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Weaponized Offspring

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Don't you just hate family reunions?

Boomstick: What is it with creatures from the Mario universe usin' their babies as weapons? Is it that effective? I'm gonna have to test this out, maybe some sort of baby-launcher...
Wiz: Boomstick! That is a terrible idea! Anytime you wanted to reload, you'd have to wait nine months!

A creature, very often seen in video game boss battles, which creates smaller versions of itself or gives birth to attack its enemies. Sometimes there is an explanation, such as it being the queen of a race of Bee People or is the Mother of a Thousand Young, sometimes there isn't. Sometimes a monster will just spawn smaller copies and send them after the enemy with no other indication that it is actually female (sometimes it will be explicitly stated as male, on top of things).

This, in video games, tends to happen just to make the boss fight more difficult and/or annoying. Usually these characters have a seemingly endless supply of offspring to launch at potential attackers. It's probably worth noting that eggs don't need to be fertilised.

Natural selection favors those who pass on their genes, which requires at least some of their offspring to survive long enough to reproduce. However, in the case of eusocial insects such as bees, ants, and termites, all but the queens and drones are sterile, so it doesn't matter if they die as long as it helps their mother survive long enough to produce fertile offspring that can pass on their genes.

A sister trope to Tyke Bomb, and subtrope of Mook Maker and Abnormal Ammo. Daughter of Monster Is a Mommy. Related to Flunky Boss and Asteroids Monster. Also a subtrope of Living Weapon and Natural Weapon (since the ability to produce offspring is pretty inherent). Compare Doppelgänger Attack, Proj-egg-tile. Contrast Spawn Broodling: this trope is about attacking or creating allies by giving birth; Spawn Broodling is about attacking or creating allies by making the enemy give birth. See also Drone Deployer.

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Video Game examples:

    Action Adventure  
  • Ecco the Dolphin has several levels with a Mister Seahorse that shoots its young at Ecco.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid Prime 2: Echoes has the Chykka, guardian of Dark Torvus, who spawns Chykklings during the fight against her. This generally makes the fight easier, since Chykklings are easily destroyed and usually drop profuse amounts of health and ammo.
    • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption:
      • The Fargul Hatcher, which is not a boss but appears in only one spot on the planet Bryyo, also uses this form of attack by spawning a wave of Fargul Wasps at Samus.
      • Metroid Hatchers, as their name suggests, spawn Phazon Metroids from time to time.
      • The Leviathans act as these, being the offspring of Phaaze that are sent to corrupt and destroy the universe.
    • Metroid Fusion has enemies in the water zone that launch rotating eggs (maybe they're eggs...?) from their abdomens.
  • Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from American McGee's Alice can open up and spawn smaller, weaker copies of themselves.
  • In inFAMOUS 2, the Hive Lord enemy will create pods that sprout from that ground. The pods hatch Spikers if the player doesn't destroy them fast enough.
  • Mother Smiles in Killer7 lay eggs that roll towards the player. They hatch if they get close to the player, or if they're shot, turning into a vanilla Action Bomb Heaven Smile.
  • The seahorse in some Ecco the Dolphin levels does this, spitting out baby seahorses from his pouch.
  • Brütal Legend:The Tainted Coil are a demon faction that kill and dominate humans as they are flawed and bootleged copies of the old metal gods, they breed with the use of some special demons Battle nun, War father and Overblesser that impregnate themselves to the ground and make womb egg where other demons spawn, also from syringes being shot from their stage
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Monster Hunter 3 (Tri): The Gigginox will periodically lay a cluster of eggs on the ground, from which Giggi will emerge, sucking the health off of any Hunters they latch on to. In G Rank, it'll start laying the eggs on its back, for the sake of making it more difficult to destroy them. The eggs, however, are far preferable to the alternative of dangerous poison bombs.
    • Monster Hunter: Rise: The Rakna-Kadaki can throw its Rachnoid offspring at Hunters and coordinate attacks with them.
  • The Spider Queen boss from Ninja: Shadow of Darkness can pursue the player, but have no attacks on her own, save for releasing a web that ensnares the titular hero. But then, she will also lay several eggs, which hatches into baby spiders and starts attacking the player, who must perform some quick Button Mashing to break free from the web, kill the baby spiders via Goomba Stomp, and continue fighting the Queen.
  • Shantae:
    • Shantae: Risky's Revenge: One of the Squid Baron's attacks involves calling down his baby warp squids to attack Shantae. This gets a Lampshade Hanging in his introductory trailer for Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
      Squid Baron: The way I teleported around, dropping from the ceiling. I put you in such danger.
      Shantae: Not completely! What about the little squids you spawned from time to time? Attacking them let me get my hearts back. That counts for something, right?
      Squid Baron: (Suddenly panicking) I forgot all about the children!
    • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse: The Empress Spider will lay eggs in one of her moves. They will then hatch to release baby spiders that will attack Shantae.

    Action RPG 
  • The Ravagers in Mass Effect 3 release tiny Swarmers when wounded, which crawl towards the attacker and try to push them into the Ravager's line of fire.
  • One of the Divine Beasts in Solatorobo lays eggs in midair that hatch into small birds that attack you.

    Eastern RPG 
  • Baten Kaitos Origins: Holoholobird, the first boss of the second disc, is supported by two of its chicks. If you kill any of them, the bird will lay an egg, which will hatch into a new chick shortly after. These chicks can heal the bird, and their attacks tear through defense magnus, contributing much of the boss' difficulty.
  • Pokémon:
    • Vespiquen has three exclusive moves where she unleashes a swarm of drones to attack, defend or heal herself respectively. She's also based on a queen bee, naturally (see Real Life section below.)
    • Dragapult is a motherly Pokémon that carries several Dreepy within the holes on its head. It also shoots the Dreepy like bullets. The Dreepy actually look forward to this, for some reason. (The Joy of First Flight, maybe?)
    • Mega Kangaskhan borders on this, with the mother channelling all the power of Mega Evolution into the baby in its pouch so it can hop out and fight alongside it.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, the Grangalan outside Costa del Sol can spawn smaller versions of itself known Grangalan Jr. for the second generation and Grangalan Jr. Jr. for the third and smallest generation.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • The Gonarch from Half-Life creates Headcrabs (who are essentially smaller versions of it) during the fight against it.
  • Shial from Blood has spawning of regular spiders as its only attack.
  • The 1996 release of Duke Nukem 3D had Duke face the alien queen as the Final Boss. The queen routinely birthed drones that could fire shrink rays at Duke, making him very squishable.
  • Spiderant Queens from the Borderlands will spawn waves of Spiderantlings if they receive critical health damage, to the point that killing one with a critical hit to the abdomen causes it to burst open and release even more Spiderantlings.

    Fighting Game 

    Hack and Slash 
  • Cerberi in the first God of War game spit out puppylike Cerberus Seeds that, if given enough time, will grow into full grown Cerberi.
  • Echidna from Devil May Cry 4 uses her Chimera Seeds as weapons, both as projectiles and as a Mook Maker. She then has the nerve to act outraged when you blow said seeds out of the sky or smash them with your Devil Bringer.

    Platform Game 
  • Several stages in Mega Man 2 contain birds that fly across the top of the screen, dropping an egg partway through. If the egg hits a solid platform, it will hatch into a swarm of tiny birds that can be hard to avoid. Of course, since both the main bird and the mini-birds are robots, they're not literally offspring, but the spirit of the trope clearly applies.
  • Yellow Paragoombas in Super Mario Bros. 3 attack by releasing Microgoombas from the air; oddly enough, the microgoombas are not actually its offspring. Straighter examples can be seen with Blooper Nannies, which send their Blooper Babies in a spiral to swarm Mario, and Big Bertha, who attacks Mario by spitting her kid at him and then retrieving it.
  • Subverted by the Yoshi species of Super Mario Bros.. They do lay eggs that hatch baby Yoshis and can also throw their eggs as a weapon, but the eggs they use for throwing don't contain babies (and are spawned from enemies they've eaten).
  • In Super Ghouls and Ghosts, the boss of the first stage is a giant bird which spits eggs out of its mouth which hatch into smaller, groundbound bird monsters which attack you.
  • Skylanders has Sonic Boom, a griffin whose children are cursed to constantly be reborn as eggs. Because of this, she decides to train her children to fight as soon as they hatch, so that they can be able to defend themselves at any time. It can be upgraded in various ways, including the ability for the eggs to inflict damage before the babies hatch from them. They also manage to inherit her sonic abilities. Also Double Trouble, a witchdoctor, sends miniature clones of himself to attack.
  • In Mega Man X, Storm Eagle can fire eggs which will hatch into robotic birds that will attack you.
  • In Mega Man Zero 4, Popla Cocapetri (a chicken) can lay an egg with 2 legs that will run about, harrassing you. The egg is hard to kill, too.
  • Donkey Kong 64: The spider mini-boss will send groups of smaller spiders (possibly its children) after Tiny Kong.
  • Umihara Kawase features a giant tadpole which lays eggs that hatch into frogs that will stun Umihara if they touch her.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • StarCraft:
    • In the original StarCraft, the Zerg's Queen units can spawn broodlings. In StarCraft II, the Brood Lord does the same, as does Kerrigan.
    • StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm introduces the Swarm Host unit that spawns short-lived locusts. The Primal Zerg Pack Leader Slivan the Eternal Mother resembles a massive Swarm Host. In another mission the Brood Mother Niadra spawns several zerglings without the use of a hatchery.
    • Heart of the Swarm also has this as an upgrade option for Banelings: when it explodes, it becomes two smaller Banelings.
  • Warcraft III:
    • Nerubians and Hydras from spawn two smaller Nerubians / Hydras on death. In the Nerubian's case it's explained as their carrying their young into battle.
    • Crypt Fiends and Nerubians attack with what seems to be tiny, floating spiderlings. You can also notice that said spiders will float back to the user after being cast. Furthermore, the description of the Nerubian unit implies this.
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin 2: The Empress Bulbax lays Bulborb larvae to attack you when you face it, except in the first encounter.
    • Pikmin 3: Partway through its battle, the Vehemoth Phosbat activates pods scattered around its arena to spawn streams of baby Phosbats to harry your squad.

  • In NetHack, it's possible for a character polymorphed into a female monster (regardless of what gender they were beforehand) to lay eggs. Cockatrice eggs can be thrown in order to stone an enemy. Throwing eggs you laid results in a luck penalty though. Alternatively, a character that finds an egg can carry it with them, and it may become a tame monster upon hatching.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • From the enemy side, the Mulligans are an unwilling example, as they are living insect hives, but there's also the gray spiders that attack by ocassionaly spawning an egg sac that periodically shoots smaller spiders, Chub, who among her boss battle tactics is to spawn Chublings and, of course, there's It Lives, who is Isaac himself, as a fetus, fighting inside his mother's womb.
    • From the player side, Tainted Lilith's version of Gello has it bursting out of their stomach like it was an unborn demon fetus bound to them with their umbilical cord that attacks on their stead. And with C Section item, Isaac can shoot out fetuses from his stomach that deal damage when coming in contact with an enemy.
  • Brutal Orchestra has the Mungling Mud Lung, a pair of Mungs occupying a corpse together that can "mungle" to create a baby Mungie, which then joins the fight.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • This is the attack of the final boss of Apidya, a giant hornet that keeps releasing bees at you.
  • Akhamafold Octopod from Super Cyborg will spawn the stage's recurring spider-like enemies throughout it's boss battle via an egg sac from it's abdomen.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Star Resistance: The giant dog head bioweapon Gustav produces two enemies throughout the latter half of Stage 3: Gustav cells, which drop as egg-like masses before sprouting into tall, undulating stalks; and Gustav children, headless dogs that wander the ground. It produces the children during both phases of its boss fight, producing extra distractions while you dodge its eye beams, and the cells while chasing it between phases.

    Simulation Game 
  • Thanks to the detailed simulation and Wide-Open Sandbox nature of Dwarf Fortress, it's completely possible, even with a vanilla version, to use quickly reproducing non-pasture animals such as turkeys or peafowl as an infinite source of ammunition to blast off lava cannons onto enemy hordes. The trick is to set the ammo on fire prior to launch. And of course, you probably have some dwarven kids running around as well, contributing nothing and learning nothing while depleting your booze stock for nine years. For a specific DF example, there's Boatmurdered: "A few more war dogs ran out and attacked. I have to say I'm slightly terrified by them. One of the bitches actually gave birth while she was attacking, and her puppies joined in on the carnage." Militia dwarves tend to go into battle carrying their infants, which can lead to the poor kid being used as a club. Or a shield.

    Survival Horror 
  • In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, Alexia's penultimate boss form turns her into a Queen Ant like creature that constantly births small poisonous insectoid enemies that run interference while Chris tries to fight her.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Breeders and Mother Breeders in Might and Magic: Heroes VI are demons whose bodies constantly generate imps, which they then command to fly kamikaze-style at the enemy.

    Western RPG 
  • The giant grubs in Diablo II lay eggs while a player is nearby, which quickly spawn into aggressive larvae. The appropriately named Flesh Spawners spawn offspring to attack you as well.
  • Wasps from Diablo III will shoot small, slow-moving, explosive versions of themselves at you.
  • The Daedra Spiders in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion send little mini-versions of themselves to attack and paralyze you.
  • Matilda in Angry Birds, who has an egg bomb as her schtick.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Terraria:
    • The Eye of Cthulhu shoots out mini-eyes to attack the player as a sort of ranged attack.
    • The Brain of Cthulhu shoots out flying eyeballs that serve as its life bar.
    • The Queen Bee rapidly fires out bees to chase you down and damage you. After killing it, you can get a weapon that allows you to do the same thing.
    • The Wall of Flesh shoots out burrowing worms that attack the player as well as the feeders that extend on cords to attack the player.
    • Plantera sprouts vine attached attack mouths like the wall of flesh has in its second stage.

  • Happens too many times to count in World of Warcraft. Perhaps the most infamous example was Onyxia and whelps which she spawned occasionally. The same whelps would also spawn when a player came too close to piles of eggs in the room, and Onyxia happened to have a fearing attack which caused characters to run uncontrollably, often leading to MANY WHELPS! NOW, HANDLE IT!

Non-video game examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Cell creates miniature clones of himself to battle the "lesser" members of the Z team. These "Cell Jr." are not that much weaker than Cell himself... so imagine his shock when Gohan finally gets serious and kills each of them with one punch to rescue his friends.
    • In Dragon Ball Z: Lord Slug, Slug's minion Medamatcha can spawn smaller versions of himself to swarm enemies.
  • Hunter × Hunter: The chimera ants are a race of sentient anthropomorphic ants who have the purpose of ruling and eating all living beings they encounter. The queen has the ability to get pregnant from the creatures she eats, mostly humans. Their new king Meruem kills his own mother when he forcefully births in Chest Burster style, going on to kill anyone he wants and anyone who he thinks is disrespectful towards him, until losing several games of gungi against Komugi teaches him empathy and the value of individual lives.
  • Jōjū Senjin!! Mushibugyō: Jinpachi Nezu of the Sanada's Ten Top Insects is based on a toe-biter bug (belostomatidae). His ace in the sleeve is releasing the countless eggs on his back, turning them into voracious minions that swarm the target.

    Comic Books 
  • Great Ten: Wu Meixing/Mother of Champions can birth 25 short-lived, superpowered warriors every few days.
  • Green Lantern: The villain Evil Star cane make Starlings, dwarf copies of himself.
  • Savage Dragon: The villain Mother Mayhem is an alien harbinger for a cosmic being. She resembles an old hag with three goblin-like babies on umbilical cords attached to her. She can fly on these children or send them to attack foes.
  • X-Men: The minor villain Tusk can create smaller copies of himself.

    Fan Works 
  • Vow of Nudity: The Giant Ooze that Haara encounters in one story can shoot little oozelings, and uses this ability to quickly overwhelm a platoon of Genasi soldiers.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Antz, the ant queen partially knowingly does this, as she is giving birth to all ants every ten seconds to have a formidable army, although she does love and care for her children/subjects and has kept peace with other insects

  • In A Clash of Kings, Melisandre gives birth to a Living Shadow which slays Ser Cortnay Penrose.
  • In Ender's Game (and sequels), the Formic queen gives birth to all her soldiers, since the Formics are an insect race.
  • In The Faerie Queene, the dragon's poisonous vomit is also deadly because her serpentine offspring swim in it. The knight has to spend just as much energy shaking off snakes and vipers as he does blocking the dragon's blows.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Community, while playing the in-universe video game "Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne", Abed reprograms his NPC wife to birth babies (which look like tiny versions of Abed) and uses them to fight the final boss.
  • The X-Files: Flukeman from "The Host" bites people and injects its parasitic larvae into them.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: The "Bluegill" neural parasites from "Conspiracy" are controlled by "mother-creatures" — large parasites — that appear to produce the smaller mind-controlling bug-like parasites.
  • The Visitors in V (2009), having the characteristics of Bee People in this regard, used this trope: Anna (the Queen) spawned a huge number of eggs to raise an army of warriors.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: When attacked, great old masters — the neogi reproductive stage — can release clutches of aggressive, vicious spawn as a defense mechanism.
  • Evo: The "Tough Babies" card allows newborn dinosaurs to attack enemy dinosaurs, which they normally cannot. Amusingly, the card depicts a baby dino poking a machine gun out of its eggshell...
  • Infinite Worlds: In Roma Universalis (detailed in Pyramid magazine), the Martians are masters of biotechnology, and their standard weapon is the bug-bow or bug-spitter, an insect that fires its offspring as ammo.
  • Magic: The Gathering: A lot of cards can produce token creatures. Sometimes it's a captain calling troops into battle, or a monster tamer calling on some pets, but a few creatures do use their own offspring as troops, usually Hive Queens. Case in point: Sliver Queen, Ant Queen, Hornet Queen...
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Tyranid Tervigon is a walking incubator that spawns swarms of Termagants.
    • The special character organism "The Parasite of Mortrex" has a similar deal with Ripper Swarms.
    • On a smaller scale, a lot of Tyranid guns work on this principle, as their ammunition consists of their grubs propelled at high speed with muscle spasms.


    Web Videos 
  • Referenced in Renegade for Life when Vegeta plays Yoshi's Crafted World and discovers that Yoshis throw their eggs at opponents. He quickly embraces the absurdity.
    "You just throw your young? That's so...efficient!"

    Western Animation 
  • In the Family Guy episode "Da Boom", the nuclear holocaust mutates Stewie into a half-human-half-octopus creature, who then lays a huge pile of eggs. In the next scene, an army of human-octopi march through the town chanting "victory is ours", and attack the people by jumping at them and grabbing their faces with their tentacles.
  • Rick and Morty: The Vindicators member 1-Million Ants is a human-shaped sentient ant colony. His powers include dispersing territory and taking enemy damage, as the queen will give birth to many eggs that replace the dead ants.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012):
    • The space crime lord named Dregg breeds lots of drones that he uses as minions, and he uses the drone eggs as projectiles for his ship.
    • In another episode, Stockman's mutation experiments with insects result in him creating a mutant ant that can instantly give birth to clones of itself from its back.
  • In Glitch Techs, there is a fish-like glitch call spawner that vomits clones of itself

    Real Life 
  • This tends to be the case with social insects; all of them except for queens are infertile and only exist to fight off threats or gather food, or in the case of the males, mate with the queens. Special mention goes to bees, whose reproductive organs are converted into stings (which kill them when they're used) and termites, which can explode to drive off intruders.
  • When a female aphid starts a new colony, she first gives birth to a cluster of non-breeding clone daughters that surround her. Predators pick off these cannon-fodder offspring while their mom remains sheltered by her young, able to produce a new generation of disperser/breeders.
  • This is the entire point of the highly controversial Quiverfull movement. Based on a verse from a Psalm that compares having many children to a quiver full of arrows, the idea is for Christians to have as many children as possible to combat perceived threats to their faith. Metaphorically, each child is an arrow in a quiver, ready to be fired at an enemy, which bears an implications that children are disposable, just like arrows.
  • Some mushrooms and plants, such as peat, reproduce by shooting their own seeds and spores so that they embed themselves in a carrier and can be spread further.

Alternative Title(s): Weaponised Offspring