SpongeBob Squarepants fans have expressed their indignation at the divisive Super Bowl LIII halftime show after a tribute to the cartoon’s creator wound up much shorter than many viewers expected.
First, some context. Following the death of animator and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg last year, a SpongeBob Squarepants fan started a petition for the NFL to include a performance of the tune Sweet Victory – a number performed by SpongeBob & Co. in the cartoon during a Super Bowl-esque football match – during the actual Super Bowl.
That petition wound up with well over a million signatures, and the league took notice. In a nod to SpongeBob fans, the NFL did include a reference to the song during a halftime show transition from headliners Maroon 5 to Travis Scott‘s Sicko Mode.
Here’s how it looked:
WHAT'S HAPPENING?! ???? pic.twitter.com/uJyr7FNVr3— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) February 4, 2019
And here’s how fans reacted to the gesture:
when i saw spongebob during the halftime show but they didnt do the song: pic.twitter.com/VgcLJ8qFm2— CreepyPastaJr. (@CreepyPastaJr) February 4, 2019
That 5 second Spongebob cameo vs the rest of the halftime show. pic.twitter.com/eaXPco9Njx— Kofie Banks in a secret agent outfit (@KofieYeboah) February 4, 2019
THEY PROMISED US SPONGEBOB TO SING SWEET VICTORY AS A TRIBUTE FOR STEPHEN HILLENBURG— Proplexus (@IgnoreThisGuyM8) February 4, 2019
THEY INSTEAD INTRODUCED A SHITTY RAPPER, AND DIDN'T PLAY SWEET VICTORY
YOU HAD ONE JOB #Superbowl pic.twitter.com/IUtgCbotz5
Put some respect on sponge bob name— luka fallback sabbat (@whoisluka) February 4, 2019
A Twitter account belonging to Nickelodeon, the show’s original network, also expressed some frustration at the fifteen-second-long transition.
The lack of nautical nonsense is only one of the reasons people have expressed their disappointment at the halftime show, which has been pretty thoroughly savaged by everyone who isn’t automatically wowed by the sight of a gradually-disrobing Adam Levine.
If you’re keen to luxuriate in hatred, feel free to cop broader reactions to the show right HERE.