There is only one show on television where you will find a yellow sponge, a land squirrel, a stuck up squid and a pink star all colliding to form the very unique cast of one of the most popular children’s T.V shows of all time, SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob, the main character of the show, brings about a huge sense of positivity, laughter and fun no matter what the topic is in any of the given episodes that are aired. Hence, appealing to a younger audience platform on an everyday basis. If this is the case, then let me ask you this. Why is it that I still find my parents sitting in the living room watching SpongeBob Squarepants with enormous smiles on their faces along with much laughter? Well, that’s because little does anyone realize that the humor and appeal within the show is targeted and fit for an audience of mature adults, not kids. The real question though, is if the television program itself is trying to humor adults and kids at the same time, where is the line to be drawn? Because looking back on it now, I recall the countless amounts of times my eight year old self had to witness SpongeBob and Patrick naked and not think anything of it.
Now please, imagine your childhood self sitting on the couch watching Spongebob for hours on end. Did you ever think to ask yourself why your parents chose to watch it with you instead of doing anything else more productive with their days? Well, that’s because they would rather be entertained by a Sponge who seemingly has the humor appeal to a thirty year old instead of a three year old.
From Spongebob and Patricks public nudity in a variety of different displays, to many sexual references and hidden bad language, how were the producers of the show able to hide such derogatory humor and jokes behind the simple face of a happy go lucky sponge? Truthfully, I don’t know! Kudos to them because until now, I never thought of Spongebob Squarepants, out of all shows possible, to be the one with such adultery humor hidden behind many laughs and songs of a Sponge. How was it that we missed it.
Well to my understanding, through the art of deception, the producers of SpongeBob were able to incorporate these mature jokes and references so masterfully while still maintaining a focus of child appeal. From the use of many bright colors and different characters, to the constant fun and uplifting atmosphere that the show displays is how without a second thought, a public nudity scene or a small sexual reference is not acknowledged at all. Until you really go back and evaluate the episodes in a different manner, you would never think anything of it. Because how could televisions most beloved bright yellow sponge ever think of doing or displaying anything far from what is right.
For example, season 4 episode 20 of the Spongebob Squarepants series was entitled, “Best Day Ever.” Now this could just be me over analyzing the situation, but if my assumptions are correct, this underlying reference and intention of the producers was to highlight the signature day of April 20th, or as some like to call it, an occasion for smoking or celebrating the smoking of marijuana.
In the first place, why would producers and screenwriters even feel the need to add this sly component to what’s supposed to be a children’s show? Well, this makes me question… is it even meant to be show directed to an audience of children? My answer would be no, absolutely not. From what I can see, Spongebob and his group of friends are without a doubt appealing to a younger audience physically, but mentally, a child’s brain is not capable of understanding the humor that comes along with what the producers are choosing to display to the audience. Given this, who are the producers truly trying to attract towards the show and want as their viewers? Is the show meant to be for children as advertised or is it truly meant to be for adult viewers?
Overall, that is why the show has been and always will be so successful. Because not only does it attract younger viewers, but continuously has adults tuning in for more. Nevertheless, Spongebob will always hold the place of being an iconic figure to all, but what needs to be acknowledged is that Spongebob Squarepants is not a children’s T.V show. As much as I know this will put many at a disbelief, it’s the truth!