SpongeBob SquarePants

The Great Snail Race

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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 game, then see The Great Snail Race (Online game).
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Episode Information [edit]
The Great Snail Race
Season №: 3
Episode №: 55a
Airdate: January 24, 2003
Running time: 11 minutes, 15 seconds
Sister episode(s): "Mid-Life Crustacean"
Writer(s): Paul Tibbitt
Kent Osborne
Joe Liss (TV version)[1]
Merriwether Williams (DVD version)
Storyboard Artist(s): Chuck Klein
Carson Kugler
Caleb Meurer
William Reiss
Storyboard: Paul Tibbitt
Kent Osborne
Animation: Andrew Overtoom
Creative: Derek Drymon
See all credits for this episode.
Previous: "Ugh"
Next: "Mid-Life Crustacean"
List of episodes

"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," and Patrick says, poor guy. 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 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, yet again. SpongeBob decides to enter Gary into the race. Patrick also decides to enter into the competition. SpongeBob (wearing a play 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 tomorrow, 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 and shell explode, revealing a car engine, and he spirals out of control like a race car. SpongeBob, seeing the error of his ways, tells Gary that he can stop now, but Gary keeps on going. SpongeBob runs onto the track, which the announcer says that it's an "automatic disqualification." Gary hits the wall and explodes completely, and then an upset SpongeBob runs up to him 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. It is Unknown how, but this happened. 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 appears onscreen kicking SpongeBob yelling "That's for yesterday, SquarePants!"


Deleted scene

  • There is a deleted scene in which Sandy is arrested for kicking SpongeBob's butt. This was cut for unknown reasons.[citation needed]


 ) 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]
  Appalachian 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's 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]


  • As of February 8 2017, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.7/10 based on 258 ratings by users.[2] users give this episode a 8.6/10 based on 144 votes.[3]
  • "The Great Snail Race" was ranked #35 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.



  • 2 hours later
  • 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.
    • Ironically, this episode aired before the movie.
    • This music is also the title card music to The Loud House episode, "The Loudest Yard."
  • Running Gag: Someone mispronouncing Squidward's last name, and Patrick thinking his rock is a snail.
  • The Bikini Bottom mayor in this episode is also the first mayor of New Kelp City in "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?"
  • A snail identical to Snellie appears in "The Sponge Who Could Fly" as Mrs. Puff's snail.
    • She states that "I've had her since I was a little girl," meaning that this could not be Snellie.
    • This could be because Snellie is likely a character model.
  • On the Where's Gary? DVD release, this episode was the only episode from the original Stephen Hillenburg era (1999–2004).
  • This is the first episode to premiere in 2003.
  • This is the episode where SpongeBob SquarePants found out Squidward's last name.
  • SpongeBob's Unicycle, first seen in "Boating School," appears in this episode.
  • This is the second time SpongeBob had a rivalry with Squidward. The first time was in the episode "Employee of the Month," while the third time will be in "SpongeBob vs. The Patty Gadget."
  • 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 the 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 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.
  • This is another episode to show SpongeBob as a minor antagonist and one of the few times in the pre-movie era. "Party Pooper Pants" is one example.
  • There is a book of the same name based on this episode.
  • The band at the Snail Race is wearing the same uniform as Squidward's Super Band from "Band Geeks."
The Great Snail Race writers

Writers on "The Great Snail Race."

  • Strangely enough, Joe Liss is credited as the third writer on this episode in the TV version, but on the DVD version of this episode, Merriwether Williams is credited instead.
  • It's possible SpongeBob's mustache in this episode is a parody of Béla Károlyi's.
  • This episode and "Mid-Life Crustacean" have been rumored to be banned in Canada. This is very likely true because recently in reruns of SpongeBob episodes in Canada, this episode tends to be skipped, even when they are airing reruns in production order. However, this episode used to air in Canada but doesn't anymore. The reason why for being banned in Canada is unknown, but could possibly be because this and the sister episode are controversial among fans. The controversy with this episode is SpongeBob pushing Gary mean spiritedly and having Gary explode like a race car, which was regarded as not funny and a bit of animal abuse.
  • This is the first episode to feature racing flags in the title card. The second is "The Hot Shot" but the title card of that episode is a racing flag.
  • 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."
  • The outfits that the band wears at the Running of the Snails is the same ones that the Bikini Bottom Super Band wears in "Band Geeks."

Cultural references

  • "Lightning Larry Luciano" might be a reference to the mobster "Lucky Luciano."
  • SpongeBob: "...raw eggs 'cause they're cliche," is a reference to Rocky (coincidentally, Patrick's pet rock is named Rocky).
  • SpongeBob shouts "Move it! Move it!" like Lt. Harris in Police Academy or like Sergeant Carter from the television series Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
  • SpongeBob training Gary for the snail race harder is very similar to Gunnery Sargeant Hartman training the recruits harder from the 1987 film, Full Metal Jacket.
  • When SpongeBob is riding his unicycle and Gary is walking, it is similar to part of a cutscene in the Punch Out!! series, where Doc is riding a bike and Little Mac is running in behind of him.
  • In the Indie game, Undertale, there is a snail race minigame similar to this episode where if the player encourages the snail too much, it burns and flips upside down.


  • In the audience at Oyster Stadium, if one would look at Fred closely, he's missing his pants.
  • 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 in the floor and SpongeBob's pants are blue.
  • When Patrick was standing on Squidward's neck, you couldn't see his legs out the window.
  • There are only three lanes in the track however when Gary was losing control, you could see that there were more.
  • Right after Squidward said "That's Tennisballs!" and when Patrick blinks, his eyelids are pink. This also happens in "The Smoking Peanut" and "Club SpongeBob."
  • SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward are the only contestants in the race, which means Squidward would automatically win the race as the only contestant if SpongeBob and Patrick didn't enter the competition.
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