Many people in real life have body image issues that lead them to obsess about food and think of themselves as fat even when they're well within healthy weight limits, or even if they're trim or underweight.
Like Hollywood Homely characters, if you took the Hollywood Pudgy character out of her movie and plunked her down among a representative sample of real women, she'd fit in because she looks normal, even good in comparison. As an average-sized person, the Hollywood Pudgy character is or appears to be overweight by medical standards but not nearly obese. She'd have no trouble fitting through bus turnstiles or into a cute bathing suit, and wouldn't have her doctor telling her she must lose twenty pounds for the sake of her heart and pancreas.
This does not apply in stories where a skinny woman thinks of herself fat, but is shown to have an eating disorder or body image problem. That would probably fall under I Am Not Pretty instead. Satirical examples hang a lantern on the absurdity of calling normal healthy women "fat".
The same thing applies somewhat to men as well, although not anywhere to the same degree. A slender, athletic build is considered better than a stronger, stocky build. If you don't have large shoulders you're either considered chubby or scrawny. If you have a thick neck and any hint of a double-chin, on the other hand, you can still be an "everyman" sitcom hero: the female equivalent is not allowed to be shown on television except as an unintelligent, totally pathetic Abhorrent Admirer fit only for belittling ridicule.
Compare Hollywood Homely, Unkempt Beauty, Muscle Angst, and Big Beautiful Woman. Contrast Informed Attractiveness, Real Women Have Curves, and of course Hollywood Thin.
Note: Under the examples, PLEASE only include those who are explicitly identified as overweight despite not actually being overweight! This is NOT the page for actors of normal body type playing characters of normal body type, nor for genuinely fat actors playing genuinely fat characters. Anything that is drawn or animated is also extremely unlikely to qualify (Garfield, for example, doesn't even look like a cat), unless the depiction is intended to be realistic or the trope itself is being parodied. If the only time the character's said or implied to be fat is when another character is tossing out insults, it probably belongs under You Are Fat instead of this trope.
Also in real life when singers and band members prepare to go on tour, it is very common for them to overindulge and voluntarily take on weight. If the show is of any quality (especially for pop, rock and metal type bands and singers), they will likely lose it right back before they get back home. Of course this is paparazzi fuel.
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Many ads for Kellogg's products such as Special K cereal, will encourage the viewer to replace two of their meals a day with the cereal in order to lose weight. The majority of these ads will feature a woman being portrayed as overweight or too chubby to wear a particular piece of clothing they have their eye on. They successfully complete the diet plan and show off their newly-slim bodies. What makes these ads a series of Wall Bangers? Just about every woman in these ads is already thin to begin with, thus making the shown weight-loss unnoticeable and also completely ignoring the "for ages 18 and over with BMI 25+ " disclaimers at the bottom of the screen. This is just one of the advertisements.
Especially annoying are the Special K ads which are run after Christmas, in which women who are on the low side of average size are mistaken for Santa Claus by children and Santa's sleigh team. In the former, the "overweight" woman is portrayed by the gorgeous actress Stacy Edwards◊. In the latter, the woman is dressed in a bulky coat, a heavy scarf and an unflattering hat that would make anybody look 20 lbs. heavier.
The ad campaign for Special K in the 1970s was just about as bad. They encouraged viewers to "do the Special K pinch", which meant to pinch some part of their midsection. The message was, "If you can pinch more than an inch, you should probably be watching your weight." The problem here is that skin, subcutaneous muscle tissue, etc. can all be pinched around the abdomen, so it's very easy even for someone who's underweight to pinch more than an inch. Even chronic anorexics can pinch more than an inch, if they're hunched over.
An ad for the zero calorie sweetener Truvia features an extremely thin woman scarfing down cheesecake, while a cutesy jingle that's supposed to be her inner monologue laments that real sugar made her "butt fat."
This ad for Safe Food, where nobody appears to be unhealthily overweight, bar a small bulge in the belly. Make even funnier by Safe Food's slogan, "Be Safe, Be Healthy, Be Well."
There are those series of Subway commercials showing a montage of various people eating fast food, only to have a button pop off of their shirt or fall through whatever they were sitting on. These commercials tend to be slightly aggravating given that out of all of the people in those commercials, one or two may be a little overweight.
Just about any commercial for a weight loss program like Weight Watchers. Such commercials will show "before and after" photos of men and women who have successfully completed the program. The problem is that, in some instances, they actually look better in the "before" photos than in the "after" photos.
In cases of weight loss pills like Hydroxicut, several of the men depicted are already quite fit in their "before" picture, clearly defined abs and all. Apparently that guy's sculpted physique was disgusting until he dropped a little excess weight and got only slightly more defined.
Anime & Manga
Stocking from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt has quite a sweet-tooth, and one episode shows her wearing a monitor and going on a diet, much to Panty's taunting delight. She in enraged over Chuck's hogging her beloved sweets, eats them herself, then later laments over how she'll likely be "back" to her normal proportions by the next day. Yet her physical appearance never changes, and she's still hot enough to pull off that explicit henshin...
Choji Akimichi from Naruto is a bit of a subversion, however he supposedly weighs less than 200 lbs (192 to be exact, or 87.5 kg), which in most men isn't really that fat.
He was also quite rotund as a child, however, when he would definitely have been considered overweight.
In the fourth episode of the Sailor Moon anime Serena/Usagi is worried that she has gained a little weight. Visually, she hasn't changed at all. Fortunately, in the show, nobody except Usagi notices. The dub even exaggerated this a step further by having "Serena" freak out about gaining a grand total of...half a pound. The rest of the episode shows a villain preying on women with body issues by using machines that make them skinny while sucking out their life energy until they become emaciated (and it is implied that they will die after enough sessions). Strangely, the dub attempts to pretend the machines don't work despite the fact that all the victims are visibly skinnier and skeletal. Either way, it's still not enforcing a certain body type, but mocking the obsession with being skinny that leads perfectly attractive women to starve themselves.
It's still worth noting that while Usagi/Serena's family doesn't give it much importance, their comments imply that she is indeed "a bit chubby" in their eyes and that she should probably eat less and exercise more (Luna also thinks this way). While they may just mean to encourage her into a more healthy lifestyle (or playfully mock her worries) rather than to have her get thinner, they never clarify this (cue Usagi/Serena crying at hearing them).
Sailor Moon Abridged takes this and runs with it, having every character point out how overweight she allegedly is. Naturally, the art hasn't changed a bit; she's every bit as skinny as she is in the actual show.
Also happens in the Codename: Sailor V, where Minako in fact gained some weight but was almost unnoticeable. Minako freaked out so much she started doing exercise like mad, losing the excess fat... And still weighing a little too much, this time IN MUSCLES (Artemis had stopped saying he didn't want a fat Sailor V, after all).
The same couldn't be said for the people of Tokyo, since this was the latest scheme of the Dark Agency. Basically everyone else besides Minako (and her friend Hikaru-Chan) had noticeably gotten fatter because of some special chocolates being distributed around Valentine's Day. It reached a point that "fat" was the new in-look even though everyone was going like crazy trying to lose the weight.
By some accounts, Japanese culture is extremely lipophobic. In a country where people eat mostly fish and rice and do 2 hours of aerobics every day, body image standards can get pretty warped.
Yomi in Azumanga Daioh has weight issues, even though she's no less thin than the other girls on the show. The liner notes in one of the DVDs notes that her obsession with her weight was given to her to give her a slightly more "normal" quirk than the other girls, so its clear that this was more in Yomi's head than an actual problem. Tomo also teases her for being fat, but Tomo is also a Jerk Ass that spends her life tormenting Yomi in any way she can think of.
Fuuka from Yotsuba&! (done by the same mangaka who created Azumanga Daioh) often angsts over supposedly being too chubby, even though her body type isn't much different from the other teenage girls seen in the series. It's apparently noticeable enough in-story that her own mother and sisters frequently comment on her fat legs.
Likewise, Kagami from Lucky Star often complains about her weight despite not being fat, especially after indulging her Sweet Tooth. But as Konata pointed out, "You don't look any different if you gain a kilo or two."
