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An extra page focusing on the series' Seasonal Rot era.

"Mimic Madness" led to the Flanderization of the main cast in seasons 4-8.
See Clone Degeneration.

A future episode will mock the post-movie era
Perhaps it will be about the Mermaid Man & Barnacle Boy comic books being taken over by new writers. But the chapters turn out to be very poorly-written, to the dismay of SpongeBob and other fans.
"A Pal for Gary" will be banned from tv.
Considering the backlash it got from fans, this, along with "One Coarse Meal" and "Demolition Doofus" will have Nick ban them.

The Flanderized characters in the later seasons are representations of their younger selves.
The reason why SpongeBob and Patrick act like toddlers so much is because they are toddlers themselves. Plankton is always foiled because he is just a bratty kid who fails miserably at getting the secret formula from Mr. Krabs, a 12-year old who is obsessed with money so much that he bullies other people just to get it. Sandy's treedome is actually a school in which she learns about science and other things related to her home state Texas. And Squidward...I don't exactly know about.
  • Squidward is a depressed kid who contemplates suicide, explaining all the Kafka Komedy he is subjected to.
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The reason for the Seasonal Rot...
Is a Perspective Flip after the movie. In the pre-movie seasons we see the world through Spongebob's eyes. Thus why all the characters have some redeeming qualities, and why Plankton is a serious threat. The post-movie seasons are told from Plankton's point of view. Which is why everyone has become more antagonistic; Spongebob is subservient to his boss, Mr. Krabs is more obsessed with money than earlier seasons, so many episodes take place at the Krusty Krab, Sandy's scientific side note  shows up more than her love of karate, note  and why so many characters have been Demoted to Extra. Also explains why Plankton is a Designated Villain in later seasons. He is still villain at all because of his Card-Carrying Villain Status.
  • Or it is now being told in Squidward's point of view; hence why SpongeBob and Patrick Took a Level in Dumbass, why Krabs is more selfish than ever, and why Squidward is more prone to Kafka Komedy and more miserable (despite occasional victories like "Suction Cup Symphony" and "Love That Squid").

Zeus Cervas and Casey Alexander are trying to cancel Spongebob
  • Let's see..... Everytime they are the main writers of an episode, they will turn Mr. Krabs into an outright evil , rather than just annoying like under other writers, greedy jerk than he has been since the movie. Turning Spongebob (And sometimes Patrick with him) to an annoying jerk that we want to punch so hard into his face or rarely featuring him at all and focusing on Krabs. Sandy, Gary, and many other characters remain sympathetic but are rarely used anymore. Serious continuity errors happen too, like Sandy being misnamed. They're also the ones responsible for most of these awful episodes such as A Pal for Gary. They must be trying to cancel Spongebob.
    • Ah, so one of them must really be Vince Russo!
    • The episode where Zeus the Guitar Lord ruins Squid TV suddenly makes sense now.
    • I've thought that's the case for 8 years now.

SpongeBob and co. are all currently suffering from radiation poisoning as the series progresses.
To go along with another WMG (that has apparently been confirmed), the radiation of the site is also poisoning the sea creatures of Bikini Bottom. For one, it would explain why they are sentient (just Handwave it as an effect of radiation).

But it can go further than that — SpongeBob is affected the most, as he "soaks up" more than most other fishes. Or the radiation has somehow gotten into the Krabby Patties, making everyone slowly more poisoned but himself the worse as the fry cook. Either way, his excessive cheerfulness is the same as all those "x-is-in-a-coma, y-series is just a dream they're having"; he imagines this world where everyone wants to play with him as his new "mind" is being deteriorated to the point of delusion, so much that he can't recognize the words "go away" anymore.

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It would also explain nearly all of the Flanderization as more of the higher mental processes the radiation initially gave him weaken, and he escapes more into his cheerful persona to make the pain go away. The end of the series is him recognizing his greatest dream — saving everyone and being the manager of the Krusty Krab 2 as the gifts of the nuclear site slowly strip away from him and leave him a biologically and genetically tainted mess that looks nearly identical to Spengbab, the others in his world suffering the same effects.

  • My sister's gonna be so confused when I start crying while watching SpongeBob with her tomorrow.
  • The theory also does a good job explaining why the Movie makes such a big deal out of SpongeBob's immaturity when he was treated as an adult in the show.

The post-movie episodes didn't happened because they were written by either Squidward or Plankton
Notice how in the post movie episodes, Plankton and Squidward got more sympathetic? Well, that's because the episodes made after the movie were entirely in-universe
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Fan Fiction.

Plankton tried to prove to the judge of his innocence by showing a Sympathetic P.O.V. on his side, which may explained why Mr. Krabs is shown to be a villain. It doesn't really work, but can't blame a guy for trying.

Where does this fit in the episodes not involving the secret Krabby Patty plot? Well, those were written by Squidward, which was how he viewed his life situation on events, hench why SpongeBob is Flanderized. This also explains why we rarely see Sandy anymore, since neither of them interacted with her that much.

Seasonal Rot is due to time travelling.
After The Movie, an enfuriated Mr Krabs stole a time machine. With this, he has spent his time making Plankton pay for his sins, retro-actively. This has resolved around changing his past self, to be more assertive against the unicellular menace. This worked too well, making his past self less of a Mr. Vice Guy and more of the Jerkass cheapskate we know today. It's also led to countless abuse towards pre-Movie Plankton, making him tamer and less evil. Yeah, its teetering on Evil vs. Evil, but at least this Plankton has some humanity. When the series ends, the altered Plankton and the original Mr Krabs will team up to stop this twisted, horrid variation of Mr Krabs.

The post-movie episodes are intentionally bad.
They wanted the show to end after the movie, but Nickelodeon ordered more seasons. They made SpongeBob gay for Squidward so the Moral Guardians get mad.
  • Except seasons 4 and 5, which are awesome. Also, hasn't SpongeBob been gay for Patrick since May 1st, 1999?

The writers ruin the characters of SpongeBob on purpose
  • Think about it. Spongebob was supposed to end in 2004, but Nick pretty much forced them to continue, now the team is trying to make the show and characters unlikable to the audience so people will stop watching and viewers will try to get the show cancelled.
  • Actually, most of the staff was replaced, hence the new feeling it has.
SpongeBob is related in some way to SCP-682
Spongebob can shapeshift(he has even grown multiple eyes all over his face),is apparently indestructible and can regenerate even if he is reduced to dust and has survived the many attempts Squidward has done to stop him.
  • At least the first two post movies seasons were enjoyable. Also, aren't there enough theories about this thing on the page alone?

Post-movie SpongeBob is meant to be So Unfunny, It's Funny
Why else would the writers be ruining the show so immensely, even by Seasonal Rot standards? It seems to be the only thing they're good at, plus they seem desperate to get a laugh out of us in some way. Look at how forced the jokes are in a typical post-movie episode.

The series will go back uphill after the second movie
We all remember how quickly the show changed after the first movie, so this theory we can't rule out. There seems to be a reasonable amount of evidence to support it. For one, several writers are set to leave the show after its ninth season (including Casey Alexander, who is reviled for writing episodes such as "A Pal For Gary" and "One Coarse Meal"). This means that new writers are likely to step forward, and maybe even a few original ones returning.
  • Also, going with an above theory, Stephen Hillenburg is rumored to return as a full member of the writing staff. He's already involved with the production of the second movie. And he's probably not happy about what his show has become.
  • Thirdly, Nickelodeon says this movie will be one of the projects being made to kickstart new efforts. Producer Bob Schooley confirmed the network has plans to become more "Nickish" after the cancellation of the Monsters vs. Aliens TV series.
  • Confirmed!!!

The show's decline in quality was no accident
It's all part of a big ruse planned by Nickelodeon. If SpongeBob were to continue airing with the same quality, its ratings would likely decline. So what better way to counteract this than for Nickelodeon to shake things up? In this case, to dumb down the quality so that the viewers will miss this show as it once was. Thus, a possible rise in quality will not only grant their wish, but it will keep SpongeBob going for, let's say, another ten years.
  • Nick and/or Viacom are aiming that, once the show regains quality, it will become more successful than ever before. Especially since it will become a subject of debate due to its decline and comeback. It could very well become one of the greatest schemes in the media.
  • For extra measures, the writers were appointed to ruin SpongeBob on purpose. Had they been doing all this by accident, they would have been fired and the show cancelled by now. So yes, they DID intentionally ruin the show.
  • I mean, the first five seasons were perfect scores, but the other ones, they're practically forcing in suicide, animal abuse, murder humor, gore, blood, and pretty much anything else along those lines into the mix. At least the show's good again as of season 9B.

Spongebob's Seasonal Rot is a real-life "Wacky Deli"
The writers are so sick of doing this show and of Nickelodeon relying so heavily on its success, despite how many people consider it way past its prime, that they are deliberately trying to make it as unwatchable as possible.

The lingering effects of the book cause the characters to slowly but surely Flanderize after Season 3.
They do say the first movie is the definite finale and therefore takes place after this one. My theory is that Sponge Out Of Water takes place before Season 4. Assuming the book made the Bikini Bottomites descend into savagery because Burgerbeard wrote it in, it would appear that some corrupting influence endured until SpongeBob's transformation at the climax of the first movie.

The Seasonal Rot episodes are actually wish-fulfilled fanfictions written by Squidward and Plankton
Think about it: They reduce Plankton (who, while always goofy and ineffectual, was legitimately evil and threatening from seasons 1-3) to a Designated Villain who is constantly tormented by Mr. Krabs just for wanting to fund his own restaurant. Squidward's jerky qualities and vanity are almost completely erased, making him instead constantly tortured for no real reason (in early episodes, he was abused relatively infrequently, and when he actually was he usually deserved it in some way or another). The characters depicted negatively are the ones they personally dislike, namely Spongebob, Patrick, Mr. Krabs, etc. It makes sense if you think about it.

Slowly but surely, the characters will start to return to their former selves, or at least close. Not counting various examples from the second movie, one piece of evidence lays in "Tutor Sauce" - in a scene where Mr. Krabs actually gives money to Pearl without hesitation or regret.
  • Confirmed as of Seasons 10 and 11! SpongeBob and Patrick aren't as stupid or malicious, Squidward is a lot less of a Jerkass and doesn't suffer as much, and Mr. Krabs is much kinder.

Krabs became harsher in the Post-Movie episodes because Plankton nearly killed him.
Krabs was already a bit of a stingy jerk BEFORE Plankton initiated Plan Z in the movie. His near death experience only made things worse, although it was largely directed at Plankton for obvious reasons. This also links into the revenge theory when you think about the episode where Krabs nearly drove Plankton to suicide. THAT was revenge for not only nearly killing him but also nearly enslaving Bikini Bottom and (no doubt) the rest of the world as well (Although largely for nearly killing him). He just gets too into making Plankton's life hell.

Post-movie episodes are part of Mirror Universe to the original series.
Here are just some examples

Seasons 6-8 suck because Zeus Cervas and Casey Alexander joined and tried to get themselves fired (and tried to take some others with them
Think about it. They originally did very nice jobs in the fourth and fifth seasons at keeping the show alive and healthy (just like evryone else diid during those seasons), but then, they tried to quit, but Viacom wouldn't allow it, as part of their contract, expiring circa 2015. So, they made the show so bad, that Viacom would force them to leave. They initially experimented with Squidward Torture Porns and generic gross-out humor, but Viacom didn't bat an eye. So, in addition to those, they tried cranking up the gross-out, and adding in suicide , animal abuse, blood and gore, and eventually, they cranked up the amount of abuse Squidward recieves. Viacom still didn't care, so in season 8, they settled on suicide humor once more, an '''ENTIRE''' episode involving SpongeBob and Patrick making creepy faces, eventually getting even worse, to ''Squidward and Mr. Krabs get their own gross faces''. Viacom still didn't care at all, despite the fact the show was dropping in ratings. So, they toned down everything considerably, despite Squid Baby still showing some Toilet Humor, and when the two's contracts expired, they left the studio and the show got way tamer.

Some of the more infamous Kafka Komedy episodes during the Seasonal Rot are meant to be anvils about the different types of abuse and their effects
  • "Stuck in the Wringer" represents abusive relationships, where SpongeBob is the victim, Patrick is the abusive boyfriend/girlfriend and the wringer is their relationship. Patrick using the Forever Glue to keep SpongeBob trapped forever represents the abuser's methods of getting their spouse to stay with them and endure more abuse, shown with Patrick's "you shouldn't get help, adapt to this life instead" mindset towards SpongeBob's problem. The abuse ends up giving the victim psychological burdens and causes trouble during work (SpongeBob faltering at the Krusty Krab and getting kicked out for a problem that wasn't his fault). And what solidifies the metaphor is the scene within the carnival, where Patrick takes SpongeBob to the carnival and the latter is clearly suffering, but nobody helps him. Eventually, SpongeBob can't take it anymore and calls Patrick out for what he did, and Patrick runs away in tears before the people blame SpongeBob and tell him he deserved it (but seriously, how did these idiots not notice the obvious wringer?! When an abuse victim calls out their abuser in public, the abuser pulls a Wounded Gazelle Gambit and shifts the blame onto their victim. Eventually, SpongeBob sinks into depression due to his ostracization by society, and Patrick is grudgeful towards him for his call-out at first, but comes back to apologize. They both cry and melt the wringer off, leading to them making amends... until the wringer is stuck again. Just like how an abuser would apologise to their victim only to continue their harsh treatment once more. This time, however, the abuser is imprisoned as well, indicating the abused victim may become a co-belligerent as opposed to a mere victim.
  • "One Coarse Meal" represents bullying taken too far, with a more realistic and deconstructed premise compared to "The Bully". Krabs realises that Plankton has a fear of whales, so he relentlessly torments him with his fear until he becomes suicidal. Likewise, once a Barbaric Bully finds something about their victim that they can exploit (eg Bullying the Disabled or Slut-Shaming), then they will harass them based on that attribute. Sometimes, their bullying goes so far that the victim attempts suicide, and Krabs represents a bully that just doesn't care. SpongeBob is the bullied student's teacher, and he first follows the role of a Reasonable Authority Figure by telling Krabs that he's going too far and trying to talk to Plankton. Unfortunately, he turns out to be a terrible teacher or even a sadistic one by encouraging Plankton to take revenge and then joining Krabs' bullying by tormenting him with his fear! Sadly, teachers joining in the bullying is Truth in Television, as seen with incidents like this.
  • "A Pal For Gary" represents Arranged Marriage in which the suitor is abusive, in a similar vein to "Stuck in the Wringer". SpongeBob wants to buy a pet to act as a companion for Gary, but the latter is perfectly fine with his life and never agreed to it. He brings Puffy Fluffy home and tries to get it to bond with Gary, but it begins to show its true colors and attack both Gary and SpongeBob. SpongeBob has the role of the Knight Templar Parent who wants to do what's best for their child even against their will, and decides to find a suitor to marry them. The suitor turns out to be a jerk and subjects their spouse to abuse, but most likely sexual (illustrated by Puffy Fluffy's transformation into a horrific beast just like how the abuser looks harmless but is much worse than meets the eye). Gary tries to tell his owner about Puffy Fluffy's cruel treatment towards him, but he refuses to help Gary and even scolds him for abusing Puffy. When SpongeBob sees the abuse for himself, guess what? It's Gary's fault. Quite ironic considering that SpongeBob had been in Gary's situation before (note "Stuck in the Wringer" came out before "A Pal For Gary") and yet he shows No Sympathy when it happens to someone beside him. Though it may be a deliberate reference to the belief that a victim of any kind of abuse will become just like their abuser. Trust me, this troper's gone through this.
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