Man Ray SpongeBob Guide: From Frozen in Tartar Sauce to Terrorizing Bikini Bottom

I love seeing a new Man Ray meme, but I wonder how many of those meme creators know the full story. Without a good Man Ray SpongeBob guide, you could miss out on some fun facts.

I grew up watching SpongeBob SquarePants, and I continue to love the show and its associated online content. That includes all of the memes and posts featuring Man Ray and Patrick.

You should consider a full guide if you want to learn more about the character. Then, you can better understand the memes and create your own.

Bottom Line UpFront

Man Ray from SpongeBob is one of the biggest villains that Mermaid Man fights and captures. But SpongeBob and Patrick manage to free him, which leads to a lot of chaos.

Man Ray Quick Facts

  • Full Name: Man Ray
  • Birth Date: not listed
  • Birth Place: Bikini Bottom
  • Nickname: Man Ray or Manray
  • Siblings: none
  • Children: none
  • Partner/Spouse: none
  • Most Memorable Moment: When he tries to be good, but Patrick annoys him (that scene has become a meme)
  • Actors Who Played: John Rhys-Davies, Bob Joles

Man Ray’s Birthplace

I couldn’t find out much about where Man Ray was born, but I have a few theories. First, he could have been born on land since he has the shape of a human.

Maybe he ended up underwater like Mermaid Man did, such as drifting out to sea. But his head is inside a helmet, so perhaps some mad scientist created him.

I don’t think he was born underwater like a normal creature. Then again, his helmet looks like a real animal, the manta ray, so maybe a manta ray mutated and became the famous villain.

We can guess he’s about as old as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, though. Some fans have speculated he’s about 80 years old, but his body is more like a 50-year-old after the tartar sauce trap.

Man Ray’s Family

I also couldn’t find any information on Man Ray’s family, so he might not have any relatives. Using the mutated manta ray theory, maybe his family abandoned him.

If we go with the mad scientist theory, Man Ray wouldn’t have a family at all. He may have lived with the scientist who created him, but that scientist might not be around anymore.

Of course, if you consider where he lives at the start of the series, his “family” would be Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy. But I imagine they don’t consider their nemesis to be their family.

Man Ray’s Physical Traits

Man Ray's
Image From SponeBob Fandom

Man Ray has a human-like body, but he doesn’t have a standard face or head of a person. Instead, he has a helmet in the shape of a manta ray.

We learn that he doesn’t have a head under the helmet, but he can live without the helmet on all of the time. Man Ray is also quite tall compared to most other characters in SpongeBob SquarePants.

His helmet, gloves, boots, and underwear are all blue, while the rest of his outfit is the color red. The small exception is the gold lock on his tickle belt.

Man Ray’s Personality

Man Ray can be rude and, well, evil as he is an evil villain. Things can also annoy him quickly, especially when he’s trying to learn to be good, but Patrick doesn’t do an excellent job of helping.

Honestly, I relate to Man Ray in that scene, not because I’m evil and trying to be good. However, I’ve had moments where people just don’t seem to understand what I’m saying, which is frustrating.

In that episode, we learn that Man Ray can also manipulate others and take advantage of their good nature. He manages to convince SpongeBob and Patrick that he wants to be good, and they let him escape, only for him to go rob a bank.

Man Ray’s Abilities

Man Ray's Abilities
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Man Ray has some impressive skills despite not being the most realistic undersea creature. For one, he can shoot lasers out of his hands, which seems useful for a villain.

Man Ray can also fly and take off his head to use as a boomerang. The character also seems to be able to think quickly on his feet and create a new plan when necessary.

That allows him to adapt to whatever his opponents are doing, which is a nice skill for anyone. Of course, that skill is also detrimental to Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, as well as SpongeBob and Patrick.

Man Ray’s Weakness

Man Ray might be smart and know how to get his way. But that doesn’t mean he can handle anything and everything because he has one significant weakness.

When we first meet Man Ray, he’s wearing the famous tickle belt. SpongeBob uses the belt to get him to behave when teaching the villain to be good.

The belt stops him from doing anything other than falling to the ground and laughing. Even when he’s not wearing the belt, it still affects him.

I can be quite ticklish, so I understand this weakness. For better or worse, it gives Man Ray’s opponents time to stop his schemes as long as the remote is working and the characters don’t break it as SpongeBob and Patrick do.

Man Ray’s Home Life

We don’t get to learn much about Man Ray’s home life. Of course, since we meet him frozen in tartar sauce, he doesn’t really have a home life at that point.

After escaping, he probably returns to his lair and lives alone. I’d guess he enjoys living in his lair and planning schemes to try and take over the town.

Man Ray’s Work

Man Ray's
Image From SpongeBob Fandom

Man Ray’s most significant job is as a villain. He fights against Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, though most of those fights happen well before the start of SpongeBob SquarePants.

However, there’s one episode where SpongeBob, Patrick, Mermaid Man, and Barnacle Boy go back in time. They manage to change the timeline where the heroes captured Man Ray, but they change it back, so the villain doesn’t get away.

In the season 8 episode, “Super Evil Aquatic Villain Team Up is Go,” we see Man Ray has a job restocking vending machines. But he quickly resorts to his evil ways when helping Plankton attempt to steal the Krabby Patty formula.

Man Ray From SpongeBob Fun Facts

Man Ray might not be one of the most significant characters, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. If you want to watch some of the episodes that feature him, consider some facts.

Then, you can share those facts with your friends and family. Or you can use the facts as a way to learn more about the character and his motivations when he appears.

Name Inspiration

The name “Man Ray” is the same as that of a real surrealist artist. He was a painter, but he also worked with other types of media throughout his career.

It looks like the artist’s name is a nickname for Emmanuel Radnitzky. As far as I know, the artist wasn’t evil, but the name is fantastic for an artist and a villain.

The SpongeBob character’s name is also a play on “manta ray,” an animal that serves as the basis for Man Ray’s helmet. I love that the show creators were able to use two things to inspire the name.

Potentially Immortal

Potentially Immortal
Image From SpongeBob Fandom

Man Ray never explicitly says so, but there’s a chance he’s immortal. He has a sort of throwaway line in the episode “Mermaid Man vs. SpongeBob” when he talks about a snack that mortals can’t resist.

I assume that means he can resist the treat, so it’s safe to think he’s immortal. And if that’s the case, superheroes of the future will have their work cut out for them.

At the very least, I think Man Ray can probably live longer than average. After all, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy froze him for many years.

Talking Heads

Another fun fact about Man Ray from SpongeBob is that he can talk when he takes his head/helmet off. He’s able to do this in a couple of episodes, like “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III,” his first appearance.

Of course, most creatures can’t talk when they remove their head. We can’t remove our heads at all while staying alive, but there are a lot of strange things about Man Ray.

Maybe his body and head have separate brains and circulatory systems. Or perhaps his voice box is in his body, so his head or helmet isn’t necessary for him to function.

Tartar Sauce Allergy

Sauce Tartar
Image From SpongeBob Fandom

As someone with many allergies, I appreciate it when they’re represented in the media. In one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, we learn that Man Ray is allergic to tartar sauce.

Knowing that it makes more sense why Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy chose the substance for Man Ray’s frozen prison. I wouldn’t want to be frozen in a substance with pollen, not that I want someone to freeze me at all.

Still, it’s amazing that Man Ray seems fine after getting out of the tartar sauce. If he’s that allergic, you’d think he’d have a reaction, especially if any got in his helmet/mouth when Patrick unfroze him.

Back and Forth

Despite his escape, it appears like SpongeBob and Patrick’s training works on Man Ray. He starts to rob a bank but decides against it, so the audience believes Man Ray has turned good.

Unfortunately, the change doesn’t last as the villain returns to evil later in the series. Specifically, he joins the organization E.V.I.L. in the episode “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V.”

In an even later episode, “Shuffleboarding,” we see Man Ray again. Only this time, the character officially retires and stops committing evil deeds.

Antagonist Partners

Man Ray might be a small part of the SpongeBob SquarePants universe. However, he partners up with the show’s most significant antagonist, Plankton.

In season 8, Plankton convinces Man Ray to join him in getting the Krabby Patty secret formula. Man Ray thinks they’re looking for a formula to rule the world.

But he tries Krabby Patties and falls in love with them. Eventually, he eats enough to get too fat to move, and Mermaid Man shows up with Barnacle Boy to arrest the villain.

Becoming a Meme

If you spend any amount of time online, you’ve probably seen at least one Man Ray meme. The meme comes from the scene where he tries to return Patrick’s wallet.

Patrick understands the wallet contains his I.D., but he refuses to believe the wallet is his. This frustrates Man Ray, and Man Ray tries to resort to his evil ways before SpongeBob tickles him.

People have turned that scene into everything from getting an Xbox to function to talking about working in fast food. I love the memes I’ve seen because they can be very relatable, even if I haven’t experienced the example in question.

Man Ray’s Appearances

Man Ray appears first in the episode “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III.” I find that episode name isn’t the best since the heroes are only in one scene, and it’s more about Man Ray.

The villain appears again in episodes like “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V.” His biggest feature is definitely when SpongeBob and Patrick free him from the frozen tartar sauce.

I guess that Man Ray probably won’t appear in future episodes. After Mermaid Man’s voice actor passed away, the showrunners retired the heroes.

He makes brief cameos from season 1 through season 13. More significant appearances include:

  • Season 4, Episode 67b: Plankton mentions and intimidates Man Ray
  • Season 5, Episode 94b: Does a Krusty Krab commercial
  • Season 6, Episode 114b: appears in the show The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy
  • Season 6, Episode 117a: SpongeBob and Patrick arrest Man Ray despite not committing a crime
  • Season 7, Episode 135a: SpongeBob and friends go back in time but don’t freeze Man Ray into tartar sauce
  • Season 7, Episode 135b: teams up with other villains
  • Season 8, Episode 176a: works with Plankton to get the Krabby Patty formula
  • Season 13, Episode 277a: has characters audition for E.V.I.L and manages to steal the secret formula


Question: How does Man Ray get free in SpongeBob?

Answer: Man Ray gets free when Patrick hits a button that unfreezes the tartar sauce holding the villain. While SpongeBob and Patrick try to get Man Ray to be good, he still gets away.
Later, he returns to doing bad things, though he always seems to be wearing the famous tickle belt. So maybe he’s not entirely free.

Question: Is Man Ray a main SpongeBob character?

Answer: Man Ray isn’t one of the main characters of SpongeBob SquarePants. However, he’s a pretty significant antagonist when he does appear.
Of course, he’s also one of the main enemies of Mermaid Man and his sidekick Barnacle Boy. When they appear, Man Ray usually appears, or others mention him.

Question: Is Man Ray worse than the Dirty Bubble?

Answer: Man Ray is just as bad as the Dirty Bubble as both are enemies to Barnacle Boy and Mermaid Man. Man Ray has the shape of a human, so he can probably do more damage than the Dirty Bubble.
In that way, he’s a more significant threat, but both villains are evil in their own ways.

Final Note on the Man Ray SpongeBob Guide

If you’ve watched SpongeBob SquarePants for years, you probably know about Man Ray. But maybe you’ve only seen the memes and learned a lot from this Man Ray SpongeBob guide.

Either way, keep in mind that we don’t know everything we could know about Man Ray. However, the details we do have are quite interesting, and he’s a more complex villain than you might expect.

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