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A fairly common trope in animated works, this happens when a plump character tries to make themself look strong. They'll often do this by grabbing their fat waists and pushing them up, giving them the appearance of having a Heroic Build. The fat then drops back down into place for comedic effect. If they are strong, Fat and Proud, a Big Handsome Man, or Big Beautiful Woman, or any of these, they might just flex with both their fat and muscles.

Compare Of Corsets Funny. See also Fake Muscles. Sister Trope to Flexing Those Non-Biceps, where the character doesn't even have fat to flex.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Super has this happen to Toppo. He normally has a large midsection, but still manages to be one of the stronger fighters. He loses the gut once he becomes a God of Destruction, and gains it back after being defeated.
  • My Hero Academia: All Might describes his superpower to be similar to this. Just like a normal human can puff their chest to look stronger, he too can redistribute his body's energy output to turn from a skinny bloke to a superhuman form. However, doing so puts heavy strain on his body, even more so after he got a lung ripped out in battle and so has had his transformational time halved.
  • Happens on Ultimate Muscle when Kid Muscle finally meets his father King Muscle again at the conclusion of the training storyarc. King Muscle still looks as buff as he did in his prime (aside from having a bald patch on his head, which is odd because he didnt have hair in the first place), which is lampshaded by the other older wrestlers who complain about how easily out of shape they get these days. Then it turns out that King Muscle had just rearranged all his fat to look like muscles, which is why he wasnt moving from his badass pose, and once everything slips back into place, it turns out he's gotten a huge gut and scrawny arms in the past few decades.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield: Repeatedly.
    • February 17, 1986: Garfield does it to try and impress Arlene. As soon as she says "You may dispense with the vanity", he drops it.
    • August 7, 1988: When Jon is Flexing Those Non-Biceps, Garfield gives himself a Heroic Build before commenting "Did you know you can flex fat?".
    • The August 11, 1988 strip has Garfield actually flex his tail. Jon, who was trying to flex his arms, is not amused.
    • February 22, 1993: Garfield flexes his fat, again for Arlene.

    Films — Animation 
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    Print Media 
  • One cartoon panel from Playboy has a man at the beach notice two shapely bikini bunnies approaching, and promptly moves his rounded gut into his torso. The good news: he succeeds in attaining the classic superhero shape. The bad news: without that large gut securing the waistband, his swim trunks end up around his ankles.

    Standup Comedy 
  • Comedian, Jared Logan has a bit in his standup, noting how he will periodically do this in the mirror, but with all of the weight he's put on, he still looks fat, even after sucking it in.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of Marsupilami, Maurice attempts to impress a female gorilla by puffing up his chest and doing a Primal Chest-Pound. When the female looks completely unimpressed, Maurice's fat drops back in disappointment.
  • Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost: Both Shaggy and Scooby gain a massive amount of weight early in the film. When coming across the Hex Girls, the two try to impress them by pushing up their weight, but it immediately flops down in fear when the Girls reveal their (fake) vampire teeth.
  • In the Ninja Turtles episode "Return of the Justice Force", Old Superhero Stainless Steel Steve/Stephen, former leader of the Justice Force, has gained a bit of weight since his last fight. After meeting the Turtles & his former allies, he puts on his costume and seemingly regained his Heroic Build - at which point his gut regains its normal girth.
    Steve: "I feel decades younger now!" (his beer belly then plops out over his waistband while he gives a disappointing look)
  • Family Guy had a Cut Away gag with a movie called "In-Shape Out Of Shape Guy from The 50's", which is about a tough guy character, played by Robert Mitchum, who just holds in his gut while he tries to intimidate troublemakers, but as soon as he exhales, his gut pours over his waistband.
  • Gargoyles had Broadway lift up his belly to show off in the very first episode, which flops back down predictably a second later.
  • A commercial bumper for Cartoon Network features Johnny Bravo shirtless and doing a photography shoot. Once the cameras are off, he exhales, revealing a huge gut.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, most of the guys are going off to watch the Super Bowl. When they notice there isn't a single girl in sight, Homer exclaims that he can finally stop holding it in, and exhales revealing that his big gut is actually even bigger, and all the other guys follow suit, only to have to suck it back in once they discover that their bus driver is a gorgeous woman.

    Other 
  • This emoticon shows an seemingly fit man who does a body-building pose. His body suddenly shakes & gives away, showing that he's actually quite chubby, with a large gut that jiggles. He then sucks it all back in, restarting the process.
  • A bald man attempts to impress a woman walking by on the beach. His belly ends up knocking the table over, which pushes his friend backwards.

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