Food in Fanworks

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Trope · Genre
Related: Coffeeshop AU, Bakery AU, Chef AU, Baking AU
See Also: Cookbook, Fannish Cooking, Food kink, Feeding kink
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Fanworks featuring food as a key theme or element are popular in many fandoms.

Food for plot or characterization, placing the characters in settings where they make food, either professionally (Coffeeshop AU, Chef AU, Bakery AU, etc) or for their personal pleasure (Baking AU, etc.)

Some fanworks take the form of recipes or feature recipes within the text.

Food as a sexual experience in fanworks: a stand-in for other activities, a kind of foreplay, or a kink in itself (Feeding kink). Food might also be used as an accessory during sex (Food kink.)[1]

Food as a way to show romance in fanworks: characters cooking their love interests favorite meal. Dates including food at fancy restaurants or something homemade. Fanworks can use food for intimacy with characters touching during cooking lessons. Romantic gifts of the character's favorite comfort foods is a popular thematic element.

Hurt/Comfort trope in fanworks can have characters bringing an injured/sick character food. Common thematic elements are cooking the hurt character healthy meals as a form of comfort.

In the crackfic genre, it can have one or more of the characters as food.

Food in fanworks used as a framework for showcasing canon character traits. When a character has a canon stance on certain food/drinks, fanworks can include food/drinks items for maintaining canon character traits. Alternatively, characters liking or hating certain foods to show Out of Character.

Popular thematic elements in fanworks involving food include characters being excellent chefs or horrible chefs. Another popular thematic element is a character only eating take out.

Example Fanworks featuring Food


  • Stove Stories, a collection of "fannish works featuring food as a vehicle of social interaction" on the AO3


Beauty and the Beast

Boku no Hero Academia

Earth's Children

Fire Emblem

  • these hands are only human by SaraJaye. Post-Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Silque/Faye fic where Faye prepares a hearty and comforting soup for her overworked girlfriend.
  • Homecooked, At Last by nyoggets. A Three Houses modern AU fic where Felix learns to cook after tiring of his friends' terrible eating habits. Contains Felix/Dimitri in addition to focusing on other friendships.

Harry Potter

The Hunger Games


Like Water for Chocolate

Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh

  • Cori Falls was well-known for adding at least two meal scenes to her stories, and describing in great detail what the characters ordered or prepared.

Sherlock (BBC)

Stargate Atlantis

Supernatural RPF

One Direction


Voltron: Legendary Defender

  • Space Bakes: A Love Story by ThatScottishShipper. Sheith AU fic in which Keith is an assistant at Hunk's bakery and develops a relationship with librarian Shiro.


Coffee is a beverage used as a mild stimulant for thought and creativity. Given the ubiquitous nature of coffee and its strong association with creators, it is probably not surprising that many canonical works as well as fannish works include the consumption of coffee, tea or equivalent beverages. There are currently ~5500 works on the Archive of Our Own tagged with Coffee (sourced 10 September 2020).

The Coffee Shop AU became a very popular alternate universe fanfiction trope in the opening decades of the 21st century, and can be found across a wide range of fandoms. Among other things, it draws on the social aspects of coffee shops.

Example Fanworks featuring Coffee


  1. ^ See, for various examples, the fics tagged "kink:food" at the Blindfold SPN kink meme's pinboard account. (Accessed 30 Dec 2011).