The Short List
Season 1, episode 9
Gail’s debut, where Danny brings her to CJ as a gift.

Gail first appeared on The West Wing early on in Season 1, in this episode. Danny misunderstood a comment made by Josh that CJ liked goldfish. Josh meant the crackers, but Danny thought he meant the fish. Since that episode, Gail has become more than a prop on a set, she’s become the focus of private jokes between the West Wing production team and eagle eyed fans of the show. In most episodes her bowl contains some object that alludes to the plot, and this web page catalogues as many of these as possible.

 

 

 

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In Excelsis Deo
Season 1, episode 10
In which Christmas comes to the West Wing, and CJ gets some fish food from Danny, and Gail gives her bowl a seasonal makeover.
Object: Christmas tree.

 

 

 

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Lord John Marbury
Season 1, episode 11 -- Thanks to Ellen Pfieffer for sending this one in.
In which war breaks out in Kashmir, and Gail seems to have built her own bunker for the duration of hostilities.
Object: Little green army guys and a Humvee.

 

 

 

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He Shall From Time To Time
Season 1, episode 12
In which President Bartlet prepares for the State of the Union, which might just be delivered from Gail’s bowl.
Objects: Presidential podium and two US flags.

 

 

 

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Six Meetings Before Lunch
Season 1, episode 18
In which Mandy decides they should ask the Chinese for a couple more panda bears for the national zoo, though Gail has managed to get two all by herself.
Objects: A pair of pandas.

 

 

 

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Let Barlet be Bartlet
Season 1, episode 19
In which the White House has its annual Easter Egg Hunt, but Gail has found a few of her own. (Thanks to Joe in Michigan for this!)
Objects: Easter Eggs.

 

 

 

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Season 1, episode 21 -- Thanks to Allysha Unguren for spotting this one.
There’s a poll in the field, and Gail’s handling the Eastern Seaboard.
Object: A telephone

 

 

 

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What Kind Of Day Has It Been
Season 1, episode 22
In which NASA has problems with the Space Shuttle, while Gail prepares to be the first fish in outer space.
Object: A space shuttle. I love this shot — Actor Timothy Busfield seems as interested as anyone to see what’s inside Gail’s bowl!

 

 

 

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The Midterms
Season 2, episode 3
In which Gail appears to be on the hustings.
Objects: Podium and microphone.

 

 

 

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In This White House
Season 2, episode 4
In which Republican Ainsley Hayes is offered a job in the White House, and the GOP seems to have made some headway in Gail’s bowl, too.
Object: Elephant (the mascot of the Republican Party).

Something to watch out for — in this one scene with CJ and Sam early on in the show, the elephant switches direction all by itself! Or maybe Gail moves it?

 

 

 

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And It Is Surely To Their Credit
Season 2, episode 5
In which the President and the First Lady get, ahem, a little personal time together, and Gail gets not only a pretty pink bed in her bowl, but another goldfish!
Objects: Bed and another goldfish.

 

 

 

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Galileo
Season 2, episode 9
In which NASA has problems getting to Mars, but Gail appears to have brought Mars to her bowl!
Objects: Red gravel and a little spaceship. Pauline from Manchester, England, gets the credit here!

 

 

 

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The Drop In
Season 2, episode 12
In which the an anti-missile missile fails to hit the target, but does manage to end up in Gail's bowl.
Objects: A model missile.

 

 

 

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The Stackhouse Filibuster
Season 2, episode 17
In which CJ damages a priceless statuette of Bast, though Gail has one of her own. (Thanks to Joe in Michigan for this!)
Objects: A statuette of the Egyptian cat goddess Bast.

 

 

 

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Bad Moon Rising
Season 2, episode 19
In which the West Wing springs a leak, and by the bit of plumbing in Gail’s bowl, it looks like she might know more about it than she’s letting on.
Object: A piece of pipe.

 

 

 

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The Fall’s Gonna Kill You
Season 2, episode 20
In which CJ begins to worry that all the staffers will soon find themselves being cross-examined at hearings, and the prosecutor seems to be starting with Gail.
Objects: A chair and microphone.

 

 

 

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On The Day Before
Season 3, episode 5
In which the Josh suggests holding up a count in the House by getting one Democrat Representative to display a poster, and another to object, so causing the Chairman of the House to have to rule on the issue. It looks like someone has tried out this tactic in Gail’s bowl.
Object: Slide projector screen.

 

 

 

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Gone Quiet
Season 3, episode 7
In which Jed loses a submarine, but one turns up in Gail’s bowl.
Object: A submarine.

 

 

 

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Hartsfield’s Landing
Season 3, episode 15
In which the President plays chess with Sam, Toby, and China, while CJ plays with Gail.
Object: No idea!

 

 

 

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Enemies Foreign And Domestic
Season 3, episode 19
In which CJ gets outraged by the mistreatment of women in Saudi Arabia, though Gail clearly shows she is standing with her sisters.
Object: Intertwined female symbols.

 

 

 

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The Black Vera Wang
Season 3, episode 20
In which CJ buys a very nice dress, and so does Gail. Though quite how good a goldfish would look in silk is a matter for further debate.
Object: A dress, not black, but perhaps Vera Wang nonetheless.

 

 

 

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We Killed Yamamoto
Season 3, episode 21
In which Donna is sent to North Dakota, but Gail decides to stay home.
Object: The same dress as last week.

 

 

 

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24 Hours in America
Season 4, episode 2
In which the boys get lost, but Gail shows them the way home.
Object: Road sign to Washington DC.

 

 

 

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Holy Night
Season 4, episode 11
In which Zoey gets a new Bourbon, but Gail ends up with a bauble.
Object: Unknown, but cemcclelland suggests a snowglobe of some type; Billy says that when he’s looking at this photo he sees 3 wise men towering over a small barn/manger, and white stones for snow. Kristina L wonders if the object is a plexiglas pen-holder. Please e-mail me if you have any alternative ideas!

 

 

 

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Guns Not Butter
Season 4, episode 12
In which the President has a photo-op scheduled with a cow, but Gail seems to have beaten him to it.
Object: A herd of cows.

 

 

 

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Inauguration Day, Part II
Season 4, episode 15
In which the President is sworn in, but Gail takes the podium.
Object: The Presidential Podium.

 

 

 

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Evidence Of Things Not Seen
Season 4, episode 20
In which the West Wing dives for cover, seemingly in Gail's bowl.
Object: The White House.

 

 

 

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Jefferson Lives
Season 5, episode 3
In which the West Wing celebrates the Fourth of July, as does Gail, patriot that she is.
Object: An American flag.

 

 

 

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Constituency of One
Season 5, episode 4
In which the West Wing plans a calendar for upcoming session, seemingly from Gail’s bowl.
Object: A calendar.

 

 

 

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Abu el-Banat
Season 5, episode 9
In which CJ struggles with a tree, but Gail has her’s mastered.
Object: A Christmas tree.

 

 

 

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The Stormy Present
Season 5, episode 10
In which the President Barlet attends the funeral of former President Lassiter, but thge coffin appears to be in Gail’s bowl.
Object: A little coffin draped with the US flag.

 

 

 

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Slow News Day
Season 5, episode 12
In which CJ has to deal with argument over agricultural subsidies, but Gail takes care of farming lobby.
Object: A pile of cabbages.

 

 

 

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No Exit
Season 5, episode 20
In which the CJ decides to go fishing, but Gail takes no chances.
Object: A ‘no fishing’ sign.

 

 

 

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Mr. Frost
Season 7, episode 04
In which Charles Frost causes problems for the Staff, but things get even more frosty in Gail’s bowl.
Object: Icicles.

 

 

 

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The Undecideds
Season 7, episode 08
In which the battle for the White House rages on, but Gail has one all her own.
Object: The White House.

 

 

 

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Internal Displacement
Season 7, episode 11
In which time runs out for the Bartlet administration, and Gail keeps track of the time.
Object: A clock.

 

 

 

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Last Hurrah
Season 7, episode 20
In which Charles Frost causes problems for the Staff, but things get even more frosty in Gail’s bowl.
Object: For Sale sign (?).

 

 

 

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Tomorrow
Season 7, episode 22
In which CJ leaves the White House, and Gail gets ready to go too.
Object: Carrie M gets the credit here, spotting the “That’s All Folks” message seen at the end of Looney Toons cartoons, and given this is the end of seven seasons of The West Wing, that would be entirely appropriate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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