For every innocent cartoon out there, there's at least one obsessive fan on the Internet who managed to crap out a semi-coherent theory finding something disturbing about it, like that Tom & Jerry was actually Nazi propaganda, or that Barney & Friends is a metaphor for the Watergate scandal. But just like a broken watch, even the Internet is right every once in a while: The most disturbing fan theories are the ones where you just can't help but agree with them.
6The Characters in SpongeBob SquarePants Are the Result of Nuclear Testing
SpongeBob SquarePants is one of those classic, timeless ideas: It's about a talking sea sponge who lives in a pineapple at the bottom of the sea whose mascot is a meowing snail and who works in a restaurant owned by a crab. OK, sure, it sounds kind of bizarre when you put it like that, but what cartoon premise doesn't? Children's cartoons are metaphors; it's not like the creators were trying to say that these characters are literally mutants or something.
Although Squidward does bear some resemblance to Professor X.
According to one strangely convincing theory posted on Reddit, the show is really about nuclear testing. SpongeBob and his friends look and act the way they do because of their exposure to the radiation from atomic bombs dropped in the area around Bikini Bottom, where the show is set.
Also, "bikini" is ancient Mongolian for "atomic chain reaction resulting in a massive explosion."
Why It's Not That Crazy:
First of all, the fact that a talking sponge lives in a place called Bikini Bottom isn't some roundabout reference to human contraception -- the show is set under a real place called Bikini Atoll, which is confirmed by the official Nickelodeon-written synopsis. And here's where it gets interesting: Back in 1946, the U.S. government detonated a couple of atomic bombs there, one of which was set off underwater. The resulting explosion looked like this:
SpongeBob fans might be familiar with this particular mushroom cloud, considering that similar explosions are used on the show whenever a character so much as drops a pin on the floor:
Suddenly, all the weirdness in this cartoon starts making sense: The characters were normal sea creatures until the radiation from the explosion mutated them into sentient freaks. Even the landscape changed, allowing giant pineapples to grow out of the ground. Not only does this theory make sense, but it also provides answers to a lot of previously unanswered questions that have baffled fans for years, such as "How the hell did Mr. Krabs father a goddamn whale?"
Wait, no, we still have no clue.