SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS Controversial Panty Raid Episode Removed From Paramount+ And Digital Stores
The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Mid-Life Crustacean" is not streaming on Paramount+ and is no longer available for purchase digitally. Here's the likely reason it's no longer available.
When Paramount+ (the rebrand and expansion of CBS All-Access) launched in early March, it came with the promise of all our favorite Nickelodeon and MTV childhood cartoons available to stream. Among them was Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants. However, it appears that not every SpongeBob episode has made the cut.
According to IGN, the episode "Mid-Life Crustacean" is not available to stream on Disney+. It's also not available to purchase digitally on services like Amazon, suggesting Nickelodeon has pulled it out of circulation.
A Nickelodeon spokesperson told IGN that the episode has actually been out of rotation since 2018 "following a standards review in which we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate."
The representative did not elaborate on which scenes are exactly responsible for the episode's removal, but there is a pretty good chance we already know what it is. In the season 3 episode "Mid-Life Crustacean," which first aired on Nickelodeon in 2003, SpongeBob and Patrick try to help Mr. Krabs through his mid-life crisis by showing him a good time.
At one point in the episode, Patrick suggests a "pantry raid" and the trio breaks into a woman's house to steal her underwear. It turns out the house they broke into is Mr. Krabs' mom's house. She catches them in the act and sends Mr. Krabs to his childhood room for the rest of the night.
Nickelodeon usually pairs two SpongeBob SquarePants episodes together to fill out the traditional 30-minute television time slot. Its companion episode, "The Great Snail Race," is still available to stream on Paramount+. Both "Mid-Life" and "Snail Race" are unavailable to purchase digitally on Amazon; however, Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S. are able to stream both episodes. On iTunes in the U.S., you can purchase the SpongeBob collection "From the Beginning, Part 2" for $45.99, which also contains the "Mid-Life Crustacean" episode.
The DVD box set for SpongeBob: The First 100 Episodes also contains the controversial episode, which IGN notes "has a 2020 copyright on it." Nickelodeon did not say whether the episode would be removed from digital outlets or future DVDs.
It's no secret that cartoons on Nickelodeon contain subtle jokes meant for adults that often go over the heads of children; however, there's no denying that a panty raid sends the wrong message to everyone -- especially when sexual assault and harassment concerns are at the forefront during the heightened age of #MeToo.