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Manga / Food Wars!

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"Children, 99% of you are nothing but common rocks. You exist solely to grind to perfection the 1% of you who are diamonds!"
Dean Senzaemon Nakiri (Chapter 4)
Soma Yukihira's dream is to surpass his father Joichiro's culinary skills and become a full-time chef at their family restaurant
Yukihira. However, just as he graduates from middle school, Joichiro decides to close shop to work in New York City as a favor for a friend, sending his son to Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute, an elite academy notorious for having a 1% graduation rate.

Upon arrival at Totsuki, he immediately runs afoul of Erina Nakiri, the proud and notoriously picky granddaughter of dean Senzaemon, who scorns his "commoner" food and brash impudence, even as his undeniable talent aggravates her to no end. And as if that wasn't enough, during his admission speech, Soma makes the seemingly foolhardy vow of using his fellow 92nd Generation freshmen as stepping stones to glory, making him a virtually marked man.

It's a long way to the top, but Soma is determined to beat his dad, elicit Erina's words of approval, and prove to his batch-mates that he really means his words.

Food Wars!, known as Shokugeki no Soma in Japan, is a 2012 cooking manga written by Yuuto Tsukuda (in collaboration with Yuki Morisaki, a chef who comes up with the series' recipes), and illustrated by Shun Saeki. The series makes liberal use of Ecchi and a variety of other visual metaphors to make preparing food, cooking food, tasting food, and merely talking about food intense enough to make you think you're reading a shonen battle manga. Not to mention that the food itself looks gorgeously mouth-watering.


The series was serialized in both the Japanese and English versions of Weekly Shonen Jump, and Viz Media released it in North America under the title Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma. After seven years, the series ended in June, 2019 at 315 chapters.

A TV anime adaptation by JC Staff started airing in April 2015 as part of the Spring 2015 season and ended its run in September 2015, right after the end of the Fall Classic preliminaries. The second season, Ni no Sara ("The Second Dish"), began airing in July 2016. The third season, titled San no Sara ("The Third Dish"), began airing in October 2017. A fourth season, Shin no Sara ("The Fourth Dish") aired in October 2019 to December 2019. The fifth and final season, Go no Sara ("The Fifth Dish") began airing on April 2020 until September 2020 note .


In 2017, it was revealed that Sentai Filmworks will produce the English dub. The entire first season was released in August. As of July 2019, the dub has joined the Toonami block.

Spin Offs include:

  • Shokugeki no Soma ~à la carte~ (2014-2016): A series of light novels featuring different characters as the focal point of each chapter.
  • Shokugeki no Soma — Etoile (2015-2019): A manga written by Michiko Itou and illustrated by Taiki Asatoki, detailing the struggles of Totsuki alumnus Koujirou Shinomiya (who first appears in the main series as a judge during the freshmen's summer training camp) to survive in the French culinary world and its drastic effects to both his career and personality.
  • Tōtsuki Academy Challenge Plate: Shokugeki no Soma Official Recipe Book (2015): A Spin-Off Cookbook.
  • Shokugeki no Soma ~Fratelli Aldini~ (2015): A light novel that focuses on the Aldini Twins.
  • Shokugeki no Soma ~Le dessert~ (2019): A three-chapter follow up title released a year after the end of the main series that serves as the epilogue. This title ran in Jump+.

Video Games include:

Compare with Toriko, another Shonen Jump series about Food Porn, and Yakitate!! Japan, a series with similar themes, except with impossibly delicious bread.

Please move any character tropes to the Food Wars! character page. If there is a Food Wars! character, that character is in that index somewhere.

Food Wars! provides examples of:

