[[quoteright:232:[[Film/TheGoldRush http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chaplin_6904.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:232: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"''
-->-- '''Gary''' ([[Recap/SpongebobSquarepantsS1E15SleepyTimeSuds in his dreams]]), ''WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob SquarePants}}''

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 - [[AllWomenLoveShoes if male]]. (It is no accident that the vast majority of last-resort shoe-eaters below are male). Also, they tend to be made of leather (which resembles food the most out anything else you'll ever wear).[[note]]Unless, of course you happen to be Music/LadyGaga. Then it's [[IconicOutfit something else.]][[/note]] TropeMaker is probably Creator/CharlieChaplin, who did it first in his classic ''Film/TheGoldRush'' (1925). A subtrope of PovertyFood.

Not to be confused with a MarshmallowDream, in which a shoe may be eaten by accident(as shown in the Limerick above).


[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', protagonist Edward Elric, when [[spoiler:trapped in Gluttony's stomach]], 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/TheGoldRush'': Creator/CharlieChaplin 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 TastesLikeChicken. 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 Creator/JanSvankmajer'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 ''Film/CannibalTheMusical'' the characters also start eating their shoes before eating each other.

* In ''Discworld/{{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 [[IndestructibleEdible 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.
** One of the wizards mentioned having to eat boots in desperation when, as a student, he and some classmates undertook an expedition to find the UU Library's legendary Lost Reading Room. They didn't find it, but they ''did'' find the remains of the previous year's expedition ... and ate ''their'' boots, too.
* In ''TheMilagroBeanfieldWar'', Joe remarks about how he and his family are "tired of eating stewed tennis shoes instead of meat."
* In ''Literature/GhostStory'', ghostly Harry rushes back into the Corpsetaker's lair to stop her from [[spoiler: eating all the Lecter Specters so as to grow more powerful]], and arrives just in time to see her gulp down one of the child-ghosts' shoes.

* "Mr. Green Genes" from Music/FrankZappa's album ''Music/UncleMeat''.
--> ''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''

* In ''VideoGame/TheSims2'', an unlucky fisherman can wind up FishingForSole, and actually cook with it (though no Sim will enjoy eating the results.)

* In the ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' episode "Citizen Max," a flashback shows then poor Montana Max and Buster Bunny talking about eating a shoe.
* ''WesternAnimation/PetAlien'': Gumper eats everything, including shoes.
* Tom is shipwrecked in the ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' cartoon "His Mouse Friday" and starts eating his shoes and shoelaces.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{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.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': 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.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob SquarePants}}'' episode "[[Recap/SpongebobSquarepantsS1E15SleepyTimeSuds Sleepy Time Suds]]", Gary recites a limerick to Spongebob with this as the punchline in Gary's dream. Long story.

* The usual sorts of leather that are used to make shoes are actually perfectly edible, if not exactly palatable the only problem is that to be water resistant and durable, the leather is generally tanned, which often makes it indigestible, if not outright toxic. Rawhide, however, which is tanned using animal grease, remains digestible even after treatment, so in the case of severe hunger [[ReducedToRatburgers rawhide items can be boiled and eaten]], or even nibbled as is. There are many well-documented cases of starving humans surviving on rawhide before getting help.
* German film director Creator/WernerHerzog once made a wager with his friend, documentarian Creator/ErrolMorris, promising that he would eat his shoe if Morris ever completed his full-length film ''Film/GatesOfHeaven''. 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 [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin ''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.
* Dogs chewing on shoes is TruthInTelevision, of course.