"Have You Seen This Snail?" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season four. In this episode, Gary runs away.
SpongeBob is walking home with a very heavy bag of snail food for Gary. Patrick tells him that he has something important to tell him, but SpongeBob has no time since the bag is too heavy. He leaves the snail food on the porch and opens a package sitting on his doorstep to find a Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy Paddle Ball Set. SpongeBob begins to play with it, and finds the Dirty Bubble Challenge inside the box, which presents him with the absurdly impossible task of hitting the paddleball 29,998,559,671,349 times in a row.
He accepts the challenge and repeatedly attempts it, never being able to successfully hit the ball even once. Meanwhile, Gary goes to his food bowl to eat, but finds it empty. He confronts SpongeBob for his food, but the latter is too preoccupied with the paddleball and tosses Gary aside. Feeling disowned, Gary abandons SpongeBob, who does not even notice as he leaves. Gary wanders across the sea aimlessly, eventually departing on a bus to parts unknown.
Sometime later, Patrick goes to SpongeBob's house to tell him what he was going to say the other day, remarking that he hasn't seen him in a couple of days. He finds that the house has deteriorated into an unkempt mess and finds a psychologically broken SpongeBob lying in fetal position in his private quarters. SpongeBob tells him that he became this way from taking the Dirty Bubble Challenge, and Patrick wails at the mention of the said challenge, saying that he beat the challenge years ago and won, but then he lost the trophy they sent. SpongeBob, who has now gotten over the challenge, invites Patrick into the kitchen for kelp cookies and seahorse milk.
He gives Patrick a "fresh" glass of milk and trips over Gary's food bowl. SpongeBob remembers that he must feed Gary, so he retrieves the bag of food from his porch, remarking that it has gathered a lot of dust for "a couple hours." When he calls Gary for dinner, and when he does not come, SpongeBob asks Patrick how long he was taking the Dirty Bubble Challenge. Patrick, judging by the condition of the milk, which has spoiled to the point of being completely solid, tells SpongeBob that he was gone for about seven to ten days.
Shocked, SpongeBob begins to desperately look for Gary, until he checks in the mailbox, where he finds a note from Gary telling him that he has run away in search of a new owner who will remember to feed him. SpongeBob is devastated by this, realizing that his negligence of Gary caused him to run away from home.
Meanwhile, Gary comes to a seedy and uninviting neighborhood in Bass Vegas. After a close encounter with a gang of alley snails (who just wanted to give him nachos), Gary is found by an old lady who recognizes him as "Miss Tuffsy." She takes Gary into her house, where she pampers and overfeeds him. Meanwhile, SpongeBob desperately searches all over Bikini Bottom for Gary, but to no avail.
The next morning at work, SpongeBob is extremely depressed and unproductive. Mr. Krabs tells him that all problems can be solved with a little hard work. SpongeBob interprets this as meaning that he must work harder to find Gary, and with newfound confidence, leaves the Krusty Krab to continue his search.
He puts up fliers around town that directly apologize to Gary and ask him to come home. They put one on the door of a crafts store. When Patrick sees that the store is having a sale on scented pine cones, he rushes in to get some. Inside, he sees Gary with Granny and asks her where the scented pine cones are. She tells Patrick that she has bought all of them. Saddened by the disappearance of the scented pine cones, Patrick leaves, oblivious to the fact that he has found Gary and does not mention it to SpongeBob.
This is followed by a song set to a montage of a heartbroken SpongeBob (along with Patrick) unsuccessfully searching for Gary and publishing media asking him to come home (including a billboard, a television announcement, and skywriting). After returning from a day out with his new owner, Gary indicates that he has to go to the bathroom, so Granny gives him a stack of fliers given to her by a "little chubby boy" (who is obviously none other than Patrick). Gary sees that the stack of fliers are of him and that they are from SpongeBob, as he realizes that SpongeBob is looking for him and that he does indeed care about him.
Gary feels sad for leaving SpongeBob, so he tries to return to him. While Granny is in the kitchen, getting the meatloaf she had been cooking for Gary, the latter tries to find an exit and stumbles across a closet full of dead snail shells. Much to his horror, Gary realizes that Granny is overfeeding him and presumably did
this with many other snails before to fatten them up to death, so he runs to escape.
Granny chases Gary, trying to intrigue him with cookies and deviled eggs. He hides in a back alley, where he encounters one of the alley snails he met the other day. He pushes him into the open, where Granny believes him to be Miss Tuffsy and takes him in place of Gary.
Meanwhile, SpongeBob has given up on looking for Gary and wishes to see him one last time. Just then, Gary suddenly comes back to him and the two of them joyfully reunite. SpongeBob promises to never neglect Gary again and takes him inside to feed him, saying that he must be starving, unaware of what Gary has been through, to which Gary responds with a denial "Meow" stating that he's full.
