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Snowlems
The Magic Snowman. On Crack.

"By the power invested in me by the mighty and awful snow demons, I command you to come to life! LIVE! LIVE! LIVVVE!"

Snowlems (a portmanteau of Snow Golems) are living snowmen, often complete with stovepipe hats, lumps of coal for eyes, and carrots for noses. Genre writers with a sense of humor may cast them as Ice Elementals. There are three varieties of Snowlems:

Version I. The Friendly Snowlem: Also known as the "Frosty the Snowman" variety, they often are simply snowmen constructed by cute kids and animated by Christmas magic.

Version II. The Human Snowlem: This is where a human is transformed into a snowman, sometimes after an accident or due to some Applied Phlebotinum. Depending on who the person is, it may overlap with Versions I or III.

Version III: The Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snowlem: The snowman is something to be feared. Perhaps it's some supernatural monstrosity shaped into a snowman or perhaps a serial killer back to life or maybe it was simply evil snow, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is... oh my god, he just killed that guy with a carrot!

Snowlems sometimes get into Snowball Fights.

See also Improvised Golems.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 

  • Lipton's corporation ran a series of ads for its iced tea products, in which an animate snowman skeleton wanders into a convenience store in the dead of summer, downs a bottle of iced tea, and recrystalizes into a decidely sinister-looking snowman. Who then steals a carrot and stalks-off.
  • Conversely, there was an oft-repeated ad for Campbell's soup which began with a small snowman walking inside a house to get a bowl of soup, and melting away as the soup warms it up... revealing it was really a boy underneath.
  • Ice Mountain bottled water often featured a constantly-melting snowman who needed replenishing with the titular bottled water.
  • Irn Bru parody of the flight sequence from The Snowman (see Western Animation).

     Anime and Manga  

  • One episode of Cardcaptor Sakura from the third season had crazy snowmen.
  • Chilly from the Kirby anime falls under this trope. Gamewise, it's debatable.
  • These are created in Berserk when evil spirits attack the Weirdness Magnet hero during a snowstorm.
    • This happens during the Millennium Falcon arc of the manga (which has nothing to do with Star Wars), and as a result, the Playstation 2 Berserk game has Guts taking his BFS to them during the first part of the game, eventually having to face a boss Snowlem.
  • Created by Giriko in Soul Eater, they were used as the attack forces from Aracnophobia during the battle for "BREW".
  • Digimon has had several different Snowlems, the most prominent being Frigimon.
  • Urd created a Snowlem to assist her in a Snowball Fight with Skuld in the OAV.
  • A surprisingly good anime-only episode of Ranma 1/2 had both an uncontrollable snowlem and a friendly, but confused yuki-onna show up to cover the entire town in a blizzard. As it was made entirely of snow, it could regenerate any damage insantly. Its only weakness was the red gem it used as an "eye" —which, conveniently enough, was very vulnerable to Ryouga's Breaking Point technique. It still didn't stop until the yuki-onna used her flute to calm the monster down, at which point the eye became blue.

     Comic Books  

  • The Snowman, a wordless graphic novel by Raymond Briggs about a small boy whose snowman comes to life and takes him on a magical journey.
  • The image at the top of the page comes from an issue of Strange Adventures called "Invaders from the Ice World", which is a brain-breaking example of What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs??
    • Also, this issue of Action Comics has Snow Superman fighting what appears to be a Gentleman Snowman.
  • Supes also battles a literal snow golem (Hebrew words on the forehead and everything) in a recent DC comics holiday special.
  • The Blue Snowman (an old Wonder Woman foe) looks like this, but is actually a human woman in a bulky costume.
  • Adult comic Viz used to run a seasonal parody of The Snowman, with a violent, foul-mouthed snowman taking the human boy on a drinking and gambling spree.
  • An arguable example in Sonic the Comic, which had a story where Amy Rose tangled with "the Snownik", one of Robotnik's odder (and dumber) creations. It was sort of a Snowlem with robot bits - whether the snow was just covering for an all-robotic interior or not wasn't revealed.
  • In an issue of Tales of the TMNT, the turtles, Splinter, Casey, April, and Shadow have their Christmas ruined by a snowlem sent by a Foot operative.
  • An Italian horror comic ran a story about a town that was slaughtered by a group of living snowmen who turned out to be aliens that assumed the form of the first thing they encountered when they landed on Earth.
  • The ultimate example of Version III has to be The Mighty Thor's enemy Ymir, the colossal king of the Frost Giants, basically a homocidal walking glacier.

    Film 

    Literature 

  • Mr. Snow in the Mr. Men books was created by Santa Claus as an assistant.
  • In Discworld, the Ice Giants often mentioned to be at war with the gods have eyes of coal and snowmen are stated to be idols built by human racial memory.
    • And then there's the Wintersmith...
    • Not to be confused with Yetis, which are trolls made of ice.
  • TheGoosebumps novel "Beware, the Snowman" centera around an evil snowman who is really a monster trapped in that form by a witch. A group of regular snowmen are later animated to help combat the monster when it is freed.

     Live Action TV  

  • Fozzie builds a snowman who comes to life in A Muppet Family Christmas. They're briefly a double act, but the snowman retreats outside due to heat and heckling.
  • The Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special featured an interesting case: Pee-wee builds a regular snowman, and Cowboy Curtis suggests that it'll come to life if they stare at it long enough. And it does, exclaiming, "Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer!"
  • The Doctor Who 2012 christmas episode has 'em, and they wear shark-toothed smiles.

    Music 

  • "Frosty the Snowman" actually started out as a song written by Walter "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson, and recorded by Gene Autry in 1950.

     Newspaper Comics  

  • In the Calvin and Hobbes Story Arc "Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons!", Calvin builds a snowman and decides to try to bring it to life. It works, and promptly starts trying to kill him. It then proceeds to start packing more snow onto itself, give itself extra arms and heads, and start making more. By the end of the story, there are about 17 of the things on his lawn and his parents are once again considering sending him to a therapist. He finally defeats them by spraying them with the hose, causing them to freeze solid.
  • Little Nemo had a great crowd of snowmen flinging countless snowballs at each other. Nemo gets a snowball on the nose while watching them.
  • The Strange Adventures of Frappe, the Snowman, and His Papa features a mischievous yet friendly living snowman.

     Tabletop Games  

  • The high-level "Simulacrum" spell in Dungeons & Dragons creates a low-power duplicate of a living being out of snow or ice. That's right, they're deranged mutant killer monster snowlems... and they walk among you!
    • Eve worse is the "Ice Assassin" spell, a Version III upgrade to the above. While a simulacrum could theoretically be put to benign use, an ice assassin's entire purpose is to kill whoever it's based on.
    • The Ravenloft setting perpetuates the proud Dungeons & Dragons tradition of "make golems of whatever you can think of" with... Snow Golems. They reappeared in the 3.5 supplement Frostburn.
  • An early Dragon Magazine (#35) had Version II Is with submachine guns on the cover. They don't appear in the magazine though.
  • The Ice Giants of Narandu in Talislanta are at very least strongly implied to be Snowlems (of the third variety).

    Theatre 

  • Cirque du Soleil's Wintuk show has a bunch of ten-foot ice golem-esque things come to life and attack the heroes. The golems are puppets, of course.
  • The Nagano Winter Olympics opening ceremonies had a set-piece in which the heroine was being chased by "living icicles" (okay, ice-skaters in icicle-themed costumes, but still).

    Toys 
  • In 2007, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane released a Version III Snowlem in Series 5 of his company's "Monsters" toyline.
  • Frozen Fright, an undead snowman, appeared in the Christmas-themed series of S.L.U.G. Zombies.

    Video Games 
  • Bible Buffet featured killer snowmen as one of the villains. Because that was totally predicted in the Bible.
  • Noah's Ark, a Konami game, features a killer snowman at the end of the Antarctica stages.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has ninja snowman enemies.
    • The multiplayer "clan dungeon" Hobopolis has a snowman hobo named Frosty as a mini-boss.
  • Regice is a Legendary Pokémon made entirely of Antarctic ice. Bonus points also for actually being a golem.
  • Snow Bros., a 1990 arcade game, had two snowball-throwing snowmen as the heroes.
  • Clayfighter had Bad Mr. Frosty, a badass Anti-Hero snowman.
  • Super Mario 64 had some enemy snowmen in Cool Cool Mountain and go under the name 'Mr. Blizzard'.
  • Games created with Power Game Factory can include living snowmen as enemies.
  • The Adventure game Simon the Sorcerer had one of these as an obstacle. You get past him by eating some mints.
  • Banjo-Kazooie featured a rather annoying variant in which the only way to defeat them was to knock off their stove-top hats with a difficult aerial maneuver. And they laughed at you the whole time.
  • A Wintersday quest in Guild Wars features characters chasing down familiar-sounding ingredients (button, two pieces of coal, corncob pipe, magic hat) to make Freezie, the Greatest Snowman Ever Made. Freezie and other snowmennote  also show up in other Wintersday quests, and populate the Secret Lair of the Snowmen dungeon in Eye of the North. For the children!
  • One of the unlockable skins in some of the Ratchet & Clank games is that of a snowman. A Snowlem with a BFG. You may quake in fear now.
  • Various 'Winter Events' in City of Heroes have involved menacing Type III Snowlems of varrying sizes - including towering 'Giant Monster' versions that requires several entire TEAMS of Superheroes to defeat.
    • The summonable pet for the Ice Controller class was a snowman, aptly named Jack Frost.
  • Earthworm Jim had a fire-breathing snowman as the Mini-Boss of the Hell Heck level.
  • Jack Frost is Atlus' mascot for a reason; he appears in just about every Shin Megami Tensei game, and he's going to beat the living "hee-ho" out of you.
    • Except in in the Persona series where he's on your side.
    • Two additional varieties exist: King Frost, a Jack Frost so massive that it rests on piles of hundreds of ordinary Jack Frosts and make them look like ants, and who has the power to freeze the entire world... but he's too absent-minded and cheerful to actually do it. Black Frost, on the other hand, is a nasty-looking Jack Frost who has "remembered he's a demon" and isn't even vulnerable to fire anymore.
  • Donkey Kong Country 3 had a snowball-chucking (and snow-cannonball-shooting - thanks to a cannon hidden in his top hat) snowman as the boss of the K3 zone. He had to be defeated by chucking snowballs at the glowing spot on his scarf in the style of the Swanky's Sideshow minigames.
  • In World of Warcraft ice elementals arguably qualify. Technically they're a hybrid elemental of air and water. Their leader is Ahune the Frost Lord, who shows up as part of the Midsummer Fire Festival event. You can also turn yourself into one of these using a Winter Veil item.
  • In Animal Crossing you can make snowmen who will give you furniture and other goodies, but only if you get their proportions right. New Leaf has a whole family of snow-people (Snowman, his wife Snowmam, older son Snowboy, and younger son Snowtyke), each with a different set of items they can give you.
  • AdventureQuest has the recurring Harmless Villain "Frosty the Snow Golem." It's that kind of game.
  • In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards you can turn Kirby into a walking snowman by inhaling the ice and bomb powers together. A walking, exploding snowman.
  • The second big boss of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is a hulking ice golem. The fastest non-magical, non-flammable way to defeat it is to chip away at it with an axe.
  • One snow area in Star Ocean: The Second Story had snowmen as random encounters.
  • In Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken, Yuki Shirogane, a Snow Girl with great magic powers, is able to create those. She gave life to one named Yukidaruman (a Japanese pun between "Yukidaruma", Japanese for "snowman", and "Man") at the age of 3. She tried to create another, giant one at age 7, but her attempt failed horribly, the snowlem crumbling and burying her in snow; she narrowly escaped death thanks to her father rescuing her.
  • Minecraft includes the ability to create snow golems (basically a snowman with a carved pumpkin head), who serve as a friendly mob, throwing snowballs at aggressive mobs to divert their attention and leaving trails of snow as they walk around.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game didn't do Snow Golems, but the earlier 1990 version for the Sega Genesis did. In fact, the Apartment level had two: the middle-boss Crysta Robo (an ice golem that could shoot lightning) and a Snowman that could spawn mini-Snow Golems.
  • In the level Frozen Altars in Spyro: Year of the Dragon, there are a couple Type III Snowlems as enemies, who can only be killed by lasers.
  • Terraria has an entire army of these, called the Frost Legion, which will attack you if you use a snow globe to summon them. They come in Knife Nut, gangster and snowball-throwing versions.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has Eenos, lumps of snow that hurl snowballs at you. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has them on the overworld map where they pop up and attack your Cool Train.
  • You play a heroic snowlem in The Caverns Of Hammerfest.
  • The TimeSplitters series featured a character named the Snowman, who rides on a magic rug instead of running on legs. According to its gallery description, it was brought to life by a child's wish, who then proceeded to traverse time and space in search of death and glory ...and maybe some legs, too.
  • Kickle Cubicle had snowman enemies who had a freezing breath attack like Kickle's, which they were immune to.
  • Battletoads had evil snowmen engaging the 'Toads in snowball fights in the Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
  • In the Final Mix version of Kingdom Hearts II, Donald Duck is turned into a snowduck whenever he is in Christmas Town, which fits with the Christmas theme that the party take on, with Sora being a vampire with a black Santa attire, and Goofy becoming half-dog, half reindeer
  • Fallen London had a seasonal event in January 2014 in which the player character could make a Friendly Snowlem duplicate of themself out of Neath-snow, known as a noman. The noman had a form of Hit Points to track how much it had melted, which took a steep hit at the end of each week but could be bolstered with a few rare and valuable items. There was also a mechanic encouraging the player to spend time teaching their quirk qualities to the noman, with a reward for getting them up high enough if the noman didn't die before that. Most of the nomen had melted after about three weeks (we're not kidding about the unforgiving melt rate). A few lasted longer; the March seasonal event had a couple of branches that tied in with this storyline, but those were the extreme outliers.

    Web Animation 
  • Blue Laser Commander announces his intention of making super-soldiers out of snow ("They're called 'Super-Snowldiers,' thank you very much!") as soon as he can find some carrots.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Whateley Universe story "There's an Angel in Father John's Basement" plays with this: The third-rate mystic villain trio after the power of the titular 'Angel' find a magical tome which will let them unleash an evil so powerful that all the major superheroes in New York will have to fight it. To do this, they build themselves an army of evil Santas and mobile, energy-absorbing snowmen. The prophecy comes true when the individual snowmen eventually combine into Ymir in the middle of New York...
  • Freaky the Scary Snowman, a prank done by some folks in Rhode Island, draws some inspiration from this.
  • Hybrid webcomic/browser game Demon Thesis features groups of these as recurring enemies for a significant chunk of the story of the story.

    Western Animation 
  • The original Frosty the Snowman animated television Christmas Special was aired on December 7, 1969. What followed were several sequels: Frosty's Winter Wonderland in 1976, Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July in 1979, and Frosty Returns in 1992.
  • They were all follow-ups to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which was narrated by Sam the Snowman, a Version I snowlem patterned after Burl Ives. (Ironically, Sam's comment to the viewers, "What's the matter? Haven't you ever seen a talking snowman before?" was some rather unintentional Foreshadowing of the later special.)
  • Bouli was a French animated television series that aired from 1989 to 1991, where the moon magically animated the snowman Bouli and his friends and they set up a snowman village in the woods.
  • The Kim Possible half-episode "Day of the Snowmen" involved a weather machine and toxic water from Lake Wannaweep creating mutant zombie snowmen.
    Ron: ...They don't seem like jolly, happy souls.
  • A classic 1968 Spider-Man (1967) short, "Trouble With Snow", also featured a giant snowman made from tainted snow and brought to life by downed power lines.
  • Xiaolin Showdown, "The Deep Freeze." It helps to have the mystical Heart of Jong that can animate inanimate objects.
  • The first South Park short was called "Jesus vs. Frosty" and involved four kids animating a snowman - who turns out to be an insane killer who sprouts tentacles.
  • There was a short cartoon called Earth Versus Everything, which featured giant mutant killer snowmen brought to life by radiation from nuclear tests. It was a very silly cartoon.
  • The famous British short film The Snowman ("we're walking in the air") features a living snowman who can even fly to Lapland for a snowman party. Shown every Christmas on Channel Four.
    • There's a 1930-era cartoon The Snowman that starts off pleasantly enough as an Eskimo boy and his animal pals build a snowman, but it turns into a version III that goes on a psycho rampage (even eating one of the critters!) - the kid runs to a control room and starts up machinery that cranks up the sun, and the Snowlem melts in ghastly death-throes.
  • Used by Dao Lon Wong in the Christmas Episode of Jackie Chan Adventures.
  • Robot Chicken had a small bit where two police snowmen were at a puddle:
    Officer A: That's all that's left of him, poor bastard.
    Officer B: *Turns on radio* Suspect died of... natura-natural causes. *sniff*
    • They also have several skits with "Composite Santa" who is half evil-Santa and half evil-Frosty. Temperatures over 32 degrees causes half of him to melt and kills him.
    • "Haaaappy Birthd—OHGOD!!!"
  • The Simpsons Did It, of course, in the episode where Homer and Burns were trapped in a cabin buried in an avalanche. Burns created armies of snowmen, which came alive and fought against Homer's army of former political figures he summoned by "political powers". It was all just a hallucination, but still...
    • Earlier, a delirious Burns suggested that the snowmen they had made (and given their clothes to) to stave off cabin fever might be alive and try to kill them.
    • In another episode, Bart has a dream that he visits the North Pole to get revenge on Santa. Two living snowmen try to stop him but he defeats them by simply turning up the heat.
  • A freezing villain makes version III snowlems in an episode of Johnny Test.
  • The Monster of the Week in an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog. As the last of the snowmen, his nefarious scheme is to extract the anti-melting gene from humans and implant it into himself, allowing him to outlive the inevitable warming of the earth. Also he speaks with a Scottish accent. Take from that what you will.
    Snow Man: "The name's Man. Snow Man."
    • He shows up in a later episode and freezes Courage's house and owners to make a cozy home for himself. Courage retaliates by going to the North Pole, sewing up the hole in the ozone layer, and making it cold enough to revive the last snowman's snowfriends, who previously melted.
  • The snow soldiers from the three part Christmas Special of Bump in the Night
  • Arktos, the main villain of Tabaluga, is an Evil Overlord snowman who wishes to cover the world in ice and snow.
  • Der Schneemann or The Snowman was a short animated film made in Nazi Germany by Hans Fischerkoesen. (Excerpt here.)
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Heloise hears about snow, her first thought is of her leading an army of these in battle.
  • The Abominable Snowman from House of Mouse actually looks like this and nothing like an actual Yeti at all.
  • The Abominable Snowkoopa from The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 was created by Big Mouth to terrorize the penguins of Antarctica in the episode "7 Continents for 7 Koopas".
  • An episode of Mona the Vampire had Chilly, a snowman with freeze powers and the inexplicable ability to drive one of those big snow blower trucks.
  • A group of these that showed up in the Martin Mystery Christmas Episode could vomit quick freezing slush.
  • One of these is unleashed by Santa's elves in the American Dad! episode "For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls". It is blown up with a barrel of moonshine.
  • Features in the Adventure Time episode "Thank You"; it's not exactly any of the above-mentioned types, being somewhere between types one and three, but not malevolent. The episode is about a chance meeting it has with a fire wolf pup that hasn't learned to hate it yet (fire wolves and snow golems being natural enemies) and the golem's quest to return it to its family in spite of the danger this poses the golem. The episode ends with the snow golem and the fire wolf herd being on good terms, and according to the game, the fire wolf pup still lives with the snow golem, making occasional trips to visit its family.
    • The Ice King can also create living snow-creatures with his magic. He doesn't do it often, though, and they're not particularly useful when he does. (They're prone to attack him instead of his enemies, for some reason.)
  • In The Legend of Korra, Ikki suggests that Katara use waterbending to make snowmen chase the children for fun.

    Real Life 

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alternative title(s): Snow Golem; Living Snowman; Animated Snowman; Sentient Snowman; Living Snowmen; Snowlem
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