Emotion Eater

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"Aw, you poor thing. Here, let me wipe your tears. Mmm, yes, yes, your anguish sustains me."

Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

Some monsters get no kick from champagne. Mere alcohol doesn't thrill them at all. It's the taste out of someone else's emotions that sustains them. An Emotion Eater is someone who draws psychic nourishment or power from another person's emotions, and will usually do what they can to instill those emotions in others.

Rarely will an emotion eater feed on positive emotions, more likely they draw nourishment from fear, hate, envy, or lust, and the process of seeding these emotions can turn Suburbia into a gangland ghetto. If they do feed off of positive emotions, expect them to also drain the ability to feel these emotions from their victims. If they don't, we could just call it empathy.

Creatures which feed on unpleasant emotions almost always work to increase them, no matter how much is already in the world. Creatures which feed on pleasant emotions almost never do this, but when they do, expect Evil Cannot Comprehend Good to make them "share the love" in decidedly creepy ways. One way to beat the Emotion Eater can be to deny them that emotion, which can be easier said than done when the fed upon emotion is fear.

The concept has a fair degree of crossover with the "psychic vampire", a type of being that feeds not on blood, but on a person's life force. Usually, this vampirism is at its most potent when the victim is in the throes of powerful emotions. It also often has the side effect of the victim ending up drained and unable to feel any emotion... or worse.

Compare The Heartless and Exotic Entree. See also Made of Evil. Less closely related is Gods Need Prayer Badly. Powered by a Forsaken Child is when some sort of mechanism uses this as a power source. As Long as There Is Evil is a closely related trope, when a villain is an Emotion Eater on a human race-wide scale. An Emotion Eater may be extra-susceptible to an Emotion Bomb, or they might use them on their prey instead.

See I Know What You Fear for how one particular emotion may be 'encouraged'.

Examples of Emotion Eater include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Big Bad in Mnemosyne likes the taste of suffering. He also has an army of monstrous angels and godlike powers at his command. Not a good mix.
  • Xelloss from The Slayers draws power from negative emotion, to the point where cheerful, happy emotions actually cause him pain.
    • Though he probably still overreacts to put people's guard down - the only time this was used for tactical significance, it put Xelloss just where he wanted to be.
    • It's not just Xellos either. This is a trait common to all Mazoku.
  • The vampires of Karin nourish themselves with emotions taken along with the victim's blood. In something of a subversion, they exclusively drain negative emotions (such as despair, pride, or taking pleasure in lying), and leave their victim better off than prior to the bite (albeit a bit weak from blood loss). The effect is only temporary, however.
    • However, this trope is also played somewhat straight - there do exist vampires that feed on positive traits. Elda's grandmother drains love from her victims and suffered greatly a few hundred years before the show started because of it.
    • In the manga, at least, it's also noted that this isn't necessarily a good thing. Calera drains the ability to lie, which could be dangerous. Before the story started, Henry drained someone's pride, making her needy, according to her boyfriend. He broke up with her.
      • Karin herself (in the manga, anyway) may have inadvertently been responsible for giving one character the courage to go through her underaged prostitution plan. Bit of a shocker when you realize it.
  • Near the end of the anime version of Prétear Takako / Fenrir summons a huge tree that is powered by the feeling of despair, and makes sure she has a power source for it by using Mawata's feelings for Sasame, who already underwent an Evil Costume Switch, to drive the victim into the required state. This backfires in the last episode, when Sasame sacrifices himself to save Takako, which upsets her just enough to become the new victim of the tree.
  • One of the demons near the beginning of Yu Yu Hakusho
  • Shuppet, a type of Ghost Pokémon, feed off of bad emotions. In a subversion of this trope, this actually has a beneficial effect by removing these emotions temporarily (although it's possible Shuppet also induces those emotions, since everyone started arguing right after entering a Shuppet's home).
  • No Face in Spirited Away feeds off of the greed in the bathhouse and goes nuts. However, he gets better.
    • In fact, the reason why he kept following Chihiro because she was probably the only one who was nice to him and thus, probably the best tasting.
  • Feeding off negative emotions is a Godhand trademark from Berserk. Slan in particular enjoys feeding off the negative emotions that she can elicit from Guts.
  • This seems to be part of Hidan's reason for being a Jasshinist. The more pain he causes his victims before finally killing them, the more he seems to enjoy it. When he finally killed Asuma it was a narcotic high.
  • While they do not necessarily feed off them, Digimon can be greatly affected by their Human Partner/Tamer's emotions, both positive and negative, resulting in different kinds of evolution.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has the cute and adorable mascot devour the negative emotions given off by Witches to stop the universe's entropy.
  • In The World God Only Knows, the runaway spirits hide in girls to feed off of their negative emotions. The Goddesses feed on love instead to get stronger.
  • Inukami! has Jesei who feeds on despair. He says nothing is more delicious than provoking despair. Naturally this means pushing people past the Despair Event Horizon.

Comic Books

  • The Evrons from Paperinik New Adventures draw power from emotions and use them to power their technology.
    • And nourishment.
  • Scatterbrain, AKA Fascination, of the Technet (and later/earlier, of the time-travelling Special Executive). Her reliance on emotional nutrition, good, bad or anything-except-indifferent, sometimes has her following around characters because they're annoyed—which makes her follow them more closely—which makes them more annoyed etc. etc.
    • Which... doesn't always work that well for her, like the time she did it to Captain Britain, who got so irritable that he started waving his arms around as he walked. One 'KLUDD!' later, and Scatterbrain was sprawled crosseyed against the far wall.
  • Darkseid from The DCU.
  • Mangog from The Mighty Thor.
  • X-Men supporting character Caliban feeds off fear as part of his mutant power. He's basically a good guy, except for the times when he isn't.
  • Raven of Teen Titans fame is somewhere in between, she does feed on negative emotions, like sadness, but has a hard time not absorbing any heightened emotion, such as excitement or joy. All she does is leave people feeling neutral though, so it's okay.
  • Powerhaus from Dv8 absorbed emotions to fuel his growth and super-strength. He can use his own emotions, but he's so mellow that it's not very reliable.
  • Psycho Pirate. In Crisis on Infinite Earths, he was basically The Starscream to the Anti-Monitor. He uses his golden Medusa Mask to control and feed off the emotions of the people who see it. Addicted to his powers, they eventually backfire when he pisses off Black Adam and gets the mask rammed through his head.
  • The Black Lanterns in Blackest Night feed on the emotions of sentient beings to power up their battery. They come back in the body of people with emotional connections to those that still live (heroes, villains, emotional spectrum welders, lovers, friends...) and incite emotions in many ways, usually but not always by giving them Hannibal Lectures while fighting. They feed on Rage, Greed, Fear, Willpower, Hope, Compassion and Love, which means its just as dangerous to feel hopeful as it is to feel afraid. Their vision is full of black and shades of grey, and the only things with color are sentient beings full of emotions, which makes it possible to run from them if one contains his own emotions. When their targets are full of emotion, they rip out their hearts and feed on them, powering up their black power battery.
  • The Japanese assassins Gakidou and Sakki, The Hate Furnace not only have intangibility, but can feed on negative emotions like lust and anger to boost their strengths to astronomical levels. Supergirl defeated them by simultaneously beating them up and overloading them.
    • In the same story, Powerboy revealed he can channel others' emotions to fuel his abilities, but the excess emotions caused him to go psycho on his girlfriend, Supergirl.

Powerboy: (to a restrained Supergirl) "I feel. Feel everyone else's hate, love, pain, fear... and it becomes this..." (forms ball of black energy) "Of course, you saw what happens when it goes the other way. But I hope you understand... I did it for you."

  • A one-off alien villain in the Justice League of America comic books both fed off emotions and could channel the excess to others. Fear of death was a narcotic to his species, and he destroyed entire planets for the high, but he kept a little in reserve as an Emotion Bomb. (Scarecrow's failures notwithstanding, it really is possible to scare Batman into surrendering. Wonder Woman, not so much.)
  • The Emotion Entities of The DCU. As long as there is at least one being in the universe that can feel the emotions they embody, they will always exist.
    • Although it must be noted that they do not feed on the emotions they embody. They are in fact the avatars of the combined power of each emotion (rage, greed, fear, will, hope, compassion, love) felt by every being in the universe.
    • The Entity of Rage, the Butcher, does play this straight. It chooses hosts full of grief and rage (it is first seen merging with a man who was being taunted by his daughter's killer while the killer was being strapped in the electric chair) and empowers them to vent their fury on their targets while feeding on their anger. The Butcher then leaves after its hosts' rage is spent to find new hosts.
  • In the Marvel Universe the demon D'Spayre feeds on the fear, anguish and despair of his victims.
  • Psyklops from the Atari Force comic book psychically feeds off the pain of his victims, and uses his power to trap his victims into reliving painful past memories.
  • When she first appeared in New Mutants mutant rock star Lila Cheney was pursued several times by an alien crime lord named Spyder who wanted to own her. One of many uses Spyder had for humanoid beings was to distill their emotions and turn it into a tobacco-like substance that he smoked to experience the emotion himself, as his species could not experience any emotion on their own except greed. Spyder was addicted to this stuff, claiming that even experiencing negative emotions like sadness and anger gave him pleasure.

Fan Works

  • The Demons in the Puella Magi Madoka Magica fic Stars Above feed on a person's emotional core, referred to as their Heart.
  • Thawing Permafrost‍'‍s antagonist Kaze is an as-of-yet-unidentified emotion eater, having left Ruby for dead and drained of her emotional energy in the third story arc.
    • Chapter 37 revealed Kaze to be a Defacer.
  • The Godzilla Fan Film Godzilla vs the Kaiju Killer has Gabara reimagined as an entity created by Stalkkus to feed on the fear of his victims.


Mr. Dark: Your torments call us like dogs in the night. And we do feed, and feed well. To stuff ourselves on other people's torments. And butter our plain bread with delicious pain... Funerals, marriages, lost loves, lonely beds, that is our diet. We suck that misery and find it sweet.

    • ... wait, marriages? Cynical, much?
  • The Merovingian's wife in The Matrix craves the emotions of others, especially love. This is why she keeps making people kiss her.
  • The Harvesters in The Deaths of Ian Stone primarily feed on fear, and encourage tales of boogeymen throughout The Multiverse so as to have an easier time harvesting it. Some time back, they discovered that the most delicious fear comes from the instant before death, and became addicted to slaughtering their victims. It turns out they're not Exclusively Evil, and if they get into an Interspecies Romance they can also sustain themselves on love.
  • In Ghostbusters 2, Vigo uses a river of slime beneath the city to gather and feed on people's negative emotions. The slime is later used by the Ghostbusters against him after they expose it to some positive emotions.
    • Seriously, who could hate a dancing toaster?


  • The White Court vampires of The Dresden Files are all psychic vampires that draw power from other people's emotions. The vampires of House Raith draw power from lust, and are incubi and succubi down to the last; the vampires of House Malvora draw power from fear; and the vampires of House Skavis draw from despair, and usually try to drive people to suicide so they can feast.
    • Thomas Raith presents an interesting angle on the feeding issue; his lover, Justine, suffers from derangement and schizophrenia. Thomas' feedings act as a form of psychic therapy and keep her condition under control sans the negative side effects seen with medications. Without him regularly feeding on her, she rapidly slips back into madness.
    • The plot of Proven Guilty brings us more Emotion Eaters in the form of phobophages, monsters who mimic the form of a subject's fears then feast on the tasty, tasty terror. The ones featured in the book draw from the mark on the national consciousness left by horror movie monsters and wreak bloody havoc on a horror convention.
  • Speaking of vampires, Robin McKinley's Sunshine dealt with this too. Tears stood in as a weaker substitute for blood, and anguished giving was more powerful but ultimately more destructive than 'natural' sacrifices.
  • Melissa Marr.
    • Specifically, this is the reasoning behind the plot of Ink Exchange. The faeries of the Dark Court feed off the negative emotions of other faeries, and are weakened by times of peace and happiness. In order to avoid fading away entirely, its king devises a method of feeding off of the negative emotions of humans.
  • Dementors from the Harry Potter series drain happiness and warmth from their surroundings, and can make someone relive their darkest memories. For this reason, they're kept as guards in the wizard prison of Azkaban, so that the prisoners can't work up the will to escape. You can fight off their effects with chocolate (chosen because Dementors' effects are like depression, which is weakened by chocolate) or creating a Patronus; a projection of your happiest memory which at its strongest takes the form of an animal spirit.
    • You can also get around them two other ways, more indirectly. If you're an Animagus, your emotions are simpler in animal form, so you won't suffer as much. If you have a reason to escape that isn't fueled by a good emotion- like guilt or revenge- you should be able to do so. This was how Sirius Black escaped; he took the form of a dog, and wanted revenge for being sentenced for a crime he didn't commit.
    • The Wizarding equivalent of the death penalty is the "Dementor's Kiss," which sucks out your soul. While we never see anyone who has suffered this, Fanon is that it swallows all a person's emotions so they can never feel anything again. This is largely based on the comment in Prisoner of Azkaban that "you’ll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no... anything... You’ll just — exist. As an empty shell."
  • Vampires in the Anita Blake series have secondary feeding methods, usually relating to drawing nourishment from a person's emotions.
  • The Spectres from the His Dark Materials trilogy drain their target's attention, turning them into mindless, apathetic bodies.
  • The Wild Cards series has a few psychic "Aces" who draw power from certain rituals packed with emotion. Fortunato, for instance, draws power from the passion of tantric sex, while The Astronomer draws his power from the ritual torture and sacrifice of young women.
  • The Stephen King novella The Library Policeman focuses on an inhuman thing posing as a librarian that feasts on the fear of little children.
  • The Hunter from the Coldfire Trilogy feeds on fear, despair and other negative emotions.
    • While his is essentially parasitic, the Iezu in that universe each have a specific emotion they feed off of in a more symbiotic way. One has set up shop as the god of Pleasure, and feeds while his followers enjoy themselves. And one has set up shop as the god of Sadism, and nearly becomes the most powerful entity in the world. It's also a significant plot point that these creatures are so polarized that the opposite of their emotional attunement weakens or destroys them. Pleasure, of course, is defeated by apathy, while sadism is finally undone by altruism.
  • Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch series puts an interesting spin on this trope. As expected, the evil Dark Others draw their power from negative emotions like fear, anger, hatred, etc, but essentially make people more "good" by removing these feelings from them. Meanwhile, the good Light Others who draw their powers from positive emotions like hope, love, faith etc. leave the world a darker place as they basically suck joy out of the universe to power their magic. As such, neither side tends to be enthusiastic about seriously draining the energy of people around them. Unless, you know, the fate of the entire world rests in the balance (which seems to happen at least once every few weeks).
    • The situation still is to the advantage of the Dark Ones though, since *for the most part* they don't actually care about making the world more evil. They're mostly interested in their own power, which means that they can draw as much power as they think they can get away with.
    • As well as the Others, the first level of the Twilight is home to a blue moss which gains nourishment from emotion on general. Light Others kill this with fire, Dark with ice.
  • Mercedes Lackey uses this in almost everything she writes.
  • Banshees from The Hollows novels feed on negative emotions of others even unto death. In a disturbing recent development one banshee and her child learned to feed off love as well making them a double threat.
  • In Nina Kiriki Hoffman's Spirits that Walk in Shadow, there are the viri. Most viri feed off of many different people in a subtle way that causes very little effect, but one viri got addicted to the main character's depression and was making her perpetually depressed in order to feed on that feeling.
  • Sookie Stackhouse meets a maenad, a wild woman who feeds off of pride and drunken violence (as well as eating meat).
  • C.M. Kornbluth's short story "The Mindworm" had a mutant human who fed off the feelings of others, killing them in the process. He deliberately tried to induce strong emotions in his victims so he could get a full meal.
    • Too bad for him that when he starts preying on a community of recent Eastern European immigrants, they find the old ways of dispatching vampires work just fine.
  • The vampire nobles in Nancy A. Collins' Sonja Blue series feed on emotions as well as blood, and thus were closely involved with historical events like Stalinism and Nazism.
  • In The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, vampires feed on emotions. Even blood-drinking vamps (who are considered the weakest class of vampire because of this. Stronger vampires don't need to drink blood to get emotions). This is used by a heroine, with permission, to make a scared and overwhelmed comrade feel better. Always nice to see a positive use of this trope.
  • S.L. Wright's Confessions of A Demon has immortal shapeshifting demons who can sense and feed off of the emotions of humans as well as other demons. Some of the more benevolent demons will feed on the sorrow and pain from others in order to alleviate their anguish. Each individual demon is associated with a particular emotion that they like to feed on most of all, although they can absorb any emotion. The emotion a demon is associated with stems from what the demon's progenitor was feeling at the time that demon was spawned, and gives each demon a particular aura that makes them inspire that emotion in others. Demons usually name themselves after the emotion they are associated with, such as Bliss, Shock, Pique, etc.
  • Rehvenge and Xhex of JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood are half-vampire, half-sympath, and a full sympath, respectively. There's even a derogatory term for their sub-species "sin-eater," though they aren't restricted to just feeding off someone's sins (they can devour any range of emotions).
  • In The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear, hobgoblins live off emotions such as fear, despair and sorrow. They keep Bluebear alive to enjoy his crying fits.
  • In the book Demon Envy, the demon, Levi, feeds off of envy.
  • Tobduk of Bionicle grows stronger by feeding on others' anger as well as his own.
    • Vamprah's Mask of Hunger lets him grow stronger by feeding off the positive emotions of others.
  • Stormwings, from Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe feed off fear. Doesn't make them evil though.
  • Lord Loss from The Demonata feeds off of human pain and suffering.
  • "The Slizzers" in Jerome Bixby's eponymous short story do people small favours so they can snack on the resulting happiness.

Live-Action TV

  • Polymorphs from Red Dwarf drain negative emotions, such as fear and anger, from whoever they touch.
    • Oddly enough it doesn't always have negative consequences. When encountering a domesticated version The Cat is turned into his geeky counterpart Duane Dibley but Rimmer gets turned into his heroic alternate universe self Ace Rimmer. What a guy!
    • In that case it was because the entity in question fed on dominant personality traits: The Cat was deprived of his Cool, but Rimmer lost his cowardice as well as his bitterness and negativity.
  • Power Rangers Jungle Fury features Chinese Vampire enemies who grow stronger from the power of fear. Any enemy can do this, but the primary application is to allow Mooks to upgrade to Monster of the Week.
  • On the darker and edgier side of the Toku Coin, Kamen Rider OOO has the Greeed which create Yummys which eat whatever the victim (Greeeds drop a coin in the victim to create Yummys) desires... Well, at least Uva's. Kazari's Yummies possess the victim and force them to eat.
    • The Utopia Dopant, the Big Bad from Kamen Rider Double, doesn't actually eat emotions but rather gains power by drawing upon the positive emotions of those around. So when our heroes charge in full of righteous fury and hope...he pounds them into pudding. Eventually defeated when Shotaro exploits the fact that inanimate objects don't have emotions to draw upon, and the emotion behind him and Phillip during the final battle is too much for Utopia to take. Katsumi Daido also exploits a weakness of Utopia's powers, as it can't draw emotions from dead things, and Katsumi just happens to be a Necro-Over.
  • One year prior to Gekiranger, "Minus Energy", created from chaos and fear, was the primary collection goal of the Jamanga in Madan Senki Ryukendo.
  • In one of the weirder examples, Farscape featured a sort of species of spider (which could take human form, natch) that first augmented the strongest features of its prey's personality—sexuality, self-control, anger, greed, determination, logic, and intelligence, in the cases of various lead cast members at the time—and then stole them, resulting in an abrupt about-face in behavior. Chiana, for example, kissed D'Argo and had him grope her, and she didn't even feel a tingle; D'Argo didn't even get slightly angry when kicked in the mivonks.
    • Also featured in Farscape was the Evil Sorcerer Maldis; though he was primarily a Psychic Vampire, he would often encourage his victims to excesses of anger and fear as an appetiser.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series
    • "Day of the Dove" has a big glowy entity that feeds off of negative emotions and is turned off by good ones. Kirk manages to get rid of it by laughing with a few Klingons.
    • "Wolf in the Fold". The "Jack the Ripper" killer feeds off horror and terror (and prefers to go after women because they're more 'easily and deeply terrified' sexist much, Mr. Spock?). The episode also mentioned the Drella of Alpha Carinae V, which derived nourishment from the emotion of love.
  • Knox from Heroes could absorb the fear of others and use it to boost his own strength. Of course, the fact that he was black raised some Unfortunate Implications.
  • One demon in Buffy the Vampire Slayer fed off of peoples' fear, and could make people hallucinate. Bad combination. Fortunately, when they actually fought him, he was three inches tall.
  • The Thesulac from Angel feed off fear as well, and are known for cultivating the world's paranoia. They're not so easy to kill as Gaknar the Fear Demon.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Sam, Interrupted," a wraith is roaming the halls of a psychiatric hospital, feeding on the hormones produced in the brains of the patients. Its presence can also heighten latent mental instability in people, to give it more food.
  • An episode of the poorly treated Babylon 5 spinoff Crusade featured a mystical creature in a habitation bubble that got brought aboard the titular ship. Everyone had a different reaction to it and eventually Galen thought it was getting everyone all riled up to feed its own hunger. He was proven wrong in the end.
  • In Alice, the Queen of Hearts keeps the residents of Wonderland happy (and controlled) by harvesting positive emotions (with flavors like "Bliss", "Calm", "Excitement", "Passion") from captive humans and selling them to the populace as flavored "teas" through "Tea Shops", like the one Hatter owns/operates.
  • "Twin Peaks". BOB feeds on fear and pain.
  • The Doctor Who episode 'The God Complex' features a minotaur alien which feeds on faith, such as belief in a religion or in a person, by bringing out their greatest fear and causing the person to fall back on their strongest faith.
    • The episode also uses a tear jerking version of I'm Not Afraid of You to cut off the minotaur's supply. Amy is about to be devoured, because of her faith in the Doctor. So the Doctor purposely makes himself a Broken Pedestal- pointing out all the times he's failed, the danger he's gotten her into, the childhood he ruined, and how vain he is- so that Amy will stop believing in him and be saved.
  • On Dollhouse, "The Attic" is a simulation which forces people to constantly fight horrible terrors, which are actually computer problems which the people are using their neural and emotional energy to solve.
  • Barbas in Charmed is the demon of fear, and feeds on the greatest fear of his victims. Hilariously, his Mirror Universe Good Counterpart is the demon of hope.


  • The Nine Inch Nails song "The Collector" is about one of these.
  • The Undead Panzer Elite tank crews in Sabatton's "Ghost Division" feed on the fear the Nazis generate.

Tabletop Games

  • White Wolf
    • In Wraith: The Oblivion, all wraiths have a number of ruling "Passions" that define their drives in life and in death. They can draw "Pathos" (the game's unit of Mana) from humans who are exhibiting the emotional state that underlies said Passion; the stronger the Passion, the more energy they can potentially draw.
    • Similarly, in Demon: The Fallen, demons gain their power through human faith. They most often gain capital-F Faith by revealing their true forms to humans, either benevolently or... otherwise.
    • Emotion is a strong source of Glamour in Changeling: The Lost. A changeling who's a member of one of the Great Courts even gets bonus Glamour if he attempts to reap the Court's ruling emotion—desire for Spring, anger for Summer, fear for Autumn, and sorrow for Winter.
      • Spirits in the setting can be animal, machine, idea or emotion. These last two feed on the emotions of humans, and work to instill them. However, even a Love spirit is unable to understand the emotion it feeds on—all it knows is it likes it and will go to manipulative extremes to get a favorite mortal to feel as much of that emotion as possible before burning them out.
    • In Vampire: The Requiem, the Formosae are vampiric beings that feed on a person's self-loathing and body issues. By absorbing such things, they're able to make others more beautiful... at the cost of some of their life. Ironically, the energy accumulates on the Formosae in the form of fatty deposits, which means they need to maintain their own pyramid schemes to appear thin.
    • The Fair Folk in Exalted feed off of human emotions and dreams. Said emotions don't grow back, eventually leaving any long-term victim a mindless husk. Consequently, everyone who doesn't adore the Fair Folk tends to be utterly terrified of them. Which is fine with them, as either way, they find it delicious.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the Dark Eldar, C'tan and Chaos, all of which have a different but horrible take on this.
    • Although arguably subverted as when Chaos feeds on positive emotions it doesn't drain them. The demons resulting from these emotions just have a tendency of turning up and eating you. Or in the case of the Eldar, Slaanesh will actually rip their souls out of their bodies if they happen to feel intense pleasure. And the C'tan don't feed on your emotions, per se, they feed on your soul!
  • In the Deadlands setting, all of the supernatural weirdness is ultimately caused by a quartet of malevolent entities called the Reckoners, whose power is derived from negative emotions, especially fear. The Reckoners' goal is to cause enough fear on a global scale to give them the power to manifest physically on Earth, and in doing so, kick-start the apocalypse.
  • Shadowrun and Earthdawn have the Horrors, creatures from the Astral Plane who live on the negative emotions of others. The Horrors can only eat negative emotions caused by their own actions.
    • Shadowrun. Ka•Ge magazine Volume 1 Issue 9 short story "Wonderland". The evil monster threatening the protagonists feeds on the emotion of fear in its victims.
  • Dying Earth RPG supplement Scaum Valley Gazetteer. The Gleft are spirit creatures who gain nourishment from confusion and distress. They cause these emotions by inserting a ghostly finger inside the victim's brain and stirring it around.
  • Dungeons & Dragons.
    • In the Mystara (Known World) setting, the Darkhood (a spectral undead monster) lived off the fear it caused in living creatures.
    • Ravenloft setting's Nightmare Lands.
      • The Nightmare Court traps dreamers in nightmares and lives off the negative emotions the dreamers feel: Ghost Dancer (guilt and shame), Hypnos (inadequacy, frustration and humiliation), Morpheus (misery), Mullongan (fear), Nightmare Man (any), and Rainbow Serpent (insecurity, mistrust, suspicion).
      • Dream spawn (nightmare monsters): Ennui (fear), shadow morph (fear and horror)
    • Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix 1 Terrors of the Desert. Zhackal packs feast upon the emotion of of those about to die.
    • 3rd Edition supplement Relics & Rituals. The Chaotic Evil magic sword Bloodlust feeds off the fear of its victims.
  • GURPS Supers supplements
    • Wild Cards. Both Senator Hartman (AKA Puppet Man) and The Gatekeeper (owner of the Joker's Wild cabaret) feed off emotions.
    • Mixed Doubles. The super villain Orgy can control other people's emotions. He must be exposed to strong emotions at least once per week or suffer damage.
  • Hot Chicks RPG. Demons feed off negative human emotions such as terror and suffering.

Video Games

  • The flavor text in the Pokédex paints Shuppet as one that feeds off of grudges and deceit, in the sense that they remove those emotions. "Victims" of a Shuppet's feeding tend to experience much more pleasant moods for a time afterwards.
    • Misdreavus feed off of fear, as well, which explains why they like to startle people and scream at them.
  • An NPC named Unfulfilled-Desire in Planescape: Torment feeds off of desire, and will literally drain you of whatever wants you describe to her. It's apparently quite a disturbing experience, but you can use it to help someone overcome his alcoholism if you know about her beforehand.
  • In Sonic Unleashed, Dark Gaia gets power from the negative emotions of everyone on Earth. Even though he's basically just a mass of anger and hate, though, he somehow oozes green blood.
  • The Guardian Lords in the Wild ARMs series are a cross between this and Gods Need Prayer Badly. One of the themes is that since the world is dying, Love, Courage and especially Hope are disappearing and therefore the Guardians of those emotions are doing badly and can't help to fight back. Until our plucky heroes inspire them of course. Desire is doing perfectly fine in the dying world though.
    • The spinoff Turn-Based Strategy game introduces the opposite of a Guardian, specifically an entity that both feeds off and promotes fear, fitting the trope a bit better.
  • Demons in Shin Megemi Tensei: Nocturne fit this to a certain extent; it's not the emotions themselves that feed them, but the power that they create, called Magatsuhi. Angels and other lawful demons tend to feed on the Magatsuhi created by adulation and faith, while devils and other chaotic demons tend to feed on the Magatsuhi created by terror and anguish. Make no mistake, however - neither side is particularly positive.
  • Demons in Dragon Age Origins fit this to a tee. Desire demons in particular seem to relish the chance to experience mortal life.
  • The Big Bad in Sam and Max Freelance Police Season One is an emotion feeder, and he specifically establishes a Church of Happyology to supply himself with blissful emotions.
  • Kogasa of Touhou eats surprise. Unfortunately, she's not very good at surprising people.
  • In some Castlevania games, it is stated that Dracula can come back just by absorbing the negative emotions of humans.

Web Comic

  • MAG-ISA -- The demons in this comic feed off of negative emotions. That is why they like to cause pain and suffering.
  • The gods of A Moment of Peace, are a rare example of peaceful, useful emotion eaters that have a symbiotic relationship with the mortals they feed off of. They eat gruel made of human sorrow and baked cheer, and in return answer prayers and perform metaphysical chores that benefit humanity.
  • The Hadoken from 8-Bit Theater is fueled by The Power of Love—literally; the divorce rate goes up every time Black Mage uses it.
  • The 'cubi in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures feed this way, with each demon usually having a favorite "flavor" that's more filling for them. It doesn't remove the target's emotion, though, they're sustained just by being around someone who's emitting emotion. Although it's common practice for them to provoke the emotion they want through non-supernatural means.
  • In Megatokyo, it's suggested that the magical girls gain their power from the emotions of other people and are compelled to cause said emotions. What exact emotions seems to depend on the particular girl.
  • The Demoness in Yosh! Stated by other characters to likely not actually need emotion to survive, but that it does fuel her powers.
  • Walter from Wondermark #548 has a nutritional deficiency with this requirement.
  • Slake from Fans! claims to be an emotion eater, but it's not clear if he really is, or just a Vampire Vannabe.
  • The Gerosha universe offers Extirpon [dead link], who uses the pride and malice of others to fuel his Reality Warper capabilities and often unleash disproportionate amounts of punishment.
    • His truest Achilles' Heel is ROBOTS! All he can do is run or turn invisible and run when they're around.
  • Every Cubi feeds of a different emotion in Project Future
    • One of the characters in the later chapter was brought Back from the Dead as an android was Cubi who fed on Surprise
    • It also mentioned that there have been Cubis who fed on Fear, Joy, Depression, etc.
  • Oglaf has a spirit that feeds on fear (an SFW page).
  • Eerie Cuties demons. Curiously, while mature succubi mainly feed on passion as expected (which is easy for them), it's not the whole story: while younger, Chloe looked like a cute stereotype, and later was visibly overflowing with power when she threw a party and for a little while was a center of attention and cheering for a full room of her schoolmates. Also, there are inconvenient side effects. It's not quite clear whether their true forms are affected by involuntary shapeshifting into some or other fetish for those around, but from what we have seen, seems to be the trend. Also, in Chloe's spin-off it turns out that during an intercourse succubi quickly gorge on power and lose control at the same time, so until one has enough of practice, it's messily fatal for mortal partners… while tougher creatures (such as other demons) suffer only superficial scratches, but rumours of this behaviour usually scare them away.
  • The Monster Under the Bed has inhabitants of Nox feeding on fear in our (presumably) world, entering it via Portal Network under beds/in closets. This need shapes their society, in that they have a whole system of guilds with training stages and ranks developed around this, and get gloom-and-doom names like "Midnight" or "Terminus". It seems to be not just fear: while measuring Magitek doesn't discern "flavors", when the human is aware and attracted the collecting rate raises high enough to make the few Noxian in the know suspect what's going on (of course, relationships across the door are strictly prohibited, but Half-Human Hybrids still happen now and then).

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Spectra of Danny Phantom. By posing as a school counseler, she is able to meet with teenagers, discover their insecurities, and pick at their pain and misery, which she in turns feeds on to keep herself looking young.
  • The Knights of Destruction in WITCH fed on hatred, anger, fear, and anguish. Tridart became enormous during the first attack on Kandrakar, which terrified the goodies.
  • In the South Park episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die", after getting revenge on Scott by tricking him into eating chili made from his dead parents, Cartman literally drinks Scott's tears of despair, and comments on how delicious they are.

Stan: Dude, I think it might be best for us to never piss Cartman off again.

  • The Nightmare Monster from the episode of the same name of Winx Club. A demonic being created by the Trix that feeds on a sleeper's nightmares. It was little wonder that this dark act on the villains' part was what caused Griffin to expel them from Cloud Tower.
  • Paddywhack from Darkwing Duck devoured negative emotions.
  • Bit of a twist in Avatar: The Last Airbender with the Face Stealer Koh. He doesn't eat emotions- but he will eat your face if you show any emotion.
  • The Ponyverse is full of these:
    • Discord, the spirit of Disharmony from the season 2 premiere: the Cutie Mark Crusaders' violent argument over the meaning of his statue (actually him Taken for Granite) gives him the strength to break free.
    • The Windigos seen during the pageant in "Hearth's Warming Eve" feed on hate and anger, and shroud the land for miles around in an endless winter.
    • Changelings, from "A Canterlot Wedding", feed on love, and use it to power their spells.
    • A case could even be made for Pinkie Pie. She certainly seems to thrive off other ponies' happiness, to the extent of spending most of her time boosting it in Ponyville. Read the lyrics for "Smile, Smile, Smile" carefully: Pinkie will go out of her way to make you happy whether you want to be or not, because it's everything to her...
  • Whammie Elves from The Life and Times of Juniper Lee feed on excitement; they live under movie theaters where they can get this from the audience's reaction to action movies.
  • In an episode of Little Demon, Chrissy’s mother Laura uses Anger Leeches on herself - magical insects that eat rage instead of blood - to help control her temper. Unfortunately, these leeches have a Hive Mind and tempt her to use more and more of them at once, until they literally cover her and start to control her mind. They're easily duped, however; when Chrissy gets the PTA moms to start arguing in from of them, they start to reject Laura as a host and move towards them, until Chrissy can burn them all to a crisp with Hellfire.
  • In The Real Ghostbusters, the Boogeyman is a demon who feeds off fear, gaining it by scaring children.

Real Life

  • Internet trolls get a kick out of people's emotional reactions to them, and the best way to stop them is not to respond ("don't feed the trolls").
    • Sometimes this works with bullies too.
  • There are plenty of people who "feed off of" another person's emotional responses, to one degree or another. Often times this is when the Emotion Eater is in a relationship with someone and will purposely instigate fights or other such acts in order to satisfy themselves, caring little or nothing for the other party involved.
    • Real people are a lot more likely to "feed off" of positive emotions than fictional people though. This is also known as liking to make someone happy.