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— highly unlikely. Exactly why anchovies is hardly ever discussed, though most when inquired 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).
Starting in The New '10s, pineapple is getting more attention regarding pizza toppings, owing to a common belief that the flavors of pineapple and pizza are a poor match for one another.
- In the Pokémon 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.
- 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!"
- On Inside Out, Riley's first day on San Francisco had not been pretty. When she realizes that she hasn't had lunch yet, she orders pizza from "Yeast of Eden", and, much to her horror, the cashier hands Riley a pizza with "broccoli toppings"! Inside Riley's mind:
Fear: What the heck is that?!Joy: Who puts broccoli on pizza?!Disgust: That's it, I'm done!Anger: Congratulations, San Francisco! You've ruined pizza!! First the Hawaiians, and now you!!!
- 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. 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.
- 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 the ClueFinders book "The Mystery of Microsneezia", Leslie's preference for broccoli is treated this way by the boys though in Real Life, broccoli is merely an uncommon topping, not an unpopular one and is fairly easily found in the California area where the Clue Finders are implied to live.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Oh-Yeah Cartoons! pilot of The Fairly OddParents has this as a gag when Vicky orders Timmy some pizza. His slice contains not only anchovies, but also fishing hooks.
- Looney Tunes:
- 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".
- Inverted in a TaleSpin, episode where Baloo's customer (a polar-bear living in the Arctic) is upset because they forgot the anchovies.
- In Codename: Kids Next Door Heinrich von Marzipan is being held in KND prison when Numbuh 5 visits him and treats him to a cheeseburger, which he had been longing to eat after recovering from an episode where everything he touched turned to chocolate. He is practically moved to tears by the gesture, until he realizes it has pickles in it.
- 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.
- Referenced by Daemona in the Phantom Investigators episode "Ghosts on Film", telling her dad that corn isn't a pizza topping, "not even in California".