Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
If you were looking for the article about the voice actor, then see Gary Anthony Williams.
— Gary, in various episodes

Garold[2] "Gary"[3] Wilson, Jr.[4] is SpongeBob SquarePants' pet sea snail. He lives with SpongeBob in his pineapple house on 124 Conch Street. Gary is voiced by Tom Kenny and first appears in the pilot episode, "Help Wanted."

He is a domesticated house pet with similar mannerisms to the real-world cat, most notably his "meow" sound, as snails are the underwater equivalent to cats in the show, he also has the abilities of dogs from fetching to doing tricks. It has been suggested that SpongeBob has had Gary ever since he was a young boy. The episode "Treats!" reveals that Gary was adopted by SpongeBob. In "Plankton's Pet," SpongeBob reveals to have bought Gary at the animal shelter.

Gary was created as a minor joke character that would appear in the background of SpongeBob's bedroom, just like SpongeBob's pet scallop Shelley. However, as the series progressed, Gary developed a personality of his own beyond just saying "meow." He was eventually added to the show's Main Model Pack on March 22, 2000 and became one of the ten main characters.


Gary was the only child of Sluggo Star and an unrevealed mother.

At one point, he met SpongeBob at Camp Coral,[5] who then later adopted him at the local animal shelter when SpongeBob got older.[6][7] In "Treats!," a picture is shown of the moment SpongeBob picked him out, showing that Gary spent his early childhood at the pound with three other snails.

One day, Gary briefly left SpongeBob in exchange for Patrick, though this was only done to retrieve a cookie from Patrick's pocket and Gary quickly returned to his original owner.[8]

However, at some point, Gary moved out of Bikini Bottom and into Bass Vegas in response to SpongeBob's unintentional negligence. He was thereafter taken in and sheltered by an elderly woman named Granny, who mistook him for one of her snails.

Once Gary had discovered SpongeBob was looking for him and finding out Granny's motive, he escaped her house and returned to Bikini Bottom to reunite with SpongeBob.[9]

One day, SpongeBob received a chatterbox translation collar in the mail for Gary which the latter used as a means of communicating with his peers without meowing. It eventually got stolen by Squidward, thus ending his own with it.[10]


At various points, Gary has worked for the Krusty Krab, typically as a waiter[11] or as a fry cook in "A Pal for Gary" and "Gary's Got Legs." At one point, he was hired to get rid of all the ick contamination on everyone.[12] At another point, he was hired as the restaurant's bouncer.[13]

When SpongeBob made his restaurant called SpongeBob's Place, Gary was hired as the cashier.[14]

He briefly played the role as the DJ for The Sharks.[15]


Gary is a sea snail with a pink shell (which turns purple in the dark) with indigo spots and a red spiral. He has eye stalks that hold together his scarlet-green eyes with vermillion pupils. His quote is "Meow" and the sides of his body are light blue and his belly is chartreuse. He is known to create trails of slime when crawling. Even though he is typically seen without legs, "Your Shoe's Untied" reveals that he has legs and wears shoes. He is shown with legs again in "SpongeBob's Last Stand," and this eventually becomes a plot point of "Gary's Got Legs." He also has teats, revealed when SpongeBob milks him in "New Digs."

Being a snail, which is to Bikini Bottom what cats are to the real world, Gary is only able to communicate by saying "Meow."

His shell is known to store various items, as seen in "Have You Seen This Snail?," "Karate Island," and "Pineapple Invasion" among others.

Gary without his shell.

He is seen without his shell multiple times. The most famous examples are "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?," "To SquarePants or Not to SquarePants," "Shell Shocked," and "Welcome to the Bikini Bottom Triangle."

Vocabulary and intelligence

Gary is known for his characteristic "meow." However, it has been shown that Gary can say things other than "meow," such as in "The Secret Box" and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, where he says "No" and "Plankton" respectively. In "Your Shoe's Untied," "Frozen Face-Off," "Squid Defense," and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, he is shown to be able to roar. He screeches like a cat in some episodes. From season 4 onwards, Gary has made cat sound effects when he is startled or angry, to further reinforce the connection between snails and cats. In "Opposite Day," Gary reverses this stereotype by barking like a dog in honor of the eponymous holiday.

In many episodes, Gary has exhibited great intelligence to the point of anthropomorphism. In "Sleepy Time," it is revealed that in Gary's dreams, he is self aware and can speak and read, and comments "Did you think my shell was full of hot air?" In "The Secret Box," Gary responds to SpongeBob's question with "Meow-no." SpongeBob does not think much of it and brushes off his remarks on account of Gary just being a snail, implying Gary spoke to him before. In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, the Bikini Bottomites are chanting "All hail Plankton," while Gary monotonously chants, "Meow, Plankton." His intelligence is best exhibited in "Sleepy Time" where his dream counterpart is revealed to own a library and has an extremely intellectual mindset, having the ability to cite literature. His wise demeanor is also shown in "Chatterbox Gary" where he exercises his sophisticated vocabulary to describe his owner and peers. In "Jellyfish Hunter," it is revealed that instead of SpongeBob, he pays the electric bill.

Personality and habits

  • Gary hates taking baths, as seen in "Gary Takes a Bath," "Shellback Shenanigans," and "Pet Sitter Pat."
  • Gary has been known to exhibit bouts of anger.
    • In "Gary Takes a Bath," Gary snatches a ladder away from the tree that SpongeBob is stuck in, eliminating his option to escape safely. However, this did not cause any true harm to SpongeBob, who simply fell in the mud.
    • In "Once Bitten," he becomes aggressive and bites several of the Bottomites as a result of the pain that a splinter is inflicting. Even after said splinter is removed, Gary bites Mr. Krabs. However, this was done completely out of pain.
    • In "The Thing," Gary viciously attacks Squidward despite him having done nothing wrong. However, this is common for pets to do.
    • In "Grooming Gary," Gary joins the other pets in rioting against their respective owners for fancying his personality, which he did not want in the first place. However, this was done out of respect for himself and the other pets, who were being mistreated and shown off against their wills.
    • In "House Worming," Gary kicks SpongeBob out of his own home, although this was done out of self-defense.
    • In "Chatterbox Gary," Gary throws a walkie-talkie in Squidward's throat in retaliation for interfering with his translation collar. However, it was Squidward's fault in the first place.
  • He has a passion for animal rights and not being subject to things he does not want to do.
  • Gary is known to be quite gluttonous. He is seen eating absurd amounts of food and sometimes inedible objects in multiple episodes, notably "Have You Seen This Snail?."

Abilities and talents

Gary helps SpongeBob tie his shoes in "Your Shoe's Untied," revealing that he wears brown shoes on his feet that are hidden under his body.

As seen in "Gary Takes a Bath," Gary can levitate and teleport. Gary has been to many places, including the large Bass Vegas.

In the episode "Tutor Sauce," Gary is shown to be a good driver, as he can drive a boatmobile through the most dangerous road in Bikini Bottom with no issue whatsoever, except the cops stopping the boat.

Gary is shown to know how to throw parties while SpongeBob is gone, as seen in "Atlantis SquarePantis" and "What if SpongeBob Was Gone? (Gary)." Gary is also quite a sublime musician. In "The Paper," he plays Squidward's clarinet very well, and Squidward gets confused. In "Procrastination," Gary plays the trumpet, and in "Something Smells," he plays the violin to make SpongeBob cry while chopping onions.

Gary can become a floor buffer, as shown in "Sentimental Sponge."

Gary knows how to read, as seen in "Gary Takes a Bath," "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve," "Pet Sitter Pat," and "Library Cards." He also reads a newspaper in "Pineapple Invasion."

In "Pat-a-thon," after multiple failed inventions by Sandy to help snails dance, she comes up with tap spray. Gary ends up getting dozens of little tap dancing feet underneath him, enabling him to dance.

Gary-focused episodes

Gary has had several episodes that center around him or relate to him:

  • "I Was a Teenage Gary": When SpongeBob has Squidward come to take care of him, Gary becomes starved and sick.
  • "Dumped": Gary runs away from home to be with Patrick to get the cookie out of his pocket.
  • "Gary Takes a Bath": Gary tries to escape SpongeBob's plans to get him to take a bath.
  • "The Great Snail Race": SpongeBob becomes a strict coach and is obsessed with winning the race trophy with Gary's poor body.
  • "Have You Seen This Snail?": Gary runs away from home after not being fed and Granny takes him in, thinking that he is a lost pet. Gary later finds out that SpongeBob is looking for him and that his new owner wants to feed him to death, so he escapes and returns to SpongeBob.
  • "Once Bitten": Squidward's anti-snail defense log affects Gary and he bites Bikini Bottomites, including SpongeBob, making them think that they are zombies.
  • "Fungus Among Us": Gary is the first one to make the solution by eating away the ick.
  • "Grooming Gary": SpongeBob gives Gary a makeover and takes him to the Bikini Bottom Pet Show but the latter does not like it, neither do the other competitors.
  • "Shell Shocked": Gary's shell has broken and SpongeBob needs to find him a new one.
  • "A Pal for Gary": SpongeBob buys a pet for Gary to play with while he is at work, but the pet is violent and hostile toward him, and SpongeBob accuses him of being mean to him.
  • "Gary in Love": Gary falls in love with a snail named Mary.
  • "The Cent of Money": Mr. Krabs uses Gary to suck up coins.
  • "Shellback Shenanigans": Plankton disguises himself as Gary, and SpongeBob believes he's terminally ill.
  • "Pet Sitter Pat": Patrick has to babysit Gary while SpongeBob is celebrating his grandmother's birthday.
  • "Treats!": Gary becomes addicted to a new snail treat called Snail Bites.
  • "Gary's New Toy": Gary is obsessed with a red ball and nearly loses SpongeBob's love and affection because of it.
  • "Pineapple Invasion": Gary must stop Plankton from stealing the secret formula from SpongeBob's home.
  • "Chatterbox Gary": Gary has a pet translation collar, and he's talking up a storm. Everyone loves it, except for Squidward.
  • "Gary & Spot": Gary sneaks out during the night to play with his best friend, Spot.
  • "Gary's Got Legs": Gary is given a set of limbs to keep up with SpongeBob, but soon makes his owner look sluggish by comparison.


SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob is Gary's owner and closest friend. SpongeBob often goes to Gary for advice when no else can help him. Although Gary often finds himself irritated by SpongeBob's naivety and falls victim to negligence and pressure by him at times, the two always get back on good terms in the end.

Patrick Star

Patrick is Gary's cousin, as shown on a family tree in "Rule of Dumb." The two of them spend the whole time together in "Dumped," though it was only because Gary wanted the cookie in Patrick's pocket.

The two seem to have a good friendship, however, due to Patrick's stupidity, Gary is cruelly mistreated by him in "Pet Sitter Pat" and nearly gets killed by him when Patrick shoots a flamethrower at Gary. In "Yours, Mine and Mine" Patrick removes Gary from his friend list for being a "non-sharer"; however, Gary does not care.

Squidward Tentacles

Gary and Squidward have a rivalry throughout the series. Squidward hates Gary while Gary thinks Squidward is a jerk. Squidward doesn't seem to care much about Gary's well-being, which happens in "I Was a Teenage Gary" when Gary almost dies due to a lack of food and water. Gary attacks Squidward in "Chatterbox Gary," "Little Yellow Book," and "Once Bitten."

Sheldon J. Plankton

Plankton and Gary have an enemy relationship. Gary hates Plankton, and sometimes attacks or tricks him while Plankton hates Gary because he does not let him get the secret formula. This is shown in "Pineapple Invasion" and "Shellback Shenanigans" when Gary fights Plankton for trying to get the secret formula. Plankton also enslaved Gary in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie.


Spot is Gary's best friend. It's revealed in "Gary & Spot" that they leave their homes every night to play with each other. Their favorite thing to do together is wrestling. They are shown to have good teamwork when they rescued the other animals in the shelter and gave Marvin a girlfriend made of slime after realizing he's just lonely.


Concept art from an earlier storyline of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run featuring a young Gary on his home planet with his parents.

  • Gary plays a much more major role than as a background character in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run compared to the first two films, where he is snailnapped and it is up to SpongeBob and Patrick to go find him.
    • Concept art from scrapped storylines of Sponge on the Run also confirm that Gary was always planned to play an major role in the movie. In fact, one of theses storylines would have focused on Gary's origin where he originally was the son of the rulers of a planet inhabited by snails.
  • The episodes "Your Shoe's Untied" and "Earworm" show Gary having a record player under his shell.

Gary on his family tree.

  • SpongeBob sometimes nicknames Gary "Gare Bear" or just "Gare."
  • In "Karate Island," when SpongeBob is waxing Gary's shell, he finds his favorite novelty T-shirt that says, "I love Krabby Patties" in a pile of junk inside his shell.
  • His favorite food is Snail-Po, and later Snail Bites.
  • On the Adventures in Bikini Bottom LEGO set, Gary's shell is orange.
  • Aside from his trademark "Meow," Gary can say the words "Plankton," "Yeah!," and "No!"
  • In the first teaser trailer for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Gary is shown enjoying taking a bath with SpongeBob as the latter plays with his water toys, even though Gary is shown to hate taking baths.
  • It is revealed in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water that Gary hates mayonnaise.
  • Gary has arms, as seen in "Have You Seen This Snail?," "The Gift of Gum," and "Grooming Gary."

Gary in the "Help Wanted" storyboard.

  • The scene from "Help Wanted" in which SpongeBob wakes up and greets Gary originally ended with Gary taking a bite from a cactus, about garden snails' tendency to feed on succulent plants. The book Not Just Cartoons: Nicktoons! features the original storyboard of this scene.
  • He is the only major character in the series who has yet to appear in Sandy's treedome.
  • In the Croatian dub, his name is "Slavko."
  • In the Dutch dub, his name is "Gerrit."
  • Gary has many things hidden under his shell: a house, SpongeBob's Krabby Patty T-shirt, a record player, a diamond, and many other pieces of junk.
  • In "Help Wanted," Gary's pupils are small red dots and his meow is much squeakier.
  • He has only spoken full sentences in "Sleepy Time" and "Chatterbox Gary."
  • In "The Way of the Sponge," when SpongeBob leaves, Gary's meow sounds like he is saying "farewell."
  • Gary appears as a cameo in both Snail Bob 2 game installments.
  • On older Lego SpongeBob sets, Gary had less detail, especially on the eyes.


  1. ^ a b Rule of Dumb
  2. ^ "A Pal for Gary." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. January 2, 2010. Television.
  3. ^ "Help Wanted." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. May 1, 1999. Television.
  4. ^ "Treats!." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. April 10, 2012. Television.
  5. ^ The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
  6. ^ "Plankton's Pet." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. January 19, 2013. Television.
  7. ^ https://twitter.com/SpongeBob/status/1366486697811316739
  8. ^ "Dumped." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. May 11, 2001. Television.
  9. ^ "Have You Seen This Snail?." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. November 11, 2005. Television.
  10. ^ "Chatterbox Gary." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. February 12, 2018. Television.
  11. ^ "Banned in Bikini Bottom." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. November 23, 2007. Television.
  12. ^ "Fungus Among Us." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. September 29, 2007. Television.
  13. ^ "Shellback Shenanigans." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. September 18, 2010. Television.
  14. ^ "SpongeBob's Place." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. March 11, 2017. Television.
  15. ^ "Sharks vs. Pods." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. May 4, 2016. Television.