Nickelodeon to Celebrate 'SpongeBob SquarePants' 20th Anniversary With "Best Year Ever" Tribute Event

Everyone's favorite yellow sponge is nearing a pretty prolific milestone, and it looks like Nickelodeon will be pulling out all of the stops for it.

On Tuesday, the network announced their "Best Year Ever" event, which will celebrate 20 years of SpongeBob Squarepants. The event will kick off on July 12th with a televised special called "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout", and will culminate with the summer 2020 release of the franchise's newest movie, The SpongeBob Movie: It's a Wonderful Sponge.

"The tiny residents of Bikini Bottom have held the world's attention for a remarkable 20 years and we owe it all to the monumental creator Stephen Hillenburg," Ramsey Naito, EVP, Animation Production and Development, Nickelodeon, said in a statement. "This anniversary special is a love letter to everyone in the universe of SpongeBob, from the fans across the globe to the incredible creative team, crew and talent who continue to bring these great characters to life."

"SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout" will mark a new creative venture for the franchise, as it will feature the show's principal cast members playing live-action doppelganger versions of the characters they voice. In the one-hour special, Patrick and SpongeBob journey to the surface world, where they come across a few familiar characters during lunchtime rush at The Trusty Slab restaurant. Meanwhile, the Bikini Bottom residents set up a surprise party for SpongeBob.

Tom Kenny (SpongeBob), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy) and Mr. Lawrence (Plankton) are all expected to make an appearance.

Outside of the anniversary special, the "Best Year Ever" event will feature some new episodes for the series, with plots that include SpongeBob closing the gap in his teeth and his personality changing, SpongeBob becoming boss for the day at the Krusty Krab, and Plankton and Karen (somehow) having a baby.

Nickelodeon also will be partnering with Alpha Group to bring about new toys, collectibles, plush, and novelties. These will include a "Masterpiece Meme" line of vinyl figures, which will honor Mocking SpongeBob, Imagination SpongeBob, Surprised Patrick, SpongeGar, and Handsome Squidward. The toys from Alpha Group will also include figures that incorporate Nickelodeon's iconic green Slime.

Outside of toys, the year will bring new SpongeBob-themed consumer goods, including the first-ever range of SpongeBob cosmetics. The lifestyle brand Cynthia Rowley will also feature a SpongeBob wetsuit in their New York Fashion Week runway show, and international artist Romero Britto will be launching a SpongeBob pop-up art installation throughout the U.S.

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Nickelodeon will also debut a global SpongeBob Squarepants YouTube channel, which will feature iconic moments and new content. This will include the short-form series "Bikini Bottom Mysteries", which explores the secrets, scandals, and unsolved mysteries of the show's universe. A new global mobile game is expected to be launched as well, which will allow fans to experience being a fry cook in Bikini Bottom.

spongebob squarepants 20th anniversary best year ever
(Photo: Nickelodeon)

Are you excited to see Nickelodeon celebrating the "Best Year Ever" with SpongeBob Squarepants? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!