The SpongeBob SquarePants episode “Mid-Life Crustacean” has been taken “out of rotation” by Nickelodeon, and is currently unavailable on Amazon Prime or the recently launched Paramount+, according to IGN. A representative from Nickelodeon told IGN that the episode, which features Mr. Krabs enduring a mid-life crisis and going on a “panty raid,” that the episode has actually already been out of broadcast circulation for a few years.
“‘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,” an unnamed representative said, only adding there was “no comment” on whether Nickelodeon may consider employing a content warning and reinstating the episode. Slate had contacted representatives from Paramount+, but did not receive a response by publication time.
This episode being pulled is part of a larger, ongoing trend where shows routinely re-assess their content. Last year, Adult Swim opted to quietly retire several episodes from several series when bringing its content to HBO Max. When episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Boondocks, and The Shivering Truth were noticeably absent from the service, a representative said these episodes were “permanently retired due to cultural insensitivities” and “When Adult Swim transitions to a new platform, we determine what episodes are selected through creative and cultural filters and our standards and practices policies. Oftentimes these decisions are made in collaboration with the show’s creators.”
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