Two episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants have been removed from Paramount+ for content that Nickelodeon has deemed inappropriate.
Created by marine biology educator Stephen Hillenburg, the beloved children's show originally premiered in 1999 and has continued to air for more than twenty years. A wildly popular series, SpongeBob SquarePants follows the titular protagonist, an affable sea sponge, as he resides in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom with his co-workers and friends.
Throughout its run, SpongeBob SquarePants has received widespread praise for its wit and bizarre humour. It initially garnered broad viewership on its Saturday morning television spot, toppling Pokémon as the highest-rated children's series at that time.
According to IGN, Nickelodeon removed two installments of SpongeBob Squarepants, including "Mid-Life Crustacean" and "Kwarantined Krab" from its catalogue. Both episodes are no longer available to stream on Paramount+ or on Amazon Prime. A Nickelodeon representative explained, "'Mid-Life Crustacean' has been out of rotation since 2018, following a standards review in which we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate." In a statement, the channel also revealed its reasons for pulling "Kwarantined Krab," saying that it "centers on a virus storyline, so we have decided to not air it due to sensitivities surrounding the global, real-world pandemic."
While Nickelodeon did not confirm which story elements of "Mid-Life Crustacean" were inappropriate, it appears that the problematic scene may have involved a "panty raid." During this incident, SpongeBob, Patrick, and Mr. Krab break into a woman's house to steal her underwear, only to discover that they have unwittingly entered the abode of Mr. Krab's mother.
Considering the fact that SpongeBob SquarePants is specifically geared toward children, it is understandable that Nickelodeon would be hesitant to keep these episodes in their digital rotation.