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[[quoteright:320:[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brainnotameal01_5477.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:''No braaaaiiins?'']]

->'''Elan:''' So... are you going to eat my brain?\\
'''Mindflayer:''' No, I'm cool, thanks.
-->-- ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0030.html strip #30]]

This trope is about what happens when a [[BrainFood Brain Eater]] runs into a character that manifests a few StupidityTropes, and what happens as a result.

This Trope comes in a few flavors.
* Most realistic: The monster is only worried about the dumb character's brain, or other characters [[DiscussedTrope make comments]] along these lines.
* The monster sniffs and says that the dumb character's brain is not a big meal, or ''eats it'' and says that it's still hungry.
* Most ridiculous: The brain is small or there is no brain in their head at all, possibly illustrated by their HollowSoundingHead.

A subtrope of DisabilityImmunity. Compare/contrast with TooSpicyForYogSothoth. Related to TooDumbToFool. If the potential victim seems ''insulted'' by the rejection it can overlap with ArentYouGoingToRavishMe. Often leads to a StealthInsult.



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* During Creator/JossWhedon's run on ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' set in the early 20th century (TimeTravel shenanigans), the Runaways meet up with a gang of metahumans called the Street Arabs. One of them, Dead George Pelham, is a friendly neighborhood zombie. Later in the arc, several of the Arabs are killed by Kid Twist, a vicious member of [[spoiler:the Yorkes' gang]] with the power to fire bullets that never miss their target. In the middle of the final battle of the story arc, Dead George makes a point of tracking down Kid Twist to avenge the Arabs. As Kid Twist futilely fires bullets at the angry zombie, Dead George says this:
--->'''George:''' I'm partial to brains myself. But you just emptied your gun into a dead man so I doubt this'll be much of a meal. (Bites into Kid Twist's skull)
* One Halloween issue of ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' had a zombie become ''sick'' after eating Alfred P. Neuman's brain.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* A ''{{ComicStrip/Garfield}}'' strip has Garfield pretend to be TheIgor, wandering around saying, "A brain! I need a brain for my master!" He pauses to take a look at Odie, and then moves on, repeating, "A brain! I need a brain for my master!"
** [[http://www.garfield.com/comics/vault.html?yr=2011&addr=110302 Jon was afraid an insect was eating his brain and Garfield said it'd starve.]]
** [[https://garfield.com/comic/2017/10/27 An]] [[TheIgor Igor-like]] character shows up and claims he "must have human brain".
-->'''Garfield:''' (to Jon) Notice how he walked right past you.

* In ''WesternAnimation/ParaNorman'', this conversation happens:
-->'''Alvin:''' They're going to eat our brains!
-->'''Norman:''' I think you'll be safe.
* Seen in the Creator/PeterCushing[=/=]Creator/ChristopherLee movie ''Film/HorrorExpress''. The brainsucking alien finds the crazy monk not worth killing, and eventually the crazy monk starts worshiping the alien (which the alien finds somewhat annoying).
-->'''Crazy Monk''': Are you going to kill me?
-->'''Brainsucking Alien''': Oh, there's nothing in your head of any use.

* An old joke: Grab someone by the head and start moving your hand up and down then say "This is a brain-sucker... and it's starving."
* The counter to that is, when the person grabs your head, you say "Stop making the brain-sucker fat!" before they can call it starving.
* A traveller wandering on an island inhabited entirely by cannibals comes upon a butcher shop. This shop specialised in human brains differentiated according to source. The sign in the shop read: "Artists' Brains $9/lb Philosophers' Brains $12/lb Scientists' Brains $15/lb Economists' Brains $19/lb." Upon reading the sign, the traveller noted, "My, those economists' brains must be popular!" To which the butcher replied, "Are you kidding! Do you have any idea how many economists you have to kill to get a pound of brains?!"
** A similar has a Male brain and a Female brain for sale. The traveller asks why the Female brain is cheaper. The butcher answers, "Because it's used."
** Another variant has a doctor's brain and a lawyer's brain asks the second person to guess which costs more. Depending on which side is the butt of the joke, the replies are, "Of course, because it has something useful inside." Or, "of course, because it has never been used."

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Referenced in ''Series/RedDwarf''. When the crew is confronted by brain-eating monsters, Rimmer deadpans that there's "barely a snack onboard."
* Referenced in the ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth'' episode "Captain Cook", with cannibals this time.
-->'''Edmund''': Your brain's so minute, Baldrick, that if a hungry cannibal cracked your head open, there wouldn't be enough to cover a small water biscuit.
* On ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'', Ryan Stiles was supposed to be a zombie and attacked Drew Carrey... and then walked away, looking for brain somewhere else.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Not only can't she eat vampire brains, Glory rejects one of her own minions, who offers up his own brain as emergency nourishment.
--->'''Glory''': "I said a ''brain'', you worthless dirt!"
** Inverted with the demon in "The Puppet Show"; Buffy and the Scoobies are realizing that Giles is the target of a brain-eating demon, and become especially worried after remembering that he's very smart.
* In one episode of ''Series/ModernFamily'', a zookeeper arrives at the Dunphy house for a birthday party. When an iguana ends up on Luke Dunphy's head, he asks what it eats and is replied with a faux-dramatic "little boys' brains". Luke's sister Alex then snarks that he should be safe.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Jessie}}'', Luke is convinced that Emma's [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCOBY SCOBY]] will eat his brain. [[ServileSnarker Bertram]] jokes that it will still be hungry.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Seen in the FlavorText of ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'''s [[http://magiccards.info/le/en/53.html Synapse Sliver.]]
-->''"Species [=XR17=] feeds upon the mental energies of its victims. This explains why the goblins remain unaffected."''
--->''--Riptide Project researcher''
* Much as in the ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' example below, mind flayers in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' often invoke (the first variation of) this trope in supplementary materials, as they prefer to eat newly-acquired captives over long-term slave populations. This is because their slaves, especially those born into it, are dull-witted from mental domination and the drudgery of years of service, and so are sustaining but dreadfully bland.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', [[TheWormThatWalks Arakune]] [[TheUnintelligible (sort of)]] says this when given the chance to consume [[IdiotHero Bang Shishigami]] when the former wins.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', the Soldier has this little gem:
--> "What's that [[CompanionCube Brain Maggot]]? You're starving?... Yeah, I'm hungry too."
* Near the end of ''VideoGame/SewerShark'' (''Really'' obscure Sega CD game), [[BigBad Commissioner Stenchler]] decides to sic something called 'Serks' onto the heroes. What are Serks? ''Brain eating fireflies.''
-->'''Stenchler:''' Pity, I'm afraid you won't be much of a meal for them, Beach Bum!
* A snarky Crime Computer can grace you with a nice "YOU don't have to worry about brain-eating zombies" if you use an item at the wrong place in ''[[VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/TimesplittersFuturePerfect'', [[TheDitz Jo-Beth]] worries that the zombies in the mansion will eat her brain. [[MissionControl Anya]] snarks that there probably isn't very much ''for'' them to eat!

* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** The second variant shows up when the Mind Flayer doesn't want to eat Elan's brain. Later, [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0031.html we get to see it picture each of the Order]] [[MeatOVision as a meal]] and it ticks them off one by one. [[StaticCharacter Durkon]] = porridge (filling but bland), [[ActionGirl Haley]] = a sundae (too sweet), [[TokenEvilTeammate Belkar]] = a taco (it'd get heartburn), [[TheFool Elan]] = Diet Coke (next!), [[InsufferableGenius Vaarsuvius]] = a hamburger (getting somewhere) and [[GeniusBruiser Roy]] = a turkey (perfect!). [[ArentYouGoingToRavishMe Vaarsuvius is visibly upset by this.]] (Roy has high stats in intelligence, wisdom and charisma, which makes him a more balanced and attractive meal than Vaarsuvius, who has higher intelligence but not a lot of the other two.)
** The print only prequel volume ''Start of Darkness'', which traces [[StartOfDarkness how Xykon and Redcloak first became villains and teamed up]], has Xykon joking about this trope at one point. When a group of zombies under Xykon's command attack [[GranolaGirl the elf druid Lirian]], they're calling for brains. Xykons cracks that they can look inside Lirian's head if they want, but he doubts they'll find anything, as [[DumbBlonde Lirian is a blonde]] afterall.
* ''Webcomic/{{Concerned}}'': After Gordon walks away with a headcrab on a head for the better part of a chapter, it eventually [[http://hlcomic.com/index.php?date=2006-01-04 falls off]], having died of malnutrition. Gordon provides a {{Lampshading}} in the background.
* ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'', first type, [[http://xkcd.com/397/ when]] Zombie [[HardOnSoftScience Feynman]] wants brains after explaining how ''Series/MythBusters'' are true science:
-->'''Person:''' Try the physics lab next door.
-->'''Zombie Feynman:''' I said BRAINS. All they've got are string theorists.
:: Pulling double duty there, that punchline is also a StealthPun and a GeniusBonus[[note]]branes[[/note]].
* In [[http://www.dorktower.com/2006/05/05/comics-archive-781/ this]] ''Webcomic/DorkTower'' strip, Igor engages a mind flayer with purple nurples and "the dreaded doom wedgie". Since this effectively proved his character didn't ''have'' a brain to flay, he actually won.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Unsounded}}'', Sette complains that as a zombie, Duane should be eating brains and that hers is full of cunning and knowledge. His response is to knock on her head and declare it "hollow".
* Invoked in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' when the Light Warriors encounter an orc zombie.
-->'''Black Mage''': (to [[TheDitz Fighter]]) This thing desires brains. Speaking to [[TooDumbToLive you]] is a waste of its valuable time. A man dying of thirst can't drink sand, ya get me?
-->'''Fighter:''' [[ComicallyMissingThePoint We're in a desert?]]
-->'''Black Mage:''' Go play.
* Webcomic/EvilInc's "Undead Affairs" division once tried sending zombie lobbyists to Congress, [[http://evil-inc.com/comic/mystics-and-the-occult-dept-3/ six zombies starved to death before they could get them out of D.C.]]
* [[http://grim.snafu-comics.com/index.php?comic_id=19 Referenced]] in ''Webcomic/GrimTalesFromDownBelow'' during the recap of the original show:
-->'''Grim''': I do believe that if the world was populated by [Billy's] ilk, zombies everywhere would starve to death.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'', we see a [[PuppeteerParasite Brain Slug]] starve to death after it gets on Fry's head. [[spoiler: Though this isn't just because Fry is [[TheDitz a bit dim]]; according to "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", Fry has abnormal brain waves that make him resistant to mind control.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyGymPartnersAMonkey'' has this trope exploited in "My Science Project". Adam and Jake [[ObfuscatingStupidity attempt to look dumber than the other]] to convince a rogue machine searching for intelligent hosts to leave them alone.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy''
** The brain-eating meteor didn't find anything in Billy's head. Although that creature wasn't complaining about other variants.
** Human and Martian zombies also find nothing appetizing in Billy's head.
* Trope namer is from ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'' where humanoid brain-eating rock monster comments about Brad's brain after his IdiotBall what cause him and Jenny get captured. And this is first variant.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', the third "WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror" special had a zombie horde clamoring for "Braaaains" inspect Homer's head, then abandon him in disgust. Most ridiculously, the zombie taps Homer on the head and [[HollowSoundingHead a very hollow sound is heard]] before it moves along.
* On ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', the girls defeat a brain-sucking "Robbin' Leech" by tricking him into attacking [[AuthorityInNameOnly the Mayor]].
* A variation in the ''{{WesternAnimation/Dilbert}}'' cartoon where a brain sucking alien devours a marketing guy's brains ([[TakeThat not that he cares or notices]]) and dies from something akin to food poisoning.
--> '''Other Alien''': He starved to death with a full stomach.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BigGuyAndRustyTheBoyRobot'', a brain-eating monster begins sucking the intelligence of Quark Industries' scientists. When he goes after Donovan, Quark's PointyHairedBoss[=/=]CorruptCorporateExecutive, both Donovan AND his monkey try to use this trope in order to escape. The monster just shrugs it off, wanting to attack out of dislike. In a later episode, Donovan's nephew gains the same brain-sucking powers but decides against attacking Donovan. ("I crave nutrition, not empty calories!")
* ''TuffPuppy'': In the ''HalloweenEpisode'', Keswick reanimated some corpses to have zombies for the holiday. He said the zombies would be harmless as long as there were candies for them to eat. Otherwise, they'd eat brains. When Keswick commented Dudley would be safe, Dudley proved the point by claiming he didn't understand it.
* Another brain-sucking alien example in the ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'' episode "Third Dork from the Sun", where said alien attempts to absorb Johnny's intelligence only to realize there was nothing to absorb, resulting in his brain overloading.