Created By: CaveCat on March 3, 2013 Last Edited By: Paradisesnake on April 16, 2013
Troped

Tiny-Headed Behemoth

A huge creature has a disproportionately tiny head.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Exactly What It Says on the Tin, when a huge creature is shown to have a small head not proportionate to its body. If this creature is on the side of good, it will indicate that this creature is a Dumb Muscle, but if it's on the side of evil, it will serve as The Dragon to the Big Bad.

This is often used with large scary characters, because it makes them look that much bigger and intimidating (muscle-building works anywhere but the head, so they'll look even bigger by comparison).

Compare: Top-Heavy Guy, Gonk


Examples:

Comic Books

Film

Literature
  • L. Frank Baum's The Emerald City of Oz. The Whimsies are one of the groups that conspires with the Nome King to conquer the Emerald City. They are huge, hulking humanoids who have heads that are very small for their bodies. They wear large, garishly painted masks to cover their heads.

Live-Action TV
  • According to one theory about the Brontosaurus, it was thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end.

Newspaper Comics
  • Alice the Goon (and all other Goons) from Popeye. Their heads are about the same size as their shoulders (which admittedly are larger than average).

Tabletop Games

Video Games
  • The Brute from Mass Effect 3 is a husk composed of krogans and turians that has a small head on a stalk, attached to an enormous ape-like body.
  • Borderlands 2's Goliaths have what appear to be shrunken heads under their massive helmets.
  • This detail is mentioned in regards to the Tank in Left 4 Dead. The virus that turned everyone into zombies accelerated it's muscle mass to obscene proportions, forcing it to run like a gorilla since it's arms were now almost as long as the body. However, it's head is still the same size, and it no longer has any neck to speak of because of the muscle growth.
  • The Meat Head enemy in Yakuza: Dead Souls has a ridiculously buff, armored upper body, with his only weakness being his normal-sized head and the surrounding tissue.
  • Blunderbores from Diablo 2. Alchemical enhancements increased the physical muscle mass of those warriors far beyond normal proportions. Apparently they didn't bother to make their head proportional to the rest of their body.
  • BioShock Infinite: The cybernetic Handymen enemies have normal, human-sized heads on their massive, ape-proportioned bodies.
  • The Bouncers from Brütal Legend are giants with disproportionately small heads, and disproportionally large fists.

Western Animation
  • In Tex Avery's King Size Canary, as the characaters get bigger from drinking Jumbo-Gro plant food, their bodies become huge and bloated while their heads and limbs remain relatively small.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In "The Bashful Buzzard", Beaky tries to wrestle what he thinks is a small lizard out from between some rocks, behind which lie the enormous body of a dragon.
    • A similar reveal is used in the earlier "Prehistoric Porky" with Porky's pet dinosaur, its terrier-sized head peeking out of a small doghouse while the rest of the body lies behind it.
    • In "Thumb Fun", Daffy Duck confronts the driver of a tiny car. When the driver steps out, however, he's a seven-foot, 300-pound thug with a tiny head hardly visible atop his broad shoulders.

Real Life
  • Certain dinosaurs, such as the Diplodocus.
  • One theory about the Sphinx is that it originally had a well-proportioned head, but the face eroded away, so a new, smaller head was carved out of the existing one.
  • Giraffes. Ginormous body with a ginormous neck to match, tiny head not bigger than a horse's.


Needs More Examples, Needs a Better Description
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • March 3, 2013
    Chabal2
    I remember an artbook giving this as advice for large scary characters, because it makes them look that much bigger and intimidating (muscle-building works anywhere but the head, so they'll look even bigger by comparison).

    Depending On The Artist, this will happen to the Space Marines of Warhammer 40 K (who are never seen outside their Power Armor), especially if they go overboard with the Shoulders Of Doom.

  • March 3, 2013
    windower
    Example: The Brute from Mass Effect 3.
  • March 3, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Alice the Goon (and all other Goons) from Popeye. Their heads are about the same size as their shoulders (which admittedly are larger than average).
  • March 3, 2013
    Antonymous
    This is certainly a trope, in the sense of a technique. It might be too technical to have a page on, though -- we have Ridiculously Cute Critter and Super Deformed, but not Large Head Small Body, even though that's a major technique behind them.
  • March 3, 2013
    aurora369
    Real Life: certain dinosaurs, such as the diplodocus.
  • March 3, 2013
    captainpat
    Make sure all of you examples give some kind of physical description of the character.
  • March 3, 2013
    DRCEQ
    • This detail is mentioned in regards to the Tank in Left 4 Dead. The virus that turned everyone into zombies accelerated it's muscle mass to obscene proportions, forcing it to run like a gorilla since it's arms were now almost as long as the body. However, it's head is still the same size, and it no longer has any neck to speak of because of the muscle growth.
  • March 4, 2013
    MrBluesky
    Added example: Goliaths from Borderlands 2
  • March 4, 2013
    Arivne
    Literature
    • L Frank Baum's The Emerald City of Oz. The Whimsies are one of the groups that conspires with the Nome King to conquer the Emerald City. They are huge, hulking humanoids who have heads that are very small for their bodies. They wear large, garishly painted masks to cover their heads.
  • March 4, 2013
    TonyG
    • In Tex Avery's King Size Canary, as the characaters get bigger from drinking Jumbo-Gro plant food, their bodies become huge and bloated while their heads and limbs remain relatively small.
    • Looney Tunes:
      • In "The Bashful Buzzard", Beaky tries to wrestle what he thinks is a small lizard out from between some rocks, behind which lie the enormous body of a dragon.
      • A similar reveal is used in the earlier "Prehistoric Porky" with Porky's pet dinosaur, its terrier-sized head peeking out of a small doghouse while the rest of the body lies behind it.
      • In "Thumb Fun", Daffy Duck confronts the driver of a tiny car. When the driver steps out, however, he's a seven-foot, 300-pound thug with a tiny head hardly visible atop his broad shoulders.
  • March 4, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Comics in general: During The Dark Age Of Comic Books this was a very common art style. Some characters were designed during this period, thus it's part of their character design, others used to have normal proportions, but Depending On The Artist got drawn this way.

    • The Goombas in the Super Mario Bros movie were done this way. You know, the exact opposite of how they looked in the games.
  • March 4, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • The Meat Head enemy in Yakuza: Dead Souls has a ridiculously buff, armored upper body, with his only weakness being his normal-sized head and the surrounding tissue.

  • March 4, 2013
    randomsurfer
    According to one theory about the Bronosaurus, it was thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end.
  • March 7, 2013
    ACarlssin
    The Sphinx. One theory has it that it originally had a well-proportioned head, but the face eroded away, so a new, smaller head was carved out of the existing one.
  • March 7, 2013
    StarSword
  • March 7, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    Real Life
    • Giraffes.
  • March 8, 2013
    DRCEQ
    ^ and HOW, exactly, do they count?
  • March 9, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    ^Ginormous body with a ginormous neck to match, tiny head not bigger than a horse's.
  • March 9, 2013
    Exxolon
    Thrud The Barbarian fits this description.
  • March 9, 2013
    DRCEQ
  • March 17, 2013
    undefined
    Blunderbores from Diablo 2. Alchemical enhancements increased the physical muscle mass of those warriors far beyond normal proportions. Apparently they didn't bother to make their head proportional to the rest of their body.

    It could serve as the page image if we can upload it to the site server.
  • March 20, 2013
    morenohijazo
    Why this one doesn't show in my YKTTW history?
  • March 26, 2013
    xanderiskander
    In the description I think you meant to say "a small head not proportionate to it's body" a head being proportionate to a head doesn't make any sense (unless they have more than one head).
  • March 26, 2013
    morenohijazo
    Fixed.
  • March 30, 2013
    morenohijazo
    Could someone help with the image, please? It isn't placed well.
  • April 1, 2013
    Larkmarn
    • Bio Shock Infinite: The cybernetic Handymen enemies have normal, human-sized heads on their massive, ape-proportioned bodies.
  • April 8, 2013
    Mozgwsloiku
    Thrud The Barbarian fitting, since the point of the comic is to parody the Barbarian Hero genre
  • April 8, 2013
    Someoneman
    The Bouncers from Brutal Legend are giants with disproportionately small heads, and disproportionally large fists.
  • April 16, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Fixed the dinosaur example (scientific names are written in italics and genus names are capitalized).

    EDIT: Also, here's your last hat :)
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