SpongeBob SquarePants, (also simply referred to as SpongeBob), is an Emmy award-winning American animated comedy series and media franchise. It's one of Nickelodeon's Nicktoons shows and is currently the most watched show on Nickelodeon. It was created by former marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg and is produced through his production company, United Plankton Pictures, and Nickelodeon Animation Studios. In 2007, it was named by TIME magazine as one of the greatest television shows of all time, it also broke a record for the most amount of episodes aired in one year, with 47. SpongeBob SquarePants is the longest running Nickelodeon show. In 2012, the episode "Squiditis" was episode 173a, making SpongeBob the longest running Nickelodeon series surpassing the former holder, Rugrats, which consisted of 172 episodes.
The series is set in the Pacific Ocean, in the city of Bikini Bottom, under the island of Bikini Atoll, and on the surrounding lagoon floor. The pilot episode first aired along with two other episodes in the United States on Nickelodeon after the 1999 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on May 1, 1999. The "official" series premiere followed on July 17, 1999, after a short hiatus, with two episodes "Bubblestand," and "Ripped Pants." Then more episodes aired throughout the rest of 1999.
SpongeBob SquarePants is an active, happy sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea, while his grouchy, miserable neighbor, Squidward Tentacles lives in an Easter Island-like house, Squidward's name was made as "Squidward" although he is an octopus, but Stephen wanted to make it catchy, so that's why Squidward's name was named as Squidward and not Octoward. Squidward's name came from the English name 'Edward'. SpongeBob's other neighbor and best friend is a chubby pink starfish named Patrick Star, who lives under a huge rock with a compass on the top. SpongeBob and Patrick live on both sides of Squidward on Conch Street. They often go to the Krusty Krab or Jellyfish Fields.
List of SpongeBob SquarePants characters
List of SpongeBob SquarePants minor characters
List of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes
List of SpongeBob SquarePants locations
List of SpongeBob SquarePants objects
- SpongeBob SquarePants - A very friendly, funny, and happy-go-lucky sea sponge who loves jellyfishing and works at the Krusty Krab as the fry cook.
- Patrick Star - A dim-witted, pink starfish and SpongeBob's best friend. He is somewhat foolish, selfish and silly, but is usually loyal to SpongeBob. He has sometimes shown hints of intelligence.
- Squidward Tentacles - SpongeBob's next-door neighbor and co-worker at the Krusty Krab, where he is the cashier. Squidward is a smart, artistic and somewhat sociopathic octopus. He hates SpongeBob and Patrick due to their childlike behavior and openly displays his hatred towards them. Despite this, they are completely oblivious to his hatred of them. He believes he is an amazing artist and clarinet player, but quite the opposite in reality. SpongeBob is convinced that Squidward is a good-hearted person who loves to have fun but just doesn't know it.
- Sandy Cheeks - An intelligent squirrel from Texas that has to wear an oxygen tank to breathe underwater. Inside her house, she wears a purple and green frilly bikini, which some fish find indecent. Sandy is a smart and strong squirrel, and is an expert in karate and has often helped SpongeBob and Patrick out whenever they get into trouble.
- Mr. Krabs - A crab which is in charge of the Krusty Krab restaurant, where SpongeBob and Squidward work. He is addicted to money, believing that money is a living thing, and is, therefore, selfish and greedy. He is 72 years old.
- Gary the Snail - SpongeBob's pet. His only sound is a "meow," similar to a cat, but in the episode "Opposite Day," Gary barks once to be in the "holiday spirit." In fact, he is considered a sea cat, like a worm, is considered a sea dog.
- Sheldon J. Plankton - A copepod, who is Mr. Krabs' arch-rival and the show's main antagonist. He intends on getting the secret Krabby Patty formula and putting the Krusty Krab out of business, although he has only succeeded a few times, and eventually those successes were destroyed. Despite this, his restaurant, The Chum Bucket, is a complete failure, since Plankton can't cook, and because he spends too much time attempting to steal the formula to do so.
Decline in Quality
The more recent episodes have widely been criticized for not living up to the standards of the older ones. Many critics believe the decline in quality began after the release of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, with the beginning of the fourth season. Some fans say the episode "Good Neighbors" was when the series started to decline in quality. also began to turn away from the series, and some online fan sites became deserted. In 2012, it was reported that the series' ratings were declining ]. The average number of viewers aged 2 to 11 watching SpongeBob at any given time somehow dropped 29% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to Nielsen!
A huge change was the resignation of series creator Stephen Hillenburg from being the position of showrunner, serving instead as executive producer and leaving his former position to writer Paul Tibbitt from seasons four to nine. With this change brought many new writers, replacing many of the show's veterans (Sam Henderson, C.H. Greenblatt, among others) as they moved on to different projects. The only original writers with the show today are animation director Tom Yasumi, writer Doug Lawrence, and writer Paul Tibbitt. One critic said:
"I've been a fan of SpongeBob SquarePants for a long time, and consider it to be one of the best cartoons in the past ten years. But I also have to confess that the cheerful sponge and I parted company some time ago. I'm not sure I can peg the exact moment I stopped paying close attention to the hit series. I think it occurred sometime around the special episode "Dunces and Dragons," though I also remember feeling doubts about where things were headed while watching "SpongeBob B.C." I really couldn't put my finger on what bothered me about those specials... but there was definitely something off-putting about them, and not long afterward I stopped seeking out new episodes. ...it's a disappointment to watch as the show becomes something it once wasn't: Just another kid-pandering attention-waster."
Another major criticism of the show was its apparent Flanderization of its characters (that is, an extreme emphasis on a single character trait, to the point where it makes a character's personality seem like a caricature of its original self). SpongeBob's childlike behavior and naïvety, Patrick's low intelligence and negative behavior, and Mr. Krabs's greed are among many traits accused of being Flanderized, with critics taking harsh words to the characters seeing an apparent decrease in intelligence and an increase in mean-spiritedness. This seemed to be most prominent in episodes such as "One Coarse Meal," "A Pal for Gary," and "Stuck in the Wringer," which are currently some of the show's most infamous stories.
Although the show is still criticized today, some SpongeBob fans believe it could be making a comeback. The television movie "Truth or Square" gained some positive feedback from fans, in contrast to other post-movie episodes, and many episodes from Seasons 8 & 9 are also gaining mostly high ratings and positive reviews, with particular prominence from being among numerous other negatively-received episodes. While it is common for a show to decline over time, it is quite rare for a show at this point to redeem itself, with shows such as The Simpsons and Doctor Who being among some of the only other TV programs to redeem themselves after a perceived seasonal rot. Most fans consider the second half of season 9 to be a major comeback, due to the return of Stephen Hillenburg and other crew members such as Kaz.
SpongeBob SquarePants is available on Nickleodeon and Nicktoons in the USA. It is available in most countries around the world, and has been translated into multiple languages.
- In 1997, a clip was shown featuring a unique opening with the title card music of "Hall Monitor," this might have been to be the opening before the SpongeBob SquarePants opening theme was written. This theme was originally used in 1997 version of the episode "Help Wanted."
- SpongeBob SquarePants is Nickelodeon's longest running show.
- SpongeBob SquarePants made a cameo in "Karate Kid (2010)" where Dre watches it on television, and in "Two and a Half Men" where Jake watched it and explained everything about it to his grandmother.
- SpongeBob SquarePants is the most distributed property of MTV Networks.