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Alien Lunch
Alien pork might have eight legs and a limey skin, but for some reason it still Tastes Like Chicken.

"I'd just like them to kill my food before I eat it. Is that too much to ask?"
Cale, Titan A.E.

A character vocally enjoying a meal — often provided for free — has the unusual (to them) ingredients mentioned and is thoroughly disgusted. In other cases, the character momentarily pauses and then resumes eating, or through the course of the episode is obliged to eat it, then makes a habit of it. May feature the one pragmatic character (sometimes a Big Eater or even an Extreme Omnivore) who has no problem eating something they know to be unusual.

When used amongst actual aliens, another character will not understand the negative reaction and perhaps even call it hypocritical, making a comparison to the contents of a so-called "normal" meal they find disgusting (such as comparing a lobster's habits to a cockroach).

May be a subtrope of Bizarre Alien Biology. Compare with Foreign Queasine, when the strange food is from our own planet, and I Ate What?, when the stuff that went down your gullet isn't food on any planet. If the unknown dish turns out to be homo sapiens, then it's I'm a Humanitarian instead, except for cases when man is a regular ingredient in the alien cuisine. See also No Biochemical Barriers.


Examples

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     Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Simoun, when Mamiina feeds a delicious meal to the entire crew, and everyone digs in with relish. She does this after having been seen setting mousetraps in the rodent-infested barracks where Chor Tempest has been temporarily stationed. Sure enough, the secret ingredient in the stew turns out to be mouse. They not only don't mind, they giggle over it in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • In one episode of Urusei Yatsura, Lum is asked to cook lunch while on a camping trip; Ataru, knowing her Lethal Chef skills, turns down the offer to partake. The other campers are turned into Fire Breathing Diners by their first bite; when they ask what's in the food, Lum reveals that everything on the table contains chili peppers, curry, or both.
    • In at least one story of the manga, Lum's attempts at cooking on Earth open a portal to another dimension, disgorging alien fleets which proceeded to have a battle in the middle of the Moroboshis' kitchen. (Until their owners came to collect them, they were toys).
    • To be fair to Lum, her food is this... when consumed by humans. By alien standards, she's a Supreme Chef.
  • Once in the Mahou Sensei Negima! anime Asuna makes a cake for Takamichi. It features amongst other things a sickeningly green coating of cream and squid tentacles.
  • Minki's food in Hell Teacher Nube. In her defense, Minki is a demon girl and the food is supposed to be eaten by demons too, not by humans.
  • The Mysterious Waif in Zoids: Chaotic Century enjoys salt in her tea.
  • In chapter 489 of Naruto, the titular character is Reverse Summoned to the place where the Summoned Toads live while closing his eyes to dig into some ramen, then he starts chowing down on a bowl full of worms before he even realized what happened.
  • Kyouran Kazoku Nikki has this in the very first episode. When, after being shuffled back and forth on the counter,and apparently getting sick, it proclaims "just eat me already!"
  • Keroro Gunsou has the Keronians' "mixed life-form space okonomiyaki". We never find out exactly what goes into it, but it has an alarming tendency to try and escape the frying pan and/or attack the diner.
  • Since the title character of Haiyore! Nyarko-san is an alien whose race helped inspire the Cthulhu Mythos, her grocery list includes items like shantak bird eggs, black goat of the woods (a.k.a. Shub-Niggurath) meat or her famous "BLT" sandwich (Byakhee-Lloigor-Tsathoggua)). As a result, her Love Interest Mahiro actually refuses to eat any of her food unless he's absolutely positive it was made with only Earthly ingredients, showing that he's actively trying to avert I Ate What?. The issue isn't Nyarko's cooking skills, either; other human characters enjoy her meals, and so has Mahiro on the few occasions when he gave them a shot. However, after she served him a bento and refused to identify the meat involved, he started "boycotting" her dishes. (Though he might have a valid complaint with the "BLT" — at least one of the items involved is a sentient being, meaning that even if it doesn't quite qualify as cannibalism it's still extremely Squicky.)
    • The same holds true for the takoyaki made by their friend Luhy Distone; Mahiro's friends and family love it, but every time he starts to take a bite, he sees the little Super-Deformed Cthulhu on the shop's sign and loses his appetite. Technically speaking, Luhy's cooking might not even be am example of this trope since Mahiro only assumes it's made with alien ingredients.
  • In Suisei no Gargantia, Ledo, a young soldier who spends all his life in space, is stranded in a planet covered by ocean (Earth)). He is squicked out by the idea of consuming animal carcasses when offered a piece of dried fish as a token of goodwill. However, he finds the food not so bad.

     Comic Books  
  • Inverted in Calvin and Hobbes several times. In one strip, Calvin's mom can only get Calvin to eat a stuffed pepper by convincing him that it is actually monkey heads—and then his dad refuses to touch it.
    • Another has Calvin's mother telling him that the grains of rice in his soup are really maggots, and another time she claimed they were having spider pie for dinner.
    • A reversal: Calvin asks his mother if hamburger meat is made out of "people from Hamburg." She says it's ground beef, and when Calvin realizes he's eating a cow, he tosses the burger away with a disgusted "I don't think I can finish this."
    • Calvin's Dad once had to tell him he was eating toxic waste and it would give him mutant powers before Calvin ate. This upset and disgusted Calvin's Mom.
    • Also played straight sometimes. In one strip, Calvin's mom offers him a jelly doughnut, to which he says he doesn't like them because they're like eating giant bugs. You bite into one end, and all the guts squirt out the other. Neither one can stomach them after that, and Calvin's mom remarks that other women ask how she stays so thin.
  • One The Far Side comic has a chicken taking off a dog suit while approaching a horrified typical suburban family pausing in the middle of dinner during a thunderstorm saying "No, I'm not Fluffy, I'm the chicken you thought you cooked for dinner! Guess where Fluffy is!"
  • A Gahan Wilson cartoon shows a tourist in Scotland peering over a hill watching a group of peanut-shaped bipedal creatures with antlers running across the landscape. Scottish guide: "Och, sir, you're a lucky man! 'Tis a rare stranger who gets to view the wild haggis romp!"
  • Inverted by Phil Foglio in the Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire comic. This page of the "Herodotus Files" has this to say about popsicles:
    Then it was revealed that humans froze liquids. No big news there. The concept that electrified the Gallimaufry was that Humans stuck a handle into the frozen liquid and ate it! Still frozen!

    Shockwaves of tsunami-like proportion ran through the culinary schools of the galaxy. Entire industries were spawned and fought over, and at least two desert dwelling races were saved from extinction.

    And most important of all, when Humanity threw a party with refreshments, everybody came.
    • And also played straight with the "Poiled slurgs in wixxel grease" that the Gallimaufrey's security chief loves. (For context, humans use wixxel grease as an oven cleaner.)
  • Happens in Footrot Flats as Wal is scoffing down the lunch Cooch made him in the back country. Wal remarks that he loves freshwater crayfish only for Cooc to remark "Yeah, but how do you feel about them cave wetas?"

    Fan Fic 
  • Downplayed in the Calvinverse, Rupert and Earl's crew have peanut-butter milkshakes as their favorite food - edible, sure, but not something many wouldn't want to try. Peanut butter milkshakes are actually common in Seattle.

    Film 
  • In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Captain Nemo's guests are shocked to learn that their banquet is composed of 100% seafood (including seaweed as well as once-living creatures), however, in this case, it's more the idea of eating seafood other than fish that puts them off.
  • A similar variation is in Titan A.E.. The Earth is destroyed, so humans make do with alien food, and the aliens that Cale works with like their grub live.
    • At best - Gune licks his hand and among the comments he makes on it is the phrase 'Who ate it before you did?'
  • Not an actual alien, although the character is enough of a Cloudcuckoolander at times that she might as well be: Lane's mother Jenny in Better Off Dead is shown on-screen cooking a meal where tentacles and claws wave from the pot; in another scene she serves the family a gelatinous green goo that flees Lane's plate when he pokes it with a fork.
    Jenny: It's got raisins in it. You like raisins.
  • Reversed in the Masters of the Universe film, where the alien Eternians eat some pilfered barbecue, only to discover with revulsion that it's meat. Man-at-Arms just digs in.
    Teela: I wonder why they put the food on these little white sticks?
    Man-at-Arms: Those are rib bones.
    Teela: (stops chewing) You mean this used to be an animal...?
    Man-at-Arms: Uh-huh.
    Teela: Ugh! What a barbaric world... We never see Teela swallow.
  • In Galaxy Quest, the cast of the fictional TV shows alien hosts prepare what they think to be the favourite food of the characters they play. One who played a human gets a steak. The one who played a Rubber Forehead Alien gets a rather different meal.
    Quellek: "Are you enjoying your Kep-mok blood ticks, Dr. Lazarus?"
    Alexander "Dr. Lazarus" Dane: Just like mother used to make.
  • Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire featured a bizarre lunch with even more bizarre utensils. Everyone was squicked by things like the live "noodles" except for the doctor, who thought it was strange that no one else was eating.
  • Daniel Jackson does this in the Stargate movie, while eating a giant iguana creature. He comments that it Tastes Like Chicken.
    • It gets better. He doesn't know their language yet, so to express his opinion about the taste of the creature, he acts sort of like a chicken. The boys who herd the beasts of burden, including Skaara, respond by doing his chicken act when they finally recognize the man that Col. O'Neil is trying to describe by gestures and imitation.
      • This later becomes a plot point when Daniel goes missing and O'Neil and company, who still don't know the local language, need to ask the locals for help finding him without using words.
  • In Meet Dave, Gina hands Dave a bottle of ketchup while preparing a meal, and Dave proceeds to drink about half of it.
  • The alien in My Stepmother Is An Alien relied on sucking the insides of batteries for energy.
  • In Return to Oz, the Affably Evil Nome King offers the heroes limestone pie and molten silver, which, oddly, Dorothy finds perfectly edible.
  • Bad Taste: The yummy alien stew.
  • Planet of the Dinosaurs: "I was just wondering how many other things we're going to have to get used to. Things like eating dinosaurs."
  • In Enemy Mine, Jeriba has Davidge tied up; Davidge is ravenous and yells at the alien to give him some food. Jeriba comes over with a large grub impaled on a stick. After hesitating for a moment in disgust, Davidge leans forward and bites the thing in half, still showing disgust while he's chewing. Later in the film, after the two of them have become friends, Davidge offers Jeriba a bite of roasted grub; Jeriba shivers in disgust and Davidge counters, "Don't forget, you helped me acquire the taste."

    Literature 
  • In the 4th Narnia book, The Silver Chair, the three protagonists discover that the venison they are eating is actually that of a Talking Stag. For Jill, who's only been in Narnia a few days, it's distressing. For Eustace, who was in Narnia for quite some time in an earlier book and had several talking animal friends, it's like watching a murder happen. But for Puddleglum, the born-and-raised Narnian, it's described as if one suddenly discovered one was eating a baby.
    • Eating a talking animal is cannibalism, just on the grounds that it's sentient.
    • Not long afterwards, the trio narrowly escape becoming examples of this trope themselves.
  • In Bruce Coville's Aliens Ate My Homework series, Rod is briefly disgusted when told that the aliens he's working with raise worms for food. One of the aliens haughtily replies that his species doesn't believe in eating creatures as intelligent as the ones humans raise for food.
    • In his My Teacher is an Alien series, the kids are served something called "Fimflits", which Peter, the viewpoint character notes is extremely delicious. The aliens explain that fimflits are a type of fungus, which isn't so bad. Then they reveal what it is they grow on. The reader isn't told, but fellow character Duncan no longer wants to eat them. (No word on the reactions of Peter or Susan.)
  • In the Discworld novel Witches Abroad, Granny Weatherwax, complaining about foreign names for food, mentions the meal they had yesterday was nice "but they called it Cwuissses dee Grenolly, and who knows what that means?" Nanny Ogg gives the translation (frogs' legs) without thinking, then hastily adds that it's a joke name, like toad-in-the-hole.
  • This is seen from the aliens' point of view in the second book of the Spaceforce series, when a royal delegation are served typical Earth food at a banquet given in their honour. ‘Soup’, a drink you eat? Frozen flavoured animal milk? Urgh.
  • In The Sparrow the group sent to the alien planet start out by testing each alien food on their own as they're out in the woods; for the most part it's edible. A few of them become ill temporarily, but one of them actually dies.
    • What actually killed that character was never revealed, but it probably wasn't the aliens' food, as several of the other human characters were eating the same diet.
    • In a darker instance of this trope, later on after a violent suppressed rebellion Emilio and Marc are offered only meat to eat by their (carnivorous) captors. Marc refuses to eat altogether; Emilio partakes, not knowing that they are offering him the flesh of their gentler host-species' offspring. When he finds out, he still eats it, despairing.
  • In Gregory Maguire's Wicked series, characters that eat meat frequently worry that and/or are upset to find that their meat comes from a sentient, talking Animal.
  • In Laurence Yep's semi-fantasy story Dragons Gate, the main character Otter (a young Chinese immigrant) is introduced to a plate of gingerbread cookies, which he thought were disgusting because they looked like dung, but found to be delicious.
  • Subverted in Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger. When Jon-Tom, newly arrived in the Warmlands from our world, goes out to dinner with Mudge the otter, the entree is a large roast cut from a python. Rather than shy away or even comment, Jon-Tom tucks in immediately, as he's far more hungry than squeamish.
  • In Shadows of the Empire, while en route to Gall, Lando makes Luke and Leia some Giju stew. No one wants it; Luke compares it to old boot plastic and fertilizer drenched in pond scum. Annoyed, Lando takes some to show them what they're missing; "The expression on his face went from irritated to amazed, slid to horror, then right into disgust". He decides that it was overspiced, and they're just going to open a packet of beans for dinner.
    • During Galaxy of Fear, a cruise starship is evacuated except for our heroes and Dash Rendar. They find a restaurant where a Mon Calamari had been celebrating something, and Zak decides to snag one of the abandoned pastries.
    His smile vanished as dozens of small, wiggly legs squirmed out from behind his teeth and scrambled across his lips. Zak gagged and wiped the wriggling things off his face. Looking down at his hand, he saw six or seven tiny crabs scurrying up his forearm. He sent them flying with a flick of his wrist, then spat out the pastry.
    Dash watched the little crabs run under a table. "The Mon Calamari live on a water-covered world. One of their favorite desserts is crab-stuffed creampuffs. With live crabs."
    • Later in the series Zak smells the stew being cooked by the Children and really wants some, but is dragged away before he can so much as put a finger in the pot. When he gets back there he's given a bowl, but stops before he can take a bite. There's a ring in the bowl.
  • In the Ringworld novels, Louis Wu encounters hominids whose diets are nearly always more specialized than those of Earth's humans: herbivores, carnivores, scavengers, etc. This effectively inverts the trope, as there's bound to be something we eat that would squick out each and every Ringworld native. Even the omnivores call him out for eating cheese ("decayed food!").
  • An inversion in the first book, Speaker to Animals can't eat with the humans, because their food "smelled like burnt garbage."
  • In Somtow Sucharitkul's Mallworld, an alien ambassador brings a live animal (considered a delicacy on his planet) to a diplomatic dinner with the humans. The animal looks like a vaguely humanoid rhinoceros beetle and is about the size of a howler monkey. The humans are appalled... APPALLED, I tell you... to find out that the "animal" is actually a child-stage member of the ambassador's own species. (Turns out the aliens aren't sentient until adulthood, breed very quickly and in copious numbers, and generally consider their own children vermin; any that manage to survive to adulthood are taught how to be civilized beings, but until they they are hunted and eaten by their own parents.
  • In Myth Directions, Skeeve finds himself always hungry while visiting dimensions with food too weird or disgusting for him to eat. Seeing Tananda casually eating said disgusting food doesn't help matters.
    • Earlier in Myth Conceptions he visits what is obviously a McDonald's and finds everything to be horribly disgusting, especially the strawberry shake which looks like some kind of pink sludge to him.
  • The cafeteria on Sector General (a giant hospital station resembling a misshapen Christmas tree) serves ALL the innumerable oxygen breathing species. One is strongly advised to keep one's eyes on one's own plate.
  • In the Sword of Truth series, Richard is encouraged by the Mud People to eat the flesh of his enemies, despite becoming a vegetarian (because that's the only thing wrong with that). It even gives him psychic visions. Similarly, the people of the Midlands believe all red fruit to be poisonous (a spell was cast which made that so, but Richard's homeland was unaffected), and are shocked when Richard eats an apple.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga novel A Civil Campaign, Miles samples bug butter, the product of his brother Mark's latest investment, and finds it a bit bland but otherwise edible. Then, Mark shows Miles a Butter Bug, which is described as resembling a cross between a cockroach and a pustule, and Miles abruptly loses interest in eating any more bug butter.
  • In a memoir of her youth, the novelist Colette remembers one of her brothers insisting on cooking one of the family dogs after it died in an accident. Although when the dish actually arrives on the table, everyone claims to have lost their appetite, and it is hinted to have been fed to one of the other dogs.
  • The Star Trek: Voyager book No Man's Land uses this trope when the human crew dine with the Iudka, enjoying Carmor Soup despite slight misgivings when it's revealed the primary ingredient is Carmor testicles.
  • A story by Lawrence Watt-Evans, "One of the Boys", involves at one point a woman tracking down the secret identity of her superhero idol, with amorous intentions. His explanation that being a "strange visitor from another planet" means being genuinely alien culminates in a polite invitation to stay for dinner. When she realizes that he plans to EAT the stinking, unnamed mass festering on the windowsill, she passes out in horror.
  • The Worldwar series (an Alternate History series in which aliens invade during World War II) has an example of an Alien Drug — ginger, which is just an ordinary spice to humans, is found to have narcotic effects on the Race, as they learn the hard way when they try to invade Earth and ginger addiction starts to decimate their ranks. Ginger is later found to cause the females of their species to go into heat once the colonization fleet arrives in 1962, leading to dramatic social changes among the Race on Earth akin to humanity's own sexual revolution. Humanity, of course, is more than happy to feed the crippling addictions of the alien invaders, with various human governments backing drug smugglers and the Soviet Union even weaponizing powdered ginger.

