Created By: JokubasJuly 8, 2013 Last Edited By: hbi2kAugust 21, 2014
Troped

Smashed Eggs Hatching

When smashing an egg leads to the creature inside emerging healthy and often ready for battle.

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Trope
This is the tendency in fiction to have eggs (be they spider eggs, dragons eggs, or insectoid alien eggs) as some sort of destructible object that when attacked, releases the creature inside. Oftentimes, they emerge ready to attack and, in some cases, even fully grown.

In games, this is often an excuse to give you an enemy to fight when the situation may have no other option. It also serves a similar gameplay purpose as the drama in You Cant Thwart Stage One, as it means you can't avoid a fight and make a situation an Anti Climax.

Of course, this is an absurd misunderstanding of eggs. In Real Life, crushing an egg would almost certainly kill what's inside. Even if it somehow managed to survive, the fact that it's in an egg means it's a developing creature, meaning it would be crippled at best.

Often overlaps with Weaponized Offspring.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Film 
  • Dr. Rumack in Airplane! pulls birds from a sick lady's mouth, cracks them open and a bird flies out.
  • At the end of the 1960 film adaptation of The Lost World, a large egg is dropped and cracks open, revealing a tiny "baby T. rex".

     Literature 
  • Happens to Pinocchio when he attempts to make himself a meal.
  • In the Diane Duane Star Trek novel The Wounded Sky at the end of the novel Kirk accidentally drops the egg case left behind by K't'lk - which promptly hatches into her daughter self K's't'lk.

     Live-Action TV 
  • In The Young Ones episode "Bomb", the apparent atom bomb that fell into the lads' house from a plane turns out to be an airplane egg, which when thumped hatches out a tiny model plane that immediately flies away.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Magic The Gathering's M14 set, there is a card called Dragon Egg that creates a Dragon creature token when it dies.
  • Dungeons And Dragons
    • Module OA6 Ronin Challenge. The hen Sahira lays a variety of magical eggs for the use of the PCs, and two of them cause creatures to appear when broken.
      • When a Golden Egg is broken, a small bird made of fire appears and flies away, leading the party in the direction they need to go.
      • If a Grey Egg is shattered, a hkum yeng nat appears. If there is a village within 20 miles it attacks the PCs: if not, it serves them for five minutes.
    • Dragon Lance setting. The Incubalum is a unique magic item: an egg-shaped object about a foot long made of a tough grey material. If it's broken an adult version of a land-dwelling, egg-laying animal will appear from it, anything from a songbird to a dragon. It is not under anyone's control and acts normally for its type.
    • D&D Rules Cyclopedia. When broken, an Egg of Wonder releases a randomly determined animal which obeys the person who broke the egg. It remains for one hour or until killed, then disappears.

    Video Games 
  • World Of Warcraft does this multiple times, including during the quest "The Clutches of Evil." You are tasked with destroying 15 Proto-Drake Eggs, which have a random chance of spawning a battle-ready Proto-Whelp upon destruction (note that the "Proto" refers to them being the evolutionary ancestors of the dragons, not that they are not-quite whelps).
  • Hearthstone:
    • The game has the card "Nerubian Egg." Its "Deathrattle" ability, which triggers when it is killed, causes a fully grown Nerubian to emerge.
    • The Naxxramas game board has spider egg sacs that, when poked enough, release baby spiders.
  • Firefall has Aranha egg sacs that explode when shot or when in proximity of the player, revealing combat-ready Aranhas inside.
  • In Rift, during the quest "Creepy Crawlies," you're tasked with collecting Venom Sacs from two kinds of giant spiders. One of these types of spiders come from Egg Sacs, which you attack, causing several spiders that are each larger than the egg sacs to emerge.
  • Dark Souls has the Egg Carrier enemy whose back is covered in eggs and, when killed, releases Vile Maggots to attack you.
  • Metroid
    • Subverted in Metroid Zero Mission. There is a point where Samus wanders into a nest filled with alien eggs, but cracking one causes it to leak into goo. However, she doesn't get away with this that easily. The angered mother of those eggs appears, initiating a Boss Battle.
    • Played straight in Metroid II: Return of Samus. When Samus enters the Metroid's nest, the eggs hatch and she has to deal with the larvae before she can complete the mission. However, this also leads to the birth of the baby that becomes the Mac Guffin of Super Metroid.
  • A variant occurs in the old X Com game with the Chryssalid zombies - killing them would instantly spawn a fully matured Chryssalid in its place, unless a heavy enough ordinance is used.
  • A bonus Scoring Points opportunity in Dynomite! (a Puzzle Bobble clone from PopCap Games); the gameplay involves smashing dinosaur eggs to progress, but eggs which are shaking are ready to hatch, and smashing them while they are still shaking results in the release of a cute baby dino which squeaks "Mama!" as it falls.
  • In Mega Man 2, Air Man's stage has an enemy who is a bird that drops eggs. Upon hitting the ground, the eggs hatch into smaller birds. Potentially justified by the fact they're robots and don't have to be built to follow the rules of the biological creatures they resemble.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 3, in the Dino Might! level, you can find a T-rex egg and then jump on it to smash it open, revealing a baby T-rex inside for you to ride it.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IV: A random encounter named Mystery Egg will hatch into a fully-powered monster after it takes enough damage. It will also hatch if enough time passes.
    • Final Fantasy The 4 Heroes Of Light: In the village Invidia, there is a large dragon egg. The heroes plan to hatch the egg by either casting a fire spell at it, or by smashing it with a large hammer. This trope is averted because no matter which plan the player chooses, it will fail. The egg only hatches after playing a magical harp.
  • Occurs repeatedly in Warcraft III, where eggs often contain baby spiders or Nerubians when destroyed (some contain items).
  • Dragon Quest VI: One arc has you look for a monster preventing progress on clearing a mountain path. The cave leading to the monster is filled with eggs that contain a minor winged snake enemy when cracked (despite the monster referring to the eggs as her children, she's a dragon-dinosaur that looks nothing like a snake).
  • One of the Divine Beasts in Solatorobo averts this, since grabbing the eggs and throwing them into one another prevents them from hatching tiny birds that attack you.
  • Realm Of The Mad God: Some rooms are filled with eggs which turn into fully capable spiders when they are broken. Breaking them too fast results in an enormous wave of spiders attacking.
  • Minecraft: Thrown eggs sometimes hatch into a young chicken that is feathered and capable of walking immediately.
  • In Banjo Kazooie, the first step of Eyrie the Eagle's quest is to help baby Eyrie 'hatch' by smashing its egg open.
  • The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim add-on Dawnguard has this in form of pupae rather than eggs. A common enemy in cave dungeons is the chaurus, an insectoid monster which can be found as a roach-like larva (found in all versions of the game) and the mosquito-like imago (found only with the DLC Dawnguard). One transforms into the other by going through a pupal stage, just like real insects do; however, if you smash a pupa, a healthy chaurus imago emerges and attacks you.
  • Yoshi is found within eggs that are scattered throughout Super Mario Galaxy 2. You need to break him free by destroying said eggs in order to ride him. Justified in-game as the eggs were designed to trap the already long-hatched Yoshi rather than as a container for an unhatched Yoshi.
  • Super Mario RPG has a boss fight where the heroes attack an egg, causing it to hatch and reveal Birdo.
  • Diablo 3: Spider eggs, most frequently found in the Caverns of Aranea, are waiting to hatch hostile spiderlings whenever the player approaches or breaks one. Some areas have cocoons that serve the same function.
  • In Vampire The Masquerade Redemption, hitting spider eggs results in them breaking open and releasing a swarm of baby spiders that promptly attack.

     Western Animation 
  • In the Classic Disney Short "Alpine Climbers", Mickey Mouse is caught stealing eagle eggs by the mama eagle, and to keep her from attacking he throws her own eggs at her. Each time the eggs hit, they hatch into eaglets, who are already able to fly and attack Mickey.
  • Double Subverted in the Futurama episode "Fry Am The Eggman". Fry takes an egg from an unknown species and tries to hatch it. Eventually he drops it, and at first it appears to be just a yolk inside. But then an alien creature crawls out of the mess and starts spraying acid everywhere.
Community Feedback Replies: 47
  • July 8, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    • Subverted in Metroid Zero Mission. There is a point where Samus wanders into a nest filled with alien eggs, but cracking one causes it to leak into goo. However, she doesn't get away with this that easily. The angered mother of those eggs appears, initiating a Boss Battle.
      • Played straight in Metroid II: Return of Samus. When Samus enters the Metroid's nest, the eggs hatch and she has to deal with the larvae before she can complete the mission. However, this also leads to the birth of the baby that becomes the Mac Guffin of Super Metroid.
  • July 9, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Duke Nukum 3 D has these. If you destroy 1, a Demonic Spider appears. But it's optional.
  • July 11, 2013
    Jokubas
    Since Tropes Are Not Narrow, I was wondering if this should be expanded to include a somewhat different trope, but is used and is baffling for about the same reasons. Said trope being where it's you getting close to an egg that inexplicably causes it to hatch into a battle-ready baby. Note that this isn't a dramatic trope where the baby is conveniently ready to be born as the heroes arrive, but when your presence itself causes them to spontaneously hatch, sometimes explosively.

    • World Of Warcraft uses this in a couple of places, mostly notably in Upper Blackrock Spire. Getting close to the black dragon eggs causes them to explode into whelps. This particular room was made famous by Leeroy Jenkins.
    • Star Wars Republic Commando does this in the level "Infiltrate the Droid Foundry." Getting close to the eggs causes them to hatch and attack you.
  • July 11, 2013
    JonnyB
    A non-gaming example: Dr. Rumack in Airplane! pulls birds from a sick lady's mouth, cracks them open and a bird flies out.
  • July 11, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized work titles, changed a Red Link to a Wiki Word.
  • July 11, 2013
    maddthesane
    Does this cover where breaking an egg hatches the thing inside and it doesn't attack you? I'm sure there are some games that do that. Or would that be a different (but no doubt related) trope?
  • July 11, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    A note on the Duke Nukem 3D example, that it is not correct. The Protozoid Slimer enemies would spawn in the eggs, usually hatching when the player is in their line of sight. The act of destroying the egg does not, in fact, spawn a Protozoid Slimer. Whereas destroying a slime-wrapped woman would, in fact, spawn alien assault troopers or in worse cases, even an assault commander.

    Videogames
    • A variant occurs in the old X-Com game with the Chryssalid zombies- killing them would instantly spawn a fully matured Chryssalid in it's place, unless a heavy enough ordinance is used.
  • July 11, 2013
    Jokubas
    Yeah, this would cover instances where the thing somehow emerges and is not aggressive. I altered the description to account for that.

    Since there has been no consensus about whether the proximity-mine-eggs should be part of this, I won't add those examples to the top yet, but I'll keep track of them here.

    • In Lord Of The Rings Online, there is a place called Torech-i-Bogbereth, near the town of Gath Forthnír. It is filled with spiders, spider eggs, and cocoons. Get close enough to one of the eggs, and it will split open, revealing a newly spawned spider enemy.
  • July 11, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    Literature
    • In White Dragon, from Anne Mc Caffrey's Dragonriders Of Pern series, Jaxom breaks open an odd-looking dragon egg that everyone assumed would hold only a dead, misshapen dragon. The shell was actually just too tough for the baby dragon to break, and it imprinted onto the young lord immediately.
      • "He says his name is Ruth!"
  • July 11, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Please reword the World Of Warcraft example. There's no "I" in the example section.
  • July 11, 2013
    SharleeD
    At the end of the 1960 film adaptation of The Lost World, a large egg is dropped and cracks open, revealing a tiny "baby T. rex" Slurpasaur.
  • July 11, 2013
    Trueman001
    (Video Games)
    • A bonus Scoring Points opportunity in Dynomite! (a Puzzle Bobble clone from PopCap Games); the gameplay involves smashing dinosaur eggs to progress, but shaking eggs are ready to hatch, and smashing them while they are still shaking results in the release of a cute baby dino which squeaks "Mama!" as it falls.
  • July 11, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • In Mega Man 2, Air Man's stage has an enemy who is a bird that drops eggs. Upon hitting the ground, the eggs hatch into smaller birds. Probably justified by the fact they're robots.
  • July 11, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Threw a link to the card in the Magic The Gathering example.
  • July 11, 2013
    Jokubas
    I'll reword the World Of Warcraft example, but I never planned on it launching with that wording. That was just a signal to see if anyone else could remember any other examples from the game while it's here on YKTTW.
  • July 11, 2013
    TonyG
    • In the Classic Disney Short "Alpine Climbers", Mickey Mouse is caught stealing eagle eggs by the mama eagle, and to keep her from attacking he throws her own eggs at her. Each time the eggs hit, they hatch into eaglets, who are able to fly and attack Mickey.
    • Double Subverted on the Futurama episode "Fry Am The Eggman". Fry takes an egg from an unknown species and tries to hatch it. Eventually he drops it, and at first it appears to be just a yolk inside. But then an alien creature crawls out of the mess and starts spraying acid everywhere.
  • July 22, 2014
    Jokubas
    I've resisted the temptation of TV Tropes for awhile now, but ran into a few more examples of this trope and decided to add them, along with the ones posted since I last checked.
  • July 22, 2014
    DAN004
    • In Crash Bandicoot 3, in Dino Might! level, you can find a T-rex egg and then jump on it to smash it open, revealing a baby T-rex inside for you to ride it.
  • July 23, 2014
    Arivne
    There may be more examples on the Offspring Attack YKTTW proposal or the Weaponized Offspring trope page.
  • July 23, 2014
    Arivne
    • Examples section formatting
      • Changed media section title(s) to our standard style.
      • Blue Linked media section title(s).
      • Alphabetized media sections.
    • Corrected improper Example Indentation in the White Dragon and Hearthstone example(s).
    • Corrected spelling (it's place -> its place).
  • July 23, 2014
    FerrousFaucet
    Here are a couple of video game examples:

    • Final Fantasy IV: A random encounter named Mystery Egg will hatch into a fully-powered monster after it takes enough damage. It will also hatch if enough time passes.
    • Final Fantasy The 4 Heroes Of Light: In the village Invidia, there is a large dragon egg. The heroes plan to hatch the egg by either casting a fire spell at it, or by smashing it with a large hammer. This trope is averted because no matter which plan the player chooses, it will fail. The egg only hatches after playing a magical harp.
  • July 23, 2014
    Chabal2
    • Occurs repeatedly in Warcraft III, where eggs often contain baby spiders or Nerubians when destroyed (some contain items).
    • Dragon Quest VI: One arc has you look for a monster preventing progress on clearing a mountain path. The cave leading to the monster is filled with eggs that contain a minor winged snake enemy when cracked (despite the monster referring to the eggs as her children, she's a dragon-dinosaur that looks nothing like a snake).
    • One of the Divine Beasts in Solatorobo averts this, since grabbing the eggs and throwing them into one another prevents them from hatching tiny birds that attack you.

  • July 23, 2014
    FerrousFaucet
    More video game examples:

    • Realm Of The Mad God: Some rooms are filled with eggs which turn into fully capable spiders when they are broken. Breaking them too fast results in an enormous wave of spiders attacking.

    • Minecraft: Thrown eggs sometimes hatch into a young chicken that is feathered and capable of walking immediately.
  • July 23, 2014
    Omeganian
    Happens to Pinocchio when he attempts to make himself a meal.
  • July 23, 2014
    SharleeD
    • In The Young Ones episode "Bomb", the apparent atom bomb that fell into the lads' house from a plane turns out to be an airplane egg, which when thumped hatches out a tiny model plane that immediately flies away.
  • July 23, 2014
    Astaroth
    • In Banjo Kazooie, the first step of Eyrie the Eagle's quest is to help baby Eyrie 'hatch' by smashing its egg open.
  • July 23, 2014
    Exxolon
    In the Diane Duane Star Trek novel The Wounded Sky at the end of the novel Kirk accidentally drops the egg case left behind by K't'lk - which promptly hatches into her daughter self K's't'lk.
  • July 23, 2014
    DAN004
    Add examples plz.
  • July 23, 2014
    dalek955
    • In Minecraft, chicken eggs have a 1/8 chance to hatch a live chick when thrown. A common feature of chicken farms is a device to collect eggs and shoot them against a wall to make more chickens.
  • July 23, 2014
    MrL1193
    You probably could shorten the title to Smashing Hatching (and make a nice rhyme to boot).
  • July 23, 2014
    MorganWick
  • July 23, 2014
    MrL1193
    Another variation: Hatching By Smashing.
  • July 27, 2014
    aurora369
    TES V: Skyrim add-on Dawnguard has this in form of pupae rather than eggs. A common enemy in cave dungeons is the chaurus, an insectoid monster which can be found as a roach-like larva (found in all versions of the game) and the mosquito-like imago (found only with the DLC Dawnguard). One transforms into the other by going through a pupal stage, just like real insects do; however, if you smash a pupa, a healthy chaurus imago emerges and attacks you.
  • July 27, 2014
    KarjamP
    • Yoshi is found within eggs that are scattered throughout Super Mario Galaxy 2. You need to break him free by destroying said eggs in order to ride him. Justified in-game as the eggs were designed to trap the already long-hatched Yoshi rather than as a container for an unhatched Yoshi.
  • July 27, 2014
    GoldenDarkness
    Not sure if this fits, but Super Mario RPG has a boss fight where the heroes attack an egg, causing it to hatch and reveal Birdo.
  • July 27, 2014
    UltramarineAlizarin
    The Mega Man 2 example is zig-zagged — if Mega Man shoots the egg before it hits the ground, it won't hatch. For the record, the enemy's name is Pipi and it appears in a couple of stages in MM2. There is also a variant named DeluPipi that appears in Mega Man 7 and functions much the same.
  • July 28, 2014
    Dawnwing
    • In Minecraft, throwing a chicken egg will have a chance of spawning a baby chicken. In Creative Mode, there are also spawn eggs for most of the other mobs in the game.
  • July 29, 2014
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons
      • Module OA6 Ronin Challenge. The hen Sahira lays a variety of magical eggs for the use of the PCs, and two of them cause creatures to appear when broken.
        • When a Golden Egg is broken, a small bird made of fire appears and flies away, leading the party in the direction they need to go.
        • If a Grey Egg is shattered, a hkum yeng nat appears. If there is a village within 20 miles it attacks the PCs: if not, it serves them for five minutes.
      • Dragon Lance setting. The Incubalum is a unique magic item: an egg-shaped object about a foot long made of a tough grey material. If it's broken an adult version of a land-dwelling, egg-laying animal will appear from it, anything from a songbird to a dragon. It is not under anyone's control and acts normally for its type.
      • D&D Rules Cyclopedia. When broken, an Egg of Wonder releases a randomly determined animal which obeys the person who broke the egg. It remains for one hour or until killed, then disappears.
  • July 29, 2014
    hbi2k
    Lots of good examples in the comment that need to be added. @Jokubas?
  • July 29, 2014
    Fighteer
    • Diablo 3: Spider eggs, most frequently found in the Caverns of Aranea, are waiting to hatch hostile spiderlings whenever the player approaches or breaks one. Some areas have cocoons that serve the same function.
  • July 29, 2014
    Chernoskill
    Videogames

  • July 29, 2014
    Fighteer
    The Dragonriders Of Pern example is invalid, as those are indeed immature dragons at their normal hatching, and Ruth isn't special in that sense, aside from having an unusual egg whose shell is too tough to crack from the inside.

    This needs a better name as well.
  • July 29, 2014
    Madrugada
    The Diane Duane Star Trek novel The Wounded Sky ("at the end of the novel Kirk accidentally drops the egg case left behind by K't'lk - which promptly hatches into her daughter self K's't'lk.") The egg was already in the process of hatching when he dropped it — in fact he dropped it because it shuddered and quivered in his hand as the beginning of hatching. It's also not an egg in the normal sense — there is no shell — when it breaks, all the pieces form up into the new creature.
  • July 29, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    ^^ The dragonriders (and dragons) all believed that the embryo was not developed enough: a stillborn child.
  • July 29, 2014
    DAN004
    Pls add examples and fix description.
  • July 30, 2014
    jormis29
    please change the redlink "Hearthstone" to Hearthstone Heroes Of Warcraft
  • July 31, 2014
    jormis29
    • Minecraft: Throwing eggs has a one in eight chance of spawning a baby chicken from wherever it smashes.

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