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Behold! The seasons that saved SpongeBob!

Since Season 9 (2012-present), Spongebob SquarePants massively redeemed itself after experiencing a massive decline in quality during Seasons 6-8 (2008-2012).

Note: This article will mainly focus on the ninth season onwards. For the first five seasons, see SpongeBob SquarePants.

Why These Seasons Rock

  1. These seasons are a huge improvement over Seasons 6-8 (the show's dark age), with improved writing and storylines, as well as bringing back the charm of the classic era.
  2. Stephen Hillenburg returned as executive producer in Season 9b after his departure from the series after the first movie and remained as an executive producer until his death on November 26, 2018.
  3. Along with Hillenburg, other crew members from the classic era return in Season 9b, like Sherm Cohen, Zeus Cervas and Kaz.
  4. The new animation is a major step up from that of previous seasons.
    • The revised character designs are impressive.
  5. The voice acting is still great.
  6. Clever, self aware humor, just like the classic era and even Seasons 4-5.
  7. This era has tons of creativity put into it, such as by using episode concepts that haven't been done before (some that you wouldn't even expect to be in SpongeBob). Even if the show has been going on for 2 decades now, it still hasn't run out of ideas.
  8. Characters who got flanderized during Seasons 6-8 have had their original personalities restored in these seasons.
  9. Has tons of good/great episodes like in the classic era and even Seasons 4-5, such as:
    • "Mimic Madness"
    • "My Leg!"
    • "Karen's Virus"
    • "Doodle Dimension"
    • "Lost in Bikini Bottom"
    • "Feral Friends"
    • "Squirrel Record"
    • "The Krusty Bucket"
    • "Unreal Estate"
    • "Plankton's Pet"
    • "Tutor Sauce"
    • "Mind the Gap"
    • "FarmerBob"
    • "What's Eating Patrick?"
    • "Mermaid Pants"
    • "Pat the Horse"
    • "Plankton Gets the Boot"
    • "Insecurity Guards"
    • "Patrick! The Game"
    • "It Came From Goo Lagoon"
    • "Burst Your Bubble"
    • "Biddy Sitting"
    • "Sharks vs. Pods"
    • "Dirty Bubble Returns"
    • "Mall Girl Pearl"
    • "SpongeBob in Randomland"
    • "Bulletin Board"
    • "Goodbye, Krabby Patty?"
    • "Handemonium"
    • "Pineapple Invasion"
    • "Old Man Patrick"
    • "Sandy's Nutty Nieces"
    • "Gary & Spot"
    • "Broken Alarm"
    • "Spin the Bottle"
    • "Life Insurance"
    • "Squid Noir"
    • "Scavenger Pants"
    • "Fun-Sized Friends"
    • "Sold!"
    • "The Executive Treatment"
    • "Squid Plus One"
    • "Moving Bubble Bass"
  10. SpongeBob's voice has returned to it's normal pitch since Season 3 (even after Season 7).
  11. The new HD theme song is great.
  12. The title and time cards are still good.
  13. Return of some classic characters who were absent for years, such as Patchy the Pirate, Potty the Parrot and Bubble Bass.
  14. Has some great songs, such as "Who Am I?", "Kung Fu Rock" and "My Leg Is In Love!"
  15. Gives minor characters major roles in certain episodes.
    • Bubble Bass has a major role in "Moving Bubble Bass".
    • Fred has a major role in "My Leg".
    • Mary's mother has a major role in "Biddy Sitting".
  16. Makes lots of references to the classic era.
    • The pictures of SpongeBob and Patrick on their badges in "FarmerBob" is a reference to their poses in "Mid-Life Crustacean".
    • Mr. Krabs' first dollar from "Wet Painters" makes an appearance in "Bottle Burglars".
    • The "Squidward Smells" graffiti from "Sailor Mouth" appears in "Mall Girl Pearl" and "The Nitwitting".
    • Flashbacks from some classic episodes ("Plankton!", "Welcome to the Chum Bucket", "The Algae's Always Greener", "F.U.N." and "Plankton's Army" are shown in "Karen's Virus".
    • In "Scavenger Pants", when SpongeBob and Patrick see the Badlands, they make the same surprised faces they make in the first movie.
    • Goofy Goober's Ice Cream Party Boat from the first movie appears in "Patnocchio" and "The Goofy Newbie".
    • The Tattletale Strangler from "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler" and Dennis from the first movie appear on posters in "Call the Cops".
    • Rock Bottom and the angler fish from "Rock Bottom" return in "Out of the Picture".
  17. These seasons rely on anything to be entertaining, such as modernism, realism, slapstick, meta humor and even the charm of the classic era.

Bad Qualities

  1. Some occasional bad episodes, such as:
    • "SpongeBob, You're Fired"
    • "Ink Lemonade" (the worst episode of these seasons so far)
    • "Cuddle E. Hugs"
    • "The Fish Bowl"
    • "Squid Baby"
    • "Jolly Lodgers"
    • "The Nitwitting"
    • "Sanctuary!"
    • "Little Yellow Book"
    • "Sportz?" (depending on your view)
    • "Out of the Picture"
    • "The String"
    • "Squirrel Jelly"
    • "SpongeBob's Bad Habit"
  2. The animation from Season 11 onwards, while still great, have some hiccups.
    • The animation can get a bit too wacky and fast paced at times.
    • The brighter colors, while nice to look at, can be over-stimulating for some.
    • The over-exaggerated facial expressions that the characters make can be distracting and cringeworthy. However, it has gotten toned down a bit since Season 13.
  3. While still great, the voice acting can get loud and obnoxious at times.
  4. Stephen Hillenburg sadly passed away on November 26, 2018.
  5. Because of Stephen Hillenburg passing away, some fans are worried that the series will go through another dark age since Seasons 6-8. Thankfully, this hasn't happened so far.
  6. Season 9 took a really long time to air. It premiered in July 2012 and didn't end until approximately five years later in February 2017.
  7. Like the classic era, there can be some adult jokes implemented at times, including Mr. Krabs twerking and Plankton saying "get b**t", though not nearly as much as the classic era.
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