Created By: QuestionMarker on April 8, 2013 Last Edited By: Morgenthaler on April 17, 2016
Troped

Down Here Shot

Camera can't find short people

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"Once I acquire the power of the sun, I — (to the cameraman) Down here, you fool."
wannabe evil genius in an ad for Sunny Delight

In a show with a comparatively small character, whether they be a gnome, a dwarf, a hobbit, or just very small, a common gag is to have the camera show some nice scenery, and then Tilt down to reveal the character standing there, possibly giving the camera a weary look.

Expect Forced Perspective when these characters aren't actually played by actors with dwarfism.


Examples

Advertising
  • Used in a Sunny Delight ad involving a wannabe Evil Overlord trying to gain the power of the sun. Or something.

Anime & Manga
  • Done constantly in Seitokai Yakuindomo with Suzu. Often lampshaded with an arrow labeled "Suzu is down here."

Film

Literature
  • VeggieTales. A chapter book based on Larry-Boy: The Cartoon Adventures features an evil emperor who is a cherry tomato. A Running Gag in this particular book is that nobody can see him when he talks, so he has to tell everyone "I'm down here!"
  • When Poplock (toad) and Tobimar (human) first meet in Phoenix Rising, Poplock had gone through a number of opponents of Tobimar like a whirlwind, but Tobimar never manages to see him.
    "Wh-what are you? Where are you? Show yourself!"
    "No need to shout." The voice from down near his feet was the same, but somehow less frightening, almost comical.
    Nonetheless, he jumped back, startled, and looked down.
    A small brown Toad—with, admittedly, a fair overlayer of red gore—looked up at him and waved. "Hello!"

Live-Action TV
  • A variant was done in one episode of the Canadian TV show You Can't Do That on Television when they spoofed fashions. At the end, two boys (one around 8 and one teenaged) came on-set pretending to be naked as the ultimate fashion. The younger boy started asking for the camera to pan down because it was only framing his head. The female host quickly calls out "run the credits" as she realises that panning down would expose a bit more of the older (taller) boy than would be "safe"...
  • Recurring character Attorney Bethany Horowitz on Boston Legal was a dwarf (played by actress Meredith Eaton, who is 4 feet tall), and there are a few scenes where Denny Crane (who lusts after her) is talking about her, and then the camera pans down and he discovers she's standing right next to him—and not pleased.
  • In a sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus a sports commentator is talking to a bunch of horse jockeys and all we can see are the tops of their caps. Then another even more famous jockey comes over and we can't see him at all until he climbs on a Scully Box, at which time we can see his hat too.

Video Games
  • Playing as Oddjob in GoldenEye (1997) is generally considered cheating, as his shorter frame means you have to aim downwards to hit him.

Western Animation
  • On the Goofy short Double Dribble, the camera holds on a shot of basketball players standing in line. As the line moves there is a gap, and the camera moves down to a ridiculously short player.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons Moe is waiting for his computer-date to show up. She knocks and he opens the door to nothing and assumes he's been ding-dong-ditched, but she's a little person and has to get him to look down.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • At the start of "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", the shot move to the empty doorframe of the CMC's treehouse... before paning down to reveal Pipsqueak (which, as his name can hint, is the smallest pony around).
    • In "The Hooffields and McColts", "Big Daddy" McColt is introduced this way, the shot at first only showing his very tall hat, before moving down, very deliberately pointy out his Ironic Name in the process.
  • The Powerpuff Girls episode "I See a Funny Cartoon in Your Future" has the villainous medium Madame Argentina being introduced this way.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Moe is waiting for his comptuer-date to show up. She knocks and he opens the door to nothing and assumes he's been ding-dong-ditched, but she's a little person and has to get him to look down.

Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • April 8, 2013
    StarSword
    Page quote:
    "Once I acquire the power of the sun, I -- (to the cameraman) Down here, you fool."
    -- wannabe evil genius in an ad for Sunny Delight

    Advertising:
    • Used in a Sunny Delight ad involving a wannabe Evil Overlord trying to gain the power of the sun. Or something.
  • April 8, 2013
    TonyG
    On the Goofy short Double Dribble, the camera holds on a shot of basketball players standing in line. As the line moves there is a gap, and the camera moves down to a ridiculously short player.
  • April 8, 2013
    nitrokitty
    • Done constantly in Seitokai Yakuindomo with Suzu. Often lampshaded with an arrow labeled "Suzu is down here."
  • April 10, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of The Simpsons Moe is waiting for his comptuer-date to show up. She knocks and he opens the door to nothing and assumes he's been ding-dong-ditched, but she's a little person and has to get him to look down.
  • August 12, 2013
    Melkior
    Live-Action TV
    • A variant was done in one episode of the Canadian TV show You Cant Do That On Television when they spoofed fashions. At the end, two boys (one around 8 and one teenaged) came on-set pretending to be naked as the ultimate fashion. The younger boy started asking for the camera to pan down because it was only framing his head. The female host quickly calls out "run the credits" as she realises that panning down would expose a bit more of the older (taller) boy than would be "safe"...
  • August 28, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In a sketch on Monty Pythons Flying Circus a sports commentator is talking to a bunch of horse jockeys and all we can see are the tops of their caps. Then another even more famous jockey comes over and we can't see him at all until he climbs on a Scully Box, at which time we can see his hat too.
  • August 28, 2013
    Chabal2
    Video Game variation: Taking Oddjob in Golden Eye 1997 is generally considered cheating, as his shorter frame means you have to aim downwards to hit him.
  • November 13, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    • Recurring character Attorney Bethany Horowitz on Boston Legal was a dwarf (played by actress Meredith Eaton, who is 4 feet tall), and there are a few scenes where Denny Crane (who lusts after her) is talking about her, and then the camera pans down and he discovers she's standing right next to him—and not pleased.
  • December 2, 2013
    Dawnwing
    Literature:

