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Season 9
SpongeBob SquarePants season 9
General information
No. of episodes: 26
Premiere: July 21, 2012
DVD releases
Region 1: TBA
Previous: Season 8
Next: Season 10
List of episodes

The ninth season of the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants, created by former marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States on July 21, 2012, beginning with the episodes "Extreme Spots" and "Squirrel Record." The series chronicles the exploits and adventures of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The season was executive produced by series creator Hillenburg and writer Paul Tibbitt, who also acted as the showrunner.

The season was first announced on January 3, 2011, and premiered on July 21, 2012. A total of 27 episodes were produced for the season bringing the number of episodes up to 205, passing the 200-episode milestone. This season marks the show's transition to 1080i HD by now having every episode produced and aired in widescreen (16:9), the native aspect ratio of high definition.

On September 21, 2014, Vincent Waller tweeted that production of Season 9 was haulted half way through to concentrate further on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. He states that Season 9 is now in production again.


The season aired on Nickelodeon, which is owned by Viacom, and was produced by United Plankton Pictures and Nickelodeon. The season's executive producers were series creator Stephen Hillenburg and Paul Tibbitt, who also acted as the series' showrunner.[1][2] During production of the eighth season, reported on January 3, 2011 that Nickelodeon had renewed the series for a ninth season, with 26 episodes in order, which would push the series over the 200th episode mark.[3][4][5][6][7][8] SpongeBob SquarePants became the Nickelodeon series with most episodes, surpassing Rugrats with 172 episodes, having 178 after the eighth season had complete broadcast on television.[9]

In a statement, Brown Johnson, president of animation for Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group, said "SpongeBob's success in reaching over 200 episodes is a testament to creator Stephen Hillenburg's vision, comedic sensibility and his dynamic, lovable characters. The series now joins the club of contemporary classic Nicktoons that have hit this benchmark, so we're incredibly proud."[3][10][11][12] Series creator Stephen Hillenburg executive produces the show alongside Paul Tibbitt, who has work on show since after the pilot.[3] Tibbitt served as a director and writer on for its first three seasons and eventually taking over the showrunner position from Hillenburg.[3] Tibbitt said "We never imagined we would be on for that long but we're going to keep going. The trick is to try to keep the episodes funny and simple and press from there."[3][13]

On July 21, 2012, the season premiered with the episodes "Extreme Spots" and "Squirrel Records" during a SpongeBob SquarePants television marathon event called "The Super Spongy Square Games."[14][15][16][17] The episode "Extreme Spots" was written by Luke Brookshier, Marc Ceccarelli, and Derek Iversen, while Tom Yasumi served as animation director.[18] It was guest starred by actor Johnny Knoxville.[14][15][16][17] Moreover, "Squirrel Records" was written by Brookshier, Ceccarelli and Iversen, and was directed by Alan Smart.[19] During the television event, Nickelodeon also debuted two more episodes—"Demolition Doofus" and "Face Freeze"—of the eighth season.[14][15][16][17]

Animation was handled in South Korea at Rough Draft Studios.[20][21] Production switched to high-definition in the season; the first episode "Extreme Spots," aired July 21, 2012.[22] Animation directors credited with episodes in the ninth season included Alan Smart and Tom Yasumi. Episodes were written by a team of writers, which consisted of Casey Alexander, Brookshier, Ceccarelli, Zeus Cervas, Andrew Goodman, Iversen, Mr. Lawrence, and Blake Lemons. The season was storyboarded by Alexander, Brookshier, Ceccarelli, Cervas, and Blake Lemons. Animation directors included Alan Smart and Tom Yasumi.[lower-alpha 1]

Vincent Waller has confirmed on his Twitter account that production on the show has halted halfway through its ninth season, due to working on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, but has recently resumed and will continue work on the rest of this season.[23] Also, according to an interview with Princess Grace Foundation-USA, creator Stephen Hillenburg says he will return for the show following production on the second film adaptation.[24]


Template:Multiple image The ninth season had a cast of six main actors. Tom Kenny provided the voice of the title character SpongeBob SquarePants and his pet snail Gary. SpongeBob's best friend, a starfish named Patrick Star, was voiced by Bill Fagerbakke,[25] while Rodger Bumpass played the voice of Squidward Tentacles, an arrogant and ill-tempered octopus.[26] Other members of the cast were Carolyn Lawrence as Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas;[27] Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs, a miserly crab obsessed with money and SpongeBob's boss at the Krusty Krab;[28] and Mr. Lawrence as Plankton, a small green copepod and Mr. Krabs' business rival.[29] The season had a number of secondary characters including Jill Talley as Plankton's computer wife, Karen;[30] Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff, SpongeBob's driving instructor;[31] Lori Alan as Pearl, Mr. Krabs' daughter;[32] and Brian Doyle-Murray as the Flying Dutchman.[33][34]

In addition to the regular cast members, episodes feature guest voices from many ranges of professions, including actors, musicians, and artists. For instance, the season premiere "Extreme Spots" was guest starred by American stunt performer and Jackass actor Johnny Knoxville voicing the character of Johnny Krill.[35][36] The writing staff wrote the episode specifically for Knoxville.[37] Executive producer Paul Tibbitt said, "[Nickelodeon] wanted to do a show about extreme sports and the first thing that came to mind was Johnny Knoxville, because there are few humans living that are as extreme as him." Knoxville accepted the role because he is a fan of the show.[38][39] Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway returned, reprising their respective roles as Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy in "Patrick-Man!". The episode was Borgnine's last voice-over work for the series as, on July 8, 2012, he died at the age of 95.[40] In "License to Milkshake", comedian and Spinal Tap band member Michael McKean guest starred as the voice of Captain Frostymug.[41][42] Rapper Biz Markie guest appeared as Kenny the Cat in the episode of the same name.[43]


In a DVD review for a season release, Paul Mavis of DVD Talk was positive on the episode "Extreme Spots", writing "[It] gets big laughs from some very funny bits, including a motorcycle ripping off SpongeBob's arms, and SpongeBob's pathetic attempts at 'extreme jump roping' and 'extreme pillow fighting.'"[22] However, the episode "Squirrel Record" was described by Mavis as "the weakest entry" on the set.[22]

In 2013, the episode "SpongeBob, You're Fired!" was criticized for its line that is referring to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps benefit).[44][45][46] In a scene from the episode, Patrick Star tried to show SpongeBob "the benefits of being unemployed," at which he said in response, "Unemployment may be fun for you, but I need to get a job."[44][45][46] The scene was meant to demonstrate the title character's "eternal optimism and willingness to get back to work," and "do it in a way that's still funny and relatable."[45] However, it was reported that political activists claim the "notorious line" as a "slam" to the Food Stamps benefit.[44][45][46] In a report byThe Hollywood Reporter, it stated there that the episode may have a political agenda about the social safety net.[47] It added that "It's not the first time SpongeBob has waded into social commentary, though usually when it does, it bugs the right and supports the left."[47] This incident sparked a political debate,[44][47][48][49] after the New York Post and Fox News remarked on the episode. The Media Matters for America, a politically progressive media watchdog group, responded.[47][50] According to the group, the attacking news media, both owned by News Corporation, are using the episode "to slam poor people who use social services."[50][51] In response to Fox News, Media Matters immediately posted an item titled "Right-Wing Media Use SpongeBob SquarePants' Firing To Attack Social Safety Net", arguing that the talking heads "are using the firing of fictional cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants to attack the social safety net and those who rely on it."[47][50][52] The article said "Right-wing media have a long history of attacking the social safety net. Media Matters was "also particularly bothered by [a] line from The Post story: "Lest he sit around idly, mooching off the social services of Bikini Bottom, a depressed SpongeBob sets out to return to gainful employment wherever he can find it," reporter Andrea Morabito wrote. "No spoilers -- but it's safe to say that our hero doesn't end up on food stamps, as his patty-making skills turn out to be in high demand."[47][47][50] Furthermore, the coverage from Fox News prompted civil rights activist, and talk show host Al Sharpton of MSNBC to "stick up for poor Americans."[53][54][55] Sharpton remarked in the October 31 episode of PoliticsNation, "The right-wingers found a new hero in its war against the poor [...] SpongeBob SquarePants. That's right. SpongeBob SquarePants [...] So a sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea doesn't need government help. That means no one does?"[53][54][55]

Nickelodeon declined to comment on the issue caused by the message of the episode.[55] However, Russell Hicks of Nickelodeon said the show is "tapping into the news of the moment, but did not specifically address any political leanings or ideologies within the episode."[46] In a statement, Hicks said "Like all really great cartoons, part of SpongeBob's long-running success has been its ability to tap into the zeitgeist while still being really funny for our audience. As always, despite this momentary setback, SpongeBob's eternal optimism prevails, which is always a great message for everyone."[46]

The episode "Gary's New Toy" received a nomination at the 2013 Golden Reel Awards for the Best Sound Editing - Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in Television category.[56] The show itself received several recognition. At the 40th Daytime Emmy Awards, the series was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Animation.[57] The show won the 2013 Kids' Choice Awards for Favorite Cartoon.[58] It also won the ASCAP Film and Television Awards for Top Television Series.[59] At the BMI Film & TV Awards, the show won the BMI Cable Award.[60] Sarah Noonan was nominated at the Artios Awards of the Casting Society of America for her work.[61]


Title card # Title Airdate U.S. viewers (millions)
179a "Extreme Spots" July 21, 2012
SpongeBob and Patrick are dying to join Johnny Krill's extreme sports team.
179b "Squirrel Record" July 21, 2012
Sandy tries to break a number of world records.
180a "Patrick-Man!" October 27, 2012
Patrick becomes a superhero and plans to clean up Bikini Bottom.
180b "Gary's New Toy" October 14, 2012
SpongeBob must take drastic measures when Gary becomes obsessed with his new red ball.
181a "License to Milkshake" September 7, 2012
SpongeBob returns to the Milkshake Academy after discovering his milk-shake license has expired.
181b "Squid Baby" September 3, 2012
A head injury makes Squidward think he's a baby, and SpongeBob and Patrick must look after him.
182a "Little Yellow Book" March 2, 2013
Squidward finds SpongeBob's diary, and reads in front of everyone in the Krusty Krab.
182b "Bumper to Bumper" November 17, 2012
Mrs. Puff tries a new method to try and get SpongeBob to pass his boating test.
183a "Eek, an Urchin!" October 27, 2012
The Krusty Krab Crew has a problem on their hands when SpongeBob finds an urchin.
183b "Squid Defense" January 1, 2013
After Squidward's groceries are stolen, SpongeBob and Sandy teach him karate to protect himself.
184a "Jailbreak!" March 16, 2013
Plankton is in jail, but he teams up with his cellmates to break out, and steal the Krabby Patty formula.
184b "Evil Spatula" March 9, 2013
Plankton gives SpongeBob a new spatula, and SpongeBob starts to believe that it's magic.
It Came From Goo Lagoon
185 "It Came from Goo Lagoon" February 17, 2014
A giant mucus bubble has formed over Goo Lagoon, scaring Bikini Bottom!
Safe Deposit Krabs
186a "Safe Deposit Krabs" May 25, 2013
Mr. Krabs gets trapped in Bikini Bottom's new bank. It's going to be up to SpongeBob and Patrick to save him.
186b "Plankton's Pet" January 19, 2013
After another failed attempt for the formula, Plankton decides that he wants a pet to help him.
Don't Look Now Titlecard
187a "Don't Look Now" October 14, 2013
SpongeBob and Patrick watch a horror movie, and become convinced that the villain of the movie is after them.
Seance Shmeance Titlecard
187b "Séance Shméance" October 14, 2013
SpongeBob attempts to make contact with the holy Sandwich Spirits in order to uncover a long lost sandwich recipe.
Kenny the cat
188a "Kenny the Cat" March 29, 2014
SpongeBob looks up to a new celebrity: Kenny the Cat, a cat who can hold his breath for a great amount of time.
Yeti krabs
188b "Yeti Krabs" March 29, 2015
When Squidward stops doing his work at the Krusty Krab, Mr. Krabs tells a scary story about a Yeti Krab that eats lazy employees, that SpongeBob takes seriously, causing him to work in overdrive.
Spongebob you fired
189 "SpongeBob You're Fired" November 11, 2013
When Mr. Krabs fires SpongeBob to save money, SpongeBob must find other work, at other restaurants.


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Start a Discussion Discussions about List of season 9 episodes

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