There is a curious phenomenon in commercials in which edible animals or the post-prepared food and drink is given intelligence and the power of speech. And it wants humans to eat it. Or at least, others of its kind.
The title comes from the Dish of the Day sequence in Douglas Adams' The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. At the Restaurant, Arthur Dent is horrified to discover that the Dish of the Day is an intelligent herbivore bred to find fulfillment in being consumed. The cruelty, the Dish of the Day explains, lies not in eating animals, but in eating animals or plants who don't want to be eaten. Ironically, several science-fiction works written since have played this idea straight, often crossed with I'm a Humanitarian for maximum Nightmare Fuel.
There is, naturally, a great deal of cross-over with Carnivore Confusion. May also overlap with Fridge Horror, and more often than not with Cargo Envy. Can be horrifying, sick, or kind of funny depending on the person. Can sometimes be justified by using fruit, which quite logically should want to be eaten so that the seeds will be spread.
Comes in a few variations:
- Eat Me: An animal or food product is advertising itself as food. Shown in the page image.
- Cannibalism: An animal or food product is shown eating others of its own kind, and advertising them as food.
- Eat Mor Chikin: A variation of this trope, where some other animal or food is trying to get you to eat the food advertised, presumably so you don't eat it.
- I Want to Live!: An animal or food doesn't want to be eaten, and is running from you, its predator. Usually played for Black Comedy.
- Why Don't You Want Me?: An inferior food product wants to be eaten, but can't, because it's not as good as the product being advertised.
- Parodies, Black Comedy and other variations
Contrast You Won't Like How I Taste where the edible person doesn't want to be eaten.
An animal or food product is advertising itself as food. Shown in the page image.
- Slim Jim beef jerky sticks are depicted as obnoxious "hardcore" guys with funny haircuts that party in people's stomachs after being eaten. Commercials are rather obnoxiously ended with a stick snarling "Eat me!" The double meaning is obvious.
- One particular ad shows a kid eating a Slim Jim before going into a swimming pool. The personified jerky beats up his body from the inside and causes him to drown. (There is a longer version, where the child is saved by a lifeguard.)
- Peparami, the brand's British counterpart, does very similar adverts. To make it relevant to the British market, the voice of the hyper-aggressive sausage is provided by Adrian Edmondson, who played the hyper-aggressive punk Vivyan in The Young Ones.
- In the 1980s Weetabix breakfast cereal was advertised in the United Kingdom by a group of wheat biscuits in white T-shirts, dungarees, and big boots. The faintly "London gangland" effect of this outfit emphasised the double meaning in the slogan "Make it neat wheat, mate. If you know what's good for you."
- There is a chain of chicken roasters in Arizona called "Pollo Feliz" (Happy Chicken). One suspects this is false advertising.
- There is a chain in the Western US called "El Pollo Loco" (The Crazy Chicken). An argument could be made that this is truth in advertising.
- The Nandos restaurant ad campaign "Big Chicken" features a Reality TV series in which eight chickens compete for the ultimate prize: To be cooked and eaten at Nandos.
- Older Than Television: An 1899 print ad shows pigs, lambs, a cow, fish, chickens, and even onions and cabbages eagerly dashing forward (the vegetables on little root-legs) to be engulfed in the metal maw of the Universal Food Chopper.
- A series of Cadbury commercials involves creme eggs finding, in a rather suicidal air, ways to smash themselves. One commercial involving a series of eggs and mousetraps, set off by one egg in particular, seems more like a mass cult suicide than a way to consume many creme eggs.
- The Teddy Grahams mascot is a teddy graham. Smiling sweetly, as if to say that he wants to be eaten
- Goldfish: the snack that smiles back!
- Until you bite their heads off!
- On the other hand, "They smile because they haven't got a clue that they'll be eaten." Sung in the same perky tone.
- A few years ago, Goldfish's advertising campaign was to have Flynn come up with ways to prevent the goldfish from getting eaten, only for them to happily ignore him and continue with their suicide.
- McDonald's Chicken Nuggets love jumping into Barbecue Sauce and Ronald doesn't seem to mind.
- A Russian commercial of ready-to-cook chicken breasts. The spokesman for the product was a living hen who delivered some inspirational speech and in particular mentioned how proud she was that she could bring her "naturalness" and "good taste" to people. Cue a close-up on a packed chicken breast with some oven fires in the background and voiceover declaring that "hen is happy".
- McDonald's has a billboard campaign, which shows an egg with a thought bubble above it, and inside the thought bubble is an Egg McMuffin, with the caption "every egg's dream".
- Wings 'N Things logo is an anthropomorphic chicken slathering hot sauce on his wing/arm.
- This early-80s Mexican advertisement (translation on the Quotes page) for Del Fuerte's tomato puree. It became Memetic Mutation almost immediately, with people pointing out the inconsistency of the happy little tomatoes willingly going to their deaths at the hands of a deep-voiced executioner. Later on, a more upbeat version of the same song was made by eliminating the executioner and the mentions of death in the lyrics.
- The Ribenaberries, anthropomorphic blackcurrants who desperately wish to be juiced and concentrated.
- An animated Public Service Announcement from the late 70s featured a woman taking a pound of hamburger out of the freezer to thaw. Cue the meat block coming to life, to instruct the woman on the finer points of meat storage and preparation. A rare example in which the meat doesn't actually voice its desire to be eaten, though it certainly didn't seem to mind.
- Famous Dave's BBQ restaurant's logo shows a pig in a chef's hat smacking its lips while it holds a rack of ribs over a fire.◊
- The ads for M&M's go back and forth with this. Sometimes they're afraid of being eaten, but in a Pretzel M&M commercial, the pretzel prefers to be eaten by a hot chick instead of a creepy guy.
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares lately have a penchant for licking and then eating each other, and then grinning, satisfied, afterward.
- Ditto for Oishi snacks in the Philippines, who also gleefully bite huge chunks out of each other (and what's funnier is that the "victims" still look like they're having a great time!).
- Adverts for Cravendale milk in the UK claim that "Cravendale tastes so good, the cows want it back", followed by some pissed-off looking cows ringing the doorbell of some poor soul enjoying milk and cookies or a cup of tea in peace. Albeit not for much longer.
- In a related variant, ads for a deer-hunting video game feature a Talking Animal buck, which enthusiastically plays at blowing away his fellows, which is probably the equivalent of a First-Person Shooter.
- One (very old) advert for the meat extract Bovril has a cow poking its head out of a train, and asking "Say Guard! Am I right for Bovril"◊
- Some Long John Silver's restaurants have a picture on the wall of a smiling fish sitting in a cauldron that says "Delicious Fish."
- Most places in Mexico that sell carnitas (pork chunks fried in lard) have signs depicting a happy cartoon pig sitting in a pot of boiling fat.
- Applegate Farms hot dogs has an ad where a bodybuilder dressed as a cow is applying to be made into hot dogs and eaten by a family.
- In December 2016, the Christmas advertising for supermarket chain Sainsburys features a cute, childlike, talking carrot called simply Carrot, who is depicted as really looking forward to Christmas and what Santa will bring him. Without a hint of irony or apprehension on the part of the mascot, one part of the warm fuzzy Christmas splendour Carrot looks upon is a dish of steaming carrot batons on the table as part of the dinner spread.
- Bottles of soda, like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, are shown to be "partying" in their display cases, waiting to be drunk.
- Another Coca-Cola commercial had ice cubes that were happy about being put into a glass of Coke (as opposed to other drinks that were in the kitchen).
- Charlie the Tuna is adamant about being made into Star Kist Tuna. He also encourages people to eat his fellow Tuna.
- One ad for chicken noodle soup has a talking chicken sitting in a bowl of noodle soup, acting like it's a hot tub.
- One ad for Coco-Pops shows the cereal walking along the bench into a kid's bowl.
- An ad for Sultana Bran Buds shows a talking bud named Buddy wanting a young boy to put him in his school bag because he contains nutrients that are good for one's brain.
- This Greek ad for "Flokos" brand mackerel fillet shows fish dancing and singing about how delicious said fish is, and entering their can. The ad also goes into the "Cannibalism" territory with a fish saying "Our appetizer is very delicious" while holding a platter of mackerel fillets, and two fish are shown with fishing equipment (one wearing a diving mask and holding a speargun, and one sitting in a boat with a fishing rod).
- The beloved Japanese children's hero Anpanman has a head made of anpan, sweet bean bread. While he mostly fights crime in the usual fashion, he also flies around the world breaking off chunks of himself to feed starving animals and children. He's baked a new head by his kindly baker/creator/father figure every night.
- In Junko Mizuno's manga interpretation of Hansel and Gretel, the eponymous characters live in a world where their food comes from somewhat different origins than ours. Vegetables and fruits grow on the heads of plant fairies/people, bread comes from the bread mines, and meat comes from a pig the size of a hill who cuts slices off himself, rather like the poster at the top of this page.
- The hook of Moyashimon is that the protagonist can see and communicate with (adorable) microbes. This turns a bit disturbing when Sawaki's given yogurt to settle his stomach, and the lactobacilli in it encourage him to eat up; he is understandably reluctant to dig in, despite their reassurance that they'll be right at home in his digestive tract and it'll be beneficial for both parties.
- One episode of Sgt. Frog follows the journey of a lone grain of rice from rice paddy to rice bowl. The rice grain is overjoyed to finally fulfill its destiny as it is picked up by the chopsticks only to be dropped and forgotten. By an unlucky chain of events, the rice grain is stuck outside and can only sob over its wasted existence. Until Giroro's cat spots it and eats it. The rice grain happily ascends into heaven as it is eaten.
- Done in Dai Mahou Touge, but with vegetables.
- The Fairy Co factory in Humanity Has Declined has an apparently edible robotic bread tour guide:
If you have any pity for my existence, please eat me.
- A North Korean propaganda cartoon features anthropomorphic potatoes destroying anthropomorphic diseases with kung fu, then happily going off to be cooked.
- Jim Breuer has a hilarious bit about avoiding getting sick when you drink, where he describes drinking as a party in your stomach, with your stomach as the bouncer, and anthropomorphized drinks, including tequila (played as a stereotyped Mexican) begging to be let in.
- Comix titan R. Crumb had a typically intriguing cartoon about a man named Cheezis K. Reist who goes to a diner and orders himself up a "nice, big, delicious" talking burger that's just begging to be eaten, yessir! "Little burger, you may be sure I'm lookin' at you with nuthin' but love!" After he finishes eating the burger, the dancing utensils sing: "Now it's your sacrifice! Now it's your turn to die!"
- Easy Does It!, a morbid vintage pamphlet about cutting down animal injuries and bruising in slaughterhouses, has a bunch of illustrations of smiling Disney-esque animals being led off to the chop.
- In Robin Tim Drake hangs out with Ives, Callie and Hudson at an Irish fast-food restaurant in Gotham Heights called Shaugheesays with a smiling potato mascot named Spudley declaring how good the food is on the overhead menu.
- The Shmoo from Li'l Abner comics is a species which desires to be eaten, to the point that if a human looks at one hungrily, they drop dead from happiness at the thought. (Fried, they taste like chicken, roasted, they taste like steak, and raw, they taste like oysters.) Mercifully this aspect was omitted from the various Shmoo Saturday morning cartoons. The legendary Shmoo is also one of the earliest examples of Memetic Mutation, since it became a popular expression in the 1940s. See here for more info.
"A shmoo is shaped like a plump bowling pin with legs.... It has a rich gamut of facial expressions, and expresses love (often) by exuding hearts over its head. Naturally gentle, they require minimal care, and are ideal playmates for young children. Shmoos are delicious to eat, and are eager to be eaten. If a human looks at one hungrily, it will happily immolate itself...."
- In a VERY early Blondie strip (that can be seen in the book "100 Years Of Comic Strips"), Dagwood was on a hunger strike until his parents gave in and let him marry her, and at one point he was dreaming about many cookies, a chocolate cake and some ice cream sundaes marching by and singing "Here we come! The parade of the desserts! Won't somebody please eat us?".
- Garfield has nightmares and hallucinations about talking food demanding to be eaten every time he goes on a diet.
- In a Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin has to dress as an onion and talk about how he has so many nutrients for a school play.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
''"A very wise choice, sir, if I may say so. Very good," it said, "I'll just nip off and shoot myself."
- The Dish of the Day scene in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, which is the Trope Codifier, if not the Trope Maker itself.
He turned and gave a friendly wink to Arthur.
"Don't worry, sir," he said, "I'll be very humane."
- Later, in And Another Thing... Arthur and friends find themselves sharing a field with a herd of such creatures. The herd is owned by a cheese-worshiping cult which won't slaughter them, and the creatures are miserable at the prospect of never being eaten. Ford and a by-now jaded Arthur are more than happy to oblige.
- The book I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert features an interview with a similar (Hindu!) cow that explains she and her children (who are just learning to read) are looking forward to being eaten.
- In the Clifford Simak short story "Drop Dead", stranded planetary explorers survive by eating a native Shmoo-like animal that conveniently drops dead when approached. Turns out that the meat contains bacteria that transforms anything that eats them into the same species. Oops.
- A similar event occurs in Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K. Dick where some people go to an alien world and find a pig-like creature. That talks. The captain orders it killed and cooked, despite protests from the crew. The twist comes when Peterson, the protagonist, realises that the pig has mind controlled the captain into doing so, and is completing the process of possessing him by eating its former body as the Captain resumes a conversation that Peterson had been having with the Wub before it was "killed".
- In the backhistory of Larry Niven's Known Space, the tnuctip bioengineered the bandersnatchi as delectable food animals for the Slavers/Thrintun so the bandersnatchi could spy on them. "An intelligent food animal. Hitler would have run retching."
- The Munch Bunch were a series of UK children's books about talking fruit and vegetables that later gave their names and likenesses to a range of fruit yoghurt.
- The Magic Pudding, in the novel of the same name. It helps that the pudding is capable of regenerating itself.
- In The Other Sinbad by Craig Shaw Gardner, a character is shipwrecked on an island with trees full of talking figs that beg to be eaten. Unfortunately the figs turn out to be addictive and also to have an, um, intense laxative effect. The poor guy ends up as a giant ambulatory talking pile of feces. "Once I was a proud warrior now I am little more than an odiferous mound!"
- In Robert Silverberg's Majipoor Series, one of the titular planet's native (most of the population are immigrants from the other worlds) sentient species, the enormous and psychic Sea Dragons, are actively hunted by the most of the land-dwelling inhabitantsnote , mainly because for the most of the planet's history nobody knew that they are sentient. In the unexpected twist, the Dragons are perfectly okay with being hunted and eaten, as they view this as a moral obligation, and generally consider death differently from the all other races. Yes, they are weird.
- In Through the Looking-Glass at the feast in honor of Alice's coronation, she's introduced first to the lamb rack and then to the pudding. Both meals are then immediately carried away before Alice can slice a piece, because it's very rude to go at people (even if they are food) with a knife, right after you've been introduced to each other!
- Inverted in John Dies at the End with this scene from the very beginning of the book.
There was an incident, he said. A series of incidents, I guess. A dead guy, another dead guy. Some drugs. Its kind of a long story. Now we can see things. Sometimes. I have a dead cat that follows me around, wondering why I never feed it. Oh, and I had one hamburger that started mooing when I ate it. He glanced at me. You remember that?I grunted, said nothing.It wasnt mooing, John. It was screaming.
- In The Great Grumbler And The Wonder Tree, a man is a very Picky Eater, so his wife serves him whatever he wants from a magical tree called the Wonder Tree. When he keeps changing his mind and is not satisfied, his food tells him off and wants him to eat it.
- In Harriet the Spy, Harriet and her classmates are playing vegetables for a Christmas play that are going to be eaten for Christmas dinner, but don't seem to mind. The teacher tells the students to imagine that they've woken up as the vegetables and are "waiting for that glorious moment [they] will be..." to which Harriet responds, "Eaten?".
- Parodied in Monty Python's Flying Circus (Series 1, episode 13, January 1970) where a naked man named Hopkins in a large dish is pushed into the restaurant, describing himself as "the special" and asks patrons to choose him as their meal.
- HOPKINS: (slapping away an extended hand) "Don't play with your food!"
- This scene predates the appearance of "Dish Of The Day" in the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by eleven years ("Dish of the Day" was only in the TV series in 1981, not the original radio show).
- To elaborate on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, mentioned above. The Dish merrily goes on to explain, "I'll just nip off and shoot myself. Don't worry sir, I'll be very humane." Arthur Dent was pretty freaked out at that point. He orders a salad, which causes the talking soon-to-be-entree to roll its eyes and remark that the vegetables wanting to be eaten are unable to express their feelings, and that's why "it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly." Then, Arthur decides to order a glass of water. Which in turn can be read as ironic considering the joke from the first book: "It's unpleasantly like being drunk." "What's so unpleasant about being drunk?" "You ask a glass of water." And this is a universe where a bowl of petunias has sentience, so you never know.
- HOPKINS: (slapping away an extended hand) "Don't play with your food!"
- Episode 26 of Monty Python's Flying Circus has the sketch "Lifeboat (Cannibalism)", where five sailors in a lifeboat starving, decide to resort to cannibalism. They begin arguing about who they should kill and eat.
Sailor #5: I wish you'd all stop bickering and eat me.
- Also parodied in a Saturday Night Live fake-commercial for "The Cluckin' Chicken" — an ad for a chicken restaurant featuring a chipper cartoon chicken describing the entire gory process of how he's slaughtered, plucked, gutted, quartered, cooked, eaten, digested, and excreted.
Hear that sizzle? That's me! 550 degrees! Good thing I'm dead, or YOW-WEE!
- The short-lived American version of Thank God You're Here had Wayne Knight in a hamburger costume. When asked to recite the slogan, he responded "Welcome to Big Big Burger. I'm the big Big Burger. EAT ME!"
- The very first episode of Portlandia features a restaurant that goes to great lengths to assure customers that the chicken they serve is organic. They have biographical information on the chickens, and a couple even leaves their table right in the middle of dinner to go visit the farm where the chickens were raised.
- While Buffy doesn't actually want vampires to drink her blood, she sometimes enjoys taunting them by pointing out how good her blood would taste. At one point, this trope was played completely straight when she violently forced Angel to drink her blood.
- The Superfast Jellyfish in the music video for the Gorillaz song of the same name don't talk, but they seem way too happy to be featuring in a music video for a song about the benefits of grinding said jellyfish up into breakfast foods. They continue bouncing around cheerfully even after they've been microwaved.
- Some of the Norse deities had magical boars or goats as their faithful steeds and chariot-pullers, which apparently didn't mind being butchered and eaten nightly by their owners. Granted, they always came back to life again, but you'd think it'd put some strain on the petowner relationship
- According to the early rabbis food animals of all species willingly offered themselves for the dining pleasure of King Solomon and his many, many wives.
- In one of the Anansi The Spider stories, Anansi finds three villages of talking food: first sweet potatoes, then yams, then rice, all of which want to be eaten. They even beg him to stay and eat them when he goes on to search for the next village.
- Any time talking food appears on Sesame Street they usually talk about how they're someone's meal or how healthy they are for you. Heck, the song, "I am chicken" contains the following lyrics, sung by chickens, no less:
She's delicious, she is pure. She's nutritious, she is sure.
- Yo Gabba Gabba!'s memetically infamous "Party in my Tummy!" musical number. The carrots are just so sad at the prospect of not being eaten and going to The Party. Watch here.
- In Magic: The Gathering, the Alaran plane of Jund is inhabited by ravening beasts, and also with goblins, who take pride in their low position on the food chain. They consider it to be an honor to be eaten by a mighty creature, such as a dragon.
- Near the end-game of MOTHER 3, as you ascend the Empire Pork Building, one of the supposed '100th Floors' referred to as the Good Person Spa is lined with tubes, each containing a living organism submerged in a green fluid and being brainwashed to serve King Porky's will. One of them contains a cow, who happily states that it would make wonderful steaks for said ruler to consume. Yeesh.
- In Star Control 3 you encounter the Harika/Yorn, a symbiotic pairing of two intelligent species. The Harika can eat nothing but Yorn, and the Yorn consider being eaten by the Harika the ultimate fulfillment, or at least a necessary sacrifice (as the Yorn breed too quickly).
- While we don't know what the menu of Freddy Fazbear's is like (other than pizza), Chica the Chicken from Five Nights at Freddy's is probably an example of this; bonus points for wearing a bib that says "Let's Eat!"
- Then again, FNAF is a horror series, so its more like Lets Eat HUMANS. While the deaths either involve you being stuffed in a robotic suit (or sent to the Scooping Room in FNAF: Sister Location), the animatronics teeth are strong enough to crush a human skull, given the Bite of 87 incident that Phone Guy describes and is further investigated in FNAF 4 (the victim lived, but still, YIKES). Also, the FNAF 4 animatronics have SEVERAL rows of teeth, especially Nightmare Freddy.
- In Undertale, Vegetoid is an edible personification of the "always eat your vegetables" Stock Aesop. Eating him, however, still counts as murder and thus locks you out of the Pacifist route.
- Moshi Monsters has some living pizza toppings that are described as being "honored" to be put on pizza.
- The Cbeebies video game Teatime Racers has a bonus video where the anthropomorphic food and drink characters sing a song about wanting to be eaten and drunk.
- In Umineko: When They Cry, the ending of the second arc shows Rosa, frightened as hell, brought up to Beatrice and served dishes made of her dead siblings. The dessert? Her own daughter's head, still talking to her. In the anime, Maria even shouts "SO EAT ME!" and willingly pushes herself into her mother's mouth.
- Beaver and Steve has a turnip that really, really wants Steve to eat it, and is willing to go to great lengths to force him to do so. There's also a wedge of cheese who's overjoyed when it comes time to be eaten, because it's the equivalent of a warrior's death for him. Too bad Steve has a haunted filling, so the ghosts eat the ghost cheese before it can ascend to Heaven.
- Vexxarr has a weaponized variant of this. The Tac-to-Trons deduced that the best weaponry possible against the Lattroxx — and curiously, the Bleen — would be a mobile cake dispensary. So they created a series of mobile, sapient cake robots who are quite delicious and very insistent on this fact.
- Done in Mortasheen with the Schmeep who is a combination of the Shmoo from above with a Peep and the Nerds candy. And it regenerates so you can eat it over and over again.
- A running gag in the ASDF movie is that there is a muffin that wants people to eat it because it wants to die.
- SCP-261 of the SCP Foundation once provided a snack food called Eetmees. They're small, crab-like creatures that jump up and down, screaming and begging to be eaten, and will force themselves into your mouth if you refuse. There is no description of what they taste like, unlike the logs for other products, presumably because the researcher was so disturbed by the creatures.
When subject delayed and then refused to eat them, the Eetmees attempted to force their way into the subjects mouth. When chewed, the creatures made "joyous shrieking" sounds, and made "whee" sounds when swallowed.
- By the same author as Mortasheen, the Creepypasta character Harmburger is a subversion of this, as he is very likely to try and make you into meat or, in the burgrr.com ARG use the meat to pull a To Serve Man involving brain parasites and alternate dimensions.
- Any object in The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat is animated. It doesn't seem disturbing, until one episode had Felix as a meatball deliveryman. And the meatball spoke, and had eyes, and seemed very comfortable in entering a plate full of spaghetti
- The first episode of the Sam & Max: Freelance Police cartoon was a Shout-Out to The Thing (1982) with a twist: the episode took place in a pocket dimension inside a freezer, and the monster was a mutated TV dinner that just wanted to be eaten.
- A bear in Captain Planet and the Planeteers gives a hunter permission to eat its meat and wear its fur if he honors its spirit.
- Private Snafu: "The Chow Hound." While he doesn't tell the consumer to eat him, a steer, full of patriotic fervor, eagerly volunteers himself for processing into food to feed soldiers and help the allies win the war.
- In The Simpsons episode "Simpsons Bible Stories," a pig in the Garden of Eden introduces himself as a source of bacon. Adam and Eve proceed to tear strips off his back.
- The inhabitants of Zubin Five, an ancient diminutive race mentioned in the Futurama episode "I, Roomate", might have wanted other races to eat them, unless they had some other reason for mummifying their dead teriyaki-style.
- Kaeloo features talking yogurts who want to be eaten. According to Episode 76, they even use chemicals to make themselves addictive so people will keep eating yogurt.
- There's a grill set (consisting of a book and a special glove) with Shaun the Sheep!
- Combined with a dose of What the Hell, Hero?, one of the Cartoon Network Groovies ends with a prey animal yelling at a group of animal lovers to eat him after they inadvertently cause the local predators to pack up and go to the zoo.
"You're messing with the order! You don't go messing with the order! Eat me!"
An animal or food product is shown eating others of its own kind, and advertising them as food.
- The grocery store chain "Piggly Wiggly" (Shop the Pig!) has its pig mascot frying up some bacon occasionally.
- A truly bizarre ad for McDonald's Happy Meals: an anthropomorphic carrot and his wife discuss how carrots are being offered in such-and-such a kid's meal. "I love carrots," says the man-carrot gruffly, and his thought bubble pops up on screen, with his wife lying on a plate with a slab of melted butter.
- M&M's commercials:
- One M&M's commercial had the large, anthropomorphic M&Ms eating M&M candies. A human character (Patrick Warburton!) objected, saying "You shouldn't eat your own kind; it's not natural" — the big M&Ms then traded bags, as though the problem was Yellow eating peanut and Red eating milk chocolate, but it'd be fine the other way around. The human, unamused, tells them to hand over the bags, and walks away muttering "That's just disturbing." What's even weirder is that this commercial featured Crispy, whose entire personality is based on not liking people eating M&Ms.
- That last point was highlighted by a Character Blog created during the earlier spokescandy election in Australia (its role was to satirize the darker side of politicians). Said blog chalked up Crispy eating Crispy M&Ms as a result of his paranoia.
- In another cartoon, Crispy is at a greasy spoon, lamenting how "nobody knows what's it's like to be hunted for food!" Which elects a squawk from the guy he's talking to, a turkey. ("Uh, hold the turkey burger," he nervously says to the waitress.)
- Devour. Brown M&M, who is female, is informed by a friend at a party that a certain woman really likes chocolate, and will devour Brown. The woman is giving her a stare from across the room. Cut to Red being dragged off by the same woman and thanking Brown for introducing them. The commercial ends with the woman locking herself in her car with Red, he goes "oh no", and then it cuts to a far-away shot of the car with him screaming.
- The Christmastime commercial where Red and Yellow set out bowls of M&M's for Santa Claus becomes much less cute once the Fridge Logic descends. It might be their version of a Human Sacrifice, however. "The Claus must be appeased!"
- The commercial introducing the hazelnut spread M&M flavor reveals that Red and company aren't above eating their fellow spokescandies.
- One commercial for Dairy Queen has two shrimp as a married couple. One is looking for their kids, while the other is eating what he thinks is popcorn. Then they realize it's popcorn shrimp, and start yelling wildly as they realize they are eating their own kind, possibly their own children.
- In a commercial for Printed Fun Pop Tarts, two Pop Tarts eat a tiara and cowboy hat, which appear printed on their stomachs. From off screen you hear "No, No!" followed by a gulping sound. A third Pop Tart comes on, with a screaming Pop Tart printed on his stomach.
- The Pillsbury Doughboy is possibly the ultimate example of this trope? He's been cheerfully selling his baked brothers down the river for over fifty years.
- Mr. Potato Head selling Burger King French Fries.
- He and Mrs. Potato Head have also been on ads for Lay's Potato Chips.
- On labels for Uncle Charley's sausage a pig is cooking a sausage over a fire.
- Many ads for Cinnamon Toast Crunch feature the little squares eating each other.
- During the 1980s, Foghorn Leghorn starred in commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Not that KFC doesn't have its own chicken mascots. Chicky, himself a replacement for the previous mascot Superchook, even makes public appearances.
- An Australian brand of fish oil has a fish drinking it, preferring the oil to 9 fish oil capsules.
- Boost Mobile makes fun of this trope by showing two hogs sitting in chairs, at an expensive restaurant where they are eating ham. One of the pigs says "I love a good ham dinner. It's how we celebrate the taste of a fallen friend. What, you think there's something wrong?"
- Ignoring the Accidental Innuendo, King Ding Dong in this Hostess ad
- This ad for seafood sauce.
- Happy pigs figure in too many barbecue restaurant signs to count - maybe the majority of them.
- In Japan, many a takoyaki stand features cheerful cartoon octopi advertising dumplings filled with their brothers.
- When Ribena commercials are not having the berries wanting to be juiced, they're shown drinking Ribena and enjoying it.
- In the second-year culture fest episode of Azumanga Daioh, a picture of an octopus offers takoyaki for 100 yen a plate. Don't know what takoyaki is? Read the trope again
- The The Far Side cartoon with the cow barbecuing burgers.
- In a similar gag, a young teenage cow walks through the den of his house, past company, in leather. The guests are shocked, but the parent cows dismiss it as a rebel phase.
- Another cartoon had one cow eating a steak, mentioning that the taste was "interesting", while other cows stared in horror.
- A non cow example: a mother hen gives her sick kid a bowl of chicken soup. She tells him to stop complaining since 1) chicken soup is good for cold sufferers, and 2) chances are it was nobody they knew anyway.
- A Pearls Before Swine strip had Pig declaring, "But BLTs taste so darn good!" The line was later used for the strip's first book collection.
- In Road Games, the mascot of the meat packing plant is a cartoon pig dressed as a butcher.
- "Pig," by Roald Dahl. A newly-quitted vegetarian started trying pork and after eating his first pork chops, wanted to find a meat factory to learn pork-processing. Turns out that the factory he went to is making a killing because that very vegetarian, whose name was Lexington, ended up becoming the other other white meat.
- The horrific Humans Are Bastards opus Man After Man. It is an illustrated science fiction novel which, near the conclusion, has the lovely sight of a huge pulsating "meat creature" genetically engineered as food for its masters. And if this isn't enough to freak you out, consider this: every single creature in the book is a genetically modified human.
- Subverted in advance in the banquet scene of Through the Looking Glass after Alice reaches the end of the chessboard and becomes a queen. Alice is introduced to a leg of mutton, after which the Red Queen declares, "It isn't etiquette to cut any one you've been introduced to," and has it removed.
- The Red Queen then ignores Alice's request not to be introduced to the pudding but Alice cuts a slice off it anyway. The pudding gets rather indignant.
- In his book The Gallery of Regrettable Food, James Lileks reproduces a print ad showing an anthropomorphized rooster cooking chicken.
- And on Lileks' site, we run into Cudahy Curly, described as the "Quisling Pig" for very good reason.
- A Feisty Pets (based on the toy line) book features a pig whose favorite food is bacon.
- At the end of Dead Set, Patrick screams at the zombies to "eat up" and encourages them to eat him as his final goodbye.
- Another example from Monty Python's Flying Circus: starving lifeboat-dwellers. One figures on going out via Noble Sacrifice. Then the others start piping in with menu requests.
- Speaking of Alice in Wonderland, in the video for Tom Petty's "Don't Come Around Here No More", the Mad Hatter and his guests end up eating what looks like Alice
who is worriedly looking around as they cut pieces out and serve them on plates.
- A similar scene was in Data's dream sequence in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Counsellor Troi as a cake being eaten by Worf.
"It is a cellular peptide cake. With mint frosting."
- A similar scene was in Data's dream sequence in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Counsellor Troi as a cake being eaten by Worf.
- Deconstructed in The Muppet Movie, where the plot revolves largely around would-be fast food mogul Doc Hopper trying to hire Kermit the Frog to be the mascot for his chain of French-Fried Frog Legs restaurants. Kermit's response to a billboard for them: "All I can see are millions of frogs with tiny crutches".
- About 25 years later, fellow Muppet Pepe the King Prawn became the mascot for Long John Silver's. The first commercial involved Pepe escaping from the kitchens and trying to become the mascot instead of being eaten.
- Piggy and Kermit did a spot for Denny's for a bit. Piggy didn't seem to realize that half the food in a Grand Slam comes from pigs.
- There's a rather disturbing scene in a past D&D supplement about mind flayers, in which a former noblewoman enslaved by the illithids' vast mental powers is shown painstakingly shaving her head bald, washing her bare scalp, and rubbing scented oils into it so that eating her brain will be more enjoyable for her illithid master.
- In Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, there's an anthropomorphic bunch of grapes who love grape juice. The disturbing implications are brought out in Novasol's Let's Play of the game.
- In the Sam and Max games made by Telltale Games, the hot dog oven in Bosco's Inconvenience store has an advertisement depicting "Mr. Hot Weenie" eating a hot dog. Click on it, and Max will point it out to Sam, who says "This blatant weenie cannibalism sickens me."
- The Strogg meat processing plant in Quake II.
- Parodied in Night in the Woods. During the first hang-out with Greg, Mae recalls being weirded out by an animatronic pig that would sometimes be on display at the Food Donkey with stuff like sausage links.
Steve: Eatin' his own kind.
Mae: Or her own kind.
Steve: Whatever, PC-Police...
- A variation appears in the French cartoon Avez-vous déjà vu... ?, episode Nuf Nuf à l'école des charcutiers ("Nuf Nuf at butchers' school"). Nuf Nuf is a young pig who cheerfully answers questions on what parts of him should be used to make various foods. In case you didn't notice, yeah, this series is really weird and loves Black Comedy.
- Lampshaded in an episode of Slacker Cats. After Eddy spends the money Buckley found and was going to use to buy Louise a birthday present he suggests giving her a fried chicken bucket and pretending it's a hat. Buckley is quick to point out that the chicken mascot on it is eating chicken.
Buckley: That's cannibalism Eddy.
Eat Mor Chikin
A variation of this trope, where some other animal or food is trying to get you to eat the food advertised, presumably so you don't eat it.
- Shake & Bake had commercials like this as part of a series on this theme.
- The fast-food restaurant "Chick-Fil-A" may have been the first to do this. The only meat they serve is chicken, but their mascot is a Holstein cow, most often seen with a crudely illiterate banner bearing the message "Eat mor chikin" (sic).
- That gag goes back to the days of Fleischer cartoons.
- Interestingly, even long after this campaign started, some of their restaurants offered a steak biscuit on the breakfast menu. As of the most recent menu re-vamp, it is gone.
- Burger King riffed on this during a promotion with the film Chicken Run, using the slogan, "Save the chickens, eat more beef." The folks at Chick-Fil-A were not amused, and filed suit to get the ads taken off the air.
- One parody t-shirt sold in outdoorsman's shops featured a trout holding up a sign saying "Shute mor deer"
- In a series of advertisements for Weston's Wagon Wheels (a kind of chocolate cookie), various types of food implored the viewer to eat a Wagon Wheel instead.
- Then there are the soy milk advertisements featuring a family of terrifying anthropomorphic cows.
- A series of extremely popular Finnish adverts for McDonald's chicken burgers featured an anthropomorphic pig campaigning to get people to eat chicken instead of pork by chanting "Eat chicken!" in a high-pitched voice and brandishing a sign with the same phrase.
- Del Taco aired a series of radio advertisements timed to coincide with Thanksgiving 2006, featuring two turkeys being interviewed for a faux radio show explaining why Del Taco's "cooked golden brown" line of chicken-products would be better for consumption than their own kind.
- A long-running ad for Kit 'n Kaboodle brand cat food has a cartoon anthropomorphic mouse attempting to save his own life by convincing a live-action cat to eat Kit 'n Kaboodle instead.
- An old Rice-a-Roni ad campaign featured creepy anthropomorphic singing potatoes urging the viewer to "save a potato" by eating thankfully non-sentient Rice-a-Roni.
- Fischer's used to run an ad campaign every season showing a nervous turkey, trembling and sweating, bearing a sign that reads, "Serve Fischer's ham for Thanksgiving. PLEASE!"
- Swankie's Haddock had an ad campaign where a group of farm animals attempted to get the viewer to have fish for dinner.
- In B.C., this happens around Thanksgiving, with turkeys trying to persuade the main characters to switch to pork, and the pigs telling them to stick to tradition.
- In The Simpsons: Hit & Run there is a billboard that says "Don't eat beef eat deer."
- In Transhuman Space, one of the most popular advertising characters is Sarah the Astro-Burger spokescow, who encourages kids to eat nattoburgers.
- A Looney Tunes cartoon has Bugs Bunny reading off dishes in a cookbook of duck recipes to hunter Elmer; Daffy retaliates by reading dishes from a rabbit recipe cookbook what Bugs was doing with either of those books is best left unexamined, although it could be that he's reading the rabbit recipe book for research purposes so that he knows what cooks are talking about making.
- The Simpsons has the episode where Lisa became a vegetarian. The former made her feel like she wasn't the only one in her crusade against meat. The latter? Not so much.
- In the opening scene for Treehouse of Horror 2017, the characters are talking candies (except for Shauna Chalmers for some reason). Homer tells Abe that hes going to heaven. Abe is then eaten by Shauna. Later, only Homer, Marge, Maggie, Bart, and Lisa are left. Their bowl is placed on a shelf next to a distraught chocolate bunny, who warns them that theyll be forgotten and left to rot. The family then devours the chocolate bunny. Chocolate splatters like blood across the screen, revealing the episodes title.
- Discussed by a very disturbed Mikey in an episode of Recess, wondering why a chicken would want to do ads for a fried chicken restaurant.
Mikey: I just don't get it? Why would the chicken wanna make us think he taste good? Doesn't he know what happens to tasty chickens?
Vince: It's just a commercial, Mikey.
Mikey: But it doesn't make any sense. What do you think, Gretchen?
Gretchen: Huh? I didn't see the commercial Mikey, I was practicing. Don't you people ever talk about yo-yo's?
T.J.: Sheesh Gretch, why don't you put the yo-yo away?
Vince: Yeah, you've been yo-yo-ing all day!
Spinelli: All day nothing, it's been weeks! Up and down! Up and down! It's getting me a migraine!
Gretchen: Well, excuse me! For once in my life I'm good at a real sport! A sport with trophies! It's important to me, okay?! More important than any science fair, quiz bowl, or chess tournament I've ever been in! If you guys can't support me, then so-rry!
(Gretchen leaves the table)
Mikey: I was just asking about the chicken.
I Want to Live!
An animal or food doesn't want to be eaten, and is running from you, its predator. Usually played for Black Comedy.
- Kellogg's "Crazy Good" ad campaign for Pop-Tarts features both print and animated television ads involving people trying to catch and eat anthropomorphic toaster pastries. Said pastries don't seem too happy about it.
- One Crosses the Line Twice - an anthropomorphic peanut butter and jelly couple are admiring their newborn (a PB&J pop tart), a cute baby pop tart in the maternity ward. A nurse shows up, gives a wolfish grin, and devours the baby in front of its parents.
- One of the M&M's commercials has the anthropomorphic Crispy M&M's character running from people who wanted to eat him. In this commercial, Crispy demanded that Diedrich Bader put himself in Crispy's shoes for once. Bader imagines Crispy eating tiny versions of himself out of a bowl, then dismisses it with a simple "that's funny." He proceeds to eat M&M's one at a time, naming or relating them to Crispy.
Bader: There goes your sister!
Bader: There's your cousin.
Bader: Ooh, your first date!
- In one commercial, he's complaining about his plight in a diner and claims that no one else there knows what it's like to be killed for food. Then he notices that the seat next to him is occupied by a turkey.
- In another commercial, Red says, "We're on the guest list!" and Yellow says, "That's the menu" and they both look afraid.
- An early Wienerschnitzel ad campaign featured an anthropomorphic chili dog as a fugitive on the run from people who want to eat him. Later, he was changed into a generic mascot (possibly because people took the ads at their word and refrained from eating him).
- The Chef Boyardee commercials starring the Tin Man.
- Parodied somewhat cleverly in a Canadian Bick's Pickle campaign, in which a little green alien records a series of nature documentaries featuring what he believes are sentient enslaved pickles crunching upon being hunted down and eaten by happy picnickers.
- There was a very disturbing fish stick commercial where a bunch of the fish sticks huddled at the back of a plate, finally deciding to shove one unlucky comrade forward proclaiming 'pick him, yeah eat him!' after the unfortunate fish stick is picked up out of screen we see the others looking in horror and you hear a crunch while the eerie narrator talks about how delicious they are: 'No, we're not! No, we're not!'
- Used as part of a series of Shake & Bake commercials where farm animals complain about new flavors or methods of using Shake & Bake, either whimpering at how the new flavor will affect them, or showing relief that it's not for their particular kind of meat.
- A Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Cleveland has a poster informing customers that they can order food to go. The poster? A chicken in a car looking to its left, terrified.
- A UK advert for Bird's Eye frozen peas shows a group of kids (and Suggs from Madness) watching a small figure made of peas beating up some broccoli. Suggs explains that this is because peas contain more iron than broccoli, and one of the kids says "Cool. Let's eat them." The peas panic.
- This Norwegian coffee ad starts with three coffee beans merrily singing along, until they walk into a roaster, get roasted and fed to a coffee machine, and end up becoming coffee.
- Dairylea Dunkers once produced a delicious parody of this trope - in an ad that was considered too disturbing for children and later taken down. The commercial involves a cavegirl being chased and captured by a hungry T-Rex who turns out to be looking for something to dunk into his Dairylea. The dino then feels pretty stupid after noticing the breadsticks provided. Unfortunately, he has already eaten the girl.
- In this early '90s Spanish commercian, a lemon visits an otherwise warm, nice and trustworthy psychiatrist whining about how everybody wants to kill him and the psychiatrist just points out how right his concerns are.
- Even though Anpanman himself will happily give pieces of his own head to the hungry, some characters aren't that willing. The Donburiman Trio, three characters with rice bowls for heads, have their contents basically as their brains. Baikinman, a big fan of donburi, will happily capture them and scarf down their contents. Luckily, this only disorients them, leaving them weak, yet still functioning, and their heads can easily be refilled. Still, it's very unpleasant for them, so they avoid this at any chance they get.
- In A Hogwarts Christmas Story a gingerbread man loudly protested being eaten by Snape, wailing that it didn't want him to eat its gumdrop buttons.
- In Star Wars, Jabba the Hutt grabs into a bowl with some sort of critter that is still wriggling, and screams before he stuffs it in his mouth.
- Used as a plot point in a (somewhat disturbing) Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle story. A child has bad table manners, so Mrs. Pigglewiggle lends him a trained pig to help him with his etiquette. When the family inadvertently serves him spare ribs for dinner, the pig gets deathly sickened when he attempts to eat them, and needs to leave the room.
- The Gingerbread Man is all about a living gingerbread man trying to escape a crowd of people and animals.
- In Japan, there's a whole song sung by famous anime singer Masato Shimon devoted to this trope pretty much. "Swim! Taiyaki-kun" is about a fish pastry who comes alive, rebels against the chef who baked him, fools around in the ocean, and eventually is eaten by an old fisherman. It's listed in Guinness 2009 as Japan's best selling single.
- Sounds like the old story about the Gingerbread Man, who escapes his baker, several farm animals, a couple of children, all the while singing/taunting them with the line "Run, run, as fast as you can; you'll never catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!" He is tricked by a fox into a ride on his muzzle to cross a river, and gets tossed and swallowed in a single gulp.
- The song Cows with Guns by Dana Lyons.
He mooed we must fight, escape or we'll die \\ Cows gathered around, cause the steaks were so high. (Bad Cow Pun)
- In Animal Crossing, Franklin the turkey is invited to the Harvest Day dinner as a "guest of honor" and is dismayed to find nothing but side dishes on the feast table. Hence, he is hiding throughout the town all day. Stealing the silverware from the banquet table and bringing it to him allows you to get a rare item from the Harvest Series of furniture, and this can be repeated as many times as you like before the day is over, making the Harvest Series the easiest path to getting a superior rating from the HRA. This is Subverted in New Leaf, where he cooks the food himself. He still references the trope by saying that he thinks people "use the Harvest festival as an excuse to eat turkey".
- Most items in Banjo-Kazooie seem perfectly happy to provide their services, even if it presumably means their death. The single exception being worms in the level Click Clock Wood, who seem to rue the thought of being fed to an eagle.
- Conker's Bad Fur Day, made by the same company, had a giant mouse you had to feed clearly sentient cheese to near the beginning of the game. As you took the cheese closer to the mouse, it went from minor panic to full-fledged terror, screaming for you to let it go.
- One sidequest in Cave Story requires you to get a mushroom for medicinal purposes. When you find the mushroom, it has a face and can talk. He asks several times if you're really sure that you want to eat him, and tries to trick you into leaving him alone, before finally attacking you.
- In Moshi Monsters, Oddie and the rest of his species (anthro doughnuts called Sweet Ringy Thingies) are often running away from monsters who want to eat them.
- Used as a gag to a borderline disturbing degree in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. There are a few imaginary friends who look like talking food, and had been used as background characters for some time before we got a deeply unsettling explanation for them. In one episode, Mac's mean older brother tries to think of a creature that can fight Bloo, but since he's hungry, all he can think of is food - and a pizza-shaped imaginary friend suddenly appears. Older brother's immediate reaction to this is to eat the pizza.
- Even more disturbing as the first thing the pizza says upon popping into existence is, "Howdy-doo! I love you!" His glee soon turns to screaming horror as Terrence begins to eat him.
- Later, we learn that at least some of the background food-shaped friends were rescued from a fat camp. One such character suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. Think about it.
Eduardo: Donde esta el pollo loco?
- And the others proceed to joke about it:
Wilt: I don't know where that crazy chicken went.
- At the end of the Home Movies' "Renaissance" episode, Jason is wearing a fake boar's head he'd picked up, creeping the others out shouting "Ple-e-ease don't eat me-e-e!"
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: In "Careful What You Fish For", K'nuckles and Flapjack catch a fish which they attempt to eat. The fish begs for its life claiming, amongs other things, that it has a girlfriend.
- Tanya Weinberger's short cartoon "Fast Food!" revolves around a trio of chefs planning to make various gross dishes using "all-natural green food coloring and flavoring"... in the form of a talking frog. Since there's only one frog to go between them, the chefs start fighting over it, giving the frog time to escape.
- The titular camp in Summer Camp Island features magical talking food with faces. Being friends with their food doesn't stop the campers from eating them. This creates some Black Comedy moments, such as when Oscar tries to eat a marshmallow and it starts screaming or when Hedgehog is preparing a hot-dog and its oblivious to the fact she plans on eating it.
- At the beginning of the Arthur episode "How the Cookie Crumbles", Arthur and his friends (except Muffy) are shown as cookies, trying to avoid Muffy, who wants to eat them.
- Theres an episode where Binky has a nightmare about burgers. He is about to eat a burger until the burger starts SCREAMING FOR HIS MOTHER. Binky is then chased by the burgers mother. He then wakes up and says I didnt even get a chance to eat anything!
Why Don't You Want Me?
An inferior food product wants to be eaten, but can't, because it's not as good as the product being advertised.
- Two chickens travel around the country to convince people they're either Foster Farms chickens or close enough; no one believes them because they're mangy and they eat junk food. The fate of the real Foster Farms chickens doesn't seem to concern them.
- Charlie the Tuna of Star-Kist seems to be suicidal and misguided at the same time — he tries to demonstrate his good taste (in art, theatre, music and so on) so that Star-Kist will take him, only to be told repeatedly that Star-Kist would rather have tuna that taste good.
- The "Peperami - It's a bit of an animal" campaign took this trope to the extreme. In one ad, the half eaten sausage chases its eater down the street screaming "What's the matter? Too spicy for ya?!"
- Ribena's latest ad campaign had blueberries trying to break into the Ribena factory to be made into it.
- Smith's Crisps has one TV advert featuring a ready peeled potato being told to its disappointment that it couldn't be made into crisps because this ad was for Smith's Jackets (made of jacket potatoes).
- One bubblegum commercial has an angry stick of chewing gum with a Scottish accent upset that someone left him behind. He then fights his way to the person in question, demanding that he be chewed up and eventually spat out.
- Burger King is running a series of commercials for their new chicken sandwich where a cow (or bull) comes to the protagonist, looking at them accusingly for switching over to the new sandwich, and they try to explain to the bovine that they didn't promise an exclusive relationship or some other reason. The announcer: "It's so good it will make you cheat on beef."
- Hershey's 5th Avenue bar featured a "broken Peanut" who very badly wants to be part of the candy bar but feels discriminated against because they only want peanut butter. The commercials played sad violin music while the Nut rambles about his desire to be in the candy bar, and near the end usually threatens to do something drastic. "If they won't have me, I'll throw myself to the elephants!"
- One ad for cereal that has a different number of stars on the packaging depending on how healthy it's considered features two boxes of cereal, one of which is a hippie type who claims the other will be bought if he "believes". However, a box with more hearts is bought instead.
- This is essentially the entire point of the anime Kogepan, which is about a piece of burnt bread.
- Spoofed bizarrely in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, where Jelly Jiggler, an anthropomorphic blob of jello-like substance, appears to have deep-seated psychological issues because nobody ever wanted to buy and eat him (in Japan, he's a blob of tokoroten, a sort of jelly made from seaweed eaten as a snack in Japan, and is named Tokoro Tennosuke). He even joined The Evil Empire at first because he hated the world so much for not wanting to eat him. Yeah, it's that kind of series.
- Played for Laughs in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: when asked if Tohru (the eponymous dragon maid) can cook, she immediately whips up what looks like a rather large chunk of meat with green fluid dripping from it. Kobayashi is, unsurprisingly, leery of it, even more so when she is told that said meat was cut from Tohru's tail (don't worry, she has a Healing Factor). Tohru just thinks Kobayashi doesn't want to eat it because she's a picky eater.
- An episode of Chowder featured an animated chunk of
icethrice cream known as the Thrice Cream Man. He had a strange obsession with getting other people to eat him, and pretty much went crazy when the main character became sick of thrice cream.
- A series of Nicktoons shorts called "A Very Aggressive Vegetable" featured vegetables chewing out children for not eating healthy, and one where a bean gets mad at a kid for racism against spotted beans.
- The Looney Tune Cheese Chasers features mice Hubie and Bertie, who have eaten so much cheese they can't look at the stuff and have lost the will to live, so they try to get Claude Cat to eat them. He's quickly suspicious, and freaks out over their increasingly aggressive attempts to be eaten. By cartoon's end he's frantically pulling them away as they cling to his lips shouting "Let us IN, Mister Cat! Eat us! EAT US!!!"
- A similar cartoon featured a henpecked bird who didn't want to life with his wife anymore, so he tried to commit suicide by feeding himself to Sylvester. Sylvester is also immediately suspicious, ultimately believing the bird intends to poison him.
- A Tom and Jerry cartoon has Jerry's little pal, a duckling, believing himself to be so ugly, he spends the cartoon entreating Tom to eat him. Only Jerry shows up each time to thwart both plans.
- A rather creepy example in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), where the pizza Michelangelo demands to be eaten, and won't take no for an answer, trying to force him when, much to his own disbelief, he refuses to. (The reason it happened was because it was a plot by the villain to brainwash anyone who ordered the pizzas.
Parodies and Other Variations
- Non-food variation: The instructions on Herbal Essences hair products are written in the first person. Knowing that makes the faux orgasms in the commercials take on a whole new meaning.
- An ad for Choco Roles Marinela (essentially, Hostess Ho Hos for the Latin American market) has a man in costume as the product, crashing his plane in the Amazon rainforest. He's found by a tribe of cannibals who won't believe he's not a giant, tribe-sized Choco Rol. Cut to shots of the real product. Cut back to the aftermath of the tribe scene, where the chief is licking his fingers clean.
- There's an ongoing series of Glade commercials involving a housewife desperately trying to conceal her deep, dark secret: She uses Glade products. (Gasp!) As of December 25, the latest is her trying to convince her friends that the smell of gingerbread is from the "fresh-baked" cookies she bought at the store and put on a plate just before they arrived. One of the gingerbread men leaps off the plate and starts to tell the friends that it's the nearby Glade candle, and the housewife grabs him off the plate and bites his head off to keep him from talking. Then she offers her friends a cookie. The looks on their faces are probably the same one you have now. Also the gingerbread man could still be heard talking in a muffled voice in the housewife's mouth. Does that make it better or worse?
- A Boost Mobile commercial has two pigs eating ham, insisting that they are savoring the taste of a "fallen comrade". They go on to insist that what's really screwed up is hidden fees in cell phone contracts.
- This video, made by PETA, is perhaps the biggest subversion of this trope in existence.
- This article from X-Entertainment points out this trope as related to Cookie Puss:
"After introducing himself, C.P. would fly around ice cream makers' heads, not at all challenged with the sight of seeing himself poured out into a cake mold. Cookie Puss understands his role, and the downsides of it: he's gotta commentate on slaughtered versions of himself being caketified."
- For Post's Raisin Bran, there is a skit with the raisins attempting to flee the dreaded spoon. The last survivor begins to sing "I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener."
- Inverted in a recent candy bar commercial, in which some man-eating sharks gush about how very tasty a guy who'd just eaten a peanut-butter Snickers had been.
- A Hillshire Farms commercial begins with a classic Looney Tunes theme with the circular background and everything. But at the part where Porky Pig usually says his signature "Th-th-that's all, folks!", we instead get a message saying that only the best ingredients go into their products.
- The American petroleum company Sinclair Oil Corporation features a green dinosaur as its logo and various advertisements throughout its history featured anthropomorphic dinosaur mascots pushing the brand or filling up cars with Sinclair gasoline. (Which is made from oil which is essentially liquefied dead dinosaurs.)
- In yet another M&M's commercial, Red and Yellow came over to Steve Weber's house; during the visit, the human expressed his gratitude over their arrival, because he just ran out of little M&M's. Red makes a hasty escape, while the commercial ends with the camera closing on Yellow with a horrified look on his face.
- In a fairly disturbing Chips Ahoy commercial, a giant talking cookie is invited to a little girl's birthday party (and even has a party hat on). "So
where's the cake?" "Oh
we're not having cake." Cookie's smile dissolves into a grimace of horror. "Oh."
- Another Chips Ahoy commercial features four anthropomorphic cookies joyriding in a car and singing along to Human League's "Don't You Want Me" as a giant hand reaches in and grabs them one by one. The last finally realizes the others are no longer singing, and falters as he looks behind him, just before being grabbed himself.
- Then there's the ad where a talking cookie is grabbed by a giant hand and pulled offscreen after he had been apparently seducing a human.
- In the 1980s, Smith's Crisps used to have TV adverts featuring little singing potatoes: "We want to be (two beats) Smi-ith's Crisps."
- This trope is naively inverted in Oscar Mayer wiener commercials that depict people (usually children) cheerily singing about wanting to be a hot dog while they're eating hot dogs. Now you don't just meet the meat, it's trying to recruit. Two years after the jingle was penned, a second stanza was added that lampshades the disturbing implications, though nobody knows that part.
- In one a child was singing that he's rather glad he's not an Oscar Meyer wiener, because he won't be eaten. The other children turn and glare at him until he starts singing it the usual way.
- One ad for Maple Leaf chicken involved a pair of actual chickens being shown a contract to become Maple Leaf Prime Chickens, and being told all the perks. Vegetable grain, open range, it all sounds quite reasonable. As they reached the bottom of the contract, their faces registered alarm, as if they had only just realized the fate of Maple Leaf Prime Chickens.
- An advert for mushy peas featuring Craig Charles reminding a normal pea of life back on the farm, with all its little pea friends in its little pea pod. The peas breaks down crying, turning itself mushy.
- In one IRN-BRU advertisement, a man is walking through the rain in the countryside, whilst cartoon animals cower when he comes near. Then he opens up a can of IRN-BRU and the suns starts shining. He starts whistling, and walks along whilst the cartoon animals happily follow. He then leads them into a shop. Before shutting them in he pulls down the shutter to reveal it is in fact a butcher's whilst grinning very evilly. To make matters worse, you see some cartoon eyes blink in the dark to then cut to cartoon pieces of meat dancing cheerfully around the can at the end.
- Pop-Tarts "Crazy Good!" commercials feature sentient anthropomorphized versions of the breakfast pastries who are befriended by stick-figure people and animals, who inevitably betray them and eat them. The Pop-Tarts are visibly distressed when they realize what's going on. In one particularly disturbing example, a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly have just given birth to a smiling baby PB&J Pop-Tart, only for the nurse in the maternity ward to announce "Time for feeding!" and lick her lips while looking at the baby Pop-Tart. The peanut butter jar screams a Big "NO!" and the jam jar says "Aw, jarnit" and we cut to the jingle.
- Played with in an ad for Grain Waves. All the grains want to be food when they grow up, but when the protagonist gets eaten, his parents look shocked.
- Fullmetal Alchemist, 7th volume, has scene in a meat shop with posters in the background. Through an amusing typo, there is a poster that has a picture of cow and words "Meet day". The text was fixed in anime version, sadly.
- And disturbingly parodied in 2000 AD, (in a one-off where the subject falls into a Kafka-esque Advertising Hell) with "Ritzy Crisps".
- In the newspaper comic strip Betty, the title character goes to a burger bar and is told that she can choose between three burgers: "Ralph, Li'l Ralph and Big Ralph". Animated versions of the Ralph burgers are rapping and dancing on the menu screen. Not impressed by the overly hip gimmickry, Betty asks for a burger without a personality.
- In the Triptych Continuum fic Naked Lunch, food supply business owner Gerald Gristle doesn't recognize the emotional impact of his chosen mascot images. The first, when he tried to open up a produce shop in Protocera (a griffon land where herbivorism is often seen as the 'weak path' and much of the art of cooking is an elaborate game of Hide The Vegetables), was a pony on a platter — surrounded by fruit, with an apple in their mouth, and whose eyes came out a bit on the glazed side. The second, when he opened a butcher's shop in Canterlot, was a smiling cattle balancing a plate on one hoof. (The end of the story has the palace still trying to recover all the promotional scarves.)
- The animated film Sausage Party employs this as a major plot element, playing it for extremely dark laughs. In the film, the food items in the supermarket all believe that humans are gods and that, once they're purchased, they'll be taken to the Great Beyond. The humans are gods, all right — evil, Lovecraftian gods, and the Great Beyond is the kitchen where food gets chopped up, grated, sliced, diced, and cooked as food in a scene straight out of a horror movie. A cookbook is portrayed like the Necronomicon. We also see that toilet paper, condoms, and douches are anthropomorphized, and they are appropriately horrified by their circumstances.
- In the "humiliated grapes" scene in Benny & Joon, Joon and Sam discuss the perverseness of food being forced to advertise its own consumption.
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the camera pans briefly over a poster on a telephone pole in Toontown that features Porky Pig licking his chops over a "100% BEEF" sausage. So much for Clarabelle Cow.
- In The Return of Hanuman, a fruit was very frightened when it was chased by a squirrel, but is totally relaxed after he was eaten by Hanuman and disappears.
- Parodied in Addams Family Values, where Pugsley is forced into a turkey costume for a camp musical of Thanksgiving and made to repeatedly shout "Eat Me!" He went along with it because his sister Wednesday (the Magnificent Little Girl?) had an ingenious plan.
- In The Barsoom Project, this trope's bizarre implications are confronted head-on. While participating in a "Fat Ripper" simulated adventure, some overweight Dream Park guests are accused of disrespectfully trivializing their food sources by a holographic Inuit deity, who displays advertising mascots as proof. Luckily, one of the guests is a stand-up comedian by profession, and successfully argues that modern popular culture always makes jokes about anyone or anything that's sufficiently important and respected.
- Parodied in a mock commercial on Saturday Night Live for Cluckin'Chicken.
- Referenced in the tuna episode of Good Eats:
Alton: Hey, Alvin, why is it you anthropomorphized food mascots always want somebody to eat you?
Alvin the Albacore: It's just the way we're wired.
- The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Captive Pursuit had a variant where an alien race that enjoys Hunting the Most Dangerous Game used a genetically engineered prey race that wanted to be hunted, was equipped and trained to put up a hell of a fight against a full team of high-tech hunters, and flatly refused an offer of asylum from the Federation.
- MAD has a semi regular feature called Planet Tad, which is the (fake) blog of a 14-year-old boy. In one entry, Tad's parents force him to get a summer job at a hot dog stand. His job is to wear a giant hot dog costume, and spin a sign. Tad, ever the Deadpan Snarker, begins whispering to patrons as they enter, "You're eating my babies " Cue him getting fired because "No one wants to eat in a place where the food gets depressed."
- Referenced in the first Ace Attorney game, case five. Examining Angel Starr's food wagon will cause Phoenix to note that her van's logo is that of a cow serving hamburgers, something that Ema Skye comments is kind of creepy.
- In Tradewinds: Legends, two female ifrit indigo traders ask the playable character to deliver a rug for them to eat, which the rug (or carpet) resists by fleeing, but eventually turns out to like. Yes, it's a lesbian pop-singer Shout-Out
- In Splatoon, Crusty Sean the tiger prawn wears a designer jacket that makes him look like tempura shrimp in a rather morbid sense of fashion. Further emphasized by one Sunken Scroll depicting an actual fried tempura shrimp meal coupled with a blurb expressing horror that there were once creatures that ate Sean's ancestors. In Splatoon 2, he even runs a food truck serving food that looks eerily like him.
- RuneScape's Brassica Prime, God of Cabbages, considers the consumption of himself and/or his kind his cosmic purpose and the source/manifestation of his power. As such, he's completely unconcerned with the prospect of being cooked or eaten, but considers wastefully destroying cabbage without eating it a crime of the highest order. Since he originated as an April Fool's prank but appears in some of the more serious quests since then, it's debatable whether or not Brassica Prime is a Joke Character.
- Played with in this Simulated Comic Product strip.
- General Gohblair's speech in the Holiday Wars storyline of Sluggy Freelance
"Do you know the difference between Thanksgiving and all the other holidays, Mrs. Claus? Santa gblgblgives gifts, the Easter Bunny gblgblgives eggs. We GBLGBLGIVE OUR LIVES! Every ONE of these fine flock of poults is willing to lie down on a plate, have his gblgblguts ripped out, turned to gblgblgravy, mixed with bread and spices and stuffed back into him so a completely different species can say 'hey, I'm thankful for the fact that my gblgblguts aren't chopped up and mixed with bread on my insides.' And THAT'S why Bun-Bun will underestimate us! We're freaking NUTS!"
- Thingpart: Getting Eaten by Bears.
- Shown as a way of dealing with post-holiday depression in Kevin & Kell. "I can't even burn calories stalking!"
- Parodied in Smallbug Comics with "Charlie the Earthling", a parody of Charlie the Tuna where he's reimagined as a human that wants to be abducted by aliens for consumption.
- Flying Man And Friends: When Flying Man sets out to make "the happiest orange juice in the world," he uses smiling oranges... that soon stop smiling.
- One comic on Port Sherry, is about a man submitting two pieces of concept art for a potential mascot for the Tacos Johnny restaurant: one of a human eating a taco, and another of an anthropomorphic taco. The executive asks him to combine the two concepts, but the artist argues that the idea wouldn't work. He is forced to do it anyway, but the executive rejects the final product anyway, proving his point. We then see the submission itself — rather than a cute image of an anthropomorphic taco eating an ordinary taco, it's a riff on "Saturn Devouring His Son", one of Francisco Goya's Black Paintings.
- Lampshaded in the Thanksgiving Symbols entry in The Book Of Ratings:
"It's also interesting that so many of our images of Thanksgiving turkeys involve them not being killed, plucked, and eaten. The President pardons a turkey, cartoon turkeys on TV manage to avoid the axe, but when it comes to the actual dead turkey on our table, pass the gravy."
- The Bob and Tom Show (radio) did a whole Thanksgiving song where a turkey proudly, happily asked to be eaten (and at one point admitted "If I had a musket, I'd be eating you"). At the end, he's slaughtered, and as a horn plays "Taps", there's a bit of mock Dude, Not Funny! reaction from the show regulars ("It's not a very happy ending ").
- Suicide Food is a blog devoted to this trope (and the occasional thoughtful meditation linking the phenomenon to the wider mindset of meat-eating).
- This fake ad by Ursula Vernon. "Judas Pig BBQ Sauce. Treacherously Tasty.".
There are barbecue joints every five feet, and the debate over eastern vs. western NC barbecue has occasionally claimed lives. And every one of these places has a sign out front with a grinning pig on it, frequently licking sauce of its fingers, advertising just how great their pulled pork is.Every time I see one of these pigs, I wonder at the kind of animal that can sell out its species and dine with such cruel cannibalistic glee. Treacherous swine!On the other hand, way back in the day, many slaughterhouses employed a "Judas Goat." This goat lead the panicked sheep inside, secure in the knowledge that it would come out the other side. Which it did. The sheep, by contrast, came out as lamb chops.I figured it was time that we had a BBQ sauce label that did not gloss over the treachery of the pigs in question.
- Kid-shaped "Lucky Charms" on CollegeHumor!
- Played with in the start of this Almost Live! "Guide to Living in Seattle." The waiter is letting the patrons know about the life history of the fish they are serving. Overlaps heavily with a send up of Seattle's politically correct tendencies.
Brad the Waiter: "As an entree tonight, we are serving Alan, a sensitive and artistic Coho salmon. Alan was gently caught with a soft net, in non-Indian fishing waters, nowhere near the Satsop nuclear power plant. After Alan was given two 500 milligram caplets of Prozac to reduce anxiety, he was gutted and cleaned. We're serving Alan tonight sauteed in a savory fennel butter wine sauce in accordance with his wishes We will be showing a retrospective of Alan's paintings later this month."
- In The Grossery Gang webseries, during the "Mount Yuck" arc, Pizza Face imagines being stranded on the mountain and forced to eat his friends, with the joke being that they're all Anthropomorphic Food (and still alive and protesting while Pizza Face is eating them).
- The Weebl's Stuff cartoon "Pork" features, among other visuals, a pig dancing as she bloodily descends into a meat grinder. Not to mention the wide range of emotions experienced by his anthropomorphic Waffles.
- Gaia Online's special items for Easter '09 were two slutty anthropomorphic chocolate bunnies, Sundae (female, dark chocolate) and Fondue (male, white chocolate). Fondue's original item description said, "Let me cover your strawberries in my sweet white chocolate!" It was clearly supposed to be a sexual reference, but Fondue is made of said white chocolate
- Almost all episodes of the YouTube series The Annoying Orange features the titular character and his friends chatting with other food (often a fruit) which is, in the end, dragged away screaming and sliced by a knife (or in some cases put in a blender or an oven).
- The Simpsons parodies this several times:
- Homer has a fantasy about a roast pig that involves said dish removing the apple from its mouth, shaking its behind and cheerily proclaiming, "The best meat's in the rump!"
- When The Simpsons go to Japan, they eventually end up working at a fish-gutting factory in Osaka whose mascot is an Animesque squid, who cheerfully sings Knife goes in, guts come out, that's what Osaka Seafood Concern is all about! The squid rips its guts out in a form of seppuku and dies. The factory appears to play the clip on rotation as a motivational tool.
- The restaurant "P. Piggly Hogswine's Super-Smorg." Its mascot is an anthropomorphic pig proudly displaying a roasted pig's head. Both the cook pig and the pig head in his frying pan wink at you.
- Not to mention the pig in the Garden of Eden episode "Simpsons Bible Stories" who willingly offers his ribs, bacon, etc. to Homer as Adam, though it appears he regenerates enough to satisfy even Homer's voracious appetite.
- When Homer tries to gain weight to get on disability in "King Size Homer", he imagines a pig urging him on. Homer stops to take a bite out of the approving pig: "Yes, yes! That's the spirit!"
- The episode of The Powerpuff Girls where alien broccoli with carrot guns put sedatives in all of the vegetables in Townsville, and the only way for the kids (who didn't eat their vegetables) to keep them from conquering Townsville is to eat them let's just say the horrific implications and Family Unfriendly Aesops were flying all over the place in this one
- Parodied in Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs and Buster Bunny are appalled by Montana Max's carnivorous eating habits so they strap him in a chair and show him a Squick-filled informative video on how his food is made ("This next part is kind of graphic, those with weaker stomachs should turn to the Disney Channel"). Their plan works and Max reforms, so Babs and Buster celebrate with a vegetarian dinner in one of Max's veggie burger stands. And then their carrots begin to scream
- "Weenie Burgers are so much fun to eat AAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!"
- Parodied in Martha Speaks with the "deserted" and "adore" sketches. The "adore" sketch also ended with a terror-laced Gainax Ending.
- An episode of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! takes place at an interstellar truck stop, where an alien who looks like beef jerky keeps trying to rescue what he thinks are children.
- An episode of The Super-Secret Secret Squirrel had Greg, a disgruntled gingerbread man, as the villain. His Start of Darkness came from being cuddled and named by a little girl then having his leg bitten off. His grand scheme involved having his army of sugar ants steal truckloads of candy and melting it down into a giant candy monster "so that candy will eat kids for a change, change, change!" Then Secret and Morocco ate it. Then the ants that Greg used to steal the needed candy ate Greg since there were no other sweets to eat. Then Secret and Morocco trapped the ants in candy coating and gave a box of the candied ants to their boss who ate them with gusto. That episode was a love letter to this trope.
- One PBS Kids interstitial had a kid eat ice cream. "But what if ice cream gets lonely down there?" So he eats some other foods, and "It's a crazy stomach dance party!"
- Adventure Time has a lot of people made out of food who aren't eaten, but the episode "Hitman" makes references to another character named Meat Man who gives them his meat. Finn wonders if it hurts him, but Jake doesn't seem to care much, until he has some sort of nightmare about the character.
Jake: (Staring wide-eyed out the window) Hey Finn, are you awake yet? I had a dream about Meat Man. I think I'm gonna stop eating Meat Man.
- In The Stinger of an episode of ThunderCats (1985), Wilykit trolls the adult members of the team by telling them they were having fish for dinner (which was the last thing they wanted, having spent the whole episode fighting sea monsters) with Wilykat adding to the "humor" by dressing in a fish-costume and announcing, "How do you want me, boiled or fried?" (Cue shouts and thrown cutlery.)
- One episode of Rocko's Modern Life had a chicken applying for a job- at a chicken restaurant. You can see her nametag on a package of chicken pieces about 5 seconds later.
Father Chicken: Whoo! That's a relief!
- The chicken was a friend of Heffer's, who unknowingly ends up eating her.
- In another episode, Heffer (thinking Filbert is an alien spy) runs out of the restaurant screaming "Chokey Chicken is people!" past a family of chickens who are about to go inside.
Heffer: Is Heffer even my real name?
- Heffer's own backstory is a twist on this: He was adopted by a family of wolves who originally intended to eat him. To quote his adopted mother: "You were skinny, so we decided to fatten you up. But then we grew to love you." What Heffer was shocked more is finding out he's adopted.
Peter Wolfe: We used to call you "steak".
- One episode of ChalkZone had Snap refuse to eat a talking, rhyming hamburger who desperately wanted the blue chalk man to eat it. As he tries to escape, he runs across a cooked chicken and angry vegetables who also wanted to be eaten.
- A very rare non-anthropomorphic example in SpongeBob SquarePants. While cooking Krabby Patties, Spongebob falls madly in love with one of the patties, naming it Patty. After saving it from a customer order by replacing it with a shoe, he dates the sandwich in a montage such as going to the fair, rescuing it from hungry clams, riding down the river, and having dinner with it back at the Krusty Krab restaurant. Oblivious to the fact that his date has completely spoiled, Mr. Krabs forced him to accept that krabby patties are meant to be loved and eaten. Accepting this, Spongebob eats the rancid patty out of love and gets sick afterwards.
- A sketch in MAD involved Mickey Mouse offering rat extermination services. He references this trope, pointing out how people are fine with a pig mascot that sells bacon, but not with a rat that captures mice.
- Codename: Kids Next Door has Grandma Stuffum, a Lethal Chef who creates awful food in order to fatten kids she deems "too skinny". The food doesn't only look gross and taste worse, it's sentinent and it forces itself down into the mouths of kids.
- In one episode of the Beetlejuice animated series, BJ and Lydia discover a land of talking anthropomorphized food, which was in danger of being conquered by a head of lettuce in Roman garb (Caesar salad). At the end, Beetlejuice asks whether there's any fast food around, because he is hungry. After a horrified moment, he and Lydia are chased out by the natives, who declare them to be cannibals.
- Lampshaded in an episode of Recess where Mikey was confused about why a chicken in a commercial he saw would try to convince people that it was tasty.
- In one episode of Dexter's Laboratory, Dexter modifies his taste buds so he likes vegetables more, but ends up having the effect of him getting huge cravings of them. At school, they get a visit from "Mr. Dancing Carrot", a guy dressed in a carrot costume that sings about eating your veggies. Dexter ends up getting hungry and bites the poor guy.
- Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! episode "Kitchen Frightmare" has Shaggy and Scooby working as servers at a restaurant besieged by a cheese monster. Shaggy, starving and tempted by the food he's serving, drops a piece on the floor. The piece of food becomes sentient and taunts Shaggy with "Five second rule!"