Multiple episodes of the classic SpongeBob SquarePants have been removed by Nickelodeon because of their controversial nature. Of the most problematic episodes, the one titled “Mid-Life Crustacean,” has been pulled “out of rotation” and is not present on Paramount+ with the rest of the episodes of the animated series. While the episode has been censored since 2018, it is only recently that its digital purchase, from Amazon and other retailers, has been stopped as well.
In their statement to IGN, a representative from Nickelodeon shared that SpongeBob SquarePants episode “Mid-Life Crustacean” has been out of the rotation after they discovered, following a standards review, that some elements of the episode were not appropriate to be viewed by kids.
While the Nickelodeon representative refused to detail the parts of the SpongeBob SquarePants Season 3 episode which could have caused its removal, it is easy to guess. In the episode, which first aired in 2003, we saw Mr. Krabs going through a mid-life crisis. SpongeBob and Patrick decide to cheer him and suggest some fun activities, which include a “panty raid.” What follows is the scene that is the most probable reason for the episode’s removal.
Soon, the SpongeBob SquarePants group breaks into a woman’s house to steal her underwear and it turns out that the woman is Mr. Krabs’ mother. She catches the trio stealing her undergarments and sends her son to his childhood room for the night as punishment.
Initially, the Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob: The First 100 Episodes DVD box set and its subsequent 2020 re-release set included the episode. Also, originally, when “Mid-Life Crustacean” was removed from Paramount+, the episode it was paired with i.e., “Snail Race,” was also removed as SpongeBob SquarePants episodes are often made of two stories to fill its 30-minute slots. While “Mid-Life Crustacean” is still unavailable on the streaming platform, “Snail Race” is now available, though even the latter is not up for digital purchases via Amazon.
But the SpongeBob SquarePants episode hasn’t been completely erased as Amazon Prime in the USA still has both episodes available to stream while iTunes’ SpongeBob collection also includes the episode “Mid-Life Crustacean” for purchase. The Nickelodeon spokesperson declined to comment on whether the episode will be removed from all digital outlets or not. It looks like it is canceled in some spots, but not others.
Another SpongeBob SquarePants episode that recently got the ax was an episode from its 12th season, called “Kwarantined Krab.” In the episode, a Health inspector finds “Clam Flu” at Krusty Krab and quarantines the place with every customer as well as staff member inside. Soon chaos ensues and anyone who is thought to be infected with the virus is trapped in the restaurant’s freezer.
The SpongeBob SquarePants episode is not available to stream on Paramount+ and is also not included in the 12th Season’s complete DVD set. The Nickelodeon rep explained that the episode has been pulled because of its virus-related storyline that doesn’t sit well at a time when the world is battling a real pandemic.
Even though a few of the SpongeBob SquarePants episodes have been pulled, we still have plenty more to binge including the recently released The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.