On the main poster of the Fight Club, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) is holding a pink bar of soap in his hand. If I remember correctly, Tyler was a soap maker.

Poster with bar of pink soap in Pitt's hand

But why soap? Is there any hidden symbolism behind it?

  • 8
    Not an answer, but I suspect there is symbolism about taking rich people's fat and making it into soap to sell back to rich people.
    – Mikey
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 6:09

4 Answers 4


In addition to the answer @Yetisasquatch gave, chemicals used in the making of soap are also used to make the explosives that go off in the credit card companies at the end of the movie. The fact that they use human fat is also relevant because Tyler Durden's philosophy in the film revolves somewhat around the disdain for gluttony and people going through life as consumers vs. doing something meaningful or rewarding.

  • 3
    Didn't his condo blow up from a gas leak???
    – cde
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 17:49
  • Actually I think you're right, I originally thought this is what the detective told him and then it turned out later to be an explosive for some reason.
    – gannolloy
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 19:41
  • 7
    Originally the explosion is attributed to a gas leak, but later on the detective tells Ed Norton (in a phone call) that traces of "homemade explosives" had been found.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 20:52
  • @SJuan Okay yeah that's where I got that idea from
    – gannolloy
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 16:03

Well it's not hidden. Yep he made soap ..... out of human fat or blubber if remember a few funny scenes. There's a scene where they have a bag of human blubber! It adds probably a great creep factor to the character IMO.

Article on this subject.

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  • 1
    Note also that in the book, the fat used for making the soap was actually that of Marla's mother. Marla keeps it around to use as collagen replacement, because she is terrified of ageing. Tyler steals the fat from her fridge. Needless to say, she is not amused when she finds out about it. Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 14:28
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    That's brilliant what a creeper ! Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 14:38

While @gannolloy's answer is correct if you're rewinding the script to come up with a way to blow up the buildings, it doesn't answer "why soap?" except in retrospect. "Tyler Durden was the guerrilla terrorist of the food service industry." He also spliced porn into movies as a projector. He lived in a debilitated and abandoned warehouse. Given these attributes, it's fair to say that he wanted to stay off grid while sticking it to the man. Making soap killed two birds with one stone. It allowed them to make money and it also allowed them to be "selling rich women their own fat asses back to them."

  • 1
    ... The entire conceit of the movie is that it's not what you expect on first viewing and requires that you look at it in retrospect... Why would that be an issue?
    – Catija
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 14:45
  • 1
    It's not a problem except that if there isn't a believable reason for him to be making soap except that they need the chemical byproducts later to blow up building then it isn't very good story telling. Of course Mr Palahniuk, IMHO, did a very good job telling the story and there is a believable backstory as to why he makes soap apart from "well the author needed the character to have access to explosives so they went back and made him a soap maker" Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 14:49

Your fist won't collapse during impact if you're holding something reasonably rigid in it. Like a bar of soap in a prison. It's not as good as brass knuckles (which also protect the outside of your fist) but you'll feel a difference if hit by an empty fist and one holding an appropriately sized rigid object.

  • 6
    Hm, "soap" and "prison" give me some other creepy associations ... Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 7:15
  • 2
    How does that relate to the question?
    – Luciano
    Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 9:48
  • 1
    Just out of curiosity: have you watched the movie?
    – naive
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 7:14

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