Funny You’re So Fat Jokes: Why We Laugh

A light-hearted look at why we find fat jokes funny, even though they may be considered offensive.

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We all know the stereotype. Overweight people are the butt of jokes. They’re considered lazy, sloppy, and undisciplined. This image has been perpetuated in the media for years, and it’s no wonder that many people believe it to be true.

But why do we laugh at fat jokes? Is it because we really believe that overweight people are less worthy of respect? Or is there something else going on?

Some experts believe that our amusement at fat jokes is a way of dealing with our own fears and insecurities. After all, being overweight is something that could happen to any of us. By making fun of those who are overweight, we distance ourselves from them and make ourselves feel better.

Others believe that our reaction to fat jokes is a way of expressing our disapproval of obesity. After all, being obese is unhealthy and can lead to serious health problems. By making fun of obese people, we signal our disapproval of their lifestyle choices.

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that fat jokes are here to stay. So if you’re feeling insecure or disapproving, try not to take it out on those who are overweight. Remember, they’re just like you and me – they’re just trying to get through life the best way they know how.

The History of Fat Jokes

For as long as there has been fatness, there have been fat jokes. This is not to say that fatness is a laughing matter—quite the opposite, in fact. But the history of fat jokes is long and complicated, often serving as a way to mock and degrade fat people while also providing a brief respite from the everyday struggles of living in a fat body.

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece is often cited as the birthplace of comedy, and fat jokes are no exception. The ancient Greeks were known for their love of Festivals of Dionysus, where comedy and mockery played a central role. In these festivals, it was not uncommon for comedians to make fun of overweight people in order to get a laugh.

One famous example comes from the playwright Aristophanes, who wrote a comedy called The Frogs. In this play, one of the characters is an overweight man who is the butt of many jokes. While some of these jokes may seem crude by modern standards, they would have been considered hilarious at the time.

Interestingly, fat jokes were not always used purely for entertainment purposes. In some cases, they were also used as a form of social commentary. For instance, Aristophanes’ The Frogs includes a scene in which the overweight character is trying to cross a river but gets eaten by a crocodile. This was likely meant to be a commentary on the dangers of being overweight and how it can lead to deadly consequences.

The Middle Ages

Between the 11th and 13th centuries, a new comic figure began to emerge in Europe: the jester. Jesters were professionals who entertained audiences with a combination of physical comedy, wordplay, and musical skills. They often wore brightly colored clothing and had painted faces.

One of the most famous jesters was a man named Norman-les-gorjes, who worked for King Richard II of England. Norman was known for his quick wit and bawdy humor. He once wrote a play called Fat Men Should Be Castrated, which caused quite a stir at court!

Jesters were often employed by noble families to entertain guests and make them laugh. However, they were also used as political commentators, poking fun at government officials and criticizing them in a way that was safe because it was seen as just harmless fun.

It’s believed that fat jokes became popular during this time because of the rise of jesters and their type of humor. The jokes were likely used as a way to poke fun at someone in a safe way without offending them too much. Fat jokes became so popular that they even began to appear in literature, like Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

The Renaissance

The Renaissance was a period of great creativity and change in Europe, and it gave rise to some of the most famous artists and writers in history. It was also a time when people were increasingly interested in their own appearance, and obesity was considered to be a sign of wealth and success. This led to a growing popularity of fat jokes, which were used to satirize those who were seen as being too proud or self-indulgent.

Some of the most famous fat jokes from this period include those made about the Italian artist Michelangelo, who was often mocked for his portly figure. In one story, Michelangelo is said to have been so afraid of being eaten by a shark while swimming that he covered himself in oil so that he would slide off if the shark tried to take a bite.

Another popular target for fat jokes was the English poet John Milton, who was known for his rotund physique. In one story, Milton is said to have been so brilliant that he once wrote a poem while lying on his back—and it was so good that it won him a prize.

As obesity became more common in Europe during the Renaissance, fat jokes began to lose their appeal, and by the end of the period they were largely forgotten. However, they would resurface centuries later in America, where they would find a whole new audience.

The Victorian Era

While fat-shaming is certainly not a new phenomenon, it was during the Victorian era that it reached its height. Fat-shaming was seen as a way to control the masses and to enforce social norms. Being overweight was seen as a sign of laziness and lack of self-control, and fat people were often the butt of jokes and ridicule.

During this time, there was also a rise in the popularity of “fat farms”, where people would go to try to lose weight. These were often ineffective and even dangerous, as they often involved grueling exercise regimes and overly restrictive diets.

Today, fat-shaming is still commonplace, but there is also a growing movement of body positivity and acceptance. Fat people are speaking out and demanding to be seen and heard. And while there is still a long way to go, things are slowly starting to change for the better.

The Modern Era

The modern era of fat jokes can be traced back to the early days of television. Shows like The Honeymooners and All in the Family featured obese characters who were the butt of many jokes. In more recent years, shows like King of Queens and Mike & Molly have continued this trend.

Fat jokes are also common in stand-up comedy. Some comedians, like Lisa Lampanelli, have built their careers around making fun of overweight people.

While some people find fat jokes offensive, others see them as harmless fun. What do you think?

The Psychology of Fat Jokes

Why do we laugh when someone is called “fat?” Is it because we are truly amused, or is there something else going on? Let’s take a closer look at the psychology of fat jokes to see why we find them so funny.


Superiority is often cited as the reason why we laugh at fat jokes. After all, if someone is overweight, they must be less attractive, less successful, and generally inferior to us, right? Wrong.

While it’s true that some people do use humor as a way to feel better about themselves by putting others down, this isn’t the only reason why fat jokes are funny. In fact, studies have shown that people of all sizes laugh at fat jokes, regardless of their own weight.

So why do we find fat jokes so hilarious? One theory is that we laugh at them because they are unexpected. We expect people who are overweight to be sluggish and lazy, so when they do something that goes against this stereotype (like running fast or being clever), it’s funny.

Another theory is that we laugh at fat jokes because they help us deal with our own fears and insecurities. We all have moments when we feel like we don’t measure up andfat jokes can be a way of helping us deal with these feelings. Bylaughing at someone else’s expense, we feel better about ourselves and our own bodies.

Whatever the reason, fat jokes are here to stay. So the next time you hear one, just remember: everyone is laughing for different reasons.


We often laugh at people or things that we are afraid of. It’s a way to deal with our fears by displacing them onto someone or something else. For example, we might laugh at a overweight person because we are afraid of being fat ourselves. By making fun of someone else, we feel better about ourselves.

Fat jokes are also a way to assert power over someone. By making fun of someone’s weight, we are putting them down and making ourselves feel superior. This is especially true if the person we are making fun of is already in a position of powerlessness, such as a child or an employee.


It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. And while there may be some truth to that adage, humor can also be used as a weapon. When someone is the butt of a fat joke, for instance, it can be a way for the joker to feel better about themselves by making someone else feel bad.

There is a theory in psychology known as catharsis which suggests that we laugh in order to release pent-up emotions. According to this theory, humor allows us to release our aggression in a non-harmful way. In other words, we laugh at fat jokes because it makes us feel better to know that we are not the only ones with body issues.

Humor can also be used as a form of social commentary. When we make fun of someone’s weight, we are often making a statement about our cultural ideals of beauty and perfection. By laughing at someone who doesn’t meet these standards, we reaffirm our own beliefs about what is acceptable and what is not.

Of course, not all fat jokes are created equal. Some are genuinely funny and don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. But others are mean-spirited and designed solely to demean and humiliate. The next time you’re tempted to tell a fat joke, ask yourself whether it’s coming from a place of love or hate. If it’s the latter, it’s best to keep your mouth shut.

The Sociology of Fat Jokes

American culture is obsessed with thinness. The media tells us that thin is beautiful and fat is ugly. This messaging is everywhere, from TV commercials to magazine ads. And it’s not just the media. Our friends, family, and even strangers often make comments about our weight. So, why do we find fat jokes so funny?


Exclusion is a form of social control. It is the act of removing someone from a social group or social interaction. Exclusion can be physical or verbal. When someone is excluded, they are usually not given a reason why. This can be hurtful and confusing. Exclusion is often used as a way to teased people, making them feel bad about themselves. Fat jokes are a form of exclusionary humor. They are designed to make the target feel bad about their weight. Studies have shown that fat jokes are more likely to be aimed at women than men. This is because our society values thinness in women more than it does in men. Fat jokes can lead to feelings of shame, worthlessness, and isolation. They can also increase the likelihood of developing an eating disorder.


There are a lot of stereotypes about fat people that lead to a lot of fat jokes. Some of these stereotypes include that fat people are lazy, stupid, and smelly. While there are some fat people who may fit these descriptions, there are also skinny people who fit them too. The truth is, fat jokes are just another way to discriminate against and humiliate fat people.

These stereotypes are often used to justify discrimination against fat people in various areas of life, including in the workplace and in relationships. Fat jokes can be a way to bond with others who share the same prejudices. They can also be used to put down someone who is considered to be different or inferior.

Whether you think they’re funny or not, fat jokes are hurtful and can be damaging to the self-esteem of those who are targeted by them. If you know someone who is the target of fat jokes, speak up and defend them. Otherwise, you’re just helping to perpetuate a culture of cruelty and intolerance.


Funny you’re so fat jokes are popular because they appeal to our sense of humor. They also make us feel better about ourselves by making fun of someone else. Fat people are often the butt of jokes because they are an easy target. They are usually not as thin as the average person and they often have trouble losing weight.

These jokes can be hurtful, but most people who tell them do not mean to be offensive. They are just trying to be funny. If you are the target of these jokes, it is important to remember that they are not personal attacks. The best thing you can do is laugh along with the joke and show everyone that you can take a joke as well as anyone else.

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