— Gary's most common line

Gerald[2] "Gary"[3] Wilson Jr.[4] is a snail owned by SpongeBob SquarePants. He is Patrick Star's first cousin.[5]

He is a domesticated house pet with similar mannerisms to a cat, most notably his "meow," but has royal blood, as seen in the episode "Rule of Dumb." In the latter, the royal family tree proves that Gary and Patrick are cousins, as their fathers were brothers. His mannerism and affinity for the finer things in life in previous episodes foreshadows his royal blood, with the only exception being his dislike for baths.

It is suggested that SpongeBob has had Gary ever since he lived with his parents as a really young boy. The episode "Treats!" reveals that Gary was adopted. As seen in "Gary Takes a Bath," Gary can levitate and teleport, possibly meaning that psychic powers run in the Star family, as Patrick has psychic abilities. Gary did not appear again after "Help Wanted" until the episodes "Plankton!" and "Naughty Nautical Neighbors." Gary has been to many places, including the large Bass Vegas.

He has the fifth most appearances in the series, following Mr. Krabs, Patrick, Squidward, and SpongeBob, who appears in every episode of the series except "The Algae's Always Greener," in which his owner alternate-universe counterpart appears instead.


Gary is a sea snail with a pink shell which depicts purplish-dark blue spots and a red spiral. He has eye antennas that hold together his mustard yellow eyes with orangish-red pupils. The sides of his body are light blue and his belly is green. As such, he is typically known to create trails of slime when crawling. In addition to this, it is known that Gary has feet, as shown in "Your Shoe's Untied" and "SpongeBob's Last Stand."

His shell is known to store various items, as seen in "Karate Island," "Have You Seen This Snail?," "Pineapple Invasion" among others.


Gary is known for his characteristic "meow"— in contrast to the barking of the sea worms, suggesting that snails like Gary are equivalent to cats and that worms are equivalent to dogs. It has been known for Gary to say things other than "meow," such as in "The Secret Box" and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, for example. In "Your Shoe's Untied," "Frozen Face-Off," "Squid Defense," and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, he is shown to be able to roar. He screeches like a cat in "The Thing," "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?," "Grooming Gary," and "Balloons." From Season 4 onwards, Gary has made cat sound effects when he is startled or angry, to further reinforce the connection between snails and cats. In "Opposite Day," Gary reverses this stereotype by barking like a dog in honor of Opposite Day. Much like real cats, Gary hates taking baths, as seen in "Gary Takes a Bath," "Pet Sitter Pat," and "Shellback Shenanigans." In the second of the three, Patrick wants to wash Gary and later uses a hose to do so. In the former, SpongeBob used many methods like Free Dollar, Boomerang Pet Ball, etc.

In many episodes, it has been indicated that Gary has great intelligence (at least for a snail). In "The Secret Box," Gary responds to SpongeBob's question with "Meow-no." SpongeBob does not think much of it and replies "Aww, what do you know? You're a snail!" SpongeBob does not recognize it as special, perhaps meaning that it was not the first time that Gary spoke. In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, the Bikini Bottomites are chanting "All hail Plankton," while Gary chanted monotonously "Meow, Plankton." In "Jellyfish Hunter," it is revealed that he pays the electric bill. He may even be more intelligent than all the main characters (excluding Plankton and Sandy), which is hinted to in "Sleepy Time," where Gary speaks in his dream (that SpongeBob was rudely interrupting) and sounds very old and wise.

Talents and abilities

In the episode "Tutor Sauce," Gary is shown to be a good driver, as he is able to drive a boatmobile through the most dangerous road in Bikini Bottom with no issue whatsoever (except the cops stopping the boat). He had an extensive library, which is a possible metaphor for intelligence. This is not true in early episodes, where Gary acted no more mature than a real animal, but this could perhaps be a plot device initially seeking to mollify the viewer with the basic description and behavioral traits of a simple house cat only later going on to disclose a wealth of rich cultural and intellectual traits.

Gary plays a minor role in the episode "Atlantis SquarePantis;" he appears wearing a party hat and blowing on a paper horn. Gary is also a very good musician, although he is not part of Squidward's band in the episode "Band Geeks" despite all the other main characters being in it. In "The Paper," he plays Squidward's clarinet very well, and Squidward gets confused. In "Procrastination," Gary plays the trumpet. In "Something Smells," Gary plays the violin to make SpongeBob cry while chopping onions because the latter told him to.

Gary has the strange ability to become a floor buffer, as shown in "Sentimental Sponge."

Gary-focused episodes

Gary has had several episodes that center around him or relate to him. Here is a list of those episodes:

  • "I Was a Teenage Gary": Gary is the main character in the beginning and middle of this episode. In the end, it is mainly focused on SpongeBob.
  • "Dumped": Gary runs away from home to be with Patrick Star in order to get the cookie out of his pocket.
  • "Gary Takes a Bath": Gary tries to escape SpongeBob's plans to get him to take a bath.
  • "The Great Snail Race": SpongeBob becomes a strict coach and is obsessed with winning the race trophy with Gary's poor body.
  • "Have You Seen This Snail?": Gary runs away from home after not being fed and Granny takes him in. He later finds out she wants to feed him to death, so he returns to SpongeBob.
  • "Once Bitten": Squidward's anti-snail defense log affects Gary and he bites Bikini Bottomites, including SpongeBob, making them think that they are zombies.
  • "Fungus Among Us": Although Gary is not the main protagonist, he was the first one to make the solution by eating away the ick.
  • "Grooming Gary": SpongeBob gives Gary a makeover and takes him to the Bikini Bottom Pet Show but the latter does not like it, neither do the other competitors.
  • "Shell Shocked": Gary's shell has broken and SpongeBob needs to find him a new one.
  • "A Pal for Gary": SpongeBob buys a pet to keep Gary busy while he is at work.
  • "Gary in Love": Gary falls in love with a snail named Mary.
  • "The Cent of Money": Mr. Krabs uses Gary to suck up coins.
  • "Shellback Shenanigans:" Plankton disguises himself as Gary.
  • "Pet Sitter Pat:" Patrick has to babysit Gary while SpongeBob is celebrating his grandmother's birthday.
  • "Treats!:" Gary becomes addicted to a new snail treat called Snail Bites.
  • "Gary's New Toy:" Gary is obsessed with a red ball and nearly loses SpongeBob's love and affection because of it.
  • "Pineapple Invasion:" Gary must stop Plankton from stealing the secret formula from SpongeBob's home.

