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 him (within a 3x3, similar to Cherry Bomb). His weakness is the Magnet-shroom, which steals the jack-in-the-box without detonating it, as well as the Hypno-shroom, which, when eaten by him, makes his jack-in-the-box blow up non-hypnotized zombies instead. He is very deadly in Endless Modes, as he could detonate next to high-cost and/or slow 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 his special jingle tune with his jack-in-the-box. This tune continues to replay it until the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie gets defeated or after he blows himself up. The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie absorbs 500 damage per shot and his appearance changes upon absorbing 250 damage per shot before dying at 500 damage per shot. The Jack-in-the-Box Zombie kills himself along with the plants in his range when his 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 strategy is to always use the Magnet-shroom.

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

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 he is revealed, so if you find him 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 he could destroy. If his Jack-in-the-Box is stolen right as you break his vase, he will march toward your house as he would in Survival or Adventure. He also destroys nearby vases and reveals their contents.

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

Related Achievement

The Complete Zombie2
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 Jack-in-the-Box Zombie.
Jack-in-the-Box Zombie1
Visit this page to see it.
Jack-in-the-Box Zombie1


  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie has the following probability of exploding:
    • 5% chance of exploding in 4.5 to 7.75 seconds upon spawning.
    • 95% chance of exploding in 13.25 to 23 seconds upon spawning.
    • Using an Ice-shroom stops the countdown timer as well as butter from Kernel-pult.
    • However slowing down with Snow Pea, Winter Melon and Ice-shroom (after stunning) does not slow down the timer at all.
  • The music he 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 special abilities when hypnotized.
  • Even after a Magnet-shroom pulls the jack-in-the-box out of his hands, the zombie will continue to move his hands as if he 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 Zombie 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 his jack-in-the-box and he 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 he does not wear anything).
  • Jack-in-the-Box Zombie is the one of the three zombies that does not use his 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 he 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 he will continue looking happy when he 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 he 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 he is spinning, as when the box is taken, the music ends.
  • Even when he 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, his jack-in-the-box prevents him 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 he 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 his 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 he finishes digging and pops up.
  • His 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,he 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 he can turn into a walking Cherry Bomb if hypnotized by a Hypno-shroom.
  • In Versus Mode he only costs 100 brains, as opposed of the actual Cherry Bombs costs 150.
  • In Versus Mode, the Jack-in-the-Box Zombie explodes whenever he 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.
  • He 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, he is the only zombie that kills himself 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, his face looks like smiling.
  • The chance to explode appears to increase as he comes closer to the back of the lawn. He has an extremely high chance to explode when he reaches the end, so he usually cannot eat brains unless a Magnet-shroom steals his jack-in-the-box.
  • His feet look somewhat similar to the Zombie Yeti's feet, unless they are crossed.
  • In the Android version, his tune is higher-pitched than in other versions.
  • He is similar to Gas Can Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies Adventures, MC Zom-B from Plants vs. Zombies 2, and Suicide Bomber Zombie from the Chinese version of Plants vs. Zombies 2.
  • He 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 his 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

Zombies (Tower defense)
Plants vs. Zombies
Day Zombie · Flag Zombie · Conehead Zombie · Pole Vaulting Zombie · Buckethead Zombie
Night Newspaper Zombie · Screen Door Zombie · Football Zombie · Dancing Zombie · Backup Dancer
Pool Ducky Tube Zombie · Snorkel Zombie · Zomboni · Zombie Bobsled Team · Dolphin Rider Zombie
Fog Jack-in-the-Box Zombie · Balloon Zombie · Digger Zombie · Pogo Zombie · Zombie Yeti
Roof Bungee Zombie · Ladder Zombie · Catapult Zombie · Gargantuar · Imp · Dr. Zomboss
ZomBotany Peashooter Zombie · Wall-nut Zombie · Gatling Pea Zombie · Tall-nut Zombie · Squash Zombie · Jalapeno Zombie
Others Trash Can Zombie · Target Zombie · Giga-gargantuar · Giga-Football Zombie · Baseball Zombie · Catapult Baseball Zombie · Chinese zombies · Zombatar

Start a Discussion Discussions about Jack-in-the-Box Zombie

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.