Are You Feeling It Now Mr. Krabs?

Stephen Hillenburg, 1961-2018


Photograph courtesy of Giang Nguyen

Spongebob Squarepants is one of the most iconic child cartoons of the current generation. Even if someone has not seen the show, they probably have heard of it at one time or another, whether through a friend, advertising, or even seeing clips of the show itself. Spongebob holds a lot of meaning to me and I can most likely tell you the exact episode and scene if you gave me a quote or even a screenshot of the show. Growing up it has shaped my humor, as I’m sure it has shaped the humor of many other people.

Perhaps what makes the show so special is that the humor is relatable and funny (not to mention simple). To me, the show is a practically comedic genius, with such gems as Spongebob himself being too polite to ask Sandy for a glass of water; “is mayonnaise an instrument?” (in fact, the entire “Band Geeks” episode is among the best the series has given us); 25; “we should take Bikini Bottom and push it somewhere else”; along with many more jokes that cannot fit in a single column. Much of the humor of the show consists of stupid one-liners that perfectly encapsulate a five-year-old’s humor and innocence -but in a sense, they also encapsulate the humor and anxieties of an adult. Although some of the jokes are meant for little kids, I’m sure we can all relate to being too polite to ask for a glass of water—or having too much anxiety to ask for one.

Squidward embodies the dry humor we have as adults, embodying the feeling of working in retail and how we sometimes want to ask someone to hit our head with a bat. Although he might seem cynical, it perfectly reflects the absolute death we sometimes feel while working or how we want to one-up other people and it just doesn’t seem to play out the way we want it to.

On the other hand, Patrick is a perfect representation of our dumb side and how we do or say stupid things because we just can. I cannot begin to explain how relatable some of the scenes of Patrick are in the show. We all have those dumb moments, and Patrick perfectly captures and even, kind of, celebrates that stupidity. Not to say that I have seen people do stupid things because of Patrick, but I’ve seen people more prone to joke about it through references.

Then there’s Spongebob himself, who is pretty much the rational yet irrational brain that does not take things too seriously. It’s the mind without any restrictions where we just say things without thinking about it (“Is this the part where we start kicking!?”).

There is absolutely no reason why we should say the things we do, but sometimes we just have to blurt out our thoughts: for better or worse. It is our mind unhinged. Talking without borders.

The cartoon was made by someone who had a passion for marine biology.

He wanted to create a cartoon that celebrated his passion and shared his humor to the world. Never did he expect that he would create a world where it would be loved by all people of all different ages. I do not think he even expected his cartoon to take the world by storm the way it did. It’s a cartoon that touched the hearts of many, myself included.

I hope his legacy can continue on through the years. Celebrate your sweet victory, Stephen Hillenburg.