Created By: SharleeD on September 24, 2011 Last Edited By: SharleeD on January 22, 2014
Troped

Cannibal Larder

Gruesome stockpiles of corpses, body parts or bones associated with man-eaters

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Trope
A likely candidate for a Most Gruesome Set Design award, this is a grisly must-have for schlock horror movies that employ the I'm a Humanitarian trope, and appears from time to time in the harsher To Serve Man stories as well. Typically it'll feature bloody butchers' tools, red spatters on the walls, buzzing flies on the soundtrack, and possibly a Peek-A-Boo Corpse of someone known to the hapless victim who stumbles into the place. Often, the mangled remains on display will be so decomposed that someone would have to be a raving psychotic with no vomit reflex to eat so much as a peanut-butter sandwich in the same room with them, never mind eat them.

The finding of a Cannibal Larder is usually staged as The Reveal, although it frequently only confirms what the audience already suspected was going on. Bonus points for this trope if the discoverer actually trips and falls onto/into the mounds of body parts.

If it's aliens or monsters eating people, expect this trope to overlap with All Webbed Up or People Jars. See also Torture Cellar for similar Fridge Logic.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • In the second episode of Kino's Journey, after the three men Kino saved turn out to be slavers and Kino has to kill them all in self-defense, Kino takes a closer look inside their wagon: it's the second time it's seen, but this time, we get a better idea what the three men meant when they said they had to eat their cargo to survive...
  • In the manga Parasyte, horribly mangled body parts are found all over the world. Unusual in that the culprits are not cannibalistic humans, but alien bodysnatchers who eat people as a source for food.

Comics
  • In Preacher, one psychopath is found out when another character discovers a human head in the fridge.
    • One Punisher story (by the author of Preacher) has the same thing happen to Martin Soap.
  • Marvel Comics' Wendigo has this when he has a base of operations.

Fanfic
  • In the My Little Pony fanfic "Cupcakes", Pinkie Pie adorns her room with painted skulls, disembodied pony heads and streamers made from dried- up intestines, among other things.

Film
  • The Trope Codifier would be the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  • In The Remake of The Crazies the hunters had commandeered a giant freezer in a truck stop and turned it into a larder full of corpses.
  • In Pandorum, the Hunters' lair is full of half-eaten body parts, including scraps of skin that the human hero drapes over himself to disguise his scent.
  • In The Descent, one woman falls into a blood-filled pit with gnawed human and animal bones scattered around it.
  • In Dog Soldiers, there's a grisly mound of bones hidden under the werewolves' house.
  • The Ghost and the Darkness is a story about two man-eating lions who preferentially hunted humans. The protagonists find the lions' den while tracking them down, and discover that it is littered with bones of the lions' human victims.

Literature
  • The pretty grim Italian Fairy Tale "The King of the Beasts", the titular, apparently-human king is actually a cruel cannibal who turns people into large animals and occasionally turns them back into humans to eat them. At one point the protagonist enters in his private room and found it full of dismembered arms, legs and still living heads constantly lamenting their condition.

Live-Action Television
  • In the Firefly episode "Bushwhacked", the Reavers left one of those in a spaceship they, well, bushwhacked.
  • Torchwood's episode "Countrycide".
  • In the TV series of Hannibal, the titular Dr. Lecter is shown to keep the organs of the people he kills stored in his freezer for later use. An unusually-tidy example.

Tabletop Games
  • Call of Cthulhu supplement Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, adventure "The Worm That Walks". When the PCs explore the Woodie house they discover a kitchen which is the butcher shop of a den of cannibals. It has the gruesome remnants of an earlier meal spread around - hands, feet, and even more grisly bits of human debris.
  • Traveller "Double Adventure 1: Death Station". A chemical disaster occurred aboard an orbiting science ship, killing most of the crew and reducing the remainder to madness. The survivors stowed the remains of the dead crew in a locker and have been snacking on them.
  • Associated with ogres in most settings. Taken to its logical extreme with Warhammer's ogre "butchers" who are both the tribal cooks and shamans, and often carry a stock of body parts (of various edibility) with them as snacks and spell components. One butcher special character drags along an enormous cauldron, which radiates an increasingly powerful buff as it is filled with enemy bodies.
  • One illustration in the rulebook for the Underground RPG shows an unlucky teenager who's at work in the freezer at a fast food restaurant, and getting creeped out by the hanging meat. One of this particular game's Crapsack World features is a growing fad for cannibal fast food.

Video Games
  • In Seven Days A Skeptic, once the protagonist gains access to Taylor's room, he discovers that it's an abattoir filled with the mutilated parts of the other crewmembers. Not a straight example of this trope, as the other crewmembers haven't been butchered to be eaten: instead, Taylor is using them to construct a new body for John DeFoe.
  • The Butcher's room in Diablo
  • In Fallout 3, the settlement of Andale's Dark Secret (besides generations of Villainous Incest) is that the inhabitants are cannibals. The garden shed behind the Wilsons' house is their larder, with a fridge containing lots of "strange meat," and multiple skeletons from their prior victims.

Visual Novels
  • Saya no Uta: Towards a later part of story Kouji, suspects something weird is going on with Fuminori, and sneaks into his home. He finds his fridge stuffed with human body parts and organs prepared to eat, and realizes he's too far gone to save. Fuminori however doesn't perceive his actions as cannibalism, since he has a condition that makes him hallucinate humans as horrifying Eldritch Abominations, and sees an Eldritch Abomination as the only human in the world, who brought him the food. He thought he was eating some sort of tasty, albeit slimy gruel.

Real Life
  • Crocodiles stash tough-skinned prey underwater until it starts decomposing, making the meat easier to rip off. This may include other crocodiles.
  • The shrike, aka butcher bird, stores food by killing small vertebrates or bugs and impaling them on thorns. Occasionally they've been reported to do this to rival shrikes, as well.

Community Feedback Replies: 48
  • September 24, 2011
    Ryusui
    Some examples would be nice. Here's a start.

    • In the second episode of Kinos Journey, after the three men Kino saved turn out to be slavers and Kino has to kill them all in self-defense, Kino takes a closer look inside their wagon: it's the second time it's seen, but this time, we get a better idea what the three men meant when they said they had to eat their cargo to survive...
    • In Seven Days A Skeptic, once the protagonist gains access to Taylor's room, he discovers that it's an abattoir filled with the mutilated parts of the other crewmembers. Not a straight example of this trope, as the other crewmembers haven't been butchered to be eaten: instead, Taylor is using them to construct a new body for John DeFoe.

    Also, given that "larder" is a British term, perhaps "Cannibal Pantry" or "Cannibal Kitchen" would be more culture-neutral?
  • September 24, 2011
    surgoshan
  • September 25, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Call Of Cthulhu supplement Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, adventure "The Worm That Walks". When the PCs explore the Woodie house they discover a kitchen which is the butcher shop of a den of cannibals. It has the gruesome remnants of an earlier meal spread around - hands, feet, and even more grisly bits of human debris.
    • Traveller Double Adventure 1 Death Station. An chemical disaster occurred aboard an orbiting science ship, killing most of the crew and reducing the remainder to madness. The survivors stowed the remains of the dead crew in a locker and have been snacking on them.
  • September 25, 2011
    aurora369
    In the Firefly episode Bushwhacked, the Reavers left one of those in a spaceship they, well, bushwhacked.
  • September 25, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    • In The Remake of The Crazies the hunters had commandeered a giant freezer in a truck stop and turned it into a larder full of corpses.
  • September 25, 2011
    Generality
    • The Butcher's room in Diablo
  • September 25, 2011
    Mozgwsloiku
    Associated with ogres in most settings. Taken to its logical extreme with warhammer ogre "butchers" who are both the tribal cooks and shamans and often carry a stock of body parts (of various edibility) with them as snacks and spell components. One butcher special character drags along an enormous cauldron, which radiates an increasingly powerful buff as it is filled with enemy bodies.
  • September 25, 2011
    TyeDyeWildebeest
    Fan Fic

    In Cupcakes, Pinkie Pie adorns her room with painted skulls, disembodied pony heads and streamers made from dried- up intestines, among other things.
  • September 26, 2011
    Chabal2

  • September 29, 2011
    ArtFever
    In the manga Parasyte, horribly mangled body parts are found all over the world. Subverted in that the culprits are not actual humans, but alien bodysnatchers who eat people as a source for food.
  • September 29, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Marvel Comics' Wendigo has this when he has a base of operations.
  • September 29, 2011
    surgoshan
    I'm pretty sure one of these showed up in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  • October 16, 2011
    Ryuuma
    The pretty grim Italian Fairy Tale The King of the Beasts the titular, apparently human king is actually a cruel cannibal who turns people into large animals and occasionaly turns them back into humans to eat them. At one point the protagonist enters in his private room and found it full of dismembered arms, legs and still living heads costantly lamenting their condition.
  • May 19, 2013
    Chabal2
    See also Torture Cellar for similar Fridge Logic.

    Real Life: Crocodiles keep tough-skinned prey underwater until it starts decomposing, making the meat easier to rip off.
  • May 19, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Visual Novels
    • Saya No Uta: Towards a later part of story Kouji, suspects something weird is going on with Fuminori, and sneaks into his home. He finds his fridge stuffed with human body parts and organs prepared to eat, and realizes he's too far gone to save. Fuminori however doesn't perceive his actions as cannibalism, since he has a condition that makes him hallucinate humans as horrifying Eldritch Abominations, and sees an Eldritch Abomination as the only human in the world who brought him the food. He thought he was eating some sort of tasty, and slimy gruel.
  • May 19, 2013
    Katsuhagi
    In the TV series of Hannibal, the titular Dr. Lecter is shown to keep the organs of the people he kills stored in his freezer for later use.
  • May 20, 2013
    MonaNaito
    Both of the Real Life examples should be removed, as neither case involves cannibalism, just storage of meat from other species.
  • May 20, 2013
    SharleeD
    ^ True. OTOH, the To Serve Man examples are cross-species also; the central idea of this trope is that it's gruesome and disturbing, not necessarily literal cannibalism. Lots of other tropes use not-quite-perfect examples from nature too.
  • May 20, 2013
    chicagomel
    What about the cellar in The Road ? It had people who were still alive and slowly getting eaten bit by bit.
  • May 20, 2013
    SharleeD
    Was it gruesome? If so, it would count.
  • May 20, 2013
    MonaNaito
    @Sharlee D But a normal butcher's shop with carcasses of cows and pigs would obviously not count (although it might be considered gruesome), so I don't see why a shrike's storage of mice and lizards would count.
  • May 20, 2013
    chicagomel
    I think so...anyone know for sure?
  • May 20, 2013
    SharleeD
    ^^ I googled it, and both crocodiles and shrikes are cannibalistic. I'll make a note of that in the examples.
  • May 20, 2013
    StarSword
    TV
    • Variation in the Star Trek Voyager episode "Phage." The away team looking for the aliens that stole Neelix's lungs stumbles across a storehouse containing dozens of harvested organs. The Vidiians that own the place adapt the organs to prevent immune rejection and implant them in themselves as their own organs fail due to the virus afflicting their entire species.
  • May 20, 2013
    Culturebomb
    This trope seems ready to publish as far as I can tell with a lone exeption: the title, which makes no sense
  • May 21, 2013
    Arivne
    ^ Cannibal Larder refers to a cannibal with a larder (food storage area) full of human body parts, which the cannibal plans to eat.
  • May 21, 2013
    SharleeD
    ^^^ Not sure that qualifies, as nobody was intending to eat the organs in question. Unless the away team initially jumped to that conclusion (which would make Phage a subversion), it's not (quite) this trope.
  • May 21, 2013
    ChunkyDaddy
    The Ghost And The Darkness is a story about 2 man eating lions who make a sport out of hunting humans. The protoganists find the lion's den while tracking them down to discover that it is littered with bones of the lions' human victims
  • May 21, 2013
    MonaNaito
    ^If nonsentient animals eating people counts, that implies that this covers any situation when someone finds a human bone that turns out to be the work of a dangerous predator. And that's a completely different trope from "butcher shop for cannibals".
  • May 21, 2013
    StarSword
    @Sharlee D: Ok, fair enough. I got another one.

    Video Games:
    • In Fallout 3, the settlement of Andale's Dark Secret (besides generations of Villainous Incest) is that the inhabitants are cannibals. The garden shed behind the Wilsons' house is their larder, with a fridge containing lots of "strange meat," and multiple skeletons from their prior victims.
  • May 21, 2013
    SharleeD
    ^^ If a predator just eats part of a person and leaves the leftovers lying around, that won't qualify on the grounds that it's not storing the food. The way I'd pictured it, the criteria for this trope would be:

    • It's played for visceral, gross-you-out horror. A spic-and-span futuristic Soylent Green factory where bodies disappear into a machine at one end and squares of finished product come out the other wouldn't qualify.
    • The body parts are being stored for purposes of consumption, or are the accumulated residue of previous butchering for food. A room full of transplant organs, a la the "Phage" suggestion, wouldn't qualify; neither would a carcass that's just left lying around at a kill site.
    • The body parts must either be from people (humans, or something that serves the same role as humans in the story), or from the part-collector's own species, or both. Pinkie Pie's hoard of butchered pony remains from the "Cupcakes" fanfic would count; a leopard dragging a dead antelope up a tree to stash it for later wouldn't.
  • May 21, 2013
    Westrim
    The new Tomb Raider is chock full of caves, pits, and rooms filled with corpses and bones, though cannibalism isn't mentioned for any except the 'recruits.'
  • May 26, 2013
    MonaNaito
    @Sharlee D: Those criteria make sense, and should probably be included explicitly in the page description.
  • May 26, 2013
    xanderiskander
    @Sharlee D: You should probably tell people what a larder is in the description somewhere. Preferably with a link to the wikipedia article. A lot of people don't know what it is, and that can lead to misuse.
  • May 26, 2013
    arbiter099
    Real Life

  • May 26, 2013
    arbiter099
    Would the literal version of Stuffed Into The Fridge be related?
  • January 19, 2014
    foxley
    In Shamans Tears, Joshua Brand and Jon Sable find a cannibal larder full of the remains of missing homeless people in the lair of the nestlings in the sewers under New York City.
  • January 19, 2014
    Alucard
    During the Winter segment in The Last Of Us, Ellie finds herself locked in a cage, with James butchering a corpse on a nearby table, in a room full of bloodstains.
  • January 19, 2014
    DAN004
  • January 19, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In a The Simpsons Treehouse Of Horror episode the teachers at school are eating the kids, and they keep the kids locked in small cages - except for a few "free range children" which are in a pen outside.
  • January 19, 2014
    Dalillama
    • The first Literature/Emberverse book, Dies the Fire has several of these. Most of the cannibal bands that arose after the end of the world keep live prisoners in them as well (best way to keep the meat fresh).
  • January 20, 2014
    Morgenthaler
    • In Deep Rising, the heroes at one point come across the creature's feeding grounds in the bowels of the ship. There are hundreds of gory, skeletal remains strewn across the giant storage room. The haunting final screams of the people can be heard as the camera pans over them.
    • Invoked by the Creeper in Jeepers Creepers. After he's cannibalized his victims for body parts, he takes them to a hidden dungeon where he props up the corpses into a depraved piece of artwork by preserving them and mounting them on the walls. The protagonist is borderline catatonic after witnessing this.

  • January 21, 2014
    foxley
    is this Up For Grabs?
  • January 21, 2014
    DAN004
    Launch?
  • January 21, 2014
    foxley
    Unless the original sponsor indicates otherwise, I'll launch in the next day or so.
  • January 21, 2014
    Alvin
    On Reno911, Officer Weigel discovers a human foot in her boyfriend's, the Truckee Killer's fridge.
  • January 22, 2014
    Arivne
    ^^^ The OP Sharlee D is still on the Wiki - they just edited a trope page yesterday. If you want to know what they think you could send them a private message.
  • January 22, 2014
    robinjohnson
    • In the last season of Dexter, Dexter is investigating a suspect's house and comes across a fridge full of tupperware containers neatly labelled as various body parts.
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