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"I weep for that [throne], which dies a little each day so that other chairs may live."
Vaarsuvius (on the Empress of Blood), The Order of the Stick

A very popular image in fictional works is to portray a king as tremendously fat. These characters may simply be corpulent, though more extreme examples will depict them as morbidly obese to the point of being unable to stand without help. This stems from the popular impression that a king spends his days sitting on his throne, feasting on the spoils from his taxation of the masses, or simply warming it while doing nothing. Depictions of monarchs and aristocrats as overweight is usually meant to convey that they're either hedonistic Fat Bastards who grow fat on the work of the oppressed lower classes, or benign-but-weak rulers who are helpless when their kingdoms are threatened.

Usually, this will be averted in the case of more actively heroic kings; obesity is most often when the king is corrupt (overlapping with Fat Bastard and Villainous Glutton), a peripheral force for good (in which case he's probably Big Fun but not especially badass), or a relaxed neutral arbiter.

This is Truth in Television to an extent. Given that getting enough to eat has been a problem for much of humanity's history, succumbing to the temptation to overindulge is a logical consequence of being the one in charge and owning most of the wealth and land. On a more general note, being well-fed was a symbol of high economic standing until around the middle of the 20th century, when decreasing scarcity of food began to make that a Discredited Trope.

Obviously, fat monarchs other than the traditional European model (sultans, emperors, etc.) also qualify for this trope.

This trope can sometimes be applied to queens, but it tends to happen less frequently. Whether this is because mocking women as fat is considered unseemly or due to the relative scarcity of fictional queens in general is left to the reader. A notable exception is the Insect Queen; if she's an egg-layer for the species, then the queen will probably be depicted as overweight to convey this aspect.

Name comes from both a pun on Oedipus Rex and adipose tissue (or "fat", as it is known to the layman).

Often related to Big Fun in the case of benevolent rulers or Villainous Glutton and Fat Bastard in regards to villains. Also, see Large and in Charge if they possess Stout Strength. Commonly overlapped with Too Important to Walk.

Contrast Royals Who Actually Do Something and Modest Royalty.


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  • King Ding Dong on the packages of Hostess Ding Dongs.
  • King A-Yumma-Yumma from the short-lived Fruit Islands cereal was a South Seas chieftain who was Big Fun.

  • The Robo-King from Happy Heroes has the appropriate name and getup for royalty, and much of his bulk forms a cephalothorax-esque shape, with the only thing distinguishing him from a cephalothorax being his head is separate. His arms and legs are also downright stubby.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk:
    • Gennon, a noble and later governor of Doldrey who Griffith once prostituted himself to, is shown to be on the tubby side.
    • Emperor Ganishka, a rogue Apostle who is the Emperor of Kushan, conceals much of his girth under heavy clothing and armor, but is clearly on the heavy side.
    • The Slug Count, an early antagonist, is in the "flat-out grotesque" category, complete with Villainous Glutton habits. It's implied that some of this owes to him being demonic, as before his transformation, he was merely chubby.
  • Emperor Charles from Code Geass is quite portly. He's not actually fat, though; he's more of an extreme case of Large and in Charge... that, and he aged like crap.
  • The Big Bad of the Dragon Ball: Curse of the Blood Rubies, is King Gurumes, who's fat because the cursed rubies he's torn up his kingdom to excavate have given him an insatiable appetite... as well as turning him into a giant monster.
  • Prince Jermaine of Asvarre in Lord Marksman and Vanadis is corpulent, and prefers to rule through fear and suppression.
  • Ahbmad Saluja in Magi Labyrinthof Magic, but he is pretty short.
  • The king of Torumekia and both of his sons in Nausicaδ of the Valley of the Wind.
  • Wapol of One Piece. He has a special power, courtesy of the Munch-Munch Fruit, and that ability is the ability to eat absolutely anything, and either manipulate it as he sees fit or, for a time, gain its properties. He has to eat constantly and is appropriately obese. Though there is a subversion near the end of the arc he appears in, where he eats himself to become thin and fit through smaller gaps.
  • The first king in Utawarerumono, Inkara, is fat, hedonistic and ultimately incompetent.

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    Comic Books 
  • Chief Vitalstatistix from Asterix. Given the rather luscious banquets that they have every so often (at least once an adventure) it is not hard to see where it comes from. Everyone gets a seat, he just seems to enjoy it more than most. Even then, it doesn't stop him from kicking ass when properly motivated. Compared to Obélix, he may look slim...
  • Whenever EC Comics required a wicked king for their "Grim Fairy Tales" or other medieval-themed stories, he would almost invariably be an example of this. The first "Grim Fairy Tale" in Vault of Horror #27 doubled up on this trope by depicting a King AND Queen who were equally rotund.
  • Fables: Mayor King Cole of Fabletown is, as his story goes, "a very large king of a very small kingdom". Noticeably, when reduced to hiding in a cave with a handful of his subjects, he divides the food evenly among everyone according to size and leaves no share for himself. (Not that he loses any weight from starving.)
  • Caliph Haroun El-Plassid, the jovial and benign ruler from Iznogoud, is a Big Eater and spends most of his days sleeping, making him quite obese.
  • King Kash-Kash from Les Lιgendaires is this, despite being an Elf, a species where this characteristic is rather rare. Surprisingly, he is actually a Bunny-Ears Lawyer and a Reasonable Authority Figure, especially compared to his more strict, almost Knight Templar Captain Shamira.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Spider-Man's enemy The Kingpin isn't a king, but he's the King of New York Crime, and he's bulky (some would say fat... but they'd be wrong). Taken to the extremes in the '90s Spider-Man animated series, where he is said to have body mass of which only 2% is fat. The remaining 350 pounds of flesh is stated to be solid muscle... and seeing as how he takes on giant robots with his bare hands, and wins, on several occasions, this may be true. While the comics aren't this drastic, he is more muscle and height than fat, working out every day in a private dojo and being a master sumo wrestler.
    • Iron Man has an old-school villain called King Midas whose gimmick was he loved gold (and riches) and was so fat and overweight he needed a hoverchair to get about, armed with LASERS.
    • X-Men villain the Shadow King, while not a real king, fits the trope exactly. When he dies in psychic battle he eventually possesses a New Mutant called Karma and, while in her body, eats it up to beyond morbidly obese.
    • Then there's Mojo, the leading media mogul (and de facto ruler) of Mojoworld. His weight is easily over 500 pounds, and he moves around on a mechanical carriage with a dozen legs.
  • Sensation Comics: In the Wonder Woman feature "In the Clutches of Nero" the ruler of the recently discovered civilization on a jungle island who calls himself Emperor Nero is a overweight man, though his slim wife seems to be to one actually running things behind his back.

    Comic Strips 
  • General Tara from The Phantom isn't technically royalty, but he proclaims himself to be. He orders Diana Palmer executed after she throws him with a Judo move in "Return to Tarakimo". Her crime? Threatening "his royal person." Seemingly spending most of his day seated on an enormous throne, the overfed despot also sports a kingly handlebar moustache and accompanying goatee, Jabba Table Manners, and smokes with an aristocratic cigarette holder, further accenting his vanity and basic sloth. Though he appears threatening, it's all an act – he's essentially a spoiled cowardly bully with a lot of brain-dead (but heavily armed) henchmen.
  • In one arc of Sherman's Lagoon, Sherman and Ernest visit another body of water, and the local sharks start treating Sherman with great respect. Sherman explains that this is because the bigger (or fatter, in Sherman's case), the better hunter you are. He gets embarrassed when the other sharks actually start bowing.

    Fan Works 
  • King Glouton from the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Chez Empath".
  • Harren Hoare of Forum of Thrones is a downplayed example. After his days of raiding were gone the moment he inherited the crown, he started to put on weight, even more in his advanced age. Currently, he is described as chunky and it is likely only a matter of time until he would become outright fat.
  • In Pony POV Series, Queen Cocoon is incredibly gluttonous and bloated and is carried around by her servants. It's just a façade to make others think she is weak; she's fully capable of moving and is incredibly strong and fast.
  • After Nightmare Moon's banishment one thousand years ago, Celestia admits in A Slice of Life that she "may have let herself go a little" during that time. One period of time during this was even named "The Great Decade of Cheesecake".
    Feather Duster: They had to cart her to her throne in a wheelbarrow.
    Princess Celestia: [murderous glare at Feather Duster] Yes... we really did not need to add that, Feather Duster.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Sultan in Aladdin is perhaps the best-known example of the "fat and jolly sultan" in Western media. He's based on the Sultan of Basra in The Thief of Bagdad, who while fat is not actually a particularly extreme example of this trope; he's only a little paunchy and only a little shorter than the Lean and Mean Grand Vizier villain. As opposed to the Sultan of Agrabah, who is half the height of his even Leaner (and about equally Mean) Grand Vizier villain.
  • Fergus from Brave is a very large gentleman, with a large appetite for food and drink and life. Although in Fergus' case it is more an example of Stout Strength combined with downplayed version of Acrofatic rather than softness and indolence.
  • Much like the MonsterVerse version listed below, Godzilla Earth from Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters and its two sequels is also quite stocky in build, but his abdominal region shows that it's more muscle than fat. Given that he's the dominant life form of the entire planet, he certainly applies.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ursula is this during the few minutes she rules Atlantica at the climax of the film. She was already fat beforehand though, and the usual ruler Triton is an aversion for having a fit body type.
  • Averted to the extreme with Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas who is a stick-thin skeleton, but played straight with the Mayor, who can only be described as "cone-shaped".
  • In Plan Bee, Queen Akif is noticably fatter than many of the other bees. She's nearly twice the size of Bing. Also qualifies as Large and in Charge.
  • Chief Tanni in The Road to El Dorado, although his apparent strength implies that this has more to do with his biology than his eating and exercise habits.
  • Shrek and Fiona during their brief stint as monarchs of Far Far Away in Shrek the Third.
  • King Hubert in Disney's Sleeping Beauty has a rather large belly. King Stephan, meanwhile, is tall and slender, making them a regal version of the Fat and Skinny duo.
  • Strange Magic: The Fairy King who is so overweight that he can't fly for anything but short bursts and requires a litter to fly him around.
  • Aunt Figg temporarily dressed up as one near the beginning of her Villain Song from Tom and Jerry: The Movie.
  • In Trolls, many of the Bergens are chubby, but young King Gristle plays up the "spoiled rich kid" look by being noticeably overweight and wearing clothes that are a bit too small.
  • Hades, king of the underworld, fits this trope in Wonder Woman (2009).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The sultan in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is pretty hefty. The members of his harem, even more so.
  • Fat, gluttonous and lazy Don Fernando is cynically made leader of the expedition and Emperor in the New World in Aguirre, the Wrath of God.
  • Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, although this was absolutely not the original plan. Kurtz was supposed to be a robust and fit middle aged man, but Brando showed up for the role at least a hundred pounds overweight. Coppola compromised by keeping him in the shadows as much as possible, but it's often obvious how obese the man is. It actually works well as it highlights Kurtz has completely let himself go and his pretensions to being a proud soldier are so much wind, much like the Kurtz of the novel.
  • Big Fatso from Barb Wire probably counts because he's head of a group of toughs. Not exactly a kingdom but they are essentially his subjects and he is really fat.
  • Played for Laughs in Bride of Frankenstein: Doctor Pretorius has created life in the form of tiny homonculi. Among them is a tiny king, modeled after Henry VIIInote  and very fat. This drew an objection for Japanese censors, who said it was "making a fool out of a king".
  • The Roman Emperor in Mel Brooks's History of the World Part I; awkward when you're a stand-up philosopher making fat jokes.
  • The Hobbit:
    • The Great Goblin is enormously corpulent (and pustulent), and nearly the size of a troll. His neck fat alone hangs down past his chest. Despite all this, he's also Acrofatic.
    • The Master of Laketown is also clearly showing the effects of too many rich meals, although not to anywhere near the same degree.
  • Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road is quite fat, especially in comparison to his sickly and starving subjects. The other chieftains like The People Eater are obese to the point of grotesque. A major point of the film is Conspicuous Consumption; Joe talks a lot about not growing dependent, even though he and his personal cronies are clearly taking more than their fair share.
  • After defeating King Ghidorah, the MonsterVerse incarnation of Godzilla becomes the titular king in Godzilla: King of the Monsters and is one of the stockiest versions of the monster to date. However, he's more a case of Stout Strength than obesity since he's shown to be quite strong physically and incredibly agile and fast while underwater.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: King George II is only seen to walk once. The rest of the time, he keeps his fat ass in his chair, and when Jack escapes and bullets start flying, his advisors deem it faster to just lift the chair and carry him away.
  • In Princess of Mars, Tal Hajus, supreme leader of the Tharks, is noticeably larger and fatter than any of his subjects: invoking Large And Incharge and this trope in equal measures.
  • Fat glutton King Henry VIII in The Private Life of Henry VIII, although the movie actually doesn't make Charles Laughton quite as huge as Henry got in Real Life (see below).
  • Star Wars:
    • Jabba the Hutt, who by the time Return of the Jedi came around, had so much influence on Tatooine, he was its de-facto ruler. In fact, in Hutt society in general, the bigger a Hutt is, the more influence he has over other Hutts.
    • Boss Nass of the Gungans in the prequels. He's so fat he looks like a different species. He's actually of a different subrace (Ankura Gungan rather than the standard Otolla Gungan), which as a whole tends to be fatter.

  • Old King Cole is usually portrayed this way whenever the nursery rhyme is illustrated. (Most people seem to interpret "jolly old soul" as Big Fun in this case.)
  • Legendary benevolent and jovial kings of European Good Old Days, like Gambrinus or Le Roi d'Yvetot, are usually depicted as quite plump fellahs.

  • Lone Wolf: As mentioned in Shadow on the Sand, the late Zakhan (equivalent to a sultan) Moudalla of Vassagonia. A statue of him provides lot of cover.

  • The Danish language has this joke on why, of all the monarchs mentioned here, sultans are fat.
    Why are sultans always overweight? It's because when they visit Denmark, they also always say to the Danish people "jeg er sultan". People think they want food and stuff them until they get fat.
"Jeg er sultan" means "I am a sultan", but the pun is that "sultan" sounds much like the Danish word "sulten" which means "hungry". It doesn't help that Danish people think of Danish food as being very rich and fattening (and to be fair, they rely on a lot of cream and butter).

  • An illustrated children's book (title unknown) had a king whose land was suffering from famine appealing for help from a neighbouring dictator ruling a land full of food. The dictator rejects his plea because "You are too thin to be a king" and has the king thrown into prison as an impostor. The king escapes and is chased by the dictator's army, who are all so fat their vehicles plough up the hard ground of the king's land, making it suitable for cultivation. The king then proposes they make peace. "Never heard of it," says the dictator. "What's the recipe?"
  • In The Pendragon Adventure, Queen Kagan of the Bedoowan tribe on the medieval territory of Denduron is one of these. It shows how spoiled (and easily manipulated by Saint Dane) she is, while the Milago tribe slaves away mining glaze for the Bedoowan.
  • 1632: Gustavus Adolphus, a.k.a. "Captain General Gars", "The only King in Europe worthy of the name" is a hugely tall and massively muscular man who adds a layer of fat to his bulk whenever he's kept out of the field for a few months.
  • In Abarat, King Claus becomes this after the death of his beloved daughter Princess Boa. Stories say he weighed a thousand pounds.
  • King Rhodar of Drasnia from The Belgariad, although he also happens to be the greatest military strategist in the Kingdoms of the West and quite possibly the most intelligent ruler in the world at the time. Unfortunately, his health suffers late in the story largely in part of this obesity.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
  • In Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain novels, King Smoit of Cantrev Cadiffor is notably overweight. Although he demonstrates enough Stout Strength to let us know that it's not all fat.
  • The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold:
    • Roya Orico is a lazy and obese king with constant food stains on his clothes, unconcerned with the the affairs of his Decadent Court, and only caring about his next meal or his menagerie of exotic pets. While he seems like a weak and apathetic character, it turns out that his refusal to be an active king is voluntary, in order to avoid a curse that plagues him. As for his great overweightness, it is noted to the result of his court's constant feasting: when the protagonist starts living at his palace, he goes from being amazed at Orico's weight gain, to being amazed at how Orico managed to not end up unable to walk with such rich meals every night. And as we later learn, his enlargement over the years, which is another side-effect of his curse, had a toll on his health, Orico now being diabetic.
    • His heir and half-brother, Teidez, is also noted to be a plump boy. Unlike Orico he has more natural talents at being a good ruler, but unfortunately he is also a Hot-Blooded youth, as well as quite gullible when it comes to the scheming noblemen surrounding him. In fact, it is noted that upon settling at Charion's Decadent Court, the courtiers prepare for him a diet of "all candy and no meat" to make him as "sodden and sickly" as Orico ; and after some times, while he grows as tall as his half-brother, it is noted that his round face hints at him becoming as broad as well in the future.
  • In the first Deathlands, novel Pilgrimage to Hell the protagonists decide to attack the headquarters of the Baron of Mocsin, Jordan Teague, to discuss with him why their wagon train has just been wiped out by nerve gas. They're surprised to find the once feared and grudgingly respected Baron is now grossly fat and doped out of his mind, as it's actually The Dragon who's now running things.
  • Discworld:
    • The last king of Ankh-Morpork (Lorenzo the Kind, evil SOB if there ever was one) was fat, as were Lords Winder and Snapcase, the previous Patricians before Lord Vetinari came to power.
    • The awkward to continuity appearance of the Patrician in The Colour of Magic.
    • Referenced in Interesting Times — Rincewind isn't sure what to expect of the Agatean Emperor, but "the mental picture had room for a big fat man with lots of rings". The actual Emperor is a very old man on his deathbed.
    • In Wyrd Sisters, Lady Felmet is a fat evil Queen. (Well, not officially a Queen, but she and her husband are in charge after a Klingon Promotion.)
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, count Augenfedels is tremendously fat, to the point he has such a double chin, it looks like his head isn't really attached to his shoulders. Apparently, it's common among dinosaur-riding nobility, as in contrast to their horse-riding kin, their mounts do their work for them.
  • King Udu of Kokoland in the Doc Savage novel Land of Long Juju is over 90 years old and morbidly obese. Doc dons a fat suit to impersonate the king and lead his people into battle.
  • King Leosin of Grannith in the framing story to the Doctor Who short story collection Seven Deadly Sins. Chosen by the Doctor as being the living personification of Sloth.
  • King Sambar XII, the High King of Dragons in the Dragon Series by Laurence Yep.
  • The Duel of Sorcery Trilogy: Hern Heslin, Domnor of Oras, although he's more chubby than outright fat and is more muscular than he looks at first glance.
  • Baron Vladimir Harkonnen of Dune is grotesquely obese, but counteracts this by wearing small anti-gravity devices that make him as agile as a healthy young man. In one of the Prequel books, it's revealed that it's because of a disease and that he was quite fit in his younger days.
  • Otha, the Emperor of Zemoch from The Elenium, is what happens when you take the villainous type of this trope and give him several centuries to perfect his laziness and corruption. He needs several strong men to carry his litter around (having long ago lost the ability to move under his own power) and is frequently described as a "slug" by the other characters.
  • In the Emperor books, Cato is portrayed as the fattest of all the senators. Though he isn't a king, he is one of the most powerful and richest men in Rome.
  • The King of the Union in The First Law is so fat that he has to be carried everywhere, and seems nothing more than a figurehead – indeed, he is portrayed as having a hard time thinking about politics (or anything much) at all.
  • Masteeat from Flashman on the March is depicted as a morbidly obese but highly competent ruler.
  • Foundation Series's Foundation's Fear: Emperor Cleon I is an enormous man in this Interquel, something that Seldon internally comments on several times as the emperor is usually eating in his presence.
  • Gargantua And Pantagruel: Grandgousier, Gargantua's father, is like his more famous son a fat giant with a nearly infinite appetite.
  • In Hannibal by Ross Leckie, Carthaginian general and statesman Hasdrubal the Handsome allies himself with Hamilcar Barca (and later his son Hannibal) in the conquest and administration of Spain (in between the First and Second Punic Wars). After he has left the military side of things to the Barcas he grows immensely fat.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, the chief of Berk is known as Stoick the Vast. He's tall and strong as well, but middle-aged spread has set in. The chiefs and their families are described as "royalty" and it's commented that most of the adult Vikings think this is the right physique for a mature hero. There's also the decadent and greedy dragon-eating Fat Consul who rules Fort Sinister, so obese he can barely move, and UG the Uglithug chief, both of whom are FatBastards. Interestingly, the two characters who actually use the title of "King" are intimidatingly ripped in one case, and short and scrawny in the other.
  • The elven king from Loyal Enemies. The main character describes him as perhaps chubby by human standards, but ridiculously obese for an elf.
  • Queen Sollace from Jack Vance's Lyonesse novels is described as being a very large lady but considers herself to have a "fashionable figure" nonetheless. It's unclear whether other people think so or not.
  • Troll king Thibault from Malediction Trilogy is morbidly obese. However, this does not seem to influence him very much, as his magical powers are great and he can use a heavy iron spear proficiently. At one point his son Tristan calls him upon it, accusing him of feasting while his subjects are starving. But while he is a Chess Master and does many nasty things to his subjects, he is not necessarily evil.
  • In the Nightside novels, in one alternate universe where Merlin chose to become the Antichrist and corrupted Arthur's bloodline to rule for him, the last of that line dies at the hands of Shooter Suzie, prompting Merlin to take the throne as this (albeit briefly).
  • The Occupation Saga: Discussed in Between Worlds Two when Jason observes a male Rakiri noble whose harem has encouraged him to fatten up, an old-school symbol of wealth. His own Rakiri lover Yaro agrees with Jason's guess that it's unhealthy like it would be for a human, but says that tradition still sometimes wins out over sense.
  • Not a king, but Baron Arald of Ranger's Apprentice enjoys sweets a little too much — but, like several examples above, still has plenty of muscle and is an expert warrior, as well as being a Reasonable Authority Figure and Pungeon Master.
  • In The Redemption of Althalus, the leader of the Arum tribe at the beginning of the book is Gosti Big-Belly. The name speaks for itself – he's so large, he can't walk.
  • While Zhaspahr Clyntain, in David Weber's Safehold series, might not be a king, he has all the power to be one, helped along by his Blackmail of the rest of the Group of Four. He's also highly overweight, given to sloth, and thinks that anyone who might get in his way should be eliminated at all costs. His appearance as this trope is helped along by the fact that his official robes are constantly marred by food stains.
  • The magicians of Robin Hobb's The Soldier Son trilogy are fat, but not necessarily evil. They're definitely in charge, though, and fat because that's how magic works.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • King Robert Baratheon is described as having put on a lot of weight since his old friend Lord Eddard Stark had known him prior to his ascension to the throne, to the point where he's gotten too fat to put his armour on. Adding on to this is that he wasn't always like that, having been a fierce and handsome manly man back in the day, at least if his bastard son Gendry is of any indication. Eddard estimates that Robert put on about ten stone (140 lbs or 60 kg) since becoming King, which would make him morbidly obese. In the TV adaptation it's not quite as bad, but he has a significant belly.
    • Among historical Targaryen kings as described in The World of Ice & Fire and Fire & Blood:
      • Viserys I is described as having had a bit of a potbelly even as a young man and having an amiable Big Fun kind of personality that made him into something of an ineffectual ruler, especially when compared to his predecessor Jaeharys I. He became morbidly obese in the later years of his life, to the extent that he couldn't actually climb the steps of the Iron Throne at all (not that this persuaded him to take a diet or exercise or anything). Unusually for this type of character, he quite clearly had diabetes.
      • Aegon IV (also known by the epithet "Aegon the Unworthy"). After a lifetime of recklessly indulging every possible appetite, he died at age forty-nine after being too fat to move for a while already.
      • Aegon IV's legitimate son and heir, Daeron II, was also noted for being potbellied, albeit in a good way; he was described as a man whose appearance radiated dignity and kindness. This ended up being used against him by his detractors, particularly those who supported his half-brother, Daemon I Blackfyre, a classically handsome hunk who was adept in battle, a far cry from the scholarly Daeron. Daeron still kicked him in the ass, though.
    • Lord Wyman Manderly, the richest and fattest man in the North, a notoriously Big Eater nicknamed "Lord Too-Fat-to-sit-a-Horse" for being too fat to ride and "Lord Lamprey" for his love of lampreys. Other Manderlys are described as being quite fat, the Manderlys being associated with food. This causes Lord Manderly to appear as a foolish, weak, and cowardly figure. In reality he is a devious plotter, even having three of the Freys, who murdered one of his sons at The Red Wedding, turned into pies which he serves to other Freys and Boltons (who also took part in the massacre), and eats slices from each pie himself with relish.
  • Star Wars Legends established that Hutts (as in Jabba), whose Hat is being crime lords, frequently become fatter the more powerful they become, to the point where they sometimes become unable to move and must rely on antigravity sleds. The inverse is also true: Hutts afflicted with a congenital wasting disease are ostracized. Hutts also have a habit of buying slaves only to make them lay around them, gorging, and getting "more attractive" (i.e. fatter) as a sign of wealth and a decadent indulgence of their own. Yarna d' al' Gargan, Jabba's personal fat-dancer (the large, multi-breasted dancer in his palace in Return of the Jedi), is actually an indentured servant contracted because her species have the ability to instantly get fatter by absorbing water into their body fat. Jabba claimed she resembled his mother, sometimes. All of this is explained in her tale, in Tales from Jabba's Palace.
  • Tortall Universe: In Trickster's Choice, Hazarin, one of the princes who briefly becomes king of the Royally Screwed Up Copper Isles, is a real food-lover who finally dies of apoplexy. The palace healer-mages had seen this coming a long way off, but still have to flee so they won't be scapegoated by his crazy family for not warning him enough. Enforced trope: the prince's ghost explains that he purposely ate richly, because he figured it was better to die naturally, doing something he enjoyed than to suffer an inevitable and painful death at the hands of his scheming relatives.
  • Joseph Stalin becomes more and more like this in Twilight of the Red Tsar, due to his stroke and generally declining health preventing him from losing weight. Still doesn't get in the way of him committing genocide.
  • In Steven Kellogg's The Wicked Kings of Bloon, feuding brothers Horridge and Heathfern become rival kings, and both end up growing impossibly fat on the labor of their unfortunate subjects.
  • A fat queen is the villain in one of the A Wizard in Rhyme books. She's usually described as toad-like.
  • Wolf Hall takes place before Henry VIII started really putting on weight, but it's implied that he's getting there. Near the end of the first book, Hans Holbein asks Cromwell if he should paint the King as he was ten years ago. Cromwell advises him to stick with five. "He'll think you're mocking him."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Victor Buono as (a guy with Easy Amnesia who thinks he's) King Tut on the 1960s Batman TV series.
  • The History Channel's The Bible presents Herod the Great as hugely fat and beardless, not his usual depiction. (Just to rub it in, the first time we see him he's shirtless.)
  • Blackadder has BRIAN BLESSED as a king in the first series, plus the weird case of the Prince Regent in Blackadder the Third, who is played by the tall, lean, lanky Hugh Laurie, but is still mocked for being obese like he was in real life (see below).
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Just like in the books, King Robert Baratheon has clearly let himself go since taking the throne (he's based very much on King Edward IV of England, a hedonist of epic proportions who allowed himself to get fat when there were no more Lancasters to fight, who is mentioned below). Basically, his Badass Decay into one of these is symbolic of how unsuited the kingly life is for him. And like in the books, Robert is described as having been very handsome in his youth, to the point that Cersei actually was willing to give him a chance when they first got married, only for it to sour quickly when it became clear she would never live up to Lyanna Stark. This leads to an amusing exchange where the first thing he says upon seeing Ned Stark for the first time in several years, is to jokingly accuse him of this.
      Robert: You've gotten fat.
      [Ned does an eye take; Robert bursts out laughing]
    • Magister Illyrio is overweight and has a high rank in Pentos.
    • The Spice King is fat and apparently leads the Thirteen of Qarth.
  • The Get Smart episode "Survival of the Fattest" features a fat Arab prince who has to maintain his weight to maintain his rulership.
  • Horrible Histories:
    • George IV, mentioned in Real Life below, makes a few appearances. He is rather resentful that this is what people know about him.
      George: Had just ten years on the throne, do you remember that? No, all that you remember is... I was really fat!
    • Horrible Histories also has many appearances by Trope Maker Henry VIII, including one where he specifically talks about how rich the Tudor nobles' diet was.
  • He's never actually seen, but the king of Mepos, where Balki is from on Perfect Strangers, is pretty fat, weighing 400 pounds. He's a Big Eater too and holds the country's current record for eating jelly donuts.
  • King Mondo, the Big Bad of Power Rangers Zeo, is a big-built 'bot. On more than one occasion, Queen Machina's dialogue suggests he has the robot equivalent of high blood pressure.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation features Chancellor K'mpec as a Klingon example, fat and morally ambiguous in his willingness to dishonor Worf's family to save the supposedly honorable Empire from civil war. In fact, when he tried courting Worf's nurse in their youth, she rejected him because he was too fat – and when he comments that it's good to see her again, she just says that he's still fat.
  • Despite, as noted in both the introduction and in Real Life section below, being one of the Trope Codifiers, The Tudors managed to avert this in its depiction of Henry VIII. True to history, he starts off appropriately buff as a young man, but he never undergoes the famous weight gain the historical Henry did. It would have been unthinkable for Jonathan Rhys Meyers to have been forced to actually put the dangerous amount of weight on, and the wardrobe department does a valiant job of dressing him in bigger, heavier, less form-fitted outfits, but it's still a bit jarring, as the traditional image of Henry is one so well-ingrained.

  • Elvis Presley, the "King of Rock and Roll", became grossly overweight in the 1970s while taking massive doses of barbiturates as his health failed. He also enjoyed such Southern comfort foods like chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches, which sometimes included bacon.
  • The official art for Razia's Shadow depicts The King this way. Given that he tries to block the fated marriage, deeply mistrusts the protagonist, and implies that Anhura is a slut, it's fitting, even if he's meant to be the king of Light.

    Music Videos 

    Myths & Religion 


    Pro Wrestling 
  • Jerry "The King" Lawler who has always been on the chubby side.
  • 1995 WWF King of the Ring winner Mabel, who weighed nearly 500lbs and would be carried to the ring on a throne carried by four to six men.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Orcus, in addition to fulfilling the royalty factor thanks to the trope he named, was always depicted as obese before the third edition Book of Vile Darkness's statblock on him illustrated him as lean and muscular. In fact, one prerequisite to being one of his Thralls is to take the Willing Deformity Feat, and choose one of two option, one of which is Obesity, in order to emulate him. (The other option makes the Thrall look gaunt and sickly, emulating undead in general.) Since then, his level of girth has Depended on the Artist.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • In Necromunda, the mutant outcasts known as Scavvies barely survive scraping a living in the worst parts of the Underhive and therefore consider a paunch to be a sign of power and success. Redwart, the self-proclaimed Scavvy King has the largest paunch of any Scavvy.
    • In Warhammer the size of an Ogre’s belly is a sign of wealth and power, meaning that they are led by massive and powerful Tyrants. These Tyrants use their strength to appropriate the largest share of food and other provisions, leading them to grow fat on the spoils of war. Being the king of all Ogres, Greasus Goldtooth is the largest of all and has to be carried into battle by a living throne of Gnoblars.
    • Grom the Paunch, a goblin warlord from the backstory of Fantasy Battle; he was once an ordinary, weedy goblin until one of his buddies dared him to eat raw troll meat, something that would have caused him to explode due to the quick regenerating properties of the meat. Somehow Grom survived and bloated to massive proportions, and since Greenskins believe in Large and in Charge, Grom found a veritable army of loyal followers flocking to his banner. Grom led one of the most successful WAAAGH!!!s in recent history, ravaging the Empire and successfully invading Ulthuan before Grom disappeared.
    • Nurgle, god of plague, decay, disease and love (really) is massively bloated, as are his champions and daemons. In his case it's more a representation of bloated corpses as well as unhealthy living than constant gorging (which is more Slaanesh's domain).
  • Exalted has Sesus Nagezzar, aka "The Slug". He's not a king, but he is nobility, being one of the Terrestrial Exalted. A former Super-Soldier like all Dragon-Blooded, he became grossly overweight after being supernaturally crippled. He's got some fairly detestable personal habits, but he's one of the few hopes The Empire has for survival.
  • The third-party Tome of Artifacts features a magic item known as the King's Pepper Grinder — so named because it was made by a court wizard for a king who was obsessed with putting too much pepper on his food. Despite being a glutton, the King in question is shown to be a generally nice guy and a pretty capable fighter (though he is incredibly irritating to cook for).

  • The title character of Ubu Roi is morbidly obese, a physical expression of his greed.

    Video Games 
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin: Although not technically a monarch, the Mayor carries the general idea of putting on the pounds in a world where few other people are. At one point, he starts demanding rations from the troops protecting his city, claiming that his people are starving, which causes one of the main characters to none-too-subtly imply that that most of those rations would be going to him.
  • Age of Empires II: The King character who is central to the game when playing in Regicide mode. Overlap with Acrofatic; his running speed is actually faster than several infantry units, so it's best to use cavalry or archers to kill him.
  • Breath of Fire II: The Princess of Tunlan. She's so large that a courtesan warns that her fat will soon crush the princess to death. Like other villains in the game, she's been possessed by a demon preying on her particular vice: in this case, gluttony. A Womb Level involves shrinking the party down to size and battling lipid demons inside her body, causing her to gradually deflate.
  • Bug: Queen Cadavra, the Big Bad, is a fat black widow spider who treats her bug minions like dirt... and food.
  • Bug Fables: To reflect on how massive termite queens are when compared to the rest of their colony, Queen Layra II is one of the biggest, fattest bugs Team Snakemouth encounters. She's so heavy that she can't move by herself, and a small team of subjects has to carry her from place to place.
  • Donkey Kong Country:
  • In Don't Starve, Pig-men villages are often lead by an enormously fat "Pig King" who lounges around, seemingly not doing anything. He'll trade you gold nuggets in exchange for various trinkets dug up from graves, like lawn gnomes.
  • Earthworm Jim features The Evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt as Jim's nemesis, who manages to be both this and Lean and Mean at the same time. No, really. Her upper torso is depicted as wizened and crone-like, but that comprises a miniscule percentage of her overall size. The rest of her is an enormous, obese grub-like thing, and is so huge she can't even move properly under her own power. Somehow, she intended to wear Jim's Super Suit to conquer the galaxy. How she intended to fit inside it is anyone's guess.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series backstory, Emperor Antiochus Septim I was famously "obese and lecherous". It was the latter of these two traits which caused the most trouble, causing a Succession Crisis and leading to the War of the Red Diamond after his death. His nephew Pelagius III, better known as Pelagius the Mad, also had a tendency to shift in weight between morbidly obese and deathly thin thanks to his mental instability.
  • King Jabugal II of Elemental Gearbolt is a Fat Bastard Villainous Glutton. Nothing about him is pleasant or positive, making it easier to sympathize with his Well-Intentioned Extremist son.
  • In Fate/Grand Order, Julius Caesar is portrayed as comically fat, which is somehow due to the effects of being summoned as a Heroic Servant, since when Cleopatra meets up with him she's shocked at what he's become. Fortunately for him, he's also Acrofatic, with a Quick-type focus and some very helpful support skills.
  • Fat Princess: While not actually a King or a Queen, the eponymous princess... er... is plump in all places.
  • In the Shadowbringers expansion of Final Fantasy XIV, Lord Vauthry certainly qualifies: his initial introduction has the Warrior of Light brought to him for a summary execution (of another citizen, for a change), and he's so spectacularly obese that he outmasses the ginormous lions surrounding his throne. His obvious status as a Psychopathic Manchild doesn't help one whit. A slightly more downplayed example is how many of the Mi'qote/Mystels in Eulmore are horrifyingly obese as well, a classical symptom of the Idle Rich.
  • He's not a king, but Don Genie of F-Zero is a very large and incredibly rich businessman.
  • In Gems of War, the Goblin King is notably bulkier than other goblin troops, which is reflected in him not getting a free turn after special attacks (as all other goblins do).
  • King Dedede from Kirby tends to be rather excessive in size, being not only a penguinish... thing... but also due to having just as huge of an appetite as Kirby. In Star Allies, this is inverted halfway through his boss fight when he grows enormous muscles under the influence of the Jamba Heart.
  • King Zior from The Legend of Dragoon definitely, umm... measures up. Not only does he have the build for it, but you only ever see him in two places, sitting on his throne (which is in the most luxurious throne room in the entire game by the way) and the banquet hall.
  • While not a monarch per se, Bishop Doplin of Legaia II: Duel Saga is the de facto ruler of Darakin and is massively overweight, the extent to which is somewhat masked by his ceremonial robes.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Though he seems to be more the Stout Strength type rather than the Fat Bastard type.
    • Wind Waker Ganondorf also looks like he's gained some weight since Ocarina. Compared to characters like King Daphnes, Lenzo and Mila's father it looks more like Ganondorf's a Top-Heavy Guy rather than overweight. The huge robe he's wearing doesn't help matters.
    • The king from The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is also somewhat like this.
    • As is the one from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
    • King Harkinian in the CD-I games. He probably ate too much DINNER.
    • King Zora in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Him scooting his fat ass out of the way so you can visit Jabu Jabu is an infamous moment thanks to the hilariously slow pace he does it at.
    • Oren, the River Zora Queen, is a rare female example in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Her huge bulk is actually a side effect of her Smooth Stone being stolen, which kept her power in check. Without it, she gorges on fish all day and grows bigger over time. Once the stone is returned, she slims down and is calmer.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has two big kings. King Rhoam is the King of Hyrule and has a design similar to Daphnes Nohansen. There's also King Dorephan, who is the ruler of the Zoras. He is pretty darn fat in the gut, but is also very strong since he had scrapped a Guardian by picking it up and tossing it off a cliff. His huge body also makes sense since he looks like a whale shark.
  • The vaguely French fantasy ruler, King Shishkebaboo from Little King's Story is this to an absurd extent: he has turned completely round, and isn't even able to walk. Instead, he prefers to roll, crushing all in his path.
  • The King of Greenhorne in Miitopia is monstrously obese and is constantly eating large roasts. The game outright describes him as a Gentle Giant.
  • Governor Phatt, of Phatt Island, in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. Not a King, but he runs an island, so it counts. He seems to be fed entirely on ketchup and mayonnaise, which he has piped next to the bed where he spends all his time.
  • Female example in Mushihime Sama Futari: The infamous Queen Larsa is hideously obese... until she crosses the Bishōnen Line and becomes the beautiful +Spiritual Larsa (upper left).
  • King Tom of Ni no Kuni is this trope combined with Cats Are Lazy, although his laziness is a result of being broken-hearted. The Cowlipha of Al-Mamoon is also fairly obese, as well as being enormous in size, which only adds to her looks. At first it seems like the king of the pig-themed city of Hammelin is this too, but it's just the pig-like armor he wears, while in reality he's a Long-Haired Pretty Boy.
  • The King from Only the Brave Can Rescue the Kidnapped Princess is defined by his insatiable gluttony, and he proudly sings about his servants having to patch several sheets together to make a shirt that just barely fits him and install scaffolding under his horse's chest.
  • Melvin Underbelly from Overlord managed to gorge himself to spherical proportions after becoming King of the Halflings. Like the other corrupted heroes, he represents one of the Seven Deadly Sins, Gluttony in his case.
  • Zombie King during the Dark Ages world in Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time. He's not even able to move, staying at the end of the battlefield.
  • Punch-Out!!: King Hippo, whose large stomach is his Achilles' Heel. Word of God portrays him as the king of a tropical island.
  • King Frost from the Frost line of enemies in Shin Megami Tensei. He's so morbidly obese he's seen as being made of hundreds of his minions merged together in a single snowy mass.
  • Queen Bluegarden, the rotund librarian in Secret of Evermore who now serves as regent of "Gothica", a fictitious mash-up of medieval tropes. Like the other three rulers, she's been deposed an evil double who wants to rule the kingdom unchecked. Played for laughs when it's discovered that the impostor, while meaner-looking, is the exact same size and shape as the genuine article, unlike the other androids who are distinctly different from their counterparts. And so the game gets to plays around with the good and evil versions of the trope, with the real Bluegarden being treated as some sort of sex symbol by the King, and the evil Bluegarden crashing to her doom after trying (and failing) to Goomba Stomp the hero, causing the floor to give way and damage the castle foundations to the point of total collapse.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Queen Bean in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is an unusual example of an adipose rex that is both female and friendly.
    • King Bowser is also on the heavy side, though he is quite a bit more athletic than most of these examples. He's not exactly overweight, though. He's a huge turtle-demon-thing – he weighs a lot because he's simply very, very big. Give yourself a playthrough of Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story and you know it's all muscle, baby. Except for that one time after Fawful's feast...
    • The Elder Princess Shroob in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is quite a bit wider than her little sister... though like Bowser, her impressive strength would seem to suggest a naturally stocky build rather than obesity.
  • Undertale:
    • Although it is hard to tell due to the armor he wears, King Asgore is very large and wide. He subverts the usual connotations that come with this trope, however, as he is not only shown to be The Good King, but is in fact extremely strong, one of the strongest monsters in the Underground. In the Golden Ending, he can be seen wearing a pink shirt and blue pants, showing that he does have at least a beer belly.
    • Deltarune features the noticeably portly King of Spades as the Big Bad of Chapter 1. He is definitely a Fat Bastard, being a truly vile individual shown to have no redeeming qualities whatsoever (threatening to throw his only son — the lovable Minion with an F in Evil Lancer – off the top of his castle really didn't help win him any supporters).
  • Wasteland 3: Flab the Inhaler, the ruler of the Monster Army. He is quite pleased with the name, though; as he rightly points out, there are few people in the Wasteland successful enough to get the food security and lack of need for manual labor necessary to get fat.
  • King Henselt from The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is a downplayed version, as he has Stout Strength to go with it.

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 
  • Looming Gaia: The Sovereign of Aquaria is an obese tyrant, in contrast to his much thinner and kinder brother Mr. Ocean.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
  • As with his original video-game incarnation, King K. Rool from the short-lived Donkey Kong Country cartoon is one of the chunkier Kremlings.
  • Played up in an episode of DuckTales (1987). The heroes visit a remote island where the king is fat precisely because in their culture the fattest person is made king. Various attempts to buy a rare mask off him with Worthless Yellow Rocks fail – and then somebody thinks of trying to pay him with fattening processed foods instead. This episode was based on the Carl Barks story The Status Seeker, except Scrooge traded a crate of peppermint candies for the "Candy-Striped Ruby".
  • The Slurm Queen from Futurama is enormously corpulent.
  • One episode of Garfield and Friends had a folktale where Jon Arbuckle was depicted as an overweight king of an imaginary kingdom, but one day one of King Jonathan's servants grew jealous of him because of his gluttony and decides to make the king's life miserable by sending an orange cat with black stripes (who clearly resembles Garfield) to eat all of the king's food. In that story, the kingdom's yearly gold income depended on how heavy the one wearing the crown was and the evil Duke intended to decrease this income as part of a plot to become King (King Jonathan's weight used to bring enough gold he didn't need to make his subjects pay taxes). King Jonathan foiled the plot by placing the crown on the cat's head.
  • Fattish, King Wallace in the episode "Royal Pain" of Kim Possible.
  • Looney Tunes:
  • The Smurfs: The unnamed gnome king from the episode "Greedy Goes on Strike", who focuses so much of his attention on food that he neglects his own son, the prince.
  • Mob boss Don Vizioso from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) is never seen without food in his mouth and is so fat he is never seen standing up.
  • In the episode "Legacy of Terror" from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Anakin and Obi-Wan discover the lair of the Geonosian queen, an oversized and immobile Hive Queen who rules the Geonosians with telepathy. It's unclear whether this is due to her being an egg-layer or general obesity.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: King Gunga in the second video "The Legend of Grimace Island" is the ruler of Grimace Island and, like all Grimaces, is hella pudgy.
  • King Sheran Sharm of the Sadidas in Wakfu. Still a fearsome warrior and Reasonable Authority Figure.

    Real Life 
  • This trope does have some historical basis. In the old days, being chubby was considered beautiful and a sign of wealth and the king was often the wealthiest guy in the land, so... It was also helped by the belief that vegetables, being cheap to produce, were "food of beasts and peasants" so both royalty and nobility avoided them while devoted to ingesting expensive beef and game. (In those days most people were barred from hunting.) Both HRE Karl V and his son Philip II of Spain died of gout for this reason.
  • And now we begin our look 'round our usual suspects for Tropes Royal, starting with the British monarchy and its English and Scots forebears:
    • William The Conqueror reportedly grew very fat in his later life, so much so that the King of France remarked that he looked like a pregnant woman. When he died they couldn't fit him into his sarcophagus (partially due to bloating after death). The rest of the story is... not pleasant.
    • Edward IV (elder brother of Richard III), once a powerful and extremely tall man for his and any other time period began to grow rather fat toward the end of his life as he was no longer leading soldiers in the field and had grown rather sedentary. Most accounts of his appearance in that period give a description that would today be analogous to a still-powerful American football player with a hanging gut and a face that was beginning to turn doughy. Some historians speculate that had he lived past 40, he would've been even heavier than his grandson given his massive appetite.
    • His grandson being Henry VIII of England, who at about 6'2" or 190cm, would be considered quite a big man by modern standards, let alone those of the 16th century. He definitely took after his maternal grandfather in every which way. He is possibly the Trope Codifier for fictional depictions of fat kings (especially with the "holding a roasted turkey leg" bitnote ) since he was morbidly obese by the time he died. The popular image of him being this way is a bit of a misconception, however. The most famous portrait of him (the Holbein portrait) is dated to when he was in his late forties, after he suffered a leg injury while jousting that never healed properly and limited his movement. In his youth, he was known to be fit, athletic, and handsome.
    • Despite her reign being a byword for elegance, Britain's Queen Anne was reportedly fat (also ugly and unhealthy). Her portraits at the time of her marriage in 1683, at the age of 18-years-old, depict her as rather slender. By the time she rose to the throne in 1702, at the age of 37, Anne had given birth to six children, had eight stillbirths and four miscarriages. 18 pregnancies didn't exactly do wonders for her figure. And it was All for Nothing; she outlived all of her children, with the only one who survived longer than two years, Prince William, perishing right after turning 11, a year and a half before she took the throne.
    • On Queen Anne's death, she was succeeded by George I, starting The House of Hanover, which might less-respectfully be called "the fat dynasty." Between the accession of George I in 1714 and the death of Edward VII (who wasn't technically a Hanoverian but clearly took after his Hanoverian mother) in 1910, all of Britain's monarchs were substantially overweight during at least part of their reigns. We will therefore only be looking at the more interesting cases:
      • George II was not especially unusual in the degree to which his diet affected his waistline, but it's worth mentioning that it had other health effects. In particular, it affected his blood pressure, and in the meantime his eschewal of vegetables meant that he was afflicted by chronic constipation. One morning in October 1760, the King finished his daily hot chocolate and proceeded to his chamber to attend to his business, which was apparently quite laboured that day. After a few minutes, his valet heard a crash, and the king was found dying on the floor. An autopsy showed that His Majesty's exertions had been so vigorous that, between the constipation and the hypertension, his aorta couldn't handle the pressure and burst.
      • The thoroughly temperate King George III does seem to have done his damnedest to avert this, preferring (unsweetened) tea and light foods to his forbears' wines, spirits, and feasts. He also kept active, especially loving long walks in the country with his wife. However, time and his eventual descent into dementia eventually got to his waistline.
      • George III's eldest son, the Prince Regent, later King George IV, became an easy target for caricaturists in his later years because of his obesity. His case is easily explained: his habits included heavy drinking and huge banquets for decades. By the end of his reign, George suffered from gout and arteriosclerosis (also cataracts, though that was probably unrelated to his obesity) and had breathing problems. Also, accounts from his last years report signs of mental instability, possibly inherited from his father. Reportedly, his gout (caused by a lifetime of overindulgence in meat and cheese) was so bad that it took him 100 drops of Laudanum (about 200 mg of opium) to get through the day—which probably exacerbated the breathing problems, since opiates are known respiratory depressants. One of his more polite epithets was Prince of Whales.
      • Though he wasn't technically a Hanoverian, King Edward VII definitely took after Queen Victoria (who, for the record, was never so much fat as she was hefty) in the build department, was notable for probably being the monarch who bore his weight the most majestically-"portly" is the descriptor that comes to mind. It should thus come as no surprise that his real vice was not food but tobacco, which is what actually got him in the end.note 
  • Next up, the French monarchs:
    • The French "les rois fainéants" (Lazy Kings, so called because they didn't try to expand their territory during their reigns and because they delegated much of the decision-making to their officials), are often represented like this, to the point of being carted around as they've become incapable of supporting their own weight. Subverted, as this is referring to the Frankish kings of the later Merovingian dynasty. Yes, they moved around on ox-driven carts from villa to villa, yes, they didn't have much to do with the daily running of the kingdom, but the carts were used so the king could dispense justice wherever he went.
    • The last monarch to rule the whole Carolingian Empire was Charles the Fat.
    • France's Louis VI Le Gros (The Fat) kept this going under the Capetians.
    • Louis XVI of France, last king before the Revolution, is often depicted as chubby and non-threatening for it - and indeed he did turn to fat in his thirties. One English nobleman compared him to a castrato. However, he was also very tall for this time and age, around 6'4, and most of the weight he gained as a younger man turned to muscle (he was famed for being weirdly keen on hunting and other types of physical exercise); so while massive, 'fat' was hardly the way to describe him back in the day.
    • Napolιon Bonaparte. At the time of his downfall, Boney had become quite fat, in stark contrast to the skinny and hungry young general he was twenty years earlier.
    • King Louis XVIII of France, brother of Louis XVI, was known for being incredibly obese, so much that he could hardly stand up without help. He moved around in a wheelchair and nicknamed himself "Le Roi Fauteuil" (The Chair King). His political opponents and the common folk nicknamed him "Gros Cochon" (Fat Pig). His obesity resulted in gout, diabetes and gangrene, leading to a particularly gruesome Cruel and Unusual Death.
    "At the end of the month of August 1824, the dry grangrene that attacked one foot and the bottom of his spinal cord, created a large oozing wound at the bottom of his back and made him unrecognizable. Proudly, he refuses to lie down, quoting Vespasian: "An emperor dies standing up". But, on the 12th of September, his terrible suffering forces him to lie down. He is rotting alive and smells so foul that his own family cannot remain by his bedside. One of his eyes melted away; the room servant, trying to move his body, tear off bits of the right foot; the bones of one leg have decayed, the other one is just one gigantic wound, his face is black and yellow."
  • And now the Iberian realms:
    • Spanish history – always a treasure trove of all tropes involving royal peculiarities – gives us King Sancho I of León, a.k.a. Sancho the Fat. Indeed, he was so very fat that in 956, two years after he had taken the throne, a group of nobles deposed him. Sancho appealed to the Muslim Caliph of Cordoba, Abdulrahman III, who referred him to his de facto prime minister, the (Jewish) court doctor Hasdai ibn Shapirut. In a subversion, ibn Shapirut put Sancho on a diet – with the king ending up reasonably svelte – and, after two years, took back his throne with the aid of the Moors and Navarre. Double subversion: upon reclaiming his throne, he promptly became fat again.
    • Close by (in both space and time), Portugal had king Afonso II, their third king in total, was also nicknamed "Afonso II the Fat". According to records, he did not like that name.note 
    • Henry I of Navarre, who was said to have been suffocated to death by his own fat.
  • All the Little Germanies give us some great examples (these include the previously-mentioned Electors of Hanover that ruled Britain):
    • King Frederick I of Württemberg was incredibly tall and weighed around 400 pounds. Some sources say that the king's servants had to use a pulley to help the king mount a horse (poor animal!). He didn't exactly suffer from gigantism; his height is estimated to 2 meters, 11 centimeters (6 feet, 11 inches). Same as some modern athletes, such as Jon Rauch, Aaron Sandilands, and Peter Street.
    • Ludwig II of Bavaria put on quite a lot of weight starting from his mid-thirties.
  • Russia:
    • Catherine the Great put on weight as she entered her thirties, though her official portraits show that she remained quite the Big Beautiful Woman rather than simply obese. Traces of this lingered even when she became old and was no longer traditionally pretty, likely helped by the fashion of corsets always maintaining that her waist stayed smaller than her hips and chest – having even mildly hourglass proportions is a traditional indicator of voluptuousness rather than just fatness. On the other hand, it also helped that she was very good looking in her slimmer youth to start with.
    • Tsar Alexander III of Russia became this as he aged. As a youth, he was noted for his size and strength (over six feet tall) and as he aged the muscle turned to fat.(pictured with his wife). It was customary for Tsars after their deaths to have a statue of themselves on horseback, and Alexander's was sculpted in massive form, being nicknamed "the hippopotamus". The sculptor joked that he simply put one massive beast on top of another.
  • Now Sweden:
    • Gustavus II Adolphus "became quite fat as the years passed" as one historian put it. His obesity once let him survive being shot (with a musket, so not exactly a high-powered rifle) since the bullet got stuck in his fat.
    • Gustavus Adolphus's nephew, Charles X eventually "assumed the perfect form of a sphere"—and that's according to the official historians of his time. Interestingly, both Gustavus Adolphus and Charles X were very active rulers who spent most of their reigns personally leading military campaigns.
    • Over a century later, King Adolf Frederick of Sweden was not especially fat for an 18th-century monarch, though he was definitely on the large side. However, he had an intense love of feasts that was noteworthy, and when he died suddenly in 1771 at the age of 60, popular theories laid the blame at the 14 hetvägg (semla pastries served in hot milk) he had eaten at his last meal before his death (along with lobster, caviar, kippers, sauerkraut, and champagne—guy liked his seafood). Modern historians consider this propaganda (the cause of death was probably either heart failure or poisoningnote ) but the story remains (and is often brought up whenever semlor are discussed). Incidentally, Adolf Frederick was the maternal uncle of Catherine the Great.
  • Oh, and the Roman Empire:
    • Nero grew to be much fatter as his appetite for self-indulgence increased. This is even visible on his coins.
    • Emperor Vitellius is depicted by Roman historians as morbidly obese. Also lazy, overly fond of banquets (having four of them each day) and with a taste of exotic foods. Despite that, his short reign (it occurred in CE 69, during the Year of the Four Emperors, and he wasn't the fourth) resulted in some decent reforms on the Roman army and civil service (which were retained by Vitellius's successor, the much longer-lived—and svelte—Vespasian).
    • Averted by Emperor Elagabalus, but only because he died young: his notorious gluttony (according to rumor, he would regularly eat a lamb in one sitting) would have very probably caught up with him at some point.
  • The traditional monarchies of Polynesia are known for having fat monarchs:
    • Kings of Tonga were traditionally very fat since before Captain Cook first reached the islands, and they weren't about to give up the tradition just because they converted to Christianity and became vaguely associated with the British Empire:
      • There is a story that when Queen Sālote Tupou III attended the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and she was riding in her coach with an aide, someone asked Noλl Coward who the small man accompanying the Queen was. "Her lunch", replied Coward.
      • King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga weighed 440 lbs.
    • The royals of Hawaiʻi greet you:
      • That Hawaiian beauty, Princess Ruth Keelikolani.
      • Queen Lydia Liliuokalani and her brother King David Kalakaua weren't exactly slender.
  • And some scattered other crowned heads of state:
    • Analysis of the (probable) mummy of King Hatshepsut (you know, the one with the really pretty temple) of the Ancient Egyptian Eighteenth Dynasty shows that she was probably obese late in life (assuming that the relevant mummy is in fact Hatshepsut—there is some dispute on that point). None of this shows up in her official portraiture, since that was all propaganda intended to make her look as awesome (and therefore physically fit) as possible. She reigned in the 15th century BCE, making this trope Older Than Dirt.
      • Even if that mummy isn't Hatshepsut and she wasn't obese, the trope is still certifiably found in her reign: The walls of her famous temple record the expedition she sent to the land of Punt (somewhere vaguely around modern Eritrea and Somalia), and one of the scenes show a very large woman stated to be "Queen Ati of Punt" bringing gifts to Egypt. (The wall depicts her giving tribute to Hatshepsut herself, but this probably isn't meant to be taken literally—more probably, she gave gifts to Hatshepsut's deputy sent to lead the Egyptian expedition.) The Egyptian artists found her appearance so remarkable they deviated from the usual stylized Egyptian portrayal to capture it.
    • John III Sobieski of Poland was fat, but also a subversion for being a very good horseman, swordsman and stellar military leader for most of his life and reign.
    • In a zig-zagging of this trope, Béla I of Hungary, who wasn't too fat, died when his throne collapsed under his weight.
    • Farouk, the last King of Egypt, note  was famous in his time for his lavish parties and extraordinarily rich feasts; after his exile, he became enormously fat. Between this, Farouk's famous penchant for other elements of the high life (including ornate Louis XV-style furniture,note  gambling, fine wine, and Scotch), and the Egyptian royal family's splendid palaces and wealth despite the fact that Egypt was economically underdeveloped, "King Farouk" became something of a byword for "living in extreme luxury among really poor people"; for instance, Hunter S. Thompson used it in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
  • In the Romani language, the word for "Mayor" means "Fat Man".
  • Nowadays politics has a tendency to make you fat (even if you're not a royal). Just look at what happened to Arnold Schwarzenegger after he became Governor of California. Twenty-odd years worth of aging and giving up the workout schedule of a professional bodybuilder also has a tendency to make you fat. Hard to say which is more responsible in Arnie's case.
  • Although for that, the classic example has to be Nigel Lawson, former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, former Secretary of State for Energy, a politician for 18 years and later the author of The Nigel Lawson Diet Book. There's little doubt that having Nigella Lawson for a daughter didn't help a bit.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, The Presidents of the United States:
    • John Adams, while reasonably svelte in his youth, was getting rather pudgy by the time he became Vice President. Famously, during a Senate debate about the proper style of the President (in which he proposed the President be called "His Elective Highness"), he so thoroughly failed to impress anyone that the only style the Senate bestowed was that of "His Rotundity" on Adams himself.
    • Grover Cleveland was fat enough to get the nickname "Uncle Jumbo".
    • President William Howard Taft is the chief of this among American presidents. To quote Johnny Dangerously: "He weighed as much as Teddy Roosevelt and half of William McKinley!" They had to install a bigger bathtub in the White House to accommodate his size. Before becoming President, his nickname in political circles was "Big Bill". Being as he was also well-above average tall and muscular, President Taft was not regarded as ugly during his lifetime, despite being about 350 pounds by 1913. Also, by the time Taft left the presidency and was later appointed to the Supreme Court, he actually lost a good deal of weight, leading some to believe that much of his weight was due to stress; he was much happier as Chief Justice than as President. (The latter had always been his dream job, whereas being President he saw as an unpleasant duty.)
      "He was fat, but he had the frame that carries weight with an effect of majesty, of the sort that primitive men and even modern men in the average, like to see in their kings and leaders" - Mark Sullivan, Our Times: 1900-1925
    • Donald Trump was definitely overweight during his presidency; though his actual weight and health are a matter of considerable debate, there's no denying he's on the chubby side and quite fond of fast food (and Diet Coke). Subverted in that Trump didn't really start putting on weight until the mid-'00s, when he was already past the age of 60. Before becoming POTUS, he was most famous in the 1980s as a real estate mogul and a general symbol of 80's plutocracy and consumerism;note  at that point in time, he was quite svelte.
  • Not so much a king as a tyrant, but after Dong Zhuo (whose villainy gets exaggerated in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but he was not a nice man in the least) was killed, his corpse was set on fire. According to historical records, it took days for the corpse to burn.
  • Infamously, North Korea's Kim Jong-un is fat while many of his people are starving to death.
    • Similarly, the leaders of the Khmer Rouge (including Pol Pot) noticeably gained weight while they ruled Cambodia, though none of them were ever really obese.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fat King



The vast majority of his debut episode is dedicated to showing how little he values Fizzarolli as an employee and mascot, which leaves one wondering just how mistreated his regular workers must be. Cases include him disregarding pretty much everything Fizzarolli had to say about his discomfort with how he was treated and feeling and using Fizzarolli as a target while throwing knives at him blindfolded. Then there’s the verbal abuse, body-shaming when he thinks Fizzarolli has gained a little weight and he doesn’t want them to change all the robofizzes to fit, and threatening physical violence when Fizzarolli quits, only being stopped by the timely intervention of Asmodeus.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / MeanBoss

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