Did you know humans frown on weight variances? If you want to upset a human, just tell them their weight variance is above or below the norm.
Sometimes, insults are very clever, devious and witty.
Other times, it's easier (no matter how lame
it is) to attack a person's insecurities. And everyone has body issues. So simply calling someone "fat" is usually enough to reduce them to tears, or at least make them double-check the mirror. Usually used to show the pettiness of the insulter; if the person they're criticising is in fact rather thin, it comes off as desperate, and if they are
a bit overweight, it just seems cruel. The person's reaction to the insult can say something, too. Ignoring the insult or replying with something a great deal wittier just shows how unimpressed they are, while taking it to heart can show the insultee's vanity or lack-of-confidence.
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- The cast of Axis Powers Hetalia (but mostly England) will occasionally aim this insult at America. Although America takes Big Eater to comical extremes, he has actually been shown several times to be abnormally fit due to how much he exercises. Unfortunately, this causes him to gain muscle mass, which he is convinced is actually fat.
- Ranma ½: Ranma often insults Akane by calling her "thick-waisted," "overweight," or some other variation of the word "fat." Considering that she's insecure, it's a pretty bad insult, along with "uncute."
- Played for laughs when Ranma's mirror clone tells Akane that Ranma likes her.
- This is a Running Gag (though in a less direct way than most examples) with Lucy in Fairy Tail even though she is not fat at all. Every time someone carries her, they feel a need to complain that she's heavy. The first example is when Natsu and Happy is at a restaurant. They discuss how they should save the greasy food for her, since she looks like she has eaten a lot of fatty and greasy food through her life (in her earshot).
- Ms. Marvel is a frequent target of this, thanks to Running Gag, even Dr. Doom took turns at calling her fat.
- Volcania, girlfriend of Molecule Man, has been drawn slightly overweight. The Enchantress often refers to her as bloated.
- In Scott Pilgrim Knives Chau is known to call Ramona Flowers fat after she discovers Scott has left her for Ramona. Ramona is curvier than Knives but it's more that Knives is quite thin than Ramona being particularly fat.
- In numerous Astérix stories, Obelix is accused of this. His reaction varies from bitter sadness, launching into a frightening rage, or even outright denying the fact.
- When Polaris declines his offer of partnership in Ultimate X-Men, Magneto's response is to call her "an overweight harlot." She's not known to be his daughter or relative in this universe.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, this was Peter Parker's entire repertoire against Wilson Fisk. Which works perfectly in punching through the Kingpin's usually suave, controlled manner.
Spider-Man: I really wanted to remember to tell you these things because they are really important to me. [pulls out big stack of palm-cards]. You are so fat, that when you cut yourself shaving, marshmallow fluff comes out. You are so fat...
- Of course, Fisk is well known for having muscle to back up his bulk, and had injured Peter earlier just by being too tough to hit. His subsequent rage was more at Spidey's persistence and disrespect.
- Although she's about the same size physically as her fellow Smurfs, Smurfette prior to her extreme makeover in The Smurfs comic book version of "The Smurfette" was the target of some fat jokes, including having a fun-house mirror installed that made her think that she turned fat. This eventually led to her Driven to Suicide moment and the makeover that Papa Smurf gave her in the story.
- In Watchmen, Rorschach tells his prison psychiatrist flat-out that he doesn't like him. When asked why, he says, "Fat. Wealthy. Think you understand pain."
- In Disney's Tangled, "Gettin' kinda chubby" is one of Mother Gothel's "teasing" insults directed at undermining Rapunzel's self-confidence. (Made more ridiculous because Rapunzel is skinnier than Gothel, and they're both ridiculously thin.)
- Could be a case of Fridge Brilliance, a nod to the original fairy tale where Rapunzel starts to put on weight because she's pregnant from the Prince that's been visiting her.
- In El Arca, the lioness Bruma decides to go on a tirade against the heroine lioness Kairel, saying that since Kairel is about to die a horrible death by drowning, there's a few things she wants to let her know first-she goes off saying many extremely rude things, and ends with the line- "And, in case you don't know what a mirror is... You. Are. Fat."
Film (Live Action)
- Hairspray - when Tracy is being interviewed for a spot on the Corny Collins dance show, Amber tries to derail her by calling her fat. It backfires by getting her suspended from the show - Tracy is too comfortable with herself to be fazed and handles the interview with charm and grace.
- The Invention of Lying - Mark gets this, by everyone, pretty much the whole film.
- Almost everyone in Love Actually comments on poor Natalie's weight. Much to the confusion of the Prime Minister who, presumably like the audience, can see that she's not fat at all.
- Knives calls Ramona a "fatass" in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, mostly out of jealousy and anger.
- In The Producers Leo Bloom, an OCD attached to his blanket, screams thusly at his crooked director after the musical they produced turned out to be a hitnote and his beloved blanket is taken: "FAAAAAAT! FAAAAAAAAT!"
- In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Tuco taunts Corporeal Wallace, an overweight - and rather sadistic - Torture Technician, by saying he likes fat people, because when he knocks them down it's funny seeing them try to get up.
- A man bought his wife a talking scale. She set it up and stepped onto it - it said "One at a time, please."
- Mary Anne from The Baby-Sitters Club, showing off her Bitch in Sheep's Clothing tendencies, drops this on Dawn of all people, during the period of adjustment after the two became stepsisters.
- In one of the Wally McDoogle books by Bill Myers, when Wally and Wall Street swap places for a week, he discovers that the slim-to-average Wall Street is constantly dieting because the boys tease her about her weight. When he protests that Wall Street isn't fat and that the boys tease all the girls that way, the other girls inform him that they're all constantly dieting.
- In And Another Thing..., Zaphod being reminded that Wowbagger called him a fat-ass is a Running Gag.
- In Exiles of ColSec, Cord (who's stocky and baby-faced but trim) is on the receiving end of quite a few of these, most of them from the book's main antagonist. This is lampshaded at the beginning of sequel The Caves of Klydor. And there's an inverted example in threequel ColSec Rebellion; Jeko states that Heleth (also solidly built but trim) "doesn't look as fat as she used to." Heleth is displeased.
- Since Nero Wolfe weighs 'a seventh of a ton', a go-to insult for people who are annoyed with him is to attack his weight. Wolfe is usually one of the 'unimpressed' versions however, since he's a brilliant detective, he's well aware he's fat, he's quite content being fat and the person shouting at him is usually doing so in a panic because Wolfe has discovered that they're either a murderer or because he's exposed one of their shameful secrets over the course of his investigation.
- The title, several chapters, and the ENTIRE INDEX of Al Franken's book Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot consist of fat jokes.
- In Unseen Academicals, Archchancellor Ridcully thinks of "Two-Chairs" as one of the things he could (but isn't going to) call the former Dean, now himself Archchancellor of a different Wizarding School. ("'Archchancellor' was out of the question, 'Dean' too obvious an insult, 'Two-Chairs' ditto with knobs on.")
Live Action TV
- Happy Endings: This is the go-to insult used against Max, whose body is basically just average. Examples include 'like if Paul Rudd gave up', a wo man he was pretending to be straight for telling him 'you have my mother's body', 'pear-shaped', and having a 'soft interior with a soft exterior.'
- One of the many running gags in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was cracks about Uncle Phil, played by (ex-navy, poet, Bad Ass) James Avery. These would usually come from Will, Geoffrey or Jazz, who really make a Karma Houdini out of themselves, as they're often in no position to snark at them, thanks to his Ha Ha Ha No response. Fortunately, he's humble enough to take it in stride. Others, such as close friends (including Geoffrey) or coworkers also get passes.
It's so good to see you, Judge! Judge Robertson:
It's so easy
to see you, Philip!
- And Carlton constantly referring to him as "Big Guy" in a chummy manner might be taken to be an affectionate dig at his weight also.
- This is actually called out in an episode, where Geoffrey makes an uncreative crack and Philip complains that he should get better, more creative material.
- On Home Improvement, Tim tended to make jokes about how fat Al's mother was on his show. Ironically, when she died, Tim made a touching eulogy at her funeral, where he claimed that she was actually a big fan of the show. (Likely why Al wasn't more offended than he usually was by Tim's jokes.)
- Al Bundy tends to insult fat people a lot (women especially) on Married... with Children, especially his incredibly obese mother in law who is never seen. Of course, not all of the women he insults are completely innocent; they tend to insult him a lot too and give him a huge headache whenever he deals with them.
- This trope's use in Growing Pains became infamous when the jokes were directed at Carol Seaver, played by real-life former anorexic Tracey Gold, which contributed to the actress' nearly fatal relapse.
- Sweet Dee's insult to Mac in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia when she tells him to get in the car.
- Elliot's mother tended to do this to her daughter a lot in Scrubs, despite jokes from Dr. Cox and Jordan about Elliot actually being underweight.
- It was a Running Gag on You Can't Do That on Television that Christine and Lisa were called fat (despite the obvious fact that neither of them really was. This is arguably why the joke was funny, since it would have just felt mean after a while if either of them actually had a significant weight problem).
- In one episode of Power Rangers Turbo, Kat won the lead role in the school play, prompting a snobbish girl who had wanted the part to subtly suggest she was gaining weight (an obvious exaggeration), leaving Kat rather doubtful about her appearance. Naturally, this led Divatox, with her sick sense of humor, to lay an ambush for her using a Monster of the Week who could make her lighter than air.
- Sawyer on LOST has insulting nicknames for everybody, and pretty much all of the ones he has for Hurley poke fun at his weight. Jabba, Pork Pie, Stay-Puft, International House of Pancakes, Snuffy, Jumbotron...
- On Arrested Development, Lucille constantly makes comments implying that Lindsay needs to watch her weight, and flashbacks show that she's been doing this since Lindsay was a kid.
- Lindsay Bluth is played by Portia De Rossi, who, after the first cancellation, revealed her struggle with anorexia. Ouch, talk about Harsher in Hindsight.
- YMMV but this becomes Crosses the Line Twice in a meta sense when Lucille still calls her fat in Season 4, which was filmed in 2012.
- In the first season or two of Less Than Kind, every time Josh and Sheldon have an argument, Josh's last word is, "You're so fat!" In one episode, he goes back to an agent he left when he moved to L.A. and is told, among other things, that he needs to lose five pounds, which causes him to panic, obviously due to a secret fear of ending up as fat as his brother. At the end of the episode the agent reveals he has no intention of taking him back and has just been jerking him around as punishment for the way he left in the first place, and when Josh offers to lose ten pounds instead, the agent incredulously tells him, "You're not fat, you idiot!" Left alone to chew over this information, Josh reacts by jumping around ecstatically, yelling, "I'm not fat!"
- On Curb Your Enthusiasm, Susie's standard insult to her husband is "you fat fuck," just as Larry is a "bald four-eyed fuck."
- Orange Is The New Black: After Boo delivers a The Reason You Suck speech to Tricia, all Tricia can counter with is "Yeah, well you're fat!" Boo turns around, says "Oo, you got me!", rolls her eyes, and walks away.
- Garfield is a frequent target of this, particularly from a talking set of scales◊.
- Ironically, Jim Davis got a lot of angry mail after a two-week series of strips featuring Bertha, one of Jon's weird dates who was overweight. (Even though the negativity directed towards her was rather sparse, and limited to Garfield.) As he said later in a retrospective, it's clearly more acceptable to make fun of a fat cat.
- In Shoe (a strip in which all the characters are birds), the Perfessor is called fat once, and retorts, "I'm not fat. I'm fluffy."
- One of the later Peanuts strips had Snoopy in the hospital and his three brothers Spike, Andy, and Olaf visit him. While in the waiting room, Andy asked why they don't look alike, seeing as "I'm so furry, Spike is so thin, and Olaf is so fat?" Olaf denied being fat, saying "I'm rolly-polly!"
- Sledging exchange from an Australia vs South Africa Cricket match:
Shane Warne: I've been waiting two years to bowl at you again.
Daryl Cullinan: Looks like you spent most of it eating.
- Another one, from Australia vs Sri Lanka. Shane Warne asks Ian Healy for advice on how to lure Arjuna Ranatunga out of his crease:
Healy: Put a Mars Bar on a good length, that oughta do it.
Ranatunga: It's no good. Boonie (David Boon) will be onto it before I can move.
- And the Greatest Comeback of All Time
Glenn McGrath Why are you so fucking fat?
Eddo Brandes Because every time I fuck your wife she gives me a biscuit.
- In Portal 2, GLaDOS spends a lot of time mocking Chell's (nonexistent) excess weight, as in the page quote. This is in keeping with GLaDOS's generally childish and bratty personality.
- Team Fortress 2: has many characters making shots at the enemy Heavy's husky figure.
The Scout: I am owning you, you fat, bald, fatty fat... Fat fat!
The Demoman: Little too-much caber tossing pie down your own throat, eh chubby?
The Engineer: Gotcha, fatboy!
The Sniper: I just bagged the world's fattest man!
: What's the matter? Fat got your tongue?
- Heavy himself does this to someone else in one of the Halloween comics. He asks a trick-or-treater why, when he risks his life for his family on a daily basis for his paycheck, he expects him to spend it on candy. Heavy then proceeds to call the kid presumptuous and fat, causing him to start crying. Heavy immediately apologizes, realizing people call him fat and he hates it, and gives the kid $7,000 for the trouble.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, if a female Warden chooses to leave Bann Vaughn in Howe's dungeon, he calls her a fat whore. Since all the female body models are quite slender and everyone else in-game thinks the Warden's a total babe, it's safe to assume this is just his go-to insult for a woman.
- RiffTrax: Michael J. Nelson says in one short, "Ah, fat jokes. Everybody loves fat jokes — except fat people."
- This is the default insult of the film review blog Soiled Sinema.
- Sailor Moon Abridged makes Big Eater Serena/Sailor Moon a frequent target of this.