Is Sebastian from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” a Lobster or a Crab?

This weekend, Megan and I were discussing different types of mermaids, and naturally Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” came up. We were listing Ariel’s various friends in the movie, and I said something to the effect of, “How about the lobster, Sebastian?”

Megan looked at my quizzically. “You mean Sebastian the crab?”

“I’m pretty sure he’s a lobster.” Even as I said that, I was starting to doubt myself.

We went back and forth like this for a while, and eventually we Googled it. Turns out there’s quite a debate on the internet about Sebastian, including some confusion by Disney itself. Here’s a line from a fan website for The Little Mermaid:

According to the Disney website, official novelization and Disney-sanctioned reference material, Sebastian is a lobster. Controvery remains over Sebastian’s species due to Sebastian stating he himself is a crab, as well as Chef Louis indicating as such. In The Little Mermaid TV series, he is also referred to as a crab.

The primary reasons I view Sebastian as a lobster is the protruding head, the long body, and the lack of back claws (opposed to a crab, which doesn’t really have a head at all, has a round body, and has distinct back claws).

As a reminder, here’s a lobster:


I can also see the case for the crab, though, mostly because Sebastian doesn’t have whiskers or a tail.

As a reminder, here’s a crab:


In the end, Sesbastian seems to identify himself as a crab, and I respect his decision. Strictly in terms of art, though, I think he’s more lobster than crab. What do you think?

7 Responses to “Is Sebastian from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” a Lobster or a Crab?”

  1. The Tim says:

    Clearly he’s a mutant red turtle.

  2. Derian says:

    Do you trust that the crazy chef knows his seafood?

    Sacre bleu! What is this?
    How on earth could I miss
    Such a sweet little succulent crab?

  3. Kevin Heskett says:

    Maybe he has a mixed heritage? Dad was a lobster but mom is a crab?

  4. Sam Francis says:

    His claws are symmetrical, and he’s red. Most lobsters are only red when cooked. And their claws are asymmetrical – one is a snipper and one is a crusher. I vote crab.

  5. […] we’re going with a poll theme this week! Yesterday we debated the species identification of Sebastian from The Little Mermaid (the people have spoken, and he’s a crab!), and today I have a question about how you prefer […]

  6. Cheryl says:

    A red lobster is a dead lobster.

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