Successful cartoons and fictional characters have a lot to thank their designers for. The heroes are often good looking with sharp features associated with bravery and attractiveness. Villains are a whole different bunch. When it comes to designing a villain it seems that making them as ugly as possible is the best way to create their character.
It’s usually the attractive hero who takes all the plaudits, and often their success stretches way beyond the original film, television series or comic strip. Superheroes litter memorabilia stands, from figures to one off board games, even Converse All Stars have their very own Superhero collection including famous heroes such as Batman, Superman and Flash. How about villains? Sometimes a villain is the only worthwhile character of a film or book, yet apart from the Joker, off the back of Heath Ledger's iconic performance in the Dark Knight; it seems that villains just don't get celebrated by popular culture.
Maybe it's because we live in such an image conscious world we find it harder to empathise with the ugly ones? Making ugly villains is also an important mechanism to help distinguish who is good and who is bad.
A prevailing feature for the common villain is being overweight. Adding a monstrous gut or a flabby swinging chin can be just one of the ways to create the perfect baddie.
Jabba the Hutt - Star Wars
This gluttonous villain is both greedy in size and attitude. His sheer mountainous girth and piggish slobbery somewhat makes him likable, he’s more funny than haunting. He’s the archetypal business blob - large and in charge. He ate his way to the top, digesting every last bone until he became too big to argue with. This 1/4 slug, 1/4 toad, 1/4 Cheshire cat and 1/4 cement mix before it has set is one of the most recognisable characters from Star Wars. So much so that ‘Jabba the Hutt’ has become a common way of describing a fat power hungry boss.
Jabba started off as a humble crime lord but he soon widened his options involving himself in various illegal activities such as gunrunning, spice-smuggling, slavery and other forms of piracy. Although he isn’t the most mobile of characters he has still managed to earn the respect from the Galaxy’s ruling government. You'd be a fool to annoy this big splodge, so much so that during the Clone Wars the Republic strongly avoided rubbing Jabba up the wrong way. Even though there probably isn’t a right way of rubbing up Jabba; where would you start?
Miss Trunchbull - Matilda
Miss Trunchbull is Matilda’s main nemesis, she’s a head teacher hell bent on making children feel bad. She is even known to put children in a torture device known as 'The Chokey', what a horrible hefty hog.
Depending on which Miss Trunchbull you’re referring to she may not be “fat”, simply brawny and muscular. If we’re talking about the original illustration by Quentin Blake then Miss Trunchbull has to be brandished fat.
It’s not only her overpowering size that makes her a feared villain for youngsters; those personal experiences with similar teachers start to resurface. Undoubtedly many of these teachers were meaty mounds just like Trunchbull, surely one of the main reasons why she is such an unnerving character and a true to life villain.
Blob - X Men
This fat gannet has been a long sitting villain for the X Men to contend with. He is known for absorbing bullets, boasting extreme strength and having the ability to create a field of gravity which makes him impossible to move. Rather than being an ultimate boss or a worthwhile villain this white whale is more of a henchman, sideman and a back up for someone better.
Originally Blob was a bit of a joke; he failed to lead by example and failed to become a household name within the fictional crime lord hierarchy. In recent times Blob still retains his pork ball presence but he’s taken up a much darker stance. In the alternate 'ultimate' version Blob is known for cannibalism, literally dining on peoples bodies because he’s that hungry and twisted.
More Fat Fantasy Villains
Doctor Eggman - Sonic
Ursula - Little Mermaid
Fat Bastard - Austin Powers
Pink Pearl - Alpha Flight (Marvel Comics)
The Kingpin - Spiderman
The Penguin - Batman
Toyman - Superman
Egghead - Batman
There we have it just a few examples of some fat fantasy villains. Please feel free to share some more names at the bottom of the page - I am sure I've missed some out!
James Horsham from Manchester, UK on February 19, 2014:
This is really funny. I enjoyed this a lot.