Howdy folks! TheSlorg here with the return of Pony Spotlight!
It has been some time since we last had a pony in the spotlight, but the wait is finally over. And with his chance to shine in a recent episode, we felt it was time to give Snails a fair go!
So what is there to know about good old Snailsquirm here? Wait, you didn't know that's his full name? Check below the break for more info on this slow, yet talented, colt.
Cutie Mark: A snail
Appearances: 25 episodes, Equestria Girls, Rainbow Rocks, Friendship Games
First Appearance: Boast Busters
Speaking Roles: 8
Random Fact: Snails was originally meant to be the shorter of the Snips and Snails duo.
Snails first appeared way back in season one's Boast Busters, where he and his best friend, Snips, cause trouble for Ponyville by bringing an ursa minor to town so they can watch the boastful Trixie vanquish it. This first appearance shows him to be slow-witted and gullible, with somewhat limited magical ability as he has difficulty using a light spell in the ursa cave. In Call of the Cutie he attends Diamond Tiara's cute-ceañera, and takes a large bite of her cake - which she scolds him for. In The Show Stoppers, Snails and Snips enter the school talent show as a magic act, which they actually manage to win despite Snails eating the carrots that were meant to be pulled out of a hat.
The Return of Harmony part 1 has Snails attending Cheerilee's school field trip to the Canterlot Sculpture Garden along with his classmates. He looks unimpressed when the Cutie Mark Crusaders begin to argue and fight, and later laughs at their punishment. In The Cutie Pox, Snails enthusiastically cheers on Apple Bloom as she demonstrates her 'loopty hooping' skills by standing on his hind legs and waving his forelegs about. In a somewhat surprising twist, he's the only schoolpony other than Apple Bloom who manages to succeed at loopty hooping by spinning one around his neck, though not with as much grace as Apple Bloom. We see in The Mysterious Mare Do-Well that Snails is a member of the Rainbow Dash Fan Club. He is the first to agree with Scootaloo that Rainbow Dash is the most awesome pony in Ponyville, and suggests that her face would appear in the dictionary under the word 'awesome.' In Hearts and Hooves Day, Snails appears very briefly, and it's most likely you'll miss his cameo unless you have a magnifying glass. In the opening scene, as the screen pans to the left toward the Crusaders' clubhouse, he can be seen as a tiny speck entering the schoolhouse. Be ready to pause or you'll miss him! Ponyville Confidential sees Snails and Snips as the center of a school paper article when they get stuck together by some chewing gum. They later try unsuccessfully to get into the paper a second time by intentionally becoming stuck together again.
Season three's Magic Duel see Snails once again getting caught up with Trixie, this time becoming magically attached to Snips at the horn as punishment for trying to cheer her on. They're later freed, but Snails gets magically aged into an old stallion and, later, an infant by the episode's end. He's the first to suggest that Trixie's acting weirder than normal when she refuses to use wheels on her chariot.
Many of his remaining appearances were brief cameos, but some highlights include him and Snips auditioning to be the Ponyville flag carriers for the Equestria Games, meeting Countess Coloratura in The Mane Attraction, and his photo appearing in Pinkie Pie's wallet in Flutter Brutter, suggesting that the two get along well.
Perhaps his most important appearance was in the recent season six episode, Buckball Season. This episode has him joining the official Ponyville buckball team when he showcases an enormous talent for precision levitation, much like Rarity, when he levitates a basket to catch balls tossed his way. His magical skill in this episode greatly surpasses that shown in his first appearance back in season one. He also reveals the secret to his success: he doesn't think about anything. Ever. This is interesting as it shows us that since season one, which shows him running around worried about the ursa, Snails has learned, either intentionally or accidentally, to simply not worry about anything and take things a step at a time. Maturity!
Snails likes to live life in the slow lane, so to speak, as immediately established in Boast Busters with his luring an ursa minor to town without thinking about the consequences. This is seen again in later episodes like The Cart Before the Ponies, where he shows relief that he doesn't have to learn anything in school, and Buckball Season, where he admits to never thinking about anything, ever. This lack of thought has the side effect of causing him to not worry about things or stress out, which directly leads to his excellence at buckball as he doesn't let the pressure to succeed get to him. He is also shown meditating in Buckball Season, which plays into this.
Despite his recent character growth, one might think there's nothing more to his personality at this point. On the surface, this certainly seems to be the case, but there's more there if you dig a little deeper.
Firstly, his friendship with Snips is more akin to the kind of relationship two siblings might have. They've been shown arguing or teasing each other in episodes like The Show Stoppers and Magic Duel, but they clearly get over it quickly and remain good friends. Speaking of friendship, Pinkie Pie is shown to have a picture of Snails in her wallet in Flutter Brutter. She also calls out to him by name in Buckball Season, so they clearly know each other to some good extent. Now, this could be brushed off as having "Pinkie is friends with everypony" be an explanation, but flip things around and look at it from Snails's point of view. Sure, Pinkie befriends everyone, but they have clearly spent time together off-screen, and now they are teammates on a buckball team. It would be interesting to see more of Snails and Pinkie hanging out, even if it's just relegated to the background.
Another little personality quirk of Snails? He's a troll. Yes, that's right, Snails has trolled somepony in the show. In The Show Stoppers, Snips and Snails perform a magic act in which Snips is meant to appear as if he's going to pull a rabbit out of a hat, but instead pull some carrots out of the hat. This doesn't go to plan though, as Snails eats the carrots, leaving Snips sputtering. Before you begin typing in the comments that that's not trolling, you need to watch Snails's face. He raises his eyebrows several times to Snips in a way that says "I know I shouldn't be doing this but hey, look at me!" Yes, he knows darn well what he's doing and was just pulling a prank on his best friend. In front of the entire school. That's Celestia-level stuff right there.
He also loves pudding. Just going to leave it at that.
As far as theories go, there's really only one big theory revolving around Snails that I've seen: he's a natural genius in disguise. Could it be true? Let's have a quick look.
As mentioned before, Snails wasn't very magically skilled in his appearance in Boast Busters, as he has difficulty performing a simple light spell. However, there are some out there who think this was just a show, and that he's more talented than that. Unfortunately, there aren't many other times that he's shown to use magic.
As we all know, Snails is vastly improved in Buckball Season, showing a level of precision that has only been seen in Rarity when he levitates multiple spinning buckets while meditating, and still manages to easily catch any balls sent his way. Clearly he's been paying attention in magic class, right?
In his own words, he hates having to learn things in school, and he tries not to think. So the only explanation would be that he's just naturally grown skilled in magic, right? But if he's not paying attention to magic lessons, and he's not thinking enough to practice on his own, then he has to simply be naturally gifted, meaning that season one's lack of talent was just a show.
On the other hoof, what if he's just saying that he dislikes learning, and is instead crazy studious. Like, Twilight Sparkle levels of studious? If he's not a naturally gifted unicorn who effortlessly learned advanced control of his magic, then he would have had to study and practice to get that good, meaning that he does think about things, enjoys learning, and his witlessness is all an act!
I'll leave this one up to you all to figure out. Is Snails naturally talented, is he too smart for school, or is he really just too simple to figure out he's actually learning things? You be the judge!
And that's it! What's your favorite Snails moment? Who would you like to see in the Spotlight next? let us know in the comments below.
And send in some Snails art or videos! He seriously needs more love in those departments!