The Epic Food Code - by Todd and Anne
Updated: Mar 30
Do you know the power of Peanut Butter?
The Epic Food Code is one of many games that I created with my little brother Todd. It’s random and zany, but we loved it. It evolved a lot through time and eventually the other siblings started getting in on it too. It became fun for (almost) the whole family!
The start of a legend
Todd and I were always really close growing up. We played together all the time. The way the food code started was when Todd and I were hanging out in my parents’ room playing. I don't remember exactly what we were doing, but we would sometimes play dead with each other. At one point, I fell over and played dead. He tried to wake me up, but I lay there with my tongue hanging out.
He got up really close to me at one point with strong peanut butter breath. Almost instinctively, I said, “Peanut Butter?” and that indicated that I was alive.
Thus began the Epic Food Code!
After that, whenever one of us pretended to die, saying, “Peanut Butter!” brought them back to life. This became a running joke for quite some time. (Morbid thought: If I ever died for real around him, I wondered if Todd would shout, “Peanut Butter!” at me and wonder why I didn’t get up.)
Eventually, we started building on the effectiveness of foods as commands. Sometimes we would pretend to fall asleep as well, so we decided that the way to wake someone up was to say, “Chocolate!” (after all, who wouldn’t wake up for Chocolate?).
Todd would pretend to be asleep and I'd say, “Chocolate!” Then he would say, “Chocolate?” back and wake up, just like we did with Peanut Butter. If I was pretending to be dead, I would lay down with my tongue hanging out. He would say, “Peanut Butter!”, then I would say, “Peanut Butter?”, and I’d come back to life.
This game became more and more prominent, and eventually, my other siblings started joining in on it. The list kept growing over time. That’s the fun thing about this game: it grew organically. We added foods when we felt like it.
For instance, we would die, but why did we die? So we started saying, “Lasagna!” to kill people. Then we'd say, “Peanut Butter!” to bring them back to life. We would say, “Plum!” to make people fall asleep, and then we'd say, “Chocolate!” to wake them up.
Then we just started coming up with a bunch of zany things. It really kicked off.
If you said, “Bacon!”, everyone had to turn their head and say, “What?” We eventually had to put a limit on this, because we would use Bacon over and over and over again. So the rule was if they said, “Bacon!” more than three times, you would say, “I heard you the first three times.” Then Bacon wouldn't work anymore.
Jelly made you fall in love with something until you kissed it, which was really funny. We would say, “Gilbert, Jelly wall!” and he would say, I love you, wall! I love you!” Then he kissed the wall and that broke the falling in love spell. He’d say, “Wait, why did I kiss the wall?” That command alone was endless entertainment!
We would play this game for hours. We came up with more and more foods through time. I think the last one that we created was Cake, which made you run into something. The fun thing about that was you had three options: simply fall down, get knocked out, or fall down dead, which of course you had to be revived from the latter two with Peanut Butter or Chocolate.
We could also assign commands to certain people. Whatever food you say applies to everyone, but if you said a person’s name first, then it would only apply to that specific person. For instance, if I said, “Lasagna!” in a room with my siblings, everyone would have to fall down dead, but if I said, “Lasagna, Scott!” then only Scott would die. He’d have to wait until I said “Peanut Butter!” to wake back up.
Lev, from Snuggle'n Lev, will act out The Epic Food Code for me. (I apologize for the video quality.)
The Epic Food Code
Lasagna - Fall down dead, preferably with your tongue hanging out.
Peanut Butter - Say, “Peanut Butter?!” and come back to life.
Plum - Fall asleep.
Chocolate - Say, “Chocolate?” and wake up.
Salsa - Do a quick dance.
Pineapple - Smile!
Salt - Be silent for 10 seconds. (The grownups thought they could use this indefinitely, so we added limitations.)
Jelly - Fall in love with something until you kiss it.
Bacon - Turn your head and say, “What?” three times. After the third time, you say, “I heard you the first three times.”
Cake - Run into a nearby object and feel free to die or fall asleep, if you’d like.
Snack Time’s Over - This marked the end of the game where we could eat lasagna for dinner without dying.
This is an example of how you can create bonds using inside jokes and games you create. The sky is the limit here. You can organically make something up that works for you. It is kind of weird if you watch someone else do this, but it's so much fun when you’re the one playing. My brothers and I bonded a lot over this game.
My husband and I have jokingly adopted the Epic Food Code in our lives as well. I'll pretend to to die or say, “How am I gonna live?” and he'll say, “With Peanut Butter!” It's those little jokes that sometimes add the variety and spice to your day that you need. We don't have to be so serious all the time.
Creativity is really serious, but have some fun with it! Even if you don't have any kids at home, it's okay to be a kid with with your friends or with your spouse and just have fun. This game is best for young children, but like I said, older people can appreciate it too.
My challenge to you would be to try this game out (or better yet, make up one of your own!) and see how it feels. If you have kids, that's preferable. You can play this game with them and see if they enjoy it. I know that my brothers and I got really into it. You can do something similar or create something of your own.
Make some sort of inside joke game or make a code that no one else understands that causes you to giggle to each other whenever someone serves Lasagna for dinner. (Whenever this happened, I’d look at the nearest Epic Food Code follower with a face that means, “Oh no, we’re going to die!”) Have fun and make some inside jokes. Make a little game together. Take your own Epic Food Code and make it yours.