Lost Food Grievance
Frank: Oh... taking Liz's food is not good...Berserk Button and/or Minor Injury Overreaction. A character is about to sit down to their Trademark Favorite Food, when it gets stolen, eaten, made less appetizing, or damaged beyond edibility. No matter how calmly they may ordinarily behave, at this point you can expect them to gasp, scream, fly into a rage, start to cry, get excessively violent, some combination of these things, or otherwise Comically Overreact. To them, this particular food is Serious Business. This is understandable for children, who can treat sweets very importantly, and not much else (see Evil Is Petty for literally taking candy from children). It's also understandable when characters lacking an Improbable Food Budget seeing their hard-bought meal going to waste might be a bit peeved. A Supreme Chef quite naturally wouldn't be pleased at seeing their work destroyed, and any reasonable person could react this way when they're preparing to dine on that chef's Impossibly Delicious Food. And this is completely understandable when enjoying some Comfort Food, or Post-Stress Overeating is involved, since this happening atop other stresses can only end badly. Then there's the whole matter of food offering some sort of tactical advantage. It's when grown adults have a similar reaction to normal food they aren't responsible for that the trope might come into effect. This can conceivably happen during a Food Fight, Food Slap, Kitchen Chase, Bar Brawl, Diner Brawl, or any time good food is used as Edible Ammunition. Will often be paired with and complement Enemy Eats Your Lunch and Denied Food as Punishment, and can overlap with Food as Bribe if a character reacts poorly to Their Favorite being indirectly threatened by the ramifications of the plot. A Big Eater or anyone Obsessed with Food has a good chance of having this reaction to any of their food being taken away or destroyed. They can still qualify if they flip their lid over a specific food, but the main point is that they become distressed in a proportionately larger way than they would normally. The eater and complainer aren't necessarily required to be the same person, but the food has to be acknowledged as good-tasting or well-liked by the eater, whether they have Bizarre Taste in Food or enjoy some Foreign Queasine. Situations where a Cordon Bleugh Chef becomes annoyed at a Discreet Dining Disposal happening to something they made distinctly wouldn't count. This has a tendency to involve confectionery and pastry. Could be seen as an in-universe reaction to They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich. Also see The Alcoholic, for whom wasting is another angry reaction entirely. Compare My Favorite Shirt.
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Anime and Manga
- In the Adventures of the Little Koala episode "The Mysterious Moa Bird", Laura helps out in the kitchen and actually makes her own eucalyptus cakes. Nobody gets to try any however; the cakes are destroyed when Roobear crashes his hot air balloon into the house. Laura is very upset over her wrecked cakes.
- In the Cowboy Bebop episode Heavy Metal Queen, Spike has a hangover and is making a drink called a Prairie Oyster to remedy it. The last ingredient, a raw egg, is all that's needed. But it's knocked into his lap due to a fight in the bar he was in. Spike stares at it solemnly before deciding to join in on the fight and utterly curb stomps those responsible.
- Light Yagami in Death Note is able to manipulate Ryuk into helping with his plans for once by denying him apples, and any time he's had to go without them has been treated the same as some form of withdrawal. This is one of the few times a shinigami has a direct effect on the story.
- In the Devil May Cry anime, Morrison is able to coax Dante into doing a job after he convinces Dante's favorite pizza place to stop delivering to him until he can pay his tab. Dante gets especially frustrated at Patty, not over her re-decoration of his shop, but over her eating his strawberry sundae.
- Pictured above: Erza Scarlet in Fairy Tail takes her cake very seriously, and at one point beats on everyone around her after the slice she was eating gets knocked onto the floor, particularly Elfman for accidentally stepping on it only a moment later.
- In Gintama, the introduction of the titular character was displayed like this when his parfait was destroyed due to a fight in the bar he was in. He explains that his doctor told him he was close to gaining diabetes and had to cut back on the sweets. So he limited himself to a parfait a week. As one can imagine, he's not pleased that he wasn't able to finish it.
- In Gundam Build Fighters, Reiji and Aila get into a fight over a meat bun and accidentally throw it into a nearby river in the ensuing struggle. Naturally, they start yelling at each other, marking the official start of their Belligerent Sexual Tension, aptly christened via Memetic Mutation as "The Meatbun Chronicles."
- K-On! has multiple examples, but the most extreme ones come from Episode 14 of the 2nd season, where Yui and Mio get the strawberries stolen off their cake. In Yui's case, she whines for the rest of the episode about how the strawberry represents the cake's crown, or its very heart and soul, while Mio actually starts to cry, as if heartbroken.
- Eishun Konoe in Mahou Sensei Negima!, upon the Ala Rubra being attacked by Rakan, makes a point to fight him first... after Rakan's massive, thrown sword destroys the picnic they were having, and spills the nabe he made.
"Anyone who wastes my food... I slice."
- Naruto is enraged after finding out that an impostor stole his ramen, triggering the Kyuubi's chakra. Then we see one-thousend Kage Bunshin.
- A good way to piss Chouji off is by eating the last potato chip.
- Mio from Nichijou angrily attacks her sister after she replaces the strawberry on her cake with a Shogi piece. This was after she found her sister had also messed with the Mont Blanc she was looking forward to.
- Plenty of these in Ojamajo Doremi are caused when Doremi misses out on eating steak.
- A major Berserk Button for Sanji of One Piece. If you waste food in front of him, be prepared to get hurt. Because as a child, he almost starved to death.
- Honey in Ouran High School Host Club spends an episode without cake due to the cavities eating so many has caused him. He ends up taking it out on the club, and causing a rare argument with Takashi (they make up in the end). In Renge's words, life for Honey without cake is "a living hell."
- Pikachu in Pokémon spends a whole scene crying over the loss of a ketchup bottle it was licking from.
- Charizard flips out when Team Rocket destroys the table full of food he is eyeing.
- May has made reservations at a restaurant, and was ticked when Team Rocket happens to steal all the food, ruining Dawn's, er, perception of her.
- Kyouko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica tends to react very badly to people wasting their food. This is soon revealed to be a consequence of a traumatically hungry childhood.
"Don't waste food. I'll kill you."
- The first episode of Slayers NEXT starts off with Lina and Gourry having a massive and lovely-looking lunch... which is quickly cut short by a fight breaking out and a thug crashing into their table. Lina is completely devastated, and responds by blasting the thugs outside so she could personally beat them up with her own fists.
- In Sonic X, the teacher absently picks up a burger belonging to a police officer. Said officer pursues him beyond the rest of the episode, threatening to call out the SWAT team.
- Vash in Trigun: Badlands Rumble complains quite loudly when a number of bandits smash his doughnut into crumbs.
"That is the meanest thing anyone's ever done to me! Why do you wanna ruin other people's food?! I can't eat a pile of smashed up crumbs!"
- As well as the original series, you waste or step on perfectly good pudding. Milly will drop you where you stand.
- It should be noted that the characters live in an environment of extreme scarcity, so this kind of attitude is reasonable, but in their case it's still treated as excessive and humorous.
- In one story in Urusei Yatsura, Ataru and Lum end up spending a quiet evening at home with Ataru's parents gone. Lum even makes a special dinner for him. Unfortunately, their dinner and their night gets interrupted by angry/jealous boys from their school who invade Ataru's house. In the process, they wreck Lum's dinner for Ataru - which pisses her off big time.
- In an extra gag page of Vampire Knight, Yuuki can be seen punching Zero when she believes he ate the pudding she was saving (it was actually Headmaster Cross who ate it).
- In The Wallflower's Valentines Day Episode, Sunako had spent the episode fiercely craving the day's chocolate while her Bishōnen room-mates had been avoiding their fangirls all school-day. This culminates in her finally making her own decadent, layered and exceedingly-tall chocolate cake at home while the rest of them are starving and exhausted. Soon after she gets a single bite, they've already devoured most of it.
"But that Valentine's chocolate was supposed to be for me..."
- From Dragon Ball Z we have Super Buu. All the Buu forms love their sweets, but Super Buu takes this Up to Eleven after he is trapped in the Time Chamber by Piccolo. He asked if he would have sweets, Piccolo smugly tell him no, cue him throwing a tantrum that break dimensions.
- It gets one-upped by Beerus in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, who throws a temper tantrum after he misses out on a chance to eat some pudding. And by temper tantrum, we mean that he would've destroyed the Earth had Goku not stopped him. This, despite the fact that it would've been beyond trivial to make another batch for him if he had just stayed calm and shown a little patience.
