There is no greater torture than seeing a delicious meal in your favourite TV show and knowing you will never be able to eat it. Here are some that we wish we could try.
From the deliciously disturbing dishes of Hannibal to Mr Bean’s botched turkey meal, there are countless fictional dinners that will remain forever trapped on the small screen. The Spinoff editors pick their most coveted unattainable meals from the telly, and ask politely that you do not judge them.
Sam Brooks wants the meat trifle from Friends
In a late season of Friends, the foetal manic pixie dream girl that was Rachel Green decided to cook for the first time. Somehow, she glued two pages of a cookbook together because THE NINETIES AMIRITE GUYS? She ended up cooking a traditional English trifle, but with meat.
Cue hilarious scene where everyone excuses themselves to throw the trifle out somewhere, except Joey, of course because Joey loves to eat! Jam? GOOD. Custard? GOOD. Meat? GOOD. As someone who likes to eat, I agree with Joey and would very much like to try this meat-sweet trifle abomination. Absolutely nobody enable me, because I will eat it and I will die.
Alex Casey wants to eat the Dexter opening credits
I’ve already delved into the horrifying task of bringing TV into real life once before when I made 30 Rock‘s Cheesy Blasters, so I’m going to put forward a much more achievable TV meal this time around. The Dexter opening credits feature the preparation of a beautiful breakfast banquet, shot in grotesquely fascinating detail that everyone has seen once and then skipped through forevermore because they are about 100 years long.
I’m not saying want to eat everything. Not the mosquito. Not the blood. Not the shoelace. I mostly just want to eat that crazy thick bacon that looks like it could potentially be human meat. I also want to eat that blood orange but I do not, under any circumstances, want to floss my teeth afterwards. It just looks like a really nice, albeit heavy, breakfast and I am eternally grateful to Dexter Morgan for introducing me to the gastronomy that is putting hot sauce on an egg.
Duncan Greive wants to eat the chargrilled dog from Peep Show
It’s such an outwardly lovely occasion: Jez and Mark, on a narrowboat in the bucolic English countryside. Two sisters, each powerfully attracted to the idiots. Mark interviewing for an amazing job. And yet, inside the plastic bag, are the charred remains of ‘Mummy’, Aurora’s beloved pet. It’s some kind of horrific peak for Peep Show, worse than when Mark inadvertently urinated on his soon-to-be-jilted bride’s family, or what Super Hans did with Sophie’s cousin Barney.
Aurora pulls a leg out of the bag, and asks what it is, with a deep dread knowledge already rising within her. Jez, panic-stricken but resourceful in his own fucked up way, yells “It’s turkey!” And takes a bite. It’s hell, and only gets worse, one of the best and most excruciating scenes in the best show’s best season. Yet when I watched it again recently, I found myself thinking, ‘that actually looks quite delicious’. Chewy and charred and rich and flavoursome. I don’t think I’d actually kill and eat a dog. But Jez probably didn’t either, until the moment came.
Simon Wilson wants to feast at the Red Wedding
Who doesn’t love a good medieval banquet? Walder Frey’s feast for his daughter’s wedding has platters of whole fish, big rounds of cheese, wine served in pewter goblets and jugs, candlesticks that are all in groups of four (when do you ever see that and what could it possibly mean?) and oysters served on the half-shell. Oysters!
There are no big hairy men ripping the flesh from joint of meat with their teeth – Walder Frey and his guests are classy people, you know, and they leave that sort of thing to the soldiers around the campfires outside. In case you didn’t grasp just how classy, the top table is presented as the Last Supper.
And then they had to go and spoil it all by slaughtering everybody. Why ruin a perfectly good feast? Perhaps the oysters were off.
Natasha Hoyland wants a Krabby Patty from Spongebob Squarepants
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There’s nothing I have yearned for more over the course of my entire life than the Krabby Patty with Jellyfish Jelly. I mean, look at this guy’s reaction to history unfolding. It’s a burger with jelly in it. While the prospect sounds quite horrific if it were to be completed in real life, the burger in the show looks quite good, and child version of me really wanted to try it. I still kind of do. I was about to ask why The Krusty Crab didn’t keep this item on the menu, but it’s clear because it was created by literal torture of animals (the jellyfish). Then again, not that different from the real world, I guess.
If you are into gross and delicious as much as we are, nibble on the complete three seasons of Hannibal:
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