Bugs Bunny: Hey, what's cooking, chief? Mmm, something smells good. What's for dinner?
Hiawatha: Rabbit stew.
Hiawatha: Rabbit stew.
Neelix: And the next thing I knew I was being boiled alive in a pot of my own leola root stew.Bob and Alice are lost in the woods, when suddenly, a wolf that talks and walks on two legs invites them to his cave for dinner. Bob and Alice accept the invitation, only to wind up in a big black stewpot full of soup while the wolf chops carrots and other ingredients into the broth. Other likely culprits are a Cannibal Tribe preparing a cannibal stew (despite not actually having the tech for cauldrons), a Big Red Devil boiling sinners in Hell while prodding them with a pitch-fork, or a Wicked Witch looking to use up those leftover German kids she has lying around. Was very common in the Golden Age Of Animation as well as comic strips from the first half of the 20th century, usually along with a gag about the person being stewed wanting to know what smells so good, or why his "bath" water seems like it's getting hotter and hotter. May overlap with Black Comedy Cannibalism.
Torres: Talk about a nightmare!
Neelix: It was perfectly seasoned.
Torres: Talk about a nightmare!
Neelix: It was perfectly seasoned.
— Star Trek: Voyager, "Waking Moments"
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In Ranma ½, Ryoga was captured by Genma and the tour guide while in pig form. For some reason, they decide the best way to cook him is to throw him into a pot of boiling water - while still alive. Fortunately for Ryoga, hot water turns him back into a human. "Oh, it is poor person! Now we cannot eat!"
- Cologne also once tried to cook Ryoga, with similar results.
- Nero: This was a very common scenario whenever the protagonists stranded in the jungle or some exotic island anywhere. The local tribes people would often put them into a boiling cauldron to eat them.
- Jommeke: Also a typical scenario whenever the characters visited Africa.
- Suske en Wiske: Also a recurring plot in the old stories. An interesting subversion is "De Gramme Huurling", where the tribes people tell Suske en Wiske they don't put people in cauldrons anymore, because they are have modernized: "Instead we put them in pressure cookers."
- Happens at the end of the third De cape et de crocs to Armand and Don Lope, allowing for two pages of Lope's backstory By the Lights of Their Eyes and a Lampshade Hanging on the gaps between books.
- One InuYasha fanfic subverts this. In it, Kagome is actually a Saber Marionette. When in protective shutdown (meaning she's active, but only at normal human levels), she's captured by a monster who boils maidens to render them down for hair oil, and initially struggles. Then she thinks "Wait. Why am I fighting this guy? I'm heat resistant to 2000 Kelvins and I've been wanting a hot bath since I got here."
Film — Animated
Film — Live Action
- In the orgy scene from Conan the Barbarian (1982), a large black cauldron is carried in, containing what appears to be pea soup. It actually contains a soup made from human corpses (the cultists are cannibals).
- A character in Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings is tied up by the cannibals, and slowly dies watching them hack off chunks of his flesh, which they dip (along with lots of veggies) in a big pot of boiling oil, for a "fucked up fondue".
- The 1985 movie of King Solomon's Mines has The Hero and The Chick being thrown into an enormous cooking pot. They escape by swimming back and forth until the pot turns over and they roll away downhill.
Alan Quatermain: Well it seemed like a good idea at the time!
- In a Dutch commercial for the candy Haribo, famous television presenter Peter Jan Rens stumbles upon a tribe of cannibals and soon finds himself in a large cauldron. Fortunately for him, the cannibals turn out to be more interested in the candy he brought with him.
- Two explorers are captured by cannibals, stripped naked, and thrown in a cauldron of water. The water starts to get hot and the explorers begin to panic. Suddenly, one of them starts snickering. "What's so funny?" "I just peed in their soup."
- When trolls capture The Hobbit's party and are arguing about how to cook them, this is one option they consider.
- In The Road To Oz Dorothy and company encounter the Scoodlers who capture them for soup. Although they escape without ever actually going in to the cauldron, they do see the Scoodlers preparing the cauldron and discussing what vegetables to use.
- In the H. Rider Haggard novel She, a tribe of cannibals follow a ritual where they heat a large pot red hot, pick it up with handles and then throw it over the victim.
- In some versions of Three Little Pigs where the big bad wolf attempts to get into the third pig's house via the chimney (after failing to blow it down). What he doesn't know is that the third pig has a boiling pot over the fire, and the wolf gets cooked in it.
- In the children's book Wombat Stew, a dingo has one of these ready to cook the wombat in. Since this is a book for young children, the wombat gets rescued before he's put into the pot.
Live Action TV
- In Black Tie Affair, a short-lived TV series from 1993, one of the major characters is a clothing designer, and they're shooting photos for his upcoming catalog. The shoot in this instance is of a (white, female) explorer trussed up in a pot surrounded by natives. The black male models playing the natives complain that it's racist, so they are dressed as lawyers instead - but they still have the girl trussed up in a big pot.
- The Lost Tribe of the Orinoco attempt to cook Tim and Bill in a pot in an episode of The Goodies. They escape by fooling the tribe into making "human clear soup", which involves removing the meat before serving.
- In the Dinosaurs episode "Monster Under the Bed" the eponymous monster plans to cook Robbie, Charlene and Baby in a big cauldron, but doesn't get around to putting them in before he's stopped. We do see him preparing the vegetables that go in the pot along with them.
- One episode of Tales from the Darkside has a cannibalistic but otherwise ordinary elderly couple stew a young hitchhiker in their hot tub.
- In the Sabrina the Teenage Witch episode "Sabrina and the Beanstalk", Harvey and Sabrina end up in the house of a wicked witch who attempts to cook them in a cauldron.
- The Benny Hill Show in the sketch "The Video Machine", Benny Hill visits an island populated by beautiful women, who soon reveal themselves to be cannibals and already have a large cauldron standing by to stew him.
- In Grandia, the hero and the heroine search for the lost Token Mini-Moe in the valley. When they found her Non-Human Sidekick flying madly around her bag and a cauldron full of stew, the hero got enraged and the heroine fainted. Subverted, of course. video here
- The final scene of Jungle Hunt for the Atari involves rescuing a lady being slowly lowered into a cauldron by a cannibal tribe.
- In some Kirby games, Kirby can get the chef hat, a single-use ability that sucks all the enemies on-screen into a pot of stew and cooks them into recovery items. In Super Smash Brothers Brawl, this is Kirby's Final Smash attack.
- In Secret of Mana, the hero gets captured by goblins who put him in a cooking pot, and stays there until the heroine rescues him.
- In the old PC quest game Toonstruck, there was a B.B.Wolf who tried to do this to the protagonist.
- Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure: If the goblins spot Zack in "Flute of the Growlin' Goblins", they toss him into a pot and stew him.
- In Ōkamiden, Chibiterasu and Manpuku fall into a giant pot of soup. The demon cooking it decides to cook them with the soup, but Manpuku saves himself and Chibi from being boiled to death... by drinking the entire thing.
- There is another example of this trope not so long afterward; Charity is tricked into approaching a large pot by the demons after refusing to cook for Orochi, and is pushed into there about to be boiled, but Chibiterasu saves her.
- In RuneScape, in the "Wolf Whistle" quest, the druid Bowlotrix is captured by Trolls who try to cook him in a cauldron. Another quest has a flashback in which an adventurer is similarly captured by another troll, while several expensive pieces of armour are seen discarded around. The player manages to save Bowlotrix in the course of the quest, the other adventurer isn't that lucky.
- In Darkest Dungeon, one of the bosses is the Hag, a cannibal witch. She has a giant cooking pot, and will grab one of your party members and throw them in if it isn't already occupied. This is NOT Played for Laughs; the boiling stew does insane damage to the person trapped inside, and just being near the Hag takes a heavy toll on your party's Sanity Meter.
- Warcraft III: One of the doodads is a large pot with three human heads bubbling to the surface, on of them already a skull.
- In Homestuck, the crocodiles who live on the Land of Heat and Clockwork greet Dave Strider—the hero of their land—by sticking him in a cauldron of hot water and pelting him with onion slices. Dave just climbs out, and the crocodiles don't bother him again. Whether they actually wanted to eat Dave, or the entire thing was just a weird greeting (as Terezi claimed) is never clarified.
- The webcomic Banished! depicts a scene where the (alien) protagonist is captured by Amazons and thrown in a cauldron. he pees in the water, telling them "That's what you get for not killing your food before you cook it."
- Played with in Ozy and Millie, where Llewellyn follows the recipe for "Dragon soup", which essentially results in Llewellyn cooking himself in the giant stewpot. The recipe has the dragon be removed at the very end (after all, what's a little heat to a fire-breathing dragon?), and Llewellyn can only remark that the soup "tastes of bathwater".
- In Weesh, after a wish to live in caveman times, Nate and Weesh are stewed by a sabertooth tiger.
- Thy Dungeonman 3: The Fat, Fat Friar clonks Thy Dungeonman over the head with a mutton chop and throws him in a stew pot to cook.
- Deadpool's sidekick Bob is freaked out at being cooked by natives in Bad Days- Deadpool. Stan Lee is also getting cooked, but really doesn't care.
Stan: (tastes the soup) Needs more salt.
- Happens to Bugs Bunny countless times:
- Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt. A joke version of the Native American mythological character tries to capture Bugs and cook him in a pot.
- Which is Witch?. While Bugs is exploring Darkest Africa, a witch doctor tries to cook him in a pot - not to eat him, but to use him as an ingredient in a potion.
- Rabbitson Crusoe. While they're trapped on a desert island, Yosemite Sam tries to cook Bugs by throwing him in a stewing pot.
- Bill of Hare. Bugs is trying to cook a meal in a kettle. The Tasmanian Devil comes along and throws Bugs into his own pot.
- Wackiki Wabbit. A couple of castaways try to cook Bugs in a pot.
- 8 Ball Bunny. While Bugs is taking a penguin back to the South Pole, both of them are captured by South American natives and put in a huge stew pot to cook.
- Rabbit's Feat, where Wile E. Coyote tries to cook him this way.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog: The cajun fox tries to do this to Muriel to make Cajun Granny Stew.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: during the Season 3 finale, Rainbow Dash is trussed up and put in a pot by Fluttershy's (mostly herbivorous) animals. They even get out the fancy wall-shadows and dance around the pot!
- Also mentioned in this song with regards to a character who is an allegedly evil witch.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle: Rocky & Bullwinkle got caught and tossed in a cauldron. Executives complained because it was portraying cannibalism. Writers responded by Lampshading the fact that, since Rocky was a squirrel & Bullwinkle a moose, and the savages were human, by definition it wasn't cannibalism.
- In the Tex Avery MGM Cartoon "What's Buzzin', Buzzard?", a vulture cooks another in a pot. The vulture in the pot smells something cooking and asks for a taste, and it's only when he bites into his own leg that he realizes what's going on.
- Tom and Jerry:
- In the short "Heavenly Puss", Tom's fate if he doesn't atone to Jerry is Fire and Brimstone Hell, where Spike as a Big Red Devil has a cauldron ready to put him into.
- In "His Mouse Friday", Jerry dresses in blackface and forces Tom into a pot as he cuts up the vegetables. This cartoon is rarely shown anymore due to the fact that it makes Mammy Two-Shoes look progressive.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: "But should your chores be never done, your feeble arms too weak to toil,Yeshmiyek will surely come… and throw you in the pot to boil!"
- A tribe of pygmies try to do this to Rebecca Cunningham in the Talespin episode "The Bigger They Are, The Louder They Oink." She doesn't like it.
- On an episode of Spongebob Squarepants, Patrick, who is starving in the wild, tries to cook Spongebob in a soup, complete with him chopping carrot bits into it.
- Brattus falls victim to this in the first act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Nightmare On Bogus Street", thanks to Werewolf Bogus.
- Cecil gets tricked into this situation by a witch doctor in an episode of Time For Beany, As seen here
- Cauldrons of this size can be used to scald hogs — dipping them briefly in boiling water so their bristles can be removed from the hide.
- Some crabs are cooked this way, dipped alive in Court-bouillon (though it's already hot when it happens).
- Some Japanese hotpots involve cooking loaches (a bottom dwelling freshwater fish) alive. Apparently, as the water heats up, they dig into the tofu that they are being cooked with.