Kosovo War: NATO suspends its airstrikes after Slobodan Miloševi? agrees to withdraw Serbian forces from Kosovo.
NATO bombs the headquarters of Radio Television of Serbia, as part of their aerial campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The Chi-Chi earthquake occurs in central Taiwan, leaving about 2,400 people dead.
John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, died when the Piper Saratoga PA-32R aircraft he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.
SpongeBob SquarePants premieres on Nickelodeon.
|Also known as||SpongeBob|
|Created by||Stephen Hillenburg|
|Narrated by||Tom Kenny (various episodes)|
|Theme music composer|
|Opening theme||"SpongeBob SquarePants Theme Song" (performed by Patrick Pinney)|
|Ending theme||"SpongeBob Closing Theme" (composed by Steve Belfer)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||13|
|No. of episodes||267 (list of episodes)|
|Animators||Rough Draft Korea|
Screen Novelties (2 stop motion episodes)
|Original release||May 1, 1999 –|
SpongeBob SquarePants (also simply referred to as SpongeBob) is an American animated comedy television series created by marine science educator and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures and endeavors of the title character and his aquatic friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The fifth-longest-running American animated series, its popularity has made it a media franchise. It is the highest rated series to air on Nickelodeon and it is the most distributed property from ViacomCBS Networks International. The media franchise has generated more than $13 billion in merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon.[needs update]
Many of the series' ideas originated in The Intertidal Zone, an unpublished educational book that Hillenburg created in 1989 to teach his students about undersea life. He began developing SpongeBob SquarePants into a television series in 1996 following the cancellation of Rocko's Modern Life, and in 1997, a seven-minute pilot was pitched to Nickelodeon. He 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 called SpongeBoy Ahoy!; both of these were changed as the name was already trademarked.
Nickelodeon held a preview for the series in the United States on May 1, 1999, after it aired the 1999 Kids' Choice Awards. The series officially premiered on July 17, 1999. It has received worldwide critical acclaim since its premiere and had gained enormous popularity by its second season. A feature film, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, was released in theaters on November 19, 2004. A second film adaptation, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, followed on February 6, 2015. A third film and prequel to the television series, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, was released in Canadian theaters on August 14, 2020 followed by a premiere on video-on-demand and Paramount+ on March 4, 2021. In 2018, the series began airing its twelfth season; it was renewed for a thirteenth season on July 17, 2019, which began airing in October 2020. As of July 30, 2020, all prior seasons of the show are available on Paramount+.
SpongeBob SquarePants has won a variety of awards including: six Annie Awards, eight Golden Reel Awards, four Emmy Awards, 18 Kids' Choice Awards, and two BAFTA Children's Awards. A Broadway musical based on the series opened in 2017 to critical acclaim. Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years, a computer-animated spin-off series, debuted in March 2021 on the streaming service Paramount+. Two additional spin-off series, an untitled project based on the character Squidward Tentacles and The Patrick Star Show, are in development as of 2020.
The series takes place primarily in the fictional benthic underwater city of Bikini Bottom located in the Pacific Ocean beneath the real-life coral reef known as Bikini Atoll.[b] Its citizens are mostly multicolored fish who live in buildings made from ship funnels and use "boatmobiles", amalgamations of cars and boats, as a mode of transportation. Recurring locations within Bikini Bottom include the neighboring houses of SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward; two competing restaurants, the Krusty Krab and the Chum Bucket; Mrs. Puff's Boating School, which includes a driving course and a sunken lighthouse; the Treedome, an oxygenated glass enclosure where Sandy lives; Shady Shoals Rest Home; a seagrass meadow called Jellyfish Fields; and Goo Lagoon, a subaqueous brine pool that is a popular beach hangout.
When the SpongeBob crew began production of the series' pilot episode, they were tasked with designing stock locations, to be used repeatedly, where most scenes would take place like the Krusty Krab and SpongeBob's pineapple house. The idea was "to keep everything nautical", so the crew used plenty of rope, wooden planks, ships' wheels, netting, anchors, boilerplates, and rivets to create the show's setting. Transitions between scenes are marked by bubbles filling the screen, accompanied by the sound of rushing water.
The series features "sky flowers" as a main setting material. 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. Because of the tiki influence on the show, the background painters use a lot of pattern." Pittenger said the sky flowers were meant to "evoke the look of a flower-print Hawaiian shirt".
The series revolves around the title character and an ensemble cast of his aquatic friends. SpongeBob SquarePants is an energetic and optimistic sea sponge who lives in a submerged pineapple. SpongeBob has a childlike enthusiasm for life, which carries over to his job as a fry cook at a fast food restaurant called the Krusty Krab. One of his life’s greatest goals is to obtain a boat-driving license from Mrs. Puff's Boating School, but he never succeeds. His favorite pastimes include "jellyfishing", which involves catching jellyfish with a net in a manner similar to butterfly catching, and blowing soap bubbles into elaborate shapes. He has a pet sea snail named Gary, who meows like a cat.
Living two houses away from SpongeBob is his best friend Patrick Star, a dim-witted yet friendly pink starfish who resides under a rock. Despite his mental setbacks, Patrick sees himself as intelligent. Squidward Tentacles, SpongeBob's next-door neighbor and co-worker at the Krusty Krab, is an arrogant, ill-tempered octopus who lives in an Easter Island moai. He enjoys playing the clarinet and painting self-portraits but hates his job as a cashier. He also dislikes living between SpongeBob and Patrick because of their childish nature. The owner of the Krusty Krab is a miserly red crab named Mr. Krabs who talks like a sailor and runs his restaurant as if it were a pirate ship. He is a single parent with a teenage daughter, a sperm whale named Pearl, to whom he wants to bequeath his riches. Pearl does not want to continue the family business and would rather spend her time listening to music or working at the local shopping mall. Another of SpongeBob's friends is Sandy Cheeks, a thrill-seeking and athletic squirrel from Texas, who wears an air-filled diving suit to breathe underwater. She lives in a tree enclosed in a clear glass dome locked by an airtight, hand-turned seal and is an expert in karate, as well as a scientist.
Located across the street from the Krusty Krab is an unsuccessful rival restaurant called the Chum Bucket. It is run by a small, green, one-eyed copepod named Plankton and his computer wife, Karen. Plankton constantly tries to steal the secret recipe for Mr. Krabs's popular Krabby Patty burgers, hoping to gain the upper hand and put the Krusty Krab out of business. Karen supplies him with evil schemes to obtain the formula, but their efforts always fail and their restaurant rarely has any customers. When SpongeBob is not working at the Krusty Krab, he is often taking boat-driving lessons from Mrs. Puff, a paranoid but patient pufferfish. SpongeBob is Mrs. Puff's most diligent student and knows every answer to the oral exams he takes, but he panics and crashes when he tries to drive a real boat. When Mrs. Puff endures one of SpongeBob's crashes or is otherwise frightened, she puffs up into a ball.
Special 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. Patchy is portrayed as the president of a fictional SpongeBob fan club, and his greatest aspiration is to meet SpongeBob himself. Potty likes to make fun of Patchy's enthusiasm and causes trouble for him while he tries to host the show. An unseen figure called the French Narrator often introduces episodes and narrates the intertitles as if the series were a nature documentary about the ocean. His role and distinctive manner of speaking are references to the oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. Recurring guest characters appear throughout the series including: the retired superheroes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, who are idolized by SpongeBob and Patrick; a pirate specter known as the Flying Dutchman; the muscular lifeguard of Goo Lagoon, Larry the Lobster; and the merman god of the sea, King Neptune.
Series' creator Stephen Hillenburg first became fascinated with the ocean as a child and began developing his artistic abilities at a young age. Although these interests would not overlap for some time—the idea of drawing fish seemed boring to him—Hillenburg pursued both during college, receiving a major in marine biology and a minor 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, his love of the ocean began to influence his artistry. He created a precursor to SpongeBob SquarePants: a comic book titled The Intertidal Zone 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 SquarePants characters. Hillenburg tried to get the comic professionally published, but none of the companies he sent it to were interested.
A large inspiration to Hillenburg was Ween's 1997 album The Mollusk, which had a nautical and underwater theme. Hillenburg contacted the band shortly after the album's release, explaining the baseline ideas for SpongeBob SquarePants, and also requested a song from the band, which they sent on Christmas Eve. This song was "Loop de Loop", which was used in the episode "Your Shoe's Untied".
While working as a staff artist at the Ocean Institute, Hillenburg entertained plans to return eventually to college for a master's degree in art. Before this could materialize, he attended an animation festival, which inspired him to make a slight change in course. Instead of continuing his education with a traditional art program, Hillenburg 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 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 like The Ren & Stimpy Show. As a result, Hillenburg decided to focus on a single main character: the "weirdest" sea creature he could think of. This led him to the sponge. The Intertidal Zone's Bob the Sponge resembles an actual sea sponge, and at first, Hillenburg continued to use this design. In determining the new character's behavior, 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 this idea would match the character's square personality perfectly. Patrick, Mr. Krabs, Pearl, and Squidward were the next characters Hillenburg created for the show.
To voice the series' central character, 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 to develop the character further. Initially, Hillenburg wanted to use the name SpongeBoy—the character had no last name—and the series was to 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. A character of the same name was already trademarked by Flaming Carrot Comics creator Bob Burden. In choosing a replacement name, Hillenburg felt 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 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." When he heard Kenny say it Hillenburg loved the phrase and felt it would reinforce the character's nerdiness.
Assembling the crew
Derek Drymon, who served as creative director for the first three seasons, has said that Hillenburg wanted to surround himself with a "team of young and hungry people". Many of the major contributors to SpongeBob SquarePants had worked before with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life: this included: Drymon, art director Nick Jennings, supervising director Alan Smart, writer / voice actor Doug Lawrence (often credited as Mr. Lawrence), and Tim Hill, who helped develop the series bible.
Although Drymon would go on to have a significant influence on SpongeBob SquarePants, he was not offered a role on the series initially. As a late recruit to Rocko's Modern Life, he had not established much of a relationship with Hillenburg before SpongeBob's conception. Hillenburg first sought out Drymon's storyboard partner, Mark O'Hare—but he had just created the soon-to-be syndicated comic strip, Citizen Dog. While he would later join SpongeBob as a writer, he lacked the time to get involved with both projects from the outset. Drymon has said, "I remember Hillenburg's bringing it up to Mark in our office and asking him if he'd be interested in working on it ... I was all ready to say yes to the offer, but Steve didn't ask; he just left the room. I was pretty desperate ... so I ran into the hall after him and basically begged him for the job. He didn't jump at the chance." Once Hillenburg had given it some thought and decided to bring Drymon on as creative director, the two began meeting at Hillenburg's house several times a week to develop the series. Drymon has identified this period as having begun in 1996, shortly after the end of Rocko's Modern Life.
Jennings was also instrumental in SpongeBob's genesis. Kenny has called him "one of SpongeBob's early graphics mentors". On weekends, Kenny joined Hillenburg, Jennings, and Drymon for creative sessions where they recorded ideas on a tape recorder. Kenny performed audio tests as SpongeBob during these sessions, while Hillenburg voice acted the other characters.
Hill contributed scripts for several first-season episodes (including the pilot) and was offered the role of story editor, but turned it down—he would go on to pursue a career as a family film director. In his stead, Pete Burns was brought in for the job. Burns hailed from Chicago and had never met any of the principal players on SpongeBob before joining the team.
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". They were given money and two weeks to write the pilot episode "Help Wanted". Drymon, Hillenburg, and 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, then-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.
Before commissioning the full series, Nickelodeon executives insisted that it would not be popular unless SpongeBob was a child who went to school, with his teacher as a main character. Hillenburg recalled in 2012 that Nickelodeon told him, "Our winning formula is animation about kids in school... We want you to put SpongeBob in school." Hillenburg was ready to "walk out" on Nickelodeon and abandon the series, since he wanted SpongeBob to be an adult character. He eventually compromised by adding a new character to the main cast, Mrs. Puff, who is a boat-driving teacher. Hillenburg was happy with the compromise and said, "A positive thing for me that came out of it was [how it brought] in a new character, Mrs. Puff, who I love."
Executive producers and showrunners
Until his death in 2018, Hillenburg had served as the executive producer over the course of the series' entire history and functioned as its showrunner from its debut in 1999 until 2004. The series went on hiatus in 2002, after Hillenburg halted production on the show itself to work on the feature film The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Once the film was finalized and the third season finished, Hillenburg resigned as the series' showrunner. Although he no longer had a direct role in the series' production, he maintained an advisory role and reviewed each episode.
When the film was completed, Hillenburg intended it to be the series finale, "so [the show] wouldn't jump the shark." However, Nickelodeon wanted more episodes. Hillenburg appointed Paul Tibbitt, who had previously served on the show as a writer, director, and storyboard artist, to take over his role as showrunner to produce additional seasons. Hillenburg considered Tibbitt one of his favorite members of the show's crew, and "totally trusted him".
On December 13, 2014, it was announced that Hillenburg would return to the series in an unspecified position. On November 26, 2018, at the age of 57, Hillenburg died from complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which had been diagnosed in March 2017. Nickelodeon confirmed via Twitter the series would continue after his death. In February 2019 incoming president Brian Robbins vowed Nickelodeon would keep the show in production for as long as the network exists.
According to writer and storyboard artist Luke Brookshier, "SpongeBob is written differently to many television shows". Unlike most of its contemporaries, SpongeBob SquarePants does not use written scripts. Instead, storylines are developed by a team of five outline and premise writers. A two-page outline is then assigned to a team of storyboard directors, who produce a complete rough draft of the storyboard. One of the methods used to assemble storyboards was to use Post-it notes. Most of the dialogue and jokes are added during this stage. Brookshier has likened this process to how cartoons were made "in the early days of animation."
The decision to eschew scripts for storyboards is one that Hillenburg made early in the series' development. Rocko's Modern Life had also used storyboarding derived from short outlines, and having worked on that series, Hillenburg felt strongly about adopting the process for SpongeBob SquarePants—even though Nickelodeon was beginning to show a greater preference for script-driven cartoons. Another series' writer, Merriwether Williams, explained in an interview that she and Mr. Lawrence would write a draft for an episode in an afternoon and be done at 4:00 pm.
The writing staff often used their personal experiences as inspiration for the storylines of the series' episodes. For example, the episode "Sailor Mouth", where SpongeBob and Patrick learn profanity, was inspired by creative director Derek Drymon's experience as a child of getting into trouble 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 when 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: "[I] never really wanted to deliberately try to write a half-hour show". He added, "I wrote the shows to where they felt right".
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 and a number 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. When Hillenburg created SpongeBob SquarePants, he approached Kenny to voice the main character. Kenny originally used the voice of SpongeBob for a minor character on Rocko. He forgot how to perform the voice initially and did not intend to use it afterward. Hillenburg, however, used a video clip of the episode to remind Kenny of the voice. When Hillenburg heard Kenny perform the voice, he knew immediately 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 this audition, "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". Whenever Patrick is angry Fagerbakke models his performance after American actress Shelley Winters.
Squidward Tentacles is voiced by Rodger Bumpass, who describes him as "a very nasally, monotone kind of guy." He said 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. Brown decided to use a "piratey" voice for the character 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 before on Rocko's Modern Life. While working on the pilot episode of SpongeBob, Hillenburg invited him to audition for all the characters. Since other voices had been found for the main cast already, Lawrence began 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 when 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. She was 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 her to audition and she got the role. 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 provides Mrs. Puff's voice. As of 2017, voicing Mrs. Puff has become her only 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 noted that 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 it invoke the sound of whales' low vocalizations while also sounding "spoiled and lovable." In an interview with AfterBuzz TV, Alan said she knew Pearl "had to sound somewhat like a child," but needed "an abnormally large voice."
In addition to the regular cast, episodes feature guest voices from many 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 from 1999 until his death in 2019; Brian Doyle-Murray as the Flying Dutchman; and Marion Ross as Grandma SquarePants. Notable guests who have provided vocal cameo appearances include: 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 the recording studio and 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 to animate and produce an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. Throughout its run, the series' production has been handled domestically at Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, California. The finished animation has been created overseas at Rough Draft Studios in South Korea. The California crew storyboard each episode. These are then used as templates by the crew in Korea, who animate each scene by hand, color each cel on computers, and paint backgrounds. Episodes are finished in California, where they are edited and have music added.
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 [sic], and every cell sic had to be part-painted, left to dry, paint some other colors. 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 began using Wacom Cintiqs for the drawings instead of pencils. The fifth season episode "Pest of the West", one of the half-hour specials, was the first episode where 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 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. It 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 normally uninvolved 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, was produced for season 11.
—Music editor Nicolas Carr
Mark Harrison and Blaise Smith composed the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song. Its lyrics were written by 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. Dubbed "Painty the Pirate", according to Tom Kenny, Hillenburg found it in a thrift shop "years ago". Patrick Pinney voices 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 this is "about as close of a glimpse as most SpongeBob fans are ever going to get of Steve Hillenburg", because of his 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 when the series moved to prime time.
Steve Belfer, one of Hillenburg's friends from CalArts, wrote and performed the music heard over the end credits. This theme includes ukulele music at 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, he struggled to find a new job in his field. He had considered a career change before 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 this approach. Carr has described the selections for SpongeBob SquarePants as being "more over-the-top" than those for Rocko's Modern Life.
Hillenburg felt 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. The group went on to provide most 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||20||41||May 1, 1999||March 3, 2001|
|2||20||39||October 26, 2000||July 26, 2003|
|3||20||37||October 5, 2001||October 11, 2004|
|4||20||38||May 6, 2005||July 24, 2007|
|5||20||41||February 19, 2007||July 19, 2009|
|6||26||47||March 3, 2008||July 5, 2010|
|7||26||50||July 19, 2009||June 11, 2011|
|8||26||47||March 26, 2011||December 6, 2012|
|9||26||49||July 21, 2012||February 20, 2017|
|10||11||22||October 15, 2016||December 2, 2017|
|11||26||50||June 24, 2017||November 25, 2018|
|12||26||TBA||November 11, 2018||TBA|
|13||13||TBA||October 22, 2020||TBA|
Nickelodeon began celebrating the series' 10th anniversary 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 premiered on TV on April 17, 2009, features 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 merchandise. 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 on 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". It 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, with a countdown of episodes picked by celebrities and 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 was released shortly after the marathon on July 21. 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, 2009.
On February 11, 2019, Nickelodeon announced it would recognize the twentieth anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants with a series of celebrations known as the "Best Year Ever". In honor of the anniversary, Pantone created color shades known as "SpongeBob SquarePants Yellow" and "Patrick Star Pink" to be used by Nickelodeon's licensing partners. Romero Britto, Jon Burgerman, and the Filipino art collective Secret Fresh were commissioned by Nickelodeon to create art pieces devoted to SpongeBob SquarePants. Some of these pieces were to be adapted into commercial products. On February 12, in conjunction with Nickelodeon's announcement of the "Best Year Ever", Cynthia Rowley presented a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed wetsuit during New York Fashion Week. A month later, Marlou Breuls presented the SpongeBob SquarePants-themed "Icon Collection" during Amsterdam Fashion Week. That summer, Nike, in collaboration with Kyrie Irving, released a SpongeBob SquarePants series of shoes, accessories, and apparel. In July, for the first time ever, SpongeBob SquarePants became the theme of a cosmetics line, which was released as a limited time offering by HipDot Studios. The "Best Year Ever" also introduced an official SpongeBob SquarePants YouTube channel and a new mobile game based on the series, along with new toy lines.
The "Best Year Ever" formally began on July 12, 2019, with the premiere of the one-hour, live-action/animated TV special SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout. It continued that month at San Diego Comic Con, with two panels, a booth, and various activities devoted to the series. The "Best Year Ever" was recognized on Amazon Prime Day with an exclusive early release of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Best 200 Episodes Ever!, a 30-disc DVD compilation of two box sets, SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Next 100 Episodes. The collections received a standard nationwide release on August 27. The "Best Year Ever" continued into 2020 culminating with the August 14 release of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.
Ratings and run-length achievements
Within its first month on air, SpongeBob SquarePants overtook Pokémon as the highest rated Saturday-morning children's series on television. 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. SpongeBob SquarePants was credited with helping Nickelodeon take the "Saturday-morning ratings crown" for the fourth straight season in 2001. The series had gained a significant adult audience by that point—nearly 40 percent of its 2.2 million viewers were aged 18 to 34. In response to its weekend success, Nickelodeon gave SpongeBob SquarePants time slots at 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, to increase the series' exposure. By the end of 2001 SpongeBob SquarePants boasted the highest ratings for any children's series, on all of television. Weekly viewership of the series had reached around fifteen million, at least five million of whom were adults.
In October 2002, another Nickelodeon series, The Fairly OddParents, ranked as the number two program for children between two and eleven 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 it 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 child viewers aged two to eleven. Nickelodeon "recognized" The Fairly OddParents for its climbing ratings and installed it in a new 8:00 PM 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."
In 2012, however, the series' ratings were declining. The average number of viewers aged two to eleven 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 the series' age and oversaturation might be contributing to its ratings' decline and might also be directly responsible for the decline in Nickelodeon's overall ratings. Media analyst Todd Juenger attributed the decline in Nickelodeon's ratings directly 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 that notion, saying: "We are getting nice revenues through these subscription VOD deals", adding Netflix only has "some library content" on its service. 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 SpongeBob could affect the ratings of other Nickelodeon programming because children often change channels to find their favorite programs, then stay tuned to that network. Nickelodeon reduced its[clarification needed] exposure on television. In the first quarter of 2012, the network cut back on the number of episodes it aired by 16% compared to a year earlier.
On April 22, 2013, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced their intentions not to renew their existing deal with Viacom. Viacom's deal with Netflix expired, and shows such as SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer were removed. However, seasons five through eight of SpongeBob are still available to stream on Netflix in Canada. 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 network's series with the most episodes during its eighth season, surpassing the 172 episodes of Rugrats. In the ninth season, its 26 episodes brought the number of episodes produced to 204. In a statement, Brown Johnson, Nickelodeon's animation president 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 universal critical acclaim, being praised for its appeal to different age groups, and the show has earned numerous awards and accolades throughout its run. 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."
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 Los Angeles 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." Television critics Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz ranked SpongeBob SquarePants as the 22nd greatest American TV series of all time in their 2016 book TV (The Book). In a 2007 interview, Barack Obama said SpongeBob is his favorite TV character and admitted that SpongeBob SquarePants is "the show I watch with my daughters."
Awards and accolades
SpongeBob SquarePants has received many awards and nominations; among these are four Emmy Awards (Outstanding Special Class Animated Program in 2010; Outstanding Sound Editing – Animation" in 2014; Outstanding Children's Animated Series in 2018; and Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program in 2018 for Kenny); six Annie Awards; and two BAFTA Children's Awards. 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. In addition, the website's UK division ran a Top 100 Animated Series list, and like its US counterpart, ranked SpongeBob SquarePants 15th.
TV Guide listed SpongeBob SquarePants himself at number nine on its list 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time in 2002. In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly named SpongeBob one of the 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years. Viewers of UK television network Channel 4 voted SpongeBob SquarePants the 28th Greatest Cartoon in a 2004 poll. 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." In 2013, the publication ranked SpongeBob SquarePants the eighth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time. Television critic Matt Zoller Seitz included the series in his 2016 book with Alan Sepinwall titled TV (The Book) as the 22nd greatest American television series of all time, saying that "SpongeBob SquarePants is an absurdist masterpiece that Salvador Dalí and Groucho Marx would have watched together in their smoking jackets".
In July 2009, Madame Tussauds wax museum in New York launched a wax sculpture of SpongeBob in celebration of the series' 10th anniversary. SpongeBob became the first animated character sculpted entirely out of wax. In May 2011, a new species of mushroom, Spongiforma squarepantsii, was described and 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 merchandise items 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.
Following Hillenburg's death in November 2018, more than 1.2 million fans signed a petition for the National Football League to have the song "Sweet Victory" from the season 2 episode "Band Geeks" performed in his honor at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show. Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium's Twitter account, the venue of the show, tweeted a GIF of SpongeBob dancing in "Band Geeks" in December. Maroon 5 who were performing at the game, included a brief clip of SpongeBob in a preview video, leading fans to believe the song would be performed. While the song's opening was ultimately included, it served as a transition into artist Travis Scott's set, which left many fans disappointed. In response to fans' disappointment at not hearing the complete "Sweet Victory" song during the halftime show at the Super Bowl LIII, the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League showed a clip of the full "Sweet Victory" song during a game at the American Airlines Center. In the clip, the characters' band uniforms are recolored green after the Stars.
In 2005, an online video that 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. They saw SpongeBob being used to "advocate homosexuality". James Dobson of Focus on the Family accused the video of promoting homosexuality because it was sponsored by a pro-tolerance group. The incident prompted the question whether SpongeBob is gay. Although the character has enjoyed popularity with gay viewers, series creator Stephen Hillenburg had already denied SpongeBob is gay three years earlier, clarifying at the time he considered 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 the issue had arisen. Dobson later said his comments were taken out of context and 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 said they 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."
Queer theorist Jeffery P. Dennis, author of the journal article "Queertoons", argued that SpongeBob and Sandy are not romantically in love, but added he believed SpongeBob and Patrick "are paired with arguably erotic intensity". Martin Goodman of Animation World Magazine called Dennis' comments regarding SpongeBob and Patrick "interesting".[c] Ukrainian website Family Under the Protection of the Holy Virgin, which has been described as a "fringe Catholic" group by The Wall Street Journal, criticized 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. Questions of SpongeBob's sexuality resurfaced in 2020 after Nickelodeon's official Twitter account posted an image of the character, in rainbow colors with text celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and its allies during Pride Month. Although the post did not make any assertions about SpongeBob's sexual orientation, numerous users responded on social media, claiming they already had their suspicions that he might be gay or reasserting Hillenburg's description of asexuality.
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 considering SpongeBob's fan base includes young children. In official statements released by Burger King and Nickelodeon, both companies claimed the campaign was aimed at parents.
—Angeline S. Lillard, University of Virginia
A 2011 study conducted at the University of Virginia, 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 because of frequent shot changes, compared to control groups watching Caillou and drawing pictures. A Nickelodeon executive responded in an interview 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". In 2014, the education minister of Kazakhstan, Zabira Orazalieva, deemed the show too violent for children, labeling the titular character a "self-absorbed hooligan" who "regularly inflicts violence on others in his community and seems to enjoy what he does".
Several of the series' episodes have also been the subject of controversy. 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. "SpongeBob's Last Stand" and "Selling Out" have been criticized for promoting environmentalism and left-wing politics because of their negative portrayal of big business. "SpongeBob, You're Fired", a 2013 season 9 episode, caused widespread 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".
ViacomCBS eventually pulled the episode "Mid-Life Crustacean", first aired in 2003, out of circulation presumably due to its ending in which SpongeBob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabs partake in a panty raid. "We determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate," a Nickelodeon representative stated. A later episode, "Kwarantined Krab" was also made unavailable for release over its similarities to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Various media outlets including MSN, The A.V. Club, and Vulture have reported that SpongeBob's popularity declined following the release of the 2004 film and Hillenburg's departure as showrunner. In 2012, MSN cited a post on Encyclopedia SpongeBobia, a Fandom-hosted wiki, which said that many fans felt the series had "jumped the shark" following the release of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and that online fansites were becoming "deserted".
As of 2011, episodes produced since the first film have been variously categorized by DVD Talk and DVD Verdict as "tedious", "boring" and "dreck", a "depressing plateau of mediocrity", and "laugh-skimpy". In 2018, Vulture noted the most popular online memes of the series usually focused on episodes from the first three seasons. That same year, The A.V. Club wrote that as the series went on, "[it] leaned hard into kid-friendly physical humor and gross out moments that appealed to no one in particular".
Nickelodeon faced criticism from fans and alumni like Paul Tibbitt when the network greenlit spinoffs (see below) after the death of Hillenburg, who had previously expressed hesitation in deriving from the parent series. "The show is about SpongeBob, he's the core element, and it's about how he relates to the other characters," Hillenburg told Television Business International. "Patrick by himself might be a bit too much. So I don't see any spin-offs."
Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years
On February 14, 2019, it was announced that a SpongeBob SquarePants spin-off is in development. On June 4, it was announced the spinoff will be titled Kamp Koral. The plot will focus on a 10-year-old SpongeBob and his friends at the titular camp located in the Kelp Forest, where they spend the summer catching jellyfish, building campfires, and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck. It serves as a tie-in to the animated film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run. It was confirmed production of the series began in June 2019.
Nickelodeon animation head Ramsey Naito said of the series, "SpongeBob has an incredible universe to expand upon and the greenlight for Kamp Koral is a testament to the strength and longevity of these characters known and loved by generations of fans around the world." Like SpongeBob SquarePants, the series will be executive produced by Vincent Waller and Marc Ceccarelli. Kamp Koral will be produced using computer animation rather than the digital ink and paint animation used for SpongeBob SquarePants.
On February 19, 2020, it was announced that the series had an official title of Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years, and would be premiering in July 2020. On July 30, 2020, it was announced that the series would be released on Paramount+ (at the time CBS All Access), the ViacomCBS streaming service, in early 2021. On January 28, 2021, it was announced that the series would premiere on March 4, 2021.
The Patrick Star Show
On August 10, 2020, it was reported that a Patrick Star talk show titled The Patrick Star Show was in development with a 13-episode order. The show will be similar to other talk shows such as The Larry Sanders Show and Comedy Bang! Bang!. On March 4, 2021, it was announced that the series had officially been green-lit and will premiere on Nickelodeon in summer 2021, with the series set to be available on Paramount+ later on.
Untitled Netflix spin-off series and films
In November 2019, a "music-based" Squidward project was reported to be in development for Netflix. In early March 2020, ViacomCBS announced that it will be producing two spin-off films based on the series for the streaming service.
Originally, the series was streaming on Netflix. However, the series was removed in 2013 due to their deal with Viacom not being renewed. The series was also available to stream on Hulu starting in 2012 until the series was removed in 2016. The series later streamed on Amazon Prime Video in 2013 after the Netflix deal ended. As part of Paramount+'s rebranding plan, the series joined along with other ViacomCBS shows on July 30, 2020.
|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|
|9||October 10, 2017||TBA||October 7, 2020|
|10||October 15, 2019||TBA||October 7, 2020|
|11||March 31, 2020||TBA||October 7, 2020|
|12||January 12, 2021||TBA||TBA|
The 32-page bimonthly comic book series, SpongeBob Comics, was announced in November 2010 and debuted the following February. Before this, SpongeBob SquarePants comics had been published in Nickelodeon Magazine, and episodes of the television series had been adapted by Cine-Manga, but SpongeBob Comics was the first American comic book series devoted solely to SpongeBob SquarePants. It also served as SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg's debut as a comic book author. The series was published by Hillenburg's production company, United Plankton Pictures, and distributed by Bongo Comics Group. Hillenburg described the stories from the comic books as "original and always true to the humor, characters, and universe of the SpongeBob SquarePants series." Leading up to the release of the series, Hillenburg said, "I'm hoping that fans will enjoy finally having a SpongeBob comic book from me."
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 published comics based on SpongeBob SquarePants every four weeks from February 3, 2005, through November 28, 2013. Titan Magazines also 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 released on November 19, 2004. The film was directed by Hillenburg, and written by long-time series writers Derek Drymon, Tim Hill, Kent Osborne, Aaron Springer, Paul Tibbitt, and Hillenburg. He and Julia Pistor produced the film, while Gregor Narholz composed the film's score. 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. It 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, and received a positive critical reception, It grossed over $140 million worldwide. Three television films were released: SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePants in 2007, SpongeBob's Truth or Square in 2009, and SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout in 2019.
A sequel to the 2004 film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, was released in theaters on February 6, 2015. The series' main cast members reprised their roles. The underwater parts are animated traditionally in the manner of the series—the live-action parts use CGI animation with the SpongeBob characters. The film has a budget similar to the previous film and cost less than $100 million to produce.
On April 30, 2015, Viacom announced a third film was in development. In April 2018, Tim Hill was named as director, and the film's original title, It's a Wonderful Sponge, was revealed. Paramount originally scheduled a release date of July 17, 2020, later moving it earlier to May 22, 2020. In October 2018, it was announced the movie will be an origin story of how SpongeBob came to Bikini Bottom and how he got his square pants. Around the same time, it was announced that Hans Zimmer will compose the music. The first poster along with a title change to Sponge on the Run was revealed on November 12, 2019, with the first trailer releasing on November 14. The film was later delayed to July 31, 2020 (and later August 7, 2020) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film's worldwide theatrical release was later cancelled in June 2020 and it was announced that it would be released in Canadian theaters on August 14, 2020, followed by a release on PVOD before heading to Paramount+ in early 2021. On January 28, 2021, it was announced that the film would be released on the service on March 4, 2021.
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 for the purpose of a single or album release, and have not been featured on the show. The song "My Tidy Whities" written by Tom Kenny and Andy Paley was released only on the album The Best Day Ever (2006). Kenny's inspiration for the song was "underwear humor", saying: "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".
A soundtrack album The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie – Music from the Movie and More..., featuring the movie's score 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
The SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D film and ride opened at several 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. It was also installed at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando in Orlando, Florida. The seven-minute film follows SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy up 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 opened March 15, 2008, has replaced the Mystery Mine Ride and Olde Time Photo store at the west end of the theme park.
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). In 2013, Nickelodeon published and distributed SpongeBob Moves In!, a freemium city-building game app developed by Kung Fu Factory for iOS and Android. On June 5, 2019, THQ Nordic announced SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, a full remake of the console versions of the original 2003 game. The game was released 1 year later on June 23, 2020 and includes cut content from the original game. On May 28, 2020, Apple Arcade released a game called Spongebob Squarepants: Patty Pursuit. In 2021, EA Sports introduced a SpongeBob-themed level to the Yard section of its Madden NFL 21 video game.
Nickelodeon launched the first global SpongeBob SquarePants-themed short film competition, SpongeBob SquareShorts: Original Fan Tributes, in 2013. The contest encouraged 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 competition's finalists. 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.
SpongeBob SquarePants was adapted as a stage musical in 2016 by director Tina Landau. SpongeBob SquarePants, The Broadway Musical premiered in Chicago in 2016 and opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre on December 4, 2017. The musical opened to critical acclaim, and tied for most-nominated production at the 2018 72nd Tony Awards with twelve Tony nominations.
SpongeBob in internet culture
Tom Kenny told Time that SpongeBob memes very relatable and very good-natured. Beyond the happy nature of the show’s characters and plot points, they also lend themselves easily to meme creating. Kenny said that the characters are complex, but they are also simple, there is so much content for meme makers to work with. Matt Schimkowitz, a senior editor for know your meme told Time that a combination of factors make SpongeBob memes so popular. He claimed the reasons are nostalgia for the past, and the fact that the cartoon was made for children actually makes it easier to design memes. He also told them that SpongeBob memes are very good at expressing emotions.
One of the most famous templates is the mocking SpongeBob meme. Mocking SpongeBob, refers to an image macro featuring cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants in which people use a picture of SpongeBob to indicate a mocking tone towards an opinion or point of view. The image of SpongeBob comes from the episode of the called "Little Yellow Book," which first aired on November 25, 2012. In the episode, Squidward reads SpongeBob's diary, where he discovers that whenever SpongeBob sees plaid, he acts like a chicken. The earliest version of the scene being used as a meme occurred on May 4, 2017. Twitter user @OGBEARD posted a screenshot of the scene where SpongeBob acts like a chicken with the caption "How I stare back at little kids when they stare for too long. " The tweet has received more than 73,000 retweets and 147,300 likes in five days.
The popularity of SpongeBob SquarePants inspired merchandise from T-shirts to posters. It was reported that the franchise generated an estimated $8 billion in merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon. It is also the most distributed property of ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks. SpongeBob is viewed in 170 countries speaking 24 languages, and has 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, Nickelodeon signed a marketing deal with Target Corporation and Burger King, expanding its merchandising. The popularity of SpongeBob has translated well into sales. In 2002, SpongeBob SquarePants dolls sold at a rate of 75,000 per week—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 there. 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 2013 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 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 enticed 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 were 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 began to appear on the labels of 8 ounce cans of Green Giant cut green beans and packages of frozen Green Giant green beans and butter sauce in 2007, which featured free stickers. This was 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 license deal with Nickelodeon. NZ Drinks launched the SpongeBob SquarePants bottled water.
Build-A-Bear Workshop introduced the new SpongeBob SquarePants 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 Padres v. Giants game. The SpongeBob Toyota Highlander visited seven U.S. locations during its release, including the Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando in Florida.
In April 2019, Nickelodeon released a series of toys adapted from various SpongeBob Internet memes. These included "Handsome Squidward", "Imaginaaation SpongeBob", "Mocking SpongeBob", "SpongeGar", and "Surprised Patrick". Shortly after the release of the line, most of the toys sold out on Amazon.com.
- Episode 175, "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!", was first broadcast on CBS.
- In 2015, Tom Kenny confirmed the fictitious city is named after Bikini Atoll. He denied an Internet fan theory, however, that connected the series' characters to nuclear testing that occurred on the atoll.
- Jeffery's comments were also published by the Journal of Popular Film & Television in an article called "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons". This is the article that is referred to by Goodman.
- Meet the Creator: Stephen Hillenburg (Video). Nick Animation. July 27, 2015. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants and the Indestructible Faith of Imagination". New York (Vulture).
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Why, one of the stars of the most brilliantly imagined and sustained display of surreal humor in pop culture, that's who.
- "Comic Riffs - The Interview: 'SpongeBob' Creator Stephen Hillenburg". voices.washingtonpost.com. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- "Press - Rough Draft Studios". March 10, 2008. Archived from the original on March 10, 2008. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- "CBS sets 'SpongeBob Christmas' for November". The Washington Post. October 18, 2012.
- "Nickelodeon Marks 20 Years of SpongeBob SquarePants with the "Best Year Ever"". www.businesswire.com. February 12, 2019. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
- "Casetext". casetext.com. Retrieved October 11, 2016.
- Andreeva, Nellie (July 17, 2019). "SpongeBob SquarePants Renewed for Season 13 by Nickelodeon on Heels of Strong Ratings for Anniversary Special". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
- Spangler, Todd (July 29, 2020). "CBS All Access Adds 70 Shows From ViacomCBS's Networks Ahead of 2021 Rebranding". Variety. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- Gold, Michael (May 2, 2018). "Before the Tonys, SpongeBob Seized the Culture With Memes". New York Times. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
- Viacom International. "Nickelodeon UK & Ireland Press Centre: SpongeBob SquarePants Programme Information". Nickelodeon. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
- "The Hype Soaking it Up' SpongeBob Actor Loves the Attention". Daily News. Los Angeles, CA. March 8, 2001. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2013 – via HighBeam.
- QSR Staff (June 7, 2001). "Burger King SpongeBob SquarePants". QSR Magazine. Archived from the original on October 21, 2007.
- Bradley, Bill (February 7, 2015). "SpongeBob SquarePants Answers 7 Big Questions And Debunks 1 Popular Theory". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- Grandy, Trevor. "The Geology of SpongeBob SquarePants: Potential of a Cartoon to Enhance Student Learning in the Geosciences". Geological Society of America. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
- Pittenger, Kenny (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- Writers: Luke Brookshier, Tom King, Dani Michaeli (October 6, 2006). "Squidtastic Voyage". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 4. Episode 75a. Nickelodeon.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants at NickSplat". Nickelodeon Asia. Viacom International. Archived from the original on August 12, 2004.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Meet the Gang!". Nickelodeon Australia. Viacom International. Archived from the original on March 10, 2008.
- Writers: Aaron Springer, Richard Pursel (March 19, 2009). "Komputer Overload". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 6. Episode 118b. Nickelodeon.
- Wilson, Amy (February 12, 2002). "Stephen Hillenburg created the undersea world of SpongeBob". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Character Guide Refresh". Nickelodeon Consumer Products. Viacom International. July 22, 2016. p. 3.
Nowhere else could you expect to find a cast that includes a scuba-diving squirrel, Sandy Cheeks, and a waterproof supercomputer, Karen.
- Writers: Aaron Springer, C. H. Greenblatt, Kent Osborne (May 10, 2002). "Krusty Krab Training Video". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 3. Episode 50b. Nickelodeon.
- "Characters of SpongeBob SquarePants". Nickelodeon New Zealand. Viacom International. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007.
- Sichtermann, Barbara (December 4, 2008). "SpongeBob: Das Kind im Schwamme". Der Tagesspiegel. Dieter von Holtzbrinck.
- "Mrs. Puff at Nickelodeon Universe". Mall of America. Triple Five Group. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017.
- Bianco, Robert (March 21, 2003). "Critic's corner". USA Today. p. 12E.
- Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants. July 14, 2009. Event occurs at 9:29.
- "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". Nerdist Industries (Podcast). Archived from the original (mp3) on December 21, 2013.
- Banks 2004, p. 9.
- "Did You Know: Ween's 'The Mollusk' Helped Inspire The Creation Of SpongeBob Squarepants". March 7, 2019. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Ween - Tribute to Stephen Hillenburg". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "A Deep Dive Into Ween, the Band that Birthed Bikini Bottom". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- 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). Interviewed by Lisa Kiczuk Trainor.
- Banks 2004, p. 10.
- Banks 2004, p. 31.
- Banks 2004, p. 30.
- Drymon, Derek (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- Kenny, Tom (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- "From Boy to Bob". Nick Mag Presents: SpongeBob SquarePants. Viacom International. June 2003.
- 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.
- Heintjes, Tom (September 21, 2012). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- Neuwirth 2003, p. 51.
- O'Hare, Mark (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- Coleman, Eric (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- Writers: Stephen Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, Tim Hill (May 1, 1999). "Help Wanted". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 1. Episode 1a. Nickelodeon.
- Writers: Stephen Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, Tim Hill (May 1, 1999). "Reef Blower". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 1. Episode 1b. Nickelodeon.
- Writers: Ennio Torresan, Erik Wiese, Stephen Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, and Tim Hill (July 17, 1999). "Bubble Stand". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 1. Episode 2a. Nickelodeon.
- Writers: Steve Fonti, Chris Mitchell, Peter Burns, and Tim Hill (July 31, 1999). "Jellyfishing". SpongeBob SquarePants. Season 1. Episode 3a. Nickelodeon.
- "Tim Hill biography". tribute.ca. Tribute. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
- "About - Our Artists - Tim Hill". Skylight Theatre Company. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
- Bauder, David (July 13, 2009). "SpongeBob Turns 10 Valued At $8 Billion". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on February 8, 2016.
- White, Peter (October 27, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants' creator Steve Hillenburg". TBI Vision. Informa Telecoms & Media. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- "Nickelodeon's 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Reaches A Milestone: 10 Years". Access Hollywood. July 13, 2009. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- Cavna, Michael (July 14, 2009). "The Interview: 'SpongeBob' Creator Stephen Hillenburg". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
- Henderson, Sam (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- 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.
- Amidi, Amid (December 13, 2014). "'SpongeBob' Creator Stephen Hillenburg Returning to His Show". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
- Otterson, Joe (November 27, 2018). "'SpongeBob Squarepants' Creator Stephen Hillenburg Dies at 57". Variety. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- Wallenstein, Andrew (March 13, 2017). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' Creator Stephen Hillenburg Reveals ALS Diagnosis". Variety. Archived from the original on March 14, 2017. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- @Nickelodeon (November 28, 2018). "The show isn't cancelled. Steve Hillenburg's creations will continue to bring joy to kids and families everywhere 💛" (Tweet). Retrieved July 21, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Steinberg, Brian (February 14, 2019). "'SpongeBob' Spinoffs Planned as Nickelodeon Chief Brian Robbins Tries to Win Back Young Viewers (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
- "Interview with Luke Brookshier, SpongeBob SquarePants Storyboard Director". 4Mations. September 23, 2009. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Zahed, Ramin (July 24, 2009). "Bikini Bottom Confessions". Animation Magazine. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- Wiese, Erik (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- Williams, Merriwether (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley#17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- Orlando, Dana (March 17, 2003). "SpongeBob: the excitable, absorbent star of Bikini Bottom". sptimes.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- "SpongeBob's Alter Ego". CBS News. December 30, 2002. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- 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.
- 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.
- Brown, Arthur (2008). Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Cartoons!. USA: Callaloo Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4357-3248-3.
- "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). Interviewed by 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). Interviewed by Andy Goodman. Archived from the original on June 11, 2010.
- "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.
- Pressley, Nelson (March 8, 2013). "Remember the time when Washington saved 'Hello, Dolly!'?". The Washington Post.
- "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). Interviewed by 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.
- "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. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- Hammond, Jennie Monica (2010). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley #17. Bull Moose Publishing Corporation. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- Richmond, Ray (January 15, 2004). "Special Report: Animation". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 10, 2008.
- 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 Magazine. 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.
- 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.
- 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. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015.
- "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. Archived from the original on August 15, 2013.
- "Nickelodeon Greenlights Season 12 of SpongeBob SquarePants, Number-One Animated Series Across All TV with Kids" (Press release). Nickelodeon. May 23, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2020 – via The Futon Critic.
- "Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants Gets Season 13 Pick Up, As Anniversary Special Scores Double-Digit Gains Bringing in More Than 2 Million Total Viewers" (Press release). Nickelodeon. July 17, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2020 – via The Futon Critic.
- Cavna, Michael (July 14, 2009). "Absorbent And Yellow And Beloved At 10 Is He". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 12, 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.
- Goldman, Eric (January 9, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants Meets Johnny Depp – TV News at IGN". Tv.ign.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- Moody, Annemarie (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". PopMatters. Archived from the original on July 17, 2009.
- "'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.
- Lambert, David (April 21, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants — To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants Debuts in July's 100-ep Marathon, Then on DVD". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on April 27, 2015.
- Lambert, David (April 28, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants – 'First 100 Episodes' 5-Season DVD Set Arrives with New Extras this Autumn". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on December 6, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants — The First 100 Episodes (Seasons 1–5)". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on November 1, 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 Magazine. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
- "Ricky Gervais, Will Ferrell and Robin Williams pay tribute to SpongeBob SquarePants". Daily Mirror. July 1, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Maclntyre, April (October 14, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants Truth or Square, Friday Nov. 6". Monsters and Critics. Archived from the original on November 12, 2013.
- Lambert, David (August 11, 2009). "SpongeBob SquarePants — Truth or Square Officially Announced: Package Art, Extras & More!". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on January 5, 2015.
