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SpongeBob SquarePants

The SpongeBob SquarePants cast
Format  Animated series
Run time  approx. 22 mins. (11 mins. per episode)
Creator  Stephen Hillenburg
Starring  Tom Kenny
Rodger Bumpass
Bill Fagerbakke
Clancy Brown
Carolyn Lawrence
Doug Lawrence
Country  USA
Network  Nickelodeon
Original run  May 1, 1999 (official airdate July 17, 1999)–present
No. of episodes  (so far) 64

SpongeBob SquarePants is a popular animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. The pilot episode first aired in the US on Nickelodeon after Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on May 1, 1999. It officially aired on July 17 of the same year with the second episode "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants." The main characters are a naive but optimistic anthropomorphic sea sponge SpongeBob SquarePants; his stupid starfish pal Patrick Star; the pessimistic octopus Squidward Tentacles; the penny-pinching cheapskate crab Mr. Krabs; and the hyperactive daredevil land squirrel Sandy Cheeks, who wears an astronaut suit almost all of the time outside her air-filled tree dome. Most episodes take place in the town of Bikini Bottom or the surrounding lagoon floor, or at their own houses.


SpongeBob has gained a loyal international following with children and adults alike. Merchandise based on the show, for instance, ranges from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Kellogg's cereal, and video games to boxer shorts, pajamas, and t-shirts. It has become a favorite cartoon for television viewers. The show also spawned a large and popular merchandise line at Hot Topic, Claire's, RadioShack, Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys "R" Us stores. There have been kids meal tie-ins at Wendy's and Burger King restaurants, so much so when a SpongeBob SquarePants movie promotion ran at most Burger King franchises in 2004, thieves stole nine-foot-high by nine-foot-wide SpongeBob inflatables, wanting Krabby Patties as ransom, and signed by someone who claims to be Sheldon J. Plankton, a character from the show. SpongeBob was also featured on VH1's I Love the 90s: Part Deux: 1999 as part of a commentary by Michael Ian Black. More recently, a tie-in beverage for 7-Eleven convenience stores has been created, a pineapple-flavored Slurpee. Events in the past with the SpongeBob SquarePants theme include an exhibit at Underwater Adventures aquarium in the Mall of America called SeaCrits of Bikini Bottom during the summer of 2003. In October 2004, a NASCAR Busch Series race was named The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300, presented by Lowe's and broadcast on TNT.

The cartoon is designed to appeal to older viewers as much as to children. This has a lot to do with the way underwater life and situations are represented, absurdly, as though they are almost equivalent to normal terrestrial lifestyles. Instead of cars, the residents of Bikini Bottom drive boats (with wheels). Once, while on a camping trip, Patrick questions how they could have a camp fire on the lagoon bottom—the fire is immediately extinguished with a sizzle. A flurry of bubbles accompany many actions, just to remind the viewer everything is underwater. SpongeBob lives in a pineapple, while his neighbor Squidward lives in an Easter Island head and Patrick lives under a rock. The suggestion is that both have fallen from a tropical island to become underwater habitats. Spongebob's house-pet is a snail named Gary, who meows like a cat (though characters have shown signs of being able to understand him). In relation to this, underwater worms bark like dogs. Jellyfish are the equivalent of bees (buzzing and stinging), but are collected or appreciated like butterflies and are used for their jelly.

SpongeBob is the first "low budget" Nickelodeon cartoon, according to the network, to become extremely popular. Low-budget cartoons had been living in the shadow of Rugrats, but SpongeBob aired in 1999 and almost immediately became more popular. SpongeBob follows some other Nickelodeon shows that have attracted "older" followers: The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life (whose executive producer was SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg), the Kablam! skits Action League Now!, The Angry Beavers. Other shows have followed in this trend as well: The Fairly OddParents and Invader Zim took a similar role when they aired in 2001 and the former is now second only to SpongeBob in popularity).

