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Mega Meal Challenge

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"Resting right in front of me were two jumbo-sized parfaits that I couldn't help but find a perversion of nature. You could have it for free if you ate the whole thing within half an hour, but this thing was clearly not built for human stomachs."
Ren Fujii, Dies Irae

Some times, a local restaurant (usually a steakhouse, at least in America) may decide to put the stomachs of gluttonous carnivores to the test. Usually has a time limit attached. Thus, they present a gigantic quantity of meat, possibly on a platter with other side dishes, that only those with iron stomachs can finish at all, much less finish in time. And should they succeed, fame and fortune awaits. Or at least their picture on a wall. The meal is usually as expensive as it is big, but anyone who wins the challenge doesn't have to pay for it. This is often extended to everyone at the challenger's table eating for free as well. Sometimes there is also an additional prize offered.

Differs from a standard Eating Contest in that where that trope is about two people eating to see which one can eat the most or finish the fastest, this one is about a single person taking on a gigantic platter of food, all alone with no help. Backing down or puking means game over.


Occasionally found in a Crossover with Masochist's Meal, when the item one must eat for the challenge is loaded up with Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce. But even then, there's usually a "quantity" requirement — eating just one chicken wing coated in the chef's famous ghost pepper sauce won't cut it, you've gotta eat a plateful (or at least a regular serving) of them.

Compare Gigantic Gulp and Giant Food.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Jewelpet:
    • Jewelpet Sunshine: Ruby and 5 other Jewelpets take Kanon out to cheer her up after breaking up with Mikage. One of the stops is a patisserie offering this challenge which Ruby takes, only to regret it when she sees the huge pyramid of sweets. Ruby allows Kanon to only eat what she wants since the outing is for her sake.
    • Jewelpet: Magical Change: Airi and her four Jewelpets have to go to a certain restaurant and eat an "ultra-large" bowl of pork ramen each so they can open a gate to Jewel Land and answer Opal's compulsory summons.
  • Urusei Yatsura has a restaurant challenge diners to finish their expensive and huge full-course meal, with it being free if they succeed. Since many of the main characters are some sort of Big Eater, the owner soon regrets this offer. Only Sakura makes it all the way through — and after taking appetite suppressant pills before hand!
  • In Three Leaves, Three Colors, Futaba often wins these, to the point that she's banned from many restaurants with the notable exception of Stuffed Hut. Hajime, however, always seems to have an issue completing these and so sees Futaba his rival.
  • Kanna and Saikawa both get extra-large parfaits that are free (plus a photo with one of the maids) if they're eaten in less than half an hour when they go to the Maid Cafe that Tohru works at in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Kanna's Daily Life. Kanna eats about half of hers in less than five seconds.
  • Flower Knight Dakini: Prakasha stops at ice cream and confectionery chain Polar Ice after seeing an advertisement for their Mega-Cream Donut Sandwich Pancake, which is a large pancake topped with two layers of donuts, another pancake, and a heaping dollop of cream. The challenge is to eat the whole thing by yourself, and you only have to pay for the cost of a regular pancake if you're successful. She does complete it, but even she thinks the size is excessive.
  • Chapter six of the Prison School spin-off manga, Fukukaichou Ganbaru, has Meiko Shiraki participate in and win a challenge in which she eats a large meal of rice and curry and in ten minutes and gets a free meal out of it.
  • Chapter 3 of Do Chokkyuu Kareshi x Kanojo sees Mako getting roped into helping Shinichi finish an enormous "Jumbo Parfait", a not-entirely-appetizing medley of ice cream, fruit, and grilled or fried meat. They manage to finish the entire thing in 90 minutes, and win a certificate for free parfaits for a year.

  • One Justice League crack fic has the League trapped upon a planet where they must either complete an eating challenge or die. Superman and The Flash fold, Hawkgirl completes it thanks to a pocket dimension in her stomach.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Great Outdoors: Chet accepts a restaurant's challenge to finish a 96-ounce steak in one sitting. There ends up being a disagreement as to whether he must eat the gristle and fat to complete the challenge. He does.
    Roman: Tell ya what: if I can get a dessert down him, think you can throw in some Paul Bunyan hats for the kids?
    Chet: *whimpers*
  • In Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, an ice cream dish called the Ziggy Pig seems to be this; after Napoleon Bonaparte finishes it, the garishly dressed employees make pig noises and give him a sticker.
  • In Whip It The Oink Joint serves one of these called "The Squealer."
  • Small Town of Anara is about a huge drinking horn that can only belong to one who can drain it in one go.

  • Referenced in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, where the main character mentions that his Uncle Gary finished the "Monstrilla Burger" in one sitting and got a tattoo for it.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's "Puddin'" short story "Cliff and the Calories".
    Cliff: Have you ever had a Mount Everest?
    Maureen: Huh?
    Cliff: They start with a big platter and build up the peak with twenty - one flavors of ice cream, using four bananas, butterscotch syrup, and nuts to bind it. Then they cover it with chocolate syrup, sprinkle malted milk powder and more nuts for rock, pour marshmallow syrup and whipped cream down from the top for snow, stick parsley around the lower slopes for trees, and set a little plastic skier on one of the snow banks. You get to keep him as a souvenir of the experience.
    Maureen: Oh, my!
    Cliff: Only one to a customer and I don't have to pay if you finish it.
  • In I Blame Society by Rich Hall (a spoof autobiography of Rich's alter-ego, Otis Lee Crenshaw), Otis remembers his Dad taking him to the Great Smokey Steak House to try the "72-ounce Rib Eye. Eat it all and you don't pay!" challenge.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Svengoolie, Jim Cornette tried to eat a giant "Svengoolie Burger," double order of fries and a milkshake in 30 minutes at the Squared Circle, a restaurant in Chicago owned by Lisa Marie Varon. Cornette jobbed to the burger. Cornette claims to have successfully beaten the challenge at other restaurants including the Heart Attack Grill.
  • Man v. Food is basically a collection of these. One of the biggest meals our host Adam had to try to finish was a burger the size of a truck tire and even then he needed the entire restaurant to eat it with him. Another was eating an omelette... made from a dozen eggs. Not all of these are big food, mind you: one had him eat dozens of raw oysters and another was eat just eight wings in 30 minutes. Said wings are marinated in the sauce of "Container of Poor Judgement" (marinated left over wing sauce that's added to everyday), you can only eat the wings when you start, only use your teeth and hands and the one napkin they give you.
  • The Bob Newhart Show: Bob & his friends go to a gourmet ice cream shop and one of his friends orders a "Whale," a giant sundae. The singing waiters bring it over with much fanfare. "You caaaaan't do caaaan't do can't eat a whale!" Bob doesn't want all that attention so he just orders a single scoop of ice cream. But the waiters still make a fuss: "Single scooper single scooper this man is a party pooper!"
  • On the Even Stevens episode "The King Sloppy", Louis and Twitty attempt to take on the titular burger. The challenge allows one bathroom break, so they both dress up in identical costumes and attempt the challenge under a fake name, planning to switch places in the bathroom and only eat half the burger each. They end up getting caught, though. Meanwhile, the British exchange student Ren is supposed to be looking after manages to escape from her, stumbles upon the steakhouse, and eats an entire King Sloppy by herself with little effort.
  • On Liv and Maddie, Maddie's teammate Stains takes on a restaurant's challenge of eating an entire roast chicken in under an hour to win a T-Shirt. She wasn't allowed to use her hands at all, and she's later seen wearing the T-Shirt while another character tells her that she didn't have to eat the bones too.
    Stains: Hey, when I commit, I commit, man.
  • Shake it Up overlaps this with Credit Card Plot, where the characters eat a big meal at a restaurant, then realize that they've maxed out the card and can't afford to pay their bill, so they are forced to take on the restaurant's mega meal challenge while they are already full from their meals in order to eat for free. Multiple people were allowed to eat from the same meal, which is unusual for the trope.
  • On an episode of Mystery Diners, a restaurant owner hired Charles to find up out why the number of winners of his mega meal challenged had skyrocketed, and why most of the new winners were petite woman (as opposed to the large guys who had made up the bulk of previous winners). It turned out one of the waiters was helping pretty girls to win by allowing them to share the sandwich with their friends, and sometimes throwing some of the food out for them.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • FoxTrot:
    • The first time Jason and Eileen go on a date (not that Jason would ever call it that), she convinces him to order a ridiculously huge bowl of ice cream bigger than his head.
    • Paige often orders huge sundaes, one so large that Jason has to wear cold weather gear simply to go to an ice cream store with her. In one strip, she gets a "kids' size cone" that's so big, she can barely lift it. (The ice cream store is clearly one that understands kids.)
  • Blondie In this strip, Dagwood and Blondie visit a restaurant that has a "Mountain of Spaghetti Special" that's so big it comes with a mop and bucket to clean up with. (Hopefully, a box of napkins too.)

    Video Games 
  • Persona 4 has the Rainy Day Special Mega Beef Bowl Challenge. Served at Chinese Diner Aiya, the bowl helps raise three random character statistics, making it an ideal way for the player to spend rainy days, where most Social Links and other related activities are deactivated. The bowl can only be finished if the player maxes out the four stats needed (Understanding, Knowledge, Courage, and Diligence).
  • Persona 5 has the Big Bang Challenge at Big Bang Burger, which involves eating increasingly oversized burgers to win accessories and parameter gains in 4 of the 5 social stats categories. Each successive challenge requires two, three, then four levels each in the Guts, Knowledge, and Proficiency stats. Completing the challenge also gives points towards Charm, but they are not required for the challenge itself.

    Visual Novels 
  • Dies Irae features a small scene with two of the main characters potential love interests, Marie and Kasumi, engaging in an Eating Contest involving two Jumbo-Sized Parfaits that you have to eat in under half an hour or have to pay up 7000 yen for each. Marie ends up finishing hers within the time limit while Kasumi fails and ends up going home with a stomach ache. Fortunately for her, Ren bailed her out on the pay.

    Web Animation 
  • Kirby Guardian: Kawasaki's restaurant has one of these in the form of the Bottomless Pit, which consists of 100 plates in total. Adeleine orders this and she and the ten Kirbies complete the challenge together. In doing so their prize is that they don't even have to pay.

  • El Goonish Shive: During a road trip Grace orders a huge pancake breakfast. Even though only three people in the 25-year history of the restaurant have succeeded in finishing the "Pancake Mount Doom" meal, Grace does so with ease and gets her picture on the Wall of Fame.
  • In the Touhou 4koma doujin Life of Maid, Hong Meiling, the Scarlet Devil Mansion's resident Chew Toy, talks Sakuya into going with her to an ice cream parlor that they find out is run by Letty and Cirno. The ice cream parlor has a Super Winter Earthquake challenge, which has entrants trying to eat a massive bowl of ice cream in 30 minutes or less to try to win 30,000 yen. The reigning champion of the contest is resident Touhou Big Eater Yuyuko, who finished it off in 5 minutes. When Meiling tries to take on the challenge, she fails miserably, and learns that those who lose have to pay 10,000 yen, resulting in Meiling having to Work Off the Debt as a waitress after Sakuya bugs out with her time-stopping ability.
  • Hang In There Kogasa San has seen a few of these, thanks to the author being a major foodie. For just one example, the arc relating his trip to Anime Boston 2012, the group ate at Eagle's Deli and one of them (represented by Momiji) tried the "Challenge Burger", a gigantic bacon cheeseburger and five pounds of french fries that has to be eaten within one hour, with those who succeed getting the right to name a new burger. Unfortunately, Momiji wasn't able to finish it.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Camp Lazlo revolves around the characters trying to get Camp Kidney on a Prickly Pines restaurant's place mats, which feature a map of the Prickly Pines area, including a vacant spot where Camp Kidney is located. The cost-effective way of doing this is to eat a gigantic steak that still continues to grow with each bite. The task goes to Scoutmaster Lumpus because of his established fondness for meat.
  • The Simpsons:
    • One episode has Homer challenging a trucker to an eat-off involving a very large steak. Homer loses the challenge, the trucker finishes the meal, and promptly dies of a heart attack. Also responsible for this golden line from Marge:
      Marge: Homie, NO! Don't fill up on bread!!
    • Another episode has Homer trying to learn more about Lisa by hiring a detective to spy on her. The bill includes 40 dollars for a steak. The detective explains that it'd be free if he managed to eat it all.
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Road Rash", Heffer stops at a diner while Rocko tries to fix the tape player on their motorbike (and accidentally trashes it in the process). Heffer asks for the biggest thing on the menu, which happens to be the Knockwurst Nightmare, a dish consisting of 570 pounds of pig parts in two miles of intestines, which no one has ever finished. Heffer asks for two, only to be told that "there aren't enough pigs in the country." Heffer eventually finishes it, and wins a hot-dog-shaped truck for him and Rocko to finish their trip.
  • In the Regular Show episode "Eggscellent", Rigby tries to finish a giant omelet to win a trucker hat. When he's hospitalized in a food coma as a result (he's allergic to eggs), Mordecai takes on the challenge for him, in hope that winning the hat might snap Rigby back to normal. Using the notes kept by a previous park worker who also tried to win the hat and the help of Benson and the other park workers, and despite the best efforts of the cook to stop him, Mordecai finishes the omelet and is transported into a cave where he has to pick the correct hat or die. He chooses the correct hat and brings it back to Rigby, who wakes up. Then he sees another ad on TV advertising the Raise the Steaks challenge, a steak and eggs challenge meant for two contestants. Rigby wants to do it by eating the steak while Mordecai eats the eggs. Mordecai and the rest of the gang decide to take the hat back, hoping he'll slip back into a coma.
  • King of the Hill: In "And They Call It Bobby Love", Bobby has just gone through a bad breakup with a girl, who was a vegetarian. When the Hills are out to dinner at a steakhouse, he sees that she is also there with her family. He then snaps out of his funk and decides to attempt the steakhouse's Mega Meal Challenge, while looking her straight in the eye the whole time, and orders his huge steak rare for maximum spite. He succeeds, but vomits in the alley when he gets home.
  • In the We Bare Bears episode "Burrito", Grizz takes a restaurant's burrito challenge, in which he must eat one of every kind of burrito they sell in one hour. He bets that he can do it in 30 minutes; he ends up eating them all in fifteen, but then they bring in the last burrito, one as big as Grizz himself. Rather than eating it, Grizz becomes oddly attached to it because the tin foil it's wrapped in triggers a childhood memory of being rescued by a fireman who let him cling to a reflective safety band on his arm to help him down from a tall tree when he was a cub, and decides to make it his Companion Cube instead.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Friends with Burger-Fits", Bob bans Teddy from the restaurant due to becoming concerned over his health since he insists on eating a cheeseburger and fries there every day. Teddy eventually runs off to another restaurant, where he orders a burger challenge meal in a fit of spite after Bob said the two weren't friends for real. The last act of the episode revolves around Bob trying to talk Teddy out of eating it.
  • In Green Eggs and Ham, Sam-I-Am is implied to be the only person to have ever finished the "Ham-Egg-Edon": a dozen green eggs on top of toast on top of an extra-large ham on top of more toast, all folded into a giant egg (and a fruit salad on the side). The diner which serves it has several photos of him and only him on their "Wall of Fame." Glunts tries to take it on herself and is later seen looking nauseous and very full after only eating 1/5th of it.
  • In the Big City Greens episode "Desserted", in order to be able to pay for the whole family meal since he doesn't have enough money, Cricket has to eat a giant sundae by himself since his family is too full.
  • In one episode of Momma Named Me Sheriff, a restaurant that serves chicken, specifically only rooster, has a challenge to eat a trash can full of rooster wings for a t-shirt. Dispatch takes it and finishes all of the meat, only to be told that he also has to eat the bones and the can itself, and after that, he's told that he still failed because he was 3 seconds past the time limit.

    Real Life 
  • Certain restaurants have a menu item that due to its large size or spiciness, finishing it is considered impressive and the person gets either a photo on a wall or even the meal for free. These promotions are on the decline due to a combination of bad publicity over what is seen as base gluttony, and a growing number of supposed "winners" actually being granted a free meal by colluding friends who work at the restaurant. Notable promotions include:
    • The chain Buffalo Wild Wings has photos of people that eat a full order of their "Blazin'" wings.
    • Rudford's restaurant in San Diego, California USA. The Big Nick Challenge involves eating a huge 3.5 lb. hamburger (2 lb. beef, 4 oz. hash browns and 4 eggs) and 4 oz. of French fries. Finish it in 30 minutes or less: it's free and you get your photo on the Hall of Champions Wall. Fail: it costs you $20 and you get your photo on the Losers' Wall.
    • The Westport Flea Market Bar and Grill in Kansas City, Missouri USA has the "Super Flea" challenge. Five ten-ounce hamburger patties, each one topped with bacon and cheese, stacked on a bun, plus two pounds of fries. Finish it without help in 30 minutes or less, it's free and you get your picture on the wall. (Fail, and it costs $39.)
    • The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas offers a 72-oz. steak dinner for free if eaten within 1 hour ($72 otherwise), and maintains a record of everyone who successfully completes the challenge. Aside from the steak, the meal includes a baked potato, a shrimp cocktail, a salad, a bread roll and a drink, and is based on the winner of an eating contest held in 1960, shortly after the steakhouse opened.
    • Denny's Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, Pennsylvania has done these with burgers that clock in at ten pounds and up.
    • The Burger Barn chain located in a few towns in Southeast Texas hosts the Monster Burger, a 4 pound beef patty with 4 slices of cheese and a massive amount of toppings, such as bacon, avocado, and mayonnaise, all on a toasted bun: Finish it in 30 minutes for a t-shirt and a spot on the website.
    • For some time, the deli sandwich chain Togo's had a challenge involving their gigantic pastrami sandwich in which anyone who finished one alone while in a Togo's restaurant would win a special shirt.
    • Red Devil Pizza in Granada Hills, California (moved to Upland, California) is unusual in that it has a two-person challenge: A straightforward 28-inch pizza with any choice of toppings and a time limit of 45 minutes. Red Devil displays both winners and losers of this challenge, as a "Wall of Fame" and a "Wall of Shame," respectively. A step into the restaurant indicates this challenge has a roughly 20% win rate.
  • Final Fantasy XIV held a promo in China with KFC that gave away a code for a Fat Black Chocobo mount if they purchased a family meal for four in-restaurant. (It was believed they also had to finish the meal in one go to receive the code, but this fact was disproven.) While it was perfectly acceptable to share the meal with other people and receive one code each time, it didn't stop people from trying to solo the entire meal. Naturally, jokes treating the meal like an in-game raid followed.


Video Example(s):


Urusei Yatsura

The Full Course From Hell.

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Example of:

Main / MegaMealChallenge

Media sources:

Main / MegaMealChallenge