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"Please don't eat me! I'm nothing but skin and bones;
I won't make a good meal, and you won't like the way I taste!"
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Sometimes food just doesn't agree with you. This phrase, or a variation thereof, is spoken throughout fiction by characters caught between a rock and a slobbering monstrosity trying to eat them. For obvious reasons, it's quite common in animated comedies featuring animal characters, too. The phrase is not usually expected to actually dissuade the predator from attacking—often, not even by the character in question, who'll likely consider it quite radical and far-fetched—but it can be good for stalling, giving our heroes more time to think of an effective means of escape before they're eaten by the enemy.

In some rare cases, it's related to Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth and Regret Eating Me. Often crops up with Black Comedy Cannibalism. Not the opposite of I Taste Delicious.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk: When left alone with the Count's daughter Theresia, Puck assumes she's going to eat him and tries to talk her out of it:
    "Uh...I'm not very tasty. E-elves aren't very good for your digestion, y'know, not to mention we're high in calories."
  • In episode 9 of Haganai, when Maria enters the club room, she bumps into Yozora, who's wearing a horse head mask. She freaks out when she sees it, then Yozora jokingly says she's going to eat the girl. Maria claims she won't taste good and has been eating vegetables, but Yozora says she doesn't mind, and says she's a vegetarian.
  • A Fairy Tail filler includes Happy being abducted by runaways from a dark guild who hope to eat him. What makes his use of this trope odd is that he isn't saying this to stall. He's genuinely concerned that he'll taste bad because he really has to pee.
  • Smith from Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin tries this with the Koga dogs, saying that bi-colored dogs like him would cause a stomachache and red dogs tasted better.
  • Discussed in Golden Wind by Guido Mista. He brings up to his teammates how humans normally don't eat meat from carnivores because it taste bad. By that logic, humans would taste terrible because they eat meat.
  • Variation in One Piece: When Carrot is dangled over a boiling cauldron by Charlotte Brûlée and about to be Stewed Alive, it's Chopper who says the trope, and tells Brûlée she won't like how Carrot tastes.
  • The Ancient Magus' Bride: A variant in the backstory when Elias muses that he thinks he's probably eaten people before. Lindel jokingly replies "Well, I probably taste delicious, but please don't eat me!"

    Comics 
  • In Strontium Dog, a mutant tries to dissuade Durham Red from sucking his blood by saying that he's anemic and, therefore, unappetizing.
  • In Bloodstorm, the second book in the Batman Vampire series, the Joker successfully keeps a gang of vampires from feeding on him and proposes a Villain Team-Up instead with this: and it works.
    Joker: Sure, you could do the obvious thing and slurp my cold, thin blood... (...) or, you could forego my blood - and it's not good, trust me, I've tasted it - and embrace me for what I am... your new leader!
  • In a Looney Tunes comic, Tweety's antics are causing Sylvester to get his fur buzzed off, which causes Granny to think that Sylvester is shedding, and forcing him to drink a foul-tasting "Tabby Tonic". Finally at the end of the story Sylvester catches Tweety, Force Feeding him the rest of the tonic in revenge. He then prepares to eat Tweety, but the bird points something out - Sylvester hates the taste of the tonic, and now Tweety is full of it to the brim. The story ends with the poor puddy tat sitting on the lawn, plucking out the last of his fur and bawling his eyes out as a sympathetic Tweety watches.

    Fairy Tales 
  • The Grimm fairy tale The Three Billy Goats Gruff is likely the trope originator.
  • Aesop had a story about a dog who was caught by a wolf and about to be eaten. The dog tells the wolf that while he was too skinny at the moment and wouldn't taste good, in a few days his master would hold a feast and give him all the scraps, and the wolf could then eat him while he was nice and fat. The wolf agreed. When he came back a few days later, he found the dog sitting on the roof of his master's house. The wolf said, "Come down, my friend, don't you remember our agreement?" The dog said, "My friend, if you ever catch me on the ground again, don't wait for any feast."
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    Fan Fic 

    Film 
  • In The Lion King, when the hyenas complain to Scar about the lack of food, Scar just tells them to eat Zazu. Zazu gets terrified and tells the hyenas that he'd be too gamey for them to chew.
  • In Finding Nemo, when Marlin and Dory are about to be swallowed by a blue whale, Marlin grabs one of its taste buds and asks, "How do I taste, huh? Do I taste good?"
  • Subverted in Garfield: The Movie. When Garfield gets cornered by rats when searching for Odie, he says that he'd be too fatty for the rats to eat. But they say that fat's fine with them, and they almost get him before Garfield's mouse friend Louis comes to save him.
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Dwarfs try to sway troll from eating them by claiming that they have such things as "Parasites as big as me arm!"
  • Rutt and Tuke try doing this in Brother Bear when they think Kenai (whom they meet for the first time) was going to eat them. But after a mild insult from one moose to the other, they end up insulting each other until the insult "BIG NOSE!" comes in.
  • In We Bought a Zoo, the volatile and often-drunk Peter MacCready found himself confronted by a lion as he was trying to fix the lock on the animal's cage (from the inside). He reacted by bellowing at the beast: "You doon't want me! I am filled with Scotch and bitterness and impure thoughts!" The lion reacted to this by licking its lips...

    Literature 
  • Subverted in Mogworld, wherein Jim says the line to a monster, realizing a second later that, being a zombie, he's more than likely telling the truth.
  • In James and the Giant Peach, the centipede says this to the huge cloud man, adding that it's no good eating him: he is full of bones like a kipper.
  • In The Silver Chair, a Talking Stag tries this and fails to avoid being eaten by giants. The protagonists overhear them talking about the incident later, which results in an Alien Lunch moment of horror when they realize they are eating the Stag.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A sketch on The Muppet Show has Kermit, as Sindbad the Sailor, telling Sweetums that frogs taste terrible "even with lots of ketchup." To back it up, he asks his crew, "Have I ever been accused of good taste?"
  • Inverted in the episode "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" on MST3K, where they have the soon-to-be-first-victim saying "I'm probably very tasty and well-marbled. Not something I've often thought about..."
  • The ALF episode "La Cucaracha" has Gordon dealing with a giant alien cockroach out to get him:
    Alf: Listen, you don't want to eat me. I'm pure gristle. My whole family has an aftertaste! If you can hold out, there's doughnuts on the way.
    Cockroach: (thrashes through the kitchen)
    Alf: Good idea, put some coffee on.
    • Played with when he escapes to the bedroom a moment later:
    Alf: Oh, I should have guessed... It probably likes gristle. Now I feel like a tease.
  • On the Power Rangers Turbo episode "Slice of the Pie", the Monster of the Week bakes the Rangers into a pizza. Cassie tries to dissuade him from eating them by saying she's "not cooked enough yet".

    Music 

    Tabletop Games 
  • "Tastes Bad to Monsters" is actually a beneficial status in one tabletop game.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has the Merit "Bad Taste", which puts any werewolf or other monster who bites you at some disadvantage due to nausea. Unfortunately, it also means that dogs, wolves and other werewolves won't lick your face or hands, which is a problem socially.
  • There is a spell in Dungeons & Dragons that turns your blood into an acid that injures any monsters that bite you.
    • And a lower level spell, called "Horrible Taste", which causes nausea in any monster that bites you.

    Video Games 
  • In Super Mario 64 DS, Tuxie the baby penguin begs Yoshi not to eat her because she tastes terrible and will give him cavities. Yoshi promptly spits her back out.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The captured Gorons Link rescues from the Fire Temple are found huddled and shaking with fear in their cells. If spoken to before releasing them, they'll beg not to be eaten by the dragon Volvagia and plead that they'd give it a stomach ache.
  • In Super Robot Wars V, Tetsuya Tsurugi replies that he'll give the gigantic Stinger/Cohen Invader food poisoning when they claim that the combination of Photonic Energy and Getter Radiation in Mazin Emperor G is delicious. Tetsuya then adds that he'll give the Invader a three-course meal of asskicking if they don't back down.
  • This is a common response in Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter when Adol turns into a monster. (Ironic, since the monsters in question are harmless kangaroo-like creatures.)
  • Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?: In one of the potential confrontations against Gourmet Ogre, he threatens to eat the Hero Prinny, who responds that they taste terrible and are loaded with trans-fatty acids. Sadly, Gourmet Ogre proves to be an Extreme Omnivore, causing a fight to ensue.

    Webcomics 
  • Digger tries to convince Grim Eyes and other hyenas that she is unclean and therefore inedible.
  • In Dreamwalk Journal, Fleur says the line to her hungry spider companion.
  • Shibisu from Tower of God subverts this by telling the Bull he tastes delicious to protect a Mandong Whale. The Bull looks at him once and turns away.
    • Bam once says this to Rak on their first meeting.
  • In The Bird Feeder #98, "Thanksgiving," having heard that humans eat birds on Thanksgiving, Darryl wears a bag over himself that says "DO NOT EAT."
  • In a Nodwick parody of the classic Dungeons and Dragons module Queen of the Demonweb Pits, once the heroes find themselves in the Abyss, Nodwick pulls out a translation guide and reads "Please don't eat me. I am only a henchman. I have low nutritional value. I taste like road tar."

    Western Animation 
  • In Totally Spies!, Alex tries it on a giant squid, adding "Once, a mosquito bit me and it was sick for, like, two weeks afterward!"
  • Ami, to a Sasquatch in Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: "I'm not part of your balanced diet! I'm not kosher!"
  • In Taz-Mania, Wendel says it to Taz. Taz tries to eat him anyway and discovers that Wendel was telling the truth.
  • Parodied in Recess. T.J. is captured by the kindergarteners, and then Captain Sticky goes up to him and says, "You Food!". T.J.'s response (While trying to "communicate" with them by speaking like them), "Me? Food? No! Me taste bad! Yucky poo-poo!". It turned out they wanted to give him food.
  • In one Looney Tunes cartoon, Foghorn Leghorn tries to convince Henry Hawk not to eat him because he's nothing gristle.
  • In an episode of Pound Puppies (2010) ("Homeward Pound"), Squirt pleads with a bear who caught him after falling down a waterfall by claiming he's "stringy" and "chock full of preservatives".
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode "My Son, the Hamster", Jimmy tries this to prevent a hawk from eating him. "You know, I'm really high in HDL Cholesteral...that's the bad kind."
  • Garrett attempts this on a ghost that wanted to eat him in Extreme Ghostbusters. He uses the above "Nothing but skin and bones line". Unfortunately for him, skin and bones are the creature's favorite part.
  • In Back at the Barnyard, Pip the mouse does this in desperation when a pet snake is about to eat him, telling him he's too spicy. Luckily the snake doesn't since Pip defended him from an abusive owner.
  • In Uncle Grandpa there is Pizza Steve, an anthropomorphic pizza slice. In some episodes, other characters wants (or even try to) eat him, when himself don't want to be eaten.
  • Gil from Bubble Guppies says this to Pretzelquatl when he looks like he's about to eat him and Oona. It turns out Pretzelquatl only eats pretzels, and he offers some to them too.
    Oona: Don't eat us!
    Gil: Yeah, we probably taste terrible.
  • In the episode of Aladdin: The Series "Mudder's Day", the hero's are caught by the titanic Al Muddy Sultan, who plans to cook them. Aladdin tries to stall for time by telling him his stew is "inferior", and mentions a rare spice fit for a king that grows on the surface. The sultan is intrigued, but suspicious (as he should be) and tells Aladdin to get it alone. ("They didn't make me Sultan only because I was the biggest," he claims) requiring a change of plan on Aladdin's part.
  • Gummi Bears: When captured by the spider-like Spinster, Grammi comments that she's preparing the stew wrong, noting her expertise as a chef. (Gruffi almost blows the plan my noting to himself what how it actually is) and then gives her a few suggestions that she claims will help it. Like the Aladdin case, the Spinster is intrigued, but not stupid, and walls the place off with more webbing before leaving.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Wormy", Patrick sets himself up as live bait to trap a "monster" (actually Sandy's pet caterpillar, Wormy, metamorphosed into a butterfly). As the butterfly lands on his water helmet, he fearfully pleads "I don't really taste that good, Mr. Monster."
  • In the Bump in the Night episode "Not a Leg to Stand On", the Cute Dolls threaten to feed Mr. Bumpy to carnivorous foam toads in retaliation to the monster taking their car for a joyride. Molly Coddle convinces them to let Bumpy off the hook on the grounds that he's learned his lesson and would probably give the toads indigestion.
  • Garfield in the Rough has Garfield plead to not be eaten when he encounters Billy Rabbit and thinks that a predator is approaching. One of the things he says in hopes that it will convince the assumed predator to spare him is that he is high in cholesterol.
  • In The Garfield Show episode "Garfield Gets Canned", Garfield and Odie are tasked with looking after a ferret named Mrs. Ferret, who ends up eating all the food in the house except for a can of cat food that Garfield spends most of the episode trying to open. At one point, Garfield and Odie consider cooking and eating Mrs. Ferret, who tries to discourage them from eating her by claiming she tastes like asparagus. When that doesn't work, she then claims to taste like tofu, which is also ineffective as a deterrent.


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