"The director said 'Here, eat an apple. It'll make you look like even more of an asshole.'"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 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, Delicious Distraction, 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. Contrast They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich, where a mealtime conversation is so interesting the food goes completely untouched.
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Anime And Manga
- Death Note has a strong theme of characters eating a trademark favorite food while very important things are happening.
- Ryuk is usually eating apples while Light is explaining things.
- L is always eating and playing around with sweets while he's thinking, which he says he needs to power his brain.
- Mello also likes sweets, but limits himself to chocolate bars. He makes a distinctive cracking sound when as bites off a piece while driving his machinations.
- A variation is done by Light when he puts on a performance for cameras hidden in his room; while pretending to be focused on studying and munching on a back of chips, he actually writes on a slip of Death Note paper inside the bag, thereby keeping up his murder rate and casting off (some) suspicion.
- 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, but once we find out the reason why it becomes heartwarming.
- Similarly, Kyoko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is frequently seen munching on something in otherwise serious scenes, for reasons that are not funny at all.
- Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods - Whis is more interested in trying Earth food than watching Beerus pummel the heroes, and doesn't really seem to care one way or the other whether Beerus destroys the planet (as long as it's not before he gets a chance to try everything). Beerus himself is more interested in his drink than Goku's transformation to Super Saiyan God, only paying attention once he's ready to fight.
- In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, the sequel, Beerus and Whis only come to Earth to watch Goku and Frieza's fight because Bulma made them a sundae.
- In Pokémon, Team Rocket has occasionally been so distracted by Brock's cooking that they sometimes forget what they were supposed to be doing (running from some angry Breloom in one episode, the usual steal Pikachu scheme in another). It got to the point that Brock decides to exploit this in an early DP episode.
- In Pokémon XY, when an Inkay started stealing Team Rocket's food, James used some of it to capture it.
- In Archie, Jughead Jones is normally apathetic and somewhat aloof. The only thing he openly takes seriously is food. This results in his eating during serious discussions, with other characters getting annoyed at him. However, more often than not he really is paying attention and is simultaneously thinking on two levels: About his food and about the discussion at hand.
- The Guard, Boyle noisily slurps a milkshake as he is threatened by a mobster in a bar. The mobster later admits he was quite impressed Boyle took it all so non-chalantly.
- 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 Kobayashi Maru test he took in the Academy. Of course, Kirk has a plan he hasn't told the others about.
- In the 2009 Star Trek reboot, 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 the scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan previously mentioned in this trope's listings (Or, given the whole alternate-timeline thing, a Call Forwards And Sideways.)
- In The Santa Clause, Scott spends a board meeting taking his time scooping a sundae dish clean.
- In Django, eating food is given as a textbook example of 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 Big Game, during the first hour of frantic search for the president, Herbert is shown chewing on a sandwich more often than looking at the screens.
- In the remake of Ocean's 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.
- Happens in Galaxy Quest:
- Jason is more interested in sipping on his coke than listening to Big Bad Saris on their first encounter on the bridge. Justified as he mistakes the situation for a staged act.
- 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 directly mention any pot use, but damn near everything about Fred's personality still implies it.
- Denied by Volstagg in Thor, providing the alternate name for this trope. 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.
When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships. As a result, his men were well-motivated. Mm, this is good.
- 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.
- Played with in Citizen Kane. "You're still eating?" "I'm still hungry."
- In Avatar, Colonel Quaritch is sipping coffee in the cockpit of his flagship, while it's barraging the Na'Vi Hometree with missiles. Because Colonel Quaritch doesn't give a fuck about your Na'Vi.
- The Evil Popcorn Eating Guy from Free Willy. He can ruin any moving or emotional scene simply by eating a single piece of popcorn, like a cynical and heartless bastard. Watch.
- In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), after Solo is thrown from a speeding boat piloted by his partner, he swims to shore and enters a nearby truck. In the truck, he turns on the radio, finds a towel to dry off with, and then discovers a picnic basket underneath. So while Kuryakin continues speeding around, having an action-packed boat chase, Solo enjoys a glass of chianti and a nice sandwich.
- Downplayed in Deadpool. Big Bad Francis is introduced with a half-eaten apple in his hand while doing business with a weapon dealer.
- During the climax of The Big Boss, Bruce Lee faces the Big Bad and his mooks with a bag of chips in hand.
- Invoked as a kind of subtle 'fuck you' in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. When negotiating with Captain Barbossa over the command of the Black Pearl, Jack Sparrow picks up a green apple from a basket in the middle of the table and casually begins munching on it while musing out loud. Thing is, Captain Barbossa is only in command of the Pearl because he mutinied against and overthrew Jack, has been cursed by Aztec gold to an existence of living death where he is unable to taste anything, apples are his favourite food, and the current topic of conversation is Jack musing about how, if Barbossa hadn't mutinied against and overthrew him, Jack would have been captain when they found the gold and would also have been cursed. So Barbossa has to watch and seethe as this guy he hates eats an apple that Barbossa yearns to taste again while 'casually' discussing about how Barbossa's own actions ended up preventing Jack from being inflicted with the same curse that Barbossa suffers under.
Jack: Lucky, hey?
- 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 Dragon Bones, the heroes asked for entry into a castle. As they're from Shavig, and the people in Oranstone (where they are) consider them barbarians, there is some teasing on both sides. Ward is handed an apple by his companions, and eats it while talking to the guards.
- 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.
- In Mission Of Honor, when Admiral Crandall arrives in Spindle, she waits for a while before opening communications, intending to make the Manticorans sweat. When she does hail them, instead of the terrified Manticoran officer she expects, she gets Gregor O'Shaughnessey, idly reading a novel at his station, not even noticing the Admiral at first. It's a wonder that Crandall doesn't suffer an apoplectic fit.
- And, since she'd decided to insult the Manties by parking her ships far enough out that it takes eighteen minutes for a message to get to Spindle and back, he returns the insult by resuming reading his book between exchanges.
- Sebariel in the final battle of Words of Radiance, as a highstorm and an everstorm are closing in, threatening to wipe out everyone on the battlefield.
"Dalinar!" a voice called.
He turned to find the utterly incongruous sight of Sebarial and his mistress sitting beneath a canopy, eating dried sellafruit off a plate held by an awkward-looking soldier.
Sebarial raised a cup of wine toward Dalinar. "Hope you don’t mind," Sebarial said. "We liberated your stores. They were blowing past at the time, headed for certain doom."
Dalinar stared at them. Palona even had a novel out and was reading.
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.
- Performed once deliberately in Lie to Me in order to read a former gang leader's reaction to the obvious disrespect.
- 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.
- 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.
- In Black Sails, resident badass pirate captain Charles Vane idly takes a bite out of an apple, even as he threatens to kill a man and steal his cargo.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lord Bolton has to coldly tell his son to stop eating and pay attention when he's trying to discuss the political situation with him.
- 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. Of course, since he investigates murders one of them inevitably involves poisoning... of the victim's tea. Patrick ends up in the hospital and spends most of the episode hallucinating from side-effects
- 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.
- Person of Interest.
- In "Mors Praematura", Root and Shaw break into a room which turns out to be a CIA "Pick-up site". Root begins to eat an apple and tells Shaw there's a CIA agent behind her. They get into a fight with Root watching and eating her apple all the while Shaw is beating up the agent until Root decides to simply use her taser and end the fight quickly.
- Shaw herself is a Big Eater, so this trope is used to show her sociopathic indifference. When a paramedic informs her as a four-year old of her father's death in a car accident, Shaw just says she's hungry and asks for a sandwich.
- Invoked and referred to on Stargate SG-1, when O'Neill deliberately shows up a bit late to an interstellar phone call with the Goa'uld Ba'al. He claims he just couldn't bring himself to leave the relaxing brunch he'd been having. Ba'al calls him "impudent", to which O'Neill responds "No, it was tuna."
- Rome. During the Battle of Philippi, Octavian is peering into the dust kicked up by two virtually identical Roman armies slogging it out hand-to-hand.
Octavian: What's going on?Antony: (casually munching on some bread) Noooo idea.
- In Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell has a plate of finger food on his desk as he's interviewing the Poles, Courtenays, and Bishop Fisher over their involvement with Elizabeth Barton, a nun who's been having visions and prophesying plagues over Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn. He munches from it as he casually reveals how thoroughly he's been spying on them, ignores their insults, and instructs them on how humiliating their letters of apology and pleading will have to be for the king not to behead them all for treason.
- In the pilot episode of Sliders, Professor Arturo reacts to the discover that the group have found themselves in a Communist USA in an Alternate History dominated by the USSR by... walking up to a nearby food stand and ordering some sausage. It's lampshaded and justified:
Quinn: Professor, how can you eat at a time like this?!
Arturo: My stomach has no political preferences.
- In the Rex Morgan, M.D. strip for 6 September 2014◊, June decides that her hamburger is more important than discussing whether her daughter is in the care of gun-toting gangsters. A couple of months later on 26 November◊, Rex is similarly distracted from a discussion of Sarah by his pastrami on rye. This doesn't appear to be intended to make them look unsympathetic.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It's also used to play up his resemblence to Groucho Marx, the carrot substituting for Groucho's iconic cigar.
- 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.
- Sokka casually munches on an apple while calling Zuko and Aang's firebending practice "Jerkbending" in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- In the Family Guy episode "Brian In Love", Stewie enjoys an apple while making fun of Brian's feelings for Lois. Later on, in "Dammit, Janet!", Brian reciprocates while teasing Stewie for being in love with the titular Janet.
- 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 for them, this came during the Battle of Five Forks, leaving their command leaderless during the decisive Union counterattack.
- This picture of a guy breaking up with his girlfriend while eating Cheetos became viral after it was posted on Reddit. Doubles as a Stealth Pun if the reason for the break-up was cheating.
- This has become a staple of Brad Pitt who actually stashes snacks around the sets so he can have a bite to eat while filming a scene, which ends up getting thrown in because he tends to incorporate it into the character he's playing flawlessly.
- A hero dubbed "Snackman" breaks up a fight on a New York subway while continuing to eat his Pringles.