I played Minecraft earlier and a creeper expanded next to me but did not explode. It turned white and I thought it was going to explode, but it didn't.

Is this a bug, or just a fluke? I have no idea how or if I caused this, so I'd like to figure it out.

  • 1
    Did something else perhaps attack the creeper, or did it take damage in some other way?
    – user43038
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 15:08
  • 6
    Was this local or on a server? What happened to the creeper after it expanded?
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 15:09
  • 1
    Server and it kept trying to explode
    – stizzle84
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 15:14
  • 1
    Yes a skelly shot it
    – stizzle84
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 15:14
  • 1
    @stizzle84 If you could add some details of what you were doing when it happened (just better describe the game play at the moment you saw it), that would be helpful. Otherwise, it seems that your question will likely be closed. I've edited a bit, but it needs some more context from you.
    – user43038
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 8:51

3 Answers 3


This happens occasionally, it's usually because the creeper took damage prior to sneaking up on you, and then took subsequent damage when you noticed it, then died instead of going boom. A multitude of things could contribute to this:

  • It took fall damage sneaking up on you
  • It hit a cactus
  • A skeleton or other mob attacked it while trying to hit you
  • It might have been a charged creeper (though, you didn't mention a thunderstorm), in which case you got lucky that it didn't explode :)

Sometimes, it's just lag that obfuscates what actually happened, I hit this a few times while trying to get a creeper lined up with a firing skeleton. It's not a bug in any version of vanilla that I know of, but if it happens consistently then you might want to look at mods (if any) that you recently installed.

Be more inclined to blame lag, and a pre-damaged creeper that probably fell to its death or got hit with something before exploding.


I remember from the days of Minecraft before its single player mode became a server + client running in the background. When you get within a Creeper's trigger radius, it begins to swell and make it's telltale warning sound. If you could get out of that radius before it blew up, it would shrink back down and not blow up.

I believe this mechanic is still in Minecraft, but because of latency and lag it tends to not work. That is, the server tells the client that the creeper is going to blow up rather than the client telling the server. Thus if the player moves out of the trigger radius but it takes too long for the server to get that message, the creeper will still blow up.

In your case, what probably happened was that you got far enough away fast enough that the server got the message before the Creeper detonated.

  • 3
    a good knockback weapon will help getting out of range Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 8:07

Tim Post's answer already sums up most of the possibilities why the Creeper didn't explode.

Another reason could be the fact that there was a cat or ocelot around (maybe a few blocks away). Creepers flee from ocelot and cats (tamed ocelots).

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