An enemy in a video game, or tabletop game, which finds equipment or items that the player character has to be its favorite food. If it gets its mouth (or other form of digestive organ) around you, you might suffer damage but a weapon/item/tool/piece of armor that you have is the real meal.
Or they might even find items lying on the ground. As long as you are going to need it, they are going to try to eat it.
Now even though the item eaten can vary, it's almost never something that would make the game Unwinnable, or even render the item unobtainable again, just something that makes you really hate this enemy.
Sometimes you have the chance to get the item back, often by killing this enemy quickly. Other times it's just lost and you have to get another copy of the item.
Contrast Feed It a Bomb.
- There is a creature that counts as a curse rather than as a monster. It keeps eating your equipment until it randomly eats itself.
- An item in Munchkin Cthulhu is a set of Bagpipes. Rather than try to eat it, there's a chance the monsters will attempt to mate with it. And yes, if they do, you lose the item.
- Magic: The Gathering has a few creatures that can do this including Acid Web Spider which destroys an equipment card when it comes into play and Manic Vandal which can destroy any artifact, equipment included.
- There's a lot of equipment-destroying stuff in Sentinels of the Multiverse, mostly because without them characters like Absolute Zero and the Wraith get out of control. For example, Pterodactyl Thief steals all your equipment and then murders you, while Omnitron's Technological Singularity wipes out all your equipment...and then murders you even more.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, there are several types of monsters that love eating your equipment.
- Rust monsters are universally loathed by warrior types for their penchant for instantly destroying and eating anything metal that they strike or are struck by, such as prized magical swords and armor. Some crafty players have tried cutting off a rust monster's antennae so they could inflict this trope upon their foes.
- Oozes are notorious for eating away anything they touch that isn't immune to acid.
- Xorn and Xara are monsters that respectively eat iron and enchanted metal, and are prone to demanding adventurers supply them with metal (i.e. their weapons and armor) or face a fight - and then they can try to eat the weapons and armor in the middle of the battle.
- The first edition Fiend Folio offered disenchanters, weird Seussian monsters resembling blue humpless camels with trunks that could suck the magic right out of an object with their nose.
- 4th edition added augmented rust monsters called dewomer eaters which decay magic items (even ranged weapons or implements), although there still no long term risk as the magic item can still be reconstructed from residuum from the monster's stomach.
- Many other games, such as Tales Of Blades And Heroes, have similar monsters with different names.
- Hoops, a type of mutant rabbit from Gamma World, don't actually eat your equipment, but have the ability to turn metal to rubber. Word of God has it that they were intentionally given this power so that gamemasters can use them to take away high-tech equipment that turns out to be too powerful for game balance. Hence, they serve the same purpose as rust monsters, even if they don't actually chow down on the resulting rubber gear.
- In Castle Crashers, the Thief can eat away both the foods and golds lying on the ground.
- The floating skull in the bridge in The Goonies II, which eat your boomerang.
- Like Likes in The Legend of Zelda games. They started off eating your shield, but in later games they can eat other equipment or even rupees. Depending on the game you can save your equipment if you kill/escape them quickly enough.
- In the original The Legend of Zelda, if you let one Like-Like touch you, it quickly envelops you and you can pretty much kiss your Magical Shield (if you have one) goodbye. Your only chance to escape without losing your Magical Shield is to have the Magical Sword and give it the required three stabs as quickly as possible. If you have anything less than the Magical Sword, you'd better hope you were caught by one that has already taken damage!
- There's also the Pikit, which only appears in A Link to the Past. It is a hopping, plantlike creature that can snatch several different items from Link, not just the shield; fortunately it never eats anything that can't be replaced. You can get back the most recently stolen item by killing it.
- Tingle becomes this in Four Swords Adventures. If you leave force gems (what you need to beat the game) on the ground for too long, he'll show up and try to steal them.
- A subverted example in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Rock Octoroks inhale a bunch of debris, then compress it into a giant flaming boulder to spit at you. They also consume any weapons left on the ground when they inhale, and, after chewing them up a bit, hurl them back at you at high speed. However, when a Rusty weapon is inhaled, pink gas will be emitted from the Rock Octorok and it spits out your weapon, but cleaned and upgraded to either Soldier, Knight or Royal rank (though what you actually get is a crapshoot).
- Sukaritt from Megaman Legends 2 would follow you around but not actually do anything to you. Once you blow up another Reaverbot, though, the bugger goes and tries to steal the refractor shards before you can.
- The Devourer, in Alternate Reality, even has an in-game song about it. This creature appears when you have too many inventory items and eats them.
- NetHack has acidic monsters whose slime/blood erodes your weapons, rust monsters and rust traps to rust iron, gelatinous cubes that eat organic materials and disenchanters who eat your items' magic. Some can be negated by enchanting your gear to make it rust/fire/rot-proof, but disenchanters cannot.
- Dungeon Crawl has jellies that eat items left on the dungeon floor or even doors. Feeding items to jellies is even necessary if you want to gain favor with Jiyva, the god of slime.
- Ragnarok Online has the various species of Poring, that by and large like to munch on whatever items are on the floor. It's possible to kill them to retrieve whatever you lost, but if you somehow manage to drop something valuable, have that thing eaten, and are then killed by a high-tier Poring, those items are up for grabs to whomever takes the offending jelly-bulb down.
- There are numerous other monsters like the aptly named Thief Bugs who are fond of doing this, and they have the nerve to drastically increase their already high movement speed when they notice something on the ground. This wouldn't be much of an issue if not for the fact that after a monster picks up a certain amount of items, any further items it "collects" are simply destroyed instead. It just so happens that one of the most valuable items in the game is dropped by a boss found in an area positively swarming with aforementioned monsters...
- Gears of War 3: Feral Tickers.
- Sonic Shuffle features "forcejewels", gems you could use for an assortment of effects. One of the forcejewels you can pick up isn't a gem at all, but a fairy called "carbuncle" that ate forcejewels; once it runs out of gems, it will eat itself.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Munchlax eats items on the ground.
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance features Bladebiters, who will eat your weapons if given the opportunity. Also, the Sniper class has several skills that can destroy pieces of armor.Luckily they're not that accurate, but you really don't want to take the chance of your Infinity Plus One equipment vanishing completely. Forutnately nearly ever race has access to the Maintenace support ability, which will No-Sell equipment destruction.
- Colibri, exotic pink birds added to Final Fantasy XI in its 3rd expansion, Treasures of Aht'Urgan, don't eat your armor weapon or items, but if you try fighting them with a food buff they will steal it from you. That's right, apparently these bird fly down your throat and rip food right out of you stomach.
- Dark Souls has acid: the Gaping Dragon boss and the pyromancy Acid Surge reduce the condition of your gear dramatically. Hope you weren't using unrepairable crystal weapons.
- Kid Icarus
- The game features the greedy Pluton, which will swipe your arrows of strength if they touch you.
- The Pluton returns in Kid Icarus: Uprising, where it'll steal weapons and powers you've collected in the level. Thankfully, now you can kill them to claim your items back, but beware — if you don't do it quickly, they will disappear with your re-appropriated loot.
- Eye of the Beholder, being based on AD&D, has one type of such monsters in each game:
- The rust monsters in EotB1 will eat any metal item.
- The gelatinous cubes in EotB2 can also destroy items on a hit.
- The black puddings in EotB3 will eat your weapons if you attack them in melee.
- The Jestabocky Dream Eaters in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance will steal any pick-ups that are on the ground if left unattended, whether they be HP balls, munny, or items. You can't get them back by defeating them, either. On the plus side, if you have them as allies, they'll gather the items for you.
- In Raft the Threatening Shark will munch squares of your raft and whatever happens to be on them.
- The objective in Defense Grid: The Awakening is to prevent the aliens from stealing your power cores. If any leave the map, which occurs most easily with flying enemies, they are gone for that level.
- Iron Grazers in Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos can dissolve your armor if you don't kill them quickly enough. There are a few other enemies in the game that do the same thing, but the Iron Grazers are the only ones you get warned about.
- In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, if an enemy Pokemon successfully damages you with Bug Bite or Pluck, they'll use a random edible item in your inventory, which can be extremely detrimental if they happen to target your Reviver Seeds. Not surprisingly, the toughest dungeons tend to have stretches that are swarming with Pokemon that know those moves for the sake of exhausting your supplies. These moves also exist in the main Pokémon RPGs, where they consume the target's held berry if there is one.
- Gradius has enemies that grab your options and run off with them.
- Riviera: The Promised Land has the Slime category of enemies. Most of their attacks will drain a point of durability from everything you bring into the battle. Frustratingly, this still applies in practice battles.
- Dokapon Kingdom has the Big Black Bug which can be forced onto you. As long as you have it, it randomly eats an item in your inventory. You can either wait for it to eventually disappear, eat the last item from your pack, or defeat another player and force them to pick it up.
- One dungeon in chapter 3 of Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark featured a Mimic (living treasure chest monster) that would grab your armor at the beginning of the level (leading to much commentary from your allies) and then run off. In order to defeat it, you had to use piles of gemstones, which it also ate, to lure it into striking range. Fortunately, once you beat it up enough you could get your armor back.
- The old roguelike Moraff's World has white dragons, who breath acid which instantly dissolves your equipped armor. Thankfully, swapping out your +25 Titanium plate for your own (thankfully immune) skin is a free action.
- The crows at the beginning of Earthbound steal food items from you. At least after they do so, they sit there with a smug grin on their face for several turns rather than attacking, and they drop cookies when defeated.
- The mummies in Miitopia can eat the Miis' weapons, severely reducing the offensive powers of the poor despoiled things. Thankfully, they spit the weapons out when defeated (the Miis comment that their weapon is all slimy, though).
- For a currency version, Brainsuckers from Bloodborne drain your Insight points on a hit.
- Moths. Well, their caterpillars to be more specific. Say good-bye to that nice wool shirt or comforter of yours, because those little buggers thought it was delicious!
- Never put your pet rats' cage within grabbing range of anything fabric you don't want destroyed. They may not actually swallow your brand new curtains, but they'll certainly chew them until they become your brand new fishing net.