The West Wing: Inside Goldfish Gail’s Fishbowl – Season 2

Season 2 marks the first full season of The West Wing during which we have the privilege of watching for Goldfish Gail. C.J. Cregg’s office has never been more exciting, and a lot of scary and surprising things happen to Gail–she is mobbed by turkeys, interrogated by White House lawyers, and has a missile land in her bowl. But still she finds time for love and to make a new elephant friend.

Here it is, a list of Gail sightings from season 2.

If you think that you can identify one of the mystery props, please do comment and if you can convince me, I will happily give you full credit for the spot!


Season 2, Episode 1

No Gail. But she does send her best wishes to President Bartlet and Josh for speedy recoveries.

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 8.04.38 PM.png

Season 2, Episode 2

  • Prop: Completely no idea. The bowl is barely visible, and only for a moment. There is some sort of large monolith in the bowl, but it could be anything.
  • Gravel: Brown
  • Nod to Plot: Unknown

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 8.32.18 PM

Season 2, Episode 3

  • Prop: It’s a little ballot box with Gail’s ballot ready to drop in!
  • Gravel: Rainbow
  • Nod to Plot: It’s the midterm elections and Gail is ready to vote.

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 8.44.34 PM.png

Season 2, Episode 4

  • Prop: An elephant
  • Gravel: Black and white
  • Nod to Plot: Republican Ainsley Hayes was just hired, and Gail wants her to feel welcome among friends.

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 8.53.17 PM.png

Season 2, Episode 5

  • Prop: A pink and white bed, perfect for love. Plus, what looks like a candlelit nightstand with a curious little sign. And a second goldfish! A male caller for Gail.
  • Gravel: Blue
  • Nod to Plot: POTUS and FLOTUS are anxious for a little love time together, and Gail must have the same idea about her fella. Naughty!

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 9.12.20 PM.png

Season 2, Episode 6

  • Prop: It’s barely visible in the episode, but look closely and you’ll see the U.S. Capitol building.
  • Gravel: Dark green
  • Nod to Plot: President Bartlet is considering legislating with a lame duck Congress, and Gail thinks she could help.


Season 2, Episode 7

No Gail. While C.J.’s on the Portland trip, Gail’s taking a little time off from men shouting at her mama.


Season 2, Episode 8

No Gail. Sort of. She and her bowl are vaguely, fuzzily present when C.J. first meets Troy and Eric. Don’t worry, Donna put her bowl up on a high shelf! But then as Troy and Eric got more comfortable, it seems Gail had to go live with (presumably) Carol for a little while. We don’t want her to be turkey food.

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 9.37.32 PM.png

Season 2, Episode 9

  • Prop: Itty bitty space vehicles
  • Gravel: Red, like the surface of Mars
  • Nod to Plot: The Galileo space probe is poised to send back data from Mars…if only it will talk to us.
  • Also: It’s a new bowl with a very different flat shape! Maybe that’s the type of bowl that Martian goldfish live in.


Season 2, Episode 10

No Gail. But she was devastated when she heard about Josh’s suffering. No more bagpipes in her bowl!

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 10.10.48 PM

Season 2, Episode 11

  • Prop: A fire engine
  • Gravel: White, and lots of it (Gail, are you okay?)
  • Nod to Plot: Gail’s worried about Josh and Sam starting a fire to stay warm. She knows to have emergency services on-hand.

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 10.36.00 PM.png

Season 2, Episode 12

  • Prop: A missile
  • Gravel: Blue
  • Nod to Plot: Gail does not approve of Leo’s missile defense system, as a missile has already landed in her bowl, and Leo didn’t stop it.


Season 2, Episode 13

No Gail. She has one too many pink squirrels and is busy blaming it on the Bossa Nova.


Season 2, Episode 14

No Gail again. Too much State of the Union partying wipes a fish out. She needed more of a break.

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 10.11.37 AM

Season 2, Episode 15

  • Prop: Unknown large object–maybe a Doobie Brothers record? Or a DVD of Dial M For Murder?
  • Gravel: White or pale blue
  • Nod to Plot: Unknown! We get barely a blurry glimpse of Gail, so she can’t really weigh in on marijuana or Ellie’s relationship with her dad.


Season 2, Episode 16

No Gail again. Yeesh. She’s missing Big Block of Cheese Day. Or maybe she has a meeting with oceanographers for social equality.

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 10.46.17 AM.png

Season 2, Episode 17

  • Prop: What appears to be a skinny black cat statue in honor of Bast
  • Gravel: Blue
  • Nod to Plot: C.J. had the heart to tell Charlie that she superglued the priceless statue together, but kept mum that she was using it as a fishbowl decoration. That’s some goldfish loyalty. And Gail forgives C.J. for bumping her desk and making the water audibly sploosh in her bowl. That was scary.


Season 2, Episode 18

No Gail again. In fact, there isn’t any C.J. in this episode either. You think Gail handled the press briefings while she was away?

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 11.05.18 AM.png

Season 2, Episode 19

  • Prop: A corner of PVC pipe
  • Gravel: Blue
  • Nod to Plot: Gail heard that C.J. is worried about a leak in the White House, so she is prepared to do some plumbing.

And then…

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 11.07.11 AM.png
  • Prop: A billfold stuffed with dollars
  • Gravel: Glass gems
  • Nod to Plot: Mexico is getting the financial relief it needs. Gail is ready to pony up, now that Donna is convinced.

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 11.19.11 AM.png

Season 2, Episode 20

  • Prop: A folding chair and microphone
  • Gravel: None
  • Nod to Plot: Why, oh why would Congress and that horrible Oliver Blabbish want to interrogate our Gail? Give her back her gravel and leave her in peace!


Season 2, Episode 21

No Gail. I think Oliver Blabbish scared her away. 

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 11.32.26 AM.png

Season 2, Episode 22

  • Prop: What appears to be a white rose with black trim or fencing around it
  • Gravel: Teal
  • Nod to Plot: It’s Mrs. Landingham’s funeral. If Gail’s decoration is a flower, then she is trying to pay her respects in a dignified and elegant way.

Want more Gail fun? Of course you do. Read on to discover Gail’s adventures in….

Season 1
Season 3
Season 4
Season 5
Season 6

Just don’t interrogate Gail. She won’t stand for it.


8 thoughts on “The West Wing: Inside Goldfish Gail’s Fishbowl – Season 2

Add yours

  1. Thank you for this! I found this by googling after learning such an encyclopedia exists by listening to the West Wing Weekly. So well done, and good still shots. Thanks for putting it together!!

    Liked by 1 person

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