Created By: TBeholder on November 17, 2011 Last Edited By: TBeholder on July 30, 2012

Thematic Eatery

Try our Jabba the Hutt with Sith Sauce!

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Sometimes food goes LARP too. The staff may or may not wear uniforms apparently designed by some mad hatter during hangover, but the place's menu is going to look really weird. Usually it's just new names for everything, though not always...
And then someone does an exaggerated parody of that. Due to inherent silliness, parodies are no less frequent than the straight use.

An almost obligatory component of a Theme Park. Cosplay Café is a milder subtrope where the theme is reflected primarily by costumes.

  • Weregeek got this (hilarious, but Mark sees the side where it "isn't very nice")
  • Truck Bearing Kibble has one less than bright cafe design from Uniform Koncepts, Inc.
  • The Weekenders had a running gag involving a thematic pizza place, except the actual theme of the place changed every episode.
  • The Simpsons: the family went to a 50s themed diner. When they visit Japan they go to Americatown, a US-themed restaurant.
  • Pulp Fiction: Vincent takes Mia to a 50s themed restaurant.
  • Friends: After Monica loses her cheffing job at a high class restaurant she's reduced to being a cook/waitress at a 50s themed diner.
  • Lily in How I Met Your Mother has to spend some time at a Luau themed restaurant.
  • Escape from Monkey Island got two. There is the Hawaiian themed Lua Bar that replaces the SCUMM Bar after a hostile takeover and "Planet Threepwood," a restaurant based around the adventures of Guybrush Threepwood himself.
    • Meta-humor here is that the SCUMM bar was named after the SCUMM programming engine used to create the early games (Escape from Monkey Island used the newer Lua engine for 3d).
  • "Planet Krypton" from the Kingdom Come miniseries.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? (the American version) has a game called "Themed Restaurant."
  • Sinfest got three in a row.
    'Nique: Time to go on a diet.
  • Real life codifiers were The Hard Rock Cafe and the now-defunct Planet Hollywood, and the lesser known Harley-Davidson Cafe.
    • There is a real-life alien-themed restaurant in Manhattan called Mars 2112.
  • Back to the Future, Part II has a restaurant in the 21st century, themed after the 80s (the period in which the film was actually made). Humour was made of how badly they represented the decade.
  • Schlock Mercenary has "authentic Hong-Kong-Tex-Mex". It's even worse than this sounds.
  • Arrested Development had an American-themed restaurant in a British district of Orange County.
  • Sal in Joyce and Walky! ends up working in an alien-themed restaurant, and often snarks at how convenient it is aliens have the same diet as humans. It turns out the place is largely staffed with Aliens who were stranded on the planet after a failed takeover in the comics' predecessor It's Walky!
  • Ghost World movie has yet another 50s diner. Rachael and Enid love the combination of the 50s decor with the non period radio.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (Season 8, episode 12) had the detectives questioned staff of a Poe-themed restaurant, dressed like 'The Black Cat' and 'The Tell-tale Heart'.
  • In an episode of Bones taking place in Roswell New Mexico Booth & Brennan visit a UFO-themed diner there. Truth in Television, of course.
  • In Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber, Katya goes to numerous outlandishly themed bars -- one where it rains from the ceiling, one where it's hot as a desert, and another that is medieval themed. In some cases it is the exact same bar as before, having changed themes. Each place also serves a cutely-named martini: "raintini", "knightini".
  • The second Gremlins movie has a Canadian-themed restaurant where the staff dress like Mounties and the food includes Chocolate Moose ("would you like a horn?")


not sure if Real Life should be included, especially since here would be twenty-pages-and-growing of these. Maybe, only for existing work pages, like Wiki Rule?
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • November 17, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • The Simpsons: the family went to a 50s themed diner.
    • Pulp Fiction: Vincent takes Mia to a 50s themed restaurant.
    • Friends: After Monica loses her cheffing job at a high class restaurant she's reduced to being a cook/waitress at a 50s themed diner.
  • November 18, 2011
    surgoshan
  • November 18, 2011
    LouieW
    • Escape From Monkey Island uses this trope twice. There is the Hawaiian themed Lua Bar that replaces the SCUMM Bar after a hostile takeover and "Planet Threepwood," a restaurant based around the adventures of Guybrush Threepwood himself.
  • November 18, 2011
    nitrokitty
    ^ the Monkey Island example also contains a bit of meta-humor: the SCUMM bar was named after the SCUMM programming engine used to create the early games, but Escape From Monkey Island used the newer Lua engine for 3d.
  • November 18, 2011
    SKJAM
  • November 18, 2011
    JonnyB
    Whose Line Is It Anyway (the American version) has a game called "Themed Restaurant."
  • November 23, 2011
    TBeholder
  • November 23, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Of course based off the real life examples: The Hard Rock Cafe and the now-defunct Planet Hollywood, and the lesser known Harley-Davidson Cafe.
  • November 24, 2011
    Generality
    Back To The Future Part II has a restaurant in the 21st century, themed after the 80s (the period in which the film was actually made). Humour was made of how badly they represented the decade.
  • December 24, 2011
    TBeholder
  • December 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Another Simpsons: when they visit Japan they go to Americatown, a US-themed restaurant.
  • December 24, 2011
    Wackd
    Arrested Development also had an American-themed restaurant in a British district of Orange County.

    Sal ends up working in an alien-themed restaurant in Joyce and Walky!, and often snarks at how convenient it is aliens have the same diet as humans. It turns out the place is largely staffed with Aliens who were stranded on the planet after a failed takeover in the comics' predecessor It's Walky!
  • December 25, 2011
    hevendor717
    There is a real-life alien-themed restaurant in Manhattan called Mars 2112.
  • January 8, 2012
    Duncan
    Real Life: Jekyll and Hyde restaurants in NYC: Horror Themed.

    • The Surfin' Bird episode of Family Guy starts in a 50s diner that's more realistic than the Theme Park Version of the 50's- their waiter has polio, and Cleveland gets pushed out the door by firehoses when he tries to enter.
    • King Of The Hill had "Abracapasta" which was a Dinner Theatre restaurant centered around magic.

  • February 20, 2012
    Catbert
    Bump
  • February 20, 2012
    animeg3282
    Yet another 50s diner is found in the Ghost World movie. Rachael and Enid love the combination of the 50s decor with the non period radio
  • February 20, 2012
    TheLynn
    The Crash Down Dinner on the show Roswell had alien theme meals.
  • February 20, 2012
    Antigone3
    As of the last time I made it to GenCon, one of the restaurants near the convention center had themed menus for the duration of the convention. It was the same menu items as they always served, but given a fantasy rename. But it's been a couple years, does anyone know if this is still going on?
  • February 20, 2012
    Alvin
    This is pathetic, but one member of the 'Law & Order' franchise had an episode involving a Poe-themed restaurant and the detectives questioning staff dressed like 'The Black Cat' and 'The Tell-tale Heart'.
  • February 20, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Bones: In an episode taking place in Roswell New Mexico Booth & Brennan visit a UFO-themed diner.
  • February 20, 2012
    pawsplay
    Actually, if you've been to Roswell, half the restaurants are pretty much like that.
  • February 20, 2012
    nman
    • Yakumo from School Rumble works in a thematic cafe that seems to change every episode. She might be dressed up as a maid one day, and then a penguin the next.
  • February 21, 2012
    KeithTyler
    In Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber, Katya goes to numerous outlandishly themed bars -- one where it rains from the ceiling, one where it's hot as a desert, and another that is medieval themed. In some cases it is the exact same bar as before, having changed themes. Each place also serves a cutely-named martini: "raintini", "knightini".
  • February 21, 2012
    KeithTyler
    Subverted(?) In the Doctor Who episode "The Impossible Astronaut", the companions meet up with the Younger Doctor at an over-the-top roadside diner. It's actually filmed at an American-themed restaurant in Wales.
  • February 21, 2012
    lebrel
    I am YKTTW-ing something for "Japanese nerd-bait cafes", i.e., Maid Cafe, Butler Cafe, Cosplay Cafe, etc., here, which looks like it might be a subtrope of this. (The School Rumble example would probably be better there.) Anybody who wants to drop by and take a gander, please do.
  • February 21, 2012
    Tzintzuntzan
    The second Gremlins movie has a Canadian-themed restaurant where the staff dress like Mounties and the food includes Chocolate Moose ("would you like a horn?")
  • February 21, 2012
    Karalora
    Disney Theme Parks are full of these.
  • March 4, 2012
    Alvin
    Me again. I mentioned a 'Law & Order' franchise episode upthread about a Poe-themed restaurant. I searced, and it's 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' Season 8, episode 12.
  • March 28, 2012
    lebrel
    Moving example from Cosplay Cafe:

    • The Heart Attack Grill of Las Vegas carries a medical theme, with most of the wait staff dressed as Night Nurses, adding a touch of Black Humor to the cuisine they serve there.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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