Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed is the tweflth episode in the VeggieTales animated series, and the second installment of the Larry-Boy adventures. It was released in July 1999 on VHS formats and January 28, 2003 on DVD formats. Subtitled "A Lesson in The Power of Words", it illustrates how destructive false rumors or negative words can be, and conversely, how positive words can do good. It is a mild parody of Little Shop Of Horrors. Unlike other episodes with the VeggieTales Theme Song at the start, this is one of the episodes without Bob the Tomato at the countertop segments. Marc Vulcano, the animation supervisor for the film had just joined Big Idea Productions from Sierra On-Line, Inc. This video was the last VeggieTales production to be rendered entirely in Softimage.
The episode begins immediately with Percy Pea and Li'l Pea are leaving a movie theater. As they pause to think about what had happened the last time they were there, they are cornered by a shady character who asks them for a nickel. Percy refuses, but the Scallion then demands the money he is carrying for milk money. As the "Milk Money Bandit" escapes to the rooftops with his loot, he is cornered by Larry-Boy, who shakes the stolen money off the scallion and throws him into Officer Scooter's patrol car.
Following this, Larry-Boy is busy reviewing his capture technique with Alfred when he accidentally knocks an unfinished plant off the ledge. The pot falls and breaks on the sidewalk while the plant gets caught on some electrical telephone wires on the way down, where a nearby woman is busy gossiping on the phone on the 2nd floor of the building, electrifying it, and then falls into the sewers where the strange combinations of electricity and gossip brings the plant to life.
The next morning, Alfred is speaking at Veggie Valley Elementary. As his story comes to a close, he tells the teacher that he needs to go home and "recharge his batteries." Not quite understanding the figure of speech, students Junior Asparagus and Laura Carrot come to the false conclusion that Alfred is a robot. As they are walking home, they run into a small talking weed who overhears the two children and talks them into sharing their secret with her. Similar weeds then began to appear throughout Bumblyburg, spreading the rumor and twisting the faulty assumptions of the citizens into fear of Alfred.At Larry Manor, Larry and Alfred are tending to the garden when Alfred heads inside to answer the phone. Another Rumor Weed appears and tries to spread the word about Alfred, but Larry doesn't let it get a word in edgewise. Alfred then calls Larry in to answer the phone: Mayor Blueberry informs him that strange weeds are growing all over the city and saying strange things about Alfred. Suiting up as Larry-Boy, the hero drives into action.
Larry-Boy manages to find a Rumor Weed and attempts to prune it, but weed-whackers and shears have no effect. Alfred then tells him to scan the weed by putting his plunger-ear by it, which only serves to get Larry-Boy thrown away by the seemingly-tiny weed's strength. Back at the Larry-Cave, Alfred reports his findings and reveals that all the weeds are connected by a vast root system leading to a giant "Mother Weed" deep underground.Realizing that these weeds are strong enough to knock down abandoned homes abandoned buildings, Larry-Boy and Alfred decide that they need to attack it at the root. Fortunately Alfred had modified the Larry-Mobile to a new boring machine feature, allowing Larry-Boy to drill through the ground into the sewers. Upon arriving in the sewer, however, Larry-Boy and Alfred lose radio contact, and the faithful butler is forced to run for help himself. Meanwhile, Larry-Boy meets the Mother Weed and (after a failed attempt to use a weed-killer weapon) is quickly overpowered by his strength. As Alfred arrives at the 10-story City Hall, he is astonished to find that the usually-kind citizens are afraid of him, saying that he is a killer robot with laser eyes. Though the butler tries to convince them that he's not a robot, he is unable to stop the rumor. Suddenly, the Mother Weed breaks free out underground and snatches Alfred, but the citizens think the "killer robot" is going to be destroyed and refuse for help.
Dad Asparagus arrives on the scene and recognizes the absurdity of the rumor. He figures out that Junior and Laura accidentally started the rumor and explains to them that God doesn't want us to tell stories that can hurt he want us to spread nice words. Given a second chance they decide to spread good words and are able to convince the citizens of Bumblyburg that Alfred is not a robot at all, but a very nice man. As the word spreads, the Rumor Weed turns into a flower and Alfred is saved. Larry-Boy then emerges from the sewer beaten to a black and blue pulp and is quickly hushed by everyone else before accidentally starting the rumor again by saying, "Oh hey Alfred...somebody told me you were a...robot?"The episode is wrapped up in the Larry-Cave with Alfred and Larry-Boy. They reiterate that God wants us to say nice words about people rather than telling stories that can hurt. The verse is on the Larry-Computer "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise works healing" (Proverbs 12:18).
- The song playing in the police car is I Can Be Your Friend from Are You My Neighbor?
- At the beginning, the street signs outside of the theater read Vischer St. and Nawrocki Rd.
- Because the Larry-Boy videos are intentionally more intense than a typical VeggieTales video, Phil Vischer considered dropping the VeggieTales name from this episode.
- This is the first VeggieTales cartoon in which Bob the Tomato does not appear. The poster with him and Larry in the back of the classroom doesn't count as his appearance.
- When the giant Rumor Weed first appears in the center of town, her lipstick color is missing. It returns in the following shot.