The episode, “Kwarantined Crab,” will not air “due to sensitivities surrounding the global, real world pandemic,” Nickelodeon’s executive vice president of communications David Bittler told NBC News.
In the Season 12 episode, a health inspector visits SpongeBob’s workplace, Krusty Krab, and informs workers and customers that there is a case of the “Clam Flu” present. They are subjected to quarantine inside the restaurant, which gives rise to anxiety and panic.
In addition to “Kwarantined Crab,” a second episode called “Mid-Life Crustacean” from Season 3 will not air. In it, SpongeBob and his friend Patrick, along with SpongeBob’s boss Mr. Krabs, break into a woman’s house and steal her underwear. The episode has been out of the show’s lineup since 2018 “following a standards review in which we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate,” Bittler said.
Paramount+, which recently began streaming SpongeBob SquarePants alongside other Nickelodeon shows, will not carry those two episodes. Amazon Prime, which streams the first six seasons of the show has removed “Mid-Life Crustacean.”
Recently, several children’s-oriented items have been reexamined and adapted to the times. Earlier in the month, it was announced that six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published due to racist imagery. In February, Hasbro rebranded Mr. Potato Head to the gender-neutral “Potato Head.”