Awww, don't they look cute together?
The Fat Best Friend
is a common sidekick to The Protagonist
. There's three variants of this trope:
Type A: The Big Fun
, brash character. This character is usually the jokester and extroverted compared to the protagonist. While the protagonist is uptight and tactful, the fat friend is funny and/or confrontational. They know they're fat and they don't care about losing weight and will throw their weight around, so to speak.
Type B: The Shrinking Violet
. They know
they're fat and it's one of their biggest insecurities. They are shy, awkward and generally have low-self esteem. Cue the protagonist being their ego booster, letting them know they're special and valued, and they're beautiful/handsome. In contrast to Type A, the protagonist is highlit as a caring, non-judgemental character.
Type C: The Ditz
type. This type can be profoundly stupid or simply airheaded or plain weird. They can have some Type A traits, particularly being extroverted. They always speak slowly or walk slowly.
What makes this different from most of the other Fat tropes is that this character is always a Satellite Character
and we rarely see things from their perspectives. They're there to enhance the protagonist's traits and to simply be a friend. A possible reason for this trope's existence is a desire to be more realistic and less discriminatory by showing that not everybody in the world has a generically attractive body shape (therefore avoiding Hollywood Pudgy
, perhaps), but still avoid having a fat main character
See Fat Girl
, Big Fun
and Fat and Skinny
. Compare to Black Best Friend
, Pet Homosexual
, and Satellite Character
. Contrast Fat Bastard
, Fat Slob
, and Fat Idiot
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Type A - Big and Brash
Anime and Manga
- Ganke is the best friend of the new Ultimate Spider-Man, and he's more intelligent and extroverted than Miles.
- Though he has some Cloud Cuckoo Lander tendencies, like going to the seedy part of town to buy some collectible Lego and nearly getting killed.
- Tubby from Little Lulu would be a Type A, as he mostly tries to play pranks on Lulu. Despite this, he is a good friend to Lulu.
- Wonder Woman has Etta Candy, who was originally introduced as a sidekick during the 1940s-1950s. She became more a Type B in the Silver Age, but has mostly been restored to her original personality in modern comics, where she is Wonder Woman's best friend and Steve Trevor's new Love Interest.
- In The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Dave is shown to have two different best friends at different times in his life - the first in the prologue from his childhood, the second in the 'present day' - and both of them are fat. Though they barely even count as minor characters, the second turns up long enough to seem to be a Type A. As an added bonus, he is also black.
- Piper, the best friend of Anna on short-lived TeenNick series, Gigantic.
- Kim Parker, Moesha's best friend. She later broke out the mold and got her very own show.
- Mo Maskour from Degrassi, along with Bruce the Moose.
- Ivy from Good Luck Charlie.
- Trish from Austin & Ally.
- Eddie from That's So Raven, though his weight doesn't come up at all really.
- Noah's Arc: Alex, one of Noahs 4 main friends and the loud, fun, outspoken and confrontational one of the group.
- The Big Friends Forever described in "B.F.F.!" by The Aquabats! are said to be jolly, and to help the protagonist walk through fights.
Type B - The Shrinking Violet
- Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, Matt Murdock's best friend and law partner in Daredevil.
- Gaz's best friend, Dave, in The Full Monty is a tubby bastard and he hates it. He's always trying to lose weight and he feels so bad about it he can't even get it up for his wife. Of course Gaz pushes him into stripping to earn a bit of cash; nothing can go wrong there.
- Samwell Tarly in A Song of Ice and Fire is a good friend of hero Jon Snow and is a very extreme Type B, having terrible self esteem due to being constantly demeaned by his abusive father. Jon and others have tried to make him feel better about himself but it hasn't really taken yet.
- The whole trope is inverted with King of the Hill, with fat kid Bobby and his satellite friend, Joseph. Joseph is especially awkward around girls as opposed to Bobby. Bill is a example played straight.
- Max's friend PJ from Goof Troop and A Goofy Movie is painfully shy and unassertive, primarily for reasons other than his weight (though as he points out in the second movie, it doesn't help). However, when he's alone with Max or after his Character Development in An Extremely Goofy Movie, he can engage in occasional confident behavior. Though Max is highlit as non-judgmental most of the time, caring is... harder to say—Max Zig-Zags No Sympathy with PJ.
- Leonard from Teacher's Pet. He is bullied, has no friends other than his best friend, Spot/Scott, and hated at school and is humiliated by his teacher who is his mother. He wants to be normal and is shy around Leslie who he loves. He also can't talk around Leslie. He dislikes being called "tubby" due to the fact he is fat and he goes psycho when he is called this.
Type C - Cloud Cuckoolander
Anime and Manga
- Kurita of Eyeshield 21 is a mix of all three. He's a lot friendlier then Hiruma, but also a lot less confrontational. He's also a bit of an airhead, but then again, about half of the team is too.
- Nikaidou, Rei's self-proclaimed rival from 'Sangatsu no Lion'', is boisterous and outgoing (Type A) but also a bit eccentric (type C).
- Patton Oswalt recounts an anecdote where he's at a Hollywood party and feeling depressed that he can't eat anything at the buffet because he's trying to lose weight and get more roles. Then he spots Brian Dennehy piling his plate with food and laughing, "Character actors! Who gives a fuck if we're fat?" Patton notes, "They're always going to need a fat best friend; that's never going out of style."
- Fima Korolyov from Guest from the Future, who is a teenage sci-fi geek.
- In the "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy," Nick Frost's characters play this role to Simon Pegg. None of them fit a type.
- In Shaun of the Dead, Ed is a boorish idiot and pot-dealing loser who becomes the group's Millstone when zombies attack.
- In Hot Fuzz, Danny Butterman is a sweet and naive young officer who desperately wants to be Action Hero.
- In The World's End, Andy is a former party animal turned straight-laced and successful professional who rediscovers his Badassness.
- John Candy's character in Brewsters Millions to the protagonist played by Richard Pryor.
- John Candy's character in Splash to the protagonist played by Tom Hanks, who is also his brother.
- Charles in Super 8, who is the overweight best friend of the film's protagonist, Joe. He's the director of the group's amateur film.
- Fezzik in The Princess Bride to Inigo. It's not his fault that he's the biggest and the strongest. He doesn't even exercise.
- Chet Morton is the best friend of The Hardy Boys, and has been described as fat, plump, chubby, stout, heavy-set, etc. He has a huge appetite, and vacillates between types A, B and C as the plot dictates.
- Vetch, Ged's best friend in Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy is fat but he is a more complex character.
- Jean Tannen in The Gentleman Bastards series is a fat guy, but also the main characters bodyguard and a Genius Bruiser.
- Seinfeld: Kramer's buddy and Jerry's antagonist Newman.
- Andy from According to Jim is Cheryl's brother and can be considered Jim's best friend.
- Friends: Monica was this to Rachel in high school. However its unclear which category she'd fit into, as she seems similar to present day: Dorky but also strong-willed and hard-working. (Neither of which fit the sterotype). Its also clear she did have friends outside of Rachel.
- Jeremy's best friend Hector in Zits.
- The Simpsons: Though Homer Simpson himself is pretty fat, his drunken buddy Barney Gumble is even worse. He can be all three types Depending on the Writer (especially since quitting alcohol).
- Carl Wheezer from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, is generally a straight mixture of a Type C (though not as big of a Cloudcuckoolander as Sheen) and a downplayed Type B (which one dominates depends on the episode), but can also be a Type A in occasional situations, generally as part of a facade.
- Atomic Betty has Penelope Lang's friend Megan. She's occasionally shown traits of all three types, but being a side character who barely talks she doesn't really get much development.
- Arthur, Lance's friend at Military School in the Whole Episode Flashback of Sym-Bionic Titan. He has traits of all three. Octus' Newton disguise could be seen as this to Lance and Ilana, although he doesn't really fall under any of the types.