“Band Geeks” is one of the most beloved episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants in the show’s very long history, and it’s finally coming to life on Super Bowl Sunday. CBS announced Thursday that SpongeBob and the rest of the Bikini Bottom band will kick off Nickolodeon’s first-ever Super Bowl broadcast with a performance of “Sweet Victory.” But the iconic song may not look the way you remember it.
Instead of the original animation from the episode, which was first released in 2001, the sequence will be reanimated in CGI. In CBS’ brief preview video, posted on X (formerly Twitter), this gives the SpongeBob cast a strange, uncanny-valley look.
Despite the slightly unnerving new design, the song will no doubt still rule, and it’s pretty fun that it’s actually going to kick off a real Super Bowl broadcast. This will be Nick’s first time showing the Super Bowl, which will focus on being a kid-friendly broadcast, with a version of the game that’s hosted by several of the network’s most famous characters.
While this is the first time that SpongeBob and the gang will get to perform around the game, it isn’t the first time that the Super Bowl has referenced the fan-favorite episode. Back in 2019, Squidward introduced the halftime show in a brief intro clip. Fans have hoped the song would get a real Super Bowl spotlight for years, but it wasn’t until SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg’s passing in 2018 that fans started to organize. That year, a Change.org petition racked up over 1.2 million signatures, eventually leading to Squidward’s appearance at the Super Bowl a few months later.
The Super Bowl will be played on Sunday, Feb. 11, and kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET.