This page is for the show; for the SpongeBob SquarePants franchise as a whole, see SpongeBob SquarePants.
Aye aye, captain!
I can't heeear you!
AYE, AYE, CAPTAIN!
A Nickelodeon animated series about a highly energetic sea sponge named SpongeBob (Tom Kenny) who lives in a pineapple under the sea. Absorbent and yellow and porous is he. And if nautical nonsense be something you- okay, you probably get it.
SpongeBob SquarePants is the tenth entry in the Nicktoons series of cartoons, and is easily the most long-running of them all. It is about the eponymous sea sponge, who is extremely optimistic as well as childish, naïve, yet kind-hearted. He works at the local Krusty Krab fast food restaurant with his greedy boss Eugene Krabs (Clancy Brown) and grumpy coworker/next-door neighbor Squidward Tentacles (Rodger Bumpass). He and his dimwitted best bud Patrick Star (Bill Fagerbakke) mistake their neighbor Squidward for a close friend, much to his chagrin.
SpongeBob dreams of obtaining his boating license but fails every driving test he takes, usually causing mass destruction and endangering his teacher Mrs. Puff (Mary Jo Catlett) in the process. While he may be a reckless driver, SpongeBob is a fantastic fry cook who serves delicious Krabby Patty burgers to the townspeople of Bikini Bottom. He also has a knack for saving the day from the tiny villain Sheldon J. Plankton (Mr. Lawrence) and his talking computer wife Karen (Jill Talley). They own a rival restaurant across the street called the Chum Bucket and go to desperate lengths to steal the successful Krabby Patty formula. As proven time and time again, Failure Is the Only Option for them.
Other friends include Gary (Kenny), SpongeBob's smart pet snail who communicates by meowing like a cat; Pearl (Lori Alan), Mr. Krabs' teenage daughter who is a gigantic sperm whale; and Sandy Cheeks (Carolyn Lawrence), SpongeBob's Texas-accented squirrel friend who lives in an underwater dome and ventures forth wearing a bubble-helmet diving suit.
The show is in a constant state of underwater bizarreness, frequently using the Rule of Funny (apparently a wood fire is a possible underwater as long as you don't point it out). Its sharp, clever writing helped the show gain a huge following outside of its intended audience.
Funnily enough, series creator Stephen Hillenburg had a degree in marine biology and worked as a marine science teacher before moving into animation. After failing to get a publisher for his comic book The Intertidal Zone, he decided to create a show about a sea sponge ("the weirdest animal," in his words) because he was really fed up with Small Taxonomy Pools.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie came out in 2004, and a second movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, was released in February 2015, with a third movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, released in March 2021. Four additional films are currently in development: a theatrical one, and three spin-offs focusing on other characters that will be released for Paramount+.
After the release of the first movie, Stephen Hillenburg stepped down from his position as showrunner and intended to end the franchise with a movie finale. Some Executive Meddling occurred, causing Nickelodeon to quickly renew the show for a fourth season. Paul Tibbitt, Hillenburg's good friend, took over as showrunner for Seasons 4-9. While he had varying input on episodes after the first movie, Stephen Hillenburg continued to be credited as an executive producer. Hillenburg would return to work on the series in January 2015, but would sadly pass away on November 26, 2018 from ALS.
In June of 2019, a CGI-animated spin-off, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years, was greenlit. Detailing SpongeBob's experience at summer camp as a 10-year-old alongside the rest of the Bikini Bottom crew, the series premiered on Paramount+ in March 2021. In August 2020, another spin-off series, The Patrick Star Show, was announced. Centering around Patrick and his family hosting a late-night talk show, it premiered on July 9, 2021 on Nickelodeon.
There have also been multiple video game adaptations of the show and a Broadway musical. For more information on the franchise as a whole, see the franchise page.
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Tropes with their own pages
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
- Early Installment Weirdness
- Eye Scream
- Family-Unfriendly Violence
- Gainax Ending
- Laser-Guided Karma
- Medium Blending
- My God, What Have I Done?
- No Ending
- Overly-Long Gag
- Parental Bonus
- Police Are Useless
- “Shaggy Dog” Story
- Stuff Blowing Up