SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television created by the late, great marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures and endeavors of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series' popularity has made it a media franchise, as well as the highest rated series to ever air on Nickelodeon, and the most distributed property of MTV Network. As of 2015, the media franchise has generated $12 billion in merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon.
Many of the ideas for the series originated in an unpublished educational comic book titled The Intertidal Zone, which Hillenburg created in 1989. He began developing SpongeBob SquarePants into a television series in 1996 upon the cancellation of Rockos Modern Life, and turned Tom Kenny, who had worked with him on that series, to voice the title character. SpongeBob was originally going to be named SpongeBoy, and the series was to be called SpongeBoy Ahoy!, but these were both changed, as the name was already trademarked.
Nickelodeon held a preview for the series in the United States on May 1, 1999, following the television airing of the 1999 Kid's Choice Awards. The series officially premiered on July 17, 1999. It has received worldwide critical acclaim since its premiere and gained enormous popularity by its second season.
NOTE: This article is about the entire series. For the post-sequel era, see SpongeBob SquarePants (Post Sequel Era, 2015-Present).
Why It Rocks Edit
- It is by far one of the best, most popular and most iconic cartoons out there.
- Has tons of great, hilarious and memorable episodes, such as "Help Wanted", "Band Geeks", "Club SpongeBob", "My Pretty Seahorse", "Dying for Pie", "That's No Lady", "The Camping Episode", "Wet Painters", "Pizza Delivery", "Chocolate with Nuts", "Spy Buddies", "Karate Island", "Pickles", "The Fry Cook Games", "Karate Choppers", "Your Shoe's Untied", "Sand Castles in the Sand", "Plankton Paranoia", "Sailor Mouth", "Mimic Madness", "Feral Friends", "Chum Bucket Supreme", "No Free Rides", "Clams", "Friend or Foe", "Krusty Towers", "Fear of a Krabby Patty", "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve", "Suction Cup Symphony", "Mind the Gap", "F.U.N.", "Roller Cowards", "Not Normal", "Idiot Box", "Mid-Life Crustacean", "My Leg!", "FarmerBob", "Karen's Virus", "Planet of the Jellyfish", "Something Smells", "Gary Takes a Bath", "The Secret Box", "Have You Seen This Snail?", "Ripped Pants", "Life of Crime", "SB-129", "Rock Bottom", "Plankton's Pet", "Unreal Estate", "Evil Spatula", "Pest of the West", "SpongeBob's Last Stand", "Squid Noir", "Single Cell Anniversary", "One Krabs Trash", "Frankendoodle", "Shell of a Man", "Plankton Gets the Boot", "Prehibernation Week", "Goodbye, Krabby Patty?", "Skill Crane", "Imitation Krabs", "Doodle Dimension", "Best Day Ever" (depending on your view) and the list goes on.
- Has spawned countless memes, such as "Is mayonnaise an instrument?", "Hi, how are ya?", "No! This is Patrick!", "Who Put You on the Planet?" and "My leg!" (which has its one episode of the same name)
- Likable characters with distinct personalities.
- SpongeBob is a happy-go-lucky protagonist.
- Patrick is SpongeBob's dimwitted, but loyal best friend.
- Squidward is SpongeBob's vain and grouchy neighbor.
- Mr. Krabs is SpongeBob's greedy and money-loving boss.
- Plankton is a hot-tempered villain.
- Sandy is a smart and tough newcomer.
- Brilliant voice acting.
- Great songs, such as "Sweet Victory" in Band Geeks.
- Extremely clever, original, hilarious and self-aware humor.
- Nickelodeon animation in its purest form (especially in Seasons 2 onwards).
- It doesn't just use traditional animation. It also uses stop-motion in "It's a SpongeBob Christmas" and "Legends of Boo-kini Bottom" and CGI in the latter half of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The upcoming third movie is to be fully animated in CGI.
- It spawned two great theatrical films, with a third one coming in 2020.
- Very clever and creative title and time cards.
- Shares some elements with Rocko's Modern Life and The Ren & Stimpy Show.
- Has spawned tons of merchandise, such as DVDs, Clothes, Lunchboxes and the list goes on.
- The theme song.
- The post-sequel era has a lot of unique episode concepts that haven't been done before.
- Great use of fourth wall breaking and meta-referencing.
- It is the only Nickelodeon show from the 1990s to still be airing to this day.
- Memorable scenes, including the ending scene of Good Neighbors, where Squidward eventually gets punished for destroying the city, forcing himself to do community service every Sunday.
- It is also one of the American longest running children's programming behind Sesame Street and Arthur.
- The second movie saved the show after its decline in quality after the first movie. (See Reason #1 of the Bad Qualities section).
Bad Qualities Edit
- The series experienced a massive decline in quality during Seasons 6-8. While these seasons have a handful of good/decent episodes, like "Not Normal", "Suction Cup Symphony", "Chum Bucket Supreme", "Sand Castles in the Sand", "Perfect Chemistry", "Single Cell Anniversary", "House Fancy" and "Planet of the Jellyfish" (just to name a few), they're notorious for having tons of bad/awful episodes, such as "A Pal for Gary", "One Coarse Meal" (widely considered to be the worst episode of the series), "Oral Report", "Boating Buddies", "Squid's Visit", "The Splinter", "Pet Sitter Pat", "Demolition Doofus", "Yours, Mine and Mine", "Are You Happy Now?", "Patrick's Staycation", "Big Sister Sam", "Choir Boys", "Restraining SpongeBob", "Smoothe Jazz at Bikini Bottom", "Truth or Square", "Cephalopod Lodge", "Stuck in the Wringer" and the list goes on.
- While great, the animation isn't always perfect and has some occasional hiccups.
- Season 1's animation is good, though not as good as the animation in Season 2 onwards.
- Season 2's animation, while great, is filled with errors and some episodes have color inconsistencies (most notably the episodes with washed-out colors), similarly to Season 6, though this is understandable since this is the very first season to use digital ink-and-paint animation.
- Season 6 arguably has the worst animation in the series, as it suffers from washed out colors, unappealing character designs and way too much close up gross-out humor.
- Season 8's animation sometimes have framerate problems.
- Season 11's animation (while great) has tons of weird, over the top and cringeworthy facial expressions.
- The earlier seasons and some of the later ones have some adult jokes.
- There are even a handful of bad episodes before and after Seasons 6-8, such as "SquidBob TentaclePants", "Fungus Among Us", "Cuddle E. Hugs", "Squid Baby", "Little Yellow Book", "Ink Lemonade" (the worst episode of the post-sequel era so far; some fans even consider it to be the worst episode of the series), "SpongeBob, Your Fired", "Atlantis SquarePantis", "Sanctuary!", "The Fish Bowl", "Driven to Tears", "Rule of Dumb", "Whatever Happened to SpongeBob?", "I'm With Stupid", "Dumped", "I Was a Teenage Gary", "The Great Snail Race", "Squid Wood", "Good Neighbors" and so on.
- Stephen Hillenburg (creator of the show) passed away on November 26, 2018.