Dark Facts About SpongeBob SquarePants That Will Ruin Your Childhood



Dark Facts About SpongeBob SquarePants That Will Ruin Your Childhood

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
These dark “SpongeBob SquarePants” facts will blow your mind! For this list, we're looking at dark facts about the children's television series “SpongeBob SquarePants”. Our countdown includes sexual euphemisms, dirty jokes aimed at adults, grim storylines, and more!
Script written by Ty Richardson

Dark Facts About SpongeBob SquarePants That Will Ruin Your Childhood

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Absorbent and yellow, and inappropriate is he? Sponge---oh… Oh, dear… We know that there are plenty of cartoons that squeeze in adult humor, but upon closer inspection, “SpongeBob SquarePants” just might be one of the most twisted kids shows to ever grace our TV screens. It’s also been dragged into a surprising amount of controversy.

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we’ll be taking a look at Dark Facts & Truths About “SpongeBob SquarePants” That Will Ruin Your Childhood!

It isn’t uncommon to see the occasional lewd joke being made in a children’s cartoon. (Anyone else remember the Carpet Munchers from “Cow & Chicken”?) SpongeBob , on the other hand, makes them pretty frequently. One of the earliest examples comes from the episode “Texas” when SpongeBob and Patrick try come up with ways to prevent Sandy from moving back to Texas. After Patrick suggests bringing Texas to Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob exclaims, “Patrick, your genius is showing!” . . . at which our pink starfish covers his crotch in a panic. And this is nothing compared to some of the other lewd and crude gags that show up in later episodes.

“Karate Choppers” is another episode that arguably features subtle blue humor. You ever notice the way SpongeBob and Sandy talk about karate? Well, try replacing the word “karate” with a different word, and the episode begins taking a different form. The two become so obsessed with their new activity that SpongeBob gets fired. And if that doesn’t make you suspect that this episode is one 11-minute euphemism, you might want to rewatch the scene where SpongeBob and Sandy are “doing karate” over the phone.

Of course, there’s a ton of other obvious jokes throughout the show, from the panty raid in “Mid-Life Crustacean” to Spongebob’s “don’t-drop-the-soap” joke in “Gary Takes a Bath”. However, there’s been one inappropriate ongoing gag in the series that may have flown over every kid’s head - Squidward’s nose. There are many moments in the show where Squidward’s nose is flicked like a half-deflated balloon. In real life, squids have a siphon close to the beak used for locomotion. However, when the penis of a deep sea squid elongates, it can protrude well past the beak - as long as its entire body, head, mantle, arms and all. This has led some fans to look at Squidward’s nose in a different light.

Of course, despite his name, Squidward isn’t actually a squid - he’s an octopus. We might be overthinking this . . . OK, we’re definitely overthinking this . . . but that doesn’t make the situation that much better. Like shallow water squids, a male octopus has a special arm used to reach into its mantle to collect spermatophores, which it then transfers to the female. So now we’ll always be wondering . . . when did Squidward last wash his hands?!

Some fan theories have been debunked, but still make a LOT of sense when we think about it. Take the “Nuclear Test Site” theory, for example. The island we occasionally see above Bikini Bottom is named Bikini Atoll, which - in the real world - was a nuclear test site in the 1940s and 50s. It would be a disturbing backstory as to how the underwater city came to be. Plus, it’d explain some of the random explosions from earlier episodes. However, SpongeBob’s voice actor Tom Kenny has debunked this theory. In an interview with Huffpost, Kenny confirmed that Bikini Bottom is named after Bikini Atoll, but clarified that SpongeBob and friends are not mutations; rather, Bikini Bottom is a world of its own.

The grim nature of the show doesn’t end there either. For years, we’ve been teased about the ingredients used to make a Krabby Patty. But what if the formula had a dark secret? (And we ain't talking about how we like our burgers cooked!) There is a very plausible theory that Mr. Krabs may be cannibal, and the parallels are damning. In the real world, it is common for crabs to fight, kill, and eat each other. While Eugene hasn't shown a lot of aggression, that doesn't explain why few crustaceans inhabit Bikini Bottom. Any crustacean that has appeared was either Larry the Lobster, or a friend or relative of Eugene. So, what if Mr. Krabs spends his downtime fighting other crabs and bringing them to the Krusty Krab to be cooked? It would explain the origin behind the Krabby Patty name and why the Krusty Krab looks a lot like a crab trap.

Surprisingly, these jokes and fan theories aren’t what has gotten our porous pal in trouble with parents. In 2005, James C. Dobson, the founder of Christian organization Focus on the Family, criticized a video that featured SpongeBob alongside other cartoon characters as they promoted diversity and tolerance. He claimed that SpongeBob was being used to advocate homosexuality. Prior to this, series creator Stephen Hillenburg had stated that SpongeBob was “somewhat asexual”. Dobson later attempted to clarify that his real problem was with one of the video’s sponsors, We Are Family Foundation - formed to educate kids about respect and cultural diversity in the wake of 9/11. The foundation’s website, Dobson said, included links to LGBT rights organizations. For Dobson, that was damning.

This wouldn’t be the last time that SpongeBob was accused of pushing agendas. In 2005, Nickelodeon aired a SpongeBob short called “The Endless Summer” where Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob release massive amounts of carbon dioxide and cause Bikini Bottom to become uninhabitable. SIX...YEARS...LATER, FOX News uncovered the episode and accused the show of pushing a liberal agenda - protesting that global warming was being presented as a fact.

While SpongeBob has been controversial when it comes to hot-button topics, the show has also caused a stir regarding children’s learning and cognitive abilities. In 2005, the episode “Sailor Mouth” came under fire by the Parents Television Council for allegedly making light of children using profanity and teaching kids it was okay to swear. Four years earlier, the PTC had listed "SpongeBob SquarePants" as one of the best cable TV shows of the 2001-02 season - the same season "Sailor Mouth" debuted in.

SpongeBob would once again be blamed for being a negative influence after a study conducted in medical journal Pediatrics surfaced in 2011. The study showed incomplete episodes from two cartoons to 4-year-olds, reporting that those who watched “SpongeBob ” had “...performed significantly worse on the executive function tasks…”. Nickelodeon would respond by clarifying that “SpongeBob ” is not meant to be watched by the same age group used in the study and claimed that the study used “questionable methodology”.

What’s odd about “SpongeBob ”, however, is that none of this has been the show at its grimmest. People can be divided over any of the aforementioned episodes, but of them all, “One Coarse Meal” was SpongeBob at its ugliest. The plot revolves around Mr. Krabs discovering Plankton’s fear of whales and using his phobia for cheap laughs. He torments him for so long that it causes Plankton to want to commit suicide. “One Coarse Meal” has gone down as the most despised episode in the show’s history and the epitome of the show’s declining quality in later years.

Sure, we can just accept that SpongeBob is just a joyful yellow kitchen sponge under the sea. We can put a smile on our faces and allow ourselves to get lost in Bikini Bottom’s flower-covered skies and jellyfish fields. But now that we’re older and wiser, there may be more sinister things lying beneath the surface. What other cartoon shows characters go on a panty raid, may live in a nuclear test site, or possibly cook their own kind? Or...maybe we’re simply overanalyzing everything.