Height Angst
A character is angsty about their height.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-11-27 09:56:25 sponsor: ilniaj (last reply: 2014-01-29 09:23:11)

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Height has a lot to do with how someone interacts with the world. Since people base a lot of first impressions on appearance a height that contrasts with what someone wants to look can cause them to be angsty, which can be expressed in different ways. This can come in two forms:

Compare Tiny Tyrannical Girl, Mister Big and The Napoleon.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Edward Elric of Fullmetal Alchemist is so insecure about his short height that it is by far his most well-known Berserk Button, often to the point that he'll assume any "insults" regarding it aimed in his direction are far worse than they really are.
  • Sachi Hayashi from the College arc of K-On! frequently shows a sensitivity to her own height, almost to the point of Single-Issue Wonk whenever words like "height," "tall," and "big" are brought up. One of her Character Tics is crouching lower when she starts to get shy.
  • Azumanga Daioh: Chiyo and Sakaki cover both ends: the first is a Grade Skipper so she's a lot shorter than the rest of the cast, the second is a Huge Schoolgirl with the usual too-tall complex.
  • Nitori from Wandering Son becomes dysphoric over her height once she begins hitting growth spurts.
  • In Dragon Ball, Commander Red of the Red Ribbon Army was so angsty about his height that intended to use the eponymous objects, not to complete his world takeover, but to wish himself taller.
  • This is the reason Aisaka Taiga (who is one of THE biggest examples of the Tiny Tyrannical Girl) of Toradora! does NOT like being called the "Palmtop Tiger."
  • In the opening sequence of Jewelpet Twinkle, Akari scrambles to cover her height (153 cm), but this is never addressed in the series proper.
  • Kud from Little Busters is a fair bit shorter than the rest of the cast, a full head shorter than the already short protagonist, and it's one of the things she often comments on in her occasional mumbled insecure rambles.
  • A large part of Lovely Complex, with the male and female protagonists being very short and very tall respectively. It doesn't help that several characters are a Shipper on Deck for them.

Comic Books
  • The Golden Age DC superhero, The Atom, was in reality Al Pratt. He was only five feet and one inch tall, constantly being taunted for his size. Even after a boxing coach helps him become stronger, Pratt continues to get teased at his college over his size.

Fan Works
  • Downplayed in Bait and Switch. Eleya mentions in chapter three that she usually feels awkward on a dance floor since she tends to tower over her partner. In this case, though, her dance partner Gaarra is actually a few centimeters taller.

Film
  • In A Hard Days Night
    • Norm, the Beatles' manager, complains constantly about his assistant's height.
      Norm: Stop being taller than me!
      Shake: I can't help it.
    • Ringo is seen to be concerned about his height as well.
      George: What's the matter with you, then?
      Ringo: It's [Paul's] grandfather. I can tell he doesn't like me. It's cause I'm little.
      George: Ah, you've got an inferiority complex, you have.
      Ringo: Yeah, I know, that's why I play the drums - it's me active compensatory factor.

Literature
  • Leo Valdez of The Heroes of Olympus is short and skinny, which does a number on his self-esteem, especially with his male compatriots all being tall and muscular save Nico.
  • In the Lord Peter Wimsey novel Busman's Honeymoon, while Lord Peter is getting nearer the solution to the murder, there's this: "If I'd had more inches," said Peter, regretfully (for his height was a sensitive point with him) ..." The immediate context is that the murdered man was taller than Lord Peter, and Lord Peter thinks if he had been the same height or taller he could have figured it out earlier. His being shorter than others may have been mentioned a couple of times previously, but I'm pretty sure his height is given as 5' 10" (average) somewhere.
  • Aliera from the Dragaera novels is short for her race, and you should never comment on this because she has an incredibly deadly weapon and will end you.

Live-Action TV
  • George Jefferson from The Jeffersons is visibly shorter than his wife Louise, and their maid enjoys needling George about his size. Calling him "runt" is George's Berserk Button.
  • Barney Miller: Office Carl Levitt is only 5'6" and believes that this is the main reason he's never made Detective. Played with in one episode where the perp is a little person note  who complains to Levitt that "you tall guys get all the breaks."
  • In an episode of Home Improvement later in the show's run Randy complains to his father that his "little" brother is taller than he is.
  • M*A*S*H: Radar is periodically embarrassed by or ashamed of his shortness, combined with others teasing him this makes him very angry.
  • Jennifer Mosely from Neds Declassified School Survival Guide has a whole subplot dedicated to her being much taller than the other girls at school. This becomes meaningless later on in the series when the other characters get older.
  • The Brady Bunch : Bobby had this in one episode, hating that he was little. But in the end, he and one of his brothers got locked in Sam's meat locker while picking up meat for one of the boys' delivery job and only Bobby fit through the window to get out and get help.
  • CJ Cregg throughout The West Wing. Lots of jokes through the 7 seasons, but a few that come to mind are the episode when Sesame Street comes to the White House resulting in Big Bird jokes toward CJ and when CJ takes over as Chief of Staff and and chides the interior designer who tries to give her a small desk.
  • Leonard from The Big Bang Theory is always complaining about how short he is, and is often mocked for it. Howard and Raj are also shorter than average and are made fun of for that, but Leonard is the only one who openly angsts about it.
  • Degrassi Junior High episode five, "The Great Race." The B-plot was Arthur and Yick being jealous of how tall Snake was, while he found his height made him unable to play soccer. It's currently listed on the show's page as a G-rated version of A-Cup Angst. However, the A plot that episode involved Melanie's actual A-Cup Angst...and some scheming kids trying to get Snake on the soccer team so he can qualify for an event against Melanie.

Theatre
  • Connie of A Chorus Line suffers from this:
    Connie: Four foot ten, four foot ten
    That's the story of my life
    I remember when everybody was my size
    Boy, was that great! But then everybody started moving up, and there I was, stuck at
    Four foot ten, four foot ten
    But I kept hoping and praying...
    I used to hang from a parallel bar by the hour
    Hoping I'd stretch
    Just an inch more...

Video Games
  • Young Fransizka von Karma does not take kindly to being used as an example of someone who wouldn't reach the window in the flashback case of Ace Attorney Investigations.

Western Animation
  • Lord Farquaad from Shrek is much shorter than other characters in his realm, for which he takes ridiculous measures to compensate.
  • Cosmo G Spacely from The Jetsons is barely one-third of George Jetson's height, which adds to the triggers for Spacely to fire Jetson once per episode.
  • In "Ewww, That's Growth" episode of Dexter's Laboratory, Dexter and his family want to go on a really big rollercoaster, but Dexter is denied due to being too short. The resulting angst drives him to become as tall as possible, eventually allowing him to finally go on the rollercoaster by the end of the episode. This backfires when he becomes so tall that he hits the ceiling at the very end.
  • The episode "Biglet" from ''The Book Of Pooh'' features Piglet getting fed up with being short, and starts wearing stilts, giant gloves, and a amplifier in his mouth.

Real Life
  • Apparently Silvio Berlusconi is sensitive about his height in real life, and is always careful about camera angles and so on. When the playwright Dario Fo played him in his work The Two-Headed Anomaly, he wore a dwarf puppet-suit to make it extra insulting.
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