazine illustrates him receiving a mail from a younger Mermaid Man.

Barnacle Boy in Season 10

In season ten, Barnacle Boy only had two cameos, and both came from magazines, so it is not much for the Barnacle Boy fans out there. Still, one episode does show a comic regarding the superhero duo (albeit Barnacle Boy is the hostage).




Mermaid Pants Cameo (through a magazine) SpongeBob and Patrick dress up as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, though the superhero duo appears on a book cover that SpongeBob reads.
Trident Trouble Cameo (through a magazine) SpongeBob is reading a comic book about Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. Later on, it shows how Mermaid Man saves a captured Barnacle Boy by defeating Man Ray.

Barnacle Boy in Season 11

Season 11 had a chockfull of Barnacle Boy cameos; he appeared in five episodes through comic book appearances, one episode as the real character but with a non-speaking role, and two episodes as a cosplay by someone else, with a total of eight cameos.




Man Ray Returns Cameo SpongeBob and Patrick visit the superhero duo’s retirement home to seek their help in thwarting Man Ray’s plans, but the pair find Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy in a frozen chamber. (Note: this is the first pair’s first physical appearance since Mall Girl Pearl, though they still do not talk.)
The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom Cameo (costume only) The episode centers on Bikini Bottom during Halloween, and one fish decided to wear a Barnacle Boy costume.
Bunny Hunt Cameo (through a comic book) Barnacle Boy appears in a comic book collection from SpongeBob encased behind a glass panel, and beside the panel is a giant poster of him along with a name tag at the bottom.
Squid Noir Cameo (through a comic book) Barnacle Boy appears again in a comic book whose cover design is similar to that of Trident Trouble’s comic book. However, the episode is in black and white to reflect the noir aesthetic.
Bottle Burglars Cameo (through a magazine) Barnacle Boy, along with Mermaid Man, appears as their younger selves on a comic book cover. Bubble Bass is eating a Krabby Patty while reading this comic, and on the cover, the superhero duo is trapped by green, slimy creatures.
Call the Cops Cameo (through a magazine) Barnacle Boy appears on a comic book cover in this episode though the cover design is purple instead of the usual red. The comic book is in a prison facility because Plankton got arrested in this episode.
Goons on the Moon Cameo (through a magazine) In this episode, Sandy, alongside Pearl, SpongeBob, and Squidina Star, goes to the moon, and Squidina brings with her some magazines for the trip. One of the magazines is about Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, who appears on the cover.
Appointment TV Cameo (costume only) In this episode, SpongeBob becomes depressed after missing the live viewing of an episode of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. So, the people around him set a live performance, and Patrick Star played the role of “Barnacle Boy.”

Barnacle Boy in Season 12

Barnacle Boy makes three appearances in season 12; one of them is a cameo through the television, one is a non-speaking cameo of their younger selves, and one is a cameo as a toy. So far, they do not appear in the latest season as of writing, which is season 13, though he may appear in future episodes.




The Krusty Slammer Cameo (through the T.V.) In this episode, Mr. Krabs turns the Krusty Krab into a prison facility to punish Plankton, and one of the inmates watches the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy T.V. show on television.
Swamp Mates Cameo (as his younger self) Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy make a cameo as their younger selves in the Mermalair through a story that SpongeBob reads. The story is about a group of heroes whose new recruit got kidnapped by a villain.
SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout Cameo (as a toy) During SpongeBob’s birthday, several friends of his decorate his house while he is away. Bubble Bass decorates a part of SpongeBob’s house to fit a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy theme. He topped the cake with the superhero duo’s figurines.

cake figures of mermaid man and barnacle boy

Barnacle Boy Trivia and Fun Facts

Barnacle Boy is a retired superhero and the sidekick of the equally retired Mermaid Man; just hearing about them makes you want to know more about them. I love how goofy they are in the episodes because of their old age, and Barnacle Boy is no exception. He is the cranky one who gets easily annoyed at SpongeBob’s antics, like Squidward. So, here are some fun facts about him that you may not know.

