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SpongeBob: King of Cartoons

Why You Can't Keep a Good Sponge Down

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear 90s Nickelodeon cartoons? Is it Hey! Arnold? The Rugrats? Catdog? Maybe it's Doug or Angry Beavers. All of these shows were a major impact on the 90s cartoon era, but all pale in comparison to the powerhouse that is SpongeBob. Originally a comic made by a biology teacher called Spongeboy Ahoy!, SpongeBob will turn 19 in May and be the only 90s Nicktoon left standing! But why? Here are the three reasons why SpongeBob is still around.

1. Popularity

It doesn’t matter who you are, if you have ever watched television or been on the internet, you have met the world’s squarest fry cook! SpongeBob was an instant hit on its release on May 1, 1999 and has only grown since.

With record-breaking view counts, it took the world by storm with its memorable characters, funny lines, and hilarious expressions. It serves as a staple to many people’s childhoods and continues to be! This is not only in America, but from an international stand point, there are many people around the globe who are familiar with this yellow sponge.

Let’s be honest, you can quote one line from any one of its original episodes and everyone around you will burst out laughing! Before there were memes, there was SpongeBob. And now that we have memes, SpongeBob provides an infinite supply of perfect pictures for us to choose from again and again. There is not another TV show that has sparked as many meme images as this classic and there probably never will be!

2. Good Writing

Regardless of how you feel about the current SpongeBob episodes, the classic run (first three seasons and its first movie) is filled with pure comedy gold! With multiple Emmys and more Kid’s Choice Awards than you want to count and multiple other awards internationally, there is something about the way the SpongeBob is written that makes it the international hit it is today.

Like most 90s cartoons, it was filled with one liner after one liner that paired perfectly with slapstick humor. And also, like most 90s cartoons, it was filled with enough adult innuendos to keep the adults entertained as well. Its originality comes from the randomness of the episodes, which makes sense because the show was originally written by pulling random words out of a paper bag! The writers would choose a word and a verb and the rest was an open slate. This leaves room for all the hijinks and goofy actions you want, while still keeping the main plot line.

Its characters are extremely easy to understand because they don’t have a lot of depth to their basic character. This makes them easy to identify and yet every one of them makes you feel like they are some version of you in disguise. Everyone has felt like they have had a stupid friend like Patrick, has felt moody like Squidward, and sometimes just wants to be goofy and random like Spongebob is. As long as Nick keeps rerunning these episodes, they’ll keep viewers glued to the screens.

3. Money, Money, Money

This one should come as a surprise to no one! It generates most of Nick’s revenue. The number of toys, games, movies and other merchandise that the show sells is impressive on any scale. Over its lifespan at Nick, SpongeBob alone has made over 11 billion (yes, billion with a B!) by itself and without it Nick would not be in business.

Nickelodeon has had trouble in the past decade with their cartoons, often coming out with cartoons that are forgettable. The successes they have had with some cartoon and live-action shows have never had many long-standing seasons, with views often dropping dramatically after a couple seasons. 

Believe it or not, SpongeBob has been scheduled to end several times, with the first original ending being the first SpongeBob movie! But with Nickelodeon in trouble with finances and Disney foaming at the mouth to buy the company, the only thing keeping this boat afloat is a square yellow sponge and Nick is not trying to sink any time soon. In the end, as long as there is Nick, there will be SpongeBob.

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SpongeBob: King of Cartoons
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