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Familial Cannibalism Surprise

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"Waiter, there's an heir in my food!"
"Don't you even know about America?" I asked.
"Not really," she answered. "Although I have heard it said that over there the witches are able to make the grown-ups eat their own children." …
"But how could they possibly make them eat their own children?" I asked.
"By turning them into hot-dogs," she said. "That wouldn't be too difficult for a clever witch."

You have bent your enemy to your will. As a show of obedience, he is now hosting you at a lavish feast in your honor. Only too late do you begin to wonder where your son is, and what exactly what is in the stew...

A Sub-Trope of I Ate WHAT?! and I'm a Humanitarian, and usually also Revenge Is a Dish Best Served. See also The Secret of Long Pork Pies.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Like its source inspiration, Hoshin Engi has Dakki killing Hakuyuko, turning him into hamburgers, and serving it to his father Sho Ki. Just like in the novel, he feigns ignorance despite being (somehow, as he's not a seer in this version) conscious of the nature of the meat. This trauma deprives him of appetite so much that he starves himself and eventually dies from it.

    Comic Books 
  • In Fables, Frau Totenkinder once punished a woman by tricking her into eating a pie she made from one of the woman's horrible daughters (Frau having eaten the other one while rewarding the woman's hated but kind stepdaughter with riches).
  • The Punisher MAX:
    • Psycho for Hire Barracuda recounts how an African warlord once killed his brother and had him cooked up to test his mercenaries' reactions. They all started vomiting as soon as they learned what they were eating... except Barracuda, who asked for seconds.
    • A Triad leader is unimpressed with Nicky Cavella's threats (he keeps eating during the meeting), saying he has three grown sons to take over the business even if Nicky has him killed. Nicky tells him he's eating one of them, before gunning down the other two standing behind him.
  • In The Sandman (1989), Fiddler's Green relates a version of Little Red Riding Hood in which the wolf carved up Granny and poured her blood into a wine bottle, then tricked Red into having a bite and a drink before killing her as well.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side: In one particularly dark strip, a chicken takes off its dog costume and gleefully tells them that it's the chicken they thought they cooked for dinner...would they like to know where their dog is now?

    Fairy Tales 
  • Sun, Moon, and Talia, one of the various stories that contributed towards Sleeping Beauty contains an unsuccessful attempt at this. After the princess Talia appears at the castle of the king who brought about her awakeningnote  with their two children in tow, his current wife the queen orders the royal cook to slaughter and prepare said children as food. The cook secretly hides the children and cooks up goat stew instead, when the queen reveals her plan to the king after he eats the stew the cook steps in to let him know his children are actually safe after all and the king orders his current wife put to death and marries Talia soon after.

    Fan Works 
  • Consumed: In this One-Shot Dark Fic of Cinderella, she enacts revenge on her abusive stepmother and stepsisters in this manner. She orders Anastasia to be assassinated, gets her fed to her mother and sister, then frames them for murder and cannibalism.
  • Harry Potter & the Honeychurch Institute of Magic: One of the Honeychurch ghosts was killed, butchered and served to his father as retaliation for a perceived slight against Lord Honeychurch.
  • In the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero fic The Undignified Demise of Serpentor I, Mindbender reveals to Destro and the Baroness that their leader Serpentor (who was turned into an iguana during the events of G.I. Joe: Operation Dragonfire) had disappeared. Later, Cobra Commander invites the high command of Cobra and the Dreadnok for brunch with a breakfast casserole, promoting himself as the new leader. Once the other members of Cobra start eating, he reveals that the casserole was made from iguana meat, revealing he had found and cooked Serpentor into a meal and declares it a warning if the others try to betray him. Then the Commander gets indigestion from eating the iguana meat.

  • The Juniper Tree, a fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, tells of a Wicked Stepmother who kills her stepson, then cuts him up and serves him as a stew to her husband / the child's father.
  • In an old French version of Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf tricks Little Red Riding Hood into eating her own grandmother and drinking her blood.
  • Tấm Cám: The traditional version of story ends with Tam having her half-sister Cam boiled alive in revenge. Tam later serves her stepmother some of Cam's meat. When her stepmother notices Cam's skull, she dies of shock.
  • Kongji and Patji: In this Korean variant of Cinderella, the story concludes with the magistrate (the Prince Charming equivalent) having evil stepsister Patji executed, turned into stew, and fed to the Wicked Stepmother, who faints and never awakens after finding out what she ate.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Field Guide to Evil: "Beware the Melonheads" ends with William feeding Arnold his father's flesh to complete his transformation into a melonhead, with Arnold no longer even recognising who his father is as he eats the offered flesh.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: After Dr. Scott reveals that Eddie was his nephew, Dr. Frank-N-Furter reveals that they've all been eating "Eddie under glass".note 
  • Theatre of Blood: Edward Lionheart feeds Meredith Merridew his two pet poodles (who he regards as his children) baked into a pie, as a revenge based on Titus Andronicus. He then makes Merridew choke to death by Force Feeding him the remains of the pies very forcefully.
  • In the Tall Grass: Based on the novella of the same name by Stephen King and Joe Hill, a delirious, starving, barely conscious Becky is fed the remains of her stillborn baby by her Brainwashed and Crazy brother Ross.

  • Fengshen Yanyi has a subversion, when Lord Ji Fa is ordered to consume meatballs by the tyrant King Zhou, which is made from the flesh of his son. Ji Fa is aware of the ingredients, but in order to pretend he's oblivious to Zhou's tyranny, he consumes the meatballs anyways. When he finally returns home, he regurgitates blobs of flesh on the ground that transform into rabbits, highly implied to be his son Bo Yikao's remains.
  • The Histories of Herodotus have some of the oldest examples, with at least two instances involving the Medes. Of these, the more famous comes from Herodotus' (completely fictional, by the way, though Herodotus probably didn't invent it himself) Origin Story for Cyrus the Great. To summarize considerably, Cyrus' maternal grandfather, King Astyages of the Medes, had ordered one of his generals, Harpagus, to kill the newborn Cyrus (as he had had an omen that Cyrus would supplant or overthrow him). Harpagus didn't have the heart, and long story short Astyages finds out ten years later that Cyrus is still alive. This was Harpagus' punishment for his failure (from A.D. Godley's 1920 translation):
    But when Harpagus' son came, Astyages cut his throat and tearing him limb from limb roasted some and boiled some of the flesh, and the work being finished kept all in readiness. So when it came to the hour for dinner and Harpagus was present among the rest of the guests, dishes of sheeps' flesh were set before Astyages and the others, but Harpagus was served with the flesh of his own son, all but the head and hands and feet, which lay apart covered up in a basket. And when Harpagus seemed to have eaten his fill, Astyages asked him, "Are you pleased with your meal, Harpagus?" "Exceeding well pleased," Harpagus answered. Then those whose business it was brought him in the covered basket the head and hands and feet of his son, and they stood before Harpagus and bade him uncover and take of them what he would. Harpagus did so; he uncovered and saw what was left of his son: this he saw, but he mastered himself and was not dismayed. Astyages asked him, "Know you what beast's flesh you have eaten?" "Yea," he said, "I know, and all that the king does is pleasing to me." With that answer he took the rest of the flesh and went to his house, purposing then, as I suppose, to collect and bury all.
  • In Paul of Dune Emperor Paul Muad'dib shares water with Count Fenring, a sacred practice to the desert Fremen, then reveals the water was distilled from his daughter's flesh after her attempt to assassinate Paul failed.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The legendary Rat Cook is said to have served a prince to his father, over an unknown slight by the King. What is considered to be the worst part of this was not his murder of the prince or the fact that he made the King an unwitting cannibal, but his violation of Sacred Hospitality by killing a guest beneath his roof. For this crime, the gods turned him into a massive white rat cursed with eternal hunger, but only able to eat his own young. It is said that all the rats that roam the Nightfort are his descendants.
    • In more recent times, it is implied that Lord Wyman Manderly served Symond, Rhaegar, and Jared Frey as meat pies at the wedding of Ramsay Bolton. They were eaten by their relatives (who were attended because of the family's alliance to the Boltons), including Symond's brother, niece, and nephew as well as Rhaegar's father.
  • The Witches: Grandmama mentions offhandedly that American witches have been known to transmogrify children into hot dogs and feed them to unsuspecting parents.
  • Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick: Subverted. Titus Chobb heavily implies the meal he has served Zoey, an unidentifiable cooked meat, is her mother, until Zoey's mother enters from the next room, perfectly fine. A few pages later, Chobb implies that the meal is actually his own son, Marti, until Marti similarly enters alive and well. It's clear by this point that Chobb is simply being a troll, and an exasperated Zoey refuses to rise to the bait when Chobb tries it a third time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon Berlin: The Armenian serves his business partner his own brother's tongue as "octopus" as revenge for some deed.
  • CSI: In "Last Supper", the murderer cuts up the Victim of the Week, cooks him, and serves him to the contestants on a cooking show as a palate test. The victim had raped and murdered her sister together with his 'frat brother', who is one of the contestants. The butchering and cooking scene is an obvious tip of the hat to Titus Andronicus.
  • Game of Thrones: Arya Stark kills and feeds Walder Frey's sons Lame Lothar and Black Walder to him as meat pies, instead of Lord Manderly being the one to do it like in the books.
  • Gotham: Oswald Cobblepot (a.k.a. The Penguin) kills his father, Elijah's stepchildren then feeds them to their mother before killing her. They were using him as a servant and had poisoned his father.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Poppy sings a nursery rhyme about a Harfoot girl who was turned into a snail by a witch and got accidentally eaten by her father.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Celtic Mythology: Lóegaire Lorc ruled as High King of Ireland for two years before his brother Cobthach Cóel Breg murdered him, and had his son Ailill Áine poisoned for good measure, and forced Ailill's son Labraid to eat his father's and grandfather's hearts (and a mouse) before exiling him. Decades later, Labraid eventually got his vengeance by burning Cobthach to death inside an iron house.
  • Classical Mythology makes this Older Than Feudalism:
    • When King Atreus of Mycenae learns that his brother Thyestes has committed adultery with Atreus's wife Aerope, he kills Thyestes' sons and has them cooked and served to their father. When Thyestes has finished his meal, Atreus reveals the truth and shows him the children's hand and feet. Then he banishes Thyestes from Mycenae for eating human flesh. This got Atreus's own bloodline cursed, resulting in, but not ending with, the Trojan War.
    • According to Greek Mythology, king Tereus raped his wife's sister, cut out her tongue, and held her captive until she managed to smuggle out a message to her sister. The sister killed their son and fed him to Tereus. Titus Andronicus borrows heavily from the story.
    • Classical Mythology inverted this when Kronos, wanting to eat his children so they couldn't overthrow him, unknowingly ate a rock disguised as the baby Zeus.
    • The first example may well be Tantalus, son of Zeus, ancestor of the aforementioned Atreus and Thyestes — and arguably the true source of the curse on the whole bloodline. He wanted to prove the gods are not all-knowing so he murdered his son Pelops and cooked him for the feast he was giving the gods—that is, relatives on his father's side. The other gods instantly realized what was going on but Demeter (still crestfallen after Persephone vanished) did end up nibbling on a shoulder blade (which got replaced with an ivory one courtesy of Hephaestus when the poor kid got brought back to the living).
    • The stories of Lycaon, the king who tried to serve a child to a visiting and disguised Zeus only to be turned into a werewolf, have versions where it is said the child killed and cooked is a result of Zeus raping Lycaon's daughter, Kallisto.
  • Norse Mythology: After King Atli has killed Gunnar and Hogni, the brothers of his wife Gudrun, he offers he will make it up to his wife by holding a funeral feast for the brothers. Gudrun cuts the throats of the two small sons she has with Atli and serves their roasted hearts to their father, together with wine mixed with the children's blood in drinking cups made from their skulls (Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, Volsunga Saga).

  • In Titus Andronicus, as revenge for the rape and mutilation of his daughter, Titus kills Chiron and Demetrius, the sons of Tamora, Queen of the Goths, bakes them into pies and then tricks her into eating them. So the next time somebody complains that modern media is too violent and depraved, refer them to this charming little play by William Shakespeare.

    Western Animation 
  • Robot Chicken: One sketch has a vengeful fish killing a man's wife and serving her to him.
  • South Park: In the infamous episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die", Cartman kills Scott's parents, cooks them into chili and tricks him into eating it, mocking him in an homage of Titus Andronicus. (Although Titus didn't have the members of Radiohead on hand to call the unfortunate victim a pussy.)
    • The whole affair takes on a whole new layer during the events of "200" and "201" when a vengeful Scott returns with an army of radicalized Gingers and forces the townsfolk to answer the long-standing question of the identity of Cartman's father in front of his hated enemy. It's revealed that, rather than Ms. Cartman being a hermaphrodite as was the original explanation, she had a drunken one-night-stand with Jack Tenorman, Scott's father and a member of the Denver Broncos at the time, and gave birth to Eric but never told him. The town also collectively agreed to keep it hush-hush so that the good season the Broncos had back then wouldn't be ruined. That unfortunately means that when Cartman served Scott that chili, he was feeding the chopped-up remains of his own father to his half-brother. In typical Cartman fashion, he's more upset that he's genetically half-Ginger than the fact he unknowingly killed his own father. Being reminded that he's also technically half-Denver Bronco cheers him up though.


Caillou Blends Rosie

Caillou serves his own baby sister to their parents.

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