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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.

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.

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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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: Zeke's spinal fluid allows him to Titanize Eldians at will, utilizing wine that had been laced with his fluid and served to numerous higher ups within the military, essentially making all of the infected his hostages.
  • Blood-C: One of the reasons for Saya's frequent memory loss is due to Fumito putting drugs, sometimes blood which would help with Saya's blood dependence, in her coffee and marshmallows.
  • This is a rather common killing method in Case Closed. However, more of the cases are actually subversions of this trope since the poison was not put on the food directly but in objects the killer knows their victims would touch before eating their foods.
    • A filler Valentine's Day episode has a mother try to collect insurance money by poisoning her Jerkass-ish adopted son's coffee. The antidote was in the cake's icing—the lad, being on his uni's tennis team and professing hate for all kind of sweets, didn't eat the cake. Additionally, she also poisoned a half-eaten bar of chocolate and switched it with one that was given to the victim as Valentine's gift by his crush, in an attempt to frame the girl, since the lady knew the victim would take a bite of his chocolatey "enemy" to please her. And even more: a "friend" of the victim tried to tamper with the guy's cigarettes via poisoning the filters, but the would-be victim just cut said filters off in a whim and thus he failed.
    • One example of such a subversion happens when a Jerkass Idol Singer falls dead after eating some rice balls... but the poison was not originally in said snacks. It was placed in a specific spot of his jacket: the killer knew that the guy liked to melodramatically take off said jacket during a certain part of a song, so they put it in that spot so he'd touch the venom and "transfer" it to the rice balls when he grabbed them to eat them.
  • In the first Fatal Fury anime special, Geese forces his sort-of protegé Lily to give Terry a bottle of poisoned wine. Lily, who has fallen for Terry and feels terrible because Geese used her to kill Terry and Andy's father years ago, cannot bring herself to let Terry fall in the trap and stops him from consuming it. Then she explains what happened and gives him Anguished Declaration of Love.
  • Subverted in Fullmetal Alchemist. When Roy Mustang gets offered tea by Fuhrer Bradley, who knows that he knows that he's a homunculus and tried to tell Central Command about it, he wonders if it's poisoned, but is told that it is not.
  • In Gankutsuou, Heloise receives a ring that contains poison from the Count. She uses it to poison some water she tried to give to Valentine, but Albert ends up drinking it instead. She also poisoned some lemonade which one of the household staff ends up drinking. She later mentions that she wanted to poison more people this way as well.
  • In The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Arslan reveals to Gieve and Elam that his nursemaid and her husband died of drinking too much nabeed (wine) one day when he was younger, just prior to him starting to live at the palace. However, since they both died at the same time in a suspicious manner and it's later revealed Arslan is not even Andragoras or Tamahine's son, Gieve quietly suspected they were actually poisoned.
  • In Honoo no Alpen Rose, Mathilda tries to do this to Jeudi by contaminating her food and tea during breakfast. Luckily, Printemps sees this and attacks her, saving his owner. It turns out this is how she routinely drugs Jeudi's mother Helene, slipping tiny quantities of poison in her tea to keep her permanently ill and vulnerable.
  • One chapter of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has Miko refuse Kaguya's offer for a cup of tea on the suspicion that she would poison it.
  • Putting harmful substances in food happens quite often in Kindaichi Case Files. For example, in "Santa's Slayings (European Hotel Murder Case)", a stage actress is murdered after drinking wine during a play in a scene where her co-performers also chooses randomly from a bunch of them. The killer wrote a footnote in her script to pick a certain glass during that part. Since the victim could memorize lines only from reading once, the killer had no trouble disposing of it.
  • In Monster Director Heinemann, Dr. Oppenheim, and Dr. Boyer are found dead after being mysteriously poisoned by candy left by Johan Liebert. Candy which was not only wrapped but in a sealed bag.
  • In Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, Skuld tries to do this to Loki on two occasions and fails miserably both times (in one incident, the person she brainwashes into delivering the poisoned food proceeds to explain what the food had been doped with immediately after delivery). She isn't very good at assassination—her heart just isn't in it.
  • In Naruto, Tsunade poisons Jiraiya's drink, leaving him unable to fight at full strength against Orochimaru. It is implied that she was leaning toward accepting Orochimaru's offer at the time, then changed her mind later.
  • ''Night Head Genesis: Naoto and Naoya's parents drugged their melon sodas to subdue the boys so they could give them away to the laboratory.
  • Happens plenty of times in Ooku: The Inner Chambers:
    • Hisamichi slipped poison into the food and drink of Yoshimune's older sisters and the closest rival to the throne to ensure that Yoshimune got the shogunate. She has to clarify that she did not do that to Ietsugu, as Ietsugu was an Ill Girl and not expected to make it to adulthood.
    • Tokugawa Harusada, mother of Shogun Ienari, is quite fond of doing this to pick off rivals and control people. Her Moral Event Horizon is when she slips poison into her grandchildren's sweets to kill them and turn her son's wife (Shigu) and favorite concubine (O-Shiga) against each other. What's worse is it's implied she did that because she was bored.
    • However, Shigu and O-Shiga quickly figure out Harusada was behind those deaths and play a long game to poison Harusada in revenge. Part of that involves O-Shiga, now Harusada's taster, poisoning herself to ensure that Harusada would eat the poisoned food. She dies not long after the poisoning finally incapacitates Harusada.
    • Unfortunately, this left a nasty legacy on Ienari's reign: his concubines quickly realized poisoning rivals was a quick way to get ahead, with the result that only about half of Ienari's numerous children made it to adulthood.
  • The sociopathic protagonist in Suehiro Maruo's short Poison Strawberry puts thumbtacks in her classmate's milk. What happens next is horrific.
  • In Pumpkin Scissors, one episode features a visiting princess from a neighboring country, with a particularly draconian rule of succession: Whichever royal child survives, takes the throne. Poison is a favored means of sibling rivalry, and she reveals that on her 10th birthday, the cake was poisoned, causing the death of her favorite maid. The fear of poison is so in-grown in her that even when eating a hot dog at a street-stand, where nobody knows who or what she is, she can't take a bite until somebody has tasted it for her first.
  • Kodachi Kuno of Ranma ½ is a good cook who prepares elaborate meals, and she often uses culinary expertise to her advantage by placing poisons, toxins, serums, and other strange substances in her victims' food to attain something she wants from them.
  • Reborn! (2004): Bianchi, known as "Poison Scorpion Bianchi" in the Mafia underground, specializes in poison cooking; food items that contain poison and have a nasty color to them. Her food also has a tendency to melt its surroundings.
  • Rebuild World:
    • There is a Running Gag of the Mundane Luxury of good food putting The Paranoiac Akira into a daze of happiness, since he grew up in the slums with no access to decent food. When Akira is scheduled to meet a government executive over dinner, Akira’s Eccentric Mentor Kibayashi points out how sometimes high level hunters have their food tampered with to make them more pliable for negotiations, which prompts Akira to panic and demand the executive visit him in his Home Base in the slums instead, creating some misunderstandings about Sheryl’s gang in the process.
    • And then there's The Reveal that the reason Akira became a Differently Powered Individual able to connect to the old world domain was because the Rebuild Institute put their Nanomachines in the food of the slums as part of a bungled experiment that resulted in most subjects dying thanks to Power Incontinence that was also responsible for Akira's Dark and Troubled Past of being constantly betrayed.
  • Sakura Gari:
    • At one point, Sakurako feeds Masataka a piece of sushi. He quickly spits it out, revealing that Sakurako snuck in a piece of glass.
    • It's later revealed that Sakurako, who heavily resents her father for locking her away, convinced Katsuragi to slowly poison Lord Saiki by slipping him little bits of poison in his food. Had Katsuragi not gotten his "just desserts" at the hands of Souma and his own wife Asayo, the old man would've eventually died of both poisoning and his already present bad health.
    • Subverted at some point: Sakurako ties up Masataka to a chair and force-feeds him, with Masataka expecting her to have slipped stuff in it again... but it's perfectly untouched food, and she made him believe it was tampered with to bully him.
  • Sakura no Ichiban!: In chapter seven, the third-year girls of the Sakura Blossom Club have their tea poisoned by the other members of the club so that they can become closer to Tsukiko and her wealth. Sanae is framed for the incident due to being from a poor family and generally disliked by most of the girls in the club.
  • Raji of Snow White with the Red Hair poisoned a basket full of apples before sending them to Shirayuki. His plan was for her to be kidnapped and brought to him after the poison left her unable to fight back, but to his horror, he ends up poisoning the prince of the neighboring country instead.
  • In The Story of Saiunkoku, Shuurei is the subject of repeated poisoning attempts during her time as Imperial Concubine. In the most notable instance she's presented with a cup of poisoned sake during a banquet; immediately suspicious but aware that refusing the offer would be a grave insult, Ryuuki drinks it in her place, counting on his better constitution and Acquired Poison Immunity to get him through it. It still makes him quite sick for a while, and when Shuurei finally finds out, she's torn between being impressed that he basically took the bullet for her, and being angry at him for taking such a risk. (Not because she's got feelings for him, or anything—it's just that the civil war that would result from his death would be really bad for the people. That's all, really!)

    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.
  • Grant Morrison's Batman 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.

    Fan Works 
  • In both canon, and in the works of A.A. Pessimal, the Guild of Assassins' School now has its Domestic Science department. As with any school teaching young ladies the rudiments of cooking and domestic management, a lot of what it does is unremarkable and straightforward and to be found in any girls' school anywhere. Until the girls enter the Fifth Year and go On The Black, that is. Then they learn other food-and-beverage-related skills.
  • In Blind Courage, a Forced Miscarriage was attempted on 17-year-old Princess Zelda when she refused to abort a baby born out of wedlock. Poison was snuck into her food. Zelda fell into a coma but ultimately she and her daughter survived the poisoning.
  • In Destiny's Kiss, Princess Ting-Ting is killed when her tea is poisoned.
  • In the eleventh chapter of Free, Queen Elsa's chocolate is poisoned with a herb called frost-bane. Frost-bane is so hot that no frost can form on it, which makes it perfect to use against An Ice Person like Elsa. Elsa faints and breaks out in a fever. After being comatose for several days, Kristoff comes back with Isfrukt berries to cure Elsa's ailment.
  • Ludwig from A Game Of Castles poisoned his father's tea.
  • At one point in If They Haven't Learned Your Name, Barnes winds up breaking into Sam's hotel room and presenting him with a container of macaroni and cheese with bacon. Sam's been craving macaroni and cheese for weeks, so he nearly snaps up the container before remembering that Barnes's allegiances are still unconfirmed, and asks Barnes if he put anything funny in the food. Barnes looks baffled and genuinely offended, and calmly asks Sam why he'd poison him when he has a perfectly good sniper rifle. Poison's tricky because the associated biochemistry isn't a sure thing, while a bullet to the head almost never goes wrong. Sam winds up eating the food.
    Sam: Ah. Silly me. Why hand-deliver someone dinner when you can make their head explode from a mile away.
  • J-WITCH Season 1 has a benevolent variant. While the heroes search for Meridian's missing heir, Uncle concocts for her a chi spell which will hurt evil magical entities that touch her. Once Elyon is confirmed to be the heir, the heroes trick her to drink the concoction by slipping it into a bottle of grape soda, her favorite drink. Unfortunately, Daolon Wong concocts a counter-spell in the next chapter, and Cedric uses the exact same trick as the heroes to make Elyon drink it.
  • This happens quite a lot in The Rigel Black Chronicles:
    • Harry's drink is invisibly turned into a powerful acid, but she's saved Just in Time by someone who heard about the plot. Her arm is splashed and burned, but that's easily fixed.
    • She later stops Tiberius Ogden from taking a drink spiked with Nimue's Breath, which is an anti-inhibitor, harmless in itself, but sometimes used to conceal the presence of more dangerous additives. Sure enough, the drink turns out to contain nightshade.
    • Before Leo defends his crown in the final match of the Lower Alleys duelling tournament, someone spikes his fake rum to make him actually intoxicated. Harry is only able to partially counteract it before he has to fight.
    • Harry gives the Weasley Twins a bag of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans coated with a potion that causes them to pour floods of pink goo from every pore.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfnip Madness", Gargamel sprays smurfberries with concentrated smurfnip essence so that the Smurfs will eat the berries and get high to the point where they start seeing hallucinations.

    Films — Animated 
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Spoofed in The Addams Family: Fester brought some cyanide with him when he moved in, with the implication that he'd poison the family this way. When Morticia finds it, she just smiles and asks if he thought they'd run out of it. The implication is the family uses cyanide as seasoning.
  • In Andhadhun, Simi pours poison into Akash's tea in front of his eyes (he's pretending to be blind). After he "accidentally" spills the tea, he finds out that a sweet he ate earlier was also poisoned.
  • In The Assassination Bureau, Eleanora first poisons her husband Cesare, the Italian assassin, then prepares drinks for herself and Dragomiloff, slipping poison in his drink. Dragomiloff spins the table until it stops, picks up the goblet in front of him, drinks down the contents, and falls to the floor. He was faking it.
  • In Battle Royale, Yuko Sakaki puts potassium cyanide in spaghetti that Yukie Utsumi's friends cooked for Shuya Nanahara. Yuko then tries to deliver the spaghetti to Shuya personally, but Yuka Nakagawa snatches it away and eats it. She then suffers from the poisoning, vomits much of her blood out of her mouth, then quickly dies. This results in Haruka, Yukie, Chisato (but ironically, not Yuko) all getting shot by Satomi out of suspicion she can't trust any of the girls.
  • In Blind Date, Walter uses a tiny syringe to put alcohol in chocolates he has delivered to Nadia because she has an extreme allergic reaction to alcohol.
  • In the early Peter Falk flick The Bloody Brood, Falk plays a psychotic beatnik who feeds some poor kid a hamburger filled with broken glass to watch him die... just for kicks.
  • One of the final revelations Detective Ma receives in Bloody Reunion is that the victims of the massacre had all been poisoned before their bodies were mutilated. When he returns to the scene of the crime, he discovers that the cake Mi-Ja served everyone had been poisoned.
  • In The Body (2012), Álex spikes his wife Mayka's wine with TH-16: a cardie-toxin that causes a cardiac arrest 8 hours after ingestion. He later learns that Carla/Eva spiked his own drink with TH-16 just before he left for the morgue: almost 8 hours earlier.
  • In Casino Royale (2006), James Bond gets an absolutely fatal dose of digitalis in his drink. It's subverted with the defibrillator/first aid kit in his car, and that in turn is subverted when he doesn't have it connected properly. Vesper Lynd's arrival is just dumb luck.
  • The massacre of adults of Gatlin in Children of the Corn (1984) starts when some diner patrons start choking from their poisoned coffee.
  • Downplayed and subverted in Children's Party at the Palace. The Grand High Witch planned to put her potion in the Queen's cake that would turn whoever eats from it into mice, until she finds out there was no cake to begin with. Eventually the villains bake their own cake with her potion in it...but turns out the potion had no effect on the Goodies.
  • The Court Jester combines this with Poisoned Chalice Switcheroo.
    The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.
    No! The Flagon with the Dragon holds the pellet with the poison, the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is true.
  • In The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case, the bedbound Walter Burns is murdered by someone poisoning his coffee.
  • In Crooked House, the murderer doses Josephine's hot chocolate with cyanide, although Josephine is not the one who ends up drinking it.
  • In Dead Again in Tombstone, Zerelda attempts to dispose of Boomer by lacing his eggs with cyanide.
  • The Axis powers in FDR: American Badass! attempt to covertly attack US by smuggling in tainted alcohol that can turn anyone consuming it to a werewolf.
  • The Four Musketeers (1974). D'Artagnan receives a case of wine along with a note that indicates it's from his fellow Musketeers. Before he can drink any of it, an enemy mook drinks some and dies; it was poisoned wine sent by Milady to kill him.
  • In The Gentlemen, Mickey has Lord George's tea poisoned, then leaves him with the antidote, the point having been to demonstrate that he could get to Lord George anywhere.
  • In Ghost Ship there's a flashback comprised of a montage of images of what occurred on the ocean liner. During this, there's a scene in the kitchen where cooks are putting rat poison in food. We then see passengers eating the food and one person vomits as a result.
  • In Good Burger, after many failed attempts at getting Ed to spill the beans of the secret recipe of his homemade sauce (which put Good Burger in business over Mondo Burger), Kurt, owner of the latter restaurant, and his employees lock up Ed and Dexter in the asylum and break into Good Burger, in which they douse the sauce with shark poison, hoping whoever devours some will file a lawsuit against Good Burger to put it out of business for good. Luckily, Dexter and Ed make it in time to break the news to the other employees before a single customer is able to eat a drop of the sauce.
  • Done twice in Disney's The Haunted Mansion with poison being put into goblets of wine.
  • In He's Out There, Maddy eats a poisoned cupcake that she finds in the woods, planted by the killer.
  • In A Jolly Bad Fellow, Bowles-Otterly poisons his first two victims by by slipping the poison into their drinks: giving Dr. Brass a glass of laced claret, and dosing Mrs Pugh-Smith's gin-spiked water.
  • Early in Kate the protagonist is poisoned when her date spikes her drink.
  • In Kill Bill Vol. 2, Elle Driver reveals that she murdered Pai Mei by poisoning his fish heads.
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets: Unlike the more elaborate murders he concocts for his other targets, Louis disposes of the Reverend Lord Henry d'Ascoyne through the simple expedient of poisoning his wine.
  • Kull the Conqueror: Subverted. Kull and his friends board the ship of Juba, one of Kull's old associates from his days as a pirate, to travel to an island that contains the one weapon that can destroy the villainess. Juba serves them food and wine, which Kull suspects to be poisoned and only partakes after Juba drinks and eats from it himself. It turns out that the food wasn't poisoned, but it was drugged. Juba's men tie up Kull and his team while their boss is unconscious.
  • Parodied and averted in Lemonade Joe, a relentless parody of The Western. Hogo Fogo has kidnapped Winnifred and plans to subject her to a fate worse than death, but is eating dinner in the saloon first. His brother, the less evil saloon owner, says he thinks Hogo's disgusting. Hogo opens his ring, puts some powder into a glass of water, and mixes it in. It looks like he'll try to make his brother drink it; however, he then drinks it himself, and burps. It was antacid. He keeps eating his dinner, glutton that he is.
  • In The Man with Nine Lives, Dr. Kravaal drugs the soup Judy serves the thawed Human Popsicles to knock them out so he can use them as guinea pigs for his experiments.
  • In M.F.A., Noelle spikes the drink of one of the frat boy rapists with a date rape drug, then holds him down so he chokes on his own vomit.
  • Mrs. Doubtfire: Daniel Hillard spikes his ex-wife's new paramour's meal with pepper after overhearing him stress to the waiter to not put pepper on it, as he's allergic. Even though the whole sequence is Played for Laughs, they came pretty close to the possibly fatal consequences of such a prank — upon tasting the pepper, the man almost immediately begins choking, prompting Daniel to say, "Oh no, I killed the bastard!"
  • In Murder at the Baskervilles, Hunter is murdered when powdered opium is slipped into his curried lamb.
  • Murder by Death: Lionel Twain arranges for one of the cups of wine served to the guests to have a tasteless, odorless acidic poison in it. It turns out to be a subversion: Twain made sure the cup with the poisoned wine was served to the one guest who could identify it.
  • The horror movie Night of the Demons (1988) features a mean old man who puts razor blades in apples on Halloween to do terrible things to children. At the end of the movie, his wife makes an apple pie out of the leftover apples, which he eats. The blades slash through his throat and leave him dead.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, 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.
  • In Rehearsal for Murder, Karen and Leo's motive revolves around them supposedly giving Monica a herbal tea to "calm her nerves", which was actually spiked to make her too sick to perform on opening night.
  • In Sahara (2005), we have a rare version where the perpetrator is one of the good guys; Jim Sandecker gives multiple requests before he decides to do any more work for the US government, but we don't hear him say the last one; the next scene is Massarde being poisoned in a restaurant by Jim's ally, Carl.
  • Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes duology:
    • Being aware of this doesn't prevent it, as seen in Sherlock Holmes (2009). Irene Adler pulls a clever one on Holmes in using an unopened bottle of wine. A flashback reveals she used a syringe to inject a knockout drug through the cork, and a match to re-melt the wax and conceal the hole.
    • At the beginning of the next movie, Irene is smart enough to ask for a fresh pot of tea when meeting with Professor Moriarty, rather than drinking from the one already on the table. Unfortunately Moriarty has bought out the entire restaurant. All the potential witnesses get up and leave at his signal, and the new pot turns out to be poisoned. Cue Sound-Only Death.
  • In The Sixth Sense one of the dead people the kid sees is a small girl who was poisoned by her mother putting cleaning fluid in her soup.
  • Sympathy for Lady Vengeance: In prison, Geum-ja kills the Witch by adulterating her food with bleach. For three years!
  • John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) has the characters being Properly Paranoid about this — one single cell could be enough to turn anyone into a Thing. "I think everyone had better prepare their own food from now on..."
  • In Thirteen Women, Ursula attempts to murder Laura's son Bobby by sending him a box of poisoned chocolates.
  • Wedding Crashers: At dinner in one scene, John proceeds to spike Zach's water with eye-drops, which makes him sick, thereby letting John connect with Claire, Zach's fiance.
  • In The Three Stooges short "Who Done It?", the villainess prepares two drinks and slips poison in Shemp's drink. The two distract each other while they switch the goblets. Finally, Shemp drinks down the poison and goes through some hysterical death throes. Naturally, he recovers.
  • Wild Tales: In Las Ratas, the waitress refuses the cook's offer to put rat poison in Cuenca's food, but the cook poisons it anyway.
  • Wild Things: Double subverted. When after all the backstabbing between the conspirators only a final guy and girl are left, the guy is smart enough to expect the drink he's offered to be poisoned but is assured when the girl tells him that she would be an idiot to try it because he's the only one who can pilot the sailboat they're on back to shore. This is a lie—the drink is indeed poisoned, and the girl is much smarter than she made herself out to be. Just to be sure, she releases one of the booms to knock him into the water to drown.
  • In The Witch Files, Jules gives MJ a green smoothie laced with ergot. MJ, having been forewarned, tosses it in the bin as soon as she is out of sight.
  • The Wrestler:
    • Jules gives MJ a green smoothie laced with ergot. MJ, having been forewarned, tosses it in the bin as soon as she is out of sight.
    • Randy, in his day job at the deli counter of a local grocery store, encounters a particularly indecisive elderly lady who keeps asking for "a little more" or "a little less" potato salad. Annoyed at her, he discreetly licks a few dips of his gloved fingers as he's disposing of excess. He later on proceeds to cut some meat and intentionally slice his fingers open and bleed on everyone in a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! move.
  • This is Graham's standard M.O. in The Young Poisoner's Handbook: poisoning food and drink. Tea is his most common medium, but he also uses sandwiches, chocolates, pickles, beer, etc.
  • Johnny from The Big Cube slips LSD into people's drinks at parties. He's kicked out of medical school after one of his victims runs into traffic and dies. Later, he and Lisa hide LSD inside Adriana's anxiety pills.

  • 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.

  • Willard Price's African Adventure. While they're on safari in Uganda, someone tries to kill Hal and Roger Hunt by putting ground-up leopard whiskers in their food.
  • Agatha Christie was so incredibly fond of poisons; it's the most common way for victims to die.
    • In Crooked House, one of the two murder victims is poisoned by spiking a cup of cocoa with digitalis.
    • The victim of Five Little Pigs had poison put in his drink. He also had a harmless but unpleasant substance put in another drink, which confuses the issue.
    • In The Mysterious Affair at Styles it's subverted. One of the characters believes poison was put into the first victim's drink and tries to cover up any clues that would led Poirot to this conclusion.
  • At the climactic Elstyn family meeting in Aunt Dimity Takes a Holiday, only Simon, the recipient of the threatening notes, takes a cup of tea offered by the maid. That maid is revealed to be Derek's insane former nanny, who targeted Simon in the belief that he was trying to take Derek's inheritance. She says of Simon: "I tried to warn him, but he wouldn't listen. Won't listen, must be made to listen." Then she audibly whispers to Derek: "Make him drink his tea..." After she leaves the room, an Inspector from Scotland Yard asks everyone to avoid touching the teacup, since the police intend to have it analysed.
  • In Battle Royale, Yuko Sakai, mistakenly believing Shuya Nanahara killed another classmate in an altercation (the death was actually accidental), attempts to poison Shuya's meal with potassium chloride while he's recovering at a lighthouse where she and her friends are holed up. Another friend eats the meal instead, her subsequent death causing a chain reaction that leads to all of Yuko's friends shooting and killing each other and Yuko, herself, to be Driven to Suicide.
  • Bazil Broketail:
    • General Hektor is poisoned along with other officers by wine Ourdhi civilians give them. A couple die and he falls into a coma, leaving General Paxion in command with a difficult time.
    • A group of dragons and dragonboys are drugged with doped beer while in Ourdh. When they fall asleep, Relkin and Bazil are kidnapped to serve as sacrifices.
  • The Belgariad: This trope is the reason members of the Nyissan court take poison antidotes daily. Sadi appears to be as good as any full-time assassin at it—he muses once about having poisoned the soup course in front of his victims without being caught, and in The Malloreon he slips knockout drugs to an entire army.
  • The Prince Consort, husband of the queens and father of the princesses, of A Brother's Price was killed via poisoning while on a picnic. A Personal Effects Reveal later reveals that his son-in-law Keifer did it.
  • In Carpe Demon, Kate slips holy water into normal goblets of water when she tries to catch a suspected demon-occupied person in mixed company.
  • The Cat Who... Series: In book #19 (The Cat Who Tailed a Thief), Lynette Duncan is murdered when arsenic is slipped into her food by her new husband while on her honeymoon.
  • Discworld:
    • In Interesting Times an Agatean courtier tries this on Cohen the Barbarian. It doesn't work and the courtier finds himself having a terminal case of indigestion when the tables are turned. Also worth noting that Cohen is strongly averse to this sort of thing. He'll happily kill dozens at a meal, usually by getting them drunk first and then killing them in their sleep... but you don't poison the food.
      "Barbarians didn't poison food. You never knew when you might be short of a mouthful yourself."
    • A similar thing happens in Mort. The Grand Vizier tries to poison the Emperor, but he tries to do it in a very elaborate way: he claims he found the poisonous object in his own food, but that only the Emperor is worthy of it. They go back and forth on who should eat it for quite some time (Mort, because he can't leave until someone dies, even says "Would someone just eat it?"), but finally the Grand Vizier has to eat it, then tries to leave, leading to this:
      Grand Vizier: Urgent matters of state, my lord.
      Emperor: Would these be the urgent matters of state in a little bottle marked "Antidote" on your dresser?
    • Tampering with food and drink was also a popular tactic of the wizards in the early books (before they mellowed out and became a satire of modern academia). There was even a saying: When a wizard is tired of looking for broken glass in his dinner, he is tired of life.
    • In Unseen Academicals, Glenda, a Supreme Chef, visits Vetinari with a homemade pie. One of Vetinari's advisors suggests that Glenda may have poisoned the pie, an idea that Ventinari correctly dismisses, as she treats cooking almost like a religious vocation and would regard this as a crime against food.
    • This trope is referenced but ultimately averted in Feet of Clay. The candle wicks are laced with arsenic instead, releasing the poison into the air as they burn down.
  • Nobles in the Dune universe so frequently used poisoning to further their schemes that they had different terms for poisons used this way: poison someone's drink, and it's called chaumurky, but if you put poison in solid food it's chaumas.
  • Downplayed in The Egg Hamburg Steak Knows, where a truck driver of the meat processor, in a Lethally Stupid way to Poke the Poodle, spiked some of the beef shipped to the plant with pork out of spite. The bad news is it caused allergic reaction on a certain Kazuomi Wakatake...
  • Eisenhorn: Malleus opens with the titular Inquisitor having been poisoned this way three days prior, and has him launch a desperate raid on the poisoner's hideout in search of an antidote.
  • Simon Ark: In "The Faraway Quilters", the Victim of the Week has her drink spiked with chloral hydrate, which causes her to pass out and fatally wreck her car.
  • Girls Don't Hit: Joss uses poison she's placed surreptitiously in targets drinks to kill them more than once.
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon has a scene where Ethyne offers Gherland a cup of tea. Gherland then perceives Ethyne as fearsome and is easily plied for information.
  • In one of The Great Merlini short stories, the poison is added to the sugar packet the victim adds to his coffee.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
    • Ron Weasley swallows a poisoned drink that was actually meant for Dumbledore and almost dies. (And this was just after Ron ate a love-potion hidden in candy that was meant for Harry; don't side-kicks ever learn they're just fall-guys?)
    • Dumbledore discloses to Harry in one of their private sessions about a more deadly example of this. Hepzibah Smith, the featured character alongside Tom Riddle Jr., AKA Voldemort in the Pensieve Flashback during said session, died from a poisoned drink mere days after the scenario shown in said Pensieve Flashback took place. Her personal House Elf, from whom Dumbledore procured the memory, was tried and convicted of Accidental Murder, but Dumbledore suspects (and Harry agrees) that said House Elf was merely framed for Hepzibah's murder and that the Ministry of Magic officials didn't bother looking more closely into the case "because she was a House Elf".
    • On a more positive note, Harry exploits this trope to make Hermione and Ron think he added his good luck potion to Ron's drink. Thinking he has good luck on his side gives Ron the confidence boost he needs to win the Quidditch match.
  • James Bond:
    • Bond is saved from being eaten by wolves in Brokenclaw thanks to his ally Rushia, who threw steaks dosed with Chloral to their cage beforehand.
    • Staying at a hotel in Death Is Forever, Bond and his partner Easy order sandwiches. When they are about to eat them, they find out that someone has planted eggs of poisonous spiders on them, which were supposed to hatch and kill them after ingestion.
    • The bad guys in The Facts of Death attempt to kill thousands of northern Cypriots by spraying anthrax inside a ship full of food cargo.
    • The rations of a Chinese mountaineering expedition in High Time to Kill are destroyed by contaminating their food with piss and setting the sacks containing them on fire.
  • In The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin, Lily accidentally killed her sister by putting cleaning solvent in a glass of water. It was supposed to have been a prank, as she didn't think her sister would really drink it.
  • Murder to Go had poison added to the seasoning mix for a spicy fast-food chicken dish. It wasn't supposed to be a lethal dose, but that's not the most precise method of faking a mass foodborne-illness situation. The mastermind should consider himself lucky only one person died.
  • One victim in A Night Too Dark is killed when her cookie is spiked with peanut oil to induce a fatal allergic reaction.
  • The Pool of Fire: The Weaksauce Weakness of the alien Masters is discovered accidentally when a drunken guard pours his booze into the food being taken to a Master who has been captured by La Résistance. Attempts have been made to discover their vulnerabilities, but the Master has always detected the poison and refused to eat, so the protagonist just takes the food in, expecting the Master will reject it as usual. He falls into a coma instead. However, actually getting the alcohol into the Masters' water supply proves exceptionally difficult, as it means infiltrating their Domed City and distilling alcohol in an alien environment. And even once this is achieved, they have a city full of sleeping Masters who might rouse at any moment, and the small infiltration force has no idea what to do next.
  • In The Queen's Thief, the new King of Attolia has to put up with having sand in his food all the time as a prank by his attendants (and the kitchen staff, who prefer the queen). When this is revealed to the guard captain, it raises the possibility of more sinister things being added to the plate. Attolis puts up with it to build evidence against one of his queen's enemies, and finally puts a stop to it by visiting the kitchen staff two books later to reveal that he was once a phony kitchen boy that bit their previous, hated head chef.
  • Francesca tries multiple times to unnerve her interview subjects or throw off her coworkers like this in Rama II, once leading to a false diagnosis of appendicitis in the team leader for an expedition, hoping that Brown would get to go instead and fulfill a term in their backroom contract with an outside entity. Since the robot surgeon killed the man when Rama made a sudden maneouvre during surgery, her plan killed him. She covers up his murder, and might not be remorseful for it; her plan worked in that, following the leader's death, Brown did go on the sortie.
  • In Red Seas Under Red Skies, Archon Stragos serves Locke and Jean cold cider after several hours in an overheated room. The cider itself is fine, but the glasses were dosed with a poison that only Stragos has the antidote for, ensuring their service.
  • In River of Teeth, Hero sneaks poison into the iced tea they offer Houndstooth during their first meeting, then demonstrates that it's safe by drinking from the same glass. Since Houndstooth wants to hire Hero due to their reputation as a Master Poisoner, he is not fooled and refuses the drink.
  • In the first book of A Series of Unfortunate Events:
    • Violet thinks miserably that she should've poisoned the sauce she's serving with the pasta for Count Olaf and his troupe, considering how they are acting rude and refuse to eat the food the siblings made for them because they wanted roast beef instead.
    • Violet believes Count Olaf poisoned the oatmeal he serves to her and her siblings one morning because he's frankly a horrible guardian who was never nice to them in the entire time they've known him. He quickly proves them wrong by eating one of the raspberries on top of the oatmeal, convincing the siblings that it's safe to eat.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story Shadows In Zamboula, Zabibi slips her lover something. It drives him into a frenzy, which is not the effect she intended. (What, exactly, she did intend—well, the stories thrown about are numerous.)
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The Plot-Triggering Death of the series, that of Jon Arryn, was done via this. Jon was given a drink mixed with the Tears of Lys, a difficult-to-trace poison designed to kill as fast as possible, while making the victim look as if they die of natural causes. His wife, Lysa, tells her sister, Catelyn Stark, that this was done under the auspices of the Lannisters, who want to usurp King Robert by eliminating people close to him. The Lannisters really do want to usurp the throne, but killing Jon wasn't part of their plan. It was Lysa herself who poisoned his drink; she was seduced by Petyr Baelish to betray her sister by misleading her, thus deliberately dragging the Starks into the conflict.
    • An indirect example in A Game of Thrones. Robert Baratheon is gored by a boar during a hunting trip, where he is more drunk than usual, and dies. In A Clash of Kings, Tyrion Lannister finds out that before the hunt, Robert was given a fortified wine three times its potency by Tyrion's cousin Lancel, who was given orders to do it by his sister and Robert's wife, Cersei. The boar was optional; all Cersei needed was Robert performing a reckless act that would kill him.
    • Per Robert's orders, Varys sends an assassin to kill Daenerys Targaryen by gifting her a poisoned wine. However, the plan is thwarted by Jorah Mormont, who was the one spying on Daenerys for Varys in the first place, but has had a change of heart after spending time with her, by preventing her from drinking it. It ultimately results in Khal Drogo's furious march to the west, his untimely death, Dany's meeting with Mirri Maz Duur, and the blood magic ritual she unwittingly uses to birth the dragons back to the world.
    • In the prologue of A Clash of Kings, Maester Cressen attempts to kill Melisandre using wine mixed with the Strangler, an extremely lethal poison which can induce choking on its drinker within seconds. Melisandre, being a powerful priestess, drinks most of it and comes out unharmed, then urges Cressen to drink the rest (he originally offered her to share the drink). He tastes a sip and dies instantly.
    • King Joffrey Baratheon is poisoned during his wedding feast in A Storm of Swords, in what the fans dub the "Purple Wedding". As it turns out, he was poisoned using the Strangler, as well; the crystals were hidden in a hairnet given to Sansa Stark by Ser Dontos, who in turn received it from Baelish. Olenna Tyrell discreetly took one of them from Sansa, then dipped it into a wine Joffrey was about to drink.
    • In the closing days of the Dance of the Dragons, Aegon II Targaryen was poisoned less than a year after he fed his half-sister Rhaenyra to his dragon. Who exactly did the deed is unknown, but it's likely a conspiracy to assassinate him brewed when he refused to heed Corlys Velaryon's advice to abdicate, instead threatening to cut off and send Rhaenyra's son Aegon (the future Aegon III)'s ear to her ally Cregan Stark as a warning, therefore dragging the conflict further. Many people, both Blacks and Greens, were tired of the war and just wanted to end it already.
  • In the Lord Peter Wimsey novel Strong Poison the victim died of arsenic poisoning. It was put into the cracked egg that was made into an omelette, which he shared with his cousin (the murderer, who had built up an immunity to it over time so he could vouch that the poison wasn't in that particular meal).
  • In Summers at Castle Auburn, the Crown Prince is poisoned at his wedding feast, despite his using a taste tester and without anyone else at the feast dying. Only two people figure out who did it, and only one of them figures out how: The poisoner put the poison in the main course, of which the prince was certain to have a large helping. The poisoner then put the antidote for the poison in the water pitchers. Since the prince never drank water (due to a paranoid belief that someone had tried to poison the well years previously, despite considerable evidence to the contrary), he was the only person at the feast who took the poison but did not take the antidote as well.
  • In The Sword-Edged Blonde, it's done to a whole village with poisoned wine. The poison doesn't kill directly but incapacitates well enough that one mercenary can kill the whole population without resistance.
  • In the Cormoran Strike novel Troubled Blood, this is revealed to be the M.O. of Janice Beatty, the serial poisoner who is ultimately discovered to be the culprit in the Margot Bamborough case.
  • The romance novel Whisper to Me of Love has a young woman's maid placing poison in her milk. Poison that she thinks is an antidote to a drug supposedly being given to her by her lover to trick her into a relationship with him (she has been told all this by the novel's villain, who wants to kill the heroine in order to claim her inheritance). What saves her life is the arrival of the hero, just after she's poured some milk out into a saucer for the cat. As the two sit and chat, he is horrified to see that the cat has died after drinking the tainted milk.
  • In Wings of Fire, Peril has been told by Queen Scarlet that she needs to eat coal or she'll die. When Peril stops eating coal for a day, she gets sick. It isn't until later that Peril learns that she's perfectly healthy. On that day Scarlet had poisoned her food to make her go back to eating coal.
  • In The Witches, the Grand High Witch gives Bruno Jenkins a candy bar laced with Formula 86, which turns people into mice. She tells him to come to the ballroom in two hours to get more chocolate; when he does, the potion kicks in. The Witches' plan is to poison enough candy to turn all of England's children into mice, but in the end, they only succeed on Bruno and the boy protagonist, who comes up with a plan involving some food tampering of his own to defeat the witches.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • In Shattered Sky, Violetpaw hides poppy seeds in the prey meant for Darktail and his henchmen in order to make them fall asleep, but unfortunately she's seen doing so and they don't eat it.
    • In The Raging Storm, Juniperclaw sneaks deathberry seeds into the prey SkyClan caught in the hope of killing them. One cat falls ill but survives.
  • Wilder Girls:
    • The reason Welch throws away most of the food that arrives in the boat drops, even though the girls at the school are going hungry: to sabotage the government's efforts to conduct tests on the girls via contaminated food.
    • Headmistress has been holding back supplies and food and keeping them in her office, in case she needs to escape. Reese and Hetty are set to distribute the bottles, but notice that they have broken seals and a black powder in the bottom. It's gunpowder, which will kill whoever drinks the water.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The A-Team episode "Double Heat", it's subverted as a part of the scheme. Hannibal, posing as a waiter, takes a bite of the sandwiches Mr. Olsen ordered up to his room and fakes choking, causing the Federal agents to hustle Mr. Olsen to safety, fearing a security breach. Hannibal, of course, is just fine and simply wanted Olsen out of harm's way.
  • In Babylon 5, Londo makes a request of Lord Refa to break the association with the Shadows, and explains why he believes Refa will cooperate:
    Londo: Because I have asked you, because your sense of duty to our people should override any personal ambition, and because I have poisoned your drink.
  • In the second episode of The Borgias, there's some poisoned wine at a banquet; it's intended for Pope Alexander, but Cesare brought a monkey to test it and when the monkey dies, Cesare and his father avoid the wine and storm out.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • This is part of Walter's endgame plan in the Grand Finale. Knowing she's a Creature of Habit, he takes out Lydia by spiking the Stevia at the table she always sits at with ricin, dooming her to a slow death.
    • Gus Fring takes out Don Eladio, his clan and the remaining member of the Salamanca family (aside from Hector) with a poisoned bottle of Zafiro Añejo. Gus Fring drinks the tequila as well to avoid suspicions and vomits it up later, but has to be hospitalised for its lingering effects.
  • Burn Notice has Michael slip peanuts into the dinner of a mercenary with an allergy. He then steals the man's EpiPen and interrogates him before he falls into anaphylactic shock.
  • Castle:
    • In "The Late Shaft", the Victim of the Week is killed when the murderer spikes his cranberry juice with balsamic vinegar, which has a fatal interaction with his medication.
    • In "The Squab and the Quail", the Victim of the Week is killed by poison sprayed upon an appetizer in an exclusive restaurant.
  • Used as an important plot point in Chelmsford 123 when Grasientus attempts to poison an entourage from the local British tribe.
  • The Coroner: In "That's the Way to Do It", the Victim of the Week has their food spiked with shellfish to trigger a fatal allergic reaction. However, someone else murders them before the allergic reaction can take effect.
  • CSI has a case where one juror wants to induce an allergic reaction in another but decides not to at the last minute.
  • CSI: NY:
    • In one episode, a guy dies of anaphylactic shock when two others prank him by sneaking lobster broth into his soup even though they know he's allergic to shellfish.
    • In "Blood Actually", a woman murders her diabetic husband by giving him a 2 lb box of chocolates with a sugar-free label on it. Actually, they are normal chocolates. She also replaces his insulin with a sugar syrup, so when he injects himself, he just shoots up more sugar.
  • Daredevil (2015): In season 1, Madame Gao and Leland Owlsley make an attempt to kill Wilson Fisk's girlfriend Vanessa Mariana by spiking her champagne and the champagne of some other guests at a gala that Fisk is hosting. It fails, as Fisk rushes Vanessa to the emergency room in time for the doctors to pump her stomach.
  • Death in Paradise: In "Damned If You Do...", the killer poisons the stew being eaten by everyone in an attempt to make the murder look like food poisoning.
  • Dead Man's Gun: In "Black Widow", Lillian Posey poisons her husband by using a hypodermic to inject poison into a sealed bottle of wine through the cork.
  • In The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "The Impractical Joke", Rob brings Buddy some jelly donuts, which Buddy refuses to touch, believing they're somehow related to the payback he expects. Rob and Sally have to bite into all three of them to prove nothing's wrong, which of course leaves them useless for Buddy anyway.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Moonbase", the Cyberman contaminate the base's sugar supply as a means of spreading their virus.
    • In "The Unicorn and the Wasp", the Tenth Doctor drinks "sparkling cyanide". He survives it in a true Funny Moment.
    • In "The Pandorica Opens", River Song purchases a Vortex Manipulator, offering to exchange it for a Callisto Pulse, a device that can disarm micro-explosives.
      Dealer: What kind of micro-explosives?
      River: The kind I just put in your wine.
  • Endeavour: In "Arcadia", an extortionist who is targeting a supermarket has planted tainted products on their shelves, putting arsenic in the bloater paste and crushed glass in the baby food.
  • Fargo: Happens in the third season, where V.M. Varga has Sy Feltz drink tea filled with an unknown chemical. This causes Sy Feltz to fall into a months-long coma.
  • Father Brown: In "The Blood of the Anarchists", Titan—who is allergic to nuts—is murdered by someone spiking his hip flask with crushed almonds.
  • In the Frontier Circus episode "The Shaggy Kings", a renegade Indian poisons the circus's meat supply in order to force them to divert to Adobe Walls.
  • In The Glades episode "Marriage Is Murder", the Victim of the Week is an Amoral Attorney who had his drink spiked with antifreeze. However, someone else stabbed him before the poison could take effect.
  • In The Haunting of Hill House, Olivia attempts to kill Luke, Nelly and Abigail. She fills a teapot with rat poison and takes them all to the Red Room for a tea party. Abigail, who is the daughter of the property groundskeepers, drinks the tea and starts to choke. Hugh rushes in before Luke and Nelly drink their tea and smacks them out of their hands. Abigail dies and Olivia realises the weight of her actions.
  • House: At least one Patient of the Week turned out to have been poisoned by his wife after House and his team had ruled out everything else. She did get arrested for it, although they never found out why she was doing it.
  • In Justified, Mags Bennett kills one of her henchmen by sharing moonshine with him before revealing that the glass he was drinking out of was already poisoned, due to a combination of growing marijuana without her permission, calling the Marshals on another of her henchmen (admittedly a sex offender, but the principle stands), and due to Mags being a bit of a Mama Bear to his teenage daughter whom he had been neglecting due to being stuck in mourning over his wife's death. At the end of the season, she and Raylan share that same moonshine... and she gives herself the poisoned glass.
  • Played with in the comedy series Limmy's Show:
    • In a scene parodying Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, two dubious characters (perhaps spies), stand by a fireplace and make a toast 'to life.' They have a drink, retaining eye contact. One of the spies (played by Limmy) then pulls out a vial of green liquid (the antidote to the poison he just drank). The spy who drank the poison pulls out a vial of his own (also an antidote). They then awkwardly swap the vials and drink them. The first spy pulls out another vial, as does the second spy. They take their own antidotes and grab their drinks again, but hesitate to consume them.
    • After a couple breaks up, they have one last drink before the boyfriend leaves. Out of his view, the girlfriend squeezes a drop of strychnine into one of the glasses and gives it to him. His hand slips and he accidentally drops it. Rather than having a new drink, he leaves. Following this, he is driving his car when he slowly grasps his face as if overcome by illness. Eerie music accompanies the scene. He then sneezes. He arrives home, then suddenly clutches his chest. His eye twitches and the music cues again, but really, he was searching his pockets for his wallet. Next, he lies in bed with his eyes wide open. His hand slowly falls to the ground, only to grab hold of his iPod. He puts earphones in his ears, and finally, looks at the camera to say:
    "Why are you still here? You know she didn't get me, you saw the glass drop on the ground, are ye' daft?"
  • In the 1989 Italian/Australian mini-series The Magistrate, the wife of the title character has her shopping bag stolen, only for it to be returned by a bystander who chases the thief. She doesn't know it's a set-up to switch her tin of coffee, which has a bomb inside. The Mafia knows the investigating magistrate they're trying to kill always makes his own coffee; unfortunately, his wife decides to make some herself and gets killed.
  • Major Crimes: The Victim of the Week in "Cheaters Never Prosper" is an out-of-town cop who is killed when his drink is spiked with antifreeze.
  • Merlin has an attempt on Arthur's life via a poisoned chalice.
  • The first crime in the Midsomer Murders episode "A Vintage Murder" involves the wine being served at a wine tasting at a winery being poisoned.
  • Occurs for a few of the murders on Murder, She Wrote. In one case, the tampering just created a case of attempted murder, because another person actually killed the victim before he got to his poisoned brandy.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: In "Victor, Victorian", Victor is murdered by the killer smearing crushed peanuts inside the skull cup he has to drink from as part of the Masonic initiation, which triggers a fatal allergic reaction.
  • In MythQuest, Seth poisons Osiris's dates and feeds them to him at a ceremony, in order to kill him and gain his kingdom.
  • Oz:
    • Nino Schibetta ate grounded glass that Ryan and Adebisi secretly put into his food for months until he dies from internal hemorrhaging, suddenly realizing one day that he's bleeding from the ears, nose, mouth...
    • Also done to Supreme Allah in a more organic fashion. Once it's discovered that he's fatally allergic to eggs and must have his food cooked separately... Yeah, no more Supreme Allah.
  • Both played straight and faked in Persons Unknown.
    • Erika gets Joe to confess this way.
    • Later Joe helps Janet fake her death by pretending to do this to a liquor bottle.
  • Planet Earth: Dynasties: The lions inadvertently eat poisoned meat after coming across cows illegally grazing on lion territory. Most of the pride survives it.
  • The Professionals. In "Not A Very Civil Civil Servant", an accountant who keeps a bottle of whiskey stashed in the greenhouse has it spiked with weedkiller. The bottle is then replaced with an untampered whiskey bottle to make it look like he committed suicide by drinking the weedkiller.
  • This trope is used several times over the course of Resurrection: Ertuğrul, with such examples as:
    • When Aytolun attempts to murder her husband Korkut in season 2 by poisoning water intended for both herself and the Bey, while making sure she gets less of the poison in order for her to survive the symptoms. She succeeds at both.
    • Sadettin Kopek attempts this twice, both times targeting the Sultan. While the first one gets undone by Ibn Arabi, he is triumphant the second time around.
    • In Season 5, Dragos manages to add toxic substances to Teokles's water, eventually killing him during his stay at the Kayi tribe.
    • A non-fatal example occurs in Season 5 when Sirma tosses an excessive amount of salt into Hafsa Hatun's soup, intent on making Selcan direct her displeasure toward Hafsa and thereby driving a wedge between them.
  • Shakespeare & Hathaway - Private Investigators: In "The Rascal Cook", a restaurant is sabotaged when the soup is spiked with syrup of ipecac. Later, the chef is murdered by being served a poisoned cup of coffee.
  • Star Trek:
    • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Conscience of the King", someone tries to murder Kevin Riley by putting tetralubisol (a shipboard lubricant) in his milk. Tetralubisol is a milky white substance, so Make It Look Like an Accident also applies.
    • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Reunion", the Klingon Chancellor K'mpec tells Picard that someone has been adding a poison to his bloodwine for months. The amount of poison itself was very small, but over time it built up to a point where it would be fatal.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • "Babel" has a terrorist device that spikes the food and drink replicators with an aphasia virus that ends up never being dispersed because the virologist who planted it got captured. O'Brien accidentally trips the device while making repairs, and it eventually becomes aerosolized.
      • "Ties of Blood and Water" features a bottle of poisoned kanar. Weyoun gleefully downs a shot of the kanar just to demonstrate that his people are immune to poison.
  • The main reason Louie hired Rev. Jim Ignatowski as a cab driver in Taxi was because Jim slipped something in his coffee. When asked what it is, Jim just shrugged and said it could have either been a tranquilizer or a giblet. When Louie began tripping, Alex just said, "I guess we can rule out giblet."
  • Happens by accident on Untold Stories of the E.R., when some student nurses practice injecting insulin into oranges, only for one such orange to be left in the break room. One of the students mistakes it for hers, eats it, and nearly dies of hypoglycemia.
  • The Veil: In "Food on the Table", Captain John Elwood takes his wife with him on a long voyage under the pretext of patching up their marriage and uses the opportunity to slowly poison her.
  • The Kingdom in The Walking Dead have their swine eat walkers before they're shipped off to the Saviors as tribute.
  • In the Warehouse 13 episode "The Ones You Love", Tracy tries to kill her sister Myka under the influence of an artifact by giving her coffee spiked with a drain cleaner. Instead, it ends up spilled on the floor, where it burns right through the carpet.
  • Poisoning was one of the more common methods of murder used in Whodunnit? (UK), probably because it allows for the broadest possible suspect pool.

  • 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.
  • In The Chicks' "Goodbye Earl," best friends Mary-Anne and Wanda kill Wanda's abusive husband Earl by poisoning his black-eyed peas.
  • Carrie Underwood's "Church Bells" has the protagonist murder her abusive husband by slipping poison in his whiskey.

  • 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 

    Video Games 
  • The online game Allergy Assassin has you play an assassin who specializes in eliminating targets via their allergies. Thus you have to figure out who your target is of the people in the room, what they are eating and what they are allergic to. In most cases, a successful kill has the target's allergy kick in as they eat, causing them to turn purple and pass out. (There are two exceptions where you must slip laxatives into their food so they must run to the bathroom and get attacked by bees or cats.)
  • Assassin's Creed:
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • In Baldur's Gate, your party gets poisoned around the time you get into the eponymous city, and you have to do a quest to get an antidote.
    • In Baldur's Gate II, when you reach the Asylum, you find out that Yoshimo, or Saemon if you don't have Yoshimo, poisoned your food, enabling Irenicus to capture you.
  • Ceville entails slipping Tabasco sauce into coffee.
  • At the end of the Soviet campaign in Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Nadia successfully kills Joseph Stalin by tricking him into drinking a poisoned cup of tea. At an earlier point in the campaign, Marshal Gradenko is killed by the same person in the same way. It even features the same dialogue.
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, you are required to drug yourself by mixing hangover medicine with alcohol.
    Guybrush: This makes the drink oh so much more appealing.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: In one Sidequest, the player character can Item Craft a special pie with Void-tainted fish, feed it to an assassination target, and Camp a Crapper during the resulting intestinal distress.
  • Don't Escape: In the first game, the protagonist can combine meat and poison to make some bait in order to weaken his werewolf side.
  • Ether One has this as having happened to a mine warden (he apparently survived, but his incapacitation had severe consequences) when arsenic tablets were substituted for coffee filter cleaning tablets in a coffee machine. Whether or not this was intentional or accidental is unclear (evidence exists for either possibility).
  • Final Cut: Death on the Silver Screen: The PC discovers early in the game that her father's death was caused by medication tampering. (The game is set in the 1950s, which might justify the coroner not catching this before her.)
  • Free Icecream: In order to get the duster from the killer's cat, you need to feed it a bowl of cat food laced with rat poison.
  • In Harvest Moon DS, you can do this at the Harvest Festival by adding a poisonous toadstool to the town's stew. Usually, doing this will result in the whole town falling ill (as well as making it taste like crap), but if you cultivate a level 99+ toadstool and add it to the stew, the game ends with your character eating the stew, choking, collapsing, and dying, with the same fate suggested to befall the rest of the town.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic III, this is how King Gryphonheart was killed.
  • One of many methods of killing in the Hitman series is to put poison into food or drink that gets delivered to the target/victim. It's such a staple of the franchise that as of Hitman (2016), almost all of the story mission targets can be poisoned, as most of them eat or drink something as a part of their routine around a given part of the map. The recent games also add some variety with the use of emetic poison, which rather than killing people will cause them to go to the nearest bathroom to vomit, thus allowing you to drown them in a toilet.
  • Kindergarten:
    • Nugget can trick the protagonist into eating a poisoned, well, nugget. Depending on your choices, he can then withhold the antidote until you trick Buggs into eating another, more potent, one.
    • Ms. Applegate will serve you a poisoned meal if you have lunch with her after turning down her offer to eliminate Buggs.
  • In King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human, you defeat Manannan by hiding a crumbled magical cookie in his porridge. When the unsuspecting wizard eats the porridge, the cookie turns him into a cat.
  • 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.
  • Magicka: Although this game is usually rather comedic, the Dungeons and Gargoyles DLC plays this trope for horror with the cultists of Old Aldrheim.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, Raizze Haimer tries to kill Princess Priscilla by giving her a poisoned drink at the Princess's Birthday Party. Depending on your choices as the main protagonist, the Asian, it ends with either: Priscilla's near-death, the Asian's near-death (as Raizze will give him the antidote), or Raizze spilling the drink to avoid the Asian being accidentally poisoned.
  • In Mystery Case Files Ravenhearst, In 1895, Emma falls very sick shortly before leaving England for home. Charles offers to let her stay at his mansion, Ravenhearst, "The House That Love Built", and personally prepares all her meals, in spite of the maid he hires to attend Emma. Through the course of the game, the Master Detective finds evidence that Charles was making Emma sick, and at least some of the poison was being administered through her food.
  • While fighting in the major leagues in the Glitz Pit in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Mario gets sent two cakes from fans, the second one is laced and was sent by the champion Rawk Hawk. If Mario eats it, his partner will be out for one Glitz Pit match; if Mario avoids it, then another fighter will have eaten it when you get back from your match. It's also heavily implied Rawk Hawk did the same to previous champion Prince Mush prior to their match.
  • In the online game Receptionist's Revenge, you play as a disgruntled receptionist getting back at your lazy boss by putting disgusting things in his coffee while he flirts with the hot secretary. If you make it to the end of the game without getting caught, you're rewarded with a "you win" screen that shows your boss throwing up in the toilet.
  • A bizarre example occurs in Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space - Night of the Raving Dead: Max, knowing that he will be bitten by a vampire, drinks holy water beforehand, thereby spiking his own blood with vampire poison.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, you can do this to a boss. Specifically, Horkos periodically summons a Katakirauwa and then eats it a few turns later to recover his HP. However, if you inflict status ailments on the Katakirauwa, and then Horkos eats the afflicted demon, Horkos will contract that same status ailment.
  • In Styx: Master of Shadows and Styx: Shards of Darkness, Styx can poison food or water/wine with his bile, which will kill wandering guards just a few seconds after they consume it.
  • In Technomage, the player is required to pull a non-lethal variant in one of the early stages. An essential item is stored in a warehouse, which is blocked off by a guard. The trick is to gain some castor oil from another person in the town, and then go to the inn where the guard’s favourite stew is being prepared. They then pour some of the oil into the stew and then receive a batch from the inattentive chef. They go back to the guard and give him the stew, which makes him sick, so he heads to the nearby hospital, leaving the warehouse wide open.
  • Yandere Simulator: A high biology grade lets Yandere-chan identify poisons which she can swipe and slip into a student's lunch. This allows her to eliminate rivals without drawing suspicion upon herself. However, if Senpai witnesses the death, particularly if the rival is his childhood friend or sister, his sanity will take a huge hit. She can also slip an emetic poison into either the rival's lunch to make her sick and get her alone to murder her out of Senpai's sight or into Senpai's lunch to make him sick and sabotage his budding relationship with the rival. There's also the option of poisoning other people's lunches with the above two and sedatives to get rid of witnesses or something to induce a headache, which will distract the nurse enough for Yan-chan to steal tranquilizer. In 1980s Mode this trope plays a role in two of the 'canon' elimination methods for rivals: Sumiko dies from eating poisoned food, and Ritsuko's food is laced with a sedative which puts her to sleep and leaves her unable to stop Ryoba when Ryoba pushes her into the pool, causing her to drown.

    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:
      • Jezaille poisons Wilson's drink.
      • The Burya's crew drugs the food to the passengers.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Parodied in Scott The Woz:

    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."
  • 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.
  • During World War I, the British on the Middle East front would airdrop cigarette packs wrapped in British propaganda to the Turks. While the Turks laughed off the "surrender now" flyers, they really appreciated the cigarettes. On one occasion, a cigarette drop was made the day before the Brits were to attack a Turkish position. The cigarettes had been laced with opium, and the Turkish soldiers were too stoned to fight.
  • 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.
  • There's also putting sharp objects such as needles and razors in food.
    • A notorious incident in the Undertale fandom was when a fan-artist was offered cookies from a fan at a fan convention, only for it to turn out that said fan put needles in the cookies, all because they didn't like the fan artist's ship. And yes, the fan artist got injured, but they survived.
    • 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):


Northwestern, I Am The Shit!

Gwen Pearson serves Richard Bagg a protein shake right before his med school entrance exam, mixing in a little something extra.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / LaxativePrank

Media sources: