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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.