- Brown, Tracy (February 11, 2019). "'SpongeBob Squarepants' to celebrate 20 years with the 'Best Year Ever' and a new movie". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
- Zachary, Brandon (February 14, 2019). "SpongeBob SquarePants Spinoffs in the Works From Nickelodeon". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
- Foster, Elizabeth (May 30, 2019). "SpongeBob gets artsy for 20th anniversary". Kidscreen. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "Nickelodeon and The Pantone Color Institute Launch SpongeBob Yellow and Patrick Star Pink in Commemoration of SpongeBob's 20th Anniversary". Business Wire. May 30, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Owen, Rob (July 10, 2019). "Behind the Business of 'SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout'". Variety. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Milligan, Mercedes (February 12, 2019). "Nickelodeon Celebrates 20 Years of 'SpongeBob SquarePants' with "Best Year Ever"". Animation Magazine. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
- Taylor, Anna (February 15, 2019). "Cynthia Rowley Creates SpongeBob SquarePants Birthday Wetsuit". Dan's Papers. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "How Kanye West changed sneaker culture: Nike, Adidas don't need athletes to sell sports shoes now they've got celebrities". South China Morning Post. August 10, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Stubblebine, Allison (March 12, 2019). "SpongeBob Got A Haute Couture Makeover At Amsterdam Fashion Week". Nylon. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Crenshaw, Madeleine (March 14, 2019). "This Edgy Fashion Collection Is Inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants". footwearnews.com. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "Kyrie Irving, Nike Go Under the Sea with SpongeBob". licenseglobal.com. July 24, 2019. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Jacqueline Laurean Yates (July 18, 2019). "HipDot launches 'SpongeBob Squarepants' cosmetics collection". ABC News. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
- Fasanella, Kaleigh (July 17, 2019). "A SpongeBob SquarePants Makeup Collection Is Here - and It's Surprisingly Wearable". Allure. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
- Keveney, Bill (February 11, 2019). "'SpongeBob' goes live-action to celebrate 'Best Year Ever' 20th anniversary". USA Today. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 18, 2019). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' 20th Anniversary To Pop Confetti At San Diego Comic-Con". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- Millgan, Mercedes (July 10, 2019). "Celebrate SpongeBob with Nick's 'Best 200 Episodes Ever' 30-Disc Set". Animation Magazine. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 14, 2020). "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On the Run Takes Over Infinites Early August Slot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- "Nicklodeon.(rating of Nickelodeon's cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants)(Brief Article)(Statistical Data Included)". Multichannel News. August 23, 1999. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014 – via HighBeam.
- "Number 101". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on March 29, 2015.
- "Nick Retains SaturdayY Crown". Broadcasting & Cable. June 18, 2001. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013 – via HighBeam.
- "The Stretch". Rocky Mountain News. Denver, CO. September 15, 2001. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013 – via HighBeam.
- Moore, Frazier (July 9, 2001). "Sponge Soaks Up Laughs On TV.(Living)". The Cincinnati Post. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015 – via HighBeam.
- Wilson, Amy (February 12, 2002). "Stephen Hillenburg created the undersea world of SpongeBob.(The Orange County Register)". Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014 – via HighBeam.
- 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. Archived from the original on November 8, 2013 – via HighBeam.
- 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. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014 – via HighBeam.
- Ryan, Suzanne C. (August 14, 2003). "'Oddparents is Soaking Up Popularity of 'Spongebob'". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014 – via HighBeam.
- Oei, Lily (October 28, 2002). "'Fairly Odd' number puts 'SpongeBob' in second". Daily Variety. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014 – via HighBeam.
- "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 Hollywood. Retrieved May 26, 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.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants (1999)". ca.flixboss.com. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
- "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". The 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. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.
- "5 of the best". Sunday Tribune. January 15, 2011. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014 – via HighBeam.
- 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.
- 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.
- Champagne, Christine (August 31, 2016). "Two Critics Pick The All-Time Best TV Shows. And They Know You Already Hate Their List". Co.Create. Mansueto Ventures, LLC. Retrieved September 2, 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.
- Busis, Hillary. "President Obama likes SpongeBob, hates the Kardashians". ew.com. Entertainment News. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- "The 37th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy® Aaward Nominations" (PDF). Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2013.
- "Winners of the 41st Annual Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Emmy® Awards" (PDF). Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 5, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- Montgomery, Daniel. "2018 Daytime Emmy winners: Full list of Creative Arts Awards winners and nominees". GoldDerby. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
- "32nd Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2004)". Annie Award. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008.
- "37th Annual Annie Nominations". Annie Award. Archived from the original on January 24, 2010.
- "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.
- "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 December 29, 2012.
- "TV Guide's 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time". TV Guide. July 30, 2002. Archived from the original on April 4, 2005.
- Vary, Adam B. (June 1, 2010). "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years: Here's our full list!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
- "The 100 Greatest Cartoons – Results". Channel 4.com. Archived from the original on May 20, 2009.
- "The 100 Greatest Cartoons – The Show". Channel 4.com. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009.
- Poniewozik, James (August 14, 2007). "All-TIME 100 TV shows: SpongeBob SquarePants". Time. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- "TV Guide Magazine's 60 Greatest Cartoons of All Time". TV Guide. September 24, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Seitz, Matt Zoller; Sepinwall, Alan (September 1, 2016). "Why 'Deadwood' Is a Top-10 TV Show of All Time". The Ringer. Perfect Privacy, LLC. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
- Ashbrook, Tom (September 9, 2016). "The Greatest American Television Shows, Ranked". WBUR. WBUR. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Snook, Raven (July 6, 2009). "Yellow fever: SpongeBob figure to debut at Madame Tussauds". Timeout. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. 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. doi:10.3852/10-433. PMID 21558499. S2CID 15849227.
- Kingsley, Patrick (May 27, 2013). "How SpongeBob SquarePants became massive in Egypt". The Guardian. London. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- Malsin, Jared (January 15, 2013). "Is SpongeBob SquarePants the New Che Guevara?". Vice. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
- "Meet Egypt's unusual Tahrir icon: SpongeBob SquarePants". Al Arabiya. 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.
- "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.
- Baer, Jack (February 4, 2019). "Where was 'Sweet Victory?' Brief SpongeBob SquarePants appearance at Super Bowl halftime show disappoints". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Alexander, Julia (February 3, 2019). "Spongebob Squarepants' 'Sweet Victory' finally gets a Super Bowl tribute". The Verge. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- "WATCH: Dallas Stars give fans the 'Sweet Victory' SpongeBob halftime show we all deserve". Fox Sports. February 4, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- Dator, James (February 5, 2019). "The Dallas Stars gave us the 'Sweet Victory' Spongebob halftime we missed at the Super Bowl". SB Nation. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
- 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 & Television. 31 (3): 132–140. doi:10.1080/01956050309603674. S2CID 192238843.
- Marson, James (August 15, 2012). "Ukraine's Morality Police Probe 'Gay' SpongeBob". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
- Ali, Rasha (June 13, 2020). "Nickelodeon's Pride Tweet Reignites Debate On SpongeBob's Sexual Orientation". USA Today. Retrieved June 19, 2020.
- "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.
- 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. doi:10.1542/peds.2010-1919. PMID 21911349.
- 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.
- Hartley-Parkinson, Richard (September 28, 2014). "SpongeBob SquarePants is a 'self-absorbed, violent hooligan', says Kazakhstan". Metro. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
- Chasmar, Jessica (September 28, 2014). "SpongeBob Squarepants promotes hooligan behavior, says Kazakhstan". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
- Harding, David (September 27, 2014). "SpongeBob: Children's character is a bully, corrupts minds, warns Kazakhstan". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
- Fyfe, Kristen (March 2, 2006). Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: A Content Analysis of Children's Television (PDF) (Report). Parents Television Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 9, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2007.
- Bond, Paul. "SpongeBob's Firing Sparks Political Debate (Exclusive Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 1, 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 May 1, 2017.
- "PoliticsNation: SpongeBob and the poor?". MSNBC. October 31, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- Oneto, Petey (March 26, 2021). "SpongeBob SquarePants Episodes Pulled Over Storyline Concerns". IGN. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
- Berr, Jonathan (May 4, 2012). "Viacom should pull the plug on SpongeBob". MSN. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- Nellan, Dan (January 17, 2018). "Let's trace the rise, fall, and much later rebirth of Spongebob Squarepants". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
- Jackson, Laurel Michelle (May 11, 2018). "How Did SpongeBob SquarePants Become the Most Meme-able TV Show?". Vulture. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
- Hrab, Roy (November 13, 2008). "SpongeBob SquarePants: Who Bob What Pants?". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on October 17, 2013.
- Hrab, Roy (March 13, 2011). "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Great Patty Caper". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- Rhodes, Mina (February 6, 2008). "SpongeBob SquarePants: To Love A Patty". DVD Verdict. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- Mavis, Paul (October 13, 2008). "SpongeBob SquarePants — WhoBob WhatPants?". DVD Talk. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
- McKay, Karelle (March 7, 2021). "'SpongeBob' Fans Are Not Excited For Patrick Star Spinoff, Feel It Dishonors Creator's Memory". The Things. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
- "Nickelodeon Greenlights Kamp Koral, Original Animated Spinoff of Hit Series SpongeBob SquarePants" (Press release). Nickelodeon. June 4, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2020 – via The Futon Critic.
- Andreeva, Nellie (June 4, 2019). "SpongeBob SquarePants CG-Animated Prequel Series Kamp Koral Greenlighted by Nickelodeon". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "Nickelodeon Announces Voice Cast for Kamp Koral: Spongebob's Under Years, First-Ever Spongebob Squarepants Spinoff" (Press release). Nickelodeon. February 19, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020 – via The Futon Critic.
- Hayes, Dade (July 30, 2020). "SpongeBob SquarePants Spinoff Kamp Koral Shifts To CBS All Access As Nickelodeon Library Shows Arrive". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- "ViacomCBS Debuts Expanded and Enhanced CBS All Access" (Press release). CBS. July 30, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020 – via The Futon Critic.
- Welk, Brian (January 28, 2021). "SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run to Debut on Paramount+ at March Launch". TheWrap. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
- Andreeva, Nellie (August 10, 2020). "SpongeBob SquarePants Spinoff Series The Patrick Star Show Set At Nickelodeon". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- Thorne, Will (August 10, 2020). "SpongeBob Squarepants Spinoff The Patrick Star Show in the Works to Nickelodeon". Variety. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- Steinberg, Brian (March 4, 2021). "Nickelodeon Set to Expand SpongeBob SquarePants With Patrick Star Series". Variety. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
- "Nickelodeon Greenlights The Patrick Star Show, Original Animated SpongeBob SquarePants Spinoff, Slated to Air This Summer" (Press release). Nickelodeon. March 4, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2021 – via The Futon Critic.
- Barnes, Brooks (November 13, 2019). "SpongeBob Spinoff Highlights Netflix-Nickelodeon Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- Gruenwedel, Erik (March 4, 2020). "It's a SpongeBob SquarePants World at ViacomCBS". Media Play News. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- Roettgers, Janko (May 23, 2013). "Adios, Dora: Netflix is starting to take Viacom shows offline". Gigaom. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Rome, Emily (October 9, 2012). "Nickelodeon shows now available to watch on Hulu Plus". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Poggi, Jeanine (June 4, 2013). "Netflix Deal Over, Viacom Takes Dora and SpongeBob to Amazon Prime". Ad Age. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants - Where to Stream and Watch". Decider. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "Is SpongeBob SquarePants (1999) on Netflix?". Flixboss. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 1". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on July 25, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. 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. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. 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. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 4, Volume 1". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob Complete Season 4 Boxset [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants; S4". Sanity. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 4, Volume 2". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 5, Volume 1". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. 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. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 6". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved November 2, 2013.
- Lambert, David (September 12, 2011). "SpongeBob SquarePants – Nickelodeon/Paramount Announces a 'Complete 7th Season' 4-DVD Set". TV Shows on DVD. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 7th Season DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 7". EzyDVD. Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 7". JB Hi-Fi. Retrieved October 29, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants DVD news: Announcement for SpongeBob SquarePants – Season 8". TVShowsOnDVD.com. May 25, 2007. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. 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.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants DVD news: Announcement for Season 9". TVShowsOnDVD.com. July 24, 2017. Archived from the original on July 26, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
- "Spongebob Squarepants - Season 9". Sanity.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Tenth Season". Paramount Home Media Distribution. October 15, 2019. Retrieved August 4, 2019 – via Amazon.com.
- "Spongebob Squarepants - Season 10". Sanity.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Eleventh Season Widescreen, 3 Pack, Dubbed, Amaray Case on DeepDiscount". DeepDiscount.
- "Log into Facebook". Facebook. Cite uses generic title (help)
- "Spongebob Squarepants - Season 11". Sanity.
- "Log into Facebook". Facebook. Cite uses generic title (help)
- "'SpongeBob Comics': Cartoon Phenom Makes Comic Book Debut". ICv2. November 11, 2010. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
- Langshaw, Mark (November 11, 2010). "'SpongeBob' comics on the way". Digital Spy. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
- ""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.
- "Tokyopop Does Nickelodeon". ICv2. June 2, 2003. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
- 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.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants Magazine @ Titan Magazines". titanmagazines.com.
- Hutchins, Rob (March 22, 2013). "SpongeBob LEGO limited edition magazine launches". Licensing. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. 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. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on March 2, 2012. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- Wolfe, Jennifer (February 29, 2012). "Paramount to Release 'SpongeBob' Movie in 2014". Animation World Network. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- @Viacom (April 30, 2015). "@ParamountPics is in development on sequels to existing franchises: @WorldWarZMovie, @JackReacher & @SpongeBobMovie - TD" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 24, 2018). "Paramount's 'The SpongeBob Movie' To Soak Up Mid-July 2020". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
- Telling, Gillian (November 12, 2019). "SpongeBob Is Back! The Man Behind the Voice, Tom Kenny, on Returning for a Big Screen Adventure". People. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
- SpongeBob Movie [@SpongeBobMovie] (November 13, 2019). "The search for Gary is on! Check out the official poster for #SpongeBobMovie: Sponge on the Run and don't miss the trailer tomorrow!" (Tweet). Retrieved November 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 2, 2020). "Top Gun Maverick Flies To Christmas Corridor, SpongeBob Eyes Late Summer, Quiet Place II To Debut Labor Day". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
- Rubin, Rebecca (June 22, 2020). "SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run Skipping Theaters to Launch On Demand and CBS All Access (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
- Paramount Canada [@ParamountCanada] (July 30, 2020). "The happiest place on earth is a pineapple under the sea! Paramount Pictures Canada is excited to announce that THE #SPONGEBOBMOVIE: SPONGE ON THE RUN will open exclusively in Canadian theatres on August 14th" (Tweet). Retrieved July 30, 2020 – via Twitter.
- "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. Archived from the original on June 26, 2009. 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. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D: The Great Jelly Rescue". Eye on Orlando. Archived from the original on May 3, 2013. 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. Archived from the original on April 23, 2013. 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 March 9, 2015.
Visitors will be able to interact with the Nickelodeon characters on a digital stage as they have never been able to do before.
- Antonucci, Mike (March 20, 2001). "Triple Play Baseball has some annoying errors". Knight Ridder. Archived from the original on June 10, 2014. Retrieved December 6, 2013 – via HighBeam.
- Stecker, Erin (June 5, 2013). "'SpongeBob SquarePants' debuts new app – EXCLUSIVE VIDEO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- Milligan, Mercedes (June 6, 2013). "Nick Launches Building 'SpongeBob' App". Animation. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- "Nickelodeon Announces SpongeBob SquarePants 'City Building' App". BroadwayWorld. June 6, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- "Build Your Very Own Bikini Bottom Through Nickelodeon's Worldwide Release Of Brand-New Mobile Game, SpongeBob Moves In". PR Newswire. June 6, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- Lanier, Liz (June 5, 2019). "Classic Spongebob Squarepants Game Getting Remake, Multiplayer Mode". Variety. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
- Moyce, Chris (June 5, 2019). "SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom getting remastered for PC and consoles". Destructoid. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- Tailby, Stephen (June 5, 2019). "Are You Ready, Kids? SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated Announced". Push Square. Archived from the original on June 5, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- Bailey, Dustin (April 16, 2020). "SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom hits Steam in June". PCGamesN. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
- Romano, Sal (April 16, 2020). "SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated launches June 23". Gematsu. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
- "SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated Release Date Announced". Retrieved April 19, 2020.
- Brown, Shelby (May 28, 2020). "SpongeBob: Patty Pursuit is the ultimate new Apple Arcade game for fans". CNET. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
- Peters, Jay (January 8, 2021). "Madden 21 now has a SpongeBob SquarePants field". The Verge. Retrieved January 9, 2021.
- 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. Archived from the original on May 11, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
- Hutchins, Rob (July 22, 2013). "Nickelodeon reveals finalists in SpongeBob Squareshorts film comp". Licensing.biz. Archived from the original on October 24, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Nickelodeon Announces Finalists For First-Ever SpongeBob SquareShorts Global Short Film Competition". The Futon Critic. July 19, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Liu, Ed (July 19, 2013). "PR: Nickelodeon Announces Finalists for First-Ever "SpongeBob SquareShorts: Original Fan Tributes"". Toonzone. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- "Nickelodeon Announces Winners for First-Ever 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Global Short Film Competition". TV by the Numbers. August 9, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2019.[dead link]
- Deb, Sopan (November 22, 2017). "With a Singing SpongeBob, Nickelodeon Aims for a Broadway Splash - The New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Chen, Wei-Huan (February 16, 2018). "'SpongeBob' musical underscores nautical nonsense of art vs. entertainment". Houston Chronicle.
- "2018 Tony Award Nominations: SpongeBob SquarePants and Mean Girls Lead the Pack". Playbill. May 1, 2018.
- "Guide to the best Spongebob memes". Time. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
- "Spongebob Memes". centium100. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
- "Mocking SpongeBob". know your meme. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
- "Twitter post". web.archive.org. Retrieved May 22, 2021.
- Hampp, Andrew (July 13, 2009). "How SpongeBob Became an $8 Billion Franchise". Advertising Age. 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 SquarePants". 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.
- "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. Archived from the original on March 27, 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. Archived from the original on December 30, 2010. 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 SquarePants coming May 17". AL.com. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "Build-A-Bear Workshop Makes a Splash with New SpongeBob SquarePants Collection". Business Wire. May 15, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
- "Build-A-Bear welcomes the SpongeBob gang". Retailing Today. May 15, 2013. Archived from the original on September 18, 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". The Detroit News. Archived from the original on July 13, 2013. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- Stewart, Megan (July 15, 2013). "Introducing the 2014 SpongeBob SquarePants Toyota Highlander". Automotive.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Busis, Hillary (July 12, 2013). "SpongeBob Square...Car? Check out the cartoon's new 'concept vehicle' – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- Brindusescu, Gabriel (July 12, 2013). "Toyota to Unveil 2014 Highlander SpongeBob Edition [Video]". Auto Evolution. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- Barari, Arman (July 13, 2013). "SpongeBob-Themed Toyota Highlander by Nickelodeon". Motor Ward. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- Harbison, Cammy Harbison (April 24, 2019). "A new line of Spongebob Squarepants Masterpiece Memes figurines bring all your favorite SpongeBob memes to life". Newsweek. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
- Tigg, Fnr. "Nickelodeon Releases Official Spongebob Meme Figures". Complex (April 24, 2019). Retrieved April 26, 2019.
- 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 978-1-4357-3248-3.
- Neuwirth, Allan (2003). Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies. Allworth Communications, Inc. ISBN 978-1-58115-269-2.
- Priebe, Kenneth A. (2011). The Advanced Art of Stop-Motion Animation. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1-4354-5704-1.
- Lenburg, Jeff (2006). "Hal Leonard". Who's Who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award Winning and Legendary Animators. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-55783-671-7.
- Quotations related to SpongeBob SquarePants at Wikiquote
- Media related to SpongeBob SquarePants at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- SpongeBob SquarePants at IMDb
- SpongeBob SquarePants at Curlie
- SpongeBob SquarePants at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- SpongeBob SquarePants at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on August 8, 2017.
Kosovo War: Serb paramilitary and military forces kill 146 Kosovo Albanians in Izbica.
|Part of the Yugoslav Wars|
Clockwise from top-left: Yugoslav general staff headquarters damaged by NATO air strikes; a Zastava Koral buried under rubble caused by NATO air strikes; memorial to local KLA commanders; a USAF F-15E taking off from Aviano Air Base
|Commanders and leaders|
cca. 80 aircraft
(Operation Eagle Eye)
(Operation Allied Force)
30+ warships and submarines
85,000 soldiers (including 40,000 in and around Kosovo)
|Casualties and losses|
47 UAVs shot down
1,084 killed (HLC figures)
8,676 Kosovar Albanian civilians killed or missing
The Kosovo War was an armed conflict in Kosovo[a] that started in February 1998 and lasted until 11 June 1999. It was fought by the forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (i.e. Serbia and Montenegro), which controlled Kosovo before the war, and the Kosovo Albanian rebel group known as the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The conflict ended when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervened by beginning air strikes in March 1999 which resulted in Yugoslav forces withdrawing from Kosovo.
The KLA, formed in the early 1990s to fight against Serbian persecution of Kosovo Albanians, initiated its first campaign in 1995 when it launched attacks against Serbian law enforcement in Kosovo. In June 1996 the group claimed responsibility for acts of sabotage targeting Kosovo police stations, during the Kosovo Insurgency. In 1997, the organisation acquired a large amount of arms through weapons smuggling from Albania, following a rebellion in which weapons were looted from the country's police and army posts. In early 1998, KLA attacks targeting Yugoslav authorities in Kosovo resulted in an increased presence of Serb paramilitaries and regular forces who subsequently began pursuing a campaign of retribution targeting KLA sympathisers and political opponents; this campaign killed 1,500 to 2,000 civilians and KLA combatants.
After attempts at a diplomatic solution failed, NATO intervened, justifying the campaign as a "humanitarian war". This precipitated a mass expulsion of Kosovar Albanians as the Yugoslav forces continued to fight during the aerial bombing of Yugoslavia (March–June 1999). By 2000, investigations had recovered the remains of almost three thousand victims of all ethnicities, and in 2001 a United Nations administered Supreme Court, based in Kosovo, found that there had been "a systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes, arsons and severe maltreatments", but that Yugoslav troops had tried to remove rather than eradicate the Albanian population.
The war ended with the Kumanovo Treaty, with Yugoslav and Serb forces agreeing to withdraw from Kosovo to make way for an international presence. The Kosovo Liberation Army disbanded soon after this, with some of its members going on to fight for the UÇPMB in the Preševo Valley and others joining the National Liberation Army (NLA) and Albanian National Army (ANA) during the armed ethnic conflict in Macedonia, while others went on to form the Kosovo Police. After the war, a list was compiled which documented that over 13,500 people were killed or went missing during the two year conflict. The Yugoslav and Serb forces caused the displacement of between 1.2 million to 1.45 million Kosovo Albanians. After the war, around 200,000 Serbs, Romani, and other non-Albanians fled Kosovo and many of the remaining civilians were victims of abuse. Serbia became home to the highest number of refugees and internally displaced persons in Europe.
The NATO bombing campaign has remained controversial, as it did not gain the approval of the UN Security Council and because it caused at least 488 Yugoslav civilian deaths, including substantial numbers of Kosovar refugees.
Kosovo in Tito's Yugoslavia (1945–1980)
The modern Albanian-Serbian conflict has its roots in the expulsion of the Albanians 1877–1878 from areas that became incorporated into the Principality of Serbia. Tensions between the Serbian and Albanian communities in Kosovo simmered throughout the 20th century and occasionally erupted into major violence, particularly during the First Balkan War (1912–13), World War I (1914–18), and World War II (1939–45). After 1945 the socialist government under Josip Broz Tito systematically repressed all manifestations of nationalism throughout Yugoslavia, seeking to ensure that no republic or nationality gained dominance over the others. In particular, Tito diluted the power of Serbia—the largest and most populous republic—by establishing autonomous governments in the Serbian province of Vojvodina in the north and Kosovo and Metohija in the south. Kosovo's borders did not precisely match the areas of ethnic Albanian settlement in Yugoslavia (significant numbers of Albanians remained in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia). Kosovo's formal autonomy, established under the 1945 Yugoslav constitution, initially meant relatively little in practice. The secret police (the UDBA) cracked down hard on nationalists. In 1956 a number of Albanians went on trial in Kosovo on charges of espionage and subversion. The threat of separatism was in fact minimal, as the few underground groups aiming for union with Albania had little political significance. Their long-term impact became substantial, though, as some—particularly the Revolutionary Movement for Albanian Unity, founded[when?] by Adem Demaçi—would eventually form the political core of the Kosovo Liberation Army (founded in 1990). Demaci himself was imprisoned in 1964 along with many of his followers. Yugoslavia underwent a period of economic and political crisis in 1969, as a massive government program of economic reform widened the gap between the rich north and poor south of the country.
Student demonstrations and riots in Belgrade in June 1968 spread to Kosovo in November, but Yugoslav security forces quelled them. Tito conceded some of the students' demands—in particular, representative powers for Albanians in both the Serbian and Yugoslav state bodies and better recognition of the Albanian language. The University of Pristina was established as an independent institution in 1970, ending a long period when the institution had been run as an outpost of Belgrade University. The lack of Albanian-language educational materials in Yugoslavia hampered Albanian education in Kosovo, so an agreement was struck with Albania itself to supply textbooks.
In 1969 the Serbian Orthodox Church ordered its clergy to compile data on the ongoing problems of Serbs in Kosovo, seeking to pressure the government in Belgrade to do more to protect the interests of Serbs there.
In 1974 Kosovo's political status improved further when a new Yugoslav constitution granted an expanded set of political rights. Along with Vojvodina, Kosovo was declared a province and gained many of the powers of a fully-fledged republic: a seat on the federal presidency and its own assembly, police force and national bank.
After the death of Tito (1980–86)
Provincial power was still exercised by the Communist Party, but now devolved mainly to ethnic Albanian communists. Tito's death on 4 May 1980 ushered in a long period of political instability, worsened by growing economic crisis and nationalist unrest. The first major outbreak occurred in Kosovo's main city, Pristina, when a protest of University of Pristina students over long queues in their university canteen rapidly escalated and in late March and early April 1981 spread throughout Kosovo, causing mass demonstrations in several towns. The disturbances were quelled by the Presidency of Yugoslavia proclaiming a state of emergency, sending in riot police and the army, which resulted in numerous casualties.
Communist hard-liners instituted a fierce crackdown on nationalism of all kinds. Kosovo endured a heavy secret-police presence throughout most of the 1980s that ruthlessly suppressed any unauthorised nationalist manifestations, both Albanian and Serbian. According to a report quoted by Mark Thompson, as many as 580,000 inhabitants of Kosovo were arrested, interrogated, interned or reprimanded. Thousands of these lost their jobs or were expelled from their educational establishments. During this time tension between the Albanian and Serbian communities continued to escalate.
In February 1982 a group of priests from Serbia proper petitioned their bishops to ask "why the Serbian Church is silent" and why it did not campaign against "the destruction, arson and sacrilege of the holy shrines of Kosovo". Such concerns did attract interest in Belgrade. Stories appeared from time to time in the Belgrade media claiming that Serbs and Montenegrins were being persecuted. There was a perception among Serbian nationalists that Serbs were being driven out of Kosovo.
In addition to all this, the worsening state of Kosovo's economy made the province a poor choice for Serbs seeking work. Albanians, as well as Serbs, tended to favor their compatriots when hiring new employees, but the number of jobs was too few for the population. Kosovo was the poorest entity of Yugoslavia: the average per capita income was $795, compared with the national average of $2,635.
In 1981 it was reported that some 4,000 Serbs moved from Kosovo to central Serbia after the Kosovo Albanian riots in March that resulted in several Serb deaths and the desecration of Serbian Orthodox architecture and graveyards. Serbia reacted with a plan to reduce the power of Albanians in the province and a propaganda campaign that claimed Serbs were being pushed out of the province primarily by the growing Albanian population, rather than the bad state of the economy. 33 nationalist formations were dismantled by Yugoslav police, who sentenced some 280 people (800 fined, 100 under investigation) and seized arms caches and propaganda material.
Kosovo and the rise of Slobodan Milošević (1986–90)
In 1987 David Binder wrote in The New York Times about the growing ethnic tension in Yugoslavia and rising nationalism among Albanians in Kosovo and referred to the Paraćin massacre, where an ethnic Albanian soldier in the JNA killed four fellow soldiers. Binder also—writing of Slobodan Milošević's deposing of Dragiša Pavlović as head of Belgrade's party organisation shortly before—wrote that "Mr. Milosevic accused Mr. Pavlovic of being an appeaser who was soft on Albanian radicals", and that "Mr. Milosevic and his supporters appear to be staking their careers on a strategy of confrontation with the Kosovo ethnic Albanians". The article quotes the Federal Secretary for National Defence, Fleet Adm. Branko Mamula, who claimed that "from 1981 to 1987, 216 illegal Albanian organisations with 1,435 members were discovered in the JNA". Mamula had also said that ethnic Albanian subversives had been preparing for "killing officers and soldiers, poisoning food and water, sabotage, breaking into weapons arsenals and stealing arms and ammunition, desertion and causing flagrant nationalist incidents in army units".
In Kosovo an increasingly poisonous atmosphere between Serbs and Albanians led to wild rumors being spread and otherwise trivial incidents being blown out of proportion. It was against this tense background that the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) conducted a survey of Serbs who had left Kosovo in 1985 and 1986, which concluded that a considerable number had left under pressure from Albanians.
The so-called SANU Memorandum, leaked in September 1986, was a draft document that focused on the political difficulties facing Serbs in Yugoslavia, pointing to Tito's deliberate hobbling of Serbia's power and the difficulties faced by Serbs outside Serbia proper. It paid special attention to Kosovo, arguing that the Kosovo Serbs were being subjected to "physical, political, legal and cultural genocide" in an "open and total war" that had been ongoing since the spring of 1981. It claimed that Kosovo's status in 1986 was a worse historical defeat for the Serbs than any event since liberation from the Ottomans in 1804, thus ranking it above such catastrophes as the World war occupations. The Memorandum's authors claimed that 200,000 Serbs had moved out of the province over the previous 20 years and warned that there would soon be none left "unless things change radically." The remedy, according to the Memorandum, was for "genuine security and unambiguous equality for all peoples living in Kosovo and Metohija [to be] established" and "objective and permanent conditions for the return of the expelled [Serbian] nation [to be] created." It concluded that "Serbia must not be passive and wait and see what the others will say, as it has done so often in the past." The SANU Memorandum provoked split reactions: Albanians saw it as a call for Serbian supremacy at the local level, claiming the Serb emigrants had left Kosovo for economic reasons, while the Slovenes and Croats saw a threat in the call for a more assertive Serbia. Serbs were divided: many welcomed it, while the Communist old guard strongly attacked its message. One of those who denounced it was Serbian Communist Party official Slobodan Milošević.
In November 1988 Kosovo's head of the provincial committee was arrested. In March 1989 Milošević announced an "anti-bureaucratic revolution" in Kosovo and Vojvodina, curtailing their autonomy as well as imposing a curfew and a state of emergency in Kosovo due to violent demonstrations, resulting in 24 deaths (including two policemen). Milošević and his government claimed that the constitutional changes were necessary to protect Kosovo's remaining Serbs against harassment from the Albanian majority.
Constitutional amendments (1989–94)
On 17 November 1988 Kaqusha Jashari and Azem Vllasi were forced to resign from the leadership of the League of Communists of Kosovo (LCK). In early 1989 the Serbian Assembly proposed amendments to the Constitution of Serbia that would remove the word "Socialist" from the Serbian Republic's title, establish multi-party elections, remove the independence of institutions of the autonomous provinces such as Kosovo and rename Kosovo as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. In February Kosovar Albanians demonstrated in large numbers against the proposal, emboldened by striking miners. Serbs in Belgrade protested against the Kosovo Albanian's separatism. On 3 March 1989 the Presidency of Yugoslavia imposed special measures assigning responsibility for public security to the federal government. On 23 March the Assembly of Kosovo voted to accept the proposed amendments although most Albanian delegates abstained. In early 1990 Kosovar Albanians held mass demonstrations against the special measures, which were lifted on 18 April 1990 and responsibility for public security was again assigned to Serbia.
On 8 May 1989 Milošević became President of the Presidency of Serbia, which was confirmed on 6 December. On 22 January 1990 the 14th congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (LCY) abolished the party's position as the only legal political party in Yugoslavia. In January 1990 the Yugoslav government announced it would press ahead with the creation of a multi-party system.
On 26 June 1990 Serbian authorities closed the Kosovo Assembly, citing special circumstances. On 1 or 2 July 1990 Serbia approved the new amendments to the Constitution of Serbia in a referendum. Also on 2 July, 114 ethnic Albanian delegates of the 180-member Kosovo Assembly declared Kosovo an independent republic within Yugoslavia. On 5 July the Serbian Assembly dissolved the Kosovo Assembly. Serbia also dissolved the provincial executive council and assumed full and direct control of the province. Serbia took over management of Kosovo's principal Albanian-language media, halting Albanian-language broadcasts. On 4 September 1990 Kosovar Albanians observed a 24-hour general strike, virtually shutting down the province.
On 16 or 17 July 1990 the League of Communists of Serbia (LCS) combined with the Socialist Alliance of Working People of Serbia to become the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), and Milošević became its first president. On 8 August 1990 several amendments to the federal Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) Constitution were adopted enabling the establishment of a multi-party election system.
On 7 September 1990 the Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo was promulgated by the disbanded Assembly of Kosovo. Milošević responded by ordering the arrest of the deputies of the disbanded Assembly of Kosovo. The new controversial Serbian Constitution was promulgated on 28 September 1990. Multi-party elections were held in Serbia on 9 and 26 December 1990 after which Milošević became President of Serbia. In September 1991 Kosovar Albanians held an unofficial referendum in which they voted overwhelmingly for independence. On 24 May 1992 Kosovar Albanians held unofficial elections for an assembly and president of the Republic of Kosovo.
On 5 August 1991 the Serbian Assembly suspended the Priština daily Rilindja, following the Law on Public Information of 29 March 1991 and establishment of the Panorama publishing house on 6 November which incorporated Rilindja, which was declared unconstitutional by the federal authorities. United Nations Special Rapporteur Tadeusz Mazowiecki reported on 26 February 1993 that the police had intensified their repression of the Albanian population since 1990, including depriving them of their basic rights, destroying their educations system, and large numbers of political dismissals of civil servants.
Eruption of war
The slide to war (1995–1998)
|Part of a series on the|
|Before March 1999|
Ibrahim Rugova, first President of the Republic of Kosovo pursued a policy of passive resistance which succeeded in maintaining peace in Kosovo during the earlier wars in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia during the early 1990s. As evidenced by the emergence of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), this came at the cost of increasing frustration among Kosovo's Albanian population. In the mid-1990s, Rugova pleaded for a United Nations peacekeeping force for Kosovo. In 1997, Milošević was promoted to the presidency of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (comprising Serbia and Montenegro since its inception in April 1992).
Continuing repression convinced many Albanians that only armed resistance would change the situation. On 22 April 1996, four attacks on Serbian security personnel were carried out almost simultaneously in different parts of Kosovo. The KLA, a hitherto-unknown organisation, subsequently claimed responsibility. The nature of the KLA was at first mysterious. It initially seemed that their only goals were to stop repression from Yugoslav authorities.
As stated by Jakup Krasniqi, who was the spokesman of the group, the KLA was formed by some members from the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), a political party led by Rugova. The KLA and LDK shared the common goal of ending repression from Belgrade and making Kosovo independent, but the KLA was opposed to 'internal rule' of Kosovo by the LDK.
KLA goals also included the establishment of a Greater Albania, a state stretching into surrounding FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and southern Serbia. In July 1998, in an interview for Der Spiegel, Jakup Krasniqi publicly announced that the KLA's goal was the unification of all Albanian-inhabited lands. Sulejman Selimi, a General Commander of KLA in 1998–1999, said: 
There is de facto Albanian nation. The tragedy is that European powers after World War I decided to divide that nation between several Balkan states. We are now fighting to unify the nation, to liberate all Albanians, including those in Macedonia, Montenegro, and other parts of Serbia. We are not just a liberation army for Kosovo.
While Rugova promised to uphold the minority rights of Serbs in Kosovo, the KLA was much less tolerant. Selimi stated that "Serbs who have blood on their hands would have to leave the Kosovo".
It is widely believed[by whom?] that the KLA received financial and material support from the Kosovo Albanian diaspora. In early 1997, Albania collapsed into chaos following the fall of President Sali Berisha. Military stockpiles were looted with impunity by criminal gangs, with much of the hardware ending up in western Kosovo and boosting the growing KLA arsenal. Bujar Bukoshi, shadow Prime Minister in exile (in Zürich, Switzerland), created a group called FARK (Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosova), which was reported to have been disbanded and absorbed by the KLA in 1998. The Yugoslav government considered the KLA to be "terrorists" and "insurgents" who indiscriminately attacked police and civilians, while most Albanians saw the KLA as "freedom fighters".
In 1998, the US State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organisation, and in 1999 the Republican Policy Committee of the US Senate expressed its troubles with the "effective alliance" of the Democratic Clinton administration with the KLA due to "numerous reports from reputable unofficial sources". In 2004, John Pilger claimed that for six years prior to 1998, the KLA had been regarded by the US as a terrorist group. Early in 1998, US envoy Robert Gelbard referred to the KLA as terrorists; responding to criticism, he later clarified to the House Committee on International Relations that "while it has committed 'terrorist acts,' it has 'not been classified legally by the U.S. Government as a terrorist organization.'" In June 1998, he held talks with two men who claimed they were political leaders of the KLA. In 2000, a BBC documentary called Moral Combat – Nato at War showed how the United States now sought a relationship with the group. While the US officially described the KLA as terrorists, author Alastair MacKenzie claims the KLA received training by the Americans' closest NATO-ally, the United Kingdom, since 1998 in a training camp in the mountains above the northern Albanian town of Bajram Curri.
Meanwhile, the US held an "outer wall of sanctions" on Yugoslavia which had been tied to a series of issues, including Kosovo. These were maintained despite the agreement at Dayton to end all sanctions. The Clinton administration claimed that the agreement bound Yugoslavia to hold discussions with Rugova over Kosovo.
The crisis escalated in December 1997 at the Peace Implementation Council meeting in Bonn, where the international community (as defined in the Dayton Agreement) agreed to give the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina sweeping powers, including the right to dismiss elected leaders. At the same time, Western diplomats insisted that Kosovo be discussed, and that Yugoslavia be responsive to Albanian demands there. The delegation from Yugoslavia stormed out of the meetings in protest. This was followed by the return of the Contact Group that oversaw the last phases of the Bosnian conflict and declarations from European powers demanding that Yugoslavia solve the problem in Kosovo.
KLA attacks intensified, centering on the Drenica valley area with the compound of Adem Jashari being a focal point. Days after Robert Gelbard described the KLA as a terrorist group, Serbian police responded to the KLA attacks in the Likošane area, and pursued some of the KLA to Čirez, resulting in the deaths of 16 Albanian fighters and four Serbian policemen. The KLA's goal was to merge its Drenica stronghold with their stronghold in Albania proper, and this would shape the first few months of the fighting.
Despite some accusations of summary executions and killings of civilians, condemnations from Western capitals were not as voluble as they would become later. Serb police began to pursue Jashari and his followers in the village of Donje Prekaze. On March 5, 1998, a massive firefight at the Jashari compound led to the massacre of 60 Albanians, of which eighteen were women and ten were under the age of sixteen. The event provoked massive condemnation from western capitals. Madeleine Albright said that "this crisis is not an internal affair of the FRY".
On March 24, Yugoslav forces surrounded the village of Glodjane and attacked a rebel compound there. Despite superior firepower, the Yugoslav forces failed to destroy the KLA unit, which had been their objective. Although there were deaths and severe injuries on the Albanian side, the insurgency in was far from stamped out. It was in fact to become one of the strongest centres of resistance in the upcoming war.
A new Yugoslav government was formed at this time, led by the Socialist Party of Serbia and the Serbian Radical Party. Ultra-nationalist Radical Party chairman Vojislav Šešelj became a deputy prime minister. This increased the dissatisfaction with the country's position among Western diplomats and spokespersons.
In early April, Serbia arranged for a referendum on the issue of foreign interference in Kosovo. Serbian voters decisively rejected foreign interference in the crisis. Meanwhile, the KLA claimed much of the area in and around Deçan and ran a territory based in the village of Glodjane, encompassing its surroundings. On May 31, 1998, the Yugoslav army and the Serb Ministry of the Interior police began an operation to clear the border of the KLA. NATO's response to this offensive was mid-June's Operation Determined Falcon, a NATO show of force over the Yugoslav borders.
During this time, Yugoslav President Milošević reached an arrangement with Boris Yeltsin of Russia to stop offensive operations and prepare for talks with the Albanians, who refused to talk to the Serbian side throughout the crisis, but would talk with the Yugoslav government. In fact, the only meeting between Milošević and Ibrahim Rugova happened on 15 May in Belgrade, two days after Richard Holbrooke announced that it would take place. Holbrooke threatened Milošević that if he did not obey, "what's left of your country will implode". A month later, Holbrooke visited the border areas affected by the fighting in early June, where he was famously photographed with the KLA. The publication of these images sent a signal to the KLA, its supporters and sympathisers, and to observers in general, that the US was decisively backing the KLA and the Albanian population in Kosovo.
The Yeltsin agreement required Milošević to allow international representatives to set up a mission in Kosovo to monitor the situation there. The Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission (KDOM) began operations in early July 1998. The US government welcomed this part of the agreement, but denounced the initiative's call for a mutual cease fire. Rather, the US demanded that the Serbian-Yugoslavian side should cease fire "without linkage ... to a cessation in terrorist activities".
All through June and into mid-July, the KLA maintained its advance. The KLA surrounded Peć and Đakovica, and set up an interim capital in the town of Mališevo (north of Orahovac). KLA troops infiltrated Suva Reka and the northwest of Pristina. They moved on to capture the Belacevec coal pits in late June, threatening energy supplies in the region. Their tactics as usual focused mainly on guerrilla and mountain warfare, and harassing and ambushing Yugoslav forces and Serb police patrols.
The tide turned in mid-July when the KLA captured Orahovac. On 17 July 1998, two nearby villages, Retimlije and Opteruša, were also captured, while less systematic events took place in the larger Serb-populated village of Velika Hoča. The Orthodox monastery of Zociste three miles (4.8 km) from Orehovac—famous for the relics of the Saints Kosmas and Damianos and revered also by local Albanians—was robbed, its monks deported to a KLA prison camp, and, while empty, the monastery church and all its buildings were levelled to the ground by mining. This led to a series of Serb and Yugoslav offensives which would continue into the beginning of August.
A new set of KLA attacks in mid-August triggered Yugoslavian operations in south-central Kosovo, south of the Pristina-Peć road. This wound down with the capture of on August 23 and the discovery of a KLA-run crematorium in which some of their victims were found. The KLA began an offensive on September 1 around Prizren, causing Yugoslavian military activity there. In western Kosovo, around Peć, another offensive caused condemnation as international officials expressed fear that a large column of displaced people would be attacked.
In early mid-September, for the first time, KLA activity was reported in northern Kosovo around Podujevo. Finally, in late September, a determined effort was made to clear the KLA out of the northern and central parts of Kosovo and out of the Drenica valley itself. During this time many threats were made from Western capitals but these were tempered somewhat by the elections in Bosnia, as they did not want Serbian Democrats and Radicals to win. Following the elections, the threats intensified once again, but a galvanising event was needed. They got it on September 28, when the mutilated corpses of a family were discovered by KDOM outside the village of Gornje Obrinje. The bloody image of a child's doll and streams of displaced persons rallied the international community to action.
Morale was a serious problem for Serb forces; intelligence surveys found that many soldiers disagreed with their comrades' actions. One tank commander reported, "for the entire time I was in Kosovo, I never saw an enemy soldier and my unit was never once involved in firing at enemy targets. The tanks which cost $2.5 million each were used to slaughter Albanian children... I am ashamed".
When retreating from Kosovo after NATO intervention, Yugoslav units appeared combat effective with high morale and displaying large holdings of undamaged equipment. Weeks before the end of hostilities, David Fromkin noted that "it seemed possible that NATO unity might crack before Yugoslav morale did." The announcement by President Clinton that the US would not deploy ground troops gave a tremendous boost to Serbian morale.
UN, NATO, and OSCE (1998–1999)
On 9 June 1998, US President Bill Clinton declared a "national emergency" (state of emergency) due to the "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States" imposed by Yugoslavia and Serbia over the Kosovo War.
On 23 September 1998, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1199. This expressed 'grave concern' at reports reaching the Secretary General that over 230,000 people had been displaced from their homes by 'the excessive and indiscriminate use of force by Serbian security forces and the Yugoslav Army', demanding that all parties in Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia cease hostilities and maintain a ceasefire. On 24 September the North Atlantic Council (NAC) of NATO issued an "activation warning" taking NATO to an increased level of military preparedness for both a limited air option and a phased air campaign in Kosovo. The other major issue for those who saw no option but to resort to the use of force was the estimated 250,000 displaced Albanians, 30,000 of whom were out in the woods, without warm clothing or shelter, with winter fast approaching.
Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia, Christopher Hill, was leading shuttle diplomacy between an Albanian delegation, led by Rugova, and the Yugoslav and Serbian authorities. These meetings were shaping the peace plan to be discussed during a period of planned NATO occupation of Kosovo. During a period of two weeks, threats intensified, culminating in NATO's Activation Order being given. NATO was ready to begin airstrikes, and Richard Holbrooke went to Belgrade in the hope of reaching an agreement with Milošević. Officially, the international community demanded an end to fighting. It specifically demanded that Yugoslavia end its offensives against the KLA whilst attempting to convince the KLA to drop its bid for independence. Attempts were made to persuade Milošević to permit NATO peacekeeping troops to enter Kosovo. This, they argued, would allow for the Christopher Hill peace process to proceed and yield a peace agreement.
On 13 October 1998, the North Atlantic Council issued activation orders for the execution of both limited air strikes and a phased air campaign in Yugoslavia which would begin in approximately 96 hours. On 15 October the NATO Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) Agreement for a ceasefire was signed, and the deadline for withdrawal was extended to 27 October. Difficulties implementing the agreement were reported, as clashes continued between government troops and the guerrillas. The Serbian withdrawal commenced on or around 25 October 1998, and Operation Eagle Eye commenced on 30 October.
The KVM was a large contingent of unarmed Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) peace monitors (officially known as verifiers) that moved into Kosovo. Their inadequacy was evident from the start. They were nicknamed the "clockwork oranges" in reference to their brightly coloured vehicles. Fighting resumed in December 1998 after both sides broke the ceasefire, and this surge in violence culminated in the killing of Zvonko Bojanić, the Serb mayor of the town of