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Spongebob Squarepants' Social Commentary
By FaceTheCitizen | 28th June, 2013 | 5:33 pm | The Moped Insurgency


Spongebob Squarepants' Social Commentary

You would never expect children's cartoons to contain hidden social commentary. After all, it's for kids. Kids don't want to hear about austerity economics or how about close they were to getting aborted because daddy forgot to pull out, unless it's a very special episode, which are as subtle as North Korea peacefully stopping any riots.

But sometimes, a cartoon is daring enough to say what it isn't afraid to say in metaphors and analogies. That cartoon is Spongebob Squarepants.



The episode Club Spongebob is about Spongebob and Patrick forming a club. Their grumpy neighbor, Squidward, asks what's the dealio but they tell him they won't tell him because he isn't a member. Squidward forcibly enters their tree house, but the three end up getting stuck. In an attempt to escape, Squidward flings the tree house into a kelp forest because cartoons. The three are lost in the forest and Squidward starts panicking. Spongebob whips out the magic conch shell, a Magic 8-Ball like device which they treat as all-knowing and believe that it should never be questioned. They ask it what to do and it tells them, "nothing". Squidward tells them to fuck off and doesn't listen to the conch shell and prepares to eat a tick.

All of a sudden, an airplane (yes, an airplane underwater that is piloted by fish) has to let go of its cargo to avoid crashing. Said cargo was food. It lands next to Spongebob and Patrick, who proceed to eat.

"To Squidward, from Life."

Spongebob and Patrick are willing to share their food, but before Squidward can dig in they force him to ask the conch shell if he can eat. He caves in and does. It says no. Before Squidward loses his shit, a ranger comes in and rescues them. He then reveals that his own magic conch shell told him to rescue them. They ask it again what to do next and it says, "Nothing." They all sit down and do nothing, including Squidward.

The Hidden Commentary

It's about religion. More specifically, Christianity.

Spongebob has a club that listens to a magical object that they believe is all-knowing and shouldn't be questioned? Those who question it are punished? Eventually the unbeliever turns into a believer? It's like a Chick Tract, if Jack Chick was capable of humor, which is a hard thing for him to do since his mother changed her mind halfway through the abortion, but not before she poked the humor part of the brain with the coat hanger.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Spongebob Squarepants! And who isn't going to hell for praying to pagan gods? Spongebob Squarepants!

At first glance, it may seem like a pro-religion episode, but if you look carefully it seems like it's mocking those type of Chick tracts. The main characters are putting too much faith in an item and use coincidence as evidence of it working. When the ranger arrives, he doesn't lead the lost characters back home, he sits on his ass because the conch says so. Squidward joins "the club" because he was broken spiritually, not because he willfully believes in it. Not to mention that the conch shell has a female voice, which is a no-no since most Christian sects view God as a male. It's not making fun of Christianity, just of the crazy fundamentalists.

"God Hates Sponges."

Gated Communities and Diversity

The episode Squidville focuses again on Squidward. Tired of his neighbor's stupidity, Squidward moves to a gated community filled with other walking octopi. He finds how similar they are to each other to be a great and wonderful thing and is happy to be with his fellow brethren. As time goes on, Squidward grows tired of doing the same thing over and over again. Spongebob and Patrick try to meet up with him, but aren't allowed on the premises until Patrick accidentally knocks out the guards. They go in, only for Squidward to escape the neighborhood by using a reef blower (that sounds dirty).

She really knows how to blow.

The Hidden Commentary

Gated communities suck more dick than a Thai prostitute. Oh, and we need diversity.

Gated communities are known for being so white bread, you'll die from sodium overdose. In the community Squidward briefly moved into, everyone was an octopus. No fishes, no starfishes, or crabs, or sponges. The guards even told Spongebob and Patrick that their "kind aren't welcomed here". It was pure homogeneity and the Spongebob writers are saying that sucks. White, upper class people need to chillax son, and not separate themselves from the masses.

So there you have it. Spongebob Squarepants burned religious fundamentalism and gated communities. Don't make Fox News read this article, unless you want to send a SWAT team to their headquarters before they sacrifice another illegal gay Hispanic immigrant to appease their God.

Tags: Sociology, Commentary, Cartoon 31

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