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The Great Snail Race
Season 3, Episode 55a
300px-The Great Snail Race
Written by Paul Tibbitt

Kent Osborne Merriwether Williams

Directed by Donna Grillo Gonzales
Episode guide
Mid-Life Crustacean

The Great Snail Race is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season three. In this episode, Bikini Bottom holds a snail race.


  • Friday at 11:35 AM: SpongeBob wakes up.
  • Saturday at 11:40 PM: SpongeBob is shown in bed, training Gary.
  • Sunday:
    • 11:45 AM: SpongeBob with Gary.
    • 11:50 AM: SpongeBob and Gary arrive at the race.



  • SpongeBob's House
  • Conch Street
  • Oyster Stadium

Time cards shown:

  • 2 hours later


  • SpongeBob Goes Prehistoric
  • Where's Gary


 [hide*1 Synopsis


SpongeBob wakes up as well as waking up Gary. He tells the world he is ready. He sees Squidward getting a package in the mail, with the mailfish 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. Sandy is walking and decides 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. 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.

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 me are in-laws, eh, Squidward?". Squidward then sees that, much to his surprise, Patrick's rock won the race. 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!".


  • The music played during the title card and when Lightning Larry is heading to light the torch is identical in tune to "Now that We're Men from The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, which this episode predates by over a year.
  • The winner was Patrick's snail (rock), Rocky.
  • Running Gag: Someone mispronouncing Squidward's last name, and Patrick saying his snail (rock) has nerves of steel.
  • The mayor in this episode is also the 1st 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. However, she states that, "I've had her since I was a little girl," meaning that this could not be Snellie. Also in "Gary in Love" Snellie appears as Mary. This could be because Snellie is likely a character model.
  • SpongeBob: "...raw eggs 'cause they're cliche," is a clear reference to Rocky (coincidencially, Patrick's snail is named Rocky).
  • This episode was the only episode from the Hillenburg era (1999–2004) and season 3 on the "Where's Gary"? DVD.
  • The first episode to air in 2003.
  • There is a deleted scene in which Sandy is arrested for kicking Spongebob's butt. This was cut for unknown reasons.
  • SpongeBob's unicycle, first seen in "Boating School", appears in this episode.
  • SpongeBob shouts "Move it! Move it!" like Lt. Harris in Police Academy.
  • This is the second time SpongeBob had 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 Hebrew version, the word "Tennisballs" is replaced with the inappropriate word "Testacles".
  • 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).
  • It is revealed that a scene where Sandy gets arrested for kicking SpongeBob is cut for unknown reasons.
  • In a recent airing (4/18/2012) at the Philippines (a single episode) the credits are different form that of the original because it uses the credits from a future episode, Boating Buddies.
  • In ealry Russian airings Chocolate With Nuts was aired first and The Great Snail Race was second; however, in later Russian airings, the order of the two episodes is changed.
  • "Lightning Larry Luciano" might be a reference to the mobster "Lucky Luciano".
  • This is another episode to show Spongebob as the main antagonist.
  • At the title screen the music is Now that we're Men like in the Spongebob Squarepants Movie.
  • There is a book of the same name based on this episode.


  • Nat could've been arrested for "illegally" taking over as the host.
  • You can see 2 Nat's in the audience.
  • If you look at Fred closely in the audience, he's missing his pants.
  • When SpongeBob runs to Gary his hat and mustache are gone.
  • Gary crashes into a wall and is still on the track. However, when the race begins, the track is in the center of the stadium, far from the walls.
  • SpongeBob was wearing red pants, but in the stadium, there is a close-up where Gary is in the floor and SpongeBob's pants are blue.

APM Music IdentificationEdit[]

  • Fight! Fight! Fight! - Title card
  • William Tell Overture - The song SpongeBob plays on the bugle
  • Dancing the Hula - Squidward's new snail
  • Meet the Family - Gary imagines himself watching TV.
  • Deadline - "Looks like we're gonna start our training now, ladies."
  • Astronauts March - SpongeBob makes a protein shake.
  • Pell-Mell - Gray practices sprints.
  • Meet the Family - Gary watching TV again.
  • Steve's March - Training montage
  • Hawaiian Link (b) - Gary is exhausted.
  • The Zodiac - At the stadium.
  • Fight! Fight! Fight! A - Pre-game ceremony.
  • Charge - "The torch is lit! Let the race begin!"
  • Open - SpongeBob gives pep talks.
  • The Wild Bunch - The race starts.
  • Dramatic Cue G - Firefighters put out the fire on Gary's shell.
  • Romeo And Juliet Fantasy Overture - Snellie comforts Gary.
  • Miss World (c) - Rocky wins the race.