Super Bowl 58 ended Sunday night with a win for the Kansas City Chiefs behind standout performances from quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce. There was another, more unexpected star of this year’s big game, however, that seems to have tickled the fancy of people across the internet − cartoon channel Nickelodeon.
For the first time, Nickelodeon had its own broadcast of the Super Bowl on Sunday, an event some netizens have dubbed “unhinged” and “superior” to the traditional broadcast thanks to its antics and big-name hosts − SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star.
Besides enjoying the flurry of slime and on-field chaos, viewers even learned a thing or two along with SpongeBob, Patrick and Dora, leading brigades of non-football fans to take to the internet and promise to watch the sport more, but only if Dora continues to make appearances with explanations of the plays.
Posts about the Nickelodeon broadcast quickly took off on X, formerly Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and beyond, stirring up virality before the game was even halfway through. Feel like you missed out? Here’s what social media had to say about the broadcast.
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SpongeBob, Patrick, Dora help Nickelodeon take Super Bowl coverage by storm
Hundreds of posts pointing out the wildest moments from the Nickelodeon stream have continued to flood social platforms since the game, with many people saying the kid-friendly stream was a next-level Super Bowl viewing experience.
“This is the only year I’ve been this into the Super Bowl. I need this every year,” said one TikTok comment liked over 47,000 times.
“I’m getting cable next year just to watch the Super Bowl on Nickelodeon,” said another comment with more than 29,000 likes. Many others echoed the sentiment, saying the Nickelodeon broadcast was “better” than any other option, like one comment with 11,000 likes saying, “This is way better than the normal broadcast. Dora out here being savage asking if they need a map to find the end zone.”
You read that right. Dora was throwing some serious shade during the broadcast, suggesting players may need some help from her famed map to find the end zone and throwing a jab at Leonardo DiCaprio’s dating habits. Dora also served up some football knowledge to those who might not be diligent watchers, explaining things like holding calls, false starts and personal fouls.
As it turns out, Dora hasn’t lost her magic touch, as plenty of netizens said her explanations were the first time they truly understood the game.
“Wait this is the most I’ve EVER understood about football keep going,” said one comment with 30,000 likes.
Others expressed serious regret that they didn’t know about the broadcast earlier, like one user who racked up 90,000 likes with the comment, “I feel I didn’t get the right Super Bowl experience now.”
‘Shrimpothee Chalamet,’ ‘Megan Thee Sturgeon’ and Nickelodeon celeb spottings
Nickelodeon also took the opportunity to lean in on some classic jokes that were recognized by cartoon fans old and new, such as Patrick’s yelling of the classic “firmly grasp it!” line during a fumble, the inclusion of the famous “my leg!” voice line also from SpongeBob, the appearance of Nickelodeon’s iconic green slime and, of course, a performance of SpongeBob’s famous “Sweet Victory” song at halftime.
Other beloved characters made appearances, including Sandy Cheeks as a sideline reporter; Boots as Dora’s friendly shade-throwing helper; Larry the Lobster, who made an unexpected appearance on the field; Squidward, who was stuck waiting for the bathroom, and Plankton being, well, Plankton.
Other fan-favorite moments included the punny appearances of Bikini Bottom fish residents made to resemble real-life celebs. Taylor Fish, Olivia Codrigo, Snoop Fishy Dogfish, Herring Styles, LePrawn James, Billie Eelish, Shrimpothee Chalamet, Clamuel L. Jackson, Doja Catfish and Megan Thee Sturgeon were just some of the starfish studded audience members.
As it turns out, the internet still loves a good pun, especially in fish form. Some out-of-towners made an appearance in the audience as well, including Sonic, Tails and Knuckles and some of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Internet begs for more
The internet loved the broadcast so much, in fact, that they have begun asking Nickelodeon for similar broadcasts covering other major events like the Daytona 500, presidential debates, the upcoming presidential election and, of course, all future Super Bowls.
Considering this is the first time the network has broadcast the entirety of the big game, its instant virality may be a good sign for fans hoping for more in the future.
Nick also has a weekly “NFL Slimetime” show that features highlights and clips from the previous week’s NFL games in the channel’s signature style, so viewer who can’t wait a full year in between Super Bowls can get their fix of goofy football coverage there.