It had been a hot minute since we heard from the Brad and Angelina of Bikini Bottom, who gleefully homewrecked the pineapple under the sea while filming the movie adaptation of the cheugiest musical in the world.
But this week, Ariana Grande and her new boo, SpongeBob SquarePants, were spotted on their first public date since the news of their tryst broke this summer. An inconspicuous cocktail at Tower Bar, perhaps? An oceanfront lunch at Nobu Malibu? No, no, no. Reader, I regret to inform you that our lovebirds spent the day at Disneyland, linking arms like a couple of jolly leprechauns and further solidifying their romance as insufferable as hell.
Just because Ari is an international pop star, we can’t forget that she originated as a humble theater kid. Unfortunately, that flame will never fully extinguish, no matter how many Billboard 100 hits she makes. And her relationship with SpongeBob, a gawky, short king with enviable vibrato, only reignites the spark.
As they continue to explore their ill-advised relationship, here are 5 date ideas that play to their theatrical strengths:
Karaoke That They Take Way Too Seriously
After a dinner with friends, Ari will casually suggest that they hit a karaoke bar around the corner. The group will begrudgingly agree, because people who are that level of fame have a habit of surrounding themselves with sycophants. This gives Ari and Ethan the opportunity to spend two hours belting out showtunes only they know the words to for a captive audience.
And they won’t even be fun songs! It’ll be like, the song where Beth dies in Little Women or the horny duet from Spring Awakening where the German teens learn what sex is.
Pretty Woman Makeover
Much like Richard Gere, Ari has an offensive amount of money to spend on making SpongeBob look acceptable standing next to her on a step-and-repeat.
She needs to call up the Glam Squad, get him out of whatever sad excuse for a suit he found on the clearance rack at Men’s Warehouse, and turn Pinocchio into a real boy!
Seeing SpongeBob The Musical On Broadway And Gossiping After
Theater kids shouldn’t be called triple threats, they should be called quadruple threats: acting, singing, dancing, and talking mad shit. As a reformed theater kid, I can attest that gossiping with your theater kid friends is absolutely unmatched. You will not be able to find a pettier, bitchier, more caustic, more acerbic experience anywhere else.
After the show, they’ll get drinks at some cute little theater district haunt, the kind that has pictures of famous Broadway patrons on the wall, and eviscerate the cast. The new SpongeBob didn’t have the same stage presence as Ethan, the chorus girls totally forgot their choreo in the opening number, and if the guy who plays Patrick keeps cracking his falsetto, his understudy will be out for blood faster than you can say “jazz hands.”
SpongeBob’s High School Reunion
Look, we know that this is Ethan’s end goal. Everyone who wasn’t an Abercrombie & Fitch model as a teen has unresolved trauma from high school, and they dream of attending their reunion with a smoking dime on their arm and an Amex Black Card in their wallet so they can SHOW EVERYONE who’s boss in a dramatic turn of events.
We can have our fantasies, but usually in reality, no matter who you are, you’re just gonna show up to a bunch of washed up insurance salespeople who haven’t seen the inside of a gym in six years getting mildly drunk on cheap cabernet in a Marriott ballroom.
Except for Ethan, his delusions could actually come true, if Ari deigns to date him for long enough. Dancing to “Stairway to Heaven” with Ariana Grande while the football captain who shoved him into lockers looks on in shock? That’s what Lizzie McGuire meant when she sang “this is what dreams are made of.”
It might not be the most romantic option on the list, but it is the most realistic! These two just dumped their respective spouses and immediately dove headfirst into a highly public dalliance while filming a movie together. That means they are starting a new relaysh while being bombarded by prenups, paparazzi, and possible HR violations.
There’s no shame in getting professional help! And hopefully, if this therapist is any good, she’ll talk them out of being in this shitshow of a relationship to begin with! Ari can get tools to help her feel secure enough to finally date someone on her level, and SpongeBob can go use his newfound, undeserved confidence to start DMing Kim Kardashian. Win-win!