Created By: FlyingDuckManGenesis on December 22, 2016 Last Edited By: AHI-3000 on November 1, 2017
Troped

Grocery Store Episode

An episode where the characters go to a grocery store.

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trope
Sooner or later, it's time for the family to go to the grocery store to get what they need. Sometimes one character will want to prove to the others that they can be responsible and assist them in their shopping, often so they can get something they want along with their groceries. In works involving little kids in particular, said little kids will often want their parents to buy them toys or treats, regardless of how well-behaved they've been. Often, these little kids will wander off on their own, looking for toys or treats themselves, and making a mess of the store along the way, intentional or not. Whatever the situation, hilarity usually ensues.

Related Tropes/Tropes found in scenes:

  • Doomed Supermarket Display - When a stacked supermarket display gets knocked over, often by a stray shopping cart.
  • Going to the Store - A character will often use this as an excuse, usually without giving the true reason or planning to return.
  • Express Lane Limit - When a customer tries to pay for more than the desired number of items in the express lane.
  • Oh Wait, This Is My Grocery List - When someone gets a piece of paper mixed up with their grocery list, but usually doesn't realize it until later.
  • Shopping Cart Antics - When characters do crazy things with shopping carts outside of their original purposes.
  • Shopping Montage - Can be shown when the character shops for their groceries.
  • Teachers out of School - Often times a student would react this way if their teacher is out shopping.
  • Villains Out Shopping - Often times the hero would react this way if they see the villain out shopping.
  • Welcome to Evil Mart - When the supermarket is owned by villains.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Part of one chapter in Yumi Unita's manga Bunny Drop has Daikichi and Rin shopping in a supermarket. While Daikichi focuses on stocking up on essential foodstuffs, he discovers that Rin has wandered off, distracted from Daikichi's side by the colorful, splashy boxes of breakfast cereal. While Daikichi is displeased that Rin had abandoned him, he also sees that marketing gimmicks that he has learned to ignore greatly sway impressionable children. Ultimately, he decides to buy a box so that Rin will discover the stuff is nothing special.

Literature
  • In The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies, the Bear family goes to the supermarket to do their grocery shopping. Despite multiple warnings from Mama not to ask for toys and treats, that's exactly what Brother and Sister do throughout their shopping trip, and Papa giving into their demands certainly does not help matters. When Brother and Sister hear a story from Gramps and Gran about how Papa used to be just like them when he was their age, they decide to change their attitudes. This book was also adapted into an episode of the 2003 Animated Adaptation, albeit with Brother and Sister's greedy behavior heavily downplayed.
  • In "Don't Forget the Oatmeal", a Sesame Street book, Ernie and Bert go to the supermarket to buy their groceries. Ernie accidentally forgets to write "Oatmeal" on the shopping list, so Bert ties a string to his finger to help him remember. Around the same time, Cookie Monster goes to the supermarket to buy as many cookies as he can during the big cookie sale. When Cookie reaches the cookie aisle, he eats every cookie in sight, making a huge mess of the aisle. Ernie and Bert help him clean up and remind him to pay for all the cookies he had broken and eaten, and in all the excitement, they forget to buy the oatmeal.

Live-Action TV
  • The The Brady Bunch episode, "And Now a Word From Our Sponsor" has the family leaving a supermarket at the very start of the show. It's there in the parking lot where a TV director "discovers" them, and decides the family would be perfect in a commercial for laundry detergent.
  • In the Good Luck Charlie episode, "Charlie Did It!", Teddy goes to the Reddi Mart to buy more diapers for Charlie. Gabe volunteers to go with her, having been punished for making a mess in the kitchen and blaming it on Charlie. When Charlie takes a pair of sunglasses when they try to leave, Hugo, the store's manager, who has had many a nasty experience with Gabe before, thinks Charlie is a shoplifter and holds the Duncan kids hostage so he can take mugshots of Charlie. To escape from Hugo, Teddy encourages Gabe to trash the store as much as he can.
  • While Richie Cunningham of Happy Days is shopping in a grocery store, he encounters a trollop shoplifting. She informs Richie that if he tries to squeal on her, she'll have her bruiser boyfriend mangle Richie. The manager apprehends both of them, believing that they're acting in concert. The trollop then employs the Wounded Gazelle Gambit, claiming Richie forced her to comply under threat of beatings.
  • The Laverne & Shirley episode, "Supermarket Sweep" has the titular characters grocery shopping at the beginning. When they check out, they're informed that they're the store's millionth customer and won a 3-minute shopping spree (which they screw up big time).
  • The Lucy Show has one episode in which the bank where Lucy works is approached to grant a huge loan to back an ad campaign. When the bank manager admits that his bank hasn't enough cash reserves for a loan that size, Lucy decides to exploit a double-your-money-back promotion by a brand of canned beans. She buys them in grocery stores in successive powers of 2 (2 cans, 4, 8, 16, et cetera), then returns them an hour later as unsatisfactory. The good news: Lucy succeeds in generating enough capital to subsidize the loan. The bad news: the canned bean company is the outfit that needed the loan in the first place.
  • Married... with Children had a two part episode in which the Bundys tried to move into the supermarket because their home had no air conditioning. Ordered to buy something or get out, Al picked a pack of gum, cut in front of Marcy in the checkout, and became the millionth customer. Part two was the Bundys and the D'Arcys competing for the prize.
  • 19 Kids and Counting: Jessa and Jinger, when they are in their teens, have to go cook for the family of almost 20 people, and this episode documents them going around the supermarket, shopping for groceries for this big meal.

Puppet Shows
  • In episode 2783 of Sesame Street, Luis wants Maria to meet her at the supermarket. When Big Bird and Snuffy overhear, they want to go with her, and she agrees to let them. Along the way, Big Bird and Snuffy argue over who gets to push the shopping cart, Big Bird tries to decide whether he wants to get a big or small box of Captain Birdflake cereal, and Snuffy ends up getting a small box of Snuffleupagus Puffs (which is the size of Luis, much to Maria's surprise).

Web Animation
  • In the Smosh Babies episode, "Lost in the Toy Aisle", Mrs. Hecox takes Ian and Anthony to the Natural Food store, which Ian dislikes at first. He and Anthony soon find out that a toy aisle has just been added to the store, and when Mrs. Hecox refuses to take them to it, they wander off on their own, with the store's security guard trying to stop them along the way. By the time Ian and Anthony get to the toy aisle, they find out there aren't any actual toys in it. As it turns out, the security guard was trying to tell them that the toys all come in the next day.

Web Comics
  • Comic #11 of Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, titled "Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff goes shopping". Hilarity Ensues when Hella Jeff is overwhelmed by the bean selection at the grocery store, as he can't handle the sheer amount of PRICES and VALUES of the selection.

Western Animation
  • The The Amazing World of Gumball episode, "The Limit" has the Wattersons go to a grocery store. The kids and Richard want to buy candy, but Nicole refuses to let them. With enough pestering because of their stubbornness, Nicole reaches her Rage Breaking Point and wreaks havoc all over the store.
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers opens the episode, "Three Men And A Booby" shopping in a supermarket. There, the Rescue Rangers encounter a frantic mother booby bird, desperate to find her purloined egg. She and the Rangers get chased through the aisles by an angry store manager armed with a broom.
  • In the Codename: Kids Next Door episode, "Operation: M.U.N.C.H.I.E.S.", when Sector V runs out of Rainbow Munchies cereal, they go to the Supervillain Supermarket and Deli to try to get the last box, all the while battling the series' Rogues Gallery for it. Towards the end of the episode, Knightbrace buys the box, with intent to destroy it due to the cereal being bad for your teeth and gums, forcing Sector V and the other villains to form a temporary alliance.
  • Happens in at least one episode of The Day My Butt Went Psycho!, "Gran to Gran Combat," wherein the protagonist and his sentient posterior must accompany his grandmother on a shopping trip instead of hanging out with his friend.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • The episode, "Coupon for Craziness" has Dexter and his family go grocery shipping, where Dexter inadvertently switches places with an Identical Stranger. They end up switching back when both parties meet up at the store again near the end.
    • The episode, "A Mom Cartoon" features Dexter's Mom going grocery shopping and fighting with another woman over a pair of latex gloves.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode, "The Inconveniencing", Dipper and Mabel go with Wendy and her friends when they break into an abandoned convenience store, which turns out to be haunted by ghosts who really don't like teenagers.
  • House of Mouse: The short, "Mickey's Mixed Nuts" involves Mickey going to the store to buy nuts for Minnie, only to do battle with Chip and Dale over the last bagful.
  • In the The Loud House episode, "Cereal Offender", Lincoln tries to prove to his Mom that he can be responsible by buying her everything on her grocery list plus the Zombie Bran cereal he wants to get, all while staying within the family's $200.00 budget. All ten of his sisters tag along, and he has to put up with their behavior, as well as that of a kid dressed in an outfit identical to his, and the store's manager. Lincoln nearly gets his cereal, when his sisters all want to get something as well and fight with him when he refuses to let them, getting them all kicked out as a result. When the girls see how much trouble they get Lincoln into, they realize what jerks they've been and buy him his cereal with their own money as an apology.
  • There's an episode of Metalocalypse where the band has to go to a grocery store (or "food library") to buy their own food after their chef nearly dies in a horrific dethcopter accident.
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode, "Rocko's Happy Sack", Rocko and Spunky are hungry, out of food, and down to their last three dollars until next week's payday. When Rocko finds out there is a 99% off sale until 12:00 noon at the Heap-O-Food grocery store to celebrate its grand opening, he is determined to beat the clock. Despite all the odds against him (running into Gladys the Hippo Lady repeatedly, having to use a cart with three missing wheels, and having Spunky wrapped in a meat package), Rocko just barely makes the sale, and snaps at Filburt when he charges him full price. At the end of the episode, the trunk of his car pops open and all the groceries spill out.
  • In the Rugrats episode, "Incident in Aisle Seven", Lou takes Tommy to Grocery World to buy the Pickles family's weekly groceries and as many boxes of Fudgy Ding-a-Ling bars as he can carry. While he adds up the total cost of the groceries with a malfunctioning calculator, Tommy wanders off in search of Reptar cereal, inadvertently making a huge mess of the store along the way.
  • The We Bare Bears episode, "Planet Bears" combines this with Wildlife Commentary Spoof, as a narrator describes the bears' attempts to buy groceries as if they were foraging in the wild.

Community Feedback Replies: 36
  • December 22, 2016
    naturalironist
    I'm imagining multiple Malcolm In The Middle episodes like this, but not sure I can pin them down.
  • January 26, 2017
    AHI-3000
    Should this trope be expanded to include shopping in general?
  • January 26, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    ^ Probably. If you have any examples, or a new name for the article regarding the expansion, it might help.
  • January 26, 2017
    Leporidae
    Western Animation

    • Happens in at least one episode of The Day My Butt Went Psycho, "Gran to Gran Combat," wherein the protagonist and his sentient posterior must accompany his grandmother on a shopping trip instead of hanging out with his friend.
  • January 26, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers open the episode "Three Men And A Booby" shopping in a supermarket. There, they encounter a frantic mother booby bird, desperate to find her purloined egg. She and the Rangers get chased through the aisles by an angry store manager armed with a broom.
  • January 26, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Live Action TV
    • The Lucy Show has one episode in which the bank where Lucy works is approached to grant a huge loan to back an ad campaign. When the bank manager admits that his bank hasn't enough cash reserves for a loan that size, Lucy decides to exploit a double-your-money-back promotion by a brand of canned beans. She buys them in grocery stores in successive powers of 2 (2 cans, 4, 8, 16, et cetera), then returns them an hour later as unsatisfactory. The good news: Lucy succeeds in generating enough capital to subsidize the loan. The bad news: the canned bean company is the outfit that needed the loan in the first place.
  • January 26, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    This happens a few times on The Amazing World Of Gumball. Also, Teachers Out Of School, oftentimes a student would react this way if their teacher is out shopping.
  • January 28, 2017
    Crossover-Enthusiast
    I know there was an episode like this on Squirrel Boy, but it's been so long that I can't remember what it was about. I think it involved nuts.

    Oh, and while it didn't actually happen in the story itself, one of the covers for the Steven Universe comic series had the Gems at the store.
  • January 28, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Live Action TV
    • While Richie Cunningham of Happy Days is shopping in a grocery store, he encounters a trollop shoplifting. She informs Richie that if he tries to squeal on her, she'll have her bruiser boyfriend mangle Richie. The manager apprehends both of them, believing that they're acting in concert. The trollop then employs the Wounded Gazelle Gambit, claiming Richie forced her to comply under threat of beatings.
  • January 28, 2017
    AHI-3000
    Should we change this to Shopping Episode? If there's any non-grocery examples.
  • January 28, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    ^ Probably, if anyone provides non-grocery examples.
  • February 12, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    ^^^^^ To elaborate The Amazing World Of Gumball, the episode "The Limit" has the Wattersons go to grocery store. The kids, and Richard, want to buy candy, but Nicole refuses. With enough pestering because of their stubbornness, Nicole reaches her Rage Breaking Point and wreaks havoc all over the store.
  • February 12, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    ^ Thank you for elaborating. The example has been added.
  • February 12, 2017
    Prfnoff
    @AHI-3000, FDMG: I'd worry about that being confused with Shopping Montage.
  • February 15, 2017
    SquirrelGuy
    The Brady Bunch episode "And Now a Word From Our Sponsor" has the family leaving a supermarket at the very start of the show. It's there in the parking lot where a TV director "discovers" them, and decides the family would be perfect in a commercial for laundry detergent.
  • February 15, 2017
    SquirrelGuy
    The Laverne and Shirley episode "Supermarket Sweep" has the titular characters grocery shopping at the beginning. When they check out, they're informed that they're the store's millionth customer and won a 3-minute shopping spree (which they screw up big time).
  • February 16, 2017
    SamCurt
    I don't know whether the kids' "first errand" plot in Japanese media count as this? If affirmative I can add two examples.
  • February 23, 2017
    Monolaf317
    Can we launch?
  • February 23, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    ^ I did want to have a picture and caption added before I launched. The image I wanted to add was this one, and the caption I wanted to add was, "Attention, clean up in aisle... er, everywhere.", but if anybody has any other ideas, I'd be glad to take them under consideration.
  • April 5, 2017
    Monolaf317
    Much-needed bump!
  • April 20, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    So, anyone have any image ideas or is this launchable?
  • June 14, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Looks good to go. Might need to add folder tags though.

    • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Inconveniencing", Dipper and Mabel go with Wendy and her friends when they break into an abandoned convenience store, which turns out to be haunted by ghosts who really don't like teenagers.
  • June 15, 2017
    LB7979
    Was going to exclaim "How come nobody mentioned this one yet?!" but it doesn't have its own Work page:

    Goes under Live-Action TV; potholed to the Creator

    • Extreme Couponing: Takes this Up To Eleven, as every episode is about shopping in grocery stores. It follows contestants that, by using coupons, have to save as much as possible on groceries. In every episode, they go the supermarket, load up multiple shopping carts with massive amounts of groceries, turn in massive amounts of coupons, and, if they do it right, only are charged with a tiny bill.

    Also:

  • June 15, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    ^ The Extreme Couponing example doesn't really count. If every or nearly every entry in the series is about a certain topic, then it doesn't really count as a single episode. This the same reason why Dumbo isn't in the Circus Episode article, the Rocky movies aren't in the Boxing Episode article, Ducktales and Talespin aren't in the Treasure Hunt Episode article, etc.
  • September 30, 2017
    KTera
    • There's an episode of Metalocalypse where the band has to go to a grocery store (or "food library") to buy their own food after their chef nearly dies in a horrific dethcopter accident.
  • September 30, 2017
    Kartoonkid95
    • Dexters Laboratory:
      • The episode "Coupon for Craziness" has Dexter and his family go grocery shipping, where Dexter inadvertently switches places with an Identical Stranger. They end up switching back when both parties meet up at the store again near the end.
      • The episode "A Mom Cartoon" features Dexter's Mom going grocery shopping and fighting with another women over a pair of latex gloves.
    • House Of Mouse: The short "Mickey's Mixed Nuts" involves Mickey going to the store to buy nuts for Minnie, only to do battle with Chip and Dale over the last bagful.
  • October 1, 2017
    SquirrelGuy
    Wouldn't EVERY episode of the TV game show Supermarket Sweep qualify? This show, in various incarnations,would take place in an actual grocery store (or a soundstage dressed up like one, depending on the version). Part of the show had contestants racing through the aisles with shopping carts to hunt for specific grocery items.
  • October 2, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    ^ I, unfortunately cannot add the Supermarket Sweep example, for reasons similar to why I've had to reject the Extreme Couponing example; if the entire series is about grocery stores, then it doesn't count a single episode.
  • October 2, 2017
    Basara-kun
    I'm imagining multiple Malcolm In The Middle episodes like this, but not sure I can pin them down.
    Let me help you with this :P

    Live-Action TV:
    • Various episodes from Malcolm In The Middle occurs in a supermarket, mostly in late seasons when Malcom's mother works at this supermarket, and later Malcolm himself, having his own mother as the boss.
    • Chilean series Los 80 have a grocery store where part of the scenes are about the Herrera family shopping in this store.
  • October 2, 2017
    Zuxtron
  • October 10, 2017
    Maniago
    The Mist is entirely set in a grocery store.
  • October 10, 2017
    DustSnitch
    ^ Yeah, but that movie isn't about grocery shopping or anything. If this is just about any work where a grocery shop appears this isn't a trope. If it's about a plot that hinges on characters going grocery shopping and fighting, getting separated, or whatever else, that may be a trope.

    Speaking of that, the Laconic right now seems to indicate this trope is "A grocery shop appears." The description leads me to believe that isn't what we're going for.
  • October 10, 2017
    henke37
    • Octodad has a level set in a supermarket. Dad has to shop. It's more difficult than it sounds like on the grounds of being an octopus.
  • October 10, 2017
    Unicorndance
    • The Whats With Andy episode "Busting" took place in a mall. Does that count?
  • November 1, 2017
    sgamer82
    • Married With Children had a two part episode in which the Bundys tried to move into the supermarket because their home had no air conditioning. Ordered to buy something or get out, Al picked a pack of gum, cut in front of Marcy in the checkout, and became the millionth customer. Part two was the Bundys and the D'Arcys competing for the prize.
  • November 1, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Anime And Manga
    • Part of one chapter in Yumi Unita's manga Bunny Drop has Daikichi and Rin shopping in a supermarket. While Daikichi focuses on stocking up on essential foodstuffs, he discovers that Rin has wandered off, distracted from Daikichi's side by the colorful, splashy boxes of breakfast cereal. While Daikichi is displeased that Rin had abandoned him, he also sees that marketing gimmicks that he has learned to ignore greatly sway impressionable children. Ultimately, he decides to buy a box so that Rin will discover the stuff is nothing special.
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