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Delicious Distraction

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I shall distract these goons with the power of Product Placement!

"Is that... food? Everyone smuggled food down here!? Unbelievable! You guys put our lives in danger because you couldn't go without a snack for a day!? You are all... awful! [stomach growls] So hungry... is that... egg custard in that tart?"
Aang, Avatar: The Last Airbender, "The Great Divide"

Hunger is a very powerful force. A starving person may degrade themselves for a scrap of food; a hedonist will do so for a teaspoon of cous cous. Mmm... delicious cous cous. Even a person with a full stomach may have a hard time resisting a marvelously mouthwatering meal or morsel.

Much like characters with Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!, these characters are distracted by something delicious, like a freshly baked, moist, sweet delectable apple pie cooling on a window sill... *drools* *cough*

Yeah. Like that.

This can be used as a "soft" Achilles' Heel against gluttonous characters (or anyone, provided the bait dessert is good enough) that can distract or completely sidetrack a given character for up to an hour (or more, if the tempter is a cook with a fully stocked kitchen). In cartoons, this may be enough to stop a predator/enemy in their tracks, in other media, the sleeping dust/amnesia powder sprinkled over the glazing does the trick.

May happen just by looking at it, smelling it, and in powerful instances from mere memory or having it be described... like that time I had this delicious just-baked and still warm pineapple empanada, with a gold crust that was still crisp yet unburnt, and the filling with small chunks of pineapple still discernible when you chewed... *drools*

A Supreme Chef can easily invoke this trope.

Intimately related to Food Porn, which is about distracting the audience with the yummies. Compare Food as Bribe which is for getting a service for a supply of food. Also closely related to Meat-O-Vision, Obsessed with Food and Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere, diet edition. Don't confuse with another related trope, Delicious Daydream.


    open/close all folders 

  • All-State's "Mayhem" has one commercial where Mayhem plays a dog guarding a house being robbed. They placate him with a bone, demonstrating how an Angry Guard Dog can be easily avoided.
  • As countless Hostess ads in comic books taught us back in the Bronze Age, any supervillain can be distracted by the light flaky crust and delicious fruit filling of Hostess cakes. Really, all super heroes ought to carry a few packs of them.
  • There was a campaign of commercials for Nestle Quik in the 1990s where the Quik Rabbit and some kids would use Quik to distract a variety of chocolate-stealing villains, including a Mad Scientist, a Wicked Witch, and an alien cyborg. Here's one of them.
  • An Eggo Waffle commercial in the mid 90s promoting the film adaptation of Harriet the Spy has Harriet sneaking into Agatha Plumber's kitchen to take her Eggo. A Pomeranian runs after her, but Harriet is prepared and hands it a rawhide bone.
  • A 90's advert for KFC showed a long queue of people waiting to get into Fluffy Cloud Heaven. As St. Peter calls out each person in turn, his clerk would check a list to see if they were approved to get into heaven. But then the clerk gets distracted by a bucket of KFC and starts admitting everyone regardless, including Vlad the Impaler and Genghis Khan!"

    Anime & Manga 
  • In chapter twenty-two / seventh episode of Asteroid in Love, the Earth Science Club works as volunteer instructors for a children's stargazing event. Since the children are not listening to their teachings, Suzu and Megu give them cookies to quiet them down.
  • At the stinger skit of Episode 4 of Daily Lives of High School Boys, the three girls (Distaff Counterpart of the three main boys) discuss why boys are boring to watch and wonder how they even got an anime. Then Yanagi and Ikushima got the idea of asking (read: screaming at) Karasawa, who lives next door to Habara's house (where the girls frequently meet). Then Karasawa throws them sweets, and the two girls stop screaming at him and gorged at the food like there's no tomorrow.
    • This was found to be a subversion in the next episode, since the snacks Karasawa threw to the girls were all expired. Bullying continues.
  • Digimon Adventure: Metalseadramon's henchman Scorpiomon loves clams, so much that it distracts him long enough for Togemon and Ikkakumon to digivolve and finish him off.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Goku and Vegeta are fighting evil clones of Piccolo, Gohan, and Gotenks. Majin Buu, however, comes across a store full of cakes at that exact moment... turning the clone fighters inside Buu into cake, letting Goku and Vegeta pass.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, this is used against Miaka by the bad guys (and Taiitsukun) more than once. It works every time, because Miaka literally cannot control herself around food.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers Canada at one point (during the American Revolution, no less!) attaches a note that reads "There is food inside" to a package in an effort to trick America into opening it. The last panel of the comic shows America desperately trying to restrain himself.
    • There's also a comic where Rome is shown daydreaming about food and women while bored during a meeting.
  • Samurai Champloo. Mugen is chatting up a couple of women they've met on the road and seems likely to score, but they're eating rice balls on a stick which he eventually snatches off them as he's very hungry. The outraged women disappear amid a torrent of verbal abuse.
  • In 3×3 Eyes, at one point Galga takes Pai out of commission by showing her an illusion of lots and lots of sweets falling around her, causing her to be stunned.
  • In episode 94b of Tamagotchi, Spacytchi and Akaspetchi set up a grill with food cooked on it to distract the racers in the Tama-Pet race so that Pipospetchi (who is posing as a Tama-Pet) can win the event. However, Pipospetchi himself falls for the trap, as does Kuchipatchi who is outright not participating in the race.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Lamput episode "Dr. Lamput" sees Lamput pretending to be one of the scientists chasing after him after he winds up with a Coincidental Accidental Disguise of gray paint making him look similar to them. The docs are mapping out a plan to capture Lamput, who then suggests a new plan to replace the old one - set up a trail of candy for Lamput to follow that leads to a jar to imprison him in.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 95, a flashback shows Wolnie saying to Wolffy she'll give him fried rice to eat if he catches goats for her. Wolffy promises he'll capture some goats, but gets distracted by Wolnie's pan of fried rice as soon as she holds it in front of him. Wolffy spends a few seconds contemplating his two options - fried rice, or getting hit with a bigger frying pan than Wolnie usually hits him with.
  • In Pleasant Goat Fun Class: The Earth Carnival episode 17, during the river race, Wolffy throws a slice of cake to the edge of the river to distract Paddi and move ahead of him. This being the food-obsessed Paddi, he falls for the trick and gets his boat stuck as a result.
  • In Tik Tak Tail, Tik frequently uses carrots to distract Tail, who seems to consider them his favorite food, often causing problems for both him and Tak, to whom he's directly attached.

    Comic Books 
  • In one issue of Pinky and the Brain, the titular duo need to steal lemons from a private garden as part of their scheme to Take Over the World. It's guarded by Angry Guard Dogs, but Brain has a bag full of steaks handy. The problem is that there are more dogs than steaks.
    Pinky: Eeeeek! It's yet another slobbery hound!
    Brain: Quick, Pinky the- (Clearly resigned) -bag is empty.
  • One issue of her own series has Harley Quinn parachute into Gotham to bust Ivy out of Arkham, only to land in a pizza place, deciding to stop for a few minutes to chow down. Later she uses the pizza she brings along to distract the guard dogs at the Asylum.
  • In one Batman story, Bruce Wayne is being guarded by federal agents because of a threat against his life. Alfred distracts the agents by cooking a delicious (and delicious-smelling) roast beef dinner for them, allowing Bruce to sneak off and become Batman.
  • During the Spider-Verse story line in Marvel comics, a family of vampire-like predators called the Inheritors hunt various iterations of Spider-Man across alternate realities. These realities mirror a number of ways Spider-Man has appeared across different eras and media (comics, three-panel newspaper strips, TV, etc.). The reality based on the Hostess Fruit Pie ads has one of the Inheritors momentarily distracted by the delicious fruit filling, but he is powerful enough to overcome its (otherwise irresistible in that reality) siren song of sweetness.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The Rykorns manage to distract Etta from their highly suspect behavior with food.

    Fan Works 
  • Goku in Dragon Ball Z Abridged has this crop up frequently while he's in the middle of a fight.
    Goku: AH! MY RIBS! I THINK YOU BROKE MY- Mmmm… Ribs…

    Films — Animation 
  • The Lion King (1994): Simba, Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa have to get past Scar's hyenas who are very hungry from food shortage in order to sneak back in the Pride Lands, they use Timon and Pumbaa to distract them with Timon dressed as a hula dancer and Pumbaa as a roasted pig on a plate.
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Toad looks as though he's about to attack the guards protecting Princess Peach's castle with his frying pan... only to use his frying pan to cook vegetables for them. They're enthralled by his cooking enough that they don't notice Mario going into the castle.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The easiest way to get B.A. Baracus in The A-Team to calm down and stay out of your hair is to give him a plate of Murdock's coconut curry tapenade. Just don't forget the toasties.
  • In Beverly Hills Cop, Axel Foley successfully distracts a pair of cops on a long stakeout by sending over a lavish dinner, and uses the opportunity to sabotage their car so they can't follow him later. He does it again against the two protagonist cops, but this time only uses the distraction to introduce himself.
  • In the film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Hermione decides to try knocking out Crabbe and Goyle by leaving sedative-laced muffins floating in mid air in a hallway. It works perfectly. In the original novel, they didn't have an excess special effects budget to be showing off, so they just set them on the banisters by the stairs, to exactly the same effect. At least that's only mildly stupid.
  • In Live and Let Die, James Bond gets stranded in an alligator infested swamp. He finds a bucket of chicken meat and throws them at the approaching gators, but soon runs out and has to escape them.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: During the extended version opening of the movie (well, second opening; during the Concerning Hobbits scene), a hobbit-maid is about to kiss her hobbit-lover, who is distracted by a basket of muffins going around and eats it instead. At the exact same moment, Bilbo narrates that "a Hobbit's only true love is for food."
  • In The Rock, Sean Connery's character has the hotel room service deliver a full spread of snacks to distract the FBI agents that are supposed to be keeping an eye on him while he enacts his scheme to escape and meet up with his daughter.

  • Ax from Animorphs. Oh, Ax from Animorphs. Andalites don't have mouths or tongues, so Ax in human morph is positively overwhelmed by the sense of taste.
    • Do NOT get between Ax and a cinnamon roll. You will bleed.
    • Every Andalite who adopts a human morph. By the end of the series, Andalite tour groups visit Earth just to sample human cuisine.
  • Ben and Me: During the mission to defeat the aristocrats and rescue Sophia's children, the peasant mice see the luscious French food on the table and abandon the fight to eat it.
  • In A Brother's Price, when Jerin's toddler sisters are inconsolable about his going away to get married, he distracts (and comforts) them by suggesting they bake a cake and make ice cream.
  • Discworld:
    • In Thief of Time, chocolate proves itself to be a Deadly Delicious Distraction, for Auditors that are new to having human bodies or taste buds. At one point, the mere scent of a single piece of high-end chocolate candy sets a mob of them to fighting one another, and the sole survivor's body disintegrates from sheer bliss upon eating it.
    • In Unseen Academicals, Glenda uses scrumptious pies to bribe her way past Lord Vetinari's security guards. Subverted in that Vetinari'd ordered the guards to accept any bribes regardless of their value or quality; played with in that he scolds his aide for having the pies disposed of, uneaten: he knew Glenda's grandmother from her time as a cook at the Assassin's Guild, and neither she nor her granddaughter would dream of fouling a recipe with poison.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: At one point in Take a Thief, Skif bypasses some guard dogs with a cross between this trope and Slipping a Mickey. He mixes chopped meat with bread crumbs soaked in poppy juice, stuffs the concoction into sausage casings, and tosses them over the wall.
  • Isaac Asimov's Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus: Lucky notices that the V-frogs seem particularly attracted to petroleum-derived products because of the carbon-hydrogen density. It is this which allows him to break their mental hold at two key points in the story, and hints that they might not have enough brains to be the actual masterminds...
  • Redwall: Characters will reminisce rhapsodically about food whenever they aren't actually sitting down to a sumptuous feast, but the robin from Mossflower has to take the cake for this trope because he operated solely on food-based bribery.
  • Star Wars Legends: Galaxy of Fear: Eaten Alive: The better to tempt visitors to relax and stay, the Enzeen have a habit of providing all visitors with free food, lots of it, all very good. Most visitors immediately trust them, but this is subverted with Tash, whose latent Force-Sensitivity gives her a bad feeling about the whole thing. The food is actually just fine, simply used to help visitors feel at ease so they can be eaten themselves later with less fuss.
  • In The Thief of Always, the Master of Illusion uses food to make the heroes forget about the real world and their goal of defeating him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ron, from Season 18 of The Amazing Race. Several times he lost his concentration, even mid-task, and tried to get his daughter to stop to get food.
  • The Book of Boba Fett. Grogu should be meditating with Luke Skywalker, but instead uses the Force to float a frog over to his mouth, until Luke opens his eyes and sees what he's up to. After stopping Grogu with a mild Disapproving Look, Luke then levitates a whole bunch of frogs to show Grogu what he could do if he concentrated!
  • In the Breaking Bad episode, "I See You", after Hank gets shot, Gus Fring uses a personal delivery of fried chicken to the hospital where Hank is recovering to distract the cops while Mike Ehrmantraut kills the surviving would-be-assassin to keep him from ratting Gus out to the police or to Juan Bolsa.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the episode "Earshot", while searching for a student that they suspect is about to enact a school shooting at Sunnydale High, Xander is distracted by some Jello while passing through the cafeteria. Which leads him to the person who's really planning to murder a bunch of students: the lunch lady, whom he catches dumping rat poison into the mulligan stew.
    • In "The Zeppo" Giles gets miffed while preparing for The End of the World as We Know It because Buffy had eaten all the jelly donuts.
    • In the spin-off Angel, Cordelia Chase has just rescued her Bound and Gagged friends from being executed. She stretches out her arms for a Group Hug, only for them to rush past her and tuck into the food.
    • Angel & Faith has Faith break up a fight between Nadira and some Arsenal football fans she attacked by revealing her b...eer. She immediately muses that she could very easily have revealed something else.
  • Cake Boss: Buddy Valastro gave Cookie Monster a large cookie cake, because he loves him. As a bonus, it kept Cookie away from Buddy's main project: a 40th anniversary Sesame Street cake.
    Cookie Monster: Me prayers have been answered!
  • In the "Lost Session" teaser for Cowboy Bebop (2021), Spike seemingly bails on the bounty to grab some food.
    Jet: We're on a job.
    Faye: Seriously?
    Spike: Noodles first.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Fourth Doctor often had a bag of Jelly Babies with him, and more than once, he used it to distract a guard who was sitting in a hover car. What he'd do was he'd leave a trail of the candies going away from the guard's vehicle, then throw the bag onto the car's hood to get the guard's attention and get him to follow the trail. Then, while the guard was distracted following the candies, the Doctor and his companion would get in the hover car and fly it away. Played With, in that no one was expecting the guard to actually eat any Jelly Babies, just to follow the trail.
    • "The End of the World": In the last scene, Rose is about to make a decision as to whether or not she's going to stay a companion when she smells fresh chips and decides they should get some. The Doctor agrees.
  • Kaylee from Firefly often finds herself distracted by delicious-looking fresh fruit. At one point she managed to make an entire generation of sci-fi fans jealous of a strawberry.
  • In Friends when Joey's sister Dina told him she was pregnant, she (at Rachel's suggestion) got him a meatball sub to distract him in case he got angry.
  • On those occasions on Hogan's Heroes when Schultz does not know nothing, he can be bribed with food to know nothing.
  • In one episode of Married... with Children Bud spends most of the episode trying to get past a hotel doorman to see an old high-school flame, who's now a celebrity, but keeps getting thrown him out. On one attempt, a fat, middle-aged woman from another room sees and grabs him. (What happens off-screen is best left to the imagination.) Later, Bud gets an idea; he gets rid of the doorman by luring him next to the same woman's room using a table with a hamburger, making sure that she grabs him. (Unfortunately, while he manages to talk to his old flame for a few minutes, the guard is 'very'' angry when he comes out.)
  • Tested and confirmed on Mythbusters, in regards to distracting an Angry Guard Dog with meat. However, it was noted that it is possible (though not easy) to train a guard dog to ignore such distractions.
    • A drug-sniffer dog is harder to fool, however; they tried hiding (legal, if that makes any sense) contraband in a false bottom of a suitcase filled with food, with the assumption that, if the dog signaled to his handler that the bag was suspicious, the handler would see the food but no contraband and assume a false positive. It didn't work; the handler discovered the false bottom no sweat, and it was noted that a sniffer dog could be trained to disregard food.
  • Occurs in Psych when Gus keeps distracting Shawn with Snickers bars in "Ferry Tale".
  • Pushing Daisies has this happen to the aunts, when their niece custom-bakes them a cheese-coated pie. And of course, it had mood elevating drugs baked in.
  • Jimmy from Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical starts ranting at his drug dealer about how he's done smoking pot, and nothing can change his mind, but gets sidetracked shortly after the dealer offers him a brownie. Admittedly, it was a pot brownie, but Jimmy didn't know that before he dropped his argument to eat it.
  • In the episode "Hollywood Babylon" of Supernatural, Dean is distracted by miniature Philly cheesesteaks on the craft table when Sam attempts to discuss the case they are investigating.
  • Appears on Top Gear's Polar Special (the three presenters' attempt to reach the magnetic north pole). After a particularly stressful day, James May distracts Jeremy Clarkson with various gourmet foods and (awesomely) a bottle of Chablis, all of which he has somehow brought along without his friend noticing.

    Music Videos 
  • The promo film for "Happy Jack" by The Who has the band as a gang of Blatant Burglars who sneak into an apartment and start trying to break into the safe... only to be quickly distracted when their lookout discovers a lovely cake.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Great Muppet Caper, the Muppets need to sneak into a gallery to stop some jewel thieves from stealing a large and valuable diamond, but have trouble getting past the guard dogs. The solution was to feed them pizza as they sneak in. It only works for so long before the dogs are back on their trail.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Burgle Bros. the Donut tool can be played on a guard, and that guard will not move the next time he is supposed to move.
  • Chrononauts, the card game of time travel, includes an artifact from the 1939' Berlin World's Fair: a delicious slice of German Cake. You can use it during another player's turn to distract them and cancel whatever it is they were about to do.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • There is a spell called "Illusory Feast" that creates a feast that seems to have their favorite foods and is real as far as natural senses can tell. Causes foes that aren't actively involved in fighting to drop what they're doing and indulge. Foes that are fighting are slightly dazed.
    • In the Tyranny of Dragons module, it's possible to divert the attention of some ambush drakes in the Cult of the Dragon's camp by throwing slabs of meat at them. There's a cavern made into a butchery within the camp itself to make this easy.
  • In Munchkin, you can acquire an item called "Rat on a Stick" which you can use to distract monsters and avoid fighting them.

  • In 1776, John Adams is briefly distracted from haranguing Big Eater Samuel Chase for a vote on independence by the contents of his plate.
    "What's that, kidney?" [Chase slaps his hand away.]

    Video Games 
  • In Team Fortress 2, Heavy Weapons Guy's Sandvich, Dalokohs Bar/Fishcake, Buffalo Steak and Battle Banana prove to be this. To use those items, the Heavy stops to eat for four seconds, during which all he can do is bite and chew at his food, and the player is kicked to a third-person view and unable to do anything but look around. Plus, his chewing is LOUD. As this makes Misha especially vulnerable to Spies and Snipers, it's important to know not only when, but where to stop for a snack break.
  • Basingstoke: There are various foods in the game, such as sausage rolls and kebabs, that you can throw. When you do, the zombies will shambles in its direction.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the templar charged with making sure no one visits the Abomination infested Circle Tower can be bribed with cookies provided by Sten. Cookies that Sten stole from a fat slovenly child — for his own good, of course.
  • When fighting The Fear in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, his stealth camo will drain his stamina extremely fast. When it gets low, he'll shoot down some convenient fruit, gobble it down, and continue the fight. He is very vulnerable during this time, but can't actually be stopped from eating the fruit (he'll keep moving no matter what you shoot him with). However, you can throw your own food, some of which may be poisoned, and he'll go for that instead, as it is more convenient.
  • This is combined with Distracted by the Sexy in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. You can research a variation in the porno magazines; the food magazines, which are used to distract the Velocipreys.
  • In Amnesia: The Dark Descent, you can buy time from the invisible monster in the water by tossing body parts for it to devour instead. Preferably as far away from where you need to be as possible.
  • Penumbra: Overture: You can find packets of beef jerky. Toss them at zombified dogs before they see you and they'll be too busy eating to notice you around, allowing you to either kill them in a Sneak Attack or simply run away while they're distracted.
  • In the Golden Sun series, the stoves and ovens in various towns can be examined for short, appetizing descriptions of their contents; every oven is unique. Some of the descriptions also include reaction lines, apparently by the Heroic Mime player character (Isaac in the first game, Felix in the second, Matthew in the third), suggesting they have an interest in food. Which would explain why they're stopping to check out every oven in all the towns...
    He is making shrimp in a chili sauce. The shrimp looks so scrumptious... My mouth is watering.
  • In the Monster Hunter series, one can leave a piece of meat on the ground, which might entice a large monster into snacking on it, leaving them open to attacks while they eat and also possibly paralyzing them, poisoning them, or putting them to sleep if you combined it with something beforehand. Exactly how effective it is varies from monster to monster, some of them being cautious and only doing so while no hunters are in sight, while others will go for it even if they're being attacked.
  • In Dishonored, you can distract rats by throwing corpses at them. That way, they won't attack you until they finish eating.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link can use this tactic during the stealth infiltration of the Yiga Clan, by dropping their Trademark Favorite Food (Mighty Bananas) on the ground to lure guards away from their posts. This also works on Maz Koshia at the end of "The Champions' Ballad" DLC, though only once.
  • In Cadenza 4: Fame, Theft and Murder Michael distracts an angry dog with a burger.
  • In Reflections of Life 4: Call of the Ancestors vicious dogs are lured away from a door by throwing meat into a cage on the side of the room.
  • In The Cross Formula Mike gives an angry dog some beef jerky.
  • In Phantasmat 11: Deja Vu Matthew distracts an angry dog by getting it to chase a toy car with meat stuffed into it.
  • Infested: To distract the slime, you have to throw a packet of blood at it. Well, the game did say it has a taste for blood.
  • One of the (many) side-quests in The Legend of Tian-ding have you attempting to infiltrate an embassy which has a number of fierce guard dogs in it's front compound. You'll need to collect ribs and leftovers from the local butcher and use them to distract the dogs so you can break in without raising alarms.
  • If you're being chased by a predator in The Long Dark and have a piece of meat on you, you can drop it as a decoy and make your escape. This doesn't work on moose, for obvious reasons.