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    A — D 
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Anything and everything can be staked in a Shokugeki. In fact, the school bylaws that govern the Shokugeki tradition state that both parties must put up stakes of equal value, to be agreed upon by the participants. So far, we have seen prized kitchen knives, booth sites for the School Festival, a secretarial job, a Hollywood Restraining Order, several club rooms (along with millions of yen in cooking equipment), significant areas of farmland, seats on the Council of Ten Masters, and a chef's entire career staked in shokugeki at some point.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The Council of Ten Masters, Totsuki's best of the best, are more powerful than the teachers and administration in several respects. Notably, they can install a new dean on the campus with a simple majority vote, which leads to Azami's takeover of the academy.
  • The Ace: The Council of Ten Masters are the best cooks in the school. Without even using his best ingredients, seventh-ranked Satoshi easily matches up to Soma.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The anime adds more short looks at several major characters' stagiaire appointments, such as those of Takumi, Ryo, and Akira.
    • The fifth season greatly expands on what the side characters are up to during the final arc, as well as adding a mini tournament in the form of the BLUE Preliminaries that give the other students who didn't attend BLUE a chance to shine.
  • Always Identical Twins: Averted with the Aldini twins. While Takumi is blond and has clear eyes, Isami is big, has shut eyes and black hair. Their personalities are complete opposites. Soma and Megumi are shocked to learn they're related.
  • Always Someone Better: Happens to Soma twice, given how he's confident in his ability to the point of arrogance.
    • Erina is a better cook, but at first he only wants to beat her as a point of pride, not particularly recognizing her as anyone worthwhile. During training camp, he seems to be the first one done in an assignment, only to realize after cleaning up that Erina had finished long before him, causing him to stop in (brief) shock.
    • During the Fall Classic, Akira is set up as the man to beat. When they get to the final, he wins because he'd already started to develop a specialty, forcing Soma to start playing catchup from that point forward during Stagiaire Month and subject himself to intense training under Koujirou.
    • By the Red Leaf Hunt, Soma asks any of the Council of Ten Masters members for a Shokugeki, which the others flat out reject. The main reason is because the 2nd Years have it hard already with the 3rd years, who currently have the higher seats.
  • Anti-Climax: The final chapters of the Manga repeatedly stresses that satisfying Mana Nakiri's God Tongue is an exceedingly difficult task, not just for professional chefs, but also other Nakiri members. Soma and Asahi's best efforts aren't enough to warrant praise from Mana, while Erina believes is downtrodden with the revelation, yet continues to compete into the BLUE's final round. After tasting Soma's dish, she regains her confidence and effortlessly produces a dish to her mother's expectations, winning the tournament. Unfortuately, Erina's dish and its presentation to Mana is handled off-screen, with the issue of the God Tongue's curse on Mana only implied to have been resolved.
  • Answer Cut: Towards the end of Chapter 1, Joichiro tries to tell Soma the secret to becoming a good chef: to find a woman that will make him want to give all the food he makes to her. The next page cuts to Erina's first appearance in the manga.
  • Arc Words:
    • At the end of Chapter 1, Soma cuts the phone call before his father states, "The secret to becoming a good chef is meeting a woman that will make you want to give all the food you make to her". This idea returns after the Fall Classic preliminaries, when Megumi tells a group of children (and Soma) during a cooking lesson, "Just make it while thinking of a person important to you". This is a point where her affections for Soma are beginning to bud.
      • In a subtle nod, it is heavily implied Akira won the Fall Classic because he found Jun to be the woman to whom he will dedicate his cooking.
      • This also ends up being instrumental to Soma beating Hayama in their rematch. With Soma being driven to make Hayama say his food is delicious, he pushed himself hard, while Hayama disregarded Jun's wishes and wound up no longer having her around to cook for, losing his drive in the process.
      • The original line comes up again when Asahi passes it on to Soma and Megumi. However, Asahi himself completely misinterpreted the advice and believes that it means he needs to marry Erina and use her God Tongue rather than find someone he actually wants to cook for.
    • Another example of Soma's "This is my castle, where I will refine my skills". He first used the phrase referring to his home at Yukihira's. Soma says it again during his Shokugeki against Eizan, but this time referring to Polaris as his new home. This shows his own Character Development, as he started in a very small range of view limited to his restaurant, to eventually accept his new place at Totsuki.
    • Soma echoes his father's words when describing cooking as, "The journey's no fun if you know where you're going." This is the fundamental idea behind the heroes' conflict against Azami's beliefs.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Many of the chefs introduced in the series are very proud of their cooking finesse, and tend to look down on those who lack this skill. This includes Soma, though he's at least humble when defeated and willing to learn from a loss to improve.
  • Awesome, but Impractical
    • Chapter 174 shows that Central's policies force students to learn through memorization, rather than applying their knowledge creatively. Even when they successfully cook the high-level dishes needed to pass the Promotion Exams, they don't understand the reasoning behind each step and are becoming nothing more than glorified assistants to Central's chosen without truly improving their own skills.
    • The school itself is this, too. Any institution with a 10% graduation rate would fail, utterly, and be maligned as an incompetent fraud, not a superelite academy.
    • As well, the premise of Soma going to said institution. His dad is allegedly an incredibly skilled chef, and is going to New York (which has a more than respectable food scene) to collaborate with an old colleague. It makes far more sense for Soma to accompany him and continue learning by working in the restaurant, especially given he's already quite skilled himself from that exact form of informal education.
    • Alice's dishes are amazing and far more novel than anyone else's, but they take a long time to prepare, seem to have small portions, aren't actually superior in quality and, given the effort and resources involved, would cost far too much to be practical in any real restaurant. She's chided by Ryou for focusing too much on flash over substance and by Hayama for failing to consider that a business, unlike a vanity project, actually needs to turn a profit.
  • Baby's First Words: Erina Nakiri's first words were "Not enough depth of flavor" about her mother's breast milk. She was developing a heightened sense of taste and was only three months old at the time.
  • Back for the Finale: In the epilogue Le Dessert Chapter 1, Miyoko Hojo, Mitsuru Sotsuda, Nao Sadatsuka, Urara Kawashima, Yua Sasaki, Mea Yanai, Rentarou Kusunoki, Tetsuji Kabutoyama, Kiyoshi Godabayashi, Kanichi Konishi, Mimasaka Subaru, and the remainder of the former Elite 10 council make an appearance in the crowd during the Autumn Fall Classic (with the other members of the former Elite 10 serving as judges).
  • Badass Minds Think Alike: Soma and Akira make curry dishes for the Fall Classic preliminary using an aroma surprise factor.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The first chapter of the series establishes that Soma will learn cooking at his restaurant and he will defend it from any threat... Only to reveal that Jouchirou is closing it and sending Soma to Totsuki, meaning that the action will rarely happen at the restaurant.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy:
    • Usually, the breasts of all females will be covered when they have "foodgasms". With the exception of Alice Nakiri in chapter 66, where she has... no nipples. Strangely enough, her "foodgasm" does not end there and continues in the beginning of chapter 67, where her breasts are covered.
    • The ending for the anime also has the characters drawn this way through much of it, particularly the girls.
    • Likewise, the bare-chested male characters are drawn this way.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 52.5 has Alice and Erina go to a public pool, a place completely foreign to the latter. Alice suggests they might get obnoxious people flirting with them, but everyone is too intimidated by their looks, bodyguards and nearby berserk Ryou to try anything. They mostly hang around in swimsuits for the rest of the day and talking about love briefly. Neither has any experience, but Alice successfully pretends to be an expert and mocks Erina for considering love beneath her.
  • Behind Every Great Man: The overarching romantic theme of the series is to find somebody to devote all their cooking to. In many major cases, the chefs cook for a girl (Akira cooks for Jun, Joichiro was inspired by his wife, Azami rediscovered cooking when he met Mana, etc.)and their influence leads them to become great in their own right.
  • Betty and Veronica
    • Though he doesn't think of them in those terms at all yet, the two girls that Soma gets the most ship tease with are Megumi and Erina. Megumi, the Betty, is cute but has a slim build and is overall much plainer with a quiet, domestic and very supportive personality. Erina on the other hand has more of a sexy body type with considerable curves and blonde hair. As far as personality goes, she tends to be more ambitious, aggressive and demanding, though secretly quite nice. However, it's mostly teasing at this point with none of the three explicitly interested in the others with Soma and Erina in particular only recently having become friends at all.
    • During the Karaage mini-arc, Ikumi was Veronica because of her brash personality, her rich background and more voluptuous figure; in contrast to Mayumi's Betty as the shy, modest and more humble upbringing, paired with the fact that she knew Soma since pre-kinder. Soma, of course, was completely clueless about this.
    • Flipped in the first Time Skip arc, with Joichiro's two sons, Asahi and Soma, fighting over who is worthy of Erina's affections. Asahi is a bad boy rogue chef, while Soma is now one of Erina's biggest supporters as the student council first seat to her headmaster.
  • Bleached Underpants: Illustrator Shun Saeki was former ero-manga artist "tosh".note  Amusingly, it's not the first of his illustrated works to get an Animated Adaptation — that goes to one of his previous X-rated works, Harem Time.
  • Bland-Name Product: Soma uses some of these in his cooking, including Asabi beer and Klaft Parmesan cheese.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Among the girls of the Polaris Dormitory, Yuuki Yoshino, Megumi Tadakoro and Ryoko Sakaki, respectively.
  • Blessed with Suck: The God Tongue is shown to be this for the Nakiri family. Not only does the God Tongue make the possessors targets for unsavory characters who would like to exploit them, but it also ensures that the possessors eventually become physically incapable of enjoying or even eating food due to their hyper sensitivity to taste. It's mentioned that in the history of the Nakiri family, ''every' God Tongue possessor had died in agony.
  • Brick Joke:
    • During the training camp, Gin makes Koujirou hold an unofficial Shokugeki against Soma and Megumi, with fellow alumni Hinako, Fuyumi, Donato and Hitoshi as judges, who worry that Roland Chapelle will find out. Nearly a hundred chapters later, Koujirou invites Chapelle to the opening of the first Japanese branch of his restaurant. Hinako accidentally blabs about the Shokugeki and the others only barely manage to cover it up before he finds out and punishes them.
    • In the First Chapter, after Yaeko leaves Yukihira's, Soma tells his father to throw the saltnote , to which Joichiro replies that it's a waste of salt. In Chapter 151, after Azami's visit to Polaris, Shoji and Yuuki suggest getting the salt, with Fumio yelling at them to not waste the salt.
    • One that took a long time coming. All through the manga's run, Soma's been making peanut butter squid to the disgust of everyone. Erina's final dish for the Team Shokugeki against Azami's Council of Ten includes chicken, with...grilled peanut butter squid. And it tastes AMAZING.
  • Call-Back
    • The color double page of Chapter 70 shows Megumi, Soma, Takumi, Ryou and Akira as Japanese Delinquents, a reference to Satoshi's Dream Sequence in Chapter 28 when Megumi was turned into a delinquent. Later it turns out that the color page is a Foreshadowing of the "foodgasm" in the next chapter.
    • Erina thinks back to telling Soma over and over that he would never get into the Fall Classic. When he easily qualifies, she thinks back to her statements and gets all depressed.
    • When Erina finds out that Joichiro and Soma are father and son, she immediately starts to remember every single insult she threw at him since her first appearance and freaks out when she takes in account that she has been insulting her idol's son this whole time.
    • The shokugeki between Rentarou and Ryou for the Cutting Edge RS was when Alice won against the 89th generation Makime Kyouichi and inherited the club.
    • Erina's main dish in the final round of the Regiment de Cuisine is a gigantic lump of callbacks to the earliest portion of the series. First, her dish incorporates minced squid tentacles and peanut butter, Soma's ridiculous combination from the beginning of the series. Furthermore, the capstone of her offering is the same melting aspic cubes Soma used on her for his dish during the entrance exam. Finally, the entire round is playing out in a similar vein to the entrance exam, with Erina's father stubbornly refusing to acknowledge her dish, despite how delicious it obviously is, the same way Erina insisted on calling Soma's dish disgusting, even though it clearly tasted great. Even the judges' reaction shots are a parody of Erina's reaction to Soma's dish, with them being carried away by little Erina angels, depicted in the same, white-eyed manner as the Soma angels who tormented Erina during her reaction.
    • The semifinal round of the BLUE arc, which sees Soma pitted against Asahi, features a callback to the first chapter of the series. In the beginning of the series, Soma is introduced in a cooking competition against his father, which he loses. The dish he lost with...fried rice. Fast forward over three-hundred chapters later, and Soma is up against the chef who defeated his father, and is now wielding his father’s knife and all his skills, augmented by the skills of numerous other chefs that Asahi has defeated and claimed implements from. This time, Soma is able to claim an overwhelming victory. The dish he won with...fried rice.
