Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Have You Seen This Snail?" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 4. In this episode, Gary runs away from home after being neglected by SpongeBob.



Act 1

SpongeBob is bringing snail food to his house. When he reaches home, he gets a package containing the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy paddle ball set. Also in it is the Dirty Bubble challenge, requiring him to do 29,998,559,671,349 hits with the paddle ball.

He gets so carried away with the game that he forgets to feed Gary and gets angry with him for distracting him from his game when he wants food. SpongeBob ignores Gary saying that he wants to be left alone. Out of hunger and desperation, Gary tries to get him to feed any possible way, but this only annoys SpongeBob even more, with this SpongeBob neglectfully yells at him to leave him alone. Heartbroken and hungry, Gary abandons SpongeBob and leaves the town.

Later, Patrick comes to see SpongeBob, but it turns out he is still trying to complete the Dirty Bubble challenge. SpongeBob realizes that he has not fed Gary yet. After finishing with food, SpongeBob calls for Gary, only to find out that Gary is gone as he had been doing the challenge for a week. The two try to find him, and after a while they find a note from Gary stating that he ran away. SpongeBob becomes horrified and remorseful for himself, then he goes on a desperate hunt.

Act 2

Meanwhile, Gary is going through a town faraway from Bikini Bottom, and gets picked up by an old lady who thinks he is another snail. At the same time, SpongeBob tries to look for his snail all over town, but cannot find him, much to his despair.

At the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob is sad that he cannot find Gary until Mr. Krabs unintentionally motivates him to work harder to get Gary back. SpongeBob and Patrick start to search for him all over town. Patrick ends up going in a store to look for scented pine cones and he sees Gary. However, he is too distracted by the scented pine cones, so he never tells SpongeBob about seeing Gary.

Afterwards, SpongeBob and Patrick start putting up posters and messages all over town in hopes of finding Gary, and this event is followed by a song set to a montage of SpongeBob and Patrick unsuccessfully finding the snail, even missing him at certain points where they are actually in the same place Gary and Granny are. (Also, a heartbroken and disappointed version of SpongeBob is shown at night in his pineapple home sadly missing his beloved pet snail).

SpongeBob and Gary reunite.

Gary slowly gets overfed by the old woman, and at some point he sees the papers from SpongeBob telling him to come back. After coming across a closet full of empty broken snail shells and seeing that the Granny is feeding him too much, he realizes she has been trying to fatten him up to eat him. The snails in the portrait on Granny's wall then yell, "Run!" and Gary runs away from her and goes to find SpongeBob.

Meanwhile, Patrick comforts a crying SpongeBob, who decides to give up. Eventually, he goes outside and laments the fact that he neglected Gary, who finds SpongeBob desperately wanting him back. Gary finally reunites with SpongeBob much to his joy and promises things are going to much better between the two of them then takes Gary home to get him something to eat, telling him he must be starving. Gary however, only replies with a deep denial "Meow," stating that he is overfilled.

Running gags

  • Patrick worrying about something, only for it to turn out what he is worrying about is completely unrelated to the situation.
  • Granny calling Gary "Miss Tuffsy."
  • SpongeBob saying "Darn it" when failing the Dirty Bubble challenge.
  • Gary being overfed.
  • SpongeBob telling Gary to stay out of his way.


The episode was confirmed on July 7, 2005.[4]

In a press release on November 1, 2005, Nickelodeon officially announced the episode and promoted it as the "Where's Gary" special. According to the network, "it's a sad day in Bikini Bottom when SpongeBob learns that his beloved pet snail Gary is missing and that he may be at fault in the mollusk's disappearance." Marjorie Cohn, Executive Vice President of Development and Original Programming for Nickelodeon, said "kids love their pets and there's certainly some relatability here in the relationship between SpongeBob and Gary -- skewed though it may be[...] It's fun to see Gary express a whole range of emotions using only his signature 'meow.'"[5]

Deleted scene

According to the storyboard, SpongeBob was originally going to visit Squidward's house and ask him if he could give him a hand with the bag of snail food.



