Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

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If you were looking for the article about the character, then see SpongeBob SquarePants (character).

SpongeBob SquarePants, also simply referred to as SpongeBob, is an American cartoon comedy television series created by former marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. It is chronologically the tenth Nicktoon to debut. The series is produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio and United Plankton Pictures, Inc.

The series chronicles the adventures and endeavors of an accident-prone sea sponge named SpongeBob SquarePants, who lives in an underwater pineapple with his pet snail Gary and works as a fry cook at a fast-food restaurant called the Krusty Krab. His neighbors are his best friend, Patrick Star, and a grumpy octopus named Squidward Tentacles, who is SpongeBob's irritable co-worker. SpongeBob and Squidward work for a cheapskate crab named Eugene H. Krabs, who lives in an anchor house with his whale daughter, Pearl. SpongeBob is enrolled in a boat-driving school run by Mrs. Puff, a pufferfish, and often spends time with a thrill-seeking squirrel from Texas named Sandy Cheeks. The villains of the show are Plankton and his computer wife, Karen, who own a failing restaurant called the Chum Bucket, which is across the street from the Krusty Krab.

The series was first broadcast on May 1, 1999, as a "sneak peek" after the Kids' Choice Awards. It officially began airing on July 17 of the same year. The show was initially only greenlit for 6 half-hour episodes (twelve total segments); creator Stephen Hillenburg said, "I thought if it did go to a full season that we'd get twelve chances to write stories and that might be it...twelve shows and get cancelled."[3] To his surprise, the show became a ratings success, and it has since run for 13 seasons.


Main article: List of episodes
Season Episodes Premiere Finale Showrunner
1 20 May 1, 1999 March 3, 2001 Stephen Hillenburg
2 October 20, 2000 July 26, 2003
3 October 5, 2001 October 11, 2004
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
4 20 May 6, 2005 July 24, 2007 Paul Tibbitt
5 February 19, 2007 July 19, 2009
6 26 March 3, 2008 July 5, 2010
7 July 19, 2009 June 11, 2011
8 March 26, 2011 December 6, 2012
9 July 21, 2012 February 20, 2017 Paul Tibbitt
Vincent Waller
Marc Ceccarelli
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Paul Tibbitt
10 11 October 15, 2016 December 2, 2017 Vincent Waller
Marc Ceccarelli
11 26 June 24, 2017 November 25, 2018
12 November 11, 2018 TBA
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Tim Hill
13 26 October 22, 2020 TBA Vincent Waller
Marc Ceccarelli


Conch Street.

The series is set in an underwater city named Bikini Bottom, which is located on the floor of the Pacific Ocean beneath Bikini Atoll. The citizens are mostly fish of different colors who live in ship funnels and drive boatmobiles. Main locations within Bikini Bottom include Conch Street, the Krusty Krab, and the Chum Bucket, Mrs. Puff's Boating School, Sandy's treedome, Jellyfish Fields, and Goo Lagoon. Special episodes of the show are usually presented from Patchy's house in Encino, California.

Bubbles are seen whenever something moves quickly, and they fill the screen to transition between scenes. As a cartoon, it includes many unrealistic occurrences that could not happen underwater: fires, tears, rain, flooding a building, inhabitants drinking liquids from glasses, bathtubs filled with what seems to be water, a seaside resort, and fish walking instead of swimming.


The show stars an ensemble cast of ten main characters, consisting of SpongeBob and his aquatic friends who live in Bikini Bottom.


SpongeBob SquarePants Porthole.png

SpongeBob is a yellow sea sponge. He is outgoing, optimistic, and passionate about life. He lives in a fully-furnished pineapple house. He loves his job as a fry cook at a fast-food restaurant called the Krusty Krab. His greatest goal in life is to earn his boat-driving license. He has been diligently attending Mrs. Puff's Boating School for years, but he never passes. He is best friends with Patrick and has a pet snail named Gary.

SpongeBob is voiced by Tom Kenny. Stephen Hillenburg originally called the character "SpongeBoy," but renamed him after finding out that the name was already used by a mop company. He originally drew SpongeBob in the shape of a natural sea sponge, but later decided that a "squeaky clean square" would fit SpongeBob's nerdy personality.[4]


SpongeBob SquarePants Patrick Porthole.png

Main article: Patrick Star

Patrick is a pink starfish. He lives under a rock and wears floral swim trunks. He is SpongeBob's best friend and spends his time without SpongeBob waiting for him to come back. Patrick is rather unintelligent and can make poor decisions that get both him and SpongeBob in trouble. Patrick's attitude is usually relaxed and easygoing, but when someone is mean to him or SpongeBob, he can get angry.

Patrick is voiced by Bill Fagerbakke. Stephen Hillenburg created Patrick as a "surfer dude" character who could hang out with SpongeBob during his time off from school and work. Hillenburg wanted to convey the behavior of starfish— slow-looking but capable of violent movement- in Patrick's demeanor.


SpongeBob SquarePants Squidward Porthole.png

Main article: Squidward Tentacles

Squidward is a turquoise octopus. He is SpongeBob's coworker at the Krusty Krab and lives in an Easter Island Head next door to him. Squidward loves to paint self-portraits and play his clarinet. He is usually grumpy because nobody recognizes his artistic talents. He often gets annoyed with SpongeBob's optimism, but truly appreciates SpongeBob's friendship at times.

Squidward is voiced by Rodger Bumpass. Stephen Hillenburg designed Squidward as an octopus because their bulbous heads give the look of an inflated sense of self-importance. Squidward is usually drawn with six limbs because giving him a full set of eight was too difficult to animate.[5] Squids have ten limbs and thin, triangular heads, unlike Squidward.

Mr. Krabs

SpongeBob SquarePants Mr Krabs Porthole.png

Main article: Eugene H. Krabs

Mr. Krabs is a red crab. He owns the Krusty Krab and is Pearl's single father. He lives with his daughter Pearl in a hollow anchor. He is obsessed with money and will do almost anything to make a profit, even if it means overworking his employees SpongeBob and Squidward. The only people who have more control over him than money are Pearl and his girlfriend, Mrs. Puff.

Mr. Krabs is voiced by Clancy Brown, best known for his extensive live-action filmography. Stephen Hillenburg disliked having a "big-name" actor on the show but felt that Brown's voice fit the character perfectly. Brown has defended Mr. Krabs as a character, saying he is "not a bad guy, just like your local banker or businessman. He loves Pearl too!"[6]


SpongeBob SquarePants Plankton Porthole.png

Main article: Sheldon J. Plankton

Plankton is a green copepod (a type of plankton). Along with his computer wife Karen, he runs a restaurant called the Chum Bucket across the street from the Krusty Krab. He sells food made from chum, which is bait made from fish meat. Because of this, the Chum Bucket rarely gets any customers. Plankton's goal is to steal the Krabby Patty formula and rule the fast-food world with Karen by his side. He is a skilled inventor, but his machines usually go wrong.

Plankton is voiced by Doug Lawrence, who is mainly an episode writer. Stephen Hillenburg had created Plankton as a potential villain for the show in 1997, but later feared that Plankton's stories would be repetitive and decided he would be better as a one-time character.[7] Doug Lawrence loved the character and used his writing skills and voice to prove that Plankton could work as a major antagonist.[8] Plankton and Karen were promoted to main cast members in the credits of the 2004 movie.


SpongeBob SquarePants Karen Porthole.png

Main article: Karen Plankton

Karen is a waterproof computer. She lives in the laboratory of the Chum Bucket, where she calculates evil plans to help her husband Plankton steal the Krabby Patty formula. She is the smartest resident of Bikini Bottom but sometimes feels that her intellect is wasted on Plankton. Karen has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. Despite being a machine, Karen has a wide range of emotions and cares a lot about Plankton deep down.

Karen is voiced by Jill Talley, who is married to Tom Kenny. Stephen Hillenburg named Karen after his wife, Karen Hillenburg. He based Karen's deadpan humor on his wife's personality, calling her "the funniest person I know."[9] Along with Plankton, Karen was promoted to a main cast member in the credits of the 2004 movie.


SpongeBob SquarePants Sandy Porthole.png

Main article: Sandy Cheeks

Sandy is a brown squirrel. She wears a diving suit and lives in an air-filled Treedome to breathe underwater. Sandy is a daredevil who loves practicing karate and extreme sports. Having come from the U.S. state of Texas, she talks with a Southern drawl and loves rodeos. She earns a living by working as a scientist.

Sandy is voiced by Carolyn Lawrence. Stephen Hillenburg stated in 2014 that he created Sandy as "a strong female character that could be a friend to SpongeBob but not a love interest." Tim Hill wanted to add a romantic aspect to the show when he helped Hillenburg with the series' pitch bible, but this did not end up occurring.

Mrs. Puff

SpongeBob SquarePants Mrs Puff Porthole.png

Main article: Mrs. Puff

Mrs. Puff is a beige pufferfish. She is SpongeBob's teacher at boating school. She knows everything about boats and how to drive them. Mrs. Puff is extremely determined and will stop at nothing to get SpongeBob his driver's license. After so many years with SpongeBob as her perpetual student, she has become paranoid and prone to outbursts. She is always trying to come up with new lessons that could help SpongeBob succeed, but they never work.

Mrs. Puff is voiced by Mary Jo Catlett. Stephen Hillenburg called Mrs. Puff the "most important" character to the series' history.[10] In 1997, Nickelodeon told him that they would only produce the show if SpongeBob was a kid who went to school, with his teacher as a main character.[10] As a compromise, Hillenburg created Mrs. Puff's Boating School, which introduced a teacher to the main cast while keeping SpongeBob as an adult.[11]


SpongeBob SquarePants Pearl Porthole.png

Main article: Pearl Krabs

Pearl is a gray-colored sperm whale. She is a self-conscious teenager who just wants to fit in with the fish of Bikini Bottom. Because she is so big, she has a hard time blending in. Pearl usually stomps around and shakes the seafloor below her. She is Mr. Krabs' daughter and lives with him in their hollow anchor house.

Pearl is voiced by Lori Alan. Stephen Hillenburg was inspired to create Pearl while working as a tour guide for whale watches at the Ocean Institute. He named Pearl as his favorite character and often tried to suggest story ideas about Pearl when he visited the writer's room.[10] Hillenburg was strongly against revealing the identity of Pearl's mother and kept it a secret throughout the show.[12]


SpongeBob SquarePants Gary Porthole.png

Main article: Gary the Snail

Gary is a light blue sea snail with a pink shell. He lives with SpongeBob in their pineapple home. Gary's mannerisms are based on a housecat, and he meows to communicate with others. SpongeBob can seemingly understand Gary and often sees him as a voice of reason.

Gary's meows are provided by Tom Kenny. His speaking voice in "Sleepy Time" is provided by Dee Bradley Baker, and his translation collar in "Chatterbox Gary" is voiced by Keith David. Gary was not featured in Stephen Hillenburg's original drawings for the show; he was added as a new character during the production of the pilot.

Recurring characters

Special episodes of the show are hosted by a live-action pirate named Patchy and his pet parrot Potty. Patchy is the president of a fictional SpongeBob fan club and dreams of meeting SpongeBob himself. Potty is a crude marionette puppet who likes to make fun of Patchy's enthusiasm and causes trouble for him. An unseen scuba diver called the French Narrator often introduces episodes and narrates the time cards. His voice is a reference to the oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, who was an idol to Stephen Hillenburg.

Recurring guest characters appear throughout the series, such as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, a pair of elderly, semi-retired superheroes of whom SpongeBob and Patrick are big fans. Bikini Bottom is sometimes haunted by a pirate ghost called the Flying Dutchman, who glows green and owns a floating pirate ship. The sea is ruled by a merman god named King Neptune, who lives in a palace with his family. News in Bikini Bottom is usually presented by a field reporter named Perch Perkins and a newsreader, the Realistic Fish Head, some characters such as Larry the Lobster, Fred, and Old Man Jenkins were originally background characters, but got more major roles in future episodes.


A Comic-Con poster signed by some of the main cast members.

Main article: List of cast members
Main cast
Supporting cast
Guest roles
Main article: List of guest stars
Musical guests


Main article: List of spin-offs

Brian Robbins, the current president of Nickelodeon, announced on February 14, 2019 that multiple SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off shows were in development. The spin-offs will tell new stories for SpongeBob and his friends, as well as introduce new characters into the franchise.[13]

In a 2019 press release, Brian Robbins said he feels there is an avenue to "tell an original story about SpongeBob and Patrick, or maybe tell a Sandy Cheeks stand-alone story, or can Plankton have his own? I think the fans are clamoring for it." He further said "That's our Marvel Universe... You have this amazing show that's run for almost twenty years."[13] These spinoffs could take the form of new series, specials, and feature-length movies.[14]

On June 4, 2019, it was announced that the series' first-ever spin-off was in development under the working title of Kamp Koral.[15] The plot will focus on a 10-year-old SpongeBob and his friends at the titular camp located in the Kelp Forest, where they spend the summer catching jellyfish, building campfires, and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck.[16][17] It serves as a tie-in to the animated film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.[18]

On February 19, 2020, it was announced that the series had been given an official title of Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years.[19] On July 30, 2020, it was announced that the series would be released on Paramount+ (at the time CBS All Access), the ViacomCBS streaming service, in early 2021.[20][21] On January 28, 2021, it was announced that the series would premiere on March 4, 2021.[22]

On November 13, 2019, it was reported that a "music-based" Squidward spin-off was in development for Netflix.[23] But in July 2020 however, in tweets by Vincent Waller on Twitter confirmed that the Squidward spin-off is fake and not real.[24][25][26]

On March 4, 2020, ViacomCBS announced that it will be producing two spin-off films based on the series for Netflix.[27]

On August 10, 2020, it was reported that a Patrick Star talk show titled The Patrick Star Show was in development with a 13-episode order. The show is similar to other talk shows such as The Larry Sanders Show and Comedy Bang! Bang![28][29][30] The series premiered on Nickelodeon on July 9, 2021,[31] with the series set to be available on Paramount+ later on.[32]



SpongeBob SquarePants Original Theme Clip 1997

  • The original 1997 version of "Help Wanted" featured an opening with a different theme song. The show's current theme song had not been written at the time.[33]
  • The show was originally rated TV-Y from seasons 1-4. It is now rated TV-Y7.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is the second longest-running Nickelodeon series and the longest-running Nickelodeon animated series. Nickelodeon's longest-running show, in general, is Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, which ran for 23 years from 1992 to 2015.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is the first Nickelodeon cartoon to reach its eleventh season.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is the second longest-running ViacomCBS animated series in general, behind South Park.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is the second longest-running children's animated series in the U.S., behind Arthur.
  • Unlike most other SpongeBob SquarePants international dubs, the Dutch, European Portuguese, Filipino, Hindi, Indonesian, Irish, Malay, and Urdu versions retain the original English title.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has won 13 consecutive Favorite Cartoon Awards and 19 overall awards at the Kids Choice Awards. The series won 2 awards in 2015, one for Favorite Cartoon and one for Favorite Animated Animal Sidekick (Patrick Star).
    • The series’ win streak started in 2009 and is still ongoing.
  • Seasons 1-11 of SpongeBob SquarePants are currently available on the Paramount+ streaming service.
  • Ever since the cancellation of CatDog in 2005, SpongeBob SquarePants is the only remaining 1990s series on Nickelodeon currently on the air and in production.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is the most distributed property of ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks.
  • In earlier seasons of the show, there was often a distinct echo sound effect of characters who would be yelling at someone else far away, such as in Jellyfish Jam, when SpongeBob was introducing his new pet jellyfish to Squidward. Similarly, earlier seasons also had an (rather prominent) ambient underwater wooshing sound effect playing during quiet moments, but the sound effect has gotten much quieter over time, to the point where most episodes don't use it anymore, and same goes for the echo effect from characters shouting.

The SpongeBob cast accepting the award for Favorite Cartoon at the 2015 Kids Choice Awards.

  • According to tweets by Vincent Waller on Twitter, it takes approximately anywhere from 5 months to 9 months to make a single episode.[34][35][36]

See also

External links


  1. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRPep55zMCE&t=17s
  2. ^ https://www.vulture.com/2018/11/spongebob-squarepants-stephen-hillenburg-legacy.html
  3. ^ TBI Vision interview
  4. ^ Makin' Toons
  5. ^ Case of the Sponge "Bob"
  6. ^ Clancy Brown interview
  7. ^ Meet the voice behind a 'SpongeBob' character
  8. ^ Big Pop Fun podcast: Mr. Lawrence
  9. ^ Biographies Today: Stephen Hillenburg
  10. ^ a b c Stephen Hillenburg, artist and animator
  11. ^ TBI Vision: Stephen Hillenburg
  12. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1154402000886304769
  13. ^ a b https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/nickelodeon-brian-robbins-spongebob-lego-paddington-john-cena-1203139534/
  14. ^ https://www.nickpress.com/press-releases/2019/02/14/nickelodeon-embarks-on-new-direction-with-its-biggest-most-wide-ranging-content-slate-ever-new-shows-are-all-that-and-much-more
  15. ^ https://deadline.com/2019/06/spongebob-squarepants-cg-animated-prequel-series-kamp-koral-greenlighted-nickelodeon-1202626441/
  16. ^ http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2019/06/04/nickelodeon-greenlights-kamp-koral-original-animated-spinoff-of-hit-series-spongebob-squarepants-104415/20190604nickelodeon02/
  17. ^ https://deadline.com/2019/06/spongebob-squarepants-cg-animated-prequel-series-kamp-koral-greenlighted-nickelodeon-1202626441/
  18. ^ https://deadline.com/2019/06/spongebob-squarepants-cg-animated-prequel-series-kamp-koral-greenlighted-nickelodeon-1202626441/
  19. ^ http://thefutoncritic.com/news/2020/02/19/nickelodeon-announces-voice-cast-for-kamp-koral-spongebobs-under-years-first-ever-spongebob-squarepants-spinoff-575101/20200219nickelodeon06/
  20. ^ https://deadline.com/2020/07/spongebob-squarepants-spinoff-kamp-koral-shifts-to-cbs-all-access-as-nickelodeon-library-shows-arrive-1202998734/
  21. ^ http://thefutoncritic.com/news/2020/07/30/viacomcbs-debuts-expanded-and-enhanced-cbs-all-access-370101/20200730cbs01/
  22. ^ https://www.thewrap.com/spongebob-movie-sponge-on-the-run-release-paramount-plus-march-launch/
  23. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/13/business/media/netflix-nickelodeon-spongebob-squarepants.html
  24. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1279854012246880261
  25. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1286285132408614913
  26. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1299401138702229505
  27. ^ https://www.mediaplaynews.com/its-a-spongebob-squarepants-vision-at-viacomcbs/
  28. ^ https://deadline.com/2020/08/spongebob-squarepants-spinoff-series-the-patrick-star-show-set-nickelodeon-bill-fagerbakke-1203006633/
  29. ^ https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/spongebob-squarepants-spinoff-the-patrick-star-show-in-the-works-nickelodeon-1234730755/
  30. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1293044468086476800
  31. ^ https://deadline.com/video/nickelodeon-trailers-spongebob-squarepants-spinoff-the-patrick-star-show-middleman-post-premiere-date/
  32. ^ https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/spongebob-squarepants-patrick-star-nickelodeon-paramount-plus-1234921485/
  33. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNfLaA5uzUg
  34. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/639616200775888896
  35. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/726440072145334273
  36. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/897105593420308480
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International SpongeBob SquarePants series (VE)

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