Amid the musical stylings of Maroon 5, Travis Scott and Big Boi at the world’s most-watched concert during the Super Bowl halftime show, it was SpongeBob SquarePants that had people talking.
It just wasn’t in a good way.
Rumors swirled for months that the iconic song, “Sweet Victory” would be incorporated into the halftime show, and that cameo was all-but confirmed ahead of Sunday’s game.
Yet during the halftime show itself, SpongeBob fans everywhere were left disappointed.
A clip from the 2001 episode “Band Geeks” was briefly played during the show before it quickly transitioned into Scott’s “Sicko Mode.” That was it.
They never played “Sweet Victory.” SpongeBob was on the screen for a total of 15 seconds at most. The scene from the very beginning of the song, when the horns play, briefly was played before it started crossing over into Sicko Mode.
Spongebob tribute during the Super Bowl halftime show pic.twitter.com/zl2RT7Vw79
— △⃒⃘ (@ItsPaoloni) February 4, 2019
For SpongeBob fans everywhere, the performance was extremely disappointing — and they made their feelings known on Twitter, too.
so they showed a couple of seconds of SpongeBob, but they didn't play Sweet Victory? pic.twitter.com/cv8Sdf7l7x
— SB Nation (@SBNation) February 4, 2019
they really showed us all spongebob and then didn’t play sweet victory pic.twitter.com/8ELYbXZkSG
— NC 👑🎄 (@NCommentarys) February 4, 2019
So disappointed there was no "sweet victory" song my SpongeBob at halftime of SB 50. Got robbed.
— JeffGSpursZone (@JeffGSpursZone) February 4, 2019
How you gonna show Spongebob for two seconds and not do a Sweet Victory halftime tribute smh bunch of haters pic.twitter.com/fkPKDQrzYz
— Ashley Zlatopolsky (@ashley_detroit) February 4, 2019
— Dave Blezard (@DaveBlezard) February 4, 2019
Live look at everyone who wanted more than two seconds of SpongeBob at the halftime show pic.twitter.com/qwIUxJMNxk
— SI Extra Mustard (@SI_ExtraMustard) February 4, 2019
— Lauri TheDreamExpert (@LauriLoewenberg) February 4, 2019
It appears that Squilliam Fancyson got the last laugh at the Bubble Bowl after all.
Where SpongeBob’s ‘Sweet Victory’ originated from
The song “Sweet Victory” comes from one of the most iconic episodes of “SpongeBob SquarePants.” In the 2001 episode “Band Geeks,” SpongeBob’s neighbor Squidward is roped into having to put together a band to play the halftime show at the fictional “Bubble Bowl” by his old rival Squilliam Fancyson.
Squidward recruits the denizens of Bikini Bottom, including all of the cartoon’s recognizable characters, into the band. Rehearsal for the show is a comical disaster (“No Patrick, mayonnaise is not an instrument”), and Squidward abandons all hope. SpongeBob, sensing Squidward’s distress, inspires the band to come together and drop this classic:
Few moments better capture the joy, heart and outright silliness that made “SpongeBob SquarePants” one of the most successful children’s shows ever.
Why SpongeBob was on people’s minds for this Super Bowl
The creator of the show, Stephen Hillenburg, died in November due to ALS, which he was diagnosed with in March of the previous year. He was 57.
More than 1.2 million fans signed a petition for the song to be performed at Super Bowl LIII halftime show in Hillenburg’s honor, and it soon became clear that the right people were listening to their demands. The Twitter account of Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the venue of the show, tweeted a GIF of SpongeBob dancing in “Band Geeks” in December and Maroon 5 even included a brief clip of SpongeBob in a preview video.
Video of a certain clip being played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium eventually leaked out in the week leading up to the Super Bowl and soon, fans had a very good idea of what was about to go down on Sunday.
Having Maroon 5 actually play “Sweet Victory” would have saved what turned out to be a pretty rough halftime show. Instead, we’re just left wondering what could have been.
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