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Extreme Omnivore / Literature

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  • As seen in the quote above, the Andalites in Animorphs fit this trope whenever they morph into something with taste buds.
    • The Taxxons are, as a race, plagued by insanity-inducing hunger. If one sees something that looks like it might be edible and isn't likely to kill him eating it — even if it's his own entrails after being shot in half, or a similarly-wounded buddy — CHOW TIME! They absolutely hate this aspect of their species, and the major reason they surrendered peacefully to the Yeerks was the hope that the Yeerks' mind control abilities would be able to overpower the Horror Hunger (answer: nope).
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  • Mulch Diggums, a dwarf from the Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer, has a one-way digestive system and travels underground by eating through dirt, rock, etc. and expelling it behind him. That is one thing all dwarves can do slower or faster. Anything found in earth, like beetles, is food for dwarves as well. A large chunk of granite managed to temporarily constipate Mulch, though. Other features of dwarven biology in Colfer's books include, for example, slightly fluorescent saliva that hardens in contact with air, a detachable lower jaw, and the ability to weaponize the built-up air from consuming soil.
  • A few examples from The Bible of eating food that is unusual or outright forbidden:
    • The prophet Ezekiel is given a scroll to eat in the early chapters of his book.
    • The diet of John the Baptist consisted primarily of locusts and wild honey, which, considering that he lived in the desert, was probably all that he could get his hands on. (Matthew 3)
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    • A metaphorical example — Peter had a vision of being presented with all sorts of animals that were considered "unclean" by Jewish law, which God told him to kill and eat. This was an indication that he was to start spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles. (Acts 10)
    • Paul writes that it's perfectly OK to eat food that has been sacrificed to idols, another big no-no under Jewish law, with the caveat that it shouldn't be done in front of someone for whom it would cause a problem. This is part of his general theme that Christians are no longer bound by rules but by conscience. (1 Corinthians 8)
    • In the book of Revelation, John is given a scroll and instructed to eat it. He does so.
  • Bored of the Rings introduces the Boggies, "an unattractive yet annoying people...slow and sullen, and yet dull", some of whom, on receiving invitations from Dildo Bugger to his birthday party, were so filled with ravenous greedy anticipation that they ate the invitations on the spot.
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  • The creature in The Clone. Humans and animals are absorbed and converted, as are certain types of fabrics, but it also likes rubber and concrete — car tires, shoe soles and parts of buildings. When it comes to clothing, the "clone" is a picky eater, though; it'll eagerly convert nylon but cotton is rejected and left behind for some reason. It even resorts to cannibalizing itself when its food supply starts to dwindle, which ends up killing it.
  • The Commonweal Entelechs can eat ANYTHING, from rocks, to abstract concepts, to entire species.
  • In Tanya Huff's Confederation of Valor novels, the Krai are an entire alien race of Extreme Omnivores. This comes in handy when they want to impress other alien races by downing whatever local food is offered them, no matter how disgusting.
  • Discworld:
    • The Luggage will eat, quite literally, anything that gets in its way. This includes people (on many occasions), sharks, legendary grimoires, and even (on one occasion) a demon. This is combined with its Hyperspace Arsenal capacity to ensure that regardless of what it eats, the next time you open it all you find is your clean laundry. According to Rincewind (its owner) at one point, the only time it ever disliked what it ate was a book of spells — it sulked for three days and then spat it out.
    • The Discworld's swamp dragons, particularly Errol, are also extreme omnivores. Errol was described as eating a kettle, a can of lamp fuel, armor polish, and one of Dibbler's sausages.
      • "They eat everything except metal and igneous rocks. You can't be finicky, you see, when you evolve in a swamp."
    • The Tsimo wrestlers (parodies of Sumo wrestlers) of the Counterweight Continent also seem to fit. One man was rejected as a Tsimo wrestler when the trainers gave him a meal and he didn't eat the table, too.
    • Scalbies are briefly mentioned in Pyramids as a scavenging seabird that would eat things that would make a vulture sick. (And indeed, things that had made a vulture sick.)
    • In Unseen Academicals there's a mention that one of Glendas neighbours apparently regularly drinks paint.
  • The title character from Disgusting McGrossface eats mud and worms.
  • Gregory Benford's Eater. The Eater of All Things is Exactly What It Says on the Tin; since it's a sapient black hole, this is natural enough.
  • Everything's Better With Elves: Sal's primary diet consists of trash, and he'll eat pretty much anything besides ceramic. It hurts his teeth.
  • Gangsta Granny: Downplayed for Granny, who eats spoiled cabbage.
  • Carl Bottomwell from The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes likes to eat crayons.
  • One of the "Utopias" in John T. Sladek's satirical short story "Heavens Below: Thirteen Utopias" depicts a family enjoying a picnic at a landfill site, eating the garbage as if it were the most delicious snack food anyone ever tasted.
  • The title character in Shel Silverstein's "Hungry Mungry" (in Where The Sidewalk Ends) ends up literally eating everything. In all of existence. Ending with himself.
  • The Langoliers are definitely the most extreme example, eating matter and time itself.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem "Mithridates," about the ancient King of Pontus who was famed for eating small doses of poisons to gradually build up an immunity to them. Emerson turns the poison-eating Up to Eleven by having Mithridates claim literally everything in the world, edible or not, for his food.
  • In Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, Mr. Vandemar is always hungry, and has been known to eat rats, pigeons and frogs. There are hints that he eats people, too...
    • He is probably a werewolf of some sort.
  • In Percy Jackson, the satyr Grover can eat anything recyclable, notably soda cans. He also tends to start on the furniture when nervous.
  • In the Perry Rhodan setting, the inhabitants of the planet Halut — four-armed and only somewhat loosely humanoid giants routinely growing taller than ten feet — are capable of chewing and digesting virtually anything, including rock.
  • In one of Keith Laumer's Retief stories, a race of hostile aliens called the Basurans can survive on a diet of raw metals and silicon if necessary, and, having consumed most of their own planet, are looking for new planets to eat. They were bribed into cancelling an invasion by shipping them another planet's garbage as "gourmet food".
  • All demons in The Riftwar Cycle — technically they feed on the life energy of their victims (whether mortals or other demons), but they do this mostly by just shoving whatever they want to feed on down their gullet. Because of the true nature of their feeding, though, they can take on qualities of what they eat, and this is in fact how demons rise in power. Maarg, a demon lord and The Caligula even by demon standards, gave full range to his appetites and was grotesquely obese, but also was practically a Physical God in power thanks to his gluttony.
  • Ungoliant in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion seems to exist solely to devour. Her insatiable hunger even seems to scare the crap out of the other main villain, who is a freaking demigod!
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Star Beast, the title creature (nicknamed "Lummox") could eat just about anything, including concrete, steel, wood, rose bushes, hay and dogs (among other things).
  • Bob, the resident Big Friendly Dog of the Stephanie Plum books. He has been known to eat furniture.
  • Downplayed with the Horneaters of The Stormlight Archive who, as their name suggests, eat the horns, shells, and bones of their food. It's rumored that they also eat rocks, and their alcohol reportedly eats through most cups.
  • Tofu from Super Minion can eat just about anything. The closest he comes to being picky is that if something doesn't taste good he'll absorb it directly with his Nanomachines instead of putting it in his mouth. He has a definite fondness for good human food though, to the point that he tends to quantify amounts of money in terms of how many tofu burgers he could buy from his favorite restaurant for the same amount.
  • The Hive in Tour of the Merrimack is a Horde of Alien Locusts that will eat anything organic. Anything. An attempt to bomb them fails when they take the bomb apart to eat the fuse.
  • Mark Twain (repeatedly) claims that the camel eats anything.
  • Miranda Silver in Helen Oyeyemi's White Is For Witching is a pica sufferer who habitually feeds on chalk and plastic. She's deathly thin because of her general avoidance of actual food.
  • The Rirhait, a vaguely centipede-esque alien species from the Young Wizards series, are this in a big way. One important point while introducing a Rirhait to human cuisine is to stress that the plate, silverware, table, and floorboards are not to be considered part of the meal.
    • When a Rirhait construction crew repairs a wrecked building, they eat the rubble instead of throwing it into a dumpster.


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