I'm Not Hungry

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"Fine! Then go ahead and STARVE!!!!"

Some people are just plain stubborn. Here you are, trying to feed them, and, even though you can hear their stomachs growling, they claim they're not hungry! Rejecting the sociability of a meal!

Just because they're prisoners!

They might even suggest that you, Affably Evil in its purest form, poisoned or drugged the food. Other forms of rejection of comforts in captivity are possible: a nicer cell (or The Presidential Suite), a clean set of clothing, etc. The villain may enforce the comforts by force or threats.

May be a reaction to No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine. Sometimes a character who claims I'm Not Hungry may be subjected to Force Feeding.

Examples of I'm Not Hungry include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Sheeta is offered a plate of food while on the airship. She continues to look out the window. Later, she rejects a nice dress.
  • In the manga version of Chrono Crusade, Azmaria is kidnapped by the Big Bad Aion and taken to his hideout. While there, she's taken to their dining room and served a meal, but she refuses to eat it—citing her reasons that her hosts are "bad people" and hurt her friends. The response of Shader, one of Aion's followers, is to tell her that she's "a good kid, and honest" but "food isn't evil or good". She then eats it and discovers that it's delicious.
  • In the Ranma 1/2 movie Big Trouble In Nekonron, China, Akane refuses the hospitality of her kidnappers, first on dignity, and then on the basis that a bowl of rice and a few slices of pickled vegetables is not a real meal. Annoyed at being told to conform, she storms off. Her stomach objects loudly afterwards.
    • In one manga story, Ranma tries to use this excuse to get out of having to eat Akane's cooking. It might have worked better if he hadn't ordered and eaten a meal of real food seconds beforehand... while Akane was right there.
  • In the 3-part pilot for Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, newbie trainer Dawn offered Piplup some Pokemon food, but due to the Penguin Pokemon's proud nature, he refused. However, his stomach growled, much to his embarassment and he decided to accept Dawn's offer.
  • Bleach's Inoue Orihime. She even manages to combine this with an Armor-Piercing Slap. Of course, Ulquiorra isn't actually hurt by it, and leaves after informing her that he'll force-feed her if she hasn't eaten within an hour.
  • Frequently invoked by Alphonse Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, to cover up the fact that he can't actually eat.
  • In Monster, Tenma is a bit unreliable about that whole "food" issue anyway, but when he was being held in jail he actively refused to eat for so long that they had to put him on an IV. Which, to be fair, made sense, since he was trying to get in touch with Milch (who he knew would be in the infirmary).
  • Rosa Ushiromiya tries to do this in Umineko no Naku Koro ni, after the second arc. Beato is really just amused, though, and has the goats just keep shoving the food down her throat. She has a very good reason for not being hungry, though. The entire meal is just an excuse for Beato to implement some Cold-Blooded Torture by forcing her to eat food made from the remains of her siblings and daughter.
  • Nodame Cantabile: Chiaki gets frustrated with Nodame and tries to force-feed her mushroom and cheese risotto after she lies and tells him that she has no appetite, even though she is actually very hungry.
  • In the second episode of Gankutsuou Albert is captured by bandits and refuses to eat the food they offer him.
  • Sorta invoked by Mariko Shinobu in Oniisama e..., after the disastrous birthday party where she goes Yandere on Nanako. She says she won't eat until she gets Nanako's forgiveness, but Nanako gives her a What the Hell, Hero? instead.
  • In One Piece: Gin refused to eat the food Sanji had given him after he was kicked out of the Baratie. Sanji then told him that it would be stupid to die from hunger because of foolish pride.
  • In Mirai Nikki Yuno has Yukiteru chained up and he is utterly depressed and broken in spirit so he refuses the food she gives him. She then puts it in his mouth and manually moves his mouth to chew with her hand.



If that be da case, den you be dinin' wiv de crew. An' yewll be nekkid.

    • Elizabeth again in the third film, refusing Norrington's offer of his quarters to remain with her crew in the brig.
  • Used in Hellboy. HB isn't a prisoner, but he gets passive-aggressive upon discovering that Agent Myers is taking his Love Interest out for coffee:

Myers: Hey, your chili's getting cold.
Hellboy: I'm not hungry.
Myers: Anything else you need?
Hellboy: Not from you.

  • The captured American general in The Mouse That Roared insists on being given treatment of a specific minimum standard, a point to which he stubbornly clings as the rest of his men are treated to the best hospitality that the Duchy of Grand Fenwick has to offer.
  • Belle refuses to go to dinner with the Beast in Beauty and the Beast because she's "not hungry".
  • James Bond has refused to eat with Fransisco Scarmanga in The Man with the Golden Gun and also not eaten a single bite of a sheep's head offered to him by Kamal Khan in Octopussy. He did tuck in at the dinner Dr. No provided, though.
  • In the second Mortal Kombat movie, prisoner Kitana spits Shao Kahn's hospitality right in his face. One can't blame her, considering that her cage didn't have a bathroom...
  • Sort of a non-villain example. Near the end of Bram Stokers Dracula, Helsing and Mina are camped out in the mountains by themselves near Dracula's castle. Helsing tries to feed her, but as Mina currently under Dracula's spell and a half-vampire, she slaps it away growling the line in the process. Then becomes more seductive (thanks to Dracula's three brides nearby manipulating her) before nearly biting into Helsing. Luckily he snaps out of it and manages to take control of the situation.
  • As Marian tells Robin in The Adventures of Robin Hood after she has been captured with the Norman treasure-caravan, "I'm afraid the company has spoiled my appetite." (She tries to sneak a bite while he's not looking, though...unsuccessfully.)
  • In Iron Jawed Angels the female suffragists claim this and as a result had metal instruments shoved in their mouths and were force-fed raw eggs through a tube shoved down their throat.


  • Bink and Fanchon of the first Xanth novel turn down Magician Trent's offers for accommodations in general. Then he gives them cake and wine anyway, just to screw with their heads.
  • Ella Enchanted: when she is at the finishing school, she does this once.
  • CS Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Horse and His Boy:

Rabadash was brought before them in chains. To look at him anyone would have supposed that he had spent the night in a noisome dungeon without food or water; but in reality he had been shut up in quite a comfortable room and provided with an excellent supper. But as he was sulking far too furiously to touch the supper and had spent the whole night stamping and roaring and cursing, he naturally did not now look his best.

  • The Arabian Nights tale "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" involves a variant: a visitor informs the host that he can't eat anything with salt in it. Because "sharing salt" is a culture-specific form of Tastes Like Friendship, this is a clue that he's secretly a villain.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's 'Chessman of Mars, when O-Tar declares that Tara shall dine as a princess, Tara declares she sits as a prisoner, not a guest.
  • In "The Fall of the Shell", Brudoer goes on a hunger strike until his family smuggles a note to his cell begging him to keep his strength up.
  • Redwall's The Legend of Luke: Vilu Daskar takes Luke into his cabin for questioning and offers him fruit, which Luke refuses.

Live Action TV

  • Happens at the beginning of To Serve Man.
  • In the Doctor Who serial The Time Meddler, the imprisoned Doctor angrily flings the offered breakfast back in the Monk's face.
  • In the "R. Tam Sessions," a tie-in to the Firefly movie Serenity, River destroys her mattress in her room at the Academy because she "doesn't trust it" and is "trying to protect her spine." This is probaby a mixture of this trope and a symptom of her growing madness.
    • Or she overheard some stray thought about what they were putting in the mattresses...
  • In The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Allison from Palmdale," one of Cameron's "memories" of Allison Young involves her refusing to eat a meal that Skynet's machines brought her, instead slamming it against a wall.
  • In season three of Lost, Both Jack and Kate initially refuse food offered to them while being held captive by the Others. Sawyer does eat the "fish biscuits" deposited into his cage, but when offered water he takes the canteen and pours it out onto the ground.
  • After The Reveal in the The Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man", the protagonist is seen on the ship bound for the aliens' homeworld to become someone's dinner. An in-flight meal is offered and an alien telepathically tells him to eat hearty. He responds by angrily flinging the food at the wall. The alien enters the room and scoops the food back onto its tray and asks him to eat again since the aliens don't want him to lose any weight. Realizing the utter hopelessness of his situation, the man gives in and tears into the meal since it's going to be one of his last.

Real Life

  • A favored tactic of pacifist protesters. Mahatma Gandhi would be the most successful practitioner.


  • New Yorkers who grew up in the 70s will remember a commercial for the show "Gemini" that seemed to run forever. One character is offered food, refuses, and says "I'm not hungry I'll just pick" as they dive a fork into another character's plate of pasta.