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Paste Eater

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"It's nothing but shiny, glorious failure, and I love it like a mother loves her kid who can't stop eating paste."

Small children, the Cloudcuckoolander and The Ditz are prone to eating things that should not be eaten. Not necessarily a case of Extreme Omnivore, as it may just be this one specific non-food item that the character consumes. Most common in this category are glue, crayons, soap, bugs, and snot. If the child puts things in other facial orifices, it's a Nose Shove.

See also Eat Dirt, Cheap.


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    Comic Books 
  • The Amalgam Universe Legion of Galactic Guardians features a character amalgamated from Paste-Pot Pete and Matter-Eater Lad. His powers, fortunately, remain a mystery.

    Comic Strips 
  • Crabgrass: In This comic, Miles and Kevin discuss a kid in their class who keeps eating paste, and wonder why he keeps doing this despite it getting him into trouble. Kevin offers to try some, much to Miles frustration.

    Films — Animated 
  • Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs once ate an entire bar of soap without even realizing it. Only after hiccuping bubbles does he get a clue about where it ended up (even then it still took him a while); he doesn't exactly look satisfied about this revelation but he spends so much time hiccuping up a storm that it's difficult to tell his emotions during that scene.
    • To be fair it was an accident, caused in a moment of cartoon slap-stick.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Billy Madison sits next to a boy eating the glue in his first-grade class.
  • One of Grace's students in Bruce Almighty is constantly eating arts and crafts supplies. She comments that she expects him to poop an ornament any time now.
  • The titular character in Tommy Boy is implied to have been this. His bizarre behavior prompts several characters ask him if he ate paint chips as a kid, to which Tommy would just giggle and ask why.

  • The first Judy Moody book has Judy's classmate Frank Pearl. She dislikes him for this. Later, at his birthday party, he tells her that he only ate paste once, for a dare.
  • One of Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Verses is titled "Henry King, who Chewed Bits of String, and was Early Cut Off in Dreadful Agonies".
  • The Katharine McEwan story Jack's Tummy involves the eponymous character having a habit of eating toys, strings, paper and his own sock and not eating a single bit of food. It comes back to bite him when he gets ill from it all and vomits everything he ate out.
  • The permanent school record of Larry Kroger, the owner of the yearbook in National Lampoon's 1964 High School Yearbook Parody, has several notes from teachers reporting that Larry eats paste.
  • The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks: The plants eat socks, of course (though they also like orange juice), with their favorites being fudge ripple (white with brown stripes), though they also like white (vanilla), pink (strawberry) and brown (chocolate). It's later revealed that their prehistoric ancestors ate bugs, but Stanley and Fluffy don't care for them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Tardy the Turtle from Greg the Bunny has eaten everything from crayons, to drumsticks (the musical kind) to paintballs.
    Tardy: "The green ones make me horny!"
  • A Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode had a man with pica (see the Real Life section below) as the perp. It was noted that pica on its own does not make someone dangerous, but because the Psychopathic Manchild in question had been licking the (illegally lead-based) paint off his toy cars from a young age, he had permanent brain damage.
  • In Drake & Josh, Josh gets a job teaching Megan's 5th grade class and starts giving them college-level homework, claiming that they are smarter than given credit for. To which one of the students points out that another is eating glue.
  • Friends: In "The One with the Morning After", Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, and Monica get stuck in Monica's room while Ross and Rachel try to work things out. When hunger sets in, Phoebe suggests eating the depilatory wax.
    Phoebe: We could eat the wax! It's organic.
    Chandler: Oh great, food with hair on it.
    Phoebe: No! Not the used wax.
    Chandler: Because that would be crazy?
    They eventually resort to eating the wax after all.
  • In an episode of Gilligan's Island, the castaways are forced to eat their homemade soap to cure themselves of radioactive vegetables. They don't enjoy the taste, but Gilligan later says that it wasn't so bad once you got used to it and sneaks another piece.

  • Played for drama in Barry Louis Polisar's "I Am Very Sad To Say That Cindy Won't Be Out To Play", where the eponymous Cindy dies after eating the fishes from the bowl, sandstones, some plants, a hose and a clamp (among other things) while her parents are away. The moral of the story is to wait for your folks to come home when you're hungry instead of eating everything in sight.

    Video Games 
  • In Backyard Football, Dmitri Petrovich admits that he is a paste-eater which explains his nickname of "Paste".
  • Catching Susie of Deltarune eating chalk from the classroom is her Establishing Character Moment, followed by her threatening you.
  • In the Reckonin' at Gun Manor DLC for West of Loathing, you can ask the mansions' ghostly librarian for "Some of that delicious paste," which she will inform you is exclusively for fixing books with.

    Web Animation 
  • Strong Sad from Homestar Runner used to eat colored chalk as a child. "I was sick for a year and almost diiied."

  • The Ditz Monette in Something*Positive comments, "Putting salted peanuts in Coke is a step up from eating crayons and even I stopped doing that a few years ago." (She's in her early twenties when she says this.)
  • Cat from the webcomic Cat and Girl is known to eat paint.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Zoe does it here. "Pashe ish yummy!"
  • In Homestuck, the Wayward Vagabond compulsively eats any green things he can find. Examples include two pieces of green chalk, a chunk of radioactive material, and the Uberbunny's eye.
    • Terezi doesn't necessarily EAT chalk, but she licks them until they are no longer.
  • Invoked in The Order of the Stick. Belkar threatens Myzaki's horse with being turned into paste, "The kind the weird kid in the back eats."

    Web Original 
  • During the Portal 2 video of Two Best Friends Play, Pat accuses Matt of doing this. Matt's only response is that it's "getting a little personal". In the animated version where they're replaced with Celestia and Luna, it cuts to Luna who is indeed in the middle of eating those when she says that line.
  • Vinny, while corrupting Super Mario 64, stated that he had a friend in school who liked to eat glue (and who also thought that there was going to be a Super Mario 65).
  • On Game Grumps, Dan and Arin at one point talk about how they both liked to eat Play-Doh as kids.
    Dan/Arin (in unison): ...because it was so salty!

    Western Animation 
  • Ralph Wiggum on The Simpsons is known for eating glue, crayons and worms, among other things. In one episode, he insists to Miss Hoover that he hasn't been eating paste, with the paste brush still stuck to his teeth.
    • In one issue of the comic, Homer eats a Parent-Teacher lecture on why it's bad;
    Skinner: Listen up, everyone. I want to tell you the sad story of the cousin of a student who a friend of mine taught at a neighboring school in the state just to the east of the state that Springfield is in. He knew a fellow student who ate too much paste just before he was about to give a tuba recital during homecoming. The sound that emitted from the tuba when he pulled his lips free was so intense that it knocked over a ladder, causing a man to fall and grab onto a power line, which produced flying sparks. A passing diesel drove through the sparks and smashed into an oil refinery. A sleeping hobo was awakened by the noise. He was so annoyed at the disruption that he set a fire that burned down the entire town! The moral of this story— Don't eat paste! Besides, it's made from processed horse hooves!
    Homer: Mmm... Processed horse hooves.
    • In another episode, when everyone's pelting Mr. Burns with rotten garbage, Homer dashes out with the family's decaying Halloween pumpkin. However, since Marge didn't want anyone to toss anything, he said it was his lunch. Under her withering glare, he reluctantly nibbles on it... then his eyes widen and he begins munching on the thing with gusto.
    • In "Lisa's Date With Density" Lisa tells Bart that Milhouse eats toast with Vaseline on it. According to the DVD commentary: this was based on a child from Josh Weinstein's school days who everyday would get on to the bus with a piece of toast, which had Vaseline on it.
    • In "Marge vs. the Monorail", when Lyle is fielding questions from Lisa's class, Lisa asks a very incisive question about the necessity of a monorail in Springfield. After successfully flattering Lisa's intelligence (and avoiding answering the question), he then offers to answer a question from a less intellectually-advanced student
    Next Question! You there, eating the paste!
  • Comes up a couple of times in The Penguins of Madagascar. In "Sting Operation", Private spits bubbles and happily declares, "I ate soap!" while under the effects of Phlebotinum-Induced Stupidity. In "All King, No Kingdom", Maurice and Mort accidentally break Julien's throne:
    "I'll get the glue."
    "To eat?"
  • In The Powerpuff Girls (1998), the girls have a classmate named Elmer Sglue, who was ridiculed (especially by Buttercup) for eating paste. A fly tainted by toxic waste fell into the paste he was eating, turning him into a giant paste monster who wreaked havoc on the city.
  • Cheryl Tunt from Archer chugs down jars of rubber cement.
  • In Ben 10: Alien Force, it's mentioned by Gwen that Ben and JT used to eat paste together back when they were kids.
  • The Loud House: in "Friend or Faux", a boy in Lisa's class can be seen eating paste. It's for this reason Lisa deems him unfit to become her friend.
  • It's been mentioned a couple of times on Rugrats that Chuckie likes to eat crayons. He especially likes them when they're fresh from the box.

  • Truth in Television to people who have pica, a mental disorder where people have an appetite for things which are non-nutritive or base ingredients which it is abnormal to consume, such as crayons, chalk, dirt, ice cubes, flour, pencils or salt. Unlike most fictional examples it's not always linked to low intelligence, and can instead be caused by nutrient deficiencies, extreme stress or pregnancy.
    • The show called My Strange Addiction sometimes deals with people who have this. They had interviewed people who eat glass, cigarette ashes, tissues, chalk, and other things...
  • In a combination of insanity and poverty, Vincent van Gogh would at times nibble on his paint and drink turpentine, which probably didn't help his health/sanity. At one point he even had a suicide attempt trying to eat lead-heavy yellow oil paint.
  • The basic wheat paste used by bookbinders is harmless enough to eat, since it's essentially flour and water. Keith A. Smith, when giving the recipe in his books on binding, notes you could add an egg and some vanilla extract and make a custard.note  Moreover, some online recipes add a small amount of sugar (for extra stickiness) and cinnamon (to inhibit mold)...
  • U.S. Marines are often stereotyped as dumb enough to eat crayons. They lean into it as a form of Self-Deprecation. And then someone actually made edible crayons.
  • The French glue brand Cléopâtre (Cleopatra) used to smell like almonds, leading many school kids to eat it in The '80s. Fortunately the formula was not toxic.


Video Example(s):


Elmer Sglue

Buttercup starts a riot against a nerdy boy who does nothing but eat paste.

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Main / PasteEater

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