The Mysterious Rise and Return of SpongeBob’s Incidental 70

In the vibrant underwater world of SpongeBob SquarePants, amidst a plethora of quirky and colorful characters, exists a lesser-known legend: Incidental 70. This background fish, with his signature nervous stutter and iconic catchphrase, “H-h-hey, SpongeBob’s back!”, captured the hearts of fans despite his minimal appearances. Today, we dive into the mysterious rise and surprising return of this beloved incidental character.

Background to Beloved: His Brief Reign in Seasons 1 and 2

First appearing in season 1’s “Tea at the Treedome,” Incidental 70’s nervous energy and stammered greeting quickly endeared him to viewers. He popped up occasionally throughout season 1 and 2, often reacting to SpongeBob’s antics with surprise and excitement. Though he remained unnamed and largely insignificant to the plot, his unique personality resonated with fans.

The Disappearance: A 20-Year Absence Leaves Fans Wondering

Following his appearance in the season 2 Christmas special, Incidental 70 mysteriously vanished. No explanation was given for his absence, leaving fans to speculate and theorize about his fate. Was he written out? Did he move away from Bikini Bottom? The mystery fueled his cult following, with fans keeping his memory alive through memes, artwork, and online discussions.

The Cult Phenomenon: Fan Art, Memes, and the Power of Incidental Love

Despite his limited screen time, Incidental 70 left a lasting impression. Fan artists recreated him in various styles, memes celebrated his iconic phrase, and online communities dedicated themselves to the “Bring Back Incidental 70” movement. This outpouring of affection showcased the unexpected impact background characters can have on viewers.

Spark of Hope: Teasing His Return in “The Patrick Star Show”

In 2021, a glimmer of hope emerged. The spin-off series “The Patrick Star Show” included a subtle nod to Incidental 70 in the episode “The Yard Sale.” Patrick, holding a framed picture, proclaims, “Remember this guy? He used to say, ‘H-h-hey, SpongeBob’s back!'” This easter egg fueled speculation about a potential return.

The Glorious Return: Incidental 70 Makes His Triumphant Comeback

Finally, in the same episode of “The Patrick Star Show,” fans’ wishes came true. Incidental 70, seemingly older and sporting a cane, makes a surprise appearance as a customer at Patrick’s yard sale. His signature greeting, delivered with his classic stutter, sent the internet into a frenzy. The wait was over, and Incidental 70 was back!

More Than Just a Meme

The story of Incidental 70 transcends a simple meme. It highlights the unique bond between fans and creators, and the power of well-designed characters, even minor ones, to resonate with audiences. His return demonstrates that even the most unexpected figures can leave a lasting impact and capture the hearts of viewers.


Incidental 70’s journey reminds us that the magic of animation lies not just in main characters, but in the vibrant tapestry of details that breathe life into a world. So, the next time you watch SpongeBob, keep an eye out for the nervous fish with the unforgettable greeting. His story serves as a reminder that even the smallest characters can make a big splash. H-h-hey, Incidental 70’s back, and that’s something to celebrate!


  • Q: Will Incidental 70 have more appearances in the future?

A: The creators haven’t confirmed anything, but his popularity and the positive reception to his return suggest there’s a chance we could see him again. Keep an eye out for future SpongeBob projects!

  • Q: Why do you think Incidental 70 resonated so much with fans?

A: Several factors likely contributed: his unique personality, his relatable nervous energy, and the element of surprise surrounding his appearance. He became a symbol of unexpected connections and the power of background characters.

  • Q: Are there other “meme-worthy” background characters in SpongeBob?

A: Absolutely! From Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy’s loyal sidekick, Reg, to the ever-present Mailbox, SpongeBob is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered and celebrated by fans.

  • Q: How can I learn more about the creative process behind SpongeBob characters?

A: There are various interviews and documentaries available online that offer insights into the minds behind Bikini Bottom’s residents. You can also explore fan communities and forums dedicated to discussing the show and its characters.

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