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Nickelodeon Pulled Two SpongeBob SquarePants Episodes. Here's Why

Ah SpongeBob SquarePants, everyone's favorite kids show about an anthropomorphic sponge and his best friend, a starfish. It's been on the air since 1999 (which suddenly makes us feel very, very old) and has been loved by children the world over. But surprisingly, some of its earlier episodes have been pulled by Nickelodeon for being too controversial. "What?!" we hear you cry. Yes, it's true — even SpongeBob isn't immune to the powers of network executives. But after discovering which episodes have been pulled, it makes complete sense.

First up is 2019's season 12 episode, "Kwarantined Krab." Ah. Can you see where this is going? The story sees the Krusty Krab placed under quarantine as a mystery illness eventually called "Clam Flu" runs rampant through Bikini Bottom. All the characters inside start to get paranoid and accuse each other of having the infection — Mr. Krabs even locks SpongeBob in a freezer when he sneezes from pepper being thrown around the restaurant. Then it ends with a reveal from a Hazmat Fish (obviously) that none of the characters in quarantine have "Clam Flu" but they all have separate diseases.

It's easy to see why Nickelodeon pulled "Kwarantined Krab" with the current state of the world, whether it gets aired again after the pandemic eventually lifts remains to be seen. But the second episode that's been pulled is a little more controversial.

Mid-life crustacean

Back in 2003, Mr. Krabs was having a bit of a rough time. The season 3 episode "Mid-Life Crustacean" saw the Krusty Krab owner going through a mid-life crisis after some of his customers called him and the Krabby Patties "old and dried out" —  that's got to sting. In an effort to cheer him up, SpongeBob and Patrick Star take him on a night out to do a variety of different activities, none of which work in lifting his spirits. But when Patrick suggests they go on a "panty raid" he immediately gets excited.

Yes, you read that right. Basically, the trio break into a woman's house in an effort to steal some of her underwear — because there's nothing wrong with some light breaking-and-entering alongside teaching kids that it's okay to violate someone's privacy like that, is there? It touched on some pretty adult themes for an animated show about an anthropomorphic sponge. 

It's a wonder the episode ever made it past the script-phase to be honest. When quizzed about "Mid-Life Crustacean" by IGN, a Nickelodeon rep explained "'Mid-Life Crustacean' has been out of rotation since 2018, following a standards review in which we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate." Not kid-appropriate? Yeah, that's putting it lightly. What makes it even worse is that the trio get caught red-handed when the unknown woman walks in on them, and it's Mr. Krabs' mother. Freud would have a field day with that one.