I've got work to do. Friendship isn't going to be easy for me. I'm gonna have to work at it. You make me wanna try, but... I've already messed up bad with you. I wish I could just start from scratch with somebody.
|—Steven Universe: The Movie|
Spinel is the main antagonist of Steven Universe: The Movie and a supporting character in Steven Universe Future. She was created 6,000 years prior to the events of the movie to comfort the lonely Pink Diamond who had lost her first Pearl to White Diamond. The two would play in Pink's garden until she was finally given a colony. At this point, Pink outgrew Spinel and abandoned her under the guise of playing a game by having Spinel stand alone for thousands of years while Pink never returned. After discovering this through Steven's message to the universe she went to Earth with full intent to destroy all organic life forms as a way of getting revenge. After making amends with Steven and the Crystal Gems, the Diamonds take her back to live with them on Homeworld.
Spinel has a pink complexion, magenta eyes, a small pointy nose, and magenta hair that is styled into a pair of spiky pigtails. She also has three black lines underneath both of her eyes reminiscent of running mascara. Her clothing consists of a dark magenta top, puffy pointed hot pink sleeves, puffy magenta shorts, hot pink wrist-length gloves, white stockings, and a pair of magenta knee-high pointy boots.
Her gemstone is located in the center of her chest, cut in the shape of an upside-down heart.
When reset to her original self with her own rejuvenator, Spinel's overall design is shorter and rounded in contrast to her current taller and pointier design. She had black cartoonish eyes and her hair was styled into a pair of heart-shaped buns. Her top was white with more rounded pink sleeves and her boots become a pair of big magenta shoes. Spinel's previous color palette is also brighter than her current one which uses darker tones. Overall, her appearance was similar to that of a 1930s rubber-hose cartoon character.
Her gemstone used to be right side up, resembling a normal heart.
Spinel originally had a goofy, fun-loving personality. She was Pink Diamond's best friend to the point of being clingy.
In stark contrast, upon being abandoned and later learning that Pink Diamond is gone with Steven taking her place and of his and his mother's new friends, Spinel is bitter and full of resentment towards everything connected with Pink Diamond.
Due to her abandonment, Spinel is unhinged, prone to spontaneous laughter, and extreme outbursts when reminded even indirectly that Pink Diamond forgot her. This can be seen when her face contorts with fury after Steven asked Pearl who she was.
Despite her anger and irrationality, Spinel is somewhat trusting, as she is willing to go along with Steven to stop her injector. That is until she sees the Rejuvenator and believes he wanted to reset her. Fearful of being betrayed for a second time, Spinel immediately relapses into insanity and decides that she hates Steven, before launching a preemptive attack on him.
Spinel was fueled by her vendetta and willing to eliminate anyone who gets in her way. This can be seen when she resets Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst immediately after they just met, as she feels that they got between her and Pink. She may have had every intention of erasing Pink's "brand new friends" in a misplaced rage. She displays deeper emotions, like when she shows remorse after Steven saves her, and tearfully asks herself why she wants to hurt him and others. Spinel is also mature enough to understand she will have difficulty creating friendships after what Pink Diamond put her through, but she is willing to start over with the other Diamonds.
Though silly and goofy in her original form, she is shown to be extremely intelligent and cunning in her altered state, originally defeating the Crystal Gems easily, as well as understanding how her injector works by using it to slowly kill Steven's organic form after using her rejuvenator to reset his gem, showing a great tactical knowledge.
After returning to Homeworld with the Diamonds, Spinel returns to her goofy, fun-loving personality. She is still visibly embarrassed by her past mistakes, however. She is also noticeably less clingy, as she allows White Diamond and Steven to speak privately.
6,000 Years Ago
Spinel was created for Pink Diamond thousands of years ago to act like her best friend, often playing games with her and entertaining her. However, over time, Pink began to see Spinel as annoying and slowly outgrew her, becoming visibly less and less enthusiastic about playing with her. When Pink was finally given her colony, Earth, she abandoned Spinel at the garden built for them, saying that they were going to play a new game where Spinel had to stand perfectly still. Spinel was eager to play the game and stood motionless for 6,000 years while waiting for Pink's return.
After 6,000 years of waiting Spinel finally had gotten news on what became of her Diamond. She learns that Pink Diamond technically no longer exists and had given up her physical form to give birth to her half-human son Steven. After learning this and also realizing the fact that her Diamond abandoned her, she changed her appearance and swore vengeance on Steven and Pink's "other friends" (the Crystal Gems).
Later, on the day of Steven's final homeworld broadcast before returning to Earth, Spinel arrives in Beach City on a massive customized Injector which begins filling the planet with poison. Spinel begins to fight against Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, her stretching ability and chaotic method of movement allowing her to easily defeat them with her Gem Rejuvenator. Furious, Steven manages to grab hold of her weapon and poofs Spinel with it as well.
After the battle, Steven brings the poofed gems (including Spinel) to the temple where he learns after the Crystal Gems reformed that they lost their memories and he lost access to the majority of his abilities. Not too long after this revelation Spinel reforms as well and acts oddly friendly and playful towards Steven, calling him her best friend.
Throughout the movie, Spinel follows Steven everywhere he went and "helps" him get his friends' memories back. While doing so, she also tries to play with him but never gets the chance to, due to him being too focused on helping his friends. After helping Amethyst, Steven and the other remaining Crystal Gems learn that the only one who can stop Spinel's injector is Spinel herself, but in order to do that they need her to remember who she is and since Pearl is the only one who seems to know her, the group decides to help her next.
That evening, Spinel joins Steven and the other Crystal Gems at the Abandoned Warehouse where they try to get Pearl to regain her memories by listening to a song written by Sadie Killer and the Suspects called "Disobedient". When that didn't work, Steven figures out that the only way Pearl would be able to think for herself, as well as regain her memories is if her owner "disappeared"', just like Rose Quartz did. To do that Steven fuses with his father Greg Universe (who Pearl thought was her owner) and forms a new fusion named Steg. Steg then sings a song named "Independent Together" that helps Pearl remember who she is and later duets with him as Opal.
Although the song had succeeded in helping Pearl it causes Spinel to see that Steven cares more for the others than her. Upset, she flees to Pink Diamond's Garden, where she tells Steven the story of her past as well as her abandonment through "Drift Away", causing her to return to her former self. Steven, feeling bad for Spinel, befriends her and brings her back to the Gems and Connie ("Found"), who, after initially being wary, agree to let Spinel help Steven in deactivating the injector.
Upon deactivating it Spinel is again hurt by Steven's reaction. She then claims that he only needed her for the Injector, and did not want to be her friend and that he would just get rid of her, the source of his problems. Thinking he will betray her as his mother did, she pushes Steven, making him drop the Rejuvenator. Freaking out in anger and betrayal, paranoid that Steven would set her back to default mode, she resorts to her old behavior and attacks Steven, taking Garnet as a hostage to goad him into fighting back. This, however, causes Garnet to regain her memories as well. After being beaten by the Crystal Gems, Spinel then retreats to the top of the Injector and is soon followed by Steven, who once more tries to reason with her. This further infuriates her, causing them to fight, until it becomes apparent she has lost her motivation to destroy him and regrets her actions up until that point. Steven, now fully reunited with his powers, comforts her and claims she can start fresh with new people to be her friends. The Injector then explodes due to the battle, and Steven saves Spinel by entrapping her in his bubble alongside him. Steven then attempts to comfort her again, as Spinel decides she has created too much damage and must leave. The Diamonds then arrive, ready to confront Steven about where they will live and Steven introduces Spinel to them, thus giving her the new friends he promised. Spinel then says goodbye to Steven and leaves Earth alongside the Diamonds, happy to be loved again.
In "Homeworld Bound", as soon as Spinel sees Steven, she greets him with a large smooch (which he isn't exactly happy about) and they talk about how they've each been. When Steven reveals his newfound problems to her, such as growing in size, she takes him to Yellow Diamond to fix his physical form. Yellow Diamond is now able to permanently change physical forms with her electricity powers, and demonstrates this on Spinel, making her arms big and her feet little. When Steven tells Yellow Diamond he doesn't want to be changed based on appearance, Yellow suggests Blue for some emotional help. Spinel enthusiastically takes him to go see Blue, who tells him her tears are now vaporized into "happy clouds" and Spinel suggests he tries this. Blue sings her song, and Spinel happily plays on the clouds and hugs Blue. When Steven tells Blue he would rather be better than feel better, she sends him along with Spinel to White Diamond as it's seen as a "matter of self-worth". Spinel tells Steven that White Diamond's newfound powers work in reverse, allowing common-folk Gems to project themselves and control White rather than her controlling them. White shows Steven this by asking Spinel if she wants to demonstrate (to which she very happily agrees) and controls White. While controlling White, White Diamond turns the same shades of pink as Spinel and follows Spinel's movements like a puppet as well as says what she says. Spinel does some dancing before White regains control. White then tells Spinel to leave them alone for a second, and she obliges and leaves with a tiny peek inside before the doors close. After Steven has an unintentional outburst, he runs away and Spinel follows him and asks him where he is going. He asks her how she dealt with her feelings (regarding Pink) and she replies that she doesn't have those feelings anymore since she met him. Then she begins to belt out a few verses (as well as re-enacting) his song "Change" in an off-key tune. She is last seen with the Diamonds as they chase after Steven, visibly concerned about his well-being.
Spinel appears alongside the Diamonds when they travel to Earth via the Diamond Mech to return Steven's missing flip-flop. Like the Diamonds, Spinel is surprised to see Steven as a large monster when they arrive. Later, Spinel cries and feels guilty at the fact that she was one of the causes of Steven's transformation, as she had tried to leave Steven alone with amnesiac friends on a barren world and then attempted to kill him. Afterward, Connie tells everyone to stop feeling sorry for themselves and instead support Steven in his moment of need, so Spinel along with everyone else comforts him. Spinel is seen at the end of the episode looking at Steven as he turns back to normal, with tears in her eyes.
She presumably has standard Gem abilities.
- Elasticity: Seemingly looking like an old-fashioned cartoon, Spinel's attack patterns and movements are akin as well. She is extremely elastic and malleable, able to stretch her limbs and torso to great lengths and inflate body parts to strengthen her attacks. She uses this to increase the range of her attacks, able to reach enemies from a distance. She can also coil her extended limbs to form a spring with an inflated fist at the end. She even displayed the ability to become as flat as the ground and slither across it, in an almost semi-liquid like state. She's even able to coil one of her fingers into making a type of horn that activates and deactivates her injector. There appears to be no limit as to how far she can stretch.
- Rubber Physiology: Spinel also possesses physiology similar to rubber or putty. This allows her to jump great distances and bounce off surfaces; this is exploited when Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl stretch and then shoot her body like a slingshot.
- Twister Dash: She has the ability, when dashing at Steven, to dash in the style of a twister due to her elasticity and physiology similar to rubber or putty.
- Figure-Eight: In "Homeworld Bound", she is shown to be able to run incredibly quickly, making her legs look like a figure eight, similar to the "Super Peel Out" from Sonic The Hedgehog CD.
- Spin Dash: In "Homeworld Bound", she's able to dash similarly to Amethyst and Jasper.
- Scythe Proficiency: The non-summoned weapon Spinel wields is a Gem Rejuvenator that has the appearance of a scythe. Spinel was adept enough at wielding it that she was easily able to defeat three of the Crystal Gems with one strike. In conjunction with the weapon, Spinel's ability to stretch works greatly in her favor as it allows her to greatly increase the range of the scythe, allowing her to swipe at many different angles and increase the power behind it when she stretches far enough allowing the recoil to strengthen the attack made by the weapon.
- Gem Injector
- Gem Rejuvenator: She obtained this via access to Pink Diamond's armory and used it against the Crystal Gems until it was destroyed by Steven.
♫ And then she smiled, that's what I'm after,
|—Steven Universe: The Movie|
Spinel was Pink Diamond's playmate and "best friend". Created solely to entertain Pink, Spinel considered herself to be Pink's best friend, and for a time, the two were inseparable. However, they gradually grew apart as Pink yearned to have a colony of her own. Oblivious to this, Spinel continued to attempt to entertain Pink, her attitude now seeming more immature in comparison. She also became clingy; upon Pink's allocation of Earth as her colony by the Diamonds, Spinel was intent on joining Pink on this new endeavor.
Very reluctant to allow Spinel to join her, Pink created a "new game" to get rid of her from her side, in which Spinel should wait for her return in the same spot, and never move. Spinel obliged and waited over 6,000 years for Pink's return. When Spinel finally realized that Pink had abandoned her after watching Steven's announcement on the Diamond Communicator, hurt and sorrow consumed Spinel, resulting in her taking on her current form and hunting down Steven to take revenge on Pink.
While singing to Steven, Spinel expresses her belief that Pink does not care about her, though it is unknown whether this is indeed true. In spite of her newfound hatred towards Pink, Spinel fondly reminisces over the fun times the two of them had together, and happily tells the Diamonds they remind her so much of Pink.
What am I doing? Why do I wanna hurt you so bad? I'm supposed to be a friend! ...I just wanna be a friend...
|—Steven Universe: The Movie|
Spinel sought out revenge on Steven due to him being the descendant of Pink Diamond, as stated by his broadcast, and she was jealous of the fact that he, or "Pink", now had new friends that were not herself. Hurt by Pink's abandonment, she vowed to destroy Steven's new friends and the planet that Pink had loved so much. Steven accidentally poofs her, perceiving her as a threat once she has poofed Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl.
However, upon her regeneration, the two become mutual acquaintances, with Spinel resuming her 'Best Friend' status with Steven, as she did with Pink. The two are inseparable, with the relationship heavily skewed; coming mostly from Spinel. Upon a small disagreement where Spinel sees Steven caring more for his friends than her, she flees to Pink Diamond's Garden, where she tells Steven the story of her past. Moved, and desperate to redeem the Gem, Steven brings Spinel back to the Gems and Connie, who, after initially being wary, agree to let Steven help Spinel to deactivate the Injector.
Upon deactivating it, Spinel is once again hurt by Steven's reaction; she claims he only needed her for the Injector, and did not want to be her friend. Reverting to her old behavior, Spinel attacks Steven and briefly holds Garnet hostage, before retreating to the top of the Injector.
Steven ascends the injector to talk to Spinel, and they fight until it becomes apparent she has lost her motivation to destroy him and regrets her actions up until that point. Steven, now fully reunited with his powers, comforts her and claims she can start fresh with new people to be her friends. The Injector promptly explodes due to the battle, and Steven saves Spinel by entrapping her in his bubble alongside him. Steven then attempts to comfort her again, as Spinel decides she has created too much damage and must leave. The Diamonds then arrive, ready to confront Steven about where they will live, and Steven introduces Spinel to them, thus giving her the new friends he promised.
In "Homeworld Bound", Spinel is quick to greet Steven and tries her best to help him with his problem by taking him to the other Diamonds. After the advice of the other Diamonds fails, she says that Steven is the reason she was able to change for the better, giving him his own advice to try to help him. She also shows to harbor great affection for him as her eyes turn to hearts when she sees him and kisses him on the face.
And Pink Diamond's Pearl! Well! She took you with her. Isn't that just...swell?!
|—Steven Universe: The Movie|
The two were acquainted with one another as members of Pink Diamond's court, but presumably never interacted much. When Spinel and Pearl encountered each other for the first time in thousands of years, Pearl experienced shock over Spinel's return.
While the two never interact properly it seems that Spinel holds a fair amount of resentment towards Pearl since Pink Diamond took Pearl with her to earth but left Spinel behind. This is evident when Spinel mentions it and is barely able to keep herself from screaming in anger.
Yellow, Blue, and White DiamondThe other Diamonds were acquainted with her thousands of years ago, as Spinel remarked that they saw her before; it isn't known how much or in which way they previously interacted, however. The only known past instance of Spinel encountering the other Diamonds is when Pink was being told about her receiving her colony by Blue and Yellow, with White being absent. All three were unaware that Pink left Spinel abandoned within her garden, nor did they seem to remember her at all in the first place. Upon their first encounter with Spinel in millennia, the once oblivious Diamonds seem to remember Spinel immediately, Yellow even calling her "Pink's little playmate"; She is shown to be amused by Spinel's jokes and antics. As for Blue Diamond, she calls Spinel one of "Pink's lost treasures" and shows sympathy after learning of her abandonment by Pink, but takes a liking to Spinel primarily due to her resemblance to the latter. White proposes the idea of taking Spinel to Homeworld with them and letting her stay in the Diamond Palace, to which Spinel agrees, expressing gratitude for being able to try her hand at making friends again.
In "Homeworld Bound", it is evident that Spinel and the Diamonds have become good friends, as they welcome her whenever she enters their rooms, and Spinel enjoys it when they use their newfound powers on her.
|Steven Universe: The Movie:||Debut|
|1. "Little Homeschool":||Absent||11. "In Dreams":||Mentioned|
|2. "Guidance":||Absent||12. "Bismuth Casual":||Absent|
|3. "Rose Buds":||Absent||13. "Together Forever":||Absent|
|4. "Volleyball":||Absent||14. "Growing Pains":||Absent|
|5. "Bluebird":||Absent||15. "Mr. Universe":||Absent|
|6. "A Very Special Episode":||Absent||16. "Fragments":||Absent|
|7. "Snow Day":||Absent||17. "Homeworld Bound":||Appears|
|8. "Why So Blue?":||Absent||18. "Everything's Fine":||Absent|
|9. "Little Graduation":||Absent||19. "I Am My Monster":||Appears|
|10. "Prickly Pair":||Absent||20. "The Future":||Absent|
- Rebecca Sugar stated Pink Diamond abandoned Spinel because she found her grating and overwhelming and "Pink...wanted to feel like she was moving forward. This Gem was given to her to placate her in a certain way, and she was ready to move on. She wasn’t really thinking about how that would affect other people because she tends to not think about that. That’s a bit of a recurring theme for her. I think there’s a quality to Spinel that’s also about our young audience having grown up, and all the kids that have grown out of the show and left it behind, and how silly it can feel to be here working so hard to make this cartoon when there are people who will just leave. Pink, she grew out of her. It doesn’t excuse what she did. It absolutely doesn’t because it was very cruel, but she can be very cruel." She also stated that what she wanted people to take away from the movie and Spinel's character arc was that it's alright to be a work in progress and it's you who needs to want to change and get better.
- Spinel's existence and backstory are tied to an event in Sugar's childhood: she left a cherished stuffed rabbit in her garden and when she discovered it half a year later it had changed independently. This was also the source of inspiration for the song "Everything Stays" that Sugar composed and performed for Adventure Time which she storyboarded before leaving.
- Spinel was designed to look like an "out-of-date cartoon that never evolved" and her movements were deliberate references to Grim Natwick and Ub Iwerks's productions. Her design, gloves, first form's pupils and stretching abilities were based on old-fashioned cartoon characters of the early 1900s-era rubber hose animation style, having limbs bending and stretching freely with no articulation. Her opening song matched this being similar to jazz or ragtime songs in these cartoons. She tended to add old slang words into her speech such as "swell" and "gee" which were often used during the time rubber hose animation was popular. She also spoke with a slight New York accent referencing the speaking style of such cartoon characters.
- Her hair was similar to Mickey Mouse's ears; regardless of which direction she faced it always stayed along the outline of her head. While her original form resembled Mickey her new form resembled Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a character created by Iwerks and Walt Disney who was the predecessor of Mickey.
- Spinel also seemed to be inspired by or at least meant to be a court jester of sorts, having been created strictly to entertain royalty.
- Her squeaky feet were similar to the squeaky shoes of SpongeBob SquarePants from the eponymous TV series.
- Her stretching ability was similar to Jake the Dog from Adventure Time. They could also be a nod to Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece which Sugar was a huge fan of and used as inspiration; Spinel even displayed similar attacks. Her scythe attacks were also similar to Maka Albarn from Soul Eater. Her design and personality were also reminiscent of Harley Quinn from DC Comics as Spinel and Harley were both modeled after jesters or clowns and all had colorful appearances and erratically violent but disturbingly playful personalities.
- The transformation back to her altered form was similar to the transformations in magical girl anime. Additionally, the buns of her hair were reminiscent of Chibiusa Tsukino and Chibi Chibi from Sailor Moon.
- Her name was alluded to in some of the earliest promotional materials where her gemstone was spinning. The spinning gemstone in the promo was also most likely a reference to her gemstone which was revealed to be rotated upside down.
- Spinel is the only Gem besides her Diamond to have rotated her gemstone's position.
- Along with Carnelian, Holly Blue Agate, Emerald, Bixbite, Larimar and Snowflake Obsidian, she is the sole individual of her Gem-type seen in full detail.
- Spinel's associated instrument is distorted Mellotron strings.
- In real life, spinel is believed to dispel negative energies through purification in addition to increasing creativity and preserving youthfulness. While the former aspect could've been analogous to her old personality, the latter might've been an ironic jab towards her use of the Rejuvenator.
- Several notable spinels have been used as crown jewels giving them significant associations and close connections with royalty similar to the character's connection to Pink Diamond.
- In Spinel's original/reset form her three eyelashes are above her eyes. In her current form, these lines are thicker and below her eyes. In addition to referencing her rotated gemstone, they also resemble running mascara from crying.
- She was one of the few Gems aside from Lapis Lazuli, Peridot, "Squaridot" and Hessonite to fully — if not immediately — recognize Steven as his own being opposed to an extension of Rose Quartz and/or Pink Diamond and understand he was neither from the get-go as even other Crystal and Homeworld Gems had difficulty making the distinctions.
- In her original design, Spinel's head was going to be a giant heart.
| Spinel's gemstone is located on her chest. Its shape is that of an upside-down heart.
|In Spinel's original form her gemstone is also located on her chest. Its shape is that of a heart like in her current form except it is right-side up.|