When your spaghetti bolognese gets served in separate jars that are supposed to represent the restaurant's own deconstructed version of the meal, you can’t help but feel confused. After all, paying good money for a dish that looks like something you’d find in your grandma’s pantry is far from anyone’s idea of an ideal dining experience. But the food industry is brutal, and establishments will do everything in their power to impress you.

Thanks to the internet's beloved corner of Reddit called 'Stupid Food,' we get to see just how far they’re willing to go. This online community successfully calls our restaurant owners and chefs who come up with pretentious ways to serve their dishes, overwhelming and repulsing their customers along the way.

"A place to lambast idiotic methods of serving food, or any other epicurean inanity worthy of ridicule," says its description, and you know it’s gonna be good. Scroll down below to devour this crazy collection of absurd food creations we’ve gathered from the group, upvote the best of the worst, and let us know what you think in the comments. And don’t miss the chat we had with food blogger and journalist Ellen Manning about the importance of presentation in dining.

Psst! For more arrogant dishes that ever left a restaurant kitchen, check out our earlier pieces of this feature here and here.

#1

Whiskey Capsule? I Can’t Tell If It’s More Like A Gummy Bear Or More Like A Gusher

Whiskey Capsule? I Can’t Tell If It’s More Like A Gummy Bear Or More Like A Gusher

rawrt , twitter.com Report

#2

Peas And Mayonnaise Pizza

Peas And Mayonnaise Pizza

likerofgoodthings Report

#3

"What's Wrong...?"

"What's Wrong...?"

cenabollywood Report

"Food. Point. Laugh," says the subreddit’s tagline, and hey, thanks for being a source of entertainment we didn’t know we needed! The 'Stupid Food' online group has been calling out arrogant and ridiculous dishes since 2015, and they definitely don’t hold back. With a following of more than 800k members, the community seems to have an enormous appetite and is always hungry for new monstrosities to grace their screens.

Getting your edible rocks (yes, that’s a thing) served on a bed of real rocks sounds crazy — because it is. But if you consider yourself a foodie, you’ve definitely noticed that bizarre food servings are all the rage now, particularly at luxurious restaurants. This begs the question, however, why is it so annoying when establishments genuinely try to stand out and impress us?

We were curious about this phenomenon and wanted to learn more about the difference between aesthetic dishes and plain eyesores restaurants serve their patrons. So we reached out to an expert in the field, a food lover, writer, and journalist Ellen Manning. Being the author of the acclaimed Eat With Ellen blog, she was more than happy to share her thoughts on the matter.

#4

How To Start A War With Japan And Italy At The Same Time

How To Start A War With Japan And Italy At The Same Time

elahyani Report

#5

Ordered Chinese Last Night, Went For A New Dish: "Smoky Sweet Chicken Fries"

Ordered Chinese Last Night, Went For A New Dish: "Smoky Sweet Chicken Fries"

Got Literal Chicken Churros - That's Sugar, With A Bit Of Garlic, Onion And I Think Cardamom At The Bottom? No Smoke Whatsoever. Most Delicious Nonsense I've Ever Had And I'm Going To Get Them Again, No One Can Stop Me

thebrscott Report

#6

Stupid Doesn’t Necessarily Mean I Wouldn’t Eat It

Stupid Doesn’t Necessarily Mean I Wouldn’t Eat It

assorted_citrus Report

"We've all heard the saying, you eat with your eyes, and the reason why it's so often said is because it's true," Ellen told Bored Panda. "Food is always about more than the taste — it's how it looks and smells too. That means presentation is key." The expert explained that this doesn’t mean that it has to be complicated — the dish simply has to look appealing to the diner and just make you want to eat it at once.

"So whether it's a delicate plate of food that's intricately arranged or a big fat burger that makes your mouth water the minute you see it, presentation matters. We also can't ignore the fact that in the world of Instagram, clever or pretty presentation matters and can act as marketing for your restaurant," Ellen added.

#8

A Blt My Mother Was Served At A Diner In Michigan

A Blt My Mother Was Served At A Diner In Michigan

Hanfpflanze Report

What's more, the food blogger said that overly excessive and weird-looking displays can detract diners from the meal.

"In the same way that flavors need to work together, the presentation needs to work with, rather than against, the dish as a whole. If everything's a bit too fussy, it can be distracting, so it needs to be appealing, well balanced, and look good enough to eat."

#10

April Fools Joke From A Local Chocolate Shop But Just As Vile, A Chocolate Coated Hard Boiled Egg

April Fools Joke From A Local Chocolate Shop But Just As Vile, A Chocolate Coated Hard Boiled Egg

Darkness-Pride Report

#12

Chicken And Waffles… Pizza

Chicken And Waffles… Pizza

darrvis Report

When it comes to the pretentiousness in food, everything lies in the chef, not the actual dish itself. "Food is often art, but when it gets to the point that you're being distracted from the flavor by the way it looks, that could be a problem," Ellen explained.

"You've also got to think about your audience — if the people eating your food want traditional food that's recognizable, then you aren't necessarily going to win them over if it looks weird or too unusual. However, in some restaurants, this is what people come for — so they can really go crazy with the presentation."

If the creators want to find that fine line between a beautiful and over-the-top presentation, Ellen said they must think about balance, know their audience, and ultimately make sure that the presentation adds to the appeal rather than detracting from it. "Creativity is great, but when it starts becoming more important, or detracting or distracting from the flavor of the food itself, that's a problem," she noted.

#13

We Ran Out Of Regular Bowls And Plates, And This Was The Only Way To Set Up The Grilled Cheese. He Reminded Me Of A Hot Tub So I Added Arms

We Ran Out Of Regular Bowls And Plates, And This Was The Only Way To Set Up The Grilled Cheese. He Reminded Me Of A Hot Tub So I Added Arms

maramaboelhag Report

#14

I Think That Punishment Should Be The Bare Minimum

I Think That Punishment Should Be The Bare Minimum

jonmpls Report

#15

Actual Dish From The Adult Menu In A Lithuanian Restaurant

Actual Dish From The Adult Menu In A Lithuanian Restaurant

Oddness_Police Report

As you scroll through this list, you inevitably notice that the questionable meals and ridiculous plating some establishments come up with are amusing. But what lies behind their urge to stick out and go out of their way to impress the customer?

"In the world of Instagrammable food, it's understandable why some people are pushing the boundaries further and further when it comes to the way they plate food, the dishes they put together, and the weird and wonderful creations they come up with," Ellen told us. "After all, standing out from the crowd can mean more attention, more publicity and ultimately more customers."

#16

I Feel Like People Are Running Out Of Ideas

I Feel Like People Are Running Out Of Ideas

HermanGunnarr Report

Strangest Thing
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Sir we ran out of plates" "Just look through the recycling"

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#17

Veggie Taco From Taco Festival...da Fuq

Veggie Taco From Taco Festival...da Fuq

Less_Preference520 Report

OhnoI’vebeencensored
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This belongs in malicious compliance. “They want a veggie taco? Oh, I’ll give them a veggie taco”

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#18

A Bar In Ohio Serves Giant Bowls Of Cereal That Are Impossible To Finish

A Bar In Ohio Serves Giant Bowls Of Cereal That Are Impossible To Finish

bloresiom Report

The food blogger also noted that at the core of any chef's philosophy should lie the fact that their food has to be edible. "Ultimately, if people are looking at your food, they're going to want to eat it, and crazy plating or weird flavor combinations that look good but taste awful could end up being the opposite of what you're after if you want people to come back again and again."

So while professionals think their efforts will be noticed, they often backfire in glorious ways. "Being noticeable is great, but ultimately food has to deliver on flavor as well as looking good," Ellen added.

#20

Easter Lambspic. I’m So Sorry

Easter Lambspic. I’m So Sorry

mad_gasser Report

#21

I'm Also Turning Myself In. Totino's Birthday Pizza Cake (8 Layers)

I'm Also Turning Myself In. Totino's Birthday Pizza Cake (8 Layers)

buffbuddha Report

To chefs and restaurateurs who miss by a long shot with their meals and are tired of confused patrons’ looks, Ellen had a few pieces of advice. "Presentation doesn't have to be crazy or over-the-top. In the same way as putting flavors that complement each other together, it's about making sure the elements on the plate look good together."

"Color is good, as is a bit of tidiness and care when it comes to arranging them. The basic rule of thumb is, does it look like you want to eat it? If so, you've nailed it. If not, you need to think again," Ellen concluded.

#22

Proof Of Man’s Hubris

Proof Of Man’s Hubris

sBroz410 Report

#23

I Waited A Total 1,5 Hours At A Pretentious Ski-Lounge And Paid €8,90 For This

I Waited A Total 1,5 Hours At A Pretentious Ski-Lounge And Paid €8,90 For This

flomatable Report

Ritchat
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At least there are lots of sausage pieces in there. Not like store-bought soup with 3 sad little meatballs per can.

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#24

Deep-Fried Watermelon

Deep-Fried Watermelon

thenativeshape Report

#25

I Despise This Trend

I Despise This Trend

dm20201995 Report

wifeofweasley
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is something I'd do if I had a group of friends over. It's not so bad and looks fun. And you don't have to clean up afterwards.

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#26

Edible Rocks Served On A Bed Of... Real Rocks

Edible Rocks Served On A Bed Of... Real Rocks

mysterybkk Report

Nugget
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh god,which is which? Pray for your teeth!

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See Also on Bored Panda
#27

This Garfield Style Sandwich

This Garfield Style Sandwich

Judeicialbranch2003 Report

Minath
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Definitely something Shaggy and Scooby-Doo would create and consume

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#28

Not Totally About The Food, But, Why?

Not Totally About The Food, But, Why?

HirokoKueh Report

Birdy
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Are these the ones that nibble the skin off your heels/toes? What a lunch combo.

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#30

Glazed Donut Grilled Cheese Hanging Over Tomato Soup

Glazed Donut Grilled Cheese Hanging Over Tomato Soup

hiimalextheghost Report

Jason
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ngl if it wasn't a donut I would go for it. Even then it looks more like French toast. Still intrigued

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#31

Stupid Hamburger Serving At A Supposed Sophisticated Restaurant

Stupid Hamburger Serving At A Supposed Sophisticated Restaurant

SassyPerere Report

Alexandra Nara
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Cardboard cut and painted by the chief of cuisine himself ?

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#33

Friend Made A Vegan Cake For Vegan Friend’s Birthday. Both The Hot Dogs And Jelly Are Fully Plant Based Substitutes

Friend Made A Vegan Cake For Vegan Friend’s Birthday. Both The Hot Dogs And Jelly Are Fully Plant Based Substitutes

MiraclezMatter Report

#34

A Chicken Sandwich I Ordered That Was Impossible To Eat Normally. Didn’t Expect The Size. (Had More Chips On The Side)

A Chicken Sandwich I Ordered That Was Impossible To Eat Normally. Didn’t Expect The Size. (Had More Chips On The Side)

Cremacious Report

#35

Behold. A Creation So Stupid It May Actually Come Full Circle And Be Smart. (Definitely Gotta Go Easy On The Jelly)

Behold. A Creation So Stupid It May Actually Come Full Circle And Be Smart. (Definitely Gotta Go Easy On The Jelly)

FFormless1325 Report

#36

A Cobb Salad, Apparently. We Asked Why It Looked Like This And The Server Looked At Us Like We Had 2 Heads Before Saying, "What, Have You Never Eaten Here Before?"

A Cobb Salad, Apparently. We Asked Why It Looked Like This And The Server Looked At Us Like We Had 2 Heads Before Saying, "What, Have You Never Eaten Here Before?"

sarahms89 Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#37

Absolutely Disgusting

Absolutely Disgusting

lsmountain48 Report

#39

A ‘Friend’ Of Mine Cooked Like This

A ‘Friend’ Of Mine Cooked Like This

deathstrike86 Report

Jason
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Interesting idea but the grease! Plus no seasoning?

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#40

$10 Nachos At A Local Mexican Restaurant. Yes, Those Are American Cheese Slices

$10 Nachos At A Local Mexican Restaurant. Yes, Those Are American Cheese Slices

TheMeowMeow Report

#41

Suffered From An Eating Disorder Last Year And My Sick Brain Loved Pickle Pb&js

Suffered From An Eating Disorder Last Year And My Sick Brain Loved Pickle Pb&js

claimish Report

#42

Lick It Up You Dirty Dirty Diner

Lick It Up You Dirty Dirty Diner

ninjacrabby Report

#44

F**king Deep-Fried Water

F**king Deep-Fried Water

BillOakley Report

#45

Charcoal Cheese

Charcoal Cheese

cookiemonstrosity54 Report

Stardust she/her
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t charcoal consumed if you’ve accidently eaten something poisonous or toxic?

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#46

I Am Disgusted

I Am Disgusted

believeitornotjail Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#47

Asked My Sister To Boil Chicken And This Is What I Came Home To

Asked My Sister To Boil Chicken And This Is What I Came Home To

kuroyuki-okami Report

Tilfeldig Forbipasserende
Community Member
2 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Seems like a way of thawing the meat. If this is done on a reasonable temperature (50-60C), it is very effective and better for the meat than using a microwave.

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#48

Jagersickles To Get The Night Started

Jagersickles To Get The Night Started

jk72788 Report

#49

This Is A Crime Against Pizza

This Is A Crime Against Pizza

RoundhouseToTheFace Report

#50

Bloody Hell What In God‘S Name Is This Abomination

Bloody Hell What In God‘S Name Is This Abomination

Feuro_ Report

Note: this post originally had 92 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.