Death Of A Legend

Remembering Stephen Hillenburg’s Legacy


On November 27, Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the beloved cartoon Spongebob Squarepants passed away. Fans were aware his time was limited as he had been diagnosed with ALS, a disease that slowly shuts down nervous system of the victim. His death still came as a shock to fans who did not expect the disease to progress so rapidly.

The cultural impact of Spongebob is impossible to overstate. It has entertained people of all ages from its conception in 1999 to modern day, whether through watching the show or laughing at memes generated form it. In 2004, the first movie based on the show hit theaters. On a budget of 30 million dollars, it grossed 140 million dollars at the box office. The second movie, released in 2015, saw similar success.

It is widely accepted that the show went downhill after his departure from Nickelodeon in 2004. Fans also widely agree that the first three seasons were the golden age. The majority of quotes and memes come from these first 120 episodes. They love the show nonetheless, hoping it will someday improve to it’s former glory. With the creator’s passing, it appears that it will likely remain at it’s current state, to the dismay of long time fans.

In order to honor Stephen fans took to Twitter and Youtube, posting image and video tributes to each platform respectively. Nickelodeon released a brief statement as well, echoing the sentiments of other users.

Stephen Hillenburg may no longer be alive, but his legacy will live on forever in the hearts of fans. Their countless tributes are living proof of this. They may never have personally known the man, but his show had a profound impact on millions.