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Food is important. Without the many things it provides (not just nutrition, but culture, comfort and...well, just gives life more flavour) people would just keel over and die (...literally). Of course, this makes being hungry a big deal.

With this in mind it's hardly a surprise that some people just can't get it off their mind. Not just in the sense that they don't want to starve, but that they can't stop thinking about eating. They might just constantly crave their Trademark Favorite Food, or just food in general. Either way they will pay more attention to food than anything else. Expect another character to ask them "How can you think about food at a time like this!?" at some point.

Most of the time, especially in Western Animation or Anime and Manga, it's Played for Laughs, but it can also be Played for Drama.

These characters tend to be the Big Eater and may suffer from Meat-O-Vision and are prone to a Delicious Distraction. Contrast Weight Woe, where someone's trying to ignore food.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • In Trinity Blood, Played for Laughs with Father Nightroad at the start of the first episode of the Anime, who hasn't eaten in 22 hours due to not being able to pay for a sandwitch. Later, it's Played for Drama with Ion, who is a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire afraid of loosing his self - control. However, when they're able to eat normally, neither is obsessed with food.
  • In One Piece, Luffy gets hungry real easily to where he will try to eat the nearest thing as a Running Gag. He particularly likes meat (of any sort) but will eat anything that tastes good. After a few hours without eating, he will start to complain to anyone nearby. After several hours, it substantially affects his ability to fight--normally Played for Laughs but becomes a major plot point when he fails to stop the CP9 agents from assassinating Iceburg, burning down his mansion, and kidnapping Franky.
  • Toriko doesn't think about anything but eating (Justified since he has a Hyperactive Metabolism which means he'll starve in hours rather than days and gathering ingredients and cooking's kind of a Serious Business in his world). Naturally the anime adaptation has crossed over with One Piece.
  • Goku from Dragonball Z. Justified in that he weakens a lot if he's hungry.

Comic Books

  • In Archie Comics and the animated series thereof, Jughead Jones would often become distracted if the subject of food came up in the middle of him talking about something else.

Literature

  • In Taft 2012, the protagonist lampshades this, describing his interest in politics as a "hunger for values".
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
    • Augustus Gloop, finder of the first golden ticket, who is constantly eating. Possibly the inspiration for The Simpsons' Uter.
    • Charlie Bucket and his family are also preoccupied with food but for a different reason: they're so poor they're starving.
  • In The Hobbit Bilbo is constantly thinking about where he'd rather be and what he'd rather be eating (usually cake)

Live Action Television

  • In an episode of The X-Files told from the Monster of the Week's POV, said monster is consumed with eating people. He tries to control it by going to Overeaters Anonymous, but ends up killing & eating his landlady (who he bonded with when he discovered she was also in OA).
  • On the first series of Skins, Cassie thinks about food a lot. She has an eating disorder, she organises tinned food in other people's homes, has set strategies for pushing food around her plate to make it look like she's been eating, and believes someone is sending her secret messages telling her to 'EAT!'

Newspaper Comics

  • Garfield is like that every time Jon puts him on a diet.

Tabletop Games

  • In Nomine. Not surprisingly, this is true of Haagenti the Demon Prince of Gluttony.

Video Games

  • Soul Calibur V has Xiba, a character who is shown eating in his promo art and is so concerned about getting his next meal that his opening battle lines include, "If food is on the line, I'd better win this!" and "So if I beat you, you'll give me some food?" He will even yell "Food!" when knocked out.
  • Bud from Mega Man Star Force is obsessed with food to the point that him entering an eating contest is a plot point. Obviousley, Played for Laughs.
  • Taokaka from Blaz Blue's always looking for food (this seems to be a trait of Kaka in general, but Tao's definatly the most obsessive). She even nicknames Ragna the Bloodedge "Good Guy" (even though she was supposed to capture him for a bounty) because he fed her. Similarly to Xiba (from Soul Calibur, mentioned above) he battle quotes often reference food (up to and including the possibility of eating her opponent).
  • The Gaping Dragon of Dark Souls was originally a normal stone dragon that became so obsessed with eating its ribcage turned into a giant maw.

Web Original

  • The Nostalgia Critic is a skinny bugger, but can be bribed with sweets and sees nothing wrong with a side order of liposuction fat for a hot-pocket.

Western Animation

  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "The Bus Boy" when the fat German kid is telling his story about the creature at the back of the bus, he keeps distracting himself whenever he mentions food.
  • In the Hey Arnold episode "Best Friends" when Arnold and Gerald are trying to find out why Rhonda and Nadine split up and they question Harold, he can only remember what they were eating and anything they said that was related to food.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer Simpson. Whenever he hears (or thinks he hears) any mention of food, he responds with the Catch Phrase "Mmm, [food/thing that vaguely sounds like food]", then spaces out and drools.
    • Uter the exchange student from Germany. Always seen eating chocolate bars.
  • South Park: Eric Cartman is obsessed with cheesy poofs and fried chicken.
  • In Scooby Doo, Played for Laughs with Shaggy and Scooby. Both of them are slender, cowardly Big Eaters who are only not hungry when they've stuffed themselves with more food than would normally feed a dozen people, and are only not thinking about food when they're too scared.
  • In Wallace and Gromit, the main content of Wallace's life is cheese. Incidentally, the series has gone as far as even saving a rare type of cheese.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender- Sokka, especially with meat. Constantly Lampshaded by Sokka's actor in "The Ember Island Players," Who rarely ever took his mind off food for the entire play.
  • The titular character of Chowder. Not surprisingly, he's an apprentice cook.
  • Gary and Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons, who would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
  • The Tasmanian Devil, whose menu fills up the whole page of a reference book. To say nothing of "...And especially rabbits!" in bold red print.
  • Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters often got in trouble because of his massive appetite.
  • The Laughing Hyenas in Timon and Pumbaa were perpetually on the edge of starvation and would go to any length for a square meal.
  • In The Super Mario Bros Super Show, mainly in the Super Mario Bros 2 season, Mario obsesses over Italian food.
  • Alvin and The Chipmunks has Theodore, and to a lesser extent his Distaff Counterpart Eleanor.

Real Life

  • Those with Prader-Willi syndrome. These people think about food 24/7 because full signals never reach the brain, and as a result, they feel hungry perpetually.
  • King Louis XVI seemed more interested in food than his wife.
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