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Do these fins make me look fat?


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"Is there any answer I can give that won't result in a prolonged beating?"

"Darn it, that was going to be my morning cardio!"
The Bunny System, "The Definition of Dilemma"
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Said whenever a nervous character is trying on a new set of clothes, especially before a date: "Does this (shirt, pair of pants, etc.) make me look fat?" Sometimes variations are used such as "Do I look fat?", "Does this make my butt look big?" or "I think I've gained some weight, what do you think?"

This is a trick question that brings terror to husbands in all Dom Coms (as she's not asking how the clothes make her look as much as how she looks), as he is never able to answer in a way that won't make his wife angry (saying "No" will convince her he's just saying what she wants to hear). Unless of course he just doesn't give a damn, in which case the answer is either "Yes" or "No, that doesn't make you look fat. The fact that you're fat makes you look fat."

In the UK the usual phrasing is, "Does my bum look big in this?"

This is mostly a Discredited Trope (if not a Dead Horse Trope) now, so a character will rarely ask it except when the question is really absurd. For instance, if the character is blatantly fat or skinny, or has a hideous facial scar that will draw more attention, or is an alien trying to mate. One way that it still works is often when a woman is pregnant. Since she is getting noticeably bigger (if not fatter, at least larger and often swollen), this leaves the husband in a particular bind. However, there is still some element of Truth in Television. If someone ever asks you this question in Real Life, the answer is always, "You look great."

Examples of Does This Make Me Look Fat? include:


Advertising

  • A recent Geico commercial shows a wife asking her distracted husband, "Honey, does this dress make me look fat?", to which he -- not really hearing the question -- cheerfully murmurs "You betcha" in response. The voiceover adds: "In the time it takes to pull out the sleeper sofa, you can save hundreds on car insurance."
    • Another Geico ad has Mary Todd Lincoln asking this of her husband, who, being "Honest Abe", spends about a minute scrutinizing her backside before holding up thumb and forefinger close together and saying "Maybe a little?" Of course, she's upset.
  • In a Twix commercial, a husband finally manages to come up with the right answer to the question - by chomping into a Twix bar then mumbling something incomprehensible around it, thereby allowing his wife to interpret it however she wants.
  • In a commercial for a local sofa store, as the couple was preparing to go to bed, the husband says to the wife "remember that dress you tried on today? on second thought it WAS a little tight" turns out he said it just so she would make him sleep on the couch.....the new big very comfortable couch that they just bought from the sofa store.
  • An Australian add for Dare iced coffee has the man replying honestly (after taking a swig of Dare) to the question "Does my bum look big in this?" with "At least it takes the attention off your face". Riffed on by another company's add which has the man replying "No" without looking up from his newspaper (the wife is facing away from him at the time).
  • In the closing moments of a radio commercial for garage doors, a woman asks "Does this garage door make my house look fat?"
  • A commercial for X-Play played up how the show "tells it like it is". A woman trying on pants asks her husband/boyfriend if the pants make her butt look big, and he responds, completely disinterested, "no, you just have a really huge ass".


Anime and Manga

Films -- Animated

  • In Disney's Mulan, Mulan disguises herself and her comrades as concubines to fool the bad guys. After she asks if there are any questions, Yao (who is short and dumpy with a disfigured face) says "Does this dress make me look fat?" He's heard getting slapped for it offscreen.
    • An inside joke, since Yao is voiced by Harvey Fierstein who often performs in drag.
  • In Toy Story 2, Buzz is looking at one of hundreds of unopened Buzz Lightyear toys in Al's Toy Barn on display, wondering, "Am I really that fat?"


Films -- Live-Action

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 Tommy: Hey, does this suit make me look fat?

Richard: No no no, your face does.

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  • Tagline for D.E.B.S: "Do these guns make us look fat?"
  • The tagline for the historical comedy Gladiatress is "Does my Gluteus Maximus look big in this?"


Literature

  • Dodged around in Starfighters of Adumar, when Red Flight has to wear the hated New Republic dress uniforms, which include body stockings that reveal any extra weight an image-conscious pilot might be carrying.
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 Hobbie: "I feel fat."

Wes: "You're not fat. Except -- never mind."

Hobbie: "What?"

Wes: "Nothing."

Hobbie: "No, tell me. I've been working out. I've been good. You just can't work on everything."

Wes: "That's right. It's scarcely noticeable."

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  • The "Does My Butt Look Big In This?" variant was referenced by the title of Randa Abtel-Fatah's book about a Muslim girl who decides to start wearing the hijab, Does My Head Look Big In This?.


Live-Action TV

  • In The Nanny, Brighton (who was probably 14) explains this to his father:
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  Dad, when are you gonna learn? Does this make me look fat? NO. Do you like my hair this way? YES. Is my tush wider than usual? There is no right answer for that one.

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 Al Bundy: It's not the dress that makes you look fat--it's the fat that makes you look fat!

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 Vamp Minion: Does this sweater make me look fat?

Sunday (Vamp Leader): No, the fact that you're fat makes you look fat. That sweater just makes you look purple.

