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When snacks start to run out, the last one is the most important.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Muffinator on May 22nd 2014 at 12:49:44 AM
Last Edited By:
WarJay77 on 8 hours ago
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Claimed by War Jay 77, as per Up for Grabs rules.

Current image suggestions:


"Pigslice : (pig' slys) (n.) The last unclaimed piece of pizza that everyone is secretly dying for."
- Sniglet

Two or more characters are enjoying a snack from a communal source. At some point there is a realization that there is only one left for multiple people. Hilarity ensues as this one bit of food, unlike its fallen brethren, becomes monumentally important. Usually, this is because the food was not divided evenly, such as there being nine pizza slices for 4 people.

There are several variations on how this may play out:

One character may absent-mindedly reach for the last one, when they are interrupted to point out that it is the last one. This may be played for comedy as everyone realizes how important the last one is, or played for drama, likely resulting in an argument over why it's so important.

If multiple characters realize it at the same time, there may be a Wild West-style stare-down to share this understanding, followed by a quick-draw analogue in grabbing the last one, or a more convoluted competition to determine who is deserving. Cutting the last one in half and sharing it is NOT an option. Expect some Fork Fencing along the way, considering how likely this is to devolve into an actual, physical fight.

Occasionally, one character may simply be deprived of the last one because they were absent when it was taken. They will very likely be upset by this and, sometimes, will launch an investigation to see who took it. If the food was something they themselves brought, they'll be especially angry.

If the "last one" is a MacGuffin, it's a Macguffin Melee. Subtrope of Lost Food Grievance.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertisement 
  • McDonald's had a commercial in which Ronald and Hamburglar competed in video game over the last fry in their meal.
  • In a commercial for Pillsbury Crescent Rolls two boys get in an argument over who gets the last one, but then their mother reveals that she has made more.

    Comic Strips 
  • In a The Far Side strip, a man mentions how he wants to eat the last slice of beef despite already being full. A dog, meanwhile, is watching hopefully.
  • Garfield: In this comic, Garfield and Jon's date Berta end up fighting over the last piece of food.

    Films- Animated 
  • In Kung Fu Panda, both Po and Master Shifu are eating dumplings. When it's down to the last one, Shifu makes it as an impromptu training for Po by snatching it just as the latter's about to eat it. Fight over dumpling ensues, and Po slowly but surely hones his reflexes... until he manages to grab it. Then he decides to give it to Shifu instead, saying that he's not so hungry anymore. Shifu sees it as a sign of growth.

    Light Novels 
  • In Slayers, the first episode of Slayers NEXT has Gourry and Lina literally Fork Fencing at super speed over the last bits of food on the table. Neither of them end up getting it, as a fight breaks out in the tavern and their table is knocked over. This is justified two-fold: First, both of them are notorious Big Eaters. Second, the party has a tradition where the person who eats the least has to pick up the tab.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Amanda Show: One skit shows Drake and Josh quarreling, and getting into a physical fight, over the last piece of some jumbo shrimp.
  • Comes up often in The Big Bang Theory, usually involving dumplings.
    • The episode "The Dumpling Paradox" gets its name for a scene in which the guys minus Howard, who is dating one of Penny's friends, are eating at a Chinese restaurant and debate what to do with the leftover dumpling.
    • In "The Lizard-Spock Expansion", the guys play Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock to see who gets the last dumpling. They all draw Spock.
    • In one episode, Sheldon mentions that in Thai culture, the last morsel of food is reserved for the most important person. He reaches for it, but Penny beats him to it and says "Thank you for this high honor.
  • Drake & Josh: As a Call-Back to The Amanda Show, Drake and Josh end their finale episode "Really Big Shrimp" fighting over the last piece of shrimp; the scene then transitions to the original scene from the previous show.
  • Friends: When Ross was in the middle of his second divorce, one of the things he was looking forward to in his depression was the special sandwich made from the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers (it has a piece of gravy-soaked bread in the middle to keep everything moist). He brought it to work, but one of his coworkers steals it. The straw that broke the back of Ross's remaining civility and sanity was that the coworker didn't even finish the sandwich, most of it ended up in the trash.
  • In the Laverne & Shirley episode "Guinea Pigs", Laverne tries to eat the last shrimp at a party, but Shirley, who hadn't eaten in a while, tries to steal it out of Laverne's mouth.
  • Malcolm in the Middle. On an unusually happy day, Hal repeatedly and intentionally takes the last chip because mutually understood rules dictate that he is therefore the one who has to go get more.
  • That '70s Show:
    • In the episode "Misty Mountain Hop", Donna eats Eric's last Twinkie during the ride up to Jackie's cabin, igniting a fight.
    • In "Who Needs You", Fez was looking forward to a grape soda that he saved in the fridge, and even made up a song to sing for when he would eventually get around to drinking it. Cue his shock at finding an empty grape soda bottle in the fridge after Jackie drank it...
  • Sirens (US). Johnny buys donuts for his coworkers, but gets mad upon finding that all of the donuts are gone before he could take one for himself.

