Heartbreak and Ice Cream

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/heartbreak_and_ice_cream_8.jpg

"Am enjoying a relationship with two men simultaneously. The first is called Ben, the other, Jerry. Number of current boyfriends: zero."
Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004 movie)

In fiction, a heartbroken character, usually a woman, will often be seen eating a large quantity of ice cream.

It may also be a sign that the character has "let herself go" if this behavior continues for several days or even weeks. If so, it will often be accompanied by other behaviors such as wearing pajamas during the day and refusing to leave the house (see Mess of Woe).

This sort of behaviour also tends to happen with single females around Valentine's Day, even if they haven't experienced any recent rejections. Occasionally, ice cream is replaced with chocolate or some other sweet.

Now some of this is Truth in Television, while it also springs from a Double Standard about seeing women try to handle their sorrows other ways, since a lot of people still consider heavy drinking to be "unladylike".

A Sub-Trope of Comfort Food. A Sister Trope to Drowning My Sorrows.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • This GrubHub commercial. Well technically, it's a brownie and not ice cream but the general theme of consuming dessert to relieve heartbreak remains the same.
  • A Comcast/xfinity commercial from 2013 depicted a woman who was heartbroken over being "mistreated" by a satallite company she switched to, and calls an acquaintance from Comcast to tell her about it, all the while sitting in bed and eating ice cream.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Detective Conan, the end of the Desperate Revival story arc has Shinichi, who thought he'd turned back into an adult for good, reverting back to Conan while he and Ran were on a dinner date. All he can do is tell Ran that "Shinichi" gave him a credit card to pay for their meal and that he had to go solve another case. Ran, at her breaking point, screams that she doesn't want to hear his excuses anymore, then pulls herself together and offers to get dessert for herself and Conan. After cutting away briefly to the antics of other characters, Ran is shown ranting about how angry she is about Shinichi's behavior, while Conan mentally notes that she's on her fourth dessert.

    Comedy 
  • David Cross talks about "Patty from accounting" on his album It's Not Funny, whose perfect night includes "lighting candles and taking a bath, curling up with a Grisham and a pint of Chunky Monkey....and softly crying myself to sleep."

    Comic Strips 
  • The newspaper comic strip Cathy thrives on this trope.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Miss Congeniality: Sandra Bullock orders a pint in a bar, which turns out to be a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
  • Scary Movie 3 "parodied" this trope with two woman discussing their relationship woes by spooning chocolate ice cream out of a container that's about the size of a washing machine.
  • Bride Wars: After Anne Hathaway's character calls her friend to tell her that she just got engaged. Her friend hangs up, and is so distraught that takes three containers of ice cream out of the fridge and devours them all.
  • Sherman Klump in the remake of The Nutty Professor is seen eating ice-cream, but his trouble is not a break-up. It's over his massive weight.
  • In Angel Angel Down We Go (a.k.a. Cult of the Damned), an overweight and insecure heiress (played by Holly Near) wolfs down a table-full of eclairs when she is confronted by a sexy rock singer and her own sexual frustrations.
  • The Doomed Protagonist from Drag Me to Hell tearfully eats whole cartons of ice cream when near the Despair Event Horizon when she fails to find solutions to prevent her from being taken by the Lamia and dragged into Hell for all eternity.
  • In Seltzer and Friedberg's Twilight spoof Vampires Suck, Edward Sullen is shown after he's left Becca, watching TV and binging on a barrel-sized container of Ben & Jerry's "Feeling Sorry For Yourself Strawberry Swirl".
  • While Shelly Long's character in the Emancipated Child comedy Irreconcilable Differences goes through a period of adjustment after the failure of her marriage, her pantries are stocked top-to-bottom with nothing but cake frosting.
  • Helen Sharp (played by Goldie Hawn) in Death Becomes Her over-eats sweet stuff after seeing her fiance Ernest Menville marrying Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep).
  • In Bewitched, Isabel eats ice-cream with Cool Whip after she has a huge fight with Jack and quits the show.
  • In Legally Blonde, Elle confines herself to her room to eat chocolate and watch soap operas after Warner dumps her.
  • In Thor: The Dark World, Darcy implies that Jane has been doing this ever since Thor left her to return to return to Asgard.
  • In Hitch, after Hitch and Sara break up, she's shown lying on the sofa, crying and squirting whipped cream directly into her mouth as she cries. There's also a gender-flipped version, when Alert is dumped by Allegra (who realized he got help in wooing her from Hitch) and he proceeds to binge on doughnuts ("Maybe my heart won't hurt so much if it stops").
  • Jurassic Park: John Hammond is shown to be quietly eating ice cream by himself after he finds out that Jurassic Park has failed and his grandchildren are lost and in danger. Dr. Sattler snaps him out of it.
  • Dr. Dolittle 2, Archie the bear breaks into a house and binges on ice cream after he gets rejected by Ava. This unfortunately causes him to need to use the bathroom while John is trapped in the room with him.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mike & Molly: Both title characters overeat on Valentine's Day as a result of having a fight with each other.
  • This practice is known on Friends:
    • When the girls act as "relationship tutors" for Chandler when he tries a serious relationship with Janice. They also add another piece of advice:
      Chandler: This ice cream tastes like crap by the way.
      Rachel: Yeah, well that's that low-cal, non-dairy, soy milk junk. We sort of... we save the real stuff for the truly terminal cases.
      Monica: You know, when you start getting screwed over all the time, you gotta switch to low-fat.
    • When Joey has a female roommate and becomes concerned that living with her is causing him to turn more and more effeminate. When he confronts her about this fact, she notices that he is upset and immediately offers to get "a pint of ice cream and two spoons."
    • Joey describes the different 'phases' of getting over break ups, 'Phase One' being sweatpants, food and watching TV.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Referenced after Angel breaks up with Buffy in "The Prom", Giles responds with "I understand that situations of this sort require ice cream of some kind".
    • Gender Inverted when Angel and Buffy have their unseen meeting after Buffy comes Back from the Dead for the second time. It's implied things didn't go well. Buffy's comfort food is chicken wings while Angel decides he wants ice cream.
  • In an episode of Happy Endings Penny, depressed and thinking she would end up a lonely spinster, is shown in her pajamas and eating ice cream-during a lavish roaring 20s party at her apartment. Jane takes it away from her and she falls onto the couch and pulls out another. Jane takes the "couch ice cream" and Penny immediately picks up a tub of "floor ice cream."
  • Has happened several times on How I Met Your Mother:
    • Robin dated a guy with a small son and had to break up with them. When she was explaining it to the kid, she realized she got "dumped" by a six year old. She devours ice-cream and tells Lily that he was a stupid-head anyway.
    • According to Ted, Marshall breaks out the Ben and Jerry's whenever he has a fight with his wife Lily.
    • Lily does this after Barney and Robin announce they're not a couple (therefore ruining Lily's plans for couple activities between the three of them and Marshall).
  • In Perfect Strangers, when Larry explained to Balky that this is how people in America deal with heartbreak after Balky was dumped by his first love interest (who was just using him).
  • Played with in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Déjà Q". Q, Brought Down to Normal and feeling hungry for the first time in his life, asks Data in Ten Forward what people typically eat.
    Data: I have observed that many food selections are influenced by the mood of the person ordering.
    Q: I'm in a dreadful mood. Get me something appropriate.
    Data: When Counselor Troi is in an unhappy mood, she often has something chocolate.
    Q: Chocolate...
    Data: For example, a hot fudge sundae. I cannot speak from personal experience, but I have seen it often has a profound psychological impact.
    (A waiter comes over)
    Q: I'll have ten chocolate sundaes.
    Data: I've never seen anyone eat ten chocolate sundaes...
    Q: I'm in a really bad mood, and since I've never eaten before, I should be very hungry.
  • In Lois and Clark we see that Lois keeps a quart of ice cream with the lid off and a spoon already in it for just such occasions.
    Clark. But tell me, honestly. You weren't the slightest bit jealous of me and Toni Taylor?
    Lois. You'd like that, wouldn't you? Me, home alone, in a schlumpy robe, crying into a tub of Rocky Road. In your dreams, Kent. In. Your. Dreams.
  • In the Smallville episode "Crimson", Lois temporarily falls in love with Clark due to red kryptonite lipstick. When Clark is exposed to the same, he decides to run off with Lana instead. Cut to a sad Lois surrounded by empty plates. Not specified to be ice cream, but certainly something with chocolate.
  • In The Vicar of Dibley, this happens when Simon dumps Geraldine, complete with the daylight pyjama loafing. By the time Alice visits she has cleaned out the whole supermarket-style freezer unit of ice cream she just had installed, leaving only the tiny half-pint that Simon had picked before she told him to get out.
  • On Parker Lewis Can't Lose, Jerry has frequently said that the cure for a broken heart is frozen yogurt with Gummi bears.
  • Girls: When Hannah's boyfriend breaks up with her, she goes to her flat and hits the fridge, taking out a pack of ice-cream.
  • In a case that's less heartbreak than sympathy pain, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver had John state before a segment on prisoner re-entry that in case one does an Archive Binge on the four prison-related segments on that season, "you frankly earn the right to eat your feelings out with a Peanut Buster Parfait!"
  • Discussed on The Big Bang Theory, when Penny and Leonard have an argument and Sheldon tries to patch it up.
    Sheldon: This is for you. Ive been familiarizing myself with female emotional crises by studying the comic strip Cathy. When shes upset, she says "Ack!" and eats ice cream.
    Penny: Um... Ack.
    Sheldon: If you were a cat, I would have brought you a lasagna.

    Music 
  • In Lily Allen's music video to "Smile", she's seen munching on chocolate. The song is about a woman who was cheated on. She gets better, and takes revenge on him. His suffering makes her smile.
  • Reba McEntire's "Strange":
    I lay there feeling sorry for myself on a bed of Kleenex / Stuffin' chocolates in my mouth, on the phone with my best friend cussin' my ex

    Web Animation 
  • On one episode of Happy Tree Friends, Giggles is seen dejectedly scarfing down tons of ice cream after being stood up by The Mole, who had both gone on a date with Lumpy by accident — and subsequently horribly killed him, also by accident.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Welcome To Sanditon: When Ed doesn't protest too much and accepts to escort Ms Griffiths to the 4th July festival (it was his pushy boss Mayor Parker's idea), Gigi is worried about Clara because Ed and Clara were hanging our a lot and headed towards a relationship. Gigi suggests they watch bad movies and eat ice-cream together. Clara being an ice-shop owner, they settle just on the bad girly movie night.
  • In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Charlotte Lu brings cheesy movies and ice-cream to Lizzie who is a bit depressed because she thinks William stopped caring for her. They weren't dating, but he liked her, and now he hasn't called back after she left him a voice message.
  • When Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall does a Let's Play of Star Trek: Elite Force, his date with Telsia is abruptly cut short, and Ensign Munroe spends several minutes drunkenly staggering around Voyager, wailing to himself and trying to get Häagen-Dazs out of the replicators.

    Western Animation 
  • All Grown Up!: Angelica does this with a tub of ice-cream after finding out that no one will attend her 13th birthday party because they would all rather attend Savannah's party, who had purposely scheduled it on the same day as Angelica's.
  • Arthur's father David in Arthur gets depressed after his souffle is ruined and eats a tub of ice cream while watching cooking shows.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation: Z.E.R.O. has Father binge on ice cream after being rejected by his father, Grandfather, doing nothing to stop his father's world conquest in the process. It's implicitly stated that part of it is due to the terrible childhood he had and how Grandfather reminds him of it, rendering him a complete lack of self-confidence. The other part is due to having a cruddy day in general.
    Father: I hate everyone.
  • An episode of Family Guy has Stewie go back in time to prevent Kurt Cobain from committing suicide by presenting him with Haagen-Dazs as an alternative. When Stewie returns to the present, he finds an album cover with a morbidly obese Kurt riding a Rascal scooter.
  • In the Disney short Feast, Winston's owner pigs out on ice cream and cookies after his girlfriend breaks up with him.
  • In the Futurama episode "Love and Rocket", the Planet Express ship does this (somehow) with Leela when the former's dumped by Bender. Then Leela's attempt to comfort her makes her decide to drive herself (and the crew, including Bender) into a Negative Space Wedgie.
  • Downplayed in Jem. When Kimber and Stormer get into an argument with their bands they both retreat to a bar that apparently specializes in ice cream shakes.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Beezy is shown consuming large amounts of ice cream after losing his collection of chewed gum.
  • Non-romantic example in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Inspiration Manifestation". Rarity makes a puppet theater for Ponyville's Fall Foal and Filly Festival, but the harsh rejection she receives when her design proves unsuitable drives her to pig out on chocolates and vanilla-oat swirl ice cream, complete with "om nom nom" sounds.
  • Muscle Man from Regular Show eats spoonfuls of protein supplement following being dumped by Starla in "Muscle Woman".
  • In Steven Universe, the local donut shop offers an 8-donut special named "Breakup".
  • Total Drama:
    • Sierra from World Tour does this when she realizes Cody hates her.
    • Scott also does this in All-Stars, but with dirt.
  • In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Date", when Lord Hater gets stood up by a princess he decides that he's going to curl up with some ice cream before blowing up the planet in anger.
  • In the Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode "Gates of Gloom", Scooby is distraught when a coma-stricken Nova gets abducted, so Shaggy offers him some "triple fudge cookie dough caramel chip" ice cream to calm himself.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Candace in "Attack of the 50 Foot Sister" when she is rejected by a fashion designer for being an inch too short.

    Real Life 
  • Ben & Jerry's must be aware of their part in this trope, as they have an ice cream flavor literally named "Chocolate Therapy". (For the curious, it's chocolate pudding ice cream with chocolate cookie chunks.) Ben & Jerry's is often used simply because it's the names of two guys, which sounds like the woman in question is actually dating the ice cream.
  • The restaurant Milestones offers a dessert called "Break Up Tub" which is, you guessed it, primarily composed of ice cream. It is also known as the "I don't even think about you" ice cream tub.
    An individual sized tub of cookie dough ice cream, chunks of double chocolate cookie and house-made caramel ribbon. For here or to go!
  • While ice cream isn't an exclusive treat for emotional people to chow down on when they're down, ice cream and similar snacks are called "comfort food" due to the sugars and other junk giving people a boost in their mood, if only for a short while.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HeartbreakAndIcecream