Confessions of a Grown-Up SpongeBob Fan

I’m a 40-year-old SpongeBob SquarePants fan.

The signs: I watch SpongeBob with my kids in lieu of taking them to the playground, reading to them, feeding them, or adequately sheltering them. I have several SpongeBob plush toys in my house. I can do a Squidward impression that makes my kids howl, and a decent enough Patrick (to a 10-year-old’s ears anyway). Sometimes, while channel-surfing, I’ll stop and watch SpongeBob, all by myself.

In short, I like the show. Just somebody kill that live action pirate, will you? He’s like kryptonite to grownups.

I’m probably not the only non-kid, non-college student SpongeBob fan, but it does feel a little weird, given my age and the show's typical fan base. It's not like I also tape iCarly.

I actually worked for Nickelodeon around the time SpongeBob was being pitched in 1999. At the time, it sounded very odd (pants-wearing sponge boy and all), but certainly no more so than CatDog. At least no one asks how SpongeBob uses the bathroom.

My favorite animated show during my tenure at Nickelodeon was probably Rocko’s Modern Life, which paved the way for SpongeBob, or at least serves as the evolutionary link between Ren & Stimpy and SpongeBob. Rocko not only had SpongeBob’s adult innuendos, crude humor, and twisted reality, but also SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg as a producer, writer and artist. That’s who I want to be when I grow up.

You may think that SpongeBob will live forever, just like The Simpsons and Sean Connery, but in the old orange halls we used to say the same thing about Rugrats. So enjoy Bikini Bottom and its deep-diving denizens while you can, even if you have to say you’re just "keeping the kids company."

What kids' show do you secretly love? Chime in below!

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