Where was 'Sweet Victory?' Brief SpongeBob SquarePants appearance at Super Bowl halftime show disappoints

Jack Baer
·Writer


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.

For SpongeBob fans everywhere, the performance was extremely disappointing — and they made their feelings known on Twitter, too.

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.

SpongeBob SquarePants’ brief Super Bowl appearance left fans of the show incredibly disappointed. (AP/Mark Humphrey)
SpongeBob SquarePants’ brief Super Bowl appearance left fans of the show incredibly disappointed. (AP/Mark Humphrey)

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