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Last Resort Takeout

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"Oh egads, my roast is ruined! But what if... I were to purchase fast food and disguise it as my own cooking?"

So you have plans for supper. Problem is, nothing's going right. Either the oven's broken, the food is frozen or inedible, no pans are available, and/or you're pressed for time. No need to fear; there's always at least one restaurant nearby to resolve this plight so no one goes hungry!

This is not uncommon for Real Life families to do this when dinner plans don't go the way they should, making this Truth in Television.

May be used as an alternate for a Masochist's Meal. Compare Convenience Store Gift Shopping, which can involve gifts bought when pressed for time. See also Peking Duck Christmas.



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    Comic Strips 
  • Invoked in a Dennis the Menace (US) strip, in which Dennis deliberately ruined the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner so the family can order pizza.
  • Garfield:
    • One strip had Jon measure chili powder for a dish. He has a heaping pile in a measuring cup, and asks Garfield if it's enough. Garfield okays it, causing the mixture to explode as the chili powder is poured in. Garfield then tells Jon to ditch it out and order pizza.
    • Another has Jon prepare a lasagna dinner for Liz. Off-strip, Garfield, who loves lasagna, gets to it first, so the two decide to eat out.
    • A strip from July 2018 has Garfield dance because Jon burned dinner so he's ordering pizza.
  • This strip from Luann displays a step-by-step guide to enjoy a summer barbecue. However, the meat didn't thaw out enough, and the propane tank was empty. The last panel shows the family ordering burgers from a drive-thru.

  • Happens at the end of A Christmas Story. After the Christmas Turkey gets ravaged by the Bumpus' dogs, the family resorts to eating at the local Chinese restaurant.
  • Happens in The Santa Clause. Scott has his son Charlie over for Christmas Eve, and decides to treat him to a nice turkey dinner. However, the turkey burns, and the boys end up going to eat at a Denny's, where they run into a bunch of fathers and children in the same situation.
  • Mrs. Doubtfire is also forced to resort to this after an attempt to cook dinner goes terribly wrong.

  • In Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, Leonard of Quirm's Recipe for a Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a long list of tangents involving the invention of various devices based on the ingredients of the sandwich, with the last step being "Send out for pizza."
  • Judith Kerr's book The Tiger Who Came To Tea has Sophie's Dad suggest that they go out to a cafe after the eponymous character eats everything in the house including the food that Sophie's Mum was cooking for dinner.
  • James Herriot described a case in his books when Tristan had to be the cook for a week or so. He turned out to be a One-Note Cook, which was naturally taken rather badly by the others. The chapter ends with Siegfried stating he will have lunch in a nearby pub (after being served potato mash which was half charcoal).

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a Thanksgiving Episode of Mad About You Jamie tries to make a turkey but the dog eats it, so she buys a precooked turkey from the local deli. She then has to buy several more because they keep getting destroyed, including one that gets thrown out of the window when her in-laws almost catch her bringing it in.
  • General Hospital. A disastrous Thanksgiving at the Quartermaines has become so standard that everyone knows it expects that they'll be ordering pizza before the night over. The worst example had to be estranged son Jason showing up with a turkey to replace the one that had been destroyed—looking like for once they'll have a traditional dinner—only to have that one get ruined as well when a pair of burglars runs out of the house.

  • In "Trapped In The Drive-Thru", "Weird Al" Yankovic and his wife mull their options for dinner. After ruling out leftovers, delivery, and several restaurants, they go to the drive-through.

    Theme Parks 
  • In the Carousel of Progress: After the father burns the turkey in a voice-controlled oven, daughter Patricia asks, "Anyone for pizza?"

    Video Games 

    Web Video 
  • Part of the flashback story in He Said. She Said., told by one of the male characters. He was supposed to cook for his girl friend but forgot to pay the electricity bill. With the power gone, he decided to take her out instead but then the trouble starts.
  • Thanksgiving With the Kranzes is a spoof of Apollo 13, where Thanksgiving dinner is nearly ruined, because it turns out Gene Kranz's family bought a defective oven for their kitchen. Still Kranz salvages the dinner with a similar speech to the one he gave in the actual movie, ending with "Take out is not an option!".

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons
  • The Teen Titans pilot had the Titans get into an argument over what they should have for dinner, interspersed with Starfire discovering that whatever leftovers they had have now evolved into a higher life-form. Finally Robin suggests, "Maybe we should just go out for pizza." Cut to the pizzeria, and now they're arguing about toppings.
  • In the Mickey Mouse cartoon "Mickey's Birthday Party", Goofy tries to bake Mickey's birthday cake, but every cake he makes gets ruined. Finally he has to buy one from the bakery. He trips and drops it on the birthday boy.
  • In The Loud House episode, "Fed Up", Lincoln and his sisters get tired of Lynn Sr. making them the same seven meals every week, so they work together to sabotage his every attempt to make dinner so they can order pizza.
  • A particularly infuriating example comes from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, where Bloo and a new imaginary friend eat all of the food that was supposed to go towards making dinner for the house. When this is discovered Frankie decides to order some takeout, but she's forced to go out again to get more food to actually make something. Cue her coming back to see that the house ordered pizza while she was out, making her entire second trip useless.
  • Horrid Henry: After his mother’s plan to go to a girly shopping centre goes awry (due to the car running out of fuel) and his dad’s fishing goes wrong (case in point, the poles are set on fire and his clothes are stolen by a trash man), Henry reveals that he has a voucher for a fast-food restaurant, which the actually decide to take him up on.

    Real Life 
  • On January 14, 2019, as the White House kitchen was not operating due to the partial U.S. federal government shutdown, President Donald Trump served the national college football champions, the Clemson Tigers, a buffet of McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and Domino's Pizza in the State Dining Room.

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