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Tampering with Food and Drink

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"Ah ha ha, I put broken glass in your dinner, dear
It's only getting worse from here."
King Diamond, "More Than Pain"

The act of sneaking inedible or dangerous objects, such as glass, poison, drugs, etc., into an item of food or drink, with the hope that it kills/harms whoever has the misfortune to consume it. As such, it also covers deliberately adding an otherwise harmless ingredient to which the intended recipient is known to be allergic.

The non-lethal version of food tampering would be putting a love potion, sleeping potion/drug, etc. in food or more commonly, drinks; also known as Slipping a Mickey. Another less fatal prank is switching the victim's usual drink with Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce or Gargle Blaster. A Laxative Prank is also fairly common. Well-intentioned tampering can also administer a remedy to a patient either unaware of their ailment or unwilling to take the cure. Attempting to do this to several different people at once can overlap with One Dose Fits All.

A variant of this trope is Medication Tampering.

When done with drugs to a large group of people, it's Everybody Must Get Stoned

It is common for the perpetrator to be a waiter/chef and the victim to be a rude customer or food critic who made the perpetrator angry.

If the perpetrator is unlucky, his plans may be thwarted by a Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo.

A character who suspects that the trope is going to be played on him might react with a Discreet Drink Disposal or Discreet Dining Disposal.

Compare Revenge Is a Dish Best Served, when someone puts something gross (but non-fatal) in food or drink to get back at someone (usually a grumpy or bossy customer). Clean Food, Poisoned Fork is when the means of eating the food is tampered for the same effect. Tainted Tobacco is where the poisoner tampers with the victim's smoking material rather than their food. Faked Food Contaminant is when one does this to benefit themself.

Compare the larger scale Water Source Tampering, usually perpetrated by conspiracies and such.

Razor Apples and Slipping a Mickey overlap with this trope. The Master Poisoner is highly likely to practice this art. Lethal versions are often Tricked to Death.


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    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 9 of Happy Heroes, Big M. laces a glass of milk with poison and wants to give it to Smart S., who is at a restaurant with the other Supermen. While he does get the poisoned milk, he has it replaced by another, unpoisoned (but quite rancid) glass of the same drink before he can taste a drop of the first glass.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Asterix series:
    • Asterix and Cleopatra has one villain singing the formula for creating a poisonous cake, as an attempt to frame Astérix. Even though the cake was poisoned, Obelix Cut a Slice and Took the Rest.
    • Asterix in Switzerland opens with the Roman governor Varius Flavus poisoning the food of Quaestor Vexatius Sinusitus in an attempt to dispose of him before Sinusistus can uncover Flavus's embezzlement.
  • Batman (Grant Morrison) has Red Hood poisoning Blackgate Prison inmates this way, with 82 confirmed dead and hundreds more in critical condition as part of his gambit to kill everyone in it.
  • Comic Cavalcade: In the ''Wonder Woman feature Plasm gets his hands on people by making them ingest his moron hormone without their knowledge, generally by putting it in their drink.
  • Hellblazer: During the Hard Time arc, one of the prisoners grinds up glass in the workshop, then his brother slips it into Constantine's oatmeal. John, in his wily, unexplained way (probably magic), switches the glass to the grinder's oatmeal, resulting in a rather grisly breakfast after a week's worth of dosing...
  • In Lori Lovecraft: The Dark Lady, a Creepy Housekeeper serves Lori a snack of milk and cookies where the milk has been laced with potassium cyanide.
  • In Red Robin, it's revealed that the poisoner "Funnel" was first approached by the Council of Spiders after poisoning the other patrons at a restaurant.
  • In Secret Six, Jeanette reveals that this was how she eventually killed Elizabeth Bathory, who was imprisoned for life in her tower. Jeanette offered to "serve" her by putting crushed glass into her food for years. According to her, Bathory died in agony.
  • In The Smurfs comic book story "The Fake Smurf", Gargamel (and Hogatha in the Animated Adaptation) attempts to poison the Smurfs by slipping something into a boiling pot that he thinks is their meal of the day. However, when he sees that the Smurfs weren't being affected, he goes to check the pot that he put the poison into, and it's revealed to be full of dirty laundry.
  • In White Sand, Kerztians prepare the Sand Masters for the massacre by poisoning the Mastrells, the most powerful of them, a few dozen minutes before their head-on attack, rendering them unable to Sand Master and thus defend themselves.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The King Who Would Be Stronger Than Fate", the king tries to poison the young man after impossible missions have failed to kill him. Fortunately, a dog tries to eat it first.
  • "Snow White": The Wicked Queen uses a poison-laced apple to try to kill off our heroine. It almost works.

    Films — Animated 
  • Barbie as the Island Princess: Queen Ariana's pet rats poison the animals' food with Sunset Herb, causing them to fall into a coma which can only be cured by a rose tonic invented by Ro.
  • In Coco, Ernesto de la Cruz poisons his musical partner's tequila in order to steal his songs and guitar.
  • The Emperor's New Groove: During the dinner scene, Yzma has Kronk slip some poison into Kuzco's wine. However, Kronk forgets which cup he put the poison in and mixes all three drinks together. As Kuzco is drinking his wine, Kronk and Yzma don't drink theirs. Kuzco falls unconscious for a moment before waking back up again and turning into a llama, making Yzma and Kronk realize that Kronk accidentally gave Kuzco "extract of llama" instead of poison.
    Kronk: You know, in my defense, your poisons all look alike. You might think about relabeling some of them.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Wicked Queen uses a poison-laced apple to try to kill off our heroine. It almost works.

  • The White Witch of Rose Hall: The titular witch's preferred method of murder, especially where her husbands and lovers were concerned. In a few versions of the legend and in H.G. de Lisser's novel, some of her own slaves tried to pull this on her by poisoning one of her drinks, but she subverted the attempt when she realized her drink had been tampered with.

  • Carrie Underwood's "Church Bells" has the protagonist murder her abusive husband by slipping poison in his whiskey.
  • In The Chicks' "Goodbye Earl," best friends Mary-Anne and Wanda kill Wanda's abusive husband Earl by poisoning his black-eyed peas.
  • King Diamond's album Abigail II: The Revenge has Abigail tricking Jonathan into eating food with glass shards on it after he rapes her in the songs "Broken Glass" and "More Than Pain".
  • The Melanie Martinez song "Milk And Cookies" is about a woman poisoning the cookies of a man who kidnapped her.
    Do you like my cookies?
    They're made just for you
    A little bit of sugar
    With lots of poison too.
  • In the music video for No Doubt's "It's My Life" (pictured above), Gwen Stefani mixes rat poison into a man's dinner to kill him.
  • Saga's song "Perfectionist" has the protagonist murdering his dinner guests by serving poisoned wine.
  • In the song To Keep My Love Alive, at least three times: to Sir Charles, Sir Frank and his ladies, and Sir Curtis.

  • Our Miss Brooks: "Mr. Boynton's Barbecue". In this episode, Miss Brooks decides to get revenge on Miss Enright and some time alone with Mr. Boynton. Miss Enright had transferred a sick student to her class with (correct) assumption that Miss Brooks would catch a cold and be in bed for a few days. Mr. Boynton holds a barbecue, using "mild sauce", ultimately inviting Miss Brooks, Miss Enright, Mr. Conklin and Walter Denton. Miss Brooks, with Walter Denton's help, decides to substitute a Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce concoction on Miss Enright's plate. Unfortunately, Walter Denton mixes up the plates and gives the concoction to Miss Brooks. Miss Brooks appears unaffected; meanwhile Miss Enright and Mr. Conklin run for water after a taste of Mr. Boynton's supposedly "mild" barbecue sauce.
  • An old radio mystery involved a subversion of this: A man was found locked in a room full of food, yet somehow dead of starvation. The solution: His murderer locked him in the room and lied to him about the food being poisoned. He believed the killer and refused to eat the food, so he eventually starved to death.
  • Earthsearch:
    • In Season One the Angel computers are secretly putting drugs in the food to repress the crew's puberty to keep them under their control. However Darv and Astra find the food galleries on the spaceship and start eating the food before it's been processed because it tastes better.
    • In Season Two the Angels decide certain crewmembers have outlived their usefulness and contaminate their food, but have to intervene to stop someone they want to keep alive from taking a bite off their plate. After that everyone makes sure to only eat food they've taken right off the trees in the food galleries.

  • The Bible: The Psalmist in Psalm 69:21 (Evangelical Heritage Version) says, "They put bitter poison in my food. For my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink."

    Tabletop Games 
  • The video that accompanies the Clue VCR Mystery Game (and forms part of the gameplay) includes a dinner scene in Boddy mansion where almost all of the guests end up poisoning something that is served at dinner.
  • Dungeons & Dragons once had "ingestive" (swallowed) poisons that could be added to food or drink. One article in Dragon magazine #59 had several dozen examples, and a Dragon #69 article extensively described seven such poisons.
  • One of the ways to mess with the other players in Red Dragon Inn is to play cards to spike their drinks, pushing them closer to passing out and being eliminated from the game.
  • In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, one of the Wyrm's most powerful servants is a global megacorporation named Pentex. Pentex has several subsidiaries devoted to alcoholic beverages, including King Beer, Ruskaiya Distilleries, and Dragon Valley Wines. The beverages they distribute are intended to physically and spiritually corrupt drinkers. King Beer is more likely than other beer to bring out the worst behavior in its drinkers. King Spirits occasionally contain teratogens and banes. Thaw Beverages' soda potentiates any banes clinging to its drinkers. Dragon Valley Wines are carcinogenic, and its Pyrrus line of wines turns the drinker into a beacon for nearby banes and increases their vulnerability to possession.

  • In "The Ballad of Sara Berry" from 35MM: A Musical Exhibition, Sara poisons Patricia's cup of punch at the High-School Dance, killing her.
  • In the play Holy Ghosts, one character talks about his prizewinning dog, who was killed by jealous rival dog-owners by putting glass in his food.
  • In The Pajama Party Murders, Lola, disguised as Myrtle, attempts to poison the Cosmo heirs with arsenic in the ice cubes in the drinks she's pouring.

    Urban Legends 

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations, Furio Tigre poisons Glen Elg by slipping poison into his coffee, inadvertently duplicating the actions of Dahlia Hawthorne's near-murder of Diego Armando several years earlier.
    • Subverted in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: It looks like Vera Misham killed her father Drew by putting poison in his coffee... but in reality, Kristoph Gavin poisoned a stamp that Drew licked few minutes before having the supposedly fatal drink. And later he poisons Vera herself—but rather than lacing her food with anything, he uses her nail polish, knowing that she has the habit of biting her nails when nervous.
    • The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures:
  • Daughter for Dessert:
    • The protagonist butters Mortelli’s toast with raw chicken grease in order to put him out of action so he could break into the detective’s office. His plan works; Mortelli has to run to the bathroom for a while.
    • Nor is this the first time he does something like this. In a flashback, we see him putting laxatives in the water cooler in the office of Lainie’s family’s lawyer so he has time to hack into the man’s computer.
  • Played with in the Onikakushi-ken arc of Higurashi: When They Cry. Rena and Mion visit Keiichi and give him a box of ohagi as part of a club activity. However, upon biting into one of them Keiichi discovers a needle, convincing him that Rena and Mion are out to get him. It's later revealed that Keiichi was delusional and hallucinated that there was a needle in the ohagi when Mion had actually put tabasco sauce in the ohagi as a prank.
  • The protagonist of Kiss of Revenge favors poisoning as her method of taking revenge on the surgeon whose error killed her mother.
    • In Issei's route, she gets her hands on some of his sleeping pills and replaces the contents of the capsules with poison; after missing a chance to slip the laced capsule back into his pill case, she tries to empty it into a glass of wine instead.
    • In Junpei's route, she attempts to switch the director's diabetes medication for an antihypertensive that could cause a fatal reaction.
    • In Irie's route, she tries lacing an insulin injection with poison, but gives up on the idea after Irie nearly catches her at it, making it too risky to try again.
    • In Kyosuke's route, she poisons a glass of champagne. This attempt almost works, but Kyosuke, guessing what she's up to, first contrives to make her spill some of the poison and then intercepts and drinks the doctored champagne himself.
  • In Long Live the Queen, Elodie may be sent poisoned chocolates and die from eating them if she lacks the skills required to realize that there's something suspicious about them.

    Web Animation 
Etra-chan saw it!:
  • Akane served her husband Kuroki extremely salty food and threw temper tantrums whenever he refused to eat it or left some in the plate. Obviously, Kuroki suffered kidney failure and had to be hospitalized. However, this didn't stop Akane from serving him salty food while he was hospitalized. After musing on what the nurse Karin said to her and finding out Akane's affair with Akamatsu, he realized she did really want to kill him. On top of that, the reason she did this was because he put a little soy sauce in Akane's curry one year ago.
  • Akamatsu invited Yuri out for dinner one day and attempted to slip what he had been told was a powerful aphrodisiac into her drink. Fortunately, it didn't work. She didn't even notice her drink was tampered with and didn't realize what he'd tried to do until she saw him confessing to having done it and complaining about it not working on his social media account the next day. She screenshotted the posts and went straight to their boss, getting him fired.
  • Gossip City: Keigo mixes paint in his pregnant wife Himari's food as a prank for her inability to do the chores. Thankfully, nothing happened to the baby, but Sumomo returns him the favor by spiking his cream stew with expired kalpiko.

  • In Drow Tales, the Big Bad, Snadhya'rune, uses a Poison and Cure Gambit to threaten all the ruling clans, distributing vials of madness-inducing flower pollen among the population. This leads to multiple traitors poisoning their clans' meals for their own purposes.
  • Girl Genius: Venthraxus Heterodyne's favorite cook went mad and ended up poisoning everything he made later on in life:
    Moloch: Oh, they haven't found the master kitchen yet. This one was built for Venthraxus Heterodyne's favorite cook. He was a real artist, but one day he went around the been and started poisoning everything. Thought he was the reincarnation of some Borgia or something. The Heterodyne thought he was funny, so he built him this place and locked him in. So the old guy was happy for years until he accidentally ate his own cooking.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • "Pillow Talk": Hilgya Firehelm tried this to get out of an Arranged Marriage. As in, she jammed a whole bottle of poison into a sandwich she served her husband, but given a dwarf's +2 racial bonus against poison, it didn't work out.
    • In the prequal story, "How the Paladin Got His Scar", the hunchbacked hobgoblin cleric successfully kills his Supreme Leader- and every other hobgoblin in the room -with some poisoned gouda.

