A common occurrence in American sitcoms and other comedy shows is to have some character get up in the middle of the night in order to have a snack. This may be due to the character being a Big Eater, or being on a diet and attempting to cheat on it without anyone noticing.
Sometimes two or more people will have the same idea and bump into each other. May either be a plot point or a Running Gag.
- In Kanon, Makota does this once. Yuuichi sneaks up behind her and drops some konnyaku down the back of her pajamas.
- In the second season of Sailor Moon, Luna catches Usagi sitting in front of the open fridge in the middle of the night. She has half the contents on the floor around her and is binge eating straight from the containers. The entire scene was due to her break up with Mamoru.
- In Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure Mitsuki catches Kazuki and Dr. Sanada eating instant noodles at midnight and saying that they just need some of it once in a while. She forces them to eat a full meal she cooks ont he spot.
- Ouran High School Host Club: Honey likes to have midnight snacks of MULTIPLE ENTIRE CAKES.
- On at least two occasions in the Ranma ½ manga, when Ranma has been depriving himself of food for some training in a new technique, soon after falling asleep he makes a beeline toward the fridge while Sleepwalking. It seems his stomach has a stronger will than his mind.
- Magic: The Gathering card Volrath's Motion Sensor: http://gatherer.wizards.com/pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=9753
- Amy Sedaris advises alcoholics and lonely ice cream eaters to "rotate your stores," because cashiers notice when the same person comes in at one a.m. every night and makes the same telltale purchase.
- In Richie Rich, Mr. Rich sneaks into the kitchen at night, picks the locks his wife has put on the fridge, opens the door and reaches for the food, only to find that she's installed a force field on the inside, preventing him from touching anything until breakfast time. He spends the remainder of the night sitting in front of the open fridge, staring mournfully at the food.
- In the Archie Comics feature Li'l Jinx, Charley goes on a strict diet, supervised by his friend Greg, but each weigh-in reveals he hasn't lost any weight. Charley invites Greg to spend an entire day watching him, to prove that he isn't cheating. Greg observes that Charley is indeed following the diet religiously. However, that night, staying over at his friend's, he awakes to find Charley raiding the fridge and eating in his sleep.
- In Strangers in Paradise, Francine, stressed over her best friend and roommate Katchoo's secretive behaviour, fixes a so-called "milkshake" as a midnight snack. It is, in fact, an enormous tub of ice cream with lots of milk and chocolate syrup poured in.
Katchoo: Francine, that's not a milkshake, that's a commitment.
- Donald Duck was once found of these while sleepwalking and every morning he believed the food was eaten by his nephews and wouldn't listen to them. After a failed attempt to wake him up during a raid, they sought for medical help. Donald followed them to the doctor and told them his side of the facts. The doctor then suggested him to pull a prank to make them unable to deny their fridge-raiding. Pour on the food a drug that made the users' faces green. When it was Donald and not the nephews who had a green face, Donald finally realized he was the one eating the food.
- In issue 5 of Ms. Marvel (2014), Kamala has to raid the fridge at night after a failed rescue attempt because her powers drain her life force. For her misfortune her family also noticed and concluded that she must have sneaked out while grounded, so she got even more grounded forever.
- In issue 6 of The Man of Steel, Clark Kent gets up in the middle of the night while staying with his adopted family the Kents to get a snack from the refrigerator when he encounters a holographic vision of his real father Jor-El, who touches his son and begins to reveal his true origin as the last son of Krypton.
- Power Pack: In "Spider-Man and Power-Pack #4" of the All-Ages version, Jack discovers Katie has become Venom when he runs into her while going to the kitchen for a midnight snack. He even wonders to himself why food always tastes better around midnight.
- Blondie: Dagwood is probably the Trope Codifier. He's often shown in the kitchen in his pajamas, collecting ingredients up his arms or assembling Tower-of-Babel-sized sandwiches for midnight consumption. He's even been known to do it in his sleep, but usually his snack-building is done in a state of wide-awake, unadulterated joy.
- Garfield does this often.
- Peanuts: Snoopy would often decide he wanted a midnight snack when he had trouble sleeping. However, because he slept outside in his doghouse, he would have to bang on the door to be let in. Charlie Brown was rarely sympathetic to this.
- One The Far Side:
- One strip has a couple coming downstairs to discover to their relief the noises they had been hearing are just "Kevin" engaging in this, Kevin being a nine-foot-tall horned monster.
- Another strip has a man's own stomach thwarting his dieting attempts by sprouting legs and going on midnight fridge raids.
- One strip features a duck wandering into the kitchen to get a midnight snack, and getting ambushed by a hunter in a duck blind.
- Maruti of The Return of Hanuman had a Midnight Snack after he had a bad dream that he's not allowed to eat anymore. But since he's an extreme Big Eater, not only he finished the whole fridge, he ate all of the village's food supply.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks, Twilight Sparkle is staying up late during a sleepover, still trying to come up with a counterspell, when Sunset Shimmer walks in on her as she goes to the fridge. The girls end up having a little heart-to-heart conversation instead.
- What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown: After waking up from the nightmare that takes up the specials plot, Snoopy fixes himself an ice cream sundae to calm himself down before spending the rest of the night in Charlie Brown's room (which is ironic since the whole reason for the nightmare was the huge dinner he had causing an Acid Reflux Nightmare).
- In the World War II comedy film La Grande Vadrouille, Stanislas Lefort, passing as the husband of the Hôtel du Globe's manager, gets hungry in the middle of the night and goes to the kitchen of the hotel, the hotel being requisitionned by a bunch of German officers (the film is set during the Occupation time). After filling a tray, he gets spotted by Major Achbach's aide, who he lied to about there being no more to eat, and the aide snatches the tray from him, thanking him for keeping that food for the Major.
- Poltergeist. Late at night while everyone is dozing off one of the paranormal researchers goes to the kitchen to get something to eat, including a steak and chicken leg from the fridge. He gets a lot more than he was expecting.
- In The Terminator, Sarah Connor's best friend and roommate Ginger Ventura has sex with her boyfriend Matt Buchanan, then goes to the kitchen to eat something in the middle of the night. The T-800 Terminator breaks into the apartment at the same moment, and, with horror, she watches her boyfriend crash through the wall followed by the T-800, who shoots her dead thinking she's Sarah.
- In A Brother's Price, Jerin has been hiding in his room from the female visitors all day, had no opportunity to eat much, and, at midnight, decides to raid the kitchen. He meets Ren, who seduces him right there, and then sneaks back to his room ... without having eaten anything. And no, Ren doesn't count
- Dandelion Wine: After a disastrous dinner, the family goes to bed disappointed that Grandma has seemingly "lost her touch". Doug sneaks down to the kitchen in the middle of the night and returns the kitchen to the way it was before Aunt Rose told grandma to clean it up. He gets a cooking fire going and grandma comes downstairs. Soon the whole family is enjoying a delicious meal at 2 o'clock in the morning, overjoyed that grandma has regained her ability to make the scrumptious meals she is famous for.
- In Right Ho, Jeeves, the gourmand Tuppy Glossop has been fighting with his vegetarian fiancée Angela. Bertie advises him to pretend not to be hungry at dinner, so Angela will think he is pining over her—and then nip down to the kitchen while everyone's asleep and have some steak-and-kidney pie. Unfortunately, though, what with one thing and another the entire household ends up coming down to the kitchen at midnight. Angela uses the midnight snack as even further evidence of Tuppy's gluttony, and he doesn't even get time to eat it.
- It's mentioned in the books (specifically, Mort) that it is a universal law that any pantry raided furtively in the middle of the night will inevitably contain half a jar of mayonnaise and an elderly tomato, regardless of its normal daytime contents.
- "Somnambulistic Nibbles" is a recognized mealtime at Unseen University. Catering staff are specifically employed to deal with midnight snacks for wizards — a goodly proportion of whom may actually be sleepwalking at the time.
- A common tradition in Enid Blyton's Boarding School series, such as Malory Towers and St. Clare's is to have the girls sneak out of their dorms to have a midnight party, usually to celebrate someone's birthday.
- Warbreaker: After Siri gets closer to her husband Susebron the God King, they start having dinner in bed at around midnight. The first time they do this, a large amount of food arrives in minutes. Siri is shocked to realize that the palace chefs had prepared the food ahead of time. Susebron has never requested dinner at this hour before, which means that they've been constantly preparing full-course meals for decades, just in case he happens to get peckish at any random time.
- The Golden Girls used to do this all the time, favoring cheesecake.
- Kaamelott: Karadoc does this pretty much every night, the rest of the cast occasionally. In one episode, he's forbidden from entering the kitchen by Lady Seli, as they need the food for the upcoming diplomatic meeting and feast. He retaliates by sneaking in early and emptying the cupboards.
- Seinfeld: At a vacation house in the Hamptons, Jerry's girlfriend goes to sneak some leftover lobster, though it goes against her religion. Fortunately for her, Kramer anticipated it, and is waiting there to intervene. Unfortunately for her, the next morning George laces her eggs with lobster out of vengeance for her telling his girlfriend about his "shrinkage".
- Former Brazilian TV show "TV Pirata" had one sketch where someone is caught and arrested during a Midnight Snack. The Miranda Warning (which became known in Brazil thanks to shows imported from the US) was altered to "Everything you eat might be used against you in court". At the trial the defendant is offered a pie and asked to swear to eat the half, only the half and nothing but the half. Translating into Portuguese, "half" becomes "metade" and "truth" becomes "verdade".
- Nigella Lawson is famous for having this at the end of her cooking programs. When she was featured as a guest in the 8th Season of MasterChef Australia, she came by the contestants' dormitory with Matt Preston to wake 3 of the hopeful contenders for the Immunity Pin and have them cook some midnight snack for her.
- In Everybody Loves Raymond, Frank Barone actually sleepwalks down to the kitchen for a midnight snack. Being Frank, he still returns an empty bottle to the fridge after drinking from it - one of Marie's pet hates. He competely ignores Debra, who has broken into the house in the middle of the night to steal one of Marie's recipes and who is amazed she has not been discovered.
- An episode of Family Matters had Carl try and pull the "cheating on a diet" form of this. Unfortunately, not only were his wife and sister-in-law Genre Savvy enough to chain up the fridge, they also managed to confiscate his "secret" stash of snacks.
- Whodunnit? (UK): In "Which Eye Jack", several characters use getting a snack from the larder (a piece of cheese, an apple, a mug of ale) as an excuse to visit the inn's common room and attempt to persuade Jack to join their crew.
- The subject of one of Ken Nordine's Word Jazz recordings called "Hunger is From." A sample:
Have you ever been hungry in the middle of the night?
That happens to me sometimes
and then I go raid the icebox
for example, the other night I did that
we had some leftover welsh rarebit
I found that and a couple crackers
piece of celery
and an olive and I
sat down in the middle of the night
I was very, very
- There was a board game called "Don't Wake Daddy" where the players were kids sneaking for a snack in the middle of the night. Landing on squares that made noise forced the player to press the button on Daddy's alarm clock. If he woke up, your piece went back to start.
- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. If you enter a specific house in the level Exodus, you'll find an enemy in the middle of raiding a fridge. Once he is caught off guard, he will proceed to kill you.
- Dragon Quest XI: A flashback to Hendrik and Jasper as young boys in Heliodor Castle deals with them discovering that King Carnelian had been using a secret passage from his bedroom to the kitchen for midnight snacks. It becomes relevant in the present because you need to use that same passage to bypass a Broken Bridge.
- A classic Tom and Jerry short is called "The Midnight Snack".
- The Simpsons: Homer Simpson, of course. One night, he ate 64 slices of American cheese (and went blind). Another time, he ate a piece of doughnut... which was promised to him by Satan in exchange for his soul. In one Treehouse of Horror episode he ate his own leg.
- In the "Suds" episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, SpongeBob is unable to sleep, so he decides to treat himself with a seanut butter and jelly sandwich, allegedly the best hypnotic in the sea. He takes one bite, then falls like a brick. Unfortunately, he left the fridge door open, and it turns his house into a house-cicle and the freezing temperatures gave him suds.
- Taken Up to Eleven in an episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy when big Ed sleepwalks while eating his way through the entire cul-de-sac.
- One episode starts with the aftermath of another midnight sleepwalk snack, with the Kankers waking up in the middle of the night to find that someone ransacked their kitchen and, much to their horror, took their prized ship-in-a-bottle with them and the Kankers swear to hunt them down. It then cuts to later that morning, with Eddy and Edd having to retrieve a sleeping Ed from Kevin's now empty fridge, only to find said ship-in-a-bottle stuck to his finger.
- Chowder: In one episode, Chowders love of midnight snacks has turned him into a Sleep Eater, a monstrous creature that he turns into when he's asleep and mindlessly devours everything it can get it's hands on. Chowder desperatly wants to stop doing it, since he can't remember anything he ate, making it pointless, but the only cure is to keep the monster from eating for an entire night, which is easier said than done.