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  • Subverted in Scrubs: Turk advises JD that the only difference when dating a black girl vs a white girl is that if his African-American girlfriend asks if her ass looks big, he should reply "Hell, yeah!"
  • In the episode of Code Monkeys "Third Reich's the Charm" Todd asks this question.
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 Todd: Does this outfit make me look fat?

Clare: No, vision makes you look fat!

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  • In the Lost episode "Tricia Tanaka is Dead," Sawyer teaches Jin the only three phrases he needs to know in English: "I'm sorry," "You were right," and "Those pants don't make you look fat."
  • On Friends, Ross and Rachel help Chandler in the aftermath of a fight with Janice:
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 Chandler: Okay, well, Janice said "Hi. Do I look fat today?" and I looked at her...

Ross: Whoa. Whoa. You looked at her? You never look. You just answer. It?s like a reflex. "Do I look fat?" "No." "Is she prettier than I am?" "No." "Does size matter?"

Rachel: "No."

Ross: And it works both ways.

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    • A possible variation by Chandler: "Do my nipples show through this shirt?"
  • Used in The Sarah Connor Chronicles when someone asks this question of Cameron. She briefly examines the questioner and responds, "Yes".
    • In a later episode Cameron, who's starting to get the hang of this teenage communication thing, asks a male student if the two pizza slices she's eaten make her look fat. The student, his proverbial tongue hanging out, naturally replies that she looks just fine.
    • According to Joss Whedon: What were Summer Glau's first words on the set of Firefly? "Does this cryogenic chamber make me look fat?"
      • Speaking of Joss Whedon, there's a clip of him floating around the internet sitting in a school bus filming the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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 Joss Whedon: Does this series finale make my butt look big?

Voice from off-camera: No. You make your butt look big.

Joss Whedon: (fake crying) Waah.

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  • Tony DiNozzo references the trope in the NCIS episode "Faking It," as part of an ongoing argument with Ziva about men lying to women: "'Honey, does my butt look big in these pants to you?' Actually, yes, sweetheart, your butt looks as big as Alabama. Didn't want to say anything, but you've got the 'bama butt going on."
    • Ziva looks offended after Tony said, " Didn't want to say anything, but you've got the 'bama butt going on.". Tony then tries to clean his mess up by saying, " Not that your butt is big, not that I've even looked.". Ziva calls him a liar for saying he's never looked.
  • The Fast Show has a character called "Does My Bum Look Big In This?".
  • In the Series/{{Leverage episode "The Wedding Job", one of the bridesmaids asks Parker and Sophie if the dress makes her look fat. Sophie reassures her, but Parker being Parker, she tells her the truth.
  • In an early episode of Living Single Kadijah asks friend if he clothes make her butt look big, The friend says yes. This pleases Kadijah, because that's exactly the effect she was hoping for.
  • In Doctor Who, sprinkle in a little Hypocritical Humor and it shows one way how this trope can still work. In "Amy's Choice," Rory, Amy, and the Doctor all have a shared dream where Amy is very, very pregnant.
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 Amy: Yes, I was huge. I was a boat.

Rory: So we had the same dream, exactly the same dream.

Amy: (angry) Are you calling me a boat?

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  • In one episode of The Red Green Show, Red explains that the life of a middle-aged man is just as risky as the life of a young man who does extreme sports. One example of a risky situation is a husband being asked this question by his wife.


Music

  • In "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Confessions Part III" from his 2006 album Straight Outta Lynwood, a lyric near the end of the song says, "And I lied - yes, that dress makes you look fat." Also, in "If That Isn't Love", he claims that his willingness to tell her she looks fat if she needs to know is proof of his affection.
  • In L. Udo's song "Good Will Hunting By Myself," the singer's list of insults directed at his ex eventually comes around to "Yes, your ass does look fat in those jeans!"


Newspaper Comics

  • Baby Blues featured Wanda asking this question. While her husband Daryl dives for cover, her daughter Zoe answers with an honest "Yes", which Wanda calmly accepts, to Daryl's surprise.
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 Daryl: I didn't think it was possible to answer that question and live.

Wanda: I wouldn't suggest trying it.

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    • This trope was used in another Sunday strip around the same year; Daryl and Zoe are playing the game where the parent says "How big is my baby? Soooo big!" Wanda, not realizing what they're doing, happens to walk in on them, asking how her butt looked in a pair of jeans, to which Daryl inadvertently responds "Sooooo big!" This, of course, has a hilariously violent result for poor Daryl.
  • In one Blondie strip, the eponymous character asks whether a dress she is trying on makes her look fat. Dagwood responds by asking whether she means from the waist up or from the waist down, which he insists is a legitimate question. Blondie doesn’t get mad but agrees with the saleswoman that she shouldn’t have brought her husband along.


Stand-Up Comedy

  • Every straight male comedian ever, and probably a few lesbian comedians have done a joke based on this. It usually doesn't end well for them. Bonus points if the wife/girlfriend happens to be pregnant at the time, allowing the exaggerated, hormone-induced personification of rage (No, not 4chan) to toss a bus full of Girl Scouts at whoever dares to answer the question. Then she eats all the Girl Scout cookies. Dipped in tartar sauce. With a glass of breast milk from an endangered leopard.
  • Mock the Week: Lines You Wouldn't Hear In A Costume Drama
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  Andy Parsons:"Do you think wearing this bustle makes my arse look big?"

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  • Robin Williams brings up a variation of this in his "Live on Broadway" special:
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 Robin: Shhhh H! There's a gay mafia! "The Mauve Hand!" The fairy Godfather--(lisping) "Does this pistol make my butt look big?"

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Theatre


Videogames

  • In the PlayStation 3 version of Tales of Monkey Island, when Guybrush Threepwood shrinks La Esponja Grande with the Diet of the Senses, the result is a silver trophy the player is rewarded with. Surprisingly, the trophy is labeled as, "Does This Corpse Make Me Look Fat?"


Webcomics

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 Kerrie: Does my butt look big in this?

Tessa: Yes!

Kerrie: Oh good! The padding must be working!

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 Run Swampy! It's a trap!

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Western Animation

  • From Phineas and Ferb:
    • In the episode "Out to Launch". The boys give Candance a space suit, and when they fill it with air, it all goes to her butt. She then asks if the suit makes her butt looks big.
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 Phineas: Yes. Yes it does.

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    • The episode where Candace and Perry swap bodies is titled "Does this Duckbill Make Me Look Fat?"
  • In the Daria episode "Gifted", Tiffany asks this question of Quinn one too many times, causing her to explode with "You're not freaking fat, OK?!"
  • In a SpongeBob SquarePants episode, Sandy Cheeks asks this while wearing a superhero suit that makes her completely invisible.
  • Hank Hill in King of the Hill actually lampshades this with a Genre Savvy response:
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 Hank: Honey, that's what's called a loaded question. Any possible answer I could give is a bullet waiting to blow my brains out.

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  • There was a cartoon involving two pythons. "Tell me the truth. Does swallowing this pig make me look fat?"
  • Another variation occurs in Avatar: The Last Airbender, during the Ember Island Players' rendition of the group's adventures: when Actor!Sokka dresses up as a Kiyoshi Warrior, he asks Suki, "Does this dress make my butt look big?" Even more hilarious considering a) the real Sokka was extremely mortified to have to dress like a woman and b) Suki found this moment in the play just as funny as the viewers did.
  • Sev Trek: Puss in Boots (the Australian CGI spoof of Star Trek: The Next Generation) has a shapeshifting alien imitating Worf and asking him "Tell me honestly; does my bum look big in this form?"
  • In The Fairly Odd Parents, the mayor asks the town mascot this question.
  • One Robot Chicken sketch was a parody of Highlander replacing the Immortals with Hollywood starlets. After receiving her Quickening, Lindsey Lohan sputters "Does this power make me look fat?" before collapsing.
  • In a Code Monkeys episode, Todd asked if a prison uniform made him look fat. Claire responded with, "No, Todd. Vision makes you look fat."
  • In the first episode of HOOD, Loona asks this about her inflation power.
  • Inverted in Chowder. No answer was given.
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 Chowder: Tell me Mung, does my butt make this dress look big?

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  • In Lucky Luke and the Ballad of the Daltons, the Dalton Brothers had to kill the judge and the jury that sentenced their Uncle Henry to death so they could claim the inheritance he left them. Their first target was a man who ran a laundry. Rather than just killing him, Joe decided to have him wash their prison uniforms first. Once they realized their target wouldn't get back, they just put on random clothing so they could leave the shop. When Joe suggested they stopped at the next town to buy new clothes before tracking their next target, Averell agreed on the grounds the dress he (Averell) was wearing made him look fat.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer has to work undercover for the government. He asks his family whether the tape recorder under his shirt makes him look fat.


Web Originals

  • in Strangerhood, Catherine is captured by evil Tovar. Among the evil things he does to her is tell her that her tiara makes her butt look big. Nikki tells her it doesn't.
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  Nikki: But your fat ass sure does make your tiara look small.

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  • Germaine from Neurotically Yours' once asked this to Foamy. Being the short-tempered sociopath he is, Foamy angrily answers "Yes, you are a fat bastard! Now shut up!"
  • The Slipstream Forums once had a discussion on the topic "Why isn't Andromeda (A warship with a female AI) shaped like a ball?" Someone said:
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  who'd want to answer Rommie, armed with 40 missile tubes, plus AP and plasma cannon, PDLs, combat drones, Tweedles, and slipfighters, when she asks, "Does this hull make me look fat?"

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  • The Loading Ready Run video Is This A Date?, in the style of a dating show, demonstrates three very bad responses to this question. One of the bachelors embarks on a lengthy explanation of how he appreciates some "cushion for the pushin'", one awkwardly compares the woman to a bear hibernating for the winter, and one angrily tells her that she needs new pants, or to lose some weight.



Would more examples make this page look fat? No, honey, you look good just the way you are.

  • Don't listen to what he says, it DOES make you look fat, 'cause you ARE fat!
  • Some of us like big pages...
  1. She's a liberal, he's a conservative, hence his response.
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