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Formerly Fit

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Edna Mode: "My god, you've gotten fat."

Fat and weak, what a disgrace
Guess the champ got too lazy
Ain't gonna fly now, he's just taking up space
Sold his gloves, threw his eggs down the drain

The inverse of Formerly Fat, in which a character that used to be trim 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 and/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 mothers getting the double-whammy of natural weight gain during pregnancy. It's also well-known among former military and professional athletes; returning to civilian 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.

Of course, there need not be a dramatic reason behind the weight gain. For many people, metabolism slows as they get older. If they didn't work out or mind their diet before, their favorite jeans may suddenly become a lot tighter than they remember.

Compare I Was Quite a Looker, though the number of years between past and present 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 and Stout Strength, when their weight does not hinder them (or, occasionally, even helps them) in completely outclassing conventionally fitter people.


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  • Parodied in "Slob Evolution", a riff on the "Dove Evolution" activist video that criticized supposedly Unnecessary Makeover and photo manipulation in advertising. An attractive male model is force fed beer, fatty foods, and cigarettes to make him obese and appear older, then made to look even fatter and unhealthier with photoshop.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Zigzagged in Area no Kishi with Araki. His chubbiness is mostly connected to his bad eating habits, though his temporary retirement from the football club didn't help. When the main character Kakeru meets him for the first time after only having heard of him from his older brother's tales, he's shocked by how unathletic he looks. However, as Araki gets back into football, his appearance greatly fluctuates between looking as skinny as he did in the flashbacks to pretty tubby. It doesn't stop him from being a skilled player either.
  • In Bakithe Grappler: Maria, wife of Biscuit Oliva is morbidly obese and bedbound. She used to be a Head-Turning Beauty but she had a disease and the medication she took lead to weight gain.
  • 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 to her spa, where they would be drained of energy but would keep their weight due to 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.
  • Dragon Ball Super:
  • 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. Nab has gotten a massive belly over time as well.
  • 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 extremely weak and sickly, and when fat he was actually a Kung Fu-Proof Mook with plenty of Stout Strength, Kevlard and even Acrofatic on his side. Essentially he became fit-fat.
  • In Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, after a six-month Time Skip, Sinbad visits Aladdin and Alibaba to see how their training is going. Unfortunately they've both been pigging out from depression instead of actually training and developed chubby bodies and double-chins (and cartoony man-boobs in the case of tiny little blob Aladdin.) Sinbad has a Heroic BSoD, but before he loses it completely, spends a few panels chasing the chubby duo around the palace until they run off all the weight. Yet while Alibaba was able to slim down to normal, Aladdin required magic training to revitalize his body and lose the rest of the weight.
  • 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.
  • 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 and gotten chubby due to stress eating. Inverted with Midoriya himself, who was a skinny weakling in the beginning but after being trained by All Might, he is all jacked.
  • 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.
  • One Piece:

    • Played with Boa Marigold who used to be skinny as a teenager but is now a fat, round woman. According to Oda, she was eating chanko and is muscled and not fat.

    • Charlotte Linlin was a fat child, but somehow became slim and attractive in her 20s, despite being a massive Sweet Tooth for her entire life. As she became older, she became fatter and fatter and now in her late 60s, she's incredibly fat. If she goes hungry for too long, her body slims down a lot in a very short amount of time, but if she gets the sweet she wants, she goes back to being fat.

  • Played with in Please Tell Me! Galko-chan. Nikuko used to be a lot more slim than she is now, but over time let herself go and became rather chubby. But despite her stocky figure she is still athletic enough to be a star player on the school's soccer team (and earn herself the nickname "Sonic Meat").
  • Plus-Sized Elf: Part of the very premise. Most of the monster girls were rather fit, but once they entered Earth through a portal, they indulged in Earth's delicacies and became overweight. And due to certain rules of the portal, they cannot return home till they’ve lost the weight. Which is easier said than done.
    • In chapter 13, the main character Elfuda had managed to nearly regain her slim physique, but she and Naoe got tricked into eating more fries for free by the main "villain" of the series. This resulted in them eating french fries for weeks and over time became fat. Thankfully after the villain's scheme was thwarted, the duo was able to lose the weight and slim down to normal. Except for Elfuda of course, who got stuck with her potbelly again.
  • 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 or has gotten plus sized.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman (Grant Morrison) featured the return of the Club of Heroes, a group of international Batman-inspired vigilantes who have long disbanded since their last appearance. Italian hero Legionary was once an Olympic athlete and had a build like a Roman gladiator, but then he got sloppy and started taking bribes from crooks. In the present day, he's a self-loathing Fat Slob who tries to act like he's a Big Fun character. However, he nevertheless goes down fighting against the person trying to kill the ex-Club members, taking multiple stabs in the back and still managing a decent blow against his attacker. He even manages to leave a clue directing Batman in the others in the right direction.
  • 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.
  • Shown rather depressingly in Marvel's Earth X series through Peter Parker, Wolverine, and Jean Grey. Peter fell out of shape after he stopped being Spider-Man following his wife's death and falling out with his daughter May over her becoming the new Venom (though Peter does lose a lot of weight in the sequels to the miniseries). Wolverine and Jean both let themselves go because their marriage was ultimately a mistake, while Wolverine stubbornly insists his healing factor won't let him get fat.
  • 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.
  • The Heroes Reborn Fifth Week Event in 2000 revealed that the Swordsman, in addition to being his reality's Deadpool, had let himself go after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Lobo is shown to become obese in the future in both DC One Million and Kingdom Come.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Dennis the Menace (US), Mr. Wilson is showing Dennis an old photo album, and Dennis comments on one picture, "This is you, Mr. Wilson? This skinny guy with hair?"
  • In Garfield, one of the possible reasons for Lyman's disappearance from the strip was that he "Ballooned to 270 pounds; wouldn't fit in cartoon panels."
  • 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.

    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.
  • Better Bones AU: Lionblaze gains a lot of weight after losing his powers, in addition to his mane disappearing and giving him the look of a washed-up former athlete. However he is still a strong fighter even without his powers.
  • The Bolt Chronicles:
    • Describes Bolt during much of "The Coffee Shop." The dog has been in great shape most of his life, but in this story, he gets into bad habits when he starts accompanying Penny's mom to the title venue on a consistent basis. He develops a barrel-chested chubby look by begging for treats from coffee shop patrons, as well as raiding the home trash can for discarded leftovers. Penny eventually puts him on a strict diet, and he is back to his old svelte self by the end of the story.
    • In "The Party," Mittens encounters her former fling Tom. The latter, who used to be a "strapping, rugged hunk of feline beefcake," has been adopted into a home and become a morbidly obese Big Eater and Lazy Neutered Pet.
  • The Legend of Genji: Bolin, now a middle-aged father of four, has put on a lot of weight after settling down with Opal and no longer has the same slightly bulky Heroic Build that he had in his youth.
  • In the fanfic RWBY: Refilled - Chapter Yellow: Yang suffered a rather deep depression after losing her right arm to Adam and Blake abandoning her during the fall of beacon. And in this alternate timeline, Yang never fully recovered from her depression and had let herself go by moping around her home and drowning her sorrows by doing nothing but eating tons of junk food and zero exercise. This caused the blonde brawler to steadily lose her athletic physique and became fat in the span of two years. With Yang having mentioned a few times how she used to have a six-pack…before it melted away into a doughy gut. Yet later on in the story Glynda, Velvet, and Coco have intervened to help Yang get back in shape in order to gain another fighter to help in the war against Salem. But whether or not these efforts will be entirely successful has yet to be seen.
    • The author has stated how in this alternate timeline the rest of team RWBY and a couple other characters have put on weight and become either chubby or outright fat due to stress eating in some shape or form to cope with the tragic events of the fall of beacon.

    Films — 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, hews closer to the designs in that game — so as with The 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 the opposite end of this trope.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Mayor Shelbourne started off as fairly slim and tiny compared to most people, but as he gorges on the food from Flint's machine, he becomes morbidly obese to the point of needing to use a mobility scooter to get around.
  • 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 and thighs got fatter when passing by a reflective surface despite being in better shape than her husband was. Even after committing to a rigorous workout regimen that slims him down considerably, Mr. Incredible can't completely escape the infamous Dad-bod and Edna Mode's cutting commentary about it.
  • The Little Mermaid: Ursula. 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Buster, Andy's dog from the Toy Story movies. In the second film, he's a spry young pup the summer after becoming Andy's Christmas present. By the third film, which takes place ten years later, he's slower and heavier to the point of nearly crushing Woody with his weight.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Altered Beast's Neff is given a chubbier design, possibly to reference the obscure nature of his game and how long ago it's been released.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022), Peter Pan becomes overweight after getting blacklisted by Hollywood for growing older.
  • Irving Blitzer, former bobsledder turned coach, in Cool Runnings.
    Irving Blitzer: [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 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.
  • 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.
  • In The Great White Hype World Champion boxer James "The Grim Reaper" Roper has so easily defeated all his challengers that it has made boxing fans bored with him and his fights. Roper's manager Sultan decides that part of the problem is that Roper and all of his serious challengers are black, and in an attempt to get the largely white fans interested in one of Roper's bouts, Sultan recruits Terry Conklin, a white boxer who knocked Roper out when they were amateurs (which is the only boxing match Roper ever lost). Roper despises the gimmick for the fight since Conklin retired from boxing soon after their amateur bout and never fought as a professional, and as a result, Roper is convinced that he can easily beat Conklin. To show his contempt for the fight and the challenger, Roper barely trains before their bout and comes into the right with a huge paunch, a big change from the fit and focused Roper seen at the start of the movie.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Black Widow (2021). Alexei struggles to fit into his Red Guardian costume, and the women can hear him straining as he does so. When he emerges, he comments, "It still fits." Melina (who partnered with him in his supersoldier days) responds with a wolf whistle, to Natasha's annoyance.
    • In Avengers: Endgame, it is shown that after the events of Avengers: Infinity War Thor, consumed with grief and guilt, went on a five-year bender and now bears a massive beer belly.
  • 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.

  • At the start of the "Legends" series of the Dragonlance saga, the formerly athletic fighter Caramon Majere has become an obese, depressed, alcoholic layabout after being abandoned by his twin brother Raistlin.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Princess Bride: Annette, a French maid who worked for a Duke, used to be the World's Most Beautiful Woman until the Duke's wife, not liking the way her husband was eyeing their maid, stocked their palace with free chocolates everywhere and let Annette's Sweet Tooth do the rest. However, contrary to the usual portrayal of the formerly fit character angsting about their added weight, Annette doesn't mind being fat and gets Happily Married to an equally obese baker who provides her with all the sweets she wants.
  • 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.
  • 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 Soldier Son: Starting with Forest Mage, the main protagonist Nevare becomes this. After recovering from a mysterious plague, this trim and fit soldier sees himself gaining weight at an abnormal rate, to the point of becoming obese in just a few months. He is accused by all of having "ruined" his body with gluttony and laziness, but nobody believes the true reason for his sudden change: he became a vehicle for a type of magic that works on a Cast from Calories principle, and his newfound power engorged him with excess weight - that he then learns he can lose by casting spells. From this point onward, Nevare's "formerly fit" status becomes an important character development focus, as he struggles between the rejection of the military culture he was raised in (which perceives him as a Gonk ad a Fat Bastard), and the acceptance of his enemy culture, the Speck people ( those that practice the kind of magic he is now a practicioner of), who rather consider him a Big Beautiful Man and encourage him to become a Fat and Proud sorcerer.
  • 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.
    • This is a common trait of Lannisters as they get older, which Tywin escapes only by virtue of an obsessive exercise regime. His younger brother Kevan is merely on the heavy side but still in good shape, but their sister Genna has gone from voluptuous as a young woman to highly overweight in her fifties and their father Tytos eventually got so fat that he died of a heart attack climbing some stairs. It appears to currently be striking Tywin's daughter Cersei as well, despite her only being in her mid-thirties, as she is struggling to fit into her dresses and is repeatably stated to not be as attractive as she was only a few years ago.
    • From a historical perspective, Aegon IV took a very similar route to his great-great-great-great grandson Robert-as expected given that they are both based on Henry VIII. A strong and handsome young man, he eventually became too fat to even walk.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Sheldon's Meemaw is shown to be overweight in the present day, but in the prequel show Young Sheldon she's in good shape and very attractive for her age. Sheldon's father, George Cooper, Sr. was obese in Sheldon's childhood and died of weight-related problems, but he once served in the army.
  • 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...
    Jake: No offence, guys, what the hell happened to you?
    Scully: Are you body-shaming us?
    Jake: No, I'm personality-shaming you. You were so alert and cool and job-doing.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In a Real Life Writes the Plot example, Rob McElhenney of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia deliberately did this with his character Mac in Season Six of the show. McElhenney wanted to avert the Progressively Prettier trope that so often appears in sitcoms (largely because long-running shows are able to pay for better make-up, hairstyling, and clothing for their stars, while the actors themselves get bigger salaries and can afford things like personal trainers), and so gained sixty pounds of mostly fat (though he worked out with a powerlifting coach to develop an overall "broader" look as well). His character, Mac, did the same in the show, repeatedly claiming he was just "cultivating mass" when he was actually just plain obese. McElhenney then lost all of the weight after the season, turning him Formerly Fat for the next episodes. Interestingly, Mac would eventually get Progressively Prettier when McElhenny got ripped seasons later.
  • 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:
  • The Full House episode "Yours, Mine and Ours" featured a vision of the future where Jesse is shown with a big belly.
  • In Living Color! parodied the famous supermodel Fabio by doing a sketch about a formerly fit superstar male model named Magnifico, who's now fat, obsessed with food, and very gross.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars: It's not unusual for returning queens to have put on a bit of weight since their last appearance on the show, as they could be ten years older or more. Alexis Matteo and Jinkx Monsoon in particular have "graduated" to Big Beautiful Women. This gets lampshaded by Detox in her reappearance on All-Stars 2:
    Tatianna: Did you get ass implants?
    Detox: No girl I got fat!
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch parodied the old Hercules movies by this happening to him (Bill Murray).
  • 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 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.

    Pro 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 1970s, Kevin Sullivan had a ripped, chiseled muscular body. Around the early 1980s, he let himself go and developed a perpetual beer gut.
  • Would you believe that Paul Bearer used to be in the military?

    Video Games 
  • Banjo and Kazooie in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts really let themselves go years after last defeating Gruntilda. But by the end of the prologue section, the Lord of Games decides to magically slim them back down so that they can take on the upcoming challenges.
  • 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.
  • Gigaman in Giga Bash has gained a dad-bod during his eight-year retirement, though this doesn't stop him from being one of the faster characters in the game.
  • Toni Cipriani, the main protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, was relatively thin, and both his boss, Salvatore Leone, and Toni's mother, Ma Cipriani, comment that he may not be eating right. Three years later, Toni has put on a lot of weight, possibly caused by the stress of being in a war with the Triads.
  • The hero from Grow Comeback is pretty muscular in the intro but becomes fat when the game starts after a Time Skip. The goal is to make him fit again and give him the motivation to fight a monster one last time.
  • In Guacamelee! 2, 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.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Ganondorf returns after being defeated at the end of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time; he's explicitly stated to be the same Ganondorf and not a reincarnation. This Ganondorf, however, is noticeably heavier than the super-muscular warrior from Ocarina, with a rounded gut, less angular face, and generally softer body. He's still not to be underestimated, as he packs a great deal of Stout Strength and is remarkably fast for such a large man, but his overall weight gain is a hint that he's become Older and Wiser during his long imprisonment in the Sacred Realm.
  • Ryuji Sakamoto from Persona 5 is a downplayed example. He used to be the star of the track team, but after Kamoshida overtrained him and broke his leg in claimed "self-defence", Ryuji has been out of shape and no longer as fast as he used to be.
  • Street Fighter V sees Birdie had let himself go since the days of Street Fighter and Street Fighter Alpha and is now a Big Eater with a noticeable gut.
  • 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 the tie-in comics for Star Wars: The Old Republic, many of the Sith Lords met in-game are shown radically different from how they are in the present as the result of years of Dark Side Corruption. Fat Bastard Darth Baras used to be calm, collected, and rather slender but years later he's gained a great deal of weight, lost his hair, and taken to wearing a mask as a result.
  • 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Byakuya Togami, the Ultimate Affluent Progeny, is slender in the first game, but a short time later in the second game he's gotten very fat. Subverted, since this fat Byakuya turns out to actually be a different student called the Ultimate Imposter. The Imposter is much fatter than Byakuya and the various other people he’s impersonated but is so good at impersonation that this doesn't prevent him from fooling anyone. He probably had an even easier time fooling his classmates since none of them have ever met the real Byakuya in person.
  • Moe Mortelli from Daughter for Dessert, an overweight veteran cop, was in much better shape when he first joined the police force. Justified, as the irregular schedule of police work leads to many real-world cops eating unhealthily.
  • Idol Hakkenden: Tooru Watanabe was known for his good looks once, but he put on too much weight and decided to become a Kooky Komedian. After seeing his reflection, Tooru sweats so much he turns back to normal.
  • In Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo, the female protagonist was so cute as a little girl that she regularly won beauty contests. However, winning all these beauty contests caused her to get a lot of sweets as prizes and gifts and she gorged on these sweets so much that by the time she's in high school, she's become massively overweight.

    Web Animation 
  • The start of the second Adult Arthur short begins with Arthur noticing he's gained weight. This results in him joining a gym in order to lose weight.
  • Etra-chan saw it!:
    • Yuri eats a lot of food to get fat so she can get out from an Arranged Marriage with a 41-year-old Akamatsu. She starts losing her weight when Akamatsu retracted the marriage proposal after seeing her overweight appearance.
    • Hiiragi dumped Karin after his mother discovered Karin's family is blue collared. Several years later, Karin met Hiiragi again and he gained a lot of weight.
    • This also happens to Akane in one episode where she reappears after having abandoned the family for 15 years to try and collect her inheritance after her father Tokusa dies.
    • Azami has unreasonable standards for a future partner and rejected many men who confessed to her. A few years later, she was able to find Kuroki who met her standards, and they became engaged, however he broke off the engagement after finding out that she went to a host club. She eventually gains more weight as an unmarried middle-aged woman and tries again searching for a man who meets her standards by writing marriage letters to her neighborhood. Unsurprisingly, nobody takes her offer due to her appearance, causing her to harass more people in her neighborhood and the police arrest her for her trouble.
    • Akane gains more weight during her pregnancy after marrying Hiiragi and this leads them to have a cold relationship throughout their marriage.
    • Akamatsu gains a lot of weight after his girlfriend Yuzuriha broke up with him after she found out that he was cheating on her.
    • Akamatsu becomes overweight because he eats a lot at home to cover up the fact that he is cheating on Yuzuriha with Akane.
  • 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.
  • Manga-Waido: Yoshika dumped her boyfriend Kazuyuki for supposedly leeching off her. When they meet again years later, she had gained a lot of weight.
  • MoniRobo: Ryo and Hanayo were Childhood Friends that were separated from each other due to Hanayo's family moving away for her father's work. When she returned to high school years later, Ryo had gained a lot of weight and was bullied. He became ashamed and refused to let Hanayo see him. He eventually lost weight and became better though.

    Web Comics 

    Web Video 
  • Dan from The Slow Mo Guys is on the thicker side compared to the rail-thin Gavin, and it's mentioned a couple times in the show that he put on a few after leaving the military.

    Western Animation 
  • In All Grown Up!, Betty DeVille had put on some weight compared to her muscular build in Rugrats. In the All Grown Up episode "Runaround Susie", she admits it when talking about her wedding dress for her upcoming vow renewal. "I just let the old one out a little. (pats her stomach) Okay, a lot."
  • Played around with in American Dad! in the second season episode "The American Dad Afterschool Special." Stan Smith's always been a bit on the hefty side but is still a CIA agent who can do stuff like run through an entire mall and jump out a third-story window without breaking stride or getting winded. However, when Stan becomes consciously aware of his chubbiness after mocking his son's girlfriend, Stan becomes obsessed with losing weight. The episode initially shows Stan relentlessly exercising yet he becomes increasingly fatter until his boss suspends him for passing out during the CIA's annual fitness test. It eventually turns out Stan was in fact anorexic and was hallucinating his increased weight, meaning he passed out from exhaustion due to being extremely underweight.
  • Amphibia: When Sasha and Grime go into hiding after Toad tower gets destroyed, Grime is shown to have grown increasingly fat and lazy due to depression.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • 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. However, in the years between the end of the war and his eventual death, he appears to have regained the weight.
    • 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.
  • Gaz Digsy from Ballmastrz: 9009 used to have a very lean stomach in her game career, but her time in rehab made her put on a few pounds, giving her a muffin top, but those pounds were lost before the end of season 2.
  • Subverted in The Batman with Cluemaster. As a kid, Arthur Brown was chubby but following decades of doing nothing but planning revenge against those he thought cheated him while binging on a lifetime supply of chocolate turned him into a Fat Bastard that makes his childhood self look like Nothing but Skin and Bones in comparison.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: After years of retirement, the formerly slender and muscular Elasti-Girl 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.
  • BoJack Horseman:
    • The titular main character was much trimmer and muscular in his youth during his glory days on Horsin' Around in the '90s. After the show's cancellation and years of heavy drinking and binge eating, he’s developed a potbelly.
    • In Season 6, Diane begins taking anti-depressants, which make her gain a significant amount of weight, which she knew would happen ahead of time as it happened to her when she briefly took them in college. This time around she doesn’t mind it as her mental health improves.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "The Deepening", Teddy reveals that he was once fit enough to play the role of Handsome Lifeguard #3 in The Deepening 3, but he let himself go after the mechanical shark operator played a prank on him and embarrassed Teddy in front of an actress he was hitting on. Teddy's harbored a vendetta against the shark ever since, even though Bob points out that he should be more angry at the operator than the animatronic.
  • Brickleberry: As a child, Connie was in-shape, albeit from being given drugs and bulimia by her Stage Mom. As soon as puberty hit, she rapidly gained a lot of weight (along with her voice deepening). Although she slimmed up in the army, she gained all that weight back due to being force-fed multiple Thanksgiving dinners by the general as punishment for her failures.
  • The Cleveland Show:
  • Family Guy:
    • The second "Viewer Mail" episode has a segment where everything's 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 '90s 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.
    • Jess Schlotz, Brian Griffin's ex-wife, was once very slim, but upon finding out her cancer is now in remission, she puts on a lot of weight from binge-eating since she doesn't have to keep it down anymore. She eventually dies of a heart attack off-screen.
    • In "The Former Life of Brian" Brian has a flashback to one of his old girlfriends, Tracy Flannigan. He goes to see her in the present and discovers she became a fat slob.
      Brian: Wow, you sure look different than the last time I saw you.
      Tracy: Yeah. Haircut.
  • 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 in 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.
  • 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.
  • Harley Quinn: Commissioner Gordon is depicted this way. He's already stocky in season one, but then the supervillains take over Gotham in season two, the rest of the police force abandons him, and Batman disappears. He winds up as a fat, alcoholic slob who's hiding in his daughter's college dorm room, doing nothing but drinking and eating chips all day while feeling sorry for himself. Later in the season, a flashback to several years earlier shows that he'd been in excellent shape before the start of the show: a combination of work-related stress, alcoholism, and a crumbling marriage took a toll on him. He loses some of the extra weight once he decides to clean himself up and get serious about retaking Gotham.
  • 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. Double subverted when we learn that the U.S. 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. It turns out that Bill was actually given a placebo, and all of his problems are his own making.
  • In The Loud House episode "A Flipmas Carol", we find out that Flip used to be skinny in his middle school years.
  • Megas XLR once featured a flashback sequence showing how Coop spent most of his life playing video games to explain his mastery of Megas' controls despite him being something of an idiot. The sequence also starts off with us seeing that as a kid, Coop was somewhat skinny before gradually fattening up to his current size beginning around the time he befriended Jamie.
  • 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.
  • 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 Owl House: Willow's fathers both played Flyer Derby when they were her age. While Gilbert has aged rather gracefully, Harvey has a visible gut in the present day.
  • Paradise PD:
    • Randall Crawford was in his prime in his earlier years as a police chief. Nowadays, he is overweight and has health issues (including constipation).
    • Dusty Marlow used to be an extremely fit, musclebound NAVY soldier, as revealed in "PARAD-ISIS". It's not until Gina force-fed him donuts that he became the 560-pound man he is today.
    • Supposedly, Mrs. Marlow (Dusty's mom) used to be thin and pretty before gaining 600 pounds. In "Blind Drunk", Dusty laments about this being the reason Strawberry left her.
  • 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.
  • On Robot Chicken, Jared was locked in a bakery.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one episode mob boss Fat Tony is killed and replaced by his cousin 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".
    • Ned Flanders is normally shown to have a well-sculpted body, but a brief gag in one episode shows he's let himself go thanks to following Homer's glowing reviews as a food critic. Near the end of the episode, Ned's somehow lost the extra weight.
    • Rainier Wolfcastle is well known for his muscular physique as an action movie star, to the point he even helped Homer get into shape in one episode. He at one point is seen stuffing himself with junk food and sporting a huge gut, but claims it's for a role as a fat secret agent. Several seasons later, Wolfcastle's shown to have gotten fat again and is at a fat camp with Bart, Apu, and Kent Brockman.
  • 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 in particular becomes grotesquely obese.
    • Heidi Turner becomes as obese as Cartman because of the latter's toxic influence on her. Though once she manages to break up with Cartman, she eventually goes back to her original slender self.
  • Star Wars Rebels: When we see Captain Rex again, he's put on a fair bit of weight after being mostly retired since the end of the Clone Wars, much to the bemusement of his allies. He's not that fat and can still fight perfectly well, but he's definitely a lot slower than he used to be, and not just because of his age.
  • "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.
  • A flashback in the Talespin episode, "On a Wing and A Bear" reveals that Baloo used to be quite fit.
  • In Total Drama's Season 2 finale, Heather and Harold are both the subject of tabloid highlights featuring their post-fame weight gains. Harold gets a gut from too many burritos to "expand his diaphragm" for his beatboxing career. Heather is revealed to have gained three ounces (aka a small layer of tummy pudge) which Gwen is happy to laugh at her about as the camera zooms on Heather's stomach.
  • In Young Justice (2010) Season 3, Roy "Will" Harper aka Red Arrow has retired from the superhero life and runs a private security firm called Bowhunter Security while raising his daughter Lian. He's noticeably chubbier and less sculpted than he was in his prime, having gained a "dad bod". He's still able to fight as well as he did back then, as seen when he helps foil Brick's attack on his shipment. He's actually in better shape than he was in Season 2, where years of neglecting his own health left him underweight and lacking in muscle tone.


The Itis

Janet after Luther Burgers.

How well does it match the trope?

4.11 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / FormerlyFit

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