Alien Lunch

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Alien pigs might have eight legs and a limey skin but for some reason it still Tastes Like Chicken.

"I'd just like them to kill my food before I eat it. Is that too much to ask?"

CaleTitan A.E.

A character vocally enjoying a meal—often provided for free—has the unusual (to them) ingredients mentioned and is thoroughly disgusted. In other cases, the character momentarily pauses and then resumes eating, or through the course of the episode is obliged to eat it, then makes a habit of it. May feature the one pragmatic character (sometimes a Big Eater or even an Extreme Omnivore) who has no problem eating something they know to be unusual.

When used among actual aliens, another character will not understand the negative reaction and perhaps even call it hypocritical, making a comparison to the contents of a so-called "normal" meal they find disgusting (such as comparing a lobster's habits to a cockroach). Unfortunately, anyone who eats such things also tends to be the type who is more than willing to share.

May be a subtrope of Bizarre Alien Biology. Compare with Foreign Queasine, when the strange food is from our own planet, and I Ate What?, when the stuff that went down your gullet isn't food on any planet. If the unknown dish turns out to be homo sapiens, then it's I'm a Humanitarian instead, except for cases when man is a regular ingredient in the alien cuisine.

No real life examples, please; Sorry, we have to impose Wikipedia's "reliable sources" rule on this one.

Examples of Alien Lunch include:

Anime and Manga

  • Subverted in Simoun, when Mamiina feeds a delicious meal to the entire crew, and everyone digs in with relish. She does this after having been seen setting mousetraps in the rodent-infested barracks where Chor Tempest has been temporarily stationed. Sure enough, the secret ingredient in the stew turns out to be mouse. They not only don't mind, they giggle over it in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • In one episode of Urusei Yatsura, Lum is asked to cook lunch while on a camping trip; Ataru, knowing her Lethal Chef skills, turns down the offer to partake. The other campers are turned into Fire Breathing Diners by their first bite; when they ask what's in the food, Lum reveals that everything on the table contains chili peppers, curry, or both.
    • In at least one story of the manga, Lum's attempts at cooking on earth open a portal to another dimension, disgorging alien fleets which proceeded to have a battle in the middle of the Moroboshis' kitchen. (Until their owners came to collect them, they were toys).
  • Once in the Mahou Sensei Negima anime Asuna makes a cake for Takamichi. It features among other things a sickeningly green coating of cream and squid tentacles.
  • Minki's food in Hell Teacher Nube. In her defense, Minki is a demon girl and the food is supposed to be eaten by demons too, not by humans.
  • The Mysterious Waif in Zoids: Chaotic Century enjoys salt in her tea.
  • In chapter 489 of Naruto, the titular character is Reverse Summoned to the place where the Summoned Toads live while closing his eyes to dig into some ramen, then he starts chowing down on a bowl full of worms before he even realized what happened.
  • Franken Fran once attended the birthday party of a wealthy socialite girl that included a large buffet of various meats; it soon became clear that the guests were eating the evidence of her murder.
  • Kyouran Kazoku Nikki has this in the very first episode. When, after being shuffled back and forth on the counter,and apparently getting sick, it proclaims "just eat me already!"
  • Keroro Gunsou has the Keronians' "mixed life-form space okonomiyaki". We never find out exactly what goes into it, but it has an alarming tendency to try and escape the frying pan and/or attack the diner.
  • An ongoing Running Gag in Nyarko San. Nyarko keeps using alien ingredients on everything she cooks, be it shantak bird eggs, black goat of the woods (a.k.a. Shub-Niggurath) meat or her famous "BLT" sandwich (Byakhee-Lloigor-Tsathoggua). And then there's the hot dog from episode 4 - "dog" here meaning "Hound of Tindalos".

Comic Books


Then it was revealed that humans froze liquids. No big news there. The concept that electrified the Gallimaufry was that Humans stuck a handle into the frozen liquid and ate it! Still frozen!


Shockwaves of tsunami-like proportion ran through the culinary schools of the galaxy. Entire industries were spawned and fought over, and at least two desert dwelling races were saved from extinction.


And most important of all, when Humanity threw a party with refreshments, everybody came.

  • Happens in Footrot Flats as Wal is scoffing down the lunch Cooch made him in the back country. Wal remarks that he loves freshwater crayfish only for Cooc to remark "Yeah, but how do you feel about them cave wetas?"

Fan Works

  • In the Crystal Tokyo era of Sailor Moon Expanded (a massive Fan Verse from the 1990s which extended and expanded on the original anime version of Sailor Moon), humanoid youma Titanite (aka "Sailor Polaris") runs a restaurant that specializes in the cuisine of the Dark Kingdom. (Which is based around various alien fungi and arthropods, very heavily spiced.) While originally intended as a "home cooking" place for the few other survivors of the Dark Kingdom, it unexpectedly becomes popular with humans, mainly because of the bragging rights earned from eating food even Klingons might hesitate to consume.


  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Frank 'n' Furter reveals in the middle of dinner that everyone is, in fact, eating the man that Frank 'n' Furter killed earlier in the movie.

The Crowd: Today's special: Meat Loaf under glass!
The Crowd: Meat Loaf again?

  • Pretty much the entire point in the movie Soylent Green. In the book it was soy and lentils. Thus the name. Not so much in the movie.
    • Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow are the original recipe. However, nobody likes them--the populace will happily knock over and trample entire tables full of Red loaves and Yellow buns in protest against the absence of Green crackers.
  • The movie Eating Raoul, as if you couldn't guess from the title.
  • Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea plays this one straight. Captain Nemo's guests are shocked to learn that their banquet is composed of 100% seafood (including seaweed as well as once-living creatures), however, in this case, it's more the idea of eating seafood other than fish that puts them off.
    • Note that it's more likely to dismay a present-day viewer because some of what they eat comes from species that are endangered, if not extinct (Stellar's sea cow), today.
  • In National Lampoon's Vacation!, the Griswolds complain that the sandwiches are strangely "moist," and Clark takes his away to eat as he ogles the Blonde In The Ferrari. When Ellen realizes (and screams) "The dog peed on the picnic basket!" Clark immediately goes into spasms as he tries to spit out what little he had eaten, and tosses the rest. Aunt Edna, the dog's owner, shrugs and continues eating.
  • A similar variation is in Titan A.E.. The Earth is destroyed, so humans make do with alien food, and the aliens that Cale works with like their grub live.
    • At best - Gune licks his hand and among the comments he makes on it is the phrase 'Who ate it before you did?'
  • In Demolition Man the main character John Spartan is forced, along with his companions, to take a trip into the city's sewers where the rebels live. To try to dispel some of the suspicions that the sewers' inhabitants are directing at them he orders a hamburger (and pays for it with his Rolex. Talk about insane meat prices!). Halfway through eating it, he is reminded by one of his companions that there are no cows underground. He asks the vendor where the meat comes from, and is told it's rat meat. He pauses for a moment, then cheerfully resumes eating, stating it's the best burger he's had in years.
    • "That's a good ratburger!" Best line in the movie.
    • He pays with someone else's Rolex. Someone else's Rolex for a burger isn't a bad deal, for him. And Rolex might be a relatively cheap watch company in the future, since it's a utopia that doesn't seem to use much money.
    • Technically, it was the only burger he'd had in years. On a different note, rats are eaten in some parts of the world, though not the sort that live in sewers; they feed on grain.
  • Likewise not an actual alien, although the character is enough of a Cloudcuckoolander at times that she might as well be: Lane's mother Jenny in Better Off Dead is shown on-screen cooking a meal where tentacles and claws wave from the pot; in another scene she serves the family a gelatinous green goo that flees Lane's plate when he pokes it with a fork.

Jenny: It's got raisins in it. You like raisins.

  • The cast of The Movie of Clue gets monkey brains for dinner too, and are nauseated to discover what they really ate.
  • In The Lost Boys, vampire David offers mortal Michael some rice, then tells him he's been eating maggots. After Michael recoils from his suddenly squirming food, David says it was just an optical illusion on his part: it's really rice after all. Then David, in a cruel double bluff, offers Michael a swig of human blood from a wine bottle, and despite the warning of his semi-vampiric crush Star that it's actually blood for real, Michael drinks it and becomes a semi-vampire himself.
  • In Funny Farm, Chevy Chase's character stops at a local diner and finds an entree called "lamb fries" which he enjoys greatly, to the point of ordering 30 servings of it (breaking a previous customer's record). It's only after he's through that the waitress informs him that "lamb fries" are actually sheep testicles, prompting a comical Spit Take.
  • Reversed in the Masters of the Universe film, where the alien Eternians eat simple fried chicken, only to discover with revulsion that it's meat. Man-at-Arms just digs in.

Teela: I wonder why they put the food on these little white sticks?
Man-at-Arms: Those are rib bones.
Teela: (stops chewing) You mean this used to be an animal...?
Man-at-Arms: Uh-huh.
Teela: Ugh! What a barbaric world... We never see Teela swallow.

  • In Galaxy Quest, the cast of the fictional TV shows alien hosts prepare what they think to be the favourite food of the characters they play. One who played a human gets a steak. The one who played a Rubber Forehead Alien got a rather different meal. But how do we know what that steak was from?
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, anyone? Chilled Monkey brains and eyeball tomato soup. Yum yum.
  • Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire featured a bizarre lunch with even more bizarre utensils. Everyone was squicked by things like the live "noodles" except for the doctor, who thought it was strange that no one else was eating.
  • Daniel Jackson does this in the Stargate movie, while eating a giant iguana creature. He comments that it Tastes Like Chicken.
    • It gets better. He doesn't know their language yet, so to express his opinion about the taste of the creature, he acts sort of like a chicken. The boys who herd the beasts of burden, including Skaara, respond by doing his chicken act when they finally recognize the man that Col. O'Neil is trying to describe by gestures and imitation.
  • Also employed in Fried Green Tomatoes.
  • Hannibal Lecter: the scary thing about him is that he appears to be a very good cook...
    • The trope is lampshaded near the beginning of Red Dragon, during a lovely dinner party hosted by Dr. Lecter. When complimented on the delicious food and asked what was in it, he replies only, "If I told you, you wouldn't even try it." A newspaper montage during the title credits implies she has since found out.
  • In Meet Dave, Gina hands Dave a bottle of ketchup while preparing a meal, and Dave proceeds to drink about half of it.
  • The alien in My Stepmother Is An Alien relied on sucking the insides of batteries for energy.
  • The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover: The meal is the lover.
  • Bad Taste: The yummy alien stew.
  • Planet of the Dinosaurs: "I was just wondering how many other things we're going to have to get used to. Things like eating dinosaurs."


  • In the fourth Narnia book, The Silver Chair, the three protagonists discover that the venison they are eating is actually that of a Talking Stag. For Jill, who's only been in Narnia a few days, it's distressing. For Eustace, who was in Narnia for quite some time in an earlier book and had several talking animal friends, it's like watching a murder happen. But for Puddleglum, the born-and-raised Narnian, it's described as if one suddenly discovered one was eating a baby.
    • Of course, eating a talking animal is cannibalism, just on the grounds that it's sentient.
    • Not long afterwards, the trio narrowly escape becoming examples of this trope themselves.
  • In Bruce Coville's Aliens Ate My Homework series, Rod is briefly disgusted when told that the aliens he's working with raise worms for food. One of the aliens haughtily replies that his species doesn't believe in eating creatures as intelligent as the ones humans raise for food.
    • In his My Teacher is an Alien series, the kids are served something called "Pleskits", which are purple, crusty, and extremely delicious. The aliens explain that Pleskits are a type of fungus, which isn't so bad. Then they reveal what it is they grow on. The reader isn't told, but the kids no longer want to eat them.
  • In the Discworld novel Witches Abroad, Granny Weatherwax, complaining about foreign names for food, mentions the meal they had yesterday was nice "but they called it Cwuissses dee Grenolly, and who knows what that means?" Nanny Ogg gives the translation (frogs' legs) without thinking, then hastily adds that it's a joke name, like toad-in-the-hole.
    • Discworld also had an inversion in Feet of Clay. A group of dwarves find out that their 'rat pies' are made of chicken, and complain to the watch about unsafe food.
    • Subverted in Jingo when Vimes is offered an eyeball to eat by desert tribesmen. He correctly guesses this is a trick that they play on all their guests and refuses to eat it.
      • Then they give him "lamb and rice, just like mother," which Vimes still thinks looks a shade questionable, although he eats it anyway.
      • When visiting Überwald Vimes is given some very strange sausages, and asks why they're all pink and where the grey and white and green bits are. He's informed that Uberwald would hang anyone who tried to sell an Ankh-Morpork sausage, and that there all sausages must be made of named meat. And that this doesn't include being named "Spot" or "Ginger".
      • He then asks what an AM sausage would be called, "A loaf, your grace, or possibly a log". He also references "little bits of green you can only hope are herb", or something to that nature.
    • Rincewind consistently finds himself dealng with this trope. In the first Discworld book, he gets to drink wine made from "sea grapes" - which are tiny jellyfish. His resultant throwing up bemuses his host. He also comments that the pressed-seaweed biscuits "certainly taste like seaweed would taste if anyone was masochistic enough to eat seaweed."
      • In his trip to XXXX he eats various (poisonous) grubs, beer-soup (vegemite), a meat pie in pea soup, the same again but gourmet, and jam sandwiches found in the desert after finding a talking kangaroo.
        • Eats? He invents beer soup.
      • He also drinks funnelweb beer. That's not the name of the beer, it's the only thing on a list of ingredients. The funnelweb spider is one of the most dangerous spiders in the world.
      • Also, he's eaten exploded whale meat chunks.
        • To clarify, meat chunks of a whale that was left on the shore to explode by itself.
    • Consumes anything sold by any variation/incarnation of CMOT Dibbler pretty much qualifies for this trope.

"Meat pies: 5p. Made with named meat: 10p."

