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On the inside you will not find true beauty.

"Your sins are exceeded only by your girth!"
Green Goblin on Wilson Fisk, Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
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Also called fatbastarditis. Once a television character reaches a certain level of tubbiness, the show they are in will lose sympathy for them. It is generally assumed that overweight people are either pathetic, obnoxious losers or greedy hedonistic Corrupt Corporate Executives. They also tend to be portrayed as ludicrously obsessive eaters. Furthermore, most are portrayed as lazy, having poor hygiene, bad grooming, and no fashion sense. Glandular conditions, genetic tendencies, a natural endomorph body type, low metabolism, and weight gain as a side effect of prescription drugs are treated as lame excuses alongside the "I'm just big-boned" mold.

This trend first shows up with the introduction of synthetic, high-fat foods in the early twentieth century, which enabled people from most social classes to gain weight quickly. Prior to that point, being fat was considered high fashion—examples include Adipose Rex and how having a fat wife proved that the Railroad Baron had enough money to feed her a lot. Nowadays, obesity is more associated with the poor, as processed food is far cheaper than healthier alternatives. Hence how we can go from the Santa Claus character type of rich and jolly to the modern character type of greedy, lazy, and evil.

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Interestingly, some comedians (usually fat ones) complain about Political Correctness Gone Mad when it comes to fat jokes... although the sheer quantity of examples available tends to disagree on this point. Obesity is so universally seen as a negative character trait that it's relatively common for characters to be given some Adaptational Attractiveness to offset this fact.

Compare Big Eater and Villainous Glutton (often with Jabba Table Manners). Fat Bastard and Big Eater are usually (but not always) mutually exclusive. While Fat Bastard is often fairly ugly, the Big Eater usually has a somewhat pleasant appearance. This is because the former is played for villainy and the latter for laughs. Dead Weight is this type... but undead! When a Fat Bastard does their own fighting, they can be a simultaneously humorous and terrifying foe for a hero to face off against — these portrayals often invoke the character's obesity as a Disability Super Power or Power-Upgrading Deformation. Kevlard is a commonly invoked trope, particularly for a Stationary Boss or Mighty Glacier villain. Stout Strength is also a stock trait for these villains, and they will rarely be Acrofatic. When facing a villain with more than one of these traits, crying is an acceptable tactic.

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This trope is named after the character from the Austin Powers movies. He epitomises this trope to such an extreme that it qualifies as parody.

God help you if such a character is Large and in Charge — they could very well be a Corrupt Corporate Executive or Morally Bankrupt Banker. Worse yet, they could be an Adipose Rex. (Bear in mind that the latter is not synonymous with this trope, though.)

Fat Idiot and Fat Slob portray similarly negative images of the overweight, though not necessarily unsympathetic ones (there are plenty of dim but good-hearted fat characters) and it's entirely possible to be a Fat Bastard without being either of those other two. Contrast Big Beautiful Man and Big Beautiful Woman (men and women who are attractive because they're chubby), Big Fun (fatness = jolly and great fun to be around) and Lean and Mean (a skinny bastard). Often stems from Evil Is Bigger and Beauty = Goodness.

See Also Big, Fat Future.


Example subpages:


    open/close all folders 

    Fan Fiction 

    Music 
  • The Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, could count as this. It's in his name!
    • (More precisely, Biggie often plays Fat Bastards in his rap Villain Songs, where he plays the role of a consummate, cold-blooded gangster—see his songs like "Gimme the Loot" or "Who Shot Ya?".)
    • He was this to an extent in the South Park episode "Hell on Earth 2006", where Butters and company summon him from the dead, and his first order of business is to shoot up the place in annoyance.
  • Sort of a persona played by Killer Mike, also name-dropped on Run The Jewels' "Job Well Done".
  • Faith No More's only Live Album was titled You Fat Bastards: Live at the Brixton Academy.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Brutal hitman Oodles from Dick Tracy, who weighs 470 lbs.
  • Brewster Rockit: Space Guy—Cliff Clewless. The idea is in his name. He's supposed to be the station's engineer, but knows nothing beyond making an idiot of himself (though not the same level as Brewster, whose stupidity is beyond measure), lazing around, and causing trouble to himself and his crewmates.
  • The cynical fatty tabby, Garfield. Other than abusing Odie and making his owner's life hell, he does nothing but eat and sleep.
  • J. Roaringham Fatback, a recurring villain in Li'l Abner. The self-styled "Pork King", Fatback was a greedy, gluttonous, unscrupulous business tycoon. His grudge against Dogpatch originated when the town cast a shadow over the table where he was having breakfast, causing his desire to demolish the town, rather than simply move his table. The bloated, porcine, hideously ugly Fatback was, quite literally, a corporate swine

    Other Sites 
  • In SCP Foundation, SCP-1788 ("The Adults") is a race of human subspecies with lots of extra bodyparts and bones and muscles enhanced with other materials. They are hostile towards normal humans. In adult form, SCP-1788-1 are all extremely obese, weighing 150-200 kilograms (330-440 lbs.). They kidnap prepubescent children and use an unknown process on them to turn them into more of SCP-1788-1.

    Pinball 

    Radio 
  • Real Life example: Comedian Artie Lange is constantly mocked on The Howard Stern Show, where the Stern sidekick's obsession with junk food caused him to gain more than fifty kilograms in less than a year.

    Theatre 


Alternative Title(s): Fat Bitch

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