Rule #2 - Bob Is Not Real
Had Bitch Tits
Bob (played by Meatloaf), who we later come to know as Robert Paulson, supposedly was a former body builder who had his testicles removed and grew breasts after receiving hormone therapy.
There are a few obvious issues here.
Obviously Bob's breasts symbolize the emasculation of men in American culture, even under very shallow scrutiny, this is generally accepted.
But doesn't giving a supporting character actual breasts come across as cartoonish and unrealistic?
How many men have you ever heard of have breasts as large as Bob? It's so uncommon that it is almost unheard of.
Jack describes Bob's breasts as…
"Huge sweating tits that hung enormous, the way you'd think of God's as big."
This is yet another odd choice of words amongst many others throughout the film (remember "a big rubbery one"?) that doesn't seem to make sense unless taken in a tongue-in-cheek, very ironic kind of way.
But even if it is tongue-in-cheek, what are we supposed to deduce from it?
To give this some context, the actual lines from the script are:
"Six months ago, Bob's testicles were
removed. Then hormone therapy. He
developed bitch tits because his
testosterone was too high and his
body upped the estrogen."
If you have been following along until now and agree that it is probable that none of the other "people" exist, and that Jack most likely was either diagnosed with testicular cancer (and feels feminized) or has chosen to actually become a woman, it makes the case for Bob's inexistence even stronger.
If Bob isn't real and is just another personality of Jack's, then this further supports the theory that Jack's testicles were either removed or going to be and he received hormone therapy either to account for his lack of testicles (in the case of testicular cancer) or to complete a transformation into a woman (which would account for the anxieties related to growing breasts/losing breasts/selling his clothes and buying women's clothing/etc.)
Additionally there are 2 very strange things that stick out regarding Jack's comments about Bob's breasts.
#1.) Most Western religions do not believe that God is a woman.
#2.) Most Western religions do not believe their male God has breasts.
So what's the significance of this?
Bob is the creator, in the sense that he is the origins of Marla and Tyler. Think about the quote above regarding Bob's breasts.
God = creator.
Breasts = nurturer/mother (creator).
These are two very direct references to Bob being some type of creator or God - or at the very least, the origins of other characters.
We already know that Tyler's appearance was "extracted" from the hotel welcome video Jack saw on the hotel tv and that he readily constructs his alternate personalities around the media and advertising he's exposed to, so this perfectly explains where Bob comes from.
Bob is just another construct of his psyche, pulled from scattered artifacts he has experienced due to his insomnia and/or general psychosis.
Jack even hints at this when he says…
Who stays up all night watching television and infomercials because he can't sleep? There you go.
The breast expansion program isn't the only piece of media influence that we see in Bob.
When we see him again outside Marla's hotel he is holding a box of Krispy Kreme donuts and Sunny D orange juice, 2 items that were in Jack's garbage can in the beginning of the film and in the refrigerator of the Paper Street House.
Bob Gets His Mind Blown, Just Like Tyler
When Bob is doing an operation for Project Mayhem he is shot in the head by a security guard as he is running away.
Right from jump street there are some major problems with this idea that are highly unrealistic.
Bob was unarmed, running away, and was shot in the head.
Meanwhile his only partner who was helping him, who was also running away, found the time to go back and pick up big Moosey all on his own and bring him back to the non-existent Paper Street house.
The big questions here are…
Why would a cop shoot someone who was unarmed and running away? Keep in mind this film was made in 1999, long before 9/11, and the Project Mayhem members were just interested in vandalizing a "piece of corporate art." Would a cop really shoot someone in the head for this?
Also, where the hell was the omnipresent Tyler Durden when all of this was happening? Tyler is never missing from the Paper Street house or any other Project Mayhem operation and is often the one leading them, yet he is completely absent from this operation with no explanation.
Why is this?
We see Tyler overseeing every other aspect of the house, even doing things as mundane as indoctrinating the Project Mayhem members over a megaphone as they do garden work in the backyard (informing them they are "not a unique snowflake", more on this later), yet he was completely absent and ignorant regarding one of their most destructive operations as an organization?
My 2 Grown Kids
When Bob is first confiding in Jack at the testicular cancer support group, he even implies he has two adult children.
Bob says, "I'm bankrupt, I'm divorced, my two grown kids - won't even return my phone calls."
Interesting. What is something we learn about Marla and Tyler after Jack comes home to find his condo exploded and he attempts to call both of them…?
Tyler: "I star 69'd you, I never pick up the phone."
Marla: "I can hear you breathing."
Tyler is deliberately screening his phone calls, while Marla (who we know lives at a hotel, and cannot possibly have caller ID) simply picks up the phone.
Furthermore, it's pretty damn hard for your 2 grown kids to return your phone calls when the phone you're calling them on doesn't receive incoming calls…
Bob and Marla Lose Their Tits
Another interesting piece of evidence that proves Bob's inexistence are his breasts, or rather him losing his breasts, just as Marla does, when the prospect of him being "retired" as an alternate personality becomes a possibility.
"My tit's going to rot off."
Remember how Marla called Jack and said "my tit's going to rot off"? Consider the timing.
We know she is virtually no longer in Jack's conscience anymore (either as a real or imaginary person) and she begins to have anxiety that she is going to lose her breasts. Weird.
"They're going to have to open my pecs and drain the fluid again."
Bob tells Jack, "they're going to have to open my pecs and drain the fluid again" while confiding in Jack at one of the support group meetings. In other words, Bob is going to lose his breasts.
The timing of this exchange is exactly in the same context as Marla telling Jack her tit is going to "rot off" since this is the time right before Marla enters the story and effectively replaces Bob as his primary alternate personality.
Bob's pecs didn't need to be drained, he was beginning to disintegrate the same way Marla was after Jack had abandoned them for Tyler. And just like Marla "came back" as an alternate personality after Jack checked her for breast cancer, Bob showed up immediately after seeking the same salvation.
The Father Must Have Been Huge
Jack explains his occupation to the woman on the airplane, who later turns into Tyler on the same exact flight, saying…
"A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall?"
The movie cuts to Jack inspecting the car wreckage with two technicians. One of the technicians says…
"The father must've been huge. See how the fat burnt into the driver's seat with his polyester shirt? Very modern art."
Who is the father? Just like inferred earlier with the subtle hints regarding the breasts and God, the father is Bob. Further proof he is not real. Right now if you are thinking "so Bob is the father, mother and God..or..huh?" then try not to overthink it.
The symbolism is simple and completely congruent with the theme of the film regarding the duality of the sexes, particularly within the narrator.
Bob is the creator - man and woman - or God, that gives "birth" to the rest. Even the members of Project Mayhem treat Bob like a God after he dies, almost ritualistically chanting "his name was Robert Paulson" repeatedly, even though it makes absolutely no sense in the context of the story or the timing.
So back to the car wreck.
What makes me so certain that Bob was "driving" the car…?
a.) He's huge.
b.) The car that is in the wreck is the same Lincoln Towncar that Jack and Tyler later crash and wreck.
c.) And um, oh, yeah...Bob's shirt is burnt to the seat.
…we have just lost cabin pressure.