Origin of BangBang?

I’d never heard the term used in the way folks on this board use it, namely, as a description of having a meal at one restaurant and then going immediately to a 2nd meal at a 2nd place.

I thought it was an FTC- centric term. But I just overheard a young woman on a bus talking to her friend about doing a bang bang. Her friend didn’t understand so she explained exactly the definition above.

Has there been an FTC leak to the wild or was this already a thing that I just happen to encounter here for the first time?

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I realized this as soon as I saw the picture. I am personally embarrassed for not remembering it myself.

But the little pause from the waitress just before “Enjoy your meal” is like the finishing maldon salt on the stricken red tomato of Louis’ face.

I missed it. But the whole bang-bang thing just seriously smacks of gluttony. Quantity over quality…even though all the places may be high quality…but how can you appreciate each one. ??

As has already been established, what one person considers a full meal with leftovers may be a light snack for another. The GF’s family has a number of bean pole skinny folks with apparently hollow legs who I’ve seen put away enough calories for a small village. My own younger brother has been known to kill two mission burritos (from the actual Mission district) in a single sitting.

And, you know, a little gluttony is fine. Moderation in all things, including moderation.

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I understand what you’re saying - as always! - but… My best 'luxe meal is one where I might be able to eat two or three more bites. Leave me wanting just a tad more. Just me. But remember, I’m 70 y.o. :slight_smile:

And I’m less than a year from 50 (how did that happen?!?!) My 4 Chicago pizza slice days are long past.

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Realize that nowhere in the BangBang rulebook does it say that one must finish their given portions at each location. In fact, the less one eats at each location, the more stomach space is preserved, and therefore the more consecutive “Bangs” one can accomplish.

During a BangBang, if I think something tastes delicious at a certain location (quality alert here!), I may take 3-5 bites, and move on to the next Bang. If I order something less than good, then 1-2 bites is all I take, then I move on. Quantity is for caloric sustenance (and not the primary goal of the BangBang) - I’m in it to try as many different and interesting bites as possible.


I totally accept how this term has evolved on FTC.
However, as used on “Louie,” the term is meant to embody the heroically shameful gluttony of eating one enormous meal immediately following another enormous meal.
Language evolves, though!

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That’s grazing. I think @frommtron is correct - the point of the Bang Bang is not to delicately sample a variety of foods. It’s to shove as much into your piehole as your gut can accommodate. Louie’s reaction when his friend tells the diner waitress what they’re doing is a clue that he’s not exactly proud of this “accomplishment.”


This is where FTC’s interpretation departs from Louie’s philosophy on the matter…

Yeah, the FTC-version seems to me to be about hitting as many FTC-noteworthy places in sequence. The quantity of food is not part of the FTC equation, but the quantity of stops is. The is some pride associated with the FTC bang-bang. As watchers know, Louie has no pride, only deep shame. God I love that show!

I’m good with the FTC version.


Not to go too deeply down this rabbit hole, but if there’s already a name - grazing - for the practice you describe, what purpose is served by co-opting another name and attaching your own definition to it?

Because “Let’s do a bangbang” is considerably more fun to say than “Let’s go grazing…”

You know what else is fun to say? “Antonio Banderas” Say it with a bad lisping Castillian accent and it’s even more fun. Also: “binturong” a civet native to asia and “olinguito” a recently classified new species of south american… something. looks like a cat crossed with a teddy bear.

Say them over and over 'til they stop being words and just become sounds.

When I was a teenager, I read a book in which the narrator does this with Perth Amboy. I can’t remember the name of the book, but I also can’t not think of it whenever I hear or read “Perth Amboy.”

Gotta disagree. “Bang Bang” sounds like a reference to violent sex or just plain violence. Whereas “grazing” puts me in mind of a serene meadow.

I never considered grazing to be something done at restaurants. To me, it means eating little bits of food every few hours, but not anything as complicated as a meal. It’s basically a food for fuel type of eating.

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Grazing is what you do at the party buffet at your Aunt’s house because you’re avoiding talking to Cousin Brian about why if you’re so smart you still live alone in that “armpit of a town.”

The bang x n = picking off multiple, and often diverse, FTC targets in one run to make a day of food exploration because you live in an an amazing city filled with culture.

Here’s a thirty-year-old quote from a New York Times restaurant review, which is probably not the first time I read/heard the term, but does accurately represent how I use it:

“Mim’s menu is perfect for people who enjoy grazing, trying small quantities of many different foods.”

So you use grazing to refer to an activity done in one location - I can accept this. I think we need a third term, though, for what you describe, which is small-ish amounts of food eaten at multiple locations. A Bang Bang (as opposed to a Bang Bang Bang, or a Bang Bang Bang Bang) seems to be limited to only two locations.

ETA I’d call it a “food crawl,” as Urban Dictionary (et al.) does.

That works, too. :slight_smile: