Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Gary Takes a Bath" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 2. In this episode, SpongeBob attempts to make Gary take a bath.



"You're gonna have to get in that tub, Gary."

As the episode begins, the clock is ticking and SpongeBob knows it is time for Gary's bath, but as usual, the snail does not want to take it. SpongeBob, wary of the battle he is in for, tries various tricks/methods he learned from his family to get Gary into the tub.

First, he throws a ball to the bathroom and tells Gary to fetch. However, it is a Boomerang Pet Ball, so it comes right back. Next, he straps a bomb to his own chest and tells Gary that it will explode if he doesn't take a bath. Gary doesn't move and, unfortunately, the bomb's not fake.

SpongeBob's next strategy is hypnotizing Gary by sending subliminal messages into his brain, but the disturbing imagery doesn't help. He tries calling a French restaurant, but he can't understand the receiver's accent.

Next, SpongeBob plays leapfrog with Gary and throws him towards the bathtub, but misses and breaks Gary's shell. He tries to play leapfrog once more with the bandaged Gary, but receives a hard knock on the head with a cane. He then tries to bribe Gary saying he will give a dollar to the next person who takes a bath, but out of nowhere, Mr. Krabs shows up in a mobile bathtub and snatches the dollar. A dance routine and a fake treasure hunt leading into the bathtub (as his most powerful method of sending Gary to the bath) also fail, as do his attempts to physically force Gary in.

Getting angry, SpongeBob decides that if he cannot bring Gary to the water, he will simply have to bring the water to Gary. SpongeBob loads himself up with water and tries to spray it at Gary, who swiftly dodges every shot. Outside, he corners the latter in a tree and climbs up, unloading his ammo at what he presumes to be Gary.

"Yeah, yeah, Gary, I'm getting behind my ears."

At first, SpongeBob fears the force of his water jet tore off Gary's skin, but realizes he only sprayed a gramophone playing a record of meowing. The real Gary then steals SpongeBob's ladder, leaving him stuck on top of the tree, saying that he is not the boss of him, and he does not have to take orders from him. Then, SpongeBob notices Gary sneaking towards a mud puddle. He gives him a three-second count to get away from the mud puddle. However, he causes SpongeBob to fall out of the tree into the mud himself. SpongeBob is then forced to take the bath under Gary's supervision instead, ending the episode.

Running gags

  • SpongeBob trying to get Gary to take a bath.
  • SpongeBob using his family's methods to send Gary to the bath.
  • Gary talking back to SpongeBob.
  • Gary avoiding to take a bath.
  • SpongeBob shooting everything with water while trying to target Gary, saying puns while doing so.



 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Nostalgic Hawaii - George de Fretes, Jan Rap [title card]
  Steel Licks 4 - Jeremy Wakefield ["So that's how you wanna play it, huh?"]
  Hula Festival - George Elliott [boomerang pet ball]
  Unease - Dick Stephen Walter [subliminal messages]
  Cafe' De Paris - Trevor Jones [SpongeBob calls a French restaurant]
  Chief Taravana - Kapono Beamer [leapfrog]
  Dingles Regatta - Brian Peters [pirate treasure map/"40."]
  Kerry Polka - Brian Peters [bathtub painted to look like treasure chest]
  Dancing The Hula - Kapono Beamer ["Get in the tub!"]
  Six Powerful Cues D - Wilfred William Burns [SpongeBob hanging from the ceiling]
  Dramatic Cue (D) - Ronald Hanmer ["Bath delivery!"]
  Sponge Monger - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob spitting water at Gary]
  Solo Steel 4 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh no! I bathed Gary too hard and removed his skin!"]
  Solo Steel 2 - Jeremy Wakefield [Gary meowing mockingly]
  Lonely Heart's Club A - David Bell, Otto Sieben [SpongeBob chewing out Gary]
  Nostalgic Hawaii - George de Fretes, Jan Rap [SpongeBob taking a bath under Gary's supervision]



  • "Gary Takes a Bath" was ranked #74 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.
  • "Gary Takes a Bath" was ranked #39 during the SpongeBob's Top 100 event in the UK and Ireland from June 4-8, 2012.



  • Before the episode's formal premiere on Nickelodeon in 2003, it aired in several foreign countries between 2001 and 2002.
  • The title card background is similar to those of "Naughty Nautical Neighbors," "Karate Choppers," and "Squidville."
    • The episode was available on the Sea Stories DVD and VHS, released on November 5, 2002, eight months before its official premiere.
    • The title card is almost the same as the bubble title of the show in the theme song.
  • This episode preceded the All That special R U All That?: Nickelodeon's Search for the Funniest Kid in America.
  • This is the third episode to run for less than eleven minutes. The first was "Help Wanted," and the second was "Reef Blower."
    • The reason that this episode is this short is due to the length of its paired episode, "Shanghaied."
  • This is the first episode to premiere in South Korea before the United States.
  • In the French dub, SpongeBob calls a Chinese restaurant.
  • In the German dub of this episode, the episode is called "Die Wanne ist Voll," which translates to "The Tub is Full." This is a reference to a German song from the 1970s.
  • In the Polish dub, the episode's title is "Kąpiel Gacusia," which translates to "Gary's Bath."
  • SpongeBob never manages to make Gary take a bath in the episode, contradicting the title.

Mr. Krabs' cameo in this episode.

The subliminal message girl.

  • This is the only episode to only use one voice actor, Tom Kenny.
    • Tom Kenny voices both SpongeBob and Gary. Mr. Krabs also appears, but he has no lines.
  • The fact that Gary hates taking baths is based on how domestic cats do not like to get wet and Gary is an underwater parody of a cat.
  • When SpongeBob calls the French restaurant he tells them he has a snail who will not take a bath - because they serve escargot, which is snail, in a French restaurant - to scare Gary so he will take one but SpongeBob cannot understand their accent and says it was like it was in a different language. It is made clear that SpongeBob cannot speak French.
    • However, escargot is land snail, not sea snail.
    • SpongeBob only did this to scare Gary into taking a bath.
  • This is the first episode in which Gary's shell is broken.
  • This is the first episode to use "Lonely Heart's Club A."
  • This is the second episode where a record player is used to replace a character. The first was in "Pressure."
  • List of ideas that SpongeBob tries to get Gary to take a bath:
    • Throwing a ball to the bathtub. However, it is a "boomerang pet ball," so it comes right back, and so does the box it came in.
    • Strapping a bomb to his chest and telling Gary that it will explode if he does not take a bath; the bomb explodes because Gary does not take a bath and SpongeBob does not deactivate the bomb.
    • Sending subliminal messages to Gary. A disturbing picture of a girl comes up, prompting him to apologize.
    • Calling a French restaurant because France has a popular dish called Escargot, made from snail. He cannot understand a thing the person on the other end is saying.
    • Playing leapfrog with Gary. He tries to launch Gary into the tub, but misses and makes Gary's shell break.
    • SpongeBob tries to play leapfrog again, but Gary refuses and hits SpongeBob with a cane.
    • He bribes Gary with a dollar, telling him that the next person to take a bath in his house will receive it; Mr. Krabs arrives out of nowhere in a bathtub and takes it.
    • Different dances.
    • Fakes a treasure hunt and paints the bathtub to look like a treasure chest.
  • According to the episode's production number (5572-183) this was meant to be the second episode of season three after "Sailor Mouth."
  • Innuendo: SpongeBob giving Gary "doubloons" (soap) and telling him not to drop them.
  • On the November 10, 2006 airing, this episode was paired with "Suds." [3]


Gary's purple eyes.

  • In one of the frames where Gary first comes in shot to chase the Boomerang Pet Ball, his eyes are colored purple.
  • During the bubble transition, a blue screen with the date January 27, 2001 from Rough Draft Korea can be seen.

Gary's pink eyelids.

  • For a spilt second, Gary's eyelids were seen pink.
  • When SpongeBob throws Gary off of his back, one of the frames has the outline around SpongeBob's eye incomplete.
  • In the scene where Gary runs out of the pet door, it is visible from the outside, but when SpongeBob opens the door, the pet door is not there.
  • The second time SpongeBob asks Gary if he wants to play leapfrog, both of his ring fingers are incorrectly outlined, leaving the fingers to look detached from the hand.
  • When Gary hits SpongeBob on the head with his cane, the sound of it hitting his head actually plays before the cane is even in shot.
    • The same error of sound playing too early happens whenever SpongeBob kicks the paint can in the bathroom.
  • During SpongeBob's dance, the first transition between dance moves is not correctly animated and it just snaps SpongeBob into a different position.
    • This is not intentional, however, as all of the other dance move transitions have animation showing SpongeBob moving into the correct position.
  • In the still shot of SpongeBob's "treasure map," the wallpaper is the one of his living room even though SpongeBob is holding it up in the kitchen.
    • However, the door in the kitchen is in the right place. This means it is not a shot of the living room.
  • SpongeBob had painted the tub to make it look like a treasure chest, but then in the next shot, it goes back to normal.
  • When SpongeBob hands Gary soap and a rubber duck, after he says "I don't know what a snail would want with a brooch!," in the next shot they are both gone.
  • When SpongeBob is back to normal after spraying all of his absorbed water at "Gary," the bottom part of his nose outline is colored the same as his body outline instead of the usual black color.
  • After Gary takes away the ladder that SpongeBob uses to climb the tree, a faraway view of the tree is shown, and the ladder is seen falling to the ground. However, in the next faraway view of the tree where SpongeBob falls out of the tree and into the mud puddle, the ladder is no longer there.



SpongeBob SquarePants - "Gary Takes a Bath" Premiere Promo (July 2003)


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