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Delicious in Dungeon (Japanese: ダンジョン飯, Dungeon Meshi, literally translated as "Dungeon Meals") is a 2014 Fantastic Comedy seinen manga created by Ryōko Kui. The series is published in Enterbrain's Harta magazine. Yen Press has licensed its run in North America.

In a fantasy world of dungeon exploration, guilds go out on expeditions to raid dungeons, hoping to find the mysterious Golden Kingdom claimed to be the ultimate treasure of a particular island dungeon, said to be created by a Lunatic Magician after sinking the Kingdom to the ground. Human knight Laios Touden and his adventuring team are saved from a Total Party Kill by a fearsome beast, the Red Dragon, when his sister, Falin, sacrifices herself to teleport them all out of danger. Now she's in the dragon's belly, and it's only a matter of time before she's digested and it's too late to revive her. Laios and his friends must delve back into the depths to recover her remains - but there's not enough time or resources to buy enough rations for the trip. His solution: take advantage of the sprawling ecosystem of the dungeon itself by cooking the various monsters within into delicious, wholesome, dungeon-sourced meals.

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Secretly, Laios has always been fascinated by dungeon monsters and has wanted to try eating them for a long time. However, this is typically never done and Chilchuck (the party's halfling trapmaster) and Marcille (their elf mage) are opposed. On the first floor of the dungeon, the team meets Senshi, a dwarf and experienced dungeon cook who agrees to help and joins their party as Team Chef.

Every chapter shows this team of four traveling through the dungeon, introducing environments (such as forests and lagoons) filled with new creatures. The manga focuses on world-building detailed fantasy environments, and captures a daily-life snapshot of fantasy dungeon raids and those who embark on them.

Part classic Dungeon Crawler, part Cooking Show, Delicious in Dungeon is a quirky, funny, thoughtful exploration of the ecosystem of a fantasy dungeon that may make you very, very hungry for the strangest of foods.

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Compare Toriko and Food Wars!, both also adventure series about Food Porn.


Delicious in Dungeon contains examples of:

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    Tropes A to H 

  • 24-Hour Armor: Downplayed, Laios has had to sleep fully armored occasionally, but usually strips down to shirtsleeves or the padded under-layer when making camp. Played more straight generally in that the main party spends most of their trip without a change of clothes until they recover their gear from the last run they made.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade:
    • Senshi's mithril knife is the only thing capable of slicing through dragon scales. Being Senshi, he uses it for cooking.
    • There's also Shuro's sword which he uses to behead a sea serpent with one cut.
  • Action Girl: Marcille, Falin and Izutsumi. Most female adventurers are this, really, as it's rare for any adventurer to enter the dungeon without being able to take care of themselves in a pinch.
  • Action Hero: The modus operandi of your average party of adventurers. Monsters can't exactly be reasoned with and so fighting them is the only way to delve deeper into the dungeon. Subverted later on when Team Touden decide that talking with the Lunatic Magician would be a better plan than trying to fight her.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In-universe. When Misurn relies the backstory of how he became a lord of a dungeon to Kabru, Kabru is annoyed about how complicated and bloated it is, with way too many characters and subplots involved that would make it difficult for someone who wasn't him to follow. So he trims it down to the bare essential of just Misurn and the demon and leaving everyone else out as nameless extras (as well as cutting out the part where Misurn turns out to be an illegitimate son and excising the subplot involving his brother) in his retelling.
  • All There in the Manual: The omakes, supplementary guide book, and character profiles contain a lot of world-building and personal information that are otherwise only briefly alluded to in the story proper.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Trolls have so far only been seen in Imagine Spots, but it's confirmed that they do exist as a distinct demihuman race, and seem to resemble ugly, brutish humanoids.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: While crossing an underground lake, Team Touden are attacked by a group of merfolk, who are then driven off by a kraken.
  • Amazon Brigade: Shuro's party consists of a group of badass female retainers, each an elite warrior in her own right.
  • Amazonian Beauty: At least from the two examples we’ve seen of their race note Ogre women tend to look like attractive women with horns who also happen to be incredibly muscular and much taller than everyone else.
  • And I Must Scream: In an omake, Laios drew a doodle of himself inside a magic painting, which made the doodle sentient. The party is unaware of this, and then left doodle-Laios inside the painting, all while he's screaming and shouting for them to come back. Shortly afterwards, the doodle gradually forgot his own identity, while the narration simply said that "amateurs shouldn't mess with magic".
  • Animated Armor: Laios laments his inability to cook and eat them, something that he'd been getting accustomed to with other monsters. Turns out they’re a kind of mollusc who mimic armour with their metallic shells. Senshi cooks them like shellfish.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Shuro receives one from Laios of all people, when he suggests killing the newly monster-fied Falin.
  • Asshole Victim: The corpse hunters who stalk Team Kabru and attempt to murder them when they try to leave the dungeon. Kabru rejects the leader's offer of letting his party claim the reward for retrieving the corpses of two members of the hunters' team (who were still alive by the way, just unconscious) and instead stabs him in the throat. They kill the rest of the hunters and dump their bodies in a lake where they'll likely never be recovered.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Dragons are large, strong, and have near impenetrable scales. But there's a gap in the scales on the throat which is located near vital organs; attacking this gap will instantly kill the dragon. Team Touden kills the Red Dragon this way.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The kraken is basically a squid the size of a house. It's even killed and eaten like one.
  • Author Appeal: Delicious, expertly made food. Plus eating a healthy diet and just taking care of yourself in general. Ryoko Kui would like her readers to know that punishing and pushing yourself so hard your output starts to suffer is not a good way to operate.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Teams who delve 24/7 and push to get as deep into the dungeon as they can in the least amount of time. Sounds badass but in reality it means they're exhausting and starving themselves, greatly increasing the odds of making critical errors and suffering a wipe-out or even a Total Party Kill.
    • Marcille's way of harvesting mandrakes (that poor dog!). Though it turns out her way makes them taste better.
  • Bad Boss: Mikbell abuses Kuro's loyalty terribly. The other members of Team Kabru discuss how she's probably barely paying him and just giving him food instead. In all her interactions with Kuro, she treats him more like a pet than a person.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Laios, a Ditzy Genius Magic Knight who is also one of the best and most skilled adventurers on the Island.
    • There's also his sister, Falin, who is just as cute as Laios as well as being a hugely powerful cleric.
  • Badass Beard: Senshi has one. When it poofs out after being washed, it's as wide as he is tall!
  • Badass in Distress:
    • Every member of Team Touden is a bonafide badass and they've all needed rescuing from the perils of the dungeon at some point. Such as when Marcille was caught by a Man-Eating Plant or when all of them, bar Senshi, where possessed by spirits.
    • There's also Shuro's Amazon Brigade party of retainers, most of who were killed or badly injured by Falin's chimera form.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Laios mentions eating monsters around Falin, it looks like Falin is going to be horrified. Instead she is excited. Very excited.
    Chilchuck: Guess you were worried about nothing, huh?
    Marcille: No, I was worried about this.
    • A succubus appears to Laios in the form of Marcille. At first it looks like your run-of-the-mill Ship Tease, but then succubus!Marcille tells Laios that she's actually a monster and can turn him into one as well.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Changelings in this series are a species of mushrooms that form a ring that transform anything that steps in them into a similar species. This explains the change of behavior and appearance when it happens to children. This even affects remains such as when the party tests it by turning Griffin meat into Hippogriff meat. Unfortunately, they all unknowingly step in one when they move on. Laios becomes a dwarf, Marcille a halfling, Chilchuck a human, Senshi an elf and Izutsumi a kobold (with cat ears).
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The dryad flowers resemble naked humans but lack nipples or gentalia. Justified since they're plants and so pollinate each other through kissing and don't nurse their young.
  • Bare Your Midriff When Team Touden decides they need to travel light, Izutsumi dresses this way.
    • The residents of the Golden Kingdom dress Marcille in a number of outfits that expose her belly.
    • Also applies to Marcille when changeling spores turn her into an ogre.
  • Basilisk and Cockatrice:
    • A basilisk is one of the early monsters the party encounters. It looks like a giant chicken with a snake for a tail; it also has poisonous claws. Interestingly, the real head is the snake, and basilisk eggs look more like snake eggs than chicken eggs. Laios mentions that the cockatrice is a close relative to the basilisk which lives deeper inside the dungeon.
    • The party encounters a cockatrice later, and it's clear even at a glance that it's more dangerous than a mere giant chicken. The cockatrice is twice as tall, has a leaner body, longer legs and wings with claws on them, and more reptilian-looking eyes. Also, getting bitten by the snake head turns you to stone.
  • Beast Man: Kobolds look like bipedal dogs.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't waste food in front of Senshi.
    • Zon almost crushes Laios's head when the latter comments on the attractiveness of his wives. After Zon had asked him no less!
    • Don't get in the way when Chilchuck is trying to do his job disarming traps.
    • The normally chilled out Kuro snarls and growls when chimeras are near.
  • Big Bad: The Red Dragon takes the spotlight after eating Falin alive, forcing the party to go save her. The Lunatic Magician is set up as this in the first couple of pages, being the one who created the dungeon by sinking a whole kingdom into the ground, but doesn’t really appear physically and may even be a myth. However, after it is revealed the Magician (aka Thistle) very much exists and is behind the Red Dragon, he solidly takes this role in the story. He cursed the residents of the Golden Kingdom with immortality, executes any who try to escape, attacked Team Touden with the monsters she controls, stole away Falin and mutated her into her chimera form and is just murderously insane in general. Even the people he's "protecting" hate him.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: One of the first monsters Team Touden encounters and subsequently eats is a giant scorpion (although it's smaller than most examples, being only a bit bigger than a lobster). Much later, they are attacked by succubi, which are actually a type of magically disguised giant mosquito.
  • Big Fancy Castle: The castle of the Golden Kingdom. It's so tall its hightest towers stretch almost to the top of the dungeon.
  • Black Comedy:
    • In the battle against the killer rabbits, the entire party aside from Marcille and Izutsumi (who was elsewhere) get quickly killed by the rabbits. Marcille, who is wearing Laios's neck guard which protects her from the rabbit's direct for the throat attacks, proceeds to use necromancy to direct the corpses of her friends to be bait while she uses magic to stun the rabbits before breaking their necks, and then also reanimate's THEIR corpses to bring along, all of the corpses moving exactly the way Marcille is moving (with her allies also having the same expressions.) When she finds Izutsumi, Uzutsumi is so terrified by all the walking corpses that she immediately has a heart attack and dies as well. What stops this from being horrifying and makes it hilarious is the knowledge that Marcille can (and does) revive them after everything is done.
    • Done again in the battle against Thistle, when the latter summoned calamites to face against the party. Everyone but Laius is killed off, and as they die, a recipe annotation is written just above their corpses: Baked Senshi, Chilchak Rui-be, Seawater-pickled Izutsumi, and Shinkei-jime Marcille.
  • Blatant Lies: Marcille telling the others that she is "the picture of good health" after being exposed to the scream of a mandrake. Both her eyes are pointed in opposite directions.
  • Blob Monster: Slimes. Senshi rescues Marcille from one that had engulfed her head, and then shows Team Touden how to prepare and eat them. Apparently they are a delicacy when dried.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • It's suggested that the main reason the party succeeds is the simple fact that they eat well and get regular sleep, where many other adventurers survive off rations and delve 24/7.
    • At one point Marcille offers to disarm some traps with her magic. Laios says it's better to just let Chilchuck do it by hand.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Marcille and Chief Zon have a heated discussion on whether the Orcs are justified in attacking other adventurers for supplies. Zon defend his people actions since the other races drove them off from their lands, forcing them to live in the dungeon and survive in anyway they can. However, Marcille points out it was the Orcs fault they got driven out from their lands in the first place because they constantly raided the other races for supplies instead of trading with them which the other races have enough of the Orcs attacking them and drove them off.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Often happens literally since the entire point of the series is cooking monsters into Food Porn. Senshi's lists of ingredients will usually start out ordinary (oil, salt, vegetables, etc.) only to throw in some monster parts (giant bat flesh, sliced kraken parasite, dryad fruits) as the main ingredient.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Laios's "Idea of a Cool Monster", shown when discussing the merits of chimera, returns nearly forty chapters later as a summoned monster within his dreams to defend himself from a shin.
    • In a very early chapter, we see the things in the dungeon that scare each individual party member. For Chilchuck, one thing is a rabbit. At the bottom of the dungeon, right outside the Mad Sorcerer's house, there is a horde of rabbits that fully justify Chilchuck's fears considering they quickly slaughter the entire party aside from Marcille and Izutsumi.
    • In chapter 61, Kabru is attacked by a shin, causing him to have a nightmare about Laios turning his back on humanity to indulge in his monster obesession. This ends up saving Laios while he tries to escape Thistle's horde of dragons; one of those same shin is killed by a wyrm's poison breath, causing it to spit out an image of Laios amidst the poison mist, making Thistle assume he was caught in it.
  • Brown Note: Anyone, person or monster, who hears a mandrake's scream will immediately go insane. Interestingly, letting them scream before killing them makes them taste better.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": In this world, humans are known as "tallmen" (because they tend to be taller on average than most of the other common races)note .
  • Call-Back: The chapter art for chapter 50, which is after the party gets mutated into different races by changeling mushrooms, is a recreation of the first volume's cover with their new appearances, with the chimera Falin in the background replacing the red dragon and Izutsumi with them.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Comes up a lot. Just how close to human intelligence and appearance do monsters have to be before it becomes unacceptable to eat them?
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Ryoko Kui deliberately designed her cast so that they could all be told apart even if they swapped clothes. Each has their own unique features. This is illustrated beautifully in a page that shows what each of the main cast would like as a human, elf, halfling, dwarf, or gnome. Each character and their race are completely distinct.
  • Cat Girl: Izutsumi, due to her curse.
  • Central Theme: Food. Appreciating it, making it, respecting it, exploring tastes and ingredients, the necessity and pleasures of it.
    • While the main characters have a pretty big goal in gathering food for explorations, it also takes part in the conflicts of the series: they're trying to save a team member from becoming food for the Red Dragon, the Mad Sorcerer doesn't understand the importance or the interest of others in food, being so unattentive to it that when Laios explains it to him, he assumes that trapping people and force-feeding them a nutrient-filled soup is the same.
    • The Greater-Scope Villain's whole deal is that he's looking for something delicious and nutritious for him. The Winged Lion is an Emotion Eater demon that wants to feed on the desires of humans. He wants to feed on Thistle's desires and then continue his meal by turning one of the members of Team Touden, preferably Marcille or Laius, into the next Master of the Dungeon.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In one minor scene Falin off-handedly mention that Laios is great at acting like a dog. This comes into play during the shapeshifter chapter where Laios acts like a vicious hunting dog to scare the shapeshifter (a tanuki like creature) away from its hiding.
  • Chest Monster: Also called mimics here. They're Chilchuck's bane, having been tricked and killed by them many times earlier in his career. A little different than typical mimics, the monster resembles a young hermit crab and uses larger and larger containers as it's "shell". It is even cooked and eaten like a crab.
  • Childhood Friends: Marcille and Falin. They met at magic school.
  • City of Adventure: The sunken kingdom has become part of the dungeon and is alive with dangerous flora, fauna and traps.
  • Climax Boss: The Red Dragon turns out to be this. Team Touden kill it about halfway into the story. After that, the story becomes about saving Falin after she becomes a chimera due to Marcille's resurrection spell accidentally fusing Falin's soul with the Red Dragon's, and ultimately solving the mystery of the dungeon itself.
  • Clingy Costume: The suits they made out of the giant frog skins ended up like this. They didn't have enough time to tan them properly so the blood ended up sticking to their clothing. They ended up removing them between chapters. Marcille mourns that the outfit she was wearing underneath the frog skin was unsalvageable.
  • Cool Old Guy: Mr. and Mrs. Tansu, a pair of elderly gnomes who lead their own party of adventurers. They're both highly capable and Mr. Tansu also works a second job as advisor to the Island's lord.
  • Cool vs. Awesome:
    • Team Touden vs. the Red Dragon.
    • Later on, Team Touden, Team Kabru and Team Shuro vs. chimera!Falin and a flock of harpies controlled by the Lunatic Magician.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: In Chapter 62 we are told that dungeons were actually created by the Precursors to trap demons (in this series, demons are Eldritch Abomination Emotion Eaters from a dimension of infinite energy) Beneath the Earth. Demons attempt to lure adventurers into the dungeons using illusions, false promises, and spawning treasure in order to feed on their desires and gain power. If a demon consumes enough desire, it will grow powerful enough to tear through the dungeon and bring destruction untold upon the surface world.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: The first living painting the party pass has eyes that follow them from panel to panel.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Laios's and Falin's hair and eyes are the same faded blonde/gold.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Izustumi has a pair. Makes sense since she's a cat beastkin.
  • Dating Sim: Parodied. The cover page for chapter 56 is a collection of events from previous chapters, but styled like a dating sim game from Chilchuck's point of view. Apparently, Laios and Senshi are options, too. They also have the highest love meter shown.
  • Daddy Issues: In the nightmares chapter, it's revealed that Laios hasn't spoken to his parents in ten years. It's implied that they consider him a disappointment for choosing a career in Dungeon Crawling and so have cut ties. So far we don't know whether their relationship with Falin is similar.
  • The Dark Arts: Marcille dabbles in forbidden magic, believing that magic is inherently neither good nor evil and only man can be both. Could also be terribly, terribly wrong about this - when she's using forbidden magic to cast dispel on the Lunatic Magician's dragonblood minions, she starts chuckling and smiling as she's spattered with blood, bleeding from the nose, and her eyes are unclear and distant. However this are also symptoms of large usage of mana, which Blood Magic uses so it might just be that.
  • Daytime Drama Queen: An omake after the incident with the shin has the party notice that Marcille's dreams look like a romantic soap opera. They start watching them and over the first "season", everyone aside from Senshi gets super into it with them crying on the last episode. Then they watch the second "season" and everyone but Izutsumi get turned off by the drama getting dragged out pointlessly.
  • Death Is Cheap: Being killed isn't an uncommon occurrence in the dungeon, in fact nearly every member of Laios's part has died at least once before the proper story begins. Due to the magic of the dungeon, souls tend to be tethered to their bodies even after death for a good while. However, the body still needs to be generally intact for revival spells to work. That's why Laios's party is in a hurry to return to where Falin is, as if they are unable to recover her body before it's digested by the dragon that ate her, she will be lost for good.
  • Death World: The dungeon is incredibly dangerous to even be in due to the multitude of hostile monsters and deadly traps. Going it alone is certain death, and going it in groups still doesn't guarantee that the entire group won't be wiped out. However, with the help of necromancing magicians, Death Is Cheap, so many adventurers still try and plunder it.
  • Dem Bones: Walking skeletons are a type of monster that can be found in the titular dungeon. They occur when a dead body is possessed by a wandering spirit and, because the ghost inhabiting it isn't the right one, the flesh rots off but the bones keep moving.
  • Demihuman:
    • Elves, halflings, gnomes, dwarves, and orcs are the most prominent races. Laios argues with Chilchuck over whether or not fish-type mermaids are more monster or demi-human.
    • There are also beastmen in the setting, but they are artificially created when a beast soul and human soul are put in the same vessel. The effects of this can vary from relatively minor changes as we see with Itsuzumi who has grown fur all over her body and grown cat ears and a tail, to rather monstrous changes such as with Falin, who has turned into a giant half human half dragon monstrosity after being fused with a dragon soul.
  • Description Cut: Near the end of Chapter 55, Kabru is seemingly falling to his death, while his internal monologue declaring that he entrusts Laios to conquer this dungeon. Cut to Team Touden once again having been race-swapped by changling mushrooms and then having their bodies changed in goofy ways by wrong application of the cure.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Team Touden decide to use Senshi's adamant cooking pot as a shield against the Red Dragon's fire...forgetting the main reason Senshi converted his ancestral shield into said pot is because one of its properties is spreading heat fast and evenly. Cue Laios dropping the pot in pain after the first blast of fire burns his hands.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: The dragon designs are given very theropod-like anatomical traits, such as tyrannosaur-like heads, and in one case, raptor-like retractable claws. In one of Laios' Imagine Spots, a Velociraptor (among other creatures) is depicted as type of lesser dragon.
  • Disappeared Dad: It's never mentioned what happened to Kabru's father or whether he died with the rest of the village.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The Red Dragon. Just because Team Touden have tracked down and killed it, doesn't mean their adventure is close to being over.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The Lunatic Magician views dungeon crawlers as thieves and deals with said adventurers either by feeding them to monsters or burning them alive. Note that most of these unfortunate folks have no idea any of the residents of the Golden Kingdom are even still alive. They just see it as collecting resources from a culture that died out long ago.
  • Downer Beginning: The manga begins with Falin being eaten by the Red Dragon, then two members of her team leaving instead of sticking around to help her brother rescue her. Fortunately it gets less depressing from there.
  • Dramatic Irony: The Lunatic Magician is desperately searching for the king of the Golden Kingdom...who the reader saw crawling up to the surface and promptly crumbling into dust. On the very first page of the series. Even when he is told right to his face that the king is long dead, he refuses to believe it.
  • Dream Emergency Exit: Marcille gets trapped in a nightmare by a clam-like creature called a nightmare, hidden in her pillow and feeding on her distress. The safest way to wake someone attacked like this is for someone else to fall asleep on top of them, entering their dream and helping them fight it off, which Laios does. It turns out Marcille’s worst nightmare is seeing all her friends and family die before she does, and she’s only able to escape when Laios inspires her to manifest her greatest desire, the Lunatic Magician’s spellbook, which contains the secret of immortality. When Marcille wakes up, all she remembers about the nightmare is going on an adventure with a funny dog.
  • Dream Sequence: Chapter 42 is about Laios going into Marcille's dream to rescue her from a pack of nightmares that have trapped her there. It starts with Laios already in his own dream and quickly moves onto Marcille's once he remembers where he is.
  • *Drool* Hello: In the first chapter, some slime drips on Marcille's head from a crack in the ceiling. But the early warning isn't enough for her to avoid a Blob Monster to the face.
  • Dungeon-Based Economy: Delving the sunken kingdom is a mainstay of the region's economy, including supporting niche industries like body recovery, tourism, and maintaining campgrounds. Slightly deconstructed in that the upper levels of the dungeon have been picked clean already, so most of the wealth is from searching for secret passages, harvesting monster parts, or trading with the orcs and outlaws that decided to live in the dungeon.
    • Even more interestingly, a flashback with Marcille shows that dungeons are a natural phenomenon. Building one, even a tiny one in a glass jar, will generate magic and spawn monsters. Falin reveals she's extremely good at it, even carefully cultivating a cave's ecology to be a self-sustaining source of magic. The economy is based on making dungeons, not just looting them!
  • Dungeon Crawling: A major industry and social activity for adventurers.
  • Dungeon Maintenance: Basically the entire point, but particularly evident in the oddly convenient toilets set aside throughout the dungeons which Senshi is using to harvest fertilizer for his golem fields.
    • On a larger scale, the Mad Sorcerer acts as dungeon maintenance for the dungeon as a whole. A flashback to Marcille's school days shows that mage students create a tiny dungeon in a jar called a "dungeonium" as a project. The large-scale dungeons are generally run by people who make a pact with a demon.
  • Dungeon Shop: The first floor has turned a cemetery into a social hub and marketplace. A few black-market shops have also set up in the lower levels, populated mainly by renegades and rogues. There's a village of orcs further down, too, but they’re usually not so into trade.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Falin dies making a Heroic Sacrifice to save her team from a Total Party Kill by the Red Dragon. She gets resurrected later.
  • Eats Babies: In an omake a human-type mermaid is shown eating a piscine-type mermaid's hatchling.
