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Most Americans between the ages of 16 and 27 have a very deep, seemingly innate knowledge of SpongeBob Squarepants – the theme song is more familiar to us than the national anthem, and we probably know the characters better than some of our relatives. .

It’s not enough to know that SpongeBob SquarePants lives in an orange pineapple and is friends with an inactive pink starfish named Patrick who lives under a dome shaped rock. Some 23-year-olds can recite every word in some episodes – the show has just been rebroadcast that many times.

SpongeBob SquarePants is not – by far – my favorite cartoon show. In its time, the Yellow Sponge was beaten in style and substance by Courage the Cowardly Dog, Hey Arnold !, Rugrats and Ed, Edd n Eddy. But SpongeBob SquarePants – a cultural role model for those 20 and over – has incredible stamina.

With that in mind, here are (in my opinion) the 10 best episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants to stream in my youth. As new episodes air so far, any enthusiast will tell you that the quality fell apart in the mid-2000s and never recovered.

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I remember these episodes so well, it took me about 30 seconds to write each synopsis from memory:

The largest of over 200 episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, “Clams” portrays SpongeBob SquarePants boss Eugene Krabs on the occasion of winning his millionth dollar. To celebrate, Mr. Krabs takes SpongeBob SquarePants and Squidward on a special fishing trip, aboard a dirty old boat in an underwater lagoon. When a clam eats the special Krabs dollar during the excursion, it swears revenge just like Captain Ahab.

Seeing a major money-making opportunity, the miser Mr. Krabs empties a trash can and renames the items as “antiques” – most memorable, telling Patrick that a toilet plunger he threw away is makes it a centuries-old soup ladle. When SpongeBob buys a Krabs soda hat that turns out to be an inestimable rarity, Krabs is determined to get it back. Even if that means exhuming the hat’s original owner, Smitty Werben Man Jensen.

3. “Squidward the Hostile Ghost”

In this episode, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick believe they have killed Squidward, after destroying a wax mannequin made in his image. When they see the Squidward (still alive) coming out of the bathroom in a powder-skinned white robe, they think he’s come back to haunt them. This episode features an obscure allusion to 19th century French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Inspired by an issue of Squidward’s “Fancy Livin ‘Digest” magazine, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick decide to become entrepreneurs, selling chocolate bars door-to-door. When direct selling fails, they resort to lies to displace the product.

When Mr. Krabs decides the Krusty Krab should be open 24 hours a day (despite the apparent lack of demand from Krabby Patties late at night), SpongeBob SquarePants and Squidward are put into operation. Bored late at night, Squidward tells SpongeBob SquarePants the spooky story of “The Hash-Slinging Slasher”, which gets too real. This episode has a strange – but effective – reference to the 1922 horror film “Nosferatu”.

Mr. Krabs enlists SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick to paint the interior of his house while he is away. Things go inexplicably well, until the pair find out they’ve dribbled paint on Krabs’ beloved framed first dollar. They are forced to cover up the mistake or face the threat of Krabs to mount their rear on his wall.

After learning about Christmas from Sandy, a former inhabitant of the earth, SpongeBob falls in love with the holidays and takes the whole town on board. When SpongeBob SquarePants’ Santa-centric promises don’t materialize, Squidward – a skeptic of all Christmas history – steps in to save the holidays.

Shortly after SpongeBob and Patrick introduced Mr. Krabs to a pirate treasure-themed board game, Krabs went overboard, convinced that the game board was a real treasure map. He then enlists SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick to join him in the search for the supposed treasure.

For Mr. Krabs, nothing is stolen as long as the thief maintains that the goods were simply “borrowed”. When he says this to SpongeBob and Patrick, they test the principle by stealing a balloon – which bursts in their possession. They are then forced to go on the run.

10. “The camping episode”

SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick, and Camp Squidward still reluctant outside their homes in this episode. The centerpiece is the SpongeBob SquarePants song about Campfire Songs, aptly titled “The Campfire Song Song”.

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