The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, then up, using sharpened shishkabob spears.
April 30, 2009 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Help me weaponize food.

Working on a comic pitch with an artist right now, and without giving too much away, I need to figure out as many ways as possible to use food as a weapon: from knocking somebody out with a coconut to, I don't know, making a garrote cord from wound arugula lettuce.

When's the last time you looked at some food and thought "goddamn, I could kill somebody with this." What was it? How was it (theoretically, I hope) used?

If this goes ahead, I'll do what I can to credit food/murder idea originators where possible, or shout out to MetaFilter in a broad general sense.
posted by Shepherd to Food & Drink (66 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Let me be the first to bring up the exciting universe of suffocation possibilities.

Also - if sharpened and forced with enough speed, various root vegetables could be turned into spikes/stakes.

Please, no credit is necessary.
posted by amtho at 1:30 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Death by olfactory overload, i.e. a locked room filled with rotten durians.
posted by ZaneJ. at 1:30 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: French bread is a great weapon. Cliche maybe? There's all kinds of swordfish. . . . Huh, this is hard.

Cheese wheels rolled at people? (Or flung Captain America-style?)

Lemons squeezed into victims' eyes?

Any fatty food to make surfaces dangerously slippery. (Thinking of how to usurp bananas' traditional role here. So something like avocado squished onto a floor. . . .)

Uncooked noodles can be flung like needles; wet noodles as whips or garrotes (all assuming a low standard for realism).

I imagine a short sequence in which some veggie is chopped up with a sharp knife, and then the veggie is used as a weapon (a slashing weapon?), rather than the knife -- I think that's a neat little irony.
posted by grobstein at 1:32 PM on April 30, 2009

Best answer: Beating someone with a bag of oranges? Death by potato throwing/stoning? Waterboarding with hot noodles? Strangulation by spaghetti?

I'm mildly disturbed at my ability to rattle these off.
posted by December at 1:33 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

You could do some serious damage with a tightly bound bunch of spaghetti or other long dry noodle. You could whack someone in the back of the head, or perhaps put an eye out?
I have sharpened carrots into daggers before. I generally eat them though before I can injure anyone. At Christmas time, my son is fond of sucking candycanes into daggers. They seem dangerous.
posted by msali at 1:33 PM on April 30, 2009

You do realize that bone has been used as a weapon for thousands of years, yes?

Also, freeze anything and you can totally brain somebody with it. A slab of ribs would do the trick nicely. 10-15 pounds, solid as a rock.
posted by valkyryn at 1:36 PM on April 30, 2009

Best answer: Death by olfactory overload, i.e. a locked room filled with rotten durians

Smell aside, a durian would make a formidable bludgeoning weapon.
posted by TungstenChef at 1:37 PM on April 30, 2009

I once got a very deep wound via the sharp edges of a pineapple. No joke. Under expert usage, those evil fruits could cut someone's jugular.

I don't know why, but I've had dreams where someone has attempted to torture me by pouring large amounts of mustard on my face. Imagine waterboarding... except with large amounts of yellow mustard.
posted by seppyk at 1:38 PM on April 30, 2009

Terpsichory or weaponry? Why decide.
posted by plinth at 1:40 PM on April 30, 2009

High-pressure tapioca hose.
A personal product made from the leg of a king crab.
A mask made of cut up durian...
Sugar free jawbreakers for diabetics (but they're really solid sugar)
Peanuts in a crossbow....
posted by terpia at 1:41 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

As always, Roald Dahl thought of it first.
posted by Aquaman at 1:43 PM on April 30, 2009 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Back when I worked at Burger King my friend and I would nuke a burger covered in mustard for about 5 minutes in the industrial strength microwaves. It would turn the liquid mustard into a mustard gas that would knock you out. One time it was sooo bad we couldn't open the microwave for about an hour until it settled and cooled down.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 1:44 PM on April 30, 2009 [3 favorites]

For years I was convinced my Mom's meatloaf was an actual attempt at homicide....

And of course, there is the classic frozen leg of lamb. On preview, Damn you Aquaman!
posted by elendil71 at 1:44 PM on April 30, 2009

I've heard that particulate matter generally can be highly explosive - and flour in particular (though I haven't confirmed it). 5 lbs of flour = impressive explosive device?
posted by mccn at 1:45 PM on April 30, 2009

You might want to look up the comic Sean Cullen, who does a musical bit called "the food of your choice will end your life tonight". It looks like there are lots of videos online.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:47 PM on April 30, 2009

Came in to suggest Dahl, too.

Poisonous mushrooms, of course, are an elegant option.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:52 PM on April 30, 2009

Best answer: mccn is thinking about explosions at flour mills. It's a true thing. Here's some information.
posted by Houstonian at 1:52 PM on April 30, 2009

Boiled to death? Scalded/blinded/maimed by hot soups?
posted by kidsleepy at 1:52 PM on April 30, 2009

One vote for the poisonous blowfish.
posted by Atom12 at 1:54 PM on April 30, 2009

Best answer: * death by blowfish (heck, a pinch of incompetence can enable this).
* any food can be dangerous if the victim is severely allergic.
* flour of any sort could blind or disorient an attacker
* a floor full of hard nuts (shelled) could help trip an attacker, as well as warning you to his approach
* a small hard nut could possibly used in a slingshot
* while somewhat ineffective, candy canes can get quite sharp
* kabobs (technically the stick is the weapon, but food is all around it)
* perhaps a sufficiently large amount of dough would be enough to suffocate
* strong enough booze is flammable, which opens the door to lots of attacks
* if a victim is already wounded, lemon juice (??) might sting if sprayed on

if you merely approached me with brussels sprouts, I might consider that assault, but that's probably not what yer looking for here.
posted by el io at 1:57 PM on April 30, 2009

I feel confident you could kill somebody by forcing them to savor a large quantity of wasabi.
posted by Houstonian at 1:57 PM on April 30, 2009

In Shoot 'Em Up, Clive Owen's character uses a carrot in some really violent and lovely ways.
posted by teleri025 at 1:58 PM on April 30, 2009

Oh yes, the durian is really a potent combination of spine, mass, and putrefaction.

We used to have chestnut fights as a kid. I imagine a potato gun with a load of those would be quite deadly.

Perhaps you could just force-feed someone with cooked bacon until the salt desiccates their body?

Cross-breed habanero peppers with red sweet bell peppers and feed to an unsuspecting child? I had the misfortune of planting those two too close together once. Sweet on the outside, emetic fire on the inside.

Substitute cabrales blue for a lesser variety of blue cheese in someone's salad dressing.

Lube up an avocado seed with Crisco and stuff it in the mouth of someone who's a neurotic swallower.

Have someone eat drink as much baking soda paste as possible and then offer them a glass of apple cider vinegar.

I'm pretty sure that with the proper mold, a few eggs, enriched flour, and a bit of water and salt that you could make a pasta spike that could impale someone. Really flour is deadly a few different ways from suffocation to molding it into a little slingshot stone.

Oh the things you could do with a non-Newtonian liquid made from cornstarch and water.
posted by mrmojoflying at 2:03 PM on April 30, 2009

For a general shoutout to Metafilter, you could surely include some of the many "is this safe to eat" questions that show up here. Surely a few of them have resulted in (at least) near-misses.
posted by Houstonian at 2:07 PM on April 30, 2009

I would imagine that you could do some nasty things by using clams/oysters in places where rocks would traditionally be used. Shot from a sling, used as a blackjack. The shells themselves can probably be used as knives.

Mythbusters also did a biscuit cannon. I don't think it was exploding with lethal force, but with a little "artistic license"...
posted by specialagentwebb at 2:09 PM on April 30, 2009

Whenever I think of death by food I think of death by melon.
posted by zephyr_words at 2:22 PM on April 30, 2009

Various extremely rich, extremely chocolaty deserts have been called "Death by Chocolate." It would be particularly poetic, then, to have an actual death by chocolate—perhaps by forcing someone's head into a chocolate fountain and drowning them in it. Any liquid food would do for that, really, but I like the "death by chocolate" angle.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:29 PM on April 30, 2009

Dave's Total Insanity hot sauce has tremendous weapon potential. Probably not lethal, but definitely painful. For extra credit, smear it on an artichoke. Those things look like medieval weapons.
posted by leapfrog at 2:31 PM on April 30, 2009

I can't believe no one has mentioned holiday fruitcake yet...

Pie in the face, with some awful filling if needed.

And don't forget the classic scene from Monty Python's Meaning of Life with the guy who eats that one wafer-thin mint too much...

Several people have mentioned the frozen leg of lamb. My mind keeps drifting to a meat freezer with a boxer in it, training on a side of beef - and the side swings back (on the chain, not a punch) at him, knocking him over / out.

Overcooked Hamburger = Hockey Puck, or a deadly projectile.

Al Dente just became "Al Deadlay". :-)
posted by GJSchaller at 2:41 PM on April 30, 2009

Here's a new edge: sugar could be melted together and cooled into a brittle, edged, deadly weapon. The same effect could probably be achieved by carefully breaking a large all-day sucker.

Screen for _that_ on an airplane.
posted by amtho at 2:44 PM on April 30, 2009

Have you considered asking cereal killers?
posted by gmm at 2:54 PM on April 30, 2009

Running with urchin at a sushi restaurant and then slipping on some water.
posted by Toekneesan at 3:05 PM on April 30, 2009

Best answer: On 1000 Ways to Die they had two guys who had a food fight in a storage area with cocoa powder. They suffocated to death. You could make some sort of bomb out of it, with exploding cocoa powder.
posted by Vaike at 3:18 PM on April 30, 2009

An icicle in the shape of a dagger. There was an annoying Grey's Anatomy where Sandra Oh has to have an icicle removed. The heat of her body would have melted it.
posted by theora55 at 3:29 PM on April 30, 2009

Ong Bak. 3:44, to see chili paste used offensively.
posted by Comrade_robot at 3:40 PM on April 30, 2009

What, no pineapple grenades?
posted by pwnguin at 3:42 PM on April 30, 2009

There was a serious explosion in a sugar factory a few years ago caused by airborne sugar crystals.

Habanero peppers anywhere, keep them away from me!
posted by effluvia at 3:51 PM on April 30, 2009

I'm sure I saw and episode of CSI or some similar show where there was a bullet made of frozen meat that just blended in with the rest of the body once it melted.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:52 PM on April 30, 2009

When I was growing up, I had a friend who had taken a potato cannon with front end narrowed down to launch carrots and was able to fire frozen, sharpened carrots. They supposedly would embed themselves in a telephone pole, or go all the way through an (empty) portapotty.
posted by JiBB at 4:11 PM on April 30, 2009

I believe it's been debunked but maybe a riff on pop rocks and coke but with Mentos and maybe Red Bull?
posted by Toekneesan at 4:36 PM on April 30, 2009

Deathsicles! freeze any beverage into a pointy shape and stab someone with it.

A Carrot up the nose or through the eye into the brain.

Get too close to a flambe or other flaming food.

Scalding with very hot soup.
posted by i love cheese at 4:43 PM on April 30, 2009

Best answer: Poisoning with various diseases is possible: check the CDC bioterrorism site on foodbourne illness for more of those: The largest bioterrorist attack in modern history was done with salmonella.

Flour bombs, made by exploding airborne flour, are also awesome:

People can drown in grain, if you want to do that.

(I asked my mom, a fan of murder mysteries, for ideas. She said "you can just eat like an American and die of hardened arteries".)
posted by NoraReed at 5:03 PM on April 30, 2009

Bitter almonds for regular on a danish (probably would taste even better) or in marzipan (almost certainly even better); mushroom substitutions; hulled apple seeds for pine nuts, deadly nightshade berries for black olives; sharpened clam shell to cut a throat; Camas Lily (Death Camas) bulbs in pickled onions; lupine seeds in a plate of beans (better be over-thinking these, pal); castor beans mixed into the pintos; dieffenbachia in the kale salad; etc.

You could probably never work this in, but there was a famous celebration of a milestone in the construction of a bridge, which was held in one of the caissons (down under the water), during which the curious flatness of the champagne failed to deter some of the guests, and those guests got a very nasty surprise when they came back to the surface and the bubbly in their stomachs lived up to its name after all, once it got back to normal atmospheric pressure. None of them died, I think, but they could have.

Back in the late 70s there was a spate of fatalities when some kids were trying to get high huffing the nitrous oxide propelling Pam in those days, and ended up completely coating their lungs with oil and dying of asphyxiation.
posted by jamjam at 5:38 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

There is a (probably apocryphal) story that some southeast asian military used rice as a torture method: they would force-feed someone a lot of dry rice, then force them to drink a lot of water. As the rice expanded, it would cause stomach pain and cramping. Fed a colossal amount of rice (or any other dry food that expands upon hydration), a person might conceivably die.
posted by googly at 5:58 PM on April 30, 2009

Bow and Cactus.
posted by Izzmeister at 6:11 PM on April 30, 2009

A big marsmallow for the mouth, two mini-marsmallows for the nostrils.
posted by umbú at 6:18 PM on April 30, 2009

doritoes throwing stars
posted by Redhush at 6:51 PM on April 30, 2009

Following umbu's suggestion, a french fry up each nostril and an apple in the mouth. A la Kevin Kline as done to Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 7:00 PM on April 30, 2009

I read somewhere that in ancient China, one method of execution (suicide?) was to make someone eat salt until they died. Simple and gruesome. Don't know if it's true, though.
posted by zardoz at 7:26 PM on April 30, 2009

Oatmeal reminds me of quicksand.
posted by yawper at 8:44 PM on April 30, 2009

As far as bludgeoning goes, they're not as spiky as durian, but jackfruit are plenty hefty.
posted by Lexica at 9:00 PM on April 30, 2009

There's carving forks, if you want to pin someone to the butcher block while you take some body part off with the cleaver.

Rolling pins, frypans...too obvious.

Following death by chocolate, glue in some smores.

If you're going all McGyver on it, then bolos made from garlic strings. Or leeks.


You train the cat to jump to the top of the fridge on command. That tips over a glass of wine that breaks in front of the fridge. While the victim is going for the paper towells by the sink, the killer gets the cat to jump down on the counter, spillng the olive oil in the victim's path. Since it's extra light, the victim doesn't see the oil and slips face forward into the broken wine bottle. For good measure, a 25 pound sack of flour that had been balanced on its end comes crashing down, disturbed by the vibrations of the victim falling on the floor.
posted by lysdexic at 10:29 PM on April 30, 2009

Has no one mentioned this?
posted by sully75 at 10:56 PM on April 30, 2009

Frozen kiwi in a sock. Blinding with vinegar, boiling soup, or a cloud of chili powder. A short segment of sugar cane as a fistload.

But I've gotta say where there's food, there's prep items like knives.
posted by codswallop at 12:14 AM on May 1, 2009

Japanese daikon sure are impressive in size.. and I only just recovered from the cyanide that old marzipan makes, surprise!
posted by lundman at 1:58 AM on May 1, 2009

A bhut jolokia chilli is pretty much a weapon in its own right. Feed a bunch of those to an uninitiated eater and you could totally cause a heart attack.

Freeze a parsnip and you could probably stab someone.

I've never made a potato gun but they seem to be ripe with comedic (and homicidal) potential.
posted by embrangled at 2:52 AM on May 1, 2009

When I was a teenager, I made the delightful discovery that those small, cheap solid chocolate easter eggs with a foil wrapper would fit perfectly into the barrel of a paintball gun. High-velocity candy ensued. The wrappers would peel off mid-flight and float gently to earth like a cherry blossom. Haiku worthy, indeed.
posted by The GoBotSodomizer at 2:53 AM on May 1, 2009

Response by poster: Holy schnikes! Thanks so much... I'm going to go through these, collate a list, and pick best answers this weekend.
posted by Shepherd at 3:15 AM on May 1, 2009

I believe that custard powder is the foodstuff of choice for explosions (as mentioned above for flour, sugar, etc)
posted by primer_dimer at 3:42 AM on May 1, 2009

Smothering by mashed potato.
posted by andraste at 5:41 AM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you get hot pepper juice on your hands while cutting one up, and then rub your eye, you could blind yourself temporarily. So then you stumble around the kitchen and impale your blind self on the paring knife.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 9:13 AM on May 1, 2009

andraste: "Smothering by mashed potato."

I believe butter and/or gravy are traditionally used for smothering, but perhaps some ghoulish Thanksgiving day combination.
posted by Toekneesan at 9:25 AM on May 1, 2009

Best answer: Bacon Lance. The basic idea could also be used to turn almost any readily combustible food into a rocket as well. See MythBuster's episodes covering the Civil War rocket where the make a salami fueled rocket.
posted by chairface at 10:49 AM on May 1, 2009

I can't believe nobody's mentioned this yet (and I can't believe I forgot about it), but live octopus is a fairly dangerous delicacy. Wasn't there a CSI episode where a chef killed her (boyfriend/husband/lover/whatever) with an improperly-wrapped octopus?
posted by specialagentwebb at 11:07 AM on May 1, 2009

Best answer: In the Byzantine Empire, people convicted of crimes were often blinded. The method used (according to John Julius Norwich) was that the person's head would be held, with eyes forced open. over a dish of vinegar which would be heated until blindness occurred.
posted by Pallas Athena at 11:19 AM on May 1, 2009

In Firefly, Zoe cuts her apples with a knife for fear of small implanted grenades.

Staypuff marshmallow man?
posted by puckish at 8:52 PM on May 1, 2009

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