    • The final match of the BLUE arc is Soma against Erina, which contains two callbacks at once, both of them in-universe. First, the dish Soma makes is a tempura fried egg over rice, the dish he made for Erina prior to the Advancement Exams. Secondly, he augments the recipe by making it into a tempura fried Eggs Benedict over rice, a callback to the Eggs Benedict that Erina served during the Hell Camp challenge, the very first dish Soma saw her make.
  • The Cameo: Chisaki from Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs makes an appearance in the audience watching the Shokugeki between Ryou and Rentarou.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Most of the students are drawn average to handsome (especially Takumi, for the joy of Jump fangirls). Even Isami slims down into Tall, Dark, and Handsome during summer, and Zenji is drawn better whenever he's not being a Nervous Wreck.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Even background characters that will never appear again have unique designs, from students and judges to town extras.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Central Theme: A recurring idea seen throughout the series is hard work and creativity being the ingredients for truly amazing things.
  • Chaste Hero: Though Takumi and Erina qualify, Yukihira takes the cake. He is completely unaware of Mayumi and Ikumi's love interest for him, not to mention to never notice, nor particularly care for the fanservice happening all around him, fanservice that happens to both male and female fans mind you, this makes one even wonder if he is interested in anything at all.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper:
    • In the tenth-graders' first cooking test, two students, miffed at Soma's entrance speech, try to sabotage his and Megumi's boeuf bourguignon by adding extra salt. However, Soma not only passes through improvisation, but is complimented by their notoriously strict professor. The saboteurs wind up gawking for so long they neglect their own dish and leave it cooking too long, in the process accidentally spilling salt on it in panic, earning them an "E" for their trouble.
    • When all the clubs and research societies in the academy are given the chance to save themselves from being disbanded by way of Shokugekis, only for Eizan to bring in a trio of judges that he has bribed to always judge in his favor without even trying the food. Soma still challenges Eizan to a Shokugeki, and by using his creativity, never losing his cool and having complete faith in that his Polar Star friends could take care of themselves after Eizan sent his goons to kick them out, Soma goads Eizan and the judges into trying his dish and completely destroys the unprepared 9th Seat, humiliating him and paving the way for the scheme of fixing the judges to be done away with.
    • The whole Promotion Exam in Hokkaido seems to be fixed to purge as many rebels as possible. The exams, organized by Central professors, have so far been sabotaged by messing with the ingredients. Fortunately all of them managed to pass thanks to previous knowledge and Erina's intensive training — it helps that the rebels in question are the most talented chefs of the 92nd Generation. Central eventually had to resort to modifying their exams entirely and forcing them into Shokugeki against members of the Council of Ten. While the rebels are the most talented chefs of their generation, they're still first-years against the best chefs in the school, so most of them lost.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During Soma's match against Subaru, he consults Erina to see what's lacking in his dish, but can't possibly afford her normal consultation fee. She agrees to help him on the condition that he lend her the full volume set of a shoujo manga she's reading instead since her aide Hisako left her side. After he wins, she asks for her manga because he still hasn't delivered it. That manga set comes into play at the end of Soma's Stagiaire (OJT) assignment with Hisako, where he gives the set to her as an incentive for her to return to Erina's side after her self-imposed exile out of shame for losing to Akira.
  • Children Are Innocent: All children have had completely innocent reactions to food so far.
  • Cliffhanger: Several episodes of the anime end on one, such as episode 8 showing the Aldini brother's finishing their dish and passing the class. But we don't get to see Soma's dish until the next episode.
  • Club Stub:
    • Soma's first Shokugeki at Totsuki was to save the Donburi RS from closure, which had Kanachi as the only member left. After losing, the club increased its budget and gained Ikumi as the new member. Eventually her presence attracted more new members and has been doing much better.
    • The new arc centers around the Central organization (which includes most members of the Council of Ten) and the "Survivors Hunt", since all the Research Societies and Seminars have the opportunity to save their clubs in a Shokugeki.
  • Color Failure: Often happens to Marui when he's stressed out. Also to Yuuki on the first night of the Training Camp, when she learns they will not be dining in style. Compare before, and after.
  • Combo: Much like with real cooking, many of the more well-prepared dishes shown off in the series are usually the result of this. Soma's Yukihira-style in particular involves making unusual substitutes in dishes that end up mutually amplifying the flavors of the ingredients.
  • Cooking Duel: The eponymous "Shokugeki"; stakes can get exceptionally high, ranging from club rooms to a spot on the Council of Ten Masters. The finals of the Fall Classic are cooking duels as well, but they are not formal Shokugekis unless two participants want to hold a formal one.
  • Costume Porn: Provided by the foodgasms and the artwork, which features a lot of them, from traditional Japanese folklore outfits, shout-outs to other series, magical girl outfits, stylish kimonos, a kaiju costume, yakuza styling, and so on...
  • Covert Pervert: Every character with his/her orgasmic or naughty reactions qualifies. Especially blatant that this kind of "foodgasm" happens only to teenagers and adults, but not to children whose reactions are entirely innocent.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: In order to secure a true match against Council of Ten Masters Eighth Seat, Kuga, Soma needs to surpass him in something first. The first chance he gets is the school Moon Banquet Festival, where students can choose to operate food stands. If you don't make a profit, you're expelled, but it's really not a risk ... unless you're stupid enough to set up a stand right next to someone like a member of the Council. Soma decides he's going to do exactly that with Kuga's massive Chinese restaurant, much to the despair and irritation of his various friends, arguing that the best way to beat Kuga is to be in a very high traffic area and then steal away customers that had originally come for his rivals. He makes a loss on his first day, but after increasing sales each day by expanding his menu, advertising, calling in additional staff and exploiting Kuga's limited menu and overcrowded restaurant, he finally manages to secure top sales for the fourth day.
  • Creator Cameo: In Episodes 17 and 18, Yuki Morisaki voices the spokesperson praising Mozuya's and Sumire's karaage.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Several students and teachers specialize so much in one particular style of cooking that they don't practice in others, such as Ikumi focusing so much on meat that when the dish requires meat and rice, she neglects the rice, leading her to lose her Shokugeki against Soma because the judges cleaned out their bowls of Soma's cheap beef and rice while eating all of her meat, but not finishing the rice off. Shinomiya also goes this way, being so afraid of trying new things due to his Freudian Excuse that he's allowed his skills to stagnate.
  • Crossover
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • During the promotion exams, the Council of Ten crush all of the "rebels" against Central except Soma (won against Akira), Erina (who took the regular exam), Megumi and Takumi (who both went against Rindou, who just asked them to make something yummy).
    • The 2nd round of the Regiment de Cuisine. Despite the rebels sending in 2 former members of the Council of Ten, including former 3rd seat Megishima, having Mimasaka bringing his imitation skills even further for this event, as well as showcasing some Psychic Teamwork between Mimasaka and Kuga, they roundly get trounced 3-0 by Central without the judges even so much as elaborating a single aspect about what made Central's dishes so delicious.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Although Mimisaka, Kuga, and Megishima each lose soundly to their opponents, it's shown that they managed to give tough battles to each of their opponents. To the point where they need at least a day to recover.
  • Dare to Be Badass:
    • During the welcoming ceremonies for the 92nd Generation, Senzaemon encourages the students to aspire to be part of the 1% who will graduate from Totsuki.
    • Before the Fall Classic preliminaries, judge Natsume Sendawara claims that despite the evolution of Japan's curry industry, the food still bores her, challenging the students to create something revolutionary.
    • It turns out Soma's evolving cooking methods subtly encourage this. By refining his skills through trial and error, he shows that anyone can do what he does and make something amazing.
  • Decomposite Character: From the pilot One-shot, we got a character named Julio Rossi Saotome. Even though the character was Adapted Out for the main story, many of his elements were used for other characters:
    • His role as Erina's ever-loyal secretary was given to Hisako Arato.
    • He also was defeated by Soma in a Shokugeki, even thought his entry was made of more expensive ingredients, like Ikumi.
    • His character design was a more butch version of legendary alumnus Donato Gotouda.
    • He is also half-Italian, like the Aldini twins.
    • Subverted with Julio Shiratsu, who is very similar to Julio Saotome in appearance and personality.
  • Defeating the Cheating Opponent: During the Central Arc, Eizan helps Azami reform Totsuki Academy by shutting down the cooking clubs so Azami can enforce his own vision of cooking. To do this, Eizan defeats the leader of one club in a rigged Cooking Duel, bribing the judges so they vote for his dish without tasting anything. Soma is undeterred; during his own duel with Eizan, Soma prepares a dish so delicious that even Eizan and the corrupt judges can't resist trying it (albeit with a bit of taunting to get Eizan to bite in), after which they're unable to bring themselves to vote against Soma.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Soma makes friends with Ikumi after beating her in a shokugeki, with her taking a Be Yourself message from the whole thing. They start hanging out together with her in particular crushing on him.
    • After Soma defeats Subaru, he encourages him not to give up on cooking and change his dishonest ways. Subaru takes this heart and later helps Soma and Megumi with their booth in the Fall Banquet against Kuga. He winds up returning to support the Rebels in the Regiment de Cuisine.
    • Kuga himself even sides with Soma later on, after being ousted from the Council of Ten following Azami's takeover. He and his Chinese RS underlings proceed to help Soma in taking on Akira again, as well as personally participating in the Regiment de Cuisine on the side of the Rebels.
  • Denser and Wackier: After the Azami arc, the story started making less effort to come across as realistic and introduced evil chefs with very weird outfits who use highly customized and eccentric kitchen gear for their cooking (such as a kitchen-chainsaw knife at the size of a machete, spherical "juggling pots", a portable blood-storage device and a one-hand guillotine among others...). The change is represented by how the cast started talking about chefs who have a "superhuman ability" rather than simply a unique talent or skill.
  • Dénouement : The Le dessert miniseries is used to tie up the major loose ends. This consists of 3 chapters: Past (covering Soma's mother), Present (resolving the Nakiri family crisis), and Future (the Distant Finale).
  • Didn't See That Coming: By the end of Soma's battle with Asahi, Mana samples the former's fried rice dish out of formality, even keeping a bucket ready to puke in it. However, she's quickly stunned and admits that the taste has far surpassed her expectations. Soma's dish awakens her bestowing, a unique variation that not even Asahi's dish managed to achieve.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage:
    • In Episode 4, Soma sings the anime's opening theme while he and most of the Polaris Dorm members are drunk on rice juice.
    • Episode 9 ends with Soma and Erina humming the ending theme until they bump into each other at the bathhouse.
    • During the final scene in Episode 24, Fumio can be heard humming part of the first opening theme.
  • Distant Epilogue: The final chapter of Le Dessert takes place around seven years after everyone has gratuated from Tootsuki.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The way food preparation is treated and depicted often resembles a fighting manga more than anything to do with cooking. We're obviously supposed to think Hisako is a cold-blooded badass for decapitating a live turtle in front of an audience.
    • The reactions to the good food people make are often sexual to the point it could be mistaken for porn, even with just the dialogue. For example, Ryou makes people beg for more of his food while they blush and tremble in anticipation. Other times, it’s portrayed as more of a fight, such as a dish having so much impact it’s like being punched in the stomach.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Shokugeki no Soma literally means "Body or Physique of Food Clash", yet it can be interpreted as "Soma of Shokugeki". The word "Soma" is a pun on Soma's name in the Japanese version, and a direct reference to his name in the English localization.
  • Double Standard: Averted; Nao stalking Erina and Hisako, as well as Subaru's earlier stalking of his competition are Played for Laughs. The revelation that Subaru's stalking is for outwitting and outmatching his competition to the last detail for the pleasure of humiliating his opponents in a "shokugeki" with their prized tools on the line (complete with resorting to anything from insulting their beliefs, insulting their family, defiling their culinary tools and/or making bigoted remarks to provoke them into accepting his challenge) is when he's seen as utter scum.
  • Dramatic Irony: Erina admires Joichiro as a chef, and emulates his 'style' of perfection when cooking a dish, resulting in her belief that improvisation and failures are the mark of a poor chef, looking down on Soma due to this reason. She doesn't know that not only Joichiro is Soma's father, but Joichiro was the one who actually inspired Soma to learn from his failures. And also Joichiro has a lot of failed dishes on record.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: This comes up in a few cooking matches that follow a theme or are to produce a certain type of dish. One side will make something that is delicious and adheres to the base requirements of the match, but is somehow unfitting for what they were supposed to be making. In Soma's match with Alice to make a bento, she loses because her meal was basically a sushi plate that can be packaged up and preserved. The judges point out that her dish barely qualified as a bento and she would have made the same meal even if the challenge had been something entirely different.

    E — I 
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In chapter 4 of the manga, we see several characters who won't be introduced until later, including Yuuki, Ryou and the Aldini twins, with other standout faces from that chapter seemingly bound for later appearances. Episode 3 of the anime (based on that chapter) adds a few more to the mix, including the rest of the Polaris Dormitory residents, Alice (standing next to Ryou), Ikumi, Akira, Nao (stalking Erina with binoculars), Miyoko and Yua (who also has a blink-and-you-miss it cameo in episode 9 sitting next to Megumi in the bus after passing Chef Inui's test).
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In the first chapter, artist Saeki covered Minagesaki and her men's bodies entirely with screentone when they have their "foodgasms". He never does this again for any "foodgasm".
    • Joichiro told Soma that only 10% can graduate from Totsuki. Three chapters later, Senzaemon Nakiri tells the students that only 1% of them will graduate. This might be justified, considering that there is a 22-year gap between father and son's tenure in Totsuki. Either there weren't so many students in Joichiro's generation who entered tenth-grade or the standards of Totsuki have become so high that even more students will be expelled than before.
    • In the first few chapters, Soma is somewhat more rude and oblivious. Before too much longer the series began emphasizing his quick wits and sense of fair play. However, he'll still respond to trash talk with taunts of his own.
    • During the first few chapters, Erina gently holds up Hisako's face while chiding her for being a "shameless hussy" (in regards to wanting Erina's food) and is full of lesbian overtones. However, this was dialed back immensely for every following appearance in favor of emphasizing that Hisako is her only friend.
    • During Soma's welcoming party, Isshiki mentioned that people gathered only made up half of Polaris's population. Later chapter clearly showed that they are the only one there.
    • An early chapter claimed Alice was from a Nakiri family branch instead of the main house like Erina. Later it's shown that Alice's father is Sanzaemon's biological son while Erina's mother is his daughter. Going by Eastern tradition, Alice and Erina are both "Main" and Alice is even higher in the succession line than Erina.
    • This picture draw focus on a number of first-years with distinctive design as if they are all Chekhov's Gunman. They are most likely early designs for recurring characters, from Right to Left:
      • First panel's characters resembled Alice and Kurokiba. However final design for Kurokiba do not include nose band aid or yin-yang necklace. Alice's hairstyle is also different and the impression that she's the silent one is completely wrong.
      • The three girls in the second panels are similar to Inui (close-eye smiler), Nene (glasses) and Momo (holding stuffed bear). However none of them are first year.
      • Third panels are clearly the Aldini brothers with little differences in the eyes.
      • The girls in the front of the fourth panels look like Yuuki, however the abacus is an oddity. The girl behind her with the Lolita hair has yet to appear.
  • Ecchi: Food Porn has never been more accurate. Most of the "foodgasms" contain some form of sexual undertones, while others throw in some sort of fantastical element into the mix. For example, several incorporate some sort of wacky cosplay, while others actually resemble shounen battles. There are also "foodgasms" that are just plain funny, such as the gorilla that suddenly appears in Erina's hot spring (meaning she didn't like it).
  • Elaborate University High: Granted, Totsuki is managed by the richest people in Japan and most students come from prestigious restaurants or food companies, which allows the school to extend to many acres and have a private resort with a large green area for ingredients.
  • Epic Fail: In the Moon Banquet festival, when the total sales of the first day have been tallied, it turns out that Soma and Megumi, and the trio of Alice, Ryou and Akira, are dead last on their respective areas. Worse yet, they are in the red and thus in danger of being expelled. Erina is upset at this and calls them out on it, especially because they were all in the top 8 of the Fall Classic and the three guys were the finalists.
  • Everyone Has a Special Move: Aside from Soma, whose specialty is learning from experimenting, other students have a special forte, ranging from smoked dishes, poultry, using their own produce, molecular cuisine, spices, Chinese culinary techniques, and so on. However, these are considered the mere starting line for developing a true specialty, something that shows someone is truly becoming a master cook.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The legendary alumni and many Totsuki professors. Joichiro, Gin, Jun and Azami were dormmates at Polaris during their time.
  • Evolving Credits: The anime's OP and ED change slightly per episode.
    • Kibou no Uta (first opening): The rotating dish.
    • Spice (first ending): The principal foodgasm character of the episode.
    • Rising Rainbow (second opening): Megumi's vegetables.
    • Sacchan no Sexy Curry (second ending): The ending starts changing after the third version. Before that point, the vocal performance wasn't as polished. The first change happens in Episode 16, where Joichiro walks with Soma. In Episode 17, as Mayumi runs along Ikumi. In Episode 18, Eizan runs alongside Isshiki. Then in Episode 19 Jun appears with Akira. And in Episode 20 Isami's character design changes to his thin version. Then the Episode 21 version has Urara running alongside Ikumi, as well as Nao and her soup turning white to reflect her "purification" by Hisako.
    • Snow Drop (third ending): The character lying in the field.
  • Exact Words: The members of the Nakiri family strip off their clothes when they taste extremely delicious foods. Leonora, who is Nakiri by marriage, also strips... her poor Japanese grammar.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: While preparing for his exam match with Akira, Soma is trying out bear meat and finds that it's too smelly. He then comes to the conclusion that the best way to get rid of the odor is to use spice. However, then it hits Soma that Akira's specialty is spices, which means that he has a huge advantage against Soma.
  • Exposition Party: The parties at the Polaris Dorms. The first one was Soma's welcome party, which served as the Establishing Character Moment for all the residents and the role of the Council of Ten Masters in Totsuki. The second one happens after the preliminaries of the Fall Classic, the Polaris Dormmates (plus the Aldini twins and Ikumi) celebrate Soma, Megumi and Takumi making it into the next round. Additionally, this serves as a Breather Episode.
  • Eye Catch: Used in the anime regularly.
    • In episode 12, Hinako is pointing and laughing at Koujirou. A quick cut is used to show him smacking her, and the second scene is the exact same, except with Hinako reeling down from the hit.
  • The Faceless:
    • Soma's mother in the family picture is hidden behind a light reflection on it.
    • The first members revealed from the Council of Ten Masters are Erina, Satoshi and Etsuya. The others have been seen, but only briefly and mostly shadowed over. The entire Council is finally revealed in Chapter 118 for the Red Leaf Hunt event, as they have to meet the Fall Classic eight finalists, with Erina among them.
    • Alice's father appeared twice in Alice's, and later Leonora's, flashbacks. Both times, his face was obscured by something or someone else. He finally shows up as a judge in Chapter 185.
    • Takumi and Isami's father is obscured whenever he is talking to his brother. The twins get the suggestion of going to Totsuki from their uncle instead.
  • Family Business: Most of Totsuki's students come from family-run restaurants with the intent of raising their prestige or preserving their traditions, and those who don't were at least involved in the food industry.
    • The Nakiris are the most prominent example, with Senzaemon as dean of Totsuki, his son Soe as head of the R&D branch, Soe's wife Leonora as head of their Danish branch, and Senzaemon's grand-daughters Erina and Alice as consultants and molecular gastronomy researchers, respectively.
    • Soma has managed Yukihira's along with his father, presumably also with his mother, since the restaurant is named with her family name.
    • Megumi learned how to handle goosefish to help her family inn, while her mother encouraged her to attend Totsuki.
    • Ryoko is said to have come from a famous shiokouji shop.
    • Soma also concluded from their first cooking match that Satoshi may have come from a Japanese restaurant, given the techniques he applied on his dish. He neither confirms nor denies this guess initially. In issue 214, he is confirmed to be the heir to an inn which dates back to the 17th century, and is considered to be the one true preserve of East Japanese cuisine
    • Takumi and Isami carried Trattoria Aldini along with their father and uncle.
    • Ikumi, one of the few exceptions to the restaurant heirs, comes from the Mito Company, the largest meat distribuitor across Japan.
    • Hisako Arato has also done it, albeit in a roundabout way. Her family has been in service to the Nakiris for generations, and she has followed in their footsteps as Erina's right hand, but rather than become a doctor like her ancestors, she chose to become a chef to integrate modern nutritional science and traditional medicine into gourmet cooking.
  • Fanservice: Shokugeki no Soma seems to advocate equal-opportunity fanservice, and it shows. From the female side there's no shortage of potential foodgasm targets; the male side doesn't hold back either — for starters, there's pretty-boy Satoshi, manly-man Gin, and Old Master Senzaemon.
  • Fan Disservice: During reaction shots, you might get a cute girl mostly naked or in a fetishy outfit, but you've also got roughly even odds of seeing Luciano Pavarotti singing in a duck costume, the prince from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with an apple instead of a head, or a wrinkly old Japanese man in a magical girl outfit.
  • Fat and Skinny: Isami as the fat one, and Takumi as the skinny. However, in this case, Isami is actually the more level-headed one, while Takumi frequently makes a fool of himself.
  • Female Gaze: Provided mostly by Satoshi in a Naked Apron (sometimes in the full nude) and Gin, who has quite the ripped body for a middle-aged man. At least half a chapter during the Training Camp arc is devoted to a Public Bathhouse Scene, entirely with guys rather than girls.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Setting aside that the manga acknowledges most women find it difficult to be recognized in the male-dominated cooking career, Totsuki Academy is an elite cooking school. Therefore, any girl who attends it can definitely cook be she feminine, tomboyish, or, in Nao Sadatsuka's case, really creepy.
  • Fiction 500: The Nakiri family and, by proxy, Totsuki is unbelievably wealthy to the extent of having a vast, open campus (which, considering the price of land in Japan would be absurdly expensive), a bevy of resorts used primarily by the super-rich and elite of the world, and the wealth to obtain just about anything in the world, and naturally using it primarily in the pursuit of foods and cooking.
  • Filler: There are two cases which are ultimately subverted, as they actually serve to further the plot (and mostly serve as Breather Episodes).
    • The Sumire District arc is devoted to Soma's brief return to his hometown, but it quickly transforms into a duel with Mozuya, a rapidly-expanding karaage restaurant chain quickly gobbling up all the local businesses... which led to him piquing the interest of Etsuya Eizan, Ninth Seat of the Council of Ten Masters, who served as consultant. At this time the Council of Ten Masters were also discussing who to put into the Fall Classic.
    • When Soma and Megumi join Satoshi as substitutes for a children's cooking school, it initially seemed like a random breather amidst the action, except it actually raised two major plot points: the candies the kids give to Soma later gave him an idea for his dish against Alice, while Megumi starts to realize that she has fallen in love with Soma.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • During the 43rd Autumn Election preliminaries, the judges have an Imagine Spot of Akira and Soma fighting for the top spot of their block. Akira's dish is compared to a piercing spear and Soma's to series of boxing punches. It is a simple truth of close combat that the fighter with the longer reach has the advantage. Akira edges out Soma by a single point.
    • During a party to celebrate Soma winning his shokugeki against Eizan, someone knocks on the front door of the dorm. Soma goes to get it, remarking to himself that the last time someone was at the door unannounced in the middle of the night, it was "the former dean" Senzaemon. Soma opens to the door to find current dean Azami.
  • Food Porn: Much attention is paid to the food. How it looks as ingredients, how it is prepared and especially the finished dish all look delicious.
  • Forced Orgasm: Played for Laughs with a Food Porn variation. The Supreme Chefs from the story make food so delicious that they can provoke so much pleasure in the ones who taste their dishes, at which point they jizz in their pants and usually get a fanservicey Imagine Spots showing the characters naked as they have The Immodest Orgasm.
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: Chefs of a certain caliber can generate pressure that scares a few of the younger chefs.
  • Foreshadowing: Alice Nakiri tells Soma that she'll gladly take him on anytime...guess who fights first in the Fall Classic arc?
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: With the addition of Ikumi to the Polaris girls, we have Ryoko as the Sexy One (mostly The Tease), Ikumi as the Mannish One, and Yuuki and Megumi alternating between The Heart and The Sweet-Naive one.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • By temperaments of the three finalists of the Fall Classic and their new dynamic as Vitriolic Best Buds, it has Soma as The Kirk (cool under pressure and balanced emotionally), Ryou as The McCoy (the most hotheaded of them) and Hayama as The Spock (the quiet ace).
    • By the Moon Banquet Festival, Ryou and Akira's roles changed after Alice managed to take over the Shiomi Seminar booth, with her as The McCoy (impulsive and outgoing), Akira as The Kirk (the rational guy who is trying to deal with his frustration) and Ryou as The Spock (since he is without his bandana during the arc, he sees the situation neutrally without showing his real emotions)
  • From Bad to Worse: The whole Nakiri Azami introduction.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Ryoko Sakaki brews her own alcohol (unclear whether it's sake or amazake), but when she and her dormmates (all underage) are drinking it, the anime states "This is juice and nothing but juice."
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: Shinomiya returns in le dessert to receive his third Michelin star, a decent conclusion to the journey we saw him go through in Etoile. It should be noted that Etoile ended just before the epilogue came out.
  • Furo Scene:
    • Megumi found out right in the middle of her bath that Soma is now living in her dorm, leading to their Naked First Impression moment.
    • One of Erina's Imagine Spots has her in a hotspring with a gorilla (which meant the soup she was tasting wasn't good).
    • Soma and Gin met in Totsuki Resort's spa while the other students weren't done with the assignment.
    • In a brief shot, Koujirou had to decline the spot as guest judge for the Fall Classic over the phone. This conversation was happening right in the middle of Gin's bath time.
  • Gainaxing: Ikumi, of course. Especially blatant during the Autumn Election preliminaries.
  • Generation Xerox: Chapter 309 reveals that Soma and Erina have a lot of parallels with Azami and Mana in their younger days. Like with Soma and Erina, Azami and Mana met each other by chance when Mana complained about Azami's food being terrible, causing Azami to swear he will make a dish that Mana would have no choice but to acknowledge is delicious.
  • Geodesic Cast: While not the only kind of character combinations, the series is full of duos that commonly work together (usually between an assertive person and a more laid-back/submissive partner). Soma and Megumi, Takumi and Isami, Erina and Hisako, Alice and Ryou, Akira and Jun, Marui and Ibusuki, Yoshino and Sakaki, etc.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Megumi's hands shake uncontrollably during the training camp Shokugeki. Soma has her put her hands together, then slaps them with his own hands, helping to ease her stress so she could focus on cooking.
    • In the second chapter of le Dessert, Erina does this to her dad when he thinks about leaving the Nakiri family for good, complete with an Armor-Piercing Slap for good measure.
      Erina: I'm sick to death of listening to you mope!
  • Girls' Night Out Episode: Chapter 52.5 focuses on Erina and Alice going to a public pool, with small appearances of the Polaris girls trying to cool off using an inflatable pool in the Dorm garden.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The series uses a more subtle variant of this trope. When characters (most notably Erina) are shown to be seriously angry, their irises are whited out to create a luminous effect.
  • Graduation for Everyone: Averted. Totsuki is notorious for having a low graduation rate, to the point where the teachers are pleasantly surprised that about a third of Soma's "jewels" generation remain at the end of the Stagiaire Month. The graduation ceremony we see of Jou's generation was about ten people tops.
  • Gratuitous Italian: The Aldini twins throw in lots of Italian words.
  • Handwave: Given that Totsuki has Klingon Promotion as an official policy and the headmaster preaches about his Social Darwinist based plan to fail most of the student body, it's a wonder that anyone would ever want to go there. So it's mentioned that even attending Totsuki is a major point to put on your resume, to explain why people are desperate to enroll there.
  • Happy Flashback: The judges' reaction to Soma's bento makes them feel like kids again.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Inverted. Natural talent is all well and good, and can provide a leg up, but anyone with enough drive for self-improvement can reach the highest levels at Totsuki, and the day you stop improving is the day you fail as a chef.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: Soma is told by Gin in Episode 11's Shokugeki that Megumi has to prove her own abilities as a chef, or she'll simply fail a later test.
  • Heroic Fantasy: Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manga, but it definitely uses the motifs of Heroic Fantasy in the Central arc.
    • Azami is referred to as an "evil overlord" who staged a coup for ousting his father-in-law, with a reoccuring background displaying him as some demon king.
    • Erina is essentially the princess of Totsuki Academy, and she finds shelter with a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits after her cousin and said cousin's (BFS wielding) attendant rescue her from said evil overlord.
    • After pulling herself together, Erina becomes the leader of "rebels" against her father's regime, and is even compared to Joan of Arc.
    • The Council of Ten Masters are portrayed metaphorically as knights (Tsukasa), barbarians (Rindo), fairy creatures (Momo), samurai (Saitou) or alchemists (Eizan). Kuga straight up becomes Sun Wukong.
    • The battles between Central and the Rebels follow the themes of the The Council of Ten Masters' motifs, such as Soma's combining of his friends' techniques being represented as Spontaneous Weapon Creation during a samurai duel with Saitou.
  • Heroic Rematch: Whenever Soma loses to a particularly difficult opponent, he'll always learn from the experience to come back better and pay it back in kind:
    • He lost to Akira Hayama in the Autumn Selection finals, and defeated him when he defected to Azami's side during the Central Arc.
    • Asahi Saiba trashes him when he comes to Totsuki to take Erina and force her to marry him. Fast-forward to the BLUE semifinals, he gets the chance to one-up him, and in front of everybody including Erina's parents and Joichiro himself, no less.
  • Hero's Muse: Joichiro believes the secret to becoming a good chief is finding someone who would inspire you to become a better chief, and a better person. As he says this in voiceover, there is a close-up of a family picture for himself, his wife and his son. Said son doesn't hear this sage advice at the start of the story, due to hanging up too soon, but ends up doing so anyway one episode later by seeking to craft a dish that Erina will approve of.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Daigo Aoki and Shoji Sato from the Polaris Dorms are always hanging out and bickering a lot, to the point they end up at the same Stagiaire assignment.
    • Takumi and Isami Aldini, in addition of being twin brothers, are very close to each other. They only agreed to go to Totsuki if the other did as well, and they go everywhere together.
    • In flashbacks it's seen that Gin Doujima and Joichiro were this as well during the Golden Age of the Polaris dorms. Both of them defended the dorms from raids and enemies and were in the top of the Council. After years apart and going their separate ways, Gin's first reaction when seeing Joichiro is to scold him for not keeping in touch, and after that they go for drinks together.
  • The Host: Urara Kawashima and Yua Sasaki both served as announcers for the Autumn Election preliminaries at Blocks B and A, respectively.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Some of the chefs in the series end up at a disadvantage due to their reliance on their specialties. Notably, Ikumi and Alice both make delicious dishes in their respective duels, but fail to grasp the central theme of their battle.
  • Hollywood Law: While the absurdity of the Council of Ten Masters voting Azami into power as dean can be Hand Waved by them being an Absurdly Powerful Student Council, the fact this action somehow grants the abusive Azami parental rights over Erina should be impossible. In Real Life, without the presence of a court order, in addition to Azami's personal history, it would be very unlikely. A bunch of teenagers do not have the power to decide such privileges.
  • Hope Spot: Takumi thinks that incorporating some last minute olive oil from a flask that he keeps with him for good luck can improve his dish and gain an edge over Subaru, whose cooking style involves making the exact same dish as his opponent and improving it a step further. Unfortunately, it's not enough to beat his opponent, who predicted this maneuver as well and prepared for it accordingly.
    • Done again by Eizan after Azami takes over Totsuki and abolishes all research societies and clubs and establishes a system to cook foods that only he approves of. The students all believe that they can contest the decision using Shokugekis, except...NOPE! It turns out that the Shokugekis will all be rigged and the judges will always rule in favor of Central.
    • Taken even further by Azami himself. After Soma defeats Eizan and puts an end to the match-fixing scheme and ensures that all future Shokugekis will be judged fairly, Azami simply answers the challenges with his handpicked students, including the members of the Council of Ten who voted for him. Sure, you can keep your research society if you win a Shokugeki, but you'll have to beat the highest-ranked students in Totsuki to do so.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: When Ikumi and Megumi realize that Soma accepted Subaru’s Shokugeki to teach him that failure is acceptable and he doesn’t need to obsess over victory they muse that it’s a bit of a Broken Aesop coming from him, considering he was betting his career as a chef on the match.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Despite being so self-assured of their superiority, many Central members are willing to cheat in order to bring down supposedly 'inferior' cooks. Eizan claims that they do so more out of a desire to crush the hopes of any rebels, than out of cowardice, and that Central would beat dissenters in a fair match anyway, yet they continue to play dirty even after some of the rebels show their worth during the Survivor's Purge.
    • One of the Central professors complains that the rebels are only surviving thanks to Erina's lectures. While that's partially true, he's not in much of a position to say that thanks to Central's MO of allowing students to pass if they imitate Central's teachers. Not to mention that unlike Central, Erina isn't holding her students' hands and is merely teaching them theory and letting them apply it creatively.
    • Azami defends his reforms by citing how cutthroat Totsuki's original structure was and saying that none of the students deserve to be discarded, a sharp contrast to Senzaemon openly admitting he intends to fail the vast majority of his students. And yet, Azami is quick to throw away anyone who doesn't fall in line and outright calls most chefs irrelevant, with his plans involving shutting down entire restaurants that don't match his standards.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Most of the "foodgasms" are certainly expressive and showy, making Food Porn comically literal.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The descriptions of the dishes are often complicated, but judging by the character reactions, they're enough to make the reader drool.
    • In Chapter 1, a Buddhist monk finds Joichiro's dish so tempting he discards his vows just to break his fast.
    • Played with regarding Erina due to her sensitive palate: any dish she eats must be this trope. Just imagine how well a strawberry cake or a cup of tea must taste for her to even sample it.
  • Indy Ploy: Soma competes with Terunori Kuga (8th Seat) to sell more Chinese food in the Moon Banquet Festival.
    Soma: See, my original plan went something like this:
    Day 1: Stay surprisingly close with the black pepper pork buns.
    Day 2: Come up with some new dish to make it a fight.
    Day 3: Somehow find a way to pull even.
    Day 4: Somehow find a way to win easily.
    Day 5: Somehow find a way to win overall.
    Rindou (2nd Seat): Wow. Now that's a vague plan if I ever heard one.
    • In the event, on the first day he sells hardly anything, putting him deep in the red, but with a lot of help he does win the fourth day, avoiding expulsion and putting a spoke in a different competition of Kuga's.
  • Image Song: After the Anime debuted, six singles have been released for Soma, Erina, Megumi, Ikumi, Koujirou and Takumi.
  • Insistent Terminology: Justified. The word "Shokugeki" is used specifically for official cooking duels between people affiliated with Totsuki. Unlike any ordinary cooking duel, Shokugekis need to have an odd number of judges, conditions of equal value (for example, expulsion doesn't even match an Council of Ten Masters seat) and certification from the administration.
  • Instant Fan Club: Erina, Miyoko, Ryoko and Ikumi have fanclubs, much to Urara's annoyance. On the guys' side, there's also Takumi (and part of his fanclub seems to also idolize Isami as well).
  • I Reject Your Reality: A running theme:
    • The entire school looked down on Soma's cooking because he came from humble roots. Despite repeatedly winning Shokugeki using this style, they can't bring themselves to accept his talent because accepting him means admitting they don't put in much effort.
    • This is the ideology of Central spearheaded by Azami, only their cooking is True Gourmet, the rest are trash. Even after Central Soldiers repeatedly lost to Soma and co who favored the unconventional style, this attitude remains unchanged.
    • The most egregious example is Eizan and his Judges who adamantly opposed Soma's cooking even after Rindou and Eizan himself admitted the taste.
  • "I Want" Song: Inverted with the anime's first ending, which is likely from Megumi's perspective. It's all about how she doesn't need wealth, fancy things or even flashy foods so long as she can have a simple, happy life after regaining her confidence.

    J — R 
  • Japanese School Club: Totsuki has many researching societies specializing in particular cooking styles. It's possible for a student to challenge an entire club to a Shokugeki just to make more room for themselves or for their club.
  • Japanese Spirit: All three forms are shown in the manga.
    • Cooks like Erina and Akira have an innate talent, their tongue and nose respectively makes them stand out and helps them refine their dishes.note 
    • Megumi's greatest strength is her resolve - her concern for the people she is cooking for. Her hospitality can be felt in her food and touches the hearts of her customers.
    • And thirdly is Soma's persistence. As Isshiki explains to a dumbfounded Eizan, what makes Soma stand out, and the reason why most people in the school look down on him, is that, despite his accomplishments in the short time he has spent in Totsuki, if they were to acknowledge him, they would accept that they themselves did not put enough effort in their cooking. Soma's hard work and never faltering spirit is what makes him a great cook.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Soma's first class at the academy, two students sabotage his and Megumi's dish by dumping salt into it, feeling that they need to put Soma in his place after his Badass Boast earlier that morning. With nowhere near enough time to start over, everyone is convinced that they're going to fail, including Megumi herself. However, with a bit of improvisation, Soma is able to finish the dish anyway, and it's so delicious that their homeroom teacher (who has a reputation for being incredibly strict) is absolutely beside himself with joy upon taking a bite. Not only are the saboteurs so awestruck by the display that their food starts to burn while they're distracted, but, in the middle of their panic, one of them accidentally drops a bottle of salt into their dish, ruining it in the same manner that they ruined Soma and Megumi's dish. Needless to say, they failed.
  • "Last Supper" Steal: In the anime's first ending, there is a scene where all of the Polarstar dorm members are seated around a table with having actions suspiciously similar to those of the disciples.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: In Chapter 152, The Polaris Residents (with Hisako and the Aldini brothers) decide to split in four groups to observe the simultaneous Shokugekis against the Central members. Group A has Isami, Yuuki and Fumio; Group B has Ryouko, Shun and Zenji; Group C has Hisako, Shoji and Daigo; and Group D has Soma, Megumi and Takumi.
  • Long Speech Tea Time: When Soma and Megumi visit Jun, at one point she starts a long lecture and doesn't notice that everyone soon leaves to have tea and talk about spice. Cut to her at the end of her lecture, realizing that everyone has left.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • In episode 9, Soma asks Hinako if they're allowed to use any ingredients they find within the the fences of the resort. She confirms it, and he immediately grabs her "Kaki no tane", or peanut and senbei snack that she had sitting next to her. He then uses that in his dish.
    • In episode 10, Soma asks Koujirou if alumni are exempt from being challenged to a shokugeki after Koujirou fails Megumi for altering her dish slightly instead of following his recipe to the letter. Soma wants him to allow Megumi to pass if he can defeat the teacher in a cooking duel.
  • Love Triangle: Played for Laughs. The main "conflict" of the first Time Skip arc is between Asahi and Soma over Erina: Asahi wants to marry Erina because she's the ultimate gourmand, while Soma refuses to part with his rival before he can make her admit he's a good cook. Erina walks in partway through, misunderstands that they're fighting over her heart (half true) and instantly faints.
  • A Master Makes Their Own Tools: Many of the students are known to grow, prepare, or cultivate the ingredients related to their specialty dishes. For example Yuki specializes in wild game, and raises her own animals on the farm and in her dorm room. Shun specializes in smoked dishes, and has his own woodshop for fuel. Ikumi specializes in meat, and her family owns and operates a world class meat distribution company, etc. etc.
  • Male Gaze: Special emphasis on Buxom Is Better, Panty Shots, and the female reaction to the dishes.
  • Maybe Ever After: The last chapter of Le Dessert heavily implies that Soma and Erina have developed feelings for each other, but there's no confirmation of a Relationship Upgrade. The post-series fanbook does confirm that they will, eventually.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Remember the "Sacrificial Stones" speech Senzaemon gives the rest of the student body? When Azami finally comes into the picture, he tells the student body the exact opposite when he gives his speech. Bonus points for the fact that both scenes are structured exactly the same.
    • Eizan's defeat by Takumi in Chapter 237 is portrayed like Takumi's manipulation by Mimasaka. Makes it more meaningful because Eizan was the reason Mimasaka even fought Takumi in the first place.
    • At the start of the story, Soma tells Erina she might not be as good a chef as she thinks if she wastes her time like a queen sitting pretty on her throne. Come the Regiment de Cuisine, Erina delivers similar words to Momo Akanegakubo when they face each other.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Totsuki has the kanji of "Moon" in its name. The Dorm is named "Polaris", which is the Guide Star and one of the brightest. After Soma joins the dorm, Fumio thinks to herself how the stars gather around the Moon. Also the Theme Naming of Totsuki comes to play as the Finale of the Fall Classic is staged under the light of the Full Moon.
    • The 92nd Generation is given the epitaph of "Jewel Generation" due to the sheer number of talented individuals in that year. As shown below in Overshadowed by Awesome, their generation has had the most people score above 80 during the Autumn Elections. However, notice that it says "Jewel", not "Jewels"; Senzaemon's intention was to make at least one crazy good chef in the hopes that they will dissolve the problems with his granddaughter.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The final match of the Totsuki Fall Classic: Soma vs Ryou vs Akira.
  • Missing Mom: Both Erina and Soma's mothers are suspiciously absent in their lives. Soma's mother is implied to be the reason Joichiro recovered from his Heroic BSoD and became the man he is today, while Erina's was only mentioned in passing in the first few chapters and is otherwise completely absent. Soma's mother is confirmed to have died, but Erina's mother is alive, distant and seriously ill.
  • Mixed Ancestry is Attractive: The Aldini brothers are half-Japanese and half-Italian and are both Chick Magnets, with the elder brother Takumi having a dedicated fan club at Totsuki despite being a first year and making even older female students gush about him. While he doesn't have his own fan club, some members of Takumi's also comment on how cute they find Isami. Why the differential treatment? Takumi has blonde hair, blue eyes, and is slim whereas Isami has brown hair and is chubby (his eye color is also blue but you rarely see them).
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Takumi occasionally plays with this: while trying to have a dramatic boast, he gets interrupted and turns the moment awkward.
    • During her introduction, Alice teases Soma with words and leaves in a cool fashion, only to bump into Ryou and begins whining about how it ruins her intimidation factor.
    • Senzaemon appears imposing and intimidating, only to choke right before delivering his big opening speech at the Fall Classic.
    • Senzaemon kicking out Azami, until it is then revealed that Senzaemon has just been ousted — thanks to 6 of the Council of Ten.
    • Chapter 149 is perhaps the biggest mood whiplash yet, with all the enjoying inside Polar Star and some funny and heartwarming scenes, Azami suddenly visits the PSD with a nightmarish face.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The dishes are either so good that people have orgasms eating it, or so bad that it feels like sexual assault. Even the simple culinary techniques used to prepare each dish are done using this trope, as seen when the Aldini brothers passing a mezzaluna is portrayed as an epic Combination Attack.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: There are multiple scenes where they show off partially naked characters, mainly female. However, this manga is also full of naked or half-naked men. Senzaemon, Gin and Satoshi each accrue more panels of nudity than most of the female cast put together. And unlike their female counterparts, most of their nudity is not Imagine Spots.
  • Mythology Gag: In both the pilot chapter and Chapter 170, Soma makes a dish that works better with cheap eggs than with high-quality eggs, surpassing Erina's expectations both times.
  • Naked First Impression: Not exactly first, given that they were already paired in their first homeroom assignment, but Soma and Megumi's first meeting in the Polaris Dormitory still counts, as the former walks in on the latter in the bath, both in the nude, with Megumi having a Naked Freak-Out.
  • Naughty Tentacles: The Imagine Spot for Mayumi trying Soma's peanut butter squid in the first episode involves a squid wrapping its tentacles around her nude body. The same thing happens in the third episode with Megumi and the honey squid.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: The Tootsuki uniform consists of blue jacket, white shirt, striped tie (ribbon for the girls), brown plaid pants/skirt, many characters wear the uniform correctly, while other characters wear a variation. Erina wears a shorter skirt with black stockings, Alice wears a cream sweater instead of the jacket, Ryou wears his shirt unbuttoned with his bandanna tied around his wrist, and so on. And we’re not even started with the chef uniforms.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Megumi sleeps through Soma’s match with Satoshi, waking up only at the end while they congratulate each other with a handshake. All she sees is the new weirdo shaking hands with a naked man who has tears in his eyes.
  • Odd Friendship: Soma and Nao unexpectedly bond over their mutual love of revolting dishes. Nao even drops her grudge against him for being paired with Hisako, instead of herself.
  • Omake: The volume extras often tell you how you can cook a dish shown in the menu as well as including a bonus strip or two.
  • Onee-sama: Nao stalks Erina and later Hisako, referring to them as her onee-sama (or "big sister" in the english dub). Hisako is rather creeped out by her affections, though we don't know how Erina feels about it. Soma's only concern is that neither of them are actually older than Nao.
  • Order vs. Chaos:
    • During Third Plate, Central take up the role of Order by dissolving all autonomous organizations within the school and setting itself up as the only RS/Club/etc., which is lead by the director and Council of Ten Masters. It decides all classes, all recipes, and all students must follow a specific and narrow way of cooking, which it considers to be the "correct way" to cook. The role of Chaos is taken up by Polaris Dorm, a rebel faction that refuses to obey Central. All of its members have their own way of cooking, and celebrate this diversity by trying each other's food and providing feedback. Erina reflects that their chaotic collaboration and random ideas can create effective solutions, surprising even her God Tongue, which is supposed to be absolute and infallible.
    • Dorm-brothers Joichiro and Gin and chaos and order, respectively, which is shown most clearly during the mock Shokugeki to train the Rebels. Gin executes his recipe by the book with calm grace, and with such precision that Takumi and Megumi are able to figure out what he is doing and then anticipate his needs by observing him. Joichiro experiments to the extent that he baffles both Soma and Erina, and he derives amusement from their confusion. The result is that Gin's dish is a paragon of what the recipe can produce, and Joichiro's, while definitely tasty, barely qualifies as the target recipe at all.
  • Orgasmically Delicious: Tasters experience their enjoyment via this trope in the most literal way possible. Hence, the experience is known as a "foodgasm".
  • Overshadowed by Awesome:
    • At the beginning of high school, Erina pities the other students in her year, since they can't achieve better than second-place — behind her. (Whether this turns out to be accurate remains to be seen.)
    • Yuuki and Ryouko both score 86 in the Fall Classic preliminaries, while Shun and Zenji both hit 88, with the latter being upended at the last moment by Subaru. Their scores would have been high enough had they had been in the other bracket, where Megumi qualified with 88. Nevertheless, the judges are impressed, given that in many years nobody scored above 80, let alone a dozen, meaning the other Polaris Dorm members just had the misfortune of competing in an extremely talented year. Ikumi, Isami, Miyoko and Nao also perform excellently in the Fall Classic with scores ranging from 84 to 87, but get knocked out quite quickly once the real top names start coming out.
    • In the Shokugeki with Koujirou vs. Megumi, she finally showcases her talents as a chef by making a dish of her own and thoroughly impresses the judges. Unfortunately, she's still up against a legendary alumnus who used to be the First Seat of the Council of Ten Masters. As good as her dish was, his was still vastly superior. She only manages to avoid being expelled after Koujirou first votes against himself to net a tie and then allows her to stay because he recognizes her cooking is worthwhile, even if it's not how he does things.
    • Even after Soma defeats Eizen and Isshiki enacts a number of rules to return the Shokugeki format to fair duels while ensuing that only impartial judges are used for the matches to prevent match tampering, the vast majority of Shokugeki from Central's side are conducted by the Council of Ten Masters or Azami's handpicked students, each of whom are said to have the potential to become a member of the Council. Consequently, most clubs end up losing their matches and are dissolved anyway. Only a tiny handful of students manage to successfully win their matches and all of those victories were only due to the fact that they didn't go up against a member of the Council of Ten Masters.
    • The rebels manage to pass the first two stages of the Promotion Exams thanks to Erina's tutelage, causing Central to get desperate and pit them in Shokugeki against the Council of Ten for the third stage. While they are, by far, the most talented chefs of the 92nd Generation, the rebels are still first-years going against the most talented chefs in the entire school. Predictably, most of them lost. The only rebels to pass that stage were Soma (who faced Akira and barely managed to win — it helped that Soma had already defeated another member of the Council of Ten and was familiar with how Akira cooked), Takumi, Megumi (whose tester Rindou only had them each make a dish that would please her) and Erina (who took the regular exam because Azami still hoped to sway her back to his side).
  • Overused Running Gag: When people taste delicious food, they're always put into imagine spots that tend to involve them naked and blushing or in cosplay outfits. During the Fall Classic, Senzaemon gets a page of his traditional clothing exploding off of him. The next page reveals what really happened. He really does strip when he tastes delicious food, as does his son, Soe. There have also been times when after a foodgasm the person snaps out of their reaction only to find themselves holding whatever silly pose they were making in the imagine spot, like all the fall classic judges standing in front of their table holding hands and smiling.
  • Picky Eater: Mostly the special guest judges to the big Shokugeki, composed of food critics, cooking masters, food suppliers and so on. Erina, on the other hand, is a specific example because of her fine palate (she commented on how her own mother's breast milk was lacking).
    • Erina's is even a major plot point of her Character Development; she was raised by Azami to refuse to eat any food that was not literally perfect. In her early years, she is shown to want to finish a dish even if it lacks perfection, but that was slowly crushed to the point that she would only take one bite and then throw the food in the trash if any imperfection whatsoever was found.
  • The Power of Friendship: Soma's main (non-cooking) attribute is his easy-going nature that can mostly bring anyone to his side; from fellow students that see him as unworthy, arrogant, and/or small fry, to past alumni who are ready to expel him, to, begrudgingly, the Defrosting Ice Queen who refused to acknowledge his talent in the first place.
    • In two occasions, where Soma's talents could only be possible thanks to the help of others.
      • During the Karaage Wars arc, saving the economy of Sumiredoori and Mozuya's defeat is only achieved thanks to all the efforts of the shops combined: Soma and Ikumi's recipe, Tomitaya's as the main point, cooking instruments provided by the hardware store, the printer producing the packaging and flyers, Mayumi designing the flyers and helping Yuuya, and the supplies and ingredients were provided by the local grocery store and the butcher (provided and supervised by Ikumi).
      • The Moon Banquet Festival goes by a longer process. After Soma makes his official challenge against the Council of Ten Masters's Terunori Kuga, it started with Megumi deciding to side with Soma as his aide. Miyoko Hojou, even though she couldn't join him, showed Soma how Kuga worked with the Chinese RS and lent him her club's cart. Ikumi helped them with tips on how to work with pork and spices for the Huijiao Bing buns. Erina, reluctantly, gave him critique and information on Chinese Cuisine and regions (and indirectly Hisako encouraged her to give Soma the feedback). Yuuya Tomita lent Soma benches. Subaru Mimasaka joined as the Sixth Ranger by studying Soma's work and speed, doubling his output. Megumi's RS contributed with decorations. And finally Ikumi, Takumi and Isami arrived as The Cavalry when the three of them couldn't attend the increasing customers, making it possible to surpass Restaurant Kuga.
    • During Soma's Shokugeki against Eizan, his winning dish was a result of experimentation and feedback with all his roomates. Soma described Polaris and his friends as the Castle where he will refine his skills, just like he previously described his home at Yukihira's.
  • The Power of Love: Played with. In the first few chapters, Joichiro muses that Soma doesn’t yet understand that the true secret to great cooking is to want to cook for a special someone, with the image shown being Soma’s mother. Before Soma is even officially enrolled, he already wants to cook something Erina will admit is good. Not quite what his father had in mind, no doubt, since he just considers her a goal to surpass. As disparate characters as Jouchirou Yukihira, Megumi Tadokoro, Hayama Akira and, to a lesser extent the Aldini brothers, Hisako Arato and Kojirou Shinomiya, are all driven by deep romantic or familial love in their cooking, and all of them are completely awesome.
  • The Proud Elite: Many of the students have this mentality, since they think that being enrolled at Totsuki and coming from wealthy families make them superior to others from more humble origins, this being one of the reasons they look down on Soma.
    • Most of the Council of Ten share this mindset, looking down on those students who are not part of the Elite — Erina berates Soma, or any dish below her standards, because of this (which is mostly because of her own father brainwashing her) — and the rest declare themselves head and shoulders above the rest of the school, with Momo even referring to her opponents as "lowlifes". After Azami's takeover and the creation of Central, the new members also start to humiliate the other students now not part of the selection.
  • Punch a Wall: A comedic example, Erina punches the wall over her frustration that Soma was accepted into Totsuki. The next panel shows her doubled over and massaging her injured hand.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Central's best 3 absolutely curbstomped the Rebels' best, but the battle utterly exhausted them that they won't be able to fully recover by the next bout, giving the Rebels an actual chance to finish them off in their weakened state. Downplayed, that even in their weakened state, they're still a force to be reckoned with.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Come the later chapters, there are three groups:
    • The residents at the Polaris Dorm have a distinctive characteristic, forte or habit: Soma comes from a special-of-the-day restaurant and is currently the eye of the storm at the school; Megumi is the shy girl who used to have the worst grades at school; Satoshi is the only member of the Council of Ten Masters and he spends most of the time naked around the dorms; Shun is the stoic one who specializes on smoked food; Ryoko's speciality is shiokouji (saltwater preserves), and has a personal workshop in the basement, occasionally making "rice juice"; Yuuki is the Genki Girl of the group and raises animals for her Wild Game style; Zenji is the dorm Bookworm Butt-Monkey, whose room always get trashed for parties and gatherings; Daigo and Shoji are The Big Guys who are constantly bickering; and Fumio, the caretaker, is the Team Mom who has taken care of many generations at the dormitory.
    • By the time of the Red Leaf Hunt, the top 9 of the 1st Years have become this by their cooking styles and personalities: Erina as The Ace of the group for being the only official member of the Council of Ten Masters, Soma as the transfer student and Challenge Seeker, Akira as the refined nose and spices expert, Megumi as the shy girl who makes kind homely food, Alice as The Tease and Molecular Gastronomy prodigy, Ryou as the hot-headed and specialist in seafood, Hisako as Erina's secretary and medicinal cook, Takumi as the Italian-Japanese fusion chef and Soma's self-proclaimed rival, and Subaru as "The King of Stalkers" who can copy any style.
    • The Council of Ten Masters members themselves are a very distinct group, each one with a specific cooking style and forte — from the 2nd Years: Isshiki as the Perpetual Smiler and The Face of the Council of Ten Masters, Eizan as the cold and calculative strategist who specializes in marketing and consulting, Kuga is short and boisterous and leads the Chinese Cooking RS, and Nene as the Aloof Dark-Haired Girl. And then we have the 3rd Years: Soumei, the "samurai" with the Cool Sword; Momo, who looks like a middle schooler and is socially awkward; Tosuke, The Big Guy; Rindou, the girl with the Cat Smile; and Eishi, handsome The Leader with a fragile personality.
  • Real Men Cook: Most of the adult male cooks are portrayed as extremely attractive in one way or another, as are all the best male students. They're also usually the best students in their year and have the best careers. On the other hand, the story acknowledges that it's not a coincidence that most of the top chefs are men: Women face a lot of discrimination in this field and struggle to be recognized as equals.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: With the exception of Erina's grudge against Soma, the Council of Ten Masters seem to judge the performances of the student without bias, though Eizan does abuse his position in order to set Soma up for failure. Even then, he doesn't sabotage the competition. They also don't judge exclusively by grades, noting Megumi's good performance during the training camp and allowing her to compete despite her widespread lack of recognition. The reasonableness goes out the window when Azami returns.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Isshiki gives one of these to Eizan about the entire school. According to Isshiki, the students look down on Soma not just because he's from a small family restaurant, but because he keeps winning against geniuses despite having no special talent of his own. The other students can't be bothered to put out the same effort Soma does and would rather just give up, so it's easier for their pride if they pretend Soma has no chance of winning.
    • Erina, at the beginning, keeps trying to deliver one to Soma; his ego about losing is nonexistent, so he either a) says to wait until he's done cooking to judge (if the speech is done early), or b) just shrugs it off and says now he knows his faults, failing is learning, and just has to get better for next time. This drives Erina, who for her whole life has brought even adult chefs to their knees with even the slightest critique and crushed their will, up the goddamn wall.
    • Hayama delivers a milder version to Hisako when he defeats her in the Fall Classic quarterfinals. He tells her that someone like her, who aspires to be a Number Two, couldn't possibly defeat someone like him, who aspires to reach the top, and she's limiting herself by staying in Erina's shadow. Hisako is forced to acknowledge this and ends up running away in shame.
  • Red Baron: Any high-level chef will get a nickname. By the unnofficial Shokugeki against Koujirou, the Legendary Alumni are already picking one for Megumi.
    • During the Fall Election, the entire Polar Star dormitory receive one (except for Those Two Guys), as well as every character that scored in the 80s or above; Nikumi, already known as the Meat Master, was upgraded to the Meat General.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Takumi is Red (short-tempered and Challenge Seeker), while Isami is Blue (more calm and centered).
  • Red Shirt Army: At least 90 to 99% of the student body in one generation will be expelled before graduating Totsuki, due to its curriculum's competitive, cutthroat nature. During the admission ceremony for the 92nd Generation, Senzaemon reveals that of the 812 from their preceding generation, only 76 (that is, 9%) made it into eleventh-grade, and no doubt even fewer will make it into twelfth-grade, let alone graduate. For example, in the training camp arc around three hundred students are expelled and then roughly two hundred more during Stagiaire Month. This is actually significantly better than normal.
  • Retool: Julio, the double-chinned, utensil spinning chef that specialized in Italian cooking in the oneshot, came back as a Council of Ten member in the main series redubbed as Julio Shiratsu.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • In Chapter 80, Mimasaka Subaru reveals that he and Soma will be facing each other in the next round of the Fall Classic. He attempts to bet Takumi's mezzaluna against Soma's cooking knife. Soma not only agrees, he takes it a step further, betting his cooking career against all 100 tools Mimasaka has stolen. And then he tells Mimasaka what he's going to make.
    • Mimasaka himself is this trope. The guy publicly admits, many times, that he spends most of every single day stalking people, including and not limited to hacking into their computers. One would expect this kind of behavior to get him expelled from the school or even arrested, but the most this gets him is anger and disapproval from the judges in the competition for the underhanded way he competes.
  • Retcon: The early chapters mentioned that Soma didn't have any grandparent figure to look up to growing up, as evidenced by an elderly Yukihira customer he grew very attached to and went out of his way to make dishes for when she couldn't physically go anymore. The very late stages of the manga revealed that he had a maternal grandfather around the shop at that very same time, who sometimes played with Soma and is still alive come the epilogue.
  • Rigged Spectacle Fight: Some of the shokugekis that take place under Central's regime are blatantly rigged. The biggest example is Tetsuji's shokugeki against Etsuya Eizan with the survival of Tetsuji's club at stake. Even though Eizan barely puts any effort into his dish, the judges unanimously declare him the winner without even tasting either man's food, making it obvious Tetsuji had no chance from the start. All the other clubs withdraw their shokugeki challenges as soon as they see the results of this match, which is exactly what Eizan and Central wanted.
  • Rule of Drama: Played for Laughs. Soma is drawing lots for what will be the theme of a Shokugeki between him and Nene, a soba specialist. Naturally, narrative law is invoked and of all the lots he could have drawn, he of course ends up drawing the soba lot. However, this is after Nene had been boasting about how she would win regardless of whatever theme had been chosen, leaving her in an even more awkward position than everyone else.
  • Running Gag:
    • The "foodgasms" count.
    • Soma's horrible cooking squid experiments and the reactions to the taste, especially by girls.
    • Anytime Erina delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Soma, it sails right over his head or he shrugs it off, much to her annoyance and ire.
    • Takumi's schtick of saying something cool, then being thrown into an awkward situation moments after.
    • Hinako always makes fun of Shinomiya or does something annoying near him. He'll put up with it briefly, but then he'll lift her up one-handed by clamping his hand over her face while her legs kick around feebly below. When Lucie joins her in making fun of Shinomiya's tsundere attitude towards Soma, he lifts them both.
    • The Polaris dormitory always meeting and gathering in Zenji's room. He always asks why they keep doing it every time as well.

    S — Y 
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl:
    • Genderflipped with Soma/Megumi since he is gunho for everything but she is more aware of the risks involved.
  • School Festival: The Totsuki Academy Festival Arc is completely dedicated to this. Totsuki's festivals are built on a large scale with three vendor zones — "The Main Street Area", which consists of tents placed by the road; "The Central Area", where all the specialized booths occupy the school buildings; and finally "The Uptown Area", where all the exclusive and high-class clients attend, mainly managed by the Council of Ten Masters members. This event attracts more than 500,000 people every year, meaning that most of the booths need staff employees to satisfy the demand. Also if a booth loses money, the student is immediately expelled.
  • School Idol: Erina Nakiri, who is admired and feared by many of the students. Also count Urara Kawashima, Takumi Aldini, Miyoko Hojou and Ryoko Sakaki, as seen by the massive numbers of their personal fanclubs.
  • School of No Studying: Though there are scenes in classrooms throughout the series, scenes of the students actually attending classes and studying material are exceedingly rare compared to scenes of cooking duels and of dorm life. In particular, there is no mention whatsoever of general education classes a culinary school would normally have. Totsuki seems to have a culture where students spend most of their time free to do as they please, which mostly amounts to them challenging each other to cooking duels and taking the occasional cooking class and cooking exam.
  • Secret Test of Character: Besides serving as on-the-job training, Senzaemon reveals a hidden purpose of Stagiaire Month: Character Development. Not only are students expected to perform well under pressure, they are also encouraged to both "leave a mark" on their assigned restaurants (that is, encourage changes that last beyond their tenure) and nurture their mental and emotional strength. And as seen in various cutaways, the 500 or so survivors of the training camp got whittled down ever further when faced with the realities of the outside world.
  • Self-Deprecation: During the crossover chapter, Irina tries the food and reacts accordingly. All the other heroines try (in vain) to control themselves, figuring that the only reason anyone would read Shokugeki no Soma would be to enjoy Shun Saeki's foodgasms. Erina can be seen in the background not saying a thing.
  • Sequel Hook: The first season of the anime cut off in the middle of the Fall Classic arc.
  • Series Fauxnale: Chapter 264 plays out like a standard "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, with Megumi writing a letter to her mother on what the cast have been up to in the four-month aftermath of the Regiment De Cuisine, until the end of the chapter reveals her and Soma are on a mission for the new Dean Erina, and dealing with whatever threat there is to her new administration. However, the series ends the arc following this.
  • Serious Business: Very much averted regarding cooking, apart from Totsuki's impossible level of wealth. One, cooking is a very niche pursuit that normal people don't really follow or appreciate that much, which angers some of the more elitist cooks. Two, while the main characters do take it very seriously, that's only natural given that they're cooks themselves. Three, Soma points out that even if he were banned from cooking, it wouldn't be the end of the world. Fourth, characters who value cooking over other people like Tsukasa and Azami are shown to have something very wrong with them with even Hayama prioritizing Shiomi's seminar over her wishes for his safety as being probably the stupidest thing he's ever done. Fifth and finally, those who focus too much on cooking and don't take time off to relax or pursue other hobbies are generally considered to be unhealthy and poorly adjusted.
    • Played for laughs in the lead-up to the Fall Classic. Megumi and the dorm in general get way too serious about table tennis with the narration reminding the reader that this is a cooking manga despite the serious atmosphere and specialist terminology flying around.
    • Played very straight with the judging of Shokugeki. It seems to be an unbroken law that the judges must give fair assessment of a dish if they taste it. This is best shown in the Soma-Eizan Shokugeki, in which Soma built his entire offense on the judges's adherence to this trope.
    • For that matter, Shokugeki itself, there is a whole committee that oversees, supports and if need be, enforces its results. And what can be bet in Shokugeki is rather astounding and outrageous (land, money, restraining order, positions, etc).
  • Shadow Archetype: Creatively used. The shadows weren't just pairs but whole groups of characters. They start out the same but different circumstances growing up led to them becoming entirely different characters.
    • The Genius heir/heiress:
      • Erina is the prominent example which will be used as baseline for comparison. She was born with The Gift, was the heiress of the foremost "food nobles" clan, suffered Training from Hell from her dad and grew up to be similarly an Elitist stuck up who used their gift to get everything they wanted before Character Development. Her good memories of befriending Alice and meeting Saiba were forgotten after her father's training.
      • Momo Akanegakubo is also born with The Gift, heir to a wealthy family but was adored and spoiled rotten by her parents. She became a Womanchild Elitist obsessed with cuteness. She represents what Erina could have become if she was spoiled and used her gift carefreely.
      • Satoshi Isshiki is the heir of the most prominent traditional food clans in the country. He was trained in cooking at a very young age and easily mastered everything. However, the weight of being the heir left him with a disdain attitude for cooking before he met his inspiration - a chef who cooked with joy and fun. He grew up a playful, well-adjusted young man with undeniable talent. He represents what Erina could have become if her inspirational memory of meeting Saiba wasn't blemished by the elitist policy her father imprinted on her.
      • Takumi Aldini, though less prominent is also an heir with considerable talent in cooking. His father also noted that he too lost interest in cooking. However, his friendship and rivalry with his brother Isami pushes him onward. He represents what Erina could have become if she had Alice growing up.
      • Mimasaka Subaru started off the same way as the others: as an heir with remarkable ability. His father straight up exiled him when he surpassed him. Subaru's case asks a fundamental question: What if Erina's family hated her Gift?
    • The overshadowed one: Growing up in the shadow of the genius, this character's response to the circumstances comes to define their adulthood.
      • Soma Yukihira lived in his father's shadow, and never once won a cooking match against him. Despite this, his Determinator status led him to constant developments, a playful attitude and immunity to insults. He however, greatly believed that improvement comes from within and was initially reluctant to find answers outside of his home diner.
      • Alice Nakiri constantly heard people gushing about Erina growing up. Her rich family allowed her the chance to travel halfway around the world to an unfamiliar country to find a way to surpass Erina. While she grew up to be a playful genius, she lacked the emotional maturity that Soma possesses from his day-to-day serving of customers and challenging his father.
      • Nene Kinokuni lived in Satoshi Isshiki's shadow. She responded by training really hard to improve her skills. However she lacked the emotional resilience that Soma possesses and her issue with Satoshi was never resolved. She was left with a crippling inferiority complex and a dependence on techniques.
      • Isami Aldini has known all his life that his brother is better than him at cooking but does not resent him or give up on challenging him.
      • Arato Hisako has known Erina all her life and practically worships her, and willingly becomes number 2 for the genius, unlike every other example above.
  • Ship Tease: Has its own page.
  • Shocking Elimination: Two In-Universe examples during the Fall Classic.
    • Takumi gets beaten by Subaru, even after a last-minute improvisation with an alternative for the dish upon learning of Subaru's method of ripping off and then improving on his opponent's style. Everyone, including the judges, were shocked and angered by Subaru's victory.
    • Soma then deals this towards both Alice, who got the highest score on her preliminaries block, and later Subaru, who was the favorite going into their semifinal match.
  • Shout-Out: The series has so many of them that they have been moved to their own page.
  • Shown Their Work: There's a great amount of information about various cooking styles, ingredients and recipes used for each dish. Some of them include "tempeh" (an Indonesian fermented soybean), "shalyapin (or Chaliapin) steak", and the concept of "live cooking". Naturally, series collaborator Yuki Morisaki is a chef herself.
  • Sibling Team: The Aldini brothers have been cooking together since they were children, and frequently work together when they need to complete their task in pairs. Takumi even declared that Aldini is complete when he and Isami are together.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: The majority of the main characters qualify. Although they are clearly skilled chefs in their own right, there are still other aspects of cooking in which they are inexperienced, and, overall, there is a lack of real-world experience.
  • Smug Snake: Kinu Nakamozu, the female owner of the Mozuya specialty shop absolutely loves to boast and gloat; visually Lampshaded with a forked tongue in one scene.
  • The Social Darwinist:
    • Totsuki is a downplayed and somewhat justified example because they want to produce the best graduates possible. Students can use cooking duels to settle disputes, and the harsh curriculum requires everyone to constantly and quickly improve their skills to avoid expulsion. Plus the best chefs in the school, the Council of Ten, are given a lot of political power and responsibilities. This is also combined with Stern Teacher, since most of the staff is fair to those with different backgrounds and cooking methods as long as they perform well.
    • This also has a Decon-Recon Switch with Megumi, who suffers more under this system due to being a late bloomer, but arguably Took a Level in Badass because of this very system combined with support from her friends.
    • Played with concerning Central. They got into power through Totsuki's social darwinist policies (via the Council of Ten) and they claim they want to give all students a "fairer" chance of graduating. However, their policies tend to favor people who are affiliated with Central and use their approved cooking methods while obstructing non-Central students who can perform on par with or better than their chosen elites. Their teaching policies are also neutering the potential of non-chosen students, who are forced to imitate their teachers rather than innovate.
    • This gets another deconstruction when the pressure and expectations to succeed causes Joichiro to drop out, especially when everyone has attributed his success to his talent alone rather than his hard work.
  • Sore Loser: Many of the characters have this reaction to defeat. Soma later points out that being sore losers is what actually makes them even better chefs.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil:
    • More precisely "Sorting Algorithm Of Challenge." For the most part, the kinds of challenges faced by Soma and the other main characters tend to gradually escalate in difficulty. Being at Totsuki doesn't just mean being a skilled chef but knowing how to manage a restaurant and keep up with the pressure in different situations. There are occasional curve-balls thrown, both in terms of stakes and challenge level: Soma and Megumi face a former first-seat alumni and famed chef fairly early in the series and subsequently lose. Sometimes the challenge level isn't as high but the stakes for losing are still high, i.e. when facing other students in a Shokugeki.
    • Averted in the case of Soma's father Joichiro; he himself sets the bar for challenge at the beginning of the series and has yet to be surpassed. Joichiro even goes as far as saying that if Soma can't get through Totsuki, he has no chance of surpassing him.
  • Spit Take: In Chapter 152, both Yuuki and Zenji react like this when Isshiki informs them that Azami is going to boot him from the Council of Ten.
  • Spoiler Opening: The second season opening shows all the matchups (and hints at who wins) for the quarterfinals and semifinals of the Fall Classic, though the symbolism may not be clear until after watching the episodes. Each pair of competitors (Soma and Alice, Takumi and Mimasaka, Ryo and Megumi, and Akira and Hisako) appears together trying to knock each other off a giant flying knife, and then Akira decimates them all with his cinnamon "cannons", hinting that he will be the ultimate winner. It's heavily hinted that the final will be a three-way battle between Akira, Soma, and Ryo, since they're the only ones still standing on their knives at the end. Also, Kojiro's return is hinted by him appearing too, though he doesn't show up beyond a brief cameo until the second-to-last episode of the season.
  • Stern Teacher: In general, all Totsuki professors. The judging panel from the Fall Classic are especially strict and rarely hands a score above a fifty out of a hundred out for the competitors. It becomes a really big deal when certain students are awarded above 80 points during the preliminaries.
  • The Stinger: The anime version has them after the ending credits.
    • In the 1st Chapter/Episode, Erina is introduced having her Establishing Character Moment. She is grading some students on their dishes, and gives them horrible reviews.
    • During Episode 2, Erina's grandfather, the chairman of the cooking school, tastes some of Soma's food after she claims it's not good enough to pass. Due to his higher position at the school, he overrides her decision not to let him enter the school, which shocks her quite a bit when she sees him there in the next episode.
    • At the end of Episode 3, Erina is told about Soma passing a really tough course with a teacher who's normally very strict with grades. She vows to get him expelled one way or another.
    • In Episode 4, Soma runs into one of the Council of Ten Masters, Satoshi Isshiki, and tries out one of his dishes.
    • Episode 5 introduces Soma's first major opponent at the school, Ikumi Mito. And in episode 6, she discusses her strategy of using high-grade A5 beef to defeat whatever garbage he cooks up.
    • At the end of episode 7, Ikumi, having been soundly defeated by Soma in the Shokugeki contest, goes to the Don RS club room she had to join as a condition for losing. She acts very girly, and is hoping to meet him in the room, only to find Kanachi in there. He explains that Soma declined to join the club, lowering her chances of seeing him.
    • After the credits for episode 12, Soma returns to Zenji's room where the rest of his dorm mates were wondering what happened to him and Megumi. They then decide to start playing a card game, prompting Zenji to once again ask why they're always in his room.
    • During the cooking event in episode 13, Erina finishes her 200 servings of breakfast food rather easily. However, Soma has served less than 10 dishes by this point, and was stationed right next to her...
  • Straw Loser: Many in the audience often comment how some of the Fall Classic contestants are useless, such as Megumi's "dunce" status of having the lowest grades or Zenji's physical struggle during Training Camp — yet these are the same students not selected to participate in the Election at all.
  • Sudden Principled Stand: Erina against Azami. After witnessing Azami committing numerous atrocities when he becomes dean, Erina draws the line when Azami asks her to join Central to side against her friends. She relinquishes her seat from the Council of Ten and helps the Rebels win the Regiment de Cuisine.
  • Super-Deformed: Sometimes characters look this way when they're excited about food... or mad at Soma.
  • Supreme Chef: Everyone who goes to Totsuki actually has a good career in cooking ahead of them even if they end up dropping out or expelled just from the sheer prestige of the school. The actual graduates usually start their own wildly successful restaurants within just a few years. Of course, even as good as the students seem in the present, some are much better than others, such as Erina. Right now, at least, even she probably couldn't hope to compete with the actual adults who have already graduated as the first or second seats.
  • Surprise Incest: le dessert revealed that Asahi is Erina's biological half-brother through Azami, making the entire BLUE arc this in retrospect. Thankfully, Asahi and Erina don't do anything intimate.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: at the party in the dorm on Soma's first night, we are told by a subtitle that the students are drinking rice juice AND NOTHING ELSE, as they start exhibiting suspiciously drunk-like behaviors.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: As Satoshi tells Etsuya during the Fall Classic finals, the students want Soma to fail not just because of his boastful introduction, but also because he obviously doesn't have the natural talent of someone like Alice or the intellect of someone like Subaru. If they were to acknowledge his ability, it would mean admitting that their own failures are simply because they do not work hard enough. Nevertheless, the way Isshiki sees it, it's starting to change, more so after Soma forces Subaru by Shokugeki stipulation to return the knives he took from his past opponents after beating him.
  • Tear Up the Contract: In the match between Soma and Subaru, the two agree to the terms that if Soma loses, he'll have to give up cooking forever, made official with Soma signing a contract stating such. After Soma wins the match, the official tears up the contract to the joy of Soma's friends.
  • Technician Versus Performer: There's a running theme in the story between different approaches to cooking which often fall under technician vs. performer lines. The story itself seems to believe in the need for balance, and both extremes are presented as detrimental.
    • Demonstrated pointedly during the Training Camp day of feeding 200 people buffet style. Soma creates something that is technically good but because he didn't factor in the time/endurance aspects of the food to the challenge, he's about to fail. He comes up with an idea that is 100% performance and he passes by the skin of his teeth. But several characters state that in spite of his win, relying on that performance ability to get by won't work forever.
    • Most of the cast are varying degrees of technician, but Megumi is almost pure performer. When she has a match against Shinomiya, he notes that the food isn't cooked right and it isn't joined together properly, indicating she’s not nearly as careful as the other cooks. Then it brings him to tears, because he can really tell how hard she worked and how much style and thoughtfulness went into what she cooked. His own dish for the match is considered superior, but is so lifeless and stagnant compared to what he could be doing that he actually ends up voting against himself and declares their match void, despite winning!
    • Alice, as a molecular gastronomist, is at the far end of the technician side of the spectrum. Trouble is, while her cooking is almost unanimously considered impressive, she tends to be so preoccupied with showing off her cutting-edge culinary science and coming up with exotic presentations that she often misses the point of an assignment. Megumi’s dish comes right after hers and while Alice gets a higher score, the judges seem happier with Megumi’s food, directly comparing it to her and noting the human warmth in it.
    • Subaru takes it in a repulsive direction. His cooking skill is top-notch, but he has absolutely no interest in actually making something people will enjoy. That'’s merely a side benefit to his actual goal, which is taking something someone is proud of, insulting it and then challenging them to a humiliation match. During the match, he then takes their specialty, studies it and improves it by enough to cause them to lose. It’s said that despite his excellent skills, there is not a restaurant in the world that would be willing to hire him.
    • This conflict lies at the core of the Central vs Rebel conflicts. Azami's Central philosophy is that cooks don't have to listen to any comments from the "swines" (ie: normal people who eat their foods), only from the God's tongue (ie: the pinnacle of technical perfection). The Rebels, including God's Tongue herself believe that what chefs and their dishes want is freedom of expression.
  • The Tell: Members of the Nakiri family all "strip" when tasting particularly delicious foods, with Senzaemon's being the most literal interpretation. Even Nakiris by marriage like Leonara and Azami have similar involuntary reactions, the former "stripping" her poor Japanese grammar and the latter causing other people to strip. This becomes significant in the Regiment De Cuisine where even as Azami fervently denies that he liked Erina's dish everyone around him is stripping, proving he's lying.
  • Title Drop: Chapter 315 shares the series' name with its title.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: The Polaris Girls consist of Ryoko's Seductress (the sexiest and most provocative), Yuuki's Child (youngest, smallest, and most innocent) and Megumi's Wife (so sweet and humble, and great at making comfort food).
  • Through His Stomach: Every time it comes up in an omake it goes wrong for some reason. Nikumi tries to make lunch for Soma with the classic 'I made too much, so don't attach too much importance to this' line, but at Polaris every student really did make too much and are trying to dump food off on each other. Takumi and Isami's fangirls try to make lunch for the twins, but 'maidens' hearts are crushed' when they realize the Aldinis are just way better than them. Finally, back when Joichiro was in school, his female classmates would beg for his failure dishes because of weird BDSM subtext.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After the positively grueling torture that was the Training Camp, on the last day everyone who passed was allowed to kick back and enjoy a full-course meal prepared by the alumni.
  • Those Two Guys: Daigo and Shoji, the two previously-unnamed characters from the Polaris Dormitory, always appear together and has very little characterization beyond their role as the dorm's crowd filler. So far, they are the only ones who have not been shown any specialty skill area, didn't make the Fall Classic, and, aside from quick shots of them in a kitchen to show they do actually cook, we've never seen any food they've made.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Isshiki's nightmare of everyone coming back from the Training Camp, including Soma turning into Kenshiro, and the rest becoming Japanese Delinquents (complete with black uniforms) with Megumi as the chain twirling leader.
    • Everyone who came back from the Stagiaire period learned something which helped them grow immensely, particularly from their second assignments:
      • Soma had the principles of French cuisine hammered into him by Shinomiya, which in turn gave him enough grounding to successfully assist Eishi Tsukasa.
      • Ryou learned the art of seasoning and using subtle shades of flavouring, enabling him to go toe-to-toe with one of the top second-year students.
      • Megumi has always been good at customer service, but the experiences she gained working front-of-house during the second assignment helped Soma keep his stand afloat during the School Festival.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Just when Soma starts gaining some respect from his fellow classmates for his accomplishments in the Fall Classic, Central takes control of the school and indoctrinates most of the student body into adopting an elitist view on cuisine. As a result, they become very hostile to Soma and anyone else who opposes Central, much more so than previously.
  • Tournament Arc: The Fall Classic — sixty students are selected among the first-year students. For the preliminary round, participants are divided into the "A" or "B" Block with thirty students each. Only four students with the highest scores in each block can move to the main tournament.
  • Time Skip: After toppling the Azami administration, the series jumps ahead four months.
    • le dessert goes ahead six months after the finale and skips past the remainder of the main cast's second year, starting in their third year instead.
  • Title Drop: "Shokugeki", the cooking duels at the Totsuki Culinary Academy. It's a long-standing tradition that allows students to settle arguments and debates through a formal duel of their culinary prowess.
  • Training from Hell: The "Totsuki Friendship and Rapport Training" is literally referred as this. Not only must first-year students cook at least 150 to 200 dishes per day, those who can't are expelled. Every year, about half of the first-years are eliminated. Usually, there aren't even scheduled hours to sleep: Your only chance to sleep is during the brief free time, during which you may need to be preparing for your next assignment instead.
    • Erina puts the Polaris residents (plus Ikumi and the Aldini brothers) through a week-long study session, in preparation for the second-year advancement exams administered by Central, who are obviously going to stack the deck against the "rebels." A later scene from around the end of the study session looks like something out of a murder movie.
  • Trash Talk: A staple of many fights is the opponents mocking each other beforehand. Soma's lines tend to be rather memorable when he rises to the bait.
  • Trivially Obvious: When Megumi gets upset and tearful at Soma for betting his own career at Totsuki on match to keep her from failing, his only reaction is that she lets her accent slip when she gets emotional.
  • Truth in Television:
    • There is an "E" grade used in Japan, which is a variation of an "F".
    • In Chapter 116, one of the students is eliminated from his Internship in large part because of his tweets badmouthing the restaurant he is working at (the printed evidence shows that the tweet gathered more than 3000 favorites, retweets and replies). This policy on social networks is applied in many workplaces as part of the ethic code and professional behaviour of the employees.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Zig-Zagged. Soma is a no-name New Transfer Student who no one else really has much expectation of. He had won some of his matches (against Nikumi and Alice) and lost some (against Shinomiya and Hayama). Then it starts being slowly subverted once Jouichirou's backstory starts coming to light, giving several faculty members (and Erina) cause to start seeing his disadvantage as a pedigree.
    • Also zigzagged with Polar Star Dormitory. It churned out the academy's best chefs in its heyday, making it the exact opposite of this trope, but ended up degrading into the Underdog bracket by the present day. The new blood fits the trope by managing to survive against odds, but as individuals, they tend to get defeated much more often than usual. This is best exemplified in the Regiment de Quisine, where it's Polar Star (novices) vs Central (hand-picked by Azami); they pull through but at the cost of over half of the members losing along the way.
  • Villain Has a Point: Under Azami's administration, every student can prepare a gourmet-level dish to an exacting standard set up by him. Considering Totsuki is supposed to be a school, there are those who think Azami's method is how it should have been done, rather than having a tremendous amount of dropout rate under Sonzaemon.
    • When going against Takumi in the Shokugeki, Subaru pointedly tells the judges that, despite how he acquired the knowledge to beat his opponent, or that he's making the same dish they do/would only one step better, non of that matters as, as judges, their only job is to say which is the better meal put in front of them, not to admonish what he does to win.
  • Visual Innuendo: In the anime's ED, the Polaris Dorm students all float by clinging to food, generally looking like they're asleep. Then along comes naked Isshiki riding a giant banana.
  • Volleying Insults: Between the second-year members of the Council of Ten Masters. Kuga started the cycle by announcing his desire to abolish the Autumn Leaf Viewing event, Nene calls him out for the stupid remark, which Kuga responds by calling her an Auntie. Eizan later says pretty much the same remark, and Kuga flatly tells him that he's too greedy to stay in Totsuki and should just leave. Eizan calls Kuga a midget, setting him off, and escalating the argument into a fight.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The autumn election preliminaries and the actual tournament-style competition itself are interrupted by Megumi and Soma accompanying Isshiki to one of his projects, where they end up taking over a small cooking class for little kids. It does have a small impact on Megumi’s character arc, however, and indirectly inspires an idea Soma's next dish during the tournament.
  • Wham Episode
    • Chapter 20: Just as Megumi is finally gaining confidence in herself and the determination to stay with her friends at Training Camp, she is suddenly expelled on the second day.
    • Chapter 103: The final match for the Autumn Election between Soma, Kurokiba, and Hayama ends with Soma's first defeat to someone on his level. The only losses he's had in the series have been against far superior opponents, such as his father, but his loss to Hayama, another first-year, brings into perspective that he isn't even the best chef amongst the first years.
    • Chapter 131: Erina's father Azami suddenly appears after ten years at her uptown stall during the last day of the Full Moon Banquet, and if her and Hisako's reactions are any indication, he's a less-than-welcome guest. When Senzaemon orders him to leave the premises, Azami reveals he's already courted enough of the Council of Ten to force a change in deanship, allowing him to take over Totsuki.
    • Chapter 139: Azami overhauls Totsuki's "ruthless meritocracy" system. He abolishes the constant threat of expulsion, but also every single club and research society in school. He sets up a central committee to govern the school composed of himself, the Council of Ten, and his handpicked students. All the cooking lessons will focus only on the most gourmet of foods, everything on a Council of Ten level, thus basically taking away the creative freedom of all other students by making them copy what the central committee and ultimately Azami will set for them. Some teachers and many students are most definitely displeased with this. And then the chapter closes with Eizan dropping by the Polaris dorm to announce that it has been shut down.
    • Chapter 179: Hayama is revealed to have joined Central and is acting as the interim 9th Seat of the Council of Ten, having seemingly sold out Jun and her seminar in his pursuit to be the best in Totsuki.
    • Chapter 191: Soma has won his match against Akira and extended an invitation for him and Jun to join them at Polaris. However, Ikumi, Isami and Hisako have all lost their Shokugekis against the Council of Ten and are expelled.
    • Chapter 192: In addition to the ones above, every one of the "rebels" who wasn't on the path Soma was on, along with Akira as part of his agreement with Central, are expelled, leaving only Soma, Erina, Megumi and Takumi. This leads Soma to form the ballsy plan of taking the majority of the Council of Ten seats so that they can overturn their expulsions.
    • Chapter 194: The last chapter ended with Joichiro and Senzaemon's sudden appearance before Azami. They offer to settle things in a Team Shokugeki match with the remaining rebels against the Council of Ten and that if the rebels lose, Joichiro will swear loyalty to Central and close down Yukihira permanently, which Azami happily accepts. To a lesser extent, we also finally get to see how things came to be from the 69th Generation, including The Reveal that it was Joichiro who was the best chef of that generation, not Doujima.
    • Chapter 227: Despite the past chapters introducing Megishima's cooking for the first time, explaining Kuga's growth as a chef, revealing Mimasaka's new imitation skill, and showcasing for the first time the teamwork that the Regiment de Cuisine is a feature of, the rebels get destroyed 3-0 by the Central team of Saito, Rindou and Tsukasa without a single explanation from the judges.
    • Chapter 263: The Rebels have won the Regimental Shokugeki and thus, the Azami administration is done away with and the Rebel Alliance becomes the new Council of Ten. Surprisingly, Erina decides the First Seat will go to Soma. Soma, in turn, uses his position to nominate Erina as the new dean, a decision which Senzaemon approves of.
    • Chapter 264: The series jumps ahead four months and reveals what the cast have been up to since dismantling Central. All of the 3rd years graduated and have started up business in their respective fields. Eishi seems to finally be enjoying life along with Rindou. Hayama, Ryou, Alice, and Megumi have become the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 10th Seats of the Council of Ten Masters respectively. And Soma's declaration of wanting anyone to challenge him for his new 1st seat ushers in a new change in Totsuki
    • Chapter 296: Asahi's "superhuman talent" is revealed: Cross Knives. What it does is if Asashi uses a tool that another chef uses, he can use their superhuman talents. And he demonstrates this by combining the talents of the entire ensemble of Noirs that were introduced in the Blue thus far, who he either beat off screen or took their tools from after they were eliminated, in order to beat Tsukasa, allowing him to add his knife, and thus Tsukasa's talent, to his own arsenal.
    • Chapter 300: The bracket for The Blue is suddenly changed so that Erina faces her entire block all in a row. While Erina still easily trounces the oposition, the foul play is not unnoticed, which leads to Erina (and Soma and co.) confronting the WGO Bookmaker. The confrontation reveals that the Bookmaker is actually Erina's mother, Mana Nakiri.
  • Wham Line: Courtesy of Senzaemon:
    • "I was the one who recommended Jouchirou to enroll you at Totsuki."
    • "I beg of you... please save my granddaughter."
    • For Erina, in chapter 150, courtesy of Soma.
      Soma: Joichiro Saiba is my Dad.note 
    • And then, Rindou delivers a couple later on, first at the end of chapter 178, then near the end of 179, just as their next opponent reveals him;
      "Oh right, and this is an explanation for the next round; all the rebels, including you guys, are to compete face-up with the Elite Ten"
      "That guy there is the new member of the Elite Ten, Hayama Akira of Central. He's the temporary Ninth Seat at the moment"
    • The Reveal of Joichiro's true skill in chapter 194:
      Doujima: In all the Shokugeki matches I've had with Joichiro, my Shokugeki record is... 101 losses of a total of 121 matches.
    • Azami ends chapter 232 with a doozy:
      Azami (to Senzaemon): "[T]he 92nd generation, the "Jewel Generation", were all handpicked by you, after all."
    • Monarch remembers the name of the man who introduced the Shokugeki to the Midnight Chefs in Chapter 270:
      Monarch: "Oh yeah! I remembered now! Saiba!
    • Not even a full chapter later in 271, when Yukihira calls his dad to ask about the mystery person who instigated the Cuisinier Noir invasion who calls himself "Saiba"...
      Jōichirō: He's...well he' other son.
    • And still one more to go, in Chapter 2 of le dessert:
      "The results are clear. Asahi Saiba is definidely related to Sir Azami. They are father and son!"
  • Wham Shot: Done twice, and with the same plot device no less. Also mixed with Chekhov's Gun. In Chapter 34, the final page revealed Soma's Dad Joichiro was a former Council of Ten, the second seat. Fast forward 100 chapters later and the same picture is shown again, except with the 3rd seat under him, Azami Nakamura aka Azami Nakiri and Erina's father.
    • At the end of Chapter 178, Rindou reveals to Soma and the rest of the "rebels" that their next exam will be a match against a member of the Council of Ten. In the following chapter, just as Soma is wondering who they'll be facing, their opponent reveals himself; the next thing we see is Akira Hayama, wearing a Central badge.
    • Not half a dozen pages after the Wham Line revelation above, it's revealed that Jōichirō was in a Shokugeki with Saiba at that very moment...and Jōichirō, the most legendarily Supreme Chef to grace the pages of this manga, LOST TO SAIBA 5-0.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The lower priority members of Polaris (Marui, Daigo, and Shouji), as well as Mimasaka, who was a rather important support member in the second to last arc, never appear during the epilogue and don't get a blurb about their whereabouts. At the very least Marui and Mimasaka show up on the final volume cover (which takes place in that same epilogue), but Daigo and Shouji are still missing.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Alice's mother is introduced as an elegant and beautiful woman... who is a Scandinavian woman who rarely visits Japan and has rather poor Japanese as a result. Her VA reads her dialogue with a very noticeable accent.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The last chapter of Le Dessert shows what has become of the major cast since they graduated from Tootsuki.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Episode 20 of the third season of the anime is entirely dedicated to a flashback to Joichiro's time at Totsuki and what led him to temporarily leave cooking.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: After Soma declares a duel against Council of Ten Masters Terunori Kuga, he only then learns that he will be expelled if his stand loses money. Kanachi explains that, while true, it would be virtually impossible to go broke from such a stand, because all of them have been trained in middle school to manage costs... Unless someone did a stupid thing like getting a booth right next to a Council of Ten Masters member.
  • The Worf Effect: While this trope is rather common in a shounen series, it's become much more pronounced in the later chapters, especially in the post-Central arcs. In particular, Asahi comes out of nowhere and defeats Joichiro in a shokugeki in a complete blowout off-panel. Then, during the BLUE tournament, he effortlessly defeats Eishi in a single chapter.
  • World of Badass: Shokugeki no Soma may not be an action-based manga, but it manages to use Awesome Art and Mundane Made Awesome to make young chefs look incredibly badass while they're cooking. The students even possess Battle Auras, giving an atmosphere akin to Iron Chef. While most of the story takes place at Totsuki, the gifted students and professional teachers come from all over the world, and the alumni have established top-class restaurants abroad, playing this trope as straight as possible.
  • World of Ham: Very much understatement, as it's a Shonen Jump series where it takes the concept of cooking and take it to the ridiculous next level.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: Despite having a predominantly Japanese and Japanese-descended cast, the manga gives its protagonist bright red hair and supporting characters hair shades like blue, green, and pink.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math:
    • During the cooking buffet challenge at the Training Camp it's mentioned that the minimum required dishes served to pass is 200. Afterwards, it's mentioned that there are 628 students left at the end of the training account. Putting these numbers together that means that there had to have been enough people to serve 125,600 dishes to, adding on Erina and Alice going over at 407 and 380 respectively that totals at least 125,987 dishes (and likely much higher when you consider other people who went over the limit and those who didn't manage to make it to 200 dishes). Even assuming every person sampled at least a dozen dishes, that still means that there were over 10,000 people at the resort, which nowhere near matches the amount of people we actually see onscreen. Either everyone in the Shokugeki no Soma universe is a natural Big Eater or Totsuki has manpower equivalent to that of a small country.
    • Meanwhile, Soma has just over 30 minutes to cook 180 omelets. But they take 2.5 minutes to cook and he has 8 burners — that's a maximum of 104 omelets. (In the anime, he has 16 burners.)
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Isshiki believes that by taking on so many challenges against the school's top chefs and winning, Soma will inspire the students who constantly look down on him to put more effort into their cooking.
    • Megumi basically breathes this trope as she learns to put aside her stage fright and let her true talents shine.
  • You Are the New Trend: Following Soma's participation in the BLUE, many students in the middle school section of Totsuki took to wear a towel wrapped around their left forearm like he does. Others have also copied Kurokiba's bandanna.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    • After Ikumi loses her shokugeki with Soma, Erina cuts her off, taking away her test kitchen.
    • During the Central arc, Azami blackmails Hayama to get him to expel Soma, confident that he will do so having already beaten him twice. When Hayama fails, he sends one of his aides to inform him that he (Hayama) will be the one expelled instead.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: The Rebels do away with Azami and Central after the Regiment de Cuisine, and they become the Council of Ten with Erina as Totsuki's dean.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Shokugeki No Soma, Food Wars


Food Wars: The Second Plate

There's a lot of characters to keep track of in this anime so the openings typically names them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / IntroductoryOpeningCredits

Media sources: