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Post-Stress Overeating

People do things that help them lower stress and try to forget after a hard day. Sometimes people try to drink their problems away. Others try to eat their bodyweight in ice cream. This type of behavior is a fairly common coping mechanism in both fiction and Real Life. This usually takes place after a fight with a loved one or some other type of high level emotional distress, usually while lamenting about who or what is bothering them.

Compare Heartbreak and Ice Cream, Comfort Food and the alcoholic equivalent Drowning My Sorrows. Many of these characters experience Weight Woe due to this. It also may lead to Formerly Fit.

Examples


Animated Films

Anime & Manga
  • After having a minor squabble with Sae, Hiro of Hidamari Sketch (pictured above) goes on a binge eating tons of food from cake and donuts to curry, always with a "><" on her face and constantly saying things "Stupid Sae"...Les Yay? Of course not.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica Kyoko goes off on a binge after she loses an argument with Sayaka. In a variant of this, it's also implied that her Big Eater tendencies are a coping mechanism for her Dark and Troubled Past; namely, her family starving after her priest father got excommunicated, and later his killing the rest of her family and himself after finding out about Kyoko's contract.
  • Usagi tends to do this in the first anime of Sailor Moon, usually after fights with Mamoru. Not so much in the manga.
  • Fresh Pretty Cure!: After realizing that Miki already has a boyfriend and his hundredth defeat in attempting to ask her out, Yuuki goes on a binge of donuts while crying. As he puts it to the clerk "If it's gonna be like that, I'll just stuff my face. Old man, give'em to me nonstop!".
  • Midora from Toriko takes this trope to a massive villainous level. He became a Villainous Glutton with a huge appetite in order to cope with the lose of Frohze.
  • Played for laughs as both Aladdin and Alibaba in Magi Labyrinth of Magic after the events of the Balbadd arc did this for months to the point they became grossly overweight. In Aladdin's case, Morgiana and Ja'far spoiled him rotten with treats so he wouldn't have to think about Ugo's death.
    • In the Alma Torran flashback, Sheba aggressively ate everything at the table after she saw her Precocious Crush Solomon having a close moment with who she believed was her rival Arba. Her son Aladdin happened to share this trait.

Live-Action TV
  • Leo Knox from The Finder is this. Before the series he had gained weight after the death of his wife and daughter, but had lost a lot of weight with the help of Walter, but he reaches for junk food when dealing with emotions. This is especially evident in "The Conversation" where the gang is helping a family that reminds Leo of his own family. Leo at first denies that what he is eating is connected to his emotions.
    Sometimes a ding dong is just a ding dong.
  • In the show Pushing Daisies, Olive "stress-binged" on the pies that Ned "stress-baked".
  • You can tell Jack Donaghy of 30 Rock is stressed when he starts binging like crazy.
  • Ugly Betty: When faced with big stressors, e.g. the possibility of losing her job, Amanda Tanen can clean a pan of a flan in a matter of minutes.
    • The discovery that she is adopted, and the now deceased Fey Sommers is her real mother, and her father is unknown causes her to pack on plot relevant pounds between Seasons 1 and 2.

Real Life
  • A lot of people suffer from this as an outlet for emotional distress, the equivalent for other people that is smoking and or drinking.
    • In clinical terms, frequent use of this behavior as a coping mechanism can be called Binge Eating Disorder or Bulimia Nervosa. Frequent overeating can also satisfy the self-destructive criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder.