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Smashed Eggs Hatching

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This is the tendency in fiction to have eggs (be they spider eggs, dragon eggs, or insectoid alien eggs) as some sort of destructible object that when attacked, releases the creature inside. Often, they emerge ready to attack and, in some cases, even fully grown.

In video games, this is often an excuse to give you an enemy to fight when the situation may have no other option. It also serves a similar gameplay purpose to the drama in You Can't Thwart Stage One, as it means you can't avoid a fight and make a situation an Anti-Climax.

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Of course, this is an absurd misunderstanding of eggs. In Real Life, crushing an egg would almost certainly kill what's inside. Even if it somehow managed to survive, the fact that it's in an egg means it's a developing creature, meaning it would be crippled at best. This might be justified if the creature was already only a few minutes from hatching anyway, but often this is not the case. In an ideal situation, even if the egg's within only a few minutes of being completely broken open by the creature within, you shouldn't need to 'help it along' unless it's clear they're in trouble, since, at least in the case of birds, the whole hatching process from pipping to emerging could take up to 24 hours, and the chick has more than enough strength to make it.

Often overlaps with Weaponized Offspring.

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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Downplayed in Wonder Egg Priority. The titular eggs only need to be cracked, not smashed open, and once cracked they hatch on their own like normal eggs. Justified in that they're clearly not normal eggs, and their hatching always takes place within a Dream Land.

    Film 
  • Dr. Rumack in Airplane! pulls eggs from a sick lady's mouth, cracks them open and a bird flies out.
  • At the end of the 1960 film adaptation of The Lost World, a large egg is dropped and cracks open, revealing a tiny "baby T. rex".
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, the title character accidentally steps on a Cy-Bug egg at the top of the tower in Hero's Duty, releasing a baby Cy-Bug that he ends up dragging outside into Sugar Rush.
  • In Dingo Pictures' Wabuu the Cheeky/Little Raccoon, a bird couple's egg falls out of the tree that Wabuu chops down to create a bridge for Wuschel, and the parents proclaim "Child murderer! Child murderer! Wabuu's killed our baby!". When Wabuu finds the cracked egg, the chick fortunately hatches unscathed.
  • Done relatively realistically in Finding Nemo. A barracuda eats Marlin's wife Coral and destroys all of her eggs. The one egg that isn't completely crushed hatches into Nemo, but he still has a deformed fin as a result.
  • The Angry Birds Movie begins and ends with this trope. Red falls on one of Edward and Eva's eggs, bringing Vincent into the world. After the Birds destroy Pig City to take their eggs back from the Bad Piggies, the impact of the destruction shatters Greg and Olive Blue's egg, resulting in the birth of Jay, Jake and Jim.

    Literature 
  • In the Diane Duane Star Trek novel The Wounded Sky, at the end of the novel Kirk accidentally drops the egg case left behind by K't'lk - which promptly hatches into her daughter self, K's't'lk.
  • The Turbo Toilet 2000 battering the treehouse in a Captain Underpants novel causes the pterodactyl/hamster eggs that are on a table inside it to fall, crack, and release the hybrids within.
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    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Young Ones episode "Bomb", the apparent atom bomb that fell into the lads' house from a plane turns out to be an airplane egg, which when thumped hatches out a tiny model plane that immediately flies away.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Magic: The Gathering's M14 set, there is a card called Dragon Egg that creates a Dragon creature token when it dies.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Module OA6 Ronin Challenge. The hen Sahira lays a variety of magical eggs for the use of the PCs, and two of them cause creatures to appear when broken.
      • When a Golden Egg is broken, a small bird made of fire appears and flies away, leading the party in the direction they need to go.
      • If a Grey Egg is shattered, a hkum yeng nat appears. If there is a village within 20 miles it attacks the PCs: if not, it serves them for five minutes.
    • The Dragon Lance setting. The Incubalum is a unique magic item: an egg-shaped object about a foot long made of a tough grey material. If it's broken an adult version of a land-dwelling, egg-laying animal will appear from it, anything from a songbird to a dragon. It is not under anyone's control and acts normally for its type.
    • D&D Rules Cyclopedia. When broken, an Egg of Wonder releases a randomly determined animal which obeys the person who broke the egg. It remains for one hour or until killed, then disappears.

    Video Games 
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Rookery in Upper Blackrock Spire (home of the original Leeroy Jenkins Video) is a chamber filled with hundreds of dragon eggs. Stepping on the eggs causes them to hatch, quickly overwhelming your raid party if you're not careful.
    • During the quest "The Clutches of Evil", you are tasked with destroying 15 Proto-Drake Eggs, which have a random chance of spawning a battle-ready Proto-Whelp upon destruction (note that the "Proto" refers to them being the evolutionary ancestors of the dragons, not that they are not-quite whelps).
    • A boss in the Darkheart Thicket dungeon, Dresaron, is a corrupted dragon that attempts to weaponize this. Around the edge of the boss arena is a ring of eggs that spawn the dragon's whelpings when a player smashes through them. The boss has a move that actually pushes the players back in an attempt to push them into the eggs, so that more enemies will spawn.
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft:
    • There are a series of "egg" minions, which have 0 Attack but spawn a battle-ready minion when destroyed (or in the case of Dragon Egg, each time it takes damage). The original and most iconic is Nerubian Egg from Curse of Naxxramas, which seemingly contains an adult Nerubian.
    • A number of game boards have eggs that can be hatched by poking them repeatedly. Naxxramas has spider egg sacs that release baby spiders, Blackrock Mountain has dragon eggs can be destroyed and either contain nothing or a baby whelp that flies towards the screen, and Un'goro has a devilsaur egg that can be cracked open to reveal the dinosaur's eye.
  • Firefall has Aranha egg sacs that explode when shot or when in proximity of the player, revealing combat-ready Aranhas inside.
  • In Rift, during the quest "Creepy Crawlies," you're tasked with collecting Venom Sacs from two kinds of giant spiders. One of these types of spiders come from Egg Sacs, which you attack, causing several spiders that are each larger than the egg sacs to emerge.
  • Dark Souls has the Egg Carrier enemy whose back is covered in eggs and, when killed, releases Vile Maggots to attack you.
  • Metroid:
    • Subverted in Metroid: Zero Mission. There is a point where Samus wanders into a nest filled with alien eggs, but cracking one causes it to leak into goo. However, she doesn't get away with this that easily. The angered mother of those eggs appears, initiating a Boss Battle.
    • In Metroid II: Return of Samus, when Samus enters the Metroid's nest, one egg hatches and the infant Metroid imprints on her. This Metroid then becomes the Living MacGuffin of Super Metroid.
  • A variant occurs in the old X-COM game with the Chryssalid zombies - killing them would instantly spawn a fully matured Chryssalid in its place, unless finished off with incendiary ordnance (which does piddling damage). In the 2012 remake'', if you kill the zombie, the gestating Chryssalid dies with it.
  • A bonus Scoring Points opportunity in Dynomite! (a Puzzle Bobble clone from PopCap Games); the gameplay involves smashing dinosaur eggs to progress, but eggs which are shaking are ready to hatch, and smashing them while they are still shaking results in the release of a cute baby dino which squeaks "Mama!" as it falls.
  • In Mega Man 2, Air Man's, Crash Man's, and Wood Man's stage, as well as the first Dr. Wily stage, have an enemy who is a bird that drops eggs. Upon hitting the ground, the eggs hatch into smaller birds. Potentially justified by the fact they're robots and don't have to be built to follow the rules of the biological creatures they resemble.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, in the Dino Might! level, you can find a T-rex egg and then jump on it to smash it open, revealing a baby T-rex inside for you to ride it.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy IV: A random encounter named Mystery Egg will hatch into a fully-powered monster after it takes enough damage. It will also hatch if enough time passes.
    • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light: In the village Invidia, there is a large dragon egg. The heroes plan to hatch the egg by either casting a fire spell at it, or by smashing it with a large hammer. This trope is averted because no matter which plan the player chooses, it will fail. The egg only hatches after playing a magical harp.
    • Averted in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. In Pharos Sirius, the Zu is accompanied by a clutch of eggs surrounding the arena; these will hatch into additional enemies if given time, but destroying them will prevent that from happening - at the cost of temporarily making the Zu's attacks stronger.
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones averts this in Chapter 18, which is a map full of gorgon eggs. If you destroy them before they hatch, they'll net you extra experience.
  • Occurs repeatedly in Warcraft III, where eggs often contain baby spiders or Nerubians when destroyed (some contain items).
  • Dragon Quest VI: One arc has you look for a monster preventing progress on clearing a mountain path. The cave leading to the monster is filled with eggs that contain a minor winged snake enemy when cracked (despite the monster referring to the eggs as her children, she's a dragon-dinosaur that looks nothing like a snake).
  • One of the Divine Beasts in Solatorobo averts this, since grabbing the eggs and throwing them into one another prevents them from hatching tiny birds that attack you.
  • Realm of the Mad God: Some rooms are filled with eggs which turn into fully capable spiders when they are broken. Breaking them too fast results in an enormous wave of spiders attacking.
  • Minecraft: Thrown eggs sometimes hatch into a young chicken that is feathered and capable of walking immediately.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, the first step of Eyrie the Eagle's quest is to help baby Eyrie 'hatch' by smashing its egg open.
    • Averted in the sequel, where Kazooie learns a move called Hatch, which involves her sitting on plot-relevant eggs and (somehow) causes them to hatch naturally.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim add-on Dawnguard has this in form of pupae rather than eggs. A common enemy in cave dungeons is the chaurus, an insectoid monster which can be found as a roach-like larva (found in all versions of the game) and the mosquito-like imago (found only with the DLC Dawnguard). One transforms into the other by going through a pupal stage, just like real insects do; however, if you smash a pupa, a healthy chaurus imago emerges and attacks you.
  • In Fallout 4, destroying or stealing Mirelurk eggs will cause nearby eggs to hatch into Mirelurk Hatchlings that immediately attack you.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Yoshi is found within eggs that are scattered throughout Super Mario Galaxy 2, as a Call-Back to Super Mario World. You need to break him free by destroying said eggs in order to ride him. Justified in-game as the eggs were designed to trap the already long-hatched Yoshi rather than as a container for an unhatched Yoshi.
    • Super Mario RPG has a boss fight where the heroes attack an egg, causing it to hatch and reveal Birdo.
    • The fight against Sunnycide in Yoob's belly in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time features this as a mechanic. Normally, the player can only do Scratch Damage to Sunnycide because of the boss's abnormally-high defense. However, should the player target the eggs that the boss summons for its attacks, the eggs will break open and free the Yoshi trapped inside, who will then begin pushing a large rock like the ones found earlier in the area. Once five Yoshis have been liberated, they'll be able to knock over Sunnycide with the boulder, lowering its stats and changing its attack pattern until it gets back up.
  • Diablo 3: Spider eggs, most frequently found in the Caverns of Aranea, are waiting to hatch hostile spiderlings whenever the player approaches or breaks one. Some areas have cocoons that serve the same function.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption,this is oddly averted with Ghoul Spider eggsacs: if you approaches, they releases a few Ghoul Spider hatchlings. However, if you manage to kill them from a safe distance, the spider's death cry soundclip plays and the eggsac becomes inert.
  • Subverted in the Monster Hunter franchise. Certain quests require the player to carefully transport large monster eggs back to base. Instead of a risk of eggs hatching into vicious baby monsters, the player has to worry about being attacked by the very angry mother dragon whose unborn babies were just kidnapped. Likewise, dropping the egg will just result in the egg breaking and the player having to go back to the nest and start over again.
    • Justified with the Giggi. In the games, the adult Gigginox will deposit a large egg sac which contains several baby Giggi. If the player gets too close, the Giggi will immediately hatch out and latch onto the player. Considering that Giggi are parasites that feed on the blood of their hosts, it makes sense that they'd hatch and attach themselves to the first potential meal that passes by.
  • Inverted in Amorphous+. The deadly Queen periodically releases harmless larvae that can be easily squished by swinging your sword at them (or stepping on them), though you'll probably be preoccupied by the Queen and her giant blade limbs. If you don't dispatch the larvae, they'll be able to enter another Gloople. But that's fine, just smack the Gloople or let it leave the screen. The trouble comes if a Gloople has a larva inside after you've killed the Queen, because said Gloople will immediately transform into another Queen.
  • One puzzle in Gobliiins has a large bird's egg that is about to hatch, and only the chick's legs are protruding out of it, jumping in place. The protagonists need to have Bobo, their strongman, punch the egg with his fists so that it cracks and the chick's wings come out, making it fly and carry Hooter, their wizard, to the other side of a cemetary.
  • Gragyriss, Captor of Princesses has you start the game with a dragon egg, which you need to hatch by dropping several sheep on it.
  • Crack-Tweets from Kirby's Dream Land 2 appear in eggs that hatch when attacked or inhaled.
  • Cave Story: The Egg Corridor full of giant Sky Dragon eggs is destroyed in an explosion. In a more realistic outcome, save for the one Kazuma hatched and the optional Dual Boss the Sisters, the dragons in the eggs all either died or became malformed "Dragon Zombies" due to hatching prematurely.
  • In Donkey Kong Country Returns:
    • The level "Muncher Marathon" really kicks off when you smash a few of the spider eggs to clear the way forward, creating a chain reaction where the entire level bursts with spider hatchlings and you have to outrun an advancing wave of them.
    • In the penultimate boss battle of that game, Colonel Cluck throws eggs which reveal robotic chickens that attack Donkey and Diddy.
  • Our Darker Purpose: The Winged Overseer's eggs will hatch automatically if you shoot them. With your fireball daggers. Or anything else that causes damage.
  • In Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2, the fastest way to hatch a Chao egg is via throwing it at a wall to break the egg. The only downside of doing so is that the Chao will be unhappy when it hatches due to having been thrown at a wall.
  • Wario's Woods: In the SNES version's VS mode, destroying multiple intersecting lines of monsters with the same bomb will spawn an egg on the opponent's field. If left alone, it will hatch into a monster and drop in six more of its kind. Picking up and dropping the egg, on the other hand, will cause it to hatch early into a single monster.

    Web Original 
  • In the web game Dragon Cave, one outcome of using the "Kill" action on an egg causes it to hatch instead. This is explained as dragons actually being ready to hatch early on, but the hatchlings stay in the egg for safety.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Classic Disney Short "Alpine Climbers", Mickey Mouse is caught stealing eagle eggs by the mama eagle, and to keep her from attacking, he throws her own eggs at her. Each time the eggs hit, they hatch into eaglets, who are already able to fly and attack Mickey.
  • In the Fanboy and Chum Chum episode "Chicken Pox", where Kyle is turned into a chicken as a result of the affliction and has to lay an egg to be cured, said egg eventually hatches into a fairy who turns Kyle back to normal after Fanboy and Chum Chum crack the egg due to being too rough with it out of carelessness.
  • Double Subverted in the Futurama episode "Fry Am the Eggman". Fry takes an egg from an unknown species and tries to hatch it. Eventually he drops it, and at first it appears to be just a yolk inside. But then an alien creature crawls out of the mess and starts spraying acid everywhere.
  • This is exaggerated in the Wacky Races short "Rhode Island Road Race", where the Slag Brothers produce a giant egg that hatches a mature pterodactyl who then helps their car fly.

    Real Life 
  • A group of Japanese high-schoolers got a chick to develop without an eggshell.
  • Some species of tropical frogs in South America will have the eggs hatch prematurely if they detect wasps attack the brood. The eggs are laid on leaves overhanging streams, so the developing tadpoles drop down into the water below. They don't have as good of odds of survival as tadpoles that fully develop before hatching, but obviously they have much better odds of surviving than tadpoles that get eaten by the wasps.
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