The Spongebob Squarepants cartoon has long been considered fertile ground for meme creators. It combines childhood nostalgia with a versatile and an expressive protagonist who has a face for every situation. The meme, born in 2017, still gets deployed by people who find occasion for online mockery. So what is the “Mocking Spongebob” meme, exactly?
What is Mocking Spongebob?
The Mocking Spongebob meme (also known as Spongemock) features the beloved cartoon character wearing a sarcastic expression, and it’s combined with MiXed cApiTaliZation tO inDiCatE a MoCkinG TonE. It can be used as a juvenile response to almost anything. Even itself.
The original screengrab comes from the season 7 Spongebob episode “Little Yellow Book,” where it’s revealed that Spongebob clucks like a chicken whenever he sees a plaid pattern. The “Mocking Spongebob” face is actually Spongebob doing his involuntary chicken impression.
But it’s been repurposed, and now it can be used to insult anyone by repeating what they just said. Just make sure to alternate capitals and lower case letters to convey the proper sarcastic, demeaning tone.
While some said Mocking Spongebob is “the absolute most trash meme of 2k17,” others were right in saying it has huge potential and major staying power. On Reddit’s meme economy subreddit, where people treat memes as a stock market and debate their relative value, speculators hollered “BUY THIS IMMEDIATELY!” (Buying a meme, in this context, means saving any good examples you find, as well as creating new ones to contribute to the meme’s spread.)
Previous Spongebob Squarepants memes, including Confused Mr. Krabs, Caveman Spongebob, and Spongebob History, have shown impressive longevity and worked themselves into the meme canon. And Mocking Spongebob fills some of the most important roles in social media: getting in arguments and complaining about things.
By May 2017, it got translated to public art.
That same month, someone floated the idea of a bot that transformed then-President Donald Trump’s into the mixed-case format essential to Spongemock.
Days later, the link between Mocking Spongebob and President Trump grew stronger with this remix, which became a meme of its own.
There’s a meme generator available with the option of overlaying text on the image, though you do have to do the work of alternating capital and small letters.