Eating Shoes

Do you want laces with that?

"There once was a man from Peru,
Who dreamed he was eating his shoe.
He woke with a fright
In the middle of the night,
To find that his dream had come true"

Out of all the unusual things that someone can eat, shoes tend to be the most popular choice in fiction. Probably because they are the type of clothing one misses the least. Also, they tend to be made of leather (which resembles food the most out anything else you'll ever wear).note  Trope Maker is probably Charlie Chaplin, who did it first in his classic The Gold Rush (1925).

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, protagonist Edward Elric, at one point, boils a leather shoe for Prince Ling Yao to eat: "When I become the Emperor of Xing, I will have you recorded in the history books as 'the man who fed a shoe to the Emperor.'"

Film
  • The Gold Rush: Charlie Chaplin and Big Jim, the man he's rooming with at an isolated cabin, are so starved that they start eating one of Chaplin's shoes. It seems to taste to him very well, by the way, in fact it Tastes Like Chicken. Fun fact: The shoe was made out of licorice. They shot so many takes that Chaplin had to be rushed to the hospital for an insulin shot.
  • In Jan Švankmajer's short film "Food" two customers wait in vain until a waiter comes to take their order. They start eating everything in sight, including their shoes.
  • In Cannibal The Musical the characters also start eating their shoes before eating each other.

Literature
  • In Hogfather the manager of the restaurant in Ankh-Morpork, a former chef, is able to make meals out of mud and old boots (after Death steals his food stocks to feed the beggars) by a combination of skill and 'headology' (people will eat anything in a fancy restaurant if the menu is in French... Er, Quirmian). In Nanny Ogg's Cookbook it's noted that mud and old boots-based cuisine eventually caught on across the city's posh restaurants.
    • Also, you don't carry Dwarf Bread to eat. You carry it so that your shoes taste better by comparison. And if you've run out of those, your own feet.
  • In The Milagro Beanfield War, Joe remarks about how he and his family are "tired of eating stewed tennis shoes instead of meat."

Music
  • "Mr. Green Genes" from Frank Zappa's album Uncle Meat.
    Eat your shoes
    Don't forget the strings
    And socks
    Even eat the box
    You've bought 'em in
    You can eat the truck
    That brought 'em in

Video Games
  • In The Sims 2, an unlucky fisherman can wind up Fishing for Sole, and actually cook with it (though no Sim will enjoy eating the results.)

Western Animation
  • Pet Alien: Gumper eats everything, including shoes.
  • Tom is shipwrecked in the Tom and Jerry cartoon "His Mouse Friday" and starts eating his shoes and shoelaces.
  • Futurama:
    • In "That's Lobstertainment!", Fry, having been trapped in a tar pit for hours with Leela, wants to eat his shoe. When Leela figures a way out, he still suggests having shoe and proceeds to eat it.
    • In "Godfellas", Fry and Leela imprison some monks in a laundry room and hijack their telescope. One of the monks pleads through the door: "Let us out! We cooked our shoes in the dryer and ate them! Now we're bored!"
      Fry: I'm sure their god will save them, or at least give them more shoes to eat.
  • The Simpsons: In one scene in "Brother Can You Spare Two Dimes?" Herb Powell is talking to his fellow beggars sitting around a fire. One of them is Charlie Chaplin eating his own shoe.

Real Life
  • German film director Werner Herzog once made a wager with his friend, documentarian Errol Morris, promising that he would eat his shoe if Morris ever completed his full-length film Gates Of Heaven. When Morris did, Herzog used the wager to raise publicity and dined on the footwear at a local restaurant after the premiere. Another filmmaker, Les Blank, recorded the event for the short film ''Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe''.
    • If you're wondering, he boiled it with soup stock and garlic first. He didn't eat the sole, saying "One does not eat the bones of the chicken."
  • These two women in New York went shopping during a blizzard. This led to them somehow getting trapped inside their car from the snow. Fortunately, they just went shopping. Unfortunately, it was light shopping, as they spent most of the time buying some boots for the winter season. They were stuck in there for about two days and they ran out of food at some point. So, as a last resort they had to eat the leather from the boots they bought.
    • Fortunately, they were able to live long enough through melted snow they were just barely able to get, so, they're still alive.
  • During his first descent of the Amazon River, Franicisco de Orellana and his crew were starving and a combination of sickness and hostile natives prevented them from landing to forage for food, so they were reduced to boiling and eating their boots.
  • Supposedly Mao Zedong had to resort to this at one point during the revolution days. He survived, so it at the very least kept him from starving.