5 Bubbles of Wisdom from SpongeBob SquarePants 

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These SpongeBob SquarePants episodes will change your life 

When kids are climbing into cereal boxes and base jumping off the staircase, bless ye entertainment Gods for cartoons and family programming like SpongeBob SquarePants. Sit them in front of colorful goofballs from the iconic animated series and you’ll get a few hours (or minutes) of peace, depending on their attention span and sugar consumption.  

But if you look a little closer, SpongeBob SquarePants isn’t just for kids. Your adorable offspring will be easily entertained and delighted with anything colorful that moves – oh the joy of being a kid – but these particular episodes were also created for adults, and they might change your life.  

1. Cherish Your Furry Friends 

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”

Anatole France, French Poet and 1921 Novel Prize Winner

If there’s any one SpongeBob SquarePants episode that will have you hooked for life, it’s the Sanctuary! episode from Season 9. Patrick the starfish, SpongeBob’s loyal and bubble-headed sidekick, picks up a stray snail in the neighborhood and brings him to his pineapple house. It’s a noble gesture to pick up this stray snail that, by the looks of it, has had a rough life on the streets of Bikini Bottom.  

The only problem is, SpongeBob already has his beloved pet snail Gary to take care of, which is already a giant bubble of responsibility, especially for a single sponge that works full-time flipping burgers at the Krusty Krab.  

If you watch a few episodes, you’ll soon realize that it’s not always easy working for Mr. Krabs, the mercenary of the show obsessed with his beloved coin and making profits off the labor of one hard-working sponge: “This nose can smell laziness for up to 10,000 leagues!…I’ll give you a break you’ll not soon forget!” 

But this snail is street smart; like all adorable things, she knows the power of cuteness manipulation. Just a few cutesy glances in SpongeBob’s direction is all it takes to melt his spongey heart. Everything is going great at the Pineapple House until Patrick notices something funny. He wonders if they are dancing or doing something else entirely? SpongeBob insists that they’re just playing, but Patrick isn’t so sure. 

Sure enough, the next day there are hundreds of baby snails running amok and trashing SpongeBob’s pristine pineapple house. It’s complete chaos; there are just too many snails per square footage. Of course, with more snails, there’s more to love, but it also comes with more mess and mayhem.  

The moral of the story? If you’re a smarty pants like Sandy Cheeks the squirrel, the Bikini Bottom know-it-all, you already know the answer. But we’ll tell you anyway because it needs to be said: Don’t be a pet hoarder. Follow the sensible advice of veterinarians everywhere and get your pets spade and neutered.  

Take care of your pets and your pets will take care of you, literally. They might shed like a Chewbacca and puke on your favorite rug—and forget about recouping your security deposit— but research has found that owning a pet significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.  

2. Trust Your Creative Instincts

When was the last time you asked your inner child: What do you want to be when you grow up? With the demands of modern adulting, who has time for such nonsense, right? But in the magical cartoon land of Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob has lots of time, particularly in the episode Artist Unknown from Season 2 when SpongeBob discovers his love of painting and decides to become le artiste!  

Everything is going great for the resident sponge of Bikini Bottom, until Squidward, the curmudgeon dream crusher of the series appoints himself as his mentor. Everybody knows a Squidward, either in the workplace or in their personal lives. The Squidwards of the world might have good intentions, but jealousy and strict rules can knock down your creative process like a tidal wave.  

For this sensitive sponge, Squidward’s criticism is so crushing that he ends up quitting art and crying in a dumpster. Despite Squidward’s harsh feedback and rigid artistic rules, SpongeBob climbs out of the dumpster and has a creative breakthrough that impresses Mr. Moneybags, an art collector. Naturally, Squidward is beyond excited and wants all the credit. 

We’ll spare you the needlepoint cliches but the lesson here is simple: Creativity is already flowing through you; the trick is to find a way to channel it. The problem is getting rid of the blocks, which can range from negative self-talk, father issues, an aching back, kids hang-gliding from bunk beds, dream-crushers, paying the bills, etc.  

Keep in mind that creativity isn’t just relegated to dreamy ideas like finger painting and basket weaving. It could be a brilliant business strategy or that one smart investment that fast tracks you to an early retirement. When you get that stroke of insight and inspiration, let your instincts guide you, not the Squidwards in your life. Which brings us to the next lesson… 

3. Obsessive Thoughts Are Not Your Friend 

Even happy-go-lucky SpongeBob SquarePants, who loves flipping burgers at Krusty Krab, gets a bad case of rumination from time to time. In Opposite Day from Season 1, his thought process goes something like this: 

SpongeBob: I don’t get it. I made my house a mess, which was making it clean, which made Squidward clean my yard. But that means he’s really messing it up.  

But the opposite of clean is filth, which means filth is clean, which means Squidward is really making my yard a wreck. But normally I wreck my own yard, which means Squidward is really being the opposite of Squidward, which means he’s SpongeBob!  

According to psychologists from Medical News Today, there are a variety of triggers that can shift your mental hamster wheel into overdrive or ludicrous speed. Whether it’s a recent traumatic event, low (or high) self-esteem, or a stressful situation like a breakup or divorce, the road to hell is paved with excessive and intrusive negative thoughts.  

Besides watching goofy cartoons like SpongeBob SquarePants or other ‘of-less-concern’ type entertainment, experts also recommend avoiding triggers. For example, if you’ve been doom-scrolling news headlines and feeling depressed, a media detox might be the best remedy. Exercise, spending time in nature, meditation, and new hobbies can also help shut up your inner Debbie Downer.  

4. Be Assertive 

Plankton, the villain of Bikini Bottom, spends most of his time plotting and scheming to steal the secret formula for Krabby Patties so he can boost his failing burger joint The Chum Bucket. But in one episode, he takes a break from world domination to give wide-eyed SpongeBob an important lesson about being assertive. 

In the episode Walking Small from Season 1, an adult fish unknowingly sits on SpongeBob, and being a well-mannered, over-polite sponge, he doesn’t do anything. But Plankton just won’t stand for his pushover tendencies, so much so that he must temporarily halt his evil plans and intervene on SpongeBob’s behalf.  

Plankton: No, no. Be assertive!  

SpongeBob misunderstands Plankton’s advice and inserts his fingers into the guy’s pockets. 

Plankton: Not in-sertive. SpongeBob, you missed your chance! You’ve got to be aggressive to get the things you want! You’re too soft! 

SpongeBob: But I’m a spon— 

Plankton: Don’t say it!    

5. Enjoy Your Alone Time 

“Isolation is a gift. Everything else is just a test of your endurance. You will be alone with the gods. Your nights will flame with fire.”

Charles Bukowsky, Poet and Author of Hollywood and Ham on Rye

Enjoy your alone time? Well duh, you might say as you double-fist Doritos and hedge your bets on Tinder. Everybody needs a little solitary R&R time. The greatest minds of the age, from Einstein to Socrates, knew the importance and sanctity of alone time, including SpongeBob and his happy song of solitude in the episode I had an Accident from Season 3: 

I know of a place 

Where you never get harmed 

A magical place 

With magical charms 

Indoor/outdoor

And then he sits down in front of his computer. Oh, the wonderful, glorious Internet, the tree of knowledge, and the soothing balm for combating loneliness. But remember: Be like SpongeBob and use it wisely. 

For some, being alone is a fast sleigh ride to loneliness, a yucky feeling that can quickly turn anyone into a human storm cloud. And according to numerous studies, it’s more than just feeling low. Along with an increased risk of depression and anxiety, loneliness has been linked to serious health problems like heart disease and strokes.    

Photo courtesy Pixabay

Whatever your relationship status or living situation, it’s important to remember that loneliness is a state of mind. For example, studies show that people in toxic relationships report feeling lonely even when around their partners. And yet despite their love lives metaphorically resembling a pile of garbage floating down a river of piss, researchers have found that a high percentage of these individuals remain in unhealthy partnerships because they fear being alone. That’s quite a conundrum.  

Think of it this way: Being okay with solitude is like a superpower because you don’t need anyone but yourself to be happy and fulfilled. Eating microwave dinners for one might not be ideal, and even worse if they’re vegan and gluten-free, but it’s often these moments of solitude when your creativity can really flourish. And it sounds much better than settling for the garbage/river of piss scenario.  

Here at Vidgo, we dare you to step away from adulting for a moment, watch these SpongeBob SquarePants episodes (with or without kids), and consider the surprising bubbles of wisdom straight from Bikini Bottom. 

Further Reading: 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326944#tips

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/having-a-dog-can-help-your-heart–literally#:~:text=Pet%20ownership%2C%20especially%20having%20a,decreased%20risk%20of%20cardiovascular%20disease.&text=Several%20studies%20have%20shown%20that,tend%20to%20get%20more%20exercise.

https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html

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Check out more sports and entertainment articles at the Vidgo blog, The Stream, including an article on why subtitles are beneficial for both kids and adults.

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