Exactly What It Says on the Tin
At an eating contest you boast
That you can eat the most
How do you down your fiftieth piece of pie?
, eagerly (yech!)
, Eager L.Y.
, two characters, one of them possibly being a Big Eater
, engage in this type of contest, where they try to outeat each other with as much food as possible. Often, the Big Eater will come out as the victor, while the other loses by becoming full too fast, sometimes ending up with a Balloon Belly
There are also some cases where both characters will lose in the midst of the contest, by also gaining the aforementioned Balloon Belly. Also, after the Big Eater wins, sometimes he'll ask, "What's for dessert?"
or show signs that he's still hungry.
Contrast Cooking Duel
, although they may go hand-in-hand. Compare Drinking Contest
Anime and Manga
- An Archie Comics story had Jughead compete against a member of a rival gang in a hamburger-eating contest at Pop's chocolate shop. Jughead won in the end, because no other Big Eater could quite match up to Jughead's style.
- In the old Polish comic Koziolek Matolek, the titular goat encounters some indians, and after being challenged to a duel by their chief, the goat picks the competition to be eating grass. The chief eats until he explodes.
- In a Gold Key Looney Tunes comic book story, Bugs Bunny entered the Tasmanian Devil into an eating contest for a cash prize. While the Tasmanian Devil won the contest when his opponent couldn't eat another bite, his appetite got so out of control that he made his way into a restaurant to satisfy himself. Meanwhile, the loser decided to rig up a pressure cooker and turn it into a bomb, so when Bugs and Porky Pig find out about it, Bugs had the pressure cooker disguised as a cake so he could feed it to the Tasmanian Devil, who acted as a living bomb disposal unit. While Bugs got the cash reward for Taz winning the contest, he also had to pay off the restaurant, which left him with only enough money to buy an after-dinner mint for Taz, which he refused, saying that he needs to watch his figure.
- In the live-action Underdog film, one of the scenes shown during Shoeshine/Underdog's bouts of crimefighting showed him in a hot dog-eating contest with a fat guy. Underdog beats him before the fat man could even get a bite.
- Timon and Simba both competed in a bug-eating contest in The Lion King 1½.
- Inverted in Stand by Me, where Gordie tells a story he made up about a kid entering an eating contest just for the chance to drag his entire town into a mass vomit-chain as revenge for treating him as the Butt Monkey for years.
- George and Beethoven enter a hamburger-eating contest at the county fair in the second Beethoven film. They won by only three burgers remaining.
- Mr Woodcock has this.
- Meatballs has a hot-dog eating contest as part of the competition between the two camps.
- A fairly common competitive sport, albeit one forbidden by orthodoxy, in the Twenty Minutes into the Future Dystopia Thinner Than Thou. One of the protagonists is even a semi-professional participant.
- The Doctor Who Expanded Universe short story "Too Rich for My Blood" by Rebecca Levine (in the collection Short Trips: Seven Deadly Sins, representing Gluttony) is set at a hot dog eating contest in Las Vegas. One of the contestants has been doped with an alien serum to increase his appetite. When they run out of hot dogs, he starts on the other competitors. And then it goes viral...
- In Clarence Goes To Town, Clarence, a realistically portrayed dog, is in a quiz-and-stunt contest with a bunch of humans. One of the stunts is a pie-eating contest. The show runners decide that, since pie isn't good for dogs, Clarence's pie is substituted with a half pound of raw hamburger.
- Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black contains a short story A Reversal of Fortune. It revolves around an eating contest. The man cuts a hole in his stomach to make room to eat. However, Nikki wins by eating some of the candy removed from the man's stomach.
- Stephen King uses this one in his story "The Body" (made into a film under the title Stand by Me, see Film section).
- Damon Runyon's short story A Piece of Pie has one between Joel Duffle and Violette Shumberger.
- A variation of this appears in the episode "True Dromance" of Workaholics, the guys go to Rancho Cucapizza and enter in a contest to eat a huge pizza (a Humonga Cucamonga) the fastest. They have the genius idea of burning their tongues with red hot spoons first so they don't have to worry about the hot pizza. Yet they win, and in a moment of friendship, give the prize of free pizza for a year to Karl, convincing him to stay in town and be their drug dealer again.
- An episode of CSI had a man who died from an over-expanded stomach in the midst of an eating contest, because his brain could not process 'full' signals from his stomach. This happened because the person who cared for him was a Jerkass who wanted to use him to win the contest.
- The Drew Carey Show: Drew enters a pie-eating contest at a county fair and beats the reigning champion, a pig.
- The Brady Bunch: When Bobby gets envious of the other Brady kids for all having trophies except him, he enters an ice cream eating contest on TV. He loses.
- Malcolm in the Middle: When the family discovers that the neighborhood has a block party whenever they leave, Hal and Lois decide to show them up by winning the kielbasa eating contest.
- In 30 Rock, Kenneth entered a pig-eating contest to win money to leave for New York to start his dreams. Turns out his pig was his old childhood pet Harold.
Kenneth: I ate all of him. Even the face in case of a tie. I ate my father-pig!
- An episode of Weeds featured this. The food in question was butter.
- On Yes Dear, Greg mentions in one episode that he and Jimmy once had a contest to see who could eat the most butter.
- The Australian anthology series Swap Shop once had a story about an eating contest in which two Big Eaters competed to see who could eat a whole cow (converted into meat pies) the quickest. The local champion gained an early lead, but stopped before eating the last of his pies, giving the challenger a chance to catch up and then to win. When his friends asked him later why he'd stopped, he explained that he'd misunderstood and thought the pies were just an appetiser: he'd foregone the last pie because he wanted to leave room for the cow.
- Has happened occasionally in the reality show Man v. Food.
- Jim and Andy from According to Jim once participate in a hot dog speed-eating contest for the prize of being the spokesperson in a local commercial sponsored by the company of said hot dog product. Too bad for them they both lose... to a woman with smaller body. Jim's so unhappy about this that he challenges her to another speed-eating contest.
- Bones had an episode where the victim was a competitive eater.
- In the Friends episode "The One With The Lottery", Monica reveals she's not won anything since she was in sixth grade.
Chandler: Pie-eating contest?
Monica: You assume that because I was heavy, that's the only way I could win something?
Chandler: No, I saw the picture of you covered in blueberries.
- Loki competes in an eating contest when he and Thor journey to the home of Utgarda-Loki. He loses to a personification of fire.
Tabletop Role Playing Games
- One strip had Garfield and Jon have a popcorn-eating contest together. However, Garfield won unfairly by eating both bowls of popcorn instead of one kernel at a time like Jon did. Another strip had Garfield and Jon have a hot pepper-eating contest to see who would endure the hotness of each different pepper they ate. Garfield lost in the end when he ate a Peruvian Death Pepper.
- Another strip had them seeing who could eat swallow bigger sized foods whole starting with a grape. Eventually Jon got a turkey stuck in his mouth and Garfield got his head stuck in a watermelon causing them both to have to go the doctor.
- In Warhammer, this is a form of Duel to the Death between ogres: The winner gets to eat the loser. The ogres will gladly take similar challenges from non-ogres, except trolls, whose Hollywood Acid digestive system is a Game Breaker even by ogre standards.
- In Warhammer 40,000, the Space Wolves Primarch, Leman Russ, went into an eating contest against the Emperor when they first met. He WON. Empy only got his allegiance by challenging him to a proper fight and winning.
- Terranigma has two of these as Mini Games: a bread-eating contest in Loire Castle, and a noodle-eating contest in Neotokio.
- In the Whateley Universe story "Parents' Day", Tennyo's family comes to see her, and she ends up in an eating contest against her mother (both her parents are mutants too - so are her brothers).
- An episode of Garfield and Friends had Jon and Garfield go to an authentic Chinese restaurant while visiting China. While there, the owner tells them the story of how thousands of years ago, a cat similar to Garfield outwitted the dragon out of all the food that he stole by bullying the villagers by challenging him to an eating contest. When the dragon discovers that he had been tricked out of all the food he acquired, he then chases the cat clear across China, making it sort of a subversion. When the story is finished, the owner then warns Jon that if an orange cat with black stripes (referring to Garfield) should ever eat too much whilst in China, the dragon will return and exact his revenge. However, much to the horror of both Jon and the restaurant owner, Garfield had already eaten all of the food that was in the restaurant while the owner was telling the story, claiming it to be a long fable, so he and Jon leave afterward.
- The Simpsons: Homer gets in an eating contest with a trucker named Red, who dies right after beating Homer by finishing a 16-pound steak first. Just before the contest Red had eaten an entire lamb. Before the contest, Red and Tony Randall had been the only two people ever to complete the challenge.
- Coop in Megas XLR competes in these, and has three championship crowns from the "Lord of the Large Pants" eating contest.
- Arnold competes in one in the Hey Arnold! episode "Eating Contest".
- A Ripped from the Headlines episode of King of the Hill featured a hot-dog eating contest where Dale shows up Bill by double-fisting the hot dogs, but losing in the end to a skinny Asian speed-eater.
- In Jackie Chan Adventures, Jackie and his friends have to compete in a pie eating contest to find the tiger talisman hidden inside one of the pies. Jackie stabs through his pies with a fork without eating them. Jade eats through her pies as quick as she can. Tohru eats through his pies much quicker, shoving them whole into his mouth before chewing. The talisman is of course found by the only other contestant, an old man still working his way through his first pie at a snail's pace.
- A Popeye cartoon had Popeye challenge Wimpy to a duel and Wimpy chooses an eating contest, which he wins easily.
- In the Detentionaire episode “Corndog Day Afternoon”, Holger and Steve have one to see who wins Greta's hand. It just ends with her being grossed out and leaving both of them be.
- This trope can range from professional competitions (for the money!) and Man v. Food to informal college and high school contests.