    Radio 
  • A sketch on John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme has him recounting the tale of how he, as a member of the University Faculty of Logic and Ethics, witnessed a tragic event in which taking the second to last biscuit led to his fellow logicians agreeing that, since no one would take the last biscuit, the penultimate biscuit was the effective last biscuit and so could not be taken. They then follow this line of reasoning all the way back through the packet until none of them can eat any biscuits at all.

    Theatre 
  • Say Goodnight Gracie. Jerry nearly goes into a murderous rage after finding out that Steve ate his last can of chunky turkey soup.

    Websites 
  • Discussed in the CollegeHumor short "You Can Never Take the Last Cookie" is about how it's considered rude to take the last cookie. The characters keep dividing the cookie (so nobody is rude) until it creates a nuclear reaction.

    Web Video 
  • Dragonball Z Abridged:
    • After starting to live on Earth, Vegeta quickly develops an obsession with a drink called Hetap. Taking the last one while he's around is a good way to inspire the wrath of someone who used to regularly destroy planets.
      Vegeta: Did someone take the last Hetap?! I'll kill you!
    • Years later in another episode, an In-Universe Hetap commercial involves someone being shot by a friend for taking the last Hetap. The commercial closes with a narrator saying "Come on, you've killed for less."
      Vegeta: [Thinking] That's not untrue...

    Video Games 
  • In the Story Mode of Dead or Alive 5, when the part of Elliot and Brad Wong is shown, they talk about training for the fifth Dead or Alive Tournament when they're eating. That, until there's a last piece of dinner. Then, the talk ends and they start to fight for that last piece.

    Western Animation 
  • In a flashback to Kate's birth in an Arthur episode, Arthur and D.W. are seen fighting over the last grape.
  • In one episode of The Berenstain Bears cartoon, Brother and Papa Bear are fighting over a snack that is the last one left in a bowl, and saying things such as "En garde!" and "Touche!".
  • In The Loud House short "Slice of Life", Lincoln and his sisters argue over the last slice of pizza.

    Real Life 
  • At Wizards of the Coast headquarters, a chocolate-covered creme-filled donut is known as "Mark's donut", named after Magic head designer Mark Rosewater, who has vowed to never buy and share donuts again if that one is not saved for him.

Feedback: 55 replies

May 22nd 2014 at 1:16:11 AM

  • Capitalized the title.
  • Examples section formatting
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
    • Sorted examples by media and added media section title(s).
  • Blue Linked (wild west).
  • Namespaced and italicized work name(s).
  • Namespaced Creator names.
  • De-Red Linked Say Goodnight Gracie, which does not have a page.

May 22nd 2014 at 1:39:36 AM

Expect Fork Fencing.

When the last one is a Mac Guffin, though, expect Macguffin Melee.

May 22nd 2014 at 3:34:38 AM

Subtrope of Lost Food Grievance. There's actually 3 examples in there under Naruto, Blue Jasmine, and Home Alone (which you can move here if this gets launched).

May 22nd 2014 at 5:35:27 AM

In Kungfu Panda, both Po and Master Shifu are eating dumplings. When it's down to the last one, Shifu makes it as an impromptu training for Po by snatching it just as the latter's about to eat it. Fight over dumpling ensues, and Po slowly but surely hones his reflexes... until he manages to grab it. Then he decides to give it to Shifu instead, saying that he's not so hungry anymore. Shifu sees it as a sign of growth.

May 22nd 2014 at 9:34:12 AM

Hmm, Last Piece Showdown Gag? Duel For The Last Piece Gag? this isn't limited to food.

wait, actually this is so wide this should cover Dismantled Mac Guffin. given the fact that the last piece, more often than not, actually has the two parties fighting over it as opposed to the others being an easy get for either side.

May 22nd 2014 at 9:47:18 AM

  • From Texts From Last Night:
    (603): I ate the last cupcake. I'm sorry. It was in the refrigerator mocking me. So I ate it. And it was glorious. But I'm sorry.

May 22nd 2014 at 12:15:31 PM

Very common in commercials.

May 22nd 2014 at 2:54:16 PM

  • Comes up often in The Big Bang Theory, usually involving dumplings.
    • The episode "The Dumpling Paradox" gets its name for a scene in which the guys minus Howard, who is dating one of Penny's friends, are eating at a Chinese restaurant and debate what to do with the leftover dumpling.
    • In "The Lizard-Spock Expansion", the guys play Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock to see who gets the last dumpling. They all draw Spock.
    • In one episode, Sheldon mentions that in Thai culture, the last morsel of food is reserved for the most important person. He reaches for it, but Penny beats him to it and says "Thank you for this high honor."

May 22nd 2014 at 4:10:31 PM

The Last Twinkie? twinkie is a placeholder really, it could be any other food oe just the generic The Last Snack but I think twinkie is funnier as a word

May 22nd 2014 at 4:24:59 PM

^ The Last Slice Of Pizza?

Speaking of which:

May 23rd 2014 at 4:29:38 AM

The Twinkie is definitely an important plot point in the film Zombieland, although it's never certain that the last Twinkie eaten is also the last Twinkie in existence.

May 23rd 2014 at 8:15:57 PM

In a commercial for Pillsbury Crescent Rolls two boys get in an argument over who gets the last one, but then their mother reveals that she has made more.

Dec 4th 2018 at 11:22:15 AM

  • The Amanda Show: One skit shows Drake and Josh quarreling over the last piece of some jumbo shrimp.

  • Drake And Josh: As a Call Back to The Amanda Show, Drake and Josh end their finale episode "Really Big Shrimp" fighting over the last piece of shrimp; the scene then transitions to the original scene from the previous show.

Dec 4th 2018 at 11:43:56 AM

  • In Slayers, the first episode of Slayers NEXT has Gourry and Lina literally Fork Fencing at super speed over the last bits of food on the table. Neither of them end up getting it, as a fight breaks out in the tavern and their table is knocked over. This is justified two-fold: First, both of them are notorious Big Eaters. Second, the party has a tradition where the person who eats the least has to pick up the tab.

Dec 4th 2018 at 1:12:13 PM

When Ross was in the middle of his second divorce, one of the things he was looking forward to in his depression was the special sandwich made from Thanksgiving leftovers (it has a piece of gravy-soaked bread in the middle to keep everything moist). He brought it to work, but one of his coworkers steals it. The last straw was that the coworker didn't even finish the sandwich, most of it ended up in the trash.

Dec 4th 2018 at 1:24:29 PM

  • In one episode of The Berenstain Bears cartoon, Brother and Papa Bear are fighting over a snack that is the last one left in a bowl, and saying things such as "En garde!" and "Touche!".
  • In a flashback to Kate's birth in an Arthur episode, Arthur and D.W. are seen fighting over the last grape.
  • In The Loud House short "Slice of Life", Lincoln and his sisters argue over the last slice of pizza.
  • In the Laverne And Shirley episode "Guinea Pigs", Laverne tries to eat the last shrimp at a party, but Shirley, who hadn't eaten in a while, tries to steal it out of Laverne's mouth.
  • One time in Sesame Street, Cookie Monster gives up the last cookie for a girl he's playing with, singing a whole song about it.
  • In a The Far Side strip, a man mentions how he wants to eat the last slice of beef despite already being full. A dog, meanwhile, is watching hopefully.

Dec 4th 2018 at 1:36:17 PM

  • That '70s Show:
    • In the episode "Misty Mountain Hop", Donna eats Eric's last Twinkie during the ride up to Jackie's cabin, igniting a fight.
    • In "Who Needs You", Fez was looking forward to a grape soda that he saved in the fridge, and even made up a song to sing for when he would eventually get around to drinking it. Cue his shock at finding an empty grape soda bottle in the fridge after Jackie drank it...

Dec 5th 2018 at 6:20:50 PM

If nobody else wants this, I'll take it.

Dec 5th 2018 at 6:41:07 PM

Added examples, left the ones I wasn't sure about.

I think I might make a title crowner later, there's a lot of suggestions.

Dec 5th 2018 at 8:38:27 PM

I'm not sure if this counts, or maybe it's played with in some way:

Dec 6th 2018 at 5:39:34 AM

  • Dragonball Z Abridged:
    • After starting to live on Earth, Vegeta quickly develops an obsession with an a drink called Hetap. Taking the last one while he's around is a good way to inspire the wrath of someone who used to regularly destroy planets.
      Vegeta: Did someone take the last Hetap?! I'll kill you!
    • Years later in another episode, an In Universe Hetap commercial involves someone being shot by a friend for taking the last Hetap. The commercial closes with the tagline "Come on, you've killed for less."
      Vegeta: [Thinking] That's not untrue...

Dec 6th 2018 at 5:07:03 PM

I suggest "Fight For The Last Slice" because "Slice" can only refer to food and is somewhat broad enough. "Piece" is more ambiguous.

Alternatively, "Fight For The Final Foodpiece". A bit awkward, but has Added Alliterative Appeal.

Dec 6th 2018 at 1:29:41 PM

  • Mc Donalds had a commercial in which Ronald and Hamburglar competed in video game over the last fry in their meal.

Dec 6th 2018 at 4:53:22 PM

A sketch on John Finnemores Souvenir Programme has him recounting the tale of how he, as a member of the University Faculty of Logic and Ethics, witnessed a tragic event in which taking the second to last biscuit led to his fellow logicians agreeing that, since no one would take the last biscuit, the penultimate biscuit was the effective last biscuit and so could not be taken. They then follow this line of reasoning all the way back through the packet until none of them can eat any biscuits at all.

Dec 6th 2018 at 5:09:34 PM

I voted for "Fight Over the Last Slice" but I second Drope's suggestion of "Fight For the Last Slice"; I think it sounds slightly better.

Dec 6th 2018 at 6:27:50 PM

^ I'll add Fight For The Last Slice because I like it too.

Dec 7th 2018 at 8:29:24 AM

There is a sniglet devoted to this concept: "Pigslice : (pig' slys) (n.) The last unclaimed piece of pizza that everyone is secretly dying for."

Dec 7th 2018 at 10:27:03 AM

^ Could potentially work as a short, witty little quote.

Dec 7th 2018 at 10:47:16 AM

Folderized, Quote added.

Dec 8th 2018 at 5:32:16 PM

Currently tied between Last Slice Of Pizza, Fight For The Last Slice, and Fight Over The Last Slice.

Dec 8th 2018 at 6:13:34 PM

For just those three? I could do that.

Dec 8th 2018 at 8:59:57 PM

Alright, I added the three most popular titles to a new crowner.

Dec 11th 2018 at 6:42:55 PM

Decided to just go ahead and update the title.

Hey, any good image ideas?

Dec 12th 2018 at 8:20:06 AM

Not a slice per se, but I think this would be a good image: https://frinkiac.com/img/S08E06/61293.jpg

Dec 12th 2018 at 9:50:12 AM

Whoops, can you please try that again without hotlinking?

Dec 12th 2018 at 12:55:54 PM

Courtesy of DeviantArt, two edits of the Inkling Girl have a Mexican Standoff over the last slice.

Dec 12th 2018 at 1:36:51 PM

^Oops. That was going to be an image from the beginning of the Simpsons episode titled "A Milhouse Divided", in which Maggie, Snowball II, and Santa's Little Helper have a Mexican Standoff over a meatball that fell onto the floor. https://frinkiac.com/caption/S08E06/48814

Dec 12th 2018 at 3:07:57 PM

This trope is often triggered when the number of pieces of food does not divide evenly between the number of people present (for example, there are 3 people, and 7 pieces of food).

Dec 12th 2018 at 6:19:43 PM

I think this might call for an image crowner! I like both, so I can't be the judge, lol.

Dec 12th 2018 at 6:35:56 PM

Okay I give up on trying to make the image crowner, we'll just vote in the comments.

Dec 13th 2018 at 2:17:42 AM

"Both"? What are the options so far?

Dec 13th 2018 at 4:32:17 AM

I say this image would be perfect (from the comic adaptation of the Loud House episode "Slice of Life"):

Dec 13th 2018 at 5:19:59 AM

And another exmple:

  • Garfield: In this comic, Garfield and Jon's date Berta end up fighting over the last piece of food.

Dec 13th 2018 at 10:33:09 AM

^^^ Well before Bouken Dutch hopped in, your image and Luke's were the only options. (Your link only took me to one image...)

^^Love it, even in Spanish it gets the point across. I vote for that one.

yesterday

Video Games:

  • In the Story Mode of Dead Or Alive 5, when the part of Elliot and Brad Wong is shown, they talk about training for the fifth Dead or Alive Tournament when they're eating. That, until there's a last piece of dinner. Then, the talk ends and they start to fight for that last piece.

yesterday

I vote for number 1.

12 hours ago

Image selection should be done after launch via Image Pickin'.

And shouldn't it be "fight over"?

11 hours ago

^ People liked the alliteration.

And yeah, true, I can wait for Image Pickin'.

10 hours ago

My vote is for image #3.

8 hours ago

^^ It would have made sense if we went with "Fight For The Final Foodpiece" but the current title doesn't have enough appeal to stick with that artifact IMO.

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