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Why You Can't Stream Spongebob Squarepants' 'Mid-Life Crustacean' Episode On Paramount+

"Spongebob Squarepants" fans may find something missing when searching through the available episodes on Pararmount+. A 2003 episode from Season 3 of the popular animated show has been removed from the streamer. The episode in question is called "Mid-Life Crustacean," and it follows Mr. Krabs dealing with a mid-life crisis. He turns to Patrick and Spongebob for a night out on the town to help make him feel young again, and some of their antics are what led to the episode being pulled.

This is not the first time a cartoon episode was so controversial it was banned or pulled, as seen with episodes of "Tiny Toon Adventures" and "South Park." Now, Nickelodeon mainstay "Spongebob Squarepants" has met a similar fate. A representative for the network told IGN that the episode in question "has been out of rotation since 2018, following a standards review in which we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate." This fan-favorite episode gave audiences the oft-quoted line "Are you feeling it now, Mr. Krabs;" however, there are elements deemed not-for-kids and inappropriate in this episode.

There is an inappropriate panty raid in the episode

The reason for the "Spongebob Squarepants" episode "Mid-Life Crustacean" being taken out of circulation has to do with a scene at the end of the episode. When Mr. Krabs needs a night out on the town after being down about his age, Patrick and Spongebob take out to do their favorite evening activities, like watching laundry machines and going to the dentist. The episode then culminates with the trio going on a panty raid. In true "Spongebob" fashion, the panties the group ends up raiding belonged to Mr. Krabs' mother, so he is punished and sent to his room, making him indeed feel young again. 

Fans of the series weighed in through a Reddit thread on the episode's removal and opinions seem split. "I understand why they pulled the episode," u/flclhack said, "but they're trying to scrub it out of existence, and I'm never in favor of that." Another Redditor, u/damados, said, "They ban this episode but not the one where Squidward's toenail gets ripped off." 

Overall, it seems as if viewers saw the reasoning for calling the episode into question, but they also would have been open to the network approaching it in a different way. Time will tell if the episode of "Spongebob" that went too far will ever be added back to the service.