Ropes & Gray is unlikely victim of SpongeBob meme

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on

‘Oh, barnacles!’ says firm

The ‘Mocking SpongeBob’ meme

A US law firm has become an unlikely victim of a popular internet meme featuring the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, Legal Cheek can reveal.

Ropes & Gray published an in-depth diversity and inclusion report back in 2012 which mixes up capitals and lower case letters. This, the firm insists, is not a creative way of displaying its non-uniform nature, but rather a glitch in the way the PDF version of the report appears online.

The report — which continues to be accessible via the Google Cache — details, among other things, Ropes & Gray’s “voices of DiveRsiTY AND iNclusioN”, “LESbIAN, gAy, bISEXuAL ANd TRANSgENdER (LgbT) LAwyERS foRuM” and “THE woMEN’S foRuM”.

Screenshots from the original report

Fast forward to the present day and the mixing up of capitals and lower case letters has, rather embarrassingly, come to signify something very different, being now synonymous with mockery and sarcasm.

This change in meaning is all thanks to a meme featuring the yellow cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants that has exploded in popularity since 2017.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Described by US website the Daily Dot as the “most insulting meme of 2017”, it features an image of SpongeBob pulling a sarcastic expression alongside a phrase containing the same random mix of capitalisation which appeared in Ropes & Gray’s report (which we remind you was written in 2012 — five years before the SpongeBob meme came on the scene). This, according to the website, is “tO inDiCatE a MoCkinG TonE”. Examples of the meme, which is known as the ‘Mocking Spongebob’, can be seen below.

Examples of the SpongeBob meme

So popular has the meme become that there is even a website now where visitors can create their own version of it using a ‘MoCking sPOngEbOb sqUArepAnTs TexT gENeraTOR’.

A spokesperson for Ropes & Gray told Legal Cheek:

“Oh, barnacles! Clearly we are proud of our long commitment to diversity, so — as Patrick would say — ‘it may be stupid, but it’s also dumb’ to say otherwise.”

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

Related Stories

Ropes & Gray ups London trainee pay by 10% to £55,000

Year one rookies receive £50,000 -- a 9% boost

Sep 6 2019 10:06am
Ropes & Gray law firm

Ropes & Gray combines contextual recruitment and CV blind in revamped trainee hiring process

US player will now recruit rookies exclusively from its vac scheme

Sep 24 2018 9:11am

Ban for former Ropes & Gray London trainee who ‘traced’ client’s signature

Failed to act with integrity, according to SRA decision

Jun 6 2019 5:56pm