Fattening The Victim
"You don't get it! They're fattening us up to eat us!"A character tries to fatten another character (or animal) like livestock, usually under the pretense of a friendly dinner or banquet in order for the latter to be bigger to eat or die of obesity. If the guest refuses to eat, the character might try Force Feeding them instead. This plan sometimes backfires as the designated "victim" might outsmart the character and cause them to fall into their own trap like getting pushed in an oven. Another variant for is when the victim convinces their captor to "fatten them up" first to bide time for an escape plan. Related to I'm a Humanitarian and To Serve Man.
— Reggie, Free Birds
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- Space Dandy: Episode 9's B plot. One race of Plantans fatten up Meow to turn him into foie gras. Dandy inadvertently reverts them into ordinary plants first, leaving Meow none the wiser.
- One planet the judges visit in the Judge Child Quest arc of Judge Dredd has oracle spice, obtained from a giant toad named Sagbelly. An evil mutant sends creatures called Watchers to gather victims to feed Sagbelly. The townsfolk have set up a gruesome lottery that ties "nine fat men, forty days a-feeding" to posts on the town's outskirts for this purpose.
- Hansel and Gretel: The witch uses her gingerbread house to lure children into her home in order to fatten and cook them. Every day the witch checks to see how fat Hansel is by having him poke one of his fingers through the cage, but Hansel tricks her by holding out a stick or crust instead.
Films — Animated
- The Tweedy's in Chicken Run start doing this to their chickens in order to make them fat enough for their chicken pies.
Films — Live-Action
Live Action TV
- The Benny Hill Show: Benny plays a wealthy older man who gets himself a Trophy Wife, who insists that he eat and drink as much as he wants and then some. It's obvious to everyone but him that she's a Gold Digger in cahoots with the Tennis Pro to basically feed & exercise him to death and get the inheritance. Sure enough, he dies and she marries the pro. But then at the reception her new husband starts feeding her - cue an Oh Crap! look as she realizes now he's the one who stands to inherit.
- In the Doctor Who serial "Paradise Towers", Mel is fed up by the Rezzies Tilda and Tabby, who then reveal themselves as cannibals who plan to eat. This is a Fridge Logic moment as the Rezzies are supposed to have turned to cannibalism due to lack of food, raising the question of where Tilda and Tabby obtained the food they are using to fatten Mel.
- In Elementary Sherlock tells Joan that he's going to do this to a turtle which had been the pet of a victim of the week, but he's just joking.
- The Twilight Zone: In the episode "To Serve Man", after the hero discovers the alien Kanamits eat the humans they take to their planet as "ambassadors", he is taken prisoner aboard their ship. In the last scene a Kamamit is exhorting him to eat his dinner.
- In the episode "About A Boy" (S10, Ep12), the witch feeds the deaged adults dry cake in an attempt to fatten them up.
- The Leviathans' Evil Plan is to turn humans into docile and fattened livestock. The drugs they plan to use for this scheme also poison other supernatural beings who prey on humans since the Leviathans don't like competition.
- Xena: Warrior Princess: Gabrielle and Virgil are captured by a Cannibal Tribe in "The Abyss" episode that keep their victims in a hut filled with food. While in imprisoned, they meet a fellow prisoner called Rubico who managed to stay off the menu by staying skinny with diet and exercise so that he would be less appetising then his fellow captives.
Virgil: What kind of savages feed their captives like kings? Maybe they did understand me. Now that they know that I'm a friend of Xena. What are you doing?
Rubico : Breathing a sigh of relief.
Virgil: About what?
Rubico: Your youthful zest for food and drink.
Virgil: Oh, I get it. I'm the catch of the day.
- In Kur of Gor the alien Kur race adapted a herd of humans in a cross between this and a breeding program so they're bulky cattle. One is estimated to weigh about 600 lbs.
- Used as a plot point in a couple of the Billy Bunter stories, Billy Bunter Among The Cannibals and Big Chief Bunter in particular. Although Bunter is already so fat, fattening him up any more is a bit like gilding fine gold.
- A Goosebumps book, "Attack of the Jack o'Lanterns", took place during Hallowe'en. Two of the characters appear to be kids who are friends of the protagonists, wearing pumpkin masks over their whole head. They take the protagonists and the bullies who are forcing them to trick or treat with them, to a hidden suburb behind a forest where everybody has a pumpkin head. The Pumpkin Head kids force the other kids to take as much candy as they can carry in pillow cases, then eat everything in the bag. Then, they try to force the kids to go for more. The bullies run off and leave the protagonists but the pumpkin heads turn out to be superpowered aliens who are the protagonists' friends. But then, after they laugh at the bullies running scared, they admit that they actually eat fat adults, but the protagonist is not old enough or fat enough yet.
Alien: I wouldn't fill up on all that candy. We'll be back next year.
- At the end of the short story "The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles" by Margaret St. Clair:
But great are the virtues of legitimate commerce. Though they fattened Mortensen sedulously, and, later, roasted and sauced him and ate him with real appetite, the gnoles slaughtered him in quite a humane manner and never once thought of torturing him. That is unusual, for gnoles.
- A bad ending in the Nintendo Adventure Book Flown the Koopa has a tribe of Mega Moles eat Mario and Luigi after fattening them up with "gifts" of food.
- John Anthony West's short story "Gladys's Gregory" involves a society of sorts in which women encourage their husbands to put on huge amounts of weight, then slaughter and eat the fattest guy (prepared according to his last wishes) after an annual weigh-in. And then Gregory squicks everyone by asking to be served raw.
- The Bone Chillers sequel book Frankenturkey II featured the eponymous monster turkey cheating death via a wish gone bad. Possessing benevolent turkey Gobble-De-Gook and now turned into a Jackass Genie, it grants protagonist Annie's unintended wish that her unfeeling brother Kyle be fattened up and eaten for Thanksgiving said in the heat of the moment. Annie is horrified when her parents begin to fatten her brother to actually eat him on Thanksgiving, and is even more so terrified that Kyle is okay with this and eager to have his head chopped off.
- Implied in Stanley Ellin's story Specialty of the House, in which the fact that the restaurant's food is fattening only gets mentioned in passing - and the fact that the really fattened up customers disappear, only to have the specialty, Lamb Aemirstan, be served right thereafter.
- A family on a farm in The Walking Dead offers Lee and his friends a place to stay and a lot of food, which was a massive blessing since Lee's group was running out of food previously. Lee and Kenny discover a room in the barn that looks like a slaughterhouse and suspect something isn't right with the family. Their fears are completely correct as they quickly find out that the family had chopped off their wounded friend's legs and used said legs as the meat in the dinner everyone was eating that night. Once Lee's group realizes that the family are cannibals and were fattening them up to make more "meat" out of them, the family turns hostile and locks them up at gun point.
- In Diablo III Ghom, the demon lord of Gluttony, was fattening up his human prisoners so they'd be a more satisfying meal. They started acting up when somebody realized they only got meat when one of them was dragged off.
- In Little Ninja Brothers, Tub-a-Tummy, the first major boss you face, poses as the mayor of Deli-Chous and treats you to a banquet fit for ten men so that he can turn you into meatballs and eat you. After you partake of your drugged meal, you get tossed in prison where you learn that Tub-A-Tummy has tried doing this to other victims, including the real mayor.
- Dan Vs. references this in "Dan Vs. The Neighbors". Dan distrusts his new neighbors because they're "too nice", so when they persistently offer fresh pies to Dan, he concludes that they're fattening him up so they can eat him. They aren't. They're just being friendly, and Dan's being paranoid.
- DuckTales: Double Subverted. "The Golden Fleecing". When the harpies kidnap Launchpad, he thinks that they're planning to eat him. They respond that, no, they just want him to stay for dinner. However, they didn't tell him that they were feeding him so a dragon could eat him.
- Garfield and Friends has two incidences of this.
- In the episode "Nighty Nightmare", near the end of Garfield's Dream Sequence, it is revealed that the reason Garfield was eating every scrap of food in the world and growing to gigantic proportions was because an alien was using a mind-control ray on him to fatten him up for Thanksgiving dinner for the planet Clarion.
- In the episode "Pest of a Guest", Garfield exploits this trope and makes a freeloading cat who's been faking being sick think this is what his going to happen to him. He makes a recipe card that has one kitty cat as the main ingredient to Jon's casserole. Later Jon (who doesn't know what Garfield did) casually mentions to the cat "we've got to fatten you up" and that the casserole is Odie's favorite dish. Odie licks him and that cat thinks Odie is tasting him, causing him to flee from the house.
- In Free Birds the turkey Reggie is the Only Sane Man who realizes that the reason the farmers feed him and the other turkeys so much is as food for humans.
- The Simpsons:
Lisa: Oh, this is horrible!Bart: (Eating candy) Horribly delicious.Lisa: You know, she's only fattening you up so she can eat you.Bart: Eh. What are you gonna do?Lisa: Well, at least stop basting yourself.
- Zig-Zagged in the first Halloween episode, the eponymous family is abducted by aliens, who claim they will take them to their heaven-like planet. While on the ship, the Simpsons are fed a lot and are weighted after each meal. Lisa then finds a book that is titled "How to cook Humans". One alien then blows off some dust on the cover, revealing that the book is actually called "How to cook for Humans". Lisa then blows some more dust off, making the title "How to cook forty Humans". Finally, the alien blows one last bit of dust, revealing that the full title of the book is "How to cook for forty Humans". The aliens were horrified that the Simpsons believe they would eat them, and get fed up with how rude they were by pigging out. Then the aliens take them back home, while telling them about the infinite pleasure they would have had on their planet.
- The second short of Treehouse of Horror XI, "Scary Tales Can Come True", is a parody of classic fairytales. At one point Lisa and Bart get captured by the Wicked Witch from Hansel and Gretel, leading to the following conversation:
- Merrie Melodies:
- In the short "Holiday For Drumsticks", a hillbilly is trying to fatten up a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner by feeding it large amounts of food. Daffy Duck wants the food, so he informs the turkey about his fate and convinces him to not eat anything and exercise to lose weight. The plan works — when Thanksgiving arrives the turkey is as thin as a reed and Daffy is massively overweight. Then Daffy discovers that the hillbilly is fine with having duck for Thanksgiving dinner instead... Watch it here.
- Daffy is also the victim of this in "Daffy's Southern Exposure". Daffy nearly starves in winter after foolishly refusing to go South. He is taken in by two kindly old ladies who feed him many cans of beans. Said old ladies are actually a fox and a weasel who have gotten sick of eating beans and are in the mood for some roast duck...
- An interpretation of Pigs Is Pigs is that the mad scientist lured Piggy in only to fatten up and eat him. It works marvelously well given Piggy is a sinful glutton, but considering It Was All Just A Dream, this may not apply.
- In an episode of Gawayn, a group of natives feed Sir Roderick plan to sacrifice Sir Roderick to the volcano god. However, they first feed him 27 pizzas to fatten him up and make him a suitable sacrifice.
- Attempted by a morally bankrupt sea captain against Wily Kit and Wily Kat in Thundercats2011. His cook really stuffs them, the little victims oblivious. They don't get eaten, though.
- Subverted in Rocko's Modern Life: Heffer (a steer) was found as a baby by a family of wolves who attempted to do this. They managed to fatten him up perfectly, but they had begun to view him as part of their own family, so chose not to eat him (he had actually grown up thinking he really was part of their family).
- 2 Stupid Dogs has an example in the second "Red" episode; Red Riding Hood unknowingly leads the dogs to a gingerbread house which is owned by a certain witch (fairy tales are mixed together in these episodes). She orders the dogs to feed Red until she is fat enough and, after a time card saying more than a year has passed, Red is fat enough to fill the cage, Then the witch not only swallows her, but the dogs too.
- Done in one episode of Tom and Jerry Tales where a pride of lions provide Tom and Jerry with a huge banquet of food to fatten them up for their next meal.
- Tom and Jerry: In the episode "That's My Mommy" Tom finds a small duckling that believes he is its mother. As a result Tom decides to eat the duckling. He wants to make stuffed roast duck and feeds the duckling stuffing to fatten him up significantly. The duck after fattened is then placed in a tray for cooking.
- Woody Woodpecker: In "Corn Fed Up" Gabby Gator tricks Woody into thinking his swamp farm is actually a corn farm. With a tasty meal in sight Gabby feeds Woody corn fritters to fatten him up while Woody sits on a wooden swing (it is actually attached to a scale).
- Popeye The Sailor: In the episode "pop-pie a la mode" our hero Pop-Eye finds himself shipwrecked. He finds an island that is full of cannibals but he does not know. The cannibals treat Pop-Eye like a guest by giving him plenty of food. They really are fattening him up for a feast.
- Gargamel does this to Greedy after he manages to capture him in The Smurfs episode "Gormandizing Greedy", which turns out to be a Diet Episode.
- In the style of Hansel and Gretel, an old witch lures Yin and Yang into her home in the Yin Yang Yo episode "A Walk in the Woods" and fattens them up with a big strawberry cake.