This episode starts out at the Krusty Krab where SpongeBob is getting ready for closing time. He asks Mr. Krabs if he can buy a Krabby Patty for Gary because tomorrow is "Bring Your Pet To Work Day." So Mr. Krabs lets him. However, when SpongeBob checks the freezer, (along with all others) there are no more Krabby Patties left. He starts complaining to Mr. Krabs about this, so Mr. Krabs just decides they should make a fresh batch of Krabby Patties. Plankton is spying on SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs at this moment and he has an evil plan. Later that night, SpongeBob arrives at his home with some kelp fries for Gary. He then tells Gary that he needs a bath, which makes Gary run away. SpongeBob looks for Gary all over the house and then when Gary falls into a plant, he decides to give Gary his bath in the morning.
The next morning, there is a knock on the door and Gary answers it. It is Plankton in a salesman disguise. He claims that he is giving Gary a vacation to a Snail Resort for one night and tells Gary to wear a fake shell while he is there, while also lying about cleaning his real shell. Gary puts on the fake shell and leaves. Then Plankton gets into Gary's real shell, SpongeBob then gives Plankton (in the Gary disguise) his bath and while he is doing that, he discovers that "Gary" is green and talking, and he thinks that he is sick, so he takes Plankton to the hospital, where the doctor gives him bad news. They try every test imaginable, but nothing is found wrong with him (the doctors never saw anything like this) Plankton asks SpongeBob for one Krabby Patty before he dies, so SpongeBob starts taking him to the Krusty Krab. However, on the way there, Gary rides by on the bus and sees SpongeBob carrying Plankton disguised as himself. Gary gets mad, stops the bus, and gets out.
At that moment, SpongeBob puts Plankton in the kitchen and goes to make him a Krabby Patty. However, while he is waiting, the real Gary comes in and beats up Plankton, and Mr. Krabs sees him doing this and sees Plankton run out of the kitchen. So he gives Gary a job as a bouncer, with Gary letting people into the Krusty Krab one at a time, then Plankton comes, disguised again, this time as a small boy. However, Gary is not fooled by the disguise and growls, causing Plankton to panic and run away. SpongeBob then says to Mr. Krabs how Gary is doing a great job as a bouncer. Then SpongeBob says "Really earning his pay," leaving Mr. Krabs shocked.
Home video releases
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete 7th Season
- SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob's Runaway Roadtrip
- The Pet Hospital SpongeBob took Gary to is actually a hospital where fish go.
- It's revealed in this episode that Gary doesn't like Kelp Fries.
- SpongeBob has talked to Gary before, but in snail language.
- In some airings, this episode is paired with "You Don't Know Sponge."
- In Greece, the episode is called Η Μεγάλη Οστρακοαπάτη which means The Great Shell-Scam.
- In Turkey, the episode is called "Sahte Salyangoz" which means "Fake Snail."
- This episode premiered on Dan Povenmire's 47th birthday and 11 years after the premiere of "Culture Shock" and "F.U.N."
- When Plankton and Karen do the "What?" exchange at the beginning of the episode, it may have been a reference to the stage act "Who's on first?"
- "Bring Your Pet to Work Day" is a parody of "Bring Your Kid to Work Day".
- When Plankton and Karen were looking in the telescope, they saw Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob talking even though Mr. Krabs' office door was closed. It would be impossible for Plankton and Karen to spy on them directly across the street unless Karen had X-ray vision, being a computer, but that wouldn't explain how Plankton could see them.
- Although Plankton never told him where Club Shell is, Gary somehow managed to get there.
- When Gary blows at Plankton to get him out of the kitchen, he blows with 2 mouths (or possibly his nose).
- When SpongeBob carries Plankton upstairs to the bathtub, even though Plankton is wearing fake eyeballs on his antennas, they had eyelids and blinked as if they were real eyeballs.
- Plankton's size becomes inconsistent when he is in Gary's shell; for example, when SpongeBob carries him down the stairs, he is larger than SpongeBob's hand. He is usually as tall as SpongeBob's finger.
- When SpongeBob calls Gary a second time while Plankton was talking to him, only one eye moves.
- When Gary growls at Plankton in the Gary costume, he has two mouths.
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