"You start out happy that you have no hips or boobs. All of a sudden you get them, and it feels sloppy. Then just when you start liking them, they start drooping."In a world where being very skinny (or buff if you're a guy) is the ideal and being overweight has Unfortunate Implications, many people are self-conscious about their weight. These (usually female) characters are obsessed with dieting in order to reach the ideal; commenting on their figure is often a sensitive point for them. However, not all characters with Weight Woe are overweight; many are just Hollywood Pudgy, and some are even told in-verse that they don't need to diet at all. Sometimes this is a one-episode affair, usually because someone brings their weight up or they want to impress their Love Interest; but just as often it is a character quirk. In the latter case, the character is usually a yo-yo dieter, or has too little will-power to keep it up so nothing about their figure changes. When Played for Laughs, the dieter is a Big Eater or has a huge Sweet Tooth that constantly foils their dieting plans; when Played for Drama, the dieter is suffering from an eating disorder. The latter in particular may be used for a Very Special Episode. In real life, eating disorders of any kind are never funny, and sufferers should seek immediate help. Media often dictates that one must be thin in order to be attractive, sometimes unrealistically so. However, eating disorders are often more complicated, involving many emotions. Frequently the sufferer feels like they have no control in their life, so obsessively controlling their eating habits and body shape becomes the solution. (The need for control may seep into other areas of a person's life). Sometimes the control they seek is over their emotions, in which food can be used in many ways, like replacing their inner emptiness with an empty stomach or filling the void with food. In other cases the fat represents perceived badness, and they are purifying themselves by getting rid of it. This is dangerous and can become fatal if left untreated. In fiction, however, Very Special Episodes notwithstanding, Weight Woe is usually Played for Laughs, most likely because of its sensitive nature and prevalence in real life. The control aspect is often ignored, and the cause of Weight Woe is almost always solely to do with a character's physical appearance, whether the issue is genuine or perceived. A Sister Trope of Muscle Angst. Often tied into A Weighty Aesop. Compare Huge School Girl, a girl who is much taller and more developed than her peers and is insecure about it. Contrast Fat and Proud Big Beautiful Women/Big Beautiful Men—the former of whom are comfortable with their size and the latter are portrayed as sexy despite or because they are overweight. Also compare Real Women Have Curves, where a higher body fat is portrayed as the ideal. Also contrast Obsessed with Food, a person who is definitely not trying to lose weight. Also also compare Height Angst, where a character is self-conscious about their height instead of their width.
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- There was an ad for Weight Watchers (or some other diet system) that invoked/exploited this trope. A black & white shot of a pudgy woman staring at the camera, with moist eyes, as her Inner Monologue says "do you think I don't hear what you're saying behind my back?" etc.
- Cosmopolitan magazine ran an ad featuring a "plus-sized" model, who was a normal body-sized woman, and bragged that they were setting new standards. Naturally many people called them out on this, stating that calling normal-sized women 'plus' isn't helping anybody either.
Anime and Manga
- It should be noted that almost all Asian races have to be quite careful about their obesity due to the genetical predisposition to store visceral fat (which is harder to burn) and are very sensitive to it.
- Yomi from Azumanga Daioh; she even writes into a radio show about it under the pen name "Crying Diet Girl".
- Mitsuba from Mitsudomoe, although she doesn't put much effort into dieting.
- Rihoko in Amagami.
- Koboshi gets this in an episode of Pita-Ten in an attempt to be more feminine.
- Kagami in Lucky Star.
- Hiro in Hidamari Sketch. The fact that she's a Supreme Chef and Miyako's a Big Eater who likes to poke fun at this aspect of her character don't help.
- Mio and Mugi in K-On!.
- Chizuru from Shinryaku! Ika Musume
- Akane in Kitchen Princess, though this is more of the Very Special Chapter variety and is resolved pretty easily. However, apart from that, the chapter does a surprisingly good job of portraying an eating disorder.
- Usagi of Sailor Moon at times, particularly in episode four of the first anime.
"Time to weigh in. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! I'M A TOTAL FATSO!!!!!"note .
- This is occasionally Played for Laughs in Chibi-Usa's side stories, usually in regards to her Sweet Tooth. One such story told of two celestial lovers who were pretty much barred from being together because they didn't focus on their heavenly duties. The wife ended up alleviating her boredom by snacking and watching TV, resulting in her gaining weight. This coupled with her rather plain face caused her to worry that her husband was cheating on her. He wasn't, and shows up to conclude that skinny girls are best for dating, but strong women are the ones for marrying.
- In another side story, it's mentioned that Ikuko is putting Kenji on a diet because he put on a little weight.
- Natsumi from Sgt. Frog sometimes fusses over her weight. This even drove the plot of one chapter in the manga.
- Pet Shop of Horrors had a story called Diet which dealt with three people and their personal struggles concerning their weight; a chubby young girl who wanted to slim down to get her boyfriend back before a school dance, a boxer who is trying to keep his weight down before his next match, and a model whose colleague visited Count D's shop for a miracle diet pill.
- The girl receives a personal trainer who helps her lose the weight for the dance, but in doing so, the girl has come to take pride in herself with a new sense of self-confidence, and realizes that her ex-boyfriend is a total ass. When she asks Count D what happened to the trainer, he tells her he doesn't know, but suggests that she look after the trainer's cat. Which just happens to have the exact same eyes as the trainer.
- The boxer receives a parakeet which constantly tries to get him to eat or drink something while training, which the boxer considers as a form of motivation. He loses his next match, but is grateful that he gave it his all and decides to retire.
- The model is able to eat and drink anything she wants without gaining a pound, just like her colleague. But soon she is unable to sate her appetite no matter how much she eats or drinks. Her hair begins to fall out and her nails begin to chip off with ease. Pretty soon, her skin starts to crack and... something emerges out of her, looking exactly like the model. It's implied the diet pill was in fact some sort of parasite which uses humans as a cocoon before hatching, looking exactly like the host, and the same thing had happened to the model's colleague before the story began.
- Happy StrikerS, the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S Yon Koma one-shot that was published together with Episode 0: The Beginning of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, uses this as a Running Gag for Teana, who's worried that she's getting fat since she hasn't had the time to exercise due to getting swamped by desk work.
- In one episode of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt Stocking's insatiable Sweet Tooth finally catches up with her. At first she only gains a slight amount of weight, but after some intensive dieting and exercise she significantly bloats up, driving her insane. Eventually she literally grows bigger than their house. It's at this point that the cause of this is revealed to be a ghost. Stocking goes back to normal after she and Panty kill it.
- A Running Gag with Akko from Girl Friends, who is easily distracted by food and will often attempt various methods to lose weight as quickly as possible whenever she noticed that she gained some pounds.
- Being about a chubby heroine finding love, it's no surprise that this trope would be played with. It's largely averted with the main character of Tsumugi. Despite growing up teased about her weight and coming to think no one would ever love her, Mugi decided she had love herself first and foremost. It was this Fat and Proud attitude that attracted her first boyfriend Tagami, a Chubby Chaser who is attracted to her confidence as much as her appearance. Since then the only time we have seen her worry about weight is an early chapter where she had overeaten to the point she was literally bursting out of her clothes. Even then she only focused on dieting enough to drop the unwanted excess.
- Akane Itou, a character introduced later, is a much straighter case. She has many of the same woes as Mugi used to but has not yet had the same "love yourself" epiphany as Mugi did. Mugi takes Akane under her wing with the promise of helping her find that self-love for herself. Since Akane doesn't want to feel fat, this takes the form of helping her with diet and exercise, hoping that the two of them together could do what one alone could not.
- This is one of the main driving points of One Pound Gospel. Kosaku Takahara is a incredibly talented boxer... who is also an incredibly big eater. He has very little control over his appetite and as such he keeps switching weight classes. He goes through multiple crash diets as a result of this since his coach is trying to keep him in one weight class, and he's been disqualified a couple of times due to vomiting in the middle of his matches.
- A one-shot horror manga story Fasting featured a chubby girl named Tomoko brutally mocked by the boy she likes. Tomoko is so hurt by this she starves herself out of desperation to become beautiful. One night her mother finds her sitting in front of the open fridge, content to just look at the food but never eating it. Some time later, Tomoko discovers that she's become slender and attractive and decides to speak to her old crush. The jackass doesn't even recognize her as the girl he called a whale and they start to make out. At that point, Tomoko is so overcome with hunger, she bites off the guy's face and starts eating him. She doesn't even realize what she's doing until her hunger is sated.
