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Does the sign include an illustration or mascot? Drawings of plates of food or ribs are okay, though not great. Pig mascots are good; smiling anthropomorphic pigs are even better. Is the pig surrounded by flames? If so, it should look happy about the situation. Best of all is an anthropomorphic pig eating ribs. Such a sign says, "Our food is so good that pigs will commit cannibalism to enjoy it."
—Stephen Granade, Choosing A Barbeque Restaurant
There is a curious phenomenon in commercials in which edible animals or the post-prepared food and drink is given intelligence and the power of speech. And it wants humans to eat it. Or at least, others of its kind.
The title comes from the Dish of the Day sequence in Douglas Adams' The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. At the Restaurant, Arthur Dent is horrified to discover that the Dish of the Day is an intelligent herbivore bred to find fulfillment in being consumed. The cruelty, the Dish of the Day explains, lies not in eating animals, but in eating animals or plants who don't want to be eaten. Ironically, several science-fiction works written since have played this idea straight, often crossed with I'm a Humanitarian for maximum Nightmare Fuel.
There is, naturally, a great deal of cross-over with Carnivore Confusion. May also overlap with Fridge Horror, and more often than not with Cargo Envy. Can be horrifying, sick, or kind of funny depending on the person. For some reason, though, it is rarely Justified Trope by using fruit, which quite logically should want to be eaten so that the seeds will be spread.
The animal may start having second thoughts if it has a Veal Realization.
- Slim Jim beef jerky sticks are depicted as "hardcore" obnoxious guys with funny haircuts that party in people's stomachs after being eaten. Commercials are rather obnoxiously ended with a stick snarling "Eat me!" The double meaning is obvious.
- One particular ad shows a kid eating a Slim Jim before going into a swimming pool. The personified jerky beats up his body from the inside and causes him to drown. Wow. (There is a longer version, where the child is saved by a lifeguard.)
- In the 1980s Weetabix breakfast cereal was advertised in the United Kingdom by a group of wheat biscuits in white T-shirts, dungarees, and big boots. The faintly "London gangland" effect of this outfit emphasised the double meaning in the slogan "Make it neat wheat, mate. If you know what's good for you."
- There is a chain of chicken roasters in Arizona called "Pollo Feliz" (Happy Chicken). One suspects this is false advertising.
- There is a chain in the Western US called "El Pollo Loco" (The Crazy Chicken). An argument could be made that this is truth in advertising.
- No if that was truth in advertising, it would be called "El Pollo Sucida" (The Suicidal Chicken).
- There is a chain in the Western US called "El Pollo Loco" (The Crazy Chicken). An argument could be made that this is truth in advertising.
- The Nandos restaurant ad campaign "Big Chicken" features a Reality TV series in which eight chickens compete for the ultimate prize: To be cooked and eaten at Nandos. Yay?
- An 1899 print ad (yes, this is Older Than Radio) shows pigs, lambs, a cow, fish, chickens, and even onions and cabbages eagerly dashing forward (the vegetables on little root-legs) to be engulfed in the metal maw of the Universal Food Chopper.
- A recent series of Cadbury commercials involves creme eggs finding, in a rather suicidal air, ways to smash themselves. One commercial involving a series of eggs and mousetraps, set off by one egg in particular, seems more like a mass cult suicide than a way to consume many creme eggs.
- The Teddy Grahams mascot is a teddy graham. Smiling sweetly, as if to say... "DISMEMBER ME AND MY RELATIVES, PLEASE!"
- Goldfish: the snack that smiles back!
- ...Until you bite their heads off!
- On the other hand, "They smile because they haven't got a clue that they'll be eaten." Sung in the same perky tone.
- A few years ago, Goldfish's advertising compaign was to have Flynn come up with ways to prevent the goldfish from getting eaten, only for them to happily ignore him and continue with their suicide.
- McDonald's Chicken Nuggets love jumping into Barbecue Sauce and Ronald doesn't seem to mind
- A Russian commercial of ready-to-cook chicken breasts. The spokesman for the product was...a hen. A living hen who delivered some inspirational speech and in particular mentioned how proud she was that she could bring her "naturalness" and "good taste" to people. Cue a close-up on a packed chicken breast with some oven fires in the background and voiceover declaring that "hen is happy". Full tank, please. Unleaded.
- McDonald's has a billboard campaign, which shows an egg with a thought bubble above it, and inside the thought bubble is an Egg McMuffin, with the caption "every egg's dream". I would assume every egg's dream would to be to hatch into a baby chick.
- Wings 'N Things logo is an anthropomorphic chicken slathering hot sauce on his wing/arm.
- This early-80s Mexican advertisement (translation on the Quotes page) for Del Fuerte's tomato puree. It became Memetic Mutation almost immediately, with people pointing out the inconsistency of the happy little tomatoes willingly going to their deaths at the hands of a deep-voiced executioner.
- The Ribenaberries, anthropomorphic blackcurrants who desperately wish to be juiced and concentrated.
- An animated Public Service Announcement from the late 70s featured a woman taking a pound of hamburger out of the freezer to thaw. Cue the meat block coming to life, to instruct the woman on the finer points of meat storage and preparation. A rare example in which the meat doesn't actually voice its desire to be eaten, though it certainly didn't seem to mind.
- Perfect Example: Famous Dave's BBQ restaurant's logo is of a pig in a chef's hat smacking its lips while it holds a rack of ribs over a fire. See?
- The ads for M&Ms go back and forth with this. Sometimes they're afraid of being eaten, but in a Pretzel M&M commercial, the pretzel prefers to be eaten by a hot chick instead of a creepy guy. So does he see being eaten as inevitable?
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares lately have a penchant for licking and then eating each other, and then grinning, satisfied, afterward.
- Adverts for Cravendale milk in the UK claim that "Cravendale tastes so good, the cows want it back", followed by some pissed-off looking cows ringing the doorbell of some poor soul enjoying milk and cookies or a cup of tea in peace. Albeit not for much longer.
- In a related variant, ads for a deer-hunting video game feature a Talking Animal buck, which enthusiastically plays at blowing away his fellows.
- Like we're any different...
- The beloved Japanese children's hero Anpan-Man has a head made of anpan, sweet bean bread. While he mostly fights crime in the usual fashion, he also flies around the world breaking off chunks of himself to feed starving animals and children. He's baked a new head by his kindly baker/creator/father figure every night.
