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The Snack Is More Interesting

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" his funeral, all his friends stood around looking sad, but they were really thinking of all the ham and cheese sandwiches in the next room."
Laurie Anderson, "Gravity's Angel"

A character enters what should be a serious situation for them, and yet seems completely bored with the events. Instead of giving the occasion his full attention, they seem more invested in the snack they happen to be eating. Apples, potato chips, or any other food that's particularly noisy are popular for this since the obnoxiously loud crunching can drown out what's going on around the eater.

Apples and other fruit carry an additional "eff-you" quality in that, well, you can't be admonished for eating something healthy, can you? Alternately, apples are often associated with the Book of Genesis, for times when you want to draw parallels between a less virtuous character and Satan.

Compare Autopsy Snack Time, Fruit of the Loon, Obsessed with Food, Inappropriate Hunger, Delicious Distraction, Primp of Contempt (where an appearance check shows that a character is bored), Long Speech Tea Time (where an audience is bored), Pass the Popcorn (where they're entertained by someone else's troubles), and Impromptu Campfire Cookout. Often overlaps with Enemy Eats Your Lunch.

Contrast They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich, where a mealtime conversation is so interesting the food goes completely untouched.


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  • In the late 1980s, there were a couple of TV commercials for Australian-made Violet Crumble chocolate honeycomb bars, with the tagline, "Nothing else matters". One featured a 20-something son berating his father who ignores him by biting into a Violet Crumble bar, the other with the roles reversed.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Death Note has a strong theme of characters eating a trademark favorite food while very important things are happening.
    • Ryuk is usually eating apples while Light is explaining things.
    • L is always eating and playing around with sweets while he's thinking, which he says he needs to power his brain.
    • Mello also likes sweets, but limits himself to chocolate bars. He makes a distinctive cracking sound when he bites off pieces while driving his machinations.
    • A variation is done by Light when he puts on a performance for cameras hidden in his room; while pretending to be focused on studying and munching on a bag of chips, he actually writes names in the Death Note that he receives from the news, which is being displayed on a miniature television hidden inside the bag, thereby keeping up his murder rate and casting off (some) suspicion.
  • Go! Princess Pretty Cure: Go! Go!! Gorgeous Triple Feature!!!: Even when she feels something's not right, Haruka is too busy eating a giant pumpkin parfait to do anything about it.
  • Tears to Tiara: The characters pass around an apple while swordfighting in the Title Sequence.
  • In The Tower of Druaga, the group is eating at a diner on the street when the sound of a rampaging monster comes from the distance. While Ahmey does hurry up, she still has to finish her bowl before they can run to the rescue.
  • Sasha's introduction in Attack on Titan has her casually eating a stolen potato while Shadis is grilling her fellow recruits. When Shadis confronts her, she offers him what's left. As one can expect, she's kind of odd, but once we find out the reason why it becomes heartwarming.
  • Similarly, Kyoko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is frequently seen munching on something in otherwise serious scenes, for reasons that are not funny at all.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods - Whis is more interested in trying Earth food than watching Beerus pummel the heroes, and doesn't really seem to care one way or the other whether Beerus destroys the planet (as long as it's not before he gets a chance to try everything). Beerus himself is more interested in his drink than Goku's transformation to Super Saiyan God, only paying attention once he's ready to fight.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, Team Rocket has occasionally been so distracted by Brock's cooking that they sometimes forget what they were supposed to be doing (running from some angry Breloom in one episode, the usual steal Pikachu scheme in another). It got to the point that Brock decides to exploit this in an early DP episode.
    • In Pokémon the Series: XY, when an Inkay started stealing Team Rocket's food, James used some of it to capture it.
  • Yaiba: the Spider Man is first introduced disguising himself as a table full of delicious food to lure the starving heroes. However, the heroes are so hungry that they promptly ignore him when he tries to introduce himself and decides to finish the food before paying attention to him.
  • One Piece When the God of Skypiea Enel encounters Nico Robin in the submerged city of Shandora he is seen eating an apple, this reflects his complete narcissism, security in his power and hedonistic lifestyle. In reference to this, when Enel taunts in the licensed game One Piece Grand Battle! Rush!, he eats an apple. Eiichiro Oda, the original writer, also claimed apples were Enel's favourite food in an SBS.
    • Also, Shanks' crewmate Lucky Roo, who is almost always seen chewing on a piece of meat. Not that he's incapable mind you, getting the first kill of the series with a pistol, especially because he's on a Yonko/Emperor's crew.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In The 75 by mintjellyfish, Kelso wins the 12th Hunger Games with a booby trap that kills a career tribute who comes after him as he eats, and then insists on finishing his meal before leaving the arena.
    Twelve kills, and he cares more about lamb stew.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In "The Car," Penny and Bolt are sitting together on the patio area at Dinny's Diner, the girl enjoying coffee and both munching on apple pie. Penny talks to the dog about various subjects, but Bolt is far too focused on his plate of pastry to pay any attention to her.
  • Snap and Loopin of My Immortal are not an example, despite the author stating that Loopin was "masticating" to Ebony in the bathtub, as this was later clarified to be a typo. However, visual adaptations such as the webcomic tend to ignore this correction, because Loopin eating a snack while spying on her is a much more amusing image than the intended one.
  • This Bites!:
    • While the rest of their crewmates freak out over the possibility that the Shandians are going to attack them for "stealing" their gold, Cross, Zoro, and Vivi sit down and enjoy some sake or jerky while waiting for the others to realize the Shandians are just giving the Straw Hats more gold for defeating Eneru.
    • After Perona yells at Hogback for spilling their entire operation on the SBS, she prepares the capture the visiting Straw Hat Pirates to save face with the World Government. When she turns around, she finds out that they've been eating dinner during her entire rant.

    Film — Animation 
  • A variant in the film Paranorman is that acquiring a snack is more interesting. A man sees a group of zombies coming toward him down an alleyway while he waits for a vending machine to dispense his bag of chips. He hesitates as they get closer and closer, not wanting to abandon his snack. In the end he does run off...only to come back a second later to grab the chips once they have finally fallen, and run off again.
  • In Penguins of Madagascar, Agent Classified is trying to explain to the penguins what his group, the North Wind, does, but keeps being interrupted by Skipper loudly munching on Cheesy Dibbles.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 300: After the first battle, King Leonidas casually eats an apple while his men (even more casually) finish off the few surviving enemy soldiers.
  • The Guard, Boyle noisily slurps a milkshake as he is threatened by a mobster in a bar. The mobster later admits he was quite impressed Boyle took it all so nonchalantly.
  • Star Trek
  • In The Santa Clause, Scott spends a board meeting taking his time scooping a sundae dish clean. Justified in that his Slow Transformation into Santa Claus has given him an addiction to sweets.
  • In Django, eating food is given as a textbook example of villainy. Watch and learn.
  • In Big Game, during the first hour of frantic search for the president, Herbert is shown chewing on a sandwich more often than looking at the screens.
  • In the remake of Ocean's Eleven Brad Pitt decided to play his character this way; he's snacking on food in just about every scene except the heist itself. Pitt justifies it in the commentaries by pointing out that, given the thieves' breakneck and unpredictable schedule during the heist prep, you really couldn't count on regular meal times.
  • Happens in Galaxy Quest:
    • Jason is more interested in sipping on his coke than listening to Big Bad Saris on their first encounter on the bridge. Justified as he mistakes the situation for a staged act.
    • Fred is often seen with snack food, even in serious situations. He was originally intended to be a stoner, but those references were taken out to make the movie PG, leaving a habit for snacking that's still pretty funny. They may never directly mention any pot use, but damn near everything about Fred's personality still implies it.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Denied by Volstagg in Thor, providing the alternate name for this trope. Do not mistake his appetite for apathy! His buddy Thor eats the same way while on Earth. Understandable since he's never tried Midgardian food before, and enjoys it Asgard style.
    • Tony Stark is often seen eating, be it a burger just before a press-conference or pizza during a heated conversation with Obadiah in Iron Man; donuts before talking to Nick Fury or strawberries after an unsuccessful attempt to explain himself to Pepper in Iron Man 2; or dried blueberries while arguing with Captain America in The Avengers. It has become such a defining trait of the character that they used it in the teaser for Captain America: Civil War, where Robert Downey Jr. is quarreling with Chris Evans over a donut.
    • In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, M'Baku arrives late to a meeting of the Wakandan council and the first thing he does on entering is take a big bite out of a carrot he brought along, which he continues to eat throughout the scene.
  • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, Basco enters battle with the Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, and, once he was losing, turns to his monkey pet Sally for help. Sally was so preoccupied with eating fruit Yellow Buster gave to him that Basco had to give up.
  • In Good Will Hunting, Morgan just wants to enjoy his double burger instead of fighting the guy they saw at the baseball game. Chuckie sets him straight by telling him if he doesn't go out there, after they're done kicking the guy's ass, Chuckie's gonna kick his ass.
  • In A Few Good Men, the scene where Kaffee and Galloway meet. Kaffee spends 30 seconds hearing the barest details of the case and promptly decides what plea bargain he can get, all while confidently munching his apple. (Besides demonstrating his "fast food" approach to the law, this also shows his general lack of military discipline.)
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, while Harry interacts with Buckbeak the hippogriff, Draco Malfoy casually munches on an apple to show his contempt with the proceedings.
  • One scene in Little Nicky features a bunch of passerby chasing Nicky down the street because they think he's a monster. One guy starts to join in the chase, then decides his candy bar is more important and continues with that instead.
  • In K-PAX, mental patient/possible extraterrestrial prōt interrupts his psychiatrist Dr. Powell (Jeff Bridges) during their first session to ask for one of the apples in a basket on the shelf, which he proceeds to noisily devour. Dr. Powell waits patiently at the beginning of their next session as prōt eats an entire banana without peeling it, continues to be distracted by a bowl of fruit in the office, and later keeps turning a serious conversation to the bag of fresh strawberries he's eating. In his words, "Your produce alone has been worth this trip," as in, the 1,000+ lightyear voyage to Earth.
  • In The Hunt for Red October, Captain Ramius reveals to his officers that he announced to Soviet Naval Command their intentions to defect to the Americans. During the scene, he is much more interested in his dinner than the fact he has evidently made their defection even harder.
    When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships. As a result, his men were well-motivated. Mm, this is good.
  • In The Campaign, Dylan McDermott shows that he's a badass by delivering a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Martin Huggins while snacking on an apple.
  • Played with in Citizen Kane. "You're still eating?" "I'm still hungry."
  • In Avatar, Colonel Quaritch is sipping coffee in the cockpit of his flagship, while it's barraging the Na'Vi Hometree with missiles. Because Colonel Quaritch doesn't give a fuck about your Na'Vi.
  • The Evil Popcorn Eating Guy from Free Willy. He can ruin any moving or emotional scene simply by eating a single piece of popcorn, like a cynical and heartless bastard. Watch.
  • In The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015), after Solo is thrown from a speeding boat piloted by his partner, he swims to shore and enters a nearby truck. In the truck, he turns on the radio, finds a towel to dry off with, and then discovers a picnic basket underneath. So while Kuryakin continues speeding around, having an action-packed boat chase, Solo enjoys a glass of Chianti and a nice sandwich.
  • Downplayed in Deadpool (2016). Big Bad Francis is introduced with a half-eaten apple in his hand while doing business with a weapon dealer.
  • During the climax of The Big Boss, Bruce Lee faces the Big Bad and his mooks with a bag of chips in hand.
  • Invoked as a kind of subtle 'fuck you' in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. When negotiating with Captain Barbossa over the command of the Black Pearl, Jack Sparrow picks up a green apple from a basket in the middle of the table and casually begins munching on it while musing out loud. Thing is, Captain Barbossa is only in command of the Pearl because he mutinied against and overthrew Jack, has been cursed by Aztec gold to an existence of living death where he is unable to taste anything, apples are his favourite food, and the current topic of conversation is Jack musing about how, if Barbossa hadn't mutinied against and overthrew him, Jack would have been captain when they found the gold and would also have been cursed. So Barbossa has to watch and seethe as this guy he hates eats an apple that Barbossa yearns to taste again while 'casually' discussing about how Barbossa's own actions ended up preventing Jack from being inflicted with the same curse that Barbossa suffers under.
  • In Hoodlum, Dutch Schultz noisily eats an apple during a meeting of mob heads, much to the annoyance of everyone else.
  • Discussed in True Romance: When Clarence shows up at Drexl's den to intimidate him, Drexl offers him some Chinese food from his spread, which Clarence rejects. Drexl tells him that if he'd gone ahead and casually chowed down as if he hadn't a care in the world, it would have been very impressive.
  • Reservoir Dogs: After a botched bank robbery and shootout, Mr. Blonde arrives at the meet-up slurping on a soda from a takeout joint. Mr. White angrily asks where his french fries are, to which Mr. Blondes says, "I had them already."
  • Den of Thieves: O'Brien is eating or drinking in almost every scene where he's not shooting a gun.
  • The Devil and Daniel Webster: When Jabez first attempts to break his contract by attacking the tree, Scratch seems more interested in eating Jabez's carrot.
  • Mystery Road: Sarge is eating a popsicle while Jay first updates him about the dead girl.
  • In Scream and Scream Again, Konratz is torturing a young woman captured attempting to escape the country, but is giving the drumstick he is eating more attention. He pauses eating long enough to cut through the bone with a pair of shears before using them on her finger.
  • In Tiger House, Callum pauses in his search for Kelly, despite the fact that she knows his name and has seen his face, in order to make a sandwich.
  • The Immortals: During the Mexican Standoff in the kitchen where everyone in both gangs has at least one gun pointed at them, Jack is calmly eating a plate of salad.

  • Black Colossus. Conan chooses to gnaw on a huge beef-bone while commanding an army. Later he uses the bone to bash in the brains of a deserter when his army needs an incentive to keep fighting.
  • As part of the deconstruction of British Stuffiness done in Dear Mr. M., when a constable shows up to question the main character's family about the rape and murder of their house servant (and there is a serial killer on a spree in the area), he picks the worst moment possible - they are in the middle of their five o'clock. As a result, the police officer is first treated like dirt and then quickly thrown out, because the cream pie is more interesting than providing any sort of help to resolve the gruesome death and the tea is getting cold. After all, why even care about some low-born aboriginal girl that was part of the household for months, when there are more important things? Notably, they have nothing to hide, yet they are deliberately unhelpful, because.
  • Discworld:
    • In Making Money, Vetinari has a conversation with Moist von Lipwig while calmly eating a hard-boiled egg. The attention Vetinari pays to eating the egg only serves to annoy and confuse Moist, since he's already freaked out. (It didn't help that Vetinari mentions that a hanging always makes him hungry.)
    • The folk song honoring the 10th Foot Infantry in Monstrous Regiment starts out as a Bawdy Song where a maiden in May is carrying a cheese, when she passes by a soldier. She drops her bodice, and rather than helping her, the soldier runs off with the cheese. That's why they're nicknamed the Cheesemongers.
    • Done intentionally in Night Watch. Vimes knows a crowd of angry civilians is heading toward the Watch house, with the intent of rioting, so he does the logical thing; he opens the doors, unshutters the windows, and sits out on the stoop with a cigar in one hand and a mug of cocoa in the other. When the demonstrators arrive, instead of finding the place defiantly preparing for a siege, it is instead open and welcoming, which defuses the tension. One drunken man still tries to have a go at Vimes by breaking a bottle for use as a weapon, but winds up with a fist full of shards. This is where Vimes' choice of activity comes in handy; the entire crowd saw him with both hands full when this happened, so no one can claim he laid a finger on the man.
  • In Dragon Bones, the heroes asked for entry into a castle. As they're from Shavig, and the people in Oranstone (where they are) consider them barbarians, there is some teasing on both sides. Ward is handed an apple by his companions, and eats it while talking to the guards.
  • In Mission Of Honor, when Admiral Crandall arrives in Spindle, she waits for a while before opening communications, intending to make the Manticorans sweat. When she does hail them, instead of the terrified Manticoran officer she expects, she gets Gregor O'Shaughnessey, idly reading a novel at his station, not even noticing the Admiral at first. It's a wonder that Crandall doesn't suffer an apoplectic fit. And, since she'd decided to insult the Manties by parking her ships far enough out that it takes eighteen minutes for a message to get to Spindle and back, he returns the insult by resuming reading his book between exchanges.
  • Renly Baratheon in A Song of Ice and Fire interrupts a tense truce negotiation with his stern elder brother Stannis — a meeting between two warring claimants to the throne, affecting the lives of thousands — by taking out a ripe peach and ostentatiously tucking into it. The combination of irreverence, mock-boredom and sheer comical incongruity of the action infuriate Stannis, and he later finds himself more fixated on that insult than anything else that was decided at the parley. This small scene has undergone a bewildering degree of Memetic Mutation, to the point that Renly's School Of Thrones counterpart is never seen without a peach (occasionally even Dual Wielding them).
  • Sebariel in the final battle of Words of Radiance, as a highstorm and an everstorm are closing in, threatening to wipe out everyone on the battlefield.
    "Dalinar!" a voice called.
    He turned to find the utterly incongruous sight of Sebarial and his mistress sitting beneath a canopy, eating dried sellafruit off a plate held by an awkward-looking soldier.
    Sebarial raised a cup of wine toward Dalinar. "Hope you don’t mind," Sebarial said. "We liberated your stores. They were blowing past at the time, headed for certain doom."
    Dalinar stared at them. Palona even had a novel out and was reading.
  • Older Than Radio: In Alexander Pushkin's novella Vystrel (The Shot), the narrator, a hussar called Silvio, describes a duel he once had. His vis-a-vis nonchalantly ate sweet cherries before the shootout, unnerving Silvio so deeply that he had to call off the duel before it started.
    You seem to care nothing about your impending death, preferring to have breakfast; I have no intention of interrupting it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A eighth episode of Cheers saw Woody resolve to elope with his girlfriend Kelly, and Sam comes along to help him get into Kelly's bedroom window. Sam climbs the ladder first, looking for Kelly's room, and later comes back down to Woody, munching away from a bag of popcorn that he obtained from a chambermaid. Woody is aghast, as he's there to make a life-changing proposal, but when Sam mentions it's cheddar flavored, Woody says "Oooh, gimmie!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Sea Devils", the Third Doctor — in the middle of a sword fight with the Master — calmly pins his opponent to the wall by holding his sword point to his throat, then calmly eats a sandwich as he remarks about how violent exercise makes him rather famished. During all this he's basically treating the Master like he's little more than an amusing distraction at best. As the sandwich was originally set out for the Master, this overlaps Enemy Eats Your Lunch, and being a sandwich, this naturally averts They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich.
    • By his twelfth incarnation, the Doctor has become so blasé about breaking-and-eavesdropping on an Evil Plan, he brings sushi along so he can have a snack.
    • In "World Enough and Time", the Doctor is munching on chips while instructing Missy on their Swapped Roles. She calls him on it.
  • Performed once deliberately in Lie to Me in order to read a former gang leader's reaction to the obvious disrespect.
  • In the Sherlock episode "A Scandal in Belgravia", a rather tense scene has just played out at Baker Street (Mrs. Hudson was attacked by CIA agents - Sherlock took care of them). Mrs. Hudson is rather upset, John is confused, concerned and trying to comfort her, and Sherlock... is eating a mince pie he got out of Mrs. Hudson's refrigerator.
  • iCarly:
    • Sam gets a call from her friends telling her they're trapped in a teacher's house. She says something along the lines of "that sucks," picks up an apple and takes a bite.
    • Played straight and averted in the same scene with Sam in "iSaved Your Life". Freddie's been hit by a truck, Sam runs in to tell Spencer, and he realizes she's not joking (because they are currently engaged in a paintball assassin game) when she throws away the pizza he was about to eat. Once she's done telling him, she starts eating a taco she bought at the scene of the accident.
  • In Black Sails, resident badass pirate captain Charles Vane idly takes a bite out of an apple, even as he threatens to kill a man and steal his cargo.
  • In an episode of NCIS, Vance is trying to discuss a serious situation with Eli David. Eli is more interested in these little treats that consist of peanut butter inside a pretzel. "Now, this is American Ingenuity!"
  • Psych: Shawn Spencer does this from time to time.
    • One example involves Shawn bluffing his way on to a murder search of spices to add to the Mee Krob he conveniently has instead of looking for clues.
      Gus: How do you just eat when there's a dead guy laying there?
      Shawn: What, is that rude? Am I supposed to share?
  • MacGyver (1985): "Target MacGyver" has a scene where Mac builds a trap out of stuff he finds in the bad guys' kitchen; the first thing he finds is a bag of carrots, from which he carefully selects a single carrot that he then proceeds to not use in the trap in any way — but when the trap is ready, he picks up the carrot again and takes a bite of it Bugs Bunny style.
  • Saturday Night Live: A MacGruber sketch has the character and his friends trapped in a control room somewhere with a bomb about to go off. MacGruber proceeds to ask his friends for a bunch of strange items that just happen to be lying around... only for it to be revealed he was making a drink. There were also the Pepsi Commercials where he was more concerned about endorsing Pepsi than the bomb about to go off.
    • In another sketch, Kristin Wiig plays Sheryl, the host of a home makeover show. For the season finale, they surprise a woman named Leah (Emma Stone) with a two million dollar renovation of her house and yard. Leah is politely grateful, but spends the entire segment calmly chomping on chips while Sheryl desperately attempts to get a bigger reaction out of her. For the punchline, Leah's neighbor drops by with some hard-boiled eggs his wife made, and that is enough to make her have a joyful breakdown ("THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!").
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander, Willow and Anya annoy Riley by munching on a bag of chips while he's trying to be stealthy when they're out patrolling with him after Buffy is laid up after being wounded by a vampire.
  • The IT Crowd has Denholm, finished reading his Video Will, eating an apple with the camera still running ... for a long time.
  • Game of Thrones
    • The Torture Technician called "The Tickler" spends all his torture sessions casually eating a pear while he questions his victims. This shows his callous detachment to the pain he's inflicting. Appropriately, when Jaqen H'ghar kills The Tickler by pushing him down from a window, he's seen munching on a pear in plain sight while everyone gathers to inspect the corpse.
    • Lord Bolton has to coldly tell his son to stop eating and pay attention when he's trying to discuss the political situation with him. Later, after Ramsey kills Osha Stark, he casually cleans off the knife and uses it to peel an apple and eat it.
  • Patrick Jane from The Mentalist will often make himself a pot of tea or a sandwich using food taken without asking from the kitchen of the person who's murder he's solving (as well of the kitchen of almost every other house he visits over the course of the investigation). Sure, he's paying attention when he eats it, but he has to leave the room (again, without asking) for a few minutes to prepare it. Of course, since he investigates murders one of them inevitably involves poisoning... of the victim's tea. Patrick ends up in the hospital and spends most of the episode hallucinating from side-effects
  • In an Alternate Universe episode of Friends, Ross describes how a planned three-way between his wife and another woman left him out, so he wound up making a sandwich. Joey asks him for details. (About the sandwich.)
  • In one scene of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mac is snacking on a banana while visiting an underground fight club with Dennis. On the audio commentary, the gang notes how adding a banana to a scene is instant comedy.
  • In Breaking Bad episode "Hazard Pay", Skyler is upset and has a breakdown. Walt comes home and, after getting rid of Marie, proceeds to grab an apple from the kitchen and casually eat it, not seeming to care at all.
    • In another episode a bunch of Cartel thugs are sharing snacks while listening to the rival gang's guards' desperate attempts to break out of their drug delivery truck the thugs locked them in, before turning it into an impromptu gas van. To add insult to injury, they took the snacks from the truck driver after killing him.
    • And in yet another episode, one of the Salamanca cousins casually eats an apple after distracting a police officer so his brother can slaughter the cop with an ax.
  • Person of Interest.
    • In "Mors Praematura", Root and Shaw break into a room which turns out to be a CIA "Pick-up site". Root begins to eat an apple and tells Shaw there's a CIA agent behind her. They get into a fight with Root watching and eating her apple all the while Shaw is beating up the agent until Root decides to simply use her taser and end the fight quickly.
    • Shaw herself is a Big Eater, so this trope is used to show her sociopathic indifference. When a paramedic informs her as a four-year old of her father's death in a car accident, Shaw just says she's hungry and asks for a sandwich.
    • One more Shaw-related example, and definitely Played for Drama. It is revealed in a flashback that Shaw, who otherwise was a very good doctor (in the technical sense, at least), completely destroyed her career because she could not be bothered to stop eating a snack in the middle of giving a grieving family notice that their son died in surgery, and the understandably irate family went to her supervisor. Following her dismissal and taking in mind said supervisor's final bit of advice about having been in the Wrong Line of Work, Shaw decided to become a government assassin.
  • Invoked and referred to on Stargate SG-1, when O'Neill deliberately shows up a bit late to an interstellar phone call with the Goa'uld Ba'al. He claims he just couldn't bring himself to leave the relaxing brunch he'd been having. Ba'al calls him "impudent", to which O'Neill responds "No, it was tuna."
  • Rome: During the Battle of Philippi, Octavian is peering into the dust kicked up by two virtually identical Roman armies slogging it out hand-to-hand.
    Octavian: What's going on?
    Antony: [casually munching on some bread] Noooo idea.
  • In Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell has a plate of finger food on his desk as he's interviewing the Poles, Courtenays, and Bishop Fisher over their involvement with Elizabeth Barton, a nun who's been having visions and prophesying plagues over Henry's marriage to Anne Boleyn. He munches from it as he casually reveals how thoroughly he's been spying on them, ignores their insults, and instructs them on how humiliating their letters of apology and pleading will have to be for the king not to behead them all for treason.
  • In the pilot episode of Sliders, Professor Arturo reacts to the discovery that the group have found themselves in a Communist USA in an Alternate History dominated by the USSR by... walking up to a nearby food stand and ordering some sausage. It's lampshaded and justified:
    Quinn: Professor, how can you eat at a time like this?!
    Arturo: My stomach has no political preferences.
  • Blake's 7: In "Traitor", two Federation soldiers are playing a chess game at the same time as they're setting up a missile strike on a rebel column.
  • In I Love Lucy, Lucy has an elaborate plan to announce to Ricky that she was pregnant, in which she prepares for him his favorite meal when he comes home for lunch. Unfortunately, as she's trying to talk to him, he's more focused on the food, among other distractions, much to her annoyance.
  • Elevated to a Batman Gambit in Stefan Poliakoff's 1999 BBC miniseries Shooting the Past. An American businessman (Liam Cunningham) has bought the Big Fancy House that for decades has been the home of the immense Fallon Photo Collection and its Quirky Household curators. By the end of the day, the librarians must leave and the collection, with the exception of a few valuable pieces, is to be destroyed. Chief archivist and Bunny-Ears Lawyer genius Oswald Bates (Timothy Spall) suggests having lunch as if nothing whatsoever was happening. As businesses and authorities run on fear, he reasons, not showing any will impress and scare the Americans and they'll possibly back out of the deal and leave, or at least allow more time to find a new home for the collection.
  • The Vulture from Brooklyn Nine-Nine is often casually eating an apple when he steals collars from other detectives. To emphasize what a Jerkass he is, he usually tosses the core to someone else to throw away.
  • Dark Matter (2015): The episode "Built, Not Born" has a flashback to how Two (then Portia Lin) gained command of the Raza. An argument over the Android escalates into a brutal brawl in which she kills the previous owner and his right-hand man. Throughout the fight, Boone (Three) is calmly sitting there enjoying a meal — even when she's slammed down on the table right next to his food, and shoots her attacker repeatedly. At the end of the fight...
    Portia: I'm taking command of this ship. The Android is staying. You got something to say?
    Boone: [still eating] I was rootin' for ya.
  • One recurring sketch on The Catherine Tate Show has Tate as a woman who finds herself in exciting situations with her friends, including hearing about a proposal, going on a beach vacation, or moving into her first apartment with a partner. Tate leaves the scene to get a snack of some kind, at which point something something ridiculously horrible happens to the friend—the newly-engaged woman is brutally murdered in a drive-by shooting, her fellow vacationer is eaten alive by a shark, and the entire apartment building collapses with her partner inside. The camera cuts to Tate's character returning with her bag of snacks and calmly observing the awful carnage as she munches away without comment.
  • In the American remake of Utopia, sadist Arby is constantly putting raisins in his mouth while talking with associates and interrogating torture victims.
  • Hilariously invoked at the end of the movie-length episode of Porridge. After Fletcher and Godber have managed to sneak back into prison after accidentally escaping, McKay tells them he does not believe their alibi at all, mentioning that a farmer saw two thieves running from his apple store. Just as McKay tells them that he'll prove it one day, Fletcher and Godber glance at each other, and simultaneously bite into their apples.
  • In Dr. Death, every time Duntsch discusses his foundering surgical career and disastrous patient outcomes with his boss at Baylor, he seems more interested in eating the M&Ms she has out on her desk than in the conversation.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In the Rex Morgan, M.D. strip for 6 September 2014, June decides that her hamburger is more important than discussing whether her daughter is in the care of gun-toting gangsters. A couple of months later on 26 November, Rex is similarly distracted from a discussion of Sarah by his pastrami on rye. This doesn't appear to be intended to make them look unsympathetic.
  • A non-food variant in Luann: Tiffany is constantly shown touching up her makeup during conversations instead of giving the other person her full attention, just to emphasize what a shallow Alpha Bitch she is. This trait of hers has seen less use since she entered college and gained some Character Development.
  • A minor Running Gag in Garfield sees Jon arriving home and telling the fat cat about a bizarre misadventure he had that day, such as a group of robbers in monkey costumes robbing a pastry shop where he was buying a cake or receiving a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown at a salad bar. Garfield, a Big Eater, is always more interested in the food Jon mentioned than what happened to him—"Chocolate or vanilla frosting?" or "What was the soup of the day?", respectively.

  • For some time, it was traditional for productions of As You Like It to have Audrey eating a turnip the whole time Touchstone is attempting to "woo" her.
  • Some productions of Les Misérables have Thenadier chomp on an apple during the "One Day More" number. His wife chomps on a turkey leg.
  • Uncle Wiley from Black Friday is seen eating a green apple while he makes his Breaking Speech, walking in through the audience. Just before launching into his Villain Song "Made in America," he casually hands the half-eaten apple to a random audience member, saying, "Hold this." And then never comes back for it, leaving them there to just hold it for the rest of the show. (Amusingly, during one show, the audience member in question was cast member Kim Whalen's father, and he just went ahead and finished eating it.)

    Video Games 
  • In a bonus video for Crash Twinsanity, Crash reacts this way to an accident that he caused by picking up the fruit in the first place.
  • Big Smoke from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has this reaction when your car is attacked by a car full of Ballas gang members, chowing down on the food everyone just ordered instead of shooting like the others. Of course, considering he defected to the Ballas before the game started, this turns out to be more Foreshadowing about his betrayal.
  • Ema Skye in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Even in the middle of a crime scene she sometimes does nothing but munch her beloved chocolate snackoos.
  • Crazy Penguin Catapult: Some of the bears are just eating from a snack bowl, not interested in penguins hitting the other ones.
  • Inverted at the start of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, when it looks like Drebin's about to bite into an apple, but changes his mind and tosses it over his shoulder to his monkey instead.
  • Killia in Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is introduced doing just this, to Seraphina's annoyance, before getting to his feet and annihilating the army he just interrupted. He even goes into detail on just what he's eating before the curbstomp.
  • Birdy's taunt in Street Fighter V is to pull a snack out of his pocket and eat it.
  • One of Miguel's intros in Tekken 7 is him walking into the stage with an apple in his hand, taking a single bite and then wastefully throwing it away.
  • In Harvester, when Sheriff Dwayne looks over the corpse of Stephanie, he's much more interested in the slice of pie he's eating. Downplayed earlier, where he's clearly distraught over the deaths of Edna and Karen, but he's still eating some pie while he cries.
  • Fate/stay night: When Shirou is forced to team up with Kotomine in the Heaven's Feel route, they meet in a Chinese restaurant where Kotomine has already ordered a ridiculously spicy mapo tofu. Not only is Kotomine clearly distracted by his food, but his normally-sinister dialogue sounds absurd when he's constantly gasping for breath and talking with his mouth full. The effect is even worse since Shirou is a Supreme Chef who believes in using good food to deepen friendships, meaning he's almost as disgusted by Kotomine's Masochist's Meal as he is by Kotomine himself.
  • Food heals you in Dragon's Crown. Unlike many games, your character actually has an eating animation. So if you're in a boss fight and have to heal yourself, you'll end up pulling out a few pieces of fruit or a meat pie and chowing down while ignoring the giant monster just a few feet from you.
  • A rather dark example appears in Just Cause 3. After blowing up the power plant at Vis Electra, you are treated to a cutscene where the Big Bad Generalissimo Sebastiano Di Ravello takes his subordinates to task and hands one of them a pistol. He then turns his undivided attention to a charcuterie platter while a gunshot is heard in the background.
  • An oversight in 7 Days a Skeptic, the second game of the Chzo Mythos allows you to do this: if on the first day you get an english breakfast but don't use it, you can wait until the chase in the final day, go to the cafeteria and use it there. Even with a supernatural killer with a machete in the same room, your character will calmly sit down, eat all his food and even comment on how disgusting it was.
  • One of Steve's taunts in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has him chowing down on a steak. He also does it at the end of his Final Smash.


    Web Videos 
  • Claire of Cream Heroes tries to get her seven cats to be nice to the new kittens in the house by offering them a snack every time they sniff them. Lulu however would rather completely ignore the kittens and scarf down the snack.
  • CinemaSins has this as one of their Running Gags, and it was born out of the narrator noticing a surprisingly large number of characters the movie wants you to hate eat fruit; usually an apple, to denote how much of an asshole they are.

    Western Animation 
  • Bugs Bunny is frequently performing this with his trademark carrot, as a possible holdover from his days as The Prankster. When asking "Eh... What's up, Doc?", he's often feigning caring, and is even asking and talking while chewing.
  • Invader Zim often features GIR doing this.
  • The Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Frankie My Dear" has Prince Charming trying to woo Frankie and all the while she's just staring at him unfazed while casually eating a slice of pizza.
  • In the Freakazoid! episode "Hero Boy", as the villain is bragging about his latest plan, Freakazoid is more interested in the sandwich a minion made him, derailing the monologue to ask more about it.
  • South Park:
    • In "Volcano", geologist Randy Marsh discovers unusual seismic activity in the region. He exclaims "Oh my God! A volcano!" Then he takes a slurp of his coffee.
    • In "Raisins", Cartman is one of the only boys unaffected by the titular restaurant's waitresses' charm as he focuses more on the food instead.
  • Franklin has a non-food variant. In "Franklin Plays the Game," when Franklin's team plays against Bear's team in soccer, Skunk, Bear's goalie, sits and reads a book because the book is more interesting. Franklin's team never even gets close enough to goal to make an attempt at scoring.
  • In an episode of Garfield and Friends, one of his pranks has just caused the mailman to be fired. Jon chews him out about it, but Garfield is relaxing and eating a sandwich.
    Jon: Because of you, he got fired but I don't suppose that bothers you any!
    Garfield: How nice, a ham sandwich with a side of guilt.
    Jon: Aren't you the least bit sorry for what you've done?
    Garfield: Yes! I should have gotten pastrami.
  • The Simpsons has a variant in "Homer's Barbershop Quartet." At the Grammy awards ceremony, Homer comes across George Harrison, but is more excited about the brownie in his hand than the fact that he's meeting a legendary musician.
  • A blink-and-you-miss-it example in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Family Appreciation Day. When Diamond Tiara's dad is giving his boring presentation, one colt in the background is eating a cookie.
  • Sokka casually munches on an apple while calling Zuko and Aang's firebending practice "Jerkbending" in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Brian In Love", Stewie enjoys an apple while making fun of Brian's feelings for Lois. Later on, in "Dammit, Janet!", Brian reciprocates while teasing Stewie for being in love with the titular Janet.
  • In Rick and Morty episode "Rickshank Redemption", as the two are watching Rick's memories of how he acquired the portal gun which was a total lie, his interrogator Cornvelius Daniel seems a lot more interested in the Szechuan McNugget sauce that Rick bought than the fake deaths of his wife and daughter. Of course, so is Rick really. He reveals at the end of the episode that finding the sauce again somewhere in the multiverse is his actual motivation for creating the portal gun, not the fake events he was showing the agent.

    Real Life 
  • At the Battle of Balaclava in The Crimean War, an aide-de-camp gave British General George Cathcart orders to mobilize his division as the Russians advanced. Cathcart refused to obey until the aide sat down and had breakfast with him.
  • This picture of a guy breaking up with his girlfriend while eating Cheetos became viral after it was posted on Reddit. Doubles as a Stealth Pun if the reason for the break-up was cheating.
  • This has become a staple of Brad Pitt who actually stashes snacks around the sets so he can have a bite to eat while filming a scene, which ends up getting thrown in because he tends to incorporate it into the character he's playing flawlessly.
  • A hero dubbed "Snackman" breaks up a fight on a New York subway while continuing to eat his Pringles.
  • During the Normandy landings and afterwards, US Army troops working alongside their British counterparts would often get somewhat annoyed that the Brits would sit down and get a cup of tea going practically the minute the shooting stopped. This was usually for a good reason: They'd been ordered to hold position to wait for reinforcements or more ammunition, and were specifically trained to take any opportunity to grab a brew and preferably some hot food, because you never know when the next chance might come.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Appetite For Apathy, Cavalier Consumption



Cartman is one of the only boys unaffected by the waitresses' charm as he focuses more on the food instead.

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Example of:

Main / TheSnackIsMoreInteresting

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