Fat Suit

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Eddie Murphy as Sherman Klump.

When a major actor receives a role that requires obesity, there are two options: go on a high-calorie diet as Robert DeNiro did for Raging Bull and The Untouchables or Vincent D'onofrio did for Full Metal Jacket, and go through the effort of losing that weight afterward - or just wear a Fat Suit. Sometimes a role requires the character be overweight for just a brief period in a film, and to gain and lose weight in such a rapid time is impossible.

Fat Suits are sophisticated three-dimensional prosthetic makeup that go far beyond just putting a pillow under one's shirt. It requires painstaking facial makeup to provide realistic jowls and multiple chins, in addition to the suit, which covers the arms, legs, breasts and belly.

Sometimes, a character, who is otherwise supposed to be skinny, athletic, or at least normal-sized, will don a Fat Suit as a plot point, a disguise or just low comedy.

Not to be confused with the Big Suit.

Examples of Fat Suit include:


  • Eddie Murphy loves this trope:
    • The Nutty Professor (1996) and its sequel have Murphy playing the various adult members of the obese Klump family, meaning he had to wear several different fat suits. The former won an Academy Award for the inestimable Rick Baker.
    • As Norbit's wife in Norbit.
  • Mike Myers wore this as Fat Bastard in the Austin Powers films.
  • Terry Jones as Mr. Creosote in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
  • Goldie Hawn dons one for a segment of Death Becomes Her.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal.
  • Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine.
  • Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls.
  • Jim Broadbent playing Harold Zidler Moulin Rouge! (2001) wore a fat suit.
  • John Travolta in the movie of the musical of Hairspray.
    • Fortunately, Divine didn't need one in the original.
  • Thinner: Robert John Burke wore one for when his character was initially fat...
  • Alyson Hannigan wore one in Date Movie. What a waste of a beautiful actress...
    • Don't blame the fat suit; she could have at least been funny in the suit had it not been for the script.
  • Pauline Quirke wore a fat suit for the title role as a convicted murderer in The Sculptress. Unusual in that the actress was already overweight at the time.
  • In Mrs. Doubtfire. Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) wears one while in disguise as the title character, though the fact that Euphegenia Doubtfire is overweight is almost incidental to the rest of her character.
  • Malcolm Turner (played by Martin Lawrence) in the Big Momma's House films, puts on a fat suit to go undercover as the titular Big Momma.
  • Pistachio Disguisey (Face Palm) in The Master of Disguise.
  • In To Be Fat Like Me, the main character dresses up in a fatsuit to see what it's like living "on the other side" as a fat person. Since she's just a teenager, one wonders where she gets the money for such an expensive disguise.
  • Ostensibly, Emma Thompson wore one for Love Actually, although if she did, it was done in a very understated and tasteful way.
  • Tom Cruise as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder.
    • The nature of comedies that feature their stars in fat suits is also parodied in the In-Universe trailer for The Fatties, Fart 2.
  • In Revenge of The Pink Panther, Clouseau impersonates a Mafia don with a fat suit and cotton in his cheeks, which he nearly chokes on at one point.
  • Adam Sandler wore a fat suit in Click.
  • Tim Allen as Scott Calvin in The Santa Clause once he's unwittingly assumed the Santa identity.
    • Inverted with the "desantification" process in the sequel, added at Allen's request because he had horrific skin problems from the fat suit in the original movie.
  • Former Manchester United striker Eric Cantona (voted "The Player of the Century" by the club's fans after the turn of the Millennium) wore one in the French film L'Outremangeur (Translation: The Overeater) in which he has the starring role, a fat cop.
  • Matthew Lewis wore this in the later Harry Potter movies.
  • Orson Welles in Touch of Evil, which soon became reality.


  • Unto the Breach has superspy Jay donning a fat suit as part of a disguise during a mission.

Live Action TV

  • After Battlestar Galactica's Time Skip, Jamie Bamber briefly wears padding and some makeup effects to make it look like Lee Adama has let go of his previously trim physique.
  • Martin Short as Jiminy Glick, which was later turned into a movie.
  • Will had to wear one in an episode of Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
  • Monk has the character Dale the Whale (played by Tim Curry).
  • The Drew Carey Show. Kate Walsh, playing Drew's brief love interest Nicki.
  • Subverted on Frasier, when Jane Leeves (who plays Daphne) was pregnant. Rather than do a Hide Your Pregnancy, the script-writers gave Daphne an eating-disorder instead, since this worked better as Daphne's lower-class reaction to Niles' over-idealistic beliefs about her. However, in the later episode Freudian Sleep, Leeves wore a ridiculous ballooning, ever-growing fat suit as Daphne dreamt she was getting terminally fat.
  • Not as extreme as most examples, Amy Linker wore padding to play pudgy Lauren in Square Pegs.
  • Little Britain. The two performers each wore a fat suit to play the enormously obese Bubbles and Desiree De Vere.
  • David Suchet dons one of these to play Hercule Poirot.
  • According to the commentary, Camille Coduri uses one to play Jackie Tyler on Doctor Who.
  • Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple did this, because he had lost a lot of weight on "Fat-Away Diet Pills" and needed to take pictures for the "Before" portion of the ads.
  • In an episode of the 1960s Batman The Joker wore a fatsuit to pretend to be the Maharajah of Nimpah. Batman punchured the disguise by poking him in the rear with a Bat-JokerInAFatSuitPoker. (Well, it was really just a letter opener, but you know he has one.)
  • Dennis from Head of the Class, over the summer had lost a lot of weight but wore padding to pretend he had actually gained weight, until he tore it off for The Reveal.

Darlene: Seriously Dennis, you need to lose the weight.
Dennis: OK, OK, I will... right now!

  • In Spin City, Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty (Michael J. Fox) wears a fat suit to a charity bachelor auction. He gets no takers.
  • In an episode of Thirty Rock, Tracy tries becoming a white girl, which makes him look homely and fat.
  • Tyra Banks wore a fat suit on her talk show to examine the idea that (surprise!) fat people are treated worse than supermodels. I've also seen this on one or more Prime Time News Magazine programs, with correspondents being "shocked, SHOCKED" that fat people get less respect than non-fat people.
  • Jon Stewart once wore one on The Daily Show after coming back from vacation, making it look like he's gained weight over the holidays. He appeared without it for the rest of the episode, claiming a filter had been applied to the camera to make him look normal.
    • David Letterman wore a fat suit for a few filmed bits they made to show him letting himself go in between his gigs on Late Night and Late Show.
  • Pruitt Taylor Vince wore one to play a 500-pound patient of the week on House.

Music Videos

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Fat". Weird Al dons an incredible, inflatable fat suit in it, which he also dons everytime he performs the song live. (Awesome, I know.)
  • Rammstein, bar Flake, in the Music Video for "Keine Lust".
  • Michael Jackson wears one to play an evil (and white) mayor in the long-form video/short film Ghosts.

Web Comics

  • Spinnerette (reluctantly) wears one of these in order to hide her identity as the eponymous heroine. Well, she has to hide her extra arms somehow...

Western Animation

  • Robot Chicken parodied some of the Film examples with the Real Trailer, Fake Movie Giant Fat Black Lady Who's Really a Black Man in a Really Big Fat Suit. "Now see the movie you've already seen!"
  • Pepper Ann did this Trope once.
  • In Futurama, the evil Mom has a literal Fat Suit for use in almost all public appearances - it turns her from looking like a tall, incredibly skinny old woman in thigh-high boots, to looking like a stereotypical sweet old Southern matronly grandmother type. Admittedly it isn't used on her face but she still manages the matronly expression most of the time.

Real Life

  • Jamie Oliver, a British crusader for healthy school meals and famous chef, once wore a fat suit to prove a point.
    • Related to the above point, one comedy show had characters called Jamie and Oliver, two obese schoolboys who bore a striking resemblance to Jamie Oliver, and were an obvious parody. Don't remember what show it was, however.

Am I the only one wondering how he's gonna fit through the launch window in a fatsuit?