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Picked Flowers Are Dead

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When you give someone flowers, you expect her to talk about how beautiful they are or how good they smell. Not about how the poor flowers are dead or dying because you severed them from their roots. Yet, that's what happening here. Maybe she's some kind of Magical Native American or just very much Closer to Earth, but whatever her reason she's feeling sorry for the poor flowers or even see them as something bad in a necromantic sort of way. If the complainer is a third party, they may criticize the receiver for enjoying the gift.



Comic Books

  • Poison Ivy of Batman is known to react this way.
  • The EC Comics story "Gee, Dad... It's a Daisy!" (Shock SuspenStories #2): "Flowers and plants are alive! Just because they don't cry out doesn't mean they don't feel pain!" This leads to a Space Whale Aesop with Plant Aliens picking apart a human.
  • Rogue Trooper. In the "Remembrance Day" retelling of the Quartz Zone Massacre, Rogue finds a single flower that has somehow managed to bloom on Nu Earth. In picking it, he realises that he's killed it too. On cutting to Tor Cyan watching the history logs, we find that after the war finally ended, the blue flowers have flourished on Nu Earth.
  • The ghost Talia from Brody's Ghost has a conversation with Brody about a vase of flowers she saw in her actually her father's hospital room when she was still alive. She tearfully compares the flowers in a vase of water to human beings on life support, and wonders why anyone thinks that it will stop the flowers/person from dying.
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  • In Runaways, Klara's Green Thumb powers only work on plants that are still connected to their roots. She gets particularly upset when people cut roses, as she can hear the roses speaking to her.


  • Ellen at the start of Nosferatu when she receives some from Hutter at the beginning. Yep, Older than You Think.
  • In Alien Nation: Dark Horizon, one of the aliens is sick. Her human boyfriend brings a bouquet of flowers as he visits her in the hospital, but is not allowed to deliver them to her. His alien rival is allowed to deliver the potted plant, however. In the alien culture, dying flowers are seen as a bad omen when it comes to recovering health.


  • Roald Dahl:
    • In The BFG, the Big Friendly Giant comments that since he can hear the voices of plants, anytime somebody picks a flower he can hear the plant screaming as though somebody were having their arm twisted off. Sophie wonders whether she'll ever be able to pick flowers again.
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    • In one of Dahl's short stories for adults, "The Sound Machine", the titular machine reveals to its inventor that plants make some kind of noise when they're cut, plucked, etc. Whether it's an expression of pain or not is unknown, but it's enough to severely unnerve the inventor.
  • In The Naked Sun, Gladia picks a flower and Elijah remarks that she killed it. Being a murder suspect, she angrily asks whether that's supposed to mean she can kill a human just as easily.In hindsight, this is rather prophetic.
  • In She Lover of Death, Columbina feeds the flowers that Fandorin gives her on their first Not-Date to a horse, saying that she has no need for "flower corpses".
  • In one of the Tales of the City books, Anna mentions that prostitutes consider cut flowers unlucky, as they are beauty cut down in their prime. This is foreshadowing of the revelation that Anna's mother was a madam, and she was raised in a brothel.

Live Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Out Of My Mind".
    Harmony: You know what it means that he can't hurt any living thing? It means he can't even pick flowers.
    Spike: What? Yes I can!
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo includes this in some early-season grumbling to Quark about how absurd the rituals of humanoid romance are, saying that writing bad poetry and "sacrificing plant life" are silly ways to entice a mate, which he doesn't see the point of in the first place.
  • In Stefan's second appearance in Family Matters, by Laura's request, Steve made him more sensitive and caring since in his first appearance, he was too self-centered and shallow. In one scene, Stefan ends up giving Laura a potted plant, explaining he couldn't bare to harm a flower by plucking it.

Play-by-Post Games

  • Infinity's Row: Ren is always seeing the negative side of things, never trying to see the good in the world.

Video Games

  • In Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance during a Flashback Killia recalls when he picked a flower for Lieze. Lieze yelled at him saying that the flower was dead now, and not even Killia freezing the flower using Alma Ice Sculpture could help her mood in the slightest. The flower does serve a different narrative purpose after that; it reminds Killia of his biggest failure in Lieze's death.
  • In Quest for Glory V, you can give flowers to various ladies and eventually marry one of the four most prominent ones. One of them will feel sorry for the flowers, but giving them to her earns you romantic points anyway. She will use their seeds to make more living flowers.
  • Return to Zork features this with the appropriately-titled "bonding plant." If you pull the plant straight out of the ground, it instantly dies. The correct solution is to dig it up by the roots so that it likes you.

Visual Novels

  • Little Busters!: In Kurugaya's route, she describes an event from her childhood when she picked some beautiful flowers from the side of the road just because they looked pretty and was horrified and distressed later on when she realised that in doing so she had killed them.


  • This comic from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal explains the human ritual of flower-giving, as understood by aliens. Supposedly human males mutilate the hated plant-life to show off their prowess... and it goes downhill from there.
    What are "hippies"?
    The most violent humans in history.

Western Animation

  • A sympathetic Plant Person Aladdin: The Series villain of the week mentioned picking flowers and condemning them to a slow death in a vase as one of humanity's crimes against nature.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Buster and Babs Go Hawaii", when their plane lands, they're greeted by Shirley who puts flower necklaces on them and says, "Like, welcome to Hawaii. Enjoy these ultra-rare flowers that, like, died for you... YOU MURDERERS!"


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