Quite simply, this is a foodstuff Power Source that bestows some benefit when eaten. The powers may be temporary or permanent, the food might work only for one specific character, it may even be just a placebo, but the result is the same — ingesting it gives the eater positive results, often granting super powers or turning him into a badass.
Differs from Super Serum and various types of magical potions in that the Power-Up Food does not seem rare, unusual, or hard to produce. As a general rule of thumb, a Power Up Food should not look out of place if it appears at a grocery store. This power up is often the solution to whatever problem the character is having.
When eating food only restores health (but does not grant any other new abilities), the trope is Hyperactive Metabolism.
When this trope is used to sell Real Life food products, then the trope is Cereal-Induced Superpowers. Also see Bottled Heroic Resolve and Transformation Trinket. May invoke Addiction-Powered if abused.
- In one "Got Milk?" commercial, two kids are playing Super Mario 64 and trying unsuccessfully to get Mario up a steep wall. After they give up and leave, Mario leaps out of the television, goes to their refrigerator, and drinks a carton of milk, growing to giant size. Then he returns to the game and scales the wall with ease.
- In this commercial, a Little Leaguer claims he can use M&Ms to power hit, claiming the brown ones give him singles, yellow ones doubles, triples with orange, and home runs with greens. (And seeing as he shares them with his teammate, it seems he isn't kidding.)
- Eigetsu from Saiunkoku Monogatari turns into Yougetsu when he drinks sake. At first it seems he's just a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass with a side-order of Drunken Master, but it eventually becomes clear that Yougetsu, in addition to badass Kung-Fu skills, has inhuman strength, reflexes, stamina, and rapid regeneration. At one point, Eigetsu reverts into Yougetsu after having spent weeks being starved and tortured to the point where he can't stand unsupported, and in addition to being strong enough to sprint on the spot, when he's seen a brief while later, all his wounds are healed... It's eventually revealed that Yougetsu is one of eight immortal sages, specifically the Sage of White; he possessed Eigetsu to save his life. Sake brings him out because he really likes sake.
- In Delicious in Dungeon, wizard Marcille runs out of mana and eats soup made out of an undine to replenish it quickly.
- Kataoka Yuuki of Saki fame might apply, as eating enough tacos appears to be a prerequisite for her to maintain her mahjong-limited probability manipulation powers.
- From One Piece:
- Devil Fruits in general, eating one gives you a super power but takes your ability to swim. Also, eating more than one will cause you to explode. It's worth noting that the rarity of Devil Fruits varies a lot geographically: In the Four Blues and Red Line regions, Devil Fruits are a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and few people even get that chance. In Paradise, the first half of the Grand Line, Devil Fruits are still once-in-a-lifetime chances, but one can expect to eventually come across one if one stays in Paradise for long enough. In the New World, the second half of the Grand Line, Devil Fruits are pretty common (though very valuable) and seem to be casually given out as prizes.
- Luffy can recover from just about any injury so long as he's eaten enough meat. At one point this is even Lampshaded by Nami collecting as much meat and booze as she can to help Luffy and Zoro recover from injuries faster.
- Chopper has invented Rumble Balls, small candies similar to rum balls that, when eaten, gives Zoan-type Devil Fruit users additional transformations for a few minutes. As he himself has demonstrated, these are not meant to be used casually, as distorting the nature of a Devil Fruit power is dangerous. Thus far, he has displayed four different types.
- Brook is a living skeleton, so he drinks milk to heal himself, because everybody knows milk is good for bones. It doesn't actually work.
- Franky's cyborg abilities are literally powered by cola.
- Apparently Sanji has learned how to make "Attack Cuisine" over the timeskip. One such recipe from the whole cuisine, Hormone Soup with Sea pork, is revival type of food that will warm one up and ease a tired body.
- The majority of chefs in Fighting Foodons use "Power Toppings" on their Foodons to power them up, sometimes even giving them added special effects or recovering from status effects.
- Rock Lee from Naruto turns into a (drunken) berserker from just one sip of alcohol.
- Quent Yaden from Wolf's Rain gains ability to see through the wolves' illusions after consuming some alcohol, making him pretty much the only regular human who can.
- It's implied that this is a result of either him being in a constant drunken stupor (and thus immune to telepathic control), or because he has blurry vision (other characters are shown to catch glimpses of the wolves in their true forms via electronics or the lenses in the helmets worn by the soldiers hunting the wolves, or when "punch drunk").
- An elderly couple is also able to easily tell that the wolves are wolves, suggesting that perhaps visual impairment may, indeed play a roll in seeing through their disguise.
- It's implied that this is a result of either him being in a constant drunken stupor (and thus immune to telepathic control), or because he has blurry vision (other characters are shown to catch glimpses of the wolves in their true forms via electronics or the lenses in the helmets worn by the soldiers hunting the wolves, or when "punch drunk").
- Dragon Ball Z:
- Goku gets a power boost merely on a full stomach. Conversely, an empty stomach left him weak and vulnerable, though this was shown to be psychological rather than than physical.
- This seems to be a common trait with Saiyans, their game improves on a full stomach.
- Inverted during the World Martial Arts Tournament just before Majin Buu comes in to the story Vegeta reckons he could defeat Goku by punching him in the stomach when he is full and possibly make Goku throw up.
- The Senzu beans also count. They can bring you from near death to full health in seconds and leave you with a full stomach that lasts 10 days (unless you're a Saiyan.)
- The fruit from the eponymous Tree of Might provides those who eat it a massive power boost. Turles, the villain of the movie, easily overwhelms Goku after taking only a single bite from the fruit.
- Dragon Slayers in Fairy Tail are powerful fighters on their own, but they gain a massive temporary boost when they eat something of their respective elements, some of which can be very common things. Although, if you see fire in a grocery store it's probably not for sale.
- The same goes for for God Slayers and appearantly Devil Slayers.
- Dragon Slayers also can eat other magic substances or other elements, but with negative side-effects. However, the Eterion Natsu ate activated his Dragon Force mode, and when Natsu ate Laxus' lightning, he became a Lightning Flame Dragon Slayer. Gajeel became an Iron Shadow Dragon Slayer by eating Rogue's shadow magic. And Future Rogue became a White Shadow Dragon Slayer after eatin Sting's light magic.
- Kinnikuman gets his strength from garlic early in the series. He mostly uses this to grow big and fight giant monsters. This possibly because the Japanese word for garlic is ninniku.
- Ranma ½ has the legendary Super Strength Soba noodles, which confer herculean strength to whoever eats them. After Akane mistakenly ate Happōsai's, she is able to lift, toss, juggle, and split in half multi-ton, two-stories-tall iron bells. Unfortunately, they have the side-effect of sprouting whiskers on her face until she takes the antidote.
- A virtual staple of Toriko. If Toriko eats a food that his Gourmet Cells crave, it'll lead to an immense power-up for him.
- In Kare wa Diablo!, Meiko activates her Super Strength when she eats an anpan.
- Bleach gives us Kirio Hikifune, a Supreme Chef who charges the meals she makes with her own reiatsu to power-up the people who consume them. It's also kind of a subversion: she can do this with any meal she cooks.
- Marine Boy is able to breath underwater without recourse to aqualungs or similar devices, as long as he's chewing on his handy Oxy-Gum.
- Pokémon had Ash's Grotle accidentally swallow Energy Ball whilst it was charging it up during a fight with a Rhyperior. It then pushed said Rhyperior, which usually weighs in excess of 620lbs, nearly out of the ring. Even when Rhyperior used its tail as a brake, it only inconvenienced Grotle.
- Averted with Suppaman from Dr. Slump. He eats pickled plums when he transforms, claiming they give him superpowers, but in reality he has absolutely no powers and he's a humongous coward to boot.
- Used in a disturbing fashion in Tokyo Ghoul, via Cannibalism Superpower. Eating another ghoul will strengthen the cannibal, at the risk of developing a mutation that drives the user insane.
- During the battle in the abandoned church, a wounded Touka bites a chunk of flesh out of Kaneki's shoulder to boost her strength, allowing her to overpower and defeat Tsukiyama. The next time he shows up, Tsukiyama explains that he survived his mortal wounds by taking Touka's advice to eat himself.
- After 10 days of imprisonment and torture, Kaneki regains his strength by biting chunks of flesh from his captor. In pursuit of further power, he spends the next several months hunting other ghouls and becomes addicted to the power it gives him.
- In the sequel, a horrified Ui comes across Sasaki eating the remains of a fallen opponent. He quickly explains that he was badly injured, and needed to eat to replenish his strength.
- My Hero Academia: Some Quirks work this way.
- Rikido Sato is a UA student whose Quirk, "Sugar Rush", allows him to temporarily power up when he eats sugary foods.
- Tamaki combines this with Mutagenic Food- he can manifest characteristics of whatever he eats on his body, and he uses this to enhance his body for combat (i.e. turning his hand into a clamshell to make a shield, and sprouting octopus tentacles).
- Anime-only character Saikou Intelli can drink tea to gain Super Intelligence.
- Bungou Stray Dogs: Inverted by Kenji Miyazawa. He has super strength, but only while he is hungry.
- A Downplayed example happens in Part 7 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. The main protagonist of the Part, Johnny, has the Stand ability to shoot his fingernails like bullets. They grow back up quickly, in a matter of minutes, but Johnny finds out the process is faster if he munches herbs or drinks tea, though this is mostly used out of combat.
- Tom Strong: The titular character gets his longevity and physical prowess by ingesting goloka, a root native to the island of Attabar Teru. Other natives of the island (and other members of Tom's family) also use goloka for similar benefits.
- Tom Strange, the Terra Obscura version of Tom Strong, gets his powers from a concoction of his own devising called Alosun. His sometime-comrade the Liberator, meanwhile, uses an ancient Egyptian potion called Lamesis to gain his powers.
- Herbie, The Fat Fury gets numerous powers from lollipops. These include invulnerability, super-strength, talking to animals, walking on air, hypnosis, and time travel.
- Pre-crisis Superman Comics guest star Captain Strong, who is a humanized Popeye, eats alien seaweed Sauncha to get super-strong. It also makes him crazy. Captain Strong is still a character in Superman, but Sauncha's been dropped.
- 1940's publisher Standard Comics hero Super Mouse (the big cheese) gained strength by eating "super cheese", which was made of milk from, what else?...a super cow!
- The Swedish comic Bamse features a bear who gets super strength when he eats dunderhonung, a special kind of honey mixture made by his grandmother. Anyone else eating it gets three days of horrible stomach cramps, though his older daughter gets super-ursine strength and a tummyache — and his younger daughter, to everyone's surprise, gets neither.
- Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, used a tropical fruit called "gingo" (and a commercially available soda made from it called "Gingold") to acquire his superhuman stretchiness. He's since died, but what're you gonna do. Ralph's positive moment occurs in the Crisis Crossover series 52. He spends most of the series playing the role of the washed-up, super-powerless has-been, despondent over the loss of his wife, constantly swigging from a hip flask as he plays detective, searching for the person who pulled him into a phony resurrection scam. When he finally confronts the person responsible, it turns out that the flask was, in fact, full of Gingold.
- Souperboy from The Topper involved a boy who gained superpowers after eating soup.
- Some Disney comics have Goofy becoming the heroic Super Goof, gaining Flying Brick powers (and a costume consisting of a red union suit and blue cape) when eating "super goobers" (peanuts) that grow in his backyard.
- Captain Carrot, from Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, gains his powers from eating "cosmic" carrots.
- Bananaman from The Dandy is a parody of superheroes who is usually a weedy schoolboy called Eric Wimp, until he eats a banana and transforms, a la Billy Batson to Captain Marvel, into Bananaman. Eating a second banana while in this form makes him even stronger.
- One of the crocs in Pearls Before Swine tried this, parodying Popeye (one of the other crocs even provided the Theme Music Power-Up). He choked to death.
"Today's lesson: Always chew you food."
- U.S. Acres: Parodied by Orson as Power Pig. He claims to eat "power corn for energy".
- In Imaginary Seas, Percy has access to Moly, the herb Hermes gave to Odysseus to protect him from Circe, in the form of the multivitamins Hermes gave him in The Sea of Monsters. Eating them bumps up Percy's Magic Resistance to EX, allowing him to weather small uses of divine power. Percy also takes in Ares' and Athena's Kilronomias by drinking them.
- In The Return Succubi find the still warm flesh of their enemies to be Power-Up Food.
- In Zany To The Max, whenever the Warners drink Acme Super Carrot Juice, they temporarily gain super powers and an "Animeniesque" appearance. The "Animeniesque" appearance is justified, as the juice first appeared in a parody of The Powerpuff Girls. The Power-Up Food trope itself is justified. The author says that the juice came from the super carrots featured in the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon "Super-Rabbit". See below.
- Kara of Rokyn has Captain Strong, who eats alien seaweed called Sauncha to get Superman-like powers.
- In the story for Wreck-It Ralph, Felix becomes temporarily invincible when he eats a power-up pie in-game. In the off-hours, the handyman just eats it because he likes it.
- In Over the Hedge, at the climax, Hammy drinks some soda to enter Caffeine Bullet Time.
- Similarly, in Hoodwinked!, a squirrel is given a cup of coffee to allow him to run and warn the cops at superspeed.
- That Man From Rio: Adrian has pursued his girlfriend's kidnappers to a bar in a floating village deep in the Amazon. He sees them departing as he's stuck in a full-scale bar brawl. After repeated failed attempts to get to the door, he grabs a big glass of liquor and downs it, perks up, and fights his way through the melee like a booze-driven Popeye.
- Drunken Master: Wong Fei-hung (Jackie Chan) becomes unstoppable once he has just the right amount of alcohol in his system.
- Alice in Wonderland can change her size, from growing giant to shrinking down, by eating various foods in Wonderland. There's a shrinking potion and growth-inducing cake as well as a mushroom that can bestow either depending on which side she bites from.
- Though he was hypnotized into thinking he was Captain Underpants, Mr. Krupp only got his Flying Brick powers after drinking "Extra Strength Super Power Juice"... that was stored in an alien milk carton.
- The more eggs Mr. Strong from the Mr. Men series eats, the stronger he gets.
- Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive): Lift can turn food directly into "awesomness". Note that this should not be possible.
- In Mistborn: The Original Trilogy Allomancers fuel their powers by magically metabolizing specific metals, which first have to be ingested.
- Honor Harrington: Two plants boost a treecat's mental powers: the fruit of the native plant they call purple thorn, and Terran celery. And celery is both more abundant (once humans settle Sphinx) and more powerful than purple thorn.
- One episode of Gilligan's Island had the castaways gaining superpowers after eating a shipment of radioactive vegetables.
- The "sports candy," particularly if eaten by Sportacus, but sometimes with other characters as well.
- A kind of inversion and then played straight with Sportacus. Feeding him any kind of sugar or sweets causes him to lose all strength so he can barely move. Feeding him fresh vegetables with return him to normal.
- In The Secret World of Alex Mack, whenever the protagonist eats curry, she'd gain Super Strength.
- Angel did this in "Not Fade Away". Angel was getting pwned by Hamilton until he fed off Hamilton and the superpowered blood gave him the upper hand (along with Connor showing up).
- Referenced in an episode of Married... with Children. Kelly and Bud try to think of a way to get a jukebox in the house for their parents without them knowing it:
Kelly: I know. How about you carry it upstairs?
Bud: Sure, Kel. But first, let me eats me spinach.
- In Pixelface, Rex's game has various fruits that act as power-up foods. The only time we see them used in the show, Kiki steals one during one of her I Just Want to Be Special moments and Hilarity Ensues.
- The first thing Master Vile does when he shows up in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is give the Tenga some special grain that makes them stronger, tougher, and faster than they were before.
- Zoboomafoo: the Kratt brothers offer the titular lemur a food such as Garbanzo beans, sweet potato or mango slices causing Zoboo to gain the power of speech.
- In Rifts, Crazies are people with neural implants that give them enhanced reflexes, strength, and speed, in exchange for driving them, well, crazy. One of the possible manias a Crazy can have is called "Popeye syndrome", the belief that they are effectively helpless unless or until they eat a certain food. It's all psychological, but a Crazy with Popeye syndrome really will have stat penalties if they haven't eaten that food recently, and bonuses if they have.
- The same neurosis (among others) is also available in their Superhero genre game Heroes Unlimited.
- In Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, Ogor magic users, known as Butchers, are able to cast different spells depending on what they eat. Eating troggoth guts allows him to heal himself, while eating the marrow from a spinal column will causes him to do more damage in combat for example.
- Dungeons & Dragons has a spell called hero's feast, which grants temporary benefits to all who partake in the feast.
- In the NES Felix the Cat video game, Felix has a power-up system that allows him to stack abilities at four different levels, starting with a boxing glove, then getting a magic wand, then a car that shoots out horn honks as attacks, and then a tank. The only downside is that each power-up as a time limit for use. The good news is that in addition to getting these power-ups, you can also collect Milk Bottles to refill the timer for each power-up.
- In the bootleg game Felix the Cat by Dragon Co., there are also milk bottles floating around, but they just serve as coins herethey don't recharge your power-ups or give you points. However, the Eggs floating around are worth 10 bottles, which make it easier to get 1-ups.
- In Project Dimentia Bodhisattva eating Dimsom heals health alot.
- In The World Ends with You, eating various foods is the only way to permanently boost your stats, except HP.
- Dark Cloud had these in the forms of "favorite foods" for each character that would raise their defense. Also Gourds that increased the thirst meter and Fruits of Eden that increased the health meter. (Given the origin of the term "Fruit of Eden" and associated backstory, one would expect there to be some kind of negative consequence at some point, but there never is.)
- Power-ups in Boogerman include the "Can of Beans", the "Spicy Pepper", and the "Bottle of Milk".
- Pac-Man's power pellets allow him to temporarily eat ghosts. Super Pac-Man adds Super Power Pellets, which temporarily makes Pac-Man larger, faster, invulnerable, and able to smash locked doors.
- The mushrooms in the various Super Mario Bros. games. The most common one makes him larger and resistant to damage, but other mushrooms (except for the Poison Mushroom which is an inversion) will turn him into a landscape-smashing giant, make him super-small, give him bee powers, turn him into a ghost, or give an extra life.
- Though it's never specified what Mario does with them, the various flowers (fire, ice) may also qualify.
- In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Mario can eat a carrot that gives him bunny ears and make him fly a bit.
- Mario Party 8 has candies that, when eaten, gives the player different abilities, such as zapping opponents with lightning or stealing other players' items.
- Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2 have berries that Yoshi can eat for bonuses.
- Pokémon has several examples:
- Some Berries used in the games might qualify for this. Most of them heal the Pokémon holding it, while some (very rare) Berries boost their stats once they're "in a pinch" (fall below 33% HP).
- Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire introduced "Pokéblocks", candies that the player makes in a minigame. Feeding a well-made Pokéblock to a Pokémon will give them a permanent attribute boost in Pokémon Contests. The equivalent food in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl were "Poffins", which were pastries that resembled cookies or buns.
- Rare Candies are another example. When a Pokémon eats one, it levels up.
- "EXP Candies" introduced in Sword and Shield are a smaller-scale cousin of the Rare Candy. Instead of a level-up, it gives a handful of EXP depending on the size.
- And there are supplements (called "Vitamins") like Carbos, Proteins, and Calcium which raise certain stats, as well as drinks like Fresh Water, Soda Pop, Berry Juice, MooMoo Milk, and Lemonade, all of which restore health.
- There are also regional food items that act like Full Heals when fed to a Pokémon, removing status effects like poison or paralysis: Lava Cookies (from Hoenn), Old Gateaux (from Sinnoh), Casteliacones (from Unova), and Lumiose Galettes (from Kalos).
- The Kirby video games grant temporary invincibility after the player gets a lollipop.
- The original Kirby's Dream Land game also had "Spicy Food," which lets him spit fireballs.
- Many, many years later, it came back as Superspicy Curry in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with the same effect.
- The first game also featured the Mint Leaf (or Sweet Potato in the Japanese version) that let Kirby continuously spit air pellets for its duration. It was referenced in the anime, but there it was more of a Poison Mushroom: it made Kirby hiccup, interrupting him from inhaling to copy abilities.
- The original Kirby's Dream Land game also had "Spicy Food," which lets him spit fireballs.
- In Miitopia, the Miis can eat various grubs that will permanently power some of their stats. The more they like it, the bigger boost they get.
- In the Exidy arcade game Mouse Trap, the player can eat bones that turn his mouse into a dog, in order to catch the cats chasing him.
- World of Warcraft has many food items that grant a temporary buff when consumed. Most give a 15, 30 or 60-minute buff that increases stamina and another stat depending on the food, but a few have other effects, like allowing you to burp fire or shoot lightning at nearby enemies or harmless critters), detect other players on the minimap (useful for PvP) or change in size (a solely cosmetic effect).
- Power Up Food is essential for near-endgame and endgame gameplay; there's a reason why most guilds have a dedicated Chef.
- The Mists of Pandaria expansion introduced the Pandaran playable race who, as a racial trait are epicurean gourmands who get double the normal stat-bonuses provided by power-up food, they also have a skill point bonus to cooking.
- In Soulbringer, herbs and mushrooms usually grant various beneficial (or sometimes debilitating) effects.
- Ramen noodles bring characters back from the dead.
- Also, eating a Skip Sandwich makes not only the eater, but all characters in the party walk faster for a while.
- At the start of the game, you are asked to name your favorite food, which some NPCs will make for you (and fully restore you)
- In Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, some foods provide stat changes, such as eating cheesecake to boost your intelligence. Additionally, you eat "Recipe Bread" to learn new cooking and Item Crafting recipes.
- The Scout in Team Fortress 2 has the Bonk! Atomic Punch energy drink that lets him dodge bullets or the Crit-a-Cola that lets him dish out mini-crits (but also take more damage). The Heavy has a Dalokohs Bar, a piece of chocolate that temporarily boosts his max HP, and the Sandvich, which restores the Heavy's HP up to max.
- There's also the Buffalo Steak Sandvich, another Power Up Food for the Heavy which, when eaten, gives him a speed boost and (like Crit-a-Cola) turns all damage he gives and receives into mini-crits. However, the user is restricted to using melee weapons for the duration of the powerup.
- In Fable II, food items not only heal the player, they also affect the hero's appearance and status. Meats caused the hero to get fat and corrupt, whereas healthy foods kept him thin and pure.
- Wario and Garlic.
- Wario's first solo outing, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, parodies the traditional Mario power up system by having Wario eat comically oversized heads of Garlic, which grant him hat powers in turn.
- In Wario World, the garlic pops up on occasion, but only as a health power-up.
- In the WarioWare games it causes him to become a Super Hero, and in most of the Wario Land ones, it causes health restoration.
- In some of the Wario Land games, eating too much turns Wario into "Fat Wario," who can defeat any enemy by touching it and break through hard blocks.
- In Lollipop Chainsaw, as the name implies, Juliet has a serious Sweet Tooth and can use candy to refill her Life Meter (not just lollipops, although they are her Trademark Favorite Food; she can also use jellybeans, a box of sugary cereal, and a crepe full of fruit and whipped cream).
- In Breath of Fire II, biscuits (a fairly easy item to make) will permanently boost one character's stats by +1 per biscuit. If one doesn't mind grinding to get the proper ingredients, you can max out your party's stats, regardless of level, by the game's halfway point.
- The Game Boy Color game "Looney Tunes: Carrot Crazy" let Bugs and Lola Bunny eat different types of carrots to get assorted powers, including flight and invincibility.
- Final Fantasy IV had the Silver and Golden Apples, which provided a permanent boost to Hit Points.
- Final Fantasy XI's food is powerful enough that it can equal the effect of several expensive pieces of equipment. For instance, many melee characters use equipment that boosts strength and attack, but leave most of the accuracy buffs to sushi.
- Final Fantasy XIV has a plethora of cookable foods, all of which boost EXP gain for half an hour, and most of which also boost up to three of your stats. Hardcore raiders tend to treat food as equivalent to an extra equipment slot.
- Much like Juliet, Bayonetta's powerups all come in lollipop form (but just lollipops in her case) and when she uses them, given the type of woman she is, it borders on Erotic Eating.
- In RuneScape, eating food can save you from dying, no matter how badly injured you are. Some of the food also raises other stats.
- The same can be said for Wolfenstein 3D.
- In The Lord of the Rings Online, eating and drinking does many different things, from raising base stats to quickening heal rates to gaining weapon XP faster.
- In Monday Night Combat, bacon raises a character's attributes past their maximum limit until the end of their current life. The explanation? "Bacon makes you better at everything, just like in real life."
- Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys has power-ups for each character, and the fat zombie's power-ups consist of eating things - rotting garbage, very spicy food, and soap/detergents.
- EverQuest offers this through the baking and brewing tradeskills - smoked Wood Elf, anyone? The stat boosts are usually very minor, however, and the best food tends to be an utter pain in the ass to produce, due to the rarity of the ingredients and the zillion subcombines required to make the final product. Want to make a baker cry? Ask them about the Misty Thicket Picnic (24 unique ingredients; and the recipe requires several of each to make up the 23 subcombines).
- In Trog, eating a pineapple causes your dino to temporarily transform into a fully grown T-rex who can eat all those cavemen. There is also hot tamale powerup which allows your dinos to spit out fireballs.
- In Jazz Jackrabbit 2, eating enough food gives you a sugar high; you cannot be defeated for thirty seconds, and every villain dies the instant you touch them.
- The wumpa fruit in the Crash Bandicoot games. They provide power or ammo for your weapons and give extra lives at 100.
- In NetHack eating a tin can of spinach permanently increases strength, as will eating a lump of royal jelly or the corpse of a giant. Eating certain types of corpses can also permanently increase your intelligence, give you Acquired Poison Immunity (and immunity to a few other types of damage), and even let you see the minds of monsters while you're blind.
- A few foods and alcoholic drinks in Kingdom of Loathing have buffs, and every candy has some power-up, the most common of which is a Sugar Rush.
- Used in Suikoden III. You even get to make your own foods.
- Joe & Mac gives us steak.
- Dragon Quest loves this. It's to get your mons to like you in the mon games, though.
- In River City Ransom, shops serve many different kinds of food, which can provide permanent stat boosts.
- In BurgerTime, collecting bonus food will increase your supply of pepper. Never mind exactly how this is supposed to work.
- In Minecraft, eating Apples that contain varying amounts of gold (a few nuggets to entire cubic meters) can simply either regenerate your health or make you invincible.
- It's not easy to tell whether or not sardines actually have this ability in Disgaea 4, but that won't stop Valvatorez from giving dramatic speeches on the power they no doubt provide.
- Food cooked out of combat in Muramasa: The Demon Blade tends to have some sort of beneficial effect, but it varies from dish to dish - food effects include strength and vitality increases as well as bonuses to EXP and money drops. They all restore health and bestow Spirit, a resource needed to forge blades, though. Well, either that or you get to save it for later.
- In Persona 2, you can visit restaurants for temporary stat buffs. There's no telling what a menu item will boost until you try it, with no real correspondence between cost and effectiveness - a super-cheap item might provide a huge bonus. The buff wears off after running around a dungeon for a while, then you can eat again. Characters have specific requests when they get hungry, such as fast food for Lisa or coffee for Yukino, and there's usually something of that type which gives a large boost to that character's favored stat (such as a burger that gives +8 Agility to anyone who eats it, which is Lisa's favored stat). Luck is the only stat that no food raises.
- Played with in Persona 4. Inspecting the refrigerator at home may turn up something to snack upon, ranging from mundane things like cold coffee to weird stuff like leftover miso soup that gives off a weird scent. Eating the weird stuff can increase your Courage stat, at the cost of having to go to bed early. Sometimes, you may find ingredients to cook lunch for school the following day, which can help increase Relationship Values.
- There are a few Power Ups like this in American McGee's Alice and the sequel. In addition to the well-known bottle labeled "Drink Me" and the cake labeled "Eat Me" (which make Alice small and big, respectively) there's Grasshopper Tea, which makes Alice green with bug-like eyes and antennae, and gives her enhanced jumping abilities for the duration of the effect.
- The various Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beat-em-ups have pizza, generally acting as a health boost but also occasionally enabling the use of special powers.
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy: Scam of the Century, collecting a jawbreaker makes you invincible for a short period of time.
- In Dungeon Maker II: The Hidden War and its predecessor, Dungeon Maker: Hunting Ground, this is how you get stronger. Since there is no level system (except for your Non-Human Sidekick in the second game) you gain stats by eating your daily meal, with different meals offering different (permanent) stat increases.
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Ice cream items are used as shortcuts to activate Command Styles. If the player gets a high enough score in the rhythm minigame, they can also activate a unique style called Frozen Fortune.
- In Rogue, food has a chance of being bad-tasting — in which case eating it bestows a single Experience Point.
- Monster Hunter:
- Eating steaks while out hunting will increase your stamina gauge.
- Before a hunt, you can eat at the canteen to gain buffs to your stats and temporary skills.
- Congalala is a Fanged Beast that can eat mushrooms to gain a Breath Weapon; Nitroshrooms give it fire breath, Parashrooms give it paralyzing gas, and Toadstools give it poison gas.
- In Summit, there are endurance fruit that increase how much endurance the main character has.
- In Mouse Trap, the dog bones work the same as Pac-Man's power pellets, except that the player can control when he wants to transform into a dog so he can chase after the cats.
- The Point-and-Click Adventure Game Nippon Safes, Inc. has the example of Dino Fagioli, idiot strongman to whom beans have the same effect of spinach on Popeye (fagioli = beans in Italian).
- In Bangai-O, the EX Gauge is powered up by collecting fruit, which drops from defeated enemies.
- In Touhou, the Moon Rabbit Ringo has the stated ability to get stronger by eating dango. Touhou can be kind of weird.
- In the Macintosh RPG TaskMaker, eating a Dagwood Sandwich or Spinach will restore all stats along with hunger, as will Home-Cooked Meal to a smaller extent. Sequel The Tomb of the TaskMaker does likewise with chocolate bars, coffee, and "Bucky's Famous Beef Stew". Also inverted in both games, where the Instant Weekend potion or Instant Vacation scroll will replenish all stats including hunger.
- In all three incarnations of the original Quest Of Yipe, health is replenished through food items that can be carried in the inventory, or bought for instant consumption at the healing shop.
- In the doujin Fighting Game Eternal Fighter Zero, Nayuki Minase (Sleepy), Makoto Sawatari and Rumi Nanase are able to use, respectively, strawberry jam, meat buns and kimuchi noodles during the duels:
- Every time Nayuki consumes jam, her offense and mobility slightly increases; she can take the jam gauge up to 9.
- Makoto is able to use a meat bun during her Final Memory to recover some health, useful to turn the tables at critical moments.
- Rumi uses kimuchi noodles during her Final Memory to activate her Super Mode: She gains extra offense, speed and Super Armor for several seconds, and she comes back to normal when her kimuchi gauge depletes.
- In the Fallout series, almost all food items have minor health regeneration in Fallout 3, New Vegas and 4, with rare or home-cooked meals healing more and buffing stats.
- The Fallout 4 DLC "Nuka-World" allows players to craft their own variations of Nuka-Cola. Each flavor of soda has its own benefits, from the defense-buffing Nuka-Lixir to the strength-enhancing Nuka-Bombdrop.
- Postal 2: Paradise Lost adds "Habib's Power Station" soda, which when consumed allows the Postal Dude to go Guns Akimbo for a minute or so.
- World of Tanks: Nation-specific food items are available as consumables on a per-match basis, boosting the player's stats for one match.
- Master of the Monster Lair: The two human characters increase their stats by eating, with different meals raising different stats.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- Several games feature milk as a poor man's Red Potion. It doesn't heal as much as the potion (which is usually a full heal), but it's cheaper to buy, there's usually a way to get it for free beyond that, and there's two servings to a bottle instead of one, which is very useful in the early game when Link doesn't have very much health in the first place.
- Majora's Mask has Chateau Romani, which is milk that is heavily implied to have been mixed with booze. It's absurdly expensive, and for good reason. Drinking it will not only heal Link to full health, but give him infinite magic for the rest of that 3-day cycle.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has Grandma's homemade soup, which not only fully restores both health and magic when Link drinks it, but also doubles his attack power until he get hit.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild features an entire elaborate cooking system that allows Link to cook up a wide variety of delicious meals that provide effects like raising attack, defense, or elemental resistance in addition to recovering health and/or stamina, depending on the ingredients used. Or, if you'd rather have Link subsist on the series staple magic potions, Link can also cook those up with all of the same effects... except they're made from bugs, lizards, and monster organs instead of more palatable ingredients.
- In Patapon you can play a minigame to make stew which you can give to the Patapons before starting a mission. This will give the Patapons more hitpoints during the mission. How many they get depends on how well you make the stew.
- In Fantasy Life, there are various food items that one can eat to not only restore health, but also gain a temporary boost to at least two stats. The Chef Life centers specifically around making such items. With a high enough proficiency in cooking skills, it's even possible to make a "superior" version of each food item that grants further health recovery and can be sold at a higher price.
- Downplayed in the Donkey Kong Country games. Bananas don't do anything special on their own, but collecting 100 of them grants you an extra life.
- The main shtick of Dungeon Munchies is to hunt monsters, use their remains as ingredients to cook magical food, and eat that food to become more powerful and capable of killing even stronger monsters. This is all to become your boss's new apprentice and future successor. At least, initially.
- In Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, ingredients can be found or purchased throughout the game that can be crafted into food items. These not only restore your health and mana, the first time you eat a specific food you'll also get a permanent stat buff. Eating a bunch of different foods will see Miriam get quite substantial stat bonuses.
- The consumable items in Ring Fit Adventure consist of smoothies and other healthy drinks and liquid foods.
- In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, eating fruit provides players with a stack of strength that allows them to shatter rocks or dig up whole trees. If the player wants to discard their stacks of strength, they can do so by sitting on a toilet.
- The core aspect of gameplay in Creature Crunch is that Wesley can transform into stuff to eliminate the monsters in his way by eating various things, though most of the items he can eat are not usually considered edible.
- Bowser's Kingdom: The Karate Duo Numbah 1! gets this from Lucky Candy! Here's a commercial:
Narrator: This episode was brought to you by...
Karate Duo: "LUCKY CANDY!!!!!"
Karate Duo #1: We are Karate Duo Numba 1!
Karate Duo #2: Numba 1!
Karate Duo #1: And when we need awesome powah, we eat Lucky Candy!
Karate Duo #2: Lucky Candy!
[Karate Duo #1 flies around]
Karate Duo #1: Lucky Candy make you fly like bird!
[Karate Duo #2 also flies around]
Karate Duo #2: No, like glorious eagle!
[Karate Duo #1 turns into Ryu]
Karate Duo #1: It make you strong!
Karate Duo #2: How strong?
Karate Duo #1: So strong!
[Ryu-Karate Duo #1 does an uppercut]
Karate Duo #2: OOOOOH?!
[cut to Iggy]
Iggy: Lucky Candy make you have supah powah!
[in the background, Karate Duo #1 is practicing with a katana]
Iggy: Lucky Candy make you have Hattori Hanzo's steel.
Mama Duck: It hurt my mouth!
Iggy: Your mouth is weak!
[Iggy spits fire at the Mama Duck and does a dance of victory; there is a brief cutaway gag where Peach is running away from the Karate Duo. Cut back to Karate Duo #1]
Karate Duo #1: So when you're in need of a pickup! Eat Lucky Candy!
Karate Duo #2: Lucky Candy or DIE!!!
Karate Duo #1: KEEYAAAH!
Karate Duo #2: EEEYAAAH!
Karate Duo #1: AAAAAAAH!
Karate Duo #2: EEEYAAAH!
Karate Duo #1: LUCKY CANDY TASTE THE GLORY!
- The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: During the trailer, Epically Avoids You drinks a glass of water that instantly gives her huge muscles.
- The heroines in the NSFW web comics The Magnificent Milkmaid and The Chocolate Milkmaid get super-strength, super-size, and other powers whenever they drink milk, even if it's their own.
- Fruits seem to work this way in the Axe Cop universe, although it isn't consistent: when Dinosaur Soldier eats an avocado, he becomes "Avocado Soldier" and transforms into a giant avocado that can shoot explosive avocados; Axe Cop eats a lemon and turns into "Axe Cop With Lemon" - basically himself with a lemon wedge on his axe and the power to throw lemon grenades; and when Telescope Gun Cop and Uni-Baby eat apples, their hands turn into apples that can shoot apples. Yeah.
- In the world of Heart Core, the titular items (which are crystals gathered from the hearts of living creatures), can be eaten by demons in order for them to heal injuries and have their magical powers renewed.
- In Awful Hospital, the mocha poured by the Anthropomorphic Personification of cafés is so potent it makes Fern gain a Character Level. It also happens to be impossibly delicious.
- One of Cracked's 31 Life Lessons You Can Only Learn From Video Games is that "weakling + Amanita mushroom = bodybuilder."
- The spinach from Popeye is probably the first and most well-known example. Most of the time, Popeye himself is the beneficiary, but several cartoons have shown other characters eating spinach and powering up as well, such as two hilarious episodes where Popeye and Bluto are trying to get injured so that Nurse Olive can take care of them, culminating in Popeye force feeding Bluto Spinach.
- In the cartoon "Greek Mirthology", Popeye's ancestor Hercules got his strength from sniffing garlic and later found that spinach made him ten times stronger.
- In the 1980 live-action movie, Popeye hates spinach. Only in the climax does he learn about it as a power-up food.
- The Simpsons:
- Parodied in an episode with Homer and a can of beer.
- Parodied again at the end of the episode where Bart is put on Focusyn. He even sings a parody of the Popeye theme when he's put back on Ritalin;
When I start fiddlin'
I take ma Ritalin,
I'm poppin' and sailin' man!
- Parodied in South Park with Towelie and weed. It doesn't work for him.
- Lampshaded in two Warner Bros. cartoons, "Porky's Garden" (a baby chick eats some and turns into a tiny yellow Popeye—"I'll lays 'im among the sweet peas!") and "The Major Lied Till Dawn" (a bombast eats a can of spinach—or so he says—to battle a herd of wild jungle animals: "If it's good enough for that sailor man, it's good enough for me!").
- Goofy temporarily transforms into Super Goof by eating a Super Goober. Other characters have consumed Super Goobers and become temporarily super as well.
- George of the Jungle: Super Chicken's super sauce falls under this trope, especially since he typically drinks it from a martini glass. Although since the recipe varies with each episode, it's most likely just a Magic Feather for his own powers. (Emphasized by a Running Gag on the show that made taking the sauce different each time; One time Fred adds too much corn starch, and the sauce has to be eaten with a spoon. Another time, it's 'instant super sauce,' which needs water added ("I forgot to mention: boiling water"). Still another time, Fred gives him steak sauce by accident, and the hero hurts himself trying to break through a wall.)
- As expected, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon showed Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man eating power pellets to fight Mezmaron's ghosts. The power pellets are grown in a forest.
- One episode also had special power pellets that gave the characters superpowers.
- In the Christmas episode, power pellets help Santa recover from crashing his sleigh, and give his reindeer the ability to fly fast enough to save Christmas at literally the last minute.
- The Bugs Bunny cartoon "Super-Rabbit" has Bugs (temporarily) gaining Superman-like powers by eating experimental "super carrots". When Bugs loses his carrots, the villain (a Captain Ersatz of Lyndon Johnson, a US Representative at the time) eats them and gets super powers as well.
- Adventures of the Gummi Bears: Gummiberry juice gives Gummi Bears the ability bounce around, and grants humans Super Strength for a limited time.
- Codename: Kids Next Door had a one time villain named Cuppa Joe, a rig overseer who gained Super Speed from drinking excessive amounts of coffee. (Numbuh Five was able to gain similar powers from it, but seeing as she was a coffee "newbee", so to speak, the rush ended quickly and she collapsed after a minute or two.)
- The Mighty Heroes has Diaper Man's milk bottle, which provides extra strength in emergencies.
- Hero: 108 Has Mighty Ray getting Shock and Awe powers from bananas. Unfortunately, he hates bananas. When he can keep them down he can throw out the most devastating attacks of any good guy in the show.
- One episode of The Super Mario Bros Super Show! had Mario gain a boost of strength from eating a hamburger he'd stored in his pocket. Technically, it was a meatball sub... and it didn't make him stronger... he just got fatter and caused the ropes to break.
- In Mighty Mouse's first appearance (when he was called Super Mouse) he gained his powers after going into a Supermarket and eating various Super-named foods. It was a one-time thing though - the Power Up was permanant.
- The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin has VitaminZ, which makes most species slightly stronger, but is addictive. If an illiper eats it, however, they become an armored giant with super strength and go into a berserker rage until they come in contact with enough water.
- Taz-Mania: In "We'll Always Have Taz-Mania", Hugh gets a Popeye-style burst of strength from orange juice, allowing him to swim up a 2000 foot waterfall pushing a boat.
- Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures: The iconic power pellets from the games are now berries and come in many colors and surface designs in this adaptation. Incidentally, Pac-Man here doesn't need to eat one beforehand in order to eat ghosts. However, he does need to eat them in order to access a wide range of powers which differ with each berry type.
- Steven Universe: Parodied in the first episode "Gem Glow", when Steven is briefly convinced that Cookie Cat ice cream sandwiches can power up his Gem and summon his weapon. Later episodes show that Steven's powers are tied to his emotional state; it was the love and support Steven felt from the Crystal Gems, and his desire to help and protect them, that summoned his shield.
- Miraculous Ladybug:
- The kwamis, part Mentor Mascot and part Living Battery for Miraculous users, derive their energy from food. After a Miraculous user uses their single-use-per-transformation special ability, a timer starts ticking down to when they will automatically de-transform, and they can't transform again until their kwami has something to eat. Except for Hawk Moth, who claims to have levelled up enough that he no longer has this limitation. Marinette/Ladybug's kwami Tikki has a preference for sweets (which is good news since Marinette's parents literally run a bakery out of their house), while Adrien/Cat Noir's kwami Plagg likes cheese, particularly Camembert (much to Adrien's chagrin since Camembert is infamous for its horrible smell).
- Season two introduces magic formulae that give Miraculous users temporary new modes such as breathing underwater. The Kwamis can either drink them as potions or have them added to their food of choice.
- Fangbone! has the episode The Kat of Munching where Fangbone and Bill eat fudge made from the pixels of Munchie-Kat. The fudge was supposed to give you a magical nice sweet feel and scent.
- Martha Speaks: Alphabet soup grants Martha the ability to speak.
- Henry's World: Mashed carrots cause Henry's wishes to come true.
- In the surfing episode of Duck Dodgers, Dodgers gets a Popeye-style powerup from canned pineapple. "Everyone knows the freshest pineapple comes in cans!"
- Glitch Techs: Miko learns that Ally has these, which not only restore her life-points but also give her a fire form (not only that it's revealed that there are several variants that give additional power-ups).