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Lost Food Grievance
Her one joy...
Frank: Oh... taking Liz's food is not good...
Liz: Where's my mac and CHEESE?! [table flip]

A specific form of 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, 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.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    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 making a drink to remedy it. The last ingredient, an 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 lunch, which is quickly cut short by a fight breaking out and a thug crashing into their table. Lina 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.
  • 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, Yuki 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, Sanako 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..."

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • 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).

    Film 
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • 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!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • 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 for her lunch. She offers some to both The Protagonist and Yusuke, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    "[Giving the pointer finger] You crossed the line... I'll show you what happens... when you mess with people's food!"
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • 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!

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    Brockman:I don't read the news until I get my danish.

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