  • Eldritch Location: The titular dungeon. Really, just dungeons in general: they drip with magic, swarm with monsters and death itself is forbidden there.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: In the past, elves fought with dwarves (with gnomes also allying to the dwarves) over the ownership of the island. Elves won, but then gave it to humans because it was too big to take care of.
  • Emotion Eater: The nightmares trap their victims in never ending bad dreams and feed on the fear they (the victims) feel.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The dungeon is full of hostile fauna and flora, plus numerous traps. Marcille mentions that monsters differ from normal animals in that their aggression is stronger than their instincts of self-preservation.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Spirits freeze things with a touch. Senshi realizes that this has caused his bottle of "holy water" to become sorbet.
  • Exotic Extended Marriage: In a bonus chapter, the orc chief points out three different women in the village as his wives. It's unclear if this is standard practice for all orc men, or a special privilege of the chief.
  • Eyes Always Shut:
    • Falin is drawn like this most of the time, though she does open them during more serious moments, such as when she's possessed by the Lunatic Magician.
    • Mrs. Tansu also has them.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The series starts with one: Falin getting eaten alive by the Red Dragon.
    • Several newbie adventurers get caught, paralyzed and digested by man-eating plants.
    • One of Chilchuck's early deaths happened when he was stabbed through the throat by a mimic.
  • Fantastic Aesop: Eating monsters is a much better idea than trying to survive on nutritionally limited rations from the surface.
  • Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Pollinated dryad flowers turn into pumpkin-like fruits with human faces on them. Laios is appropriately excited to eat them and Marcille equally appropriately freaked out.
  • Fantastic Racism: According to Ryoko Kui's artbook, halflings suffer from discrimination. Although this is only briefly touched upon in the manga itself:
    • In one instance, Namari tells Laios to never buy weapons from a store run by halflings.
    • In an omake, it's mentioned one way to avoid mermaids is to bring a halfling on the ship. The halfling, who has sharper senses, will hear the mermaids' song first (and possibly die) while the other crew members steer to safety.
    • In one chapter when Marcille asks Chilchuck why he doesn't learn magic, Chilchuck says that halflings who come into possession of magical artifacts often end up being kidnapped by elves, never to be seen again.
    • According to Izutsumi, halflings are known as such due to a large number of them having a single foot cut off over thefts.
  • Fantastic Slurs: The orcs call humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings as long-legs, long-ears, depths-dwellers, and little men respectively.
  • Fantasy Metals:
    • Senshi's cooking pot is made of adamant. It was originally a family heirloom shield; but having no use for it and being more interested in cooking, he turned it into a pot, much to Namari's chagrin. Apparently it can withstand dragon's breath and the party even uses it to trap an angry undine in one chapter. It also spreads heat evenly when cooking.
    • Senshi's kitchen knife is made of mithril. It can even slice through dragon scales, though it doesn't have much effect since it's only the size of a regular knife.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The reason that Only Mostly Dead works is that when in a dungeon, one's soul doesn't leave the body right away. The trade-off is that if a resurrect spell isn't used, the person will become undead; their body into a zombie; their soul into a ghost.
  • Find the Cure!: One chapter involves Laios, Senshi, and Chilchuck trying to find a cure for Marcille after she is turned to stone by a cockatrice.
  • Food Porn: From the Giant Scorpion and Walking Mushroom Hotpot to Mandrake and Basilisk Omelette, every recipe created is rendered in loving, mouth-watering detail.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Kuro snarling at Asebi/Izustumi hints at the fact she's a chimera, since he reacts in exactly the same way when the newly chimera-fied Falin appears.
    • The first time Falin holds Kensuke, it immediately jumps out of her hands. Up till then, Kensuke had only rattled or moved when confronted with a powerful enemy monster. This is the first hint that Falin has Come Back Wrong and that the soul of the Red Dragon still lives on inside her.
    • The motif of a winged lion is everywhere in the dungeon, from statues to carvings to Living Armor, even on the upper levels. It turns out that this was hinting at a real creature: the winged lion that guards the people of the Golden Kingdom and is part of the prophecy that might see the Lunatic Magician beaten for good.
    • A meta example. Most chapters of the manga are named after a monster that is being hunted to be turned into food, or the dish that the team prepares to eat. During the second battle against Thistle, the chapters are named after him, much like the multi-chapter fight against the red dragon, which also ends up as a meal. The fight ends with The Winged Lion eating Thistle desires and turning him into an Empty Shell, making him the dish that was served at the end of this arc, except the dish was for the demon, not the party.
  • The Four Loves: All are present in the series:
    • Siblings Falin and Laios are storge.
    • All of Team Touden are phileo.
    • Shuro's romantic love for Falin is eros.
    • All-Loving Hero Falin is agape.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Laios is holding one on the cover of volume one. It's part of a Running Gag of characters using cooking implements as weapons on the covers.
  • Gemstone Assault: Treasure bugs which, indeed, look like treasure, such as coins, rings, and even a tiara. While there are some that look like cut and polished gemstones, they haven't been encountered yet.
  • Gender-Bent Alternate Universe: In one omake, Laios uses a magic mirror to see what it would be like if he or various other people were the opposite gender. Every reality it shows indicates the party would never form or falls apart early, except the one where everyone is the opposite gender, which shows an image of burning ruin and bones.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The original Team Touden was this, with three women (Falin, Marcille and Namari) and three men (Laios, Shuro and Chilchuck) before Falin is eaten by the Red Dragon in the first chapter and the party breaks up.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Team Touden are all heroic characters, but they don't hesitate to cut down the monsters of the dungeon, including demi-humans. Laios even lectures Senshi about how no one can ever know what a monster is thinking and so to try and treat them gently is suicidal. He's immediately proved right when Anne, the kelpie Senshi had become close to, tries to kill and eat the dwarf. Laios and Senshi kill her and they make her into their next meal.
  • G-Rated Sex: At one point, the party comes across three dryads pollinating each other. Senshi mistakes them for humans and thinks they're actually getting ready to do it.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Certain races can intermingle and bear children. So far, the only example (Marcille) is of human and elven lineage, having the sturdiness of the former and the longevity of the latter. Unlike most fantasy examples, however, mixed-race children are sterile, much like mules.
  • Harping on About Harpies: The Lunatic Magician sends a group of harpies to attack Team Touden and Team Shuro. They're dealing with them fine, but then she sends in Falin...
  • Headless Horseman: In chapter 57, Laios is nearly killed by a horseless dullahan, but it spares his life in exchange for the body of the conveniently decapitated bicorn the party had just killed, which becomes its steed.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Laios, Namari, Kabru and Shuro (three warriors and a samurai, respectively) all wear full armor below the neck but lack helmets.
  • Hobbits: Chilchuck is a halfling with keen senses. He is so light that he can avoid setting off pressure plate traps, and also has a very youthful appearance. As we see with Marcille when she gets morphed into a halfling, Halflings don't seem to have very good magical aptitude, with Marcille tiring and getting a nosebleed after a single fireball spell. They are also fairly short-lived.
  • Holy Water: In Chapter 11, when the party is attacked by a large group of spirits, Senshi makes some holy water on the fly by creatively interpreting the items they have on hand with any possible religious background and randomly throwing them together to create "deluxe multicultural holy water". He then ties the jar of it to a rope, and swings the holy water at the spirits like a flail to dispel them. It not only works but, since the spirits are so cold, the jar is frozen, turning the holy water in tasty holy sorbet.
  • Hope Spot: The brief period after Team Touden got Falin back before she is taken by the Lunatic Magician.
  • Hunk: Laios and Shuro. Both are handsome and well built men.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted:
    • The series runs on this. Almost all of the dungeon monsters encountered try to kill Team Touden, only for them to kill and eat the monsters instead.
    • The Red Dragon defeats Team Touden in Chapter 1 and eats Falin, so they track it down to kill it and get her back. When they confront it and their plan goes wrong, it starts chasing them again until they can regroup and finish it off for good.
  • Hybrid Monster: Walking mushrooms are low-level type of fungus monster equivalent to the The Goomba, although there are a much tougher giant variant. There are also changlings, which are a non-animate magical fungus which release spores that cause entities to change into something different (but related to the original form in some way). We find there are walking changling mushrooms, which also come in a giant variant.

    Tropes I to P 

  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Laios tries this on chimera!Falin. He seems to be getting through to her...until Kabru attacks and she goes berserk again.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter is named after the dish the party cook in its pages, e.g. "Hotpot" and "Tart".
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Some of the members of the Golden Kingdom are excited to try out the clothes they've created on Marcille. It turns out that thousands of years of immortality and separation from the rest of the world results in odd tastes in fashion.
  • I See Dead People: Laios starts seeing a ghost after Marcille begins teaching him magic. At first he thinks it's a mana sickness hallucination and tries to ignore it, but the party later realize it's actually there and trying to communicate with them.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Though not directly mentioned in the manga, Ryoko Kui's artbook reveals that the human twins Kiki and Kaka count as this. The elderly gnome couple, Mr. and Mrs. Tansu, aren't their employers - they're the twins' parents, who raised them from infancy after they were abandoned by their birth family.
  • Jerkass: The corpse hunters who resurrect Team Kabru. They deliberately don't tell them how they died the first time (treasure bugs) on the off chance the bugs might wipe them out again, and so get the hunters even more money in resurrection fees. Later on they disguise themselves as monsters and try to straight up murder them. It does not go well.
  • Kill It with Fire: Undines, oddly enough, considering they're water spirits.
  • Killed Off for Real: Any adventurers whose bodies are completely destroyed or who have been dead long enough for their soul to break away from their corpse. Only Mostly Dead stops working if there's no body to work with or no link left between body and soul.
  • Killer Rabbit: One of the monsters Chilchuck imagines in Chapter 1 resembles a small, fluffy rabbit. This turns out to be a reference to a real deep-dungeon beast, a rabbit known for decapitating adventurers that seems to be a direct Shout-Out to the Trope Namer. Indeed, it turns out to be one of the most dangerous monsters the party faces, as an encounter with them results in everyone except Marcille being killed; the first deaths of the main character in the story outside of flashbacks.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Dwarves value blacksmithing and mining above all other professions; Senshi's seen as an oddball at best for eschewing those in favor of hunting, cooking and farming.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: Team Touden encounters a kraken while crossing the underground lake. After killing it, they cook up some grilled squid, which turns out to be inedibly bitter (presumably due to the ammonium chloride in its tissues that giant squid use instead of a swim bladder to modulate their buoyancy).
  • Loads and Loads of Races: This manga features many races as befitting fantasy story. The main party alone has a human (known as "tallmen" here), an elf (actually a half-elf), a dwarf, a halfling, and a Cat Girl.
  • Local Reference: The series takes place on an island that seems like your average Medieval European Fantasy, except there are also characters who come from the "East". Which is basically medieval Japan, giving the creator an excuse to use some characters from her own country. One even joins the party later on, so we have four Western-type fantasy characters and one Japanese Cat Girl ninja.
  • The Lost Lenore:
    • King Delgal is a platonic example for the Lunatic Magician. She's been searching desperately for him ever since the series began, not realizing a) he's already dead and b) he died begging that she be defeated.
    • Falin for Shuro. He had even proposed to her before she was eaten though she hadn't given him and answer and it's currently unknown if she returned his feelings at all. Later subverted when he gives up on trying to save her from her chimera form and decides to go back to the East instead.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: Kabru's team, another party of adventurers who don't know a thing about cooking monsters, occasionally take the spotlight and are inevitably all killed before the focus switches back to the main characters passing their corpses.
    • This has happened twice already — once with treasure bugs who paralyzed/stunned the entire group and they would've been possessed by spirits had Marcille not prayed over them, and again when a small, teasing argument between Kabru and Rin over humanoid mermaids caused them to be ambushed and killed by piscine mermaids.
    • They has been given more development in Chapters 32-33. They survived their last two encounters, one of which was against the corpse hunters who seem to be intent on killing them and profiting off their deaths. And they've figured out that Laios's party was the group that "stole their treasure", and think that they have unsavory motives, and are now making moves to stop them.
  • Man-Eating Plant: In the second chapter Marcille is attacked by some of these. Laios saved her, then asked whether being wrapped up by a parasitic plant's vines felt good or not. Later on, they cook their fruit into a tart.
  • Mega Dungeon: While the concept of "dungeon" is a nebulous idea, most of the story is centered around the dungeon that was once the Golden Kingdom.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • What's the best thing to do when you encounter a fire-spewing trap? Use its fuel and flame, perfect for deep frying! Find a guillotine trap? It's great for cutting up the meat of large monsters!
    • Golems are creatures made of earth moved by magic to protect certain parts of the dungeon. They're also great places to plant vegetables, especially since they can take care of themselves and maintain the good quality of the soil.
    • Senshi's cooking pot was originally a shield made of adamant. Having no need for a shield and being more interested in cooking, Senshi uses his shield as a pot instead. He takes advantage of the adamant's heat spreading properties for the mundane task of cooking good meals. Not to mention his cooking knife made of mithril. He also used his axe as a spit to roast the basilisk with.
    • Marcille gets petrified by a cockatrice at one point. While her team tries to find a way to cure her, they use her as a pickle press.
    • So you've found some mushrooms that can transmute seemingly anything into something similar, up to and including species? Use them to get some variety in your dumplings!
  • Mushroom Man: Walking mushrooms are one of the weaker monsters present in the dungeon and come in many, many shapes, including giant forms and changling variants. Apparently, they rival dragons in popularity among all monsters.
  • Mondegreen: Shuro is later revealed to be Japanese-like warrior whose name is Toshiro, but the Western-like cast misheard it.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 67 probably broke a few readers necks in its sudden tone change as it goes from a cute and wholesome scene of Monster!Farlyn enjoying a giant helping of curry and taking a nap, to Laius sneaking up on her and brutally strangling her to death.
  • Mouth To Mouth Force Feeding: Played for laughs when the orc captain helps to heal the wounded party. She force-feeds the unconscious a grotesque Healing Potion made of ground-up frog legs, tentacles, herbs and other unknown ingredients, and it does seem to revive them a bit. When Marcille's turn comes up, she desperately tries to convince the captain that she doesn't meed any medicine... but is too weak from mana loss to stop her from getting the same mama bird treatment.
  • Mythology Gag: The cover of chapter 50 has the main characters in the exact same poses they were taking as on the cover of volume 1.
  • Named Weapon: Both Laios and Marcille named their respective weapon. Laios named his living sword "Kensuke" and Marcille called her staff "Ambrosia".
  • Nightmare Fetishist:
    • Laios admits in the first chapter that he's always liked and been fascinated by monsters. It's part of the reason he wants to eat them and see what they taste like.
    • There are whole communities of people on the surface who are interested in monsters. Walking mushrooms and dragons are apparently two of the most popular types.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot:
  • No Body Left Behind: Thoroughly averted, since the party needs to harvest the corpses in order to get ingredients. This includes draining the blood, deboning them, etc.
  • Noob Cave: Deconstructed. The first level of the dungeon has been cleared out so thoroughly that merchants have been setting up businesses there and it's crowded with more and more people. It's implied that this is exactly what the dungeon wants, and numerous characters note what a bad idea it is.
  • No Name Given:
    • So far we don't know the name of Zon's son or Zon's little sister.
    • The lord of the Island hasn't been named yet.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted. There are toilets scattered round the dungeon which are maintained by Senshi. He uses them to collect fertilizer for his golem fields.
  • No-Sell: Marcille's incredibly explosive spell does absolutely nothing to the kraken. Turns out she just hit the wrong spot.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: The piscine-type merfolk have hair despite being more closely related to fish than mammals. Later subverted when it turns out to actually be water plants rooted to their scalps.
  • Noob Cave: The first few levels of the dungeon. The flora, fauna and traps are mild enough that only total beginners tend to get wiped out there.
  • Noodle Incident: Early on, Chilchuk claims to have once gotten caught by a trap that spits out hot oil. He says it was "worse than dying instantly," and Marcille agrees that it was awful to watch... but the incident gets no further elaboration from there.
  • Older Than They Look: Sort of a racial trait of all halflings in this setting. They lack the stout proportions of dwarves and gnomes, which, paired with their short stature and baby-faced features, makes most of them look like human tweens at the oldest. The only exception seems to be a few older or unhealthier individuals, who tend to take on sort of a gaunt, Smeagol-ish appearance.
  • Once Per Chapter/Strictly Formula: Team Touden encounter a monster, Laios squees over it, they kill it, Senshi cooks it into Food Porn, Marcille freaks out over eating it. Then Volume 4 comes around...
  • Only Mostly Dead: There's some kind of hard limit on how long a body can lie around before being revived, but the magic to do so seems plentiful and non-costly, at least in the dungeon itself. In fact, it seems to be an aspect of the dungeon itself, it cannot be done outside a dungeon.
    • This is addressed by ex-party member Namari, who explains that losing even 1/13th of your body permanently (i.e. disintegration) causes resurrection magic to become far less reliable - and being turned to ash renders you permanently dead to all but the greatest clerics. Heaven forbid you get shattered after you're petrified.
    • It's also addressed even further in that meat of some kind is required for any kind of resurrection that involves either purely skeletal remains or heavily rotted remains - immense amounts of calories are needed for the body to both reform and get back to working order. As such, goat or pig meat is used. This also means that deep dungeon resurrections of such a kind are nigh impossible for this reason and one other:
    • While souls are chained to bodies after death, the bonds weaken over time, creating spirits. However, the moment a spirit is made manifest, resurrection becomes totally impossible as there's no longer any connection between soul and body. Falin was barely hours or days away from becoming a spirit. Marcille's envisioning of the bonds keeping her soul tethered to her skeleton is that only one decrepit bond remains, necessitating the elf's use of forbidden Blood Magic.
  • Only One Name: Senshi, Marcille, Chilchuck, Namari, Kabru, Thistle... there are more characters known by only one name than there are those with full names.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons hail from a plane of infinite mana and appear out of enchanted mirrors to feed on mortals' desires. More complex and rare desires are more satiating, so "I want to be rich" isn't as powerful as "I want to live the life I could have had if I hadn't made mistakes". As the mortal indulges their wish, a dungeon forms around them and grows steadily larger and more intricate. Eventually, the demon consumes all of the mortal's desires, even things like the need for food or sleep, and breaks free to the surface to wreak havoc.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Various types of dragons, of different sizes and strengths, live below the earth in the titular dungeon. The Big Bad’s Dragon is a large, powerful red colored dragon with no wings. They're also said to be basically invincible with the except of a soft spot under their jaw.
    • The Dream Stealer "Shin", which resemble small clams, are said by Laios to be another type of dragon, much to Marcille's disbelief (this is a nod to their mythological origin of being dragons shapeshifted into the form of clams).
    • Chapter 69 shows off the various different species of dragons and their abilities. Aside from the red dragon and the Shin, there's green dragons (which have wings), wyverns (which have wings as forelimbs), white dragons (which are furry and have ice breath), the aquatic leviathan, the cave-dwelling wyrm that spits poison gas (and resembles a huge giant salamander), and eastern dragons, which can fly without wings and create storms.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Dwarves spend their time mining and digging holes underground. Males have long, unkempt beards. Females lack the facial hair, but both genders are short and stout compared to humans. They also have high interest in ores, gems, and minerals. Senshi is an exception since he likes cooking better than mining. Namari, a female dwarf, is highly versed in metals and weaponry. They tend to be physically stronger than the other races, but their stamina is rather poor, meaning they aren't great with prolonged fights and need to rest more often than the other races. Somewhat atypically, this means they also don't tend to wear much armor, as it compounds their stamina issues. Incidentally, halflings think they’re good looking, as they basically look like ultra-manly halflings.
  • Our Elves Are Different: Elves here have Pointy Ears and round androgynous faces, live longer than humans, and specialize in magic. If Laios is to be believed, humans in general think they're good-looking, especially the long ears. Physically they tend to be one of the weaker races, though. Other races tend to dislike them; the fact that the elves don't have much consideration for other races' shorter lifespans doesn't help. It's noted that when elves take people to their homeland, since they live for centuries, they will take their sweet time interrogating their prisoners. Even if said prisoner is innocent of any crimes, the process takes so long they will often be elderly when finally set free.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Gnomes are second only to elves when it comes to magic. Their ears are higher up on their heads than other races and they are about the same height as dwarves. They also apparently can communicate with nature spirits.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: Goblins have so far only been seen in Imagine Spots, but it's confirmed that they do exist as a distinct demihuman race, and seem to resemble ugly, brutish humanoids.
  • Our Humans Are Different: In an omake it's specified that elves, dwarves, gnomes, ogres, and halflings all fall under the umbrella of "human" in this world (while human humans are called "tallmen"). This is determined by the fact they all have the same number of bones, while other races like goblins, kobolds, and orcs do not and this counts them as "demihuman".
  • Our Kobolds Are Different: Kobolds are a race of humanoid dogs who live underground and have heightened senses of smell and resistance to poison. The most prominent example is Kuro, a member of Kabru's party.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: There are two types of merfolk. The first is human-type merfolk, which look like traditional mermaids. They can sing enchanting songs to lure adventurers into the water. The other is fish-type merfolk (mermen), which wield tridents and look like fish with human arms. They're more fish than human though, since they hatch from eggs and spend their juvenile stage looking like regular fish. The two species are apparently unrelated, as a mermaid happily eats a juvenile merman in a side-chapter.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different: Dryads' main bodies are their actual plants, and their humanoid selves are actually their mobile flowers. They're also monosexual, as there are male and female flowers. Pollinated flowers later turn into pumpkin-like fruits with human faces on them.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Only female ogres have been seen in the story so far (Tade from Shuro's party, and Marcille when she turned into an ogre by changelings), but they appear to resemble very tall and muscular Horned Humanoids that are based on Oni rather than Western ogres, and possess Super Toughness and strength. According to an omake, they are only found in the eastern regions, but even there they are a Dying Race.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Orcs here are Proud Warrior Race Guy. They tend to be big and barrel-shaped, and vaguely boar-like, with pig noses and small horns and tusks. While their unsavory reputation as savage raiders is both justified and not as clear-cut as it appears, they value courage, strength, and honesty and dislike cowardice. Senshi is on relatively good terms with the orcs who live in the dungeon, which in turn make them treat the party relatively well. They have different standards of beauty than other humanoid races; according to them, elves are hideous.
  • Physical Attribute Swap: Team Touden steps in a circle of changeling mushrooms that makes them all swap races. While they enjoy their new bodies' physical capabilities at first, the party finds the experience insufferable after a while and try to figure out a way to swap back. Notably, the mushrooms can also do things like change a gargoyle into Manneken Pis.
  • Pig Man: The orcs in this series resemble humanoid pigs, including have mottled pinkish skin, short snouts, upward-curving tusks, only walking on two-toed feet, and orc children having striped bodies.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: When the party reach the Golden City, the tailors there make one of these for both Marcille and Izutsumi.
  • Plant Hair: Piscine-type merfolk attach water plants to their heads and store their eggs inside.
  • Plant Person: Dryads are combinations of this and actual plants. Their main bodies are plants, but their flowers are humanoid and can move around. They're also monosexual, as there are male and female flowers. Pollinated flowers later turn into pumpkin-like fruits with human faces on them.
  • Portal Picture: When the party is starving, Laios jumps into a living painting to try and eat the food depicted there. It works, but when he jumps back out, the food disappears from his stomach and he's left hungry again.
  • Power-Up Food: At one point, Marcille runs out of mana and eats soup made out of an undine (which contain a large quantity of mana) to replenish it quickly.
  • Public Execution: The Lunatic Magician executes members of the Golden Kingdom who had tried to escape and find help. She beheads them in front of the rest of the villagers.

    Tropes Q to Z 

  • Rapid-Fire "No!": Senshi reacts this way when Team Touden encounter a griffon. Unfortunately, this ends up attracting the griffon's attention and it proceeds to swoop down and carry the poor guy off.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Even tied up, Marcille's hair reaches her waist.
  • Reality Ensues: It’s implied Shuro is the stronger of the two but thanks to Shuro’s malnutrition and lack of sleep, Laios, who has been eating and sleeping well, is able to come out on top when the two men resort to fisticuffs against one another.
  • Reconstruction: One of the joys of the manga is taking the whole concept of Dungeon Crawling and examining how it could be made to work realistically, from its socioeconomic implications to monster ecology to the simple question of "what separates a 'dungeon' from a regular abandoned mine, fortress, etc." Then it takes that and starts extrapolating how dungeon crawling fits in on a broader geopolitical scale...
  • Red Herring:
    • The box that Chilchuck noticed during the mimic chapter turns out to be just that, a normal box. The real mimic was the much larger box in the corner.
    • During the doppelgänger business, one of the Marcille's states that she has mostly gotten over her issue with eating monsters, after having eaten all sorts of things like merfolk eggs. Laios realizese she is the doppelganger Marcille not due to that but due to her casually pouring out boiling water, an action that earlier in the story nearly got her killed by an angry undine. Marcille assumes that the merfolk eggs are what tipped Laios off, but is horrified to learn that that part was true, Chilchuck just made Laios keep quiet about that.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Many, many idle instances of dialogue and minor details become much more significant on a second read, even before the series is finished. For example, from the very first chapter, there's a background instance of Chilchuck and Marcille acting doubtful when Senshi says he's been living in the dungeon for a decade. From Laious' thoughts on chimeras to Anne the kelpie to the Elite Mook living armor, there are many things that become much more important as the story goes on.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The dog form of dream!Laios that Marcille sees, much to his irritation since he had imagined himself as a badass wolf.
  • Rocket Jump: Laios sits on Senshi's indestructible pot while Marcille activates a detonation spell underneath it in order to get on the Red Dragon's head.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: A rare manga example; the Dungeon Rabbits have the force necessary to break a full-grown Dwarf's neck in a single kick, while simulateously cutting through the neck with a bladed foot for good measure, but a single thrown knife from Izutsumi can kill one instantly, even if it doesn't hit a vital organ. The problem comes from a pointed deconstruction of Conservation of Ninjutsu; there are far more rabbits than there are members of Laios' party, and that quickly gets reduced to just Marcille, who is the only one with neck protection.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: King Delgal was the only member of the Golden Kingdom who managed to escape, retain his sanity and reach the surface to get help for his people. He kicks off the plot by promising his kingdom to anyone who can defeat the Lunatic Magician, i.e. the Big Bad who trapped him and his subjects in the first place.
  • RPG-Mechanics Verse: Largely averted; even though the world is clearly based on Dungeon Crawling and there's the occasional mention of monster levels, nobody ever talks about stats or refers to the world as anything other than completely real.
    • It is elaborated upon that some RPG elements, such as resurrection, only apply within the confines of the dungeon itself and don't work in the world outside of it. One of the proposed theories in-universe being that death itself is not allowed inside the dungeons and that souls are chained to their bodies after death, eventually becoming zombies if not treated quickly enough.
  • Samurai Ponytail: Shuro has one.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Shuro and Namari both leave Team Touden after the Red Dragon attack at the beginning of the series. Shuro intends to return to the dungeon to rescue Falin by himself, while Namari simply moves on to other work.
    • Kensuke flees during the battle with the Red Dragon. Chilchuck finds it again a few chapters later.
    • After he learns that killing the Red Dragon put a giant target on his and the party's backs, Chilchuck briefly tries to find some way to trick Laios and Marcille into giving up on Falin and leaving the dungeon for their own good. He fails and decides to stay with them anyway despite the increased danger.
    • Happens again with Shuro after he and his party face down chimera!Falin and, later on, he loses his fist fight with Laios. Believing he's lost Falin forever, he tells the rest of Team Touden that he intends to go home to the East and never return to the Island.
  • Sea Serpents: Kabru's party encounters one, which resembles an enormous finned snake. They're also venomous, with poison strong enough to knock out a whale and instantly kill a human.
  • Shovel Strike: Senshi takes down three earth golems using a shovel. Appropriate as he was using them as gardens for growing vegetables!
  • Sibling Team:
    • Laios and Falin Touden, brother and sister dungeon crawlers.
    • There's also Kiki and Kaka, twins and the warrior duo of their party.
  • Sick Episode:
    • After battling an angry undine, Marcille runs out of mana and becomes very weak. She's bedridden for a while and the rest of Team Touden, plus others, have to find a cure. Their solution is to make the same undine into soup and let her drink it since undine are full of mana.
    • Another one occurs when they fight a Cockatrice. Happens twofolds; having just learned how to use magic, Laios tries it out but suffers from Mana Sickness as a result and ends up taken out of action. Just as the rest of them stumble upon a Cockatrice. Because they lack Laios as a tank and fighter, Marcille ends up getting bitten and turned to stone. The remainder of the chapter is Laios and Senshi trying to figure out a way to cure her.
  • Sirens Are Mermaids: Mermaids (the type that appear more human) in this setting can sing songs that hypnotize those who hear it to drag them into water. Apparently they dislike others joining on their song, as Laios finds out when he tries singing along.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: While virtually every member of the party gets put into amusing situations, it's generally going to be Marcille who will be the current issue's Butt-Monkey.
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • Marcille is the only female member of Team Touden (after Falin is eaten by the Red Dragona and Namari leaves, both in the first chapter) until Falin is saved and, later on, Izutsumi joins the party.
    • Shuro's team is an inverted example with him being The One Guy in what's otherwise an Amazon Brigade.
  • Spikes of Doom: Many of the dungeon's traps are either spike pits or spikes that shoot up from the floor.
  • Spontaneous Generation: It's indicated that dungeons spawn monsters naturally as they evolve and grow; the older and bigger a dungeon gets, the more numerous and more powerful monsters get generated (although monsters can also breed naturally). Mages are also capable of creating a living familiar from organic matter (like meat and vegetables), although the necessary spell is difficult and requires a lot of resources.
  • Spot the Imposter: In chapter 39, the party is infiltrated by shape-shifters and they have to determine who is real before they fall asleep (because the shape-shifter will kill and eat the real one). While they're able to determine several of them as fake by obvious physical differences (including all of Laios'), the last three copies Laios has to figure out by their behaviour alone.
  • Spot the Thread:
    • Laios manages to figure out Senshi's last copy because it took all that he could rather than all that it needed while collecting ingredients from the dungeon, which went against Senshi's sentiment of trying to keep the dungeon's ecosystem in balance, he figures out Chilchuck's last copy because it sat on a random crate without thinking, while the real Chilchuck is extremely cautious around containers in dungeons because they very often contain dangerous traps or monsters, and he figures out Marcille's last copy because she dumped out a pot of boiling water without thinking, when earlier, doing this angered an undine that almost killed her. But in a comedic twist, he realizes because of this carelessness that this was probably the real Marcille.
    • Unscrupulous corpse hunters cast an illusion spell on Kabru and his party that gives them the appearance of monsters in an attempt to trick them into killing each other. However, Kabru is able to deduce that the "monsters" are his party members purely by their subtle Character Tics, and quickly sees through the illusion, and then turning the tables on the corpse hunters.
  • Stealth Pun: The English title Delicious in Dungeon to D&D, Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Seems to actually be part of the dungeon ecosystem, with powerful mid-level bosses preventing deep-level boss monsters from forcing lesser species further up and overrunning the easier levels.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • There are many differences in the spelling of names between the official english release and the fan translated release. For instance, is it Laius Thorden or Laios Touden? It just keeps going from there.
    • However, the release of The Adventurer's Bible confirms the official English release's translations as the proper names through Ryoko Kui herself, with fan translations following suit.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzle: Marcille inadvertently creates a complex Rendezvous Puzzle for herself when she animates the corpses of the rest of her party and the dungeon rabbits who attacked them. All of the bodies move along with her, but are in different positions, meaning some might get stuck on a tree or shrub while trying to move along with her. Then she realizes she has to get all of them through a narrow door. We don't see her solve this but it's implied it takes hours.
  • Succubus: The party is attacked by a whole horde of them, with the monsters assuming forms that make the attacked drop down their guard. They are essentially mosquitoes with Glamour, though it is said that proper succubus demons may exist.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Falin has them. Laios too, and it becomes this trope when he starts learning healing magic.
  • Taken for Granite: At one point Marcille is turned to stone by a cockatrice. The party use her as a pickle press while they try to turn her back. Unlike most examples of this trope, the effects are temporary but still takes a long time to wear off naturally and they obviously can't afford to wait.
  • Tastes Like Chicken: Basilisk. Considering it looks like an oversized rooster with a snake for a tail, makes some sense.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: Senshi's greatest fear is that he had to eat another member of his former mining party to survive, though it's ambiguous whether the miner who fed the meat to him lied about it being griffin or not. Laius speculates that the meat may have come a similar-looking but still different monster, a hippogriff.
  • The Talk: After the fight with the dryads, Senshi, apparently mistaking Chilchuck for a child, attempts to give him the talk. (It should be mentioned that Chilchuck is married and has multiple kids.)
  • Token Wizard: Marcille the Wizard is Team Touden's only magic user.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The newbie party that Team Touden run into are almost completely wiped out by a basilisk. When their leader is running from it, he turns his back and it kicks him with its poisoned spurs. Laios remarks that turning your back on a basilisk is asking to be killed. Needless to say, the last two members only survive because Laios and Senshi save them.
    • Kabru's party find a box of treasure and immediately start playing with the coins and wearing the jewelry. This despite the fact treasure bugs are a well known dungeon hazard. They all end up paralyzed and have to be rescued by a team of corpse hunters.
  • Total Party Kill:
    • In the beginning, the party loses all their supplies, is hungry, and is not in the best condition to fight the Red Dragon. Said monster would have wiped them all if not for Falin's sacrifice to distract it and cast a teleportation spell on the rest of the party.
    • Prevented again by Falin shortly after she was resurrected. Senshi accidentally detonated the Red Dragon's fuel sacs, and Falin's quick reflexes and new-found powers saved the party yet again.
    • Subverted when the party fights the Lunatic Magician. She defeats Laios's party and throws them into a pitfall trap; however, they are rescued before trap crushes them.
    • Before getting some character development, this frequently happened to Team Kabru. They later find out that one gang of Corpse Hunters had been following them hoping to scam more money out of them. When that fails, the Hunters cast an illusion spell on them hoping they'd kill each other in the confusion. Kabru and co make short work of the hunters after the illusion is lifted.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Strangely, Laios has one on the cover of the first volume.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Chilchuck throws Senshi's mithril knife, the only weapon that so far had any success, with perfect accuracy and devastating results into the eye of the Red Dragon. This move is a key factor in the victory, but he gets taken out of commission soon after.
  • Tragic Monster: Ghosts and zombies. See Was Once a Man.
  • True Art Is Angsty: In-universe example. An omake on Nightmares has the group pondering why they give the victim predominantly bad dreams and not good ones, discussing a researcher who went out of his way to find the answer to this question. It turns out that the victim themselves unconsciously compels the Nightmares to create bad dreams because they're more stimulating to the mind than good dreams.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Team Touden after Falin is rescued from the Red Dragon; and later after they lose Falin again, Marcille and Izutsumi.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Averted completely. Less skilled parties tend to end up wiped out while experienced teams venture further down and manage to come back alive.
  • Under the Sea: The fourth level of the dungeon is home to a huge lake-like pool of water, along with a bunch of aquatic monsters. Adventurers usually have to cast a water walking spell to navigate it.
  • Unicorn: One of the numerous monsters present, but unusually, its horn is located on the tip of the snout like a rhinoceros, rather on the forehead. There's also an opposite counterpart known as a bicorn, which (as its name suggests) has two goat-like horns.
  • Unicorns Prefer Virgins: Played with. Unicorns are drawn to virtue and can be tamed by innocent virgin maidens, but bicorns — black horses with two goat-like horns — love immorality and eat virtuous husbands. Laios reasons that they can be tamed by corrupt adult males, and the party tries to catch one by behaving sinfully so that they can get close, but they fail to take it alive when it senses Chilchack (who the party assumed was the necessary corrupt adult) and tries to eat him. It turns out that the state of his marriage is both less and more complicated than he pretends.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: When the party finally rematches with the Red Dragon, they strategize to best kill it with their limited numbers and equipment, using Senshi's adamantine pan to shield themselves from its fire until it runs out of fuel, and then luring it under a large bridge which Marcille will collapse on top of it, forcing the dragon to the ground and allowing them to strike its weak point on the throat. The plan immediately goes awry when Laios accidentally flings the pan away before the dragon uses up all its fuel, because the fire caused the pan to become too hot to hold. They manage to trap the dragon anyway, but it turns out to be stronger than expected and immediately busts free from the rubble. They're forced to improvise on the fly after that.
  • Unfortunate Names: Twins Kiki and Kaka are a double whammy in Spanish. Kiki is slang for "screwing" and Kaka most likely sounds the same as "caca", slang for poop.
  • Was Once a Man: The zombies, walking skeletons and ghouls are the re-animated corpses and ghosts of adventurers who couldn't be revived for various reasons.
  • Wham Shot: In chapter 65, when Marcille tells the Lion that she wishes that all of the spoken races could share the same lifespan and asks if he would be capable of making that happen, his eyes suddenly turn into the same eyes that the Demon Goat that possessed Mithrun had, making him look much more ominous and showing that he is likely just as dangerous as the Demon Goat was.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
    • Briefly discussed by Laios and Chilchuck about fish-type merfolks. Laios argues they're closer to fish than they are to humans; therefore it's all right to eat them. Chilchuck is still turned off by their overall human-like features, especially since they're intelligent enough to use tools. In an omake though, a human-type mermaid readily eats a fish-type merfolk without hesitation.
    • Discussed again when Laios comes up with a solution to saving Falin by eating the dragon parts of her. Laios quickly gets caught up trying to figure out how they're gonna devour the several-tonned size dragon portion of Falin while everyone else is clearly disturbed by his idea.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Chilchuck telling Marcille to quit pressuring Namari to rejoin their party since abandoning her current employers would wreck her reputation as a hired adventurer.
    • Shuro gives Laios a pretty massive one when he learns that they revived Falin using black magic. He admits that in the same situation, he might have done the same thing, but Laios's blithe attitude about it plus everything else they did infuriates him.
  • When Trees Attack: In Chapter 1, one of the monsters Chilchuck remembers is some kind of evil looking walking apple tree.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The inhabitants of the Golden Kingdom were cursed with immortality by the Lunatic Magician hundreds of years ago. Constantly repeating mundane tasks, like polishing silverware they no longer use or growing vegetables they won't eat, is the only way they can stay sane.
  • The Worm That Walks: Living Armors aren't empty husks controlled by a mage, as the party finds out: they're mollusk colonies that grow metallic shells and join together to form a gestalt entity.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Senshi sees little value in anything that isn't directly related to cooking. He tells Marcille and Chilchuck to throw out a bunch of "inedible treasure bugs," only mentioning offhand that they are actual pieces of treasure. Gets worse in an Omake, where Laios reveals that the bugs they ate were highly sought-after specimens for collectors, possibly worth more than the treasures they were impersonating. Chilchuck and Marcille were not amused.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears but Team Touden have finally got Falin back, yaaaay! Oh wait, she's been spirited away by the Lunatic Magician and is now trying to kill them. Also she Came Back Wrong and Shuro intends to get all of them imprisoned (at best) for their unwitting part in it. Also, also the Lunatic Magician, a far more dangerous enemy than the Red Dragon, is out for their blood. Ouch.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: So the party finally slays the Red Dragon, gets Laios's sister back (with complications), and is preparing to return to the surface with the mission a success. All's well that ends well, right? But then a dark elf who is apparently the Lunatic Magician who rules the dungeon appears, drops most of the party through a hole in the ground to what is almost certain death, and takes Falin away, having plans for her as she is now half-dragon (due to being revived by Marcille using the Red Dragon's corpse as components. Now, Laios begrudgingly accepts that they have to return to the surface to restock on supplies so they can tackle the dungeon again and save his sister. Again.


Alternative Title(s): Dungeon Meshi

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