SpongeBob is one cartoon in a long line of shows to put in more "adult" references, and has become so popular with the adult crowd that it has been shown on MTV and Spike TV. A certain quote by Patrick ("It's gonna rock!") has been used as a promo for rock stations. Ren and Stimpy, among others, had followed a similar path. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, released on November 19, 2004, features a cameo appearance by actor David Hasselhoff.

Theme song

The theme song, based on the sea shanty "Blow the Man Down," is the principal song used in the series. It is sung by Pat Pinney and can be found on the soundtrack, SpongeBob SquarePants: Original Theme Highlights. A cover of the song by Avril Lavigne can be found on the soundtrack for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. There was also a choral version done for the Christmas special (where the last words "SquarePants" were replaced by "Christmas special").

Note: Song lyrics are protected by copyright, so the theme song cannot be quoted here.



Origin (1993–1999)

SpongeBob's history can be traced back to 1993 when Rocko's Modern Life first aired. One of the producers was Stephen Hillenburg, a cartoon worker/marine biologist who loved both his careers. When the show was cancelled in 1997, Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob (although some sketches trace back to 1996). He teamed up with creative director Derek Drymon, who had worked on shows such as Doug, Action League Now!, and Hey Arnold!. Drymon had worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life as well, as were many crew members including writer Tim Hill and voice actors Tom Kenny and Doug Lawrence. Also in the original crew was former Angry Beavers story editor Merriwether Williams, who worked on that show for its first few seasons and switched to SpongeBob in July 1999. His name is written in the CamelCase word style declaring "Spongebob Squarepants" a common typo in comparison to "SpongeBob SquarePants".

Not everyone who worked on SpongeBob were veterans of other shows, however. Paul Tibbitt was a newcomer to cartoons, but he became a key member of the show's crew, writing and storyboard directing most of the series.

During production of the show, Hillenburg provided a concept of short comics with the same style of the show, but the characters looked different. SpongeBob used to be named SpongeBoy, and used to wear a red hat with a green base and a white business shirt with a tie. The name "SpongeBoy" did not make it into the show since the name was already officially trademarked by Bob Burden, creator of Flaming Carrot. Hillenburg later chose the alternative name "SpongeBob." The original name was once referenced in the show by Mr. Krabs' line, "SpongeBoy, me Bob!." The Krusty Krab was originally spelled with the letter C rather than K, but Stephen Hillenburg thought K's were funnier.

Rise to popularity (1999–2000)

In 1999, SpongeBob aired its first episode, "Help Wanted/Reef Blower/Tea at the Treedome", after the 1999 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. At this time, Rugrats was at the height of its popularity and had already outlived dozens of other lower-budget cartoons. SpongeBob, with its generally lower-class animation and humor style more rooted in clever word-play and culture-references unlike the potty humor that made Rugrats so popular, was expected to be just another one of those shows. Although it struggled in its early days, its ratings flew up. After about a year, it surpassed Rugrats as Nick's most highly rated show. SpongeBob's signature voice (provided by Kenny) and humorous style was enjoyable to both younger and older audiences. Many people attribute the "Fall Of Rugrats/Klasky-Csupo/Rise Of Low-Budget Cartoons" to SpongeBob.

Peak years (2000–2003)

The show began its second season in 2000 with more high-quality animation and even more popular episodes. By then it was clear to the world that SpongeBob had opened the door to many other cartoons to use more "adult" senses of humor and come from smaller companies. In 2001, The Fairly OddParents aired from the then-small Frederator company. It focused on a sense of humor similar to SpongeBob’s, only more realistic, slightly crazier (and more suggestive to "adult" topics), and with more pop culture references; this show managed to become a hit as well and currently ranks behind SpongeBob as Nick's second most popular show. That same year, Invader Zim aired, created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez; it had a dark but silly sense of humor (similar to Vasquez's other comic books) that managed to attract a very loyal cult following consisting more of teens and adults than little kids. SpongeBob, however, was the leader of all these shows and had by this time started its now famous merchandise line.

2002 also saw a bright side, as the first part of that year saw SpongeBob at its high. The beginning of the third season produced many classic episodes (some of the most quoted too) and focused on the same style and animation concepts. The year also saw another more low-budget show with popularity (Jimmy Neutron), but things changed late in the year. Hillenburg began to think of leaving the show around this time, and even canceling it. Fans were devastated and online petitions were widely distributed. Rumors of a movie closing the show in 2004 were all over talk, but fans just wanted more show. The highly extended third season lasted through 2003, with fans on their knees, and 2004, the year that would decide everything. What was thought to be the last episode, "SpongeBob Meets The Strangler/Pranks A Lot" would air in October of 2004 and the movie was to be released in November of that year.

Hiatus (2003–2005)

2003 was arguably the darkest year the Spongebob community had ever seen, Spongebob's first gay controversy involving the "Rock-A-Bye-Bivalve" episode was now major, with conservative parents being particularly biased against the show. The hiatus era looked hopeless, and many doubted the 4th season.

The show continued to gain high approval ratings, but then, at the end of summertime, the president of Nickelodeon announced that the show would continue without Hillenburg. Derek Drymon and Sherm Cohen took over production of the show; except for Hillenburg's absence, the crew was nearly unchanged. The future looked positive for the cartoon, but fans wondered if the show would achieve its past level of success without Hillenburg. As its movie only achieved over $85,000,000 in revenue in the United States, it has been assumed that the show's popularity has declined. The Rugrats Movie, on the other hand, earned over $100,000,000 in the United States (it was around this time that the animated series which it is based on, Rugrats, was at the height of its popularity. Ironically, that movie would also be considered Rugrats' jump the shark moment by many fans.).

Season 4 (2005- )
Fear of a Krabby Patty.
Fear of a Krabby Patty.

The ads for its fourth season first aired publicly during the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The new episodes began on May 6. So far, three new episodes and six segments of new episodes have aired, with more upcoming including an episode about Gary running away and a sixth Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy.

The first new episode of Season 4, "Fear Of A Krabby Patty/Shell Of A Man", was a huge hit with many fans who had long been bored with the show and many more faithful ones who have been waiting for new episodes for years.


Despite the show's popularity, SpongeBob has endured controversy, though this is not new for Nickelodeon; many of its cartoons, including Ren & Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, The Angry Beavers, Invader Zim and The Fairly OddParents, have sparked controversy in one way or another. SpongeBob's popularity has made its controversy more noticeable and larger scale.

One of the show's first controversies was about terrorism. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the show had been receiving higher ratings than usual. A few people thought that the show may have some link to terrorism, but many fans and other people believe that the paraphrased line, "it's just a show that heals your depressions from terrible things in life" explains the rise in viewers.

SpongeBob had a primarily clean start for its first two seasons and the beginning of the third season. SpongeBob and Patrick's close friendship in many episodes (including an episode where they hold hands) led some viewers to the conclusion that SpongeBob and Patrick were homosexual. The 2002 episode, "Rock-A-Bye-Bivalve", had SpongeBob and Patrick adopt a baby scallop, furthering the rumor. This viewpoint sparked controversy around the news; however this rumor has been proven false for numerous reasons. Independent of assumptions, the cartoon's acceptance and optimism have made it popular within parts of the real-life gay community.

More recently, SpongeBob was featured in the pro-tolerance "We Are Family" commercial. The video has sparked controversy because some conservative Christian groups believe that the We Are Family Foundation was using it to promote the normalization of homosexuality in American schools. A spokesman for the foundation suggests that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased."[1]. It has been incorrectly reported that James Dobson, a leading figure among many conservative Christians, believes SpongeBob is homosexual or promotes a 'homosexual lifestyle'.[2], [3] (See the section on SpongeBob in the article on James Dobson).

Voice actors and their characters

    * Tom Kenny: SpongeBob SquarePants, Gary the Snail, French Narrator, Patchy the Pirate, a Squid
    * Dee Bradley Baker: Squilliam Fancyson, Various Squids, Customers, Vendors
    * Rodger Bumpass: Squidward Tentacles
    * Bill Fagerbakke: Patrick Star
    * Carolyn Lawrence: Sandy Cheeks
    * Clancy Brown: Eugene Krabs
    * Doug Lawrence (a.k.a. Mr. Lawrence): Sheldon J. Plankton, Larry Lobster
    * Lori Alan: Pearl Krabs
    * Mary Jo Catlett: Poppy Puff
    * Ernest Borgnine: Mermaid Man
    * Tim Conway: Barnacle Boy
    * Stephen Hillenburg: Potty
    * Brian Doyle-Murray: The Flying Dutchman
    * Charles Nelson Reilly: The Dirty Bubble
    * Marion Ross: Grandma Squarepants
    * Jill Talley: Karen, Plankton's computer wife


Additional voices in the movie

    * Scarlett Johansson: Princess Mindy
    * Jeffrey Tambor: King Neptune
    * Alec Baldwin: Dennis the Hitman


Main crew

    * Stephen Hillenburg: Creator/Executive Producer (1999–2004)
    * Derek Drymon: Creative Director/Writer/Story Editor/Executive Producer (2004–Present)
    * Sherm Cohen: Art Director/Writer/Executive Producer (2005—)
    * Paul Tibbitt: Writer/Storyboard Director/Backing Voice Actor
    * Merriwether Williams: Story Editor/Writer
    * Doug Lawrence (a.k.a. Mr. Lawrence): Writer/Story Editor
    * Chuck Klein: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
    * Jay Lender: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
    * Sam Henderson: Writer/Storyboard Director
    * Kaz: Writer/Storyboard Artist
    * Aaron Springer: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
    * C.H. Greenblatt: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
    * Bradley Carow: Music
    * Sage Guyton: Music
    * Steven Belfer: Music
    * Jeremy Wakefield: Music
    * Nicholas Carr: Music
    * David Wigforss: Special Effects (CG visual effects animator)
    * Caleb Muerer: Art Director/Storyboard Artist
    * Andy Rheingold: Executive in Charge of Production
    * Steven Banks: Head Writer (2004—)
    * Tim Hill: Writer
    * Eric Wiese: Writer/Storyboard Artist
    * Mark O'Hare: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
    * Steven Fonti: Writer/Storyboard Director (1999)
    * Chris Mitchell: Writer/Storyboard Artist (1999)
    * Mike Bell: Writer/Storyboard Director (2005—)
    * Vincent Waller: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director/Technical Director (2005—)
    * Alan Smart: Animation Director
    * Tom Yasumi: Animation Director
    * Andrew Overtoom: Animation Director
    * Sean Dempsey: Animation Director



    * SpongeBob SquarePants - A square sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. He works at the Krusty Krab with his boring neighbor Squidward.
    * Squidward Tentacles - A hostile squid that lives in an Easter Island moai between the domiciles of SpongeBob and Patrick. Although loved by the other characters, Squidward appears pessimistic and antisocial.
    * Patrick Star - A cheerful, naive and unintelligent starfish; SpongeBob's best friend. He lives under a rock to the left of Squidward's house.
    * Sandy Cheeks - Another friend of SpongeBob's, Sandy is an athletic squirrel from Texas. She wears an old spacesuit and lives in the "Treedome" so that she can survive Bikini Bottom's ocean environment. She gets mean at SpongeBob and Patrick when they (SpongeBob & Patrick) kidnapped/captured her and other residents of Bikini Bottom in "Sandy's Rocket". The reason why SpongeBob and Patrick kidnapped the residents was that they're believing they're (Sandy and other Bikini Bottom residents) aliens.
    * Eugene H. Krabs - The money-addicted, miserly owner of the Krusty Krab. Commonly known as Mr. Krabs, he is SpongeBob and Squidward's boss. He lives in an anchor with his daughter Pearl, who is literally as big as a whale.
    * Gary - SpongeBob's pet Snail. Very intelligent, as revealed in the episode "Sleepy Time." Gary actually wears shoes, and taught SpongeBob how to tie his shoes. Gary also has a record player in his shell.
    * Sheldon J. Plankton - The owner of the restaurant The Chum Bucket and Mr. Krabs' main rival. Usually referred to by his surname, Plankton, he has one eye with a red iris. He is determined to steal the secret Krabby Patty formula from The Krusty Krab and run Mr. Krabs out of business. The Chum Bucket looks like a big bucket, with a hand grasping the handle. The Words "The Chum Bucket" are written in red on the front of it.

See also minor characters in SpongeBob SquarePants.


All episodes are shown in correct production order.

Season One (1999-2000)

    * Help Wanted / Reef Blower / Tea at the Treedome
    * Bubblestand / Ripped Pants
    * Jellyfishing / Plankton!
    * Naughty Nautical Neighbors / Boating School
    * Pizza Delivery / Home Sweet Pineapple
    * Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy / Pickles
    * Hall Monitor / Jellyfish Jam
    * Sandy's Rocket / Squeaky Boots
    * Nature Pants / Opposite Day
    * Culture Shock / F.U.N.
    * MuscleBob BuffPants / Squidward the Unfriendly Ghost
    * The Chaperone / Employee of the Month
    * Scaredy Pants / I Was a Teenage Gary
    * SB-129 / Karate Choppers
    * Sleepy Time / Suds
    * Valentine's Day / The Paper
    * Arrgh! / Rock Bottom
    * Texas / Walking Small
    * Fools in April / Neptune's Spatula
    * Hooky / Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II


Season Two (2000-2001)

    * Your Shoe's Untied / Squid's Day Off
    * Something Smells / Bossy Boots
    * Big Pink Loser / Bubble Buddy
    * Dying for Pie / Imitation Krabs
    * Wormy / Patty Hype
    * Grandma's Kisses / Squidville
    * Pre-Hibernation Week / Life of Crime
    * Christmas Who?
    * Survival of the Idiots / Dumped
    * No Free Rides / I'm Your Biggest Fanatic
    * Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III / Squirrel Jokes
    * Pressure / The Smoking Peanut
    * Shanghaied / Gary Takes a Bath (aired in 2003)
    * Welcome to the Chum Bucket / Frankendoodle
    * The Secret Box / Band Geeks
    * The Graveyard Shift / Krusty Love (aired in 2002)
    * Procrastination / I'm With Stupid
    * Sailor Mouth / Artist Unknown
    * Jellyfish Hunter / The Fry Cook Games
    * Squid on Strike / Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm


Season Three (2002-2004)

    * The Algae's Always Greener / SpongeGuard On Duty
    * Club SpongeBob / My Pretty Seahorse
    * The Bully / Just One Bite
    * Nasty Patty / The Idiot Box
    * Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV / Doing Time
    * Snowball Effect / One Krabs' Trash
    * As Seen on TV (SpongeBob episode) / Can You Spare a Dime?
    * No Weenies Allowed / Squilliam Returns
    * Krab Borg / Rock-a-Bye Bivalve
    * Wet Painters / Krusty Krab Training Video
    * Party Pooper Pants
    * Chocolate With Nuts / Mermaid Man And Barnacle Boy V
    * New Student Starfish / Clams
    * SpongeBob B.C. (Before Comedy)
    * The Great Snail Race / Mid-Life Crustacean
    * Born Again Krabs / I Had An Accident
    * Krabby Land / The Camping Episode
    * Missing Identity / Plankton's Army
    * The Sponge Who Could Fly
    * SpongeBob Meets The Strangler / Pranks a Lot


Season Four (2005-)

    * Fear of a Krabby Patty / Shell of a Man
    * The Lost Mattress / Krabs vs. Plankton
    * Skill Crane / Good Neighbors
    * Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy VI / Squidward's History
    * Selling Out / Funny Pants
    * Have You Seen This Snail?
    * Uncle Sherm's Visit / Srambled Genes
    * Puny Love / Krabby Tunes


Future seasons

Writers for SpongeBob have confirmed that the show will have a fifth season, however, no planned episode list is done. Season six is also possible.

Feature films

    * The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

"Note: Soon there will be a theatrical release of a Fairly Odd Parents The New Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius SpongeBob SquarePants crossover."

DVD, VHS, and video games


Themed DVDs

    * Nautical Nonsense and Sponge Buddies
    * SpongeBob SquarePants Halloween
    * Sea Stories
    * Tales from the Deep
    * Lost at Sea
    * Tide and Seek
    * SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas
    * The Seascape Capers
    * SpongeBob Goes Prehistoric
    * SpongeGuard on Duty (DVD)
    * Sponge for Hire
    * Home Sweet Pineapple (DVD)
    * Fear of a Krabby Patty
    * Absorbing Favorites (coming September 20, 2005)
    * Where's Gary? (coming November 15)

Themed VHS

    * Nautical Nonsense
    * Sponge Buddies
    * Halloween
    * Sea Stories
    * Bikini Bottom Bash
    * Deep Sea Sillies
    * The Sponge Who Could Fly
    * Anchors Away
    * Laugh Your Pants Off
    * Sponge-a-Rama
    * Christmas
    * The Seascape Capers
    * SpongeBob Goes Prehistoric
    * SpongeGuard on Duty
    * Sponge for Hire
    * Home Sweet Pineapple
    * Fear of a Krabby Patty
    * Absorbing Favorites (coming September 20, 2005)
    * Where's Gary (coming November 15)

Blockbuster Video Exclusives (VHS)

    * Undersea Antics Vol. 1 (Kidmongous)
    * Undersea Antics Vol. 2 (Kidmongous)

Season Box Sets (only on DVD)

    * SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season
    * SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Second Season
    * SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Third Season (coming September 27, 2005)
    * SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Fourth Season (coming in 2006 or 2007) (?)

Movie (VHS and DVD)

    * The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie


Spin off series

Astrology With Squidward is a spin-off short from, SpongeBob SquarePants. It features the character Squidward explaining astrological stereotypes, through characters on the show.

Featured characters have included:

    * Patrick: Taurus (stereotype: thick-headed)
    * SpongeBob: Sagittarius (stereotype: overly enthusiastic, optimistic, and foolish)
    * Plankton: Scorpio (stereotype: diabolical and plotting), among others


Video Games

    * GBA Video: SpongeBob SquarePants Volume 1 (Gameboy Advance)
    * GBA Video: SpongeBob SquarePants Volume 2 (Gameboy Advance)
    * GBA Video: SpongeBob SquarePants Volume 3 (Not Yet Released) (GBA)
    * Spongebob Squarepants Dual Pack (GBA)
    * Lights, Camera, PANTS! (Not Yet Released) (GCN, GBA, PS2, Xbox, DS)
    * The Yellow Avenger (Not Yet Released) (DS)
    * Revenge Of The Flying Dutchman (PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, GBA)
    * The Legend Of The Lost Spatula (GBC)
    * SuperSponge (PS, GBA)
    * Battle For Bikini Bottom (PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, GBA, PC)
    * The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (PS2, Gamecube, Xbox, GBA, PC)
    * Spongebob Squarepants Saves the Day (Leapster)

Crossover Games

    * Nicktoons Racing (PS1, PC, GBC, GBA)
    * Nickelodeon Party Blast (GCN, PS2, Xbox, PC)
    * Nicktoons: Freeze Frame Frenzy (GBA)
    * Nicktoons Movin' (PS2)
    * Nicktoons Unite! (Not yet released) (GCN, PS2, GBA, DS)
    * The JAM Team Movie (Not yet released) (GBA, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC)

External links


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