Full List of TV Shows with Fat Husbands and Skinny Wives


The television trope of a leading male character being a fat, schlubby funny guy and having a hot, skinny and sometimes younger wife has been around since at least Ralph and Alice Kramden in The Honeymooners. These differences always strike people as odd because studies have shown that long term couples tend to have similar BMIs. This makes sense when people share meals and exercise habits. Certainly couples exist in the world where the husband is a tubalub and the wife is thin, but in situation comedies it’s almost a requirement.

Since a list didn’t seem to exist, here is the full accounting of television shows featuring a fat husband and a skinny wife*.

The origin of this trope has been well documented by Slate and others and the intention here isn’t to dissect the subject, but to document it.

*It should be noted that homosexual couples are no exception. On Modern Family Cam and Mitchell fit the bill. Cam is larger and literally plays the clown on the show.

While on the related subject of Ed O’Neil a decision was made to not include Married with Children due to Al Bundy not quite fitting the trope. Al is lazy, unmotivated and not many people’s idea of husband material, but when you look at the modern incarnation of Jay Pritchett on Modern Family the more obvious difference between him and Gloria can be seen. Al and Peggy are just too similar, in so many ways.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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