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An instance where a character thinks they are invited as a guest, but are actually intended as the main course. May include dialogue like "We'd like have you for dinner" "Where's the dish?" "You are." (Cue eating). Tends to occur in Let's Meet the Meat / Carnivore Confusion situations, or else with monsters doing this to humans. Compare with Inn of No Return and To Serve Man.
- A Chips Ahoy commercial has an anthropomorphic cookie attending a birthday party.
Cookie: "So, where's the cake?"
- In a M&M's TV ad, the two anthropomorphic candies are invited to a party, and find out too late that they're intended to be snacks.
- In Vampire in Brooklyn, the vampire says "I would like to have you for dinner".
- Lucky Stiff. A man is invited to Christmas dinner by a beautiful woman: he discovers that she's a member of a family of cannibals and he's the intended main course.
- In Land Before Time 5, the dinosaurs are invited to dinner by their friend Chomper, a T-rex. Chomper actually did mean the invitation to be a friendly get-together, but the main cast is understandably a little freaked out. A song ensues. ("Friends for dinner / Don't want to be friends for dinner...")
- From The Lion King:
Zazu: My, my, look at the sun! We'd best be off!
- An Ivan Turgenev story "Bubnoff and the Devil" has the title character meeting Satan one night, and being invited as an honored guest to the Devil's home and even proposed as a match for the Devil's grand-daughter. The demons like him so much, they decide to eat him for dinner.
- The novel Practical Demon Keeping.
- In The Silver Chair, one of The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lady of the Green Kirtle sends Eustace, Jill and Puddleglum to Harfang, the home of the so-called Gentle Giants, for their Autumn Feast. The children and Puddleglum find out that they are intended to be the Autumn Feast. Although the giants are a little perplexed on how to cook Puddleglum.
Live Action TV
- The Muppet Show Christmas Special had the Swedish Chef inviting a turkey (from Dorchest, MA), planning to kill and cook him. The turkey points out Big Bird, who actually was invited as a guest, and the Chef decides to cook him instead before being guilted by the Power of Friendship.
- An episode of the IT Crowd had Moss go to a German cannibal, mistaking the classified ad as being for a cooking class instead of for a volunteer meal. "I want to cook with you...Oh, you want to cook using me."
- Played with in an episode of Krod Mandoon and The Flaming Sword of Fire. The team is sent to kill an alleged man-eating cyclops. They arrive, and the cyclops complains that nobody will socialize with him because everyone thinks he's a monster like his father. Then, once he has all his guests in the hot tub, a cage descends from the ceiling and he reveals that he's going to eat them after all... after having sex with them.
- In the comic strip Pogo:
- Pogo, a possum, is invited to a dinner of "parsnip and possum pie."
- There's a World Series arc that includes a team of ptarmigans who are accidentally cooked and eaten. They are ptough.
- Dungeons and Dragons module B2, The Keep on the Borderlands. The hobgoblin lair has a sign outside: "Come in - we'd like to have you for dinner!". The player characters may assume that this is a cordial invitation to eat dinner with them. It isn't.
- The Lion King example is repeated in Kingdom Hearts II, when Sora, Donald and Goofy travel to the Lion King universe and meet the Hyenas. Surprisingly, it's Goofy who catches on that the Hyenas intend to eat them, while Sora and Donald fail to realize it.
- In Animal Crossing, Franklin gets an invitation to Thanksgiving dinner by the village each year. Franklin is a Turkey. He realizes this and hides from the villagers, though it's really only Mayor Tortimer who actually does seem to want to eat him.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind uses this in one of its many in-game short stories. A thief is mistaken for "Lady Tressed" at a masquerade dinner party where everyone has weird names. Her partner is already there (asleep at the end of the table), being called "Esruoc Tsrif" by the guests. She eventually realizes that everyone is pronouncing their names backwards, but she waits until the vampires jump her to figure out who "Lady Tressed" is.
- In PSP remake of Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories, Axel is anonymously offered a job to provide entertainment at a "dinner hotel", which he all too eagerly accepts. He remains completely oblivious to the fact that he was meant to be eaten for the entire chapter, despite it being clearly stated to him on multiple occasions, and gets beaten up by his companions for it.
- At least two of Bugs Bunny's encounters with Wile E. Coyote started off with his being invited over to become the main course.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "She Talks to Angel", Angel Bunny and Fluttershy undergo a Freaky Friday Flip, meaning that Angel, now in Fluttershy's body, has to run Fluttershy's animal sanctuary. Angel being Angel, he doesn't particularly care about the job, leading to this:
Dr. Fauna: Fluttershy? Do you mind helping me look for Muriel the baby elephant?