I am not sure about the meaning of the phrase "brains to spare" in the following sentence:

Factor in a smattering of stylus minigames - including a terrific dash to piece together a cantankerous rag doll zombie - and Teenage Zombies seems to have brains to spare.

This is from a game's review. Here is a preceding paragraph:

Play itself is slightly more by the book - or, given the bookish style, less by the book. There's a trio of teenage zombies each with, you guessed it, unique powers that help overcome individual obstacles. What should be rather tired is kept fresh - or rather, rotten - by the odd character design. Slurpy tentacle boy Fin and half-a-kid-on-a-skateboard Half Pipe are grim enough to disguise the fact that they boil down into Mr. Can Climb Walls and Mr. Fits In Small Gaps, respectively.

2 Answers 2


"To have something to spare" is an idiom. It is used to indicate whether someone has more than enough of something. For example: He has energy to spare (Merrian Webster).

So if you have brains to spare, it means you have more than enough of brains (intelligence). In other words, you are intelligent enough to do something.

  • Agree, in this case it is applied to the game. The game is plenty intelligent (it is complex and interesting) Also there are lots of brains in the game, because zombies eat brains,
    – James K
    Jul 21, 2019 at 14:40

"Brain to spare" could mean, having enough capacity/ability to do something or willingness to do something.


Can you join us with the project? sorry, I don't have the brain to spare on that. I have enough to focus on right now.

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