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Characters / Steven Universe Spinel

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WARNING! Unmarked spoilers for season 5 and Steven Universe: The Movie!

Voiced by: Sarah Stiles; Taryn Szpilman (Brazilian Portuguese dub)
"Oh, that's right, I heard the story over and over again.
Gee, it's swell to finally beat her other friends!"
Click here for her original form  

"Who am I? WHO AM I?! What are you even saying?
I'm the loser of the game you didn't know you were playing!"

The main antagonist of Steven Universe: The Movie, a pink Gem with long, rubbery limbs. She holds a deep grudge against Steven for some reason and wants to perform a Happy Ending Override by destroying him and all organic life on Earth with a giant injector.

In truth, though, her grudge lies with Steven's mother, Pink Diamond (a.k.a. Rose Quartz), as Spinel was created to be her playmate. Now, she seeks revenge on Steven because his mother abandoned her 6,000 years ago when she first got her colony on Earth.


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  • All for Nothing: Her motives for attacking Steven stem from Pink Diamond's last order for her; Pink would only come back to play with her after leaving to work on her brand new colony if Spinel stayed put in her garden and did not move. One series and a movie opening sequence 6,000 years later, Spinel, who has vines growing all over her because she has not moved from her spot, finds out that not only is her Diamond no more, she made other friends...
  • Ambiguous Disorder: It's been suggested by many that Spinel has Borderline Personality Disorder, with features of all the subtypes. Most tellingly is by her own admission at the end she has no real idea why she wants to hurt Steven as bad as she does.
  • Amnesiac Villain Joins the Heroes: Her Identity Amnesia-inducing Rejuvenator scythe gets used against her, resetting her to her original friendly and childish personality, and she immediately decides to be Steven's friend. However, Steven has to restore her memories to get rid of the injector, as she's the only one who knows how to control it. He's at first able to do so without making her his enemy again; however, Spinel's trust in Steven falls apart because she concludes he was just using her, and afterward would deliberately erase her memories again to keep her a gullible idiot and/or abandon her entirely.
  • And I Must Scream: Pink ordered her to remain standing in her garden until Pink came back for her. For over 6,000 years, Spinel remained at her station, alone, all the while believing that her Diamond would return, and wondering if she had done something wrong to cause her mistress to leave her for so long.
  • Animal Motif: Her hair resembles bunny ears in both of her forms, which is especially noticeable with her lengthy pigtails in her present form. Given her status as a walking cartoon, this might call to mind a certain wascally wabbit in particular, but several of her 'Mickey-esque' design elements such as her puffy shorts combined with being abandoned and forgotten for so long make this feel like a tragic parallel to Oswald, especially to how he appeared in Epic Mickey.
  • Anti-Villain: Spinel is less acting out of malice and more out of pain at 6000 years of torture and being abandoned by the person she cared about most. At the climax she agonizes over not knowing why she’s attacking Steven even after realizing she doesn’t want to.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Both her toy-like appearance and animation styled after 20's and 30's cartoons reference that she has been abandoned long ago by her owner who had since moved on to grown-up activities.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Spinel was originally quite easily distracted, prone to bouncing all over the place, very goofy, and had poor social skills.
  • Ax-Crazy: Her deranged laughter and brutal tactics against the heroes make it clear that she has more than a few screws loose. Then again, considering she spent 6,000 years alone in an abandoned garden, of course she would have lost her sanity.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: While she becomes dirtier after staying in an abandoned garden alone for 6,000 years and also becomes rooted to the ground, her cute appearance stays cute. This is also true for the creepier appearance she takes after turning evil, which Blue Diamond finds "adorable".
  • Beware the Silly Ones: She's Homeworld's equivalent of a court jester and looks and moves like a character from an old 1930s cartoon. She quickly establishes herself as one of the most dangerous characters in the series, swiftly defeating the Crystal Gems and coming dangerously close to destroying Earth. Especially notable is that thanks to the lesser censorship of the movie, she actually explicitly says she wants to kill Steven, and even makes him bleed.
  • Big Bad: She is the main antagonist of the movie, with a plan to destroy all life on Earth via "bio-poison", although not without reason...
  • Big "SHUT UP!": She fiercely rebukes Steven's initial attempts to reform her.
    Spinel: Just can it, won't ya?! You can't just make everything better by singing some STUPID SONG!
  • Bigger Stick: Her abilities make her pretty formidable in a fight, but what made her especially dangerous during her first confrontation with the Crystal Gems was that she had brought along a Rejuvenator, which inflicts a One-Hit KO and Identity Amnesia on any Gem it hits. Unfortunately for Spinel, she ends up in a rematch with the Crystal Gems without it, and gets pretty decisively thrashed. As a non-combat oriented gem with no apparent training or experience, it makes sense she would use an overpowered weapon as a crutch and be less effective without it.
  • Birds of a Feather: Part of the reason Spinel instantly bonds with the rest of the Diamonds and decides to go back to Homeworld with them is that both parties recognise they share similar experiences with Pink. Despite being abandoned by her both Spinel and the Diamonds still miss Pink and want to fill that void with somebody similar, though not 100% the same as, their lost friend/family member.
  • Blow That Horn: Horn of Destruction variant; she controls her super injector by blowing a horn she forms by stretching out her pinky. In the climax she commands it to dump its entire payload at once with an even larger horn she made out of all her fingers.
  • Body Motifs: Hearts and, to a lesser extent, limbs:
    • She was designed to be Pink Diamond's personal best friend, acting as her jester, her playmate, and her biggest supporter. Effectively, she was The Heart for Pink, and wore her emotions on her sleeve. When Pink got her first colony Spinel was ecstatic for her Diamond and expected to come along with her best friend, but Pink had seemingly grown bored with her (like a child losing interest in an old toy after a new, better one is given to them), and told Spinel to wait for her in the Garden until she came back. She optimistically believed that Pink would be back any day for her, believing with all her heart that it would be any day now. When Steven's message finally arrived 6,000 years later, she was heartbroken to learn that Pink had abandoned her, and flipped her gem as well as her demeanor, growing obsessed with destroying everything that Pink loved more than her. Ultimately, it's Steven reminding Spinel that she's supposed to be The Heart that finally gets her to relent, but her trauma is going to take a long time to heal fully.
    • Most of her offensive capability comes from how malleable and far-reaching her limbs are, and she often uses them to wrap up other characters. For her original self, it showed how affectionate and huggy she could be, since she just wants to be friends with everyone and make people laugh with her japes and antics. After Pink's abandonment, she becomes a Yandere that wants to wring the life out of the one thing Pink loved more than her; the Earth.
  • Bookends: Her emotional arc in the Movie. It begins with her finding out Pink Diamond abandoned her and replaced her with other friends. It ends with the other Diamonds welcoming her into their family, not as a replacement for Pink, but as another friend.
  • Boring, but Practical: Her plan involves poisoning all life on Earth with what amounts to a super injector full of bio-poison, all to kill Steven in what Peridot estimates to be about 41 hours. Compared to Yellow Diamond's plan to use the Cluster to blow up the Earth, using millions of gem shards and waiting thousands of years for it to hatch, Spinel's plan was much less showy, but gave the Crystal Gems a lot less time to work with, and, more importantly, could have killed Steven.
  • Break the Cutie: Big-time in her backstory. She was made to be Pink Diamond's adorable playmate and best friend, but once Pink got her own colony, she "outgrew" the purpose Spinel was made for, and left her behind in their garden, telling her to wait there until Pink came back. Except she never did, so Spinel stood rooted to the spot (eventually literally) for 6,000 years, only eventually finding out what happened to Pink via Steven's universe-wide transmission. She could only break down in tears when she realized she'd spent all that time waiting for someone who was never coming back for her, and the trauma and emotional turmoil causes her to just poof.
  • Broken Bird: Beneath all of her madness and hatred towards Steven and Pink Diamond, Spinel is a traumatized and emotionally scarred Gem that’s lashing out over being abandoned and left alone for six millennia.
  • Broken Tears: Due to her tragic background, Spinel sheds these quite a few times during the movie. This is especially true during her Villainous Breakdown, where she admits she doesn't know why she's attacking Steven since he's been nothing but nice to her, and that all Spinel really wants is just to be a friend.
  • Brooklyn Rage: A subtler example than most, but she occasionally manifests a Brooklyn accent when particularly excited or upset, befitting of her status as a homage to classic cartoons.
    Steven:Cause you~... you can make a change.
    Spinel: JUST CAN IT, WON'TCHA?
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Steven's Abel in the movie, due to their shared origins with Pink Diamond, who Spinel was originally made to entertain, behaving exactly like a child does during their time together in Pink's garden, not to mention Pink leaving her behind is clearly meant to parallel a case of Parental Abandonment.
  • The Cameo: In the story book "The Tale of Steven'' written by Sugar, White Diamond describes the ways the other Diamonds spoiled Pink. A picture of the garden is shown and Spinel's silhouette is seen in the background.
  • Character Development:
    • In "Homeworld Bound", she's willing to leave Steven and White some time to themselves, whereas before she always wanted to be by Pink's side.
    • In "I Am My Monster", she's shown to have developed enough of a conscience to deeply regret her actions from The Movie, blaming herself for Steven becoming a monster.
  • Character Tic: Her shoes make squeaky sounds when she walks, adding to her old-timey cartoon aesthetic.
  • Cheated Angle: Spinel's pigtails always stay the same, no matter what angle you're looking at her from. This may be a reference to Mickey Mouse's ears and how they always stay in profile, since Spinel herself is one big shout out to classic cartoons.
  • Cheery Pink: What she was before she got her heart broken.
  • Confusion Fu: All Gems can shapeshift, but Spinel makes extensive use of her rubbery stretching powers to entertain Pink Diamond. When she goes mad and takes on the Crystal Gems, she's able to run circles around the far more seasoned warriors thanks to her random, chaotic nature.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • The Diamond Authority was a group of powerful leaders, relied primarily on their subjects until they're pushed into fighting by themselves, and all have unique abilities. Spinel, on the other hand, was effectively Pink's court jester, more independent, and her primary means of fighting are a variation of the natural shapeshifting abilities of Gemkind.
    • Furthermore, while previous villains were enemies with Rose Quartz unaware of her real identity, and White Diamond's antagonism was born out of the mistaken belief Steven was Pink Diamond, Spinel's personal grudge is against Pink Diamond herself for abandoning her.
    • Also, unlike all previous villains, she fully comprehends that Steven is a human/Gem hybrid and not a full Gem like his mother and bases her plan off that.
    • Spinel's Non-Standard Character Design emphasizes her cartoony characteristics, in contrast to the more realistic or detailed looks of the Diamonds.
  • Court Jester: She served as a playmate to Pink Diamond, and was supposed to amuse her. Her clothes resemble a classic jester outfit, with pigtails instead of a two-pointed jester hat. As Pink Diamond was a monarch, it is fitting for her to have had a court jester.
  • Creepy Cute: While she herself may be ashamed of it, her second form is seen as this in-universe, with Blue Diamond cooing that she's "adorable" after seeing her clown around.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Spinel was created to entertain Pink Diamond, and when doing so she acted cheerful, silly, and dumb at all times. In her current state, she's skilled at wielding her Rejuvenator scythe and has learned to utilize her deformable body to attack and evade erratically enough that the Crystal Gems couldn't land a hit on her when she first arrived.
  • Cry Cute: Many times, but particularly after "Drift Away" and at the very end when she finally realizes she doesn't actually know why she's being so awful to Steven.
  • Cry Laughing: What she's reduced to in her final battle with Steven, as she realizes that she's essentially hurting someone who just wants to be the thing that she needs most... a friend.
  • Cuddle Bug: Spinel's default state is very physically affectionate with her "best friend", with her immediate action after reforming post-rejuvenation being to Glomp Steven while giggling wildly, and affectionately holding onto him (and, from what we see of their time together, Pink Diamond) quite a few times before her memories are restored. Lapses into No Sense of Personal Space with how this is usually met with varying degrees of uncomfortability combined with Spinel's general personality.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Thanks to her wacky movements catching them off guard, her first fight with the Crystal Gems ends with her poofing them and wiping their memories. Once they regain their memories, they waste no time returning the favor.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Even after Steven regains his powers, she manages to hold her own quite well and even gets in a few hits in, though this is in part due to Steven just defending himself and not really fighting back.
  • Cute and Psycho: Played With. In her original form, she's a pink girly Gem who was cute, goofy, and cheerful. Even in her more menacing form, she can still manage to be cute at times. However, the trauma she went through has caused her to have a psychotic break and go dangerously insane.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Her personality was The Pollyanna by default, and while she's fun, energetic and optimistic, she doesn't have an off-switch and tended to continue her antics at inappropriate times.
  • The Cutie: Very much so in her original innocent form. She was originally a Gem designed to make Pink Diamond happy, frequently having fun with her and making silly faces while acting clingy towards her. The way she's portrayed after losing her memories is absolutely adorable. However, after Pink Diamond abandoned her, replaced her with "other friends", and made her stand in the same exact spot for 6,000 years, all of Spinel's adorableness goes down the drain and she begins her Start of Darkness. Thankfully, it starts to return by the film's end.
  • Death by Despair: According to Rebecca Sugar at a book signing, her new form is the result of her being in such emotional distress from finding out Pink's fate she poofed from what amounts to a Gem version of broken heart syndrome.
  • Death Glare: During her Villain Song "Other Friends", when Pearl reacts in shock to her presence and Steven questions who she is, thus confirming that Pink never even mentioned her to her "other friends", Spinel gives a vicious one before whipping out the Rejuvenataor.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: After Steven shows he genuinely cares about her feelings and wants to be her friend, Spinel relents and has a proper Heel–Face Turn.
  • Demoted to Comic Relief: Spinel suffers this pretty badly in Future, where almost all hints of Spinel's trauma is gone, she's goofier, lively, and seems to only provide comedy when Steven is increasingly desperate to handle his own building trauma. Even more blatant when he asks her what happened to her vengeful thoughts, Spinel playfully tells Steven he helped her get rid of them, even though the movie heavily implied Spinel was still healing from her experience.
  • Deranged Animation: Her limbs move more like Rubber Hose Limbs than the structured motions of other characters and are animated using archaic and exaggerated Squash and Smear techniques instead of the more modern and subtle versions of the same techniques the rest of the cast is animated with, giving an unsettling feel to her. Her abnormal movements are basically one huge homage to early cartoons... that become quite deadly when used seriously.
  • Die Laughing: Her reaction to being sliced with the Rejuvenator is mad laughter, as she must have figured that wouldn't stop her plans for revenge, and could have even helped them.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Spinel's original reason to coming to Earth was this: She had found out she had been abandoned, and within the same day, decided the appropriate thing to do was hunt down Steven and attempt to poison all life on the planet with her Injector.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: "Found" is about Steven encouraging Spinel that someone will love and care for her even after she had been abandoned and that pain she felt will fade. However, while Steven is singing about taking time to find someone else, Spinel takes that to mean he is that person and immediately attaches herself to him and ignores the fact that he has his own pressing issues that prevent him from reciprocating.
  • Dub Name Change: Spinel is among the gems who have a faithfully translated name in the Latin American dub, Espinela.
  • Dynamic Entry: She arrives on top of her injector ship, turns her hand into a megaphone to drill it into the ground, then jumps towards the ground to start a fight and her Villain Song.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After all the trauma she went through due to Pink abandoning her, Spinel, in the end, gets a second chance in life after the Diamonds invite her to live with them on Homeworld.
  • Easily Forgiven: Downplayed. While Steven and his friends do indeed forgive Spinel, she's aware that she's already caused too much harm on Earth to just stay around like nothing happened and decides that the best course of action is to find another place to start over and make new friends. Luckily for her, the Diamonds just arrived...
  • End of an Era: Her arrival puts an end to the two years of peace on Earth, and reminds the Crystal Gems that no, it's not over just yet. Ironically, realizing this is what helps Steven regain his powers.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: She hoped to kill Steven and everything on Earth with her injector.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Her first onscreen appearance has Spinel arriving to Earth on her Injector and launching straight into her Villain Song about how much she's going to enjoy killing Steven and his friends, demonstrating a demented sense of showmanship and showing that beneath the cartoonish façade lies a Gem seething with hatred.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: She doesn't understand why, after trying to kill Steven, that he still wants to be friends with her. What's more, she doesn't understand at first that he sympathizes with her plight.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Spinel's second form is far more menacing than her first, exchanging her light pinks for darks and overall becoming rougher and pointier. Her gem even turned upside-down to emphasize the change.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Her natural size seems to be a little shorter than Steven and she tends to revert to this size during her calmer and saner moments, but while in her insane and villainous mode she tends to make herself about the same size as Pearl.
  • Evil Is Hammy: She has the exaggerated body language of an 1920s cartoon character, combined with a bombastic voice, and she serves as the Big Bad of the movie.
  • Evil Overlooker: Her shadowed figure looms over Steven and the Crystal Gems on the movie poster.
  • Evil Plan: Slowly murder Steven and all of planet Earth with her injector.
  • Expressive Hair: After learning of Pink Diamond's death, her heart-shaped buns become messy pigtails which can move on their own according to her mood.
  • Facial Markings: She has three black lines going from her eyes to her cheeks. When taking into account her backstory, these black lines could be seen as something akin to Your Makeup Is Running or Berserker Tears. They remain when she reappears in Homeworld Bound, though they don't reflect her personality anymore as she's returned back to being the Fun Personified.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her Ax-Crazy tendencies and her desire for Revenge, which cause her to obtain a misguided approach and lead to her wanting to kill Steven, whom she knows is not responsible for Pink Diamond's actions, even if she doesn't want to.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She spends her introduction and the entirety of "Other Friends" with a mocking, jovial façade over her all-consuming hatred for Pink Diamond and all the people she replaced Spinel with. Considering she used to be a Nice Girl before her Start of Darkness, it's fitting.
  • Feet-First Introduction: During Steven's broadcast at the beginning of the movie, it cuts to Spinel's dirty, vine-overrun foot.
  • Fighting Clown: She is the Homeworld equivalent of a jester, and it shows in how she acts even after snapping. Her constant use of Deranged Animation actually catches the Crystal Gems off-guard enough for her to quickly defeat them the first time.
  • Fish Eyes: In both forms, her eyes will suddenly jiggle around and point in opposite directions at various points.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Well, considering she had to go through this with the revelation that the Diamond she was made for abandoned her, left her to stand still all alone in a garden for 6,000 years, replaced her with other friends, and doesn't exist anymore, let's say that it wasn't an easy journey for poor Spinel.
    • Denial: Implied, at least. Once she recieves Steven's transmission and finds out what happened to Pink Diamond, she desperately runs towards the transmitter, as though she was hoping it was a joke.
      Spinel: Isn't that lovely!? Isn't that cool!?
    • Anger: After finding out about it all, she takes a huge Injector and a Gem Rejuvenator before traveling to Earth in hopes of destroying the "precious" planet Pink abandoned her for, in addition to attacking Steven and the Crystal Gems.
      Spinel: I just love that part, where Pink Diamond spends the rest of her days on this nowhere planet, with a bunch of nobodies!
    • Bargaining: After Steven manages to befriend her the first time, she comes to attach herself towards him and see him as a Replacement Goldfish for Pink, even turning off the Injector because that's what he told her to do.
      Spinel: Aw, gee. What are friends for?
    • Depression: She goes through this stage twice. The first time is when she breaks down in tears after finding out what became of Pink Diamond, and the second time is when she breaks down again over not being good enough for Pink and realizing she just wants to be Steven's friend.
      Spinel: I used to be just not good enough, just not good enough for Pink!
    • Acceptance: Spinel ultimately comes to accept that Pink abandoned her and is given a chance to go back to Homeworld with the three other Diamonds, finally giving her a chance to be happy again.
      Spinel: Today, right here, right now, I'll love again. I've already found someone.
  • Foil:
    • To Pearl. Both were abandoned by Pink Diamond and were deeply hurt by her actions. However, while Pearl had her friends to help her move on from the pain of that loss, Spinel had no one else and was left completely alone. Not only that, but the last order their Diamond ever gave them caused them nothing but grief, Pearl's order to never tell anyone the truth of Rose's identity caused her to watch Steven flounder about trying to comprehend the magnitude of his mother's actions and unable to do anything about it, while Spinel was told to stay where she was and literally did so for 6,000 years. Also, both were noncombatant Gems who figured out ways to use their abilities effectively in combat, with Pearl adapting her natural grace and agility from dancing into her fighting style while Spinel uses her cartoonish physiology to confuse and evade her opponents.
    • To Steven. Both of them were kind, goofy, and playful beings who were negatively affected by Pink Diamond's actions, and lost their cheerfulness over time in addition to undergoing Sanity Slippage. But while Steven deals with his grief by burying his emotions and refusing to come clean to others about his problems, Spinel deals with her grief by lashing out onto others (and the Earth) over her problems. Despite acting otherwise, neither Spinel nor Steven's ways of coping with their trauma are healthy for themselves or those around them in the slightest.
  • Forgotten Friend, New Foe: Once Pink Diamond's closest playmate, she was abandoned by her to remain in her garden for six millennia. After she realized Pink left her behind, she decided to destroy the Earth in revenge.
  • Freak Out: While spending 6,000 years rooted to a single spot probably meant her sanity wasn't in good shape to begin with, learning that Pink Diamond was gone forever, that her long waiting had been All for Nothing, and that Pink had abandoned her caused her to snap, hard.
  • Freakiness Shame: By the climax of the movie, after she has undergone her Heel–Face Turn, Spinel is shown to be very self conscious of her current form compared to her more innocent and softer original appearance and was hesitant of coming out to meet the Diamonds because of it. Fortunately, the Diamonds find her very adorable in her current form and adopt her on the spot.
  • Freudian Excuse: She was left behind in Pink Diamond's garden by Pink herself and just stood there for 6,000 years because she honestly believed that Pink was just playing a game with her. Finding out that Pink Diamond actually left her and that she doesn't even exist anymore caused Spinel to go through a major Break the Cutie moment that turned her into the bitter, psychotic and spiteful gem you see in the movie.
  • Freudian Trio: Of the Gems who were close to Pink Diamond, Spinel (Id) follows her desires for Revenge and attempts to destroy Earth after having Gone Mad From The Isolation, Crystal Gem Pearl (Superego) is The Smart Guy of the Crystal Gems, and Pink Pearl/Volleyball (Ego) has a balanced and playful personality.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Started as a simple playmate for Pink Diamond, who ended up being one of the biggest threats the Crystal Gems have faced.
  • Fun Personified: Her literal job is to be a charming and entertaining Cloudcuckoolander, but being abandoned turns her into a much more twisted kind of "fun".
  • Genki Girl: After she is poofed by Steven and reverts to her original form, she is cheerful and chipper towards him, until she reverts back to her sinister self when she suspects that Steven will try to desert her after the Injector is deactivated. After her Heel–Face Turn, Blue, White, and Yellow Diamond agree to welcome her to their court since she reminds them so much of Pink Diamond.
  • Giggling Villain: Spends the entire teaser giggling uncontrollably.
  • Girlish Pigtails: She's a Gem who looks a bit more feminine than usual, and she sports a pair of pigtails. This hairstyle is actually part of her Evil Costume Switch, since she originally had heart-shaped odango hair.
  • Girly Bruiser: She has girly mannerisms and can also hit hard enough to make Steven bleed.
