Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed is the 12th episode in the VeggieTales animated series, and the second installment of the Larry-Boy adventures. On July 27th, 1999, Word Entertainment released the show on videocassette, and in March 28th, 1999, Lyrick Studios released the tape with special quality. In 2004, the show was released for the very first time on DVD and it was distributed by both Warner Home Video and Sony Wonder. 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 and 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 leaving the movie theater. As they pause to think about what had happened the last time they were there, they are cornered by a shady character (Scallion #3) 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 (Larry the Cucumber), who shakes the stolen money off of the scallion and throws him into Officer Scooter's patrol car.
Following this, Larry-Boy is busy reviewing his capture technique with Alfred (Archibald Asparagus) 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 apartment building, electriflying it, and then falls into the sewers where the strange combination 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 begin 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 (Madame 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 through a vast root system leading to a giant Mother Weed deep underground.
Realizing that these Weeds are strong enough to knock down abandoned homes and abandoned buildings, Larry-Boy and Alfred decide that they need to attack it at the root. Fortunately, Alfred has modified the Larry-Mobile with 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 its 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's 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 from underground and snatches Alfred, but the citizens think the "killer robot" is going to be destroyed and refuse to help.
Dad Asparagus then arrives on the scene and asks what is going on. While the citizens explain that the weeds told them about Alfred, the Mother Weed admits that she didn't make up the story and that she credits two "very reliable sources". Faced with the truth that they started the rumor, Junior and Laura confess, and 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".
When Dad's positive words about Alfred 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 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 Mother Weed continues sprouting flowers until she herself transforms into a giant flower, thus saving Alfred. As everybody celebrates, a beat-up Larry-Boy comes crawling out of the sewers and asks Alfred if he's a robot, which everybody promptly shushes him on.
Cast of Characters
- Mike Nawrocki as the voice of Larry-Boy
- Phil Vischer as the voices of Archibald Asparagus as Alfred, Mr. Nezzer and Percy Pea
- G. Bock as the voices of Mayor Blueberry, the Rumor Weed and the Woman in the Window
- Lisa Vischer as the voice of Junior Asparagus
- Kristin Blegen as the voice of Laura Carrot
- Jim Poole as the voice of Police Officer Scooter Carrot
- Dan Anderson as the voice of Dad Asparagus
- Mike Sage as the voice of the Milk Money Scallion Bandit
- Lesly Benodin as the voice of Lil' Pea
- John Wahba as the voice of Dad Carrot
- "Larry-Boy Theme Song" - Nicole C. Mullen
- "The Rumor Weed Song" - The Rumor Weed, Mr. Nezzer, Dad Carrot and Dad Pea
- "The Rumor Weed Song" (cover version) - The W's