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Eating Machine

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At least save some for us, GIR.

Vegeta: So, are you ready to die, android?
Android 15: [starts taking a swig from his flask]
Vegeta: Ah... are you...?
Android 15: [continues drinking]
Vegeta: Does that even do anything for you?
Android 15: Not anymore.

This trope is for robots and cyborgs with primarily robotic bodies that consume human food and drink.

This is very common for a Ridiculously Human Robot who may need to eat food to maintain the Masquerade, but it's certainly not limited to that trope. Some robots consume food as a power source (calories powering machines is something that exists in the real world, though in very early stages) either for convenience or rarely for horror. Other robots may eat food they have no way of processing and no logical need for as pure Rule of Funny hedonism and to anthropomorphize otherwise non-human machines. Despite being unable to digest food, don't be surprised if caffeine, sugar, or alcohol still somehow affects a robot's behavior.

Many robots that can eat food also have a distinct preference, whether it be for something that's easy for their system to convert to energy or whether it be just the same tasty junk foods that humans love. Alcohol and sweets are popular for both reasons.

Not to be confused with a Big Eater, which some people would refer to as 'an eating machine', although they may overlap. Compare with Metal Muncher, which involves robots eating something that isn't similar to human food.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku: Nuku Nuku is a cyborg housing only a rescued kitten's brain (and maybe some other organs), but she eats just like a normal teenage girl would. Well, with some feline preferences.
  • Briarios and other cyborgs in Appleseed (by the same author as Ghost in the Shell) eat and drink the same food as humans do. It is explicitly stated that cyborgs like Briarios have "bio-packs" that perform all their biological functions.
  • R. Dorothy Wayneright from The Big O is shown mimicking Roger and pretending to eat, though she has no use for food and it's just to put people at ease.
  • Doraemon needs to eat to function like a human (as fuel) and his favorite food is dorayaki. Since he can taste, he's occasionally shown scarfing down or refusing food accordingly.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Cell is an artificially created organism who has to feed to survive, except that his favorite meal is humans, who he absorbs by almost literally sucking up their bodies as he would suck liquid through a straw. Unlike some of Dr. Gero's other creations, Cell is completely organic.
  • Guy from GaoGaiGar is a cyborg (90%, below the head). His favorite food is niku-don, and he's shown eating some in one episode — half a dozen bowls and then some, when we see it. Side materials indicate that it's for his own mental health, as the food simply gets burned inside him and provides no nutrients. He is the only non-human character shown eating in the show (excluding Mamoru and Kaido) — the Yuusha Corps like drinking oil though, while J and Lune aren't shown to eat.
  • Justified in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex with special food for full-body prosthetic cyborgs like the Major or heavily cyberized people like Bato. It doesn't taste that good to regular people like Togusa. It's noted that being able to eat like a normal person is considered important for averting Cybernetics Eat Your Soul.
  • Reg from Made in Abyss can recharge his power either by eating or by connecting to electricity. Since the Abyss is short on anything electric, he's mostly seen eating instead.
  • Chachamaru in Negima! Magister Negi Magi can eat and drink though she claims she has no sense of taste. Apparently it's to feel more human. Later, she can be seen licking an ice cream cone and is in the school's tea club. By the time of the ice cream event, she may actually be able to taste it considering the numerous upgrades.
  • Genos from One-Punch Man is able to eat and taste food despite most of his body being replaced with cybernetics. Saitama notes that the guy who designed and built Genos' body must be a Nice Guy since he made sure that Genos could still enjoy the mortal pleasures of eating and drinking.
  • Pecola: In "Pecola's Penguin Special", Robo-Pecola, who helps Pecola to run Cori's cafe while she's taking a break to watch a movie, eats all of Mayor Papazoni's spaghetti for him when he points out he didn't eat spaghetti with motor oil on it.
  • Rozen Maiden, all of them. Though maybe it's due to their Magitek-ness.
  • Used as a heartwarming moment in an episode of Space☆Dandy. It opens with the narrator explaining what circumstances would lead QT to drink a cup of coffee. He spends the episode seeking the affection of a coffee machine he fell in love with, with tragic results. Subverted in that drinking it only blows out some of his fuses, but he just wanted to do it as a symbol of respect.
  • Amber from Tales of Wedding Rings is perfectly capable of eating, despite being an android. She devours at least ten plates' worth of bread while the party is stopped at an inn, much to Granart's bemusement.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: The heroes are all Ridiculously Human Robots that regularly consume normal food. They do drink oil sometimes, though.
  • Mechamato: MechaBot can eat human food and loves curry puffs. Amato finds this puzzling, but MechaBot doesn't see anything weird about it, since he's seen Amato put food in another machine, the fridge.
    Amato: You're so weird. What kind of robot likes curry puffs?
    MechaBot: What's wrong with that? You feed the refrigerator food every day!

    Comic Books 
  • In The Invaders (Marvel Comics), the original Human Torch (who, despite his name, is an android) can eat and drink. He doesn't seem to require it, though, being powered by photoelectric cells in his artificial skin.
  • Aaron Stack, a.k.a. Machine Man from Nextwave. "My robot brain needs beer!" In Marvel Zombies 3, however, he states "I have no stomach, but I must barf."

    Fan Works 
  • The AFR Universe: In the story "Agent Hanamura", Yosuke is invited to a dinner interview with Mitsuru and Labrys. Yosuke comments on Labrys eating. She claims that she's powering herself with an experimental nuclear reactor that burns the food as fuel, before admitting it was a joke. She actually has a refrigerated storage container in her body so she can pretend to eat while undercover as a human and then dump the waste later. She plans to give the steak she just "ate" to Koromaru later.
  • The Inspector Gadget (1999) fanfic "Euro Gadget" states that Gadget can eat like regular humans can, and implies that this was one of many features which drove Bradford Robotics to bankruptcy. Brenda cautions Gadget to be careful around greasy foodstuffs, which will clog up his machinery.
  • Final Stand of Death has Hawk drinking a cup of tea despite being a sentient mecha. Then again, like the rest of Fusion Gundam, Hawk is British. Eariler, Spur tries her luck with from soda.
  • Penny in The Heroic Age eats to maintain the Masquerade that she's human, but she's not very good at it. She eats a breadstick by sliding it down her throat whole, much to the shock of her new friends. Penny quickly jumps on Pyrrha's belief she's a sword swallower.
  • In Origins, a proposed ship crewed by geth is designed to consume organic matter as fuel. Specifically, dead Flood biomass which is burned down to carbon and subjected to fusion.

    Film — Animated 
  • Cars:
    • The cars not only consume fuel (they drink it from a straw rather than taking it in through their gas valves) but also other metal objects like nuts and bolts, as with "human" food including fruits and vegetables, and meat. Nobody knows where their meat products come from, considering the fact that the animals in their world are also vehicles like them, with their cattle being portrayed as either farm or construction equipment. (Who wants tractorburgers? Come and get 'em! Only $2.50!)
    • In Cars 2, Mater eats wasabi, mistaking it for ice cream. Fire-Breathing Diner ensues.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Subverted in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence: the android David tries to eat spinach to fit in with his human family (and because of a dare by his jealous human 'brother'), but ends up causing his machinery to jam on it, so a tech-support team has to open him up and dig the spinach out. Woops.
  • Subverted in the obscure B-movie sequel, Class of 1999 II: The Substitute. It is believed that the huge substitute teacher is an android and he's a Big Eater, he even says "My body turns food into fuel quite quickly," but it turns out he's just a man who thinks he's an android.
  • In Prometheus, David is shown eating a few times while waiting for the crew to wake up. Whether he actually needs the food to refuel or is simply doing it to feel more human is unclear.

  • Animorphs has a line about the Chee (doglike androids that project holograms to look human) incinerating the food they eat, without mentioning whether this is their only source of power or if it's just used to pass for human.
  • In The Caves of Steel, R. Daneel Olivaw is a human-shaped android who can "consume" food and drink to imitate a human. He actually stores the food in a bag within his stomach which he must empty or else it starts to spoil. He even offers the food from the bag to Lije Bailey, explaining that it's untouched and fit for consumption. Although Lije is a bit troubled at the thought of food going to waste, he refuses the offer.
  • Isaac in The Dark Side of the Sun can "derive power from the calorific content of organic substances", and even seems to have a bit of a palate when it comes to alcohol.
    "Old Overcoat. The genuine stuff. Two glasses and you rise up on a pillar of flame."
  • In "Evidence" (the penultimate story in I, Robot), a man is suspected of being a robot because he was never seen to eat. The man states he doesn't like eating in public but does eat an apple to demonstrate. Susan Calvin states it proves nothing, since such a perfect robot would be built with the ability to eat if needed. For some reason, the story ignores the point that the robot might actually require food — the design in question is Terminator-like, with flesh upon an artificial skeleton.
  • In The Positronic Man (based on the short story "The Bicentennial Man"), a robot eventually upgrades himself with a device that converts food to energy.
  • In Terminal World, there exist "Carnivorgs", machines that use decaying neural tissue instead of circuits. To replenish their rotting parts, they eat brains.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The synths in Humans are capable of consuming food, which is stored in a bag in their torso for later regurgitation and disposal. This feature was presumably designed to make them more realistic companions, since they were never supposed to become sentient.
  • The 'Bots in Mystery Science Theater 3000 are like this, especially Gypsy.
  • Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation can consume food and drink to appear more human and put others at ease. He also appears to have taste buds; when he gets his emotion chip in Star Trek: Generations, he realises that he "hates" a certain drink.
  • Kryten of Red Dwarf doesn't normally eat or drink, but it turns out that Mimosian cuisine, including the telepathic wine, is suitable for droids. An earlier episode has him consuming a special android meal as well as a beverage especially designed to function on droids like alcohol does on a human system... or kill him. Meh, same diff.
  • In an episode of Small Wonder, Ted modifies Vicki to extract energy from food and use beverages as coolants.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron is able to eat food, though it is not made clear whether she does this to blend in with humans or if she gets some benefit from this. At one point she is glitching due to damage to her processor and is convinced that she is actually human, and when presented with a large plate of food she says she isn't hungry.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warforged in Dungeons & Dragons don't need to eat but they can still ingest and benefit from Magic Potions and enchanted food. In The Dreaming Dark novels, the party is given a magic feast by a fae noble that looks like their favorite foods, the warforged member is a bit disappointed that all he gets is a tasteless bowl of gruel.
  • In Hc Svnt Dracones, Cogs can eat but it costs more energy for them to metabolize then they can obtain from it. They do need to drink water for lubrication and other things.
  • Iron Kingdoms: The Cryx Kraken Colossal from WARMACHINE has a special rule called "Meat Fuelled", allowing it to gain Focus Points when it kills a Living enemy Model. Essentially, it's a giant robot that eats people.
  • Both Androids and Sentient Robotic Organisms (otherwise known as SROs) are playable races in Starfinder, and both are capable of eating and drinking (though SROs don't have to).

    • Played with. The Matoran are shown fishing, and there is mention of food in the first few years of the story, but the characters are never seen eating the food. Since Matoran must wear their masks at all times and wouldn't be able to put food into their mouths, this resulted in a large dose of Fridge Logic... until it was revealed that they consume food by absorbing it through the palms of their hands. Their Bara Magna counterparts also need to eat but are established to be mostly organic, so they probably do it the usual way.
    • The Skakdi are able to (and often do) chew and swallow their food to regain energy, which the Matoran find repulsive and animalistic.

    Video Games 
  • In general, nearly every video game that features both biological and mechanical protagonists and food- or drink-based power-ups is subject to this. Examples include Chrono Trigger, Pokémon, Persona 3, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, etc.
  • The eponymous ChipWits are rolling steel boxes fueled by pie and coffee.
  • Choice of Robots has a chapter where you can design taste sensors for your robot, and even choose what sort of foods you want them to try. Later on, one of said robots expresses a desire to cook as well. They can even get drunk, if you so choose.
  • In Cuphead, Dr. Kahl's robot is seen chewing bubblegum in his intro, blowing a bubble before the match starts.
  • In Destiny, the Exos are machines with human minds that can do many things humans do, such as feel human emotions like anger, fear, love, and frustration. They can also eat, with Cayde-6 making a point of drinking alcohol, commenting that after he kills the Big Bad he'll get a sandwich, and complaining that the Cabal blew up his favorite spicy ramen shop.
  • Averted as foreshadowing in Detroit: Become Human; Alice is never shown eating despite being served food multiple times.
  • Don't Starve: WX-78 needs to eat just like the rest of the characters. However, they can digest spoiled food with no penalties, unlike other characters.
  • One of the Hunters in Evolve is the Cyborg Torvald. He still eats despite his only remaining biological parts being his head, torso, and left arm. The food is burned in a built-in fusion reactor to generate energy and keep him going.
  • Glamrock Chica in Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is obsessed with pizza, to the point that she goes rooting through the garbage trying to eat any that gets thrown out. On account of her being a robot (a very lifelike robot, but still a robot), all this really does is damage her insides.
  • In Galactic Civilizations, the Yor are powered by food so that when they conquer planets from other races or vice-versa, they can use the same farms.
  • In Girls' Frontline, T-Dolls can receive energy through food. Griffon & Kryuger's standard MREs are the most efficient in this regard but are said to be unpleasant. Many Dolls prefer certain foods (FNC has a Sweet Tooth and especially loves chocolate, NS2000 is a curry aficionado, AA-12 is never seen without at least one lollipop and WA-2000 secretly likes chocolate ice cream), and some, such as SAT-8, F2000 and SPAS-12, have bigger appetites than others. Seriously, the latter talks about food all the time.
  • In Horizon Zero Dawn, the machines created by GAIA consume grass and other organic materials in order to fuel their Cauldrons and themselves. Played for Drama, as in the past, the machines created by Faro industries nearly a millennium ago quite literally ate everything to extinction, right down to the microscopic level and turned Earth into a barren rock much like Mars.
  • Inscryption: According to creator Daniel Mullins in a livestream, TV Head Robot P03 loves Doritos, Cheetos, and canned yerba mate.
  • Implied in Machinarium; even though all the characters and wildlife are robots, there's a kitchen in the game and one of the characters gets kidnapped to do cooking for the villains.
  • In the Mega Man Legends series, the servbots both eat curry and rice and drink coffee despite being robots built by Tron Bonne herself and not being Ridiculously Human Robots.
  • Overwatch: According to Word of God, every member of the playable cast loves pineapple on pizza. This includes Zenyatta, Bastion, and Orisa, all of whom are robots.
  • In Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time, several of the mechanical zombies, namely Zombie Bull, Rodeo Legend Zombie, Robo-Cone Zombie, Disco-Tron 3000, and Shield Zombie are all shown to be capable of eating your plants, as well as being vulnerable to the hypnotising effect of Hypno-Shroom and the poison of Shadow Shroom. In addition, in the Chinese version of the game at one point, Disco-Tron 3000 was vulnerable to the effect of Chili Bean.
  • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Miraidon is robotic but capable of eating food, having to eat the sandwich your player character's mother gives to you in order to gain energy after falling into the water surrounding the Paldea region.
  • In Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, The space pirate robots regularly drink grog, a form of alcohol which they are very fond of. It even makes them drunk especially Captain Slag and Rusty Pete. They also eat oyster chili, and comment on the aftereffects.
  • The Glitch from Starbound require food and have a hunger bar like the organic races. This is justified in the codex, where it states that their internal engine burns down food to provide energy.
  • TerraTech has Big Pete, a quest NPC who asks the player to bring him resource chunks. Whether or not he is a robot is ambiguous, but he/his bulky mechanical exoskeleton definitely has a mouth.
  • Too Human: One of the early bosses — GRNDL-1, a reference to Beowulf — first made itself known by leaving shredded corpses on the outskirts of human settlements and during the opening cutscene eats several people during the attack on the mead hall. Disturbingly, it is unknown if it needs to do this to sustain itself or if this is just a terror tactic.
  • Twisted Wonderland: Ortho Shroud can eat, but needs his body specifically modified to do so.
  • VOCALOID no Natsuyasumi -Final 4 Days-: The Vocaloids portrayed as singing android created by Crypton Android Media, yet they have the need to eat like normal humans. This is prominently shown in Day 2, where they had a dinner together.

  • Some of the robots of Bob and George subvert this trope. Megaman eats ice cream by the gallon daily, at first seeming like this trope. As it turns out, Dr. Light built him to convert ice cream into fuel, which the good doctor apparently lived to regret; when he built Mega Man X, he designed him to hate ice cream, so he wouldn't "turn out like the rest of those lazy, gluttonous slobs".
  • Bob the Angry Flower designs a robot that consumes organic material as fuel. Bad idea.
  • Difficult to say in Zenith's case in Commander Kitty. She's certainly seen at a restaurant, claims to have no room for desert, and her "perfectly reasonable demands" for a travel service includes cashews and un-shelled pistachios. On the other hand, she's never seen eating, and it wouldn't be the only time she was wrong about her own functionality.
  • Ping in Megatokyo, to Miho's initial surprise. She can actually derive energy from sugars, and she loves cake.
  • In Quantum Vibe, Artifolk can extract minerals from food and convert sugars into ethanol, which some of their systems use.
  • In Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger, Quentyn's robot helper orders a banana sundae. It explains that it has the capacity to enjoy the sundae — as a work of art, not as nourishment.
  • Questionable Content:
    • Pintsize loves to pig out on cakes despite having no stomach or really even containing space for the food, leaving Marten to have to power him off and clean him out more than once.
    • Pintsize and the other AnthroPC's have a rather ambiguous attitude towards eating stuff. Early on in the comic, Pintsize claim to be able to eat and taste food, thanks to an onboard spectrometer — he stores it in a compartment of his chest, then evacuates it later. It's somewhat gross. Later, however, he gets a new chassis, which apparently lacks this function, but that doesn't stop him from eating — just makes it a bad idea. As he is heard saying once, "That was SO worth the massive motherboard damage..."
    • In another strip, Millefeuille (who is already drunk due to downloading a drunkenness simulator) drinks ouzo, and when asked where it goes says "We'll all find out together!" A few strips later, she cries it out.
  • Exploited in this Tumblr comic when a scientist tells his eating robot to poop on another scientist who thinks building an eating robot is ridiculous.

    Western Animation 
  • Subverted by BMO in Adventure Time, who keeps trying to eat, but the food either just get mushed into their screen face or is put inside and has to be cleaned out. Likewise, the SMOs security guards in "Be More" all take breaks to smear coffee and donuts all over their faces.
  • Final Space: Deconstructed by KVN. He biologically can't eat but he still loves smashing cookies into his "mouth", essentially just wasting food.
  • Futurama: Bender (like all Earth-made robots) is designed to run off booze. They act drunk when they don't have alcohol; indeed, in one episode, Bender is arrested for driving with less than the minimum alcohol level required for a robot to operate a vehicle. Robots also consume prepared fuel as "robot food." While they can and do eat human food, it presumably doesn't do anything for them (and Bender, at least, has no sense of taste, despite his passion for cooking).
  • Invader Zim: GIR is an example of a robot that has no use for food but pigs out on it anyway to the point of removing useful system components to make more room for stored snacks.
  • In Mr. Hublot, a Steampunk cartoon where every living thing is actually mechanical, they eat not food, but some sort of congealed oil concoction. The dog can be seen to have steel nuts and bolts floating in it.
  • Subversion in My Life as a Teenage Robot: Trying to fit in with her new human friends, Jenny eats an ice cream cone (in one bite) but as soon as they look away, she opens a door in her chest and throws the ice cream away. The only things she "eats" is various kinds of oil (including salad dressing oil).
  • Downplayed in Robotboy; he and Robotgirl are shown to be able to eat human food, but whenever they do it gums their gears together, which brings up the question of why they have a sense of taste but no mechanical stomach for food to go.
  • Octus from Sym-Bionic Titan is seen eating ice cream bars in one episode and also ate cookies when disguised as Lance and Ilana's father. Unlike most examples of this trope, he's also capable of tasting them, as most of his body is a shaped fluid that can analyze whatever is put in it.
  • Cyborg from Teen Titans (2003) is a Big Eater. Justifiable, as he's not entirely machine.
  • Transformers:
    • The Transformers: The Insecticons are shown to have been capable of eating anything, including trees, grain, and buildings.
    • Beast Wars: While in beast mode, are able to eat things that would be edible to terrestrial animals, rather than typical Transformer "food" like oil. Perhaps most notoriously, Rhinox eats some wild bean vines and develops literally explosive flatulence. Tarantulas is known to prey on local animals, and once even attempted to eat Cheetor.

    Real Life 
  • A company is developing a biomass-fueled robotic drone called EATR. It can run on anything from conventional fuels to scavenged leaves and twigs. Early news articles sensationally (and inaccurately) reported that it was designed to eat meat — including human corpses.
  • The mechanical sculpture Cloaca No. 5 by Wim Delvoye.
  • There are also electronic devices being developed which can run off the glucose in human blood (potential applications include electronic tattoos and Cyborg prosthetics).


Video Example(s):


MechaBot and Curry Puffs

Despite being an alien robot, MechaBot instantly loves the taste of curry puffs the moment he tries them, and often anticipates for more.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / InstantTasteAddiction

Media sources: