SpongeBob Squarepants 'The Rusty Krab' is a Rip-off!!! Viacom Sues, Restaurant Claims it's Parody

"SpongeBob SquarePants" honchos have a major problemo with a restaurant that sounds a lot like the spot where SpongeBob works ... and they're ready to fight in court about it.

Viacom's suing the company that recently opened The Rusty Krab restaurant in downtown Houston, claiming it's a blatant rip-off of the The Krusty Krab featured in the cartoon ... according to new legal docs, obtained by TMZ.

Rusty Krab's accused of infringing on Viacom's 'SpongeBob' trademarks by using names, images, characters and re-creations from the show throughout its restaurant and on its menu, and according to the suit ... even advertises the place as "Houston’s VERY FIRST Spongebob Squarepants Inspired Pop Up Restaurant and Bar!"

Viacom claims all of Rusty Krab's marketing is geared toward kids and SpongeBob fans to deceive the public into thinking it's officially affiliated with the show ... only to leave parents who paid high ticket prices disappointed with the inauthentic experience and "purportedly unsanitary conditions and unsafe food."

Among the many alleged infringements, Viacom says Rusty Krab's drink menu uses numerous well-known hallmarks of 'SBSP' -- like "Pineapple Under the Sea," "Bikini Bottom," "Secret Formula" and "I’m Ready" -- to sell alcohol, which Viacom claims would violate its licensing policy for the trademarks on its kid’s show.

Viacom's wants the restaurant to hand over any profits it’s made, so far, and is also suing to block it from doing further business.

We've reached out to Pixi Universal, the company responsible for The Rusty Krab ... no word back yet.

SpongeBob SquarePants Stands with LGBTQ Community

SpongeBob SquarePants' sexuality has entered the chat -- and lo and behold, the Bikini Bottom dweller might be, as many suspected for years, gay.

Nickelodeon tweeted Saturday in support of Pride month, and attached photos of three of their canon characters as a clear indicator that they're all part of the LGBTQ+ community ... but without actually saying it outright.

The tweet heard round the Krusty Krab said, "Celebrating #Pride with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies this month and every month 🌈.⁣"

All of the characters -- Sponge, Schwoz Schwartz from 'Henry Danger,' and Korra from the 'Avatar' spin-off show 'Legend of Korra' -- are featured in a rainbow color background.

What's interesting is ... fans have known for a while Korra was gay/bisexual -- as it was revealed in the show itself. As for Schwoz, the actor who plays him -- Michael D. Cohen -- is a transgender man in real life.

So, that leaves the Krusty Krab's fry cook. If the other 2 are clearly members of the community, it makes some people think the tweet is about more than declaring SpongeBob an ally ... instead, they think it's his coming out.

Of course, we gotta say folks had their suspicions for a long time. If you know, you know ... we won't break it down for boomers.

Funny enough, Nickelodeon AND the series creator Stephen Hillenburg came out firmly in the early 2000s and explicitly said SBSP was NOT gay ... but asexual. Change of heart?

Krakatoa Huge Eruption Lights Up Night!!!


Krakatoa is at it again, a massive overnight eruption -- the largest since 2018's deadly blast -- threw ash miles into the air, and put on a wicked light show.

The famed and feared volcano blew its top Friday night, and it was loud enough that people 100 miles away in Jakarta, Indonesia reported hearing it. A webcam planted on the slope of the volcano captured images of the lava and ash shooting into the sky.

Researchers say the eruption sent ash 9 miles up, and while the video looks pretty cool ... locals had to be pretty terrified.

Krakatoa -- it's actually Little Krakatao, but we don't wanna give it a complex -- last erupted this powerfully in December 2018.


That event triggered a tsunami that killed more than 400 people on a neighboring island. Friday night's eruption was much less powerful, and there are no casualties reported.

Plain old history buffs know the OG Krakatoa erupted in 1883, killing more than 36,000 people ... perhaps the most deadly ever.

While 'SpongeBob' history buffs know it from a 2002 episode.

'SpongeBob SquarePants' Creator Death Cert Reveals Ashes Spread Under the Sea

Stephen Hillenburg -- the creator of the hit Nickelodeon show "SpongeBob SquarePants" -- officially died of heart failure as a result of his ALS, but the more interesting tidbit ... his remains were scattered at sea -- and you gotta hope he'll rest in Bikini Bottom.

According to Hillenburg's death certificate -- obtained by TMZ -- the animator's immediate cause of death was cardiopulmonary failure due to ALS -- the diagnosis which he publicly revealed in 2017. The document also reveals that Hillenburg was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea -- at least 500 yards off the coast of California, to be more specific.

As we reported ... Hillenburg died late last month after battling the fatal disease for more than a year. Nickelodeon called him "a beloved friend and long-time creative partner" and praised his seminal work on 'SBSP' as "a reminder of the value of optimism, friendship and the limitless power of imagination."

Hillenburg is survived by his wife and son. He was 57.

'SpongeBob SquarePants' Creator Stephen Hillenburg Dead at 57

There's no joy at the Krusty Krab -- Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of "SpongeBob SquarePants," died Monday after battling ALS.

Stephen first revealed his ALS diagnosis in 2017. He's survived by his wife, Karen, and his son, Clay.

Nickelodeon called him "a beloved friend and long-time creative partner to everyone at Nickelodeon, and our hearts go out to his entire family."

Steve created 'SpongeBob' in the late '90s, but he took a circuitous route to his TV and movie success. Hillenburg started out teaching marine biology in Orange County ... but eventually combined that knowledge of ocean creatures with his artistic talent.

He broke into TV as a director and writer on the Nickelodeon show, "Rocko's Modern Life" -- and then eventually started creating his 'SpongeBob' ... which debuted in 1999.

In addition to the TV series, Steve wrote both hit 'SpongeBob' feature films. The first one grossed more than $140 million.

Variety first reported Hillenburg's death. He was 57.

Enjoy a Krabby Patty today in his name.


'Spongebob Squarepants' Squidward Tentacles Claims Cops Lied in DUI Bust

Rodger Bumpass -- aka Squidward Tentacles on "SpongeBob SquarePants" -- says cops lied about his DUI arrest ... but Bumpass' accusation could actually hurt him legally.

TMZ broke the story ... cops claimed they saw him leaning against his PT Cruiser on a Burbank street when they approached him. Police say he tried to walk away and stumbled as if he were impaired. He then flunked a field sobriety test and blew more than twice the legal limit.

Bumpass tells us he was NOT leaning against his car. Here's the way he says it went down. Bumpass admits he had been drinking at a Burbank bar, got in his car and began driving home. At some point he says cops began tailing him, pulled him over and asked if he had been drinking. He confessed he had, and then failed the field sobriety test.

Here's the problem ... cops say they never saw him behind the wheel, and even if he confessed he was so out of it the confession could be challenged. By claiming cops first spotted him while he was driving blows that defense out of the water.

Bumpass says he's spoken with several people over at Nickelodeon and his fate there is uncertain.

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