Food (たべもの, Food) is an Item that, when used, recovers a small amount of the user's damage. Although they often spawn in groups from Party Balls, the items can spawn on their own, and some items of food are unique to specific stages.
The use of food as an item in video games is not uncommon, and some Nintendo games also featured the use of fruit in such a way. Yoshi's Story, for instance, required Yoshi to eat thirty fruits within a level to complete it; in these cases, the fruit also recovered some of his health. The EarthBound series also featured the use of both everyday and esoteric foods as recovery items. In the metroidvania style of Castlevania games there are often food items placed throughout the castle to replenish or deplete the health depending on the food item.
Food that restored the player's health also appeared in Kirby Super Star as well as many other Kirby series games, acting as a common, yet low-powered method to recover Kirby's health; the use of food in the series is especially relevant to the item's appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series, as items featured in Super Smash Bros. Melee would later reappear in Kirby Air Ride as a common, low-health recovery food. In addition, several food sprites from the Kirby franchise have been reused and modified to accommodate the sprites for the Super Smash Bros. series.
As an item
Food commonly spawns on stages in the games, and large bundles of food are frequently dispensed from the Party Ball. As a relatively common item, food generally does not recover significant amounts of damage; the strongest food items recover only 9-to-12% of the player's health, with a majority often recovering below 6%.
In Brawl, there is a special "gulp" sound effect for when characters consume food that happens to be a liquid, like the tea or orange juice items.
As a stage feature
Three stages in the series, Green Greens, the Summit, and Tortimer's Island, dispense unique foods; Green Greens features Apples, the Summit features Vegetables from the original Ice Climber game (complete with sound effects from the game when consumed), and Tortimer's Island features some tropical fruits like lychees. In the case of Green Greens, some of the apples dropped by Whispy Woods will instead take the form of items that can be thrown at opponents; if items are turned off via the Item Switch, these apples will always be the type that can be thrown. If items are disabled on The Summit, the Vegetables will never spawn; it is unknown if this is the case for Tortimer's Island.
Yoshi's Story has Shy Guys flying around that carry normal food, which repeatedly shifts between different types of food as they hold onto it unless they drop it when attacked (however, sometimes they may roulette between other kinds of items). If items are turned off, the food will disappear but the Shy Guys will remain.
As a Pokémon item
The Pokémon Chansey in Melee can potentially drop Eggs as a part of Softboiled; these Eggs can potentially heal any players that pick up the items, though like the food items on stages, this does not happen if food is disabled; they will either explode or drop other items.
In individual attacks
Five characters: Peach, Daisy, Diddy Kong, Villager and Mr. Game & Watch can spawn Food themselves. Peach can summon a variety of peaches as part of Peach Blossom; Daisy does the same with Daisy Blossom; Diddy Kong's Peanut Popgun and Rocketbarrel Barrage can potentially spawn shelled peanuts (Brawl only); Mr. Game & Watch summons an apple with judgment hammer #7, and Villager's Timber has a small chance of dropping a cherry, orange, pear, apple or peach.
"Eating While Reclining"
Brawl added a technique called Eating While Reclining (倒れアイテム食べ, Eating items while downed or DownEatU and DownEatD internally in Brawl files, depending on on which side the character is lying). If a character lands hard by some food, the player can press the attack button to grab and eat the food without needing to get up first. This technique, however, has no practical use, and it can even be detrimental; knocked-down players will be unable to use their getup attack if they land near food, removing a getup option, and since the action leaves players vulnerable, it may even get players unaware of this obscure mechanic's existence punished for trying to use a getup attack near food.
The Food item appears as a trophy in Melee, Brawl, and Smash 4.