Well, here it is, the second (and last) part of the SpongeBob Life Lessons article.
Nature Pants (Season 1; Episode 9)
When SpongeBob decides that he wants to give up his current life and go life with the jellyfis, he gives away all his worldly possessions to his friends and heads out to live among his jellyfish brethren. His friends think his choice is a mistake and try to talk him out of it, but he refuses to listen. Non one believes he will have the ability to remain with the jelly fish for a long period of time, Squidward says that he will last about 11 minutes before realizing his mistake. As it turns out, his friends are right; the jelly fish aren’t all that welcoming to him and Patrick misses him so much that he actually tries to catch him and bring him back home, but still he refuses to give up his dream. But, it doesn’t take too long for SpongeBob to realize that just maybe he made a mistake after all. Will his friends take him back…will they give back all his stuff… I think you know the answer to that.
Let’s take a look at some of the lessons from this episode.
1) Some Ideas Really Are Just Bad Ideas
SpongeBob thought that living among the jelly fish was going to be a fun adventure, but when he tried it, it wasn’t what he thought it would be. Sometimes we get ideas that sound great in the planning stage, but when we put into practical use, are nothing at all like they were intended to be. That is not to say that all ideas will fail and not work, that would be a silly thing to say, but there are times when good ideas fail. But, the good news is that there is value in things failing, as it teaches us to look for alternative solutions. Thomas Edison had to try 1,000 times before he found the correct way to make a light bulb…each wrong try taught him that he had to try something else and he did so until he found the correct combination. So, even failure has valuable lessons to teach.
2) Trying New Things And Appreciating What We Already Have
Wanting to try something new and different is fine. Experiencing new things is how we gain knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. SpongeBob found out that the life he had was pretty good and the life of a jellyfish didn’t work so well for him. He learned to appreciate the life he had given up. The life of a jellyfish is fine for a jellyfish, but not so much for a sponge.
3) Everyone Has a Right To Make Their Own Choices
We can’t make someone act or think the way we want them too. Patrick learned this when he tried to catch SpongeBob and bring him back home against his will. SpongeBob kept running and hiding from Patrick because he simply did not want to go back to his old life. Patrick realized that if SpongeBob was to come back home, it had to be by his own choice.
4) Sometimes our Friends Are Right!!!
It’s is not just experts we can learn things from, sometimes our friends can have a better and clearer view of a situation than we do. Even though his friends were against his idea from the start and tried to talk some sense to him, SpongeBob was determined that he knew best. We all will have experiences like this, wanting to do something that our friends and or family will think foolish or unwise. It is probably a good idea to take their concerns seriously and examine them; are they coming from a merely emotional reaction or is there some solid basis for their concern. When you have to make a choice, such as changing your way of life like SpongeBob attempted, it’s good to look at as many points of view as possible. Our enthusiasm and excitement can sometimes blind us to the less than ideal aspects of our plans.
5) It’s Okay to Make Mistakes
During our lifetime we are going to make many mistakes and it is fine to admit that we were wrong or made a wrong choice. In SpongeBob’s case, he learned he wasn’t cut out for life as a member of the jellyfish clan, but even more importantly, he discovered he had friends who loved him and missed him and welcomed him back with open arms.
Graveyard Shift (Season 2; Episode 36)
To Squidward’s dismay and SpongeBob’s delight, Mr. Krabs announces that the Krusty Krab will remain open for 24 hours a day. The graveyard shift as it’s called, passes slowly. To liven it up a bit Squidward discovers that SpongeBob is afraid to take the trash to the dumpster because it’s dark out side. This gives him the great idea to create the story of the “Hash Slinging Slasher”, a former fry cook at the Krusty Krab who while making Krabby patties accidentally cut off his hand and then replaced it with a rusty spatula. Things go from bad to worse, when the fry cook is then run down by a bus, and finally gets fired at his funeral. But that’s not all, every Tuesday he returns to the Krusty Krab looking for revenge. There are three signs to look for that note his impending return, the lights will flicker on and off, the phone will ring and when answered no one will be there and finally, the Slasher arrives on the ghost of the bus that ran him down. Of course, even Squidward gets scared when the signs of the Slasher’s coming begin to happen, the lights flicker, the phone rings and finally a bus pulls up out front of the Krusty Krab and one passenger steps off! Oh no!! It’s the Hash Slinging Slasher and he had returned for his revenge—naw, not really, as it turns out it’s merely a kid who wants to work at the Krusty Krab who brought his own spatula and who had called earlier but lost his nerve at the last minute.
Let’s look at some of the lessons in this episode.
1) Having to Do Unpleasant Things
At times in our lives, we all have to do things we don’t want to do as Squidward discovered with having to work the graveyard shift, and SpongeBob having to take trash to the dumpster at night. But that is all a part of being a responsible person whether you are an adult or a kid. Sometimes those things we don’t want to do are based on insecurities, like with SpongeBob; he didn’t mind taking the garbage to the dumpster, he was simply afraid of the dark, but, he found the courage to face his fears and accomplished his goal. Squidward, on the other hand, didn’t want to work because he wanted to be off doing something else that’s more fun like playing his clarinet or painting another self portrait.
2) Not Everything We Are Told Is True
We can’t believe everything we are told. Squidward told a wild untrue story to SpongeBob and presented it as the truth. In life, we will meet people who will lie to us for one reason or another. If you are ever faced with a story that you think might be made up, don’t be afraid to investigate it further.
3) Getting Caught Up In Our Own Lies
Squidward thought that idea of scaring SpongeBob with the Hash Slinging Slasher story was hilarious. But, it turned out to be not so funny when it appeared as thought the story was true. That happens in life, we tell a lie for whatever reason, and then end up getting caught up in that lie, maybe having to tell more lies to cover up previous lies…whew…it sure can be a tangled web for sure.
Sailor Mouth (Season 2; Episode 38)
True sophisticates like SpongeBob and Patrick would never allow their lips to be stained by using curse words, or so we are led to believe. One day, SpongeBob, while reading “dumpster writing; the voice of the people”, comes across a word he doesn’t understand in a sentence about Mr. Krabs. Patrick tells him that the word is a “sentence enhancer” and is used when people want to talk fancy. One merely peppers your conversation with these enhancers and end up having a “spicy sentence sandwich”. The boys then proceed to use the word (blocked out by dolphin chirps, and other noises) until Mr. Krabs tells them it is a bad word, one of thirteen that should never be used.
The lessons this episode taught me.
1) People Can Be Mean
People can say and write some mean nasty things about other people. SpongeBob discovered this when he saw a not so nice piece of graffiti written on the dumpster about Mr. Krabbs.
2) When In Doubt, Find Out!
There are always going to be things we don’t understand as SpongeBob discovered when he saw those bad words written on the dumpster. When faced with something that puzzles us, it is best to seek out someone who is knowledgeable and can answer our questions like our parents or a teacher. We can also go to the library and look up the information or even go a Google search.
3) Sometimes People Haven’t a Clue As To What They Are Talking About!
We can also find ourselves being unintentionally misled. Patrick honestly believed he was telling SpongeBob the truth about what sentence enhancers were. He didn’t intentionally lie to SpongeBob, but he did give him the wrong information. This lesson ties in with lesson two.
Just One Bite: (Season 3; Episode 43)
Is it possible that the reason our favorite octopus, Squidward, is so unhappy and grouchy, be the fact that in all the years he has worked at the Krusty Krab, he has never once tasted a Krabby Patty? That is the conclusion that our favorite sponge comes too, so, he decides to make it his mission to get Squidward to just take one bite of a patty. Realizing if he doesn’t, SpongeBob won’t ever leave him alone, he takes a bite and hates it! But, wait, there is trickery afoot, as it turns out, that one bite has made Squidward a Krabby Patty fan…. all those wasted years!! Now, the fun really begins as he schemes to get his tentacles on a patty without SpongeBob finding out. He ends up sneaking into the Krusty Krabb early one morning to finally get a chance to enjoy a patty in peace and discovers that SpongeBob is there, so he locks himself in the patty vault and eats all the patties, only to have his thighs gain a huge amount of weight and..explode, in a comical way of course, nothing gruesome there.
The lessons from this episode.
1) Don’t Judge By Appearances
We can go through life being for or against something without ever having any practical experience with it. Squidward hated Krabby Patties, but he had NEVER tried one. Somethings might look good or bad from appearances, but we sometimes have to dig a little deeper before making a judgment for or against.
2) Getting Rid of the Old Beliefs Makes Room For the New
It is okay to change our mind about a thing or situation once we have gained new information that supports that change. We don’t have to hold onto old outdated beliefs that no longer do us any good and simply don’t fit our personality.
3) It’s Okay To Have Our Own Likes and Dislikes
At first, SpongeBob found it difficult to believe that there could be someone out there who didn’t love Krabby Patties, as he viewed them as an absolute good. So, he spent time trying to get Squidward to try them. After much effort, SpongeBob finally accepted that it was perfectly fine for Squidward to have his own opinions about the Krabby Patty. Even though SpongeBob wasn’t trying to be mean or to step on Squid’s right to say no, he did go overboard in his attempt to change his mind. As we go through life we meet lots of people and there might be one or two who think like SpongeBob did in this episode; that their opinion or admiration for a particular thing should be shared by all. None of us share the exact same views on everything and Squid was no different in this sense. He exerted his personal sovereignty which is one of those big fancy words that means he was his own boss in the matter and didn’t have to give in to outside control namely Sponge’s attempts to get him to try a taste of the patty.
4) Fear Can Make Us Do Silly Things
When Squidward discovered he loved Krabby Patties, he didn’t’ share this with SpongeBob because he was afraid of how he would react. Fear can cause us to do some strange things, like lock ourselves in a Krabby Patty vault and over eat till our thighs blow up… but seriously, while fear can be a good thing in that it motivates us to take a serious look at a potentially dangerous or negative situation, it can also prevent us from forming friendships and opening up to those around us. SpongeBob and Squidward could have shared a Krabby Patty lunch and gained a pleasant memory to be relieved at a later time.
4) Overeating Can Be Dangerous
Over eating can be dangerous. Squidward locked himself into the patty vault and ate so many Krabby patties, his thighs exploded. Of course this was meant to be humorous, but it is true that over eating can be dangerous to our health. It’s great to have a favorite food, but just take it easy and don’t over do it.
The Splinter (Season 6; Episode 105)
The Splinter (Episode 105) One day at work, SpongeBob manages to get his spatula stuck in the ceiling of the kitchen at the Krusty Krab. (I’m telling ya, SpongeBob is one talented little sponge!) Piling boxes and jars of mayonnaise on top of each other, he manages to get high enough to get the spatula free only to lose his balance and fall causing the boxes and jars to spill their contents. But, you know luck is usually on his side and he manages to land safely. It’s only when he takes a step and slips on the spilled mayonnaise that he ends up getting a nasty splinter in his thumb off the hardwood floor. He tries all kinds of ways to get it out, but only manages to make things worse. When Squidward finds out, he tells him that Mr. Krabs will send him home early, a thought which terrifies poor SpongeBob, because you and I know how much he loves working at the Krusty Krab. He finally breaks down and calls his best friend Dr. Patrick (we know this is trouble even before Patrick gets there, huh?) for help. Patrick only succeeds in getting the splinter stuck deeper into his thumb AND it is now beginning to show signs of infection. When Mr. Krabs finds out, it’s with ease that he pulls the splinter free. SpongeBob is now on the mend and can stay at work flipping his beloved Krabby Patties.
The lessons I learned from this episode
1) Falling Hurts
That comes as no surprise, right. SpongeBob took a really big risk when he stacked up boxes and bottles one atop the other in a make shift ladder, so he could retrieve his spatula that he had accidentally stuck in the ceiling. He lost his balance and came tumbling down only to have a huge splinter embed itself in his thumb. Ouch!
2) That Darn Fear Factor, Again
SpongeBob’s fear of being sent home early made him decide to hide his injury from Mr. Krabbs. Instead of seeking real medical attention, he sought help from his best buddy, Patrick, who tried all kinds of remedies which only made things worse instead of better. The splinter became infected and hurt more than ever. And though it might not sound like much, an infected finger could lead to much more serious health issues.
3) Taking Risks Isn’t Necessarily A Bad Thing
While it is easy to see that SpongeBob’s risk on his makeshift ladder didn’t pan out too well, that is not to say that all risk taking is bad or wrong or will lead to failure or harm. Life is full of risks, but there are things we can do to minimize the dangers involved. A plan of action carefully conceived can lead to wonderful discoveries or the ability to get our spatula dislodged from the ceiling without getting a nasty splinter in our finger.
4) Sometimes People Use Our Own Fears Against Us
It almost appears as though Squidward found some sense of joy or pleasure in threatening to tell Mr. Krabbs about SpongeBob’s splinter. He knew that this was our little sponge’s biggest fear…. to be sent home from work. In real life there are people who do the same kinds of things, they discover what you fear the most and try to use that to their advantage, it’s a sort of emotional black mail. Fighting back against this kind of thing can be tough to do, especially in this scenario since SpongeBob has always considered Squidward his friend (no matter how many times he was told otherwise). In this case the right thing would have been for SpongeBob to have told Mr. Krabbs about his injury, no matter how frightened he was of the outcome.
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