If Music Be The Food Of Love (I'll Have The Veggie Burger)

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Title: If Music Be The Food Of Love (I'll Have The Veggie Burger)
Author(s): sunsetmog
Date(s): September 3, 2008
Length: 42250 words
Genre: high school, slash
Fandom: Panic! at the Disco
External Links: livejournal masterpost (archived); AO3 link

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If Music Be The Food Of Love (I'll Have The Veggie Burger) is a popular Brendon/Spencer Bandom fic by sunsetmog that was originally posted on LiveJournal in 2008 and later crossposted to AO3. The author describes it as "Oblivious High School Failboats in Love, or, Brendon Urie: The High School Years." and notes that it is "Mostly canon compliant, apart from the parts where it isn't."[1]

In the story, Brendon is a high school social outcast and musical prodigy who finally makes friends when he joins a band. He is also a vegetarian (hence the title). He falls in love with Spencer, but doesn't notice he's gay until the end of the story. Meanwhile, the band is trying to get signed and put out their first album while Brendon becomes estranged from his Mormon family.

Fan Reviews/Reactions

The original livejournal post had six pages of comments as of December 2008. Examples:[2]

So the early part actually made me ache a lot - a lot - because ugh, yes, that is exactly what it feels like to be a loser at school and I had to stop reading a time or two to remind myself that hey, he's happy now. But then you made it all better! And I loved the running detail of the hand-holding, and also I absolutely fucking LOVED your Brent, loved the way he was a good guy and a good friend even though I could see the places where the cracks were going to develop. I don't think I've ever seen it done so well. This is absolutely perfect.
The way you worked in canon was totally fantastic. It didn't feel like you were just trying to fit your story into the framework of already known facts; it really seemed like you wrote this story, created this whole universe, and part of that universe was the canon things.
I loved the way Spencer and Brendon fell in love. It was so visible to everyone except Spencer and Brendon. I loved your Brendon SO MUCH, he was still a hyper dork but also someone who was brave enough to leave his family and be on his own. The ending made me want to laugh with happiness. Amazing fic.
I teared up so many times reading this in my cubicle. I told someone I was having an allergy attack. Seriously.

2008 crack_van rec:

sunsetmog calls this fic her not-so-secret love letter to fandom. It kind of really is. Mog gets right into Brendon Urie, a Mormon kid with no friends and too much energy and a huge need to please. She tells his story from before he met the rest of his band, his trials at school and at home, and one of the most significant periods of Panic canon history: Brendon leaving his parents and home for the band. The emotion in this fic is amazing, Mog's perspective and how she portrays Brendon and the band are perfect and real. And the quiet, subtle relationship that developes with Brendon and Spencer is fantastic.[3]


It is a wonderfully drawn story of loneliness (Brendon in the first chapter hits a little too close to home for me, and I’m crying in a few places as I read), and finding a place where you can be yourself. It’s courage, invention, music as an escape, solidarity and love. So much love. Parental (Ginger!) and between the band members (god, I LOVE the bit where Ryan shows he knows exactly what Brendon went through) and the best-friend love of Ryan and Spencer, and, of course, Spencer and Brendon. Spencer and Brendon. I think if you read this fic and DON’T fall a bit in love with Spencer Smith you may actually be a robot.[4]

Related Fanworks

Pennyplainknits podficced the story in 2011.[4] The podfic is 4 hours and 27 minutes long. It was hosted on the Audiofic Archive, but appears to be offline as of 2018.[5] knight_tracer recommended the podfic as a good way to get into bandom: "This one gets extra points for a beginner because it follows the process of how the band gets formed. It is read amazingly well and gives a really good sense of how fandom interprets canon."[6]


  1. If Music Be The Food Of Love (I'll Have The Veggie Burger) - sunsetmog - Panic! at the Disco [Archive of Our Own], Archived version
  2. sunsetmog-fics. Fic: If Music Be The Food Of Love (5/5), 2008-09-03 (Wayback machine copy)
  3. stepps. If Music Be the Food of Love by sunsetmog (R), posted in crack_van, 2008-11-03.
  4. 4.0 4.1 pennyplainknits. Podfic: If Music be the Food of Love (I'll have the veggie burger), posted to dreamwidth 18 July 2011.
  5. audiofic archive wayback copy
  6. knight_tracer. Beginners Bandom Podfic List, Archived version, posted to livejournal Jan. 16th, 2012.