"Your sins are exceeded only by your girth!"
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, and low metabolism 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. 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
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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- Councilmen Arnold of Soulless Shell, a convicted rapist ferret who tries to rape two other girls in-story, is even described as a "fat bastard".
- Mr. Davidson in Tokyo Mew Mew No Hope Left. He "talks about George Bush and shit" and shoots aliens in the leg.
- The inexplicably demonic Sollux in Homestuck High; at least, Rose accuses him of having "fifteen girths", which presumably means that he's fat.
- Every overweight character in Knowledge is Power but especially Slughorn and pre-redemption Millicent.
- Norg, the demonic viceroy that has usurped rule in Hebi-Na's Soulscape in Shadowchasers Soulscape. A huge, obese, frog-like demon, he is a Villainous Glutton with no manners. Like every major character that Jalal meets while on his mission in this place, Norg symbolizes part of Hebi-Na's personality. In this case, he represents what Hebi-Na once was, the cruelty that she once showed towards others, and is the cast-off evil that Hebi-Na has been trying to purge from herself.
- 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 crew mates.
- SCP Foundation, SCP-1788 ("The Adults"). In adult form SCP-1788 are all extremely obese, weighing 150-200 kilograms (330-440 lbs.). They kidnap prepubescent children and use an unknown process on them to turn them into examples of SCP-1788.
- 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.