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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 Minor Injury Overreaction.

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."

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the Adventures of the Little Koala episode "The Mysterious Moa Bird", Laura helps out in the kitchen and actually makes her own eucalyptus cakes. Nobody gets to try any, however; the cakes are destroyed when Roobear crashes his hot air balloon into the house. Laura is very upset over her wrecked cakes.
  • The easiest way to anger the normally peppy Charmy from Black Clover is to try to steal her meal or waste food, manifesting her giant ram to attack enemies who do so. The Eye of the Midnight Sun ruining her vegetable garden causes her to angrily rally the Black Bulls to make them pay.
  • At the start of the "Greenback Jane" arc from Black Lagoon, Mr. Elvis fires into the Rip-Off Church, against the advice of his friend Lobos who knows Roanapur, which is enough to piss off Eda already, but the reason Revy gets involved, other than being pissed off at being shot at? His bullet went right through her shot of whiskey. It does not end well for Mr. Elvis, Lobos, or their buddies.
  • In the Cowboy Bebop episode "Heavy Metal Queen", Spike has a hangover and is making a drink called a Prairie Oyster to remedy it. The last ingredient, a raw egg, is all that's needed. But it's knocked into his lap due to a fight in the bar he was in. Spike stares at it solemnly before deciding to join in on the fight, and utterly curb-stomps those responsible.
  • Light Yagami in Death Note is able to manipulate Ryuk into helping with his plans for once by denying him apples, and any time he's had to go without them has been treated the same as some form of withdrawal. This is one of the few times a shinigami has a direct effect on the story.
  • In the Devil May Cry anime, Morrison is able to coax Dante into doing a job after he convinces Dante's favorite pizza place to stop delivering to him until he can pay his tab. Dante gets especially frustrated at Patty, not over her re-decoration of his shop, but over her eating his strawberry sundae.
  • In Dragon Ball, Goku and Yajirobe get into a fight because Goku had eaten a fish Yajirobe had left over a fire. Well, that's why Yajirobe started the fight. Goku did it because he thought Yajirobe was working with Piccolo, the demon that killed Krillin.
  • From Dragon Ball Z:
    • All the Buu forms love their sweets, but Super Buu takes this Up to Eleven after he is trapped in the Time Chamber by Piccolo. He asked if he would have sweets and Piccolo smugly tells him no, cue him throwing a tantrum that breaks dimensions.
    • It gets one-upped by Beerus in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, who throws a temper tantrum after he misses out on a chance to eat some pudding. And by temper tantrum, we mean that he would've destroyed the Earth had Goku not stopped him. This, despite the fact that it would've been beyond trivial to make another batch for him if he had just stayed calm and shown a little patience.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima's first violent mood swing in Durarara!! came from his brother Kasuka stealing a pudding with his name on it from the fridge when they were kids (which Shizuo broke a bone attempting to toss at him).
  • Pictured above: Erza Scarlet in Fairy Tail takes her cake very seriously, and at one point beats on everyone around her after the slice she was eating gets knocked onto the floor, particularly Elfman for accidentally stepping on it only a moment later.
  • In Gintama, the introduction of the titular character was displayed like this when his parfait was destroyed due to a fight in the bar he was in. He explains that his doctor told him he was close to gaining diabetes and had to cut back on the sweets. So he limited himself to a parfait a week. As one can imagine, he's not pleased that he wasn't able to finish it.
  • In Gundam Build Fighters, Reiji and Aila get into a fight over a meat bun and accidentally throw it into a nearby river in the ensuing struggle. Naturally, they start yelling at each other, marking the official start of their Belligerent Sexual Tension, aptly christened via Memetic Mutation as "The Meatbun Chronicles."
  • In the eighth episode of Kamisama Minarai: Himitsu no Cocotama, Mogutan doesn't lift a finger to help the other Cocotamas scare off Kokoro's cat Amanda and instead focuses on stuffing his face with candy. It isn't until Amanda crushes one of the pieces of candy he was going to eat with her paw that he actually does anything to help.
  • Kira Kira Happy Hirake Cocotama has a Big Eater named Chako as one of the characters, who flies into a rage whenever food she wanted to eat gets consumed by someone else.
  • K-On! has multiple examples, but the most extreme ones come from Episode 14 of the 2nd season, where Yui and Mio get the strawberries stolen off their cake. In Yui's case, she whines for the rest of the episode about how the strawberry represents the cake's crown, or its very heart and soul, while Mio actually starts to cry, as if heartbroken.
