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In the episode "Operation: Rescue Jet Fusion," Jimmy, Carl, and Sheen go into the ocean to look for a tracking device, and when they find it, a pineapple can be seen at the mid-right. A Nick Extra Close Look stated that the pineapple was SpongeBob's house.
In part one of the first-season finale, Master Pakku coyly stated to one of his students, "Nice work... a couple more years and you might be ready to fight a sea sponge." The show's creators later said in the audio commentary of Siege of the North Part I that his statement was a friendly poke at SpongeBob SquarePants.
In "Wish Fixers," Timmy wishes to have running pants made of cheese, and then Cosmo calls Timmy "CheeseBoy SquarePants."
Another reference can be found in the episode, "Something's Fishy," where the king of Atlantis, Greg, states that the diets of the merpeople consist of "crabs, starfish, and the occasional underwater squirrel," as a joke to their fellow Nick animators.
Another reference can be found in the episode "App Trap" where the first kid with the smart phone has SpongeBob's pants, buck teeth, eyes, hair, and freckles.
In the episode "King of the Castle," Fee is shown holding a pizza box with the words "Pizza Castle" on it. Patrick mentions a restaurant of the same name in "The Bully," which was written by C.H. Greenblatt, creator of Harvey Beaks.
In the episode "Secret Gordon," if one looks closely in the garden right before it closes up, there is a hedge shaped like SpongeBob.
When Fee is showing Foo the baby mobile she made for him in "Fee's Pyramid," there is a snail on the mobile that slightly resembles Gary.
In the episode "House of Cameras/House of Numbers," Victor tried installing video cameras in order to try and keep a close eye on the students living in the Anubis house. While trying to get rid of the cameras, Nina mentioned that they needed help from their house's comedic duo. Although she meant Alfie and Jerome, Amber thought she was talking about "SpongeBob and Patrick."
In the episode "House of Crushes/House of Vertigo," Poppy asked Mara about what her dad's like. One of the things that Mara mentions is that he "dances like SpongeBob."
In "Like No Other Market on Earth", Equimorph morphs into a copyright friendly version of SpongeBob SquarePants known as "SpongeRobert RectangleShorts" who was voiced by Tom Kenny, SpongeBob's voice actor.
In the short "Suspended Animation", a photograph of the SpongeBob balloon at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is displayed among other photographs of things that happened post-1998 in the scene where Yakko ingests a tablet.
In one episode named "The Last Last One Forever and Ever," a live-action episode, Meatwad (who is portrayed as a yoga ball) is helping Master Shake (who is portrayed as a human named "Don Shake") write a story, and suggests writing a story about "A sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea." Shake says "Hasn't that already been done?" and Meatwad replies "No. I don't think so."
In the episode "Shake Like Me," Meatwad says he wants a SpongeBob bounce house.
In the episode, "The Earworm Reverberation," Sheldon is trying to think of a song that he can't remember, so he's trying to guess songs off the top of his head, and one of the songs he thinks about is the SpongeBob SquarePants Theme Song, and even sings the first line.
In the episode, "The Justice League Recombination," Zack says "Turns out that if you kill a starfish it'll just come back to life," to which Sheldon replies, "Was the starfish wearing boxer shorts? Because you might have been watching Nickelodeon." It's a reference to Patrick Star and the shorts he wears.
In the episode "The Separation Oscillation," Howard says "I'd like to SpongeBob her SquarePants."
In the episode, "The Locomotion Reverberation," Raj and Stuart are left to watch Halley, who is Howard and Bernadette's baby daughter. After talking on the phone with them and hearing how incompetent they seem, Bernadette moans, "I may have just left my infant daughter with Patrick and SpongeBob."
In the episode, "The Platonic Permutation," when playing a game of "Food Friend Fight," (a parody of Kiss Marry Kill involving sea creatures) Amy gives Sheldon the choices of Seal, Hagfish, and SpongeBob SquarePants. Sheldon chooses to fight SpongeBob because "He's so friendly [they'll] just end up tickling each other." Later on at the end of the episode, over the phone, Sheldon states that he changed his mind and would choose to eat SpongeBob.
In the episode "The Long Distance Dissonance," Sheldon Cooper is seen watching the episode "Plankton!" on his phone, specifically during the scene where SpongeBob breaks through a wall in Squidward's house while being controlled by Plankton.
In the episode "Thursday" a poster of SpongeBob's face can be seen hanging on the wall in Josie Trent's and Corrine Baxter's dorm on Josie's side of the room. It is most noticeable during the scene where Josie is dancing to her radio.
In Season 3, Episode 11 (Episode 22 in Australia), before Team Venom opens up the barrel to reveal the luxury they won in the Captain's Challenge (being ice-cream) Asad Karim (who was captain and was the one chosen for the task) recites the opening lyrics from the theme song.
SpongeBob SquarePants has been referenced numerous times:
In "Prick Up Your Ears," a green SpongeBob toy is one of three toys Stewie uses as his "bodyguards" to protect him from the Tooth Fairy.
In "Road to Rupert," Meg becomes Peter's temporary personal chauffeur when Peter's license is suspended, and Meg plays "The Camping Episode" on the DVD player to amuse him. SpongeBob and Patrick are seen singing "The Campfire Song Song." The song was written by Dan Povenmire, who was also a director on that Family Guy episode. Because of this, he was able to gain the rights to the song.
In "Road to the North Pole," when questioned by Brian if Santa Claus isn't real, Stewie asks Brian if SpongeBob and Elmo are real and asks if SpongeBob really gives Squidward the business.
In "Turkey Guys," a balloon of a SpongeBob parody called "SpongeCow" is seen during the JCPenney Thanksgiving Day Parade (a parody of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which doesn't have licensed character balloons and instead uses knockoff characters).
In "Inside Family Guy," when Peter is doing a job as a Hollywood Boulevard mascot before deciding to return to the show, a person in a poorly made SpongeBob costume can be seen taking photos with tourists. In real life, there is a SpongeBob mascot on Hollywood Boulevard.
In "Yo Leela Leela," Abner Doubledeal (voiced by Tom Kenny) says that Leela's show would be bigger than "SpongeBot SquareBolts," who is a robot that looks like SpongeBob and is one of the mascots of Tickelodeon.
In "World of Emma," Emma ended up wishing for Adil to make Sophie more like her. After he did, Sophie asked Emma if she had any pink nail varnish. Emma then replied with "Does SpongeBob have SquarePants?"
SpongeBob was parodied in some segments of this Warner Bros. series during its three-year run:
Opening: A clay-animated character resembling SpongeBob is shown.
"Celebrity Birthdays" - Mort Jenkins, a jellyfish who landed the role of Jellyfish #56 on SpongeBob SquarePants, is one of the celebrities whom's birthday is being celebrated.
"WALL·E·NATOR" - The WALL·E·NATOR (a parody of WALL·E and The Terminator) uses his compactor to squeeze a round SpongeBob (who has eaten one too many Krabby Patties) back into a square.
"Cliffordfield" - The Sesame Street character Big Bird gets squashed into SpongeBob by a rampaging Clifford the Big Red Dog, disproving his statement that he's "a one-of-a-kind children's character."
"Who Wore it Better?" - In this sketch, SpongeBob is one of the candidates among various others, who are being debated on who wore a white sundress best.
"MAD vs. Wild" - Bear Grylls, attempting to survive in the wild, plucks Gary from a tree stump and eats him, although regretting that he ate him while he still had his shell.
"Celebrities Without Their Makeup"- SpongeBob, dressed like an elf, is depicted as a fruitcake when seen without his makeup.
"¡AY Carly!" - A Mexican version of SpongeBob, named "SpongeRoberto SquarePants," is shown at the end of this sketch, which serves as a commercial spot for a Mexican-themed parody of the Nickelodeon show iCarly. SpongeRoberto SquarePants is advertised as the show airing after the ¡AY Carly! time slot.
"Law & Ogre" - A framed picture of SpongeBob is seen at the Big Bad Wolfgangbucks restaurant.
"Pirates of the Pair of Tweens" - Plankton goes "planking" with Captain Jack Sparrow on the roof of the "Crabby Crust."
"SpongeWOW" - SpongeBob is seen as SpongeWOW, a parody of the ShamWOW towel, in this infomercial spoof. He is used by a spoof of Vince Offer to wipe up various spills against his will, including twelve bottles of non-FDA-approved hot sauce, which leaves his face burning.
"Abs-Duction" - Actor Taylor Lautner goes to Mr. Krabs' house, thinking he is his real father. Mr. Krabs responds by slamming the door at him, angrily. Unlike in the show, Mr. Krabs is not wearing a shirt, which ties into the plot of Taylor Lautner searching for his real parents, who he assumes are overexposed (just like him in the sense that he is often seen shirtless in his movies)
"New Gill" - Ariel from The Little Mermaid tries to find a new boyfriend after being dumped by Prince Eric for Ursula, and ends up dating SpongeBob, who she finds to be way too chipper and upbeat - even for someone as positive as her.
"iChronicle" - SpongeBob and Patrick can be seen on a Nickelodeon blimp.
"Fart or Chair" - In this game show spoof, SpongeBob is seen sitting in a massage chair.
"The Blunder Games" - A SpongeBob balloon is seen at a parade (in a parody of the 2012 film The Hunger Games).
"Taking Nemo" - SpongeBob is interrogated by a furious Liam Neeson (in the role of Bryan Mills from Taken) on the whereabouts of Nemo (from Disney/Pixar's film Finding Nemo).
"Dark Knight at the Museum" - SpongeBob is seen shouting "I'M READY!"
"SpongeBorg SquarePants" - In this sketch, SpongeBob is a cyborg that turns the inhabitants of Bikini Bottom into cyborgs.
"Doraline" - Plush toys of SpongeBob can be seen at the Cheap Knock-Off Stand.
In the episode "Fungus Among Us," a time card similar to the one in SpongeBob is shown and a narrator similar to the French Narrator. Coincidentally, the episode shares its title with an episode from Season 5.
In the series finale, "Nixel, Nixel, Go Away", protagonist Booger of the Glorp Corp tribe of Mixels (voiced by Tom Kenny) reverses the effects of the zombification of his town's citizens by King Nixel, all through the power of song similar to SpongeBob (also voiced by Kenny) in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.
In "Livin' the Dream", Kevin tells Andy about a famous play about a salesman. Obviously, Andy's first thought is that he's referencing to Death of a Salesman but then Kevin states that this play was actually "written by SpongeBob SquarePants."
In the pilot episode there is a cameo of an identical character to SpongeBob appearing at a nightclub between the characters. The character even makes it clear that is not SpongeBob, but a cheese while chatting with a female bread.
In the episode "The Old-Fashioned Sunday," Karen was annoyed at Pete for turning the TV off because she wanted to watch SpongeBob SquarePants and claimed that it shows how to make Krabby Patties and states about what happens under the sea, which Pete didn't listen to as he said about there being lots of programmes about what goes on under the sea.
In one episode, at the end it can be seen a boy that looks like very similar to SpongeBob with yellow hair, a square-shaped head, blue eyes, two teeth, and also wearing a shirt with a red tie and brown short pants, with the exception that the shirt that used the boy is blue.
In the Season 1 episode That Hurts Me, the sketch "Where Do They Get the Energy?" spoofs SpongeBob SquarePants. Here, a sponge and a starfish gleefully dance with each other, then run out of energy. They crawl offscreen, exhausted, and then they can be heard snorting cocaine, and then the two run back on screen with high energy and dance with each other again. The characters in this sketch are meant to resemble SpongeBob and Patrick.
In the episode Tell My Mom, the sketch "Oh, You Meant Me" features Sandy getting pregnant and SpongeBob realizes she used himself (a sponge) to protect her.
In the sketch "Krabby Patties" seen in the episode Major League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, SpongeBob discovers Mr. Krabs' secret formula for Krabby Patties and reveals it to the patrons of the Krusty Krab: they are made from crab meat. He also points out to Squidward that the calamari rings he is eating are actually made from squid (while oddly, Squidward is an octopus), and informs a customer that her "Chicken of the Sea" salad is made with tuna. An angry mob of customers approach Mr. Krabs and attack him. SpongeBob then says that he's glad nothing disgusting ever happens to a sponge, and the scene cuts to a nurse informing a morbidly obese patient that she will be scrubbing deep within his rolls of fat with a sponge, and his examination will then be over. SpongeBob then pushes the scene aside, reiterating, "Nothing disgusting ever happens to a sponge!" A squish is then heard from the other scene, and the nurse says, "I hope that's pudding in there."
In Boogie Bardstown in: No Need, I Have Coupons, SpongeBob is one of four contestants on MasterChef Celebrity Showdown, where celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay serves as host. Ironically, SpongeBob has to cook with the thing he fears most: water. SpongeBob fears water as he claims he cannot swim. He ends up catching fire while cooking during the competition. The other contestants are Bob Belcher from the animated comedy Bob's Burgers, Alfredo Linguini from the animated film Ratatouille, and Jerome "Chef" McElroy from the animated satire series South Park (although the character had been killed off from the series over a decade prior). A trio of Thetans from the religion of Scientology compete as well, ultimately winning the competition with their risotto dish.
In the sketch "Squidward's New Role" seen in the episode Gracie Purgatory in: That's How You Get Hemorrhoids, Squidward stars in an adult film.
An episode spoofed SpongeBob as "TriangleBob TrianglePants" which was Telly Monster's favorite show. The show starred human cast member Bob, as a triangle man version of SpongeBob.
As an effort to help spread diversity in society amongst elementary school age children, the "We are Family Foundation" made a music video of the popular disco song of the same name, with multiple characters from shows on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and PBS Kids. The Sesame Street Muppets were used heavily in the video, while clips from "Bubblestand" and "Jellyfish Jam" were shown throughout. However, since the company sponsoring the video got confused for a similarly named company that promoted same sex marriage, the media interpreted a rumor that SpongeBob and Patrick are a gay couple.
In "She Used to Be My Girl," Lisa, needing a god to pray to, tells a newscaster she is praying to Jesus, Buddha, and SpongeBob. Then the camera shows heaven, where Jesus, Buddha, and crudely drawn SpongeBob are. Buddha asks Jesus, "Perhaps we should help?" and SpongeBob interrupts, saying "Screw her!," then laughs insanely, while Jesus shakes his head.
In "The Wife Aquatic," Marge and Lisa go to an aquatic museum where there is an exhibit that reads "The Science of SpongeBob" and it shows a SpongeBob statue next to it. Patrick Star also appears as one of the mollusk photos.
In "Angry Dad: The Movie," Bart mentions SpongeBob when he claims he likes cartoons. He says, "I've always loved cartoons, going way back to the real early SpongeBobs."
In "Yellow Subterfuge," When Krusty the Clown's show is dipping in ratings, he asks Lisa for help; she suggests that he sell foreign rights to his show, saying that even SpongeBob did it. She shows him an Italian parodied version of SpongeBob SquarePants on her tablet called Spugna Roberto Quadrati Pantaloni ("Sponge Roberto Square Pants"). In the show, Spugna Roberto (a parody of SpongeBob SquarePants) gives a gift to Squiduardo Calamari (a parody of Squidward Tentacles) for his birthday; the gift is a landmine from World War II. Squiduardo declines the gift, and while he is talking, a non-anthropomorphic seahorse lands on the landmine's button, detonating it and blowing Spugna Roberto & Squiduardo to pieces. A female fish in funeral attire arrives at the scene and exclaims "Calamari?, Noooo...!!!" and starts crying. In the parody, Roberto lived in a watermelon under the sea, spoofing SpongeBob's pineapple house.
In the episode "Easter," in the Cloud 9 Superstore employee breakroom, Jonah Simms says, "Oh, you know what I realized? We never had a moment of silence for the guy who created SpongeBob. So do you want to do that now?" This is a reference to how the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, Stephen Hillenburg, passed away on November 26, 2018, a couple months before the episode "Easter" premiered on April 18, 2019.
In the season 19 episode "The Beast of Sodor," every time an engine or other character mentions "the abominable snowman," Dramatic Impact 2 plays, except in the beginning of the episode. But it was heard one more time when Sir Topham Hatt hears that Dowager Hatt called him the abominable controller when she was on Thomas.
There is a SpongeBob theme in the Minis collection.
An episode of The X Presidents (from "TV Funhouse" on Saturday Night Live) depicts SpongeBob refusing to star in a pro-Gulf War II propaganda commercial, and getting held prisoner for it. Tom Kenny provides SpongeBob's voice, which is surprising as this clip has relatively adult content.