A nematode SpongeBob guide will help you understand these underwater termites. When I was younger, I didn’t know nematodes were real. Then, when I found out they were, they scared me for all the wrong reasons.
It turns out SpongeBob nematodes – though they only appear in a few episodes – freaked out many kids. But they’re a lot less like real nematodes and a lot more like an original character.
This isn’t a surprise. Not much about SpongeBob is accurate. After all, they build fires underwater. I’ve always thought that was interesting, but in a good way. As far as nematodes are concerned, I’m not so sure.
I’d also like to note that I do offer quite a bit of satire in this guide in true Bikini Bottom fashion. Please take it lightly and enjoy the read! Remember to keep an eye out for flesh-eating parasites.
- Episodes – 5 and counting
- First Episode – “Home Sweet Pineapple”
- Color – Green
- Language – English (only says things like “hungry” and “thirsty”)
- Goal – To eat
- Alignment – Neutral
Nematodes appeared in the first season of SpongeBob SquarePants in 1999. They devoured SpongeBob’s house and continued eating everything they could reach in Bikini Bottom.
Since then, they’ve appeared in a few episodes but were merely mentioned in others. Their significance would remain even if they’d only had that one episode. After all, Dirty Dan only had one episode, but we still want to be him.
Some characters appear in more episodes, but we don’t even know their names. So, it’s really quality over quantity when it comes to TV characters, and SpongeBob characters are no exception.
Nematode: SpongeBob Vs. Real Life
The real nematode is known as a roundworm. They are nasty little worms that humans accidentally consume as eggs. The eggs then hatch, and the worms infect the body, causing all sorts of stomach-turning symptoms.
Believe me, any worm inside the body gives me nightmares. But in SpongeBob, these roundworms are more like locusts or termites. They eat crops, buildings, and anything else they can.
While both are freaky, I prefer those living outside the body. So let’s give it up for SpongeBob nematodes for being slightly less nightmarish than real nematodes that infect hundreds of millions of people at any given time.
Every Nematode Episode in SpongeBob SquarePants
Nematodes only have one feature episode. But they do appear in a couple of others and are mentioned multiple times throughout the series. These episodes will forever affect how we view them.
Note: no nematodes were harmed in the making of these episodes. Their depictions are exaggerated, but don’t let that affect your view of them and what they offer to Bikini Bottom.
“Home Sweet Pineapple”
The episode opens with the nematodes eating their way through Bikini Bottom. When they get to SpongeBob’s house, they pull out straws and drink the pineapple to the ground.
Now that SpongeBob’s house is gone, he tells his friends that he has to move back in with his parents. But Patrick tells him to build a new house; he tries and fails, deciding to live with Patrick.
When this fails, he gives in and asks his parents to come to get him. This features the debut of SpongeBob’s parents. To honor SpongeBob, Patrick buries the seed, and a new, identical house sprouts back.
The nematodes are only mentioned once in this episode. When a realtor talks to Squidward, she says that she will sell his house as long as it is not infested by nematodes or annoyed by neighbors.
The episode is painful to watch. Squidward tells SpongeBob it’s Opposite Day, so they have to act the opposite of what they normally act like. Thus ensues a chaotic day that ruins Squidward’s chances of moving out.
Nematodes are only mentioned in this episode when SpongeBob reads, “Nematodes are people, too,” on a dumpster. It is misspelled, but the effort was made to take a stand against nematode cruelty.
The episode is about bad words and how SpongeBob accidentally said one. The dumpster scene was relevant because, just as in real life, people love to write inappropriate things on dumpsters.
“Best Day Ever”
This is a special episode for the nematodes because they appear for an extended period of time. They eat the Krusty Krab, causing chaos as Mr. Krabs almost loses his business.
SpongeBob asks them to leave, but they don’t listen. Instead, they eat his pants. They don’t stop until SpongeBob plays a song on the flute and lure them out of town. They fell asleep and apparently didn’t come back.
“Gary’s New Toy”
When Gary chooses a toy ball over SpongeBob, it makes SpongeBob so depressed that he runs away from home. When he decides to live under a bench, a nematode appears, and he tries to make friends with it.
Nematodes in Kamp Koral
In the relatively new show about SpongeBob’s childhood called Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years, nematodes appear in the episode “Gimme a News Break.” I have yet to watch the series, but I have seen one clip.
In the episode, Mr. Krabs tries selling yams. He says that everyone comes with a free nematode. He proves this by pulling one out, but it eats the yam and then Mr. Krabs’ hand.
Mr. Krabs brushes it off, and his hand eventually returns, but the episode is still disturbing. Because up until now, the nematodes have never eaten people before.
Since this happened during SpongeBob’s childhood, we know that Mr. Krabs knew they would in SpongeBob SquarePants. That may be the scariest part of all.
Everything That the Nematodes Ate On Screen
The nematodes eat a lot of things, but surprisingly, there aren’t that many that are “caught on camera.” The list is quite short, with each snack being memorable. At this point, it’s safe to say they will eat anything.
- Coral: Coral is one of the few normal things that the nematodes eat. They do so quickly as it’s the first thing that they eat in the first episode they appear in. It was meant to be their only snack, but they were still hungry.
- Fred’s boat: Fred’s boat is consumed while he is driving it. This is the first time we see the nematodes begin ruining lives with their unsatiated appetites.
- SpongeBob’s house: The whole point of “Home Sweet Pineapple” is that the nematodes eat SpongeBob’s house, leaving him homeless.
- The Krusty Krab: In “Best Day Ever,” the entire episode follows the nematodes and SpongeBob trying to lure them out of the Krusty Krab.
- SpongeBob’s pants: When SpongeBob tells the nematodes to leave, they answer him by eating his pants.
- Yams: The nematodes happily living in yams when Mr. Krabs decides to pull one out.
- Mr. Krabs’ hand: After Mr. Krabs pulls the nematode out of the yam, they show just how far they will go when they eat Mr. Krabs’ flesh.
Why the Nematodes are the Worst
The nematodes are the worst, and it’s not just because they eat things. There are a few things that are worse than them eating random things in Bikini Bottom. There is a butterfly effect, after all.
Let this be a lesson to everyone that will listen: everything you do matters. A butterfly effect that no human could foresee is in the future of every decision you make, and you may not even be there to see it.
Leaves People Homeless
After the nematodes eat SpongeBob’s house, he is left homeless. This is not an isolated event; this is a single occurrence that was recorded, but not the only one—the first example of the horrendous butterfly effect of nematodes.
It was good that they ate SpongeBob’s house, which magically grew back from the seed. If they had eaten someone else’s house, the chances of it returning would have been next to none.
Whenever Fred’s car got eaten, there wasn’t going to be any proof that this happened. So not only does Fred have a tough call with his insurance company, but he probably lost his job.
What Fred does, no one knows, but it doesn’t matter. He was late for work and will be without a car for at least a few days. That’s all because the nematodes came through town.
Steal Money From Said Homeless
In the episode, when SpongeBob moves out of the house, he meets a nematode. He tries to befriend it, but it betrays him by stealing his wallet and running away with it. The wallet was never found.
The nematode doesn’t usually think for itself, and the fact that it stole the wallet instead of eating it shows us that they are more capable than we may think. They do have minds for sinister deeds.
Run People Out of Neighborhoods
When the nematodes are nearby, it makes selling homes nearly impossible. People won’t move into the houses, and realtors won’t even attempt to list the houses. We see this whenever a realtor mentions the fact to Squidward.
Of course, this is when we see that nematodes are similar to termites. A termite infestation is very serious, and no one would be blamed in real life for not buying a termite-infested house.
Divide People Politically
Whenever SpongeBob reads “nematodes are people too” on the dumpster, it lets us know that these parasites have defenders. The political divide must wreak havoc on Bikini Bottom.
It sounds bad to ridicule protestors, but imagine someone saying, “nematodes are people too.” I have referred to sponges and crabs as people in this guide, but that’s in a different context.
Literally Eats People
The worst thing that the nematodes have done is eat Mr. Krabs‘ hand. This is everyone’s worst nightmare, right? To be eaten. It happened once, and it can happen again. We must stop the nematodes.
Let’s get real here. Can you imagine a creature that lives inside of produce that would eat your hand if you touched it? The nematodes are now officially scarier in the show than in real life.
Question: Are Nematodes Real?
Answer: Nematodes are real. They are not all that similar to those in SpongeBob, but they are nasty creatures that no one wants near them. But they are more similar to termites than real roundworms.
Question: Why Do Nematodes Eat Everything?
Answer: Nematodes eat everything in SpongeBob because they are mindless creatures who were bred to eat. They will eat most things in real life but don’t have the anatomy to consume what they do in the show.
Question: How Did SpongeBob’s House Come Back After Nematodes Ate It?
Answer: Whenever the nematodes left SpongeBob’s house, they left a pineapple seed. SpongeBob planted the seed, and in true SpongeBob logic fashion, it was back at the end of the episode.
Question: Will Nematodes Come Back to SpongeBob?
Answer: Nematodes will probably come back in SpongeBob. It may not be this season or next, but I believe when they do return, they will be back with something new to offer Bikini Bottom, and it won’t be pretty.
Question: How Can Nematodes Talk?
Answer: Most of the sea creatures can talk. Plankton can talk, and he’s plankton. So it’s not all that strange that they talk, though Gary seems more intelligent, and he doesn’t talk, so I do see the conundrum.
Do We Need the Nematodes in SpongeBob?
No. We do not need any character other than SpongeBob in SpongeBob SquarePants. But like the anchovies, these annoying little guys help us channel emotions that few other characters can.
They gross us out, play with our fears, and show up in great numbers to overwhelm every other species. Their first appearance also sistered “Pizza Delivery,” which is undoubtedly one of the best episodes of all time.
Of course, “Pizza Delivery” is a classic. But even as a standalone episode, both “Home Sweet Pineapple” and “Best Day Ever” are special episodes featuring the now man-eating creatures of Bikini Bottom.
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