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Parents overreact to Spongebob Squarepants

Spongebob! Such a lovable sponge!
Spongebob! Such a lovable sponge!
Graphic: Business Wire

The subject of this article is something to which many readers are familiar. Spongebob Squarepants, is an excellent show. It has aired on Nickelodeon since 1999 and is the longest running cartoon in Nickelodeon’s history even surpassing the popular Rugrats. By far, it is a favorite of many people, child and adult alike. Of course, as is in most children's shows (especially cartoons), there is always a Negative Nancy that feels the need to ruin it for everyone by bringing up petty, irrelevant points in which the show becomes marked as evil by parents. Not all parents mind you but a lot of them.

Apparently, some people think that Spongebob Squarepants is a show not for children, which is simply a silly notion. Parents complain about so many things lately that just make them appear as overreacting parents.

Some parents like to say that the language in Spongebob is foul. Pardon, apparently Nickelodeon was unaware that using "tarter sauce" as a substitute for a cuss word was still swearing. There was one episode, "Sailor Mouth" where Spongebob discovered a new word, scribbled on the dumpster outside of the Krusty Krab. Because the word was bleeped with the sound of a dolphin, viewers never got to hear exactly what they were implying. However, it's safe to say that children aren't going to go around using dolphin noises as cuss words if that is what worries parents. But that show also taught a valuable lesson. It talked about how some words are bad and people shouldn't say them. Sometimes they slip out, but everyone should learn to control your tongue. Spongebob is FILLED with life lessons but this article is focusing on a different matter. Life lessons of Spongebob can be covered another time perhaps.

Other parents complain that there are homosexual innuendos in the cartoon. To that notion, parents need to simply get over it. Kids do not watch a show and think to themselves "Oh, that's gay!” They watch it and laugh because Spongebob put on a dress. To children, that's just fun and silly. The writers aren't trying to "infect" your children with homosexual innuendos. They're trying to make them laugh! To smile! Again, most children think it funny seeing a cartoon character do something like that. This article is not trying to be offensive to homosexuals out there so please forgive if it did offend, however, to those of you that are homophobic, you really need to consider therapy. People somehow magically find something homosexual about most kids shows now days and instantly mark it as evil which, to be frank, is just stupid. Does it not annoy you to hear this about cartoons now days every time you discuss one? "Oh that cartoon is really gay!"...No it's not...

Most of the time, it is as if parents just don't like a cartoon because it may annoy them and so they invent reasons to tell their children why it is bad. There is nothing wrong with being straightforward with your child about a show saying something along the lines of "Change it to something else...this show is giving me a headache..." At least it’s more honest then inventing false petty reasons to not watch the show period. To the parents out there reading this, it is understand if your child is below the age of 4 and still needs some time for their brains to develop. In art classes up at WKU, students learned that overstimulation of the brain is a bad thing. When too much is going on at once, it can cause your mind to have a bit of a meltdown. For young children, it is agreeable that Spongebob is fast paced and a bit crazy. But don't outlaw it forever.

When I was a wee child growing up in the boondocks of Kentucky, my siblings and I watched shows that parents now would hate. By the time I was 4 I was watching things like Rocko's Modern Life, Bonkers, Captain Planet, Swat Kats, 2 Stupid Dogs, Ren and Stimpy, etc. All those shows are even crazier than Spongebob, I think, and I turned out fine. We didn't have the "luxury" of slow, educational shows like Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues, and so on. The closest thing to Nick Jr. we had was Rugrats.

In conclusion to this commentary! Here is a challenge issued toward parents or people against new cartoons. Look up what cartoons were on when you were a child. What did you watch all the time? How do you think it affected you as an adult? Did the Smurfs REALLY make you want to live in a commune of all men with one woman? Did Captain Planet make you want to become a hippy? Most of the things you prescribe as bad shows for children aren't half as bad as what YOU make them out to be. Children aren't the ones seeing bad things in these show, adults are. Adults are perverting things that should not be perverted. It's not the show's fault; it's YOUR fault. Keep in mind that sure, you can limit what your child watches based on their age, but don't go overboard. It isn't going to rot your child's mind to watch Spongebob, and that is a promise.


  • William Cody Bateman 5 years ago

    A few years ago - I was meandering down the famous Appalachian Trail hiking on behalf of the American father when I heard a news report over my shortwave radio.

    Apparently, a violent riot broke out amongst a crowd gathered to celebrate the appearance of Spongebob for an autograph signing. Violence broke out. Why? Autograph seekers were cutting in front of each other. Who? It wasn't the kids... it was the parents!

    Amazing how parents will demand of their children avoidance of the very things they themselves practice!

  • Caring Mom 5 years ago

    I agree with you that parents are over reacting. I do think that parents should be careful and really make sure that the cartoon doesn't have an underlying agenda but I don't think that SpongeBob falls into that category. I think the creator is just having fun and my family has fun with him while we watch. Thanks for your comments!

  • Rosemary 5 years ago

    I'm the mother of two boys and I let them watch pretty much any cartoon because I do not believe my kids are going suddenly interput things that happen in cartoons,into perverted things that they don't even understand yet such as homosexuality.Seeing spongebob in a dress is not going to turn my son gay and suddenly make him attracted to men. Same as seeing bugs bunny kiss elmer fudd after he just accidently blew himself up. To kids it's just acting silly.I miss the cartoons I watched growing up.Animaniacs being number one.Animainiacs had possibly the most crazy antics I've seen in any cartoon yet yakkos world the song helped me pass a geogrphay test in middle school.Fun shows,that are enjoyable for both kids and parents grab our attention and when you slip in educational and life lessons I actually think it comes across better then some of these nick jr.shows.I will be buying animainiacs on dvd for my kids.They dont make them like they used to.

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