Karlsson-on-the-Roof has these features:

  • overly confident
  • prank inclined
  • button-operated propeller
  • likes sweets
  • rather overweight

All except the last one are the features a child would want for himself - they are inverse of what is typically expected as good behavior. But what about Karlsson being overweight?

Is it because he consumes lots of sweets or for some other reason?


2 Answers 2


There is a difference between the wikipedia pages in different languages.

Karlson on the roof is originally Swedish, the Swedish description is:

Karlsson på taket, en vacker och genomklok och lagom tjock man i sina bästa år

The literal (google) translation is:

Karlson on the roof, a beautiful and wise and moderate fat man in his best years

But lagom does not really translate to moderate, it is more "of the correct amount", "OK amount" or "the amount that fits"

This sentence is how he was originally introduced in 1955.


There are a couple of stereotypes associated with big men. One of them is the Fat and Proud stereotype, where a character is actually proud of their weight, instead of embarrassed by it. I haven’t read the books, but I imagine that this stereotype is probably what the author had intended.

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