Speed Reads

super bowl LIII

SpongeBob SquarePants makes its way to the Super Bowl halftime show after fan petition

Super Bowl halftime shows tend to inspire memes. But this year, a meme inspired the halftime show.

Maroon 5, during their performance at the Super Bowl, paid tribute to SpongeBob SquarePants by busting out a clip from "Band Geeks." In that 2001 episode, Squidward leads a band that plays the David Glen Eisley song "Sweet Victory" at a football game called the Bubble Bowl.

Back in November, when SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg died, a Change.org petition was launched calling for “Sweet Victory” to be played at the Super Bowl in tribute, and it amassed more than 1.2 million signatures. It was one of those long-shot efforts that few who signed likely expected to really take shape, but against all odds, it did.

Well, it sort of did. "Sweet Victory" was not actually performed, but SpongeBob still had a presence at the show that it clearly would not have otherwise had. Needless to say, though, non-SpongeBob fans in the audience were likely as baffled as Squidward himself. Watch the moment below. Brendan Morrow