|Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed|
July 24th, 1999 (premiere)
Prologue of the Story
Percy Pea and Lil' 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 escaping to the rooftops with his loot, Larry-Boy (Larry the Cucumber) confronts him 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). Not knowing that it's a figure of speech, Junior Asparagus and Laura Carrot take it 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 doesn't 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 that Alfred is a robot is a rumor. Suiting up as Larry-Boy, he dives 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 she heard the story from "very reliable sources." Junior and Laura confess that 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 best 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. Alfred forgives them for the misunderstanding just as a battered Larry-Boy drags himself out of the sewer.
Unaware of the preceding events, he almost accidentally starts the rumor again by saying someone told him Alfred was a robot (obviously the rumor weed), thus everyone gently shushes him, hoping the other Bumblyburg residents didn't hear what he just said. But he doesn't get it, and the story ends rather strangely with asking if there was a flower show (having seen flowers on what was once the rumor weed), and everyone laughs, thinking it's a joke as the story ends with a choral reminder, and a flower landing on the screen.
Closing Segment (Back at the Larry-Cave)
In the final scene, Larry-Boy and Alfred enact their own What Have We Learned segment with the verse:
- Larry the Cucumber/Larry-Boy
- Alfred/Archibald Asparagus
- Junior Asparagus
- Laura Carrot
- Mr. Nezzer
- Madame Blueberry
- Percy Pea
- Lil' Pea
- Dad Pea
- The Rumor Weed
- Mike Asparagus
- Milk Money Bandit
- Scooter Carrot
- Bob the Tomato (poster only)
The story concept was written by Doug Peterson, which at the time Phil Vischer was accepting ideas for future episodes when the studio was growing. Mike Nawrocki was a bit skeptic at the time, due to the fact the episode sounded similar to the first Larry-Boy episode (kids caused trouble from something that grew big). But they eventually tweaked it to work it out. Phil at the time decided to push the limits on what they can do for the episode since they were getting ready for their first feature film, and he originally considered this as the last half-hour episode they'll work on.
It was first released on July 27th, 1999 by Word Entertainment for the Christian market. On March 28th, 2000, Lyrick Studios released it on VHS for the mass market. In 2004, Warner Home Video reprinted it on VHS & DVD as part of the VeggieTales Classics. On August 14th, 2006, Sony Wonder reprinted it for the release of the show's episode "LarryBoy and the Bad Apple".
- Be careful with what you're going to say.
- Do not tell stories that can hurt. Only spread nice words.
- This is the last episode to be rendered entirely in Softimage.
- This is the final LarryBoy episode to be released on VHS.
- This is the last VeggieTales episode of the 1990s.
- The "Nezzer's Clock" pattern appears on three characters' clothes. Specifically on Dad Carrot's shirt, a shirt on one of the Veggie extras, and on a dress of another of Veggie extras.
- One of the Veggie extras was modeled after John Wahba who ironically enough voices Dad Carrot in the episode. Mike Nawrocki states this in the commentary of the episode.
- The scene at the beginning involving Larry-Boy apprehending the Scallion was a concept originally intended to be part of the previous Larry-Boy episode, but it was cut due to time.
- The original trailer for this episode features some of the characters' voices in a lower pitch due to it still being in development at the time. It was never released, however, on the basis of it being deemed too frightening for kids. It was eventually included as an Easter Egg on the DVD re-release and can be accessed through the main menu.
- This episode is shown in the 2015 action thriller film "Agent 47".
- This was the first and only episode to feature a pumpkin. After this episode, due to all the different sorts of background Veggie characters (consisting of a bell pepper, a chili, etc.) having been hard to animate, Big Idea stated that if they ever do crowd scenes, they would all be peas and carrots (and of course, sometimes gourds and cucumbers) from now on.
- When Larry is talking to the mayor of Bumblyburg on his phone, you'll notice there is no cord but an antenna. The reason for the antenna is because animating cords is difficult.
- Aside from a poster in the back of the classroom, this is the first VeggieTales episode not to feature Bob.
- This is also the first Larry-Boy episode that Madame Blueberry appears in.
- This is the last appearance of Lenny Carrot to date. In future episodes, he would be replaced by Aaron.
- This is the only episode not to use the Book Antiqua font for the end credits of the 1990s.
- This was the first episode Marc Vulcano worked on.
- This video first premiered at the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
- Stock footage from Larry-Boy! and the Fib from Outer Space! was used before cutting to Percy Pea being confronted by the Rumor Weed.
- This is the only LarryBoy episode not to have the VeggieTales Theme. Instead, it is replaced with the Larry-Boy Theme Song for the opening intro.
- Bob never got to know the rumor weed's secret because he never appeared in the episode. Instead, the poster with him and Larry in the back of the classroom was the only time he appeared.
- This is the first episode not to have a Silly Song segment nor similar in the middle or end (not counting the previous Larry-Boy episode, which had the Larry-Boy Theme Song as a substitute for the Silly Song after the closing countertop).
- In the sewer, where Larry-Boy presses the wrong button on his weapon and drops powder, it was considered at one point that Larry-Boy blows the powder on the Mother Weed, but it was later dropped to prevent making it look like Larry-Boy is snorting it.
- This was the second episode not to feature the regular countertop. Although there's no beginning countertop, the ending countertop shows Larry-Boy and Alfred in the Larry-Cave instead of on the kitchen countertop. The countertop also lacks the "What We Have Learned" song and the "God Made You Special" message, though the duo do still read a verse from the Bible and conclude the episode, though in a fashion that involves Larry-Boy turning off a screen and the screen "shutting off" in a TV "shutoff" fashion.
- The ending segment was animated entirely by Robert Ellis, as stated in the commentary.
- Mike Asparagus is one of the few characters who did not believe Alfred was a "robot".
- The episode was originally going to be released in November 1998, but was rescheduled back to 1999.
- Oddly enough, the script was finalized in 1998.
- This episode's release date is around the same time Big Idea began hiring employees.
- International versions of this episode omit the Larry-Boy theme song and replace the version of The Rumor Weed Song sung by The W's in the credits with the regular version. The reason for the latter is most likely due to copyright issues with The W's.
- When Junior says "I don't know," he uses the same voice clip twice in a row.
- Star Tribune criticized this episode for the following reasons:
- The episode was deemed "sexist" due to males being protagonists and females being antagonists.
- Having female gossip was deemed "a cruel stereotype."
- The Scallion states Percy has $1.28, but when Larry-Boy shakes the money off the Scallion, the money he drops is actually $0.37. Was Percy somehow able to hold on to the other $0.91 or did the Scallion still have said $0.91 without Larry-Boy realizing it when he shook the $0.37 off him?
- Because stock footage was used, the lighting from it has different contrast to the real episode.
- The previews menu has a preview for the next episode.
- In the DVD-ROM section, it shows pictures from Dave and the Giant Pickle, Madame Blueberry, and Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie.
- Star Tribune determined the episode to be "sexist" due to all the females being antagonists, but Laura is sided with Junior, who is the deuteragonist.
- In the shot where Junior tells the weed his secret, the glass on her glasses flickers.
- Two animation goofs appear after the Mother Weed emerges from the sewers. One is that she's missing her lipstick, and the second is that there's a black hole behind her head. This is noticeable once she grabs Alfred.
- One shot shows weeds missing their shadows.
- The Milk Money Bandit is a reference to the bandits from Flibber-o-Loo where they steal Larry's milk money, which makes sense because Scallion 3 played one of those bandits.
- On the streets there are street signs that say Vischer Street and Nawrocki Road. These are references to VeggieTales co-creators Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer.
- A few references from the previous Larry-Boy episode:
- Percy and Lil' Pea leaving a movie theater, as well as them remembering what happened before.
- Scooter saying it's another space alien, and him listening to I Can Be Your Friend in the car.
- One of Alfred’s computer monitors has the image of Junior that was used during the climax of the last episode.
- A “Say No” promotional poster with Fib on it is seen at the back of the classroom.
- Larry-Boy yelling "Goodbye, Bumblyburg!".
- The weed's smile after her creation is somewhat similar to Jim Carrey's smile from "The Mask".
- Dad Carrot's line about Alfred having teenagers inside him that know karate is a reference to the Power Rangers series.
- On the DVD Trivia's first question asking which school Alfred visits, one of the answer choices, Roosevelt Franklin Elementary School is a reference to Sesame Street.
- The phrase "Sweet, Sweet Petunia" would later be used for a later character.