All-you-can-eat buffets are the pinnacle of cheap food experiences. Being able to stuff your face for no extra cost is an amazing thing, and it comes along with a roller-coaster ride of emotions and feelings, too. I enlisted the help of an iconic sitcom, Parks and Recreation, to perfectly illustrate the stages of eating at a buffet.

Stage One: Getting There

You've been fasting all day, and by the time dinner rolls around, your stomach is feeling emptier than an air-filled bag of chips. If you aren't standing by the door with your shoes on waiting to go, are you really ready for the buffet?

Stage Two: Walking In

There is no better sight than countless tables filled with all of your favourite carbolicious foods in one place. Your mouth is watering and your tummy is grumbling. Where do you begin?

Stage Three: Filling Your Plate(s)

The best part of a buffet is sampling a little bit of everything, no matter how many plates you have to grab to succeed. You'd hate yourself if you missed the fondue station and had to get up again after already settling into the booth.

Stage Four: Chowing Down

This is the main event of the night, and you need to stop talking and sipping on water and get to work. The goal isn't to taste the food individually, but to get it in your mouth as quickly as possible.

Stage Five: Getting Seconds

Before your stomach gets a chance to catch up with everything you're eating, it's essential to grab seconds and make the most of your money. For now, all that matters is shoveling more delicious food into your mouth.

Stage Six: Regret

You start to get a feeling of dread on your first burp or two, when your body tries to stop you from powering through. On any other night you might pay attention to this and skip dessert, but this is a buffet. What's the worst that could happen?

Stage Seven: MORE REGRET

Nope, dessert was a mistake. Your pants are definitely unbuttoned by now, and beads of sweat are gathering on your forehead. If you take one more bite of food, you're pretty sure you'll explode. You need to get home ASAP before you lose the ability to walk.

Stage Eight: Coma

All you can think about is the lump of food sitting in your stomach as you make vain attempts to find a sitting position that doesn't hurt. Why do you like buffets, again?

Stage Nine: Sleep

It might only be the early evening, but as soon as you're home (or even in the car) you're taking the ultimate nap. It's the only thing that you can think of to speed up the digestion of your food baby.

Stage Ten: Feeling Hungry Again

After your rejuvenating nap, you find yourself rifling through the fridge to find something new to snack on. You're already starting to mentally plan out your next trip to your favourite buffet.

Those are the universal stages of eating at a buffet. Everyone goes into it with high hopes, but ultimately leaves the restaurant in pain. That doesn't mean it wasn't worth it, though.