Fat and Skinny


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?
Lumpy: Yeah?
Bones: Do you think that's a throwback to classic character development, or just really shitty writing?
Lumpy: 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 that tropify 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.

Compare Big Guy, Little Guy.


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    Anime & 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.
  • Moyashimon has Tadayasu's upperclassmen friends Misato (skinny) and Kawahama (fat).
  • Eyeshield 21 has Hiruma (Skinny) and Kurita (Fat), two of the founding members of the Deimon Devil Bats and the only ones left when Sena ends up joining the team.
  • 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 biblical 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, and 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 two 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.
  • Lumis and Umbra from the Battle City arc of Yu-Gi-Oh!; Umbra is tall and thin, Lumis is short, squat, and chubby (but actually a rather good runner and jumper).
  • The Aldini twins from Shokugeki no Soma. It's the fat one (Isami) who's the calm, stabilizing factor to his Hot-Blooded brother Takumi, but otherwise they follow the trope pretty spot on.
  • Odoren (thin) and Utaen (fat) from the Pretty Cure All Stars Spring Carnival movie.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • Zelda and Hilda from Sabrina the Teenage Witch are traditionally this. Since the 1990s show, Archie Comics has been making Zelda skinnier.
  • In Noob, the actors playing The Dividual Bartémulius and Nostariat in the webseries are a man of normal size and a woman that is little on the heavy side. When the webseries got its Comic-Book Adaptation, the characters got turned into this trope. Note that the comic's illustrator and colorist are the actors in question.
  • Kajko i Kokosz, a pair of classic Polish comic characters. Kajko is the short, brainy one, and Kokosz is the giant, brawny foil. Because of this, they occasionally get criticized for being too similar to Asterix and Obelix.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In Ask Hoops and Dumbbell, the titual characters fit the bill - though Dumbbell, the 'fat' of th two, is less fat and more just stocky. they also invert the typical dynamic with Dumbbell(usually) playing the Straight Man.

    Films — Animation 

    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 is the smart one and Laurel the fool. Of course, interpretations of this can vary.
  • John Bunny and Flora Finch played a husband-and-wife variant on this trope in A Cure for Pokeritis and at least a hundred more short comedy films, made over a decade before Laurel and Hardy. As usual, it's the skinny one (here Finch, who played the shrewish wife) who dominates the fat one {her fat Henpecked Husband, played by Bunny).
  • 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 (2005): 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 (although in this case, "fat" and "skinny" are inverted from their normal personalities)
  • 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 (1996).
  • The Blues Brothers. Perhaps explained by their Trademark Favorite 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 the 1950s Japanese family film, Chibideka Monogatari, known better by it's English title Skinny and Fatty, which apparently cemented itself permanently in the minds of those who grew up in Japan 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.
  • The Mexican comedy duo Viruto (skinny) y Capulina (fat).

  • 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.)
  • 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 and 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.
  • Lyle and Lloyd from Geoph Essex's Lovely Assistant are practically an off-model Laurel and Hardy mixed with Threepio and Artoo. They don't just fit tropes, though: They know tropes, which actually helps to save the day.
  • Anne Shirley (Skinny) and her best friend Diana Barry (Fat) from the Anne of Green Gables series.
  • Fat Kid Rules The World has best friends and bandmates Troy and Curt. Troy is a depressed, nearly 300 pound teenager while Curt is very scrawny guy who gets mistaken for a drug user due to his looks. They form a punk band together (with Troy on drums).

    Live-Action TV 

  • 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 B.I.G., 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.
  • Cass Elliot and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas and Papas. (a rare female example)

    Pro Wrestling 

  • 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.

  • Finian's Rainbow has Shears and Robust. The former is tall and lean, the latter short and squat.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • One of the main characters in Furthia High is Bruce, a fat red fox, whose best friend is a skinny rabbit named Campy. Both are friends with the last human in the world.
  • Jack Delitt and Mortimer Jones from Newheimburg
  • The first two trolls in "Tails Gets Trolled" are a particularly hilarious example
  • In Sinfest, two bullies like this show up to harrass Crimney.
  • Schlock from Schlock Mercenary and whoever is pairing off with him at the time. The only thing concrete about this is Schlock being the fat one (unless he's with Brad, Elizabeth or Chisulo), since with Schlock's partner almost always being an officer there's the almost inevitable clash of Schlock's street-smart quick-wittedness vs the partner's genuine (although not always particularly great) intelligence.
  • Jon and Seth, the two main characters of Waste Of Timeare this.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • 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.
    • G. K. Chesterton was himself an example, with friend and fellow writer Bernard Shaw as the Skinny. However, they were both known for their wit, making it an atypical example. Worth mentioning just for this conversation:
    Chesterton: To look at you, one would think there was a famine in the land!
    Shaw: To look at you, one would think you caused it!
  • Peggy Platt and Lisa Koch of Dos Fallopia, a Seattle-based comedic duo.
  • Also from Seattle is Duo Finelli, a Vaudevillian entertainment act consisting of Luz Gaxiola (fat) and Molly Shannon (skinny).
  • Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, longtime friends and business partners, have this dynamic in most of their collaborations. Even after Ricky lost a bit of weight in the 2010s, he still looks stout next to the beanpole Steve.
  • Real Life bank robbers Larry Phillips Jr and Emil Matasareanu fit this trope. Phillips was a calculating planner type, fitting the skinny description. While Matasareanu was a jovial, Big Fun type, fitting the fat description.