We tend to think of children’s television as safe a place for our kids, a bastion of innocence in a sometimes scary world. And what could be sweeter than a neon-yellow anthropomorphic sponge?
So it might surprise you to learn that many people believe the characters of SpongeBob SquarePants are based on the less sunny aspects of humanity. Sound skeptical? Well it’s true!
Brace yourself for a closer look at SpongeBob and his pals. After months of research and tedious scientific analysis (also, one of the writers from the show mentioned it in the audio commentary on the DVDs from the first season), we’ve discovered they’re actually representative of the seven deadly sins.
Sloth – Patrick
Oh Patrick. Could anyone be lazier than this starfish? He’s so lazy that molasses could outrun him on a cold day. It’s like they slowed his voice down on purpose, just to let you know how much effort it is for him to talk. He even won an award in the episode Big Pink Loser for “doing absolutely nothing longer than anyone else.”
Wrath – Squidward
“SPONGEBOB!!!” It’s a commonly heard refrain from Mr. Squidward Quincy Tentacles, especially when our favorite sponge blows up his house for the umpteenth time. Squidward gets set off pretty easily – with his utter disdain for Patrick and SpongeBob’s stupidity lurking beneath his snobbish exterior. He’s angry most of the time, and always seems one explosion away from a rage that could compete with Mel Gibson’s. And how the heck are there explosions underwater anyway? There’s no oxygen right?
Gluttony – Gary
At first glance, it seemed like Patrick was the exemplar of this sin – he is super lazy after all. But his eating habits pale in comparison to Gary the Snail, who does literally NOTHING but eat. How else can a snail who sounds like a cat occupy his time?
SpongeBob never stops feeding this guy. Except for that one time when he forgot and Gary ran away. Proof? We think so.
Pride – Sandy
When you think of a people who are stereotypically proud, it’s hard not to include Texans on the list. Didja know they used to be their own country? Well if you’ve ever met someone from that neck of the woods, you sure do.
In Texas, everything is bigger. And according to Texans, everything is better. And if you want a character to show a little bit of pride, you can’t go wrong by giving her roots in the Lone Star State, even if it makes no sense why a squirrel from Texas would live underwater and be romantically involved with a sponge.
Envy – Plankton
Ah the oddly charming little monster of the show – Sheldon Plankton. His entire life consists of moping around in his failed restaurant, The Chum Bucket, or coming up with elaborate schemes to steal the recipe for Krabby Patties. Why? Because he’s jealous that the Krusty Krab is a successful dining establishment. In fact, he is quite literally green with envy.
Greed – Mr. Krabs
Well this one is pretty obviously Mr. Krabs, who will do pretty much anything to get more money. Abusing his customers and his poor employee, SpongeBob is just a side benefit.
Here’s a short resume for this greedy crustacean: He has sold SpongeBob’s soul for less than a dollar. He has suffered severe head injuries while grabbing ten cents out of a garbage disposal. He even went grave robbing because he thought he could make a profitable. This guy could give Scrooge a serious run for his money (ha!).
Lust – SpongeBob
Well, maybe lust isn’t quite the right word to describe it, but it’s hard to deny that SpongeBob loves everything. A LOT. He loves Squidward who hates him. He loves Sandy, who thinks she’s better than him. He loves Mr. Krabs, who abuses him constantly. He even loves the jellyfish that sting him.
So is SpongeBob a masochist? Actually I don’t think SpongeBob can feel anything except love. And maybe that’s the point. Maybe, just maybe, this yellow blob of unconditional, purely platonic love exists to show us what it means to truly love someone. (Awwwwwww).
Or maybe he’s just a cartoon character who lives in a pineapple under the sea.