[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/plants-vs-zombies.jpg]]

->''There's a zombie on your lawn,\\
There's a zombie on your lawn,\\
[[RuleofThree There's a zombie on your lawn]],\\
We don't want zombies on the lawn.''
-->-- '''Sunflower''' [[ExpositoryThemeTune sums the game up]]

'''''Plants vs. Zombies''''' is an incredibly addicting TowerDefense game from PopCapGames. It's about [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin plants fighting against a zombie invasion]].

Zombies have risen from their graves, and seek to eat your brains. However, you find a most unlikely, but trusted ally in your own front lawn as you plant various organic defenses against the undead legions, and are also given advice and supplies by your neighbor Crazy Dave.

The zombies won't go down easily, however, and are constantly thinking up new ways to breach your defenses, including screen-door shields, pylon helmets, pole vaulting, and [[PunnyName zombonis]] that pave the way for an undead bobsledding team.

Yeah, it's [[WidgetSeries that kind of game]].

The game was first released for the PC. Later, a version of it was made for the [[IOSGames iPhone and iPad]]. A faithful version was later made for [[{{Xbox360}} Xbox Live]], adding a multiplayer mode. After that, it was ported to the DS, with somewhat watered down graphics due to the DS's low-res screen. There's also an Android version, and it was the deal that catapulted the Amazon Appstore to a serious competitor to Google's Android Market (although as of December 14, 2011 the Android version is available on both of them). There's also a [[PlayStationThree Playstation Network]] version. And a [[Nintendo3DS Nintendo 3DS eShop's]] version.

In addition, there's a mini-game in ''VideoGame/{{World of Warcraft}}'' based on this game, and completing all of its stages earns you a Sunflower as a non-combat pet that follows you around.

Also the series has made its way into The Sims 3, in which pre-ordering the Sims 3 Supernatural (Which has zombies) you can unlock Peashooters to fight back. As well as unlock zombie based clothing, such as the cone hat. The Sims 3 store also released a greenhouse with a sunflower that produces sunlight which can be used to make plants grow better.

''Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time'' was [[http://www.strategyinformer.com/news/19491/plants-vs-zombies-2-shuffling-towards-2013-release officially announced]] by Popcap for 2013, giving players a whole new reason [[UnusualEuphemism to soil their plants]]. In it, the player gets dragged by Crazy Dave on a voyage through time, facing zombies initially in [[{{Mummy}} ancient Egypt]], [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot the era of piracy]], and TheWildWest. Subsequent updates introduced TheFuture and [[DarkAgeEurope The Dark Ages]]. It attracted generally positive responses, but there was some hostility due to the switch from a one-off purchase to a [[AllegedlyFreeGame microtransaction-based]] funding model.

Also available is ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombiesPinball'', a PinballSpinoff for the ''VideoGame/ZenPinball'' and ''VideoGame/PinballFX'' platforms.

A ThirdPersonShooter named ''[[VideoGame/PlantsVsZombiesGardenWarfare Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare]]'' has been [[http://www.joystiq.com/2013/06/11/plants-vs-zombies-garden-warfare-coming-in-spring-planned-for/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+weblogsinc%2Fjoystiq+(Joystiq) announced for Spring 2014]]. It has been released on the XboxOne and {{Xbox 360}} consoles on February 25, 2014, with a PC port coming on June 30, 2014 and PlayStation3 and PlayStation4 versions coming on August 19, 2014.

There's also ''Plants vs. Zombies Adventures'', a Facebook tower defense game. Crazy Dave has tasked you with slowly restoring the town from the zombies. You must grow your plants, construct and repair homes and buildings, place plants along the paths leading to the buildings, and defend the town against zombies. [[AllegedlyFreeGame After a certain amount of progress into the game, you WILL be required to find friends to assist you or pay with real money to advance further.]]

There is also a six issue comic available from Dark Horse.

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!!''Plants vs. Zombies'' provides examples of:

* AbnormalAmmo / EdibleAmmunition
** The main attack you have is peas. Lots and lots of peas.
** And later, cabbages. And corn. And watermelons.
** And the butter from the Kernel-pults is abnormal even by the standards of the game...
** The upgrade to Kernel-pult combines it with PunnyName, since it fires an ICBM -- Intercontinental Ballistic Maize.
* ActionBomb:
** Several of the plants, most notably Potato Mines, Doom-Shrooms, and the aptly-named Cherry Bombs.
** On the enemy side, we also have the Jack-in-the-Box zombies, who are occasionally helpful by detonating too early.
** In Plants vs Zombies Adventures, Gas Can Zombie will only explode if you kill it. This can be prevented by using Snow Pea, Ice Queen Pea and Chilly Pepper
** The sequel adds Chili Bean, which ''turns'' the zombie eating it into an ActionBomb.
* AffablyEvil: The zombies. They even send you notes, although they turn up a little late. And when you win, [[spoiler:they decide to make a music video with you instead. And then [[StatusQuoIsGod get back to invading your lawn.]]]]
* AirborneMook: Balloon Zombies in the first game and Seagull Zombies, Parrot Zombies, Jetpack Zombies, and Disco Jetpack Zombies in the second.
* AllegedlyFreeGame: The second game got some accusations of this simply because it was free to download with microtransations, but the February 2014 update really brought justified allegations of this:
** You no longer have lawnmowers in the challenge levels, which doesn't just make them harder but also halves your coin reward for winning a level (this one was dropped after protests).
** The Pinch power-up was replaced with a very expensive and relatively ineffective Snowball power-up.
** The Yeti appears much less frequently, and tends to appear on conveyor-belt or Lock And Load levels where you can't just use a one-hit kill plant to kill it instantly.
** The Pinata Party levels, which used to be an accessible way of getting a coin bonus, began to regularly be so hard that they're impossible to win without using power-ups, and playing them a second time costs coins.
** The game badgers you to spam your Facebook friends in exchange for a coin bonus.
* AnachronismStew: The Ancient Egypt level in the sequel introduces mummies, stone slab workers and pharaohs... and modern pyramid explorer zombies. Likewise, the Zombie Bull in the Wild West [[spoiler: is actually a robot]].
* AndYourRewardIsInteriorDecorating: The Zen Garden unlocked after beating Adventure mode.
* AntiAir
** Blovers, which also serve to clear the literal FogOfWar in some levels.
** Cacti, which can also target ground forces.
** Cattails.
** In the sequel, Kernel-pult can instantly kill Seagull Zombies if they lob butter on them.
* AntiArmor
** Magnet Shroom takes away any zombie's metal coverings and utilities, lowering their defense.
** Explorer Zombie's fire can instantly destroy the Infi-nut's DeflectorShields.
** The Magic Cirrus from the Chinese version of ''Plants vs Zombies Online'' deals increased damage against armored zombies.
* AntiFrustrationFeature
** The game constantly gives you plants that make the next stage that would be normally hard be much, much easier. Although sometimes they make you feel the frustration first before giving you a plant that could handle it easily.
** In the [=PS3=] and Xbox 360 port, to use the shovel, you have to hold and then release Circle/B, instead of just tapping Circle/B on a plant you want to dig up. This way, if you accidentally press Circle/B while moving over plants, you're not screwed over.
** If you inadvertently forget to select a certain plant (such as sun-producers, flowerpots on a roof level, aquatic plants on a pool level, etc.) during seed selection, once you hit "Let's Rock", the game will ask if you're sure you want to start the level without them.
* AntiVehicle: Spikeweed and Spikerocks deal DamageOverTime against non-vehicle zombies, but are a OneHitKill against the Zomboni and Pianist Zombie. In the second game's Future levels, the EM Peach can paralyse zombie mechas.
* AquaticMook: Some zombies have tubes to help them cross the pool, another snorkels, and the last one is in a wetsuit riding a dolphin (which is [[RaisingTheSteaks also a zombie]], by the way).
* ArbitraryMinimumRange: The game has the Scaredy-Shroom, which can fire at pretty far compared to the normal mushrooms, but if a zombie gets too close, it'll hide into the ground and become useless as a weapon.
* ArbitrarySkepticism: The sentient English-speaking Puff-shroom had trouble believing in zombies.
* ArmorPiercingAttack: The Bloomerang and Laser Bean can pierce through the Shield Zombie's Deflector Shields.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The Imp not only knows zombie judo, zombie karate and zombie bare-knuckle brawling, but he also plays the melodica.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics:
** Just ''what'' are those Bungee Zombies hooked up to? [[spoiler:In the final level, Zomboss' robot's hand.]]
** And how on earth does a Doom-Shroom manage to blast an unplantable crater -- in '''''water'''''?
* ArtShift: Compare [[http://storeimages.impulsedriven.com/product_gfx/Plants_vs_Zombies_Screenshot_1.jpg the original]] to ''[[http://cdn.dualshockers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/PlantWarfare-15.jpg Garden Warfare]]''. Yeah.
* AshFace: The zombies after being blasted by an explosive plant -- just before crumbling to dust (the head falling last). In the sequel, though, this only happens when they get zapped by Lightning Reed, hit by a Cherry Bomb or a Jalapeno, or eat a Plant Food-boosted Sun Bean.
* AttackReflector: The Jester Zombie can reflect all projectiles, making it incredibly deadly and necessitating the use of Shrooms.
** The Chinese version of ''Plants Vs Zombies 2'' has the Hammer Zombie, who [[SpinToDeflectStuff spins around to deflect]] plant shots back at your plants.
* {{Autosave}}: The game saves your progress every time you complete an action - be it completing a level, buying something from the store, or watering your garden.
* AwesomeButImpractical
** Most of the "upgraded" plants from the first game in any mode besides Survival, especially Cob Cannons, as the round will in all likelihood be almost over by the time you can afford a few (with the possible exceptions of Double Sunflowers and Cattails). However, ''in'' Survival mode, many of them are not only useful but vital.
** They come back around in the Endless modes, though, where their cost increases for every one you use, which catches up quickly.
** VIP Plants in the Facebook game as well. They usually have better range and damage, but require real money or hard work to obtain, unless you still have spare Gems.
** The Citron can OHKO most zombies, and even make short work of Gargantuar. It's tempting to just have a row of them... except that since they only hit one enemy at a time, if their shot hits a weak enemy that shot's a waste. They thus need to be used in conjunction with another plant that helps to take down the small fry.
* AxCrazy: The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie, as his profile states.
* BaconAddiction: Crazy Dave will pay you $1000 for that strip of bacon. Why? Because he's ''craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy!''
* BadassAdorable: Most of the plants: beady eyes, friendly, and capable of vanquishing wave upon wave of invading undead. You even get to grow baby versions of them in the Zen garden.
* BalefulPolymorph: The Wizard Zombie can turn plants into harmless sheep, making them unable to do anything. They turn back if the wizard is killed.
* BallisticBone: In the Egypt levels of the second game, Tomb Raiser zombies throw bones that turn into tombstones.
* BanditMook:
** Bungee Zombies in the original game will steal your plants.
** Ra Zombies in the Egypt levels of the second game can draw in the power of the sun via their sceptre. By this, we mean "steal all the sun resources lying around". Fortunately, when defeated, it releases all the sun it gathered.
** Captain Zombies in the pirate levels of the second game have a pet parrot that will steal your plants.
* BeeBeeGun: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Beeshooter]] from ''Adventures'' fires bees at zombies.
* BerserkButton: '''Do not''' destroy Newspaper Zombie's newspaper. He was ''that'' close to finishing his Sudoku puzzle.
* {{BFG}}: The Cob Cannon, and Coconut Cannon in the sequel. Pea Pod can also reveal one when given Plant Food.
* BigBad: Dr. Zomboss.
* BigGood: Crazy Dave.
* BigNo: You scream it during the game over.
* BioluminescenceIsCool: The Mushroom Garden (which you can purchase from Crazy Dave once you unlock the Zen Garden) is lit almost entirely by luminescent fungi.
* BlackMagic: Plantern [[CouldSayItBut isn't gonna say]] that is the [[FantasticLightSource source of his unusual power]].
* BlackoutBasement: The final backyard level.
* BlatantLies
** Before the Game of the Year Edition, the NoCelebritiesWereHarmed disclaimer in Dancing Zombie's bio.
** The help screen suggests that you let the zombies in the house.
** And the note that was supposedly sent by "Your Muther (not the zombies)" on completion of stage 4-9.
** And the treasure map found in the Age of Pirates says "Treasure! (not zombies)" at the X. [[spoiler:However, defeating the zombies in the stage afterward does result in finding a treasure chest.]]
* BlowYouAway: Blover, but only to airborne zombies.
* BlushSticker: The Chili Bean in the sequel, although the Almanac states that he's trying to hold [his gas] in.
* BoringButPractical:
** The Kernel-pults have a random chance to fling, not a bit of corn, but a butter patty that temporarily halts its victim. It can fling them several times in a row, effectively stun-locking said victim. It's a "lobbed" plant and works as AntiAir. Using Plant Food causes it to butter every zombie onscreen, stunning any it doesn't outright kill. It costs the same as the basic lobber, the Cabbage-pult, and all but obsoletes that plant. Its ''only'' weakness is that its corn pellets are the weakest attack in the game, with the butter patty up to "Normal" damage levels.
** Spikeweeds and Spikerocks -- impossible to destroy for almost any zombie (only the Zombonis, Catapult Zombies, Gargantuar, Jack-in-the-Box Zombie and (in the sequel) Barrel Zombie can, and it takes the Zomboni with it)[[note]]Spikerocks can also insta-kill nine Zombonis/Catapults or take nine Gargantuar hits. This makes them the only plant that Zombonis and Gargantuars can't one-hit kill[[/note]], ignores shield protection a zombie might have (screen doors, ladders, and newspapers), combine with freeze attacks and blockers incredibly well, and are rather affordable. Sadly, they're useless in the pool or on the roof.
** Puff Shrooms and Fume Shrooms. Being extremely cheap (the former costing literally nothing) with some decent damage. For example, the Fume Shroom has piercing shots that hit ALL zombies in that area, and for free, the Puff Shroom is able to take down a zombie BY ITSELF. During night levels, they are almost a must. And the Fume Shroom, introduced in level 2-3, is considered so good it is used with the Cattail, the Double Sunflower, the Winter Melon, the Cob Cannon, the Spikerock, the Gloom Shroom, the Imitater, ALL the explosives, the Magnet Shroom and the Umbrella Leaf in the most advanced Survival: Endless combination.
** Garlic. It does no damage whatsoever, but what it DOES do is force Zombies to switch lanes. This allows you to corral the zombies into a more narrow killbox with a great deal of ease, simply by placing a Garlic at the top and bottom of the map.
** In the sequel, Bonk Choy. They punch zombies that come within about a square and a half of them, and that's it. But they're relatively cheap, can kill a normal zombie before it gets close enough to eat the Bonk Choy, and most importantly, damage ''all'' zombies in range, which is incredibly important when you're being mobbed by hordes too big to be killed one at a time. Just make sure to stick a Wall / Tall / Infini-Nut in front of them.
* {{Bowdlerise}}
** Just before [[spoiler:the final boss]], Crazy Dave attempts to tell you the weakness of [[spoiler:said final boss]], suggesting you to "[[GroinAttack Hit him in the cojones]]" before realising it was a different guy. This was changed to "Hit him in the pancreas" in the Game of the Year edition.
** The Dancing Zombie was changed from a caricature of MichaelJackson to an undead DiscoDan at the request of his family.
* BrainFood: What the zombies want.
* BrainwashedAndCrazy: Hypno-shroom does this, though it seems to think of it as being MoreThanMindControl. If successful, the [[MookFaceTurn Hypno-zombies]] will move on to [[ImAHumanitarian eat other zombies.]]
** In the sequel, using a Plant Food on Hypno-Shroom will make it brainwash the afflicted zombie ...and also [[OneWingedAngel turn them into a Gargantuar]]!
* BreadEggsBreadedEggs: The cherry bombs.
-->''"I wanna explode," says Cherry #1.\\
"No, let's detonate instead!" says his brother, Cherry #2.\\
After intense consultation they agree to explodonate.''
* BucketHelmet
** Some zombies wear buckets on their heads. And they're appropriately called {{Buckethead}}s.
** Crazy Dave also wears a metal pot on his head. Why? Because he's craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy.
* BulletSeed: Well, technically peas, spines, fruits, and what-have-you.
* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: The [[spoiler:Yeti Zombie]] that only appears in the NewGamePlus. They also sporadically appear in random levels in the sequel.
* BreathWeapon: Snapdragon and Laser Bean when using Plant Food on it.
* BribingYourWayToVictory: Plants vs. Zombies 2 has optional plants and bonuses that must be paid with real money to unlock, but aren't necessary to complete the game. Also, if you are impatient about finding keys and gathering stars to unlock gates, you can pay real money to unlock them.
* CarFu: [[FinalBoss Dr. Zomboss]]'s HumongousMecha gains ThatOneAttack [[TurnsRed once his health drops below half]] -- he drops a ''caravan'' onto six of your plants, [[OneHitKill instantly squashing them.]]
* {{Cap}}: For anyone interested, the sunlight cap is 9990. Especially attainable in hard night survival modes! And the money cap is $999,990.
* CastFromMoney: The Magnifying Glass uses sun to attack.
* CatchPhrase: Crazy Dave would like to remind you that he's craaaaaaaaaaazy.
* ChargedAttack: The Citron's attack takes a long time to charge, but when it's ready, it fires out a ''very powerful'' shot at the enemy.
* CloseRangeCombatant:
** ''Adventures'' has the Beet, which beets um... beats nearby zombies hard for big damage.
** ''It's About Time'' introduces the Bonk Choy, who literally punches the zombies when they get close enough from either side. It's so good that a regular zombie won't be able to advance ''a single block'' without getting its limbs torn off, and even the mighty Pharaoh Zombie and its solid sarcophagus won't be able to fully eat a Wall-Nut if the Choy is behind it.
** In the same vein, we also have Puff-Shroom and Sea-Shroom (attacks a zombie starting from 3 squares away) Gloom-Shroom (which attacks in a 3x3 area around it) and Chomper (eats a zombie in front of it). In the sequel, there's also the Snapdragon (breathes fire 3x2 squares wide) and the Spring Bean (flings away any zombie who steps on it).
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Crazy Dave. Well, he is craaaaaaaaaazy.
** TheCuckoolanderWasRight: It's a good idea to follow his advice, though.
* ClownCarGrave: Averted and played straight. While night levels do have graves, each one only summons one zombie per level. Played straight in "Whack-a-Zombie". Also played straight in the "Dark Ages" night levels in the second game, in which the graves will summon zombies repeatedly.
* TheCoconutEffect: Played with in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFPSfu_cryA trailer]] for the sequel's Dark Ages trailer. A Knight Zombie pretends to ride a horse while an Imp Monk bangs two coconut shells together.
* CoolCar: The time machine in the sequel is a cool trailer van. And it has a [[SapientSteed talking computer voice]] which engages in {{Boke and Tsukkomi Routine}}s with Crazy Dave.
* {{Cooldown}}: Plants have cooldowns inbetween each planting. Some plants have more cooldown than others, especially the single use OneHitKill ones. Having Imitater can help you alleviate the cooldown time (by allowing you to have another same plant to plant).
** Some plants also have cooldown after action; Chompers digesting a zombie whole, Cob Cannons and Coconut Cannons reloading after fire, and Spring Beans sleeping after each flinging.
* ComesGreatResponsibility: Magnetism is something which scares Magnet-Shroom in its power. Maybe it's because [[MemeticMutation he doesn't know how they work.]]
* ConstructAdditionalPylons: Sunflowers being the pylon of choice.
* CrazySurvivalist: Crazy Dave, with extra emphasis on "crazy". (And, of course, you, by the end of the game.)
* CriticalExistenceFailure: All of the plants, and almost every zombie. Inverted by the newspaper zombie who will move faster once he is damaged enough -- although, technically, he isn't hurt: the newspaper took the damage for him.
* CrosshairAware: A dart and target on a piece of paper signals an attack from a Bungee Zombie on the targeted plant.
* CutScene: Crazy Dave will often interject advice in the form of bad jokes at the beginning of a level. These are usually pretty short, but they repeat every time you restart the level, which can get annoying in the sequel when he and Penny (the time machine) repeat the same two or three lines of dialogue each time.
* DamageDiscrimination: Both plants and zombies are quite discriminating with what they hurt. Peas and other projectiles will ignore every plant, even the Tall-Nuts, to hurt zombies. Even exploding or incendiary plants will only target zombies, while the mighty Gargantuar will smash any plant but spare zombies in his path. A zombie controlled by the Hypno-Shroom will immediately be treated like a plant, though. The Almanac entry for the Doom-Shroom hints this is a conscious choice, with Doom-Shroom claiming it could destroy everything you hold dear if it wanted to and that he wouldn't have a hard time doing so.
* DamageSpongeBoss: There's really not much else you can do to [[spoiler:Dr. Zomboss's Zombot]] but let whatever offensive plants you got whale on it until it explodes. If you have spare Ice-shrooms though, you can prevent him from getting back up for a while, letting you finish the fight sooner, or gain a few more plants before the horde attacks again.
* DancingMookCredits
* DarkIsNotEvil
** Doom-Shrooms are on your side, even though the warning in the Almanac makes one doubt it.
** The appearance of Grave Busters fits with their purpose, devouring tombstones. But Grave Buster wants you to know that "he loves kittens and spends his off hours volunteering at a local zombie rehabilitation center. 'It's just the right thing to do,' he says."
** The Tangle Kelp is also a little creepy with its [[GlowingEyesOfDoom glowing squinty eyes]]... basically a less-goofy-looking version of [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Tangela]], though its FlavorText in the Suburban Almanac mitigates this with a spot of humor.
** While we're at it: Spikerocks look kind of monstrous, but turn out be art lovers and impressed with European museums.
* DePower:
** In the first game, Magnet Shrooms can deactivate the special abilities of many zombie types by pulling metal objects away from them.
** In the second game, freeze attacks can deactivate the abilities of Explorer and Prospector Zombies, whose powers are dependent on fire.
* DeathOfAThousandCuts: Cone-wearing and bucket-wearing zombies (and even Zombonis) can be killed if you have [[MoreDakka enough rows of shooting plants.]]
* DeflectorShields: Using Plant Food on an Infi-nut creates this. The Shield Zombie can create these to protect fellow zombies on adjacent lanes.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: The Imitater is black and white, and so are the plants that he imitates, although this is probably done more to indicate that you're using an Imitater plant as opposed to a normal one. This can be mildly frustrating if you're cloning, say, sunflowers, since the glow that's a prelude to sunlight is harder to spot. Averted in the sequel, though.
* {{Determinator}}: The zombies will ''never'' give up, not even after you [[spoiler:defeat Zomboss and listen to the sweet music video that you get for doing so]]. Crazy Dave even [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this:
-->'''Crazy Dave:''' Those are some persistent zombies, dude.
* DifficultySpike: For every ten successful plays in "Vasebreaker: Endless" the game starts throwing an extra Gargantuar at you per screen, which puts things into LuckBasedMission territory. Eventually, it becomes virtually impossible to get any further without cheating.
* DiggingToChina: Scroll down on the achievement screen in the Game of the Year edition, and, after encountering a few [[ShoutOut Shout Outs]] to other PopCap games, you'll emerge on the other side of the Earth in China. [[spoiler:Apparently, they have a zombie problem too…]]
* DiscoDan: The Dancing Zombie and his backup crew, as of the Game of the Year Edition. The sequel has Disco-tron 3000 and Disco Jetpack Zombies.
* DoomyDoomsOfDoom: The Doom-Shroom, which even explodes with a large [[UnsoundEffect DOOM!]]
* DoubleMeaningTitle: The sequel is called "Plants Vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time". This refers to the wait in between both games, as well as the fact that you go through different time periods.
* TheDungAges: The second new era added to the game are the Dark Ages, a time of plague, mistrust and peasants (of which the standard zombie variants are). It's also a {{pun}}, as it's the only time set at night, thus allowing the use of mushrooms and no sun from the sky.
* {{EMP}}: The E.M.Peach can be used to disable machines used by zombies.
* EarlyGameHell: In Endless Zone, it's possible for some of the DemonicSpiders in the first level, when your best offense is a Peashooter. And depending on the RandomNumberGod, you may not get any of the "necessary" plants until well after you need them.
* ElementalRockPaperScissors: Plants with fire attacks are incompatible with those with freeze attacks, as they will thaw the zombies out and allow them to move at normal speed.
* EmergencyWeapon
** Puff-Shrooms. They have limited range and low damage output, but they don't cost anything and they recharge fast. They're indispensable in night levels, as they allow you to keep zombies at bay while you gather enough sun-sources to bring out the big guns... erh, plants.
** Sea-Shrooms are also another case of this, (0 cost, limited power and range) but they're less useful because: 1) [[CripplingOverspecialization They can only be placed on water]]. 2) Their recharge time is EXTREMELY slow.
** Squash and Potato Mines. A long recharge time but low sun cost makes them ideal for dealing with zombies while you set up, or even in tight spots. Same goes for Tangle Kelp -- even better in that they deal with fast-moving threats, like dolphin riders.
** In the sequel, Spring Bean and Chili Bean. The former isn't single use, but like Chomper they're vulnerable for a moment after each action; they're good to fend off zombies at the beginning, but they'll need some cover in the end. The latter, meanwhile, is good as not-emergency weapon too in that it helps stunning zombies behind the victim.
* EnergyBeing: The Infi-nut is a HardLight Wall-Nut spawned from a projector. It's weaker than a regular Wall-Nut, but regenerates itself every now and then.
* EverybodyDoTheEndlessLoop: The dancing zombies during the final video clip. Though it's nowhere surprising for zombies to be... stiff.
* EverythingsBetterWithPlushies: A set of plushies with voice chips in them have been released. They include the normal mook zombie, Squash, Peashooter, and Sunflower.
** There's also several sets of vinyl figures. Some come with the Game of the Year boxed sets of the game, some can be bought in sets of several figurines. There is also a collection of larger Funko POP! figures.
* EvilOnlyHasToWinOnce: The zombies only need to get into your house once to eat your brains.
** Inverted in ''Garden Warfare's'' Gardens and Graveyards mode- the zombies have to capture multiple areas in succession, and if the plants manage to defend past the time limit even once, the zombies lose.
* ExactWords: There's an achievement for completing a night-time level without using shrooms, which can be quite difficult. However, you can also earn it by [[spoiler:completing any "I, Zombie" level, which are set at night and don't involve shrooms.]] It should be noted, however, that the chance of ending up in a mushroom-less "I, Zombie" level is extremely low. Additionally, this exploit seems to have been corrected for the Steam release.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Plants are fighting zombies.
* ExcusePlot: See the main page quote.
** For the sequel, simply add in gratuitous TimeTravel that could've all been avoided.
* ExtremeDoormat: The Lily Pad. As the almanac entry says:
-->''Lily Pad never complains. Lily Pad never wants to know what's going on. Put a plant on top of Lily Pad, he won't say a thing. Does he have startling opinions or shocking secrets? Nobody knows. Lily Pad keeps it all inside.''
* EyeBeams: Laser Bean has these. On the zombie side, Gargantua Prime also has them, and can absolutely lay waste to your garden if not killed fast enough.
* FaceOfAThug: Grave Buster, but he's actually nice.
* FaceShip: The Disco-Tron 3000 resembles the Dancing Zombie's head.
* FacingTheBulletsOneLiner: From the Gatling Pea almanac entry:
-->''"But honey, [joining the military] is dangerous!"\\
"LIFE is dangerous."''
* {{Fartillery}}: The sequel has the Chili Bean, which delivers a deadly amount of gastrointestinal distress to any zombie that eats it. In the act of dissolving, the dying zombie releases a cloud of stench that will stun any other zombies in its wake.
* FastballSpecial: Gargantuar will hurl smaller zombies at your plants. Thankfully, they're extremely weak and tend to be hurled into thick concentrations of peas.
* FeaturelessProtagonist: You never see the homeowner because it's, well, ''you''. At the very least, the [[BigNo scream]] you give off during a game over is male.
* FinalExamBoss: In the last level, [[spoiler:you have to remember what plants do what kind of damage to fend off the final boss' attacks]].
* FinishingMove: In the sequel, Bonk Choy punches out any zombies within reach, and will finish them off with an upper cut.
* FireIceLightning: In the sequel, the three elements that new plants can have. Snapdragon (fire), Iceberg Lettuce (ice), Lightning Reed (electricity). Fire and Ice attacks were available in the first game, however.
* FogOfWar: During the 4th wave of levels, fog creeps into your garden.
** DefogOfWar: Blover blows away the fog for a short of amount of time, and Plantern clears five lanes of fog as long as it's up.
* [[FollowTheBouncingBall Follow The Bouncing Brain]]: In the final music video.
* ForgedMessage: The Zombies at one point send you (the home owner) a forged letter claiming to be your mother inviting you over for meatloaf, asking you to leave your front door open and your lawn unguarded. It is signed as "[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial mom (not the zombies)]]".
* FragileSpeedster: The Imp in the puzzle game "[[ShoutOut I, Zombie]]". It can only take three regular pea shots before being defeated, but is the fastest (and cheapest) unit you can deploy against the plants. You're required to ZergRush with them in one I, Zombie round.
* FrickinLaserBeams: Laser Bean and Magnifying Glass when plant food is used on it.
* FrozenFace: Perhaps for the pun, Ice-shroom has a non-dramatic version of this. It being the reason he is a PerpetualFrowner.
* GainaxEnding: Played for laughs. In the end, the Zombies give up on trying to eat your brain and call a truce to make a music video with you instead.
* GameBreakingBug:
** The game has been known to corrupt one's save files numerous times in a row. You'll quit the game, load it later to play again, and find that the game forgets you've done ''anything''. This can be circumvented for the PC version by finding the "userdata" folder and backing it up. Pop Cap claims they fixed it in the Game of the Year edition.
** Certain updates render the Android version borderline unplayable and unable to start. All updates of it are prone to crashing, as well.
* GatlingGood: The "four at a time" Gatling Pea. Any Peashooter-type plant (except the Pea Pod) in the sequel will do this when powered-up with Plant Food.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** The description for the Zombot War Wagon in the sequel.
--> Dr. Zomboss normally doesn't take any bull, but this time he made an exception.[[note]]He brings a Zombie Bull with him.[[/note]]
** In the second game's Zen Garden, one of the Bee's animations for pollen drops shows it apparently scratching its backside.
* GhostPirate: The theme of the second world, in the sequel.
* GiantMook: The [[MightyGlacier Gargantuar]].
** The sequel introduces the Robo-Cone zombie, the Mecha-Football zombie, the Disco-Tron 3000 and the Gargantuar Prime.
* GlassCannon
** The Chomper. It's able to devour a whole zombie, but it's also very vulnerable to attacks when chewing.
** Just about any damage dealing plant that isn't covered by a pumpkin has little health and can be eaten in just a few bites.
** In the second game, Explorer Zombies are no tougher than the standard zombie, but can one-hit-kill your plants if they get close, even Potato Mines.
*** As of the latest version, Potato Mines can blow them up, and if they're not yet armed, they might even ''bypass'' them.
** Also in the second game, Zombie Chickens. Ridiculously weak but ridiculously fast-moving and fast-eating.
* GoneHorriblyRight: What Laser Bean's laser eye surgery was described to be.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: One of the Gargantuar's possible weapons is another zombie.
* GrumpyOldMan: Imitater says that all they had in the Zombie Wars were guts. Guts and a spoon.
* HardLight: The Infi-Nut is made of this.
* HarmlessFreezing: Slightly averted with the Ice-Shroom. It temporarily freezes all enemies on the screen and slows them down when they thaw out, but it does [[ScratchDamage one pea shot's worth of damage]] to all of them. They also allow you to temporarily see the location of the invisible zombies in the Invisighoul mini-game.
* HealingFactor: The Infi-Nut can regenerate itself back to full health after a some time.
* HeatWave: There's a minigame named exactly that. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Guess what it involves.]]
* HeavilyArmoredMook: Various, see those under ImprovisedArmor.
* HighlyVisibleNinja: Tangle Kelp thinks of himself as invisible. Not so much.
* HoldTheLine: Every level.
** And the sequel also grants a stricter line to hold in some levels. Namely, don't let the zombies trample a line of flowers.
* HolidayMode: When the second game was first released in the UK, around Halloween, the Sunflower, Peashooter and Wall-Nut were wearing Halloween costumes (respectively as a witch, a FrankensteinsMonster and a {{Mummy}}). The first update removed this. Christmas 2013 saw the release of "Feastivus" bonus levels, with zombies dressed as elves.
* HumongousMecha: The final level has a [[spoiler:giant zombie mecha that shoots fire and ice balls.]] And it's awesome.
* HurricaneOfPuns: {{Incredibly Lame Pun}}s -- and ''plant-y'' of 'em!
* [[AnIcePerson An Ice Plant]]: Snow Peas, Ice-Shrooms, and Winter Melons, which all slow down zombies — except the Zomboni and Bobsled Team.
** Also, the Iceberg Lettuce in the sequel.
* ImprobableWeaponUser
** The Gargantuar flattens your plants with a lamppost, a street sign, a broken-off telephone pole, or [[GrievousHarmWithABody another zombie]]. In the sequel, they can also use electric posts, sarcophagi, ''sharks'', ''giant candy canes'', and a '''giant branding iron'''.
** Dr Zomboss' HumongousMecha throws Winnebagos at them.
* ImprovisedArmor: Zombies with bucket/road cone helmets and screen door shields among other things. The Fume-Shroom can bypass the latter.
** The Poncho Zombie may or may not be wearing a metal grate under his poncho. He's about as tough as a regular zombie if he isn't, but is as tough as a Buckethead if he is.
* ImprovisedUmbrella: The Umbrella Leaf.
* IncendiaryExponent: The Torchwood plant, which sets on fire ammo from plants behind it.
* IncongruouslyDressedZombie: Everything beyond the basic zombie is this. EVERYTHING.
* InsaneProprietor: Crazy Dave, of course.
* InstantBandages: These appear on the Gargantuar zombie after it starts taking damage.
* InterfaceScrew
** The final backyard night level takes place during a storm. The only time you can see is when lightning flashes.
** The fog levels make 1/3 to 1/2 of the stage invisible (though you can sort of make out what's coming in the top and bottom rows).
* InterspeciesRomance: The Cactus has been seeing an armadillo for a while and it really seems to be working out.
* InvisibleMonsters: The minigame [[PunnyName "Invisi-Ghoul"]]. ALL the zombies in this mini-game are invisible, including the dreaded Zomboni that pulls {{One Hit Kill}}s on your plants. You can't use spikerocks here as the mini-game is done in conveyor style.
* IronicNurseryTune: The Jack-in-the-Box zombie plods along, cranking a box that's playing "Pop Goes the Weasel"... [[spoiler:and explodes.]]
* TheJaywalkingDead: Inverted. Dr. Zomboss (in his Zombot, naturally) throws a ''winnebago'' onto six of your plants, instantly flattening them.
* JetPack: Jetpack and Disco Jetpack Zombies in the sequel.
* TheJuggernaut: Being zombies, all zombies have shades of this, but Gargantuars take the cake, being able to instantly smash obstacles, trample down plants and being very durable, hulking monstrosities.
* {{Keet}}: Coffee Bean sure does get excited.
* KillItWithFire: Among the methods are blazing peas (by using Torchwoods), chili peppers and exploding mushrooms.
** The Explorer Zombie in the sequel can burn your plants with his torch, instantly killing them. However, you can put the fire out with an iceberg lettuce.
** The sequel also introduces the Snapdragon, which shoots a wall of fire wide enough to cover three lanes, and the Lightning Reed, which will burn zombies to a crisp after enough exposure.
* KillItWithIce
** Likewise, Snow Peas, the Ice-Shroom and Winter Melons freeze the zombies, making them slower (and in the case of the Ice-Shroom, completely immobile for a short period of time). You can kill weaker zombies with just Winter Melons.
** Completely averted if you try to use Snow Peas with Torchwoods. You either freeze-unfreeze the zombies every second or your frozen peas are unfrozen before they hit the Zombie.
* LampshadeHanging: "Cabbage-pult is okay with launching cabbages at zombies. It's what he's paid for, after all, and he's good at it. He just doesn't understand how the zombies get up on the roof in the first place."
* LampshadeWearing: The traffic cone variant is used by some zombies. And in the sequel, the Lightning Reed's unlockable costume is for it to wear a lampshade.
* LastStand: The mini-game "Last Stand", where you have 5000 in resources and must spend it wisely to get to the next level.
* LightningBruiser
** The Football Zombie. He moves twice as fast than regular zombies, eats your plants twice as fast, and he can take ''a lot'' of damage. The Giga-Football Zombie in the flash version's Survival: Endless Mode is even tougher -- it can not only survive [[OneHitKill instant kill plants]], but also [[MadeOfIron about as much damage]] as the full PC version's [[GiantMook Gargantuar]].
** Zombonis. They're fast, have a lot of health, cannot be slowed and their attack [[OneHitKill instantly crushes your plants]]! Plus they leave behind an ice trail and unless you KillItWithFire, it paves the way for bobsled zombies that zip through the freshly created ice trail, creating a huge headache.
** But as for the plant's side, there's the Melon-pult, which lobs a watermelon, can damage a large group of zombies and packs a heavy punch on the one it intentionally lands on (meaning it can defeat the Newspaper, Screen Door, and Pole Vaulting Zombie with ease) and reloads quickly enough to keep delivering heavy blows. The upgrade for this plant can freeze ''groups'' of zombies, as opposed to the Snow Pea's single shots. [[YouRequireMoreVespeneGas Of course, it costs a total of 500 Sun to get]]...
* LilyPadPlatform: The Lily Pad for levels that have swimming pools. They must be planted first before any other non-aquatic plant can be placed on the swimming pool.
* LimitBreak: Plant Food in the sequel gives each plant a unique and devastating special attack.
* LongRangeFighter: The Aspearagus in ''Adventures'', where your plants have a maximum range. This plant has a very long range and can snipe zombies from afar.
** The Scaredy Shroom is also one, being able to shoot from far away unlike Puff Shrooms, but will cower down when a zombie comes too close.
* LostForever: If you update the game regularly, this happened to the Music/MichaelJackson zombie some time in late 2009. Understandably, some fans of both MJ and [=PvZ=] refuse to update their copy for this exact reason after learning that Popcap refused to cave in to the demand of MJ's foundation to give them a cut of the game's profits and replaced the MJ zombie with the DiscoDan Zombie.
** October 12, 2014 is when ''Plants vs. Zombies Adventures'' on Facebook will be closing down for good.
* LuckBasedMission
** Any mission in which your plant seeds come down [[RandomNumberGod a conveyor belt]]. In any mission like this [[spoiler:of which the final boss is one of them]] you ''will'' (probably) have to restart at least once.
** The conveyor belt missions aren't too bad because the plants don't scroll off the end of the belt and you can keep them for when you need them. The real Luck-Based Missions are the few where you have to plant them immediately or very quickly lose them, such as "It's Raining Seeds" and "Vasebreaker".
** Also, if you're playing the Steam version, no amount of skill will help you get the "China Shop" or "Better Off Dead" achievements if the RandomNumberGod hates you. Especially egregious for the latter, in which you have to play perfectly ''and'' be lucky.
** Speaking about "Better Off Dead", the achievement in "I, Zombie", the kernel-pult can either be a minor annoyance or a major pain in the rear, due to its random nature of chucking butter that ''completely'' stuns your zombies. If you're unlucky enough it may decide to spam butter, and not even a Football Zombie may be able to survive that if it is [[DeathOfAThousandCuts constantly hammered with other weak attacks]].
** ANY story mission after you beat the game once. After that, you start at the beginning, but Crazy Dave forces three random plants into your setup. Now, this doesn't sound so bad at first, but it will completely ruin any strategy you've developed by the endgame, which typically use all the available slots. What makes this worse is that simply going back to the menu and coming back to Story won't give you three more random plants, just the same three. So, to try your luck with the three random plants, you have to close the game, then launch it again.
** The Poncho Zombie from the sequel may or may not be wearing a metal grate under his poncho. If he isn't, he goes down fast. If he is, he's as tough as a Buckethead. Better hope you have plant food/instakills if many grate-wearing ones appear in a wave.
** In the second game, two of the challenge levels are like this. "Big Bad Butte" will kill you after ten levels if you don't have a multiple-attack plant to deal with Chickens and a backwards-firing plant to deal with Prospectors, and "Terror From Tomorrow" will kill you as soon as you reach a level that hits you with more than one Gargantua Prime at once, if you don't have an EM Peach to paralyse them and an Imitater to halve its recharge time.
* MadEye
** All the zombies have one eye bigger than the other. Especially noticeable with the Gargantuar.
** And Crazy Dave, of course.
* MagicMushroom: The Hypno-shroom.
* MagikarpPower: The Spring Bean. Pathetically weak normally, but if it's Boosted it turns into a GameBreaker that will instakill almost everything on the screen for only 50 sun.
* ManEatingPlant: No men, but Chompers chew up and swallow a fair bit of zombies. They look suspiciously like purple piranha plants from ''SuperMario''. Or [[Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors Audrey]], who the Chomper auditioned to play.
* ManlyTears: The Tall-nut. Garlic also gets them after being chewed on long enough.
* MercyInvincibility: If one of your lawnmowers/pool/roof cleaners gets used, no zombies will attack that row for the next minute or two, giving you time to set up your defenses again.
* MetaPowerup: The Twin Sunflower, Torchwood, Pumpkin and Coffee Bean. Also Power Lily in the sequel.
* MetalSlime: Yeti Zombie. He only appears after you beat the game once and only shows up on one level. When he takes significant damage, he'll try to flee, but will drop three diamonds if killed.
** In [=PvZ=] 2, Yeti Zombie appears slightly more often in a random level. If he's killed, he will drop a lunchbox that will contain a either a diamond or a key. As of the latest update however, which did away with the keys, this can contain a few thousand coins.
* MightyGlacier: Gargantuars are very, very slow but they can take and dish out some major damage.
** The robot zombies in the Far Future have obscene amounts of health and can dish out damage pretty quickly, but they're also very slow.
* MindScrew
** Flower Pot being a plant in which you plant plants attempts to induce this in you with the flavor text.
-->'''Flower Pot:''' I'm a pot for planting. Yet I'm also a plant. [[YourHeadAsplode HAS YOUR MIND EXPLODED YET?!?!?!]]
** Also could go for Cat-tail, although it's more of her not wanting to be pigeonholed more than anything.
* MiniMecha: The Robo-Cone, Disco-Tron 3000, Mecha Football and Gargantuar Prime zombies in the Far Future. They all can take ''massive'' amounts of damage. Dr Zomboss' vehicles in the sequel also count.
* MiniMook: The minigame "Big Trouble Little Zombie" features these.
-->'''Crazy Dave:''' Defend your shins!
** And the Imps, of course.
* MonogenderMonsters: There are no female zombies in this game (or there might be some and it's just impossible to tell, when using the Zombatar feature many of the hair and clothing options appear feminine).
** This makes the LadyNotAppearingInThisGame parody a straight example at the same time.
* MookChivalry
** The digger zombie can tunnel beneath all your defenses, but once it reaches the other side of the lawn... it turns around and starts eating the plants in your back row. (Apparently it got confused while spinning like a top to emerge.) Problematic, but not as much as if it'd just go directly for the house. Same problem for Prospector Zombie in the sequel.
** Also true for the FinalBoss: why doesn't Dr. Zomboss just drop a zombie down your chimney?
* MookMaker
** A zombie that [[ShoutOut dances and spawns four others that follow it.]] If you hit Dancing Zombie with a Hypno Shroom, he becomes ''your'' Mook Maker.
** Zomboni-driving zombies are always inevitably followed by a team of bobsled riders.
** Also, [[spoiler:the FinalBoss.]]
** Imps pretty much appear alongside another mook in the sequel; from inside the Barrel Zombie, Imp Cannon, or atop the Bull Zombie.
** The sequel also introduces the Disco-Tron 3000, which summons Jetpack Disco Zombies in a similar manner to the Dancing Zombie. It also has ''much more'' health than a Dancing Zombie.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Dr. Zomboss has a doctorate in Thanatology. [[FridgeBrilliance (That's the study of death. Thanatos is Greek for death.)]]
* MoreDakka: A typical lawn once you get all your plants set up. The Gattling Pea in particular embodies this. Combine two Gattling Peas with a Torchwood and nothing will survive (except maybe a Giga-Gargantuar), although of course it's kind of expensive.
** The sequel has the Pea Pod, which can be planted on the same tile multiple times for up to five shots per volley. Also, many of the projectile-shooting plants will launch a barrage of projectiles when powered-up with Plant Food.
** Using Plant Food on a Puff-shroom will cause all other Puff-shrooms on screen to use their LimitBreak at once, allowing a huge amount of shots to be fired. It also resets their temporal lifespan.
* MultipleHeadCase: Split Pea and Threepeater play with this trope. According to the Almanac, Split Pea's second "head" is actually a large, head-like growth on the back of his own; and Threepeater, despite having three heads, is implied to have only one brain, [[NonIndicativeName and has little if anything else in his nature to do with the number "3".]] The Pea Pod in the sequel can have up to five heads. When fed Plant Food, it reveals a giant sixth head hidden underground.
* {{Multishot}}: The Threepeater can shoot three shots at once, though it is a plant that has [[MultipleHeadCase three heads]].
* MundaneUtility: In the sequel, Crazy Dave attempts to use a time machine to TimeTravel to a few minutes back so he can eat the taco he just ate, one more time. Can't he just buy another taco?
** Maybe the place he got it closed?
*** Why are you attempting to rationalise the logic of a character called "Crazy Dave"? He's crazy!
* {{Nerf}}:
** Certain zombie types in the second game are significantly nerfed compared to their equivalents in the first (the most glaring examples are the Prospector Zombie compared to the Digger Zombie, as it can fairly easily be destroyed before it jumps to the last column, and the Jetpack Zombie compared to the Pogo Zombie, as it is much slower-moving, weaker, and can be blown away by Blovers) because of the lack of an equivalent of the Magnet Shroom that neutralises zombies' special abilities, and because of the lack of a true survival mode that allows you to carry plants over between levels.
** The Coconut Cannon and Spikerock are also severely nerfed in terms of, respectively, destructive power and durability compared to the Cob Cannon and Spikerock in the first game, for similar reasons.
** The Puff Shroom is severely nerfed by giving it a short, finite lifespan, and much less health that it dies in two bites. A single Puff Shroom can't even destroy a single tombstone before it disappears. However, it does get a nice Plant Food ability where all Puff-shrooms on screen use their LimitBreak at the same time, and this also resets the lifespan.
* NeverHeardThatOneBefore: [[AnIcePerson Snow Pea]] gets a lot of this.
* NeverLearnedToRead‎: The Torchwood
* NewGamePlus: [[spoiler:Once you beat Dr. Zomboss, you can start all over again with the seeds you've gathered so far -- only Crazy Dave gets to pick three of them, the second playthrough.]] You also unlock new mini-games, more items from Crazy Dave's shop, and the Yeti Zombie.
* NightOfTheLivingMooks: ''Every single enemy'' that your plants fight is a zombie. Well, except for Zomboni, who's [[spoiler:a space ogre that often hangs out with zombies and is frequently confused with them.]] Also, [[spoiler:robots aren't zombies. But the guy piloting it is definitely one.]]
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot:
** The zombies have not only mastered many professions such as deep sea diving, pole vaulting, and football, but [[spoiler:there's an actual giant zombie bot at the end. A zombie '''in''' a robot. With a doctorate in Thanatology, no less.]]
** Plants vs. Zombies 2 has mummy zombies, pirate zombies, and cowboy zombies. [[spoiler:As well as a yeti robot zombie, bull robot zombie, and zombies driving mechas, one of which is a Gargantuar Mecha.]]
* NoCampaignForTheWicked: Averted in the "I, Zombie" minigame, where you control what zombies to spawn against (paper cutout) plants in order to reach the delicious brains they're guarding. The ExcusePlot of the "I, Zombie" minigame is also a gold mine. Basically, Crazy Dave agreed to train the zombies on how to break into lawns and eat brains better, but he can't. So he gets you to train the zombies. You know, the zombies that are trying to eat ''your'' brains.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: The Dancing Zombie's bio. He, by all accounts, looks like [[Music/MichaelJackson some Pop artist who made The Moonwalk famous]]. Made more sense back before the change to DiscoDan.
-->"Any resemblance between Dancing Zombie and persons living or dead is purely coincidental."
* NonsenseClassification: The "suburban almanac" that describes all the different plants and zombies in the game. This encyclopedia, not taking itself very seriously, keeps mixing up the concept of "individual" with the concept of "species". As in, every plant is an individual character, with its own backstory, but there are several (a whole species worth) of them. We also have the Zomboni who is not a zombie but an space ogre who likes to hang out with zombies and the Zombie Yeti, who we don't know anything about... except for his name, birth date, social security number, educational history, past work experience and sandwich preference (roast beef and Swiss).
* NonStandardGameOver: The "Endangered Plants" missions in the sequel introduces one, where the screen goes black, you hear the same BigNo scream, but the screen says "The zombies have eaten your plant!" instead. (And no picture of a brain.) If you fail to reach the target score in the Seagull Zombie shooting gallery missions, there's a BigNo with a caption saying "Penny is not impressed with your score".
* NoSell: Save your Snapdragons and Torchwood, for the Imp Dragon zombie is completely immune to all fire-based attacks.
* NotCompletelyUseless:
** Several types of plant are only really useful in a certain situation -- Split Peas can be helpful against Diggers and Imps, Cacti and Blovers take out balloon zombies (and, for the latter, fog), Coffee Beans are primarily used to wake up Magnet Shrooms (which are in turn only useful when zombies have metal objects with them), etc. -- being less cost-effective than other plants most of the time.
** Grave Busters are only useful in night levels in the first game, and Egypt or Dark Ages levels in the sequel. Likewise Spring Bean can fling zombies who step on it into nearby water - which only Pirate levels have. EM Peach is only useful against mecha, which only appear in the Far Future levels.
* NotGoodWithPeople: Crazy Dave demonstrates this in "I, Zombie," in which he agrees to let zombies practice attacking your house, as long as no plants are harmed. [[SarcasmMode Thanks, neighbor]].
* NoZombieCannibals: Averted if they're hypnotized.
* NukeEm
** Doom-shrooms. These things literally define the term "[[EverythingMakesAMushroom Mushroom Cloud]]".
** Cob Cannons are not in fact cannons but corn-missile launchers. And those missiles are [[OneHitKill VERY]] destructive.
* ObviousRulePatch: The very existence of the Giga-Gargantuar and requiring extra sun for every successive upgrade plant in Survival: Endless were due to players initially finding the mode too easy. [[http://www.next-gen.biz/features/flower-defence?page=2 George Fan claimed that people were getting to the 100th wave in 3 hours at first.]]
* OneHitKill: Some of your plants, namely the Cherry Bomb, Potato Mine, Squash, Doom Shroom, Tangle Kelp, Jalapeno Pepper, Chomper and Cob Cannon are capable of killing almost all types of enemies in one hit. But mind you: some of the enemies, most notably [[spoiler:the [[HumongousMecha Final Boss]], the Zombonis, the [[NightmareFuel Jack-in-the-Box zombies]], the [[GoddamnedBats Bungee Zombies]] and [[GiantMook Gargantuar]]]] are also able to do this to your plants! In terms of resistance, the Gargantuar takes 2 normal OneHitKill plants to die (or 3 for the Giga-Gargantuar which appears only in Survival mode), and Spikerocks can take 9 hits from a Gargantuar or vehicles.
** The Citron from the sequel has a Plant Food power that can even destroy a Gargantuar in one hit! The Sun Bean's Plant Food upgrade will also kill any zombie that eats it and make them drop 15 sun per hit points remaining.
** In the sequel, the Explorer Zombie can burn any plants with his torch (including Wall-Nuts! unless they're armored) and walk right through. If not killed in time, the pirate zombie's parrot can also carry plants up to the ceiling never to be seen again, just like the Bungee Zombies. The Barrel Zombie can also crush plants beneath its barrel, and Pianist Zombie does the same with his piano. The Mecha-football zombie can push all your plants in a row backward, killing any of those pushed offscreen, and the Gargantuar Prime can incinerate back-row plants with its EyeBeams.
* OneHitPolykill: The Bloomerang and Laser Bean in the sequel.
* OvershadowedByAwesome: Cabbage-pult. Once you have the Kernel-pult you probably won't ever use cabbages anymore, as the butter that Kernel-pult sometimes throws is much more useful than the cabbage-pult's higher damage (it freezes zombies in their tracks). Kernel and melon-pults also have upgrades to more powerful forms (which you won't be able to afford outside of survival mode) while cabbage does not.
** Well, it does do 2 peas worth of more damage more consistantly than Kernel-pult and cost less than Melon-pult. Other then that, the trope still applies.
* PerfectlyCromulentWord: No, the Cherry Bombs will not explode, nor will they detonate. They decided to explodonate. Powie! ("CHA-BOOF" in the sequel.)
* PerpetualFrowner: Ice-shroom, although it is because of a childhood injury that left his facial nerves paralyzed.
* PirateParrot: The Pirate Captain Zombie has one, which can fly towards a plant and take it away.
* PlasmaCannon: Citron.
* PinataEnemy: The [[spoiler:Zombie Yeti]].
* PopTheTires: You can pop the tires of the vehicle based Zomboni and the Catapult Zombie by planting a [[SpikesOfDoom Spikeweed/Spikerock]] in its track. For some reason, this does not only pop the tires, but also make ''[[MadeOfExplodium the entire vehicle blow up]]''.
* PortalNetwork: The minigame [[ShoutOut "Portal Combat"]] has you fighting zombies while a somewhat confusing system of portals (Zombies ready to stumble into the gateways are fired upon by plants in front of the corresponding portal, for example) shifts around the field.
* PowerFloats: It's more obvious in the zen garden, but the Coffee Bean floats above the soil.
* ThePowerOfTheSun: The Magnifying Grass
* PowerUpMagnet: The Gold Magnet.
* PsychoForHire: The Doom-Shroom would have no qualms about destroying your house instead. It wouldn't be hard, or so he claims.
* PunnyName: Most of the plants, almost to the point of FlintstoneTheming.
* PuzzlePan: Before a level, the camera will pan and show you the zombie types you will encounter in the level.
* RaisingTheSteaks:
** "The dolphin is also a zombie."
** The sequel introduces ''zombie chickens and parrots''.
* RakeTake: You can buy a rake for your lawn that kills the first zombie that it encounters; it lasts three levels, after which you can buy a new one.
** GameBreakingBug, though a mild one: make sure the rake upgrade isn't active when you play "Portal Combat". The rake spawns in a random row, and the first zombie to appear will appear in that row. "Portal Combat" won't spawn zombies in rows where they could immediately walk into a portal and appear in the back of your lawn... but the rake overrides that mercy.
* RapidFireFisticuffs: The Bonk Choy. Taken UpToEleven if given Plant Food.
* RedEyesTakeWarning
** Happens literally during the FinalBoss -- if his eyes glow red, you better hope you have an empty pot and an Ice-Shroom on hand...
** Doom-Shroom also has these. Not surprising, considering [[NukeEm what]] [[ActionBomb he]] [[OneHitKill does]]...
** Giga-Gargantuars. As if the resident {{Mighty Glacier}}s couldn't get any worse, these guys can take a lot more damage than a regular Gargantuar.
** The Newspaper Zombie's eyes will glow red when you push his BerserkButton.
* RemovingTheHeadOrDestroyingTheBrain: Averted. Zombies can be destroyed independently of where the attacks hit them (in the torso for peas, in the feet for Spikeweeds or Spikerocks… only the catapult plants hit the head). Zombies get decapitated at zero "hit points", but don't instantly die; they either take a couple hits before falling apart, or step a few more times before falling down (essentially acting as a weak, temporary shield for intact zombies).
* RevenueEnhancingDevices: The Android version, in particular, was criticised for how much grinding it takes to unlock mini-games without paying extra.
* {{Roboteching}}: The thorns fired by the Cattails do this.
* RoboticReveal: [[spoiler:The yeti zombies and the bulls]] in Plants vs. Zombies 2.
* RockBeatsLaser:
** The zombies attack with tools, vehicles and robots... and get taken down by plants.
** The Infi-nut can be instantly taken down (projector and all) by a zombie carrying a wooden torch.
* RocketJump: The Prospector Zombie does this with a stack of [=TNT=] strapped to his leg. It launches him to the end of the yard, where he turns around and starts eating your plants from behind.
* RuleOfCool: You are a homeowner with an insane neighbor and all you have is vegetable-based ordnance to defend your home from waves of the walking dead. Why? Who cares?!
** So where did Crazy Dave get this time machine? Why are there zombies in Ancient Egypt and the Wild West? How could you even plant on a ship? Who cares if there's not even a flimsy explanation for all of this?
* RuleOfCute: Applies to both the plants and the zombies.
* RuleOfFun: Similarly, who cares where all these genetically modified war-plants came from? (Answer: [[WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys Bloom & Doom Seed Co.]]) If it kills zombies, then all is well and good.
* SelfImposedChallenge: The survival modes naturally lends themselves to these. Only night plants, only night plants during the day (except for air defense), as few rows as possible, no plants that shoot, etc.
* ShmuckBait: In the help section:
-->''When the zombies come, just sit there and don't do anything. You win the game when the zombies get to your house.''
--->''This help section brought to you by the zombies.''
* ShamuFu: The Pirate Gargantuar uses a shark (with a zombie's arm hanging out of its mouth) as a club.
* ShedArmorGainSpeed: In the sequel, the Pharaoh Zombie is initially the slowest zombie in the game since it's wearing its sarcophagus, but that makes him one of the toughest with an insane amount of health, immunity to being paralyzed, and the fact it can survive an explosive plant, which are usually a OHKO. Once it takes enough damage, the sarcophagus breaks and while he still has a ZombieGait, he's one of the fastest zombies in the game.
* ShockAndAwe: The Lightning Reed in the sequel.
** ChainLightning: Its especially useful against the hordes of zombie chickens that get released by the Chicken Wrangler zombie.
* ShootTheMageFirst:
** The Explorer Zombie wields a torch that can instantly burn your plants, and he moves fast. Thankfully, he's about as durable as a common zombie. Using ice-element plants work too and can put out his torch.
** Ra Zombies can steal the suns around him if you're not quick to retrieve them. If you kill him though, he'll give the suns back.
** Prospector Zombies, if not taken down fast, can use his dynamite to leap high across your defenses and end up in the last column, then starts eating from the back. Plants that can hit backwards (such as Split Pea) and ice-element plants (which stops the wick) is his perfect counter.
** Pianist Zombies can command all the other zombies to dance and switch lanes, screwing with your strategy. Kill him and the zombies will continue walking normally.
** Tomb Raiser Zombie will periodically stop and throw a bone onto a random tile, and a tomb will raise from it, blocking your frontal shots. There's an achievement for killing him before he does so.
* ShoutOut
** To other PopCap games:
*** Scroll down on the [[VideoGameAchievements Achievements]] menu and you can see references to ''VideoGame/{{Bookworm}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Bejeweled}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Chuzzle}}'', ''Videogame/{{Peggle}}'', and ''Videogame/{{Zuma}}''. Scroll down too far and you see [[DiggingToChina Chinese]] [[ChineseVampire zombies]].
*** Minigames include "[[VideoGame/{{Bejeweled}} Beghouled]]" and "[[{{Insaniquarium}} Zombiquarium]]". Then later, "Beghouled Twist"
*** Speaking of ''{{Insaniquarium}}'', Stinky the Snail helps you collect coins in the Zen Garden.
*** There's also a mention of ''VideoGame/{{Peggle}}'' in the Pumpkin's entry.
** [[Music/MichaelJackson The Dancing Zombie]], before the Game of the Year Edition.
** "VideoGame/{{Portal}} [[VideoGame/MortalKombat Combat]]".
** One of the puzzles is called "[[VideoGame/ZeroWing All Ur Brainz R Belong 2 Us]]".
** At the last level, Crazy Dave pops up and says [[spoiler:I know his weakness! You have to [[KonamiCode press up up down down left right left right]]... hmm....]]
** Tombstones are labelled "[[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus BEREFT OF LIFE" and "Just Resting"]].
** [[ManEatingPlant The Chomper]] auditioned as a stunt double for ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors''.
** The track [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAEhxrZCbLw "Braniac Maniac"]] is a musical nod to the ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' series.
** One of the Minigames on the Xbox360 version is called "VideoGame/HeavyWeapon", the name of another PopCap game. You play as a pea-shooting lawnmower that moves back and forth while aiming, in a similar fashion. The power-ups your lawnmower could get are also very similar to the original game.
** The "[[Franchise/DeadSpace Undead Space]]" achievement.
** The upcoming ''Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare'': Does that title remind you of a [[VideoGame/ModernWarfare certain other video game series]]?
** The [[{{Gasshole}} unique effect]] of the Chili Bean in the second game is probably a Shout Out to the most notorious scene in ''Film/BlazingSaddles'', since the plant is first introduced in the Western zone.
** In ''Garden Warfare'', one can find a bulletin board that has a poster reading "[[AchievementHunter Cheevo Hunters for hire]]".
** On the second game's future zone map screen, the Gargantuar is shown [[Film/StarWarsTheEmpireStrikesBack frozen in carbonite]].
** The Citron's BreathWeapon is clearly "CHARGIN' MAH LAZER!" while the Laser Bean's Plant Food power is "IMMA FIRIN' MAH LAZOR!"
** The trailer for the "Dark Ages" world of the second game features an armored knight zombie miming riding a horse, followed by an imp [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail banging two coconut-shell halves together]].
** In It's About Time, the almanac section for the Future Zombies says "Future fact #23: Nothing bad ever happens to [[Main/StarTrek red shirts]]."
* ShowsDamage
** On the plant side, the wall-nut, tall-nut, pumpkin, garlic and spikerocks show damage.
** Most zombies show damage with their forms of defense being damaged and then destroyed, and then their arms falling off. The Zombonis will also show damage.
* TheSiege
* SmashMook: The [[GiantMook Gargantuar]] plays this straight and also subverts it. Played straight by the fact that it usually does nothing other than 1) advance forward 2) [[OneHitKill smash ANY of your plants flat]] with a [[ImprobableWeaponUser sign, telephone pole, lamp-post]], or [[GrievousHarmWithABody another zombie]]. Subverted by the fact that it also has the ability to launch an [[FragileSpeedster Imp]] into your defenses once its health gets low.
* SoundCodedForYourConvenience: A few of the more potentially dangerous zombies give off a sound cue before they enter the screen, or when they are on the screen (Zombonis, Dolphin riders, Jack-in-the-box, Balloons, Diggers, Pogos).
* SpeakingSimlish: A variant; Crazy Dave is crazy enough that he's no longer actually speaking anything but gibberish, but you've known him long enough that you can translate. Also likely done deliberately to save on disk space. The whole game only takes up 25 MB.[[note]]Unless you have the GOTY edition, which takes up 50 MB due to the extra features it comes with, or the PS3 edition, which takes up a whopping 100MB due to all the support libraries being self-contained.[[/note]] And ease up localization in other languages. The French version has every text dutifully translated, but the audio (mostly "Braaaains") and the final song stay in English.
* SpiderTank: Dr Zomboss uses one matching the theme of the world in his levels in the sequel.
* SpikesOfDoom: Spikeweeds/Spikerocks. On top of causing DamageOverTime against normal zombies, OneHitKill against vehicle enemies (and Barrel Zombie in the sequel).
* SpiritualSuccessor: to ''{{Insaniquarium}}''. It actually [[http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/03/george-fan-how-insaniquarium-2-became-plants-vs-zombies.ars started out in development as a sequel]] to ''Insaniquarium''. This explains the appearance of Stinky the Snail and the Zombiquarium minigame.
* SplashDamage: Melon-pult and Winter Melon. Flaming peas too, but on a very short radius.
* SpontaneousChoreography: Pianist Zombies in the sequel can command all the other zombies into dancing and randomly switch lanes.
* SpreadShot: Threepeaters and Starfruit are able to do this. It's also what makes a field full of Threepeaters and Starfruit particularly dangerous to zombies. Not to mention those two plants can [[DemonicSpiders easily screw up your zombies]], especially [[FragileSpeedster Imps]], in "I, Zombie". When powered-up with Plant Food in the sequel, the Threepeater fires a rapid barrage of peas in a waving fan pattern that can cover most of the level.
** Snapdragons in the sequel can cover 2x3 columns at once per fire breath. Basically a cross of Fume-Shroom and Threepeaters.
* StartingUnits: In the first game, your very first plant is a Peashooter. Every 2 levels you'll be given a new plant to use.
** In the second game, the Peashooter, Sunflower, Wall-nut and Potato Mine are this, given in the tutorial stage. All of them (minus Potato Mine) are also your starting units in each of the time period's "survival" levels.
* StealthPun: The Lily Pad is a plant that basically acts as a water platform for plants that can't live in water. [[spoiler:It's a support class.]]
* TheStoic
** Lily Pad is described as this.
** The Tall-nut is also this. Wall-nut starts out smiling, but it turns into a pained-looking frown as its "skull" is slowly chewed away. But the Tall-nut's stoic glower is marred, no matter the damage taken, by no more than a single tear.
* StoneWall
** The Wall-nut and Tall-nut serve no purpose other than defending your easily-killed attackers by taking damage for them. And they sure can [[MadeOfIron take LOTS of it.]] Even more in the sequel if you give them Plant Food.
** Pumpkins turn any plant into these. Including the Nuts.
** The sequel adds in Infi-nut, which is weaker than a Wall-nut but can [[HealingFactor regenerate over time]].
** While not a defensive plant per se, Spikerock deserves a mention as being the only plant that Zombonis and Gargantuars can't [[OneHitKill one-shot]].
** The Knight Zombie moves and eats as fast as a regular zombie, but his armor gives him a ''huge'' amount of health.
* SuddenMusicalEnding
* SugarApocalypse: Cute little plants who happily defend your home and fight zombies, most of them eventually doomed to be munched on.
* SummonBackupDancers: The Dancing Zombie's power. The Disco-Tron 3000 in the sequel can also do it.
* SuperStrength: The Gargantuar uses telephone poles, animal crossing signs and ''other zombies'' to smash your plants with. Plus, he wields them with only 1 hand.
** When you fail to find any brains during a "Brain Ball" challenge, the newspaper clearly shows a Gargantuar holding a house up.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Laser Bean is the second game's equivalent of the much-missed Fume Shroom. Although it has a different appearance and theme, it has the same very useful ability to damage all zombies in a row simultaneously. (In particular, seriously reducing the threat of Imp Cannons.)
* TacticalSuicideBoss: Dr. Zomboss would be invincible if he didn't lower his robot's head. There's [[GameBreakingBug a glitch that may occur in the minigame where he in fact doesn't]].
* {{Tagline}}: "Get ready to soil your plants!"
* TechnicolorFire: In the sequel, using plant food on a Torchwood, its flame turns blue and greatly increases the damage of peas passing through it.
* TheTetrisEffect: Don't worry if you can still see the plants when you look away. That's perfectly natural. If you start seeing ''zombies'', go see a doctor.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: After a while, just about any lawn can turn into this.
* ThisBananaIsArmed: The game is based on the premise that you defend your home during a ZombieApocalypse with assorted vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and other plants that can do massive damage to endless hordes of invading zombies.
* TimeTravel: The second game starts because Crazy Dave wants to eat the taco he got in the first game, again.
* ToiletHumor:
** Take one guess what happens when zombies eat a Chili Bean in the sequel. Hint: the zombie doesn't explode.
** Also, at one point in the pirate world, the time machine makes a remark about hoping Crazy Dave doesn't create a "poop deck".
* TooDumbToLive: The zombies do almost nothing that significantly aids in their quest for brains and alot of the time, their ideas are [[CaptainObvious down right stupid]]. Plus, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking they have horrible hand writing and grammar]].
** Dr. Zomboss subverts this '''big time'''. Not only does he have perfect hand writing and grammar, he is also smart enough to build a HumongousMecha for your fight with him. Also according to his almanac entry, he earned his Doctorate in Thanatology in only ''two years''.
* TransformationIsAFreeAction: Averted in the first game, as the Imitater can be eaten by zombies during its transformation sequence, making it often impractical to use to copy a one-hit-kill plant. In the second game, this is not such a problem.
* TranslatedCoverVersion: Laura Shigihara has written the original English theme tune and a Japanese version (with her father taking over as the zombie voices). There is also a Spanish version.
* TurnsRed: Destroying the Newspaper Zombie's, well, newspaper causes him to run and hit as fast as [[LightningBruiser Football Zombies]]! Thankfully, he doesn't get as tough too.
* TwitchyEye
** Jack-in-the-box Zombie has quite a strong one and has the chills from his insanity.
** Wall-Nut gets one when he's taken enough damage, poor guy. Even more notable in the sequel.
** Crazy Dave, too.
* UndergroundMonkey: The variations on the standard, conehead, and buckethead zombies in the different time zones in ''Plants Vs. Zombies II''.
* {{Unsound Effect}}s
** When a zombie meets a Potato Mine: [[IncrediblyLamePun SPUD]]OW!!
** When the Doom-shroom explodes: [[ShapedLikeItself DOOM]]!!
* VariableMix: During large waves, the music picks up more instruments. They go away once the wave dies down.
* VersusTitle
* VerticalKidnapping: The Bungee zombies. The zombie parrots in the sequel.
* VillainousHarlequin: The Jester Zombie in the sequel's "Dark Ages" world.
* WarHasNeverBeenSoMuchFun: Damn right!
* WidgetSeries
* AWildRapperAppears: Inverted in Crazy Dave's song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_UTh4qNjjo "Wabby Wabbo"]], where... well, just watch.
* WorldOfPun: As if the plant names weren't enough, Crazy Dave delivers plenty of cringe-inducing puns in the sequel.
* WritingAroundTrademarks
** The newer almanac entry on the Zomboni:
-->''Not to be mistaken for a Zamboni® brand ice resurfacing machine. Zamboni® and the image of the ice resurfacing machine are registerd trademarks of Frank J. Zamboni & Co., Inc., and "Zomboni" is used with permission. For all your non-zombie-related ice resurfacing needs, visit www.zamboni.com!''
** A more straight example: According to {{Word of God}}, the game was originally going to be called "[[TitleOfTheDead Lawn of]] [[WhatCouldHaveBeen the Dead]]", but was deemed too close to the title it was parodying and [[ScrewedByTheLawyers nixed by the lawyers]].
* XRaySparks: Happens in the sequel when attacks from Lightning Reeds or Power Zaps kill zombies.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: The publicity and the internal content shows this in the "Dark Ages" levels, with different forms of "thou" thrown around randomly and "eth" added to the end of verbs regardless of proper conjugation.
* YouAllLookFamiliar: Pretty much all the zombies have similar face designs. However, realizing that this game only takes up 25 MB and was made to be available online, it's easier to take in than most examples.
* YouRequireMoreVespeneGas: Sun is the form of currency for your plants, dropped from the sky on day levels and produced by Sunflowers and Sun-shrooms. In Survivor Endless, upgradable plants keep costing more and more Sun as you plant them. This makes those GameBreaker plants prohibitively expensive. For whatever reason, Zombies in "I, Zombie" require sunlight as well.
* YouShouldntKnowThisAlready: Attempting to enter some of the secret codes from the Tree of Wisdom before it's tall enough to tell them to you produces the popup message "you don't have a tall enough Tree of Wisdom for that!". [[ZigZaggingTrope The other codes work fine before it tells you]], though.
* ZergRush:
** The main tactic of the zombies; especially true in Survival Mode.
** The Chicken Wrangler Zombie in ''It's About Time''. After taking enough damage, it releases a flock of weak but fast-moving Zombie Chickens across up to three lanes. If you haven't set up adequate defenses, the chickens can quickly overwhelm them.
* ZombieApocalypse: Now in [[JerkJock Jock]], {{Salaryman}}, and Dolphin flavors!
* ZombieGait: Most of the zombies are slow, quite thankfully, or else you'd have no chance to build a proper defense. There are, however several notable exceptions, especially the Football Zombies (which are full-on {{Lightning Bruiser}}s), the Pole Vaulter zombies and Dolphin Riders (before jumping), the Newspaper Zombies (after the newspaper is destroyed), the Imps and those [[GoddamnedBats goddamned Pogo Zombies]].
** The sequel makes the gait more varied, at least among different zombies. Even basic Mummy and Cowboy Zombies have different walking and eating animations.
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