Do You Remember Your Childhood?

Elliott Cave, Staff Writer



What were the most memorable childhood memories you had? It could have been learning how to ride your bike, starting school, meeting your childhood best friend(s) or even sitting down and watching your favorite TV show after a long day of school.

Whether it stems from entertainment, school or lifelong friends; one thing rings true, they all have to start somewhere.

My earliest memory begins in 2011, when I was in the middle of kindergarten.

I remember sitting down in my living room in front of the television watching commercials and shows with very little interest; but one, one stood out — was it the colors? Was it the silly display of characters? Who knows? But it caught my attention in a way that kept me watching right until the series ended in 2021.

“Spongebob Squarepants” is about a  yellow cartoon sponge with an immature sense of humor and an unforgettable laugh, with his dimwitted friend Patrick Star and his neighbor Squidward Tentacles, and a range of many other characters, such as Sandy Cheeks, Eugene Krabs, Ms. Puff and Sheldon Plankton.

The show is full of the wacky everyday adventures of Spongebob and his friends and coworkers. Every episode is a new adventure, and it seems as if the excitement in Spongebob’s life never ends.

The most memorable season for me was season 8, as it was the first season I had fully seen in full compared to the past seasons and I had never seen anything quite like it. Now this show was not new, not by any means, but it was new to me.

Every episode was a new and exciting experience that fascinated me and audiences alike.

For instance, my friend Katie Gast who has been watching Spongebob for about as long as I have, shared her favorite episodes and moments from season 8 and said, “One of them that stuck out to me is called, “The Other Patty,” and when Plankton tried to steal the Krabby Patty formula and it brought so many memories, nostalgia because Plankton was so used to trying to steal the recipe for so long and had to do a lot of work to try to get it. Mr.Krabs and SpongeBob always had to stop him. In this episode there was another version of a patty, and Mr.Krabs and Plankton were both trying to get the recipe.”

My older sister Katie,who has been watching Spongebob longer than I have, said, “Season 8 had the ‘It’s a Spongebob Christmas’ episode and that felt like it came out at a time when I was maturing out of watching kids shows like Spongebob. So it stands out in my mind because it was probably one of the last Christmas specials that I got to watch and I  still enjoy it for all its silliness and nonsensical hijinks. Other episodes from that season make me a lot more annoyed in contrast, like the ‘Drive Thru’ episode, because it was entirely about putting bandaid solutions over an issue. I was getting a little too old to find that type of humor funny and instead it was frustrating.”

I feel the same way about the season, in the way that while she was getting older and moving away from the immature jokes, I was doing the opposite of what she was doing, I was moving more towards the show rather than moving away from it.

Whether it was an episode taking place solely at the Krusty Krab, or just around Bikini Bottom itself, it never failed to entertain me.

Season 8 stands out from the rest because in the newer seasons it is more aimed at children growing up after my generation of kids; for example, it is more immature, fast-paced and overall more overstimulating compared to previous seasons that are more geared toward my age group that grew up watching the show and some still love to go back to watch the show a lot like I do.

Season 8 still holds up the witty humor that I enjoy about the show, and I can keep going back to it, laughing at the jokes I didn’t quite understand when I was younger.

Looking back at the show now, it will never have that spark of joy the same way I had it when I was younger, but that is part of growing up. Things don’t stay the same as they were before.

For instance, the episode “Face Freeze!” grossed me out when I was younger and brought shock and horror to my face as each character jokingly or not molded their face in different ways, each worse than the last. 

The ending scene of “Face Freeze!” always annoyed me, as there was never a clear solution to the problem that was given in the plot, but looking back at it now, I see  that stories don’t have to be resolved and wrapped up in a neat gift basket. Sometimes they end when they end, nicely or not; you can still end a story laughing even without a clear ending.

Every few Christmases I catch myself going back to the season 8 Christmas special, along with the other Christmas specials the series has to its name. I think season 8 stands out most because of the use of a different animation style, a style that can be seen used similarly in the new spin-off ‘Kamp Koral.’

The style they used in this said episode is called ‘stop-motion,’ utilizing the art of ‘claymation’, which allows the audience  to see the characters in a 3D, cartoonish, sort-of light; for instance, they animate in the same way they would regularly with their facial expressions, but with using claymation the expressions are much more pronounced.