- In Junko Mizuno's manga interpretation of Hansel and Gretel, the eponymous characters live in a world where their food comes from somewhat different origins than ours. Vegetables and fruits grow on the heads of plant fairies/people, bread comes from the bread mines, and meat comes from a pig the size of a hill who cuts slices off himself, rather like the poster at the top of this page.
- In the Umineko no Naku Koro ni anime, one of the arc endings shows Rosa, frightened as hell, brought up to Beatrice and served dishes made of her DEAD SIBLINGS. The dessert? HER OWN DAUGHTER'S HEAD, still talking to her. In the end of the gruesome scene, Maria even shouts "SO EAT ME!" and willingly pushes herself into her mother's mouth. Talk about Nightmare Fuel.
- Of course the horror subsides a bit when Battler appears and tells Maria that it's ten years too early for her to be saying that, but to say it to him when the time comes.
- The hook of Moyashimon is that the protagonist can see and communicate with (adorable) microbes. This turns a bit disturbing when Sawaki's given yoghurt to settle his stomach, and the lactobacilli in it encourage him to eat up; he is understandably reluctant to dig in, despite their reassurance.
- Not really a straight example, as most lactobacilli consider the digestive tract to be the ideal habitat, so they're technically only asking for a place to live, not to be fatally devoured.
- One episode of Keroro Gunsou follows the journey of a lone grain of rice from rice paddy to rice bowl. The rice grain is overjoyed to finally fulfill its destiny as it is picked up by the chopsticks...only to be dropped and forgotten. By an unlucky chain of events, the rice grain is stuck outside and can only sob over its wasted existence. Until Giroro's cat spots it and eats it. The rice grain happily ascends into heaven as it is eaten.
- Done in Dai Mahou Touge, but with vegetables http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWQwgJVvd5s
- Comix titan R. Crumb had a typically intriguing cartoon about a man named Cheezis K. Reist who goes to a diner and orders himself up a "nice, big, delicious" talking burger that's just begging to be eaten, yessir! "Little burger, you may be sure I'm lookin' at you with nuthin' but love!" After he finishes eating the burger, the dancing utensils sing: "now it's your sacrifice! now it's your turn to die!"
- Parodied in Addams Family Values, where Pugsley is forced into a turkey costume for a camp musical of Thanksgiving and made to repeatedly shout "Eat Me!" He went along with it because his sister Wednesday (the Magnificent... Little Girl?) had an ingenious plan.
- As mentioned above, the Dish of the Day scene in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, which is the Trope Codifier, if not the Trope Maker itself.
- Later, in And Another Thing Arthur and friends find themselves sharing a field with a herd of such creatures. The herd is owned by a cheese-worshiping cult which won't slaughter them, and the creatures are miserable at the prospect of never being eaten. Ford and a by-now jaded Arthur are more than happy to oblige
- The book I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert features an interview with a similar (Hindu!) cow that explains she and her children (who are just learning to read) are looking forward to being eaten.
- In the Clifford Simak short story "Drop Dead", stranded planetary explorers survive by eating a native Shmoo-like animal that conveniently drops dead when approached. Turns out that the meat contains bacteria that transforms anything that eats them into the same species. Oops.
- A similar event occurs in Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K. Dick where some people go to an alien world and find a pig-like creature. That talks. The captain orders it killed and cooked, despite protests from the crew. The twist comes when Peterson, the protagonist, realises that the pig has mind controlled the captain into doing so, and is completing the process of possessing him by eating its former body as the Captain resumes a conversation that Peterson had been having with the Wub before it was "killed".
- The Munch Bunch were a series of UK children's books about talking fruit and vegetables that later gave their names and likenesses to a range of fruit yoghurt.
- The Magic Pudding, in the novel of the same name. It helps that the pudding is capable of regenerating itself.
- In The Other Sinbad by Craig Shaw Gardner, a character is shipwrecked on an island with trees full of talking figs that beg to be eaten. Unfortunately the figs turn out to be addictive... and also to have an, um, intense laxative effect. The poor guy ends up as a giant ambulatory talking pile of feces. "Once I was a proud warrior... now I am little more than an odiferous mound!"
- In Robert Silverberg's Majipoor cycle one of the titular planet's native (most of the population are immigrants from the other worlds) sentient species, the enormous and psychic Sea Dragons, are actively hunted by the most of the land-dwelling inhabitants , mainly because for the most of the planet's history nobody knew that they are sentient. In the unexpected twist, the Dragons are perfectly okay with being hunted and eaten, as they view this as a moral obligation, and generally consider death differently from the all other races. Yes, they are weird.
- Yo Gabba Gabba's memetically infamous "Party in my Tummy!" musical number. The carrots are just so sad at the prospect of not being eaten and going to The Party. Watch here.
- Parodied in Monty Python's Flying Circus (Series 1, episode 13, January 1970) where a naked man named Hopkins in a large dish is pushed into the restaurant, describing himself as "the special" and asks patrons to choose him as their meal.
- HOPKINS: (slapping away an extended hand) "Don't play with your food!"
- This scene predates the appearance of "Dish Of The Day" in the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by eleven years ("Dish of the Day" was only in the TV series in 1981, not the original radio show).
- To elaborate on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, mentioned above. The Dish merrily goes on to explain, "I'll just nip off and shoot myself. Don't worry sir, I'll be very humane." Arthur Dent was pretty freaked out at that point. He orders a salad, which causes the talking soon-to-be-entree to roll its eyes and remark that the vegetables wanting to be eaten are unable to express their feelings, and that's why "it was eventually decided to cut through the whole tangled problem and breed an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of saying so clearly and distinctly." Then, Arthur decides to order a glass of water. Which in turn can be read as ironic considering the joke from the first book: "It's unpleasantly like being drunk." "What's so unpleasant about being drunk?" "You ask a glass of water." And this is a universe where a bowl of petunias has sentience, so you never know.
- HOPKINS: (slapping away an extended hand) "Don't play with your food!"
- Episode 26 of Monty Python's Flying Circus has the sketch "Lifeboat (Cannibalism)", where five sailors in a lifeboat starving, decide to resort to cannibalism. They begin arguing about who they should kill and eat.
Sailor #5: I wish you'd all stop bickering and eat me.
- The Superfast Jellyfish in the music video for the Gorillaz song of the same name don't talk, but they seem way too happy to be featuring in a music video for a song about the benefits of grinding said jellyfish up into breakfast foods. They continue bouncing around cheerfully even after they've been microwaved.
- Some of the Norse deities had magical boars or goats as their faithful steeds and chariot-pullers, which apparently didn't mind being butchered and eaten nightly by their owners. Granted, they always came back to life again, but you'd think it'd put some strain on the pet/owner relationship...
- Similarly, the Shmoo from Li'l Abner comics is a species which desires to be eaten, to the point that if a human looks at one hungrily, they drop dead from happiness at the thought. (Fried, they taste like chicken, roasted, they taste like steak, and raw, they taste like oysters.) Mercifully this aspect was omitted from the various Shmoo Saturday morning cartoons.
"A shmoo is shaped like a plump bowling pin with legs.... It has a rich gamut of facial expressions, and expresses love (often) by exuding hearts over its head. Naturally gentle, they require minimal care, and are ideal playmates for young children. Shmoos are delicious to eat, and are eager to be eaten. If a human looks at one hungrily, it will happily immolate itself..."
- In a VERY early Blondie strip that can be seen in the book "100 Years Of Comic Strips", Dagwood was on a hunger strike until Blondie's parents gave in and let him marry her, and at one point he was dreaming about many cookies, a chocolate cake and some ice cream sundaes marching by and singing "Here we come! The parade of the desserts! Won't somebody please eat us?".
- In Magic: The Gathering, the Alaran plane of Jund is inhabited by ravening beasts, and also with goblins, who take pride in their low position on the food chain. They consider it to be an honor to be eaten by a mighty creature, such as a dragon.
- Near the end-game of Mother 3, as you ascend the Empire Pork Building, one of the supposed '100th Floors' referred to as the Good Person Spa is lined with tubes, each containing a living organism submerged in a green fluid and being brainwashed to serve King Porky's will. One of them contains a cow, who happily states that it would make wonderful steaks for said ruler to consume. Yeesh.
- In Star Control 3 you encounter the Harika/Yorn, a symbiotic pairing of two intelligent species. The Harika can eat nothing but Yorn, and the Yorn consider being eaten by the Harika the ultimate fulfillment, or at least a necessary sacrifice (as the Yorn breed too quickly).
- Beaver and Steve has a turnip that really, really wants Steve to eat it, and is willing to go to great lengths to force him to do so. There's also a wedge of cheese who's overjoyed when it comes time to be eaten, because it's the equivalent of a warrior's death for him. Too bad Steve has a haunted filling, so the ghosts eat the ghost cheese before it can ascend to Heaven.
- Done in Mortasheen with the Schmeep who is a combination of the Shmoo from above with a Peep and the Nerds candy. And it regenerates so you can eat it over and over again.
- SCP-261 once provided a snack food called Eetmees. They're small, crab-like creatures that jump up and down, screaming "Eat Me!"
If subject delays or refuses to eat them, the "Eetmees" become more and more desperate, climbing on each other's shoulders and even leaping at the subject to force their way into the subject's mouth. When chewed, the creatures shriek in joy and delight, even going "weeee" as they are swallowed. Prof. Snider was quoted to describe the creatures as "tasty, but disturbing."
- Any object in The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat is animated. It doesn't seem disturbing, until one episode had Felix as a meatball deliveryman. And the meatball spoke, and had eyes, and seemed very comfortable in entering a plate full of spaghetti...
- "Take the easy, easy-way easy-way, take the easy, EASY WAY OUT!" - at about 1:25.
- The first episode of the Sam and Max Freelance Police cartoon was a Shout-Out to The Thing with a twist: the episode took place in a pocket dimension inside a freezer, and the monster was a mutated TV dinner that just wanted to be eaten.
- A bear in Captain Planet and the Planeteers gives a hunter permission to eat its meat and wear its fur if he honors its spirit.
- In the episode of Private Snafu, The Chew hound While the meat didn't tell the consumer to eat him per say in this. In a decision made in patriotic fervor did have himself made into food to feed a soldier to help the allies win the war. Afterall logistics plays a roll in war.
- In The Simpsons episode "The Simpsons Bible Stories," a pig in the Garden of Eden introduces himself as a source of bacon. Adam and Eve proceed to tear strips off his back.
- Bottles of soda, like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, are shown to be "partying" in their display cases, waiting to be drunk.
- Another Coca-Cola commercial had ice cubes that were happy about being put into a glass of Coke (as opposed to other drinks that were in the kitchen).
- Jim Breuer has a hilarious bit about avoiding getting sick when you drink, where he describes drinking as a party in your stomach, with your stomach as the bouncer, and anthropomorphized drinks, including tequila (played as a stereotyped Mexican) begging to be let in.
- While Buffy the Vampire Slayer doesn't actually want vampires to drink her blood, she sometimes enjoys taunting them by pointing out how good her blood would taste. At one point, this trope was played completely straight when she violently forced Angel to drink her blood.
- The grocery store chain "Piggly Wiggly" (Shop the Pig!) has its pig mascot frying up some bacon occasionally.
- A truly bizarre ad for McDonald's Happy Meals: an anthropomorphic carrot and his wife discuss how carrots are being offered in such-and-such a kid's meal. "I love carrots," says the mancarrot gruffly, and his thought bubble pops up on screen, with his wife lying on a plate with a slab of melted butter. Very Hannibal.
- One M&M's commercial had the large, anthropomorphic M&Ms eating M&M candies. A human character (Patrick Warburton!) objected, saying "You shouldn't eat your own kind; it's not natural" -- the big M&Ms then traded bags, as though the problem was Yellow eating peanut and Red eating milk chocolate, but it'd be fine the other way around! The human, unamused, tells them to hand over the bags, and walks away muttering "That's just disturbing." What's even weirder is that this commercial featured Crispy, whose entire personality is based on not liking people eating M&Ms.
- That last point was highlighted by a Character Blog created during the earlier spokescandy election in Australia (its role was to satirize the darker side of politicians). Said blog chalked up Crispy eating Crispy M&Ms as a result of his paranoia.
- The Christmastime commercial where Red and Yellow set out bowls of M&M's for Santa Claus becomes much less cute once the Fridge Logic descends...
- One commercial for Dairy Queen has two shrimp as a married couple. One is looking for their kids, while the other is eating what he thinks is popcorn. Then they realize it's popcorn shrimp, and start yelling wildly as they realize they are eating their own kind, possibly their own children.
- In a new commercial for Printed Fun Pop Tarts, two Pop Tarts eat a tiara and cowboy hat, which appear printed on their stomachs. From off screen you hear "No, No!" followed by a gulping sound. A third Pop Tart comes on, with a screaming Pop Tart printed on his stomach. I believe that a Nightmare Fuel link would be appropriate here....
- Isn't the Pillsbury Doughboy the ultimate example of this trope? He's been cheerfully selling his baked brothers down the river for over fifty years.
- Mr. Potato Head selling Burger King French Fries.
- On labels for Uncle Charley's sausage a pig is cooking a sausage over a fire.
- Many recent ads for Cinnamon Toast Crunch feature the little squares eating each other.
- During the 1980s, Foghorn Leghorn starred in commercials for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
- Not that KFC doesn't have its own chicken mascots. Chicky, himself a replacement for the previous mascot Superchook, even makes public appearances.
- An Australian brand of fish oil has a fish drinking it, preferring the oil to 9 fish oil capsules.
- Boost Mobile makes fun of this trope by showing two hogs sitting in chairs, at an expensive restaurant where they are eating ham. One of the pigs says "I love a good ham dinner. It's how we celebrate the taste of a fallen friend. What, you think there's something wrong?"
- Ignoring the Accidental Innuendo, the king in this Hostess ad
- This ad for seafood sauce.
- In the second-year culture fest episode of Azumanga Daioh, a picture of an octopus offers takoyaki for 100 yen a plate. Don't know what takoyaki is? Read the trope again...
- Subverted to hell and back in The Muppet Movie, where the plot revolves largely around would-be fast food mogul Doc Hopper trying to hire Kermit the Frog to be the mascot for his chain of French-Fried Frog Legs restaurants.
- About 25 years later, fellow Muppet Pepe the King Prawn became the mascot for Long John Silver's. The first commercial involved Pepe escaping from the kitchens and trying to become the mascot instead of being eaten.
- Piggy and Kermit did a spot for Denny's for a bit. Piggy didn't seem to realize that half the food in a Grand Slam comes from pigs.
- "Pig," by Roald Dahl. A newly-quitted vegetarian started trying pork and after eating his first pork chops, wanted to find a meat factory to learn pork-processing. Turns out that the factory he went to is making a killing because... yes, you should guess why the vegetarian's name was Lexington.
- The Nightmare Fuel-sodden Humans Are Bastards opus Man After Man. It is an illustrated science fiction novel which, near the conclusion, has the lovely sight of a huge pulsating "meat creature" genetically engineered as food for its masters. And if this isn't enough to freak you out, consider this: every single creature in the book is a genetically modified human.
- There's a similarly themed Larry Niven short story, "Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing!" In it, a space explorer is made rich by the licensing agreement he signed that allows an alien race to clone him in mass quantities for his meat. The deal was done in part because if the humans (there was a whole embassy involved) didn't agree to it, then there would be "pirated" versions of their clones on the alien dinner tables. Needless to say, the United Nations never sent another embassy there. As far as the guy who agreed to be cloned, his Fridge Logic moment happened on the trip home...
- Subverted in advance in the banquet scene of Through the Looking Glass after Alice reaches the end of the chessboard and becomes a queen. Alice is introduced to a leg of mutton, after which the Red Queen declares, "It isn't etiquette to cut any one you've been introduced to," and has it removed.
- The Red Queen then ignores Alice's request not to be introduced to the pudding... but Alice cuts a slice off it anyway. The pudding gets rather indignant.
- In his book The Gallery of Regrettable Food, James Lileks reproduces a print ad showing an anthropomorphized rooster cooking chicken.
- And on Lileks' site, we run into Cudahy Curly, described as the "Quisling Pig" for very good reason.
- Gub-Gub the pig in Doctor Dolittle is quite happy to eat anything. Lampshaded in this Doctor Who crossover fanfic cartoon.
- At the end of Dead Set, Patrick screams at the zombies to "eat up" and encourages them to eat him as his final goodbye.
- Another example from Monty Python's Flying Circus: starving lifeboat-dwellers. One figures on going out via Noble Sacrifice. Then the others start piping in with menu requests.
- Speaking of Alice in Wonderland, in the video for Tom Petty's "Don't Come Around Here No More", the Mad Hatter and his guests end up eating what looks like Alice... who is worriedly looking around as they cut pieces out and serve them on plates.
- A similar scene was in Data's dream sequence in an episode of Star Trek TNG: Counsellor Troi as a cake being eaten by Worf.
- "It is a cellular peptide cake. With mint frosting."
- The The Far Side cartoon with the cow barbecuing burgers.
- In a similar gag, a young teenage cow walks through the den of his house, past company, in leather. The guests are shocked, but the parent cows dismiss it as a rebel phase.
- Another cartoon had one cow eating a steak, mentioning that the taste was "interesting", while other cows stared in horror.
- A non cow example: a mother hen gives her sick kid a bowl of chicken soup. She tells him to stop complaining since 1) chicken soup is good for cold sufferers, and 2) chances are it was nobody they knew anyway.
- A Pearls Before Swine strip had Pig declaring, "But BLTs taste so darn good!" The line was later used for the strip's first book collection.
- In Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom, there's an anthropomorphic bunch of grapes who love grape juice. The disturbing implications are brought out in Novasol's Let's Play of the game.
- South Park's "Makin Bacon with Macon" springs to mind....
Delicious and Nutritious, Tastes Just Like Chicken
The subversion of this trope -- where some other animal or food is trying to get you to eat the food advertised, presumably so you don't eat it -- is becoming more common.
- Shake & Bake had commercials like this as part of a series on this theme.
- The fast-food restaurant "Chick-Fil-A" may have been the first to do this. The only meat they serve is chicken, but their mascot is a Holstein cow, most often seen with a crudely illiterate banner bearing the message "Eat mor chikin" (sic).
- That gag goes back to the days of Fleischer cartoons.
- Interestingly, even long after this campaign started, some of their restaurants offered a steak biscuit on the breakfast menu. As of the most recent menu re-vamp, it is gone.
- Burger King riffed on this during a promotion with the film Chicken Run, using the slogan, "Save the chickens, eat more beef." The folks at Chick-Fil-A were not amused, and filed suit to get the ads taken off the air.
- In a series of advertisements for Weston's Wagon Wheels (a kind of chocolate cookie), various types of food implored the viewer to eat a Wagon Wheel instead.
- Then there are the soy milk advertisements featuring a family of terrifying anthropomorphic cows.
- A series of extremely popular Finnish adverts for McDonald's chicken burgers featured an anthropomorphic pig campaigning to get people to eat chicken instead of pork by chanting "Eat chicken!" in a high-pitched voice and brandishing a sign with the same phrase.
- Del Taco aired a series of radio advertisements timed to coincide with Thanksgiving 2006, featuring two turkeys being interviewed for a faux radio show explaining why Del Taco's "cooked golden brown" line of chicken-products would be better for consumption than their own kind.
- A long-running ad for Kit 'n Kaboodle brand cat food has a cartoon anthropomorphic mouse attempting to save his own life by convincing a live-action cat to eat Kit 'n Kaboodle instead.
- A Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes has Bugs reading off dishes in a cookbook of duck recipes to hunter Elmer; Daffy retaliates by reading dishes from a rabbit recipe cookbook...what Bugs was doing with either of those books is best left unexamined.
- You're right.
- The duck recipes are for reading to hunters who might be tempted into hunting ducks instead of him, obviously. The rabbit recipes? Research. He'd possibly already learned that some rabbit dishes don't have the English word "rabbit" in the name, and he doesn't want to learn within range of a cook.
I Want to Live!
- Kellogg's "Crazy Good" ad campaign for Pop-Tarts features both print and animated television ads involving people trying to catch and eat anthropomorphic toaster pastries. Said pastries don't seem too happy about it.
- One of the M&M's commercials has the anthropomorphic Crispy M&M's character running from people who wanted to eat him. In this commercial, Crispy demanded that Diedrich Bader put himself in Crispy's shoes for once. Bader imagines Crispy eating tiny versions of himself out of a bowl, then dismisses it with a simple "that's funny." He proceeds to eat M&M's one at a time, naming or relating them to Crispy.
Bader: There goes your sister!
- An early Wienerschnitzel ad campaign featured an anthropomorphic chili dog as a fugitive on the run from people who want to eat him. Later, he was changed into a generic mascot (possibly because people took the ads at their word and refrained from eating the poor guy).
- Those Chef Boyardee commercials starring the Tin Man. Oh, that Tin Man.
- Parodied some cleverly in a Canadian Bick's Pickle campaign, in which a little green alien records a series of nature documentaries featuring what he believes are sentient enslaved pickles emitting cries of horror and pain--i.e., crunching--upon being hunted down and eaten by remorseless predatory humans--i.e., happy picnickers.
- There was a very disturbing fish stick commercial where a bunch of the fish sticks huddled at the back of a plate, finally deciding to shove one unlucky comrade forward proclaiming 'pick him, yeah eat him!' after the unfortunate fish stick is picked up out of screen we see the others looking in horror and you hear a crunch while the eerie narrator talks about how delicious they are: 'No, we're not! No, we're not!'
- Used as part of a series of Shake & Bake commercials where farm animals complain about new flavors or methods of using Shake & Bake, either whimpering at how the new flavor will affect them, or showing relief that it's not for their particular kind of meat.
- A Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Cleveland has a poster informing customers that they can order food to go. The poster? A chicken in a car looking to its left, terrified.
- A UK advert for Bird's Eye frozen peas shows a group of kids (and Suggs from Madness) watching a small figure made of peas beating up some broccoli. Suggs explains that this is because peas contain more iron than broccoli, and one of the kids says "Cool. Let's eat them." The peas panic.
- This cheery little Norwegian coffee ad. (For those who can't see it, the coffee beans are merrily singing along until they walk into the roaster, and then It Gets Worse.)
- Dairylea Dunkers once produced a delicious parody of this trope - in an ad that was considered too disturbing for children and later taken down. The commercial involves a cavegirl being chased and captured by a hungry T-Rex... who turns out to be looking for something to dunk into his Dairylea. The dino then feels pretty stupid after noticing the breadsticks provided. Unfortunately, he has already eaten the girl.
- It was only taken down because the victim was human. Makes you think, eh?
- Not related to advertising per se, but this troper is reminded of a (thankfully much safer for kids) Far Side cartoon with a startlingly similar premise. In this case, the victims are a group of cavemen who end up in the T-rex's mouth - and are promptly spat out after it finds what they taste like (they live, don't worry). The caption? "In the days before soap."
- Used as a plot point in a (somewhat disturbing) Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle story. A child has bad manners, so Mrs. Pigglewiggle lends him a trained pig to help him with his etiquette. When the family inadvertently serves him Pork Chops for dinner, the pig gets deathly sickened when he attempts to eat them, and needs to leave the room.
- You say that like there's non-disturbing Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories.
- In Japan there's a whole song sung by famous anime singer Masato Shimon devoted to this trope pretty much. "Swim! Taiyaki-kun" is about a fish pastry who comes alive, rebels against the chef who baked him, fools around in the ocean, and eventually is eaten by an old fisherman. It's listed in Guinness 2009 as Japan's best selling single.
- Sounds like the old story about the Gingerbread Man, who escapes his baker, several farm animals, a couple of children, all the while singing/taunting them with the line "Run, run, as fast as you can; you'll never catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!" He is tricked by a fox into a ride on his muzzle to cross a river, and gets tossed and swallowed in a single gulp.
- The song Cows with Guns by Dana Lyons.
He mooed we must fight, escape or we'll die \\ Cows gathered around, cause the steaks were so high. (Bad Cow Pun)
- In Animal Crossing, Franklin the turkey is invited to the Harvest Day dinner as a "guest of honor" and is dismayed to find nothing but side dishes on the feast table. Hence, he is hiding throughout the town all day. Stealing the silverware from the banquet table and bringing it to him allows you to get a rare item from the Harvest Series of furniture, and this can be repeated as many times as you like before the day is over, making the Harvest Series the easiest path to getting a superior rating from the HRA.
- Most items in Banjo-Kazooie seem perfectly happy to provide their services, even if it presumably means their death. The single exception being worms in the level Click Clock Wood, who seem to rue the thought of being fed to an eagle.
- Conkers Bad Fur Day, made by the same company, had a giant mouse you had to feed clearly sentient cheese to near the beginning of the game. As you took the cheese closer to the mouse, it went from minor panic to full-fledged terror, screaming for you to let it go.
- I'd take the cheese's fate over the sweet corn's.
- Conkers Bad Fur Day, made by the same company, had a giant mouse you had to feed clearly sentient cheese to near the beginning of the game. As you took the cheese closer to the mouse, it went from minor panic to full-fledged terror, screaming for you to let it go.
