Follow TV Tropes


Videogame / Diner Dash

Go To

Diner Dash is a puzzle game by Playfirst that puts quality back into service. As a former stockbroker turned restaurant owner, Flo must become both receptionist and waitress as she makes riches, builds more restaurants, and provides quality service along the way. The game's concept is simple: seat the diners, place their orders, serve food, get the check, bus the table. Rinse and repeat.

Originated as a PC game, and later ported to various consoles, Diner Dash is perhaps the first pioneer in this series of "service management puzzle" games where the goal is not just to earn points, but to keep everybody's mood from falling too low and causing them to write you off as they leave unsatisfied. It has led to a variety of spinoffs by other studios with varying levels of success.


This game provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Rosie Regular, Barb the Business Woman, Seymour Senior, Leo and Lulu (Loretta) the Lovers, Jo Jogger, Bernie Bookworm, Tina and Tyler the Teenagers, Maggie the Mom, Duncan the Dad, Kingston the Kid, Bobbi the Baby, Simon Star the Celebrity (soft C), Starla the Starlet, Trip and Tipper the Tourists, Greta the little Girl...The list goes on.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The later games give Flo a closet to dress her in the clothes you unlock as you progress.
  • Art Evolution: Happened with a lot of the characters, mainly Flo, the Regulars, the Seniors, and the Businesswomen. The quality of the animation also gets substantially better over time - it's most apparent from 1 to 2.
  • Art Shift: Happened with Mr. Big in 'Pet Shop Hop', who changed back to his original style in 'Parking Dash'.
  • Advertisement:
  • Artistic License – Law: Customers can get fed up with waiting and leave at any time, this means they can eat a meal and then run off without paying for it. In the real world, this would count as theft.
  • Ascended Extra: Some minor characters later got to star in their own games:
    • Jo the Jogger and Bernie the Bookworm debuted in Diner Dash 2, appearing as customers in restaurants that Flo served. Later on, they got their own games: Jo in 'Fitness Dash' and Bernie in 'Dinertown Detective Agency'. Plus, it's said that Bernie appeared outside the game levels in 'Once Upon a Diner', and he also shows up in Wedding Dash 4.
    • Rosie the Regular, who for years appeared in restaurants Flo served, featured in spinoffs, always used as an example of how to play in the help section of games, the very first customer who entered Flo's restaurant and was served, finally got A Day in the Limelight in her game 'Soap Opera Dash'.
    • Barb the Business Woman also gets her own game 'Garden Dash'.
  • Big Eater: Hal, Gordon, and the Hungrymen.
  • Bookworm: Guess.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Those College boys and the Hot Shots from the very first Diner Dash game.
    • In the iPhone version of the first game, Flo mentions Hot Shots coming, but they never actually do so.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Big (Dinertown Tycoon, Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue, Diner Dash 5: Boom! and more).
  • Curtains Match the Window: Tyler, Tina, and the Teenagers, once you see them open their eyes. A couple other customers may have this trope. Subverted for Tyler and Tina in Dinertown Detective Agency.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Any game that doesn't have Flo as the main character is basically this. Quinn has 'Wedding Dash', Karma has 'Parking Dash', Bernie the Bookworm has 'Diner Town Detective Agency', Coco has 'Fashion Dash', Bobbi has 'Dress Shop Hop', Cassie has 'Pet Shop Hop', Jo has 'Fitness Dash' and so on.
  • Decade Dissonance: Flo has gone through a lot of them, from Jungle Japes to Retro Future.
  • Depending on the Artist: Sometimes the Dinertoons could be drawn with a little more detail; other times more simple-looking. An example would be the Wedding Dash characters and how detailed and animated they look in the Wedding Dash games compared to 'Dinertown Tycoon' and how simple they look to fit the Diner Dash Style.
  • Dolled-Up Installment: There's a SpongeBob SquarePants version of the game.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Grandma, especially as demonstrated in both Avenue Flo games.
  • Dumb Muscle: Boris the Bodybuilder (from Fitness Dash) as seen in 'Avenue Flo'.
  • Hair Decorations: Rosie and the Regulars with clips on the side of their hair; subverted in the 'Cooking Dash' games where their bangs show. Barb and the Businesswomen wear headbands in the latest Diner Dash games. Eli and the Egyptians (from 'Diner Dash: Flo Through Time') wear head rings around their heads.
  • The '80s: That seems to be where the main story in 'Cooking Dash 3' takes place.
  • An Entrepreneur Is You: Flo owns the diner in some of the games.
  • Excuse Plot: Microwaves send you through time. Really? By the way, yes, it really can.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Flo can become a chef in a restaurant, despite being only a waitress (or owner, in many cases) before.
  • Flower in Her Hair: Rosie and the Regulars sport different-colored flowers on the side of their hair with matching clothing in the latest games in a replacment of You Gotta Have Blue Hair. Also the three Bridemaids, Molly, Kelly and Nelly (from Wedding Dash).
  • Girlish Pigtails: Young Flo in Cooking Dash 3. Also, Tina and the Teenagers wear short braids.
  • Granola Girl: You know those Lovers that debuted in 'Flo on the Go' and kiss at the table? Their names are Leo and Lulu. Lulu the Lover's a Granola Girl. Also, Harmony the Hippie.
  • Happily Married: Vicky Big and Tony the Pizza Chef. The plot of Avenue Flo games is essentially their wedding and their baby shower.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: A whole lot of them. Rosie and the Regular customer ladies, Seymour, Stella and the Seniors, Barb and the Businesswomen, Jo and the Joggers, Bernie and the Bookworms, Tyler, Tina and the Teenagers, and many more! It was even lampshaded twice in Avenue Flo. Like a lot of PC time management games, this is done so the players will know what type of customer to treat (i.e. get the most impatient customers to the tables fast). If every single one of the them were a Cast of Snowflakes, it would be too confusing for the player. They don't necessarily have the same name; Tina has a teenage relative named Gina.
    • And apparently Cassie Fisher from 'Pet Shop Hop' in Soap Opera Dash is this trope.
    • In Wedding Dash, the groom of the 49th wedding works for a cloning lab, explaining why every guest is either Seth or Maricruz.
    • Wilson from 'Diaper Dash' also mentioned something about a cloning machine that the babies may have got at.
    • Strangely, there is also alot of look alikes in different time periods as shown in 'Diner Dash Flo through time'.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: As he said in 'Dinertown Detective Agency', Poor Bernie Bookworm didn't have many friends as a kid.
  • Interspecies Romance: Wendy the Cat and Rocky the Dog (from 'Doggie Dash') fall in love with each other at the start of the game.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: With or without Inexplicably Identical Individuals.
  • Mega-Corp: Big Corporation, naturally. Word of God says that prior to the first game, Flo was one of Big Corp's stockbrokers. Confirmed in Avenue Flo and Dinertown Detective Agency, when she mentions having worked at Big Corp as she navigates the cubicle maze.
  • Motor Mouth: Colin and the Cell Phone guys, and possibly the Teenagers as well (but only when they're on their cell phones). Also Barb (sometimes named Martha) from 'Wedding Dash'.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Shakes McGee only ever wants coffee.
  • Official Couple: Many in the Diner Dash series — Quinn and Joe, Walter and Scarlet, Mr. Smith and Mrs. Smith, and Victoria and Tony, to name a few. Quinn and Joe looks more like a case of Will They or Won't They?, however.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Glampires.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Tony in Avenue Flo: Special Delivery, especially when a nine-months pregnant Vicky goes missing and she goes into labor after being stuck in the hotel elevator where her surprise baby shower was being held. Flo has to escort Tony and Vicky to the ambulance. Vicky delivers twins.
  • Punny Name: Karma from 'Parking Dash' works with cars.
    • Also Seymour Senior and the other seniors (See more seniors, get it?). Also Colin Cellphone (Call in Cell Phone). Tina Teenager. The first name sounds like the first or two syllable of what she is- a Teenager. Simon STAR the Celebrity. Starla the Starlette (and her little baby, Sky). Trip and Tipper the Tourists, Cookie the Chef, Bobbi Sewer in 'Dress Shop Hop' works with clothes and how could we forget Flo (who goes with the Flo) and some fans believe her name could be short for 'Florida' which, according to Avenue Flo, is the street where Flo's Diner is located. 'Flo' could also be short for 'Florence', of course.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Greta and the little girls (from Pet Shop Hop) in Dinertown Tycoon only. Considering how likable a lot of the Dinertown folks are and how Greta's Pet shop Hop's blonde counterparts are nice and sweet, it wouldn't be unlikely for Greta and the pink haired to be sweet as well.
  • Ship Tease: Flo and Bernie, particularly the grocery store and Movie Theater cases in 'Dinertown Detective Agency'.
  • Shout-Out: In Diner Dash III, part of the music for the spaceship level comes from the Mos Eisley Cantina Music.
    • In Avenue Flo: Special Delivery, some of the models on the shelf with the baby monitors look like old-school Cylons.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Leo and Lulu and the Lovers, to the point where customers at other tables get grossed out when the couples smooch.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In Soap Opera Dash, Simon the Celebrity is described as "a great actor...or so he thinks!"
  • Soul-Crushing Desk Job: Flo is originally a stockbroker working for Mr. Big's corporation. After being bombarded by spreadsheets, she promptly bolts out. When she sees a run-down diner, she starts running her restaurant business.
  • Time Management Game: One of the classics of the genre.
  • Spear Counterpart: Colin the Cellphone addict is the male counterpart to Barb the Businesswoman, as both of them are fast yet impatient diners who tip well, and they both work for Mr. Big.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Flo and Quinn, obviously; heck, most of the female characters are girly girls compared to Flo. She and Karma seemed tied though Karma's said to have a romantic side. The only ones who seem to beat Flo on the tomboyishness scale are Jo and the Joggers.
  • Twice Shy: Quinn and Joe.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Diner Dash 2015 has Gordon, who aside from eating more than regular customers is rather easy to deal with for a VIP.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Dinertown characters Minerva Mink (Mr. Big's other daughter) from 'Pet Shop Hop' and Coco seemed to fallen this trope. They haven't been seen since 'Dinertown Detective Agency'.
    • Also a few plots from past games seems left unfinished. At the end of 'Wedding Dash Around the world', Mr. Bigger's Daughter wanted to marry for love, not for business and she fell in love with Joe, Quinn's love interest and Quinn's rival wanted to compete with her to make the best wedding....there has yet to be a conclusion for that.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Customers will have red, yellow, green, blue, or purple hair with matching clothes (and sometimes eyes). Subverted in more recent games where, although they have different color clothing, they were given realistic hair colors; for example, Rosie and the Regular ladies are all given the same chestnut-colored hair. This trope still applies in the Cooking Dash games.
  • Wedding Day: Avenue Flo centers on Vicky Big's wedding to Tony the Pizza Chef with the gameplay based on Flo helping Quinn replacing everything after a series of mishaps threatens to derail the wedding. Turns out Vicky had a really bad case of cold feet and sabotaged everything. She apologizes for everything and marries Tony in the end.
  • World of Pun: Wendy the Cat and Rocky the Dog from "Doggie Dash" are full of it about cats and dogs.


Example of: