10 Scenes Where Hannah Stress Eats on Girls

03/17/2014 at 01:20 PM ET
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Despite a cast of characters who seem more self-absorbed with every episode, there’s one big way that Girls continues to be ultra relatable to us: through the food.

The moment we saw main character Hannah (Lena Dunham) roll out of bed in the first episode and go straight to the fridge for a cupcake, we were hooked; was this show going to be realistic about how twentysomethings eat (rather than assume everyone goes to the same trendy neighborhood restaurant for every meal)? Yup. Throughout its three seasons, Hannah has been the poster child for (mostly) funny-because-they’re-true food moments: eating cake with your fingers, raiding the fridge in the middle of the night, sitting in front of the computer snacking on something — anything — straight from the jar.

“I just bought four cupcakes and ate one in your bathroom,” Hannah tells pal Shoshanna in the third episode of season 1, when the two women are sharing their “baggage,” or what qualities might make them undesirable to date. In Sunday night’s episode (spoiler alert), anxious Hannah shows up at her friend Ray’s door looking for her boyfriend — with an empty Popsicle stick dangling from her mouth.

In case you need to feel better about that inevitable shamrock-shaped cupcake binge later today, relive snapshots of Hannah’s most epic stress-eating.


When Hannah visits her parents in Michigan and can’t sleep, she hits the fridge for a midnight snack. Just like the Mad Men scene where Betty Draper took a hit straight out of the whipped cream can, this clip nails it — we’d be lying if we said we had never raided a take-out box in the middle of the night.


Hannah’s professor invites her to read one of her pieces at his literary salon, but she flubs the experience by ditching her original story and reading something she wrote in 10 minutes on the train. After that, it’s straight to the snack table to munch while she worries about messing up a shot at getting discovered.


After a friend’s wedding in the finale of the first season, Hannah falls asleep on the subway and wakes up as the sun is rising — without her purse. With no money and no phone, she retreats to the beach with the only thing that wasn’t taken: a leftover slice of wedding cake. No fork? No problem — just eat it with your hands.


When all of the couples invited to her dinner party end up fighting, hostess Hannah copes by digging straight into the cake she was supposed to serve later.


Sometimes, the stress-eating gets out of the playful “dessert for breakfast” territory and into something more serious. As Hannah’s looming book deadline is seeming impossible to meet, we learn the OCD she had in high school is flaring back up. Here, she counts out eight potato chips before crunching them all in one fist and cramming them in her mouth.


Deadlines are the pits: Still stressed about finishing her manuscript, Hannah turns to a jar of olives as one of her many snacks while she stares despondently at her computer.


Still worried about the manuscript, Hannah resorts to eating Cool Whip straight from the tub.


At a new job writing advertorial copy for GQ, Hannah discovers the company’s free snack table. We don’t want to know how many bagels and Clif Bars we’d eat if there was a free table of them in the office every day.


In one of the most recent episodes, Hannah gets a phone call from her mom to tell her that her grandma is very sick. Her response: Open her salad in the middle of the street and start forking it in.

FILED UNDER: Food , Food on Film , Lena Dunham

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Melissa on

Ooooooooooo boy o boy do I know about stress eating. I’m sure lots of people do. Some people drink. Some do drugs. Some over exercise. And then some eat. That’s all I have to say. Plus it’s Damien from Rescue Me!!!!

Kata on

Why does the media have this fascination with a show that has low ratings? It doesn’t even pull a million, so obviously the people are not as fascinated.

JAS on

Watching Lena Dunham eat….yup, that’s probably the best diet out there. If that doesn’t get someone to stop binge eating so that he or she doesn’t look like her, I don’t know what will.

MF on

Was the intent of this post to make a benign observation about a character’s quirk on a socially relevant show.. or are you just giving us another opportunity to criticize the actress’s body? One of the commenters below is already trying to get a hate-fest going, and it’s like…. no.
She’s an adorable genius and people should just deal with it.

Like, Liz Lemon on 30 Rock’s stress eating scenes are infinitely more noteworthy.

You’re doing God’s work here, people dot com.

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