SpongeBob SquarePants (season 9)

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SpongeBob SquarePants season 9
SpongeBob S9.jpg
Cover art for digital downloads
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 26
Broadcast
Original channel Nickelodeon
Original run July 21, 2012 – present
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 8
Next →
Season 10[1]
List of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes

The ninth season of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants, created by former marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on July 21, 2012, beginning with the episode "Extreme Spots" and "Squirrel Record". The series chronicles the exploits and adventures of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The season was executive produced by series creator Hillenburg and writer Paul Tibbitt, who also acted as the showrunner.

The season was first announced on January 3, 2011, and premiered on July 21, 2012. A total of 26 episodes were produced for the season bringing the number of episodes up to 204.

Production

The season aired on Nickelodeon, which is owned by Viacom, and was produced by United Plankton Pictures and Nickelodeon. The season's executive producers were series creator Stephen Hillenburg and Paul Tibbitt, who also acted as the series' showrunner.[2][3] During production of the eighth season, Deadline.com reported on January 3, 2011 that Nickelodeon had renewed the series for a ninth season, with 26 episodes in order, which would push the series over the 200th episode mark.[4][5][6][7][8][9] SpongeBob SquarePants became the Nickelodeon series with most episodes, surpassing Rugrats with 172 episodes, having 178 after the eighth season had complete broadcast on television.[10]

In a statement, Brown Johnson, president of animation for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group, said "SpongeBob's success in reaching over 200 episodes is a testament to creator Stephen Hillenburg's vision, comedic sensibility and his dynamic, lovable characters. The series now joins the club of contemporary classic Nicktoons that have hit this benchmark, so we're incredibly proud."[4][11][12][13] Series creator Stephen Hillenburg executive produces the show alongside Paul Tibbitt, who has work on show since after the pilot.[4] Tibbitt served as a director and writer on for its first three seasons and eventually taking over the showrunner position from Hillenburg.[4] Tibbitt said "We never imagined we would be on for that long but we're going to keep going. The trick is to try to keep the episodes funny and simple and press from there."[4][14]

On July 21, 2012, the season premiered with the episodes "Extreme Spots" and "Squirrel Records" during a SpongeBob SquarePants television marathon event called "The Super Spongy Square Games".[15][16][17][18] The episode "Extreme Spots" was written by Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli, and Derek Iversen, while Tom Yasumi served as animation director.[19] It was guest starred by actor Johnny Knoxville.[15][16][17][18] Moreover, "Squirrel Records" was written by Brookshier, Ceccarelli and Iversen, and was directed by Alan Smart.[20] During the television event, Nickelodeon also debuted two more episodes—"Demolition Doofus" and "Face Freeze"—of the eighth season.[15][16][17][18]

Animation was handled in South Korea at Rough Draft Studios.[21][22] Production switched to high-definition in the season; the first episode "Extreme Spots", aired July 21, 2012.[23] Animation directors credited with episodes in the ninth season included Alan Smart and Tom Yasumi. Episodes were written by a team of writers, which consisted of Casey Alexander, Brookshier, Ceccarelli, Zeus Cervas, Andrew Goodman, Iversen, Mr. Lawrence, and Blake Lemons. The season was storyboarded by Alexander, Brookshier, Ceccarelli, Cervas, and Blake Lemons. Animation directors included Alan Smart and Tom Yasumi.[a]

Vincent Waller has confirmed on his Twitter account that production on the show has halted halfway through its ninth season, due to working on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, but has recently resumed and will continue work on the rest of this season.[24] Also, according to an interview with Princess Grace Foundation-USA, creator Stephen Hillenburg says he will return for the show following production on the second film adaptation.[25]

Cast

Stunt performer Johnny Knoxville (left) guest starred in "Extreme Spots" as Johnny Krill, while Michael McKean voiced the character of Captain Frostymug in "License to Milkshake".

The ninth season had a cast of six main actors. Tom Kenny provided the voice of the title character SpongeBob SquarePants and his pet snail Gary. SpongeBob's best friend, a starfish named Patrick Star, was voiced by Bill Fagerbakke,[26] while Rodger Bumpass played the voice of Squidward Tentacles, an arrogant and ill-tempered octopus.[27] Other members of the cast were Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas;[28] Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs, a miserly crab obsessed with money and SpongeBob's boss at the Krusty Krab;[29] and Mr. Lawrence as Plankton, a small green copepod and Mr. Krabs' business rival.[30] The season had a number of secondary characters including Jill Talley as Plankton's computer wife, Karen;[31] Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff, SpongeBob's driving instructor;[32] Lori Alan as Pearl, Mr. Krabs' daughter;[33] and Brian Doyle-Murray as the Flying Dutchman.[34][35]

In addition to the regular cast members, episodes feature guest voices from many ranges of professions, including actors, musicians, and artists. For instance, the season premiere "Extreme Spots" was guest starred by American stunt performer and Jackass actor Johnny Knoxville voicing the character of Johnny Krill.[36][37] The writing staff wrote the episode specifically for Knoxville.[38] Executive producer Paul Tibbitt said, "[Nickelodeon] wanted to do a show about extreme sports and the first thing that came to mind was Johnny Knoxville, because there are few humans living that are as extreme as him." Knoxville accepted the role because he is a fan of the show.[39][40] Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway returned, reprising their respective roles as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy in "Patrick-Man!". The episode was Borgnine's last voice-over work for the series as, on July 8, 2012, he died at the age of 95.[41] In "License to Milkshake", comedian and Spinal Tap band member Michael McKean guest starred as the voice of Captain Frostymug.[42][43] Rapper Biz Markie guest appeared as Kenny the Cat in the episode of the same name.[44]

Reception

In a DVD review for a season release, Paul Mavis of DVD Talk was positive on the episode "Extreme Spots", writing "[It] gets big laughs from some very funny bits, including a motorcycle ripping off SpongeBob's arms, and SpongeBob's pathetic attempts at 'extreme jump roping' and 'extreme pillow fighting.'"[23] However, the episode "Squirrel Record" was described by Mavis as "the weakest entry" on the set.[23]

In 2013, the episode "SpongeBob, You're Fired!" was criticized for its line that is referring to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps benefit).[45][46][47] In a scene from the episode, Patrick Star tried to show SpongeBob "the benefits of being unemployed," at which he said in response, "Unemployment may be fun for you, but I need to get a job."[45][46][47] The scene was meant to demonstrate the title character's "eternal optimism and willingness to get back to work," and "do it in a way that's still funny and relatable."[46] However, it was reported that political activists claim the "notorious line" as a "slam" to the Food Stamps benefit.[45][46][47] In a report byThe Hollywood Reporter, it stated there that the episode may have a political agenda about the social safety net.[48] It added that "It's not the first time SpongeBob has waded into social commentary, though usually when it does, it bugs the right and supports the left."[48] This incident sparked a political debate,[45][48][49][50] after the New York Post and Fox News remarked on the episode. The Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog group, responded.[48][51] According to the group, the attacking news media, both owned by News Corporation, are using the episode "to slam poor people who use social services."[51][52] In response to Fox News, Media Matters immediately posted an item titled "Right-Wing Media Use SpongeBob SquarePants' Firing To Attack Social Safety Net", arguing that the talking heads "are using the firing of fictional cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants to attack the social safety net and those who rely on it."[48][51][53] The article said "Right-wing media have a long history of attacking the social safety net. Media Matters was "also particularly bothered by [a] line from The Post story: "Lest he sit around idly, mooching off the social services of Bikini Bottom, a depressed SpongeBob sets out to return to gainful employment wherever he can find it," reporter Andrea Morabito wrote. "No spoilers -- but it's safe to say that our hero doesn't end up on food stamps, as his patty-making skills turn out to be in high demand."[48][48][51] Furthermore, the coverage from Fox News prompted civil rights activist, and talk show host Al Sharpton of MSNBC to "stick up for poor Americans."[54][55][56] Sharpton remarked in the October 31 episode of PoliticsNation, "The right-wingers found a new hero in its war against the poor [...] SpongeBob SquarePants. That's right. SpongeBob SquarePants [...] So a sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea doesn't need government help. That means no one does?"[54][55][56]

Nickelodeon declined to comment on the issue caused by the message of the episode.[56] However, Russell Hicks of Nickelodeon said the show is "tapping into the news of the moment, but did not specifically address any political leanings or ideologies within the episode."[47] In a statement, Hicks said "Like all really great cartoons, part of SpongeBob's long-running success has been its ability to tap into the zeitgeist while still being really funny for our audience. As always, despite this momentary setback, SpongeBob's eternal optimism prevails, which is always a great message for everyone."[47]

The episode "Gary's New Toy" received a nomination at the 2013 Golden Reel Awards for the Best Sound Editing - Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in Television category.[57] The show itself received several recognition. At the 40th Daytime Emmy Awards, the series was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Animation.[58] The show won the 2013 Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Cartoon.[59] It also won the ASCAP Film and Television Awards for Top Television Series.[60] At the BMI Film & TV Awards, the show won the BMI Cable Award.[61] Sarah Noonan was nominated at the Artios Awards of the Casting Society of America for her work.[62]

Episodes

  • Note: The following episodes listed in the chart are arranged according to their production order, rather than by their original air dates.[63]
SpongeBob SquarePants season 9 episodes
No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Animation directors[a] Written by[a] Original air date[64] U.S. viewers
(in millions)
179a 1a "Extreme Spots" Tom Yasumi Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli & Derek Iversen July 21, 2012 3.70[65]
When the Drasticals come to town, their new super fans, SpongeBob and Patrick, try to do whatever it takes to join them, no matter how extreme – or dangerous. Whether attempting sand motorbiking, hang gliding, seashell surfing or extreme bubble blowing, SpongeBob and Patrick undertake the challenge in an effort to demonstrate they are extreme.
179b 1b "Squirrel Record" Alan Smart Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli & Derek Iversen July 21, 2012 3.70[65]
Sandy is determined to break a record number of world records, in record time, so SpongeBob joins her for an action-packed weekend of dangerous record setting.
180a 2a "Patrick-Man!" Alan Smart Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas & Derek Iversen October 27, 2012 4.10[66]
Patrick becomes a "superhero" and starts terrorizing the citizens of Bikini Bottom.
180b 2b "Gary's New Toy" Tom Yasumi Marc Ceccarelli & Derek Iversen October 14, 2012 2.36[67]
SpongeBob must take drastic measures when Gary's new red ball starts to control him.
181a 3a "License to Milkshake" Tom Yasumi Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas & Mr. Lawrence September 7, 2012 3.13[68]
SpongeBob returns to the milk-shake academy after discovering his milk-shake license has expired.
181b 3b "Squid Baby" Alan Smart Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas & Mr. Lawrence September 3, 2012 3.36[69]
A head injury causes Squidward to regress to an infant state, and SpongeBob and Patrick must take care of him until he recovers.
182a 4a "Little Yellow Book" Alan Smart Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli & Derek Iversen March 2, 2013 4.73[70]
Squidward discovers SpongeBob's diary and reads it to everyone in the Krusty Krab, and SpongeBob is devastated.
182b 4b "Bumper to Bumper" Alan Smart Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas & Mr. Lawrence November 17, 2012 4.01[71]
Mrs. Puff tries a new method to get SpongeBob to pass his driving test. At first point it's successful, but her parole officer arrests her for driving recklessly during the test and tears up SpongeBob's license, so as usual, it fails.
183a 5a "Eek, an Urchin!" Alan Smart Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli & Mr. Lawrence October 27, 2012 4.10[66]
SpongeBob finds an urchin in the Krusty Krab and tries to get rid of it.
183b 5b "Squid Defense" Tom Yasumi Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Blake Lemons & Derek Iversen January 1, 2013 3.70[72]
After Squidward is cornered in a dark alley and his groceries are stolen, he asks SpongeBob and Sandy to teach him karate so he can defend himself if it ever happens again.
184a 6a "Jailbreak!" Alan Smart Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli & Mr. Lawrence March 16, 2013 3.81[73]
Plankton teams up with his criminal friends to break out of jail in order to steal Mr. Krabs' secret formula. Luckily, SpongeBob intervenes with the jailbreak plot.
184b 6b "Evil Spatula" Alan Smart & Tom Yasumi Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Blake Lemons & Andrew Goodman March 9, 2013 4.04[74]
SpongeBob replaces his broken spatula with one from Plankton, which may have magical strength and powers.
185 7 "It Came from Goo Lagoon" Alan Smart & Tom Yasumi Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli, Derek Iversen & Mr. Lawrence February 17, 2014 4.04[75]
A wave of mucus bubbles comes from Goo Lagoon and Sandy realizes they are dangerous, but nobody listens to her, until they become a giant goo ball, which Plankton is trying to control.
186a 8a "Safe Deposit Krabs" Alan Smart Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Blake Lemons & Derek Iversen May 25, 2013 4.18[76]
Mr. Krabs finds himself trapped in Bikini Bottom's brand-new bank, "Bank of Bikini Bottom Bank", on the verge of getting instant interest & it's up to SpongeBob and Patrick to save him.
186b 8b "Plankton's Pet" Alan Smart & Tom Yasumi Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli & Mr. Lawrence January 19, 2013 4.37[77]
After failing again to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula, Plankton gets a pet amoeba to cheer himself up.
187a 9a "Don't Look Now" Tom Yasumi Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli & Mr. Lawrence October 14, 2013 3.42[78]
SpongeBob and Patrick watch a horror movie and are convinced that the villain of the movie exists and is after them.
187b 9b "Séance Shméance" Alan Smart & Tom Yasumi Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas & Mr. Lawrence October 14, 2013 3.42[78]
SpongeBob attempts to contact spirits in order to find a long-lost sandwich recipe.
188a 10a "Kenny the Cat" Tom Yasumi Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas, Blake Lemons & Mr. Lawrence March 29, 2014 4.33[79]
SpongeBob becomes obsessed with Bikini Bottom's new star, Kenny the Cat, who can hold his breath for an incredible amount of time. Sandy, however, thinks Kenny is a fraud. After SpongeBob invites Kenny to the Krusty Krab and discovers that he is indeed a fraud, he tries to help Kenny cover up against logic-backed Sandy.
188b 10b "Yeti Krabs" Alan Smart Casey Alexander, Zeus Cervas & Mr. Lawrence
Squidward stops doing work at the Krusty Krab, so Mr. Krabs tells a scary story about a yeti crab that eats lazy employees, which causes SpongeBob to take it seriously and start working in overdrive.
189 11 "SpongeBob, You're Fired!" Alan Smart & Tom Yasumi Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli & Mr. Lawrence November 11, 2013 5.19[80]
After being let go by Mr. Krabs in a cost-cutting measure, SpongeBob looks to take his talents elsewhere.
190a 12a "Company Picnic"[81] Jack Pendarvis & Mr. Lawrence[82]
190b 12b "Krab's Army"[81]
191 13 "SpaceBob InvaderPants"[81]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Information is taken from the opening credits of each episode.

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External links