10 Unexpected Life Lessons Marcel The Shell Has Gifted Us

Great wisdom from a tiny shell.


From the moment we first met Marcel the Shell With Shoes On in 2010, we’ve been inspired by his unique perspective. Over the years – through shorts, books, and a feature film – Marcel has taught us valuable life lessons, such as...

Starting Small Can Lead To Big Things

He may have begun as a one-inch shell in a YouTube short, but 12 years later, Marcel is the star of his own feature movie.


Don’t Limit Yourself Based On Your Size

Marcel can do everything anyone else can do – ski (on toe nails from a man), write with a pen (but it takes the whole family), and wear a hat (a lentil) – he just might do it a little differently than other folks.

Sometimes, You Just Gotta Improvise

Marcel is a positive little guy, but he does regret he’ll never have a dog... so he drags around a fuzzy piece of lint and calls it Alan. It fills the void.

Don’t Fight Unless You’re Provoked

But if you are provoked, well, remember that time Marcel’s brother got into a fight and impaled a guy with a brush? (We still don’t quite know how... also probably don’t actually impale anyone with a brush...)

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Find Positive Role Models Who Inspire You

For Marcel, that person is 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl, whom Marcel praises as “fearless.”

Family Is Important

It’s common knowledge (we’re told) that it takes at least 20 shells to make a community. But even if all you have is one remarkable person, like Marcel’s Nana Connie, it’s important to hold them close.

There Are People Out There Who Want To Hear Your Story

Who would have guessed that millions of folks would want to hear about the tiny life of an itty bitty shell? But it’s having such a unique point of view that makes you all the more intriguing!

Be Open To Adventure

Whether hang gliding (on a Dorito) or setting on a cross-country trip to find your long-lost family, Marcel showed us that, yes, sometimes living life to the fullest can be scary, but it’s worth it.

Your People Are Out There

When you feel all alone, just remember that somewhere out there are others just like you just waiting for you to find them...

Love Yourself Unconditionally

He may be a shell with shoes and one googly eye, but he likes that about himself (and has a lot of other great qualities as well): we all need that energy.

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