When you think of the word "fruit", how do you define it? Grows on trees? (Not all of them do.) Tastes sweet? (Some of them are bitter or non-edible.)
The thing is, gastronomy and biology also disagree. What we call a "fruit" or a "vegetable" in the culinary sense is mostly based on tradition, and revolves around their taste and kitchen usability (the same "if it's sweet it's a fruit, if it tastes yucky it's a vegetable" logic that most of us apply).
Biologically, a fruit is a fruit if at one stage its development it has been a flower which eventually grew into a seed or seeds protected by a fleshy covering (as in tomatoes), or a hard outer shell (as in nuts).
The word "vegetable" has no scientific meaning; gastronomically they are typically used for edible parts of plants that are not fruits (roots, leaves and stems). With some "vegetable" plants, however, we actually use their fruits (tomato, cucumber) or seeds (beans, peas). Note also that biologically cucumbers are closely related to watermelons, and beans and peas to peanuts.
And don't even get us started on mushrooms. While usually put in the same category as vegetables on the menu, taxonomically they are neither plants nor animals, and get their own kingdom in the evolutionary hierarchy. In earlier systems of nomenclature they were considered plants, but later botanists decided that differences in biology—particularly the fact that fungi don't photosynthesize—was enough to kick them into another kingdom; genetic and cytological analyses showing fungi to actually be much closer relatives of the animal kingdom (being part of the clade of opisthokont organisms) more or less sealed the argument forever.
Compare and contrast this with Meat of the Index.
Fruit and Vegetable Tropes:
- Apple for Teacher: Placing an apple for your teacher's desk out of obligation or love.
- Banana in the Tailpipe: Placing a banana in the tailpipe on your pursuant's car to slow them down.
- Banana Peel: Someone slips on a banana peel and gets hurt.
- Black Market Produce: A character buying food in or from the Black Market.
- Coconut Meets Cranium: Someone who is unfortunate enough to be hit in the head by a coconut falling from the palm tree.
- Corny Nebraska: Nebraska's claim to fame: corn.
- Cucumber Facial: It ain't a spa day without cucumber slices for your eyes.
- Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: And where to find these exotic, strange, and/or unusual fictional fruits and vegetables for your lawn and/or garden.
- Fruit Cart: At a Car Chase, the fruit stand always gets hit.
- Fruit of the Loon: Fruit. Just because.
- Garlic Is Abhorrent: Everyone, including your Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, is repulsed by garlic.
- Grapes of Luxury: You know you really made it big when your beautiful servant feeds you grapes.
- Grows on Trees: Every finished product, even money, grows on trees.
- Kids Hate Vegetables: Children dislike veggies.
- Lost in the Maize: Getting lost in a cornfield.
- Old-Fashioned Fruit Stomping: Winemaking done in the old-fashioned, gunge-covering, squickworthy way: by stomping fruit.
- Out Of Control Popcorn: The popcorn has popped to the point of overflowing.
- Pass the Popcorn: A character reacts to a dramatic event by watching it like a movie.
- Peeling Potatoes: When the Drill Sergeant Nasty yells, "Those spuds ain't gonna peel themselves, maggot!" as the private peels off the potatoes as punishment.
- Pineapple Ruins Pizza: "Fruit doesn't go on pizza!" they say.
- Popcorn on the Cob: A convenient cob for a movie night.
- Produce Pelting: You know a show is So Bad, It's Horrible when people start throwing tomatoes.
- Razor Apples: Dangerous items hidden in food.
- Smashing Watermelons: A Beach Episode pastime with the girls smashing these juicy gourds.
- Stock "Yuck!": Both kids and adults can't stomach vegetables.
- Strawberry Shorthand: Garnishing the story with sweet, juicy strawberries.
- Tempting Apple: They're red, they're deadly, and they're delicious.
- Tomato Skunk Stink Cure: Bathing in tomato juice after getting sprayed by a skunk.
- Trapped at the Dinner Table: A picky eater can't leave the dinner table until they've eaten everything on their plate—including their vegetables.
- Trojan Veggies: Tricking a child into eating vegetables by hiding them in a different food.
- Tutti Frutti Hat: A hat made out of fruit, famously worn by Carmen Miranda.
- Vampires Hate Garlic: Garlic harms vampires.
- Worm in an Apple: Worms are commonly associated with apples, usually as a sight gag.
Mushroom and Fungi Tropes:
- Fungus Humongous: Giant mushrooms.
- Magic Mushroom: Enchanted mushrooms that could either make you bigger, give you fire powers, or 1-up you.
- Mushroom Man: An anthropomorphic mushroom person.
- Mushroom Samba: Food that makes you incredibly high.
- Springy Spores: Bouncy mushrooms.
- Agri World: In a World… or planet where everything is dedicated solely to growing food.
- Call to Agriculture: The seasoned soldier retires and settles on growing cabbages.
- Disgusting Vegetarian Food: Non-meat foods are perceived as disgusting.
- Greens Precede Sweets: "No dessert unless you finish your vegetables."
- Multipurpose Monocultured Crop: All of society's needs are met by just this crop.
- Straw Vegetarian: Vegetarians and vegans are stereotyped as being hostile towards anyone who eats meat or uses animal products.
- Veganopia: Go vegan before going utopian.
- Vegetarian for a Day: An episode of the show has one of the characters go vegetarian before reverting back to their regular eating habits at the end.