In the rather obscure anime series Onegai! Samia Don (aka Psammead the Magic Genie, based on Five Children and It by E Nesbit); Anne Hopkins, the eldest girl, is working out to be thin, and despite not being overweight at all, ponders asking Psammead help (but being Genre Savvy enough to know that her wish might backfire, she doesn't).
Male example: America in Axis Powers Hetalia doesn't look fat, but when he steps onto the weight scale, it actually sweats carrying his weight and he looks completely mortified seeing the numbers. Though it could also be joking about this trope as well.
Finland is another male example: Word of God has stated that he is a little chubby, but he looks like this. (Warning: kinda NSFW)
Jeanne in Cinderella Monogatari is teased about her weight by her sister Catherine. However, she seems to weigh the same as her sister. Granted, Jeanne does frequently demand that Cinderella make her food.
Hiro of Hidamari Sketch is also very sensitive to her weight; different signs may imply she is kind of on the fat side (like Miyako's teasing or her open preference in Renoir because he drew Rubenesque women), but it's not something we can see in the manga or anime, particularly because of the art-style...
Rumiko Takahashi actually did a one-shot manga about such a girl going to a weight-loss camp because of a new dress that was only slightly too tight on her. She ends up getting a better body image by the end, however.
Hige from Wolfs Rain is an interesting case, as he has two forms, human and wolf. He earns the nickname "Porky" from Tsume, and his canine form is indeed noticeably overweight. On the other hand, most of the time in the series the viewer only sees his human projection, and the only indication that the image he projects might be heavier than the others is that he doesn't wear skinny-jeans or tight leather pants like the others do, leaving a Hollywood Pudgy impression.
In Ranma ½ there was a story later in the manga about a magical gi. When female Ranma tries to wear it she learns it only fits someone with Akane's supposedly dumpier physique.
Subverted in Ichigo Mashimaro: when Chika and Miu start obsessing about their weight gain, Nobue points out to them that they are still growing.
Fushigi Yuugi subverts this trope with Miaka, as Yuu Watase has pointed out and shown in the manga that she really is supposed to be pudgy (though after distress galore in the book, she loses weight). In the anime, however, she's a bodaciously brawny babe who at one point fantasizes about having the body of a supermodel. Well, she got her wish... ornot.
One story in Pet Shop of Horrors deals with dieting by following three people. The first person is a high school girl who genuinely is overweight because of low self-esteem issues (she overeats when she's upset). The second person is a boxer who needs to keep his weight down so that he can stay in the proper weight class. The third person is a model who is rail skinny as she is but asks the Count to give her a mysterious pill that her fellow model told her about. The model explains that her body is her "calling card" and gaining even a pound could mean losing a lot of expensive clients. Throughout the chapter, the animals are all very distressed and confused at the thought of someone willingly starving themselves as they know what it is like to really be without food. While the first two people get happy endings (the girl loses the weight thanks to self-esteem boosts from a training partner the Count loans her and the boxer makes his weight class), the model becomes violently sick after taking the pill for some time, until her body becomes dried up and breaks open to let an alien version of the model out. It is also revealed that the other model - who told her about the pill to begin with - had the same thing happen to her. The message of the chapter seemed to be that there was more to life than shedding a few pounds, especially since the characters that were dieting for non-selfish reasons actually had happy endings and got more out of it.
Cattleya from Queen's Blade has some plumpish features but most of her thickness is really just muscle. Still, it hasn't stopped detractors from labeling her as fat or obese and it certainly hasn't stop doujinshis and fanart from portraying her as such.
Tina has a mini-freak out in one chapter of Ai Yori Aoshi due to her weight. She tries to diet (which is hard when you're a Big Eater who lives in the house of a Supreme Chef. Tina looks like this.
Sakurai Rihoko from Amagami is a textbook example. Based on her character design, she'd just be around the upper-bound of average sized waistline and chubbiness.
Mio and Mugi from K-On! tend to get worried about their weight gain at the end of the year, and are envious of Yui's high metabolism. Even Ritsu can be manipulated into drum practice with this fear, though.
However according to Ritsu, Mio's weight goes to her breasts.
Nagi from A Channel tends to worry about her weight on occasions.
Isana from Yumekui Merry is often shown worrying about her weight, despite her very cute and slender outer appearance. Chapter 39 shows on more than one occasion that she really is physically heavy, at least compared to Merry, just not to the point of being unhealthy.
Ayako of Slam Dunk goes on a diet at the end of the series. Admittedly, she is drawn as curvier then Haruko and with a rounder face, but considering how many characters refer to her as attractive it's pretty obvious she's just being paranoid.
The Demon Queen from Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is accused by several characters (most notably Head Maid) of having "useless meat".
A borderline case, as Head Maid is clearly referring to Demon Queen's large... assets, rather than any general fatness.
Nami in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is often seen dieting and several characters make jibes about her weight. With the exception of Kotonon her body looks exactly the same as all the other (stick-thin) girls in the series.
The eponymous lead of Empowered seems to suffer from this big time, as she constantly refers to herself as chubby and pudgy (as do some of her teammates, supervillains, the media, random loudmouths on the internet, etc.), though technically she should be on par with a 20-something white chick with some decent curvature. It is telling that the only female character who is significantly skinnier than Emp publicly dismisses her complaints as "grenade-fishing for compliments" and privately considers her extremely sexy.
This is likely done to highlight the main character's MASSIVE self-esteem issues, aggravated by being around superheroes with perfect comic book figures. It really doesn't help that she has to seriously diet and exercise to keep in shape, while pretty much all of the other female supers are implied to have gotten their figures along with her powers. Especially Sistah Spooky, who's a Big Eater and has an ongoing spell that displaces excess mass to her nearby enemies, and poor Emp is almost certainly at the top of that list.
Furthermore, her soap-bubble thin costume is really skintight, and stops working, cutting her off from her superpowers, whenever she hides it, even with a small mantle. As a result, she's basically naked all times, while other heroines are allowed to accessorize and highlight their best assets.
In her solo series, Ms. Marvel has been called fat a few times, despite having the usual trim-and-shapely comic book physique. It's worth noting, however, that it is villains (mostly female ones) who make these comments, and most of them have been made by the same villain, indicating it's just an attempt to get under her skin. And another one was Doctor Doom screaming insults at her, which included "fat whore." It's also worth noting that most of these happened under the same writer, making it more a Running Gag than anything else.
A throw-away gag during the first New Avengers tenure has Jessica Drew entering The Raft, a high security prison, with a bag of donuts in her hands loudly complaining about how fat she got in the previous months of inactivity, and offering to share her breakfast with whoever is able to provide her with suitable information about an impending breakout. While the villains fall for the trick (loudly asking for Jessica to surrender the donuts in exchange for their full, unbridled cooperation, implying that the usual gruel they're usually served is really foul), Jessica's implied image issues are somewhat lessened by her skintight Hot Librarian tailleur, showing off her usual voluptuous physique, busty but nowhere as fat to need dieting.
Ultimate X-Men makes constant jibes about Beast/Henry McCoy's weight, but, like the rest of his comic-book brethren, he is drawn as being quite fit and muscular, albeit perhaps larger and more muscular than the others.
Tarot's mom, from Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose. As expected from a mother of two, now in her late forties-early fifties, she's grown noticeably fatter than her smoking hot daughters. However, instead of looking pudgy and fat, she looks exactly like a wider version of Rowena, her youngest daughter and the titular Witch of the Black Rose.
Can apply somewhat to Gert in Runaways, as it depends on the artist. Under main artist Adrian Alphona's pen, Gert actually is fairly chubby, but other artists tend to draw her as just having slightly more hips and waist than Nico or Karolina, and even Alphona drew her that way to start with. Here, it may not be so much a case of warped values as it is comic artists just not being used to drawing women with that sort of body. Also, Marvel's official stats list her at 5'1'' and 125 pounds. The Alphona version, if she was 5'1", would probably be at least 140.
The "Palomar" half of Love And Rockets points out how ludicrous this is with Doralis, one of Luba's daughters who stars in a hit TV variety show. She started out as a back-up to an anorexic blond who insults her for her incredibly voluptuous figure. The blond ends up getting edged out of the show and Doralis gains millions of male and female admirers.
The First American in Tomorrow Stories has a classic Heroic Build, but is referred to frequently by other characters as though he were fat. He does have rather slovenly eating habits, but he's sculpted like Michelangelo's David for crying out loud! Subverted, in that a couple of panels strongly imply that his "sculpting" is due to support underwear and that he actually is fat.
From the Threeboot continuity of Legion of Super-Heroes, Saturn Girl and Invisible Kid after Francis Manapul did redesigns of the characters. He made Imra more hippy and Lyle a bit rounder than a typical skinny kid, but neither could be called fat. Although Imra complains that people consider her "dumpy".
Cornfed from Livewires, who was designed to look like a big Farm Boy because his frame is meant to store extra amounts of smartware in his body, primarily in his beer belly. But beyond that he's as muscular as Hollowpoint Ninja, and taller.
In All Fall Down, Portia laments having gained nine pounds since she lost her powers (and her superhero metabolism).
Renee Tempete in I Hate Gallant Girl is subjected to constant disparaging remarks about her weight and figure because she has, like, 3-5 pounds on GG. Part of the point here is that whatever physical flaws Renee has, they're blown ridiculously out of proportion by the superhero old guard; like Gallant Girl, she was a beauty queen before becoming a superheroine.
Cloud 9 from Avengers: The Initiative. She thinks of herself as being overweight, but really isn't; she's just the only girl in the cast with a halfway realistic body shape.
Although Etta Candy started as a rambunctious and sweets-addicted Fat Girl in the Golden Age Wonder Woman comics, her more modern depictions can be this trope, Depending on the Artist of course. In Gail Simone's run, the artists usually just had her looking slightly thicker than Diana, but otherwise being an average, curvy blonde woman (the change from her old self was eventually explained as being from her government training). Although, since the New 52 reboot this trope is bypassed, as the newest incarnation of Etta is more conventionally slender and doesn't seem to have any remarks about her weight.
In Mean Girls, Regina "gets fat" and her friends ditch her. The actress herself doesn't seem to gain a noticeable amount of weight.
Jan, one of the Pink Ladies in Grease, is constantly talking about how she should be dieting, but she's hungry. This could be put down to adolescent body image, except other characters ask her if she really wants to eat that, and Putzie asks her out, "romantically" saying that there's more to her "than just fat." The actress is not even slightly pudgy. No double chin, nothing but looser clothes than the other Pink Ladies and continuous mentions of her fat in the script. The original script actually calls for a chubby actress.
Bridget Jones: She weighed nine and a half stone (133 pounds). Yup, real whale there. Although the point might be that she obsesses about her weight so much, not that she's actually fat. Renee Zellweger at her Bridget Jones weight was considered too fat for the cover of Harper's Bazaar. Zellweger as Bridget Jones was supposed to be a UK size 14 (which is a US size 10). She gained only enough weight to reach a size 6, but even this spawned dozens of newspaper and magazine articles on her weight gain. Though during interviews at the time, she claimed to enjoy being heavier, she lost the weight as soon as filming was done and when it came time to film a sequel, she refused to gain weight until the studio literally paid her for every extra pound she put on.
Toni Collette in Muriel's Wedding put on 40 lbs. to play Muriel and ended up with a voluptuous pear shape that is obvious in this scene where she's wearing black leather.
An hour into Romy And Michele's High School Reunion, Romy is referred to as "the chubby girl", even though (a) she is nowhere remotely close to chubby in either flashbacks or the present day, and (b) another character is far more deserving of the "chubby girl" distinction, in both flashbacks and the present day.
In the Sex and the City movie, Samantha eats to distract herself from thoughts of cheating, and when she flies out to New York it's considered a big deal when she sports a wee bit of a gut. It's said later that it's not so much that she's gotten 'fat', as according to Charlotte she would look great at any size, but that such weight gain is extremely out of character and indicative of some underlying problem. Granted, this felt a little shoehorned to try to avoid being accused of an 'if you aren't thin there's something wrong with you' implication, but at least they tried, if however half-halfheartedly.
Harry Potter: Dudley looks to be somewhere between normal and slightly pudgy, but he's supposed to be a fat slob (specifically, he's supposed to be wider than his height). This is Adaptational Attractiveness, since he is genuinely fat in the books. Actor Harry Melling began studying ballet, and had to wear a fat suit for his brief appearance in Deathly Hallows Part 1. Ultimately the films make less a point about his weight than the books to sidestep this issue, and the books lay off mentioning his weight in the later books, saying his love for bully- ahem, boxing made him fit.
Minnie Driver's character in Circle of Friends actually refers to herself as a "heifer" at one point. This mirrors reality somewhat; around the time of the film, talk shows were abuzz with excitement that an actress as plain and chubby as Minnie Driver could land a role as Chris O'Donnell's love interest.
PM Hugh Grant in Love Actually is into his cute tea maid (Martine McCutcheon) at Downing Street, even though she's constantly referred to as "fat" by everyone else. The PM character is bewildered that all of the other characters seem to have reached a consensus about her supposed fatness, since he couldn't see it at all. This seems to be based on the problem McCutcheon had with being labelled as fat by the media, and the subsequent backlash from the general public at the media's behaviour.
This is one of the problems with the film "Avanti!" where Juliet Mills was asked to gain about 25 lbs. for the part and even then she was hardly big enough to warrant any cracks about her weight. Discussed here.
One of the cheerleaders in the original Bring It On is told that her ass is enormous by a cheertator and is told to skip meals. Of course, she's thin and gorgeous. One of the cheerleaders in the sequel Bring It On: All or Nothing is supposedly fat, and is pressured to lose weight and is made fun of. By any normal standards she looks just as thin and sexy as the other cheerleaders. This is a deliberate criticism of the phenomenon, as the character who makes these comments is an Alpha Bitch and it's played for a Kick the Dog moment.
Perhaps played intentionally in Hook, where Peter Banning (the former Peter Pan) is mocked by the Lost Boys for being "old and fat", and Captain Hook himself calls him a "pitiful, spineless, pasty, bloated codfish." Robin Williams wasn't out of shape◊, but he certainly wasn't as lean and fit as his former, adolescent, action-hero self.
The brunette "ugly stepsister" Jacqueline de Ghent in Ever After played by the lovely Melanie Lynskey is chided by the Wicked Stepmother for eating too much and being overweight. The Baroness isn't at all a nice person, so cutting comments like that are to be expected, but no comment to the contrary is given, although the man she ends up with is the charming, snarky captain of the guard and will probably eventually become Baroness de Ghent.
In Strip Search, an interrogator tells Maggie Gyllenhaal she could stand to lose a few pounds. However, it's not clear what the character actually believes. He is an interrogator trying to break her will.
Katie of Paranormal Activity is undeniably of a larger clothing size than a typical female Hollywood protagonist. Makes sense, since both Katie and Micah are supposed to be as average as possible to make the movie seem more real. Of course, after the movie's opening weekend, cue Internet discussions about Katie being so fat.
The main characters in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels have a running joke of calling the rail-thin Tom fat. Tom never understands the joke and is completely mystified by how they could think he's overweight. Even the narrator gets in on the joke by claiming that, for a thin man, Tom is extremely fat.
9. Fergie, as Saraghina, a woman who's supposed to be fat. Either just big or plain obese, Saraghina was, in the musicals and in the previous movie, overweight. Fergie had to gain weight to be in character and... well, I'll give you this point: she has gained weight. C'mon, children, let's find the seven little differences between New Saraghina◊ and Old Saraghina!◊
Simon Pegg◊ plays the lead in Run Fatboy Run. The role was originally envisioned for Jack Black. There are a few shots that attempt to show that Pegg has something of a gut. In spite of the title they ultimately seem to go for "out of shape" rather than "fat." Word of God says that Pegg had just finished filming Hot Fuzz and had to be in superb shape to play Nicholas Angel. Quite difficult to put on a lot of weight that quickly.
In Bride Wars, there's a scene that's pretty much lifted from Mean Girls, in which Kate Hudson's character is somehow tricked into eating five pounds worth of chocolate and can't fit into her wedding dress. In his review of the movie, Film Brain points this out:
The whole "I'm fat" joke doesn't really work when you haven't really put any weight on. Oh, and I think Kate Hudson would actually look healthier if she put some weight on.
Played with in Death Becomes Her, when Madeline insults her husband by calling him overweight; said husband is played by Bruce Willis, and his "flab" is (at worst) a realistic middle-aged softness. However, this is in keeping with Madeline's character, as she's an extremely vain actress (and a rather hateful person to boot).
Discussed in The King's Speech when Elizabeth complains to Bertie about how his brother's lover Wallis Simpson calls her the "Fat Scottish Cook". Elizabeth is played by the petite Helena Bonham-Carter, and Simpson is portrayed as a horrible person, so it's apparently not meant to be taken seriously.
Yancy from Sleepover, played by Kallie Flynn Childress. Yancy is picked on because of her weight several times over the course of the movie. Yancy would not be called skinny by any stretch of the word, but looks perfectly healthy and rather cute. (She's the one standing directly behind the Alpha Bitch using the computer.)
Margaret Dumont is constantly mocked for her weight by the Marx Brothers. While consistently the largest women in the Marx films, and among the largest in period film, she's average for modern America and only slightly above normal for current actresses playing characters her age. Her height helped in the characterization, since all of the Marx brothers were fairly short and slender, making her look larger in comparison.
Hayley Atwell was considered this by Miramax when she was filming Brideshead Revisited with Emma Thompson, who hit the roof when she found out and threatened to resign if they forced her co-star to lose the weight.
In Camp Nowhere, Gaby's mom wants to send her to a weight loss camp called Camp Slenderella, and remarks at the end of the film that Gaby looks thinner. Actress Melody Kay was quite visibly not overweight at any point during the movie; the filmmakers opted to put her in frumpy clothes in the movie's first act to try and justify the claim.
In The Madness Of King George, King George III and Queen Charlotte both gave their son, the Prince of Wales, a hard time about getting fat. In real life George IV was rather portly, but when portrayed by Rupert Everett, not so much.
In Ether Ore, a tall young woman who's said to be about 120 lbs is described as though her build is very solid and curvy - not fat, but far from skinny. A woman who's over 5'6" and weighs less than 120 lbs is almost always underweight. Somewhat justified in that the viewpoint character is a younger woman who's 90 lbs and boyish, so maybe it's just relative.
In the Nancy Drew series, chum Bess is described as "pretty, but slightly plump", or in the 80s-to-90s era Nancy Drew Files, as pretty, but perpetually obsessed with losing the five pounds she believes are standing between her and physical perfection. Despite this, she never has trouble attracting male attention. This is finally and thankfully subverted in the newest Nancy Drew series, Nancy Drew: Girl Detective. The closest mention of Bess's weight is the occasional throwaway line referring to a dress flattering her "curvy" figure.
Lampshaded in the Harry Potter series whenever the Dursleys make fun of Rubeus Hagrid or Molly Weasley for being large. Hagrid is stout, but very tall and strong, and Molly is slightly overweight, while both Vernon and Dudley Dursley are morbidly obese.
Tris of Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic series is described as being chubby or plump. While this is very true in the text (she is frequently teased by unkind people), precisely zero of the book covers that feature her show her as even a little bit chubby. At most, she's just wearing baggy clothes.
There's more than one episode in which Jack taunts Will for being a "fattie" or some similar disparagement. This is Eric McCormack we're talking about, here! Justified in that Jack is a neurotic Gym Bunny (who wears a girdle under his clothes) who is actually larger than Will (who is quite thin for a man), and he's the only one who says this about Will.note It's also implied that deep down, Jack had feelings for Will.
Occasionally, Karen made similar jabs about Grace. In one episode, while decorating her mother's apartment, Karen warned her to "leave plenty of money in the budget for Egg McMuffins, 'cuz Heavy G like tah eat!" These, along with the jokes about Will, were usually played for Values Dissonance, since it was painfully clear that neither Eric McCormack nor Debra Messing were overweight at all, and in fact Karen herself was rather voluptuous (and Messing was extremely thin — her flat-chestedness was a running gag). This became clear when several critics mentioned that the fat jokes leveled at Grace weren't funny anymore when Messing was pregnant.
Although on the show this is because of the fashion industry she works in, where fat = having natural boobs and hips. In real life, America Ferrera was at most a size 10, and thinner now, but you still get people on the IMDB boards calling her a bad role model for being obese. Of course, this isIMDB we're talking about here; most of the people on those boards live under bridges.
Ugly Betty also had a woman everyone called "Fat Carol" who really wasn't, which was the whole point of the joke.
For Hypocritical Humor, Amanda commonly jokes about how much Betty eats while chowing down on anything she sees.
Ironically, in the original Yo Soy Betty La Fea one of the points about the ugliness of Betty is that she is thin as a toothpick, and in an attempt to disguise that she ends wearing clothes better suited for her heavier mom. But then, they had the Big Eater gossip hen Bertha, who was genuinely overweight (about US size 18, and when the actress - and her character - got pregnant, even bigger) but received a far less amount of fat jokes than a character of that type would receive, and all the remarks she got were from the vainest evil characters.
The world was being invaded by aliens disguised as supermodels, and Dr. Allbright was considered a larger woman for being a size 8.
Again when Dick struggled with his weight for an episode. The ultimate solution: larger pants.
Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was considered fat, even though her build was scarcely different than Mary's. They would dress her in baggy outfits as opposed to Mary's more form fitting clothes, but no reasonable person would look at her and label her overweight.
This was finally inverted in a Season Three episode where Rhoda admits to having lost 20 pounds. Despite the constant compliments (even from Phyllis), she still can't see herself as attractive until she ends up winning her company's beauty contest.
In one episode, Liz, who is regarded as frumpy in New York, meets a woman in Cleveland who asks her if she's a model and says "You are so skinny! You really should eat something."
Liz: "And in Cleveland, I'm a model!"
Jenna: "Yeah, we're all models west of the Allegheny."
In another episode, Jenna put on the pounds. Jack's response? "She needs to lose thirty pounds or gain sixty. Anything in between has no place on television."
Many "jokes" about Carol's weight on Growing Pains, which certainly didn't help Tracey Gold's anorexia any.
A lot was made of Sara Rue being a "full figured" woman on her ABC sitcom Less Than Perfect; indeed, the show's title was supposedly in reference to Rue's character's appearance. In reality, of course, Rue was a mildly zaftig size 12, and gorgeous as hell. Unfortunately, the press got to her, and she went on a crash diet that backfired horribly, leaving her needing to join Jenny Craig just to get back to about her Less than Perfect size.
If this hadn't been averted in Huge, the show would have been a crowning example of Comically Missing the Point. Thankfully all the fat characters were played by larger individuals and the body image aesop remained unbroken.
Ethel Mertz of I Love Lucy fame, called a "fat old bag" by her husband, despite Vivian Vance not being noticeably heavier than Lucille Ball. When casting the role, they deliberately cast a thin woman, since a husband calling his thin wife "fat" is funny, while a husband calling his fat wife fat makes you feel sympathy for her. In later seasons, Vivian Vance gained some weight, changing the dynamic. It got so bad that an Urban Legend sprang up claiming that she was contractually obligated to remain 20 pounds overweight. Ironically, she became a star by playing sexy vamps in Cole Porter musicals on Broadway. She was a knockout◊!
In one episode, Lucy goes on a crash diet so she can fit into a costume (made for a thin dancer) and sneak into an act of Ricky's show. She loses so much weight that she has to go to the hospital once the show is over. (And it's all played for laughs, of course.)
Peggy Olson of Mad Men gains weight throughout Season One. We're led to believe it's because she's trying to avoid being treated as a sex object at work - it's actually because she's pregnant.
Rodney McKay of Stargate Atlantis is occasionally referred to as fat by other characters, and frequently in fanfic and discussion, and he typically can't keep up with other characters in their running, jumping, and climbing up trees. To be fair, he does show noticeable "wattle", and most of those he interacts with on Atlantis are in prime physical condition, either being USAF or alien Super Soldiers.
This is lampshaded in "The Tao of Rodney" when Ronon comments (behind Rodney's back) that he looks like he's gained weight; Rodney overhears and makes a point of announcing to everyone that he is the same weight he's always been.
Invoked, possibly, on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, when Kourtney tries to get Khloe◊ to stop reading blogs that refer to her as a "whale," stating that the people making the criticisms are probably overweight themselves. Shortly thereafter, the audience is treated to Khloe in a miniskirt and heels. Check out her drastic weight loss!
Occurs accidentally in Blackadder the Third, where several people describe Prince George as fat. The historical Prince George was actually fat, but here he's played by the tall and lanky Hugh Laurie, so the insults just seem to come out of nowhere. Which of course just serves to make it even funnier.
Actual pudgy example: Wizards of Waverly Place has Jerry the father. Maybe it's just her curves and unique styles, but Harper fits this trope as well.
Definitely played for comedy in Bottom (especially in the live shows), where Richie is apparently monstrously obese.
This is used in Absolutely Fabulous, where the entire cast describes Eddie as being "fat" (including Eddie herself), when she's in fact completely average. It isn't clear whether the writers were trying to garner a few laughs from the ridiculousness of it, or lampooning thin people who think they're fat. Possibly Justified, as Eddie works in the fashion industry where yes, she would be considered fat.
This is part of some pretty cruel humour involving the shallow, neurotic Patsy, played by the tall and slender Joanna Lumley, who is obsessive about weight and body image and clearly shown to be a drug addict as well.
Averted in French and Saunders where Saunders makes fun of the definitely dumpy Dawn French, describing her own figure as "tall and womanly"
Averted and played with throughout Gavin and Stacey in which Ruth Jones' character Nessa is distinctly overweight, in a BBW sort of way - but averted by the character being a fairly OTT comic grotesque. It's also heavily implied that she is a vigorous, passionate woman in bed. Nessa's on-off partner Smithy (James Corden) is plain fat by any standards, and there is a running subtext about how no-one can really understand what either saw in the other.
Ignored with Alison Steadman's character, who is portrayed as an attractive middle-aged woman.
On a Just Shoot Me! episode where one of Nina's former colleagues shows up having gained considerable weight. When Nina finally confronts her with this, she says she has no problem with her weight and actually worries about how Nina is still so obsessed with looks after so many years.
Also played with: Maya is thin, but since she works at a fashion magazine her colleagues don't typically think of her that way.
The New York Times had an article on the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva praising it for having a realistic attitude towards women's weight, but accompanying it with a picture in which the "fat" protagonist is obviously, by any realistic standard, not fat, and right next to her is Margaret Cho, who has been the epitome of the "fat Asian" caricature. Uh huh....
This can be justified (in-show, at least) with the series' protagonist, as she was formerly a very petite aspiring model. Not so much with Margaret Cho, however.
Al from Home Improvement is a male pseudo-example. He's only moderately overweight by real world standards, but in the show people talk about him as if he were morbidly obese, with all the behaviors that would go with it. The teasing mostly just comes from Tim, but the show also utilizes prop gags at his weight's expense. For example, Tim had invented a reverse laundry chute and sent a pair of Al's boxers up it to Jill, who unfolded them. They would've fit a sumo. Cue the laughtrack.
In season 5 of Desperate Housewives, a great deal is made of Gaby becoming "fat and frumpy" after giving birth to her two children. Eva Longoria was no heavier◊ than in the previous seasons.
Another episode featured a number of "What If?" sequences, including one where Susan gains wait due to comfort eating (for which Teri Hatcher wore a fat suit). A number of writers commented that Teri actually looked better with a realistic middle-aged "softness" than as her usual Hollywood Thin self.
Eli on Stargate Universe is treated as if he's obese; in fact, he's at most slightly overweight for his height.
Seen in an episode of Friends, in which the rest of the group comments that already Hollywood Homely Chandler has put on weight—Phoebe even mockingly pretends that she can't put her arms around him to give him a hug. This is an especially bad example of this trope, as he looks exactly the same as he always does and is completely unaware of any weight gain until it is pointed out to him.
Plus the Unfortunate Implications: while Matthew Perry did bounce around looking "very thin" and "a little bloated", it was because of his various drug addictions and rehab stays.
The "Fat Monica" flashbacks are also an example of this. While Monica is overweight, she clearly isn't as large◊ as the show makes her out to be. (Certainly not enough to "break a porch swing" or "be mistaken for an Alp".)
In an episode of Undeclared, the character played by the extremely not-fat Monica Keena is portrayed as eating so much and getting so fat (i.e. wearing looser clothes) that her friends even stage an intervention. It isn't until two nerds start hitting on her that she realizes she must be extremely unattractive if they think she is in their league. She swears to never eat a carb again and gets back to being very thin (i.e. tighter clothes again) by the end of the episode and the Hollywood Nerd doesn't dare to hit on her anymore.
Note that in the real world, being gorgeous is not a very effective way to repel nerds.
In Pretty Little Liars, Hannah is supposed to have been fat a year before. But in the flashbacks early in the show...she's played by the same actress wearing frumpy and baggy◊ clothing. As the show progressed, the costumers and makeup artists got much better about depicting Hanna as having been fat in the flashbacks, but even then, she still looks like a fairly average-figured girl with unfortunately sized clothing◊ and what looks to be a pillow stuffed down her shirt.
Often used on The Golden Girls, in which Blanche and Rose are frequently the target of barbs about their weight, even though they look exactly the way two middle-aged women who have had several children should look. Though Rose gets to subvert that in the episode where the four women engage in an impromptu dance-off, where Rose does a pretty fantastic job dancing topped off by doing a badass split on the floor. And Blanche? Well, there must be a reason why she's portrayed as being the siren of the foursome, the woman all the (silver-haired) guys want and with a little black book to rival any femme fatale's.
Insinuated in an episode of Seinfeld, where Kramer quite rudely comments that Jerry and Elaine have put on weight (due to eating supposedly fat-free yogurt that in fact * does* contain fat). Later, Elaine's current date appears to develop an aversion towards her due to her weight gain. One would think they had become morbidly obese due to the reactions of others around them, instead of experiencing a normal fluctuation in size. Elaine's supposed "weight gain" in that episode, is not even made to be in the least bit noticeable. However, Elaine alludes to an incident where she supposedly sat on a chair and it broke due to her weight. Unless the chair was made of balsa wood, such a scenario would be have been highly unlikely.
The lanky, rail-thin Portia de Rossi, playing Lindsay Bluth, is constantly criticized for being fat by her mother, Lucille Bluth, and keeps referring to as eating enormous quantities. Quite Harsher in Hindsight when de Rossi revealed her battles with anorexia. Of course this is very clearly just Lucille being a terrible, hyper-critical mother; no one else ever refers to this.
Buster is also occasionally referred to as fat by Anyong and other kids, despite quite possibly being the tallest and thinnest of the Bluths. Presumably, this is just childish meanness.
Kirstie Alley — whose weight has famously fluctuated between nearly-emaciated to clearly obese, finally settling on the high side of zaftig — has famously criticized this phenomenon, both in a notorious appearance in a swimsuit on Oprah, and in her brutally satirical and quasi-biographical Showtime series Fat Actress. Tellingly, the series only lasted a single season; and she has since started trying again to lose weight. Notable here, as she's receive a mountain of criticism, if not outright insults, from Oprah, other celebs, and fashion industry gossip mags even when she was down to a normal weight.
Trudi Malloy on Mistresses comments on how she needs to go on a diet and "my rear end wobbles when I walk!" Not only is Trudi played by the positively stunning Sharon Small, she looks like this◊ on the show. Yeah.
Parodied in an episode of Unhappily Ever After. Ryan tampers with the bathroom scale to read an additional ten pounds, to make Tiffany think she has gained weight (largely, she thinks, to a recent zit), to her horror. Jack doesn't approve of this until Jennie weighs herself and freaks out as well. Both women struggle to lose the imaginary weight, despite not looking any different before the tampering.
Finn is nervous about playing Brad in the Glee club's performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where he'd have to strip to his underwear. But then we actually see him in his underwear, and it's hard to picture anyone kicking him out of bed. His "weight problem" is a running gag on the show.
To some extent, Rachel. In the first season, her character is said to be chubby and is teased by mean girls. In the second season, she herself mentioned she had some "baby fat". Rachel is played by Lea Michele, who has always been skinny. The actress however, did become noticeably skinnier after the first season. Season One vs Season Two.
Karofsky, called "chubby" and "Manimal" by Kurt and Artie, is certainly heavier than the rest of the principal guys on the show, but is noticeably slimmer than other members of the football team. Max Adler just seems to be naturally huskier than the other cast members. Besides, he's a lineman, he's supposed to be bulky and that most of that bulk is muscle is shown in the locker room fight with Sam, Mike and Artie.
It becomes an "issue of the week" in Season 4, when Mean Girl Kitty taunts Marley about having "the fat gene." Marley's mother is very overweight, but it becomes ridiculous when Kitty starts taking in Marley's stage costumes and Marley develops an eating disorder, despite her other clothes and the scale not changing at all. The actress who plays Marley has visible hip and collar bones.
Las Vegas had a rather grating example of this in the season 5's episode "Three Babes, 100 Guns, and a Fat Chick" with the downright skinny Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel) and Delinda Deline (Molly Sims), where both characters were repeatedly derided for their sudden weight gains. Delinda was simply pregnant so it's obvious she'd naturally gain a pregnancy belly, but even in this state she looked surprisingly thin. The lightly-build Danny seemingly had a bit of padding tucked underneath his shirt coupled with a suit jacket that's obviously too tiny even for his build, both of which were completely gone by the next episode. Both characters were suddenly treated as if they were grossly overweight.
Averted on Mike And Molly. Victoria Flynn, played by Hollywood Pudgy Katy Mixon, is the sexpot character who always wears revealing outfits and gets lots of dates, with no mention (at least so far) of her weight or whether or not she should be considered hot because of it.
Isabelle on Weeds is at most very slightly pudgy and that could be because of the way the show dresses her but she is a plus-sized children's model in the show and her admittedly Jerkass mother acts as if she's two or three hundred pounds.
An episode of The Cosby Show had Claire frantically trying to lose several pounds to fit into a fancy dress. She's shocked at the realization that she even needs to lose weight (though her husband Cliff smugly enjoys this, given the way she's always haranguing him about HIS eating habits), and ridiculed by her aerobics instructor, even though Claire is noticeably slimmer than many of the other women in the class.
Cliff himself is an example of this. While he could clearly stand to eat better and lose a few pounds, he is far from overweight and rather undeserving of Claire's constant nagging.
Justified in that Cliff isn't being pressured to lose weight, but to take better care of his cardiovascular system. An episode showcases him going for a physical and being told that his physique is impressive and his athleticism is superb for his age, but his diet is clearly far far too rich in fat, salt, and cholesterol.
On Grey's Anatomy, Chyler Leigh's (Lexie) real-life weight gain due to pregnancy was rather ham-fistedly written into the plot: the very thin Lexie was made a stress-eater kind of out of nowhere and began wolfing down snacks when Mark and Derek were in a long fight. Meredith referred to her ass as being "huge," which it really wasn't, but at least they kept up the storyline and brought in back in season seven, when Mark tells Jackson to ply her with peanut butter cups to get her to talk about her feelings.
Dee's mother constantly insinuates that Dee is fat, even though Kaitlin Olsen is quite lanky and slender. Her mother, however, is a horrible person.
Dee insinuates that the vain and athletic Dennis is putting on weight. He freaks out and begins starving himself. When he seems close to death, she finally admits that she was just messing with him, because he's a horrible person.
Averted in Kath and Kim, where Kim is played by genuinely pudgy actress Gina Riley. Considering most of Kim's humor revolves around how sexy and slim she thinks she is, and the far-too-small clothing she often squeezes herself into, using an actress who is chubby makes sense.
Played straight in the American remake. Kim is played by Selma Blair, who couldn't put on too much weight for the role as otherwise she couldn't fit into the tight outfits for her character, and even as thin as Blair was, some of the outfits were so tight they actually cut off her circulation. So because of her thin figure, jokes about Kim being unappealing wouldn't work, so instead the series had jokes about her being "trashy"
A male example from Big Wolf on Campus. Tommy's enhanced appetite starts getting the best of him in The Wolf Is Out There and he begins gaining weight. Although he simply develops a noticeable belly instead of ballooning out of size. He manages to lose the weight by the end of the episode through dieting and a Time Skip. The viewers complained that they didn't understand why people were treating Tommy differently, considering he's a football player and they tend to bulk up. Even better, he was bulking up as a wolf-like reaction, since most animals will gain some extra girth during the winter. Not only do humans generally do the same thing (often called holiday weight,) so do football players! Since winter is the off-season for football players, many will lighten their exercise regimen and pad out a little.
Mellie of Dollhouse is played as being the heavy, homely neighbor-with-a-crush. It doesn't help that most of the other female characters are dolls, specifically chosen in-universe to be gorgeous and sexy, but one doubts that most people who like women would kick her out of bed....
Mellie "is" a doll as revealed later in the series, so she's chosen "in-universe" to be "gorgeous and sexy".
No one besides Mellie herself considers to be overweight or in any way unattractive. She's played less as the heavy, homely neighbour, and more as the Betty to Echo's Veronica - the sweet, pretty next-door neighbour as opposed to the beautiful, dangerous Doll. At least at first.
That's So Raven actually deconstructed this trope in one episode. Raven (who is slightly pudgy) is told she isn't skinny enough to model the clothes she designed for a fashion show. She and the twig-thin model then team up and both wear the outfit on the runway. Also deconstructed when both of them chew out the magazine owner that's sponsoring the show, saying that no one is as skinny as they look on the magazine.
Kim Sam Soon's supposedly problematic weight was a constant point of ridicule in My Lovely Sam-soon. The actress playing the role was a shocking! 50! kilos! (i.e. 110 lbs).
A Running Gag on BBC's Merlin is Arthur's weight, although this mostly teasing on Merlin's part and it's clear Arthur himself does not believe that he's fat.
Christopher Tietjens in the British miniseries adaptation of Parade's End certainly qualifies. In the book, Tietjens is always being described as fat while Benedict Cumberbatch isn't at all. They gave the naturally slim actor a fat suit and cheek plumpers, but he just ended up looking like he was of an average weight.
Retroactively done on Scrubs. A first season episode revolves around Turk having recently put on a bit of weight (as a surgical intern with limited free time is apt to do). Carla and J.D. taunt Him for it and he asks Dr. Cox for fitness advice. It ends with Turk resolving not to worry about his weight. Irritatingly, however, Turk is later described by Cox as having been "A fat load", which Turk seems to agree with, even though his appearance has barely changed in the four years between episodes.
Elliot's mother would often tease her about supposedly getting fat even though Dr. Cox and Jordan have made it abundantly clear that if any thing, she's actually underweight. It may also explain why for years, Elliot was such a neurotic mess.
Played ridiculously straight in an episode of Supernatural where a demon targets large women. We only get to see two of his potential victims and suffice to say the worst you could call them is "realistically middle-aged" and "not Hollywood Thin"!
A non-human example in 2 Broke Girls: in "And The Reality Check," a stable-owner tells Caroline that her horse Chestnut is out of shape. That would be perfectly realistic, of course, since Chestnut had been living in Max's tiny backyard and had not been getting proper exercise. The problem is that the horse who plays Chestnut is of course very well cared for and is in great shape. This clearly falls under Acceptable Breaks from Reality.
Boo in Bunheads is said to have "a bit of a tummy". Justified in that it's her ballet instructor saying it and ballet has very rigorous shape standards.
Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is subject to hundreds of fat jokes throughout the entire series, particularly by Will and Geoffrey. While he is quite a Big Eater, they almost always make him out as morbidly obese. It's also made clear that much of his bulk is also muscle and he could snap most people in half if he wanted (which is also true of his actor, former Navy man James Avery).
America's Next Top Model, at least once per season. There is always the "curvy" girl that everyone treats as hideously overweight. In reality, those girls are maybe average weight. Maybe.
Particular notice of one girl, who got told "Look, you entered this as a plus-sized model, and you've lost weight. Either you gain it back, or you lose enough to compete with the other models." by Tyra.
This came to a head during the season where the "plus-sized" girl actually won. Many people felt it was disingenuous of Top Model to continually praise themselves for crowning a "plus-size model" when the girl in question, Whitney, barely looked heavier than the rest of the girls. A comparison of her and the runner up.◊
Parodied on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody when London and Maddie were led to believe they were too fat and too thin respectively. Brenda Song and Ashley Tisdale were quite thin at the time, but not dangerously so; London could have endangered her health with a crash diet and compulsive exercise, while Maddie had no reason to binge and could have set herself on the path to obesity. Fortunately Moseby talked some sense into them, telling them what anyone who isn't brainwashed by this trope (and its inverse) already knew: they're both gorgeous and don't need other people to tell them what to look like.
Raj from The Big Bang Theory is very critical of his own physique, which, at worst, is a little doughy in the middle. It does, however tie in with his girly tendencies.
On the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, finalist Roxxxy Andrews kept referring to herself as a "big girl". While she may have been overweight in the past, on the show Roxxxy looked like an average man out of drag, and in drag she was curvy but not fat, especially compared to previous contestants who were considerably heavier. Since she lost over 70 pounds before the show, why she was so eager to take that label is a mystery.
An MTV pilot about sorority life, entitled, quite creatively, Sorority, featured a house that had a weight requirement. The crux of the pilot is that the sorority accepted the main character, but rejected her best friend based on the weight requirement (she was stated at 105 pounds...and actually looked thinner than the main character!) The sorority also features a Big Eater sister who keeps the weight off by purging.
Sex and the City - Miranda apparently struggles to lose the post-pregnancy weight. She looks exactly like before pregnancy.
The main character in the video of P!nk's "F***ing Perfect" is deliberately a poster girl for this trope.
A line from The Arrogant Worms song "Hollywood Girl" references this trope: "Is she pregnant, or did she have breakfast?"
Discussed in Calvin and Hobbes when Calvin is complaining to Susie how lucky she is to be a girl and not be expected to play sports, to which she comments, "On the other hand, boys aren't expected to be 20 pounds underweight."
In 2002, shortly after her Face-Heel Turn in WWE, Molly Holly's gimmick became that she was overly sensitive about her huge ass. Which wasn't really huge; she had bigger curves than most of the Divas, certainly, but she wasn't large in any sense of the term. This didn't stop Trish Stratus from making fun of her, though - and she was supposed to be the face. It was mostly played for comedy, considering Molly was a heel at the time.
According to WWE insiders, the whole point of this storyline was to punish Molly for her refusal to be a Fanservice Girl like the other Divas.
It had the unfortunate side effect of souring Molly on wrestling. In her shoot interview, she talked about how depressed she got during this time period.
The previous year during the Invasion angle, Paul Heyman told the face Molly that she could join the Alliance along with her boyfriend Spike - after she got some liposuction and breast implants. She, of course, kicked his ass for it.
A similar angle started in 2009 and carried over into 2010, this time featuring Mickie James (a face) in the role of the Hollywood Pudgy gal while Michelle McCool and Layla El (heels) ripped on her for being fat, even going so far as to give her the nickname "Piggie James". Unlike Molly, Mickie was okay with the angle, likely because she was casts in a sympathetic light and was released for unrelated reasons (being late for a bus in the UK).
Kara "Cherry" Drew was fired because she was too fat.
Reportedly, the same thing happened to Candice Michelle. However, what sent this into Wall Banger territory is that she did gain a little weight, but it was because she was rehabbing a shoulder injury and was therefore immobile. This is Candice's "Fat Picture." Thud.
In a bit of a twist, some fans tend to rag on male wrestlers if they gain a bit of softness around the middle. On the one hand, when your ring attire consists of tights, trunks, spandex or a bathing suit, any bit of chubbiness can turn to Fan Disservice. On the other hand, it sure as heck can't help wrestling's ongoing steroid problem.
Matt Hardy has become a particular target of this after he gained weight following a burst appendix that wrecked his digestive system. It didn't help his cause though when in a YouTube video he was seen eating steak fries and still has a large belly two years after his injury.
This is Matt Hardy recently. Either some of the barbs about him are supposed to be ironic, calling him fat has become some kind of bizarre affectionate nickname like Teddy Long's "Peanuthead", or the idea of this trope being an Always Female double standard is officially dead.
Tomko's return run in TNA failed in part because of this trope.
In an odd aversion, Samoa Joe who actually is big, doesn't get any crap from people (Well Scott "HE'S FAT!!!" Steiner called him fat, but he's legitimately nuts), probably because he's Acrofatic and a hell of a wrestler.
Samoan wrestlers have historically been quite "stout"; then again, most of them come from one family. Joe is an exception, but the cruiserweight-shaped Usos aren't, however.
Vickie Guerrero had a lot of fat jokes hurled at her in the past (she was a bit pudgy to be polite) but they have started up again despite her having lost the weight and looking quite good for her age. The worst part is that they're being told by John Cena who is a face and supposed to be a role model figure. Hell, Vickie probably weighs half of what he does and could probably hide behind him.
The worst part? She got a fat joke from Snooki, who looks pudgier than her. Granted, Snooki's always going to look pudgy because she's 4'9".
According to Maria Kanellis, she was actually once told backstage by management (*cough* Johnny Ace) that she was fat. Maria "Playboy covergirl" Kanellis. She has also said that other girls often get told to drop a few pounds.
Maria, "The Underfed Redhead" (as Lay-Cool called her)?
Tammy Lynn Sytch a.k.a. Sunny or the first girl to slut herself up for WWE once posted a scathing blog about seeing fat rolls on the Bella Twins. If King ever hears about this then Sunny should sleep with one eye open.
This was actually addressed and REALLY Played for Drama in an episode of Total Divas. Nikki Bella who has never been anything remotely resembling overweight, was highly offended when someone referred to her as "the fat twin" on Instagram. It got even worse when Brie noted how much of a Big Eater her sister was and got paranoid about an upcoming photoshoot. She attempted to get her sister to do a ridiculous magazine cleanse - having nothing but juice for 20 days - and calling her fat thinking "tough love" would motivate her sister. Instead she gave a Crowning Moment Of Awesome speech on how the two of them both look fine and don't need to put their bodies through so much hell for the sake of 3 or 4 pounds.
Averted in the case of Magda in Tanz der Vampire, who's intended to be the village sex symbol, but is also meant to look appealingly zaftig, to the point where petite, thin actresses have to draw on fake cleavage and pad out their chests and hips in costume and full-figured actress◊ looks like a better fit for the character than a thin one.
Nep-Nep gets called out on her weight and eating habits a few times, but you can't really tell due to her oversized jacket and the only time we can see her tummy is her requisite pretty Super Form.
For some undecipherable reason, The Sims 3 allows males to get MUCH fatter (at least much more realistically so) than females, who are adamantly maintained into at least a rubenesque figure.
That is, until slider hacks were invented.
The Sims 2 plays this trope infuriatingly straight: the "fat" morph for females is, well, basically that picture of Britney Spears above.
Many players of World of Warcraft consider human◊ and orc◊ females to be on the heavy side, and tauren◊ and dwarf◊ females are apparently disgustingly fat. Granted, draenei and both night and blood elves have slimmer waists than the aforementioned races, but seriously now.
Since Wrath of the Lich King went live, and some time before, female humans and female dwarves have gained a decent number of defenders lashing back at the people who insist that any model thicker than draenei and the elves are oxen. Female orcs and tauren do have some defenders but they're notably fewer, the fact that female orcs are all muscle with maybe .1% body fat being gleefully pointed out at every opportunity.
The Dwarf example is odd in that it's frequently referenced in-game that the Dwarven standard of beauty is for stout women, and compared to the men the model is very skinny.
Parodied by the Pandarens. One of the female jokes mention they could stand to gain a few pounds, and one of the male jokes is a condolence since you look like you've lost weight; "That's terrible! Have a dumpling."
In Dungeons & Dragons Online, female elves and drow are quite skinny. Female humans are noticeably heavier, and while still by any reasonable standards quite fit, the fact that you spend most of your playing time looking at your character from behind does make them seem relatively pudgy. Female dwarves are even wider and shorter to boot.
Final Fantasy X-2 decided that Wakka had been gaining weight since the last game, but his in-game model had not been changed in any way. Due to the lack of any visible change, the jabs at his growing belly come off as this trope. note This is owed to the developers being too lazy to create a new model for him. This is also why Lulu, who's nine months pregnant in X-2, looks just as fit as she did in the first game.
Players of Tactics Ogre usually would make jokes on how Sisteena Foriner is a fat amazon, due to how her sprite is drawn (which had her wear rather loose long clothes). She has a slimmer builds in official arts (while still wearing her long clothes.
In an interesting twist on this trope, the game designers said that they actually made Chell's figure slightly more rounded, as if she had put on a few pounds since the previous game.
Your daughter in Princess Maker 2 can get too fat for certain sets of clothes (the basic set will always fit, but fancier ones won't). However, the difference between her "fat picture" and "skinny picture" is about two pixels in width.
Chrono Cross has some bizarre character descriptions in regards to weight. Janice, who is 5 foot 7 inches and 104 lbs. is described as having "plumpish" body build. Her character model is in no way noticeably pudgier than those the game deems "slender". Speaking of which, eight pounds is apparently enough for that difference. On the other end of this skewed spectrum we have Macha, a rotund housekeeper. She is 5 foot 6 inches and 150 lbs. which is about the same height-to-weight ratio as Christina Hendricks, but Macha's character model has wider waist than chest.
Juliet of Lollipop Chainsaw regularly complains about her "Huge Fat Butt". Even when her boyfriend compliments her about her (extremely fit) butt, she thinks he's just trying to make her feel better.
Star Wars: The Old Republic offers players four bodytypes to choose from: 1: very thin, 2: slim, 3: tall and muscular, and 4: fat. For the males, body type #4 is noticeably bigger than the others, but the female model appears barely plus-sized at first glance (and even then only in relation to the other body types), and a closer look reveals that it's just the boobs and butt that are bigger and the face is slightly rounder - the waist is still quite slim. Even the male model, while having a gut and rounded face, is more huge in general than fat; without a shirt he's so heavily muscled he looks like he could break the "muscular" model in half.
In Sonic Generations, when Knuckles is rescued by Classic Sonic, he asks if he has gained weight, only for Sonic to look at his stomach and sadly rub it.
Michael in Grand Theft Auto V is often called fat, although we can see during his shirtless scenes that he's doing very well for a middle-aged man who has, allegedly, spent most of his time watching television and lounging around. But remember that he lives in the verse's version of Hollywood (and Trevor was just being an asshole), which would explain it.
One of Carmen's quest of RuneFactory3 include a (strangely personal) questionnaire. She reacts most positively if one of your answers is that you prefer chubby women. For context, here's a picture of her in her swim suit◊.
Spinnerette gives us the villain Greta Gravity, who actually is quite overweight for her height... except all that weight is in her derriere and ample bust.
Davan is often referred to as at least pudgy by himself and others rather often when, as drawn he looks about average.
Questionable Content's Marigold. The author was harshly criticized for its use and became so wracked with guilt that he stabbed his own (non-drawing) hand. Faye occasionally laments her weight, though just as often flaunts her curves. Marigold, on the other hand, suffers from self-image issues of all types. In both cases the body types are portrayed as the line between average and slightly pudgy, and is never considered unattractive. Case in point.
One of the stranger examples to object to, as Marigold's lifestyle is clearly unhealthy and, for her level of activity (does nothing but play video games, does not exercise, eats mostly fats and starches) she very clearly is actually overweight where Faye, who is drawn with the same body type but shown to be fairly athletic and active, is not.
Circa late 2010, critics of That Guy with the Glasses griped that a number of the site's popular video producers — including The Nostalgia Critic, Spoony, The Nostalgia Chick, MarzGurl, Linkara, and The Cinema Snob — had become unattractively overweight.note Specific comments included "It's like a company fitness plan in reverse", "Doug just gets older and fatter every year", and "Spoony's been blowing up like Violet Beauregarde" (the latter of which was spoken by an obese individual). While many of the individuals in question admit to having put on a few pounds since they first started making videos, none of them are heavy enough to be classified as medically overweight, let alone unattractively so. And hopefully no sane person would consider a six-foot tall string bean like Doug Walker "fat".
Both Doug and Lindsay have lampshaded and mocked this in their own ways, with the latter giving her character Weight Woe and a Plain Jane complex when she's clearly seen by others as attractive, and the former increasing his Shirtless Scenes. Linkara has also inserted a number of fat jokes into his later videos (such as having a villain address him as "you fat piece of crap").
Unfortunately, Doug may have walked into the trap himself in 2012, as he randomly called himself "fat" in an interview and was more than happy to look this thin after being way too hard on his body in the To Boldly Flee shooting.
Gaia Online made fat jokes about... Sasha, whose present shop image drew fire from the fans for being implausibly thin, and whose old shop image wore a skimpy bikini top and low-hung wrap skirt. Subverted and justified when a 4koma revealed that she had been morbidly obese in high school, and the fat jokes are lingering evidence of her Old Shame.
Twig on Fallout: Nuka Break zigzags this. In real life he would be considered mildly overweight. In his vault, where most of the inhabitants are morbidly obese he was considered scrawny, thus his nickname. In the Wasteland he's considered seriously fat, which he considers a compliment.
In-Universe on Daria, when Sandi breaks her leg and, due to lying around all day, gains quite a bit of weight. She's by no means fat at first, but according to the Fashion Club's strict guidelines (which Sandi devised) she has to resign. She winds up gaining more weight (becoming legitimately pudgy) before Quinn helps her restore her usual appearance.
In some episodes of Care Bears (the 80s Nelvana series), Cheer Bear was referred to as fat by the other care bears, in spite of being drawn to exactly the same shape as the rest of them.
Played for Laughs on South Park—when Cartman is sent to juvie the boys conclude that Clyde is the next fattest character, even though he's basically the same size as everybody else. They spend the rest of the episode mocking him as though he was as fat as Cartman.
Toot on Drawn Together. She's a parody of Betty Boop and, while heavier than the other female characters, really isn't fat enough to justify the total Flanderization she would undergo. One episode even lampshades this by showing her complaining in the confessional, noting that "I'm only slightly overweight!"
Angels Friends: In episode 4, Urie worries about her weight despite being drawn with the same skinny-build as her friends. Raf and Miki are understandable confused by this. However, Cabiria gladly makes fun of her.
Weirdly invoked by the laws of physics in The Critic. Jay does indeed carry more fat than is probably healthy for his height, and in-universe is often derided as though he were morbidly obese. Where it gets weird is when he's shown breaking the ice in a skating rink by stepping on it in the opening, or breaking through multiple floors of the building where he works. Despite being arguably overweight, he's also very short and can't possibly be much north of 200 lbs.
Helicopter Pilot: I don't understand. This thing is supposed to be able to lift a tank.
Unfortunately, many people hold themselves to the Hollywood Pudgy standard and thus are anorexic and/or bulimic. If you're one of these people, please, please, please, see a doctor.