Stephen Hillenberg, the creator of Spongebob Squarepants, was a big reason why I pursued writing. I always admired his journey from a marine biologist to becoming a famous cartoon writer. But not just a cartoon writer, the creator of one of the greatest shows of all time. And it’s the simplicity of the creative mind of Hillenburg that I admire most. He poured his humor into his show and created a universe filled with entertainment for both kids and adults. A world with deeper meaning hidden in every barnacle and unforgettable characters behind every coral. And through Spongebob, Hillenburg has taught us how to live our best lives, no matter how silly or how serious the lesson is.
Here are the lessons I’ve learned from my many years of watching Spongebob Squarepants:
How to tie your shoes. With a catchy tune to go along with it, Spongebob taught me how to do a loop de loop and pull so my shoes are looking cool.
How to behave when you first meet a girl. Every time I’m out on a date with a girl I always remember the wise words of Patrick Star: When in doubt, pinky out.
With imagination, you can be anything you want. Spongebob taught me how to use my imagination. It didn’t matter if it was just a box, as long as you believe, you can create any world you desire.
How to be a good employee on the first day of work. Spongebob taught me it doesn’t matter if your boss asks for a hydro-dynamic spatula with port and starboard attachments and turbo drive, you work hard to get the job done because you never know when your company will be swarmed by hungry nematodes.
What you should do if you ripped your pants. Be true to yourself, don’t miss your chance. And you won’t end up like the fool who ripped his pants.
How to get muscles that will impress all the ladies. Even if you see an add on television mocking you, making you feel like a weakling who is too weak to work out, offering you anchor arms with different settings: normal, veiny, and for the ladies, hairy. Don’t believe what you see on TV, Instagram, Facebook. Be yourself and be natural. Hard work pays off.
How to handle an annoying neighbor. Squidward always teaches us what to do when your neighbor is constantly blowing bubbles and causing shenanigans on your side of the yard. Sometimes it consists of moving to a different community, traveling to the future, or even faking your own death.
How to take care of a child and live a happy marriage. Spongebob teaches us the importance of child care and the struggles of marriage. Especially when Spongebob and Patrick take on the roles of husband and wife when they adopt Junior, the baby clam.
How to be a good student. Spongebob always teaches us how to be a good student as he never gives up trying to get his boating license.
How to be a good mentor. Even with all the accidents Mrs. Puff encountered because of Spongebob’s pour driving, she never gave up on her pupil.
How to blow the best bubble. Spin around – stop! Double-take three times… one, two, three. Then… pelvic thrust! Woo! Woo! Stop on your right foot – Don’t forget it! Now it’s time to bring it around town. Bring it around town! Then you do this, and that, this and that, and this and that, and then….
Maybe next time Squidward.
How to save money. Mr. Krabs is always teaching us how to handle our money. Even if it consists of losing both your arms in order to pull a dime out of the sink.
How to take a girl to prom. Spongebob teaches us how to get past the pressure faced against dealing with someone like Octavius Rex, A.K.A. Long, Tan, and Handsome.
What to do if you hit rock bottom. When you hit the lowest point of your life, and you’re lost and scared, don’t give up, you’ll find your – Pbth! way – Pbth! back – Pbth! home………Pbth!
How to live your best life. Larry the Lobster teaches us the phrase, “Living like Larry.” An important way of living life to the fullest and not maiming yourself.
How to say goodbye to a loved one. Spongebob made us all cry when he said goodbye to his noble seahorse, Mystery. Sometimes a wild animal is not meant to live in a restaurant.
How to have patience. Spongebob teaches us the importance of staying calm and understanding especially when he introduces his new friend to a new community. Even if his new friend ends up owing people money, makes people provide excellent service, or accidentally kills someone experiencing high tide, Spongebob always has patience, even if his friend is a bubble.
Never mess with a squirrel during hibernation season. It doesn’t matter who is Dirty Dan and who is Pinhead Larry. Don’t ever disturb a squirrel’s sleep during hibernation season.
The importance of feeling at home. We all get home sick. Just like how Sandy Cheek misses her ten gallon hats in Texas and barbecues. But in the end…”Home is where you’re surrounded by other critters that care about you.” – Sandy Cheeks.
How to be a qualified camper. Remember to never eat cheese cubes, wear hoop skirts, wave flashlights, and wear clown shoes. Squidward shows us the consequences when we forget these important things. And don’t forget to draw your anti sea-bear circle in the dirt.
Overcoming your fear of ghost stories. Spongebob taught us not to let your mind get the best of you. When the lights start flickering sporadically, it’s not really a monster like the hash-slinging slasher. It’s just Nosferatu at it again.
If you put in hard work, you can do anything. When Squidward receives a mocking call from his old schoolmate, Squilliam Fancyson, offering Squidward a chance to play at the Bubble Bowl, Squidward doesn’t turn it down. He accepts, knowing he has no band to play with, but he is committed to gather people together and work hard trying to teach people mayonnaise and horse radish are not instruments.
How to be a professional sculpturist. Spongebob teaches us, in order to be a professional sculpturist, you need to embrace the marble. You need to sniff the marble. You need to lick the marble. You need to wash the marble. You need to date the marble, and finally, you need to BE the marble.
How to embrace Grandma’s kisses. Never be ashamed of grandma’s kisses. You are never too old for cookies, story time, nappy time, and sweaters with love in every stitch.
How to handle someone stealing your idea. Whether it’s your arch rival trying to steal your secret recipe, or a brilliant idea made by one of your employees of making pretty patties, Mr. Krabs teaches us to keep to our roots and to keep doing what we’re good at.
How to prepare yourself for any obstacle. Spongebob teaches us the phrase, “I’m ready”, which he recites every time he is about to face a challenge. Spongebob never doubts himself. He is always ready for what hardships come his way in life.
How to do what you love. We all know Spongebob’s love of jellyfishing. Even Squidward’s negativity won’t bring him down. He teaches us to always do what you love, even if it is partying with jellyfish for 12 hours.
Spongebob teaches us the importance of forgiveness. “You know, if I were to die right now in some sort of fiery explosion due to the carelessness of a friend, well, that would just be okay.” – Spongebob Squarepants
Spongebob is life. It’s a part of me that will always stay with me until the end. I will never forget the times I sat down and watched Spongebob with my friends, family, or even by myself. Stephen Hillenburg was a brilliant writer who was able to bring the entire world together through his creativity—a writer’s dream. Goodbye, Stephen Hillenburg. You will be missed. Weesnaw.