I firmly believe that cooking is a form of art. A delicious one at that! However, there is a fine line between truly aesthetic dishes and food that is simply pretentiousness plopped on a plate. And sometimes… sometimes you just want a burger, you know? With normal buns instead of portobello mushroom caps and ketchup instead of 13 types of hand-made condiments spaced out on a drumset. There’s nothing wrong with simplicity. When done right.

However, a lot of chefs and restaurants believe that they’re more important than they really are and they try to show this through the food they serve. Finding the perfect balance between looks and taste isn’t for them, no sirree! Instead, they opt to create the most ‘dazzling’ dishes that end up overwhelming and confusing the customers.

The crème de la crème of pretentiousness ends up on the r/StupidFood subreddit that is dedicated to shaming the most arrogant food creations on Planet Earth. Have a taste of their best (or is that worst?) photos and remember to give the food that you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot spork a big ol’ upvote. Grab your silverware and let’s go!

I had a chat about the subreddit with Clackpot, the founder of r/StupidFood. I was also interested to find out more about aesthetics and pretentiousness in food, so I reached out to talented pie artist Jessica Clark-Bojin, the founder of 'The Pieous' project and author of 'Pies are Awesome.' Scroll down for Bored Panda's in-depth interviews with Clackpot, as well as with Jessica, who spoke about the importance of cooking to put a smile on someone else's face and why it's worth experimenting with food.

#1

When You Ask For Plain Rice

When You Ask For Plain Rice

DancesWithHooves Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Groan. #DadJoke

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Redditor Clackpot, who founded the r/StupidFood subreddit, went into detail about the community with Bored Panda. They noted that the pretentiousness in food lies in the chef, not the actual dish itself.

"It's not a binary choice," Clackpot said when I asked where the line between pretentious and fancy food lies. "Supremely wonderful food can also be sphincter-tighteningly precious, and I will cheerfully deride the pretension whilst also applauding the skill and imagination required. And really the pretension in food is about the creator, not the food itself nor the outcome. Consequently, although it is very difficult to define what makes food stupid, it's actually very easy to decide whether it is stupid or not, it's a subjective call which we are all equipped to make," they told Bored Panda.

The founder also told us a bit about how they founded the subreddit in the first place (you can find the full story on their wiki!). "In a nutshell, I was bored and hungover one Saturday morning five years ago and I knocked it together and forgot about for more than a year until it started to gain a little traction," they shared with Bored Panda.

#2

Delectable!

Delectable!

lauragarlic Report

Random Anon
Community Member
1 month ago

Okay I'm going to be honest and say that looks the aftermath from the beer and green curry the previous night.

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#3

Zero Waste! You Know, Minus The Coffee Grounds You Just Wasted

Zero Waste! You Know, Minus The Coffee Grounds You Just Wasted

TheDeanosaurus Report

Jihana
Community Member
1 month ago

At least she's honest

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The 'Stupid Food' community has changed "immensely" over the 6-and-a-bit years since being founded. Instead of trying to control it with an iron fist, Clackpot let it grow naturally. "Stupid Food is an entirely different creature to what I originally envisaged, but I've allowed it to grow in its own way and here we are. To be honest, I don't like the modern Stupid Food nearly as much as the thing I conceived but it has been fascinating to watch it grow and mature," they opened up.

Moderating the actual community is a fairly easy task, however. Something that many of us Pandas probably didn't expect to hear. "You might think that a sub racking up millions of pageviews per month would be infested with the worst of humanity but it's actually amazingly easy to handle with just two main moderators, myself and /u/VodkaBarf. I seriously hope that it never gets toxic because I fear it could get out of hand very quickly. But I feel that by allowing the sub to grow into its own thing without too much steering or interference, it has developed an identity of sorts and maybe that encourages mostly tolerable behavior."

Clackpot added that making any 'absolute' statements about cooking or food would be "unmitigated piffle." For them, food is extremely subjective, while pretending that we've found some objective truth is "completely meaningless, and indeed approaching Stupid Food level of pretension. "Food is a highly subjective thing which each of us experiences individually/ Literally every human being consumes food and we each have our own view, some of which will differ wildly from one another," they said.

#4

Soft Serve Coffee In A Donut Cone, With A Shot Of Espresso

Soft Serve Coffee In A Donut Cone, With A Shot Of Espresso

yogiybarra66 Report

Monkey Love
Community Member
1 month ago

So far this is the only intriguing one.

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#5

Butter Knife

Butter Knife

McCallumBakes Report

Alexia
Community Member
1 month ago

After the s**t shaped chocolate above, this is pure bliss

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#6

But Which Side Is Gonna Pay For It?

But Which Side Is Gonna Pay For It?

kernel-troutman Report

Jihana
Community Member
1 month ago

LOOOL I actually love this! 😂😂😂

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The ‘Stupid Food’ subreddit has been naming and shaming arrogant dishes for more than half a decade, since April of 2015. In that time, it’s amassed a following of 306.5k redditors who are always hungry for new content. We just hope their appetite doesn’t grow bigger than the members’ ability to sate it with new and interesting photos…

The subreddit’s tagline is “Pretentiousness. On a plate. Without the plate.” The moderators note that the group is “a place to lambast idiotic methods of serving food, or any other epicurean insanity worthy of ridicule.” I love this extremely colorful description. But what I enjoy even more is that they also have a TL;DR follow up, in the spirit of simplicity being the best approach: “Food. Point. Laugh.”

Pie artist Jessica also believes that it's not the food but the creators who can be pretentious (or not). "There is no such thing as pretentious food, only pretentious chefs (I say this with tongue planted firmly in cheek!) But seriously, I believe that with food art, as with any art, the intention of the artist and the context in which the plate is presented have to be taken into consideration before one can truly judge the dish," Jessica told Bored Panda.

#7

Pizza-Pizza

Pizza-Pizza

DasLIVES88 Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

I love it! MoRe pizza can only be a good thing.

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#8

Loooooooooooooool

Loooooooooooooool

Xx2hotReallyxX Report

Rob Woodman
Community Member
1 month ago

That’s never hollandaise

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#9

Thanks I Hate Burger In A Cup

Thanks I Hate Burger In A Cup

Estanho Report

Yuki Li
Community Member
1 month ago

How does one..... eat it. With a spoon? With a fork? Tilt it into my mouth? I DEMAND AN ANSWER.

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"An over-the-top molecular gastronomy multiphasic sensory experience served in a family-style restaurant could certainly be considered pretentious... Then again, if the chef has a sense of humor and it is being served to elicit amusement and give the diners a bit of a chuckle, suddenly it's not pretentious anymore," pie artist Jessica pointed out to Bored Panda that the context and the intentions are vital whether something could be called pretentious or now.

"My own pies may be considered 'fancy' to some, maybe even bordering on pretentious at times (can a pie be pretentious?)... But everything I create, I do so with the very humble intention of putting a smile on someone's face—and I'm not stingy about sharing my techniques so others can replicate my work. I think if chefs create with open hearts and an honest wish to make the recipients of their food happy, their food can't be pretentious, no matter how complex, epic, or over-the-top, it is."

#10

Freaking Deconstructed Coffee

Freaking Deconstructed Coffee

BillOakley Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
1 month ago

They forgot to complete the deconstruction and put the coffee beans separately and give you a grinder along with it. Amateurs.

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#11

Pickles Brined In Monster

Pickles Brined In Monster

Caligapiscis Report

Jihana
Community Member
1 month ago

I wouldn't have had to try them to know that (native speakers: was that sentence grammatically correct? I'm not sure)

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#12

Our Food Better

Our Food Better

handsumquis Report

Dodo
Community Member
1 month ago

She looks amazing. The food looks like carcasses

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In Jessica's opinion, joy can be just as—if not more—important than taste. "Remember, food is something we experience with all of our senses, and our brain most of all. Yes, taste is a critical component... But I personally feel that when it comes to 'special occasion food' (as opposed to every day, keeping-you-on-your-feet food) joy and delight are even more critical components. If the fondant-covered cake you baked in the shape of your best friend's favorite childhood toy makes her burst into happy tears, does it matter if the sponge is a little dry? Is it a 'bad' cake because it looks better than it tastes? No. It's a good cake because it made someone you love really happy. Context and intention," she said.

I was also curious to understand how chefs and bakers should approach cooking in general, whether it's best to stick to simplicity and clarity or have the courage to experiment with their recipes and presentation. (Even if those experiments can sometimes leave the customers flabbergasted because they're a tad 'too much.') Jessica believes that it's vital to know what your customers want and, personally, she's all for experimentation because it can lead to something fantastic.

#13

A Handful Of Jam Served On A Plate At An Upscale Restaurant

A Handful Of Jam Served On A Plate At An Upscale Restaurant

pabloiswatchingyou Report

Vero
Community Member
1 month ago

no, just no

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#14

Deconstructed Greek Salad

Deconstructed Greek Salad

whitemike40 Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
1 month ago

Not that bad, just dump the onions and the other veg on the plate, add the oil and lemon and cheese and good to go

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#15

Spaghetti Sandwich

Spaghetti Sandwich

ragvamuffin Report

Sori
Community Member
1 month ago

I had something like this and was shocked how yummy it was

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"I'm sure opinions will vary on this, but I think it just comes down to knowing your customers. Do they enjoy being challenged? Do they like the adventure of trying something new and unexpected, and learning about new flavors, textures, and methodologies even if it means sometimes they won't love what they're putting in their face? Or are they at your establishment because they are expecting to receive something they reliably know will give them a specific, safe, and enjoyable experience every time?" Jessica listed all the considerations chefs should take.

"That's not to say that chefs can never evolve beyond their current offering – they just may have to be prepared to go through some growing pains as they slowly build a new customer base that appreciates their new offerings more. After all, it is important for the chef to love what they are creating too!" the pie artist told Bored Panda that finding a balance between keeping one's customer's content and evolving as a chef is important to keep everyone happy.

#16

Chicken Alfredo “Burrito”

Chicken Alfredo “Burrito”

Natty_Dread_Lite Report

JuJu
Community Member
1 month ago

I would eat it

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#17

"King's Hand"

"King's Hand"

AVZR Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
1 month ago

Well if it was filled with something sweet, not greek salad it might be a fun Halloween snack

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#18

Not Fried Chicken....ice Cream

Not Fried Chicken....ice Cream

Old-Blighty Report

Heidi Hunt
Community Member
1 month ago

I'd eat it. If you read what it actually is it sounds good and it has a chocolate bone in it 😋

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Jessica revealed that she's an "experimental pie baker" herself, so she's a bit biased when it comes to the safety vs. experimentation debate. "I think experimenting with new techniques, new flavors, new designs, etc. is awesome! Yeah, it blows up in your face sometimes (sometimes literally), and yeah, your customers may hate your new creations sometimes... but sometimes they'll absolutely love them. Sometimes, you'll capture that 'lightning in a bottle' and start a new food art trend that puts your establishment on the map. You never know until you try!"

If you’re raring to post on r/StupidFood (we’ve all experienced food that’s been at least 50% arrogance at some point in our lives), there are a few specific rules that you should be aware of. Obviously, you have to act like a decent human being while in the community, but that’s true for every subreddit and every social sphere.

#19

Apple Pie From A Restaurant And Bakery Near Me. It’s Delicious, But Near Impossible To Eat

Apple Pie From A Restaurant And Bakery Near Me. It’s Delicious, But Near Impossible To Eat

keschaller89 Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
1 month ago

Just flip the slice on its side and drizzle on more caramel or add ice cream.

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#20

Spam Turkey

Spam Turkey

cheasilicious Report

Devil's Advocate
Community Member
1 month ago

This is actually pretty cool

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#21

American

American

psychedelic_vibes7 Report

JuJu
Community Member
1 month ago

We also have this abomination in Germany Ristorante...0Pasta.png Ristorante20Pasta.png

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The sub’s mods note that the essence of the group is to shame food (albeit in a gentle manner). Keep that in mind so you don’t miss the point with any of your comments. “Bear in mind that /r/StupidFood is primarily for ridicule, and does not care how creative or artful its targets are. We're here to poke gentle fun at other people's creativity, and we do not care whether it is just or reasonable,” the mods explain.

Dumb food challenges, however, have no place on r/StupidFood. “Anything featuring idiotic, dangerous, and pointless eating 'challenges', such as the Tide Pod Challenge, are pretty much always disliked, downvoted, and otherwise ignored. The mods don't like them, the subscribers don't like them, and now the sub doesn't like them.” The mods added: “Begone.”

Finally, the ‘Stupid Food’ subreddit isn’t meant for sharing recipes. Unless they’re incredibly dumb and pretentious, that is!

#22

Toast Water

Toast Water

BillOakley Report

Vero
Community Member
1 month ago

well...no, if a want somethiing that taste like a toast, I just make a toast. I know I know, Im just weird like that

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#23

Beef Stroganoff Tacos

Beef Stroganoff Tacos

MomButtsDriveMeNuts Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
1 month ago

Would eat.

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#24

In A Post-Covid World We Will Need To Find A Use For All These Spare Hand Sanitiser Dispensers

In A Post-Covid World We Will Need To Find A Use For All These Spare Hand Sanitiser Dispensers

McCallumBakes Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
1 month ago

Someone thinks there will be a post covid world. LOL

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It's not just the visual aspects of the food that chefs can mess up. The taste of the food is just as vital. That's why it's important to keep everything orderly in your kitchen. Pie artist Jessica previously told Bored Panda about the best ways to avoid silly mistakes while in the kitchen. "Weighing by volume rather than by weight is a big pet peeve of mine. The chemical reactions involved in baking require precise measurements of ingredients, and depending on how densely people pack flour into their measuring cups, they can be using up to 25% more or less than the recipe actually calls for!"

#25

Words Cannot Describe What I'm Feeling Right Now

Words Cannot Describe What I'm Feeling Right Now

CreatureWarrior Report

Jihana
Community Member
1 month ago

Questions, so many questions. Why? How do you eat it? and most importantly: WHY?

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#26

Ordered Some Food Delivery From Oreganos Last Night. Some Funny Guy Was Bored At His Job Apparently

Ordered Some Food Delivery From Oreganos Last Night. Some Funny Guy Was Bored At His Job Apparently

brainjerky Report

ThoughtsAreNotFacts
Community Member
1 month ago

Rude, but also funny?! I'd laugh if I got this... But it's very juvenile

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#27

Only Stuffed Crust. In A Circle

Only Stuffed Crust. In A Circle

PotPieJam Report

Andy Acceber
Community Member
1 month ago

Yum! But lousy packaging.

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Jessica suggested that we all use kitchen scales instead. They're far more precise. That means that we end up making fewer mistakes.

"Working mis en place can eliminate most blunders amateur cooks make… Issues with timing, forgetting certain ingredients, using ingredients at the incorrect temperature, etc.—all of these mistakes can be avoided when you take the time to prep and lay out all tools and ingredients before you start cooking or baking!" the food artist said that we should get everything ready before we start cooking.

#28

Blue Gatorade Macaroni With Blue Gatorade Sauce

Blue Gatorade Macaroni With Blue Gatorade Sauce

guylikestoast Report

Marek Yanchurak
Community Member
1 month ago

You go to hell. Go to hell and you die.

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#29

Date Said Her Favorite Food Was Blue Cheese Pizza. I Guess I Misunderstood Where The Emphasis Was Supposed To Be

Date Said Her Favorite Food Was Blue Cheese Pizza. I Guess I Misunderstood Where The Emphasis Was Supposed To Be

Imatworkgoaway Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
1 month ago

Smurf pizza

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#30

My Boss At Pizza Hut Made This For Me...

My Boss At Pizza Hut Made This For Me...

brokedasherboi Report

Dina Simoné
Community Member
1 month ago

Subtly passive-agressive

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#31

Some Restaurant Was Bragging About This Online

Some Restaurant Was Bragging About This Online

Ezzy17 Report

JuJu
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

plat du jour: garbage

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#32

First Time Buying At A Local Restaurant Called "Food And Love", Ordered A Four Cheese Pizza And This Is Why They Delivered

First Time Buying At A Local Restaurant Called "Food And Love", Ordered A Four Cheese Pizza And This Is Why They Delivered

marrana_brainz Report

Dina Simoné
Community Member
1 month ago

This looks like covid feels

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#33

I .. Kind Of.. Want It

I .. Kind Of.. Want It

HeadyKitten Report

Kristal
Community Member
1 month ago

How's are the kernels sticking to the hot dog

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#34

My Nostrils Are Getting Wasabi Burn Just Looking At This

My Nostrils Are Getting Wasabi Burn Just Looking At This

notevenstevens224 Report

troufaki13
Community Member
1 month ago

Only people who have lost their sense of taste and smell can eat that.

Ingrid Best
Community Member
1 month ago

Covid Patients!

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Estelle
Community Member
1 month ago

Long Covid-19 sufferers may get some sensation back

Vicky Z
Community Member
1 month ago

But might die in the process

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Candia Lee
Community Member
1 month ago

I love that they included rice!

farbenzirkel
Community Member
1 month ago

Poor tuna - you won't taste any of it.

Kona Pake
Community Member
1 month ago

A tuna die for this…!

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Jo Johannsen
Community Member
1 month ago

So much rice!

Glowdaddy
Community Member
1 month ago

I need sushi now.

Hollysmom
Community Member
1 month ago

I love wasabi but

Thundernight
Community Member
1 month ago

Dear god

Melissa J
Community Member
1 month ago

Someone lost a bet because no sane person would eat this.

EJN
Community Member
1 month ago

Recommended for stuffy noses; will clear it out in 5 seconds flat! Warning: Don't put it in your nose; eat it and then breathe deeply.

Lisa Bo Bisa
Community Member
1 month ago

Oh, that one little grain of rice made me LOL!

Crochet lady
Community Member
1 month ago

My husband loads the wasabi onto his sushi until he's in pain. He will be sorting, sweating and tearing up but somehow he chooses to eat it this way every single time. It's quite an immersive experience watching him eat sushi. Lol.

Robin Roper
Community Member
1 month ago

That would be considered irreverent by any true sushi chef.

kristalcookies
Community Member
1 month ago

I love sushi but good god no!

Porch Santa
Community Member
1 month ago

It puts the wasabi under its tongue and then it can have the ginger.

Randy Capistrano
Community Member
1 month ago

that's a thicc piece of fish...

Debbie
Community Member
1 month ago

You found the rice!

similarly
Community Member
1 month ago

lmao. This looks like a dare.

Ezra
Community Member
1 month ago

Would you like some rice with your wasabi?

BasedWang
Community Member
1 month ago

One of my new favorite pictures. Cmon, yall never had wasabi eating contests

snipergun
Community Member
1 month ago

Depends how strong it is. Not all green is real Wasabi and on picture texture looks off. I has some which I could eat spoon full without issue (colored Horseradish ) . Also had some you put a pea size on your tongue, nothing happens till you count to ten and then hell breaks loose.

Debbie
Community Member
1 month ago

Is that only wasabi? Not some pandan coloured mashed up rice? the wasabi I know (I don't know much about it) is much runnier.

Devil's Advocate
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like a tongue

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#35

Frosting On A Burger For When You Want To Die Young

Frosting On A Burger For When You Want To Die Young

Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
1 month ago

I remember when the unhealthiest thing I’d heard of was a deep fried mars bar.

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#36

This "Sandwich" With An Entire Roasted Bird And Covered In Cheese Sauce

This "Sandwich" With An Entire Roasted Bird And Covered In Cheese Sauce

drjimmybrungus Report

Jihana
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like a baby puked on it.

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#37

Wtf Texas

Wtf Texas

brizzboog Report

Chich
Community Member
1 month ago

Someone has to get texas into treatment

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#38

What We Ordered. What We Got

What We Ordered. What We Got

Zzztem2 Report

Serial pacifist
Community Member
1 month ago

Got a tan

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#39

Unreal - This Is Pinnacle Stupid Food.

Unreal - This Is Pinnacle Stupid Food.

niceegg420 Report

Dina Simoné
Community Member
1 month ago

Was it cooked alive? I only eat my ice cream when it involves pain and regret.

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#40

Ketchup And Mayo Ice Cream

Ketchup And Mayo Ice Cream

BillOakley Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
1 month ago

Vomit

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#41

I Have Nothing To Say About This

I Have Nothing To Say About This

lileasybakeoven Report

Dina Simoné
Community Member
1 month ago

This is disgusting on so many levels.

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#42

Take It To The Vet, I Bet They Could Still Save It

Take It To The Vet, I Bet They Could Still Save It

conner34000 Report

Random Anon
Community Member
1 month ago

This person is a moron.

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#43

Freaking Nutella Biryani

Freaking Nutella Biryani

BillOakley Report

Joonscrab
Community Member
1 month ago

Stop ruining our food too please 😭

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#44

Chefclub At It Again

Chefclub At It Again

RedditHoss Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
1 month ago

Yeah this doesn't look bad

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#45

Banana Water

Banana Water

scbberpcppy Report

Ellen Turner
Community Member
1 month ago

Banana Milk, on the other hand (it's like strawberry Milk)

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#46

I Present To You, A Single Slice Of Bread Wrapped In Plastic

I Present To You, A Single Slice Of Bread Wrapped In Plastic

CremeGoodness Report

housea
Community Member
1 month ago

pretty sure this is from the hospital food one

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#47

My Craving For Steak Has Never Disappeared Faster

My Craving For Steak Has Never Disappeared Faster

khai-lien Report

Marek Yanchurak
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm most horrified by the Kraft "cheese" slices.

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#48

Shrimp And Eggs!

Shrimp And Eggs!

iamdavidrice Report

ThoughtsAreNotFacts
Community Member
1 month ago

Fail! FAIL! fAil!

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#49

I Am Weeping

I Am Weeping

Expensive_Strawberry Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
1 month ago

Reminds me of one of those horrific Jello and mayo abominations from the 1970s that often contained processed meats

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#50

Homemade Nachos

Homemade Nachos

purple-ube Report

Samantha Lomb
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Oh god and you know straight out of the can that is cold faux cheese

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Note: this post originally had 86 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.