SpongeBob SquarePants is a popular animated television series created by marine biologist/animator Stephen Hillenburg. The pilot episode first aired in the US on Nickelodeon after Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on 1 May 1999. It officially aired on 17 July of the same year with the second episode "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants". The main characters is a sponge, SpongeBob SquarePants; his dumb starfish pal Patrick Star; the stingy octopus Squidward Tentacles; the cheapskate crab Mr. Krabs; and the overly hyper squirrel Sandy Cheeks, who wears an astronaut suit all the time and is characterized as a south westerner. Most episodes take place in the town of Bikini Bottom or the surrounding lagoon floor, islets, deep, or at their own houses. In 2008, the show unveiled its new logo.
The cartoon is designed to appeal to older viewers as much as to children. This has a lot to do with the way underwater life and situations are represented, absurdly, as though they are almost equivalent to normal terrestrial lifestyles. Instead of cars, the residents of Bikini Bottom drive boats—with wheels of course. Once, while on a camping trip, Patrick questions how they could have a camp fire on the lagoon bottom—the fire is immediately extinguished with a sizzle. A flurry of bubbles accompany many actions, just to remind the viewer everything is underwater. SpongeBob lives in a pineapple, while his neighbour Squidward lives in an Easter Island head and Patrick lives under a rock. The suggestion is that both have fallen from a tropical island to become underwater habitats. Spongebob's house-pet is a snail named Gary, who only meows like a cat, though characters have shown signs of being able to understand him. As such, worms are the undersea equivalent of dogs. Scallops are the equivalent of birds, as they "fly" and are kept in cages. Jellyfish are the equivalent of bees as they buzz and sting, and are used for their jelly. but are collected or appreciated like butterflies
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, the first and currently only theatrical film based on the series, was released on 19 November 2004. According to Square Roots, the movie was also the reason for the long hiatus between "Pranks a Lot" and "Fear of a Krabby Patty".