A gag in which a character orders food, then specifically asks that a certain ingredient be excluded, even though that ingredient is either not commonly found or ordered in that food to begin with, or is typically only added on request.
A common use of this joke is with pizza and anchovies: Characters will specifically ask for "no anchovies" as if failing to do so would inevitably cause them to appear on the pizza. Exactly why anchovies is hardly ever discussed, though most attribute it to the fact that anchovies are typically served whole, which is more jarring and squick-worthy in many people's eyes than the traditional method of serving separate cuts of fish meat. Onions are another (un)popular choice for use in this trope, especially when ordering sandwiches, largely owing to their distinctively sharp taste, stubborn aftertaste, and pungent smell, the latter of which translates poorly to one's breath following consumption (though they do tend to be a default ingredient of many sandwiches— it depends on the restaurant, of course).
Hatred for certain pizza toppings (or food additions) in general probably falls under Stock "Yuck!" or Does Not Like Spam. Compare Every Pizza Is Pepperoni, for when pizza toppings are generally restricted.
- In the Pokémon: The Original Series episode "Mystery at the Lighthouse", Brock tells Bill he is going to make hamburgers and asks if Bill wants one. Bill responds by asking Brock whether he "can cook without using tofu." While Bill is asking this because he's been unable to get anything but tofu for quite a while, it's still usually safe to assume that hamburgers don't contain any tofu. None of this was in the original Japanese, where Bill liked tofu just fine and this conversation was entirely different.
- When Dante orders a pizza in Devil May Cry: The Animated Series, there's a running gag where he asks to hold the olives but keeps getting them anyway. Other installments of the franchise add anchovies as a no-no topping for him.
- The Firesign Theatre: George Tirebiter tries to order "a pizza to go, and no anchovies" from a place called Nick's. Unfortunately for him, George has the wrong Nick on the line:
"No anchovies? You've got the wrong man. I spell my name...Danger!"
- Played with in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. During an assault on the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob attempts to call Mr. Krabs for battle orders, only to get Sandy making a food order; two Krabby Patties, extra ketchup, extra mustard, hold the mayo. After getting through to Mr. Krabs, his attack order is the same; extra ketchup, extra mustard, hold the mayo. Cue SpongeBob with a condiment gun loaded with extra ketchup and extra mustard, with Patrick standing behind, holding a very large jar of mayo.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) has Michelangelo ordering a pizza near the beginning of the movie as Splinter talks about the "art of invisibility". As Splinter is finishing up his speech, Mikey is just about to finish the order, and he says, "Oh, but no anchovies, and I mean no anchovies. You put anchovies on this thing and you're in big trouble, okay?" right before Splinter throws a book at his head.
- Inverted in Nick Danger in the Case of the Missing Yolk:
Rocky Rococo: Hello, I want to order some anchovies to go, and hold the pizza.
- Parodied in Super Mario Bros. (1993) when President Koopa orders a pizza. "Hold the mammal."
- Taken to an extreme in Good Burger, where a customer orders a Good Burger with nothing on it. Ed gives him exactly that, but neglects to give him a burger, and just sells him the bun all by itself. The customer's efforts to explain what he actually meant go nowhere, and he storms out in a huff.
- Parodied in Airplane!, when Captain Oveur has a call from the Mayo Clinic and he's interrupted:
Operator: Excuse me, this is the operator, Captain Oveur, I have an emergency call on line 5 from a Mr. Hamm.Oveur: All right, give me Hamm on five, hold the Mayo.
- A joke about Jean-Paul Sartre goes that whilst working at a café he asks the waitress for a coffee, no cream. The waitress replies that they are out of cream, how about a coffee with no milk?
- In Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon, this is a Running Gag between Amber and Justin. They always ask for a pizza, "hold the anchovies," and then laugh at the mental image of the pizza boy holding an armful of anchovies.
- In Kasia, Connor tells Giordano's not to put any pineapple on the pizza he's ordering. Justified, however, since the restaurant knows he usually orders pineapple on his pizza and he doesn't want to ruin Kasia's first experience of pizza (she's a Fish out of Temporal Water princess from the Renaissance).
- 21 Jump Street episode "Gotta Finish the Riff"
Reginald Brooks: [ordering pizza for his hostages] I want 10 with sausage, 10 with pepperonis. And no anchovies. I see one anchovy and I kill the librarian.
- The Electric Company (1971): This was a common joke of many skits involving pizza, particularly (but not limited to) those with The Short Circus, the show's singing group of kids.
- H₂O: Just Add Water: A moonspelled Emma asks Cleo to bring her a cheese sandwich on rye bread with sardines. Then to forget the cheese and the bread. Cleo obliges, not realizing until Emma actually eats raw sardines that Emma has the cravings of a carnivorous mermaid.
- On Supernatural, there was a version involving not anchovies, but a vampire who was worried that he may have had unsolicited garlic put on his pizza. It lampshaded the unrealisticness of someone who worries about unsolicited anchovies, garlic, or such toppings with the delivery guy's reaction: He impatiently asked, "Did you order any garlic? Then no, there isn't any." A bit more justified than some cases, though it would be more so if he'd demanded to know if there was garlic in the sauce.
- ALF once ordered a pizza with everything except beets. He specified clearly that he did not want beets.
- A non-food variant appears on the famous Morecambe and Wise skit with Andre Previn. Explaining the "special arrangement" of Grieg's piano concerto, Eric says, "easy on the trombones".
- The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!: One live-action episode features a pizza-making machine. Its inventor says the user must ask it to hold anchovies and eggs otherwise it'll put them on the pizza.
- The J. Geils Band's "No Anchovies, Please" is all about this. Well, sort of. Eating anchovies caused a woman to get kidnapped and turned into a bowling ball, so the Spoof Aesop is to request no anchovies on pizza. Peter Wolf later plays this straight while nodding to the aforementioned bit on the "Love Rap" prelude to "Love Stinks" on their live album Showtime!, depicting Adam as The Stoner in the Garden of Eden, craving a pizza with increasingly eccentric toppings...
Wolf: He put on peanut butter! He even put on tuna fish! BUT...nooooo...Wolf and Audience: ...aaaaanchovies, PLEASE!
- Tom Smith's "Domino Death" references this with adding "no anchovies, please" as one of the many offenses that will garner your death at the hands of the psycho narrator.
- Inverted with "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Trapped in the Drive Thru", in which the narrator offhandedly asks for onions with his burger midway through the eleven-minute suite, only to respond with despair upon discovering at the very end of the song that the frycook forgot to include them.
- Sethical: Parodied in the short "boneless pizza", where the order is to avoid putting in an ingredient the restaurant never had in the first place, much less would put on pizza. No matter how much the cashier tries to clarify, the guy who ordered it interprets him as saying the place refuses to sell anything but bone-in pizza and gets upset.
- Used to hilarious effect in a Disney's House of Mouse episode, in a song Goofy sings about being a waiter. The line "hold the anchovies" is juxtaposed with a shot of Ariel.
Goofy: Hold the pickles / Hold the lettuce / Hold the- yech -anchovies!
- Looney Tunes had a particular fondness for the "hold the onions" gag:
- The gag was first used in Pigs Is Pigs (1937) after the giant sandwich is made; the machine holds up a sign saying "Hold the Onions!".
- In Jungle Jitters, a band of cannibals prepares to stew a traveling salesman, and one of them shows the chef a sign reading "HOLD THE ONIONS".
- In Wackiki Wabbit, one of the castaways sees his companion as a hamburger and says out loud "And hold the onions."
- In A Hound for Trouble, Charlie Dog attends to a customer at a restaurant in Italy, who orders spaghetti with "no onionza".
- In French Rarebit, one of the French waiters holds a sign saying "Hold la Onions" after Bugs puts them in a bowl of vegetables.
- The Silly Symphony "The Golden Touch" has King Midas, desperate to lose the golden touch lest he die of starvation, bargains with the elf who gave it to him "my kingdom for a hamburger sandwich!" The elf sardonically asks "With or without onions?" After taking back the golden touch and all of Midas' worldly possessions, a hamburger materializes. Midas, nevertheless, is overjoyed that it has onions.
- Garfield and Friends: In "Binky Goes Bad", Binky the Clown is called for orders in court, due to being confused with a malicious lookalike. He answers, "I'll have a ham on rye, hold the mayo!" Garfield can tell this is the real Binky because he would never "pass up such a lame joke."