    • In the Warrior Cats novella Mistystar's Omen, Mistystar is about to receive her ninth leader's life. She looks around and doesn't see anyone, and is confused because she knows she has one more life to get yet. She hears a squeak, looks down, and sees that the ninth cat is her son who died as a young kit.
  • December 2, 2013
    DAN004
    Maybe title needs hyphens.
  • December 3, 2013
    abateman
    The introduction of Dr Hamsterwheel in Stitch!, the Lilo and Stitch sequel.
  • December 3, 2013
    QuestionMarker
    Literature:

    • When Poplock (toad) and Tobimar (human) first meet in Phoenix Rising, Poplock had gone through a number of opponents of Tobimar like a whirlwind, but Tobimar never manages to see him.
      "Wh-what are you? Where are you? Show yourself!"
      "No need to shout." The voice from down near his feet was the same, but somehow less frightening, almost comical.
      Nonetheless, he jumped back, startled, and looked down.
      A small brown Toad—with, admittedly, a fair overlayer of red gore—looked up at him and waved. "Hello!"
  • October 12, 2015
    TonyG
    The first episode of Kristin Chenoweth's short-lived sitcom Kristin opens with the camera panning across the feet of a line of chorus girls auditioning for a show. At the last girl on the line, the camera tilts up to her face and pans back, revealing a gap where the much shorter Kristin is standing.
  • October 12, 2015
    HighCrate
    ^ Are you grabbing this?

    Lots of the examples need serious work, verging on Zero Context Example. Pirates Of The Caribbean, for example: which character gets the Down Here Shot? Is it a textbook example (camera starts out at normal head-height and then tilts down) or does it play out differently in some way? Do any of the characters acknowledge it, either explicitly or subtly? Is the camera meant to represent another character's point of view, or is it a bit of Leaning On The Fourth Wall by an omniscient, otherwise-not-noticeable camera?

    The Lord Of The Rings example sounds more like an in-universe aversion than this being "institutionalized," since at no point, according to this (I haven't seen the film in a while so I don't recall whether it's true) he never actually mistakenly looks above the hobbits' heads and then corrects himself. Also it includes Pot Holed misuse of Genre Savvy which needs to be removed.
  • October 13, 2015
    Arivne
  • February 10, 2016
    StFan
    I've noted two examples in season 5 of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic:

    • At the start of "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", the shot move to the empty doorframe of the CMC's treehouse... before paning down to reveal Pipsqueak (which, as his name can hint, is the smallest pony around).
    • In "The Hooffields and McColts", "Big Daddy" McColt is introduced this way, the shot at first only showing his very tall hat, before moving down, very deliberately pointy out his Ironic Name in the process.
  • February 11, 2016
    StFan
    And the title shouldn't have an hyphen, but rather be in quotes, like this: "Down Here!" Shot
  • February 11, 2016
    StFan
    The Video Game example seems quite shoehorned, though... unless context is added to show it shares element with this trope, it should be removed.
  • February 11, 2016
    AgProv
    In the Discworld, the six-inch-tall Wee Mad Arthur introduces himself with "Down here, bigjobs". Dwarfs such as Cheery Littlebottom have also been known to utter the words.
  • April 8, 2016
    Chabal2
    What about very tall people looking at (their) eye level before looking down at the average-sized people?

    Frozen Fever: Elsa's giant snowlem opens the door of her palace, before looking down to see Christoff, Olaf and the tiny snowlems.

  • April 8, 2016
    oneuglybunny
    Advertising
    • One commercial for Barq's Root Beer has a hot dog vendor challenged, "Whaddaya mean 'Barq's has bite'?" The challenger has to query this three times before the vendor locates him. He's shorter than the vendor's cart, though he's accompanied by a statuesque blonde of normal size.

    Film
    • Officer Clawhauser of the Zootopia Police Department hears someone asking for directions, but sees no one. Rookie officer Judy Hopps actually has to say "Down here" for Clawhauser to peer over the reception desk to see her. He squees at the sight.
  • April 17, 2016
    Tallens
    • Psych: One episode had Shawn and Gus being visited by a guy who used to bully them in school. When they open the door for him, they don't see anyone, until they look down. The guy isn't much bigger than when they were kids, but it makes him perfect for his current job as a horse racing jockey.
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