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Munchers are an invincible species of Piranha Plants. Unlike Nipper Plants, Muncher Plants come in black, depending on the location and are immobile. Even a Super Star or Invincibility Leaf cannot defeat a Muncher, but it can prevent it from hurting Mario or Luigi. Only a P Switch (in Super Mario Bros. 3), POW Block, or a big Goomba's Shoe (in Super Mario Maker) can defeat a Muncher.
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros. 3
Munchers first appear in Super Mario Bros. 3 and are first encountered in World 5-3 where they appear in large numbers. Frozen Munchers can be identified by the black Ice Block in which they are encased. They are harmless when frozen and act like platforms, but if the player thaws a Muncher out with a fireball, the Muncher will become active again. If Mario or Luigi hits a P Switch, all regular Munchers will turn into coins. This is the only way to defeat them. If the player has Goomba's Shoe, they can walk along them without taking damage. In their official art and the NES version, they are black; in Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, they are instead red normally and blue in ice stages.
Munchers that pop out of tiny pipes also appear in the Piranha Plant stages of the World 7. These Munchers are tan in color with bright green leaves due to color limitations. In the NES version, Munchers are always black.
Super Mario World
Munchers appear again in Super Mario World, where they behave just like they did previously. Having a Yoshi or being Invincible Mario can allow the player to walk on the Munchers without being harmed. However, even if he's riding on Yoshi, the Munchers can still power down Mario, or cause him to lose a life, if he touches them on the sides.
These Munchers are actually part of the environment, rather than acting as a typical enemy, hence that they can't be defeated, similar to a Bill Blaster being part of the environment.
However, the gray P Switch can turn them into coins, so the player can collect them.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Munchers appear as rare enemies, since they only appear in World 9-7 where they are frozen in ice. They cover most of the floor and can be dangerous due to the surrounding enemies that hold fire in them such as Fire Piranha Plants. The Fire Piranha Plant's flames can burn the ice the Munchers are in, exposing them to the players. The players can also melt them if they have a Fire Flower. Once they are unfrozen, they cannot be frozen again, even if they are hit with a iceball from an Ice Flower.
Unlike Super Mario World, Yoshi can no longer walk on Munchers in this game; attempting to do so would harm Yoshi.
New Super Mario Bros. U
Super Mario Maker
Munchers reappear in Super Mario Maker. They can be placed in courses normally, but they can also be made huge by dragging a Super Mushroom onto them, or be made to spawn from Lakitus, Warp Pipes, ? Blocks, Brick Blocks, or Bill Blasters. They act the same as Piranha Plants but smaller and harder to defeat. Shaking them has no apparent effect other than producing a purple-black cloud of smoke, but shaking them repeatedly will produce Gnats, which the player can swat to initiate the Gnat Attack minigame. Shaking it after the Gnats have emerged will cause Watinga to pop out, and swatting it will trigger a harder version of Gnat Attack.
In this game, Munchers are damaging to the touch on every side, unless Mario is wearing a Goomba's Shoe, during which only hitting a Muncher with Mario's head will damage him. Munchers can be defeated by a POW Block, a ground pound with a giant Goomba's Shoe, and the Spiny Shell Helmet. Yoshi can also walk safely across Munchers.
Also, as Munchers are absent from Super Mario Bros., new sprites are made for these styles.
The Munchers in this game are affected by gravity, and will fall down if they're not on top of any ground. They can also operate like solid blocks in that they'll take out most enemies just by falling onto them.
Nintendo Adventures Books
Munchers appear as scenery in Double Trouble, where it's mentioned Roy Koopa has parked the Doomship above a patch of them in the Mushroom Kingdom. In Leaping Lizards, some Munchers are a part of the first International Mushroom Games event, the obstacle course. If Roy's Magic Carpet is sabotaged by a Rocky Wrench, he will fall into a patch of the plants, though the Munchers leave him alone due to deeming his tough hide unappetizing.
In Pipe Down!, if Mario and Luigi follow Princess Toadstool out of her castle and to the Koopahari Desert, they have to zig-zag through patches of Munchers. The plants make a similar cameo in Dinosaur Dilemma, where they can be spotted prowling the Valley of the Koopas by Mario and Yoshi.
In Flown the Koopa, a patch of Munchers can be found in the desert surrounding a tree inhabited by Cheep-Cheeps, and will swarm Luigi if he tries to get his and his friends lost International Dino-Flying Derby tickets out of the tree; more of the plants can be found by the Mario Bros. in the swamp containing Magikoopa's Fortress.
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3
Munchers also appear in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3. They retain their original black colorition and are found early in the game. There is no distinction between how they inflict damage on Wario and how they inflicted damage on other heroes in past Mario games. Munchers are stationary and populate the ground in long arrays of specimens. They cannot be knocked out in any way.
Characteristics and traits
Munchers act like spikes, as touching them would damage Mario and Luigi. However, both Yoshis (in Super Mario World only) and the Goomba's Shoe can walk on them without harm. In a few levels, they spring from thin pipes. The only way for Mario or Luigi cross a patch of Munchers by himself is by acquiring a Super Star or by carefully jumping to the gaps between Muncher patches.
Names in other languages