A seeming-human character who is extraterrestrial
, supernatural or otherworldly (or just has very strange eating habits) may not eat the same things as ordinary humans. Aside from their Alien Lunch
, they may be unable to eat or be repulsed by human foods. In other cases, they can and will eat human food, but the fact that they don't need
to (or may need to chow down on something else as well) proves to be important.
May act as a Red Right Hand
that reveals that the character isn't what they seem.
Named from the classic (and often imitated) line in the first Bela Lugosi
version of Dracula (1931)
: "I never drink... wine."
The opposite of No Biochemical Barriers
. Not to be confused with The Teetotaler
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In DragonBall Z Piccolo and Namekians in general only consume water because they're photosynthetic. That's right, Piccolo is a plant.
- Although before that revelation, Piccolo has been shown eating other things, mainly fish. The general consensus is that they only need water and sunlight, but are capable of eating. It may have to do with Kami (and therefore Piccolo) being from before the disaster that wiped out all Namekians except Guru, whose children may have been altered - much as King Piccolo's demon sons did not look like regular Namekians.
- Sailor Moon's Eiru and An, Sibling alien lover... thingies. Really only brought forth in the two episodes where they're directly confronted with Earth food, and none of the cast members catch on to it (even when An flat out says that she doesn't eat food, though she catches herself).
- The metabolism of the Seven Lucky Gods (and their people) in Ranma Ĺ: Big Trouble in Nekonron, China can only handle rice and pickled vegetables. When trying an alternative meal, Kirin actually collapsed in agony and cried out for "P-P-P-PICKLEEEES!" Then again, said alternative meal was prepared by Akane, so...
- In Urusei Yatsura, the Oni can eat most human foods and even produce equivalents of their native dishes by inhuman amounts of spice, but some earth cuisine is beyond their capacity to handle. Umeboshi, which are basically pickled sour plums, get them totally plastered (humans, meanwhile, traditionally use them as a hangover and overindulgence remedy), though sake can cure them from being drunk, and they find the scent of garlic so strong and nauseatingly overpowering it has the same effect on them as tear gas.
- In Cardcaptor Sakura, neither Kero nor Yue, being magical guardians, actually need to eat at all. Kero mooches food off of Sakura during the course of the entire anime and manga series solely for his own amusement.
- Inverted, of course, with Yukito, Yue's Sleep Mode Size, who uses caloric energy to supplement any insufficient magic energy source.
- In the CLAMP series Wish Kohaku, being an angel, is nauseated by any food that's ever been alive, including plants (though she can eat honey); she gets her nutrition by bathing in sunlight.
- In Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou Alpha, a Ridiculously Human Robot, is absolutely fine with any plant based food (which she does indeed eat, despite being a robot), and actually can drink wine, but is lactose intolerant. It is heavily implied that any animal protein gives her (and, probably, other robots) a severe indigestion.
- An odd example in Hellsing comes from Seras tries to remain human by refusing to drink blood and trying to eat human food. The problem comes from the fact that, being dead, she can not only not process human food, but trying to eat it is outright painful; she can't even swallow it without immense effort.
- Alucard on the other hand, is seen enjoying a bottle of wine more than once. On an airplane. In broad daylight. Over the pacific ocean.
- Inverted in Ergo Proxy where a mysterious man living all alone in a castle drinks nothing but wine, to excess beyond belief; it makes him just as creepy as someone who doesn't eat or drink.
- Al from Fullmetal Alchemist is a disembodied soul bound to a suit of armor, meaning he can't eat or drink anything. To people who don't know that there's nobody inside the armor, this can be a tip-off that Al's not what he seems (as if the freaking armor itself isn't enough of a tip-off).
- Several comic book characters repeat this line or one like it, including:
- The Vision averts this trope despite being a synthezoid (android with a human mind and soul inside). He once explained that he has learned to simulate eating and drinking so that he could better blend in with humanity.
- In Anathem by Neal Stephenson, there's a character who doesn't eat ordinary food; this is eventually revealed to be a sign that he's from a universe where the laws of physics are different (ours, to be precise).
- Mackenzie in Tales of MU points out repeatedly that she doesn't need to eat food, and at first is so out of the habit that it makes her ill. Several of the other characters don't need to eat food, though some do anyway (though a few, such as Puddy, stick to only their favorites).
- Variations on the line used many times in Discworld novels, but especially Carpe Jugulum, where the vampires are encouraged to try by their forward-thinking father. Igor also says the line, though it turns out that it's just wine he doesn't drink. Scumble on the other hand...
- Also in Thud, where Angua, a werewolf, needles Sally, a vampire, with a variation on this line while they're both drunk.
- In Unseen Academicals, one of the more Genre Savvy characters asks for clarification as whether Vetinari "does not drink wine" or "does not drink ... wine."
- Later we are treated to Vetinari offering his vampiric lady friend some ...wine. The ellipsis is his.
- In Monstrous Regiment, we find that Maladict doesn't drink...horse piss.
- Also in Carpe Jugulum is a group of anti-Emo Teen vampires who invert the trope, and do drink... vine, all the time. Really. Well, a glass of port every so often. Once. A couple of sips of shandy, and most of us threw up, but Donald wears a corkscrew around his neck, and he sometimes has a real cork on it! Fine, so it's not inverted! You Never Respect Me, Vampire Dad!
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Saint-Germain series of historical fantasy is otherwise excellent, with the painful exception of the vampire protagonist's stubborn insistence on repeating the title of this trope at least once in every book of the series.
- In The Prophecy of the Stones Elphorys munches his "sticky purple mass" while Elyador eats his rather mundane bread and turkey.
- In Bloodsucking Fiends, Jody takes a tentative sip of water as she tries to come to terms with being a vampire. She has to spit it back up immediately, as she literally can't swallow it.
- While the famous line doesn't appear in the book Dracula, Jonathan Harker does notice that he never sees the Count drink or eat.
- Anita Blake actually invoked this. When a waiter asks Jean-Claude what he's having, he responds with this line, prompting a Spit Take from Anita.
- In Neverwhere, the sort-of-vampire Lamia, when offered food: "I do not eat... curry."
- Most of the mages in Tamora Pierce's novels have this problem.
- In Stardust, Yvaine doesn't drink or eat anything. She just absorbs light and darkness from her surroundings.
- Silas from The Graveyard Book does not eat... bananas.
- The vampires from Twilight.
- In Shai Agnon's fantastical short story The Lady and the Peddler, a Jewish peddler is seduced by a beautiful widow living alone in a mansion in the woods. She feeds him endlessly with delicious multi-course meals, but he never once sees her eat or drink. It is eventually revealed that the widow is a cannibal and has killed and eaten all of her previous husbands. In fact, her body has grown so accustomed to eating human flesh it can no longer digest regular food.
- Played to the letter in the Artemis Fowl series. Should a fairy drink spirits, basically any form of alcohol, with humans they lose a lot of their magic and are basically exiled.
- Eli from Let the Right One In declines when Oskar offers her/him some candy, and when Oskar asks, "Don't you eat candy?" answers, "I can't." (Book version only; in the movie version, Eli eats the candy to please Oskar, and then becomes violently ill.)
- Averted by Eric and the other Chee androids in Animorphs. While they don't need to eat, part of maintaining The Masquerade is looking as human as possible, which includes eating and drinking whatever the culture they're currently immersed in eats and drinks; ingested food is simply vaporized inside their body.
- The Minbari of Babylon 5 literally cannot drink wine. Even a small amount of alcohol sends them into a homicidal rage. Other than that, food from most worlds is edible by most species.
- The only evidence for this, though, is a single line said by Lennier in response to a drink offered by Londo, who is not entirely trustworthy when it comes to drinks. In fact, in other scenes, during Sheridan and Delenn's dinner dates, you see them both drinking wine.
- Minbari having an adverse reaction to alcohol is also mentioned by Marcus when he first meets Delenn and Lennier in a Down Below bar as a means of proving who he was.
- Slightly Hand Waved in that Delenn is half human through Applied Phlebotinum at this point.
- The Pak'Ma'Ra fit this trope PERFECTLY, as they projectile vomit anything synthetic, or fish. The doctor learned this the hard way. Note that projectile vomiting is even more obnoxious than usual in the case of the carrion-eating Pak'ma'ra.
- Humans who eat mixed alien and human food can get sick. It only came up once, though. Given the different biologies (some species breathe methane), I don't think that's too unusual.
- The Centauri cannot digest human fast food: At one point Vir casually mentions that hamburgers taste much better going down than going up.
- It might have had something to do with the fact that he was dead drunk at the time, though.
- The Wraith of Stargate Atlantis can consume human food and drink, but they gain no sustenance from it. They do occasionally eat food for the pleasure of it, though. After all, just because it doesn't feed you doesn't mean it tastes bad.
- For reference, Wraith drain the life force from humans. This leads to a disturbing comment about how he hopes the new chef proves better than the last, who made a better meal than his dishes.
- Todd the Wraith from Atlantis positively loves dropping lines like this on humans he meets.
John Sheppard: "Fruit bowl. Nice touch."
Todd the Wraith: "I thought it would make our discussions a bit more... comfortable. I hope they prove as delicious as the farmers who grew them."
- Terrifyingly subverted in one episode, in which the team starts finding corpses with teeth marks on them. The wraiths of the ship had been given a retrovirus to make them more human. The common wraiths, only ever having eaten by draining life force with their palms, removed their almost permanently worn face covering masks and started experimenting with using their teeth.
- In Stargate SG-1, Teal'c doesn't drink alcoholic beverages either. It's unclear if it's a Teal'c thing or a Jaffa thing.
- Torchwood has Owen come back from the dead, but with absolutely no vital function; as a result, he can't digest food or drink. His attempt at drinking later results in him standing on his head to force it out the hard way.
- When Peter Tork auditioned for The Monkees, the producers offered him a cigarette; Tork's reply was, "I don't smoke...those." Guess what he did smoke.
- In Sapphire And Steel, when offered a cocktail at a fancy dinner party in Assignment 5, Steel says he doesn't drink. Sapphire, however, has a glass of champagne.
- Lois and Clark: Superman once tells Lois that he doesn't need to eat, but he likes to. Which is fairly evident since his pantry is stocked with almost nothing but junk food.
- Sanctuary's version of Nikola Tesla, being a vampire, is implied to be able to survive perfectly well on a synthetic blood substitute that Magnus developed to avoid his need for blood. However his is also a first class wine snob and since he can't get drunk he usually makes serious inroads on Magnus's wine cellar whenever he visits for any length of time.
- Odo in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine doesn't drink... a literal statement applying to liquids in general, not just alcoholic ones:
Quark: What'll you have?
Odo: I don't drink.
Quark: A soft drink, then?
Odo: (more firmly) I don't drink.
- Being a changeling, he has no taste buds, so it's not worth it to try eating or drinking anyway. In social situations, he morphs part of his substance into a glass and fluid, which he then "drinks"; it helps him to fit in.
- In the Doctor Who story "The Evil of the Daleks," the Doctor questions Arthur Terrall about the fact that he's never seen eating or drinking, at least around others. It has something to do with the fact that he's mind-controlled. It's never made clear exactly what his lack of public eating signifies; it probably just shows how unsocial the mind-control is making him, and adds to his air of creepiness and wrongness.
- An inversion in A Vampyre Story: Mona, our heroine, is a vampire. This is established fact. But Mona is in hardcore denial that this is the case, and claims that she's under a curse. A curse that gives all the symptoms of being a vampire, without being a vampire. To maintain her delusion, she claims that what she drinks is wine (it helps that her captor gets the stuff himself, so she never actually sees where it comes from). By the time the game begins, this is already a very old argument between Mona and her buddy Froderick the bat, who sarcastically refers to it as a salty-tasting merlot with a slight iron aftertaste.
- She actually delivers variations on the line when presented with other beverages.
- If you talk to a peaceful vampire in NetHack, the message you get is "I only drink... potions."
- Inverted in Sid Meierís Alpha Centauri: The Datalinks inform us that humans do not eat... food from Planet's native life (without heavy processing). However, since Earth plants grow just fine in Planet — even better than in Earth — getting food is no problem.
- Given a nod in Conkers Bad Fur Day with Conker's vampire great-great-great grandfather.
- In Saya no Uta, Saya refuses to eat in front of Fuminori. It's because she's eating human flesh, and serving it to him, too.
- The same line spoken by Dracula is also used in Bloodrayne 2.
- In Dwarf Fortress, vampires do not eat food or drink booze like normal dwarves. This can be extremely helpful in identifying them.
- Played straight in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. In the Asylum club, the bartender will ask the player character what they want to drink, to which they respond "I don't drink... alcohol."
- Both Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem make it clear that the only thing vampires can digest properly is blood. Masquerade goes for a more instantaneous rejection; the vampire gags as the food turns to ash in his gullet, and must cough it back up violently (unless they've taken the "Eat Food" merit). Requiem actually allows vampires to partake of mortal food and drink, taste it, and store it... but not for long, as by the end of the night, they'll have to vomit it up in a bloody mess.
- The Macellarius clan in the latter game are descended from a vampiric glutton, who forced himself to devour food and drink well beyond what his body could stand (the fact of no longer being able to eat or drink infuriated him). Eventually it warped his blood enough that he and his childer gained the ability to eat... human flesh. Their unique Discipline, Gustus, allows them to devour raw flesh and gain Vitae from it.
- In Warhammer 40,000, Eldrad Ulthran, famous Farseer of the Eldar craftworld of Ulthwe, appears to invoke this trope. When meeting with the primarch Fulgrim, he hosts a banquet and Fulgrim notes that Eldrad does not have any meat on his plate. When Fulgrim asks, "Does your kind not eat meat?", Eldrad replies simply "*I* do not eat meat."
- Rose from Clan of the Cats comments in her first appearance, "I never drink...beer."
- Malack from The Order of the Stick does not turn up for meals with the rest of the group. When questioned about this, Tarquin replies that Malack has "a condition" which requires a very specific diet, so he eats his meals alone. Malack is a vampire.
- Gaia Online minigame Frontier Skies has a possible event in which Louie Von Helson gets a craving for cheeseburgers and depletes your food supply. Otherwise, he doesn't show any signs of understanding human cuisine. Or anything else about humans, really.
- Louie and his sisters competed in the Pie Hard pie-eating contest (the Twins lost early; Louie made it to the top six), and explained the situation with Gaian vampires and food: they can eat human-style fare, but it's just not as tasty to them. This also justifies an unused storyline that had Louie shilling a soy-based blood substitute.