- One sidequest in Cave Story requires you to get a mushroom for medicinal purposes. When you find the mushroom, it has a face and can talk. He asks several times if you're really sure that you want to eat him, and tries to trick you into leaving him alone, before finally attacking you.
- Used as a gag to a borderline disturbing degree in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. There are a few imaginary friends who look like talking food, and had been used as background characters for some time before we got a deeply unsettling explanation for them. In one episode, Mac's mean older brother tries to think of a creature that can fight Bloo, but since he's hungry, all he can think of is food - and a pizza-shaped imaginary friend suddenly appears. Older brother's immediate reaction to this is to eat the pizza.
- Even more disturbing as the first thing the pizza says upon popping into existence is, "Howdy-doo! I love you!" His glee soon turns to screaming horror as Terrence begins to eat him.
- Later, we learn that at least some of the background food-shaped friends were rescued from a fat camp. One such character suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. Think about it.
Wait, What Was That Again?
- In yet another M&M's commercial, Red and Yellow came over to Steve Weber's house; during the visit, the human expressed his gratitude over their arrival, because he just ran out of little M&M's. Red makes a hasty escape, while the commercial ends with the camera closing on Yellow with a horrified look on his face.
- In a fairly disturbing Chips Ahoy commercial, a giant talking cookie is invited to a little girl's birthday party (and even has a party hat on). "So... where's the cake?" "Oh... we're not having cake." Cookie's smile dissolves into a grimace of horror. "Oh."
- Another Chips Ahoy commercial features four anthropomorphic cookies joyriding in a car and singing along to Human League's "Don't You Want Me" as a giant hand reaches in and grabs them one by one. The last finally realizes the others are no longer singing, and falters as he looks behind him, just before being grabbed himself.
- Then there's the ad where a talking cookie is grabbed by a giant hand and pulled offscreen after he had been apparently seducing a human. Um...?
- In the 1980s, Smith's Crisps used to have TV adverts featuring little singing potatoes: "We want to be (two beats) Smi-ith's Crisps..."
- And disturbingly parodied in 2000AD with "Ritzy Crisps".
- This trope is naively inverted in Oscar Mayer wiener commercials that depict people (usually children) cheerily singing about wanting to be a hot dog while they're eating hot dogs. Now you don't just meet the meat, it's trying to recruit! Two years after the jingle was penned, a second stanza was added that lampshades the disturbing implications, though nobody knows that part.
- In one a child was singing that he's rather glad he's not an Oscar Meyer wiener, because he won't be eaten (the above-mentioned second verse?). The other children turn and glare at him until he starts singing it the usual way. Yeah, that's not creepy.
- There was an advert for some sweet in the United Kingdom, Fruit Polos this editor thinks, where a group of these sweets were bouncing on a trampoline in a dank room. A female voice over talked about how lucky they were... then faltered on their actual destiny, when the sweets seemed to be turning to look at the screen, the female voice used a euphemism for them being eaten.
- One ad for Maple Leaf chicken involved a pair of actual chickens being shown a contract to become Maple Leaf Prime Chickens, and being told all the perks. Vegetable grain, open range, it all sounds quite reasonable. As they reached the bottom of the contract, their faces registered alarm, as if they had only just realized the fate of Maple Leaf Prime Chickens.
- An advert for mushy peas featuring Craig Charles reminding a normal pea of life back on the farm, with all its little pea friends in its little pea pod. The peas breaks down crying, turning itself mushy... hilarious!
- In the latest irn bru advertisement, a man is walking through the rain in the countryside, whilst cartoon animals cower when he comes near. Then he opens up a can of irn bru and the suns starts shining. He starts whistling, and walks along whilst the cartoon animals happily follow. He then leads them into a shop. Before shutting them in he pulls down the shutter to reveal it is in fact a butcher's whilst grinning very evilly. To make matters worse, you see some cartoon eyes blink in the dark to then cut to cartoon pieces of meat dancing cheerfully around the can at the end! *shudder*
- What about the fact that in that same commercial, a rabbit eats a carrot that had eyes and a big smile?
- The Weebl's Stuff cartoon "Pork" features, among other visuals, a pig dancing as she bloodily descends into a meat grinder.
- Not to mention the wide range of emotions experienced by his anthropomorphic Waffles.
- When Flying Man And Friends sets out to make "the happiest orange juice in the world," he uses smiling oranges...that soon stop smiling.
- Gaia Online's special items for Easter '09 were two slutty anthropomorphic chocolate bunnies, Sundae (female, dark chocolate) and Fondue (male, white chocolate). Fondue's original item description said, "Let me cover your strawberries in my sweet white chocolate!" It was clearly supposed to be a sexual reference, but Fondue is made of said white chocolate...
- Almost all episodes of the YouTube series The Annoying Orange features the titular character and his friends chatting with other food (often a fruit) which is, in the end, dragged away screaming and sliced by a knife (or in some cases put in a blender or an oven).
- In one episode of the Beetlejuice animated series, BJ and Lydia discover a land of talking anthropomorphized food, which was in danger of being conquered by a head of lettuce in Roman garb (Caesar salad). At the end, Beetlejuice asks whether there's any fast food around, because he is hungry. After a horrified moment, he and Lydia are chased out by the natives, who declare them to be cannibals.
Why Don't You Want Me?
- Two chickens travel around the country to convince people they're either Foster Farms chickens or close enough; no one believes them because they're mangy and they eat junk food. The fate of the real Foster Farms chickens doesn't seem to concern them.
- Charlie the Tuna of Star-Kist seems to be suicidal and misguided at the same time -- he tries to demonstrate his good taste (in art, theatre, music and so on) so that Star-Kist will take him, only to be told repeatedly that Star-Kist would rather have tuna that taste good. Sorry, Charlie; it looks like you won't be killed and eaten after all...
- The "Peperami - It's a bit of an animal" campaign took this trope to the extreme. In one ad, the half eaten sausage chases its eater down the street screaming "What's the matter? Too spicy for ya?!"
- Ribena's latest ad campaign had blueberries trying to break into the Ribena factory to be made into it.
- Smith's Crisps has one TV advert featuring a ready peeled potato being told to its disappointment that it couldn't be made into crisps because this ad was for Smith's Jackets (made of jacket potatoes).
- One bubblegum commercial (Wrigley Extra?) has an angry stick of chewing gum with a Scottish accent upset that someone left him behind. He then fights his way to the person in question, demanding that he be chewed up and eventually spat out.
