An instance where a character thinks they are invited as a guest, but are actually intended as the main course. May include dialogue like "We'd like to have you for dinner" "Where's the dish?" "You are." (Cue eating). Tends to occur in Let's Meet the Meat
/ Carnivore Confusion
situations, or else with monsters doing this to humans. Compare with Inn of No Return
and To Serve Man
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- The humourous Fanfiction.net story 'Elephants Galore' (written by Antares The Eighth Pleiade) consists of Odin and Frigga having the Jotun king and queen for dinner. Thor takes this literally. Frigga yells at him for considering cannibalism.
- In Vampire in Brooklyn, the vampire says "I would like to have you for dinner".
- Lucky Stiff. A man is invited to Christmas dinner by a beautiful woman: he discovers that she's a member of a family of cannibals and he's the intended main course.
- In The Land Before Time 5, the dinosaurs are invited to dinner by their friend Chomper, a T-rex. Chomper actually did mean the invitation to be a friendly get-together, but the main cast is understandably a little freaked out. A song ensues. ("Friends for dinner / Don't want to be friends for dinner...")
- From The Lion King:
: My, my, look at the sun! We'd best be off! Shenzi
: Oh no, stay, we'd love for you to stick around for dinner. Banzai
: Yeah, we could have whatever's lion around
- The chilling last line of Silence of the Lambs. "I have to go. I'm having an old friend for dinner."
- An Ivan Turgenev story "Bubnoff and the Devil" has the title character meeting Satan one night, and being invited as an honored guest to the Devil's home and even proposed as a match for the Devil's grand-daughter. The demons like him so much, they decide to eat him for dinner.
- The novel Practical Demon Keeping.
- In The Silver Chair, one of The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lady of the Green Kirtle sends Eustace, Jill and Puddleglum to Harfang, the home of the so-called Gentle Giants, for their Autumn Feast. The children and Puddleglum find out that they are intended to be the Autumn Feast. Although the giants are a little perplexed on how to cook Puddleglum.
- Galaxy of Fear has the Enzeen, friendly natives to newly-discovered D'vouran, eagerly inviting people to visit and live on their planet, feeding and boarding them without thought to cost. Their one town has a banner saying that they live to serve, and when one character asks an Enzeen if he's worried about the world becoming overrun by offworlders, the Enzeen says of course not, they could never have their fill! Though this all sounds like the lead-up to a reverse To Serve Man (rather than invading for food, they have the food come to them) it's a little more complicated. One by one visitors get swallowed by the ground, a living organism, and the Enzeen feed from it.
Live Action TV
- The Muppet Show Christmas Special had the Swedish Chef inviting a turkey (from Dorchest, MA), planning to kill and cook him. The turkey points out Big Bird, who actually was invited as a guest, and the Chef decides to cook him instead before being guilted by the Power of Friendship.
- An episode of The IT Crowd had Moss go to a German cannibal, mistaking the classified ad as being for a cooking class instead of for a volunteer meal. "I want to cook with you...Oh, you want to cook using me."
- Played with in an episode of Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire. The team is sent to kill an alleged man-eating cyclops. They arrive, and the cyclops complains that nobody will socialize with him because everyone thinks he's a monster like his father. Then, once he has all his guests in the hot tub, a cage descends from the ceiling and he reveals that he's going to eat them after all... after having sex with them.
- In the comic strip Pogo:
- Pogo, a possum, is invited to a dinner of "parsnip and possum pie."
- There's a World Series arc that includes a team of ptarmigans who are accidentally cooked and eaten. They are ptough.
- Dungeons & Dragons module B2, Keep On The Borderlands. The hobgoblin lair has a sign outside: "Come in - we'd like to have you for dinner!". The player characters may assume that this is a cordial invitation to eat dinner with them. It isn't.
- In the musical Annie, the last verse of the song "We'd Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover" invites President Hoover to join the starving residents of Hooverville for Christmas dinner.
Come down and share some Christmas dinner
Be sure to bring the missus too
We got no turkey for our stuffing
Why don't we stuff you!
- This is part of the Cat's plan in Honk, even having a whole song — "Play With Your Food" — devoted to the before actions.
- In Animal Crossing, Franklin gets an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner by the village each year. Franklin is a Turkey. He realizes this and hides from the villagers, though it's really only Mayor Tortimer who actually does seem to want to eat him.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind uses this in one of its many in-game short stories. A thief is mistaken for "Lady Tressed" at a masquerade dinner party where everyone has weird names. Her partner is already there (asleep at the end of the table), being called "Esruoc Tsrif" by the guests. She eventually realizes that everyone is pronouncing their names backwards, but she waits until the vampires jump her to figure out who "Lady Tressed" is.
- It's part of an actual quest in Skyrim—to complete The Taste Of Death, you (yes, you) must trick Brother Verulus into coming to a cannibal den for a meal. You then kill him and eat of him to successfully complete the quest and get the reward.
- In PSP remake of Disgaea 2, Axel is anonymously offered a job to provide entertainment at a "dinner hotel", which he all too eagerly accepts. He remains completely oblivious to the fact that he was meant to be eaten for the entire chapter, despite it being clearly stated to him on multiple occasions, and gets beaten up by his companions for it.
- At least two of Bugs Bunny's encounters with Wile E. Coyote started off with his being invited over to become the main course.