Your Brain Won't Be Much of a Meal
No braaaaiiins?

Elan: So... are you going to eat my brain?
Mindflayer: <sniff sniff> No, I'm cool, thanks.

This trope is about what happens when a Brain Eater runs into a character that manifests a few Stupidity Tropes, and what happens as a result.

This Trope comes in a few flavors.
  • Most realistic: The monster is only worried about the dumb character's brain, or other characters make comments along these lines.
  • The monster sniffs and says that the dumb character's brain is not a big meal, or eats it and says that it's still hungry.
  • Most ridiculous: The brain is small or there is no brain in their head at all, possibly illustrated by their Hollow Sounding Head.

A subtrope of Disability Immunity. Compare/contrast with Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth. Related to Too Dumb to Fool. If the potential victim seems insulted by the rejection it can overlap with Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?.


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    Comic Books 
  • During Joss Whedon's run on Runaways set in the early 20th century (Time Travel shenanigans), the Runaways meet up with a gang of metahumans called the Street Arabs. One of them, Dead George Pelham, is a friendly neighborhood zombie. Later in the arc, several of the Arabs are killed by Kid Twist, a vicious member of the Yorkes' gang with the power to fire bullets that never miss their target. In the middle of the final battle of the story arc, Dead George makes a point of tracking down Kid Twist to avenge the Arabs. As Kid Twist futilely fires bullets at the angry zombie, Dead George says this:
    George: I'm partial to brains myself. But you just emptied your gun into a dead man so I doubt this'll be much of a meal. (Bites into Kid Twist's skull)
  • One Halloween issue of MAD had a zombie become sick after eating Alfred P. Neuman's brain.

    Comic Strips 

  • In ParaNorman, this conversation happens:
    Alvin: They're going to eat our brains!
    Norman: I think you'll be safe.
  • Seen in the Peter Cushing/Christopher Lee movie Horror Express. The brainsucking alien finds the crazy monk not worth killing, and eventually the crazy monk starts worshiping the alien (which the alien finds somewhat annoying).
    Crazy Monk: Are you going to kill me?
    Brainsucking Alien: Oh, there's nothing in your head of any use.

  • An old joke: Grab someone by the head and start moving your hand up and down then say "This is a brain-sucker... and it's starving."
  • The counter to that is, when the person grabs your head, you say "Stop making the brain-sucker fat!" before they can call it starving.
  • A traveller wandering on an island inhabited entirely by cannibals comes upon a butcher shop. This shop specialised in human brains differentiated according to source. The sign in the shop read: "Artists' Brains $9/lb Philosophers' Brains $12/lb Scientists' Brains $15/lb Economists' Brains $19/lb." Upon reading the sign, the traveller noted, "My, those economists' brains must be popular!" To which the butcher replied, "Are you kidding! Do you have any idea how many economists you have to kill to get a pound of brains?!"
    • A similar has a Male brain and a Female brain for sale. The traveller asks why the Female brain is cheaper. The butcher answers, "Because it's used."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Referenced in Red Dwarf. When the crew is confronted by brain-eating monsters, Rimmer deadpans that there's "barely a snack onboard."
  • Referenced in the Blackadder Goes Forth episode "Captain Cook", with cannibals this time.
    Edmund: Your brain's so minute, Baldrick, that if a hungry cannibal cracked your head open, there wouldn't be enough to cover a small water biscuit.
  • On Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Ryan Stiles was supposed to be a zombie and attacked Drew Carrey... and then walked away, looking for brain somewhere else.
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Glory rejects one of her own minions, who offers up his own brain as emergency nourishment.
    Glory: "I said a brain, you worthless dirt!"
    • She also can't eat vampire brains.
    • Inverted with the demon in "The Puppet Show"; Buffy and the Scoobies are realizing that Giles is the target of a brain-eating demon, and become especially worried after remembering that he's very smart.
  • In one episode of Modern Family, a zookeeper arrives at the Dunphy house for a birthday party. When an iguana ends up on Luke Dunphy's head, he asks what it eats and is replied with a faux-dramatic "little boys' brains". Luke's sister Alex then snarks that he should be safe.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Seen in the Flavor Text of Magic: The Gathering's Synapse Sliver.
    "Species XR17 feeds upon the mental energies of its victims. This explains why the goblins remain unaffected."
    —Riptide Project researcher
  • Much as in the The Order of the Stick example below, mind flayers in Dungeons & Dragons often invoke (the first variation of) this trope in supplementary materials, as they prefer to eat newly-acquired captives over long-term slave populations. This is because their slaves, especially those born into it, are dull-witted from mental domination and the drudgery of years of service, and so are sustaining but dreadfully bland.

    Video Games 

  • The Order of the Stick:
  • Concerned: After Gordon walks away with a headcrab on a head for the better part of a chapter, it eventually falls off, having died of malnutrition. Gordon provides a Lampshading in the background.
  • xkcd, first type, when Zombie Feynman wants brains after explaining how MythBusters are true science:
    Person: Try the physics lab next door.
    Zombie Feynman: I said BRAINS. All they've got are string theorists.
    Pulling double duty there, that punchline is also a Stealth Pun and a Genius Bonusnote .
  • In this Dork Tower strip, Igor engages a mind flayer with purple nurples and "the dreaded doom wedgie". Since this effectively proved his character didn't have a brain to flay, he actually won.
  • In Unsounded, Sette complains that as a zombie, Duane should be eating brains and that hers is full of cunning and knowledge. His response is to knock on her head and declare it "hollow".
  • Invoked in 8-Bit Theater when the Light Warriors encounter an orc zombie.
    Black Mage: (to Fighter) This thing desires brains. Speaking to you is a waste of its valuable time.
  • Evil Inc.'s "Undead Affairs" division once tried sending zombie lobbyists to Congress, six zombies starved to death before they could get them out of D.C.
  • Referenced in Grim Tales from Down Below during the recap of the original show:
    Grim: I do believe that if the world was populated by [Billy's] ilk, zombies everywhere would starve to death.

    Western Animation 
  • In Futurama, we see a Brain Slug starve to death after it gets on Fry's head. Though this isn't just because Fry is a bit dim; according to "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", Fry has abnormal brain waves that make him resistant to mind control.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey has this trope exploited in "My Science Project". Adam and Jake attempt to look dumber than the other to convince a rogue machine searching for intelligent hosts to leave them alone.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
    • The brain-eating meteor didn't find anything in Billy's head. Although that creature wasn't complaining about other variants.
    • Human and Martian zombies also find nothing appetizing in Billy's head.
  • Trope namer is from My Life as a Teenage Robot where humanoid brain-eating rock monster comments about Brad's brain after his Idiot Ball what cause him and Jenny get captured. And this is first variant.
  • On The Simpsons, the third "Treehouse of Horror" special had a zombie horde clamoring for "Braaaains" inspect Homer's head, then abandon him in disgust. Most ridiculously, the zombie taps Homer on the head and a very hollow sound is heard before it moves along.
  • On The Powerpuff Girls, the girls defeat a brain-sucking "Robbin' Leech" by tricking him into attacking the Mayor.
  • A variation in the Dilbert cartoon where a brain sucking alien devours a marketing guy's brains (not that he cares or notices) and dies from something akin to food poisoning.
    Other Alien: He starved to death with a full stomach.
  • In Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, a brain-eating monster begins sucking the intelligence of Quark Industries' scientists. When he goes after Donovan, Quark's Pointy-Haired Boss/Corrupt Corporate Executive, both Donovan AND his monkey try to use this trope in order to escape. The monster just shrugs it off, wanting to attack out of dislike. In a later episode, Donovan's nephew gains the same brain-sucking powers, but decides against attacking Donovan. ("I crave nutrition, not empty calories!")
  • Tuff Puppy: In the Halloween Episode, Keswick reanimated some corpses to have zombies for the holiday. He said the zombies would be harmless as long as there were candies for them to eat. Otherwise they'd eat brains. When Keswick commented Dudley would be safe, Dudley proved the point by claiming he didn't understand it.
  • Another brain-sucking alien example in the Johnny Bravo episode "Third Dork from the Sun", where said alien attempts to absorb Johnny's intelligence only to realize there was nothing to absorb, resulting in his brain overloading.