If you were looking for the article about the event, then see The Great Snail Race (event).
If you were looking for the article about the book, then see The Great Snail Race (book).
If you were looking for the article about the online game, then see The Great Snail Race (online game).

"The Great Snail Race" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, Bikini Bottom holds a snail race.



SpongeBob wakes up, as well as Gary, as he blows a trumpet in his face. He tells the world he is ready. He sees Squidward getting a package in the mail, with the Norton erroneously pronouncing his last name as "Tennisballs." SpongeBob questions that Squidward's last name is "Tentacles,". He opens the cage, which contains a snail named Snellie. Patrick checks out Squidward's new snail. SpongeBob sees this and tells Gary that he has a new little playmate. However, Squidward immediately protests and explains that Snellie is a purebred of the highest pedigree and that she is going to be entered in the Bikini Bottom Snail Race on Sunday and she will win it. SpongeBob says that he can't enter Gary because
055a - The Great Snail Race (113)

"Property of Squidward Tentpoles."

Sunday is laundry day. Squidward then tells SpongeBob that he can't enter Gary because Gary is a "mutt," which offends SpongeBob. He asks what makes Squidward think Gary couldn't win. Squidward says the paper. Patrick reads Snellie's pedigree certificate and misreads Squidward's name as "Tentpoles," which makes Squidward angry again. SpongeBob decides to enter Gary into the snail race. Patrick also decides to enter into the competition. SpongeBob (wearing a fake mustache and a coach's outfit) tells Gary to start training now, even calling him a 'lady' to demean him, which causes a walking Sandy to decide to kick SpongeBob's butt the following day, but she doesn't know why.

SpongeBob makes a shake with weird ingredients and gives it to Gary, but Gary runs to the living room. Patrick shows SpongeBob his snail, which is a rock. Patrick says he has nerves of steel.

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 3.28.25 AM

Exhausted Gary

SpongeBob decides to train Gary as hard as he can. On the day of the race, Gary is exhausted from SpongeBob's brutal training. During the race, his eyes bursts like a balloon, then his shell breaks open, revealing a car engine and he spins out of control, leaving skid marks. SpongeBob, seeing the error of his ways, tells Gary that he can stop now, but Gary keeps on going, loses control of himself, hits the wall and explodes completely. An upset SpongeBob runs up to him onto the track, which the announcer says that it's an "automatic disqualification." and embraces him, crying. Snellie, who is almost at the finish line, turns around to help Gary, and the two instantly fall in love. Squidward is shocked at this and walks onto the track, and SpongeBob says to him, "Looks like you and I are in-laws, eh, Squidward?" Squidward then sees that, much to his surprise, Patrick's rock won the race. Patrick was then very proud of his rock. Squidward is very upset by this, but Patrick then tells Squidward that he had the trophy engraved to him, and gives it to him, knowing how much Squidward wanted to win. Squidward thanks, Patrick, but then reads the trophy, which reads "The 1st place Snail Racing cup presented to Squidward... TORTELLINI?!" He groans and says "Will I ever win?," and they all start laughing and then Sandy suddenly appears onscreen kicking SpongeBob into the air yelling "That's for yesterday, SquarePants!"



 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music
  Fight! Fight! Fight! A - Will Schaefer [title card]

  William Tell Overture - SpongeBob playing bugle
  Dancing the Hula - Kapono Beamer [Squidward's new snail]
  Apalachian Banjo Duel - Larry Hochman ["Gary's a mutt."]
  Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr [Gary imagines himself watching TV]
  Meet the Family - Alan Hawkshaw [Gary imagines himself watching TV]
  Deadline - Sam Spence ["Looks like we're gonna start our training now, ladies."]
  Astronauts March - Sam Spence [protein shake]
  Meet the Family - Alan Hawkshaw [Gary watching TV]
  Pell-Mell - Sam Spence [sprints]
  Meet the Family - Alan Hawkshaw [Gary watching TV again]
  Steve's March - Sam Spence [training montage]
  Hawaiian Link (b) - Richard Myhill [Gary is exhausted]
  The Zodiac - David Lindup [at the stadium]
  Fight! Fight! Fight! A - Will Schaefer [pre-game ceremony]
  Charge - Will Schaefer ["The torch is lit! Let the race begin!"]
  Open - Tom Hedden [pep talks]
  The Wild Bunch - Sam Spence [race starts]
  Dramatic Cue (g) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob runs onto the track]
  Hawaiian Cocktail - Richard Myhill ["Oh, Gary, I'm sorry!"]
  Romeo & Juliet Overture - Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Fiachra Trench [Snellie comforts Gary]
  Miss World (c) - Tony Kinsey [ending]



  • "The Great Snail Race" was ranked #35 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.



