Fictional heroes who are overweight

And he posts here, too!




So you did - bravo!

I’ve made quite a few recipes from that book, and they were for the most part delicious. True, the ingredients & methods are somewhat different from what we’re used to today, but apart from the Strasbourg Pie, they were hardly “made entirely of fat”.

Here’s a thread where a Doper hosted a dinner party with recipes from the book.

Well, yes. I was being a bit facetious (although “delicious” is in the palate of the taster, obviously).

But certainly Jack Aubrey is often described as being overweight, dangerously so, by Maturin. Especially when on shore.


“You portly men of a sanguine complexion often die suddenly, from unconsidered exertion in the heat. Apoplexy - congestion.”

I wish, I wish you would not say things like that, Doctor," said Jack, in a low tone; they all looked at Stephen with some reproach and Jack added, “Besides, I am not portly.”

“The captain has an uncommon genteel figgar,” said Mr. Marshall.

Jupiter Jones of the Three Investigators.

Huge three investigators fans in my youth. I was very disturbed to see that Alfred Hitchcock (also portly) had been replaced in recent editions.

Fond memories of my dinner party, still.

Two favourites that I still make on occasion are: the eponymous Lobscouse which is absolutely delicious (and not that much fat) and a spotted dog (lots of fat).

Which really detracted from his character, despite the film being otherwise good. And I’d say he does sort of count as a hero, rather than merely the protagonist.

Maybe not quite a hero, but Hyram Graff of the Ender’s Game series (played in the movie by Harrison Ford, who was far too vain to put on a fatsuit.)

I also seem to recall Sister Carlotta (of the Ender’s Shadow series) as being pretty plump in the books, and she’s definitely a hero.

Melissa McCarthy has played a few overweight heroes:

“The Hammer” from the Netflix movie, Thunderforce. (Her partner, “Bingo”, is also played by an overweight actor).

Susan Cooper from Spy (2015 film).

Detective Connie Edwards from The Happytime Murders.

What kind of schtick was the name “Stanley Yelnats?”

It makes sense in the book, which is well worth reading even if you’re not a young adult.

Stanley Yelnats is absolutely the hero of Holes. And I’m annoyed at myself for not thinking of him.

He’s one of the first I thought of too, just wasn’t sure what was meant by hero, but thinking about it more, he’s a good call. Protagonist doesn’t count, which is why I also ruled out Falstaff. Overweight protagonists is a different topic.

Louis Sachar is an amazing YA writer. All of his books are definitely aimed at the younger end of YA fiction, but they deal with topics in a way that most adult fiction doesn’t, in a way that doesn’t bludgeon you with meaning.

Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford is overweight in the first 6 books of the series; then he develops heart problems and is ordered to lose weight, which he does reluctantly over the next several books.

Count Pierre Bezukhov in War and Peace is described as awkward, “stout, heavily built”. He’s been played by actors who are on the heavier side like Anthony Hopkins, but also by slim ones like Henry Fonda and Paul Dano. Josh Groban wore padded shirts or coats to play him on Broadway.

The 2016 BBC adaptation of War and Peace was well reviewed and had a great cast, but too many of them, not just Paul Dano, don’t look like the characters described in the books. Blonde Lily James plays dark-haired Natasha; dark and sharp-eyed Tuppence Middleton plays Helene who’s supposed to be blond, very beautiful and slow. Jim Broadbent, who’ 6’2" and bulky, plays Prince Bolkonsky, who’s supposed to be small and thin.

There’s Bess in the original Nancy Drew books. I don’t know whether they changed her in the later ones.

Not sure whether she counts as a hero; but IIRC she often did come through when it counted.

Pleasingly plump!