So you're wandering around in a dark, dank dungeon hundreds of feet underground, and abandoned for years save for hordes of monsters. You've taken quite a beating and desperately need something to eat to kickstart your Hyperactive Metabolism. Suddenly, you spot a treasure chest out of the corner of your eye. You open up the treasure chest to find...
...a perfectly edible roast chicken.
A fairly common video game trope, especially in older video games. Not only do video game heroes have little problem eating food they find lying around on the floor for much longer than the five-second rule allows, but even if that roast chicken had to have been sitting there for hundreds of years in someplace very unsanitary, it's still as fresh as if it just came out of the oven.
- Parodied in StarTropics 2. The protagonist uses TNT to blast a hole in a mine, searching for a gold nugget. Upon finding it, he realizes it's a chicken nugget (keep in mind this was in a cave that was completely sealed off before the TNT blast). The protagonist then eats the chicken nugget and says it's delicious!
- Used throughout the Castlevania series. The games up to & including Symphony of the Night typically allowed the player to break open walls to reveal different kinds of meat. Games after Symphony had food items just sitting on the floor out in the open or dropped by monsters, including cartons of milk that should've gone bad even faster than the meat. However, it also zigzagged this trope by including spoiled food items as well. While monsters dropping food items makes a kind of sense, even monsters have to eat, why Dracula would keep food lying around makes no sense at all. Some games also include vendors you can buy food from among other items, making this trope less ridiculous.
- Legends, a game that was retconned out of the main timeline, suggested that the Belmonts had struck a deal with a friendly supernatural power to provide them power-ups and supplies through the candles in the Castle.
- Lampshaded with the Mysterious Wall Chicken in Dust: An Elysian Tail. Its in-game description reads "Found embedded in a wall, this fully-cooked and seasoned chicken comes from unknown origins."
- In Odin Sphere, both killing enemies and clearing out stages will yield treasure chests that sometimes contain minor food items like milk and hot cross buns. With some of these areas it makes sense, like when you're fighting in the capital of Titania or Ragnanival, or on the Valentian battlegrounds where there's tons of soldiers running around everywhere, but then there's also the monster-infested Elrit Forest and the Volkenan Lava Pit where it's less likely to stay fresh. Once the player gets to the Netherworld, however, they quickly find that the only food items that get dropped are old and withered.
- Dungeon Siege knows what's what: meat is a club-type weapon.
- Your main method of self-healing in Rogue Legacy are eating chicken drum sticks left lying around. The diaries someone left around the castle comment how insane it is to eat things lying around, but his hunger forces him to eat them anyway.
- In Streets of Rage 2, you can find whole roasted chicken by smashing arcade cabinets, wooden crates, and trashcans. It may not be sanitary, or make any sense, but you take what you can get when you're being ganged up on.
- All 3 classic Konami Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Beat Em Upsnote have perfectly good pizza lying on the sidewalk, or down in the sewer, and even Shredder keeps some lying around the Technodrome.
- Similar to the Streets of Rage example, plates of meat can be found in Final Fight by smashing open steel drums, phone booths and even found in the wreckage of falling chandeliers.
- In the Cadillac & Dinosaurs arcade game, you not only find pieces of meat inside steel drums, armor suits and wooden barrels but also salads, cakes and even sushi and boiled lobsters.
- Violent Storm also boasts an impressive collection of food for immediate consumption found pretty much everywhere.
- Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Phoenix Wright can pick up food (and immediately eat it to restore health) while searching for evidence in Investigation Mode, regardless of whatever the stage is.
- Other than first-aid kits, all health-replenishing items in Wolfenstein 3D are food, and all of them are just lying around on the floor, sometimes even sitting in hidden passageways (though at least they're left on plates and bowls.)
- Chex Quest is a mod of Doom. Among many other things, it replaces Doom's healing items with glasses of water, bowls of fruit or vegetables, and "supercharge breakfasts." They all work as intended, whether they're sitting in forgotten caverns or slime-infested sewers.
- Played with in Fable II, where you'll find food even in dumps like Wraithmarsh, but the quality will be much lower.
- In The Elder Scrolls Online your character will usually eat prepared food, but even ignoring the fact that this food never spoils, the ingredients used to make it are usually found inside random boxes and barrels or sometimes laying on top of tables or hanging from walls for no reason, as the Provisioner skill line depends on materials only found this way. There's little reason to trust food made from poultry found hanging inside of a damp, earthen floor dungeon, but your character will only actually get sick during quests.
- The presence of food in the apocalypse is explained in Nexus Clash by the fact that most of it is canned or preserved, or is fresh fruit that continues to grow in orchards. The only exception is Chunks of Salted Meat, but the fact that they're found in Stygia offers one very easy explanation.
- In Earthworm Jim 2, there's a sandwich pickup called a Chip Butty that restores 200% health... even if it's been buried underground.
- In the DuckTales game for NES, Scrooge can find cakes and cones of ice cream hidden throughout Transylvania, Amazon Ruins and the Moon.
- The original sidescrolling shooter Duke Nukem I has Duke roaming around eight levels of Doctor Proton's Elaborate Underground Base, with an occasional turkey drumstick available to add about 12% health. Interestingly, Duke's handheld Wave Motion Gun can be used to "cook" a turkey drumstick into a complete turkey dinner worth 25% health.
- Kirby games use 'Maxim Tomatoes' to completely heal the player character. Energy drinks and, on occasion, other foods are sometimes used for smaller amounts of healing. This can raise questions as to why, for instance, meat, cake, and a sandwich can be found in an underwater cave on planet Ripple Star (and somehow fail to dissolve and waft away in the currents).
- In Shovel Knight, edible carrots and roast chickens can be found in such places like Under the Sea or in lava-filled underground ruins. The chicken gets a little pass for being under a lid, but carrots are found in lumps of dirt.
- The Pikmin series takes place on Earth 250 million years in the future (as confirmed by 3) and has a suspicious lack of humans, but some of the treasures in 2 include various foodstuffs that still look perfectly fine (and apparently taste perfectly fine, too, since the crew keep sneaking bites of them.)
- Dungeons Of Dredmor lets the player find steak, aged steak, fresh steak and grilled steak, either lying on the floor, dropped by a monster, or conveniently stashed in a mini fridge or grill. Not to mention the fruits, sandwiches and the wide variety of cheeses available. Oh, and don't forget the danish.
- Pixel Dungeon downplays what food is found on dungeon levels. Rations of Food are commonly found, but it's established that these rations contain non-perishables. The presence of Pasties lying on the dungeon floor has no excuse, however.
- Dungeon Crawl Has the player traversing a massive, sprawling, labyrinth, where loaves of bread, meat rations, pizzas, chokos, and various other foods are randomly strewn about the dungeon floors, however the only food type that can actually go bad are meats harvested from enemy corpses, not a problem if you're a ghoul though.
- In Nethack, corpses left by the majority of enemies are initially edible (and immediately so, as you don't need to cook them), but they decay and become poisonous to eat after a while (eventually disappearing from the game). Fruits and vegetables, however, don't decay at all, and can be still found just lying on the floor waiting to be picked up and eaten with zero repercussions.
- Necropolis has different quality food from rotten food, which might make you sick to iron rations which don't.
- In Dwarf Fortress, food left around will decay and spoil, but it will be preserved almost indefinitely if put in a food stockpile — it can still go bad, but takes years. In adventure mode, food you find will be perfectly edible.
- One survival horror game played on Gaming Garbage, Slenderman Must DIE, had the player restoring health by drinking cartons of milk and eating whole pizzas found lying around an abandoned insane asylum. Shmorky is quick to point out how disgusting this is.
- In the opening of Sir, You Are Being Hunted, the Narrator explicitly tells the player finding food powerups to "Don't look at it TOO closely.." as the robot patrols have exterminated the human inhabitants some time ago and the food has probably spoiled.
- The Fallout series always has tons of pre-war food (even in the first game, the Great War happened almost 100 years ago ) that's still perfectly edible, including the inexplicably popular Nuka-Cola. Fallout 3 and New Vegas work to subvert this somewhat, as eating pre-war food will still boost the player's health, but also inflict them with minor doses of radiation (and explicitly irradiated food that deals even more radiation when eaten can be found.) Lampshaded during "The Big Dig" quest in Fallout 4 when you run across one of the Port-A-Diners that has an inexplicably well preserved piece of 200-year old pie in it.
Mel: Yeah...I wouldn't touch that pie. I don't trust anything that looks that perfectly preserved after 200 years.
- You can find food, drinks, and potions in ancient crypts in the various The Elder Scrolls games, some of which have been explicitly sealed for years with nothing but withered (and occasionally ambulatory) corpses for company. Even those with no bandit presence to explain away the presence of food will still have consumables in them. Feel free to scarf down the half-dozen decades-old potatoes you find if you're low on health, your character won't know the difference. Though you might have sympathetic indigestion.
- A typical world in Minecraft has many abandoned dungeons, strongholds and mines where you can find chests containing food like bread, wheat, carrots, potatoes, melon seeds or pumpkin seeds, all fresh and edible (or in case of seeds, plantable).
- Press Start: While scouring Count Vile's lair, Zack is injured and in need of healing, so Lin-ku offers him some chicken he finds in the dungeon. It's cold, slimy and tastes nasty, but it does the trick.
- In the MSPA Fan Adventure The White Depths, the 8000-year-old "archaeological site" is actually an ancient spaceship, whose fridges work by actually stopping time inside them when closed. They preserve everything completely, including live crewmembers.
- Discussed by the Angry Video Game Nerd, who tries whipping walls and a candle like Simon Belmont of Castlevania fame. Reality Ensues and his carpets catch fire.
The Nerd: I do have to say, that would be convenient; if all I had to do was just whip the wall when I was hungry. (starts whipping the wall behind him repeatedly) If this wall would break... If there's a fucking pork-chop in this wall, I would so eat it!
- In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, the Commander has to inform his men that eating food off the floor or out of trash cans will NOT heal you, and reminding Cody that he had to get his stomach pumped for hours after his adventure.
- In A Day in Dracula's Life, Dracula is about to enjoy his favorite, pot roast, when he finds out that Richter Belmont is on his way. Dracula hides his pot roast in a candle to make sure this Belmont doesn't take it from him.
- The folks over at Immersion had a go at this, seeing if one could 'recover' from 'injury' (in this case, massive hangovers and sleep-ruining surprise wakeups) by eating food that had been left in questionable circumstances. The answer was a particularly revolting 'no,' as Geoff and Gus discover the hard way.
- In Awkward Zombie, when fresh bread is found in a chest in a sewer they question where it came from, to which it shows a baker hiding in the shadows.