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In memory of 'SpongeBob' creator Stephen Hillenburg, an appreciation of the most underrated characters

In memory of 'SpongeBob' creator Stephen Hillenburg, an appreciation of the most underrated characters
Nickelodeon's cartoon star SpongeBob SquarePants (HANDOUT / Knight Ridder Tribune)

“I’m ready!” — SpongeBob SquarePants

“Good morning, Krusty crew!” — Patrick Star

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“Meow!” — Gary the Snail

These catchphrases delighted generations of kids and families alike on the hit Nickelodeon show “SpongeBob SquarePants.” As the world says goodbye to its creator, Stephen Hillenburg, who died Monday after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), The Times takes a look back at the characters he created who brought to life the world of Bikini Bottom.

With three feature films, a Broadway musical and beyond, the main players in this underwater community like Plankton and Squidward became household names. But die-hard fans know that the joy of this show was in the detail. From the one-episode cameos to running gags, here are more than a dozen of the most underrated “SpongeBob” characters.

Painty the Pirate

The “My leg!” guy

Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy

The French narrator

Kevin the Cucumber

The Chocolate Guy

Grandma SquarePants

Scooter

Alaskan Bull Worm

Bubble Buddy

Trout News Anchor

Man Ray

The Flying Dutchman

Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen

Flats the Flounder

Squilliam Fancyson

Bubble Bass

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