Chocolate is one of the main components of romance, relationships, and sometimes even sex (not necessarily of that kind, obviously, though it may happen). Some believe that chocolate simulates the same part of the brain that sex does, but this is an Urban Legend; still, the two combine well.
Chocolate is used, primarily, within these three contexts:
- The context of courting or inviting, when one character gives to another a box of chocolates, for example. A box may also appear in special celebrations, like the one year anniversary of a relationship or Valentine's day;
- The context of sex and intimacy, when one character gives to another a bit of chocolate, usually a bonbon or praline. Generally, it precedes the sex act itself, being part of the foreplay;
- The context of mending issues with their relationship (which is less frequent), with the character who gives usually asking for forgiveness or a pardon.
Though becoming far less common in Western countries, in countries like Japan it remains highly popular and important (see the Real Life section), which also justifies the fact that it's common in romantic settings present in Japanese media. In the case of Western media, it's more prevalent in period pieces or in movies made before The '60s and The '70s.
Often a subtrope of Erotic Eating. Can be involved in Romantic Spoonfeeding. May overlap with Through His Stomach. Compare Tastes Like Friendship and Girls Love Chocolate and compare/contrast Food as Bribe. Contrast Heartbreak and Ice Cream.
- There was one Cadbury's TV ad in the UK in which a boy gives a piece of his chocolate to a girl sitting behind him. The two start dating, get married, and eventually have a son - who then goes on to do the same thing as his father in giving a piece of his chocolate to a girl sat behind him on a bus. "First Taste. First Love."
- In Axis Powers Hetalia:
- The Valentine's Day strip involves, well, Valentine's Day chocolate. England goes to give America a chocolate bar that he had heard America wanted but sees that he already has an entire bucket full of chocolate.
- The Valentine's Day strip from Hetalia: World Stars features Japan, France, and Italy talking about the Japanese habits surrounding this day. Japan feels a bit of unease and tension in this particular day due to the social pressures. Cue Taiwan giving him some chocolate gifts (something which she does yearly) and France and Italy staring at him with a certain amusement.
- In an OVA DVD of Kanokon, Chizuru is trying to figure out what kind of chocolate to get for Kouta for Valentine's Day, her various ideas being a chocolate bar wedged in between her breasts, chocolate molds of her breasts, and finally, a chocolate bikini, which Kouta is to eat off of her. She just ends up giving him a traditional box of chocolates.
- In Love Hina all of the girls do this for Keitaro since they all have feelings for him, in different ways and magnitudes.
- In Hayate the Combat Butler, Hinagiku Katsura gets a massive pile of chocolate on Valentine's Day.
- During Valentine's Day in Ranma ½, Akane ends up having to give some chocolate to Ranma as a favor. She spends the entire chapter trying to figure out how to make sure it's not from her. Ranma is cautious about her in case they're homemade while also nervously looking forward to it. Eventually, Ranma gets the chocolate but is disappointed to learn the truth about it. Later that day, it turns out Akane bought a tiny heart-shaped chocolate, which Ranma gladly accepts.
- Not chocolate but a reverse situation happens in a later story when Ranma has to give Akane what appears to be an engagement ring.
- In Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Itoshiki gets gifts from his entire class, although only two of them are clearly chocolate hearts - a normal one from Nami and one from Chiri which is strongly implied to be an actual human heart.
- In K-On!, for Valentine's Day, Azusa thought about giving Mio some chocolate before giving a Suspiciously Specific Denial to Ui.
- In Potemayo a girl gives Nene's friend Kyo (the athletic, cool girl) chocolate on Valentine's Day.
- The twelveth Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note novel (and the fourth animated) The Valentine Knows practically surrounds this trope.
- Aya found she has nobody to give these to—Sunahara is distant, and she treats the rest of the Detective Team as Just Friends.
- Soccer Team KZ's member are so popular with the girls that they're no longer allowed by their Cram School to accept those personally.
- After knowing Sunahara being in a group of Japanese Delinquents, Wakatake came up with exploitation of this trope to check what's happening to the former—by having Aya sending him one of those, since no boys can resist it (the rest of the team agrees). The problem is Aya told them she would like to give this to Sunahara, so that's a really good chance...
- Most of the drama of the story derives from the long journey for Aya to deliver hers to Sunahara, which include a brief case of a nervous breakdown.
- The ending of the arc actually makes the situation between the members of Detective Team KZ ambiguous—they made a chocolate cake at Wakatake's home on Valentine's Day, and share among each other. This can be interpreted anywhere from True Companions to Reverse Harem.
- In Vampire Knight, all of the vampires get incredible amounts of chocolate from the unknowing in-universe fan girls.
- In the anime adaptation of Hidamari Sketch, it is related by Chika that Sae received Valentine's Day chocolates from girls when she was in junior high.
- In Zekkyou Gakkyuu, one Valentine's Day story has a shy girl making handmade chocolates for her boyfriend. Horrifically subverted when it's revealed that she's not his girlfriend at all. She's his Stalker with a Crush who's so delusional that she thinks she's his girlfriend, all while blocking out how miserable she's making him and his real girlfriend. When she ignores his last attempt to get through to her and tries to give him her chocolates, he knocks them out of her hands. It only gets worse from there...
- Tohru makes homemade Valentine's Day chocolate for Kobayashi in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, though Kobayashi refuses to eat them on the (correct) assumption that she spiked them with some sort of love potion. Kanna also makes chocolate for Saikawa in her spin-off series.
- The Dark Agency shamelessly takes advantage of the situation in Codename: Sailor V, with Debrine using Valentine's Day as the occasion to sell chocolate so good it's addictive, so everyone in town will get fat and, in the attempt to get slim again, they'll go at her shop where she can drain their energy — but not their fat, as she has the looks of a Big Beautiful Woman and wants everyone to look like it. It was also effective: in the entire Minato Ward, the only ones who escaped were Hikaru, who was on a diet and didn't care of the Valentine traditions, Wakagi, who hated sweets and ran like hell every time someone tried to give him the chocolate, and Minako, who, upon noticing she was getting fat, started exercising like a madwoman to lose weight and got so obsessed with it she not only ended up getting it back in muscles but missed Valentine's Day entirely.
- In one Spider-Man comic, Mary Jane is angry at Peter and isn't all too impressed when he offers her flowers; then he mentions he also has a box of Mallomars. Cue the hugging and kissing.
- Wonder Woman: Back in the Golden Age Etta Candy giving chocolate to a love interest—like Oscar Sweetgulper or Pierre Marchand—was a sign things were getting serious, and a love interest giving her chocolate was a good way for them to have a chance at actually starting a relationship.
- Deconstructed in Your Servant Mistress: Diaval gives Maleficent a chocolate cake. This causes some conflict as she doesn't want to be bribed into loving him... and has good reason to distrust food given to her by men. She makes him taste it first. It is not drugged. He happily eats it out of her hand.
- In a very NSFW fanfic called "The Mile-High Club", Mello gets a flight attendant to bring him ice-cream truffles, which he then feeds to Matt.
- In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Empath's Honeymoon", Empath and Smurfette both discover a pool of chocolate mud on Utopia Island. Smurfette tries out the mud for herself to see how it tastes, but she falls in and is covered in mud. Empath just stares at her for a moment before Smurfette demands him to help her out, but just as he does, Smurfette pulls him in and they're both covered in chocolate mud. Since they both like how it tastes, they decide to spend some time in it licking the mud off each other.
- Kanto Calling: Subverted. Ash thought that Misty had sent him Valentine's chocolate a few weeks ago, but it was actually his mother that did.
- Chocolat is almost entirely centred around this.
Vianne Rocher: And these are for your husband. Unrefined cacao nips from Guatemala, to awaken the passions.Yvette Marceau: Psshh. You've obviously never met my husband.Vianne Rocher: Well, you've obviously never tried these.
- The Room: A random scene (like much of the movie) has a couple sneak into Johnny's house for some romantic time. The guy brings a box of chocolate for the occasion.
Mike: Did you, uh, know that chocolate is the symbol of love.
- Subverted in My Fair Lady. Henry Higgins keeps Eliza Doolittle from leaving after he insults her by offering her a chocolate, but his condescending behavior makes it neither romantic or apologetic. She's also worried he spiked it with something until he takes a bite of it himself.
- In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Prince Pondicherry is being fed chocolates by (presumably) his wife while inside a palace made entirely out of chocolate, in a variation on Grapes of Luxury.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Romilda Vane attempts to give love potion infused chocolates to Harry. Ron steals them and promptly falls in love with her.
- In the German novel Gottes Bodenpersonal: Eine unwahrscheinliche Liebesgeschichte ("God's ground personnel: an unlikely love story"), the first subtle sign of the budding romance between Lauren and Christian is Lauren giving Christian an enormous box of chocolates.
- In Gabriel's Inferno, a man Julie meets in a bar sends her a chocolate truffle. Later on, Gabriel engages in foreplay with her by feeding her molten chocolate lava cake.
- In Reaper Man, this is one of three things Death thinks he needs to ask Miss Flitlow out (the others being a diamond and flowers). After a certain amount of confusion over the cutesy boxes with kittens on them (Is it possible that they are cat-flavoured?), he decides on a very expensive plain black box called Dark Enchantments.
- In Maskerade, Nanny Ogg's Chocolate Delight with Special Secret Sauce is a powerful aphrodisiac, and presumably would be usually eaten at an intimate romantic dinner. However, in the book, Nanny serves it at a dinner party out of sheer mischief.
- One of the cutest/funniest things that ever happened on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway show was when Little Ant and Dec interviewed Mila Kunis and gave her a box of chocolates... which they'd already eaten. Then turned down a second date with her.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As part of his unsuccessful attempt to romance Buffy in Season 5, Spike buys a box of chocolates for Buffy's birthday, but her little sister Dawn derides the gift as lame and ends up eating them herself, pointing out that big sis would never accept a gift from Spike anyway.
- Fuller House: Jackson tries to win over Lola by giving her red M&Ms.
- Invoked on Charmed (1998). The Seer has foreseen that Cole and Phoebe will produce a child of unparalleled power, but it has to be conceived under the right circumstances to ensure its alignment is Evil rather than Good. This involves tricking Phoebe into a "dark" wedding ceremony and getting the conception on a particular night. The Seer makes a potion to get Phoebe in the mood and "override any precautions she might have taken" and mixes it into chocolate for Cole to give to her without raising suspicion. Initially subverted, as Phoebe is too distracted to react beyond "Aw, how sweet, my husband bought me candy," and Piper winds up having some as wellnote , but Cole's able to salvage it by turning it from Type One into Type Two, hand-feeding her the chocolate during either sex or foreplay.
- In the Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People episode Homestar Ruiner, Strong Bad, in order to mend Homestar's relationship (and get him out of his house), puts "ChocoOpps" (which are revealed to be nothing more than chocolate-covered packaging peanuts) on Marzipan's door.
- In recent Harvest Moon games, you get delicious homemade goodies on Winter 14 (if you're a boy) or Spring 14 (if you're a girl). This, however, only happens with marriageable characters who are at a certain number of love points.
- As part of their Ship Tease (before Accent Core Plus and Overture torpedoed the vessel), Jam is seen taking Ky on a picnic at the end of her third Guilty Gear XX story path, attempting to feed the apprehensive cop with heart-shaped chocolates she prepared by hand.
- In Quest for Glory V, you can give chocolate candies called Sokolotak-ya to romantic interests (or whoever else, really). An assassin also plays off of the "secret admirer" cultural message by leaving drugged chocolate for various people. Eating the drugged chocolate he leaves for you is not good for your health.
- Dr. Michel attempts this with Garrus in Mass Effect. The key word, unfortunately, is "attempts":
Garrus: Doctor Michel did get me some dextro-amino chocolate. Youre welcome to it once were back.
Tali: She got you turian chocolate?
Garrus: She said she saw it and thought of me. Why?
Tali: (laughing) Oh, nothing. / (if Garrus is romanced) Watch yourself, Shepard.
- Crush Crush: Well, it's a gift that you're giving to the girls to romance them, and they come in a heart-shaped box. However, Ayano in particular has it as her preferred gift.
- Luxaren Allure: The True Love Chocolate, "Said to be made by the goddess of love, this delicacy restores all HP and MP to the party, out of battle." It's also in a heart-shaped box.
- The prologue of The Curse of Monkey Island has Guybrush briefly trapped in the treasure hold of Le Chuck's ship, which contains all the stuff the demon pirate plans to use to win/buy Elaine's love, including a giant heart-shaped box of chocolates.
- Mega Man Powered Up: The image of the Valentine Roll costume has Roll holding the heart-shaped box of chocolates that she attacks with, which, when used to attack, is larger than her.
- In Bully, Jimmy can offer either a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates to a female student (or certain male students) to make out with them and get bonus health. Eunice, in particular, will only accept chocolates.
- Most of Voltage Inc's romance games get a Valentine's Day Episode side story sooner or later, and the protagonist's efforts to present her love interest with handmade chocolate for the holiday feature prominently in all of them. Drama caused by lost, stolen, or damaged chocolate is also common, as are various other obstacles ranging from cross-cultural confusion to angst when the guy in question seems to have accepted chocolate from another girl.
- In the "A Chocolate Kiss" side story of Love Letter from Thief X, the chocolate goes missing before the protagonist gets the chance to give it to her lover, in most cases requiring extreme measures to track it down and get it back in edible condition.
- The "Black Valentine's Day" side story in 10 Days with My Devil requires the protagonist to explain the tradition to the demons, most of whom don't know enough about human culture to be familiar with the holiday and its customs. Not all of them manage to wrap their brains around the significance: Kakeru, for example, takes a while to grasp that the protagonist putting her feelings into the chocolate she's made for him does not mean it literally contains her soul.
- Be My Princess, My Forged Wedding, My Sweet Bodyguard, and Class Trip Crush also include Valentine's side stories focusing mostly or entirely on the protagonist's desire to give her guy homemade chocolate, and in most cases his eager expectation of receiving it.
- In Welcome To Sanditon, Clara bakes Nutella waffles for herself and her new boyfriend Ed in the episode "Nutella Waffles for Two".
- DuckTales (1987):
Singing Chocolates: Oh, we're the singing chocolates,
- In "Ducky Mountain High", Scrooge buys Goldie a box of chocolate silver dollars.
- In "Metal Attraction", Fenton Crackshell hires the "Singing Chocolates" for Gandra Dee. They're a troupe of singers dressed in giant valentine's chocolate boxes. Presumably, Gandra gets to keep all the chocolates they bring:
As sweet as we can be,
Fenton gives his love, To his sugar Gandra Dee!
Gandra: Oh, Fenton, you shouldn't have done it!
Fenton: I knew I should have hired the Acrobatic Assorted Nuts instead!
- In an episode of The Simpsons, Manjula receives a life-sized chocolate in the shape of Apu. Apu himself is inside it.
- In Gargoyles, Broadway gives Angela a box of chocolates (or, to be more exact, what's left of them) shortly after introducing himself to her. They later become mates.
- In the early Looney Tunes short Porky's Romance, he goes to court Petunia, but she huffily turns him away. As he trudges away dejectedly, she spots the box of candy he's carrying, rockets out the door, snags him, and pulls him inside...then contentedly munches away, ignoring him.
- The 1933 Mickey Mouse short Puppy Love, Mickey plans on Minnie giving a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day, but Pluto takes them and shares them with Fifi. To avoid getting in trouble, he puts a bone inside the box, and Minnie is furious when she finds it, believing Mickey put it there.
- In Japan, Valentine's Day was commercially imported from the West by chocolate/candy companies, where the idea is for girls to give gifts of chocolate to guys they like. This idea is so popular and important that some artistic representations of the act even have the girl giving herself with chocolate poured all over her body. White Day was later invented for March 14, where males "return" the sentiments with a gift of their own. The usual method is that of giving him homemade chocolate and cookies, packaged in an embroidered handkerchief and tied with a ribbon. Sometimes, it will involve a handmade sweater as well.
- In the West it was generally common practice to give a girl, either for going out or on Valentine's day, a box of chocolates and/or flowers. Sometimes, a greeting card was also included. In the cases where this is still practiced, the receivers of said box are usually women over the age of 40 or 50. (Or going out with a man who was taught how to treat a lady by his mom.)
- According to various studies, chocolate (especially of the dark variety) is one of the recommended foods that you can eat before having sex. Chocolate triggers feelings of relaxation, intoxication, and pleasure. It also releases mood-boosting, stress-reducing serotonin, stimulates physical contact desires and lowers inhibitions.
- Subverted in that, due to the above-mentioned effect, people tend to eat lots of chocolate when lovesick. Chocolate also mitigates the negative side effects of love. If it's really bad, anti-depressants may be more effective in the serotonin-increasing department.