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Jack-in-the-Box Zombie

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Jack-in-the-Box Zombie1

Plants vs. Zombies

Jack-in-the-Box Zombie

Jack-in-the-Box Zombie1
This zombie carries an explosive surprise.
Almanac statistics
Toughness Medium
Speed Fast
Special Jack-in-the-box explodes
In-game statistics
Absorbs 17 normal damage shots
Weakness Magnet-shroom1
First seen Level 4-1
This zombie shivers, not because he's cold but because he's crazy.

Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is a zombie in a straitjacket carrying an explosive jack-in-the-box and is the 16th zombie encountered in Adventure Mode. If the Jack-in-the-Box explodes before the zombie has been killed, the zombie is destroyed along with all the plants and hypnotized zombies around it (within a 3x3, similar to Cherry Bomb). Its weakness is the Magnet-shroom, which steals the jack-in-the-box without detonating it. This zombie can be hypnotized to detonate around the zombies, killing them. It is very deadly in Endless Modes, as it could detonate next to high-cost and recharge plants crucial to the player's setup.


The tune that the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie plays.

Jack-in-the-Box Zombie Tune

The sounds that the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie makes before its jack-in-the-box explodes.

Jack surprise2
Jack surprise

Suburban Almanac entry

Almanac Card Jack-in-the-Box Zombie


This zombie carries an explosive surprise.

Toughness: medium
Speed: fast
Special: jack-in-the-box explodes
Weakness: magnet-shroom

This zombie shivers, not because he's cold but because he's crazy.


The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie enters the lawn, playing its special jingle tune with its jack-in-the-box. This tune continues to replay it until the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie gets defeated or after it blows itself up. The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie absorbs 17 normal damage shots and its appearance changes upon absorbing 9 normal damage shots before dying at 17 normal damage shots. The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie kills itself along with the plants in its range when its jack-in-the-box explodes.



A Magnet-shroom will remove the jack-in-the-box, but this will not work in levels with a high density of metallic zombies (especially in Survival: Endless.) It is not a good idea to plant a Wall-nut or Tall-nut in front of them in Survival: Endless, as there will be too many zombies to counter them all properly, resulting in those two plants being eaten up or destroyed very quickly. During the Night, use a mixture of Fume-shrooms and Gloom-shrooms. Since the Gloom-shrooms in the first columns of the Pool (that are commonly found in many Survival: Endless strategies) are especially vulnerable to their attacks, pay special attention to them. Use a combination of Ice-shrooms and instant kills to counter the Jack-in-the-Box Zombies. In the absence of Gargantuars or Zombonis, placing a Garlic in each of the two rows beside the pond when a wave of Zombies come might also be a good idea. However, in the DS version, much like the Zombie Yeti, as it escapes after a short while, the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie will explode after a short while, so the best thing to use other plants (such as the Gatling Pea and Torchwood) to deal with the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie. It may be a pain, so the best plant is to always use the Magnet-shroom.

PvZ TEST - Jack-in-the-box explosion Test. PLEASE READ DESCRIPTION03:15

PvZ TEST - Jack-in-the-box explosion Test. PLEASE READ DESCRIPTION.

A lot of Jack-in-the-Box Zombies

In Vasebreaker, the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie always explodes as soon as it is revealed, so if you find it in a vase with a Plantern, it is best to not break the vase and leave it there until there are no vases nearby that it could destroy. If its Jack-in-the-Box is stolen right as you break its vase, it will march toward your house as it would in Survival or Adventure. It also destroys nearby vases and reveals their contents.

Note that a hypnotized Jack-in-the-Box Zombie will blow up other zombies when it explodes, and do not harm your plants, making it a point to hypnotize them in large waves of zombies. However, try not to hypnotize it too soon, or else it will leave the lawn or roof or get eaten by other zombies, therefore wasting 75 sun. Try to slow it down, freeze it, or let it go a little further to about the third square from the right, then hypnotize it.


Main article: Dynamite

Because there are no Jack-in-the-Box Zombies in the online version of Vasebreaker, the Jack-in-the-Box Zombies are replaced with a dynamite, which has the same function. Once the fuse in the dynamite runs out, it will explode in a similar fashion. The dynamite takes longer to explode.


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Jack-in-the-Box Zombie1


  • The music it plays with the jack-in-the-box is a xylophone-remixed version of the popular nursery theme called Pop! Goes the Weasel.
  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie, Dancing Zombie, and Ladder Zombie are the only zombies that can use their abilities when hypnotized.
  • Even after a Magnet-shroom pulls the jack-in-the-box out of its hands, the zombie will continue to move its hands as if it was still holding the box.
  • The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is one of only three zombies (with feet) which do not wear shoes, the other two being the Imp and the Zombie Yeti (this is assuming Dr. Zomboss wears shoes, as his feet are not visible).
  • When a Jack-in-the-Box Zombie's head falls off, it is that of a normal zombie's. This also happens with the Newspaper Zombie.
    • Newspaper Zombie's head is just a normal Zombie head with glasses and hair. But the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie's head is different.
  • When a jack-in-the-box explodes it may destroy the Pumpkin around a plant but not the plant in it, saving the plant.
  • If hypnotized zombies are nearby when a jack-in-the-box explodes, they will be killed in the explosion and vice versa if the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is hypnotized (as a Cherry Bomb).
  • When a Jack-in-the-Box Zombie explodes near plants, they just disappear. However, when a hypnotized Jack-in-the-Box Zombie explodes near zombies, they turn into ashes, as if they were hit by an exploding plant. This is because there is no animation for plants that are blown up.
  • In Vasebreaker, if the player plants a Magnet-shroom close to a vase with a Jack-in-the-Box Zombie and reveal the zombie, the Magnet-shroom will instantly grab its jack-in-the-box and it will walk forward instead of standing there and exploding. This only happens in M is for Metal.
  • The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie and Dr. Zomboss are the only zombies that wear a white outfit (excluding Zombie Yeti because it does not wear anything).
  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is the one of the three zombies that does not use its hand to eat, the others being the Ladder Zombie and Newspaper Zombie (except for Gargantuar that smashes the plants, the Catapult Zombie that hurls basketballs and crushes plants, and Dr. Zomboss and the Zomboni that crush plants).
  • When Jack-in-the-Box Zombie explodes, the word "SPROING!!" along with a purple explosion will appear.
  • Before the jack-in-the-box explodes, the Jack-in-the-Box-Zombie will scream as it is surprised by the jack-in-the-box. Dr. Zomboss has the same facial expression when his Zombot blows up.
  • There is a glitch where it will continue looking happy while it explodes.
  • Jack-in-the-Box-Zombie, Dr. Zomboss, Imp, and Money Bag Zombie are the only zombies that smile, albeit an evil smile.
  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie, Flag Zombie, Dolphin Rider Zombie, Digger Zombie, Gargantuar, Giga-gargantuar and Pole Vaulting Zombie are the only zombies in Plants vs. Zombies that carry an item that is not a shield.
  • Jack-in-the Box Zombie, Football Zombie and Giga-Football Zombie are the only zombies that remain fast even after their shields or objects carried are stolen or destroyed.
  • The reason of Jack-in-the-Box Zombie's clothing may be because he was at a mental hospital before death.
  • Jack-in-the-Box-Zombie cannot eat a Spikerock, but it can destroy a full-health Spikerock with only one explosion.
  • The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is the only zombie in Plants vs. Zombies that plays music. The music played when a Dancing Zombie appears is not from the Dancing Zombie itself, but the Jack-in-the Box Zombie's music comes from the box it is spinning, as when the box is taken, the music ends.
  • Even when it is slowed down by a Snow Pea or Winter Melon, the music still plays at the same speed.
    • This also happens with Pianist Zombie.
  • While the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie does target the player's house, its jack-in-the-box prevents it from getting that far. Therefore, the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie will never get the chance to eat brains, unless the jack-in-the-box is stolen by Magnet-shroom.
  • In the Nintendo DS versions, they keep on exploding after going through a few squares as the music does not keep repeating all over to annoy the player.
    • Therefore, choosing them in Versus Mode on the DS is a waste of slots as it will only get up to the separating line before exploding.
  • In the online version of Vasebreaker, the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is replaced with the dynamite due to its lack of presence in the version.
  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie, Balloon Zombie, Bungee Zombie, Zomboni, Dolphin Rider Zombie, Pogo Zombie and Digger Zombie are the only zombies that make noise before entering.
    • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie, Gargantuar, Pogo Zombie, Digger Zombie and Dolphin Rider Zombie are the only zombies that also make noise while on the lawn (Other than the regular "brains" noises).
    • Though the Digger Zombie only makes noise before it finishes digging and pops up.
  • Its weapon and the Jalapeno Zombie's explosions are the strongest zombie attacks in the game.
  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is one of two zombies that can destroy instant kills, the other one being Bungee Zombie (if timed correctly).
  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is the only zombie that can kill a Squash, with the exception of Peashooter Zombie, (which kills Squash with its peas) Gatling Pea Zombie, (which does the same as the Peashooter Zombie but faster) Jalapeno Zombie, and Catapult Zombie (which kills the Squash with basketballs). Bungee Zombies can steal Squash but not kill it.
  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is immune to freezing, hypnosis, butter and damage when he is about to explode. However, it is not immune to explosions, and thus can be killed right before he explodes.
    • But if timed correctly, the jack-in-the-box will explode before the explosive plant explodes and the explosive plant will die if in the range. But it can turn into a walking Cherry Bomb if hypnotized by a Hypno-shroom.
  • In Versus Mode it only costs 100 brains, as opposed of the actual Cherry Bombs costs 150.
  • In Versus Mode, the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie explodes whenever it meets a plant.
  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie's explosion color is the same as the Doom-shroom's explosion.
    • However, it uses Cherry Bomb's explosion sound effect.
  • It is one of the three types of zombies that kill themselves to take out a plant. The other two are the Squash Zombie and the Jalapeno Zombie.
    • However, it is the only zombie that kills itself that is not from ZomBotany 2.
  • In the Nintendo DS version, the clown head inside the jack-in-the-box is slightly bigger in comparison with the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie's head.
  • In the Nintendo DS version, when the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie about to explodes, its face looks like smiling.
  • The chance to explode appears to increase as it comes closer to the back of the lawn. It has an extremely high chance to explode when it reaches the end, so it usually cannot eat brains unless a Magnet-shroom steals his jack-in-the-box.
  • Its feet look somewhat similar to the Zombie Yeti's feet, unless they are crossed.
  • In the Android version, its tune is higher-pitched than in other versions.
  • It is similar to Gas Can Zombie, from Plants vs. Zombies Adventures, MC Zom-B, from Plants vs. Zombies 2, and Blew Zombie from the Chinese version of Plants vs. Zombies 2.
  • It has a similar appearance to Cuckoo Zombie, from Plants vs. Zombies Heroes.
  • It is odd how exactly Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is able to both hold and crank it's Jack-in-the-Box while in a straitjacket is never explained, as straitjackets are meant to restrain the hands from being used on someone who poses danger to someone or themselves.

See also

Plants vs. Zombies

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