- Happens in the Kaiketsu Zorori episode "The Out of Control Robot Maid." While waiting for a bridge to be repaired, Zorori and the boar twins take up residence in an old castle. The castle comes with a robotic cat maid capable of cooking large and exquisite meals. When Zorori tries to tell her she doesn't need to cook so much the maid bursts into hysterical tears, so not wanting to upset her, Zorori, Ishishi and Noshishi eat everything she makes. A few days pass, and all three have become very large and very fat, so much so that they aren't allowed to cross the repaired bridge because they might break it. Zorori finally takes matters into his own hands and has to reprogram the maid so she won't have any more crying fits... of course Zorori and the twins are still fat and have to work off the excess weight the slow way.
- The Gothic Lolita series IC In A Doll focused one chapter on Hanako, an award winning author suffering from extreme bulimia. In her adolescence, Hanako was repeatedly molested by her stepfather, and makes herself vomit to stay thin in order to wear clothes for younger women to give herself a second childhood. Her maid doll, Cherry, silently stood by and only laid out towels whenever Hanako prepared to purge, but Cherry goes against her orders and tries to stop Hanako when she has a nervous breakdown. The final chapter of the series shows a much healthier and happier Hanako preparing to get married.
- The first chapter in the series focused on the relationship being a nameless boy doll and a rich woman named Kaya. When Kaya was younger, she was also bulimic like Hanako. Unlike Hanako, Kaya ended up severely damaging herself and lost the ability to have children.
- A variant happens in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Leon Wilson's deck of fairy tale cards features a "Gingerbread House" magic card. When active, the Gingerbread House can be used to target an opponent's monster and increase their attack points by 600. If said monster's attack goes over 2500, the monster gets destroyed and Leon gains 500 life points. When Leon uses it on Rebecca Hopkin's Luster Dragon, the Luster Dragon becomes rather bloated before being destroyed. The entire strategy is an obvious Shout-Out to Hansel and Gretel.
- Fred Andrews, father of the title character in Archie is perpetually dieting and cheating on his diet.
- In Justice League International Blue Beetle grappled with weight gain and a heart condition for a while. His diet was going very poorly until his doctor got the idea to use Ted's Manchild tendencies to their advantage, by pitting him against someone else who was also on a diet and making him see it as a competition. That person happened to be Power Girl (during her "diet root beer" phase) and Ted managed to develop the willpower to slim back down for good for the sake of rubbing it in Karen's face.
- Legion of Super-Heroes:
- During the Silver Age, Matter-Eater Lad once got hit by a ray gun which altered his alien metabolism. As a Bismollian he can consume any form of matter and his metabolism processes it rather quickly. However, the ray had slowed it down to that of a normal human, which caused his body to swell up after he devoured a ton of dirt to form an escape tunnel. He was stuck like this for a while until a doctor managed to undo the ray's effect.
- Conversely, Bouncing Boy once lost his power to inflate into a ball-like form and became so slim his teammates didn't recognize him. Rather than worrying about his looks, Bouncing Boy was sad that he couldn't be in the Legion anymore without a power. His powers were restored though, but he'd lose his powers again a few times afterwards, but during those times his weight wasn't affected at all.
- Lightning Lad in the comic tie-in to the Legion cartoon once had his powers swapped with Bouncing Boy due to an alien virus, causing himself to get fat in the process. The end of the issue implied Garth was going to be stuck like that longer than his teammates because the virus lasts longer on people with greater mass.
- During the Five Years Later era, Cera Kesh tried to join the young Legionnaires only to be mocked for her bad skin and weight by Live Wire, who called her a cow, and Inferno. Hollywood Pudgy comes into play because Cera wasn't even that chubby. When Cera became the new Emerald Empress, she briefly used the Emerald Eye to exact some revenge on Inferno by giving him zits and making him fat, so he would know what it's like to be "a cow." It should be noted that the two aforementioned Legionnaires were the only ones who had a problem with Cera's looks, and the rest of the team were very disappointed by their bullying.
- Averted with Five Years Later Dream Girl, who indeed put on some weight since she left the Legion and became High Seer of Naltor, but became a Big Beautiful Woman instead of lamenting her size.
- A certain running gag pertaining to the Superman Family during the Silver Age had most of the characters getting fat one way or another. This includes Superman, his younger self Superboy on four separate occasions (including most of Smallville save for Jonathan and Martha Kent on two of those occasions), Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Supergirl in her secret identity as Linda Lee.
- Peter Parker, Wolverine, and Jean Grey all let themselves go in the Bad Future world of Earth X. Peter as a result of retiring from superheroics and the police force, and Logan and Jean (in that world married) as a result of retirement and Awful Wedded Life. Logan even smugly stated he couldn't get fat because of his healing factor. Peter went back to being Spider-Man and started to lose weight near the end of the first Earth-X book though, though a few people snarked about him being bitten by a "radioactive spare tire" due to his badly fitting costume.
- In an issue of the second volume of Titans, Raven discovered she had six evil brothers with powers corresponding to the Seven Deadly Sins, and her evil side manifested as Pride. After taking down her brothers, she planned to transfer their powers to her teammates using Beast Boy as the transference catalyst (which would've killed him). Roy Harper was briefly turned into the conduit for Gluttony and became fat, though this was immediately reversed when a Batman Gambit Raven implemented stopped her evil side. This appeared to have been a Stealth Pun reference to Roy's thrill seeking womanizing tendencies, and his history as a recovered drug addict rather than any Big Eater tendencies. So this worked to tie in the stereotypical association of fat people with gluttony and the sin's actual nature as excessive over-consumption.
- This is just one of the many insecurities that plagues the titular heroine of Empowered. She's not really overweight (apart from a naturally big butt, although she's the only one who considers this a problem) but because her super suit is skin tight to the point that she can't even wear underwear, she's very insecure about her looks. She admits to starving herself and exercising constantly.
- Agent X, an associate of Deadpool, was at one point kidnapped and infused with what was referred to as "the American gene," which gave him arthritis and made him morbidly obese.
- Inverted with the Blob following House of M. Upon waking up to discover his mutant power is gone, he immediately tries to commit suicide. The problem is he has so much excess skin from his weight that he can't find a nerve to cut.
- Retired Irish heroine Shamrock lamented in Girl Comics that she can barely fit into her costume. This is, however, a case of Hollywood Pudgy as she does not appear overweight, only the costume just appears to have gotten smaller, and other than that she's fine with being retired as a hairdresser.
- Played with during Adam Warren's run on Genął with a Bad Future issue showing the fates of most of the team. Roxy struggled with her weight and binge eating frequently before finally dying as the rest of the team did (except Grunge). The issue turned out to just be a bad dream Grunge was having. Though in a follow-up issue, Roxy decides to gorge herself on a big fast food dinner after getting mad at Grunge, and for the rest of the issue was starving herself.
- Former C-List bad guy Catman had let himself go when he reappeared in Green Arrow. Then Gail Simone got her hands on him, and by the time he reappeared in Villains United as a member of the Secret Six, he was the complete personification of the Walking Shirtless Scene.
- The lighthearted What If? #34 showed an Earth where Tony Stark had an eating problem instead of a drinking problem. He once ordered an entire cow for dinner along with a diet soda. He eventually couldn't use the rockets in his suit and had to get his armor on using a crowbar.
- The Machinist in Stormwatch PHD has let himself go since he first battled Jackson King and is ordered to go on a diet as a requirement for being on the squad.
- Luther Hargreeves of The Umbrella Academy had gotten out-of-shape between the first and second volumes of the series from doing nothing but eating cookies and watching infomercials all day out of depression.
- The Flash:
- Barry Allen and Wally West have dealt with this a couple of times.
- Gorilla Grodd once turned Barry into a thousand-pound amnesiac by making his body absorb moisture in the air.
- Wally's suffered under this in two alternate reality stores. In a Bad Future seen in JLA, Wally had lost his connection to the Speed Force in an out-of-shape, sickly body. In Superman: Emperor Joker, a power mad Joker warped Wally into "The Flab: The Fastest Fat Man Alive," a compulsive eater who had gained super speed after he was struck by lightning while trying to steal candy from a vending machine.
- Autumn Rolfson, who would become Famine of Apocalypse's Horsemen in X-Factor, suffered from anorexia as a result of her ability to disintegrate living matter. By the time she appeared in Uncanny X-Force she resembled a corpse.
- During the Golden Age, Wonder Woman had Etta Candy, a Fat and Proud Plucky Girl for a best friend. When Diana had mentioned to Etta the benefits of losing weight, Etta had made a compromise with Diana. If she lost ten pounds and felt better about herself, she'd lose fifty more. By the story's end, Etta had lost her ten pounds but was unhappy, so she simply asked Diana for her candy back. Post-Crisis, however, Etta had suffered from anorexia for a while.
- Christian Walker began sporting blonde hair and a beer belly after he left the force for a time in Powers, as he was kind of depressed and felt he had nothing better to do than sit around and eat.
- In the Phantom Stranger one-shot released under Vertigo Visions, one of the condemned souls seen was a morbidly obese woman named Elba Benchley. It's implied that, before she died, Elba had been found chained in a basement when she was a little girl, alongside the partially eaten remains of her brother and sister.
- As a result of the Shadow King possessing her body, Karma of the New Mutants had become disgustingly obese because of his tendencies as a Villainous Glutton. For a small period of time Karma was understandably ashamed of what her body had become like, until she'd been stranded in a desert dimension and worked off the extra weight in order to survive.
- Pre-Crisis, Alfred Pennyworth of Batman fame was a little on the round side before he spent a vacation at a health spa and became as thin as the comic book fandom fully knows him as.
- The Smurfs: This was what led to the Smurfette's magic makeover in her debut. Jokey led the others in a series of pranks tricking her into believing she was overweight. After Papa finds out, he gives her the makeover to help restore her confidence.
- Just as its cartoon namesake has done a few stories about this trope, so has Simpsons Comics tackled it a few times.
- In one issue, the heftier townspeople of Springfield are ordered to lose a set number of pounds by Rainer Wolfcastle and the President of the United States. If they can, everyone gets treated to an all expenses paid vacation at a water park. Everyone is able to lose the amount of weight required, except for Homer who gains three pounds and has to work even harder after the town labels him a pariah.
- In another, Mr. Burns tries to cut costs by giving his workers highly addictive and delicious donuts instead of pay. The plan works, although Homer and the other employees are starting to put on a couple of pounds. It's not until a month goes by that Burns has to stop making the donuts, as it's costing him millions and productivity has dropped significantly because his workers are too obese to get anything done.
- In another story, Nelson Muntz starts living with the Simpsons and spends a lot of his time making repairs around the house due to Homer's stupidity. As a result, he spends most of his time in school asleep. Without Nelson's bullying, the kids are able to use their lunch money to actually buy lunch, but because the cafeteria food is grossly unhealthy (they serve Cream of Lard), most of the student body becomes very overweight. Lisa's an exception because she brings a vegetarian lunch to school.
- In a summer special, Homer can't accompany the family on their vacation trip because he's too fat to be allowed on an airplane. He's given an alternative route on a flight company owned by Mr. Burns specifically for heavyset people, but the plane is in such a need of repairs Homer has to fix it himself. In his determination to be with Marge and the kids, Homer ends up losing a lot of weight by accident through all the physical labor he employs. However, when he finally gets on the cruise the rest of the family is on, he's shocked to discover Marge and the kids have all gained weight. Without Homer's hijinks to keep them occupied, they had nothing to do but sit around and eat. Marge and the kids are then told that they are the ones too fat to fly home.
- In the Dial H For Hero revamp Dial H, main character Nelson Jent is a Formerly Fit example whose life started going down the drain after he lost his job and his girlfriend. His friend Darren is concerned over the fact that Nelson had a heart attack and he's not even past 30.
- Swordsman was one of the few characters from Heroes Reborn who was left behind on the Counter-Earth. When he was seen again in the Heroes Reborn: Remnants story, he essentially became his world's version of Deadpool, but got really fat in the process from binge-eating on junk food.
- Common Grounds #4 had a short story about a support group for superheroes struggling with their weight, with a Batman expy named Red Fox insisting they be called "density challenged" and suggesting they embrace their overweight status. It's pretty clear the guy is only suggesting this because of deep self loathing with his body image, and the other members leave because they just want to lose weight.
- In the eight issue to the comic tie-in of Marvel's The Superhero Squad Show, most of the Squaddies had tried to retrieve an Infinity Fractal before the Blob could get it for Doctor Doom. But the Fractal activated and somehow made the Blob slender while making the Squaddies fat. The effect only lasted as long as Blob held onto the Fractal, which he did on Doctor Doom's orders to incapacitate the Squad. The story ended with the Squaddies attempting to utilize their new girth to stop crime before they turn back to normal. On the other end the Blob was depressed that he'd gotten so small, and finally dropped the Fractal because he wasn't comfortable with his thin body.
- Longtime member of the Global Guardians Rising Sun has not aged well by the time he appeared making things difficult for the Super Young Team after Final Crisis. Originally a well revered hero of Japan, he started excessively drinking and grew a Beard of Sorrow and a beer gut, ranting about Japan's shallow super human community.
- As an example of Early Installment Weirdness, Shaft of Youngblood apparently had an eating disorder during the team's first volume, and was very self conscious about his weight. The seventh issue included a Nightmare Sequence where he gorges himself and becomes obese. Strangely, this is one of the most original storylines created by Rob Liefeld, as it's virtually impossible to find comic books about male characters with eating disorders. This plot wasn't seen again in Shaft's later appearances.
- Two examples from Fables:
- Mrs. Sprat, the wife of Jack Sprat, has a complex over being one of the few physically ugly women in a community of fairy tale princesses and queens because she's fat. And her sour personality makes her look even uglier because no one can stand to be around her. As of the hundredth issue, Mrs. Sprat joins the side of Mr. Dark, and gradually becomes thin, beautiful, and completely evil.
- Jack Horner, in his spin-off comic, claims to have never been fat a day in his life. Which is why he's horrified when, in an issue appropriately titled "Fat Jack," he's suddenly sporting a large beer gut. Not only that, but he's also getting progressively uglier and losing his hair. It turns out Jack's obesity and ugliness are part of his transformation into a dragon, due to his years of hoarding an obscenely large treasure inside his magic briefcase.
- Cathy defines this trope. (Ack!)
- A Running Gag with Wanda in Baby Blues. One story arc was solely about her trying to lose weight.
- Garfield oscillates between being Fat and Proud and being sensitive about his weight, with a dread of measuring himself (especially since he has a talking scale that keeps insulting him).
Jon: Sensitive about our weight, are we?
Garfield: My weight, my business.
- The rarely seen "can't gain weight" variation shows up now and then in Foxtrot. Despite being a Big Eater, Peter never gains any weight. Occasionally this becomes a source of annoyance for him, because he's perpetually scrawny and unable to gain any muscle. Compare his father Roger who eats as much as he does, but actually shows it. Roger has no real problem with his weight, but his wife Andy will sometimes force him to go on a diet for his own good.
- Harmony, from the Buffyverse, is a pathetic mess at the beginning of An Average Everyday Supergoddess, not least because of her serious body issues. When, after the events of Halloween, she gains the physical form of a stunningly beautiful Asgardian woman, all of that changes. Her new body comes complete with a supercharged metabolism that burns through calories rapidly, and she wonders if she can finally stop her endless dieting. When she discovers that the oh-so-very-vain Amora had actually researched and created spells specifically designed to rid her body of unwanted fat (allowing her to indulge herself freely), Harm is ecstatic, and for the first time in years is able to eat full meals without guilt.
- In the Buffy/Stargate crossover story All Your Base Are Belong To Her, Dawn is shown in flashback to have gained a moderate amount of weight after Buffy's death. When Faith expressed (admittedly mild) disapproval of this development, Dawn was so stricken that she became mildly anorexic and driven to lose weight so as to please Faith. Flash forward a year, and Dawn has achieved her target weight and figure, and is fine with being constantly hungry if it means she can love who she sees in the mirror and turn heads wherever she goes.
- Sayaka has this as a Cibus in Cibus Esculentus Madoka Magica. Kyubey explains while she tries working out that her fat is there to stay no matter what she does. The next thing she finds out is that fighting isn't her only purpose (or even her main purpose) as a Cibus, and she pretty much figured out the rest without his confirmation.
Films — Animation
- The Incredibles:
- Elastigirl expresses quite a bit of depression after getting a glance of her butt on a mirror in Syndrome's Base.
- Mr. Incredible himself has gone through this. He may have still retained his super strength but in his later years he has to deal with the fact that his costume barely fits anymore. The first teaser trailer focused on him trying (and failing) to get his belt on. He then starts intensely working out (using trains as weights) to give himself a physique to match his powers again. He doesn't get back into his originial shape, but is noticeably slimmer at the end of the film than in the beginning.
Films — Live-Action
- Eating disorders are the subject of many a Lifetime Movie Of The Week.
- In the movie Zoolander, Matilda confesses that she suffered from bulimia when she was a teenager. The other two characters, who are both male models, respond by saying that they do it all the time (once they figure out what she's talking about).
- Fatso is about a man (played by Dom De Luise) struggling with being obese, his food addiction, and his enabler mother.
- In the plot to take down Regina George in Mean Girls, her "killer bod" is one of the items that comes under attack. The means? Protein-heavy granola bars that are supposed to help athletes gain weight, passed to Regina as if they're diet bars. Despite Regina's weight gain being a significant plot point, the actress' size doesn't change in the slightest.
- In the remake of The Nutty Professor, Sherman Klump begins to feel insecure about his weight when he snags a date with a fellow teacher, and begins exercising. Through a Training Montage we do see him getting into better shape, but at the same time his actual appearance doesn't really change. He ends up being heckled by an obnoxious stand-up comedian during the date, which drives him to create the formula that will slim him down, and gives birth to his alter ego Buddy Love. At the end of the film after everything's resolved, Sherman says that he will lose weight, but due to genetics he's always going to big no matter what.
- In the Wayan Bros film White Chicks one of the female characters who was in the original Alpha Bitch siblings' Girl Posse who the heroes of the film make friends with whilst Disguised in Drag as said Alpha Bitches is revealed to have severe body image problems around her weight. This despite being as thin as any Hollywood Actress or supermodel, and it is made clear that all the fat she sees on herself in the mirror at the mall is in her head. She has somewhat of a psychotic episode about it.
- In Death Becomes Her, writer Helen Sharp develops an eating disorder to cope with losing her fiance to her bitter rival Madeline Ashton, and spends a few years being belittled in a mental hospital because of her psychotic obsession with Madeline. Some years later, Madeline has begun to notice she's getting older and not as svelte as she used to be, but took some comfort in knowing Helen was a blob... until she sees Helen for the first time in ages and discovers she's gorgeous. Because of an immortality serum.
- One of the side characters in Men Women And Children is a teenaged devotee of a "thinspiration" website, with a wall covered in ultra-thin models for extra body image issues. The fact that the character is played by waifish Elena Kampouris lends extra oomph to the plotline.
- Played with both ways in The Santa Clause and its sequel. As a result of Scott Calvin becoming the new Santa Claus, Scott wakes up one morning and is startled to discover he's put on a great deal of weight. And as his bathroom scale indicated, he was getting heavier by the second. At first his transformation is solely due to magic, but later it becomes due to his newly increased appetite for sweets. In the second movie, Scott gradually begins to lose weight and revert back to the way he was before he became Santa. His body promptly swells back up the moment his marriage is made official.
- Maureen "Puddin'" in Robert A. Heinlein's short story Cliff and the Calories. She thinks her boyfriend would like her better if she were thinner, so she tries desperately to lose weight.
- Bridget Jones, who obsesses in her diary about her weight. Her weakness is her love of alcohol.
- Gossip Girl, the book series, had Blair as bulimic. They touched on this during the first season Thanksgiving episode of the TV show, but it was never shown to be as much of a problem as the book series, where Blair binged and purged at least once a book if not more.
- A recurring problem in so many degrees in the Carolyn Mackler novel "The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things": Virginia Shreves feels inadequate about her body's attractiveness and refuses to pursue a relationship with a boy who mutually likes her, due to a fear of rejection and humiliation from him or as she calls it "The Fat Girl Code"; her Stepford Smiler psychoanalyst mother is skinny and constantly watches her weight to prevent a return to her past and since her husband finds thin women attractive; the Alpha Bitch Brie is bulimic.
- It's mentioned in Galaxy of Fear that Zak Arranda was enjoyed pulling pranks back on Alderaan. One is described.
Zak and some of his friends had snuck into the teachers' washroom at their school and replaced the mirror with a hologram screen programmed to reflect anyone's image exactly - only twenty kilos heavier. Snack sales at the instructors' cantina had plummeted until the prank was discovered.
- In "Say Cheese and Die Again!" from Goosebumps, the cursed camera caused protagonist Greg to become morbidly obese while his friend Shari slowly became emaciated. At first his classmates found it amusing, but much later everyone felt bad and stopped considering the situation to be funny, except for Greg's Jerkass teacher Mr. Saur.
- "Don't Go To Sleep!" had protagonist Matt wake up in an alternate universe where he's morbidly obese. He's apparently so fat his mother doesn't recognize him and refuses to let him in the house.
- Not played for laughs at all in the Fear Street special Fear Hall, where Hope Mathis's abusive mother treated her like garbage because Hope was a little chubby when she was a kid. By the time Hope was in college her weight was still something of a sore subject, and while she herself doesn't consider herself ugly, she hates being called fat as an insult and is extremely bitter about her mother's neurosis.
- Mary from the first three GONE books is bulimic and addicted to diet pills, laxatives and exercise. This is definitely NOT played for laughs, and her story goes from being uncomfortable to tragic to cautionary.
- Subverted in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry's Jerkass cousin Dudley is forced to go on a diet after his school nurse compared his weight to that of a baby whale. The angst came more from Harry than Dudley, since Harry was forced to eat that same diet food Dudley was and his aunt and uncle were already barely feeding him as is. As a matter of fact, Petunia would purposefully give Dudley more to eat than Harry, even if it was food Dudley didn't want. Had it not been for the food Harry was getting from his friends and Mrs. Weasley, he'd have most likely starved to death that summer.
- In The Cat Who Saw Red, James Qwilleran has to go on a diet for the duration of the novel, and is angered to discover in the first fifty pages that he's actually gained three pounds since his doctor's appointment.
- George R.R. Martin's short story "The Monkey Treatment" centers on a young man who tries a desperate and effective method of losing weight.
- Bone Chillers had two cases of Fattening the Victim present in Frankenturkey II and Romeo And Ghouliette. The former is the result of a Jackass Genie wish, with the victim actually looking forward to getting fattened up and eaten for Thanksgiving, while the latter is played straight and involves ghouls wanting to eat the protagonist's best friend.
- In Safehold, prince Nahrmahn is short and plump and has some complexes about it. At one point he muses that if he knew how well-build and handsome Cayleb is and how bad he himself looks in comparison, he'd never be able to discard his dignity and offer to pledge his loyalty to him.
- Hannah Swensen, along with other characters in the series, struggle with their weight. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder focuses on Hannah trying to fit into a pair of jeans by dieting.
- Deconstructed, of course, in Renegadepress.com's "A Very Thin Edge"; Zoey is startled to learn her friend Melanie belongs to a local pro-anorexia website and because of stress at home the site almost seduces Zoey. When she learns that the web master is actually bed ridden and under constant nursing care because of her disease, Zoey realizes how dangerous the sickness can be.
- Hannah Ashworth, a character in the British soap Hollyoaks, was portrayed as suffering from anorexia and bulimia, which she later recovered from. Melissa Hurst, Hannah's friend, also suffered from anorexia which she died from.
- Jason has image issues which Word of God identifies as body dysmorphia.
- The 2 part episode "Our Lips Are Sealed" from Degrassi has Emma developing anorexia as a way of dealing with the stress in her life.
- Elliot during season 7 of Scrubs treats a woman with anorexia. Dr. Cox points out that Elliot weighs even less. By the end of the episode, she realizes that she is there to help her patients whether she is healthy or not. A year later, the same patient comes back, even more underweight, and Elliot is convinced that it is still anorexia, when in reality it was HIV. However, Elliot puts the patient through a lot before eventually figuring this out.
- The TV Biopic of Gilda Radner (from Saturday Night Live) portrayed her as bulimic.
- Cassie on Skins is shown to have anorexia, in addition to problems with drug abuse, low self esteem, and some personality issues...In one episode she demonstrates to Sid how she fakes people out by pretending to eat.
- Hurley on Lost is said to have a problem with over-eating.
- The incredibly vain Dennis Reynolds on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has a very unhealthy relationship with food and with his body, often starving himself to boost his attractiveness. (Even his friends inceredibly selfish friends get concerned when that happens).
Dennis: I am going to be 20 forever, Mac, because the older I become, the more vigilant I am. I don't eat lunch anymore, for instance. An on odd days, I don't eat breakfast.
- During Season 8 of Frasier, as a way to mask Jane Leeves' pregnancy, Daphne gained considerable weight. While Niles pretended not to notice, she was the target of many fat jokes. She was sent to a weight loss clinic, and the psychology behind her weight issue was explored, in a sensitive and realistic way, in the episode "Daphne Returns."
- Boy Meets World:
- A season 7 episode addresses this when Topanga realizes she's bigger than her friends (where "bigger" means "has sexy, sexy curves") and starts dieting. It finally comes out that everyone is self-conscious because of society's unrealistic portrayals and no one thinks Topanga is anywhere near fat.
- That same episode Eric was also dealing with body issues of his own, although his weren't as serious as Topanga's. In fact, he even admitted that he called her fat just so he could get her pizza.
- Big Wolf on Campus:
- Tommy starts getting tubby due to his wolf-like appetite getting the best of him. Eventually, his cravings results in his existence as a werewolf being exposed to the town.
- In another episode, Merton falls in with a group of black-clad teenagers who start giving him a nectar-like substance that makes him fat. Merton is at first horrified until his new "friends" say they like him bigger, so he starts drinking more of the stuff. It turns out the kids are actually spiders in human form, and they've been fattening Merton up so they can eat him.
- My Mad Fat Diary: Rae's issues with her weight form one of the bases of the plot. Her friend Tix also has issues with eating food and burning calories.
- Hal from Malcolm in the Middle was purposefully making Lois gain weight without her knowledge while she was pregnant with their fifth child because he thought she looked sexy.
- Penny from Happy Endings went on a diet for an episode but couldn't keep it up. In general, neither her nor other characters comment negatively on her curviness. And even in that episode, it was less of a diet to lose weight and more of a cleanse for better general health.
- Two episodes of Roseanne dealt with this. In one episode Roseanne and Dan both try to go on a diet. In another, Roseanne puts Dan on a diet after his heart attack, but his refusal to stick to eating healthier food leads to one of the worst fights the two have ever had, only it turns out Dan had already died from his heart attack in the series finale.
- It's also been implied that Roseanne's weight, as well as her anger issues and her controlling nature with Dan, stems from her father's abusive nature and her mother's tendency to make everything better with food when she and Jackie were little girls.
- In 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dick begins stress eating as a result of his break-up with Mary in Moby Dick. He tries dieting and tries using a girdle, but upon learning Mary has also been stress eating, Dick decides to just buy bigger pants.
- Seinfeld has dealt with this a couple of times. In "The Non-Fat Yogurt" Jerry, Elaine, and George discover that the supposed non-fat yogurt they've been enjoying every day actually is fat and they've gained weight. Though this actually involves Hollywood Pudgy since none of them look any bigger.
- Even so, Kramer starts calling Jerry names like "chubs" and "tons-o-fun".
- Sylvia Fine is constantly dealing with this in The Nanny though she has yet to curb her Big Eater tendencies.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch:
- In "Sabrina and the Beanstalk," Harvey finds himself in the clutches of the Wicked Witch atop the beanstalk Sabrina accidentally created. Said Witch serves him up food laced with an ingredient called "Fatten Up." By the time Sabrina gets to Harvey he's gotten pretty big, to the point that she uses him as a battering ram to get the Wicked Witch away from them. He manages to sweat the weight off as he climbs down the beanstalk... and then Salem suffers from this after eating the entire "Fatten Up" container when it fell from the beanstalk.
- One episode dealt with this as seriously as the show could could. Sabrina tried to lose weight in order to fit into a dress for an upcoming dance, but then started using shoddy diet drinks from the Other Realm. To make matters worse, the salesman put a spell on her bedroom mirror to make her reflection look morbidly obese. Zelda found out what happened when she saw her butt reflected much bigger than it was, and took the spell off. Unfortunately, by that point Sabrina legitimately believed she was huge and kept taking the diet shakes until she became invisible. She wasted away into nothing.
- In a later season episode, Hilda decides to screw with Morgan's fashion models by giving them free beverages and snacks at the coffee house and claiming they're fat free. While they don't look any bigger, Morgan has to scramble to find new models for her show because the clothes don't fit them anymore.
- An episode of Full House had DJ crash-dieting so she'd look good in a bathing suit for a pool party. As per usual, she was talked down by a heart-to-heart with her dad and a big hug.
- Fat Actress has Kirstie Alley (a fictional version of herself) trying to deal with being an aging and somewhat overweight actress in Hollywood. The way people treat her veers between Cringe Comedy and Dude, Not Funny!.
- There've been at least Diet Episode segments on The Golden Girls, and one episode dealing solely on body image issues.
- A Clip Show episode (made of original clips) focused on the previous attempts at self improvement the girls have gone through, including dieting. Sophia was actually trying to gain weight after learning she lost a pound, and one episode implies she was at least 200 pounds heavier when she was much younger. In the dieting episode, the girls all weighed themselves and poked fun at each other, which of course involved Hollywood Pudgy since none of them look heavyset. In Blanche's case, it would've helped if she had taken her high heels off before she got on the scale.
- A later episode dealt with Blanche dieting to fit into her wedding dress for her anniversary. She almost goes insane with hunger and practically assaults Rose when Rose accidentally eats Blanche's diet food. She does manage to fit into the dress... except the zipper on the back didn't fit. Rose takes a picture without Blanche knowing
- Blanche's estranged daughter Rebecca had put on a great deal of weight since the last time the two saw each other. Unfortunately, this affected her self-esteem to the point that she almost married a man who did nothing but mock her. Dorothy almost beat the shit out of him after listening to his crap. Thankfully, Blanche managed to convince Rebecca she deserved better and she left the guy. In her next appearances she was much slimmer, but she was also being played by a different actress in those appearances.
- "Ana's Song (Open Fire)" by Silverchair:
"And you're my obsession
I love you to the bones
And Ana wrecks your life
Like an anorexia life"
- 4st 7lb by Manic Street Preachers is sung from the perspective of a girl who is enthusiastic about losing unhealthy amounts of weight. The lyrics were probably written by Richey Edwards, who was suffering from anorexia at the time:
Stomach collapsed at fiveLift up my skirt my sex is goneNaked and lovely and 5st. 2May I bud and never flower?
- Sophie by Elanor McEvoy tells the story of a girl with anorexia.
- Canadian band Furnaceface's song "She Thinks She's Fat" includes the lyrics: "She calls herself a cow / I say how 'bout a little bestiality." While it's Played for Laughs, the subject is also bulimic: "She eats ten buttered popcorns / And then she throws up..."
- Tied together with a smile by Taylor Swift was written about her anorexic best friend back in High school.
- Anorexia Dear Friend by Stacie Orrico.
- The video for Daft Punk's "The Prime Time of Your Life" seems to be about a young girl who sees herself as very fat while seeing everyone else as skeletons. Eventually she tears her skin off and kills herself in an attempt to be like everyone else.
- "Skin & Bones" by Marianas Trench is about the lead singer's personal struggle with eating disorders.
- This happens to Stella Stone in Great Britain when she keeps losing weight for Page 7 of the Free Press and becomes anorexic. Unlike most examples of this trope, this was taken very seriously, turning first act comic relief and Brainless Beauty into a Knight of Cerebus and causing the play to take a fairly dark turn. She ends up being hospitalised early in the second act, and despite being force-fed she eventually reaches the point where her body is just starting to die, in no small part due to Paige's manipulation. By the end of the play, she is dead.
- Amy Rose took this Up to Eleven in Sonic Battle, being obsessed with boxercising and later being coached by Emerl, who instructed her to do 100 push-ups and eat nothing but salad with no dressing. This is taken to creepy levels as, rather than merely lamenting about her weight and failing to maintain a diet like most examples, Amy really appears to be suffering from an eating disorder.
- Almost every female in the Sonic the Hedgehog series keeps their weight a secret.
- Subverted in Persona 4; Hanako claims to be dieting (which means she only eats one bucket of curry), and uses it as a justification for not sharing some of her food (despite having more than enough to share) with the starving protagonists.
- Inverted in Tekken with Bob, who deliberately grew fat to be a combination of striking power, muscle mass, and speed. In one ending, he goes completely berserk after losing all his weight.
- In Strawberry Vinegar, Rie mentions that her father enjoys cooking for her since he is unable to cook for her (already quite slim) mother, who is always on a diet.
- The Nostalgia Chick looks perfectly pretty and healthy, but she still freaks about her weight. Luckily, there a mail-order Nella service (Big Fat Friend) to make her look better by comparison.
- Donnie on Demo Reel has the rare version of "too thin". While the male version of a Heroic Seductress, in a Deleted Scene he worried about having no muscles and confided in Tacoma that he looks like a shaved cat when shirtless. We've seen him shirtless, he looks great.
- In Fatty Girl, Cinderella is cursed into being overweight and her boyfriend rejects her over it. The rest of the series follows her quest to lose the weight.
- Patti Mayonnaise in an episode of Doug when she overhears Doug commenting on her weight (he was actually referring to a homemade vehicle he was making).
- In a Nickelodeon episode "Doug Tips The Scales", Doug had gained weight while on vacation at his grandma's and tried to slim down before Beebee Bluff's pool party.
- In one episode of Hey Arnold!, Harold becomes insecure about his size and strives to lose weight when he overhears Sid and Stinky mocking him. He goes on a cruise with the purpose of helping kids lose weight, but is even bigger when he returns. He manages to lose the extra weight with some help from Arnold, though.
- Drawn Together has one episode where Toot Braunstein attempts to lose weight, both through bulemia and anorexia.
- The Simpsons have dealt with this trope in numerous ways due to the fact that a lot of the main characters are on the chunky side.
- Lisa Simpson had an episode of this when some kids at school made fun of her weight.
- Homer bounces around this. Sometimes he wants to be thinner, but in "King-Size Homer" he had woe because he wanted to gain weight in order to qualify for a disability that would allow him to work from home.
- "Brush With Greatness" and "King of the Hill" play Homer's attempts to lose weight straight. The former attempt is inspired by his getting stuck in a water slide and becoming a laughing-stock; the latter episode deals with him joining a gym and climbing a mountain to win Bart's respect after he embarrasses him at a church picnic field day.
- Bart became overweight in "The Heartbroke Kid" after becoming addicted to the junk food in the new vending machines put into Springfield Elementary. To drive the point home they redid the opening with a now heavyset Bart, who ends up having a heart attack via malted milk ball-clogged arteries. Homer and Marge resort to having him sent to a fat camp against his will, though he finally sticks to losing the weight by himself after realizing his parents have had to turn the house into a youth hostel and degrade themselves for a bunch of annoying college students in order to pay for the camp.
- Rainer Wolfcastle has struggled with his weight on two occasions. The first time he claimed he was preparing for a fat secret agent role, but the second time he was at the same fat camp Bart was sent to.
- In a later season episode, Bart conspired to have Nelson Muntz addicted to Krusty Burger fast food in order to make him obese and lose the energy to bully Bart and the other kids. Lisa forced Bart to help Nelson lose the weight after seeing what Nelson turned into. The subplot started after Bart watched a Super Size Me parody, Do You Want Lies With That?
- "Sweets and Sour Marge" played with this trope by having Springfield named "America's Fattest Town" and the citizens are overjoyed by being famous for something. All except for Marge, who is slightly disturbed by how everyone seems to be celebrating their obesity. She strives to sue a sugar-manufacturing company out of protest for destroying the town's health, only to have all sugar banned from Springfield. Homer and Bart work to undo this because life without sugar is too much of a hell to comprehend, and although Homer pulls back for Marge's sake, the judge overturns his decision and things go back to normal.
- In "Krusty Gets Kancelled," Bart and Lisa were shocked when they discover a morbidly obese Krusty in his apartment just as they were to announce that they got all of the celebrities (sans Elizabeth Taylor) needed for his comeback special. Krusty declared that he was on a steady diet of milkshakes. Lisa asked if they were diet milkshakes. Luckily, the Simpson family got him back in shape just in time.
- In "Bart's Friend Falls In Love," Lisa is concerned about Homer's weight and worries that he might die as a morbidly obese blob. Marge tries to send away for a tape set to help Homer lose weight via suggestions in his sleep, but the company had run out of weight loss cassettes and sent in a set to improve a person's vocabulary. They don't realize Homer received the wrong tape, and while Homer becomes much more articulate he gains weight and destroys the tapes out of anger.
- Both sides of this are played with in "Hungry, Hungry Homer." Homer goes on a hunger strike to prove that the Springfield Isotopes are really being moved to Albuquerque and begins to waste away into a delirious state of mind. Meanwhile, the kids start to get fat from eating Homer's shares at dinner simply because Marge won't cook less, though this is more a case of Balloon Belly then permanent weight.
- In "Kamp Krusty" Martin Prince isn't happy that his parents are sending him to a Fat Camp, which is revealed to be run like a concentration camp by the sadistic camp counselor Mr. Black.
- "Bart Star" shows that Bart and a lot of Springfield's kids are out of shape, so their parents have them join the peewee football league to get more exercise. Bart doesn't really have a problem with being tubby, but Homer, of all people, has the nerve to call him "a disgrace to the family" for being fat.
- In "Guess Who's Coming To Criticize Dinner?" Homer's rave reviews as a food critic cause many Sprinfielders to gain weight. Among them is Mr. Burns, whose shins break due to his new girth. He's seen at the end, still fat, among the crowd ready to beat the crap out of Homer for all the shit he pulled in this episode.
- "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday" had Homer leading an all-male entourage to the Super Bowl. With no women around, the guys can relax and let their bellies hang out. The moment they learn the bus driver's female, they're quick to pull themselves back together despite their annoyance.
- Theodore and Eleanor from Alvin and the Chipmunks sometimes become self-conscious about their weight.
- The episode "Arts and Crass" is centered around Daria and Jane creating a piece for the art competition about a girl with bulimia. The piece was meant to be supportive of people who didn't want to be judged for their looks, and to get people to question the cost of beauty by the standards of society.
- Played straight with Hollywood Pudgy added in "Fat Like Me" when Sandi breaks her leg and is out of school for a few days. When she comes back to school, she's put on a couple of pounds and ends up having to resign from the Fashion Club due to the strict weight requirements she implemented. Quinn helps Sandi get back to her regular size because the Club was on the verge of falling apart without a steady leader.
- Reoccurring extra Mrs. Johannsen is a morbidly obese woman who suffers from hypoglycemia. In her first appearance in Cafe Disaffecto she passes out while Daria and Jane are attempting to sell her chocolate for a school fundraiser. She insists on buying all their chocolate even though she tells them her doctor wouldn't approve. When she comes to, Daria states she can't sell her the chocolate out of fear for her health. She later appears in Psycho Therapy where it seems her weight and overeating stem from a traumatic childhood and feelings of abandonment after once being told she was an accident. When Quinn barges in to her therapy session to talk to the cute therapist speaking with Johannsen, Quinn suggests vertical stripes will fix her problems.
- On American Dad! Stan became anorexic. While he is shown to be getting heavier during the course of the episode, this is really a delusion and he is finally shown to be Nothing but Skin and Bones. It's actually taken fairly seriously. On another end of the story, Stan devises a way to not eat with one method including giving his food to Klaus. Klaus eventually gets so big he bursts out of his fishbowl.
- In another episode, Roger and Klaus have spent a year driving around the country to see the car pedometer get over 100,000, and have both gotten pretty fat from doing nothing and eating nothing but fast food. When the car breaks down, Roger tries to physically push it and has a heart attack. In the far future, Roger's shown trying this again (after what's implied to be numerous times and long after Klaus has died) and he's much more obese than he was before.
- One episode revealed Francine has to put a tremendous amount of effort into keeping her body tight, which includes power lifting furniture and a diet of tea and laxatives. After realizing Stan only married her for her looks, she cuts off her exercise regime and gets a bit chunky (among other things).
- When put under the test of whose parenting skills are superior, Francine is allowed to raise Steve exclusively while Stan raises a clone called Steve-arino. Francine's Hands-Off Parenting for the sake of giving Steve space to learn from his mistakes turns him into a slovenly fat brat with bad hygiene. Naturally, Steve's extra chub makes it harder for him to get away from Steve-arino when Steve-arino turns out to be a cat-torturing sociopath planning to murder Steve for emergency body parts.
- While working as a newscaster in "Anchorfran", Francine's celebrity status gets her free meals whenever she wants at a Mexican restaurant. Stan starts exploiting this and puts on a lot of weight from constantly gorging himself on free food, even admitting he's been treating himself to 16 burritos a day. Stan remains fat for the rest of the episode, and while no one has any visible problem with this, Stan mentions all that spicy food made his colon fall out, which he is apparently holding in place with duct tape. He's later seen shoving a sheet cake into his face and eating it like a dog.
- Family Guy:
- Meg Griffin is shown to be an overeater, and makes a habit out of throwing up after meals. She has far more issues than that however. Stewie even tells her one time that she should consider becoming anorexic and bulimic like the female ballerina dancers since it "seems to work out for them".
- When the popular girls at school throw up, Meg says she loves to throw up to fit in.
- Brian's dumb exgirlfriend Jillian is bulimic. Stewie calls her fat to make her throw up, and she makes comments about how she is losing her teeth.
- When Lois becomes a Hollywood starlet, she shows off her newfound anorexia by having her friends play her ribcage like a xylophone.
- In "Sibling Rivalry", Lois started to binge eat out of frustration after Peter lost his sex drive following a vasectomy. At first mocked about her weight, when the two accidentally have sex one night Peter is elated to discover "fat sex is the hottest sex" they ever had, and became determined to keep Lois heavy. By the end of the episode Lois had a heart attack and received emergency liposuction.
- In "No Country Club for Old Men" Lois bakes a batch of brownies, eats them all herself and then makes herself throw up. According to Stewie this happens every time she makes brownies.
- Peter, Chris, and Stewie all dealt with weight issues in one single episode. Chris became self conscious about his size, Peter got liposuction and plastic surgery to make himself a sculpted knockout, and Stewie became obese by way of mocking Chris's diet straight into an overeating disorder. Chris felt better about himself by the episode's end thanks to a few kind words from Meg, Peter gained back all his weight, and Stewie was inexplicably back to normal with no reason given.
- Nitz in Undergrads was horrified to discover he put on the Freshman Fifteen just before the Exposed Expo, an annual streaking event, and tried to slim down in time.
- Amy Wong of Futurama used to be fat when she was little, and although she slimmed down and became much more attractive as she got older, she still has a ravenous appetite which she keeps on lock down. In one post-cancellation episodes, Amy and Professor Farnsworth switched bodies, which Amy used as an excuse to go on an eating binge since it wasn't her body. However, the Professor's decrepit digestion system proved to be too much of a burden, and Amy switched with Leela. Amy's ravenous hunger caused Leela's body to become fat, and in order to stop herself from doing any more damage, Hermes volunteered to switch, claiming she couldn't possibly do any more damage to his flabby build. Both of them lost weight by the end of the episode, but in Amy's case, she'd lost her appetite completely after seeing Leela in the Professor's body graphically make out with Fry in Zoidberg's body.
- During the second Anthology Of Interest episode, Bender wonders what it'd be like to be human. He quickly goes on a week-long hedonistic binge of sex, partying, and eating, culminating in his transformation into a thousand pound human blob. And about forty of those pounds was his cholesterol level. The short ends with Bender dying at the beginning of a big party, and no one realizes this until 12 hours later.
- Inverted in the last episode of Megas XLR where Fat and Proud Coop is disgusted and enraged to discover his evil, alternate-universe self is a power hungry, skinny conqueror.
- In the American Dragon: Jake Long "Furious Jealousy", Jake's Big Eater tendencies started to go into overdrive when he began slacking off due to a lack of magical incidents occurring in the vicinity and he started to get tubby. The only one who was originally concerned was Trixie, until Jake's lack of exercise made him easy prey for the Gorgon sisters.
- A Totally Spies! episode had a villain creating girl scout cookies that were highly addictive and fattening as revenge for a childhood trauma of being booted out of the organization. Both Clover and Jerry became hooked on the cookies and became obese by the episode's end, as did the villain herself when the spies made her sample the "highly addictive sugar extract" she invented which made the cookies so addictive. An antidote was made and Clover and all the other victims of the scheme were turned back to normal.
- In The Looney Tunes Show, Bugs suggested to Porky during his brief stint as a caterer that he try some of his grandmother's old recipes since Porky's own dishes weren't that good. The recipes all call for an unhealthy amount of butter but are rather delicious, so much so that Bugs gets hooked on them and is finding excuses to throw parties just so Porky can cater them. Sure enough, Bugs starts off with a noticeable belly, then gets huge, to the point that he causes a tidal wave when jumping into a pool to save Daffy from drowning. That serves as Bugs' wake up call and he manages to cut back on the junk.
- Played with in Kim Possible when the writers did an intentionally Anvilicious episode about eating right after being told by the company that they had to make at least one Aesop episode. In "Grande Size Me" Ron tries to rally against Mr. Barkin's lectures on a balanced diet by eating Bueno Nacho every day to prove it's not dangerous. Sure enough, Ron starts to get tubby and pretty much everyone, including the villains, show concern over what Ron is doing to his body. However, after being submersed in a mutagenic growth formula, Ron's appetite increases and he gradually becomes much more fatter, taller, and aggressive, until he finally mutates into an orange parody of the Incredible Hulk. The only solution to reversing the mutation is to get him to eat healthy food. During the end credits however, Ron delivers a lecture about not falling into strange chemicals to the audience even though everyone else has no idea who he's talking to.
- Inverted in The Angry Beavers at one point, where Dag is concerned that he's unable to gain weight for winter and worries about freezing to death, while Norb has got no problem at all. The episode ends with Dag deciding to spend the rest of winter living in morbidly obese Norb's fat folds.
- In The Fairly Oddparents Timmy once wished that every meal was dessert. At first everyone is utterly hyperactive from the extra sugar rush, until a month passes by and everyone is so bloated they can only get around by rolling until the extra weight causes the Earth to fall out of orbit and spiral into the sun.
- During Timmy's Secret Wish, after Timmy's retroactively stripped of his godparents for freezing time, Jorgen Von Strangle starts binge eating frosting out of depression since he doesn't have Timmy's antics keeping him busy. He remains fat for the rest of the episode.
- Bill Dauterive on King of the Hill is constantly ashamed of his weight ever since his life went downhill following his marriage and divorce. In one episode he's told his excess weight and body hair were the result of the government using him as a guinea pig in drug research, until it turned out he was in the placebo group. He's ashamed to exercise in a gym because he thinks he's too fat to be seen working out with other people, and when he got diagnosed with diabetes he tried to blame his genes instead of his weight. In at least one episode that implies this has happened before, he goes on an eating binge when the Arlen town council bans food made with trans fats, thinking that all remaining junk food is good for him now that it's government approved. In a series of flashbacks it shows Bill always goes overboard with what he thinks is diet food like light beer, failing to understand it's diet compared to the regular product. In the trans fat episode, he becomes more bloated than he usually is, and suffered from an outbreak of zits. He doesn't stop until Hank makes him look at his reflection, and Bill becomes horrified enough to stop.
- Hector in Ozzy and Drix almost had a heart attack after gaining a couple of pounds before he decided to go jogging.
- There was a Home Movies episode which revolved around Brendon and Jason enabling each other's poor eating habits, before the ending showed the now obese kids making fat-themed parodies of famous movies.
- When Static had traveled into the future, he was a little shocked to discover Richie had noticeably gained a few pounds as an adult. Upon arriving back to the present, he snarked that Richie should watch the fast food from that point.
- A Very Special Episode of Beverly Hills Teens had Tara go on a crash diet in order to drop five pounds so she would qualify to enter a particular beauty contest.
- Done twice in KaBlam!:
- The overreaching story of one episode concerning Henry and June focused on the two being out-of-shape, to the point that they could barely get through the opening credits. They learn that a physical is coming up and try to lose weight with help from Richard Simmons, but they're not able to concentrate long enough to make any progress and sadly accept they'll be out of a job soon. Then they learn that their physical was only testing them on surviving cartoon physics via dumping anvils on them. Upon passing said exam they go back to eating junk food with gusto.
- An Action League Now short was basically a reversal of Thinner with the Chief getting cursed into obesity by a scam fortune teller with actual powers.
- An Animaniacs short called Star Truck had the Warners meeting a group of expies of the cast from Star Trek: The Original Series. Wakko introduces the Scotty stand-in to Earth doughnuts, and he progressively gets fatter as the short goes on until he's too big to reach the control panels.
- Played with in two senses in Johnny Bravo. In the earlier "Jumbo Johnny" episode, Johnny worries that he's not as buff as he could be and seeks to gain weight in terms of musculature. He's sold an experimental protein shake, but he doesn't follow the instructions correctly and drinks every can in a single night. By morning, Johnny is extremely fat and deludes himself into thinking he's ripped, until he takes more of the protein shake and essentially becomes a fat giant. Johnny accidentally destroys most of the city looking for the protein shake salesman, who finally gives him the antidote to slim down. But Johnny still doesn't follow the instructions, drinks every can he's given, and while he does slim down he's basically a two inch stick person with a normal sized head.
- Lucky Piquel in Bonkers is often the butt of some fat jokes since he's a very big guy. In one episode he's stressing out about having to lose some weight for an upcoming physical, which is made extremely difficult when the case of that episode involved the mascot of a snack cake company. However, thanks to sheer will power, Lucky manages to reach the required weight level for the physical (even though he doesn't look any slimmer). Bonkers, on the other hand, had spent most of the episode gorging on junk food and had gotten pretty fat.
- "Chew On This" from My Gym Partner's a Monkey had Adam complain about the fact that there wasn't any human food in the cafeteria. Fearing he might sue, Principal Pixie Frog changes the lunch menu to feature nothing but stuff humans eat. Jake and just about everyone else in the school (except Adam) get addicted because they're not used to eating pizza, french fries, and tater tots, and become very obese. When Adam is almost mobbed for his lunch, he threatens Pixie Frog that if he gets hurt he'd have grounds to sue the school, and offers not to in exchange for the menu being set back to the way it was. It then ends with everyone, the students and the staff, trying to lose weight.
- One episode of Kappa Mikey opened up with Gonard significantly tubbier than usual, and Ozu orders him to get back in shape because he's an action star. Gonard's forced to use Ozu's workout equipment, and while he becomes much more chiseled than he was before, he's now obsessed with exercising.
- Half of Dethklok's band members have body image issues. Pickles and Skwisgaar are both rather slender and Toki's absolutely ripped under his clothes, but Nathan and Murderface are on the heavy side. Nathan is a Formerly Fit example but is seen as a Big Beautiful Man due to the fact that he's more heavy than fat, while Murderface is out of shape and unattractive. Although in a later season episode, Nathan becomes increasingly concerned with his weight after accidentally breaking the hot tub by jumping into it, and being labeled unattractive on a recent news editorial.
- Explored in a very unusual sense on an episode of The Magic School Bus, in which the "woe" aspect comes not from fat or musculature, but gravity. Phoebe is concerned that she is unable to perform a special basketball feat for an upcoming game, and Ms. Frizzle uses this as an opportunity to teach the class about the concept of gravity. The bus transforms into an artificial planet, and the gravity is altered depending on how small or big the bus is. Unfortunately, someone knocks the gravity controls into high gear, enlarging the bus and increasing the gravity to such a degree that the kids are barely able to move and in danger of being crushed. Thankfully they manage to reach the controls in time before something bad happens.oy
- Done a number of times in South Park:
- Weight Gain 4000: Cartman tries to bulk up using protein powder, but doesn't understand he needs to use the powder alongside an exercise regime. By the end of the episode, he's a morbidly obese blob and seriously believes he's a well-muscled hunk. BEEF CAKE!!!
- Jared Has Aides: Butters is forced to gain fifty pounds as part of a convoluted scheme by the boys to make money doing a bunch of commercials for City Wok similar to Jared from Subway. They then put Butters through a homemade liposuction treatment, which is literally just putting a tube in his side and pumping the excess fat out by punching his stomach. It works.
- Make Love, Not Warcraft: The boys spend weeks doing nothing but killing boars to power up in World of Warcraft so they can finally stop the one player who keeps killing everybody's characters whenever they try to go on quest. In the process, Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman become overweight, greasy haired shut ins with horrendous acne.
- Raising The Bar: As obesity becomes more widespread, Cartman finally stops denying he is fat... and then intentionally gains more weight to qualify as obese and get a mobility scooter of his own. Cartman then takes advantage of his new handicapped status the way every other obese person in the episode does.
- Pam from Archer gets mocked a lot for her weight, and was especially stressed out by it in the first season. By the second season, Pam evolved into a Big Beautiful Woman Memetic Badass who shot back by mocking Cheryl's skinnier frame. However, during the fifth season when ISIS starts smuggling cocaine, Pam gets addicted and ends up losing a lot of weight. For a number of reasons, including that Pam Took a Level in Dumbass, everyone says they liked her better before, not after, she got addicted and lost weight. The sixth season reveals she gained back the weight she lost after beating her addiction.
- An ongoing plot point in The Cleveland Show was Cleveland Jr.'s sudden obesity, apparently brought on by the depression caused around the dissolution of his family when Cleveland and Loretta divorced. Though a later episode (possibly) revealed the obese Jr. is a secret agent who murdered the original and took his place to enact a complex sting operation on Cleveland's neighbor, Tim the Bear, supposedly a ruthless terrorist leader. In one particular episode, Cleveland starts wearing a man girdle to trick Donna into thinking he's lost weight, using it as an excuse to gorge himself. By the end of the episode, he's gained so much weight he finally bursts out of the girdle looking much fatter than usual.
- French actress Isabelle Caro gained world fame when she posed for a ''No Anorexia''◊ campaign that specifically targeted the film and fashion industry for forcing actresses and models to be unnaturally thin, encouraging anorexia. She died in 2010 of pneumonia at the age of only 28 since her body was too weakened to handle the sickness. Her lowest weight had been only 25 kg(~53 pounds) at age 24.
- Tracey Gold, who played Carol Seaver on Growing Pains, seriously battled with anorexia nervosa for much of her life. Her condition became life threatening during filming of Growing Pains when her character was mocked as "fat" in multiple episodes, making her more obsessive about weight in real life. In 1992, she had to resign from the show for medical reasons, and would not return until the series finale.
- Tracey actually went on to star in the television film For The Love of Nancy, which was about a teenage girl suffering through anorexia after graduating high school and entering college. This was made in 1994, two years after Growing Pains ended.
- Karen Carpenter of the popular 1960/1970's pop-rock group the Carpenters suffered from anorexia nervosa, and died from complications of the condition at age 32.
- Lord Byron - obsessed with his weight and fasting
- While it's not the same as the 'big-boned' myth, there is such a thing as being "Endomorphic"; people with wider builds who gain weight more easily and add it to the abdomen.
- Generally speaking, woman not only gain weight more easily than men, but many have a significantly more difficult time losing it, particularly in the abdomen. There are theories as to why this is (stress from maintaining societies standards, as a side-effect of a woman's reproductive abilities, ect.), but many people are split on the exact reason. Along the same vine, regardless of gender, weight-loss becomes harder and harder as a person ages, so a twenty-year old would have a much easier time of it than a forty-year-old.
Unfortunately, many people do have a Weight Woe in real life and are anorexic and/or bulimic as a result. If you're one of these people, please, please, please, see a doctor.
- North American resource: The National Eating Disorders Association. The hotline number is 1-800-931-2237.
- Support in Britain for people with eating disorders may be found here:- .