Alice and Bob are at a party and Bob starts to get a little hungry. So when he sees some food on a tray he helps himself to it. Cue Alice coming over and telling Bob he just ate the pet's food. Bob is either disgusted and spits the stuff out or shrugs and keeps eating the food.
May be related to Feed by Example
- A Butterfinger commercial featuring The Simpsons has Homer trying to steal Bart's Butterfinger bar during a power outage. Bart offers to give him a bite of it, but it isn't until the lights come back on that Homer realizes that he's been fed a dog biscuit.
- In an early episode of Pokémon, Brock shows the gang the food he developed for Pokémon. The Cloudcuckoolander scientist who's joined them for the episode tries it (not accidentally, this is after Brock's shown it to the group) and says he likes it, but every other non-Pokemon character finds it disgusting.
- An earlier example has Ash deciding to sample the food Brock has made for Pikachu, which he immediately regrets. Brock mentions that while Pokemon can and do enjoy food made for humans, the reverse is rarely true.
- Implied in Dragon Ball Super in Trunks' Bad Future, when his friend Mai finds a can of food and excitedly points out "It's not even cat food, either!"
- In the beginning of A Far Off Place Harry mistakes the cat food for pate. When he finds out what he ate, he is so embarrassed he takes another bite.
- In UHF, Weird Al accidentally feeds his co-host dog treats while filming a promo for butter cookies. His friend gags at the taste, but continues eating them until Al notices his error and transitions smoothly into a promo for the dog treats. His friend then runs off screen to vomit.
- Happens to Fiona's dad the King in Shrek II.
- Happened in Superman III.
- In Lethal Weapon 3, Murtaugh gives Riggs a box of dog biscuits after getting frustrated with Riggs' failed attempts to quit smoking. Riggs takes a bit of one and finds that he likes it. As a Running Gag through the rest of the film, he occasionally chows on more dog biscuits.
- In Prince Of Tides, Lila is insulted that her boorish husband Henry ridicules her cooking for being too fancy, so, with her children's help, she fixes a hash that has dog food as the main ingredient. She sets this "dish" before Henry, who pronounces it quite tasty.
- Bachelor Party: Debbie's friend Phoebe digs into a bowl of cat food at Debbie's shower thinking it's pate. She keeps chowing down after Debbie's mom tells her it's cat food.
- In Henry Reed's Baby-Sitting Service, the eponymous main character winds up cooking hamburgers for his client's boss when his client can't make it home in time for the dinner, and he's complimented on the unique taste. After the event, his client asks him where he got the hamburger meat and it turns out that he used the horse meat meant for the dog.
- Good Times: A 1975 episode, the Evanses' neighbor resorts to buying cheap dog food to eat when she can't afford regular food at the store. This causes some unintended unease with Florida when she invites her over for dinner and the neighbor offers to bring meatloaf. (Of course, in the end, the neighbor reveals she made the meatloaf ... from ground beef, but not until after dinner, when everyone is sure they've eaten Alpo.)
- Divorce Court: In the mid-1980s dramatized version, a woman fed up with her husband and boorish beer-drinking friends fixes chili con carne, not telling them until afterward that she had substituted dog food for the hamburger. (Fortunately, nobody got sick.)
- On Dual Survival, Cody and Dave once had nothing but a can of dog food to eat. As they're digging in, Cody mentions that American food regulations require pet food to be made suitable for human consumption because pet food sales spike during times of economic crisis.
- On The Honeymooners, Alice takes care of a dog, and heats up some dog food on the stove. Ralph and Ed find it, taste it and like it.
- Three's Company had Mr. Roper eat some dog food he mistook for a stew Jack had whipped up.
- The Golden Girls has Dorothy eating some Chicken food that Rose had left behind.
- In 3rd Rock from the Sun, when Dick quits his job at the University, the aliens are reduced to eating cat food. Sally tries to convince them that they are actually eating cat, but Mary makes Tommy gag by pointing out to Dick that "Your son is eating cat food!"
- To Tell the Truth had one of these in a 1973 episode. Several sample dishes were set before the panel, and the dog food part was only revealed as host Garry Moore read from the affidavit, and announced their job was to identify who was promoting dog food as a cheaper alternative to the high meat prices of the early 1970s.
- Season 1, Episode 3 of Saturday Night Live had an early "fake commercial" for "Felina Cat Food", where a woman was asked to sample tuna noodle casserole, one made with regular canned tuna, and one made with cat food. She found the cat food version "CHUNKIER! And, uh.. CREAMIER!" ... until it was revealed what she ate.
- Benson: Big Eater Pete sees a bowl of food on the kitchen table and eats it, not knowing that it is cat food for Katies new kitten.
- Season 7 of Shameless (US) introduces Etta, the elderly owner of Fiona's laundromat who, due to dementia, is prone to eating cat food.
- The episode of The Worst Witch where the girls receive their cats features Miss Bat eating from a tin of cat food.
- Red Dwarf episode "Marooned" features Lister and Rimmer stranded on a planet where their limited emergency supplies include tins of dog food.
- Done on Will & Grace. Justified in that Will was so obsessed with his new dog that he was actually cooking food for it on the stovetop, when Grace came by and tasted it. Her response upon being told was a croaked-out "Needs salt".
- In an episode of The Crazy Ones, the agency is loaned a cat food company's mascot for a few days so they can be "inspired" for their pitch. Simon sets out bowls of cat treats all over the office, and Andrew mistakes them for free snacks. He spits out the first handful, but later develops a taste for them, to the mockery of the others.
Andrew: It says human-grade, you elitist!
- In an episode of Kenan & Kel, the duo decide to make a list of life goals to complete, and one of Kel's goals is to eat dog biscuits, which he does. He later carries the box around to snack on.
- The last verse of RunD.M.C.'s You Be Illin'
For dinner, you ate it, there is none leftIt was salty, with butter, and it was def...But Holmes, you did not read, it was a can of DOG FOOD!
Jon: (eating cat food) This tastes funny.Garfield: If you add water, it makes its own gravy.
- In this strip from 1951, Schroeder (then still a baby) eats out of Snoopy's food bowl. He enjoys the dog food so much, that he pushes Snoopy aside. In retaliation, Snoopy jumps into Schroeder's high chair to eat his baby food.
- In this strip from 1953, Linus (then still a baby) eats out of Snoopy's food bowl. Unlike Schroeder, however, Linus finds Snoopy's dog food tastes terrible.
- In The Men from the Ministry whenever One and Two are hiding an animal in the office Two is sometimes forced to eat the animal's food to fool Sir Gregory into thinking it's just his breakfast or medicine.
- Our Miss Brooks: In Poison Ivy, Mrs. Davis sets out dog biscuits in place of cereal for breakfast. Miss Brooks and Walter Denton both fall victim.
- Baten Kaitos has dog food as an item/weapon. Using it poisons the target and inflicts damage, so you can fight enemies by force-feeding them dog food until they die.
- 7 Days to Die has canned dog and cat food among the food items that can be scavenged. The player can't really afford to be picky, considering the game is set in a Zombie Apocalypse.
- Subverted in League of Super Redundant Heroes: Keith tells Laser Pony (who's blind) that he's eating cat food instead of cereal. Laser Pony expresses disgust and dismay that he always mixes the boxes up. Then he digs back in when he's sure Keith is out of sight.
- In Freefall, Florence the gengineered wolf has a fondness for ramen with kibble, claiming that the flavours work well together. When her roommates back in college found out... they agreed, and ended up stealing her kibble all the time.
- In SpongeBob SquarePants "Missing Identity", SpongeBob comments that he has been feeding his pet snail Gary for years and doesn't even know what it tastes like. He doesn't like it, but later has to keep on eating it when he retraces his steps to find his eponymous identity.
- In the episodes Have You Seen This Snail and Gary's New Toy, Patrick is known to often eat pet food.
- In "Pineapple Fever", when Squidward locks himself in SpongeBob's room, he gets hungry and finds a bag of food to eat. When Gary wants to eat some, Squidward refuses to share until realizing that he's eating snail food and spits it out in disgust.
- In Big Top Scooby-Doo!, animal trainer Doubleday absent-mindedly shoves a dog biscuit into Shaggy's mouth. Shaggy doesn't mind and eats it anyway.
- The first episode, "Tommy's First Birthday", had Tommy convince the other babies to hunt down some dog food, thinking that it would make them into dogs. When they finally get to it and eat some, they immediately spit it out in disgust (except for Lil, who says that she likes it).
- "Runaway Angelica" has Angelica running away from home and hiding at Tommy's house. She orders the babies to get her some cookies, but when they can't reach the cookies on a high shelf, they opt to give her dog biscuits instead. Angelica eats them with enjoyment until the babies tell her what she's eating, she reacts with disgust and anger. The babies themselves don't understand and remark that they eat them all the time.
- Helen accidentally eats dog food in the first episode of Martha Speaks.
- In the Bob's Burgers episode "There's No Business Like Mr. Business", Tina finds a box of Aunt Gayle's cat food, has a taste, and becomes utterly hooked on it. She then gives some to Gene, who likes it as well and soon both of them are scarfing it down. Then they discover that the box was Linda's, who had also developed a taste for it.
- In the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Invisible Muriel", Eustace sneaks some bites of Muriel's latest cooking, thinking it was dinner. But when he found out moments later that what he ate was Muriel's batch of her "Secret Recipe Blue Ribbon Dog Food", he spits some of it out and tries scrubbing the taste off his tongue.