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Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed

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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 October 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.

Plot

Percy Pea and Li'l Pea are leaving a movie theater and are cornered by a shady Scallion (Scallion #3 (the "Milk Money Bandit")) who asks them for a nickel. Percy refuses, but the Scallion then demands the money he is carrying for milk money. After stealing the money and escpaing to the rooftops with his loot, he finds Larry-Boy (Larry the Cucumber) waiting for him in front of a billboard. Larry-Boy confronts the Scallion about the theft, accusing him of possibly having "something that belongs to those boys," and shakes the stolen money off of him before throwing him into Officer Scooter's patrol car. Soon after, he begins reviewing his capture technique with his butler, Alfred (Archibald Asparagus), but in the process accidentally knocks an unfinished plant off the ledge. The plant gets caught on some telephone wires on the way down, where a woman is gossiping on the phone, then falls into the sewers where the gossip brings the plant to life.

The next morning, Alfred is speaking at a school and tells the teacher he needs to go home and "recharge his batteries" (meaning he needs to rest). Junior Asparagus and Laura Carrot take the figure of speech literally and jump to the false conclusion that Alfred is a robot. As they walk home, discussing what they had heard Alfred say, they encounter a small talking weed. Similar weeds begin to appear throughout town, spreading the rumor. Larry and Alfred are tending to a garden when Alfred heads inside to answer the phone. Another weed appears and tries to spread the rumor, but Larry does not listen. Alfred then calls Larry in. Mayor Blueberry (Madame Blueberry) informs him that strange weeds are growing all over the city and saying that the story about the fact that Alfred is a robot is a rumor. Suiting up as Larry-Boy, he drives into action.

Larry-Boy manages to find a weed and attempts to shred it with a weed whacker, which malfunctions. Back at the Larry-Cave, Alfred discovers that all the weeds are connected to a "Mother Weed" underground. Upon arriving in the sewer, Larry-Boy meets the Mother Weed and is quickly overpowered. Alfred learns the citizens are afraid of him, saying that he is a "killer robot with laser eyes." Suddenly, the Mother Weed breaks free out from underground and snatches Alfred, but the citizens refuse to help.

Dad Asparagus arrives and asks what is going on. The Mother Weed says that she heard the story from "very reliable sources". Junior and Laura confess they took Alfred literally and started the rumor. Dad explains to them that "even if it's true, God doesn't want us to tell stories that can hurt. He want us to spread nice words". Dad's words cause flowers to grow on the Mother Weed. Junior and Laura decide that the way to save Alfred is to spread good words about him. They convince the citizens that Alfred is not a robot. The Mother Weed continues sprouting flowers until she transforms into a giant flower.

Trivia

  • 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.
  • The red bell pepper named Pepe is wearing a Gourd's Gym shirt from Very Silly Songs!
  • There are many references from the previous Larry-Boy episode:
    • After Percy and Lil Pea leave the movie, Percy asks Lil Pea if they remember what they saw the last time they were here, referring to seeing the Fib's shooting star.
    • Larry-Boy looks to the sky saying "if any more space aliens wanna fall into Bumblyburg, I'll be ready for you too."
    • The Larry-Boy theme song is reused from Larry-Boy! and the Fib from Outer Space!
    • A poster in the classroom features The Fib that reads "Say No"
    • A scene from the episode is completely reused
    • The hologram of Junior is seen on one of the computers in the Larry Cave
  • When Dad Carrot says that there are teenagers inside Alfred that know karate, he is making a Power Rangers reference
  • This would be the first and only episode to feature other kinds of vegetables other than the regulars and later on the producers said it was hard to make a crowd of random vegetables in one place so in later videos any other background characters they use are mostly peas and carrots

Goofs

  • When the giant Rumor Weed first appears in the center of town, her lipstick color is missing. It returns in the following shot.

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