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Formerly Fit

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"My God, you've gotten fat."
Edna Mode, The Incrediblesnote 

The inverse of Formerly Fat, in which a character that used to be thin or athletic ends up overweight or obese.

The reasons for this vary. The fact that they haven't been paying as much attention to their weight could mean apathy. Something huge and life-changing could have happened, resulting in depression. Heartbreak could lead to Drowning My Sorrows or Heartbreak and Ice Cream, which could in turn lead to this if it goes on long enough. Parenting is a notorious cause due to the stresses of child-rearing, with women getting the double-whammy of natural weight-gain during pregnancy. It's also well-documented among former military and professional athletes; returning to a normal undisciplined life causes many to let themselves go over time, especially if their previous lifestyle required them to be big eaters and they kept the appetite but not the daily rigors that called for it.

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Compare I Was Quite a Looker, the difference being that the number of years between "then" and "now" doesn't have to be as great, and the currently-overweight person isn't necessarily unattractive. Often the Formerly Fit person will be chided by other characters and/or show regret for letting it get this far. In those cases, they may decide to work it off. Alternatively, they could grow into being Fat and Proud, especially if they're healthier and happier now than when they were forced to maintain a svelte image. Expect A Weighty Aesop.

Contrast Acrofatic, when their weight does not hinder them (or, occasionally, even helps them) in completely outclassing conventionally fitter people.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Mr. Heart, a Breakout Mook Character from Fist of the North Star received a Origin Story called Heart of the Meet. It is revealed as a youth, Heart was a Bishōnen who fattened up considerably to a morbidly obese man. The fit part actually ends up inverted as while more attractive when thin, Heart was an extremely weak and sickly Ill boy, while when fat was actually a Kungfu Proof Mook with plenty of Stout Strength, Kevlard and even Acrofatic on his side. Essentially he became fit-fat.
  • In Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, after a six month Time Skip, Sinbad visits Aladdin and Alibaba to see how their training is going. They've both been pigging out instead and developed double-chins (and man-boobs in the case of tiny little Aladdin.) Sinbad has a Heroic BSoD, then spends a few panels chasing them around the palace until they run it off.
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun's character profile simply notes Miyamae's the only fat character in the cast due to the stress of being with Maeno. He would immediately lose weight when Maeno's away from his life, in fact, reverting to somehow akin to a Bishōnen.
  • Invoked and weaponized by a Dark Agency youma in Codename: Sailor V: the youma Este deBrine took advantage of Japanese Valentine traditions to sell lots of extremely addictive and fattening chocolate sweets called Rainbow Chocolates to both men and women in the build-up to the celebration, and then used the women's wish to be attractive for Valentine's Day to convince them to go at her spa, where they would be drained of energy but would keep their weight due deBrine hating slim builds. It was extremely effective, to the point only three people in the whole Minato Ward are confirmed to have kept themselves fit: Minako's friend Hikaru, who eats very healthily, Toshio Wakagi, who hates sweets, and Minako, who, upon noticing she was getting fat, was convinced by Artemis into training fanatically until she lost the fat... And, between the training routine having been prepared by Artemis and her own tendency to go overboard on everything, gained the weight back in muscles.
  • Played with in Please Tell Me! Galko-chan. Nikuko used to be a lot more slim than she is now, but is still athletic enough to be a star player on the school's soccer team (and earn herself the nickname "Sonic Meat").
  • Anko Mitarashi had a slender, athletic frame over the course of Naruto, but by the time Boruto rolled around she retired from active duty and became fat.
  • In My Hero Academia, Izuku Midoriya's mother had a thin figure in the past. In the present, she's gained a bit of weight due to stress eating.
  • Subverted in StrikerS Sound Stage X. Quattro apparently put on weight during her incarceration, though she claims that she's back to normal by the time it comes up. Given the fact that StrikerS Sound Stage X is an audio-only work, it's impossible to know if she's telling the truth.
  • Droy of Fairy Tail is this after the time skip, presumingly due to depression over Levy's disappearance. Even after her return, Droy continues to get plumper.

