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Eating Solves Everything

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The solution to a problem is by eating food (or the problem itself) (launching August 16)

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Zerukin on Jul 31st 2018 at 9:04:14 AM
Last Edited By:
Zerukin on Aug 13th 2018 at 7:11:38 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Eat. You'll feel better.
—Remus Lupin, Harry Potter

A difficult problem has been set before a character. Some of their attempts to solve the problem proved ineffective. How do they find the solution to this problem then? By eating of course. Whether they are eating something they think would help them fix the problem or eating the problem itself, eating is the solution they come to.

A Big Eater might come to this conclusion right away, but there are plenty of other people who also resort to this tactic. In any case, their solution to a problem is either to eat it, or fill up their belly to provide a solution.

See also Eating the Enemy, Cast from Calories, Eat the Evidence, Just Eat The Macguffin. May also involve Power-Up Food.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Cells at Work!, several of the phagocytes like White Blood Cell, Macrophage, and Eosinophil will eat the foreign bacteria that enter into the body in order to identify them or as a source of energy. Macrophage even cuts them up with her cleaver if they are too large to consume. Truth in Television, as this is how real cells deal with pathogens.
  • My Hero Academia: Momo Yaoyorozu and Rikido Satou both have to eat in order to utilize their quirks properly. Yaoyorozu fits this better though since Satou's quirk is only powered up by consuming sugar, and there is a limit to how much he can consume.
  • One Piece: In the fight against Charlotte Cracker - whose power is to create and shape tough biscuits - Luffy (being a Big Eater) takes his time to eat the biscuits (with Nami helping him damp the biscuit constructs first). After he's eaten enough (for almost 11 hours), he unveils his Super Mode "Gear Fourth: Tankman", where his body turns large and round which greatly increases his durability and used his bulk as extra defense. He then defeats Cracker by bouncing him far away with his body.
  • Ranma : 10 years ago Ukyo created a special sauce and asked Ranma to take care of her forever if it tastes good when opened. Ranma, not knowing what she meant or even her true gender, agreed but accidentally destroyed the sauce and failed to try to recreate it. In the present day when it's rotten and brought up again, Ranma feeling guilty pretends to like it and becomes nicer to her but Ukyo thinks he still remembers her marriage promise. After hilarity ensues between them and Akane, Ranma eventually eats the entire pot, to the girls horror, becoming very sick in the process.

    Film - Live Action 

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • In Nickelodeon's Ho-Ho Holiday special, this happens twice as solutions to the challenges faced by the stars:
    • One group is trapped in a gingerbread room with a key hidden in a gingerbread house. First they try eating all the houses, but when they fail to find the key, one of them decides to try eating through the wall (which wasn't actually gingerbread).
    • Another group was stuck in a room slowly being filled with eggnog. Though the solution was to recite all of The Twelve Days of Christmas, they were unable to remember the lyrics. Instead, one of them saved the day by drinking all of the eggnog.
  • iCarly: In the "iGo To Japan" special, Spencer and Mrs. Benson are trapped in a massage parlor by strong seaweed wraps while the kids are being tricked by their Japanese competitors for the sake of the "Funniest Webshow" awards. Spencer eventually realizes that the seaweed is edible and escapes by chewing through his wrap.
  • In Switched, Umine's eating habits have caused her stomach to be much larger than Ayumi's. When Ayumi is trapped in Umine's body, she tries and fails to make new friends, and her newfound loneliness is one of the central conflicts of the story. However, when she participates in a pudding-eating contest, she makes new acquaintances by both eating the most and being friendly. Ayumi-as-Umine solves her immediate problem with her bigger stomach, much to the chagrin of Umine.

    Video Games 
  • Kirby: This adorable little fluff always saves the day the same way. Which is by eating everything and everybody that crosses his path. This is often helpful when there are puzzles that require a certain power. All he needs to do is eat somebody with the power needed to solve the puzzle.
  • Pac-Man: If there's something strange in the neighborhood, Pac-Man will gulp down a power pellet and eat the problem away.
  • Yoshi's Island: Yoshi is in a similar boat as Kirby. He will lick up almost any threat he comes across and turn them into eggs he can throw.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • Almost Naked Animals: In the episode "Keep On Monster Truckin'", Howie's Monster Truck Chew Toy gets too big to handle, and there's a beaver that keeps sleepeating everything, so they use Beaver to get rid of the Monster Truck Toy by having him sleepeat it.
  • Ben 10: One of Ben's alien forms is Upchuck, whose three prehensile tongues, seven acid filled stomachs and diamond hard teeth allow him to eat almost anything. In his initial appearance he ate an atomic bomb; the only aftereffect was a loud belch.
  • Phineas and Ferb: One episode has Doofenshmirtz trap Perry in a solid chocolate mold. To escape, Perry eats the mold's behind and crawls through undetected.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In the episode, "You Snooze You Lose", the girls get stuck in a trap outlined by Mojo Jojo and built by them and the Amoeba Boys. When Mojo notices the girls and the Amoebas built his machine for him, he gives the Amoeba the boot and tells the girls how he was the one who designed the machine's entire concept in every detail. Including the chewing gum to hold them in place. Upon being reminded of this, the girls chew their way out of the trap.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "Life Guard for Duty", Spongebob tries to save Patrick from drowning in Goo Lagoon by using a bendy straw to drink all the water away. However, Spongebob accidentally drinks up Patrick as well and has to spit him and the water back out again.
  • In Teen Titans episode "Can I Keep Him?", Starfire overfeeds Silkie alien berries which causes him to grow to gigantic size, before he expels all of it and reverts to normal. This leaves a mountain of pink sludge in the middle of the street. However after seeing Silkie eating it, Starfire tastes it and joins in too.
  • Total Drama: Owen won his team a challenge by eating an entire table of fake food until he found the hidden key.
  • VeggieTales: In the short "The Gourds Must Be Crazy", the spaceship is stuck in the path of a giant meteor made entirely out of popcorn—while the two newest crew members, Jimmy and Jerry Gourd, keep complaining about how hungry they are. Junior Asparagus puts two and two together, and suggests they send Jimmy and Jerry out to eat the popcorn-ball meteor. Jimmy and Jerry eat the entire thing in mere minutes, saving the ship in the process.

Feedback: 60 replies

Jul 31st 2018 at 9:27:29 AM

Seems like The Same But More Specific to Big Eater. How does being the hero change how the trope is executed?

Jul 31st 2018 at 9:36:40 AM

Huh... Didn't think about that... Alright. If I can't think of anything to make this feel better by tomorrow, I'll scrap it. Either that, or I discuss with how to make this stand out better and feel more tropable. Tropes Are Flexible after all.

Any place to discuss this?

Jul 31st 2018 at 2:25:16 PM

If I were to guess, I'd say Ask The Tropers is the place to discuss something like this.

Jul 31st 2018 at 5:27:21 PM

Thanks. I have now made a discussion to better improve this. Hopefully, this discussion helps improve it to make it feel worthy of being tropable.

Jul 31st 2018 at 5:59:10 PM

Hmm. Only thing I could think is that a trope about a hero solving problems through eating may work, which is what Kirby does, but that'd take a lot of re-tooling.

Jul 31st 2018 at 6:44:19 PM

Your concept would definitely work... Even if it takes a lot of retooling, I feel that it is effective. Gonna need to find more examples though. Kirby alone isn't enough.

Update: I just remembered two heroes from My Hero Academia who would work with this detail. Their powers a determined by how much they have eaten. Once I have got the retooling worked out, I will edit the examples list to include these two heroes (while removing the heroes that wouldn't work for this retool).

Jul 31st 2018 at 6:45:58 PM

I know that in Total Drama Action Owen won his team a challenge by eating an entire table of fake food until he found the hidden key. There's also the part in Scooby Doo Monsters Unleashed where Scooby and Shaggy defeat the Cotton Candy Ghost by eating him.

Jul 31st 2018 at 6:46:25 PM

Giving it a bomb until this gets fixed

Jul 31st 2018 at 7:08:57 PM

good examples. Total drama will work. As for Scooby Doo, it's bascally had more than just the example you mentioned, so I have listed it accordingly. I have now got it reworked. Thanks for the feedback. Here's hoping the change works out better.

Jul 31st 2018 at 7:20:35 PM

Looking better already.

Jul 31st 2018 at 7:36:31 PM

With the rework, I find this more interesting, and have a potential example:

You can verify the story here: wikipedia link. Remember to keep the Red Link intact.

Jul 31st 2018 at 9:28:14 PM

  • iCarly: In the "iGo To Japan" special, Spencer and Mrs. Benson are trapped in a massage parlor by strong seaweed wraps while the kids are being tricked by their Japanese competitors for the sake of the "Funniest Webshow" awards. Spencer eventually realizes that the seaweed is edible and escapes by chewing through his wrap.

  • In Nickelodeon's Ho-Ho Holiday special, this happens twice as solutions to the challenges faced by the stars:
    • One group is trapped in a gingerbread room with a key hidden in a gingerbread house. First they try eating all the houses, but when they fail to find the key, one of them decides to try eating through the wall (which wasn't actually gingerbread).
    • Another group was stuck in a room slowly being filled with eggnog. Though the solution was to recite all of The Twelve Days of Christmas, they were unable to remember the lyrics. Instead, one of them saved the day by drinking all of the eggnog.

Jul 31st 2018 at 9:27:12 PM

See also Eating The Enemy.

  • Veggie Tales: In the short "The Gourds Must Be Crazy", the spaceship is stuck in the path of a giant meteor made entirely out of popcorn—while the two newest crew members, Jimmy and Jerry Gourd, keep complaining about how hungry they are. Junior Asparagus puts two and two together, and suggests they send Jimmy and Jerry out to eat the popcorn-ball meteor. Jimmy and Jerry eat the entire thing in mere minutes, saving the ship in the process.

Aug 1st 2018 at 6:25:20 PM

This is slowly becoming "protagonist solves problem by eating them".

Aug 1st 2018 at 6:53:19 PM

^ That is what it's become.

Aug 1st 2018 at 7:03:49 PM

See also Cast From Calories if the hero's power is tied to how much they eat.

  • In Teen Titans episode "Can I Keep Him?", Starfire overfeeds Silkie alien berries which causes him to grow to gigantic size, before he expels all of it and reverts to normal. This leaves a mountain of pink sludge in the middle of the street. However after seeing Silkie eating it, Starfire tastes it and joins in too.

Aug 1st 2018 at 7:41:52 PM

... Why is "Hungry" repeated in the trope name?

Aug 1st 2018 at 7:46:00 PM

^ A reference to the game "Hungry Hungry Hippos".

Aug 1st 2018 at 10:55:32 PM

@ Warjay: my point being that the trope seems to be about a character, while the examples seem to be about a situation. In those situations, the character may not really be a Big Eater (or the main protagonist for that matter) but the problem at hand simply requires them to eat.

The latter is tropable, but then the description and title has to change.

Aug 1st 2018 at 10:59:40 PM

^ Ohhh, I get you now. Sorry. Yeah, you're right.

For a re-title, maybe something like "Eating Solves Everything" or "Eat Your Problems"?

Aug 2nd 2018 at 7:25:24 AM

^^ Fair point. I thought it was a clever title when I first proposed this trope, but looking at it now, the title does fit far less than it did when the trope was The Same But More Specific.

^ Still, you seem to always come up with the best replacement titles War Jay 77. The next time I edit this, I will likely change it to one of those titles.

Aug 2nd 2018 at 7:28:49 AM

Always abide by the "Clear, Concise, Witty" rule when it comes to trope naming. You cannot compromise clarity and/or conciseness just for the sake of improving the wittiness of the name.

Aug 2nd 2018 at 3:43:10 PM

Appreciate the pointer, Marq. When I first proposed this trope, the original name definitely fit and followed that rule perfectly. However, after so many changes, the trope became something different which rendered the need for a name change as life and Jay stated. I'll be looking into altering the description now to better reflect what this trope has become.

Aug 2nd 2018 at 7:13:43 PM

May also involve Power Up Food.

  • One Piece: In the fight against Charlotte Cracker - whose power is to create and shape tough biscuits - Luffy (being a Big Eater) takes his time to eat the biscuits (with Nami helping him damp the biscuit constructs first). After he's eaten enough (for almost 11 hours), he unveils his Super Mode "Gear Fourth: Tankman", where his body turns large and round which greatly increases his durability and used his bulk as extra defense. He then defeats Cracker by bouncing him far away with his body.

Aug 3rd 2018 at 6:31:29 PM

Wow! What an improvement from this draft's original iteration! That retool was desperately needed. Hatting.

Aug 4th 2018 at 11:31:30 AM

  • Phineas And Ferb: One episode has Doofenshmirtz trap Perry in a solid chocolate mold. To escape, Perry eats the mold's behind and crawls through undetected.

Aug 4th 2018 at 3:03:50 PM

Removing Administrivia link. Seems unnecessary now. More examples can be added. Improvements will still be made if found.

Aug 5th 2018 at 8:31:43 AM

Aug 5th 2018 at 5:11:19 PM

  • Legion Of Superheroes: As his name suggests, Matter-Eater Lad's superpower was the ability to consume literally anything.

  • Ben 10: One of Ben's alien forms is Upchuck, whose three prehensile tongues, seven acid filled stomachs and diamond hard teeth allow him to eat almost anything. In his initial appearance he ate an atomic bomb; the only aftereffect was a loud belch.

Aug 5th 2018 at 6:09:28 PM

For Scooby Doo example, he and Shaggy are also more motivated if they can get to eat some Scooby Snacks.

Aug 5th 2018 at 9:20:42 PM

I'm not sure how much of a spoiler this is, but there's an example from Series/Switched:

  • In Switched, Umine's eating habits have caused her stomach to be much larger than Ayumi's. When Ayumi is trapped in Umine's body, she tries and fails to make new friends, and her newfound loneliness is one of the central conflicts of the story. However, when she participates in a pudding-eating contest, she makes new acquaintances by both eating the most and being friendly. Ayumi-as-Umine solves her immediate problem with her bigger stomach, much to the chagrin of Umine.

The page is making a red link right now because I haven't made the page yet. I have a draft in TLP, but I suspect that I'll launch it soon, so which page launches first isn't really an issue (I'm sure this one will launch eventually).

Aug 5th 2018 at 9:23:38 PM

Double posting because this has nothing to do with Switched. Is Kirby really an example as written? He gains abilities by eating, but he also solves problems by fighting others with said abilities. My point is just that it could be expanded, imo. Some enemies cannot be eaten (such as bosses).

Aug 5th 2018 at 9:33:23 PM

I suppose it could. To be fair, I added kirby (and to an extent, Yoshi) back when I just proposed this trope. At that time, it was essentially a more specific version of Big Eater. After making some serious changes to the trope itself, I never really bothered to alter some of the examples (while some were deleted for not fitting the retool).

Aug 6th 2018 at 2:34:41 AM

^^ Kirby fits on account that, usually, Kirby would need to put things into his mouth as the first course of action whenever he sees a problem. Puzzles? Eat the right enemy and use their ability on the puzzles. General level-walking? Eat some enemy and gain their powers to beat them easily. Fighting a boss? Either you eat an enemy before the boss fight, or eat something that the boss produces and then beat the boss with it. Something like that.

Aug 6th 2018 at 8:53:40 AM

I meant that the example doesn't include that information, which it should. Hence "as written."

Aug 6th 2018 at 9:15:15 AM

Live Action Television

  • In the Community episode "Remedial Chaos Theory", Troy decides (in the Darkest Timeline) that the proper way to dispose of Pierce's troll doll is to eat it. Doing so destroys his larynx.

Aug 6th 2018 at 10:54:38 AM

Scooby and Shaggy, as written, aren't examples (too general or indirect).

Aug 7th 2018 at 10:02:30 AM

I will welcome a better writing of the Scooby Doo example. Just make sure to provide it in the proper format. Some goes for any other examples that could be expanded upon. Once that is taken care of, if nobody else has a problem with it, we could decide on a launch date or hat cutoff (in which we launch when a certain number of hats are reached).

Aug 7th 2018 at 11:05:57 AM

^ Maybe scrap it for the Monsters Unleashed example I gave, which is from a specific moment in the movie, and see if people can come up with other specific examples later.

Aug 8th 2018 at 4:32:13 PM

Also...may I ask why the mediums aren't alphabetized?

Aug 8th 2018 at 4:57:10 PM

I never noticed. I'll fix that.

Aug 9th 2018 at 12:12:02 AM

...I was talking about, say, having "Video Games" above "Live Action TV", not the examples themselves, though them being alphabetized is nice.

Aug 9th 2018 at 6:55:55 AM

I've removed the Allcaps markup and replaced it with folders.

Aug 9th 2018 at 11:06:21 AM

^ Y'know, I think there is enough examples now for folders to be necessary. thanks.

Something I realized. I hadn't thought of index pages to put this in. What would be the best ones?

Aug 10th 2018 at 2:05:51 PM

Is there a reason the Switched example wasn't added?

Aug 10th 2018 at 3:32:36 PM

Quote for the top of the page:

Eat. You'll feel better.
—Remus Lupin, ''Harry Potter'

Aug 10th 2018 at 3:45:30 PM

^^ I forgot about it.

Aug 11th 2018 at 11:59:01 AM

If it is alright with everybody, I think I will launch this beauty this Thursday.

Aug 11th 2018 at 4:56:11 PM

You have to better clarify the Kirby example. My comment above should help.

Aug 11th 2018 at 9:16:17 PM

^ I'll add Ben 10 since you establish him as eating an atomic bomb, but considering you only mention the legion of superheroes as eating only being in a super power, I'm afraid I can't add it unless you can provide a moment where he uses it to solve a problem, since that is what this trope has become. Otherwise, it ends up being a Zero Context Example. In any case, I got ben added and Kirby fixed, so I'll schedule launch for Thursday. Any desired addons beforehand are welcome.

Aug 12th 2018 at 1:06:18 AM

  • In Cells At Work, several of the phagocytes like White Blood Cell, Macrophage, and Eosinophil will eat the foreign bacteria that enter into the body in order to identify them or as a source of energy. Macrophage even cuts them up with her cleaver if they are too large to consume. Truth In Television, as this is how real cells deal with pathogens.

Aug 12th 2018 at 7:44:31 AM

I think there are cases like this in Darker Than Black, where people with superpowers have to regularly do something so that they can keep using their powers; some of them have to eat something (I remember one of them regularly eating burgers).

Aug 12th 2018 at 4:58:24 PM

  • Dilbert: In one strip, the Pointy-Haired Boss says that he has to lay off one employee. Instead of choosing which employee to fire, he brings in a box of doughnuts and informs his subordinate that one doughnut contains a piece of paper saying "You're Fired". Whoever picks that one will lose his job. Afterwards, Dilbert and Wally have the following conversation:
    Dilbert: How was your doughnut?
    Wally: The first two were great. The third was papery.

Aug 12th 2018 at 5:34:46 PM

^I can't say if that counts or not. On one hand, it does involve donuts that are eaten and the pink slip is eaten. On the other hand, the solution is hiding the pink slip in a donut, but not necessarily eating the pink slip...

Aug 12th 2018 at 6:44:58 PM

  • Ranma One Half: 10 years ago Ukyo created a special sauce and asked Ranma to take care of her forever if it tastes good when opened. Ranma, not knowing what she meant or even her true gender, agreed but accidentally destroyed the sauce and failed to try to recreate it. In the present day when it's rotten and brought up again, Ranma feeling guilty pretends to like it and becomes nicer to her but Ukyo thinks he still remembers her marriage promise. After hilarity ensues between them and Akane, Ranma eventually eats the entire pot, to the girls horror, becoming very sick in the process.

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