SpongeBob Squarepants. What do we know about him? He lives in a pineapple, but then again, who doesn’t? Said pineapple happens to be under the sea. Odd, but half the world’s real estate will be sub-aquatic in another thirty years. He’s absorbent, yellow and porous. A friend to starfish, a hindrance to squids, a platonic male friend to Texan rodents.
But what are his labor politics? Would our favorite underwater invertebrate be in support of the SAG/WGA strikes? Would he line up to picket outside Warner Brothers or his parent company of Paramount? Or would he scab like the knee of a toddler that fell off a trike? And what about his friends?
That’s what this article aims to find out. So press on, dear friends. And find out which of your favorite sea friends supports your favorite actors and writers and which ones just want to get them back to work.
50. The Sea Bear
This animal is ungovernable. The Sea Bear heard “eat the rich” and took the job to task. It’s not even part of any union. It has simply embraced the chaos.
49. Sandy Cheeks
Sandy Cheeks ain’t no damn scab. She knows what it’s like to punch up in an industry. She’s a woman in STEM, a land mammal living in the ocean. She may be a brilliant scientist, but she’s unfailingly true to her blue-collar, Texan routes. She likely comes from a family of union squirrels. Plus, as a skilled guitarist, you just know she’s started writing protest songs to rival Ochs and Guthrie. And if people started harassing her, she’d happily use that guitar as a blunt instrument.
48. Larry the Lobster
Larry is the John Cena of the SpongeBob universe. A good-looking, jacked dude who made the transition to acting… and it worked for him. Because Larry has range. Larry has vulnerability. Larry’s funny. And Larry knows that what makes him look good are the WGA members writing the parts. He’s been out picketing with them since May.
47. The French Narrator
Unflinching in his commitment to document sea life, the French Narrator has been unfailingly vocal about his support for the WGA. He has the vibe of a director, the man running the show, but when the DGA refused to strike last minute, he publicly called them all cowards. However, as a documentary filmmaker, he’s never not aware that he doesn’t benefit from union protections the same way others do. Once the strike is over, he’ll fight like hell to change that.
46. The REAL Gorilla
Hollywood is built on guys who, for whatever reason, were foolhardy enough to put on a gorilla suit or monster make-up and get on camera. Hell, SAG was founded partially because Boris Karloff developed permanent back problems making Frankenstein. This costume-clad Gorilla is a friend to creature actors everywhere. He advocates for safe stunts, practical effects and NO AI. An absolutely legendary primate.
45. Perch Perkins
Perch Perkins is not an actor, he’s a field reporter. But as a field reporter, Perch knows how important proper safety considerations and compensation are. He’s been covering the strikes since day one and has been quietly nodding along with everything that’s been said.
44. The Tattletale Strangler
This man is neither an actor nor a writer, but he does seem like he would be more than a little bit at home on a film set, as a grip or a gaffer or a generally well-regarded member of the crew. He’s blue-collar, but he’s been in support of the SAG/WGA strikes the whole time because he worked on a set where the actors turned out in total support of IATSE.
43. Potty the Parrot
Potty the Parrot made it through the entire pandemic without having to watch any of the low-end garbage shows that streamers cranked out. She routinely spends time with Patchy in an attempt to save him from his destructive, overconsumption of popular culture. She’s an anarchist, true and true who supports the creation of better working conditions and the decimation of the current studio system.
42. The Flying Dutchman
This one could’ve gone either way, I think. After all, the Dutchman is a pirate captain. He’s motivated by money, but he’s also a man of tremendous principle, who loves a good deal. He’s likely traded in his position as ship captain for that of strike captain.
41. Gary the Snail
Gary is, fundamentally, a lot like Michael Shannon. He will not pretend to be excited about things that don’t interest him. Even if he was paid to be in them. Also like Michael Shannon, he’s an incredible and deeply serious actor who isn’t lifting a finger back on a set until the strike ends. And that could be now or in a hundred years.
Dennis is the violent, angry, mob-connected union man that your H.R. rep warned you about. Don’t fuck with him.
39. Mindy the Mermaid
As the daughter of Triton, Mindy is a nepo baby, sure. But she’s not out here pretending that her parents never supported her acting or her music career. She’s not out here ignoring the fact that her parents’ names are blue on her Wikipedia page. She embraces that. She knows all the crap that goes on in the industry all too well.
38. Sergeant Roderick
This hatchet-faced driving instructor isn’t the most progressive of guys, but he’s not going to not strike. He’s been acting in films since the 1970s, and yes, they’re mostly right-wing fever dreams, but he’s been union strong since ‘77 and not about to go boot-licking to the studio heads.
37. Mermaid Man
Mermaid Man is older than God. He’s been in the industry since studio heads were saying that “These talkies are gonna be a passing fad, Doris, you mark my words.” He may be old, senile and borderline abusively delusional, but he’s still going out all day in the hot sun to strike. And you gotta give him props for that.
36. The Dirty Bubble
The Dirty Bubble started his career giving pop-jobs in nudie-flicks and he’s not afraid to go back there. Some days, he even misses it.
35. Fred the Fish
Better known as the “MY LEG!” guy, Fred has been injured on too many unsafe sets to stop striking now.
34. The Jellyfish
The Jellyfish are testaments to the long history of animal abuse in Hollywood. One that desperately needs to change. The version of “Nope” that exists in the SpongeBob universe definitely has a scene where one of these guys goes postal in a sitcom taping.
33. Jack Kahuna Laguna
Jack Kahuna Laguna (or JKL) was one of the biggest stars of the ‘90s. A total teen heartthrob. Granted, things haven’t been going too well for Jack… lately. But even though he’s in films of lesser and lesser prestige lately, he’s still not gonna break the picket line.
32. Sheldon J. Plankton
If Mr. Krabs is the head of a major studio, Plankton is the head of a minor one. I don’t just mean that he runs A24 of Neon, though. He’s not making cool indie films. His version of SAG compliance is making the kind of films that show up on Casting Networks and kind of freak you out. The kind that say: “No Pay + Shoots Tomorrow Morning + Non-Union + Nudity Required + Some Simulated Sexual Content + No Intimacy Coordinator…” like… wow. Where do I sign up for that fun, fun time?
31. Squidward Tentacles
Squidward is an artist. He’s a musician, a painter, a performer, a would-be renaissance man. The great tragedy of Squidward’s life, however, is how relentlessly empty it is of anything outside of his artistic pursuits. He would be at the picket line, mostly trying to connect with actors and writers. But the minute, he’s offered the lead in something major, or a chance to write the next big movie, he’s scabbing. You just know he is.