Since it first aired on Nickelodeon on the 1st of May 1999, the animated TV series Spongebob Squarepants created by marine biologist/animator Stephen Hillenburg has not just generated a huge revenue ($13 billion, as at late 2017) for the network but has ranked as one of the most watched TV animation series of all times.
The series has not just been nominated for several awards, it has equally won several of them which includes the Annie Awards (6 times), 8 Golden Reel Awards, one Emmy Awards, 2 BAFTA Children’s Awards, and 12 Kids’ Choice Awards.
What makes the series unique? who are the characters? How many episodes have been aired since its creation? You will find answers to these questions and more as you continue to read.
Stephen Hillenburg created the series from an unpublished educational comic book titled The Intertidal Zone, which he created back in the mid-1980s. In 1996, he began to develop it into a TV series for Nickelodeon with the name SpongeBob SquarePants after the network canceled Rocko’s Modern Life – another animated sitcom that aired from 1993 – 1996.
The series is centered around an over-optimistic sea sponge named SpongeBob SquarePants who lives in a fictional city of Bikini Bottom (underwater). Spongebob who is rectangular in shape and looks like a real kitchen sponge lives in a submerged pineapple with his pets scallop Shelley and snail, Gary.
The series has aired for almost two decades, to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2009, the network came up with a documentary film titled Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants and a TV comedy special SpongeBob’s Truth or Square.
In 2015, Nickelodeon released a 3D live-action/animated comedy film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, which turned out a huge success, grossing over $324 million around the world exceeding its estimated budget of $75 million to rank as the 5th highest grossed animated movie for that year.
This was not the first time, the network recorded such a whopping amount for an aminated movie inspired by the series. I 2004, it released The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie which hit the market in November and grossed over $140 million around the world.
The network is currently working on a third movie titled The SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge which is supposed to hit the theatres in July 2020.
Spongebob Squarepants is currently in its 11th season, making it the longest-running Nickelodeon series. In its eleven years, the series has aired a total of 234 episodes. The 12th season was confirmed in May 2017 by Vincent Waller. According to Vin, it will start airing in 2019 and consists of twenty-six episodes.
Characters: Everything You Need To Know
The characters in the series can be grouped into main characters, minor characters and recurring characters.
The minor characters include Abigail Marge (aqua-blue female fish), Evelyn (pink fish), Frankie Billy (an olive colored fish), Frank (red shirt), Fred ( a major customer at Krusty Krab restaurant), Harold Reginald (light blue fish), Sandals, Scooter. Tom, Shubie, among others.
And for the recurring characters, you have Mrs Puff (blowfish in charge of boating School where Spongebob is a student), Pearl Krab (Mr Krabs’ daughter), Karen Plankton (Sheldon J. Plankton’s computer wife), Mermaid Man, Barnacle Boy, Flying Dutchman, Larry the Lobster, Man Ray, Potty the Patriot, among others.
Below are the characters that make most of the appearances during the series.
SpongeBob SquarePants is the main character in the series, the whole story is centered around him. As mentioned above, he is an over-optimistic sea sponge, with the shape of a real kitchen sponge, who live in a submerged pineapple, underwater in a fictional city of Bikini Bottom with two of his pets – scallop Shelley and snail, Gary.
He works at Krusty Krab as a fry cook and at the same time attends Mrs. Puff’s Boating School. Although he is a constant annoyance to those around him and lacks knowledge in quite a number of things, Spongebob is undeniably a skilled fry cook and well natured. The character is voiced by Tom Kenny.
Patrick is an overweight pink sea star that lives two houses away from SpongeBob’s. He is overweight due to his laziness and love for junk food. He is SpongeBob’s best friend and is quite naive. The character is voiced by Bill Fagerbakke.
Squidward Tentacles is an ill-tempered and arrogant octopus who lives next door to SpongeBob, he also works at the Krusty as a cashier. The character is voiced by Rodger Bumpass.
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Eugene H. Krabs
M.r Krab is the owner of the Krusty Krab (the restaurant where SpongeBob and Patrick work). He is a single parent with a teen daughter, Pearl, who he wants to hand down his business and inheritance to, however, Pearl (sperm whale) prefers working at a local mall and listening to pop music to continuing her father’s business. The character of Krab is voiced by Clancy Brown.
Gary the Snail
Gary is SpongeBob’s loyal pet. He is a snail but has the same mannerisms as a cat, he meows. Gary is a cousin to Patrick Star. The character is voiced by Tom Kenny.
Sheldon J. Plankton
Popularly known as Plankton, Sheldon J. Plankton is the main antagonist in the series. He is Mr. Krabs’ rival. He runs a Chum Bucket (an unsuccessful restaurant), just directly opposite Krabs’ restaurant.
Plankton and Krabs used to be friends but became jealous of Krabs’ achievements. He runs the Chun Bucket with his sapient computer wife (Karen), who is usually the architect of all his evil plans. The character is voiced by Mr. Lawrence.