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Film / Norbit

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Comedy comes in extra-extra-extra large.
Norbit is a 2007 comedy film, directed Brian Robbins and starring Eddie Murphy in both leading roles, a la The Nutty Professor.

The film opens with Norbit Albert Rice's (Murphy) parents throwing him to the front of an orphanage from the car door as a baby. Norbit grows up there, which is run by a stereotypical Asian man who cannot pronounce "L" (also played by Murphy). He falls in love with fellow orphan Kate Thomas (Thandie Newton) and the two, as children, eventually pretend to marry each other with Ring Pops under a tree. Eventually, the two are separated when she is adopted. Not long afterward, Norbit meets self-centered, domineering, evil Fat Bastard Rasputia Latimore (ALSO played by Murphy), who comes from a family of black racketeers. Norbit wallows in misery while being married to her until Kate turns up one day. As it happens, Kate is engaged to sneaky, slick-talking businessman Dion Hughes (Cuba Gooding, Jr.). But Norbit is not to be dissuaded and he starts aiming to edge away from Rasputia and win Kate back, as well as foiling a sabotage plan on the orphanage constructed by Rasputia and her brothers.


This film provides examples of:

  • The Baby Trap: Rasputia uses this on Norbit when he is about to leave her. But we all know that it's a lie. She even forgets about it shortly after and says it was just gas.
  • Bad Liar: Rasputia is very clearly lying about being pregnant... especially when she claims a telltale sign is that she's getting "a little belly".
  • Beneath the Mask: Rasputia puts on a highly confident, abrasive front, but the minute she feels she is losing control of Norbit, she loses her mind. Her favorite song seems to be “Don’t Cha”, which she sings in a much more demented fashion when she drives to go catch Norbit cheating on her; she immediately begins bragging to Kate how she apparently can’t keep Norbit off of her; and in general loses any composure when Norbit insults her in front of the whole town. A highly telling scene is towards the beginning when Norbit tries to leave her for cruelly running over a dog - Rasputia isn't even furious or ranting at him, but she's utterly distraught and begging him to not go and lies that she's pregnant. It very much appears that Rasputia actually has poor self-image and boosts it by constantly abusing and controlling Norbit.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Rasputia doesn't like it when Norbit doesn't do what she says and loses it when he stands up for himself.
    • Do NOT mention Rasputia’s weight to her if you know what’s good for you... unless you find it attractive, then she won’t mind jokes about her size.
  • Big Bad: Rasputia. Amusingly, she may also qualify as The Heavy since she is the biggest (no pun intended) threat to Norbit, while Jack is the leader of the brothers (whose main power comes from the town’s fear of Rasputia).
  • Big Eater: One doesn't grow to be Rasputia's size without being this. Amusingly, as a child, she was delegated to eating only the wing of the turkey by her oldest brother. Norbit mentions she was banned for life from the local diner for eating all the food at some point.
  • Bully Hunter: Mr. Wong, who is the only person in town brave enough to stand up to the Latimores.
  • Butt-Monkey: Norbit, pretty much throughout his life.
  • Catch-Phrase: Rasputia has one: "How YOU doin'?"
  • Chased by Angry Natives: Rasputia was the only reason the town never took action against the Latimores (until the climax at least). Once Mr. Wong sends her fleeing after spearing her from behind, they have no problem running her brothers out of town.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Norbit and Kate, who beat the odds and get married at the end of the film.
  • Chubby Chaser:
    • The "power tap guru" who Rasputia cheats on Norbit with.
    • If their reactions are anything to go by the Mexican patrons at the Latimore's new strip club are this as well.
    Rasputia: Hold on, now, Pepe! Ain't nothing going down there unless it got the word "Peso" written on it!
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Rasputia is more than a little crazy.
    Rasputia: (can barely fit in her car) Damn it, Norbit! How many times I gotta tell you, don't be messin' with my car seat?!
    Norbit: Nobody touched your old, stupid seat.
    Rasputia: Then how come it's all mushed up like this then?
    Norbit: Well you know, Rasputia, you've been eating so much lately, it's a very strong possibility that—
    Rasputia: (immediately gives him a Death Glare)
    Norbit: (backtracks) The— the car is shrinking. Might be shrinking. The car is getting smaller.
    Rasputia: ...Yeah, you might be right. Been rainin' a lot lately. All this moist weather.
    Norbit: Oh yeah, that'll make it shrink.
    Rasputia: The weather's so moist.
  • Cool Loser: Norbit. The fact that Rasputia has to threaten a boy so he picks Norbit over a boy with a halo illustrates his status as one.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Just in case anything happened to the letter, Norbit got in contact with Deion's ex-wives to reveal everything at his and Kate's wedding.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Deion turns out to be a self-centered, unfaithful jerk who is involved in a plan to turn Norbit's orphanage into a strip club and has several children with different women.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Throughout the film, Rasputia abuses Norbit both physically, sexually and emotionally. Although we're supposed to feel sorry for himinvoked, most of the abuse is played for laughs. But if the genders were reversed, then it would be a different story...
  • Downer Ending: Averted for the Latimores. Yes, they lose and get chased out of town and never bother Norbit again, but they end up opening a successful strip club, which was their motive in the film, albeit they opened it in Mexico. Nevertheless, they seem well-adjusted and happy enough.
  • The Dreaded: Rasputia is feared and reviled by the entire town, and even her brothers are afraid of her. When she’s defeated, the townspeople immediately chase her brothers out as well.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Poor Norbit goes through a lot. But in the end, he is finally free of Rasputia's hold on him and can marry his true sweetheart Kate.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The brothers may fear their sister, but they still stick together to the very end of the film.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Played for Laughs. Rasputia is an abusive, violent woman, but she scolds herself when she swears in church. Then she swears at herself for swearing... which causes her to swear... which causes her to swear again...
  • Evil Laugh: Rasputia did one after she maimed Lloyd and another one during Kate and Deion's wedding when Norbit initially failed to expose Deion's unscrupulousness.
  • Expy: Norbit shares some similarities with Jiff Ramsey, another Black and Nerdy Eddie Murphy character.
  • Extreme Doormat: Norbit until the end when he is willing to make a stand in front of the entire town and publicly call out Rasputia.
  • Fat Bitch: Rasputia starts out as a domineering, abrasive child, and grows up to be a bitter, vindictive, and not exactly petty woman.
  • Fat Comic Relief: Rasputia is a walking example of this trope, with countless jokes at the expense of her obesity. Though the movie can never decide on what her actual weight is thanks to her weight being Played for Laughs: she does not break the water slide she rides which has a 300 lb weight limit, but not only appears much bigger than that, but frequently seems like she weighs about 300 lbs more than that given her interactions with the world.
  • Fat Idiot: Despite being rather cunning in her own right, Rasputia often displays a lower-than-average level of intelligence. When she gains weight and can’t fit in her car, Norbit lies and suggests the car shrunk, which Rasputia agrees to since they’ve had a lot of rain lately.
  • Gold Digger: Deion - he marries rich women only for their money, then makes a killing off of divorce settlements.
  • The Heavy: Rasputia. While Big Black Jack is the default leader of the Lattimores, Rasputia is the main, personal threat to Norbit and the main antagonist of the movie.
  • Henpecked Husband: The entire premise.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Mr. Wong had Norbit play in MSG/with severed duck heads as a kid and had him carry around a cardboard whale to use as target practice. And that is before Norbit met Rasputia.
  • Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: Mild example. Norbit may be a skinny, dorky-looking fellow, but his wife, Rasputia, is a hideous, morbidly obese behemoth by comparison.
  • Hypocrite: Rasputia - she cheats on Norbit and gaslights him when he confronts her about it, but acts very controlling and threatening as soon as Kate enters the picture.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Jack outlines this pretty clearly during Norbit's wedding to Rasputia. "I'm coming at you with razor blades and lemon juice, boy."
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Non-fatal example. Wong throws a harpoon that stabs right into Rasputia’s ass.
  • Implied Death Threat: After finding him on his date with Kate, Rasputia threatens violence against her should Norbit ever see her again by way of pouring acid on a potato doll of Kate.
  • Jerkass: Deion. He made a deal with Rasputia's brothers to turn Mr. Wong's orphanage into a strip club once he marries Kate. He was also revealed to have married a few women, only to divorce them and made a lot of money through divorce settlements while neglecting his own children with them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mr. Wong, who's a racist, abrasive old coot, but he still loves Norbit and Kate and is a good father to them.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Rasputia runs over Lloyd with her car, breaking his legs, for eyeballing her.
    • She even threatens to kill some kids and doesn't care if it is in public.
    • When Kate is distraught after being told that Norbit played her to get her to sign the papers of the orphanage, she cries and tells him and Rasputia to leave her alone. Rasputia mocks her cries and laughs as she leaves.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Mr. Wong, Mrs. Henderson, and some of the local vendors do this during the moment mentioned below, even though most of them, except for Wong, prove to be no match for Rasputia. Bonus points for Mrs. Henderson swinging purses around and going "BRING IT, BITCHES!"
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Rasputia was not informed by her brothers of Norbit spending more and more time with Kate, and was especially not told about their date in which Norbit was tasked with getting the papers signed. Earl is terrified when Rasputia scares the truth out of him.
  • Manipulative Bastards: Rasputia, her brothers, and Deion. Rasputia manipulates Norbit into following her commands, Rasputia's brothers manipulate Deion (and later, Norbit) into signing the contract, and Deion manipulates Kate into marrying him for her money.
  • Meaningful Echo: When they were children at the orphanage, Norbit and Kate have a pretend wedding under a tree with ring pops. Later, at the end when they're both adults, they get married for real under that same tree and with ring pops. Cue tears of heartwarming.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: The entire town gets one when Norbit finally stands up to Rasputia and reveals her and her brother's plan. Yeah, most of them are no match for her, but when she's defeated, they make up for it by chasing her brothers down and making them pay. Also counts as a The Dog Bites Back moment for the entire town.
  • Moral Myopia: Rasputia is so delusional that she feels she has done no wrong by cheating on Norbit. If Norbit cheats on her, though? There’s hell to pay.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Though literally eclipsed by the disservice of Rasputia, there are some nice scenes with Thandie Newton. Granted, viewers who are Chubby Chaser's may enjoy scenes with Rasputia, particularly in the water park sequence when she spends the entire time in a revealing bikini (and the makeup and special effects portray her obesity pretty convincingly).
  • Never My Fault: Nothing is Rasputia's fault, according to her. Her status as a rampant Villainous Glutton and her obesity is clearly to blame for her not fitting in her own car, but she blames it on Norbit for supposedly adjusting her seat. Norbit suggests that the car shrinking... and Rasputia agrees, since it’s been raining a lot lately.
  • Nobody Poops: Inverted. Norbit and Kate actually do it together as children.
  • Noodle Incident: Norbit mentions that Rasputia was banned for life from the Italian diner for eating all the food one night.
  • Oh, Crap!: Rasputia's brothers after she flees from the town after getting speared in the behind. Since she was the only thing holding the townspeople off, their reaction is pretty justified.
  • Parental Abandonment: Norbit's parents dropped him off at the orphanage by throwing him out of the car.....without stopping it or even slowing down.....and laughing as they drove away. Geez even in childhood, the poor guy never caught a break.
  • Pet the Dog: Rasputia actually does seem to be getting along with Kate for a bit at the waterpark, even if she does begin to project her insecurity around Kate by loudly bragging about having sex with Norbit. It’s the most pleasant she seems to be the entire film.
  • Plot Hole: Several audience members had to question why Norbit stayed with Raspustia after finding out she lied about being pregnant, since that was the only reason he decided to stay after trying to leave.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: "Yes, Wong very racist. Don't like black. Don't like Jew either. But blacks and Jews love Chinese food. Go figure."
  • Promotion to Parent: It isn't known what happened to the Lattimores' parents, but Big Black Jack appears to have raised Rasputia, Earl, and Blue for a good chunk of their childhood.
  • Psychotic Manchild: Rasputia shows shades of this, as when she is told “no”, she throws violent tantrums and screams like a kid having a meltdown. Her use of a potato doll for her threat on Kate’s life is also rather demented.
  • Reality Ensues: Rasputia chases Norbit in a rage when Norbit curses her for cheating on him... but the chase doesn’t last long due to her being morbidly obese. She’s soon wheezing and crumbling to the ground, unable to carry on the chase.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Norbit gets a great one when he confesses to Kate his love for her and Rasputia immediately enters and demands to know what he said.
    Norbit: You heard me, strumpet! I love Kate, not you! And the last two weeks we've spent together have meant more to me than my entire miserable life with you, Rasputia! It's over! Norbit Allan Rice is no longer your bitch!
  • Running Gag: Norbit quietly calling Rasputia a bitch. Pretending he is shouting it to her.
  • Sex Montage: Norbit and Rasputia are shown having sex several times, including during special occasions (Christmas, the Fourth of July, etc.). Of course, given her massive weight, most of the montage scenes basically involve her body-slamming Norbit in bed and him squeaking out greetings in comical despair.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Deion’s true nature is publicly revealed, he concedes defeat and flees. Later, after Rasputia flees, the Latimore Brothers immediately head for the hills.
  • Stout Strength: Rasputia is obese and can barely run, but she is a physical powerhouse in terms of brute strength, capable of lifting grown people and throwing them like basketballs.
  • This Cannot Be!: Rasputia is so vain and self-centered that she cannot process the idea that she’s not the most desirable woman alive. She loses her mind when Norbit doesn’t do what she says, and has a complete mental breakdown when she learns he is cheating on her.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Norbit when he gets home from his date with Kate and Big Black Jack cannot even hold back a laugh when he tells him, "I'd hate to be you now,"... because a very angry Rasputia is waiting inside their house after having caught Norbit cheating on her. Later, after Rasputia flees when Mr. Wong harpoons her, Jack quietly mumbles, "We dead." as the town rallies to chase them out.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Rasputia is enormously overweight, compared to the very skinny Norbit.
  • Uncertain Doom: When the townspeople chase the Lattimores out of town, Jack is able to keep clear of the angry mob. However, Earl and Blue are caught by the crowd, and aren’t seen in the ending in Mexico, leaving it unknown if they escaped with their brother and sister.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Norbit and Kate at the end of the film.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Lattimores use Norbit to get Kate to sign off on the liquor license for the orphanage. Norbit doesn’t realize this until it’s too late.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Rasputia has proven to be a total tank that not even a crowd of people can stop her. What finally does? A spear thrown into her butt by Mr. Wong, which sends her running like a chicken.
  • Worthy Opponent: Mr. Wong is the only man in town that the Latimore Brothers respect and genuinely fear since he is not afraid to stand up to them with a harpoon.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Kate


Example of: