Ah, 20 years of SpongeBob SquarePants. It seems like just yesterday that we were watching our absorbent, yellow and porous friend answer a help wanted ad at the Krusty Krab. 244 episodes later, SpongeBob and his friends have become a pop culture phenomenon, spawning films, albums, every single piece of merchandise you can imagine, and an oddly persistent Super Bowl petition form. Nickelodeon has some Wumbo plans to celebrate our friend who lives in a pineapple under the sea, and it looks like some of the other constituents of Bikini Bottom will be receiving anniversary presents too.
In a press release from Nickelodeon, it’s been revealed that new spinoffs for some of SpongeBob’s supporting characters are in development for the first time ever.
“Nick is commemorating the 20th anniversary with the “Best Year Ever,” a tribute that includes an original one-hour special, “SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout,” premiering Friday, July 12. Additionally, plans are in place to expand the SpongeBob SquarePants universe with spinoffs focused on the core characters into formats such as new series, specials and feature-length movies. The anniversary will culminate with the May 22, 2020 release of the new SpongeBob theatrical, It’s A Wonderful Sponge, from Paramount Pictures, Paramount Players’ and Nickelodeon Movies.”
As exciting as new theatrical releases and anniversary specials sound, these new spinoffs have our gears turning. Just which characters will be getting their own solo outings? Will the SpongeBob Cinematic Universe become the next big Hollywood franchise? Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs?!
We’ve got some ideas for some SpongeBob spinoffs. Mr. Nick el Odeon, hit me up:
– A new series starring Sandy Cheeks, as she prepares to leave Bikini Bottom and her marine biology studies in the ocean after her research funding is pulled. Jobless, Sandy must return to her home state of Texas. Once back in the Lonestar State, Sandy decides to revert back to her old life as a rodeo champion, rising through the ranks, grappling with being a woman in a male-dominated sport, and reconnecting with the friends and family that she left behind many years ago.
– A feature-length origin story for Mr. Krabs and Plankton. Retconning the story from the fifth season episode “Friend or Foe,” Eugene Krabs is raised in a lower-income home and is a bad student. The only way he is able to pass high school is with the help of his friend, an intelligent boy named Plankton. With no hope of entering college, because of his grades and lack of funds, Krabs enlists in the Navy. Not wanting to lose the only friend he’s ever had, Plankton joins up as well. Stationed near Rock Bottom, Krabs and Plankton are roommates who work on a nearby ported ship, the S.S. Pearl. Krabs is the head chef of the ship while Plankton works on his staff. Mirroring the plot from the movie Pearl Harbor, Krabs and Plankton both fall in love with the same woman, a sperm whale named Karen. War comes to Rock Bottom, and in the ensuing battle, civilians are killed, including Karen, but not before she gives birth to a daughter, who’s revealed to belong to Krabs. After the war, dejected from losing the love of his life and not being the father to her daughter, now named Pearl, Plankton ends his friendship with Krabs. With both men gaining culinary experience during their time in the Navy, they start rival restaurants, with Krabs focused solely on making money to provide for his daughter and as a product of growing up poor. Meanwhile, Plankton loses focus on creating a great menu for his restaurant and instead focuses all of his time and energy on creating a new, robot wife, also eerily named Karen.
– A new limited-series starring everyone’s favorite misanthrope, Squidward Tentacles. Slightly based on the plot of School of Rock, Squidward becomes a music instructor at a nearby school. When he realizes that the students in his class are exceptionally skilled, he devises a plot to form a band with his students and tour the ocean. Things get competitive when he realizes that Squilliam Fancyson has started a rival band that is stealing all of his bands’ gigs. It all leads to an epic underwater battle of the bands, with the winner getting a chance to play The Bubble Bowl.
– A new web series called “Is This an Instrument? With Patrick Starr” in which Patrick determines whether household items are, in fact, instruments.
– A feature-length film about Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy called Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy: Year One. The a gritty update on these classic characters, the movie follows our heroes on adventures during their first year as crime fighters, where they square off against their rogues’ gallery, featuring the Dirty Bubble, Man Ray, Jumbo Shrimp, Atomic Flounder, and Sinister Slug.
– A dramatic special about the tear-jerking story of Fred, better known as the “My leg!” guy. It’s the story of one fish’s determination to not give up on life despite repeatedly suffering debilitating leg injuries.
If Nickelodeon somehow decides to pass on these ideas, we’ll let you know immediately what they plan for SpongeBob spinoffs instead.
Nick Harley is a tortured Cleveland sports fan, thinks Douglas Sirk would have made a killer Batman movie, Spider-Man should be a big-budget HBO series, and Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson should direct a script written by one another. For more thoughts like these, read Nick’s work here at Den of Geek or follow him on Twitter.