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Watching SpongeBob May Make Kids Smarter, Study Finds

CBR 1/28/2023 Jodee Brown
© Provided by CBR

Amid its quirky humor and the many misadventures of its titular character, SpongeBob Squarepants can improve a child's learning ability, according to a new study.

Business Name Generator conducted a study looking into which children's television shows have the best vocabulary and help kids to learn quickly when picking up on the words they see. The study focused on the quality of the words being used in the shows rather than quantity, determining that SpongeBob SquarePants had the richest vocabulary of the TV shows they examined. Boasting 213 unique words per 1000, or just over 21%, the long-running Nickelodeon animated series topped the list by one word over Stuck in The Middle, which featured Wednesday star Jenna Ortega.

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According to the study, SpongeBob SquarePants' characters and plotlines "make for a lively narrative with a diverse use of words – a great choice for engaging children." The rest of the top five in the study are Netflix's The Dragon Prince (204 unique words per 1000) and Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure (192 per 1000) followed by the classic 90s/2000s drama series, 7th Heaven, which 189 unique words per 1000. Half of the top 10 shows were animated while four of them started in the 1990s.

Nickelodeon's Beloved Kids Show

SpongeBob SquarePants has been a staple in American pop culture since it first hit the small screen in July 1999. Created by the late Stephen Hillenburg, the show revolved around the titular sea sponge and his aquatic friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. Voiced by Tom Kenny, SpongeBob became a household name and beloved character, starring as the humorous and sometimes naive fried cook at the Krusty Krab. He regularly gets involved in adventures alongside his best friend Patrick Star, voiced by Bill Fagerbakke, and had a love/hate relationship with his co-worker Squidward Tentacles, played by Rodger Bumpass.

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Throughout its time, the SpongeBob SquarePants series won 88 awards including six Emmys, six Annie Awards and 19 Kids' Choice Awards. The SpongeBob Squarepants franchise also spawned a film series including The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie in 2004, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water in 2015 and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run in 2020, with another upcoming sequel set for a May 2025 release. Additionally, the SpongeBob SquarePants Broadway project, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical, premiered in 2016 and received multiple Tony Awards.

SpongeBob SquarePants is currently airing its 13th season which began in October 2020, with new episodes premiering earlier this month. There are also multiple spinoff shows of the series including Paramount+'s Kamp Koral: Spongebob's Under Years and Nickelodeon's The Patrick Star Show. Meanwhile, a franchise special, SpongeBob SquarePants Presents the Tidal Zone, debuted on Jan. 13.

Viewers can check their local listings to see when SpongeBob SquarePants airs on Nickelodeon.

Source: Business Name Generator

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