Supposed to be Jolly


“I thought fat people were supposed to be jolly.”

Where have I heard that before? Oh yes, everywhere. The internet allows us to trace terrible jokes throughout time in ways that have never before been possible. Thank you Google Books (a project both amazing and scary) and IMDB. Since internet moratoriums a dime a dozen, we at Gather Round Children beg no one to stop making the joke. We will simply call you out on it if you do.


“Faces” (1968)
Jeannie: Skinny people are not like fat people. Fat people are jolly. Right?
Richard Forst: Wrong. Skinny people are happy because they’re not fat.

“Birds of a Feather” (1989)
[Dorien enters.]
Dorien Green: Good afternoon, neighbours.
Sharon Theodopolopoudos: It was, up until now.
Dorien Green: Now, now, Sharon. Fat people are supposed to be jolly; it’s a tradition.

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (2006)
“Now let’s move it before the ground falls out from under our feet.”
“I thought fat guys are supposed to be jolly.”
“I’m not fat. It’s this fur that makes me look big. It’s poofy.”
“Oh, okay. He’s fat.”


The Munsters (1964)
Herman Munster: Marilyn, I ask you, am I too fat?
Marilyn Munster: Well…
Herman Munster: Never mind!
Grandpa: What are you yelling at Marilyn for, I mean don’t you know that fat men are supposed to be jolly?

Family Guy (fairly recent):
Lois Griffin: I’m going to Stop ‘N Shop for some sweet corn.
Peter Griffin: You’re spending money on food again?
Peter Griffin: Lois, we just had dinner.
Lois Griffin: I enjoyed it so much, I thought we’d eat again tomorrow.
Lois Griffin: Since when are you so concerned about our food budget?
Peter Griffin: I just…
Peter Griffin: Lois, this is really hard for me to say, but…
Lois Griffin: What is it, Peter?
Peter Griffin: You’re getting kind of fat.
Lois Griffin: What?
Peter Griffin: It’s just… It’s not healthy.
Lois Griffin: Peter, I do my Jane Fonda workout tape three times a week.
Lois Griffin: When was the last time you saw your toes?
Peter Griffin: I thought you people were supposed to be jolly.


How to Survive Old Age (Nonfiction) – Page 155
by Evan Keliher – 2000
Fat people, by all accounts, are supposed to be jolly and fun loving and hence have no business killing themselves.

I’ll Never Have Sex With You Again!: Tales from the Delivery Room (Nonfiction) – Page 146
by Larry Bleidner, Irene Zutell – 2002
He had to have been over four hundred pounds. By the time he walked the fifteen feet to my door, he was panting. I thought to myself, I hope fat people are jolly.

Lucky? (Fiction) – Page 48
by Richard Craig – 2003 – 564 page
Mr Fischer was still in attendance even though Jones himself had left us in the capable hands of Chief Perry Office Weiss, the meanest little person I had ever met. I thought midgets and fat people were supposed to be jolly.

Circles Within Circles (Fiction) – Page 8
by Robert L. Skidmore – 2005 – 264 pages
She tapped the schedule with a pudgy finger to stress her point.
“Thank you,” Gif said, turning towards the closed door, stifling the unkind thought that fat ladies were supposed to be jolly.

This is an incomplete list. If you know of any more “supposed to be jolly” instances, please comment below.

6 thoughts on “Supposed to be Jolly

  1. I just added the Munsters quote. Gotta catch em all!

  2. I believe there is a Garfield cartoon from the 80s with a similar statement.

  3. Number 5 says:

    Mad Magazine’s “Return of the Jedi” spoof (circa 1983 or 84) had Jabba condeming Luke to be eaten & Luke responding with, “I thought all fat people were supposed to be jolly.”

    found it:

  4. Loren Cress says:

    @Rocco same here.

    The one I remember (evidently from 1984/09/30): (which is definitely the one that came to mind, but not exactly the correct quote).

    This one, from 1989/09/25, has it exactly:

    …but since it’s from ’89, not as useful. Nor as funny.

  5. Lisa says:

    Found this site looking for a Garfield strip. That’s where I heard it first. Didn’t realize it was so widespread.

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