  • Girl with Psycho Weapon: She uses a huge scythe as a weapon, which causes Identity Amnesia, if it hits a gem.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Although she snaps upon learning that Pink Diamond is gone, spending 6,000 years completely alone cannot have helped.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Upon realizing that not only is Pink Diamond dead, but that she'd waited 6,000 years for her mistress to return all for nothing, Spinel lost her kindness and sanity and swore revenge.
  • Good Costume Switch: Zig-zagged; when Spinel's memories are erased and she joins Steven, her Madness Makeover is completely reversed. However, once her memories are restored and her darker form along with it, Steven has to convince Spinel people would be her friend even the way she is now. After that, Spinel looks the same except her eyes are wider and have a visible gleam instead of being narrow and beady.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: She was a companion of Pink Diamond who decides to take revenge for Pink's actions on the Crystal Gems because she sees them as replacing her.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Played for Drama. She was initially an innocent, goofy, and playful Gem who wasn't meant to be the least bit serious. However, after being made to stand still for 6,000 years by her owner Pink Diamond, among other things, she became an Ax-Crazy threat to be taken seriously and was bent on destroying Earth, as well as Steven Universe.
  • Happily Adopted: The Diamonds invite her to join their court on Homeworld at the end of the movie.
  • Happiness in Slavery: She was pretty pleased with her role in Gem society and was happy to stick to it. Of course, unlike other Gems, her role was to make people happy through jokes and games as opposed to hard labor.
  • Hates Being Alone: Spinel gets very distressed at the thought of being cast aside by someone she considers a friend (even if it's temporary), due to the trauma product of Pink's abandonment.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: How her whole gambit against the Crystal Gems went down: Either she wipes the gem's memories and they forget each other like she was forgotten, or she's poofed and the drill poisons the planet with no way to stop it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After her redemption takes full effect, Spinel apologizes for what she put Steven and the others through and decides to leave since she believes she doesn't deserve to be with them. Fortunately, the Diamonds show up just before she's about to leave and decide to take her back to Homeworld so they can love her as much as they loved Pink Diamond (even though they never truly expressed it).
  • Heel Realization:
    • After her redemption takes full effect, Spinel is horrified with herself and how her actions have nearly destroyed the planet and ruined Steven's "happily ever after".
    • Her Character Development in Future involves acknowledging that she hurt Steven in the movie for no reason when he lashes out at everyone in his corrupted form.
  • Hide and No Seek: In order to get Spinel to leave her alone while she worked on her colony, Pink made up a game where Spinel would stand still until she got back.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Steven manages to hit her with her own Rejuvenator, though her expression after getting sliced with it suggests she let him.
  • Homage: Spinel's design and Rubber Hose Limbs are a homage to 1930s animation — and particularly, in her original form, her design recalls that of Mickey Mouse, with her pigtails as the ears.
  • Identity Amnesia: She brings along a "Rejuvenator" scythe in her attack on Earth that basically restores a Gem to their original state from when they first emerged, and slices through Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. It can't poof Steven's organic body, but it completely screws up his control over his powers, resetting them to where he was at the start of the series. It quickly gets used on her, but she may not have cared by that point.
  • If I Can't Have You…: Furious at being abandoned, and that Pink made new friends without her, Spinel vows to ruin Steven's "Happily Ever After". To destroy the Earth and purge the memories of the Crystal Gems to rid herself of everything Pink Diamond replaced her with.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: Spinel refers to her old, endlessly cheery self as stupid, yet at the same time she hates what she's become and wants to be that person again, even telling Steven to Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred! despite having turned on him because the Rejuvenator fell out of his pocket and she thought that he was going to use it on her.
  • I Hate Past Me: As much as Spinel hates what she is now, she still thinks her past self was a gullible idiot for trusting Pink Diamond and was paranoid that Steven would use the Rejuvenator on her again to take advantage of her.
    Spinel: I'm a little flattered that you liked the old me. Innocent... Loving... Stupid!
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: She latches on to who she sees as her chosen friend and does everything she can to help them and play with them but responds very badly to them trying to leave her, even if it's just temporary. By the end of the movie, it's clear that for all of her problems and everything she's done, she just wants to have fun with others again instead of being a broken lunatic that wants to destroy everything.
  • I Will Wait for You: Pink told her to stand still and not move a muscle, and Spinel did. For 6,000 years.
  • Inkblot Cartoon Style: Her design is heavily influenced by silent-era cartoons: Rubber Hose Limbs (because she's a literal Rubber Woman), near-monochrome color palette (albeit with shades of pink instead of black and white), and (off-)White Gloves. Her original form was also Pie-Eyed. The accurate details of her design is even extended to her actual animation, in that her pigtails/odango hair employ the classic Cheated Angle technique where they always face the camera which was frequently applied to many characters of that era, and when moving fast, she's even rendered using the same exaggerated and archaic Squash, Smear, and Multiples animation techniques used during the era she takes inspiration from, which further enhances how... wrong Spinel is compared to the rest of the cast.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • While she only wanted to spend time with her beloved Diamond, she ended up greatly annoying her with her antics and never took the hint, prompting Pink to abandon Spinel.
    • After being reset, she goofily tries to play with the Crystal Gems, even singing "here we are in the future and it's wroooong," gleefully oblivious to the fact that she caused their problems in the first place.
    • Likewise, she irritates Steven quite a bit as well in "Homeworld Bound".
  • Insane Equals Violent: She used to be a goofy but harmless Gem, but when she becomes insane, she's a dangerous threat who manages to curb stomp the Crystal Gems in combat and tries to kill everyone on Earth.
  • Irony:
    • When Garnet comments that Spinel is delivering a Curb-Stomp Battle to the Crystal Gems, Amethyst defensively retorts about being out of practice after two years of peace compared to their apparently more active opponent. As we'd later find out, Spinel hadn't fought or done much of anything for 6,000 years (not to mention unlike Amethyst but similar to Pearl, Spinel was never meant for combat in the first place).
    • For all her resentfulness toward Pink Diamond over how she feels replaced by the Crystal Gems, there's heavy implications that she (along with Pearl) were made to replace Pink Pearl (as a best friend and confidant respectably).
    • She successfully curb-stomped the Gems, even a confused Steven, to vent her abandonment issues on them. The roles get reversed when a corrupted Steven curb-stomps her and the Gems while lashing out from trauma.
  • It's All My Fault: When Spinel discovers Steven had self-corrupted into a giant gem monster in I Am My Monster, she falls into sobbing hysterics thinking that her actions during the movie sowed the seeds that led to it happening in the first place.
  • Joisey: Her voice seems to slip into this pretty thick on occasion.
  • Kawaiiko: Pre Face–Heel Turn, she was one, with a pink design and very cutesy mannerisms.
  • Kick the Dog: In addition to trying to kill all life on Earth slowly and painfully just to spite Pink Diamond for leaving her to protect it from Homeworld, she also refers to her master's beloved home as a "nowhere planet" and her genuine friends as a "bunch of nobodies", even primarily targeting Steven, whom she knows that is her son.
  • Kill All Humans: She wants to make Earth uninhabitable to all organic life just to make sure Steven would die.
  • Kill the God: Well, demigod in Steven's case, since she's explicitly trying to kill him, a half-Diamond, essentially the Gems' version of a god.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The film starts with Steven and the Crystal Gems celebrating two years of galactic peace... then Spinel comes along with her plan to destroy the Earth and things take a much darker turn as she quickly cements herself as one of the darkest villains in the show.
  • Lack of Empathy: Downplayed and justified (to a degree).
    • While she notes that Pink Diamond was lonely and sad on Homeworld, she thinks cheering her up and playing with her was the only way to make her happy, not realizing that Pink needed more than just that. However, this is completely justified, considering she was only doing what she was literally programmed to do.
    • When Spinel becomes insane from Pink leaving her, she loses all sympathy for her former master and made her vengeance to be all about herself, not caring anymore about what Pink has been through (and changed for the better after becoming Rose Quartz) even before Spinel was made or how much the Earth and her new friends and family meant to her. Then again, this too is understandable, considering the mental toll her standing alone in one spot for 6,000 years caused her, and how she can't reasonably be expected to sympathize with Pink given what she's been through because of her (not to mention she only found out about the progress Pink has made as Rose from a video broadcast). But it still wouldn't excuse trying to kill everyone Pink genuinely loved.
    • Completely averted in "I Am My Monster", where she has a My God, What Have I Done? moment and blames herself for Steven's corruption, to the point of breaking down in tears.
  • Large Ham: Sarah Stiles was clearly having fun voicing Spinel, as everything Spinel says and does is done with a cartoonish sense of showmanship and aplomb. Spinel makes her arrival on Earth by riding in on her giant Injector and jumping straight into her Villain Song. Justified as she was primarily created to entertain Pink Diamond.
  • Laser Blade: Her Rejuvenator appears to have a blade made of crackling white energy.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • An oddly benevolent example for a villain. She worries that after nearly destroying the Earth that it isn't a good idea to try and make friends there. The Diamonds, however, also did try to destroy the Earth, and they also want to spend time with Steven way beyond his comfort zone. They take her in readily, though Steven warns her that they can be smothering. Spinel doesn't mind, since she and the Diamonds know what it was like to have Pink abandon them.
    • It is played straighter in Future where in "I Am My Monster" Monster Steven thrashes her and the Diamonds when they try to contain him out of trauma and fear, just as she thrashed the Gems from a similar set of feelings. Spinel even realizes this and laments that she must have caused Steven's corruption by hurting him.
  • Laughably Evil: She is essentially a jester who moves like a 1920s/1930s cartoon character and behaves like a playful child (her voice actress, Sarah Stiles, said that her agent shorthanded Rebecca Sugar's description of the character down to "like an evil Betty Boop.") That doesn't make her any less dangerous and creepy though.
  • Laughing Mad: Even after going completely mad from spending 6,000 years alone, she keeps her clownish nature and her laughter.
  • Leitmotif: A bouncy chiptune for her original form and distorted mellotron strings for her current from. Both motifs are prominent in "Other Friends".
  • Lethal Joke Character: Spinel qualifies as one of these. She looks like a 1920's cartoon character who wouldn't be out of place in an early Disney short, but she handily wipes the floor with the main cast within minutes of meeting them. To put this in perspective, the Crystal Gems have won numerous battles against powerful opponents, have a powerful team dynamic and some have millennia of battle experience. Spinel is essentially an insane court jester fueled by rage with no combat training or experience at all.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When she first arrives on Earth, Spinel spends most of her first fight with the Crystal Gems toying with them up until she gets confirmation that Pink never mentioned her to her "other friends". Once she hears this, she almost immediately whips out her Rejuvenator and cuts the Crystal Gems down in retaliation.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • While amnesiac, her response to Amethyst calling her a monster is to say that she doesn't see a monster. After being told "You're it!", she assumes they're playing tag.
    • This trait is also part of what caused her Start of Darkness. Pink Diamond told her to stay put as part of a game in the garden until she returned from working on her colony. Because Spinel was designed expressly to follow Pink's commands and make her happy by playing with her, she proceeded to literally stand completely still and alone in the garden for thousands of years, uselessly waiting for Pink to return and never even trying to leave or find her. No wonder she goes crazy when she learns Pink is never coming back.
  • Living Toy: As a Gem made to be a playmate and friend, with the Gems' rigid caste system treating her as an object to fulfill that role, she is functionally a toy that's incidentally alive. Her squeaky shoes and googly eyes help sell the effect that she's the Gem equivalent of a doll. And, just like toys forgotten when their owners outgrow them, she was left behind in Pink Diamond's garden for 6,000 years.

  • Madness Makeover: Originally, Spinel had the appearance of a cute little girl with Mickey Mouse-esque Girlish Pigtails in the shape of hearts. After finding out that Pink abandoned her, she reformed (according to Rebecca Sugar, this was because her grief caused her to poof from the Gem equivalent of broken heart syndrome) into an Uncanny Valley Girl with messier pigtails and lines on her face that give off the appearance of ruined mascara.
  • Madness Mantra: She had Steven's message to the universe on loop, particularly the bit from White Diamond's story about Steven where her mistress, Pink, spent the rest of her days making a new home on Earth to the point where she made new life by giving up her existence to give birth to Steven, passing down her Gem into his body as well. In other words, Spinel found out that Pink essentially replaced everything she had on Homeworld for everything she had on Earth before she replaced herself with Steven. More importantly, Pink replaced Spinel with brand-new friends after she abandoned Spinel in her garden for 6,000 years, until it got to the point where she would literally never come back for her because she doesn't exist anymore. Needless to say, it drove her mad.
  • Meaningful Name: Spinels are often used as false diamonds in jewelry. At the end of The Movie, Spinel becomes a Pink Diamond replacement for the other Diamonds.
  • Memory Gambit: Her plan is to set up a Time Bomb that only she can deactivate, then allow Steven to wipe her memories with her Rejuvenator. This combined with the Crystal Gems having their memories wiped makes it incredibly difficult for Steven to disable her Injector.
  • Misplaced Retribution:
    • Her reaction to finding out her Diamond has long abandoned her and is now essentially gone forever? Take out her wrath by killing every living organic being on Earth with bio-poison from an injector, and wiping Steven's friends' memories away with a Rejuvenator. Her shame and guilt later hits her so hard, she cannot bring herself to have a second chance on the planet. Fortunately, the Diamonds, still fawning over Pink's son and longing for anything that reminds them of their youngest sibling, happily take Spinel in as a Replacement Goldfish, giving her a much-needed fresh start to heal her past trauma.
    • While Pink Diamond was directly responsible for abandoning her, Spinel seems to place the blame entirely on Pink herself, never considering that she couldn't have came up with the idea of abandoning Spinel on her own, as her fellow Diamonds have done it to her so many times she picked it up from them (but fortunately stopped doing after she became Rose Quartz). White even admits in "I Am My Monster" that she and the others basically took Pink away from Spinel because the Diamonds abandoned her too.
  • Monster Clown: She wasn't originally like this, but after her treatment at the hands of Pink Diamond, she becomes a bloodthirsty and enraged killer who never loses her silly, cartoony edge.
  • Mood-Swinger: As a sign of her mental instability, Spinel's mood can change at the drop of a hat. She can be violently angry one moment, then borderline manic the next. When Steven gently asks her amnesiac self to stay put, she immediately lashes out, then quickly becomes happy when he lets her tag along. During her Villainous Breakdown, she goes from furious, to sad, to amused, and back to sad in the span of a minute.
  • Morph Weapon: She can change her body parts into various forms, such as changing her eye into a telescope to get a closer look at the Crystal Gems, turning her arm into a fishing rod to save Steven from falling in bio-poison, and turning her pinky into a bullhorn to activate her injector.
  • Mundane Utility: She shapeshifts her pinky finger to use as a bullhorn when activating and deactivating her injector.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Future shows that she's become deeply embarrassed over her past mistakes, especially trying to kill Steven, with "I Am My Monster" even having her break down in Tears of Remorse (albeit in the form of Inelegant Blubbering) when faced with the consequences to Steven her actions posed.
  • My Name Is ???: In order to hide her identity, the movie's website initially listed her as "????".
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • While amnesiac, she suggests that all of the rejuvenated Gems can be restored by reminding them of the life experiences they've forgotten.
    • Her insulting Steven and having a laugh at how "a wimp like him" spread peace across the galaxy leads to him finding his "missing piece" and regaining his powers, allowing him to put up a much better fight against Spinel. At the end of her rope, she slams Steven into her ship, utterly trashing the top. The damage then causes it to explode.
