People love making up their own fan theories about their favorite show, especially the cartoons they watched during childhood. While most don’t get much further from fan blogs or chatrooms, some manage to reach those involved with the show. For SpongeBob SquarePants, fans often theorized if the character was gay and a new tweet from Nickelodeon seemingly backs up many’s theory. SpongeBob is a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
This past weekend, Nickelodeon posted a tweet to celebrate Pride Month. In it, they included photos of the network’s characters and actors that identified as part of the LGBTQ+ community.
The tweet features The Legend of Korra‘s Avatar Korra, who is bisexual, and Henry Danger actor Michael D. Cohen, who is transgender. SpongeBob’s inclusion is what made the tweet go viral.
For years, fans have been theorizing about the beloved character’s sexuality. Using his close relationship with Patrick Star, fans looked for pieces of evidence to confirm their theory. Then with this new tweet, the theory was revived as #SpongebobIsGay began to trend on Twitter, among hashtags related to Black Lives Matter protests and coronavirus.
SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg commented on the theories in 2005.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with what we’re trying to do,” Hillenburg stated, as reported by People. “We never intended them to be gay. I consider them to be almost asexual. We’re just trying to be funny and this has got nothing to do with the show.”
Hillenburg passed away in 2018 due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Nickelodeon has yet to comment any further on their tweet or the ongoing debate.