Michael Jackson is often referred to as the King of Pop, and rightly so; his video for "Thriller" is probably the most iconic in history. That being said, first on our list is parody master “Weird Al” Yankovic with his send-up of Jackson’s hit "Beat It." Maintaining the song’s aesthetic, the video takes Jackson’s combative tone and places it in a world of over-the-top pressure for consumption. It is a classic in and of itself.
2: Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg, "California Gurls" (2010)
Too obvious not to include, this video for Katy Perry’s summer smash "California Gurls" presents the Golden State as a fanciful world inspired by the board game Candyland. There’s no need to worry, however. Far from child-friendly bubble gum pop, this video overtly sexualizes the sugary foods we grew up craving. From lollipops to edible lingerie, this is a pin-up slam-dunk. Plus, there’s Snoop Dogg.
Before she walked the red carpet dressed as a swan, Bjork cooked breakfast. That’s right, breakfast. In this gem of a video, the second single off Bjork’s Debut, the artist is seen contemplating a collection of eggs. I could try to describe the subtle sexuality that she somehow achieves, but it’s probably a better idea for you to watch it yourself. All I can say is: I’ll have mine scrambled.
All sexuality aside, Blur introduces food not as a prop but as a protagonist. This whimsical video follows an animated milk carton as he escapes breakfast, travels across town, falls in love, and eventually meets his end when a band member drinks his contents and sends him to dairy product heaven. It’s a cute story with a fresh, anthropomorphic take on food. Plus, regardless of anything else, it’s a fantastic song.
Quickly moving toward mainstream success in the United States, this British singer-songwriter is Europe’s slightly edgier, less self-aware response to America’s Lady Gaga. With this video for her new single, a song littered with fairy tale references, Natalia Kills seems to be commenting on censorship. She places viewers in a sexual fantasy of masks and gourmet food, hinting at the possibility of dreams coming true but never allowing it to go all the way.
With its title and iconic status alone, this video’s inclusion in our list is all but mandatory. It’s a glam metal party, combining two things that guys often lust over the most: food and women. To be honest, food only makes a cameo here, but the pie dropping into the girl's lap is a masterpiece of, um, whatever the opposite of subtlety is.
7: Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce, ‘Telephone’ (2010)
When I decided to write this post, I knew I would never be happy with it unless I included this nearly 10-minute pop culture clusterfuck. Convoluted to the point of confusion, this video tells the story of Lady Gaga leaving prison, joining forces with Beyonce, and committing mass murder in a diner. A comment on the hypnotic dangers of consumerism, Lady Gaga has a Warholian moment of product placement as she prepares the poisonous meal whose consumption will solidify her desired role as the ultimate celebrity, a true reflection of American pop culture today.
Katy Perry may have been overt in her sexualized depiction of food, but she doesn’t hold a candle to Simian Mobile Disco. The video for this hipster classic starts off looking like an American Apparel commercial, with scantily clad models dancing around in leotards and metallic lingerie. Soon, however, food is introduced, and it’s all downhill from there. Perhaps this is meant as a comment on the dangers of excess. Here’s hoping, because with no broader importance this video remains, in a word, gross.
"Dick in a Box" may have been the original SNL viral video, but the comedic genius of The Lonely Island guys by no means met a sophomore slump with the release of this, their second digital short. From Andy Samberg rapping to a crazy delicious combination of Mr. Pibb and Red Vines, this hilarious clip features both quotable lyrics and mouth-watering movie food. What else could you ask for?