SQL: Finding square brackets using LIKE in SQL Server T-SQL

A simple question came up on a forum the other day. The poster was trying to work out why he couldn't find square brackets (i.e. [ ] ) using LIKE in T-SQL.

The trick is that to find the opening bracket, you need to enclose it in a pair of square brackets. But you can just find the closing one directly.

Let's see an example. I'll create a table and populate it:

And now we'll query it. Note that using a single opening bracket does not work:

That returns no rows.

But a query for the closing bracket is a different story:

That returns rows 1, 2, and 4 as expected.

Now let's query for the opening bracket:

And note in the main image above, that it works as expected.

 

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