8 Fictional Food Machines We Wish Were Real

Each one of these futuristic innovations would make life so much better.

None of us watch TV and movies as passively as we think we do. Instead, we fall into these stories, placing ourselves in the narrative and deciding what we would do as these characters. We crave the burgers they eat and the beverages they drink, envy the restaurants they dine in, and (as this list will prove) covet the gadgets that they use to prepare a meal.

The entertainment world has presented an array of nifty devices that would undoubtedly make our dining experiences easier—or at least much cooler. Here are eight of the best ones.

The Rehydrator (Spy Kids) 

This 2001 hit saw two normal school kids dive headfirst into the world of espionage, with all the excitement and kickass gadgets that one could ever want. Chief among those gadgets is the glorious Rehydrator, which can promptly convert small color-coded slabs into entire meals, including a McDonald's burger and fries. The Mickey D's factor elevates this above all the other instant-meal gadgets that have graced our screens over the years. And there have certainly been some very cool ones—the Star Trek Replicator comes to mind. A quick search on Reddit and TikTok reveals that this device still holds a firm place in the hearts and wish lists of many a millennial.


Number 7 (The Benchwarmers)

In this 2006 comedy, a trio of nerds form a baseball team to take on a bunch of bullies, with the financial assistance of nerdy billionaire Mel Carmichael (Jon Lovitz). Some of the film's best moments involve seeing all of Mel's expensive items of geekdom, and one of the very best is Number 7.


Number 7 is a robot capable of making any sandwich in a few moments, from the basic (turkey on white) to the bizarre (peanut butter and jelly with mayonnaise) to the insane (tuna fish and skittles and pudding skin on wheat with the crusts cut off). Number 7's usefulness is matched only by his personality, which is just the right mix of gentlemanly and badass. And, let's face it, he's a better actor than 80% of this film's cast.

The Tubby Custard Machine (Teletubbies)

What this machine takes in floor space, it would give back in the form of many benefits for the whole family. Beyond dispensing yummy-looking custard that kids would definitely love (and adults want to try too, don't lie), the machine would also keep your kids occupied and allow them to work on their coordination and problem-solving skills. The Tubby Custard Machine is kicked up several more notches in later Teletubbies seasons, even transforming into a rideable train that emits custard bubbles. Come on, who wouldn't want that?


The Funcooker (30 Rock)

It might be difficult to name, but it's very, very easy to convey this product's appeal. The GE appliance known as the Funcooker (which exists only in the world of 30 Rock) allows people to carry the power of microwaving in their hands instead of it being restricted to a cumbersome, kitchen-bound object. It also has a separate "Ham" button, thanks to the ingenious foresight of Liz Lemon (Tina Fey). Why other kitchen devices don't have a ham button is a mystery to us.


The Breakfast Contraption (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) 

No matter how digitized our world becomes, charmingly elaborate inventions like the breakfast contraption in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will never get old. Providing both breakfast and a show, the device also radiates genuine fatherly love down to the very last screw. Side note: Another machine that's desperately needed is one that can erase our memories of the Child Catcher who appears in this film.


Ultrahouse 3000 (The Simpsons)

"Trusting every aspect of our lives to a giant computer was the smartest thing we ever did!" In the excellent Simpsons Halloween episode "Treehouse of Horror XII," America's favorite family upgrades their home to the fully automated Ultrahouse 3000. This baby can cook personalized meals for each member of the household, self-clean its dining table, dispense beer directly into Homer's glass as he sits on the couch, and wake him up with the smell of sizzling bacon. What's more, it does all of this with the silky and seductive voice of Irish actor Pierce Brosnan.


Of course, there is one little issue: the house develops an obsessive crush on Marge and consequently tries to murder Homer. But it's still a very enviable gadget, as long as your home is Marge Simpsonless.

Bread-Toasting Knife (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

Surely the greatest thing since sliced bread would be a knife that instantly toasts the bread it's slicing. This funky knife is one of the (few) highlights of this misguided 2005 attempt to bring Douglas Adams' masterpiece to the big screen. Hopefully the day will soon come when we can throw our clunky, power-outlet-hogging toasters in the trash and pick up a compact lightsaber instead. Hurry up, science.


Garden Center (Back to the Future Part II)

We've feasted on junk and carbs, so let's end with some healthy fruit. The Garden Center is an elegant fruit-ferrying device that makes its brief appearance during a dinner scene at the home of Future Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in the 1989 sequel Back to the Future Part II. Responding to vocal command, the Garden Center lowers from the ceiling, allowing the user to pick some grapes fresh from the vine. It then retracts back into the ceiling, keeping the fruit preserved and out of the way until it's needed. Imagine that: a future without baskets of fruit fly factories taking up space on the counter.


The Garden Center is one of many technologies in Back to the Future Part II that has yet to make the leap into reality, even though that film was set in 2015. We're almost a decade overdue for those rehydrating Pizza Hut pies, too.