Created By: iansimsjam on January 4, 2014 Last Edited By: Sligh_Br on January 6, 2014
Troped

Nutritional Nightmare

An even unhealthier version of an already unhealthy food.

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Trope

Needs More Examples, Seen It a Million Times, Up for Grabs.

Homer: What can I do to speed the whole thing up, Doctor?
Nick: Well...be creative. Instead of making sandwiches with bread, use poptarts. Instead of chewing gum, chew bacon, heh...

— Dr. Nick teaching Homer how to become obese. The Simpsons, "King-Size Homer"

We all know what is generally considered unhealthy food: hamburgers, chips, fries, donuts, pizza, bacon, pancakes, and so on. All the fats, oils and sweets that reside in the top section of the food pyramid.

However, unhealthy food can be taken Up to Eleven when the unhealthy product itself can be so unhealthy that it is almost lethal to eat such a product. Some examples include ice cream made out of butter instead of milk or a hamburger with high cholesterol, sugar content, trans fat or other things that can clog arteries just by looking at them. Despite being so unhealthy, nutritional nightmares can actually be very delicious and it might even cause a Delicious Distraction (or not). Nutritional nightmares are usually seen in comedies.

Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs is a subtrope of this regarding very unhealthy (and very sugary) cereals, and Deep-Fried Whatever for already unhealthy things soaked in boiling oil. Compare Big Eater, Delicious Distraction and Food Porn. Inverse of If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You.


Examples

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    Literature 

    Western Animation 
  • The Boondocks
    • In the season 1 episode "The Itis", when Ed Wuncler gives Robert Freeman (Granddad) his own soul food restaurant, every food he serves is pretty much this. His most notable creation is the "Luther Burger", which is a full pound burger patty covered in cheese with grilled onions and five stripes of bacon with two Krispy Kreme donuts as buns. The food was so tasty and addicted, it made people fat and drove them to rob others to feed their addiction. The restaurant was eventually closed down after a lawsuit.
    • Other terrible foods served during this episode were broccoli boiled in ham broth, and "Two pig knuckles glazed in honey; pig tongue marinated in butter for two days; chitlins'... soaked in hot sauce, drizzled in mayonnaise, and then set to harden on our back porch in three pounds of cheddar cheese."
  • In The Looney Tunes Show, "The Stud, the Nerd, the Average Joe, and the Saint", when Speedy Gonzales is helping Daffy train to run a marathon, he questions Daffy's diet when Daffy drinks root beer sodas as his "energy drink". Daffy reveals he eats a hot dog with a ton of powdered sugar on it for breakfast, for lunch he eats a deep-fried turkey sandwich on wheat with powdered sugar on it, and for dinner he eats a casserole with powdered sugar on the top and bottom layer and baby back ribs and marshmallows in the center, and after cooking it in a microwave, he sprinkles more powdered sugar on it. Speedy was visually disgusted by Daffy's diet. Also, Daffy's idea for a "protein bar" is a tube of cookie dough. When Speedy tells Daffy to eat eggs for breakfast before his race, Daffy does so by placing the eggs on the bottom layer of his powdered sugar casserole.
  • In Regular Show, season 3, "The Best Burger in the World", a food truck makes a burger once every century called the "Ulti-Meatum" where they stuff a cheeseburger inside a cheeseburger and has two deep-fried cheeseburgers as buns. They can even make it Idaho-style by stuffing a bag of chips in the burger.
  • Many of the fake commercials from The Ren & Stimpy Show have this. Sugar Frosted Milk (if you think about it) is literally just melted ice cream. Isn't that a healthy breakfast.
  • The Simpsons is the Trope Codifier. The image above from "Homer the Heretic" has Homer staying at home from church eating a stick of butter with waffle batter wrapped around it.
    • In "Lisa the Vegetarian" it's revealed that Homer drinks a glass of pancake syrup every morning.
    • From the episode Bart Star:
      Dr. Hibbert: Your cholesterol level is lethally high, Homer, but I'm more concerned about your gravy level.
      Homer: Now, wait a second! You doctors have been telling us to drink eight glasses of gravy a day!
      Dr. Hibbert: Well, you're a little confused.
      Homer: Oh, confused, would we?
    • In "Bart's Friend Falls in Love", the subplot involves Homer trying to lose weight through intelligence. Homer watches commercials for two products: The Good Morning Burger (eighteen ounces of sizzling ground beef, soaked in rich, creamery butter, and topped off with bacon, ham, and a fried egg) and a candy bar (pure milk chocolate with a layer of farm-fresh honey, sprinkled on four kinds of sugar, and dipped in rich, creamery butter.)
    • In season 19, "E Pluribus Wiggum", Homer decides to eat a bunch of fast food before Marge starts him on his diet. Among the foods he eats is a cheese pizza which he adds french fries and a lobster as toppings. He shakes it up in a pizza box and then proceeds to eat the food while it's inside the box.
    • The Ribwich from "I'm Spelling as Fast as I Can" is so unhealthy that there is a scene (a Shout-Out to Requiem for a Dream) where we see barbecue sauce flowing in Homer's bloodstream and he develops a huge addiction to the product. It gets even worse when the Ribwich has a label with Krusty saying "Will Cause Early Death".
    • In the Christmas Episode "She Of Little Faith", Homer makes Bart add butter to his bacon.
      Homer: Now you listen here. You live in my house; you'll do what I tell you and you'll believe what I believe in. Now you butter up your bacon, boy!
      Bart: But my heart hurts.
      Homer: Bacon up that sausage!
    • In "King-Size Homer", Homer intentionally wants to gain weight (just to get out of work for being obese) and at least half the stuff he eats is this trope; the rest verging on inedible. (page quote came from that episode).
  • South Park had Double Dew (with twice the caffiene and sugar of Mountain Dew) in "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining". Then, it subverted the trope with Diet Double Dew (with half the caffiene and sugar as regular Double Dew).

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic and his obnoxious fan Douchey McNitpick love to eat Sugar Frosted Burrito Stuffed Hot Pockets.
    Nostalgia Critic: Iím sure a lot of this comes from spending less time in the kitchen and more time eating sugar frosted burrito-stuffed hot pockets.
    Douchey: Oh, I love those! With the extra lard on the side? (Speaks simultaneously with NC) And the delicious crumbled up things ever!
    Nostalgia Critic: (simultaneously) Yeah, I know! And the creamy buttery tastes for real liposuctions.
    Douchey: And the side of oil found in most suntan lotions?
  • Epic Meal Time lives off this trope and be sure to expect a lot of bacon in their meals.
  • In the RedLetterMedia episode where they review The Wolf of Wall Street, there's a plot about Mr. Plinkett trying to intentionally having a heart attack through eating A LOT of this (mostly burgers that he fill with butter and lots of bacon).
  • The SCP Foundation has SCP-807, the Heart Attack on a Plate. Any food placed on it will be turned into this trope, and consuming it will invariably cause a heart attack within 5 minutes.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin and Hobbes had Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs.
    "They're crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and they don't have a single natural ingredient or essential vitamin to get in the way of that rich fudgy taste!"
  • This Garfield strip had Garfield eat a slice of toast with a whole stick of butter on it, much to Jon's disgust.

    Video Games 
  • The food in the world of Grand Theft Auto is incredibly unhealthy across the board, as befitting a parody of modern overstuffed America. In particular, Burger Shot stands out as openly advertising a 6 pound burger designed to give you a heart attack.

    Real Life 
  • Don't get us started with the Bacon Sundae from Burger King.
  • Keeping with the deep-fried theme, deep fried Coca Cola is a thing. Soda is full of sugar and calories already, and the frying simply adds more of the same.
  • The deep-fried Mars bar (or other candy bar of your choice), frequently held as a symbol of unhealthy Scottish consumption.
  • If it exists, someone has tried to deep-fry it. For example: deep-fried butter and deep-fried Kool Aid.
  • The Double Down from KFC is a bacon and cheese sandwich with bread replaced with fried chicken.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic has a penchant for food like this, as featured on UHF and The Weird Al Show. Most famous is his love for hot dog Twinkies (Weird Al has stated that since he's a vegetarian now he uses tofu dogs these days. Much healthier.)
  • Double Stuf Oreos.
  • Chocolate-covered wavy Lay's potato chips.
  • The Heart Attack Grill in Nevada is based around this trope.
  • The websiteThis is Why You're Fat (examples include: Double Bypass Burger - burger topped with five slices of bacon, four slices of cheese, two fried eggs, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion between two buns made up of two grilled-cheese sandwhiches, deep fried ravioli, and deep fried corn flake twinkies).


Community Feedback Replies: 42
  • January 4, 2014
    iansimsjam
    Doesn't anyone want to reply? Please?
  • January 4, 2014
    randomsurfer
    1. Only one page quote needed. Since the Calvin and Hobbes strip is the page pic for Adjacent To This Complete Breakfast, and it's very long, I'd suggest the Simpsons one instead.
    2. Episode titles should be in quotes, not italics. Work names should be in italics, not non-formatted. Also need to use namespaces, such as WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons.
    3. Example sections should be alphabetical, not reverse-alphabetical, with Real Life coming at the end.
    4. Example indentation for the Simpsons examples is wrong. See Text Formatting Rules.
  • January 4, 2014
    Sligh_Br
    In the Red Letter Media episode where they review The Wolf Of Wall Street, there's a plot about Mr. Plinkett trying to intentionally having a heart attack through eating A LOT of this (mostly burgers that he fill with butter and lots of bacon).
  • January 4, 2014
    iansimsjam
    Real Life: This is the whole theme of the Heart Attack Grill in Nevada.
  • January 4, 2014
    iansimsjam
    I edited the Heart Attack Grill comment because it had a spelling error in it.
  • January 4, 2014
    iansimsjam
    I added some more things to the Dr. Nick quote.
  • January 4, 2014
    notShemp
  • January 4, 2014
    iansimsjam
    I added that Incredibly Unhealthy Food is usually Played For Laughs. How come that line got deleted all of a sudden?
  • January 4, 2014
    notShemp
    • In Regular Show, season 3, "The Best Burger in the World", a food truck makes a burger once every century called the "Ulti-Meatum" where they stuff a cheeseburger inside a cheeseburger and has two deep-fried cheeseburgers as buns. They can even make it Idaho-style by stuffing a bag of chips in the burger.

    • In The Boondocks, season 1, "The Itis", when Ed Wuncler gives Robert Freeman (Granddad) his own soul food restaurant, every food he serves is pretty much this. His most notable creation is the "Luther Burger", which is a full pound burger patty covered in cheese with grilled onions and five stripes of bacon with two Krispy Kreme donuts as buns. The food was so tasty and addicted, it made people fat and drove them to rob others to feed their addiction. The restaurant was eventually closed down after a lawsuit.
  • January 4, 2014
    DaibhidC
    • In the Discworld spin off Nanny Ogg's Cookbook we're told that Commander Vimes (who believes Burnt Crunchy Bits are a food group) nearly submitted a recipe for Pork Scratching Cookies, before his wife stopped him.
  • January 4, 2014
    Someoneman
    The now-defunct blog This is why you are Fat consisted of pictures of various extremely unhealthy, but extremely delicious-looking (most of the time) food.
  • January 4, 2014
    dalek955
    • The SCP Foundation has SCP-807, the Heart Attack on a Plate. Any food placed on it will be turned into this trope, and consuming it will invariably cause a heart attack within 5 minutes.
  • January 4, 2014
    Generality
    The picture could use a caption; it took me a while to figure out what Homer was eating.

    • In The Boondocks episode "The Itis", Granddad opens a restaurant serving an extreme version of the Luther Burger, with numerous fatty additives like bacon and donuts instead of a bun. Because the huge caloric intake made the eater incredibly sleepy for a time, customers were served on beds instead of at tables.

    Real Life: The deep-fried Mars bar (or other candy bar of your choice), frequently held as a symbol of unhealthy Scottish consumption.
  • January 4, 2014
    CaveCat
    • This Garfield strip had Garfield eat a slice of toast with a whole stick of butter on it, much to Jon's disgust.
  • January 4, 2014
    Lakija
    There's tons of this.. I wish I could remember all of it. Real Life

    • The deep-fried Snickers is the state-fair version of this in the US.
    • Keeping with the deep-fried theme, deep fried Coca Cola is a thing. Soda is full of sugar and calories already, and the frying simply adds more of the same.

    The Boondocks
    • Other terrible foods served during this episode were broccoli boiled in ham broth, and "Two pig knuckles glazed in honey; pig tongue marinated in butter for two days; chitins'... soaked in hot sauce, drizzled in mayonnaise, and then set to harden on our back porch in three pounds of cheddar cheese."

  • January 4, 2014
    Lakija
    Beware when making examples for this trope that it doesn't just become about complaining about foods one doesn't like. This trope is about taking an unhealthy food and cranking it Up To Eleven.
  • January 4, 2014
    KTera
    More Real Life:

  • January 4, 2014
    notShemp
    • In The Looney Tunes Show, "The Stud, the Nerd, the Average Joe, and the Saint", when Speedy Gonzales is helping Daffy train to run a marathon, he questions Daffy's diet when Daffy drinks root beer sodas as his "energy drink". Daffy reveals he eats a hot dog with a ton of powdered sugar on it for breakfast, for lunch he eats a deep-fried turkey sandwich on wheat with powdered sugar on it, and for dinner he eats a casserole with powdered sugar on the top and bottom layer and baby back ribs and marshmallows in the center, and after cooking it in a microwave, he sprinkles more powdered sugar on it. Speedy was visually disgusted by Daffy's diet. Also, Daffy's idea for a "protein bar" is a tube of cookie dough. When Speedy tells Daffy to eat eggs for breakfast before his race, Daffy does so by placing the eggs on the bottom layer of his powdered sugar casserole.

  • January 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Dunno if this counts...
    • Spongebob Squarepants: In the episode "Nasty Patty", Spongebob and Mr. Krabs make an incredibly gross version of the Krabby Patty (made out of chili sauce, rotten meat and seahorse dung among others) to be given to the supposedly "fake" food inspector.
  • January 4, 2014
    iansimsjam
    The Spongebob Squarepants example ("Nasty Patty") belongs to Lethal Chef.
  • January 4, 2014
    DennisDunjinman
    To distinguish from Lethal Chef, can modify the title to Incredibly Unhealthy Junk Food to show this is about things that are edible but are nutritional nightmares?

    On second thought, Nutritional Nightmare sounds awesome, too.
  • January 4, 2014
    iansimsjam
    I'll modify it right away.
  • January 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Compare Alien Lunch?
  • January 4, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    Seconding Nutritional Nightmare for the title.
  • January 4, 2014
    Alucard
    Nutritional Nightmare does sound pretty good. Alliterative, and to-the-point.
  • January 4, 2014
    Chernoskill
    Something something about that "fad" of deep-frying various foodstuffs like Kebap, Mars chocolate bars, pizzas, and anything else to make it both more delicious (supposedly) and more calorie-laden.
  • January 4, 2014
    iansimsjam
    I'll change the title to Nutritional Nightmare right away.
  • January 4, 2014
    Surenity
    • Weird Al has a penchant for food like this, as featured on UHF and The Weird Al Show. Most famous is his love for hot dog Twinkies (Weird Al has stated that since he's a vegetarian now he uses tofu dogs these days. Much healthier.)
  • January 4, 2014
    spacemarine50
    2 mroe Simpsons examples:
    • In a Christmas Episode (not sure which one, think it's the one when Lisa converts to Buddism), Homer makes Bart add butter to his bacon.
    • Another one is when Honer intentionally wants to gain weight (don't ask why) and at least half the stuff he eats is this trope; the rest verging on inedible. (page quote came from that episode)
  • January 4, 2014
    iansimsjam
    That Simpsons episode where she converts to Buddhism is called "She of Little Faith".
  • January 4, 2014
    arbiter099
    • The food in the world of Grand Theft Auto is incredibly unhealthy across the board, as befitting a parody of modern overstuffed America. In particular, Burger Shot stands out as openly advertising a 6 pound burger designed to give you a heart attack.

    All of the "X lives off of this trope" examples are zero context
  • January 4, 2014
    aerojockey
    South Park had Double Dew (with twice the caffiene and sugar of Mountain Dew) in the ziplining episode. Then, it subverted the trope with Diet Double Dew (with half the caffiene and sugar as regular Double Dew).
  • January 5, 2014
    iansimsjam
    I have added many of the suggestions and examples made by you guys.
  • January 5, 2014
    spacemarine50
    • The website This is Why You're Fat (examples include: Double Bypass Burger - burger topped with five slices of bacon, four slices of cheese, two fried eggs, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion between two buns made up of two grilled-cheese sandwhiches, deep fried ravioli, and deep fried corn flake twinkies).
  • January 5, 2014
    spacemarine50
    Adding into the "She Of Little Faith" example:
    Homer: Now you listen here. You live in my house; you'll do what I tell you and you'll believe what I believe in. Now you butter up your bacon, boy!
    Bart: But my heart hurts. Homer: Bacon up that sausage!

    Also see Bacon Addiction.
  • January 5, 2014
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized work titles, corrected an improper Example Indentation and a spelling error ("chitins" -> "chitlins"), changed episode titles from italics to quotes.
  • January 5, 2014
    notShemp
    Another The Simpsons example:

    • In season 19, "E Pluribus Wiggum", Homer decides to eat a bunch of fast food before Marge starts him on his diet. Among the foods he eats is a cheese pizza which he adds french fries and a lobster as toppings. He shakes it up in a pizza box and then proceeds to eat the food while it's inside the box.
  • January 5, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In the Simpsons' "Lisa the Vegetarian" it's revealed that Homer drinks a glass of pancake syrup every morning.
  • January 5, 2014
    Alucard
    From the episode Bart Star:
    Dr. Hibbert: Your cholesterol level is lethally high, Homer, but I'm more concerned about your gravy level.
    Homer: Now, wait a second! You doctors have been telling us to drink eight glasses of gravy a day!
    Dr. Hibbert: Well, you're a little confused.
    Homer: Oh, confused, would we?
  • January 5, 2014
    DennisDunjinman
    At this rate, you'll need a separate folder just for Simpsons examples alone.

    Liberal use of this trope can accidentally condemn gluttony. Except when it glamorizes it.
  • January 6, 2014
    iansimsjam
    .
  • January 6, 2014
    undefined
    On second thought, I think the "Lisa the Vegetarian" example and the "Bart Star" example WILL work because they lack nutrition.

    Sorry about that. I'll add the examples right away. :)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=xvjhtfx68otk3tuw0a1vqjnm&trope=NutritionalNightmare