SpongeBob SquarePants is an animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg. The series premiered with a sneak-peek preview after the Kids' Choice Awards on May 1, 1999. Its official debut was on July 17th of the same year with the episode pair "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants".
The main character is an accident-prone sea sponge, SpongeBob SquarePants, who lives in an underwater pineapple with his pet snail Gary. His neighbors are his best friend, Patrick Star, and a sour octopus named Squidward. SpongeBob works for a cheapskate crab named Mr. Krabs, who lives in an anchor 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. The villains of the show are Plankton and Karen, the owners of a failing restaurant called the Chum Bucket. Most episodes take place in the town of Bikini Bottom or on the surrounding seafloor.
The cartoon is designed to appeal to older viewers as much as to children. Underwater life and situations are represented, absurdly, as though they are almost equivalent to normal terrestrial lifestyles. Instead of cars, the residents of Bikini Bottom drive boats with wheels. A flurry of bubbles accompany many actions, to remind the viewer everything is underwater. Squidward lives in an Easter Island head and Patrick lives under a rock. The suggestion is that the characters' dwellings have fallen from a tropical island to become underwater habitats. Snails behave like cats, while jellyfish act like bees, worms are the undersea equivalent of dogs, and scallops are often likened to birds.
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, the first theatrical film based on the series, was released on November 19, 2004. According to Square Roots, the movie was also the reason for the long production hiatus between the third and fourth season. A second movie, titled The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, was released on February 6, 2015. A third movie, titled The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, was released on August 14, 2020 in Canada and August 13, 2020 in the Czech Republic. It was released on Paramount+ on March 4, 2021 in the United States.
- → Main article: History of SpongeBob SquarePants
- → Main article: SpongeBob SquarePants Theme Song
The theme song, a sea shanty-style tune is sung by Pat Pinney and can also be found on the soundtrack, SpongeBob SquarePants: Original Theme Highlights. A cover of the song by superstar Avril Lavigne can be found on the soundtrack for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. There was also a choral version done for the early episodes.
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.
- → Main article: List of SpongeBob SquarePants characters
- SpongeBob SquarePants - A square sea sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. He works at the Krusty Krab along with his boring neighbor Squidward. He has a best friend named Patrick Star.
- Patrick Star - A cheerful, naive, and unintelligent starfish who is SpongeBob's best friend. He lives under a rock to the right of Squidward's house. He is unemployed but has held various temporary jobs throughout the series.
- Squidward Tentacles - An arrogant octopus who lives in an Easter Island head between SpongeBob and Patrick's houses. Although loved by the other characters (except Squilliam), Squidward is pessimistic and asocial. He loathes his job as the cashier at the Krusty Krab.
- Sandy Cheeks - Another friend of SpongeBob's, Sandy is an athletic squirrel from Texas. She wears an astronaut suit and lives in an air-filled "Treedome" so that she can survive Bikini Bottom's ocean environment. She works as a scientist and an inventor.
- Eugene H. Krabs - The cheapskate, miserly owner of the Krusty Krab. Commonly known as Mr. Krabs, he is SpongeBob and Squidward's boss. He lives in an anchor with his daughter Pearl, who is a whale.
- Sheldon J. Plankton - A small green copepod who runs the failing Chum Bucket restaurant along with his sentient computer Karen. His goal is to steal the secret Krabby Patty formula and run Mr. Krabs out of business. He is a skilled inventor and often creates machines to assist him in his plots.
- Karen Plankton - A waterproof supercomputer who lives in the Chum Bucket laboratory. She acts as Plankton's sidekick and wife, providing him with evil plans to steal the recipe for Krabby Patties. Plankton always takes the credit for Karen's ideas and ends up messing them up.
- Mrs. Puff - SpongeBob's teacher at boating school. She is a pufferfish who blows up like an airbag whenever she is scared or crashes. SpongeBob is her longest-standing student. She is Mr. Krabs' love interest and girlfriend.
- Pearl Krabs - A whale who lives in a hollow anchor with her father, Mr. Krabs. When she grows up, her father wants her to continue the family business by inheriting the Krusty Krab and becoming its owner. She is currently a teenager who spends most of her time and money at the mall.
- Gary - SpongeBob's pet snail who meows like a cat, as do the other snails on the show. He is very intelligent, as revealed in the episode "Your Shoe's Untied." Gary actually wears shoes, and taught SpongeBob how to tie his shoes. Gary also has many other items stored in his shell.
- → Main article: SpongeBob SquarePants episode list
|Season||Episodes||First episode||Last episode|
|Season 1||20||May 1, 1999||March 3, 2001|
|Season 2||20||October 20, 2000||July 26, 2003|
|Season 3||20||October 5, 2001||October 11, 2004|
|Season 4||20||May 6, 2005||July 24, 2007|
|Season 5||20||February 19, 2007||July 19, 2009|
|Season 6||26||March 3, 2008||July 5, 2010|
|Season 7||26||July 19, 2009||June 11, 2011|
|Season 8||26||March 26, 2011||December 6, 2012|
|Season 9||26||July 21, 2012||February 20, 2017|
|Season 10||11||October 15, 2016||December 2, 2017|
|Season 11||26||June 24, 2017||November 25, 2018|
|Season 12||26||November 11, 2018||April 29, 2022|
|Season 13||26||October 22, 2020||TBA|
|Season 14||26||May 6, 2022||TBA|
|Title||Release date||Note||Running time|
|The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie||November 19, 2004||Theatrical film||87 minutes|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||February 6, 2015||Theatrical film||92 minutes|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run||March 4, 2021||Streaming film||91 minutes|
Home video releases
- → Main article: SpongeBob SquarePants videography
- → Main article: SpongeBob SquarePants international videography
- Tom Kenny: SpongeBob SquarePants, Gary the Snail, Patchy the Pirate, French Narrator
- Bill Fagerbakke: Patrick Star
- Rodger Bumpass: Squidward Tentacles
- Clancy Brown: Eugene H. Krabs
- Doug Lawrence: Sheldon J. Plankton, Potty the Parrot (since 2017), Larry the Lobster
- Jill Talley: Karen Plankton
- Carolyn Lawrence: Sandy Cheeks
- Mary Jo Catlett: Mrs. Puff
- Lori Alan: Pearl Krabs
- Stephen Hillenburg: Potty the Parrot (2000-2004)
- Paul Tibbitt: Potty the Parrot (2005-2012)
- Dee Bradley Baker: Various characters, including Bubble Bass and Squilliam Fancyson
- Sirena Irwin: Various characters, including Margaret SquarePants
- Thomas F. Wilson: Various characters
- Carlos Alazraqui: Scooter
- Ernest Borgnine: Mermaid Man (1999-2012)
- Tim Conway: Barnacle Boy (2020|1999-2012; 2020) archive recordings in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated)
- Brian Doyle-Murray: The Flying Dutchman
- Charles Nelson Reilly: The Dirty Bubble
- Marion Ross: Grandma SquarePants (2001-2011)
- Scarlett Johansson: Princess Mindy
- Jeffrey Tambor: King Neptune
- Alec Baldwin: Dennis (The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie)
- Antonio Banderas: Burger-Beard the Pirate
- Matt Berry: Bubbles, King Poseidon
- Awkwafina: Otto
- Keanu Reeves: Sage
- Snoop Dogg: The Gambler
- Danny Trejo: El Diablo
- Tiffany Haddish: Master of Ceremonies
- Reggie Watts: Chancellor
- Stephen Hillenburg: Creator, Showrunner (1999–2004), Executive Producer (1999-2018)
- Derek Drymon: Creative Director/Writer/Story Editor/Executive Producer (1999-2004)
- Sherm Cohen: Art Director/Writer/Executive Prouducer (2005-2006)
- Paul Tibbitt: Writer/Storyboard Director/Backing Voice Actor/Executive Producer, Showrunner (1999-2004; 2005-2017)
- Merriwether Williams: Story Editor/Writer
- Doug Lawrence): Writer/Story Editor
- Chuck Klein: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
- Jay Lender: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
- Sam Henderson: Writer/Storyboard Director
- Kaz: Writer/Storyboard Artist
- Aaron Springer: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
- C.H. Greenblatt: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
- Bradley Carow: Music
- David Wigforss: Special Effects (CG visual effects animator)
- Caleb Muerer: Art Director
- Andy Rheingold: Executive in Charge of Production
- Tim Hill: Writer
- Erik Wiese: Writer/Storyboard Artist
- Mark O'Hare: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
- Steven Fonti: Writer/Storyboard Director (1999)
- Chris Mitchell: Writer/Storyboard Artist (1999)
- Mike Bell: Writer/Storyboard Director (2005-)
- Vincent Waller: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director/Technical Director (2005-), Showrunner (2015-)
- Alan Smart: Animation Director
- Tom Yasumi: Animation Director
- Andrew Overtoom: Animation Director
- Sean Dempsey: Animation Director
- Chris Reccardi: Storyboard Director & Writer
- The pilot version of "Help Wanted" (1997) had a different intro sequence in its original form; the actual theme song had not been written at the time.
- SpongeBob is the second-longest-running current Nickelodeon series and the longest-running Nickelodeon animated series. Nickelodeon's oldest show overall is Nick News with Linda Ellerbee, which aired for 23 years, from 1992 to 2015. However in December 15, 2022, it will take the title if not counting the 2020 revival.
- SpongeBob is also the second longest-running Paramount Global-produced animated series, right behind Comedy Central's South Park.
- SpongeBob was the third Nicktoon to have a sneak preview airing after a Kids Choice Awards ceremony, the first two being The Angry Beavers and CatDog.
- SpongeBob is one of three pre-2011 animated Nicktoons to transition to HD, along with The Fairly OddParents and T.U.F.F. Puppy.
|United States||Nickelodeon (1999-present)|
MTV (reruns, 2000-2016)
CBS (It's a SpongeBob Christmas! special, 2012)
AFN/AFN Family (reruns, AFN: 1999/early 2000 - 2004; AFN Family: 2004 - present)
|United Kingdom||Nickelodeon UK & Ireland (2000-present)
|Brazil||Nickelodeon Brazil (2000-present)
Rede Globo (2000-2015)
TV Diário (????-present)
Nickelodeon Canada (2009–present)
|Albania||Çufo Comedy Central (subtiles)|
|Arabic Speaking Countries||MBC 3 (rarely)|
|China||ATV World (Hong Kong)|
CCTV-14 (Mainland China)
Hayat TV (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Hayatovci (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
|Australia||Network Ten (2002-2012)|
10 Peach (2020)
10 Shake (2020-present)
- Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
- SpongeBob SquarePants on Wikipedia
- Nickstory Archives: SpongeBob SquarePants
- NickToons: G.L.O.B.E. Archives: SpongeBob SquarePants
- SpongeBob SquarePants at TV Tropes
- SpongeBob SquarePants at Behind the Voice Actors
|1992-1994||Clarissa Explains It All • Roundhouse • The Ren & Stimpy Show • Are You Afraid of the Dark?|
|1994-1996||The Secret World of Alex Mack • All That • Space Cases • Kenan and Kel• The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo • KaBlam!|
|1997-1999||Rugrats • The Journey of Allen Strange • Animorphs • Cousin Skeeter|
|1999-2002||SpongeBob SquarePants • The Amanda Show • 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd • The Nick Cannon Show • Taina|
|1970's premieres||Pinwheel • Video Comics • Nickel Flicks • By the Way|
|Nicktoons appear in red. Live Action shows appear in magenta.
Game shows appear in green. Nick Jr. shows appear in sky blue.