Fat Bastard

On the inside you will not find true beauty.
"Your sins are exceeded only by your girth!"
Green Goblin on Wilson Fisk, Spider-Man: The Animated Series.

Also called fatbastarditis. Once a television character reaches a certain level of tubbiness, the show they are in will lose sympathy for them. It is generally assumed that overweight people are either pathetic, obnoxious losers or greedy hedonistic Corrupt Corporate Executives. They also tend to be portrayed as ludicrously obsessive eaters. Furthermore, most are portrayed as lazy, having poor hygiene, bad grooming, and no fashion sense. Glandular conditions, genetic tendencies, a natural endomorph body type, low metabolism, and weight gain as a side effect of prescription drugs are treated as lame excuses alongside the "I'm just big-boned" mold.

This trend first shows up with the introduction of synthetic, high-fat foods in the early twentieth century, which enabled people from most social classes to gain weight quickly. Prior to that point, being fat was considered high fashion — examples include Adipose Rex and how having a fat wife proved that the Railroad Baron had enough money to feed her a lot. Nowadays, obesity is more associated with the poor, as processed food is far cheaper than healthier alternatives. Hence how we can go from the Santa Claus character type of rich and jolly to the modern character type of greedy, lazy, and evil.

Interestingly, some comedians (usually fat ones) complain about Political Correctness Gone Mad when it comes to fat jokes... although the sheer quantity of examples we have amassed tend to disagree on this front. Obesity is so universally seen as a negative character trait that it's relatively common for characters to be given some Adaptational Attractiveness to offset this fact.

Compare Big Eater and Villainous Glutton (often with Jabba Table Manners). Fat Bastard and Big Eater are usually (but not always) mutually exclusive. While Fat Bastard is often fairly ugly, the Big Eater usually has a somewhat pleasant appearance. This is because the first character is played for villainy and the second for laughs. Dead Weight is this type... but undead! When a Fat Bastard does their own fighting, they can a simultaneously humorous and terrifying foe for a hero to face off against- these portrayals range often invoke the characters obesity as a Disability Super Power or Power-Upgrading Deformation. Kevlard is commonly invoked trope, particularly for a Stationary Boss or Mighty Glacier villain. Stout Strength is also a stock trait for these villains, and rarely they will be Acrofatic. When facing a villain with more than one of these traits, crying is an acceptable tactic.

This trope is named after the character from the Austin Powers movies. He epitomizes this trope to such a ridiculous extreme that it qualifies as parody.

See Also Big, Fat Future. Fat Idiot portrays a similarly negative image of the overweight, though not necessarily an unsympathetic one (there are plenty of dim but good hearted fat characters). Contrast Big Fun, who is fat, jolly and great fun to be around. Contrast Big Beautiful Man and Big Beautiful Woman (Fat Bastards are usually men, but there are some female examples), who are attractive because they're chubby. Also see Large and in Charge which can have some overlap with this trope (along with Corrupt Corporate Executive and other bad leader tropes), though you don't necessarially have to be fat to qualify. There is also some overlap with Adipose Rex, though it is possible for a royal to be fat and not a bastard. Often stems from Evil Is Bigger and Beauty Equals Goodness.

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  • Brutal hitman Oodles from Dick Tracy, who weighs 470 lbs.
  • Brewster Rockit: Space Guy - Cliff Clewless. The idea is in his name. He's supposed to be the station's engineer, but knows nothing beyond making an idiot of himself (though not the same level as Brewster, whose stupidity is beyond measure), lazing around, and causing trouble to himself and his crewmates.
  • The cynical fatty tabby, Garfield. Other than abusing Odie and making his owner's life hell, he does nothing but eat and sleep.
  • J. Roaringham Fatback, a recurring villain in Li'l Abner. The self-styled "Pork King", Fatback was a greedy, gluttonous, unscrupulous business tycoon. His grudge against Dogpatch originated when the town cast a shadow over the table where he was having breakfast, causing his desire to demolish the town, rather than simply move his table. The bloated, porcine, hideously ugly Fatback was, quite literally, a corporate swine

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  • Real Life example: Comedian Artie Lange is constantly mocked on The Howard Stern Show, where the Stern sidekick's obsession with junk food caused him to gain more than fifty kilograms in less than a year.


Alternative Title(s): Fat Bitch