'SpongeBob SquarePants' Is 20 Years Old, but Viewers Still Question the Character's Gender

After 20 years, viewers are still questioning the gender of the popular TV character SpongeBob SquarePants. Find out if SpongeBob is male or female!

Samantha Faragalli Younghans - Author

Apr. 16 2020, Updated 1:43 p.m. ET

spongebob squarepants
Source: iStock

The animated series SpongeBob SquarePants first hit our television screens back in 1999, and although it's been 20 years since the show first premiered, viewers are still obsessed with the show's protagonist, SpongeBob SquarePants. But even though they've been watching for two decades, the popular TV character's gender always comes into question.

So, what gender is SpongeBob SquarePants? Scroll down to learn the answer once and for all!

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What gender is SpongeBob SquarePants?

So it turns out, SpongeBob SquarePants is a male, not a female. He is voiced by comedian Tom Kenny and has been for the entire show.

The character's creator, Stephen Hillenburg, created SpongeBob with the personalities of male comedy duo Laurel and Hardy and male comic fictional character Pee-wee Herman in mind, so it makes sense that he's a male.

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So, why are people questioning his gender? It can be argued that SpongeBob's look has defied the gender "norm" of a male. Instead of being a big, masculine, muscular character, SpongeBob is instead skinny, scrawny, and really sensitive.

Despite that, though, SpongeBob is still a male-dominated show. The other male characters in SpongeBob SquarePants include Squidward, Patrick Star, Mr. Krabs, and Plankton, while the predominant female characters include Pearl Krabs, Sandy Cheeks, and Karen.

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Source: Instagram

Is SpongeBob SquarePants gay?

While fans have questioned the sexuality of SpongeBob for years, whether or not he's gay has never been confirmed or denied.

"It’s never been addressed by us on the show," Tom Kenny shared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien back in 2002. "All the main characters are hiding horrible secrets of their own."

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Creator Stephen once said: "I always think of [the characters] as being somewhat asexual."

But he made it clear that he understands why the long-running cartoon may attract the gay community. "I do think that the attitude of the show is about tolerance. Everybody is different, and the show embraces that. No one is shut out," he previously shared.

Is SpongeBob SquarePants still on TV?

Yes! Believe it or not, after 20 years, SpongeBob SquarePants is still airing brand new episodes for its loyal fans. 

The popular series is currently in its 12th season, and will resume with episode 11 of Season 12 on Nov. 23.

In total, there have been 11 full seasons and more than 250 episodes of the show from 1999 until today. Unfortunately, Season 12 was the last season that Stephen was involved with before his November 2018 death from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Where can I watch SpongeBob SquarePants?

To watch new episodes of SpongeBob Squarepants, you can catch the series on Nickelodeon. In July, the show was even renewed for a 13-episode-long 13th season!

To watch reruns of the show in time for the rest of Season 12 and start of Season 13, head to Nick.com, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, or Vudu. 

No matter how old we get, we will always love to watch SpongeBob SquarePants. Are you ready, kids (or adults, in our case)? Aye-aye captain!

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