    Web Original 
  • In the Best Fiends web short "The Immortal Cockroach", one of the attempts to off Lapoleon is a plate of poisoned fruit. The fruit itself is obviously wrong, coated in an obvious cloud of green poison, but Lapoleon, being a cockroach, eats it no problem and belches out the poison. The Slug that was attempting to poison him is dumbfounded, and eats a remaining single cherry to see how he failed, only to immediately keel over.
  • Economy Watch: In "The Lottery", the show's tenth episode, David is poisoned with cyanide and dies after refusing to take part in a lottery.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the Strong Bad Email "techno", Strong Bad and The Cheat plot to break open a glow stick and pour the contents into Homestar's Mountain Dew.
      Strong Bad: I hear they gotta pump your stomach if you drink that stuff...
    • In "Best Caper Ever", all Strong Bad can remember about the eponymous caper is that he had The Cheat pee in Homestar's melonade, which somehow lead to Homestar getting stranded on a tiny ice floe in the Arctic Ocean.
  • Parodied in Scott The Woz:
  • SCP Foundation: The Foundation has been known to dose witnesses of SCPs with amnesiac drugs, or even just conventional psychedelics, and occasionally their own agents too. The presenter at their Memetics and Infohazards Division orientation session is very open about the hallucinogens in the food there and assures them they'll need it.
  • Stupid Kids: Boti eats rat poison with waffles mistaken it as nutella in Ahol a méreg sem segít (Where even poison does not help).
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Jobe does this to three guys who just beat the snot out of him (because he won a sparring match against one of them). He puts a bio-weapon in their food and blinds them for several days. This Disproportionate Retribution cycle just gets worse.
    • In Billie's origin story, her little brother Thad dosed her with a chemical by mixing it into some chocolate, and the chemical triggered a deadly (possibly even fatal, from a certain point of view) burnout, all over a minor slight.

    Western Animation 
  • Asterix and Cleopatra: Edifice frames the Gauls by sending a poisoned cake to Cleopatra in the Gauls' name, which is quickly detected as being poisoned. Strangely, the cake was made without eggs or flour—the only non-toxic ingredient in the entire recipe was orange juice (for flavoring).
  • BoJack Horseman: In "lovin that cali lifestyle!!", Hollyhock passes out from a drug overdose because a now-senile Beatrice has been spiking her coffee with amphetamines to get her to conform with her outdated beauty standards.
  • Futurama: In "I Second That Emotion", Nibbler starts annoying Bender. When asked to make a cake, he says menacingly "I'll make a cake you'll never forget...". He's shown grabbing rat poison... before putting it in front of a rat hole, stating, "That'll get rid of all those damn rats."
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Love God", at a diner, Mable adds a Love Potion to some chilli fries meant for Robbie and Tambry; she actually asks for the cook's permission first.
    Mabel: Mind if add a little something to these fries.
    Cook: I don't see why not.
  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Yumi's opponent in an Eating Contest sneaks into the arena the night before and dumps a bunch of iron horseshoes into her food to guarantee his victory. It almost works too, until Ami realizes that watching a baseball game makes Yumi eat anything you put in front of her out of sheer boredom.
  • House of Mouse: Invoked in "Mickey's Cabin", where Mickey is tied up by Pete and his cousin Zeka, who have just robbed an ATM. To get himself a hearty dinner, Mickey makes the two paranoid by telling each of them that the other poisoned their food to get the money and he becomes their poison tester. He further plays on their paranoia by faking his death after eating the food.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: In "Real Cats Wear Plaid", Benson's plan to escape the cats is to trick them into eating stacks of pancakes that are laced with fur so that they'll cough up hairballs, leaving them too sick and distracted to chase after them.
  • Looney Tunes: In "The Fair-Haired Hare", this is the objective of Yosemite Sam slipping poison into Bugs Bunny's carrot juice, so he — upset with a court order demanding they share the property — can own the jointly owned property outright. Of course, Bugs is wise to this attempt and in the end, it's Sam who blasts off like a rocket.
  • The Smurfs (1981): In "The Blue Plague", Brainy slips a concoction made by Gargamel into his fellow Smurfs' meal, thinking it'll be a cure-all for all their problems, but it ends up making them act like chickens when they eat it.
  • The Snorks: In "Reefberry Madness", some weed monsters sprinkle silly powder on a patch of reefberries which the Snorks eat, causing them to act silly.
  • South Park: At the end of "You're Not Yelping", restaurants begin to give Yelp reviewers the "Yelp Special", AKA smearing the food with boogers and cum.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: In "Nasty Patty", Spongebob and Mr. Krabs feed a gross old Krabby Patty loaded with disgusting things to what they think is a phony health inspector. When the inspector chokes on a bug, hits his head, and passes out, the two mistakenly think they killed the guy and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Zeke's Pad: In "King of the Pad", one of Zeke's bodyguards is poisoned testing Zeke's drink, making Zeke realise that his subjects are afraid of him.

    Real Life 
  • Often referred to colloquially as "slipping a Mickey" (or Mickey Finn) into a drink. In theory, Mickey Finn is supposed to be one specific poison (chloral hydrate, an anaesthetic drug that leaves the victim with the mother of all hangovers if they survive), but the expression is often more loosely applied to any poison in a drink.
  • Women are warned often to not leave their drinks unattended, due to fear of date rape drugs being placed into them. These are also a good reason not to pick up an unattended drink at the kind of place this might happen (e.g. a frat party). More than a few male revelers have accidentally found themselves taking a drink intended for someone else. Also, some delinquents of both genders often slip sleeping meds in the drinks of their dates not to rape them, but to steal whatever they have on them. In Russia, it is somewhat common for prostitutes to rob their johns in such a way. Their drug of choice for that is clonidine, an anti-hypertensic drug known there as clopheline — which in combination with alcohol reliably knocks even a large adult man out, and may even kill if they are not careful with the dose.
  • The Roman Emperor Nero had a particularly devious twist on this: When he wanted to kill his stepbrother Brittanicus, he didn't poison the wine, as he knew that the food tasters would detect it first. Instead, he served hot wine at the banquet, then poisoned the cooling water instead.
  • In 1990, an employee at the Point Lepreau nuclear plant in New Brunswicknote  poured some tritiated waternote  in the staff's drinking water. Apparently, he was trying to play a practical joke, by forcing people to give daily urine samples for an extended period. The joke didn't go over too well. In 2009, a "disgruntled employee" pulled the same stunt in the Kaiga nuclear plant in India. Must be something in the waternote .
  • To quench his thirst when he was out giving speeches in beer halls, Adolf Hitler always sent a trustworthy SS guard to seek water in the kitchen to avoid this.
  • In World War II, food shortages in Germany meant that food waste was universally recycled as pigswill, including the leftovers from POW camps holding allied prisoners of war. Naturally, as soon as the inmates at Colditz Castle discovered this, they took to liberally seasoning their table scraps with shards of broken razor blades, despite the German authorities loudly threatening death to anyone they caught in the act.
  • The modus operandi of Black Widow and Serial Killer Anjette Lyles. She killed two husbands, a mother-in-law, and her eldest child via first giving them food with high doses of arsenic-based poison, then slipping them more poison while taking care of them.
    • A nearly identical mode of operation was used by Blanche Taylor Moore, who would ultimately be charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of first husband James Taylornote  (whose demise was first thought to be a heart attack) and boyfriend Raymond Reid (initially believed to be from Guilian-Barre syndrome; a seldom-fatal ailment) via arsenic poisoning, along with the attempted murder of her last husband, Rev. Dwight Moore, who survived the poisoning attempt; eventually being convinced in Reid's murder and sentenced to death in early 1991note ; and in addition has been the subject of suspicion in the death of her father (reportedly to have died from a heart attack; with apparently no evidence having surfaced to dispute the initial reported cause of death).
  • Antifreeze is one of the most commonly used chemicals to poison people. Not only is it easy to obtain, but it also has a sweet, syrupy flavor (due to the ethylene glycol in it) that doesn't raise suspicion if mixed in with sweet-tasting food or beverages.. until they drop dead from heart failure.

    There are two variants of antifreeze, the other based on propylene glycol, which is almost exactly similar, but non-toxic. It's somewhat more expensive and trickier to use (it oxidizes into mildly corrosive lactic acid on contact with air, and tends to foul up quicker), but can sometimes be more frequently encountered nowadays, specifically because it's so much safer than ethylene glycolnote . So the enterprising poisoner might find their plans unexpectedly failing. Oh, and antifreeze ending up mixed with food or drink is a dead giveaway of criminal intentions. It is also very easy to detect, and there is basically no possible innocent explanation, so using this method of poisoning is impractical anyway; it makes it very obvious that the victim was murdered, and the only realistic shot someone has at a defense is if there is someone else who could also have done it.
  • "Aunt Thally" Caroline Grills went undetected in her poisoning tea with Thallium of four family members until she tried to get another. She was part of a rash of women poisoners in '50s Sydney.
  • Thallium was also used by one of the few serial poisoners in the late Soviet Union, Tamara Ivanyutina and her family, who used Clerici solutionnote  they obtained from an acquaintance under the guise of rat poison to add to the food they later gave to everyone who (as they perceived) slighted them, or whose death might become a road to material wealth. Ivanyutina was slowly poisoning her husband, and had already poisoned his parents, while her elder sister was already an accomplished Black Widow at the point they were finally caught after several children and adults died in the school Ivanyutina was working as a dishwasher.
  • Poisonous mushrooms of the Amanita genus (the most famous of which is Amanita phalloides or the Death Cap mushroom) are known for their good taste and innocent appearance concealing a deadly poison that will destroy your liver in a matter of hours. Thing is, it affects only the liver — that nausea and diarrhea you get six hours later isn't your GI tract trying to purge itself of the poison, but rather the first symptoms of acute liver failure. They've been used in assassinations for centuries because they'll fool a food taster and the six-hour latent period between administering the poison and the first symptoms appearing gives the assassin plenty of time to slip out unnoticed. By the way, you can live for several days without a functioning liver, in great agony, until you finally succumb to ammonia poisoning. People who were (accidentally or deliberately) killed by Death Caps include the Roman Emperor Claudius, Charles VI of the Holy Roman Empire, Pope Clement VII, etc.
  • In European courts in the Medieval and Early Modern periods, it was common to offer guests/hostages (the dividing line is often rather slim, Decadent Courts being what they are) boiled eggs and bone marrow, along with any other dishes, the idea being that since eggs and marrow are cooked in the shell/bone, they would be impossible to tamper with. Of course, actually eating the (safe) eggs and marrow, rather than the (theoretically poisonable) other dishes, was a grave insult since it would be an outright accusation that your host/captor was trying to poison you. (There is little recorded on prisoners who ate both the egg/marrow and the other food; presumably, that simply signaled general gluttony.)
  • In 1984, the Rajneesh cult attempted to take over the government of Wasco County, Oregon with a bioterror attack on its largest city, to make non-Rajneeshee voters get sick and stay home on election day, so the votes from Rajneeshpuram could carry the election. They sprayed Salmonella cultures onto the food in salad bars in 10 restaurants. The bioterrorists also spiked the water glasses of two county commissioners with Salmonella. Seven hundred fifty-one people were afflicted with gastroenteritis, and 45 of them were hospitalized. The plot failed when non-Rajneeshee voters rallied to the polls on election day.
  • Exploiting the "randomly poisoned Halloween candy" urban legend mentioned above, Ronald O'Bryan killed his son in 1974 by putting poisoned Pixy Stix in his candy bag. For verisimilitude, he also put the candy in the bags of his daughter and three other children trick-or-treating with them. The motive was collecting on the insurance policy he took out on his son. He was convicted and eventually executed.
  • Because of this trope, it's generally why you should be careful when accepting food and other edible objects, especially if it's free and from strangers.
  • In Fall 2018, Australia suffered from numerous incidents of strawberries with needles in them, followed by copycat incidents such as also doing it to mangos.


Video Example(s):


"Bad Dates."

An Arab working for the Nazis pours poison on dates in Sallah's house in the hope that Sallah and/or Indy will eat them. The monkey steals the poisoned dates instead.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / TamperingWithFoodAndDrink

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