For other uses, see Backup Dancer (disambiguation).

Backup Dancer is the tenth zombie encountered in Adventure Mode and only appear in groups when summoned by Dancing Zombies and the second transformation of Skeleton Demon Zombie. They appear in sets of three or four, surrounding a Dancing Zombie with one on each side while showered by disco lights. Before complaints were made by the Michael Jackson estate, the Backup Dancers and Dancing Zombie used to be a reference to the song (and its zombie-themed music video) Thriller.

Suburban Almanac entry

Backup Dancer
These zombies appear in sets of four whenever Dancing Zombie rocks out.
Toughness: low
Backup Dancer Zombie spent six years
perfecting his art at the Chewliard
Performing Arts School in Zombie New
York City.

Backup Dancer
These zombies appear in sets of four whenever Dancing Zombie rocks out.
Toughness: low
Backup Dancer Zombie spent six years
perfecting his art at the Chewliard
Performing Arts School in Zombie New
York City.


Backup Dancers absorb 270 damage per shot and their appearances change upon absorbing 135 damage per shot before dying at 270 damage per shot.



Kill or hypnotize the controlling Dancing Zombie or Skeleton Demon Zombie or it will continue to summon an unlimited number of Backup Dancers when any of them die. Hypnotizing it will get you the achievement Walk This Way, Disco is Undead, or Thrilling the Zombies. Alternatively, plant a Wall-nut in front of the hindmost one or freeze one because when one stops or is slowed, since the rest are forced to follow suit.

The Dancing Zombie or Skeleton Demon Zombie will re-summon missing Backup Dancers about every square if any are missing. Backup Dancers will continue to move after the Dancing Zombie or Skeleton Demon Zombie is killed. They form up a square around the Dancing Zombie. Therefore, a Cherry Bomb planted right next to the Dancing Zombie will instantly kill it and at least two Backup Dancers.

Early on, Fume-shrooms are a good idea against them. If you beat Adventure Mode, you can also use the Melon-pult, Squash, or Winter Melon.

Wall-nut Bowling 2 Mini-game

If you place a Wall-nut the moment a Dancing Zombie walks onto the lawn, it should roll past the lead Backup Dancer just as it is emerging from the lawn. If you fail to do this in time, it is necessary to plant two Wall-nuts in quick succession or the Dancing Zombie will have time to summon more Backup Dancers. If there are four Backup Dancers that surround the Dancing Zombie and you roll a Wall-nut to the front Backup Dancer, it will always ricochet to the next and then bounce to the back Backup Dancer. This will leave the Dancing Zombie unprotected, leaving an open space (and time) to kill the Dancing Zombie.

Another strategy is to ricochet a Wall-nut off of the front Backup Dancer, after which it will usually ricochet off one of the side Backup Dancers (and possibly hit the back one too) and immediately follow the first Wall-nut with another to take out the Dancing Zombie while it is unprotected.

Otherwise, if it is too urgent, you can use a Giant Wall-nut to kill both them and the Dancing Zombie, even though not all of the Backup Dancers will be killed. You can plant an Explode-o-nut to the top or bottom Backup Dancer to kill four of the five.

Animated old Backup Dancer

I, Zombie Puzzle Mode

Placing the Dancing Zombie in the middle lane can help get brains 2, 3, and 4, in addition to dealing with threats with faster zombies (if needed) that are vital to part of your success. In ZomBoogie, they are also the most helpful zombie. Only use them in the middle rows (2, 3, and 4) where they are most effective, and try not to get the Dancing Zombies killed. The best way is to start with row 2 or 4, and then do it on the other. In I, Zombie Endless, if you place a Dancing Zombie in a row with no plants, it can't die (unless there is a Starfruit or Threepeater protecting the row) and will keep summoning Backup Dancers and get the brains easily.

Related Achievement

The Complete Zombie2.png
The Complete Zombie
You've won every trophy, climbed every mountain, defeated every zombie, planted every plant. Congratulations!


Plants vs. Zombies Wiki has a gallery for Backup Dancer.
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  • The old Backup Dancer's design might be based on the backup dancers from Michael Jackson's music video "Bad".
  • If a ladder is placed on a Wall-nut and a Backup Dancer climbs it, it will only dance up to some part of the ladder, then pass through it.
  • The old Backup Dancer, Dr. Zomboss, and Imp are the only zombies which don't have standing animations. For example, in the Suburban Almanac, the Backup Dancer is still dancing and the Imp can be seen walking in place. The Zombie Bobsled Team doesn't animate while it is still in its Bobsled. Also, in the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game, in I, Zombie, if the player spawns an Imp, the transparent Imp will not move.
    • On the iPad version, the new Dancing Zombie also does not have a standing animation. Instead, it moonwalks in place.
  • When a Backup Dancer sticks its tongue out after biting a Garlic, it continues dancing.
  • The old Backup Dancer zombie and Pole Vaulting Zombie are the only zombies with headbands.
  • If the Dancing Zombie or any of its Backup Dancers are slowed down or paralyzed, the rest of the group will also slow down with it.
  • The new Backup Dancer and the Ladder Zombie are the only zombies with mustaches (if mustache mode is off).
    • Mustache mode won't affect these zombies.
  • The old Backup Dancer's legs change sides when it dances. If it loses an arm, the arms will also change sides.
  • If the old Backup Dancer loses one of its arms, no bone can be seen.
  • In the iOS version, its jaws will break apart when killed. The same thing will happen to the Dancing Zombie.
  • Due to the fact that the Dancing Zombie summons them, the Backup Dancer is one of nine zombies not available for selection in Versus Mode. The others include the Zombie Bobsled Team, Balloon Zombie, Zombie Yeti, Imp, Dr. Zomboss, and all three aquatic zombies (Ducky Tube Zombie, Snorkel Zombie, and Dolphin Rider Zombie).
  • Backup Dancers and Zombie Bobsled Team are the only zombies that appear in groups of four.
  • Backup Dancer, Imp, Zomboni, Gargantuar, Giga-gargantuar, and Dr. Zomboss are the only zombies that don't have the word "zombie" in their name.
  • Backup Dancer, Zombie Bobsled Team (except for Bobsled Bonanza), Flag Zombie, and Dr. Zomboss are the only zombies that don't appear in the Seed Selection Screen.
  • When a Backup Dancer gets to the player's house, and when it is only halfway through the door, they can hear the crunching of the zombie eating the brain, even though it hasn't entered the house.
  • The new Backup Dancer dances a different way like the new Dancing Zombie.
  • If a Dancing Zombie is frozen with an Ice-shroom just at the moment it summons Backup Dancers, the Backup Dancers will be frozen, but will not be blue or have ice crystals on their feet.
  • The word "Chewliard" from the Backup Dancer's Almanac entry is a pun to the Juilliard School in New York City.
  • Backup Dancer is one of the six zombies that falls backwards when it dies; the other five being Zombie Bobsled Team, Dancing Zombie, Football Zombie, Giga-Football Zombie and Balloon Zombie.
  • In Wall-nut Bowling 2, a Wall-nut placed in the row with a Dancing Zombie will bounce of the front Backup Dancer and hit at least one other Backup Dancer unless there are a group of zombies where the Wall-nut bounces to.
  • Backup Dancer, Zombie Bobsled Team, and Imp are the only zombies that depend on other zombies to be able to attack on the lawn.
  • There is a glitch with the new Backup Dancer that sometimes, when the new Dancing Zombie summons a Backup Dancer while an other Backup Dancer is crunching an other plant, the summoned Backup Dancer will freeze with the movement for a second.
  • In Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and Nintendo DS versions of Plants vs. Zombies, the new Backup Dancers are about as tall as a Gargantuar. This also happens with the Dancing Zombie.
  • The old Backup Dancer is called the 80's Zombie in the Plants vs. Zombies Trading Card Game.
  • It is somewhat similar to the Conga Dancer in Plants vs. Zombies Adventures.
  • The player can unlock it on the Almanac even if they kill the Dancing Zombie before it summons any Backup Dancers.
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