Follow TV Tropes


Fat Suit

Go To
Sixty pounds of latex to hide a six pack.
When a major actor receives a role that requires obesity, there are two options: go on a high-calorie diet as Robert De Niro did for Raging Bull and The Untouchables (1987) or Vincent D'Onofrio did for Full Metal Jacket, and go through the effort of losing that weight afterward — or just wear a Fat Suit. Sometimes a role requires the character be overweight for just a brief period in a film, and to gain and lose weight in such a rapid time is impossible.

Fat Suits are sophisticated three-dimensional prosthetic makeup that go far beyond just putting a pillow under one's shirt. It requires painstaking facial makeup to provide realistic jowls and multiple chins, in addition to the suit, which covers the arms, legs, breasts and belly.

Sometimes, a character, who is otherwise supposed to be skinny, athletic, or at least normal-sized, will don a Fat Suit as a plot point, a disguise or just cheap comedy.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Millennium earl in D.Gray-Man wears a fat suit. This is because he absolutely wants to hide his face for unknown reasons. Why the suit is so fat though is still unclear.

    Comic Books 
  • A recurring feature in Diabolik, as the title character and his lover Eva Kant are Masters of Disguise with extremely fit and athletic bodies, and will need fat suits to play the part of someone fatter.

  • Eddie Murphy:
  • Mike Myers wore this as Fat Bastard in the Austin Powers films.
  • Terry Jones as Mr. Creosote in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
  • Goldie Hawn dons one for a segment of Death Becomes Her.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal, though for most of the movie she appears skinny, and is played by a larger actress in below-the-face shots.
    • Paltrow's character's mother also wears one at the end of the film.
  • Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine.
  • Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls.
  • Jim Broadbent playing Harold Zidler in Moulin Rouge! (2001) wore a fat suit.
  • John Travolta in the movie of the musical of Hairspray.
  • Thinner: Robert John Burke wore one for when his character was initially fat.
  • Alyson Hannigan wore one in Date Movie.
  • Pauline Quirke wore a fat suit for the title role as a convicted murderer in The Sculptress. Unusual in that the actress was already overweight at the time.
  • In Mrs. Doubtfire. Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) wears one while in disguise as the title character, though the fact that Euphegenia Doubtfire is overweight is almost incidental to the rest of her character.
  • Malcolm Turner (played by Martin Lawrence) in the Big Momma's House films, puts on a fat suit to go undercover as the titular Big Momma.
  • Pistachio Disguisey wears an inflatable one in The Master of Disguise for a comedic scene where the suit inflates too much. Dana Carvey later wears a more normal one as Mayor Maynot.
  • In To Be Fat Like Me, the main character dresses up in a fatsuit to see what it's like living "on the other side" as a fat person. Since she's just a teenager, one wonders where she gets the money for such an expensive disguise. Justified in universe—her upstairs neighbour is a budding makeup effects artist.
  • Ostensibly, Emma Thompson wore one for Love Actually, although if she did, it was done in a very understated and tasteful way.
  • Tom Cruise as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder.
    • The nature of comedies that feature their stars in fat suits is also parodied in the In-Universe trailer for The Fatties, Fart 2.
  • Revenge of the Pink Panther. Inspector Clouseau impersonates a Mafia don with a fat suit and cotton in his cheeks, which he nearly chokes on at one point.
  • Averted in Click. Adam Sandler took the route of having his face digitally inserted onto an actual fat guy.
  • Tim Allen as Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause once he's unwittingly assumed the Santa identity.
    • Inverted with the "desantification" process in the sequel, added at Allen's request because he had horrific skin problems from the fat suit in the original movie.
  • Former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona (voted "The Player of the Century" by the club's fans after the turn of the Millennium) wore one in the French film L'Outremangeur (Translation: The Overeater) in which he has the starring role, a fat cop.
  • Harry Melling wore this in the later Harry Potter movies as he slowly lost weight over the years while Dudley Dursley remained fat.
    • Oddly enough, Jim Broadbent didn't wear ANY appliances, even though Slughorn is described in the books as monstrously fat, bald and walrus-like.
  • Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, then later Touch of Evil, which soon became reality.
  • The girls of K3 for a time in K3 Bengeltjes.
  • Christopher Lloyd wore one as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family as well as its sequel.
  • Brian Lloyd donned a fat suit and prosthetic makeup in Evil Bong 2.
  • At the end of DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, Ben Stiller wears one while dancing the Milkshake Dance and jiggling his prosthetic man boobs.
  • Most of the female cast of Fat Slags wears this; the protagonists' actresses already have them on due to starting the film obese, but as the rest of the women of the world try to follow their lead, this leads to the rest donning fat suits to reflect their weight gain.
  • A 2001 Hong Kong dramedy, Love on A Diet, sees Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng in fatsuits portraying an overweight couple in a relationship. Their ordinary, regular counterparts sans Fatsuit appears in the end.
  • Sebastian Ströbel wore a fat suit and fat hands during most of the German movie Plötzlich Fett about a cocky fitness trainer who one day wakes up obese.
  • Ryan Reynolds in Just Friends.
  • Used In-Universe in The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case. Evelyn Cartwright wears a very convincing one when she is undercover as the cook Mrs. Keppler.
  • Chris Hemsworth as Thor after the five year time-skip in Avengers: Endgame, not only wearing a fake belly and bulk, but holding cheek implants inside his mouth to make his face puffier, and having 70 lbs of weights on his legs to help him move like a heavier person.
  • Teddie Moore wore some padding as Miss Shields in A Christmas Story. In this case, however, it wasn’t so much that her character was supposed to be overweight, and instead, just to mask the fact that she was eight months pregnant during shooting.
  • Philip Wiegratz in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He was already a chubby kid himself, but wore a fat suit to increase his size as Augustus Gloop.
  • By The Hangover Part III, Zach Galifianakis had lost a bunch of weight and had to wear belly padding for the film.
  • Kenan Thompson wore one as the titular character in Fat Albert.

  • Unto the Breach has superspy Jay donning a fat suit as part of a disguise during a mission.

    Live Action TV 
  • After Battlestar Galactica's Time Skip, Jamie Bamber briefly wears padding and some makeup effects to make it look like Lee Adama has let go of his previously trim physique.
  • Martin Short as Jiminy Glick, which was later turned into a movie.
  • Will had to wear one in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
  • Monk has the character Dale the Whale (played by amongst others Tim Curry). Also an in-universe example: in his debut episode Dale the Whale was accused of murdering a judge but he had a rather good alibi - he's literally too obese to even get out of bed he blackmailed his dietician into committing the murder while wearing a fat suit.
  • The Drew Carey Show. Kate Walsh, playing Drew's brief love interest Nicki.
  • Frasier, when Jane Leeves (who plays Daphne) was pregnant. As part of the Hide Your Pregnancy, the script-writers gave Daphne a storyline where she started over-eating out of insecurity over Niles' highly idealised view of her. As a result Jane Leeves had to wear a fat suit over her pregnant belly until she could be Put on a Bus for maternity leave.
    • In the later episode Freudian Sleep, Leeves wore a ridiculous ballooning, ever-growing fat suit as Daphne dreamt she was getting terminally fat.
    • Also happens when Frasier gains weight after getting fired, and Kelsey Grammer wears a padded stomach.
  • Friends: Courteney Cox as Monica frequently wore a fat suit for flashback episodes that showed Monica in her Formerly Fat years.
  • On the TV show Wings, an episode featuring fantasy sequences in which the cast would enact "When I Grow Up" letters that their characters wrote when they were children had Crystal Bernard wearing a fat suit during most of these sequences. Her character, Helen, was somewhat obese when she was a child.
  • Not as extreme as most examples, Amy Linker wore padding to play pudgy Lauren in Square Pegs.
  • Little Britain. The two performers each wore a fat suit to play the enormously obese Bubbles and Desiree De Vere.
  • New Girl: Max Greenfield wears a fat suit in flashbacks to Schmidt's younger years, specifically in his late teens and early 20's.
  • David Suchet dons one of these when playing the titular character in Poirot.
  • According to the commentary, Camille Coduri uses one to play Jackie Tyler on Doctor Who.
  • Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple did this, because he had lost a lot of weight on "Fat-Away Diet Pills" and needed to take pictures for the "Before" portion of the ads.
  • In an episode of the 1960s Batman (1966) The Joker wore a fatsuit to pretend to be the Maharajah of Nimpah. Batman punctured the disguise by poking him in the rear with a Bat-JokerInAFatSuitPoker. (Well, it was really just a letter opener, but you know he has one.)
  • Dennis from Head of the Class, over the summer had lost a lot of weight but wore padding to pretend he had actually gained weight, until he tore it off for The Reveal.
    Darlene: Seriously Dennis, you need to lose the weight.
    Dennis: OK, OK, I will... right now!
  • In Spin City, Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty (Michael J. Fox) wears a fat suit to a charity bachelor auction. He gets no takers.
  • In an episode of 30 Rock, Tracy tries becoming a white girl, which makes him look homely and fat.
  • Tyra Banks wore a fat suit on her talk show to examine the idea that (surprise!) fat people are treated worse than supermodels. This shows up on one or more Prime Time News Magazine programs, with correspondents being "shocked, SHOCKED" that fat people get less respect than non-fat people.
  • Jon Stewart once wore one on The Daily Show after coming back from vacation, making it look like he's gained weight over the holidays. He appeared without it for the rest of the episode, claiming a filter had been applied to the camera to make him look normal.
    • David Letterman wore a fat suit for a few filmed bits they made to show him letting himself go in between his gigs on Late Night and Late Show.
  • Pruitt Taylor Vince wore one to play a 600-pound patient of the week on House.
  • A fat suit or padding was used on Mad Men a few times: when Peggy had that pregnancy, when Joan started showing early in her pregnancy and for a few episodes after her baby was born, and when Betty gained a lot of weight.
  • Johnny Galeki (Leonard), Kunar Nayyar (Rajesh) and Kevin Sussman (Stuart) wore them for an Imagine Spot on The Big Bang Theory.
  • Amy Sedaris wore padding around her middle for Strangers with Candy. She calls it her "little fatty suit" on the DVD commentary.
  • In My Family Janey (Daniela Denby-Ashe) wears one after gaining a lot of weight in the flash forward Christmas special.
  • In That '70s Show Jackie (Mila Kunis) wears one in a Imagine Spot of her Future.
    • In the fourth-season "It's a Wonderful Life" episode, we see that Kelso got fat as a TV anchorman, and Ashton Kutcher wears a padded gut.
  • In a episode of Malcolm in the Middle the boys babysitter Patty (Melody Perkins) wears one in a flashback of her high school days.
    • In another episode Lois wears one when Reese has an Imagine Spot of having to take care of her in the future.
    • A third episode featured Hal (Bryan Cranston) wearing one in an Imagine Spot of Lois' where the family had girls instead of boys. In this life, he's put on weight because all of his daughters love baking and will bribe him with sweets to get him to let them get away with stuff.
  • In Nip/Tuck Kimberly (Kelly Carlson) wears one in a fantasy sequence.
  • In a episode of Good Luck Charlie Amy (Leigh-Allyn Baker) wears one after swelling up due to suffering an allergic reaction.
  • In a episode of The Nanny similar to the above, Fran wears one after swelling up due to suffering an allergic reaction to an injection.
  • In a episode of Attack of the Show!! both hosts Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn wear fatsuits as a part of episode challenge.
  • In Alfred Hitchcock Presents an adaptation of the short story "Consider Her Ways" sees both the lead actress and two other actresses wear fat suits in a case of Big, Fat Future.
  • An episode of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil revolves around a girl who is the fattest in school using the book to make her thin, it works but causes her fat to come to life. The fat monster then makes Jenny and several other girls in the school become obese.
  • In an episode of Mom set in the future Christy (Anna Faris) wears one in the case of Big, Fat Future.
  • In Raising Hope set during an alternate timeline shows Virginia (Martha Plimpton) wearing one showing her as being mordibly obese.
  • In an episode of Silver Spoons Rickys blind date wears one in a Imagine Spot where she's so fat that she is unable to get out of a restaurant booth.
  • Dom Joly used them as a recurring gag on Trigger Happy TV, where he and usually another actor would don very obvious fat suits (as in, it's obvious that they aren't actually obese) and do things like cram themselves into packed elevators, block off full descending staircases, and force theater patrons to awkwardly move out of the way so they could cross the entire row... and sit on the opposite end of the aisle.
  • Munro Chambers wore a fat suit and makeup effects in the show The Latest Buzz, showing what his character would look like in the Big, Fat Future.
  • Brett Delbuono wore one to play a 500 lb teenage boy on an episode of Private Practice.
  • Patrick Thomas (as Greg) wore one plus a fat face prosthetic in an episode of Series/{{Goosebumps}} called "Say Cheese and Die...Again" about a skinny boy who turns obese by an evil camera
  • James A Woods wore one in the show The Business in a Temporary Bulk Change.
  • Sam (Bret Harrison) is forced to wore one on a flight in The Loop.
  • Jonny Freeman (as Frank) wore a fat suit for a gag in an episode of M.I. High during a Temporary Bulk Change
  • The thirteenth season of La que se avecina features a storyline in which Yoli has put on a lot of weight after quitting smoking; therefore, actress Miren Ibarguren wears a fat suit while playing her in this season (Word of God has it that this storyline was devised to work around her pregnancy).
  • La rosa de Guadalupe has an episode where a young woman is fattened up by her abusive, controlling boyfriend so that she will become dependent on him as she becomes self-conscious about her weight. She starts wearing more and more padding as the episode and time marches on.
  • The tall and lanky Fred Gwynne wore a padded suit along with the heavy makeup and platform shoes in order to play the hulking Herman Munster in The Munsters. The suit was apparently so hot and heavy, and he sweat so profusely, that he ended up losing weight during the coarse of the show.
  • Amy Adams wore one in her intial scenes as Jodi in the Smallville episode "Craving", before Green Rocks turned her into a skinny fat-vampire.
  • In French sketch-comedy show Vous Les Femmes, Judith Siboni and Olivia Cotê are clothes-shopping together. The visibly slender Judith takes a summer sundress from a rack and asks Olivia for a honest opinion as to whether she'd look fat wearing this. Olivia suggests trying it on. Judith retreats to the changing room. When she comes out, she is visibly about four clothes sizes larger under the new dress.note . Olivia takes a critical look and says "Yes, it does make your bum look a little bit bigger".

    Music Videos 
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Fat". Al had heavy doses of makeup and a fat suit to make him appear morbidly obese in the video. It worked. He dons a similar fat suit when performing the song live (but no makeup; he wears a latex mask).
    Interestingly, there's an urban legend surrounding this one. According to the legend, Weird Al thought it would be funny to film himself eating a sloppy joe while wearing the getup. He watched the video and was so disgusted he was put off meat for good. (In reality, he became a vegetarian after reading a diet book. Though the "sloppy joe" incident actually happened, it did little more than convince himself he never, ever actually wanted to be fat.)
  • The Bluetones - "Marblehead Johnson" music video - Skinny band members Mark Morriss, Scott Morriss, Adam Devlin, and Eds Chesters were made up as a band of fat rockers wearing full fat suits and fat hands
  • Rammstein, bar Flake, in the Music Video for "Keine Lust".
    • Till Lindemann of Rammstein also put on a fat suit (and makeup) for the music video "Haifisch"
    • Rammstein also appeared at the 2005 Echo Awards in their fat suits and performed live. Once again Flake opted to stay skinny.
  • Michael Jackson wears one to play an evil (and white) mayor in the long-form video/short film Ghosts.
  • Rapper Lady Sovereign wears one briefly in the music video for the song "Love Me or Hate Me".

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ric Flair wore a fat suit in WCW Monday Nitro in an attempt to impersonate Dusty Rhodes.
  • Victoria wore one as part of her sumo wrestler Halloween costume. When she tried to actually wrestle a match in the suit, it didn't go too well.
  • Edge and Christian wore fat suits during a show in Memphis, where they were "Fat Elvis" and "Really Fat Elvis".

  • Spinnerette (reluctantly) wears one of these in order to hide her identity as the eponymous heroine. Well, she has to hide her extra arms somehow...
  • Moon over June: Professor Hatsuki Akagawa PhD uses an understatednote  version along with a black wig on campus to avoid (further) complications resulting from students and faculty recognizing the dyed pink hair and skinny-with-DD-implants body she displays in her only somewhat scaled back porn career.

     Web Videos 
  • This hilarious live-action Sunset Riders parody. The actor playing Simon Greedwell is wearing a rather obvious fat suit.

    Western Animation 
  • Robot Chicken parodied some of the Film examples with the Real Trailer, Fake Movie Giant Fat Black Lady Who's Really a Black Man in a Really Big Fat Suit. "Now see the movie you've already seen!"
  • Pepper Ann did this trope once when she was cast as the Nurse in the school play, Romeo and Juliet. When the girl cast as Juliet got sick, however, the part went to Pepper Ann, who unfortunately, was stuck in the fat suit, so she had to play a morbidly obese Juliet.
  • In Futurama, the evil Mom has a literal Fat Suit for use in almost all public appearances - it turns her from looking like a tall, incredibly skinny old woman in thigh-high boots, to looking like a stereotypical sweet old Southern matronly grandmother type. Admittedly it isn't used on her face but she still manages the matronly expression most of the time.
  • In an episode of The Cleveland Show, Roberta's teacher forces her to wear a fat suit to see that it's like to be a fat kid who is treated poorly by her peers. Unfortunately, the disguise works too well as it results in Cleveland Junior falling in love with her, not realizing or even recognizing her as his half sister.
  • Bob's Burgers: At Teddy's Halloween party in "Full Bars", Bob unwillingly puts on a sumo wrestler padded fat suit costume, accidentally crushing Teddy's pet guinea pig in the process.
  • In The Simpsons episode, "The Yellow Badge of Cowardage", Milhouse reveals to Bart that he's secretly been training for the annual school race, and has been wearing a "dummy tummy" so people don't notice how lean he's gotten.
  • In the episode of Gilligan's Planet called "Turnabout is Fair Play", Gilligan is padded to look extremely fat in order to rescue the Skipper from an alien who collects fat specimens. Gilligan's "fat" body is drawn as an almost exact clone of Fat Albert, as both series were produced by Filmation.
  • In the The New Adventures of Batman episode "A Sweet Joke on Gotham City", Robin wears a pillow stuffed under his shirt in an attempt to go undercover to infiltrate the morbidly obese villain Sweet Tooth's gang of fat teenagers in order to foil their nefarious plot to turn Gotham City's water supply to chocolate.
  • In the episode of Batfink called "Fatman Strikes Again", someone is stealing valuables from fat men's clubs, so Batfink dons an inflatable fat suit to find them.

    Real Life 
  • Jamie Oliver, a British crusader for healthy school meals and famous chef, once wore a fat suit to prove a point.
  • Downplayed by Andy Kaufman with his Alter-Ego Acting persona of Tony Clifton; as the role evolved beyond the Early-Installment Weirdness of just sunglasses, a fake mustache, and a wig he started wearing stomach padding, and eventually prosthetic makeup was designed for his face. The result was a suit convincing enough that other people could wear it and look just like Kaufman did, which made it even easier for him to insist that Clifton was a separate person because they could appear together for stage shows and photo shoots. Eventually Kaufman stopped playing the role and handed it off to friend/colleague Bob Zmuda, whose Clifton appearances successfully fooled (among others) David Letterman. A year after Kaufman's death in 1984, Zmuda reprised the role for a Comedy Store benefit performance, and he and other performers have brought Clifton back from time to time in the ensuing decades.