I originally wrote a shorter version of Damn you, Clifford for a Facebook group a few weeks back. At the end of the post, I asked the members to share any kid shows they hated, too. One common response: Spongebob Squarepants. I was aghast. Spongebob Squarepants (Seasons 1-3), is one of my all-time favorite shows and I feel it is my duty to defend it. Listed below are 4 reasons why you are a soulless turd who is completely in the wrong for hating Spongebob, Seasons 1-3.
First though, let’s clarify that my defense applies only to the first three seasons of the show. Any true Spongebob fan knows these are the best seasons. If you are hating on the impostor seasons, please be my guest. By way of background, Spongebob was originally created by Steven Hillenberg (the genius behind Rocko’s Modern Life). After season 3, however, Hillenberg resigned, replaced by new writers and general un-funniness and complete destruction of our beloved SB. So as to Seasons 1-3 . . .
- Spongebob is everything you are not, like happy.
Spongebob is the eternal optimist. You aren’t. In fact if you were, we probably couldn’t be friends because I hate optimists. But Spongebob doesn’t. He is pure, kind, open, genuine, and sweet. Its the same quality we adore in Will Ferrell’s character Buddy the Elf. Or Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec. They see things as a child does- exciting, beautiful, pure. I often see our world as a dark swirling pool of scum (like I said, I’m no optimist). But then comes Spongebob. I am drawn to his outlook, even if I don’t share it.
What would the world be like if we collectively approached routine and seemingly mundane tasks with joy and excitement? Just a Tuesday? Oh no, its a TERRIFIC Tuesday. Over the past few months I have tried to implement an optimistic-lite outlook in my life. One day, I realized that I was going through the motions of life to survive Monday through Friday, while trying to live my life present and engaged with my daughter on Saturday and Sunday. What a terrible waste of my time with her. She is growing and changing each day. And each day time is passing. Now, in the mornings on my way to work, I try to remember to say a prayer of gratefulness that I woke up and so did my loved ones, and I name the day. Its a Magnificent Monday, a Wonderful Wednesday, a Fabulous Friday . . . you get the picture. It sounds kinda stupid and it pisses me off a little just writing it. But you know what? It has made a difference. I am happier through the week and I am more present throughout my day. I try to appreciate each morning, each afternoon, each routine. I’m not perfect but I’m trying. This outlook is what Spongebob is all about. He is the light of the world.
2. Spongebob’s life is simple.
In case you don’t know, Spongebob lives in a pineapple in a city called Bikini Bottom, a sunny place with clouds in the shape of flowers. He works as a fry cook in Mr. Krab’s restaurant, the Krusty Krab. In his spare time, he jellyfishes with his best friend, Patrick, or plays with his pet snail, Gary. Sound boring? Its not. Its simple. And he’s happy with his simple life.
Don’t you ever crave that? SB doesn’t worry about deadlines or emails or bullshit. SB goes to a job he loves (like LOVES). In his spare time he does what he likes to do. This past year I have tried to evaluate my own life with a similar lens. How do I spend my time? Am I satisfied with the answer? If not, why am I doing it? If so, can I find time to do more? And you know what I found? I was doing things I was often unhappy doing. Because it was the “thing to do.” Because I thought I had to. Had to? Says who? (Unless its my boss.) Why do we give our time to things we don’t like to do? And I’m not just talking about your job because if you are like everyone else, you probably need to work to support yourself or your family whether you like your job or not. But there is goodness to be found in everything, even as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab with a boss who just implemented a 24-hour restaurant as you were walking out the door to go home (this happened). What do you do? You sing songs while using your cheese-colored body to mop the bathroom floor. If you have to do something you don’t like, can you search out the goodness? Spongebob does. I think we can all take a lesson from that.
3. Crazy ass shit goes down in Bikini Bottom.
Without fail, at least 1 calamity befalls Bikini Bottom every few episodes. I love it. Someone will always have their legs broken or spiral into a psychotic meltdown. Dark humor. Give me more.
4. The show is a lesson in the pitfalls of human nature.
Other than Spongebob’s perfect soul, every other character on the show exemplifies some of the most common pitfalls of human nature. Take Sandy the Squirrel (she breathes under water with the help of a spacesuit). First of all, Sandy exemplifies what it is like to suck. I hate her and her twang. Also, Sandy is extremely prideful. She often puts her friends down and makes them feel bad. Don’t do that. It’s not nice. And nobody likes that person.
Mr. Krabs’ downfall is greed. And lucky for him that he owns the most popular and lucrative business in Bikini Bottom, the Krusty Krab. Take a closer look though, and you will see a lonely old crustacean, with only sand dollars to give him comfort. How sad. Don’t we often assume that people with money and status have perfect lives, too? Like my Grandma always says, “You never saw a hearse pulling a U-Haul.” There is a lot of truth to this. Every material thing I have in this life will likely be thrown away after I die or carted around by some guilt-ridden family member who feels like they can’t throw away my crap.
Nothing comes with us. So shouldn’t we spend our time working toward lasting things like God, love, and family, rather than the newest pair of Louboutins? Don’t get me wrong, I wish I had a pair. The Louboutins, though, won’t leave you feeling happier for long. But teaching your child that she will never be alone because God will always be there for her, long after you are gone and no matter what, will leave you happier, less anxious, and more confident than a pair of shoes ever will. And if you are wondering how I know that, please see the About Arkansas Mama section, which describes in detail my scrupulous research methods and general know-how of everything.
And then there’s Squidward and Plankton. They sort of go together in their flaws. Both are negative, hateful, and envious. I really relate to Squidward’s negativity and Plankton’s love of conflagrations. Squidward is obsessed with keeping up with other sea creatures, and their successes make him feel bad about himself. Plankton is obsessed with a take down of the Krusty Krab (he owns a failing restaurant called the Chum Bucket). His days are spent devising schemes to attack Mr. Krabs and the Krusty Krab Krew. Both are so self-involved that they take it personally when other sea creatures outshine them. Get over yourself. They are literally wasting their lives by watching what everyone else is doing. Trying to compete. Wallowing in self-pity. Don’t we do that sometimes, too?
Patrick’s downfall is stupidity and laziness. But I can’t fault him for being lazy because I love lazy. As far as his stupidity, he can’t help it, he’s a starfish. (Starfish don’t have brains. Duh.) Gary is SB’s pet. Nothing much to say about him except that having a giant snail who said meow would either be badass or disgusting.
I bet you didn’t know SB was so deep. Well that’s ok, soulless turd, now you do. So what is the takeaway from all of this? You should watch Spongebob (Seasons 1-3) right now. And you should never badmouth SB again. If you give him a chance, you will discover a hilariously funny and warmhearted show. Just watch and discover the beautiful soul I love so dearly, the ever-sweet, ever-pure, Spongebob Squarepants. And if you are hesitant and don’t know where to start, watch these episodes first. All of the seasons are available for free on Amazon Prime:
- Dying for Pie (Season 2)
- Survival of the Idiots (Season 2)
- Graveyard Shift (Season 2)
- F.U.N. (Season 1)
- Your Shoes Untied (Season 2)
- Something Smells (Season 2)
- Dumped (Season 2)
- Christmas Who? (Season 2)
- Krab Borg (Season 3)
- Spongebob Meets the Strangler (Season 3)