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Formerly Fat

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"Not a real sport? Spleh!"

Ben: So the only thing you did was stop drinking beer?
Andy: Yeah. I lost 50 pounds in one month.
Ben: How much beer were you drinking?
Andy: [chuckles] I know, right? Probably too much.

A character that used to be fat, but now isn't.

Sometimes, part of a character's personality is driven by the fact that they were once overweight. Having a thin character revealed to have once been fat can tell you plenty about them. It can tell you that they have a past they aren't proud of and that they eventually decided to care enough about their health and appearance to do something about it. It also shows that the character developed the strength and willpower to take control of their life and get what they want, that they have self-discipline and motivation.

Be that as it may, a formerly fat background is not always all sunshine and rainbows. It can also imply a lot of self-loathing and damaged self-esteem, too. Many times, their slim-down can be a symptom of a desperate need to be accepted by society and an unhealthy dependence on what others think of them. The positive and negative attitudes are not mutually exclusive either, leading to many Formerly Fat individuals having complicated self-images.

Frequently an Informed Attribute, especially with live-action: the character will be played by an actor who's always been average-weight, and there will be no flashbacks to the period when the character was heavier.

Whenever a celebrity loses weight, expect a discussion over whether they looked better before or after, with plenty of size-shaming getting tossed in both directions.

For the inverse of this trope, see Formerly Fit. Can overlap with She Is All Grown Up if the character was fat when a child but lost weight when entering adulthood.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball Super Majin Buu lost weight while training for the Tournament of Power, making him an example of this trope. He soon reverted back to his fat self though, making him an example of Formerly Fit, afterwards.
    • Buu's various transformations in Dragon Ball Z also count, including Grey (Evil) Buu, Super Buu, Kid Buu, and various others.
  • In Fairy Tail, Reedus Jonah after the time skip (and likely before Makarov expanded his belly to aid in his magic) is quite slender. In contrast, Droy gets much fatter.
  • Isami Aldini of Food Wars! used to zigzag between this and Formerly Fit, slimming down during summer and gaining his weight back during autumn. However, by his second year at Tootsuki the pressure is so high, he remains slim for the entire year. The Distant Epilogue implies this was permanent.
  • Overweight Reika from Ginga e Kickoff!! is accepted in a soccer team mainly because they need one more player to be legal for an upcoming tournament. She eventually becomes more fit.
  • Haruka Nishiharu from Girls Saurus.
  • In the backstory to GTO: The Early Years, Shinomi Fujisaki was the fat kid (though the picture of her looks more like Hollywood Pudgy) who hung out with Eikichi and his friends, and got a crush on him after he saved her from thugs. A couple years later, she transfers to their high school after slimming down and getting a lot prettier (to the point that Eikichi doesn't recognize her at first).
  • Takefumi Tonami from His and Her Circumstances was fat as a child and was heavily bullied, and was somehow protected by Tsubaki, who in turn would bully him, and he gets VERY annoyed at her because she was asked to by the teachers, as he thought she did it willingly. Years later, he comes back as a slimmer, more handsome boy to use his charms against her, but she doesn't recognize it at first. They fall for real later in the series.
  • Momoko from Inu Baka claims that she used to be chubbier during her high school days, and the boy who helped her lose weight is her boyfriend. This is one of the main reasons why she is reluctant to leave him, despite knowing how bad he is to her.
  • Miku Sanada from Judge used to be fat, but eventually got liposuction and other cosmetic surgery, to make herself thin. The money for it came from the bribe her grandfather took from the judge overseeing Atsuya's trial, which is why she is being targeted by the mastermind behind the titular game.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise: Arata Minami used to be chubby in middle school, as seen in the picture he shows Kuroe Akaishi. This is why he's reluctant to eat his share of the pancakes at Cafe Serizawa during their date. Kuroe convinces him to eat anyway, saying "whether you're a fatty or a beanpole...I don't care." This is a major factor in Arata wanting to continue dating her, as he felt he had to stay thin to maintain his "popular guy" image at school.
  • Kae Serinuma, the protagonist of Kiss Him, Not Me, was a chubby otaku Yaoi Fangirl who, after her favorite anime character is killed off, locks herself in her room for a week and loses weight. She then finds four of her male classmates and a Bifauxnen attracted to her, even though she prefers shipping them with each other.
  • Yuta of Kiznaiver is popular with girls and otherwise charming, but his biggest secret is that he was overweight as a middle schooler until he went on a diet.
  • Nadeshiko of Laid-Back Camp was formerly fat due to her huge appetite. She's thinner in the Present Day because her sister Sakura made her bike laps around Lake Hamana to lose weight, which also explains why she's stronger than she looks.
  • In Les Misérables: Shōjo Cosette, Madame Thénardier is shown to have lost a lot of weight by the time she was in prison.
  • Hinata Shintani from Maid-Sama! was really fat when he was a kid and was bullied because of that. His feelings for Misaki stem from her protecting him from these bullies and he moved to his grandparents' in the country and he slims down by eating their vegetables.
  • The male protagonist of Masamune-kun's Revenge was once mocked and nicknamed "Piggy" for his weight by the girl he confessed to. Out of revenge, he eventually got himself thinner, a new surname, and, taking advantage of the fact she doesn't recognize him, tried to get her to fall in love with him just to dump her.
  • In Naruto, Kushina Uzumaki used to be chubby when she was a little girl starting ninja school. This, combined with her red hair, got her nicknamed "Tomato."
  • One Piece:
    • Alvida. Some time between losing to Luffy and joining Buggy's crew, she ate the Slip-Slip Fruit and slimmed down considerably.
    • Toto, the father of Vivi's Childhood Friend Koza. He's quite fat when Vivi meets him as a young child, but has become quite thin when Vivi sees him in the town of Yuba. Yuba, and by extension, Toto, had fallen on hard times due to the country-wide drought, so Vivi's saddened to see Toto in such a state.
  • Fatman's teenage little sister in the Ratman manga is conventionally slender now, thanks to years of dieting. She does not like it when her big brother shows people pictures of her as a chubby child. (Fatman is the "jolly" type who doesn't understand why she's so ashamed of her past.)
  • Sailor Moon examples:
    • Usagi/Sailor Moon is slightly overweight at the start of the manga (Naoko's notes to the animators even say she should be drawn as chubby), but progressively slims down as the series goes on. Justified by her idolizing Sailor Venus, who spends a lot of time training herself and the others (in fact in the manga she was training them even before they met in person) and superheroing (it's actually shown they go around as a superhero duo, with Sailor Moon as a sidekick).
    • Surprisingly enough, Minako Aino, alias Sailor V was revealed to be this in Codename: Sailor V: one of the plots of the Dark Agency involved getting people fat to lure them into energy-draining pods with the excuse of making them slim down, and Minako was one of those who fell for it. Thankfully, Artemis noticed before it got out of control and got her to exercise... Also taking advantage of the situation and her Hot-Blooded personality to make her put up some muscles without her noticing.
  • In Shirobako, the heavyset production manager Yutaka Honda ends up losing a ton of weight after resigning from Musashino Animation and pursuing a career as a baker.
  • Sakiko Takashima from Sket Dance, who used to be overweight in middle school. She gets blackmailed into smashing a number of classroom windows by a girl, Saori Yasuda, who holds a grudge against her due to an occurrence in middle school. She complies, as Saori threatens to expose her old pictures of her chubbier self, which would potentially harm her popularity."
  • As a middle schooler Mizuki from Tribe Cool Crew was a shy, glasses-wearing girl who dressed in lolita and carried around a teddy bear. As an adult, she's considerably more confident and more thinner. She also dresses in an "urban" fashion and has ditched the glasses. It's possible street dancing caused her to lose weight.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Lamput episode "Origins" reveals that the round boy that the Docs constantly tormented in their childhood eventually grew up to be the tall and muscular Mr. Mustache.

    Comic Books 
  • Jughead in Archie Comics (2015) was chubby as a ten-year-old. After his family lost a lot of money, he became thinner but kept his Big Eater habits.
  • Pre-Crisis, Alfred Pennyworth of Batman fame was a little on the round side before he spent a vacation at a health spa and became as thin as the comic book fandom fully knows him as.
  • Razzia from Les Légendaires was fat as a boy and became a mountain of muscles as a grown man. When he is turned back into a child, he regains his former figure but keeps his incredible strength.
  • In Guardians (2004), Nick Armstrong was a fat kid, but years of strict dieting and exercise made him a skinny adult.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • In The Prince and the Thief, Charlie implies that Moxxie used to be a chubby kid and it has left Moxxie to be very self-conscious to this day.
  • In The Victors Project Abram Mills, Victor of the 69th Hunger Games, was a bullied fat kid who survived mainly due to generous sponsors (gamblers who'd bet on him at nearly 400-1 odds and stood to rake in huge payoffs if he won) and knowledge of how to find moisture in the desert. After the Games, he's so sick of pundits mocking his obesity that he spends the next several months vigorously lifting weights, to the point that by his victory tour he's one of the most muscular victors around.
  • My Hero Playthrough: Inko starts the story as her chubby canon self but starts losing weight after Izuku becomes the Gamer until she eventually looks the same as when he was a toddler. Izuku himself doesn't notice due to how gradual it is though both Jiro and Nemuri comment on how attractive Inko is.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Matt in 13 Going on 30. We meet the chubby version first in A Minor Kidroduction. It's lampshaded when he's reunited with the high school Alpha Bitch, "wow, you lost all that baby fat".
  • Alluded to in 2012. Adrian says that every time he finished a book, his father would give him an ice cream cone. Then adds "I was a fat kid".
  • At the end of Austin Powers in Goldmember, Fat Bastard isn't fat anymore, because he went on the Subway diet. However, he doesn't look that much better since he now has a lot of loose-hanging skin.
  • In Bloody Reunion, Sun-Hee was once obese and teased by her teacher Ms. Park but then became skinny and obsessed with her appearance and weight.
  • Alyson Hannigan in Date Movie, before her liposuction.
  • Ben Stiller's character in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story lost a lot of weight while also getting into the gym business. He reverts back at the end of the movie.
  • In Drag Me to Hell, Christine was an overweight, poor country girl in her youth. She's dropped the weight, lost her accent, and is dedicated to climbing the social ladder. Her boyfriend is from an elite, wealthy family that still makes her feel inadequate. This is what motivates her to jockey for a promotion by refusing the gypsy woman's loan extension.
  • Ira in Funny People has recently dropped a lot of weight. His roommates mention it a few times and say he's less funny and looks weird because of it. This is some Reality Subtext, as Seth Rogen had lost weight to play The Green Hornet.
  • In Get Smart, during the flight to Russia, Smart proudly shows an old picture of himself to Agent 99, wherein he weighs much, much more than he does at the time. In fact, when speaking to the Chief, earlier we see a Flashback Cut wherein he exercises rigorously so he can have the proper shape to be a CONTROL employee. In return for Smart showing his photo, 99 produces a photo showing her Magic Plastic Surgery. Later in the film, Max even has a nightmare about regressing back to his obese self while in prison.
  • Joan Cusack's character in In & Out is stated to have lost a ton of weight before the movie started. Former student turned Oscar-winning mega-star Cameron Drake says that he had a huge crush on her when she was morbidly obese and doesn't find her as attractive now that she's lost the weight, though he supports her. The end credits start to roll over the sight of the two of them cuddling in the audience at a wedding, as Cameron hand-feeds her a large bag of cheese puffs, with her clearly intending to fatten up again.
  • Inspector Gadget (1999): Sanford Scolex (Claw) is svelte in the present day, but a Forbes magazine cover shows that he was obese at age 19. But, once he finds out that Brenda Bradford (who was once his classmate and his childhood crush, but is now the inventor of the cybernetics he is trying to abuse) found him much more attractive before he lost the weight, he gleefully cheers at the prospect of being able to indulge his sweet tooth and fatten up again.
  • Ryan Reynolds' character in the film Just Friends was really obese in high school.
  • The Eddie Murphy version of The Nutty Professor turns into a thin Buddy Love.
  • Debbie Salt in Scream 2 used to weigh 60 more pounds. Back when she was Mrs. Loomis. That's how Gale didn't recognize her.
  • Han Solo Berger (Andy Samberg) in That's My Boy. He still has to take insulin to treat his diabetes though (since his dad let him eat cake and lollipops for breakfast as a kid).
  • Matilda from Zoolander has a grudge against models because her obsession with body image made her bulimic.

