Unless you’ve been living under a rock (in true Patrick Star fashion), there’s no chance in hell that you haven’t seen an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. We have our parents to thank for letting us numb our brains with Nickelodeon after school; starting with that fateful pilot, where SpongeBob landed his gig at The Krusty Krab, the show has bonded an entire generation of viewers.
It’s hard to describe how a silly animated show can have such an impact (including an appearance at the Super Bowl), but the best example is the tidal wave of SpongeBob memes we’ve seen over the last few years. After the passing of the show’s creator, Stephen Hillenburg, in November, those who spent their childhoods with Patrick, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, and the rest of the Bikini Bottom gang felt especially sentimental towards the cartoon goldmine of jokes and quotes.
SpongeBob lovers of the early 2000s are now full-blown internet users, ready to show their appreciation for the time they’ve all spent in a pineapple under the sea the only way they know how: by making viral content. It feels like every week there’s a new Spongebob meme, but we’re not mad at it. For the OG Nickelodeon fan in all of us, here are the best SpongeBob memes.
When you're about to go to sleep and you remember you have homework pic.twitter.com/x0jTnZrMNv— Oh shit, I'm back (@DaRealBigPapa) October 20, 2014
First Appeared: Nov. 15, 2015
Despite never reaching peak virality, the Sleeping Squidward meme benefits from longevity, with its versatility becoming a bit of a classic over the years. The sequential photos of Squidward waking up in a frozen panic perfectly capture how it feels to remember something you’ve forgotten, but can also easily represent how unbothered you are (“I’m sleep,” if you will).
Takeoff and Offset: do we get to be on the song this time— Trashvis (@Trashvis) May 9, 2017
Quavo: dO wE geT tO bE oN thE sOng tHis tiMe pic.twitter.com/Fl1WkPNctZ
First Appeared: May 5, 2017
The Mocking SpongeBob meme will always be there to get back at your haters. Another short-lived meme of 2018, Mocking SpongeBob formatted your childhood antics of repeating everything your enemy said into the perfect comeback for any online message. It also works impeccably as a regular dialogue tweet for the most clever Twitter users; there’s no better feeling than going full-blown toddler online and rEsPoNdInG tO yOuR hAtErS LiKe ThIs.
when u in the grocery store& lose ur mom pic.twitter.com/697rv8hsu4— Chris (@chrisrealntrue) May 24, 2016
First Appeared: March 17, 2015
Caveman SpongeBob, SpongeGar, Primitive Sponge—no matter what you call him, he’s there to help you express your confusion when words just don’t do the trick. Often photoshopped into different surroundings to look angry and bewildered, the Caveman SpongeBob meme was yet another blip in the history of popular SpongeBob SquarePants Twitter sensations. You might see him floating around today, but SpongeGar saw his prime sometime in 2016, making him a man of the past in more ways than one.
Squidward Looking Out the Window
juniors looking at seniors graduating like pic.twitter.com/hWqNeY2dwZ— college student (@collegeprobIem) May 14, 2016
First Appeared: Early 2014
The fear of missing out is a plague on the millennial generation, and no meme has better captured how FOMO can feel than the screen grab of Squidward watching SpongeBob and Patrick have fun outside from the window of him house. One of the few Spongebob memes that will probably remain immortal, this still can be edited time and time again to represent how it feels to be on the outside looking in— or the inside looking out, in Squidward’s case. Regardless, we’ve all been there, and will continue projecting our feelings towards exclusivity with this meme. Vive la Resistance!
Do yall hear sumn?...
Me: *eats right and less* *exercises daily* *does skin routine*— whomst’veatlantavegas (@Namastaywoke) June 27, 2018
My body: pic.twitter.com/zWth8UDiXV
First Appeared: June 27, 2018
At his best, Squidward is the crowned king of remaining unbothered, so it was only his destiny to be the subject of a new meme last year that expressed lack of concern. “Do yall hear sumn?...” is appropriate on all fronts: use it as the punchline of a well-crafted joke, or as a reaction picture in the groupchat when you can’t be troubled with your friends’ tomfoolery. And remember, when asked “Do yall hear sumn?...”, the only appropriate response is “Girl i hear sumn… but imma ignore it.”
Krusty Krab vs. Chum Bucket
just gotta be honest with yall pic.twitter.com/vOfHyyXFaR— 🧸 (@howtheyaIign) March 17, 2018
First Appeared: March 9, 2018
Though we’ve never technically eaten at either establishment, we’ll take the citizens of Bikini Bottom’s word for it that The Krusty Krab is superior to Chum Bucket. And what better way to show solidarity with fictional fish than turning their hometown restaurant feud into a meme? The Krusty Krab vs. Chum Bucket meme was another hit amongst the 2018 hoard of popular SpongeBob-inspired Twitter trends, and there’s no doubt that its popularity stemmed from how easy it was to develop and execute a decent installment. Any simple “this or that” argument with your friends would suffice for choosing a metaphorical Krusty Krab and Chum Bucket, but going the extra mile to make this meme a little more special never hurt anyone.
Mr. Krabs Blur
when you take a nap for a few minutes and its dark outside when you wake up pic.twitter.com/5FhsIGCKCP— Im Meechie I Got The Chips (@DemetriusHarmon) March 11, 2016
First Appeared: Jan. 31, 2016
Any average Joe may name Mona Lisa and The Starry Night as some of the greatest works of art in history, but anyone who used Twitter in 2016 would probably add the Mr. Krabs Blur to that list. You can motion blur just about anything for a cheap laugh, but the Mr. Krabs Blur meme is the ultimate reaction picture for confusion. It hits the hardest when referring to how it feels waking up from a nap, but use it to comment on any relatable moment of shear instability, and the likes will start pouring in.
Me leaving the pot in the sink because “it needs to soak” pic.twitter.com/8q29xu4ua2— Andre D Thompson (@AndreDThompson) March 1, 2018
First Appeared: February 2018
Just like any good Twitter meme, Evil Patrick ended just as soon as it began. One of the first viral memes of 2018 saw its 15 minutes at the end of last February, and became the perfect way to describe that maniacal feeling you get from tiny acts of (mostly harmless) evil. Maybe it was the furrowed brows, or perhaps, the unsettling bottom eyelids, but the internet became bored of Evil Patrick pretty quickly, leaving only traces of a quality but short-lived meme.
me after I put the fitted sheet on my bed by myself pic.twitter.com/R1DAjYWlyG— mama (@mckenziedenisee) March 27, 2018
First Appeared: March 22, 2018
You’d be tired, too, if your show was the backbone of a Twitter meme reckoning! Tired (and naked) SpongeBob became the poster child of universal exhaustion last year. Like many of its fallen brethren, it was rather short-lived and overdone, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hit close to home. From the easiest task on your to-do list to the big project you’ve been jamming on, Tired SpongeBob will express how it truly feels to complete anything that requires effort.