Though it may originally hail from the country of Italy, pizza has firmly established its dominance as practically a staple food here in the United States. From kids’ birthday parties to adults’ depressive episodes, these cheesy pies are scarfed down at an impressive rate daily across the country. Pizza even shows up as an essential part of American culture, whether it’s the movie Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts or the favorite snack of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

According to the Washington Post, The U.S. population consumes 3 billion pizzas per year, an equivalent of 100 acres of pizza a day. That’s way more than America’s consumption of other foods like baklava or stuffed quail. Sorry, tiny little birds! We’ve already chosen our comfort food! We’ve also evolved our pizza in ways that the more traditional neapolitan pizza makers would never have dreamed, like Chicago’s famous deep dish pies, or Bagel Bites, which are made up of half-melted cheese and cold tomato sauce on top of a bagel that’s somehow burned.

America’s done a whole lot more experimenting when it comes to topping said pizza. Sure, we love the classics. The same Washington Post article also estimates that U.S. pizza eaters consume over 250 million pounds of pepperoni every year. But you’re just as likely to spot a buffalo chicken, pineapple, or even a pasta-topped pie. But with variety comes dissent, and not all toppings are created equal. Here’s 5 toppings that can ruin a perfectly good pizza:

After a long day at work, you, your partner, and your identical triplets are more than ready to tear into a delicious and well-deserved pizza. It doesn’t even bother you that the box your pizza was delivered in was concerningly damp. You’ll forget all that after the first bite anyways! But when you peel back that wet, flimsy box, you’re greeted with a topping you DEFINITELY didn’t choose on your ordering app: a thick, furry covering of mold.

You may not mind mushrooms on your pizza, but this is a whole different kind of fungus! One that may, depending on species, be actively harmful to your health! You might consider eating it anyways, especially with your hungry triplets beginning to nip and gnaw at your feet and thighs, but I can recommend from experience, this is one pizza best left un-partied. You’ve, unfortunately, fallen victim to a classic pizza parlor cost-cutting trick: they sent you leftover pizza from a dead guy’s apartment. Will their cost-cutting know no bounds?

India Ink

Pixabay

A great pizza can be a kaleidoscope of tasty toppings, with the green of fresh basil, the red of delicious tomato sauce, and the whites and yellows of hot, melty cheese. A topping that is almost as visually displeasing as it is unpleasant in flavor is a generous, all-over coating of genuine india ink. Though it might at first seem like a fun new spin engineered to break into the goth market, the trade-off on taste and toxicity is not worth the trendy appearance.

This would be a great pizza for hiding in a dark room, or to be used in some sort of optical illusion, but for dinner? Not so much. Plus, regular pizza might get a little messy, especially when shared amongst friends, but you’ll find that no amount of napkins will serve enough to get the dark black stains of India Ink off your fingers and mouth. And while you’re off to the garage to fetch the turpentine to clean up, your party guests are all sneaking out to go home or to the hospital. Very Un-Cowabunga!

Divorce Papers

Pixabay

Shacked up in your brand new houseboat, with your brand new identity, all you want to do is enjoy a hot, cheesy dinner circle. A desire that, with the ring of your doorbell, is about to come true! You answer the door, with your pizza bib already fastened tightly around your neck. You notice that the pizza man certainly looks stronger, and more gruff than usual, but that’s probably due to the economy. You’ve got pizza to worry about! “You’ve been served,” he tells you. A strange choice of phrase, but accurate nonetheless! You thank him, and tip him with a generous handful of change and saltwater taffy.

But when you pop that box, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise: baked right amongst the mozzarella are the charred corners of a manila envelope containing the divorce papers you’ve been trying to avoid for months! Even after draining your bank account, and paying for a legal name change, these chickens have still come home to roost, right alongside the crispy bacon you ordered. Well, time to take to the sea!

Mouth

Pixabay

Goldfish crackers are famous as the “snack that smiles back.” Pizza is not! Nevertheless, here you are, staring at a pizza with a fully functioning mouth, full of adult teeth! Mamma mia! You tried to flag down the delivery guy before he left, but now your front door just inexplicably leads in through your back door in an endless trap. That’s not good! On the bright side, at least it speaks English, but the bad news is, it’s trying to talk to you about The Wire, a show that ended years ago! How old is this pizza?

All you wanted was an easy dinner, and now you’re left with nothing but questions. Questions like, does the pizza have a name? Is this allowed? If the box is flat where does the mouth go? Can I still eat the breadsticks?

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