Stephen Hillenburg Passes Away at 57

SpongeRob RectangleShorts


832 posts
$480 doubloons
Rest in peace to a man who created something truly special, something that will be remembered by many, including me, for years to come. I was introduced to SpongeBob in the earlier years of my childhood. It sparked a lifelong love of animation in general, and still inspires many of the things I create and do. Even though I've went through several different interests over the years, SB has always been one of the few things that I consistently come back to, because of how it captivated me as a young lad, and still, especially now, continues to surprise me at 19 years old.

Farewell, Hillenburg. You'll always be number one in my heart.

Season 4-11


1,217 posts
$1,668 doubloons
I wanted to post this yesterday but it was just too much for me to handle, seeing the creator of... Probably my favorite thing ever... Have to go is just so sad for me. It's hard to have to say goodbye to Stephen, considering that he made me who I am today. Rest in peace, Stephen Hillenburg. Thank you for changing my life.


New Member

18 posts
$10 doubloons
I haven't been on this forum very long but I just had to pay my respects. I am just in shock right now. I knew he had a deadly disease but I wasn't ready for this news at all. We are very fortunate that Mr. Hillenburg worked on Spongebob for as long as he did. I wish he could've lived a bit longer but at least he's no longer in pain. Stephen will always live on through Spongebob and I wish I could've had the opportunity to thank him for making Spongebob. I was 7 years old when Spongebob first came out but don't think I caught the premiere. I vaguely remember seeing "Naughty Nautical Neighbors" as a kid so Spongebob has always been part of my childhood. I'm heartbroken. Stephen will be missed. Rest in peace, Mr. Hillenburg.


Well, it is definitely sad losing the man who was responsible for such a well known series. But hey, maybe now, he’s with Ernest “Mermaid Man” Borgnine again.

He had finally returned to the series to make it good again, only to pass away just three years later.

But the saddest thing? He came so close to actually seeing Spongebob turn 20. And seeing as how the 10th Anniversary was trash, he could’ve actually had the chance to help make the 20th better.

2018 has just taken its fifth legend with it.


Active Member

659 posts
$1,248 doubloons
Even though he isn't alive physically, his legacy lives on, and it will continue to live on for centuries to come. Without him, we wouldn't have this site, and we wouldn't have met each other, so I am 101% thankful for this man, and he was a very humble man. He loved what he did, and he did it as happily as can be. Stephen Hillenburg has brought the millions, or heck, maybe BILLIONS total of us together, whether or not it was online. This has really hit me hard, especially when a man so innocent and caring, not only abot his work, but also, his family and friends, could go like this with such an awful illness :( Mr. Hillenburg, I want to let you know that without you, your shows, and you artwork, I would not be as passionate about art as I and a lot of us are today.

With sincere gratitude, I thank you for all of your works :) You will be missed, and you will NOT be forgotten :)

R.I.P. Stephen M. Hillenburg (1961-2018)



New Member

7 posts
$12 doubloons
Cha♡ said:
Man.. the guy was literally so inspiring. Although I never met him personally except for the voice actors, he was the coolest guy a kid could look up to. Growing up this was my absolute favorite cartoon and still holds an importance of how I grew up and even met online people who I call best friends now. This is so heartbreaking and happened so fast. RIP to one of Nick’s top legends. You will be heavily missed Mr. Hillenburg.
He's not just ONE OF Nickelodeon's top legends. He is THE NUMBER ONE Nickelodeon legend. No one can beat him.


The List That Time Forgot

1,626 posts
$59 doubloons
I figured I should come out of hiding to pay my respects.

As a child wanting to learn more about animation and the television industry, Stephen Hillenburg was one of my heroes. I thought it was incredible that you could make a living doing what you loved, and that you could possibly create the greatest show ever by drawing inspiration from your surroundings.

As a grown adult, having gone through film school and having worked in television production for several years, I have more respect for him as a human being. Television is a grind. It's a lot more vicious than it seems, and for many reasons, those who reach the heights that he did aren't always the nicest or most compassionate. But Stephen was. One can only hope to brighten as many lives as he did.

Davy Jones' locker may not receive a finer soul. Rest easy, Stephen.


Staff member

13,487 posts

$670 doubloons
Well, it’s rare that news like this - about someone I didn’t actually know - causes such pause.
But we all knew him, right? Mr. Hillenburg clearly shared a part of himself in his work, and that's what made it so good.
To echo most others, that his creation resulted in the creation of this place is not lost on us, and to see so many members return, even briefly, speaks to his impact.
It’s rare for me to find something that lasts from a television show, and yet here we are. SpongeBob is inspirational. SpongeBob is formative. Every morning the first thing I tell myself is: I’m ready.


There can only be one 'Jellyfishing King!'

385 posts
$484 doubloons
Oh my gosh, I didn't even know about this until I saw it just now...I can't believe it...Please rest in peace, Stephen, you didn't deserve to die this young.
How incredibly terrible. I'll always remember him for having created such a brilliant show. :salute:
Also, if this wasn't one of the most hard-hitting things I've heard this year, I don't know what is. :no:


Active Member

301 posts
$607 doubloons
Alright after a few days of processing everything, I've come back to pay my proper respects. Anyone that happens to follow my DA or art Tumblr will probably recognize what I'm about to say since I wrote it there too, but well... this already sums up my feelings pretty well, so here it goes:

It's still pretty surreal to think that he's gone, and there's a small part of me that's expecting it to somehow not be true, like I'm just dreaming or I'll find out it's just a really bad hoax and he's fine. When I first heard about the ALS diagnosis last year, I was optimistic that he'd at least somehow live long enough to see the third movie, and maybe even see the show itself get its final, proper send-off. I'm not alone in saying that I grew up with this show. SpongeBob has kinda just... always been there for as long I can remember. It premiered just a few weeks before my second birthday, and one of my earliest memories was a scene from the show (although for the life of me I don't remember which episode it was. If I had to guess maaaaaybe it was Wet Painters?). My childhood got pretty wild at times between bullying and constant family problems, but no matter how bad things got SpongeBob was always there to cheer me up without fail. Seeing what crazy antics SpongeBob and his friends were getting up to that day helped give me the escape I needed and always left me feeling better. As a kid, I looked at SpongeBob as a sort of role model and always tried to be as optimistic as him (Still try to be tbh). It didn't always work, but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

I attribute my love for cartoons/animation somewhat to this show, and I can say without a doubt that I wouldn't be the person I am today without SpongeBob. Throughout the years my interests and fandoms have constantly shifted, but SpongeBob is the one thing that's always managed to stick around no matter what (Even after that time I went through the "hating SpongeBob is cool" phase). Whatever comes next, Stephen's unique humor, unforgettable characters and the love and passion he put into his work will continue to live on and inspire and entertain children and adults alike for generations to come. I'll forever be grateful to Stephen Hillenburg for showing me that growing up doesn't mean you have to grow up, that any day can be the best day ever, to never give up in the face of failure, and to always follow your passions no matter what others may think. I wish I could've gotten a chance to say something like this in person but now's a good a time as ever I suppose: Thank you, Stephen, for making the world a little brighter. Thank you for all the laughter and fun over the years.

Thank you for giving me my childhood.
Rest in peace, captain. This kitchen won't be the same without you. :sbbye2:
"He's on the other side now."
"Yeah... he's in a better place."


Active Member

349 posts
$579 doubloons
I don't post on here anymore but SpongeBob was a part of my childhood

Hillenburg is the person who changed Nickelodeon (whether that was for the better or worse is for you to decide) and the network wouldn't be the same without his creation

Although I'm no longer going to watch the show I do respect the contributions it has made over the years

R.I.P Stephen Hillenburg

Thank you for making SpongeBob SquarePants!



96 posts
$114 doubloons
I just saw the movie, and then the special features, that guy looked so healthy. ALS a real dolphin noise. Anyway, it was pretty sad and watching those 3 features really opened my eyes a little as to how much went into this cartoon that has entertained millions


Active Member

111 posts
$51 doubloons
I'm speechless. I've known about this for a while now. RIP.