[[caption-width-right:350:[[TheWoobie The poor fat bastard.]]]]

->''"Acquittal is not enough for Roscoe Arbuckle. We feel that a great injustice has been done him... there was not the slightest proof adduced to connect him in any way with the commission of a crime. He was manly throughout the case and told a straightforward story which we all believe. We wish him success and hope that the American people will take the judgement of fourteen men and women that Roscoe Arbuckle is entirely innocent and free from all blame."''
-->--The jury's statement during Arbuckle's third trial

Roscoe Conkling "Fatty" Arbuckle (March 24, 1887 June 29, 1933) was a silent film star in the 1910s, a pioneering film comedian and one of Hollywood's biggest stars during UsefulNotes/{{The Silent Age|OfHollywood}}. Today, however, he's best known for being the TropeMaker for celebrity scandals, and for being partly responsible for the development of UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode.

Arbuckle was born on March 24, 1887 in Smith Center, Kansas. He had a birth weight of 13 pounds, causing [[InsaneTrollLogic disbelief]] in his father that he and his wife, who were both slim, could produce such a child. Consequently, his father named him after senator Roscoe Conkling, a man that he despised. This was only the beginning of a long and spiteful relationship between father and son.

Arbuckle started a singing career when he was a child, and began working in {{vaudeville}} when he was a teenager. He appeared in his first film in 1909, and started doing regular film work in 1913 after moving to Creator/UniversalPictures. Despite his size, Arbuckle was [[{{Acrofatic}} surprisingly agile and acrobatic]], and his films were known for their fast-paced comedy. One thing that his movies helped to popularize was the PieInTheFace gag -- [[UrExample the first known instance]] of a thrown pie landing in someone's face was in his 1913 short ''A Noise from the Deep''. His comedy proved to be a huge hit -- by 1914, Creator/{{Paramount}} Pictures was offering him and his frequent collaborator Creator/MabelNormand (one of Hollywood's first female writers, producers and directors) an unheard-of contract of $1000 a day, 25% of all profits and ProtectionFromEditors. By 1918, he was getting a 3-year, $3 million contract. In addition to making movies, Arbuckle managed to secure the big breaks of a number of actors whose names have become synonymous with early Hollywood, including Creator/CharlieChaplin, Creator/BusterKeaton and Creator/BobHope.

Arbuckle was always very sensitive about his weight, and refused to let his size be used for cheap fat jokes (such as getting stuck in a doorway or chair). He [[EmbarrassingNickname disliked his nickname of "Fatty"]], which had been given to him in school, and discouraged people from addressing him as such off-screen. Eventually, his weight, along with his drinking, started to cause him health problems; in 1916 he got an infection on his leg that was so bad that the doctors considered amputating it. While Arbuckle recovered with both legs intact, he had lost 80 pounds and had become addicted to morphine.

On the night of September 5, 1921, Arbuckle attended what would become the most fateful party of his life. The morning after, an aspiring young actress named Virginia Rappe suffered a ruptured bladder in one of the hotel rooms that he and his friends had rented for a night of festivities, and died four days later. Before she collapsed, Rappe claimed that "Arbuckle did it" and "He hurt me" during the party. Rappe suffered from chronic cystitis, a condition that flared up whenever she got drunk -- a problem that could not have been helped by her [[HardDrinkingPartyGirl heavy drinking habits]] or the low quality of Prohibition-era booze. In addition, she had gotten several crudely-performed [[BackAlleyDoctor back-alley abortions]] in the past, leaving her reproductive organs in poor shape. There exist two stories about what exactly happened to Rappe at the party:

* Arbuckle claimed that he had walked into Rappe's room in order to change his clothes, only to discover her vomiting in the toilet. He told her to lie down and called in some of the party guests to help her, and they placed her in a bathtub of cold water and rubbed ice on her stomach in order to help her deal with the pain. They then called the hotel manager and a doctor. According to one author, Rappe's claims that Arbuckle had hit her were the result of him accidentally kneeing her in the stomach during the relatively innocent horseplay going on at the party, damaging her already-compromised reproductive organs.
* According to Bambina Maude Delmont, Rappe's companion at the party, Arbuckle had raped Rappe, and his weight pressing on her body caused her bladder to rupture. The ice was allegedly part of an attempt to simulate sex with her.

[[IfItBleedsItLeads You have three guesses as to which version of events was picked up by the media, and the first two don't count.]]

Virtually overnight, the incident became [[MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome a major media sensation]], with [[LuridTalesOfDoom exaggerated stories]] showing up in every newspaper. Rumors replaced the ice with a bottle of Coke or champagne, and created an image of Arbuckle as a [[FatBastard lecherous slob]] who used his size to overpower and rape young women -- a far cry from the GentleGiant that he was in real life by all accounts. Public opinion turned against Arbuckle so quickly and harshly that, when his wife was entering the courthouse to support him, somebody tried to shoot her.

Three highly sensationalized trials were held, and although Arbuckle was ultimately acquitted, with the case against him getting torn apart on the stand and the jury even apologizing for the injustice they had done him, the damage was already done. Arbuckle was the Casey Anthony of TheRoaringTwenties, with the public feeling that [[ConvictedByPublicOpinion he was guilty no matter what the court said]]. He had gone over $700,000 in debt due to legal fees, and he lost his house and his cars to pay the debt. He had been blacklisted from the American film industry, with theaters refusing to show his films. MoralGuardians, including then-Postmaster General Will H. Hays[[note]]If that name sounds familiar, it should. Hays would go on to chair the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America the following year; his efforts to "clean up" Hollywood led to the creation of UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode in the early 1930s.[[/note]], declared the Arbuckle case and other contemporary scandals (including a murder case involving former collaborator Mabel Normand) to be proof of the poor standards of morality in Hollywood, and started pushing for increased censorship.

Arbuckle faded into obscurity afterwards. As ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' [[http://www.cracked.com/article_17201_the-6-most-depressing-imdb-pages.html detailed]], even though the blacklist was ended within a year, he only had small parts in two movies during the rest of the decade, and in 1924 started directing under the pseudonym of William Goodrich. He finally returned to acting in 1931... [[DeathByIrony only to die at a party two years later]]. Creator/BusterKeaton [[UndyingLoyalty always supported]] his friend and regarded him as a major [[TheMentor influence]] on his films.

A {{biopic}} about Arbuckle has been stuck in DevelopmentHell for nearly thirty years, and [[http://movies.about.com/od/artschoolconfidential/a/artschool042006_2.htm some]] have suggested that the project is cursed. The first actor they had lined up to play the original "live fat, die young" comic was Creator/JohnBelushi... [[ActorExistenceFailure in 1982]]. Then Creator/JohnCandy was attached to it... in 1994. And then Chris Farley stepped up... in 1997. (The film version of ''Literature/AConfederacyOfDunces'' seems to be condemned to the same fate because those same actors had also been considered to play Ignatius J. Reilly before they died.)

!!Fatty Arbuckle films with their own pages:
* ''Film/ConeyIsland''
* ''Film/FattysTintypeTangle''
* ''Film/TheGarage''
* ''Film/TheKnockout''
* ''Film/{{Leap Year|1921}}''
* ''Film/ThatLittleBandOfGold''

!!Tropes used in other Arbuckle films:

* {{Acrofatic}}: Arbuckle was a nimble dancer and juggler. In ''Fatty and Mabel at the San Diego Exposition'' he dances a neat hula with some Hawaiian girls.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: Look at the film titles on this page.
* ArrangedMarriage: In ''Fatty and Mabel's Simple Life'', the landlord is pressuring Mabel's father to marry Mabel off to his son in return for cancelling the mortgage. The father is, in turn, pressuring Mabel.
* BondVillainStupidity: In ''Fatty's Plucky Pup'', the bad guys tie up Fatty's girl, and then rig up an elaborate trap in which an alarm clock will fire a gun and kill her at 3 o'clock. Then they leave.
* BottomlessMagazines: The sheik in ''A Flirt's Mistake'' fires a seemingly endless amount of bullets from his two pistols.
** Similarly, the husband in ''Tintype Tangle" attacks Fatty with two pistols that don't seem to run out of bullets at first, but eventually, they do.
* BreakingTheFourthWall:
** At the end of ''Fatty and Mabel's Simple Life'' they get married. Fatty then looks straight at the camera and winks, presumably anticipating action on the wedding night with Mabel. Mabel gets indignant, looks straight at the camera as well, and starts angrily gesticulating. Then they both break down laughing and the film ends.
** In ''Fatty's Chance Acquaintance'' he looks at the camera and winks when he sees a girl.
* CanineCompanion: In ''Fatty's Plucky Pup'', Fatty takes said pup on a date with his girl.
* CaptainErsatz: ''Fatty and Mabel at the San Diego Exposition'' (1915) features an actor in Charlie Chaplin's Tramp costume. This was after Chaplin had left Keystone to make his own movies.
* ChineseLaunderer: Prominently featured in ''Fatty's Faithful Fido''. Sure enough, someone falls through the roof and into the washtub of said laundry.
* CountryMouse: The heroine in ''Leading Lizzy Astray'' is a farmgirl who is lured to the big city by a smooth-talking visitor. She is horrified when he takes her to a club where drinking and dancing is taking place. Fatty saves her.
* DownOnTheFarm:
** ''Leading Lizzy Astray'' finds Fatty a simple farmboy, in love with a local girl.
** ''Fatty and Mabel's Simple Life'' features a similar setup with Fatty and Mabel on the farm, in love.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: In ''A Flirt's Mistake'', Fatty approaches a pretty woman in the park, only to find out that his target is actually a man, a sheik in an elaborate costume.
* GoneSwimmingClothesStolen: Fatty becomes a cop in ''Fatty Joins the Force''. One day while out on his beat he finds a plus-sized swimsuit and decides to go swimming. Some local kids that have been picking on him then steal his cop uniform.
* HashHouseLingo: In ''The Waiters' Ball'', a customer asks for pork and beans, and the waiter shouts to Fatty to make "One grunt with a thousand on a plate!". Possibly the TropeMaker.
* HeavySleeper: In ''Fatty and Mabel Adrift'', Fatty and Mabel are sleeping peacefully in their beachfront cottage, when the bad guys knock away the joists supporting the cottage and push it into the water. Fatty doesn't wake up until the next morning, when he and Mabel are at sea, in their house, adrift.
* HenpeckedHusband: One of Fatty's go-to tropes. In ''Fatty's Chance Acquaintance'' his wife spanks him when he misbehaves.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: In ''Fatty's Faithful Fido'', the villain draws a cross on Fatty's back in chalk, and arranges with his accomplice to hire {{Mook}}s to beat up the guy with the cross on his back. Unfortunately for him, the villain leans against the wall where he drew the chalk mark for his companion, thus getting the chalk mark on ''his'' back. He gets beat up.
* HustlingTheMark: In ''Fatty's Plucky Pup'' two con men are pulling this trick with a ball and cups at the fair. They have little trap doors which they can use to drop the ball if the mark picks the right cup.
* LazyHusband: Mabel yells at her husband in ''Mabel and Fatty's Wash Day'' for not doing any of the housework. This leads her to go on an illicit outing with Fatty, her neighbor, who is a HenpeckedHusband who does all of the housework.
* LethalChef: In ''Fatty and Mabel Adrift'', poor Mabel's biscuits are so hard that they shatter plates.
* LiteralAssKicking: Many, many times.
* MistakenForTerrorist: ''Fatty's New Role'' features him as a bum who cadges free lunches from the snacks available at bars, but is thrown out by an obnoxious bar owner. Unfortunately, the newspapers have reported a story of a bomber who's been blowing up bars where he's been denied a free lunch. The obnoxious bar owner's acquaintances decide to screw with him by writing a bomb threat stating that the terrorist will blow up the bar at three. At three o'clock, Fatty strolls in. HilarityEnsues.
* NameAndName: Used for many of the films where Arbuckle co-starred with Mabel Normand.
* OrganGrinder: An organ grinder's obnoxious monkey breaks loose and climbs all over Fatty and Mabel in ''Mabel and Fatty's Married Life''. An irritated Fatty promptly picks up the monkey and throws him away. The enraged organ grinder then seeks revenge.
* PieInTheFace: Arbuckle's ''A Noise from the Deep'' (1913) is believed to be the first ever example of this trope, possibly the TropeMaker. Wiki/TheOtherWiki credits a 1909 Ben Turpin film called ''Mr. Flip'', but notes that the pie in that film was hand-held, not thrown. In any case, Arbuckle would use this trope many, many times in later films.
* PoliceAreUseless: In ''Mabel and Fatty's Married Life'', the police at the station are sleeping so soundly that the dispatcher has to fire his gun to wake them up.
* PunnyName: ''Fatty and Mabel Adrift'' features "I. Landem, Seaside Real Estate".
* {{Roofhopping}}: ''The dog'' chases the bad guy across rooftops in ''Fatty's Faithful Fido''.
* TimmyInAWell: In ''Fatty's Plucky Pup'', the dog summons Fatty to rescue his girl after the bad guys have tied her up. Not content to stop there, the dog actually frees the girl himself by tugging at the ropes.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Many Fatty Arbuckle films featured him in a romantic pairing with either his real-life wife Minta Durfee, or Keystone Studios star Mabel Normand, both of whom were very attractive women.
* {{Yellowface}}: A painfully bad example of this trope with the owner of a Chinese laundry in ''Fatty's Faithful Fido''.

!!Fatty Arbuckle {{Shout Out}}s in fiction:

* The obscure horror novel ''Devilday'' (which [[TheFilmOfTheBook inspired]] the almost-as-obscure horror film ''Madhouse'' with Creator/VincentPrice and Creator/PeterCushing) discusses the Arbuckle rape scandal.
* Creator/KimNewman's AlternateHistory short story ''[[http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/pierce.htm The Pierce-Arrow Stalled, and...]]'' begins with Arbuckle's car breaking down, causing him to never make it to that fateful party. This gives us a Hollywood where UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode never went into effect, leading to some... interesting developments in film. At the end, an older, wiser Arbuckle watches ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'' as directed by Creator/OrsonWelles.
* The ''Spenser'' novel ''Sixkill'' features a movie star character called Jumbo Nelson who really is the kind of gross lecherous monster Arbuckle was painted as. The questions is, did he really kill the girl?
* In John M. Ford's short story "Chain Home Low" (a piece of FanFiction written about ''ComicBook/TheSandman''), Fatty Arbuckle is inspired by a dream to do a film about the victims of the "Sleepy Sickness" (a condition caused by the imprisonment of Morpheus for nearly 70 years). Arbuckle films it under a pseudonym, and in the modern day its considered "a noir classic."

* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'': In the episode "Emperor Joker!", one of ComicBook/TheJoker's {{mook}}s is Fatty. Unlike the Joker's other silent-comedian thugs, he's his chubby self rather than hugely overmuscled.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has Peter confusing the name Fatty Arbuckle with the term fatty corpusle during a Doctor's exam. In a later episode, Vern and Johnny did a song to the tune of "Camptown Races" about the Virginia Rappe scandal.
* ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'': Jon Arbuckle has a CountryCousin named Roscoe Arbuckle. Roscoe is fat and clumsy.