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Fancy Dinner

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"Attention. I'd like to make some toast..."

Either at an expensive restaurant, at an expensive club or a dinner at the Richies'. Very common in princess training or rags to riches. Played for comedy or drama. For instance, if someone is dispensing Sacred Hospitality, it will likely include a Fancy Dinner.

Expect one of the following:

A common variation is the "heroic feast" in which a given chieftain gives a feast to a large number of badass people. The food is usually badass style food such as mead and roast oxen. While they eat a bard will of course sing of famous deeds and heroes.

After(or before) dinner might be the time for Dances and Balls.



     Comic Books  

     Film - Live Action  

  • King Ralph
  • Titanic (1997)
  • Northanger Abbey: Both the adaptations of the book use it when Catherine is overwhelmed by the fancy style of General Tilney who is very demanding and is very particular about his food and meal times and everything. In the 2007 adaptation, the "protagonist gets confused with knives" variety is used. Catherine confuses spoons but kind Elinor shows her which one to use.
  • Pretty Woman: Edward takes Vivian for a formal dinner with his business rivals. She is nervous because she can only recognize a salad fork, so Mr Thomson gives her a quick lesson in eating etiquette. At the actual dinner, the old gentleman owns he can never recognize the forks either, and he picks up his bread with his hands. Vivian lets Edward order her meal, which is French gourmet food. It's slippery, and Vivian drops a swear word. Nevertheless, all are charmed by her.


  • Bilbo's birthday party in Lord of the Rings.
  • Northanger Abbey: Catherine Morland is awed by the abundance of food and fancy dining style of General Tilney who is very demanding and is very particular about his food, how it gets served and meal times.
  • In Dune, just before the attack by the Harkonnens, the Atreides give Fancy Dinner at their palace.
  • Discworld
  • The cooks at Lancre Castle are traditionalists who think every meal should be a medieval banquet, preferably involving a roast pig with a baked apple in its mouth, and are frustrated first by Duke Felmet in Wyrd Sisters, who likes porridge, runny boiled eggs and vegetarian sausages, and then by Very-Nearly-Queen Magrat in Lords and Ladies, who likes quiches and raw apples.
  • Doug's grandmother in Dandelion Wine is known for making extravagant dinners that the whole family loves.
  • The cutlery question is invoked in Going Postal, when Moist tells Miss Dearheart that she can't stab Reacher Gilt in the middle of the poshest restaurant in Ankh-Morpork because she's using the wrong knife.
  • The big dinner the University throws for the captains of the football teams in Unseen Academicals, which Glenda quickly realises is intended to throw these stolid working-class blokes off-balance.
  • In A Brother's Price, a fancy, only-family dinner is used as a test for whether the Whistler family can be presented as guests of the royal family without embarassment, or whether they need to be taught manners first. They easily pass, as their grandfather, Prince Alannon, had the grandmothers wrapped around his little finger, and insisted on good table manners and such.
  • The Black Widowers club meets every month at the Milano, a fancy restaurant in New York City. In "Northwestward", they’re served crableg cocktails, veal marengo, baked Alaska, brandy, and coffee.

     Live Action TV  

  • Our Miss Brooks:
  • The School Board Banquet in "Suzy Prentisss". It's a black tie event, tuxedos for men and evening gowns for women.
  • To a lesser degree, Miss Brooks' dinner at an expensive French restaurant in "French Sadie Hawkins Day".
  • Several times in Downton Abbey, shown from the perspective of the hosts (the Crawley family) and the servants. An interesting variation was the austere one held under World War I rationing. Both diners and the servants have gotten confused by the correct protocol: Matthew Crawley, a middle-class solicitor, holds his knives wrong and gets confused about utensils when he first arrives at Downton. Alfred, trained as a restaurant waiter, screws up the silver service (a kind of table service characteristic of British aristocratic homes, rather different from the way things are done at restaurants) the first time he serves as a footman. The former earned Matthew the supercilious scorn of Mary and the Countess Dowager, while the latter got Alfred an earful from Carson; both, however, become accustomed to the traditional ways over time.
  • Emma (2009), a BBC miniseries adaptation: During her first dinner at Hartfield, Harriet Smith has to be shown by Emma where to put a kerchief (on her lap, unlike gentlemen who tie it under their neck) and also how to eat her soup delicately. Emma is discreet and encouraging, while Harriet gives a little nervous laugh, looking slightly amused by her own ignorance.
  • Red Dwarf: Ambitious but hopeless Rimmer was once invited to dine with officers, and the waiter brought him a cold soup. He sent it back to have it heated. Too bad he didn't know that gazpacho is served cold. Rimmer thinks this incident and his lack of upper-class upbringing stopped him from becoming an officer.
    • The novel adds the "confused by the choice of cutlery" subtrope (among many other hideous embarrassments):
      Rimmer: I'd bought this etiquette book, and I know two things. One: never wear diamonds before lunch, and two: with cutlery, start from the outside and work your way in. I start from the outside. I start so far from the outside, I inadvertently take the spoon of the woman sitting next to me. Eventually we sort it out, and start to eat.
  • In the Supernatural episode "What Is And What Should Never Be" (S02, Ep20), they celebrate Mary Winchester's birthday at a fancy restaurant, complete with Dean's salad of asparagus spears bound into an upright sheaf. Dean's girlfriend says they will get him a cheeseburger later.
  • Once a week on Gilmore Girls. Part of the premise of the show is that Lorelai and Rory visit their parents/grandparents every Friday for dinner.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Wilson Fisk's second date with Vanessa, with Fisk taking the extra precaution of buying out the restaurant so that they can enjoy the evening in privacy that he greatly values, as Anatoly found out the hard way.
    • The season 2 premiere sees Frank Castle lay waste to a large group of Kitchen Irish members sitting around a table meal of corned beef and potatos as they listen to their leader Nesbitt give a Rousing Speech about how they'll take back Hell's Kitchen from the gangs that moved in following Wilson Fisk's arrest.
    • For their first date, Matt and Karen go to an upscale restaurant that Matt picks out. However, once there, they're both clearly uncomfortable there and unable to muster up anything more in conversation than awkward small-talk. Not helping things is when Elektra calls Matt to needle him while Karen is in the bathroom. He finally musters up the courage to tell Karen that he's not comfortable there, so she decides to take them to a cheap Indian restaurant with tacky lights, where they're both much more at ease.
  • Hannibal: Pre-incarceration, the Man of Wealth and Taste Hannibal Lecter frequently hosts these, both as small, private dinners for his friends and as extravagant black-tie events for the local arts scene; he's a Supreme Chef himself and also brings in caterers to assist with the larger parties. This being Hannibal, his culinary masterpieces tend to be doctored with human remains.

     Light Novels  
  • In the anime of Kaze no Stigma, Ayano and Kazuma go to fancy restaurants multiple times. The most memorable one results in a serious battle, but a least the wine is saved.
  • In Slayers there was an episode about eating a very fancy dinner of dragon.

     Manga and Anime  
  • Candy Candy
  • Occasionally seen in Ranma ½. Best example would be the martial arts dining arc.
  • GUN×SWORD has a fancy dinner played for comedy in episode 15. Wendy doesn't know which silverware to use, and Van displays his terrible table manners to the fullest.

  • Our Miss Brooks: The School Board Banquet in "Stretch is in Love". It's a black tie event, tuxedos for men and evening gowns for women.

  • Nixon In China, being an opera about Richard Nixon's historic 1972 trip to the People's Republic of China, naturally features the actual fancy Chinese banquet to which the American delegation was treated on the trip. As with any traditional Chinese banquet, this one featured lots of drinking and toasts; the Nixons presented some wordy ones, and the Chinese responded with the classic Chinese toast, "gan bei!" ("Bottoms up!"note ) (Full scene from a much older production.note )

     Visual Novels  
  • In ATOM GRRRL!!, Very and Dave go to a restaurant which serves the last meals of famous serial killers. Dave is appalled when Very gets a chocolate drink that costs $10, to which she informs him it's made with the finest Belgian chocolate.

     Web Video  
  • In Episode 12 "Dinner" of The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, Jane, a live-in tutor, is invited to dine with Mr Rochester, his daughter Adele, and his personal assistant Grace Poole. They have a formal dinner every other Sunday together when Mr Rochester is at home. The viewers got to see just the events before dinner, so no faux pas is shown, but Jane is visibly nervous.

     Western Animation  


Example of: