With the 20th anniversary of the show upon us, I'm curious to hear what you guys thoughts on the show's cultural impact, and whether it is comparable to The Simpsons.
If you ask me, the show's cultural impact is comparable to The Simpsons. The pre-movie episodes are held with reverence and God-like status by many who grew up with the show, myself included, similar to how episodes from the first 7 seasons of The Simpsons are held by fans of that show. While the Simpsons fandom is declining (mainly due to the belief that newer episodes try too hard to stay relevant, not to mention the whole Apu and Stark Raving Dad controversies which further weaken that fandom), from what I've heard, S10 and S11 of SpongeBob appear to be a return to the pre-movie "glory days".
What are your thoughts on this? Can SpongeBob's cultural impact be compared to something like The Simpsons?
I think they're on the same level. They're actually really similar when you think about it. The Simpsons came out in 1989 but was the most popular cartoon of the 90s. SpongeBob came out in 1999 but was the most popular cartoon of the 2000s. Both have yellow main characters and they're still making new episodes.
I think its cultural impact has perhaps the same magnitude as SBSP, just with different groups. The Simpsons was most popular in the early-mid 1990s with a young adult demographic (so people born ~1970s-early 80s) and SBSP was most popular in the early 2000s with kids and young adults (so people born ~1980s to mid 1990s). Of course, their popularities aren't limited to these demographics, but their impact is strongest in each. Both shows made their own marks on society through these generations