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Unconventional Food Usage

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That's not what I meant by "use your noodle"...

"We'll live underground. Use bacon for clothes."
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"If I knew you were going to use it for that, I wouldn't have made it delicious."

A lot of work goes into making food. Only certain plants and animal parts can be made to be safely edible, and making it taste good is often a whole additional process.

So when food is used for adhesive, lubricant, spacers to keep the chair from wiggling or shampoo, it's either Played for Laughs - especially if it obviously wouldn't work in real life- or used to show how desperate a situation is that the protagonists are using the food reserves for building material or medical supplies.

When food is used as a substitute for another substance or object, especially if it seems like the usual substance is easier to acquire than food and/or if it seems like an edible, biodegradable version of the substance or object would be a huge detriment, this is usually played as a joke.

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In some instances, food is used for non-consumption purposes because it tastes so bad that no one wants to eat it. Common for food that's Way Past the Expiration Date or cooked by a Lethal Chef.

Food that is used as clothing is often played for humour because the ideal properties of food and clothing are often opposite of each other.

The association of food and sex is highly cross-cultural and often juxtaposed as similar acts of satiation and sometimes that means actually using food for sexual gratification, either to demonstrate a character's decadence or wastefulness or to be played for humour since, obviously, that's not what you're supposed to do with food.

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Trope relations:

A Super-Trope to:
  • Banana in the Tailpipe: Using food to sabotage a vehicle by plugging the exhaust.
  • Beef Bandage: Raw, cold cuts of meat used as medical treatment.
  • Edible Ammunition: Any type of food used as ammo, whether it be thrown or launched. A combination of this trope and Abnormal Ammo.
  • Edible Bludgeon: Food used as melee weapons.
  • Egging: When breaking eggs on someone or something is used as a prank.
  • Food Fight: Where people start throwing food at each other- usually in dining areas where food is readily available.
  • Food Slap: Throwing food or a beverage into someone's face in retaliation for perceived or genuine slights.
  • Gingerbread House: Using food (especially sweets) as a construction material.
  • Pie in the Face: A sub-trope of Edible Ammunition, wherein that ammunition is a pie.
  • Produce Pelting: Food (specifically vegetables) used as ranged weapons.
  • Proj-egg-tile: Food (specifically eggs) used as ranged weapons.

Food used as a Chekhov's Gun shouldn't be included unless the fact that it's food is significant.

Inverse of I Ate WHAT?!, which is when inedible substances are eaten as food, often to the surprise and disgust of the consumer. Contrast Extreme Omnivore, when people deliberately and willingly eat inedible items. See also Anthropomorphic Food, where the food is people and thus would as a result would be doing all sorts of things food doesn't do. Can be used to invoke A Bloody Mess. Sub-trope of Not the Intended Use. Compare Cordon Bleugh Chef and Bizarre Taste in Food, for when the food is still meant to be eaten but is still used in a strange way. For unconventional drink usage, see Bizarre Beverage Use.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Pucca: In "Noodle Around the World", Pucca's uncles make an extremely long noodle and get Garu to walk around the world with it so they can beat the record for the world's longest noodle.

    Clothes 
  • There is a t-shirt of Pinkie Pie with a cupcake on her head, topped with the caption, "A cupcake is not a hat!"

    Comic Books 
  • Chew: As virtually all superpowers are food-related, many, many foods are used in strange ways. Chocolate Katanas, tortilla throwing stars, Power Armor made of jello, riot control guns that fire melted chocolate, and nuclear warhead oysters are the tip of the bucket.
  • In The Snowman, the eponymous snowman goofs around in one scene, replacing his nose with various fruits.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: In one strip, Calvin uses Crisco to make his hair curly for class picture day. To his frustration, though, his mother makes him comb it out.
  • Liō uses a fruitcake as a footstool to hang up his Christmas stocking.

    Fan Works 
  • Subverted in the Star Trek: Enterprise fanfic Do It!. An unknown male character (probably either Malcolm or Archer) is telling Trip about how he "did it" with an unknown woman and mentions that "She wanted to do a lot more and was even getting out the whipped cream, but she had run out of it, so we had to settle for something else." Subverted even further when it turns out that the woman was just his coworker Hoshi and they weren't having sex, just cooking.
  • In Forewarned is Forearmed, Akira learns to use the wheat that grows in Nanako's garden as a makeshift lockpick in the Metaverse. Morgana, who uses conventional lockpicks for his endeavors, is flabbergasted when Akira pulls out a strand of wheat to pick the lock to his cell.
  • In The Nightmare House, Lisa has a nightmare in which someone mentions that she used a pickle to make a lamp with.
  • In episode 27 of Peeking Through the Fourth Wall, one of the jokes that the kids react to involves Luan slipping on a carrot as a gag.
  • In The Sponge House chapter "Dirty Mouth", a woman sticks carrots in her son's ears so that he won't hear the Loud twins cussing.
  • In The Loud House fanfiction Will Lynn Tell?, Lynn tries to shoot an apple off Lana's head with an arrow but accidentally hits a branch, which knocks Lana unconscious.

    Films — Animated 
  • In The Addams Family, Wednesday shoots an apple off Pugsley's head with an arrow.
  • In Alice in Wonderland (1951), The Mad Hatter and the March Hare try to fix the White Rabbit's watch by pouring whatever food they have around inside it, including butter, jam, tea (naturally), and lemon (but not mustard — that would be silly).
  • In Arthur Christmas, it's revealed that all the cookies Santa doesn't eat get converted to biofuel.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs has a number of examples due to the plot revolving around food:
    • When Flint and Sam go on their unofficial first date, they use a giant jello essentially as a bouncy house. Flint also uses jello to make a piano, two statues, and a scrunchie.
    • When Flint makes it rain ice cream, the citizens have a "snowball fight" that's actually an ice cream scoop fight.
    • Flint uses both liquorice and spaghetti as ropes during the "deactivating the machine" scene and uses a pimento as a helmet.
    • After Brent kills the giant, walking roast chicken that tried to eat him, he wears it like clothes.
    • Discussed when Sam thinks that if they can't blow up the food-making machine, they'll have to live underground and wear bacon for clothes.
  • In Despicable Me:
    • A flashback reveals that as a kid, Gru once made a prototype for a rocket ship out of macaroni.
    • Discussed when Agnes wishes her adoptive parent will live in a house made of gummi bears.
    • Despicable Me 2:
      • Gru is once seen wearing a hat made out of corn chip.
      • Dr. Nefario laces some jelly with an antidote and loads it into guns to cure some transmogrified minions.
  • In The Lorax, Grammy Norma bounces her jello around on her plate, causing her daughter Mrs. Wiggins to scold her for playing with her food.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree: Pinkie Pie puts marshmallows on a floating lantern. As such, it just falls down.
  • Onward: Ian and Barley at one point sail down in an underground river in a canoe made from a giant cheese puff.
  • Discussed in the sequel to Open Season, where Elliot thinks of opening the door to a caravan with a can of sardines among other Noodle Implements, but Boog realises the door is unlocked.
  • In The Rugrats Movie, Tommy, who is jealous of the attention his newborn brother Dil has been getting and annoyed by his crying, smears mashed banana on Dil so that the monkeys will raise him instead of his family. However, he changes his mind and decides to keep Dil with the Pickles family after all.
  • In Toy Story 3, Mr. Potato Head uses a tortilla and (when a bird eats the tortilla) a cucumber as temporary bodies.
  • In Trolls: World Tour, Poppy uses a lollipop as a toothbrush just before the song "Trolls Wanna Have Good Times" starts up.
  • Unstable Fables: In Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, a sugar-hyper Goldilocks makes a house out of candy for the Bear family (much to their dismay). It results in several bugs coming and eating the house.
  • In Winnie the Pooh (2011), Pooh imagines a boat made out of honey.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, it's revealed that Grouches, who are a whole species of pig-pens note , wash with cheese because shampoo is illegal.
  • Beverly Hills Cop has Axel Foley and two local detectives nosing around a warehouse. A workbench has packaging materials galore, and lots of coffee grounds, which Foley remarks upon. Later, in the Chief's office, the two local detectives wonder about the significance of coffee grounds. The Chief wises them up: "Drug smugglers use 'em. The strong scent confuses the [drug-sniffing] dogs."
  • In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, when Mr. Pott realises that when you blow through his invented candy, it makes a whistling sound, he licenses them as "toot sweets" and encourages people to play them like instruments.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: In the movie version of "Rodrick Rules", Rodrick puts a chocolate bar on Greg's car seat to make it look like he crapped his pants. (This is opposed to the book, in which Greg sat on it by accident).
  • Played with in The Fly (1986), in that eating is involved but for an unconventional purpose: After Seth has his "Eureka!" Moment regarding why his telepods cannot safely teleport living things (they had just turned a baboon inside-out), he takes one of the raw steaks reporter/lover Veronica brought over to prepare for dinner, cuts it in two, and teleports one half. He then cooks both and has her taste them, and she can't bring herself to swallow the piece from the teleported one, revealing that the telepods' computer doesn't understand what makes flesh, living or dead, unique and thus cannot correctly reconstitute it. Seth gets to work on reprogramming the pods, and soon living things can be teleported safely (albeit only one at a time...).
  • In Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the kids' dad uses an apple to test his Shrink Ray on.
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life: Lara uses bubblegum (borrowed from a little girl) to stabilize a hologram-projecting camera to locate the Pandora Box's location.
  • The infamous rape scene in Last Tango in Paris involves Paul using butter as a lubricant.
  • Laurel and Hardy: In The Hoose-Gow Stan and Ollie, having accidentally damaged the radiator of the prison governor's car, attempt to plug the leak with rice. Hilarity inevitably ensues.
  • Overheard from a background character in Mean Girls: "'Made out with a hot dog'? Oh my God, that was one time!"
  • In Nanny McPhee, when the kids are Playing Sick, they use pepper to make them sneeze.
  • In The Rocketeer, the rocket pack gets shot by gansters, causing a fuel leak; Peevy uses a wad of chewing gum to patch it back up. When Sinclair takes the rocket pack at the end, Cliff peels back the gum, causing him to explode.
  • Shoot 'em Up starts with a shot of Mr. Smith eating carrots, establishing his preference for the vegetable. A minute later, Smith uses another carrot to kill a mobster by jamming the carrot into his victim's throat, and somewhere in the second act of the film, Smith killed yet another mook with a carrot... via Eye Scream.
  • Spaceballs: To avoid getting detected by Dark Helmet, Lone Starr decides to jam the Spaceballs' radar... by launching a massive jar of raspberry jam that crashes into the radar's dish, blotting it out instantly. He literally jammed the radar, geddit?
    Lord Helmet: Nobody gives me the raspberry!

    Literature 
  • The Adventures Of Uncle Lubin: When Lubin is being attacked by a sea serpent, he sprinkles salt on its tail to kill it, like a slug.
  • Discussed in Alice The Fairy, where Alice wants to bathe in strawberry jello.
  • In the Andy Griffiths' Just Series story "Emergency Spew Relish" (which would later inspire the What's with Andy? episode of the same name), Andy uses corn relish to pretend to vomit, claiming it looks, smells, and tastes like spew.
  • Arthur: In the book "Arthur's Halloween", Buster uses Jell-O, spaghetti, and peeled grapes for fake brains, hearts, and eyeballs for the Halloween party. Arthur is too squeamish to touch them, much to Francine and Muffy's amusement.
  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon: In "Just Dessert", a practical joker uses vegetable soup in a rubber hot water bottle to fake throwing up on Callahan's bar. He and his buddies then pull out spoons and scoff down the soup to gross out Mike and his patrons. They get their comeuppance, however, as Doc doses the soup with a powerful emetic while they are eating it.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
    • Deconstructed. A prince in India wanted to live in, rather than eat, a palace made of chocolate, but it melted.
    • Willy Wonka apparently made his boat out of a boiled sweet, and his glass elevator apparently runs on sugar (though that may not be the case, since he later says it runs on sky hooks).
  • In Danny, the Champion of the World, Danny's father's friend mentions stopping a car by putting sugar in its gas tank.
  • Dear Dumb Diary: In one of the books, there is a list of things Isabella does to make it look like her mean older brothers injured her, and one of them is using ketchup to appear as if she cut her lip.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
    • In "Cabin Fever", Greg mentions that after his baby doll Alfrendo disappeared, he replaced him with a grapefruit. This backfired when the grapefruit rotted.
    • In the first book, it's mentioned that Greg and Rowley put ketchup in a kiddie pool for the "lake of blood" in their haunted house.
    • In "The Long Haul", the Heffleys visit a museum that has statues made of butter.
  • Dirty Bertie: In "Ouch!", Bertie uses mustard to pretend that his bruised thumb is infected. The doctor pranks him back by pretending he'll need to cut off the thumb.
  • Hansel and Gretel: The witch lives in a gingerbread house. It's implied to be a trap to lure in people, since she tries to eat the protagonists.
  • In the sequel to How Tom Beat Captain Najork And His Hired Sportsmen, Tom invents a jam-powered vehicle shaped like a frog.
  • In I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, the protagonist dreams of sleeping on marshmallow-stuffed pillows.
  • In the children's book In the Night Kitchen, Mickey makes a (working!) plane out of cookie dough.
  • In James and the Giant Peach, James and the giant bugs use said giant peach as a house and a vehicle. Also, prior to that, his aunts used it as a tourist attraction.
  • Junie B. Jones: In "Junie B. Jones and the Yucky Blucky Fruitcake", Junie B. realizes she hates fruitcakes after she receives one, so she finds another way to use it; as a cushion for a chair at the dinner table.
  • The Machineries of Empire: "Extracurricular Activities" begins with Jedao getting a tub of goose fat in the mail from his mother, much to his bemusement. It ends with him putting it to recreational use with a friendly soldier after a successful mission.
  • Mr. Men:
    • In "Mr. Mischief", the titular Mr. Mischief puts treacle in Mr. Funny's hat as a prank.
    • In "Little Miss Bad", the titular Little Miss Bad replaces Mr. Snooty'snote  tennis racket strings with spaghetti.
  • In one of the No David books, David uses his food to make a fake man: he uses chicken drumsticks for legs, green beans for arms, and a potato for a head.
  • In a Pinky Dinky Doo book, Pinky makes up a story where she and her classmates make shoes out of food, then later eat the food. This grosses out Tyler, but Pinky handwaves it by saying, "It's a made-up story, so you don't need to worry about dirty food."
  • Discussed in the Sam Pig story "The Singing Gate", where Sam pretends that the gate is made of sugar candy and honey.
  • In Savvy's sequel book Scumble, this is discussed when Ledge is mad at his Great-Aunt Jules, who goes back in time when she sneezes. He wants to dump pepper on her, so she'll sneeze and be sent way back in time.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: In one of the pretend Q&A's, Snicket advises deliberately spilling borscht on the tablecloth or the hostess's blouse so that she won't serve it again.
  • Warrior Cats: This is explicitly banned by the Warrior Code, a rule added after a naughty kit played with freshkillnote  until it was rendered inedible. Due to scarcity being a common problem, all prey is killed only for the purposes of being eaten.
  • In the kids' trivia book Why Can't I Tickle Myself?, the joke answer to "Why do we use money?" is that we used to use cheese instead but it was too messy, and the joke answer to "Who invented chocolate?" is that the Round Table was actually a giant chocolate button.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 30 Rock, Pete Hornberger and his wife use Pop-Tarts for sexual purposes; Liz completely loses her composure when she sees one on her bed while Pete and his wife are having sex in her apartment (after having already eaten a Pop-Tart she found in her apartment earlier in the episode).
    Liz: Why is there a Pop-Tart in the bed? What do you do with Pop-Tarts?!
  • Defied in an episode of Balamory, where a clown wants to buy real custard pies to throw instead of props, but Susie refuses to let him "throw good food".
  • Black Sheep Squadron at least one episode includes a reference to (metaphorically) patching up a fighter plane with chewing gum and wire.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In Season 3, Buffy and Angel are trying to make things work despite Angel's curse. "Enemies" opens on them leaving a movie called Le Banquet d'Amelia, which their dialogue indicates was basically a nonstop orgy.
    Buffy:: From the title, I thought it was about... food...
    Angel:: There was food.
    Buffy:: Oh, right, that scene... with the food... [Thousand-Yard Stare]
  • In a Captain Mack episode, Tracy Trickster uses potatoes to dip into ink so she can make fake alien footprints.
  • Doctor Who: In the episode "Utopia", no specific food is mentioned, but Professor Yana has created his wires from gluten extract, and some of his other machinery and electrics/electronics from other foods, according to the Doctor; a system of "food and string and staples", as it were.
  • Drake & Josh: In "Merry Christmas, Drake and Josh", Crazy Steve throws some cheese into a woodchipper to simulate snow.
  • In one episode of The Go Show, a girl puts a bowl of spaghetti on her brother's, then later her father's, head and yells, "Spaghetti hair!".
  • In Green Acres, Lisa's "hotscakes" are too hard to be edible, but have been used for everything from a replacement head gasket for Oliver's truck to shingles for Mr. Ziffel's barn roof.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
    • Artemis and Frank like to put bacon bits in Artemis's hair during sex.
    • Artemis also used a hamburger bun for some unspecified sexual purpose during sex with Frank.
  • MacGyver (1985):
    • Mac plugs a sulfuric acid leak with chocolate. He states that chocolate contains sucrose and glucose. The acid reacts with the sugars to form elemental carbon and a thick gummy residue. ("Pilot")
    • Mac uses salt combined with sugar and a small amount of chemical-enhanced weed killer to create dynamite with a battery acid, or sulfuric acid, trigger. ("Thief of Budapest")
    • Soda, fizzies (candy), and dry ice used to created simulated smoke. ("The Prodigal")
    • Mac uses a baking soda and vinegar concoction to create a smoke screen. ("Deadlock")
    • Mac pours salt in a bowl and uses a seltzer spray bottle to spray the salt into the face of the bad guy. ("Slow Death")
    • Mac uses the condiments from a picnic basket to fake a head wound. ("For Love or Money")
    • While shopping for groceries, Mac concocts homemade tear-gas out of some selected spices (cayenne pepper), vinegar, and baking soda. ("Blow Out")
  • Project Runway: In one episode, the contestants are challenged to make clothes out of candy and wear them.
  • In one episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Nog pulls a prank on his best friend Jake and Jake's girlfriend Varis. Nog steals the bucket of Odo (an alien who turns into a liquid every sixteen hours), fills it with oatmeal, and puts it back. Then, he convinces Jake and Varis to accompany him to steal the bucket and spills the oatmeal on Jake, leading him to believe it's the liquid Odo. Odo punishes the boys by making them clean his office, but Varis has already left by then, so she escapes punishment.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: in the episode "Shuttlepod One", Lieutenant Malcolm Reed used the "terran delicacy" mashed potatoes to temporarily seal a breach in the hull of the shuttlepod he was stranded in.
  • Ultraman Taro: In episode 2 ("This Time It's Ultra Mother"), Kohtaro Higashi (Taro's human host) ends up getting Swallowed Whole by the kaiju Live King, and is unable to transform due to being trapped with a child and a puppy inside Live King's stomach. The ZAT managed to bail Higashi out by having their jets spray copious amounts of pepper (the episode itself said two tonnes?) on Live King's face, causing the monster to sneeze Higashi, the child, and puppy out. It works.

    Music 
  • Subverted in the folk song "The Assumption Song", wherein a Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion makes it seem like the man spread whipped cream on his Implied Love Interest's crotch, but he actually spread it on her cookies.
  • The Kesha song *Tik Tok* includes the line 'Brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack', referring to a brand of alcohol.
  • In the kids' song "Pudding Pie", each verse seems like it'll end on a rhyme with "poop", but it's actually pudding pie. At one point in the song, someone pranks the singer with a burning bag of pudding instead of a Burning Bag of Poop.

    Poetry 
  • There's a limerick "There was a young man from the cape, who made all his clothes out of crepe. When asked, 'Will they tear?', he replied, 'Here and there, but they keep such impeccable shape.'"
  • The Shel Silverstein poem "Twenty-Eight Uses for Spaghetti" is about how spaghetti can be used as a substitute for many things, including, but not limited to lassos, guitar strings, and suspenders. It ends with the statement, "Oh—and you can eat it too."

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock: In one episode, Red and Mokey use radishes as earplugs.
  • Sesame Street:
    • In one sketch, Ernie writes a shopping list with chocolate pudding.
    • In an "Abby's Flying Fairy School" cartoon segment, the kids make sculptures and mosaics out of macaroni, then they later use letters from alphabet soup to make a stop sign.
    • Oscar's mother used to wash out the mouths of him, his brother Earnest, and his sister Bunny with ice cream instead of soap if they were polite.
    • In one "Ernie and Bert" skit, they build a snowman and give him a carrot for a nose.

    Toys 
  • Lalaloopsy: Several Lalaloopsies (who are Living Toys) are said to be sewn from food, including Cherry Crisp Crust (who is made from a cherry pie), Candle Slice O'Cake (who is made from cake), Sugar Fruit Drops (who is made from gumdrops), and Whirly Stretchy Locks (who is made from candy).

    Video Games 
  • One Licensed Game of Arthur involves asking questions to the Brain. One question you can form out of the words they have available is "I'm planning to build a boat, so should I use wood or cheese?". The Brain replies that you should use wood, as cheese would expire.
  • Fallout4: Once you've got several farming settlements up and running, you can make vegetable starch, which turns various food items and water into large quantities of adhesive.
  • In a licensed game for Get Well Soon, the player can use butter as ointment for Kiwa's chickenpox.
    Kiwa: "That won't work; I'm not a sandwich!"
  • In Living Loud: Summer School, a licensed game for The Loud House, Lincoln is assigned to make a sculpture of Abraham Lincoln out of meat.
  • Moshi Monsters:
    • In the mission "Moptop Mischief", the protagonist uses a candy cane for a crowbar and chewing gum for glue.
    • In the song "The Moshi Dance", the music video shows Lady Goo Goo wearing spaghetti for a hat.
    • One of the ways the player sabotages the weapon in the "Super Weapon Showdown" mission is writing on the blueprint to fill the giant fist with jelly.
  • Minecraft: Pumpkins can be worn on the head to ward off Endermen.
  • The Plants vs. Zombies franchise consists of edible plant projectiles being used to defeat zombies. Examples include Peashooters (shooting peas), Cob Cannon (launches explosive corn), kernel-pult (they lob kernel but sometimes lob butter that stuns their target), and Cherry Bomb (blows up an area of your choosing).
  • Neopets:
    • This site has Jelly World, a world entirely made up of literal jelly, including the buildings pets live in. These pets are also made of jelly.
    • This Neopian Times article suggests putting a Pusberry (a type of Neopian berry) into a book like you would a flower and passing it off as art if you find the book boring.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona:
    • In Persona 4, the produce grown in Nanako's garden can have surprising effects in the TV World. For instance, crack wheat can be used to pick the locks on treasure chests, while daikon seedlings can be used to instantly leave a dungeon the way a Goho-M would.
    • Persona 5 continues the trend with Haru's garden. The vegetable grown there can either cast Tetrakarn or Makarakarn or multiply the power of a physical or magical attack by 2.5 times the way Charge or Concentrate would.
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: In order to escape a F.O.E., Naoto and the Protagonist come up with the idea to mix the meals made by the resident Lethal Chefs and shoot the result at the enemy. The thing that comes out of it is dubbed "Mystery Food X: Final Edition", and Zen calls it a chemical weapon. It also kills the F.O.E. in one shot.
  • In a licensed game of Team Umizoomi, the villain causes "silly" things to happen around town, such as a window being made of cheese and a car's wheel being swapped with a pizza.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Original 
  • The Food Battle series by Smosh is about a competition that revolves around performing everyday tasks with food items, including shaving, playing video games, and unclogging a toilet.
  • Five Minute Crafts is known for their utterly nonsensical "life hacks", and a lot of them involve using food for other things.
  • Pinkfong: In "Have You Ever Seen Santa's Beard?", Santa Claus tries to wear cotton candy, bananas, and noodles as a fake beard when his actual beard runs away.
  • Protectors of the Plot Continuum has "dubious lube", which is gay men using wacky or bad things as lube, several of which are food. The list of items on the Wiki includes egg white, barbecue sauce, gravy, ketchup, melted sugar, vinegar, vegetable soup, honey, maple syrup, chocolate, melted cheese, a lollipop, mango pulp, and peanut butter.
  • Discussed in a Springhole article which says that inventing a car that runs on gravy is impossible.
  • In the Wiki How article for pretending to vomit, it suggests making fake puke out of leftovers, oatmeal, or canned soup.

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur:
  • In the Back at the Barnyard episode "A Tale of Two Snottys", the animals make Pig a wig out of spaghetti to disguise him as Snotty Boy.
  • In the Blue's Clues episode "What's so Funny?", a construction worker tries to use a banana to nail in a nail. It doesn't work.
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • In "The Frond Files", Louise reveals a prank she made up called "brownie surprise". The idea is putting a brownie on a chair so someone will sit on it and it'll look like they soiled themselves.
      • On the same episode, Louise wrote a story in which Mr. Frond sent a robot version of himself to kill her. She finds out the robot's weakness is cream corn and defeats it by pouring cream corn from the cafeteria on it.
    • In "Dawn of the Peck", Bob talks to potato chips when he's distraught that he's not cooking Thanksgiving dinner for once.
    • In "Glued, Where's My Bob?", Tina, Gene, and Louise put sticky stuff in places for someone else to unknowingly touch, including guacamole and hummus.
      Bob: So...just a huge waste of food. And toiletries.
    • Subverted in "Synchronized Swimming". Bob assumes that Louise threw a chocolate bar in the pool to make it seem like someone took a dump in the waternote , but she actually did crap in the water so that they wouldn't have to perform for the school board.
    • In "An Indecent Thanksgiving Proposal", Bob becomes drunk on absinthe and befriends a Thanksgiving turkey that he calls Lance.
    • In "Turkey in a Can", someone keeps putting the Thanksgiving turkey in the toilet, and Bob assumes it's to get revenge. Near the end of the episode, it's revealed that the culprit was Bob, who was sleepwalking and dreaming about when he was toilet-training Tina.
    • In "Ain't Miss Debatin'", Louise sculpts a Meat Man out of leftover burger meat and makes a Stop Motion movie with it.
  • Camp Lakebottom: In "Fanboy Freakout", Gretchen uses chocolate to create fake Sasquatch droppings. (It Makes Sense Incontext.)
  • Camp Lazlo:
    • In "The Big Cheese", Raj receives a wheel of cheese from India which he uses as a toy. Justified since the cheese is toxic if consumed, although it's revealed at the end of the episode that the cheese is actually a non-poisonous type made in China.
    • In "Meatman", Lazlo, Raj and Clam get a can of mysterious meat (uncooked, no less) that they find disgusting until they see how jiggly it is. Lazlo and Raj make different sculptures out of it (including the titular meatman), while Clam uses it as a bouncing ball.
    • In "Hello Dolly", Edward makes a doll using a pickle, a marshmallow and some toothpicks so he wouldn't need to blow up his beloved Veronica doll.
  • Chip and Potato: In "Itchy Chip", Chip is given a popsicle. She rubs her popsicle on her "puggy spots" and uses it as a substitute cream to lessen the itching.
  • Craig of the Creek When fighting Maya, the king of the other side of the creek's best-friend-cum-royal-guard, JP throws his sandwich (which he had been brandishing like a weapon all episode). Initially subverted when Maya eats said sandwich, but doubly so when JP reveals the sandwich was in his underwear, making the whole thing a chemical/psychological warfare ploy.
  • Donkey Kong Country: In the episode "Speak No Evil, Dude", Diddy puts two coconuts on his behind to fool Cranky into injecting them with a shot so he won't have to get the shot himself.
  • Drawn Together: In "Hot Tub", Spanky Ham takes a dump in a cantaloupe. He claims it's because he drank too much beer.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • In "Thick as an Ed", it's revealed that Ed has a green chunk of cheese named Sheldon that he considers lucky. Eddy throws Sheldon into the creek.
    • In "May I Have This Ed?", it's shown that Ed has replaced Sheldon with another chunk of cheese named Sheldon Jr. Ed introduces "him" to a test dummy so he can practice asking girls out to the dance.
  • Generation O!: In "Deviated Tonsils", a doctor has Molly yodel while chewing on chocolate at the same time. When this makes Molly cough, the doctor concludes that Molly's tonsillitis is too acute to be dealt with without surgery.
  • Hey Arnold!: Helga has made a statue of Arnold that is made out of wads of bubble gum.
  • Discussed in an episode of Horrible Histories, where Mo jokes about using some very hard biscuits as hockey pucks.
  • In the Jane and the Dragon episode "Rune", the humans make a "21 Pumpkin Salute", which is just catapulting pumpkins into the air. Dragon calls it a "waste of good pumpkins".
  • Little Princess:
    • In "I Want to Be Good", the Princess uses her mashed potato to make a fake man similar to a snowman.
    • In "I Want a Sledge", the Princess builds a snowman and asks for a carrot to use for its nose.
    • In "I Want My Voice Back", the Chef blocks his ears with broccoli due to the Princess shouting and later ringing her bell.
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012):
    • In "Topped with Buttercream", when the pets become addicted to sugar, they start a tribe and wear costumes made of candy.
    • Sugar Sprinkles always has sprinkles on her head, though she never eats them. This is even a plot point in "Snipmates", wherein it's shown that if she's without her sprinkles, she goes insane.
  • The Loud House:
    • In the episode "No Spoilers", Lana makes balloons out of chewed gum.
    • In the episode "Community Disservice", Lola wears a crown made out of cheese.
    • In "Room and Hoard", Lana plays with an expired burrito like a doll.
    • In a flashback in "Read Aloud", Lola is seen playing with a piece of pizza like a doll.
    • In "Heavy Meddle", Lincoln plans to use peanut butter to get gum out of his hair, but there is none left.
    • Whenever Luan gives someone a Pie in the Face, she uses a real pie as opposed to the fake pies most real-life clowns use.
    • In "Jeers for Fears", Bobby uses fruit salad as fake intestines.
    • In "Lucha Fever with the Casagrandes", Ronnie Anne, who is Playing Sick, uses soup to pretend to throw up.
    • In "A Pimple Plan", Luan uses cotton candy as a fake beard to hide her pimple.
    • In "Schooled!", Liam rubs butter on his torso to keep warm because he plans to swim in a cold ocean.
    • In "The Silence of the Luans", Luan is mentioned to have flooded the house with mustard as a prank before and Lily dumps cream and jam on her family, also as a prank.
    • In "Snow Bored", the Loud kids sprinkle salt on the ground to melt snow.
    • In "Making the Case", Lincoln ties breath mints to his body and jumps into a pool of soda as a publicity stunt.
    • In "One Flu Over the Loud House", Lisa uses water guns loaded with chicken soup (as a parody of the Soup Is Medicine trope) to fire at the sick Louds.
    • "A Tale of Two Tables": In addition to the food fight, Lola once sticks two French fries into her mouth like fangs and says, "I vant to suck your blood!".
  • Martha Speaks:
    • In "Martha Gives Advice", T.D. remembers wearing a cotton candy costume made out of real cotton candy, which led to him being chased by birds.
    • In "T.D. and Martha Gopher Broke", Martha suggests dressing a potato up as a female gopher to invoke Animal Sweet on Object and lure away the male gopher who has been eating T.D.'s uncle's crops. T.D., however, thinks that the gopher would probably just eat the potato.
  • In Muppet Babies (2018), at the end of "Animal Gets the Sneezies", the babies make bracelets out of macaroni instead of flowers so as not to aggravate Animal's allergies. Also, Gonzo's Companion Cube for the whole series is a potato.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • In The New Adventures of Batman episode "A Sweet Joke on Gotham City", Bat-Mite captures the villain "Sweet Tooth" in his candy-warehouse hideout... by tying him up with long strands of licorice.
  • PAW Patrol: In "Pups Save a Tower of Pizza", the citizens of Adventure Bay stack pizzas on top of each other to get into the record book for the tallest pizza towers.
  • Peg + Cat:
    • In the episode "The Butter Problem", people sculpt with butter.
    • In "The Race Car Problem", the Teens' car runs on potato chips (and red juice).
  • Pet Alien: In "Master Bakers", Gumpers becomes convinced that the baker's been turning people into gingerbread men (he hasn't), so he nabs several gingerbread men and becomes friends with them. He struggles to fight the urge to eat them, thinking that protecting them is his "special purpose".
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • The boys are occasionally knows to use food for purposes other than eating. They use jello to make a giant trampoline, a snow cone machine to create a frozen mountain, and licorice to recreate the Gordian knot, though the purpose for the last one was so it would be easy to escape if the knot experiment went sideways.
    • Perry and Doofenschmirtz have utilized hotdogs and bratwurst as melee weapons, and during a Halloween special, the scientist gained control over cheese and crackers, which he used to attack Perry.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: In "Egg Yolkeo", Ren (as Renwaldo) makes a little person out of eggs, who becomes the titular Egg Yolkeo.
  • Rugrats:
    • In "Chuckie Gets Skunked", Chuckie bathes in borscht to get rid of the smell of a Smelly Skunk who sprayed him.
    • In "Hold the Pickles", upon hearing that Taffy doesn't like dill pickles, the babies think that this refers to the youngest of them, Dylan "Dil" Pickles. Upon hearing that she likes the older babies because they're "sweet", they put ice cream sundae decorations on Dil to make him "sweet".
    • In "Brothers are Monsters", Lil uses some sticks of candy to pretend she has fangs. This scares Phil because he's the younger twin and he'd just heard their uncle say that big sisters could be monsters.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Lisa Goes Gaga", Lady Gaga appears in a dress made out of steak.
    • In one episode, Homer is mad at Ned, and so pours salt on his garden so his flowers won't grow.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The episode "Chocolate with Nuts" has SpongeBob claim that a certain type of potato chips aren't delicious. Patrick says, "Not the way I use them anyway". It's never revealed what he uses them for.
    • In "To Love a Patty", SpongeBob dates a Krabby Patty (a type of burger). Mr. Krabs says that food is for eating, not for dating, so SpongeBob eats "Patty", but by then, it had expired, so he asks for a doggie bag to throw up in.
    • In "I Had an Accident", SpongeBob talks to a potato chip that he names Chip in order to cope with his loneliness while staying at home to prevent accidents.
    • Discussed in "The Gift of Gum", where SpongeBob is throwing his gift of a giant, dirty gumball away, but lies that he's dressing it up.
    • Discussed in one episode where Patrick wonders if mayonnaise and horseradish can be used as instruments.
  • TaleSpin: When not at war, Thembrians drop bologna on enemy planes instead of bombs.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: In the "I Was a Teenage Bunnysitter" segment from the episode "The Acme Home Shopping Show", Duncan gets Babs to carve his mashed potatoes into the shape of a man with spaghetti as hair. He is then reluctant to eat it now that it's been humanized until a frustrated Babs asks him what a T-Rex (his favorite dinosaur) would do to the mashed potato man.
  • We Bare Bears: The episode "Burrito" is about Grizzly becoming friends with a gigantic burrito and refusing to part with it. It's later revealed that this is because the burrito reminds him of a fireman's arm that he clung to when he was saved in a storm.
  • What's with Andy?:
    • In the episode "Emergency Spew Relish", Andy uses corn relish to pretend to throw up.
    • In the episode "Gnome for the Holidays", Andy mentions that he once replaced the shaving cream at a barber's shop with sour cream.
    • In "Daddy!", when Andy's class is assigned to look after baby dolls for a school project, Andy fills the baby doll's diaper with expired oatmeal, then has Jervis change it.
  • A season 8 episode of Archer had a Seinfeldian Conversation between two characters about using a raw egg in emergency car repair. By cracking the egg in it while running the car, the heat allegedly cooks it as it goes through a hole in the engine, forming a temporary plug that'll allow functionality until proper repairs can be made.

    Real Life 
  • The Ming Dynasty invented the use of sticky rice mixed with lime in mortar because the organic compounds of sticky rice were superior to inorganic concrete available at the time. In a tragic version of 'using food instead of eating it', enough rice was used making additions to the Great Wall of China that triggered a famine.
  • Lady Gaga wore an outfit and carried a purse made of raw beef at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. She stated the outfit symbolized standing up for things one believes in.
  • In feudal Japan, rice was used as a form of currency with the "Koku" (about 5 bushels' worth of rice) being a standard unit of measure of property value (for example, to qualify for daimyo status a domain had to have a value of at least 10,000 Koku).
  • Mr. Potato Head dolls initially used a real potato, but after people complained that the potatoes may spoil, they changed it to a plastic one.
  • Some people use real candy canes to decorate Christmas trees.
  • If your car radiator has a leak, you can crack an egg into it and it will cook itself into a temporary patch.
  • William Telling (the old circus trick of shooting something off someone's head) is often done with an apple.
  • Carrots are often used to make snowmen's noses.
  • There's a type of candy called Mentos, which is sometimes used to create a shower of spray by putting it in the neck of a cola bottle.
  • Speaking of cola, the drink can be used to clean toilets or other porcelain wares thanks to its acidity.
  • The use of chewing-gum as a temporary patch for leaks in fuel tanks and fluid lines is a well-known makeshift in aviation circles, especially in the pioneering days of the earlier twentieth century, where a pilot far from engineering support was expected to know enough about mechanics and maintenance to keep his own plane in the air.
  • Tempera is a painting medium made from egg yolk, popular before 1500 CE yet still used to this day.

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