Rivalry with Squidward Tentacles

  • In "I Was a Teenage Gary," the ignorant Squidward lies to SpongeBob that he will feed Gary, who nearly dies of hunger and thirst.
  • In "Can You Spare a Dime?," Gary calls Squidward a free loader as the latter calls him other bad names.
  • In "The Great Snail Race," he forcefully races against Squidward's snail, Snellie.
  • In "Once Bitten," Squidward makes many anti-snail wooden logs. A log somehow gets inside Gary's foot and he gets a splinter. Gary goes out of control because the splinter or log is uncontrollably painful; Squidward is the first to get bitten.
  • "The Thing" reveals that Gary attacked Squidward violently. When Squidward turned into the thing, Gary violently attacked Squidward again.
  • In "Patty Caper," when SpongeBob blames Gary for supposedly stealing the secret ingredient to the Krabby Patty, Gary describes another suspect—Squidward, and, based on the picture Patrick had drawn of him, Gary must think Squidward is very ugly. However, it is possible that Patrick is just not a good sketch artist.
  • In "Little Yellow Book," he bites Squidward's tentacle because he was saying the horrible words to SpongeBob, his owner.
  • In "Unreal Estate," he attacks Squidward while the latter sneaks into SpongeBob's house at night to clog his alarm clock with pepper.


  • "All That Glitters" shows that Gary has a large diamond under his shell. However, episodes afterward do not show said diamond under his shell.
  • The episodes "Your Shoe's Untied" and "Earworm" show Gary having a record player under his shell.

Gary on his family tree

  • SpongeBob sometimes nicknames Gary "Gare Bear" which is a pun of the Care Bears.
  • In "Karate Island," when SpongeBob is waxing Gary's shell, he finds his favorite novelty T-shirt that says, "I love Krabby Patties" in a pile of junk inside his shell.
  • Gary is the only main character who has never been arrested, most likely because he is only a pet.
  • His favorite food is Snail-Po, which SpongeBob once tasted, and later Snail Bites.
  • Aside from his trademark "Meow," Gary can say the words "Plankton," "Yeah!," and "No!"
  • In the first teaser trailer for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Gary is shown enjoying taking a bath with SpongeBob as the latter plays with his water toys, even though the former hates taking baths.
  • It is revealed in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water that Gary hates mayo.
  • Also to illustrate Gary's antagonism toward Squidward, in "I Was a Teenage Gary," when SpongeBob answers the door, to Squidward, holding Gary, the latter hisses at him.
    • Despite his disliking for Squidward, there have been several peaceful moments between the two, such as "Giant Squidward" and "Nature Pants."
  • Gary has arms, as seen in "Have You Seen This Snail?," "The Gift of Gum," and "Grooming Gary."
  • In the Croatian dub, his name is "Slavko."
  • According to "Gary Takes a Bath," "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve," and "Pet Sitter Pat," Gary can read because in the former he is seen reading the newspaper, and in the second of the three he is seen reading a book called Snail Jokes. He also reads a book called Snail Tails to Patrick at the end of the latter, although due to Gary's lack of English, Patrick could not understand him.
  • Gary has many things hidden under his shell: a house, SpongeBob's Krabby Patty T-shirt, a record player, a diamond, and many other pieces of junk.
  • In "A Pal for Gary," SpongeBob calls him "Gerald," meaning that Gary is likely a nickname.
  • In the pilot episode, "Help Wanted," Gary's pupils are small red dots and his meow is much squeakier.
  • In "The Way of the Sponge," when SpongeBob leaves, Gary's meow sounds like he's saying farewell.
  • In "Plankton's Pet," SpongeBob reveals he adopted Gary at an animal shelter. "Treats!" supports this, but "Have You Seen This Snail?" contradicts the continuity.
  • In the online game Snail Bob 2, Gary appears on a sign as a gag. It is labeled "Cousin Gary," implying that Gary and Snail Bob are related.
  • According to a variety of episodes, Gary may be compared to a cat. His usual way of speech is by saying "Meow." In "A Pal for Gary," in the part where the Nudibranch Seller shows a portrait of a cat near a Nudibranch and later on shows Puffy Fluffy violently reacting to Gary may be a hint to the fact that the latter has a resemblance to a cat. As first seen in "Dumped," Gary purrs like a cat.


Shower In A Can!
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  1. ^ a b Rule of Dumb
  2. ^ "A Pal for Gary"
  3. ^ "Help Wanted"
  4. ^ "Treats!"
  5. ^ "Rule of Dumb." SpongeBob SquarePants. Nickelodeon. DATE. Television.

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Characters (VE)


SpongeBobPatrickSandySquidwardMr. KrabsPlanktonGary


Mrs. PuffPearlKarenMermaid ManBarnacle BoyLarry the LobsterSquilliam FancysonJohnny ElaineFlying DutchmanPatchy the PiratePotty the ParrotKing NeptunePainty the Pirate

Major Background

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Star Family (VE)

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Snails (VE)

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