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I Ate What / Live-Action TV

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Questionable "food" in live-action TV.

  • On 30 Rock Liz underwent an episode-long Pregnancy Scare that turned out to be caused by her "Sabor de Soledad" Mexican cheese curls having evaporated bull semen in them. Not only is this seen as a selling point (young women use them for birth control, and a later cutaway gag showed them being advertised as having "mas semen del toro!"), it doesn't stop Liz and Jack from eating them after discovering the secret ingredient.
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  • Squicky example: in one Ashes to Ashes (2008) episode, a man is killed in a chip shop and it's implied that some of his more personal bits have been cut off and fried. Cut to Ray in another room, picking up said fried bit and eating it, thinking it's a sausage. He spends the afternoon with a bottle of mouthwash. Alex later tells Ray that it was just a sausage and he's being pranked by some of the other guys from the station.
  • Done twice in Babylon 5: First, in the pilot episode, Commander Sinclair informs G'Kar (who he believes, but cannot prove, was behind an assassination plot) that he put a microscopic tracking bug in his drink, so that the Earth Alliance can track him down any time they want. After G'Kar storms out, Sinclair confesses to Garibaldi that there was no bug, which will make it all the harder for G'Kar to be sure he's gotten rid of it. The second example is when Londo Molari is trying to convince Lord Refa to break off his very ill-advised alliance with the Shadows:
    Lord Refa: Why should I do as you say?
    Ambassador Londo Mollari: Because I have asked you; because your sense of duty to our people should override any personal ambition; and because I have poisoned your drink.
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  • Being Human featured this trope twice in the same episode. A flashback to the 1950s involved vampire Cutler, who had been recently turned by Hal, and was still reluctant to kill, being ordered to kill his human wife. He refuses. Later we see the two vampires meet up again in a pub with a few other vampires, and his sire assures him that it's fine if he doesn't kill, as the group needs him instead for his position as a lawyer and pours him a glass of blood. He starts to drink it, while all the other vampires begin to laugh. Confused, he allows his sire to lead him down to a cellar, and is horrified to see his dead wife lying on a table, with a tube from her neck leading into a jar of blood. In modern times, the same vampire is trying to persuade his sire to take part in his evil plans for world domination, and persuades him to have his first blood in over fifty five years, by offering him a glass. The sire is then dragged downstairs to the basement, and it is revealed to be the blood of the now dead Scottish girl who was only in Wales on holiday with her family, whom Hal had been sort of dating. The sire is similarly horrified, and the two reveals of the source of the blood are juxtaposed.
  • A couple of mild but so very funny versions in The Big Bang Theory - the first when Sheldon is sick and is measuring his fluid intake and output in a jug Leonard had unknowingly been using to mix pancake batter. When Leonard protests how it's the one thing in the apartment that hasn't been labelled, Sheldon reveals the label on the bottom leading to Leonard's sheepish '... Hmmm, seems I owe the Betty Crocker food company a letter of apology...'
    • The second is revealed in an argument in which the four reveal various things they'd done to each other including Sheldon had in the past secretly added ground up insects to Leonard's food For Science! Later in the episode he's making snowcones and offers Leonard one: Leonard enjoys it and asks what flavour it is, Sheldon's reply- "Guess..."
  • In one episode of Black Books, Manny claims that Bernard's smoking habit has completely destroyed Bernard's sense of taste. He then demonstrates the point by pointing out that Bernard is currently eating a beverage coaster, which Bernard mistook for some kind of delicious biscuit.
  • The Bones episode "The Mystery in the Meat" opens in a high school cafeteria where the beef stew is found to contain human body parts.
    • More like I drank what? but there was also the episode where a body(or the goopy remains anyway) were found in a wine barrel after several people had already tasted it.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the episode The Pack, Xander and a group of bullies get possessed by a hyena spirit. At the same time as Sunnydale High gets a live pig as a mascot. They eat it. Xander is not happy to find out he ate a raw pig. At least he didn't eat the principal, like the rest of the pack.
    • In the Season 3 episode "Helpless", a depowered Buffy takes out a vampire by tricking him into drinking holy water.
    • Subverted in the Season 6 "Doublemeat Palace" episode, where everything was pointing to the fast-food hamburgers being made of people, but turned out to be merely vegetable matter. Xander does this twice beforehand though before he learns the truth.
  • In Car Share, hapless supermarket manager Peter picks up his new car-pool buddy Kaley for the first time. She is carrying a sports bottle full of liquid he assumes is a soft drink. Before she can tell him, he takes a swig, notes its sweet-and-sour taste, and asks if it's Red Bull or a similar energy drink. It's not. It's a urine sample she's taking to the in-store pharmacy for medical testing. Peter then does a Spit Take and spills most of it down his shirt.
  • In a first-season episode of Castle, Castle brings the owner of a Nigerian restaurant to the precinct to consult on a case. She brings lunch with her, and Beckett is visibly Squicked to learn that the main course (which she had been enjoying beforehand) is cow's foot stew.
    Beckett: You said this was beef.
  • In the "Insepts" episode of the Mexican sitcom El Chavo del ocho, Chavo tells Chilindrina that he's collecting bugs, and killing them with gasoline, which he keeps in a soda bottle, just then Quiko comes in and brags about not offering them popcorn. Chavo soon leaves to look for more insects, and Chilindrina asks her father, Don Ramón, for money, to which he says no. After finishing his popcorn, Quiko spots Chavo's bottle and, not knowing what it was, takes a big swig. Quiko asks what type of lemonade he's drinking, to which Chavo tells him, it's gasoline, and Quiko leaves, presumably to throw up. Chavo then spots the empty popcorn bag and uses it to store his bug collection. After Don Ramón made it clear he won't give Chilindrina a cent, she leaves her apartment crying. She spots Chavo's bag, and starts eating its contents when she asks why he would pour gasoline into some popcorn, Chavo tells her it's his bug collection. Chilindrina tries to tell on him to Don Ramón, but he tells her that her crying made it sound like Chavo or Quiko hit her for stealing their food, he then tells she deserved it and to go cry somewhere else. Soon after, Don Ramón also eats some of Chavo's bug collection.
  • In an episode of Criminal Minds, it is revealed at the end that the unsub had made a dish out of one of his victims and fed it to the townsfolk. They weren't happy.
  • CSI:
    • In "Crow's Feet", the victim was engaging in urophagia, aka urine drinking for medical purposes.
    • In "Last Supper", contestants on a cooking show realise that what they are eating during a palate test human flesh when one of them finds a contact lens in her mouth. She does a Spit Take on realising that she has a human eyeball in her move.
  • CSI: NY had an episode with exotic insect cuisine. Insects are eaten in some places, but probably not the giant centipedes Danny and Flack get offered. Flack refuses, but Danny goes "I'm from the lower east side" and slurps it down. Later, more insect cuisine is consumed when it's brought back the lab. But only by Danny and Lindsay, the rest went for pizza in Mac's office. When Danny set out the dishes, including such delicacies as mealworm spaghetti and grasshopper chutney, Lindsay shrugs, grabs a fried spider and takes a huge bite while everyone else looks on in varying degrees of shock and queasiness. She later chastises Danny for betting against a country girl(her).
  • Subverted in Curb Your Enthusiasm when Larry announces to everyone at a wedding party that they "special meat" brought by the Korean bookie is Jeff's dog Oscar. Calamity ensues. Later Larry sees Oscar in the parking lot.
  • In an episode of Dieter Hallervorden sketch show Didi's Comedy Show, a dinner guest is told accidentally that he's been eating dog.
  • Divorce Court: The 1980s version had an episode where the wife fixed her husband and his beer-drinking friends chili...not informing them until afterward that the "meat" was actually dog food. Fortunately, none of the guys became seriously ill, although there was plenty of vomiting.
  • Doctor Who: In "Gridlock", Martha is in a Flying Car with a young couple who've kidnapped her so they can get into the fast lane of a Futuristic Superhighway, on a trip that will take years. She eats a few bites of a cracker she's offered before being told that all the food is made from recycled waste products, which causes her to drop it in disgust.
