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Stumpy1
Stumpy
Classification Graboid
Feature films  
Video games
Created by  
Portrayed by  
  • Tom Woodruff Jr.
  • Alan Barlow
  • Bill Basso
  • Howard Berger
  • Paul Berg
  • Rob Burman
  • Jim Carson
  • David Chamberlain


Stumpy (also referred to as "Old Stumpy") was a Graboid encountered in the original Tremors. Stumpy is the only Graboid that is named other than El Blanco. Stumpy gets his name from his missing tentacle\snake tongue which was ripped off in an attempt to grab Val and Earl's truck. Apparently seeking revenge for this, Stumpy returned several times and attempted to kill the humans. 

Stumpy is the smartest Graboid seen in the film since he was the hardest to kill by far due to a keen and astute form of pattern recognition. Stumpy serves as the main antagonist of Tremors.

Background

In the first Tremors, when he still had his tongue, Stumpy had killed two street workers. When Val and Earl were going to get the police, they spotted the road covered in rocks from the hill. Val was looking for them when Earl saw one of the workers helmets covered in blood and gore. Earl let Val know and they were going to go back to the market to tell everyone but then Stumpy tried to take down their truck, losing one of his "tongues" in the process. Mindy noticed the "snake" when Val and Earl came back to the market.

The Graboids eventually arrive in town, and end up destroying much of the buildings, as well as killing Walter and Nestor. Val takes a bulldozer with a trailer chained to it and attempts to use it to escape the town to the mountains nearby where the Graboids will not be able to reach them. On the way there, both remaining Graboids create an underground sinkhole trap that disables the bulldozer, forcing the survivors to flee to the safety of large boulders.

Earl has an idea to lure in the creatures, then to trick them into swallowing Burt's homemade pipe bombs. While this works on one Graboid, Stumpy is smart enough to spit it back towards the survivors, forcing Val, Earl, and Rhonda to vacate the rock quickly to avoid the explosion. With one last pipe bomb, Val lures the creature to him so he can kill it, but Stumpy is too fast and dodges the explosion. Val jumps out of the way, tricking Stumpy, who was in a frenzy because of the explosion, into burrowing out of the nearby cliff face, where he falls to his death on the rocks below.

Trivia

  • Stumpy is the only named Graboid, aside from El Blanco. 
  • Stumpy is also the smartest Graboid seen in the series, aside from El Blanco. 
  • Stumpy was the hardest Graboid to kill in the entire series due to him being able to quickly pick up on when the humans were attempting to set traps.
  • Stumpy is also arguably the most patient Graboid, as he was willing to wait days for his victims to expose themselves. 
  • Aside from his inhuman patience, Stumpy is also more aggressive and vicious than other Graboids, and seemed to be motivated partially by revenge for his tongue, as he attempted to kill the humans with an explosion. If accurate, Stumpy is the only Graboid known to seek revenge and it is unclear if other Graboids would do the same. 
  • Stumpy probably has more kills than any other known Graboid, aside from maybe El Blanco. Since the Graboids hardly ever surfaced, it is debatable how many kills in the first movie were Stumpy's; though it can be safely assumed that most of them beonged to Stumpy due to his increased intelligence, ferocity and role as the main antagonist. 
  • Stumpy is the only Graboid in the series to die by falling. Stumpy's death also foreshadowed the Ass Blasters, as Val asked the creature if it could fly as it plummeted to its death. 
  • Stumpy sustained the most injuries of any Graboid in the entire series before his death, which led to his trademark. These injuries included being stabbed with a jackhammer and having one of his tongues torn off. 
  • Contrary to popular belief, Stumpy isn't the Graboid seen in Burt's bunker in Tremors 2: Aftershocks. That one is the Graboid that attacked Burt and Heather in their bunker/basement. Though the mounted Graboid head only has two tentacles, it is most likely from Burt and Heather's gunfire damaging the third beyond repair.