This Is Why Pizza Always Looks So Good In Cartoons

Pizza is the best food ever... even when it's not real. Let's be honest, '80s and '90s kids: We all felt outrageously jealous of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles whenever they munched on a piping hot pizza pie, their favorite grub. How about the ooey gooey slice the puppies fight over in "All Dogs Go to Heaven" during Charlie's song about sharing? And lest we forget that epic cheese pull from the 'za shared by Max and P.J. in "A Goofy Movie"!

There's at least one thing we can all agree on: For some reason, despite being two-dimensional, cartoon pizza always looks incredibly appetizing. As it turns out, if you find yourself drooling at your TV screen when cartoon characters are wolfing down pizza, you're certainly not alone. There's an actual reason why illustrated pizza — or any food, for that matter — causes cravings like no other. There's even an entire Reddit thread on the topic, where people share examples of the most iconic toonified pies.

Why does cartoon pizza always look so delicious?

Of course, pizza is incredible IRL. The moment you open the box that was delivered moments ago, or the second the server sets the pie in the middle of your table, the bubbling cheese mesmerizes and the glistening toppings bedazzle. You dive into the freshly baked masterpiece with no time to waste, relishing every single cheesy, saucy bite. But cartoon pizza falls into its own category of awesome. What is it, exactly, that makes animated pizza so coveted? It all has to do with our powerful imagination and subliminal desires.

Creative designer Ross Norman, who runs an Instagram account dedicated to food on "The Simpsons," tells Elephant that cartoonists have the power to add details "like making sure the light is reflecting off the food to make it look that more delectable, or adding extra water droplets, or a slight steam effect, so your mouth salivates just that little bit more." Tom Hovey, illustrator for "The Great British Bake Off," has arguably perfected the art of food drawings. He explains that the main reason people find illustrated food so perfect and delightful is because, well... it's unattainable. And since we cannot smell nor touch cartoon food, our imagination "goes into overdrive," essentially forcing our brains to dream up how it might ideally smell and taste. So, animated pizza looks so dang appetizing because of our brain's unique ability to "taste" it visually! Psychology is pretty rad.