- SpongeBob SquarePants
- Gary the Snail
- Subliminal message girl (debut; cameo)
- French restaurant receptionist (heard only)
- Eugene H. Krabs (cameo)
The clock is ticking and SpongeBob knows it is time for Gary's bath, but as usual, the snail doesn't want to take it. SpongeBob, wary of the battle he is in for, tries various tricks/methods 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 does not take a bath. Gary does not move and, unfortunately, the bomb is not fake.
SpongeBob's next strategy is hypnotizing Gary by sending subliminal messages into his brain, but the disturbing imagery does not help. He tries calling a French restaurant, but he cannot 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 frustrated, 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.
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. Then, SpongeBob notices Gary sneaking towards a mud puddle. He gives him a three-second count to get away from said mud puddle. However, SpongeBob accidentally falls out of the tree into the mud himself, forcing him to take the bath under Gary's supervision instead.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Nostalgic Hawaii - George de Fretes, Jan Rap [title card]
• Steel Sting - 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 - 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]
- This episode is available on the Sea Stories, Absorbing Favorites, Complete 2nd Season, NickToons TV Favourites Volume 2, The First & Second Seasons, The Complete Second Season, The Best 200 Episodes Ever, Snail's Meow, SpookTacular, From the Beginning, Pt.1, SpongeBob SquarePants Vol. 3 and First 100 Episodes DVDs.
- This episode is also available on the Sea Stories (VHS) and Absorbing Favorites (VHS) tapes.
- "Gary Takes a Bath" was ranked #74 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
- Although this episode premiered in 2003, it was made in 2001 according to the credits.
- This is the first time that an episode premiered over a year after its sister episode. The second was "Goo Goo Gas," the third was "Yeti Krabs," and the fourth is "Pineapple RV."
- Currently, this episode holds the longest distinction to air from its sister episode, for two years and four months.
- This episode aired in Germany on Wednesday, October 2, 2002, before it aired in the United States.
- Additionally, this is the first episode to air in Germany before the USA.
- This episode was released on the Sea Stories DVD and VHS, before it aired on TV in the USA.
- This episode premiered in Canada on December 19, 2003.
- Innuendo: SpongeBob giving Gary "doubloons" (soap) and telling him not to drop them.
- This episode runs for six minutes and 31 seconds. It was the third episode to run for less than eleven minutes. The reason that this episode is this short is due to the length of its paired episode, "Shanghaied."
- In the French dub, SpongeBob calls a Chinese restaurant.
- In the German version of this episode, the episode is called "Die Wanne ist Voll," which means "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 means "Gary's Bath."
- This is the only episode to only use one voice actor, Tom Kenny, unless one counts Merriwether Williams, who voiced the laugh of subliminal message girl, as a voice actor.
- Tom Kenny voices both SpongeBob and Gary. Mr. Krabs also appears, but he has no lines.
- The subliminal message girl has become a popular internet meme.
- The fact the 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.
- This is one of the few episodes in the entire series to only have three or less characters. Other examples include "Reef Blower," "Tea at the Treedome," "Bubblestand," "Jellyfishing," "Jellyfish Jam," "Rise and Shine," and "Pat No Pay."
- When SpongeBob calls the French restaurant, it has a purpose: One French dish is escargot, or cooked snail. However, escargot is land snail, not sea snail.
- SpongeBob only does this to scare Gary into taking a bath.
- 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.
- This is the first episode pairing to be aired two years apart.
- This is the first episode in which Gary's shell is broken.
- This is the first episode to use the "Lonely Heart's Club (a)" APM track.
- This is the second time 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 doesn't take a bath and SpongeBob doesn't 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.
- This episode was the last season 2 episode in airing order.
- The scene where SpongeBob has a bomb strapped to his chest has been considered controversial as it parodies a suicide bomber
- Despite the episode's title it is actually SpongeBob that takes a bath not Gary.
- 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 can be seen saying it was made on January 27, 2001 from Rough Draft Korea. And on top that this was made on the same day "Dying for Pie" and "Imitation Krabs" premiered which they are both season 2 episodes.
- When SpongeBob throws Gary off of his back, one of the frames has the outline around SpongeBob's eye incomplete.
- 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 trying to get Gary to take a bath.
- SpongeBob using his family's methods to send Gary to the bath.
- Gary avoiding to take a bath and outsmarting SpongeBob.
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