By Megan Arnott
Paper given at the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies (2012)
Introduction: In the episode of Spongebob Squarepants, 1999 -, entitled “Dear Vikings,” Mr. Krabs has introduced new Viking size drinks to the Krusty Krab. If you buy a Viking size, you get to wear the cardboard Viking helmet Mr. Krabs found in his attic. This prompts Spongebob to ask “What’s a Viking?” Krabs send Spongebob to know-it-all Squidward, who summarily dismisses Spongebob with his fake description:
“The Vikings were a race of scholars and scientists who lived even before Mr. Krabs was born. They are believed to have discovered ketchup, and enjoy dressing up their pets as chunks of masonry on the weekends. Their favourite movies are in black and white, and grown Vikings are known to collect socks, which they display and trade at monthly conventions called Sockengarten.” When Spongebob still has questions Squidward prompts him to write to the Vikings. When they get his letter, the Vikings descend on the Krusty Krab to enlighten Spongebob.
The Vikings tell Spongebob that Vikings like to redecorate, which they demonstrate by destroying things. They say that they also like to appropriate, which they demonstrate by throwing the Krusty Krab cash register on to their ship. Finally, Vikings apparently also like to liberate, which they demonstrate by kidnapping Spongebob and Squidward. Spongebob responds with “I can’t believe how much I’m learning.” The episode goes on to introduce every Viking as Olaf, except the leader, who is Gordon.