Created By: peccantisJune 11, 2011 Last Edited By: peccantisSeptember 9, 2013

Token Fatty

Character whose role consists of being the fat one.

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Yay we're almost done creating the cast of our kids/teens show! We have the pretty girl, The Nerd, the Token Black... Wait, something's missing. Someone needs to be fat.

Character whose defining characteristic is to be the one fatty in an otherwise slim cast. And they aren't just pudgy -- they're fat, likely spherical. Stereotypical "fatty" behaviour and personality (like eating constantly, being a slobbering sissy) is about as much development they get, and if they're actually ever involved in the story, their role also is defined by them being fat.

Might be combined with the roles of token bullied kid, unpopular kid, or The Nerd.

Examples
  • Saw this done in the Finnish stage version of Grease -- there was one no-lines role who just happened to be fat, and it never did anything to the story. Does this occur in other versions as well? There were also the Token Latina whose Hispanic status brewed nothing more than stereotypical behaviour and a couple of throwaway jokes, and the Token Jew, whose importance hinged on precisely one throwaway joke. The Token Black role was probably existed but was discarded due to cast limitations (dance school production).
Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • June 11, 2011
    cityofmist
    Mercedes in Glee, and later Lauren as well.
  • June 11, 2011
    KZN02
    See also Fat And Skinny?
  • June 11, 2011
    TonyG
  • June 11, 2011
    nabber
    • Oliver Watson from I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President.
    • Chell endures a lot a name-calling from G La DOS and eventually Wheatley, who both call her fat. Many times.
      Wheatley: Fatty. Adopted fatty. Fatty-fatty, no parents.
  • June 11, 2011
    SKJAM
  • June 12, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • June 12, 2011
    JonnyB
  • June 12, 2011
    surgoshan
  • June 12, 2011
    kentdyson88
    Speaking of Whats Happenning, we also have Shirley and Mrs Thomas. Does it still count if half of the cast is fat?
  • June 12, 2011
    OmarKarindu
  • June 12, 2011
    peccantis
    ^^ no. Character whose one defining character is to be the one fatty in an otherwise slim cast. And they aren't just pudgy -- they're fat, likely spherical.

    ^^^ ... so was Rosenburg going to be the fatty?

    Can I please get more elaborated examples? I don't know any of those works so I cannot say whether they apply or not.
  • June 12, 2011
    Sijie
    Well, I can tell you it's not true in Glee. Mercedes is often trated more as a Token Black than a Token Fatty, and she's also very useful to the plotlines she's involved in as a friend and advisor to the characters. Let's not forget her incredible singing voice.

    And although Lauren's character is often Played For Laughs because she's fat, it doesn't affect her character that much. Her current boyfriend originally tried to woo her by singing "Fat Bottomed Girls" and it didn't work. He's also into her because her Bad Ass personality matches his. Oh, did we mention he's one of the most attractive guys in the cast?
  • June 12, 2011
    JonnyB
    Well, Rerun was the fatty of the main group, I think. Shirley and Mrs. Thomas were peripheral characters. (As I recall, though I never watched the show much...)

    Regarding Grease, I don't recall a fat character in the US film version. Jan was portrayed as being a bit more overweight than the rest, but I wouldn't exactly say her defining feature was that she was fat.
  • June 13, 2011
    peccantis
    This wasn't even a named character, more like "second girl from left in back row".
  • June 13, 2011
    cityofmist
    Well, in Glee, there are two characters who are obese, and frequently come up with weight-related Aesops, especially Lauren, whose weight gets brought up several times an episode (remember when all the fat kids were going to vote for her as prom queen because they could relate to her?), and all the rest of the female cast is TV-show-skinny. That sounds like Token Fatties to me.
  • June 13, 2011
    jaytee
    Am I the only one that doesn't really want the word "fatty" to be in the trope title or description? It's not exactly the most sensitive way to refer to the obese; I think some people are assuming N Word Privileges.
  • June 13, 2011
    peccantis
    ^ well what suggestions do you have? It's not like the Token Black is flawlessly PC either.
  • July 31, 2013
    PPPSSC
    ^^ I like the title; it indicates the same sort of attitude used in writing this type of character.

