Buffet Buffoonery
Fixed price, unlimited food... sounds ripe for comedy!
Up For Grabs

(permanent link) added: 2012-04-01 20:12:48 sponsor: GliderGuy edited by: LensLaw (last reply: 2013-02-28 21:42:32)

Add Tag:
"Remember, you have to eat the meat..."
"...to beat the house."
--Fillmore's dad and Fillmore!

The basic idea of the buffet is that, for a fixed price, you can enjoy "all you can eat" from a series of tables and serving platters. This means that there are more and less economical ways to handle a buffet, which of course opens the door for a variety of comedic events:

1. Military-level strategizing over how to eat the most expensive food to get the most for your money, often punctuated by comments about how you have to 'beat the house' or 'avoid the decoys' of cheap items like bread.

2. Rules-lawyering over what 'all you can eat' really means. The restaurant might argue, for instance, that an extra crumb is food the customer didn't eat (and is obligated to pay additional money for). Or they might refuse to let a customer leave until they've really consumed ALL they can eat.

3. Customers going to extremes to eat as much as possible (fasting before going; staying in the buffet for absurd lengths of time, sitting or even standing right in front of the buffet), sometimes even eating all the food and leaving others hungry.

4. The restaurant going broke because the Big Eater showed up.

Rolling Updates

Examples:

Literature
  • In Discworld, the wizards, notorious diners all, are seen to construct elaborate architectural models using celery and lettuce leaves so as to increase the depth of a bowl by up to three times its intended size.

Live-Action TV
  • A skit on Saturday Night Live, possibly one of their "Limits of the Imagination" thriller spoofs, had a couple go to an 'All-you-can-eat' restaurant and be later told "It's not all you CARE TO eat, it's all you CAN eat!" and they look and see the other patrons are being force-fed.
  • On Hill Street Blues, a man sat right in front of the salad bar and refused to leave until he'd 'eaten all he could.'
  • Alan Partridge brings his own (oversized) plate to the buffet.

Music

Newspaper Comics
  • In The City, an old man scoots his chair up to a salad bar and just eats directly from under the sneeze guard. When an employee tells him he can't do that because it's unsanitary, he rejoinds that he paid for it so he can have all he wants!
  • In Foxtrot, Peter clean out an entire buffet, leaving nothing left for his family.
  • Dilbert has done several of these. In one strip, Dogbert and a buffer waiter got into an elaborate argument over whether or not "all you can eat" applies to food that you take but don't eat.
    "Technically, it's all you can eat, not all you DO eat."
    --Dogbert

    • Another Dilbert strip featured Dilbert going out on a date with an obese woman. He tried to take her to a buffet, but she said that she's already been banned for life, presumably for eating too much.
    • And then there's Dilbert's dad. He went to an all-you-can-eat buffet years before, but never left, because he hadn't yet eaten 'all he could eat.'

Standup Comedy

Tabletop Games
  • Used as a side gag in one of the "Grimtooth's Traps" books. Grimtooth commented that he'd gone to a diner for their all-you-can-eat elf special, and was told after his first plate "you've had your elf, that's all you can eat!".

Web Comics
  • In The Whiteboard it's stated that the Chinese restaurant Pirta used to work for had to discontinue their buffet due to Doc eating a whole Tibetan Yak's worth every time he went.

Western Animation
  • In Fillmore!, Fillmore and his dad strategize about which foods to eat to get the most value for money.
  • In The Simpsons, an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet flounders once Homer shows up and eats for hours. The guy in charge, Captain Macallister, has Homer thrown out, leading to a lawsuit. In the end, the owner just charges people to watch in horror as Homer eats endlessly.
    • Homer does it again in the episode when he helps redecorate Moe's bar.
  • In The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, one of the tasks is to finish a meal cooked by Calorofix the Belgian, a chef famous for making meals for the Titans. Obelix cleans him out and is still hungry.
  • In one episode of Garfield and Friends, Garfield goes to the buffet, and after eating everything, the owner cries about how he's been wiped out. Garfield complains, "False advertising. You didn't have all I could eat." Then he hopes that the owner will restock before dinner time since he's still hungry. Later on, Jon tries to take him and Odie to the buffet for dinner, but Garfield is banned and has to sneak in.
  • A Family Guy gag features Brittney Spears rapidly consuming a comically large amount of food at a buffet, including standing right by the serving tables instead of sitting down, while her hapless dietician completely fails to stop her.

Real Life

replies: 26

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy