I know the immediate response to such a question will probably be the logical "stop watching cartoons and get a job" response I got from my mother when I mentioned this article. I admit that I do spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the many inconsistencies that bubble up from Bikini Bottom, but that's only because Nickelodeon has decided the best way to view that show is in lengthy, multi-episode blocks. After three hours of hanging out in a pineapple under the sea, you start to notice some weird shit going down.

SpongeBob is a dude who wears his Sunday best to dunk grease barrel fries for minimum wage. I'll deal with the big "conspiracy" first. There's a clique on the internet composed of people with a similar lack of scheduling conflicts and a crippling cartoon addiction that has come to the conclusion that the fictitious town of Bikini Bottom lies at the bottom of the one and only Bikini Atoll. Not impressed yet? Well let me dangle my large, throbbing history degree in your face and spray some knowledge up on ya.

The Bikini Atoll is a remote island chain in the South Pacific known mostly for its gorgeous panoramic vistas, delicious seafood, and terrifyingly high radiation levels. You see, as WW2 was drawing near its explosive end (get it??), the good ole' boys of the American Navy needed a nice secluded spot to play around with all those shiny new atomic killing toys that would add the fireworks to the end of the last great war. So after purchasing the islands from the locals at the bargain basement price of a few shiny beads, they set up a couple hundred junked out battleships and started fusing atoms like a kid with a paper bag full of cherry bombs.

USS Saratoga at Bikini Atoll
From mushroom clouds to cartoons on mushrooms.
Fast forward to the SpongeBob era. Ever notice all the buildings not composed of delicious tropical fruit are made of poorly-bolted-together slabs of steel, as though constructed out of old slabs of blown-up battleship? Or that all the fish are oddly mutated and the only real outsider is a squirrel sent to an underwater research facility? That sounds like literally every fallout zone I've ever been in.

But I'm not even waving half of SpongeBob's multi-colored freak flag yet. It gets even weirder. The inconsistencies really start piling up when you watch the show in a completely sane and, most importantly, sober frame of mind. This is important, as I had never seen the show before without drinking, smoking, or at least huffing paint from an old sock. A lot of the weird stuff I'm about to point out is pretty hard to keep track of when your lips are covered in silver spray paint and SpongeBob's giggle keeps syncing perfectly with your eye-flutters and that pulsating ringing sound in your ears, but that's a different story.

Now we all know that Mr. SquarePants is gainfully employed at the Krusty Krab, a tacky underwater themed burger joint run by the miserly Mr. Krabs. Not all that weird, just a dude with a minimum wage job. It gets kinda weird when you notice that he attends that job, and everything else for that matter, decked out in a full three-piece suit and tie. I wore cargo pants and a wrinkled button-down to my granddad's funeral, and he's rollin up to work at a burger joint dressed like Don Draper? Okay, so now we have a dude who wears his Sunday best to dunk grease barrel fries for minimum wage, but that doesn't mean he's not a functioning member of sea-ciety right?

Only he's not. Not really, I mean he's still in school. Boating school technically, but it's treated much the same as a normal school in the show, with hall passes, gold stars for good behavior, even basic desk sanitation lessons. These are all things that you would find in an elementary school, not a high school or junior college, where you would expect a guy like SpongeBob with a full-time job to go to school.

But it's not just the "good noodle gold stars" thing that leads me to assume SpongeBob attends elementary school, it's the fact that he acts like a fucking 9-year-old. Together with his functionally retarded BFF Patrick, they run around town acting like prized assholes and nobody but Squidward ever calls shenanigans. They play "imagination" in an empty cardboard box, have karate duels with a squirrel, hell they even have a secret club that takes orders from a "magic 8 ball" style toy. He's a fucking child, which makes sense, because it's a children's cartoon. However, this brings up the last, yet most obvious complication.

Everyone knows SpongeBob lives in a pineapple under the sea (it's in the theme song for Christ's sake), but what the theme song doesn't say is who lives in the basement of their parents' pineapple under the sea. Because SpongeBob lives alone—better yet he doesn't even have to rent—he's a straight up mortgage-holding homeowner! I'm 28 years old and less than a dick length away from being a college graduate and I don't own any goddamn toothpaste, much less a freaking house.

So let's do some strange-ometer arithmetic: We have a character of an undetermined age who works full-time at a dead end job while attending the 4th grade who lives without parental supervision in his own home. Doesn't matter how you dice it, there are some creepy complications that pop out of that little logrithm. We either have a young child who has been forced into a life of menial labor with a complete lack of anything resembling parental care, or an adult with some kind of crippling developmental disorder that makes him unable to deal with society. At least in my day cartoons made sense: we had monkey/rabbit-children that lived in a water tower and lab rats with delusions of grandeur and a penchant for world domination.

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