A difficult problem has been set before a character. Some of their attempts to solve the problem proved ineffective. How do they find the solution to this problem then? By eating, of course. Whether they are eating something they think would help them fix the problem or eating the problem itself, eating is the solution they come to.
A Big Eater might come to this conclusion right away, but there are plenty of other people who also resort to this tactic. In any case, their solution to a problem is either to eat it, or fill up their belly to provide a solution.
See also Eating the Enemy, Cast from Calories, Eat the Evidence, Just Eat The Macguffin. May also involve Power-Up Food. Compare Heartbreak and Ice Cream and Post-Stress Overeating, where eating is a response to emotional distress.
- In Cells at Work!, several of the phagocytes like White Blood Cell, Macrophage, and Eosinophil will eat the foreign bacteria that enter into the body in order to identify them or as a source of energy. Macrophage even cuts them up with her cleaver if they are too large to consume. Truth in Television, as this is how real cells deal with pathogens.
- In Delicious in Dungeon, Team Touden solve their problem of not being able to afford supplies for their dungeon crawling by eating the monsters they kill.
- My Hero Academia: Momo Yaoyorozu and Rikido Satou both have to eat in order to utilize their quirks properly. Yaoyorozu fits this better though since Satou's quirk is only powered up by consuming sugar, and there is a limit to how much he can consume.
- One Piece: In the fight against Charlotte Cracker — whose power is to create and shape tough biscuits — Luffy (being a Big Eater) takes his time to eat the biscuits (with Nami helping him damp the biscuit constructs first). After he's eaten enough (for almost 11 hours), he unveils his Super Mode "Gear Fourth: Tankman", where his body turns large and round which greatly increases his durability and used his bulk as extra defense. He then defeats Cracker by bouncing him far away with his body.
- Ranma ½: 10 years ago Ukyō created a special sauce and asked Ranma to take care of her forever if it tastes good when opened. Ranma, not knowing what she meant or even her true gender, agreed but accidentally destroyed the sauce and failed to try to recreate it. In the present day when it's rotten and brought up again, Ranma feeling guilty pretends to like it and becomes nicer to her but Ukyō thinks he still remembers her marriage promise. After hilarity ensues between them and Akane, Ranma eventually eats the entire pot, to the girls' horror, becoming very sick in the process.
- Hamtaro: In the OVA Adventures in Ham Land, Hamtaro pigs out at a sunflower sushi restaurant when he suspects that Laura has been neglecting him.
- In Peanuts, Snoopy once binged on dog food in hope of forgetting a failed romance.
- In the Superwomen of Eva story "Treacherous Web", Ritsuko Akagi, newly empowered as an incarnation of Spider-Woman finds herself presented with a dilemma in the third chapter: now that she's killed Gendo Ikari... what does she do to stop SEELE from retrieving Adam the First Angel and using it to continue their insane plans? Reasoning that her mutation includes saliva glands that produce a toxin which her studies have shown will be lethal to Angels, she promptly eats Adam. Deconstructed in that a) this is stated to be a move born of desperation and she thinks it's crazy even as she does it, and b) she deeply regrets it afterwards due to suffering terrible gaseous indigestion. She spends the next day visibly queasy and belching constantly, to the point she has to make up a story about getting a minor case of food poisoning from a greasy spoon diner, and even several days later is still suffering the occasional stomachache, to her own incredulity. It also comes back to bite her as it turns out that enough of Adam remains in her system afterwards that the other Angels start trying to track her down instead.
- Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed: When making an effort to progress through the villain's lair, Scooby and Shaggy run into the Cotton Candy Glob. Their solution to this problem shouldn't come as a surprise.
- Captain Marvel: Goose can extend a mass of tentacles from her mouth to capture enemies and swallow them whole like so many kitty treats. She can also swallow and later cough up objects for safekeeping.
- Variation in Sweetie: As revenge against Kay telling her to leave the house, Sweetie puts one of Kays miniature china horses in her mouth and chews it to pieces. This results in a physical fight between the two sisters. Sweetie only coughs up the pieces when Kay leaves the room.
- The Five Chinese Brothers: Each of these identical brothers has a supernatural power. One has the ability to drink an entire sea dry (but can't actually swallow it, which causes the problem).
- In User Unfriendly, the main character swallows a MacGuffin in order to prevent the villain from getting her hands on it.
- In Nickelodeon's Ho-Ho Holiday special, this happens twice as solutions to the challenges faced by the stars:
- One group is trapped in a gingerbread room with a key hidden in a gingerbread house. First they try eating all the houses, but when they fail to find the key, one of them decides to try eating through the wall (which wasn't actually gingerbread).
- Another group was stuck in a room slowly being filled with eggnog. Though the solution was to recite all of The Twelve Days of Christmas, they were unable to remember the lyrics. Instead, one of them saved the day by drinking all of the eggnog.
- iCarly: In the "iGo to Japan" special, Spencer and Mrs. Benson are trapped in a massage parlor by strong seaweed wraps while the kids are being tricked by their Japanese competitors for the sake of the "Funniest Webshow" awards. Spencer eventually realizes that the seaweed is edible and escapes by chewing through his wrap.
- In Switched, Umine's eating habits have caused her stomach to be much larger than Ayumi's. When Ayumi is trapped in Umine's body, she tries and fails to make new friends, and her newfound loneliness is one of the central conflicts of the story. However, when she participates in a pudding-eating contest, she makes new acquaintances by both eating the most and being friendly. Ayumi-as-Umine solves her immediate problem with her bigger stomach, much to the chagrin of Umine.
- Kirby: This adorable little fluff always saves the day the same way. Which is by eating everything and everybody that crosses his path. This is often helpful when there are puzzles that require a certain power. All he needs to do is eat somebody with the power needed to solve the puzzle.
- Pac-Man: If there's something strange in the neighborhood, Pac-Man will gulp down a power pellet and eat the problem away.
- Yoshi's Island: Yoshi is in a similar boat as Kirby. He will lick up almost any threat he comes across and turn them into eggs he can throw.
- Warframe features Grendel, whose primary abilities are best summed up as "eat enemies and then do horrible things to them." The default power involves inhaling enemies into a Belly Mouth where he can subsequently digest them for health/buffs or fire them back at the enemy.
- Invoked by Johanna in Double Homework as her go-to way to make someone feel better.
- In the Strong Bad Email, "Winter Pool", Strong Bad, Homestar, and the Poopsmith get stuck in a pool of Red Flavored Fluffy Puff Translucent Dessert Related Substance. Pompom's attempt to help only bounces him into space, so the Poopsmith calls the King of Town to help out by slurping up all the jello. Judging from Strong Bad's expression afterward, it wasn't very pleasant.
- The plot of Gourmet Hound revolves around a literal and figurative application of this trope, as the heroine, Lucy, resolves to solve a personal quandary by tasting the cooking of every chef that left her favorite restaurant in the last few years, to track down the one whose cooking she loved the best.
- Almost Naked Animals: In the episode "Keep On Monster Truckin'", Howie's Monster Truck Chew Toy gets too big to handle, and there's a beaver that keeps sleepeating everything, so they use Beaver to get rid of the Monster Truck Toy by having him sleepeat it.
- Ben 10: One of Ben's alien forms is Upchuck, whose three prehensile tongues, seven acid filled stomachs and diamond hard teeth allow him to eat almost anything. In his initial appearance he ate an atomic bomb; the only aftereffect was a loud belch.
- Big City Greens: In the climax of "Trivia Night", coffee foam floods the whole cafe. Cricket realizes early on "coffee foam doesn't fill you up", and he instructs everyone to eat the foam to free themselves.
- Invoked by Lois to Meg on Family Guy. When Lois gets emergency liposuction, she attempts to (rudely) tell Meg that she shouldn't eat to solve her problems. Meg then retorts by telling Lois that she cuts herself instead to solve her problems, not by eating.
- Phineas and Ferb: One episode has Doofenshmirtz trap Perry in a solid chocolate mold. To escape, Perry eats the mold's behind and crawls through undetected.
- The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In the episode "You Snooze You Lose", the girls get stuck in a trap outlined by Mojo Jojo and built by them and the Amoeba Boys. When Mojo notices the girls and the Amoebas built his machine for him, he gives the Amoeba the boot and tells the girls how he was the one who designed the machine's entire concept in every detail. Including the chewing gum to hold them in place. Upon being reminded of this, the girls chew their way out of the trap.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "Life Guard for Duty", Spongebob tries to save Patrick from drowning in Goo Lagoon by using a bendy straw to drink all the water away. However, Spongebob accidentally drinks up Patrick as well and has to spit him and the water back out again.
- In Teen Titans episode "Can I Keep Him?", Starfire overfeeds Silkie alien berries which causes him to grow to gigantic size, before he expels all of it and reverts to normal. This leaves a mountain of pink sludge in the middle of the street. However after seeing Silkie eating it, Starfire tastes it and joins in too.
- Total Drama: Owen won his team a challenge by eating an entire table of fake food until he found the hidden key.
- VeggieTales: In the short "The Gourds Must Be Crazy", the spaceship is stuck in the path of a giant meteor made entirely out of popcorn—while the two newest crew members, Jimmy and Jerry Gourd, keep complaining about how hungry they are. Junior Asparagus puts two and two together, and suggests they send Jimmy and Jerry out to eat the popcorn-ball meteor. Jimmy and Jerry eat the entire thing in mere minutes, saving the ship in the process.