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 animated 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 sour octopus named Squidward Tentacles, the latter of whom 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 land named Sandy Cheeks. The villains of the show are Plankton and his computer wife, Karen, who owns 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 (12 total segments), but the first season was extended because it was cheaper to produce than Nickelodeon's other cartoons at the time.[citation needed] The series has since run for 13 seasons and two decades. SpongeBob SquarePants is the second longest-running Nickelodeon series and its popularity has made it a media franchise.


Main article: List of episodes
Season Episodes Premiere Finale Showrunner
1 20 May 1, 1999 March 3, 2001 Stephen Hillenburg
2 October 26, 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
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 13 October 22, 2020 TBA


Conch Street

The series is set in an underwater city called 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, flooding a building, inhabitants drinking liquids from glasses, bathtubs filled with what seems to be water, and fish walking instead of swimming, among other things.


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 nerdy, 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.[3]


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.[4] 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!"[5]


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.[6] Doug Lawrence loved the character and used his writing skills and voice to prove that Plankton could work as a major antagonist.[7] 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."[8] 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.[9] 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.[9] As a compromise, Hillenburg created Mrs. Puff's Boating School, which introduced a teacher to the main cast while keeping SpongeBob as an adult.[10]


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.[9] Hillenburg was strongly against revealing the identity of Pearl's mother and kept it a secret throughout the show.[11]


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 Walker 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



No SpongeBob spin-offs were greenlit while the series' creator, Stephen Hillenburg, was alive. Hillenburg was strongly against spin-offs and "aging down" the characters. As a result, SpongeBob SquarePants went a full 19 years without any spin-offs from 1999 to 2018. Despite Stephen Hillenburg's objections, Nickelodeon's new president Brian Robbins announced on February 14, 2019—just 3 months after Hillenburg's death—that multiple SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off shows were in development. According to Robbins, the spin-offs will tell new stories for SpongeBob and his friends, as well as introduce new characters into the franchise.[12]

Upon the spin-off announcements, Paul Tibbitt (Hillenburg's good friend and his successor as showrunner from seasons 4-9a) said: "I do not mean any disrespect to my colleagues who are working on these projects. They are good people and talented artists, but this is some greedy, lazy executive-ing right here, and they ALL know full well Steve would have HATED this. Shame on them."[13]

Brian Robbins, who had just become the president of Nickelodeon, 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."[12] 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, titled Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years. It is based on one of Brian Robbins' own spin-off ideas, featuring some of the characters as children at a summer camp. It will rewrite some of the characters' first interactions.

Reported Netflix productions include a nonexistent[15] Squidward[16] "music-based project"[17][18] and the two feature-length “SpongeBob” spin-off movies for Netflix.[19]

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 will be similar to other talk shows such as The Larry Sanders Show and Comedy Bang! Bang![20][21][22]



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.[23]
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is 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 have more than 10 seasons.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is the second longest-running ViacomCBS-produced animated series, behind South Park.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants is the most distributed property of ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks.
  • According to tweets by Vincent Waller on Twitter, it takes approximately anywhere from 5 months to 9 months to make a single episode.[24][25][26]

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. ^ Makin' Toons
  4. ^ Case of the Sponge "Bob"
  5. ^ Clancy Brown interview
  6. ^ Meet the voice behind a 'SpongeBob' character
  7. ^ Big Pop Fun podcast: Mr. Lawrence
  8. ^ Biographies Today: Stephen Hillenburg
  9. ^ a b c Stephen Hillenburg, artist and animator
  10. ^ TBI Vision: Stephen Hillenburg
  11. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1154402000886304769
  12. ^ a b https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/nickelodeon-brian-robbins-spongebob-lego-paddington-john-cena-1203139534/
  13. ^ Paul Tibbitt on Twitter
  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://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1279854012246880261
  16. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1299401138702229505
  17. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/13/business/media/netflix-nickelodeon-spongebob-squarepants.html
  18. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1286285132408614913
  19. ^ https://www.mediaplaynews.com/its-a-spongebob-squarepants-vision-at-viacomcbs/
  20. ^ https://deadline.com/2020/08/spongebob-squarepants-spinoff-series-the-patrick-star-show-set-nickelodeon-bill-fagerbakke-1203006633/
  21. ^ https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/spongebob-squarepants-spinoff-the-patrick-star-show-in-the-works-nickelodeon-1234730755/
  22. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/1293044468086476800
  23. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNfLaA5uzUg
  24. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/639616200775888896
  25. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/726440072145334273
  26. ^ https://twitter.com/VincentWaller72/status/897105593420308480
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