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Clumsy Fat Sidekick

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A superhero has a silly comic relief fat Muggle sidekick.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
WackyPancake on Oct 1st 2011 at 2:14:42 PM
Last Edited By:
WackyPancake on Oct 5th 2011 at 5:02:36 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

"Soivice that don't make youse noivice".
Rolling Updates, Needs More Examples

An old comic book trope from the Golden Age. The Clumsy Fat Sidekick is the superhero's favorite overweight friend. They are usually Muggles, and they may not be particularly useful. In fact, they are often dim-witted or, as the trope title indicates, clumsy, but they still accompany the heroes in whatever crazy adventure they are having right now.

They are inevitably Played for Laughs and used as the series' Plucky Comic Relief character. Expect them to be a Fat Idiot, Fat Slob, Big Eater, or Big Fun.

During the Golden Age they were about as popular as the Kid Sidekick, however, they didn't quite catch on, and this is pretty much a Dead Horse Trope now. Old examples still do show up every once in a while due to Grandfather Clause.

See also Bumbling Sidekick.


Examples:

Comic Books

  • Pictured above is the first Green Lantern's sidekick: a fat cabby driver with a comically thick Brooklyn accent called Charles "Doiby" Dickles (because he is "never wit’out his hat"). By the end of the Golden Age, he went to live in space to be with the love of his life: the alien princess Ramia.
  • The already rather silly Plastic Man had even sillier character in the form of Woozy Winks, an overweight, oddly-dressed, inept former-small-time-crook-turned-sidekick.
  • In a rare female example, during the 40s Wonder Woman's sidekick was a chocolate loving Fat Girl called Etta Candy.
  • the original version of Alfred Pennyworth in the very first Batman comics.
  • Tummi is this to Cubbi's Alter Ego, The Crimson Avenger, in Adventures Of The Gummi Bears
  • The Tick had Arthur, who had no real powers of his own -- just his moth suit.
  • Tex Thompson, aka Mister America, had a sidekick named Fatman. When Mister America became the Americommando, Fatman was quietly dropped. The DC Comics Elseworlds The Golden Age uses this to deconstruct this trope using "Fatman," who becomes a genuinely heroic figure after being abandoned by Thompson.
  • In the 1980s, the Wally West incarnation of The Flash had a somewhat goofy ally named Chunk, who was a slow-speaking, grotesquely obese former villain with the power to absorb other objects and people into a pocket dimension.
  • When first introduced, Harvey Bullock was a corrupt, fat slob of a cop. Initially, his efforts to reform turned him into a good, but still fat and clumsy slob of a cop. He soon developed into the tough-but-fair cop we know and love, though.
  • Captain Marvel's Golden Age Super Family Team included "Uncle" Marvel, a tubby older man who was not related and didn't have super powers.

Film

  • Villainous example: Lex Luthor's sidekick Otis in the first two Superman movies of the 1980s.

Feedback: 16 replies

Oct 1st 2011 at 3:12:49 PM

the original version of Alfred Pennyworth in the very first Batman comics.

Oct 1st 2011 at 4:36:31 PM

Tummi is this to Cubbi's Alter Ego, The Crimson Avenger, in Adventures Of The Gummi Bears

Oct 1st 2011 at 8:20:57 PM

  • The Tick had Arthur, who had no real powers of his own -- just his moth suit.

Oct 2nd 2011 at 4:29:30 AM

Female versions overlap with the Fat Girl trope.

Oct 2nd 2011 at 4:50:17 AM

When Plastic Man was revived by DC Comics and joined the mainstream DCU, Woozie Winks was retconned to having formerly been a competent, even heroic sidekick who was permanently brain damaged saving Plastic Man's life. Plastic Man kept him around out of guilt and a sense of responsibility.

Oct 2nd 2011 at 6:05:19 AM

^Yeah, but that was re-retconned, and many people would prefer to just forget it anyway.

Oct 2nd 2011 at 7:40:15 AM

Comic Books

  • Tex Thompson, aka Mister America, had a sidekick named Fatman. When Mister America became the Americommando, Fatman was quietly dropped. The DC Comics Elseworlds The Golden Age uses this to deconstruct this trope using "Fatman," who becomes a genuinely heroic figure after being abandoned by Thompson.
  • In the 1980s, the Wally West incarnation of [1] had a somewhat goofy ally named Chunk, who was a slow-speaking, grotesquely obese former villain with the power to absorb other objects and people into a pocket dimension.
  • When first introduced, Harvey Bullock was a corrupt, fat slob of a cop. Initially, his efforts to reform turned him into a good, but still fat and clumsy slob of a cop. He soon developed into the tough-but-fair cop we know and love, though.

Live-Action Film

  • Villainous example: Lex Luthor's sidekick Otis in the first two Superman movies of the 1980s.

Oct 2nd 2011 at 8:08:03 AM

  • Danger Mouse had Penfold.

  • Texas Pete from Super Ted had Dunk and Skeleton: Dunk was fat, clumsy and useless, skeleton was thin, camp and useless... not sure if that's a trope - is this about useless sidekicks or do they have to be fat and clumsy?

Oct 2nd 2011 at 8:14:03 AM

^It's about fat comic relief sidekicks, mostly of superheroes. Some of them are useless but they don't neccessarily have to be. Similarly, I included "clumsy" in the title because most of these kind of sidekicks are, but it's not a requirement.

Oct 2nd 2011 at 12:48:58 PM

Would Danny from Hot Fuzz count? He is a clumsy fat idealistic fanboy and the foil to the Super Cop Nicholas. However, Nicholas doesn't have actual superpowers, he is just incredibly good.

Oct 2nd 2011 at 7:35:01 PM

Captain Marvel's Golden Age Super Family Team included "Uncle" Marvel, a tubby older man who was not related and didn't have super powers.

Oct 2nd 2011 at 7:58:31 PM

They can also be a Bumbling Sidekick, depending on how they're portrayed.

Oct 3rd 2011 at 2:16:16 PM

Foggy Nelson to Daredevil, before they fleshed out his character.

Oct 4th 2011 at 4:43:28 AM

From Italy: The atletic, heroic (and titular) Zagor was followed in his adventures by Chico, a fat, clumsy Butt Monkey and comic relief of the comic.

Oct 4th 2011 at 5:49:10 AM

I think Penfold from Danger Mouse and Dunk from Super Ted still count. Both counting as Weston Animation.

As does Obelix from Asterix. Far from useless, but definately fat. That'd be Comic Books Again.

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