Anthropomorphic Food

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Basically any situation where food, usually very recognizably human-made food like pizza or cake, comes to life and moves around. Walking hot dogs, singing vegetables, cakes that beg to be eaten, that sort of thing. This may lead to a Let's Meet the Meat situation if people decide something running around talking isn't a good reason not to eat it. Similar to Funny Animal, and sometimes found with them, but for common foodstuffs. Usually a cartoon trope, for obvious reasons. This often uses the most stereotypical possible foods. Hotdogs will be bright red, in a bun, and with a perfect line of mustard, for example.

Anthropomorphic Food is ubiquitous in advertising, and just about any snack food will have a smiling, or sometimes skateboarding, version of whatever it's selling on the packaging. Almost every company that makes food has pulled this at some point.

Different from It Came From the Fridge in that this isn't caused by poor housekeeping and isn't necessarily rotten food, though there is overlap. Different from Let's Meet the Meat in that this is food that talks to you after it's been fully prepared, and whether or not it will be eaten may never be brought up. A walking steak would be an example, a cow wouldn't. Live animals that can be eaten are not this trope! A subtrope of Animate Inanimate Object.

Warning: Examples of this trope may become Talking Poo if ingested.

Examples of Anthropomorphic Food include:


  • Singing food from the 1950s Let's All Go to the Lobby movie adverts.
    • Much later, there was a USDA-sponsored "Let's go out to the kitchen." ad, obviously intended to get kids to eat more.
  • Poppin' Fresh, better known as the Pillsbury Doughboy, is one of the oldest of these mascots, first appearing in 1962 as a clay-animated figure, and currently in CGI, he has appeared in commercials for over fifty of Pillsbury's products (and commercials for a few other companies, like MasterCard). Most commercials end with him giggling as a finger pokes him in the stomach.
  • Mr. Peanut, the mascot of Planter's.
  • The M&M's mascots.
  • The California Rasins both in ads, and in the tv show based on the ads.
  • Wonka Nerds and Runts had anthropomorphic mascots.
  • Captain Cupcake, Fruit Pie the Magician, and Twinkie the Kid, long running mascots of Hostess products.
  • The Kool-Aid Man, an anthropomorphic pitcher filled with red liquid.
  • The Chips Ahoy! cookie commercials feature anthropomorphic stop-motion cookies.
  • The Pop Tarts commericals feature sketchy anthropomorphic umm, guess.
  • The more recent Cinnamon Toast Crunch commercials feature anthropomorphic cereal pieces that constantly ate each other.
  • Mayor McCheese and Officer Big Mac. Later, Micky D's would have transforming food toys.
  • Cinna Mon and the Apple from the Apple Jacks commercials.
  • Jewel Foods' (grocery chain) current "We're Fresh" ad campaign with singing fruits and veggies.

Anime and Manga

  • Toriko is full of this. Especially in regards to his house of sweets.
  • Fighting Foodons, originally Bistro Recipe, is a Mons series with chefs summoning fighting food creatures.
  • Mameshiba. Puppy like beans appear in peoples food and tell them random off-putting trivia.
  • Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo has Jelly Jiggler, who's made of gelatin, and Soften , as well as several random villains which are various kinds of walking food.
  • In Ichigo Mashimaro, the show Ana is watching when Miu and a blackmailed Chika are spying on her features two bottles of condiments and a vague vegetable—or perhaps fruit—all of whom live in a refrigerator. Upon learning of their common dwelling, they go home.
  • A number of Digimon are this: Burgermon, for example.
  • A series of promotional videos for Kid Icarus: Uprising released via the Nintendo Video service on the 3DS featured Palutena dealing with various living vegetables.
  • In One Piece, Cracker - Big Mom's son and lieutenant - has consumed the Bisu Bisu no Mi, a Devil Fruit that lets the user manipulate biscuits; combined with Cracker's creativity and aesthetic, he uses this power to build "puppets" from biscuits, sort of like golems. These puppets are incredibly lifelike, resembling giant, armored humans. He can even add a special jam to the "recipe" to make enemies think these puppets bleed when injured.
  • In one episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Jeagar, Jack, Aki, and Yusei had to solve a Duel Puzzle video game in order to get access to some classified information. The opponent in the game was Cup Ramen Man, a living, Duel Runner riding, cup of Ramen with Cool Shades. He also used monster cards based on Cup Ramen. He was a serious Deadpan Snarker to boot. After being beaten, he fell off his bike and exclaimed, "This should've ended in China!"
  • In the manga version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, there was Captain Corn, who was pretty much what his name implied: a humanoid ear of corn dressed like a pirate who always smoked a cigar. A Numbers Hunter, his origin was kind of weird. When Dr. Faker found a compass that belonged to an 18th Century pirate named Captain Roberts, there was a kernel of corn inside that had fallen into it when Roberts was eating an ear of corn. The kernel fell into some machine that Faker had invented, turned it into Captain Corn, and gave it a soul. While this sounds humorous, Captain Corn's motivation for being a Numbers Hunter were very serious: he only got to keep the soul that Faker gave him if he succeeded his mission, the same offer Faker gave two similar Numbers Hunters. (And sadly, he did not.)
  • Cookpals in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, used by Michio; the Action Duel simulated cooking them into stronger Royal Cookpals, including Knight Napolitan, Prince Curry, King Hamburg, Queen Omelette and Princess Pudding.

Comic Books

  • Southern Fried Fugitives, which used to run in Nickelodeon Magazine, was about four pieces of fried chicken on the run.
  • This comic finds the whole idea somewhat disturbing in an advertising context.


  • Young Sherlock Holmes: While under the effect of a drug, Watson has a hallucination of bakery products and other foods coming to life and forcing him to eat them.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs includes living roasted chickens and gummi bears toward the end.
  • In addition to the main characters, Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie For Theaters parodies the old-time concession stand ads by featuring anthropomorphic movie theater snacks singing a cheery song... which is interrupted by rather less cutesy anthropomorphic snacks singing a death metal song (composed by Mastodon) in which the singer threatens audience members with grievous bodily harm if they break the rules of movie-theater etiquette or try to pirate the movie.
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
  • The Gingerdead Man. Basically Child's Play if Chucky were a cookie.
  • Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure has The Greedy, a Blob Monster made of candy and caramel that constantly tries to eat bits of itself while constantly transforming in horrible ways.
  • Ghostbusters has the Marshmallow Man, who manages to mix this trope with Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever.
  • Shrek has Ginji and the gingerbread giant from the second movie.
  • Big Tits Zombie has a scene in which zombified sushi attacks two main characters.
  • The 2016 film Sausage Party takes this trope to its natural conclusion, with sapient food items that revere the shoppers who buy them as gods who will take them to paradise -- only to be brutally disabused of this notion by dinner time.


  • In Through the Looking Glass, while at a dinner, The Red Queen introduces Alice to the leg of mutton, which stands up and bows. And it can no longer be eaten, since it's impolite to cut into anyone you've met. Alice attempts not to be introduced to the plum pudding, but the queen introduces them regardless. The pudding also bows, and is quite offended when Alice cuts off a slice of it anyway.
  • "The Gingerbread Man" is one of the more classic examples of this trope.
  • The titular bird of The Ice Cream Cone Coot is made entirely from ice cream cones.
  • The Stinky Cheese Man
  • How Are You Peeling?

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

  • The Portuguese myth "The Cock of Barcelos" is about an innocent man who was sentenced to death by a corrupt official. Pleading for his life, the man prayed to God to show he was innocent—God answered by making the roasted cockerel which the official was eating to spring up and crow.

Newspaper Comics

  • Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes has gotten into fights with his food.
    • One meal even began reciting the famous soliloquy from Hamlet before suddenly stopping and loudly singing the song "Feelings." Calvin then ate the dish just to make it shut up.
  • Used on a wide variety of occasions with Garfield. Garfield tends to hallucinate talking food a lot when he diets.

Puppet Shows

  • In a classic Sesame Street sketch, Cookie Monster has an Acid Reflux Nightmare in which singing cookies taunt him.
    • In one of the "Here Is Your Life" sketches, Guy Smiley's guest was a loaf of bread.
    • An animated insert has a newswoman interviewing Original Jay, whose pizzas talk, sing opera and do handstands.
    • Another skit involved a bizarre stop-motion orange creating a face using random objects on the kitchen counter, then singing "Habanera" from the George Bizet opera Carmen until her face flies off.
    • Also, the Singing Food characters.
  • The "Sam Spud: Par-boiled Potato Detective" skits from Between the Lions.

Girl: (in front of TV) Mom! There's a talking potato on a stick with no mouth that's wearing a hat and using a typewriter!


Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons adventure WG7 Castle Greyhawk, level 3 "Too Many Cooks": The presence of the cooks' magical kitchen utensils causes the Random Monster Generator to create monsters based on food products. These include Poppinfarsh the Dough Golem, licorice snakes, flapjacks, doughplegangers, bread pudding and gummy werebears.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh has the Hungry Burger card, a hamburger with impressive dentition. However, it's a ritual summon with less attack power than most basic monsters and no special effect.
    • Half of the Naturia is made up of really cute fruit with huge, cutesy faces.


  • The Food Fighters toy line has two factions of food products with burly human arms and angry sneers, wearing army camo and helmets.

Video Games

  • Many Final Fantasy games have at least one version of the Flan enemies that mimics the color and pattern of actual flan.
  • Bundt, the cake boss from Super Mario RPG.
  • Earthworm Jim 2's trope-naming Level Ate has a fire-breathing steak as a boss.
  • In Burger Time, the enemies are the anthropomorphic Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle and Mr. Egg.
  • Majority of the enemies in Panic Restaurant.
  • The titular Ninjabread Man.
  • The Pokémon Vanillish, Vanillite, and Vanilluxe are all Ice-type Pokemon that resemble both icicles and ice cream cones.
    • There was also a cherry mon. (Not that one.)
  • EarthBound has, among its many strange examples of Animate Inanimate Object enemies, walking cups of scalding coffee that spill themselves on you.
    • Mother 3 also has the Fish Roe Man. Its final "attack" consists of it leaping into a character's mouth, causing said mouth to burn.
  • Jungle Bombs, walking pineapple enemies, in Kirby Super Star (and, to a lesser extent, the cupcake enemies in Kirby's Dream Land's extra game, though those are implied to be entirely different creatures wearing cupcake disguises).
  • Pajama Sam has a lot of this, but it's most common in the You Are What You Eat From Your Head to Your Feet.
  • The game Monster Party contains one boss that consists of several Japanese foods jumping around the player, starting with a tempura shrimp.

Look out baby.

  • In The Powerpuff Girls: Relish Rampage, Mojo Jojo's accomplices in his Evil Plan are man-sized alien pickle-people.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The main characters of Aqua Teen Hunger Force are an anthropomorphic meatball, milkshake, and box of french fries.
  • Veggie Tales revolves around tongue-in-cheek retellings of Bible stories as performed by talking vegetables.
  • A Garfield and Friends episode involved a supernatural meteor (dubbed as a "fruitcake" by other characters) that caused every inanimate object around it to come to life. At Garfield's house, the fruitcake caused all of the food in the refrigerator to come to life and form a rebellion against Garfield, until Garfield scared the food away with two slices of bread.
  • Adventure Time includes the Candy Kingdom, the Duke of Nuts's realm, the Hotdog Princess, and a family of non-anthropomorphic fruit that is treated as if it were sentient.
  • Homer Simpson is fond of imagining this. His vision of the Land of Chocolate filled with chocolate animals even made it into The Simpsons Game.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack contains either this or a Companion Cube in Candy Wife...
  • Regular Show does this rather disturbingly with evil hotdogs who devour each other when doused with mustard. Tim Curry is the leader of the evil hotdogs.
  • Numerous dishes cooked on Chowder are livelier when finished than they were as ingredients. One non-anthorpomorphic dish manages to reproduce.
  • Rocko's Modern Life had Chuck, Earl, and Spew, animate half-eaten food that "helped" Rocko when he was sick. They appear out of the toilet after Rocko throws up.
  • The talking salt and pepper shakers from Blues Clues.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has Grandmother Stuffem, who creates walking gross food that forces itself into childrens' mouths.
    • There's also Heinrich Von Marzipan, Numbuh Five's nemesis, who eventually gets turned into living chocolate.
    • Also, an episode parodying Pirates of the Caribbean had men who turned into skeletons made of black licorice.
  • Food-based imaginary friends appear from time to time on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. One was a drumstick who was imagined by a very hungry boy at fat camp who acts like a Shell-Shocked Veteran, and whom Bloo mistakes for Mac when he's really hungry. Another time, Terrance wants a pizza and inadvertently creates a pizza friend, who greets him enthusiastically with "Howdy-do! I love you!"... and then Terrance devours him.
  • Adonis from Ren and Stimpy, a giant pork chop monster that lives in Stimpy's bellybutton. He really hates lintloaf.
  • Camp Lazlo had an episode where canned mystery meat became an angry Blob Monster when they called it smelly. The episode ends with a horrorequse cliffhanger and an implied Kill'Em All.
  • Some of the characters from The Amazing World of Gumball. Lampshaded when Anton, a talking piece of toast, is attacked by a murder of crows.
  • The 1935 Silly Symphony Cookie Carnival.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The episode "Krabby Patty Creature Feature" combines this with a Zombie Apocalypse theme, where Mr. Krabs and Sandy develop a "new improved" Krabby Patty made out of orange... glowy stuff. Anyone who actually eats one of these weird hamburgers turns into a monstrous, zombie-like Krabby Patty, and these hamburger-zombies force-feed parts of themselves to other Bikini Bottom residents, which turns them into hamburger-zombies. Long story short, it's a weird episode, even for SpongeBob.
    • "Dream Hoppers" is another weird episode where the whole cast has weird dreams about walking, talking - and mischievous - Krabby Patties.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
    • In one episode Grim tries to bake a birthday cake for Billy; unfortunately, he accidentally uses a recipe for devil's food cake (the cookbook was probably a book of spells) and it turned into a monster. The cake was still pretty good after they subdued it, however.
    • Also, in one Dream Sequence episode, the Tooth Fairy had a wand that could turn people into this. No explanation is given, but then, Billy has weird dreams.