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...I really hope that milk came from sea cows.

All grocery bags must contain at least one stick of French Bread.
Hollywood Rule Book, Vanity Fair

If a character lives in The City and has just come home from shopping, he or she will inevitably be carrying a single brown paper bag (despite the fact that in many places, paper bags must be specifically asked for these days) from which protrudes a baguette (loaf of French bread) and the greens of a bunch of carrots; neither of these will be separately wrapped or packaged.

If the bag is emptied on-camera (perhaps in a Meet Cute), there will also be a quart of milk and a dozen eggs. Optionally, orange juice and/or a cut of meat may be present.

Also, the astute shopper who purchases a pair of oranges is preparing to drop said sack or have it knocked out of their hands. (These will likewise not be prepackaged or in a produce bag.)

In Japanese media, leeks and/or daikon radishes (a large white, carrot-shaped tuber) are the typical stock groceries.

See also Baguette Beatdown. May or may not be related to Villains Out Shopping.

Examples of ISO Standard Urban Groceries include:


  • Played with in the D.N.Angel Anime. The main character's mother and their Maid go shopping on market day and buy a veritable mountain of different goods on sale. When you see them carrying all the bags, there is at least one leek sticking up from every bag.
  • Linna is seen walking around with a bag with a baguette sticking out of it in one episode of Bubblegum Crisis.
  • In F-Zero: Falcon Densetsu, Captain Fa- Bart is seen, twice in the same episode, carrying a grocery bag with a baguette in.
  • In a season 2 episode of Zero no Tsukaima, Siesta is seen carrying a grocery bag with a baguette and, as seen when she drops it, an apple.
  • Yuuki carries a bag with a baguette in the opening of the Silent Möbius TV series.
  • In Tiger and Bunny, Keith is carrying the usual "baguette and carrots" bag when he runs into Cis in episode 15. There's also an apple in there, which he offers to her.
  • In episode 4 of Smile Pretty Cure, Nao is carrying three grocery bags, a leek protuding from one and a daikon radish from another, when she comes across the panicking Miyuki.
  • Rico carries one of these in the opening for the first season of Gunslinger Girl.


  • Seen played straight in The Godfather, at least for the oranges part. Except in this case, while the Don is buying said oranges from the fruit vendor, a bunch of thugs show up and shoot him a few times, inevitably causing him to drop the oranges.
    • This is a trope in itself; the producer used oranges to 'brighten up' otherwise grim scenes and dark sets — therefore, you can find oranges in many scenes where someone dies.
  • At the end of The Departed, Sullivan carries one of these bags into his apartment. He gets shot by Dignam, and the groceries do end up all over the floor. The original script even called for the rat that comes out to start nibbling on a fallen bagel.
  • Dana Barret's shopping in Ghostbusters.
  • In the 2010 Eddie Lebron fan film of Megaman, Dr. Wily, before planning his revenge removes bran flakes and a roll of paper towels from a paper bag, sets them on his kitchen counter, and then sits down to think up his evil scheme...
  • In Taken, Bryan uses one of these bags as camouflage to get into the Paris apartment. The only recognizable food item is not one but TWO baguettes; the greens look like a small ficus plant. (Evidently in France you need more than one baguette.)
    • Also in the same film, Jean-Claude also carries home a baguette for dinner.
  • Exaggerated in Michael Clayton: Michael finds Arthur walking with a paper grocery bag filled with nothing BUT baguettes.
  • April O'Neil is seen with one with a visible baguette when arriving back to her apartment in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze.
  • Seen in Rumble in The Bronx. The baguette is even wrapped and labeled as such.

Live Action TV

  • Lampshaded in Dharma and Greg: One episode mentions that every time Greg does the groceries he buys a baguette, even though no one eats it.
  • In Space Precinct, we see that three-eyed aliens in the future still fill their shopping bags with that mandatory baguette.
  • Turns up in Lovejoy tv series, the episode "The Axeman Cometh"; possibly the french loaf sticking out of the bag was to hammer home to the audience that the character holding it was meant to be French.
  • Averted in Highlander 'Deadly Medicine'-Duncan was getting items for an Italian meal, so there were tomatoes, among other things. There was some bread, though, probably for garlic bread. It got knocked to the ground when Duncan was hit by the car.
  • In the Modern Family episode "Baby On Board," Haley comes home with a paper shopping bag full of groceries so she can cook a special dinner for the family. Guess what's in the bag.

Video Games

  • Lampshaded by Kingdom of Loathing with the item "Stale baguette". Eating one results in a minor Meat loss, since anybody with the aforementioned baguette is bound to get robbed in a dark alley shortly after purchase.
  • Penelo features a fantasy version in the finale of Final Fantasy XII
  • Grand Theft Auto IV has an occasional pedestrian wandering about carrying a paper bag of groceries. This contains a loaf of bread, a box of cereal, a half-gallon of milk, and some oranges. While easy to see walking the streets of most of the city, it is odd if they appear on Happiness Island.
  • Shown in the ending of the "Oracle" Zelda games.
  • Amy's intro cutscene in Sonic Adventure.
  • Some of the anti-Resistance propaganda posters in City of Heroes feature a woman dropping a bag of ISO Standard Urban Groceries.

Western Animation

  • Mr. Krabs brings home such a bag in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Wet Painters" (see picture).
  • You will at least see Lois in Family Guy heading home with grocery bags like this such as the episode "Brian In Love" when she unloads the bags out of her car before being hose sprayed by Peter.
  • Brown paper grocery bags with baguettes can be seen in King of the Hill episode "A Rover Runs Through It".


  • Much of the pin-up work of Art Frahm concerns the unusual theme women's panties dropping in a number of improbably contrived situations. Most of these occur, for some reason, in the vicinity of a Standard Urban Grocery bag, and, more specifically, in the vicinity of a Standard Urban Grocery Bag containing celery. Lileks has more on the sinister connection:
  • The logo of the U.S. SNAP program (aka the Food Stamp Program) is a grocery bag that contains a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, a carton of eggs, an apple, and something that's green (possibly broccoli).
  • The Sainsbury's Online Shopper logo is a plastic bag showing, among other indistinguishable packaging, a french loaf, a carton of orange juice, bananas and some kind of lettuce or fresh herbs.