Created By: SaraJaye on May 2, 2013 Last Edited By: vigmeister on April 14, 2018

Petite Appetite

A character has a notoriously small appetite.

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Trope
This is the opposite of a Big Eater. A character simply doesn't eat very much or have a very big appetite. Maybe they prefer other activities to eating, or can be satisfied with small amounts of food. Maybe they lose their appetite when they get nervous.

Usually this sort of behavior is quickly explained by eating disorders or illness, but such is not always the case.

Examples:

Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • May 2, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    This is a common idiomatic phrase for eating small amounts, but as a matter of fact birds eat a lot in proportion to their weight. Robins eat about two and a half times their body weight every day.
  • May 2, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^ That. In addition, I thought this was about how a bird eats (i.e. that distinct 'pecking' motion) as opposed to how much a bird eats.
  • May 2, 2013
    PsiPaula4
    Might want to mention that like Big Eater, this is definitely Truth In Television.

    Related to Forgets To Eat. Contrast Big Eater and Obsessed With Food.
  • May 2, 2013
    McKathlin
    Literature
    • The child genius Bean from Ender's Shadow spent his first years on the streets with very little to eat. Once in Battle School, he continues to eat less than even his small size would justify. He dislikes eating more food than just enough, as this would cloud his mind.
  • May 3, 2013
    Melkior
    What about a character who simply doesn't eat? For example the Sontarans from Dr Who or The Borg from Star Trek who live on energy, or the fanfic, Autobiography of an Invisible Monster, where the "monster" lives off the "molecular energy" given off by living beings? Does this trope apply or is there already a trope for that?
  • May 3, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ That's The Needless.
  • May 4, 2013
    SaraJaye
    Oh, a shiny new title. This is actually perfect, guys.
  • May 4, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Wow, yeah.
  • May 4, 2013
    PsiPaula4
    I wish there was a way to remove tags, because that name is good. ...This is definitely tropeworthy, I always thought we needed an inverse of Big Eater, though I can't really think of any examples of it. I know they MUST exist.
  • May 4, 2013
    surgoshan
    • In Neal Gaiman's Anansi Boys, Fat Charlie supposes that Rosie's mother must live off wax fruit, water, and dislike (mostly of Fat Charlie), because she never appears to eat.
  • May 4, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In a long dialog-free sketch on The Benny Hill Show Benny is attracted to a girl in a bikini on the beach, who doesn't eat much because "I have to watch my figure." At one point they're at an outdoor restaurant and she only eats a few bites of a leaf of lettuce. As soon as they're married though, she pigs out at the reception and gains 100 pounds.
  • April 14, 2018
    Pichu-kun
    Do we have this trope yet?
  • April 14, 2018
    Chabal2
    Kaamelott: The swordsmaster is considered this by the rest of the cast, for who three cooked chickens counts as a light snack (and that's before the local Big Eater gets involved), as he follows a strict diet to stay in top shape (and gets flanderized in-universe as surviving on seeds).
  • April 14, 2018
    TonyG
    • In The Simpsons episode "Bart Ruins Thanksgiving", Mr. Burns is seen at his table, which is set with a huge Thanksgivng feast. He's only had a few bites before he says he's full and orders the rest of the food thrown away.
    • On the Merrie Melodies short "Page Miss Glory'', a fat man is served a multi-course meal. He eats half an olive and then pushes himself away from the table.
  • April 14, 2018
    CrypticMirror
    • Discworld: One of the many rumours which Lord Vetinari has cultivated about himself is that he subsists only on a glass of water and a small plain slice of bread per day. It is, of course, a complete fabrication, but with his severe image people seem to prefer to believe it.
  • April 14, 2018
    4tell0life4
    May lead to Im Not Hungry
  • April 14, 2018
    MetaFour
    • The Screwtape Letters: Screwtape makes the case that a small appetite can be a disguised form of gluttony ("gluttony of Delicacy, not gluttony of Excess", he calls it)—one just needs to make a nuisance of themselves with their appetite. He cites the Patient's Mother as an example:
      Because what she wants is smaller and less costly than what has been set before her, she never recognizes as gluttony her determination to get what she wants, however troublesome it may be to others. At the very moment of indulging her appetite she believes she is practicing temperance. In a crowded restaurant she gives a little scream at the plate which some overworked waitress has set before her and says, "Oh, that's far, far too much! Take it away and bring me about a quarter of it."
  • April 14, 2018
    Pichu-kun
    Fan Works
    • In the Frozen fanfic Darkness Burning Elsa's depression causes her appetite to diminish.

    Visual Novels
    • Natalya from Missing Stars doesn't eat much and nibbles her food. It's implied she has an eating disorder.
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