- Burger King is running a series of commercials for their new chicken sandwich where a cow (or bull) comes to the protagonist, looking at them accusingly for switching over to the new sandwich, and they try to explain to the bovine that they didn't promise an exclusive relationship or some other reason. The announcer: "It's so good it will make you cheat on beef."
- Yeah, the cow's pissed that it's not getting eaten.
- Hershey's 5th Avenue bar featured a "broken Peanut" who very badly wants to be part of the candy bar but feels discriminated against because they only want peanut butter. The commercials played sad violin music while the Nut rambles about his desire to be in the candy bar, and near the end usually threatens to do something drastic. "If they won't have me, I'll throw myself to the elephants!"
- This is essentially the entire point of the anime Kogepan, which is about a piece of burnt bread.
- Spoofed bizarrely in Bobobobo Bobobo, where Jelly Jiggler, an anthropomorphic blob of jello-like substance, appears to have deep-seated psychological issues because nobody ever wanted to buy and eat him (in Japan, he's a blob of tokoroten, a sort of jelly made from seaweed eaten as a snack in Japan, and is named Tokoro Tennosuke). He even joined The Evil Empire at first because he hated the world so much for not wanting to eat him. Yeah, it's that kind of series.
- An episode of Chowder featured an animated chunk of
icethrice cream known as the Thrice Cream Man. He had a strange obsession with getting other people to eat him, and pretty much went crazy when the main character became sick of thrice cream.
- Heck, given all the talking food looking forward to being eaten in "Chowder", it's a wonder we didn't mention it sooner.
- A series of Nicktoons shorts called "A Very Aggressive Vegetable" featured vegetables chewing out children for not eating healthy, and one where a bean gets mad at a kid for racism against spotted beans.
- The Looney Tune Cheese Chasers features mice Hubie and Bertie, who have eaten so much cheese they can't look at the stuff and have lost the will to live, so they try to get Claude Cat to eat them. He's quickly suspicious, and freaks out over their increasingly aggressive attempts to be eaten. By cartoon's end he's frantically pulling them away as they cling to his lips shouting "Let us IN, Mister Cat! Eat us! EAT US!!!"
- A Tom and Jerry cartoon has Jerry's little pal, a duckling, believing himself to be so ugly, he spends the cartoon entreating Tom to eat him. Only Jerry shows up each time to thwart both plans.
Parodies and Other
- Non-food variation: The instructions on Herbal Essences hair products are written in the first person. Knowing that makes the faux orgasms in the commercials take on a whole new meaning.
- An ad for Choco Roles Marinela (essentially, Hostess Ho Hos for the Latin American market) has a man in costume as the product, crashing his plane in the Amazon rainforest. He's found by a tribe of cannibals who won't believe he's not a giant, tribe-sized Choco Rol. Cut to shots of the real product. Cut back to the aftermath of the tribe scene, where the chief is licking his fingers clean.
- There's an ongoing series of Glade commercials involving a housewife desperately trying to conceal her deep, dark secret: She uses Glade products! (Gasp!) As of December 25, the latest is her trying to convince her friends that the smell of gingerbread is from the "fresh-baked" cookies she bought at the store and put on a plate just before they arrived. One of the gingerbread men leaps off the plate and starts to tell the friends that it's the nearby Glade candle, and the housewife grabs him off the plate and bites his head off to keep him from talking. Then she offers her friends a cookie. The looks on their faces are probably the same one you have now. Oh, and the gingerbread man could still be heard talking in a muffled voice in the housewife's mouth. Does that make it better or worse?
- A new Boost Mobile commercial has two pigs eating ham, insisting that they are savoring the taste of a "fallen comrade". They go on to insist that what's really screwed up is hidden fees in cell phone contracts. Right...
- This video, made by PETA, is perhaps the most brutal subversion of this trope in existence. Then again, Your Mileage May Vary.
- This article from X-Entertainment points out this trope as related to Cookie Puss:
"After introducing himself, C.P. would fly around ice cream makers' heads, not at all challenged with the sight of seeing himself poured out into a cake mold. Cookie Puss understands his role, and the downsides of it: he's gotta commentate on slaughtered versions of himself being caketified."
- While I'm uncertain if the ads for Post brand raisin bran ever used this trope, there is a skit parodying it and them, with the raisins attempting to flee the dreaded spoon. The last survivor begins to sing "I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener."
- Inverted in a recent candy bar commercial, in which some man-eating sharks gush about how very tasty a guy who'd just eaten a peanut-butter Snickers had been. Eat Snickers, folks, it'll let you become this trope!
- Fullmetal Alchemist, 7th volume, has scene in a meat shop with posters in the background. Through an amusing typo, there is a poster that has a picture of cow and words "Meet day". The text was fixed in anime version, sadly.
- In the "humiliated grapes" scene in Benny and Joon, Joon and Sam discuss the perverseness of food being forced to advertise its own consumption.
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the camera pans briefly over a poster on a telephone pole in Toontown that features Porky Pig licking his chops over a "100% BEEF" sausage. So much for Clarabelle Cow.
- In The Return of Hanuman, a fruit was very frightened when it was chased by a squirrel, but is totally relaxed after he was eaten by Hanuman and disappears.
- In The Barsoom Project, this trope's bizarre implications are confronted head-on. While participating in a "Fat Ripper" simulated adventure, some overweight Dream Park guests are accused of disrespectfully trivializing their food sources by a holographic Inuit deity, who displays advertising mascots as proof. Luckily, one of the guests is a stand-up comedian by profession, and successfully argues that modern popular culture always makes jokes about anyone or anything that's sufficiently important and respected.
- Parodied in a mock commercial on Saturday Night Live for Cluckin'Chicken.
- Referenced in the tuna episode of Good Eats:
Alton: Hey, Alvin, why is it you anthropomorphized food mascots always want somebody to eat you?
- Mad has a semi regular feature called Planet Tad, which is the (fake) blog of a 14-year-old boy. In one entry, Tad's parents force him to get a summer job at a hot dog stand. His job is to wear a giant hot dog costume, and spin a sign. Tad, ever the Deadpan Snarker, begins whispering to patrons as they enter, "You're eating my babies..." Cue him getting fired because "No one wants to eat in a place where the food gets depressed."
- In the newspaper comic strip Betty, the title character goes to a burger bar and is told that she can choose between three burgers: "Ralph, Li'l Ralph and Big Ralph". Animated versions of the Ralph burgers are rapping and dancing on the menu screen. Not impressed by the overly hip gimmickry, Betty asks for a burger without a personality.
