|Created by||Stephen Hillenburg|
|Theme music composer||Derek Drymon
|Opening theme||"SpongeBob SquarePants Theme", performed by Patrick Pinney|
|Ending theme||"SpongeBob Closing Theme", written by Steve Belfer and Nicolas Carr|
Brad Carow (1999–2002)
The Blue Hawaiians (1999–2002)
Eban Schletter (2000–present)
Barry Anthony (2006–15)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||10|
|No. of episodes||214 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||11 minutes (regular episodes only)
22 minutes (special episodes only)
|Distributor||Viacom International Media Networks (International)
|Original release||May 1, 1999– present|
|Related shows||Rocko's Modern Life|
SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures and endeavors of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series' popularity has made it a media franchise, as well as the highest rated series to ever air on Nickelodeon, and the most distributed property of MTV Networks. As of 2015, the media franchise has generated $12 billion in merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon.
Many of the ideas for the series originated in an unpublished educational comic book titled The Intertidal Zone, which Hillenburg created in 1989. He began developing SpongeBob SquarePants into a television series in 1996 upon the cancellation of Rocko's Modern Life, and turned to Tom Kenny, who had worked with him on that series, to voice the title character. SpongeBob was originally going to be named SpongeBoy, and the series was to be called SpongeBoy Ahoy!, but these were both changed, as the name was already trademarked.
Nickelodeon held a preview for the series in the United States on May 1, 1999, following the television airing of the 1999 Kids' Choice Awards. The series officially premiered on July 17, 1999. It has received worldwide critical acclaim since its premiere and gained enormous popularity by its second season. A feature film, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, was released in theaters on November 19, 2004, and a sequel was released on February 6, 2015. On October 15, 2016, the series began airing its current tenth season, beginning with the episode "Whirly Brains". In May 2017, the show was announced to be renewed for a 12th season.
The series has won a variety of awards, including six Annie Awards, eight Golden Reel Awards, two Emmy Awards, 12 Kids' Choice Awards, and two BAFTA Children's Awards. Despite its widespread popularity, the series has been involved in several public controversies, including one centered on speculation over SpongeBob's intended sexual orientation, and another focusing on the perceived declining quality of the show's content since the release of the first film. In 2011, a newly described species of fungi, Spongiforma squarepantsii, was named after the cartoon's title character.
- 1 Premise
- 2 Development
- 3 Production
- 4 Broadcast
- 5 Reception
- 6 Other media
- 7 Merchandise
- 8 Footnotes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The series revolves around its title character and his various friends. SpongeBob SquarePants is an energetic and optimistic sea sponge (although his appearance more closely resembles a kitchen sponge) who lives in a submerged pineapple and loves his job as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab. He has a pet snail, Gary, who meows like a cat. Living two houses down from SpongeBob is his best friend Patrick Star, a dim-witted yet friendly pink starfish who lives under a rock. Despite his mental setbacks, Patrick still sees himself as intelligent. Squidward Tentacles is SpongeBob's next-door neighbor and co-worker at the Krusty Krab. Squidward is an arrogant and ill-tempered octopus who lives in an Easter Island moai and dislikes his neighbors (especially SpongeBob) for their childlike behavior. He enjoys playing the clarinet and painting self-portraits, but hates his job as a cashier.
Another close friend of SpongeBob is Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas. She is a scientist and an expert in karate. She lives in an oak tree entrapped in a clear glass dome locked by an airtight, hand-turned seal. When outside of her dwelling, she wears an astronaut-like suit because she cannot breathe underwater. Mr. Krabs, a miserly crab obsessed with money, is the owner of the Krusty Krab restaurant and SpongeBob's boss. Krabs has a teenage whale daughter named Pearl, whom he values equally with his riches. His rival, Plankton, is a small green copepod who owns a low-rank fast-food restaurant called the Chum Bucket, located across the street from the Krusty Krab. Plankton spends most of his time planning to steal the secret recipe for Mr. Krabs's popular Krabby Patty burgers, so as to gain the upper hand and put the Krusty Krab out of business. The majority of Plankton's plans come from his intelligent yet sarcastic computer wife Karen, who is more competent and less conceited than him. When SpongeBob is not working at the Krusty Krab, he can often be found at Mrs. Puff's boating school (the underwater equivalent of a driver's education course). SpongeBob is perpetually unable to pass Mrs. Puff's exams, which is why he almost always walks around town.
Other recurring characters appear throughout the series, such as the muscular lifeguard of Goo Lagoon, Larry the Lobster; a pirate specter known as the Flying Dutchman; and retired superheroes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, who are idolized by SpongeBob and Patrick. Most double-length episodes of the show are hosted by a live action pirate named Patchy and his pet parrot Potty, whose segments are presented in a dual narrative with the animated stories.
The series predominantly takes place in the benthic underwater city of Bikini Bottom which, according to some third-party sources, is located in the Pacific Ocean beneath the real-life coral reef known as Bikini Atoll. In 2015, Tom Kenny confirmed that the fictitious city was named after Bikini Atoll, but denied an Internet fan theory that connected the series' characters to actual nuclear testing that occurred in the atoll.
The citizens live in mostly aquatic-themed buildings and use "boatmobiles", amalgamations of cars and boats, as a mode of transportation. Recurring establishments present in Bikini Bottom include two competing restaurants, the Krusty Krab and the Chum Bucket; Mrs. Puff's Boating School; and Shady Shoals Rest Home. Goo Lagoon, a popular beach hangout, is within the vicinity of the city, as is Jellyfish Fields. There are also a few episodes with businesses such as the grocery store, joke store, and mattress store.
When the crew began production on the pilot, they were tasked with designing the stock locations where "the show would return to again and again, and in which most of the action would take place, such as the Krusty Krab and SpongeBob's pineapple house". The idea for the series was "to keep everything nautical", so the crew used a great amount of rope, wooden planks, ships' wheels, netting, anchors, boilerplates, and rivets in creating the show's setting. Bubbles filing up the screen is also a nautical technique used to transition from scene to scene.
The series features "sky flowers" as a main setting material. They first appeared in the pilot and have since become a common feature throughout the series. When series background designer Kenny Pittenger was asked what they were, he answered, "They function as clouds in a way, but since the show takes place underwater, they aren't really clouds". Since the series was influenced by tiki, the background painters have to use a lot of pattern. Pittenger said that the sky flowers were meant to "evoke the look of a flower-print Hawaiian shirt".
Series creator Stephen Hillenburg first became fascinated with the ocean as a child. Also at a young age, he began developing his artistic abilities. However, these two interests would not coincide for a long time—the idea of drawing fish seemed boring to him. During college, he majored in marine biology and minored in art. After graduating in 1984, he joined the Ocean Institute, an organization in Dana Point, California, dedicated to educating the public about marine science and maritime history.
While Hillenburg was there, he created a precursor to SpongeBob SquarePants: a comic book titled The Intertidal Zone, which was used by the institute to teach visiting students about the animal life of tide pools. The comic starred various anthropomorphic sea lifeforms, many of which would evolve into SpongeBob characters. Hillenburg tried to get the comic professionally published, but none of the companies to which he sent it were interested.
During his time of employment at the Ocean Institute, Hillenburg attended an animation festival and determined that he wanted to pursue a career in that field. He had already been planning on returning to college for a master's degree in art. Instead, he chose to study experimental animation at the California Institute of the Arts. His thesis film, Wormholes, is about the theory of relativity. It was screened at festivals, and at one of these, Hillenburg met Joe Murray, creator of the popular Nickelodeon animated series, Rocko's Modern Life. Murray was impressed by the style of the film and offered Hillenburg a job. Hillenburg joined the series as a director and later, during the fourth season, he took on the roles of producer and creative director.
Martin Olson, one of the writers for Rocko's Modern Life, read The Intertidal Zone and encouraged Hillenburg to create a television series with a similar concept. At that point, Hillenburg had not even considered creating his own series. However, he realized that if he ever did, this would be the best approach. He began to further develop some of the characters from The Intertidal Zone, including the comic's "announcer", Bob the Sponge. He wanted his series to stand out from most popular cartoons of the time, which he felt were exemplified by buddy comedies such as The Ren & Stimpy Show. As a result, Hillenburg decided to focus on one main character: the weirdest sea creature that he could think of. This led him to the sponge. Bob the Sponge resembles an actual sea sponge, and at first Hillenburg continued this design. In determining the new character's personality, Hillenburg drew inspiration from innocent, childlike figures that he enjoyed, such as Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Jerry Lewis, and Pee-wee Herman. He then considered modeling the character after a kitchen sponge and realized that this idea would perfectly match the character's square personality.
To voice the central character of the series, Hillenburg turned to Tom Kenny, whose career in animation had started alongside Hillenburg's on Rocko's Modern Life. Elements of Kenny's own personality were employed in further developing the character. Initially, Hillenburg wanted to use the name SpongeBoy — the character would have had no last name, and the series would have been called SpongeBoy Ahoy! However, the Nickelodeon legal department discovered — after voice acting had been completed for the original seven-minute pilot episode — that the name "SpongeBoy" was already in use for a mop product. Flaming Carrot Comics creator Bob Burden also owned the trademark to a character of the same name. In choosing a replacement name, Hillenburg felt that he still had to use the word "Sponge", so that viewers would not mistake the character for a "Cheese Man". He settled on the name "SpongeBob". "SquarePants" was then chosen as a family name after Kenny saw a picture of the character and remarked, "Boy, look at this sponge in square pants, thinking he can get a job in a fast food place." Hillenburg loved the phrase upon hearing Kenny say it and felt that it would reinforce the character's nerdiness.
In 1997, while pitching the cartoon to Nickelodeon executives, Hillenburg donned a Hawaiian shirt, brought along an "underwater terrarium with models of the characters", and played Hawaiian music to set the theme. The setup was described by Nickelodeon executive Eric Coleman as "pretty amazing". When they were given money and two weeks to write the pilot episode "Help Wanted", Derek Drymon, Stephen Hillenburg, and Nick Jennings returned with what was described by Nickelodeon official Albie Hecht as, "a performance [he] wished [he] had on tape". Although executive producer Derek Drymon described the pitch as stressful, he said it went "very well". Kevin Kay and Hecht had to step outside because they were "exhausted from laughing", which worried the cartoonists.
In an interview, Cyma Zarghami, the current president of Nickelodeon, said, "their [Nickelodeon executives'] immediate reaction was to see it again, both because they liked it and it was unlike anything they'd ever seen before". Zarghami was one of four executives in the room when SpongeBob SquarePants was screened for the first time.
Executive producers and showrunners
Series creator Stephen Hillenburg has served as the executive producer over the course of the series' entire history, and functioned as the showrunner from the series' debut in 1999 until 2004. The series went on hiatus in 2002, after Hillenburg halted production to work on a feature film of the series, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Once the film was finalized and the third season finished, Hillenburg resigned as the series' showrunner. Although he no longer has a direct role in the production of the series, he still maintains an advisory role and reviews each episode.
When the film was completed, Hillenburg intended for it to be the series finale, "so [the show] wouldn't jump the shark." However, Nickelodeon wanted more episodes, so Hillenburg appointed Paul Tibbitt, who previously served on the show as a writer, director, and storyboard artist, to take over his role as showrunner and produce further seasons. Hillenburg considered Tibbitt one of his favorite members of the show's crew, and "totally trusted him". Tibbitt still holds the showrunner position, and has also functioned as a supervising producer since 2005 and an executive producer since 2008.
On December 13, 2014, it was announced that Hillenburg would return to the series in an unspecified position.
For SpongeBob SquarePants a team of five outline and premise writers creates the initial storylines. Writer Luke Brookshier said, "SpongeBob is written differently than many television shows". Writing for an episode of the series starts with a two-page outline. A storyboard director then takes the outline and develops it into a full episode — jokes and dialogue are added during this stage. Another writer for the series, Merriwether Williams, described in an interview that she and Mr. Lawrence would write a draft for an episode in an afternoon and be done at 4 o'clock.
Hillenburg decided early on, prior to starting the production of the series, that he wanted SpongeBob SquarePants to be storyboard-driven, rather than script-driven. This required an approach in which artists "would take a skeletal story outline and flesh it out with sight gags, dialogue and a structure that would strike a balance between narrative and whimsy". Hillenburg originally wanted "a team of young and hungry people" to work on the series. The primary figures, who had previously worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life, consisted of Alan Smart, Nick Jennings, and Derek Drymon. Head writer Steven Banks said, "The writers come up with an idea and write premises and outlines describing the story, and the storyboarders (who are also writers) write the dialogue while they draw the storyboard panels. Most other shows are script-driven. We don't write scripts and that has made all the difference!"
The writing staff often used their individual life experiences for inspirations to come up with the storylines of the series' episodes. For example, the episode "Sailor Mouth", in which SpongeBob and Patrick learn profanity, was inspired by creative director Derek Drymon's experience of getting in trouble as a child for using the f-word in front of his mother. Drymon said, "The scene where Patrick is running to Mr. Krabs to tattle, with SpongeBob chasing him, is pretty much how it happened in real life". The end of the episode, in which Mr. Krabs uses even more profanity than SpongeBob and Patrick, was inspired "by the fact that my [Drymon's] mother has a sailor mouth herself". The idea for the episode "The Secret Box" also came from one of Drymon's childhood experiences. Hillenburg explained, "Drymon had a secret box [as a kid] and started telling us about it. We wanted to make fun of him and use it."
Almost every episode is divided into two 11-minute segments. Hillenburg explained that "[I] never really wanted to deliberately try to write a half-hour show". He added, "I wrote the shows to where they felt right". Each 11-minute segment takes about five months to produce.
SpongeBob SquarePants features the voices of Tom Kenny, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Clancy Brown, Mr. Lawrence, Jill Talley, Carolyn Lawrence, Mary Jo Catlett, and Lori Alan. Most one-off and background characters are voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, Sirena Irwin, Bob Joles, Mark Fite and Thomas F. Wilson.
Kenny voices SpongeBob SquarePants and a variety of other characters, including SpongeBob's pet snail Gary and the French narrator. He also physically portrays Patchy the Pirate in live-action segments of most special episodes. Kenny previously worked with Stephen Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life and, when Hillenburg created SpongeBob SquarePants, he approached Kenny to voice the main character. Kenny originally used the voice of SpongeBob for a minor female alligator character named Al on Rocko. He forgot how to perform the voice initially and did not intend to use it afterwards. Hillenburg, however, used a video clip of the episode to remind Kenny of the voice. When Hillenburg heard Kenny perform the voice, he immediately knew he wanted it for his character. He said to Nickelodeon executives, "That's it—I don't want to hear anybody else do the voice. We've got SpongeBob." The network insisted on auditioning more actors, but Hillenburg turned them down; in the words of Tom Kenny, "one of the advantages of having a strong creator is that the creator can say, 'No, I like that—I don't care about celebrities.'" While Kenny was developing SpongeBob's voice, the show's casting crew wanted him to have a unique, high-pitched laugh in the tradition of Popeye and Woody Woodpecker.
Fagerbakke voices Patrick Star and other miscellaneous characters. At the same time when Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, and Tim Hill were writing the pilot "Help Wanted", Hillenburg was also conducting auditions to find voices for the characters. Fagerbakke auditioned for the role of Patrick after Kenny had been cast. Fagerbakke recalled that during his audition for the role of Patrick, "Hillenburg actually played for me a portion of Tom [Kenny]'s performance [as SpongeBob], and they were looking for a counterpoint." In an interview, Fagerbakke compared himself to the character and said, "It's extremely gratifying". Fagerbakke modeled his performance whenever Patrick is angry after that of American actress Shelley Winters.
Squidward Tentacles is voiced by Rodger Bumpass, who describes Squidward as "a very nasally, monotone kind of guy." He said that the character "became a very interesting character to do" because of "his sarcasm, and then his frustration, and then his apoplexy, and so he became a wide spectrum of emotions". Arthur Brown, author of Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Cartoons!, has compared Squidward's voice to that of Jack Benny's, a similarity Bumpass says is mostly unintentional. Voice acting veteran Clancy Brown voices Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob's boss at the Krusty Krab. Hillenburg modeled Mr. Krabs after his former manager at a seafood restaurant, whose strong Maine accent reminded Hillenburg of a pirate. For the character, Brown decided to use a "piratey" voice with "a little Scottish brogue" after hearing Hillenburg's description of his boss. According to Brown, his Mr. Krabs voice was mostly improvised during his audition and it was not challenging for him to find the correct voice.
Mr. Lawrence had met Hillenburg previously on Rocko's Modern Life. When working on the pilot episode of SpongeBob, Hillenburg invited him to audition for all of the characters. Since other voices had been found for the main cast already, Lawrence started out by voicing a variety of minor characters. This included Plankton, who was initially only set to appear in one episode. Mr. Lawrence recalls that Nickelodeon executives told Hillenburg, "'we could stunt-cast this. You know, we could have Bruce Willis do this voice.' And Steve was just like, 'it's Doug [Lawrence], don't you hear it? This is the character! This is the guy!'" Jill Talley, Tom Kenny's wife, voices Karen Plankton. Being a Chicago native, she uses a Midwestern accent for the character. Electronic sound effects are underlaid by the series' audio engineers to create a robotic sound whenever she speaks. Talley and Mr. Lawrence often improvise Plankton and Karen's dialogue. Lawrence called improvisation his "favorite part of the voice over" in 2009. He elaborated in a 2012 interview, saying, "I always enjoy the back-and-forth. [Talley and I] start to actually overlap so much talking to each other that [the voice directors] have to tell us, 'hey, stop doing that, separate what you're saying!'"
Carolyn Lawrence voices Sandy Cheeks. When Lawrence was on a sidewalk in Los Feliz, Los Angeles with a friend who knew SpongeBob SquarePants casting director Donna Grillo, her friend said to Grillo that Lawrence had "an interesting voice". Grillo invited Lawrence to audition and she got the role. Mrs. Puff's voice is provided by American actress Mary Jo Catlett, who is known for her live-action roles on television programs from the 1970s such as Diff'rent Strokes and M*A*S*H. As of 2017, voicing Mrs. Puff has become her only remaining regular television role; Catlett described herself as "basically retired" in 2013, since she feels that voicing Mrs. Puff requires less preparation than her performances in person. Lori Alan voices Pearl Krabs. During her audition for the role, Alan was shown an early drawing of the characters and took note of how Pearl was much larger than the rest of the cast. She decided to reflect the character's size in her voice by making it deep and full in tone. She aimed to make Pearl's voice invoke the sound of whales’ low vocalizations while also sounding "spoiled and lovable." In an interview with AfterBuzz TV, Alan said that she knew Pearl "had to sound somewhat like a child," but at the same time needed "an abnormally large voice."
In addition to the regular cast, episodes feature guest voices from many ranges of professions, including actors, athletes, authors, musicians, and artists. Recurring guest voices include: Ernest Borgnine, who voiced Mermaid Man from 1999 until his death in 2012; Tim Conway as the voice of Barnacle Boy; Brian Doyle-Murray as the Flying Dutchman; and Marion Ross as Grandma SquarePants. Notable guests who have provided vocal cameo appearances includes David Bowie as Lord Royal Highness in the television film Atlantis SquarePantis, John Goodman as the voice of Santa in the episode "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!", Johnny Depp as the voice of the surf guru, Jack Kahuna Laguna, in the episode "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One", and Victoria Beckham as the voice of Queen Amphitrite in the episode "The Clash of Triton".
Voice recording sessions always include a full cast of actors, which Kenny describes as "getting more unusual". Kenny said, "That's another thing that's given SpongeBob its special feel. Everybody's in the same room, doing it old radio-show style. It's how the stuff we like was recorded". Series writer Jay Lender said, "The recording sessions were always fun ..." For the first three seasons, Hillenburg and Drymon sat in on the record studio, and they directed the actors. Andrea Romano became the voice director in the fourth season, and Tom Kenny took over the role during the ninth. Wednesday is recording day, the same schedule followed by the crew since 1999. Casting supervisor Jennie Monica Hammond said, "I loved Wednesdays".
Approximately 50 people work together in animating and producing an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. Throughout its run, production of the series has been handled domestically at Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, California, while the finished animation has been created overseas at Rough Draft Studios in South Korea. Storyboarding for each episode is done by the crew in California. The storyboards are then used as templates by the crew in Korea, who animate by hand, color cels on computers, and paint backgrounds. Episodes are finished in California, where they are edited and have music added. Every season, character designs are updated or modified to solve technical issues in the animation.
During the first season, the series used cel animation. A shift was made the following year to digital ink and paint animation. In 2009, executive producer Paul Tibbitt said "The first season of SpongeBob was done the old-fashioned way on cells, and every cell had to be part-painted, left to dry, paint some other colours. It's still a time-consuming aspect of the process now, but the digital way of doing things means it doesn't take long to correct".
In 2008, the crew shifted to using Wacom Cintiqs for the drawings instead of pencils. The fifth season episode "Pest of the West" was the first episode in the series to which the crew applied this method. Series background designer Kenny Pittenger said, "The only real difference between the way we draw now and the way we drew then is that we abandoned pencil and paper during the fifth season". The crew began the shift while they were working on the episode. Pittenger said, "It was while we were working on 'Pest of the West', one of the half-hour specials, that we made the switch ... did you notice?" The shift to Wacom Cintiqs let the designers and animators draw on computer screens and make immediate changes or undo mistakes. Pittenger said, "Many neo-Luddites—er ... I mean, many of my cohorts—don't like working on them, but I find them useful. There's no substitute for the immediacy of drawing on a piece of paper, of course, but digital nautical nonsense is still pretty fun".
Since 2004, the SpongeBob crew has periodically collaborated with the LA-based animation studio Screen Novelties to create stop-motion sequences for special episodes. The studio produced a brief claymation scene for the climax of the first theatrical film and was re-enlisted in 2009 to create an exclusive opening for the series' tenth anniversary special. The abominable snow mollusk, an octopus-like creature made of clay who acts as the antagonist of the double-length episode "Frozen Face-Off," was also animated by the company. Animation World Network reported that "within the SpongeBob creative team, there was always talk of doing a more involved project together" with Screen Novelties. As a result, the group was asked to create an episode animated entirely in stop motion in 2011. This project became "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!”, which reimagined the show's characters as if they were part of a Rankin/Bass holiday film. Tom Kenny, who is not normally involved in the writing process, contributed to the episode's plot; he said in 2012 that he and Nickelodeon "wanted to do something just like those old school, stop-motion Rankin-Bass holiday specials...which I watched over and over again when I was a kid growing up in Syracuse." Unconventional materials such as baking soda, glitter, wood chips and breakfast cereal were used in mass quantities to create the special's sets. Members of the Screen Novelties crew received one win and two nominations at the 30th Annie Awards, a nomination at the 2013 Golden Reel Awards, and a nomination at the 2013 Annecy International Animated Film Festival for animating the episode. The team built a dolphin puppet named Bubbles, voiced by Matt Berry, for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Sequences involving Bubbles included a blend of stop motion and traditional animation. A second special animated in stop motion, themed around Halloween and using the same Rankin/Bass-inspired character models, is currently being produced for season 11.
The theme song was composed by Mark Harrison and Blaise Smith, while the lyrics to the song were written by series creator Stephen Hillenburg and the series' original creative director Derek Drymon. The melody was inspired by the sea shanty "Blow the Man Down". An old oil painting of a pirate is used in the opening sequence. It has been dubbed "Painty the Pirate", and according to Tom Kenny, Hillenburg found it in a thrift shop "years ago". Patrick Pinney gives voice to Painty the Pirate, singing the theme song as the character. Hillenburg's lips were imposed onto the painting and move along with the lyrics. Kenny joked that this is "about as close of a glimpse as most SpongeBob fans are ever going to get of Steve Hillenburg", because of Hillenburg's private nature.
A cover of the song by Avril Lavigne can be found on the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie soundtrack. Another cover by the Violent Femmes aired on Nickelodeon as a promotion for the series moving to prime time.
Steve Belfer, one of Hillenburg's friends from CalArts, wrote and performed the music that is played over the end credits. This theme includes ukulele music, per Hillenburg's request. Drymon said, "It's so long ago, it's hard to be sure, but I remember Hillenburg having the Belfer music early on, maybe before the pilot".
The series' music editor and main composer is Nicolas Carr. After working with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life, Carr struggled to find a new job in his field. He had been considering a career change when Hillenburg offered him the job. The first season's score primarily featured selections from the Associated Production Music Library, which Carr has said includes "lots of great old corny Hawaiian music and big, full, dramatic orchestral scores." Rocko's Modern Life also used music from this library. It was Hillenburg's decision to adopt the approach. The selections for SpongeBob SquarePants have been described by Carr as being "more over-the-top" than those for Rocko's Modern Life.
Hillenburg also felt that it was important for the series to develop its own music library, consisting of scores that could be reused and re-edited throughout the years. He wanted these scores to be composed by unknowns, and a group of twelve was assembled. They formed "The Sponge Divers Orchestra", which includes Carr and Belfer. This group went on to provide the majority of the music for later seasons, although Carr still draws from the Associated Production Music Library, as well as another library that he founded himself — Animation Music Inc.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||41||20||May 1, 1999||April 8, 2000|
|2||39||20||October 26, 2000||July 26, 2003|
|3||37||20||October 5, 2001||October 11, 2004|
|The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie||November 19, 2004|
|4||38||20||May 6, 2005||July 24, 2007|
|5||41||20||February 19, 2007||July 19, 2009|
|6||47||26||March 3, 2008||July 5, 2010|
|7||50||26||July 19, 2009||June 11, 2011|
|8||47||26||March 26, 2011||December 6, 2012|
|9||49||26||July 21, 2012||February 20, 2017|
|The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water||February 6, 2015|
|10||22||11||October 15, 2016||TBA|
|11||TBA||26||June 24, 2017||TBA|
Nickelodeon began celebrating the 10th anniversary of the series on January 18, 2009 with a live cast reading of the episode "SpongeBob vs. The Big One". The reading — a first for the series — was held at that year's Sundance Film Festival. The episode, which would not premiere on TV until April 17, featured Johnny Depp as a guest star. Other celebratory actions taken by the network included the launching of a new website for the series (spongebob.com) and the introduction of new merchandising. A "SpongeBob and water conservation-themed element" was also added to Nickelodeon's pro-social campaign The Big Green Help. In an interview, Tom Kenny said, "What I'm most proud of is that kids still really like [SpongeBob SquarePants] and care about it ... They eagerly await new episodes. People who were young children when it started 10 years ago are still watching it and digging it and think it's funny. That's the loving cup for me".
Three nights before the official anniversary date, an hour-long documentary of the series, Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants, premiered on VH1. Critically acclaimed duo Patrick Creadon and Christine O'Malley created the film as a followup to I.O.U.S.A. – a documentary on America's financial situation. Creadon remarked, "After spending two years examining the financial health of the United States, Christine and I were ready to tackle something a little more upbeat. Telling the SpongeBob story feels like the perfect fit." On Friday July 17, Nickelodeon marked the official anniversary of the series, with a 50-hour television marathon titled "The Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash Weekend". The marathon began with a new episode, "To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants". Saturday saw a countdown of the top ten episodes as picked by fans, as well as an airing of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. The marathon finished on Sunday, which saw a countdown of episodes as picked by celebrities, as well as the premiere of ten new episodes.
Nickelodeon continued celebrating the anniversary through the rest of the year. An eight-episode DVD set featuring "To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants" shortly followed the marathon, with a July 21 release. Next a 2,200 minute, 14-disc DVD set titled The First 100 Episodes was released on September 22. Finally, on November 6, an hour-long television film, titled Truth or Square, debuted on Nickelodeon. The film is narrated by Ricky Gervais and features live action cameo appearances by Rosario Dawson, Craig Ferguson, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, LeBron James, P!nk, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and Robin Williams. It was released as part of a five-episode DVD set on November 10.
Ratings and run-length achievements
Within its first month on air, SpongeBob SquarePants overtook Pokémon as the highest rated Saturday-morning children's series. It held an average national Nielsen rating of 4.9 among children aged two through eleven, denoting 1.9 million viewers. Two years later, the series had firmly established itself as Nickelodeon's second highest rated children's program, after Rugrats. It had gained a significant adult audience by that point – nearly 40 percent of the series' 2.2 million viewers were aged 18 to 34. That year, 2001, Nickelodeon took the "Saturday-morning ratings crown" for the fourth straight season. In response to this weekend-found success, the studio gave SpongeBob SquarePants time slots at 6 PM and 8 PM, Monday through Thursday, to increase exposure of the series. By the end of that year SpongeBob SquarePants boasted the highest ratings for any children's series, not only on Nickelodeon, but on all of television. Weekly viewership of the series had reached around fifteen million, at least five million of which were adults.
In October 2002, another Nickelodeon series titled The Fairly OddParents ranked as the No. 2 program for children between 2 and 11 years old. Its ratings at that time were almost equal to SpongeBob SquarePants' then-average of 2.2 million viewers per episode. The Fairly OddParents even briefly surpassed SpongeBob SquarePants, causing the latter series to drop into second place — at this time The Fairly OddParents had a 6.2 rating and nearly 2.5 million child viewers, while SpongeBob SquarePants had a 6.0 rating and 2.4 million kids 2–11. Nickelodeon "recognized" The Fairly OddParents for its climbing ratings and installed it into a new 8 P.M. time slot, previously occupied by SpongeBob SquarePants. In an interview, Cyma Zarghami, then-general manager and executive vice president of Nickelodeon, said, "Are we banking on the fact that Fairly OddParents will be the next SpongeBob? ... We are hoping. But SpongeBob is so unique, it's hard to say if it will ever be repeated".
However, in 2012, it was reported that the series' ratings were declining. The average number of viewers aged 2 to 11 watching SpongeBob at any given time dropped 29% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to Nielsen. Wall Street Journal business writer John Jannarone suggested that the age of the series and oversaturation of the series might be contributing to the decline of the series' ratings, and might also be directly responsible for the decline in Nickelodeon's overall ratings. Media analyst Todd Juenger directly attributes the decline in Nickelodeon's ratings to the availability of streaming video content on services like Netflix, a provider of on-demand Internet streaming media.
Philippe Dauman, the president and CEO of Viacom, contradicted the notion, saying he did not think "the limited amount of Nick library content on Netflix ... has had a significant impact". A Nickelodeon spokesman said SpongeBob is performing consistently well and remains the number one rated animated series in all of children's television. He added, "There is nothing that we have seen that points to SpongeBob as a problem". Dauman blamed the drop on "some ratings systemic issues" at Nielsen, citing extensive set-top-box data that "does in no way reflect" the Nielsen data.
Juenger noted that SpongeBob could affect the ratings of other Nickelodeon programming because children often change channels to find their favorite programs, then stay tuned into that network. Nickelodeon recently reduced its exposure in television. In the first quarter of 2012, the network cut back on the number of episodes it aired by 16% compared with a year earlier.
On April 22, 2013, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced their intentions not to renew their existing deal with Viacom. Since then, Viacom's deal with Netflix expired, and shows such as SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer were removed. On June 4, 2013, Viacom announced a multi-year licensing agreement which would move its programs, such as SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer, to Amazon.com, Netflix's top competitor. Amazon agreed to pay more than $200 million to Viacom for the license, its largest subscription streaming transaction ever.
SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the longest-running series on Nickelodeon. It became the Nickelodeon series with the most episodes, during its eighth season, surpassing the 172 episodes of Rugrats with 178. In its ninth season, a total of 26 episodes pushed the series over the 200th episode mark, reaching 204 produced episodes. In a statement, Brown Johnson, animation president for Nickelodeon, 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".
SpongeBob SquarePants has received generally positive reviews from critics, and it has been noted for its appeal towards different age groups. James Poniewozik of Time magazine described the title character as "the anti-Bart Simpson, temperamentally and physically: his head is as squared-off and neat as Bart's is unruly, and he has a personality to match—conscientious, optimistic and blind to the faults in the world and those around him". According to Laura Fries of Variety magazine, the series is "a thoughtful and inventive cartoon about a hopelessly optimistic and resilient sea sponge ... Devoid of the double entendres rife in today's animated TV shows, this is purely kid's stuff ... However, that's not to say that SpongeBob is simplistic or even juvenile. It's charming and whimsical, but clever enough to appeal to teens and college-aged kids, as well". The New York Times critic Joyce Millman said SpongeBob "is clever without being impenetrable to young viewers and goofy without boring grown-ups to tears. It's the most charming toon on television, and one of the weirdest. And it's also good, clean fun, which makes sense because it is, after all, about a sponge". Millman wrote, "His relentless good cheer would be irritating if he weren't so darned lovable and his world so excellently strange ... Like Pee-wee's Playhouse, SpongeBob joyfully dances on the fine line between childhood and adulthood, guilelessness and camp, the warped and the sweet".
Robert Thompson, a professor of communications and director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, told The New York Times, "There is something kind of unique about [SpongeBob]. It seems to be a refreshing breath from the pre-irony era. There's no sense of the elbow-in-rib, tongue-in-cheek aesthetic that so permeates the rest of American culture–including kids' shows like the Rugrats. I think what's subversive about it is it's so incredibly naive–deliberately. Because there's nothing in it that's trying to be hip or cool or anything else, hipness can be grafted onto it". In another interview with LA Times, he commentated on the show's adult audience: "[On one hand] It's a kind of time machine that transports parents back to when they watched TV in their footie [pajamas]. On the other hand, it's very hip in the way it's presented. It is very edgy to adults who know how to read and listen between the frames." In a 2007 interview, Barack Obama named SpongeBob his favorite TV character and admitted that SpongeBob SquarePants is "the show I watch with my daughters". British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also said he watches the series with his children.
Awards and accolades
SpongeBob SquarePants has received many awards and nominations; among these are two Emmy Awards ("Outstanding Special Class Animated Program" in 2010 and "Outstanding Sound Editing – Animation" in 2014); six Annie Awards; and two BAFTA Children's Awards. Television critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz included the series in their 2016 book TV as the 22nd greatest American television series of all time, stating that "SpongeBob SquarePants is an absurdist masterpiece that Salvador Dalí and Groucho Marx would have watched together in their smoking jackets". In 2006, IGN ranked SpongeBob SquarePants 15th on its list, "Top 25 Animated Series of All Time", and in 2013, it ranked the series 12th on its list, "The Top 25 Animated Series for Adults". Additionally, the website's UK division ran a "Top 100 Animated Series" list, and like its US counterpart, ranked SpongeBob SquarePants 15th.
The series is among the "All-TIME 100 TV Shows" as chosen by Time television critic James Poniewozik in 2007. He said, "It's the most funny, surreal, inventive example of the explosion in creative kids' (and adult) entertainment that Nick, Cartoon Network and their ilk made possible". Viewers of the UK television network Channel 4 voted SpongeBob SquarePants the 28th "Greatest Cartoon" in a 2004 poll. TV Guide listed the character of SpongeBob SquarePants at No. 9 for its "50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time". In 2013, the publication ranked SpongeBob SquarePants the eighth "Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time". In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly named SpongeBob one of the "100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years".
In July 2009, Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York launched a wax sculpture of SpongeBob in celebration of the series' 10th anniversary. This made SpongeBob the first animated character to ever receive a statue made entirely out of wax. In May 2011, a new species of mushroom, Spongiforma squarepantsii, was described, named after the series' title character.
The character has also become a trend in Egypt at Cairo's Tahrir Square. After the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, SpongeBob became a fashion phenomenon, appearing on various items of merchandise from hijabs to boxer shorts. The phenomenon led to the creation of the Tumblr project called "SpongeBob on the Nile". The project was founded by American students Andrew Leber and Elisabeth Jaquette and attempts to document every appearance of SpongeBob in Egypt. Sherief Elkeshta cited the phenomenon in an essay about the incoherent state of politics in Egypt in an independent monthly paper titled Midan Masr. He wrote, "Why isn't he [SpongeBob] at least holding a Molotov cocktail? Or raising a fist?" The phenomenon has even spread to Libya, where a Libyan rebel in SpongeBob dress was photographed celebrating the revolution. Although The Guardian and Vice have asserted that the trend has little to no political significance, "joke" presidential campaigns have been undertaken for SpongeBob in Egypt and Syria.
A clip was posted to YouTube in February 2013 that features soldiers in the Russian army and navy singing the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song as they march. According to the website that uploaded the video, this is one of the "most popular marching songs" in the Russian military. The video garnered nearly 50,000 views within its first week.
In 2005, an online video which showed clips from SpongeBob SquarePants and other children's shows set to the Sister Sledge song "We Are Family" to promote diversity and tolerance was attacked by an evangelical group in the United States, because they saw SpongeBob being used to "advocate homosexuality". James Dobson of Focus on the Family accused the video of promoting homosexuality, due to it being sponsored by a pro-tolerance group. The incident accentuated questions as to whether or not SpongeBob is gay. Although the character has enjoyed popularity with gay viewers, series creator Stephen Hillenburg had already denied the issue three years earlier, clarifying at the time that he considers the character to be "somewhat asexual". After Dobson's comments, Hillenburg reasserted his position, stating that sexual preference does not play a part in what they are "trying to do" with the series. Tom Kenny and other production members were distraught that such an issue had arisen.
Dobson later stated that his comments were taken out of context, and that his original complaints were not with SpongeBob, the video, or any of the characters in the video, but rather with the organization that sponsored the video, the We Are Family Foundation. Dobson indicated that the We Are Family Foundation posted pro-gay material on their website, but later removed it. After the controversy, John H. Thomas, the United Church of Christ's general minister and president, said they would welcome SpongeBob into their ministry. He said "Jesus didn't turn people away. Neither do we".
Jeffery P. Dennis, author of the journal article "Queertoons", argued that SpongeBob and Sandy are not romantically in love, while adding that he believed that SpongeBob and Patrick "are paired with arguably erotic intensity". Martin Goodman of Animation World Magazine described Dennis' comments regarding SpongeBob and Patrick as "interesting".[a] Ukrainian website Family Under the Protection of the Holy Virgin, which has been described as a "fringe Catholic" group by The Wall Street Journal, levied criticism against SpongeBob SquarePants for its alleged "promotion of homosexuality". The group sought to have the series banned, along with several other popular children's properties. The National Expert Commission of Ukraine on the Protection of Public Morality took up the matter for review in August 2012.
In April 2009, Burger King released a SpongeBob-themed advertisement featuring a parody of Sir Mix-a-Lot's song "Baby Got Back". The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood protested the ad for being sexist and inappropriately sexual, especially contemplating that SpongeBob's fan base includes young children. In official statements released by Burger King and Nickelodeon, both companies claimed that the campaign was aimed at parents.
A 2011 study conducted at the University of Virginia and published in the journal Pediatrics suggested that allowing preschool-aged audiences to watch the series caused short-term disruptions in mental function and attention span due to frequent shot changes. A Nickelodeon executive responded in an interview that the series was not intended for an audience of that age and that the study used "questionable methodology and could not possibly provide the basis for any valid findings that parents could trust".
Several episodes of the series have been subject to controversy as well. In a report titled Wolves in Sheep's Clothing, which documents the increase in potentially violent, profane, and sexual content in children's programming, the Parents Television Council, a watchdog media group, claimed the season 2 SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Sailor Mouth" was an implicit attempt to promote and satirize use of profanity among children, while "SpongeBob's Last Stand" and "Selling Out" have been accused of promoting environmentalism and left-wing politics due to their negative portrayal of big business. "SpongeBob, You're Fired", a 2013 season 9 episode, gained heavy controversy and sparked a political debate over its portrayal of unemployment; after Fox News and the New York Post commented on the episode, Media Matters for America accused the two organizations of using the episode to "attack the social safety net". This statement was echoed by Al Sharpton, who claimed conservatives' "new hero" to be "a sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea".
Critics' reviews of early SpongeBob episodes praised the show for its wit, clever humor, and "uncanny brilliance".[attribution needed] However, in 2007, around the airing of season five, the tone and emphasis of the show began to change. Some fans "began to turn away from the show",[attribution needed] causing online fansites to "[become] deserted".[attribution needed] They pointed to a shift from clever humor to what they perceived as "boring, unfunny humor ... geared too much towards children".[attribution needed]
Paul Tibbitt, showrunner from season four to the season 9 episode, "SpongeBob, You're Fired!" has been the subject of criticism. While The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie was generally well received by fans of the show, it is also considered a turning point in the show's history, as many fans believe the decline occurred after the film's release, when Stephen Hillenburg resigned as showrunner and Tibbitt was appointed to replace him. Episodes produced since the movie have been variously categorized as "kid-pandering attention-waster[s]", "tedious", "boring" and "dreck", a "depressing plateau of mediocrity", and "laugh-skimpy".
|Season||DVD release date|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||October 28, 2003||November 7, 2005||November 30, 2006|
|2||October 19, 2004||October 23, 2006||November 30, 2006|
|3||September 27, 2005||December 3, 2007||November 8, 2007|
|4||September 12, 2006||November 3, 2008||November 7, 2008|
|January 9, 2007|
|5||September 4, 2007||November 16, 2009||December 3, 2009|
|November 18, 2008|
|6||December 8, 2009||November 29, 2010||December 2, 2010|
|December 7, 2010|
|7||December 6, 2011||September 17, 2012||September 12, 2012|
|8||March 12, 2013||October 28, 2013||October 30, 2013|
In February 2011, creator Hillenburg first announced the release of the 32-page bimonthly comic book series, SpongeBob Comics, based on the show. The release marked the first time Hillenburg authored his own books. He said, "I'm hoping that fans will enjoy finally having a SpongeBob comic book from me". The comic book series is published by Hillenburg's production company, United Plankton Pictures, and distributed by Bongo Comics Group. Although the characters of the series had previously appeared in Nickelodeon Magazine and in Cine-Manga, the first issue of SpongeBob Comics marked the first time the characters have appeared in their own comic books in the United States. Hillenburg described the stories from the comic books as "original and always true to the humor, characters, and universe of the SpongeBob SquarePants series".
Chris Duffy, the former senior editor of Nickelodeon Magazine, serves as managing editor of SpongeBob Comics. Hillenburg and Duffy met with various cartoonists—including James Kochalka, Hilary Barta, Graham Annable, Gregg Schigiel, and Jacob Chabot—to contribute to each issues. Retired horror comics writer and artist Stephen R. Bissette returned to write a special Halloween issue in 2012, with Tony Millionaire and Al Jaffee. In an interview with Tom Spurgeon, Bissette said, "I've even broken my retirement to do one work-for-hire gig [for SpongeBob Comics] so I could share everything about that kind of current job".
In the United Kingdom, Titan Magazines publishes comics based on SpongeBob SquarePants every four weeks. These comics were first published on February 3, 2005. Titan Magazines teamed-up with Lego to release a limited edition SpongeBob-themed comic.
Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies produced The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, an animated film adaptation of the series that was released on November 19, 2004. The film was directed by creator Stephen Hillenburg, and was written by long-time series writers comprising Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, Tim Hill, Kent Osborne, Aaron Springer, and Paul Tibbitt. Hillenburg and Julia Pistor produced the film, while the film score was composed by Gregor Narholz. The film is about Plankton's evil plan to steal King Neptune's crown and send it to Shell City. SpongeBob and Patrick must retrieve it and save Mr. Krabs' life from Neptune's raft and their home, Bikini Bottom, from Plankton's plan. The film features guest appearances by Jeffrey Tambor as King Neptune, Scarlett Johansson as the King's daughter Mindy, Alec Baldwin as Dennis, and David Hasselhoff as himself. It received positive critical reception, and grossed over $140 million worldwide.
A sequel to the 2004 film was released in theaters on February 6, 2015. The series' main cast members are reprise their roles, and the underwater parts are traditionally animated in the manner of the series and the live-action parts uses CGI animation with the SpongeBob characters. The film has a budget similar to the previous film and did not cost more than $100 million to produce.
On April 30, 2015, Viacom announced a third movie was in development. On August 3, 2015, via Twitter, Vincent Waller confirmed that the sequel is in pre-production and that Paul Tibbitt will once again direct.
Collections of original music featured in the series have been released on the albums SpongeBob SquarePants: Original Theme Highlights (2001), SpongeBob's Greatest Hits (2009), and The Yellow Album (2005). The first two charted on the US Billboard 200, reaching number 171 and 122, respectively. Several songs have been recorded with the purpose of a single or album release, and have not been featured on the show. For example, the song "My Tidy Whities" written by Tom Kenny and Andy Paley was released only for the album The Best Day Ever (2006). Kenny's inspiration for the song was "underwear humor". Kenny said, "Underwear humor is always a surefire laugh-getter with kids ... Just seeing a character that odd wearing really prosaic, normal, Kmart, three-to-a-pack underwear is a funny drawing ... We thought it was funny to make a really lush, beautiful love song to his underwear". The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie – Music from the Movie and More..., a soundtrack album featuring the score of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, was released along with the feature-length film in November 2004. Various artists including the Flaming Lips, Wilco, Ween, Motörhead, the Shins, and Avril Lavigne contributed to the soundtrack that reached number 76 on the US Billboard 200.
Theme park rides
SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D film and ride opened in various locations, including Six Flags Over Texas, Flamingo Land Resort, and the Shedd Aquarium. The ride features water squirts, real bubbles, and other sensory enhancements. In 2012, Nickelodeon teamed up again with SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment and Super 78 to produce SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D: The Great Jelly Rescue. The attraction opened in early 2013 at the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration. The attraction was also released at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando in Orlando, Florida. The seven-minute film follows SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy to their old hijinks while rescuing the jellyfish of Jellyfish Fields from Plankton's evil clutches.
SpongeBob SquarePants appears at the Mall of America's Nickelodeon theme park re-branded from the Mall of America's Park at MOA, formerly Camp Snoopy, to Nickelodeon Universe in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota. The new theme park features a SpongeBob-themed Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter custom roller coaster, the SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge, which has replaced the Mystery Mine Ride and Olde Time Photo store on the west end of the theme park, which opened March 15, 2008.
On May 23, 2015, an interactive 3D show titled "SpongeBob SubPants Adventure" opened in Texas at Moody Gardens. According to Moody Gardens President and CEO John Zendt, "Visitors will be able to interact with the Nickelodeon characters on a digital stage as they have never been able to do before."
Numerous video games based on the series have been produced. Some of the early games include Legend of the Lost Spatula (2001) and SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom (2003). The 2003 video game was added to the Greatest Hits by Sony. It also served as the engine basis for a video game based on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Heavy Iron Studios, the game's developers, tweaked the graphics to give the game a sharper and more imaginative look than that of Battle for Bikini Bottom. They also increased the polygon count, added several racing levels, and incorporated many of the creatures seen in the film. In 2013, Nickelodeon published and distributed SpongeBob Moves In!, a freemium city-building game app developed by Kung Fu Factory for iOS.
Nickelodeon launched the first global SpongeBob SquarePants-themed short film competition, SpongeBob SquareShorts: Original Fan Tributes, in 2013. The contest encourages fans and filmmakers around the world to create original short films inspired by SpongeBob for a chance to win a prize and a trip for four people to a screening event in Hollywood. The contest opened on May 6 and ran through June 28, 2013. On July 19, 2013, Nickelodeon announced the finalists for the competition, and, on August 13, 2013, the "under 18 years of age" category was won by David of the United States for his "The Krabby Commercial", while the "Finally Home" short by Nicole of South Africa won the "18 and over" category.
The popularity of SpongeBob SquarePants inspired merchandise from T-shirts to posters. It was reported that the franchise generated an estimated $8 billion merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon. It is also the most distributed property of MTV Networks. SpongeBob is viewed in 170 countries speaking 24 languages, and has also become "a killer merchandising app". The title character and his friends have been used as a theme for special editions of well-known family board games, including Monopoly, Life, and Operation, as well as a SpongeBob SquarePants edition of Ants in the Pants, and Yahtzee.
In 2001, SpongeBob SquarePants signed a marketing deal with Target Corporation and Burger King, expanding its merchandising. The popularity of SpongeBob has translated well into sales figures. In 2002, SpongeBob SquarePants dolls sold at a rate of 75,000 per week, which was faster than Tickle Me Elmo dolls were selling at the time. SpongeBob has gained popularity in Japan, specifically with Japanese women. Nickelodeon's parent company Viacom purposefully targeted marketing at women in the country. Skeptics initially doubted that SpongeBob could be popular in Japan, as the character's design is very different from already popular designs for Hello Kitty and Pikachu. Ratings and merchandise sales showed SpongeBob SquarePants has caught on with parents and with college audiences. In a recent promotion, college-oriented website Music.com gave away 80,000 SpongeBob T-shirts, four times more than during a similar promotion for Comedy Central's South Park.
Kids' meal tie-ins have been released in snacks and fast food restaurants in many parts of the world, including Burger King in Europe and North America, as well as Wendy's in North America, and Hungry Jack's in Australia. A McDonald's Happy Meal tie-in with SpongeBob-themed Happy Meal boxes and toys was released in Europe and other international markets in the summer of 2007. In Australia, the advertisement for the McDonald's SpongeBob Happy Meal won the Pester Power Award because the ads are entice young children to want its food because of the free toy. As a tie-in beverage for the DVD release of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, 7-Eleven released the limited edition "Under-the-Sea Pineapple Slurpee" in March 2004. Pirate's Booty released limited edition SpongeBob SquarePants Pirate's Booty snacks in 2013.
In 2007, high-end SpongeBob-themed electronics have been introduced by Imation Electronics Products under the Npower brand, including MP3 players, digital cameras, a DVD player, and a flatscreen television. Pictures of SpongeBob SquarePants also began to appear on the labels of 8 oz. cans of Green Giant cut green beans and frozen packages of Green Giant green beans and butter sauce, which featured free stickers in 2007 as part of an initiative to encourage kids to eat their vegetables. The Simmons Jewelry Co. released a $75,000 diamond pendant as part of a SpongeBob collection. In New Zealand, the UK-based Beechdean Group unveiled the SpongeBob SquarePants Vanilla Ice Cream character product as part of a licence deal with Nickelodeon. NZ Drinks launched the SpongeBob SquarePants bottled water.
Build-A-Bear Workshop introduced the new SpongeBob SqaurePants collection in stores and online in North America on May 17, 2013. Shoppers can dress their SpongeBob and Patrick plush in a variety of clothing and accessories. Sandy Cheeks and Gary the Snail are also available as pre-stuffed minis. Build-A-Bear Workshop stores nationwide celebrated the arrival of SpongeBob with a series of special events from May 17 through May 19.
On July 13, 2013, Toyota, with Nickelodeon, unveiled a SpongeBob-inspired Toyota Highlander. The 2014 Toyota Highlander was launched on SpongeBob Day at the San Diego's Giants v. Padres game. The SpongeBob Toyota Highlander visited seven U.S. locations during its release, including the Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando in Florida.
- Erickson, Hal. "SpongeBob SquarePants [Animated TV Series]". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
- Gillette, Felix (January 29, 2015). "SpongeBob Muscles Up". Bloomberg L.P.
- "Casetext". Retrieved October 11, 2016.
- Writers: Luke Brookshier, Tom King, Dani Michaeli (October 6, 2006). "Squidtastic Voyage". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 4. Episode 75a. Nickelodeon.
- Brown, Arthur (2008). Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Cartoons!. USA: Arthur Brown. p. 85. ISBN 1-4357-3248-0.
- Writers: Sherm Cohen, Vincent Waller, David Fain (March 22, 2000). "Texas". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 1. Episode 18a. Nickelodeon.
- Writers: Luke Brookshier, Tom King, Steven Banks (May 5, 2006). "Chimps Ahoy". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 4. Episode 70b. Nickelodeon.
- Writers: Aaron Springer, Erik Wiese, Merriwether Williams (December 31, 1999). "Karate Choppers". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 1. Episode 14b. Nickelodeon.
- Beck 2013, p. 84.
- Writers: Aaron Springer, Richard Pursel (March 19, 2009). "Komputer Overload". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 6. Episode 118b. Nickelodeon.
- Writers: Aaron Springer, C. H. Greenblatt, Kent Osborne (May 10, 2002). "Krusty Krab Training Video". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 3. Episode 50b. Nickelodeon.
- Sichtermann, Barbara (December 4, 2008). "SpongeBob: Das Kind im Schwamme". Der Tagesspiegel. Dieter von Holtzbrinck.
- Bianco, Robert (March 21, 2003). "Critic's corner". USA Today. p. 12E.
- "THE HYPE SOAKING IT UP' SPONGEBOB' ACTOR LOVES THE ATTENTION". Daily News. Los Angeles, CA. 8 March 2001. Retrieved 30 October 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- QSR Staff (June 7, 2001). "Burger King SpongeBob SquarePants". QSR Magazone. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
- Bradley, Bill (10 Feb 2015). "SpongeBob SquarePants Answers 7 Big Questions And Debunks 1 Popular Theory". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- Pittenger, Kenny (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
- "Welcome to the Ocean Institute". ocean-institute.org. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
- Wilson, Thomas F.(Interviewer); Hillenburg, Stephen (Interviewee) (May 29, 2012). "Big Pop Fun #28: Stephen Hillenburg, Artist and Animator–Interview" (mp3) (Podcast). Nerdist Industries. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
- Banks 2004, p. 9.
- Hillenburg, Stephen; Murray, Joe; Drymon, Derek; Coleman, Eric; Hecht, Albie (2003). The Origin of SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete First Season (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- (Neuwirth 2003, p. 50–51)
- Joe Murray. "Lisa (Kiczuk) Trainor interviews Joe Murray, creator of Rocko's Modern Life". The Rocko's Modern Life FAQ (Interview). Interview with Lisa Kiczuk Trainor.
- Banks 2004, p. 10.
- Banks 2004, p. 31.
- Banks 2004, p. 30.
- "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
- Orlando, Dana (March 17, 2003). "SpongeBob: the excitable, absorbent star of Bikini Bottom". St Petersburg Times. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- Farhat, Basima (Interviewer) (December 5, 2006). Tom Kenny: Voice of SpongeBob SquarePants – Interview (Radio production). The People Speak Radio. Archived from the original (mp3) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
- Farhat, Basima (Interviewer) (December 5, 2006). Tom Kenny: Voice of SpongeBob SquarePants – Interview (Radio production). The People Speak Radio. Archived from the original (mp3) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- Heintjes, Tom (September 21, 2012). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- Neuwirth 2003, p. 51.
- Drymon, Derek (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
- Bauder, David (July 13, 2009). "SpongeBob Turns 10 Valued At $8 Billion". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on February 8, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Cavna, Michael (July 14, 2009). "The Interview: 'SpongeBob' Creator Stephen Hillenburg". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- "Nickelodeon's 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Reaches A Milestone: 10 Years". Access Hollywood. July 13, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- Fletcher, Alex (April 3, 2011). "Paul Tibbitt ('SpongeBob SquarePants')". Digital Spy. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- Hillenburg, Stephen (2009). The First 100 Episodes — Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- Rae, Fiona (September 26, 2009). "Paul Tibbitt interview". New Zealand Listener. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- Amid Amidi (December 13, 2014). "'SpongeBob' Creator Stephen Hillenburg Returning to His Show". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- "Interview with Luke Brookshier, SpongeBob SquarePants Storyboard Director". 4Mations. September 23, 2009. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "Writer Appreciation Day 2: Merriwether Williams". The Round Stable. August 15, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- Heintjes, Tom (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
- Zahed, Ramin (July 24, 2009). "Bikini Bottom Confessions". Animation. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- Williams, Merriwether (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley#17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
- "Vincent Waller on Twitter". Retrieved October 11, 2016.
- "Vincent Waller on Twitter". Retrieved October 11, 2016.
- Orlando, Dana (March 17, 2003). "SpongeBob: the excitable, absorbent star of Bikini Bottom". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
- Kenny, Tom (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
- "SpongeBob's Alter Ego". CBS News. December 30, 2002. Retrieved 2008-11-08.
- Crump, Steve (March 19, 2009). "COLUMN: Do you remember Bill Fagerbakke? He's a star". Magic Valley. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Liu, Ed (November 11, 2013). "Being Patrick Star: Toonzone Interviews Bill Fagerbakke on SpongeBob SquarePants". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- Liu, Ed (November 11, 2013). "Being Patrick Star: Toonzone Interviews Bill Fagerbakke on SpongeBob SquarePants". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- Douglas, Patrick (January 14, 2008). ""Transformers:Animated"/"Spongebob Squarepants"/"Coach" – Bill Fagerbakke (2008)". The Culture Shock. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Banks 2004, p. 33.
- Reardon, Samantha (September 8, 2013). "Rodger Bumpass is Squidward Tentacles". The Signal. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- "What a Sponge!" (PDF). The Mini Page. Andrews McMeel Universal. July 12, 2015.
- Beck 2013, pp. 86–88.
- Lawrence, Doug (April 2012). "Big Pop Fun #22: Mr. Lawrence" (Podcast). Interview with Thomas F. Wilson. Nerdist Industries. Archived from the original (mp3) on March 29, 2014.
- "Jill Talley: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Basile, Nancy (January 30, 2016). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' Cast: Who Does What Voice?". About.com.
- Lawrence, Doug (2002). F.U.N. backstage featurette, Nautical Nonsense (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- Lawrence, Doug (2009). "Andy interviews Mr Lawrence aka "the Slasher"". Nick NZ (Interview). Interview with Andy Goodman. Archived from the original on 2010-06-11.
- "Carolyn Lawrence Exclusive Interview". The Star Scoop. September 17, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- "REFANB Interview: Carolyn Lawrence, A.K.A. Ashley Graham". Resident Evil Fan. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- "Mary Jo Catlett: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Basile, Nancy (January 30, 2016). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' Cast: Who Does What Voice?". About.com.
- Pressley, Nelson (March 8, 2013). "Remember the time when Washington saved 'Hello, Dolly!'?". The Washington Post. Jeff Bezos.
- "Lori Alan: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Alan, Lori; Bumpass, Rodger (September 3, 2016), SpongeBob panel discussion at Dragon Con 2016, part 2: Rodger Bumpass and Lori Alan
- Alan, Lori (November 2015). "Lori Alan Interview". AfterBuzz TV (Interview). Interview with Kaori Takee.
- Lloyd, Robert (July 9, 2012). "Ernest Borgnine: From Marty to McHale to Mermaid Man". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
- "Tim Conway: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "Brian Doyle-Murray: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "Marion Ross: Credits". TV Guide. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "David Bowie goes out to sea for 'SpongeBob'". USA Today. October 11, 2006. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
- "Bowie voices SpongeBob character". BBC. October 11, 2006. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
- Moody, Annemarie (April 1, 2009). "Johnny Depp Teaches SpongeBob to Hang Ten in New TV Special". Animation World Network. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- Thomas, Devon (June 17, 2010). "Victoria Beckham Lends Her Voice to "SpongeBob"". CBS News. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- "Victoria Beckham to star in a new episode of SpongeBob SquarePants". Daily Mirror. July 15, 2010. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- Lender, Jay (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
- Hammond, Jennie Monica (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
- Vincent Waller (July 14, 2015). "Vincent Waller on Twitter". Archived from the original on June 20, 2017.
- Richmond, Ray (January 15, 2004). "Special Report: Animation". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 10, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Tibbitt, Paul (December 9, 2013). "paultibbitt: @gozarfan chars r updated every ...". Twitter. Archived from the original on December 15, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Heintjes, Tom (September 21, 2013). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley#17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved September 23, 2013.
- Hill, Jim (November 23, 2012). "New SpongeBob SquarePants Song Urges Shoppers Not to Be Jerks This Holiday Season". The Huffington Post. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Zahed, Ramin (November 21, 2012). "Stop Motion Casts a Spell on SpongeBob". Animation. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Priebe 2011, pp. 61–66.
- Sarto, Dan (December 5, 2012). "A Stop-Motion SpongeBob Special Means Christmas Comes Early This Year". Animation World Network. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Etkin, Jaimie (June 14, 2012). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' Christmas Special: Stop-Motion 'It's A SpongeBob Christmas' With John Goodman". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- "Nickelodeon Debuts First Full-Length Stop-Motion Special, It's A SpongeBob Christmas!, Dec. 9, At 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT)". PR Newswire. October 31, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- Beck, Jerry (November 6, 2012). "It's A SpongeBob Stop-Mo Christmas". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
- Staff (2013). "40th Annual Annie Awards Winners". Annie Award. ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Giardina, Carolyn (January 17, 2013). "Sound Editors Announce Golden Reel Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 15, 2013.
- "TV series Official Selection". Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Archived from the original on April 1, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
- Taylor, Drew (February 5, 2015). "Review: Off-The-Wall And Trippy Sequel 'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water'". IndieWire. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- "Nickelodeon Poland Sitemap". Nickelodeon Poland. Viacom International, Inc. Archived from the original on April 13, 2017.
- Prapuolenis, Kaz (April 6, 2017). "Kaz Prapuolenis on Instagram". Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Carr, Nicolas (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Theme". AllMusic. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
- Mar, Alex (October 1, 2004). "Avril Sings "SpongeBob"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "Avril Lavigne on SpongeBob SquarePants". Ultimate-Guitar. October 1, 2004. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Barker, Rayanna (June 22, 2001). "A Conversation With Brian Ritchie". Rock Zone. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "Vincent Waller on Twitter".
- Cavna, Michael (July 14, 2009). "Absorbent And Yellow And Beloved At 10 Is He". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "Nickelodeon Taps Patrick Creadon and Christine O'Malley to Produce First-Ever SpongeBob...". Reuters. January 19, 2009. Archived from the original on August 25, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Goldman, Eric (January 9, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants Meets Johnny Depp – TV News at IGN". Tv.ign.com. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- Annemarie Moody (April 1, 2009). "Johnny Depp Teaches SpongeBob to Hang Ten in New TV Special". Animation World Network. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- Bubbeo, Daniel (July 13, 2009). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' celebrates 10 years of nautical nonsense". Pop Matters. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "'SpongeBob' documentary on its way". United Press International. January 19, 2009. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- "Nickelodeon Celebrates 10 Years of Pop Culture Icon SpongeBob SquarePants". PR Newswire. June 24, 2009. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Ultimate SpongeBob SpongeBash Weekend – Raving Toy Maniac – The Latest News and Pictures from the World of Toys". Toymania.com. June 24, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- David Lambert (April 21, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants — To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants Debuts in July's 100-ep Marathon, Then on DVD". tvshowsondvd.com. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- Lambert, David (April 28, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants – 'First 100 Episodes' 5-Season DVD Set Arrives with New Extras this Autumn". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants — The First 100 Episodes (Seasons 1–5)". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Shaffer, R.L. (September 21, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes DVD Review". IGN. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Zahed, Ramid (July 24, 2009). "Soaking in Festivities". Animation. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Ricky Gervais, Will Ferrell and Robin Williams pay tribute to SpongeBob SquarePants". Mirror. July 1, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Maclntyre, April (October 14, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants Truth or Square, Friday Nov. 6". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- David Lambert (August 11, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants — Truth or Square Officially Announced: Package Art, Extras & More!". tvshowsondvd.com. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- "Nicklodeon.(rating of Nickelodeon's cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants)(Brief Article)(Statistical Data Included)". Multichannel News. August 23, 1999. Retrieved April 2, 2015. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- "Number 101". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- "THE STRETCH". Rocky Mountain News. Denver, CO. September 15, 2001. Retrieved October 30, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- "NICK RETAINS SATURDAY CROWN". Broadcasting &Cable. June 18, 2001. Retrieved October 30, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- Frazier Moore (July 9, 2001). "SPONGE SOAKS UP LAUGHS ON TV.(LIVING)". The Cincinnati Post. Retrieved April 4, 2015. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- Wilson, Amy (February 12, 2002). "Stephen Hillenburg created the undersea world of SpongeBob.(The Orange County Register)". Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. Retrieved June 30, 2015. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- Stauffer, Cindy (May 17, 2002). "Grown-ups embrace a wacky, square sponge; There's just something about this sweet kids' cartoon that's attracting an adult audience. Local fans can't get enough of SpongeBob". Lancaster New Era. Retrieved October 31, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- Moore, Frazier (October 21, 2002). "'SpongeBob' rises from sea to peak of ratings: Nickelodeon show top-rated among kids aged 2 to 11". Charleston Daily Mail. Retrieved December 7, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- Ryan, Suzanne C. (August 14, 2003). "'ODDPARENTS' IS SOAKING UP POPULARITY OF 'SPONGEBOB'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 7, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- Oei, Lily (October 28, 2002). "'Fairly Odd' number puts 'SpongeBob' in second". Daily Variety. Retrieved December 7, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- "Sorry, SpongeBob: Disney Channel Knocks Nick From Top Ratings Perch". The Wrap. March 28, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Lieberman, David (November 29, 2011). "Nickelodeon's Ratings Decline Is No "Blip"; Is Viacom Or Nielsen To Blame?". Deadline.com. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Berr, Jonathan (May 4, 2012). Viacom should pull the plug on SpongeBob. MSN Money. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- Jannarone, John (May 2, 2012). "Viacom's SpongeBob Crisis". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Gardner, Eriq (June 12, 2012). "Analyst: Nickelodeon Might Be in Danger of Being Dropped by Some TV Distributors". HollywoodReporter.com. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- Szalai, Georg (May 3, 2013). "Viacom CEO Defends Nickelodeon's Netflix Deal Again". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Szalai, Georg (February 2, 2013). "Viacom CEO: Netflix Content Is Not Hurting Nickelodeon Ratings". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Szalai, Georg (February 2, 2012). "Viacom CEO: Netflix Content Is Not Hurting Nickelodeon Ratings". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Wallenstein, Andrew (April 22, 2013). "Viacom and Netflix to Scale Down SVOD Deal". Variety. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Roettgers, Janko (May 23, 2013). "Adios, Dora: Netflix is starting to take Viacom shows offline". paidContent. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- "Dora, SpongeBob Swap Sides in Fickle Web-Video World". The Wall Street Journal. June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- Moscariloto, Angela (June 4, 2013). "Amazon Inks Streaming Deal for Viacom Shows Like Dora, SpongeBob". PCMag.com. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- Barr, Alistair (June 4, 2013). "Amazon writes biggest streaming video check for Dora, SpongeBob". Denver Post. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- "Amazon swipes SpongeBob from Netflix in most expensive deal yet". Mercury News. June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013.
- Huff, Richard (December 14, 2009). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' one of Nickelodeon's longest-running shows after nearly a decade". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- "5 of the best". Sunday Tribune. January 15, 2011. Retrieved November 8, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- Labrecque, Jeff (January 3, 2011). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' buckles up for ninth season". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Kit, Zorianna (January 3, 2011). ""SpongeBob SquarePants" renewed for ninth season". Reuters. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Levine, Stuart (January 4, 2011). "'SpongeBob' receives ninth season pickup". Variety. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Bryant, Adam (January 3, 2011). "SpongeBob SquarePants Renewed for Ninth Season". TV Guide. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Ng, Philiana (January 3, 2011). "Nickelodeon's 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Renewed for Ninth Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 8, 2013. (subscription required)
- Poniewozik, James (December 9, 2011). "Soaking Up Attention". Time. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- Fries, Laura (July 14, 1999). "Review: 'SpongeBob SquarePants'". Variety. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- Millman, Joyce (July 8, 2001). "TELEVISION/RADIO; The Gentle World Of a Joyful Sponge". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- Zeller, Tom Jr. (July 21, 2002). "How to Succeed Without Attitude". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- Levine, Bettijane (April 7, 2002). "Adults Find Their Inner Sponge". LA Times. Archived from the original on March 2, 2003. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- Eng, Joyce (August 8, 2009). "What's on Obama's Must-See TV List?". TV Guide. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "From Bikini Bottom to pop icon; SpongeBob turns 10". Reuters. July 14, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "Barack Obama Is A SpongeBob Fan". Media Bistro. November 26, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2013.
- "The 37th ANNUAL DAYTIME ENTERTAINMENT EMMY® AWARD NOMINATIONS" (PDF). Emmy Award. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- "Winners of the 41st Annual Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Emmy® Awards" (PDF). Emmy Award. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- "32nd Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2004)". Annie Award. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "37th Annual Annie Nominations". Annie Award. Archived from the original on January 24, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Spring, Mike. "Annie Awards Winners Announced". Voice Coaches. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "38th Annual Annie Nominations". Annie Award. Archived from the original on September 6, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Annie Award Nominations — A Real Race For Once". TheFilmExperience.net. December 4, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- "40th Annie Award nominees and winners list". Los Angeles Times. February 2, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "Children's in 2007". British Academy Children's Awards. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- "Children's in 2012". British Academy Children's Awards. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
- Alan Sepinwall; Matt Zoller Seitz (1 September 2016). "Why 'Deadwood' Is a Top-10 TV Show of All Time". The Ringer. PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- Ashbrook, Tom (9 September 2016). "The Greatest American Television Shows, Ranked". WBUR. WBUR. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- "15. SpongeBob SquarePants". IGN. September 28, 2006. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
- "The Top 25 Animated Shows for Adults". IGN. July 15, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- "Nickelodeon: SpongeBob SquarePants". IGN. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
- Poniewozik, James (August 14, 2007). "All-TIME 100 TV shows: SpongeBob SquarePants". Time. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
- "The 100 Greatest Cartoons – Results". Channel 4.com. Archived from the original on May 20, 2009. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
- "The 100 Greatest Cartoons – The Show". Channel 4.com. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009.
- "TV Guide's 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time". TV Guide. July 30, 2002. Archived from the original on April 4, 2005.
- "TV Guide Magazine's 60 Greatest Cartoons of All Time". TV Guide. September 24, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Adam B. Vary (June 1, 2010). "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years: Here's our full list!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- Snook, Raven (July 6, 2009). "Yellow fever: SpongeBob figure to debut at Madame Tussauds". Timeout. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Singer, Bret (July 15, 2009). "SpongeBob Debuts at Madame Tussauds". Parent Dish. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Huff, Richard (December 14, 2009). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' one of Nickelodeon's longest-running shows after nearly a decade". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "MADAME TUSSAUDS IS BONKERS FOR SPONGEBOB". Mom Trends. July 11, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Desjardin DE, Peay KB, Bruns TD (May 10, 2011). "Spongiforma squarepantsii, a new species of gasteroid bolete from Borneo". Mycologia. 103 (5): 1119–23. PMID 21558499. doi:10.3852/10-433.
- Kingsley, Patrick (May 27, 2013). "How SpongeBob SquarePants became massive in Egypt". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Malsin, Jared. "Is SpongeBob SquarePants the New Che Guevara?". Vice. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- "Meet Egypt's unusual Tahrir icon: SpongeBob SquarePants". Al Aribya. May 28, 2013. Archived from the original on May 28, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Cormack, Raphael (March 26, 2013). "SpongeBob SquarePants takes over the Middle East". Prospect. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- "Brooklyn, Egypt, And SpongeBob". Midan Masr. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- "The New Mascot of Egypt: SpongeBob SquarePants". Tavern Keepers. May 28, 2013. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- "Russian soldiers march to SpongeBob SquarePants theme song". Metro. February 19, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "Russian soldiers sing SpongeBob SquarePants theme tune as they march". The Telegraph. London. February 18, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- BBC Staff (January 20, 2005). "US right attacks SpongeBob video". BBC News. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- "SpongeBob, Muppets and the Sister Sledge writer suffer criticism". USA Today. Associated Press. January 22, 2005. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- BBC Staff (October 9, 2002). "Camp cartoon star 'is not gay'". BBC News. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- Silverman, Stephen M. (January 28, 2005). "SpongeBob Asexual, Not Gay: Creator". People. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
- "SpongeBob isn't gay or straight, creator says". Reuters. January 29, 2005. Retrieved November 9, 2008.
- Chang, Pauline J. (January 28, 2005). "Dobson clarifies Pro-Gay SpongeBob Video Controversy". The Christian Post. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- Till, Francis (February 4, 2005). "Ministry celebrates SpongeBob: Gay, happy, yellow, orange, whatever, he's welcome". National Business Review. Archived from the original on June 27, 2007. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- Dennis, Jeffery P. (June 2003). "Queertoons". Soundscapes. 6. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Goodman, Martin (March 10, 2004). "Deconstruction Zone – Part 2". Animation World Network. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
- Dennis, Jeffery P. (Fall 2003). "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons". Journal of Popular Film and Television. 31 (3): 132–140. doi:10.1080/01956050309603674. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Marson, James (August 15, 2012). "Ukraine's Morality Police Probe 'Gay' SpongeBob". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- "CCFC to Nickelodeon: Did You Approve the SpongeBob SquareButt Burger King Commercial?". Common Dreams. April 9, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Kelleher, Katy (April 8, 2009). "SpongeBob Meets Sir Mix-A-Lot In New Burger King Ads". Jezebel. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Newman, Craig (April 13, 2009). "Burger King pushes flat butts and SpongeBob to kids, hires buttheads to do it". Suntimes. Archived from the original on November 11, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Douglas, Joanna (April 8, 2009). "Is the Sir Mix-a-Lot Burger King commercial too much for kids?". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Ekberg, Aida (April 15, 2009). "SpongeBob + Sir Mix-A-Lot + Burger King = Offensive Commercial?". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Rabin, Roni Caryn (September 12, 2011). "Is SpongeBob SquarePants Bad for Children?". The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Lillard, Angeline; Peterson, Jennifer (2011). "The Immediate Impact of Different Types of Television on Young Children's Executive Function". Pediatrics. 128 (4): 644–649. PMID 21911349. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1919.
- Rochman, Bonnie (September 12, 2011). "Study: Fast-Moving Cartoons Like SpongeBob May Impair Kids' Focus". Time. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "Study: Some cartoons are bad for children's brains". CNN. September 12, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Brown, Eryn (September 12, 2011). "SpongeBob impairs little kids' thinking, study finds". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Kristen Fyfe (March 2, 2006). "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: A Content Analysis of Children's Television" (PDF). Parents Television Council. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
- Bond, Paul. "SpongeBob's Firing Sparks Political Debate (Exclusive Video)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
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. In episodes dubbed "SpongeBob's Last Stand" and "Selling Out," for example, environmentalism is glorified and large businesses are demonized.
- Weisman, Aly. "SpongeBob Gets Fired From His Job Amid 'Harsh Underwater Economy' And Sparks A Real-Life Political Debate". Chron. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "PoliticsNation: SpongeBob and the poor?". MSNBC. October 31, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- Zeus, Maxie (January 28, 2005). "The Uncanny Brilliance of "SpongeBob SquarePants"". Toon Zone. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- Lilly, Ally (January 29, 2015). "SpongeBob Sponge Out Of Water: To "Sea" Or Not To See". The Susquehannock Courier. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
- Zeus, Maxie (October 12, 2008). ""Whatever Happened to SpongeBob?": Good Question!". Toon Zone. Archived from the original on December 9, 2008. Retrieved October 14, 2008.
- Hrab, Roy (November 13, 2008). "SpongeBob SquarePants: Who Bob What Pants?". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- Hrab, Roy (March 13, 2011). "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Great Patty Caper". DVD Verdict. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- Rhodes, Mina (February 6, 2008). "SpongeBob SquarePants: To Love A Patty". DVD Verdict. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- Mavis, Paul (October 13, 2008). "SpongeBob SquarePants — WhoBob WhatPants?". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 1". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob – Season 1 (Animated) (Box Set) (DVD)". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 1". JB Hi-Fi. Archived from the original on March 8, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 2". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: the Complete Season 2 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 2". JB Hi-Fi. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- Lambert, David (August 5, 2005). "SpongeBob SquarePants – 3rd Season Set Package: SpongeBob Is Cookin'!". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: the Complete Season 3 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 3". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 4, Volume 1". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob Complete Season 4 Boxset [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants; S4". Sanity. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 4, Volume 2". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 5, Volume 1". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 5 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 5 (Complete) (DVD)". JB Hi-Fi. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Lambert, David (July 28, 2008). "SpongeBob SquarePants – Are Ya' Ready to Complete the 5th Season? Nick/Par Announces 'S5,V2' at Last!". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Season 6 and Other Announced Releases". TV Guide. September 9, 2009. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Complete Season 6 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 6: The Complete Collection (3 Disc Set)". EzyDVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 6". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 7". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- Lambert, David (September 12, 2011). "SpongeBob SquarePants – Nickelodeon/Paramount Announces a 'Complete 7th Season' 4-DVD Set". TV Shows on DVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 7th Season DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 7". EzyDVD. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants DVD news: Announcement for SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 8". TVShowsOnDVD.com. May 25, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 8 [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 8". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Maxwell, Erin (October 10, 2013). "Shiver me timbers! A bearded Antonio Banderas gets his sea legs with a pirate makeover for SpongeBob SquarePants 2". Daily Mail. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- ""SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS" COMIC DEBUTS IN FEBRUARY". Comic Book Resources. January 25, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- Boom, Richard (January 25, 2011). "SpongeBob Comics #1 debuts from United Plankton Pictures". Broken Frontier. Archived from the original on January 28, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- Johnston, Rich (July 18, 2012). "Steve Bissette Returns To Comics With SpongeBob SquarePants". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- Spurgeon, Tom (January 3, 2012). "CR Holiday Interview #14 – Steve Bissette". The Comics Reporter. Retrieved December 6, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Magazine 100th Issue". Titan Magazines. August 19, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Hutchins, Rob (March 22, 2013). "SpongeBob LEGO limited edition magazine launches". Licensing. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "'The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie' Opens Nationwide on Friday, November 19". PR Newswire. November 10, 2004. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
- "APM Film and Television Composer Gregor Narholz Signs on to Score Activision's X-Men(TM) Legends Sequel". PR Newswire. March 9, 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "APM Film and Television Composer Gregor Narholz Signs on to Score Activision's X-Men(TM) Legends Sequel". Activision. March 9, 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "Gregor Narholz Scores X-Men". IGN. March 10, 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Johansson, Scarlett (2005). The Absorbing Tale Behind The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (DVD). Paramount Home Entertainment.
