Encyclopedia SpongeBobia
Encyclopedia SpongeBobia

"Shellback Shenanigans" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season 7. In this episode, Plankton impersonates Gary to get the secret formula, but it goes too far when SpongeBob is led to believe his pet is terminally ill.



This episode starts out at the Krusty Krab, where SpongeBob is getting ready for closing time. He asks Mr. Krabs if he can bring home a Krabby Patty for Gary because the next day is Bring Your Pet to Work Day. Mr. Krabs lets him. However, when SpongeBob checks the freezer (along with all others), there are no more Krabby Patties left at all. He starts complaining to Mr. Krabs about this, so the latter just decides they should make a fresh batch of them. Plankton is spying on SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs at this moment and he has an evil plan.

Later that night, SpongeBob arrives home with some kelp fries for Gary. He then tells him that he needs a bath, which makes Gary run away. SpongeBob looks for Gary all over the house and then when Gary falls into a plant, he decides to give him his bath in the morning.

Club Shell.

The next morning, there is a knock on the door and Gary answers it. It is Plankton in a salesman disguise. He claims that he is giving Gary a vacation to a snail resort for one night and tells Gary to wear a fake shell while he is there, while also lying about cleaning his real shell. Gary puts on the fake shell and leaves. Afterwards, Plankton gets into Gary's real shell.

Plankton disguised as Gary.

SpongeBob then gives Plankton (in the Gary disguise) his bath. While he is doing that, he discovers that "Gary" is green and talking, and he thinks that he is sick, so he takes "Gary" to the hospital, where the doctor gives him bad news. They try every test imaginable, but nothing is found wrong with him (the doctors never saw anything like this). "Gary" asks SpongeBob for one Krabby Patty before he dies, so SpongeBob starts taking him to the Krusty Krab. However, on the way there, the real Gary rides by on the bus and sees SpongeBob carrying Plankton disguised as himself. Gary gets mad, stops the bus, and gets out.

At that moment, SpongeBob puts Plankton in the kitchen and goes to make him a Krabby Patty. However, while he is waiting, the real Gary comes in and beats up Plankton. Mr. Krabs sees him doing this and sees Plankton cowardly run out of the kitchen, so he gives Gary a job as a bouncer, with Gary letting people into the Krusty Krab one at a time. Then Plankton comes, disguised again, this time as a small fish boy. However, Gary is not fooled by the disguise and growls, causing Plankton to panic and run away in fear. SpongeBob then says to Mr. Krabs how Gary is doing a great job as a bouncer and also says he's "really earning his pay," leaving Mr. Krabs shocked.




 ) Production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music

  Clownfish Capers - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card]
  Jolly Little Roger - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Opening]
  Murder in Mind [#45] - Ronald Hanmer ["MR. KRABS!"]
  Sneaking About - Phil Green [Plankton spying on Krabs and SpongeBob]
  Down in Davey Jones Locker - Nicolas Carr ["I think I smell a plan!"]
  Untitled Tune - Jack Shaindlin [SpongeBob comes home]
  Hawaiian Link (B) - Richard Myhill ["You win, we'll bathe you in the morning."]
  Dig it Baby - Nino Nardini [Plankton at the door/"Look, I'll just cut to the chase."]
  Zelle 503 - Gerhard Trede [Plankton disguised as Gary]
  Carefree and Gay - Phil Green, Geoffrey Love, Ken Thorne [SpongeBob bathing "Gary"]
  Primitive Force - Raymond C. Jones ["Gary, are you sure you're feeling all right?"/"Gary! You're turning green! And talking!"]
  Befuddled Gent - Phil Green [at the hospital]
  Desperate Situation - Phil Green ["I have never seen such a drastic case!"]
  Jolly Clarinet - Ilan Harel [intensive care unit]
  Crazy Mind - Harry Lubin [SpongeBob panting]
  Steel Licks 1 - Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob cries]
  Shock Headed Peter - Ronald Hanmer [huge pill]
  Sliding 2 - Hans Ehrlinger, Roy Etzel ["That wasn't so bad, was it?"]
  Tristesse - Gerhard Trede ["Uh, Mr. SquarePants?"]
  Guaracha Senorita - Heidi Pehofer [Club Shell bus]
  Hopeless Situation 2 [#4] - Phil Green ["Yes!"]
  Blazing Baloney Western - Nicolas Carr [Gary gets off the bus]
  Drowsy Reef - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [at the Krusty Krab]
  Zelle 501 - Gerhard Trede ["Yes, SpongeFool, come right back with your complete undoing and victory will be mine!"]
  Clownfish Capers - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Gary fights Plankton]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Hmm..."]
  Another Krusty Krab Day - Michael Bolger, Nicolas Carr [Ending]




  • The title card is similar to those of "SpongeGuard on Duty" and the "Uhhh..." time card from "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve," but with a different kind of life preserver, which is red and white rather than orange. It also has a different background that uses a blueish shell version.
  • Towards the end, SpongeBob takes Plankton (dressed up as Gary) to the Krusty Krab to get him a Krabby Patty and SpongeBob calls himself "Daddy." This is the first episode where SpongeBob calls himself "Daddy" to Gary (or who he thought was Gary).
  • This is the second episode where a character is forced to swallow a ridiculously large pill. The first was "Mid-Life Crustacean" in Mr. Krabs' case.
  • This is the fifth episode in which Plankton impersonates someone in order to get the secret formula. The first was "Imitation Krabs," the second was "Spy Buddies," the third was "Someone's in the Kitchen with Sandy," and the fourth was "Gramma's Secret Recipe."
  • It is revealed in this episode that Gary doesn't like kelp fries.
  • SpongeBob has talked to Gary before, but in snail language.
  • This episode was included along with "Hide and Then What Happens?" as special features on the SpongeBob's Runaway Roadtrip, DVD even though the episodes are not from the same season as the other episodes on that DVD.
  • In some airings, this episode is paired with "You Don't Know Sponge."
  • In Greece, this episode is called "Η Μεγάλη Οστρακοαπάτη," which means "The Great Shell-Scam."
  • In Turkey, this episode is called "Sahte Salyangoz," which means "Fake Snail."
  • In Russia, this episode is called "Мошенник в раковине," which means "Imposter in the Shell."
  • In the German dub, the title card uses Comic Sans MS.
  • This is the second episode in season 7 where the Krusty Krab runs out of Krabby Patties, the first in the season being "The Great Patty Caper."
  • This episode is similar to "Imitation Krabs," "Someone's in the Kitchen with Sandy," and "Gramma's Secret Recipe," as both episodes involve Plankton impersonating a character in order to get the Krabby Patty secret formula.
    • Coincidentally, they are all in the same season, season 7 (except for "Imitation Krabs," which is from season 2).

Cultural references


  • The pet hospital SpongeBob takes "Gary" to is actually a hospital where fish go.
  • When Plankton and Karen are looking in the telescope, they see Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob talking even though Mr. Krabs' office door was closed. It would be impossible for Plankton and Karen to spy on them directly across the street unless Karen had X-ray vision, being a computer, but that wouldn't explain how Plankton could see them.
  • Although Plankton never tells him where Club Shell is, Gary somehow manages to get there.
  • When Gary blows at Plankton to get him out of the kitchen, he blows with two mouths (or possibly his nose).
  • When SpongeBob carries Plankton upstairs to the bathtub, even though Plankton is wearing fake eyeballs on his antennas, they had eyelids and blinked as if they were real eyeballs.
  • Plankton's size becomes inconsistent when he is in Gary's shell. For example, when SpongeBob carries him downstairs, he is larger than SpongeBob's hand. He is usually as tall as SpongeBob's finger.

    Plankton isn't supposed to be that big.

  • When SpongeBob calls Gary a second time while Plankton is talking to him, only one eye moves.