SpongeBob SquarePants first aired back in 1999 and is still going strong, with nearly 200 episodes aired to date. The show has become a media juggernaut, generating more than $8 billion in merchandising sales for Nickelodeon. It also happens to be Nickelodeon’s longest-running show ever and is a hit with children and adults alike. Whether you live in a pineapple under the sea or not, check out these 13 facts about SpongeBob SquarePants.
Some of the celebrities that have voiced characters on the show include Johnny Depp, David Bowie, Alec Baldwin, Victoria Beckham and Amy Poehler.
No escape for the customers
The Krusty Krab restaurant is modelled after a lobster trap.
The Krabby Patty was originally going to be called the Barnacle Burger.
Tom Kenny, who voices SpongeBob, is married to Jill Talley, who voices Karen, better known as Plankton’s supercomputer.
In Germany, the show’s title translates as ‘SpongeBob SpongeHead’, while in Korea, it’s ‘Square Square Sponge Song’.
Box office success
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, released in 2005, had a budget of $30 million and grossed over $140 million. The second film in the series, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, had a budget of $74 million and made an ever bigger profit, with takings of $323 million.
Squidward isn’t a squid. He’s technically an octopus, though he’s only drawn with six legs because the animators think giving him eight legs would be too burdensome.
The secret recipe of the Krabby Patty
The Krabby Patty’s secret recipe is a very closely guarded secret in the show, though the creator, Stephen Hillenburg, has hinted the burgers are actually vegetarian, otherwise many of the show’s underwater characters would be guilty of cannibalism.
A way to combine two passions
Speaking of Stephen Hillenburg, the show’s creator used to work as a marine science teacher before going on to pursue a career in animation.
SpongeBob’s original name
The original name for show was ‘SpongeBoy Ahoy!’ though it was found out that ‘SpongeBoy’ was in fact a copyrighted name for a brand of mop. The show’s creator wanted to keep the word ‘sponge’ in the show’s title so viewers wouldn’t mistake SpongeBob for a block of cheese.
The only fish
Mrs. Puff, SpongeBob’s driving instructor, is the only one of the main characters that’s actually a fish. The rest are a sponge (SpongeBob himself, of course), an octopus (Squidward Tentacles), a starfish (Patrick Star), a squirrel (Sandy Cheeks), a crab (Mr. Krabs), a sperm whale (Pearl), a sea snail (Gary) and a copepod (Plankton).
A new type of fungus that was discovered in 2011 was named after SpongeBob. Its name is Spongiforma squarepantsii.
The real-life Bikini Bottom
The show’s setting, Bikini Bottom, is based on the real-life Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. This atoll consists of 23 islands and is only populated by a handful of caretakers.