At this point, SpongeBob is the binding material for the internet, a sort of permanently relevant ur-meme, primed alternately for subversion and heartwarming relatability. There is a SpongeBob meme, macro, image, GIF, or reference for almost everything, its 11 seasons of animated hijinks supplanting Simpsons quotes for people born into an internet-enabled world. We will never stop crossing new barriers in SpongeBob memes, and as proof, behold the first episode of SpongeBob compressed into a single 15-megabyte GIF and posted to Twitter:
Sure, the quality’s not great, and of course there’s no audio, but now you have a full eight-minute GIF of “Help Wanted” to post whenever the mood strikes you. The GIF’s creator, 17-year-old Shane Kuhn, also compressed the next episode of that season, “Reef Blower,” which is largely silent and works even better:
In an interview with Motherboard, Kuhn said, “I have received many requests to do more episodes, and even requests to create a GIF of the SpongeBob movie. In the words of the magic conch shell, ‘Maybe someday.’” We have no doubt—if not by him, then by someone else.