If you’re on the internet often, you’ve probably seen it.
Whether you think it’s particularly funny, the “mocking Spongebob” meme is extremely popular. It is, of course, fairly stupid—after all, it’s an internet meme—but it’s currently the go-to response for mocking an opposing point of view. Usually, whoever posts it will also re-post another comment with random letters capitalized (UsUaLLy LiKe ThIs).
The meme comes from a Nov. 12,
2012 episode of “Spongebob Squarepants.”
In the episode, several characters discover Spongebob’s diary, which reveals that Spongebob acts like a chicken whenever he sees plaid. Yes, it’s very stupid. Here’s the clip in question.
So, how did this turn into a meme? Well, someone took a screengrab of Spongebob as a chicken, then presented it in a mocking manner. In the actual episode, Spongebob doesn’t mock anyone, so the screengrab is completely out of context. That’s it—there’s no other “secret,” so if you think that this is a stupid meme, we’re probably not going to convince you otherwise.
Thanks to the good folk at KnowYourMeme, we’ve got a pretty good idea of who started this trend. On May 4, 2017, a Twitter user named dennis. posted this:
This isn’t the first time that “Spongebob Squarepants” created a meme.
KnowYourMeme lists 18 distinct Spongebob memes, including the formerly ubiquitous “Nobody Cares,” pictured below, which you’ve probably seen before. It was so popular that Kanye West even used it in his Twitter battle with Jimmy Kimmel, although West’s memes were a little too vulgar to post here.
Because Spongebob Squarepants has been on the air for 18 years, many internet denizens grew up with the show, so we can certainly understand why the memes from the show keep becoming popular.
Still, “Mocking Spongebob” has to be one of the most stupid, most annoying memes of all time, Spongebob-related or otherwise. That might be the point (if there is anything close to a point here). It’s exclusively used to mock arguments without providing a rebuttal, so if you’re annoyed by it, it did its job.
The good news is that Internet memes come and go fairly quickly. Within a few months, the “Mocking Spongebob” should go the way of LOLcats, Rick Astley, and every other meme from Internet culture. It’ll gradually disappear, and something newer and dumber will take its place.
In the meantime, if you think it’s funny, try to enjoy it—and if you think that it’s pretty much the dumbest meme ever, just be patient.