I don't reckon I saw any, so my question is: were there any? If not, how come people in the Matrix can't get weight in their perspective. I mean, no one tried to gain some?

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    How fat do you want them? The Oracle wasn't exactly trim.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 12:47
  • 2
    Also, do you mean inside the pods or actually within the construct of the Matrix?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 12:53
  • 2
    I meant in the Matrix, can they be different?
    – perzsa
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 14:19
  • @persza - The premise of the question is actually pretty reasonable and mirrors this one. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/71564/…
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 14:26
  • 1
    The Oracle was a program. Hm, maybe other fat people, whom Richard showed were also programs?
    – perzsa
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 14:29

5 Answers 5


There were more than a few extras who were substantially above the average BMI

The Matrix

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And in the Animatrix

(Kid's Story)
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And from the Matrix Comics

(Wrong Number)

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  • Oh, the guard, nice!
    – perzsa
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 14:25
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    @perzsa - "fat bystander" seems to be the biggest you see in the films.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 14:26
  • i should have use the big guy synonym :) but you got the idea
    – perzsa
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 14:36

Do you mean the physical bodies or the avatars?

If the latter, yes, of course there are fat people in the Matrix - there are fat people in real life, aren't there? The Matrix is supposed to be indistinguishable from real life.

More precisely, the Matrix's programming is designed to emulate the real life laws of physics. Those laws dictate that if a person eats a lot, they will grow fat. It follows that any human plugged into the Matrix who eats a lot (more precisely, their virtual avatar eats a lot) will grow fat (more precsely, their virtual avatar will grow fat) for exactly the same reason that if your avatar jumps off a building, it will fall down - because that's what the programming of the simulation dictates. Obviously this doesn't apply to rebels who've mastered freeing themselves from the retrictions of the Matrix. Presumabely Neo could clear out every doughnut joint in simulated New York City and suffer no ill-effects.

This is an entirely distinct question from whether the actual physical bodies of the people plugged into the Matrix are fat. Dying or being injured in the Matrix has ill-effects on your physical body, so it's possible that eating too much in the Matrix would do the same. However, although it sort of makes sense that you die if you're killed in the Matrix (all your body has to do is stop your heart), growing fat because your body thinks it's eating a lot doesn't make much sense, because surely it's physically impossible - where's your body getting the fat from?

In any case, just because your avatar is fat doesn't mean that the Matrix deliberately made your phyical body fat, just like the Matrix doesn't have to physically move your arms around in order for your avatar to move your arm around. So there's certainly no reason to think that the Matrix is deliberately cloning or breeding fat people, or that the fact that their avatars are fat implies that their bodies are being fed more nutrients. In fact, that makes no sense - that would be like designing a AA battery to have a lower life expectancy just so that it can be a few milimeters wider (and therefore likely to get stuck in your flashlight - or in your feeding tube, in this case).

  • Good analysis. The physical bodies would be fed the minimum amount of nutrients required to generate the power needed, this would not allow for overweight individuals unless said individuals suffered from some form of medical disorder. Even then it seems unlikely to gain a lot of weight without taking in excess. It would be a waste of resources to "feed" those in the pods anymore than needed to just stay alive. Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 22:33
  • This is very interesting! So your mind could be belived that you get, say diabetes just because they programmed so? Then how would my body know how to react on this disease without actually having? There is a program that controls ills?
    – perzsa
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 7:44
  • @LittleTreeX: Now please don't try logic on the whole "feeding bodies to extract some form of power from them" angle, because the less being said about that, the better... :-D
    – DevSolar
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 9:43
  • @DevSolar Human brains are still quite efficient processing devices. Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 13:54
  • 1
    @kagali-san I considered that. I imagine the body would basically start all the mechanisms that would normally be started if you ate a lot. What would that would do to you I don't know.
    – Jack M
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 20:35

With regard to the questions of why the machines would feed one person more than another if there wasn't a corresponding gain in power output, it occurs to me that the machines are unlikely to be looking at local maxima or minima in their efficiency analysis. In simple terms, they are more likely to be considering overall productivity of a tower rather than just the isolated performance levels of the individual humans.

If the key to the ongoing success of the Matrix is the mass cognitive deception of their human population, then the machines' ultimate goal would more likely be to keep the whole population as inured with their perceived conditions as possible. That would mean making sure that their biological feedback in the pods (of which they are implied to be minimally aware) would be kept as consistent as possible with the manufactured reality that they experience through their neural interface.

We see this currently in the manufacturing tolerances of microprocessors and hard drive platters, for example. In each case, there are predefined tolerances that are deemed acceptable for the product delivered and still be considered satisfactory. With roughly 200 years of advancement in state of the art methods for resource management, I suspect the machines have implemented quite an elaborate system of big data mining and management to get control the system.

  • Yes! Good point! This is possibly the answer if the food amount is indivividually split. Either this or the avatar could gain weight while the podded body won't.
    – perzsa
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 7:37

So let me offer a slightly differing take based on my knowledge of some database systems.

Dealing with the physical bodies in the real world.

It would be quite possible for a fat person to exist in the tube, outside of glandular or metabolic disorders, etc., because frequently to try and gain performance a computer/machine/sentient robot may try a new algorithm as part of an effort to improve efficiency/speed/etc.

The same could be said of the physical bodies, perhaps at some point they were testing to see if the power output was a factor of the food one body received over another, enter some test subjects, one given more food, one given less, one given the same amount, examine the power output over the life of the subject and extrapolate into a working model of resources, supply and output. Its reasonable to expect given a decent population size that there would be diversity of several factors, if for no other reason than the continued experiments of the machines toward improvements of their design.

The architect specifically mentioned that there have been many incarnations of the matrix always tweaking trying to get it right, its reasonable to assume that they would apply the same rigor to the physical world.

Additionally perhaps they would have had some fat people because the maximum output of a battery is a function of age, so it may make sense to shorten the life spans by feeding them more and thus introducing the illness and side effects of being overweight in the matrix.


The Matrix is controlled by machines. The machines don't have logical and analytic skills like human being, it basically does maths. Also, machines don't care if human is fat, skinny or muscular as they are only used to generate required power. So maybe machines created a few generic structures of humans for male and female diversified across various ethnicity and generated the humans in The Matrix.

It's like creating character in FIFA or PES games. You are given set of features with certain values to change the dimensions. Maybe the machines use that kind of technology.

  • 3
    Yes, but how is that logical to give someone more food than others, and gain no more power from him/her?
    – perzsa
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 14:23
  • 2
    I beg to differ that the machines in the Matrix don't have analytical and/or logical skills. The fact that it could "reason up" the Matrix is a clear indication the Machines can think for themselves.
    – rubenvb
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 9:35
  • 1
    Also, unthinking machines wouldn't wage war or sign peace treaties. Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 14:09

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