  • On an episode of Family Matters the young kids bake a cake for Rachael. From her expression, tasting it is not a pleasant experience, then one of them asks if she can taste the horseradish.
    Racheal: [trying to feign that she likes it] Well, that would be why it cleared my sinuses.
  • Farscape
    • Jool is given fellip urine as a very strange form of anesthesia to treat an arrow wound to the elbow. Because of the intoxicating effects of the painkiller, Jool is too amused to be horrified...until later. It gets played for laughs, however, and eventually leads to breaking her haughtiness.
    • Another episode, in which the crew of Moya is out of food, John tried making "fried dentiks" little caterpillar things that clean your teeth. Somewhat subverted in that the whole crew warns him its a bad idea, and he clearly agrees. Rygel didn't seem to mind, though.
    • In "Coup By Clam", this is the crew's reaction when a doctor casually informs them that the Alien Lunch they've just eaten will give them fatal food poisoning. Their first reaction is Spit Take, their next response is to stick guns in his face. As the doctor is Withholding the Cure unless they pay up, neither reaction does them any good.
  • In Friends, Joey sometimes experiences this (such as when he drunk from a glass of fat). Subverted with Joey's reaction the Shepard's Trifle. He actually liked it, despite knowing what was in it.
    Joey: What's not to like? Jam? Good. Custard? Good. Meat? GOOD!
    • In "The One With the Racecar Bed", Rachel admits to adding body fluids to the drinks she serves to people who don't tip her sufficiently.
  • In Fringe, Walter is growing an artificial ear in an organic incubator, but Peter almost eats it thinking it's an omelette.
  • Game of Thrones
    • Locke gives his captive Jaime Lannister, who is suffering from dehydration and infection, a drink from his canteen — which turns out to be full of horse urine. Jaime is so thirsty he doesn't realise what he's drinking until Locke tells him; he then spits it out to gales of laughter from Locke's men.
    • Among Arya Stark's many talents one that may come to mind at the end of season six is catering. And well...pie making. As Walder Frey discovers when she serves him his dead sons, before slitting his throat.
  • In the episode of Get Krack!n where McCartney announces her pregnancy, she winds up eating a candle from one of the gift baskets.
  • In the Gilligan's Island episode "Operation: Steam Heat", when a volcano threatens to destroy the island, the Professor plans to make a bomb using liquid nitroglycerine to stop it from erupting. Gilligan drinks what the Skipper thinks is the nitro, and for about five tense minutes, he and several other members of the cast are afraid he's going to explode. Fortunately, when they find the Professor, it turns out it was just water he was going to use to dilute the explosive.
  • An episode of The Golden Girls has Dorothy eating some snacks Rose left behind while the latter was taking care of a live chicken. Then the following dialogue happens:
    Dorothy: Not bad. What is it?
    Rose: I'm not sure. The pet owner calls it "chicken chow".
    • In another episode, Sophia interjects a conversation by mentioning the time she made a meal with what she thought was chicken only for Dorothy to cut her off. Dorothy tries to get back to the topic at hand before suddenly turning to her mother and saying "Oh God it wasn't my confirmation dinner was it?!"
      Sophia: Your Pop sure made everyone laugh when he made the little feet dance.
  • Gotham: Moments before killing his stepmother, Oswald Cobblepot reveals to her that the two pieces of roast meat that she had been eating were actually her own children whom Penguin had killed earlier.
  • More than once on Home Improvement when Tim builds some elaborate "Man's Room" he mixes up which dispenser is which. He drank soap instead of mouthwash in the Man's Bathroom, and sweat instead of water in the Man's Gym.
  • On The Honeymooners, Alice takes care of a dog and heats up some dog food on the stove. Ralph and Ed find it, taste it and like it, and Ralph sees a money-making opportunity to market this delicious appetizer, inviting his boss over to sample it - that's when Alice tells them all what they've been eating.
  • Horrible Histories: One of Admiral Nelson's crew proposes a toast to the fallen admiral. He then does a Spit Take on being told that the body is pickling in the brandy they're drinking.
  • Done many times in iCarly. After coming back from a jog with his Girl of the Week, Spencer reaches for a glass of what appears to be water, then spits it out.
    Spencer: That's not water!
    Veronica: What is it?!
    Spencer: I don't know!
    • And as a gag for their webshow:
      Sam: (while Carly is drinking water) Do you remember when you asked me to give you ketchup?
      Carly: Mhm.
      Sam: It was actually chicken's blood.
      (Spit Take)''
  • In JAG, Harm and Mac are in Iran meeting with a Bedouin chief in his tent to make a deal for the stealth jet he "confiscated" after it went down in the desert. Harm is given a cup of something. Upon asking what it is, the Bedouin chief says it is camel milk. Harm looks at it for a while, shrugs, drinks it and says it is pretty good. All while Mac looks on incredulously.
  • In the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Wildlife", Detective Elliot Stabler goes undercover in an animal-smuggling ring when a woman is found dead as a result of a mauling by a tiger. When the head of the ring offers him some meat while discussing his plans, Elliot notices that a tiger that was there the first time he visited is missing...
    Elliot: So where's the tiger?
    Andre Bushido: He's a tasty one, isn't he?
    Elliot: (Beat) ...I never enjoyed tiger meat before...
  • In Little Britain, there was a series of sketches where a bigoted old lady would sample some food and initially love it, but when she found out a minority made it, she then would proceed to vomit everywhere.
  • Lost Girl: In "Food for Thought", Kenzi helped herself to some soup that was simmering on the stove in the kitchen of a fae household she was visiting with Bo and Lauren. She had already eaten some of it by the time they told her what it was made of. She was not pleased.
  • Done in Malcolm in the Middle as a Briar Patching stunt. Malcolm is shown making the world's most disgusting sandwich, taking crud from the fridge, from the sink drain, from under the couch, and so on, putting it all between two slices of bread. He sits down to eat it... whereupon Reese immediately swoops in to steal it, and takes a bite before he realizes he's been had. Malcolm turns to the camera and says he never gets tired of that prank.
  • Occurs at times on the nature show Man vs. Wild. One notable example was when Bear drank water squeezed out of a pile of elephant dung.
  • Married... with Children,
    • In one episode, Al Bundy was doing his famous Bundy burgers and needed ash from all his previous grilling in order to give it a flavor. Peggy spilled the ashes and so she sent her kids all around the neighborhood to get more ashes. Kelly found some in an urn at the Rhodes household that held Marcy's beloved Aunt Toody. The results of discovering it was hilarious. Steven, who hated Marcy's aunt, just grinned and took a huge bite of the burger.
    • In another episode, Kelly and Bud had to give Buck - the dog - a pill for constipation, but Buck, being fussy, wouldn't take a pill unless it was put in food. So they tried putting it in cheese, but he was still reluctant to eat it. The Al came in, noticed the cheese and ate it. Then it got worse. Two scenes later, Peg was trying to get Buck to take his medicine, this time putting it inside a bon-bon, but still having no luck. Again, Al came in, noticed the bon-bon, and ate it. (Exactly what the end result of him taking two dog laxatives was is never shown.)
    • Yet another episode, Al becomes hungry enough to make a sandwich using toothpaste. Then Steve comes in, and in the midst of their discussion, nonchalantly picks it up and tries it. ("How about some floss to go with that, Steve?" asks Al.)
  • The Mick: After Mick gets slashed up by the owl Sabrina was trying to release into the wild, Sabrina steals some meat from Mick's plate.
    Sabrina: This chicken is really good.
    Mick: Oh, honey... that's not chicken.
    Sabrina: [realization slowly dawns]
  • Midsomer Murders: In "The Night of the Stag", Barnaby drinks half a pint of cider from a barrel that has a dead body floating in it. It causes him to throw up even before the body is discovered.
    • In fact, the fact that people that drank cider from that particular barrel first found it oddly bad-tasting and then became sick is one of the major reasons why they check on the barrel and find the body.
  • In one episode of Monk, Natalie is afraid of a voodoo curse and Monk takes her to a shaman to help her "get rid" of it. He initiates a complicated ritual with a potion made of... questionable ingredients. She hurries to drink it, but the man, horrified, tells her it was supposed to be applied to the skin. Cue rush to the hospital with attempted homicide included.
  • The famous "Crunchy Frog" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus. While one could make the argument that eating a chocolate-covered (raw, babynote ) frog isn't that weird note , the "Spring Surprise" which shoots steel bolts through your cheeks definitely qualifies for this trope. (Besides, the ingredients were quite clearly listed on the label. It's your own fault if you don't read them.)
    • In the Life of Python retrospective, Eric Idle recounts a sketch he had written, which some of the other Pythons refused to do. It involved a wine tasting, where the taster would pronounce his judgment on a succession of wines, only to told after each glass that it was actually urine.
    • Another sketch had a policeman planting a bag on the floor of actor Sandy Camp (Eric Idle) that he must "confiscate and take to headquarters for clinical testing." When the bag is opened:
      Camp: Sandwiches?
      Policeman: Sandwiches?! Blimey! Whatever did I give the wife?
  • In a sketch of The Muppet Show, a monster eats a machine that has a recording explaining it. Only when he has finished does he hear that its purpose is to create the largest explosion on record. Sure enough...
  • Night Court - Art, the courthouse's fix-it man, fixed Harry's coffeemaker and used some powder labeled "Herb" to test it.
    Harry: Hey, this thing's empty!
    Art: Oh that, yeah I'm sorry, Your Honor, I had to use that herb tea to test the coffee maker.
    Harry: Art, this wasn't herb tea! This was Herb!
    They look over and see Dan standing at the coffee maker, his mug frozen against his lips
    • Actually, it was the ashes of a man named Herb contained in an urn, and there was no label.
  • In Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, the third part of the Five-Episode Pilot "East Meets West" has the Turtles having a picnic. Leonardo is impressed with how Venus de Milo has somehow prepared eggs but is grossed out when Venus informs him that the eggs came from pigeons.
  • In an episode of One Day at a Time, Ann is mixing a bowl of what looks like cake batter. Barbara enters the kitchen, dips her finger in the bowl, and takes a taste. Finding what she ate delicious, she asks Ann what's in the bowl. Ann's reply: "A facial."
  • Operation Ouch: During a segment on diarrhea, Xand takes a swig from he thinks is a chocolate milkshake. Chris then asks him what he's doing with his spare diarrhea sample.
  • In Power Rangers RPM, Ziggy starts eating the pink goop Gem and Gemma cook up before being told it's plastic explosives.
  • Reba: In the sixth-season episode "Trading Spaces", when Kyra informs Barbra Jean of her decision to move back to Reba's residence, Barbra Jean, shocked by the news, reacts by wiping the kitchen counter in an attempt to distract herself and appear calm, unaware that she's using her rice cake to do so (with cleaning solution applied to it). Imagine her surprise when she takes a bite into her rice cake, with cleaning solution and all, after Kyra leaves...
  • Kryten's wine brewed from urine recyc in Red Dwarf qualifies, In a deleted scene, he claims it's "margaritas" to get the unsuspecting crew to drink it. The taste and foam mustache gives it away almost immediately though.
    • Lister ends up on the receiving end of this trope a number of times as the Dwarf's supplies run low. Such as in the second season premiere when Holly informs him that they ran out of cow milk a while ago and switched to the emergency backup supply, dog's milk.
    • In the series 10 episode "Lemons", Lister finds what he takes to be a handful of random cuts of meat in a freezer near Kryten's quarters and starts cooking them up - only to have them stolen by Cat. Later, Kryten is trying to convince the crew he's qualified to perform a medical procedure on Jesus, he mentions removing various diseased organs from Lister, which he kept in the freezer by his quarters for some inexplicable reason. Cat's reaction is surprisingly understated.
  • In Roots (1977), an elderly Kizzy runs into her old childhood friend Missy Anne Reynolds. Missy Anne doesn't recognize her, and when questioned, reveals she didn't really think much of Kizzy. Annoyed, Kizzy spits in the water she serves her and smiles when Missy Anne drinks it without noticing.
  • Sale of the Century: Jim Perry is fooled into eating shaving cream in one episode.
  • A serious example from Scream Queens (2015). One of the patients in Season 2 has Kuru, an incurable disease they contracted after accidentally engaging in funerary cannibalism while traveling in Papua New Guinea. They came to the hospital specifically in the hopes they'll be cured. Or rather, Dean Munsch bought the hospital...
  • Schitt's Creek has David Rose making a heartfelt plea on behalf of his sister, who is in love with Kindly Vet Ted. Before leaving Ted's office, David grabs a cookie off reception desk as a thank you and takes a bite.
    Ted: That's a dog treat?
    David: It looks like a real treat! What am I gonna do now?
  • Shooting Stars:
    • In one episode Bob takes a bite of a scotch egg being used to illustrate the question "what is a scotch egg made from?" only for Vic to reveal that the correct answer is "egg, sausage meat and dog-dirt surround and breadcrumbs" causing him to spit it out with protestations of "Why do you always cook with dog-dirt Vic" "Because I like to, I like it like that."
    • In a different episode Vic and Bob challenge Ulrika Johnson to a speed bitter drinking challenge but after she finds that it tastes revolting Vic reveals that they wouldn't serve him beer at the off-license because he's "too young" and so he got "beer-shampoo" instead. Vic then proceeds to drink some himself to show that it's fine but starts foaming at the mouth.
  • Space Cases gives us a more comedic example, though we never find out what the mystery substance is. The Christa is stranded on a planet and three of the cast are sitting around a fire, where the following exchange occurs.
    Harlan: Ugh! What is that?
    Bova: Don't know. I found it over there. On the ground.
    Harlan: ... Why are you cooking something that's not even food?
    Bova: Why are you eating something that's not even food?
  • In one episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, Trip and Archer happily ate food down on an alien planet before learning the food they liked so much was "essence of male".
  • Star Trek: Voyager. In part 2 of "Year of Hell", Annorax has his galley make a meal for Chakotay and Tom Paris. They seem to enjoy the food until they find out where it came from. Each dish that Annorax has had prepared is the last remnants of a civilization he has completely removed from history with his temporal weapon. There are about 20 different items on the table, showing the scale of what he has done. Chakotay and Paris' horror is palpable.
    Annorax: This bottle is the only component left of the once powerful Malkoth race. Everything else about them, cities, culture, the very species itself never existed, because of me. Every dish you see here comes from a civilisation that has been erased from time. Mister Paris, you're devouring the last remnants of the Alsuran Empire.
  • In the Supergirl episode "The Darkest Place", the main characters are eating at a bar run by, and catering for, aliens living on Earth. When Winn remarks that the place does good chicken, Kara asks him if he's sure it's chicken. Winn shoots her a worried look, but it's clear she's joking.
  • Supernatural: The guys discover a town where everyone, Dean included, has become completely stoned. After one of Dean's many Turducken sandwiches deflates into a pile of grey goop, Bobby and Sam determine that the general stupidity in the town is caused by the recent Turducken craze.
    Dean: If I wasn't so chilled out right now, I would puke.
  • Similar to the Honeymooners example, an episode of Three's Company had Mr. Roper eat some dog food he mistook for a stew Jack had whipped up. He reported it was much better than his wife's cooking and asked Jack to give her the recipe.
  • The syndicated To Tell the Truth featured a segment where the celebrity panel partook of some prepared delicacies that host Garry Moore describes to them. While the panel are eating, they are informed that the dishes were specially prepared—for pets. Seen here.
  • Subverted in an episode of Trailer Park Boys, when Bubbles falsely tells Barb Lahey that the hot dog she is eating (home-made by Sam Losco) had been 'licked by cats', in order to ruin Sam's date with Barb.
  • In Yes, Dear, Jimmy starts eats a bite of homemade play-dough. After finding out what it is, he asks if it could hurt him, and when told it couldn't, continues eating. Another time he tastes 'yogurt' that is actually Apricot Face Scrub. This time, he doesn't bother to ask if it's safe before he continues eating.
  • You're Skitting Me: In one of the 'Bear Cub' sketches, Jeremy is doing work experience in an office and serves a teapot full of his urine to a meeting in the boardroom.


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