Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables
Some fiction will introduce similar or strange fruits and vegetables, often the object of a search and/or an important ingredient in something
. They tend to have odd abilities, and properties that don't occur in real life.
It should be noted that there are a fair number of real fruits and vegetables that can qualify as very strange, unusual, and exotic. (For example: the Durian, the Buddha's Hand, or the Miracle Fruit.) But of course, they have a slim chance of showing up in fiction due to Small Reference Pools
, so you get fictional ones instead.
See also Magic Mushroom
, Healing Herb
, Multipurpose Monocultured Crop
Anime and Manga
- One Piece: the devil fruits that give eaters superpowers.
- Rosario + Vampire: the monster Durian in Capu 2.
- One chapter of Keroro Gunsou features a giant killer space yam.
- Toriko is built on this trope and others like it.
- Not used for laughs in the manga Sugar Dark where one of a series of monstrously sized, practically unstoppable undead Eldritch Abomination called "The Dark" had been buried under an tree, tainting and mutating its growing fruits with its essence. The adorable, yet horribly woobieish Moe, Meria, ate one of the fruits of the tree and absorbed its power, turning her into a creature with Resurrective Immortality whom members of the Masquerade use to lure the "The Dark" into killing and torturing her in various ways before they become incapacitated by the upcoming sunlight and buried into the ground, which is the only way of sealing them off from harming humanity.
- In Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, the travelers (all from different worlds), are arguing in a marketplace over what a particular fruit is. Said fruit looks like an apple, but when someone begins describing an apple, someone else says, "isn't that a raki seed?", which sets off another character declaring what his perception of an apple is. Not surprisingly, the fruit stand owner tersely asks them if they want to buy the fruit, or just argue over it, prompting Mokona to respond, "Want it!", and swallowing the apple, ending the discussion.
- Gingold, a rare tropical fruit from the Yucatan in DC Comics. It was the basis for the formula that gave Ralph Dibny (the Elongated Man) his stretching abilities.
- Spirou and Fantasio has a whole valley filled with fantastic fruits and vegetables. They all look horrible (ie, purple-brown skull-shaped peaches) but are actually delicious.
- Roald Dahl liked these. Snozzcumbers from The BFG (which were so disgusting the giants preferred to eat children instead, with the exception of the titular character who put up with the foul taste) come to mind.
: And when you lick a snozzberry, it tastes just exactly like a snozzberry...
- Dr. Seuss likewise used them a lot.
- C. S. Lewis describes some in his Perelandra. Of course, they are on Venus.
- The Magician's Nephew has the tree with the silver apples — a direct reference to the Tree of Knowledge from The Bible — one of which cures Digory's mother's apparently fatal illness. There's also the toffee-fruit tree he and Polly plant, which is sadly never heard of again. Later, in The Silver Chair, it turns out that way beneath the surface of Narnia's world, precious metals and gems are living plants that produce fruit. And of course the heaven in The Last Battle has a tree whose fruit, in true C.S. Lewis style, can only be described by saying how much better it is than everything that exists in the real world.
- It's implied that the first and last examples are one and the same, only now the characters eating it are both dead and in the kingdom of Aslan, so they get the full bore of it.
- The Queen's Museum and Other Fanciful Tales by Frank Stockton: the story Christmas Before Last has the Fruit of the Fragile Palm. It's similar to a coconut, but the inside is so delicious that it's worth as much as diamonds or pearls.
- Dayig fruit, from Summers at Castle Auburn. The main character's uncle uses it to pose a sort of personality test to a hunting party: The fruit is absolutely delicious, but full of tiny, poisonous seeds. Would you risk trying it? Later subverted: the seeds aren't poisonous at all, and he was just playing mind games with the group.
- Discworld features the wahoonie, a foul-smelling, earwax-colored root vegetable that can grow up to twenty feet in length. Ankh-Morpork is known as the Big Wahoonie, though the narration claims that not even the wahoonie smells that bad.
- A whole range of these spontaneously evolved on Mono Island in The Last Continent, in a frantic effort to prove useful enough to the departing wizards that they'd take their seeds off the isle (and away from the crackpot God of Evolution). Although there's no specific scene of them encountering a "pencil bush", it's mentioned in Hogfather that pencils are grown, not made, on Discworld, so it's possible that one such species did successfully spread to other islands.
- Loads in the Star Trek Novel Verse. Zalkatian Clamdas, Betazoid Hilrep, Horvas, Andorian Vithi, many, many more.
- Land of Oz featured a lot of these-lunch pails grewing on trees featured in Ozma of Oz
- There's a lot of these in Xanth, mostly having properties derived from bad puns (explosive cherry bombs, etc). Weaponized by one character whose magic talent is conjuring fruit.
- Invoked offscreen in the Show Within a Show Wormhole X-Treme, when Martin Lloyd tells a prop guy to "get some kiwis and spray-paint them green" for a scene, instead of using apples.
: So, now the scene reads, "Colonel Danning walks into the orchard, says 'How like Eden this world is', and bites into a painted kiwi."
Table Top RPG
- The fruit of the lotus tree in Greek Mythology, which caused both sleepiness and addiction. (The tree is the Trope Namer for the Lotus-Eater Machine, by the way.)
- The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, which is believed to grow sheep as its fruit.
- Chinese Mythology has many stories that feature the Peaches of Immortality, which, as their name suggests, grant immortality to those who eat it. At one point, Sun Wukong was given a the title of "Protector of the Peaches", but it was like letting a cat guard a canary...
- Similarly, in Norse Mythology, the goddess Iđunn grew apples which acted as a Fountain of Youth for the gods. (The effect wasn't permanent; one story tells of a clever jotun who stole the apples, so the gods grew old. They made Loki go retrieve them.)
- Dungeons & Dragons has the Death's Head Tree. Its fruit resembles heads (those of the bodies the tree has eaten) that can spit seeds like bullets.
- Changeling The Lost features Goblin Fruits, fruits that grow only in the Hedge. The fruits range in appearance from "like typical fruit, only in slightly off colors" to "resembling everything from roughly-carved human heads to icicles to ovaries." Most of them have a beneficial effect on changeling metabolism, allowing them to heal damage, but a good number of the fruits have side effects, such as increased alertness, unceasing hunger, guaranteed fertility, or the temporary ability to understand any spoken language.
- Traveller: in a side story in Intersteller Wars, one spacer visits a planet that is unique as a garden world that can instantly evolve its life to fit any new change. The spacer eats a local fruit and finds it delicious but shocks a local farmer who told him it had been poisonous the day before.
- Used to Squickiest effect in the monster list "Dark Menagerie" of the Scarred Lands. Gaurak the Glutton, one of the titans sealed into the land of Scarn by the gods, would offer his most devoted followers tainted greasy melons that turn them into disgusting, greasy folds of fat hardly able to walk and swarming with lard worms that eat anything unlucky enough to suffocate in their folds.
- Similarly, a plant that had been tainted among a corrupted forest by one of the titan's blood after it was felled by the gods, is a gnarled tree covered in fruits with tormented faces on them that corrupts any creature that eats it, making the unfortunate victim willing to defend the tree with their lives. Some particularly vile cults and evil worshipers willingly corrupt themselves by drinking its juice.
- BIONICLE has Bula (berries that restore energy), Madu (explosive coconuts), and Thornax (spiky, sometimes explosive, fruit used as Edible Ammunition).
- Pokémon has a wide variety of berries since their introduction in generation II. Since generation III, they have Punny Names like the titular Mons.
- Heck, there's even Pokemon who are fruits or vegetables: Exeggecute, Sunkern, Seedot, Ludicolo, Tropius (technically its banana beard), Cherubi, Cherrim, Whimiscott (based on the cotton plant as well as the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary), Ferroseed and Ferrothorn (if horse-chestnuts are considered as "fruit").
- There are also a series of inedible fruits in the Johto region called apricorns that served as the invention of the first Pokeball.
- In the remakes, apricorns can be juiced, and the juice fed to Pokemon to improve their Pokeathelon stats.
- The mushrooms from the Super Mario Bros. series.
- Everything found in the Shivering Isles Expansion Pack of The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, with a large side order of Fungus Humongous.
- Any World of Mana series game that allows you to own an orchard.
- The Sims 3 has life fruits, which give the Sim who eats one an extra day of life, flame fruits, which aren't actually on fire but do give you a warm fuzzy feeling just by carrying it around, and plasma fruits, which re-fills a vampire Sim's Thirst motive.
- The Kingdom Hearts series has the star-shaped Paopu fruit, which supposedly links the destinies of those who share one.
- The Tales Series games have, in addition to the usual selection of apples, bananas, etc., a pair of recurring fictional fruits called "kirima" and "amango".
- Sonic the Hedgehog games seem to have these, when there's a Chao-raising virtual pet minigame. In the original Sonic Adventure, at least, you have cubicle fruit, triangle fruit, and round fruit, and then more special ones like Chao fruit *, and heart fruit *. There are also the mushrooms, which increase the hidden intelligence and luck stats and look suspiciously like Mario 1-Up mushrooms.
- Delicious Fruit, which, like everything else in I Wanna Be The Guy, try to kill you. They're more like giant cherries, really. And people do apparently eat them, though they have to be harvested with sticks from a distance and boiled three times to remove the poison.
- In Poharex there's the Blue Fruit, which grow only in a certain valley, and cause addiction, madness, and eventually paralysis.
- The Lydian Option features both a cafeteria full of "cross-nutritional" foods for multiple species and a highly addictive alien fruit.
- Neopets uses an assortment of them.
- Subeta does too. Most notably, is the Ikumoradeekanox tree, which itself is kinda bizarre-looking. (Blue bark with white spots, no leaves to speak of) Once a day, you can pick a fruit from it. Sometimes the fruit is mundane and familiar, but more often it's a very weird fruit. (You don't get to choose which fruit it is, though; it's random.)
- Chowder has nothing but these.
- Treasure Planet had purple lemons that crunch like apples. They were called Purps.
- Just about anything the Kiwi can grow on Galaxy Rangers. An episode involved trees that grew nutritious marshmallows.
- In one episode of Futurama, among the gifts given to Fry after he leaves the Planet Express to sleep in Bender's apartment is a miniature fruit salad tree offered by Leela. Fry picks a tiny banana among the half-inch sized fruits, eats it, and tosses the skin on the floor (which Amy promptly slips on).
- Beast Machines: in the episode "Forbidden Fruit" one of their newest team members, a techno-organic vehicon with a bat mode named Nightscream, offers the members fruits from a towering organic fruit tree to help their organic components. However, the fruit magnifies their bestial sides that dominates over their robotic minds, turning them animalistic and feral. The maximals are restored when Cheetor (the only one who rejected the fruit out of misguided suspicion of Nightscream) cuts down the tree's trunk.
- Much of the action in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Family Appreciation Day" involves the Apple family being busy with the harvest of Zap Apples, a magical breed of apple that sprouts delicious rainbow-colored fruit... fruit which only grows following a series of ominous-looking signs, and which disappears not long after if it's not picked as soon as possible.
- In The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible, the Forbidden Fruit from the Garden of Eden is depicted as looking like a beet with a yellow top (only it grows from a tree, not in the ground.) Similarly, the Tree of Life's fruit (the antidote to the Tree of Knowledge) looks rather like an eggplant. Justified, in that it's not known what these fruits were or might have been based on. *