- "The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, The". Metacritic. CBS. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
- "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
- Sneider, Jeff (June 5, 2014). "Paramount Avoids Fifty Shades by Moving Up SpongeBob SquarePants Sequel". The Wrap. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
- "'SpongeBob SquarePants' Film Planned for 2014". WN.com. March 4, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- Webb, Charles (August 20, 2012). "Is Paramount Prepping an Animated 'Legend of Korra' Movie?". MTV. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- Desowitz, Bill (February 29, 2012). "SpongeBob kicks off new Paramount Ani division". Bill Desowitz. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Chozik, Amy (March 4, 2012). "Return to Big Screen for SpongeBob". The New York Times. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Goodwin, Liam (February 28, 2012). "New SpongeBob SquarePants movie will be released in 2014". Filmonic.com. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Wolfe, Jennifer (February 29, 2012). "Paramount to Release 'SpongeBob' Movie in 2014". Animation World Network. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "Viacom on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
- "Vincent Waller". Twitter. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Original Theme Highlights". AllMusic. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- "SpongeBob's Greatest Hits". AllMusic. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- Bubbeo, Daniel (November 5, 2006). "FAST CHAT TOM KENNY". Newsday. Archived from the original on February 17, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- "Lips, Shins Kick Back With 'SpongeBob'". Billboard. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "Flaming Lips and Wilco Featured on New SpongeBob Soundtrack". Paste. October 13, 2004. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Stock, Rosina (June 24, 2009). "Nickelodeon Celebrates Pop Culture Icon SpongeBob SquarePants decade". Media News International. Retrieved July 14, 2009.
- D'Angelo, Joe. "Flaming Lips, Wilco, 'Commercial Weirdo' Avril Lavigne Head Up 'SpongeBob' LP". MTV. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Dufour, Matt. "SpongeBob Soundtrack Boasts Shins, Wilco, And Flaming Lips Songs". The Fader. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Mar, Alex (October 1, 2004). "Avril Sings "SpongeBob"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: Music From the Movie and More". AllMusic. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- "Chicago | Plan a Visit | Now Playing in 4-D". Shedd Aquarium. Archived from the original on December 9, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- Arrant, Chris (September 25, 2012). ""SpongeBob SquarePants" 4-D Attraction Coming Soon". Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "SpongeBob goes 4-D at the aquarium". Mystic River Press. May 17, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D: The Great Jelly Rescue". Eye on Orlando. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Brigante, Ricky (April 23, 2013). "SpongeBob SquarePants makes a splash at Nick Hotel with new 4D movie, Bikini Bottom Breakfast, and more entertainment". Inside the Magic. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Roseboom, Matt. "Nick Hotel debuts new SpongeBob 4D movie and Bikini Bottom character breakfast". Orlando Attractions Magazine. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- Niles, Robert (March 11, 2008). "New attraction spotlight: Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- Clark, Jayne (March 13, 2008). "Nick characters drop in mall Universe". USA Today. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
- Moody Gardens. "Moody Gardens Announces Launch of New One-of-a-Kind SpongeBob SubPants Interactive Experience". PRNewswire.com. PR Newswire. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
Visitors will be able to interact with the Nickelodeon characters on a digital stage as they have never been able to do before.
- SpongeBob SquarePants. "SpongeBob SquarePants on Facebook – "There's a new type of SpongeBob experience coming to Moody Gardens on Memorial Day!"". Facebook.com/SpongeBob. SpongeBob SquarePants. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants on Facebook - "If you're heading to Texas be sure to check out the SpongeBob SubPants Adventure!"". Facebook.com/SpongeBob. SpongeBob. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
- Antonucci, Mike (March 20, 2001). "Triple Play Baseball has some annoying errors". Knight Ridder. Retrieved December 6, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- Ray, Roblin (December 7, 2003). "Learning a lesson; Console games finally tap into educational content". The Boston Herald. Retrieved December 6, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- "Sony Adds 'SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom' to Greatest Hits Collection". Wireless News. September 30, 2004. Retrieved December 6, 2013. – via HighBam (subscription required)
- "The season's best bets for video-game enthusiasts". San Jose Mercury News. San Jose, CA. November 20, 2003. Retrieved December 6, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- IGN Staff (August 25, 2004). "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Movie Update". IGN. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Stecker, Erin (5 June 2013). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' debuts new app – EXCLUSIVE VIDEO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- Milligan, Mercedes (6 June 2013). "Nick Launches Building 'SpongeBob' App". Animation. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- "Nickelodeon Announces SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS 'City Building' App". Broadway World. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- "Build Your Very Own Bikini Bottom Through Nickelodeon's Worldwide Release Of Brand-New Mobile Game, SpongeBob Moves In". PR Newswire. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- Wolfe, Jennifer (January 23, 2013). "Nick Launches 2013 Short Film Contest". Animation World Magazine. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Milligan, Mercedes (May 7, 2013). "Nick Launches SpongeBob SquareShorts Contest". Animation. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "SpongeBob Square Shorts Competition – $2,500 + Trip". FilmTheNext.com. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (May 7, 2013). "Nickelodeon Announces First-Ever SpongeBob SquarePants Global Film Competition, 'SpongeBob SquareShorts: Original Fan Tributes'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Hutchins, Rob (22 July 2013). "Nickelodeon reveals finalists in SpongeBob Squareshorts film comp". Licensing.biz. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
- "Nickelodeon Announces Finalists For First-Ever SpongeBob SquareShorts Global Short Film Competition". The Futon Critic. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
- Liu, Ed (19 July 2013). "PR: Nickelodeon Announces Finalists for First-Ever "SpongeBob SquareShorts: Original Fan Tributes"". Toonzone. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
- Liu, Ed (August 13, 2013). "PR: Nickelodeon Announces Winners for First-Ever SpongeBob SquareShorts: Original Fan Tributes". Toon Zone. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Hampp, Andrew (July 13, 2009). "How SpongeBob Became an $8 Billion Franchise". AdvertisingAge. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Hinckley, David (July 13, 2009). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' gets closer look on VH1 with 10th anniversary documentary on Nickelodeon hit". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "MTV Networks' Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group Puts a Digital Spin on Classic Hasbro Games Featuring Dora The Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants". PR Newswire. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Onyett, Charles (September 10, 2008). "The Game of Life -SpongeBob SquarePants Edition Review". IGN. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- Ward, Kate (November 28, 2009). "Hasbro lets us operate on SpongeBob. Which TV character would you like to get inside?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "ANTS IN THE SQUARE PANTS". Hasbro. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- "AHTZEE Jr. SpongeBob SquarePants Edition Card Game". Hasbro. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Strauss, Gary (May 17, 2002). "Life's good for SpongeBob". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- Kageyama, Yuri (January 24, 2007). "SpongeBob Goes Trendy to Win Japan Fans". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on April 5, 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- "THE HYPE SOAKING IT UP' SPONGEBOB' ACTOR LOVES THE ATTENTION". Daily News. Los Angeles, CA. March 8, 2001. Retrieved October 30, 2013. – via HighBeam (subscription required)
- "SponbgeBob SquarePants Happy Meal". Megamodo.
- Stark, Jill (October 5, 2007). "Maccas takes out 'pester power' prize". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Meitner, Sarah Hale (March 2, 2005). "Slurpee Galaxy Expands With Nod To 'Star Wars'". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on May 24, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Pirates Booty $1 at Target". Totally Target. April 30, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SplashPants Sweepstakes 5/31/13 1PPD4-14". Sweetis Sweeps. March 22, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Veneziani, Vince (September 27, 2007). "Nickelodeon's NPower Lineup Of Electronics". TechCrunch. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
- "Nickelodeon Expands Healthy Food Initiative with Green Giant". Promomagazine.com. May 31, 2007. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- "High Fashion Hits Bikini Bottom". Viacom. January 14, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Weston, Shaun (May 22, 2013). "SpongeBob SquarePants Vanilla Ice Cream". Food Bev. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Weston, Shaun (June 3, 2013). "SpongeBob SquarePants Spring Water". Food Bev. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Dedman, Christie (April 4, 2013). "Build A Bear SpongeBob Square Pants coming May 17". AL.com. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "Build-A-Bear Workshop Makes a Splash with New SpongeBob SquarePants Collection". BusinessWire. May 15, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "Build-A-Bear welcomes the SpongeBob gang". Retailing Today. May 15, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Edel, Ray (May 15, 2013). "Make a splash with new SpongeBob SquarePants Collection at Build-A-Bear". NorthJersey.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Mierzejewski, Ali (May 15, 2013). "Build-A-Bear Workshop Meets Bikini Bottom with New SpongeBob SquarePants Collection". Toy Book. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- Burden, Melissa. "Toyota creates one-of-a-kind SpongeBob Highlander". Detroit News. Retrieved 13 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
- Stewart, Megan (15 July 2013). "Introducing the 2014 SpongeBob SquarePants Toyota Highlander". Automotive.com. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Busis, Hillary (12 July 2013). "SpongeBob Square...Car? Check out the cartoon's new 'concept vehicle' – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- Brindusescu, Gabriel (12 July 2013). "Toyota to Unveil 2014 Highlander SpongeBob Edition [Video]". Auto Evolution. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- Barari, Arman (13 July 2013). "SpongeBob-Themed Toyota Highlander by Nickelodeon". Motor Ward. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- Banks, Steven (September 24, 2004). SpongeBob Exposed! The Insider's Guide to SpongeBob SquarePants. Schigiel, Gregg (Illustrator). Simon Spotlight/Nickelodeon. ISBN 978-0-689-86870-2.
- Beck, Jerry (2013). The SpongeBob SquarePants Experience: A Deep Dive Into the World of Bikini Bottom. USA: Insight Editions. ISBN 1-4357-3248-0.
- Neuwirth, Allan (2003). Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies. Allworth Communications, Inc. ISBN 1-58115-269-8.
- Priebe, Kenneth A. (2011). The Advanced Art of Stop-Motion Animation. Cengage Learning. ISBN 1-4354-5704-8.
- Lenburg, Jeff (2006). Who's Who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award Winning and Legendary Animators. Hal Leonard. ISBN 1-55783-671-X.