    Comic Books 
  • Nelson Jent in Dial H was once a boxer, and though still quite strong and his arms remain muscular, he's very fat and unathletic today. He's also self-conscious about this, and is embarrassed to go to the gym.
  • G.I. Joe (Devil's Due): Bazooka is portrayed as this when he volunteers to return to active duty. Having spent the seven years since the Joes disbanded as a Mall Cop, he is overweight and out of shape (and balding). He later hits the gym and gets back into shape.

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Peter subsists off nothing but junk food due to his budget issues. This, the constant stress from his declining personal life, and the rigors of superhero work have let him go to seed, giving him a noticeable gut that he describes as a "dad bod". He even lampshades this, muttering about he thought he'd have a six-pack forever with all the exercise he does. Izuku is the inverse. The fateful spider bite made him a rock-solid and leanly muscular teenager after years of being plagued with a Geek Physique. He certainly isn't complaining about the results.
  • A brief cameo in Alternate History shows a chubbier Song twenty years in the future. This is a call-back to how she mentioned to Zuko that her mother makes a lot of food.
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    Film - Animation 
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham, the tie-in movie to the Batman: Arkham Series, invokes this with Amanda Waller. In her appearances in Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Waller's appearance is more akin to her New 52 incarnation, and hence had undergone Adaptational Attractiveness and is slimmer. However, Assault on Arkham, being set two years before Arkham Asylum, hues closer to the designs in that game—so as with Joker wearing his classic tuxedo and Batman sporting Underwear of Power, Waller has gained a lot of more weight, becoming more in-line with the traditional obese Waller. DLC for Arkham Underworld shows that not only did Waller survive Deadshot's attempt at revenge, but also reused her Origins design, putting her at opposite end of this trope.
  • In Shrek Forever After, the Alternate Universe version of Puss in Boots has given up swashbuckling and is now Fiona's pampered housepet, so fat he can't even chase mice. Shrek mentions how fa...ncy he's gotten.
  • The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible has a hard time fitting into his old uniform when he gets a Call to Adventure. The scene where it first shows Bob at work is even titled "15 years and 50 pounds." Mrs. Incredible, the former Elasti-Girl, also notices that her butt got fatter when passing by a reflective surface. Even after a rigorous workout regimen that slims him down considerably, Mr. Incredible can't completely escape the Dad-bod and Edna Mode's cutting commentary.
  • Ursula of The Little Mermaid: The tie-in (though not necessarily canon) book Disney Villains: The Top Secret Files depicts Ursula as being very skinny as a young adult, but also regularly overindulging at the gourmet banquets of Atlantica, making it clear why she's obese in the film proper. If you ask Ursula, though, by the time of the film she's "wasted away to practically nothing."
  • In Surf's Up, Big Z is the epitome of health. Flash forward a few character-developing moments, and he's the washed-up, fat, lazy Geek.
  • In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Peter B. Parker let himself go after fifteen years of superhero struggles, his Aunt May's death, and his subsequent divorce from Mary Jane wore him down. He has quite the gut on him due to eating too much pizza.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • In DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story, White Goodman goes from fitness guru to blob of lard after being humiliated and losing his gym franchise. Also a subversion of Formerly Fat. White was fat to begin with.
  • Boxer Jake LaMotta as played by Robert De Niro in Raging Bull. DeNiro famously gained a lot of weight to play the scenes from later in LaMotta's life.
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Dukes (aka Blob) was a muscular man in Stryker's group. Years after the group disbanded, he becomes obese, more like the comic book version.
  • In The Great White Hype World Champion boxer James "The Grim Reaper" Roper has a huge paunch—he can beat his opponents with ease, so he doesn't train well.
  • In Death Becomes Her, Helen Sharp becomes fat due to the depression she suffered from her former fiance Ernest Menville marrying her rival Madeline Ashton, drowning her sorrows in cake frosting while fantasizing about her revenge. She gets back to her original shape later on, though with a little magic potion that would give her eternal beauty and youth for as long as she took care of her body.
  • Irving Blitzer, former bobsledder turned coach, in Cool Runnings.
    [Gazing at a photo of him and his two-man bobsled partner] Heh, would you look at me then? [Looking at a reflection of himself] Oof, would you look at me now?
  • In Avengers: Endgame, it is shown that after the events of Avengers: Infinity War Thor, consumed with grief and guilt from his failure to kill Thanos, went on a five-year bender and now bears a massive beer belly.

    Literature 
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Robert Baratheon was once a great and feared warrior, but after Lyanna's death and his ascension to a throne he didn't want, he became so overweight from excessively eating and drinking that even his best friend didn't recognize him. And one of his queen's attempts to assassinate him failed because he no longer fit in his old armor and therefore couldn't participate in the tournament where "accidents" might happen.
    • Lysa Arryn was noted to be a lissome young lady, but her numerous pregnancies and miscarriages and years of isolating herself in her castle have gotten to her and when her older sister visits her, her narration negatively points out how fat she's gotten. Game of Thrones inverts this by portraying Lysa as someone overly gaunt and thin.
    • Mace Tyrell was considered a handsome and muscular Hunk in his youth, but has put on the pounds as he's grown older. Although he isn't near as obese as Robert Baratheon.
    • Magister Illyrio Mopatis is one of the fattest characters in the series. In his youth, he was slender, athletic and worked as a sellsword for a living. He keeps a statue of himself aged six-and-ten.
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Ludo Bagman is a retired Quidditch Beater, and when meeting him Harry quickly sees that he was a powerful man gone to seed. Later during the Pensieve Flashback Harry sees Bagman then in his prime of health.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire", both Watson and Holmes's latest client, Robert Ferguson; they remember each other as athletic rugby players, but find each other sadly changed.
  • At the start of the "Legends" series of the Dragonlance saga, the formerly athletic fighter Caramon Majere has become an obese, alcoholic layabout after being abandoned by his brother Raistlin.
  • Near the start of Some Buried Caesar, Nero Wolfe is stranded in a field by a bull he knows he can't outrun and laments, "Twenty years ago I was an athlete." Generally he seems to have few regrets, though.
  • The Underland Chronicles inverts the weight gain: Gregor's father used to be "the picture of health," but by the time the heroes rescue him, he's wasted away to emaciation over his many years of imprisonment.
  • Hushpad starts off in Tailchaser's Song as a slender and tiny tabby. When she's seen again at the end of the novel, she's noticeably plumper, which is heavily implied to be because she was spayed. Tailchaser doesn't particularly mind, but he does mind her laziness.
  • Troy from Fat Kid Rules the World is almost 300 pounds at 17. In third grade he was a thin boy, but after his mother died he started overeating and gaining weight.

    Live Action TV 
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch parodied the old Hercules movies by this happening to him (Bill Murray).
  • Referenced in an episode of M*A*S*H. Radar decides to start lifting weights in order to build up his muscles to attract girls. Col. Potter recommends against it because when he's older all the muscle will "turn to flab."
  • In Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, the central male character Gaz gets dispirited after losing his girlfriend. He gets so flabby his best friend says he'll never get Donna back looking like that. Gaz looks for exercise he loves doing in order to get his body back into shape again. As this is the sort of unglamorous British sitcom predicated on squick and the lowest common denominator, Gaz duly masturbates his way back to fitness...
  • In the CSI episode "Bittersweet" one of the victims is a now obese former male model who drowned in a vat of high end chocolate. It turns out he became addicted to the chocolate after becoming their spokesperson and drowned himself in the chocolate to spite them by ruining the batch.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope on The Drew Carey Show with Drew's hot fiancee Nicki. She was fat in her backstory but then lost 80 lbs., only 2 short of her target weight. When she starts going out with Drew she gains the weight back, which we can see. When she and Drew try to make a sex tape she sees how fat she has become and breaks up with him shortly before their wedding. A later appearance shows her back to her thin self again.
  • The Big Bang Theory
    • Howard's unseen mother, implied to be hideously obese and in the words of Father Ted, prone to all the horrible ailments inflicted on middle-aged women, and that's a lot of horrible ailments, loudly laments that she was so good-looking as a young woman that hopeful young men would queue up to give her chocolates. ("Oh, why did I eat it all?")
    • Another episode has the main group (and Stuart) dreaming up hypothetical situations about their lives if they hadn't met Sheldon. Leonard imagines that he would have moved in with Raj, who thinks that Leonard would have ballooned to a massive size due to his lack of a girlfriend and Raj's cooking. When Leonard protests, Raj pictures himself as equally fat in the scenario. Stuart then puts himself into the story in a desperate attempt to take part in the conversation; he makes himself obese as well, for no particular reason.
  • In the Dinosaurs episode, "Steroids to Heaven", Earl reveals to Robbie that he used to be skinny in his sophomore year of year high school, and that he was muscular when he was a young adult.
  • In Living Color! parodied the famous super model Fabio by doing a sketch about a formerly fit superstar male model named Magnifico, who's now fat, obsessed with food, and very gross.
  • This was a running theme on The Cosby Show. In college, Cliff was a skilled runner known as "Combustible Huxtable", but years of a stressful job as an OB/GYN (plus a taste for salty, fatty foods) have made him lose his svelte physique.
  • Discussed in an episode of Just Shoot Me!. An old friend of Nina's drops by, and has gained quite a few pounds since they last saw each other. Nina obsesses over how to bring the subject up tactfully, but when she finally does, the friend admits that she knows she's gotten heavier, and doesn't really care; in fact, she's more concerned about Nina's fixation on her weight than the weight itself.
  • Frasier
    • Jane Leeves, who played Daphne, became pregnant in the latter half of the show's run. The producers first tried to cover her baby bump with looser clothes, but this proved ineffective. Instead, they added a subplot about Daphne indulging in sweets and baked goods to deal with the stresses in her life, and thus gaining weight (to add to the effect, the showrunners put her in padded clothing, making her appear bigger than she actually was). The episode "Hungry Heart" was the culmination of this plot—Daphne had become so large that she couldn't get up off the floor when she fell, and was revealed to have hidden chocolates and pastries around the apartment to sneak snacks whenever she wanted— and ended with her going to a health spa to help her overcome her food addiction. After Leeves had her baby, Daphne returned to the show, now at her old size.
    • Maris also dealt with this after Niles divorced her; it's played for laughs, as she was described in the first seasons as having a weight far below ninety pounds. Of course, we never see how she looks either way.
  • Friends: It is revealed in a Whole Episode Flashback that Ugly Naked Guy used to be called "Cute Naked Guy" until he started to put on weight.
  • Modern Family: In the first episode of the seventh season, Claire and Haley are unable to prevent Andy, the latter's former boyfriend, from proposing to Beth. Later, Claire and Phil commiserate about their inability to stop the proposal...and Andy inadvertently overhears them. The stress of dealing with a wedding while knowing Haley still loves him (and that he might still love her) leads him to start eating sugary foods non-stop to cope. By the end of the summer, he's ballooned to a much bigger size because of his stress-eating.
  • In the All in the Family episode "Class Reunion", Edith reminiscences about Buck Evans, a handsome track star with a fine head of hair. Archie is clearly irritated and jealous. When they actually meet Buck, he's fat and bald, though Edith finds him as charming as ever.
  • One episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine starts with a pair of fit, handsome and cool detectives doing a major drug bust back in the eighties. It's then revealed they're Hitchcock and Scully, the district's resident fat Jaded Washouts. The episode reveals they managed the investigation with the help of a witness who later got a job at a wing restaurant, and rewarded them with free wings for life...

    Music 
  • In a parody of both Rocky III and the Survivor song "Eye of the Tiger", "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Theme From Rocky XIII (The Rye or the Kaiser)" is about a Rocky Balboa who ends up "fat and weak" after getting too lazy. All is not a downer for him, though; he has a new career as the new owner and operator of the neighborhood deli and makes a decent living from it.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Walt from Zits played varsity basketball in high school and used to be an absolute beanpole. These days he's overweight and gets exhausted and has his joints ache while attempting to play basketball with Jeremy in the driveway.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • While Jim Cornette will profess to never having been an athlete, he used to actually be slim and in possession of good cardiovascular stamina. Then he broke both of his knees falling off a scaffold and ballooned up.
  • In the 1970's, Kevin Sullivan had a ripped, chiseled muscular body. Around the early 1980's, he let himself go and developed a perpetual beer gut.

    Video Games 
  • Banjo in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts really let himself go years after last defeating Gruntilda.
  • In the Tekken franchise, Bob was once a very thin and pretty young man, but found his mass inadequate for fighting larger opponents. He trained for years and came up with the solution of gaining lots of fat, but losing none of his speed. While his fangirls (in-universe) were initially upset, Bob's performance, charming personality, and genuine heroic nature eventually won them back. Bob is also an inversion. In some of his endings, he accidentally loses all of his bulk and goes back to his slim size. However, his combat performance notably suffers as a result. Players can even use his slim form via Downloadable Content.
  • In Captain Rainbow, Little Mac from Punch-Out!! has gained a physique like King Hippo due to being out of practice. One of the player's goals is to help Mac get back into shape.
  • In the increasingly behind-schedule supplementary comics for Team Fortress 2, the Demoman goes from fit and athletic to rather pudgy after losing his job and drinking even more heavily than usual.
    Soldier: Hello, Fat Demoman!
    Ms Pauling: Demo? Um. What — hello. What happened?
    Demoman: Och, wael... have ye heard aboot the Beer of the Month Club? Well, I joined the Beer All At Once Club.
  • In Guacamelee2, seven years of peaceful living as a husband and father has left Juan with a noticeable gut. He regains his muscular physique (though not his old moveset which he has to relearn along with others) when he dons the Mask again.

    Visual Novel 

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Implied with Bubs. He claims to have the ability to fly but after putting on weight, he can hover off the ground three inches tops.
    • Storybook-style flashbacks show The King of Town as the "svelte, young Prince of Town", being much slimmer than his current counterpart. It's implied that his descent into gluttony started with him laying claim to a lifetime supply of fish sticks Strong Bad left lying around.

    Web Comic 

    Western Animation 
  • Bill Dauterive in King of the Hill was a fit star offensive lineman in high school who was nicknamed "the Billdozer" and helped take his team to state. Flashbacks of these glory days showed him as pretty buff but not fat, and with long thick hair (fashionable then) "like Roger Daltrey". By the time he's a middle aged adult on the show, he is obese, balding, hygienically a slob, and pines for the mentally-abusive ex-wife who left him long ago, interestingly named Lenore.
    • Subverted when we later learn that the Army tested experimental drugs on Bill and other soldiers with the intent of giving them a layer of seal-like blubber for combat in Arctic regions. Double subverted that it turns out that Bill was actually given placebo and all of his problems are his own making.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, mob boss Fat Tony is killed and replaced by Fit Tony. The stress of being a mob boss leads Fit Tony to eat more until he becomes known as "Fit Fat Tony", and later on just "Fat Tony".
  • Futurama
    • Happens very quickly in the What If? episode where Bender becomes human. Bender, who's used to alcohol simply being processed into energy for his robot body and no experience with food at all, immediately becomes The Hedonist, even more so than he was as a robot, indulging in every food, booze and sex he can, until he's turned into a massive blob of a human. He finally dies while having a huge party with his friends and a bunch of scientists, going out in a blaze of glory in less than a week.
    • Hermes Conrad was once a fit professional limboer taking part of the Olympics until he retired after a kid broke his back trying to limbo. He's currently in poor shape to limbo in the current Olympics with his large belly in his way, which he chalks up to the result of 12 years of "the munchies", but can still limbo as well as his past prime self.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender's General Iroh was a strapping, powerful Firebender in his youth. However, the death of his son led him to abandon active military service. He retained his Firebending skills, but his excessive eating habits led him to getting way out of shape. He uses a brief stint in captivity to work off the excess fat and reveal a powerful physique underneath. The Legend of Korra meanwhile has Tenzin's brother Bumi, who was a fit Commander in the military during his One-Scene Wonder appearance in the first season. By the time the second season rolls around six months later, he's retired and gone to seed, and in the fourth season he manages to work most of it off again.
  • A flashback in the Talespin episode, "On a Wing and A Bear" reveals that Baloo used to be quite fit.
  • The Regular Show episode "Power Tower" reveals that Muscle Man earned his name by being a pro bodybuilder. He retired after being bored of winning competitions all the time and became the fat groundskeeper he is today, though he's still quite strong, even if he doesn't look it.
  • "The Fire of Hercufleas," an episode of The Super Mario Bros Super Show!, saw this happening to the titular character (an Expy of Hercules). He was originally a great warrior, but after being tasked with guarding some mystical flames, he no longer needed to stay in shape and so became incredibly fat and lazy. When King Koopa shows up, he easily defeats the obese Hercufleas, prompting a Heroic BSoD. Thankfully, the Mario Bros. are around to provide some friendly Training from Hell.
  • On Robot Chicken, Jared was locked in a bakery.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: After years of retirement, the formerly slender and muscular Elasti-Girl (no, not that one) has become obese, and is re-introduced as lounging by a pool being fed bowls of various fatty foods and snacks by numerous servants. When under attack, she's initially too lazy and even too fat to even get up to fight back. Batman chews her out and says she's not an over-pampered, overfed baby, inspiring her to return to her old size and profession. It's a variation of sorts as Elasti-Girl had the power to change back into a thin form at any time, but was apparently content to be obese for years.
  • South Park: There's an episode in which Terrance and Phillip briefly end their collaboration after the former accuses the latter of doing none of the work. It seems to have hit Terrance really hard, as he continues to do a one-man act after becoming morbidly obese.
    • In "Make Love, Not Warcraft" the kids, who, aside from Cartman, are normally fit, all become morbidly obese after playing World of Warcraft non-stop for several months. Cartman becomes grotesquely obese.
  • Bob's Burgers: Teddy reveals that he was once fit enough to play the role of Handsome Lifeguard #3 in The Deepening 3D, but he let himself go after the shark operator played a prank on him and embarrassed Teddy in front of an actress he was hitting on. Teddy's harboured a vendetta against the shark ever since, even though Bob points out that he should be more angry at the operator than the animatronic.
  • The second "Viewer Mail" episode of Family Guy has a segment where everythings shown from Stewie's point of view. Before bedtime, he decides to have a quick time travel adventure and travels back in time to the 90's and interrupts Kurt Cobain's suicide. He instead gives him Haagen-Daaz ice cream to fill his emotional void, and when Stewie returns to the present, he finds a CD of a still-very much alive Cobain, still headlining Nirvana, but now enormously fat and riding a rascal scooter.
  • In the classic Disney cartoon Tomorrow We Diet!, Goofy is depicted as a fat, hungry man who, at one point, shows old photos of himself athletically fit.
    Goofy: I was an all-around athlete!
    Goofy's Reflection: That's right, only now you're just all round.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Downplayed with Mrs. Cake. She has always been chubby but before she got married, she was slightly trimmer as seen in "The Perfect Pair".
  • The Cleveland Show: In the episode, "Cleveland's Angels", Kendra, Lester's wife, who is morbidly obese and diabetic, was revealed to resemble Marilyn Monroe in her youth before the drastic weight gain.
  • Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures used this gag in the episode "Mighty's Wedlock Whimsy", where Mighty Mouse's dream of being married to Pearl Pureheart has Pearl go from being thin and curvaceous to being huge and obese.


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