Immortal Snail, also known as the Snail Assassin, refers to a hypothetical scenario in which a person is given millions of dollars and made immortal in exchange for being hunted down by a snail with a fatal touch for the rest of their existence. In October 2021, the scenario became a popular subject of references on iFunny, later spreading to TikTok and other platforms.
On August 26th, 2014, episode #285 of the Rooster Teeth Podcast was released, in which hosts Gus Sorola, Gavin Free, Matt Hullum and Burnie Burns discuss a hypothetical scenario in which a person receives $10 million in exchange for having a snail follow them wherever they go for the rest of their life that will kill them upon being touched (shown below).
On October 1st, 2014, the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel uploaded an animated video using audio from the podcast (shown below). Within three years, the video gained over 2.8 million views and 1,200 comments.
On December 16th, 2016, Redditor Andy316619 submitted a variation of the scenario to /r/AskReddit, where it gathered upwards of 40,300 points (82% upvoted) and 10,300 comments prior to being archived. In the thread, Redditor XXX69694206969XXX asked "Can't I just put it in a box?", to which Andy316619 replied that "it was a decoy snail." The following day, Redditor GermanSailfish submitted a post titled "I'm betting all my money on this new possible meme: Decoy Snail" to /r/MemeEconomy.
On March 3rd, 2017, Redditor ass-on-houston-texas submitted a screenshot of a Tinder conversation featuring the Immortal Snail to /r/Tinder (shown below). Within four months, the post received upwards of 1,700 points (96% upvoted) and 170 comments. On July 10th, Redditor Katfish880 submitted a post asking "What's up with 'The Immortal Snail'?" to /r/OutOfTheLoop.
On August 6th, 2021, TikTok user benjhandy posted a video about the scenario that received over 773,000 views and 86,600 likes in two months, reigniting public interest in it.
On October 14th, 2021, iFunny user Marshmallows posted a video caption meme referencing the scenario without providing context. The post was featured on the app and received over 29,800 smiles in five days (shown below).
On October 17th, 2021, iFunny user darkshow415 posted an edited version of the meme, adding an additional Will You Press the Button? panel providing context. The post was featured and received over 31,800 smiles in two days (shown below, left).
Starting on October 19th, video caption memes referencing the scenario achieved viral popularity on iFunny. For example, on that day, iFunny user CrusaderEuropa made a post that received over 10,500 smiles in one day (shown below, center). On the same day, iFunny user Hobo posted a video caption that gained over 10,600 smiles in eight hours (shown below, right).
Following the explosive spread of the meme on iFunny, the trend spread to TikTok. For example, on October 20th, TikToker wes1613 reposted an iFunny meme by user BakaSamurai, with the video gaining over 2 million views and 510,000 likes in two days (shown below, left). On October 21st, TikToker bryce.luttrell02 posted a video that gained over 2.6 million views and 518,000 likes in one day (shown below, center). On the same day, TikToker wyatttt_ posted a video that accumulated over 1.4 million views and 284,000 likes in one day (shown below, right).