Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki
Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki

Broken Shovel is a name shared by two separate items added in The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth †.

Together they form Added in Afterbirth †Mom's Shovel Mom's Shovel, which is used in the process to unlock The Forgotten The Forgotten.

Activated Collectible[]

Added in Afterbirth †

The first piece of the Broken Shovel is an activated item. It is acquired by defeating the first floor boss in under a minute, navigating back to the starting room, and bombing the floor.

The Lamb must have been defeated at least once with any character for the bomb explosion to reveal Broken Shovel.

If the first floor is XL, both bosses must be defeated in under a minute.

It is the first part required to create Mom's Shovel Mom's Shovel.


  • While held, 1–2 Mom's feet will stomp randomly every few seconds, targeting Isaac.
  • Upon activation, stomps will pause until entering another room.
  • Broken Shovel's stomps are identical to the ones summoned through II - The High Priestess II - The High Priestess card and deal a full heart of damage.
    • Added in Repentance The stomps will no longer blow up Machines or kill Beggars. They will still destroy Shopkeepers, open Stone Chests, break Obstacles and open doors.
  • The item's stomps pause during the Mom boss fight.
  • Added in Repentance If playing as Jacob and Esau Jacob and Esau, the feet will only target the character who is holding the item. The feet will still damage either character.
  • Added in Repentance Regardless of which character holds the item, feet will target both Tainted Lazarus Tainted Lazarus' forms.
  • While held, removes the twenty-minute time limit on the Boss Rush door.
  • The entrance to the next floor will be sealed until Boss Rush is completed.
  • Prevents The Polaroid The Polaroid from appearing after defeating Mom. Only The Negative The Negative will appear after the boss fight.

After beating Mom's Heart or It Lives!, the path leading to the Cathedral Cathedral will not appear. Isaac is forced to go to Sheol Sheol and consequently the Dark Room Dark Room.


  • Mom's foot will still target Isaac even if he has the Punching Bag Punching Bag.
  • It is impossible to obtain The Broken Shovel during a Rerun.
  • Added in Repentance Though it is possible to obtain The Broken Shovel during a Victory Lap, one cannot unlock The Forgotten The Forgotten during a Victory Lap.
  • The Broken Shovel will disappear if left behind in a room. Leaving and re-entering a room with it left on a pedestal will cause it to disappear.


  • Car Battery Car Battery: Prevents all stomping from occurring for two waves of a Challenge Room or the Boss Rush.
    • If used in a normal room, the effect does not carry over to the next room.
    • If used in the Boss Rush room every time the cooldown comes up, it can prevent any stomping from happening for the duration of the room.
  • Moving Box Moving Box: Can be used to pick up the Broken Shovel without causing Mom's Foot to stomp down at all.
  • Broken Watch Broken Watch/Stop Watch Stop Watch: Can slow down all enemies in a room, giving a much wider time windows to notice and dodge the stomps before they hit. Broken Watch can sometimes speed up enemies, making the rooms harder to clear instead, though the speed up effect is rarer.


  • Added in RepentanceBook of Virtues Book of Virtues: Spawns a tiny ghost wisp on the middle ring. These tiny ghosts are reminiscent of The Soul The Soul. These wisps' tears have a 10% chance of invoking II - The High Priestess II - The High Priestess on enemies. This wisp is also spawned when Mom's Shovel is used, alongside its unique wisp.

Tips for Obtaining[]

