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Lost Food Grievance

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Her one joy...
Frank: Oh... taking Liz's food is not good...
Liz: WHERE'S MY MAC AND CHEESE?! [massive table flip]

A specific form of Berserk Button and/or Trivial Tragedy.

A character is about to sit down to their Trademark Favorite Food, when it gets stolen, eaten, made less appetizing or damaged beyond edibility. No matter how calmly they may ordinarily behave, at this point you can expect them to Gasp!, scream, fly into a rage, start to cry, get excessively violent, some combination of these things, or otherwise Comically Overreact. To them, this particular food is Serious Business.

This is understandable for children, who can treat sweets very importantly, and not much else (see Evil Is Petty for literally taking candy from children). It's also understandable when characters lacking an Improbable Food Budget seeing their hard-bought meal going to waste might be a bit peeved, and also understandable if they are poor and lose the only Poverty Food to fill their stomachs. A Supreme Chef quite naturally wouldn't be pleased with seeing their work destroyed, and any reasonable person could react this way when they're preparing to dine on that chef's Impossibly Delicious Food. And this is completely understandable when enjoying some Comfort Food, or Post-Stress Overeating is involved, since this happening atop other stresses can only end badly. Then there's the whole matter of food offering some sort of tactical advantage. It's when grown adults have a similar reaction to normal food they aren't responsible for that the trope might come into effect.


This can conceivably happen during a Food Fight, Food Slap, Kitchen Chase, Bar Brawl, Diner Brawl, or any time good food is used as Edible Ammunition. Will often be paired with and complement Denied Food as Punishment, Enemy Eats Your Lunch or Filching Food for Fun. It can overlap with Food as Bribe if a character reacts poorly to Their Favorite being indirectly threatened by the ramifications of the plot. This may also result in a Fight for the Last Bite, as nobody wants to be the one to lose their snack.

A Big Eater or anyone Obsessed with Food has a good chance of having this reaction to any of their food being taken away or destroyed. They can still qualify if they flip their lid over a specific food, but the main point is that they become distressed in a proportionately larger way than they would normally.


The eater and complainer aren't necessarily required to be the same person, but the food has to be acknowledged as good-tasting or well-liked by the eater, whether they have Bizarre Taste in Food or enjoy some Foreign Queasine. Situations where a Cordon Bleugh Chef becomes annoyed at a Discreet Dining Disposal happening to something they made distinctly wouldn't count.

This has a tendency to involve confectionery and pastry. Could be seen as an in-universe reaction to They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich. Also see The Alcoholic, for whom wasting is another angry reaction entirely. Compare My Favorite Shirt.


    open/close all folders 

  • Nobody better lay a finger on Bart Simpson's Butterfinger, because he's been known to use nasty booby traps to make that point clear in various commercials (for example hooking up an electric buzzer to one which shocks Homer when he tries to steal it).
  • There are a few of these made by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, which have the slogan "If it's made with 100% Canadian milk, it's worth crying over." One example includes a freeze frame of people at a fancy dinner party all crying, including the dog after one of them accidentally spills the fondue pot.
    • Another one shows a bus full of campers all eating ice cream. Then the bus hits a pothole, causing all of the ice cream to fly off the camper's cones and onto the ground, making all the campers cry as the bus enters the camp, which is ironically called "Camp Happy."

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics has one strip where Reggie repeatedly pranks Jughead while the gang is at the beach. Juggie takes this all in stride, until he discovers that Reggie has put sand in his sandwich, rendering them inedible. He immediately gives Reggie a series of beatdown that ends with the latter plunging head-first in the ocean. The rest of the gang then reminds him that while Jug can pretty much let any abuse towards himself slide, if you mess with his food, you're a goner.
  • Occurs in The Boys when Hughie talks to The Female from her bedside while she's in a coma and tries to take one of her chocolate limes. She then immediately wakes up and breaks his arm.
  • The Disney comic "Tele Paperopoli International" has a Big Eater technician mourn tearfully for his sandwiches after they're lost in a fire in the TV studio.
  • The Infinity Gauntlet: Galactus gets involved because Thanos sent out an energy wave that destroyed (among many other things) a planet that Galactus was about to consume. This angered the Planet Eater enough for him to get a bunch of other Cosmic Tier entities and come back looking for revenge.
  • In Lobo: Portrait of a Victim, a bar shootout occurs when the troublesome Aggro Gang decides to toss their crusts of their eaten pizza about, with one of them landing into the unsuspecting mug of one (soon to die) complainer. Several bullets (and dead people) later, one of the bullets strikes the Main Man's hard-earned mug of beer. You should already know what happens when the Main Man gets angry.
  • Red Sonja in her The Art of Blood and Fire run is a functional alcoholic generally appalled when alcohol should be present but isn't. She's horrified when Gribaldi wastes good ale by cooking with it. Later she uses his soup as an improvised weapon to his own horror.
  • Super Mario Adventures: for a brief moment, after losing his lunch box when Mario accidentally squashes it flat, Luigi utters a Big "NO!" and cries, saying he's "been having pipe dreams about that cannelloni".
  • Tintin: In "The Crab with the Golden Claws", Captain Haddock is willing to run headlong into gunfire (swearing like well, a sailor) when a Bedouin sniper shatters his precious bottle of whiskey (which he'd stolen from the Foreign Legion commander's office).
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Taking sweets from Etta Candy is a good way to ensure you'll be pummeled, which for some reason does not stop Oscar from regularly buying her a box of chocolates and then trying to see how many he can steal for himself. He ends up getting decked just for sliding an arm around her on a date because she figures he's just trying to sneak some of the candy.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts:
    • In one strip, Snoopy is sleeping on his doghouse as Woodstock walks in, whistling happily. Then Snoopy is woken up by an angry shout from inside, followed by Woodstock storming off. In the last panel, Snoopy says, "I ate the last piece of cheesecake!"
    • In this strip, Linus gets very upset after Lucy breaks a cookie in his milk. Lucy tried to tell him to calm him by saying, "Never cry over sludged milk!"
    • In another strip, Linus has a craving for a jelly-bread sandwich but finds out they're out of jelly. His reaction is, "AAAUUGH!'

    Fan Works 
  • A Case Study in the Sturdiness of the Rookie 9:
    • Chouji is so determined to learn who's been raiding his chocolate stash back home that he convinces his teammates to help him set up a wiretap.
    • Kakashi proves to be even worse about this: when Genma swipes his dessert during a picnic, Kakashi responds by assigning his team a fake C-Rank mission to earn Genma's trust with the intent of playing a vicious prank on him.
  • In Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily, Alex Shepherd has just baked a box of brownies that he's going to use as a Pass the Popcorn moment on Easter getting to torture their partner for being kicked out of a window. But on his way there, he gets attacked and the brownies are ruined (not to mention that it's raining). Alex gets slightly annoyed and only decides to fight back because as the Bogeyman, he's personally fighting everyone else to make Specter feel sorry for abusing his partner.
  • Legendarily Popular: When a flock of Taillow steal various items from their lunch, Zapdos is merely annoyed at the rudeness — but then one of them steals a dango ball.
    Zapdos: You did not just do that.
    Pikachu: Get down!
    Zapdos: THUNDER!

  • In Airplane II: The Sequel, the announcement that there is no more coffee sparks a riot on board, after far graver news does not garner a reaction.
  • Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn): After being chased through the streets by low-level Gotham thugs and street cops, Harley Quinn's post-hangover breakfast sandwich gets knocked into the street in a confrontation with Renee Montoya.
  • Parodied at Blue Jasmine, where Chili, reunited with his fiance Ginger, tells her to not touch the last slice of pizza. She takes it and dangles it in front of his face, teasing, "Is this yours? Is this yours?" He not only grabs the pizza, but snatches her up too and takes her away to the bedroom, where we overhear him saying, "This is mine, and this is mine, and this is mine..."
  • The Caine Mutiny (where the "strawberry incident" is the defense's biggest argument to prove Queeg's incompetence) is an example where it is not played for laughs, and a good example of why treating such a thing as Serious Business is an unhealthy obsession.
  • In Every Which Way but Loose, a big good ol' boy at a bar gets annoyed when Philo repeatedly reaches across him to grab a handful of peanuts from the bowl (presumably to bring home for Clyde the orangutan). When Philo takes his last handful, the guy yells, "Put 'em back!" and begins mocking Philo, earning him a punch to the jaw.
  • In Go West, Young Lady, Killer Pete's gunshots cause Bill's Endangered Soufflé to fall, which in turn makes her go downstairs an confront the murderous outlaw armed only with the fallen soufflé.
  • In the original Home Alone this sparks the fight between Kevin and his older brother Buzz when the latter taunts the former about having eaten the last slice of cheese pizza before Kevin even got any.
  • In Police Academy 6: City Under Siege, after blacking out the city, the three crooks are laughing and walking down a street with ice cream cones, when Ox drops one of his; he yells, "Oh, Crapola!", then grabs the edge of a car, and tips it over. Ace remarks, "He is such a baby..."
  • In the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, the turtles hold a memorial service for a pizza that has grown moldy in their lair.
  • Tallahassee in Zombieland is on a quest for Twinkies throughout the film. He nearly breaks down upon finding one that has been hit by a stray bullet. Happy ending: He later finds a fresh Twinkie. The "grievance" part is pretty well justified once the rest of the crew figures out that Tallahassee is focusing on this obsession to try not to think of the fact he lost his baby boy to the zombies.

  • The climax of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has the Knave of Hearts on trial and at risk of being beheaded for stealing the Queen's tarts. But then, the Queen of Hearts responds to every annoyance by ordering the culprit beheaded.
  • In Saki's story "The Chaplet", the chef of a hotel is horrified when the dining room orchestra strikes up the title musical piece, as everyone stops to listen and either let his carefully prepared dishes grow cold or just kind of munch on them without really tasting them. When the conductor insists on an encore, the chef drowns him in a soup tureen.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent is informed that the earth has been destroyed, and tries to process the information. The sheer enormity of the entire planet being gone is too much for him, so he tries to break it down one item at a time. Losing his friends and family? No reaction. New York no longer exists? No reaction. Every Bogart film erased? Ouch. No such thing as a McDonald's hamburger?! Arthur passes out from shock.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Sam remarks he wasted a good apple after he throws it (half-eaten already) right into the face of some particularly unpleasant character.
    • Gollum is hardly pleased with cooked meat, seeing it as "spoiled" when he'd rather have it raw. This ends up as just another way him and Sam butt heads, particularly when Sam turns a rabbit he caught into a stew.
      • The movie turned it into a minor meme: "Stupid fat hobbit! You ruins it!"
  • Occasionally happens (and always Played for Laughs) in Ranger's Apprentice, due to Horace being a Big Eater.
  • Mr. Men: The story Mr. Strong And The Ogre has Little Miss Tiny crying when one of the titular ogres steals her lollipop.
  • Night Watch Discworld: While his fellow revolutionaries wish for high-minded ideals on the eve of a major battle, Vimes hopes for a boiled egg. To his surprise, he gets a breakfast delivery right before the fighting starts, only to watch his egg get destroyed by an arrow. This proves his Rage-Breaking Point.
    Vimes: That was my egg, you bastard! With [toast] soldiers!
  • Roys Bedoys:
    • In “No Stealing, Roys Bedoys!”, Loys cries when Roys steals his chocolate bar. Justified in that Loys is only two.
    • In “It’s a Blackout, Roys Bedoys!”, Loys cries at the prospect of ice cream melting.
  • Taken to perhaps its ultimate extreme in We Have Always Lived in the Castle, in which the narrator Merricat is Denied Food as Punishment and takes revenge by poisoning her whole family.
  • In Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Magic, "The Crybaby Cure" has little Melody Foxglove cured of her Prone to Tears habit by being given a tonic that turns her tears into floods. A boy stealing her gingerbread during lunch at school is what finally makes her cry so much that she nearly drowns, teaching her the intended lesson once and for all.

    Visual Novels 
  • C14 Dating: A justified case, as it happens when Melissa is hoping to improve an already sour mood by having her trademark soup with added cheese, so her mood worsens when she notices that she has been dropping her cheese next to her bowl instead of inside it.
  • Happens off-screen in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair during Ibuki's final Free Time Event, when after having a deep discussion with Hajime, she quickly switches over to thinking it'll be a good idea to steal snacks from Akane and kick Nekomaru in the butt for training/fun. According to Hajime's account of the event, he narrowly escaped.
  • In Steins;Gate, Okabe ends up in a rather heated argument with Kurisu after he stole a pudding cup from the fridge clearly labeled with her name.

    Web Animation 
  • It's become a Running Gag on DEATH BATTLE!, to the point that Season 7 turned it into a minor meme.
    • "Kirby vs Majin Buu" starts with Buu turning the creatures of Dreamland into candy...only for it all to be inhaled by Kirby. Buu's response? "You make Buu mad! Bu make you DEAD!"
    • The Season 2 finale, "Pokémon vs. Digimon", starts with Tai's Agumon happily roasting a marshmallow over a fire. Red notices the dinosaur Digimon, and attempts to catch him in a Poké Ball, mistaking him for a Pokémon. The ball bounces off of poor Agumon's head and knocks his snack to the floor, much to his annoyance.
      Agumon: You killed my marshmallow!
    • Season 3 episode "The Joker vs. Sweet Tooth", opens with Needles Kane relishing in the aroma of an ice cream cone. The Joker drives by in a Batmobile with a paint job, leans out the cockpit, and seizes it. A vehicular Death Battle ensues.
    • Season 7 episode "Leonardo vs. Red Ranger Jason opens with Leonardo about to have a pizza he picked up recently. Then Jason Lee Scott accidentally jogs into him and knocks his pizza onto the road. Initially, Jason is about to apologise, but then he mistakes Leo for one of Rita Repulsa's monsters, and attacks him. Leo's response? "Give me a break! You're the monster for ruining my pizza!"
    • Season 7 episode "Beerus vs. Sailor Galaxia" opens with Beerus about to enjoy an ice cream on the beach... right when Sailor Galaxia blows up the Earth along with his ice cream. He's not happy about this.
      Beerus: It's unwise to vaporize a god's dessert.
    • Season 7 episode "Wally West vs. Archie Sonic": Wally and Sonic get into a footrace, which turns ugly after Sonic mockingly offers a bite of his chili dog to Wally, who eats the whole thing.
    • On Season 5 of DBX, Danny Phantom incurs the anger of Ben 10 by stealing his pizza.
  • In episode 9 of The G Mod Idiot Box, Derrick bothers Alex while he's trying to enjoy a snack in peace. When Derrick knocks it out of Alex's hand and into the water. Alex's reaction is to incinerate the entire planet in rage.
  • In an episode of Marvel Super Heroes: What The—?! focusing on Deadpool's pop culture-themed nightmares, he's subjected to the torture of having to watch a fully-prepared taco be crushed, broken apart and ripped to shreds.
    "The taco never hurt anyone! It was so delicious! Please, stop it, stop it, I beg you! No-o-ooo!
  • In a particular Viewer Mail segment in The Most Popular Girls in School, Mackenzie reveals that the reason why she ruined Shay's life was because she ate her Lunchable back in 2nd grade.
  • In the Volume 3 premier of RWBY, the character Blake has her bowl of noodles and fish taken away from her because the team can't pay for their meal. She utters a Little "No" and slumps forward onto the counter in defeat.


    Web Original 
  • In Don't F With My Cream Freddie Wong ignores an armed robbery happening in the shop behind him until one of the Mooks decides to knock his ice cream onto the ground just to be a dick. Then he gets a little too Trigger-Happy...
  • This Vine where the protagonist discovers he only has 69 cents, not sufficient for chicken nugget.
  • Cream Heroes has a Kittisaurus episode where Claire hides treats in different sized cups. Dodo struggles to get treats out of the small cup so Lala shows him how to do it. She eats the treat he was after so he punches her face in response.

    Web Video 
  • In SuperMarioLogan, Shrek becomes angry whenever somebody else eats his cheesecake. When Toad ate it without realizing it was Shrek's in "Toad's Mistake 3", Shrek gave him a massive beating.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Joey gets violently upset at the Pharaoh when he eats his sandwich.

    Real Life 
  • A man in Baltimore pulls a gun on his family for taking a bite of his sandwich. (No, seriously, he did. Fortunately, it seems the police were not amused.)
  • One of a handful of Homicide Hunter cases that haven't been covered in the TV show (but is in Kenda's new book) involves an elderly man who shot his slacker grandson after the latter wolfed down the Popeye's chicken wings he'd just bought.
  • A Cracked article, The 7 Most Ridiculous Cases of Misplaced Priorities, has a story about a woman named Hersha Howard who chased her roommate Jasmine Wanke with a pair of scissors, hit her with a cutting board and bit her breast for eating her Thin Mints.


Video Example(s):


What'd I do to you?

Arya Stark, did you just destroy Shaggy's pie sandwich? Zoinks! You just made him unleash 1% of his full power!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / LostFoodGrievance

Media sources: