Every now and then, a contestant on Shark Tank will blow the Sharks away by bringing them leftover food and water. Whenever this happens, the Sharks immediately offer up their money without waiting to hear the contestant’s idea.
1. The time the sharks were given some leftover pasta salad and bottled water, and then immediately entered a two-hour-long bidding war for a product called “Fire Bed”.
In episode eight of season two, the Sharks were tired, hungry, and nearing the end of a long day of filming when 27-year-old entrepreneur Daniel Zhang walked into the Shark Tank with a pitch for a product called the Fire Bed, along with a Tupperware container of cold pasta salad and a few bottled waters. Upon seeing the food and water, the Sharks instantly got out of their chairs and swarmed Zhang without even bothering to greet him. They took the pasta salad from him and shoveled it into their mouths with their bare hands, moaning with satisfaction as they ate. “Now give us some of that incredible water,” Robert Herjavec demanded, yanking the waters out of Zhang’s hands and distributing them to his fellow Sharks. With all five Sharks huddled around him desperately gulping from their water bottles, Zhang nervously began to give his product pitch, but Barbara Corcoran put her finger to his lips and said, “Shut up, I don’t care what your product is. I will give you $500,000 for it.” The remaining four Sharks then proceeded to one-up her bid over and over again, offering a largely silent Zhang more and more money over the course of two hours while periodically stopping to take turns licking the pasta salad residue off of the inside of the empty Tupperware container. Although Zhang never once got the chance to explain his product, he ultimately agreed to sell 10 percent of his company to Daymond John for $3 million—a substantially better deal than the $60,000-for-30-percent arrangement he was originally going to propose.
2. The time the Sharks ate stale leftovers in silence, bought a small stake in the business, and then immediately fell asleep.
In episode six of season three, two young businesswomen walked into the Shark Tank to pitch a resealable plastic bag that changes colors when the food you’re storing in it begins to go bad. Upon seeing some old leftover pizza in the red-colored “NEARING EXPIRATION” sample bag on the women’s display table, the Sharks wandered over from their chairs and immediately began gorging themselves. When Mark and Lori took too large of bites of the stale food and were struggling to swallow, the women gave the Sharks some water to help them wash it down. The Sharks were so pleased by this that they immediately offered the entrepreneurs a five-way, $200,000 deal for 25 percent of their company before curling up on the hardwood floor and falling asleep.
3. The time the Sharks bought a 50 percent stake in a company for $5 million within 10 seconds of the contestant walking on set.
During one episode in season seven, a single mom-turned-entrepreneur walked into the Shark Tank carrying a tray of leftover P.F. Chang’s and a gallon jug of water. The contestant didn’t even get to say her name before the Sharks saw the food, crowded around her, and started chanting, “Five million dollars! Five million dollars!” A producer then ushered her off the set and presented her with a contract to sell half of her company to the Sharks for the proposed sum. Unfortunately, the Sharks all ended up forgetting that they even made the deal, and the company ultimately went out of business six months later as a direct result of their neglect.
4. The time a contestant snapped his fingers and five assistants brought in a wheelbarrow full of leftovers and water for each one of the Sharks.
By the season eight finale, one contestant finally caught onto the fact that the Sharks had historically been enthusiastic about receiving leftovers and water, and he decided to capitalize on it. Walking in wearing flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt to pitch an environmentally friendly sunscreen product, entrepreneur Doug Gorman at first drew skeptical glares and smirks from the Sharks in response to his gimmicky attire. But before the Sharks could say anything, Gorman snapped his fingers, and in came five huge wheelbarrows filled to the brim with leftover turkey scraps, three-day-old chicken pot pie, reheated baked ziti, dry peanut butter cookies, and large buckets of tap water. It was the Sharks’ dream come true. Barbara stood up on her chair and started clapping her hands over her head and screaming. Robert staggered over to his wheelbarrow with a huge smile and toppled face-first into the bounty. Kevin O’Leary was so overwhelmed by the sight of the food that he collapsed sideways and went into cardiac arrest. Daymond took his shirt off and began stuffing food into it to take home to his family. Lori also went over to eat from her wheelbarrow, but not before taking $100,000 cash out of her purse and giving it to Gorman in exchange for 15 percent of his company. The Sharks each ended up eating so much food that they all got sick and had to be taken to the hospital.