Created By: Gravityman on July 18, 2012 Last Edited By: morenohijazo on September 25, 2013
Troped

Weaponized Offspring

A creature gives birth to Cannon Fodder as a defense mechanism.

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Trope
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.

Action RPG
  • 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.

Eastern RPG
  • 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.

First-Person Shooter
  • 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.

Hack and Slash
  • Cerberi in the first God of War game spit out puppylike Cerberus Seeds that, if given enough time, will grow into full grown Cerberi.

Platform Game
  • 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.

Real-Time Strategy
  • 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.

Roguelike
  • 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.

Shoot 'em Up
  • This is the attack of the final boss of Apidya, a giant hornet that keeps releasing bees at you.

Simulation Game
  • 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...

Survival Horror
  • 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.

Turn-Based Strategy
  • 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.

Western RPG
  • 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 Dragon Ball Z, Cell creates miniature clones of himself to battle the "lesser" members of the Z team.

Comic Books
  • There's a Green Lantern villain called Evil Star who makes Starlings that are dwarf copies of himself.

Literature
  • 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.

Live-Action TV
  • 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.

Tabletop Games
  • 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...

Western Animation
  • 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.

Real Life
  • 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.
Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • July 18, 2012
    FlintlockWolfman
    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.
  • July 18, 2012
    Damr1990
    Heroic(?) example, the Yoshis use their eggs as proyectiles
  • July 18, 2012
    Bisected8
    • 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.
  • July 18, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • In the original Starcraft the Zerg's Queen units could spawn broodlings, in StarcraftII the Brood Lord does that as does Kerrigan.
  • July 18, 2012
    zennyrpg
  • July 18, 2012
    Koveras
    • 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.
  • July 19, 2012
    DennisDunjinman
    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.
  • July 19, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Probably a sister trope to Tyke Bomb.
  • July 20, 2012
    zarpaulus
    You say that this "goes against nature", as if nature had strict laws. There are lots of species that eat their own young, though often if the mother is stressed from lack of nutrition.

    You might say that it "goes against nature" because natural selection favors those who pass on their genes, which requires at least some of their offspring to survive long enough to reproduce. Yet as Bisected8 pointed out 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.
  • July 20, 2012
    Desertopa
    Hasn't this gone through the YKTTW a while back? I still remember the example I added then.

    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 bird monsters which attack you.
  • July 20, 2012
    Stratadrake
  • July 21, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
  • July 21, 2012
    fulltimeD
    The X Files: Flukeman would bite people and inject its parasitic larvae into them.
  • July 22, 2012
    MrRuano
    Skylanders Spyros 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. They also manage to inherit her sonic abilities.
  • July 22, 2012
    Prfnoff
    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."
  • July 22, 2012
    fulltimeD
    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.
  • July 22, 2012
    planswalker
    any examples from the old YKTTW to cannibalize over?

    Or it it normaly TV Tropes policy to port the new YKTTW clone to the old one?
  • July 23, 2012
    Arivne
    If the old YKTTW proposal wasn't launched and has been inactive for a while, you can copy over the examples to the new trope and launch.

    Since "Offspring Attack" was never launched and hasn't been edited since May 23rd, feel free.
  • August 11, 2012
    captainsandwich
  • August 11, 2012
    Generality
    ^ A subtrope thereof.

    • The giant grubs in Diablo II lay eggs while a player is nearby, which quickly spawn into aggressive larvae.
  • March 16, 2013
    zarpaulus
    • 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.
  • March 16, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    I think this could work as a Super Trope for tropes like Flunky Boss and Mook Maker (both which are heavily video game oriented).

    Also, a non video game example:

    Literature
    • In A Clash Of Kings, Melisandre gives birth to a living shadow which slays Ser Cortnay Penrose.
  • March 17, 2013
    morenohijazo
    • The Gonarch from Half Life 1 creates Headcrabs (who are essentially smaller versions of it) during the fight against it.
  • March 17, 2013
    Chabal2
    • The Tyranid's Tervigon unit from Warhammer 40 K spawns Termagants.
    • One of the Divine Beasts in Solatorobo lays eggs in midair that hatch into small birds that attack you.
    • The Deku Toad from Twilight Princess is first seen when tadpoles drop from the ceiling and attack you (it repeats this tactic later on).
    • 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.
  • March 17, 2013
    Astaroth
    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.
  • March 18, 2013
    morenohijazo
    I've moved the examples from the other YKTTW, but they'll have to be checked. I think they're valid, but I may be wrong.
  • March 18, 2013
    GiantSpaceChinchilla
  • March 18, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ 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. There's a difference.

    Also, another example:

    Hack And Slash
    • Cerberi in the first God Of War game spit out puppylike Cerberus Seeds that, if given enough time, will grow into full grown Cerberi.
  • March 19, 2013
    JohnnyCache
    Anime/Manga
    • In Dragonball Z, Cell creates miniature clones of himself to battle the "lesser" members of the Z team.
  • March 19, 2013
    moriwen
    In Ender's Game (and sequels) the Formic queen gives birth to all her soldiers, since the Formics are an insect race.
  • March 19, 2013
    SharleeD
    Real Life: 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.
  • March 21, 2013
    claudiadonovan
    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.
  • March 21, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Corrected a spelling mistake in the Yoshi example (you might want to check them and not just cut and paste them together with all the mistakes).
  • March 22, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    This might fit:

    In the Family Guy Y 2 K 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.
  • March 23, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    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.
  • March 24, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Video Games
    • The 1996 release of Duke Nukem 3D, a First Person Shooter, 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.
  • March 27, 2013
    peccantis
    I-have-no-idea-what-genre-this-is
    • Thanks to the detailed simulation and 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...
  • May 21, 2013
    ekolis
    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...
  • May 22, 2013
    morenohijazo
    ^ Is it related to the video game of the same name? The cover seems to imply it.
  • May 22, 2013
    hawthorn
    This is the attack of the final boss of Apidya, a giant hornet that keeps releasing bees at you.
  • May 22, 2013
    Prfnoff
    The description needs refining. Does this trope cover just newborns, eggs too, or any kind of offspring at all? The examples are already all over the place, especially in the non-video-game section.
  • September 24, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Did some formatting.

    EDIT: Namespaced a bunch of examples.
  • September 24, 2013
    Larkmarn
    This'll probably go into Action Adventure:

    • Mother Smiles in Killer 7 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.

    Yeah, the non-game examples are all over the place. A lot seem to be "has offspring which are dangerous" but aren't actually intended to be birthed as weapons.
  • September 24, 2013
    Koveras
    Why hasn't this been launched yet?
  • September 24, 2013
    CrowTR0bot
    • 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.
  • September 24, 2013
    Chabal2
    There's a Skyrim joke comic where the protagonist exploits Infant Immortality by making his children fight his battles for him, as they are completely invulnerable.
  • September 25, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^^ Probably because the OP Gravityman has lost interest in it. :(

    Since he hasn't posted here since it was first created in 2012, it's Up For Grabs if anyone wants to launch it.
  • September 25, 2013
    DAN004
    Compare Doppelganger Attack.

    • 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.
  • September 25, 2013
    morenohijazo
    ^^^ What about that? I don't know where it fits.
  • September 25, 2013
    DAN004
    Launch plz.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=yt4cn3352bklhfhqkisx4skn&trope=WeaponizedOffspring