SpongeBob’s “What’s Funnier Than 24? 25!”: Meaning?

Here’s everything about the meaning of “What’s Funnier Than 24? 25!” in SpongeBob SquarePants:

It’s not a deep joke with hidden meaning.

It’s a case where a character says something extremely out of place, and the situation turns the entire exchange into something comical.

Once the “inside joke” is set up in the episode, SpongeBob is able to make a joke about 25 that feels funny in the moment.

So if you want to learn all about what SpongeBob SquarePants’ joke “What’s Funnier Than 24? 25!” means, then this article is for you.

Let’s jump right into it!

SpongeBob's "What's Funnier Than 24? 25!": Meaning?

What Is SpongeBob SquarePants?

SpongeBob SquarePants is an immensely popular kids’ cartoon that was produced by Nickelodeon.

It ran from 1999 to 2015, so you can see that it saw a ton of success.

For the most part, the show was aimed at kids, probably averaging an age of around 10, but there were plenty of jokes woven into the show for the sake of older audiences.

Throughout its run, the show took place under the sea and was centered around the protagonist, SpongeBob Squarepants.

As the main character, he was typically the center of the story.

He is an anthropomorphic sponge who goes to school, works at a burger diner, and goes on wacky adventures.

That’s really all you need to know about SpongeBob, but for the sake of this particular joke, I also need to introduce you to Patrick.


Patrick is SpongeBob’s ride-or-die friend.

They go on many adventures together, and for the most part, Patrick is always there to be a part of SpongeBob’s life.

For the most part, Patrick is depicted as not being the brightest member of the cast.

His often erroneous takes are used to fuel jokes and even set up ridiculous situations for the sake of the show.

Despite that, SpongeBob and Patrick always manage to resolve any differences that arise, and they tend to have a lot of good times together.

That’s really all you need to know about the show for this particular joke.

Other jokes require more insider knowledge, but this one is pretty easy to pick up on.

When Does the “What’s Funnier Than 24? 25!” Joke Happen in SpongeBob SquarePants?

This is a specific joke that shows up in the episode “New Student Starfish.”

This episode takes place in the third season of the cartoon’s run.

In this episode, Patrick joins SpongeBob at school.

Since Patrick is a new student, he is brought up to the front of the class to introduce himself.

Unfortunately, Patrick is very nervous.

So, when he is asked to give his name, he says that he is “24.”

It’s a nervous response, and all of the kids in the class laugh.

Patrick, still nervous and unsure, returns to his seat next to SpongBob, and he asks SpongeBob why all of the kids were laughing.

SpongeBob explains that it’s just a matter of timing.

Patrick, accepting this explanation, starts to chuckle, repeating the joke “24.” 

That’s when SpongeBob tells him, “Hey Patrick. I just thought of something funnier than 24.”

Patrick replies, “Let me hear it.” 

SpongeBob answers, “25.”

And, they both crack up laughing.

That’s it.

That’s the whole joke in its context from the show.

If you would rather watch a clip of the exchange to get a better feel for the pacing and delivery, you can find a good video of it here.

What Does the “What’s Funnier Than 24? 25!” Joke Mean in SpongeBob SquarePants? (2 Things)

You’ve now read the joke in its entirety.

You might have even watched it.

Was it funny to you?

Some will say yes.

Others might feel like they don’t get it.

So, I’m going to break the golden rule of comedy.

I’m going to explain the joke.

If you already think the joke is funny, that’s fine.

There’s no pressure to keep reading.

But, if you’re someone who needs a deeper meaning before you can relax and laugh at SpongeBob SquarePants, then I’m here for you.

There are two possible takes on this joke, so I’ll explain each one separately and in full detail.

#1 Just a Dumb Joke

Ultimately, this is just a dumb joke.

It’s a case where someone says something ludicrous and without good reason.

Because it catches people off guard, it leads to laughter.

When SpongeBob says that 25 is funnier than 24, it’s because he’s steering into what is already an inside joke.

Since 24 is established as funny, one-upping it with 25 can elicit even more laughter.

This isn’t about any deeper, hidden meaning.

It’s just an example of how people can be caught up in a moment and how otherwise meaningless jokes become hilarious inside jokes with the right context.

If anything, it’s a reasonable representation of school-age kids laughing at a silly moment and turning it into a lasting inside joke.

That’s really it.

#2 Network Channels

Of course, if you browse the internet deeply enough, you’ll find alternative meanings and suggestions.

Among all of those, one comes up a lot, so I’ll take a moment to fully address it.

One idea that pops up a lot is that this joke is referencing common networking channels.

The idea goes something along the lines that in most places, the Cartoon Network is on channel 24.

Meanwhile, Nickelodeon is on channel 25.

If this were true, then the joke would be trying to say that Nickelodeon, which aired SpongeBob at the time, is the superior network.

An alternative version of this rumor suggests that the Disney Channel is channel 24, and Nickelodeon is channel 25.

It’s the same idea.

Here’s the thing.

This rumor doesn’t really make sense.

Channel assignments depend on who provides your TV access and your region.

So, if you and your next-door neighbor have different cable providers (we don’t need to go into why that rarely happens), then Nickelodeon might be on a different channel for each of you.

The same goes for satellite TV providers and any other resource for watching TV.

With this setup, there has never been a case where the vast majority of the country has the same channel assignment for all of their available networks.

It’s just not a thing.

You could argue that maybe for the SpongeBob production team, Nickelodeon was on channel 25, but this is an unsubstantiated rumor at best.

It’s a fun idea, but it’s not rooted in anything solid.

If you enjoy the head cannon of thinking this way, feel free to go down that path.

It certainly won’t harm anyone. 

But, since I’m here to try to provide solid, reliable information, I had to debunk such a prevalent online rumor.