     Live Action TV  
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Tikka to Ride", Kryten is told to find food after having his morality chip removed, and finds the body of a man who had been trampled to death. He reasons "If humans eat chicken, then they obviously eat their own species, otherwise they'd just be picking on the chickens!" and thinks it'd be a pity to waste the body when it'd barbecue so nicely...
    • Another episode has Kryten serving Lister a nasty-looking bit of vermin called a space weevil, which Kryten tries to "hide" with a carrot garnish. Lister is angry.. about the garnish, because he hates carrots. He discards it, scoops up the weevil with his bare hand, and chows down.
  • George Francisco's interesting meals in Alien Nation. He loves a good squirt of mustard in his coffee in the morning.
    • Then winds down after a hard day with a cocktail of spoiled milk.
    • Tenctonese cuisine is at its best when mimicking Earth food. Peanut butter and jellyfish anyone?
    • Tenctonese like their meat raw, as they can't metabolize cooked meat.
  • Spoofed with the Coneheads sketches on Saturday Night Live, where they refer to common Earth foods in terms of their composition, making them sound unearthly. (Hamburger, for example, is "fried ground bovine flesh".)
  • In Stargate SG-1, while Major Carter is spending some time with the Asgard helping them deal with the Replicators, Thor offers her some food, which, as it turns out, is not exactly suited for human consumption. (Apparently the prop food was really as disgusting as the actress's reaction suggests.)
    Thor: I like the yellow ones.
    • He learns from this incident, as in a later episode Thor makes sure to beam up some human food from the SGC before 'borrowing' SG-1 to help with the Replicators yet again. This leads to General Hammond being told that the base's entire food supply has vanished, and the team spending the trip to Ida pigging out on Ben & Jerries since there's no freezer and they don't want to waste it.
    • Stargate Atlantis had a variation where Todd hosted a meeting with the team about negotiating an alliance behind the backs of the other Wraith. Upon entering the room, Sheppard immediately commented on the fruit bowl Todd added to the table in order to make the talks more comfortable for the humans (since the Wraith digestion system goes dormant after puberty). Todd responds that he hopes they prove to be as delicious as the farmers who grew them. Cue everyone looking away in disgust.
    • In another episode of Atlantis, Teyla and Dr. Keller are cut off from the Stargate and on the run from raiders. Teyla catches some kind of burrowing land squid for dinner. While she says it tastes absolutely horrible, it is non-toxic and will keep them on their feet.
  • Subverted in The Mighty Boosh: when Howard meets a group of snow people, their leader suggests they have lunch, at which point one of them spits (let's just say it's spit for now) onto a plate, at which point Howard thinks he has to eat the delicacy or he would offend them. After trying the "spit", he mumbles some fake compliments, at which point the real lunch arrives: ordinary sandwiches.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation has Klingon dishes that seem to be based on the bodily parts of some animal or other, like "Bregit Lung", "Rokeg Blood Pie", and "Heart of Targ". Humans eat things like haggis, liver, black pudding, tripe, kidneys, ox heart, sheep's brains...
    • One episode has Riker eating some Klingon dishes in preparation for a cultural exchange. When he finally does spend time on a Klingon ship, a Squick moment is set up when he is finally in the mess hall with the Klingons and learns they prefer their gagh still alive and wriggling. Riker embraces the moment completely and wolfs down the gagh with gusto.
    • Worf also greatly enjoys prune juice, calling it a "Warrior's Drink".
    • Similarly inverted with Troi, who is almost obscenely obsessed with the alien (to her) substance, chocolate.
    • "I shall try some of your burned replicated bird meat."
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has a Klingon cafe open on the Promenade, which the characters visit a few times. You get bonus cool points with the proprietor for getting aggressive about the quality of your meal: "No one likes half-dead racht" after all.
    • Also on Deep Space Nine, Jake enjoys a meal with Nog (cooked by his dad), until he learns that it's made of tube grubs.
    • Deep Space Nine also has the Running Gag about the inedibility of Cardassian Yamok sauce, no other species in the galaxy will touch it.
    • Deep Space Nine also has another Running Gag where Quark would insult Rom by offering him root beer. Also, Nog has learnt to enjoy root beer in Jake's company
    • The theme restaurant outside Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas served an ice-cream-and-gummy-worm dish that was allegedly based on Klingon cuisine.
    • An episode of Star Trek: Voyager had Kim complaining about "Why didn't you make Chakotay drink that?"; to which Neelix "Chakotay's vegetarian".
    • According to Worf in one episode, Klingon tea is deadly to humans. Dr. Pulaski comments it's not that good for Klingons, takes an antidote, and drinks it. She then asks Worf to recite her some Klingon love poetry.
    • Ironic given that raktajino (Klingon coffee) becomes quite popular among the human command staff of Deep Space Nine.
    • This is played with in the "Year of Hell" episode of Voyager, when Annorax makes a meal for newly-captured prisoners Chakotay and Paris. They seem to enjoy the food immensely until they find out where the food came from. This makes them pause, but I believe that they continue eating it. The reason the trope is played with is that they are not horrified by the substance of the food (which was very much edible and safe), but by the implications of eating it. Each dish of food that Annorax has had prepared is the last remnants of a civilization he has completely removed from history with his temporal weapon. There are about 20 different items on the table, showing the scale of what he as done. This scene shows just how amoral Annorax has become at this point.
    • Invoked in TNG's "Chain of Command: Part II" by Gul Madred, Picard's Cardassian torturer, who serves raw taspar eggs in an attempt to degrade him. Although initially disgusted, Picard, starving after many days of torture, eats it.
    • And of course there's the Running Gag on Star Trek: Voyager in which Neelix tries cooking human dishes with alien ingredients, usually the nutritious but foul-tasting leola root.
  • In the Flight of the Conchords episode "Bret Gives Up the Dream", Bret brings home a bag of much-needed food. After Jermaine bites into a sandwich, Bret admits that he found the food on the street. Disgusted, Jermaine runs to the sink to spit the bite out, then decides to just eat it.
  • In Farscape, John adapts to the new food fairly quickly by necessity, and alien lunches of all kinds are shown in later episodes. In one episode where the crew of Moya end up on Earth in the 80's, Rygel hails chocolate as the greatest food of all time, and becomes addicted to the stuff.
    • On the other hand, it's been subverted in an episode or two which featured "dry food squares" or something like that; ordinary crackers.
    • One semi-subversion has John incredulous that anyone would eat a certain animal; not because it's a Squick, but because it's too "cute" to eat.
    • When the ship runs short on food, John attempts to fry up some dentics, the worm-like critters the crew uses for dental hygiene. His shipmates are skeptical, but he reasons that you can eat anything that's fried. He's wrong.
    • Inverted in at least one case; John is in the middle of talking about all the stuff from Earth he misses, and prompts this response thanks to the not-always-perfect Translator Microbes:
    Rigel: What the devil is "iziz green"?
    John: Not "iziz green," ice, cream!
  • Subverted in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. When Ford (non-human) and Arthur (human) encounter some strange blue food on a Vogon ship, Ford insists that Arthur will find it delicious. Arthur reluctantly tries some, only to find it awful. Convinced that Arthur isn't giving it a fair chance, he eats some and appears to enjoy it, before conceding that, yes, it actually is terrible. Turns out the (non-Vogon) chefs really hate the Vogons.
    • At the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur is badly squicked by a genetically-engineered sentient meat animal, whose psychological make-up includes the wish to die that others might eat him. (Which they then do.)
  • In the Doctor Who serial "The Green Death," the Brigadier enjoys his steak until he's told it's a specially bred fungus.
    • In The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, all the food we see on Segonax, from the burgers to the fruit pulp to the chips/crisps, the Doctor and/or Ace find unpalatable.
  • In one "Edge Of Space" puppet segment on Starstuff, the aliens are curious about human food. Giz prepares oysters—still in their shells—covered with dessert toppings. Zornad can't bring himself to sample it.

    Other 
  • Several questions in a row in the "Would You Make a Fit [Doctor Who] Companion?" quiz in the October 1983 issue of Fantasy Empire were food-related. In order: "Are you willing to eat absolutely anything?" "Do you ask what it is first?" "Would the answer dissuade you?"

     Video Games 
  • Fallout 3 has DLC pack Mothership Zeta where trays of alien food are available. One variant is an enormous green segment of a lumpy tentacle, and the other is a whole squid-like creature affixed to the tray by its bodily fluids.
    • In the same game, you can take meat from practically any (mutated) animal you killed, including mole-rats, feral dogs, two-headed cows, mutated bears, giant roaches and giant flies. Fallout: New Vegas takes this even further with the survival skill which lets you cook actual meals out of these irradiated animals like "Bloatfly Slider" and "Fire Ant Fricassee", making you a Cordon Bleugh Chef.
  • In the second Little Big Adventure game the Player Character is offered a slice of tart (which is an item you'll need later), and after eating some is casually informed by the housekeeper that it's made of fireflies — the local version of Goddamned Bats you encounter a lot in the Under-Gas. He then passes out.
  • Not an alien example, per se, but still a valid one: Breath of Fire II features a sequence in which the characters have to eat various dishes made by a frog chef. Obviously, they include ingredients a frog would eat (bugs and the like) and it causes the character to vomit.
  • If you level your cooking in World of Warcraft, parts of wolves, reptiles, big cats, worms, and giant spiders will be involved. There's also the ever-popular "Mystery Meat", which is often obtained from vultures, giant scorpions, and hyenas.
    • EverQuest cooking has interesting ingredients as well. Eating smoked Wood Elf, for example, gives you a temporary bonus to agility, and the less said about what goes into a Hero Sandwich, the better...
    • The Duskwood quest to create Dusky Crab Cakes. All you needed to bring the inn's cook was a few gooey spider legs.
    • Steaks in RuneScape can come from sources like giant rats and minotaurs.
  • In Betrayal In Antara, you meet a mole-man NPC who likes raw lizard guts. When the PC expresses disgust, the NPC counters that he finds unfertilized bird embryos (eggs) equally disgusting.
  • In Dragon's Crown, a cooking minigame is initiated every few stages, if the player plays stages consecutively. Some of the ingredients players can cook up are taken from bosses from previous stages, and can be used to make such delectable entrees as Sauteed Demon's Heart, Killer Rabbit Stew, Kraken Calamari, and Red Dragon Steaks (all of which provide stats bonuses for the following stages and extra points).
  • In the Mass Effect 'verse, some species of the galaxy are incompatible with others because of the differing chirality of their amino acids, and ingesting foods (or, ahem, other substances) of the wrong chirality can cause severe allergic reactions, illness, and even death. Of the major races, turians and quarians feature dextro-amino acids, while humans and the majority of the galaxy have levo-amino acids.
    • That doesn't mean the compatible species always agree either; in the sequel you have the option of buying a Krogan drink that goes through you like ground up glass, "literally," and the krogan Grunt will react in abject disgust at the simple ramen shop on the Citadel, despite his expressing hunger at the sight of things like burning corpses.
    • According to Javik, Prothean cuisine contained, among other ingredients, salarian, asari, quarian, krogan, and turian (a pretty neat trick, considering the biochemistries involved...). He was pretty drunk, though, and one of the few pleasures in his post-Alien Popsicle life is making up outlandish stories about "his cycle" and seeing what the "ignorant primitives" will believe. That being said, he did mention in passing while he was sober that salarian livers were a delicacy.
  • The aliens of XCOM: UFO Defense eat a nutrient-rich soup made from dissolved body parts extracted from cattle and humans. What's more, you can sell it on the market.
  • Meanwhile in Dwarf Fortress, it is not unusual for dwarves to butcher and cook anything they can sink their weapons/tools/upper left premolar into, up to and including Forgotten Beasts and Titans with poisonous blood or deadly dust. If it has flesh and lacks the SAPIENT tags, it's on the menu.

     Web Comics 
  • In the webcomics of the The Cyantian Chronicles, more than one person chows down on an Alien Lunch. The specific comics are Campus Safari, which has three incidents. (One is offscreen, but played for comedy.) And Akaelae, which has only one occurrence.
  • Belkar of The Order of the Stick has served some pretty dubious fare, including vulture stew, or corn chips dished up in a scooped-out kobold head (although that one was just to gross out Roy.) There's also a comic where a goblin takes advantage of a hydra's regenerating heads to open a fast food restaurant.
  • Reversed in Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes: the goblin heroes are disgusted by human foods like bread and cheese.
  • Played with in Life With Lamarr when This One presents Odessa Cubbage with a plate of eggs, informing him that they are actually vortigaunt eggs and that refusing to eat them is punishable by a horrendous death in vortigaunt society. Turns out he was just fucking with him.
  • In Digger the eponymous wombat is invited to attend a Hyena funeral, and asks her Hyena friend Ed for advice on the correct etiquette. The People practice funerary cannibalism, and as guest of honour she’s expected to take part in eating the deceased's liver.
    Ed: "Digger-mousey is a plant eater yes? Is not eating meat at all?"
    Digger: "Yes."
    Ed: "Learn fast."
  • Ars from Gaia makes one out of a variety of bizarre potion ingredients, which ends in a small explosion.

     Web Original 
  • At one point in We Are Our Avatars, Atton has a drink, only to be told what it was by Asagi. He was disgusted by that. It's considered cuisine in the Netherworld because this particular blood has Mana in it and Mana is the source of power for Overlords.
    Atton: Can I have another bottle?
    Asagi: Want "Berry B Positive" or "Orange O Positive"?
    (Atton ponders the question for a moment)
    Atton: I'm not even going to bother asking what each of them are, er...give me an "Orange O".
    (Asagi hands Atton a can containing blood in it (not that he'll know it until he opens and drinks it)...with the blood having an orangey flavor to it. Atton hurriedly opens the can, taking a sip...before almost immediately spitting it out.)
    Atton: What is in this stuff?
    Asagi: Blood, durr.
    Atton: Blood? Just...I want a beer, I mean I'm hardly expecting Tarisian ale from this place but just...blood, really? Why are you even keeping it around?
  • in the Burgrr.com Terms and Conditions ARG, this is what is served in the titular restaurants, in lots of creative and nauseating variations and with a special surprise inside!
  • SCP-261 is a vending machine that primarily dispenses these. Items have included inhaled gaseous energy drinks, canned meals "eaten" by listening to the scream that is emitted when the can is opened, and a package of Gummy Bear-like snacks shaped like hands with extended middle fingers and containing lethal doses of cyanide (this one dispensed when a counterfeit Japanese coin was inserted).

     Western Animation  
  • Used in Teen Titans: Starfire, Cyborg and Robin are sitting at a picnic table.
    Starfire: This tangy yellow beverage is truly delightful.
    Cyborg: Uh, Starfire?
    Robin: That's mustard.
    Starfire: Oh. ...Is there more?
    (Robin and Cyborg stare at her weirdly.)
    • Don't even get me started on the "native dishes" she offers the Titans. In "Betrothed", the Titans stay at her home planet Tamaran and sat through a meal, where the grossness of the food was Played for Laughs.
    • In an early episode, when Cyborg quits the team (temporarily) she makes "pudding of sadness" because of it. It tastes awful, even to her (Beast Boy compares it to toenails) but that seems to be the point.
    • Their communal fridge is also inhabited by a semi-sentient blue goo. Meanwhile, Starfire drinking mustard becomes a running gag.
    • In one episode a comment is made about Starfire making the Titans watch a documentary about Hot Dogs in the past, to which she promptly responds she was amazed that humans ate so many "pigs (beat), and insects."
    • Also played with when Beast Boy, a vegetarian, offers Raven a tofu-dog:
      Raven: I respect that you don't eat meat. Please respect that I don't eat fake meat.
  • Futurama kind of does this at one point: Amy's father is eating, when Zoidberg informs him that he "took the liberty of fertilizing the caviar". He continues chewing very slowly while the realization sets in.
    • Inverted also in the same episode when, at the barbecue, Fry gladly accepts Thorax, feelers and legs of a giant bug, but is disgusted at the prospect of eating a salad. Also, there are also two sauce dispensers, one squirting out bbq sauce and the other Pepto-Bismol. Guess which one Fry goes for (remember, still an inversion!)?
    • There's also the episode where Fry finds out where Slurm comes from. He's momentarily disgusted, but he finds that he still can't stop drinking the stuff. Of course, it is highly addictive (that's even it's slogan), but when faced with the possibility of Slurm being discontinued, he decides to lie and cover up the truth.
      Leela: How can you trick people into drinking something that comes from your behind? That's disgusting!
      Slurm Queen: Honey comes from a bee's behind! Milk comes from a cow's behind!
    • Or Zoidberg bringing crab legs to a party. As Hermes is eating one, Zoidberg mentions that "I made them myself", as Hermes realizes the possible meanings of that and looks disgusted.
    • There's also the episode where the Planet Express discovers a planet that seems to grow a plant that tastes a lot like fried shrimp, and makes a killing turning them into a fast food staple. One small problem: they're the larval form of the Omicronians.
  • The second episode of the 2nd season of Star Wars: Clone Wars shows that Anakin isn't picky when it comes to food. Though he might have done it just to Squick out Obi-Wan.
    Obi-Wan: How can you eat that?
    Anakin (mouth full of bugs): But Master, you always taught me to feed off the Living Force.
  • One of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron movies inverted it with banana cream pie disgusting Earth goop, which one alien had such a severe allergic reaction to that it exploded. Conversely, Carl's reaction to some gross looking alien delicacy bordered on addiction.
  • It's probably no surprise that Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have pulled the "don't really care" version. In Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, the pair discover the pizza they're eating has spider webs, snails, and tadpole tails as toppings. The pair stop briefly to parse this, until Scooby declares it delicious and they resume eating.
    • Played with elsewhere in the film. Jerkass minor antagonist Colonel Calloway is already hesitant about the snack he's been offered due to its moldy flavor — discovering he's eating fungus fudge with toadstool tea just pushes him over the edge into true disgust.
  • An inversion in the Galaxy Rangers episode "Marshmallow Trees." Ambassador Zozo, trades his species's invention of Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables to a human colony. When shown that the colony will trade the Kiwi vegetables for hamburger, Zozo reacts with disgust. His niece and nephews, though, really like the stuff.
  • A mutual version from Green Lantern: The Animated Series: Kilowogg eats a giant bug (in some kind of glaze, defeating Hal's assertion that he'll eat glazed anything), then inquires as to what "cheese" is (Hal's rations being grilled cheese in a can), and is so disgusted by Aya's explanation he asks Hal to eat in a closet from now on.
  • The Transformers: In the season 3 episode Starscream's Ghost, Octane is rescued by some aliens after a Scuxxoid's planted bomb goes off and destroys his ship. When he climbs aboard, he is sniffing noticeably while there is pink "steam" wafting towards him, and making a face. He's offered some of the food, which doesn't look appetizing to the viewer, but he politely declines.
    Octane: Sheesh, what have you been eating?


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