[[quoteright:150:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blubber.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:150:It's easy to laugh, but what happens when the joke's on you?]]
''Blubber'' is a novel by Creator/JudyBlume, first published in 1974.

Linda Fischer, the pudgiest girl (though not the pudgiest ''student'') in Mrs. Minish's fifth-grade class, is singled out for bullying (physical ''and'' emotional) by Wendy, the classroom's queen bee, and everyone, including the narrator, Jill Brenner, happily joins in. Then the tables turn on Jill and suddenly, it’s not funny any more.

''Blubber'' was banned from many school libraries and reading lists because of violence and language.
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!! This book provides examples of:

* ActualPacifist: Linda tries to solve the problem by dialogue. It fails.
* AdultsAreUseless:
** The teachers scold the kids occasionally for their antics, but never make a move to stop it. Jill's mother comforts her when the class turns on her, but doesn't step in to actually ''help'' her. When Jill and Tracy are forced to rake Mr. Machinist's yard as punishment for their prank, Jill's dad defends the girls when Machinist (rightly, at least in Jill's case) calls them "brats," and afterward doesn't disagree when Jill remarks that Machinist really ''did'' deserve the prank, thus ensuring that Jill hasn't learned a thing from this.
** Even when Linda actually tells authority figures about the bullying, the adults either pay no attention to her, don't believe her, simply don't care, or all of the above. Even when the principal addresses the entire class after one incident, Wendy cooks up an outrageous lie of a story to "explain", and the principal and the teacher swallow it hook, line and sinker. Part of it could be Mrs. Minish's refusal to believe that her kids could be so cruel (that line of dialogue is even the title of one chapter in the book).
** Worse yet, they [[VictimBlaming blame the victim]] - see under that trope below.
** Probably the only adult in the book with any bite at all is Mr. Machinist, and to a somewhat lesser extent Miss Rothbelle.
** And probably the only adult in the book who ''isn't'' useless is the nanny, Mrs. Sandmeier, who seems to fill a role similar to Ole Golly in ''Literature/HarrietTheSpy'' in that she does more parenting than both of Jill's parents put together. It's telling that when the tables turn on Jill, the first person she tells about it (in a letter) is Mrs. Sandmeier (although, being on vacation in Switzerland, Mrs. Sandmeier isn't in a position to help).
* AllGirlsLikePonies: Donna actually wants to ''marry'' a horse when she grows up. She even has one picked out, his name is San Salvadore.
* AlphaBitch: Wendy is the de facto leader of Jill's class. Almost everyone in the class obeys Wendy, and even teacher would believe her words over everyone else's. If anyone ever ''dared'' to challenge her, that is: "Everyone knows you don't cross Wendy," Jill tells us, and when Jill dares to do just that, the consequences are dire.
* AnnoyingLaugh: Caroline, whose laugh Jill compares to a hyena's (although she's never heard a hyena laugh, she's certain it would sound like Caroline).
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Kenny Brenner, a walking trivia machine who spouts off tidbits from the Guinness Book of World Records night and day. However, there are moments when he comes off as infinitely more likable than his big sister - for example, when he manages to befriend Linda at Warren Winkler's Bar Mitzvah.
* AssholeVictim: Jill herself. When she takes Linda's place at the bottom of the class hierarchy, we're supposed to feel sorry for her, and yet ''not once'' does she ever reflect that this was how Linda felt when Jill and her friends tormented her.
* BerserkButton: Never call Jill's best friend Tracy a racial slur. Ever.
* BetaBitch: Caroline mostly, although Donna and Jill herself also fill this role. Jill actually calls attention to this near the end, calling Caroline out on being Wendy's lapdog when they corner her in the bathroom.
* BreakTheHaughty: Averted, because Jill doesn't really learn anything (or at least not the lesson she SHOULD have learned) from becoming the target of bullying herself.
* TheBully: Wendy is the one who started bullying Linda, and, later, had the whole class turn on Jill when the latter defied her.
* CoolOldLady: Jill's first impression of her great-aunt Great Maudie, who moves in as temporary nanny while Mrs. Sandmeier is on vacation. She's a health-food, natural-living and yoga enthusiast. At first Jill thinks she'll enjoy having Great Maudie stay with them because she's gregarious and has a great laugh, but she changes her mind once Maudie (who either won't, or can't, cook "regular" foods) throws away her sugary breakfast cereals and makes her eat health foods like wheat germ mush.
** Mrs. Sandmeier herself counts, as she can apparently, at age 58, take on fourth-grader Kenny and all of his friends in basketball and beat them single-handedly.
* CreepyChild: Wendy and her followers are a borderline example. They ''write lists'' of new ways to torment Linda, including ''forcibly undressing her'' on two separate occasions and forcing her to say, "I am Blubber, the smelly whale of Class 206" until Linda is saying it on her own without anyone telling her to. Later, they torture Jill in the exact same ways, including attacking her at the bus stop and throwing her books on the ground. It gets to the point where Jill purposely decides it's safer to wear pants to school so she won't be forced to show the boys her panties - not that this dissuades Wendy and friends from threatening to strip her anyway.
* DeceptivelySillyTitle: The title sounds silly, but it's actually the mean-spirited nickname given to an overweight girl by her bullying peers. The book is a harshly realistic look at bullying.
* DoubleStandard: Touched on regarding overweight males versus overweight females. Jill notes that one of the boys gleefully tormenting Linda for her "blubber" is extremely overweight and is, in fact, fatter than her. Even better, he's jumping rope to a mocking chant directed towards the title character. Special attention is called to his undulating rolls of fat in the narration.
** Averted regarding the gym teacher, Mr. Witneski, whom Jill likes because he treats the girls and boys as equals.
* FictionalCountry: Actually averted with Nagaland (Jill mentions her favorite stamps in her collection are from Nagaland), which is actually a real part of India.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Jill's mother tells her to try putting herself in Linda's position, and Jill exclaims, "I could ''never'' be in ''her'' place." "Don't be so sure," her mother tells her...
* {{Gasshole}}: Apparently Jill's brother Kenny is one whenever he eats sauerkraut, as when Linda farts during music class, Jill reflects that she must have had sauerkraut for breakfast.
* HeIsNotMyBoyfriend: Warren Winkler is a creepy (so Jill says) kid whose parents are good friends with Jill's parents. It's implied that the kids' parents believe the two of them will become friends (or more) when they get older. Wendy later seizes on this as one of Jill's sore spots and uses it to torment her.
* InformedDeformity: Linda is apparently the fattest girl in the class, but on the cover art she doesn't look any heavier than the rest of the girls, and she also isn't the pudgiest ''student'' in the class. Lampshaded in the book. Jill admits that she doesn't know why they all go after Linda to torment, as Linda really isn't all that big. It would seem that the reason is that the entire class is subject to Wendy's whims, as evidenced by how quickly Jill replaces Linda as the class's ButtMonkey.
* KarmaHoudini: Wendy never received any punishments despite being the ring leader of two massive bullying episodes.
** In fact, ''no one'' receives any meaningful punishments for tormenting anyone. Miss Rothbelle gives the entire class a detention for one prank on Linda; it has no effect. Jill and Tracy have to rake Mr. Machinist's leaves as punishment for their prank; Jill, at least, seems to have learned nothing from the experience, as her own father, despite telling her earlier that "It's not up to you to decide who deserves what in this world," won't disagree with her assertion that Machinist deserved it after he actually ''meets'' Machinist.
* KeepAway: Played first with Linda's notebook, then later Jill's math book.
* KidsAreCruel: Even the main character partakes in the bullying of an overweight loner. When she gets bullied herself, it's no longer a laughing manner. Parents have been known to complain that no one gets punished at the end.
%%* LonersAreFreaks: Poor Linda…
* MaliciousMisnaming: Linda's nickname of "Blubber," and later Jill's nickname of B.B. ("Baby Brenner").
* MoralGuardians: The book was banned in a lot of places for its complete lack of sugarcoating, KarmaHoudini ending, and the use of curse words by young kids. Another, darker reason is that some claim it to be fuel for future bullies.
** There's an element of BrokenAesop here as well, as more recent editions of the book feature commentary from Judy Blume herself urging readers who are being bullied or witness bullying taking place to tell someone they trust, but on the other hand, the authority figures in the book are all [[AdultsAreUseless inept and/or uncaring]], which implies that telling an authority figure won't always help.
* MoralityPet: Tracy seems to be this for Jill, as she's the only one Jill has a consistent good relationship with. Even after Jill becomes her class's ButtMonkey, Tracy continues to stand by her.
** Tracy is an interesting case: She doesn't seem to like Linda any more than Jill or anyone else and in fact participates with Jill in vandalizing Linda's house on Halloween. However, she seems to grow and mature in ways Jill doesn't, as evidenced when she refuses to take part in Wendy's revenge plan because she's not convinced Linda was the one who tattled on her and Jill for their prank on Mr. Machinist. Part of this could be due to better parenting, as it's implied that Tracy's parents are much more hands-on and involved with their daughter than are Jill's (Mrs. Wu even has time to make Tracy's award-winning Halloween costume, while Jill's mother barely has time to ''talk'' to her daughter let alone do things like cook, leaving the parenting to the nanny).
* [[MyBelovedSmother My Beloved Grandsmother]]: Jill's grandmother never appears but is mentioned several times and described by Jill as such, since she won't let Jill or Kenny ride bikes for fear they'll get hurt and "made [Jill] wear a hat and mittens when it was positively roasting out." On the other hand, Grandma is a pro at cooking and cleaning, which is why Jill ultimately decides she'd rather have Grandma babysit them than Great Maudie (who forces her health-food hippie lifestyle on the kids) whenever Mrs. Sandmeier has to take a vacation.
* NatureTinkling: As mentioned under PottyEmergency below, Tracy and Jill relieve themselves by peeing on Mr. Machinist's trees.
* NoEnding: The book really doesn't have a conclusion. It just sort of stops in a "just another day" kind of fashion.
* OralFixation: When Jill's mother quits smoking, she takes up chewing bubble gum to keep her mouth busy. Jill is impressed at the size of the bubbles her mother can blow.
* PetTheDog: Wendy's idea of this regarding Linda is to force her to kiss Bruce, the actual chubbiest kid in the class, ostensibly to "reward" Linda for her compliance in becoming the class butt-monkey. Bruce is actually chased down and held down while Linda kisses him (on the cheek, as Bruce threatens to spit at Linda if she kisses him on the lips). Jill remarks afterward that Linda seemed to enjoy it, which may be at least partially true, as Bruce, for only that one incident, takes Linda's place at the bottom of the class pecking order.
* PickedLast: Linda is picked last for kickball in gym class. And, after the tables turn on her, so is Jill - in an ironic twist, Linda is one of the team captains who argues to not have Jill on ''her'' team.
* PickyEater: Jill doesn't like a lot of things, including Chinese food and the menu at Warren's Bar Mitzvah. It's possibly the reason she's so skinny, and she's actually called out for it a few times.
* PlaygroundSong: Linda goes on a diet to lose some weight, but it doesn't curb the teasing. Donna, the horse enthusiast, even adapts a malicious jump-rope rhyme she made up about a summer camp counselor to mock Linda for going on a diet.
* PottyEmergency: Jill and Tracy's punishment for their prank on Mr. Machinist is having to rake his huge backyard. Both badly need to pee before they're finished, and both opt to water the man's trees rather than humiliate themselves by begging permission to use his bathroom.
* {{Reincarnation}}: Much to Jill's annoyance, Linda and Kenny strike up a friendship at Warren Winkler's Bar Mitzvah after party, bonding over their shared belief in ESP and reincarnation. Apparently Linda believes she has been reincarnated six times.
* SchoolBullyingIsHarmless: '''HELL NO.'''
* ShamefulStrip: After trapping Linda in the girls' bathroom, Wendy orders Jill (dressed as a flenser for Halloween) to "strip the Blubber" and not stop until Linda has to run down the hall "in her blubbery birthday suit." It never gets ''that'' far, but the girls do reveal Linda's undershirt and flowery underpants before letting her off with a lesser humiliation.
* ShoutOut: Tracy's [[Series/SesameStreet Big Bird]] Halloween costume, homemade by her mother, wins the school's contest for most beautiful costume. And Jill wishes her class could do a Thanksgiving pageant like the Christmas pageant in ''Literature/HarrietTheSpy'', in which Harriet got to roll around on the floor while playing an onion.
** In fact, both ''Blubber'' and ''Harriet the Spy'' have thematic similarities, in that in both books, the protagonist is singled out for bullying by the rest of her class.
** It's also possible that the character of Great Maudie may have been inspired by the title character of the sitcom ''Series/{{Maude}}'' as played by BeaArthur.
* ShrinkingViolet: Averted with Linda, who isn't really as much of a doormat as Jill tries to portray her. She does try to run when cornered by her classmates though she typically doesn't get far. She tells authority figures, as anyone who's being bullied should, but in this book AdultsAreUseless. In fact, Linda is more than willing to tell Jill off whenever Wendy's not around - not that it does much good.
* ShutUpHannibal: Jill ''does'' eventually call Wendy on her bullshit, even if in the end it amounts to little. (All it does is cost Wendy her friendship with Caroline.)
* SmokingIsNotCool: Jill never misses a chance to lecture her mother, who smokes, about the dangers of cigarettes, and is ecstatic when her mother decides to quit (although, apparently not understanding how hard it is for a smoker to quit, she is quick to go ballistic when she catches her mother sneaking a cigarette later in the book).
* TokenGoodTeammate: Rochelle, who is quiet and stays out of the class' bullying behavior. It's implied she doesn't approve of her classmates' treatment of Linda but is afraid to speak up, which she finally does on the day of Linda's "trial." She becomes Jill's new friend at the end of the book.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Jill loves peanut butter sandwiches, to the point where she sneaks one to Warren's Bar Mitzvah to eat when she doesn't like the food provided. One of the starting points for her friendship with Rochelle is that Rochelle has a peanut butter sandwich too.
* TrueMeaningOfChristmas: Or in the book, true meaning of Bar Mitzvahs. Jill sees all the gifts Warren Winkler is receiving for his Bar Mitzvah and remarks she'd like to have one herself. Her mother tells her that the true meaning of the ceremony is religious, the practice of reading aloud from the Torah.
* VictimBlaming: This book is rife with it. It's Linda's own fault she gets bullied, Jill reasons, because Linda doesn't stand up for herself: instead, she "lets everyone walk all over her" and "really looks for it." (Never mind that Linda really isn't as much of a doormat as Jill makes her out to be.) When Jill's mother tells her a respectable person should be able to laugh at herself, it reinforces Jill's view that Linda is to blame for her own bullying, because Linda ''doesn't'' laugh it off. Even at the end of the book, Jill holds to this belief, failing to empathize with Linda in any way as she reflects on her new friendship with Rochelle: "Sometimes you have to make the first move. Otherwise you might wind up like Linda, letting other people decide what's going to happen to you."
** The adults do their fair share of victim-blaming as well, with an element of KickTheDog mixed in. Wendy trips Linda as Linda walks to the front of the room to give the teacher her milk money, and the teacher tells ''Linda'' to "be more careful." When the class plays catch with Linda's apple at lunchtime and the apple ends up on the floor as the lunch monitor comes in, it's Linda who gets yelled at because it's her apple. When Wendy and company start bullying Jill and attack her at the bus stop, scattering Jill's lunch, books and papers all over the place, the bus driver yells at Jill for taking too long to get her things back together. And even Jill's own mother suggests the reason Jill is getting bullied is that Jill is "a pretty tough character sometimes."


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