Munchers are a near-invincible species of Piranha Plant. Unlike Nipper Plants, Muncher Plants come in black, depending on the location, and are immobile. Even a Super Star cannot defeat a Muncher, but it can prevent it from hurting Mario or Luigi. Only a Switch Block (in Super Mario Bros. 3), a POW Block, a Spiny Shell, or a big Goomba's Stiletto (all 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. World 6-10 features frozen Munchers, which can be identified by the black Ice Block in which they are encased. As Princess Toadstool warns to Mario in her letter leading into the world, they are harmless when frozen and act like platforms, but if the player uses a fireball, the Muncher will become active again. If Mario or Luigi hits a Switch Block, all regular Munchers will briefly turn into Coins; if Mario or Luigi tail whips one, the Muncher will become an Empty Block (except in the GBA version, where they are unaffected). If the player has Goomba's Shoe, they can walk along them without taking damage.
In this game, Munchers are considered to be damage-causing foreground tiles rather than sprites. In their official art, they are black with orange leaves, but in the game itself, they can come in other colors depending on the level, sometimes having blue leaves, due to the inconsistencies between the limited four palettes available for foreground tiles on the NES in different levels. In Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, they have green leaves with heads that are either dull orange or indigo depending on the location.
Munchers that pop out of tiny pipes also appear in the Piranha Plant stages of Pipe Land. Additionally, in any version of the game, Munchers will continue to animate even when the game is paused, due to being on the foreground layer. Due to being animated tiles that cause damage, Jelectros are comparable on a technical level.
Super Mario World
Munchers appear again in Super Mario World, where they behave just like they did previously, including acting like objects. However, Cape Mario cannot turn them into blocks as Raccoon and Tanooki Mario could. As before, being Invincible Mario can allow the player to walk on the Munchers without being harmed; also, Yoshi can walk on them safely. However, if Mario is riding on Yoshi, the Munchers can still power him down, or cause him to lose a life, if he touches them on the sides.
In this game, they have a slightly different appearance: their eyes are absent and their head is oval-shaped instead of round.
Gray P-Switches can turn Munchers into coins; however, this behavior goes unused since no levels in the game have both.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Munchers only appear in World 9-7, and even then, they only appear in ice blocks. However, they cover most of the floor, and the level is filled with Fire Piranha Plants, whose fireballs 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 thawed out, they cannot be frozen again, even if they are hit with a iceball from an Ice Flower.
Hacking the game reveals that unlike in Super Mario World, Yoshi can no longer safely walk on Munchers in this game. This behavior is unused in the game proper since no level has both of them.
New Super Mario Bros. U
Munchers, no longer in ice blocks, appear in New Super Mario Bros. U, and are found in Spinning-Star Sky and Thrilling Spine Coaster. They retain their appearance from New Super Mario Bros. Wii and behave the same way as they do in other games.
New Super Luigi U
Munchers appear in New Super Luigi U, in the levels Cooligan Shrooms and Wiggler Rodeo. They behave the same as in other games.
Super Mario Maker/Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS/Super Mario Maker 2
Munchers reappear in Super Mario Maker, Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, and Super Mario Maker 2. 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.
Munchers in these games are treated as sprites instead of objects, acting 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 flies, which the player can swat to initiate the Gnat Attack minigame. In 1.20 onwards, shaking it after the flies have emerged will cause King Watinga to pop out, and swatting him 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. Mario can also use Buzzy Shells to bounce them up from below. Munchers can be defeated by a POW Block, a fast fly down while Cape Mario, a ground pound with a giant Goomba's Shoe, and the Spiny Shell from below. Yoshi can once again walk safely across Munchers, even in the New Super Mario Bros. U style.
Also, as Munchers are absent from Super Mario Bros., new sprites are made for this style. In the Super Mario World style, a new sprite was made instead of using the original one: they have yellow lips and have a blue shading.
The Munchers in this game are affected by gravity, and fall down if they are not on top of any ground. They can also operate like solid blocks in that they take out most enemies just by falling onto them.
Super Mario Run
Munchers appear again in Super Mario Run, acting as they do in other games. Yoshi can walk freely on Munchers whereas the other characters cannot.
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 flying 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 coloration 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.
Mario Kart 8/Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Tennis Aces
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
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 to cross a patch of Munchers by himself is by acquiring a Super Star or by carefully jumping to the gaps between Muncher patches.