Banned SpongeBob SquarePants episode briefly resurfaced before Paramount clamped down again

Brad Norton
SpongeBob and Squidward

A banned SpongeBob SquarePants episode briefly reemerged on Paramount+ earlier this week, though the return was shortlived as it’s since been quietly erased once again.

Although the ever-charming SpongeBob has been one of the faces of Nickelodeon for the past two decades, the Bikiki Bottom native seemingly isn’t free from controversy.

One particular episode titled ‘Mid-life Crustacean’ focuses on SpongeBob’s boss Mr. Krabs as he tries to recapture his youth and get some excitement back amid the daily Krusty Krab hustle. During this sequence, Eugene accidentally steals his own mother’s underwear during a “panty raid” gone wrong with SpongeBob and Patrick.

As a result of this incident, the episode was not included as part of the transition to Paramount+ in 2021. According to comments provided to IGN at the time, a “standards review” deemed the episode inappropriate for children and was thus excluded from the list.

Mr. Krabs in SpongeBob SquarePants
The episode in question saw Mr.Krabs join SpongeBob and Patrick on a night full of mischievous hijinks.

Despite the ban on this particular episode of the hit cartoon show, it briefly reappeared on Paramount+ on July 17, 2023. Seemingly due to a “technical error,” as a Paramount representative informed IGN, the full episode was available to watch on the platform for a short while.

It came with a catch, however, as one viewer explained it was “only accessible if you access Paramount+ through the Prime Video app.”

Moving swiftly to fix this unforeseen error, Paramount quickly erased all trace of the controversial episode once again. Now, any fans looking to see this piece of history will have to search elsewhere as the listing simply states “currently unavailable” when selected on Paramount+.

The short-lived revival of this infamous episode nonetheless caught fire across social media, as many fans of the Sponge were elated to see it return, even if for a brief moment.

“It shouldn’t have been banned in the first place,” one person said in the replies on Twitter.

“Thank goodness,” another chimed in. “That episode is actually one of these kinds of episodes that is funnier when you’re older. My personal favorite is Sailor Mouth.”

We’ll just have to wait and see if the latest outpouring of support for the episode forces Paramount’s hands to overturn the decision and reinstate the episode in full. But for now, the years-old assessment remains in place as the Krabs-led sequence is largely kept off the internet.

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