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Mess on a Plate

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Panda Waitron: It's our specialty! Fresh huitlacoche, also known as "corn smut" is gently folded into carefully fermented soybeans called "natto." It's called smutto!
Schlock: And you just automatically give it to people who say "number two."

It's often argued that presentation is one of the most important aspects of how you serve food, and a common saying among chefs is that "you first eat with your eyes." Cooks who produce this food apparently expect everyone eating to be blind.

It could take several forms — maybe it's collapsed into an indistinct brown or grey glop in a bowl. It would be a misshapen mound that vaguely looks like a cake. Random tentacles and eyes could be mixed in. If it's a cake, expect the decorations to be something out of the wildest imagination of a Nightmare Fetishist (whether or not the cook is actually one). The appearance of the dish is no indication of its taste, and the most common outcome of this trope is that the food is actually delicious. Those wary of the dish at first may even find it Orgasmically Delicious when they get up the courage to try it.

Keep in mind, of course, that this is completely distinct from a Lethal Chef or a Cordon Bleugh Chef — in fact, while food such as this is a frequent indicator of one of those two tropes, it's increasingly common to have overlap with Impossibly Delicious Food (though most people will expect it to Taste Like Feet). If the "food" in-question is more-or-less unidentifiable AND it tastes absolutely horrid, but actually contains nutrients to sustain life, then it's a case of Nondescript, Nasty, Nutritious.

Can easily be Truth in Television — even in culinary schools, presentation is taught distinct from flavor, and it's fairly common for students to be much better at the latter.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tina from Ai Yori Aoshi. As Taeko discovered, Tina's inability to make anything looking good did not stop her from making food that actually tastes good.
  • Monster Musume: Everything Miia cooks looks like this. It's inevitably a groteque purple color with a foul miasma coming from it, usually with visible fish skeletons, charred bits of meat, and disgusting looking globs of something floating in it. Eating it inevitably makes the person who tries it sick (except for Suu, who's an Extreme Omnivore and can actually handle it). When Rin, the daughter of Rachnera's previous host family, is tricked into eating some she says that it "smells like bug spray and death."
  • Ryo from Otomen can occasionally (usually with Asuka's help) produce food that tastes decent. However, it will invariably look terrible.
  • Naru from Love Hina is known to produce food that looks awful but tastes good.
  • Asuna's first cake from the first anime adaptation of Negima! Magister Negi Magi. The second came out looking much better. Appropriate, as she's an Expy of Naru above.
  • Akane of Ranma ½ combines this with Lethal Chef — she creates food that is both inedible and hideous to look at. The only exception is her curry, which is edible (if bland)... but still hideous to look at.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: England's food is mostly portrayed as an indeterminable black mess. Sometimes it even gets pixeled out to emphasize this.
  • Sora from Download App Girl makes food that looks downright frightening. Somehow, it still manages to taste really good.
  • One episode of Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire had a Sneasel that cooked food that looked terrible, but tasted great. It was contrasted with a Mr. Mime whose food looked appetising, but tasted terrible.
  • Usagi in Sailor Moon is usually just a general Lethal Chef producing only food that both looks and tastes awful. However in the second season she pulls off making a curry that looks literally like a mess on a plate but that actually tastes pretty good. In the third film her daughter Chibi-Usa makes some badly decorated cookies that taste lovely, Usagi herself in this instance does the reverse... her cookies look nice but taste bad.
  • Case Closed: When Ran (or Rachel) tried to bake a lemon pie for the first time ever in volume 18, it turned up looking messy and burnt. But everyone says it tastes good.
  • The curry dish that Nao Sadatsuka from Food Wars! made for the Fall Classic prelims looks and smells like dirty sewers, but it's actually very delicious, and is the first dish from the batch to score 80s (until then, the average scores had been 30s).

    Comic Books 
  • The Cook from the Sturmtruppen will often serve this. It was once exagerrated when the mess came alive as a Blob Monster in a parody of Frankenstein.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel): One issue shows Joe candidates going through Training from Hell. This includes their meals, which are described by Chef of Iron Roadblock as "mystery meat on a shingle"note . One of the candidates muses "How do they get it so gray?" In another issue, Roadblock says that SOS is the only thing he hates worse than having to do a nighttime HALO jump.
  • Asterix: The food served by the Roman army in Asterix The Legionaire is just corn, cheese and bacon rations cooked together in a yellowish goop to save time, the idea being that a diet of terrible food will make the soldiers meaner and fiercer. While normally willing to put up with a lot on his adventures, even Asterix refuses to live off something this nasty for their whole time in the army, and after he and Obelix have a quick "chat" with the cook, their squadron get served a good deal more palatable food for the rest of the story.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In the Legend of Korra fanfic a million miles of fun, the "Grand Slam Croquette" is a fritter containing boiled eggs, duck sausage, curried pork, red bean paste, and sticky rice. The description garners a cringe from Ghazan.
  • In the Turning Red fanfic The Great Red Panda Rescue, Mei is kidnapped and made to eat what is only described as "mush".
  • The soup Chef Muk cooks in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon fanfic Legendary Genesis is described as looking similar to the sludge making up her body.
  • The Lilo & Stitch fanfic Alpha and Omega:
    • In one chapter, the cafeteria lady serves them "mushroom-and-mashed-potato-surprise". As 302 quips:
      302: The only thing that gets me to eat this stuff is the knowledge that I'll never know what the "surprise" is. If I knew, I'm sure I'd never eat it again.
    • When 349 tried to rob the Chef, Jumba had to pay her double her salary to not force-feed the experiment "Last Tuesday Surprise".
    • In another chapter, the food is described thusly:
      The green stuff was rather chunky, with odd dark circles embedded in the mass. The purple stuff, on the other hand, looked hard and tough, although it was very irregularly shaped.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Sleeping Beauty, the fairies decide to make a dress and birthday cake for Aurora. Having sworn not to do magic, they quickly start to fumble everything up. The cake is made with whole eggs (shells still on), is (somehow) layered and iced before baking, and looks like The Leaning Tower of Pisa if it were painted by Picasso. They finally decide screw it and fix everything with magic.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017): "Lunch" on Captain Celaeno's ship is a brown porridge with bits of grass in it. "Pudding" looks exactly the same, minus the grass.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The "Hot Lunch" jam from the first Fame movie implies that the song's subject, Sadie the serving lady, does this on the regular. One of her famous dishes is simply "blue", which could be a stew but no one knows for sure.
  • Starship Troopers (the movie) has a scene where the recruits are in the chow line, loading up their trays with what appear to be different colors of pudding. Emphasized by one of them holding a ladle full up at eye level and disgustedly pouring it out.
  • In Accepted, Glen creates a recipe he calls "Wads" that look like a well, wad of melted chocolaty goo. The others recoil at first, but once they get brave enough to taste them they rave that it's the greatest thing they've ever eaten.
  • In Better Off Dead, Lane's mother spoons grey-green goo (with raisins!) directly onto his plate. He pokes it with his fork and it crawls away.
  • The omelet from hell Latrine serves to King John in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. There are intact eyeballs in it, and that's not the most visually disturbing part.
  • The food that Morpheus and his crew eat aboard the Nebuchadnezzar in The Matrix: a half-congealed whitish goop dispensed from a nozzle. Mouse and Apoc compare it to runny eggs and a bowl of snot, respectively.
  • My Demon Lover: In the health food cafe, a machine called the Health-O-Matic dispenses unidentifiable gray glop onto a plate. The waitress serves it with a stick of celery on top.

  • Molly in Moon Over Soho whenever she tries to cook anything that isn't High Victorian, on one occasion producing what is described as rubbery vulcanised mass that looks like one of those novelty vomit mats sold in Joke Shops (it was supposed to be lightly poached eggs in hollandaise sauce).
  • In one of the Myth Adventures stories, Skeeve, having never seen spaghetti, describes it as white worms or snakes covered with blood red sauce.
  • The stew served at the cafeteria that provides lunch to Winston Smith and his coworkers in Nineteen Eighty-Four. It's pinkish-gray with a metallic odor and has cubes of spongy fake meat floating in it. A spill of the stuff on a tabletop is described as "a filthy liquid mess that had the appearance of vomit."
  • In Artemis Fowl, a sandwich that Artemis tried to make is described as looking like an explosion on a plate.
  • In Feet of Clay, Vimes suspects Vetinari is being poisoned by something inside the palace so he sends out for a Klatchian takeaway for him on the rationale that "they can't poison all the food in the city". Vetinari's reaction is to Stab the Salad and ask Vimes "did someone already eat this?"
  • In Moving Pictures, Many of the workers at Holy Wood eat at Borgle's commissary, which serves of cheap bowls of nasty-tasting "seafood" stew (in that whatever's in it was, at one point, scooped out of the ocean).
  • In The Bliss Bakery, Rose sends her little brother to collect a magic ingredient. He brings her the wrong one, which looks exactly like the one she wanted, and the cookies that should have become pink and pretty turn black.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Stew, the staple food of adventurers. It doesn't necessarily taste bad, but its main qualities are that it's dense bordering on viscous, a suspicious shade of very dark brown, and you can't, at least not very easily, tell what's in it — and that it's so ubiquitous that you will get incredibly tired of eating it, to the point where the entry for "Food" reads "1. See STEW."
  • Whateley Universe: A few instances:
    • From Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind, as part of Ayla's experience traveling by air in coach:
      I was nearly gagging just watching the ‘airline food’ that Marsha was wolfing down. It looked like a badly-baked dinner roll with two slices of United’s special ‘beef-fat and gristle deluxe’, or whatever they were calling it, along with a slice of processed cheese food, and as many packages of condiments as Marsha could squeeze onto the roll. That went with several little sealed bags of inedible garbage, starting with something that was pretending to be a ‘party mix’ and ending with cookies that looked suspiciously like they were filled with whipped lard.
    • Meals at the Academy itself vary greatly in quality, despite having several expert chefs on the cooking staff, in part because of the volume served daily (with 600 teenaged students, several of whom are epic Big Eaters), and in part because of the need to accommodate some students with radically atypical nutritional needs (such as live animals or odd metal supplements). While there are usually some excellent dishes available (and Ayla has a special deal with the chefs to get even better treats on a semi-regular basis), the majority of it is standard cafeteria fare, served on steam trays in staggering quantities ("You name it, there was fifty pounds of it somewhere on that long line"). Consequently, presentation generally takes a back seat.
    • It is specifically noted that the main difference in the faculty dining room is not the food itself, but it being plated by the staff for the sake of presentation.
    • Things take a dark turn for Sheltered Aristocrat Ayla during the renovation of the main cafeteria, as the staff had to make do with an older kitchen that was in serious disrepair. The results stand in stark contrast to the Food Porn in most of the other Phase stories.
    • From Dorms of Our Lives, the 'carnivore special', which, if not terrible disgusting, is at least strange:
      Tanya was just sitting down now, with what was apparently her second tray of breakfast. Even she had to ogle at what Nananote  brought to the table
      "What is that?" Jimmy asked, emerald green eyes wide.
      "The carnivore special," grumbled Nana. Her tray was piled high with a good three kilos of food, almost all of it meat, and some of it barely qualifying as cooked. "The wonders of hosting the spirit of an obligate carnivore," she complained. "And here I was, all ready to go full-on vegan." The redhead picked up the sole bit of green on the tray, a bowl of broccoli. "This is all I can get away with before I start feeling sick."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Our Miss Brooks: Some of Mrs. Davis' Cordon Bleugh Chef dishes fall into this category.
  • Star Trek occasionally has food that is unappetizing to behold. Synthesized food in the original series, and occasionally replicated food from the later series, tends to get this treatment.
  • Babylon 5 occasionally has food that is unappetizing to behold. The dish Spoo comes to mind.
  • Johnny Bago: When Johnny temporarily joins a circus (not that he wanted to join, he was blackmailed into it) the owner/ringmaster literally feeds the circus workers on garbage leftover from the previous day's crowds, all of which looks like scoops of brown blegh.
  • In an episode of the classic paramedics drama Emergency!, the heroes save the life of a celebrity chef, who rewards them with an autographed copy of his latest book. When they later try to put together a dinner for the rest of the crew at their station using the book, they swiftly realize that they did something wrong and that dinner is ruined. They dump everything they were cooking into a single pot in order to hide the evidence. Just as they're taking it out back to dump it, the fire crew comes back and assumes dinner is ready. Despite having an odd gray color and the consistency of paper mache paste, the "stew" is universally deemed fantastically delicious by the other fire fighters, and the crew expects it to be made again in the future.
  • In the The Outer Limits (1995) episode "The Sentence", the food served at the prison consists of unappetizing goop that comes out of an automatic dispenser. To add insult to injury, cutbacks to the prison's budget have resulted in the machine malfunctioning and not even properly dispensing food.
  • In Lexx, this is the kind of food the Lexx produces for the crew. Stanley copes by imagining that the meals the Lexx serves him are exotic dishes.
  • Stargate SG-1: In the season 2 episode "Prison", the titular alien lockup facility serves all prisoners nothing but a thin gruel that looks like wallpaper paste and based on O'Neill's reaction, smells very unappealing. It apparently tastes all right, but that might just be because he's used to MREs.
  • In Young Sheldon S4 E18, Georgie gives Mary some soup to cheer her up. It's condensed soup straight from the can, and he neglected to add water.
  • In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the cafeteria food in one episode apparently consists of "meat glop, fruit glop, vegetable glop, and glop glop."

  • Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" has one verse about dealing with the intersection of this and the usual wares of a Lethal Chef: "I don't care what these people think I'm just sittin' here makin' myself nauseous with this ugly food that stinks!"

    Puppet Shows 
  • A popular classic Sesame Street skit has Ernie making a plate of mashed banana with ice cubes and gravy on it. Bert is disgusted by its mere appearance, but guess what Oscar thinks?

  • In Dream Girl, one Dream Sequence has a throwaway reference (in the context of fine dining) to "oysters Rockefeller, which Ford Madox Ford, who was a great epicure, describes as swimming in a kind of green scum."

    Video Games 
  • In Don't Starve, a failed/invalid cooking recipe will result in "Wet Goop."
  • In Fallout 4, you can explore the post-apocalyptic ruins of Suffolk County Charter School, where you can find some oddly pink ghouls, trays splattered with pink globs of still-edible "food paste," and some terminal entries and holotapes explaining what happened. The principal evidently secured extra funding by agreeing to test out a government "Nutritional Alternative Paste Program" at the school, and thus banned all other foods, over the protests of students and faculty.
    Principal Hudson: I am assured all of you will get used to the flavor of the paste. Also, I have been informed that flavor varieties will be on their way pending continued success of the program. How exciting! To those complaining, I will repeat: There are no psychological or physical side effects from participation in the NAPP. Any observed effect is assuredly psychosomatic, and possibly related to a lack of trust in the government.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    "It's too gross to even look at. A bizarre smell issues forth from this heap. Eating it won't hurt you, though... probably."
    • There's also an unlockable recipe for Dubious Food in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity with specific ingredients (two Durians, two Rock Salts, and two Hot-Footed Frogs). Using it gives you double Rupees but -20% max health during a mission. The flavor text is exactly the same as the above.
  • In Persona 4, nearly every female character is incapable of cooking, and multiple scenes make references to this.
  • In RimWorld, instead of having a chef prepare meals of X quality using Y ingredients, you can just throw a bunch of foodstuffs into a nutrient paste dispenser that excretes... well, a green paste on a plate. Between the presentation and flavor, eating food paste gives colonists a mood penalty (unless they belong to a transhuman ideology), but the stuff is the most efficient way to generate meals from raw food, and never gives colonists food poisoning.

    Visual Novels 
  • The protagonist of Serendipity Next Door is a food lover and a very good cook, but judging by the reactions of other characters, the food she makes tends to look uniformly horrible even though it tastes just fine. When she makes dinner for Shinobu and Keiichi, the latter complains that every single dish is brown. This seems to be mostly coming from an attitude that what a meal looks like shouldn't affect the taste; when Masaomi complains about her cheap dishes, she asserts that it tastes just as good on a cheap plate as an expensive one, and is surprised when he counters that how food is presented affects how good people think it will be.

  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • A restaurant chain serves "smutto", a combination of corn smut (basically mold), and natto (fermented soybeans). It looks, smells and tastes so vile that even Schlock (who'll eat pretty much anything) hesitates before eating it.
      Schlock: And you just automatically give it to people who say "number two."
    • Subsequently, someone cooked it in real life. It doesn't look all that much more edible, until it's rolled in a tortilla — which at least holds the goo in.
      The Old Wolf: I happen to like both of these things on their own, so I'm willing to take a chance, and — oh golly, that looks hideous.
      Howard Taylor: [after watching Smutto being cooked and eaten] Oh what horrors hath been wrought by my careless pen...
  • Sam & Fuzzy has a storyline where Sam refused to leave his apartment for a week due to severe depression from being fired from his job. As their food runs out, he ends up making this for dinner.
    Sam: You don't like my cooking?
    Fuzzy: Not when its just flour and water mixed together!
    Sam: Oh shut up and eat your Flour Paste!

    Web Original 
  • Space Janitors, similar to Starship Troopers above, has rations that have the consistency and look of different kinds of thin pudding, served in a segmented tray. It's outright called "Mush", and it's referred to by color instead of flavor (except for the dessert "Sweet mush", which is pink and has sprinkles floating in it). However, Imperial citizens regard eating good, proper meat on par with cannibalism (almost certainly a joke and not any political agenda from the team).
  • In one Stuart Ashen video, he uncans a tinned chicken, which has degenerated into a sickly mass of pink-and-yellow slime with a chicken skeleton in it. He jokes that the mere sight should have turned his whole audience into vegetarians.

    Western Animation 
  • Bender's final presentation in the Futurama episode "The 30% Iron Chef".
    Morbo: The challenger's ugly food has shown us that even hideous things can be sweet on the inside. [begins to cry]
    • Subverted however when it turns out the "Essence of pure flavor" Bender was given earlier in the episode is really water mixed with LSD, so the only reason the food tastes good is because the judges are high. Earlier, Bender's rancid-looking cooking was deemed acceptable tasting by Helmut Spargle but also killed him by making his stomach explode.
  • Kamp Koral: Plankton's camp food is always seen as a gross mass of a jello-like substance on a plate. All of the campers hate it, and it's implied to have some degree of sentience.
  • On one episode of King of the Hill, Cotton sends Bobby to military school to toughen him up. When Bobby keeps goofing off, Cotton has all the cadets make one revolting pile of their lunch leftovers and forces him to eat it as punishment.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Several episodes have the family eating indistinct grey slop, likely due to artist shorthand, since the food isn't supposed to be disgusting.
    • One episode in particular has Homer try to make food from a giant pile of sugar he stole from a crashed tanker truck, with the result that not only does the food look like slop, it is nauseatingly sweet and full of debris and broken glass.
    • Another episode, which uses a "Rashomon"-Style narrative has Marge serving a healthy new breakfast food called Muslix (a sort of unproccessed cereal made by soaking various nuts, grains, and dried fruits overnight in milk) which is pretty much just a sticky, blobby mess. She also gave Maggie Juicelix to drink, which turns out to have the consistency of glue.
  • In one episode of The Fairly OddParents!, Timmy and his dad are put off by his mom's cooking, preferring takeout. She's quite upset when they won't try it. Timmy wishes his mom could cook as well as she thinks she does, and she's magicked into a good chef. However, the spell breaks when she enters a cooking competition, revealing she can cook, but she can't make it look good.

    Real Life 
  • The traditional military dish of this sort is chipped beef on toast — better known to soldiers as "shit on a shingle." It tastes fine, but neither its appearance nor its name does it any favors.
  • The freeze-dried ingredients of many MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat) rations also count, as many look rather bland and unappealing regardless of actual taste. Those who eat this food often refer to it as "Three lies for the price of one": it's not a meal, it isn't ready, and you can't eat it. Other backronyms include Meals Refusing to Exitnote , Materials Resembling Edibles, Meals Regurgitated by Everyone, and even Meals Rejected by Ethiopians. Standard MREs no longer use freeze-dried mains due to the inconvenience of having to reconstitute them. The retort-pouches of later generation maintain better but still not great consistency and the general edibility is ever improving. The Omelette is still a universally reviled Mush, Resemblance to Excrement.
    • British Army ration packs have improved but are scarcely any better. In the 1990's, British soldiers in the field were still, as often as not, eating rat-packs consisting of tinned and dried goods that were first packed and put into store in the 1960's and 1970's. A clue to this, as observant soldiers would point out, was that the chocolate bars packed - and often put into a tin - as comforts were brands that had dissappeared from the shops in the 1970's, and which were in their way, museum pieces. Still well preserved and fit to eat, but still... up to thirty years old. note 
    • By civilian standards, modern soldiers have it hard. Soldiers and sailors of before would be green with envy to get an MRE. The standard for soldiers as late as the American Civil War could be hard tack, which was preserved dry biscuits known for breaking teeth. Hard tack made in the American Civil War is still edible. On ships, hard tack was often eaten in the dark so you would not see what insects and weevils might be in it. Sailors would soften them up in bacon grease or soup. Civil War soldiers would beat it with their rifle butts to make it soft enough to mix with water to make it edible - edible, not palatable. You can make it yourself, if so inclined. Make sure your dentist is on speed-dial.
    • As for preserved meats, forget modern tasty jerky. The stuff had to be chewed as if it was nutritive leather. It looked like leather, too.
  • The Hawaiian islanders — and most of Polynesia — have a dish called "poi," which is made from the root of the taro plant. It is purple, and has the consistency (and taste!) of Elmer's glue. It's a staple food, intended to be eaten with something more flavorful.
  • The classic "Chinese" (actually Chinese-American, but a version of it originated in Taishan) dish widely known as "Chop Suey" started as this: originally, it was a half-dozen different left-overs thrown together in a pot and served.
  • "Nutraloaf" is an American prison food commonly served to inmates with serious discipline/behavior problems. It consists of several different foods (meat, bread/grain, apples, eggs, vegetables, beans, etc.) mixed together and baked into a meatloaf-like shape. The result is a large, orange loaf which inmates eat off a paper plate instead of a tray, without utensils, and tastes like absolutely nothing. It is so universally reviled that inmates in several states have filed lawsuits to stop its use, arguing that it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. A generous application of Tabasco sauce helps, allegedly.
  • Commercial baby foods can look very unappealing to parents feeding their babies, driving some moms and dads to ditch the jars of goop altogether and mush up fresh foods for Junior.
  • Quite a few students of the American public school system would argue that their cafeteria food falls under this trope. Not an impossibility in a school that serves meals such as mass produced beef and noodles, for instance.
  • Just about anyone who’s ever required a hospital stay will state that hospital food falls under this trope more often than not.
  • Casseroles of most any kind are a staple in large households. They're rarely pretty, but are usually the quickest and cheapest way to get everyone fed and a remotely competent cook can make some very tasty and satifying meals that fill the house with wonderful cooking smells.
  • Many dips and fondues look worse than they taste, even before digging scoops out of the surface. Refried bean dips in particular look and smell similar to dog food.
  • Some thick soups and stews have the appearance and texture of fresh vomit. Split pea soup, for example, makes a very effective fake vomit prop.
  • Mämmi, a Finnish dish traditionally eaten on Easter, is thick, dark brown paste made of molasses and rye, and it looks suspiciously like something that's already been eaten once. It's something of an acquired taste, but can be made rather tasty when paired with some sugar or vanilla sauce.
  • The Québecois dish poutine evokes this, both in appearance in name; it’s apparently descended from a French-Canadian slang word meaning “a mess” (though other origin stories tell that it comes from the English word “pudding” or a cook nicknamed Ti-Pout). It's been described as "looking like someone threw up and left it in the sun", but it tastes pretty good. The basic version consists of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and warm gravy; different versions may add additional toppings (like green peas, sliced mushrooms, cut-up hot dogs, chicken, or barbecue pork/beef) or swap out the gravy with Indian curry sauce or Italian-style tomato sauce to evoke foreign cuisines. It’s basically a variation on the common British and Canadian snack of fries/chips dipped in gravy, and many Brits brought up on chip shop culture see nothing wrong with this whatsoever and consider throwing cheese on top to be an interesting innovation.
    • Australia has a similar dish that replaces the cheese curds with doner kebab meat and fried onions called the Halal Snack Pack. A regional variant known as the "AB" drowns the pack in equal parts barbecue, chilli, tomato and garlic sauces - one of the nicer names for it is "Abomination".
  • Salmagundi is a kind of salad popular with Caribbean sailors and pirates. Recipes vary, but in general, it consists of whatever vegetables, fruits, meats, shellfish, eggs, or even edible flowers you have on hand piled onto a plate and drizzled with whatever kind of sauces or dressings you have. If you care to arrange them neatly it might look nice, but otherwise it just looks like a random pile of food.
  • Not even bothering to pretend to be anything other than this trope, the famous Garbage Plate of Rochester, NY, consists of two carbs (originally home fries and macaroni salad, though substituting home fries for french fries and/or macaroni salad for potato salad is generally considered acceptable) along with a meat (hot dogs, burger patties or sloppy joe filling) which is then slathered with ketchup and mustard, topped with onions and optionally served with a side of baked beans. The fact that it tastes delicious, especially when hungover, does nothing to hide the fact that it looks like something someone already ate.