- Referenced in the first Ace Attorney game, case five. Examining Angel Starr's food wagon will cause Phoenix to note that her van's logo is that of a cow serving hamburgers, something that Ema Skye comments is kind of creepy.
- In Tradewinds: Legends, two female ifrit indigo traders ask the playable character to deliver a rug for them to eat, which the rug (or carpet) resists by fleeing, but eventually turns out to like. Yes, it's a lesbian pop-singer Shout-Out...
- Played with in this Simulated Comic Product strip.
- General Gohblair's speech in the Holiday Wars storyline of Sluggy Freelance...
"Do you know the difference between Thanksgiving and all the other holidays, Mrs. Claus? Santa gblgblgives gifts, the Easter Bunny gblgblgives eggs. We GBLGBLGIVE OUR LIVES! Every ONE of these fine flock of poults is willing to lie down on a plate, have his gblgblguts ripped out, turned to gblgblgravy, mixed with bread and spices and stuffed back into him so a completely different species can say 'hey, I'm thankful for the fact that my gblgblguts aren't chopped up and mixed with bread on my insides.' And THAT'S why Bun-Bun will underestimate us! We're freaking NUTS!"
- Thingpart: Getting Eaten by Bears.
- Shown as a way of dealing with post-holiday depression in Kevin and Kell. "I can't even burn calories stalking!"
- Lampshaded in the Thanksgiving Symbols entry in The Book Of Ratings:
"It's also interesting that so many of our images of Thanksgiving turkeys involve them not being killed, plucked, and eaten. The President pardons a turkey, cartoon turkeys on TV manage to avoid the axe, but when it comes to the actual dead turkey on our table, pass the gravy."
- The Bob and Tom Show (radio) did a whole Thanksgiving song where a turkey proudly, happily asked to be eaten (and at one point admitted "If I had a musket, I'd be eating you"). At the end, he's slaughtered, and as a horn plays "Taps", there's a bit of mock Dude, Not Funny reaction from the show regulars ("It's not a very happy ending...").
- Suicide Food is a blog devoted to this trope (and the occasional thoughtful meditation linking the phenomenon to the wider mindset of meat-eating).
- This fake ad by Ursula Vernon. "Judas Pig BBQ Sauce. Treacherously Tasty.".
There are barbecue joints every five feet, and the debate over eastern vs. western NC barbecue has occasionally claimed lives. And every one of these places has a sign out front with a grinning pig on it, frequently licking sauce of its fingers, advertising just how great their pulled pork is.
- Kid-shaped "Lucky Charms" on CollegeHumor!
- Played with in the start of this Almost Live "Guide to Living in Seattle." The waiter is letting the patrons know about the life history of the fish they are serving. Overlaps heavily with a send up of Seattle's politically correct tendencies.
Brad the Waiter: "As an entree tonight, we are serving Alan, a sensitive and artistic Coho salmon. Alan was gently caught with a soft net, in non-Indian fishing waters, nowhere near the Satsop nuclear power plant. After Alan was given two 500 milligram caplets of Prozac to reduce anxiety, he was gutted and cleaned. We're serving Alan tonight sauteed in a savory fennel butter wine sauce in accordance with his wishes...We will be showing a retrospective of Alan's paintings later this month."
- The Simpsons parodies this several times:
- Homer has a fantasy about a roast pig that involves said dish removing the apple from its mouth, shaking its behind and cheerily proclaiming, "The best meat's in the rump!"
- When The Simpsons go to Japan, they eventually end up working at a fish-gutting factory in Osaka whose mascot is an Animesque squid, who cheerfully sings Knife goes in, guts come out, that's what Osaka Seafood Concern is all about! The squid rips its guts out in a form of seppuku and dies. The factory appears to play the clip on rotation as a motivational tool.
- The restaurant "P. Piggly Hogswine's Super-Smorg." Its mascot is an anthropomorphic pig proudly displaying a roasted pig's head. Both the cook pig and the pig head in his frying pan wink at you. *shudder*
- Not to mention the pig in the Garden of Eden episode "Simpsons Bible Stories" who willingly offers his ribs, bacon, etc. to Homer as Adam, though it appears he regenerates enough to satisfy even Homer's voracious appetite.
- The episode of The Powerpuff Girls where alien broccoli with carrot guns put sedatives in all of the vegetables in Townsville, and the only way for the kids (who didn't eat their vegetables) to keep them from conquering Townsville is to eat them...let's just say the Nightmare Fuel and Family Unfriendly Aesops were flying all over the place in this one...
- Parodied in Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs and Buster Bunny are appalled by Montana Max's carnivorous eating habits so they strap him in a chair and show him a Squick-filled informative video on how his food is made ("This next part is kind of graphic, those with weaker stomachs should turn to the Disney Channel"). Their plan works and Max reforms, so Babs and Buster celebrate with a vegetarian dinner. And then their carrots begin to scream...
- "Weenie Burgers are so much fun to eat... AAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!"
- Parodied in Martha Speaks with the "deserted" and "adore" sketches. The "adore" sketch also ended with a Nightmare Fuel-laced Gainax Ending!
- An episode of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!! takes place at an interstellar truck stop, whee an alien who looks like beef jerky keeps trying to rescue what he thinks are children.
- An episode of The Super-Secret Secret Squirrel had Greg, a disgruntled gingerbread man, as the villain. His Start of Darkness came from being cuddled and named by a little girl...then having his leg bitten off. His grand scheme involved having his army of sugar ants steal truckloads 'of candy and melting it down into a giant candy monster "so that candy will eat kids for a change, change, change!" Then Secret and Morocco ate it. Then the ants that Greg used to steal the needed candy ate Greg since there were no other sweets to eat. Then Secret and Morocco trapped the ants in candy coating and gave a box of the candied ants to their boss who ate them with gusto. That episode was a love letter to this trope.
- One PBS Kids interstitial had a kid eat ice cream. "But what if ice cream gets lonely down there?" So he eats some other foods, and "It's a crazy stomach dance party!"
- Adventure Time has a lot of people made out of food who aren't eaten, but the episode "Hitman" makes references to another character named Meat Man who gives them his meat. Finn wonders if it hurts him, but Jake doesn't seem to care much, until he has some sort of nightmare about the character.
Jake: (Staring wide-eyed out the window) Hey Finn, are you awake yet? I had a dream about Meat Man. ...I think I'm gonna stop eating Meat Man.