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Black Comedy Cannibalism

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Well, you're not gonna have me over for dinner! [....] Wait, why are you guys looking at me like that?

Captain: Listen, chaps... There's still a chance. I'm done for; I've got a gammy leg and I've going fast. I'll never get through. But some of you might. So... you'd better eat me.
First mate: Eat you, sir?
Thompson: Eugh, with a gammy leg?!
Captain: ...You needn't eat the leg, Thompson, there's plenty of good meat! Look at that arm!
Monty Python's Flying Circus, "Lifeboat Sketch"

Cannibalism is often played for dark comedy. Cannibalism is gross, disturbing, and strongly taboo in many cultures, but less likely to get a Dude, Not Funny! reaction than more common forms of violence. Because cannibalism is both taboo and outlandish, it's common Crosses the Line Twice fodder. And food is funny. Compare Eat the Dog.

Black Comedy Cannibalism does not need to explicitly depict the act of eating people, and in fact, often it doesn't. It can be just as funny when the actual cannibalism is implied or offstage, and the humor comes from the incongruity of juxtaposing the horrors of cannibalism and murder with the mundanity of cooking and menu planning. Groan-worthy cannibalism puns are also a distinct possibility. Meat-O-Vision may occur if a character considers cannibalism because they're starving.


A common variant is the gag where the characters are captured by a Cannibal Tribe and placed in a pot to be Stewed Alive, accompanied with lots of wisecracking and/or corny byplay, and possibly a lot of puns.

Black Comedy Cannibalism can also provide uncomfortable comic relief in a work with a Faux Affably Evil cannibal villain.

If someone unintentionally becomes a Humanitarian, may overlap with I Ate WHAT?!.

Compare Let's Meet the Meat, when the meal is not only sentient but wants to be eaten.



    open/close all folders 

  • The Hazelnut M&M's commercial starts out with a lady on stage, introducing the new product, and spokescandy (not "spokesperson", mind you), only to find that all that's left of him is his gloves and shoes, pan to the other M&Ms with hazelnut spread on their faces, much to everyone's horror.
  • Done in a Dairy Queen commercial for their popcorn shrimp, with a shrimp couple. The wife asks "Hold on, where are they kids?" after looking at the popcorn shrimp box, they scream in horror, realizing they ate their own children.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z: Fat Majin Buu. While portrayed as a real threat, his habit of eating people by turning them into candy is played for dark laughs, much like Fat Buu himself. At least until he becomes Super Buu, where shit really hits the fan.
  • At one point in Elegant Yokai Apartment Life, one of the birds says he finds yakitori delicious. The other two are somewhat taken aback, but then all three of them act like nothing happened.
  • This is basically the whole premise of The Mermaid Princess's Guilty Meal. The titular Mermaid Princess, Eru, went to the surface to pay respects for one of her fish friends who got fished and turned into a meal. However she decided to eat the meal when someone tells her the fish can't go to heaven without being eaten. So she eats her friend and finds him very delicious. As a result, she became addicted to the taste of seafood and keeps coming to the surface and eats her other friends who got caught while lamenting the fact that she's not only a cannibal, but also enjoys every taste of it. It's dark, tragic and hilarious at the same time.
  • One of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid's Running Gags is Tohru trying to get Kobayashi to eat her tail meat (don't worry, it regenerates). Kobayashi refuses every time, and seemingly has good reason to (besides Squick), since the first time Tohru tries it she says "Don't worry, I cooked out all the poison."
  • In Pokémon, during Sun & Moon, Sophocles and company watch as the dead remains of a bunch of Minior float up into space, having reached the end of their short lifespans. As everyone feels down in the dumps, suddenly, Rayquaza shows up in the sky, and everyone immediately forgets about the downer of an event by admiring its sudden "unexplained" appearance, brightening them all up. The kicker? None of them, even their own teacher who should know better, knows that Rayquaza appeared for a very good reason: it likes eating meteorite dust. Sophocles and the rest are utterly left in the dark his Minior's remains will turn into a space turd.
  • In the final chapter of Rosario + Vampire it is revealed that Moka's still addicted to Tsukune's blood despite the fact that he's now a full vampire. There is a narrate box that lampshades that's cannibalism.

  • George Carlin twisted a That Came Out Wrong Accidental Pun into this during a routine about capital punishment.
    Carlin: Jeffrey Dahmer never thought of this shit, did he?! Jeffrey Dahmer, eat your heart out! ...which is an interesting thought in and of itself.
  • Jay Leno noted poorly worded advertising in his standup routine, including the jingle (recited in mounting horror) "Eckrich brings good meat from the heartland — and the secret ingredient is MOM!!!

    Comic Books 
  • The Barracuda miniseries in Marvel MAX ends on this trope, topping off a series that was already founded on Black Comedy. The series ends with Barracuda and his on-off porn actress love interest stranded in a rubber raft after all their plans have crashed and burned due to sheer random chance. When the actress wonders what they're going to eat since the raft has no supplies, Barracuda implies that he's going to eat her.
  • Chew thrives off this trope. The protagonist is a detective who can determine something or someone's past by taking a bite, which comes in handy- if you're willing to chow down on human remains, or even living people. As you can imagine, things often get dark quickly- but usually hilariously so.
  • The French series Les Crannibales is all about this, with the titular family's cannibalism being a pretext for atrocious food-related puns. The victims themselves don't even seem that disturbed by it. The main antagonist is a neighbor who keeps trying to stop them by stealing the body parts they were about to eat (as the police never believe him), keeps getting caught, and has to have the dinner grafted to the corresponding body part taken by the family.
    Surgeon: That's funny, your graft smells like oranges.
    Neighbor: There are times when you can't afford to be picky, I just grab the first one I find.
  • Commonly employed as a gag in Sturmtruppen, including a mini-arc where the cook tries to make a soldier into a special dinner for the battalion or another one involving two soldiers meeting a beautiful lady who happens to be a literal man-eater and tries to cook them for lunch.
  • Transmetropolitan features a fast food chain for Long Pig - humans can be readily cloned with or without working brains (along with many other formerly taboo or endangered animals), allowing for guilt-free cannibalism. And business is good.
  • During Mac Gargan's stint as Venom, Gargan's devouring people willy-nilly due to the symbiote's influence was, for the most part, Played for Laughs.
  • In a humorous one-panel What If? story, Black Widow eats Spider-Man, as a pun on their Animal Motifs.
    • The same way it works in its "cousin" "What The...": Tigra is implied to having eaten Hawkgirl.
  • Spiders-Man, an alternate universe version of Spiderman who is a Hive Mind of spiders in a suit with the personality of Peter Parker (which they gained by eating him in a tragic incident) very much enjoy human flesh, especially children. Fortunately, they are still too moral to go after innocents, although this is something they have to remind themselves of at times. (Villains, however, are fair game. And the occasional fresh corpse they come across that nobody will miss anyway.)

    Comic Strips 
  • Parodied when the incompetent (and suspiciously obese) pilot of a plane Dilbert is on crashes into a mountain... the same one he's crashed into three times before. Since his "survival tips" for avoiding frostbite involve liberal application of meat tenderizers and Worcestershire sauce, it is implied that after the first crash he became addicted to human meat.
  • One joke in The Far Side is a chicken serving her ill relative chicken soup, and trying to reassure them that it's nobody they know.

    Fan Works 
  • Be All My Sins: Natalie is a somewhat reluctant Chaos cultist who keeps getting blackout drunk with a Daemonette or hopped up on Warp Magic and waking up with bits of human in her mouth. Her mentor gives her no small amount of teasing over it, including arranging all manner of circumstances for her to unknowingly eat people or deliberately misunderstanding conversations as confessions of cannibalism.
  • Eat The Unfriendly concerns Pinkie Pie feeding Fluttershy bacon made from a stallion who attempted to rape her, then the two of them going on to kill other bad ponies to make their corpses into food.
  • Black comedy Ranma ½ fic "Ukyo Can Cook!" is all about this trope.
  • Except It Abide in the Vine: "Sweetpea, no!" Sweetpea is an alternate version of the Winter Soldier from a Darker and Edgier universe, who went a little feral from brain damage and HYDRA's abuse. After being freed from HYDRA, he calms down a bit, but he still tries to snack on a Nazi soldier he just dispatched.
  • In Development, Wednesday implies that the angry mob that tore her grandfather limb from limb were themselves cannibalized by the Addamses as revenge.
  • Not quite cannibalism as it's not the same species, but similar humour occurs in The Rigel Black Chronicles when Harry's thirteenth birthday cake sings "Happy Birthday" as it's eaten — growing increasingly frantic and high-pitched as less and less remains.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Moana, the gigantic crab monster Tamatoa casually mentions that he had once eaten his own grandmother, and it took him about a week to do so because she was so huge.
  • In the opening to Shark Tale, one of the businesses shown in the New York City-esque underwater setting is a sushi bar. It then cuts to the inside as the music stops, showing that it's completely devoid of customers and the owner is frustrated.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lucky Stiff. In this horror/comedy, a beautiful woman invites a man to Christmas dinner with her family, He finds out that he is intended to be the main course.
  • In Men in Black II there is a joke of this nature in the opening scene. When the film's main villainess lands on earth she takes the form of a sexy lingerie model and gets jumped by a mugger who tells her she "tastes good" and drags her behind a bush. Suddenly we see the muggers feet fly into the air and hear him scream as she devours him alive. The woman then answers his "taste good" comment with "Yeah, you too."
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "In the frozen land of Nador, they were forced to eat Robin's minstrels. And There Was Much Rejoicing." "Yaaayyy."
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest:
    • Jack Sparrow gets Captured by Cannibals who intend to make him a meal. Hilarity Ensues with his attempts to escape, including at one point resigning himself to his fate and sprinkling himself with steak seasoning.
    • A darker example occurs when Will Turner asks what happened to the rest of the crew and Gibbons explains the cages made of human bones the cannibals had them locked in weren't there at the beginning...
  • Any part of Ravenous (1999) that isn't horror is this.
  • The Red Dragon movie opens with Hannibal Lecter serving the Baltimore Symphony board a dinner heavily implied to be made from their missing flutist, whose poor playing annoyed Lecter during a recent performance.
    Board Member: Hannibal, confess. What is this divine-looking amuse bouche?
    Lecter: If I tell you, I'm afraid you won't even try it.
  • In Reefer Madness: The Musical, Ralph gets a serious case of the munchies from smoking too much pot and ends up eating Sally.
  • In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dr. Frank N. Furter reveals that the meal that Brad, Janet, Dr. Scott, and Rocky had was actually the freshly-killed ex-delivery boy Eddie, whom humorously enough is played by Meat Loaf.note 
  • The Wakaliwood films Who Killed Captain Alex? and Bad Black have a narrator/color commentator, VJ Emmie, who sometimes adds in cannibal jokes. In the former, he jokes that a military base's cook is making "German food" from German tourists, and in the latter, he says that a group of children chasing a white character intend to eat him.

  • Two cannibals are having dinner. "You know what?" says one. "I hate my mother-in-law." The other says, "So, just eat the salad."
  • Why don't cannibals eat clowns? Because they taste funny!
  • A Cannibal Tribe captures a troupe of actors. "Oh good," says the chief, "ham sandwiches!"
  • Whenever a cannibalistic Serial Killer is caught, be it Ed Gein or Jeffrey Dahmer, these jokes get told.
    "What did Ed Gein say when the sheriff arrested him? Have a heart."
    "What did the cops find in Jeffrey Dahmer's shower? Head and shoulders."
  • The Missionary living with a Cannibal Tribe has successfully made them change their diet. Now they only eat fishermen on Fridays.
  • Three men are captured by a Cannibal Tribe and taken to their chief, who tells them that he intends to kill them, butcher their bodies, eat their meat, and use their skins to make a canoe . However, he is not without mercy, and lets the three choose how they will die. The first two choose fairly quick and conventional execution methods. The last one, however, asks for a fork. He then starts stabbing himself all over his body, much to the chief's horror. His last words are "Enjoy your goddamn canoe!"
  • Why did the cannibal lose his job? For buttering up his boss.
  • A cannibal invites a friend around for dinner. As they're tucking into the starter, the guest says, "Wow. Your wife make a lovely stew." "I know." answers the host. "I sure will miss her."
  • Did you hear about the cannibal who was late for dinner? His wife gave him the cold shoulder.
  • What was the cannibal told when he came home late for dinner? "Sorry, everyone's eaten."
  • A cannibal invites some friends over for dinner. Some time passes, and one of the visitors tells their host around a mouthful of meat, "no offense, but I don't like your neighbors". The cannibal replies "that's okay, you can have some more salad instead".
  • What did Mike Tyson say to Vincent van Gogh? "You gonna eat that?"
    • An even blacker variant uses the same punchline, but instead has Jeffrey Dahmer asking this of Lorena Bobbit.
  • Your Mom is so ugly that a cannibal took one look at her and ordered salad.
  • What's the definition of trust? Two cannibals giving each other blow jobs.
  • What did the cannibal do after he dumped his girlfriend? He wiped his ass.
  • An old Soviet joke: Two cannibal tribes make an alliance and conquer a third. In the smoldering ruins of the conquered tribe's village, the chiefs of the victorious tribes are feasting on the corpse of their defeated rival:
    Cannibal Chief 1: Not very tasty.
    Cannibal Chief 2: True. But still better than what we got at the refectory at Lumumba University.
    Cannibal Chief 1: *Laughs heartily*'

  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Oompa-Loompas' song about Augustus Gloop — who, having fallen into the Chocolate Room's river, has just been sucked into a pipe headed for a room where a particular variety of fudge is prepared — claims that while he "will not be harmed... he will be altered quite a bit"... And that's okay, because he was such a brat that nobody liked him anyway, whereas "who could bear or hold a grudge/Against a luscious bit of fudge?" The 2013 stage musical's version of this sequence ("Auf Wiedersehen Augustus Gloop") makes this trope's presence much more explicit and cheerier to boot!
  • Kurt Vonnegut jokes in his novel Hocus Pocus that "people that can eat people are the luckiest people I know" while referring to the Donner Party. The band Andrew Jackson Jihad named their most popular album after this quote.
  • In I Want To Eat Your Pancreas, the title itself translated as "I Want To Eat Your Pancreas" in English.
  • In The Mockery Bird, Kingy, the native king of a tropical island, occasionally suggests that they should reintroduce cannibalism to the island, just to make his advisers cringe from the idea.
  • Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal calls for poor Irish to sell their young children as food for wealthy English gentlemen, so they are no longer a burden to society. He was satirizing some prevailing attitudes toward the poor and the Irish in contemporary (1700s) English society. He goes into some detail in suggestions for the preparation and cooking of such children, and the economic "benefits" of such an arrangement for all involved (who are still living of course).
  • In Mogworld the fittingly named Mr. Wonderful eats his own corpse after being revived.
  • Several references toward this in Monstrous Regiment, concerning the desperate state of supplies in the Borogravian army on campaign. Even one of their frequent opponents, a Zlobenian Captain "Hopalong" Splatzer, confirms this is expected in winter warfare around the area rather than the usual saner idea of giving up until spring for pre-industrial militaries. We also learn that while they do accept having to eat people's legs for food, they're shocked at the idea of eating their own legs regardless and thus them swap around.
  • This takes place quite a lot in Paradise Rot, as a large portion of the cast are Zombies and the rest either make fun of it, are horrified by it, or both.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bones:
    • Series 3 finale:
      Cam: A toothless cannibal just can't cut it in today's competitive serial killer climate.

      Cam: [describing a bone to Caroline Julian] Gormogon went after this like Henry VIII after a chicken leg.
    • Season 6 episode 16:
      Angela Montenegro: Mmm, what is that smell?
      Wendell Bray: Oh, I can't use the exhaust system without electricity, so I thought it'd be better to clean the bones out here where there's more airflow.
      Angela: Oh my God! You're boiling body parts.
      Wendell: This is how it's done. You know that.
      Angela: No. No. I was getting kind of hungry and I thought that you were — Oh my God!
      Wendell: You're pregnant. The smell of boiling flesh makes you want a sandwich.
  • Several of the killers in Criminal Minds have been cannibals, including one who fed a victim's body to the people searching for her.
  • An infamous sketch on Fridays was "Diner of the Living Dead" where a human couple happen upon a diner for zombies.
  • A recurring threat on Gilligan's Island are cannibal tribes from nearby islands. Although that might have solved all their problems.
  • Hannibal:
    • The gorgeously shot gourmet cooking is all made by a Supreme Chef cannibal, which gives the Food Porn scenes an uncomfortable subtext. The show sometimes plays this for dark humor. For instance:
      Hannibal: [hosting a dinner party featuring beautifully prepared human organs] Before we begin, you must all be warned: Nothing here... is vegetarian. Bon appétit.
    • In the same episode, Jack's team is examining the Chesapeake Ripper's (i.e., Hannibal's) latest victims. When they note that one corpse is had its intestines removed, they quip that "either someone's got short bowels or someone's making sausages". Gilligan Cut to Hannibal doing exactly that.
    • This exchange from "Ouef":
      Jack: What am I about to put into my mouth?
      Hannibal: Rabbit.
      Jack: [smiles] He should have hopped faster.
      [sudden flashback to Hannibal chasing his victim, who stumbles and takes on a distinctly hopping sort of gait as he tries to get away]
      Hannibal: Yes, he should have. Fortunately for us, he did not.
  • An episode of The IT Crowd has Moss answer an advertisement he thinks is for cooking class, only to discover it's actually a German cannibal fetishist looking for a consenting victim. They both have a good laugh over it.
    Moss: He was a fine young cannibal.
  • An episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia where Charlie and Dee believe they've accidentally eaten human meat and start experiencing "the hunger".
  • One episode of the obscure Love And Curses opens with witches working in a pizza shop with obnoxious customers. They turn the customers into fish, pop them directly into a frying pan, and add 'Carp Pizza' to the menu blackboard.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
  • In Not the Nine O'Clock News, survivors of an air crash in remote South American mountains are interviewed by a gently probing reporter. They were asked what they ate to keep alive in the snowy mountain wastelands in the weeks between their crash and the rescue. The survivors are reluctant to talk, as if there is some big shameful secret. Then they begin revealing fragments about the "pink squiggly stuff" and the "disgusting squicky God-awful red stuff". Eventually it turns out they'd been putting off the awful moment for as long as possible. But there was no choice. Once they'd finished off the dead bodies, the only thing left to eat was the pre-packaged airline food.
  • Santa Clarita Diet revolves around this trope. The protagonist is a (still sapient) zombie woman with an endless appetite for human flesh and blood, occasionally hunting for new victims to satisfy her cravings. And of course, this is all incredibly awkward for her not-undead family members, who have to help her with pretending she's still a normal person.
  • On Seinfeld, Kramer starts using butter as shaving cream, then as body lotion. When he stays out in the sun too long and starts to cook, Newman gets cannibalistic cravings. Well, not so much cannibalism, as he sees Kramer as a giant turkey, with Kramer's head.
  • This was spoofed in the "Bartygan's Island" sketch in the first episode of Short Ribbs. An apparent food shortage on the island causes the Gilligan expy to dream that he and the Skipper expy (played by Billy Barty) have eaten four of the other castaways, and the only other survivor is Jasmine (a Ginger expy played by Patty Maloney). "Skipper" becomes the next meal... then "Gilligan" wakes up and "Skipper" is still alive. When asked what he wants for breakfast, "Gilligan" sleepily asks for Jasmine.
  • Sons of Anarchy has an episode which literally involves cannibalism, but the comedy comes in the anatomical puns made over the pot. Someone's in a little over his head...

  • The song "Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf" by Rob Cantor is a mock horror about being stalked by Shia LaBeouf as a serial killer and cannibal.
  • Voltaire's "Cannibal Buffet" is a Hurricane of Puns about the singer becoming shipwrecked and kidnapped and eaten by a tribe of cannibals.
  • "Comin' Back for More" by CW McCall, very loosely based on the case of Alferd Packer, the only person ever to be prosecuted for cannibalism in the US. note 
  • The Tom Petty music video for "Don't Come Around Here No More" ends with Tom (as the Mad Hatter) and the rest of the Mad Tea Party guests eating Alice, who has been turned into a cake.
  • In "Petrov, Yeleyena, and Me" by Flight of the Conchords, the narrator describes being lost at sea with two others. He is gradually eaten by his companions, waking up every morning to find a new body part missing. They deny it, but look "suspiciously well fed". In the end, he takes arsenic to poison his meat.
  • In "The Reluctant Cannibal" a teen cannibal rebels by not eating people.
    Father: But people have always eaten people, what else is there to eat? If the juju had meant us not to eat people, he wouldn't have made us of meat.
  • In the song "Timothy" by The Buoys the singer is lamenting the loss of his friend Timothy, who it's very strongly implied was eaten by the singer and another man while they were all stuck in a caved-in mine.
  • Tom Lehrer:
    • In "The Irish Ballad", from Songs by Tom Lehrer, the protagonist "cut her baby brother in two / And served him up as an Irish stew / And invited the neighbors in."
    • In "My Home Town", from Songs by Tom Lehrer, the local druggist "killed his mother-in-law and ground her up real well, / And sprinkled just a bit / Over each banana split."
    • In a spoken introduction he sometimes used to introduce "The Vatican Rag" (not the version heard on the album That Was the Year That Was), he remarked that the Catholic Church's ban on eating meat on Fridays seemed inconsistent, because it meant that a soldier was permitted to kill a man on a Friday but not to eat him.
  • "Eating People" by King Missile - the verses consist of John S. Hall calmly explaining why he'd have no problem with eating other people, with reasoning that borders on Insane Troll Logic ("...I have this tendency not to get to know people very well. And I don't think there is any better way to get to know humanity than to ingest it"). For the sake of Lyrical Dissonance, the song also has a catchy, soft-rock style chorus that starts with "Eating people holding hands / Eating hands holding people". As an allusion to the song, the cover art of The Psychopathology of Everday Life includes a caricature of Hall eating from a can with tiny human arms and legs sticking out of it.

  • In Brimstone Valley Mall, Misroch's habit of using human corpses in their hot dogs, and then selling those hot dogs to the unsuspecting public is pretty strictly Played for Laughs—much of the humor comes in how bad they are at hiding it, and how everyone remains clueless anyway. For example, their employee finds a hand in the fryer on the first day, and not only continues to work there, but doesn't suspect anything is wrong with the food until she's told.
  • Fat, French and Fabulous has a few notable cannibalism discussions, including this gem:
    "Technically, human is the only meat that can consent!"
  • This is an absolute staple of Less Is Morgue, whether it's Riley devouring Jon and Brains Vincent in Episodes 1 and 2, or the cannibal restaurant The Last Chance Texas-Style Barbecue in Episode 9, plenty of comedy is derived from characters eating each other.
  • In the "Subway" episode of Welcome to Night Vale, the Night Vale City Council issues a friendly reminder that people are definitely not eating each other.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • On volume six Oedo Tai's Wonder Ring STARDOM's rebuilding, Kris Wolf got drunk, started rambling about eating humans and then wandered into a crowd after demanding the video be stopped.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The suggestion that one might occasionally have to subsist on recycled human is one of the lighter notes of 40K lore. The Ciaphas Cain novels in particular like to bring up Soylens Viridians as a staple Imperial Guard ration, and other sources mention "corpse-starch" as an unpleasant but sustaining food source in lean times. After all, humanity is the Imperium's most abundant resource...
    • Invoked in-universe by the Kroot, who know that their Sapient Eat Sapient customs disturb more squeamish races and tend find this discomfort amusing.

  • This is the core of the hilarity of the song "A Little Priest" from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. A lot of the humor of the second half of the musical, actually.
  • The Fletcher and Massinger play The Sea Voyage features a group of stranded nobles attempting to eat the woman of their party. When they're stopped, they're berated for trying to eat the one who can make more people for them to eat.
  • The climactic cannibalism in Titus Andronicus is often played this way. This may or may not have been intentional.

    Video Games 
  • Rats in Borderlands 2 are mutated, cannibalistic humans by principle, always refer to the Vault Hunter as food, and make jokes about cooking if set on fire.
    Rat: [upon burning to death] I sssmell deliciousss!
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, the entire side quest taking place in the White Glove Society relates to cannibalism and involves a bit of innuendo and occasional humor. And then there is the character "Cannibal Johnson" who isn't actually a cannibal (having gained the nickname from taking a bite out of a raider's heart in order to scare off the raider's buddies) but enjoys the effect of the reputation.
  • In Fallout 4, all your companions will have reactions to you cannibalizing a corpse in their presence, and they're all hilarious.
  • Used in two Fate/Grand Order events, with the joke both times being that the would-be food item is your Abhorrent Admirer Kiyohime, and you'd rather not encourage her.
    • The first Valentine's event ("Lady's Chocolate Commotion") opens with a dream sequence of Kiyohime shapeshifting into chocolate and demanding you enjoy all 240,000 calories of her. The real Kiyohime later offers herself to you in place of chocolate, although the implication here is a different kind of "eating".
    • During the first summer event ("Chaldea Summer Memory"), you are stranded on a tropical island, and Kiyohime offers to be your food if you can't find any, declaring that her serpent form's tail is "probably delicious, like chicken".
  • In Mass Effect 3, Javik is prone to talking about how the most popular delicacies of his cycle are now his squadmates in Shepard's. In very amusing ways. Usually to the faces of members of the appropriate species.
  • One verse in "I Love My Food" from Only the Brave Can Rescue the Kidnapped Princess has the King blithely recount a time when the royal cook told him for a dare that they were out of food, to which he responded by chasing him around the castle with a "ravenous look" on his face.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan:
    • The player's allies have found a way to discreetly eliminate some enemies, without the Big Bad suspecting a thing. The rub is that they need the player to appear to be a fearsome pirate so that the whole thing looks like a gang war. For a Republic player, they decide to embellish the pirate persona's reputation with cannibalism — to the point that the "Red Hulls" supposedly paint their ships with the blood of their literally butchered victims. Thus leading to a surreal moment when the player arrives and the locals' first reaction is to beg not to be eaten for no readily apparent reason.
      Crier Droid: If you consider yourself easily frightened or especially delicious, steer clear of the Red Hulls!
    • A second batch of it comes when talking with Optional Party Member Treek (an Ewok mercenary who can be recruited by any class or faction). Treek mentions that there are several sentient races she would like to cook and eat. A bit of Blue-and-Orange Morality comes into play; to an Ewok, meat is meat, and if nature provides you with some, it would be wasteful not to tuck in.
    • Early on in their story, a Sith Warrior can intimidate criminals attempting to steal a package that you're trying to protect by screaming that you'll eat them. They'll decide that they'd rather not take the chance with someone crazy enough to make that threat and you can later clarify whether or not you were bluffing.

    Web Comics 
  • When fried eggs are served to a chicken at Loading Artist.
  • Sergeant Schlock's habit of eating people in Schlock Mercenary is generally played for comedy, to the point where at one point he's told to be ready for "lunch at the zero-evidence buffet". His viewing kittens as comfort food is also played for comedy, although he doesn't generally get to eat any onscreen.
    Tagon: There were three goons! Three! Where's the third one?
    Schlock: [raises hand] Yum?
  • The "Cannibals Anonymous" story in Sluggy Freelance has Aylee the alien's friends making an intervention for her to make her stop eating people. This involves arguing about whether she's eating too many people, as if it's okay in moderation. Then she joins the Cannibals Anonymous program — though she's not technically a cannibal since humans aren't her own species — and the rest of the storyline involves things like a cannibal convention.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball has many cast members that are Anthropomorphic Food and loads of Carnivore Confusion. As a result, cannibalism, in the sense of eating someone who is sapient and considered as much a person as you are, is a frequent source of humor. And that's without getting into how all food is sapient on this show:
    • A recurring poster in the background at Elmore Junior High explains that eating other students is against the rules.
    • "The Ghost": In the middle of a Binge Montage, Carrie-in-Gumball's-body is accosted by the Sheriff, who is a donut, and takes a bite out of him.
    • "The Dream": Darwin and Gumball enter the same dream together, which the latter briefly leaves and come back to. Turns out several days had passed from Darwin's perspective where he was trapped in a car with Gumball's unconscious body, which he'd started eating out of desperation.
    • "The Coach": A flashback shows Jamie unpeeled Banana Joe, plucked Sarah's ice cream head off, stuck them together in a bowl, and ate some of them with a spoon.
    • "The Recipe": One of the many clones of Anton, a sentient piece of toast, meets his ends when he's put in the place of the bread on Tobias's sandwich, which he bites into not knowing what it was. Later, Richard finds a bunch of clones and tells them that he plans to eat them once he gets hungry.
    • "The Name": Gumball/Zach grabs an apple off a table someone else is sitting at and takes a bite out of it. This apple turns out to be Banana Joe's cousin, not that Zach cares. He also licked Sarah's face to eat a little bit of her, though she seemed to think of it more like a kiss.
    • "The Pizza": About twenty minutes after Larry quits all his jobs, society has collapsed and people are already forming gangs who kill and eat anyone who invades their territory. Mr. Small, who is normally a vegetarian, is alright with this so long as the people he eats aren't on antibiotics.
    • "The Spoiler": Leslie, Banana Joe and Juke all act out scenes from a movie Gumball wants to see with their food, so to avoid spoilers, Gumball eats all of their food. Anton then keeps talking about the movie, so Gumball slaps him onto another piece of bread and eats him too.
    • In "The Girlfriend", Banana Joe lets Jamie eat part of his head when she orders it, but then she spits it out. Likewise, Anton offers himself with a slice of cheese, and cuts the crust off. She's not interested, so she tells him to eat "it", and he obliges.
  • American Dad!: The Smiths were taking a cruise ship vacation, things went wrong and they along with a girl from the ship that Steve was attracted to ended up stranded on a remote island where some rich guys declared that they'd hunt them. After hiding in a cave a cave-in killed the girl and trapped the Smiths there. Starving the Smiths decided to eat the body. Then they found out the hunters had paintball guns and they'd stumbled across a themed resort.
  • The Belcher family in Bob's Burgers were originally intended to be cannibals who made their restaurant's hamburgers out of human meat. In the pilot, "Human Flesh", a health inspector accuses Bob of making burgers out of bodies from the mortuary next door, which is also a rumor that Louise has been spreading in her class. At the end of the episode, Bob is exonerated but keeps the story going since a group of adventurous eaters really like the idea of people burgers.
  • Bojack Horseman:
    • The meat industry in this verse is treated the same way it's treated in the real world: living beings are bred and cooked for the evolved ones to eat, mostly mentally retarded animals who are even tenderized by their civilized counterparts. The humor comes from how hilariously wrong it is to see people treat this as normal, even if it's also Played for Drama by showing how inhumane the process is, regardless of any argument.
    • Zach Braff's death is pure comedy-horror personified, because nobody expected it. Still, since several celebrities were trapped underground and Sanity Slippage was running amok, most of the deranged accepted it as necessary as a sacrifice to the "Fire". Everyone except Braff himself.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "Perfect Castaway", when he and his friends are lost at sea, Peter eats Joe's legs since he was paralyzed and had no use for them, anyway. Joe later gets a leg transplant, but the donor was also paralyzed.
    • In "Into Fat Air", the Griffin family attempt to climb Mt. Everest and wind up eating the frozen corpse of a boy, which Peter tactlessly reveals to the boy's parents.
    • In "The Old Man and the Big 'C'", there's a Cutaway Gag to a group of women ordering dessert at a restaurant, whom start laughing at one of them making a joke before they suddenly begin eating each other alive.
    • In "Da Boom", after Y2K destroys the world, Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons eat their asian co-anchor Tricia Takanawa. (The episode is All Just a Dream).
    • In "Jerome Is The New Black", a cutaway parody of an old commercial for York Peppermint Patties features a man having been stranded on a frozen mountaintop for two months after biting into one, with the patty - which keeps teleporting him back to the top of the mountain - his only food source. Until another man bites into a patty and gets teleported to the mountain, and the first knocks him out and starts chewing on his leg.
    • Both "Lois Kills Stewie" and "The Fat Guy Strangler" feature jokes about fat people being cannibals (because they'll eat anything, get it?). In the first, an amnesiac Lois gets a job at a fat camp, where her responsibility is to stop the fat kids from eating each other. In the second, part of the mounting proof that Lois's long-lost brother is the titular Fat Guy Strangler is a dead fat guy in his room and an almost dead fat guy in his room, who testifies that "Patrick tried to kill me." After Lois is convinced, instead of asking for help, the surviving fat guy asks "Are you gonna eat that dead fat guy?"
  • Used a lot in Futurama alongside humor involving aliens preying on humans. For example, a flashback shows that cannibalism was a solution during the depression of 3007, and Fishy Joe claims "the only reason we don't eat humans is because we taste terrible".
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Society of the Blind Eye", a group of gnomes try to steal one of Lazy Susan's pies, and the leader threatens to eat his fellow gnomes if they can't get the pie.
  • Repeatedly used in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    • "Tastes Like Chicken" is all about Billy jumping to the conclusion that Mandy is a cannibal who's eaten his friends and family and plans to eat him next, which ends with a played-for-laughs implication that she actually has eaten Irwin.
    • In "Which Came First", a class trip ends up with the cast stranded in the desert. They bring up the possibility of having to eat each other to survive, causing Sperg to see Billy and Irwin with Meat-O-Vision ("You dropped your pickle." "Thanks!"). At the end of the episode they do find food, and Pud'n is relieved that they won't have to eat each other. Cut to Sperg with several legs sticking out of mouth, who then says "Tough luck for you, kid."
    • The series' version of Pinocchio believes that the only way he can become a real boy is if he eats the flesh of a real boy.
    • Eris is shown eating Hoss Delgado several times when she gets mad in "Chaos Theory", though she always uses her powers to spit him out/restore him afterwards.
  • In one episode of Jackie Chan Adventures, the Dark Hand have Jackie tied up and are trying to decide on what animal to turn him into using the Monkey Talisman. When they settle on turning him into an animal that they can eat, he tries to warn them that eating him will make them cannibals.
  • Regular Show:
    • In season 5, "Every Meat Burritos", there's a drive-thru restaurant that serves a burrito that has every meat in it, including "long pig", which is another name for human flesh.
    • In an earlier episode, living sausages eat each other up because they're covered in mustard.
  • One Robot Chicken skit reveals that Krabby Patties are made out of crab meat in a parody of Soylent Green.
  • The Simpsons:
    • When Marge's fear of flying resurfaces, Homer tries buying movies of planes to help calm her. Of course he chooses Alive on the basis of its title.
      Passenger: (eating sounds) Pass another hunk of Copilot.
    • In the segment "Nightmare Cafeteria" of "Treehouse of Horror V", the teachers of Springfield Elementary solve both the underfunding of the school cafeteria and the overcrowding of the detention room by serving misbehaving students in the cafeteria.
      Principal Skinner: Oh, relax kids. I've got a gut feeling Uter's around here somewhere. (starts to laugh) After all, isn't there a little Uter in all of us? (laughs harder) In fact, you might say we just ate Uter and he's in our stomachs right now! {beat) Wait. Scratch that one.
    • In the Treehouse of Horror segment "Survival of the Fattest", Mr. Burns is hunting down the male population of Springfield for sport on a safari. After running for only a few hours, Homer already resorts to cannibalism by eating Professor Frink. When Lenny points out the edible fruits on a nearby tree, Homer protests that they look a little green.
    • "Simpsons Tall Tales"" has a Gender Bent version of Johnny Appleseed with Lisa as Connie Appleseed. While she's busy wandering the west planting apple trees, her family have been stranded and driven to starvation due to overhunting the buffalo. Driven to cannibalism, the wagon train is just about to devour Homer, only for Lisa to arrive in the nick of time with apples. As she's hailed as a hero, Moe sticks his head out of Homers blanket with a hunk of flesh on his fork.
      Moe: What, so now we're not eating Homer?
    • In one of the future episodes, Homer offers Bart and Ralph some Soylent Green.
      Ralph: Isn't that made of people?
      Homer: [annoyed] Oh boy, here we go...
    • In the third segment of "Treehouse of Horror XXVIII", Homer somehow starts getting addicted to cooking and eating his own body parts. All of this is darkly Played for Laughs, ultimately ending with Homer volunteering to be cooked and served as a gourmet dish by a celebrity chef.
    • In the first segment of "Treehouse of Horror XXVII", a "space marshmallow" turns Homer into a giant, green blob that stomps around the city eating fat people. "You've got an eating problem, and you know it. In fact, you're thinking of eating me right now, aren't you? Aren't you?!"
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Fry Cook Games", Patrick botches a pole vault over a deep fryer, overturning it and sending boiling oil into a portion of the audience. A vendor then starts selling the resulting fish sticks for a dollar each.
  • South Park:
    • "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut": During a blackout the adults of town, trapped in a small shack, resort to cannibalism of Eric Roberts after a short time being trapped without power. "It's only been like, four hours. Aren't you resorting to cannibalism a little quickly?"
    • In "Scott Tenorman Must Die", Cartman tricks a teenage bully into eating his own parents. Unfortunately for Cartman, it was later revealed that both boys shared a father.
  • A Lighter and Softer version of this trope occurs in Stroker and Hoop, when the guys encounter a creepy club of cannibals who eat nonessential parts like tonsils and appendices.

    Real Life 
  • The cafe in the student center at the University of Colorado is the Alferd Packer Restaurant and Grill. Motto: "Have a friend for lunch."
  • The Catholic saint Lawrence of Rome is almost the patron saint of this trope. As the tale goes, Lawrence was a deacon in charge of the church's distribution of alms in 3rd Century Rome, under Valerian's persecution. The Roman prefect demanded Lawrence turn over the church's wealth that he handled as part of his job. Lawrence produced a bunch of beggars and declared them the church's wealth (having already given the money away), and in retribution the prefect roasted him on a large gridiron. Lawrence's final words as he cooked to death were, "I'm well done. Turn me over!" For his martyrdom he was sainted, and he is the patron of both comedians and chefs. Cracked even quipped that St. Lawrence might have been the first, and most accurate, user of the insult-comeback "Bite me!"


Video Example(s):


Conrad the Comrade

Apparently the "only way" Conrad could get away with murder is to subsist on his victim's body in smoothy form for weeks before he tries leaving to Cuba.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / BlackComedyCannibalism

Media sources:

Main / BlackComedyCannibalism