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Husband: [shouting into yard] Oh, why don't you GROW UP, you little bastards! [slams window]

Wife: What's going on, darling?

Husband: Nothing, I'm just talking to the plants.

Many gardeners claim that talking to plants helps them grow faster.

People talking to their plants in fiction is often used to show how boring they are. A common shtick, especially in cartoons, is for the plant to die of boredom as a result.

Oddly it's truth in television, as plants require carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, which humans and other animals exhale.

Less commonly, they talk back.

Examples of Talking to Plants include:


Comic Books

Film

  • The unpleasant Dr. Vance in Giant Spider Invasion does this.
  • Little Shop of Horrors, though the plant eventually talks back.
  • Leon in The Professional.
  • Mark Wahlberg's character in The Happening nervously does this, in a bit of intentional humor, based on the theory that plants are releasing the neurotoxin that leads people to off themselves. It's a moment of much needed levity.
  • Abby's first scene in The Return of Swamp Thing shows her talking to her plants, signifying that she's perfect match for Swamp Thing.

Literature

  • Briar and other plant mages in the Circle of Magic books do this all the time.
  • Crowley in Good Omens talks to his plants - or more accurately, threatens them with death on a daily basis. They grow beautifully, but only out of fear.
  • It's mentioned in one of the Murry/O'Keefe books by Madeleine L'Engle that Calvin O'Keefe did a science experiment where he had three different plants: one that he left at home with his screaming family, one at the library where he left it by itself, and a third plant at the library that he talked to regularly. Guess how the plants grew?
  • Discworld has "hedge wizards". As it is written in the novels: "If you invited a hedge wizard to a party he'd spend half the evening talking to your potted plant... and he'd spend the other half listening to it."
  • A Babysitters Club book had a precocious kid playing different types of music to some plants to see if it affected them. The one that listened to Duran Duran grew the best.

Live Action TV

  • Myth Busters attempted to test whether it helped the plants or not, but the results were inconclusive. There was a suggestion that the percussiveness helps.
  • In Mork and Mindy, Mork talks to plants because he's an alien. It's unknown whether he indeed actually hears them talk back, or he's just a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • On Angel, this was one of the hell god Illyria's powers.

 Spike: "So far, I've established that she can hit like a Mack truck, selectively alter the flow of time, and possibly talk to plants."

..

Illyria: (after losing her powers) "I cannot hear the song of the green."

Lorne: "I take it you're not referring to me."

  • Samantha Carter claims in the episode One False Step to talk to her plants.
  • Ophelia Addams rates a mention, though she didn't so much talk to them as have them growing inside her.
  • On one episode of Good Times, JJ waters his mother's plants and talks to them.

 JJ: ...and as for you, African Violet: Right on, Brotha!

 Sally: You're so nice. You're not at all arrogant or demanding like most people I know.

Tommy: You must be bored out of your mind.

Sally: Actually, I'm not.

Tommy: I was talking to the plant.

Music

  • The Arrogant Worms' song "Carrot Juice Is Murder" is about someone who hears vegetables screaming as they're cooked and eaten.

Newspaper Comics

  • Zonker in Doonesbury had the plants talk back. This later turned out to be a consequence of his drug use.
  • Jon in Garfield recites poetry that accidentally kills his daisies.
    • There was another Garfield strip where, after being told about this, Garfield told the plant to die. It works.
  • In a Dilbert comic, a plant Dilbert was talking to falls off the table. Dogbert then finds a tiny suicide note next to it reading "I couldn't take it anymore."
  • Mafalda's father talks to plants. Manolito's father threatens them.
  • Lucky Eddie from Hagar the Horrible doesn't talk to plants, but is a good listener.

Radio

  • During Luis Chataing's era in Morning Radio show El Monstruo de la Manana he often ran the joke song "La Planta", who is about one boy whose mother talks and care a lot of her plants, with the implication that she cares more about them than about her child. He begins to believe that his mom's plants are his siblings due to her talking a lot to them, and eventually begins to believe that he is a plant too.

Theater

  • Daisy in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever is quirky, not boring, and she talks to plants (singing "Hurry! It's Lovely Up Here") and they grow like wildfire.

Web Comics]

  • Fan-favorite side-character Katherine in Wapsi Square talks to her plants, as well as to her pet fish.

Web Original

  • In the Homestar Runner game, Strong Sad's plant apparently committed suicide because of this.

Western Animation

  • One episode of Johnny Test had Johnny's father's flower garden grow to gigantic proportions due to him arguing with them.

Video Games

  • In The Sims 2 talking to plants will improve their health. In The Sims 3, only Sims with the Green Thumb trait can do it, but it both improves the plants' health and actually counts as socializing for the Sim.
  • Lady Deidre Skye and Prophet Cha Dawn of Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri pull this off to extraterrestrial fungi called xenofungus... that eventually gain sufficient mass to form a planet scale neural network. Units that don't do it have very difficult times passing through terrain covered by said fungi.

Real Life

  • Prince Charles mentioned doing this in an interview in the 1980s. British satirists have been making fun of it ever since.
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