In a press release on November 1
officially announced the episode and promoted it as the "Where's Gary" special. According to the network, "it's a sad day in Bikini Bottom when SpongeBob learns that his beloved pet snail Gary is missing and that he may be at fault in the mollusk's disappearance." Marjorie Cohn
, Executive Vice President of Development and Original Programming for Nickelodeon, said "kids love their pets and there's certainly some relatability here in the relationship between SpongeBob and Gary -- skewed though it may be[...] It's fun to see Gary express a whole range of emotions using only his signature 'meow.'"
According to the storyboard, SpongeBob was originally going to visit Squidward's house and ask him if he could give him a hand with the bag of snail food.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Open and End Fanfare - Nino Nardini ["Ahoy, it's a SpongeBob SquarePants special!"]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Ahoy, it's a SpongeBob SquarePants special!"]
‣ Alley Cats - Robert Mersey [title card]
‣ Alekoki - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob carrying snail food]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr [form letter]
‣ Seaweed - Steve Belfer [SpongeBob reads it]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr [SpongeBob leaves the snail food outside]
‣ Knights of the Air - Sam Fonteyn ["Let's see what we got here."]
‣ Life on the Wild Side - Sam Spence [Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy paddleball set]
‣ The Beast Within - Paddy Kingsland [Dirty Bubble challenge]
‣ The Holy Land - David Farnon [choir]
‣ Grand Orchestral Fanfare - Gregor Narholz [SpongeBob begins playing paddleball]
‣ On the Beach - Kapono Beamer [Gary goes over to his food bowl]
‣ Life on the Wild Side - Sam Spence ["Mermaid Man needs me."]
‣ Rescue - Cecil Milner [SpongeBob describing Dirty Bubble]
‣ Hawaiian Link (b) - Richard Myhill ["Pets."]
‣ Dramatic Impact 2 - Ivor Slaney [Gary leaps onto SpongeBob's face]
‣ Dramatic Cue (b) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob runs around screaming]
‣ Pua Paoakalani (b) - Kapono Beamer [Gary leaves on a bus]
‣ Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr [Patrick sees bag of snail food]
‣ Graveyard - Johnny Pearson [Patrick looking for SpongeBob]
‣ Dramatic Impact 2 - Ivor Slaney ["SpongeBob, what happened?!"]
‣ Fates [#62] - Gregor Narholz [SpongeBob on the floor]
‣ Bittersweet Memory - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin ["Many years ago, I took that challenge!"]
‣ Closing the Door - Nicolas Carr [door closed]
‣ Quiz Logo 1 - Dave Hewson ["I think it has something to do with this bowl."]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["That's it, I gotta feed Gary!"]
‣ Hawaiian Party - Peter Dennis [SpongeBob puts food in Gary's bowl]
‣ Waddle Cop - David Farnon [solid milk]
‣ Of Love and Destiny - Leighton Lucas [SpongeBob can't find Gary anywhere]
‣ Harmonica Shorts [#30] - Robert Appleton, Rick Fenn [Gary wandering through a desert]
‣ Harmonica Shorts [#31] - Robert Appleton, Rick Fenn [Gary's stomach howls]
‣ Harmonica Shorts [#32] - Robert Appleton, Rick Fenn [Gary sneezes]
‣ You're Nice - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Gary's favorite treats!"]
‣ ? [later that night]
‣ Torn Apart - Mike Sunderland ["Gary, where are you?"]
‣ Comic Walk - Sidney Torch [Squidward taking a bath]
‣ Six Powerful Cues (f) - Wilfred William Burns [looking for Gary in Squidward's bathroom]
‣ Unknown Track 40 - Nicolas Carr ["Here goes nothing."]
‣ Comic Cues [#25] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [letters fly out of mailbox]
‣ Lap Steel - Nicolas Carr ["Look, Pat"]
‣ Woe is Me! - Richard Myhill [note from Gary]
‣ Whisper from the Past [#64] - Gregor Narholz ["Dear Neptune, what have I done?"]
‣ Alley Cats - Robert Mersey [Gary in the city]
‣ Heavenly Voices (b) - David Farnon [nachos]
‣ Alley Cats - Robert Mersey [other snails hiss at Gary]
‣ West Side Rumble - Sam Spence [Gary slithers away]
‣ Evil Alien Attack 1 [#15] - Harry Bluestone, Emil Cadkin [Gary sees a shadowy figure]
‣ Light and Easy - Harry Rabinowitz ["There you are, Miss Tufsy."]
‣ Waltzing in Dreamland - Alan Moorhouse [Gramma puts on music]
‣ Pacific Romance - Jan Rap [SpongeBob looking all over town for Gary]
‣ Stealthily - Jack Shaindlin [Gary and Gramma watching TV]
‣ Lynda's Music Box - Peter Dennis [Gramma puts Gary to bed]
‣ Botany Bay (b) - Robert Alexander White [the next morning at the Krusty Krab]
‣ Dramatic Impact 3 - Ivor Slaney [Krabby Patty covered in tears]
‣ Hawaiian Breeze - Jon Jelmer [SpongeBob crying]
‣ Marching to Honolulu - Kapono Beamer ["If I'm gonna find Gary, I'm gonna need to work harder at it."]
‣ Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer ["It's the apocalypse!"]
‣ Unknown Track 41 - "Patrick, now is not the time for talking."
‣ Lambs in Clover - Jack Strachey [Gary having breakfast]
‣ Beach Boy - Hilmar Doetsch, Karl Heinz Kroll [inside the craft store]
◦ Gary's Song - Stew [montage of SpongeBob looking for Gary]
‣ Folli the Foal - Andrew Fenner ["Gramma will get a lovely meatloaf in the oven for you."]
‣ Whisper from the Past [#64] - Gregor Narholz [Gary sees SpongeBob's flyers]
‣ Stepping into Danger - Mike Sunderland [Gary opens a door]
‣ Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer [closet full of snail shells]
‣ House of Horror - William Farran [Gary finds out Grandma's true plan of eating him/Grandma goes after Gary.]
‣ Vibe Q Sting - Nicolas Carr ["When Gary left, he took all my tears with him."]
‣ Drowsy Reef - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Gary loved balsa wood!"]
‣ Romantic Entrance [#22] - Harry Bluestone ["Gary!"]
‣ Romantic Entrance [#24] - Harry Bluestone [SpongeBob hugs Gary.]
‣ Celebrations - Jan Rap [ending]
- Nickelodeon supported this episode with a month-long off-air marketing campaign including print, outdoor, and consumer product partner support, along with the release of a preview clip and bonus coverage of the episode on Nickelodeon's broadband online platform TurboNick, and the Trail of the Snail online game.
- In a sweepstakes event with the promotional name of the special, every night for five days leading to the episode's premiere, Patchy the Pirate and other celebrity guests searched in various locations for Gary. By visiting Nick.com, the viewers could receive a Trail of The Snail tracking card to enter Patchy's search locations in order to win the sweepstakes. The prize was a trip to the Nickelodeon Animation Studio to meet the production team of the show and sit in on a voice recording session with the series' cast.
- "Have You Seen This Snail?" was viewed by eight-million people. It was the highest-rated program on all TV with children aged two to eleven for the year of 2005 behind the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl kick-off, and the highest-rated program on all of cable TV with children aged 2 to 11 and children aged 6 to 11 in 2005.
- Critics produced mixed reviews for "Have You Seen This Snail?" Tom Shales of The Washington Post called the episode deeply hilarious and described the plot as a "bittersweet riot." He drew attention to how the story is similar to the plot of "Dumped," an earlier episode in which Gary deserted SpongeBob.
- The television critic for the St Petersburg Times was not so positive about the episode, criticizing how SpongeBob's disappointed and sad character in "Have You Seen This Snail?" is quite different to the character's normal bright personality.
- "Have You Seen This Snail?" was ranked #10 during the Best Day Ever event on November 9–10, 2006.
- After "Help Wanted" and "Big Pink Loser"
- Possibly after "The Two Faces of Squidward," "Pickles," "Sailor Mouth," "Neptune's Spatula," "Tea at the Treedome," "Hooky," "Procrastination," "Born Again Krabs," "Band Geeks," "Christmas Who?," "Squid's Visit," "Welcome to the Chum Bucket," "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy," and "Jellyfishing"
- Before "Krabby Road," "Fear of a Krabby Patty," and "Yeti Krabs"
- The title card for this episode is similar to that of "Wet Painters" in that both contain paint on a wooden background.
- This was the final episode to premiere in 2005.
- This is the first of the four thirty-minute specials on November 11 of separate years. The others were "The Great Patty Caper" in 2010, "A SquarePants Family Vacation" in 2011, and "SpongeBob You're Fired" in 2013.
- There is an online game based on this episode named Trail of the Snail.
- Advertisements for this episode refer to it as "Where's Gary?" It is also called "Where's Gary?" on its VHS and DVD releases.
- There was a book based on this episode titled Where's Gary?
- In international dubbings of this episode (except in Brazil), the song "Gary Come Home" is either sung by SpongeBob himself or is left untranslated.
- "Nickelodeon Inc." is written on the packaging of the Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy Paddle Ball Set.
- Oddly enough, one of the buses was seen being driven by a policefish rather than a typical Bikini Bottomite.
- This episode takes place after "Big Pink Loser" because Patrick says he never won an award in that episode, and in this episode, he says he won a trophy.
- The original plot for this episode was going to be Granny fattening Gary up to eat him, but this was changed due to it being deemed too scary for a children's series. Also, she had an ax that was replaced with a tray of cookies.
- It is revealed that Gary has a clock inside his shell that tells what time he eats.
- It is revealed that Gary loves balsa wood.
- It is revealed that Gary has been SpongeBob's pet since he was a child.
- This episode, along with "What Ever Happened to SpongeBob?" and "Pest of the West," has a Patchy the Pirate opening in Flash animation.
- Running gags:
- When Patrick sees something that is really important, he gets worried by a useless reason.
- Granny calling Gary "Miss Tuffsy.
- SpongeBob saying "Darn it" when trying the challenge.
- The scene where Squidward screams when SpongeBob and Patrick enter his house has become a famous meme on YouTube. The videos are usually named "[Insert name here] drops by Squidward's house." It consists of a collection of videos depicting the scene being edited so that a completely random character is pasted into the picture, covering up view of SpongeBob and Patrick. He screams normally, but it is looped backwards to help extend the video.
- A clip of this episode was seen in the 2007 movie Alvin and the Chipmunks, which crew member Tim Hill appeared in.
- In Poland, this episode is called "Kto widział ślimaka?," which means "Who Seen the Snail?"
- "Have You Seen This Snail?" featured an original piece of music written for the episode by the musician Stew, entitled "Gary Come Home."
- This episode marks the second instance of Gary leaving SpongeBob. The first was in "Dumped."
- This episode premiered two years after Friends Forever was released.
- This is the first double-length episode not to feature Patchy, not counting his cameo in the opening.
- It would be impossible to hit the paddleball 29,998,559,671,349 times in a row since 29,998,559,671,349 seconds would last for more than 900,000 years assuming the person does not miss even once.
- Patrick's line "Office products falling from the sky!" was used in a Nickelodeon quiz called Are You Smarter Than Patrick Star?
- Granny is similar to the Other Mother from Coraline. As they both are nice at 1st, but in reality they are just nice to gain their victims trust to eat them.
- Around the time this episode aired, Cartoon Network had a snail resembling Gary at the bottom of the screen during its programs. It should be noted that Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon were bitter enemies during the 90s and early 2000s (due to Cartoon Network's bigger library), so they started insulting each other in their bumpers.
- Granny seems to be a parody of the witch from Hansel and Gretel, who overfed the children with the intention of eating them.
- She is also similar to Bluebeard, who kept the corpses of his murdered wives in a closet, which gives away his secret to his new wife.
- When Gary and Granny are riding in the latter's car, Granny says "Set phasers on fun!," a reference to the Star Trek line "Set phasers on stun."
- The song "Gary Come Home" is remarkably similar to "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young.
- The title is a reference to the quote "Have you seen this pet?"
- The music that plays when SpongeBob says "I think it has something to do with this bowl" is a reference to Jeopardy!
- When Granny takes Gary to dance, the blanket is still there, but after that, it is gone.
- When Patrick flips SpongeBob, the paddleball is missing, but it later reappears.
- When SpongeBob trips on Gary's bowl, the milk splashes out from the jug, but when Patrick shakes the milk out of the glass, it is in a solid form.
- When Patrick causes the plane to crash, SpongeBob says "Pat, no!," but captions say "Aah, no!"
- When SpongeBob reads the note left on his door, he walks inside and leaves the door open, but when the mailfish rings the doorbell, SpongeBob opens the door even though it was already open.
- When Gary is getting out of the food dish, he doesn't have the running-away sack. In the scene right after, he has it on his back.
- When Squidward says "What are those neanderthals up to?," his teeth look different and one can see each individual tooth, similar to Patrick's teeth.
- When SpongeBob opens the mailbox, it reads "Squarepat" when should be "SquarePants."
- When Granny puts Gary down, he is missing a dot on his shell.
- When Gary gets back to SpongeBob's house, he groans after SpongeBob suggests Gary being hungry. However, he should be hungry since it would have taken him a week to ten days to get back to Bikini Bottom.
- Patrick suggests that they were at Martha's Craft Zone that day. However, Gary would have taken a week to 10 days to get back to Bikini Bottom.
- SpongeBob is seen driving a plane during the montage of "Gary Come Home" even though he doesn't have his license.
- SpongeBob promises to give Patrick kelp cookies and seahorse milk, though when the scene pans to the kitchen, no kelp cookies are seen; just seahorse milk.
|Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (V • E)
Golden Reel Awards
|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)