SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob SquarePants is an popular American animated television series shown on Nickelodeon, YTV, and Nicktoons Network created by marine biologist and animator, Stephen Hillenburg. SpongeBob SquarePants is a comedy set under the Pacific Ocean that uses puns (including the names of certain characters), non sequiturs, double-talk, breaking of the fourth wall, some crude humor, and other such antics to entertain the audience. The pilot episode first aired in the United States on Nickelodeon after the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on May Day (May 1), 1999. SpongeBob SquarePants officially aired on July 17 of the same year with the second episode, "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants." Most episodes take place in the town of Bikini Bottom or the surrounding lagoon floor.

Popularity

SpongeBob is the first "low budget" Nickelodeon cartoon, according to the network, to become extremely popular. Low-budget cartoons had not garnered as much esteem as higher-rated (and higher-budgeted) shows, such as Rugrats, although when SpongeBob aired in 1999, it had obtained a substantial amount of viewers in the ratings to be considered popular. SpongeBob follows some other Nickelodeon shows that have attracted "older" followers: The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, the Kablam! skits, Action League Now!, and The Angry Beavers. Other shows have followed in this trend as well: The Fairly OddParents and Invader Zim took a similar role when they aired in 2001, and the former is now second only to SpongeBob in popularity.

Broad appeal

The cartoon is designed to appeal to children as well as older viewers. 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). Once, while out in the wilderness, 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. The main character, SpongeBob lives in a pineapple, while his neighbor Squidward lives in an Easter Island head and his other neighbor and best friend, Patrick lives under a rock. The suggestion is that both the head and the pineapple have fallen from a tropical island to become underwater habitats. SpongeBob's house-pet is a snail named Gary, who meows like a cat (though characters have shown signs of being able to understand him). In relation to this, underwater worms bark (and act) exactly like dogs, and are kept on chains. Jellyfish are the equivalent of bees (buzzing and stinging), but are collected or appreciated like butterflies and are used for their delicious jelly. Clams behave like birds, propelling themselves through the water with their shells and tweeting. In addition to this, instead of peanut butter, SpongeBob SquarePants uses what is called in Bikini Bottom "Sea-Nut Butter". SpongeBob's telephone is shaped like a conch and referred to as a "shell phone". Aside from the many undersea puns, some common products from the surface world have somehow found their way into Bikini Bottom, such as Canned Bread, Roast Beef, and even Pizza. SpongeBob works at the Krusty Krab, a restaurant seemingly based on McDonald's or Burger King.

SpongeBob is one cartoon in a long line of shows to put in more "adult" references, and has become so popular with the adult crowd that it has been shown on MTV and Spike TV. A certain quote by Patrick ("It's gonna rock!") has been used as a promo for rock stations. Ren and Stimpy, among others, had followed a similar path. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, released on November 19, 2004, features a cameo appearance by actor David Hasselhoff, reprising his role from the Baywatch TV series.

Part of the show's appeal has to do with the childlike nature of SpongeBob and his best friend, Patrick, both of whom are idiots and display an innocence typical of human children. However, the characters are not immune from more adult avocations, including rock musicianship in a stadium performance reminiscent of a hard rock concert.

When naming reasons why many fans believe Nickelodeon has gone downhill in recent years, SpongeBob is often listed as an exception. Its appeal to older audiences, as mentioned earlier, can be contributed to the show's crazy but witty and at times even sophisticated humor. The show also, unlike many current Nickelodeon cartoons, is not "mainstream" or "cliche". While many newer cartoons revolve around pre-adolescents with strange lives and feature massive amounts of pop-culture references (eg. Fairly Oddparents), SpongeBob chooses to go for a more teen/adult friendly formula that was used in highly sucessful older Nick cartoons such as Ren and Stimpy and Rocko's Modern Life, non-human young adults in crazy, unrealistic situations, with minimal pop culture references.

Unlike its mainstream-culture-promoting network, SpongeBob features many semi-obscure musicians who contribute to its soundtrack. Non-mainstream alternative rock bands such as Wilco, The Shins, The Flaming Lips and perhaps most notably Ween (who have contributed two original songs to the show and their 1997 classic "Ocean Man" to the movie soundtrack), as well as metal bands Pantera, Motorhead, and Twisted Sister have made appearances on the show and movies soundtracks, and classic thrash metal group Metallica even released a T-shirt featuring cartoon versions of them playing live with Spongebob & Patrick [1] (leading to as of yet unproven rumors that the band will appear on a future episode of the show). However, in a more typical Nickelodeon-style move, Avril Lavigne did the movie theme song.

Merchandising and marketing

Merchandise based on the show ranges from Kraft SuperMac & Cheese, Kellogg's cereal, and video games to boxer shorts, pajamas, and t-shirts. The show also spawned a large and popular merchandise line at Hot Topic, Claire's, RadioShack, Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys "R" Us stores. There have been kids meal tie-ins at Wendy's for SpongeBob's House Party Special in 2002 and at Burger King restaurants in 2001, 2003, and for the movie in 2004; in 2004, thieves stole nine-foot-high by nine-foot-wide SpongeBob inflatables from the Burger King restaurant franchises, demanding Krabby Patties as ransom. The ransom note was signed by someone in Minneapolis, Minnesota claiming to be Sheldon J. Plankton, a character from the show. SpongeBob was also featured on VH1's I Love the 90s: Part Deux: 1999 as part of a commentary by Michael Ian Black. More recently, a tie-in beverage for 7-Eleven convenience stores has been created, a pineapple-flavored Slurpee. Events in the past with the SpongeBob SquarePants theme include an exhibit at Underwater Adventures Aquarium in the Mall of America called SeaCrits of Bikini Bottom during the summer of 2003. In October 2004, a NASCAR Busch Series race was named The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300, presented by Lowe's and broadcast on TNT featuring Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's stock car and Kyle Busch's #5 stock car painted for the race with the SpongeBob Movie paint schemes. There were contests tied in with the movie where you could win SpongeBob-related items or a trip to the Cayman Islands. LEGO recieved license to produce SpongeBob SquarePants building sets, beginning to sell them in August 2006.

History

Origin (1993–1999)

SpongeBob's history can be traced back to 1993 when Rocko's Modern Life first aired. One of the producers was Stephen Hillenburg, a cartoon worker/marine biologist who loved both his careers. When Rocko's Modern Life was cancelled in 1997, Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob (although some sketches trace back to 1996). He teamed up with creative director Derek Drymon, who had worked on shows such as Doug, Action League Now!, and Hey Arnold!. Drymon had worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life as well, as did many SpongeBob crew members, including writer Tim Hill and voice actors Tom Kenny and Doug Lawrence. Another crew member with previous Nickelodeon cartoon experience was former Angry Beavers story editor Merriwether Williams, who worked on that show for its first few seasons and switched to SpongeBob in July 1999.

During production of the show, Hillenburg provided a concept of short comics with the same style of the show, but the characters looked different. SpongeBob used to be named SpongeBoy, and used to wear a red hat with a green base and a white business shirt with a tie. The name "SpongeBoy" did not make it into the show since the name was already officially trademarked by Bob Burden, creator of Flaming Carrot. Hillenburg later chose the alternative name "SpongeBob." The original name was once referenced in the show by Mr. Krabs' line, "SpongeBoy, me Bob!." The Krusty Krab was originally spelled with the letter C rather than K, but Stephen Hillenburg thought K's were funnier.

Rise to popularity (1999–2000)

SpongeBob blowing the sand off Squidward with his reef-blower.

In 1999, SpongeBob aired its first episode, "Help Wanted/Reef Blower/Tea at the Treedome", after the 1999 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. At this time, Rugrats was at the height of its popularity and had already outlived dozens of other lower-budget cartoons. SpongeBob, with its generally lower-class animation and humor style more rooted in clever word-play and culture-references unlike the potty humor that made Rugrats so popular, was expected to be just another one of those shows. Although it struggled in its early days, its ratings flew up. After about a year, it surpassed Rugrats as Nick's most highly rated show. SpongeBob's signature voice (provided by Kenny) and humorous style was enjoyable to both younger and older audiences. Many people attribute the "Fall Of Rugrats/Klasky-Csupo/Rise Of Low-Budget Cartoons" to SpongeBob.

Peak years (2000–2003)

The show began its second season in 2000 with more high-quality animation and even more popular episodes. By then it was clear to the world that SpongeBob had opened the door to many other cartoons to use more "adult" senses of humor and come from smaller companies. In 2001, The Fairly OddParents aired from the then-small Frederator company. It focused on a sense of humor similar to SpongeBob’s, only more realistic, slightly crazier (and more suggestive to "adult" topics), and with more pop culture references; this show managed to become a hit as well and currently ranks behind SpongeBob as Nick's second most popular show. That same year, Invader Zim aired, created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez; it had a dark but silly sense of humor (similar to Vasquez's other comic books) that managed to attract a very loyal cult following consisting more of teens and adults than young children (though also containing a moderate amount of preteens). SpongeBob, however, was the leader of all these shows and had by this time started its now famous merchandise line.

2002 also saw a bright side, as the first part of that year saw SpongeBob at its peak. The beginning of the third season produced many classic episodes and focused on the same style and animation concepts. The year also saw another more low-budget show with popularity (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius), but things changed late in the year. Due to rumors of a movie, there was high speculation that the show would be cancelled and that 2003/2004 would feature the last season of new episodes. Fans were devastated and online petitions were widely distributed to convince Nickelodeon to produce more episodes by showing continuing fan support. SpongeBob Meets The Strangler/Pranks A Lot" was the last episode of this season, and aired in October of 2004. Following this, the movie was released in November of that year.

Hiatus/Movie Era (2003–2005)

The show continued to gain high approval ratings despite a lack of new episodes, and many fans feared they would never air. The president of Nickelodeon announced that the show would continue without Hillenburg featuring Paul Tibbitt as supervising producer and Derek Drymon taking over Hillenburg's spot as executive producer. As its movie only achieved over $85,000,000 in revenue in the United States, perhaps because of the shows popularity showing something of a decline at the time of it's release. The Rugrats Movie, on the other hand, earned over $100,000,000 in the United States. (It was around this time that the animated series which it is based on, Rugrats, was at the height of its popularity. Ironically, that movie would also be considered Rugrats' jump the shark moment by many fans.)

See Controversy for more information.

The Big Comeback (2005- )

Fear of a Krabby Patty

TV advertisements for SpongeBob's fourth season first aired publicly during the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The new episodes began airing on May 6, 2005. So far, four new episodes and nine segments of new episodes have aired, with more upcoming including a sixth Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy.

The first new episode of Season 4, "Fear Of A Krabby Patty/Shell Of A Man", was a huge hit with many fans who had long been bored with the show and many more faithful ones who have been waiting for new episodes for years.

After airing three new episodes on Fridays from May 6 to May 20, Nickelodeon did not premiere any new SpongeBob episodes until September 2005.

For the first time in SpongeBob's run, Nickelodeon began airing 11-minute segments of new episodes separately, spread over two weeks. This practice began with the airing of the episode "Selling Out" on September 23; its companion episode, "Funny Pants," premiered the following week on September 30 (Nickelodeon did air "Selling Out" and "Funny Pants" together as a rerun on October 9, 2005). Many fans are outraged, but it should be noted that the change in format is at Nickelodeon's insistence, rather than the SpongeBob creators.

The Star Online eCentral reports that Nickelodeon has ordered 20 more episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants, bringing the show’s total amount of episodes to 100. The episodes are projected to have finished airing sometime in 2007. Regarding the new order of SpongeBob cartoons, Cyma Zarghami, Nickelodeon’s chief executive, responded, “It just doesn’t feel like we should stop yet.” This is quite relevant, as recently the show has seen some of it's highest ratings since it's peak years in the early 2000's, and, while some more observant fans are skeptical, has returned without an excessive amount of fans believing it has "jumped the shark".

SpongeBob has been picked up for a fifth season on Nickelodeon, with potential for a sixth season; new episodes will air from 2006 to 2007.

Characters

  • Main article SpongeBob SquarePants characters

Voice actors and their characters

  • Tom Kenny: SpongeBob SquarePants, Gary the Snail, French Narrator, Patchy the Pirate, Mr. SquarePants, Uncle Sherm SquarePants, Grandpa SquarePants, Fred (Home Sweet Pineapple), Tom
  • Dee Bradley Baker: Squilliam Fancyson, Various squids, customers, vendors
  • Rodger Bumpass: Squidward Tentacles, Mama Tentacles, the Doctorfish,
  • Bill Fagerbakke: Patrick Star
  • Carolyn Lawrence: Sandy Cheeks
  • Clancy Brown: Eugene Krabs
  • Doug Lawrence (a.k.a. Mr. Lawrence): Sheldon J. Plankton, Larry Lobster, Fred, Tom
  • Lori Alan: Pearl Krabs, Patrick's mother
  • Mary Jo Catlett: Mrs. Poppy Puff, Mrs. SquarePants
  • Sirena Irwin: Mrs. SquarePants, Mama Krabs (Enemy In-Law-present)
  • Lauren Tom: Mrs. SquarePants (No Free Rides)
  • Paul Tibbitt: Mama Krabs (Sailor Mouth, Mid-Life Crustacean)
  • Stephen Hillenburg: Polly the Parrot
  • Brian Doyle-Murray: The Flying Dutchman
  • Marion Ross: Grandma SquarePants
  • Jill Talley: Karen (Plankton's computer wife)
  • Carlos Alazraqui: Additional Voices (Seasons 1-3)
  • Thomas F. Wilson: Additional Voices
  • Clea Lewis: Additional Voices (Seasons 2-)

Guest Voices and Stars in Some Episodes

  • Tiny Tim: Himself (Musical Performer) (Help Wanted)
  • Ernest Borgnine: Mermaid Man
  • Tim Conway: Barnacle Boy
  • Charles Nelson Reilly: The Dirty Bubble (Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II/Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V)
  • John Rhys-Davies: Man Ray
  • John O'Hurley: King Neptune (Neptune's Spatula)
  • Sergio Ristie: King Neptune (SpongeBob's House Party (Party Pooper Pants))
  • Kevin Michael Richardson: King Neptune (voice in SpongeBob's House Party (Party Pooper Pants))
  • Thomas F. Wilson: The Tattle-Tale Strangler, Reg, Marty, Patrick's father, others

Guest Voices and Stars in the Movie

  • Jeffrey Tambor: King Neptune
  • Scarlett Johansson: Princess Mindy
  • Alec Baldwin: Dennis the Hitman
  • David Hasselhoff: Himself

Theme song

The theme song, primarily based on the sea shanty, "Blow the Man Down", is the principal song used in the series. It is sung by Patchy the Pirate, voiced by Pat Pinney, and can be found on the soundtrack, SpongeBob SquarePants: Original Theme Highlights. A cover of the song by Avril Lavigne can be found on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (soundtrack). A choral version was recorded for the SpongeBob Christmas special where the last words, "SquarePants", were replaced by "Christmas special". The song can also be found on The Yellow Album.

Controversy

Despite the show's popularity, SpongeBob has had to endure much controversy. This is not new for Nickelodeon. Many of its cartoons, including Ren & Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, The Angry Beavers, Invader Zim, and The Fairly OddParents, have sparked controversy in one way or another. However, SpongeBob's popularity has made the controversy surrounding it more noticeable and of a larger scale.

Notably, SpongeBob's cheerful attitude and his close friendship with Patrick led some viewers to the conclusion that the sponge was the next gay icon. Around the beginning of the third season, SpongeBob and Patrick were frequently depicted holding hands. In the 2002 episode "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve", SpongeBob and Patrick adopt a baby scallop, furthering the rumours because of the implications that the two made major life decisions together, as a couple would. This episode was never aired in the Philippines India, Israel, and Italy because the people there may have thought the episode resembles homosexuality. In three episodes, SpongeBob is portrayed for brief moments in women's clothing, although it should be noted that other cartoon and slapstick characters, such as Bugs Bunny, have done the same; in this regard, SpongeBob falls squarely in the pantheon of characters who have actively gone above the limits and endured controversy as a result.

Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the show, states SpongeBob to be asexual, as he is a sponge. In support of this statement, in early episodes it's revealed that SpongeBob reproduces by budding and making baby sponges come out of his holes; this is not so different than what real sponges do. But some fans argue that SpongeBob has a human-like sexual identity, because sometimes he will panic when he's shown not wearing underwear, as if he were a human, and run back to his pineapple and hide.

There are actually many heterosexual relationships on the show (eg. Mr. Krabs/Mrs. Puff, SpongeBob's parents, Pearl/Octavious Rex, Plankton/Mama Krabs, Gary/Snellie, Plankton/Karen, Patrick/Mindy, and in many early episodes there is a slight romantic relationship between SpongeBob and Sandy, automatically disproving any rumors that Spongebob could ever be homosexual); aside from the "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" controversy there are arguably no gay relationships at all.

More recently, SpongeBob was featured in the pro-tolerance "We Are Family" commercial, along with many other cartoon characters. The video has sparked controversy because some conservative Christian groups believe that the We Are Family Foundation was using it to promote the normalization of homosexuality in American schools. A spokesman for the foundation suggests that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased."[2]. Many fans have also pointed to the fact that many more characters besides SpongeBob were featured in the commercial, and SpongeBob's appearance is only a few seconds long. It has been incorrectly reported that James Dobson, a leading figure among many conservative Christians, believes SpongeBob is homosexual or promotes a homosexual lifestyle.

Stephen Hillenburg announced publicly that SpongeBob and Patrick are not gay.

Main Crew

  • Stephen Hillenburg: Creator/Executive Producer (1999-2004; Remains Active In Production Team, But No Longer Producer Of Show)
  • Paul Tibbitt: Writer/Storyboard Director/Supervising Producer (2004- )
  • Derek Drymon: Creative Director/Writer/Story Editor
  • Sherm Cohen: Storyboard Supervisor/Writer
  • Caleb Muerer: Art Director/Storyboard Artist
  • Merriwether Williams: Story Editor/Writer
  • Doug Lawrence (a.k.a. Mr. Lawrence): Writer/Story Editor
  • Chuck Klein: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • Jay Lender: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • Sam Henderson: Writer/Storyboard Director
  • Kaz: Writer/Storyboard Artist
  • Aaron Springer: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • C.H. Greenblatt: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • Steven Banks: Head Writer (2004—)
  • Tim Hill: Writer
  • Eric Wiese: Writer/Storyboard Artist
  • Mark O'Hare: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director
  • Steven Fonti: Writer/Storyboard Director (1999)
  • Chris Mitchell: Writer/Storyboard Artist (1999)
  • Mike Bell: Writer/Storyboard Director (2005—)
  • Vincent Waller: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director/Technical Director (2005—)
  • Bradley Carow: Music
  • Sage Guyton: Music
  • Steven Belfer: Music
  • Jeremy Wakefield: Music
  • Nicholas Carr: Music
  • David Wigforss: Special Effects (CG visual effects animator)
  • Andy Rheingold: Executive in Charge of Production
  • Alan Smart: Animation Director
  • Tom Yasumi: Animation Director
  • Andrew Overtoom: Animation Director
  • Jimmy Stone: Animation Director
  • Sean Dempsey: Animation Director

Episodes, movies, and spin-offs

SpongeBob SquarePants episodes

SpongeBob SquarePants movies

  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

SpongeBob SquarePants theatrical shorts

  • There will be a SpongeBob SquarePants theatrical short playing before the computer-animated 2006 film, Barnyard.

SpongeBob SquarePants spin-offs

  • Astrology With Squidward is a spin-off short from SpongeBob SquarePants. It features the character Squidward explaining astrological stereotypes, through characters on the show. Featured characters have included:
    • Patrick: Taurus (stereotype: thick-headed)
    • SpongeBob: Sagittarius (stereotype: overly enthusiastic, optimistic, and foolish)
    • Plankton: Leo (stereotype: diabolical and plotting), among others. In one short, Plankton is depicted as a Leo.
    • Squidward: Capricorn (on the Tropical zodiac) or Libra (stereotype: likes the finer things in life, taking it easy, wants to do no work (on the Sidereal zodiac))
    • Mr. Krabs: Cancer

Trivia

  • The pirate in the painting saying "Are you ready kids?" - "I can't hear you" in the beginning theme sequence had a chroma key used for the moving lips.
  • In the episode "Help Wanted", SpongeBob can be seen with a pet scallop in a cage next to his bed. It can also be seen in the episode "Something Smells", along with many others. According to the Season 1 DVD, its name is Shelly.
  • According to the insider book SpongeBob Exposed, the creator of the show, Steve Hillenburg, said that the policy of his show is to not do jokes about or reference pop culture and current events; the show's characters are isolated from the real world. He wants his cartoon to be a timeless classic. Hillenburg has said that he intends to pass that concept over to the new people in charge of the show. Although the show occasionally does make reference to pop-culture, the examples are never specific.
  • The show is "timeless" since the episodes have no dates that are set into stone and very few topical references or instances of continuity (the Krusty Krab is destroyed quite often).
  • In the first series, it was possible to hear one fish scream "my legs!" in most or all episodes, usually at some point of inconsequential destruction, such as a boating school

incident involving Mrs. Puff, who is a blowfish expanding into an air balloon.

  • In "Bubble Buddy," Spongebob celebrates Leif Erikson Day, which is a real US observance held on October 9th; the narration indicated that Spongebob actually invented the day.
  • Nearly every episode contains one still or motion non-animated sequence.
  • The events in the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie are not canonical with the events in the TV series. In the movie there is a second Krusty Krab (Krusty Krab 2), SpongeBob gets a promotion towards the end of the movie and dons a large "MANAGER" hat during the credits as well as other details.

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Puff, who is a blowfish expanding into an air balloon. In addition, under the 1972 Local Government Act, there is a little-known provision under which non-binding local referendums on any issue can be called by small groups of voters. incident involving Mrs. As of 2004 the British government is currently committed to holding a UK-wide referendum on the new EU Constitution, as well as on any plan to adopt the euro as the UK's currency or to change from 'first past the post' to an alternative electoral system. Stephen Hillenburg announced publicly that SpongeBob and Patrick are not gay. There have also been referendums held at the local level on proposals for directly elected local mayors. It has been incorrectly reported that James Dobson, a leading figure among many conservative Christians, believes SpongeBob is homosexual or promotes a homosexual lifestyle. However many referendums have been held in individual parts of the United Kingdom on issues relating to devolution in Scotland and Wales, and the status of Northern Ireland.

Many fans have also pointed to the fact that many more characters besides SpongeBob were featured in the commercial, and SpongeBob's appearance is only a few seconds long. Referendums are rare and only once has a referendum proposal been put to the entire electorate of the UK; this was a referendum in 1975 on membership of the European Economic Community. A spokesman for the foundation suggests that anyone who thought the video promoted homosexuality "needs to visit their doctor and get their medication increased."[2]. Owing to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty a binding referendum cannot be held in the United Kingdom (UK). The video has sparked controversy because some conservative Christian groups believe that the We Are Family Foundation was using it to promote the normalization of homosexuality in American schools. Even referendums on tax cuts are often not passed. More recently, SpongeBob was featured in the pro-tolerance "We Are Family" commercial, along with many other cartoon characters. Citizens' initiatives are usually not passed.

Puff, SpongeBob's parents, Pearl/Octavious Rex, Plankton/Mama Krabs, Gary/Snellie, Plankton/Karen, Patrick/Mindy, and in many early episodes there is a slight romantic relationship between SpongeBob and Sandy, automatically disproving any rumors that Spongebob could ever be homosexual); aside from the "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" controversy there are arguably no gay relationships at all. The decisions made in referendums tend to be conservative. Krabs/Mrs. However, the percentage of voters is generally very low, about 20 to 30 percent unless there is an election. Mr. Elections are as well often combined with referendums. There are actually many heterosexual relationships on the show (eg. The votes on referendums are always held on a Sunday, typically three or four times a year, and in most cases, the votes concern several referendums at the same time, often at different political levels (federal, cantonal, municipal).

But some fans argue that SpongeBob has a human-like sexual identity, because sometimes he will panic when he's shown not wearing underwear, as if he were a human, and run back to his pineapple and hide. The referendums slow politics down. In support of this statement, in early episodes it's revealed that SpongeBob reproduces by budding and making baby sponges come out of his holes; this is not so different than what real sponges do. In many cases, the mere threat of a facultative referendum or of an initiative is enough to make the parliament adjust a law. Stephen Hillenburg, creator of the show, states SpongeBob to be asexual, as he is a sponge. The possibility of facultative referendums forces the parliament to search for a compromise between the major interest groups. In three episodes, SpongeBob is portrayed for brief moments in women's clothing, although it should be noted that other cartoon and slapstick characters, such as Bugs Bunny, have done the same; in this regard, SpongeBob falls squarely in the pantheon of characters who have actively gone above the limits and endured controversy as a result. There are two types of referendums:.

This episode was never aired in the Philippines India, Israel, and Italy because the people there may have thought the episode resembles homosexuality. They are a central feature of Swiss political life. In the 2002 episode "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve", SpongeBob and Patrick adopt a baby scallop, furthering the rumours because of the implications that the two made major life decisions together, as a couple would. In Switzerland, there are binding referendums at federal, cantonal and municipal level. Around the beginning of the third season, SpongeBob and Patrick were frequently depicted holding hands. Two, in 1957 and 1980, were multiple choice referendums. Notably, SpongeBob's cheerful attitude and his close friendship with Patrick led some viewers to the conclusion that the sponge was the next gay icon. All have been non-binding, consultative referendums.

However, SpongeBob's popularity has made the controversy surrounding it more noticeable and of a larger scale. Since the introduction of parliamentary democracy six referendums have been held in Sweden: the first was on prohibition in 1922 and the most recent on euro membership in 2003. Many of its cartoons, including Ren & Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, The Angry Beavers, Invader Zim, and The Fairly OddParents, have sparked controversy in one way or another. The Constitution of Sweden provides for both binding and non-binding referendums. This is not new for Nickelodeon. Any citizen entitled to vote in an election to the Chamber of Deputies may participate in a referendum. Despite the show's popularity, SpongeBob has had to endure much controversy. It is forbidden to call a referendum regarding financial laws or laws relating to pardons or the ratification of international treaties.

The song can also be found on The Yellow Album. The referendum is valid only if at least a majority of electors goes to the polling station. A choral version was recorded for the SpongeBob Christmas special where the last words, "SquarePants", were replaced by "Christmas special". A referendum can be called in order to abrogate totally or partially a law, but only at the request of 500,000 electors or five regional councils. A cover of the song by Avril Lavigne can be found on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (soundtrack). The constitution of Italy provides for binding referendums. It is sung by Patchy the Pirate, voiced by Pat Pinney, and can be found on the soundtrack, SpongeBob SquarePants: Original Theme Highlights. However such a referendum can only take place in rare circumstances and so none has yet occurred.

The theme song, primarily based on the sea shanty, "Blow the Man Down", is the principal song used in the series. The constitution also provides for a referendum on an ordinary law known as the 'ordinary referendum'. SpongeBob has been picked up for a fifth season on Nickelodeon, with potential for a sixth season; new episodes will air from 2006 to 2007. However the role of the president is merely ceremonial and she cannot refuse to sign an amendment into law that has been legitimately approved in a referendum. Regarding the new order of SpongeBob cartoons, Cyma Zarghami, Nickelodeon’s chief executive, responded, “It just doesn’t feel like we should stop yet.” This is quite relevant, as recently the show has seen some of it's highest ratings since it's peak years in the early 2000's, and, while some more observant fans are skeptical, has returned without an excessive amount of fans believing it has "jumped the shark". Constitutional amendments are first adopted by both Houses of the Oireachtas (parliament), then submitted to a referendum and finally signed into law by the President. The episodes are projected to have finished airing sometime in 2007. In the Republic of Ireland it is mandatory that every constitutional amendment be approved by referendum and since 1937 over twenty constitutional referendums have occurred.

The Star Online eCentral reports that Nickelodeon has ordered 20 more episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants, bringing the show’s total amount of episodes to 100. The current Constitution of Ireland was adopted by plebiscite on 1 July 1937. Many fans are outraged, but it should be noted that the change in format is at Nickelodeon's insistence, rather than the SpongeBob creators. It was later modified to provides for the establishment of a committee by the parliament to be elected in December of 2005 to consider changes to the constitution in 2006. This practice began with the airing of the episode "Selling Out" on September 23; its companion episode, "Funny Pants," premiered the following week on September 30 (Nickelodeon did air "Selling Out" and "Funny Pants" together as a rerun on October 9, 2005). The coalition was designed to shift crucial decisions about government, the judiciary and human rights to a future national assembly. For the first time in SpongeBob's run, Nickelodeon began airing 11-minute segments of new episodes separately, spread over two weeks. The Iraq referendum was voted on by the Iraqi people in on 15 October 2005, two years after the invasion of by the United States led coaliton to oust Saddam Hussein.

After airing three new episodes on Fridays from May 6 to May 20, Nickelodeon did not premiere any new SpongeBob episodes until September 2005. The TCE has both been rejected by proponents of national sovereignty and by the left-wing liberal anti-globalization movement in France. The first new episode of Season 4, "Fear Of A Krabby Patty/Shell Of A Man", was a huge hit with many fans who had long been bored with the show and many more faithful ones who have been waiting for new episodes for years. The other EU countries, apart from Spain and Luxembourg, approved it during parliamentary votes. So far, four new episodes and nine segments of new episodes have aired, with more upcoming including a sixth Mermaidman & Barnacle Boy. The "Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe" (TCE) was rejected in France and Netherlands in popular referendums. The new episodes began airing on May 6, 2005.
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TV advertisements for SpongeBob's fourth season first aired publicly during the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. The 1980 Quebec referendum and 1995 Quebec referendum on the secession of Québec are notable cases. See Controversy for more information.. Referendums can also occur at the provincial level. Ironically, that movie would also be considered Rugrats' jump the shark moment by many fans.). Although the Constitution of Canada does not expressly require that amendments be approved by referendum some argue that, in light of the precedent set by the Charlottetown Accord referendum, this may have become an unwritten convention. (It was around this time that the animated series which it is based on, Rugrats, was at the height of its popularity. The most recent was a referendum in 1992 on a package of proposed constitutional measures known as the Charlottetown Accord.

The Rugrats Movie, on the other hand, earned over $100,000,000 in the United States. Referendums are rare in Canada and only three have ever occurred at the federal level. As its movie only achieved over $85,000,000 in revenue in the United States, perhaps because of the shows popularity showing something of a decline at the time of it's release. Due to the specific mention of referenda in the Australian constitution, non-constitutional referenda are usually termed plebescites in Australia. The president of Nickelodeon announced that the show would continue without Hillenburg featuring Paul Tibbitt as supervising producer and Derek Drymon taking over Hillenburg's spot as executive producer. Out of the 44 referendums held since federation in 1901, only eight have been passed, making the Australian referendum system one of the most restrictive in the developed world. The show continued to gain high approval ratings despite a lack of new episodes, and many fans feared they would never air. If a majority of those voting, as well as separate majorities in each of a majority of states, (and where appropriate a majority of people in any affected state) vote in favour of the amendment, it is presented for Royal Assent, given in the Queen's name by the Governor-General.

Following this, the movie was released in November of that year. A bill must first be passed by both houses of Parliament or, in certain limited circumstances, by only one house of Parliament, and is then submitted to a referendum. SpongeBob Meets The Strangler/Pranks A Lot" was the last episode of this season, and aired in October of 2004. Approval in a referendum is necessary in order to amend the Australian constitution. Fans were devastated and online petitions were widely distributed to convince Nickelodeon to produce more episodes by showing continuing fan support. Other voting methods that could be employed are Condorcet's Method and approval voting that are not subject to the effects of irrelevant alternatives and less susceptible to insincere preference intensity. Due to rumors of a movie, there was high speculation that the show would be cancelled and that 2003/2004 would feature the last season of new episodes. Critics of the Borda count argue that it is particularly susceptible to tactical voting and to the tactical nomination of candidates, and that it may produce results that are opposed by a majority of voters.

The year also saw another more low-budget show with popularity (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius), but things changed late in the year. The De Borda Institute argues that the Borda count would produce results based on consensus rather than majoritarianism; it is therefore suggested for use in plebiscites held in areas of conflict such as Northern Ireland, the Balkans or Kashmir. The beginning of the third season produced many classic episodes and focused on the same style and animation concepts. Some groups, such as the Northern Ireland De Borda Institute, advocate the conduct of referendums using the Borda count form of preferential voting, and refer to such a vote as a Borda 'preferendum'. 2002 also saw a bright side, as the first part of that year saw SpongeBob at its peak. In the 1977 Australian referendum the winner was chosen by the system of Instant Run-off Voting (also known as the 'Alternative Vote'). SpongeBob, however, was the leader of all these shows and had by this time started its now famous merchandise line. In other words the winning option was deemed to be that supported by a plurality, rather than an absolute majority, of voters.

That same year, Invader Zim aired, created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez; it had a dark but silly sense of humor (similar to Vasquez's other comic books) that managed to attract a very loyal cult following consisting more of teens and adults than young children (though also containing a moderate amount of preteens). In the Swedish case, in both referendums the 'winning' option was chosen by the Single Member Plurality ("first past the post") system. It focused on a sense of humor similar to SpongeBob’s, only more realistic, slightly crazier (and more suggestive to "adult" topics), and with more pop culture references; this show managed to become a hit as well and currently ranks behind SpongeBob as Nick's second most popular show. Swiss referendums get around this problem by offering a separate vote on each of the multiple options as well as an additional decision about which of the multiple options should be preferred. In 2001, The Fairly OddParents aired from the then-small Frederator company. This can be resolved by applying voting systems designed for single winner elections to a multiple-choice referendum. By then it was clear to the world that SpongeBob had opened the door to many other cartoons to use more "adult" senses of humor and come from smaller companies. A multiple choice referendum poses the problem of how the result is to be determined if no single option receives the support of an absolute majority (i.e., more than half) of voters.

The show began its second season in 2000 with more high-quality animation and even more popular episodes. In Switzerland, for example, multiple choice referendums are common; two multiple choice referendums held in Sweden, in 1957 and 1980, offered voters a choice of three options; and in 1977 a referendum held in Australia to determine a new national anthem was held in which voters were presented with four choices. Many people attribute the "Fall Of Rugrats/Klasky-Csupo/Rise Of Low-Budget Cartoons" to SpongeBob. A referendum usually offers the electorate only two choices, either to accept or reject a proposal, but this need not necessarily be the case. SpongeBob's signature voice (provided by Kenny) and humorous style was enjoyable to both younger and older audiences. If one issue is in fact, or in perception, related to another on the ballot, the imposed simultaneous voting of first preference on each issue can result in an outcome that is displeasing to most voters. After about a year, it surpassed Rugrats as Nick's most highly rated show. A difficulty which can plague a referendum of two issues or more is called the separability problem.

Although it struggled in its early days, its ratings flew up. Some critics of the referendum attack the usual practice of only offering the electorate two options, of either accepting or rejecting a proposal, in a referendum. SpongeBob, with its generally lower-class animation and humor style more rooted in clever word-play and culture-references unlike the potty humor that made Rugrats so popular, was expected to be just another one of those shows. The repeated holding of a referendum on a single issue has been pejoratively referred to as the phenomenon of the "never-end-um". At this time, Rugrats was at the height of its popularity and had already outlived dozens of other lower-budget cartoons. This is especially a problem where a proposal may be difficult to reverse, such as secession from a larger country or the abolition of a monarchy. In 1999, SpongeBob aired its first episode, "Help Wanted/Reef Blower/Tea at the Treedome", after the 1999 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. A further perceived flaw of the referendum is that in some circumstances the democratic spirit of the referendum may be flouted by the repeated submission to the referendum of a proposal until it is eventually endorsed, perhaps due to a low turn-out or public fatigue with the issue.

Krabs' line, "SpongeBoy, me Bob!." The Krusty Krab was originally spelled with the letter C rather than K, but Stephen Hillenburg thought K's were funnier. Many of the arguments used by those who oppose the referendum are summarised in the following comment made in an interview in 2003 by the British politician Chris Patten concerning the possibility of a referendum in the UK on the European Union Constitution:. Hillenburg later chose the alternative name "SpongeBob." The original name was once referenced in the show by Mr. Hitler's use of the plebiscite is one reason why, since World War II, there has been no provision in Germany for the holding of referendums at the federal level. The name "SpongeBoy" did not make it into the show since the name was already officially trademarked by Bob Burden, creator of Flaming Carrot. Some opposition to the referendum has arisen from its use by dictators such as Hitler and Mussolini who, it is argued, used the plebiscite to clothe oppressive policies in a veneer of legitimacy. SpongeBob used to be named SpongeBoy, and used to wear a red hat with a green base and a white business shirt with a tie. Some argue that tools such as the referendum may lead to the "tyranny of the majority" and to the erosion of the rights of individuals and minorities.

During production of the show, Hillenburg provided a concept of short comics with the same style of the show, but the characters looked different. Voters might furthermore be swayed by strong personalities, or the adverse influence of propaganda or expensive advertising campaigns. Another crew member with previous Nickelodeon cartoon experience was former Angry Beavers story editor Merriwether Williams, who worked on that show for its first few seasons and switched to SpongeBob in July 1999. It is also argued that voters in a referendum may be driven by transient whims rather than careful deliberation, or that they may not be sufficiently well informed to take decisions on complicated or technical issues. Drymon had worked with Hillenburg on Rocko's Modern Life as well, as did many SpongeBob crew members, including writer Tim Hill and voice actors Tom Kenny and Doug Lawrence. Examples of these would include laws abolishing slavery, granting universal sufferage and removing prohibitions on homosexual relationships in various countries. He teamed up with creative director Derek Drymon, who had worked on shows such as Doug, Action League Now!, and Hey Arnold!. As evidence, many critics frequently cite numerous controversial changes which did not appear to have the support of a majority of voters at the time and so presumable would have failed under a referendum but which are now strongly supported by the majority of voters.

When Rocko's Modern Life was cancelled in 1997, Hillenburg began working on SpongeBob (although some sketches trace back to 1996). Some opponents therefore insist that the referendum is used by politicians as a way of abrogating responsibility in the taking of difficult or controversial decisions. One of the producers was Stephen Hillenburg, a cartoon worker/marine biologist who loved both his careers. As often conceived by such opponents, representative democracy is a system in which elected officials are the exercisers of independent judgement rather than merely delegates bound to robotically carry out the wishes of voters. SpongeBob's history can be traced back to 1993 when Rocko's Modern Life first aired. Opponents of the referendum argue that representative democracy is superior to direct democracy. LEGO recieved license to produce SpongeBob SquarePants building sets, beginning to sell them in August 2006. Other advocates insist that the principle of popular sovereignty demands that certain foundational questions, such as the adoption or amendment of a constitution, the secession of a state or the altering of national boundaries, be determined with the directly expressed consent of the people.

There were contests tied in with the movie where you could win SpongeBob-related items or a trip to the Cayman Islands. Some adopt a strict definition of democracy in which elected parliaments are merely a necessary expedient needed to make governance possible in the large, modern nation-state; direct democracy is nonetheless preferable and so a referendum must always take preference over a decision of parliament. In October 2004, a NASCAR Busch Series race was named The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300, presented by Lowe's and broadcast on TNT featuring Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's stock car and Kyle Busch's #5 stock car painted for the race with the SpongeBob Movie paint schemes. Advocates of the referendum argue that certain decisions are best taken out of the hands of political elites and determined directly by the people. Events in the past with the SpongeBob SquarePants theme include an exhibit at Underwater Adventures Aquarium in the Mall of America called SeaCrits of Bikini Bottom during the summer of 2003. Nonetheless the referendum is sometimes the subject of controversy. More recently, a tie-in beverage for 7-Eleven convenience stores has been created, a pineapple-flavored Slurpee. Furthermore, in most jurisdictions that practice them, referendums are relatively rare occurrences and are restricted to issues of major importance.

SpongeBob was also featured on VH1's I Love the 90s: Part Deux: 1999 as part of a commentary by Michael Ian Black. Although some advocates of direct democracy would have the referendum become the dominant institution of government, in practice, in almost all cases, the referendum exists solely as a complement to the system of representative democracy, in which most major decisions are made by an elected legislature. Plankton, a character from the show. For example, in the Republic of Ireland only citizens may vote in a referendum whereas British citizens resident in the state are entitled to vote in general elections. The ransom note was signed by someone in Minneapolis, Minnesota claiming to be Sheldon J. The franchise in a referendum is not necessarily the same as that for elections. There have been kids meal tie-ins at Wendy's for SpongeBob's House Party Special in 2002 and at Burger King restaurants in 2001, 2003, and for the movie in 2004; in 2004, thieves stole nine-foot-high by nine-foot-wide SpongeBob inflatables from the Burger King restaurant franchises, demanding Krabby Patties as ransom. An alternative is to insist on a certain minimum absolute number of yes votes before a measure can be deemed to have been carried—or of no votes if it is to be deemed vetoed.

The show also spawned a large and popular merchandise line at Hot Topic, Claire's, RadioShack, Target, Wal-Mart, and Toys "R" Us stores. This is intended to ensure that the result is representative of the will of the electorate and is analogous to the quorum required in a committee or legislature. Merchandise based on the show ranges from Kraft SuperMac & Cheese, Kellogg's cereal, and video games to boxer shorts, pajamas, and t-shirts. In some countries there is also a requirement that there be a certain minimum turn-out of the electorate in order for the result of a referendum to be considered valid. However, in a more typical Nickelodeon-style move, Avril Lavigne did the movie theme song. In Lithuania certain proposals must be endorsed by a three-quarters majority. Non-mainstream alternative rock bands such as Wilco, The Shins, The Flaming Lips and perhaps most notably Ween (who have contributed two original songs to the show and their 1997 classic "Ocean Man" to the movie soundtrack), as well as metal bands Pantera, Motorhead, and Twisted Sister have made appearances on the show and movies soundtracks, and classic thrash metal group Metallica even released a T-shirt featuring cartoon versions of them playing live with Spongebob & Patrick [1] (leading to as of yet unproven rumors that the band will appear on a future episode of the show). However a referendum may also require the support of a super-majority, such as two-thirds of votes cast.

Unlike its mainstream-culture-promoting network, SpongeBob features many semi-obscure musicians who contribute to its soundtrack. In most referendums it is sufficient for a measure to be approved by a simple majority of voters in order for it to be carried. Fairly Oddparents), SpongeBob chooses to go for a more teen/adult friendly formula that was used in highly sucessful older Nick cartoons such as Ren and Stimpy and Rocko's Modern Life, non-human young adults in crazy, unrealistic situations, with minimal pop culture references. In countries, such as the United Kingdom, in which referendums are neither mandatory nor binding there may, nonetheless, exist an unwritten convention that certain important constitutional changes will be put to a referendum and that the result will be respected. While many newer cartoons revolve around pre-adolescents with strange lives and feature massive amounts of pop-culture references (eg. in Ireland). The show also, unlike many current Nickelodeon cartoons, is not "mainstream" or "cliche". In countries in which a referendum must be initiated by parliament it is sometimes mandatory to hold a binding referendum on certain proposals, such as constitutional amendments (e.g.

Its appeal to older audiences, as mentioned earlier, can be contributed to the show's crazy but witty and at times even sophisticated humor. In the United States the term referendum is often reserved for a direct vote initiated by a legislature while a vote originating in a petition of citizens is referred to as an "initiative," "ballot measure" or "proposition.". When naming reasons why many fans believe Nickelodeon has gone downhill in recent years, SpongeBob is often listed as an exception. The process of initiating a referendum by petition is known as the popular or citizen's initiative. However, the characters are not immune from more adult avocations, including rock musicianship in a stadium performance reminiscent of a hard rock concert. In other circumstances a referendum is usually initiated either by a legislature or by citizens themselves by means of a petition. Part of the show's appeal has to do with the childlike nature of SpongeBob and his best friend, Patrick, both of whom are idiots and display an innocence typical of human children. A foundational referendum or plebiscite may be drafted by a constituent assembly before being put to voters.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, released on November 19, 2004, features a cameo appearance by actor David Hasselhoff, reprising his role from the Baywatch TV series. According to an authoritative study by Matt Qvortrup (A Comparative Study of Referendums 2006), only Sweden among democratic nations has not honoured the outcome of a referendum. Ren and Stimpy, among others, had followed a similar path. Nonetheless, actual political circumstances in countries that hold non-binding referendums are such that the results of such a referendum are usually honoured. A certain quote by Patrick ("It's gonna rock!") has been used as a promo for rock stations. It is left to the government or legislature to interpret the results of a non-binding referendum and it may even choose to ignore them. SpongeBob is one cartoon in a long line of shows to put in more "adult" references, and has become so popular with the adult crowd that it has been shown on MTV and Spike TV. A non-binding referendum is merely consultative or advisory.

SpongeBob works at the Krusty Krab, a restaurant seemingly based on McDonald's or Burger King. Referendums may be either binding or non-binding. Aside from the many undersea puns, some common products from the surface world have somehow found their way into Bikini Bottom, such as Canned Bread, Roast Beef, and even Pizza. However the use of referenda is deprecated by the Oxford English Dictionary which advises that:. SpongeBob's telephone is shaped like a conch and referred to as a "shell phone". Referendums and referenda are both commonly used as plurals of referendum. In addition to this, instead of peanut butter, SpongeBob SquarePants uses what is called in Bikini Bottom "Sea-Nut Butter". Thus the direct vote that adopted the constitution of the modern Republic of Ireland is referred to as a 'plebiscite' while every subsequent such direct vote has been described as a 'referendum'.

Clams behave like birds, propelling themselves through the water with their shells and tweeting. The term referendum is usually preferred to describe routine votes held in liberal democracies. Jellyfish are the equivalent of bees (buzzing and stinging), but are collected or appreciated like butterflies and are used for their delicious jelly. Plebiscites held by undemocratic governments may request approval for a radical governmental decree, or of the general policies of the government. In relation to this, underwater worms bark (and act) exactly like dogs, and are kept on chains. Plebiscite is also often the term used to describe a direct vote held by a dictator or an undemocratic regime, in circumstances in which a free and fair vote is impossible. SpongeBob's house-pet is a snail named Gary, who meows like a cat (though characters have shown signs of being able to understand him). The terms referendum and plebiscite are often used interchangeably but the term plebiscite is usually preferred in circumstance in which a decision is being made on fundamental issues of sovereignty, such as in determining national borders or adopting a new constitution.

The suggestion is that both the head and the pineapple have fallen from a tropical island to become underwater habitats. . The main character, SpongeBob lives in a pineapple, while his neighbor Squidward lives in an Easter Island head and his other neighbor and best friend, Patrick lives under a rock. The referendum or plebiscite is a form of direct democracy. A flurry of bubbles accompany many actions, just to remind the viewer everything is underwater. Certain kinds of referendums held in some states of the United States are referred to as ballot measures or propositions. Once, while out in the wilderness, Patrick questions how they could have a camp fire on the lagoon bottom—the fire is immediately extinguished with a sizzle. This may be the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy.

Instead of cars, the residents of Bikini Bottom drive boats (with wheels). A referendum (plural: referendums or referenda) or plebiscite is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. 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. The de Borda Institute is at [www.deborda.org]. The cartoon is designed to appeal to children as well as older viewers. Defining Democracy puts both two-option and multi-option referendums into their historical context, and suggests which are the more accurate measures of "the will of the people". Other shows have followed in this trend as well: The Fairly OddParents and Invader Zim took a similar role when they aired in 2001, and the former is now second only to SpongeBob in popularity. Emerson, P J.

SpongeBob follows some other Nickelodeon shows that have attracted "older" followers: The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, the Kablam! skits, Action League Now!, and The Angry Beavers. 2004 from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/breakfast_with_frost/2954232.stm. Low-budget cartoons had not garnered as much esteem as higher-rated (and higher-budgeted) shows, such as Rugrats, although when SpongeBob aired in 1999, it had obtained a substantial amount of viewers in the ratings to be considered popular. Retrieved 13 Oct. SpongeBob is the first "low budget" Nickelodeon cartoon, according to the network, to become extremely popular. bbc.co.uk. . Interview with Chris Patten, EU Commissioner for External Affairs (2003).

SpongeBob SquarePants officially aired on July 17 of the same year with the second episode, "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants." Most episodes take place in the town of Bikini Bottom or the surrounding lagoon floor. Commonwealth, or Estado Libre Asociado, has won each of those referendums. The pilot episode first aired in the United States on Nickelodeon after the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on May Day (May 1), 1999. Puerto Rico: Several referendums have taken place since 1967, including one in 1994 and another one in 1998, seeking an answer to the century-old question of what do Puerto Ricans want for the archipielago of nearly 4 million inhabitants: Independence (Comprising Republic and a Associated Republic , Statehood or mantain the Commonwealth status. SpongeBob SquarePants is a comedy set under the Pacific Ocean that uses puns (including the names of certain characters), non sequiturs, double-talk, breaking of the fourth wall, some crude humor, and other such antics to entertain the audience. This referendum was offered by the government as part of a violence minimization initiative known as project disarmament.. SpongeBob SquarePants is an popular American animated television series shown on Nickelodeon, YTV, and Nicktoons Network created by marine biologist and animator, Stephen Hillenburg. Brazil: In October 2005, 122 million voters have decided to continue to allow the sale of firearms in Brazil.

In the movie there is a second Krusty Krab (Krusty Krab 2), SpongeBob gets a promotion towards the end of the movie and dons a large "MANAGER" hat during the credits as well as other details. Also, in 1986 another referendum approved Spain's membership to NATO. The events in the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie are not canonical with the events in the TV series. Spaniards chose (94%) to change ("Referéndum para la reforma política", literally «Referendum in order to the political reformation»). Nearly every episode contains one still or motion non-animated sequence. Spain: In 1976 a referendum was held to determine if citizens wanted to change the political system (i.e., the dictatorship) or not to change it, after the death of Francisco Franco. In "Bubble Buddy," Spongebob celebrates Leif Erikson Day, which is a real US observance held on October 9th; the narration indicated that Spongebob actually invented the day. state initiative is probably California's Proposition 13 which severely limited property tax increases.

In the first series, it was possible to hear one fish scream "my legs!" in most or all episodes, usually at some point of inconsequential destruction, such as a boating school. The most famous U.S. The show is "timeless" since the episodes have no dates that are set into stone and very few topical references or instances of continuity (the Krusty Krab is destroyed quite often). However the constitutions of 24 states and many local and city governments provide for referendums and citizen's initiatives. Although the show occasionally does make reference to pop-culture, the examples are never specific. United States: There is no provision for the holding of referendums at the federal level in the United States. Hillenburg has said that he intends to pass that concept over to the new people in charge of the show. France: In France a constitutional amendment must be approved by either a super-majority in parliament or by the people in a referendum.

He wants his cartoon to be a timeless classic. Very few such initiatives pass the vote, but more often, the parliamentary counter proposal is approved. According to the insider book SpongeBob Exposed, the creator of the show, Steve Hillenburg, said that the policy of his show is to not do jokes about or reference pop culture and current events; the show's characters are isolated from the real world. Often, parliament elaborates a counter-proposal to an initiative, leading to a multiple-choice referendum. According to the Season 1 DVD, its name is Shelly. Constitutional amendments are either proposed by the parliament or the cantons, or they may be proposed by citizens' initiatives, which—on the federal level—need to collect 100,000 valid signatures within 18 months, and must not contradict international laws or treaties. It can also be seen in the episode "Something Smells", along with many others. In many municipalities, expenditures that exceed a certain amount of money also are subject to the obligatory referendum.

In the episode "Help Wanted", SpongeBob can be seen with a pet scallop in a cage next to his bed. Obligatory referendum: There must be a referendum on any amendments to the constitution and on any joining of a multinational community or organization for collective security. The pirate in the painting saying "Are you ready kids?" - "I can't hear you" in the beginning theme sequence had a chroma key used for the moving lips. The facultative referendum is the most usual type of referendum, and it is mostly carried out by political parties or by interest groups. Krabs: Cancer. In cantons and municipalities, the required number of people is smaller, and there may be additional causes for a faculatative referendum, e.g., expenditures that exceed a certain amount of money. Mr. Facultative referendum: Any federal law, certain other federal resolutions, and international treaties that are either perpetual and irredeemable, joinings of an international organization, or that change Swiss law may be subject to a facultative referendum if at least 50,000 people or eight cantons have petitioned to do so within 100 days.

Squidward: Capricorn (on the Tropical zodiac) or Libra (stereotype: likes the finer things in life, taking it easy, wants to do no work (on the Sidereal zodiac)). In one short, Plankton is depicted as a Leo. Plankton: Leo (stereotype: diabolical and plotting), among others. SpongeBob: Sagittarius (stereotype: overly enthusiastic, optimistic, and foolish).

Patrick: Taurus (stereotype: thick-headed). Featured characters have included:

    . It features the character Squidward explaining astrological stereotypes, through characters on the show. Astrology With Squidward is a spin-off short from SpongeBob SquarePants.

    There will be a SpongeBob SquarePants theatrical short playing before the computer-animated 2006 film, Barnyard.. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. Sean Dempsey: Animation Director. Jimmy Stone: Animation Director.

    Andrew Overtoom: Animation Director. Tom Yasumi: Animation Director. Alan Smart: Animation Director. Andy Rheingold: Executive in Charge of Production.

    David Wigforss: Special Effects (CG visual effects animator). Nicholas Carr: Music. Jeremy Wakefield: Music. Steven Belfer: Music.

    Sage Guyton: Music. Bradley Carow: Music. Vincent Waller: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director/Technical Director (2005—). Mike Bell: Writer/Storyboard Director (2005—).

    Chris Mitchell: Writer/Storyboard Artist (1999). Steven Fonti: Writer/Storyboard Director (1999). Mark O'Hare: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director. Eric Wiese: Writer/Storyboard Artist.

    Tim Hill: Writer. Steven Banks: Head Writer (2004—). Greenblatt: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director. C.H.

    Aaron Springer: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director. Kaz: Writer/Storyboard Artist. Sam Henderson: Writer/Storyboard Director. Jay Lender: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director.

    Chuck Klein: Writer/Storyboard Artist & Director. Lawrence): Writer/Story Editor. Mr. Doug Lawrence (a.k.a.

    Merriwether Williams: Story Editor/Writer. Caleb Muerer: Art Director/Storyboard Artist. Sherm Cohen: Storyboard Supervisor/Writer. Derek Drymon: Creative Director/Writer/Story Editor.

    Paul Tibbitt: Writer/Storyboard Director/Supervising Producer (2004- ). Stephen Hillenburg: Creator/Executive Producer (1999-2004; Remains Active In Production Team, But No Longer Producer Of Show). David Hasselhoff: Himself. Alec Baldwin: Dennis the Hitman.

    Scarlett Johansson: Princess Mindy. Jeffrey Tambor: King Neptune. Wilson: The Tattle-Tale Strangler, Reg, Marty, Patrick's father, others. Thomas F.

    Kevin Michael Richardson: King Neptune (voice in SpongeBob's House Party (Party Pooper Pants)). Sergio Ristie: King Neptune (SpongeBob's House Party (Party Pooper Pants)). John O'Hurley: King Neptune (Neptune's Spatula). John Rhys-Davies: Man Ray.

    Charles Nelson Reilly: The Dirty Bubble (Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II/Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V). Tim Conway: Barnacle Boy. Ernest Borgnine: Mermaid Man. Tiny Tim: Himself (Musical Performer) (Help Wanted).

    Clea Lewis: Additional Voices (Seasons 2-). Wilson: Additional Voices. Thomas F. Carlos Alazraqui: Additional Voices (Seasons 1-3).

    Jill Talley: Karen (Plankton's computer wife). Marion Ross: Grandma SquarePants. Brian Doyle-Murray: The Flying Dutchman. Stephen Hillenburg: Polly the Parrot.

    Paul Tibbitt: Mama Krabs (Sailor Mouth, Mid-Life Crustacean). SquarePants (No Free Rides). Lauren Tom: Mrs. SquarePants, Mama Krabs (Enemy In-Law-present).

    Sirena Irwin: Mrs. SquarePants. Poppy Puff, Mrs. Mary Jo Catlett: Mrs.

    Lori Alan: Pearl Krabs, Patrick's mother. Plankton, Larry Lobster, Fred, Tom. Lawrence): Sheldon J. Mr.

    Doug Lawrence (a.k.a. Clancy Brown: Eugene Krabs. Carolyn Lawrence: Sandy Cheeks. Bill Fagerbakke: Patrick Star.

    Rodger Bumpass: Squidward Tentacles, Mama Tentacles, the Doctorfish,. Dee Bradley Baker: Squilliam Fancyson, Various squids, customers, vendors. SquarePants, Uncle Sherm SquarePants, Grandpa SquarePants, Fred (Home Sweet Pineapple), Tom. Tom Kenny: SpongeBob SquarePants, Gary the Snail, French Narrator, Patchy the Pirate, Mr.

    Main article SpongeBob SquarePants characters.

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