 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Open and End Fanfare - Nino Nardini ["Ahoy, it's a SpongeBob SquarePants special!"]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Ahoy, it's a SpongeBob SquarePants special!"]
  Alley Cats - Robert Mersey [Title card]
  Alekoki - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob carrying snail food]
  What's This - Nicolas Carr [Form letter]
  Gator - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob reads it]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob leaves the snail food outside]
  Knights of the Air - Sam Fonteyn ["Let's see what we got here."]
  Life on the Wild Side - Sam Spence [Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy paddleball set]
  The Beast Within - Paddy Kingsland [Dirty Bubble challenge]
  The Holy Land - David Farnon [choir]
  Grand Orchestral Fanfare - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob begins playing paddleball.]
  On The Beach - Kapono Beamer [Gary goes over to his food bowl.]
  Life on the Wild Side - Sam Spence ["Mermaid Man needs me."]
  Rescue - Cecil Milner [SpongeBob describing Dirty Bubble]
  Hawaiian Link (B) - Richard Myhill ["Pets."]
  Dramatic Impact (2) - Ivor Slaney [Gary leaps onto SpongeBob's face.]
  Dramatic Cue (B) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob runs around screaming.]
  Pua Paoakalani B - Queen Lili'uokalani, Kapono Beamer [Gary about to leave SpongeBob's house.]
  Creepy Spiders - Nicolas Carr
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr [Patrick sees a bag of snail food.]
  Graveyard - Johnny Pearson [Patrick looking for SpongeBob.]
  Dramatic Impact (2) - Ivor Slaney ["SpongeBob, what happened?!"]
  Fates [#62] - Gregor F. Narholz [SpongeBob on the floor.]
  Bittersweet Memory - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["Many years ago, I took that challenge!"]
  Closing the Door - Nicolas Carr [Door closed.]
  Quiz Logo 1 - Dave Hewson ["I think it has something to do with this bowl."]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["That's it, I gotta feed Gary!"]
  Hawaiian Party - Peter Dennis [SpongeBob puts food in Gary's bowl.]
  Waddle Cop - David Farnon [Solid milk.]
  Of Love and Destiny - Leighton Lucas [SpongeBob can't find Gary anywhere.]
  Harmonica Shorts [#30] - Robert Appleton, Rick Fenn [Gary wandering through a desert.]
  Harmonica Shorts [#31] - Robert Appleton, Rick Fenn [Gary's stomach howls.]
  Harmonica Shorts [#32] - Robert Appleton, Rick Fenn [Gary sneezes.]
  You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Gary's favorite treats!"]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [Later that night.]
  Torn Apart - Mike Sunderland ["Gary, where are you?"]
  Comic Walk - Sidney Torch [Squidward taking a bath]
  Six Powerful Cues F - Wilfred William Burns [Looking for Gary in Squidward's bathroom.]
  Tension Build - Nicolas Carr ["Here goes nothing."]
  Comic Cues [#25] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Letters fly out of mailbox.]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Look, Pat"]
  Woe is Me! - Richard Myhill [Gary's note.]
  Whisper from the Past [#64] - Gregor F. Narholz ["Dear Neptune, what have I done?"]
  Alley Cats - Robert Mersey [Gary in the city.]
  Heavenly Voices (B) - David Farnon [Nachos.]
  Alley Cats - Robert Mersey [Other snails hiss at Gary.]
  West Side Rumble - Sam Spence [Gary slithers away.]
  Evil Alien Attack 1 [#15] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Gary sees a shadowy figure.]
  Light and Easy - Harry Rabinowitz ["There you are, Miss Tufsy."]
  Waltzing in Dreamland - Alan Moorhouse [Gramma puts on music.]
  Pacific Romance - Jan Rap [SpongeBob looking for Gary.]
  Stealthily - Jack Shaindlin [Gary and Gramma watching TV.]
  Lynda's Music Box - Peter Dennis [Gramma puts Gary to bed.]
  Botany Bay (b) - Robert Alexander White [The next morning at the Krusty Krab.]
  Dramatic Impact (3) - Ivor Slaney [Krabby Patty covered in tears.]
  Hawaiian Breeze - Jon Jelmer [SpongeBob crying.]
  Marching to Honolulu - Kapono Beamer ["If I'm gonna find Gary, I'm gonna need to work harder at it."]
  Dramatic Cue (D) - Ronald Hanmer ["It's the apocalypse!"]
  Hunting Rescue Call - Nicolas Carr ["Patrick, now is not the time for talking. We've got work to do."]
  Lambs in Clover - Jack Strachey [Gary having breakfast.]
  Beach Boy - Hilmar Doetsch, Karl Heinz Kroll [Inside the craft store.]
  Gary Come Home - Stew ( Mark Stewart ) [Montage of SpongeBob looking for Gary.]
  Folli the Foal - Andrew Fenner ["Gramma will get a lovely meatloaf in the oven for you."]
  Whisper from the Past [#64] - Gregor F. Narholz [Gary sees SpongeBob's flyers.]
  Stepping into Danger - Mike Sunderland [Gary opens a door.]
  Dramatic Cue (D) - Ronald Hanmer [Closet full of snail shells.]
  House Of Horror - William Farran [Gary finds out Grandma's true plan of eating him.]
  Footsteps of Horror - William Farran [Grandma shows Gary deviled eggs.]
  House Of Horror - William Farran [Grandma goes after Gary.]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["When Gary left, he took all my tears with him."]
  Drowsy Reef - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Gary loved balsa wood!"]
  Romantic Entrance [#22] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["Gary!"]
  Romantic Entrance [#24] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["So, did you hear any of that, or do I have to repeat myself?"]
  Celebrations - Jan Rap [ending]
  Where's Gary? - Andy Paley, Tom Kenny [Closing credits]



