Food is important.
Without the many things it provides (not just nutrition, but culture
and, ...well, just gives life more flavour
) people would just keel over and die (...literally). Of course, this makes being hungry a big deal.
With this in mind it's hardly a surprise that some people just can't get it off their mind. Not just in the sense that they don't want to starve, but that they can't stop thinking about eating. They might just constantly crave their Trademark Favorite Food
, or just food in general
. Either way, they will pay more attention to food than anything else. Expect another character to ask them "How can you think about food at a time like this!?
" at some point or another.
Most of the time, especially in Western Animation
, it's Played for Laughs
, but it can also be Played for Drama
These characters tend to be the Big Eater
and may suffer from Meat-O-Vision
and are prone to a Delicious Distraction
and Food as Bribe
. Compare Inappropriate Hunger
; which is often overlapped with this when Played for Laughs
. Contrast Weight Woe
, where someone's trying to ignore food.
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Anime and Manga
- Sasha from Attack on Titan is this. Justified because there are major food shortages and she may not have the discipline to deal with hunger as well as the other soldiers.
- In Trinity Blood, Played for Laughs with Father Nightroad at the start of the first episode of the Anime, who hasn't eaten in 22 hours due to not being able to pay for a sandwich. Later, it's Played for Drama with Ion, who is a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire afraid of losing his self-control. However, when they're able to eat normally, neither is obsessed with food.
- In One Piece, Luffy gets hungry real easily to where he will try to eat the nearest thing as a Running Gag. He particularly likes meat (of any sort) but will eat anything that tastes good. After a few hours without eating, he will start to complain to anyone nearby. After several hours, it substantially affects his ability to fight—normally Played for Laughs but becomes a major plot point when he fails to stop the CP9 agents from assassinating Iceburg, burning down his mansion, and kidnapping Franky.
- Toriko doesn't think about anything but eating (justified since he has a Hyperactive Metabolism which means he'll starve in hours rather than days and gathering ingredients and cooking's kind of a Serious Business in his world). Naturally the anime adaptation has crossed over with One Piece.
- He's far from the only one. There's a reason the current time period is called "The Gourmet Age". All of civilization revolves around finding and eating delicious food. Justified since the Gourmet Age came right after and is immediately followed by a worldwide famine.
- Goku from Dragon Ball Z. Justified in that he weakens a lot if he's hungry.
- Again naturally, there was a one-hour Cross Over special that saw the casts of One Piece, Toriko, and DBZ competing in a giant foot race; since the prize was the tastiest meat in the world, of course, Goku, Luffy and Toriko were the most motivated runners.
- Sakura Kyouko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is rarely seen without chewing some kind of food. Normally, something like that doesn't qualify her for this trope, but it's revealed that it's almost entirely psychological, due to her upbringing as a poor child and the fact that magical girls actually don't need to eat. That's an obsession if there is ever one.
- In Sangatsu no Lion, all Akari's cats can think about most of the time is food, who's going to give it to them, and when it's going to come.
- Kirin from Koufuku Graffiti is not only a Big Eater, but she tends to buy a lot of food-themed accessories, putting her into this trope.
- In Archie Comics and the animated series thereof, Jughead Jones would often become distracted if the subject of food came up in the middle of him talking about something else.
- Greedy in any incarnation of The Smurfs.
- Maggy from Monica's Gang. Not only she's a Big Eater, if she's in any comic, even if she's not the protagonist, she's bound to make a comment about food. This is especially noticeable in Flanderization-heavy stories, but even when not in those, it's obvious that she's thinking about food nearly all the time when she's not eating.
Live Action Television
- In an episode of The X-Files told from the Monster of the Week's POV, said monster is consumed with eating people's brains. He tries to control it by going to Overeaters Anonymous, but ends up killing & eating his landlady (who he bonded with when he discovered she was also in OA).
- On the first series of Skins, Cassie thinks about food a lot. She has an eating disorder, she organizes tinned food in other people's homes, has set strategies for pushing food around her plate to make it look like she's been eating, and believes someone is sending her secret messages telling her to 'EAT!'
- Jake on Two and a Half Men. He can be easily pissed off if someone else eats his food, would often hold food in his pockets, eat food that dripped on his shirt and in one episode has a pie in his nightstand drawer. He even mentioned having eaten a snale at least once. When he's injured, he prefers to be driven to a fastfood restaurant instead of the hospital. If he says he doesn't want to eat, it's usually a case of Out-of-Character Is Serious Business.
- Banica Conchita in "Repulsive Food Eater Conchita", to an extreme degree.
- Played for laughs in the song "But Now I'm Back" by Pink Martini. Lorenzo can't even focus on reconciling with his very peeved girlfriend, Maria — he interrupts his own plea for forgiveness by saying he needs to get a bite of grub with the boys.
- Garfield is like this every time Jon puts him on a diet.
- He's often like this even when he isn't on a diet.
- In Nomine. Not surprisingly, this is true of Haagenti the Demon Prince of Gluttony.
- Soul Calibur V has Xiba, a character who is shown eating in his promo art and is so concerned about getting his next meal that his opening battle lines include, "If food is on the line, I'd better win this!" and "So if I beat you, you'll give me some food?" He will even yell "Food!" when knocked out.
- Bud from Mega Man Star Force is obsessed with food to the point that him entering an eating contest is a plot point. Obviously, Played for Laughs.
- Taokaka from BlazBlue's always looking for food (this seems to be a trait of Kaka in general, but Tao's definitely the most obsessive). She even nicknames Ragna the Bloodedge "Good Guy" (even though she was supposed to capture him for a bounty) because he fed her. Similarly to Xiba (from Soul Calibur, mentioned above) he battle quotes often reference food (up to and including the possibility of eating her opponent).
- The Gaping Dragon of Dark Souls was originally a normal stone dragon that became so obsessed with eating its ribcage turned into a giant maw.
- Ilyana from the Fire Emblem Tellius series. Strangely enough, this is barely noticeable in the main plot of the first game outside of the epilogue despite all of her support conversations being about wanting to eat—at least by level A. This was made more obvious in the sequel, with practically every line she has being about food, and her ending plaque says "somewhere, right now, she is hungry."
- The Pokémon Munchlax. According to its Pokédex entry, it is so desperate to eat, that in its desperation it forgets that it has food stashed in its fur.
- Appears to be a low-key Running Gag in the Golden Sun series. Looking in ovens in various towns will get reaction commentary apparently from the Heroic Mime protagonist du jour, Garet and Tyrell are mentioned to be Big Eaters, and Kraden's main concern about being set adrift at sea is lunch. To be fair, what we see of the oven contents is pretty dang enticing.
- Manpuku from Ōkamiden clearly has some sort of eating disorder. He eats so much that there is never any food in the house and his mother skips meals often; and while he is with you, if you take the time to talk to the NPCs, most of his responces have him mention food from nowhere.
- Jones in Criminal Case. He's asked by at least two other characters whether he ever thinks about anything besides eating.
- In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "The Bus Boy" when the fat German kid is telling his story about the creature at the back of the bus, he keeps distracting himself whenever he mentions food.
- In the Hey Arnold! episode "Best Friends" when Arnold and Gerald are trying to find out why Rhonda and Nadine split up and they question Harold, he can only remember what they were eating and anything they said that was related to food.
- The Simpsons:
- Homer Simpson. Whenever he hears (or thinks he hears) any mention of food, he responds with the Catch Phrase "Mmm, [food/thing that vaguely sounds like food]", then spaces out and drools.
- Uter the exchange student from Germany. Always seen eating chocolate bars.
- South Park: Eric Cartman is obsessed with cheesy poofs and fried chicken.
- In Scooby-Doo, Played for Laughs with Shaggy and Scooby. Both of them are slender, cowardly Big Eaters who are only not hungry when they've stuffed themselves with more food than would normally feed a dozen people, and are only not thinking about food when they're too scared.
- In Wallace & Gromit, the main content of Wallace's life is cheese. Incidentally, the series has gone as far as even saving a rare type of cheese.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender has Sokka, especially with meat. Constantly lampshaded by Sokka's actor in "The Ember Island Players," who rarely ever takes his mind off food for the entire play.
- In the Woody Woodpecker short 'A Fine Feathered Frenzy' Woody reads a personal ad about a Gorgeous Gal who is rich, has lots of food and wants to marry a young man. Woody fantsizes about the food more than anything else. The woman had a sexy voice but turned out to be an old and overweight boy crazy bird. Upon meeting her, Woody didn't want her but she wanted to jump his bones and used his food obsession to her advantage. When the Woodpecker goes to sit at a huge table of food he winds up on her lap. She pulls the turkey legs he is about to eat away from him and tries to grab him. Woody runs to the other end of the table, but with a push of a button marked 'Cozy' she transforms it into a small romantic table for two. The Woodpecker runs before taking a bite of food. 'Gorgeous Gal' also attaches a huge roasted turkey to a long string like a worm on a fishing hook to lure him into a make-out session. Gorgeous uses the turkey on a string again to lure him into a submarine where she traps him and somehow arranges for a preist to marry them.
- The titular character of Chowder. Not surprisingly, he's an apprentice cook.
- Gary and Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants.
- Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons, who would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
- The Tasmanian Devil, whose menu fills up the whole page of a reference book. To say nothing of "...And especially rabbits!" in bold red print.
- Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters often got in trouble because of his massive appetite.
- The Laughing Hyenas in Timon & Pumbaa were perpetually on the edge of starvation and would go to any length for a square meal.
- In The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, mainly in the Super Mario Bros. 2 season, Mario obsesses over Italian food.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks has Theodore, and to a lesser extent his Distaff Counterpart Eleanor.
- Krumm of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters is an Extreme Omnivore to boot. When Ickis asked whether he thought about anything besides food, he thought for a moment and offered, "Beverages?"
- The Beatles, from the episode "It Won't Be Long":
When are we going to stop for our picnic, Ringo? I'm so hungry I could eat my guitar!
Don't you two ever think of anything but food? It's positively disgusting! Isn't it, Paul?
- Angels Friends: This is one of Gas' defining traits.
- Mr. Bogus often showed shades of this most of the time, because of his Big Eater status.
- Tummi Gummi from Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Even mentioning the name of a food makes him want to eat (like when he and Cubbi escaped a Descending Ceiling trap and Cubbi said they "could have been "flattened like pancakes", it made Tummmi want to go home for breakfast). And in one episode:
Tummi: But, Grammi, iding the Quick Cars makes me hungry.
Gruffi: (Under his breath) Breathing makes him hungry.
- People suffering from Prader-Willi syndrome. These people think about food 24/7 because full signals never reach the brain, and as a result, they feel hungry perpetually.
- King Louis XVI seemed more interested in food than his wife.
- People who have been through famines are often obsessed with food, even long after the crisis is over.
- Similar to those suffering from famine, this happens to people suffering eating disorders as well. Men and women diagnosed with Anorexia often end up developing distinct food-related rituals (playing with their food, cutting their meals into tiny pieces, eating in a specific little nook of the house, ect) that others find strange. Even though the person may not be eating the food themselves, many become obsessed with meal planning and cooking food for other people. Eating disorder survivors also tend to stash food or even fish leftovers out of trashcans. This sort starvation-driven obsessive behavior leads the victim to feel farther out of control, complicating or even sabotaging recovery efforts. Keep this in mind before you tell someone, "oh I could never have an eating disorder, I just like food too much. LOL!" Anyone who has experienced one first hand is going to be thinking, "well what do yah know, I love food too," and know better than to confide in you in the future.