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Haggis Is Horrible

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Gabriella Daniels: All haggis tastes like ass anyway.
Kenneth Donnelly: Aye, but in the right hands it can taste like mighty fine ass.

Haggis is a Scottish dish prepared using a sheep stomach, oatmeal, suet, and some of the other internal organs of a sheep (usually liver, heart and lungs).

In fiction, haggis is often viewed as disgusting, in which case no characters will eat or touch it. Sometimes they might first ask what’s in it, and look dismayed at the answer. Other times they might begin to eat it and spit it across the room in disgust upon finding out what's in it. Whatever the reason, it never seems like anybody wants to eat haggis besides the Scottish guy in a kilt. In fact, the United States FDA has banned traditional haggis from sale and import, as it includes lung (known when used as offal in Britain as "lights"), which is not considered fit for human consumption in the US (contrary to most of the meat-eating world).

In reality, because the ingredients are ground up before being stuffed into the stomach, haggis is essentially a large mutton sausage with an unusually thick casing—remember that your garden variety sausage can contain some disgusting-sounding offal, and they don't generally tell you what it is. Moreover, modern store-bought haggis (i.e. most haggis) is made with a standard manufactured sausage casing (like you'd find on pretty much any mass-market British sausage), so basically a modern, mass-produced haggis is a short, thick mutton sausage with entirely known ingredients. People should find it more appealing than the bangers you get at the supermarket...

If you must know, haggis basically tastes like a cross between a hamburger and a sausage, or peppery mince. And yes, it really is delicious. Laddie/Lassie. Robert Burnsnote  wrote a poem about it - Address to a Haggis - that is read, in full, as the Haggis is presented during a Burns Night supper — which consists of Haggis, naturally enough, accompanied by the traditional Neeps and Tatties.note 

A Sub-Trope of Foreign Queasine. Compare Stock "Yuck!". Not to be confused with Hägar the Horrible (though a gag in that comic strip involves haggis).


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  • In this commercial for the Dutch cheese brand Uniekaas, a Dutch family takes a holiday to Scotland and enjoys all the local traditions and activities, until they visit a restaurant and order the national dish. Fortunately, they still have their own bread and cheese.

    Audio Drama 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who drama Echoes of Grey, Jamie and Zoë are bickering as they leave the TARDIS, following a Noodle Incident in which Zoë cut herself with Jamie's dirk while they were making haggis. She complains she never wanted to make it in the first place, saying "the ingredients seem positively barbaric".

    Comic Books 
  • Adventures In The Rifle Brigade: The Piper, a mute and batshit-insane bagpipe player, lives in a well on the Darcy estate and is summoned by putting a haggis on a fishing line which is then lowered down the well.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • In a Donald Duck story by Carl Barks, "Mystery of the Loch," Donald's first attempt to photograph Nessie ends with him running away. His nephews go to a local shop to buy "courage," and the shopkeeper offers up haggis instead. After one bite (and disproportionate reaction), Donald is raring to go after Nessie again... on the grounds that, after tasting haggis, nothing else can frighten him anymore.
    • In a different Scrooge McDuck story by Don Rosa, "Dream of a Lifetime", Donald meets Scrooge in a dream about his uncle's childhood in Scotland. When Donald succumbs to Cuteness Proximity upon the sight of young Scrooge, Scrooge begs him to go easy because he ate haggis that morning.

    Comic Strips 
  • Hägar the Horrible: In one strip, Hägar brings haggis back from an expedition in Scotland. Then his wife cooks it, and upon planting a knife in it, it lets a music sound out... Hägar's wife actually cooked the bagpipe he brought from Scotland instead of the haggis.
  • In one Oor Wullie strip in the Scottish Sunday Post, Wullie is sent to the butcher to get a haggis for Burns Night, despite insisting he'd rather have mince'n'tatties. He persuades the butcher to give him mince in a haggis skin instead.
  • Shows up in Sherman's Lagoon when the Loch Ness monster visits.
    Sherman: What's that?
    Monster: Haggis! Sheep's insides stuffed in a sheep stomach, soaked in whisky and boiled to a rubbery lump.
    Sherman: Sort of like a football?
    Monster: Aye, but this one's for eating.

    Fan Works 
  • Subverted in the Team Fortress 2 fanfic Eight Mercenaries and a Toddler, where the Medic tells the Administrator that the entire team got food poisoning from haggis. It was just to buy some ceasefire time.
  • In Food for Thought, Dyson brings haggis to a potluck. No one is happy.
    Kenzi: I meant bring normal people food, that normal people eat.
    Dyson: Normal people eat haggis.
    Kenzi: Not here they don't.
  • Haggis is mentioned as one of the things Duncan McSmurf likes to eat in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "The Smurf Impersonators", but Duncan simply has Sassette mention this to the other Smurfs just to hear their reactions. No word yet as to whether Duncan actually does eat haggis, or what it is even made of in the Smurf Village.
  • In Lost Pages of the Discworld Atlas: Hyperllamedos by Daibhid Ceannaideach, riffing on A.A. Pessimal's take on a Discworld Scotland, it's noted that haggis is actually made out of much the same ingredients as an Ankh-Morpork sausage, the difference being that Morporkians know you're supposed to disguise them.
    • Pessimal has since expanded on the canonical idea of the Klatchian Sheep's Eye - basically, a disgusting foodstuff deliberately offered to a visitor, with a totally straight face, in the expectation that it cannot be refused out of politeness. The locals then gain a moment of mirth at the expense of the hapless visitor. He argues every Discworld country does this to naive visitors. In The Price of Flight, a novice pilot sent to the Discworld's "Scandinavia" gets the learning opportunity to politely decline hakarl in Island, lutefisk in the Skaggeraks, and surstrommong in Hubsvensska. She then gets offered salmiakki and mammi in Swommi.

    Films — Animation 
  • Seen in the Pixar movie Brave, where the triplets seem to find their haggis disgusting. However, their mother Elinor eats it without a fuss and asks her children to at least try it, so it's not that the haggis is horrible but the triplets are Picky Eaters.
  • As demonstrated in the Scooby-Doo movie Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness Monster, not even Shaggy and Scooby will touch haggis. This is from a man with a palate for sandwiches taller than he is, and a dog who eats what are essentially milkbones.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ramirez in Highlander. Connor MacLeod calls him a haggis, and he asks what it is. It's especially funny since Sean Connery, who plays Ramirez, was a proud Scot, and Christopher Lambert, who plays Connor, isn't.
    Ramirez: Haggis? What is haggis?
    Macleod: Sheep's stomach, stuffed with meat and barley!
    Ramirez: And... what do you do with it?
    Macleod: Heh! You eat it!
    Ramirez: (bridling) How revolting!
  • Casino Royale (1967) has Sir James Bond at M's wake — the enemy agent posing as his widow details the preparation of the haggis traditionally made for the occasion; James incredulously gulps " it?"note 
  • In Mike Myers' So I Married an Axe Murderer, it comes up in discussion at the butcher's shop. Mike calmly agrees it's revolting and notes that "All Scottish cuisine is based on a dare."
  • In Armageddon (1998), Max says this is his favorite dish. The NASA doctor gets visibly queasy as he describes it.
    Max: Heart, lungs, liver. You shove that all in a sheep's stomach, than you boil it. That'll put some hair on your ass!
  • Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties simultaneously averts and plays it straight thanks to the Prince and Pauper plot involving the titular cat and Prince, the aptly-named Identical Stranger. Haggis is said to be Prince's favorite dish, but when his bulldog assistant Winston offers it to Garfield and explains what it's made of, our hero, famous though he is as a Big Eater, politely turns it down. Instead, he gets all the animals on the estate to work together to make — what else? — enough lasagna to serve to everyone.

  • Harry Potter: When Harry, Ron and Hermione go to Nick's deathday party, there is a bunch of rotten food, and it includes haggis. Though actually, all of the food is rotten, and none of the three wants to eat any of it.
  • Used in one of the Outlander books. The (very English) John Grey writes home about haggis with some alarm.
  • There's a brief mention in Mako that the group's Scottish member Hamish got his friends to try haggis once. Once.
  • In Downbelow Station, one character knows nothing about haggis beyond that it's supposed to be terrifying and thinks that it's actually some sort of ancient Earth weapon until he's informed that it's really just a sausage (he'd mistaken a set of bagpipes for haggis).
  • Averted in Mr. Men in Scotland, which explains that a haggis is just a big sausage, and Miss Greedy eats a whole one.
  • The Enchanted Files: In Diary of a Mad Brownie / Cursed, Angus actually likes haggis, having lived in Scotland for so long, but when he describes it to Alex, she cuts him off and starts acting like she has to vomit from the description alone.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a Recurring Sketch on Saturday Night Live, Mike Myers plays the proprietor of an "All Things Scottish" store in New York City. His catchphrase is "If it’s not Scottish, it's crap!" But not even he likes haggis.
  • Good Eats: In an episode devoted to oatmeal, Alton Brown demonstrates how to make haggis, dressed like a fourth-string extra on Braveheart, hacking up entrails with a sword and punctuating his instructions with "...or I'll give ye the back o' my hand!" In an interview, Alton said that haggis was the only food that he has prepared on his show that he would never actually eat.
  • Subverted in Home Improvement where Wilson makes it for his new girlfriend. Tim is a little turned off by the description, but then says it smells pretty good.
  • On a champions-return episode of Chopped, the only contestants who aren't repulsed to see canned haggis in their ingredient baskets are a fellow whose mother'd cooked Scottish dishes at home, and a French-born chef who doesn't even know what it is.
  • John Oliver on Last Week Tonight feigns love for haggis while trying to woo Scotland back to remaining part of the United Kingdom in his segment talking about the Scottish independence referendum.
  • Daphne from Frasier once scared the rest of the family out of the house (so she could have a date over) by loudly announcing she was going to cook haggis and sheep's head stew for dinner.
  • In the Duck Dynasty episode where they visit Scotland, the meal at the end of the episode includes haggis. Even the Robertsons (who have grown up eating wild game of all sorts, and in a later episode eat nutria rat sausage) aren't sure about the haggis, but John Godwin decides to take a chance on it.
  • Subverted twice in Masterchef:
    • In Season 2, a Glaswegian woman named Pauline entered with a dish that used haggis and Scottish salmon, wrapped en croute in pastry and served with whisky and dill sauce. Joe (who had never tried haggis before) disliked the dish, but Graham (who had tried haggis before) and Gordon Ramsay (who is Scottish) loved it.
    • In Season 7 of Masterchef Australia, Fiona used haggis to great effect, and even judge Matt Preston, who was apprehensive about the idea of eating haggis, was impressed enough by the dish to give her the Master Chef apron.
  • In the Two Doors Down episode "Burns Supper", when Eric says they can have the rest of the haggis tomorrow, Beth retorts that one day a year is enough, national dish or not. Later, when vegetarian Gordon is being served, Christine comments that she dreads to think what's in the veggie haggis, to which Ian jokingly replies it can't be worse than what's in a real one. Gordon (who is also English and attending his first Burns Supper) then makes the mistake of asking.
    Colin: In a proper one you've heart, lung, liver, all minced up with onion and oatmeal. But you've got to soak the oatmeal in blood. And then it gets stuffed inside the lining of a sheep's stomach and boiled.
    Gordon: Right...
    Christine: You'll no' try even a wee bit, Gordon, no?

  • In The Unbelievable Truth, Frankie Boyle, on the subject of Glasgow, follows up the statement that chicken tikka masala was invented in Glasgow, when someone complained chicken tandoori was too dry (true) by claiming that haggis was invented in India, when someone complained their dinner wasn't conceptually horrific enough.
  • Discussed on the Radio 4 sociology programme Thinking Aloud, which suggests that the origin of the trope may have been negative stereotypes of Scotland popular in England after the Act of Union, of the "they're so poor and mean that that's all they've got to eat" variety. Rabbie Burns's poem was part of a counter-campaign that presented haggis as the food of an honest and prudent people. At the end of the episode, the presenter said that he once thought of making his own haggis, but he just didn't have the stomach for it.

  • In the play Money Talks, a Running Gag in the second act is various characters attempting to get rid of the haggis the Scottish banker leaves behind.

  • The aptly-named "Horrid Haggis" from The Trash Pack. He's portrayed as an inside-out organ spewing out meat from his mouth. He's also useful as a makeshift set of bagpipes, as his trading card for the meat-spewing problem.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect 2 has a conversation between Normandy crewmen Gabby Daniels and Ken Donnelly on this subject if Shepard buys equipment and ingredients for Normandy's galley. Donnelly, true Scotsman that he is, apparently quite likes it.
  • The Bard's Tale takes it to a whole other level, featuring a haggis monster boss.
  • Inverted with the dwarves of Ironforge in World of Warcraft, who love the stuff. (One daily Cooking quest involves finding ingredients for it, and another involves distributing it to the guards.) Of course, their accents do suggest that they're the fantasy equivalent of Scots.
  • Kingdom of Loathing somewhat subverts this with the ThinkNerd items. Spoofing ThinkGeek and various geeky items, haggis is very much enjoyed. In fact, one of the jokes is that all the references to haggis in the products are actually a mirror to the numerous bacon products in geek culture and beyond.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • In TomSka's cancelled video, "The Scottish Tenner", Chris reveals to him he had been lying about being Scottish for years so he could get rid of a Scottish pound. Tom comments on how he convinced himself to eat haggis so as not to offend Chris.

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales (1987): In "Bubbeo and Juliet", Duckworth brings Scrooge his favourite lunch . . . Haggis. Scrooge is usually pleased by the meal (though his enjoyment of the meal is interrupted by the smell of the Blurff's barbecue next door), Duckworth looks queasy.
  • Johnny Bravo: In "Loch Ness Johnny", where Johnny goes to Scotland, he gets chased by the Loch Ness Monster because it wants his haggis. He gets it in the end, but after a William Wallace Expy tells him what's in it he gladly gives it to the Monster, earning its friendship. However, the trope is still downplayed because Johnny was actually enjoying the haggis until after he's told what's in it.
  • In an episode of Samurai Jack, Jack visits The Scotsman's home town, and is presented with a feast of haggis. Jack promptly exclaims "Eww!" and holds his nose due to the smell from it before asking what it is and getting told "a sheep's stomach filled with meat and barley".
  • In The Simpsons, Groundskeeper Willie tries to sell haggis at the school fair and makes the mistake of describing the ingredients and saying "Tastes as good as it sounds"
  • Peter Puppy's hatred of haggis is a Running Gag on the Earthworm Jim series, usually accompanied by him describing the dish. Zigzagged, as Peter has stated he used to enjoy haggis before learning what was in it.
  • Used in an episode of The Weekenders, where Lor tries to get her friends to try haggis. Tino makes the mistake of asking what it is.
    Lor: If I told you, you'd never eat it. Actually, you might not eat anything. Ever again.
    Carver: Yum.
  • Averted on Phineas and Ferb, where Phineas briefly mentions that Ferb loves haggis.
  • Subverted in an episode of the The Ren & Stimpy Show, where the main duo were willing, even eager to eat haggis with a Scotsman they meet. Unfortunately, the Scotsman gets angry because they didn't put chutney in his.
  • In the episode of Rugrats "The Clan of the Duck", Chuckie and Phil decide to try wearing skirts. When they are taken to a culture festival at the park, they are mistaken for girls by two older boys, who then decide to chase them and beat them up when the ruse is revealed. They are then saved by a clan of Scotsbabies who believe them to be fellow Scotsbabies from the Clan of the Duck (because the skirts had duck pictures. After all was said and done, they played together (along with Tommy and Lil who came in later) and shared Haggis. The twins actually like it even when they get told it's made from "Sheep guts!"
  • One episode of Kim Possible had Ron being forced to eat Duff Killigan's haggis after insulting it. Oddly, it's depicted as a kind of bubbling stew instead of a sausage. Of course, it’s possible Duff just wasn’t making it properly.
  • In the hour-long Darkwing Duck crossover episode of DuckTales (2017), Scrooge requests some haggis for an experiment involving a Reality Warper alchemy machine. Upon its arrival, he tries it to verify its authenticity, while Louie tries it out of curiosity. Their reactions are expectedly different.
    Scrooge: That's how you know it's haggis!
  • In the ProStars episode "Knightmare Riders", the team is offered a plate of haggis as a welcome. Wayne swallows a big piece... and then is told how it's made. Then he says "I'll just fast for a while" and faints.

    Real Life 
  • Scottish actress Karen Gillan has stated that she enjoys getting non-Scottish people to try haggis before telling them what it's made of.


Video Example(s):


Wayne is in for a surprise.

Wayne Gretzky learns what he just ate.

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Main / HaggisIsHorrible

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