A character (who may or may not be fat) that regularly eats enough for an entire football team, often devastating the whole table — and sometimes entire restaurants in their insatiable hunger. Often with a speed-eating technique that makes food seem to vanish spontaneously from the plate. Primarily a comedy trope, a common sight gag with this kind of character in cartoons or anime is having piles upon piles of plates and bowls stack up as the character chows down. Cut a Slice, Take the Rest is another common joke involving this type of character.
Extreme Omnivores and people with eating related powers tend to be Big Eaters by default. Large characters, such as the Big Fun and Boisterous Bruiser, tend to be this trope. In fact, the Fat Comic Relief is almost always a Big Eater. However, Big Eaters who remain thin despite their habits are considered the best examples.
Typical dialogue in a restaurant:
Big Eater: <Number of people> portions for me too!
Another typical line goes thus:
Another variant that does not require the Big Eater to have any company along:
Another favorite joke when doing strenuous activity:
Although it's often Played for Laughs, serious examples are known to exist. Such as if the Big Eater is suffering from bulimia or if the character's over-eating is caused by some sort of emotional problem.
Characterization wise it can also be used to fulfill the needs of many Required Secondary Powers adding depth to a trait commonly dismissed as a comedic quirk and make a character's abilities more believable. Characters with a Healing Factor, Super Speed, or the ability to change shape and size, don't have to flout the laws of physics, they can simply explain that the extra mass and energy come from their over the top eating binges. Magic users in general can use this trope and say that they cast from their calories, which would explain why mages are often rather thin characters (though obese wizards aren't unheard of).
In action series, this is often a trait belonging to the Kid Hero, Boisterous Bruiser, or other types of high energy characters. Because many wild animals exhibit this in real life it's also a popular trait for Wild Child and Raised by Wolves characters.
In comics and manga it's become common to make a Comically Serious character or badass a Big Eater as a way to add a humorous quirk that doesn't take away from the character's seriousness. A common justification for a female big eater is that all the fat goes straight to her breasts. Consequently, female characters with big boobs are often big eaters. Occasionally they have Bizarre Taste in Food or are Obsessed with Food when not eating.
Truth in Television, though without proper exercise it can lead to obesity. People with higher metabolisms are better able to avoid weight problems caused by overeating and teenagers are known for being able to eat amounts of food that will make them fat if they continue to eat like that in their 20s and beyond. Vegetarians can come off as this - because vegetable matter doesn't contain a lot of calories. Most wild animals need to be this because they usually have no idea when or where their next meal will be, especially in harsh environments like deserts or the arctic.
See Extreme Omnivore for when someone doesn't limit themselves to things usually considered food. If two Big Eaters are pitted against each other it's an Eating Contest. For a villain that has this as their biggest vice (especially an obese villain), see Villainous Glutton. Players can invoke this trope in any video game where the characters have a Hyperactive Metabolism and eat food to heal their injuries.
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- In the Kinsey Sicks song "Don't Rein in My Buffet" Rachel almost leaves the show she's performing to go chow down at the buffet in the casino next door.
- "Me So Hungry," a parody of 2 Live Crew's "Me So Horny."
- "Three Hundred Pounds Of Hongry," a song from the perspective of a Chubby Chaser (who seems to be something of an encourager) rhapsodizing over a Big Attractive Person Of Indeterminate Gender (who seems to be something of a feedee).
- In Mamamoo's "Um Oh Ah Yeah" MV, Wheein plays a chubby guy who is eating or drinking something in every shot he is in.
- In the Jonathan Coulton song "Big Dick Farts a Polka," the titular professional Gasshole:
Now, Big Dick started dinner with some cabbage and some greens,Some broccoli, a pair of turkey legs,Some jalapeño poppers and a tub of kidney beans,Several liters of cream soda and a dozen deviled eggs.
- "Just Eat It" by Whale Island (鯨魚島樂隊).
- What did Mrs. Goldfarb have for breakfast in Allan Sherman's Grow Mrs. Goldfarb? (To the tune of "Glow Mr. Glowworm")
You had for breakfast two pounds bacon,
Three dozen eggs, one coffee cake and
Then you had something really awful,
Four kippered herrings on a waffle,
Nine English muffins, one baked apple,
Boston cream pie, Philadelphia scrapple,
Seventeen bowls of Crispy Crunch,
Then you said "What's for lunch?"
- Sequinox has Tellie, who will eat anything but food. Somewhat justified in that it's an Earth spirit and believes it's cleaning up trash, but it considers almost anything trash (cameras, clothing, cars, you name it). More mundanely are Chell and Sid, notably when they arrive at the Fall Festival and declare their intent to eat their weight in fried dough. Chel's player Jake even compares Chel to Rusty from Oceans Eleven 2001.
- The Wild Samoans were known for coming to the ring devouring raw fish.
- Royal Hawaiian would devour two pineapples at a time on her way to the ring in GLOW.
- Sky Deviler was always hungry in Kaiju Big Battel.
- At Smackdown in Iraq, John Cena rapped about his opponent The Big Show and how unlikely he was to lose to him because "This aint no pie eating contest!". Kurt Angle would later make the same joke, proclaiming he would accept Big Show's challenge to any athletic competition, but warning him that pie eating contests did not count as athletic. Eddie Guerrero once gave Big Show diarrhea after conning him into eating a tainted burrito.
- Alicia Fox has the reputation of eating everything but her own cooking.
- Dolph Ziggler confirmed this, saying that a mere one hour workout will make him hungry (granted, his is probably a little more intense than average Joe) and that he is always looking for something to eat.
- At Sudbury for Pro Wrestling Eve, Alpha Female went to market in between workouts(which consisted of pressing Nikki Storm) to obtain meat, which she ate raw after rinsing in a sink.
- DTU and AAA wrestler Niño Hamburguesa, who routinely breaks out sandwiches before his matches are even finished.
- The motif of Ryback, right down to his theme opening with "FEED! ME! MORE!"
- New Zealand comedian Billy T. James had this as part of one his jokes. He and his friends roll up to a fast food joint and are asked to take their order. He asks for "Five burgers, six fries, eight Cokes..." before turning to the back and asking "You guys want anything?".
- Jim Gaffigan makes a lot of jokes about himself being this. Many of his routines are food-related, such as the "Hot Pockets!"