It is Gary's bath time, but he doesn't want to take a bath. SpongeBob makes countless attempts such as faking a treasure map and sending him subliminal messages to get Gary in the bath, but they all fail. Eventually, SpongeBob then tries to shoot it at Gary, who flees outside. SpongeBob sees Gary on a tree with a ladder propped against it. So SpongeBob climbs up the tree, only to find a record player that looked like Gary that rapidly plays,"Meow." Then the real Gary takes away the ladder, trapping SpongeBob on the tree. Then SpongeBob falls off the tree into a pit of mud.Then the episode ends with SpongeBob taking a bath instead to get off the mud. Gary meows, and SpongeBob says,"Yeah,Gary, I'm getting behind my ears too." Then the episode ends.
This is the second time a record player was used to replace a character. The first was in "Pressure."
The text style in the title card is the same as in "Bubble Buddy".
In the German version of this episode, the episode is called Die Wanne ist Voll, which means "The Tub is Full". This is a reference to a German song from the 70's.
In the Japanese version of this episode, is called "ゲイリーのお風呂嫌い," which means "Gary Hates Baths."
In the Spanish version this episode is called "Gary toma un baño", which is translated to Gary takes a bathroom. The Spanish name could've been "Gary se baña".
When SpongeBob calls the French restaurant he tells them he has a snail who won't take a bath (because they should serve snails in a French restaurant) to scare Gary so he will take a bath but SpongeBob can't understand the language. (He does not speak French) For this joke to work SpongeBob must not know how to speak French. This was cut in the French version because he knows how to speak French so the joke can't work.
This is the second time SpongeBob says "Gary the Snail" to Gary: The previous one was "Dumped" and the next one is "Fungus Among Us. He also said this in Truth Or Square.
This episode was the last one produced in 2000, but didn't premiere on TV in US until 2003, but despite the fact that it premiered around the same time that many season 3 episodes had already premiered, two or more paired episodes have to share a common season, and this episode is from season 2 because its paired episode "Shanghaied" is from season 2, because that episode premiered during a season 2 premiere week during the week of March 5, 2001.
List of ideas that SpongeBob tries to get Gary to take a bath:
Throwing a ball to the bathtub. However, it's a "boomerang pet ball", so it comes right back. So does the box it came in.
Strapping a bomb to his chest and telling Gary that it will explode if he doesn't take a bath; the bomb explodes.
Sending subliminal messages to Gary. A disturbing picture comes up, prompting him to apologize.
Calling a French restaurant. He can't understand a thing the person on the other end is saying.
Playing leapfrog with Gary. He tries to launch Gary into the tub, but misses and makes Gary's shell break.
SpongeBob tries to play leapfrog again, but Gary refuses and hits SpongeBob with a cane.
He bribes Gary with a dollar, telling him that the next "fellow" to take a bath in his house will receive it; Mr. Krabs arrives out of nowhere in a bathtub and takes it.
Fakes a treasure hunt and paints the bathtub to look like a treasure chest.
This episode (along with its paired episode, "Shanghaied") was banned in the United Kingdom and Australia due to the "don't drop the soap" gag involved in the script, which was regarded to as inappropriate for a children's cartoon. Also, while SpongeBob is "assaulting Gary's mind with subliminal messages", a picture of a strange, crossed-eyed girl with freckles and pigtails appears suddenly with a giggle that was deemed too frightening for younger viewers. After seven years of not airing, both episodes finally returned to Nickelodeon in Europe and Australia in September 2008 for a single airing. After complaints from parents, the episodes were removed once again and have not aired since in both countries, despite being on the second region release of The Complete Second Season. However, the episode (along with "Shanghaied") re-aired in Australia in November 2010, and the episode returned to TV on February 27, 2011 in the UK.
The fact the Gary hates taking baths is based on how domestic cats don't like to get wet and Gary is an underwater parody of a cat.
One of the most controversial parts of the episode is where SpongeBob straps a bomb to himself to get Gary to bathe, which is a parody of suicide bombers.
This episode was almost banned in the US because of the creepy subliminal message girl. Today, it airs uncut with the girl uncut.
This is one of the few episodes in the entire series to only have three or less characters. Another episode that's a great example is Rise and Shine.
After being hit on the wall, Gary does not necessary need a cane because he doesn't need to walk. However, the cane could have been meant for self-defense.
This episode may have taken place after Help Wanted because SpongeBob didn't wonder who Mr. Krabs was. However, he did have a shocked face which means it may have taken place before Help Wanted.
The strange girl's laugh appeared again in Party Pooper Pants at the end of the episode, during Patchy's segment. Also, it's a spoof of a sound from The B-52's song, Rock Lobster.
After Gary takes away the ladder that SpongeBob used to climb the tree, a faraway view of the tree is shown, and the ladder is seen falling to the ground. However, in the next faraway view of the tree (where SpongeBob is falling out of the tree and into the mud puddle), the ladder is no longer there.
When SpongeBob called the French restaurant, it had a purpose: One French dish is escargot, or cooked snail. However, escargot is land snail, not sea snail.
The Sky description for the episode is "Gary takes a bath, well... what did you expect?". As stated, Gary doesn't actually take a bath in the episode.
Unlike the title, Gary doesn't take a bath.
When SpongeBob hands Gary soap and a rubber duck, after he says "I don't know what a snail would want with a brooch!", in the next shot the soap and the rubber duck are gone.