    • Her damaging the Earth convinces the Diamonds, who decided to just come and move in with Steven, to abort that plan and return to Homeworld with her. Steven is relieved, though he makes sure that Spinel is okay with the smothering attention.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Of the Gems who took on the "Pink Diamond" role on Homeworld, Steven (nice) is an All-Loving Hero who is kind to everyone and accepts others no matter what, Pink/Rose (in-between), despite being a Benevolent Boss who seeks to protect Earth and the Crystal Gems, can be insensitive towards the feelings of others and has a tendency to make careless decisions, and Spinel (mean) is the Ax-Crazy Big Bad who wants to destroy Earth as a result of being abandoned by Pink and having Gone Mad From The Isolation. Played With, as Steven undergoes Sanity Slippage once Spinel has already made a Heel–Face Turn, and Spinel was even more innocent than Pink by the time she was abandoned by her.
  • Nice Girl: After her Heel–Face Turn, Spinel becomes very supportive and friendly to not only Steven but to his friends and allies as well.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Her Rubber Woman abilities allow her to casually dodge Garnet's attacks, at least at the beginning.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Was genuinely sweet and playful to Pink (and later Steven) and loved making them happy by playing games and doing tricks. Of course, after six thousand years of unintended torture she started to veer into a different trope...
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Much like White Diamond in her debut episode, Spinel's appearance alone waves a red flag that something is seriously wrong with her. She is one of the few characters with distinct irises and pupils, which when combined with her constant Slasher Smile leads to some unnerving facial expressions. She's also heavily influenced by Inkblot Cartoon Style, with much more fluid animation emphasizing her Rubber Woman abilities. However, the end result is unsettling rather than endearing, at least in her "evil" form. Her original form is much more adorable, with Pie Eyes and cartoony eyelashes.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: "Spinel" is typically pronounced either "spin-EL" or "SPIN-ul". The character is always referred to by the former, probably because it's more feminine-sounding. Interestingly, this is closer to the word's French roots, contrast with the show using the more Anglo pronunciation of "peridot".
  • No Sense of Personal Space:
    • When she lacks her memories, she's often very close to Steven, at one point even literally wrapping herself around him, and was presumably similarly clingy to Pink, which might be part of why she left her behind. Even in her present state, she gets rather close to Steven and the others several times, and one of her tactics in combat is to wrap her arms around her foe.
    • As mentioned under the Cuddle Bug entry, this continues even after her reform. Her first instinct upon seeing Steven for the first time in Homeworld Bound? She makes heart eyes at him and immediately pounces on him, giving Steven a big kiss on the face and wrapping her arms around him. It's likely that even if Steven wasn't in a bad state mentally, he would have found this mildly uncomfortable.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Serves as an In-Universe example. Considering that the Diamonds have dismantled their empire and made peace with Steven, a Gem still being willing to attack the Earth — heck, being willing to attack Steven — was thought to not be possible anymore, and yet she sure as hell tried.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Spinel curb-stomps the Crystal Gems because she is an Deranged Animation Rubber Hose Limbs character out from the 20' and 30's.
  • Pie-Eyed: Her original form has a piece taken out of the iris of each eye (though sometimes it's a more explicitly drawn gleam), which is yet another example of how her design is inspired by cartoons from the 30s and 40s.
  • Pink Heroine: Inverted. She's the villain.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Like Pink Diamond, Spinel is one of the more feminine Gems in the show, with pigtails, mascara lines, and a heart theme.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Her original purpose, and what she tries to be to Steven and the Gems when her memory is erased. Even when in her evil mode, she still cracks jokes. The whole movie serves as a look at the dark side of this trope.
  • Power Born of Madness: Going insane caused her to go from a jester or clown to being capable of fighting all the Crystal Gems at once and being one of the most dangerous threats in the series.
  • Power Nullifier: Her scythe can't poof Steven, but it does disrupt his powers, setting them back to before he could reliably make use of any of them.
  • Practically Joker: Spinel is a former entertainer who went insane as a result of a deeply traumatic event. Now she's an exuberant, maniacal, Faux Affably Evil Monster Clown who attempts to commit mass murder by poisoning. It's not hard to see the resemblances to a certain Clown Prince of Crime.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: When introducing her, brainwashed Pearl sings, "She's pink as well!" implying that Pink Diamond (a "princess" for all intents and purposes) preferred Gems of the same color as her.
  • Psychological Projection: Spinel's Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred! moment towards Steven using the Rejuvenator on her, despite her paranoid reaction to him still having it earlier, seems to be a result of her assuming he'd also want to erase her pain at Pink's betrayal.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: She is very childlike, both appearance-wise and personality-wise - the fact that she keeps refering to her initial Curb-Stomp Battle with the Crystal Gems as a "game" should tell you enough - and wants to kill all life on Earth. Justified, as she was made as a "toy" for Pink Diamond... a Living Toy that ended up snapping after finding out that Pink abandoned her and that she spent 6,000 years waiting for nothing.
  • Punny Name: Her name alludes to "spinning", which is one of her signature moves. Notably, the first time her name is spoken (by Pearl, in a song), she spins around for emphasis.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Her laughing fit across the teaser trailer, as well as her Kill All Humans Evil Plan, more or less makes it clear this is the case for her.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Steven's Blue. Spinel is very open about her feelings and trauma, in addition to being Ax-Crazy, while Steven is calmer than her and tries to talk her down. Fittingly, Steven wears a blue shirt, and Spinel has a reddish coloring.
  • Reluctant Psycho: Deep down, Spinel is disgusted with herself for reacting to Pink Diamond's actions by becoming a revenge-obsessed maniac. When Steven tells her she can change, Spinel counters that she did change, for the worse.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Played for Drama. She shows up out of nowhere and was never mentioned in the show but Pearl seemingly recognizes her. This is because she used to Pink Diamond's playmate that Pink just left in her garden and then didn't come back for.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • She acts as one for, ironically enough, Pink Diamond to the remaining Diamonds after her Heel–Face Turn.
    • In a tragic way, Steven is briefly hers — when she first becomes "friends" with him, it's shown that Spinel isn't actually dealing with her own grief and self-loathing, just transferring those insecurities to a new, unhealthy relationship by trying to please him however she can, just like she did for Pink. This only makes Steven's perceived betrayal hurt her all the more.
      Steven: Spinel, can I ask you a favor?
      Spinel: Are you kidding? Anything.
  • The Resenter: She states that she wants to kill Steven even more after seeing his relationships with his friends, something she desperately wants for herself but feels she can't have any more.
  • Revenge: She wants revenge against Steven and the Crystal Gems. More specifically against Pink, for abandoning her when she left the garden.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Again, what Spinel used to be before her fall into darkness. To symbolize the negative change, her hair turned a darker shade of pink.
  • Rubber Hose Limbs: This is the way her arms are animated, and gives a rather clear indication of her Rubber Woman capabilities.
  • Rubber Woman: She can stretch her limbs and morph them into various forms. They're also animated like Rubber Hose Limbs, and her movements are even shown to make cartoonish rubbery sounds, such as her footsteps squeaking like dog toys or her fingers snapping like balloons.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
  • Sad Clown: When not acting like a Monster Clown, Spinel's personality is more like this. She uses her Fun Personified personality to hide the fact that she's a Tragic Villain who was abandoned by Pink Diamond and spent 6,000 years waiting for her, and at many times her laughter and delivery comes off as if she's stifling back tears.
  • Self-Deprecation: Constantly. Spinel has a love-hate complex not just with Pink, but herself as well. She believes herself to be completely unlovable the way she is now, as if she preferred being the way she was, but she also hates the way she was considering herself to have been stupid - so she constantly takes shots at herself in between threats towards others. Learning to love herself is one the key things she had to do to switch sides.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: The most humiliating part of Spinel's time waiting in the garden was that nothing was physically keeping her there, she was just trying as hard as possible to do what Pink Diamond told her. On top of wasting a maddeningly-long length of her life, she ends up feeling like a complete idiot.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • Original Spinel is exactly the spontaneous, fun-loving Gem that Pink Diamond wished the other Diamonds didn't see her as. Pink chose to resent and neglect Spinel over this, showing how Pink's initial attempts at becoming more mature proved her to be anything but.
    • Present Spinel and Rose Quartz are constructed identities from their former selves that were used to hide who they used to be. However, Rose would've been like Spinel if she let her trauma of abuse take over her mentality to enact vengeance against the Diamond Authority for everything they did to her former identity. Also, Spinel's statements to have changed for the worse and being not good enough was exactly how Rose felt about herself.
    • Spinel also serves as a dark reflection of what Pearl could've been had she not had the Crystal Gems to help her through the pain of being abandoned by Pink Diamond.
    • She is also this to Pink Pearl/Volleyball, being what the latter would've become had she gave in to her trauma and anger over what Pink Diamond did to her and sought revenge against Steven, Pearl, and the Earth. In contrast to Spinel, Volleyball brushed it off like it was nothing, tried to defend Pink Diamond's abuse, and held absolutely no grudges.
  • Shapeshifting Trickster: Spinel is a Rubber Woman who frequently plays games and jokes by stretching around. Even as a villainess, she couldn't help from wildly flailing around like a jack-in-the-box just to scare Steven.
  • Shrinking Violet: Surprisingly, when she isn't angry, present-day Spinel is rather shy and awkward, especially around new people; she's extremely aware of how people perceive her, making her quite self-conscious.
  • Sigil Spam: Her injector has a red gemstone at the top, her gem is a Wicked Heart Symbol, and she originally wore her hair in heart-shaped buns.
  • Signature Laugh: In her previous form, she has an adorable, childlike giggle, the first sound heard when she emerges from her gem after being poofed.
  • Sinister Scythe: She brings a scythe with an energy blade called a "Rejuvenator" that can instantly poof a Gem and erase their memory, resetting them to when they first formed.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Spinel has a chip on her shoulder for Pink Diamond leaving her behind, and she knows Steven is actually Pink's son rather than a case of Mistaken Identity, as with most Homeworld Gems. Spinel doesn't hide her desire to kill him regardless. Spinel wants to reap Pink's "sins" by not just taking her murderous grudge out on Pink's son, but on all of Earth out her desire for vengeance.
  • Slasher Smile: Her constant expression is a wide, unnerving smile.
  • Smarter Than You Look: She's much more intelligent than her behavior suggests, as she was somehow able to obtain and operate her injector, and she devised a Memory Gambit to defeat Steven. She's also the first new Gem introduced who fully understands that Steven is absolutely NOT his mother and that his human body will likely not poof when hit. Keep in mind she'd only moved away from where Pink Diamond left her a matter of hours before coming to Earth.
  • Something We Forgot: A really tragic example. Pink left her in her garden 6,000 years ago and then never came back for her. However, it's unknown if Pink really forgot about her or if she wanted to come back for her but just couldn't. Either way, Spinel does feel abandoned and for a good reason.
  • Spectacular Spinning: She can attack others just by spinning really fast and uses the said spinning a lot during her final battle with Steven.
  • Start of Darkness: Finding out that Pink Diamond, who left her in her garden 6,000 years ago, isn't even alive anymore caused her to snap and change from a friendly Genki Girl to a vengeful Monster Clown.
  • Stepford Smiler: Before she loses her memory, she has a constant unnerving grin. It's easy to assume this is a result of her being a little nuts, but once you learn how Pink abandoned her, it becomes clear she's putting on a mask to hide her hurt.
    Steven: Listen to me, Spinel. I understand. After everything you've been through, you must be in a lot of pain!
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!: Tries to taunt Steven into using the Rejuvenator on her again near the climax of the film, presumably hoping that if he did so, he'd be unable to restore her memories again in time to get her to stop the injector, though there's also the implication that she honestly hates her current state and wishes to forget the pain Pink caused by abandoning her.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Her Rubber Hose Limbs would make one assume she's no stronger than the likes of Pearl physically, but in addition to her Confusion Fu, she's strong to destroy her Injector by slamming down onto it, something the Crystal Gems doubted they could stop in any way.
  • Super Gullible: Tragically, Spinel is easily tricked into playing a "game" with Pink that involves her standing very still until she returns. She's so convinced it's a game that she remains blissfully unaware of the circumstances of her abandonment until 6,000 years later.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Spinel is a perfectly-cut Era 1 Gem with boundless energy and shapeshifting abilities, potentially putting her near or even past the power level of a Quartz, but was never intended to be anything more than a "friend" to Pink — an exquisitely made toy, who would use those same abilities to "endlessly entertain" her. The only thing that kept her from ever becoming a dangerous threat, as opposed to an occasionally mischievous hanger-on, was her innocence.

  • Tears of Joy: Sheds these during her (very brief) first redemption, while singing that she finally feels "found" by Steven.
  • Tempting Fate: After Pink Diamond told her to play a game in which Spinel would have to stay still until she returned, Spinel exclaimed "This'll be so much fun!" It wasn't.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Of a sort. When Steven poofed using her own scythe, she's not bothered by this since she knows that she was going to undergo a personality reset like the other Gems did and she understands the drill would't stop without her.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: She would never leave Pink Diamond's side, and acts the same to Steven when reset. Tragically, Pink Diamond seemed to be getting annoyed by her, and when she was finally allowed to have her own colony, she left Spinel behind. When it's Steven's turn to have her good side, trying to push her away or even imply she's not needed around anymore only ends up making her furious, though him still having the Rejuvenator due to being unable to store it earlier didn't help matters.
  • Tombstone Teeth: She's often shown with teeth more detailed and numerous than the usual Tooth Strip, but they're always all rectangular.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Future, she becomes far more helpful and affectionate towards Steven than she was in The Movie, and is closer to her original form than the bitter Gem she was before.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: She temporarily becomes one in "Homeworld Bound" when Yellow Diamond demonstrates her new powers to alter a Gem's physical form, turning Spinel's arms large and thick and her legs small and spindly.
  • Tragic Villain: Her entire existence was playing with Pink Diamond and making her happy, giving Pink a sorely needed escape from her troubles. Then Pink convinced Spinel to stay behind in her garden, which she did for 6,000 years. Spinel stayed in the exact same spot for all of that time, waiting for Pink to return, only to discover that the very being she was created for had fled everything and everyone she once knew and gave up her very existence to create Steven. She pretty much broke in half at that revelation and everything she does after is essentially someone whose whole motivation is that the one person they loved and was their whole reason for existing just threw them away. And it's shown that for all of her rage, Spinel bitterly hates what she's become and desperately wants to go back to simpler times when she was happy and made others happy. This reflects heavily in both of her songs (despite the first one being an energetic Villain Song) and they are laced with her feelings of self-loathing and bitterness. Her second song "Drift Away" is easily one of the saddest in the whole series.
  • Trauma Button:
    • Abandonment. During the movie when Steven is about to search for Amethyst, the then very innocent Spinel offers to come along, and when Steven asks her to stay put, she immediately lashes out. The full extent of this isn't explained until her relationship with Pink is revealed.
    • Being forgotten seems to be this, to a lesser extent and for identical reasons. When it becomes clear that only Pearl knows who she is, she realizes Pink Diamond didn't even mention her to her "other friends" and goes from maliciously playful to eye-twitchingly unhinged.
  • Troubled Abuser: Rebecca Sugar described Spinel as such, with the tragedy of her character juxtaposing the fact that Spinel came to Earth solely with the desire to hurt people, whereas most other villains had goals that they could rationalize as noble.
    "The thing about Spinel is that she's a really toxic person. She's so toxic that she's literally trying to poison people. In my interactions with friends who have had a history difficult enough to make it hard for them to trust other people and sometimes even actively want to hurt others, it's just a very difficult situation to navigate... She really wants to hurt Steven, and there's a reason that she does — because she's in so much pain."
  • Tsundere: A non-romantic example... and, interestingly played both ways. In her original form, Spinel is a sweet, bubbly Gem who's chipper and friendly to everyone, but turns angry if the notion of being left behind is brought up at all (though this could also be explained as her getting her first piece back). In her present form, however, Spinel is caustic and mocking in her demeanor, but this is just a mask to hide how lonely and miserable she really is, and how much she'd like to trust in others again.
  • Ultimate Lifeform: Pearl refers to her as being perfectly cut. The only other non-Diamond Gem to be referred to as perfect in this regard is Jasper. This implies that, like her, Spinel is a "perfect" example of her Gem type. Her surprising combat capability for what amounts to a clown in Homeworld's hierarchy further suggests this is the case.
  • Unblockable Attack: Her Rejuvenator cuts right through Steven's shield.
  • Unishment: Inverted. Before the Diamonds take in Spinel and smother her with affection, Steven warns her that they can be overbearing. He doesn't want Spinel to suffer more than she has so that her fate isn't a punishment. It is technically exile from Earth, however, for nearly trying to kill everyone, since the Diamonds don't want to stay.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Spinel was created to be an entertainer, not a warrior. While she's a surprisingly capable fighter, her "fighting style" basically revolves around using her bizarre movements to throw opponents off. She only won her initial fight with the Crystal Gems thanks to her wacky movements and her Rejuvenator (helped by the fact that two years of peace have made the Crystal Gems rusty, as Amethyst says). Once they regain their memories in their second fight, Spinel is soundly defeated as she doesn't have her Rejuvenator and the Crystal Gems are better prepared to counter her rubbery abilities (made worse by the fact that Spinel is undergoing an extreme emotional and mental breakdown as opposed to her first battle, where she was focused solely on killing them). During her final battle with Steven, she only held her own because Steven was more focused on defending himself and trying to talk her down.
    • Even her rather impressive skill with her Rejuvenator scythe (a type of weapon that is not inherently intuitive to utilize as a weapon like, say, a sword or spear is) could be chalked up to utilizing her in-built dexterity that she would use to entertain Pink Diamond, such as juggling acts, meaning she has no actual training in the use of weaponry nor built to handle weapons, but instead leverages the abilities she was made to have in order to make up for it.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: With Pink Diamond, she was like a joyful kid, happily playing and goofing around with her, to the point that Pearl is shocked and shaken to see her as the Ax-Crazy Big Bad. Six thousand years of being left alone and the sudden realization that Pink abandoned her left her with rage against Pink, against Earth, against Steven, against everything.
    • Played for Drama; She's convinced that nobody would want her the way she is now compared to her original state, to the point that she's willing to try to kill Steven over the mere suspicion that he might use the Rejuvenator on her again.
      Spinel: You really expect me to believe you want me like this?!
  • Vengeful Abandoned Toy: The vicious Spinel turns out to have once been a cheerful, friendly jester specifically created to be Pink Diamond's sentient plaything and best friend. When Pink decided she wanted a colony of her own, she abandoned Spinel like a child would a toy they were bored with. To make matters worse, rather than tell Spinel the truth, Pink claimed that they were going to play a new game: Spinel had to stand in one place until Pink got back. And so Spinel stood there...for six thousand years. Once she finally learned she'd been ditched, the isolation and grief drove her insane and pushed her to go to Earth for revenge against Pink's son Steven. The plot was inspired by a real incident where Rebecca Sugar discovered her old toy bunny in the garden and wondered what it would've have felt about being forgotten.
  • Verbal Tic: She tends to use words like "gee" and "swell" in her sentences, like a 1920s rubberhose cartoon character.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Steven constantly trying to get through to her tips her over the breaking point, causing her to rage at him while trying to keep fighting. It helps that Steven intentionally doesn't put up any offense, only blocking or deflecting everything Spinel throws at him. This leads to Spinel talking herself down when she realizes just how far she's fallen.
    Spinel: [seethes angrily] All that stuff's easy for you to say! [sneers mockingly] When you change, you change for the better! [turns furious, lunging at Steven] When I change, I CHANGE FOR THE WORSE! [starts pounding on Steven's shield] I used to be Just! Not! Good enough! Just not good enough for Pink! But now... [her voice starts to waver as she slams both fists down on Steven's shield] Now... I'M NOT GOOD AT ALL! [...] [starts to giggle sadly] That's funny, right? At least you found me entertaining. You actually... liked me... didn't you? [her voice breaks into sobs] 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...
  • Villainous Lament: "Drift Away", during which she explains her Start of Darkness and tragic backstory.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: Her hairline is in this shape, more prominently in her current form as it emphasizes her scowling.
  • Villain Song: "Other Friends", sung upon her arrival on Earth during her first fight with the Crystal Gems, is all about how "swell" she finds it to meet Pink's, well, other friends... and how swell she also finds it to beat them all to a pulp.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Spinel will occasionally slip into an excessively cute tone of voice reminiscent of Darla Dimple, making the actions she takes while doing so all the more unnerving.
  • What Have I Become?: At the end of her fight with Steven, she slowly realizes that her desire for revenge completely twisted her into a gem who wants to take her anger out on a bunch of innocent people and breaks down, admitting that she just wants to be Steven's friend.
  • Went Crazy When They Left: When Spinel finds out that Pink Diamond abandoned her and had no intention of coming back, she snapped. Now, Spinel's worries about being abandoned again are so strong, she lets out a Big "NO!" at the mere suggestion of being left alone for a few minutes.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Notably, Spinel's scythe is not a weapon from her gem, but an old tool used on Gems years before the series' start. Similarly, the injector was nowhere to be seen before her introduction. Where exactly she got both these things is up in the air, as there is no evidence or explanation in the movie but both are incredibly powerful and are used to devastating effect.note 
  • Why Can't I Hate You?: For all her deranged and homicidal actions, for all the things she's said and done to him, she doesn't actually hold any real animosity towards Steven. She's just lashing out over being rejected by Pink Diamond. In fact, when she's pressed, she admits that she has no idea why she's trying to hurt him and what's more, after being abandoned by Pink Diamond, she deeply appreciates the fact that he liked her and honestly wants to accept his offer of friendship.
  • Wicked Heart Symbol: Her Gem is in the shape of a heart, which was right-side up in her original form. 6,000 years later, Spinel ended up going through a Madness Makeover after feeling crushed by the emotional pressure of being abandoned by her mistress/playmate, Pink Diamond, with part of this makeover having her rotate her Gem upside-down, symbolizing how twisted and insane she became. The top of her injector has a symbol similar to her Gem in its current state.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She tried to destroy Earth as a knee-jerk reaction to learning that she had been abandoned by the person she cared most about and being subject to 6000 years of torture.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The first time around in fighting the Crystal Gems, Spinel mops the floor with them thanks to the group being rusty after two years of peace, and her own movements and Rejuvenator catching them off-guard. The second fight goes poorly for her in comparison, because she's lacking the Rejuvenator, the Crystal Gems were back in full force (sans Steven), and also because she was in no small amount of emotional turmoil at the time compared to the first go-around, where she was just dead-set on killing everyone outright.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Steven destroys her Rejuvenator to prove he would never intentionally use it on her.
  • Yandere: A platonic example. She wants to kill Steven because Pink Diamond, his mother, abandoned her and left her in their garden for 6,000 years. She's heartbroken not just because Pink Diamond abandoned her, but because she abandoned her for new friends, the very thing she was made to be. Also, she has a brief Heel–Face Turn after Steven tells her that she will one day find someone who actually likes her and she attaches herself to him... Only for her to have a panic attack when Steven (accidentally) makes her think that he wants to erase her memories and leave her alone again, causing her to have a relapse that makes her want to kill Steven even more.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: What the black streaks on her face are revealed to symbolize — her broken heart and the tears she's shed after realizing that she waited for eons for a friend who had long forgotten about her.
  • Your Size May Vary: When she's acting as an antagonist, she's around Pearl's height, but when she's acting on the heroes' side, she's around Steven's height. Justified, as her stretching powers making her size inherently non-static.