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Wacky Cravings

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Elliot Stabler: I've got to get home. My pregnant wife has a craving for peanut butter and tacos.
Chester Lake: Say no more.

A Pregnancy Trope. During any pregnancy, at some point the mother will experience cravings — however, they will never be cravings for any standard foodstuff (such as pickles, ice cream, etc), but will instead be cravings for the most hilariously inappropriate and mismatched foods (chocolate-covered kippers, boiled eggs and ice cream, peanut butter-dipped pickles, etc). Bonus points are awarded if the woman craves something that is (a) extremely difficult if not physically impossible to find; (b) isn't actually food or (c) both.

The trope often involves the father being roped into visiting late-night markets at 3 AM in search of that particular brand of pickled radishes and pistachio-flavored ice cream. Usually, this state of affairs will result in the father being stretched to breaking point to find the necessary goods... only to find, when he returns home, that the mother no longer craves it (usually without so much as a "thank you for traveling across five states and climbing a mountain to get it").

A case of Truth in Television — some women actually do crave inedible things or unusual foods during pregnancy — but it tends to be exaggerated in fiction. In many cases, a woman doesn't even have to be pregnant. Some are prone to wild cravings during "that time of the month," to the confusion of any men present. This is probably a milder form of a condition known as "pica"; those afflicted with full-blown pica will crave all sorts of bizarre stuff 24/7, regardless of gender.

Compare the Extreme Omnivore, someone who always eats this way (e.g. the aforementioned full-blown pica).

A rarer variant of this trope is where the "wackiness" of the cravings has less to do with the substance desired and more with the sheer quantity desired. In this form of wacky craving, the comedy is how "eating for two" turns into something more like "eating for two dozen", where the pregnant woman becomes a voracious glutton who uses her pregnancy as an excuse to eat like a pig, thus turning even the primmest and most diet-minded expectant woman into a shameless Big Eater.

This may be a sign that Pregnancy Makes You Crazy. To a lesser extent, this also belongs to All Periods Are PMS.


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  • Almost any commercial with a pregnant woman as a character that has her giving dialogue and where it isn't for an actual pregnancy product. (Though some of those have it, too.)
  • A commercial for Aldi grocery has a woman saying she likes ice cream from that store as much as the product from the higher-priced stores (it's the formula for this ad campaign), then adding she likes pickles with her ice cream. Her husband's response? "You've been eating a lot of weird things lately; I dunno... Is everything all right at work?"
    • There was a similar advert for mayonnaise, where a woman says she likes to eat it with cereal, and remarks that most people would think she's pregnant... before realizing she most likely is.
  • Cadbury's Cream Eggs 'How Do You Eat Yours' featured a pregnant woman in one of their ads. She liked dipping chips into it.
  • A print ad from the 1970s for Camel Cigarettes — whose tag line was "I'd walk a mile for a Camel" — had a picture of a man next to a jar of pickles and an empty box of vanilla ice cream, and in this case, it was not that he had run out of cigarettes, which is why they usually had to leave. The caption at the bottom, "Start Walking", meaning in this case he had to walk a mile for a half-gallon of ice cream for his (presumably) pregnant wife instead of for his cigarettes.
  • The Jack in the Box fast-food chain was advertising its "brunchfast" menu (think chicken and egg sandwiches, burgers on croissant "buns," and other hybrids of their breakfast and lunch menu items). It started with Jack pitching the idea to his staff. Someone asked where he got the idea. Queue Answer Cut to fifteen minutes ago where his very pregnant wife admits "they're" craving fried chicken, eggs, and bacon at 8 pm on a Tuesday (not exactly brunch hours). When Jack brings this up, however, his wife simply idly wonders if her mother would like to stay with them.
  • A UK McDonalds ad shows a pregnant woman searching the fridge and not finding what she's looking for, so her husband goes out to find it, but the late-night grocers and petrol station are sold out, and everywhere else is shut. Eventually, he tries Maccy D's and returns with a burger box containing just the pickles.
  • One mid-2000s Taco Bell commercial combines this with Overcomplicated Menu Order when a pregnant woman sends her husband to pick up food she has a craving for, only with the request to be something vague on the likes of "cheesy", "chewy" and "melty" before the husband (after banging his head on the steering wheel) eventually picks up Taco Bell's featured item on the menu.
  • Vlasic pickles has a Delivery Stork as its mascot as a nod to the stereotype of pregnant women craving pickles, using the slogan "The pickle pregnant women crave... After all, who's a better pickle expert?"
  • One advertisement showed a man in pyjamas showing up at an all-night store, checking off a list of wacky requirements to a sympathetic cashier. The last item is cat food... which, the man is careful to explain, is not for his pregnant wife, but for the cat.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Briefly happens in Naruto when Kushina is pregnant in a flashback.
  • Early on in Tenchi Muyo!, Ryoko tricks the crew into thinking she's pregnant (and that Tenchi's the father) by claiming to crave pickles and ice cream.

    Comic Books 
  • Icon: Rocket mentions in the 13th issue that her mother constantly ate cantaloupe when she was pregnant with her.
  • Spider-Woman: In the first issue of Volume 6, where Jessica is heavily pregnant, she's seen scarfing ice cream almost continuously. In fact, the main plot of the story starts when she ditches the empty pint container in the trash.
  • Superman #666 starts with a heavily pregnant Lois craving ice cream and pickles. When she miscarries, Clark reveals to the demon trying to cause him despair that he knew this was a simulation the whole time: "Lois isn't that much of a cliché!"

    Comic Strips 
  • In Bloom County, a pregnant Rosebud says, "Fetch me a pickle milkshake."
  • One The Far Side strip has a termite queen ordering her workers to bring pickles and ice cream. Since termite queens are basically giant egg-laying machines, the implication is that they must suffer wacky cravings all the time.
  • One single-panel cartoon shows a mother on the beach with her tired-looking husband as they struggle to look after their numerous children, saying "I don't want to worry you, but I've got a sudden craving for strawberries in tartare sauce..."

    Fairy Tales 
  • In The Discreet Princess, a prince seduces two daughters of a king he hates, but the third, Finette (the one he really hates), manages to outwit him (with the added bonus of a number of injuries to him). Naturally, he holds a grudge. So, in order to draw her out of the tower where the sisters are locked, he leaves a few fruits outside, fully aware that the sisters will be begging Finette to get them these at all costs.
  • In "Rapunzel" the girl is held captive by a Wicked Witch who caught her father stealing rampion for his pregnant wife and demanded her in return for her father's life.
    • Similarly, Petrosinella and Persinette both had mothers who robbed the witch of her parsley and had to pay the same price. Parsley may not seem wacky — unless you want to eat it plain, and have to have some from the garden owned by a dangerous sorceress. Meanwhile The Fair Angiola has seven pregnant women who all crave the witch's jujubes (red dates): six of them get away with stealing the fruit, but one gets caught and has to promise her unborn child to the witch.

    Fan Works 
  • The first sign that Anna is pregnant in the Frozen fic The Alphabet Story is that she suddenly hates chocolate but craves vegetables. It's weird because Anna loves chocolate and hates vegetables.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: In chapter 9 of the third story, Diplomacy Through Schooling, Aria and Cadance talk about these.
    • Cadance apparently had one for cucumber and banana slices mixed with cold rice and bleu cheese dressing, which Aria finds weird but Cadance says is good for replenishing electrolytes (and Shining Armor admits to liking it too). She'd also craved anchovy, sour cream, and steak sauce tacos at one point, which Sonata also liked. Aria and Shining Armor, however, react with disgust when they're reminded of that particular combo.
    • Luna's mostly been craving sugar water for her pregnancy.
  • Played for Drama by Beautiful Monster, where sometime after Betty is raped, she craves a peanut butter and prune ice cream sundae. This causes her to realise that the rape has left her pregnant.
  • The long outdated fic Consequences of Being Bedfellows sees Ginny begging Harry to get her roasted potatoes - specifically the ones made at Hogwarts - and Cauldron Cakes. Hilarity Ensues. According to Dumbledore, it's quite common for pregnant former students to crave the cooking at Hogwarts, though for his part he wishes they would get said cravings at more reasonable hours.
  • In Earth and Sky, Pinkie Pie is shown to have a craving for pickled peppers while pregnant with her second-born foal.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "The Birth Of Psycheliana", Smurfette had a craving for bugs, flowers, and dirt when she was pregnant with Empath's child.
  • Excuses... Excuses...: Cadance has cravings for pickles. She claims it's because she needs to replenish her electrolytes due to peeing more.
  • In the Fairy Tail fanfic Goodbye, My Love, not only does Erza's pregnancy cause her to find sour lemons delicious, but it also makes her ill towards strawberries.
  • In Harry Potter and the Inconvenient Condition Harry's worst craving is sauerkraut and chocolate sauce, with sashimi on the side.
  • How the Light Gets In: Chapter 1 has a flashback to Laurel's pregnancy, where she wakes up at 3am and "needs" a milkshake and a hot dog with sauerkraut, nacho cheese, and extra mustard "from this specific bodega across from this specific park." They both go to get it, and when Dean asks if they can go home now, Laurel gets upset.
    "What if I'm still hungry after I finish this?"
    • Later she, after having given birth, discusses this with a pregnant Lyla.
      Lyla: The other day I cried because I wanted chocolate cake and I didn't have any so I have no idea how I'm feeling.
      Laurel: (chuckles) I've been there. When I was eight months pregnant, I had this intense craving for fried chicken from Ezell's slathered in honey mustard. I sent my husband out to get it at like eight thirty at night and he came home with the chicken... and honey. Not honey mustard. Just plain honey. No mustard in sight. I sat down on my kitchen floor and cried. Like, full-on sobbed.
      Lyla: But did he rectify his mistake?
      Laurel: No, that was the worst part. By the time he got the food home to me, Ezell's was closed.
      Lyla: That might be the saddest story I've ever heard.
  • Klatchian Migratory Bog Truffles are a gourmet foodstuff on the Discworld. They are so prized by gourmets that they will pay vast sums for a meal where the chef has ensured there is no trace of bog truffles in it whatsoever. Johanna Smith-Rhodes, recently married Assassin, is happy for this state of affairs to continue with regard to her own diet. Until she gets pregnant and develops an inconvenient craving. For the foul-tasting Klatchian Migratory Bog Truffle. She discovers her taste buds have been out-voted by her foetus and its life support systems in Hyperemesis Gravidarum by A.A. Pessimal.
  • In Beautifulpurpleflame's Little Cherub series, the third fic starts with a five months pregnant Starfire raiding the fridge... for ordinary food instead of her regular mustard and candy mixes.
  • In Marriage Laws Fleur mentions having craved chocolate ice cream with fried onions during the earlier stage of her current pregnancy.
  • In Meeting Bill Hermione eats peanut butter curry, asparagus, rice, and chicken.
  • In Mockingbird a pregnant Harry has canned peaches, pickles and blood pudding covered in hot sauce.
    Draco: The traditional craving is supposed to be pickles and ice cream. You're missing half the equation.
    Harry: No I'm not. Last night when you all had fallen asleep I was in the kitchen having a fish sticks, ice cream, and chocolate syrup snack.
  • My Life as a Teenaged Von Neumann Device: Jenny develops these while pregnant with such gems as biting Sheldon because she's craving tungsten, eating Tuck's tricycle, eating pennies like popcorn and devouring several containers of iron, which she admitted she didn't care for when she was younger and doesn't go out of her way to eat normally. She's also repulsed by high-radiation compounds, which are normally her favorite treats.
  • In Notes From the Grandmaster, which is Bonus Material for the Elemental Chess Trilogy, Riza is shown desperately wanting fried fish and lemonade, and has a tendency to wake Roy in the middle of the night to make it for her.
  • The Urusei Yatsura fanfic "Sakura Seedling" has a pregnant Sakura, who was already a Big Eater of massive proportions, chugging liter-bottles containing a liquified slurry of cottage cheese, chutney, and nattonote .
    • Sequel fanfic "Oni Candy" uses the "gluttonous wacky cravings" variation for Ran. Having finally scored the hand of her beloved Rei, she learns the hard way the difficulties of having the child of such a notorious Big Eater, with a baby that physically demands she incessantly consume food, savagely kicking her from inside her womb unless she's eating. By the end of the story, she's literally eaten herself into a coma, and her belly is physically vibrating as her unborn daughter throws a tantrum, kicking non-stop in an attempt to goad her mother into waking up and resuming gorging herself.
    • It's mentioned in "Oni Candy" that the also pregnant Lum is also consuming a lot more food than usual due to her pregnancy, which she explicitly states is a side-effect of pregnancy in oni, but she doesn't take it anywhere near the levels that Ran does.
  • In OSMU: Fanfiction Friction, Oswald, who mistakenly believes he's pregnant after becoming paranoid that the author will write him as such, decides to eat Cheerios and jalapeno peppers bathed in 7-Up soda, with Orla (who is not pregnant) following him to eat the same thing. He eventually is determined by Oprah to not be pregnant, as the author had no intentions of making him pregnant.
  • In Oxytocin a pregnant Harry has tomato and potato croquettes dipped in orange juice and vanilla sundae.
  • In the story Pickles, Iron Man's beloved Pepper Potts develops a crazy craving for the things despite hating them; of course, it turns out that she's pregnant. In the sequel, Frozen Coke, she develops an additional craving for... well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • In Pineapple Cravings a pregnant Harry has an omelet with cinnamon, jalapenos, strawberry yogurt, relish, and Nutella, with a side of grapefruit with hot sauce.
  • The Royal Sketchbook:
    • When Celestia was pregnant centuries ago, she used to crave foods like pickled beets with honeyed oats.
    • While pregnant with Flurry Heart, Cadance enjoys eating peanut butter ice cream with tomatoes.
  • In Sacrifices a pregnant Harry has an omelet with blue cheese, olives, and pickles, topped with hot sauce. This is accompanied by a radish and onion smoothie.
  • In the NCIS fanfic Shards to a Whole, Abby, during her first pregnancy, is constantly eating frozen blueberries. This also becomes her go-to substitute for Caf-Pow, as she opts to kick the caffeine habit while pregnant.
  • In Time Fixers: Nicktoons of the Future, Cindy is shown to be craving pork rinds and purple flurp while pregnant with Max.
  • A non-pregnancy-related variant with the Triptych Continuum iteration of Spike. In the Continuum, specific gems can have drug-like effects on dragons, so when Spike gets sick he will often develop cravings for whatever specific gems would help treat his current illness (for example, when suffering from pulmonary edema he starts craving cachalong opals, which presumably help his body get fluid out of his lungs).
  • In True love a pregnant Harry eats a Belgian waffle with fried onions, horseradish, and chocolate sprinkles.
  • In Unexpected a pregnant Harry has a bowl of lemon custard with peanut butter cups, Bertie Botts beans, and candy cane bits.
  • In Unexpected developments a pregnant Harry has a cheese, banana and chocolate sauce toasty. Lucius comments that he thinks he preferred Harry's previous craving — cucumbers dipped in lime ice cream.
  • A midnight craving for zucchini bread late into her pregnancy was the reason Melena from Verdigris got bit by a zombie.
  • Where Is My Love?:
    • Fluttershy, after becoming pregnant, enjoys marshmallows dipped in mustard.
    • Later, after Derpy becomes pregnant with her and Blueblood's second child, she asks for tomato sauce on her pancakes. Dinky, who is nearby, reacts with disgust.
  • In White Owl the Scarlet Witch, while pregnant with Nightcrawler's child, makes herself anchovies with sour cream and Tabasco sauce.
  • In Windfall, Pinkie Pie mentions a few of the cravings had by an expecting Fluttershy, including pickles, pimentos, and pistachios.
  • A Ms. Marvel (2022) fanfic "A Stack of Fresh-Fried Parathas", covers various points in the relationship between Kamala and Bruno, from their meeting in kindergarten to being happily married in the future. In one chapter, a pregnant Kamala develops cravings for foods that combine Pakistani and Italian recipes; butter chicken lasagna and tandoor paneer parmigiana.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Hotel Transylvania 2, Mavis craves ice cream with anchovies when she's pregnant with Dennis.
  • In Lady and the Tramp, Darling sends her husband out into a January snowstorm at night to get watermelon and chop suey, two foods that are more traditionally considered warm weather food. We never learn if Jim Dear was even able to find them under the circumstances.
  • Fiona becomes pregnant in Shrek the Third. When asked if she has had any cravings, she says no while eating cake, then sniffs and says, "Do you smell ham?"

    Film — Live-Action 
  • After the Thin Man offers a subtle example; Nora doesn't officially announce she's pregnant until the very end of the movie, but beforehand makes odd requests like scrambled eggs at three o'clock in the morning. As she says to Nick: "And you call yourself a detective..."
  • In Avengers: Endgame, when Tony runs into his father in the past, he's carrying a bouquet of flowers and a can of sauerkraut. They're both for his pregnant wife.
  • In Den Nya Människan, the first hint that Gertrud is pregnant is when she starts eating pickled gherkins from the pantry.
  • After stress vomiting all over Ryan in Dog Soldiers, Terry remarks he has a real craving for a kebab.
  • Nicely subverted in Fargo, as Marge Gunderson's appetite is pretty normal for any average woman...except the vast quantities of coffee. Incidentally, the pregnancy was only written in to accommodate Frances McDormand.
  • In Look Who's Talking, even before she learns she's pregnant, Mollie starts having cravings that she and others pick up as strange; she eats ice cream — which she didn't like before — and suddenly starts to eat heartily at her mother's house, even though she was never that enthusiastic about her mom's cooking before.
  • In Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, Katya develops a sudden craving for pickles. Her two friends immediately figure out that she's pregnant.
  • In Rosemary's Baby, Rosemary has a sudden craving for rare meat, just barely touched to a hot frying pan. This is another clue that Something Ain't Quite Right.
  • Subverted in The Odd Couple:
    Murray: (on phone) What do you want, Mimi? A corned beef sandwich and strawberry malted?
    Oscar: Is she pregnant again?
    Murray: No, just fat.
  • Subverted in The Pact: The fridge mysteriously opens in the night, and some food is scattered on the floor: a jar of pickles and two sticks of butter. Is this a clue that the ghost is a pregnant woman? Well, yes. But she's not the one who made the mess; the flesh-and-blood killer was just hungry.
  • One of the signs that the baby conceived while Tim was wearing the Mask isn't normal in Son of the Mask is that Tonya eats silly string on crackers like spray cheese, to no ill effect.

  • 1632: Giovanna Marcoli wants vinegar. On everything. Including pear preserves.
  • In The Belgariad sequel series The Malloreon, during Ce'Nedra's second pregnancy she gets these sorts of cravings, mainly just to mess with Belgarion. In a subversion, it's never a problem, since Garion (a sorcerer) can simply create whatever food she wants out of thin air.
    • The same subversion appears in the prequel novel Belgarath the Sorcerer when Poledra is pregnant with the twins.
  • In the Discworld novel Guards! Guards!, the pet dragon that ends up foisted upon Vimes has these, but not because it's pregnant... it's because the dragon in question is instinctively transforming himself into a living jet engine.
  • Hannah Swensen:
    • In Blueberry Muffin Murder, Hannah notices that her sister Andrea, who tends to be obsessive about eating less and keeping her weight down, is eating a lot more than usual. It turns out she's pregnant, something even she didn't know until the very end of the book. The baby, a girl named Bethany, is born in Sugar Cookie Murder.
    • In Apple Turnover Murder Hannah realizes that Sherri Connors' earlier "flu" was actually Morning Sickness when she sees her enjoying an apple turnover dipped in mustard, with pickles on the side.
  • In her Mémoires, Laure Junot describes how she started to crave pineapple during her first pregnancy, after her mother and her mother-in-law all but convinced her that her child would be born deformed if she didn't crave anything. No big deal, right? Well, this was the early 19th century and pineapples were not in season. Cue her poor husband searching high and low for a ripe pineapple and eventually taking one from the First Consul's greenhouses... And in a textbook example of the trope, it turned out that Laure could not even stand the sight or smell of the fruit.
  • Before Mrs. Jewls announces her pregnancy to her students in Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, one of them notices her eating Oreo cookies filled with bologna instead of cream.
  • In Stephen King's Wolves of the Calla, the character Susannah is pregnant with the child of the Big Bad, Roland, and a second mother, and craves things like living frogs.
    • King also plays this trope for horror in "Dedication," one of his short stories. An African-American hotel maid named Martha tells her best friend Darcy the story of how she became pregnant decades ago with the help of a Haitian "bruja," or magic, woman named Mama Delorme. For the pregnancy to work, Mama Delorme bewitches Martha to gain an overwhelming desire to consume a particular guest's semen. Martha describes the horror of entering the guest's room every day, swearing that she wasn't going to do it...only to find herself physically incapable of resisting, and sometimes "coming to" in the middle of the process. Before beginning this part of the tale, Martha describes the compulsion using this trope, and a terrified Darcy reminisces about her own desire for rind of pork during her pregnancy.
  • During Alisande's pregnancy in A Wizard in Rhyme, she finds herself craving a hot fudge sundae. The "wacky" part comes from the fact that she lives in an Alternate Universe medieval France where ice cream doesn't exist, so all she can do is describe a food that she doesn't even have a name for.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Subverted in 2point4 Children when Rona is sent for a pregnancy test when she starts gaining cravings for stuff such as beetroot sandwiches. It's actually not the symptoms of pregnancy at all, but a case of Diabetes.
  • Gail in American Gothic (1995) begins to eat some raw meat when she is pregnant with Lucas's child. She claims she is just hungry and doesn't have time to wait for the meat to cook.
  • Angel's Cordelia raided Angel's supply of pigs' blood during her demonic pregnancy episode.
    Angel: I never quite realize how disgusting that is.
    • When Darla was pregnant she started to crave innocent blood. Well, she was already a vampire.
  • Annika (2021): A Season 2 plotline involves Blair getting pregnant. In episode 2.3, she's drinking pickle juice.
  • In Bella and the Bulldogs, one sign that Pepper's mom is pregnant is that Pepper sees her eating peanut butter sandwiches...dipped in mayo.
  • On an episode of Bewitched, Samantha has weird cravings during her pregnancy; being a witch, her magic causes whatever food she wants to appear in her hand. She gets that fixed, but then when she has a craving it instead causes her to go to where the food is.
  • In the final episode of The Big Bang Theory Penny shows her pregnancy by eating pickled herring and salted cod. She is in Norway, after all (for Sheldon and Amy's Nobel Prize), but is later heard throwing it all up.
  • Male example: Merton gets them during an episode of Big Wolf on Campus, after being impregnated by an alien.
  • In the Bones seventh season premiere, a pregnant Brennan is seen swiping Booth's apple pie while they're having lunch at the Founding Fathers. This is particularly notable since Brennan in the past has stated that she disliked pie due to her distaste for cooked fruit, while Sweets had suggested that Booth's attempts to get Brennan to eat a slice of pie were a form of subtle seduction.
  • The Brittas Empire:
    • The rarer variation comes with Carole's pregnancy in Series 2, as she ends up eating comically huge proportions of food, up to and including an industrial-sized can of beans.
    • In Series 6, Julie's pregnancy causes her to start to eat the strangest things, such as paper, biro, rubber, and even coal.
    Julie: Well I'm pregnant, aren't I? I get cravings for strange things.
  • When Phoebe was pregnant on Charmed (1998), she didn't have any particular cravings. Her unborn demon child, on the other hand, had a habit of turning whatever she was trying to eat into raw meat. Which, interestingly enough, was not the worst of the symptoms.
  • Discussed in Cheers when Carla was pregnant. Diane was having a roast beef sandwich for lunch and Carla sat down with her to have her lunch as well. She brings up the strange cravings pregnant women tend to have, using her lunch as an example: green olives, pimentos, and anchovies. It was ultimately subverted. Carla was really trying to make Diane lose her appetite so she could take her lunch.
  • Cold Case: In "Runner", the Victim of the Week is Joe Washington, a cop killed in the 1970s. He and his partner both had pregnant wives. When his partner is complaining about his wife busting his balls for forgetting her mint chip ice cream, Joe laughs and talks about his wife sending him out for pickles and fish sauce.
  • In Coronation Street, Natasha was trying to pretend she was still pregnant (Nick had split up with her but reconciled right after she'd had an abortion) and copied Fizz (who actually was) by claiming she had a craving for onion and pickle sandwiches.
  • During one episode of Croc Diaries, Steve Irwin's wife Terri decides to tell him about her second pregnancy by setting up a meal of pickles and ice cream and mentioning the craving when Steve walks in, and you can watch the wheels in his head turn in realization.
  • Discussed on CSI: NY: In "Forbidden Fruit," Lindsay (who is pregnant) has a whole bunch of weird food laid out on the lab table as part of an investigation into a poisoning. Mac walks in and comments that he hopes this isn't one of her cravings.
  • In the episode "Duck, Duck, Gnocchi" of Cutthroat Kitchen a chef must choose from a selection of savory ingredients to add to her ice cream sandwich. She chooses to add cottage cheese to her chocolate sauce:
    Alton Brown: Cottage cheese and chocolate? Sounds good and I'm not even pregnant!
  • In Demon Seed, the mother of the titular child, conceived through similar methods, also craves red meat to the point of eating it raw.
  • In the third season premiere of Dexter, Rita is constantly craving chocolate pudding. When Dexter comes home to find her making more, he comments on it. Rita responds by freezing and then saying, "Oh, shit. I've done this before... I'm pregnant!"
  • Doctor Who has a non-pregnancy-related example: the Eleventh Doctor spends a good ten minutes after his regeneration trying to figure out exactly what it is he's craving, working his way through most of the contents of Amelia's kitchen before eventually settling on fish fingers and custard.
    • Not to mention his horrified reactions to all other food: "Apples are rubbish!" "Beans are evil." "I hate yogurt, it's just stuff with bits in it" "That's bacon. Are you trying to poison me?" culminating with being so offended at the taste of a slice of bread and butter that he goes all the way down the hallway to the front door so he can fling it across the yard in disgust.
    • The comedy special The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot features a scene where a pregnant Georgia Moffett eats ice cream using an enormous celery stalk as a scoop. (Her father Peter Davison's Doctor costume famously featured a celery stalk.)
  • In the Faerie Tale Theatre episode that retells the story of Rapunzel, not only does Rapunzel's mother Marie have the traditional desperate craving for a vegetable from the witch's garden – in this version for radishes – but once she gets the radishes, she cooks and eats them in various odd ways, such as baking them in a pie, putting them in sandwiches and porridge, and even dipping them in chocolate fondue. Although in this case, the craving isn't entirely natural, but magically enduced by the Witch.
  • In The Fosters, Lena eats spaghetti and potato chips for breakfast because "the baby wants it".
  • On Friends, ethical vegetarian Phoebe is horrified when she starts craving meat while pregnant. Attempting to trick her body with meat substitutes like soy or tofu doesn't work and just makes her nauseous. She eventually trades with Joey, who promises not to eat meat throughout the rest of her pregnancy in order to balance out the universe.
  • Full House:
    • Danny suspected that Becky was pregnant before she told him, partly because she had been "living on beef jerky for the last three days."
    • Much later in her pregnancy, Becky had a craving for sour cream and onion potato chips. By the time Jesse gets back from the market, she's changed her mind. Anticipating this, he bought "every chip known to man — the Pregnancy Variety Pack." Alas, he didn't get any with ridges...
    • She, along with a house of other pregnant women she invited over, also starts craving watermelon. When Jesse points out that watermelon is out of season, and he'd probably have to go to Mexico to get one, Becky responds with "You've got a car."
  • Get Smart. In the episode where 99 tells Max that she's pregnant, she has to work undercover as a waitress and complains about getting rushed off her feet fetching plates of food...because she's eating it all herself.
  • Played with in a scene from The Golden Girls, where Rose is talking to a pregnant neighbor girl.
    Rose: Now you come into the kitchen with me, honey, I'll get you some pickles and ice cream.
    Mary: Oh, no thanks, I don't have any strange cravings yet.
    Rose: ...strange?
  • In the Grimm episode "Endangered" the Glühenvolk (glowing blue Wesen who are the source of UFO myths) crave cow ovaries when pregnant. That's the reason for cattle mutilations.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: In a non-pregnancy example, Emma starts craving raw fish when she suffers from mermaid afflictions, like Lunacy, and a disease that caused her a good deal of Body Horror. The spinoff revealed that this is a normal diet for mermaids, but one has to wonder what Claire Holt was thinking as she devoured entire cans of sardines.
  • In the Happy Days episode "Great Expectations," Dierdre, a beatnik girl staying at the Cunninghams' house while her car is being repaired, turns out to be pregnant. Howard and Marion find out when they notice her adding jelly beans to her egg salad sandwich.
  • Happens in the Australian Sitcom Home Sweet Home where Maria started craving things like fruit salad and tomato sauce while pregnant. Results in a false trip to the hospital for what turns out to be indigestion.
  • When Lucy is "expecting" Little Ricky on I Love Lucy, she sends Ricky out in the middle of the night to find a store that makes a papaya milkshake — as well as sardines to mix in and a pickle to dip in it. At the end of the episode, she's switched to sardines with pistachio ice cream and hot fudge. In Real Life, the ice cream and fudge were "played" by mashed potatoes and gravy — but the sardines, which had to show up on camera for effect, were the genuine article. Lucille Ball later said she never ate sardines again after that.
  • Mad Men: The Drapers' neighbor Francine Hanson, pregnant near the beginning of Season 1, says while preparing snacks with Betty for Sally's birthday party in Episode 3, "All this one wants is raw hamburger. What does that say?"
  • At one point in the 2004 ITV Marple adaptation of The Murder at the Vicarage, Griselda Clement (the vicar's wife) asks for apricot chutney to season her meal, from which Miss Marple deduces that Griselda is pregnant.
  • During Peggy's pregnancy arc on Married... with Children, she has a heavy craving for tapioca, and when she calls for it from upstairs, the kids are seen shoveling it from a giant drum in the living room. She also craved "tobacky and clam" ice cream, and would take food from one restaurant to combine with food from another. Marcy had them too, and in one scene she was scarfing chicken legs while throwing the bones over her shoulder, while Peg was eating spaghetti, with an entire jar of gas tablets mixed in. (Both of them complain about their families acting as if the two of them were "unpleasant to be around".)
  • In A Moody Christmas, the pregnant woman (who never passes up an opportunity to mention her pregnancy) says that she sometimes craves salt-and-vinegar chips and ice cream.
  • Downplayed Trope in Murdoch Mysteries: At the start of the episode "Biffers and Blockers", Murdoch is unpacking a picnic for himself and Julia. He's surprised at how much food she's packed, and is holding a large jar of pickles as he asks "Are we expecting someone?" At which Julia tells him yes, they are.
  • My Life Is Murder: In "Another Bloody Podcast", a pregnant woman sends her husband out for a Mars Bar and a jar of anchovies.
  • On Quantum Leap, after Sam leaps into the body of a pregnant woman, he craves Jello and onions. In another scene, Sam is eating radishes after dipping them in marshmallow fluff.
  • On Saved by the Bell, Mr. Belding's pregnant wife asks for a combination of ginger ale and peanut butter. Screech notes that's his favorite.
  • Parodied in Scrubs with a fantasy sequence where Dr. Cox brought Jordan a live goat during her pregnancy. The same episode has her threatening to eat Turk if he keeps interrupting her during a conversation.
  • On Sesame Street, during Maria's pregnancy with Gabriella, her cravings led her to try Grouch cuisine, which is always depicted as very disgusting mash-ups such as marshmallow sauce over fish — and she loves it, much to Oscar's delight (and Luis's disgust).
  • Vala requests pancakes and brownie fudge ice cream during her pregnancy on Stargate SG-1. Incidentally, this was before she got around to telling anyone in the SGC, though a sharp-eyed viewer would have noticed.
  • Star Trek: Voyager features this, during the episode Elogium where Kes goes through false puberty and her body readies for conception. She eats beetles, nitrogenated planting soil, mashed potatoes with butter (with soil), assorted fruits, and even the flowers Neelix brings her to apologize for his jealousy over Tom... all in the space of a few minutes.
  • In one episode of Three's Company, Cindy is Mistaken for Pregnant by Jack and Janet. One thing that supposedly confirms their suspicions is when Janet sees Cindy making a tuna fish and jelly sandwich.
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps: when Louise is pregnant, she takes out a large lump of coal and bites into it as one would an apple.
  • In V (1983), Robin craves red meat to the point that she wakes in the night and yanks it uncooked from the refrigerator to eat. However, this is implied to be due to her being pregnant with a child of the secretly reptilian Visitors rather than the usual version. In the 2009 remake V (2009), Valerie (also pregnant with a hybrid), almost eats a mouse caught in a trap.
  • An episode of Xena: Warrior Princess finds Xena, Gabrielle, and some young friends ordering food in a tavern. Xena orders something extremely bizarre that everyone else notices except her. Later it's revealed that she is pregnant with Eve (no, not that Eve).
  • The X-Files: Scully was portrayed as a health nut for seven seasons, very rarely indulging in junk food. She even went as far as stirring bee pollen into yogurt for lunch (even though Mulder tells her she's a scientist and should know better...) While pregnant in season eight, she keeps ordering junk food—specifically pizza—which is mentioned later in that same episode to have been a regular habit of hers.
  • In The Young Ones, when Vivyan is pregnant or rather, when he has a bad case of trapped wind, he expresses an uncontrollable craving for a piece of fried lavatory paper. Unfortunately, he'd finished the last roll the previous week.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Under the Umbrella Tree: In "Special Delivery," when Mrs. Chickadee is expecting an egg, she mentions having been craving ice cream and pickles.

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • Alan King said in a bit that his wife told him she was pregnant by waking him up at two in the morning and asking him to go get her an ice cream sundae with a ridiculously long list of toppings, "and a sour pickle".

  • Subverted in The Odd Couple:
    Murray: (on phone) What do you want, Mimi? A corned beef sandwich and strawberry malted?
    Oscar: Is she pregnant again?
    Murray: No, just fat.
  • Discussed in the opera Street Scene: Panicky Expectant Father Mr. Buchanan mentions in "When A Woman Has A Baby" that his wife "wants soft-shell crabs at Christmas and oysters in July."

    Video Games 
  • The Book of Unwritten Tales being a comedy series, Ivo's enjoyment of a rather disgusting concoction serves as a positive pregnancy test.
  • Cake Mania 4: Main Street:
    Tiny: Jill asked me to deliver a bento box for her lunch, but I cannot believe I wrote her special request down correctly. Could she actually want a maki filled with eel, olives, peanut butter, and Milk Duds?
  • Wives in Harvest Moon games will often have these as early indicators of their pregnancy. In Harvest Moon 64, if the player marries Ann, she'll remark some time after the wedding that the hay on the farm looks delicious. Ann concludes that she's turning into a horse.
  • In the Elin Forest scenario in MapleStory, which takes your character about twenty years into the past through Time Travel, one NPC you meet is an elf named Yuris, who asks you to get Sweet and Sour Fruit from a fairy, claiming she is suddenly craving it. When you get it and deliver it to her, the conversation reveals that not only is the craving the result of pregnancy, her yet-to-be-born daughter is Kyrin, the Explorer Pirate instructor in present-day Maple World.
  • Pregnant women in The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 sometimes get wishes to eat odd combinations of food, like spaghetti and ice cream, or will simply keep making the same food (like pancakes) over and over and over.

  • Bruno the Bandit once had to cater to Shub-Megawrath's pregnancy cravings.
    Shub-Megawrath: I'm pregnant, and I have cravings! Right now I'm in the mood for a steaming vat of ogre entrails, topped with whipped cream and cherries!
    [Sometime later]
    Bruno: Sorry, Shub! The supermarket was out of cherries! Will ghoul eyeballs do?
    Shub-Megawrath: Ewww! That's gross!
  • This trope gets discussed during the "Haunted Past" arc in Clan of the Cats, with Cynthia mentioning how her mother craved wintergreen mints and pigs' knuckles when she was pregnant with her, raspberry, chocolate, and oysters with Chelsea, and bourbon with Corrine. According to Paul, Cynthia's husband, his mother craved wood.
  • Invoked and immediately subverted in Housepets! King freaks out when Bailey craves a "pickle and cherry milkshake", but she claims her mom made it for her when she was a pup.
    • Played straight when at a carnival, a food stand operator instructs King "you and the mother-to-be take care, alright?" when their order contains 4 pickles fried like corn dogs to which King replies that his wife just likes pickles. Bailey then chirps "I don't usually go for fried food but I am eating for 4 now." to King's shock.
  • Kevin & Kell:
    • During Lindesfarne's pregnancy, she craves very specific exotic insects. (Since she's a hedgehog, insects in general aren't an example of the trope.)
    • Leona ended up craving zebra, meerkat, wildebeest, baboon, ostrich, aardvark, antelope, gazelle, warthog, and eland during her pregnancy. All at once. Pity the poor delivery driver that had to deliver all that.
  • The Law of Purple does have people mentioning a few on this page and a few of them are going for the most bizarre combo award.
  • Parodied in this strip of The Order of the Stick, in which a pregnant mother expresses a desire for a "peanut butter, pepperoni and pickle" sandwich:
    Daigo: Eww! Do you really crave that?
    Kazumi: No. It sounds disgusting. But this article in "Stereotyped Pregnancies Monthly" says that's what I should be eating.
  • This Penny Arcade strip.
  • Here in +EV.
  • Inverted in Shortpacked!, where the normally Extreme Omnivore Robin finds herself craving a salad.
  • Sister Claire finds herself absentmindedly chowing down on a wooden mug. She is pregnant with the Messiah, but it's still somewhat extreme.

    Web Original 
  • Not Always Right:
    • This entry, in which a woman sends her husband out for a mint chocolate candy bar, which the cashier thinks of as "the most unappetizing candy in the store". When the man panics because he doesn't have the change to buy it, the cashier sends him on his way in a hurry (the man came back to pay).
      "For the love of God, man! Get these home to her before you’re in even more trouble! You can come back and pay me later!"
    • Played with in this entry from the Not Always Working section. The customer's pregnant daughter doesn't have a craving for mayonnaise; she's making a large batch of deviled eggs.
    • This story is about a pregnant woman who ordered a mushroom-pineapple-anchovy pizza. At first, the pizza guy thought it was a joke. When he arrived at her house, he asked her to eat a slice and then told her the workers had a bet on whether or not it was a prank. Since it wasn't, he gave it to her for free.
    • In this story, a husband is sent for anchovies, asparagus, and bacon-flavored potato chips. A fellow customer is able to use these items (and the fact that the husband is wearing pajamas) to guess the situation and is even willing to pay for it when the husband is short on money.

    Western Animation 
  • Implied in Adventure Time, as at the end of one episode Jake is seen mixing pickles into a bowl of ice cream for Lady Rainicorn.
  • Parodied in the "Pregnant Pause" episode of Beavis And Butthead. Beavis watches a movie about a pregnant woman and starts getting paranoid that he might be pregnant too because like her, he's experiencing stomach cramps and cravings for nachos (them being his Trademark Favorite Food and all). Later, while getting food at a convenience store, he just blindly grabs some things in his trepidation, overhears a pregnant woman say how she's been having the strangest cravings recently, and to his horror, sees the items he picked up were canned vegetables, which he takes as a sure sign that he's pregnant. As it turns out, he just needed to take a really huge dump.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Ben's craving metal and pickles? Hah, maybe he's pregnant... WAIT! I Was Just Joking...
    • There was a non-pregnancy one in an episode of Ben 10 where Granda Max got turned into a giant alien larva. After being turned back to normal, he has no memory of his transformation, but then he licks his lips and asks, "Why do I have this strange craving for rotten eggs in sugar water?"
  • In one episode of Doug, Doug ends up pet-sitting Roger's cat Stinky. When Doug gives into the cat's demands for pizza and ice cream, he thinks he's done something terrible when the cat starts acting strangely afterward, but in the end, to everyone's surprise (including Roger's!), it turns out that Stinky was a girl all along, and pregnant.
  • The Fairly Oddparents:
    • While Cosmo was pregnant with Poof, he ate Timmy's collection of vintage baseball cards.
    • Anti-Wanda eats a sandwich made of couch cushions and cheese wiz, a door handle, a bite of Anti-Cosmo's chart of fairies and their Anti-Fairy counterparts, a camera, and a phone in addition to trying to eat Anti-Cosmo's Idea Bulb when she is pregnant with Poof's Anti-Fairy counterpart Foop.
  • In the 1993 "Hollyrock-a-bye Baby" post-series film for The Flintstones, Pebbles showcases the "wacky appetite increase" variant, where despite being in the last week of her pregnancy, she's shown devouring massive amounts of food. As in, portions equal to that of her Big Eater father's usual fare — followed by his own equally huge share! It struck such a chord that the 1994 run of Flintstones trading cards features, as part of the set honoring the film, a card that depicts Pebbles with a massive (and bitten into) drumstick in one hand and a spoonful of strawberry ice cream with chocolate sauce in the other whilst her doting parents hover around her with a huge bowl of strawberry ice cream and chocolate sauce (with the obligatory massive pickle on the side), a big slice of blueberry pie, a huge ham, a pineapple, and two tomatoes.
  • At one point in the Home Movies episode "Cradles and Caskets," the woman that Brendon's dad marries is seen eating a bucket of fried chicken and dipping it in butterscotch.
  • In the Pound Puppies (1980s) episode "Where Do Puppies Come From?", the expectant Lucy asks Holly and Nose Marie to make her a dog food and ice cream sundae with various unorthodox toppings. After finishing it off in one bite, she then asks them to make her another one with whipped cream added.
  • The Pound Puppies (2010) episode "Pound Preemies" had Miss Petunia make demands for ice cream, pork chops, lamb chops, and chop suey when the Pound Puppies assisted her in giving birth to her puppies.
  • Two of the Fractured Fairy Tales segments from Rocky and Bullwinkle used this.
    • From their take on Rapunzel:
    Darling, I know this sounds fantastic and utterly absurd, but I have an uncontrollable desire for that variety of European Bellflower.
    • The adaptation of The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg has the titular goose (who initially faked laying golden eggs by painting one gold to avoid being cooked and eaten) ask the king for pickles and ice cream before she starts laying a golden egg for real.
  • The Simpsons: In the 'In the Na'Vi' segment of "Treehouse of Horror XXII", Kang reveals that pregnancy is particularly difficult for females of his species as their planet has no pickles and their only ice cream is butterbrickle.
    • Marge craved pancake mix during her pregnancies.
    • In "Little Big Girl", Bart and his girlfriend (who is fifteen and pregnant) are driving to Utah to get married. She demands that Bart pull over and get her strawberries while they're driving through a desert.
  • In an episode of Superjail!, one of the Twins goes into a spontaneous pregnancy/budding and winds up craving cleaning products and fertilizer. The first sign of his bizarre cravings occurs when he attempts to devour a lunch lady whole and has to be pried off.
  • In the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Pizza By The Shred" when Michelangelo is a "Weird Pizza" delivery boy hired by Shredder, he delivered a pickle and ice cream pizza to a pregnant woman.
  • In the Total Dramarama episode "Baby Brother Blues", Beth's mom, who is pregnant with Beth's baby brother, can eat a lot of pickles and melted ice cream, but chocolate makes her sick to her stomach.

