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Spongebob’s Birthday Blowout Review!

This post’s dedicated to the legendary Tom Kenny on his 57th birthday, the cast and crew of Spongebob, and to the late Stephen Hillenberg. Thank you for twenty years of absorbent, yellow, and porous fun. Happy birthday Spongebob and Tom!

This year, one of the greatest cartoons of all time reached a historic milestone. That’s right, mateys: Spongebob Squarepants celebrates his twentieth birthday! If you’ve seen some of my posts in the past, you know how much Spongebob means to me. So when I heard that Nickelodeon planned to celebrate their favorite show with a birthday special, I had to watch it and say happy birthday, Spongebob!

Considering that it premiered on the night before Tom Kenny’s actual birthday, the timing makes perfect sense.

Quick Synopsis

It’s Spongebob’s birthday in Bikini Bottom and all his friend’s team up to make it his best birthday ever. Patrick takes Spongebob on a sightseeing tour to celebrate, but not just any trip. They go on a bus tour to a place that Spongebob’s only been to twice: THE SURFACE!

It’s all part of Sandy’s plan to get Spongebob out of the house so she and all his friends can decorate it for a surprise party. The hardest part was getting Patrick to understand the plan.

“I’m gonna collect all the pretty eggs that I can see and repeat it back to me.”


I still remember the special that Nickelodeon made for Spongebob’s 10th anniversary, “Truth or Square.” That was a lackluster special, and I honestly remember little of it. So I was skeptical about this special. I’m pleased to say that, as the title indicates, this special’s a love letter to what’s made Spongebob one of the greatest cartoons of all time. From the cameos to the Easter eggs and callbacks, this episode has everything a longtime fan of the show could ask for. Heck, let’s start with me counting out all the cameos I could find.


Let’s take a little sightseeing tour down memory lane. As the 20th anniversary special, we got a lot of cameos from the show’s long and colorful history.

The French Narrator, AKA “Frenchy,” appears in his scuba gear. I didn’t know they made him an onscreen character so I thought he was that Shell City “Cyclops” from The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.

Speaking of the Spongebob Squarepants Movie, next we have the heroic lifeguard himself, David Hasselhoff!

Spongebob’s surprise party includes several characters from the show’s long history, but two stood out to me the most. First, we have Princess Mindy. You may remember her as Neptune’s daughter from the Spongebob Squarepants Movie. The second is Fred, the “My Leg!” guy. He’s so popular that he ended up getting an entire episode dedicated to him, which seems like a dream come true.

Spongebob Live-Action Cast

The most prominent cameo of the special, though, comes during Spongebob’s trip to the surface when they visit a restaurant called the Trusty Slab. The voice actor’s for Spongebob play their characters in live-action form, with the voices and everything. It was AWESOME! Watch the likes of Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, and Tom Kenny play their long-running roles live, and in-character was indeed a meta-joke to behold. It’s one of the big highlights of the entire special.

Thank You Spongebob and Steve

The other big moment for the special for me comes in the closing minutes when Spongebob gets a surprise gift from none other than Patchy the Pirate. Patchy’s always been Spongebob’s biggest fan and has longed to meet him in real life. While he failed in the 10th anniversary, I’m thrilled to say that he finally got his wish. He then led the entire cast in singing “Happy Birthday, Spongebob!” to the tune of the theme song.

The cherry on top is that the last scene is a simple message:

Thank you, Steve Hillenberg.

It’s the perfect tribute to the late creator of Spongebob, who you may remember died on November 2018 from ALS. This moment, more than anything brought tears to my eyes. Tears for all the joy that Spongebob has given kids over the years, and sadness that Steve couldn’t live to see his creation reach the big 2-0.

Seeing that simple “thank you” to Hillenberg re-affirmed what I thought when watching this special: it’s a love letter to everything that Stephen Hillenberg created. He may be gone, but he left behind something that will stand the test of time. Spongebob’s earned his place as one of the most famous animated characters of all time, standing alongside the greats like Goku, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and others.

Growing up, my parents couldn’t understand what’s so appealing about Spongebob. They saw it as silly and pointless, and they’re right, to an extent. I would say that that’s what a lot of cartoons should be, though. When I look at Spongebob, though, I don’t see a hyperactive man-child: I see someone who’s not afraid to be himself, even if people call him a “goofy goober” for it. I see someone who always tries to see the best in the world and the people in it; that’s something this world sorely needs. If we had more people as lovely as Spongebob, I think the world would be a better place.

Happy Birthday Spongebob

What I’m trying to say is that this unique show us what make’s Spongebob so great. It has all the humor and jokes we expect from Spongebob, but it also got all its heart and love. It’s everything that we could want from Spongebob Squarepants, and I wish we got this ten years ago. If you’re a fan of Spongebob, then I’m telling you to see this special. Happy birthday, Spongebob, and happy birthday, Tom Kenny. Thanks for twenty years of laughter.

I Give Spongebob’s Birthday Blowout a 4.8/5.

Click here to see this birthday tribute to Spongebob

Click here to see my other animation stuff.

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