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"Alright Peter, the important thing when you're on a diet is willpower. Now I'm going to put this steaming pie on the windowsill to cool. Now no matter how many beckoning fingers that steam morphs into or how badly it tries to sneak its way up your nose, I want you to resist the urge to levitate off the ground and float towards the pie."
Glenn Quagmire, Family Guy, "Amish Guy"

For humans, the sense of smell is one of the main ways we are drawn to food, so this naturally shows up a lot in fiction.

In comedic or cartoony situations, a character will be shown being physically lifted off the ground and floating toward the source of a delicious smell. In older Looney Tunes-style shorts the vapors of scent will often be clearly visible, physics aside, and sometimes the vapor will actually develop hands that will lift the character.

Villains will sometimes build a trap around this trope and ensnare an unsuspecting hungry person.

Often an example of Visible Odor. Compare The Nose Knows.


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  • This is the main shtick of Toucan Sam in the Kellogg's Froot Loops commercials, hence the trope name.
  • A Lowes commercial uses this with the smell of fresh cut grass signaling the start of spring.

  • Happy Heroes: In Season 3 Episode 49, Sweet S. makes food using some mushrooms sprinkled with special powder Big M. accidentally got on them, and they produce a pleasant aroma that attracts a bunch of robots, who float in the air as they sniff it. Several vehicles being driven float at the scent as well.
  • Motu Patlu: At the beginning of "John Banega Don", Motu picks up the scent of samosas and floats into the air as he follows it.
  • In the first episode of Sweets Fairy, Mousse Benetta catches the scent of a cake in Bluefinch Angela's house and floats through the air as she follows it there.
  • In Episode 3 of Yamucha's-Kung Fu Academy, Jubby floats in the air as she follows the scent of some steaks that the squid thieves have set out as a trap for her.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Non-intentionally hilarious: Baki the Grappler shows us how reanimating the frozen body of the Jurassic man, Pickle, seems unattainable... but he awakes on his own after smelling a T. rex steak.
  • After sniffing around for a while, Mikoto in My-HiME is drawn to a kendo dojo in the second episode and initiates a Fire-Breathing Diner after stealing some super-spicy curry bread.
  • In One Piece, Luffy often forgets what he was doing and runs off if he smells food somewhere.
  • Variation: In Wolf's Rain the wolves are drawn to Freeze City by the smell not of food but of lunar flowers. The scent ultimately leads them to the Flower Maiden Cheza, whom they hope will show them the way to Paradise.
  • In ×××HOLiC, Watanuki finds the Fox Spirit's Oden cart this way, and eventually forms a strong friendship with the shop owner's son.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, our heroes first meet Mako Tsunami after Joey smells him barbecuing some fish. This leads them to Mako's camp...which eventually leads to a duel between him and Yugi.

    Comic Strips 
  • Played with in a Garfield strip, where Garfield actually puts a hand to his ear and rushes up to Jon holding an ice cream cone, to which Jon incredulously replies "How can you hear ice cream??"
    • Played straight in the title panel of this strip, where the scent of coffee lifts Garfield off his feet.
  • This often happens to the dog Louie of Overboard when something is cooked on a barbecue.
  • In Over the Hedge, a woman had gone into labor (at home), but the baby just wouldn't come out. So the friendly neighborhood animals put their heads together: "If you had to pick one thing to convince the baby that life's worth living, what would it be?" They cooked up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, used a fan to blow the scent in through the window, and the baby leaped out of his mother, sniffing eagerly at the aroma.

    Films — Animation 
  • Spider-Ham from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a Funny Animal who operates on Toon Physics, so he apparently has this trope as an actual ability. When the heroes interrogate Miles Morales about his abilities, he asks Miles if he can "float through the air when you smell a delicious pie". This question particularly confuses Miles.
  • In Spirited Away, Chihiro's parents find a spirit restaurant by following their noses and proceed to gorge themselves on the food. Only Chihiro resists eating it, and good thing, too.

    Video Games 
  • Used in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow. When playing the longer Story Branching path, hero Alexander needs to use a magic spell to tame a winged horse named Nightmare; the spell manifests as the familiar alluring hand made of steam beckoning the horse towards Alexander, with the narration explaining that Nightmare's senses are all dulled save for the intoxicating smell.

    Web Animation 

    Web Videos 
  • The Cream Heroes has a Kittisaurus Villains episode where Lulu gives this advice to Dodo when he's too sick to participate in that day's heist. Dodo manages to locate the snacks via this method but needs DD to open the cupboard to get them.

    Western Animation 
  • Rolly does this many times throughout 101 Dalmatians: The Series
  • Adventure Time: In "Angel Face", Jake is pulled into the kitchen by the smell of BMO's "special sentient sandwiches".
  • Happened to Monterrey Jack on Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers whenever he smelled cheese. At least once, this was used to trap him.
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • Uncle Scrooge would often parody this trope by having the same reaction to the smell of money.
    • One of Scrooge's Traps in his money bin uses food and has this effect on Burger Beagle.
  • Family Guy:
    • Parodied in one episode (said episode provides the page quote above), where Peter tries to resist the old gag of pie steam trying to lure him and caress him to lure him to the pie. Then, things take a twisted turn when the steam tries to rape him, and is holding Quagmire's eyes open to force him to watch.
    • Played straight in the song "It's a Wonderful Day for Pie" from the episode "Road to the Multiverse", when a Disneyesque version of Peter floats nose-first towards a pie that Lois just baked.
  • Wilma's Yabba-dabba-dooberry pie on The Flintstones tended to have this effect on anyone who smelled it.
  • In one episode of Freakazoid!, a pumpkin pie is used as bait for Candle Jack. He floats anyway, but follows the scent lines to the trap.
  • In the Futurama episode where Bender attempts to become a chef, and this trope is parodied by a couple of hobos who float off the ground thanks to jetpacks upon smelling Spargel's pie.
  • Bugs Bunny does this in Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears when he floats out of his rabbit hole, led into the Three Bears' home by the scent of carrot soup.
  • Early lampshading: in Mickey Mouse's "The Little Whirlwind" (1941), Mickey is lifted through the air to Minnie's house by the scent vapors of a delicious cake. Before Mickey gets there, though, Minnie shuts the window from which the vapors emerge... and the vapors instantly react by dropping Mickey.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this in the episode "One Bad Apple", where Spike is lifted into the air by the smell of carrot crepes. Unfortunately for him, Pinkie Pie breaks his connection with the smell and hijacks it for herself.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: In "A Yard Too Far", Ren and Stimpy catch on a visible green scent which leads them to a nearby fence, to the tune of Toy Flutes from The Nutcracker Suite, even arriving in a Car made of the scent of hog jowls.
  • Scooby-Doo often did this as well when he and Shaggy were anywhere near food.
    • In A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Scooby's nose would sometimes cartoonishly pop off, and Scooby and the gang would follow his nose.
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson can not only smell food, but can actually smell the writing on a birthday cake. "That's nothing. He can hear pudding".
  • SpongeBob SquarePants
    • Somewhat invoked with Squidward in "Just One Bite", where the scent of a Krabby Patty gently caresses his nose, flicks it and kisses it.
    • This was also in "No Nose Knows", where Patrick floats towards some bread a fish is holding, then he stops after he smells rotten onion rings.
  • Many, many Tom and Jerry shorts feature this, usually with Tom's use of cheese to ensnare Jerry.
    • A sleepwalking Spike following a steak-on-a-pulley, squashing Jerry in the process.
  • The aroma of Wally Walrus' barbecue has this effect on Woody Woodpecker in "The Dippy Diplomat."