Frogpants, Tugboat, and Nigel Blimpbottom are the most prominent zombies in Zomboss’s army, showing up in most of his plans. Like the Three Stooges, they are completely hapless, always getting into trouble, screwing up the plans, and getting picked on by Zomboss.
Tugboat is a normal zombie in the typical zombie clothes of a brown suit jacket, striped red and white tie, white shirt, and blue pants. There are many other zombies who look exactly the same as him, and he is only identifiable when he is with the more easily-recognized Frogpants and Nigel.
Unlike almost all other zombies, who can only say “brains,” Tugboat can say his name, “Tugboat.”
Major Story Arcs
Bully for You
Frogpants, Tugboat, and Nigel Blimpbottom, in disguise, help steal supplies from a hardware store for Zomboss’s newest evil invention.
In this back-up story, the group, once again in disguise, goes through great difficulty to find some Pop Smarts for Zomboss, becoming very hungry themselves. However, he won’t give them any.
Grown Sweet Home
Frogpants, Tugboat, and Nigel are among the zombies that Zomboss trains to be human, using tips surreptitiously picked up from Patrice and Nate.
They are then part of the invading army Zomboss sends against Neighborville, and part of the parade of zombies that walks through the town, incognito.
As part of a series of individual battles, Tugboat fights Grrawrr-Bear the Ultimate Face-Puncher, but loses.
Tugboat steals some of Zomboss’s Pop Smarts, which Nate and Patrice see on surveillance cameras. (Frogpants and Nigel apparently also help to steal the Pop Smarts but we don’t see them do it on panel.)
Later, the kids tell Zomboss that Tugboat, Nigel, and Frogpants stole the Pop Smarts, which turns Zomboss into a rage. He sets the rest of the zombies on the trio. Later the three are seen walking out of town, clothes in disarray, with signs proclaiming, “Zomboss iz a gerk!”, “We needz a place of our owns,” and “Zomboss unfairzz!”
Pedal to the Metal
Tugboat is seen holding a sign at the city limits of Neighborville, noting that it is the site of the occasional zombie invasion.
The three are part of the invasion force in Neighborville, which Zomboss is trying to use the race to distract the kids and plants from. However, Frogpants gets tangled up in the cord to the TV that Zomboss is using to explain his plan to the zombies, and accidentally turns the TV off. Without knowing Zomboss’s plan, the zombies basically just hang out instead of invading.
Boom Boom Mushroom
The trio is part of Zomboss’s cavern invasion force, taking over the caves below Neighborville. However all three of them screw up somehow, keeping the army from carrying out their plan on time.
Tugboat uses the hydraulics from the elevator that Zomboss was going to use to drop the town into the caverns. Tugboat puts the hydraulics onto an actual tugboat to make a jacked-up boat.
Tugboat and Nigel get passed over as “best zombie” in favor of Mr. Stubbins.
When Zomboss is finally ready to carry out his plan, he finds out that Nate and Twister switched his technology around, and the zombies are lifted up into the town instead of vice versa. Tugboat and Nigel are among the zombies lifted to the surface.
Unrest in the Old West (Free Comic Day 2017)
The Plants, their human friends, and the Zombies are transported back in time to the Old West, where they are forced to do chores for Sheriff Tarnation, who has taken their time machine.
Tugboat is responsible for their accidental time travel; he tried to use the time machine as a toaster for Zomboss's Pop Smarts.
Nigel surprisingly does not travel along with his companions Frogpants and Tuboat on this adventure.