"Aye aye, captain!"
A Nickelodeon animated series about a highly energetic sea sponge named SpongeBob 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 popular, iconic, and 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 and grumpy coworker Squidward Tentacles. He and his dimwitted best bud Patrick Star 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 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 and his talking computer wife Karen. They own a rival restaurant across the street called the Chum Bucket and go to desperate lengths to steal the successful the Krabby Patty formula. As proven time and time again, Failure Is the Only Option for them.
Other friends include Gary, SpongeBob's smart pet snail who communicates by meowing like a cat; Pearl, Mr. Krabs' teenage daughter who is a gigantic sperm whale; and Sandy Cheeks, 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 possible underwater as long as you don't point it out).
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 show, first broadcast in 1999, started out as the network's underdog, but eventually proved to be a HUGE success with both kids and adults: kids enjoyed the bright colors and appealing characters, while adults caught onto its quirky writing, wit, and a long list of parental bonuses and Getting Crap Past the Radar.
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, scheduled to release in 2021. 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.