  • The episode titled “Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob” in season five reveals that Barnacle Boy suffers from a severe case of dandruff.
  • The same episode (“Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob”) reveals that Barnacle Boy likes to eat meatloaf.
  • Barnacle Boy hates being treated like a child, as when Mermaid Man offers him a “pipsqueak patty” in an episode titled “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V” in season three. Due to this, he does not like his superhero name and wants to change it to “Barnacle Man” to sound more adult.
  • In the same episode (“Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V”), Mermaid Man rationalizes his offer to Barnacle Boy by thinking that the sidekick cannot finish an adult Krabby Patty, much to his disdain. Later on, Mermaid Man fulfills his request for an adult Krabby Patty, but Barnacle Boy realizes he cannot finish it after all.
  • Barnacle Boy’s younger self’s voice actor Burt Ward also portrayed Robin in the 1960s T.V. show Batman.
  • Barnacle Boy suffers from cauliflower ears, where the ears become swollen due to old age.
  • Barnacle Boy’s real name, Tim, is a reference to the character’s original voice actor, Tim Conway.
  • In different languages of the show, his name often changes. For example, in the Danish dub, his name is “Glue Boy,” while in the German dub, his name is “Bluefish Boy.” The Russian dub has several changes to his name, including “Glasses Boy,” “Suction Boy,” “Sea Cadet,” and “Cowboy Kid.”

barnacle boy and mermaid man want to eat

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is Barnacle Boy a human?

Answer: Yes, Barnacle Boy is a human who received the ability to breathe underwater from eating overcooked popcorn. Originally, they were roommates with Mermaid Man, whose real name is Ernie, and the pair lived on the surface world. After they got their powers, they dived straight into the ocean to fight crime underwater.

Question: How can Barnacle Boy breathe underwater?

Answer: Barnacle Boy can breathe underwater thanks to the powers he got from eating overcooked popcorn. It became a running gag for the episode titled “Mermaid Man Begins,” where their origin story was first introduced.

Question: Who voiced Barnacle Boy in SpongeBob?

Answer: Tim Conway voiced Barnacle Boy since the character’s debut in 1999 and stopped in 2012 after Mermaid Man’s voice actor, Ernest Borgnine, died in the same year. The producers retired both characters after that incident. Unfortunately, Tim died in 2019. However, Burt Ward voices Barnacle Boy’s younger self in “Back to the Past” while Tom Kenny does the same in “Super Sitters.”

Question: Is Barnacle Boy gay?

Answer: It is unlikely that Barnacle Boy is gay, though there has been no confirmation nor denial from the show’s producers about the concern. Still, Barnacle Boy has an unnamed son, four unnamed grandchildren, and an unnamed daughter-in-law, which shows that he, at some point, met a woman who gave birth to his child.

Question: Is Barnacle Boy dead?

Answer: Barnacle Boy still makes appearances throughout the show’s recent episodes, though he has a non-speaking role. It is not confirmed if Barnacle Boy is canonically dead, but his character got retired from the show in 2012 due to Ernest Borgnine’s, Mermaid Man’s voice actor, death.

Conclusion: What Is Barnacle Boy’s real name?

Barnacle Boy’s real name is Tim, as shown in their origin story within an episode titled “Mermaid Man Origins.” Tim lived on the surface world and was roommates with Ernie, who would soon become Mermaid Man. However, Ernie calling him “Tim” could be a nickname since another earlier episode mentions his real name, which is “Kyle.”

In an episode titled “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V,” which aired as early as 2002, someone refers to Barnacle Boy as Kyle. It is confusing as to which of the two names are real, but personally, I think that Tim would be a much better name. Having his name be Tim would be a poetic nod to his original voice actor, Tim Conway, who passed away in 2019.

No matter what his real name is, though, he still is a cool superhero and sidekick to Mermaid Man. In his prime, he could defeat a lot of enemies using the powers he acquired. Their decision to swim beneath the ocean and fight crime there could be seen as an altruistic act. However, nothing changes the fact that he is a cranky old man who gets easily angered when he is treated like a child.

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