General Question

AshlynM's avatar

Why do they always serve Chinese food and pizza in tv shows and movies?

Asked by AshlynM (6776 points ) July 13th, 2011

There’ll be the occasional fancy meals and family dinners but mostly, it’s Chinese food and pizza. Why is this?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

Schroedes13's avatar

I’m not quite sure the real reason, but my opinion is that those are the two most popular take out foods?

Blackberry's avatar

That’s what most of us eat lol. Bread, cheese, meat, and american foreign foods.

chyna's avatar

They are about the only places that deliver, maybe?

King_Pariah's avatar

They’re cheap and they tend to deliver. It is in a way a satire of what the “average” American consumes, fast food and crap.

WestRiverrat's avatar

IMO There are lots of readily available generic boxes that fit pizza/chinese foods. Also the food is not so messy that the actors will need wardrobe changes half way through a scene.

Schroedes13's avatar

If you use chopsticks with Chinese food….it can get messy!

josie's avatar

Because many people would be confused by Osso Buco

Aethelflaed's avatar

It depends a lot on what the setting is. Is it a workplace, and the characters are pulling an all-nighter to fix a big problem? Because then, of course one of them isn’t off in the kitchen they probably don’t have making a roast or something, what else would you get? Or is it friends getting together to hang out, and ordering out is easy, especially since most of them aren’t so good with a frying pan? Is it working parents, and while you might disagree with their choices, if they did a home cooked meal, they’d have to spend precious seconds explaining how such busy characters whose business is a key plot device found the time to prepare Chicken Paprika for the whole family? I actually see a lot of different foods depending upon the setting; there’s a lot less pizza and Chinese food and a lot more burgers in shows that spend lots of time in bar scenes.

JLeslie's avatar

Here is my guess. Pizza and Chinese food are staples, or at minimum treats for many New Yorkers and especially Jews. Jews do a lot of the writing, directing, and producing of many shows on TV and movies. We literally call Chinese food Jewish Chinese or Bronx Chinese sometimes. There are several Kosher Chinese restaurants around the country even. Pizza everybody eats I think, especially since pizza delivery got so big around 25–30 years ago.

JLeslie's avatar

@josie That is one of my husband’s favorite dishes.

SpatzieLover's avatar

It makes the characters relatable, down to earth and appear typical. The director is generally trying to make you forget these are millionaire actors that are accustomed to personal chefs and high-end meals.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Because it is belived you get quite a bit for the same cash and is seen to be better than burgers and fries.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

@Schroedes13 Not for me. ;)

I think a lot of people order pizza and Chinese food as take-out, or delivery, when they have a small party or just want to hang out and watch a movie on t.v., and they don’t have time to prepare anything.

everephebe's avatar

They’re the most common take out, plain and simple.
@JLeslie When did Jews stop liking sandwiches? :P You’re putting it on a little thick.

The_Idler's avatar

It’s universal. You can get both in NY, both in LA, both in London (even many varieties of both in Northampton), you can get pizza in China (The Kro’s Nest is some good shit) and Chinese food in Italy (no recommendations, sorry =P).

It allows a meal to be eaten without moving to another set or at least ‘making’ a meal.

The_Idler's avatar

I find it mildly interesting that Americans (I’ve only seen this on television and once in life in Canada) always say ‘Chinesefood’, whereas the Brits say ‘a Chinese’.

As in:
“Let’s order a takeaway. What do you fancy?” ... “I’m up for getting a Chinese.”

or:
“Ahhhh mate, I had a great Chinese last night up the road at Wok Inn, you should go for one!”

jaytkay's avatar

@The_Idler It’s universal. You can get both in NY, both in LA…

…and every place in between. While visiting a friend in Colorado a couple of years ago, we drove up to the “big” city (population 7,000) for Chinese.

JLeslie's avatar

I had Chinese food in Florence, Italy. So that supports @jaykay’s universal statement. Although, I have to say here in Memphis is it hard to find decent Chinese, and my neighbor never goes out for Chinese, she said she wanted to go with me one time since I know what to order.

In NY there used to be Cuban Chinese restaurants, both menus, maybe a few exist? My aunt said whe. She was little she would get pork fried rice and fried plantains. Lol.

@everephebe Sandwiches? You mean deli LOL. Are you a Jewish New Yorker? I agree Chinese and pizza are the most typical take out in America.

@The_Idler We use both, depends what part of the states. Chinese and Chinese food.

everephebe's avatar

@JLeslie Let’s put it this way, one of my distant relatives had a couple of minor roles in Woody Allen movies. :D And yeah, I’ve spent a little time in New York… and yes it’s true, the chosen people love both pizza and Chinese, as an essentialism.

JLeslie's avatar

@everephebe Haha. Not sure where you live, but I can tell you it was surprising to me that the Jews here in Memphis are a little different in the food department than NY (generalizations of course). It’s like they have been in the south to long. I think there is one bagel place, which is not great, no real Jewish deli that I know of. I wait to get a pastrami on rye in Nashville, NY, or FL. No decent bakeries period; cakes, cookies or breads. It really was surprising to me. The cakes and breads are annoying. I don’t eat a lot of deli so that isn’t a big deal, but it would be nice to have the option once in a blue moon.

When I think of New York, I never think about getting a “sandwich.”

Plucky's avatar

@The_Idler I live in Western Canada and I usually hear it Chinese like, “I feel like Chinese tonight” or “Who wants Chinese?”

I agree with most others on here. It’s a food most of us can relate to. Those two types of food seem to be everywhere (in Western culture anyways). Plus ..it’s usually cheap, easy to order, easy to please and easy to eat. Face it, we’re easy. ;)

Kardamom's avatar

I’m going to guess that Chinese and Pizza were 2 of the earliest kinds of take-out (or I guess I should say delivery) food. So when TV came into fashion, those were the most common items for take-out. Unlike, today, where you can pretty much get anything.

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