Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / Insubstantial Ingredients

Go To

Basic Trope: A recipe contains things that don't have physical substance, such as sounds, colors, emotions, or abstract concepts.

  • Straight: Alice lists "love" as one of the ingredients in her world-famous chili.
  • Exaggerated: The chili consists entirely of emotions.
  • Downplayed: Alice mentions that her food is "made with love", yet it's not formally listed as part of the recipe and it's clear that she's speaking metaphorically.
  • Justified:
    • Alice has emotion-based magical powers that allow her to conjure delicious food.
    • Alice is from a race of Emotion Eaters, so all her food is made from emotions.
  • Inverted: Alice has a recipe for Love. Its ingredients are beef, chili peppers, tomatoes, kidney beans, garlic, onions, water, and salt.
  • Subverted: Alice tells everyone that her secret ingredient is love... but it turn out that it's actually MSG.
  • Double Subverted: Which, in this case, actually stands for Mama's Sentimental Geniality.
  • Parodied: Alice is shown opening a jar labeled "love" and pouring it into the pot. Bob calls her out, telling that you can't bottle-up love as he tastes the jar's content... And he instantly turns into overtly affectionate Love Freak.
  • Averted: There is no recipe, or it only lists ingredients that physically exist.
  • Advertisement:
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: "'Love?' Funny, I've never seen that at the supermarket..."
  • Invoked: Alice seeks out a magical device that can crystalize emotions into physical form, for no other reason than that she wants to find out what happiness tastes like when ground up and mixed into chili.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Alice insists her chili is good solely because of the high quality of the beef and spices.
  • Discussed: "Is this really the recipe? From how it tasted, I assumed it was made from sunshine, rainbows, and pure distilled happiness."
  • Conversed: "It's such a cliche to have the old grandma insist that love is the secret ingredient to her home cooking."

Back to Insubstantial Ingredients

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: