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Big, Fat Future

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"A study shows that by 2025 American children will be too obese to ride hoverboards."
Andrea Bennett, The Onion News Network short

Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: Writing about the Future has always been about taking current trends and assuming they will continue for decades to extreme levels.

One of the current big problems in the United States (and the rest of the developed world) is the growing rate of obesity.

Thus, we have the Big Fat Future — assuming that this trend continues. The new dystopian future doesn't have people starving to death. No, the average person in the future is too full of lard to move. They survive entirely on fattening processed foods and move about using some sort of hover technology. Such settings implicitly assume a degree of Modern Stasis, as they rely on technological solutions to obesity neither advancing nor becoming more accessible with the passage of time.

This is usually played for either comedy or Body Horror, if not both.

The main character, naturally, has to be attractive. So he will not be one of these future fat people. He'll be unusually thin for his era, or a Fish out of Temporal Water from a thinner bygone era, or a robot or an alien or an AI or something.

Contrast with We Will Have Perfect Health in the Future. Alternatively, it may overlap if the advancement of medical science made the health problems of obesity a worry of the past, which resulted in people caring less about their weight.

May overlap with Stupid Future People.

Along with Beauty Equals Goodness, the main characters (or one of the main characters) might be a Fat and Proud Big Beautiful Woman or Big Handsome Man. This might be a Chubby Chaser fantasy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The people of the République Venus from Battle Angel Alita: Last Order have developed into "Humpty-Dumpty" forms due to nanotechnology and limitless surgery.
  • Galaxy Express 999:
    • This happens in the second story arc of the manga. The new Big Bad basically conquers Earth by giving everyone all the food they can eat and turning everyone who wasn't cyborged in the first story arc into a hideously fat Gonk. The rest of the galaxy's human population, especially the women remain as impossibly waifish as they are in the rest of Leiji Matsumoto's work, though.
    • This also happened a few times on the TV series. In the first instance, in season two episode 15, Tetsuo visited a world where robots did all the work and humans had become obese blobs who become so fat they regularly burst out of their own homes. The primary crux of the plot is a woman who wants to escape the planet with her boyfriend (who is already one of the aforementioned blobs, and despite trying to keep it down has put on weight herself due to the robots not allowing her to work).

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Who Magazine: In "Welcome to Tickle Town", the Doctor and Clara arrive in the Tickle Town amusement park 300 hundred years in the future. Clara comments on the size of most the attendees, hoping that the entire human race doesn't evolve into size XXX-L. It turns out everyone is trapped in the park, unable to leave. "Lifers" are those who have given up hope, eat the munchies (laced with sedatives) and ride the rides all day, becoming obese blobs.
  • The Judge Dredd subculture of "Fatties", most prominently featured in the storyline "The League of Fatties" are over-eaters gone to extremes. The fatties would not have been able to reach the monstrous extremes they did without the supporting technology of the future setting. It should be noted that they aren't so much a result of the future's tech and more they're one of the more persistent mad crazes that sweep the city: the inhabitants of Mega-City One are so bored that seeing just how fat they could make themselves without dying just got started for the hell of it. Some even have companies pay them to be fat to promote and shill products.
  • MAD issue #54 (April 1960), in a Dave Berg story called "America Is Getting Soft," posited a Zeerust future where Western man, relying more and more on wheeled mobility, ends up round-bottomed with vestigial legs. The article was reprinted in the paperback Three Ring MAD.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Hoodwinked!, Boingo announces his plans to fatten up children by adding his addictive chemical "Boingonium" onto baked goodies so that they'll buy more goods.
  • Sausage Party: The wise whiskey bottle Firewater claims that humans have consistently gotten fatter ever since the invention of supermarkets.
  • WALL•E takes place in the year 2805 and the passengers onboard the Generation Ship Axiom are all morbidly obese. The film implies that their appearance is the result of spending all their lives in hoverchairs eating fatty foods — like pizza shakes— while the ship's robots take care of everything for them. Their appearance and helplessness makes them reminiscent of infants, as one of them falls out of his chair and is completely unable to right himself. However, this is not an example of Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale; as everything on the Axiom was planned by a Corrupt Corporate Executive, and this transformation was a result of the carefree, relaxed lifestyle intended for a 5 year cruise being stretched out over 7 centuries. In a video broadcast from before the Axiom was launched, humans are skinny and portrayed by live-action actors. The Buy 'n Large president claims that the inhabitants may have experienced "slight bone loss" from spending long periods of time in space while showing a diagram of a very overweight human that resembles the typical Axiom passenger.

  • Jack Vance's 1952 novella Abercrombie Station involves a zero-G space station where almost everyone is fat, and aesthetics favor it. The heroine, so to speak, who's from Earth, isn't fat (and actually a bit amused about being considered too skinny to be attractive). The main antagonist, a native of the station, isn't fat either. And he's bitter as all hell about it.
  • Deconstructed in the Doctor Who Missing Adventures novel Last Man Running, with two colony planets, one fat with upper-class accents (called Twodies) and one thin with working-class accents (called Firsters). The two Twodie police encountered by the Doctor and Leela are casually prejudiced against them, taking from their weight that they are Firsters and viewing their upper-class accents and the Doctor's expensive clothes as tasteless Nouveau Riche pretension.
  • Dream Park: Zig-zagged in The Moon Maze Game, in which standards of beauty in 2085 have swung the other way, making plumpness desirable in women. Instead of being unhealthy, however, the ideal zaftig woman adheres to a "Fit/Fat" model, in which well-padded curves overlie toned muscles and a blood chemistry maintained at the peak of physiological health.
  • Baron Vladimir Harkonnen from Dune is an individual example of this, albeit apparently on purpose: he could easily have his fatness corrected medically, he just likes showing off the evidence of his excesses. The prequels retcon this, explaining that his obesity is caused by a non-treatable disease that a Bene Gesserit caused him to contract while he was raping her.
  • Justified in Early Riser, a Big, Fat Alternate History where humans hibernate through the winter. To survive the months spent asleep, people spend much of their late summer and autumn getting as fat as possible, with diets, holidays, technology, and government incentives revolving around building fat reserves for hibernation. Women who plan to have children need to eat even more so they can wake up at a healthy weight, and even overwinterers, who guard sleepers during winter and sleep in summer instead, are encouraged to have at least six weeks of "contingency fat" in case they fall asleep.
  • Inverted in Rob Grant's Fat, which satirises the current obsession with obesity, rather than the obesity itself. The main characters are a man who is genetically predisposed to put on weight, in a culture that tells him this is his fault, and a woman who the same culture has made dangerously anorexic.
  • In John Varley's The Golden Globe, most people are normal size, and surgery and medicine are advanced enough to keep them that way even if they overeat. But the narrator's uncle has chosen to join a colony who eat, and eat, and eat, and just get larger. He's essentially a human face on a pink whale-thingy, and spends most of his time swimming in a giant reservoir.
  • In one of the timelines of The Green Futures of Tycho, the main character's brother is too obese to move, so he lives in a zero-gravity environment in space.
  • In the Fritz Leiber novel A Spectre Is Haunting Texas the satellite colony The Sack is inhabited by three types of actors: Thins, who are also tall and appear in tragedies, Fats, who specialize in comedies, and Musculars, who carry around an unneeded amount of muscles to appear in action/adventures.
  • Inverted in The Thick and the Lean by Chana Porter, a society where sexual taboos are replaced with food taboos and religion revolves around dieting. As a result, most people are some level of underweight, there are secret underground restaurants where people eat full meals, and fat people are basically nonexistent except for the poorest levels of society.
  • Robert Rankin's The Witches Of Chiswick takes place in a utopian alternate present where everyone is fat. Except, of course, the main character.
    • What's more, obesity is considered attractive, so said main character is looked down on by his peers as a freak. Even his parents think he should run off and join a freak show.

    Live-Action TV 
  • There are 3 examples in Full House, but in 2 episodes. In "Those Better Not Be The Days", where the men in the house were thinking of their future with the DJ, Stephanie and Michelle still in the house as adults and still being spoiled brats. The episode shows Joey huge and fat in his golden years as well as Becky as an elderly woman with a big rear end, from eating sweets like cake when she came over to visit Jesse. The final example is in "Yours, Mine and Ours", where Jesse and Becky thought of a future of how their sons Alex and Nicky would be like as teenagers when raised by Jesse's way or Becky's way. The future shows Jesse with a noticeable middle-aged gut.
  • In Supernatural, the Leviathans' evil plan is to add an additive to high fructose corn syrup which makes everyone docile and overweight, providing an ideal food source.
  • That's So Raven features this in the episode "Food For Thought", Raven had a vision of what things will be like if the food court stays in school, which involves everyone eating so much fatty foods, they all have rear ends the size of their heads, including Raven. Luckily, she and Chelsea prevented all that.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Dilbert once extrapolated the future of the human race based on three "facts": Obesity was going up, science skills were declining, and young people were getting more egotistical.
    First huge guy: I heard that Bobby exploded.
    Second huge guy: I wonder why that keeps happening?
    Third huge guy: Who cares? More for us!

    Web Original 

    Web Video 
  • Fallout: Nuka Break has the protagonist originating from Vault 10, a Vault that was backed by the sponsorship of the Nuka-Cola corporation and made to test the Eat-O-Matic Food Dispensers made for Vault cafeterias. Combined with a complete lack of exercise equipment installed, the inhabitants grew overweight, with obesity being the social norm. The protagonist, nicknamed "Twig", was the least overweight, and therefore the most picked on prior to leaving the Vault. As a result, he is addicted to Nuka-Cola and takes "fatty" as a compliment.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Family Guy episode "Saturated Fat Guy", PBS releases a documentary warning against obesity predicting that at some point in the future everyone will be overweight. They are shown driving hovercars, which the narrator states to actually be flying cars which can't fly properly because the drivers are too heavy. When one passenger gets out, her still-running vehicle immediately shoots up into the sky. This scares Lois into her making her family eat healthier.