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It's hard to imagine popular culture without "SpongeBob SquarePants." This prolific television series is the fifth-longest running animated series of all time and the most popular series on Nickelodeon—by a long shot. The show was created by Stephen Hillenburg, who started off teaching marine biology and wrote an informative picture book about tide-pool animals called "The Intertidal Zone." He later switched gears to animation and began working at Nickelodeon, where he'd soon pitch the early concept for "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Hillenburg began developing the series in 1996 and was prepared to walk away from the series forever when network executives pushed to make SpongeBob a child in school. Hillenburg wanted the character as an adult and they eventually compromised with the creation of Mrs. Puff and her boating school. Lucky for us, that compromise was made and the series debuted on May 1st, 1999.

The show has aired continuously since then, resulting in 13 seasons and 274 episodes. There have also been three feature films: "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie" (2004), "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water" (2015) and "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run" (2020). We also now have two spin-off series on Paramount+, a prequel series "Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years" and "The Patrick Star Show." There are also four films in the works—three character spin-off films for Paramount+ and a film for theatrical release.

In honor of the ever expanding legacy of "SpongeBob SquarePants," take a look at 100 of our favorite tattoos inspired by the legendary characters in the gallery below. Then let us know your favorite character from this universe in the comments section on social media.