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SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures and endeavors of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series' popularity has made it a media franchise, as well as the highest rated series to ever air on Nickelodeon, and the most distributed property of MTV Networks. The media franchise has generated $8 billion in merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon.
The series revolves around its title character and his various friends. SpongeBob SquarePants is an energetic and optimistic sea sponge (although his appearance more closely resembles a kitchen sponge) who lives in a sea pineapple and loves his job as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab. He has a pet snail, Gary, who meows like a cat. Living two houses down from SpongeBob is his best friend Patrick Star, a dim-witted yet friendly pink starfish who lives under a rock. Despite his "mental setbacks", Patrick still sees himself as intelligent. Squidward Tentacles is SpongeBob's next-door neighbor and co-worker at the Krusty Krab. Squidward is an arrogant and ill-tempered octopus who lives in an Easter Island moai and dislikes his neighbors (especially SpongeBob) for their childlike behavior. He enjoys playing the clarinet and painting self-portraits, but hates his job as a cashier.
Another close friend of SpongeBob is Sandy Cheeks, a squirrel from Texas. She is a scientist and an expert in karate. She lives in an underwater tree dome (a tree Sandy brought with her that is entrapped in a clear glass dome locked by a tight, hand-turned seal). When outside of her dwelling, she wears an astronaut-like suit because she cannot breathe underwater. Mr. Krabs, a miserly crab obsessed with money, is the owner of the Krusty Krab restaurant and SpongeBob's boss. His rival, Plankton, is a small green copepod who owns a low-rank fast-food restaurant called the Chum Bucket, located across the street from the Krusty Krab. Plankton spends most of his time planning to steal the secret recipe for Mr. Krabs' popular Krabby Patty burgers, so as to gain the upper hand and put the Krusty Krab out of business.
Other recurring characters appear throughout the series, such as SpongeBob's ever-suffering driving teacher Mrs. Puff, Mr. Krabs' whiney teenage whale daughter Pearl, Plankton's intelligent yet sarcastic computer wife Karen, the muscular lifeguard of Goo Lagoon, Larry the Lobster; a pirate specter known as The Flying Dutchman; and retired superheroes Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, who are idolized by SpongeBob and Patrick.