SpongeBob Squarepants is suiting up for another culture war battle.
An upcoming installment of the long-running show slyly critiques both government regulations and the welfare state, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In an episode to air Nov. 11, the hardworking sea sponge is fired from his job at the Krusty Krab in the undersea city of Bikini Bottom after his boss figures out he can save “a whole nickel” from his payroll.
One day later, SpongeBob is already a disheveled, wrinkled, unshaven beggar, and his friend Patrick is determined to show him the ways of “glorious unemployment,” which includes free stuff and lots of spare time….
But at a no-charge, all-you-can eat meal, SpongeBob has an epiphany: “Unemployment may be fun for you, but I need to get a job,” he tells Patrick. At that moment, he’s instantly transformed into a sparkly clean, enthusiastic and energetic sponge again.
This isn’t the first time SpongeBob depressed a few political hot buttons. Past shows have been kind to environmentalism and tough on big business.