Five Life Lessons from Fiction's Coolest Fat Guys

September 24, 2009

It's no fun being fat. So where is a fat dude supposed to turn when the chips are down and he needs a bit of inspiration to haul his fat ass out of bed? Well, it turns out that our fictions are full of big guys who not only bucked fate, but turned their fat into their greatest asset. These are five life lessons from our favorite fictional fat dudes.

Source: 20th Century Fox

By Geoff Shakespeare

Lesson #1: Find a Friend


Source: Warner Bros.

The Fat Dude Who Showed Us The Way: Chunk from The Goonies

Occupation: Fat Kid/Adventurer

How The Fat Didn’t Fail Him: This one may seem like a bit of a stretch. When we first see Chunk, he’s the Goonies’ whipping boy. Like so many fat dudes before him, he’s forced to use his fat not for good, but to amuse his social betters. Unfortunately for Chunk, his social betters are a wheezy asthmatic, a kid with a boxing glove under his coat, and Corey Feldman. In one of the most tragic scenes in cinema, a needy, desperate Chunk, starved for human affection, is forced to perform “The Truffle Shuffle” -- a hideous burlesque -- just to hang out with his "friends." Things look bad for the little fat dude.

But like all cool, fat dudes, Chunk turns the corner. Captured by the evil Italian Stereotype Gang, Chunk keeps them distracted with his long history of humiliation and failure so that the rest of the Goonies can find the lost gold, or save Christmas, or whatever the hell it was they were doing down in those caves. Later in the film, Chunk befriends the giant, Sesame Street-quoting monster-child Sloth and together, they save the day again. With The Mystery solved, and the breakdancing center for inner-city kids reopened, the Goonies celebrate, leaving for now the unresolved question of who is going to take care of the hulking, superstrong, mentally disabled manchild for the rest of his life.

What Regular Fat Dudes Can Learn From Him: You know all that pain and humiliation you’ve endured over the years? The jokes, the stares, the comparisons to public transport? Chunk had heard it all plus a lot worse before he was 10. But he used that hurt and pain to help out his town and befriend a massive retarded guy who’ll protect him from the Corey Feldmans of this world. Find someone who shares your pain (they don’t have to be retarded) and take on the world. Together.

Lesson #2: Throw Your Weight Around


Source: Marvel Comics

The Fat Dude: The Kingpin

Occupation: Mob Boss, Criminal Mastermind, Martial Arts Master

How The Fat Didn’t Fail Him: The Kingpin is a guy who knows how to make his bulge work for him. Born a poor, fat kid in the slums, he works his way up the Marvel Comics criminal ladder until he's the boss of all bosses. He's tough as a brick wall, looks great even in a white suit, is richer than God, and is always the smartest guy in the room. He's taken on Spiderman, Daredevil, and just about every other Marvel superhero and while he doesn't always win (he is a comic book supervillain after all) he always comes out unscathed and smelling a whole lot sweeter than a fat dude has a right to.

What Regular Fat Dudes Can Learn From Him: Use that bulk to intimidate! The Kingpin never let the fact that he made hippos look svelte stop him from going to town on any punk who stood in his way -- superpowers and tights or not. Even if you're not strong, use your size to make the other guy think twice before he talks to your girl, outbids you on a house, or reaches for the last slice of pizza.

Lesson #3: Surround Yourself With Idiots


Source: CBS

The Fat Dude Who Showed Us The Way: Boss Hogg from The Dukes of Hazzard

Occupation: Boss

How The Fat Didn’t Fail Him: Say what you want about Boss Hogg, but he did know how to run a crappy town. Within the borders of Hazzard County, Boss Hogg owned the local store, the bank, the only bar in town, all the gas stations, the newspaper, the radio station, and even the cemetery. He also held the mortgage on the Duke's farm and Cooter's garage. You couldn't take a dump in Hazzard without giving a dollar to Boss Hogg. Even if you wanted to drive away from Hazzard forever (and who wouldn't?), you'd have to buy a car from Hogg. That's a monopoly that even the Monopoly Man would be proud of.

As if that wasn't enough, Boss Hogg was involved in a new moneymaking scheme every week. He ran moonshine, gave out illegal tickets, and committed just about every kind of fraud known to man in his quest to grab every single hillbilly in Hazzard County firmly by the balls. The ultimate capitalist, this beautiful, fat bastard was the living embodiment of the American Dream.

What Regular Fat Dudes Can Learn From Him: Boss Hogg had Hazzard County wrapped around his Jimmy Dean Sausage fingers. Even though he was constantly getting pinched for breaking the law, he never did a lick of time. How did he do it? He surrounded himself with the biggest collections of morons ever to crawl from the swamp and put on sheriff's uniforms.

Rosco P. Coltrane, Enos Strate, and Cletus Hogg were the crack law enforcement team that worked for Boss Hogg. Don't let their high-class names fool you, they were, without a doubt, the three biggest morons to ever walk the earth. Boss Hogg couldn't have had a more stupid crew if he'd have made them from dirt. Surrounded by these shaved chimps, Boss Hogg looked like the lovechild of Einstein and Braniac. Let that be a lesson to Fat Dudes everywhere: keep your enemies close, but keep your slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, s***-for-brains employees even closer.

Lesson #4: Follow Your Appetite, But Always Come Home


Source: 20th Century Fox

The Fat Dude Who Showed Us The Way: Homer Simpson

Occupation: Nuclear Safety Inspector, Long Haul Truck Driver, Sculptor, Grease Bandit, Musical Agent, Astronaut, Conceptual Artist, Monorail Conductor, Farmer, Superhero, and 177 more.

How The Fat Didn’t Fail Him: Of all the fictional fat guys on this list, no one chases the Fat Guy Dream like Homer Jay Simpson. Fat, frequently drunk, chronically broke, and terminally stupid, Homer Simpson has never let any of that stand in the way of satisfying his wants. Unburdened with the morals, judgments, shame, or even conscience (he murdered his), that the rest of us have, Homer is truly free. He does whatever he wants, whenever he wants. If he sees something cool at the store, he buys it, if he’s bored at work, he quits and tries something new, if he’s hungry, he eats absolutely anything he can get his hands on, food or not. Although frequently ass-wideningly lazy, Homer is capable of great bursts of half-assed energy when something tickles his fancy. He’s not afraid to follow his dreams, no matter how ill-advised, dangerous, or awesome they may be.

What Regular Fat Dudes Can Learn From Him: Unlike other creatures of pure appetite, Homer never suffers for his desires. Sure, they get him into all kinds of romantic, personal, fiscal, legal, and spiritual trouble, but everything always works out in the end because he loves his family. He’s been in jail hundreds of times, broken just about every bone in his body, and he once sold his soul to the Devil for a doughnut, but no matter how far he goes or how much destruction he leaves in his wake, his enormous ass always finds itself parked right back on the couch in front of the TV with Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie. Homer abuses, disgusts, hurts, shames, and endangers his family on an almost hourly basis, but there’s no doubt that he loves them. The lesson for regular fat guys? Go out there and make some noise, blow stuff up, and grab life by the sugar-coated balls, but always be home by eleven.

Lesson #5: Teach the Haters a Lesson


Source: Universal Pictures

The Fat Dude Who Showed Us The Way: John "Bluto" Blutarsky from Animal House

Occupation: Student

How The Fat Didn’t Fail Him: To the button-down ubersquares of the evil Omega Theta Pi fraternity, John "Bluto" Blutarsky represents everything evil, subversive, and downright disgusting about those slobs from Delta Tau Chi. To everyone else, he’s the greatest college student in the history of higher learning. He may be a fat, drunk degenerate with a G.P.A. of 0.0. in his seventh year of college, but he knows that college is really about having as much sick fun as humanly possible before you have to grow up and go to work. Whether pissing on his own frat, starting legendary food fights, or wantonly smashing sensitive guys’ guitars, Bluto unapologetically revels in his slobbishness. But he isn’t just about mindless fun. Bluto’s triumph is a masterpiece of class warfare and the biggest act of organized vandalism in American history since the Boston Tea Party.

What Regular Fat Dudes Can Learn From Him: Take the a-holes down! When the members of Animal House finally get expelled for their terrible grades, most of them are ready to give up. But not Bluto. In one of the most inspiring and least historically accurate pep talks of all time, Bluto convinces the gang that the only way to make up for all their crazy schemes is to hatch an even crazier scheme. And hatch one they do. Bluto leads Animal House on a wacky, violent assault on the Homecoming Parade that leaves the Dean humiliated, several sorority girls topless, and the stuck-up snobs brutally beaten in a variety of hilarious ways. To add insult to injury, Bluto gets a sorority blonde and ends up a United States Senator. For real fat dudes, the lesson is clear. Don’t let anyone keep you down, no matter how much richer, more handsome, cleaner, or less disgusting than you they may be. They can take away your money, your house, your education, and even your Twinkie, but they can never take away your fat, flabby pride.