Eating Machine

This trope is for robots and cyborgs with primarily robotic bodies that consume human food and drink.

This is very common for a Ridiculously Human Robot who may need to eat food to maintain The Masquerade, but it's certainly not limited to that trope. Some robots consume food as a power source (Calories powering machines is something that exists in the real world, though in very early stages) either for convenience (or rarely for horror). Other robots may eat food they have no way of processing and no logical need for as pure Rule of Funny hedonism and to anthropomorphize otherwise non-human machines. Despite being unable to digest food, don't be surprised if caffeine, sugar, or alcohol still somehow affects a robot's behavior.

Many robots that can eat food also have a distinct preference, whether it be for something that's easy for their system to convert to energy or whether it be just the same tasty junk foods that humans love. Alcohol and sweets are popular for both reasons.

Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku: Nuku Nuku is a cyborg housing only a rescued kitten's brain (and maybe some other organs), but she eats just like a normal teenage girl would. Well, with some feline preferences.
  • Doraemon needs to eat to function like a human (as fuel) and his favorite food is dorayaki. Since he can taste, he's occasionally shown scarfing down or refusing food accordingly.
  • Rozen Maiden, all of them. Though maybe it's due to their Magitek-ness.
  • Guy is a cyborg (90%, below the head). His favorite food is niku-don, and he's shown eating some in one episode - half a dozen bowls and then some, when we see it. Side materials indicate that it's for his own mental health, as the food simply gets burned inside him and provides no nutrients. He is the only non-human character shown eating in the show (excluding Mamoru and Kaido) - the Yuusha Corps like drinking oil though, while J and Lune aren't shown to eat.
  • Chachamaru in Mahou Sensei Negima! can eat and drink though she claims she has no sense of taste. Apparently it's to feel more human. Later, she can be seen licking an ice cream cone and is in the school's tea club. By the time of the ice cream event, she may actually be able to taste it considering the numerous upgrades.
  • R. Dorothy Wayneright is shown mimicking Roger and pretending to eat, though she has no use for food and it's just to put people at ease.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Cell is an super android who has to feed to survive, except that his favorite meal is humans, who he absorbs by almost literally sucking up their bodies as he would suck liquid through a straw.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe, the original Human Torch (who, despite his name, was an android) used to eat and drink.
  • Aaron Stack, a.k.a. "Machine Man" from Nextwave. "My robot brain needs beer!" In Marvel Zombies 3, however, he stated "I have no stomach, but I must barf."

    Fan Works 

    Film 
  • Subverted in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence: the android David tries to eat spinach to fit in with his human family, but ends up causing his machinery to jam on it, so a tech-support team has to open him up and dig the spinach out. Woops.
  • Subverted in the obscure B-movie sequel, Class of 1999 2: The Substitute. It is believed that the huge substitute teacher is an android and he's a Big Eater, he even says "My body turns food into fuel quite quickly," but it turns out he's just a man who thinks he's an android.
  • David in Prometheus is shown eating a few times while waiting for the crew to wake up. Whether he actually needs the food to refuel or is simply doing it to feel more human is unclear.

    Literature 
  • In Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel, R. Daneel Olivaw is a human-shaped android who can "consume" food and drink to imitate a human. He actually stores the food in a bag within his stomach which he regularly empties. He even offers the food from the bag to his human friend, explaining that it's untouched and fit for consumption. The human obviously refuses.
  • Isaac in The Dark Side of the Sun can "derive power from the calorific content of organic substances", and even seems to have a bit of a palate when it comes to alcohol.
    "Old Overcoat. The genuine stuff. Two glasses and you rise up on a pillar of flame."
  • In The Positronic Man, co-written by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg (and based on Asimov's short story Bicentennial Man), a robot eventually upgrades himself with a device that converts food to energy.
  • In Asimov's short story "Evidence" (the penultimate story in I Robot), a man is suspected of being a robot because he was never seen to eat. The man states he doesn't like eating in public, but does eat an apple to demonstrate. Susan Calvin states it proves nothing, since such a perfect robot would be built with the ability to eat if needed. For some reason, the story ignores the point that the robot might actually require food - the design in question is Terminatorlike, with flesh upon an artificial skeleton.

    Live Action TV 
  • Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation can consume food and drink to appear more human and put others at ease. He also appears to have taste buds; when he gets his emotion chip in Star Trek: Generations, he realises he "hates" a certain drink.
  • The 'Bots on MST3K are like this, especially Gypsy.
  • Kryten of Red Dwarf doesn't normally eat or drink, but it turns out that Mimosian cuisine, including the telepathic wine, is suitable for droids. An earlier episode has him consuming a special android meal as well as a beverage especially designed to function on droids like alcohol does on a human system... or kill him. Meh, same diff.
  • In an episode of Small Wonder, Ted modified Vicki to extract energy from food and use beverages as coolants.
  • In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron is able to eat food, though it is not made clear whether she does this to blend in with humans or if she gets some benefit from this. At one point she is glitching due to damage to her processor and is convinced that she is actually human, and when presented with a large plate of food she says she isn't hungry.

    Video Games 
  • In general, nearly every video game that features both biological and mechanical protagonists and food- or drink-based power-ups is subject to this. Examples include Chrono Trigger, Pokémon, Persona 3, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, etc.
  • The eponymous ChipWits are rolling steel boxes fueled by pie and coffee.
  • The Glitch from Starbound require food and have a hunger bar like the organic races.
  • Genesect in the Pokémon series can eat Poké Puffs in Pokémon X and Y. Even with a mouth that never opens. How it does this is never explained.
  • ChoiceOfRobots has a chapter where you can design taste sensors for your robot, and even choose what sort of foods you want them to try. Later on, one of said robots expresses a desire to cook as well. They can even get drunk, if you so choose.

    Webcomics 
  • Questionable Content: Pintsize loves to pig out on cakes despite having no stomach or really even containing space for the food, leaving Marten to have to power him off and clean him out more than once.
    • Pintsize and the other AnthroPC's have a rather ambiguous attitude towards eating stuff. Early on in the comic, Pintsize claim to be able to eat and taste food, thanks to an onboard spectrometer - he stores it in a compartment of his chest, then evacuates it later. It's somewhat gross. Later, however, he gets a new chassis, which apparently lacks this function, but that doesn't stop him from eating - just makes it a bad idea. As he is heard saying once, "That was SO worth the massive motherboard damage..."
  • Some of the robots of Bob and George subvert this trope. Megaman eats ice cream by the gallon daily, at first seeming like this trope. As it turns out Dr. Light built him to convert ice cream into fuel.
    • Which the good doctor lived to regret, apparently; when he built Mega Man X, he designed him to hate ice cream, so he wouldn't "turn out like the rest of those lazy, gluttonous slobs".
  • Ping in Megatokyo, to Miho's initial surprise. She can actually derive energy from sugars, and she loves cake.
  • In Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger, the main character's robot helper orders a banana sundae. It explains that it has the capacity to enjoy the sundae- as a work of art, not as nourishment.
  • Difficulty to say in Zenith's case in Commander Kitty. She's certainly seen at a restaurant, claims to have no room for desert, and her "perfectly reasonable demands" for a travel service includes cashews and un-shelled pistachios. On the other hand, she's never seen eating, and it wouldn't be the only time she was wrong about her own functionality.

    Western Animation 
  • Invader Zim: GIR is an example of a robot that has no use for food but pigs out on it anyway to the point of removing useful system components to make more room for stored snacks.
  • Futurama: Bender (and all robots) is designed to run off booze. They get drunks when they don't have alcohol.
  • Subversion in My Life as a Teenage Robot: Trying to fit in with her new human friends Jenny eats an ice cream cone (in one bite) but as soon as they look away she opens a door in her chest and throws the ice cream away.
  • Octus from Sym-Bionic Titan is seen eating icecream bars in one episode.
    • Not only that, he also ate cookies when disguised as Lance and Ilana's father. Plus, unlike most examples of this trope, he's also capable of tasting them.
  • Cyborg from Teen Titans is a Big Eater. Justifiable, as he's not entirely machine.
  • The cars in Cars not only consume fuel (they drink it from a straw rather than taking it in through their gas valves) but also other metal objects like nuts and bolts, as with "human" food including fruits and vegetables, and meat. Except nobody knows where their meat products come from considering the fact that the animals in their world are also vehicles like them, with their cattle being portrayed as either farm or construction equipment.
    • Cars kill farm and construction equipment for food? Who wants tractorburgers? Come and get 'em! Only $2.50!
    • In the sequel, Mater ate wasabi, mistaking it for ice cream. Fire-Breathing Diner ensues.
  • Beast Wars has a few examples of Transformers eating things. Perhaps most notoriously, the incident with Rhinox and the wild bean vines.
  • Subverted by BMO in Adventure Time, who keeps trying to eat, but the food either just get mushed into his screen face or is put inside and has to be cleaned out. The same for the SMOs security guards in "Be More", who all take breaks to smear coffee and donuts all over their faces.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Cryx Kraken Colossal from WarMachine has a special rule called "Meat Fuelled" - allowing it to gain Focus Points when it kills a Living enemy Model. Essentially, it's a giant robot that eats people.

    Other 
  • Played with in BIONICLE. The Matoran were shown fishing and there was mention of food in the first few years of the story, but the characters were never seen eating the food. Since Matoran must wear their masks at all times and wouldn't be able to put food into their mouths, this resulted in a large dose of Fridge Logic... until it was revealed that they consume food by absorbing it through the palms of their hands. Their Bara Manga counterparts also need to eat but are established to be mostly organic.
    • The Skakdi are able to chew and swallow their food, which the Matoran find repulsive.

    Real Life 
  • A company is developing a biomass-fueled robotic drone called EATR. It can run on anything from conventional fuels to scavenged leaves and twigs. Early news articles sensationally (and inaccurately) reported that it was designed to eat meat — including human corpses.
  • The mechanical sculpture Cloaca No. 5 by Wim Delvoye.
  • There are also electronic devices being developed which can run off the glucose in human blood (potential applications include electronic tattoos and cyborg prosthetics).