WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic
"Now, now, I'm sure it's nothing to worry about...although such a rapid weight loss in such a short space of time is most unusual."
Doctor, Robotboy, "Tummy Trouble"

In most western animations and anime, you have a character whose size can moderately or drastically change for just a few minutes as the scene calls it, or even for the whole episode. However, when the scene or episode ends, usually the affected character will be back at their regular size as if nothing ever happened. Characters may either gain weight, lose weight, grow muscles, or be inflated with air or liquid according to the script. Rarely used in live-action television and/or film since the actor has to wear heavy padding and special make-up, which is expensive and makes them very uncomfortable.

Not to be confused with Incredible Shrinking Man or Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever. Compare Balloon Belly. The Heavy Voice is sometimes a side-effect of this trope.

Examples of Temporary Bulk Change include:


  • The innuendo-tastic mascot of UK price comparison site had her weight rise to 37% by magic in comparison to car insurance bills, making her pull out an exercising bike from her pocket and slim down to her normal size in two seconds flat.

Anime and Manga

  • When Fuu on Samurai Champloo eats a great deal of food, she temporarily swells to a massive size. In at least one episode, this renders her unrecognizable to a set of police officers when she slims back down afterward. ("Have you seen a girl around here? She was really fat.")
  • Master Roshi of Dragon Ball fame. He can increase his muscle mass from normal old man muscles to bodybuilder muscles within seconds, and lose it even quicker. He wasn't the only one who did things like this, but his was the most extreme.
    • Zarbon has been known to change from a skinny Bishounen to a fat, muscular, lizard monster when he fights.
  • In One Piece, Luffy is able to temporarily increase the size of some of his body parts when he goes into Gear Third. He then shrinks when the effect subsides.
    • Luffy also overeats in several episodes and inflates. Sometimes it lasts somewhat long.
  • In chapter 59 of Ai Kora, Ayame overeats (over the course of a couple of weeks) due to stress from a scandal at her father's company and becomes rather obese. When she hears that the scandal was cleared and the company's stock had gone back up, she reverts back to her slim figure instantly. Meanwhile, Hachibei had been intercepting all of Ayame's food during the day and grew as bloated as Ayame had been in just a day. At the end of the chapter he throws all of it back up, and by the next chapter he's back to normal.
    • In chapter 88, this happens to some of the girls in Hachibei's dorm after Gokou Ooba, a chubby-chasing rich boy who fell for the fattened-up version of Ayame, slips a "bountiful body drug" into the dorm's water supply. The chapter ends with each member of Gokou's Maid Corps taking a dose of the drug, confessing their collective love for him, and inflicting severe bruises on their beloved master when the plumped-up maids all try to hug him at once.

  Maeda: Liking fat can be a problem...

  • This clip from Assemble Insert has a woman gaining muscle mass when strenuously trying to bend a lead pipe. When the deed is done, she immediately returns to a more slender shape.
  • At the start of episode six of Wandaba Style, Susumu is in the middle of a slump, and without one of his experiments to liven things up, the girls have nothing to do and have gained a substantial amount of weight as a result. When they realize just how fat they've gotten, they're quick to lose most of the extra pounds.
  • In Toriko, this is the result of eating the Meteor Garlic. This gave the food its other name, the Doping Garlic. For an example of its effect, it took Komatsu from this to this.
  • Buccha from Air Gear can do this as it's explain most of the fat is blood pooling in his stomach from overeating. When he wishes, he can transfer it to his muscles to give himself a more impressive build.


  • The Miss Nelson/Viola Swamp books. How the heck did Miss Nelson drastically lose enough weight to play Miss Swamp and then go back to normal, again?

Live Action TV

  • That's So Raven had an episode about how too much junk food would make you fat. Raven's high school cafeteria is bought out by a fast food corporation who slowly introduce more and more insane amounts of unbelievably fatty foods until even the halls are full of freebie hot snack machines to keep them hooked. Obviously, almost every student is said to be getting noticeably fatter, even though no actual change is visible.
    • Raven even struggles just to stand up from the sofa, despite no actual prosthetics to suggest any weight gain.

Newspaper Comics

  • Peanuts had a 1982 story arc where Sally went to Bean Bag Camp, where all kids do is sit in their bean bags watching TV and eating junk food, and came back fat. After 4 strips with fat Sally she was suddenly back to her normal self.
  • Ever-shallow Curtis briefly lost his crush on Michelle when she returned from France big enough to crush him. The next time we saw her, she was as svelte as before the trip.

Video Games

  • Similar to Roshi (as he's a Expy of him), Tung Fu Rue in Fatal Fury hulks out after losing a fourth of his health and becomes radically larger and more muscular. After getting knocked to one-fourth of his health, he shrinks back to normal. In later games, the trope is discarded, and Tung Fu Rue's "muscle" self is actually his Battle Aura.

Web Comics

  • One story arc in Sequential Art had Art being temporarily fattened up thanks to a prank pulled by Scarlet and her sisters. After struggling to lose weight for several strips, he's returned to normal size after alien robots who want to eliminate him because he's Walking Techbane shoot him with a disintegrator ray, but only manage to burn off the excess bulk.
  • The fox in Tally-Ho! learned too late not to eat the gravy meant for Sigfried. He became an immobile furry ball, but it lasted only two strips. Not to say he was fortunate, because the end of his digestion felt horribly thorough.

Western Animation

  • Family Guy has at least three cases of this trope:
    • In "He's Too Sexy For His Fat", Peter gets liposuction to lose weight. He later gets additional plastic surgery to buff up in muscle, and becomes a complete Jerkass to everyone and his family since he considers himself as a beautiful person. At the end of the episode, he crashes his car and gets tossed out, rolls down a hill, falls off a cliff, hits a cactus and a plane on the way down, and then finally crashes into a seemingly randomly placed lard factory. He eats the lard around him to get out. As he's recovering in the hospital, he's shown to gain back all the weight he dropped.
      • In a subplot, Stewie temporarily gains weight when he attempts to mock Chris' obesity by gorging himself continuously right in front of Chris. By the end of the episode he is normal size again.
    • In "A Fish Out Of Water", Peter is depressed that he lost his job and has gained so much weight that he's an immobile blob on the couch. As he's getting his bath, Peter decides to drop the weight and do something with his life. Within the next scene, he's back at his usual size without anyone ever mentioning about his former weight problem.
    • Lois gets her own Temporary Bulk Change in "Sibling Rivalry". Peter gets a vasectomy and won't have sex with Lois. The lack of sex causes Lois to start overeating, getting slowly fatter until she is the same size as Peter. Then, while Lois tries to lean across Peter to turn off his lamp, she has to wrestle with him to get to it. They realize that it is starting to feel good and only then realize that they are having sex. They agree that fat sex is the best sex they have ever had. Lois lets Peter fatten her up, literally shoving the food in. At the end of the episode, she has a heart attack and begrudgingly agrees to get all her fat lipped out of her. The plastic bag full of her fat nearly fills the bathroom of her hospital room. Peter tries having sex with it.
    • The Y2K episode where Peter eats an entire year's supply of dehydrated food, and looks no different. Then he complains that he's still hungry and drinks a glass of water, and immediately balloons out to fill half the room.

 Peter: Everybody leave, I have to poop.......NOW!

