Are you ready kids? Admit it, no matter how much time has passed, the SpongeBob Squarepants theme song will forever be ingrained in your head. Furthermore, you’ll surprise yourself when you find yourself singing along and still remember the lyrics to the catchy tune.
Since its premiere in 1999, the hit Nickelodeon series has been a core show for the network with its impressive resume. For over seventeen years, Spongebob has found great opulence on both the small and silver screens. With movies, apparel, and games, the character who infamously lives in a pineapple under the sea has rightfully become a household name.
After 204 episodes, the friends of Bikini Bottom have been an enjoyable form of entertainment for all generations. Despite the overzealous fans of the NickToon, many viewers would be shocked to learn of the few facts revolving around SpongeBob. While the creator, Stephen Hillenburg never intended to keep these facts a secret, many superfans may not be aware of the additional information that is connected to the overall accomplishments of the show.
So SpongeBob enthusiasts gather around with your Krabby Patty in hand as you read about the 15 Mind-blowing facts about the show that features the beloved quirky yellow sponge of Bikini Bottom.
15. The Lone Fish
Despite revolving around a cast of characters that live under the sea, it’s not hard to miss the fact that the core main characters of SpongeBob Squarepants aren’t fish. Seeing as fish make up majority of the marine population, it’s interesting that Hillenburg would decide to include a sponge, octopus, starfish, and a squirrel as its main characters. In fact, the only fish that has a decent amount of screen time is SpongeBob’s boat driving instructor, Ms. Puff. In order to keep diversity on the show, Hillenburg wanted an assembled cast comprised of different types of creatures. He and his team believed that too many fish on the show would get repetitive and give his writers a lack of creativity when it came to writing storylines. Having different types of characters is another reason as to why SpongeBob has had such great success. Not many other shows can pull off an explanation as to why a headstrong squirrel is crossing paths with marine life.
14. Bikini Bottom’s Legacy
The fictional town that is home to SpongeBob and his quirky group of friends, was inspired by the coral reef island that is located in the Marshall Islands. The creators used the name of the reef, Bikini Atoll, by incorporating it into SpongeBob’s city of Bikini Bottom. The atoll consists of 23 islands and was the location of many nuclear weapons. The United States had seven test sites where nuclear devices were detonated between 1946 and 1958. Due to the activity that occurred on the island, many SpongeBob fans have developed conspiracy theories that hint at the idea that SpongeBob and his fellow Bikini Bottom residents were the consequence of the bomb testing. That could be the explanation for why a squirrel ended up at the bottom of the ocean. Despite the theories, it’s not hard to miss the innuendo that is implied with the name of Bikini Bottom as the town’s name.
13. Family Affair
On the show, Plankton and SpongeBob are far from friends. In fact, Plankton is jealous of SpongeBob and the success that he and Mr. Krabs have found with the secret ingredient of the Krabby Patty. While Plankton tries his best to uncover the truth of what’s inside the infamous burger, Karen is always there to try and reel him back in. As his W.I.F.E (Wired Integrated Female Electroencephalograph), Karen is the main computer system and is often the source of Plankton’s many plans to steal from the Krusty Krab. However, in real life, the voice of Karen, Jill Talley, is married to Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob. When it came time to introduce Karen on the show, Kenny was very vocal about casting Talley to play the computer wife. Impressed with her talents, Hillenburg was happy to cast the wife of the man who is responsible for bringing the loveable yellow sponge to life.
12. Fred The Fish
This greenish-brown fish may not be one of the main characters of the SpongeBob Squarepants cast, but it is definitely the most memorable generic background character. It never fails that when something major goes down during an episode, the fish is there and screaming “My leg!” multiple times. After being seen most often eating at the Krusty Krab, his name was eventually revealed to be Fred. As one of the first background characters to be developed, Fred was only supposed to appear around Bikini Bottom as a devoted citizen at events. However, his popularity with his running “My leg!” gag was a big hit with viewers. Fans responded well to his outrageous outbursts which inspired the creators to give him a name and make him appear as much as possible throughout the series. His infamous tag line can be heard in many scenarios and even had a cameo in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water much to the delight of the audience.
11. The Mop With The Same Name
Before SpongeBob was dubbed SpongeBob, the creators referred to the vivacious yellow character as SpongeBoy. Throughout the early production content, the team developed a slightly altered storyline for Boy and even titled the show SpongeBoy Ahoy! Besides the name, another major difference that was specifically for this character was the fact that SpongeBoy wore a baseball cap that he wore everywhere he went. Despite the progress they made with this theme, the team ran into trouble when they were informed that the SpongeBoy name was legally trademarked as the name for a household mop. Due to the copyright troubles they would face if they decided to move ahead with their original concept, the creators had to reinvent the character and rename the show. Hillenburg was determined to keep the “sponge” component in the name of his lead character because he was afraid that young viewers would potentially mistake him for a block of cheese.
10. Celebrity Influences
Hillenburg was very specific about the direction he wanted SpongeBob Squarepants to follow in regards to separating it from other popular animated series. While the show starred many prominent voice actors in the business, he wasn’t too fond of the idea of having celebrities lend their voices to the show for guest characters. Hillenburg was afraid that if actors and singers were to join the cast, then his show would begin being compared to The Simpsons and he was avid about differentiating the two shows. Despite his earlier hesitations, he eventually welcomed many celebrities to the show. Johnny Depp was more than willing to appear on an episode of SpongeBob as Jack Kahuna Laguna. Following Depp’s lead, many additional celebrities such as Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, and David Bowie all voiced characters on the show. Remember Queen Amphitrite who SpongeBob and Patrick meet in season six? That royal character was voiced by none other than former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. The guest starring appearances from many big names in Hollywood did anything but hinder SpongeBob’s reputation; it made it a hit among all generations.
9. Employee Of The Month
It’s quite obvious to see the extreme dedication SpongeBob has for his job. In fact, if he could work there 24/7, he would. His passion for flipping burgers at the Krusty Krab is the type of work ethic that all employers are eager to see in their employees. Rightfully so, SpongeBob’s hunger for success at the grill has failed to go unrecognized by his boss, Mr. Krab. It was revealed in one of the opening scenes of the movie that SpongeBob has been named employee of the month for 374 consecutive months. Now, this is where things get dicey. Doing the math, 374 months would equate to 31 years. If this is the case, that would mean that SpongeBob would have had to begin working at the Krusty Krab since the day he was born. While that would be impossible, it’s safe to assume that the earliest he could have begun working at the restaurant would be at eighteen. That would mean that SpongeBob is just over fifty years old. This could be an assumption that would be acceptable, if it wasn’t for that fact that in one episode SpongeBob’s driver’s license was shown and revealed he was born in July of 1986. Therefore, it would be impossible for SpongeBob to receive the award for 374 consecutive months.
8. Patrick and Gary’s Surprising Connection
SpongeBob Squarepants has never been afraid to throw in outrageous plot twists into the series, but this shocking discovery has many scratching their heads in confusion. In the episode “Rule of Dumb” it was revealed through the royal family tree that Gary and Patrick are first cousins. This means that SpongeBob’s domesticated house pet, that possesses mirroring mannerisms of a cat, is related to its owner’s best friend. According to the royal family tree, Gary and Patrick’s fathers are brothers. In many episodes, it was suggested that Gary was adopted by SpongeBob and his family when he was a really young boy. Does this indicate that Gary and Patrick didn’t know each other growing up and are unaware that they are family? Perhaps. While they apparently share the same DNA, the two main characters couldn’t be more different. It is indicated that even though Gary is a snail, he is highly intelligent and it’s not easy to miss that Patrick isn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer.
7. The Dolphin Laugh
While SpongeBob has many elements to his personality, his notorious laugh is by far one of his most popular traits. Whether it’s deemed funny or annoying, it is part of SpongeBob that has refused to disappear throughout the series. A laugh that is more distinguishable than any other animated character, Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob revealed his secret to perfecting the perfect laugh. Wanting to keep the pitch of the laugh reasonably connected to the ocean, Kenny combines both the high pitched cry of a dolphin and seagull together. The combination of the two gives Kenny just the right kind of inspiration to perfect SpongeBob’s laugh. Hillenburg and Kenny both agreed that SpongeBob should have an iconic laugh that went along in tradition with the likes of Woody Woodpecker and Popeye. With his reasoning behind the secret of executing SpongeBob’s laugh, the sounds of a dolphin and seagull can both be recognized.
6. Personality Trifecta
When creating the protagonist of the series, Hillenburg was determined to develop the lead character with a bubbly personality that would ultimately be adored by the audience. SpongeBob’s creative director, Derek Drymon, knew that Hillenburg and his team wanted a young character that had an attitude that was very “boyish”. Essentially, they wanted SpongeBob to act like both an adult and a child. Their mission was to design a character with traits that was perceived as having multiple layers, rather than coming off very flat to the viewers. With that in mind, Hillenburg and his team modeled SpongeBob with three legendary comedians in mind; Jerry Lewis, Pee-Wee Herman, and Stan Laurel. They believed that the three entertainers each had qualities that would be complementary to the main character of the show. Basing SpongeBob’s personality with these three in mind, the creators were able to breed SpongeBob by absorbing the uniqueness and quirkiness of the three entertainers.
5. The Longest Running NickToon
Nickelodeon was a popular network for the 90s generation by airing and adding many successful shows to their resume. Joining the ranks of popular cartoons such as Rugrats and CatDog, SpongeBob Squarepants made its official premiere in 1999. Right away, the NickToon was a hit with audiences with its goofy and light-hearted storylines. Since its debut, SpongeBob Squarepants has went on to produce blockbuster movies, books, and apparel. The show has surpassed Rugratsès impressive 172 episodes long run, when it broadcasted its 200th episode before going on a hiatus to complete production for the second movie. As of now, SpongeBob Squarepants is the longest running NickToon currently on the air. The success it has found for almost 17 years is an impressive achievement for the network. For fans that were born and raised in the 90s, they appreciate the fact that they are able to still grasp the last remaining piece of their childhood as it continues to produce more content.
4. The Creator’s Inspiration
While the concept of the show may lead many people to believe that the NickToon hit was developed all in good fun, they would be shocked to know that they couldn’t be farther from the truth. Believe it or not, the creator of the show Stephen Hillenburg is actually a marine biologist. He has a degree in natural resource planning and used to teach Marine Biology courses at the Orange County Marine Institute. In addition to his passion for marine life, Hillenburg was also a talented artist who also went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts Degree in experimental animation. After a few years of teaching, Hillenburg decided to pursue a career in animation and eventually joined the Nickelodeon animated series Rocko’s Modern Life. It was then that he began to create the early ideas of SpongeBob, when we wrote a comic book about creatures of the sea. Hillenburg and his design team pitched the idea to Nickelodeon network in 1998 and a year later the show premiered.
3. The Truth About Squidward
For far more than a decade, viewers were certain that Bikini Bottom’s resident grouch, Squidward, was indeed a squid. No questions were raised on the basis of his identify, until it was revealed by the show’s creator that Squidward was an octopus, not a squid. Then why call a character SQUIDward, if he is actually an octopus? Makes no sense to the dedicated fans who were deceived by his name, but to add more fuel to the fire, Hillenburg also shared that Squidward actually has only six tentacles rather than the biologically correct eight. The creator said that two of the tentacles were not included because they felt that the full eight tentacles gave Squidward too much baggage and it was easier to animate that cartoon with less limbs. If these reasons were such concerns, the creators should have given Squidward a more accurate name (hint: OCTOward) to fit his true self, rather than making Spongebob Squarepants fans feel like their whole life has been a lie with this information.
2. “The Best Day Ever”
Despite finding a home on a popular children’s network, Spongebob Squarepants has no shame in sneaking in a few mature content references. One of the most popular episodes of the series is titled, “The Best Day Ever”. This particular episode aired during the 4th season as the 20th episode. Just let that sink in for a little bit. The best day ever occurred with the complementary numericals of 4 and 20. Get it now? While the episode didn’t include any additional references, it’s still pretty clear as to what the writers were hinting at. Being the typical selfless sea sponge that he is, Spongebob has to postpone his plans for that day in order to help his friends with their problems. In order to thank their friend for his help, Spongebob is thrown a production and he is able to sing his song “The Best Day Ever”. The connection of the episode and its title may have gone over the heads of viewers ten years ago, but there is no mistaking it now. It makes one think what activities Spongebob would have participated in if he didn’t have to help his friends instead.
1. Capital Vices
This fact might have gone unnoticed while watching the popular Nicktoon, but it makes a lot of sense in regards to the personalities of the main characters. Surprisingly enough, the 7 Deadly Sins accurately depict the depth of the characters and in return, it really makes the show work. Patrick was created around sloth, the sin for laziness, which is perfect considering that he lays under a rock most of the time and has the unwillingness to do anything. The sin, wrath, is Squidward for he represents the feelings of anger and hatred; which most of the time is directed at Spongebob. Seeing as Mr. Krabs desires money, his vice is greed. He even sang about the power of greed in the episode “Selling Out”. On the other hand, Plankton possesses the trait of envy because he is jealous of the success Mr. Krab has with the The Krusty Krab. Interesting enough, Gary portrays gluttony for his overindulgence of food which has been shown throughout the series. Obviously, Sandy takes a great deal of pride in herself and isn’t afraid to let anyone know that she believes she is better than others. Lastly, our dear friend Spongebob depicts lust due to the fact that he shows his love for others by being eager to help people. With these capital vices broken down, it’s clear to see that the characters include habits and personalities of immortality.