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 hisparents as a really young boy. The episode "Treats!" reveals that Gary was adopted by SpongeBob.
Gary was born to Sluggo Star and his unrevealed mother as an only child.
Once Gary discovered Granny's motive, he escaped her house and returned to Bikini Bottom to reunite with SpongeBob.
At various points, Gary has worked for the Krusty Krab, typically as a waiter  or a fry cook. At one point, he was hired to rid everyone of the ick contamination. At another point, he was hired as the restaurant's bouncer.
When SpongeBob made his own restaurant called SpongeBob's Place, Gary was hired as the cashier.
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 scarlet-green eyes with orange-red pupils. The sides of his body are light blue and his belly is green. 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."
Being a snail, which are to Bikini Bottom what cats are to the real world, Gary is only able to communicate by saying "Meow."
In many episodes, Gary has exhibited great intelligence. In "The Secret Box," Gary responds to SpongeBob's question with "Meow-no." SpongeBob does not think much of it and brushes off his remarks on account of Gary just being a snail. In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, the Bikini Bottomites are chanting "All hail Plankton," while Gary monotonously chants "Meow, Plankton."
His intelligence is best exhibited in "Sleepy Time" where his dream counterpart is revealed to own a library and has an extremely intellectual mindset, having the ability to cite literature. His wise demeanor is also shown in "Chatterbox Gary" where he exercises his sophisticated vocabulary to describe his owner and peers.
In "Chatterbox Gary," it is revealed that he has a large vocabulary, and that he understands the other characters very well.
Talents and abilities
As seen in "Gary Takes a Bath," Gary can levitate and teleport. Gary has been to many places, including the large Bass Vegas.
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.
Gary is shown to know how to throw parties while SpongeBob is gone, as seen in "Atlantis SquarePantis." 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, and in "Something Smells," he plays the violin to make SpongeBob cry while chopping onions.
Gary knows how to read, as seen in "Gary Takes a Bath," "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve," and "Pet Sitter Pat."
Though Gary is intelligent and loves his owner, SpongeBob, he can be naughty at times, sometimes in his rivalry with Squidward.
In "Gary Takes a Bath," Gary refuses to take a bath, does nothing about a bomb strapped to SpongeBob's chest, and takes SpongeBob's ladder away, leaving him stuck on a tree.
In "Once Bitten," he becomes aggressive and bites just about every citizen in Bikini Bottom, even SpongeBob, and was accused of having "Mad Snail Disease," although these actions were purely caused by a splinter stuck in his body. Even after the splinter is removed, he bites Mr. Krabs.
In "The Thing," he viciously attacks "Smelly" after detecting his real identity.
In "Grooming Gary," he riots because SpongeBob, and other pet owners, had made him "fancy," which he did not want to be.
In "Treats!," he constantly bothers SpongeBob by asking him to get more Snail Bites, even going so far as to make him go to every pet store in the world to see if they have them.
In "Gary's New Toy," Gary becomes so distracted in his ball that he disregards SpongeBob whenever he needs him, though this is because the ball hypnotizes him. As SpongeBob tries to place the ball away from Gary, he manages to get it back. When it comes to the decision that SpongeBob tells Gary either him or the ball, Gary goes for the ball, leaving his owner to cry and live out on the streets. When Gary remembers SpongeBob leaving, he realizes the ball is evil and reconciles with SpongeBob.
Although Gary is just an animal and engages in justified recklessness and irresponsibility, he has exhibited rationality, knowledge, and overall anthropomorphism several times before, implying that he is well aware of his actions. It is worth noting that Gary is the only main character who has never been arrested. The following is a run-down of the few crimes Gary has committed.
Assault: In "Once Bitten," he becomes aggressive and bites several of the Bottomites as a result of the pain that a splinter is inflicting. Even after said splinter is removed, Gary bites Mr. Krabs. In "The Thing," Gary viciously attacks Squidward despite him having done nothing wrong. In "Chatterbox Gary," Gary throws a walkie-talkie in Squidward's throat in retaliation for interfering with his translation collar.
Civil disobedience: In "Grooming Gary," Gary joins the other pets in rioting against their respective owner for fancying his personality, which he did not want in the first place.
Endangerment: In "Gary Takes a Bath," Gary snatches a ladder away from the tree that SpongeBob is stuck in, eliminating his option to escape safely. In "House Worming," Gary illegally kicks SpongeBob out of his own home, although this was done out of self-defense.
Gary has had several episodes that center around him or relate to him. Here is a list of such episodes:
"I Was a Teenage Gary": When SpongeBob has Squidward come take care of him, Gary becomes starved and sick.
"Dumped": Gary runs away from home to be with Patrick 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 that SpongeBob is looking for him and that his new owner wants to feed him to death, so he escapes and 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 is the first one to make the solution by eating away the ick.
In "A Pal for Gary," Gary's new "playmate" turns out to be a vicious monster who is intent on eating him alive. He swiftly avoids meeting his own end when he lassos Puffy and causes him to run away in shame.
In "The Cent of Money," Mr. Krabs takes advantage of Gary's newfound magnetic powers to collect the townspeople's coins, which eventually leads him into a state of hospitalization.
In "Pet Sitter Pat," Patrick's naïve ways cause him to inadvertently torment Gary by spraying a hose at him to give him a bath, crinkling his skin by drying him off with a hair dryer, and lastly threatening him with a flamethrower.
SpongeBob is Gary's owner and closest friend. SpongeBob often goes to Gary for advice when no else is able to help him. Although Gary often finds himself irritated by SpongeBob's naivety and falls victim to negligence and pressure by him at times, the two always get back on good terms in the end.