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For countless children – and smart adults – Sponge Bob SquarePants was more than just a cartoon sponge; he’s an iconic and beloved character who has pleaded for the relentless power of being shamelessly goofy. And with the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, you might finally want to show your child the slightly absurd world of Bikini Bottom, especially the sponge that lives in a pineapple. Fortunately, the first four seasons are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video for free, so we’ve picked 10 episodes that will perfectly introduce your child to the nautical absurdity of Sponge Bob SquarePants.

(Note that all of the following links are Amazon Prime links, but if you don’t have an Amazon Prime account, Spongebob episodes are also available for purchase on YouTube.)

Most shows need at least a dozen episodes to find their place but from the start it was clear Spongebob was special. Almost all of the first episodes are true classics to watch again, but “Bubblestand” stands out, because it introduced us to the most hilarious formula of the series: SpongeBob and Patrick poking the shit out of Squidward with their boundless, clueless enthusiasm. .

When SpongeBob and Patrick learn that their favorite crime-fighting duo, Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (clearly inspired by Batman and Robin), are living in a nearby nursing home, they set off to meet their now idols. geriatrics to try to get them out of retirement. and once again serve the justice of self-defense. SpongeBob and Patrick manage to succeed by being nuisances large enough to convince Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy to use their powers to keep their biggest fans as far away from them as possible.

Plankton has only one goal in life: to steal the Krabby Patty formula so that the Chum Bucket, his empty restaurant, finally has customers. And maybe his brightest plan is when he builds a robot clone of Mr. Krabs to try and trick SpongeBob SquarePants into giving him the formula. The plan almost works, as Plankton manages to cheat SpongeBob SquarePants, but ends up grossly underestimating the number of tests put in before SpongeBob SquarePants give him the formula.

About 60 percent of the first episodes of Spongebob revolve around Squidward being pushed to his mental breaking point because of his next door neighbors, so it was only a matter of time before he tried to leave Bikini Bottom for greener pastures. But when Squidward finally moves to Tentacle Acres, a community filled with octopuses playing the clarinet and loving canned bread, he gets bored and regrets Spongebob and Patrick’s childish behavior. It’s a brilliant twist that shows that deep down, Squidward enjoys living between these two models.

When an artist drops his pencil while drawing on a boat, SpongeBob and Patrick discover that the alien utensil can be used to create living art. SpongeBob SquarePants “Doodlebob,” an animated version of himself that quickly begins to wreak havoc in Bikini Bottom. The two think they’ve erased the bizarre creation into oblivion, but one of his arms remains and Doodlebob is able to regain his full strength once he gets his hands on the magic pencil. Doodlebob then tries to destroy Spongebob, who must find a way to either defeat his creation or cease to exist.

Mr. Krabs decides that the Krusty Krab will be open 24 hours a day, which means that SpongeBob SquarePants and Squidward, the only two employees, will work there 24 hours a day. When Squidward finds out that SpongeBob is afraid of the dark , he tells him the story of the “Hash-slinging Slasher”, a former fry cook turned ghost who haunts Krusty Krab employees at night. Squidward manages to terrify SpongeBob SquarePants but he can’t explain when his made-up story suddenly becomes real.

In his heart, Spongebob is a tribute to the power of optimism and one that is never displayed more clearly than in this episode, where Spongebob and Patrick form a club that blindly follows the Magic Conch, which is essentially a magic 8-ball that is shaped like a ‘a conch instead. Squidward laughs at the two but, of course, when the three find themselves stranded in the wilderness, their faith in the magical conch provides them with food and shelter, while Squidward’s doubt leaves him cold, hungry, and alone. HELLO THE MAGIC CONCH!

With Spongebob, sometimes the simplest episodes turn out to be the best. Case in point: SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick use their imaginations while playing with a cardboard box, much to Squidward’s dismay. Soon after, Squidward is convinced that there must be more in the box than the two suggest and he tries to catch them in the act. But just as Squidward learns that no technology can defeat the power of the imagination, things predictably turn against him.

When SpongeBob’s hand briefly appears in a Krabby Patty commercial that airs at 3:28 a.m., he quickly lets the nonexistent fame go to his head and begins to act like a top celebrity, assuming every customer look for an autograph instead of food. The episode is a masterclass in the show’s wacky sense of absurdism, culminating with Spongebob performing a song called “Striped Sweater” to confused and angry customers.

Mr. Krabs decides to turn the Krusty Krab into a hotel with a simple rule: “We will never refuse a guest, even the most ridiculous request. This is immediately put to the test when Patrick checks in and starts making one silly request after another. Squidward ends up resigning and tries to turn the situation to his advantage by becoming a guest at Krusty Towers. Predictably things don’t work for him.