Real Life, you have a set adult height (unless you have some sudden growth disorder) and no amount of weight gain, whether from fat or muscle, will increase it (well, gaining some muscle might make you stand up straighter, but that's about it). In fiction, however, especially in animation, getting fat or muscular will increase a character's height. This is done both to exaggerate how big the character has become, as well as making the character easier to draw.
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Anime & Manga
- Stocking ends up gaining so much weight in one episode of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt that she stands about 20 feet tall. She's so fat that Panty — aside from taking a moment to laugh at her — runs on top of Stocking while kalinka dancing to travel around the city on her like a giant ball.
- A rather extreme example in One Piece. Usopp is initially 174 cm, and he gets sent to an island where he meets Heracles who seems to be almost twice his height. Usopp feasts on the food of the island and becomes very obese. He also suddenly is twice Heracles' height. There may be some Your Size May Vary involved (which Oda tends to do with his very short and very tall characters), but still, Usopp should have grown to well over 5 meters. And yes, when he loses all that weight, he becomes his former height again.
- Dragon Ball:
- Broly is already very tall in his base form, but gains several feet as the Legendary Super Saiyan. This is the most immediate contrast between his and Trunks's "Super Saiyan 3rd Grade" his form was inspired by. Trunks only gained muscle mass.
- Likewise, in Dragon Ball Super, the female Universe 6 Saiyannote Kale is the counterpart to Broly. As a result, when she accesses her "Super Saiyan Berserker" form, her feeble muscle mass and stature drastically increase to tower over most of her comrades.
- Super Saiyan 4 from Dragon Ball GT makes anyone who uses it taller, more so than it increases muscle mass in the case of Vegeta.
- Kengan Ashura combines this trope with Not Drawn to Scale and Your Size May Vary.
- Julius, the most muscular character in the series, is often drawn as being at least One Head Taller than the rest of the cast, even though his official height (205 cm) is not that much greater than many of the other heavyweight fighters, most of whom stand at over 190 cm.
- The sequel, Omega, introduced Carlos Medel, a boxer who has changed his weight class several times over the course of his career, and appears to grow taller as his weight class increases.
- In D.P. 7, after the White Event, David Landers puts on a huge amount of both muscle and height to fuel his new Super Strength, all of which is accompanied by painful growth spurts.
- Whenever Bane uses Venom to increase his strength, he usually also gets taller and more muscular. More so in media outside the comics.
- In The Grand and Bountiful Trixie (a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic), Trixie eats some enchanted food that fattens her up impossibly quickly. As explained in the narration, the spell also increases her muscle mass and enlarges her skeleton—so she remains mobile, even as she bloats up to an "elephantine" size and towers over Princess Luna.
Films — Animation
- In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Mayor Shelbourne was a rather small-looking guy when he was first introduced. After gorging himself on the food created by Flint Lockwood's machine, he becomes super fat and grows several times his normal height.
- In Disney's Hercules, the eponymous character starts off scrawny looking and is shown to be short or about the same height as those around him. When he gains muscle mass, suddenly he is taller than almost every other character in the movie. This is justified by the fact that Hercules was about 14 when he started training and nearly 18 when he concluded it. The fact that he's a demigod could also have something to do with it.
- In Megamind, Hal Stewart was originally somewhat short and plump, but once he receives Metro Man's DNA by Megamind, he gets a Heroic Build and becomes as tall as Metro Man.
Films — Live-Action
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, the supersoldier serum makes Steve Rogers taller as well as more muscular. Possibly this is the main cause of his agonized screams during the process.
- Taken to an extreme during Sherman's Nightmare Sequence in The Nutty Professor where he grows fatter and fatter to the point of becoming tall as a giant as well.
- In Charlie Andthe Chocolate Factory, this happens to Violet Beauregarde after chewing until the gum reaches the blubbery dessert flavor. After turning a different shade of blue, she swells up in a roughly 20 feet living blueberry. This adaptation is an outlier, as the book and other adaptations (even animated ones) generally keep Violet's height the same.
- Overlord: Halflings are typically quite short, but the tremendously fat Melvin Underbelly is even taller than the Overlord!
- In Resident Evil Code: Veronica, Steve gets infected with the T-Veronica virus and it causes him to grow into a hulking muscular hunchback brute that is several feet taller than he was previously. After he is attacked by Alexia's tentacles, he reverts back to his human form and also returns to his normal size.
- The boss of chapter 3 in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door uses the Crystal Star to bulk himself up, which gives him bigger arms and has him grow several feet taller. He loses these traits when he is defeated.
- The Final Boss in Final Fantasy XII starts out in his normal human form. In the second phase, he uses powers that make him incredibly muscular and taller as well.
- The main protagonist Munch (pictured above) from Tribal Hunter grows as his belly gets bigger. This even affects gameplay, as after a certain weight level he can't fit into tight spaces and can cause him to get stuck in said tight spaces if he gets to that size while in them. His final weight level can even span most of the screen height-wise (even though at that point he's immobile)!
- Sushi Cat thrives on this logic, as most levels involve him just trying to get tall enough to do a thing and deciding that gorging himself on sushi is the best way to accomplish this. One of the more egregious examples is eating enough to reach the height of a Ferris wheel.
- Justified in Quantum Vibe, Seamus's obesity and gigantism are both caused by a botched Longevity Treatment. And even after he has his metabolism stabilized and drops 117 kilos he is still more than 2.3 meters tall.
- In El Goonish Shive, while playing Fable II, Nanase starts out the same height as Ellen but becomes one head taller upon using her XP becoming more buff and retains the height increase after pies make her fat.
- In episode 9 of Johnny Bravo, "Jumbo Johnny", Johnny impatiently downs an entire month's supply of a muscle-building supplement to bulk up and wakes up morbidly obese the next morning. He's clearly taller than he normally is, but it isn't until he drinks one more can that he grows into a stories tall blubbery giant. When he's given a diet supplement to reverse the effect and again takes it all at once, the next morning he'd regained his original proportions but become less than a foot tall.
- In Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi episode "Sumo Kaz", Kaz, Ami, and Yumi get super fat and grow several times their height.
- On Jackie Chan Adventures, when Jade turns into T-Girl she gains muscle all over her body, but only her upper body gets taller while her lower body stays the same height.
- In the Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Frenchfry", Lilo, Stitch, and Pleakley get taller as they're fattened up. Averted with Gantu, as he's really tall to begin with.
- In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Musta Been a Beautiful Baby", Tails balloons up after eating a ton of instant food powder and washing it down with water. Not only does he become bloated, he becomes huge in height, too.
- The second claymation short shown before the Mr. Bogus episode "Computer Intruder" had Bogus come across a container full of dehydrated food tablets and a vial of water used for the re-hydration process. After experimenting with one of the tablets, he eats all of the tablets and drinks the entire vial of water, which in turn causes him to become massively bloated within seconds.
- In the South Park episode "Weight Gain 4000", Cartman starts drinking the eponymous energy drink, thinking he would buff up. By the time Kathy Lee Gifford comes to town, Cartman is so fat that he's almost a head taller than the other boys◊. An alternate depiction of this scene in the Clip Show spoof "City on the Edge of Forever" shows a muscular Cartman that still manages to appear taller than he usually is◊.
- In a Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons, Homer eats and eats and eats and eats, eventually growing to the size of a small building. This is because he ate an alien Blob Monster and became one.
- Justified in the episode "Grande Size Me" of Kim Possible. At first Ron's weight gain is portrayed realistically, he just grows a Balloon Belly with all the consequences of being unhealthy. After he falls into a vat of Mutagenic Goo however, he loses all apparent health issues and grows taller as he gains weight. Turns out the stuff was a failed Super Serum that only worked when subjects ate extremely unhealthy food, and even then the results were undesired. This leads to a parody And Knowing Is Half the Battle stinger where Ron warns the dangers of exposure to mutagenic substances to the audience, to the confusion of onlookers.
- In the 1937 short "Pigs Is Pigs", Piggy starts the short as a slightly chubby, but tiny piglet. After he's force-fed by a mad scientist for an entire day, he's swollen to look like a giant beach ball with little stubs for limbs and is far taller than he was before getting captured thanks to having been fattened up.
- The Batman has the Cluemaster, who is seen early on as an ordinary-sized, chubby child some thirty years in the past, but after losing at a game show, winning a lifetime supply of Kremelos and never working past it, looks in the present — with his exaggerated bulk hidden under a great orange (burlap?) costume — to be about nine feet tall and a thousand pounds.
- Futurama episode "Anthology of Interest II" sees Bender turned into a human being who immediately goes on an over-eating binge. One montage later he arrives at the Professor's presentation grossly overweight and somehow several feet taller than when he started. The DVD Commentary jokingly handwaves it by claiming he gained a lot of weight on the soles of his feet.
- Young Justice: Kobra-Venom transforms Mammoth from a scrawny beanpole into a massive, misshapen hulk: far taller, heavier, and more muscular than he had been before.
- In the episode "Weight Gaining" of ¡Mucha Lucha!, Rikochet is forced to gain weight to be able to challenge three students who are twice his size. He gets so obsessed with gaining weight that he eventually grows large enough to try eating a Mr. Squishy Spongecake truck and its driver!
- In an episode of American Dad! that spoofed The Dead Zone a convolution of events leads to a baby raccoon abandoned in the Smith's basement with only a stockpile of protein powder for food and a workout machine to pass the time. It ends up bulking up to an estimated eight-foot-tall behemoth.
- An episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has the gang squaring off against the Gluten Demon, which is attacking every restaurant and chef in town by devouring all of their gluten-rich foods. Shaggy and Scooby are tasked with eating all of that food before the demon can get to it to lure it out. The two are genuinely ecstatic to do so, binge for hours, and end up becoming not just incredibly round and fat, but roughly eight feet tall each and immensely strong. They then take on the Gluten Demon in a sumo wrestling match, as they're now "too full to be scared"; during the battle, both Shaggy and Scooby shrug off the damage of being thrown into several cars, while the cars themselves are totally destroyed.