Follow TV Tropes


Fat Flex

Go To
What goes up, must come down.

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.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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 

    Films — Animation 

    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.

    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 puts on his costume and seemingly regained his Heroic Build- At which point his gut regains its normal girth.
  • 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 who just holds in his gut while he tries to intimidate troublemakers, but as soon as he exhales, his gut pours over his waistband.