Created By: KobyFish on January 8, 2013

This Needs Salt

Character whips out salt shaker, sprinkles on food that he/she's about to eat.

Name Space:
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Trope
A character (usually in a cartoon) has some food, and is about to eat it. So out of nowhere, from behind their back, they whip out a salt shaker and sprinkle some salt on the food before eating it.

Prevalent in countless Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

Alternate titles: Food Always Needs Salt; Gratuitous Salt Shaking
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • January 8, 2013
    Xtifr
    But what does it mean? We already have Hammer Space for cartoon characters that pull things out of nowhere. The only thing that seems to distinguish this is that it's arbitrarily limited to salt, which is both The Same But More Specific and borderline People Sit On Chairs.
  • January 9, 2013
    KobyFish
    well, in the sense that, In Real Life, people don't necessarily do it like that. Certainly not in the way it's used in the cartoons. It's like "this person is eating something, let's animate them salting that food for no reason at all other than he's eating food."

    For example, how many people salt sandwiches after the sandwich is already closed? None, I bet! Yet this is the most blatant example I have seen in various cartoons including Drak Pack and Scooby Doo Where Are You. It's not that they're merely salting the food, which is ordinary in itself (or as you call it People Sit On Chairs), it's that it seems...excessive. Redundant. Pointless. Something you wouldn't see in real life in that way.
  • January 9, 2013
    GeminiSparkSP
    In Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Ugh", Patrick does this to Gary's slime trail, his own burnt hand, and finally Squidward's burnt hand.
  • January 9, 2013
    AgProv
    Literature: in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, the Wizards of Unseen University are notorious for this. The Arch-Chancellor, Mustrum Ridcully, is renowned for having a massive selection of pickles, trucklements, salts, peppers, sauces and other food additives near his plate at mealtimes, including the famously volatile Wow-Wow Sauce (which if thrown has the destructive effects of a hand-grenade). Pratchett describes this very phenomena and coined the word auto-condimentor for the person who adds extra salt, pepper, et c, without tasting the food first.

    Terry Pratchett cites the Real-Life example of Mc Donalds, KFC and other fast-food companies, who worked out that so many people do this, they could save money in the cooking process by putting no seasonings at all into their dubious food products, on the grounds that people could grab hold of a handful of those salt and pepper sachets and do it for themselves...
  • January 9, 2013
    KobyFish
    Goodpoint, Ag Prov, though tomorrow I may discard-and-rework this a bit to incorporate verbalizing the not-tasting-it-first aspect, which is omnipresent wherever I've seen this particular "trope".
  • January 9, 2013
    randomsurfer
    The salt thing is also a shorthand for "character is about to eat this thing even if it isn't considered food," like Eating Shoes or someone saying "if X happens I'll eat my hat" and then that thing happens so he takes off his hat and starts salting it. Or a gag for salting things which aren't normally salted, like a live bird (as seen in at least one Sylverster And Tweety cartoon).
  • January 9, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    This is The Same But More Specific of Hammer Space.

    And why in Queen Etheldredda's name does this have an hat? Yanked it.
  • January 9, 2013
    m8e
    Don't think this trope requires Hammer Space, so not more specific. At least if it is reworked into "Gratuitous salting to show the character is planning to eat it" or something like that.
  • January 9, 2013
    Xtifr
    Putting salt on food is not a trope. Putting salt on non-food to indicate that the character is about to attempt to eat it might be a trope, but it would need a new name (to prevent misuse), a new description, and some examples (the Discworld example isn't about non-food).

    Autocondimenter might also be a thing, but it would need more than the one example from the person who coined the term.
  • January 11, 2013
    m8e
    or we could just limit it to examples that's Played For Laughs or Lampshaded.

    There is other ways to play this for laughts than salting non-foods. Like salting food that normaly isn't salted, using an ridiculous amount of salt/ salting for an ridiculous long time when thinking about something else, pulling a salt shaker out of Hammer Space, having an character salt an ridiculous big pile of food to show that that character is planning to eat it all(maybe followed by an Ambulance Cut), salt food under water, having an normal cartoon animal turning into an Funny Animal to salt some food and then turning right back to normal.
  • January 11, 2013
    Xtifr
    Something like Ridiculous Salting? Yeah, I could see that.

    The current name, in addition to being far too broad, is dangerously close to violating No New Stock Phrases.
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