Speaking to NBC News, David Bittler, the network’s vice president of communications, said “Kwarantined Crab” will no longer be broadcast “due to sensitivities surrounding the global, real-world pandemic.”
The episode in question is from season 12 and is set in The Krusty Krab, the burger joint that SpongeBob works as a fry cook. An inspector informs staff and customers that there has been an outbreak of “Clam Flu”, and everyone has to quarantine inside, kicking off a wave of panic.
This is not the only episode pulled because of the way it has aged. In 2018, the season 3 episode “Mid-Life Crustacean” was pulled because “following a standards review, we determined some story elements were not kid-appropriate,” according to Bittler.
The plot of that episode involves the owner of the Krusty Krab, Mr Krabs, going through a bit of a mid-life crisis and joining SpongeBob and his best pal Patrick on a night-out. The trio ends up illegally entering a woman’s house and taking her underwear. They get busted by the homeowner, who turns out to be Mr Krabs’s mother.
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SpongeBob has just landed on the newly branded Paramount+ streaming service and was touted as a flagship show as a part of the relaunch.