Created By: fluffything on January 13, 2013 Last Edited By: Koveras on January 5, 2015

Monstrous Dietary Change

Been turned into a monster? Time to change your food source!

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Trope
Animals (including humans) have a specific set diet they rely on to survive. We eat certain foods we need to survive and avoid things that we consider either inedible or poisonous.

But, what if an animal is turned into a monster? In the world of fiction, the monster's diet often changes to further illustrate said transformation. A normally herbivourous animal may decide to partake in fresh meat after becoming a monster. Or, an already carnivorous animal might decide post-transformation that human beings in particular are especially tasty. And, then there's the animals that mutate into monsters that eat pretty much anything (And we do mean anything).

Note: This only applies to humans/animals that have changed their diets due to mutatation of some sort. Giant monsters that have the same diet pre or post mutation do not count. Neither do non-mutated characters that just decide to change their diet for some reason.

Can sometimes lead to Horror Hunger.

Examples:

Various:
  • Vampire stories in general fall under this. Normally, humans don't dine on blood. However, once they become a vampire, it pretty much becomes the main (if not only) part of their diet.
  • Werewolves. A good portion of werewolf stories involve the monster developing a craving for large amounts of raw meat as a sign that he/she has been cursed.
    • In their transformed state, werewolves were often depicted having a taste for people.
  • While not necessarily monsters, many different incarnations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles depict the titular turtles having a love for pizza.
  • The whole mythos of the Wendigo pretty much centers around this. Basically, transforming into one causes the victim to have an insatiable taste for human flesh. And, the more a Wendigo eats, the bigger it gets.
    • It sometimes varies as to how the diet change causes the transformation (if it causes the transformation at all). Sometimes just thinking about eating people turns you into one, sometimes just tasting human flesh causes it, and sometimes both killing and eating a human causes it. And that's not including the myths were simply encountering a Wendigo can cause you to become one. Either way, anyone who becomes a Wendigo is basically going to switch their diet to people-only.

Fan Works:
  • There was a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic/Megas XLR crossover Fan Fic called "My Little Megas XLR" which involved Coop being turned into a pony upon entering Equestria. One chapter focused upon Coop realizing that he could never eat any sort of meat ever again, leading to a major rampage which included biting Fluttershy's chickens. Thankfully, the Mane Six managed to wean the guy off of meat while still maintaining his absurd levels of Big Eater

Film:
  • Night of the Lepus features bunny rabbits that have developed a taste for human flesh after being mutated into giant monsters.
  • Zilla from the 1998 remake of Godzilla is a mutated marine iguana. Marine iguanas are herbivors, but Zilla's species dines primarily on fish.
    • Godzilla himself from the Japanese films feeds off of radiation, and Junior has been depicted eating leaves. Pre-mutation, Godzillasaurus is a carnivore. Feeding on radiation makes some sense since Godzilla is radioactive, but there's no explanation as to why Junior dined on veggies.
  • There is a scene in Underworld: Evolution where the newly-turned vampire/werewolf hybrid Michael tries to eat normal food, only to throw it all up moments later, because he can only feed on blood now.
  • A variant occurs in the film The Flight of Dragons. After accidentally merging with a dragon named "Gorbash" (due to a wizard's spell gone wrong), Peter must learn how to be a dragon (since it's now his mind controling Gorbash's body). One of the first things he learns is that a large part of a dragon's diet is limestone (it helps generate their fire breath).
  • Occurs rather disturbingly in the 1986 remake of The Fly. Due to his transformation, Seth Brundle soon learns he cannot digest solid food. Like normal flies, he has to vomit a digestive enzyme onto his meals and drink the liquid afterwards.

Literature:
  • Star Trek novel Windows on a Lost World. Captain Kirk, Ensign Chekov and several other crew members are transformed into aliens by a transporter device, including taking on alien personalities. The aliens were carnivorous and ate their prey by injecting them with digestive enzymes and swallowing the resulting liquid like a spider. While in alien form Kirk sucks up and swallows pond algae with his proboscis in a desperate attempt to feed himself. Later on Chekov kills another alien (former human) in self defense and uses his proboscis to suck out its blood.
  • This trope is forced upon the beast-men of The Island of Doctor Moreau, most of which had been carnivorous as animals but were forbidden to taste flesh by Moreau, who feared its flavor would make them regress instantly.
  • The story Metamorphosis has the main character end up eating garbage after being turned into a human-sized cockroach.

Live Action TV:
  • An episode of Big Wolf on Campus featured Merton falling in love with a vampire and temporarily becoming one himself. The problem is that the vampires in question feed only on werewolf blood, meaning he'd have to eat his best friend to survive. Luckily, he's cured after the vampire who bit him is killed.
  • Played for Laughs in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Q gets temporarily turned human (Well, humans would be considered monstrous/animals compared to reality-warping race like the Q) as punishment and at one point learns that he has to eat food to sustain himself. The act of eating alone is a foreign concept alone to the Q. He ends up ordering ten chocoalate sundaes after Data tells him that he's seen chocolate have a positive effect on people that are feeling down.
  • The Master from Doctor Who ends up with a voracious appetite for, well, pretty much anything after his ressurection went wrong. He's seen chowing down on burgers, turkey, and even humans due to him being constantly hungry from his life-force draining from him.

Tabletop Games:
  • Vampire: The Masquerade. In the supplement An Alien Hunger, several people recently turned into vampires must learn how to acquire blood to drink without alarming the human population.

Theater:

Western Animation:
  • In Godzilla: The Series, one of the first monsters ever featured was a giant mutated squid named Crusteacous Rex (or C-Rex for short). C-Rex's diet consisted of tar.
    • In addition to the fish-eating habits mentioned above, Zilla Jr. was depicted hunting after mutated rats in one episode. Though, it was more out of territorial instinct than predatory habit.
  • Marceline in Adventure Time tends to feed on (apart from blood since she's a vampire) shades of red. No, not that she eats things that are red. She can literally eat the color red. It's implied that all vampires in the series can do this, though it's never explained how or why.
  • An episode of Codename: Kids Next Door featured Heinrich being transformed into a blob of sentient chocolate and is able to turn anything in to chocolate. He at first enjoys his power, but soon grows to hate it when he realizes he can eat only chocolate in his monstrous form. Numbah 5 manages to capture him so he can be returned to normal at the end of the episode.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • January 13, 2013
    SKJAM
    May cause Horror Hunger.
  • January 13, 2013
    MrRuano
    There was a My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic/Megas XLR crossover Fan Fic called "My Little Megas XLR" which involved Coop being turned into a pony upon entering Equestria. One chapter focused upon Coop realizing that he could never eat any sort of meat ever again, leading to a major rampage which included biting Fluttershy's chickens. Thankfully, the Mane Six managed to wean the guy off of meat while still maintaining his absurd levels of Big Eater.
  • January 14, 2013
    Koveras
    • There is a scene in Underworld: Evolution where the newly-turned vampire/werewolf hybrid Michael tries to eat normal food, only to throw it all up moments later, because he can only feed on blood now.
  • January 14, 2013
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Star Trek novel Windows on a Lost World. Captain Kirk, Ensign Chekov and several other crew members are transformed into aliens by a transporter device, including taking on alien personalities. The aliens were carnivorous and ate their prey by injecting them with digestive enzymes and swallowing the resulting liquid like a spider. While in alien form Kirk sucks up and swallows pond algae with his proboscis in a desperate attempt to feed himself. Later on Chekov kills another alien (former human) in self defense and uses his proboscis to suck out its blood.

    Tabletop Games
    • Vampire The Masquerade. In the supplement An Alien Hunger, several people recently turned into vampires must learn how to acquire blood to drink without alarming the human population.
  • January 14, 2013
    SharleeD
    • This trope is forced upon the beast-men of The Island Of Doctor Moreau, most of which had been carnivorous as animals but were forbidden to taste flesh by Moreau, who feared its flavor would make them regress instantly.
  • January 14, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In A Midsummer Nights Dream Bottom gets turned into a donkey and develops a craving for hay.
  • January 14, 2013
    fluffything
    ..............
  • January 14, 2013
    fluffything
    ...
  • January 15, 2013
    Arivne
    Literature
    • The Chronicles Of Narnia novel The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader. After seeing a dragon die, Eustace Scrubb sleeps on its hoard with greedy dragonish thoughts and is changed into a dragon himself. Overcome by his new dragonish nature, he eats almost all of the dead dragon.

    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons. Human beings can be turned into ghouls or ghasts by being killed by those monsters. Once they do, they must eat dead human bodies to survive.
    • Shadowrun.
      • People affected by the HMMVV (Human Meta-Human Vampiric Virus) can turn into Awakened creatures such as vampires. They have the weakness Essence Loss (lose a point of Essence each month), and must use their Essence Drain ability to steal Essence from other creatures or die.
      • Human beings changed into ghouls by the Krieger strain of the HMMVV (Human Meta-Human Vampiric Virus) must eat human flesh to live.
  • January 15, 2013
    Koveras
    Since the OP keeps blanking my comments, I've edited the write-up directly to fix the spoiler tag. :) If this post gets blanked, too, I will add it to the write-up. With a signature and a timestamp. Good thing YKTTW write-ups have a history. :D
  • January 15, 2013
    MokonaZero
    For Video Games in Blaz Blue Arakune starts eating people in the Kaka village after he turns into an Eldritch Abomination.
  • January 15, 2013
    Earnest
    See also Virus Victim Symptoms. This can trigger the Denial stage in Stages Of Monster Grief as well as Sense Loss Sadness.
  • January 5, 2015
    DAN004
    I believe Tokyo Ghoul is a good example, but I can't elaborate much
  • January 5, 2015
    Earnest
    ^ Ken in Tokyo Ghoul has this happen to him after he has several organs from a dead ghoul (who was about to eat him) transplanted into his body to save his life. Turns out it was an unintended(?) Emergency Transformation which turned him into a half-ghoul. Despite now being a Half Human Hybrid he has the same dietary restrictions of a normal ghoul: being only able to eat human flesh (and drink coffee). The first episode has several heart and gut wrenching scene demonstrating this. In one he tries very, very hard to eat his favorite hamburger, only to vomit it back up. Later he experiences Horror Hunger several times when around normal people, to his immense personal revulsion.
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