  • Characters with high damage like Judas Judas or Azazel Azazel are excellent for blazing through the first floor in enough time.
    • Cain Cain has decent health and damage as well as the highest base speed of any character.
    • Azazel has flight and very high base speed, but his lack of any health besides Black Hearts can make surviving the rest of the run more difficult; his 0 - The Fool 0 - The Fool card allows him to return to the spawn room quickly; this is not needed to obtain the Broken Shovel, as there is no time limit to claim the shovel itself, however, one can use it to cut down on time should they go the wrong way first time around.
    • Playing Judas makes it impossible to obtain this item if certain conditions are met; if no soul hearts or bomb pickups spawn on the first floor or in the shop, and if the item spawned by the boss room does not increase your health, it will be impossible to perform the last step and obtain the Broken Shovel.
    • Added in RepentanceBethany Bethany's Added in RepentanceBook of Virtues Book of Virtues allows you to pick up the Broken Shovel while retaining the book. These cause the wisps to become tiny ghosts reminiscent of The Soul The Soul. When a tear shot by the wisp hits an enemy, there's a chance for Mom's leg to stomp on them. Additionally, you can use the Broken Shovel using soul hearts, allowing for more frequent usage at the cost of not being able to pick up soul/black hearts throughout the run.
    • Tainted Magdalene Tainted Magdalene can be extremely powerful in this challenge, especially if one obtains the Sharp Plug Sharp Plug. Spamming her Yum Heart Yum Heart can circumvent any and all damage taken, making her invincible while killing things, and can even be used offensively on its own once the Negative is obtained due to the Necronomicon effect, provided you are at the half heart interval (half heart -> 2 heart heal from Yum Heart -> take 2 hearts of damage to charge Yum Heart again, triggering The Negative).
  • Try not to slow down for pickups, items, or any unnecessary rooms while progressing to the boss room. They can be returned to after clearing the rest of the floor and killing the boss.
  • There is no time limit on claiming the shovel, as long as the floor boss was killed within the time limit.
    • Spawning the Broken Shovel early will force Isaac to carry it through the rest of the floor, increasing the chance of losing health; therefore, the shovel should only be spawned when Isaac is ready to move onto the next floor.
  • Even if a bomb or an item that spawns bombs or explosions cannot be found, it is still possible to claim the shovel; if the requirements to claim the shovel are met, hurting Isaac in the Sacrifice Room will spawn a one-time bomb on the first hit.
    • If Isaac no longer has this bomb or does not have enough health to survive the sacrifice, the shovel will be unobtainable, forcing a restart.
  • Restarting to spawn next to a Treasure Room can make runs with the Broken Shovel much easier.
    • Removed in Repentance Look for items such as Host Hat Host Hat to trivialize the stomp damage, or for damage/tear-increasing items to kill enemies quicker; conversely, when running into a mini-boss, getting Curse of the Maze or Labyrinth, or encountering poor floor generation such as multiple large rooms and dead ends, restarting may be a better choice.
      • Added in Repentance Stomp damage can no longer be negated.
  • The shovel will only be obtainable if and only if the first-floor boss dies before the timer hits 01:00. If Mom's voice is not heard after the boss is defeated, the shovel will not be obtainable.
    • If the criteria to spawn the shovel are not met and there is ambiguity as to whether it is obtainable, look for a large, faint shadow of the shovel covering the spawn room; if it is not there, the shovel cannot be obtained.

Passive Collectible[]

Added in Afterbirth †

The second Broken Shovel piece can be acquired by completing Boss Rush while holding the first shovel piece.


Replaces the Broken Shovel active item with Mom's Shovel Mom's Shovel, ceasing the stomps from Mom's feet.


Added in Repentance If playing as Jacob and Esau Jacob and Esau, the character holding the first Broken Shovel piece must pick up the second piece in order to obtain Mom's Shovel. If the other character picks it up, it will simply be added to his passive items.

Tips for Obtaining[]

  • Make sure to keep moving; stopping for even a few seconds will increase the chance a foot hits Isaac.
  • Items that give flight are even more helpful than usual as Isaac will not need to worry about navigating around obstacles to avoid a stomp.
  • If an active item is offered in Boss Rush, it can be held for the duration of the fight; however, the Broken Shovel must be picked up before the last wave ends for the passive piece of Broken Shovel to spawn.
  • If There's Options There's Options is picked up and Boss Rush is completed, an additional pedestal item will spawn. Be careful not to pick up this other item, as doing so will cause the Broken Shovel to disappear.

In-game Footage[]



Unlockable Achievements[]