“In a pineapple submerged in the ocean, who lives?” Who hasn’t heard this funny opening line before? You want to say those two short words, I know it. Go ahead; scream it, “It’s SpongeBob SquarePants!” Due to his fervent optimism and extreme annoyance, everyone’s favorite sea dwelling cartoon character is well known throughout the majority of the nation and a sizable portion of the world. As of July 2009, the nation has been swept up in SpongeBob fever for ten years, and when it will end is anyone’s guess. SpongeBob SquarePants is the biggest cartoon to ever come from Nickelodeon, overcoming all competitors, including dare I say, “Ren and Stimpy”? It’s understandable why he always has a bucktoothed grin affixed to his rosy-cheeked face, and this year, numerous celebrations have been planned to mark this important milestone.

This year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah hosted a live recording of a SpongeBob episode to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversary. In April, there was a special episode with Johnny Depp’s voice as JKL, a well-known but enigmatic surfer dude from whom SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidworth needed to learn how to surf in order to get home. At some point in 2009, MTV will air the first full-length SpongeBob documentary. To say the least there will more than likely be plenty of people dressing up in giant, yellow costumes or doctoring up SpongeBob cartoons on official Nickelodeon business or to try to take advantage of this year’s historical events and take their place in “YouTube Stardom” by posting a bunch of craziness online. However, viewers should exercise caution because you never know how offensive such video posts will be. (Yikes!)

Naturally, this implies that SpongeBob is now accessible through every conceivable medium as a result of his fame and popularity. You can watch SpongeBob in his DVD movie, watch one of your favorite original cartoon episodes at home, and purchase his toys and memorabilia (Woo Hoo! Coloring Books! ), visit his theme park with your family, browse his cool downloads and blogs, play SpongeBob songs on the Rock Band DLC, play any of the SpongeBob video games on your preferred console (including LeapFrog for the little one), and of course play them online.

The most prevalent and diverse SpongeBob games are those that can be played online. Before your gas runs out, you can navigate musical mazes, tickle SpongeBob with a pink feather duster across the geyser-infested ocean floor, make enormous snowballs, or select a character and engage in combat in a 2-D arena. Additionally, there are games that mimic other well-known online and console games by using SpongeBob themes and Bikini Bottom settings in place of the original themes and settings. Whatever SpongeBob game you select, you can count on it to feature easy game play for players of all ages, vibrant underwater graphics, and cameos from your favorite SpongeBob characters like Patrick, Gary, and Sandy Cheeks.

Therefore, SpongeBob games appear to be the best way to variety and cheap, senseless fun for the whole family, whether you want to unwind, compete, beat your best score, annoy yourself, or simply pass some time on the internet. Who knows what the next ten years will hold for the millions of SpongeBob fans around the world, but I’m confident that we will see a lot more of this spongy square-like icon in a lot more episodes, silly videogames, full-length films and documentaries, amusement park rides, and coloring books. Long live SpongeBob SquarePants and the madness!

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