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Tastes Like Chicken

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Daniel: This tastes like chicken.
Samantha: So what's wrong with it?
Daniel: It's macaroni and cheese.

Alice is trying to get Bob to eat a new meal that people don't usually eat (usually from an alien planet). When Bob finally gives in, and eats what's unfamiliar to him, he immediately proclaims, "Mmmm... Tastes like chicken!" In short, practically everything tastes like chicken in Fiction Land.

This is supposed to convey the message that the taste is, if not good, at least blandly inoffensive.

This idea was tested on the Food Network show Food Detectives, and found to be true for most meat from non mammals. The scientific rationale is that the muscles are made mostly of fast-twitch fibers and lacking in slow-twitch, so basically any small and light animal that's not a fish will tend to taste close enough to each other that the brain's sense memory defaults to the most commonly-eaten meat of that type — a sort of culinary version of Small Reference Pools. For most people, that means chicken. Fast-twitch fibers are the vanilla ice cream of the flesh-product world, and don't really have much of a flavor to start with. It holds especially true if the animals in question are relatively young and haven't picked up a lot of environmental flavors; alligator tastes fishier if the animal's been swimming around eating seafood for a few years, and most market chickens are about 6-8 months old when they're shipped.

On the other hand, whether or not this is true also depends greatly on how the food is prepared. When the MythBusters tested this one, the rate of success in identifying chicken from not-chicken increased when the meat was ground up and then cooked on a grill. And for some, the texture of the meat may be a dead giveaway no matter how it's prepared (as Tory proved in the first round of testing; this is what prompted the ground-up-then-grilled test).

Based on a passage from Christopher Columbus' log, "The Log of Christopher Columbus," in which he describes having killed and eaten a serpent: "The people eat them and the meat is white and tastes like chicken."

Contrast with It Tastes Like Feet.


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  • In a UK Coke ad following the launch of a rival British cola with a big ad campaign. Kid takes unbranded cola bottle from refrigerator, tastes, goes "Mmm, tastes like... chicken." The new cola kind did it, too, particularly once the idea had got in your head.
  • The Most Interesting Man in the World: Averted. His palate is so refined that he never says anything tastes like chicken. Not even chicken.
  • Hilariously played with in an old Food Network commercial, showing some suburban tourists in an African village given a handful of mopane worms to eat. One reluctantly eats one and says "Huh, tastes like honey-barbecued chicken." The next scene is a suburban backyard BBQ with some African tribesmen attending. They reluctantly take a bite of chicken and one remarks in the subtitles "Huh, tastes like mapani [sic] worms."

    Anime and Manga 
  • Delicious in Dungeon: The basilisk and cockatrice. Makes sense since they're both part chicken.
  • YuYu Hakusho: In Episode 21, Yusuke has used up almost all of his spirit energy to defeat Suzaku (or so it would seem), and is crawling towards the mystical Makai Flute to destroy it. Suzaku's pet bird Muguru knocks it away from him, leading to this exchange:
    Muguru: I'll never let you reach it!
    Yusuke: Really? Well, I was thinking a hot meal was just what I need. (points his finger at her) I bet you'd taste exactly like roasted chicken!
    Muguru: ....!

  • In one of his stand-up specials, Bobcat Goldthwait rants about how everything weird supposedly tastes like chicken. "If it tastes like chicken, why not just get some chicken? Cheapest fucking meat on the planet!"
  • Eddie Izzard has a bit about how humans taste of chicken, in his Dressed to Kill. Later it comes up as "Tastes of human" while pretending to serve chicken.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Deconstructed by the Comics Curmudgeon when it appeared in B.C., who rants at length against a punchline that ascribes the attribute "tastes like chicken" to a fish:
    The whole "tastes like chicken" joke is about exotic animals that people don't usually eat, you see, and at root it's based on the fact that chicken is fairly bland, as is most meat from small-ish animals, and it's just that chicken is the kind of small-ish animal we eat the most. And fish, by contrast, actually have a really distinctive flavor ... and he's eating a fish... and the joke would have worked just as well if the punchline had been "it sure tastes great" or something along those lines... and... and... AAAAARRRGGGH!
  • Played with in Li'l Abner with the Shmoo. While they defintely taste like chicken when fried, shmoos often taste differently when prepared some other way. To wit: Broiled, they taste like steak. Roasted they taste like pork. Baked they taste like catfish. And yes, they taste like oysters on the half shell when eaten raw.
  • One gag in The Far Side portrayed a cow eating a steak. "Interesting... interesting... I'd say we taste a little bit like chicken."
  • Inverted by one B.C. comic where the title character is eating chicken; a friend asks what it tastes like and he replies "Everything else."
  • Garfield:

    Fan Works 
  • In Freak of Nature Harry tries his hand at living in the London Zoo and concludes that penguin tastes like chicken.
  • In Yabba Dabba Joes the accidental time travelers discover that trooedons taste like a cross between alligator and dark meat chicken. The Joes wish they had a spice rub or a marinade to go with the meat.
  • In I Know Your Secret Harry tries what he's pretty sure are frogs' legs, decides they taste like chicken and wonders why you couldn't just cook and eat some actual chicken instead.
  • In Apprentice Harry is relieved to find actual chicken on the dinner menu in China.
    Harry: I must admit I heard stories about monkey brains and dog.
    Bill: I was always told dog tastes like chicken, so you never know.
  • In Harry Potter: Wishing For a Friend the goblins put all of the soul pieces from the non-living Horcruxes into Nagini and then kill and cook her. Harry has to eat a bit to show honor to the goblins who killed her.
    Afterwards he told Hermione and Luna it tasted like chicken, but with a dark silky smooth sensitive flavor.
  • In This Bites!, Cross says this both for the elephant tuna that Sanji got in Loguetown and the Sandora Dragon that they grill up in Alabasta. He lampshades how very nonsensical it is in the latter instance.
  • In Harry Potter and the Shadowed Light after Lockhart tries to kill Luna Harry feeds him to the basilisk.
    Harry: Aithusia apparently thinks peacocks taste like chicken, but slightly stringier.
  • Dual Worlds:
    Daniel: I was thinking of getting some coffee. I think we still have some left. I'm also a little hungry. Want to go?
    Jack: Sure. There's nothing better than the taste of an MRE. Ummm...chicken.
    Daniel: Everything tastes like chicken.
  • Invoked in A Thin Veneer when a food replication device is discussed by an EarthForce general and the EarthAlliance president, as all it can replicate is a tofu-like substance that can be spiked with the required nutrients, but the taste and texture can only really come close to chicken.
  • In Harry the Hufflepuff 3 - Harry's Year off Sirius eats the dead basilisk.
    He tried stewing it, grilling it, sautéing it, and even made a lovely magic mushroom sauce to go with it, but it still tasted like chicken, if that chicken had been eaten by a snake that is.
  • In Luminosity, Addy is a Power Copying vampire to whom each power she borrows has a specific "flavor", which are comparable to human taste sensations. She mentions this trope by name when describing the taste of Vasanti's power.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Lion King (1994): has Timon convincing Simba to eat bugs like him, claiming a grub tastes like a chicken. It's not clear why either of them would know what chicken tastes like.
  • Parodied in Surf's Up. Cody, not paying attention, remarks to Chicken Joe that his Squid on a Stick tastes like chicken. Joe says 'yup', clearly not catching on.
    • And then Chicken Joe gets saved from being eaten by cannibal penguins once he gives them a Squid on a Stick, who remark "tastes like chicken" and request more of those.
  • FernGully: The Last Rainforest:
    Goanna: Uhh... what's a human?
    Batty Koda: Delicious and nutritious! Tastes just like chicken!
  • Madagascar:
    Albino Croc: Whoever gets to the bottom of the slide first wins the right to eat Mort, which I hear he tastes like chicken.
    Nana: I've had lion before. Tastes like chicken.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Said by Richard Dreyfuss as the title role in Krippendorf's Tribe, as a direct reference to The Lion King's same line.
  • A Discussed Trope in The Matrix, philosophically as usual.
    Mouse: That makes you wonder about a lot of things, you take chicken, for example, maybe the machines couldn't figure out what chicken tastes like, which is why chicken tastes like everything. Or, maybe they couldn't figure out—
    Apoc: Shut up, Mouse.
  • Demonic Toys:
    Mark Wayne: Everything tastes like chicken, you notice that? Frog legs, snakes... even rabbits taste like chicken.
  • In the Stargate movie, Daniel has this opinion of roast Abydos desert lizard. His efforts to convey this to his hosts are met with limited success, though the natives later refer to him as "Chicken Man".
  • In Loaded Weapon 1, the Hannibal Lecter Expy claims that human flesh tastes like chicken.
  • The Spawn (1997) movie pairs this with You Taste Delicious as Clown/Violator licks Wanda's face.
  • In the black comedy The Green Butchers said butchers sell human flesh as chicken.
  • Groundhog Day:
    Phil: I had groundhog for lunch. It wasn't bad. Tastes like chicken.
  • A U.S. military training film on emergency wilderness survival invoked this humorously when a crashed pilot saw a snake slithering away and pursued it, with a voice-over of the pilot thinking, "The manual says you taste like chicken ... and buddy, that's just too bad for you."
  • A Kid in Aladdin's Palace: Calvin is encouraged to eat bugs as part of a hazing ritual, and he notes that they taste like (slimy) chicken.
  • In The Way Back (2010), while Crossing the Desert, our half-dead heroes manage to kill a snake.
    "Tastes like chicken."
    "Yeah. A big, black, poisonous chicken with no legs."
  • The Gold Rush had a pantomime version of it as he eats his boot like it was a chicken.
  • Played for laughs in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The Trolls say everything Bert cooks tastes like chicken, except for chicken, that tastes like fish.
  • The Night of the Iguana: The old ladies on the tour bus in Mexico are appalled to see local peasants selling iguanas as food. Mr. Shannon, the tour guide, proclaims that they taste like chicken.
  • In The Freshman (1990), Marlon Brando's character hosted a "Gourmet Club" that regularly feasted on endangered species, and was planning to serve a stolen Komodo dragon at their latest meeting. Toward the end of the movie, it's revealed that he regularly smuggled said animals out of the kitchen while still alive, and had his chefs prepare chicken or turkey instead, figuring his guests would never know the difference. For Komodo dragon, he told his chefs, "Dark meat."
  • 102 Dalmatians:
    Waddlesworth: Tastes just like chicken.
  • In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Doctors Floyd and Halvorsen are lunching on some reconstituted space food. Dr. Floyd asks if it's chicken. Dr. Halvorsen says "Something like that. Tastes the same anyway."

  • The Dinosaur Megamorphs from Animorphs has Jake eating T-rex. Marco begs him not to say that it tastes like chicken. According to Jake, it tastes like swordfish.
    • Ironically, dinosaurs (though admittedly not T. rex directly) are related to birds. So if anything, you might expect their meat to taste like chicken!
  • In Absolutely Normal Chaos, the heroine's best friend tells her that kisses taste like chicken. (They don't.)
  • Mandatory Discworld example:
    It tasted a little like chicken. When you are hungry enough, practically anything can.
  • Inverted in John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata. The Posleen will eat anything, including their own young. When they invade Earth, they get their first taste of chicken:
    Random Posleen: (chews, ponders)... Tastes like nestling.
  • In Dave Barry's Guide to Guys, he admits that in the mad panic to prepare for the oncoming Hurricane Andrew, he felt the need for supplies such as plywood so badly that he could taste it. (And it tasted, of course, like chicken.)
  • Ogden Nash wrote, in the short poem "Experiment Degustatory", about being told that rattlesnake meat tastes like chicken — so now he can't stand to eat chicken, because he knows it tastes like rattlesnake.
  • Skink, a popular recurring character in Carl Hiaasen novels, is fond of roadkill (It Makes Sense in Context). Whenever he offers it to another character, they will invariably reply that it tastes like chicken.
  • In March to the Sea, after killing the flar-kenote  that were threatening Roger's group, the humans make a meal of the remains of the beasts. Captain Pahner comments that they're about to find out what flar-ke tastes like, to which Dobrescu replies "one guess". It turns out that it really does taste "very much like chicken."
  • At one point in The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!, Pigeon wonders if hot dogs taste like chicken.
  • Averted in the non-fiction Why Did The Chicken Cross the World? by Andrew Lawler. The author tries the famed and expensive Bresse chicken and is surprised to find that it lives up to the hype.
    This is chicken that, thankfully, really does not taste like chicken.
  • In Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot, when the teachers are in an asylum, Mr. Meaner eats a glowing glob and says that it tasted like chicken. It causes him to develop super-intelligence.
  • Averted in Lawrence Block's Two for Tanner.
    And Tuppence and I had found out what lizard tasted like. I had figured it would taste like chicken, like all those other things that no one in his right mind would put in his stomach. It didn't. It tasted like salty rubber.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel being a Self-Made Orphan, he mentions this in a Black Comedy moment.
    Angel: My parents were great. Tasted a lot like chicken.
  • In the Babylon 5 episode "A View from the Gallery", Bo chides Mack for failing to adhere to the trope when eating a spoo sandwich.
    "What's it taste like?"
    "I dunno...spoo, I guess."
    "You're supposed to say chicken!"
    • Not chicken per se, but the concept is played with when G'Kar serves dinner to a Narn ambassador:
      Na'kal: Breen. You've managed to import breen from homeworld. How?
      G'Kar: It...isn't actually breen.
      Na'kal: But the smell, the taste...
      G'Kar: It's an Earth food. They are called "Swedish meatballs". It's a strange thing, but every sentient race has its own version of these Swedish meatballs. I suspect it's one of those great universal mysteries which will either never get explained or which will drive you mad if you ever learned the truth.
  • A hilarious subversion comes from The Colony and crosses over with Real Life as the response was completely genuine and unscripted. When the colonists resort to eating the rats that infest the Sanctuary (marinated with garlic and rosemary no less), long-time vegetarian John C. tries some out of curiosity. His response?
    "Mm. Tastes like...rat. It tastes like bald eagle!"
  • CSI: NY episode "Fare Game" involving exotic cuisine made from centipedes, tarantulas, etc:
    Tony Collins: Tastes like chicken, right?
    Danny Messer: Nah, not really.
  • In Day Break (2006) at one point the hero is detained in a police station with some crazy unkept man. He asks the hero to give him his arm, then suddenly bites it and starts shouting "I told you, we taste the same! We all taste just like chicken!" while a policeman takes him away. Later we learn why he became so unhinged, the biting becomes a minor plot point, but why exactly did he bite him is never explained.
  • Doctor Who: In "Love & Monsters", the Abzorbaloff says this after absorbing Ursula into his own body.
  • The concept was explored in an episode of Food Detectives. The conclusion is that it's more of a function of texture than flavor. Any meat that is light in color, tender in texture, and mild in flavor can be and often is mistaken for chicken. More exotic meats tested included frog legs, alligator...and guinea pig.
  • Subverted in iCarly where Spencer spends the last bit of an episode cringing at the fact a live baby chick had crawled into his mouth and him complaining that it didn't even taste like chicken.
  • When Last Week Tonight with John Oliver did a segment on chicken farmers, they showcased news reports where meats were likened in taste to chicken, such as lizard, alligator and armadillo. Then John discussed how that analogy is hardly translatable to other senses ("If I said 'everything looks like tables' or 'everything feels like cushboards' you'd think I'm insane").
    • Later on the episode when thinking how to help chicken farmers, he considered stop eating chicken before disregarding it immediatly since "chicken is delicious" while eating from a bucket and adding "it tastes like armadillo".
  • In an episode of Lucifer, during a rather awkward dinner involving Lucifer, two of his angel brothers, the human wife of one of said angels and God himself, Linda suddenly makes the comment that God prepared chicken because it's apparently his favorite. "That's why all food tastes like chicken".
  • In an episode of My Hero (2000), George gets some GM Food from his home planet which allows anything to taste like anything (e.g. something that looks like brocoli but tastes like ice cream), the local crazy guy, Tyler, has a snack in George's house and says that it tastes just like chicken, only for it to be revealed by George that it is chicken.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "The Land That Time Forgot", Crow guesses that dinosaur tastes like chicken. Tom Servo corrects him: chicken tastes like dinosaur!
  • MythBusters also tested the concept, and came to a different (though not necessarily contradictory) conclusion than Food Detectives did.
    • The first test had the various meats battered, fried, and seasoned. Grant's success rate was low (11/20, or little better than chance), but Tory was able to detect texture differences that gave him a 17/20 success rate.
    • The second test had the meats ground up to eliminate the texture factor, then cooked on an outdoor grill. Due to the lack of seasoning to mask flavors, Tory guessed 18/20 correctly, and Grant guessed 19/20 correctly.
    • A conclusion could be drawn that seasoning and preparation are very important to the trope, as is texture. Because of the high success rate in the second test, the myth was overall Busted. However, there was one meat that both Tory and Grant thought tasted like chicken in test two: Boar.
  • Averted in Rome which is starving because Marc Antony has cut off the grain shipments. Pullo says that dogs taste like pork if you cook them right. Unfortunately they've already eaten the dogs.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In "The First Commandment", Daniel Jackson says this with a tone of disgust about the meal they're eating. When Sam Carter asks what's wrong with it tasting like chicken, Jackson says it's supposed to be macaroni and cheese.
    • Played with in another episode, where a food-obsessed alien who has never eaten chicken gets some and thinks it's amazingly good. He demands more, but doesn't get any because it's a "rare delicacy".
  • Amazingly used in Star Trek: Voyager. A group of Borg drones are stranded on an alien planet. Without a functioning Borg Cube they can't regenerate, so they must eat one of the dead drones. One of the nonhuman drones remarks, "It tastes similar to a bird I once ate." It takes Let's Meet the Meat a little too literally.
    • In "Hunters", Tom describes one of Neelix's mystery dishes as tasting like chicken, but with the consistency of corn husks.
    • Used again in "The Void". The crew of Voyager is experiencing a food shortage and Neelix has whipped up something to look like a delicacy but is really just some alien whatever. He tells Paris to "pretend that it's Seven's fettran risotto" and Paris replies "It tastes more like chicken."
  • Supernatural
    • After getting captured by the witch from Hansel and Gretel in the "About A Boy" episode, Dean tries to buy time by asking if people taste like chicken.
      Dean: So, uh, is it worth it? I mean, word on the street is people kind of taste like chicken.
      Katjia: A bit. European children are more, uh, free range, gamier. Americans, though — ooh Ė they are heaven. (Laughs) Fattier. The meat, so finely marbles, itís almost buttery. I just canít get enough.
      Dean: Mmm. Awesome.
      Katjia: No! I am in awe. This is my first visit to your country. And I have to say God Bless the USA.
    • Averted in "Wayward Sisters" when Dean is roasting and eating a lizard.
      Sam: Please don't tell me it tastes like chicken.
      Dean: No, Sam, it's a lizard. It tastes like a lizard.
  • Thanks: When Cotton eats a cricket, he says, "It's kind of like chicken...with six small, spindly legs that I can feel moving inside of me."
  • The Walking Dead: In the Talking Dead episode following the fourth season finale of the show that Talking discusses, Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes' actor) is a guest, and discusses the scene with the Claimers where he rips out the leader's throat with his teeth. When setting up the scene, he's asked by the effects team which kind of meat he'd like for spitting out to simulate the flesh ripped out of the leader's throat, beef or chicken, and going with reasoning of this trope he says chicken. He mentions this was a poor decision on his part, given the specifics of the scene.

  • The Weird Al song, "The Night Santa went Crazy," features this line:
    Then he picked up a flamethrower and barbecued Blitzen, and he took a big bite and said, "It tastes just like chicken!"
  • Gorillaz's "Superfast Jellyfish" is supposedly an advertising jingle for the eponymous breakfast treats, which are made of cute cartoon jellyfish and allegedly taste "just like chicken".

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the history of Warhammer, the Ogre tribe of Bulg Legeater hunted down and consumed the hobgoblin warhost of Gholg Slitthroat after hearing that hobgoblin meat 'tastes a bit like beef'.
  • "Tastes Like Chicken" is an actual card in the Zombie expansion of the Munchkin card game (it refers to zombies eating humans).
    • The same card name is used in Munchkin Conan for a card that lets you cancel any other card. (The card illustration is an edited version of Conan killing the vulture while he was crucified.)
  • Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Mysteries of the Hollow Earth. In Professor Trader's journal he says that the dinosaur Compsognathus tastes "not unlike chicken".
  • In Kobolds Ate My Baby, the titular kobolds by default have the flaw "Tastes Like Chicken," which guarantees that kobolds will find each other quite delicious (as will any other non-herbivore). That's the better of two choices— the other is "Tastes Like Baby." How kobolds react to babies is right there in the title.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • In ADOM, eating a the corpse of a giant bat gets you a message "Tastes like chicken."
  • Afterlife (1996) has one of its Ironic Hell punishments a Gluttony structure based around rat meat. The flavor text subverts the trope: "For the past 10 billion years, the waitresses, cooks, managers, and janitors of the Pandimensional House of Vermin franchise have zealously exploited a simple, unspoken truth: Rats do NOT taste 'just like chicken.'"
  • Chrono Trigger: When you eat the old man's lunch, Ted Woolsey says it "tastes like chicken!" Just don't do it before you face the judge...
  • Dead Rising 2: There is a side mission titled "Tastes Like Chicken". It involves a chef who has gone crazy in the zombie outbreak, and attempts to prepare a meal of human flesh to impress the important food critic that he still thinks is coming to his restaurant.
  • Dragon Age II: If Fenris is a Rival at the end of his personal plot:
    Fenris: Hadriana is dead. Danarius is dead. I am finally free. But none of it feels like it should! This freedom tastes like ashes.
    Snarky! Hawke: I always thought it tasted like chicken.
    Fenris: Yes, joke. That's your answer for everything, isn't it?
  • Dungeon Siege: A citizen of Grescal talks about unseen fauna called Gikk, which he says are easy to catch and taste like chicken.
  • Fallout uses this as the slogan for Iguana Bob's iguana-on-a-stick. Also "Tastes like chicken" quote appears in "Snake Eater" perk description in the first and the second game.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories: Donald Love said that human's meat taste like chicken.
  • Mass Effect 3: Referenced during James and Garrus' brag-off.
    James (human): What's the matter Vakarian? You chicken?
    Garrus (alien): I don't even know what that is, though I've heard everything in the galaxy tastes like it.
  • Used in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Justified because snake does really taste like chicken.
    • More like turkey, actually.
  • Pikmin 2: There are Louie's entries on how to cook a number of the enemies that the group comes across. One is the Mamuta, a giant... thing that looks like a whole bird ready for roasting. The cooking entry for this particular enemy says this trope word-for-word... while claiming it's inedible.
    Louie's Notes: Inedible. Tastes like chicken.
  • Puzzle Quest: When Drong is asked to describe the taste of volcanic rock, of all things, he says it "tastes like chicken. Hard chicken."
  • Sam & Max: In the game The Mole, The Mob, and The Meatball, Max finds that webcams taste like chicken and goes great with ketchup.
  • Shadow Warrior (1997): Parodied when you beat one of giant bosses, your character tastes whats left of it and declares that it tastes like chicken.
  • Space Pirates and Zombies: A quest chain has you pick up meat substitutes for the "Moon Burger" fast food chain. Toxic waste is used for beef and zombie meat is used for chicken.
  • In Spiritfarer, one patient at Overbrook Hospital asks Stella if they can take a small bite out of her, and if she says yes, the patient nibbles her and remarks that she tastes like chicken along with a few spices.
  • Tribes II has "Humans taste like... chicken." as a line from the bioderms.
  • Warbears: In the second mission, if Kla gets hit by a slime ball, one of the things he says is, "Tastes like the chicken I had yesterday."
  • World of Warcraft: There is an achievement called "Tastes Like Chicken", earned by eating 50 different kinds of food.

  • In Something*Positive, Davan once argued that babies would taste like chicken because of this trope's existance.
    • His friend argued back that babies would taste more like veal, veal being baby cow. Yeah, it's almost literally a Black Comedy.
      • Veal kind of tastes like chicken, in fact. No slow-twitch fiber development because the calves can't move.
  • In Wapsi Square, Katherine once cooked and ate the squirrels that were destroying her rooftop garden. True to the trope, they tasted like chicken.
  • Sluggy Freelance: When Percy the carnivorous wooly mammoth is first seen, he's eating one of the people at the lab where he was cloned into existence and says "Wow! Tastes like chickensaurus!"
  • Referenced in Chicken Wings here. Julio is impressed by Chuck's Halloween costume and tastes the fake blood, to find what he used to make it look so real. The blood tastes like chicken, because Chuck is one, and that's no costume, the injury is real.
  • Second Empire: Apparently teleportation tastes like chicken to a Dalek. Bonus points awarded as they have no idea what chicken means, either.

    Web Original 
  • In Brains, at least one zombie thinks pigeon brains taste like fried chicken.
  • In Freeman's Mind Gordon goes on a long rant about people who say every new meat tastes like chicken and concludes the alien he fried tastes like grasshoppers.
  • Ask a Ninja: In episode 61 "Omni Present".
    Dylan AAN: What do souls taste like?
    Ninja: Anti-chicken!
  • Less is Morgue: In one of the most bizarre Heartwarming Moments of recent memory, Riley - who ate their co-host, Evelyn's, corpse - finally cracks and admits that she did taste like chicken.
    Riley: You tasted like buffalo wings.
    Evelyn: So I did taste like chicken!
    Riley: Yes, but a very specific type of chicken. My palette is highly discerning.

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur: In "Carried Away", Dr. Yowl explains that his space snacks allow whoever eats them to breathe in the atmospheres of other planets, and that they taste like chicken.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The episode "The Swamp" has Due and Tho muse what their current prey (Momo) tastes like ("Bet he tastes a lot like possum chicken!" "You think everything tastes like possum chicken!"). Later on, they feed Sokka some possum chicken and he says it tastes like Arctic Hen.
  • Beavis And Butthead: Beavis says this when he and Butt-head attempt to lick toads to get high.
  • Carmen Sandiego: When Zack (who hates fish) has to go undercover at a fancy dinner party, Carmen tells him that he has to eat whatever's served, and if it's something he doesn't like, he should pretend it's chicken. Player cheerfully notes that the entree was poultry, so it did taste like chicken. The bad news is that the palate cleanser before dessert is caviar, and the "tastes like chicken" trick stops working.
  • CatDog: Parodied in one episode, at the beginning of the episode; Dog is chasing a pigeon that he apparently thinks is a chicken (he keeps repeating the word "Chicken!" throughout the chase) and when he finally eats the bird, he says "Tastes just like... pigeon."
  • Jackie Chan Adventures had this in the second episode, when it emerged that Jade had accidentally swallowed the Rooster Talisman (which had wound up in the soup she was wolfing down at the time) in the previous episode:
    Jade: Umm... Tastes like chicken.
  • Legion of Super Heroes (2006): Said exactly by Matter Eater Lad in one episode when he eats a giant alien beast.
  • Metalocalypse:
    Toki: Candy: Tastes like chicken, if chicken was a candy.
  • Mutant League: One episode has some mutants stranded in a blizzard long enough for some of them to consider eating Razor to survive but Kang convinces them to settle for his tail. When this is referenced in a later episode, one of them says it tasted like chicken.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In the episode "Bubble Boy", in which Boomer of the Rowdyruff Boys is held captive by Professor Utonium and company. Bubbles was sent as a replacement for Boomer, and at one point, Bubbles had to eat a cockroach so the Rowdyruff Boys won't suspect that she isn't the real Boomer. After Bubbles catches the other 2 Rowdyruff Boys (they escaped though), Professor Utonium learns about the cockroach incident and apologizes to Bubbles.
    Professor Utonium: I'm sorry you had to eat a cockroach.
    Bubbles: That's okay. It tasted like chicken!
  • The Real Ghostbusters: In the episode where Egon switches bodies with Slimer, he observes that everything Slimer eats tastes like chicken.
  • Regular Show: At the end of the episode "Every Meat Burritos", Mordecai, Rigby, Muscle Man and High Five Ghost are disappointed that the titular burrito combining so many meats together just tastes like chicken. (By comparisons, when Binging with Babish made the closest thing to an Every-Meat Burrito possible, he said the mixture of meats as they cook "smells like death" and couldn't swallow a single bite.)
  • Rocket Power: In the episode "Welcome to the Club", Twister and Sam are trying some new delicacies at the Ocean Shores Beach Club. Sam tries some tripe, and says it "tastes like chicken and salty marshmallows." He and Twister initially enjoy it, but are then grossed out to learn it comes from sheep stomach.
  • Rocko of Rocko's Modern Life is shown briefly working as a tattoo artist in "Canned". Specifically, he's tattooing the roof of a rhino's mouth. The rhino accidentally swallows him and bemusedly comments that Rocko tastes like chicken.
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast had some fun with this when Space Ghost was interviewing Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook. As Yan prepared a turkey for him, they discussed how this saying makes no sense, "I hate when people say "This tastes like chicken." It doesn't. Chicken tastes like chicken."
  • Teen Titans (2003): Not a chicken example, but in Terra's debut episode, the Titans invite Terra over to Titans Tower, and Starfire offers her some Glorg (to everyone else's disgust). Terra tries it and comments that it tastes like sushi mixed with ice cream.

    Real Life 
  • This comment is so frequent that even The Other Wiki has an entry for it. There are several explanations for it. One idea is that chicken has a bland taste because fat contributes more flavour than muscle (especially in the case of a lean cut such as a skinless chicken breast), making it a generic choice for comparison.
  • Because the sense of taste is subjective and can be affected by many factors, there will probably be a lot of odd things that some people sincerely believe taste like chicken. You yourself won't know for sure unless you try them. It's actually possible that the compounds that give the average serving of unseasoned chicken meat its characteristic taste won't taste like chicken to certain people.
  • In Shanghai, P.J. O'Rourke was invited to try a shotglass full of cobra blood. His verdict? "Tastes a little like chicken... blood.". Similarly, snake meat tastes almost exactly like chicken, though the texture is very different.
  • As much as he didn't want to say it, Anthony Bourdain admitted that Armadillo tastes like chicken.
  • Subverted for human flesh. We actually taste like pork.note . This could possibly be explained by the fact that pigs are near perfect human analogs; that's why they always use pig carcasses on MythBusters. As pigs are the only omnivorous mammals most people have actually tasted, it's not that strange that humans (also omnivores) would taste more like them than like other edible livestock. Some have also described human flesh as tasting like veal. Apparently, black people taste sweet, while white people taste salty. But surprisingly, babies don't actually taste better. They taste like fish.
    • A persistent Urban Legend suggests that SPAM, a pork product made from the richest slow-twitch muscle fibers nearest the bone, was so popular in post-war Polynesia because it tastes even more like "long pig" than the rest of the pig.
    • Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer, in his written confession that was admitted into evidence at his sanity hearing, wrote that human flesh tasted like beef.
    • Greg Foot, in The Secrets of Everything, had his thigh biopsied, then cooked the tissue. It smelled (and looked) like beef, but the analysed odours indicated a mix of meat flavours including chicken.
    • Issei Sagawa, a man who murdered a fellow Parisian literature student and ate her corpse, claimed that her flesh tasted a lot like raw tuna.
  • Also subverted for alligators; most people who've eaten alligator say it tastes more like fish than chicken, although the texture does remind them of chicken — texture-wise, boiled crocodile is closer to pork. That being said, alligators eat fish, and presumably the fishy taste comes through there (baby alligator is noted to be non-fishy; conversely, chickens fed fish meal generally end up tasting fishy).
  • Some people think rabbit tastes more like something between beef and chicken.
  • American astronaut Pete Conrad commented that iguana tastes rather like chicken during a retelling of his time in survival training.
  • Seeing as how avians and reptiles have a relatively recent common ancestor, it makes perfect sense that lizards and squamates taste like chicken. Pork, beef, and various other large ungulates not tasting like each other seems to be representative of slow-twitch muscles having developed somewhat differently in each lineage, while fast-twitch muscles seem to be conserved across the superclass Tetrapoda — which is how such widely disparate animals as frogs and rabbitsnote  can both taste like chicken, as being small, quick, leaping animals, frogs and rabbits both have far greater need of fast-twitch muscle than slow-twitch.
  • Frog legs. They're actually really good and taste exactly like chicken, but with the texture of fish. In many parts of Asia, including China and India, frog meat is known as "jumping chicken".
  • There's a good chance that making practically every dish with "a cup of chicken broth" stands a good chance of making everything in it "taste like chicken".
  • Because chicken is a very common food that is eaten almost everywhere by everyone, it becomes the benchmark for comparison by default.
  • Ironically, this is subverted by birds other than chicken, despite them being more closely related to chicken than most of the other animals listed here. Turkey has a richer, slightly greasier flavor, especially noticeable with the dark meat. Duck has such a distinct taste that it could never be mistaken for anything else. It's outright inverted with emus and ostriches, which taste like beef.
  • Unripe jackfruits have been known to taste like chicken, and are sometimes used as a meat substitute by vegetarians. Ripe jackfruit tastes like jackfruit, or for those who've never had the actual fruit, Juicy Fruit gum.
  • Breadfruit, when roasted, smells and tastes a lot like bread.
  • Subverted with mouse and a few other small rodents (e.g. dormouse): as found by Heston Blumenthal, they taste like pork. Slow-twitch muscles are implicated; mice, though small, run rather differently than their cousins, the rabbits and hares.
  • Inverted by exotic bovines, such as yaks and bison, which instead taste like beef. Although be warned — elderly bison can taste like mind-blowingly strong beef.
  • The Roman poet Horace ridiculed the popularity of serving peacocks at Roman feasts, saying that the birds tasted like chicken.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Taste Like Chicken


The Origins of the Phrase

MatPat discusses the trope of meats tasting like chicken and breaks down the origins going back to Christopher Columbus.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / TastesLikeChicken

Media sources: