Callen’s Corner: Callen And Food


It’s not very often that we see Callen or any of the team eat on the show, but when he does, it’s usually something unhealthy. Sam doesn’t hold back having a go at him about his unhealthy eating habits either, taking on a motherly role for his partner:


Sam: “We were supposed to meet. Go for a run before work.”
Callen: “We were supposed to meet at Patrick’s Roadhouse for breakfast.”
Sam: “If we try, we can still get a few miles in.”
Callen: “No way. I just had Pigs-in-Blankets, and waffles. Little bit full.”
Sam: “You’re full of something. And it ain’t waffles.”
Sam [later, after narrowly escaping some guard dogs]: “How are those waffles feeling now?”
Callen: “Ha. Ha. You know what’s really funny? Your car’s still in there.”

(S2E09 ‘Absolution’)


Sam [lowering Callen down a skylight to save Abbey Scuito from a psychopath]: “You’ve got to lay off the donuts Buddy.”

(S1E09 ‘Random on Purpose’)

At the beginning of Enemy Within, Callen shows little care in his attitude to take care of himself, which annoys Sam immensely:


Sam [scolds G for not taking care of himself]: “This is what I am telling you, G. If you don’t take care of yourself it becomes cumulative. Every broken bone, gun shot, stab wound…”
G: “Camel bite.”
Sam: “It starts to add up. You need a real bed, a real diet, some flaxseed oil, maybe a little Pilates.”
G: “You know what? I’ll stick with coffee and aspirin.”

(S2E19 ‘Enemy Within’)

There aren’t very many times (except when in the Hawaii Five-0 crossover and Recruit) that Callen has actually engulfed his food like he did while enjoying Agent Giordano’s Double Double Burger. Our hero doesn’t have much time to eat, but when he does, he apparently enjoys it very much. Also, Red part 1 is the only time besides Hawaii, where we’ve seen Callen sit down for a meal with others:


Callen [organises to meet Agent Giordano late down by the pier. He waits for her leaning on his car, when she pulls up. He leans into her open window]: “I need paper.”
Giordano: “Look at you, you got in with Pargo.”
Callen [looks down on the passenger seat and sees her burger and fries]: “Is that a double double?”
Giordano: “I missed lunch.”
Callen: “We’re sharing right?”
[Giordano shakes her head as Callen climbs into her car. She sips from her soft drink]
Callen: “Aah!”
Giordano: “So how much paper do you need?”
Callen: “Two thousand sheets.” [bites into Giordano’s burger] “Mmm! Mmm! By tomorrow.” [wipes his mouth with serviette] “That’s good.”

(S1E06 ‘Keeping it Real’)

[Callen, Sam, Kensi and Deeks are outisde a food truck]
Callen: “You sure you’re not hungry?”
Sam: “Not now. What the hell is that?”
Callen: “Fish tacos.”
Sam: “What kind of fish?”
Callen: “The kind that swims in the ocean.”
Sam: “Ho-how could you eat something without knowing what it is? That could have been last weeks bait for all you know. Even looks like chum.”
Callen: “Carlos is the Iron Chef of food trucks.”
Kensi [walking up]: “Smells good over here, what’s for lunch?”
Sam: “Mystery fish.”
Deeks: “Ah! Deep sea surprise is back?”
Callen: “Help yourself.”
Deeks: “Seriously? Nice!”

(S4E02 ‘Recruit’)

It could be argued that Callen’s not the most discerning person when it comes to cuisine, but at least he’s got Deeks on his side.  Callen probably got more enjoyment out of his “mystery fish” because of how disgusted his partner was with it.  So it was surprising that Callen commented on Kensi’s health from the cheese in her breakfast burritos:


Kensi: “If you and Sam have been exposed to something, the medical officer has to take a look at you. Your health could be at risk.”
Callen: “So could yours if you keep eating the breakfast burritos.”
Kensi: “How did you, umm…?”
Callen: “The cheese. Makes your voice phlegmy. Not good.”

(S1E14 ‘LD50’)

There’s one other occasion where we have seen Callen make a comment on “unhealthy” food. Usually he’s the one to eat it, not to comment on it. However, maybe Callen does have a problem with dairy:

Callen: “I’m actually allergic to dairy.”
Sam: “Oh, since when?”
Callen: “Since… that thing.”
Sam: “What thing?”
Callen: “That thing. Allergic.”

(S4E21 ‘Resurrection’)

Unless it’s cheese on a pizza in Skin Deep (when Deeks buys them all peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and they run off for the last remaining pieces of pizza left in the kitchen. Unfortunately for them, Eric has already beaten them to it) and in the Chosen One:

Callen [as his alias]: “You’re going to throw away a pizza? Do you know how much I have dreamed about American pizza since I left?”

(S4E13 ‘The Chosen One’)

Perhaps Callen always longs for pizzas and other fatty foods that make Sam get annoyed with him:


Callen [walks into the mission with bacon and eggs for breakfast]: “Hi.”
Sam: “Bacon. Third time this week.”
Callen: “U-huh!”
Sam:” When was the last time you got your cholesterol checked?”
Callen: “Last Month.”
Sam: “What was it? 250, 275?”
Callen: “Not even close.”
Sam: ” If it’s 300, I’m interviewing new partners.”
Callen: ” Sorry pal, you are stuck with me. Genetically gifted. 170.”
[Sam creases his brow]
Callen: “Bacon is my friend.”
[Kensi enters looking for Deeks]: “What are you eating?”
Callen: “Eggs, bacon.”

(S3E06 ‘Lone Wolf’)

There have been some occasions when some great banter between Callen and Sam have entertained us, that have involved around the subject of food:

Sam: “SEALs eat pirates for breakfast.”
Callen: “Uh-huh. What do they taste like, chicken?”
Sam: “Fish sticks.”

(S2E23 ‘Imposters’)

[Callen has offered to take Sam out to eat. And you can just see Sam licking his lips]
Callen: “You’re always trying to milk it.”
Sam: “Is it truffle season yet?”
Callen: “Okay, a couple ground rules though: No weird expensive fungi. No eggs that don’t come from a chicken. No scotch that’s older than you or me.”
Sam: “I can still order a Seafood Tower.”
Callen: “Great.”

(S2E20 ‘The Job’)

Callen [feeling rejected by Sam]: “Suit yourself. Come on Kens. Hey, what do you say we, uh, stop for some donuts.”
Kensi: “I love donuts.”
Sam Hanna: “You didn’t say anything about donuts!”

(S1E17 ‘Full Throttle’)

[Callen and Sam are driving Lily to a safe house]
Callen”: “What the hell is slow food?”
Sam: “It’s eating what’s around you. Watching it grow. Knowing your food G.”
Lily: “Impressive”.
Callen: “I know my food.”
Lily: “Oh yeah? What’d you have last night?”
Callen: “Burger.”
Lily: “Do you know the cow’s name?”
Callen: “Mac. And he was big.”

(S5E12 ‘Merry Invasion’)

[Sam and Callen are in the shooting range firing their weapons for practise. Sam is trying to get G to come out with him and Michelle for dinner]
Sam: “Well?”
Callen: “It’s last minute.”
Sam: “No it’s not. It’s tonight. That’s hours from now.”
Callen: “I’ve got stuff to do.”
Sam: “Doing what?”
Callen: “You know, stuff.”
Sam: “Please! You’re going to leave here and go and get some takeout. Probably Indian. Go home and open a beer. You’re going to turn on the history channel and you’re going to play chess against the computer.”
Callen: “Oh, you’re so off base.”
Sam: “Oh yeah?”
Callen: “I’m having Greek food.”
Sam: “No you’re not. You’re coming out for dinner with us.”

(S5E14 ‘War Cries’)

 He’s also used food or in this this case salt mixed with tequila and lime to cheer Hetty up:

Callen [walks over to Hetty]: “Something I can do?”
Hetty: “No. No. This one’s stuck squarely in my lap, I’m afraid. Oh it…it’s just all a bunch of bureaucratic nonsense anyway. We must take it all with a grain of salt.”
Callen: “I find that it helps if the salt is followed by a shot of tequila and some lime.”
Hetty: “I like the way you think, Mr. Callen.”

(S2E23 ‘Imposters’)

From Sam’s comment while searching a suspect’s apartment, it’s common to only find beer and not much else in Callen’s fridge. However, this was back in the day when Callen didn’t have a place to call home:

[Sam and Callen are searching a guy’s apartment. G opens the fridge]
Callen: “Beer and mustard.”
Sam: “You sure you don’t live here?”

(S1E06 ‘Keeping It Real’)

That being said, there is evidence that Callen has dabbled in eating expensive Japanese food, even though he was being one of his many aliases:

[Callen walks into Hetty’s office]
Hetty: “I already sent the others upstairs.”
Callen: “Good morning, Hetty.”
Hetty: “Well that’s a matter of perspective, Mr. Callen. Uh, I’ve been doing some accounting and I came a crossed anomaly in your expenses. This is a fourteen hundred dollar restaurant bill from Matsukisa.”
Callen: “Um-hmm, that’s from the Miygomi case.”
Hetty: “You mean it’s not a mistake? You actually spent fourteen hundred dollars on raw fish!”
Callen: “Not me, my alias Tony Z did.”
Hetty: “Ah, ah, ah and is Tony Z going to reimburse me?”
Callen: “Well, you’ll have to ask him.”
Hetty: “Uh-huh”
Callen: “Hetty, when I go undercover as a beach bum, I eat off the Kogi truck. When I’m going after a high roller, I’ve got to hit it a little harder.”
Hetty: “Try ordering soup, player.”

(S1E11 ‘Breach’)

What’s your opinion on Callen’s diet? Do you think Sam has over reacted on his poor choice of foods, seeing Callen looks healthy and fit? Or do you agree with Sam that Callen needs to start looking after himself more, before it catches up with him and it’s too late to take care of his health? Are you a junk food addict like Callen or a healthy salad person like Sam?

Lastly, but definitely not the least, we leave you with some images of Callen with what he likes to consume the most.




I would like to thank the ladies from Callen’s Corner: ChrisDaisy, Bee, Mary and Richtsje for having a food fight with me on this topic. Also a big thank you to for the screencaps.

4 thoughts on “Callen’s Corner: Callen And Food

  1. Linda

    Callen is living his lifestyle. It is quicker and easier for him to eat fast food. It is not very much fun to prepare a big meal for just one person. Come to think of it, if he needed a dinner guest, I could….. I digress. Do we even know if he can cook? I don’t mean gourmet here. I suspect he can. May be something he picked up in one of his foster homes. He really does seem to enjoy his food, but I too like Sam would recommend that he try to eat a little better. We want him to be healthy and we all want him to be around for a long time. I love fast food too but I am somewhere in the middle. I try to eat healthy, but I love a hamburger or pizza from time to time. Thank you everyone for a very comprehensive look at Callen and his food.

  2. mckenna

    This was a very fun post to read, thank you to the writers! I think it would be a good thing if he listened to Sam about eating healthier, but he already looks healthy and can be active successfully in the field. Maybe in the long run he should, just like the scene from Enemy Within above. I also must say that scene from Recruit is one of my favorite team scenes. It’s just so funny and great to watch.
    I am definitely a junk food addict like Callen. I am always getting fast food (always meals that are very unhealthy) and like him and Kensi, I love donuts and pick them up frequently in the morning. My friend scolds me for how much I eat those two things and lets just say I can sympathize with Callen when Sam nags him about it. 😉

  3. Chrissie

    Now I am hungry… 🙂

    The food topic always is a good reason for funny banter between the team or – more often – Callen and Sam.

    Sam is fighting a losing battle with trying to convince Callen to eat (and live) more healthy.
    I mean, it’s Callen we’re talking about… 🙂

    Thanks for collecting all those hilarious scenes. My favorite is the one with the dogs in Absolution.

    A fun article on an interesting subject!

    I’ll get myself something to eat now…

  4. blue dogs rock!!!!!

    i am with callen i love my junk food!!! but you should also go some where in the middle to keep it all balanced!!! i enjoyed reading this post it was a fun one!!!

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