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Lethal Chef / Video Games

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  • In Adventure Bar Story and its sequel, Adventure Bar Labyrinth, Kamerina is a terrible cook, so her sister Siela (the main character of the first game, who can whip up almost anything you ask her to) asks her to man the front desk and stay out of the kitchen.
  • In Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Shaun spends his time undercover in Abstergo Entertainment as a barista. One of the employees, Jennifer Tam, disappears for a couple weeks which scares her coworker. Turns out it's The Food Poisoning Incident, that she blames on Shaun's coffee. In Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, Rebecca confirms in the logs that he can't make coffee for shit.
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  • Linca from Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk spent most of her life training to be a swordsman, but her awesome sword skills come at the expense of almost everything else, especially cooking. In a Side Quest where Ayesha teaches her the basics of cooking, Linca somehow manages to turn a simple egg into a clump of dirt with a flag on it. She misinterprets the lessons she learned from Ayesha and winds up getting Marion (the woman Linca is bodyguarding) sick.
  • BlazBlue:
    • Noel Vermillion is an awful cook. The poor girl actually loves to cook and pours her heart and soul into every dish she makes, but her sense of taste and smell are so hideously bad that even the resident Eldritch Abomination is knocked unconscious by her food. The only two people capable of eating her food are Hazama (Rule of Funny) and Remix Heart character Mai Natsume, who tastes the "love" that Noel put into her food (which later becomes a recurring gag that she adores eating her food). Bang decided to eat her cooking despite its unpleasant appearance. He exploded.
      (Description of Noel's cooking): "What that 'something' was defied description. It didn't sit on the plate so much as squat malevolently, hating all and being hated by all..."
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    • A short story about pre-Terumi Ragna and Jin reveals that Saya is one as well. Her attempt at making raspberry jelly did the same thing to Ragna that Noel's cooking did in the aforementioned gag reel. And by the way, Noel is something of a clone of Saya, which probably explains her terrible cooking.
    • In Ragna's Gag Reel in Centralfiction (in which he's wearing the Spectacles of Eros yet again, so everyone tries to woo him Through His Stomach), it's revealed that Izanami is this as well, but since she's a goddess of death who genuinely thinks Death is a great thing that everyone should have, she makes her food lethal on purpose and sabotaged everyone else's food with hers. Also, her Literal Split Personality relation to Noel means even Mai can't tell their cooking apart.
    • The gag continues in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, with post-combat commentary showing Ragna and Makoto turning Noel down whenever she offers to whip something up for them. Also, the Persona 4 girls are all playable, meaning we could see something hideous... or hideously hilarious. Such as some curry made by Platinum, Yukiko and Noel in Episode UNIB. At least Yukiko is aware of the horror, but Noel is as clueless as ever. And then there's Hyde's description of said curry...
      Hyde: (The pressure coursing out of this dish... It's as if the Hollow Night was simmered in a pot and served up on a plate...)
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    • Labrys from the Episode Extra expansion shows a variation. She made a drink that looked perfectly fine... but when Yosuke tried it, the taste was absolutely vile. Some of the ingredients she added included ketchup and condensed milk.
    • Aigis is no different, making something that already looked absolutely inedible, even before it exploded when another liquid was added. Aigis assumed that looks didn't matter and wanted to make an 'impact' with her beverage.
  • Bravely Default: Edea Lee seems to have taken cooking ideas from Raine Sage of Tales of Symphonia. A party chat after Sage Yulyana asks her to cook him a meal has her listing a few... unpleasant ideas. A party chat after she caves in and makes him something reveals he left it for a dog. Who left it for a cat. Who left it for a crow. As of Bravely Second, she's been taking cooking lessons from Argent Heinkel, and this trope no longer applies.
  • Edna from Bully and her meals are disgusting. At best, she's smoking cigarettes over your typical Mystery Meat meals, and at worst, she's coughing and sneezing into rancid meat on purpose.
  • Aeon the chef in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is initially presented as this (his longest engagement was for three weeks), but in the end he makes up for a subversion, since he CAN cook good meals (his miniquests unlock two of the best healing items in the game), he's just too much of a ditz to actually care for his customers or the taste of his food. He still acknowledges his faults and promises to become a better chef, though.
  • The Servant/ Nagito Komaeda in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls tries to cook for the Warriors of Hope, making things like milkshakes out of rendered fat and sugar and a cake made of nothing but whipped cream and pinecones. Understandably, they're grossed out.
  • Deadly Premonition has Emily and her unappetizing but earnest "Nice Try!" cooking, although it is heavily implied that her food is much worse than York tries to put it. In fact, it seems she is completely inept at cooking in general, as indicated by the large scorch mark in her kitchen (which Emily attributes to a towel landing in a frying pan... while she was reaching for the mayonnaise), her food being described as "unfit for anything with less than four legs," and York's joke about how Emily's composter appears to be illegal dumping of industrial waste. There is even an in-game item, "Emily's Bagel Sandwich," which recovers some health and energy at first, but causes both to drop like a rock later. Several side quests involve York helping Emily improve her cooking by bringing her ingredients (but even then does it turn out how far off the mark her cooking is).
    Emily: ...enough. But how did you know that cheese was the answer?
    York: I was looking at the ingredients, and it hit me. Milk, macaroni, flour, butter... you were trying to make "Macaroni and Cheese", right?
    Emily: [Irritated] Macaroni and Cheese...? Of course not! It's "Italian Beef Stew!"
    York: ...Zach, have you ever heard of a beef stew with no beef in it? I certainly haven't... at least not until today.
  • Antoine from Dead Rising 2 is a LITERAL Lethal Chef. After going mad since his interviewer came late (actually dead), he decided to cook up a meal for him/her using human meat. Right after explaining this to you, he goes batshit crazy, starts throwing knives, plates, frying pans, and even attempts to choke you by forcing an apple into your mouth. Later, he dies by slipping and falling face-first into a pot of extremely hot oil.
  • It's a Running Gag in Dragalia Lost's omake, Dragalia Life, that no matter how much of a proud, dedicated knight Leif is, his cooking leaves very little to be desired to the point he, as well as his Number Two Patia are immune to his food.
  • Alistair of Dragon Age: Origins. One of the first things he asks when Lady of Black Magic Morrigan joins the team is "Can you cook?" When she looks less than happy, he explains that his cooking will kill the entire party.
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse has the Supreme Kai of Time. When she offers to cook a banquet for the heroes after the events of the GT Saga DLC, Trunks has to warn the Player Character that her cooking is more destructive than any Shadow Dragon, with Tokitoki flying as far away from the building where the Supreme Kai of Time is cooking, which gives off a menacing glow like the ones possessed warriors give off. In the sequel, we actually see the effects of her cooking when she offers her homemade pudding to Beerus who then shares it with Goku. The pudding nearly poisons Goku and Beerus hates it so much that he goes on a rampage, forcing the player character to stop him.
  • Chef Nanor from Dungeon of the Endless. While he is able to cook well to support his teammates, he also has a skill where he cooks something so bad that the gas deals Damage Over Time to all enemies in the dungeon while also making them have a higher chance of dropping Dust.
  • Enchanted Arms gives us Karin's "special stew" just the sight of which causes other characters react with shock and horror (it's hidden with a mosaic censor even!) and after Atsuma just tasted it he blacked out and believed he had died. See the 5:30 mark here
  • Tetora from Ensemble Stars! is terrible at cooking and without fail burns the meat every time, which he's rather upset about - since his parents work early in the morning, Kuro often makes bento boxes for him instead, and Tetora would really like to repay him some time. The story Cooking gives a bit of justification for it: he got food poisoning from undercooked meat when he was younger, so now he's always paranoid that his food will be too raw unless he cooks it to a crisp.
  • In Evolution Worlds, Gre Nade can use his food as a special attack. It damages the enemies and chops their stats.
  • A dropship conversation in Evolve reveals that Hank has cooked grilled canyon eel. This wouldn't be so bad, except for how it was still alive when served.
    • Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia: Aurica is the Less-Than-Lethal version, as though her cooking looks strange, but it actually tastes quite good. At least, that's what Lyner said (though BBQ Soda just sounds weird).
    • Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica: Luca Trulyworth is a more conventional example. Some of her crimes against food include a dish that knocks out two residents of her own Cosmosphere, two food-based Song Magics (one consisting of flinging food at the enemy, the other a food bomb), a horrendous "Trulyworthit Soup" which still has fish bones and seaweed sticking out of it, and her "Chalonde Trois" which looks somewhat like something from the mind of Lovecraft.
  • Tomoe Gozen from Fate/Grand Order, to the point where Beni-enma calls her out on it (her logic when cooking goes like this: "if the directions say to heat a dish for 20 minutes over low heat, I can cut the time in half by going for 10 minutes over high heat!", and the results are often neither pretty nor palatable.)
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy XII:
      • One of the chop sidequests in Archades involves matching up a dangerously experimental chef with a bored philosopher of cuisine.
      • The direct sequel Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings reveals that Penelo's cooking is to be feared, though she genuinely tries to get better. Vaan seems to be the only person that likes it, though once she improves, he admits he did it by gulping the food down without giving himself a chance to taste it. Several sidequests revolve around getting rare ingredients in an attempt to help Penelo make edible dishes. By the time you complete them all, she's actually improved to the point that unbiased parties think she's pretty good.
    • Final Fantasy XV: Implied, if not outright stated, to apply to everyone in the party except Ignis. Gladiolus' Trademark Favourite Food is a cup of instant ramen, and some campsite scenes have Prompto approaching Ignis at the barbecue and being told to go away. Ignis will occasionally ask Noctis to help with breakfast, whereupon he gets a simple task like stirring a pot or chopping vegetables; dialogue in one of these scenes reveals that the last time Noctis cooked was at a part-time job in high school, "but even then [he] was just winging it." If the party camps during Chapter 10 after Ignis loses his eyesight, the only meal options are a cold food tin or the aforementioned instant ramen; the food tin is unique to this chapter, whereas other food options in previous chapters include fried eggs, various sandwiches, and bread toasted over the campfire.
      Iris: So Ignis, you're the one doing all the cooking?
      Ignis: More or less.
      Iris: Gladdy, don't you help?
      Gladiolus: (awkward grumble)
      Iris: Noct?
      Noctis: Er, on occasion.
      Ignis: What occasion?
      Prompto: I do my part! I always set the table.
      Iris: That's some arrangement you guys have, there.
  • Fire Emblem gives us many of these:
    • According to her supports, Larum the Dancer from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.
    • Also Tanith from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.
    • Kris from Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem has the tendency to make food that literally tastes like steel, as shown in his/her supports with Caeda (where they apparently somehow make steel-flavored candy, and they mention that their adoptive grandfather threatened to disown them when they wished to cook for him). Though if the item "Kris's Confect" in Awakening is any indication, they do get better eventually.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening:
      • Prince Chrom, who basically knocks out his rival Vaike with his horrible food.
      • Chrom's little sister Lissa is no better; she attempts to cook for Kellam... and he passes out as well.
      • The Avatar, AKA Robin, can flip-flop between this and Supreme Chef, though s/he is mostly remembered as a pretty bad one. (Panne and Nah are the only ones who straighforwardly like his/her cooking.) However, if their supports with Nowi and Severa are anything to go by, they do improve eventually.
      • Sully is infamous for being this (it's even mentioned in her description on her character roster) and unfortunately passed it down to her daughter Kjelle, who manages to knock out the army with her attempt at breakfast. In fact, Sully and Kjelle are so bad at this that Sully's husband had to learn how to cook just so he could have edible food (also mentioned in Kjelle's dad supports).
      • Severa herself claims not to be good at the kitchen either, as she explains to her mother Cordelia in their supports. When she gives any of her boyfriends a cake that she baked as a gift, she tells him "Don't you dare complain about the taste!" If her Older and Wiser self Selena from Fates is an indication, however, she also improved with time.
    • Fire Emblem Fates:
      • The player can build a restaurant in their castle, in which a random one of the units will do the honors of preparing stat-boosting food for the army. While most of them are at least passable chefs, a couple are terrible at it to the point where their cooking can even impact the other characters' stats negatively. Among them are Arthur (absurdly unlucky), Setsuna (too air-headed and a Sheltered Aristocrat so she's never cooked before, plus apparently has a tendency of throwing random stuff together), Keaton (a werewolf with extremely strange tastes), Rinkah (doesn't understand cooking beyond "Throw something on a fire"), Reina (not really good at "feminine tasks" by her own admission plus, she's estranged from her noble parents who wanted her to be a traditional bride, cooking included), Felicia (extremely accident-prone), Hinoka (a Tomboy Princess who, like Reina, is simply not good at "traditionally girly" things), and Velouria (Keaton's daughter, taught to cook by him of all people, and also has Werewolf-like tastes rather than human'snote ).
      • Rinkah is an interesting example in that she manages to make some vegetables that Hayato actually likes in their supports by adding good spices into them; either she's one of the characters who gets better over time, or she has a few dishes she's actually decent at.
      • It seems that this is a Running Gag for avatar characters, as Fates's Avatar, AKA Corrin, cooks food that literally tastes like steel... yet again. And it seems that they are even worse than the previous two, as they manage to burn tea. (This is actually fairly easy to do, if you're making tea the old-fashioned pot-and-leaves way and not with modern teabags, and the taste is very noticeable.)
    • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia:
      • Zeke's girlfriend Tatiana is this, though mostly out of clumsiness rather than lack of actual skill. She admits to Alm that at least once she forgot the loaves of bread that she was baking for the clerics of the monastery she works for and burned them. (The clerics at least ate them, however.)
      • Yuzu, one of the Cipher canon foreigners, isn't much better. Her ration balls are perfectly nutritious but taste awful, and when her friend Shade suggests that Yuzu adjust the recipe to improve the flavor, she keeps them the exact same but puts a clashing sauce made from oranges on top.
    • Annette from Fire Emblem: Three Houses spends a lot of time trying to cook. Trying being the keyword. She's caused at least one explosion in the kitchen during the night. Even her paired ending with Byleth has accounts where she still makes explosions in the kitchen while he has to save her. She's also one of the few characters with penalties towards cooking.
  • Genshin Impact:
    • Doing poorly enough in the cooking minigame will yield a "Suspicious" version of the dish. They're the inverse of foods with the "Delicious" quality, having reduced effects and unappetizing descriptions. Hu Tao's utility passive gives her a chance to make a Suspicious duplicate of any dish she cooks perfectly; the only reason you'd ever even use her over any character whose passive gives a chance to duplicate Delicious foods is that the proc rate on Hu Tao's passive is slightly higher in case you're fine with sacrificing quality for quantity, and it applies to all foods instead of just one category. Completing Ella Musk's commissions to communicate with hilichurls can also reward you with Suspicious foods, painting the race as this.
    • Every character barring the Traveler has a chance of making a specialty version of a certain dish when assigned to cooking it. Amber's specialty when assigned to make a steak is to make an "Outrider's Champion Steak!", the description for which says that it's uncooked on one side and burnt on the other and that you should just eat it to make her happy, though its healing effects are still slightly better than that of a regular Delicious Steak.
    • Diona is a bartender who actually despises alcohol and wants to drive people away from it, so she tries to be this with her drinks, only for the people who sample the Gargle Blasters she comes up with to end up liking them.
  • Katalina from Granblue Fantasy is constantly trying to provide good food for her crew but is completely oblivious to how awful it is; even Lyria and her Yandere admirer won't eat them. She even causes a kitchen to explode in the anime adaptation. During the April Fool's event, Ferry even attempts to change the topic when Jin mentioned Katalina's cooking. The only one who eats it in earnest is Milla and that's only because she views it as a training exercise to test her endurance. Her dishes have been given descriptions like ominous purple goop, her Valentine's chocolate is a slimy, half-cooked mess and the food's smell either angers monsters or wards them away from the ship. But despite all this, Katalina still somehow believes that it's great and everyone should at least have a bite.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • Karen from the Mineral Town saga is one of those, which doesn't stop her from entering the cooking contest every year.
    • Maya, the waitress from Tree of Tranquility knows fine cuisine when she smells it (and really digs guys who can cook), but she's very bad at making it herself.
    • Nami and Flora are both these in DS/Cute. Flora can cook curry and only curry.
    • In Harvest Moon 64 Ann was a horrible cook. Ironically in her Mineral Town retool she was upgraded to a Supreme Chef. All post-64 appearances use the latter interpretation.
    • Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns has both Carrie and Alma, whose meals literally put people in the hospital with such ingredients as sand and mud. It's justified for Alma, since she's a little girl who hasn't had the opportunity to learn how to cook yet.
  • Natsumi in Inazuma Eleven, being an Ojou, had hired help to cook for her, so she had no culinary experience whatsoever. On her first attempt at making food, the result looked normal, but it made Endou turn blue and sweat profusely when he ate it. In spite of the fact that Aki and Haruna were both walking her through it. And the fact that she was trying to make onigiri - the recipe for which is basically "add salt to rice, wad it around whatever filling you want, and wrap it in a piece of nori". Inazuma Eleven GO shows that ten years later, she had learned how to make food that looks delicious... but it still tastes terrible.
  • In Jade Empire, the main character meets a Lethal Chef named Chai Jin. If you can eat three courses without passing out, each of which actually damages one of your precious health bars, he will reward you... or offer you the chance to go even further, with a truly vile dish he won't even try himself. If you do manage to eat all of his cooking, you are rewarded with a substantial boost to your stats. If you then convince him to try the final dish himself, he drops dead on the spot.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask: Anju's cooking is so bad that it's implied that her grandmother fakes senility just to avoid eating it.
      Granny's diary: It was my granddaughter who cooked again today. Putting that to the lips shortens the life! I thought of a way to get by without eating. I'll try it tomorrow. I just hope I'm not caught.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Coro's cooking is... a gamble, to put it nicely. His Nasty Soup has a random effect upon consumption. Best case scenario, you gain a single heart. Worst case scenario, it drains your health to a quarter of a heart.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Link's main method of recovering hearts is based around foraging the wilds for fruits, vegetables, herbs and meat, and cooking them into various meals. Of course, a bad combination results in Dubious Food, a dish so bad that it's Censored for Comedy, and Link visibly has trouble keeping it down. Additionally, using gems and ores results in Rock-Hard Food, a staple of Goron cuisine which Link nearly breaks his teeth on.
  • If you lose at the 'intern' level of Life: the Game, you will accidentally make your boss sick from the coffee you failed to make properly, so much so that you get imprisoned for attempted murder.
  • Luminous Arc 2: Judging from Roland's reactions, Rina was one, when he's subjected to her cooking in her Intermissions. At one point, she use salt instead of sugar for her cookies. She's actually a rather tragic case; it's implied she can't learn because cooking necessitates being near fire, which she is deathly afraid of.
  • Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis:
    • The Vice-Principal, during a School Festival, volunteered herself to work in a restaurant booth. The results were not pretty that the students were practically begging for the Principal to replace the Vice-Principal's cooking.
    • In an optional scene Jess offers Vayne a bite of her lunch, which is covered in a purple sauce that moves. Given Jess's idea of "medicine," saying no was probably a wise move.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2 zig-zags the trope by presenting us with Normandy chef Mess Sergeant Rupert Gardner. According to the crew talk when you first come aboard, Gardner is the worst chef ever. Then you actually talk to the guy, and find out he's actually quite good, it's his ingredients that are bad. A quick pit stop at the Citadel can remedy this situation.
      Hawthorne: Hey Rupert, new food is great! Tastes like you added more food, less ass!
    • Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC: Kaidan offers to cook something, and Shepard worries that s/he survived Sovereign, the Collector Base, plus everything else during the course of the series, and can't believe that the one thing that will really off him/her is Kaidan's cooking. Later, Shepard can point out that the meal was actually pretty good, or that s/he was teasing Kaidan about how sensitive he is. Shepard is much nicer if s/he is in a relationship with Kaidan.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid 2, according to Raiden, Rosemary is one of these. He gives a sigh of relief when he convinces her to book a reservation to a restaurant instead of cooking on their special day, visibly cringing in the CODEC screens when she brings the subject up. And even confides to Snake that rations taste better than her food! This is referenced in the fourth game. Her food still tastes terrible.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3, the Soviet chefs responsible for creating the Russian rations were absolutely terrible cooks, as the rations were very bad tasting, and doesn't even do moderate stamina recovery. Heck, even the dogs refuse to eat them if thrown to them.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4, Sunny loves to cook eggs, but she always ends up burning them, and both Otacon and Snake, the latter a former Green Beret, are always coming up with excuses not to eat them. Thanks to Naomi, she gets better at it.
  • Yonah, NieR's Ill Daughter, has tendencies of this and Cordon Bleugh Chef, mixing the most diverse ingredients into noxious meals that only her father would willingly (and lovingly) consume —even if he's thinking to himself how they "taste like death."
  • In Nights of Azure, you will find a mysterious and horrible-looking cupcake on the table in the hotel lobby. It's later revealed to be made by Lilysse, with Arnice finding out from both Lloyd & Alucard's experience that her food is not to be consumed unless you have a death wish. It becomes a Running Gag throughout the game as everyone tries to come up with excuses to avoid eating Lilysse's cupcake or whatever she intends to cook.
  • Zig-zagged with Berune Orenji of Omega Labyrinth Life. She has questionable cooking skills, as the one time we see her in the kitchen, she's dropping every single ingredient, flavour, and spice she can get her hands on, creating a mess that's only barely edible. However, it still instantly cures Juri of the cold that was threatening to set in, and can cure all status effects when used in the dungeon.
  • Persona:
    • One of the Persona 3 Social Links involves Fuuka "Tank, I need an exit" Yamagishi, who recruits the main character to taste test her food. The level of Courage the protagonist requires for this is literally titled "Badass" — her cooking is foul enough to chase off nearby animals. On the other hand, as you hang out with her, her cooking gradually improves. As Shinjiro points out, Fuuka's failure in cooking lies in her tendency to not prepare in advance and to try to deviate from the recipe without first understanding the basics, and then panic and further compound her mistakes as a result. For instance, when making chocolate truffles, if the recipe asks for one teaspoon of liqueur, she adds a cup on the basis that she wants a bigger portion to share with everyone. Which is a moot point, since she mistakenly used vinegar...
    • Persona 4:
      • Three of the main girls have very questionable cooking abilities, ranging from Rise (would be fine if her food wasn't way too spicy), Yukiko (who can make an omelet that, through a process that can only be described as alchemical, has no taste at all) and Chie (just plain awful). Ironically, out of the four females in the main cast, only the Bokukko Naoto could be considered a competent chef (and even with her help, it took the girls three tries to come up with a cake that was deemed suitable for consumption).
      • When Chie and Yukiko combine their powers, the result is dubbed "Mystery Food X" and manage to take out both the main male leads in one spoonful (Persona 4: The Animation implies that they put thick starch, three different kinds of pepper, kimchi, and soy milk into it). Mystery Food X returns in Persona 4: Arena, and grabbing it will grant you the Poison status... and a trophy too. It also returns in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, and it still poisons anyone who eats it... except for Mai, since her favorite food is Noel Vermillion's cooking. She even gets healed when she eats it!
      • In Persona 4 Golden, poor Nanako tries to make homemade chocolate for her "Big Bro" on Valentines Day. Normally she averts this trope as she's too young to cook, though she can make eggs sunny-side-up just fine, and normally takes care of the household despite her age. However, on this endeavor... she goes to Chie, Yukiko & Rise for pointers, and finishes it before Naoto could help. The resulting concoction is so vile that it puts "Mystery Food X" to shame; it actually appears to inflict the "Fear" status when you eat it, and looks like a miniature version of the Foul clan Black Ooze demon from the main Shin Megami Tensei series.
      • Also from P4 Golden, Marie shows up to offer her own Valentine's Day chocolate to the main character just minutes before he runs into Nanako. She has never cooked anything before and she could only use whatever she could find inside the Velvet Room limousine, but still created something that a) smells through the gift-wrapped box, b) is still moving, c) will melt if you let it, d) will run away if it melts, e) actually tastes normal and is incredibly addictive, and f) continues to move in your stomach after being eaten.
      • Even the main character Yu Narukami, who's normally a Supreme Chef, can be this if you're not paying attention — which can happen easily enough, since most of the dishes you're asked to prepare are Japanese cuisine which might be unfamiliar to a Western audience. If you mess up, then choose to share your cooking with a school friend during lunch, almost all of them are offended and call you out on it... except Yukiko, who thinks it's hilarious and actually rewards you with points towards her S.Link.
    • Yukiko's Joke Ending in Persona 4: Arena features her not only taking out Yu Narukami with her cooking by force-feeding him, but she pushes it on her friends as well when they show up. Their expressions (and a very ill looking Yu in the background) says it all.
    • The gag is continued in Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth if you choose the Investigation Team's path. By combining the cooking of Chie, Yukiko, Rise, and Fuuka after either she came up with that idea or through Yu's suggestion (depending on what the player chooses), Naoto manages to make an arrow that manages to kill an absurdly powerful FOE in one shot and left Kanji barely alive when he accidentally got shot by said arrow. Mitsuru even wants to take it to a lab to analyze it for weapons development. The mere sight of it burns one's eyes and being in proximity of it can knock a Big Eater like Rei out.
      • Once again, Yosuke turns to the protagonist of either path to salvage a hot pot that's being prepared by the above girls in a sidequest. It takes the advice of local Supreme Chef Shinjiro to make it edible (or amazing, if you pick the right ingredient combination), much to Yosuke's delight. Then, the girls chime in to show they've prepared dipping sauces, each with its own horrific description:

        1: Yukiko has prepared a fish guts sauce that is... pungent, to say the least.
        2: Chie has prepared an extremely greasy sauce out of beef fat better used as a mirror than a foodstuff.
        3: Rise has prepared a sauce that is apparently pure capsaicin, which stings poor Yosuke's eyes before it can set his mouth on fire.
        4: Fuuka, for some reason, has prepared a jam sauce designed to make the savory hot pot double as dessert, which Yosuke finds disgustingly sweet.
      • In SEES's path, during the trip through the Evil Spirit Club, Yukiko hands Rei one of a catastrophically botched batch of cocoa cookies which Rei, being Rei, enjoys at first, but which the normally fearless protagonist is absolutely terrified of eating. This incarnation of Mystery Food X is bad enough to cause Rei (who, as it later turns out, is a Cute Ghost Girl) to keel over and have a bizarre nightmare or Mushroom Samba involving being force-fed sand, and it also makes Zen (an aspect of Chronos, embodiment of death) pass out standing up. Given what Zen and Rei actually are, it's a good thing no-one else ate them, because the cookies were likely genuinely toxic.
    • Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth features an interesting twist on Yukiko's and Chie's cooking disasters. During the trek through Junessic Land, the group cooks an enormous slab of meat to use as bait for a dinosaur FOE; the girls are sent to forage for garnish because Yosuke knows Chie and Yukiko can't be trusted with cooking. When the girls return, most of them have found reasonable ingredients, including the large dinosaur egg Chie found and matsutake mushrooms that the P3 female protagonist found and the Phantom Thieves harvested, but Yukiko has found a pitcher plant which is introduced with a screaming sound effect and "Psycho" Strings. The mushrooms are used with the meat and work well, but Yukiko and Chie create a bizarre jungle sauce out of the egg white, herbs, and pitcher plant and seemingly ruin the bait by slapping the sauce on it. By some inexplicable miracle, the sauce, which would have been, as Yosuke put it, "eggy, grassy slime" on its own, turns out to taste delicious with the meat. Doesn't make Yosuke willing to bring the jungle sauce back or happy that Yukiko and Chie nearly ruined the bait, though.
    • Prior to Persona 3 and 4, it's implied that Maya Amano from Persona 2 is an awful chef to the point that her roommate Ulala does most of the cooking. To supplement this, Maya's fridge is loaded with canned crab.
  • Jean Armstrong of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations has a tendency to make the most basic-looking dishes taste terrible. He can't even get coffee right.
    Armstrong: Suddenly I find myself so deep in la debt. It is a sign of la bad, bad world we live in, uh?
    Phoenix: (No, I'd say it's more of a sign of la bad, bad culinary skills...)
  • In Phoenotopia, the scientists in Fran's lab give you "Food?", which takes away health points if you eat it, once or twice in exchange for moonstones. They lampshade this by mentioning that no one in the lab knows how to cook.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokéblocks in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire have two integers that tell you exactly how much of a Lethal Chef you are; level (which tells you how palatable the flavor is), and feel (which amounts to how easily it goes down), with higher numbers being worse.
    • Poffins in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl are a little harder to mess up, but if you spill the batter too much, or don't stir it enough to avoid burning it, you end up with a Foul Poffin, which completely disregards the flavor and effect of the Berries you added to the pot.
    • In Pokémon Sword and Shield, if you botch the curry-making mini-game, your curry will be smoking when it's dished up, and your player character and Pokémon will reluctantly chow down on the Koffing-class curry with a look of absolute disgust.
  • Portal:
    • While never actually shown baking, one of GLaDOS's cores lists a cake recipe near the end of the first game that includes such ingredients as solid waste, dirt, volatile organic compounds, rhubarb "on fire", needle guns, and preservatives intended to "deodorize and preserve putrid tissue." Funnily enough, if you take out the inedible stuff, you have the recipe for a pretty decent Black Forest cake.
    • Portal 2 features three different types of gels. Blue Repulsion Gel acts like a trampoline, orange Propulsion Gel causes you to run incredibly fast, and white Conversion Gel acts like a portal surface. Sounds neat, until you discover that these gels were originally meant to be diet puddings, sticking to the digestive tract and either bouncing the food back out the way it came or propelling it through the body so fast there'd be no time to actually digest any of it.
  • According to one still shown during the credits of Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Flora may be this.
  • During the events of Quest for Glory V the Hero stays at Gnome Ann's inn, whose cook staff have a bad tendency to get into fights in the kitchen, with the disgusting results being served to the Hero that night. At one point the cooks get the day off and the Hero just gets mac and cheese for dinner, and the narration remarks that it's either the best meal he's ever had, or he's been staying at the inn for way too long.
  • Noel's aforementioned lack of skill carries over to fan game Rakenzarn Tales, where she drags first-time chef Dark Magician Girl into it. The rest of the brigade is terrified of having her cooking and Kanon refers to it as "life-threatening". It's best shown at the start of Chapter 9 where the two try making cream soup. The end result is Kyuu running screaming for the bathroom to throw up while Kite and Kanon faint from it. Apparently, they didn't know when to stop with adding the spices.
  • Religious Idle: The battle with shinto involves a cooking contest against Iron Chef. You both make horrible food which makes the judges ill, but one of your zealots bribed the judges and you win.
  • Ruina: Fairy Tale of the Forgotten Ruins: While many characters can learn the Cooking skill, some like Melodarke and Fran have a higher chance of making failure dishes. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it's possible to use failure dishes as attack items in battle.
  • Vishnal from Rune Factory 4 should not be allowed anywhere near a kitchen. Ever. This is problematic, as he aspires to be a butler and believes a butler should be able to do anything for his master, including cook. Forte, the female knight is also an example, but she acknowledges that her cooking it lethal, and uses the lethal concoctions in battle.
  • One of the Logar village quests in Runes of Magic involves fetching beetle guts so that this woman named Gil can make soup. When you deliver said soup to her love interest Del in the following quest, he comments that it took him three days to recover from her bear-eye wine.
  • At Stinky's Diner in Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space, Stinky takes great pride in his cultivated talent for producing revoltingly unpalatable foods, and his granddaughter shares his gifts. Sam and Max don't actually eat there, they just order the most implausible things they can think of.
    Sam: We'd like to waste time by ordering stuff you don't have.
    Stinky: Knock yourselves out.
    Sam: Crab and salamander enchiladas in green sauce.
    Stinky: [yelling to the kitchen door] Sal, I want Lou Dobbs and Greta Van Sustern doing double-dutch on the back of a rogue elephant!
    Sam: Chicken chow mein with chocolate covered raisins and a caramel swirl.
    Stinky: [shouting] Sal, get me a hyperactive spider monkey in a powder-blue cardigan. And why don't we go ahead and wrestle him to the ground and tickle him until he pees.
    Max: I have got to see what goes on in this kitchen!
  • Scarlet Nexus has Kyoka Eden, whose cooking is really bad to the point where a single bite can knock somebody out. Anything she cooks is also covered with a Censor Box, which is normally used to censor corpses decapitated by Others.
  • Senran Kagura gives us Ikaruga. She has a habit of combining ingredients and whole dishes in ways that make no sense (in one skit she combines all four of her squadmates' choices to make something everyone will like), and her own favourite food is hornet larvae boiled in soy sauce. In a subversion, she actually knows exactly what she's doing and everything she makes is delicious, just unappealing on the plate.
  • Swampling in Simon the Sorcerer and his trademark Swampling Stew. Somehow, he manages to make a franchise out of it by the second game.
  • The Sims:
    • In all installments of the series, any Sim with 0 points in the Cooking skill will set the stove on fire sooner or later. And if you don't have a smoke alarm, there's a pretty good chance of the fire burning down the house (or as close as game mechanics allow, since the walls won't burn) and killing the entire family, since Sims' default reaction to fire is running right up to it and panicking.
      • However, this can be subverted in The Sims 2 if the Apartment Life expansion pack is installed. If the Sims are living on an apartment lot, they'll automatically go wait by the mailbox until the fire department comes.
      • In The Sims 4, it is much harder for the player to intentionally start fires, and death by fire can be avoided entirely if the player places a sprinkler system in the house. However, this doesn't stop Sims from cooking burnt or putrid dishes.
    • In both The Sims 2 and The Sims 3, any Sim's attempts to cook on a grill placed indoors results in it automatically catching fire, no matter how many cooking skill points they have.
    • In The Sims 4 expansion pack City Living, Sims can die from eating Pufferfish Nigiri that wasn't cooked properly, giving us a literal example.
  • Euphoria's cooking in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters is so bad that there is a body count associated with it. It is described by the rest of the cast as nothing short of biological warfare — Which turns into a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment once you've played the game through once and learned that Raksha was using her to develop a concentrated form of Scarlet Iago that was near-instantly fatal.
  • In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, one of the inventors you can recruit is literally named The Killer Chef.
  • El Fuerte from Street Fighter IV. Interestingly, regarding technical skill he's actually a very good cook... but only and if only he strictly sticks to Mexican dishes. It's when he tries to experiment that things go horribly wrong as is proven when he mixes chanko stew and borscht, then adds chili peppers and chocolate to serve to E. Honda and Zangief after the tournament, with unpleasant results.
  • While there have been a few bad chefs throughout the Suikoden series, the most prominent by far is Nanami from II, who manages to incapacitate Nash with her cooking in one of the side games. Her cooking is so bad, in fact, that her adoptive brother is the only one who can stomach it...because he's developed an immunity to it.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • Leona Garstein makes food that not only tastes awful, but usually knocks people out. Unlike some, she is aware of this fact. In one scene, she cooks for her boyfriend, and as she cooks she pouts about how it's just going to knock him out again. The first time Leona's boyfriend Tasuki tried her cooking, he needed something to wash it down. Unfortunately for him, Kusuha was the only person nearby. It is implied that this is due to her and Tasuki having opposing tastes in food, such that food loved by one will be loathed by the other.
    • And speaking of Kusuha, she also veers into this territory at times because she likes to add ingredients from her dreaded Health Drink in her recipes. Other than that, she's a decent cook.
    • The classic timeline has a Lethal Chef in the form of Tytti Noorbuck, one of the heralds of the Elemental Lords. The problem lies within her sense of taste; since she loves sweet foods, she'll make anything she cooks to become overly sweet... so sweet you could get your stomach swollen by eating it. In addition, cooking is her hobby (though in her defense, she's trying to improve).
  • A recurring theme in the Tales Series is using cooking as a way to heal after battles. Inevitably, one party member will be a danger to themselves and their teammates the moment they get anywhere near cookware. The fun thing is that every Lethal Chef is lethal for a different reason:
    • Tales of Phantasia: Arche is just plain bad. In a skit in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology, it knocked out Kratos, Lloyd, and Mormo. The protagonist chokes it all in to avoid the taste. Reid was practically immune to the taste of the food, since he finished his plate fine.
    • Tales of Symphonia: Raine has a tendency towards bizarrely experimental food combinations ("Spicy cake would be a breakthrough!"). Each character also has a "signature" ingredient that they favor using when they cook, though it's usually an optional thing... Raine's is lemons. Raine's younger brother Genis is a Supreme Chef by contrast, since he says he'd never have survived if he had to eat Raine's cooking all the time.
    • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World:
      • Marta only ever cooked for her father, who said her cooking was wonderful no matter what. (Though in a break from the normal way this trope works, Marta acknowledges her lack of skill after it's pointed out and makes a sincere effort to get better, becoming a decent cook in the end.)
      • In contrast, Emil makes incredibly delicious food. In his normal state, he tends to put extreme effort into presentation. In Ratatosk Mode, he puts zero effort into presentation, but somehow the food is just as tasty.
      • Finally, Richter is quite bad because he's never cooked anything in his life. His first dish was for Emil, which caused the latter to pass out from the horrible taste.
    • Tales of Vesperia:
      • Flynn is a fantastic cook... except he tends to deviate from the exact recipe and lacks the instincts and sense of taste to compensate, resulting in a Russian Roulette of either extreme tastiness or extreme vileness because no matter what it tastes like, it always looks fantastic. It's worth noting that Flynn's cooking is often beaten out by a dog. A One Note Chef dog who only makes dog food.
      • Before Flynn was made playable in the PS3 release, Rita held the title of "worst team chef" because she considers food more complex than "open a banana" to be a needless extravagance and a waste of time.
    • Tales of Rebirth: Tytree becomes one accidentally when he makes a delicious mushroom stew... With poisonous mushrooms. Usually he's quite good, but needs to be careful about what he adds to the food as he's too dumb to notice when ingredients are poisonous or rotten.
    • Tales of the Abyss: Both Luke and Natalia had pampered lifestyles, and never had to cook for themselves before. Natalia misunderstands basic cooking instructions to the point that a stew she tried to make catches fire. Luke isn't quite as bad, but is still a close second because he's an incredibly picky eaternote . Guy could only comment that Luke's cooking was 'avant-grade'.
    • Tales of Berseria: Is a notable subversion of the theme as Velvet; despite losing the ability to taste, she is an excellent cook but needs a taste tester to taste for her. Eizen Is closer to this trope; not due to a lack of skill but because of his Reaper's curse sabotaging him.
    • Tales Of The Rays: Given the Crisis Crossover nature of the game, the appearance of several Lethal Chefs at once was inevitable. In one skit, the combined efforts of Arche and Natalia somehow turned a tomato purple. In another skit Marta, Arche, Natalia and Raine are trying to make a barbecue, using combat magic, and Yuri has to explain why this is a bad idea.
  • From the makers of the Tales of series is Time and Eternity. A secondary character named Ricardo makes cakes so bad that taking a bite enables the consumer to interact with the dead.
    Toki: Oh, hello. My dearly departed grandfather. And there's my fish, Goldy. Didn't we flush you?
  • Papyrus from Undertale only knows how to cook spaghetti, though that's using a very generous definition of "knows". He learned from Undyne, who struggles to make spaghetti without burning her own house down due to her Hot-Blooded nature getting the better of her.
    Sans: i bet if he keeps it up, next year he'll even make something edible.
  • Reyna from Vanguard Bandits is more than capable of making dishes that make people vomit uncontrollably or burn their insides. Only the Big Eater Barlow is immune to the pain, but he also finds her brownies are just as good going down as they are coming back up.
  • In We Happy Restaurant, you serve your customers food like burgers made from nuclear waste, genetically modified chickens and "tofu" made out of tortured animals. It makes the customers mutate into horrible monsters.
  • The World Ends with You contains a subversion with the owner of Ramen Don, Ken Doi. At one point you see his restaurant is floundering due to the presence of a new rival, Shadow Ramen. Neku assumes it's because Ken's food isn't as good - and given he offers you a meal with a visible whole fish, one can understand why he thinks that. However, that meal with a visible whole fish tastes delicious; Shadow Ramen's owner, is just running an under-the-table deal with a blog celebrity, and Makoto's ideas aren't any less weird than Ken Doi's are.
  • In World of Warcraft, a panicked goblin in Tanaris sends you to collect scorpion asses to cure what ails his wife. It turns out that his lousy cooking was at fault.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2:
    • Morag is more of a threat to the kitchen than the diners. The "lethal" part doesn't come when she finishes with the food. While she is fine with baking, she is an utter mess when dealing with ingredients that used to be alive that she can very slowly start to panic. Or, worse, if said ingredients still turn out to be barely alive that she starts to feel guilty having to kill them to continue. Long story short, she'll destroy the stove with an Art.
    • Mythra is one in contrast to her other self, Pyra. It's only mentioned in passing in the main game, but the prequel DLC, Torna: The Golden Country, illustrates it in much greater detail. Whenever her meals are shown on screen, they are accompanied by pixel censors like the Dubious Food. Milton's description of the taste is that it does "more damage than an Artifice" could. The only people in the game that can handle Mythra's cooking are Ardainians.
  • Citan of Xenogears is a man of many talents. According to Fei, cooking is not one of them.


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