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Radish Cure

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That'll learn 'em!

Alice wants something she shouldn't have. Knowing this, somebody else responds by giving it to her, as much or as frequently as she wants, to the point where she can't stand it anymore and voluntarily refuses it. An Aesop is had by all.

This trope is named for a Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle story about a little girl who hates taking baths. Her family lets her go unbathed for quite some time (maybe a week, but don't think about it too hard). Eventually, she is covered in a layer of dirt thick enough that her parents secretly plant radish seeds there. The seeds sprout in a day or two, and when the girl sees them, a Freak Out ensues. She screams for a bath, her parents have her take a shower instead, which she willingly stays in for hours until she is spotless, and she never wants to go without her nightly bath again.


This seems particularly common in kids' stories where the moral is "your parents know best, and they really do love you, even when they don't give you what you want."

A once-common subtrope of this, now a Dead Horse Trope, is parents who catch their kids with cigarettes forcing them to smoke a whole carton, which will make them so sick they'll never want to touch a cigarette again.

Compare Be Careful What You Wish For, Exact Words, Literal Genie, and Reverse Psychology. Can overlap with Jackass Genie on the parents' part if they fulfill the child's wish by giving them only the negative aspects of what they want, without any of the good. If the child's punishment is essentially self-inflicted (i.e. s/he steals the forbidden fruit and experiences its unpleasant consequences), it becomes a case of The Punishment Is the Crime.


Definitely Truth in Television, as many a parent has managed to give his beer-craving teenage son a disgustingly warm beer.

One should note that beyond the obvious health risks involved, on a purely educational level this method can quickly become a Broken Aesop. When your kid asks for chocolate and you reply by saying he'll never be allowed to eat anything else again, you're pretty obviously not giving him "what he wanted", you're just being mean.


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  • Hello Flo, a company that takes care of... women's hygiene, has this story about a preteen girl on the edge of puberty who gets tired of waiting for menarche (and the coming-of-age it implies to her and her friends), and decides to fake it. Her mother isn't fooled, nor does she find her daughter's simulation of snappish mood swings particularly amusing. Mom's solution? Why, an event this momentous calls for an all-out over-the-top traditional "First Moon" celebration, of course! Then, even after the embarrassment finally forces the daughter to confess, her mother isn't sending back the gifts, particularly that "starter pack" from Hello Flo. (Hey, just because she doesn't need it right now doesn't mean she isn't going to...)

    Anime & Manga 
  • Invoked, though not actually carried out, in Change 123. Hibiki and Mikiri, Motoko's more childish personalities, are messy and lazy, and when they are required to begin leading a day to day existence, they don't bother cleaning the apartment and eat junk food instead of cooking. Terhuaru scares them into starting by pointing out that if they continue living-off of junk food, they'll eventually get a stomach ache, and that an unclean apartment will eventually be filled with cockroaches.
  • See Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, when Nozomu and Kafuka board up Komori, plus probably some others.
  • Used twice on Ranmaru in The Wallflower. His father, exasperated with his womanising and hoping to cement an Arranged Marriage, reminds him of when he was a child and loved pudding. So when young Ranmaru asked for a pudding bigger than his head, he got sick of it less than halfway through. With that anecdote in mind, the father starts sending Ranmaru from place to place full of women. Ranmaru refuses to back down, continuing to entertain all the women to the point of exhaustion.

  • John Moloney mentions this.
    John: I remember when I was 14, my mother caught me masturbating, that was very embarrassing. Thankfully, she was quite understanding. Also when I was 14, my dad caught me smoking cigarettes and he made me smoke 20 in a row, and I thought, "Well, thank God it wasn't him who caught me masturbating!"
  • Norm MacDonald's take on it:
    Norm: My dad caught me smoking a cigarette behind the house, so he pulled me into the house by my arm, stuck a gigantic cigar in my mouth and forced me to smoke that entire cigar! [beat] So that's how I got started on cigars...

    Comic Books 
  • Subverted in a classic Charles Addams cartoon, which shows a young boy — perhaps five years old — sitting in an armchair, contentedly puffing smoke rings from a huge, ornate meerschaum pipe. Says the child's disgruntled mother to a sheepish father: "So much for 'Oh, let's let him have a puff; he'll be so sick he'll never want to try it again!'"
  • In one Sandman story, this is Dream's punishment for an author who kept a Muse captive and was implied to be regularly raping her for inspiration. It reached the point where he had so many ideas coming through his head that he was writing on the wall in his own blood.
    You say you need the ideas? Then you shall have them.
    Ideas in abundance.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin's mom lets him smoke a cigarette his grandpa left behind. He really doesn't enjoy it, but the Aesop he learns was not to trust his mother.
  • Garfield: In an old Sunday strip, Jon tries to cure Garfield of his gluttony by offering him a huge pile of food, saying, "he's either going to get sick eating all that food, or he's going to burst trying". It doesn't work; after eating it all, Garfield is still hungry, asking Jon if he's going to finish his hamburger.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Naruto fic Better Left Unsaid, Kurenai catches Naruto with a cigarette he stole from Asuma. She forces Naruto to smoke an entire carton to make him sick and prevent him from ever smoking again. Unfortunately, Kurenai forgot to factor in Naruto's Healing Factor, resulting in him simply becoming addicted to cigarettes.
  • Raised by Jägers has a young Agatha Heterodyne refuse to go to bed one night while in the care of Mamma Gkika. So Mamma Gkika, ever wise, decides to let Agatha stay up as long as she wants.
    "Und vot did hyu learn, sveethot?" Gkika asked.
    "That little girls need their sleep even if they don't think they do," Agatha recited dutifully. "Can I take a nap?"
  • In this Sailor Moon fan-art, Sailor Neptune tries to make Chibi-Chibi sick of cookies in order for her to stop stealing them... only to get sick herself. And Chibi-Chibi just continues to happily eat away despite having a large Balloon Belly.
  • A Glass Of Wine: Misato orders Asuka to smoke one cigarette she lifeted out of Kaji's desk drawer. Asuka starts shuddering and coughing right away, and she stomps the cigarette out.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The film Austenland revolves around a woman who's obsessed with the works of Jane Austen, to the point where she go to a resort modeled after an estate from Regency-era England. Despite spending her life's savings, she could only afford the lowest tiered package. After several bad experiences, such as being led on by an actor, and being molested by the owner's drunk husband, she decides to cut her loses and goes home, where she decides to take down her Jane Austen memorabilia.
  • Brewster's Millions (1985): A recently-deceased relative of the title character employs this trope in his will: Montgomery Brewster must spend $30 million within 30 days, in order to get his actual inheritance of $300 million. There are several catches, though: at month's end, he's not allowed to own any assets of any kind, he can't simply give money and/or valuables away (beyond the $1.5 million he's allowed to donate to charity, that is), he mustn't destroy anything that's inherently valuable, and the final catch that makes this Radish Cure truly work in the end—during the 30 day period, he's not allowed to tell anyone else why he's spending his $30 million so foolishly. The relative cites this trope as his motivation behind the will in the first place, since his father used the typical "letting your kid smoke... a whole heap of smokes all at once" tactic to prevent him from ever wanting to smoke. It might count as a deconstruction of the Radish Cure, though, as throughout the film Brewster 1) still wants the money and 2) has serious trouble trying to actually spend the amount without gaining assets (thus carrying out the terms of the cure). Even at the climax of the movie, when things are down to the wire, he still has $20,000 to spend.note 
  • This is Nanny McPhee's stock in trade. When the kids don't want to stop making a mess of the kitchen and go to bed, she magics them into being unable to stop, which results in almost throwing the baby into the soup. She only breaks the spell when they beg her to. The next morning, they fake being sick to avoid having to get out of bed, so she traps them in their beds. Although really, this has less to do with instilling an aversion to the thing they want to do and more to do with scaring them into behaving by demonstrating her powers.

  • "I caught my son with a cigarette and forced him to eat the whole carton. Now he eats them."
  • First businessman: "I own a chocolate factory and I let every new employee eat whatever he wants. After a week, he hates chocolate." Second businessman: "I wish I could do that. I own a bank."

