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Big Eater

"This...this girl's stomach is a Cosmos unto itself! It's connected to the void of the universe!"
Eating Contest Judge (on Fuu), Samurai Champloo

A primarily comedy trope, this is when a character (who may or may not be fat) eats enough for an entire football team, usually devastating the whole table — and sometimes entire restaurants with their insatiable hunger. Often combined with a speed-eating technique that makes food seem to vanish spontaneously from the plate. A common sight gag with this kind of character in cartoons or anime is having piles upon piles of plates and bowls stack up as the character chows down.

Occasionally they have a Bizarre Taste in Food or are Obsessed with Food when not eating and may indulge in Cut a Slice, Take the Rest. Don't interrupt a Big Eater's meal, or worse, try to steal his or her food, as this is a very good way to piss the character off...

It can be used as a way to fulfill the needs of many Required Secondary Powers and thus make a character's abilities more believable. Characters with a Healing Factor, Super Speed, or the ability to change shape and size, would normally have to flout the laws of physics at every turn, but a Big Eater can simply explain that the extra mass and energy come from over the top eating binges. Magic users in general can use this trope and say that they cast from their calories, which would explain why mages are often rather thin characters (though obese wizards aren't unheard of). For this reason, in action series, this is often a trait belonging to the Idiot Hero, Kid Hero, Boisterous Bruiser, or other types of high energy characters.

Typical dialogue in a restaurant:
Other party member: We want <number of people> portions of <whatever food>, please!
Big Eater: <Number of people> portions for me too!

Another typical line goes thus:
Big Eater: (after ordering enough for everybody) So what are you guys having?

In comics and manga it's become common to make a Comically Serious character or Badass Action Girl a Big Eater as a way to add a humorous quirk that doesn't actually take away from the character's seriousness. Another common justification for a female big eater is that all the nutrition goes to her well-endowed bosom. Consequently, female characters with large bosoms are often big eaters.

Jolly large characters, Extreme Omnivores and people with eating related powers tend to be Big Eaters by default. The Fat Comic Relief is a very common form of Big Eater. However the best examples are people who will eat anything and everything, and are still very small.

Although it's often Played for Laughs, serious examples are known to exist. Such as if the Big Eater is suffering from bulimia or if the character's over-eating is caused by some sort of emotional problem.

Can be Truth in Television, though fate can be an unfeeling mistress as many people with normal appetites may struggle to reach their desired weights their entire lives, while others can eat copious amounts of food and still be as thin as a rail. Teenagers in general are known for being able to eat amounts of food that will make them fat if they continue to eat like that in their 20s and beyond. However, this trope may also have unpleasant consequences in Real Life see Death by Gluttony.

See Extreme Omnivore for when someone doesn't limit themselves to things usually considered food. If two Big Eaters are pitted against each other it's an Eating Contest. If this is a villain's most well-known vice (especially an obese villain), see Villainous Glutton. Players can invoke this trope in any video game where the characters have a Hyperactive Metabolism and eat food to heal their injuries.


Examples


Best Served ColdStock CharactersBlood Knight
Summer BlockbusterBigger Is BetterDagwood Sandwich
The BerserkerCharacter Flaw IndexBlind Obedience
Beverage SpillComedy TropesBig "Shut Up!"
Big Brother Is WatchingAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Big Good
Ship TeaseOverdosed TropesThe Rival
Betty and VeronicaImageSource/Comic BooksForm-Fitting Wardrobe
Beverage SpillFood TropesBizarre Taste in Food

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