What’s the Deal With Spongebob? 

Many children’s shows have mature content hidden inside for older viewers. How much of it are younger viewers picking up on?

By Alyvia Garcia 

Spongebob SquarePants was and still is one of the most popular children’s shows of all time, but are we really sure that it’s a children’s show? Since 1999 parents all over the world have been allowing their kids to watch Spongebob, and if you were not allowed to watch it as a child you got the classic response- “oh, you were one of those kids.” But maybe the parents of  “those kids” were on the right track.  

Nowadays, and even a little back then, the sexualization of children’s cartoons is so intricately placed into shows that it often goes unnoticed, even by the adults. Take Spongebob SquarePants for example, the whole cast of characters lived in a town called Bikini Bottom. Seems fine at first but when you think about it for a while, it hits you. There are many other sexual references in the show such as the spelling and capitalization of letters in the “Chum Bucket ” which I won’t explain specifically, and frequently throughout the show there are glimpses of naked butts. Some parents even go as far as to call Spongebob SquarePants “the family guy of kids shows.” Yikes. I don’t know about anyone else, but someday when I do have kids I would like there to not be any scenes like that in the shows they watch., especially in a show meant specifically for them. 

An opposing argument to this might be that children aged 6-11 won’t understand these inappropriate jokes and references in the show, but to this I would say that, that doesn’t matter. Kids pick up on everything. You can say something once to a child and they will repeat it until they are 20 years old. Which is cute at first, until your child repeats an inappropriate reference at school and now you’re having to explain to their teacher or another student’s parents that Spongebob is the root of the problem.  

Of course my goal here isn’t to try to tell anyone how they should parent or raise their kids, my goal is to inform parents on the fact that Spongebob SquarePants is not as innocent of a show as some may think. The show also has a lot of violent scenes which some parents may find inappropriate or disturbing for their child. Along with violence, there is also name-calling and just complete idiocracy. The problem with that is this; say you have more than one child, giving them siblings. An insult can cut deep, even if the child does not know what they’re saying. A child being called “stupid” multiple times can hinder their self-worth at such a young age. It’s what we have been taught since elementary school, our words can hurt. 

Overall, I would tell parents of kids ages 6-11 to consider the content of this show before letting their kids watch it. If you let them watch it often, they will catch on based on how many inappropriate jokes and references in this show, and no one wants that.