A creature gives birth to Cannon Fodder as a defense mechanism.
A creature, very often seen in video game boss battles, which creates smaller versions of itself or gives birth to attack its enemies. Sometimes there is an explanation, such as it being the queen of a race of Bee People or is the Mother of a Thousand Young, sometimes there isn't. Sometimes a monster will just spawn smaller copies and send them after the enemy with no other indication that it is actually female (sometimes it will be explicitly stated as male, on top of things). This, in video games, tends to happen just to make the boss fight more difficult and/or annoying. Usually these characters have a seemingly endless supply of offspring to launch at potential attackers. It's probably worth noting that eggs don't need to be fertilised. Natural selection favors those who pass on their genes, which requires at least some of their offspring to survive long enough to reproduce. However, in the case of eusocial insects such as bees, ants, and termites, all but the queens and drones are sterile, so it doesn't matter if they die as long as it helps their mother survive long enough to produce fertile offspring that can pass on their genes. A sister trope to Tyke Bomb, and subtrope of Mook Maker and Abnormal Ammo. Related to Flunky Boss and Asteroids Monster. Also a subtrope of Living Weapon and Natural Weapon (since the ability to produce offspring is pretty inherent). Compare Doppelgänger Attack. Contrast Spawn Broodling: this trope is about attacking or creating allies by giving birth; Spawn Broodling is about attacking or creating allies by making the enemy give birth.
Video Game examples:Action-Adventure
- Gohma in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time lays eggs as you fight her, which if not destroyed hatch into baby spiders.
- The Deku Toad from Twilight Princess is first seen when tadpoles drop from the ceiling and attack you (it repeats this tactic later on).
- Metroid Prime 2 has the Chykka, guardian of Dark Torvus, who spawns Chykklings during the fight against her. This generally makes the fight easier, since Chykklings are easily destroyed and usually drop profuse amounts of health and ammo.
- Another creature in Metroid Prime 3, the Fargul Hatcher, which is not a boss but appears in only one spot on the planet Bryyo, also uses this form of attack by spawning a wave of Fargul Wasps at Samus.
- Metroid: Fusion has enemies in the water zone that launch rotating eggs (maybe they're eggs...?) from their abdomens.
- Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from American McGee's Alice can open up and spawn smaller, weaker copies of themselves.
- In Infamous 2, the Hive Lord enemy will create pods that sprout from that ground. The pods hatch Spikers if player doesn't destroy them fast enough.
- Mother Smiles in killer7 lay eggs that roll towards the player. They hatch if they get close to the player, or if they're shot, turning into a vanilla Action Bomb Heaven Smile.
- The Ravagers in Mass Effect 3 release tiny Swarmers when wounded, which crawl towards the attacker and try to push them into the Ravager's line of fire.
- One of the Divine Beasts in Solatorobo lays eggs in midair that hatch into small birds that attack you.
- In Pokémon, the move "Egg Bomb" is naturally learned by Chansey, Blissey, and Exeggutor.
- In Final Fantasy VII, the Grangalan outside Costa del Sol can spawn smaller versions of itself known Grangalan Jr. for the second generation and Grangalan Jr. Jr. for the third and smallest generation.
- The Gonarch from Half-Life creates Headcrabs (who are essentially smaller versions of it) during the fight against it.
- Shial from Blood has spawning of regular spiders as its only attack.
- The 1996 release of Duke Nukem 3D had Duke face the alien queen as the Final Boss. The queen routinely birthed drones that could fire shrink rays at Duke, making him very squishable.
- Cerberi in the first God of War game spit out puppylike Cerberus Seeds that, if given enough time, will grow into full grown Cerberi.
- Heroic(?) example, the Yoshis use their eggs as projectiles.
- Birdo from the same had the trademark move of shooting eggs out of his mouth.
- In Super Ghouls and Ghosts, the boss of the first stage is a giant bird which spits eggs out of its mouth which hatch into smaller, groundbound bird monsters which attack you.
- Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure has Sonic Boom, whose children are cursed to constantly be reborn as eggs. Because of this, she decides to train her children to fight as soon as they hatch, so that they can be able to defend themselves at any time. It can be upgraded in various ways, including the ability for the eggs to inflict damage before the babies hatch from them. They also manage to inherit her sonic abilities.
- In Mega Man X, Storm Eagle can fire eggs which will hatch into robotic birds that will attack you.
- In Mega Man Zero 4, Popla Cocapetri (a chicken) can lay an egg with 2 legs that will run about, harrassing you. The egg is hard to kill, too.
- In the original Starcraft the Zerg's Queen units could spawn broodlings, in StarcraftII the Brood Lord does that as does Kerrigan.
- The Heart of the Swarm expansion to Starcraft II introduces the Swarm Host unit that spawns short-lived locusts. The Primal Zerg Pack Leader Slivan the Eternal Mother resembles a massive Swarm Host. In another mission the Brood Mother Niadra spawns several zerglings without the use of a hatchery.
- Nerubians and Hydras from Warcraft III spawn two smaller Nerubians / Hydras on death. In the Nerubian's case it's explained as their carrying their young into battle.
- Crypt Fiends and Nerubians in Warcraft 3 attack with what seems to be tiny, floating spiderlings. You can also notice that said spiders will float back to the user after being cast. Furthermore, the description of the Nerubian unit implies this.
- The Empress Bulbax of Pikmin lays Bulborb larvae to attack you the second time you face it.
- In Nethack it's possible for a female character polymorphed into a monster to lay eggs. Cockatrice eggs can be thrown in order to stone an enemy. Throwing eggs you laid results in a luck penalty though. Alternatively a character that finds an egg can carry it with them, and it may become a tame monster upon hatching.
- This is the attack of the final boss of Apidya, a giant hornet that keeps releasing bees at you.
- Boatmurdered: "A few more war dogs ran out and attacked. I have to say I'm slightly terrified by them. One of the bitches actually gave birth while she was attacking, and her puppies joined in on the carnage."
- Thanks to the detailed simulation and Wide Open Sandbox nature of Dwarf Fortress, it's completely possible, even with a vanilla version, to use quickly reproducing non-pasture animals such as turkeys or peafowl as an infinite source of ammunition to blast off lava cannons onto enemy hordes. The trick is to set the ammo on fire prior to launch. And of course, you probably have some dwarven kids running around as well, contributing nothing and learning nothing while depleting your booze stock for nine years...
- In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Alexia's penultimate boss form turns her into a Queen Ant like creature that constantly births small poisonous insectoid enemies that run interference while Chris tries to fight her.
- Breeders and Mother Breeders in Might and Magic: Heroes VI are demons whose bodies constantly generate imps, which they then command to fly kamikaze-style at the enemy.
- The giant grubs in Diablo II lay eggs while a player is nearby, which quickly spawn into aggressive larvae.
- Wasps from Diablo III will shoot small, slow-moving, explosive versions of themselves at you.
- The Daedra Spiders in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion send little mini-versions of themselves to attack and paralyze you.
Non Video Game examples:Anime/Manga
- In Dragonball Z, Cell creates miniature clones of himself to battle the "lesser" members of the Z team.
- There's a Green Lantern villain called Evil Star who makes Starlings that are dwarf copies of himself.
- In A Clash of Kings, Melisandre gives birth to a living shadow which slays Ser Cortnay Penrose.
- In Ender's Game (and sequels) the Formic queen gives birth to all her soldiers, since the Formics are an insect race.
- In Community while playing the in-universe video game "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne" Abed reprograms his NPC wife to birth babies (which look like tiny versions of Abed) and uses them to fight the final boss.
- The X-Files: Flukeman would bite people and inject its parasitic larvae into them.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: The "Bluegill" neural parasites were controlled by "mother-creatures"- large parasites- that appeared to produce the smaller mind-controlling bug-like parasites.
- The Visitors in V-2009, having the characteristics of Bee People in this regard, used this trope: Anna (the Queen) spawned a huge number of eggs to raise an army of warriors.
- The Tyranid's Tervigon unit from Warhammer 40K spawns Termagants.
- In the board game Evo (which is about dinosaurs mutating and surviving in a hostile environment), there is a card called "Tough Babies", which allows newborn dinosaurs to attack enemy dinosaurs, which they normally cannot. Amusingly, the card depicts a baby dino poking a machine gun out of its eggshell...
- In the Family Guy Y2K parody episode "Da Boom", the nuclear holocaust mutates Stewie into a half-human-half-octopus creature, who then lays a huge pile of eggs. Next scene, an army of human-octopi march through the town chanting "victory is ours", and attack the people by jumping at them and grabbing their faces with their tentacles.
- This tends to be the case with social insects; all of them except for queens are infertile and only exist to fight off threats or gather food. Special mention goes to bees, who's reproductive organs are converted into stings (which kill them when they're used) and termites, which can explode to drive off intruders.
- When a female aphid starts a new colony, she first gives birth to a cluster of non-breeding clone daughters that surround her. Predators pick off these cannon-fodder offspring while their mom remains sheltered by her young, able to produce a new generation of disperer/breeders.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.