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The Snack Is More Interesting
I'm sorry, you were saying?

A character enters what should be a serious situation for them, and yet seems completely bored with the events. Instead of giving the occasion his full attention, they seem more invested in the snack they rather conveniently happen to be eating. Apples, potato-chips, or any other food that's particularly noisy are popular for this since the obnoxiously loud crunching can drown out what's going on around the eater.

Compare Autopsy Snack Time, Fruit of The Loon, Obsessed with Food, Inappropriate Hunger, Long Speech Tea Time (where an audience is bored) and Pass the Popcorn (where they're entertained by someone else's troubles). Often overlaps with Enemy Eats Your Lunch.

Videogames featuring Hyperactive Metabolism can offer the odd sight of player characters taking time out from fighting to the death to munch on a sandvich.

Contrast They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich, where a mealtime conversation is so interesting the food goes completely untouched.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • L of Death Note seems like he's doing this, but it's actually necessary to maintain his energy and intelligence. Also it's tasty. I'll give you this strawberry if you keep it a secret, okay?
  • Tears to Tiara: The characters pass around an apple while swordfighting in the Title Sequence.
  • In The Tower of Druaga, the group is eating at a diner on the street when the sound of a rampaging monster comes from the distance. While Ahmey does hurry up, she still has to finish her bowl before they can run to the rescue.
  • Sasha's introduction in Attack on Titan has her casually eating a stolen potato while Shadis is grilling her fellow recruits. When Shadis confronts her, she offers him what's left. As one can expect, she's kind of odd.
  • Dragon Ball Z Battle of Gods - Whis is more interested in trying Earth food than watching Bills / Beers pummel the heroes. Bills himself is more interested in his drink than Goku's transformation to Super Saiyan God, only paying attention once he's ready to fight.

    Comic Books 

    Film 
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Admiral Kirk and some others have been marooned beneath the surface of Regula I by Khan, left helpless and unable to stop Khan from destroying the crippled Enterprise and taking off with the Genesis Device. For his part, Kirk seems unconcerned, munching on an apple while discussing the Kobiyashi Maru test he took in the Academy. Of course, Kirk has a plan he hasn't told the others about.
  • In Star Trek, Kirk faces the Kobayashi Maru, but instead of reacting to the conditions of the test, he blows off everything as he gives the test a taste of its own medicine, munching on an apple the entire time. This is a Call Back to a scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • In The Santa Clause, Scott spends a board meeting taking his time scooping a sundae dish clean.
  • In Django (the movie, not the software), eating food is given as a textbook example of douchecockery villainy. Watch and learn.
  • This occurs in Pulp Fiction while Jules and Vincent are putting on a hit. Man, Big Kahuna Burgers are tasty. Jules actually has the gall to start up a conversation over burgers, and eat the burger of the guy they all know he's going to kill.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Denethor is more interested in eating his chicken and tomatoes than he is in Faramir's safety.
  • In the remake of Oceans Eleven Brad Pitt decided to play his character this way; he's snacking on food in just about every scene except the heist itself. Pitt justifies it in the commentaries by pointing out that, given the thieves' breakneck and unpredictable schedule during the heist prep, you really couldn't count on regular meal times.
  • In Galaxy Quest, Fred is often seen with snack food, even in serious situations. (He was originally intended to be a stoner, but those references were taken out to make the movie PG, leaving a habit for snacking that's still pretty funny.) They may never mention any pot use, but damn near everything about Fred's personality implies that he's a stoner.
  • Denied by Volstagg in Thor. Do not mistake his appetite for apathy! His buddy Thor eats the same way while on Earth. Understandable since he's never tried Midgardian food before, and enjoys it Asgard style.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, Basco enters battle with the Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, and, once he was losing, turns to his monkey pet Sally for help. Sally was so preoccupied with eating fruit Yellow Buster gave to him that Basco had to give up.
  • In 300, Leonidas is nonchalantly munching on an apple, musing about Persians while the other Spartans are laboring amidst mounds of dead bodies. He's also talking with his mouth full.
  • In Good Will Hunting, Morgan just wants to enjoy his double burger instead of fighting the guy they saw at the baseball game. Chuckie sets him straight by telling him if he doesn't go out there, after they're done kicking the guy's ass, Chuckie's gonna kick his ass.
  • In A Few Good Men, the scene where Kaffee and Galloway meet. Kaffee spends 30 seconds hearing the barest details of the case and promptly decides what plea bargain he can get, all while confidently munching his apple.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, while Harry interacts with Buckbeak the hippogriff, Draco Malfoy casually munches on an apple to show his contempt with the proceedings.
  • One scene in Little Nicky features a bunch of passerby chasing Nicky down the street because they think he's a monster. One guy starts to join in the chase, then decides his candy bar is more important and continues with that instead.
  • In K-PAX - mental patient/possible extraterrestrial prōt (Kevin Spacey) interrupts his psychiatrist Dr. Powell (Jeff Bridges) during their first session to ask for one of the apples in a basket on the shelf, which he proceeds to noisily devour. Dr. Powell waits patiently at the beginning of their next session as prōt eats an entire banana without peeling it, continues to be distracted by a bowl of fruit in the office, and later keeps turning a serious conversation to the bag of fresh strawberries he's eating. In his words, "Your produce alone has been worth this trip.", as in, the 1,000+ lightyear voyage to Earth.
  • In The Hunt for Red October, Captain Ramius reveals to his officers that he announced to Soviet Naval Command their intentions to defect to the Americans. During the scene, he is much more interested in his dinner than the fact he has evidently made their defection even harder.
  • In The Campaign, Dylan McDermott shows that he's a badass by delivering a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Martin Huggins while snacking on an apple.

    Literature 
  • Older Than Radio: In Alexander Pushkin's novella Vystrel (The Shot), the narrator, a hussar called Silvio, describes a duel he once had. His vis-a-vis nonchalantly ate sweet cherries before the shootout, unnerving Silvio so deeply that he had to call off the duel before it started.
    You seem to care nothing about your impending death, preferring to have breakfast; I have no intention of interrupting it.
  • Renly Baratheon in A Song of Ice and Fire interrupts a tense truce negotiation with his stern elder brother Stannis — a meeting between two warring claimants to the throne, affecting the lives of thousands — by taking out a ripe peach and ostentatiously tucking into it. The combination of irreverence, mock-boredom and sheer comical incongruity of the action infuriate Stannis, and he later finds himself more fixated on that insult than anything else that was decided at the parley. This small scene has undergone a bewildering degree of Memetic Mutation, to the point that Renly's School Of Thrones counterpart is never seen without a peach (occasionally even Dual Wielding them).
  • In Making Money, Vetinari has a conversation with Moist von Lipwig while calmly eating a hard-boiled egg. The attention Vetinari pays to eating the egg only serves to annoy and confuse Moist, since he's already freaked out. (It didn't help that Vetinari mentions that a hanging always makes him hungry.)
    • Done intentionally in Night Watch. Vimes knows a crowd of angry civilians is heading toward the Watch house, with the intent of rioting, so he does the logical thing; he opens the doors, unshutters the windows, and sits out on the stoop with a cigar in one hand and a mug of cocoa in the other. When the demonstrators arrive, instead of finding the place defiantly preparing for a siege, it is instead open and welcoming, which diffuses the tension. One drunken man still tries to have a go at Vimes by breaking a bottle for use as a weapon, but winds up with a fist full of shards. This is where Vimes' choice of activity comes in handy; the entire crowd saw him with both hands full when this happened, so no one can claim he laid a finger on the man.

    Live Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: The Third Doctor, in the middle of a sword fight with The Master, calmly pins his opponent to the wall by holding his sword point to his throat, then calmly eats a sandwich as he remarks about how violent exercise makes him rather famished. During all this he's basically treating the Master like he's little more than an amusing distraction at best.
  • In the Sherlock episode "A Scandal in Belgravia", a rather tense scene has just played out at Baker Street (Mrs. Hudson was attacked by CIA agents - Sherlock took care of them). Mrs. Hudson is rather upset, John is confused, concerned and trying to comfort her, and Sherlock... is eating a mince pie he got out of Mrs. Hudson's refrigerator.
  • iCarly:
    • Sam gets a call from her friends telling her they're trapped in a teacher's house. She says something along the lines of "that sucks," picks up an apple and takes a bite.
    • Played straight and averted in the same scene with Sam in "iSaved Your Life". Freddie's been hit by a truck, Sam runs in to tell Spencer, and he realizes she's not joking (because they are currently engaged in a paintball assassin game) when she throws away the pizza he was about to eat. Once she's done telling him, she starts eating a taco she bought at the scene of the accident.
  • Psych: Shawn Spencer does this from time to time.
    • One example involves Shawn bluffing his way on to a murder scene...in search of spices to add to the Mee Krob he conveniently has instead of looking for clues.
  • MacGyver: "Target MacGyver" has a scene where Mac builds a trap out of stuff he finds in the bad guys' kitchen; the first thing he finds is a bag of carrots, from which he carefully selects a single carrot that he then proceeds to not use in the trap in any way — but when the trap is ready, he picks up the carrot again and takes a bite of it Bugs Bunny style.
    • The Saturday Night Live parody MacGruber had an even more extreme example when MacGruber and his friends are trapped in a control room somewhere and there is a bomb about to go off. MacGruber proceeds to ask his friends for a bunch of strange items that just happen to be lying around... only for it to be revealed he was making a drink. There was also the Pepsi Commercials where he was more concerned about endorsing Pepsi than the bomb about to go off.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander, Willow and Anya annoy Riley by munching on a bag of chips, while he's trying to be stealthy when they're out patrolling with him after Buffy is laid up after being wounded by a vampire.
  • The IT Crowd has Denholm, finished reading his Video Will, eating an apple with the camera still running ... for a long time.
  • In Game of Thrones, the Torture Technician called "The Tickler" spends all his torture sessions casually eating a pear while he questions his victims. This shows his callous detachment to the pain his inflicting. Appropriately, when Jaqen H'ghar kills The Tickler by pushing him down from a window, he's seen munching on a pear in plain sight while everyone gathers to inspect the corpse.
  • Patrick Jane from The Mentalist will often make himself a pot of tea or a sandwich using food taken without asking from the kitchen of the person who's murder he's solving (as well of the kitchen of almost every other house he visits over the course of the investigation). Sure, he's paying attention when he eats it, but he has to leave the room (again, without asking) for a few minutes to prepare it.
  • In an Alternate Universe episode of Friends, Ross describes how a planned three-way between his wife and another woman left him out, so he wound up making a sandwich. Joey asks him for details. (About the sandwich.)
  • In one scene of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mac is snacking on a banana while visiting an underground fight club with Dennis. On the audio commentary, the gang notes how adding a banana to a scene is instant comedy.
  • In Breaking Bad episode "Hazard Pay", Skyler is upset and has a breakdown. Walt comes home and, after getting rid of Marie, proceeds to grab an apple from the kitchen and casually eat it, not seeming to care at all.

    Theater 
  • For some time, it was traditional for productions of As You Like It to have Audrey eating a turnip the whole time Touchstone is attempting to "woo" her.

    Video Games 
  • In a bonus video for Crash Twinsanity, Crash reacts this way to an accident that he caused by picking up the fruit in the first place.
  • Big Smoke from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has this reaction when your car is attacked by a car full of Ballas gang members, chowing down on the food everyone just ordered instead of shooting like the others. Of course, considering he defected to the Ballas before the game started, this turns out to be more Foreshadowing about his betrayal.
  • Ema Skye in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Even in the middle of a crime scene she sometimes does nothing but munch her beloved chocolate snackoos.
  • In Minecraft, if combat goes on long enough, it behooves Steve? to eat something to boost his Healing Factor, whether it be a slice of melon, some bread, or an entire cooked chicken.
    • Similarly, in Skyrim player characters will often stop in the middle of combat to stuff themselves with food, while their enemies presumably wait patiently for them to finish.
  • Inverted at the start of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, when it looks like Drebin's about to bite into an apple, but changes his mind and tosses it over his shoulder to his monkey instead.

    Western Animation 
  • Bugs Bunny is frequently performing this with his trademark carrot, as a possible holdover from his days as a Screwy Squirrel. When asking "Eh... What's up, Doc?", he's often feigning caring, and is even asking and talking while chewing.
  • Invader Zim often features Gir doing this.
  • The Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Frankie My Dear" has Prince Charming trying to woo Frankie and all the while she's just staring at him unfazed while casually eating a slice of pizza.
  • In the Freakazoid! episode "Hero Boy", as the villain is bragging about his latest plan, Freakazoid is more interested in the sandwich a minion made him, derailing the monologue to ask more about it.
  • In the South Park episode "Volcano," geologist Randy Marsh discovers unusual seismic activity in the region. He exclaims "Oh my God! A volcano!" Then he takes a slurp of his coffee.
  • Franklin has a non-food variant. In "Franklin Plays the Game," when Franklin's team plays against Bear's team in soccer, Skunk, Bear's goalie, sits and reads a book because the book is more interesting. Franklin's team never even gets close enough to goal to make an attempt at scoring.
  • In an episode of Garfield and Friends, one of his pranks has just caused the mailman to be fired. Jon chews him out about it, but Garfield is relaxing and eating a sandwich.
    Jon: Because of you, he got fired but I don't suppose that bothers you any!
    Garfield: How nice, a ham sandwich with a side of guilt.
    Jon: Aren't you the least bit sorry for what you've done?
    Garfield: Yes! I should have gotten pastrami.
  • The Simpsons has a variant in "Homer's Barbershop Quartet." At the Grammy awards ceremony, Homer comes across George Harrison, but is more excited about the brownie in his hand than the fact that he's meeting a legendary musician.
  • A blink-and-you-miss-it example in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Family Appreciation Day. When Diamond Tiara's dad is giving his boring presentation, you can see Truffle Shuffle in the background eating a cookie.

     Real Life 
  • Many major victories were missed (especially the further back you go) because after the soldiers sent their enemy fleeing they broke off the attack to eat anything left in the enemy camp. An army marches on its stomach, after all.
    • Used deliberately by Hannibal. Knowing that the Romans are barely eating any meat, he set up lightly-guarded, easy to take herd of cattle, which was assisting his own army. As expected, when they learned about it, the Romans came in, take the herd after short fight, butchered most of the animals and started eating. When everyone was full and could barely move, Hannibal's troops arrived.
  • At the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War, an aide-de-camp gave British General George Cathcart orders to mobilize his division as the Russians advanced. Cathcart refused to obey until the aide sat down and had breakfast with him.
  • Another famous example from the American Civil War: on April 1st, 1865, Confederate Generals George Pickett, Fitzhugh Lee and Thomas Rosser enjoyed a shad bake several miles behind the front lines. Unfortunately, this came during the Battle of Five Forks, leaving their command leaderless during the decisive Union counterattack.


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alternative title(s): Appetite For Apathy; Cavalier Consumption
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