Avocados. Also called "alligator pears." When life gives you avocados, you make guacamole. The original name for the fruit is ahuacatl, which literally means "Testicle." In French, Avocados are called Avocats. Lawyers are called Avocats as well. A "brown avocado" is a rotten one. It is also the term for a corrupt lawyer.
Durians. Textbook example of Foreign Queasine. They are so renowned for their foul smell that they're banned from many transportation outlets and public lodging in Southeast Asia (their native lands). They also look like◊ the business end of a "Mace of Vitamin C."
Eggplants. Despite the eggplant being a bitter vegetable (and your inner child still doesn't have a fondness for bitter vegetables, does it?), it still has popularity in popular imagery because of its funny bouncy shape and it being purple with a bit of green on the tip (i.e. looks nothing like an egg).note The name comes from an old variety of the fruit which was small, white, and egg-shaped. They were known as "mala insana", or mad apples, in medieval times, and are called aubergines (oh-ber-jeen) in Britain. Also note that if you're going with a strictly biological definition eggplants are a fruit, which is why we listed it in this article.
Kiwis. Just plain fun to say. Properly called Chinese gooseberries, but that doesn't sound half as good. Called kiwifruit in New Zealand, to avoid confusion with the bird or the demonym.
Kumquats. The name sounds vaguely dirty. Also: see Kiwis. Also, they are eaten with their peels still on.
Pineapples. No other edible fruit looks anything like them (because they're the only edible member of the bromeliad family). References to fruit can also play off the name of a common hairstyle or the Mk 2 fragmentation grenade. Scientific name is Ananas comosus, which is hard to pronounce without giggling. Not necessarily related to Hula and Luaus. Sometimes used as Bamboo Technology. Makes a good Unusual Euphemism.
Pumpkins. Especially when things get turned into them. Also inherently funny in terms of smashing. Or chucking.
The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death by Daniel Pinkwater. The MacGuffin of the story is an Organic Technology "vegputer" named the Alligatron, using the thought power of a giant avocado (Persea gigantica) to protect 750,000 licensed real-estate brokers from alien thought forms.
In Witches Abroad, we learn that Nanny Ogg knows how to start spelling "banana", but not how to stop spelling it. Therefore, several of her letters home mention "banananana dakeriesnote daiquiris".
Bananas are also frequently mentioned around the Librarian. (Note: despite trope name, the Librarian is an ape and things will be much worse if you call him a monkey.) In fact, his Mundane Wish for bananas is mentioned in contrast to the complex thinking he hated doing as a human, and his name for Glenda is "Banana Pie Woman" because unlike many University staff, she came back with a banana pie for him instead of just screaming and running off.
"Now, it's quite simple to defend yourself against a man armed with a banana. First of all you force him to drop the banana; then, second, you eat the banana, thus disarming him." "Suppose he's got a bunch." "Suppose he's got a pointed stick." "SHUT UP!"
Really, the entire bit works. See the full thing here.
In Doctor Who, the Doctor likes bananas and apparently keeps one in his pocket at all times in case of emergencies.
They're a good source of potassium!
One Sesame Street sketch was apparently designed to teach viewers the words "dog" and "banana", both spoken and written, and to associate them with their appropriate meanings. For an example of a dog, we have Barkley. Not exactly average in terms of size, but not too far-fetched. On the banana side... Bob McGraff in a banana costume.
Fozzie got his best laughs by doing the apparently classic Banana Sketch on the advice of the legendary "Gags". We never see the sketch; Kermit (who's never heard of it, much to the shock and amusement of his employees) can't find out how it goes, even when guest Sandy Duncan tries to tell it (it's too funny for her to get past the first sentence), and in the end, Sandy receives a bunch of bananas (in place of flowers) as a parting gift.
When Joel Grey thinks he's going bananas, a banana pops in to say he thought Joel was going for a spin.
In Britain there are banana fritters, similar to pineapple fritters below but tastier. The recipe originated from Southeast Asia (namely, Malaya, where they're called Goreng Pisang, lit. fried bananas), which the British imported back to Britain when the region was still part of the British empire.
Japanese author Mahoko Yoshimoto writes under the pen name Banana. The icon for her website is also a banana.
A film by Fruit Chan (yes that's his real name), Durian Durian, uses the comedic potential of said fruit's unbearably stinky smell. It's also used as a weapon by one of the characters, who knocks somebody out with it.
Sonic Unleashed has Dureek's, which are the Sonic world equivalent of the Durian. The inventory even describes them as the "King of fruits", and in a reference to their Love It or Hate It reputation in the real world, also suggests that you "try it and see". Chip can't make up his mind about how he feels about them after being fed one but Sonic seems to absolutely love them going by the extremely high EXP value he gains from just one.
Super Mario Sunshine had durians as being so bouncy, they could be used like soccer balls. And they can't be picked up, only kicked or FLUDD'd around.
Durians are a big favourite in Singapore. However, that doesn't make the citizens of this country averse to poking fun at the fruit, like with this joke that plays on the 'Newton's apple' tale:
Newton wasn't the first person to realize the theory of gravitation. A man from Singapore was - only, he didn't survive to publish his findings because it was a durian that fell on his head, not an apple.
They're practically a favorite in Southeast Asia as a whole. However westerners who visit the region typically prefer Thailand's durians, who are renowned to be of lacking the infamous scent.
Fennis in Edens Bowy carries a lot of things with an anthropomorphic sunglasses-wearing eggplant on it, kinda like a Hello Kitty merchandise.
Onegai My Melody and its sequels (based on the Sanrio bunny My Melody) have the character Baku, a purple, rotund tapir with the ability of flight. Basically the Butt Monkey with a heart of gold, he is repeatedly called (and sometimes self-identifies with) an eggplant. Later it is revealed that he has a guardian angel of sorts in the form of an eggplant god.
Anthropomorphic eggplants show up in Hidamari Sketch for some reason. Not in meals or New Year's dreams, just... outside.
When Chiyo comes to her class looking for an idiot for the scavenger hunt race, an eggplant appears by Tomo's head when she thinks she knows what the item is.
From George Carlin's "Fussy Eater" routine: "Well which is it, an egg or a plant? Tell it to make up its mind and then come on back."
F. Ibanez loves them and the eggplants have become one of his running gags on the series Mortadelo y Filemón, where he uses them as props everywhere (you see, portraits of eggplants, eggplant trees, people with eggplants instead of hair, etc.).
In Daniel Pinkwater's book Borgel, the title character tells his nephew a fable called "The Rabbit and The Eggplant", about an eggplant who challenges a rabbit to a footrace. The townsfolk assume the eggplant has some big secret way it's going to win, so they bet all their money on it. On the day of the race, the rabbit runs to the finish line, while the eggplant sits there. Later, the spectators eat the eggplant. (MORAL: Never bet on an eggplant.)
Occasionally mentioned in Friends as a result of Pheobe's vegetarianism, most obviously in "The One With Five Steaks And An Eggplant".
A character in the British Indian sketch comedy series Goodness Gracious Me can make anything "at home for nothing", provided that she has "a small aubergine".
One Living Single episode features Synclaire, who is taking acting lessons, teaching herself how to portray different emotions (sad, frightened, etc) by saying the same word over and over again with different inflections and body language each time. One guess what that word is.
To quote SydLexia, "it's disconcerting to realize that the eggplant appears in more NES games than a vegetable that actually tastes good, like an avocado or a cucumber." Cases in point of Nintendo's love of eggplants:
The Eggplant Wizard from Kid Icarus and Captain N: The Game Master may well be one of the most famous anthropomorphic eggplants around. His power being turning you into an Eggplant (actually just dropping a giant eggplant on your head).
In Ice Climber, the first vegetables you must gather on the top of the mountain are eggplants.
Wrecking Crew had robotic Eggplants called Eggplant men as enemies.
And in the Mario baseball games, it's revealed that Waluigi's favorite food is eggplant (to go with Wario's garlic, presumably).
In Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, among the fruit and vegetable characters are Miss Eggplant the barmaid (even Sydlexia wants her) and the villainous Eggplant Soldier (who supposedly looks like Manuel Noriega).
Unkillable and life-draining eggplants are enemies in the Adventure Island games.
Kogasa Tatara, the stage 2 boss of Touhou Project 12: Undefined Fantastic Object, is a silly umbrella with an eggplant motif.
In the first Rayman videogame on PS1, there are round, eggplant-like berries that can be dropped on enemy heads with the right timing, and are also used as raft/boats (they make a stuttering motor noise when moving in water) and are used as swings on the stage leading to a giant mosquito. They bounce.
I Wanna Be the Guy's sixth secret item is in a room containing eggplants that bounce up and down.
In the opening scene of Going Postal, much is made about the superiority of a fruit basket with kumquats to one without. This is turned into an Ice-Cream Koan: you never know what's in your fruit basket until you get past the pineapple. (It may also be a reference to an article in Sunday Times about "authors being the new rock stars", which claimed, much to Sir Terry's bemusement, that he insisted on bookshops supplying him with kumquats on his signing tours.)
In an episode of The Fairly OddParents where Cosmo has magically hypnotized Britney Britney so he'll look better at his high school reunion, Britney Britney randomly blurts out "Kumquat!" at one point.
In addition to having a somewhat funny name, persimmons are sometimes used as practical jokes or as a way to describe someone's expression, viz.: "like he just ate a green persimmon." Ripe persimmons, which are yellowish-orange, taste a little bit like a cross between an orange and a pineapple. Unripe persimmons, which are greenish, taste a lot like cotton balls dipped in alum.
The Secret Service apprehended a man who had threatened to hit then-President Gerald Ford in the face with a persimmon. They have to take any threat seriously, no matter how funny-sounding.
Super Dimension Fortress Macross resulted in the term "pineapple" (especially "pineapple salad" becoming fan-speak for A character's death, after the incident where Roy Fokker dies.
Macross Plus averts this in the OVA version; when Isamu crashes his VF-11 he clambers out next to a pineapple tree.
Macross Frontier lampshades this with Ozma and pineapple cake: Ozma has a tragic scene but manages to survive, and Michael comments on how tragic it would've been if he actually died. Maybe the pineapple's less potent in cake form?
Inverted on Ranma ˝ where school is definitely worse with pineapples due to the Ax-Crazy principal's obsession with Hawaii.
In the Discworld, Vetinari famously comments on a pie tasting like pineapple in Making Money.
In The Last Continent, the Senior Wrangler is suspicious of a deserted island because it may have pineapples on it; this is because he had an aunt that choked on one: "You're not supposed to eat them that way, we said, but did she listen?".
Getting past the pineapple is a euphemism used for looking beyond the superficially big spiny unappetising looking thing and discovering the nicer surprises it might be concealing.
Ugly subversion, from The Brothers Karamazov: Lise's fantasy of watching horrendous child torture while eating stewed pineapple.
A Harry Turtledove book explores the What if…" Alternate Universe where the Japanese followed through Pearl Harbor with an all-out invasion and conquest of Hawaii. The staple fruit of the Hawaiians is not favoured by the Japanese, who grub up the plantations and replace growing pineapples with staple foods to sustain a starvation diet as the Americans blockade the islands in preparation for reconquest. The unwilling American subjects of the Emperor, now slave labourers reduced to poverty, starvation and forced prostitution, see the return of the pineapple as a symbol of liberation.
Live Action TV
Psych loves this trope, as pineapples (both in word and as in actual pineapples seen on screen) are slipped into episodes at every possible opportunity. Pineapples are also Shawn's default housewarming/baby gift of choice.
It comes from an ad-lib with an off-camera prop in the first episode. The scene was cut short immediately, but so funny that they re-shot it, pineapple and all. And thus, a running gag was born.
There was even a contest involving the trope. Viewers were to look out for the pineapple appearing in the episode, and go to the website and select the correct place out of three choices.
Shawn will give a pineapple as a gift for any occasion, not just baby showers and housewarmings.
There have also been pineapple-flavored jelly beans, and pineapple upside-down cake baked in an EZ-Bake Oven.
One episode of Friends sees Joey reading lines from a love scene... to a pineapple. For apparently no other reason than everything being better with pineapples. This lack of reason is subverted by Rachel: "I think a cantaloupe would hurt less."
The main character of French Canadian educational series Telefrancais is the frankly horrifying pineapple puppet Ananas. The first episode spends a lot of time focusing on the things Ananas does but shouldn't, like talk or dance or parachute. It's even funnier because "anana" is so close to the aforementioned "banana."
In Horrible Histories, one of the Historical Masterchef segments has a pineapple that a Georgian woman (as in, from the Georgian Era, not from the US state or Eastern European country) refuses to cook because "you don't eat them, you just put them on the mantelpiece to show off how rich you are!" This was the actual use of pineapples in her time period; since they were so hard to acquire, they were used as decoration rather than as food.
The B52s song "Strobe Light" uses "pineapple" as a euphemism for female genitalia. Don't think about the implications of that.
One adorable moment in Cabaret is the song "It Couldn't Please Me More," where the Jewish grocer, Herr Schultz, presents Fraulein Schneider with a pineapple (which would be rationed in this time period and therefore a very valuable gift).
In the Kurt Weill musical Der Silbersee, when Severin is caught robbing a grocery, Olim is amused to discover that he was trying to steal a pineapple.
Wight 1: Did— did that halfling just hit me in the face with a pineapple?? Wight 2: I think he did. Also, I think no one has ever asked that exact question in the history of civilization, so bonus points there.
Southern Hospitality ice cream. It is vanilla with pineapples, strawberries, and pecans, and it is extraordinary.
Providence, Rhode Island's Little Italy (known locally as Federal Hill) has an archway over the main drag, Atwell's Avenue, with a large... thing... hanging from it. Since it has a scaly surface and big leafy bits attached to it, many people mistake it for a pineapple. (Word of City Hall is that it's a pignolia pine cone.)
There used to be a Creole custom of giving guests a pineapple (Usually left on the guest bed) as a polite (Or Passive-Aggressive) way of informing them that they should be concluding their stay and moving on. In a real life Lampshade Hanging, there are examples of Creole furniture featuring carved pineapples, for instance on bedposts.
Pineapples are one of the few fruits you can actually grill.
The British present, for your "enjoyment," The pineapple fritter - Served in some fish and chip shops. In our tradition for battering just about anything we can get our hands on, The Pineapple Fritter is a pineapple slice, dipped in batter and fried. it's tastes better then you might think.
Pineapple makes a good meat tenderizer. Really! Pineapple flakes are an easy way to tenderize meat.
It's because of an enzyme called bromelain; the same reason that fresh pineapple ruins Jell-O.
This same enzyme is why you can literally die from eating too much pineapple; the enzyme essentially digests you. And before you ask, yes people have died from this.
One issue of The Punisher had a guy who took a tranquilizer dart to the eardrum and became enamored with a large pumpkin. He ended up leaving everything to camp out in the country, with his newfound love (and if the number of holes in the pumpkin is any indication, they are ''very'' much in love).
The Jumping Piranha Plants and regular Piranha Plant faces are goofy-looking pumpkins in Something. The Jumping Pirahna Plants will turn into jumping pumpkins when the world changes to an autumn theme, after completing the Special World.
George Carlin, in one of his stand-up performances, first subverts this trope by talking about some un-funny foods, including eggplant (starts at 3:37), then moves on from there to play this trope straight (starts at 5:34).
An unfortunately common incident at emergency rooms is people (men as well as women) needing to have vegetables (zucchini being the most common) removed from various orifices. It's amazing how many people "fall down while gardening nude."
Many gardeners will attest to the prolific nature of the zucchini, telling stories of leaving bags full on neighbors' porches and running away. In our little town, we never lock our doors or cars, because we know everybody and nobody's going to steal our stuff. Except in August, when everybody locks up, lest they find a bag of zucchini waiting for them.
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