Viewpoint: Spongebob Should Have Ended Much Earlier

Felix Barnaby, editor

Everyone knows Spongebob Squarepants, an animated icon in the world of television. Since 1999, Spongebob has been a hugely influential cartoon, and has become Nickelodeon´s biggest money maker. The creator, Steven Hillenburg, is known fondly by many. But, sadly, Steven Hillenburg passed in 2018. Ever since, Nickelodeon has been dishonoring his last wishes for this yellow sponge, and it leaves many wondering if Spongebob should have simply been concluded after his death. 

Before Steven Hillenburg died, he created a list of rules that Nick should never break for Spongebob. They included never making spinoffs, especially not aged down spinoffs, and never selling Krabby Patties as an actual burger officially. Nickelodeon has broken both of these rules, the first twice. The Patrick Star Show and Kamp Koral both started production only 6 months after Hillenburg died, and recently Nickelodeon sold Krabby Patties at an NFL game. This may seem like it isn´t at all a big deal, but it is still a complete disrespect of his wishes after his early death. As someone who has long looked up to Steven Hillenburg for his work in both animation and marine biology, I find it very disheartening. 

Spongebob is continuing to make episodes of the main show and the spinoff, movies, and video games. It is highly doubtful that it will come to a conclusion any time soon. But the quality of everything related to the show is getting worse and worse. New episodes rely nearly completely on slapstick and gross-out humor, which is the exact opposite feeling Hillenburg ever wanted to create. The Patrick Star Show relies on very similar humor, and I find it confusing, conflicting, and dry. Kamp Koral completely erases how Spongebob met Sandy in one of the first episodes of Spongebob, and has many other elements that conflict highly with the show. The animation also just isn’t attractive, and even looks almost unfinished at times. I doubt that the new movies and games will be high quality in comparison to everything else Spongebob represents at this time. 

It’s disappointing to see such a huge, iconic franchise come to this. A company creating for money only, and completely going against the dead creator’s wishes is always devastating to the creator´s fans. If Spongebob had the charm and humor of earlier episodes, maybe Nickelodeon wouldn’t need to keep milking it for all its worth in order to get profit. It is my firm belief that if Nick had concluded the show after Steven´s death, it would have ended in a good place. The right place.