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As a Treat, Here Are 10 Foods I Wanted to Eat as a Kid Because of the Cartoons I Watched

Sometimes animation just makes you hungry.

There are three small details about the cartoons I grew up watching that I absolutely adore. First? The way cartoon characters would use computers, rapidly clicking on the keys in a way that should spell out gibberish, but somehow, words appear on the screen. Second? Science. Just the way the brainy character would explain scientific findings, sometimes using terms that I’m pretty sure don’t actually exist.

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The food, as demonstrated by this tweet.

Animated food is so beautifully overdramatic. Sometimes, the dishes you know and love are illustrated in a way that makes them look like they came from a different planet. Other times, you find out that the food you’ve been eating can be elevated to a higher level. On the flip side, cartoons can make the most unappealing foods look good, and they can also introduce you to foods you didn’t even know existed.

Here’s a shopping list of ten (or more) of those foods!


Any and all forms of pizza


A lot of kids already love pizza, especially if you’re a kid like me who grew up in Chicago. But no matter how good our local pizza place was it never managed to look the way cartoon pizza did.


Cartoon pizza has cheese that stretches across the hemisphere. You have characters like the Ninja Turtles rattling off ingredients that shouldn’t work, but damn, it looks REALLY good on screen. I’m convinced that cartoon pizza just doesn’t exist, even if pizza is readily available via delivery or the frozen section at your grocery store.


The grubs in The Lion King


They were just so bright and colorful and slimy, yet satisfying. It doesn’t help that there’s a catchy song accompanying the buggy feast. The bugs I’d come across in real life weren’t nearly as vibrant.

The Lion King makes them look like candy that I really wanted to try… once my kid self recovered from losing Mufasa, that is.


Pokémon’s “jelly-filled doughnuts”

What’s funny is that I don’t much care for jelly-filled doughnuts, but when I tell you I went on a hunt to find the “jelly-filled doughnuts” in Pokémon…

They just looked so good! Nothing like the jelly-filled doughnuts I’d had before.

Of course, I’d go on to find out that these were actually rice balls (which, if you’re curious, are fantastic).


Anything Studio Ghibli. Period.


I don’t think I have to say much here.




Much like pizza, I already liked cheese. It’s great when grilled in a sandwich and it was especially great when my mom would make homemade macaroni and cheese. However, watching the way mice would droll over themselves over a block of cheese? These mice were treating it like a perfectly cooked steak!

And, like pizza, the food in question is good, but I’ve never found a block of cheese that sent me into a hypnotic state where all I could do was approach it like a zombie in need of brains.


Try the grey stuff


Out of all the food that gets listed off in “Be Our Guest” it’s the grey stuff that gains notoriety. It’s apparently delicious, though, and is available at Disney parks. If you can’t make it out to Disney, you can actually make it yourself at home!

Though I have a feeling it won’t live up to the hype of my childhood nostalgia.




They’ve always kinda looked like fluffy marshmallows, and after seeing Goku stuff a bunch of them in his mouth (because of course he did) my suspicions were confirmed. He just grabs them by the handful and stuffs them in his mouth, and he does this more than once throughout the series.

I mean… I guess if you’re dead, you might as well?




Now I’d had ramen before seeing it in anime, but it was the packaged ramen that you can cook in an instant. I’m not gonna pretend like that kind of ramen isn’t good, and I’ve especially come to appreciate having something I can make in three minutes while working from home, but the way my jaw dropped when I first saw one of those big ramen bowls? That could easily be an entire meal?

Fortunately, it’s not impossible to find a good bowl of ramen.


Scooby Snacks


Are they dog food that Shaggy eats with his best bud or people food that Scooby eats with his best bud?

Yes to all?




Honey was always something used as a topping or ingredient to add to a dish, but there was a certain silly ol’ bear who always made it look like something you could just eat by the handfuls. Was it worth getting stuck in a tree over? Pooh certainly thought so, and as a kid, he had me convinced that you were supposed to eat honey by the jar and not the tiny drop you add to your biscuits.


Bon Appétit!

(Image: Pokémon, Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, and Disney)

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Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)

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