  • Maho Girls Pretty Cure!: Mirai cries when her pancakes get eaten. But when she finds out that Chikurun ate them, she enchants the curtains to trap him.
  • Elma went full dragon form in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Elma's OL Diary when a burglar accidentally stepped on a bag of chestnuts she had bought and would have murdered him if Kobayashi hadn't come by with some Taiyaki.
  • Naruto is enraged after finding out that an impostor stole his ramen, triggering the Kyuubi's chakra. Then we see one-thousand Kage Bunshin.
    • A good way to piss Chouji off is by eating the last potato chip.
  • Eishun Konoe in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, upon the Ala Rubra being attacked by Rakan, makes a point to fight him first... after Rakan's massive, thrown sword destroys the picnic they were having and spills the nabe he made.
    "Anyone who wastes my food... I slice."
  • Mio from Nichijou angrily attacks her sister after she replaces the strawberry on her cake with a Shogi piece. This was after she found her sister had also messed with the Mont Blanc she was looking forward to.
  • Plenty of these in Ojamajo Doremi are caused when Doremi misses out on eating steak.
  • One Piece:
    • A major Berserk Button for Sanji. If you waste food in front of him, be prepared to get hurt. Because as a child, he almost starved to death.
    • Carrot is so obsessed with the vegetable she is named after, she once savagely attacked Luffy for taking one of hers.
    • For a rare non-comedic and enforced example from the Punk Hazard arc, the kidnapped children go on an Unstoppable Rage for more candy as a result of the withdrawal symptoms from the NHC10 drug they were slipped.
    • Probably the worst case is Charlotte "Big Mom" Linlin, one of the Four Emperors. She has such a Sweet Tooth that islands under her "protection" must pay her back in tons of candy. If they can't, she'll have that country destroyed. She's been known to go on destructive rampages if a certain sweet she's craving isn't immediately provided. When the Straw Hats destroy the wedding cake for one of her tea parties, she begins killing her chefs when they tell her that they can't bake a new one. Ironically, this trope actually protects her life for a few moments. The only time her Made of Iron body becomes weak is when a photo of her Living Emotional Crutch is damaged, but when the Straw Hats break it, she's so furious over the cake that her mind locks up because she doesn't know what she's more upset about.
  • Honey in Ouran High School Host Club spends an episode without cake due to the cavities eating so many has caused him. He ends up taking it out on the club and causing a rare argument with Takashi (they make up in the end). In Renge's words, life for Honey without cake is "a living hell."
  • Pikachu in Pokémon spends a whole scene crying over the loss of a ketchup bottle it was licking from.
    • Charizard flips out when Team Rocket destroys the table full of food he is eyeing.
    • May has made reservations at a restaurant and was ticked when Team Rocket happens to steal all the food, ruining Dawn's, er, perception of her.
  • Kyouko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica tends to react very badly to people wasting their food. Much like Sanji, this is soon revealed to be a consequence of a traumatically hungry childhood.
    "Don't waste food. I'll kill you."
  • Seton Academy: Join the Pack!: The cooking club makes panda dumplings to welcome the panda idol to their school. However, when a disguised Mei-Mei sneaks in and eats all the dumplings, Yukari picks up a kitchen counter with the intent of crushing her with it.
    • And when Mei-Mei demands more, Jin (between her attitude and his hate for animals) refuses and tosses her out during her tantrum. Mei-Mei then decides to get her dumplings by bribing the female club members to pick panda dumplings as their next dish.
  • The first episode of Slayers NEXT starts off with Lina and Gourry having a massive and lovely-looking lunch... which is quickly cut short by a fight breaking out and a thug crashing into their table. Lina is completely devastated and responds by blasting the thugs outside so she could personally beat them up with her own fists.
  • In Sonic X, the teacher absently picks up a burger belonging to a police officer. Said officer pursues him beyond the rest of the episode, threatening to call out the SWAT team.
  • A variation in SSSS.GRIDMAN: Akane tries to give Yuta a "special dog"—basically a shrink-wrapped sandwich with a hot dog in it—but a trio of girls accidentally tosses a volleyball into it, partly squishing it. After an extremely long awkward pause, they apologise profusely; Yuta isn't bothered by the smashed sandwich and eats it anyway. Akane, however, uses her Reality Warper powers later that day to rewrite history such that all three girls died years ago.
  • In Stepping on Roses, the heroine Sumi is rendered gobsmacked when her husband Sōichirō throws the "peasant" food she cooked away, then leaving his breakfast half eaten. Of course, since Sumi grew up dirt poor with barely enough food for herself, let alone her brothers and sisters, this attitude is completely understandable.
  • Vash in Trigun: Badlands Rumble complains quite loudly when a number of bandits smash his doughnut into crumbs.
    "That is the meanest thing anyone's ever done to me! Why do you wanna ruin other people's food?! I can't eat a pile of smashed up crumbs!"
    • As well as the original series, you waste or step on perfectly good pudding. Milly will drop you where you stand.
    • It should be noted that the characters live in an environment of extreme scarcity, so this kind of attitude is reasonable, but in their case, it's still treated as excessive and humorous.
  • In one story in Urusei Yatsura, Ataru and Lum end up spending a quiet evening at home with Ataru's parents gone. Lum even makes a special dinner for him. Unfortunately, their dinner and their night get interrupted by angry/jealous boys from their school who invade Ataru's house. In the process, they wreck Lum's dinner for Ataru - which pisses her off big time.
  • In an extra gag page of Vampire Knight, Yuuki can be seen punching Zero when she believes he ate the pudding she was saving (it was actually Headmaster Cross who ate it).
  • In The Wallflower's Valentines Day Episode, Sunako had spent the episode fiercely craving the day's chocolate while her Bishōnen room-mates had been avoiding their fangirls all school-day. This culminates in her finally making her own decadent, layered and exceedingly-tall chocolate cake at home while the rest of them are starving and exhausted. Soon after she gets a single bite, they've already devoured most of it.
    "But that Valentine's chocolate was supposed to be for me..."
  • In Ultimate Muscle, our cowardly hero Mantarou is unwillingly shipped off to Earth and would rather not fight the dMp thug who accosts him and Meat. Then the thug makes the mistake of trashing the boxed lunch Mantarou's mom packed, and Mantarou wipes the floor with the guy.
  • Yo-Kai Watch has a number of sketches involving Nate being inspirited by a Yokai named "Gourmand" at lunchtime. He obsesses over any and everything he eats, giving flowery and ridiculous descriptions of each bite or the food in general, but he never gets to finish it. He usually ends up dropping it, losing it to someone else or ruining it. This is his Despair Event Horizon. During his flowery rants, he'll talk about how people don't know how to properly enjoy whatever it is they're eating that day.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

    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 
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock: One day a year the Teamsters give everyone these awesome sandwiches from a deli they know about but won't tell anyone else where it is. Liz goes into a blinding rage when her sandwich is stolen.
    Liz: (to Kenneth) I don't know how, but you're going to get me another sandwich. Or I'm going to cut your face up so bad, you'll have a chin. (turns to everyone) You'll all have chins!
  • Sadly, one reason why dogs on Animal Planet Heroes programs can end up being euthanized is if they react violently to a rubber hand held near their food as they're eating, demonstrating that they're too aggressive to be adoptable.
  • In a Season One episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Terry, Gina, and Amy go on a diet which prescribes them very little portions of food. Irritable from hunger already, the fire-breathing dragon is unleashed when Amy's almond is stepped on.
    Amy: Sorry?! You bumbling son of a bitch! You just ruined my life! I hope you get hit by a truck and a dog takes a dump on your FACE! I HOPE YOU DROWN IN A TUB! I HOPE YOU HAVE ANEURYSM AFTER ANEURYSM AFTER ANEURYSM!
  • One episode of Castle has the eponymous character highly irritated that his leftovers are disappearing from his fridge, so much so that he sets a booby trap in the fridge consisting of a dye-pack such as those used by banks to thwart robberies. His teen daughter was not amused when she ended up looking like a smurf.
  • Doctor Who: Minisode "Good Night" features a Played for Drama version, when Amy finds out that the worst day of her life was, apparently, the day when she dropped an ice cream she was going to eat. The Doctor takes her back to buy herself a new one.
    Amy: Hang on. Did I... did I drop an ice cream? That CAN'T be my saddest memory.
    The Doctor: Remembering ice cream is always sad.
  • One episode of Friends features an incident in which Ross' sandwich (specially made by Monica out of Thanksgiving leftovers) is eaten by one of his coworkers. Ross' reaction is enough to convince his boss that he has "rage issues." His "MY SANDWICH?!" scream became one of the series' most famous moments.
    • In another episode, Joey is on a date, a date that ends poorly when she steals a few french fries from his plate.
  • To broaden the trope, in the final season of How I Met Your Mother the gang plan to toast Barney and Robin's wedding with a bottle of well-aged Glen McKenna, a highly-regarded, very expensive scotch described by Robin as old enough to buy its own scotch. Unfortunately for them, the bottle and their replacements get broken before anyone could drink it. Their final bottle is accidentally broken by the Jerkass lead singer of the wedding band and Ted is so angry he punches the guy in the face. The Mother, who plays bass in the band, anonymously buys Ted a glass of an even older vintage as a thank you for putting the singer in his place.
  • Nevel on ICarly once yelled at a little girl for accidentally knocking over a jar of pickles he was going to buy at the supermarket. This was caught on video and spread viral, making him a laughingstock.
  • In the Leverage episode "The Double Blind Job", two mooks are chasing a young woman, who collides with Hardison, who collides with Eliot behind him, spilling Eliot's coffee.
    Mook: FBI, sir. That young lady's in our custody!
    Hardison: (laughs) Oh, see, you made two mistakes, brah. First, you flashed that fake-assed FBI badge at me. Second, you spilled his coffee. (nods to Eliot, who has coffee down his shirt. Cue Disproportionate Retribution Curb-Stomp Battle)
  • In the Lucifer (2016) episode "Trip to Stabby Town", Dan is upset that someone (namely Lucifer) keeps eating his clearly labeled pudding. The influence of Azrael's Blade, which compels people to kill over the slightest grievance, nearly drives Dan to stab Lucifer to death over said labeled pudding.
  • A variant occurs in the M*A*S*H episode "Adam's Ribs". Hawkeye goes out of his way to order and have delivered to the 4077th (which is in Korea, remember, in the middle of a war zone) 40 pounds of ribs (plus sauce) from a restaurant called Adam's Ribs in Chicago, Illinois. And why did he go to such trouble? Because he was sick of army food and Adam's Ribs was the best food he could think of. At the end of the episode, the ribs are delivered and cooked and Hawkeye settles down to dig in... just in time for choppers and ambulances full of wounded people to arrive. Col. Blake and Trapper have to drag him out of the mess tent as he protests.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: During the time travel story arc, Pearl and Observer discover that Professor Bobo has become a celebrity in ancient Rome. Observer fears that Bobo's meddling with history could have dire effects on the timeline, but Pearl doesn't care. Observer convinces her to care by pointing out that, in the altered timeline, the Nabisco company may never come into being, thus "No more Chicken In A Biskit":
    Pearl: "Bobo is messing with my. Favorite. SNACK CRACKER?!"
    • Also, in the episode Hercules and the Captive Women, when a scene is shown with a couple of people running back and forth on the deck of a ship, Joel and the bots improvise an argument about a missing dinner roll and fruit cup.
  • NCIS: Gibbs Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine's coffee, if you want to live.
    • Gibbs also gets annoyed with Vance over a ruined danish. His Death Glare ensures that Vance will one day pay him back for it (which he does).
  • New Tricks: When somebody steals a sausage roll from Gerry's desk, he becomes obsessed with finding the thief.
  • Subverted twice over on an episode of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy after Maya eats a birthday cake that Kendrix makes for Damon's birthday. Most viewers would at first consider Maya an Ungrateful Bitch for doing that and getting angry when Kendrix blows her top... Until Maya realizes what it was for. (A case of Poor Communication Kills; Mirinoians don't celebrate birthdays.)
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Understudy," Jerry's girlfriend cries after dropping a hot dog she was eating.
    • George's subplot in "The Dealership" has him going to ridiculous lengths to prove that a car dealership employee ate his Twix bar, which had been stuck in the vending machine after he paid for it.
      George: All I want is my 75 cents back, an apology, and for him to be fired.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Harmony steals John's chocolate and frames Rodney.
  • On the "Trouble With Tribbles" episode of Star Trek, Kirk is not the least bit happy to find tribbles in his coffee and chicken sandwich. (Of course, he could simply be upset because of the bigger problem, that the tribbles are in the food dispensers - along with everything else - and causing everybody problems.)
  • In El Chavo del ocho, one of Chavo's major Berserk Buttons is seeing food getting wasted or carelessly thrown away, which is understandable because, as a poor kid with no money, Chavo doesn't have an easy access to food and drink as other people in the Vecindad.

    Video Games 
  • In Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, Lanza learns General Clemens was fed false intel by one of Captain Torres' men and hired Mimic Squadron to assassinate Trigger, just because he overshadows all Osean forces with his skills. His reaction is to complain that his cola got spilled during the resulting scuffle.
  • 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 Deadpool, Cable is able to convince Deadpool to battle Mister Sinister by pointing out that Sinister's success also means the destruction of his favorite taco restaurant. This shows the potential overlap with Food as Bribe.
  • In Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, Etna has gone rogue from Laharl's court, and considers him a deadly enemy, even fantasizing about murdering him over and over again. The reason? He stole her pudding!
  • In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, we first see Bashmaster lounging on an ice floe floating in a pool of juice while licking a popsicle. Donkey Kong falls onto the platform, knocking the popsicle out of Bashmaster's hand and into the juice, where it is promptly eaten by piranhas. Bashmaster angrily looks at DK, who smiles sheepishly. Cue Boss Battle.
    • As for Donkey Kong himself, he's largely presented as being more laid back than his predecessor, but the theft of his bananas upsets him like nothing else. That said, it's not the loss of one banana that typically sets him off so much as the loss of his clan's entire food supply.
  • In Dynasty Warriors and Warriors Orochi 3, one of Sima Zhao's conquest stages has him being attacked by his brother Sima Shi because he ate one his meat buns.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: An early Rogue's Guild quest ends with V'kebbe discovering the guildmaster, Jacke Swallow, stole her sandwich earlier. Since no one is above "the Code" that the Rogues Guild strictly enforces, V'kebbe takes relish in punishing Jacke for stealing from a fellow Rogue by dangling him from a rope outside the guild hall.
  • Half-Life 2: Episode 2: After you test the Magnusson Device, its inventor, Dr. Magnusson, tells you if you successfully defend the base, he'll forgive you for destroying his casserole in Black Mesa, over twenty years ago. This is a reference to the start of the first game, where you could turn on a microwave and explosively destroy its contents; turns out, the casserole belonged to him.
  • This is how the plot of Kirby: Squeak Squad begins, with someone stealing a strawberry shortcake just as Kirby was about to eat it. Getting it back is practically Kirby's entire motive for the entire game.
    • This is also basically the original Japanese plot of Kirby's Dream Land (and by extension the Spring Breeze mode in Kirby Super Star) - Kirby going after King Dedede because he stole everyone's food. Kirby is so obsessed with food that there are fandom jokes about Kirby destroying random warlords and Eldritch Abominations because someone ruined his lunch that day and he will not stop until the culprit gets their just desserts.
  • In Luigi's Mansion 3, Chef Soulfflé is introduced cooking a very smoky fish meal in a pan. Luigi vacuums up the smoke so he can see through the kitchen; a startled Chef Soulfflé accidentally drops the fish from the pan and angrily attacks Luigi in response.
  • Persona 4: Yukiko, twice:
    • She brings fried tofu on ramen for her lunch. She offers some to both the Player Character and Yosuke, and after taking a bite, the two of them rapidly eat the whole thing. (The player themselves have no say in this.) She's understandably ticked off for the rest of the scene.
    • When the group is eating at a ramen shop together, and Teddie discreetly nabs her unfinished bowl. He was left unable to move after having 10 of them along with hers, and she said something about leaving the bear behind.
  • In PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sweet Tooth is spending a scene admiring the strawberry ice cream cone he'd just prepared, even going so far as to carve a smiley face into the "round ball of heaven." His rivalry battle begins after Kratos knocks the cone to the ground for no reason (incidentally turning the smiley face upside down).
    You know, I worked real hard on that ice cream cone. REAL hard. Dunno if you got any money in that skirt of yours... But one way or the other, you're paying for it.
  • In Punch-Out!! on the Wii, Soda Popinski will occasionally get out a bottle and drink it to restore his health. However, you can knock it out of his hands before he has a chance. If you do, he'll launch a flurry of powerful uppercuts very quickly at you. Far worse is if you do the same thing to Doc Louis's chocolate bar during Doc Louis's Punch-Out!!, which makes his attacks much faster (and he gets out another chocolate bar straight away that you can't knock away).
  • A minor feud between Cerberus and Orthrus is caused when the former has his lunch stolen and thinks the latter did it in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. After a while of challenging each other, it turns out an Oni stole Cerberus' lunch.
  • In the intro to Sonic Generations, Sonic gasps and then looks dejected after the appearance of the Time Eater knocks his birthday chili dog into the air, then to the ground (which he has only managed to take one bite from). Thanks to the plot involving time travel, by the end of the game, he gets it back.
  • In Steins;Gate, Okabe end up in a rather heated argument with Kurisu after he stole a pudding cup from the fridge clearly labeled with her name.
  • The Heavy and Scout in Team Fortress 2 have a sort of rivalry regarding the Heavy's sandvich, starting with the Meet The Scout video, where the Scout takes the sandvich after beating up a Heavy. It became a Running Gag, with a series of in-game achievements for The Scout being able to steal a Sandvich from a fallen Heavy, and for The Heavy being able to protect it via killing 50 Scouts (called "Don't Touch Sandvich"). When it comes to his sandwich, "he's like a big, shaved bear that hates people."
  • Lampshaded by guards in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim who have clearly taken this complaint before.
    ''Let me guess: somebody stole your sweetroll...'
  • In Tekken 6, Asuka and Lili's shared ending has Lili causing Asuka to skid to a stop on her bike, sending her bento into the air to splatter onto the ground. Asuka gets pissed at this, and then casually dismissing that she's Late for School, they start to fight.
    "[Giving the pointer finger] You crossed the line... I'll show you what happens... when you mess with people's food!"
  • This is the entire plot of Titan Lunch Retaliation: A Titan goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Eyeball Monsters, Flying Squid, Dragons, Flying Monkeys, and Wiener Dogs because a giant bird stole his lunch.

    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 this is the reason why she ruined Shay's life.
  • 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 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • Hunson Abadeer is the Lord of Evil and a neglectful father, but according to the season two premiere "It Came From the Nightosphere" the moment that causes his daughter Marceline to give up on her relationship with him is when he ate her french fries. She even writes a song about their relationship and titles it, "Daddy, Why Did You Eat My Fries?". Unlike other examples of this trope, Marceline's grievance turns out to be very, very legitimate, as the episode "Memory of a Memory" shows those fries were scavenged in a post-apocalypse, meaning he stole food she needed to avoid starvation with.
    • Played for laughs in "Heat Signature", when Lumpy Space Princess gets melodramatically angry when Finn and Jake (who've been tricked into thinking they're ghosts and can turn invisible) knock over the can of beans she was cooking.
      LSP: Noooooo! Mah beeeaaaaaans!
  • An episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks has the trio visiting Dave's parents, who live on a farm, and ends up saving their farm. The cartoon concludes with everyone having breakfast and a chicken eating Theodore's breakfast. The chicken eating up all of Theodore's food leads to an "Everybody Laughs" Ending...for everyone except poor Theodore.
  • In American Dad!, Francine gets a job at the CIA, which Stan is uncomfortable with. As a ploy to get her fired, he tries to frame her by taking Deputy Director Bullock's (voiced by Patrick Stewart) sandwich, which he has very little patience for.
    Where. The hell. is my SANDWICH!?
    • There was also the episode where Steve eats a cookie that Roger wanted, and Roger decides to get back at Steve by trying to convince him that he's adopted. Even going as far as to burn all of Steve's baby pictures.
  • In the Angela Anaconda episode "Snow Mercy," Gina gets pretty upset when the snowball war that Angela and Johnny are having causes a slice of pizza she was enjoying to get covered in snow. When Angela wonders why Gina was so upset, Gordie tells her about the "snowball incident." A few years ago, a young Gina saved up to buy herself a hot dog that she was old enough to eat whole instead of someone cutting it up for her. But just as she was about to take a bite, a random snowball knocked the hot dog out of her hands. Gina was so devastated by this that she would visit the spot where the hot dog fell for weeks and leave a bouquet of flowers.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh cries when the tea he warmed up gets smacked out of his hand by Zuko.
  • In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, a Humongous Mecha shoots its Wave-Motion Gun, which Rath dodges. But it blows up a Mr. Smoothie restaurant, which Ben loves. Cue anxious glances at Rath from Kevin and Gwen.
  • On Bob's Burgers, Teddy, Bob's one regular customer, is usually a nice, ineffectual person. However, if he's deprived of any of Bob's food for any reason - like if Bob stops serving fries because his fryer is broken, or he stops offering his Burger of the Day (which Teddy almost never has) - he has a full-on psychotic breakdown.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends took this to ludicrous extremes in one episode where it involved sandwich lover Jackie Khones trying to file a lawsuit against Madame Foster for eating a sandwich that he believed to be legally his on account of writing his name in mustard on said sandwich.
    • An episode in the final season reveals that Jackie would’ve gone so far as to commit murder if anyone were to eat his sandwich.
  • Happens in Futurama when Hermes loses his sloppy joes. Bender swiped it and used it for fish bait.
    Hermes: MY MANWICH!!!
    • The episode "I, Roommate" has Professor Farnsworth ticked off when Fry has eaten an alien mummy in his possession which Fry had mistaken for jerky...because the Professor intended to eat the mummy!
  • Gaz of Invader Zim, being the person she is, does not take kindly at all to her brother stealing the last slice of pizza.
    "Let it be known that from this day, until the end of the day, vengeance will be mine! Dib, you will not know the meaning of peace, for I shall rain misery down upon your PIZZA STEALING HEART!!!"
  • Justice League Action: In "E. Nigma, Consulting Detective", it turns out the Joker kidnapped Batman as part of a plot to lure the Riddler to his doom, all because Nigma absentmindedly stole the Joker's donut one time while the two were in prison.
  • Kaeloo: Quack Quack's Berserk Button is when someone messes with his Trademark Favorite Food, yogurt. In the episode "Let's Play Prince Charming", Mr. Cat decides to shoot a bunch of yogurt containers with a bazooka to destroy them and make Quack Quack angry, which proves to be a very bad idea and leads to him getting severely injured by the end of the episode.
  • Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart: Badgerclops never takes the loss of any of his plentiful snacks well. He was perfectly alright with letting Adorabat have heavily armed Powered Armor that she can barely control, for example, right until she accidentally blows up his burger.
    Badgerclops: That's it, we have to get rid of that awful machine.
  • In Mickey Mouse, this is used as a Chekhov's Gag in the episode "Tapped Out". After Pete is sent flying right into Donald, he ruins the latter's nachos. Donald blows his stack and beats the crap out of Pete in a Big Ball of Violence, earning Mickey the victory.
  • A brief gag in the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic episode "Swarm of the Century". Background pony Lyra Heartstrings is about to eat a slice of pie, but the parasprites swarm in and eat it before she can get a bite. Lyra doesn't say anything, but she looks like she's on the verge of tears over this loss.
  • A very odd version happens in an episode of Lloyd in Space. Lloyd is talking to his friends about some of the bad dates his mom has had over the years, and one of them was an overly-sensitive alien named Weepned who cries over a dropped ice cream cone that wasn't even his.
    Weepned: But it was somebody's!
  • The Loud House. Throughout the episode "Potty Mouth," everyone believes that they heard Lily say "Damn it," when actually she just wanted a doughnut. She does eventually get one in the end, only for Charles, the family dog, to steal it from her, which causes her to get so angry, that she lets out a real swear word.
    • Lily gets hit with this again in the episode, "Any Given Sundae," where she was about to have her very first ice cream sundae. Just as she was about to taste it, a pigeon swoops down and knocks the sundae out of Lily's hands. And to make things worse, the family can't buy her another one because the ice cream shop closed early that day, which causes poor Lily to burst into tears. It does work out in the end though as the family heads to Flip's store and make up another sundae for Lily to enjoy.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Sidetracked", Perry and a Canadian agent named Lyla Lolliberry exploit this against Dr. Doofenshmirtz by eating his fries and causing him to make a scene in order to foil his societal convention trap.
  • Played with in The Powerpuff Girls, where a little girl pushes Mojo, causing him to drop his ice cream cone. He's about to flip out until the melting ice cream helps him break his writer's block and come up with a new plan to fight the girls.
  • In an episode of What's New, Scooby-Doo?, the episode's monster is a medieval dragon who tries to burn Scooby and Shaggy while they are trapped. They promptly pull out a pair of shish-kabobs, which they grill on the dragon's breath, and are about to eat them when Fred shows up and throws the kabobs at the dragon (which, of course, does nothing to hinder it). Shaggy complains, "What a waste of perfectly good kabobs!"
  • Homer from The Simpsons frequently displays this behaviour towards donuts and beer:
    • In one episode, he gives a Big "NO!" and bursts into tears while watching a science experiment in which a donut is burned in order to show how many calories it contains.
    • Really egregious in the episode in which Santa's Little Helper (the family dog) has to go to obedience school for chronic misbehavior. Marge is crestfallen when her mother's heirloom quilt is destroyed after being in her family for several generations. Homer is unconcerned, and very insincerely tries to comfort her...until he notices that Santa's Little Helper also ate his cookie, at which point he screams, cries, and finally decides that something needs to be done about the dog.
    Homer: This is not happening! This is not happening!
    • In a Treehouse of Horror segment, Bart uses a time-stopping watch to make donuts disappear one by one as Homer is about to eat them. Homer ends up trying to stab himself in despair, but Bart replaces the knife with a banana.
    • Yet another Treehouse of Horror episode has Homer having an accident with Time Travel and ends up creating an almost perfect future in which the family is rich, the kids are well-behaved and his hated sisters-in-law Patty and Selma are dead. He's prepared to accept this universe until he learns that no-one knows the word 'donut', which terrifies him enough to make him reactivate the time machine to fix the timeline (too late to see that in this universe, it rains donuts).
    • Homer isn't the only character sensitive to lost food. In "Bart Gets Famous", we learn Kent Brockman really loves his danishes. When Bart swipes Brockman's Danish (which resembles more of a cinnamon roll) to give it to Krusty, Brockman discovers his pastry missing and won't do the news report. (He is quickly replaced by Bumblebee Man, who actually does a better job than Kent himself - until his usual zany persona takes over.)
    Brockman: I don't read the news until I get my danish.
    • In another episode, during a soccer riot, someone knocks over all the beer Barney was carrying, which makes him so angry, he lets out a loud yell before plowing through the crowd like a battering ram.
  • South Park. At the beginning of "The Death of Eric Cartman", the boys are at Stan's house, waiting for Stan's mom to come home with their KFC. When it arrives, instead of helping with groceries, Cartman steals the crispy delicious skin off all the pieces in the bucket and goes home. The boys are devastated; Kenny actually begins sobbing from the trauma. As this is the most heinous thing Cartman's ever done, the other boys stop speaking to him, which leads him to believe he's dead and they can't see him anymore.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: In "Moving Bubble Bass", Bubble Bass gets Spongebob and Patrick to help him move with the offer of a free lunch. But when the boys learn Bubble Bass not only tricked them into doing all the heavy lifting but ate the food he was going to offer them, Patrick loses his cool.
    Patrick: If my friend Spongebob doesn't get his free lunch (cue close-up animated in Synchro-Vox) things are gonna get crazy!
  • Steven Universe: In "Monster Buddies", the title character manages to train one of the normally violent monsters that he and the team fight. When the other crystal gems find out, Steven attempts to show that he has trained it by commanding it to fire its acidic spit on command (triggered by squawking like a seagull). Since they are indoors, this naturally hits several objects, most notably a picture of Pearl on the wall, which aggravates both her and Garnet, but Amethyst thinks it's hilarious. At least she does until some of the acid spit hits the sandwich in her hands note . She is quick to turn on the little creature after that.
  • Happens at the end of Teen Titans Go!, "Legendary Sandwich", when Silkie sneaks in while the Titans (sans Raven) are bickering over who gets the first taste of the sandwich and outright devours it himself, only to spew it back out moments later.
  • In the Thomas & Friends episode "Thomas Comes to Breakfast", Thomas, thanks to a careless cleaner, crashes into a house where the stationmaster and his family live. His wife was furious and yells at Thomas for ruining the family breakfast, seemingly more concerned with that than the property damage inflicted by a steam train crashing into their house.
  • In one episode of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michelangelo is goofing off and eating pizza during training when two of his brothers wreck one of his pizzas, causing him to go on a rampage that ends up helping Michelangelo win the training match.
  • We Bare Bears: In "Lunch With Tabes", Ranger Tabes discovers someone ate the sandwich she had made for lunch while she was busy walking her dog Kirk, and interrogates the Bears as to who might have eaten it.

    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.


Kirito's Sandwich...

...It was innocent!

How well does it match the trope?

4.43 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / LostFoodGrievance

Media sources:

Main / LostFoodGrievance