Has ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Run Out of Steam?


SpongeBob SquarePants is Nickelodeon’s longest running show, spanning 14 and a half years. The show has reached millions of fans around the world who follow the lovable sponge and his friends in the undersea town of Bikini Bottom. After 205 episodes and two movies, some people think that SpongeBob has reached its peak while others think it still has a lot of juice in it. All good things must come to an end, including SpongeBob. Eventually.

SpongeBob at the bottom of the sea side by side with his friends from the cast.

Now in its tenth season, the show’s time has to be running short. The last few seasons haven’t done so well, with fans often calling season seven the worst of them all and “A Pal For Gary” notoriously hailed as the worst episode in the whole series.

Most fans agree that the first few seasons of SpongeBob are the best – the plots are intriguing, the characters have authentic stories, and the dialogue is smart. But after these early seasons, the characters became repetitive, and episodes relied on the same storyline every time – a phenomenon called Flanderization. However, with a third movie in the pipeline, fans are sure that SpongeBob will last until the film’s release in 2019. Will Nickelodeon risk the show’s legacy?

Spongebob Controversies

SpongeBob sits on a bench surrounded by fish. He jumps up feet and hands out, with a surprised look.

SpongeBob has had its share of controversy over the years that has contributed to the show’s rollercoaster of success and failure. Some of the humor borderlines on adult content not suitable for children, although most of the innuendos fly under the radar. The show has also found a life of its own outside of TV in the form of virally-shared memes that tend to cater toward its grown-up audience.

This controversy created division among fans who felt it was unclear who the show’s audience was meant to be. If Nickelodeon were aiming SpongeBob at children, then why the innuendos only appropriate for adults? If it’s meant for adults who enjoy a little pithy humor, then why should that same audience have to bear with flat characters who have lost their nuance over time?

When Will it End?

Some people say that the show should end, while others think it’s still going strong and should continue. It all depends on each fan’s point of view. SpongeBob won’t end anytime soon. Well, at least until 2019 when the next theatrical film comes out (which better not be like the first or second movies!)

So here’s the good and bad news: If you want SpongeBob to continue, you have about two to three more seasons left. If you want the show to end, it only has about two to three more seasons left.

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