In Defense of SpongeBob SquarePants

He lives in a pineapple under the sea, and if “nautical non-sense” is something you wish then he’s your guy. I am, of course, referring to one Mr. SpongeBob SquarePants. I’m here to tell you, my friends, that I think this little yellow dude has gotten a bad rap.

Is SpongeBob my favorite show for the kids to watch? No.

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Is SpongeBob my favorite show for the kids to watch? No. It’s true that sometimes SpongeBob and his pals are a tad on the crude side. I don’t know about your kids, but mine happen to think passing gas is funny and I can live with that. Sure, there are options for more educationally redeeming children’s programming available. We watch those too. But sometimes, much like adults, kids just want to watch a mindless television show.

I often wonder if all of the parents that have forbidden their kids from watching SpongeBob have ever actually seen the show? It is not uncommon in my circle of friends for SpongeBob to be a forbidden program. Is it really that much worse than Tom and Jerry or The Roadrunner? I mean, let’s be honest. We all probably watched the classic Looney Tunes growing up, and violence was definitely not lacking. But, then again, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam weren’t passing gas. So, I guess that’s the difference??

Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam weren’t passing gas.

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Commonsensemedia.org says, “SpongeBob SquarePants contains satirical humor that might confuse kids who can’t separate fantasy from reality.” They suggest that you know what your child can handle before allowing them to view SpongeBob. Wait. Are we still talking about the absorbent, yellow, porous sponge that lives in the sea with is pet snail, Gary? Yep. I think my kid can “handle” it. As for separating fantasy from reality, well, my kid still believes that unicorns and mermaids actually exist in real life.

Look, I’m not coming down on parents that don’t allow their kids to watch SpongeBob. Really, I’m not. We know everyone from neighbors to friends to 18-year-old babysitters not allowed to watch the show. It just seems like SpongeBob is the line in the sand and I’m just curious about the reasons poor Mr. SquarePants finds himself at the center of such parental controversy.

If I’m being perfectly honest with myself, I’d rather watch SpongeBob any day over Caillou or Dino Dan. Those kids creep me out! I’m not sure that Caillou the whiny tot and Dino Dan the delusional kid are the best role models anyhow. Seriously, why do all of the adults in Dino Dan’s life continue to participate in and even encourage his hallucinations?! But I digress…

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Perhaps Joyce Slaton at Very Violet best sums up my thoughts when she posted, “Look, you want the ultimate proof that SpongeBob is a show with high moral character? Unlike so many cartoon characters (I’m looking at you, Donald Duck), both SpongeBob and Patrick wear pants. If that’s not good enough for you, I don’t know what is.”

The defense rests.

Tell me your thoughts. Do you allow your children to watch SpongeBob? Why or why not? Leave a comment.

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10 thoughts on “In Defense of SpongeBob SquarePants

  1. I actually enjoy SBSP and used to watch it religiously while I cleaned my first apartment back in 1996-98! I think the bad rap these days stemmed from articles that came out in 2011 about a study that pointed to fast-paced cartoons being bad for 4 yr olds’ attention spans. They listed SpongeBob by name as the main offender. (http://www.nbcnews.com/id/44460161/ns/health-childrens_health/t/pants-wearing-sponge-blamed-kids-poor-attention-spans/)

    I remember reading the articles with Sam back then, when Bennett was a sweet, perfect 7 month old, and we swore he wouldn’t end up watching too much tv… Or at least we’d stick to the PBS types for as long as possible. Then Nick jr. Then Disney Jr. These days, I’m more concerned with him seeing too many ads!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember this study Meredith. That’s a good argument for the prosecution. 😉

      Full disclosure: I started off not allowing my kids to watch SpongeBob in the beginning because of my preconceived notions I had from seeing these headlines & hearing other parents talk about it. I think over time I have just lost some of my convictions, lol. I’ll just say that I’m choosing my battles now. That sounds so much better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. yes, I allow them to watch it if it’s on and they want to. They really don’t want to yet though. They do watch Looney Tunes more, which is actually pretty terrible!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I grew up watching SpongeBob and didn’t turn out half bad!! Yes, I sometimes thought it was weird that Plankton worked so hard for world domination but my curse words were dolphin noises so I guess I could have learned worse things in life!!! Plus, if you shelter your kids soooo much that they need a perfect world, where everyone is just like them, in order to function you’re doing them a disservice.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well, I raised my kids (the youngest is middle aged) on Looney Tunes. They were definitely very violent cartoons, but at the same time, in those days, kids were not watching cartoons 24 hours a day! They only saw them at the most 1/2 hour on Saturday morning! So “reality” was never a problem. The cartoons I grew up with as a child were very violent Looney Tunes, but we only saw them at the movie theater before the movie! Unless of course, you include good ole Mickey Mouse Club in the 1950’s! I babysat my grandkids with good ole SBSP, and was very happy to see him on the scene along with many others! I’ve got some pretty good adult kids, and excellent grandkids I do not think were ever “traumatized” by cartoons or unable to distinguish reality. I say enjoy a little fantasy while we can! Reality hits everyone soon enough, and has absolutely nothing to do with SBSP!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t allow sponge bob for the kids. I do like it personally and think its funny. Andy actually dressed up as sponge bob in 2000 for Halloween, people thought he was a slice of CHEEZE.

    Liked by 1 person

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