    Visual Novels 
  • Can be invoked by the protagonist of Double Homework depending on player choice. At one point, he has an option to distract Henry from embarrassing them both by telling him about an unopened bag of Cheetos in the cafeteria. It doesn’t work.

    Web Animation 
  • In Babushka: the Movie (and the actual game of Among Us that inspired it), the streamers Fuslie and Disguised Toast spend the entire game distracted putting together a take-out order from a fancy sushi restaurant, blissfully unaware that the impostors are slaughtering their way through the rest of the crew one by one until the impostors just need one more kill to win the game and find their hiding spot...

    Web Comics 
  • Saves the day in the first interlude for Cucumber Quest, when Carrot and Nautilus give into the temptation of the train's huge breakfast cart while searching for a bomb... that turns out to be underneath it.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Bob has pacified more than one deadly threat by feeding them. Granted, this made perfect sense the time he was being hunted by a space monster that was hungry.

    Web Original 
  • The Not Safe for Work web series-thingy(?) Felarya has many of the giants get distracted by prey, usually done for comedic effect, oddly enough.
  • Not Always Learning: A police dog goes into full alert mode ... over a ham sandwich in a student's locker. To be fair to the dog, he hadn't been given any orders (it was a lockdown drill, not an actual lockdown) so he wasn't in "work mode".

    Web Videos 
  • Deadpool: The Musical: Deadpool gets distracted mid-singing in a bar brawl when he sees a chimichanga and gives its would-be eater a fork-impaled palm to steal it.
  • A couple of guys trying to distract the lookout in Doomsday Arcade successfully distract him by using a 'Free Sandwiches' sign.
  • WoW-based comedy series Illegal Danish involves the characters Rasi and Basutei traveling to Ashenvale for apparently nothing but a vending machine. Rasi is annoyed, but Basutei is overjoyed, and launches into his own little commercial when he sees the machine is stocked with "Goblin Cakes." He then breaks open the machine and starts stuffing his face until Rasi throws the machine off the tower.
  • Subverted in Mr. Plinkett Reviews, when he starts talking about the frequent banther Obi-Wan and Anakin has about their off-screen adventures in Revenge of the Sith.
    "This is what they call filler, and its nowhere near as good as the filler they put in Twinkies... Mmmmmm... I like to fuck my cat."

    Western Animation 
  • Angel's Friends: This often gets Gas into trouble because of his eating habits due to him being Obsessed with Food.
  • Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1: "Lasagna" has Master Shake distract Carl (who is under house arrest after a hooker bit his tongue) with the eponymous pasta.
  • Bob's Burgers: At the climax of "Best Burger", Gene rushes through the food festival to get his dad Bob the black garlic he needs for a burger-making contest. He ends up having to run past a number of stands offering free samples and, while it's a struggle, he manages not to "Gene out" for once.
    Vendor: Free cupcake-flavored ice cream, served on a waffle!
    Gene: You're killing me!
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers: Cheese is a ridiculously effective distraction for Monty, even when the one with the cheese is only doing so unwittingly. In "Mind Your Cheese and Qs", Rat Capone has Gadget tied to a conveyor belt with a chopping thing somewhere along the way, and distracts Monty from rescuing her by holding up Brie '86, his favorite cheese. He does end up rescuing her, but he really has a struggle.
  • Dexter's Laboratory features a short directly parodying the Hostess Fruit Pie ads. A villain called the Mathmagician starts kidnapping Dexter and other children; Major Glory can't just punch him out ("Ah ah ah! No violence in school!"), so instead he brings out an armful of "Justice Fruit Pies", which are so delicious that the villain surrenders just to have a bite.
    Dexter: Thanks, Major Glory!
    Major Glory (through a full mouth): Don't thank me, thank Justice Fruit Pies!
    Dexter: What?
    Major Glory: I said "Don't thank"... D'oh! (Cue "Everybody Laughs" Ending)
  • Family Guy: It took a ton of Reese's Pieces to booby trap James Woods.
    "Ooh, a piece of candy! Ooh, a piece of candy! Ooh, a piece of candy!"
  • Futurama: When Bender comes across an angry guard dog he pulls out a huge steak... he then proceeds to knock the dog unconscious with it and eats the steak himself.
  • Freakazoid!: Freakazoid defeats Candle Jack by distracting him with pie.
  • Garfield and Friends: "Five-Minute Warning" has Jon bet Garfield that he can't go five minutes without eating. The fat cat tries to get his mind off food, but repeatedly runs into things like an ice cream trunk, a picnicking family, and the Buddy Bears, who have prepared an enormous feast for him as a token of friendship. Garfield does manage to win the bet, though, chowing down on a banana just as the timer runs out.
  • The Goode Family: A darker version of this happens with Che, the family dog, hyper-focusing on any meat product in his line of sight and running off to hunt smaller animals on a dime. The Dude, Not Funny! part comes in when you remember that his owners are straw liberals (on top of being generally morons) who only feed him vegan food, and he's trying desperately to nourish himself since his owners refuse to do so.note 
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: Subverted in "Masked Mouse: The Ultimate Challenge". Dog is playing superhero as "Dog In a Cape" and is trying to save Mouse, who has been blown away on a kite. He rides a skateboard, but then spots a man with a tasty donut. Then, he remembers Superhero Rule #3 — "Focus. No distractions."
  • Kaeloo: Quack Quack is obsessed with yogurt, which is a G-Rated Drug in this universe, so he can easily be distracted by offering it to him.
  • Kim Possible: An indirect version shows up in "The Golden Years": Drakken and Shego are operating out of an ice cream truck, and at one point Shego tries to get Kim off their tail by tossing out a batch of ice cream bars to attract a crowd of kids.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "The Return of Harmony, Part 1": Pinkie Pie is inclined to let Discord take over the world and bathe it in chaos because that means it's going to rain chocolate.
      "Eternal chaos comes with chocolate rain, you guys! Chocolate. Rain!"
    • "Rarity Investigates!": The pony responsible for framing Rainbow Dash uses a cake to distract the guards long enough to let them plant the evidence against Rainbow.
  • Ozzy & Drix: Bacteria-themed villains can't resist anything sweet, and can be led into a trap rather easily by mere pastry. Even the criminal mastermind Strepfinger is apprehended after Maria lured him out of his office with a pie. (After she knocked him out, she said, "You know, for an evil genius, you're pretty dumb.")
  • Revisioned: Tomb Raider Animated Series: In "Pre-Teen Raider", Lara whips out a raw steak and throws it to distract the Angry Guard Dogs when she breaks into the school after dark.
  • Scooby-Doo and Scooby Snacks. Though Shaggy and Scooby are afraid of their own shadow, all it takes is a little bribery with the snacks to get them to agree to do something scary Once per Episode.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Subverted when Homer tries to distract an Angry Guard Dog chasing Bart with a steak. The dog eats the steak in one bite and doesn't slow down at all.
      Homer: Faster, son! He's got a taste for meat now!
    • "Treehouse of Horror V": Subverted when Homer is being chased by Ned Flanders' guard dogs. (It Makes Sense in Context) He pulls out a large string of sausages — and then eats them himself to give himself "quick energy" for escaping the dogs.
      Homer: I know! [Pulls out string of sausages] These wieners will give me the quick energy I need to escape! [Homer eats them and suddenly speeds up, leaving the dogs in the dust]
    • "Homer the Vigilante": Played straight and parodied during the Cat's burglary spree. Santa's Little Helper growls at the intruder, who quiets him with a string of sausages. In comes a sleepwalking Homer, who also growls at the Cat... who also quiets him with another string of sausages.
    • "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy": Played straight with a brief gag. Homer tries to start a serious talk with his kids, but loses his train of thought thanks to Bart's candy bar.
      Homer: Kids, your daddy and his daddy are involved in a very sticky, nutty, chewy, chocolaty...put it away boy!
    • "In Marge We Trust": Marge becomes the church's "listen lady", offering advice for people in trouble. Lenny asks for help since he lied to his friend Carl about being married; Marge says that whenever she has to give bad news to Homer she does it after preparing him a delicious dinner so he doesn't care what she says.
    • "Brawl in the Family": The family throws their sandwiches to a gang of wolves and cougars, but it only energizes them and makes them jump higher. Homer instead throws them beer, which causes them to get drunk and faint.
  • South Park: In "Fat Camp" Cartman and the other fat camp members plan to break out of the fat camp, only to be deterred by an ice cream truck showing up.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Terminal Provocations", a rogue isolinear core is rampaging through the ship and absorbing technology into itself. When they can't force it into the airlock, Mariner chucks her tricorder into the airlock so it will go in willingly to get the delicious tech.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television, in relation to predators. Since they're usually motivated by hunger, leaving an easier meal close by can distract them long enough to allow you to escape.note  Even a vicious guard dog can be tempted from duty by a nice steak (better hope you can run faster than it can eat, though). Of course a guard dog can be trained not to be distracted this way...
  • The FBI pulled a variation of this on a notorious Mafioso. He conducted all his business in a junkyard, which the FBI could never approach to bug because of the vicious guard dogs. Agents came by every night for weeks and fed the dogs over the fence with steaks. Finally, the dogs grew to like the Agents and allowed them onto the property, where the Agents were able to plant a microphone and get the evidence they needed. To make the story truly hilarious, the agents returned to confront the Mobster and get him to turn State's Evidence but he laughed them off, claiming there was no way they could have bugged his office. Until the dogs came over and licked the Agent's hand. He flipped immediately.
  • The KGB did the same trick while breaking into an embassy guarded by a large dog. The only problem was the agent feeding the dog kept calling for more steaks.
  • Often used by restaurants as a particularly canny form of marketing: they'll make sure the kitchen vents onto the nearby street so that people walking by on their way somewhere else will just happen to catch a whiff of that freshly cooking food...
  • During the Winter War the Finns would set up field kitchens, get them cooking and smelling, then retreat as soon as Soviet forces approached. Under-supplied, cold, hungry Red Army conscripts then get ambushed while disorganised and distracted by claiming the food.
  • A common joke about the Zombie Apocalypse is that this trope, paired with a bit of cold-blooded pragmatism, is a great way to survive it. The idea is that you don't have to be the fittest person in your group of survivors, you just have to be fitter than the least fit person, because when that person gets caught and Devoured by the Horde, said horde will stop chasing you in order to grab the snack they have on hand. The same rule also applies to animal attacks, such as by bears or cougars. As the T-shirt says:
    I don't have to outrun zombies, I just have to outrun you.

Now that's all the tropes we had to- Ooh, chocolate chip cookies! *munch munch* This is DELICIOUS!!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Distracted By The Yummy


Sloppy Joe Meat Distraction

After Ham's group gets trapped in the cafeteria kitchen by a pizzly bear, Crispin gets the idea to distract the bear by using the sloppy joe meat in the kitchen.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeliciousDistraction

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