Overcomplicated Menu Order
An order for an insanely complicated food or drink item.


(permanent link) added: 2012-12-10 16:01:44 sponsor: Welkin edited by: DAN004 (last reply: 2014-07-12 17:34:21)

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"I bet that when serious heroin addicts go to purchase their heroin, they do not tolerate waiting in line while some dilettante in front of them orders a hazelnut smack-a-cino with cinnamon sprinkles."

A character makes an order in a restaurant or cafe that is so ludicrously complicated it'll be a wonder if the waiter/barista/cashier can remember half of it. This is frequently used to show pretentiousness on the part of the one making the order, though Rule of Funny is often just as likely an explanation.

This is done particularly often with espresso beverages, though custom cocktails and incidents of the character ordering off the menu also count.

Usually a subtrope of Drink Order. See also Must Have Caffeine. May be a trait of an Unsatisfiable Customer.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Depending on your opinion of the intelligence of the workers there, an old Burger King ad from 1974 could count.
    "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce
    "Special orders don't upset us
    "All we ask is that you let us serve it your way"

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Nichijou, after Yukko fails miserably at ordering off the complicated new coffee list, she invites Mio to the same coffee shop to watch her flail, but Mio flawlessly recites one of these.

     Comic Books 
  • In one of the DR And Quinch stories from the comic book series 2000 AD, D.R. wants to appear eccentric at a fancy restaurant and so orders four dozen lobsters, wearing Prussian Blue waistcoats. Then when they're delivered, he complains that the waistcoats are Turquoise Blue, "and where are the chocolate-covered ant's brains?"

     Fan Works 
  • From the MLP:FIM fic Avocation, we have a "venti two-thirds decaf low-fat soy caramel macchiato with whipped cream, mocha sprinkles, and a sprig of hay. And a cranberry orange-peel scone."

    Film 
  • In the Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera, Groucho, playing the shady social consultant Otis B. Driftwood and operating solely along the lines of the Rule of Funny, orders two to three portions of what seems to be everything on the menu in an illogical way, punctuating his selections after each item with an order for "three hard-boiled eggs" for the stowaways hiding in his stateroom.
  • Casino Royale (the Daniel Craig version) puts a twist on the usual James Bond martini by having him order one consisting of:
    Bond: "Two measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice and add a thin slice of lemon peel."
And after four of the other people at the table decide they want one too, Le Chiffre sarcastically wonders aloud if anyone's interested in playing poker instead of drinking. This is also a Mythology Gag to the books, where Bond described how to make the drink rather than simply ordering a "vodka martini, shaken, not stirred."
  • Jack Nicholson's character in Five Easy Pieces wants an omelet with wheat toast. The hostile waitress refuses to accommodate him, so he orders his omelet with no potatoes, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, "hold the lettuce, hold the tomato, hold the mayo. And hold the chicken salad."
  • The restaurant scene in LA Story has the people at the table order espressos of escalating length, with Harris topping them all (and setting the rest of the table telling the waiter to add a twist of lemon to the orders they've already made).
    Harris: I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon.
  • In Tampopo there's a scene where a bunch of businessmen visit a French restaurant. Each person defers up the ladder of seniority until the CEO of the company orders (something bland and safe for people new to French cuisine, as I recall.) Each person down the chain of command promptly orders the same thing—except the most junior executive. He turns out to be an expert on French food, and makes a complex order that thrills the waiter, but embarrasses the heck out of everyone else.
  • Inverted in Dude, Where's My Car?, when the boys place a fairly straightforward drive-through order and the worker complicates it by repeatedly asking "And then?"

    Jokes 
  • Comedian Tim Hawkins had a wife list one of these when a husband asks his wife "what she wants" at Starbucks.
Wife: All right, here's what I want. Listen. Listen; this is what I want. I want a tall, skinny, sugar-free, decaf soy vanilla latte, extra hot, whipped cream, double sleeve, no cup.
Beat
Husband (turning to clerk): Please tell me you got that!

    Live-Action TV 
  • A Running Gag on The Big Bang Theory, with Sheldon being very specific on how he wants his food prepared. It was also done once with Leonard's mother.
  • In the TV show version of Clueless Cher and Dee have a favorite restaurant to go to for lunch period, which has "the best" Chinese Chicken Salad - which they order without the chicken or dressing. They basically pay $12 for a bowl of lettuce.
  • Zig-Zagged in an episode of Frasier where, before Martin gets to the coffee house (Martin being a more down-to-earth food kind of person) Niles orders him a biscotti "but when you bring it to the table call it a cookie." The waitress dutifully brings it, only for Martin to correct her. "Thank you dear, but it's called a biscotti."
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, Craig orders one of these at the restaurant where Reese works and tells him to listen carefully as he doesn't want to waste calories by repeating it.
  • In an episode of Cheers Diane convinces Sam to let her be the bartender for the evening rather than just being a waitress. An order comes in for a particularly complex mixed drink. Naturally Diane doesn't know how to make it so she looks it up in a bartender's manual, taking a long time to make sure it's just right. As she finishes, she remarks that it is a complicated drink. Sam agrees, which is why he always mixes up a big batch before the evening starts and stores it in the minifridge behind the bar.
  • In the episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon decides to work at the Cheesecake Factory in order to let his mind work on a physics problem Leonard gives him an extra-complicated order in revenge for all the times Sheldon did it to him.

    Magazines and Newspaper Columns 
  • Discussed at length in the Dave Barry column "Decaf Poopacino," as a source of immense frustration for people who need plain ordinary coffee to wake up in the morning. The column takes its title from its subject, the world's most expensive coffee obtained from the excrement of a tropical weasel. It also contains this quote, which speaks for itself:
    "These consumers are always ordering mutant beverages with names like 'mocha-almond-honey-vinaigrette lattespressacino,' beverages that must be made one at a time via a lengthy and complex process involving approximately one coffee bean, three quarts of dairy products and what appears to be a small nuclear reactor."
  • An old MAD Magazine cartoon had a punchline wherein "Where's the men's room, Mac? Gotta go, and no fooling" is a sandwich order.
  • A now-discontinued column in the Raleigh, NC newspaper the News & Observer once complained that Starbucks should institute a separate line for folks who just want regular coffee.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Done a few times in Zits. One strip observes that the more complicated the coffee order, the more high-maintenance the girlfriend.

    Web Comics 
  • From the Twitter of Othar Trigvassen:
    • We can't just walk out, and I'll bet the garbage and mortuary wagons are routinely inspected. This calls for desperate, unsavory measures.
    • Chez Leon, one of the best restaurants in the city. The Master dines here frequently. Oslaka is puzzled. Didn't we just eat? Indeed we did.
    • The waiter and I spend twenty minutes discussing our meal choices. I demand only the freshest and most exacting dishes. He almost smiles.
    • The meal is brought. It' a masterpiece of presentation. The chef himself appears and compliments me on the suggestions I made. He weeps.
    • He waits for me to eat. I hesitate, and then ask for a bottle of ketchup. We are tossed out the city gates less that 3 minutes later.
  • xkcd orders $15.05 worth of appetizers, expecting the waiter to figure out what quantities of which items to serve in order to reach that number.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Bubble Buddy", Spongebob asked Squidward to make a meal for his bubble buddy at Krusty Krab, which are not just overly specific, but has to be remade several times (it'd be hard to go to the details). And at the end, Squidward and Mr. Krabs are given bubble tips and money... which pop, maddening the two.


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