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Video Game / Bugsnax

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Kinda bug and kinda snak/Try to catch them in your trap
Feed somebody and you'll see/we are whatever we eat!
Find them hiding in the sand/Tearin' up a ketchup patch
Come to Snaktooth Island and discover:
It's Bugsnax!

Bugsnax is an indie adventure and Mon game released in 2020 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and as a launch title for the PlayStation 5. Developed and published by Young Horses (the same minds behind Octodad), Bugsnax follows the same bizarre, absurdist humor that they built upon with their first title.

In a world of fuzzy monster-like people called Grumpuses, you play a news reporter who receives a film strip in the mail from Elizabert Megafig, an explorer who beckons you to a place called Snaktooth Island, where the titular bug-food creatures dwell, so that you may document them.

Unfortunately for you, upon arriving there you learn that she's disappeared on an expedition, with everyone who followed her scattering. This leads you on a quest to rebuild the abandoned town within the island, reunite its scattered denizens, and uncover the mystery behind her disappearance with their help.

The game is played entirely in first-person, with a heavy emphasis on bug-catching through the use of various contraptions that you'll acquire from other Grumpuses. Once bugs are caught, you can feed them to the townsfolk, and make one of their body parts transform into the corresponding Bugsnax you just fed them.

During Sony's October 2021 State of Play event, a free expansion titled The Isle of BIGsnax was announced, including new features such as giant Bugsnax, Bugsnak hats, and the ability to decorate your own hut. The game (and expansion included) would also release for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S on April 28, 2022.

Bugsnax provides examples of:

  • Adorable Abomination: The Bugsnax. Even after knowing what they really are, that doesn't change the fact that a lot of them are cute googly-eyed critters that use Pokémon Speak.
  • Amusing Injuries:
    • Your character can get set on fire, causing them to run around while flailing their arms, but since there isn't a health system, it has no lasting effects. You can even use your flaming body to light torches or melt icy entities. Some Bugsnax can also fling you high into the air by ramming, but it similarly does no actual damage.
    • Some of the NPC Grumpuses also suffer superficial injuries that are Played for Laughs, mostly Filbo, primarily from being launched into the air by aggressive Bugsnax.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: One of the features touted by the "The Isle of BIGsnax" update trailer is the addition of hut customization options for the player's hut in Snaxburg.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: The Bugsnax are all based on food items, but otherwise behave like normal insects would.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If a trap or gadget is deployed in the wrong spot the player can just remotely destroy it and have a new one in their paws, no need to go pick it up. Similarly, if a rampaging snak destroys a tool the player can just spawn a new one.
    • The Final Battle against the murderous Bugsnax is the only part of the game where the Grumpuses can actually die (if you didn't complete their respective quests), but it's also the only part of the game where you're allowed to redo the challenge if you fail.
    • The Cappucceetle is by far the most difficult snak to catch, since your tools can't stun it, the game doesn't give any hints how to catch it, and once startled it will instantly flee much faster than you can run to the next area of Snaktooth Island. However, it's the only snak not required to 100% the game.
  • Anyone Can Die: With the exception of the main character and Filbo, any of the Grumpuses in Snaxburg can die in the finale if they eat too many Bugsnax and are subsequently absorbed into the island. Unless you've followed their personal questlines to their conclusions, in which case they understand that Snax can't solve their problems and fight them off.
  • An Arm and a Leg: When you first meet them, Floofty asks you to change their leg into a Strabby. Once you meet up with them later, they've cut it off to test a hypothesis about regenerating limbs by eating Bugsnax, to which they're proved right. After the story's over and everyone's Bugsnax-induced mutations have gone away, Floofty's original leg doesn't regenerate, requiring them to use a prosthetic.
  • The Assimilator: The Bugsnax. Overconsumption of them causes the now-fully snakified unfortunate to break apart into inert snak matter, which is subsequently absorbed into the Snaktooth Island gestalt.
  • Asteroids Monster: Some of the flaming/frosty Bugsnax will split into smaller, different Bugsnax when they lose their fire/frost and are not caught before they fall apart (ex., Scoopy Banoopy splits into Scoopy, Cheery, and two Banoppers). For some Bugsnax, breaking down bigger ones is the only way for the smaller ones to appear.
  • Awful Truth: It turns out that the reason Bugsnax look like food and are irresistibly delicious is because they reproduce by assimilation. The more you eat, the more you are drawn to keep eating them until you irreversibly turn into snax and are absorbed into the island itself. This was the fate that fell upon the previous Grumpus colonists which tried to settle on Snaktooth Island.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the escape from the island, their airship is attacked by a Mothza Supreme. Thankfully, Lizbert and Eggabell arrive in their combined giant Bugsnak form to splatter it.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Apparently, the main character wrote an article on "Grumpfoot" which ended up being a lost football mascot. There's also the elusive Snaksquatch, a humanoid creature made out of Bugsnax, which turns out to be a golem Lizbert created to try and communicate with the others.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Bugsnax are animate food items which are neither plant nor animal and have no bones or any other internal organs. Big Bugsnax tend to be made out of smaller Bugsnax and can break apart. They're also extremely calorie-rich, turn to flavorless mush when cooked, and it's unknown how they reproduce, since they just seem to pop out of the ground fully formed.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: At the climax, we find out how Bugsnax reproduce: eating them slowly transforms predators into snax, and eventually they break apart into snak matter that eventually forms into new Bugsnax.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Sodie family (which resemble canned soft drinks) are all named after real drink brands, and have cans with the same colour schemes as well. There's Dr Sodie (Dr Pepper), Mt Sodie (Mountain Dew), Sodie D (Sunny D), and La Sodieux (La Croix).
  • Blow You Away: Some Bugsnax, such as the Waffstackarak and Mothza Supreme, can create tornadoes that launch things into the air.
  • Body Horror: A pretty kid-friendly variation, as consuming Bugsnax causes the body parts and skin of the Grumpuses to morph according to the kind of Bugsnax they ate. Significantly less kid-friendly once you find out that Bugsnax have developed to assimilate would-be predators via consumption. Outright horrifying should a Grumpus consume too many Bugsnax during the attack on Snaxburg, causing their food-changed bodyparts to slowly fall off one by one as they collapse into a pile of inanimate snax.
  • Bookends:
    • Near the start and near the end of the game is a scene where the player wakes up in Flavor Falls, sees a Strabby, and encounters Filbo lying on his back.
    • The game begins with the Journalist getting knocked off their airship by the Mothza Supreme. During the escape from the island, it ends up being the last of the Bugsnax to attack them and the other survivors.
  • Boss Battle: The Megamaki, Mama Mewon, Mothza Supreme, Daddy Cakelegs, and Cheddaboardle Rex are five giant Bugsnax that are found in sidequests. They must be fought in order to catch them. With the exception of Cheddaboardle Rex, defeating them allows their follower Bugsnax to be available at any time, and a statue in each's likeness allows the respective Snax to be fought and caught again.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: The Cappucceetle, the fastest snak in the game. So fast, it runs off to other parts of the island in seconds. Yes, island. After you discover it in the Triplicate Space, you're free to try to capture it just like all the other Bugsnax. However, it doesn't contribute to completion.
  • Bullfight Boss: The first phase of the Mama Mewon fight involves tricking her into ramming the stone statues to stun her. Some of the other smaller Bugsnax can also be caught by getting them to ram trees, boulders, or each other, or getting them to run into your tripwire.
  • But Thou Must!: The player's dialogue choices, while giving the player a small amount of freedom on how to treat the island's residents, mostly ends up being a choice between "agree" and "sarcastically agree", with most of the characters responding the same way no matter what you picked. Either that or no dialogue options work unless it's the one needed to advance the plot. One dialogue with Beffica even drops the pretense that player has a choice on what to say next, with the two options being "What about me?" and "Seriously, what about me?"
  • Cartoon Creature: All the characters are a species known as Grumpuses which sort of resemble Muppet knock-offs, although a few have walrus-like faces.
  • Cerebus Retcon: "Come to Snaktooth Island and discover: It's Bugsnax!" That statement is absolutely literal.
  • Character Development: The main component of the story involves the main character acting as a mediator to help all the other Grumpuses come to terms with their self-doubts and interspecific disagreements which led them to settle on Snaktooth Island in the first place and ended up splitting them apart before you arrived. If you complete all of a character's side-quests, they'll resist the urge to eat Bugsnax in the climax, realizing they don't need them as a crutch anymore (and preventing them from possibly being killed).
  • Chekhov's Volcano: There's a volcano on Snaktooth Island, and sure enough, it ends up being the centrepiece in the final act because it's both where Lizbert is located and it starts to erupt as the Bugsnax attack the town.
  • Civilization Destroyer: The Grumpus civilization on Broken Tooth island in the BIGsnax DLC is heavily implied to have been destroyed by a Bugsnax Queen (similar to what happened to Elizabert), born from a vengeful sacrificed Grumpus who sank the entire island beneath the waves.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Snorpy believes everything, including the island and the Bugsnax, are part of a conspiracy by the Grumpinati. As the post-credits scene reveals, he turns out to be on to something, as Clumby is in contact with the Snakolytes that seeks to suppress the truth about Bugsnax.
  • Covers Always Lie: The box-art depicts Filbo hunting Bugsnax, implying he's the player character, whereas in-game he's not good at hunting and the player character is a Featureless Protagonist who hunts the Snax on behalf of everyone else. Lizbert is visible in the background, and due to the direction the plot takes, you also never see her under normal circumstances except in videos taken before the events of the game.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Yes, it takes place in a world of fluffy Muppet-like people called Grumpuses, on a colorful island populated by googly-eyed strawberries and burgers. However, the fact that the game centers around catching and eating the cute little sentient Bugsnax is at least mildly horrifying. And the Grumpuses eat the addicting little creatures to fill the sense of emptiness left by their personal issues and insecurities, as well as heated interpersonal conflicts. And even all this is before the Awful Truth about Bugsnax is revealed and leads to a full-on Sugar Apocalypse.
  • Death by Despair: It's possible for this to happen to nearly all of the Grumpuses in the finale. If their sidequests haven't been completed, they will lack the willpower to keep fighting against the swarm of Bugsnax and will let themselves be assimilated by them if you don't hold the Bugsnax off.
  • Death Mountain: The upper of the Sugarpine Woods is steep and snowed over due to being near the Frosted Peak, which also counts as this trope.
  • Despair Speech: As above, letting the Grumpses be consumed by Bugsnax has each Grumpus either go insane or give in to the lure of the Bugsnax, such as Chandlo deciding letting the Bugsnax consume will allow him to finally become strong enough to protect Snorpy.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • If you grab the spare journal in Beffica's cave before she even tells you about it, she'll be a little weirded out but commend you anyway.
    • Snorpy will tell the player to pick up the Trip Shot from one of the watchtowers. Once they do, a Charmallow will set off the security systems, forcing the player to have to use their new gadget to stun the Bugsnak. However, if you manage to pick it up before being told to, the Charmallow will set off the security while you are talking to Snorpy, who will take note of you already having the Trip Shot and commend your cleverness.
    • It is possible to catch more than one of the same Bugsnak in the same trap, and the "You caught (Bugsnak's name)" indication will change to reflect this. For example, catching two Fryders will make the game say "You caught Fryders" instead of showing the "You caught Fryder" prompt twice.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Some snax have sauces that they hate, alongside ones they love. Scorpenyos and Scorpeppers will burn anything that has hot sauce on it, while Shy Weenyworms hate ketchup so much that they will become enraged when they are covered in ketchup.
  • Driving Question: What happened to Elizabert Megafig? The protagonist is seeking her out for an important interview about Snaktooth Island and its Bugsnax, but she's mysteriously disappeared prior to their arrival. The protagonist starts bringing Grumpses back to town in order to ask everyone this question during their interviews. The answer? She's deep within Snaktooth Island, having been turned into a Barrier Maiden desperately trying to prevent the Bugsnax from assimilating everyone else.
  • Dual-Meaning Chorus: "It's Bugsnax", courtesy of Ambiguous Syntax: you do in fact come to Snaktooth Island and discover it's Bugsnax.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Every Grumpus has something seriously wrong with them and it serves as the main focus of the optional sidequests, which act as an exploration of each character. Even The Journalist is implied to have their own personal baggage with their stubbornness and recklessness putting their job and life in danger and causing huge amounts of trouble for Clumby, their editor.
  • Edible Ammunition: The player's slingshot can be loaded with ketchup and later other sauces, which serve as a useful tool for attracting certain Bugsnax. The Mothza Supreme boss fight also involves launching explosive Bombinos (Bugsnax that resemble pizza pockets) at it.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • Snaktooth Island, a massive amalgamation of parasitic monsters that continuously gathers more victims to sustain itself and does anything and everything in its power to prevent them from leaving.
    • The Triplicate Space, a temple beneath Snaktooth Island that existed long before Grumpbeard set foot there. It also gives off an alien feel to it, almost like something from Subnautica or the like. Combine it with statues of a Grumpus with horns naturally growing out of their head (as in "no Bugsnax were needed"), and discovering it will leave you with more questions than answers.
  • Exact Words: Come to Snaktooth Island and discover: It's Bugsnax! Literally.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Performed by Kero Kero Bonito.
  • Eyepatch After Time Skip: When you finally meet Eggabell in person, she's wearing an eyepatch. This goes unnoticed and unexplained until she explains it to Lizbert. Turns out she only got pink eye.
  • Fantastic Drug: Snakwater, which is made from the Bugsnax, appears to be alcoholic. It causes Shelda to slur and hiccup and Wambus refers to it as "liquid courage". It's also extremely flammable.
  • Feather Fingers: Grumpus paws have fingers, but no thumbs. Despite this, they are shown holding objects. Lampshaded with the description of Floofty’s typewriter, which mentions it being hard to type with paws.
  • Featureless Protagonist: The only attributes the player character has are their arms, lower body, and fur color.
  • Fetch Quest: A large portion of the missions involve finding specific Bugsnax and feeding them to certain characters.
  • Final Exam Finale: The siege of Snaxburg is split into six sections, each focusing on a specific snak-catching tool upgraded to kill the invading Bugsnax.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • One of the Journalist's past articles was "The Secret of Soylent Grump". The film in question involved the Awful Truth being the titular Soylent Green was made from human bodies, echoing the true nature of Bugsnax being parasites that assimilate Grumpuses to reproduce.
    • After threatening to fire you and trying to convince you to drop the Snaktooth Island story, Clumby's sudden decision to let you go after Liz makes more sense when it's revealed that she knows more about the island than she was letting on. Her exact motivations are unclear, but she may have been leading you to die at Snaktooth Island, to keep the island a secret or as a sacrifice to the Bugsnax.
    • Wambus mentions that new Bugsnax come out of the ground Covered in Gunge, despite the fact that they're neither plants nor animals, thus lack any conventional means of reproduction. That's because they come from The Undersnax, a place that reveals the true nature of the Bugsnax and Snaktooth Island as The Assimilator and an Eldritch Location respectively that also happens to be filled with the gunge.
    • Triffany finds various tomb-like pits across the Scorched Gorge along with some mass graves. She also found skeletons with toothmarks on them, despite the previous inhabitants being on an island of food creatures. The ones outside appear to be the ones who discovered the truth about the Bugsnax and, on an island that has absolutely no edible food that isn't Bugsnax, resorted to cannibalism to avoid snakification, while the ones inside were completely snakified and thus isolated to die in peace.
    • The second village party involves a get-together by a campfire, at which such stories are told as Wiggle's supposed sightings of the "Queen of Bugsnax" and Triffany's knowledge that the Grumps who used to live on the island would decide their leaders by having the women compete in who could hunt the biggest Bugsnak. Lizbert was Snaxberg’s best hunter and is mentioned early on to have never come back from one of her hunting trips — and when you find her, she’s turned into the closest thing to a Queen of Bugsnax you can get.
    • The Bigsnax DLC has a painting of the three Queens of Snaktooth. While one is able to sus out the first two, the third is depicted as one lost looking Grump and a Grump falling into the abyss, and is noted to not have arrived yet. The tape recordings also express hope that the third Queen will be one of their own. By the finale, Lizbert (who fell into the Undersnax) and Eggabell (who stepped away from civilization looking for her and assimilates into Lizbert's Snax form) essentially become the third Queen together.
    • The video diaries show that Eggabell became very obsessed with the Bugsnax, to the point that she ate so many that most of her body was changed. But when we finally run into her in Frosted Peaks, only her legs are changed. It's later mentioned that so long as they aren't constantly eating Bugsnax, the side effects will eventually wear off, as shown by Lizbert and Eggabell's Eldritch Abomination form eventually going away and the pair coming out of the experience almost no worse for the wear.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Breaking your tools and traps isn't a problem in normal gameplay, as the player can instantly produce replacements. In fact, remotely destroying a misplaced trap is the only way to place it somewhere else! However, falling into the Undersnax smashes all your gear, and you can't get it back.
  • G-Rated Drug: Bugsnax are related to drugs implicitly; Chandlo wants to use them to get physically stronger, Floofty believes they can be used to revolutionize medical fields, Eggabell used them for Drowning Her Sorrows, Wiggle wants to use them to boost her cerebral capabilities, and Cromdo wants to use them for a dubiously legal business. Crosses over a bit with Fantastic Drug because they are actually addictive, altering your physical and mental physiology, and can kill you if you consume too many at once.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Clumby and Alegander end their communication with a call and response that is presumably the creed of the Snakolytes: "Tu quid edas"note  and "Omne vivum ex Bugsnax"note .
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Filbo and the main character decide to keep quiet about the existence of Bugsnax and instead state to Clumby that Snaktooth is a dangerously volcanic island (which is partly true) to prevent anyone else from trying to go there. It's downplayed a bit because Clumby is revealed to be a member of the Snakolytes and suspects that the characters are intentionally keeping quiet about Bugsnax.
  • Green Hill Zone: The Garden Grove and Flavor Falls are grassy regions accessible soon after the Journalist first arrives on Snaktooth Island.
  • Harmless Freezing: If a frost Bugsnak gets too close, it could freeze the player character. Whacking the ice a few times or getting hit by fire/lava will thaw them out.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Or at least, an attempt at one. Blaming herself, Lizbert stays on the island to make sure everyone else can leave safely, but Eggabell disagrees, and decides to stay with her. As shown in the credits of the Golden Ending, they lived.
  • Heroic Willpower: If you fully complete a Grumpus's side quest chain, they will realize that they don't actually need Bugsnax to fulfill their desires, allowing them to automatically swat away any Bugsnax that gets past you during the final level and ensuring they won't die regardless of how poorly you do in the defense.
  • Hollywood Acid: Averted. In the BIGsnax DLC, Floofty will ask you to throw the Shrinking Spice (later stated to contain sulphuric acid) on them to test its composition. It's evidently an extremely unpleasant experience, but it doesn't cause them any permanent physical injury.
  • Hub City: Snaxburg is the sole living settlement on the island, and the Journalist is to reunite the expedition to it.
  • Hulking Out: Shy Weenyworms live up to their name until you splash them with ketchup, then they enlarge and start relentlessly charging the player.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • Eggabell's dialogue, and the dialogue of anyone talking to or about her, is almost non-stop egg-related puns and wordplay.
    • Triffany's comment for the Deviled Eggler is just a collection of egg puns, and similarly her comment on the Cheddaboardle Rex is a rapid barrage of cheese-related wordplay.
    "Brie prepared for a muenster challenge, or you'll get jacked until you're black-and-bleu. Gouda luck!"
  • An Ice Person: Some of the Bugsnax are covered in a frost layer which will freeze you and other Bugsnax on contact for a few moments, requiring you to melt off this layer before you catch them.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: Every Grumpus agrees that the Bugsnax are incredibly tasty. Exploited by the Bugsnax, as they're like this by design.
  • Instant-Win Condition: For the Golden Ending, all of the Grumpuses must survive in the finale. Completing all of the sidequests gives all of the Grumpuses the Heroic Willpower to fight off the Bugsnax with no input required on your part, ensuring they all automatically survive.
  • Introduced Species Calamity: Implied. In the post-credits scene, we see that a single Strabby managed to stow away on the Grumpuses' escape ship and arrived on the mainland.
  • It Can Think: Should you scan Cactriffy when it's outside of Wambus' house, it will write a message about its desire to gain Wambus' love in favor of Triffany herself.
  • Jungle Japes: Broken Tooth, the isle where the BIGsnax DLC's storyline takes place, is covered in rough tropical forest.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Boiling Bay has the island's volcano, which you can walk into.
  • Level Ate: Snaktooth Island goes beyond just having the Bugsnax with its other food-related aspects, such as plants that grow condiments like ketchup and the "lava" flowing from the volcano is suggested to be superheated fondue. The Undersnax takes this up to eleven, and combines it with Womb Level, while also explaining why; the entire island is made of Bugsnax, the surface areas just do a better job of hiding it than the island's interior.
  • The Lost Woods: The lower half of the Suparpine Woods is a pine forest.
  • Love Confession: Played With. Just before the final level, Snorpy will gather all of his courage and ask Chandlo to be his boyfriend... and Chandlo responds by pointing out that they've already been dating for years. Snorpy was just too oblivious to realize that making out with someone and moving in with him means you're in a relationship (he thought they were "roommates with benefits"). Thankfully, Chandlo puts the ambiguity to rest by kissing him.
  • Missing Secret: Using the lunchpad to catapult yourself on top of the rocks behind Floofty's shelter in the Boiling Bay will teleport you back to the beach and display the error message "The Triplicate Space is not yet available to you." Once the DLC was released, it became possible to access the Triplicate Space and learn about the Snakolytes, by lighting the sconce near a door in the communal sleeping area on Broken Tooth and revealing a key.
  • Mon Mode: Snakification is the process by which a Grumpus' body transforms into the same Bugsnax they consume. If they eats enough Bugsnax, their body will break apart and turn into Bugsnax.
  • More than Mind Control: Bugsnax do more than change one's physical body; they also subtly manipulate a person's insecurities to try and induce them to consume more Bugsnax. This is implied to be why so many side-quests involve a Grumpus requesting you catch and feed them more and more Bugsnax, and why the conclusion of each one's questline is them realizing that the Bugsnax aren't helping.
  • Multiple Endings: There are two overall endings, and whether or not anyone dies during the finale determines which one you get.
  • Mutagenic Food: Any Bugsnak a Grumpus eats changes the appearance of one of their body parts to reflect the food-creature they just consumed. The food-changed body parts eventually turn back to normal on their own unless you eat too many.
  • Neat Freak: The Sodie Bugsnax are unusual in that they actually dislike all condiments and will attempt to wash nearby stains away, making them irritating when trying to bait other Bugsnax near water (although this is offset by Sodies being one of the easiest Bugsnax to capture).
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. Not only does one of the quests involve acquiring "fertilizer" from a main character (long story), but Grumpuses walking around Snaxburg will periodically rush to the town's outhouse as a part of their normal daily routine. The player ends up glued to the toilet after eating a Strabby, revealing their Plot Allergy.
  • Non-Heteronormative Society: Implied. The presence of two homosexual couples (Snorpy and Chandlo, Lizbert and Eggabell) as well as a non-binary Grumpus (Floofty) isn't treated as weird by any of the characters in the game.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: It's heavily implied that a previous group of Grumpuses living on the island eventually discovered the true nature of Bugsnax and descended into cannibalism out of desperation. After Snaxburg is destroyed by the earthquake and all of Gramble's Bugsnax escape, Cromdo declares that it's now "a Grump-eat-Grump world" and Beffica nervously calls dibs on eating Filbo, which Floofty wants to watch.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: In the finale, if a Grumpus has been fed enough Bugsnax to transform their whole body, the next Bugsnak they eat will be fatal.
  • One-Hit Wonder: In-universe. Wiggle struggles with only being known for a single hit song, "Do the Wiggle." Her sidequests involve trying to catch her ever more rare Bugsnax to try and stoke her muse so she can finally get out of the shadow of her one hit.
  • Orifice Invasion: In the climax of the game, the Bugsnax begin Force Feeding themselves to all the Grumpuses. And it's entirely possible for this to lead to their deaths. Liz got hit with this after getting separated from Eggabell and falling into The Undersnax, though it's through Heroic Willpower that she didn't die.
  • Otherworldly Communication Failure: There's a mysterious creature composed of different Bugsnax that has been stalking the Grumpuses across Snaktooth Island. You find out later that it's the Snaxquatch, a Golem Elizabert created to try to stop the rest of the Grumpuses from eating any more Bugsnax, as she can't make the Bugsnax talk despite her connection to them. This backfires: she used the Snaxquatch to break into Gramble's barn and carve "No More Bugsnax" into the camp sign, which only made the others too anxious about about the identity of the creature and fearful of the possibility that something wanted them dead to realize that the thing didn't want them eating any more Snax.
  • Palmtree Panic: The Simmering Springs and Boiling Bay make up the island's beach.
  • Patchwork Map: Snaktooth Island has some unusual geography. There's a snowy alpine biome, a desert biome, a deciduous forest biome, and a tropical beach, all within walking distance of the town. Though the warmer areas are consistently closer to the volcano, and the whole thing might be justified in that it's actually an Eldritch Location.
  • Photo Montage: During the credits, with a photo for each Grumpus.
  • Planimal: Some of the Bugsnax resemble fruits or vegetables with eyes and legs, although they're apparently neither plant nor animal.
  • Playing with Fire: Some of the Bugsnax are covered in flames which will set you, other Bugsnax, and your traps on fire, requiring you to put the flames out before you catch them.
  • Plot Allergy: The main character is actually allergic to Bugsnax, which is the in-universe reason why they never use any transformations on themselves. Which happens to be to their benefit, given the Awful Truth behind them.
  • Point of No Return: The game very pointedly tells you when you're going to trigger this, using the caption "Point of No Return." Later, after completing the final mission, you can continue playing the game from right before this point.
  • Pokémon Speak: Each Bugsnak says variations of its own name.
  • Properly Paranoid: Snorpy theorizes that the Grumpinati is behind everything involving Snaktooth Island, and takes measures to keep himself off their surveillance. The after-credits scene shows he's right about there being a conspiracy after all, but it's not the Grumpinati.
  • Punched Across the Room: Or headbutted across the field. Some Bugsnax, such as the Bunger and Spuddy, will charge at you, knocking you away.
  • Red Herring: Despite Snorpy's insistence that the Grumpinati are involved with the Bugsnax and confirmation by Triffany that an organization known as the Grumpinati did exist in historical times, investigating the Triplicate Space indicates that the conspiracy involved are a group called the Snakolytes, and they are really tired of being confused with the Grumpinati.
    Alegander Jamfoot: Ugggh, we are NOT the Grumpinati! That's made-up movie nonsense. I mean, sometimes our actions are blamed on the Grumpinati... but we're a secret society, we can't just go around correcting everybody.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning: During the final climactic battle, the burning ruins of the town and erupting volcano turn the sky red, signifying the island itself has finally turned on the Grumpuses.
  • Replay Mode: When one of the Boss Snax is defeated, a statue of them will appear in the area you fight them in. By interacting with these statues, you can challenge them again for a rematch.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Subverted with Chandlo and Snorpy. Snorpy finally works up the nerve to ask Chandlo if he wants to be his boyfriend... only for a confused Chandlo to point out they've been dating for years, ever since they made out on a Ferris wheel and moved in together. Snorpy was just too clueless to catch on. Chandlo kisses him to clear things up.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Most of the Bugsnax are designed to be endearingly goofy, but Strabby stands out as the game's adorable little mascot.
  • Rule of Three: According to the Snakolyte recordings in the Triplicate Space, Elizabert is actually the third Queen of Bugsnax, and there were two in the distant past; one vengeful Queen who destroyed the people that attempted to sacrifice her to the Bugsnax, and a benevolent one who pacified the Bugsnax and led centuries of prosperity for the Snaktooth Empire.
  • Schizo Tech: The Grumpuses' level of technology varies widely and randomly, leaving the intended time period level ambiguous. There are laser pointers and drones, but films still use reels and are in black-and-white and cellphones apparently haven't been invented.
  • Segmented Serpent: The Megamaki, the boss Bugsnak of Wiggle's sidequest line, is a huge serpentine creature made up of several small sushi rolls (Minimakis) which follow the main head. To defeat it, you have to use the Trip Shot to break it apart, which scatters the Minimakis, then catch all of them, which will leave the Megamaki head vulnerable to capture.
  • Sequel Hook: The after-credits sequence. Clumby is speaking with an unknown figure on the phone about the player and Filbo, and after telling him that she doesn't know if they suspect anything, the figure tells her to keep an eye on them, and the two recite an ominous Latin chant, implying that Snorpy was on to something with his suspicions about a secret society. Also, a single Strabby stowed away on the airboat home.
    • As it turns out, this was partially addressed in the Isle of BIGSnax update. The update allows players to explore a secret area called the Triplicate Space, where they learn that the secret organization is not the Grumpinati, but is actually called The Snakolytes, and that both Clumby and Alegander Jamfoot (the man Clumby was on the phone with) are both members. Nothing is ever said about the Strabby on the boat, though.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: A few of the more aggressive Bugsnax, like the Spuddys and the Bungers, can be stunned and caught by having them ram each other. This is a non-fatal example, except at the end, when the main character defends Wambus and Triffany from a horde of attacking Spuddys and Bungers by tricking them into killing each other.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: If you fail the final mission and end up losing some of the characters, the game gives out an option to do it all over again once you make it back to the mainland to get the Golden Ending. Note that this is the only time in the game that there is a redo.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Most of the character side-quests end up like this. Wiggle wants the protagonist to feed her specific Bugsnax in hopes that they'll give her inspiration for her next hit song. But even after eating a large variety of Bugsnax, she finds it didn't really end up igniting any inspirational spark. Chandlo wants to keep getting stronger and consumes the Bugsnax to gain their strength, but even after eating the biggest and toughest Bugsnak he could find, he realizes it didn't make him any stronger than before. Gramble wants to build up a farm of Bugsnax to replace the real family that abandoned him in the past, but finds in the end they don't really care about him and he's just keeping a bunch of meandering wild animals locked up. Wambus spends his time trying to be useful by trying to grow Bugsnax like plants, but after much effort, eventually has to admit it's not possible. Triffany came to Snaktooth Island to try and find out what happened to her grandmother (who went to the island years ago and never returned), but in the end didn't end up finding out what really happened and realizes she probably never will. Cromdo's attempt to get rich quick by stealing Triffany's treasure map is undermined by Beffica blackmailing him out of his spoils, after which he laments never finding success whether he's honest or not. It's downplayed a little because while the goals themselves may not have been accomplished, coming to terms with failing aids in their Character Development in the end. Plus, knowing that eating Bugsnax won’t solve any of their problems lets them resist eating them during The Siege.
    • The Journalist's efforts to save their career by interviewing Lizbert and documenting the Bugsnax of Snaktooth Island end up being rendered moot by the end as well. Turns out they were fired the moment they left Clumbernut's office and they were even pronounced legally dead, since she didn't expect them to survive the trip to Snaktooth Island. In any case, Filbo gives them a new job helping him become the new mayor, which is shown to be successful in the credits, so this may be a downplayed case as well.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Scorched Gorge and Sizzlin' Sands are the island's most arid regions.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: When you find Eggabell on top of Frosted Peak, she mentions there'd be an avalanche. She lists either blunt force trauma or asphyxiation as the ways The Journalist would be killed. Notice that doesn’t include hypothermia. That’s because you’d suffocate from lack of oxygen if you survived getting hit by the snow long before you’d freeze to death.
  • The Siege: The final act involves the main character protecting the townsfolk from the invasion of murderous Bugsnax come to finish everyone off before they can escape from the island. This is the only part of the game where it's possible for characters to die.
  • Smurfing: "Grump" is used a lot, such as with Grumpfoot, the Grumpinati, and Grumpford and Sons. It's usually used to parody something from the real world, as well as in place of profanity.
  • Snipe Hunt: Clumby never actually thought you'd come back from Snaktooth and fired you as you were leaving. Although, as the after-credits scene shows, she is part of a conspiracy involving the Bugsnax. Finding the Triangle Key on Broken Tooth as part of the Isle of BIGsnax update reveals that the ones behind the conspiracy are a group of Bugsnak researchers called the Snakolytes.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: The best endings for certain characters have them get what they want after they give up on using Bugsnax to get it. In particular, if both Wiggle and Gramble survive, Gramble has someone who truly cares about him in Wiggle, and Wiggle finds the inspiration she was looking for in Gramble.
  • Take That!:
    • One Bugsnak, La Sodieux, is based on La Croix, a brand of sparkling water. Scanning the Bugsnak has Cromdo note that La Sodieux "tastes like water, but bad".
    • Wiggle has a vinyl of the band "Grumpawamba", a shout-out to the band Chumbawamba. The description in the scanner reads "With such hits as 'Grumpthumping' and nothing else."
    • Scanning the Ranch Dressing plant gives you a description that claims the sauce tastes "revolting".
  • That's No Moon: Snaktooth Island itself is a massive amalgamation of Bugsnax created from the assimilated bodies of every living thing that wasn't a Bugsnak. The geological activity is actually this amalgamation heaving and shuddering in hunger for more victims.
  • Theseus' Ship Paradox: A variant. Floofty muses on whether turning an entire Grumpus' body to snax makes them a snak themself. They turn out to be right... in a way.
  • This Means War!: If either Snorpy of Chandlo die but the other survives during the final mission, the survivor will declare their intent to destroy the Grumpinati once and for all to get revenge for his lover's death.
  • Toilet Humor: One sidequest from Wambus involves you retrieving some of Filbo's... *ahem* "night soil" as fertilizer for his garden.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Gramble's pet Strabby is the only one who he successfully tames and actively helps the Grumpuses fight back against the other Bugsnax at the end, though at best it's just following a laser pointer.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • For things that are food, hilariously enough. Most of the Bugsnax have a favorite condiment or two which they are attracted to (generally a condiment that would go well with the food item each Bugsnak resembles), allowing you to use the sauces as bait.
    • Among the Grumpuses, Beffica's favorite snak is the Weenyworm, to the point that she makes cave art dedicated to her love for the snak.
  • Trash the Set: Snaxburg ends up being completely demolished in the climax by an earthquake, not that the Grumpuses were going to keep living there anyway, since you and Filbo discover Snaktooth Island is utterly uninhabitable.
  • Uncertain Doom: If you don't get the Golden Ending, the ultimate fates of Eggabell and Lizbert are left ambiguous.
  • Underground Monkey: Most Bugsnax have two or three variants — these appear in different areas and have slightly different appearances, but usually share the same behavior. For example, the Strabby, White Strabby, Razzby, and Black Razzby are all small berries that run when approached; the flying Cheepoof comes in regular, white cheddar, and flamin' hot; and the various Peelbugs are all slices of citrus fruit that hide away in tunnels.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: During the finale, when you're escaping from the island, you have to rescue the rest of the crew as well. You do so using tools repurposed to kill the Bugsnax to prevent them from reaching everyone else and force-feeding them.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Gramble is a Bugsnak rancher and because of his love toward Bugsnax, seeing them as actual animals rather than food, he can't normally be fed. However, by taking advantage of his sleepwalking, the player can make him eat and transform unwillingly. Even worse, because he was sleepwalking at the time, he believes that he himself is entirely responsible and begs the player character to wake him up if they ever see him sleepwalking again. This is of course entirely optional, but is required to earn two trophies.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: With the upgraded snakifier from Floofty, you can change the transformed body parts of a Grumpus into any type of Bugsnax they've eaten before, allowing for you to go for better-coordinated designs than the Rainbow Pimp Gear style Body Horror most are inclined to get otherwise... or go for even wilder combinations.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Photographs of all the characters returning to society after having escaped from Snaktooth Island are shown during the end credits, including confirmation that Liz and Egg did in fact survive the ordeal (but are still stranded on the island).
  • Will They or Won't They?: Snorpy's subplot involves him trying to work up the nerve to confess his feelings to Chandlo, who himself constantly talks about his obsession with getting stronger so he can always protect Snorpy.
  • Wimp Fight: At one point, Gramble and Wambus' disagreements escalate into physical violence... consisting of arm-length pawing and meek slaps.
  • Womb Level: The Undersnax consists of living foodstuff matter and opaque red liquid, befitting the revelation that the island is all Bugsnax.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: The Grumpuses seem to use blimp-like airships for transportation rather than boats.

That's why I never eat anything with a face.


Video Example(s):



Chandlo, a regular Grumpus, can lift an entire house up from the ground.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SuperStrength

Media sources: