Why These ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Episodes Were Taken Out of Rotation

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Image via Getty/Greg Doherty

Two episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants are now out of rotation—one for its similarities to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the other likely for glorifying Mr. Krabs’ “panty raid.”

You won’t be catching SpongeBob and the gang in episodes “Mid-Life Crustacean” or “Kwarantined Krab” anytime soon, as initially reported by IGN, which discovered “Mid-Life Crustacean” is “out of rotation” due to a “standards review.” Meanwhile “Kwarantined Krab,” a new episode that focuses on a “virus storyline,” has also been shelved by Nickelodeon.

“Mid-Life Crustacean,” the Season 3 episode that first aired in 2003, features Mr. Krabs going through a mid-life crisis, as he tags along with SpongeBob and Patrick to feel young again. They eventually embark on a “panty raid” and break into Mr. Krabs’ mother’s home to steal her underpants, not realizing it was her home.

“’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,” a Nickelodeon representative told IGN, not specifying if the station considered a “content warning” before the episode.

The Season 12 episode “Kwarantined Krab” follows a health inspector who discovers the “Clam Flu” at the Krusty Krab, and quarantines Bikini Bottom residents inside the eatery.

“The ‘Kwarantined Crab’ centers on a virus storyline, so we have decided to not air it due to sensitivities surrounding the global, real-world pandemic,” Nickeledeon told Deadline in a Tuesday statement.

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