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Cut a Slice, Take the Rest

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"So, dimly remembering that Indians use bread when they've overdone the chilies, I cut a slice, threw it away and ate what remained of the very expensive Daylesford loaf, like a dog."

Bob is preparing to take his share of a large item (a pie, money, or, as in the page image, a pizza) that is clearly meant to be split between several persons. He cuts a small, Bob-sized portion out from the main lump — and then leaves that behind while he makes off with the rest. The tinier the initial portion, the funnier the joke becomes: what appeared at first to be moderation and restraint on Bob's part is actually just greed, since a smaller remnant means more for him.

This is most commonly seen with cake, where Bob will cut a slice and take the rest for himself. It's also seen often with money, where Bob pulls a few bills from his wallet and then his wife Alice takes the wallet. The gag can be further subverted if Bob takes the larger portion and then returns to get the tiny remainder too.

Taxman Takes the Winnings is a related gag: someone who has just come into possession of a big bundle of money is promptly accosted by the Intimidating Revenue Service, who divvy up the winnings and make off with most of it, if not all. They may even threaten Bob with prison if he doesn't cough up more...

Most often seen in Western Animation.

Compare I'll Take Two Beers Too, Fight for the Last Bite, and Ate It All.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Funimation dub of Crayon Shin-chan, Penny's mom cuts two slices of cake for Shin and Penny, but Shin complains that Penny's slice is bigger. When told that they're all the same, he grabs the entirety of the cake left on the tray and eats it.
    Shin: I think your mom's on drugs. My piece was way bigger.
  • In Skip Beat!, Kyoko cuts a normal slice of cake for her and then grandly presents the rest of the cake to the famous actor she's temporarily working for. He's touched she's learned his eating habits so well.
  • In Sword Art Online, Asuna's idea of "sharing" a cake with Kirito involves cutting him a slice and taking the other 7/8 of the cake. Kirito objects, saying they should each get half. He eventually settles for 1/4 while Asune takes the other 3/4.
  • Doronjo divides the cake the group receives like this in the first episode of Yatterman.

    Asian Animation 
  • Upin & Ipin: During Upin and Ipin's very first iftar, Upin gives Ipin a spoon of rice from the bowl then takes the rest of rice in the bowl. Subverted as he is just joking and takes a proper portion later.

    Comic Books 
  • A common gag for Archie Comics' resident Big Eater Jughead. His idea of "help yourself to a piece" is to cut one slice of pie and chow down on the rest. In another example he conned Archie into having a square pizza; Jughead sliced a small perfect square in the center, and took the rest of the share.
  • Asterix: In Asterix and Cleopatra, Obelix is asked to cut three slices from the Special Iced Arsenic Cake. He cuts out two normal-sized slices and takes all the rest as his own piece.note 
  • In the Spanish comic El Capitan Trueno, Goliath does that with a 4 lb. sphere of Edam cheese.
  • One issue of The Dandy had Sneaker invite Crawford round for tea. He does this twice with cutting cakes ("One tiny little slice...for you! And the rest for me!"), and the third time he pours a small glass of pop for himself...and sprays the rest onto Crawford.
  • Has appeared in covers for the resident Big Eater of Monica's Gang, Maggy.

    Comic Strips 
  • Seen in Garfield.
    • The page image is the title panel of this Sunday comic.
    • Indeed, in one episode of Garfield and Friends, Garfield hesitates about taking the cake, realizing that Jon and Odie should have some. So he cuts a small slice, eats the rest, and says to the audience, "You knew I was gonna do that." Then he takes the slice and eats it too, commenting "You knew I was gonna do that too."
    • In another episode, Garfield is giving a lecture on Odie. At one point, he pulls down a pie chart, made with a real cherry pie, meant to represent Odie, to explain what a dog like him is made of. According to Garfield, two tiny pieces of the pie, which he eats one at a time, represent Odie's brain and common sense, respectively, while the rest of the whole pie, which he then eats, represents Odie's tongue.
    • In one strip Garfield is getting ready to scoop him some ice from a container into a bowl he asks himself, "One scoop or two?" he then scoops all the ice cream into his bowl save for one scoop saying, "I think I'll leave one scoop."
  • Also used in FoxTrot, where Roger noted that Peter had taken a normal-sliced piece of pizza and asked if he was feeling all right. While saying, "Sure, why do you ask?" he took the remaining seven-eighths and started munching on it, leaving the plate with the small slice in its place. This let Roger know that his son was still his gluttonous self.
    • He had the audacity to suggest that for one holiday dinner, the portions should be thus: a slice each for Roger, Jason, Andy, and Paige, and the rest of the turkey for himself.
      • One strip shows Andy finally catching on to this. Peter asks if he can have a brownie; Andy says yes, and Peter pries the entire uncut brownie off the cookie sheet and has it halfway to his mouth when she adds "AFTER I cut it!"
    • Roger also did this once with coffee. He pours a cup and leaves it on the counter, then starts drinking straight from the pot. Andy then notes that Roger really is cutting back as she takes the mug for herself
  • In Hägar the Horrible, Hagar was at a party and the hostess encouraged him to take a piece of cake. Despite the fact that there was still about seven-eighths of a whole cake left, Hagar demurred, "Oh, I don't like to take the last piece"—indicating that in his mind, this trope is the normal way to take a piece of cake.
  • One strip of Zits had Walt and Connie ordering pizza for a romantic evening, Jeremy comes in and asks if he can have a slice, they say he can, he cuts out a slice then takes the rest of the pizza for himself.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the W. C. Fields short The Fatal Glass Of Beer, there's a scene where Fields eats a bowl of soup with a ridiculously long baguette. He breaks the baguette in half and repeatedly dips one half in the soup, but then takes bites from the other half.
  • Variant in Grumpy Old Men: John brings beer to his dad at his ice shanty. Instead of taking the one can John offered to him, his dad takes the remainder of the six-pack then takes the rest inside and shuts the door.
  • In Mean Girls, during the time when Regina is unknowingly being manipulated into gaining weight, she can be seen cutting off the end of a loaf of French bread and biting the loaf. Tina Fey notices this on the first time during the DVD Commentary and actually remarks that Bugs Bunny used to do that.
  • A variation is used in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps when Sherman's family devours an entire buffet leaving only the salad.
  • In Shallow Hal: Rosemary cuts off a "sliver" of a cake that's about as big as the whole cake, and walks off munching on it like a Pringles chip.

  • Beware of Chicken: The Lord Magistrate needs a drink to deal with Jin, but as soon as he takes a sip, he realises that he needs a clear head and thus can't afford to drink as much as he actually wants to, so he hands the bottle to his wife to remove temptation.
    She obliged him, draining the rest.
  • Happens frequently in Discworld. For instance Nanny Ogg will take one spoonful of sugar, put the rest of the contents of the sugar bowl into her tea, and then put the one spoonful back in the bowl.
  • In the picture book My Dad Thinks He's Funny, when the boy's family has cake for dessert, his Dad doesn't even bother. He just points to the entire cake and says "Well, there's my piece. What's everyone else having?"

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the original All Creatures Great And Small, Siegfried tells James to hand him some cotton wool. James, following Siegfried's previous orders to be sparing with materials, tears a tiny piece off and offers it to him. Siegfried snatches the rest of the wool leaving James holding the remaining piece.
  • The Benny Hill Show:
    • During an extended sketch parodying Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Benny (as Butch) and Jackie Wright (as Sundance) are enjoying a stolen picnic dinner. Benny offers to cut a slice of cheese from a large — like 2 feet long — cube. Sundance makes him move the blade so the slice is thinner, and thinner, and thinner until it's practically a paper thin slice; after Butch cuts the thin slice, Sundance picks up the rest of the cheese and starts to eat it. (Seen here starting about 2 minutes in.)
    • Another stock gag is someone taking out a bottle of liquid medicine, pouring themselves a spoonfull, then drinking what's left in the bottle and pouring the spoonful back in when they're done.
  • A dangerously-ill Bernard Black does a similar thing when making coffee in Black Books: he takes a spoonful of coffee from a full jar, then pours boiling water into the jar and drinks from that.
  • In Call the Midwife, series 3 episode 2, Sister Monica Joan does a version of this. Faced with a tray of cakes, she takes one, then another. Resident Deadpan Snarker Sister Evangelina responds by suggesting she takes them all. Sister Monica Joan, being senile and Sarcasm-Blind, does.
  • This gag was a staple on The Electric Company (1971), the slightly more mature companion series to Sesame Street. When it was used in a live segment, the character doing so remarked that he'd "learned this from the Spellbinder" (Letterman's animated foe, who did indeed do this trick when the hero turned a snake into a cake).
  • On an episode of Family Ties Alex's uncle asks for a beer. He takes most of the six pack and hands one back.
  • In an episode of The Golden Girls, depressed Blanche puts a normal serving of lasagna on a plate, then leaves the plate on the counter and begins eating the rest from the casserole dish.
  • The Good Place, "Help Is Other People": Eleanor asked Janet to prepare margarita cocktail for the end of the experiment. Janet brings her a jug and offers her one glass. The experiment didn't go as well as they had hoped, so Eleanor grabs the jug and takes a swig. She needs a freaking drink. It looks like she'll drink it all in one go.
  • On one episode of Home Improvement, one of the students from Tim's shop class does this with Jill's cake when Tim has them over for dinner.
  • In one episode of Kickin' It, Jerry asks for a thin cut of steak only to take the larger piece.
  • And Compo of Last of the Summer Wine does it with sugar and tea.
  • In Leverage, functioning alcoholic Nate pours himself a glass of alcohol and then starts drinking from the bottle saying that the glass is "for later". At the end of the scene one of the characters angrily takes the bottle off him and he picks up the glass and continues drinking.
  • In The Real O'Neals, Shannon offers a boy some gum during an awkward moment, upon which he takes the entire pack and hands the one stick back. She later decides it's a good thing:
    Jodi: So, he's greedy.
    Shannon: No, he was flustered. And that means he likes me!
  • A variation in Red Dwarf, Lister carefully measures out a spoonful of curry powder, throws the rest of the can into his mix, and dumps the spoonful back into the can.
  • Fay does this with a pizza in Round the Twist, most likely because of her pregnancy and Wacky Cravings.
  • Sesame Street: As Ernie prepares slices of pie for both himself and Bert, he gives Bert a tiny sliver, and himself a large slice.
    Bert: You know, Ernie, that is not very polite...if I had two pieces of pie, I'd offer you the big piece and take the small one for myself.
    Ernie: Well, Bert. You have the small piece.
  • In The Vicar of Dibley, this was done on more than one occasion by Geraldine, the titular vicar. She would cut a slice of cake and eat the rest, or break off a piece from a chocolate bar and then eat the rest, or one example when she poured a glass of wine, then downed the rest of the bottle in one continuous gulp.
  • In an episode of What's Happening!!, Rerun is handed a bowl of pretzels and is told "Take one and pass it on." Rerun takes out a pretzel, and hands the pretzel to someone else.
  • On a 2013 episode of the American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, in a "Helping Hands" sketch, a quirky medical doctor explaining things to an assistant is acted by Ryan, with Colin controlling the arms. The doctor demonstrates pouring out a small dose of "cough syrup". Then (in a funny choice by Colin) chugs the whole bottle. This actually goes back to the old US series, with full size wine bottles so Ryan never actually finishes 'the rest' in any case.

  • "Taxman", by The Beatles, seems to fit this trope well. This was Truth in Television; when the Beatles recorded this song, 95% was indeed the tax rate in Britain at the top tax bracket, which the Beatles' earnings put them in.
    Let me tell you how it will be
    There's one for you, nineteen for me
    'Cause I'm the taxman,
    Yeah, I'm the taxman
    Should five percent appear too small
    Be thankful I don't take it all
    'Cause I'm the taxman,
    Yeah, I'm the taxman


    Web Animation 
  • In the Happy Tree Friends episode "Chew Said A Mouthful", Nutty takes a very small spoonful of sugar from the sugar bowl, then pours the rest into his drink. It's still not sweet enough for him.
  • Played for Drama in RWBY with the introduction of Willow Schnee, Weiss's alcoholic mother. When Weiss encounters her, Willow is fiddling with a half-full tumbler of vodka. Rather than drink from it, though, she takes a few long pulls straight from the bottle.

  • Played with in Ctrl+Alt+Del, when Ethan attempts to create a web show based off of "Will It Blend", using rocket fuel on various objects to see if they launch. Ethan says that he cleverly calculated the amount of rocket fuel needed to test to see if a brick will shoot off, and holds up said amount. Zeke then points out that since what he's holding is the calculated amount, Ethan just used the rest of the fuel on the brick. Cue an Oh, Crap! face from Ethan and a brick through the wall.
  • In Ennui GO!, while recruiting Floridians for Izzy's army, Noah is so disturbed by the three new recruits that show up that he pours himself a mug of whiskey, then promptly tosses it over his shoulder and chugs straight from the bottle.
  • A variation in Housepets!, as Four Finger Discount Jack pours some lemonade for Poncho, then drinks the rest of the pitcher full himself.
  • StupidFox does this when Raccoon offers a piece of cookie.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • In the second half of the Animaniacs two-parter "Hooray for North Hollywood", the Warners barge in onto a Hollywood party to get their movie script approved. Wakko goes to the buffet table and cuts a slice of cake, and promptly eats the rest of it.
  • At the end of the Barney Bear cartoon "Heir Bear," the taxman comes to take "Uncle Sam's share" from the treasure Barney had just uncovered. He takes a coin...for Barney to keep while he collects the rest.
  • Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice once found a huge gold rock. A tax collector took a small piece of it and did like the taxman from the Barney Bear example above.
  • In the episode "Heavy Sleeper" from Chowder, Chowder takes an orange from a fruit bowl only to suck out the rest of the fruit and put the orange back in the bowl.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: In an early Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck cartoon, "Orphans' Picnic", there's a sequence where Donald's laying out the picnic and trying to stop the orphans from making off with food before it's all ready. At one point, one of the orphans sneaks up to a chocolate cake, carefully cuts a slice, and then makes off with the rest of the cake, leaving the slice behind — which another orphan steals moments later.
    • In another Donald cartoon, "Donald's Cousin Gus", Gus Goose does this, also with a chocolate cake.
  • The 1937 Color Classics cartoon by Fleischer Studios Bunny Mooning has a hippo guest at the bunny wedding roll up to a frosted layer cake, cut a thin sliver into it, then shovel all but the sliver into his huge maw. Occurs at the 3:50 mark.
  • In one episode of Disenchantment Bean is leaving a tavern for the night and decides to take one more drink "for the road". So she fills a tankard from the keg, then takes the keg.
  • In the beginning of Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "A Glass of Warm Ed" where Ed sleepwalks into Edd's house and eats Edd's food from his fridge, Ed opens a pickle jar, takes out a pickle, waits for a second, and pours the contents of the pickle jar into his mouth.
  • In The Fairly OddParents! episode "That's Life", Timmy has eaten a slice of his pizza and refuses Wanda's suggestion that Timmy throw them a slice. Timmy picks up the rest of the pizza and says he's down to the "last really big, really round, almost circular piece", when his mother notices them in a starved condition and says he also should give them some food.
  • The Jetsons opening is spoofed on Family Guy where George yells at Jane for taking all his money and ends up throwing her out of the air car, killing her. note 
  • In the Famous Studios Screen Song short "The Ski's the Limit", a Swiss cheese factory has a mouse serve as its cheese taster. The mouse cuts a slice, swallows the larger part, and stamps "OK" on the smaller part.
  • Used on The Flintstones when the Rubbles were living with the Flintstones; Wilma sets out two pieces of cake, one small, one huge. Fred lets Barney choose, so naturally, he scarfs down the larger piece. Fred objects that if he got to choose first, he had picked the smaller; Barney counters, "What are you complaining about? You got it!"
  • Flip the Frog: The short" Soda Squirt" has a bit where one of Flip's customers, a caricature of Joe E. Brown, motions for a piece of cake to be cut and Flip hands him the rest of the cake after cutting a slice because he's distracted by a beautiful woman.
  • In the Goof Troop episode "Clan of the Cave Goof" cavewoman Peg cuts a piece of cake for caveman Pete this way.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Inconveniencing" Mabel finds a bunch of Smile Dip. She takes a packet, dips the dipper in it, and then pours the rest of the packet right into her mouth.
  • The Jetsons:
  • Inverted in the Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Amnesio"; the moment Stitch sees Lilo's coconut birthday cake at the end of the episode, he proceeds to eat seemingly the entire cake all at once, much to Lilo's shock. However, as he's chewing, he lifts up a plate showing that he saved her a slice, showing that he's not going to deny her (at least, a slice of) her own birthday cake.
  • Tubby does this in one episode of The Little Lulu Show.
  • As described above, used often in Looney Tunes, usually the cake variation.
  • Inverted on Maggie and the Ferocious Beast in "Happy Birthday to All of Us." The Beast seems very disappointed when Hamilton cuts him a tiny slice of cake...until Hamilton reveals that the tiny slice is his, and all the rest of the cake is for the Beast.
  • The gag of cutting one piece of cake only to hog the rest is used in the Muppet Babies (1984) episode "Happy Birthday, Uncle Piggy", where the song "It's Hard to Be as Wonderful as Me" has a scene where Piggy "shares" a cake with the other babies by handing over a tiny slice and keeping the rest of the cake to herself.
  • In the last episode of Neighbors from Hell, the main protagonist's human boss cuts a corner slice out of his daughter's birthday cake and takes the rest, then his other boss (Satan) takes the remainder.
  • A variation occurs in the first Popeye cartoon. Bluto is offered a cigar from a box for ringing the bell at a carnival; he takes the whole box and sticks one of them into the vendor's mouth.
  • Private Snafu: In "Spies", Snafu pours a single shot of liquor from a bottle, then throws away the shot glass and guzzles down the bottle.
  • In a Birthday Episode, Scooby-Doo cut a normal slice of his birthday cake and offered it to Shaggy, who told him the birthday boy should take the first slice. Well, since it's this trope and Scooby we're talking about, you must know what happened.
  • Greedy does this to a test cake that he made in preparation for Woody and Laconia's wedding in The Smurfs (1981) special "Smurfily Ever After".
  • In one episode of The Snorks, Willie does this after saying "piece of cake". He takes the cake minus one slice and shoves it in his mouth.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Krabby Land", when SpongeBob realizes the kids like seeing him in pain when liquid from a popped bubble he was blowing gets into his eyes, he dips his bubble wand into the bottle only to throw the wand away and intentionally splash the entire bottle into his eyes.
  • Used in a Tom and Jerry short, "Baby Butch", in which Butch the alley cat cuts a small slice of ham, then takes the rest for himself.
  • In the T.U.F.F. Puppy episode "Operation: Happy Birthday", Snaptrap scarfs down the rest of the cake after cutting one slice when Dudley convinces him to help him celebrate Kitty's birthday. He later finds out from Dudley that the cake was a cheesecake, and since he is horribly allergic to cheese (Ironically enough, being that he's a rat), he swells up and hits the controls, which cause him to set Dudley and Kitty free.
  • The Wander over Yonder episode "The Fancy Party" has Sylvia grab a sandwich from a plate of sandwiches before devouring the rest of the sandwiches that are still on the plate.
  • Played with in Young Justice. Wally is a Big Eater, due to his Super-Speed requiring a lot of food. So when it's his birthday, the team goes out of their way to make two cakes, presumably to avoid this trope. However...
    Wally: Great! What are you guys going to eat?
    M'gann: We'll split the cupcake.

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): Improper Fraction


Smile Dip

How Mabel eats Smile Dip.

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