"Wait. A pie with hobo-lifting aroma? Who baked it?"
For humans, the sense of smell is one of the main ways we are drawn to food, so this naturally shows up a lot in fiction.
In comedic or cartoony situations, a character will be shown being physically lifted off the ground and floating toward the source of a delicious smell. In older Looney Tunes
-style shorts the vapors of scent will often be clearly visible, physics aside, and sometimes the vapor will actually develop hands that will lift the character.
Particularly Genre Savvy
villains will sometimes build a trap around this trope and ensnare an unsuspecting hungry person.
Often an example of Editorial Synaesthesia
Anime and Manga
- This is the main shtick of Toucan Sam in the Kellogg's Froot Loops commercials, hence the trope name.
- A Lowes commercial uses this with the smell of fresh cut grass signaling the start of spring.
- In Miyazaki's Spirited Away, Chihiro's parents find a spirit restaurant by following their noses and proceed to gorge themselves on the food. Only Chihiro resists eating it, and good thing, too.
- In ×××HOLiC, Watanuki finds the Fox Spirit's Oden cart this way, and eventually forms a strong friendship with the shop owner's son.
- After sniffing around for a while, Mikoto in Mai-HiME is drawn to a kendo dojo in the second episode and initiates a Fire Breathing Diner after stealing some super-spicy curry bread.
- Variation: In Wolf's Rain the wolves are drawn to Freeze City by the smell not of food but of lunar flowers. The scent ultimately leads them to the Flower Maiden Cheza, whom they hope will show them the way to Paradise.
- In One Piece, Luffy often forgets what he was doing and runs off if he smells food somewhere.
- Non-intentionally hillarious: Baki the Grappler shows us how reanimating the frozen body of the Jurassic man, Pickle, seems unattainable... but he awakes on his own after smelling a T-Rex steak.
- Played with in a Garfield strip, where Garfield actually puts a hand to his ear and rushes up to Jon holding an ice cream cone, to which Jon incredulously replies "How can you hear ice cream??"
- This often happens to the dog Louie of Overboard when something is cooked on a barbecue.
- In Over the Hedge, a woman had gone into labor (at home), but the baby just wouldn't come out. So the friendly neighborhood animals put their heads together: "If you had to pick one thing to convince the baby that life's worth living, what would it be?" They cooked up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, used a fan to blow the scent in through the window, and the baby leaped out of his mother, sniffing eagerly at the aroma.
- Parodied/inverted in The Young Ones:
Mr. Right Bleeding Bastard: Where's your toilet?
Neil: Oh, it's upstairs, just follow your nose.
- Many, many Tom and Jerry shorts feature this, usually with Tom's use of cheese to ensnare Jerry.
- A sleepwalking Spike following a steak-on-a-pulley, squashing Jerry in the process.
- Early lampshading: in Mickey Mouse's The Little Whirlwind (1941), Mickey is lifted through the air to Minnie's house by the scent vapors of a delicious cake. Before getting the whole way there however, Minnie shuts the window from which the vapors emerge... and the vapors instantly react by dropping Mickey.
- The page quote comes from the Futurama episode where Bender attempts to become a chef, and this trope is parodied by a couple of hobos who float off the ground thanks to jetpacks upon smelling
Yoda Spargel's pie.
- Wilma's Yabba-dabba-dooberry pie on The Flintstones tended to have this effect on anyone who smelled it.
- Happened to Monterrey Jack on Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers whenever he smelled cheese. At least once, this was used to trap him.
- On DuckTales, Uncle Scrooge would often parody this trope by having the same reaction to the smell of money.
- One of Scrooge's Traps in his money bin uses food and has this effect on Burger Beagle.
- Scooby-Doo often did this as well when he and Shaggy were anywhere near food.
- In A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Scooby's nose would sometimes cartoonishly pop off, and Scooby and the gang would literally follow his nose.
- In one episode of Freakazoid!, a pumpkin pie is used as bait for Candle Jack. He floats anyway, but follows the scent lines to the trap.
- Hey! Who left this pumpkin pie here?
- Homer Simpson can not only smell food, but can actually smell the writing on a birthday cake.
- Spongebob Squarepants somewhat invokes this trope on Squidward in "Just One Bite" where the scent of a Krabby Patty gently caresses his nose, flicks it and kisses it.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this in the episode One Bad Apple, where Spike is lifted into the air by the smell of carrot crepes. Unfortunately for him, Pinkie Pie breaks his connection with the smell and hijacks it for herself.
- Bugs Bunny does this in the Looney Tunes short "Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears", when he floats out of his rabbit hole, led into the Three Bears' home by the scent of carrot soup.