  • The Simpsons also has a few cases of size changes:
    • Pretty much any episode where Homer or another character pigs out and gets bloated from overeating.
    • One episode had Homer gain weight (up to 300 lbs) on purpose in order to claim disability and work from home. When there was a fatal problem at the power plant, he literally plugs the problem (unintentionally) with his fat ass. The episode's end averts the trope somewhat by showing Mr. Burns deciding to give Homer liposuction (originally he planned to have Homer work himself back into shape, but got so annoyed by his slow progress that he decided to just pay for the liposuction).
    • In another episode, Bart's school gets a soda/candy machine. Bart eats and drinks from it every single day until he gains a lot of weight. The episode parodies this by actually redoing the whole opening scene with Bart's bigger bulk.
    • Homer once got his stomach stapled to slim himself down after Marge becomes a successful business woman and was afraid she would leave him. The rapid weight loss he underwent left him with extra skin which he had to clip up from the back.
    • Another episode when Marge suffered from agoraphobia after being attacked by a mugger. Marge, living in the basement, starts working out with the equipment Homer bought and later becomes a bodybuilder and starts abusing steroids.
  • On the episode "Suds", SpongeBob SquarePants gets the sponge equivalent of a cold, which causes bubbles to come out of his pores every time he sneezes. In an attempt to keep him from going to the doctor, Patrick plugs up SpongeBob's pores, causing him to swell up with every sneeze.
  • Eric Cartman once tried to bulk up with Weightgain 3000, thinking it would make him more muscular. He just ends up getting fatter still, until he is a thousand-pound blob of fat being interviewed by Geraldo Rivera.
    • "BEEFCAKE!"
    • In "Jared Has Aides", the boys fatten up Butters with food from the local Chinese restaurant trying to follow Jared Fogle's fame. Butters gained enough weight to make a deal with the restaurant owner. Butters couldn't lose any weight, so the boys perform liposuction themselves.
    • In an episode about World of Warcraft, the boys are grinding (leveling up through repeating easy tasks) by killing boars. As their characters spend lots of time being active and get more and more athletic and awesome, they spend all their time sat down eating junk and drinking soft drinks, getting fatter and fatter.
    • And in "Tsst!" Cartman actually loses a lot of weight until he is only very slightly bigger than the other kids.
    • Subverted in "Fat Camp" when it turns out the skinny kid that comes back from a weight loss camp is not really Cartman. He is very convincing, though, you'd guess that's exactly how Cartman would look if he really slimmed down that much.
  • Chowder often overeats himself into a huge ball, then deflates back to normal with one burp.
    • There's also occasions where he's only slightly fatter than normal and in dire need of his emergency big boy shirt for one scene.
  • In the ~Rocko's Modern Life~ episode "Tickled Pinky", after Heffer gets an emergency liposuction, he shrinks down to wire-thin size, but is back to normal next episode.
    • Another episode when Spunky becomes a fat pig from eating too much. At the end, he's given liposuction becoming slightly slimmer than usual. This episode focused more on Bloaty and Squirmy.
  • Amy on Futurama used to be fat as a kid, so when the entire crew become younger in "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles", she regresses to her childhood weight as well. In "The Prisoner of Benda", the cast goes through a series of Body Swaps, and when Amy ends up on Leela's body, she starts overeating again, resulting in a fat Leela. Hermes offers to swap minds with her, claiming that Amy's overeating couldn't make his body any worse. When everyone's minds are back in their proper bodies at the end of the episode, Leela is back to normal, and Hermes has become thinner as well, after both saw Fry and Leela making out in Farnsworth's and Zoidberg's bodies and lost their appetites.
  • Henry and June on Ka Blam! in a season four episode, where they gain weight from overeating and have to lose weight for an upcoming physical fitness test, and if they fail, they lose their jobs as hosts of the show. So who do they call in to help them? Richard Simmons.
  • On two separate occasions did Clover and Alex of Totally Spies bulk up due to artificial methods (Nanomachines and a serum, respectively). It seems that poor Sam was the only girl left out of the fun.
    • In the episode "Passion Patties", both Clover and Jerry got hooked on a mad scientist's super-addictive, super-fattening cookies, and wound up pretty big before getting turned back to normal.
  • In Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost, Scooby and Shaggy overeat and as usual swell up their bellies. This time, however, they happened to meet three attractive girls and manage to suck in their stomachs to transform into bodybuilder physiques. The girls turn out to be the scary Hex Girls who frighten the two back into normal form. Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph in a matter of seconds.
  • This was the plot point of the Doug episode, "Doug Tips the Scales". The episode begins with Doug pigging out on junk food at his grandma's over the weekend, only for him to return home pretty chubby. After getting invited to a pool party, he works hard to lose all his weight, which he suceeds in doing. Though after going back to his original weight, he still complains about being fat, when all he really has is a slightly pudgy belly.
  • Happens in the Direct to Video finale to Recess, Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade with Gus in the "Fifth and Sixth Graders Club" segment. Shortly after visiting the club for a week, the gang start to notice that Gus had been getting a little fat recently, as a result of eating too much. He remains this way until the next segement.
  • Happens to Pinkie Pie at the very end of the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "MMMystery On The Friendship Express". After leapting into the air to devour a massive cake in a single glup, she is left looking very plump and full.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.