He may live in a pineapple under the sea (at 124 Conch St.) in a town called Bikini Bottom, but if you watch the show like I do, you'll realize that SpongeBob SquarePants lives in the real world just like you and me.
SpongeBob (a square sponge) and Patrick Star (his best friend, a starfish) always make me laugh, but more than that, they make me think. I've been following their antics for half a decade and began watching it only because a friend's son was 4-years-old then and we watched it every morning.
My favorite episode involves the power of imagination and where it can take you. Even Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than intelligence."
SpongeBob and Patrick bought a large TV just so they could play with the huge box it came in. They let Squidward, their neighbor (and a squid), have the TV while the two of them sat inside the box imagining they were having a mountain-climbing adventure; complete with avalanche and all the sound affects.
Squidward remarks that they are even dumber than he thought and mocks their in-the-box adventures. SpongeBob tells Squidward that "You don't need a TV when you have your imagination," and each time he says that word he spreads his sticklike arms and a rainbow appears over his head. He declares enthusiastically, "I can be anything I want."
After the mountain-climbing adventure, the boys are in a rocket ship with loud liftoff noises and voices from mission control. Squidward keeps running out to
That night Squidward decides to try the box for himself and climbs inside. Imagining he is in a racecar and pressing the gas, there are loud engine noises and he begins to feel the box vibrate, and then yes, the box begins to move. He becomes a full-blown believer shouting in excited delight. Unbeknownst to him, it's not his imagination causing these sensations, but an actual dump truck is picking up the box.
Squidward ends up being dumped: thrown from the box face first in the middle of a smelly pile of garbage.
Moral? There are several: Imagination is a marvelous thing and should be cultivated and, yes, we do not need a television. Another is always be skeptical and check all the possibilities and facts if things seem to good to be true.
Another favorite is the SpongeBob full hour special where we learn how friendship and love can triumph over disaster and even death. The friends are on a quest for a crown in the forbidden Shell City Gift Shop. Leaving home they arrive at Shell City only to find that it is a deathtrap where sea creatures are killed, dried and then mounted or stuffed as gifts for tourists.
The evil proprietor pins the friends to a table and directs a drying light on their bodies and they begin to dry and die. Before they take their final breaths they spot the crown and congratulate each other that they have made it to their destination and they speak of their friendship and all the wonderful things they have shared.
In these final moments they both shed a tear of remembrance and sadness and their tears combine, travel down the table to the drying light's plug, which short-circuits it. The sparks cause smoke, which activates the sprinkler system and suddenly torrents of water pour on their emaciated bodies and they are reborn. Grabbing the crown and freeing the other sea creatures from their suspended animation they make it back to Bikini Bottom.
Another favorite episode is one where SpongeBob decides he is too old for Grandma's hugs, kisses and cookies. So he stops visiting and Patrick becomes the new favorite at Grandma's. SpongeBob soon realizes that growing up does not mean you can't have kisses, hugs and cookies from those who love you and those you love.
Yes, SpongeBob, you're never too old to wise up.