Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Once Bitten" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 4. In this episode, Gary's biting causes the Bikini Bottomites to think that he has a disease and that he is spreading it to them.



Gary biting Squidward's butt.

Squidward comes out of his house on a sunny day, only to find out that his yard is covered in Gary's slime trail. He attempts to keep the snail away by building a splintery wooden fence, but to no avail. As Squidward complains to SpongeBob, Gary bites him, then begins acting strange and foaming at the mouth. SpongeBob insists that Gary is up-to-date on his vaccinations, but Patrick overhears and asks about "Mad Snail Disease". Patrick inspects Squidward and believes he is showing the symptoms, explaining that the disease will turn him into a zombie. Squidward panics and runs away, while Patrick demands that Gary been taken to a doctor as soon as possible. However, Gary has disappeared.

Bikini Bottom descends into a state of mass hysteria and destruction after Gary bites several people, and soon almost everybody have been turned into zombies. The remaining survivors hide out at the Krusty Krab. SpongeBob tries to get in, but Patrick believes he is a zombie and will not let him in until he slips through the doors. Old Man Jenkins suggests that they might all be zombies, and everyone starts panicking. Gary then comes in, much to the horror of the onlookers, and SpongeBob tries to bring him to his senses, but he gets bitten, much to his horror. The survivors in the Krusty Krab then decide to terminate Gary.

Gary biting SpongeBob's hand.

However, Dr. Gill Gilliam enters the building to put an end to the commotion, explaining that the disease is just an urban legend and that the supposed symptoms were all in their imaginations, and that Gary was simply suffering from "Grouchy Snailitis" due to a "tiny" splinter in his foot from Squidward's fence, which he removes. SpongeBob is happy that Gary was never disease-ridden, and he asks if he still loves him, with Gary meowing in response. The remaining people outside appear to hear this, and even though they are not infected, Squidward still acts like a zombie due to the fact that he is now working at his job and starts serving customers. The episode ends with Gary biting Mr. Krabs for no reason at all.

Running gags

  • Bikini Bottomites panicking by Gary's infectious bite.



 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Marching to Honolulu - Kapono Beamer [Title card]
  Comic Walk - Sidney Torch ["Snail trail..."]
  Toyland March 2 - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Squidward putting up a wooden fence]
  Tomfoolery - David Snell ["This cheap splintery wood will keep even Gary out."]
  Seaweed - Steve Belfer [Squidward yells at SpongeBob]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Gary!"]
  Lighting the Fuse (a) - Dick Stephen Walter [Squidward asks if Gary's had all his shots]
  Lighting the Fuse (b) - Dick Stephen Walter [Squidward asks if Gary's had all his shots]
  Comic Tension (A) - Dick Stephen Walter [Squidward naming snail diseases]
  Twilight Zone - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Patrick describing Mad Snail Disease]
  Shock Entrance [#24] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Patrick talking Squidward about Mad Snail Disease's symptoms]
  Twilight Zone - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["...will turn you into...a zombie."]
  Dramatic Impact (3) - Ivor Slaney [Gary's missing]
  House Of Horror - William Farran [Patrick warns people about Mad Snail Disease]
  Lambs in Clover - Jack Strachey ["Oh, look, honey, isn't he the cutest?"]
  Tales From The Swamp (A) - Ron Goodwin ["Mad snail disease is real!"/Everyone panicking]
  Bikini Bottom News Theme - Nicolas Carr [news blast]
  Cellar Search - Philippe Pares [Squidward interviewed]
  Robot March - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Second scene of everyone panicking]
  March of the Aliens [#7] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [zombies chasing SpongeBob/SpongeBob runs to the Krusty Krab]
  The Tip Top Polka/The Cliff Polka - Chelmsford Folk Band ["SpongeBob! Come in, boy."]
  Search Party 3 [#51] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["Stop! You can't let anyone in!"]
  Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob squeezes through the door crack]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Or is it?"]
  Search Party 1 [#48] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["I don't believe that's the real SpongeBob."]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr [Patrick thinks for a second]
  Death of the Alien 1 [#38] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Everyone panics/Gary appears at the Krusty Krab]
  Steel Licks 19 - Jeremy Wakefield ["All those people think you're a monster."]
  Death of the Alien 1 [#38] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Gary bites SpongeBob]
  Wooden Bear - Gil Flat, Tony Tape, Florian Voelxen [Mad Snail Disease doesn't exist]
  Old Hilo March - Kapono Beamer [Gary's back to normal]
  Cellar Search - Philippe Pares [Squidward enters]
  Steel Licks 6 - Jeremy Wakefield ["Oh, yes I am."]
  Old Hilo March - Kapono Beamer [ending]



  • "Once Bitten" was ranked #39 during the Best Day Ever event from November 9–10, 2006.



Cultural references

  • The episode's title is based on the phrase, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy."
  • Mad Snail Disease may be a reference to the real-life disease mad cow disease. However, the so-called "Mad snail disease" has the symptoms of rabies.


  • When SpongeBob runs to the bus, the "Stop" sign is there, but in the next scene, it disappears.
  • When SpongeBob is being chased by the "zombies," two of them disappear before they leave the screen.
  • An elderly woman's dress changes colors from purple to green in the scene where the "zombies" chase SpongeBob.
  • When the "zombies" attack the Krusty Krab, there is neither the Chum Bucket nor the path that leads to it.

SpongeBob's missing legs.

  • When SpongeBob says, "Gary, how could you?," his legs are missing.
  • During the scene where SpongeBob says, "I knew you weren't disease-ridden!" to Gary, Frank's purple shirt sleeve turns blue. In the next scene, it changes back to purple.
  • When SpongeBob arrives at the Krusty Krab, the doors are locked. Later on, when Squidward walks in acting like a zombie, the doors are unlocked.
    • It could be possible that Squidward has another exactly same key of Krusty Krab to open it off-screen.
  • The amount of fish chasing SpongeBob changes.
  • Nat is seen as a zombie, but later, he is later seen as a normal customer in the Krusty Krab.

Pearl Krabs is credited for a deleted scene.

  • Pearl Krabs is listed in the credits for this episode. She was originally featured in a deleted scene, and Lori Alan recorded dialogue for it. Even after the scene was cut, Lori Alan's credit still remained.