Plant Mooks

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Not-so-dandelions.

Monica: But they're alive, right?
Aaron: Depends on your definition of alive. They have more in common with broccoli than they do with you. Or me.
Monica: I hate broccoli. Let's kill 'em.

Need an army of disposable Mooks but can't be bothered to pay them or build them? Maybe you can give your green thumb a workout and grow your own — all you need is some soil, some sunlight, and a little Applied Phlebotinum, and a bumper crop of minions awaits.

Like their technological brethren, the Mecha-Mooks, Plant Mooks have the advantage of providing an army of cannon fodder for the heroes without incurring the wrath of the Moral Guardians. Their strength and durability can also be justified by their plant nature — an individual sapling might be a pushover, but a giant walking tree will be more than a handful for most heroes. And it's not hard to give the Plant Mooks additional hero-stopping powers, such as vines to tie them up or sticky sap to trap them.

Unlike a Plant Person, a Plant Mook is seldom a protagonist or viewpoint character. After all, What Measure Is a Mook? In almost all cases, the Plant Mook's main purpose is to throw themselves at the heroes and get mowed down like grass.

A subtrope of Plant Person, Plant Aliens, Artificial Human, and Fantastic Flora. Also see Mushroom Man, When Trees Attack, Man-Eating Plant, and Garden of Evil.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  

  • The first Sailor Moon film deals with a plant monster named Kisenian. She created several plant mooks that were a big trouble for the Sailor Senshi since they just kept growing from the soil and thus were very hard to defeat.
  • The saibamen from Dragon Ball Z are used by Saiyans as sparring partners and low-level infantry. Six are unleashed on Earth by Nappa, who plants their seeds in the ground. They are defeated by the Z Fighters, but manage to take at least one with them.

     Comic Books  

  • Batman villainess Poison Ivy often grows her own army of mooks. It's also a particularly handy way to get around her disdain for men.
  • In Nextwave, the Beyond Corporation's "Human Resources" are genetically-modified kelp, grown in gardens, and driven by software. Their level of sentience is left ambiguous.
  • In one Astro City story, the villainous group Pyramid was growing an army of plant-soldiers inside a secret creche in Burma, only to be stopped by the Point Man. Another story refers to plant-based Artificial Humans created with technology from the Garden Gnome.

     Films — Animated  

  • Though it's never stated in the movies themselves, Gru's minions from Despicable Me were originally supposed to be genetically modified kernels of corn. They've later been retconned into a preexisting race of yellow corn-like things.

     Films — Live-Action  

  • The Sentries from Maleficent, who resemble tall, wooden soldiers with demonic faces, and ride on huge boars.
  • Return of the Killer Tomatoes! has the Tomato Transformation device, which turns tomatoes into people.

     Video Games  

  • Pikmin is about leading an army of the titular plant/animal-like creatures to ensure your survival and prosperity.
  • Inverted in Plants vs. Zombies, where you'll grow an army of plants to defend your home against invading zombies.
    • But played straight in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, which introduces the Weeds- the plant-counterparts to the Spawnable Zombies. Players on the Zombie side can shoot Weeds, blow them up, burn them, freeze them, and shock them.
  • A variation occurs in Final Fantasy XIV, where you can get special seeds which, when planted, produces a pet-like minion.
  • Several of the enemies from the Super Mario Bros. series qualify, such as the Goombas, Piranha Plants, and Pokeys. And the Toads of the Mushroom Kingdom count as a heroic example.
  • The black and white fungus heartless in Kingdom Hearts.
  • In Ragnarok Online, there are the spore and red spore monsters, which resemble mushrooms with faces and their caps pop open to reveal a huge mouth full of teeth.
  • In Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars and its sequel Dota 2, Malfurion, Nature's Prophet, can turn trees into an army of small treants. They are most often used as cannon fodder to soak up the attacks of towers, which makes him one of the most efficient heroes for destroying buildings.
  • If your enemy isn't a classic video game mook, a fear-striking mech, or an Eldritch Abomination, this is probably the kind of mook you're fighting in the Neptunia franchise.

     Western Animation  

  • Bushroot from Darkwing Duck tends to use plants as Mooks because he's a plant duck.
  • Dr. Viper is a recurring villain in Hanna-Barbera's SWAT Kats universe. In the episode "Destructive Nature", he takes over an entire skyscraper using mutant plant creatures which he refers to as Plantimals. His mushroom monster assistant in the episode "Katastrophe" may also count.
  • The Apocazons from Loonatics Unleashed can custom-grow plants to meet any need. Some of these extend kudzu-like tendrils to ensnare adversaries, while others can jettison toxic thorns. One variety even manages to bring down the Loonatics aircraft.
  • Mad Scientist Doctor Greenthumb sought to create an army of plant-creatures in the Josie And The Pussy Cats episode "A Greenthumb Is Not A Goldfinger." His Evil Plan never made it out of beta.
  • When a glowing meteor lands on their home world, The Herculoids find themselves battling common, harmless flora suddenly gone monstrous, aggressive and hostile.
  • Pottsylvania spies Boris and Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle attempt to subjugate the United States by introducing the Pottsylvania Creeper to American soil. The creeper can withstand any abuse meant to kill or disable it, and it soon launches a missile made of its own tendrils that spreads thousands of its seeds across the nation. Oh, and the creeper also eats people.
  • Steven Universe, like his mother before him, has control over plants which includes creating mobile creatures from them. Steven discovered this in the episode "Watermelon Steven", when he accidentally grows a bunch of watermelons seeds into watermelon people that looks like him. Unfortunately, they're only sentient enough to see people as threats, regardless of Steven's orders, at least until one of them sacrifices itself to stop the fighting. Steven convinces the Steven-Melons to leave Beach City, and we find out what became of them in the season 3 premiere "Super Watermelon Island".
  • The page illustration are of the Fftssfft from the Ewoks episode "To Save Deej". Known as "dandelion warriors", they are a semi-sapient botanical species characterized by sharp yellow quills.


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