Height Equals Badassery YKTTW Discussion

Height Equals Badassery
In fiction, the badasses are usually above average height.
(permanent link) added: 2012-03-09 06:27:21 sponsor: KingZeal (last reply: 2014-09-30 19:46:26)

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(NOTE: I'm creating this because of a problem I've been noticing with some tropes, such as Statuesque Stunner and Pint-Sized Powerhouse. Namely, those tropes are aversions of viewer expectations and societal norms. But, I can't find a Super Trope which demonstrates this. So, I'm creating the Missing Super Trope.)

In fiction, if a character is a Badass, you can usually pick them out. They're either dressed in a unique costume or carry a unique weapon. However, another surefire way to demonstrate that a character is more Badass than the norm is to make them tall. Not necessarily the tallest character in the setting, but taller than the average. This height may likely vary depending on the time and place it was created (the average human height has increased significantly just over the last century, and some areas have a taller height index than others).

Since the second half of the 20th Century, this has increasingly become a Discredited Trope to the point that it's a Dead Horse Trope more often than not. In some forms of media, (such as American Superhero Comic Books), it is still played overwhelmingly straight. Even Spider-man, considered to be the quintessential Everyman in comics, is taller than most Muggles in his setting. In other media, such as Anime, playing it straight is considered the oddity. For example, three of the four Big Bads in Dragon Ball Z (Vegeta, Frieza and Kid Buu) were smaller and more powerful than the heroes they faced against, and two (Vegeta and Frieza) were smaller than their Mooks and Dragons. Japanese media in general tends to subvert this trope regularly, which is often accredited to different values.

As already stated, this is an Enforced Trope in comic books, along with its cousins, Heroic Build and Most Common Superpower. Comic book superheroes have always been drawn to be "larger than life", but they became more stylized toward this at some point between the Silver Age and the Bronze Age. Now, characters like Wolverine are seen as aversions or outliers.


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