One Got Fat

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One Got Fat
One Got Fat Children.jpg
The Kids
Directed by Dale Jennings
Written by Dale Jennings
Narrated by Edward Everett Horton
Cinematography Max Hutto
Interlude Films
Release date
  • 1963 (1963)
Running time
15 min
Country United States
Language English

One Got Fat is a 1963 bicycle safety film. It is narrated by F-Troop and Fractured Fairy Tales star Edward Everett Horton.


In the film, ten children, nine of whom have monkey faces, hats and tails, plan on going to the park for a picnic. They all ride there on their bikes together on the nine-block journey (all except one, whose bicycle was stolen and who instead had to run to keep up with his friends); seeing that one of their friends has a basket, they decide to have him carry all of their lunches to the park. Each one of the monkeys has a character flaw, and each disobeys a specific rule that prevents them from reaching the park. At each block, one of the monkeys is eliminated from the group because of the consequences of their disobedience—usually by way of a collision. In the end, only one of the friends (who not only followed all the bike safety rules, but is also a normal human, whose face is not shown until the very end) makes it to the park and, because he was the one with the basket, gets all of his friends' food to himself, even though he doesn't want it all. Thus, as the title says, "One got fat!" Three of the Monkeys are seen in hospital beds.

In contrast to other ephemeral films, One Got Fat was a dark comedy.


Each character represents a different rule of the road the character does not obey, along with a more general sin or vice the character has that prevents him or her from doing so.

  1. Rooty-Toot ("Rooty") Jasperson
    • Make Signals
    • Sin: Arrogance
    • Demise: Turned left without stopping, signaling or looking, directly into ongoing traffic
  2. Tinkerbell ("Tink") McDillinfiddy
    • Watch Signs
    • Sin: Forgetfulness
    • Demise: Ignores a stop sign, resulting in being hit by a large truck
  3. Phillip ("Floog") Floogle
    • Keep Right
    • Sin: Boredom
    • Demise: Rides on left side of street between parallel-parked cars and oncoming traffic; while doing so a car moves out, hitting him
  4. Mossby Pomegranate
    • License/Register
    • Sin: Laziness
    • Fate: Had his bicycle stolen before the trip and unsuccessfully tries to run along with the bicycles. Last seen on the curb, having given up. (While licensing and registration of bicycles was still available in the mid-20th century, the practice is now obsolete, and attempts to reintroduce bicycle registration in the 21st century have been soundly rejected.[1][2] The film posits that had the bicycle been registered, police would have been able to find it and identify the thief more quickly.)
  5. "Slim" Jim Maguffny
    • Sin: Poor diet, overeating and obesity
    • Demise: His bicycle collapsed under his weight before the trip. Slim asks to ride on the front of Trigby Phipps's bicycle; both fall into an open manhole
  6. Trigby Phipps
    • Ride Alone
    • Sin: Giving in to peer pressure
    • Demise: Due to Trigby's lack of vision and difficulty in steering because of Slim blocking his head, he steers right into an open manhole
  7. Nelbert ("Nel") Zwieback
    • Yield
    • Sin: Anger
    • Demise: Nel's road rage prompts her to angrily switch to the sidewalk (something that was noted as being illegal in her jurisdiction) and refused to yield right of way to two oncoming pedestrians with groceries. The pedestrians were propelled into a nearby tree.
  8. Filbert ("Fil") Bagel
    • Tune Up
    • Sin: Neglect
    • Demise: Fil assumes that he will be getting a new bike soon so he neglects his current bike. The brakes no longer work, resulting in Filbert being run over by a steam roller
  9. Stanislaw ("Stan") Hickenbottom
    • Lights/Reflectors
    • Sin: Stupidity ("not bright enough")
    • Demise: He rides his bike into a tunnel without any way to be seen. He collides with something in the tunnel, which cannot be seen due to the darkness
  10. Orville ("Orv") Slump
    • Fate: As he obeyed all of the traffic rules, he made it to the picnic, alone. Orv is revealed, unlike his friends, not to be a monkey. He is the one who "got fat."

The actors include children of Director of Photography Max Hutto (Dick and Colleen Hutto) and Art Director Ralph Hulett's wife and son (Shirley and Ralph Hulett, Jr.,)[3] along with a number of their friends from school.


After experiencing a mild revival of popularity on the Internet, the film was presented as a RiffTrax feature in April 2008, with commentary by Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy; they described the film as a "concentrated dose of lab-purified nightmare fuel" and said that it makes monkeys more terrifying than they already are.[4] The film was also featured on Cracked, in the "Worst Lessons PSAs Accidentally Taught Us" episode of Michael Swaim's video show Does Not Compute,[5] and again as #5 on the list the Five Most Excessively Creepy Children's Educational Videos.

The film is extensively sampled in the music videos "Everything You Do is a Balloon" by Boards of Canada (fan-made), "Karma" by Weekend Wolves.,[6] "Bloody Palms" by Phantogram, "I'm The Devil" by Clams Casino (fan-made), "20 Inches of Monkey" by Lamps,[7] "Fool's Life" by Dr. Dog,[8] "St Peter" by The Black Spiders,[9] "January" by Venetian Snares, and "High on a Bicycle" by the Treasure Fleet.[10] Clips from it are also used in the music video "Oh, Me; Oh, My" by Nerf Herder.[11] The band Li'l Cap'n Travis made a video of the song "Natural Fool" that consists entirely of re-edited footage from this film, so did the spanish band The Magic Mor with the song "My Copy".[12] Ever since their 2011 Green Naugahyde tour, the band Primus used clips during renditions of "Here Come the Bastards". Clips are featured in the "Death" episode of the Adult Swim series Off the Air.


  1. ^ Newman, Andy (March 3, 2011). "Lawmaker Withdraws Bike-License Bill". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Katz, Celeste (March 3, 2011). "That's Ix-Nay On The NY Bicycle License Plates Idea, Says Assemblyman Michael DenDekker". New York Daily News. 
  3. ^ Amidi, Amid (December 2, 2006). "Old Brew: One Got Fat". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  4. ^ Nelson, Michael J. "One Got Fat: Rifftrax". Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  5. ^ Swaim, Michael. "Does Not Compute: Worst Lessons PSAs Accidentally Taught Us". 
  6. ^ "Karma". Weekend Wolves. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  7. ^ "20 Inches of Monkey". Lamps. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  8. ^ "Fool's Life". Dr. Dog. Retrieved 2013-03-14. 
  9. ^ "St Peter". The Black Spiders. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  10. ^ "High on a Bicycle". The Treasure Fleet. Retrieved 2013-03-14. 
  11. ^ "Oh Me, Oh My". Nerf Herder. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  12. ^ "My Copy". The Magic Mor. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 

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