A lot of things can be said about SpongeBob SquarePants and its message (or lack of), and a fan theory suggests the beloved Nicktoon is actually about global warming. Created by Stephen Hillenburg, SpongeBob SquarePants debuted on Nickelodeon in 1999 and has been unstoppable ever since. The citizens of Bikini Bottom are part of one of the longest-running American animated series, and one that has successfully expanded to other media, most notably film.
SpongeBob SquarePants is all about the daily adventures of the title character along with his best friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks, his neighbor Squidward Tentacles, his boss Mr. Krabs, and more. As successful and popular as it is, the series hasn’t been safe from controversy, mostly about some moments that haven’t exactly been kid-friendly and about the series’ quality decline. Still, there are some viewers that have found a different and deeper meaning to the series.
Like with many other cartoons, fans have come up with all types of theories about SpongeBob SquarePants – some darker and more intense than others, but there’s one that suggests the series is not exactly about a sea sponge living in a pineapple under the sea, but about global warming.
How SpongeBob SquarePants Is About Global Warming
The theory was originally posted on Reddit, and explains that the key is in the title character. SpongeBob is, in theory, a sea sponge, but actually looks like a regular kitchen sponge. The author explains that’s because he represents waste and pollution, which (sadly) makes its way to the ocean. Mr. Krabs represents large corporations, those responsible for environmental harm and pollution. Spongebob (aka pollution) works for Mr. Krabs (aka corporation), and his boss loves him because he produces a great amount of income, meaning that big corporations will continue to produce waste as long as they get a profit from it. Given that Mr. Krabs doesn’t care about anything other than money, the role of “large corporation” suits him.
Patrick represents Western Civilization: he literally lives under a rock, is lazy, and doesn’t pay attention to what’s happening around him. Squidward represents liberalism: his real passion is art, he’s into music and culture, and these interests are constantly ignored by his friends and acquaintances. Because of that, he’s forced to work for Mr. Krabs – the corporations he’s against. And then there’s Sandy, who even though is very intelligent and has all types of high-tech equipment, is stereotyped as a Texan (“far too into violence and living a certain way that is only beneficial to her”), which the author suggests applies to a larger group.
If SpongeBob SquarePants has some connection to global warming (maybe not exactly like the theory says) or not is unknown, but it has included nods to pollution with all types of objects from the surface falling to the bottom of the ocean and affecting the characters in different ways. Real or not, the theory fits with some characters (especially Mr. Krabs and Squidward), and it would be interesting to keep it in mind next time you watch the show.