"I finally came upon the sage floating cross-legged in the air with no visible means of support, for he had no need of a job. He drew his sustenance from the universe itself, plus the occasional para-drop of Martian spice pudding from well-meaning admirers."A character that doesn't require the same physical or mental needs to survive or remain healthy as humans. Or, at least, they lack one need. It could be anything from eating, "waste excrement", heat/warmth, sleep, breathing or even companionship (we're talking an entire lifetime of complete isolation here, not just being The Stoic). They just don't need it, unlike those poor old Homo Sapiens. They may still choose to do these things (if they can, for that matter), but it's not a requirement. Subtropes include:
— Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space
- Batman Can Breathe in Space
- Bottomless Bladder
- Eating Optional
- Perpetual-Motion Monster
- The Sleepless
- Super Not-Drowning Skills
Common character types that fit this trope:
- Anthropomorphic Personification
- Artificial Human
- Aliens with Bizarre Biologies
- Cosmic Being
- Physical God
- Plant People
- Ghosts, Vampires, and other supernatural beings.
- Mechanical Lifeforms and just about every robot in fiction.
- Eldritch Abominations
- Energy Beings
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Anime and Manga
- The Namekians of Dragon Ball Z don't need food, only water. Justified, in that they're actually a type of humanoid, sentient plant species. On a related note, Frieza (and presumably the rest of his family/species) doesn't need to breathe for long periods of time.
- Piccolo does eat — apparently he got in the habit of it while on Earth. Justified since, unlike the rest of his species, he doesn't get as much sunlight (Namek is close enough to multiple suns that it never has night).
- Played for Drama in Fullmetal Alchemist. Alphonse Elric, whose soul is currently bound to a suit of armor, cannot eat or sleep and it brings him much sadness and frustration on his quest to get his body back.
- Angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion are said to have eaten from the "Fruit of Life" (metaphorically), thus they require nothing to continue living, and will never die of old age or disease. Their Core, the S2 Organ, provides an inexhaustible amount of energy for them. NERV is able to control the Evas because they don't have S2 Organs. If the Evas go out of control NERV can simply cut off the power. Problems arise when Eva-01 eats an Angel to claim the Angel's S2 Organ for itself.
- The Data Weapons in GEAR Fighter Dendoh, justified as they are living data.
- The title character Anpanman doesn't seem to eat anything at all whenever the other characters eat or drink. Some viewers think it's based he's based on bread, but the other main heroes that are based on bakery goods don't really seem to have that problem as there's times they eat and drink normally. This was even joked on this fan comic◊.
- The official website stated that the anko filling in his head makes him sustenance, which makes sense in a way. Though one of the early edutainment specials from the early 90s shows him that he's about to eat a soft-served ice cream cone, until he trips over and cries about it.
- Apparently the case for Dragoons in Coffin Princess Chaika, as the main characters are clued into the fact that something isn't right with their host Dominica when they discover that her mansion has no food in it at all and that no one has used the kitchen in what seems to be years, and eventually realize she's actually a Dragoon named Fredrika who shapeshifted to look like her after the real one died.
- In comic books, "Self-sustenance" (on varying levels) is an actual superpower for many characters.
- Captain Marvel and everyone else with his power-set are a notable case, given they not only don't require food or air but don't age (Billy is a little boy who's growing up, but the adult Captain Marvel he becomes will never grow a day older). This was most memorable in Black Adam's first appearance in the Golden Age; Black Adam was the Wizard's previous champion in Egypt, but his poor behavior caused Shazam to just teleport him to a distant planet countless lightyears away from Earth as punishment. Being able to fly and functionally immortal, Black Adam just spends several eons flying back. When tricked by Billy into saying the magic word and going back to his civilian identity, he crumbles into dust.
- In the post-Flashpoint continuity, Superboy states that he doesn't need to eat or sleep.
- Mercury, an X-Men trainee, has a body entirely composed of metal. Therefore, she doesn't need to eat or drink, but does so anyway because it makes her feel human.
- Last Child of Krypton: Shinji eats food but he’s never hungry, he sleeps although he doesn’t really need to, and he doesn’t need to breathe. Justified because he is Superman, and his body is a living solar battery.
Asuka was already heading out the door when he popped a piece of toast in his mouth (he wasn't hungry, and it fact couldn't remember being hungry, but liked toast)
- Quicken: After getting regenerative powers, Emma doesn't get tired, and she doesn't need to sleep or breathe.
- Paul in With Strings Attached and especially in The Keys Stand Alone. When he's at “low” strength (i.e., when he can only lift 15,000 lbs or so) he has occasional, if sporadic, need to eat, sleep, and pee. At “high” strength (where he can lift at least 90 tons) he is truly self-sustaining. He doesn't particularly appreciate being self-sustaining in Keys, given how boring it is not to sleep and not have anything to do or be able to go out when everyone else is asleep.
- He discovers by accident in Keys that he also doesn't need to breathe, even at low strength.
- In Dragon Bones, Oreg is implied to not have to eat or breathe - he's immortal unless he's killed by the current owner of the ring to which he's bound. Suicide is not an option, so implicitly starving and drowning can't happen. He probably doesn't need sleep, either.
- This is the case for the mechs in Robin Wasserman's Skinned trilogy. Being human consciousnesses uploaded into mechanical bodies, they're unable to eat, sleep, and breathe, have bodies that are self-healing and cleaning, and are unable to die. Of course, they think of it as Blessed with Suck.
- In the Land of Oz, the Sawhorse is a saw horse which Pip brought to life using Old Mombi's life-giving powder. Later Jim the (real) Cab Horse comes to Oz, and tries to convince the Sawhorse that being a meat and bones horse is better than being a wooden horse magically brought to life, but all the examples that Jim gives actually come out in the Sawhorse's favor: for example Jim says that he can bleed and that's good because people can know where he's hurt - the Sawhorse points out that he doesn't get hurt, so he doesn't need to bleed. Jim is the only animal from our world who, having come to Oz where he can talk, begs to go back to the real world where he's just a dumb animal.
- In general a decent number of Oz characters are inanimate beings who've been brought to live being magical means (The Scarecrow, Tin Man, Patchwork Girl....) and they all have this benefit. Naturally it comes in handy in many adventures, such as in the first book where Dorothy and The Lion are knocked out by the poppy field, but the Scarecrow and Tin Man (who don't breathe) are conscious enough to get them out.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Melisandre, the red priestess of R'hollor, needs no food and barely any sleep. However, she keeps up the pretense of needing a bed and eating breakfast so as not to unnerve her companions. Moqorro, another red priest, also survived several days in the sun without food or water. Their magical powers seem to sustain them, at least for short periods.
- Cersei's champion and newest member of the Kingsguard, Ser Robert Strong, has never been seen eating, drinking, sleeping, or even using the privy. Unlike Melisandre, he doesn't even make a token effort to fit in (being, most likely, a mindless automaton), which deeply disturbs the people around him.
- The vampires in Twilight don't need to breathe, sleep, or eat (except blood). In fact, if a vampire does consume human food in an attempt to hide their true nature, their body will be completely unable to digest it, so they'll need to vomit it up eventually.
- In Wedge's Gamble, Ooryl Qrygg, a Gand, reveals that the inhalant nerve gas in the room they need to get into will have no effect on him because he doesn't breathe. Turns out Gand get all the oxygen they need from their food. When asked how he talks, he responds that the air goes in, crosses the vocal cord equivalent, and goes right back out.
- Trapped on Draconica: Kalak doesn't need to sleep. He doesn't need to rest. He used less water than his companions when crossing a desert, though Daniar put her foot down on that last one.
- In Elantris, Elantrians are a Blessed with Suck version of this. They are immortal and cannot die even if gravely injured or deprived of food and water indefinitely, but they also cannot heal, meaning that any wound they take, from a stubbed toe to a sword through the guts, perpetually hurts exactly as much as it did when it was new. Most of them go mad relatively quickly. Even though they don't need to eat, they still feel hunger, and they have no way of getting food other than stealing the small amount given as part of each new Elantrian's funerary rites. Somewhere between a third and half of them have gone mad just from hunger. They've even tried eating each other, but for some reason Elantrian flesh tastes so horrid that not even they could stomach it.
- Blood Meridian: Judge Holden never seems to sleep. He also doesn't seem to age. It's implied that he's some sort of malevolent, supernatural being, or possibly even the personification of human evil.
- Exotes/Gragals in Moon Rainbow series don't really need neither food, nor oxygen, because they have an intracellular symbiotes that are essentially living nanomachines, which provide all cellular need by direct matter-to-energy-and-back conversion. Unfortunately, convincing one's body that it doesn't need to, say, breathe is an another matter, and is a rather significant problem for the uninitiated.
- In Tales of MU, the half-demon Mack doesn't need to defecate because her body completely processes whatever she eats as a side effect of her demonic nature.
- On Star Trek, Vulcans are always immune to some disease or can do things "illogical humans" can't do.
- Played for Laughs in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Muse". Tuvok says that like all Vulcans he can go for weeks without sleep, then ends up snoring loudly on the bridge after falling asleep in the command chair.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Jem Hadar, soldiers of the Dominion, don't need to eat or sleep. Instead they need a very specific chemical (Ketracel-White or "the White") for the rest of their lives, or they'll die.
- One episode features a single Jem Hadar who was marooned without a supply of the white and somehow overcame his physiological "addiction" to the substance as a result. The plot centers around his (failing) efforts to repeat this process for his kinsmen so that they too can be "free". In the end, its theorized that he was actually born that way: though he had taken the drug all his life as a matter of course, he never actually needed it.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine also has Changelings, a race of shapeshifters who do not need food, water, or oxygen who happen to also be the masters of genetic engineering that created the Jem Hadar in the first place. Laas travels in space without the aid of a ship, suggesting that they do not need heat or pressure to survive. Subverted with Odo, who needs to rest in his default liquid form every sixteen hours or suffer ill effects.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Borg are also an example, as we see them travel around in the vacuum of space with no difficulty. It's left vague what food sources they need to sustain their biological components.
- Data, being an android, also doesn't need the regular biological necessities to sustain himself. Side material explains that Data does require a kind of special nutrient compound to fuel himself. It is much more energy efficient than typical biological food, and even without it he does not "die" but only shuts down and can be reactivated later (as seen in "Time's Arrow"). He requires nothing else to function, like air or rest. He can't self heal however, so any damage to his body needs to be manually repaired. His lack of sleep factors into a few episodes, and because of it he always takes command of the night shift.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, many types of creatures do not need food or sleep, such as Constructs, Elementals and Outsiders (beings from other planes). Elves meditate instead of sleep (even when hungover). Players can take advantage of some spells for the same effect, and there is the Tattooed Monk whose Ocean Tattoo causes him not to have adverse effects from not eating, drinking, or sleeping. They still can, but they don't need to. The Vow of Poverty from The Book of Exalted Deeds restricts a character from owning almost anything but also gradually gives advantages making sure they don't need to, including freedom from the need to eat. The psychic race Elans can spend one Power Point to sustain themselves for 24 hours.
- Like elves, thri-kreen don't need to sleep. It's an important part of their psychology.
- Warforged (a playable race) and other constructs don't need to eat, drink, sleep or even breathe. Neither do vampires or other undead races. While generally rarely played, there are numerous races that qualify as The Needless.
- The Ring of Sustenance is a commonly-purchased item that prevents the need to eat or drink, and reduces sleep requirements. A psionic power does the same thing.
- The 3.5 Shadowcaster gradually develop towards this. They start out as anyone else, but after a few levels they can persist perfectly fine on one meal a week, some levels after that their health and sanity only requires 1 hour of sleep a night, and at its culmination neither breath nor food nor sleep is neededfor their health .
- The "Life Support" power in Champions.
- A slew of advantages in GURPS. Doesn't Eat/Drink, Doesn't Breathe, and Doesn't Sleep are only the beginning.
- In Exalted, various Adorjan charms will remove an Infernal's need to eat, sleep, and breathe (most of these charms are Powered by a Forsaken Child, requiring that the Infernal kill someone every so often to use them).
- Malfeas can also remove your need to sleep, except to recover Willpower; sadly, when you do, you suffer hellish nightmares.
- Yozi charms have 'transhuman transcendence' theme in them. By learning those charms (most of which are permanent), one can far exceed the limitation of humans while getting closer and closer to the nature of the source Yozis. And all Yozis are sustained by existing according to their nature (e.g. by being a wind, or a desert, or an ocean, or a backstabbing super-dick).
- Most of the Abyssal charms to do this have names like "Corpse Needs No Food"; they can be used in temporary form, or taken as Taints to have permanent effects and equally permanent drawbacks (in the listed case, you don't need to eat - but that's good, because you physically can't).
- Warhammer 40,000
- Space Marines are men upgraded with special organ implants which either severely reduce or eliminate altogether many human needs. To wit, they only need a couple of hours sleep a night to be fully rested, and that's in ideal conditions - in battle, they can continue fighting for hundreds of hours nonstop by resting parts of their brains in sequence, although long-term use of the ability can be deleterious; they can breathe underwater and in most poisonous atmospheres; they have limited needs for eating and drinking, as their body/armour is capable of recycling waste; and they are generally immune to nearly every disease and toxin that wasn't specifically designed to target them and their heightened immune system. Basically, Space Marines are capable of surviving just about anywhere, under any conditions.
- The Chaos Space Marines are even more extreme examples thanks to being warped by Chaos. Some of them don't even need to eat anymore, being sustained by the Warp. The Thousand Sons' Rubric Marines aren't even capable of eating anymore, being little more than Animated Armor.
- In the New World of Darkness:
- Vampires, being undead, don't need to breathe and need only blood to survive, no food or water necessary. However, if they don't drink blood for too long, they eventually "starve" into a state called torpor, a nightmarish coma-like sleep. They do sleep during the daylight hours, but it's more a mystical response to the rising of the sun - they can resist it, but the less Humanity they have, the worse they are at things during the day.
- Prometheans need no water or other fluids. They do require food, but can subsist on damn near anything organic. They do need to breathe, but it's because they're powered by the Divine Fire, and fires need oxygen. As for sleep... it's complicated.
- Many video games, while not making this an explicit part of the canon, implicitly do not require players to sleep or eat due to Rule of Fun.
- This is part of why Wiseman wants to turn everyone into Magnus in Baten Kaitos Orgins.
- In Touhou magicians who are turned into youkai don't need food or sleep, though they do both out of habit or leisure. They don't age, either.
- Most player characters don't have normal needs but Fallout: New Vegas has a optional hard core mode where you need to eat, drink and sleep to stay healthy.
- Dwarf Fortress has a number of tags deciding if a creatures needs to breath, eat, drink, sleep or stop exerting themselves. Goblins, for instance don't need to eat or drink, but still sleep and get physically exhausted while a number of inorganic creatures are full Perpetual Motion Monsters.
- Angels, in Tales of Symphonia, although this can be altered with the correct Key Crest on their Cruxis Crystal, since said crystals are a powered-up form of Exsphere. Causes some dismay from a character who just wants to be normal feeling that she's losing her humanity as a result.
- Inverted in Diablo III. Tyrael, an Angel who was The Needless originally became mortal and found out what it's like to have to worry about biology.
Angel: My stomach feels strange.Lorath: Did you forget to eat again?Angel: No. In fact, I decided to get the day's eating out of the way all at once. I kept at it until I couldn't take another bite.Lorath: Oh, it sounds like you ate too much then.Angel: Being a mortal is very complicated.
- FTL: Faster Than Light has the Lanius, who do not need to breathe and, in fact, drain oxygen from the rooms they are in. They do however eat scrap metal.
- Cole from Dragon Age: Inquisition is a Fade spirit who somehow manifested a human body rather than possessing one. As with all spirits, he doesn't need food, water, or sleep. Although this may change if you pick "person" over "spirit" in his personal quest.
- Sluggy Freelance: Though Aylee the alien certainly needs to eat, and has quite an appetite, there are some funny-unless-you're-the-human moments when she forgets that unlike her, humans need to do things like sleep and breathe.
- Jones from Gunnerkrigg Court doesn't need to eat, sleep, or breathe, and also can survive immersion in lava or encasement in ice. She probably doesn't strictly need social interaction either, but she does engage in relationships with men, apparently just because she wants to.
- Matilda of DMFA doesn't need air to breath, but does need it to talk and breath fire.
- In Slightly Damned, the power of Heaven and Hell prevents angels, demons and souls from needing to eat or drink, and keeps souls from feeling the pain of their cause of death (apart from souls in the inner rings of Hell, which do suffer those things). When Buwaro was brought to Medius after growing up in Hell, he thought he was getting sick when his stomach started hurting, and had to have hunger and eating explained to him.
- Nebula: The main characters are Anthropomorphic Personifications slash Genii Locorum of planets, and don't need to eat, sleep, or, as they live in the void of space, breathe. They're certainly capable of the first two and a few do so out of choice, but most think those who do are pretty weird for it.
- Various characters in Phaeton are like this.
- Lalita and food(as long as she has water)
- Shine and her heartbeat
- Russel Lazar and everything
- Frost and water (to drink) and heat.
- Multiple characters from Worm are this in one form or the other:
- Miss Militia doesn't need to sleep.
- Legend requires less and less sustenance the faster he flies. By the time he's going relativistic, he requires neither food nor sleep nor rest and becomes unaware of (and unaffected by) the passage of time.
- Night Hag can go without food or drink indefinitely without adverse consequences.
- Glowfic has this frequently:
- Bells choose to become this whenever they can.
- Daeva are this to an extent.
- In the Men in Black animated series, it's revealed that Jeebs (whose species can regenerate from being blown to pieces) and his Psycho for Hire brother don't need to eat. Then the former brags that they don't even need to breathe oxygen to live, only to regenerate. Since they're in space at the time, J promptly opens the airlock and shoots said brother.
- Action Man: After assuming his metallic form in the series finale, Dr. X no longer needs food, water, or air to survive.
- Transformers Depending on the Writer and the continuity: sometimes they're portrayed as needing to consume energon and periodically go into stasis (sleep) to continue living, but at other times they just need energon for their equipment and stasis is only something they do to stave off death from injury long enough to be repaired.
- Gems in Steven Universe (with the exception of Steven) possess super strength, don't age, and don't require food, water or sleep to function though they do get tired from physical physical exertion.
- Anaerobic Organisms may qualify depending on how you define this trope, as they do not need Oxygen in order to survive (and in fact it typically is toxic to them). However, they use other chemicals in place of Oxygen, which Aerobic organisms use as a waste electron acceptor, meaning while they don't use Oxygen, they use other chemicals to fulfill the same function.
- Some people simply need less sleep. About 2% of living people don't need to sleep for more than a few hours per night, never feeling tired and not showing any health problems for staying awake most of their lives.