  • Subverted in Alvie Eats Soup where Alvie's parents want him to eat more than just soup so they try doing this trick but he just doesn't get bored of it.
  • In The Baby-Sitters Club, Stacey uses this among other Reverse Psychology techniques when she first sits for the Delaney siblings. The kids are supposed to clean up their playroom, but they try to get out of it by claiming that they like a messy playroom. Stacey agrees that messy playrooms are better and starts pulling everything off the shelves, scattering art supplies, and generally trying to make the playroom as much of a mess as possible, until the kids stop her by admitting they don't like the mess and agreeing to clean it up.
  • In Numbers 11 of The Bible, the Israelites have had nothing to eat but manna since they were liberated from Egypt. They complain about this to God and have the nerve to suggest they had better food to eat in Egypt (as in, when they were slaves crying out to God to rescue them). God becomes so angry at them that he prescribes the following punishment: they shall indeed have meat. Lots of meat, and only meat, until it comes out of their nostrils and becomes loathsome to them.
  • William Dean Howells' short story Christmas Every Day has a little girl wish for... well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The Christmas Fairy agrees to grant her wish for a year, which eventually leads to so much worldwide misery – mass poverty from all the shopping, no room to store all the presents, tree- and turkey shortages, etc. – that by the end, the girl never wants to see Christmas again and needs to be persuaded to let it come even once a year. This story has inspired a trope of its own, with countless Whole Plot References in different media, with the Sesame Street special Elmo Saves Christmas as probably the most famous retelling.
  • Bread and Jam for Frances is right up there with Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as the classic example of this trope. In this story, Frances the badger only wants to eat bread and jam, and is unwilling to try any other foods. Her parents decide to give her bread and jam for every meal, and while she's happy about it at first, she eventually gets tired of it and asks to try some spaghetti at one meal. The story ends with her bringing a lunch to school that consists of a wide variety of foods, with no jam to speak of.
  • There's a children's book called The Chocolate Touch based on the legend of King Midas where a boy who eats too much candy unwittingly buys a magic chocolate from The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday. After he eats it, everything he puts into his mouth turns to chocolate, making him thirsty and sick and ruining some possessions, like his trumpet. Finally he accidentally turns his mother into a chocolate statue by kissing her on the cheek, runs back to the shop's proprietor and tells him he's learned the error of his ways, and is allowed a Reset Button.
  • Done in The Great Brain is Back when Tom, in an experiment to find out why men smoke, gets caught smoking a cigarette in the barn. Papa tells him he may not smoke cigarettes outside, but he's free to have a pipe or cigar in the house anytime. Tom lasts about a few minutes before turning green, and when his girlfriend says she doesn't like the smell anyway, he concludes that men smoke in order to repel women.
  • In Little Town on the Prairie, Miss Wilder attempts to employ this trope by commanding Carrie Ingalls and her seatmate to put their books away and rock their desk as punishment for rocking it while studying. It's mostly an effort to get at Laura by picking on her little sister, and it backfires dramatically (and awesomely) when Miss Wilder demands that sickly little Carrie, abandoned by her seatmate, continue to rock the desk by herself - Laura declares that she'll rock the desk if Miss Wilder wants it rocked, and she proceeds to do just that, so loudly that nobody in the entire schoolroom can hear the lesson.
  • The Little Princess book "I Want Two Birthdays", where the Princess wants (and gets) to celebrate her "birthday" every day, but she doesn't get bored of birthdays so much as the presents become undesirable.
  • In the Little Women chapter "Experiments," Marmee lets her daughters go for a week without doing any chores. At first it's fun, but eventually boredom sets in, and then Marmee and housekeeper Hannah give the girls a taste of their own medicine by taking a day off too, leaving no one to do the necessary work around the house. Thus the sisters learn the value of balancing play with work – particularly Beth, whose pet canary dies because she neglected to feed it.
  • Matilda subverts this after the exaggeratedly cruel headmistress Agatha Trunchbull catches Bruce Bogtrotter stealing cake and forces him to eat a entire cake in front of the rest of the school. Though little Brucie initially hesitates after figuring out what the punishment is, he ends up willingly finishing the whole thing as a middle finger to Trunchbull, while his schoolmates cheer him on. It helps that he's fat and thus used to eating a lot.
  • Named for the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle example. In fact, all of the early Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories had this basic form, not just the Radish Cure one. Some other examples:
    • A boy who doesn't want to clean his room is allowed to slack off on cleaning his room until his toys pile up so much that he can't leave his room at all and will miss seeing the circus if he doesn't get around to finally cleaning up.
    • A boy who hates sharing his things with other children is given locks, labels, and paint that he can use to lock up or write his name and the message "DON'T TOUCH!" on all of his possessions, down to even his lunch food. This causes him to become a laughingstock among his peers who take all the "DON'T TOUCH!" messages as an invitation to touch, and he's eventually shamed into taking off all the messages.
    • Three children who want to stay up well past their bedtime are allowed to do just that, which has the predictable outcome of them being too tired during the day to focus on or enjoy anything they do. The chapter ends with them practically begging their parents to let them go to bed on time.
    • The plot outline changed a little after the author added magic powers to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's repertoire. For example, the Whisper Sticks - sweet candy canes given to two little girls who whisper incessantly, so that they can't do anything but whisper and end up in a huge fight.
  • In Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary, the title character's teacher has him make spitballs exclusively as punishment for shooting them (he gets bored of it because his mouth gets dry). Cleary also includes a story in her autobiography of some boys who chewed garlic in class. The principal finally bought a dollar's worth of garlic—this was in the 1930s—and had them chew it all.
  • Roald Dahl:
    • Subverted in Matilda, where the evil Trunchbull forces a dessert-stealing child to eat a monster cake in a single sitting — he does get a bit nauseated (without throwing up), but manages to finish it and becomes a hero figure for the school. Hooray, strange Dahlish morality fables!
    • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Arguably, this could be Wonka's real thoughts behind the children meeting their various fates. They all were taken out of running when they went to steal or use something that clearly wasn't safe but they still wanted. In adaptations, Wonka seems decidedly unconcerned with rescuing or stopping the kids, so...
  • Another children's book, Strega Nona, is a "Sorcerer's Apprentice" Plot starring the titular grandmotherly witch and her magic pot that produces pasta on command. The apprentice in question, Big Anthony, wanted some pasta, so while Strega Nona was out, he said the magic words to produce the pasta. However, he didn't know that you have to blow three kisses to make the pasta pot stop making pasta. The Radish Cure comes in at the end: Big Anthony's punishment for having flooded the entire village with pasta ... is having to eat all of it.
  • One of Jean de la Fontaine's Tales in Verse. The Casanova aristocrat sleeps with the wife of his servant and to prove to the servant that monogamy is impossible, serves him eel pie daily. This is at first a delicacy, but soon becomes unbearable.
  • In the Warrior Cats book Code of the Clans a young One-Eye and Dappletail break the warrior code by stealing RiverClan's fish. Hailstar of RiverClan and Pinestar of ThunderClan agree to give them the fish, whereupon the two young cats discover that they hate the taste and vow to never take them again.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cliff and Claire do it on The Cosby Show when Rudy complains about not being allowed to stay up late, choose her own clothes, etc. They agree to let her stay up as late as she likes.
    • Played with a second time when Vanessa comes home drunk. They play a "drinking game" with Vanessa, but when it comes to her turn, she figures out it's tea.
  • Loren does this on an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman when a boy keeps stealing his cigars. He finally tells the boy he can have them- as long as he smokes them all in the store, in one sitting.
  • In an early episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm swears at his father, who is deeply hurt, and considers that it's hard to punish a child for swearing - 'if it was smoking I'd have him go through the whole pack until he was gasping for air'. This gives him an idea. Later, he hands Malcolm a long list of terms of abuse, and asks Malcolm to read everything on the list to 'the man who held you in his arms the moment you were born'. Malcolm gives up somewhere in the middle, but when Hal attempts to let him off, he quickly exclaims that he can finish the whole list. He does.
  • In one episode of M*A*S*H, Father Mulcahy cures a dog of its liquor stealing habits by giving the dog all the whiskey it can drink. One massive hangover later, and the dog refused to touch alcohol ever again.
    • In another, Col. Potter tries assisting a patient contemplating suicide due to his wound disfiguring his face. When the patient gets to the knockout gas and angrily demands that he be left alone to die, Potter opens the valves and forces the mask onto the man, causing him to panic and back out (which was Potter's whole point: the soldier's desire to live was much stronger than his desire to die, he just needed to see it for himself).
  • In the British puppet comedy Mongrels, Marion the cat gets hooked on catnip, so Vince the fox tries to help him kick the habit by giving him a ton of catnip to munch on:
    Vince: Classic aversion therapy! My dad did the same to me when he caught me smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately he also did it when he caught my sister doing heroin.
    (cut to brief scene of a dead female fox with an arm full of needles)
  • In an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hilda develops a case of "Bat Breath", where every time she opens her mouth, bats fly out, from eating pomegrantes. Zelda soon develops a cure for Bat Breath, allowing Hilda to eat all the pomegranates she wants. At the end of the episode, she's eaten so much pomegranate that she doesn't want to eat it ever again.
  • Inverted in The Sarah Silverman Program - After being offered Tab by his boyfriend (who insists he at least try it once), Steve pretends to become obsessed with it. But, the boyfriend starts offering him more and more of it, turning it into an Escalating War.
  • On The Orville, Isaac suggests this for disciplining Claire's teenaged son Marcus, who's been acting up and was caught drinking alcohol with his friends: force him to drink more until he can't stand the taste of the stuff. Claire points out that this will kill Marcus.
  • On The Brady Bunch, Jan's siblings pull this on her when she wants privacy and wishes she were an only child. They refuse to speak to her, be in the same room with her, or associate with her at all, until she is begging for their companionship again.
  • In on episode of Gullah Gullah Island, after the kids complain about all the rules around the house, Ron and Natalie decide to let them go for a day without any rules. Of course chaos ensues and the kids learn the value of rules by the end.
  • That '70s Show: In "Eric Gets Suspended", the "make them smoke all the cigarettes" version is used when Eric gets in trouble at school for smoking. Except he was actually covering for Donna, so later his dad has to apologize.
    Red: I'm sorry I made you smoke all those cigarettes.
    Eric: [joking] Nah, I kinda liked them.
    Red: Don't...
    Eric: No, really! I'll bet they go great with beer!
    Red: So does a swift kick to the ass.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Inanna/Ishtar asks Gilgamesh to be her consort, but he refuses, citing what happened to pretty much all of her other boyfriends and husbands. Enraged, she runs to her daddy, Nanna the moon god, and asks for Gugalana, the Bull of Heaven. (Actually, the first husband of her older twin Ereshkigal. This becomes important later.) Nanna warns her that giving her the Bull of Heaven will cause a drought and says no, but Inanna/Ishtar pitches a fit, threatening to cause a Zombie Apocalypse if Gugalana is not given to her. Nanna gives in, and Enkidu and Gilgamesh destroy Gugalana.
  • The legend of King Midas and his golden touch. Specifically, Midas is a greedy king but then he gets a curse where everything he touches turns into gold. He doesn't get bored of gold so much as things become very inconvenient for him when he accidentally turns his food and his friends into gold.
  • In an Italian Fairy Tale, this is actually a plot point: there's this beautiful princess who loves eating figs and is quite the Big Eater, so the King offers her hand in marriage to whoever manages to make her tired of eating figs. The hero succeed thanks to a magic wand which refills his basket of figs whenever he strikes it on the ground.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street: In "Elmo Saves Christmas", Elmo wishes it could be Christmas every day, which leads to everyone being bored of Christmas, the carolers losing their voices, pine trees being endangered, Maria forgetting how to do her job, the economy failing, and Big Bird crying because he hasn't seen Snuffy for a year. Even the Count, who should be happy throughout it all because he now has an infinite number of Christmases to count, gets sick of the endless Christmas.
  • In the Lamb Chop's Play-Along episode "Too Sick to Go to the Circus," Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy Play Sick to get out of school. Shari teaches them a lesson by pretending to be fooled and treating them like they really are sick, giving them bad-tasting medicine and keeping them home not only from school, but from their class's trip to the circus.

  • There is a play about a German man who worked at a radio station and had to edit a four-hour speech by Adolf Hitler (to decide which three minutes to cut). He had to listen to the speech three times to make the decision, and as he said, before he started this work, he was a Nazi, but after hearing it the third time, he wasn't a Nazi anymore.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Chaotic Peyton tries to do this to himself in order to lose weight. Since whatever happens to his body on Chaotic and Perim doesn't affect his body on Earth (since humans on Chaotic and Perim are actually copies whose memories are transferred to the original when they return to Earth), he tries stuffing himself with food until he gets sick on Chaotic, in the hope that the memory of the experience will reduce his food cravings on Earth. It doesn't work.
  • Downplayed in the Charlie and Lola episode "Snow is My Favorite and Best" where Charlie asks Lola to imagine what it would be like if it only snowed to make her realize you can have too much of a good thing.
  • Chowder had an episode where Mung tried to cure Chowder's insatiable love of thrice cream by having the Thrice Cream Man become his new friend and letting Chowder eat him while the two play together. The plan works when Chowder becomes sick of eating him and has a stop-motion Nightmare Sequence, but the Thrice Cream Man wants Chowder to keep eating him and threatens to destroy the catering company.
  • Used in an old Disney cartoon, where Donald Duck catches Huey, Dewey, and Louie with a carton of cigars, and makes them smoke them all—only to find out they were a gift for him. Even more karmic because when he noticed them with the box he didn't even think of asking, he just went berserk, shoved the cigars into their mouths and lit up in a montage more befitting a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown (at one point a sick Huey even tried to drag himself away just for Donald to grab him by the ankle, drag him back into the room and give him another cigar).
  • The Family Guy episode "Trading Places" has Peter forcing Chris to smoke a whole carton of cigarettes, even though what he did was smash Peter's new motorcycle. Chris is reluctant at first but then starts enjoying the cigarettes.
    • The gag would be repeated again in the British segment of "Family Guy Viewer Mail #2", only this time, it was a "carton of fags".
    • During a group intervention to convince Quagmire's sister to leave her abusive fiancé, Peter did it again and tried making her smoke a whole carton of cigarettes.
  • A second season episode of the Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats series involved a (court-ordered) attempt to get Heathcliff to stop stealing fish from the fish store using this method (otherwise, he would have to go to jail). It ends up working too well...
    Grandpa Nutmeg: Heathcliff not only doesn't want to eat fish, he can't even stand to hear the word fish.
  • King of the Hill:
    • In the episode "Keeping Up with Our Joneses," Hank Hill made Bobby smoke a whole carton of cigarettes as punishment for catching him smoking. The plan backfired spectacularly; not only did Bobby end up hooked, but Hank and Peggy fell victim to their own past cigarette habits as well.
    • In their addiction support group, Bobby mentions that he's been an addict since his dad "let" him smoke a whole carton, to horrified reactions. Hank tries to correct him, in that he made him smoke them as a punishment (though he doesn't mention that he was trying to punish Bobby for smoking in the first place), to even more horrified reactions.
    • While attempting to use the Radish Cure on Bobby, Hank even bothered to correct him on how to hold the cigarette, stating there's a right way to do everything, even wrong things.
  • Little Princess:
    • Zigzagged in "I Want Baked Beans", where Princess doesn't want to eat anything but baked beans so she's allowed to have only baked beans but eventually grows bored of them and wants other food... however, the adults imply that they weren't trying to invoke the trope and she could have just asked.
    • Inverted in "I Don't Want Help", where Little Princess doesn't want something (namely any help) so the adults agree not to help her but then she realizes she needs help.
  • There is one Robot Chicken short where a girl and her father are fighting over control of the television. She is obsessed with the anime Inuyasha, so the father decides to make her sick of InuYasha by pretending to be even more obsessed with the show than she is until she finally gives up watching it and lets him control the television again.
    "Dad wins."
  • In the Rugrats episode "Angelica Orders Out," after Angelica uses Stu's voice-changing invention to disguise herself as an adult over the phone and order lots of desserts from a deli, her mother punishes her by making her eat all the flan she ordered. Having never actually tried flan before, Angelica realizes too late that she doesn't like it.
  • The Simpsons:
  • A non-food example occurred in SpongeBob SquarePants. In the episode "Squidville," after his house is destroyed by another of SpongeBob and Patrick's shenanigans, Squidward moves to Tentacle Acres, a cephalopod-only gated community, and declares it his version of heaven since everyone thinks like him, and shares his passions. After living there for some time, he gets bored and starts engaging in similar shenanigans as SpongeBob.
  • Another King Midas variation happened in an old Yogi Bear cartoon, where Yogi met a fairy godmother who would grant him a wish. Naturally, Yogi wished for "pic-a-nic" baskets, so she made it so everything he touched turned into one. Unfortunately, this led to Yogi eating so much that he got sick of them. Then it got worse; he accidentally turned Boo-Boo into a picnic basket (a walking, talking picnic basket) then the Ranger saw him with Boo-Boo and thought he had pilfered one, leading to another accident, with Yogi winding up with a walking, talking picnic basket that was angry at him. Fortunately, the fairy godmother found out what was going on and broke the spell; the Ranger punished Yogi by putting him in jail for two weeks, but Yogi didn't mind. At least that meant two weeks away from "pic-a-nic" baskets.

    Real Life 
  • New Zealand High School Principal Marg McLeod did the standard cigarettes variation with a number of her students at Wellington Girls' College, as a way to help those girls who wanted to quit - though not just a single carton. It reputedly succeeded.
  • An actual therapy for smokers. The trick is that they have to take a puff regularly, from multiple cigarettes for a set amount of time. The thing is that Nicotine quickly becomes an overdose, and can make a person sick. After a while the body associates smoking with suffering and actually forces the person to never smoke again.
  • New employees in candy stores/factories are often encouraged to eat all the candy they want. It doesn't take long until they aren't eating any.
  • Chemotherapy patients experience a strange variation on this: the body associates the introduction of poison into the bloodstream with having consumed something poisonous, hence the common symptom of nausea. This is the body quite appropriately acting to rid itself of a potentially dangerous meal, as it would do for food poisoning or if you tried eating that colorful mushroom you found in the woods. Chemotherapy patients are warned not to eat their favorite foods on days that they receive treatment, because the body will begin to associate that food with being sick. Eventually the very thought of pizza or cheesecake will make them nauseous thanks to Pavlovian Conditioning. Many treatment centers give patients a "scapegoat food" to help avert this; generally an obscure and unlikely to be missed type of hard candy, or an obscure flavor of ice cream.
    • A useful trick parents can use to put their Littlest Cancer Patient children off unhealthy foods and prevent obesity/tooth decay?
  • Chuck Barris once gave an example about how too many TV shows about the same thing (crime dramas, westerns, game shows, etc.) can turn the audience off. In an interview in TV Guide magazine, he said, "One piece of pie is delicious. Fourteen pieces is obviously nauseating."
  • A tragic example near the end of 2015 a mother forced her son to drink enough alcohol to induce alcohol poisoning resulting in his death, especially tragic given he was also on medication that reacted poorly to alcohol as well (although he'd have likely died even if he hadn't been on the medication). Her excuse? 'That's how my momma taught me not to want to drink.'
  • A necklace was invented with food scents, such as chocolate or pizza, with the premise that if you smelled it all the time, you would stop wanting the food.
  • Erica Jong invokes the concept in describing her reaction to porn films: "After the first ten minutes, I want to go home and screw. After the first twenty minutes, I never want to screw again as long as I live."


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