* AdoredByTheNetwork: The poster child for this trope. Currently Nickelodeon's top show, and they've obviously decided to [[CashCowFranchise milk it for all its worth.]]
* CashCowFranchise: Within its first 10 years, ''Spongebob'' made over 8 BILLION DOLLARS in revenue. No doubt that it's still making more.
* CrossDressingVoices: Patrick and Mermaid Man are voiced by Ikuko Tani (an old lady) in Japanese; Plankton, however, is voiced by Chie Matsuraa, a young woman who doesn't even try to match Plankton's English voice.
** Zig-zagged with Mermaid Man in Japan; he has been voiced by IkukoTani (Patrick), but also by RokuroNaya (Squidward) and Keijin Okuda (Mr. Krabs).
* TheDanza: In "Mermaid Man Begins", the real names of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are revealed to be Ernie and Tim. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy are voiced by Creator/ErnestBorgnine and Tim Conway, respectively.
* {{Defictionalization}}:
** Fans on 4chan have also [[http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m9kmr8uGjx1rrvz01o1_1280.jpg theorized]] and [[http://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/bossy-delux-9.jpg constructed]] the Double Triple Bossy Deluxe [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A67YpUs6sQ from "Pickles"]]. [[note]][[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking They forgot the pickles, though...]][[/note]]
** A real life Krusty Krab restaurant is opening [[http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/krusty-krab-iconic-spongebob-squarepants-restaurant-open-above-water-palestine-1454178 in Palestine(!).]]
* DevelopmentGag: Mr. Lawrence originally auditioned for the role of Spongebob, using the same voice he'd eventually use for Plankton. That deep, heroic voice Spongebob occasionally dips into? That's Creator/TomKenny imitating Lawrence's original voice for his own amusement.
* EnforcedMethodActing: Tom Kenny actually ''was'' very sick when recording Spongie's sniffly, sneezy dialogue in "Suds."
* ExecutiveMeddling: It has saved the show from two series finales. [[WesternAnimation/TheSpongeBobSquarePantsMovie The movie]] was intended to be a GrandFinale for the series, but the possibility was later pushed to the "Spongebob's Last Stand" special. The show was continued since it was very close to dethroning {{WesternAnimation/Rugrats}} as the longest running Nicktoon. It eventually did bypass the series when it aired episode 173.
* IronyAsSheIsCast: Music/DavidBowie as Lord Royal Highness in Atlantis [=SquarePantis=]. He's the only character that doesn't have his own musical number in that episode.
* MissingEpisode: Due to being holiday-themed, "[[HalloweenEpisode Scaredy Pants]]," "[[ValentinesDayEpisode Valentine's Day]]," and "[[ChristmasEpisode Christmas Who?]]" only air a few times a year around their respective holidays. Consequently, the first two's sister episodes, "I Was a Teenage Gary" and "The Paper," are also rarely seen.
* NonSingingVoice: Ever wonder why Mr. Krabs sounds so weird when he sings in "Welcome to the Chum Bucket"? Yes, that's Creator/DeeBradleyBaker singing, not Creator/ClancyBrown though he does his own singing in all other episodes.
** Though [=SpongeBob=] often sings in his normal voice, on special occasions he shows off a fantastic singing voice that sounds nothing like him, with him being voiced by a different guest singer every time.
* TheOtherDarrin: Man Ray's first appearance in ''"Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy III"'' was voiced by John Rhys-Davies. Man Ray's subsequent appearances have been voiced by Bob Joles.
** The voices of the background fish change a lot.
** In the SpongeBob video game ''Battle For Bikini Bottom'', Mr. Krabs and Mermaid Man were voiced by Joe Whyte instead of Creator/ClancyBrown and Ernest Borgnine for unknown reasons.
** Speaking of Mermaid Man, in ''Lights, Camera, Pants!'' Ernest Borgnine is again absent, being replaced by Joe Alaskey.
** Patrick's original German voice, Marco Kroeger, left in 2013 and was replaced by Fritz Rott. Due to AuthorExistenceFailure, Squidward's German and Japanese voice actors had to be replaced as well.
* ProductionPosse: Many of the writers, artists and actors Stephen Hillenberg had become friends with through ''WesternAnimatoon/RockosModernLife'' migrated over to this show with him.
* RealLifeRelative: Karen may be married to Plankton in the show, but her voice actress, Jill Talley, is married to Tom Kenny. Unfortunately, their characters hardly ever interact with each other.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: "Reef Blower" was completely pantomime because of a faulty sound system.
** Tom Kenny's acting in "Suds" wasn't just acting -- according to an interview in Nick Magazine, he was actually very sick when he recorded the dialogue.
* RecursiveAdaptation: The TieInNovel ''For the Love of Bubbles'' was [[TheFilmOfTheBook adapted into]] the episode "What Ever Happened to [=SpongeBob=]?" which was in turn [[{{Novelization}} adapted into]] the tie-in novels ''[=WhoBob WhatPants?=]'' and ''My Name is [=CheeseHead=]''.
* RecycledScript: A few old episodes of the show seem to have recycled plots from other Nicktoons. "Toy Store of Doom", for example, has essentially the same plot as the ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' episode "Toy Palace" (they get locked in a closed toy store and are afraid the toys will attack them), while "Banned in Bikini Bottom" (Krabby Patties are outlawed and Mr. Krabs starts selling them at [=SpongeBob=]'s house secretly) is similar to the WesternAnimation/CatDog episode "Just Say [=CatDog=] Sent You".
** "Picture Day" has a recycled script from an episode of a Disney show: the ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' episode "One Stayed Clean". "Big Pink Loser" is also ''extremely'' similar to "Copycat Kid".
** "Sailor Mouth" is very similar to [[WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}} "Bleeped"]], but airs ''much'' more frequently.
** "Squid Defense" is very similar to the ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' episode "Mugged".
** "Face Freeze" is similar to season 1 episode "Hooky", wherein Spongebob and Patrick are tempted to do something Mr. Krabs told them not to. One could argue that "Karate Choppers" is about that as well, albeit with Spongebob and Sandy instead, but it's the set-up and pacing that make the first two examples so similar to each other. (To be fair, "Karate Choppers" had that [[MemeticMutation hot sauce drop with a face]]...)
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: On their Nicktoons channel, as it only airs when most people are asleep. You were probably confused when you saw this trope on this page if you don't get Nicktoons. (That's probably because they don't ''need'' to air it on Nicktoons.)
* {{Spoiler}}: The Dish Network description for "Doing Time" is "[[AccidentalMisnaming Ms. Puff]] imagines going to jail for [=SpongeBob=]," which spoils the [[AllJustADream ending]].
* TalkingToHimself: Creator/TomKenny doing many additional voices can usually result in this. The episode "Gary Takes a Bath" is basically 11 minutes of Tom Kenny talking to himself.
** In the Swedish dub, there is Squidward with Squilliam and Spongebob with his cousin Stanley.
* TropeNamer:
** IveHeardOfThatWhatIsIt
** NoMatterHowMuchIBeg
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: The pre-movie episodes, especially the first season which makes references to the pre-cell phone era. Many early episodes also reference the Krusty Krab being closed on Sundays at a time where many American businesses were also doing the same thing.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Apparently Spike TV asked if the creator would be willing to make a DarkerAndEdgier [=SpongeBob=] show on their network, where Patrick and [=SpongeBob=] would be a gay couple, ala ''[[WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon]]''. He declined.
** SpongeBob's spot in the Nicktoons roster was original meant for another cartoon, one that never happened due to the creator leaving Nickelodeon over office politics. That cartoon? ''Sniz and Fondue'' of ''WesternAnimation/KaBlam''.
** Early production sketches indicate the cast was originally human.
** Spongebob was originally designed to resemble [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sponge#/media/File:Aplysina_archeri_(Stove-pipe_Sponge-pink_variation).jpg an actual sea sponge]], but Stephen Hillenberg couldn't do an appealing caricature of one. He went with a synthetic sink sponge instead to give the character a "[[StealthPun squeaky clean nerd]]" appearance, as well as to imply that he's "a square peg trying to fit into a round hole."
** The creator also wanted to call him Sponge Boy until he learned the name was trademarked. This appears in a MythologyGag where Mr. Krabs says "Sponge boy, me Bob!"
** The name of the Krabby Patty was originally going to be the Barnacle Burger.
** "Reef Blower" was originally intended to have dialogue, but [[RealLifeWritesThePlot became a dialogue free episode due to the sound equipment being damaged]].
** Mr. Lawrence auditioned for the role of Spongebob, using the same voice he'd later use for Plankton.
** Storyboards for the controversial episode "Someone's in the Kitchen with Sandy" actually had Sandy getting naked as opposed to just [[FullyClothedNudity her bra and panties]].
** The infamous TVMovie "Atlantis Squarepantis" was originally intended to be an 11-minute Spongebob and Patrick episode, [[ExecutiveMeddling until Nickelodeon asked the team to turn it a TV Movie about going to Atlantis, which would explain the rushed quality of the "film".]]
** The original draft of "Something Smells" had Spongebob gaining his rancid breath from onion-flavored ice cream, but the writers decided that having it be self-inflicted was funnier.
** Barnacle Boy was originally a character called "Barnacle Bill", a salty old sailor who's body is a piece of log with his head sticking out, similar to Seamus from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. While he never appears in the show, he's the titular character two-part comic "The Ballad of Barnacle Bill" in the Spongebob comic.
* WordOfGod: Stephen Hillenburg has made it perfectly clear that [=SpongeBob=] [[{{Asexuality}} does not feel sexual attraction]]. He also adds that Spongebob has a chaste crush on Sandy.
** In terms of the series itself WordOfGod also states that in spite of the series continuing to this day; the original team members and the Hillenburg himself say that the first theatrical movie is the end of Spongebob's story.
* WriterRevolt: According to [[WordOfDante Mr. Lawrence]], the show was at least partially conceived out of Stephen Hillenberg's frustration over having several gags and stories he'd come up with during his tenure on ''WesternAnimaton/RockosModernLife'' get vetoed.
* WriteWhatYouKnow: In addition to his history as a marine biologist influencing the show's universe, Stephen Hillenburg based the Krusty Krab on an actual nautical-themed burger joint he worked at as a teenager, with his "old sea dog" boss serving as [[WriteWhoYouKnow the inspiration of Mr. Krabs]]. The call-and-response theme song was based on one of the restaurant's gimmicks where the wait staff dressed up as sailors and lead the children in sea shanties, usually beginning with "Are you ready kids!" to which the children were expected to respond "Aye aye, captain!"
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