As seen in many documentaries, The United States sports a unique range of culinary recipes. It is quite common to eat toads in Louisiana, Midwestern states are pretty fond of meat, Southern states love their barbeque, Alaskan and New England cuisine includes many species of sea life (fish, crabs, lobsters), and so on. But since many authors have low opinion on audience's intelligence, many works tend to oversimplify the standard American diet by using a pretty limited food list:
- Hot dogs, either with ketchup, relish, or mustard (or all three combined).
- Crazy hamburgers.
- Unusual Dagwood Sandwiches.
- Potato chips and French fries.
- Chicken wings.
- Tacos and burritos.
- Chocolate stuffed or cream stuffed donuts, which frequently leads to Donut Mess with a Cop.
- Surreal food (e.g. Badger milk from The Animal).
- Extremely calorific drinks, almost always Coca-Cola rip-offs or Starbucks-esque coffee served in massive portion sizes.
- Ice cream, smoothies, and ice cream smoothies.
- Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs.
- Deep-Fried Whatever.
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Anime And Manga
- Axis Powers Hetalia: In America's introductory scene, the other characters are unable to understand what he is saying because he is scarfing down burgers while talking. When England asks him to stop, he switches to drinking cola while talking instead.
- Grumpy Bear Vincent's entire stash in Over the Hedge is composed of junk food, with Pringles expy Spuddies regarded as the epitome of foodstuffs. When RJ the raccoon has to replenish this stockpile, he and his friends raid human suburbs, where junk food seems to be their sole staple.
- In The Triplets of Belleville, the titular city is a caricature of New York, where the citizens are almost exclusively grossly overweight people eating hamburgers and other junk food.
- The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle spoofs this as an example of how much the world has changed from Rocky and Bullwinkle's world of perpetual reruns from The '60s to Real Life during the Turn of the Millennium in a Running Gag of our heroes passing through the same small midwestern, where all of the establishments are nothing but fast food chains.
- Morgan Spurlock's documentary Super Size Me paints America as obsessed with McDonald's and the titular super-size option, to the point of health risk without care by the corporation. The core of the film is about Spurlock eating only McDonald's food for a month on only McDonalds food, causing significant weight gain, cholesterol increase, and some immediate physical and emotional illness. The significance of these results have been criticized, mostly because Spurlock didn't keep a precise record of what he ate (so one can't tell if the stated 5000 Calories per day came from oversized portions or ordering too many items per day) and his body's reaction was definitely exacerbated by his diet changing so suddenly (he had been on a vegan diet for some time before).
- In Demolition Man, ever since the Fast Food Wars, Taco Bell is the only place to eat (at least in the US). None of them are fast food places, though, as junk food has been outlawed — they're just called "Taco Bell" now, having long since become a much fancier dining establishment.
- It has been noted that Adam Richman's gross-out fest portraying the very best and worst of American eating, Man v. Food, has succeeded in presenting a not very flattering picture of American eating habits to viewers outside the USA. The insane eating challenges, and even the standard portion sizes Adam explores in his tour of American food, have contributed to the (largely false but generally held) perception outside the USA that all Americans are waddling, obese, three-hundred-pound gutbuckets who habitually eat to excess.
- Parks and Recreation: Several episodes' plots revolve around the Parks and Rec team attempting to get the citizens of Pawnee to be healthier, though they themselves are constantly tempted into eating terrible fast food. The most popular restaurant in the town of Pawnee is Paunch Burger, a burger joint with comically massive portions (their small drink is essentially a bucket), whose logo is a profile silhouette of a very fat man. Even the main cast regularly comments on how salads are a terrible food item with no redeeming qualities, and they commonly find themselves tempted into eating Paunch Burger food despite their disapproval of its effects on society. Another episode focuses on "nutrition" bars with an absurdly high sugar content, and the team's attempts to prevent them from being sold at parks, though the public loves them... because they're literally addictive.
- In the Grand Theft Auto series, most of the places you can get food are fast food places, hot dog vendors, or food trucks. (This makes sense, as most players probably don't want to take a break from unfettered chaos for a fancy meal at a fancy restaurant.) The only exceptions to this are when the player is on a date or out with friends, then a diner or fancy restaurant is an option. True to form, the games milk this for all it's worth, with ads for these places on radio and TV highlighting their overstuffed portion sizes, the animal cruelty that goes into making the food, and (in the case of the Italian-themed Olive Garden parody Al Dente's) the fact that the "ethnic" cuisine they serve bears no resemblance to anything that people actually eat overseas.
- Saints Row does this in the first two games with any food the player purchases coming from fast food places. The food system is done away with in the third game and doesn't return for the fourth, so this doesn't continue.
- The Creepypasta Burgrr is about a fast-food chain that... appears in the middle of the protagonist's hometown one day, and he's the only one who notices how disgusting and unhealthy the food is. Everyone, from his nasty old bag of a neighbor to primetime news anchors, eats it except him, with the implication being that it's subsumed across all of America...
- The Simpsons:
- There is a "Fast Food Boulevard", an entire area filled with fast food restaurants, most notably Krusty Burger.
- In "Sweets n' Sour Marge", after Springfield is named the "world's fattest town", Marge realizes there's sugar in practically everything the townspeople eat, prompting her to declare war on the sugar industry.