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Horror Hunger

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Don't feel bad. Dio happens to be a lawyer.note 

"The hunger felt by an undead with the need for sustenance is akin to an addiction. Like living creatures with an extreme craving for some chemical substance, hungry undead are prone to erratic, violent, and sometimes self-destructive behavior if they are denied their preferred morsels."
Dungeons & Dragons, "Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead, Chapter 1 All About Undead"

The human body is a remarkable machine but it doesn't just run on energy. Ask any dietician: it requires vitamins, minerals, and a plethora of other substances in specific doses to run at peak efficiency. So what, pray tell, does a supernatural or alien being require to operate at its normal, superhuman efficiency? Why, humans!

These creatures don't just need to feed on humans to get their powers or keep a human shape but very likely to survive. And to make matters worse, this humanitarian diet comes with a relentless, insatiable, and ultimately irresistible hunger. This is the driving force behind a lot of the evil in supernatural creatures. The Horror Hunger can only be sated by feeding on (parts of) other humans; (non-human) animals are rarely a viable substitute, and if they do work, they taste horrible. These are not your Friendly Neighborhood Vampires.

Speaking of vampires, any person unwillingly changed due to a Viral Transformation and trying to be a "good" vampire, werewolf, or whatnot will have a very hard time of it, since starving themselves will likely cause them to lose control and attack the nearest person, loved one or not. If they're being starved by enemies like the Hunter of Monsters, this is an incredibly effective and cruel torture. These supernaturals trying to be good will also have another hurdle to cross... Evil Tastes Good, and Delicious Distractions are everywhere. So not only are they starving themselves, but they're like hungry children locked in a candy store... where the candy is people. Even in cases where the supernaturals don't need to consume humans to survive, the Horror Hunger creates conflict and provides an explanation for why the Friendly Neighborhood Vampires find it so hard to quit.

The hunger isn't always for humans per se. At times, it can be for Applied Phlebotinum, especially if it has to be harvested from humans, like with Liquid Assets or Life Energy. Even if it's a hunger for something that doesn't harm humans directly, it can still be extremely dangerous. Perhaps feeding somehow damages the environment, the addictive elements and danger of death are still present, and/or it likely causes With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.The Phlebotinum Muncher and Psycho Serum addict likely suffer from Horror Hunger regarding their choice substance. If feeding makes them more and more dangerous, they will likely become a Snowballing Threat as their cravings escalate.

Take all of this and take it up to eleven if exposed to someone Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious. Now add in a skimpy negligee if Hemo Erotic is in play. See also Food Chain of Evil when it applies to other kinds of monsters. Often part of the Virus-Victim Symptoms. A group of beings trying to control their Horror Hunger may form a Monsters Anonymous group to try to cope. This can overlap with Fantastic Diet Requirement when the hunger is for something the person cannot survive without. See also Hungry Menace, One-Track-Minded Hunger, I Do Not Drink Wine.

Oh, and in case it isn't obvious, expect the Horror Hunger to be used as a metaphor for addiction.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Animerica, Kiyone has an insatiable appetite for human blood and occasionally flesh. In fact, Lita recalls a moment where she caught him VORACIOUSLY eating what appears to be a torn carcass.
  • Beastars and Beast Complex take place in a world of intelligent animals, with carnivorous animals living in an uneasy peace with herbivorous animals. Carnivorous animals suffer from a hunger for the flesh of herbivores, which in severe cases can cause insanity, even in carnivores who have never eaten meat. Eating meat is treated as both a metaphor for drug usage and sex. Many carnivores choose to indulge themselves by buying herbivore meat from the black market, which mostly, but not entirely, comes from herbivores who died of natural causes. Protagonist Legosi the wolf refuses to eat meat and has a lot of relationship difficulties with Haru the rabbit because he isn't entirely sure if his feelings for her are actually romantic or just confused instincts to eat her, which he almost did when he first met her. And even after he becomes certain that he really is in love with her, they still have a lot of difficulty with intimacy due to their instincts. To get rid of his meat cravings, he trains by exposing himself to meat without eating it. And his cravings comes back when his friend Louis has him eat his foot to restore his strength during his fight with the predator who ate Tem.
  • When souls become Hollows in Bleach, they are driven by an eternal and insatiable hunger to devour other souls, living or dead. However, when the void within an ordinary hollow's heart becomes so much that human souls are incapable of sustaining it, the hollows are driven to cannibalize other fellow hollows. This usually results in the evolution of a bigger, stronger hollow. The only way to stop the hunger is to either a) become a Vasto Lorde, the most powerful Hollow type that can take centuries to get to, or b) remove your mask and become an Arrancar, gaining an increase in power and Shinigami-esque powers (and even THAT form is only practical if they make it to Adjuchas-level first, the one right below Vasto Lorde).
  • Buso Renkin: All homunculi are driven to consume human beings even though they can survive without doing so as the end of the series saw them exiled to the moon where they seemed to be able to survive without a food source. It has been theorised, in-universe, that this hunger for human flesh is the result of a deep desire to become human once again.
  • In Call of the Night, while vampires do feel a constant thirst for human blood, they can keep it in check for the most part. However, the longer they go without feeding, the harder it becomes to suppress their hunger, until all but the most strong-willed vampires end up becoming feral. Yamori gets front row seats to see what that looks like when, while investigating his school's version of The Seven Mysteries with Akira and Mahiru, they walk into a vampire who's been starving for ten years. He lunges at Akira the second he lays eyes on her and desperately tries to bite her neck as Akira starts screaming and crying and Mahiru tries to make him stop, with Yamori smashing a chair on his face only briefly restoring his lucidity as he begs the children to run before he loses control again. It's later stated that vampires will die if they can survive ten years without feeding, which is exactly what the vampire who attacked Akira was aiming for.
  • In Claymore, Youma and Awakened beings can only eat pure human entrails. The most powerful ones are also the most hungry.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, demons inherently eat people. Nezuko, Tanjiro's kid sister who was turned into a demon, has managed to retain most of her humanity...but she's struck by overwhelming sensations of hunger whenever she sees dead bodies, which reduce her to paralyzed crying. (It doesn't help that said corpses also remind her of when her entire family was slaughtered in the incident that led to her demonic state.)
  • In DEVILMAN crybaby when Taro becomes possessed by a demon he develops an unsatisfiable hunger, no matter how much he eats he’s still hungry, he eventually sneaks away from his mother to eat a dog, when she discovers this she is horrified and takes him to a shelter to get him treated, by the time his father arrives he’s become an insect/fish like demon that is slowly devouring his mother with tears streaming down his eyes, showing that he is aware of what he’s doing but unable to control himself.
  • Digimon Ghost Game:
    • The main antagonist of Episode 26 "The Man Eating Mansion" is a Digitamamon who developed an addiction to eating humans. He tends to stay in a house where he ambushes and eats the tenants, something that occurred for half a year and is notorious as an Urban Legend. What makes this so awful is that he's also Angoramon's old friend, and nobody is happy when Angoramon finds himself forced to kill him.
    • Ruli gets hit by this in Episode 63 "Gluttony" when she accidentally swallows a black-colored pellet (a Quartzmon clone) in a cake buffet. At first she feasted on increasingly large meals only to still have an empty belly, but it quickly degenerated into her mouth and limbs mutating to resemble the offending Digimon and going onto a rampage trying to eat Hiro, Gammamon, and Kiyoshiro. She ends up collapsing on the floor after a short while due to malnourishment and is hospitalized with Mummymon. The group also later finds out she's not the only victim, and there are at least hundreds of infected people out there.
  • This is one of the unfortunate side effects of Franken Fran's operations, leading for instance an injured girl that Fran healed with some insect genes to uncontrollably devour her boyfriend after they had sex, a girl born without a sense of taste to gorge herself on food after being cured, culminating in devouring her best friend alive, in order to experience the orgasmic sensation eating now causes in her, and a rushed up immortality treatment to cause elderly people to become mindless carnivorous beasts. One chapter involved her stealing a weight loss serum to give to a Huge Schoolgirl trying to lose weight. She discovers the next day that it was actually a weight gain serum, invented to practically enslave the company's consumer base with hunger, and the girl dies choking to death trying to eat her boyfriend.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, while Philosopher's Stones, the Homunculi's power source, are easy for them to get, they tend to take heavy damage to the point where Pride devours Gluttony in order to stave off Ed and Greed.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (2003): When Homunculi are injured, they start losing their human appearance and power and develop a ravenous hunger for red stones. It doesn't seem to actually be necessary and before they've had any, they don't even want it. This is perhaps played most horrifyingly straight with Wrath, who is given some red stones by Envy to eat like candy, and is horrified when Envy tells him that the stones are made of human lives, but can't resist chowing down on them again immediately after.
  • The Shadow Angels in Genesis of Aquarion must harvest human Life Energy to survive.
  • Vampires and Zombies in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, as seen in the page image. Upon being newly turned by the Stone Mask, they emerge as shriveled, decayed husks, which regain their strength and vigor upon drinking a human's blood (unlike traditional vampires, they drink with their fingers.)
  • Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force has the Eclipse infection, which not just gives the infected a hunger for humans, oh no. It goes straight to the point and gives one an insatiable hunger for killing people. Trying to fight against this hunger will make one lose control, and if you still fight against the hunger at that point, the infection's Healing Factor will completely go out of control and turn the infected into a lump of flesh.
  • Musuko ga Kawaikute Shikataganai Mazoku no Hahaoya: When child vampire Lizette has blood to drink, she is as much a Cheerful Child as one could expect from an eight-year-old girl. When she doesn't have blood to drink, she can become mad from starvation to the point of turning downright feral. She might well have been put down by humans before she turned six had Minami not realized this and made sure she could be provided with blood to drink. When Lizette accidentally runs out of blood packs, she finds Chiharu's scent almost irresistible and has to keep herself from attacking Chiharu. That chapter ends with Lizette going to pick up her blood rather than wait for it to be delivered and swearing to never run out like that again.
  • Several demon-possessed people/corpses in Nightwalker are shown eating fresh kills, both animal and human. Sufficiently self-aware possessees are horrified by their compulsion to eat raw flesh, but cannot control it. While the animated corpse-type demons are pretty mindless, the horror comes from the reactions of the heroes.
  • The titular Parasites in Parasyte are driven by a primal urge to kill and eat the kind of whatever species they possess (a Parasite that took over the head of a dog kills and eats another dog). Averted with Migi and Jaw, who live on otherwise normal human hosts rather than replacing their heads; they take the nutrients they need straight from their bloodstream and don't have the same killing instinct. Also subverted at the end of the series, when the few surviving Parasites go underground and blend into human society by learning to survive on human food.
  • In Sankarea a drug allows for dead bodies to be brought back to life as intelligent zombies, but rot and decay cause these zombies to slowly lose their humanity until they find the act of eating the people and things they love as the ultimate and most romantic pleasure. All of them eventually degrade until they reach a point where they become completely mindless and become a standard zombie, slow, mindless, and rotting corpses that want nothing more than to eat flesh.
  • In the short spinoff zombie story She is a Slow Walker, written and illustrated by Junji Ito, an uninfected human starving in an apartment eats the flesh of his infected and decaying girlfriend, and turned into an infected as well.
  • Used to devastating effect in Shiki, where vampires who were harmless, or even good, people when they were alive frequently find themselves killing their own friends and family owing to their hunger.
  • In That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, this is what happens to Orcs under the effect of an Orc Lord's Unique Skill [Starvation]. They become perpetually hungry for anything they can get their hands on and tear apart with their teeth, along with the chance to gain the traits and abilities of what they eat. Interestingly, despite the hunger they can't actually die from starvation as long as the Orc Lord himself eats. The current Orc Lord only became one and accepted this skill because otherwise, the orc tribes would have perished to the last in a great famine, and the orcs once freed of its effects are appropriately horrified by what they did to survive.
  • The main concept of Tokyo Ghoul, wherein ghouls live off of human flesh. It's also the only thing they can digest besides coffee. All the major conflicts are due to this hunger, and it especially haunts Ken Kaneki, who was turned half-ghoul seemingly by accident. He tries desperately to find a substitute, refusing to kill, and for a while even turns down more ethically-obtained flesh when it's offered to him. It's only after a few close calls that he relents... and then he learns under traumatic circumstances that ghouls can also consume the flesh of other ghouls. Though the taste is extremely unpleasant, doing it enough will make the cannibal stronger.
  • In Trinity Blood, the Methuselah can normally keep their thirst for human blood under control using an artificial substitute. However, sadistic enemy Dietrich once got Ion to go horrifically bloodthirsty while locked in a cell with good friend Esther.

    Comic Books 
  • Bloodshot generally doesn't need to eat, since he no longer has anything resembling a conventional metabolism. The nanites that compose his body, however, occasionally need to replenish their supply of proteins in order to maintain his ability to heal. The result is that when he suffers significant injuries, he has to wolf down large quantities of raw meat. Sometimes, this condition can be satisfied by raiding a meatpacking plant. Other times, Bloodshot has had to attack live animals. It's not a pretty sight.
  • The DCU:
    • The medical condition that drives Clayface III to reduce people to pools of protoplasm in the Batman comics.
    • The Caitlin Snow incarnation of Firestorm's nemesis Killer Frost has an uncontrollable hunger for body heat that forces her to take it from others, as she can't generate her own. The process is almost always fatal to those she's stealing heat from. She learns to control it in DC Rebirth so that it doesn't kill the victim, but the hunger is definitely still there.
    • Anyone who holds the orange light of Greed in Green Lantern is afflicted with an endless ravenous hunger. Larfleeze, the keeper of the Orange Lantern, is introduced feasting on spoiled and rotten foods with gusto, still demanding more. When Hal Jordan gets a hold of the lantern, one of the many things it tells him is that he could go for a few cheeseburgers.
    • An early Hellblazer story features a "famine demon" who causes people to develop an insane hunger — not just for food and drugs but things they desire like clothing and jewelry.
      • One memorable moment has a bodybuilder suddenly sink his teeth into the biceps he was just admiring; another features an affected priest about to bite into a crucifix. The source of the demon is eventually discovered to be one of John's old bandmates, who is a drug addict. In order to contain the demon, John and Papa Midnite have to seal him into a wall — alive.
      • This is referenced in Constantine (2005) when John's ally, the alcoholic priest, is desperately thirsty but no liquids can pass his lips. He wrecks an entire convenience store's worth of booze, unaware that he's actually drowning himself in alcohol.
    • Robin (1993) villain Johnny Warren unwillingly drains the life out of his own mother to heal the damage caused after a demon possesses him. He does seem to get over his trauma rather quickly and goes on to drain the life out of many others as he tries to take over the Gotham mafia.
    • Superman has recurrent foe Parasite, an energy vampire that in some continuities is driven by an endless hunger to drain the closest energy source he can find, living or electrical. His morals often don't make him resistant, but all the while he complains that enough is never enough.
    • In Wonder Woman (Rebirth), when Barbara becomes Urtzkartaga's bride in order to gain the powers of Cheetah, he curses her with a supernatural hunger for human flesh which horrifies her. Her previous iteration was not at all bothered by the requirement of human blood and sacrifice to activate and maintain her powers.
  • Dead High: Yearbook: An anthology of horror stories about typical teenagers who are thrown into not-so-typical situations. In one story a limp-noodle of a boy and a fat, ostracized girl take experimental drugs that end up giving the boy muscles and make the girl lose weight rapidly. However, with each passing day, the drugs work too well: the girl keeps getting thinner and thinner no matter how much she eats and is constantly hungry (and rumors start that she's bulimic, so she's just as ostracized as she was when she was fat), and the boy's muscles keep growing to the point that he is hardly able to move and unable to control his anger. In the end, unable to control her hunger anymore, the now anorexic girl transforms (via body horror) into a giant, tapeworm-like creature that proceeds to eat the guy before his muscles make him explode.
  • Fiends of the Eastern Front: When Hans is turned into a vampire, he is immediately struck by a lust for blood and attacks a group of nearby Russian soldiers.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • In the comics featuring vampires, such as The Tomb of Dracula and Blade, their hunger controls them. Most don't have enough sense of morality or even former human personality to care, but those who do hang on to their former selves experience this trope in full.
    • Morbius the Living Vampire is more sympathetic than other vampires, as he was transformed into a pseudo-vampire by a scientific accident, and has retained his humanity (vowing to feed only on criminals). He is shown fighting the impulse to drain people of their blood several times over his own series, only to finally give in and attack.
    • Cloak and Dagger: Cloak has this for a vaguely defined kind of human Life Energy, represented as light. It's generally not an issue because his partner Dagger naturally generates an excess of the stuff, but on one occasion when she'd abandoned him, he came near to killing several innocent people.
    • Galacta: Daughter of Galactus: Since she actually cares about the lives of other lifeforms, Galactus' daughter Galacta considers the hunger for Life Energy that comes with being an embodiment of the Power Cosmic to be this. To ease her conscience, she limits herself to eating the alien microbes and bioweapons that appear with alarming frequency on Earth since they don't belong there anyway. However, this isn't nearly enough to satisfy her hunger pangs which are almost as strong as her father's (who has to eat entire planets to briefly satisfy his hunger). She spends every moment of every day on Earth searching for more alien food while resisting the temptation to gorge herself on the literal tons of food surrounding her. Then she discovers a "Tapeworm Cosmic" parasite inside her feeding off of her power and exacerbating her hunger. She gets so desperate she briefly considers creating a planet to eat from scratch using Wolverine's DNA as a template to give it a regeneration factor. Galacta doesn't go through with it; reasoning that it would be way too immoral to create an entire world just to use it as a buffet. In the end, she is driven to use the Ultimate Nullifier on herself in an attempt to destroy the Tapeworm, knowing and not caring in the least that this could destroy her as well (the Nullifier is one of the few things in existence that can kill beings like Galactus and Galacta). Galactus saves both Galli and the Tapeworm because the "Tapeworm" isn't really a parasite: it's the larval form of beings such as Galactus and Galacta. In other words, it's Galli's unborn baby. That's why she's so hungry — she's eating for two!
    • Marvel Zombies : The zombie superheroes often refer to the Hunger as something that controls them. After initial infection and transformation, they are unable to resist the urge when the hunger fully takes them over, such as the Avengers who were first infected devouring nearby civilians or Spider-Man fighting off the virus until he returned to his flat and ate Mary Jane. Even worse, after they've eaten some of them go back to a degree of normal where they are horrified at what they have done, such as Bruce Banner being basically himself even if the Hulk is always hungry and Spider-Man feeling guilty while full, but they will all revert to type given time. On top of that, since the hunger is purely psychological (such as the Wasp asking to eat something even after being reduced to just a head so that she couldn't possibly derive any sustenance from it) if the zombies "starve" themselves they can eventually reach a point where they stop being hungry.
    • New Mutants: Warlock, is a member of the alien Technarchy race who have to consume Life Energy to survive. Unlike most members of his species, he is morally averse to feeding on sentient beings, so he only feeds on non-sentient beings (like plants) — on one occasion when he is forced to "eat" a villain to save his teammates, he actually throws up the consumed life energy on principle.
    • The Phalanx, an offshoot of the Technarchy, have the same need to infect others with the Transmode virus, which is how Warlock and his race prepare their food for consumption. Unlike the Technarchy, they don't proceed to eat their victims — the infection is more about adding to their Hive Mind Collective. The Technarchy are disgusted by the Phalanx since the Phalanx are essentially fungus growing on spoiled food to them.
    • Spider-Man 2099: Miguel attempts to cure his sort-of-crush Tempest's cancer, using medicine from the future (since in his reality, they cured all that pesky nonsense by 2040). Then the cure reacts with something in Tempest's body, turning her into a wasp-spider monster with a hunger for spider-person flesh... like Miguel.
    • In the second The Ultimates (2015) series, the entity Logos corrupts Galactus, ramping his hunger for worlds to nightmarish extremes, so much so his mind is utterly lost. The ultimate end goal is that Galactus' hunger will drive him to eat all existence, as part of the true villain's end goal. Fortunately, Galactus is cured in quick order... albeit at the cost of his herald's life.
    • This condition afflicts Ultimate Venom. He swallows people whole. He once did this to a horse, complete with rider. One issue used this for the weirdest Forrest Gump Shout-Out ever: the people he's talking to on the bench are different every time because he keeps eating them. There's also a bit of Hammerspace, or maybe just ridiculously rapid digestion, going on, as immediately after eating them there's no visible difference.
      • Less so with main Marvelverse Venom. While main Venom does require a chemical compound found in few locations outside of the human brain to survive, and he begins getting cravings if he goes too long without it, one of the few other locations the compound can be found is chocolate. Yes, a Horror Hunger for either brains... or chocolate. Either one works. In one story in which he is dealing with a villain who can't feel pain, he decides to punish the villain by draining the compound from him, leaving him with the same craving.
      • Ultimate Carnage is even worse: he assimilates people's DNA to try to complete himself, the process of which leaves them drained, skeletal husks. Because a writer got the two mixed up, the main universe Carnage also displays this trait once — or so we're told; it mostly just serves to make Luke Cage look tough by easily resisting it.
    • The Wendigo monster in the Marvel universe (mostly Alpha Flight, The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine and X-Men comics), based on the Real Life Algonquian legend.
  • In Orphan Blade, the Kasha Mask renders its wearer impervious to pain and grants them an ability to heal from otherwise dire injuries as long as the head is intact. The downside is that the wearer is afflicted with an insatiable hunger for human flesh, which is also required in order for the healing factor to work. Long-term use also results in the wearer engaging in compulsive self-mutilation.
  • Squad: The werewolves feel an irresistible urge for human meat if they don't feed for at least a month; they tried deer, but it didn't work. They kill assholes to justify it to themselves.
  • Vampirella struggles with the need to take blood, which each dose of the substitute serum only holds off for 24 hours, and every story manages to contrive a way for her to not have enough serum, leaving her eternally fighting against her literally bloodthirsty desire.
  • In Zombies Christmas Carol, the Hungry Dead are so neglected and starved they feed off of whatever's in front of them, including non-infected humans.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Candorville, this is even more like a drug addiction than in most works. Now that Roxanne has fulfilled a prophecy and lost the standard vampiric weaknesses, she no longer needs blood, but still feels a desire for it that she has to resist through Villainous Willpower.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): the Many's compulsion to seek out more life and biomasses to assimilate into themselves and their Hive Mind is described in this way.
  • Among You: The first thing that both Cyan and Orange notice after being bitten is the Hunger, always written with a capital H - Hunger for human flesh.
  • In The Butcher Bird, all ghouls suffer from this, needing to consume the flesh of sentient beings. Workarounds are found for this as the story progresses: first with Sea Kings, which are intelligent but inhuman enough that killing them is acceptable to the protagonist, then with the development of a serum that replicates human blood without involving any of it, and finally with the Demonsheart Augment, which allows the digestion of normal food by ghouls.
  • In Downfall, the "villain's" troops are largely composed of a race of cannibalistic predators who hear voices urging them to 'Kill/Devour/Destroy'. Due to the nature of the villains, most of the named characters of that faction are of the sort who strive to overcome this instinct. The Heroes, on the other hand, would wipe out their opponents if given the chance; and, following one of the early battles, are actually shown executing the wounded that were left behind following a desperate retreat.
  • In Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons, the Pegasus Enclave attempts to ethnically cleanse Equestria of all unicorns and earth ponies by creating a disease that causes its victims to mindlessly lust after pony flesh. Early on, it infects Blackjack's home Stable, forcing her to euthanize everypony in it, but not before her own mother is eaten in front of her by her childhood rival. Yes, it's that kind of fic.
  • After My Little Pony: Equestria Girls aired, it became a fairly common fan art topic for the bronies to depict Twilight Sparkle like this. It basically had her tasting meat in the human world, liking it, then going back to the pony world where she was faced with all those delicious yet sentient cows and pigs running around.
  • The Seven Hunters is a The Land Before Time fanfiction where the main protagonists are all suddenly turned into sharpteeth. They begin to suffer from this when they are forced to leave the valley and must either begin to feed upon their former kind or turn on one another in the resulting hunger madness.
  • Uetora ("Hungry Tiger") is a Touhou Project doujinshi by Zounose, starring Toramaru Shou. Okay, hands up - who else thought that a vegetarian tiger youkai sounded like a bit of a stretch? Basically, Shou went feral one full moon and started eating Nazrin, and now Mamizou is standing in for Nazrin while the real one recovers from the savaging Shou gave her. The rest of the temple youkai are mixing recently deceased babies into the soil in the garden to try to take the edge off Shou's hunger. Shou herself doesn't realize any of this; all she knows is that the vegetables have been especially tasty lately.
  • In The Bridge, the Gyaos are depicted as eternally hungry for meat, to the point where they will turn on each other like sharks if wounded. When the Hyper Gyaos eventually named Irys enters the Equestria Girls realm and becomes human, she finds that the hunger is lessened so she merely becomes a Big Eater. Unfortunately, she can't stay.
  • A rather chilling example from the rewrite of Sonic X: Dark Chaos in the form of the Tsali Endoskeletons. Tsali programmed them to aid him in his genocide of Cosmo's race. In the process, he gave them an endless, all-pervading hunger for Seedrian flesh, blood, skin, and bones. Of course, being robots, they can't eat...
  • In Chrysalis Visits The Hague, changelings depend on sucking love from other creatures (just like in the show). It's implied they cannot digest actual food, and when they don't get to feed for too long, they become... grumpy. For the sake of building a tepid relationship with her captors, Queen Chrysalis is ultimately thrown a dead chicken a day.
  • In When the Shadow is You, Legolas turns into some kind of a vampire and discovers that elven blood keeps him sane. The angst is truly overwhelming.
  • Besides the Will of Evil: Reiziger, the Big Bad, is driven by a supernatural example: rather than consuming other beings physically, he is driven by a relentless, ceaseless hunger for the magic and lifeforce of everything he comes across, from other living beings to magical phenomena to entire worlds.
  • This trope appears in a variety of Danny Phantom Dark Fic, such as Ghosts Must Dine, which popularized this as a Fandom-Specific Plot of sorts known as "ghost hunger". Ghost hunger is where for one reason or another, a ghostly character (often Danny himself) has to eat ghosts and generally deals with a lot of guilt from doing so. This is typically due to half ghosts dealing with odd biology of some sort which requires them to consume ectoplasm in order to sustain their ghost halves; synthetic ectoplasm may or may not be enough.
  • Kaiju Revolution: Nearly all of the creatures native to the highly radioactive Skull Island have adapted to partially metabolize the abundant nuclear energy but for some species, something went wrong when they tried to develop this ability. This resulted in an accelerated metabolism and turned them into what are known as hypervores (many of which are predatory) and they are in a constant state of starvation which results in them gaining heightened aggression to match. Many of them also breed quickly and they must be kept under control by some of the island's other inhabitants or they could potentially decimate the entire ecosystem.
  • The Among Us fanfic Like Son, Like Father depicts this as the motivation behind Impostors. When Orange is unwillingly transformed into an Impostor and wakes up mid-transformation, the hunger is so intense that he's forced to eat the body of an earlier-murdered Crewmate just to keep himself from killing someone else in his desperation.
    The first problem was the Hunger. It still burned deep inside him, telling him how starving he was, how much he needed to BiteHuntKill because he was so hungry, his baby was hungry and they needed food, it was the only thing that mattered. Orange felt that so deeply it made his body shudder. Every one of these new, strange instincts were telling him to go across the hall, go back into the sleeping quarters to where he could smell the hot, fresh blood of humans and feast.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Madagascar, Alex could not resist viewing his zebra friend as a snack when overcome with hunger pangs. He gets better after eating fish.
  • In Monster Family, Emma's transformation to a vampire makes her hunger for human blood. Twice she comes dangerously close to biting an innocent person, with Dracula interfering just in time by easing her hunger with one of his blood pills. Dracula even warns her that, if given time, her hunger for blood will get so big she will even try to feed on her own family. When Emma betrays him, he uses another pill to make her hungry again and she indeed comes close to biting Frank, but her love for him eventually wins and they kiss instead.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Afflicted: When Derek is bitten and turned by a vampire, he soon finds that he can't feed on anything except human blood (regular food makes him throw up), and if he lets himself get too hungry he goes into a mindless feeding frenzy, as his vampire physiology "won't let him die".
  • All Cheerleaders Die: The resurrected cheerleaders can only feed on human blood (and are implied to also be draining their souls) and it quickly becomes apparent that they need a lot of it. Maddy, Martha, and Hanna are pretty horrified about it, but Tracy doesn't really care.
  • Bit: Laurel starts to suffer this after becoming a vampire when she's unwilling to feed on humans (especially not kill them after, as Duke demands). While she tries to simply not feed, it's too much for her.
  • Bloodthirsty: Grey, a vegan, experiences the unsettling, intense desire for meat while at Vaughn's house. It echoes her hallucinations of being an animal devouring prey. This turns out to be because she's a werewolf.
  • Bones & All: Maren is, naturally, somewhat disturbed by her cannibal urges at times.
  • In Clown, Kent is possessed by the spirit of a demonic creature called a cloyne when he puts on a cursed costume and transforms into a Monster Clown with an overwhelming craving for the flesh of children. His attempts to simply avoid children (including his own son) are stymied by the fact that, as messed-up as he looks, children are actively attracted to him wherever he goes.
  • Cronos: Jesús Gris gets this after the third "sting" from the Cronos Device, lusting after blood spilt from a nosebleed in a bathroom, and later once he stabs Dieter.
  • Vampires in Daybreakers get increasingly deranged and mutated (into the kind of giant man-bat that Dracula is famous for) the longer they go without human blood. Starve them for long enough, and they'll not only start trying to feed on other vampires but even themselves.
  • The Deaths of Ian Stone approaches this as a literal addiction — Harvesters can survive just fine on ordinary fear, but the rush from slowly murdering someone is quite an amazing experience, and hard to wean oneself off of.
  • Gamera: The Gyaos are all permanently hungry and will eat anything in sight to satisfy their appetites. But mostly prefer human flesh above all things.
  • Godzilla:
    • Godzilla 2000: Orga has to absorb new sources of DNA constantly or die. In Rulers of Earth this results in him trying to devour everything in sight, including his own allies.
    • MonsterVerse: A couple of the more voracious predators on Skull Island show signs of this. The most notable is the invasive Skullcrawlers in the movies, whose hyper-metabolism keeps them constantly on the brink of starvation and therefore driven to hunt and eat endlessly. There's also the Death Jackals in the spin-off graphic novel Skull Island: The Birth of Kong; according to their Monarch profile, they're prone to Monstrous Cannibalism and even Auto Cannibalism if other prey is hard to come by.
  • The Silicate in Island of Terror only eat human skeletons. While the victim is still alive.
  • Dr. Crowley is struck with insatiable hunger when he starts transforming in Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer.
  • The Killer Shrews: Has shrews (scroll down to Real Life for more details) the size (and shape) of dogs.
  • Kiss of the Damned: Djuna explains after Paolo becomes a vampire how vampires feel intense desires to drink blood. It grows stronger the longer a vampire goes without, becoming painful. Before feeding on him, she was clearly trying to stop herself, struggling with it, but eventually loses control when they're having sex.
  • Lifeforce (1985). When a human was drained of Life Energy by a space vampire, it would awaken 2 hours later and have an overwhelming need to drain Life Energy from another human once every two hours thereafter. This also occurred with the humans drained by other humans, leading to an epidemic of Life Energy-draining zombies wandering around.
  • Little Shop of Horrors has Audrey II, the carnivorous plant: "Feed me, Seymour! Feed me now!"
  • Modern Vampires (aka The Revenant) explores the vampire side of this trope. It ends with the vampires — the good guys — turning Van Helsing and leaving him to contemplate the horror of his new bloodlust.
  • Rapper Brotha Lynch Hung, known for Humanitarian-themed lyrics, made a movie called Now Eat in which he plays a gangbanger who is cursed by a witch to eat everything he kills... I.E., other gangbangers.
  • Raw offers us Justine, a lifelong vegetarian for whom a hazing ritual involving consuming a rabbit kidney sparks in her an all-consuming hunger for meat — especially human. This hunger is placed in parallel not with addiction here, but with sexual awakening, as exemplified in a scene where Justine stands near a shirts-and-skins game of basketball, Eating the Eye Candy on multiple levels with a predatory expression on her face. Towards the end, the audience discovers that cannibalism is In the Blood, passed from mother to daughter.
  • The Return of the Living Dead establishes that zombies have to eat brrraaaaiiiinnnnssss to quell the terrible pain of being dead.
  • In Return of the Living Dead 3, the hero's (undead) girlfriend loves her boyfriend so very much, but she's so hungry all the time, and the kibble at the local Circle K isn't cutting it. She feels much better after going berserk and tearing into some street toughs, though. Initially she's able to stave off the hunger by mutilating herself, but eventually even that fails. Her hunger eventually gets so bad that she even attacks her boyfriend at one point.
  • In the Japanese horror anthology film School Ghost Stories 3 in the segment "Shokki", a young boy named Shoda has a terrible ravenous appetite. He at first eats an unending supply of food in the school's cafeteria, and during math class, it is shown he has delusional pica. He chews on a pencil, and then a girl takes advantage of Shoda's psychological troubles for fun by showing him a picture of a watermelon slice, making Shoda hallucinate it as an actual watermelon slice. The teacher kicks him out of class and spotting a picture of a steak dinner from a wall display of the students' art drawings, Shoda rips it off to eat it but the picture's artist, Ayumi (played by Aki Maeda), the girl who has a crush on him, defends the drawing and sweetly pleads him to spare it but Shoda out of hunger tries to bite her arm, causing her to run away and get lost in frightening, confusing illusions. Ayumi then sees Shoda going through the garbage to look for food. At the end of the segment, Ayumi hands over a heart-shaped box filled with fresh cookies she baked at home and she dies by fading away. Shoda doesn't lament her death and only proceeds to dig into the cookies.
  • Slither has the parasite hosts (and the leader of the Hive Mind) suffer from massive hunger for meat to the point where they'll eat ANYTHING, be it dog, cat, horse, sheep, cow, human...
  • 1980's horror film The Stuff is basically Horror Hunger: The Movie. A gooey, marshmallow-like substance is found bubbling up from the very bowels of the earth. It tastes great and has fewer calories than ice cream and other sweets, creating a massive market demand. Unfortunately, it turns out the Stuff is actually a living parasitic organism that makes anyone who tries even one bite crave it non-stop. After becoming "Stuffies," they eat ungodly amounts of the goo and try to force others to indulge in the Stuff; once they've fully incubated their dosage, it hollows them out and explodes from every orifice in their body, leaving behind horrible empty husks.
  • Played for Laughs in Suck. The film manages to make dismembering Moby Bloody Hilarious.
  • Swallow is centered around the disturbingly real-life mental illness Pica, which causes the protagonist to eat non-edible objects, such as thumbtacks. While pregnant. At one point she goes for an ultrasound, and the doctor's discovery of the objects inside her is played for complete horror.
  • Vampirella: The bad guys take away Vampirella's synthetic blood vials and lock her up with her human ally Adam Van Helsing so that she'll be forced to feed on him. After she tries to resist the urge for a while, he offers himself voluntarily so that she can regain enough strength to take on Vlad on her own.
  • In Venom (2018), Eddie Brock, possessed by the Symbiote, develops a ravenous hunger, trying everything remotely edible he can grab, including garbage from the bin, only to spit it out immediately. Eventually he bites into a live lobster and that seems to hold him for a while. As the fully formed Venom, however, he craves human brains and bites the heads off of several Mooks throughout the film. Eventually, he and the symbiote come to terms with an agreement: they're only allowed to eat bad people. Not that there's a shortage of those in their town, anyway.
  • We Are the Night: Lena experiences this after being turned by Louise, suddenly desiring to drink blood. Once she wants to drink blood from living people however she's horrified and absolutely refuses to.

  • The centipede-like Taxxons from Animorphs are a chilling example. They're constantly plagued by a hunger so fierce that even the Yeerks apparently controlling the Taxxons can barely restrain it. Such is its severity that they'll even eat each other to satisfy it. Part of it is driven by an irrational fear of starvation, and the worst part is that it can never be satisfied. At one point a Taxxon ate too much and nearly dies from the bloating, yet in its head is still convinced that it's starving and needs to eat more.
    • The Taxxons have tried some desperate things to cure their hunger: they were willing allies of the Yeerk Empire, in hopes that having Yeerks in their heads — who are, barring starvation or insanity on the part of the Yeerk, in total control of a host's body — would cut down on the maddening hunger. It didn't work. Towards the end of the war, another group allies with the Animorphs on the promise that they'll be allowed to use morphing technology to Shapeshifter Mode Lock themselves in the form of other animals. It's implied that this does, finally, free them.
    • Taxxons will even eat parts of themselves if they're wounded and there's no other viable option.
      Ax: <I think we are in trouble, Prince Jake.>
      Jake: <Is it dead?>
      Ax: <In a matter of speaking. One half of it is consuming the other half.>
    • When Elfangor morphed a Taxxon in The Andalite Chronicles he got to experience this hunger firsthand. He then immediately understood why so many Taxxons were willing to give up their freedom to the Yeerks if it meant there was even a chance of alleviating that hunger. His fellow cadet Arbron also suffers this and gets it much worse since he is forced to stay in Taxxon morph past the two-hour limit, making him one permanently. Sub-Visser Seven (the future Visser Three) outright refused to occupy a Taxxon host since he didn't want to live with that hunger.
  • Bazil Broketail: Apart from his desire to kill mentioned above, Ajoth Gol Dib seems to suffer from many other constant urges, like a craving for alcohol, which he always demands more of. Not only are his urges never sated, but they increase even further the more he consumes (or kills). The way he explains it, his thirst was growing throughout all those years when he was dead.
  • In the Chaos Gods series, Ki has a demonic taint in her soul that causes her to feel the urge to consume the Life Energy of other people, particularly when she's injured.
  • Mercedes Lackey's Children of the Night has an Unwillingly Evil character who has been converted into a psivamp; he can only survive by empathically causing and feeding on strong negative emotions, rage and fear, etc. in people. He can't control it very well, so they either die or "burn out", which is implied to be worse. The hunger is described as being ravenous and directly connected to his empathic ability, and even when he feeds it, it's never really quiet. He tries to feed only on the attack junkies and rapists of New York, preying on the predators, but the hunger doesn't distinguish between these people and their victims, and he knows he won't be able to do this for long before he loses control. At the end of the book, after helping the heroes take out the Big Bad whose side he started on, he commits suicide.
  • Gerald Tarrant in C. S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy can function as a kind of vampire if he really needs to, but his true needs are more complex: nightmares, coldness, darkness, and everything humans fear. To survive an ocean crossing in which he is deprived of his usual sustenance, he inflicts terrible nightmares on his stalwart companion Damien Vryce — with the latter's agreement, because they've teamed up to fight a worse evil.
  • Cradle Series: Hunger madra can inflict this on its practitioners, but by far the worst are the four Dreadgods and their various spawn. The brief looks into the minds of the Dreadgods make it clear that they are wandering the world in a vain attempt to find and consume something—though whether they even remember what it is remains unclear. They are unquestionably the most dangerous entities on the planet merely from what is, essentially, snacking while sleepwalking. At one point Lindon witnesses several powerful cloudships destroyed when a nearby Dreadgod shifted its breathing.
  • Delicate Condition: Pregnant women throughout the book experience cravings they find disturbing.
    • Anna, who was not a big meat eater pre-pregnancy, looks at a dead raccoon and finds herself wanting to eat it. Same with a neighborhood cat and her dog Happy.
    • While pregnant, Io Preecher found herself craving and eating roadkill.
    • Pregnant teen Viviana finds herself craving raw meat and even hungering for the family dog after an attempt at a Magical Abortion by a well-intentioned friend goes awry.
  • Discworld
    • Downplayed with the vampires, for whom human blood consumption is treated more like a conventional addiction than a truly uncontrollable compulsion, and can be deferred by focusing with equal intensity on another topic or substance (examples include coffee, photography, and politics), or delayed by consuming the blood of an animal... but woe betide you if the vampire is under a lot of stress and/or has been denied the topic of their Addiction Displacement. Members of the Uberwald Temperance League at least have a support group to fall back on if their control slips.
    • Played situationally straight with werewolf Angua von Uberwald, who is a strict vegetarian when she can help it, possibly to balance out the fact that during the full moon, she is compelled to go out and hunt — and even then she restricts herself to the odd henhouse raid or little woodland critters she comes across in the wilderness.
  • In The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden's incubus half-brother, Thomas, once gave a vivid demonstration of what resisting his own inborn Horror Hunger (desire/life force) is like. After racing Harry along the beach long enough that both were sweaty and overheated, and very thirsty, he knocked Harry's water bottle out of his hand the second a drop of water touched his lips.
    He met my gaze with weary grey eyes and said, "It's like that."
  • In Empire of the Vampire, the curse of the vampires involves the perpetual, unending thirst for fresh blood, so powerful it drives the lesser vampires into downright suicidial frenzy. Though it can be slaked off by devouring animals, human blood will always be preferred, for it is the sweetest and most varied. The ''palebloods'' inherit this hunger from their undead parent, among other things, and it eventually always either consumers their mind until they're too weak to resist, or lose their minds supressing the urge. Smoking vampiric blood in the form of ''sanctus'' staves the urge off, but never truly sates it.
  • In The Folk Keeper, Corinna has always been able to subsist on very little food, but when she moves to Marblehaugh Park she begins craving fish — and she hungers for it not merely raw, but still living. She initially is repulsed by this craving but eventually learns to accept it along with her other supernatural aspects.
  • An intriguing variation occurs in the Zenna Henderson short story "Food to All Flesh": a Catholic priest in a rural parish witnesses a landing spaceship that contains a single, utterly alien occupant which is quickly revealed to be both peaceful and extremely hungry. When the priest deduces that the alien is in the process of giving birth and desperately needs to feed its young, he endeavors to find something the creature can eat, but nothing is palatable. Until one of the newborn aliens takes a bite out of his arm...and contentedly swallows. The priest says a prayer, closes his eyes, and offers himself to the alien, but it in turn packs up its babies, returns to its ship, and flies away, presumably to inevitable starvation.
  • The Goosebumps Series 2000 book Full Moon Fever shows its protagonists transformed into werewolf-like monsters who literally cannot control themselves when they're hungry - they will eat anything in sight, from raw meat to insects to garbage (and a couple of times, they nearly eat other humans). And they're hungry through pretty much the whole book.
  • In Brian Aldiss's Helliconia Trilogy, when the titular planet is swinging into the centuries-year-long "winter" of its complicated two-sun cycle, the endemic helico virus will trigger the Fat Death. Infected people will go into a kind of trance where they will eat literally everything organic they can grab (I Am a Humanitarian comes into play, naturally) until they've put on enough weight to survive the Long Winter. Conveniently, their children all inherit their new, fat build; possibly they contract the virus in utero. There is also no good explanation given of how a virus knows Heliconia is about to pass into the "cold" part of its eccentric orbit.
  • The title of the novel The Hunger (and its film adaptation) refers to this as it applies to vampirism. Even if a turned human was good before, it's virtually impossible not to give in to their newfound hunger for blood.
  • InCryptid: After Sarah shoves the cosmic equation into their minds, the cuckoos' minds are blanked, and only their body's drive to feed and survive is left.
  • Cured humans in Janitors Of The Post Apocalypse are all Technically Living Zombies that were imperfectly uplifted by aliens, restoring some degree of intelligence to them while still leaving them black-blooded and almost unkilleable. After a battle, one is disturbed to find that the smell of the seared bodies of her squidlike alien officers makes her mouth water. In the third book, her body is rejecting the cure and reverting and she vividly imagines killing and eating an Obstructive Beaurocrat, much to her own dismay.
  • In Stefano Benni's novel La Compagnia dei Celestini, an urban legend said that, as the result of a curse cast upon him by a worker that he fired for no good reason, Count Feroce Maria suffered from an eternal hunger that he could not sate, which drove him to sack Banessa's food reserves. Later, we discover that the curse never existed: it was only a legend, and the truth was that the Count had drained Banessa's food reserves only out of greed and stupidity.
  • The Laundry Files
    • Most Eldritch Abominations find humans - primarily their minds and souls - crunchy and good with ketchup. In fact, that's generally why the Earth is interesting to them in the first place. However, their insatiable hunger tends to make them less dangerous, as they tend to ignore anything past immediate feeding. And if a lesser predatory spirit is bound to a human, its host must periodically kill to feed it.
    • When vampires show up in the series, this is the reason they're so rare. Becoming a vampire is the result of an eldritch parasite locking on to your brain due to spellcasting via the performance of complex algorithms; feeding on a human effectively opens them up to this parasite, and the human will die of a neurodegenerative disease in the space of a month. Most vampires meet the sunrise when they realize this. The ones attached to the Laundry are freaked out when they learn the truth, and the only reason they're kept around is that having immortal beings with an affinity for sorcery and necromancy who are resistant to the brain-eating effects of these practices outweighs the moral difficulties, especially with CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN approaching.
  • Vampires in the Laura Caxton series can survive without blood, albeit as rotting corpses, but the rush it gives them is addictive beyond anything humans have created. If someone nearby is bleeding, they're almost incapable of resisting the urge to attack, a fact that can be used against them.
  • Shelob from The Lord of the Rings is described as only desiring "death for all others, mind and body, and for herself, a glut of life, alone, swollen till the mountains could no longer hold her up and the darkness could not contain her."
  • While it's not actually necessary for their survival, the carnivorous impulses of werewolves in the Mercy Thompson series can get out of control if they're in the presence of blood or fresh meat. It's considered remarkable that one of the lead characters manages to work as a physician because other surgeons or veterinarians who become werewolves don't dare interact with injured humans or animals, lest their appetites get the better of them.
  • Poem from a Monty Python book: "Much to his Mum and Dad's dismay, Horace ate himself one day..."
  • In Nathaniel Keene, the titular character is turned into a vampire - and subsequently suffers this for human blood. Overlaps with Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere.
  • In the Night Huntress series, newly turned vampires can think of nothing but their hunger and will shred anything with a heartbeat to sate their thirst. As they age, they gain self-control, but a starved vampire may revert to this condition. Throughout the series, several characters are shown just starved enough to lose control, but aware enough to be horrified by themselves as their friends try to restrain them.
  • The hunger itself is described in excruciating detail on several occasions in Oleg Divov's Night Watcher (it's a vampire novel, so that's par for course of course). Every vampire eventually either manages to beat the addiction and transcend to a new evolutionary level or become a hideous degenerated mindless monster that hunts in packs (it's both more and less Anvilicious than it sounds, and is pretty self-conscious about it).
  • In Old Scores, blood gluttons—vampires who feed on other vampires—have their normal Bloodlust amplified many times over, forcing them to feed repeatedly to maintain their powers.
  • Death in Paradise Lost "with eternal famine pines."
  • In President's Vampire, Cade thirsts for blood, and while he can usually sustain on animal's, he always feels the need to drink humans'. It's so strong that at one point he actually runs away from the pool of spilled blood, despite the spiller being the person he was supposed to kill, from fear that he would lose control.
  • The creature of The Relic must eat the human hypothalamus to survive.
  • One of the things Ben Mason from Sacreya's Legacy hates the most about being a zombie is his craving for flesh. He keeps it in check by eating raw meat, but whenever he's gone for a while without eating or just is starting to lose focus, he starts feeling predatory.
  • The Silmarillion: Ungoliant ate the life of the two Trees of which the sun and moon are but fruits and was still so hungry for gemstones that it scared Morgoth. She would have eaten the Source of All Evil had he not been rescued by an army of balrogs. She must have either died of starvation or old age some time afterward.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: In Westerosi legend, the Rat Cook was a member of the Night's Watch who killed an Andal prince and served him up to his father, the king, in a meat pie. The old gods were furious at his violation of guest right, as he had slain a guest under his own roof, and transformed him into a massive white rat. He was cursed with eternal hunger, but could only eat his own children. During Ramsay Bolton's wedding, the main course is three massive meat pies. Lord Wyman Manderly requests a song about the Rat Cook, hinting that he has had three recently missing Frey men baked into those pies as revenge for their own heinous violation of guest right—namely, slaying the Starks at the Red Wedding.
  • In the Spaceforce (2012) series of books, Jez's species is a kind of non-supernatural space vampire, evolved to drink the blood of another sentient species. Unfortunately, the species on the receiving end of this arrangement rebelled and rose up against the 'vampires', massacring most of them and exiling the surviving remnant from their world. Jez hates having the driving need to ingest blood regularly or die, as she feels it makes the remaining Mixitors social outcasts.
  • In The Spirit Thief, demonseeds like Nico feel an overwhelming urge to feed on spirits and kill every human that stands in their way.
  • Mutavus from Super Minion can have this effect. If the modifications it decides are best to save the patient's life require more biomass and nothing else is easily available, it will compel them to kill and eat people.
  • In the Towers Trilogy, after seeing Ieren use dark magic to consume a ghost, Xhea begins experiencing terrible supernatural hunger cravings and begins to fear she will lose control of her dark magic and accidentally consume someone's soul.
  • Infected in The Troop suffer from a Hyperactive Metabolism-induced Pica. In this case, it's not the what they're eating that's horrifying, but rather how much. Patient Zero devours an entire Greasy Spoon's worth of eggs (in a "hungry-man" breakfast platter intended to keep a stevedore satiated until lunchtime, that contains pancakes, sausages, and bacon besides, of which he gobbles five orders) and eats enough to do himself severe internal injury — and he's still hungry. Eventually, he eats live crabs and spiders, rock slime (that snot-like alga on beach rocks), a handful of sand, and finally, the stuffing out of an old couch.
  • In The Twilight Saga, it's a metaphor for sex and lust. Not a very convincing one though, as the happily married couples seem to get it on regularly. Premarital sex, that is.
  • In Watersong, after being transformed into a siren, Gemma begins to hunger for human flesh. She manages to resist it for a time but loses control when a man tries to rape her and ends up tearing out and eating his heart.
  • In The Witcher, the higher vampires like katakans and bruxae don't actually need blood to survive... but blood is akin to alcohol for humans, and vampires who become addicted to it show similar symptoms as alcoholism does in humans. Lesser vampires like ekimmaras, on the other hand, need blood to survive and feed on it aggressively, but they are often little better than animals themselves.
  • This afflicts the werewolf in Wolfsangel, with an emphasis on horror as the deaths of those he feeds on are rendered in gruesome detail.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Horror Story: Double Feature: The main side effect of the Muse is a craving for human blood, due to the drug sapping minerals from the consumer's own blood. One of the original Pale One subjects was a vegan pacifist before the side effects got to him, but that didn't stop him from succumbing to the cravings.
  • Buffyverse:
    • While vampires can't starve to death, they need blood to stay healthy, and going too long without feeding is debilitating. After being chipped, Spike, unable to feed, starts getting sick and is desperate enough for blood that he turns to the Scooby Gang for help, and when Connor traps Angel at the bottom of the ocean, Angel ends up going mad with hunger and is suffering from bad dreams and hallucinations by the time Wesley finally fishes him out. In the present day, Angel's mostly overcome the issue of Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere by drinking animal blood, but flashbacks to his early attempts at living around people show it wasn't always so easy for him to resist humans, and if he's severely weakened or starved, he's liable to grab and start drinking from someone before he even realizes what he's doing.
      Spike: You know what happens to vampires who don't get to feed? Living skeletons, mate. Like famine pictures from those dusty countries, only not half as funny.
    • On Angel, the Big Bad from Season 4, Jasmine has this as she needs to consume more and more people's energies to keep going
  • CSI has a somewhat downplayed/melancholy example in an episode dealing with a dead man linked to a competitive eating challenge. It's eventually discovered the dead man had Prader-Willi Syndrome (see Real Life) and had to rely on the care of his siblings, who couldn't afford a caretaker, which meant he was often bound to a chair and left hungry when they had to go attend to business. Him breaking free and eating until his stomach burst basically meant he died happy.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Idiot's Lantern" features a mysterious energy being called the Wire insatiably consuming the electricity the human body generates. As a side effect, its victims lose their faces.
    • "The Impossible Planet": Subverted at the beginning, due to a faulty translator device.
      Ood: We must feed... [whacks the device] you, if you are hungry.
    • "The Lazarus Experiment": Lazarus' de-aging machine turns him into a giant scorpion-like monster who needs to devour people's life-force.
    • "The End of Time": The Master's resurrection is sabotaged, forcing him to consume anything from greasy food to PEOPLE in order to keep himself going.
      The Master: (After scarfing down a burger and the two people who cooked the burger for him) Want more... Cheese and chips, and meat and gravy, cream and beer, pork and beef and fat, great big chunks of hot wet red.
      (After going on this rant, The Master scares the shit out of two homeless men by going on a rant about being stuck looking like the former Prime Minister, and how The Doctor can smell him.)
      The Master: Because it's funny! Don't you see?! LOOK AT ME. I'M SPLITTING MY SIDES! (begins shifting from his human form and some blue see-through thing with a VERY visible skeleton) I AM HILARIOUS! I AM THE FUNNIEST THING IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!
      (The two homeless men run to the burger cart to see that the workers there have been stripped down to the bone.)
  • Farscape has M'Lee from "Bone to be Wind", whose species can only survive on the calcium of bones. In her circumstance, it's not so much the source of hunger as the circumstances: She and her family are stranded on a meteor full of plant species so that they can keep animals from ruining the specimens. But they've been too good at their job, which is why M'Lee is the only one left. By the time Crichton and crew show up, M'Lee is starving, to the point that she needs to deplete her remaining calcium stores to have enough sanity to talk reason to Crichton instead of ripping him open and feasting on his bones.
  • Juliette experiences this in First Kill. As a legacy vampire, she must kill someone shortly after her sixteenth birthday as that's when the hunger becomes strong enough to take over. Juliette is terrified of taking someone's life, but her sister and family as a whole remind her that if she doesn't do it on her terms she'll eventually be forced to feed on the nearest human whether she wants to or not. In the show, it's represented by the lights around her turning red and all noises other than nearby pulses fading away. When Cal begins bleeding from a zombie attack later, Juliette struggles to control herself despite her insistence that she'd never feed on her earlier in the episode.
  • Sylar from Heroes has "the Hunger" for supernatural abilities. It's either a side effect of his own ability or a psychological addiction. Either way, he regularly goes on killing sprees to steal the powers of others.
    • It would appear that this hunger isn't always confined to gaining new abilities and it could be a combination of a side-effect of Sylar's ability and a psychological addiction. Peter copied Sylar's ability for a few episodes at the beginning of season three. Peter is normally a sweet person who just wants to help others, but upon gaining Sylar's ability, he goes completely apeshit and starts trying to rip people's heads open, just like Sylar. It should be noted that Peter isn't really doing it to understand how abilities work. Peter tries to saw open Future Nathan's skull to better understand his thought process and attempts to do the same thing to Angela when he gets back to the present so he will know her secrets. It was more about learning how someone's thought process worked for Peter than acquiring abilities, especially because Peter had already copied Nathan and Angela's abilities.)
    • During the second half of Season 3 (Volume 4) Sylar meets his biological father, Samson and it turns out that he has the same ability as Sylar and that back in the day Samson used to go on killing sprees to collect abilities. Samson says that The Hunger went away after a while. That is, until Sylar revealed his cool regeneration power to Samson, who just happened to be dying a slow and painful death from lung cancer.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In "...After the Phantoms of Your Former Self", Louis de Pointe du Lac is pretty repulsed after being turned and drinking blood. He's especially appalled at nearly having fed on his infant nephew due to his thirst.
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Frank claims the meat Dee and Charlie stole from him was actually human. The two initially don't believe him, but they're insatiably hungry and nothing they eat matches the taste. Ultimately the trope is parodied. It was just raccoon meat and the two of them had tapeworms.
  • The zombies of iZombie require brains to remain stable. The longer they go without brains, the more irritable and slow-witted they get, eventually going "full Romero" — at which point, not even the reintroduction of brains to their diet will bring them back to sapience.
  • Several of the cryptids in Lost Tapes are shown/stated to have eaten some of the unfortunate people who encounter them, but the Wendigo from the third season takes the cake: it is literally an evil spirit of cannibalism and no one who went into those woods during the episode got out alive, and two of them were never even found. Other monsters in the show which have done so include the "megaconda", the lizardman, and the strigoi.
  • ''Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Amazons features the titular Amazons, artificial humans who have a strong craving for protein, which the human body happens to contain a lot of. This hunger can be fended off by the use of special drugs or protein substitutes, but once an Amazon has tasted human flesh, their hunger is likely to drive them violently insane. 4000 of them are loose, and most are unaware of their own status until it's too late.
    • Kamen Rider Revice has the Demons Driver act as a subversion. It shaves years off the first user's life every time he uses it to transform, seemingly as a necessary component of using its power. As soon as it gets a new user who plans on using it for evil, though, the demon inside the belt reveals that the hunger wasn't necessary at all. It just wanted to do it because it didn't like being used for good.
  • The "zombies" created by the resurrection power in Episode 3.7 of Misfits crave blood (of any kind, it seems).
  • Smallville
    • Season One's "Craving" has an overweight teen named Jodi go on a smoothie diet, only for her to inadvertently use vegetables grown in kryptonite-laden soil. The smoothies instantly reduce her weight by over a hundred pounds — but her newly enhanced metabolism constantly burns calories, making her perpetually hungry. Jodi is reduced to devouring the fattiest foods she can find non-stop, but it isn't enough, and she ends up sucking the fat and bone marrow from living things to survive. She first tests her "power" on a deer she accidentally hit with her car, and then takes revenge on a Jerkass student who'd bullied her for her weight earlier, draining his fat and leaving him comatose. Unlike most of the other kryptonite-empowered villains of the first season, though, Jodi doesn't want to commit evil actions — it's more a desperate biological attempt to keep herself alive. Notably, when she realizes she's become a monster, she tries to destroy herself by blowing up her greenhouse. Clark saves her, and she is transported to a facility that would hopefully cure her condition (given that the smoothies seemed cumulative — the more she drank, the faster the weight loss occurred — it might be possible).note 
    • Two episodes before that, we had a guy who received heat-draining powers, with a strong craving for body heat. A much less sympathetic blend of this trope and a Walking Wasteland — it's revealed that while he can use things like fire and artificial sources for his cold condition, he prefers humans, even though the process kills them.
    • Season 1 really liked this trope. The first "meteor freak" Clark ever battled was a bug-obsessed loner who harbored a disturbing crush on Lana Lang. He goes out for a drive one night with his insect-filled terrariums and gets into an accident that lands him in a ditch filled with kryptonite rocks. When he emerges, he still looks human, but gradually develops bug-like powers and habits...which, for some reason, include devouring his own mother alive.
    • In Season 6, Phantom Zone escapee Aldar was a cannibal who devoured people's bones. He doesn't seem capable of stopping and goes through numerous victims every day.
  • The big bads of Stargate Atlantis, an alien race called the Wraith, feed on human life force and have subjugated an entire galaxy of human worlds to use as their own livestock; curiously, the one time the heroes find a child Wraith, they discover she was capable of eating normally until she hit puberty. In his introduction in the episode "Common Ground," Todd the Wraith likens the hunger to burning alive, and in the Alternate Universe episode "Vegas" the early effects of starving them can be seen on Todd, who's become delirious and philosophical as a result.
  • Santa Clarita Diet has its undead rely on human flesh to survive. After Sheila turns, she has a brief period where she's able to get by on raw meat, but after that, only human will do. Once other undead shows up, it turns out that eating human flesh is necessary to delay the physiological and psychological decay that comes with the change — and while Sheila's able to get a medication that halts the risk of physiological decay, other undead aren't so lucky.
  • Several in Supernatural:
    • The Wendigo and Rugaru are former humans who transformed into man-eating creatures (although for different reasons.
    • The Crocotta, Wraiths, Rhakshasa, and probably others are monsters who eat humans or part of them (like their soul).
    • Sam Winchester in Season 4 becomes addicted to demon blood
    • Famine can push people's desires to extremes (a couple eats one another alive, a recovering alcoholic drinks himself to death, a cook puts his upper body in a deep fat fryer, etc.) and he himself eats souls.
    • The implication in the last two episodes of Season 4 that Lilith eats babies is suggested in Season 7 to be something demons equate with rank. Whether this is necessary or just overkill isn't specified.
    • The kitsune who show up eat human brain material. It's specifically stated to be mandatory, and Amy normally gets by with material scavenged from the mortuary but her son becomes ill without fresher brain matter. (Amy gets it for him, so we don't actually see a kitsune overwhelmed with hunger at any point.)
  • Sweet Home (2020): In the first episode, Hyun-su hears his neighbor complaining she's hungry. When he opens the door, he finds she's eaten his ramen... and her cat. Then she turns up at his door, begging to be let in while still saying she's hungry.
  • In Torchwood: Children of Earth, an alien species demands that they be given human children. They use them as drugs.
  • The X-Files went through just about every horror hunger in the book, as well as some not in the book. The Monster of the Week might be out to consume a victim's flesh, blood, bones, liver, fat, cancerous tissue, melanin, brains or anything else you might think of that can possibly exist within the human body.

  • TechN9ne just wants to be a normal boy...
  • The cover of Cage's Depart From Me
  • "The Thousand And Tenth Day Of The Human Totempole" by Captain Beefheart from his album Ice Cream for Crow depicts a human totem pole who is starving to death.
    The man at the top was starving.
    The pole was a horrible looking thing
    With all of those eyes and ears
    And waving hands for balance.
    There was no way to get a copter in close
    So everybody was starving together.
    The man at the top had long ago given up
    But didn't have nerve enough to climb down.
    At night the pole would talk to itself and the chatter wasn't too good.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu: Ghouls. Any flesh will do, and they prefer it pre-rotten. Human cemeteries just happen to be easy pickings, but they prefer giant Gugs from the Dreamlands' Underworld if they can get away with it.
  • Deadlands: Every other monster has a Horror Hunger, which even leads to eventual lampshading: "Oh, and it has a taste for human flesh. But what doesn't these days?" Harrowed have a drawback unique to them, Unnatural Appetite, that afflicts them with this in varying severities. At first level, it's gross but harmless; stuff like rotten food and mold. At fifth level, you need stuff like raw human organs (either one specific kind or in general). Harrowed also need to eat raw meat (human or animal) on a fairly regular basis anyway, to be able to heal themselves.
  • Dresden Files: The various types of vampires in the RPG are subject to a Hunger stress track related to their particular type of supernatural feeding — Red and Black vampires for good old-fashioned blood, White vampires for emotions. White Court, who are (barely) usable as PCs, suffer hits depending on how often they use their powers, while the other types suffer it all the time. If they don't have enough, they could die — or, far more likely, they could snap and kill the nearest person to feed on them. (Ghouls also have a Hunger track, but theirs is for raw meat.)
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • A mind flayer's minimum survival diet is one humanoid brain per month. Their optimal diet is one humanoid brain per week. Some sources indicate that mind flayers can be sated with the brains of animals like deer. The problem is that the more sapient the creature, the more filling it is — a mind flayer might need to eat several deer brains a day to remain as satiated as they'd have been on a human brain a week. This is obviously not very practical, especially not in the Underdark.
    • Hydras are ruled by a constant hunger for flesh that eventually strips their surroundings bare of food, forcing the beast to find new hunting grounds. If a hydra goes for too long without prey, its hunger will become too strong for it to bear and its heads will turn upon each other as the maddened creature eats itself alive.
    • Dark Sun: Thri-kreen really love elves. They exude a pheromone which thri-kreen find hard to resist... especially if the elf is frightened or running. Elves are fast, but thri-kreen are usually faster. As a result, slavers know to never put a thri-kreen and elf in the same cage. Shame when a PC thri-kreen and elf have to work together.
    • Carries into the fifth edition's verison of Ravenloft with dhampirs. Their info quote reads "“Poised between the worlds of the living and the dead, dhampirs retain their grip on life yet are endlessly tested by vicious hungers.” To make matters worse the offical suggestions of what a PC's dhampir character hungers for include the basic blood and things like dreams or psychic/dream energy but also includes cerebral spinal fluid.
  • Exalted:
    • The Fair Folk can only stay within Creation when powered by virtue, in the sense that they can consume it, often permanently, to stave away Creation's attempt to define their fundamentally false and chaotic natures into stasis. They can get around this requirement by staying in areas soaking with the Wyld or with natural motes, by wearing pendants created by such places converted to their cause, or by only "gently" feeding on the breadcrumbs of emotions spent in minor squabbles and keeping their power consumption down. The vast majority, however, just nom human minds away until their victims have less personality than the average Exalted robot.
    • Erymanthoi, better known as blood apes, are summoned by and for the explicit purpose of draining the last drop of blood from a mortal being. They don't have to literally drink blood after every fight, but they'll complain if they're stopped from doing so.
    • The Yozi Metagaos is chiefly motivated by an eternal hunger that can never be sated no matter how much he devours. We can perhaps consider the lack of official Metagaos charms released so far to be a good thing since Infernals become more like their patrons as they learn their powers...
  • Pathfinder: An oracle afflicted by the curse of hunger gains no benefit from magic effects that provide sustenance, gains a secondary bite natural attack that deals decent damage, and suffers a painful hunger attack at the beginning of every encounter that gives the sickened condition and lasts until the oracle deals damage with their bite attack (ideally to an enemy).
  • Rifts: Once a week, morphworms are overwhelmed by a powerful hunger that can only be sated by devouring a human-sized creature. Until this is done, the morphworm reverts to a primal, instinct-driven beast seeking nothing more than to feed, and becomes unable to view humanoids or large mammals, even its friends and allies, as more than food. This is an issue for morphworms seeking to live in civilized society as, although they do not wish to eat their allies and regret their actions after feeding, they can do nothing to stop themselves once their hunger rises.
  • Shadowrun: Human Meta-Human Vampiric Virus sufferers, depending on their strain, need to either constantly drain living metahumans of Essence (which counts in-game as an addiction) or eat metahuman flesh for sustenance (which doesn't, beyond how we're all addicted to having to eat). Either way, it usually leads to this, though in theory, it's possible for the second type to survive without harming anyone (by eating medical waste and raiding cemeteries). Most sufferers aren't that lucky, however. One group of ghouls in Chicago discovered that, while they tasted disgusting, Insect Spirits were apparently close enough to humans that they could survive by eating them and went into the extermination business.
  • Warhammer:
    • The Skaven suffer from the Black Hunger, a ravenous hunger that strikes them after a period of exertion due to their extremely fast metabolism. This causes Skaven to go mad with hunger and try to devour whatever food they can find. It's not uncommon for them to immediately begin gorging themselves on the battlefield dead after a fight. Being that food is often scarce in the Under-Empire, this means cannibalism is simply a matter of course, and many slaves meet their end to satiate their betters. It also defines their entire worldview and culture, since the very first thing a Skaven feels upon being born is the gnawing pangs of the Black Hunger, and they will do anything to stave it off. Unsurprisingly, Skaven pups are very quick to start eating their littermates. In fact, being the sole survivor of a litter because you ate all your siblings is seen as a sign of future greatness among the ratmen. The Skaven character Throt the Unclean suffers from a particularly extreme version of this, and if he fails a leadership test in play he will uncontrollably snatch the closest unit to himself — whether a foe, a fellow Skaven, or a colossal war beast — and completely devour it.
    • Ogres suffer from a nearly insatiable hunger due to the influence of their god, the Great Maw. They're almost perpetually hungry, and will frequently end a battle by devouring anything and everything left on the battlefield in a great feast, regardless of whether it's dead or not.
    • Minotaurs are possessed of a ravenous, insatiable hunger for flesh and thirst for blood — preferably that of humans, but in a pinch they will kill and devour any living thing they can find — and in battle will often start dismembering fallen foes and gorging on raw meat even as the battle rages around them. Ghorgons are minotaurs who have succumbed to this hunger and cannibalized their own tribes, degenerating into towering monsters that live for nothing but killing and stuffing victims into their many mouths.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Blood Angels Space Marines and their Successor Chapters are vampires compelled by a gene-curse to drink the blood of sapient beings. Resisting the Red Thirst for too long results in raging madness until the Thirst is sated by the blood of whoever is unfortunate enough to be nearby. Dante, Lord Regent of Imperium Nihilus and Chapter Master of the Blood Angels, swore an oath to abstain from drinking blood after he accidentally killed a group of civilians trying to help him. He has not been entirely successful; among his victims are several of his own battle-brothers and his previous servant.
    • Dark Eldar are cursed to have their soul slowly drained by the Chaos God Slaanesh and must replenish it by feeding on pain and suffering. Doing so rejuvenates them, so a Dark Eldar could theoretically live forever, provided they have access to a steady supply of victims. However, the hunger grows with age, so the oldest Dark Eldar Archons have thousands of slaves sacrificed for them every day, and even that isn't enough to rejuvenate them, but merely keeps them alive. This is largely a product of their own lifestyle. Dark Eldar adopting the way of life of their Craftworlder or Exodite cousins (which involves denying themselves of excessive emotion through a strict and regimentalized way of life) don't suffer from the Thirst, while Craftworld outcasts that adopt the Dark Eldar way of life eventually develop it. This makes sense: when trying to avoid the grip of a soul-devouring god of hedonism, the worst thing you can do is to act like a hedonist.
    • The Flayed Ones are Necrons cursed by the C'tan with the Flayer Virus, a program error where they develop a desire to reclaim their flesh and blood existence by devouring the flesh of the living. And since they don't have any kind of digestive system, the eaten flesh just falls down through their ribcages.
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Antagonists, a New World of Darkness sourcebook:
      • There's a supernatural disease called the Hunger. Over a period of weeks, it transforms the carrier into an inhuman monster with an uncontrollable desire for human flesh.
      • The Aswang crave human blood.
      • There's a supernatural entity called the Thief, which hungers to devour key organs (such as hearts from vampires) of any supernatural creature it encounters.
    • Beast: The Primordial: The Beasts take this trope to a literal extreme, in that they have a Horror Hunger for Horror. Beasts are sapient nightmares made mortal, and as such, they have a physical and mental need to feed on fear and despair. The precise flavor of fear they hunger for is one of their defining aspects, whilst the kind of fear they embody is the other. If a Beast doesn't feed often enough, whether due to lack of opportunity or moral compunctions (some Hungers require things like stealing or even killing) their Soul rebels and starts giving the neighbors horrific nightmares so it feeds anyway. Unfortunately, that method has a higher-than-normal chance of creating Heroes obsessed with slaying Beasts.
      • It's even worse for the Insatiable, who were created by the same process as Beasts but without the empowering nightmare having time to pass through the part of humanity's collective unconscious that reflects, well, humanity. Beasts need to sufficiently traumatize people in order to feed, but they don't need to kill them. The Insatiable don't have that option. However, since the unshaped nightmare's first meal is basically the luckless host's soul, it's fair to say the Insatiable don't really give a shit about this, beyond the practicalities of leaving a trail of bodies.
    • Changeling: The Lost: Cannibalistic urges can appear among those of the Ogre and Beast seemings. Fee, fie, foe, fum...
    • Promethean: The Created: Sentient Pandorans have a bottomless hunger for Promethean flesh. This is generally just played as part of their antagonist status, but in the last book, Saturnine Night, a Sublimatus (sentient Pandoran) is introduced who manages to snap into lucidity on occasion, and outright weeps at how the Prometheans he feeds on have the chance to redeem themselves and become human... and he never will. He's damned to be hungry for the rest of time.
    • Vampire: The Masquerade:
      • Vampires with low levels of blood are at risk of going into Frenzy and uncontrollably trying to drain the blood of any creature available.
      • Some books mention the risk of developing the "Elder's Thirst", under which no blood will sustain an elder vampire — well, save for that of younger vampires...
      • Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition tweaks this so that hunger is more prevalent. The only way a vampire can ever truly slake the Beast for any period of time is if they kill while feeding; if not, they will always have one degree of Hunger, which brings with it the risk of losing control.
    • Vampire: The Requiem:
      • At the outset, vampires' hunger for blood can drive them into an animalistic frenzy, making it quite risky to be blood-starved in public when Warm Bloodbags Are Everywhere; it gets worse when their Blood Potency rises to the point that they have to target humans because feeding on animals no longer satisfies them.
      • Ancient or exceptionally powerful vampires can only gain sustenance from the blood of other vampires, which is seen as horrific even in undead society. At that point, resting in Torpor for a few decades until their blood weakens to manageable levels is usually the best option, though some learn how to direct their Horror Hunger at other supernatural entities instead.
      • Defied by the Ordo Dracul, a vampiric research organization that has developed techniques to neutralize the Horror Hunger, last longer without blood, and remain able to feed on animals indefinitely. However, one of them notes that it feels pretty miserable, whereas Evil Tastes Good...
    • Werewolves have a Downplayed example. When their Primal Urge reaches its peak, they become incapable of deriving nourishment from anything other than the ephemera of spirits and the flesh of humans and other werewolves. Werewolves also develop a limited version of this that starts with the First Change and only progresses with Primal Urge, starting off as obligate carnivores, before only being able to get sustenance from raw meat, then only the meat of predators, before they have to focus on meat rich in Essence.


    Video Games 
  • Absented Age: Squarebound: Gangers aren't inherently evil, but their hunger and the fact that they can only eat human Heart Fragments means they'll eventually degrade into ravenous predators.
  • While the main character in Aquaria learns that though the originally-horrified god Mithala succumbed to mindless hunger after being fed his own children for a sufficient period of time, the translatable message in his chamber indicates it was meant to be inflicted upon him as punishment by the Creator.
  • In Cultist Simulator, most ascensions will have you start to experience this. Some have you feeling a more literal hunger for flesh, while others will see you thirsting for thoughts.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, this is a core mechanic of the Crimson Court DLC, which centers around its particular take on vampires. These vampires are based around ticks and mosquitoes rather than bats, and will try to drink blood from your heroes in combat. Doing so causes them to transform into a monstrous, insect-like form. They can also transmit the Crimson Curse, which causes your heroes to develop an intense craving for blood. As time passes, they will shift to a "craving" state where they will seek out blood from any source (even attacking other party members) and eventually move on to a "wasting" state where they are dangerously weak and desperately begging for blood. Feeding them blood during their "craving" state causes them to become Bloodlusted, making them far more powerful and dangerous — both to the enemy and to your own team.
  • While the Dark Souls series has a few, special mention goes to the Gaping Dragon. Once an ordinary dragon, it became so consumed by hunger that its body essentially devolved into an enormous, horrific mouth with legs and wings. More Teeth than the Osmond Family included, free of charge.
  • Feeders from Dead Space 3 formerly were starving military personnel who eventually resorted to eating necromorph meat to stay alive. This eventually caused them to become ravenous, to the point of trying to eat their comrade who abstained from eating a Necromorph, alongside significant Sanity Slippage. 200 years of being locked in a dark storage facility have rendered them nearly blind and their intelligence has worn away, but they still hunger.
  • In Destiny, the Hive's gods, Oryx, Savathun, and Xivu Arath, formed a covenant with the Worm Gods, servants of the Darkness, to gain immense power in exchange for being bonded to a symbiotic "worm" that feeds off the Light of living beings slain by their host. Should the flow of Light ever be interrupted, the worm symbiote would instead begin feeding on their host. In order to get around this and further their endless crusade of wreaking death upon the rest of the universe for being too weak to oppose them, the Hive gods came up with a system of tribute, where lesser Hive creatures would take the Light from those they killed and keep enough to let them feed their own parasites and grow and become more powerful, and supply the leftover Light to their immediate superiors. These greater Hive entities would do the same, passing it up the chain until the tribute of Light reached the Hive gods, which would be fed to their symbiotes. During the "King's Fall" raid, the player Guardians take advantage of this by locating Oryx's tribute of corrupted Light and releasing it, leaving the Hive god suddenly starving and vulnerable to attack.
  • In Digital Devil Saga, you are explicitly eating your enemies. Every one of them is a human who can shapeshift into a demon form, like you. Eating them is how you get stronger and there are many attacks specifically designed to allow this. Fortunately, most of the time, devouring is a stylized "the enemy is vaporized and sucked into your mouth" style attack. Trying to curb this never-ending hunger is one of the main goals for the protagonists of the game. The ones who represent this trope the most are Lupa and Jinana. While their attempt to resist the hunger is somewhat heartwarming, both cases end badly; Jinana is driven to a hopeless frenzy after a brutal beating by Mick the Slug, and Lupa ultimately succumbs to the hunger after traversing the Svadhisthana Waterways. In the associated novels, they don't even have the alleviating bits — the narration makes it clear the disgusting black meat everyone's eating is no different from their own.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II has this as a point of Gameplay and Story Segregation: after the player character's patron god teaches them to consume the Source from mortal souls, the god cautions them that the desperate hunger they now feel for Source will never end unless they win Divinity. This has no mechanical effect aside from some Dialogue Tree options when the god is hiding within them, starving for Source and desperate to vampirize nearby ghosts.
  • In Dragon Ball FighterZ, Big Bad Android 21 is, much like Cell before her, a bioandroid created from many genetic sources and has, again, much like Cell, been programmed with a biological need to feed on others, especially strong fighters, in order to grow stronger. Unfortunately, this has Gone Horribly Right, with the combination of her programming, Big Eater tendencies from her Saiyan genes and Even Bigger Eater tendencies from her Majin cells, as well as the ability to turn people into sweets, resulted in a Tragic Monster that absolutely hates her hunger, but has no way to stop it. If her hunger gets strong enough, she starts losing her mind to the point of going Laughing Mad. Her Literal Split Personality has no such moral restrictions, and starts tearing through Earth's fighters just so she can keep eating and killing. And even though her Enemy Without is literally the embodiment of her hunger, Android 21's cravings are so intense that her "good self" is still craving people-treats. At the end of her story arc, Good 21 holds onto Evil 21 to kill them both so they can't be a threat to anyone anymore.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The various lycanthropes, werewolf or otherwise, are magically cursed to hunt down man or mer monthly, if not nightly, or be at the edge of death when the transformation ends in the morning. For some, such as the Circle within the Companions in Skyrim, this becomes a Cannibalistic Superpower. Consuming humanoid beings they've slain (or at least eating their hearts) allows were-creatures to recover lost health. This particular form of Horror Hunger is due to the lycanthropy being a "gift" provided by the Daedric Prince Hircine, whose sphere is the hunt.
    • Many Vampire bloodlines can pass as non-Vampires as long as they feed regularly. However, the longer a Vampire goes without feeding, the more monstrous they become in both appearance and temperament, until the point that they go irrevocably insane and feral. These feral Vampires are referred to as "Bloodfiends." In Oblivion, you can even come upon the journal of a vampire who was locked in a cellar by his wife. The first entries before he becomes trapped he's well-spoken, loving, friendly, and opposing the local prejudice. As his entrapment continues, though...
      Entry 8: "Two weeks. Two weeks have passed since Luktuv locked me in my quarters. Try as I might, I cannot free myself. I cannot breach the doors! If I don't feed soon, I feel I will go mad."
      Entry 9: "Food blood blood blood blood I need it I need blood need blood"
    • The Ideal Masters are immortal beings who were once powerful mortal sorcerers during the Merethic Era. After finding their mortal forms to be too weak and limiting, they entered Oblivion as beings of pure energy and settled in an area of "chaotic creatia", forming the Soul Cairn. The Ideal Masters are most infamous for their trafficking in souls, especially "Black" sapient souls. All souls trapped in soul gems end up in the Soul Cairn and are considered property of the Ideal Masters. They are desperate to fill the Soul Cairn up with more souls, often making deals with mortals to give them more. While the Ideal Masters tend not to take physical forms, they can giant soul gem forms within the Soul Cairn, in which they can drain the souls from any mortals who get too close.
  • The Endless series:
    • In Endless Space, the Cravers are a race created by the Endless as foot soldiers during their civil war with the ability to consume any material to replace lost troops. Their creators, realizing how dangerous the Cravers could be, marooned the last of their race on an isolated planet but they survived and eventually recreated spaceflight. And they're still hungry. As a result, the Cravers must constantly expand and conquer other worlds and races, otherwise they will eat themselves into oblivion.
    • The Broken Lords of Endless Legend must sustain their bodies of Animated Armor by absorbing Dust, a relatively rare form of Imported Alien Phlebotinum which is used as currency. The difficulty of creating Dust meant that they were considered a Dying Race, until they discovered that they can drain Dust from living beings, and do so easily. To make matters worse, draining the life out of someone feels really good for the Broken Lord and excruciatingly painful for the victim. Being a society of proud knights and engineers dedicated to protecting the weak, this has caused significant angst and a schism within their leadership.
  • In Fallout 3 cannibalism can become a compulsive disorder that can overwhelm the afflicted's ability to resist it. Ian West was able to cope with his sister's counselling, but after she left for a job in Megaton he eventually broke down and killed his parents. He fled to join the Family, which treats the cravings with the less lethal substitute of blood.
  • Fallout 4 has, like its predecessors, a perk called "Cannibal" which allows you to regain health by eating corpses. Normally that's the end of it, but if you are playing on survival mode, where you require regular food and water, you can substitute a corpse for prepared or raw food. This makes finding food much easier while in a dungeon, but there is a catch: Eating a corpse will give the player the "Dark Craving" debuff, which means that rather than passing through increasing stages of hunger you will immediately drop to "very hungry" and normal food no longer provides any hunger reduction. Dark craving has a chillingly simple description: "Food no longer satisfies".
  • Certain actions taken in Fallen London may cause you to acquire the quality "Unaccountably Peckish", which is a constant hunger you can't seem to sate. In its earliest stages, you can settle the matter by eating some roasted chestnuts, although the hunger is always on the edge of your mind. As it grows, however, you can only get rid of it by devouring living animals (like your pets). And if you want to Seek Mr. Eaten's Name, you have to let it grow and grow...
  • Fate Series:
  • In RPG Maker horror game GU-L, Takaya’s constant, strangely unquenchable thirst turns out to be a desire for human blood. Because of this, he chooses to burn inside the mansion alongside his brother.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the Zombie Slayer path. The name is a trick — you're a zombie. You feed solely on brains, and you're constantly ravenous — every food you can consume has a fullness of 1 to reflect your constant need for it. Mostly this is played for laughs, but the strongest skill of the Path of Hunger (which focuses on eating your horde and more efficient brain consumption), Ravenous Pounce — an attack that's stronger the less you've eaten that day — plays it frighteningly straight. The skill description is as follows:
    Hungry! So hungry! SO HUNGRY! GRAAAAAGH!
  • Darth Nihilus of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords is this trope. And, as it turns out, the player character is something like this, too - Nihilus straight-up drains the Force from people, while the player character instead forms Force bonds with people and draws strength from them. When the two meet, it's essentially a Force vampire versus a Force black hole, which ends up weakening Nihilus enough to be killed in combat.
  • From League of Legends, Ahri, the Nine-Tailed Fox, has a primal desire to consume souls, which she detests to a large degree due to the process subjecting her to her victims' strongest emotions, usually grief and sorrow. While she tries to control her urges and narrow her targets down to those who deserve it, the process is addictive and even enjoyable for her, and she spent many years in isolation after thoughtlessly murdering an entire village in a moment of weakness. Her most recent quests have involved her figuring out why her desires are so strong and if she can be cured, just to see if she can eventually return to peace among civilization.
  • Little Nightmares: Six begins to experience this over the course of the game, requiring larger and more disgusting fare to sate her each time her hunger strikes. This eventually culminates in Six devouring the owner of the shadowy underwater prison where she resides.
  • In Lusternia, Fain and his Elder God followers devoured Soulless essence during the Elder Wars, to gain their power and combat them. Since The Dark Side Will Make You Forget, they become addicted and began eating other Elder Gods.
  • Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) brings in Deviljho and (in 3 Ultimate) its Savage variant, whose hunger is so great that if you cut off their tail, they'll start eating it. Their quick-time escape event has them eating the hunter and doing the most damage of any similar event. Even other monsters will flee areas where a Deviljho appears because it will kill and eat everything it can find, depopulating entire ecosystems if not stopped.
  • The Neverwinter Nights 2 add-on Mask of the Betrayer has you cursed with the need to devour spirits to survive. You can suppress it or indulge it, but either way, the hunger will become stronger with every spirit you consume. Everyone who has ever carried the curse has died in madness and anguish, unable to sate themselves or cut down by their would-be victims.
  • Odin Sphere has the Darkova spell. The spell itself causes the user to transform into a massive three-headed dog with control over fire, ice, and poison. It also has the unfortunate side effect in that the user gains a terrible appetite for human flesh. The spell was previously used by King Gallon to prevent Valentine from conquering Titania. At the end of the fifth book, Velvet's twin brother Ingway uses it in an attempt to get revenge on his father, King Odin. Later at the start of the Armageddon chapter, he's seen wandering the wastelands of Valentine monologuing about how his desire for flesh is causing him nothing but agony.
  • In Pillars of Eternity, the undead feed on the flesh of the living. It's not the flesh they need specifically, but the soul energy that staves off their degeneration into more decayed, mindless forms.
  • Sauron from Primal Rage is this. Being the "God Of Hunger" he must constantly dine on flesh to sustain himself. His own followers flee for their lives due to this. To make things more horrifying, he's one of the good characters in the game. He can be pretty reasonable when he's not feasting on everyone in sight.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Zombies only have their muscles and mid-brain reactivated by T-virus. The Midbrain governs motor control and the need to breathe, pump blood, and eat. Being that they're also viral carriers, T itself might have something to do with why they're such personal space invaders.
    • Perhaps even worse than the typical zombies are the Regenerators in Resident Evil 4, which not only regenerate from their own wounds, but will also try to eat Leon when they get in close.
  • The hunger of the Predators featured in Them's Fightin' Herds is framed as this. While they originally coexisted with the prey animals, their teeth and appetite grew to the point where they could no longer resist attacking the prey, leading to a war between them, the predators being sealed away in a hell dimension, and the peace between the prey species completely shattering. The events of the game take place one hundred years later, as the predators begin to escape.
  • Vampyres in RuneScape are constantly starving for blood. When they go for too long without feeding they turn feral and are cast out from vampyric society, with no sign that regaining lucidity is even possible. When it becomes clear that vampyres have become too numerous to feed everyone and that a food crisis is looming on the horizon, Vanescula Drakan usurps her brother as ruler of Morytania and makes plans to invade the neighboring human kingdom of Misthalin, seeing it as the lesser evil. Her plans are brought to a halt when the player is able to create a cure that not only turns human-born vyres back into humans but also diminishes the true-born vyres' dependency on blood. Though not entirely happy with the results, Vanescula switches gears and agrees to form a truce with Misthalin while ensuring that the true-borns take the cure, willingly or not.
  • It's easy to forget in the semi-Sugar Bowl that is Touhou Project that most of its cast are, in fact, man-eating monsters... Really, really Cute Monster Girls wearing Pimped Out Dresses, sure, but man-eating monsters nonetheless. It's a Downplayed Trope since there's an agreement between the youkai and humans of Gensoukyou not to kill each other but, guess what? Humans from the outside world who happen to stumble into Gensoukyou are fair game. It's even more-or-less outright stated that people who go "missing" in the outside world are actually abducted by Yukari Yakumo in order for her to feed the inhuman inhabitants of Gensoukyou.
  • Merkava of Under Night In-Birth tends to suffer from this quite a lot. While he does try to keep it in check, sooner or later his body will start to crave EXS (a person's soul in layman's terms) and drive him to messily devour anyone who gets too close. To say that he hates it would be an understatement.
  • Vampyr:
    • All newborn vampires (or Ekons, as they prefer) suffer from crippling thirst. To the point where the newly turned protagonist of the game, Dr. Jonathan Reid, is helpless to tell he's feeding on and killing his sister when she finds him newly risen. Throughout the game, this is represented with an XP bonus mechanic, where Jonathan will grow exponentially stronger if he feeds on and kills the game's NPC's. Fascinatingly, it's impossible for a vampire to starve, and provided they had copious amounts of Heroic Willpower, can go centuries feeding very lightly if at all.
    • Skals are a sort of ghoul creature that feeds on the flesh of the dead. Most are ravenously hungry and mindless, to the point they will attack and kill any non-Skals that come near so they can feed. This only applies to any Skals created when The Red Queen is awake. Normal Skals still have the hunger but are perfectly capable of resisting it.
  • Ghouls in War Craft III are moted to be "ravenous cannibals," and have "Must feeeeeeed!" as a Stop Poking Me! quote. Their special ability (which must inexplicably be researched) is to indulge this hunger, regaining HP as they munch away on enemy (or ally, or neutral) corpses.
  • As noted above under the literature folder, higher vampires in The Witcher games don't need blood, but the taste is intoxicating and they can become addicted. Amusingly enough, one contract in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt involves hunting a katakan who has developed a taste for alcoholic human blood, and drawing it out requires Geralt to get drunk. The player can also take advantage of vampires' need to feed with the Black Blood potion, which turns witcher blood into a deadly toxin that will poison any vampire that tries to feed mid-combat.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Hunter pets once had a Happiness status relating to hunger. You could make pets Happy by feeding them, if you didn't feed them they got Unhappy, etc. (This feature was removed in one of the expansion packs.) This was played with in the web original fanfic/ parody Text Adventure Game You Awaken In Razor Hill, in which the protagonist hunter tames an Amphibious Shark, whose happiness status is described as A Pit Of Endless Ravening. The shark's hunger is so intense that his happiness goes down rapidly and constantly unless he is eating at all times, and even if his happiness is raised to 100% he is still described as A Pit Of Endless Ravening.
    • According to the storyline, death knights experience the constant need to inflict agony on other creatures. This is described by the game as an endless hunger and, if not sated, death knights experience terrible pain that can drive them into a mindless, blood-seeking hysteria (which is not reflected in game mechanics).
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Bronze Face/Xord devours almost the entirety of Colony 6, and states "Those colony folk just didn't fill me up!" He's mostly machine at this point, and Fiora later reveals that Faced Mechon only need water for their remaining human parts to function, raising the question of why he even ate those people.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Perseverance, the humans infected don't die but are driven insane, develop superhuman strength, and develop a craving for devouring human flesh.
  • In Saya no Uta, Fuminori discovers that his screwed-up perspective of the world makes human flesh delicious. Depending on the player's choice, he can either be disgusted by this enough to want his brain fixed, or indulge his newfound hunger for his fellow man.
  • In one of Spirit Hunter: NG's Normal Ends, Seiji is possessed by the Big Bad and, after his body is transformed into something more monstrous, expresses his desire to 'break the boundary' between him and Akira by eating the latter.
  • In Vincent: The Secret of Myers, the cyborgs, and Vincent, after becoming a cyborg himself, have an appetite for human flesh. Some of the employees of the Myers Corporation were used as food to feed the cyborgs with. Vincent satisfies his cravings for human flesh by adding human remains into his "specially mixed martinis" which he claims are a "necessity of life."

  • Bloody Urban has reams of it, though it's all Played for Laughs. The prime example being Camille, who has no qualms with satisfying hers.
  • The eponymous character of Charby the Vampirate can turn into a ravenous monster at the sight of blood. It cost him a girlfriend and almost caused him to eat his only "normal" friend's grandmother.
  • Flipside villain Bloody Mary is cursed with Bloodlust by the sorcerer who created her, forcing her to sate her hunger with human flesh or suffer terrible agony. When she captures Maytag, she learns the important lesson that it's still possible to be friends with someone while you're eating her arm.
  • Three examples in Homestuck
    • Vriska's Giant Spider Lusus eats young trolls. And if she doesn't feed her regularly, it may eat her instead.
    • Then there's what happens to those eaten trolls' lusii: They're fed to Feferi's Eldritch Abomination of a lusus, whose starvation could kill an increasing number of trolls, up to and including all of them in the whole galaxy via a nasty psychic scream except for Feferi herself and the current Empress who are immune because of their extremely rare blood caste.
    • While it's Downplayed it seems all rainbow drinkers have a Blood Lust for troll blood. When Kanaya has a conversation with Karkat on the topic of blood they start unconsciously drooling while looking at Karkat's body.
  • From Kubera we have anybody related to Clan Taraka, including Yuta. He's not the only one constantly hungering to eat anything that moves and isn't from the same Clan— alive. He has to fight that instinct every second of the day and only lets it loose on sura that attack him. Others from the Clan? Not so picky.
  • Sun from Nebula has a gradually worsening hunger for the rest of his coworkers/employees/friends. It's implied that this is why he's gained a Hair-Trigger Temper... Though he Cannot Spit It Out when he tries to tell Mercury why he thinks he's ill. Given how freaked out everyone is by his behavior, it's hard to say whether the explanation would be at all reassuring.
  • Played mostly for laughs with the titular Sergeant Schlock from Schlock Mercenary. As a Carbosilicate Amorph, a race of beings practically defined by their Extreme Omnivore nature, he doesn't have to eat other sophonts. But when he gets hungry (and he is typically hungry), if for example there is a Partnership Collective drone or just someone shooting at him, the last thing the target often sees is a very large maw. It's also played for mild horror during the 'bug hunt' in the first Schlocktoberfest story, where (from the perspective of the bugs), Schlock is pretty much a cosmic horror who even eats his own allies. (Mostly. He leaves the heads alone.)
  • Duane in Unsounded suffers from a craving to devour people, although as far as can be told he doesn't gain any direct benefit from doing so. Other non-sentient plods are permanently muzzled because they have the same drive.
    "My rotted insides tumbled out of me years ago, yet cold and coiled where my belly should be hisses impossible hunger."
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Kalliv frequently worries that other people or creatures want to eat him in his mouse form. Justified, as some of them do.
  • The Greenhouse: Demons need to feed on life energy. They can't help themselves; it's more akin to breathing in that it happens automatically when food is available. Red attributes much of her own initial hostility to being literally too hungry to think properly after a decade of starvation. When she starts causing problems again, Mica successfully bargains for good behavior in exchange for regularly removing the amulet that prevents Red from feeding. A proper contract makes the feeding much more efficient, letting the demon survive without taking too much from the host. But when a demon loses their anchor, this hunger becomes the only thing they're capable of thinking about. Red very nearly kills Liv after being severed from Mica, and is utterly horrified upon being bound to a new pseudo-anchor and regaining sentience.
    Mica: I think she was just hangry.

    Web Original 
  • Liches in Angel of Death must devour the souls of the living to survive. If they fail to do daily for too long, they will go into a frenzy and devour hundreds of people. Even when they're not in their frenzy state, they still crave human souls, it's just not as overpowering.
  • Played for Laughs in Ask Lovecraft when the titular reanimated corpse of H. P. Lovecraft claims that he must consume several times his body weight in sugar each day to remain animate.
  • One story in Bad Two Sentence Horror has someone's car break down on the side of the road. The driver hadn't eaten dinner yet and was so hungry they ate the first person who came to help.
  • This tweet, by Japanese artist Barikios, showcases three different scenarios in which the oldest of two sisters becomes a zombie and must hold back the hunger for her sister's flesh. It has a few Sister-Sister Incest undertones:
    • In the first one, the little girl is completely unaware of her sister's condition, and unwillingly tempts her by being physically close to her.
    • In the second one, the little girl takes advantage of her sister's condition by chaining her to a pole and taunting her. The older sister looks desperate, now has red eyes and it seems she's about to break free with sheer force.
    • In the last one, the little girl willingly gives up her body to her completely gone sister, in a sad case of a (somewhat) non-sexual If It's You It's Okay.
  • Alexis in Entirely Presenting You develops a thirst for human blood upon gaining superpowers. 
  • Played for Laughs with Riley in Less is Morgue, a Big Eater Ghoul who has real trouble controlling their appetite. In Episode 2, a hungry Riley is forced to interview a guest they really, really want to eat, and resisting keeps getting harder until they eventually snap.
    Riley: I'm a ghoul and he was a zombie! This was inevitable!
  • The Cardiocetes from Snaiad have hyperactive metabolisms due to their energy-consuming jet propulsion system, and must constantly battle starvation. While many species are peaceful Gentle Giants that feed on plankton like baleen whales, or active dolphin-like hunters that chase after small swimmers, one species, the Torpedicthys, has taken after a much more nutritious food source to sate its constant hunger: other Cardiocetes, even ones much larger than itself!
  • Taerel Setting: Kin'toni (vampires) hunger for the blood of zu'aan (humans) and need it to live. Pretty normal vampire thing.
  • Whateley Universe: Carmilla needs to eat live things in order to live, as she consumes Life Energy, turning her prey into blue dust. She doesn't usually eat humans, usually settling for other mammals.
  • Worm: Noelle, a member of the Travellers, develops an increasingly monstrous appetite for animal flesh after receiving superpowers, her cravings gradually grow as she starts sprouting body parts of various animals. It is later revealed that Noelle suffered from an eating disorder before receiving her powers. When she tries to starve herself, she loses control of the animal body parts that have sprouted in place of her lower body and ends up eating 40 people. Her power allows her to clone things she touches; when her last hope of a cure is destroyed, she eats people and then regurgitates them regularly in order to avoid digesting them and thus continue cloning them. Her power forcing her to eat massive amounts of animal flesh and regurgitating people, when she was already suffering from an eating disorder, is a sort of wicked irony common with many powers.

    Western Animation 
  • Back at the Barnyard: Comedic example — Freddy the ferret is obsessed with eating his best friend, Peck the rooster.
  • One of the episodes of Extreme Ghostbusters involved the team battling Ravana, a gluttonous ghost who feeds by infecting people with a virus that gives them an extreme metabolism and makes them eat constantly, which is converted into ectoplasmic energy which it absorbs.
  • Glendale from Centaurworld is a Kleptomaniac who stores the things she steals in a portal she can open on her abdomen. She frequently even steals whole people. This is portrayed similarly to a horror hunger in several episodes. A flashback shows that her compulsion to put things in her tummy hole resulted in her being isolated as a child.
  • Gary the Dragonfly in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021), while nonchalant about it, is driven by an intense hunger after being mutated by the power of Havoc into a Giant Flyer. He ate just about everything he came across and the hunger only stopped when he ate an Artifact of Doom fueled by Havoc.
  • Jellystone!: In "Yogi's Tummy Troubles", Yogi initially just uses his new nuclear stomach to eat large quantities of food. And then he suddenly eats Boo Boo. Cindy then realizes that maybe giving someone with very little self-control a bottomless stomach and a slowly increasing appetite is a bad idea. Things go downhill from there.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Changelings need to steal love from others to survive. Since they've been on the losing side of their war against Equestria for a very long time, they are all perpetually starving. This doesn't help their attempts to infiltrate pony society, as they hiss and attack whenever they find a food source. Turns out that they do NOT, in fact, need to steal love to survive. They were being misled by their queen Chrysalis, who was convinced stealing love was the only way to feed. When Thorax discovers that he can defeat the hunger by sharing the love as friends instead of stealing it, all the other changelings follow suit, and Chrysalis is forced to flee as she cannot bring herself to abandon her old ways.
  • South Park: Spoofed when Butters' parents think he's come back from the dead. They think he has this and needs to eat people when really his friends just faked his death so he could infiltrate the girls' slumber parties and find out the secret of their mysterious fortune-telling powers. The episode ends with Butters' parents killing a random woman and offering her corpse to him in an attempt to sate his bloodlust.
  • In the pre-show cold open of the aptly-named "Curses" episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Future Man inflicts a curse on Space Ghost such that he will be driven to feed off the flesh of humanoids to survive. Sure enough, during the show proper, Space Ghost is utterly consumed by the desire to eat two of his guests, Moby and Emo Philips, midway through their respective interviews (plus, apparently before the show, Richard Crenna). Shirley Manson was spared (Space Ghost merely asked if Moltar had anyone thicker), but the curse said "humanoids", and Zorak and Moltar are both pretty humanoid in appearance.

    Real Life 
  • The mental disease known as Pica causes people to uncontrollably eat things that are not conventionally considered edible. Dirt, sand, paper, wood, stones, rusty nails, hair... Depending on the severity of the disorder and developmental level of the afflicted individual, they may be completely aware of their behaviour but are unable to stop themselves, sometimes to the point of requiring physical restraints. An even more severe form of Pica is Autophagia, which is all of the above except with the compulsion to bite off and consume chunks of the individual's own flesh.
  • Serial Killer Richard Chase, aka The Vampire of Sacramento was delusional enough to believe that if he didn't eat people's organs and drink their blood, he would die.
  • Most small animals, such as hummingbirds, rodents, and fast-swimming pelagic fish, are in a state of perpetual starvation due to their hypercharged metabolic rates and must continue feeding constantly, or else they'll quickly starve in a matter of hours. To give a specific example, shrews — small, rat-like mammals related to moles and hedgehogs — are known to eat more than their own body weight each day. Despite their tiny sizes, they are vicious predators, and will indiscriminately devour any small animal in their way, be it insects, spiders, or even small mammals and other shrews! Their metabolism is so hyperactive that they will literally starve to death if they don't eat for as little as three hours.
  • An actual real-life version of this trope occurs for those who suffer from the genetic disorder Prader-Willi syndrome, which disables the areas in the brain responsible for feelings of fullness. The defining behavioral symptom after the first year of life is an insatiable and endless hunger that can never be satisfied no matter how much the person eats. Left unsupervised, people with Prader-Willi syndrome may eat until their stomachs tear.
  • Wendigo psychosis is a culture-bound syndrome that manifests as an intense craving for human flesh and a constant fear that the sufferer will turn into a cannibal.
  • A much more benign version of this occurs in bears during the autumn months — they experience a shift in their metabolism called hyperphagia, which allows them to keep eating without ever feeling full. This is just a natural part of bear physiology — as this is the last part of the year, they have to pile on the pounds before going to sleep for the winter. Fortunately for humans, people are very rarely on the menu, with salmon and other migrating fish being their preferred prey.
  • Cannibalism outside of survival situations or cultural rituals is widely believed to be addictive for a number of overlapping reasons, most of which are connected to psychosis, psychopathy, or sexual fantasies involving the consumption of human flesh. In the last case, at least, acting out these fantasies causes a flood of dopamine in the brain, leading the subject to repeat this behavior to get the rush again. In the former, the transgression of a deeply held taboo grants a feeling of power over it, leading to cannibalism as a sort of dominance ritual over society.
  • Tarrare was a man who would eat literally anything because food simply seemed to pass through him. His insatiable hunger led him to eat, among other things: roadkill stolen from stray dogs, several animals including a live cat and a puppy, human blood and corpses, and possibly even a baby. It isn't known exactly what was wrong with him since there have been no modern cases similar enough to him, though some of his symptoms could have been caused by hyperthyroidism.


Video Example(s):


"More blood in my coffee."

With humanity nearing extinction, vampires gradually starve and degenerate into feral Subsiders. Even those who still retain humanity become dangerously unstable, resulting in riots where even the police can't resist their urges.

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