Everyone knows who Spongebob Squarepants is, and chances are that each and everyone of you who is reading this has seen at least one episode. Maybe it’s because you grew up watching the show, or maybe it’s because you have kids who love it. Either way and no matter what episode it is that you’ve seen, you know that Spongebob Squarepants is its own brand of weird and unique that is meant to entertain the younger generation of today.
What you might not know is that on top of all the less than logical and very “out there” moments, Spongebob Squarepants is also riddled with clips and jokes that are actually far from appropriate for the audience that the show is meant to target. Now, most of these moments are ones that likely go right over children’s heads until they get a little older, but as adults we tend to pick up on them a lot quicker and sometimes find ourselves in a state of shock at what we just saw or heard.
In the 17 years Spongebob has been airing on Nickelodeon, the show has caused a lot of controversy. The majority of that controversy has to do with those dirty jokes and innuendos, which have caused many parents to question, or even outright accuse the show of not being a “kid’s show.” For the most part, the show is nothing more than innocent silliness. However, there are quite a few moments that give these arguments a leg to stand on. We’ve picked out 15 of the most questionable moments in the Spongebob Squarepants series so that all of you can decide whether or not you feel Spongebob can actually be considered appropriate for the young minds that watch the show.
15. Squidward Feel Like an A**
In honor of the holiday season, it only seemed right to start the list off with a lovely little moment during one of the Spongebob Squarepants Christmas episodes. The title of the episode is “Christmas Who?”, and it tells the story of the first Christmas in Bikini Bottom. Everyone is very excited about the thought of Santa Claus bringing them presents, save for the resident Scrooge, Squidward. He’s convinced that Santa doesn’t exist, and when Jolly Ole Saint Nick doesn’t show up, Squidward is very proud that his hunches were apparently correct.
He ends up reveling in Spongebob’s misery only to find out that Spongebob went out of his way to make Squidward a handmade driftwood clarinet so he wouldn’t feel left out when Santa came. Squidward suddenly feels like crap for the way he was behaving and he can be heard saying “I feel like a… I feel like a…” right before a donkey appears on the screen. Now, he does go on to specify that he feels like a “big jerk”, but at that point we’re already well aware of the fact that the word he really wanted to use was “ass”. This is not the only time this happens in the episode. There is another point before this one where the donkey appears as well; which was more of the writers referring to Squidward as an ass.
Of course this isn’t as bad as actually having him call himself an ass, but the joke is well established and hard to ignore. It’s also one of those jokes that your kid is more likely to question because it is so in their face. Be careful explaining that one to them or the next thing you know, they’ll be going around calling all the kids at school “donkeys”.
14. The Prison Joke
In the episode “Gary Takes a Bath”, we witness the struggle that is Spongebob trying to give his pet snail a bath. He tries multiple different approaches, several of which could have been included on this list. But by far the most outwardly inappropriate of all the moments in this episode is when Spongebob leads Gary to the bathtub (which is painted up as a treasure chest) and pulls out two bars of soap. He refers to them as doubloons, but as he sets them on the ground he can be heard saying “don’t drop them!” while winking.
To adults, it becomes fairly obvious what kind of reference this is: it’s a prison sex joke. It’s become a common thing to joke about “dropping the soap” when the topic of going to jail comes up. Apparently if you drop the soap while in the shower when you’re in prison, you could end up getting raped. So while what’s said in the episode is so obviously a sneaky way of slipping an inappropriate jokes past kids, the wink that Spongebob gives Gary really solidifies just how dirty of mind this sponge has.
13. Make-Out Reef
One of the last things that would be expected to be seen in a kid’s show is any sort of reference to making out. However, in “Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V” we find out that Bikini Bottom has a spot on a ledge where teenagers can go to… well, make-out with each other in their boats. Not the kind of thing we would ever expect to make an appearance in a kid’s show; however, a major part of the episode actually takes place there when the new “International Justice League of Super Acquaintances” has to battle E.V.I.L.
We learn that Squidward apparently spent a lot of time there as a teen. We also see that Nancy and John (two random fish that are featured in quite a few episodes of the show) are enjoying some time there together while E.V.I.L. torments them about it. As you can see from the picture above, we also see another fish who is making out with a pillow in order to appear as if he’s making out with someone.
For those of you who have seen the movie Grease, you know that a make-out spot doesn’t only come with making out. Rizzo and Kenickie engaged in some less than innocent activities there, so it’s safe to assume that the same can be said for Make-Out Reef. Luckily for us, Manray didn’t happen to shine in flashlight in a car where something like that was going on.
12. “They Are Most Certainly Not Delicious!”
As you will come to find out as this article continues, Patrick is one of the most inappropriate characters in the show. Sometimes those dirty moments of his are very forward, in your face, and hard to deny. Other times (like in this instance), we are left to wonder exactly how dirty his innuendo actually was.
There’s an episode where Spongebob and Patrick are trying to sell chocolate bars to make some quick cash, but they’re having a very tough time doing so. In the midst of Spongebob’s frustration, he stops to complain about a billboard for Barnacle Chips because they claim to be delicious. Spongebob states that “they are most certainly not delicious”, to which Patrick responds by saying “not the way I use them!” While we’re not sure how Patrick uses the chips, the smile on his face seems to indicate that there’s a reason he did not outright say it. Maybe it was a little too inappropriate for the innocent ears that are listening to the show.
11. The “Whole Wiener Thing”
The episode “Krusty Dogs” features Spongebob stumbling across a new item that is put on the Krusty Krab’s menu: hot dogs that are made from leftover krabby patty ingredients. Throughout this entire episode, the hot dogs are referred to as “wieners”, which is awkward enough as it is. However, things take an even more awkward turn when Spongebob and Squidward are plotting a way to get rid of krusty dogs so they can go back to selling krabby patties.
During one of their exchanges, Squidward says that they need “something that will make Mr. Krabs’ whole wiener thing blow right up in his face”. If you take a moment to let that line sink in, you shouldn’t have a problem realizing the double entendre behind his statement. While the reaction from Spongebob right after this line is spoken is supposed to signal that he has come up with an idea in relation to their mission, those of us who manage to catch that reference are reacting in the same way due to the fact that such a sexual joke could be made on a show that very young kids love so much.
10. Patrick’s Ready
There is no shortage of nudity in Spongebob Squarepants, but at least the characters are not drawn in any sort of inappropriate way (we promise that the censorship bar in the image above is only there for affect). So while the nudity itself isn’t necessarily a problem, what does become uncomfortable is when we see Patrick Star strip himself of his clothes and yell “I’m ready!”. Spongebob’s reaction to this moment only solidifies how awkward the situation is, but the joke is pretty much left alone at that point.
Children are more than likely not going to catch on to that, nor are they very likely to question or dwell on it for very long. They may laugh at the fact that Spongebob and Patrick are naked, but it should stay pretty innocent in their mind. That is, until they get older and wiser, and happen across this episode at that point. Then they might end up a little scarred by the scene when they find themselves questioning what exactly Patrick was actually ready for.
9. He Found The Coin Slot
In what could easily be considered one of the most uncomfortable moments in the entire Spongebob Squarepants series, we see a couple of random fish outside of the Krusty Krab and mistaking Spongebob’s horse as one of those coin-operated kiddie rides. When one of the fish finds what he believes is the coin-slot to make the ride start, the scene quickly switches to his friend, who looks extremely disturbed and uncomfortable by where his buddy shoved that coin. We also hear Mystery react in what sounds like a painful manner before she knocks him so hard that he flies across town and explodes (did Michael Bay have a hand in this episode?).
It’s easily assumed that the place mistaken for a coin slot was located in Mystery’s “no-no” square; and upon that realization, a good majority of adult viewers find themselves cringing. Where else would be mistaken for a coin slot? What other area could the fish have thought to put a coin that would justify the need to switch the camera view to his friend? There isn’t one, and good luck explaining that to your kids when they ask what happened!
8. Spongebob is Caught Watching…
This particular entry is one of the most well-known and talked about inappropriate moments in Spongebob Squarepants. The reason being is that while it can be explained away, we know all too well that there was absolutely no other reason for the moment except for the writers to get away with yet another dirty innuendo.
The episode titled “Your Shoe’s Untied” kicks things off with Spongebob watching television. He seems oddly excited by the way the sea creature is moving on the screen but he’s quickly startled as soon as Gary enters the room. It’s at that point that he changes the channel, laughs nervously, and claims to have been looking for the sport’s channel. Now, one could say that he was just watching something embarrassing and unmanly. Maybe a dance show or something similar. However, since when has Spongebob ever been embarrassed by enjoying something that people could make fun of him for? The way that he reacts hints at the fact that Spongebob was actually watching some form of undersea adult-oriented programming before Gary caught him in the act.
7. An Entire Episode About Swear Words
“Sailor Mouth” is an episode of Spongebob Squarepants that is literally about nothing but swear words. After stumbling across some dumpster graffiti, Spongebob and Patrick learn a new word that ends up offending a lot of people in Bikini Bottom. While they think it’s a “sentence enhancer”, Mr. Krabs quickly explains to them that it’s one of the 13 bad words that should never be used.
While the words are honestly just a bunch of harmless dolphin noises and different types of horns and bells, this episode does become inappropriate to the older kids who may be watching the show. Kids are curious beings and a lot of them are going to be quick to ask what the 13 bad words are. Or for those kids who already know bad words, they’re going to try and guess which word Spongbob and Patrick are using throughout the episode. That’s not exactly a great example to be setting for the kids; but at least Spongebob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabs did end up getting in trouble for the use of such foul language.
6. The Krusty Krab is in Bikini Bottom
Out of all the entries, this particular one seems to be the most unrealized inappropriate references in the show, which is weird considering we heard “Krusty Krab” and “Bikini Bottom” so many times during the show that it should be obvious. In case you haven’t gotten it yet, the name of the Krusty Krab refers to the STD called crabs. How did we come to this conclusion? Well, it’s located in Bikini Bottom. A bikini bottom. Underwear. Are you starting to catch on yet?
As a bonus, Bikini Bottom also has a resident by the name of Sandy Cheeks. Yes, we do believe that Sandy was named after butt cheeks that are covered in sand. Some of the kids who watch the show even get that one, but at least it should be a long time before they start to understand the whole “the Krusty Krab is in Bikini Bottom” concept.
5. The Panty Raid
Not only did an episode of Spongebob Squarepants feature Spongebob, Patrick, and Mr. Krabs participating in a panty raid, but the writers took it upon themselves to make sure they explained in detail what a panty raid was. In case you haven’t seen it, the title of the episode is “Mid-Life Crustacean”, and this is not the only time we will be talking about this episode on this list.
Obviously the writers of the episode felt the need to explain what a panty raid is because their target audience should probably not have any idea what an activity such as this one entails. So naturally it only makes sense to include the activity in the show anyway, but to clearly describe that a panty raid is when you break into someone’s house and raid their dressers to find their underpants. What harm could come from that, right? It’s not like kids are easily impressionable or anything.
4. Spongebob and Patrick Have a Child
We’ve talked about what could be considered the most uncomfortable moment in Spongebob Squarepants, but now we’re going to talk about what could very well be the most all-around inappropriate episode in the series. The very controversial episode called “Rock-a-Bye Bivalve” is all about Spongebob and Patrick raising a baby clam. Where this could have been done in a very innocent and sweet manner, apparently the writers didn’t find the appeal of that.
There are so many different references to the idea of the two actually being the ones who conceived the clam,including the picture above and a comment at the end of the episode where Patrick makes a questionable gesture towards Spongebob and says “let’s have another”. While this is also referred to as one of the funniest episodes of the series, there are so many people who actively state that “Rock-a-Bye Bivalve” should be, at the very least, aired less if not banned entirely.
3. Patrick’s “Feeling” It
We talked about this episode once already, but there’s another special moment that we feel the need to bring to your attention. Before the panty raid in “Mid-Life Crustacean”, Spongebob and Patrick are trying their hardest to make Mr. Krabs feel young again. While it was accomplished with the panty raid and then Mr. Krabs being grounded when he finds out it was his mother’s house they broke into, they went through a few different unsuccessful attempts.
One in particular was riding the coin-operated kiddie rides outside of a super market. Sponegbob asks Mr. Krabs if he’s “feeling it” yet, and Patrick says “I’m feeling it, Spongebob!”. As it turns out, it’s not a ride that Patrick is on. It’s another fish. So that “wild and crazy” feeling was brought on by the risqué act of riding a stranger. It’s moments like these that make us wonder how in the world this show can get away with a Y-7 or G rating.
2. STD Apology Cake
In an episode called “Overbooked”, we see Spongebob having to juggle the tasks of celebrating his best friend’s birthday, helping Sandy the Squirrel with a presentation, and building a telescope for Mr. Krabs all at the same time. At one point in the show, Spongebob is trying to buy a last minute birthday cake for Patrick. However, when we see him go to the bakery, the only cake they have available is the one that you can see pictured above, which reads “sorry about the scabies.”
Scabies is a skin disorder that is passed from one person to another. It’s very itchy and the cause of the skin condition is an infestation of a parasite. No, that in itself is not really inappropriate, but most people will agree that the idea behind this lovely moment in the show is for it to reference someone apologizing for spreading an STD to someone else. We know that scabies is not an STD, but we also know that this is definitely one of the many disturbing moments in the show that is meant to play on a morbid joke that only adults will understand.
1. Spongebob and Patrick Get Drunk
In 2004, Spongebob got his own movie! The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie travels through Spongebob and Patrick’s journey to Shell City to find King Neptune’s crown and save Mr. Krabs and Bikini Bottom. It also tells a nice little story of Spongebob wanting to become a man instead of just a kid. However, pretty early on in the movie, Spongebob is drowning his problems at Goofy Goober’s ice cream boat. While ice cream is what him and Patrick are eating, it becomes painfully obvious what that ice cream is supposed to represent very quickly.
The more ice cream that Spongebob and Patrick consume, the drunker they get. That’s right, folks. Spongebob and Patrick get drunk (I mean, these two are completely wasted) at Goofy Goober’s. Their speech becomes slurred, they act like fools, they eventually pass out, and when we see Spongebob wake up, he is showing very clear signs of a pretty gnarly hangover.
Drunken nights and hangover filled mornings are definitely not something that anyone would expect to see in a movie that is designed for children. It’s one thing to subtly hint at little jokes to catch the interest of parents, but this scene is so obnoxious about what’s going on. This movie really pushes the limits on that “some material may not be suitable for children” warning that comes with a PG rating, that’s for sure.