I have also noticed in the newer seasons that the colors are brighter and the animations are more exaggerated compared to earlier seasons, when they were seeming to target older and younger audiences.

I prefer season 8 out of all of the series because it has more variety compared to the previous and future seasons of the show. For example, one episode could be a Christmas special and then the next would be about Plankton’s attempts to steal the Krabby Patty formula or simply Spongebob going on a good ol’ ‘Mooncation’ with his friend, Sandy Cheeks.

I enjoy that in this season, there is a lack of episodes just straight up putting Spongebob down for being himself, or outright stupidity among the characters. 

I will say I do have my own complaints about this season, however, such as “Face Freeze!” and “Drive Thru”. For example, they both centered around the characters going out of their way to not listen to those around them, even when it would be a sensible solution to their problems.

In ‘Face Freeze!’ Specifically, Spongebob and Patrick are not only warned by Mr. Krabs but ALSO Sandy to not make super exaggerated faces or else they will stay that way. Now, Mr.Krabs I could understand not listening to because sometimes he is quite wrong in certain situations, but SANDY? You know, the brainiac of the whole show? It seems to be a no-brainer to listen to her.

Many episodes throughout this season compared to earlier seasons call into question the personalities of the characters such as Squidward; in earlier seasons his caring nature around Spongebob was much more pronounced than it was in season 8.  

In contrast to the few bad episodes in the season, there are gems such as “Chum Fricassee” where Squidward quits his job at the Krusty Krab after being mocked and not taken seriously for his work; teams up with Plankton and makes the Chum Bucket a success, using his grandmother’s chum fricassee recipe to make chum not taste completely horrendous. 

This is an episode I go back to so frequently I’d have to say it’s gotta be one of my favorites of all of the series. Seeing the two outcasts and pessimists of the series teaming up is quite heartwarming, as they actually worked pretty well together, up until the end of the episode.

I also quite enjoy the episode that is “A Squarepants Family Vacation.” Many people dislike the randomness of it, but the key parts I enjoy are the songs sung in it, such as “The Road Song”’ and “The Above The Road Song.” Similarly to, “The Camping Episode” from season 3, catchy songs and funny little jokes here and there really can make for an entertaining episode. I enjoy the optimistic view kept throughout the episode, and the message behind it about living life to the fullest. It’s a good message to give to not only kids, but also their parents and older siblings who may be watching alongside them.

Now, about the quality of the show — this season to me sticks out because it was one of the last few seasons that was worked on by Steven Hillenburg before he passed away in 2016 due to ALS. After his death, there was a noticeable drop-off in quality. There were fewer witty jokes about marine life, more overstimulation, and the addition of two spin-offs that Hillenburg did not want, the previously mentioned “Kamp Koral” and “The Patrick Star Show.” 

I have only seen only one episode of Kamp Koral, and just from that one episode, it demonstrates to me that the only purpose it serves is to keep getting money from a show that was started by someone who deeply cared about children’s education and entertainment. These new shows are nowhere near entertaining to older fans who used to watch the original.

Going back to the topic at hand: Spongebob Squarepants season 8. The season ends in a way that almost seems to be an ending of an era for Spongebob and Patrick, with the ending episode of the season being “Glove World R.I.P.”  showcasing how Spongebob and Patrick are getting older, and everything around them is changing with them. It shows the incredibly human-like nature of the characters, that they too grow up and have things they loved when they were younger that they have to let go of. Though, most times it’s a baby blanket or an old toy not a whole theme-park, but nonetheless it still shows the advancement of time that Spongebob and Patrick seem to not have noticed, that they were finally getting older.

Overall, even though I’m now a junior in high school, I still look back at my childhood with fondness due to the shared laughter and family bonding I gained from just simply sitting down and watching Spongebob with my siblings and parents. I still find myself watching old episodes and laughing at the same jokes. I am able to look at Spongebob through a different lens than I did when I was younger as I have a better grasp on how life is now. With or without Spongebob, I could maybe have achieved the same outcome with a different family friendly 2000s show; but even so Spongebob will always hold a special place in my heart.


And for that, I thank you.