The Internet Paid Tribute To Late 'Spongebob' Creator Through Memes & I'm Just Going to Stay INDOORS To Cry

A part of everyone’s childhood took a hit on Tuesday when Stephen Hillenburg, 57, the creator, producer, director and writer of hit classic cartoon SpongeBob Squarepants died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), according to a statement from Nickelodeon.

SpongeBob Squarepants has been running since 1999 on the Nickelodeon network and —in its nearly two decades on air— the show has produced many classic moments and quotes that have given the show #iconic status. The show has received the Internet's “highest honors” in the form of the “meme treatment.” Several hugely famous memes have been created as a result of the show like the “mocking SpongeBob” and “confused Mr. Krabs," to name a few. 

Fans of SpongeBob and Hillenburg took to social media to honor the deceased cartoonist through their own fan art creation, clips from their favorite episodes and (because this is the internet) memes.

They talked about the friends and shared some of the amazing art they've made because of the show.

They reminded everyone that, yes, Hillenburg was Number One. 

They thanked him for all of the Meme-ories.

And shared a bit of grief and a whole lot of love for kids and the kids inside us all.

While Hillenburg will be remembered for creating one of the longest-running, EMMY award-winning cartoons, he will also be remembered, thanks to the internet, for the countless memes that came out of his wild and wonderful fever dream of a show.