      • Dibbler is such a horrible cook that he even managed to combine this trope with Foreign Queasine, grossing out his trollish customers by serving shale infested with ammonite fossils. He hadn't even known that stone could go stale!
      • As Detritus explained to Cuddy, trolls leave their rubbish in the street. Dibbler probably just picked up some random rocks, unaware he was doing the troll equivalent of dumpster diving.
    • Ephebian meals in general. More than one character has inquired, on hearing that plates are traditionally smashed after the meal, "why not before"?
  • In The Sparrow the group sent to the alien planet start out by testing each alien food on their own as they're out in the woods; for the most part its edible. A few of them become ill temporarily, but one of them actually dies.
    • What actually killed that character was never revealed, but it probably wasn?t the aliens? food, as several of the other human characters were eating the same diet.
  • In Gregory Maguire's Wicked series, characters that eat meat frequently worry that and/or are upset to find that their meat comes from a sentient, talking Animal.
  • The finale of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus plays this straight. It's not pretty. Or funny.
    • In the Theatre of Blood version it's pretty hilarious.
    • The Reduced Shakespeare Company version presents Titus Andronicus as a cooking show. 'Bone' appetit! (and yes, they use that line)
  • In Laurence Yep's semi-fantasy story Dragon's Gate, the main character Otter (a young Chinese immigrant) is introduced to a plate of gingerbread cookies, which he thought were disgusting because they looked like dung, but found to be delicious.
  • Subverted in Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger. When Jon-Tom, newly arrived in the Warmlands from our world, goes out to dinner with Mudge the otter, the entree is a large roast cut from a python. Rather than shy away or even comment, Jon-Tom tucks in immediately, as he's far more hungry than squeamish.
  • In Shadows of the Empire, while en route to Gall, Lando makes Luke and Leia some Giju stew. No one wants it; Luke compares it to old boot plastic and fertilizer drenched in pond scum. Annoyed, Lando takes some to show them what they're missing; "The expression on his face went from irritated to amazed, slid to horror, then right into disgust". He decides that it was overspiced, and they're just going to open a packet of beans for dinner.
  • In the Ringworld novels, Louis Wu encounters hominids whose diets are nearly always more specialized than those of Earth's humans: herbivores, carnivores, scavengers, etc. This effectively inverts the trope, as there's bound to be something we eat that would squick out each and every Ringworld native. Even the omnivores call him out for eating cheese ("decayed food!").
  • An inversion in the first book, Speaker to Animals can't eat with the humans, because their food "smelled like burnt garbage."
  • In Somtow Sucharitkul's Mallworld, an alien ambassador brings a live animal (considered a delicacy on his planet) to a diplomatic dinner with the humans. The animal looks like a vaguely humanoid rhinoceros beetle and is about the size of a howler monkey. The humans are appalled... appalled , I tell you... to find out that the "animal" is actually a child-stage member of the ambassador's own species. (Turns out the aliens aren't sentient until adulthood, breed very quickly and in copious numbers, and generally consider their own children vermin; any that manage to survive to adulthood are taught how to be civilized beings, but until they they are hunted and eaten by their own parents.
  • In Myth Directions, Skeeve finds himself always hungry while visiting dimensions with food too weird or disgusting for him to eat. Seeing Tananda casually eating said disgusting food doesn't help matters.
  • The cafeteria on Sector General (a giant hospital station resembling a misshapen Christmas tree) serves ALL the innumerable oxygen breathing species. One is strongly advised to keep one's eyes on one's own plate.
  • In the Sword of Truth series, Richard is encouraged by the Mud People to eat the flesh of his enemies, despite becoming a vegetarian (because that's the only thing wrong with that). It even gives him psychic visions. Similarly, the people of the Midlands believe all red fruit to be poisonous (a spell was cast which made that so, but Richard's homeland was unaffected), and are shocked when Richard eats an apple.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga novel A Civil Campaign, Miles samples bug butter, the product of his brother Mark's latest investment, and finds it a bit bland but otherwise edible. Then, Mark shows Miles a Butter Bug, which is described as resembling a cross between a cockroach and a pustule, and Miles abruptly loses interest in eating any more bug butter.
  • In a memoir of her youth, the novelist Colette remembers one of her brothers insisting on cooking one of the family dogs after it died in an accident. Although when the dish actually arrives on the table, everyone claims to have lost their appetite, and it is hinted to have been fed to one of the other dogs.
  • The Star Trek: Voyager book No Man's Land uses this trope when the human crew dine with the Iudka, enjoying Carmor Soup despite slight misgivings when it's revealed the primary ingredient is Carmor testicles.

Live Action TV

  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Tikka to Ride", Kryten is told to find food after having his morality chip removed, and finds the body of a man who had been trampled to death. He reasons "If humans eat chicken, then they obviously eat their own species, otherwise they'd just be picking on the chickens!" and thinks it'd be a pity to waste the body when it'd barbecue so nicely...
  • Sanford & Son, where Fred misunderstands that Sangria is only named after blood.
  • George Francisco's interesting meals in Alien Nation.
    • Tenctonese cuisine is at it's best when mimicking Earth food. Peanut butter and jellyfish anyone?
    • Tenctonese like their meat raw. Justified, as they can't metabolize cooked meat.
  • In the Black Books episode "The Grapes of Wrath", Bernard and Manny have accidentally drunk a friend's £7000 bottle of wine that he was planning on giving to the Pope. Bernard suggests mixing some cheap wine which Manny believes won't work:

Bernard: It's all water! Nobody is prepared to admit wine actually doesn't have a taste!
Manny: But you can't taste anything! You smoke eight bajillion cigarettes a day!...What's that?
Bernard: What?
Manny: What are you eating?
Bernard: Some sort of delicious biscuit.
Manny: It's a coaster!
Bernard: Is it? Are there any more?

  • Spoofed with the Coneheads sketches on Saturday Night Live, where they refer to common Earth foods in terms of their composition, making them sound unearthly. (Hamburger, for example, is "fried ground bovine flesh".)
    • Similarly done in the older X-Men books with the borderline Cloudcuckoolander pseudo alien, Longshot.

Longshot: Ooo, charred pig flesh and cooked chicken embryos! My favorite!

    • Zits: Jeremy does the same thing, with the same meal, purely to Squick out his parents. It doesn't really work:

Jeremy: Nothing starts the day off right like a couple of unborn chickens and a pile of molecularly-altered pig fat!
Connie: ... I think first-period biology is ruining Jeremy's appetite.
Walt: Can I have my unborn chickens scrambled?

    • Red Dwarf also does this one in "DNA" when Kryten is briefly turned into a human.

Kryten: "Mmm, boiled chicken ovulations. Dee-licious!"

  • In Stargate SG-1, while Major Carter is spending some time with the Asgard helping them deal with the Replicators, Thor offers her some food, which, as it turns out, is not exactly suited for human consumption. (Apparently the prop food was really as disgusting as the actress's reaction suggests.)

Thor: "I like the yellow ones"

    • He learns from this incident, as in a later episode Thor makes sure to beam up some human food from the SGC before 'borrowing' SG-1 to help with the Replicators yet again. This leads to General Hammond being told that the base's entire food supply has vanished, and the team spending the trip to Ida pigging out on Ben & Jerries since there's no freezer and they don't want to waste it.
    • Stargate Atlantis had a variation where Todd hosted a meeting with the team about negotiating an alliance behind the backs of the other Wraith. Upon entering the room, Sheppard immediately commented on the fruit bowl Todd added to the table in order to make the talks more comfortable for the humans (since the Wraith digestion system goes dormant after puberty). Todd responds that he hopes they prove to be as delicious as the farmers who grew them. Cue everyone looking away in disgust.
  • Subverted in The Mighty Boosh: when Howard meets a group of snow people, their leader suggests they have lunch, at which point one of them spits (let's just say it's spit for now) onto a plate, at which point Howard thinks he has to eat the delicacy or he would offend them. After trying the "spit", he mumbles some fake compliments, at which point the real lunch arrives: ordinary sandwiches.
  • An episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation had Riker preparing some Klingon dishes in preparation for a cultural exchange. When the rest of the crew learns what the ingredients are, they recoil in disgust. Except, of course, Worf, who merely comments "delicious" before resuming scarfing it down. Riker himself, however, gets a Squick moment when he gets to an actual meal with the Klingons and learns they prefer their gagh still living.
    • You're supposed to bite gagh when you eat it though otherwise you end up with parasites, as Riker does.
    • Worf also greatly enjoys prune juice, calling it a "Warrior's Drink".
    • "I shall try some of your burned replicated bird meat."
    • On a similar note, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has a Klingon cafe open on the Promenade, which the characters visit a few times. You get bonus cool points with the proprietor for getting aggressive about the quality of your meal: "No one likes half-dead racht" after all.
    • Also on Deep Space Nine, Jake enjoys a meal with Nog (cooked by his dad), until he learns that it's made of tube grubs.
    • Deep Space Nine also has the Running Gag about the inedibility of Cardassian Yamok sauce, no other species in the galaxy will touch it.
    • Deep Space Nine also has another Running Gag where Quark would insult Rom by offering him root beer. Also, Nog has learnt to enjoy root beer in Jake's company
    • The theme restaurant outside the now-gone Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas served an ice-cream-and-gummy-worm dish that was allegedly based on Klingon cuisine.
    • An episode of Star Trek: Voyager had somebody complaining about "Why didn't you make Chakotay drink that?"; "Chakotay's vegetarian".
    • According to Worf in one episode, Klingon tea is deadly to humans. Dr. Pulaski comments it's not that good for Klingons, takes an antidote, and drinks it.
    • This is played with in the "Year of Hell" episode of Voyager, when Annorax makes a meal for newly-captured prisoners Chakotay and Paris. They seem to enjoy the food immensely until they find out where the food came from. This makes them pause, but I believe that they continue eating it. The reason the trope is played with is that they are not horrified by the substance of the food (which was very much edible and safe), but by the implications of eating it. Each dish of food that Annorax has had prepared is the last remnants of an entire civilization he has completely removed from history with his temporal weapon. There are about 20 different items on the table, showing the scale of what he as done. This scene shows just how amoral Annorax has become at this point.
  • In the Flight of the Conchords episode "Bret Gives Up the Dream", Bret brings home a bag of much-needed food. After Jermaine bites into a sandwich, Bret admits that he found the food on the street. Disgusted, Jermaine runs to the sink to spit the bite out, then decides to just eat it.
  • In Farscape, John adapts to the new food fairly quickly by necessity, and alien lunches of all kinds are shown in later episodes. In one episode where the crew of Moya end up on Earth in the 80's, Rygel hails chocolate as the greatest food of all time, and becomes addicted to the stuff.
    • On the other hand, it's been subverted in an episode or two which featured "dry food squares" or something like that; ordinary crackers.
    • One semi-subversion has John incredulous that anyone would eat a certain animal; not because it's a Squick, but because it's too "cute" to eat.
    • When the ship runs short on food, John attempts to fry up some dentics, the worm-like critters the crew uses for dental hygiene. His shipmates are skeptical, but he reasons that you can eat anything that's fried. He's wrong.
    • Inverted in at least one case; John is in the middle of talking about all the stuff from Earth he misses, and prompts this response thanks to the not-always-perfect Translator Microbes:

Rigel: What the devil is "iziz green"?
John: Not "iziz green," ice, cream!

  • Subverted in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. When Ford (non-human) and Arthur (human) encounter some strange blue food on a Vogon ship, Ford insists that Arthur will find it delicious. Arthur reluctantly tries some, only to find it awful. Convinced that Arthur isn't giving it a fair chance, he eats some and appears to enjoy it, before conceding that, yes, it actually is terrible. (Although in this case, it was deliberately made to taste horrible because the makers really hate Vogons.)
    • At Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur is badly squicked by a genetically-engineered sentient meat animal, whose psychological make-up includes the wish to die that others might eat him. (Which they then do.)
  • Kenan and Kel: Two Heads Are Better Than None, played for comedy.
  • Reality TV shows build big ratings out of feeding their contestants various substances which are expected to Squick them out. And yet nothing that's served is ever actually harmful; most times, it's something that is actually considered normal food, if not a delicacy, in another part of the world.
    • One "couples" episode of Fear Factor had the contestants eat as much as they could from a plate of various (unorthodox) sea critters, including octopus. Intriguingly, one of the couples reported that they had eaten octopus before (it is frequently used in Japanese cuisine, including sushi) and thought it was okay, but Fear Factor's version of it was much worse—probably prepared in the wrong way, or at least without any flavor-adding techniques normally used in restaurants.
  • The Columbo episode "Swan Song" (The One With... Johnny Cash) has Columbo become rather taken aback when informed that the chili he just enjoyed has squirrel meat in it.
  • In the Doctor Who serial "The Green Death," the Brigadier enjoys his steak until he's told it's a specially bred fungus.
    • In The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, all the food we see on Segonax, from the burgers to the fruit pulp to the chips/crisps, the Doctor and/or Ace find unpalatable.
    • Subverted in the second episode of "The Daleks," with the TARDIS' food machine. Basically, Ian asks for "bacon and eggs," and the Doctor punches in some letters and numbers. The food machine produces a small, white, Mars Bar-shaped thing. Ian looks at it in disgust, but takes a bite anyway. It is bacon and eggs.
  • An episode of Perfect Strangers had Larry give praise to a meal Balki prepared for them. Just as Balki opens his mouth, Larry interrupts him with "Please don't ruin it by telling me what it was."

Newspaper Comics

  • Inverted in Calvin and Hobbes several times. In one strip Calvin's mom can only get Calvin to eat a stuffed pepper by convincing him that it is actually monkey brains - and then his dad refuses to touch it.
    • Another has Calvin's mother telling him that the grains of rice in his soup are really maggots, and another time she claimed they were having spider pie for dinner.
    • A reversal: Calvin asks his mother if hamburger meat is made out of "people from Hamburg." She says it's ground beef, and when Calvin realizes he's eating a cow, he tosses the burger away with a disgusted "I don't think I can finish this."
    • Calvin's Dad once had to tell him he was eating toxic waste and it would give him mutant powers before Calvin ate. This, of course, upset and disgusted Calvin's Mom.
    • Also played straight sometimes. In one strip, Calvin's mom offers him a jelly doughnut, to which he says he doesn't like them because they're like eating giant bugs. You bite into one end, and all the guts squirt out the other. Neither one can stomach them after that, and Calvin's mom remarks that other women ask how she stays so thin.
  • One The Far Side comic has a chicken taking off a dog suit while approaching a horrified typical suburban family pausing in the middle of dinner during a thunderstorm saying "No, I'm not Fluffy, I'm the chicken you thought you cooked for dinner! Guess where Fluffy is!"
  • A Gahan Wilson cartoon shows a tourist in Scotland peering over a hill watching a group of peanut-shaped bipedal creatures with antlers running across the landscape. Scottish guide: "Och, sir, you're a lucky man! 'Tis a rare stranger who gets to view the wild haggis romp!"

Video Games

  • Fallout 3 has DLC pack Mothership Zeta where trays of alien food are available. One variant is an enormous green segment of a lumpy tentacle, and the other is a whole squid-like creature affixed to the tray by its bodily fluids.
  • In the second Little Big Adventure game the Player Character is offered a slice of tart (which is an item you'll need later), and after eating some is casually informed by the housekeeper that it's made of fireflies—the local version of Goddamned Bats you encounter a lot in the Under-Gas. He then passes out.
  • Not an alien example, per se, but still a valid one: Breath of Fire II features a sequence in which the characters have to eat various dishes made by a frog chef. Obviously, they include ingredients a frog would eat (bugs and the like) and it causes the character to vomit.
  • If you level your cooking in World of Warcraft, parts of wolves, reptiles, big cats, worms, and giant spiders will be involved. There's also the ever-popular "Mystery Meat", which is often obtained from vultures, giant scorpions, and hyenas.
    • EverQuest cooking has interesting ingredients as well. Eating smoked Wood Elf, for example, gives you a temporary bonus to agility, and the less said about what goes into a Hero Sandwich, the better...
    • Who could forget the Duskwood quest to create Dusky Crab Cakes? All you needed to bring the inn's cook was a few gooey spider legs.
  • In Betrayal in Antara, you meet a mole-man NPC who likes raw lizard guts. When the PC expresses disgust, the NPC counters that he finds unfertilized bird embryos (eggs) equally disgusting.
  • Mass Effect usually kind of glosses over things like having to eat to stay alive and like that. It's pointed out, however, that some species of the galaxy are... Incompatible with others because of different protein chains or some such, and eating their food causes humans (or vice versa) to get violently ill if not die.
    • That doesn't mean the compatible ones always agree either of course, as in the sequel you have the option of buying a Krogan drink that goes through you like ground up glass, "literally," and at least one of your companions will react in abject disgust at the simple Ramen shop on the Citadel.
  • The aliens of X-COM: UFO Defense eat a nutrient-rich soup made from dissolved body parts extracted from cattle and humans. What's more, you can sell it on the market.

Web Comics

  • In the webcomics of the The Cyantian Chronicles, more than one person chows down on an Alien Lunch. The specific comics are Campus Safari, which has three incidents. (One is offscreen, but played for comedy.) And Akaelae, which has only one occurrence.
  • Belkar of Order of the Stick has served some pretty dubious fare, including roast vulture, or corn chips dished up in a scooped-out kobold head.
    • Although that one was just to gross out Roy.
  • Reversed in Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes: the goblin heroes are disgusted by human foods like bread and cheese.
  • Played with in Life with Lamarr when This One presents Odessa Cubbage with a plate of eggs, informing him that they are actually vortigaunt eggs and that refusing to eat them is punishable by a horrendous death in vortigaunt society. Turns out he was just fucking with him.
  • In Digger the eponymous wombat is invited to attend a Hyena funeral, and asks her Hyena friend Ed for advice on the correct etiquette little does she suspect, The People practice funerary cannibalism, and as guest of honour she’s expected to take part in eating the deceased's Liver.

Ed: "Digger-mousey is a plant eater yes? Is not eating meat at all?"
Digger: "Yes."
Ed: "Learn fast."


Western Animation

  • Used in Teen Titans: Starfire, Cyborg and Robin are sitting at a picnic table.

Starfire: This tangy yellow beverage is truly delightful.
Cyborg: Uh, Starfire?
Robin: That's mustard.
Starfire: Oh. ...Is there more?
(Robin and Cyborg stare at her weirdly.)

    • Don't even get me started on the "native dishes" she offers the Titans. In "Betrothed", the Titans stay at her home planet Tamaran and sat through a meal, where the grossness of the food was Played for Laughs.
    • Their communal fridge is also inhabited by a semi-sentient blue goo. After their base gets temporarily taken over by villains, Beast Boy and Cyborg complain that the goo is gone. It's possible the villains ate it, although considering that they also put the music in alphabetical order, they might simply have cleaned the refrigerator. Meanwhile, Starfire drinking mustard becomes a running gag.
    • In one episode a comment is made about Starfire making the Titans watch a documentary about Hot Dogs in the past, to which she promptly responds she was amazed that humans ate so many pigs, beat, and insects.
    • Also played with when Beast Boy, a vegetarian, offers Raven a tofu-dog:

Raven: I accept that you don't eat meat. Please accept that I don't eat fake meat.

  • Futurama kind of does this at one point: Amy's father is eating, when Zoidberg informs him that he "took the liberty of fertilizing the caviar". He continues chewing very slowly while the realization sets in.
    • Inverted also in the same episode when, at the barbecue, Fry gladly accepts Thorax, feelers and legs of a giant bug, but is disgusted at the prospect of eating a salad. Also, there are also two sauce dispensers, one squirting out bbq sauce and the other Pepto-Bismol. Guess which one Fry goes for (remember, still an inversion!)?
    • There's also the episode where Fry finds out where Slurm comes from. He's momentarily disgusted, but he finds that he still can't stop drinking the stuff.

Leela: How can you trick people into drinking something that comes from your behind? That's disgusting!
Slurm Queen: Honey comes from a bee's behind! Milk comes from a cow's behind!

    • Or Zoidberg bringing crab legs to a party. As Hermes is eating one, Zoidberg mentions that "I made them myself", as Hermes realizes the possible meanings of that and looks disgusted.
    • There's also the episode where the Planet Express discovers a planet that seems to grow a plant that tastes a lot like fried shrimp, and makes a killing turning them into a fast food staple. One small problem: they're the larval form of the Omicronians.
  • In one episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, everyone loves the cookies Grim's aunt makes, which sold enough to win them the award for their scout troop. When accepting the award, Grim's aunt tells them the recipe has nightcrawlers, mashed crickets, and dung beetles in it. Everyone pauses for a couple seconds to look at the still squirming bugs in the treats...before they all just continue eating. One of them passes out to spring up a second later and say:

Troop Leader: Man, those are good cookies!


Obi-Wan: How can you eat that?
Anakin (mouth full of bugs): But Master, you always taught me to feed off the Living Force.

  • In an episode of The Wild Thornberrys, the Thornberry family, who are in South America, are eating capybara burgers. Debbie enjoys the burger, until her father Nigel informs her that capybaras are giant rodents. On top of that, a capybara walks by the table where they are eating.
  • Family Guy. Peter becomes a horse breeder and fills the fridge with horse semen. Brian & Stewie mistake it for milk.
  • One of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron movies inverted it with banana cream pie disgusting Earth goop, which one alien had such a severe allergic reaction to that it exploded. Conversely, Carl's reaction to some gross looking alien delicacy bordered on addiction.
  • It's probably no surprise that Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have pulled the "don't really care" version. In Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, the pair discover the pizza they're eating has spider webs, snails, and tadpole tails as toppings. The pair stop briefly to parse this, until Scooby declares it delicious and they resume eating.
    • Played with elsewhere in the film. Jerkass minor antagonist Colonel Calloway is already hesitant about the snack he's been offered due to its moldy flavor—discovering he's eating fungus fudge with toadstool tea just pushes him over the edge into true disgust.
  • In the Simpsons episode "Helter Shelter," the family meets a group of reality show contestants in the wilderness. The group was abandoned there when one of the contestants "just couldn't eat anymore kangaroo testicles." Now, he can't get enough of them.
  • An inversion in the Galaxy Rangers episode "Marshmallow Trees." Ambassador Zozo, trades his species's invention of Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables to a human colony. When shown that the colony will trade the Kiwi vegetables for hamburger, Zozo reacts with disgust. His niece and nephews, though, really like the stuff.
  • A mutual version from Green Lantern: The Animated Series: Kilowogg eats a giant bug (in some kind of glaze, defeating Hal's assertion that he'll eat glazed anything), then inquires as to what "cheese" is (Hal's rations being grilled cheese in a can), and is so disgusted by Aya's explanation he asks Hal to eat in a closet from now on.
  • Bird Person from Rick and Morty is one of a race of, well, alien bird-people. Their diet seems to favor their bird side; they even have worm-farms.
  • In Amphibia, the natives of the eponymous world eat bugs (which makes sense, as they are humanoid frog and toad people) which Anne is seriously turned off by. She's okay with some of the other stuff the eat though, like mushrooms. After about half of the first season, she gets used to it, eventually eating the beetle-burgers and fly-topped ice cream with relish.