  • Fat Charlie Nancy of Anansi Boys, who was only fat for just long enough to acquire the nickname. It stuck. According to himself, he wasn't particularly fat either, he just had a few years where he ate a bit too much and didn't get quite enough exercise.
  • Anita from Anita Blake Vampire Hunter mentions having been fat in middle school.
  • Mizuki Himeji from Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts used to be overweight, but she's quite slim in the present day. Unfortunately, she's also a Lethal Chef because she doesn't taste-test her own cooking out of the fear that she'll gain weight again if she does.
  • Martha Abbott in Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Changeling begins as "a little fat for a seven-year-old" and is labeled "the quiet fat one" by her classmates. By the time she enters high school, she's slimmed down and turned into Everyone Loves Blondes (intelligent edition) and is referred to as "the cool blonde who's in all the school plays."
  • Augustus Gloop at the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory after being squeezed through a pipe.
  • Dudley Dursley from Harry Potter started out very fat, but diet and exercise programs imposed by his school nurse eventually made him impressively muscular and athletic.
  • In The Inheritance Cycle, near the end of the book, Eragon sees Sloan once again and for the last time. The book says that Eragon for a moment, mistook him for an elf and considering that he was under the care of the elves of Ellesméra, this was probably the case.
  • Ben Hanscom of Stephen King's IT was fat as a kid, but ended up slimming down as an adult by the time that he and the Loser's Club meet up again to battle It.
  • Elsie Edwards goes from a morbidly obese girl in Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade to a slim beauty in How Do You Lose Those Ninth-Grade Blues?, but the latter book shows in depth how she still suffers from crippling self-esteem issues from a childhood of being neglected by her parents and mocked by her peers even after she's slimmed down.
  • Otohime Ryugu in Ōkami-san was called "turtle girl" in her youth due to her chubbiness until Taro encouraged her to slim down.
  • Secret Santa (2007): In the second book, Be Mine, Natalie was a bullied fat girl until she stopped eating most high-carb foods, exercised more, and had a growth spurt.
  • She's Come Undone: Dolores eventually loses weight when she resolves some of the issues that drive her to binge. One of the first signs that she is losing control of her life is when she realizes she's gaining again. Dolores even refers to women she sees on Richard Simmons as "former fatties."
  • Slacker: Cam doesn't recognize his gaming idol, Draja Dubrovnik, the first few times they meet, as Draja has lost hundreds of pounds since he took a step back from gaming and stopped binge-eating Doritos.
  • Jacqueline Carey's The Sundering has secondary characters Dani The Chosen One and his uncle Thulu The Fat. As they travel through deserts, jungles, mountaintops, and a Mordor-expy, all on berries and supplies while on the constant run from enemy forces, Thulu's title in the book goes from The Fat to The Lean to The Slim.
  • Robin Wilson of Sweet Valley High, always referred to as "formerly fat Robin" in the livejournal snark community 1bruce1.
  • In Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online, Goshi "M" Asougi is this, having ended up losing a lot of weight when Pitohui ran him ragged as her servant in real life, and shows Karen "LLENN" Kohiruimaki and Miyu "Fuka" Shinohara a picture of him in the past. Miyu, amazed, suggests that he could promote the "henchman diet.
  • Marcy Lewis is the protagonist of There's a Bat in Bunk Five, by Paula Danziger. It's the sequel to The Cat Ate My Gymsuit. In the first novel, Marcy is overweight (and hates gym) but she slims down and finds a boyfriend in the second novel.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mary from 3rd Rock from the Sun was fat as a kid, and has a lot of issues with her parents about it to boot.
  • Babylon 5: Vir Cotto actor Stephen Furst lost a great deal of weight between the third and fourth seasons of Babylon 5 after nearly needing a foot amputated due to diabetes. When he returned for the fourth season all his costumes were way too large for him. It was never explained in-universe what led Vir to lose so much weight or how had lost the weight so quickly.
  • On an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Penny bribes Howard into helping her plan a birthday party for Leonard by promising he can pick up her friends, one of whom is a "former fat girl with low self-esteem."
    • Raj once claimed to have been fat as a child to garner sympathy from the others. When Leonard says that he's seen old photos of Raj, he confesses that he was actually "svelte like a gazelle."
    • On two different occasions, Raj's parents set him up with a girl from his childhood who used to be fat, but now She Is All Grown Up.
  • The reality series The Biggest Loser attempts to invoke this trope in their competitors.
  • On Boy Meets World, Jack Hunter is revealed to have been fat in high school, to the point that people called him "Jumbo Jack". He explains that this is why he goes to the gym so much and is obsessed with his looks.
  • In Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sgt. Terry Jeffords is this, having gone from being fat to being muscular. He is still incredibly sensitive to being called fat, however.
  • Warrick Brown from CSI had been overweight in high school.
  • CSI: NY:
    • Sheldon Hawkes had been overweight in college as well.
    • The killer in season 4's "Personal Foul" turned out to be a formerly fat cheerleader who poisoned her male tormenter from when she was fat at a basketball game after arranging for him to be the "random" fan chosen to make a prize-winning free-throw shot.
  • Cheers:
    • Woody. One episode has a former girlfriend (also Formerly Fat) from home showing up to visit. They begin to binge eat to repress their sexual attraction to each other, but once they figure it out (and sleep together), they go back to eating normally.
    • Rebecca used to be the "Fattest Girl in High School", which is another point of contention with her more successful sister Susan. She also implies that she got so overweight she was outright forbidden from riding her favourite pony anymore (and that it was sneaking food to feed the pony that helped lead to her weight problem). She's still very sensitive about this.
  • The Deuce: David Krumholtz had gained a lot of weight due to a thyroid issue during the first season but lost the weight before season two. In the show, his character has gotten a new girlfriend who put him on a diet, and he brags about the weight he lost while still yearning for more indulgent food.
  • The main antagonist from the 5th season of Dexter was overweight as a child.
  • Drake & Josh: Josh had noticeably lost weight by the third season and became slightly skinnier by the fourth season.
  • Drew's girlfriend Nikki Fifer on The Drew Carey Show. One of the reasons that she broke up with Drew was that being with him was causing her to start putting on weight again.
  • In an episode of Drop Dead Diva, Jane represents a girl whose family is suing a diet guru; the diet consists of a very unhealthy low-calorie plan. Jane exposes the guru as having had gastric bypass surgery, so there was no way she could have lost weight on her own plan.
  • The Elementary version of Mycroft was fat when he was younger, resulting in the nickname "Fatty" from Sherlock. However, his weight loss was due to illness and he chose to keep the weight off after getting healthier.
  • Frasier. Niles' ex Maris is eventually revealed to be this. Suddenly, a lot of her Jerkass behavior, namely, her obsession with staying thin, makes perfect sense and actually makes her a tiny bit sympathetic.
  • Friends:
    • Monica was famously very fat in her younger days and many jokes on the show revolve around this. Her "Fat Monica" version is often seen in flashback episodes.
    • In "The One with the Rumor", she invites her old high school friend Will for Thanksgiving, who used to be so fat that Monica was his "thin friend". In present day, he's played by Brad Pitt.
  • Surprisingly, Quinn Fabray from Glee. It's part of the reason she's so obsessed with "perfection" - once she entered high school, she changed nearly everything about her appearance and strived to keep it that way.
