When that rumbling in your stomach cannot be tamed, it takes a very special order to silence all the hunger. That kind of hunger cannot be filled by some meager everyday meal. Luckily for you, there are a variety of options to fill that empty spot in your stomach. We need to only look at some of our favorite cartoon characters and their food obsessions to know just how creative things can get in the kitchen, but it’s more than just the food that does it for us. It’s the magic that goes into the preparation. Many of these items don’t exist in the real world for a reason. Our taste buds just haven’t evolved enough to appreciate how unique each item is, but that doesn’t mean we’re not willing to try each one out.
We’ve consulted with some of the world’s most renowned chefs from the animated world. They’ve told us exactly what makes a dish appetizing to them and we’re inclined to agree. With their help, we’ve sorted through the very best food items in cartoon history and fantasized about eating every one of them. We’ve grown tired and hungrier without these foods in our lives, but we remain hopeful that we will someday get to try everything our childhood selves have ever dreamed of.
So without further ado, and because we know your appetites are as insatiable as ours, we present to you the 20 Cartoon Foods We Want to Eat.
20. Whatever’s in That Picnic Basket (The Yogi Bear Show)
Jellystone Park isn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill national reserve. It’s got a talking bear with a white collar, a green necktie, and matching hat that has a knack for stealing picnic baskets. Along with his childlike partner in crime Boo-Boo, the two attempt to pull the wool over Ranger Smith’s eyes with their shenanigans. Their plans are often foiled, but not always before we get a glimpse of what’s hiding in one of those baskets.
Over the two-year production run when The Yogi Bear Showwas on the air, the contents of the baskets would change. Everything from full cakes to whole hams or gourmet sandwiches would be inside. How one person managed to fit so much food into such a confined space the world may never know, but whoever prepared the picnic was definitely planning for a feast. If Yogi is so maddeningly consumed with stealing those poor people’s foods, it must be worth it to be put on Jellystone’s most wanted list. We’re saving this entry for a hot summer’s day when an outing to the park could be capped off with a nice sit-down meal. We’ll just have to remember to keep an eye out for bears. We hear they really run wild when there’s food around.
19. Spinach (Popeye the Sailor)
Now we know what you must be thinking, “Why are you including a leafy green vegetable on a list of tasty cartoon foods? And a canned one at that?” We understand your argument, but hear us out before you judge. Do your remember the super mushrooms from the Mario video games? You know, the ones that make you super big so you can run through a blockade of Goombas like you’re a bulldozer? That’s how we imagine Popeye must feel every time he shoves a can of this spinach down his throat. With a puff of his pipe and a bite of his vegetables, he’s ready to take down his enemies and win over the heart of his crush, Olive Oyl.
We’re cornering the market on spinach as a super-strength enhancer if Popeye’s version ever becomes a reality. Trust us when we say we’ve been working on our own version in the super top secret Screen Rant labs. It just one of the many side projects we’ve got going on. Whether you’re topping off a pizza, preparing a salad or eating it alone, this item is the ultimate bailout for anyone in need of some muscle fast. Athletes will be lining up for the chance to try a bite. And all those students being bullied in school? Say goodbye to the old ways and say hello to some sweet, sweet revenge. Whoever said eating your veggies didn’t have its rewards? With this item, you’ll never say no to healthy food options again.
18. Grey Stuff (Beauty and the Beast)
We’re on the cusp of the Beauty and the Beastremake and we’re eagerly anticipating it. With so many classic musical moments to choose from, it’s a challenge picking a song makes us more nostalgic, but with all the dancing foods and tempting sweets from “Be Our Guest”, it’s hard not to single it out as a highlight of the 1991 animated feature. Belle is seated at the dining room table as Lumiere offers her a number of desserts. There are cakes, pies, custards and tarts, but nothing is more off-the-wall than “the grey stuff“, a creamy pastry topping that Lumiere offers on a tray. The talking candle tells Belle she must try it and from her pleasant surprise, we’re thinking we need to try it too.
Now on the menu at the Be Our Guest restaurant at Walt Disney World, the grey stuff is served on top of a chocolate cake. Any mademoiselle would enjoy this rich, airy cream topping on a cupcake or by itself, but we’re not talking about trying just the fluffy frosting from Disney’s theme park. No, we want the actual stuff from the movie, the off-grey custard that Belle eats off her finger. If the Beast has been alone in his dilapidated castle for so long without a means of grocery shopping, we’d expect he’s eaten his fair share of the odd pudding-like dessert. So long as it’s as delicious as the song promises, we’d top any treat with it. We can only hope Belle does the same when the live-action film finally makes its way to theaters early next year.
17. Reptar Bars (Rugrats)
Are you a ’90s kid who still remembers when Reptar Crunch was a thing? If so, know we feel your pain. When Post Foods discontinued the product after the release of TV movie Runaway Reptar, those bite-sized green dinosaurs and purple crispy rice pieces left a hole that not just any sweet confection could fill. Sure, Reptar Crunch was never exactly like the cereal Tommy Pickles coveted on his trip to the grocery store – for one thing, it was never marketed to turn your milk green – but nevertheless, we had it… before it disappeared forever into the cereal graveyard. So logically, we want something in its place. For us, that’s the Reptar Bar, a gooey chocolate bar in the shape of Tommy and Chuckie’s favorite dinosaur, with a creamy green filling that left your tongue the same color. Its absence in our lives has haunted us since childhood and now we’re in need of its chocolatey sweetness.
Recipes for the snack have popped up online, thanks to nostalgic fans of the Nickelodeon series who’ve decided to take a crack at making these bars of wonder. Complete with a Reptar-themed decorative wrapper, these sweet treats are made of chocolate, caramel, nuts, and an overload of food coloring to leave your tongue as green as the heroic Godzillaimpersonator the babies looked up to. They’re guaranteed to leave you wanting more. Still, a homemade version is just not the same as the product our Nicktoon friends got for Halloween. That’s why we’re still waiting on an official release for the Reptar Bar, after all this time.
16. Chili Cheese Fries and a Chug-A-Freeze (The Weekenders)
Friday through Sunday – the time when you get to kick back and relax from the strains of being a kid. Preadolescence can be such a drag, so Tish, Lor, Carver, and Tino made up for it by killing it on the weekend. They sought the perfect getaway away from class and that requires the perfect food. While we often see the gang chowing down on some classics – the insane looking pizzas and chili dogs come to mind – it’s really the chili cheese fries and Chug-A-Freeze slushies that left the biggest mark in our minds. Every growing kid needs the right food and, from the looks of the stuff these four were snacking on, we’d say their food game was on point.
The sarcastic kid, the nerdy brainiac, a Scottish tomboy, and the fashionable guy – these don’t sound like your typical group of friends, but The Weekenders worked because all its leads could sort through problems while rocking out in Bahia Bay. They came together through their many shared experiences, and eating was one of those. The fries were crispy, slathered in chili and melted cheese, while their frozen fruit slushies were the perfect drink to wash it all down. It’s exactly the kind of eats you want to encounter in a mall food court on a Saturday. Somehow it just all seems better with a friend by your side. Plus, we’re always down to try out a new fry. That’s why The Weekenders will remain firmly lodged in our memory food banks forever.
15. Gumbo and Beignets (The Princess and the Frog)
How about this for a combo? New Orleans has a culture all its own. From the luxury of the French Quarter to the rich jazz music, a town with so much culture must have a timeless cuisine to match. You can taste the hard work and dedication in every bite. Combine that kind of history with the magic of a Disney Princess and you’re talking about two items that would sell out at even the most heavily stocked restaurant in the world. People from around the world travel to The Big Easy to try out their doughy, deep-fried beignets and spicy Cajun gumbo. They’re a one-two punch for an early morning breakfast and a warm afternoon lunch, but none could be better than Tiana’s, who is said to be one of the best cooks in all of Louisiana.
Like many chefs before her, Tiana from The Princess and the Frog got her start in the kitchen cooking with her family. Her father was a class-A master with the ingredients of the region. Naturally, she inherited her skills from him. As a child, she could already cook up the perfect gumbo to satisfy her dad. Among her other specialties are the crispy, airy, powder sugar-coated beignets which she makes for a ball when Prince Naveen of Maldonia arrives to town. Along with her spicy gumbo recipe passed down from her father, she’s got enough skill to make everyone around her envious.
14. Noodle Soup (Kung Fu Panda)
Tucked behind a small stand in the crowded marketplace of Peace Valley, the Dragon Warrior Noodles and Tofu shop sits with its long line of customers waiting to try some of the best noodle soup in town. The shop is run by Mr. Ping, a wise and fatherly Goose, and his son Po, a kung-fu prodigy and panda. Mr. Ping dreamed of passing down the family business to his adopted son, like his father before him. Fortunately for us, when Po sets off on his quest to learn kung-fu as the chosen one under master Shifu, the noodle cart remains in the streets, serving its loyal customers as always.
As we learn in Kung Fu Panda, Po has no knowledge of how the noodles are actually made until his father decides to pass down the secret recipe. Once the truth is finally revealed, he learns the secret ingredient doesn’t actually exist. The soup is nothing more than noodles, vegetables, and broth. The trick is believing you’re making something special. As willing customers, we want to believe that these noodles will not only live up to expectations, but that we’ll master the art of kung fu after a steady diet of the stuff. Po had to get his luck from somewhere because we know his lack of coordination didn’t land him his spot among the Furious Five. You heard it from us first. Noodle soup will make you an ultimate fighter, so eat up readers. It’s where your strength comes from.
13. Tomacco (The Simpsons)
In season eleven of The Simpsons, Homer is challenged to a duel by a Southern colonel at the Kwik-E-Mart. With no other choice but to flee his home in search of a temporary residence, he eventually settles at an old farmhouse where he decides to eat off the land. He begins to grow his own crops but is annoyed when he finds that nothing will grow in the barren soil. After ordering some plutonium, he accidentally mixes some tomato seeds with tobacco, resulting in the oddly addictive hybridization between the two. The tomacco was born and it was utterly terrible.
Imagine you are a representative for a big tobacco company looking to expand your business to a wider audience. How do you do it? It’s simple. Make your product edible. That was the plan for Laramie Cigarettes when they tried to buy the tomacco from Homer for $150 million, in order to sell to children. Putting a slice of tomacco on a Krusty Burger would be just the right combination of nicotine and fat to keep customers coming back for more. Finally, the fast food industry and tobacco industry have merged. It all sounds like an evil plot to take over the world. For that, we’re lucky the tomacco doesn’t exist, but for the sake of experimentation we still want to give it a try. Sure, it will likely leave us sick in the end, but we can’t help picturing ourselves eating that burger with the likes of Don Draper in a nice high-rise office somewhere. Now, tell us that doesn’t sound enticing.
12. Slurm (Futurama)
It’s going to take a steep price to import these addictive soft drinks to Earth from the Slurm Factory on Planet Wormulon, but if the number one partying worm of the galaxy, Slurms McKenzie, endorses the product, we know it’s worth the money. Slurm first premiered in Futuramaduring the first season. How time has gone by! Since then, the soda hit the market as an energy drink for fans of Matt Groening’s animated series, though it’s since been discontinued. While we appreciate the effort, it wasn’t the addictive beverage of our dreams and we’re still left wondering how the the show’s drink actually tastes.
Bright green and effervescent, Slurm’s refreshing addictiveness is too much to handle for Fry and the rest of the Planet Express crew. When they finally take a trip to the Slurm Factory, they find the truth behind their favorite soft drink. It is secretly no more than a single ingredient squirt from the behind of the Slurm Queen, the leading manufacturer of Wormulon. It’s vile, toxic, full of bad nutrition, and just too good to pass up. That’s why Fry chooses to keep drinking it long after the facts are discovered. We too would like to give it a try, but sadly, we don’t see it happening anytime soon.
