[[quoteright:368:[[http://haikucomics.com/2009/10/21/buffet/ http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CannibalZombies.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:368: [-In zombie dinner parties, it's a bring yourself potluck.-] ]]

-> ''"The normal question, the first question is always; are these cannibals? No, they are not cannibals. Cannibalism in the true sense of the word implies an intraspecies activity. These creatures cannot be considered human. They prey on humans. They do not prey on each other, that's the difference!"''
-->-- '''Dr. Millard Rausch,''' ''Film/DawnOfTheDead1978''

[[DeadToBeginWith So you're a zombie]] (sorry to hear that, by the way). You have your daily routine; [[ZombieGait shamble, moan]], be always on the lookout for live human flesh. And when that flesh appears, you and every other zombie in a hundred-mile radius will [[HorrorHunger converge on it in one enormous mass of undeath.]]

But surely you're not satisfied with that, are you? There's not even close to enough to go around. One human divided among one hundred zombies is less than a meal.

And yet... isn't there still human flesh all around you? After all, [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie the zombies are "human",]] just a slightly hungrier type of human, and most of the capacity for reason is gone. You still have to eat. Meat is meat. So what's to stop this horde from feeding on itself?

Ultimately, there is no reason; it just plain doesn't happen, and is left at that. We can only say for sure that there are NoZombieCannibals. When TheVirus creates zombies that are [[TechnicallyLivingZombie still technically alive]], there's no perfectly sensible explanation. Additionally, no matter how ravenous, the zombies [[EvilIsOneBigHappyFamily will cooperate]], instead of [[EnemyCivilWar fighting over the scraps.]]

When it is addressed and [[HandWave sketchily justified]], it's usually that zombies will only eat living flesh because undead flesh is "not nutritious" or otherwise appealing, TheVirus gives them an instinctive sense to go only after uninfected, or that they're supernatural undead, and thus [[AWizardDidIt know not to eat each other and instead cooperate]]. You can certainly argue that rotting flesh wouldn't be terribly safe to eat, but that would [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief bring up the question]] of why it can walk around in the first place. If they're the [[BrainFood brain-eating]] sort, it's possible they've all [[YourBrainWontBeMuchOfAMeal been picked clean already]].

Heroes can [[PretendWereDead Pretend They're Dead]] in order to [[PassFail pass]]. A ZombieInfectee or VampireRefugee may be able to [[SheepInWolfsClothing pretend to be a zombie and get ignored.]]

So ubiquitous it's probably better to list aversions, or explicit justifications. See also GangUpOnTheHuman, the VideoGame AI version.



[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* The ComicBook/MarvelZombies state that not only does zombified flesh taste horrible, it also doesnt sate the maddening hunger the infected feel. Of course, the zombies dont actually NEED to eat, and in most cases have lost the ability to digest food anyway, the hunger is entirerly psychological and fades if they're deprived of food long enough.
** Even alien zombie flesh doesn't help. But alien uninfected flesh is perfectly delicious.
* In ''Zombies vs. Robots vs. Amazons'', the undead will eat each other when no available flesh is present.
* In ''ComicBook/TheWalkingDead'', the zombies distinguish between other zombies and live humans by smell. At one point, the protagonists make use of this by slathering themselves with zombie guts in order to walk among them unmolested. [[ForgottenPhlebotinum They almost never do this again.]]

* In ''Film/{{REC}}'', all the 'zombies' are [[spoiler: controlled by a [[DemonicallyPossessed demon]], so it makes them cooperate and even hide. Weapons use was more limited though.]]
* In the ''Film/ResidentEvil'' movies, the manual states that zombies chew on the living because they hunger for life, rather than flesh. They last for decades before decaying, with food or without.
* In the tie-in graphic novels that bridge the gap between ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater'' and ''Film/TwentyEightWeeksLater'', it's stated that the Infected don't attack each other because they all give off the same pheromone--i.e., they all smell the same to one another, whereas uninfected smell like ordinary people. One character who figures this out survives by finding a way to negate his natural human scent, and later draws a mob of Infected to attack a rival survivor by lobbing a bomb of perfume on him. Why exactly the pheromone stops the Infected attacking one another is never properly explained, though.
* The zombies in ''Film/ReturnOfTheLivingDead'' series exclusively attack the living because they're convinced that eating live brains can ease the pain of being undead. [[AndIMustScream Or the pain of being dead]], the film isnt really clear on which it is.



* In ''Literature/TheZombieSurvivalGuide'' and ''Literature/WorldWarZ'' it is mentioned that Solanum causes the flesh of the victim to become highly toxic. Naturally this does not harm other zombies, but may explain the lack of cannibalism if the toxic flesh smells different. In ''World War Z'' many people believe they have witnessed zombie-on-zombie attacks; it is revealed that the victims of these attacks were actually "Quislings", people suffering a mental breakdown caused by the ZombieApocalypse who believe they are zombies themselves... while other people can mistake them for the undead, the real zombies are not fooled.
** It's also noted that they don't fight each other because they simply don't perceive anything other than living creatures. A zombie that wants a chunk of human that another zombie wants will keep pulling on it rather than shoving the other zombie away.
* ''Literature/TheExtinctionParade'', also written by Max Brooks, plays with this by extending the rule to ''all'' undead creatures, including vampires. This allows them to become zombie-slaying machines, helped along by their [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampiric superpowers]] and their [[TheImmune immunity]] to TheVirus.
* In the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novel ''Literature/DeathTroopers'', the zombies are all controlled by [[spoiler: by a pseudo-organic hivemind sludge that the Empire [[EvilIsNotAToy was experimenting with]]. The sludge, called Project Blackwing, is heavily implied to be sentient, and wishes to spread itself as far as possible.]]
* Justified in ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'' the flesh of the pseudo-zombie Elantrians tastes so terrible that despite their constant ravenous hunger they can't bear to eat each other.
* The zombies in ''Literature/FridayThe13thTheJasonStrain'' never attack each other or Jason, the [[MonsterProgenitor Zombie Progenitor]], since they seem incapable of registering a fellow undead entity. The same seems to be true for Jason, who is completely apathetic towards the zombies he is creating, his acknowledgement of them never going beyond shoving some aside when they get in his way.
* In ''Literature/WarmBodies'', the Dead must consume living people to take their life force and stay alive, although the implication is that the sparks can actually keep the zombies going just by proximity. They also eat the brains as a sort of high since the brains contain the person's memories, although this is not necessary.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/HemlockGrove'': Upirs cannot feed on the blood of other Upirs because it is poisonous to them. Those affected by the anti-Upir virus become ravenous cannibals who only prey on their own kind.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Zombies in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' attack living creatures due to an innate hatred for all living things, despite being otherwise mindless. Or, depending on the edition, they'll only attack if ordered to do so by their creator but will otherwise not react. The default attack of a human (or elf, or dwarf, or gnome, or halfling, or orc...) zombie isn't to bite, either, it's to smack a target with an arm. Zombies typically only bite if they were animated from a creature that had a natural bite attack to begin with, like a lion or lizardfolk.
** Ghouls and other "hungry dead" ''are'' intelligent, but they crave not only meat, but meat with the life force that is Positive Energy within it. The flesh of undead contains Negative Energy, and is thus unpalatable.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' episode "The Purple Smurfs" the Smurfs are becoming angry biting purple creatures due to a weird fly infection. Each purple Smurf bites a blue Smurf at sight but they don't bite each other. This come in play when Hefy disguises himself as a normal Smurf with blue paint (in order to trick Papa Smurf) and another purple Smurf bites him, to his annoyance.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Not quite zombies, though most of them use similar tactics, but the Titans in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' usually do not eat one another, only humans. But in episode 7 a "rogue" Titan appears that ignores humans and kills other Titans, though doesn't bother to eat them beyond killing one with its teeth, and in episode 8 a bunch of Titans gang up on him and start eating him alive. Then it turns out that [[spoiler: the "rogue" was Eren Jaeger, who is apparently a human that can create and control a Titan body, and has a deep-seating loathing of Titans. And even later that there are other Titan-shifters who maintain their intelligence and are leading the dumb Titans to wipe out humanity.]]
** During the [[spoiler: "fall" of Wall Rose,]] there is an odd moment in which one Titan attacks another, pushing it to the ground and ripping its ear off. The victim of this attack then begins eating its assailant's hand. There has yet to be an explanation for this scene, though considering that [[spoiler: the Titans in question were the recently transformed citizens of Connie's village, that could have something to do with it.]]
* ''Manga/IAmAHero'' The ZQN eat humans, each other, and then themselves.


[[folder: Comic Books]]

* Strangely enough though, the ''ComicBook/MarvelZombies'' are NOT above fighting each other for the scraps. In fact, [[spoiler: pretty much ninety-five percent of the entire horde are destroyed by their leaders (Colonel America and the main five Marvel Zombies present in MZ 2 onwards) when they gain cosmic powers after devouring the Silver Surfer.]]
* The comic version of ''VideoGame/HellgateLondon'' had one of the characters belong to the Cabalists, a separate faction of BadPowersGoodPeople who use black magic and the demons' powers against their enemies. She uses her arcane powers to coerce a rampaging horde of reanimated undead into believing there was plenty of food among them and devour each other.



* In ''Fanfic/ProjectTatterdemalion'' by Creator/{{Vathara}}, the Hollows, who are {{Technically Living Zombie}}s, eat each other when there is no other food. They enjoy each others' venom glands.



* In ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968'': zombies do fight among themselves for their meals.
* In ''ZA: Film/ZombiesAnonymous'': zombies who refuse to eat living humans are eaten by the cult of zombies who will.
* There are two types of zombies in ''Silent Night, Zombie Night''; the classic shufflers, and a faster and more vicious type that indiscriminately attacks both humans and fellow undead.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Film/CockneysVsZombies'': while none of the zombies eat each other or fight over food, they evidently ''do'' retain some habits from their previous lives ... which, in the case of two herds of zombified FootballHooligans in opposing team colours, includes beating the crap out of each other. Or at least ''trying'' to do so; as they're too dim to understand their own transformation, they clumsily punch and shove at one another rather than attempt RemovingTheHeadOrDestroyingTheBrain, and two of them can be seen repeatedly and uselessly stabbing one another in the belly.



* Early on in Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Cell}}'' the "zombies" attack each other, but this disappears [[spoiler:when they develop a hivemind.]]
** Phoners created later [[spoiler: after the Pulse has been corrupted are unable to join the hivemind, and as a result, they'll gladly attack one another over minor issues, like an argument about a fire truck]].
* In Mira Grant's ''Literature/{{Newsflesh}}'' trilogy, (in "Feed," in particular,) we find that zombies prefer to attack the living, but will attack and consume each other if starving.
* ''Literature/DiarioDeUnZombi'' has Erico, the lone thinking zombie, explain it's the sensation of life they crave. That said, zombies are dumb as bricks and ''do'' eat themselves or others if desperate, confused or angered.
* The {{Technically Living Zombie}}s of the ''Literature/BlackTideRising'' series have no problems with eating other victims of the SyntheticPlague if other meat isn't available.


[[folder: Live Action TV]]

* The Wraith of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' aren't strictly zombies, but they do need to eat humans. One episode did show them as capable of endocannibalism, but since they're intelligent that's probably either taboo or just not a good species-survival strategy (the one who did it was [[NoPartyLikeADonnerParty stranded and starving]]).
* The zombies in ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' hunt by sight and sound, but identify prey by smell. So the movement and sounds made by other zombies will attract them (zombies tend to herd together because of this), but the smell of rotten flesh indicates that other zombies are not desirable as a food source. Two humans were able to walk through a horde of zombies unharmed because they had smeared themselves with zombie guts to make themselves smell rotten - the zombies took notice of them, but did not attack until a rainstorm began to wash the guts (and the rotten smell) away.
** In at least one instance, the zombies ''did'' eat part of another zombie, who was discovered hanging from a tree by Darryl and Andrea after having committed suicide (or, put more linearly, a man hung himself and his body turned into a zombie but the zombie couldn't get down). However, whether the zombies-eating-his-legs occurred before the zombification or after is not specified.
* By season three of ''Series/ZNation'', edible humans are becoming so rare that starving Zs have begun to avert this trope. Murphy and 10K witness a rolling ''ball'' of zombies, all frantically trying to eat one another.


[[folder: Music]]

* The name of infamous DeathMetal band Music/CannibalCorpse is an aversion, as [[WordOfGod bassist Alex Webster]] has described their name to journalists on at least one or two occasions as "basically a zombie that eats other zombies". Considering that their infamy in an otherwise relatively underground music scene comes from their (sometimes over-the-top) gory albums and songs with titles such as such as "Mummified in Barbed Wire", "A Skull Full of Maggots", and "Entrails Ripped From a Virgin's Cunt", this is an appropriate title.


[[folder: Tabletop Games]]

* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Infinite Worlds'' has Gotha-zombies, which do eat each other.
* The fan-made ''TabletopGame/ZombieTheCoil'' for the ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' has two breeds of zombie: Grandes, which can only eat living flesh, and Jackals, which can eat any decayed flesh. This includes other zombies. The two breeds, of course, do ''not'' get along. (Sidenote: this book was created several years before ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''...)
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', there indeed are [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=Zombie%20Cannibal Zombie Cannibals]]. Part of the reason they're common in ''Magic'' is because most zombies are aligned with Black mana, which is selfish and pragmatist and defined by sacrifice ([[DarkIsNotEvil even if not necessarily evil]]), so letting such a tremendous resource such as other zombies go to waste would come across as asinine to most Black mages.
** In the "Shards of Alara" setting, the shard of Grixis is basically a ZombieApocalypse taken UpToEleven. There are only a tiny number of human refugees left who use illusion magic to survive, apparently very effectively. The massive hordes of undead are forced to turn on each other - for example, vampires have to try and drink gross, congealed zombie blood. Poor vampires ...
** In Ravnica, Golgari zombies are mentioned to eat other zombies. This way, no nutrients are wasted.
** In Amonkhet some of the White-aligned mummies are seen being destroyed by more conventional Black aligned zombies in Hour of Devastation.
* [[http://www.lomion.de/cmm/zombcann.php Cannibal Zombies]] from the second edition version of ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' are mentioned as sometimes killing and eating their own packmates if they are held at bay until sun-up.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' averts this in a manner of speaking, considering the [[OurZombiesAreDifferent infected]] don't eat people to begin with - when they're not aware of the players, they ''can'' be seen fighting each other on occasion. In ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' you can ''make'' them fight amongst themselves by throwing a jar of Boomer bile onto them, as well. There are also some occasions of Special Infected attacking each other, but this is primarily restricted to AI-controlled Tanks plowing through others [[TheBerserker because they don't care about tactics or teamwork]].
* ''VideoGame/WarCraft''
** Averted in ''Warcraft III''. Ghouls will eat any killed units to restore health, whether previously alive or undead. Lack of infighting is due to MindControl.
** In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', the playable Undead have cannibalism as a racial ability, and it works on both humanoids and other undead.
* Often averted in ''VideoGame/UrbanDead'': Zombies attacking each other only gain half the XP they get for damaging human players, but it can still be faster than hunting humans at low levels and is even officially endorsed by some hordes. And they can't permanently kill each other anyways. At higher levels the fact that they attack only humans is simply a consequence of the fact that "they know better than to eat each other" is true on a ''meta'' level; they're all controlled by real players.
* In ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'', while zombies don't normally go for each other, those that eat a Hypno-shroom will.
* There's actually an enemy called a Cannibal in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' which is a [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot robot-zombie alien]] which eats different types of robot-zombie alien.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', the Zombie Master challenge path gets several skills that lets them cannibalise their zombie horde. And any of the "normal" game's zombies will still be trying to eat you.
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom 3}}'': Averted at one point when you find a zombie gnawing at a corpse's insides, until it sees you and comes after you... and then the corpse ''also'' gets up and comes after you.
* Likewise in ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'', you may often see a walker chomping down on another downed walker.
* Mostly played straight in ''VideoGame/DyingLight'', although with the justification that the infected know to attack each other by smell. Averted with the Goons and Demolishers, who will kill other zombies while swinging at the player, and with the Bombers, who just destroy everything around them when they explode.
* Zombies are occasionally seen eating other zombies in the (pre-''[[VideoGame/ResidentEvil4 RE4]]'') ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series.
** As an earlier case of the example from ''Doom 3'' above, in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica'', at one point, you find a zombified doctor-torturer feasting on the guts of a previously bagged-up cadaver. When he lunges at you, the corpse shuffles off of the table and joins him in attacking.


* In ''Webcomic/ZombieRanch'' these [[http://www.zombieranchcomic.com/2010/01/27/a-la-cart/ two]] [[http://www.zombieranchcomic.com/2010/02/03/reduce-reuse-recycle/ pages]] explain that the zombies won't eat each other under normal circumstances, but it's standard practice to recycle destroyed or non market-worthy zeds into feed for the rest of the herd.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Unsounded}}'', plods are equal-opportunity scavengers and will go after anything that moves, be it human, animal, or fellow zombie. However, their insatiable HorrorHunger responds most strongly to hot, fresh flesh and blood, much to Duane's [[SupernaturalAngst revulsion]].
* ''Webcomic/AwkwardZombie'' spoofs the Warcraft example with [[http://awkwardzombie.com/index.php?page=0&comic=012410 a newly resurrected Undead]] cannibalizing his ''own'' corpse.

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In ''AudioPlay/WereAlive'' the zombies carry away the bodies of their dead. It is later revealed that they keep stockpiles of human flesh for food and may be eating their own dead.