From the moment SpongeBoob SquarePants first hit Nickelodeon in 1999, the absorbent, yellow, and porous sea sponge captured the hearts of kids (and their parents). The pineapple-dwelling, perpetually-optimistic fast-food worker has remained a beloved part of popular culture more than 20 years later — so much so, in fact, that there's a whole SpongeBob cult that's popped up via TikTok.
Keep reading to learn more about the peculiar trend.
What is the SpongeBob cult on TikTok?
If you're not familiar with the term "cult" on TikTok, don't worry: It's not an actual religious cult. (And there are no goat sacrifices, Satanic worshipping, or anything of that sort, either.) Rather, a cult on TikTok is just a group of people who are interested in the same thing — so they decide to try to "take over" the social media app with the special interest.
This is typically accomplished by flooding TikTok with posts related to that topic, as well as users changing their profile photo to the same photo. In other words, TikTok cults are pretty harmless — and they're mostly just annoying to those who are not part of them.
In order to join the SpongeBob cult on TikTok, simply change your profile photo to an image of a SpongeBob popsicle and consider making a video spreading the message for others to join, too.
Considering all of the disturbing crap/dangerous "challenges" that are out there on social media today, the SpongeBob cult is actually pretty darn wholesome.
Wait, but why are SpongeBob Popsicles taking over TikTok?
It's not clear, exactly, how the SpongeBob cult on TikTok got its start. However, it appears the trend could be a response to a story about a 4-year-old boy named Noah Ruiz who purchased 51 boxes of SpongeBob Popsicles on his mother Jennifer Bryant's Amazon Prime account without permission.
"He kept saying the number '51.'" Jennifer told CNN of her son, who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). "All day he was walking around saying '51, 51.'"
Yep. Noah blew through $2,618 of his mom's money in order to buy 918 of the popsicles while he was supposed to be doing remote schooling — as his family soon found out when three "huge boxes, each weighing 70 pounds" were delivered.
Frustratingly, Amazon refused to refund the order because they were purchased from a third-party vendor — which meant the Ruiz family was stuck with the SpongeBob Popsicles. (Most of them ended up melting because they didn't have enough freezer space.)
A friend set up a GoFundMe campaign for Jennifer, and in the span of a day, it earned enough money to completely take care of the enormous Popsicle bill. (Whew!)
Another part of the SpongeBob cult on TikTok includes videos of people opening SpongeBob Popsicles and mocking how messed up the eye placement/design is on their frozen treat. Or in some cases, users are marveling over how uncharacteristically perfect their SpongeBob Popsicle is.