11. Jawbreakers (Ed, Edd n Eddy)
As a child, you probably had a jawbreaker from the candy store– the round balls of hard-coated sugar that take forever to dissolve in your mouth. As far as delectable candies go, they’re not at the top of our list, but they do deliver a long-lasting sugar rush. For the children of Cartoon Network’s Ed, Edd n Eddy, however, there was no other sweet that could top them, but these jawbreakers don’t land on our list because of pure desirability. They’re on here for one reason and one reason only: their size. And with a giant treat like this, we’re certain our collective sweet tooth will slip into a coma before we ever make it to the other items we want to try.
The three childhood friends go about their everyday lives, trying to swindle the other children of the small town Peach Creek. Apparently without allowances from their families, the three kids find ways to make money for their trips to the Candy Store, the local hangout where all the children of the neighborhood spend their cash. For a mere twenty-five cents, they get a basketball sized jawbreaker in return. It’s a real bargain for your money and the flavors are endless. They may not be the most enticing sugary-coated items on the list, but if the show is any indicator, they leave you salivating at the mouth with a lifetime’s worth of flavor for nothing more than pocket change.
10. Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls (South Park)
Before we hear anyone complain about the exclusion of Eric Cartman’s Cheesy Poofs from our list, let us first make our reason known. Cheesy Poofs played a minor but significant role in the first few seasons of South Park, with Cartman even going so far with his love of the snack that he auditioned for a commercial in season two. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, the snack is nothing more than a puffy Cheeto and once you’ve had one of those, you’ve had them all. Instead, there’s snack that still has plenty of room to send our taste buds on a new journey.
In the ninth episode of season two, Chef’s Chocolate Salty Balls take over South Park after he sets up a stand to sell the chocolate-covered cookies during the Sundance Film Festival. The balls of flavor become an overnight sensation with the festival. With a catchy song and the endorsement of the people, we too wouldn’t mind putting these tasty morsels in our mouth. Sweet and savory, with just the right touch of cool, these treats are just the snack to enjoy while listening to the smooth sounds of American soul singer Isaac Hayes. If you ever need a quick pick me up, just stick these balls in your mouth and you’ll be feeling good as new.
9. Bob’s Burgers (Bob’s Burgers)
A failing burger business that isn’t afraid to experiment with off-the-wall creations sounds like a restaurant only a food connoisseur can truly appreciate. In fact, we could probably dedicate a list on its own to ranking the very best burger ideas from Bob’s Burgers. There are more than a hundred unique creations that have graced the menu. With names like the “Don’t You Four Cheddar ‘Bout Me Burger” and the “Eggers Can’t Be Cheesers Burger”, each option feels fresh to the customer, even if all the ideas aren’t always appetizing. It’s all in the name and Bob Belcher proves that with his pun-tastic takes on the classic dish.
Eating at Bob’s Burgers is about more than just food, it’s time spent with an unconventionally absurd family in an establishment run by a third-generation restaurant owner. The burgers are a product of that family’s time together and it’s reflected in every bite. You’ll never grow tired of revisiting this joint so long as the burgers continue to stay inventive. Whether it’s out of curiosity or because the food actually sounds appealing, these combinations of beef patties, cheese, and veggies are not to be missed. So make your way down to the restaurant and try out the Burger of the Day. You won’t be sorry.
8. Ratatouille (Ratatouille)
In 2007, Ratatouilleintroduced the world to Remy, a talking rat with a passion for cooking, whose all-star level of skill in the kitchen lands him at a five-star restaurant. In the story, Remy cooks up many fine dishes while discreetly working as a chef at Gusteau’s restaurant, but the creme de la creme is none other than the titular dish. A traditional French feast, it’s a perfect summer meal of steamed vegetables with fresh garlic and green herbs blended into a creation that will have you saying bon appetit.
Remy cooks up the dish after he hears word that France’s top food critic, Anton Ego, is coming to Gusteau’s to see what all the hubbub is about. With the pressure on, Remy has to prove his worth with some food that only the most delicate of tongues could truly appreciate. While ratatouille exists outside of the Pixar production, we’ve never seen it more colorfully presented than it is on-screen. From Ego’s reaction and his childhood flashback to the day his mother made him the meal, we’ve gotta admit our own curiosity about the dish. It may not be the most sanitary option to have a rat cook your food, but we’d have it no other way. If we truly want to experience ratatouille at its best, we want it from Remy and we’re certain he’d be happy to help.
7. Grubs and Bugs (The Lion King)
If the “no worry” lifestyle is what you’re after, then it’s going to take more than just the words “Hakuna Matata” to get you on the right track. As it’s been said, when in Rome do as the Romans do. So when Timon and Pumbaa recover young Simba from a circle of vultures, they do more than just teach him to forget about his past and look to the future. The meerkat and warthog duo decide to show him what good eating is really like. Sure, eating bugs and larva doesn’t sound particularly appetizing, unless you’re getting paid to do it on a reality show, but you’ll be questioning your usual food fare when you see the colorful arrangement of juicy insects The Lion Kinghas to offer.
Slimy yet satisfying, grubs and bugs are a real delicacy in the wild. Although Timon claims they taste like chicken, they appear more like a fruity candy gusher. While our adult minds tell us that anything crawling out from underneath a log can’t taste good, our childhood selves our tempted by the “no rules, no responsibilities” life that comes with eating nature’s own candy. If Simba can learn to love them, then they can’t be all that bad. They may not be the sweet, fruity-filled treats we’re hoping for, but our curiosity far outweighs rational thinking here. Sometimes, you just have to try new things and if we’re going to eat something crawling on the ground, we figure who better to eat it with than the cast of one of Disney’s greatest animated features.
6. Scooby Snacks (Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!)
Forget that there is no such thing as ghosts. Solving mysteries about a bunch of lonely, old guys in masks looking to scare a town is enough to get any man or anthropomorphic dog’s stomach growling. That’s why a rewarding snack is in order. We know what you’re thinking. How could you possibly follow up Timon and Pumbaa’s grubs with a snack for a canine? But if they’re good enough for Shaggy, who says Scooby Snacks are just for man’s best friend? Instead, we imagine that these boxes of treats are more like a cookie. If Scooby has been bribed with them since he was a pup, we’d imagine there’s got to be something awesome inside that box.
Throughout the many iterations of Scooby and the gang, these cookies have appeared in vending machines and had their very own factory in Coolsville. From the look of the snack itself, we’d imagine they taste something like a caramel-flavored cookie or butterscotch. With a color and shape almost reminiscent of vanilla wafers and just enough sugar to summon up your courage to battle the supernatural, Scooby Snacks remain the greatest comfort food on this list. The Mystery Van doesn’t go anywhere without Scooby Snacks and we’re betting once we’re introduced, we wouldn’t put them down either.
5. The Naco (Kim Possible)
Finally, the taco and nachos have come together in perfect harmony to create the Naco. Never has a more filling invention been made for customers and it’s all thanks to Ron Stoppable and the greasiest, cheesiest fast food joint on this side of the U.S.-Mexico border. The Tex-Mex chain known as Bueno Nacho has all the nutritional value a teenage crime-fighting spy and her clumsy sidekick could ever need. Whether you take your naked mole rat Rufus or a girlfriend, the Naco is made for everybody. There’s plenty to share and you can even order a platter for the table.
The concoction is simple enough. It’s an intricate balance of nachos and cheese, along with your choice of toppings folded into a large, wrapped taco full of warm beef, crisp lettuce, and fresh tomato with even more dripping cheese. Order some Diablo Sauce on the side if you want a spicy kick that will have you reaching for your beverage, but we caution you, the five-alarm sauce is hot enough to warm your hands in a blizzard. With so much going into this meal, everything is literally falling out of the side of wrap, so make sure to bring extra napkins and dig in. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
4. Pizza (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Pizza – it’s got everything a growing turtle needs. It satisfies every part of the food pyramid. You’ve got your cheese for the dairy, your pepperoni for the meats, your crust for the bread, all your veggie toppings, and of course your pineapple for the fruit. It’s no wonder Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael have grown to be so in shape. Maybe it wasn’t the chemical spill that turned them into the teenage ninjas they are today. In fact, there’s nothing mutant about them. It was the pizza. There’s something in the water in New York City that makes the dough something extraordinary. With one bite, you too could find yourself fighting the likes of Shredder or being taught the ways of ninjutsu by a human-sized rat. Now, to just get our hands on a slice.
As the story goes, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird wrote their favorite food into the original TMNTcomics after eating pizzas while creating the stories. The 1987 animated series would give every child a craving for pizza, often leaving them asking their parents for a slice instead of the evening’s dinner preparations. Often settling for the traditional pepperoni over the other competing orders, the four turtles always enjoyed their pie as a shared experience. With this pizza, we don’t just want to bask in its gooey, melt-in-your-mouth cheese. We want to actually share it with the heroes of our childhood. It’s all we ever dreamed of as kids and it’s the only way we’ll be truly satisfied today.
3. The Perfect Candy and a Purple Flurp (The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius)
Do you remember the everlasting gobstopper from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Of course you do. It was the colorful, sugar concoction shaped like a jack that was supposed to be so perfect that it put all other candy out of business. Well, it turns out one Nickelodeon boy wonder was able to top Wonka and his factory of Oompa Loompas. The perfect candy, with all the tastes you could ever want, all in one piece of delectable goodness – that’s what Jimmy Neutron creates in the episode “Krunch Time” to appease his best friends Carl and Sheen. A round purple ball with little specks of yellow, this mega-candy is said to contain everything from sour and gummy to sweet and chocolate, all in one bite. We can’t help but want a taste, but there is another food item from the show that gives it a run for its money.
The purple flurp is a favorite among the animated cast of characters. Jimmy is constantly shown slurping down a large cup’s worth of the stuff while working on his latest science projects. The soda is shown in a purple can, though the flavor is never specified. Our best guess is that it’s grape soda with some unearthly addictive substance inside, since Jimmy’s dad actually used a time travel remote to rewind time so he could drink a can of the stuff all over again. Of course, we’ll never know the true contents, which makes us all the more inquisitive.
2. Brontosaurus Ribs (The Flintstones)
You might think that a town living in the Stone Age would have scarce dining options, but you’d be wrong. In the season one episode “Fred: Before and After”, Fred Flintstone takes part in an overeaters group to resolve his issues with food, taking him on a journey of one failed diet plan after another. It’s not hard to see why his plans were ruined time and time again. In the series, we’ve seen some hearty, meaty goodness with food items like bronto-burgers or giant pre-historic steaks. In the live-action movies, there’s evene a RocDonald’s and Bronto King in Bedrock, but to find what we really want, look no further than the closing credits of each animated episode.
After a long day at work, Fred loads his family into his footmobile for a night at the drive-in movie theater. Afterward, they finish the evening with a family-sized portion of Brontosaurus ribs that nearly tips the car with its weight. It’s a mammoth helping of meat from the dinosaur and it’s just the kind of meal we see ourselves serving at a family barbecue. Ideally, we would slather it in a nice sauce or dry rub, but we’re thinking it’s just fine the way it is. There’s no doubting the Flintstones were a carnivorous family, with menu items like ribs being a staple among fast food joints around town. Sadly, with the Brontosaurus being extinct, we can only hope for a Jurassic Parkstyle resurrection if we ever want to try these ribs for ourselves.