This zombie carries an explosive surprise.
|First appears||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 around it (it has the range of a Cherry Bomb), although other zombies will not be harmed unless they are hypnotized. Its weakness is the Magnet-shroom, which steals the Jack-in-the-Box. This zombie can be useful for saving some sun for Cherry Bombs if the player hypnotizes it and it detonates around the zombies, but it will be very deadly in Endless Modes if it detonates next to plants crucial to the player's setup.
Suburban Almanac entry
This zombie carries an explosive surprise.
Special: jack-in-the-box explodes
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 an absorption of 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.
- Adventure Mode: 4-1, 4-2, 4-5, 4-7, 4-10, 5-9, 5-10
- Mini-games: It's Raining Seeds, Invisi-ghoul, Column Like You See 'Em, Last Stand, Dr. Zomboss's Revenge, Buttered Popcorn, Sunny Day, Big Time
- Puzzle Mode: All Vasebreaker levels except Hokey Pokey, Last Stand: Fog, Last Stand: Endless
- Survival Mode: Survival: Fog, Survival: Roof, all Survival (Hard), and Survival (Endless) levels
- Co-op Mode: Co-op Roof, all Co-op Hard levels, Co-op Zomboss, Co-op Endless
- Others: Versus Mode
A Magnet-shroom will remove the Jack-in-the-Box, but this will not work in levels with a high density of 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. 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.
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 (150 in daytime levels or 175 on the roof with the Flower Pot included). 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 red 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.
- 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.
- The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie, the Dancing Zombie, and the 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.
- When in Survival or Last Stand, these are annoying as when most of the flags are done and the lawn is full of plants, not killing them in time results in a lot of pain and frustration in the end.
- 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.
- The 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).
- The 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 the Gargantuar that smashes the plants, the Catapult Zombie that hurls basketballs and crushes plants, and Dr. Zomboss and the Zomboni that crush plants).
- When the 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.
- The Jack-in-the-Box-Zombie, Dr. Zomboss and the Imp are the only zombies that smile, albeit an evil smile.
- The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie, the Flag Zombie, the Dolphin Rider Zombie, the Digger Zombie, the Gargantuar, the Giga-gargantuar and the Pole Vaulting Zombie are the only zombies that carry an item that is not a shield.
- The Jack-in-the Box Zombie, the Football Zombie and the 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.
- The Jack-in-the-Box-Zombie cannot eat a Spikerock, but it can destroy a full-health Spikerock with only one explosion.
- Aside from the Pianist Zombie and Disco-Tron 3000, the Jack-in-the Box Zombie is the only zombie 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.
- While the Jack-in-the-Box 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 doesn't keep repeating all over to annoy you.
- 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.
- Its weapon and the Jalapeno Zombie's explosions are the strongest zombie attacks in the game.
- The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is one of two zombies that can destroy instant kills, the other one being the Bungee Zombie (if timed correctly).
- The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is the only zombie that can kill a Squash, with the exception of the Peashooter Zombie, (which kills Squash with its peas) the Gatling Pea Zombie, (which does the same as the Peashooter Zombie but faster) the Jalapeno Zombie, and the Catapult Zombie (which kills the Squash with basketballs). Bungee Zombies can steal Squash but not kill it.
- The 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.
- 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.
- Despite it is not wearing shoes, Spikeweed does normal damage against it.
- It is the only zombie that can die by itself other than the Squash Zombie and Jalapeno Zombie.
- The 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 head of clown 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.
- Sometimes, it does not appear in level 5-9.
- It wears a straight jacket.
- Its feet look somewhat similar to the Zombie Yeti's feet, unless they are crossed.
- This zombie, Dancing Zombie, Pianist Zombie, Disco-tron 3000 and Announcer Imp are the only zombies that play music.
- 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.