- The Disney comic "Tele Paperopoli International" has a Big Eater technician mourn tearfully for his sandwiches after they're lost in a fire in the TV studio.
- strip, Snoopy is sleeping on his doghouse as Woodstock walks in, whistling happily. Then Snoopy is woken up by an angry shout from inside, followed by Woodstock storming off. In the last panel, Snoopy says, "I ate the last piece of cheesecake!"
- In this strip, Linus gets very upset after Lucy breaks a cookie in his milk. Lucy tried to tell him to calm him by saying, "Never cry over sludged milk!"
- Super Mario Adventures: for a brief moment, after losing his lunch box when Mario accidentally squashes it flat, Luigi utters a Big "NO!" and cries, saying he's "been having pipe dreams about that cannelloni".
- Tintin: Captain Haddock is willing to run headlong into gunfire(swearing like well, a sailor) when a Bedouin sniper shatters his precious bottle of whiskey(which he'd stolen from the Foreign Legion commander's office).
- In Airplane II: The Sequel, the announcement that there is no more coffee sparks a riot on board, after far graver news does not garner a reaction.
- Parodied at Blue Jasmine, where Chili, reunited with his fiance Ginger, tells her to not touch the last slice of pizza. She takes it and dangles it in front of his face, teasing, "Is this yours? Is this yours?" He not only grabs the pizza, but snatches her up too and takes her away to the bedroom, where we overhear him saying, "This is mine, and this is mine, and this is mine..."
- In Every Which Way But Loose, a big good ol' boy at a bar gets annoyed when Philo repeatedly reaches across him to grab a handful of peanuts from the bowl (presumably to bring home for Clyde the orangutan). When Philo takes his last handful, the guy yells, "Put 'em back!" and begins mocking Philo, earning him a punch to the jaw.
- In the original Home Alone this sparks the fight between Kevin and his older brother Buzz, when the latter taunts the former about having ate the last slice of cheese pizza before Kevin even got any.
- In Police Academy 6, after blacking out the city, the three crooks are laughing and walking down a street with ice cream cones, when Ox drops one of his; he yells, "Oh, Crapola!", then grabs the edge of a car, and tips it over. Ace remarks, "He is such a baby..."
- Tallahassee in Zombieland is on a quest for Twinkies throughout the film. He nearly breaks down upon finding one that has been hit by a stray bullet. Happy ending: He later finds a fresh Twinkie.
- In Saki's story "The Chaplet", the chef of a hotel is horrified when the dining room orchestra strikes up the title musical piece, as everyone stops to listen and either let his carefully prepared dishes grow cold, or just kind of munch on them without really tasting them. When the conductor insists on an encore, the chef drowns him in a soup tureen.
- In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent is informed that the earth has been destroyed, and tries to process the information. The sheer enormity of the entire planet being gone is too much for him, so he tries to break it down one item at a time. Losing his friends and family? No reaction. New York no longer exists? No reaction. Every Bogart film erased? Ouch. No such thing as a McDonald's hamburger?! Arthur passes out from shock.
- Gollum in The Lord of the Rings is hardly pleased with cooked meat, seeing it as "spoiled" when he'd rather have it raw. This ends up as just another way him and Sam butt heads, particularly when Sam turns a rabbit he caught into a stew.
- The movie turned it into a minor meme: "Stupid fat hobbit! You ruins it!"
- 30 Rock: One day a year the Teamsters give everyone these awesome sandwiches from a deli they know about but won't tell anyone else where it is. Liz goes into a blinding rage when her sandwich is stolen.
Liz: (to Kenneth) I don't know how, but you're going to get me another sandwich. Or I'm going to cut your face up so bad, you'll have a chin. (turns to everyone) You'll all have chins!
- Sadly, one reason why dogs on Animal Planet Heroes programs can end up being euthanized is if they react violently to a rubber hand held near their food as they're eating, demonstrating that they're too aggressive to be adoptable.
- One episode of Friends features an incident in which Ross' sandwich (specially made by Monica out of Thanksgiving leftovers) is eaten by one of his coworkers. Ross' reaction is enough to convince his boss that he has "rage issues." His "MY SANDWICH?!" scream became one of the series' most famous moments.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: During the time travel story arc, Pearl and Observer discover that Professor Bobo has become a celebrity in ancient Rome. Observer fears that Bobo's meddling with history could have dire effects on the timeline, but Pearl doesn't care. Observer convinces her to care by pointing out that, in the altered timeline, the Nabisco company may never come into being, thus "No more Chicken In A Biskit":
Pearl: "Bobo is messing with my. Favorite. SNACK CRACKER?!"
- NCIS: Gibbs Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine's coffee, if you want to live.
- Gibbs also gets annoyed with Vance over a ruined danish. His Death Glare ensures that Vance will one day pay him back for it (which he does).
- Stargate Atlantis: Harmony steals John's chocolate and frames Rodney.
- The Doctor Who minisode "Good Night" features a Played for Drama version, when Amy finds out that the worst day of her life was, apparently, the day when she dropped an ice cream she was going to eat. The Doctor takes her back to buy herself a new one.
- In Deadpool, Cable is able to convince Deadpool to battle Mister Sinister by pointing out that Sinister's success also means the destruction of his favorite taco restaurant. This shows the potential overlap with Food as Bribe.
- In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze , we first see Bashmaster lounging on an ice flow floating in a pool of juice while licking a popsicle. Donkey Kong falls onto the platform, knocking the popsicle out of Bashmaster's hand and into the juice, where it is promptly eaten by piranhas. Bashmaster angrily looks at DK, who smiles sheepishly. Cue Boss Battle.
- As for Donkey Kong himself, he's largely presented as being more laid back than his predecessor, but the theft of his bananas upsets him like nothing else. That said, it's not the loss of one banana that typically sets him off so much as the loss of his clan's entire food supply.
- In Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi 3, one of Sima Zhao's conquest stages has him being attacked by his brother Sima Shi because he ate one his meat buns.
- This is how the plot of Kirby Squeak Squad begins, with someone stealing a strawberry shortcake just as Kirby was about to eat it. Getting it back is practically Kirby's entire motive for the entire game.
- In Persona 4, Yukiko brings fried tofu on ramen for her lunch. She offers some to both The Protagonist and Yosuke, and after taking a bite, the two of them rapidly eat the whole thing. (The player themselves have no say in this.) She's understandably ticked off for the rest of the scene.
- It happens to her again later on in the story when the group is eating at a ramen shop together, and Teddie discreetly nabs her unfinished bowl. He was left unable to move after having 10 of them along with hers, and she said something about leaving the bear behind.
- In Playstation All Stars Battle Royale, Sweet Tooth is spending a scene admiring the strawberry ice cream cone he'd just prepared, even going so far as to carve a smiley face into the "round ball of heaven." His rivalry battle begins after Kratos knocks the cone to the ground for no reason (incidentally turning the smiley face upside down).
You know, I worked real hard on that ice cream cone. REAL hard. Dunno if you got any money in that skirt of yours... But one way or the other, you're paying for it.
- A minor feud between Cerberus and Orthrus is caused when the former has his lunch stolen and thinks the latter did it in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. After a while of challenging each other, it turns out an Oni stole Cerberus' lunch.
- In the intro to Sonic Generations, Sonic gasps and then looks dejected after the appearance of the Time Eater knocks his birthday chili dog into the air, then to the ground (which he has only managed to take one bite from). Thanks to the plot involving time travel, by the end of the game, he gets it back.
- Happens off-screen in Super Danganronpa 2 during Mioda's final Free Time Event, when after having a deep discussion with Hinata, she quickly switches over to thinking it'll be a good idea to steal snacks from Owari and kick Nidai in the butt for training/fun. According to Hinata's account of the event, he narrowly escaped.
- The Heavy and Scout in Team Fortress 2 have a sort of rivalry regarding the Heavy's sandvich, starting with the Meet The Scout video, where the Scout takes the sandvich after beating up a Heavy. It became a Running Gag, with a series of in-game achievements for The Scout being able to steal a Sandvich from a fallen Heavy, and for The Heavy being able to protect it via killing 50 Scouts (called "Don't Touch Sandvich"). When it comes to his sandwich, "he's like a big, shaved bear that hates people."
- In Tekken 6, Asuka and Lili's shared ending has Lili causing Asuka to skid to a stop on her bike, sending her bento into the air to splatter onto the ground. Asuka gets pissed at this, and then casually dismissing that she's late for school, they start to fight.
- This is the entire plot of Titan Lunch Retaliation: A Titan goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Eyeball Monsters, Flying Squid, Dragons, Flying Monkeys, and Wiener Dogs because a giant bird stole his lunch.
- In Punch-Out!! on the Wii, Soda Popinski will occasionally get out a bottle and drink it to restore his health. However, you can knock it out of his hands before he has a chance. If you do, he'll launch a flurry of powerful uppercuts very quickly at you. Far worse is if you do the same thing to Doc Louis' chocolate bar during Doc Louis' Punch out, which makes his attacks much faster (and he gets out another chocolate bar straight away that you can't knock away).
- In Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, Etna has gone rogue from Laharl's court, and considers him a deadly enemy, even fantasizing about murdering him over and over again. The reason? He stole her dessert!
- In an episode of Marvel Super Heroes: What The—?! focusing on Deadpool's pop culture-themed nightmares, he's subjected to the torture of having to watch a fully-prepared taco be crushed, broken apart and ripped to shreds.
"The taco never hurt anyone! It was so delicious! Please, stop it, stop it, I beg you! No-o-ooo!
- An episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks has the trio visiting Dave's parents, who live on a farm, and ends up saving their farm. The cartoon concludes with everyone having breakfast and a chicken eating Theodore's breakfast. The chicken eating up all of Theodore's food leads to an Everybody Laughs Ending...for everyone except poor Theodore.
- In American Dad! Francine gets a job at the CIA, which Stan is uncomfortable with. As a ploy to get her fired, he tries to frame her by taking Deputy Director Bullock's (voiced by Patrick Stewart) sandwich, which he has very little patience for.
Where. The hell. is my SANDWICH!?
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh cries when the tea he warmed up gets smacked out of his hand by Zuko.
- A brief gag in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Swarm of the Century". Background pony Lyra Heartstrings is about to eat a slice of pie, but the parasprites swarm in and eat it before she can get a bite. Lyra doesn't say anything, but she looks like she's on the verge of tears over this loss.
- Homer from The Simpsons frequently displays this behaviour towards donuts:
Homer: This is not happening! This is not happening!
- In one episode, he gives a Big "NO!" and bursts into tears while watching a science experiment in which a donut is burned in order to show how many calories it contains.
- Really egregious in the episode in which Santa's Little Helper (the family dog) has to go to obedience school for chronic misbehavior. Marge is crestfallen when her mother's heirloom quilt is destroyed after being in her family for several generations. Homer is unconcerned, and very insincerely tries to comfort her...until he notices that Santa's Little Helper also ate his cookie, at which point he screams, cries, and finally decides that something needs to be done about the dog.
Brockman: I don't read the news until I get my danish.
- In a Treehouse of Horror segment, Bart uses a time-stopping watch to make donuts disappear one by one as Homer is about to eat them. Homer ends up trying to stab himself in despair, but Bart replaces the knife with a banana.
- Yet another Treehouse of Horror episode has Homer having an accident with Time Travel and ends up creating an almost perfect future in which the family are rich, the kids are well-behaved and his hated sisters-in-law Patty and Selma are dead. He's prepared to accept this universe until he learns that no-one knows the word 'donut', which terrifies him enough to make him reactivate the time machine to fix the timeline (too late to realise that in this universe, it rains donuts).
- Homer isn't the only character sensitive to lost food. In "Bart Gets Famous", we learn Kent Brockman really loves danishes. When Bart swipes Brockman's danish (which resembles more of a cinnamon roll) to give to Krusty, Brockman discovers his pastry missing and won't do the news report. (He is quickly replaced by Bumblebee Man, who actually does a better job than Brockman himself - until his usual zany persona takes over.)
- South Park. At the beginning of "The Death of Eric Cartman", the boys are at Stan's house, waiting for Stan's mom to come home with their KFC. When it arrives, instead of helping with groceries, Cartman steals the crispy delicious skin off all the pieces in the bucket and goes home. The boys are devastated; Kenny actually begins sobbing from the trauma. As this is the most heinous thing Cartman's ever done, the other boys stop speaking to him, which leads him to believe he's dead and they can't see him anymore.
- Happens at the end of Teen Titans Go!, "Legendary Sandwich", when Silkie sneaks in while the Titans (sans Raven) are bickering over who gets the first taste of the sandwich and outright devours it himself, only to spew it back out moments later.