SpongeBob SquarePants episodes pulled for content concerns

Jamal A. Hansberry
·3 min read

In one episode a health inspector finds a case of ‘Clam Flu’ in the restaurant and the characters quarantine and begin distrusting each other

The SpongeBob SquarePants episodes “Mid-Life Crustacean” and “Kwarantined Krab,” have been removed from digital streaming services like Paramount+ and Amazon Prime, as reported by IGN.

“Mid-Life Crustacean,” which originally aired on Nickelodeon in 2003, stars an antsy Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob’s boss, in the throws of a mid-life crisis. Characters SpongeBob and Patrick commit themselves to getting Mr. Krabs out of his funk with a little adventure.

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A representative from Nickelodeon noted that the episode “has been out of rotation since 2018, following a standards review in which we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate,” according to IGN.

When asked specifically about what content inspired concerns of potential controversy, and whether the network considered alternatives such as offering advisories or warnings before scrubbing the episode entirely, another rep from Nickelodeon responded, “No comment,” reported IGN.

Speculations from IGN suggest the flagged scene likely responsible for the episode’s ultimate removal features the show’s often irreverent, always trusted sidekick Patrick endorsing a “panty raid,” resulting in SpongeBob, Patrick, and Mr. Crabs invading a mother’s home to make off with her underwear.

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Much to the surprise of the trio — and presumably the show’s audience, consisting largely of children and an adult cult following — the house is that of Mr. Krabs’s mom, who witnesses the search-and-seizure and banishes Mr. Krabs to his childhood bedroom.

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The other “SpongeBob” episode Nickelodeon chose to suspend from circulation is “Kwarantined Krab,” which centers around a “‘virus storyline,'” IGN reported.

“The ‘Kwarantined Crab’ [sic] centers on a virus storyline, so we have decided to not air it due to sensitivities surrounding the global, real-world pandemic,” said a representative from Nickelodeon in a statement to IGN.

In “Kwarantined Krab,” the Health Inspector returns for a visit to the Krusty Krab, the burger joint at which SpongeBob works. According to IGN, “The inspector finds a case of ‘Clam Flu’ in the restaurant and quarantines all patrons inside.”

The article continues “The characters immediately begin distrusting each other and anybody assumed to have the virus is shunned and thrown in the freezer.”

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IGN reported that “Mid-Life Crustacean” is available as a “Season Only” purchase on iTunes in the SpongeBob collections “From the Beginning, Part 2,” and “SpongeBob: The First 100 Episodes” box set. There is also an English-language version of “Kwarantined Krab” circulating on the web, in addition to a Spanish-language version available on YouTube.

Per IGN, it’s unclear whether either of these episodes will be reintroduced to television or the web by Nickelodeon.

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