  • Although this episode premiered in 2003, it was made in 2002 according to the credits.
  • This episode premiered in Canada on Friday, June 27, 2003.[2]
  • The music played during the title card and when Lightning Larry is heading to light the torch is the tune to the original song "Now That We're Men" from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which was released a year and a half after this episode premiered. It is titled "Fight! Fight! Fight! (a)" from the Sonoton library from Associated Production Music.
  • According to sound designer Jeffery Hutchins, Gary breaking down like a car engine is actually coming from a Camaro as Hutchins pulled a spark plug wire out. A friend of his recorded the Camaro from his truck side by side up the hill to the Hollywood sign.[3]
  • The Bikini Bottom mayor in this episode is also the first mayor of New Kelp City in "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?"
  • On the Where's Gary? DVD release, this episode was the only episode from the original Stephen Hillenburg era (19992004).
  • This was the first episode to premiere in 2003.
  • In the Brazilian dubbing, Squidward's last name "Tentáculos" is misspelled "Tem Tacos" (have clubs) by the mailman and "Tem Óculos" (have eyeglasses) by Patrick. Snellie is called "Caracolina," a combination of "Caracol" (snail) and "Carolina" (a given name).
  • On April 17th, 2012 Nickelodeon Philippines airing of this episode, the credits from the later episode "Boating Buddies" are used instead.
  • There is an online game of the same name based on this episode.
  • There is a book of the same name based on this episode.
  • In Russia, early airings have "Chocolate With Nuts" as airing first and "The Great Snail Race" airing second; however, in later airings, the order of the two episodes is changed.
  • The band members at the Snail Race are wearing the same uniform as Squidward's Super Band from "Band Geeks."
  • This episode premiered on Ernest Borgnine's 86th birthday.
  • The show that Gary watches in his daydream is implied to be the same one that Patrick watches in "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve."
  • In the Indonesian dub, Squidward refers to Snellie's certificate paper as "koran" (newspaper).
  • Sandy's scenes were removed in all book adaptations of this episode.

Cultural references

  • "Lightning Larry Luciano" might be a reference to the mobster "Lucky Luciano."
  • The torch that indicates the start of the race is possibly a parody of The Olympic Flame, a symbol of the olympics.



DVD/International Version


Digital/USA TV Version

  • Joe Liss is credited as the third writer on this episode in Nickelodeon USA airings and digital versions, but on the DVD releases and international non-USA airings of this episode, Merriwether Williams is credited instead.
  • In the audience at Oyster Stadium, if one would look at Fred closely, he's missing his pants also in the back Nat and Harold their legs on gone.
    The Great Snail Race 107

    Fred with no pants.

  • When SpongeBob says, "Gary, are you listening to me?!" he is shown out of the Oyster Stadium.
  • When SpongeBob says, “Don’t give me that look!” Gary is in the outer lane when in reality he is in the middle lane.
  • Gary crashes into a wall and is still on the track.
    • When the race begins, the track is in the center of the stadium, far from the walls.
  • SpongeBob was wearing red pants.
    • In Oyster Stadium, there is a close-up where Gary is on the floor and SpongeBob's pants are blue.
  • When Patrick was standing on Squidward's neck, his legs weren't seen out the window.
  • There are only three lanes in the track. However, when Gary was losing control, there were more lanes.
  • Right after Squidward said, "That's Tennisballs!" and when Patrick blinks, his eyelids are pink.
    The Great Snail Race 038

    Patrick's eyelids turns pink.

  • When at the start of the episode Squidward's house and SpongeBob's house are to close to each other.

Running gags

  • Someone mispronouncing Squidward's last name.
  • Patrick thinking his rock is a snail.
  • Someone telling Patrick his snail is a rock and Patrick responding, "Yeah, thanks. I know. He's got nerves of steel."


SpongeBob’s Totally Righteous 80’s Remix 🐌 ‘The Great Snail Race’ Nick

SpongeBob’s Totally Righteous 80’s Remix 🐌 ‘The Great Snail Race’ Nick


Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (VE)

Golden Reel Awards StatueStraight

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;" 2012)

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)

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