  • Nickelodeon supported this episode with a month-long off-air marketing campaign including print, outdoor, and consumer product partner support, along with the release of a preview clip and bonus coverage of the episode on Nickelodeon's broadband online platform TurboNick, and the Trail of the Snail online game.
    • In a sweepstakes event with the promotional name of the special, every night for five days leading to the episode's premiere, Patchy the Pirate and other celebrity guests searched in various locations for Gary. By visiting Nick.com, the viewers could receive a Trail of The Snail tracking card to enter Patchy's search locations in order to win the sweepstakes. The prize was a trip to the Nickelodeon Animation Studio to meet the production team of the show and sit in on a voice recording session with the series' cast.


  • "Have You Seen This Snail?" was viewed by eight-million people.[6] It was the highest-rated program on all TV with children aged two to eleven for the year of 2005 behind the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl kick-off, and the highest-rated program on all of cable TV with children aged 2 to 11 and children aged 6 to 11 in 2005.[7]
  • Critics produced positive reviews for "Have You Seen This Snail?" Tom Shales of The Washington Post called the episode deeply hilarious and described the plot as a "bittersweet riot." He drew attention to how the story is similar to the plot of "Dumped," an earlier episode in which Gary deserted SpongeBob.[8]
  • The television critic for the St Petersburg Times was not so positive about the episode, criticizing how SpongeBob's disappointed and sad character in "Have You Seen This Snail?" is quite different to the character's normal bright personality.[9]
  • "Have You Seen This Snail?" was ranked #10 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.



  • This is the first half-hour special of season 4. The second is "Dunces and Dragons."
  • The title card for this episode is similar to those of "Shanghaied," "Club SpongeBob," "Mid-Life Crustacean," and "The Camping Episode."
  • This is the first half-hour special with Paul Tibbitt as showrunner.
  • This is the first half-hour special to air on Remembrance Day.
  • On The First 100 Episodes DVD boxset, this episode's beginning and ending are altered:
    • The beginning with Patchy saying that the episode is a special is removed, and the song "Where's Gary?" is removed from the credits in favor of credits for all of the episodes on the DVD. This also happens on the Where's Gary? DVD and VHS.
  • Around the time this episode premiered, Cartoon Network had a snail resembling Gary at the bottom of the screen during its programs. The joke was that Gary had run away from Nickelodeon to Cartoon Network at the time.[10]
  • The plot of the third SpongeBob SquarePants feature film, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, is similar to this episode, as both involve Gary being taken by someone and SpongeBob and Patrick teaming up to go find him.
    • It was later revealed by Tim Hill that this episode inspired the plot of Sponge on the Run since "Stephen wanted to springboard off of that idea for the movie."[11]
  • This is the first episode where "Vibe Q Sting" is heard.
  • This is the first episode where Patrick eats snail food.
  • Advertisements for this episode refer to it as "Where's Gary?" It is also called "Where's Gary?" on its VHS and DVD releases.[12]
  • There is a book based on this episode titled Where's Gary?
  • In international dubbings of this episode, the song "Gary Come Home" is either sung by SpongeBob himself or is left untranslated.[citation needed]
  • "Nickelodeon Inc." is written on the packaging of the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy Paddle Ball Set. ViacomCBS was previously referenced in-series in "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy V."
  • One of the buses is seen being driven by a policeman rather than a typical Bikini Bottomite.
  • The original plot for this episode was going to be Granny fattening Gary up to eat him, but this was changed due to it being deemed too scary for a children's series.[13] Also, she had an ax that was replaced with a tray of cookies.[14]
  • Innuendo: While searching for Gary in Squidward's bathroom, SpongeBob checks on the bathtub while Squidward is taking a bath.
  • It is revealed that Gary has a clock inside his shell that tells what time he eats.
  • It is revealed that Gary loves balsa wood.
  • It is revealed that Gary has been SpongeBob's pet since he was a child.

"Ahoy, it's a SpongeBob SquarePants special!"

SpongeBob and Patrick drop by Squidward's house.

  • The scene where Squidward screams when SpongeBob and Patrick enter his house has become a famous meme on YouTube. The videos are usually named "[Insert name here] drops by Squidward's house." It consists of a collection of videos depicting the scene being edited so that a completely random character is pasted into the picture, covering up view of SpongeBob and Patrick. He screams normally, but it is looped backwards to help extend the video.
    • Squidward's facial expression in that scene would later be reused in "Bunny Hunt."
  • A clip of this episode was seen in the 2007 movie Alvin and the Chipmunks, which crew member Tim Hill directed.
  • In Poland, this episode is called "Kto widział ślimaka?," which means "Who Seen the Snail?"
  • In Brazil, this episode is called "Cadê Esse Caracol?," which means "Where Is This Snail?"
  • This episode featured an original piece of music written for the episode by the musician Stew, entitled "Gary Come Home."[8]
    • An instrumental version of this song, performed by saxophonist Kenny G, would later be used as one of the soundtracks of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.
  • This episode marks the second instance of Gary leaving SpongeBob. The first was in "Dumped."
  • This is the first double-length episode not to feature Patchy and Potty, not counting his cameo in the opening.
  • It would be impossible to hit the paddle ball 29,998,559,671,349 times in a row. With a constant four hits per second, the challenge would take at least 238,000 years.
  • Patrick's line "Office products falling from the sky!" is reused in the online game Are You Smarter Than Patrick Star?
    • It has also become a meme, along with the face he makes when he tries the spoiled milk.
  • Granny mistakes Patrick for a "little chubby boy."
  • This episode shows that SpongeBob and Patrick share a mailbox together as the text "SquarePat" is imprinted on it. However, this is not shown in any other episodes.
  • The solid condition of Patrick's milk resembles a marshmallow in appearance and texture.
  • This is one of the few episodes where SpongeBob is shown to have a hallway leading up to his bedroom. Usually, it is just the staircase following his kitchen.
  • SpongeBob is shown to have a picture of a Krabby Patty hung on his bedroom wall.
  • The Hats location from "My Pretty Seahorse" reappears, but in a different location and with a different appearance.
  • In the bedroom Granny puts Gary to sleep in, there are a lot of pictures of her with a snail who looks exactly like Gary hung on the wall. Unless this is Miss Tuffsy or another snail who resembles Gary full-on, there is no way she could have gotten photos of her and Gary up that quickly, since she has only known him for barely an hour at this point.
  • It is left unclear whether Granny purposely feeds her snails until they die from overeating so she can eat them, or she simply overfeeds them without knowing.
  • SpongeBob is seen driving a plane during the montage of "Gary Come Home," even though he does not have his license. This implies that SpongeBob is illegally driving a plane.
  • One of the photos in SpongeBob's photo album is of him as a younger sponge with baby Gary; in a later episode, "Treats!," Gary gives SpongeBob a photo of the day he got Gary, but SpongeBob was the same age as he is now.
  • This is the third episode to have a question mark in its title with the first one being "Christmas Who?" and the second being "Can You Spare a Dime?."
  • This was the last episode to premiere in 2005.

Cultural references

  • When Gary and Granny are riding in the latter's car, Granny says "Set phasers on fun!," a pun on the Star Trek line "Set phasers on stun."
  • The stray alley snails are the show's equivalent of real-life stray alley cats.
  • Gary realizing Granny is only feeding him to fatten him up before he is eaten himself is similar to the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, where the old witch only feeds her victims until they are fat enough before she cooked them and ate them.


  • When Patrick flips SpongeBob, the paddle ball is missing, but it later reappears.
  • When Patrick visits SpongeBob's house to check up on him, the bag of snail food is not seen on his doorsteps in the preceding shot of his house, but when a closer view of the house is shown when Patrick knocks on his door, the bag suddenly appears.
  • When SpongeBob trips on Gary's bowl, the milk splashes out from the jug, but when Patrick shakes the milk out of the glass, it is in a solid form.
  • When SpongeBob reads the note left on his door, he walks inside and leaves the door open, but when the mailman rings the doorbell, SpongeBob opens the door, even though it was already open.
  • When Gary is getting out of the food dish, he does not have the running-away sack. In the scene right after, he has it on his back.
  • When Granny puts Gary down, he is missing a spot on his shell.
  • SpongeBob promises to give Patrick kelp cookies and seahorse milk, though when the scene pans to the kitchen, no kelp cookies are seen, just seahorse milk.

Rough Draft Korea on the screen for about a frame.

  • When SpongeBob says "I can’t find Gary!," right before the scene changes in a bubble transition, a Rough Draft Korea card appears for a split second.

The mailbox says "Squarepat," rather than "SquarePants."

  • The overflowing mailbox does not explode right away once it is shown; it does so once SpongeBob attempts to open it even though it should have really done it right away. Also, the overflowing mailbox reads "Squarepat" when it should be "SquarePants."
  • When Granny takes Gary to dance, the blanket is still there, but after that, it is gone.

The lettuce and the cheese vanish.

  • When the customer removes the Krabby Patty bun to show Mr. Krabs and Squidward that it has tears in it, the lettuce and the cheese vanish.

Patrick with SpongeBob's teeth.

  • When Patrick tells SpongeBob to "let it out," his teeth look exactly like SpongeBob's.



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Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants VE

Golden Reel Awards StatueStraight.jpg

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation – Music

Nominees: Stephen Hillenburg, Donna Castricone, Nicholas R. Jennings, Alan Smart, Peter Burns, Doug Lawrence, Derek Drymon, Alex Gordon, Donna Grillo, Jennie Monica, Krandal Crews, Jim Leber, Justin Brinsfield, Tony Ostyn, Nicolas Carr (for "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy"/"Pickles;" 2000)Nicolas Carr (for "Fools in April"/"Neptune's Spatula" in 2001; for "Jellyfish Hunter"/"The Fry Cook Games" in 2002; for "Wet Painters"/"Krusty Krab Training Video" in 2003; for "The Great Snail Race"/"Mid-Life Crustacean" in 2004) • Jimmy Lifton, D.J. Lynch, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn and Paulette Lifton (for "Mid-Life Crustacean;" 2004)

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation – Sound

Nominees: Nicolas Carr (for "Karate Choppers;" 2000) • Andrea Anderson, Jimmy Lifton, Monette Holderer, D.J. Lynch, Vincent Gutisetti, Jeff Hutchins and Gabriel Rosas (for "Rock Bottom"/"Arrgh!;" 2001)

Best Sound Editing in Television – Animation

Nominees: Timothy J. Borquez, Jeff Hutchins and Daisuke Sawa (for "The Secret Box"/"Band Geeks;" 2002)

Best Sound Editing in Television Animation

Nominees: Jimmy Lifton, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn and Chris Gresham (for "Nasty Patty"/"Idiot Box;" 2003)

Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated

Nominees: Jimmy Lifton, Nicolas Carr, D.J. Lynch, Jeff Hutchins, Tony Ostyn, Chris Gresham and Paulette Lifton (for "Pranks a Lot"/"SpongeBob Meets the Strangler;" 2005) • Vincent Gutisetti, Jimmy Lifton, Nicolas Carr, Monique Reymond, D.J. Lynch, Mark Howlett, Jeff Hutchins, Aran Tanchum, Mishelle Smith and Paulette Lifton (for "Have You Seen This Snail?;" 2006)Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Jason Stiff, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "SpongeHenge;" 2008)

Best Sound Editing: Television Animation

Nominees: : Chiho Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Daisuke Sawa, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Dan Cubert, Lawrence Reyes, Jason Stiff, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "Suction Cup Symphony;" 2009) • Chino Oyamada Carr, Nicolas Carr, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Eric Freeman, Tom Syslo, Keith Dickens, Jason Stiff, Sergio Silva, Tony Orozco and Kimberlee Vanek (for "SpongeBob SquarePants vs. The Big One;" 2010)

Best Sound Editing – Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in Television

Nominees: Devon Bowman, Justin Brinsfield, Nicolas Carr, Andrea Anderson, Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Eric Freeman, Tony Orozco and Danny Tchibinda (for "Gary's New Toy;" 2013) • Mishelle Fordham, Monette Becktold, Jeff Hutchins, Timothy J. Borquez, Tom Syslo, Eric Freeman, Bobby Crew, Keith Dickens, Gabriel Rossas and Tony Orozco (for "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!;" 2013)