Bones: Hey Lumpy, you know how we were talking about the other day how we're in every single solitary movie ever, the fat guy and the skinny guy who are both thugs?
I pick the latter.
This is where a fat and a skinny character make up a two-character ensemble. This is usually a comedy trope, usually with the skinny character being the Straight Man
, although inversions of this are seen as well. Sometimes both characters are silly and this is often seen in the Terrible Trio
type of villains, although there are also examples of heroic, or at least not villainous, pairs who fit this description. They often fit into the tropes of Those Two Guys
or Those Two Bad Guys
These two guys usually (but not always) have some specific characteristics
their relationship: The skinny one has all of the ideas, and the fat one is also the strong man. The fat one is usually a dopey optimist, while the skinny one is cynical and refined. This pair, even in villain form, are devoted to each other. If on the rare occasion the fat guy has a brilliant idea, either the skinny guy will express extreme surprise at the fat guy's ability to rub two brain cells together or the idea will be waved away as unworkable, and then re-appropriated two seconds later as the skinny guy's idea
If these characteristics are not followed, then it's usually because the fat one is a brute who beats up the whiny skinny dude a lot
. This behavior is rarely seen in protagonist pairings of fat and skinny.
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Anime and Manga
- Tonzler and Boyacky, Doronjo's henchmen from Yatterman. Well, strictly speaking Tonzler is a muscular Top-Heavy Guy, but the effect is the same. Ditto their many Expy counterparts from the other Time Bokan series.
- Nuk and Mok in Kemono no Souja Erin.
- Horizontal Guy and Vertical Guy, who appear in Comic Party.
- Misato and Kawahama from Moyashimon.
- Hiruma and Kurita of Eyeshield 21.
- Sanson and Hanson, Grandis' cronies in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, invert the mold. The tall, skinny Sanson is incredibly strong (because he's named after the legendary Mighty Samson), while the short, rotund Hanson is a peerless genius.
- Decoe and Bocoe in Sonic X.
- Tom and Tab from Kimba the White Lion.
- Dia and Pearl from the Pokémon Adventures manga. Pearl is the scrawny fast-talking idea man, Dia is the chubby good-natured dimwit buffoon. Slight subversion in that Dia is revealed to be only Obfuscating Stupidity and sometimes makes borderline snark comments that Pearl chooses to ignore. (In one scene, Platinum observes the boys practicing and asks if the Dope Slap hurt Dia. Pearl insists that he has to brutally slap Dia so the audience will hear the smack-like sound effect, and this is necessary to convey emotion. Dia then mutters that Pearl could hit him a little softer, and still get the message across.) May also be somewhat inverted in that Pearl is physically the stronger of the 2 boys (even capable of having the heavier Dia stand on his shoulders throughout an entire gym match when they covertly help Platinum. Pearl does finally pass out from exhaustion a short while later.) Played straight in their manzai comedy routines, all of which are written by Pearl.
- Leeva and Gula in Doki Doki Pretty Cure. They even have Ho Yay moments.
- Astérix and Obelix, though Obelix insists his chest has just slipped a bit.
- Douglas Klump and Burt Shlubb, "Fat Man and Little Boy" from Sin City
- Plastic Man and Woozy Winks.
- Kel-Matu and Ko-Chonu in Les Légendaires. A rare example to not be played for comedy.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- Laurel and Hardy, the Trope Maker, sometimes known by fans as "the Fiddle and the Bow". In many countries, including Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany, they are actually known as "Fat and Skinny". They also defy the usual stereotypes in that Hardy was the smart one and Laurel the fool. Of course, interpretations of this can vary.
- Abbott and Costello.
- Bud Spencer and Terence Hill.
- A gender inversion is Tracy Turnblad and Penny Pingleton from Hairspray.
- Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Spaced...
- Sky High: Speed, the fat guy, actually has Super Speed, but Lash, the skinny guy, has stretching powers.
- C-3PO and R2-D2 from Star Wars.
- Marv and Harry in Home Alone
- Jay and Silent Bob, with the fat Silent Bob as the Straight Man.
- Pirates of the Caribbean has two sets, two Royal Marines based on Abbott & Costello and two pirates based on Laurel & Hardy. The pairs meet a few times.
- David Spade and Chris Farley in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep.
- The Blues Brothers. Perhaps explained by their Trademark Favourite Foods; Jake's "four fried chickens" (yes, whole ones) and Elwood's "dry white toast".
- Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi again, in Neighbors.
- Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet in a number of 1940s films, starting with The Maltese Falcon. They were often, though not always, a villainous pair. This was lampshaded during their cameo in Hollywood Canteen, when a soldier thinks they're threatening him. They were actually offering him a cigarette.
- Jolly U and Rat in Guest from the Future.
- Max and Thor in the film version of George of the Jungle.
- Evan and Seth from Superbad
- Komatsu and Oyama from Skinny and Fatty, which apparently cemented itself permanently in the minds of those who grew up in the late '50s.
- Moe and/or Larry and Curley or Joe or Curly Joe.
- In Batman Returns, the Penguin's circus-themed gang includes the Fat Clown and the Thin Clown. As usual, the Thin Clown is a genius (Penguin has him install a jamming device inside the Batmobile) while the Fat Clown is pretty dense.
- Shannon Mullins and Sarah Ashburn from The Heat.
- Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
- Fred and Nobby, as well as Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, from the Discworld books.
- Lenny and George from Of Mice and Men
- Bragg and Larkin certainly count. Although that's more Freakishly Huge and Skinny than Fat and Skinny. (Bragg is at least 8 feet 8 inches and probably bigger.)
- Miles Vorkosigan and his clone-brother Mark. Miles is notably skinny until he acquires a cook in one of the later books; Mark, whose metabolism is intended for a man six foot tall, has been surgically reduced to Miles' dwarfish height and decides to gain a great deal of weight to distinguish himself from his progenitor/brother. One character refers to them as "The Chance Brothers" - Slim and Fat.
- Finney and Mudd from Tad Williams' Otherland sci-fi series. Servants to the main villain, the skinny one, Finney, is brilliant and manipulative, and Mudd, the fat one, is described as "Almost subhuman". Copies of them exist within a massive VR simulation network where these characteristics are played up even more by the intelligence controlling the system, which essentially constructs it's understanding of the universe from stories, almost making these copies a reference to the trope itself..
- Depending on the artist◊ or screen portrayal◊, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson sometimes get this treatment.
- The lazy and horrid Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge of James and the Giant Peach who both have Meaningful Names.
- Locke Lamora (Skinny) and Jean Tannen (Fat) from Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards series. While Lamora embodies the classic 'brains and sarcasm' role of the skinny one (and main protagonist), Tannen is, somewhat unusually for the fat one, the voice of reason, the conscience, and the badass, instead of merely the foil.
- Fattypuffs & Thinifers begins with Edmund's skinny brother Terry calling him a Fattypuff. They then ride down a long escalator to a fantasy world which is entirely divided between a fat half and a thin half.
- The main characters of the Italian novel for children Sussi e Biribissi by Paolo Lorenzini (aka Collodi Nipote). Sussi is rosy, short, with blond curly hair and looks like a lump of butter, Biribissi is tall, skinny, dark haired and quite dirty. Later in the novel they swap roles.
- Donegan Bane and Gracious O'Callahan, the Monster Hunters, in The Maleficent Seven. Donegan is described as a "tall, skinny Englishman" while Gracious is "the short, powerfully built Irishman".
- In Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Christopher Drawlight and Henry Lascelles seem to fit this trope, with Drawlight being plump and rather dim-witted, while Lascelles (the taller of the two) is brutally sarcastic and, in a darker take on the trope manages to effectively scheme against Norrell and Strange, and murders Drawlight. Based on body type alone, Norrell and Strange themselves fit this trope, but do not qualify in other ways.
- Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel (and later, Richard Roeper) from Siskel And Ebert.
- Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street.
- Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show, and maybe Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker as well.
- Kenan & Kel, with fat Kenan as the Straight Man to skinny Kel.
- Yick and Arthur from Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High
- Drake & Josh, until Josh lost his puppy fat.
- El Chompiras and Botija from Chespirito.
- Manolo and Benito from Manos A La Obra. Benito may not be that skinny, but he's obviously not as fat as Manolo.
- The Mexican entertainers Viruta and Capulina.
- Pictured above: Bulk and Skull from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and the following seasons; in this case, however, the fat one is The Schemer.
- Also Squatt and Baboo from the same series.
- In Power Rangers Samurai, Bulk forms a similar pair with Skull's son Spike.
- Barney and Junior from Far Out Space Nuts.
- Jamie and Vicki from Small Wonder.
- Earl and Randy from My Name Is Earl.
- Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton on The Honeymooners.
- Hurley and various skinny partners (most commonly Charlie, now Miles, occasionally Sawyer) from LOST.
- Even more so with his old buddy on the mainland, Johnny, aka DJ Quallis.
- Ace Of Cakes has Duff Goldman and Geof Manthorne, two Heterosexual Life-Partners who make cakes and take names. Inverted, however, in that Duff is the brazen one of the two, while Geof tends to sit back and spout wisdom/ineffably dry humor for the most part.
- Penn & Teller
- Jake and the Fatman.
- Gilligan... the Skipper too.
- Nico and Grady from Sonny With A Chance.
- Filmations Ghostbusters (the original live action series) featured two gangsters called Fat Man and The Rabbit in the episode, "The Maltese Monkey." This example goes one further in that The Rabbit is played by dwarf actor Billy Barty.
- The Doctor Who episode "A Good Man Goes to War" brought us the thin and fat (and tall and short) gay married Anglican Marines. The characters themselves claimed that with a title like that, they don't even need names.
- Noah's Arc: Alex and Noah when they're seen one on one; their personalities also fit the silly vs. Straight Man (no pun intended) qualities of the trope.
- Presumably the Spanish-language show El Gordo y la Flaca.
- Penhall and Hanson toward the end of their partnership in 21 Jump Street.
- R.J. and Miles in The Hard Times of RJ Berger.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Crow is all articulated lamp arms, and Tom Servo is barrel-shaped, literally.
- David Mitchell and Robert Webb - one bit, for instance, has Rob mocking David for asking whether a shirt made him look fat.
- James Corden and Mathew Horne, in Gavin and Stacey and "Horne and Corden".
- Shultz and Klink from Hogan's Heroes
- Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter, although Andy Richter is the straight man.
- UK 1980s comedy duo Syd Little and Eddie Large (not their real names).
- Bert and Al from Doc Martin. Bert being the short Fat Idiot and his son Al is the sensible Straight Man.
- Williams And Ree.
- The faces of Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page and Ed Robertson.
- Insane Clown Posse, Violent J (fat) and Shaggy 2 Dope (skinny).
- Johns Linnell and Flansburgh, pretty consistently throughout their career. Linnell has always been terribly scrawny, whereas Flansburgh has evolved from being ridiculously buff to rather pudgy, and of course several inches taller. Inverted, however, in that Flansburgh is the idea man, while Linnell broods in the background and plays music, sometimes on stage when you poke him into it.
- Tupac Shakur and The Notorious BIG, when they were friends.
- Trout Fishing In America has 7-foot, moderately built Keith Grimwood and 5-foot-5, thicker-built Ezra Idlet.
- Twiztid from 1997 until 2012 was identifiable thusly: Jamie Madrox was the fat one, and Monoxide was the skinny one. However, Jamie lost a lot of weight and is skinny now.
- Flo and Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) of The Turtles and Mothers of Invention fame.
- The Navy Lark has skinny and vulture-like C.P.O. Pertwee and Able Seaman "Fatso" Johnson who often pair up on nefarious schemes with poor Johnson usually the butt of the joke or Pertwee's fall guy.
- Finians Rainbow has Shears and Robust. The former is tall and lean, the latter short and squat.
- That Guy with the Glasses: Sean Fausz and Paw.
- The Nostalgia Chick and her BFF, Nella.
- Simon Lane and Lewis Brindley from the Yogscast.
- Even though they don't normally work together, and the latter isn't skinny as a rail, This video shows that Jesse Cox is visibly rounder than TotalBiscuit, enough to imply this trope when they do work together.
- Linkara and Spoony, critics, collaborators, and good friends. Though not quite as extreme as other examples, Linkara is notably heavier-set than when he started AT4W, and Spoony has lost weight in the past due to a number of factors; side by side, their size difference is easily visible.
- The Vlogbrothers - despite Hank's self-deprecation, he really is quite skinny, compared to his brother, fat enough at his worst that there was at one point a Facebook group was made dedicated to it.
- Jon Tron and Egoraptor of the Game Grumps.
- Slowbeef and Diabetus of Retsupurae.
- Rob Walker and Doug Walker. To explain, Rob is basically Hollywood Pudgy and has had his own moments of scary-thin. It's just next to Doug, who has got very rail-like over the years, he comes off looking worse than he should.
- Nickelodeon has many examples, usually of the "both are silly" variety. In chronological order:
- Mauve Shirts 21 and 24 (The Venture Bros.).
- Scratch and Grounder (Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog).
- Jeannie and Babu.
- Tennessee Tuxedo and Chumley (Tennessee Tuxedo And His Tales).
- Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber from VeggieTales.
- Billy and Fred from Transformers Armada.
- In the party scene from Walt Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow cartoon, Brom Bones wants to invoke this trope when he repeatedly attempts to get tall, skinny Ichabod Crane to dance with a short, fat girl instead of with Katrina.
- Mr. Nosy and Mr. Small from The Mr. Men Show.
- Bobble and Clank from the Tinker Bell movie.
- Coop and Jamie from Megas XLR.
- Pinky and the Brain.
- Katie and Sadie from Total Drama Island.
- Jimbo and Ned from South Park.
- SWAT Kats has four such pairs: T-Bone and Razor, Mac and Molly Mange, Burke and Murray, and Mayor Manx and Callie Briggs.
- Guapo and Fraz, the title characters in The Brothers Flub. A bit unusually for this trope, neither could really be considered a Straight Man.
- Jake and Eddie, Filmations Ghostbusters. Then again, Eddie and Futura may also count, if one is so inclined.
- Recess gives you any combination of Mikey and T.J. with Vince and Gus.
- Tony and Joe the Italian chefs from Lady and the Tramp.
- Kings Stefan [Princess Aurora's father] and Hubert [Prince Phillip's father] from Sleeping Beauty.
- Reeka and Draggle (My Little Pony And Friends).
- Snips and Snails (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic).
- Mondo and Woody (Good Vibes).
- Rocky and Mugsy from "Bugs n' Thugs" (Looney Tunes).
- Rocko and Heffer from Rocko's Modern Life.
- Jetlag Productions used this twice in two of their fairy tale adaptations. First with Pauline and Alicia (Beauty and the Beast) and later the two wicked stepsisters (Cinderella).
- Goof Troop:
- The fathers, Pete and Goofy. Pete (who is fat) is the idea man and the cynic, while Goofy (who is skinny) is the goofy optimist who is just along for the ride, and neither one qualifies as an actual Straight Man (though Pete is closer).
- The sons, Max and PJ. Max (who is skinny) is the idea man and the optimist, while PJ (who is fat) is a pessimistic critic of Max's plans and The Drag-Along, and they have a mutual Straight Man and Wise Guy partnership where PJ is, as a pattern, more likely to be the straight man than Max is.
- Those Two Bad Guys, Spud and Wally. Though they are minor enough that their roles are unclear, it seems to follow the show's "fat guy is straight(er) man" pattern.
- Florence and Dottie, two unlikely roommates, in Moral Orel.
- Crumden and Bumbler from the Around the World in 79 Days segment of The Cattanooga Cats.
- On The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, Penny and Wiggy.
- On The Hair Bear Bunch, Botch and Mr. Peevly.
- Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland from Gravity Falls.
- Hoppopotamus and Butterbear, the two main girls in The Wuzzles.
- Butterbear isn't really skinny (she is a bear, after all), just short.
- A famous Winnie-the-Pooh cartoon by Disney had Pooh being haunted by heffalumps (fat, elephant-like creatures) and woozles (skinny, weasel-like creatures).
- Jake and Butch, the two burglars, from Mr. Bogus.
- Entrée (fat) and Peri (skinny) on Spliced.
- Timon & Pumbaa
- Amethyst, Steven, or Steven's father (fat) and Garnet, Pearl, or Connie (skinny) on Steven Universe.
- Kon and his gender opposite Konnie (fat) and Kin and his gender opposite Kim (skinny) on Grojband.
- G. K. Chesterton saw St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi this way, since, though they never met, they would have been perfect foils for one another—the one big, slow, methodical and focused on his books, the other skinny, active, fiery and not prone to reading. He compared them to both Falstaff and Slender and Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.