Sad SpongeBob / Spunchbop
Sad SpongeBob, also known as Sad-Eyed SpongeBob or Spunchbop, is a reaction image depicting SpongeBob SquarePants with large eyes and an exaggerated, tearful expression. In the early 2023s, the picture saw ironic meme usage through short video formats on TikTok, Twitter and YouTube, as well as parodies using different characters across various media.
The image originates from the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Christmas Who?," first aired on December 6th, 2000. After SpongeBob's hopes of an undersea Christmas are shattered by Squidward, he is made to pose for a picture in front of his coral Christmas tree, leading to the exaggerated, tearful photo (shown below).
The earliest found usages of Sad Spunchbop revolve around an image caption with lyrics from the 2014 Chief Keef song Faneto and a reaction reading ""Chief Keef- "Finna go and shoot New Jersey up!" / Innocent people in New Jersey after learning their life is in imminent danger." The oldest known version of the image was posted on March 7th, 2023 by iFunny user TheDarkKnightTriumphant (shown below).
The image began seeing further ironic use on TikTok in late 2023 and early 2023 as a visual accompaniment to loud sound effects like the Vine Thud/Boom and Fart + Extra Reverb. On February 8th, 2023, Twitter user @leosleepy posted a parody of the 19 Dollar Fortnite Card utilizing the Boom effect, gaining over 5,000 likes (shown below).
Parodies of the original image using different characters from other media franchises have sprung up irregularly throughout 2023. More parodies were created of characters from the video game Deltarune after its release in September. On September 18th, Twitter user @phlbbth posted an example, gaining over 2,300 retweets and 11,000 likes (shown below, left).