  • Blanche from The Golden Girls was a chubby child before slimming down as she aged. When Dorothy finds out she pokes fun at it a lot.
  • Harper's Island: A deleted scene reveals the trim Beth to have been overweight in High School, something she admits she was sensitive about.
  • On Heroes, illusionist Candice Wilmer's real appearance is a lumpy mess named Betty.
  • Home Improvement: Tim used to joke about his mother-in-law Lillian being fat. The first time she shows up in the series (the season 2 episode "Much Ado About Nana"), she's very skinny, explaining that she and her husband are now able to watch "Tool Time" (and all of Tim's jokes about her size, which she describes as "the best motivation a fat person could have") thanks to the satellite dish they'd gotten.
  • An episode of House has a patient who was formerly morbidly obese and had become a highly successful personal trainer. It turned out that she had had gastric bypass surgery, rather than "losing it the old-fashioned way." It also turned out that her weight was a result of her self-medicating her genetic disorder with fatty foods. Reversing the surgery and returning to her old lifestyle would have cured her, but she opts for a lifetime of medication instead.
  • Amy in the first season of In Treatment, an issue that comes into play in the differences between her and her estranged husband over parenting their son, since she fears the same thing happening to him.
  • jPod had Kaitlin Joyce: she even starred in a TV commercial promoting the "miracle diet" that helped her out. It shared more than a few traits with the Subway ads.
  • In Just Shoot Me!, it's revealed that Elliot used to be fat back in high school, which caused him to be teased a lot by his classmates. Going back for a teacher's funeral, he was hoping to rub it in their faces that he had now lost weight and was the photographer for a successful fashion magazine. Instead, they end up teasing him for now being bald.
  • An episode of Law & Order: SVU dealt with a girl who was sodomized and beaten. When they found the motive behind the attack, it turned out she herself had attacked and beaten an obese man (her own attackers being relatives of his taking revenge). She took part in victimizing the man because of her own self-loathing and anger at herself for having once been like him.
  • One episode of Living Single focuses on Kyle going to his high school reunion. Apparently he was fat and unpopular back then (a female classmate quips that he had bigger breasts than she did), and the idea of going back causes him to start stress-eating.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: One episode featured the boys getting a beautiful girl as their babysitter who had been a classmate of Francis before he was sent away to military school. Due to her weight when they had gone to school together he had been the only person to be kind to her and defend her from bullying, so she had developed a crush on him. When she phoned him trying to score a date, he rejected her, thinking she still was fat.
  • On Maury one of the frequent themes is "I used to be [fat / a geek / etc.] but look at me now!" where they bring in people who used to tease the person in grade school, to show off to them.
  • In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Meets the Godfather", Sharona has sort of a thing with a mobster called Fat Tony, who's anything but. He was, however, very fat not too long ago, and his nickname of many years has stuck with him. Sharona is bothered by this.
  • The TLC series My 600 Lb Life is a series about morbidly obese people weighing over 600+ pounds who realize their problem and go to Dr. Younan Nowzardian (aka Dr. Now) in Houston, Texas for help in getting their weight down with gastric sleeve surgery. While there are episodes that play it straight and the results are astounding, other episodes show the work was All for Nothing when the subject does little to change their lifestyle for the diet.
  • Schmidt from New Girl having been a fat kid in college is basically the driving mechanism behind his personality. The series's lead character Jess was also shown to be fairly chubby as a kid.
  • Rachel Gatina from One Tree Hill was originally obese before undergoing plastic surgery treatments to alter her appearance.
  • The Palace had the attractive and thin Alice Templeton, better known to her childhood friends as "Fatty".
  • Prof. Olgevee in The Parkers was fat as a kid and this was shown in a flashback. He was teased by the neighborhood kids. He was embarrassed to reveal this to Nikki and her equally-heavy friends.
  • The page quote comes from the season 6 premiere of Parks and Recreation, in which Andy explains to Ben the reason behind his sudden weight loss. In real life, it was because Andy's actor, Chris Pratt, had lost 60 poundsnote  in preparation to play Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) (to be fair, cutting out beer was one of the many things Pratt did to lose weight).
  • Hanna, the "It Girl" from Pretty Little Liars struggles with self-image issues and bulimia. She used to be mocked by Alison (the Alpha Bitch and former "It Girl") for being overweight. Over the summer, after Alison's disappearance, Hanna became gorgeous and skinny.
  • In one episode of Private Practice, Naomi has an argument with a couple of prospective patients who have dwarfism and says she understands what they've gone through because as a child she was bullied for obesity. This is the only time it comes up, aside from a few references to her struggles not to overeat.
  • Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock. In this case, it's a Mythology Gag—although the Sherlock incarnation is played by the normally-built Mark Gatiss, Mycroft was morbidly obese in the original stories, and Sherlock frequently pokes fun at him for supposedly "gaining" weight again.
  • Another TLC example involving this trope is the show Skin Tight. It involves two people per episode who've reached this trope, but now they're left with loose skin as a reminder of their former lifestyle. The subjects go out to surgeons skilled in skin removal surgeries, including Dr. Younan Nowzardan (Dr. Now), and shows the painful recovery needed to finally reach the end of the rainbow.
  • The Sopranos: Vito Spatafore loses 160 lbs between seasons 5 and 6. This was Real Life Writes the Plot, as actor Joseph R. Gannascoli had lost a similar amount of weight for health reasons.
  • Regina and Aisha on The Steve Harvey Show were both fat as kids. Aisha's mom sent her to a fat camp to lose weight while nothing much is said about how Regina lost hers. It's implied that she lost weight between high school and college.
  • A contestant on the makeover series The Swan used to be overweight but lost it through consistent dieting. The sudden weight loss left her with a lot of excess skin the show then removed through a tummy tuck.
  • In Taxi, Alex was meeting up with Angela, an overweight phone operator that went on a Blind Date with in the second episode, but has since lost touch, and is surprised to find that she has lost a large amount of weight, and gained some self-confidence as a result, much to Louie's disappointment who had a string of fat jokes prepared for the occasion.
  • Tetangga Masa Gitu: "Reunion" revolves around Adi's high school reunion where Adi at first is so excited to bully the fat kid Ginda again, only to find out that Ginda is now slim and handsome, not to mention more successful than Adi.
  • In the made-for-TV movie To Be Fat Like Me, the main character's mother gained weight due to health problems, leading to a complicated relationship with her daughter (played by Kaley Cuoco).
  • Inverted in Willow with Thraxus Boorman, who is very much The Big Guy during the show's timeline, but used to be much skinnier. Whenever he runs into someone from his past, they know him by the nickname "Beanpole". When he runs into an old friend-turned-enemy, Allagash, they even briefly pause their fight to acknowledge this.
    Boorman: "Beanpole"? Yeah, well, I've actually put on quite a lot of bulk!
    Allagash: You know what? You have, you've gotten bigger. You look good!
    Boorman: Well, thanks. It's diet mainly, actually.
  • Wings: There are recurring jokes about how Helen Chapel was very fat as a child.

  • This happens to the male supporting actors during the course of the music video for Olivia Newton-John's "Physical."
  • Worm Quartet's song "Fueled by Angst" has a verse about this:
    But it turns out eating less food works
    And now I've lost a third of me
  • Eminem was obese in the late 2000s due to his drug addiction making him crave fatty food to reduce the pain in his stomach. Upon his recovery from drugs and Career Resurrection he'd lost so much weight that his appearance was criticised by fans and the press, who said he now looked gaunt and weird. He referenced this in some of his lyrics from this period, such as describing nightmare scenarios of committing uncontrollable murders in McDonald's, or bragging that his thinness is because of his (career) hunger. He did gain a little weight back afterwards, citing an exercise addiction as the reason for him having slimmed down so much.

  • Discussed and deconstructed mercilessly in the We Hate Movies review of Madhouse (1990), where the hosts all denounce the cruelty of casting a fat child actor just to be a subject of mockery in a flashback sequence.
    Andrew Jupin: "Oh, great! What am I doing?" "You're being made fun of by an entire neighborhood of children for being overweight." "...What?"
    Chris Cabin: "We're going to pretend that you're a float. In a parade."
    Eric Szyszka: "And you, uh... you get paid in food, right?"
    Chris Cabin: Cake. Paid in cake.
    Andrew Jupin: "Patrick, you're okay with getting paid in cake, right, honey?"
    Eric Szyszka: "Don't worry, Patrick - 3 slices of cake, SAG minimum."
    Andrew Jupin: "Patrick, we're going to need you to take off that baggy button-down shirt and put on this skin-tight polo."
    Eric Szyszka: With horizontal stripes?
    Andrew Jupin: He—he looks like Jerry O'Connell in Stand by Me.
    Chris Cabin: "The bottom of your stomach has to be in 85% of this footage."
    Andrew Jupin: [laughing] That poor fucking kid!

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Late in ECW's lifespan, Brian Heffron, better known as The Blue Meanie, lost over 100 lbs and obtained porn star Jasmine St. Claire as a valet. Of course, he also became a heel who looked down on the audience for staying fat instead of losing weight and hooking up with a porn star like he did. He'd eventually gain all his weight back.
  • During her days as a wrestler, Bull Nakano followed the same diet that sumo wrestlers do and sported a very stout physique. Around the turn of the century, she retired, switched over to golf, lost a lot of weight, and turned out to be very pretty underneath Bull Nakano's punk-inspired outfit and hairstyle. She tried to put the weight back on for a pro wrestling return, failed, then resurfaced in RISE a manager hoping to take a new Gokumon-to made up of gaijin back to Japan.
  • If pressed on the issue, Jessie Kaye will tell you this is one of the reasons she hates girly girls and divas. She still resents everything "they" got that she did not when she was fat, especially if they're still slimmer than she is after weight loss.
  • "The Punishment" Damian Martinez was supposedly an eight-year veteran of the sport, but pretty much went unnoticed until 2012 in Monster Factory Pro Wrestling, where despite losing to eventual winner Marc Cruz in the quarterfinals of the tournament to crown a heavyweight champion, gained a lot of attention for how much weight he had lost.
  • Betsy Ruth from the Team 3D Academy debuted in TNA as Big Beautiful Woman Rosie Lotta Love but was quickly released. In 2014 she revealed her massive weight loss as a result of the training she underwent after taking on Kyoko Inoue in the Diana promotion of Japan.
  • Johnny Gargano was quite chubby as a kid. He would even at times refer himself as the "chubby eight-year-old kid with a dream."
  • Kazza used to be overweight and slimmed down in her twenties.


    Video Games 
  • In Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book, Oskar is your Big Fun party member. By the time of the sequel, he's lost a lot of weight. Apparently his metabolism makes it easy for him to burn calories, an ability which makes Liane very jealous.
  • The Batman: Arkham Series version of Amanda Waller fluctuated a great deal, as Origins and Blackgate used a design inspired by the New 52 version, Batman: Assault on Arkham used a more traditional design for her and thus Waller was obese—and Underworld has DLC that took place after and yet reused the Origins design, so Waller lost the weight she'd gained.
  • Fake Happy End: Mishika was chubby before the events of the game, but dieted and exercised until she reached her current figure. She sympathizes with the Swamp King because she believes he also has a complex about his size.
  • Prompto Argentum from Final Fantasy XV is revealed in prequel/tie-in anime Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV to have been formerly fat, becoming motivated to lose weight to work up the confidence to make friends with Prince Noctis. This is slightly touched upon throughout the game in side-conversations and personal quests, and Episode Prompto has some scenes somewhere between flashback and introspection that show his chubby young self (and a loading screen that appears early on to make sure the players know that's Prompto).
  • Grand Theft Auto V:
    • It's mentioned that people used to call Franklin "Fatty" before he started working out.
    • Amanda lost weight after she moved to Los Santos, at least according to Trevor.
  • Eva from Grim Fandango. She refers to her life in the land of the living as "the fat days".
  • Jagged Alliance:: Wolf's bio indicates that he took a leave of absence between "Deadly Games" and "2", when he, among other things, went through an intense fitness program and lost over forty pounds.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 2:
      • Innocent Sin reveals this to the be past of Eikichi Mishina, who completely changed his image after frequent bullying culminated in a thug pulling his pants down in front of the girl he liked. He is now extremely attractive and popular and nobody at his current school realizes his past.
      • Done across games - Miyabi Hanakouji appears fat in Innocent Sin but is thin in Eternal Punishment. It's not a straight example of this trope though - Miyabi gained the weight before Innocent began due to eating Comfort Food for the incident which inspired Eikichi to lose his weight but remained slim throughout the time of Punishment.
    • In Persona 4, Ai Ebihara, the Moon Social Link. Excessive bullying and a sudden upgrade in her family's wealth led her to shed all of it in an effort to abandon her past life.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: By 1907 Micah Bell manages to lose that big gut of his, but he still keeps his psychopathic personality.
  • Root Letter: In Jun Omori's high-school days, he was called Fatty, and was indeed obese. Then he got inspired to change for the sake of his dream job as a cake shop owner (because he believed no one would wanna buy from a fat cake shop owner as it implies lack of self-control), so he entered an exercise program and became a fit, handsome adult. Max, who is looking for him, initially misses him completely because he spends time looking for a fat man, not realizing the possibility that he is this until he sees a picture of him in a brochure for the exercise program.
  • Duncan from Shadowrun Hong Kong was always the muscle of your outfit, but in his teens, he was decidedly pudgy (to the point that people referred to him as Duncan Donut). That quickly vanished when he joined Lone Star.
  • Troublemaker has your Fat Best Friend, Boby, returning in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue three years later - and he's surprisingly fit and hardly recognizable.
  • Genshin Impact has Ganyu, who at least according to Cloud Retainer was so pudgy as a child that if she tripped while climbing the mountain she would roll right down like a ball. She was inspired to lose weight after a monster swallowed her, and choked on her bulk.

    Web Animation 
  • Ability No. X: Saeko was fat until she manifests her telepathy ability called "linking" and converses with Misato who helps her improve herself.
  • In flashbacks, Ryan Weston from Anon is shown to have been overweight as a child and as an early teen. By the time the flashback catches up to the present day, Ryan had lost all the weight.
  • Danny from Bravest Warriors. It was a very, very large contributing factor to his extremely terrible (and hilarious) childhood.
  • Etra chan saw it!:
    • Yuzuriha was chubby in high school, and she was made fun of by other students. She lost weight and became a successful celebrity years later. Only one person, Yuri, was supportive of her. Yuri was also chubby back in middle school, but she started losing weight before entering high school, because of this, she decided to motivate and help Yuzuriha to lose her weight.
    • Yuzuriha had to deal with Azami making cutting remarks and being a Jerkass toward her because her daughter-in-law had gained a lot of weight during her pregnancy.
    • Yuri was fat and didn't wear makeup. She lost weight and had a makeover for her wedding making her beautiful.
    • Yuri started working out to lose her weight after she was being made fun of by Akane for being chubby in an attempt to make Kuroki break up with her and date Akane instead.
    • Hiiragi in one story was both fat and an unrepentant Big Eater with a bad habit of stealing food from his older brother Tokusa and his wife Yuzuriha, even though they had their own separate kitchen and fridge upstairs from the rest of the family. This didn't change no matter how much Tokusa yelled at him, and their parents were no help. Then one day Hiiragi went too far by eating an entire birthday cake Yuzuriha had baked for her friend Tsutsuji's son. Yuzuriha responded by pranking him into eating food that she claimed had a cockroach in it. In reality, there was no cockroach, it was just prawn tails, but she didn't tell him that until 4 months later after he'd lost his gluttonous appetite and shed 38 pounds from the trauma of the incident. Naturally he was angry, but he forgave her after becoming skinny finally led to him getting a girlfriend.
    • Azami lost a lot of weight because she was working non-stop to pay the compensation for cheating on her ex-husband Katsura with another man.
    • Akane and Azami decide to improve themselves after apologizing to their cousin Yuri for everything they did to her, they eventually lost their weight as well and are able to move on with their lives.
  • ETU - Animated Stories: Lily was fat due to working at a office for years. Her boyfriend Gary bullied her for it. She tried to lose weight but her trainer mocked her as well and Gary's comments didn't help. She eventually broke up with Gary and reported the trainer. She got a new one who helped her lose weight and Lily eventually became a trainer herself.
  • Manga Room: In this story, Runa was bullied by Minami during their high school days because of her chubby appearance, though she started losing her weight after graduating from high school. Because of her different appearance, nobody had no idea it was her during the high school reunion party until Minami recognized her.
  • Refreshing Stories: Hiroshi's girlfriend, Hitomi was fat and the couple Tsubasa and Kazuya made fun of her. Frustrated, she decided to enter a beauty salon and began an exercise regimen to lose the weight. She managed to lose the weight in time for the competition and got second place ahead of Tsubasa. At the end of the episode though, she gained back all the weight.
  • One episode of Sekai No Fushigi has Mei who was fat and loved to eat. Her boyfriend broke up with her and she decided to lose the weight. When he tried to get back with her (he didn't recognize her at first) she rejected him saying she did it for herself.
  • A flashback issue of Teen Girl Squad shows that Cheerleader was overweight in preschool.

  • Ritz of Boxer Hockey.
  • Sharon of General Protection Fault used to be much heavier than she is. Some harsh comments made to the obese Dexter regarding his weight caused him to nearly turn down a full-time position at GPF, but Sharon was motivated by concern for him and apologized.
  • The demigod Jagganoth of Kill Six Billion Demons used to be a tubby guy in an elephant mask. Now he is described as "his own fortress of blood and horn [...] the greatest warrior creation has ever known, a brutal tyrant-king, unconquerable and unassailable." The guy is a thirty-foot-tall monolith of muscle and is worshiped by an insane order of knights who try to kill everything they meet because they just couldn't kill him.
  • Hanae of Red String started with a formerly fat background. As the story has progressed, she's put a lot of the weight back on. She puts a lot of her self-worth into being pretty in other people's opinions. Her mother's vision of her as a girlie princess takes a huge toll on her.
  • Raven of Questionable Content was mentioned to have been a bit on the heavy side before the comic started. She's a bit sensitive about it, so no one brings it up.
  • In the first few arcs of Schlock Mercenary Warrant Officer Thurl is quite visibly obese, then he gets his head ripped off by an alien bug and a medical AI clones him a new body with a higher metabolism.
  • Emil from Stand Still, Stay Silent, before joining the military.

    Web Original 
  • One of the 4-koma comics on Gaia Online has Liam blackmailing athletic Valley Girl Sasha with high-school yearbook photos of her as an obese, terribly-dressed teenager.
  • Whateley Universe: Solange, because of her mutation, as said in The Bear, The Bitch, and Everything (Part 2):
    She remembered waking up and stepping on the scale in her bathroom to find that, overnight, 15 pounds had vanished. She looked in the mirror and saw herself noticeably thinner, taller, and frankly prettier. She was much less the fat little girl she always had been and was obviously on her way to becoming a delicate young woman who was merely growing out of baby fat.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur: In the episode "Arthur Weighs In", Mr. Ratburn reveals that he was pretty chubby as a kid until he discovered table tennis.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Iroh in season 1 is one of the most obese characters in the entire show, albeit notably acrofatic whenever he does fight. Then at the start of season 3 he's in prison and uses the time to get completely ripped, until there's not a trace of fat on him and he's more muscular than even the likes of The Boulder.
  • Bob's Burgers: Subverted with Gretchen, Linda's overweight hairdresser. In "The Unbearable Like-Likeness of Gene", she reveals that she lost 15 pounds from eating the skins of fruits and vegetables. She is able to keep the weight off for two more appearances before returning to her normal frame in "My Fuzzy Valentine".
  • On The Cleveland Show, Cleveland feels unappreciated by Donna and winds up reconnecting with an old high school friend who used to have a crush on him. Donna is more amused than threatened until she meets old "Fatty Patty" and realizes she now looks like a supermodel. Unfortunately for Cleveland, though, Patty turns out to be a Stalker with a Test Tube; Donna eventually gets Patty to relent by convincing her to "stop thinking like a fat girl" and realize she could get a better man for real. (Yeah, Donna isn't very nice in this episode.)
  • It's shown in Codename: Kids Next Door that Numbuh Two will lose a lot of weight as a teenager and become lanky. He'll gain it back somewhere in his adult years.
  • Connie Benge on Doug used to be chubby, but in later seasons it's revealed she lost a lot of weight at summer camp. Unusually, the character started out chubby but was retooled to have lost it in the Disney spin-off.
  • The DuckTales (2017) Halloween Episode shows Launchpad was quite chubby as a little kid.
  • Nazz from Ed, Edd n Eddy, who's the resident hottie, was revealed to be quite heavy when she was younger in the episode "Every Which Way But Ed".
  • Amy Wong from Futurama was very fat as a child; even her parents tease her mercilessly about it. In one episode, the main characters all revert to their childhood forms, and Amy, again overweight, becomes the butt of all her parents' childish jokes.
    Amy: Dad, if you're gonna make fat jokes 'till I get cute again, I'm just gonna stay in my room!
    Leo: Stay in room? You so fat, you gonna stay all around room!
  • Marsh Merriweather from High School U.S.A..
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • As a little girl, Korra had a bit of a pot belly. As a young woman, she's in much better shape.
    • In season 4 Bumi has lost a lot of weight going back to his appearance in season 1.
  • A villainous example occurs in the second season finale of Megas XLR: Coop travels to an Alternate Universe/Bad Future where his Blood Knight tendencies got so bad that his Alternate Self made a Heel–Face Turn, laid waste to the world, made an enemy out of his best friend, took over what was left of Earth, and apparently decided to start working out. Coop, being Fat and Proud and with a tendency to have Skewed Priorities, was most offended by the last one.
  • Minnie Mouse, of all people, is revealed to be formerly overweight in the Paul Rudish Mickey Mouse short "Doggone Biscuits" when she attempts to slim down an accidentally fattened Pluto by locking him in the steam room, stating that it worked for her while the camera pans out to show a picture of Minnie being morbidly obese.
  • In Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, Jax reveals to Sonya that he used to be the fattest kid in his school.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: This happens to two characters in the finale's Time Skip:
  • In Producing Parker, various Flashbacks and Embarrassing Old Photos show Parker as fat from infancy to her teens.
  • South Park: Though Heidi Turner becomes Formerly Fit after being converted into Eric Cartman's Distaff Counterpart in Season 21, she looses her obese form and returns to being a healthy and skinny girl in Season 22 after breaking up with Cartman in the previous season's finale.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Chocolate with Nuts", SpongeBob and Patrick try to sell chocolate bars to a fish who refuses the candy, and he shows them a photo of himself obese at 13. Patrick proceeds to buy 10 copies of the photo.
  • Word of God claims that Heather from Total Drama was fat and unpopular up until she started high school (and got bullied a lot as a result), but now she "overcompensates for it with a mean veneer and lots of makeup." It's very likely that Heather's experiences with being bullied were a factor in her turnout as a mean person.
  • In Unikitty!, flashbacks to Dr. Fox's childhood show her as chubby with a double chin, in contrast to the standard build she has now.


Video Example(s):


Teleporting Skinny Guy

Anthony meets Teleporting Fat Guy again and wonders how he got so skinny. His secret is bulimia, fun for the whole family. :)

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / FormerlyFat

Media sources: