Created By: LauraHolmegaard on November 13, 2012 Last Edited By: LauraHolmegaard on November 13, 2012

Dining without eating

People are dining, but nobody actually eats anything.

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When a person or more often a group of people are eating, but nobody actually eats anything and, if they do, only very little? Instead they push the food around on their plates, poking at it and continuously lifting a bite but never actually putting it in their mouths. While avoiding the food, people doing this do tend to drink a lot during the meal, though.

It has nothing to do with the character(s) not having an appetite, but reeks of actor aversion to calories.

Examples: Friends does this constantly. They poke around their boxes of takeaway Chinese food without ever actually consuming any of it, or avoid taking more than a single bite of their pizza slice. Even their Thanksgiving dinners seem to pass largely without anyone actually eating anything! Joey as well as Ross and Monica’s father are straight aversions, though.

TheBigBangTheory does it as well.

In MarianKeyes’ novel Sushi for Beginners, a character describes going on a date where neither she nor her date ever eats anything because they are both on strict and permanent diets, while another character visiting L.A. in Angels mentions going to a pitch where everyone put tiny portions on their plates, and she was still the only one who actually ate anything.
Community Feedback Replies: 4
  • November 13, 2012
    The reason, of course, could just be that all the food isn't real; Fake food is commonly used when shooting scenes because it doesn't spil under hot studio lights.
  • November 13, 2012
    If this is about the actors not eating then the reasons are fairly simple. The food is primarily a prop and the actors might have to do many takes of that scene. If they eat the food, the prop guys have to get more food. Also the food is probably not that appetizing to begin with so the actors cannot consume much of it. It's really just a production trick and does not have story reasons.

    If this happens in-universe than this is different and there probably is a valid story reason why the character is doing so.

    • In an episode of Mad Men Roger explains the tricks he uses to make sure that he does not consume too much alcohol during a business dinner. Roger has no problem getting stone cold drunk in casual settings but when discussing business it is never a good idea to be more drunk than the client.
  • November 13, 2012
  • November 13, 2012
    Thank you, I'll just remove this. ^^