Sniffles has had a long history of conflict against the ant family. Likewise, the Ants are shown to fear Sniffles given that he always tries to eat them on sight. Whenever these interactions occur, it almost always ends with the Ants getting away after Sniffles is tortured and killed.
While Sniffles is often depicted as a somewhat caring friend to the other main characters, the same cannot be said towards The Ants. Blast from the Past reveals that Sniffles himself started this war by going back in time to prehistoric days. During this time, ants and anteaters seemed to be friends, as we see an ancestor of Sniffles carrying an ant on his shoulder. By eating a nearby ant, Sniffles unknowingly lead his ancestor to do the same to his friend, liking the taste. The two species have been rivals ever since.
Most of the time, Sniffles brings the conflict onto himself and torments the ant family, sometimes to the point where they must resort to sadistic measures (an example being A Hard Act to Swallow, where they are given no choice but to burst Sniffles open after failing to escape through his mouth).
The Ants' Side
In a similar vein to Sniffles, the Ants are shown to care a lot about each other despite their deep hatred of him. While Sniffles is often the one who starts these quarrels, the Ants could be considered just as guilty, if not worse, for their disproportionate and sadistic retribution against him, especially given that Sniffles is only following his instincts as a predator. The one time an ant starts one of these conflicts is Suck It Up, where the baby ant steals Sniffles' cookies while he is sick in bed, forcing him to take them back.
It is theorized that Sniffles is responsible for the missing father figure of the ant family, which could explain their malicious tendencies against him. In Sniffles' defence, however, this isn't confirmed and it's possible the father ant died from natural causes or in the war that a picture shown in Crazy Ant-ics and Tongue in Cheek implies he fought in.
- So far, Sniffles has only once eaten an ant and got off scot-free (in Blast from the Past).
- Their rivalry may be based off of The Ant and the Aardvark.
- It is also comparable to Itchy and Scratchy due to the often gory aftermaths.
- No characters other than Sniffles have encountered the Ant Family. Characters who appeared in such episodes seem completely oblivious to the conflict between Sniffles and the Ants. Though in Tongue in Cheek, the mother ant was possibly thankful after Lumpy unknowingly saved her.