Study Guide

Requiem for a Dream Tappy Tibbons (Christopher McDonald)

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Tappy Tibbons (Christopher McDonald)

Tapped Out

Tappy Tibbons is like inspirational speaker Tony Robbins and sleazy diet pitchman Kevin Trudeau smooshed together into a sandwich and doused with spray tanner.

Tappy is more distant from us than other characters because he only exists in the TV program. He's the creator of Sara's favorite infomercial, which seeks to inspire and slim down everyone in the audience. (Because more people can fit in the audience if they're slimmer, presumably.)

Like everyone on TV, Tappy speaks as if everything is easy.

TAPPY: It was commitment. It was passion. It was three things. Three things that I did. Three things that I found that could change my life.

Wow. We can count to three. Does that mean we can change our lives too?

Of course not. Once you actually listen, you learn the three things start off simple enough, but, like the characters in this movie, quickly speed straight to nutsville. Here's number one.

TAPPY: Number one: No red meat. Think about it. What do they stick in red meat? I ate red meat. I ate red meat to the point where I would eat it slab right off raw. Loved my meat. I turned it around. You need to be committed. You need to be passionate. No red meat. No red meat for thirty days.

No red meat. No problem. Vegetarians can do it, so anyone can do it, right? What's next? Here's number two.

TAPPY: Number two. No refined sugar. Sugar's everywhere in sight. Now sugar's everywhere. You know they even put sugar in bottled water? I was sick with sugar. That was my medicine. It nurtured me. It nutured my spiraling brain that felt that I was a loser. […] Sodas? I don't even think about sodas anymore. No sucking candies. Very good, sir. None of that stuff. Just stay away from it. Check loaves of bread. Watch your toothpaste. No refined sugar. If I said, "For thirty days, I'm gonna eat right. I am gonna pick up my spirits, and I am gonna try." I found hope. And in that hope, I found a way of thinking.

Well in theory, this is okay. If you want to feel better and lose weight, shape up your diet. But sugar in toothpaste? In bottled water? Tappy is starting to seem tapped in the head. What's number three?

TAPPY: Number three! Whoa, number three. This drives most people crazy. This is easy so far, but give yourself the thirty days. I guarantee you.

Tappy never says what number three is in the movie, but if you look closely, in one scene, you can see that he has written it on a white board: "No orgasm." Um, shouldn't that be encouraged to burn calories?

Tappy is crazy, but he speaks to sad, overweight, sexually repressed people like Sara Goldfarb. The sexual repression is subtle, but Sara wants to wear the red dress so she'll feel desired, and when she imagines Tappy coming out of the TV, she sees her hot dream-self in the red dress make out with him.

Whoa. Those two better be careful or they might break rule number three.

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