    I think I might have to keep my eye on this just like the Fat Comic Relief one to make sure people don't add characters who don't count.
  • July 31, 2013
    GKaiser
    The Portal example wouldn't count, Chell is nowhere near overweight.
  • August 1, 2013
    DAN004
    Compare Character Roster Global Warming where, in multiplayer Fighting Games, Mighty Glaciers are fewer than characters of other type.
  • August 1, 2013
    Snicka
    Theodore from Alvin And The Chipmunks, maybe?
  • August 1, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Almost all the examples posted here thus far have been Zero Context Examples. "Show X has fat character Y" is not a valid example. You need to describe how the character fits the traits mentioned in the description.
  • August 1, 2013
    TonyG
    One of the Muses in Hercules is fat. Significantly, it's Thalia, the Muse of Comedy, so she's Big Fun.
  • August 1, 2013
    kjnoren
    Western Animation:

    • Shirley in Shaun The Sheep is at least twice as large as any of the other adult sheep, is known for eating constantly, and her large size is often used in the plots.
  • August 1, 2013
    eowynjedi
    • Congressman Samuel Chase is depicted this way in 1776. Other characters frequently remark on his weight and eating habits, he always has a plate of food in front of him, and at one point he gets stuck in his chair.
  • August 1, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    The Navy Lark had Able Seaman "Fatso" Johnson who was frequently given the Fat Idiot treatment and had many jokes made about his weight including being labelled as HMS Troutbridge's official ballast.
  • August 1, 2013
    randomsurfer
    re Grease: There is a fat boy character in the original stage version. He's the one who sings "Mooning." I think his girlfriend (the one he sings "Mooning" to) is also the fat girl in her group.
  • August 1, 2013
    PsiPaula4
    This seems to be very similar to Fat Comic Relief...
  • August 4, 2013
    peccantis
    ^ Fat Comic Relief does not need to be a Token and a Token Fatty does not need to contribute Comic Relief
  • August 4, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    Blimp of the Inferior Five: he could inflate his (already obese) body until he floated, with no actual ability to control his flight.
  • August 4, 2013
    hevendor717
    I'll wait for the game to come out...but in The Wonderful 101, one of the commanders is Wonder-Green, who is very noticeably and somewhat adorably fat. He has a fanny-pack filled with candy and treats, and specializes in using heroes as projectile attacks.
  • August 4, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    Parodies of the Third Reich usually play up the fact that Herman Goering was markedly obese, often taken Up To Eleven.

  • August 4, 2013
    arromdee
    Faith in Harbinger is a non-comic-relief version. Her obesity is rarely remarked upon but is as conspicuous to the reader as a standard Token Minority is. She also has a power (flight) which is convenient in that flight negates the physical disadvantage of being out of shape.
  • August 4, 2013
    xanderiskander
    I think it's going to be hard to find examples for characters whose only defining character trait in the group is being fat. Generally characters like this will have at least a couple other characteristics to keep the audience interested. Like being the Butt Monkey or Big Fun. If they're any less than that they're just a Bit Character.
  • August 4, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    This trope actually runs really close to Fat Comic Relief.
  • August 4, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Head Of The Class Dennis Blunden (Dan Schneider) is The Fat One, but his fatness isn't particularly remarked upon other than one time when he lost a lot of weight over the summer (reflecting Schneider's real-life weight loss). The entire class is kind of a Five Token Band with The Fat One, the Nerdy One, The Republican One, The Black Girl, The Foreinger, The Streetwise Kid, etc.
  • September 8, 2013
    PPPSSC
    As written this might be too similar to Fat Comic Relief, but I think it's also a good net to catch at least some of the misuse it previously got as "The Fat Guy," especially those examples written under the assumption that trope was about tokenism.
  • September 8, 2013
    kjnoren
    ^ OTOH, the distinction between the three tropes will be quite small, so I'm afraid things can become quite confused.
  • September 8, 2013
    Skylite
    • Played with in Wild Cards. Fatman chose that moniker once he got the ability to affect gravity and caused himself to weigh only 68 pounds despite being visibly obese.
    • Troll in Packages From Planet X.
  • September 8, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    In the original Star Wars movie (aka. A New Hope), fans have criticized why one X-wing pilot was obese and even named "Porkins".
  • September 9, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    In Grease Jan is portrayed as pudgy compared to the rest of the Pink Ladies but her actress wasn't that much heavier than the other actresses. They just put her in baggy clothes.

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