There are quite a few anime, manga, and JRPGs that have a character who, at one point, offers to (or in some cases has to) cook for the other characters and is often convinced they are at least decent. They end up poisoning the others by mistake. It's often played for laughs that this person is shockingly bad, but (often) completely unaware. Usually, this person is a woman or girl. It's mildly amusing,(citation needed) but it happens in so many stories, it seems any show going long enough needs to have this joke in it.

TV Tropes page with examples here.

What is it about this joke that it is so often repeated in manga and anime (and games, I guess)? Is there some cultural thing I'm missing making it funnier? (As a sub-question, why is it nearly always women?)

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    most of the time women are mainly engaged in kitchen and household work from ancient time , so at least they should know how to cook a decent meal. May 28, 2015 at 6:53
  • man cooks very good meal where women are bad at it in most of the anime May 28, 2015 at 6:54

1 Answer 1


Usually the food is a gift from a girl to a boy - for example, sharing bentos at school or making the boy chocolate for valentines day. These are pretty common occurances in both games and anime - usually in the lead up to a confession of love. When guys give gifts to girls in anime it's more often jewellery or something to remember them by.

Gift-Giving going wrong is another trope and the humour in it is that the character getting the present feels obliged to pretend that they really like the gift. For example, getting a present that you already own. This trope has been going in different media for ages, and stems from real-life experiences. I know I've gotten presents I haven't been overly thrilled by but had to express my gratitude to be polite.

So, when gift-giving going wrong is applied to food - the character has to try and eat a disgusting meal while saying it's delicious - or at least, not say it's awful. The humour comes from the conflicted emotions and the effort the character has to put in to make sure it doesn't come across on his face that it's disgusting.

I think the fact that gifting food occurs so often in anime, means that this alternative gifting has become a spinoff as it were - and has become a trope in its own right.

I'm not sure if this answers your question or not - add a comment if it doesn't :)

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