Background: Gastric cancers frequently overexpress the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which has been implicated in pathological processes including tumor cell motility, invasion and metastasis. Targeting EGFR with the inhibitory antibody cetuximab may affect the motile and invasive behavior of tumor cells. Here, we evaluated the effects of EGFR signaling in gastric cancer cell lines to link the phenotypic behavior of the cells with their molecular characteristics. Methods: Phenotypic effects were analyzed in four gastric cancer cell lines (AGS, Hs746T, LMSU and MKN1) by time-lapse microscopy and transwell invasion assay. Effects on EGFR signaling were detected using Western blot and proteome profiler analyses. A network was constructed linking EGFR signaling to the regulation of cellular motility. Results: The analysis of the effects of treatment with epidermal growth factor (EGF) and cetuximab revealed that only one cell line (MKN1) was sensitive to cetuximab treatment in all phenotypic assays, whereas the other cell lines were either not responsive (Hs746T, LMSU) or sensitive only in certain tests (AGS). Cetuximab inhibited EGFR, MAPK and AKT activity and associated components of the EGFR signaling pathway to different degrees in cetuximab-sensitive MKN1 cells. In contrast, no such changes were observed in Hs746T cells. Thus, the different phenotypic behaviors of the cells were linked to their molecular response to treatment. Genetic alterations had different associations with response to treatment: while PIK3CA mutations and KRAS mutation or amplification were not obstructive, the MET mutation was associated with non-response. Conclusion: These results identify components of the EGFR signaling network as important regulators of the phenotypic and molecular response to cetuximab treatment.