    Real Life 
  • Before the modern days of decent nutrition, pregnant women would crave chalk — it contains calcium, which is necessary to build up the bones and teeth of the baby.
    • Geophagy (eating of dirt and clay) still happens with pregnant women in some poorer countries and parts of the U.S. South.
    • It is still encouraged in parts of West Africa. In Ghana, for example, ground-up clay in little sticks known as "ayilo" can be found on sale just about everywhere. Some people acquire quite a taste for them and eat them just for fun.
    • Similarly, some pregnant women crave charcoal, as it helps with gastric problems.
    • Chalk isn't even that unusual. Flavored chalk is commonly used as an antacid. It's even recommended as a calcium supplement.
  • Vegetarian Kari Byron had a craving for beef stew (her mom's recipe) while she was pregnant. Her husband got stuck with the job of preparing it.
  • In the Babylonian Talmud, Chapter 82a of Tractate Yoma mentions pregnancy cravings for non-kosher food. The passage discusses a pregnant woman who craves pork on Yom Kippur! (Yep, despite that pork is the most (in-)famous non-kosher foodstuff and Yom Kippur is the only fast ordained by the Torah and the most important and holy day of the whole year, it's still allowed! Still, check with your rabbi first.)
  • A Japanese old wives' tale claims that what a woman craves during pregnancy is a way to predict the sex of the baby. If she craves spicy or sour foods (for example, pickles), her child will most likely be male, but if she craves sweet foods (like ice cream), her child will most likely be female. This is, of course, a superstition with no basis in fact, but many Japanese women still mention it and joke about it.
  • Some hypothesize that various isotopes, such as Carbon-13, are necessary for long-term health in a baby. Since we do not currently keep track of these on nutritional labels, it's not that far a stretch to imagine a pregnant woman developing cravings for odd foodstuffs that have contained these isotopes in the past — only to lose interest as soon as she finds that the particular samples brought back lack them.
  • Non-pregnancy example: Many people on diets will crave one bizarre thing or another. Sometimes it's simply missing a favorite food, but sometimes, especially if the craving is pretty odd, it could be that the way they've structured their diet has left them lacking in some vital nutrient.
    • Likewise, people lost at sea in life rafts have been known to develop cravings for parts of fish — bones, eyeballs, guts, scales — that are normally discarded, due to these parts' containing essential nutrients not abundant in the muscles.
    • Women will often crave things during their periods as well, most often salty or sweet foods.
  • Alyson Hannigan gave up vegetarianism during her pregnancy, in favor of meat, cheese, and ginger ale.
  • Real Life women (and men) will tend to crave things that are low in their usual diets. Women who eat low-fat may crave high-fat foods, vegetarians may crave meat, and women who eat a lot of junk will crave vegetables. The craving is usually somewhat specific (peanut butter, for example) but, given general decent health otherwise, it's usually not outrageous, impossible, or inexplicable.
    • There's also an Inversion — pregnant women often find that foods that they normally enjoy sound completely unappetizing.
  • While women in Real Life can and sometimes do crave non-food items, it's no laughing matter. Depending on what it is she's craving (such as paint chips) and if she actually tries to eat it, it means she has to see a doctor. Now.
  • Transgender women sometimes experience this (as well as other physiological effects, such as the "mask of pregnancy"), when they begin hormone replacement therapy.
  • The San Diego delicatessen D.Z. Akin's sells a "Prenatal Silliness" sundae: chocolate ice cream, pickles, and your choice of topping. Whether it's ever actually been ordered is a Riddle for the Ages.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic and his wife Suzanne were both vegans when they got married. In an interview, however, Al noted how when Suzanne was pregnant with their daughter, she began craving meat. He's still vegan, but his wife not so much.


Video Example(s):


Queen Victoria feels bilious.

Queen Victoria is listening to a chamber orchestra concert when she suddenly has to get up and leave due to morning sickness. Chef Francatelli prepares her hot cocoa as a home remedy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / MorningSickness

Media sources: