[[quoteright:300:[[VideoGame/{{Touhou}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fnzo8o_4897.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:[[http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=medium&illust_id=4225304 If only I had a pair...]][[note]]Parody of [[http://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/70972 this image]].[[/note]]]]

-->-- '''Etna and Flonne''', ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness''

Many works set their story in a cultural context where the opinion "BuxomIsBetter" predominates. This particular standard of female beauty can be a challenge for women who are more modestly endowed, and while some wear the "ironing board" title [[PetitePride with pride]], others are plagued by problems of low self-esteem as a result of their... [[BuffySpeak un-bustiness]].

This can be for a variety of reasons, but the most common are anxiety that she'll appear less sexy to a LoveInterest, be mistaken for a kid, or be treated as childish and immature because of her small chest.

In fiction you frequently see this with teenage and preteen girls, disappointed that they're not as "mature" as their older sisters or more-developed peers, before ultimately learning AnAesop to love their body no matter what final shape it takes. It can easily become HilariousInHindsight if the actress grows up and becomes quite curvy as an adult.

Things commonly done by this type of small chested woman:
* Wearing loose clothing so that it's harder to guess the size of her chest.
* Trying to make herself appear more busty than she really is, possibly by using a push-up bra or FakeBoobs.
* [[BerserkButton Getting offended]] when other people comment on the smallness of her breasts.
* Jealously staring at another girl's huge breasts at the beach, at the pool, or in the changing room.

While the trope is named after one of the smallest standard bra cup sizes[[note]]The actual meaning of these letters varies by manufacturer and country, and many people don't know that cup size is [[http://www.brasizecalculator.tk/images/bandbustguide.jpg always relative to band size]], i.e. 38C is about the same volume as 30F[[/note]], for AddedAlliterativeAppeal, the interesting thing is that a lady doesn't have to be "flat" or even remarkably small-chested in order to suffer from this anxiety. It's a state of mind that depends on what beauty ideal or peer group the character is comparing herself to, so even a girl or woman who fills a C-cup may feel inadequate in the presence of another who's an E-cup. Messages from the media, lack of self-esteem, or even just happening to associate with women who are bustier than average (sometimes the result of being the token average person in a WorldOfBuxom) can give a female character a distorted image of what counts as "small".

Contrast PetitePride for women who are small-breasted and proud. For assets on the other side of the spectrum, compare BigBreastPride and DCupDistress. For the SpearCounterpart, see TeenyWeenie. For an anxiety that affects both genders, though often in different ways, see MuscleAngst. UsefulNotes/AnimeFanspeak refers to this type of character as a "''UsefulNotes/{{Pettanko}}''" (roughly, "flat girl").
* ACupAngst/AnimeAndManga
* ACupAngst/FanWorks
* ACupAngst/{{Literature}}
* ACupAngst/LiveActionTV
* ACupAngst/VideoGames
* ACupAngst/VisualNovels
* ACupAngst/WebComics


* In RealLife this is common enough among Japanese girls that weekly or monthly shojo manga publications more likely than not include breast enlargement ads, or at least diet ads that promise to not take anything off the rack. Aside from the usual before-after photos, exciting exclamations and shiny products, there are specific ad mangas: 8 to 12 pages of A-Cup Angst and BuxomIsBetter played straight enough to put a ruler to shame with no other content.
** Ad for ''Chasteberry E'': Meet Miss Pettanko. Her life sucks. The boys don't even know she exists. She attempts to ask her crush out, he awkwardly evades. She ''knows'' the solution is to develop breasts. Cue desperate attempts, and finally success when a friend tips her off about the product. 3 months later she has gone from zero to cup E or so, attracts the MaleGaze wherever she goes, [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop and is happily together with her crush]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Sophie Bangs in Creator/AlanMoore's ''ComicBook/{{Promethea}}'' is described by one of the past Prometheas as "flat-chested and neurotic," with the implication that that's what the typical candidate for Promethea-hood is like.
* When Henry Bendix first recruits Jenny Sparks into (''ComicBook/TheAuthority'''s predecessor) ''Stormwatch'', she agrees on the condition that she [[NotWearingTights doesn't have to wear spandex]], saying "I don't have the chest for it." Most artist renditions since have been faithful to this concept. This did not hamper her sex life in the slightest, [[spoiler:though living 80 years as an attractive 20-year-old who loves to party surely helped her there]]. Swift (being a typical Tibetan) was pretty flat-chested during Warren Ellis' run/ending on ''Stormwatch'', but when the artists for ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'' drew her, she was given a ''much'' more substantial rack that got [[HandWave handwaved]] into being a "20-grand boob job."
* ''ComicBook/XMen'': ComicBook/{{Jubilee}} sometimes took this role back then, but she has gotten bigger as she grew up. In ''Generation X'', which focused on the younger and less well-known of Xavier's students, her modest figure was used to contrast her against the model-esque [[AlphaBitch Monet St. Croix]]. Sometimes Kitty Pryde takes this role, too. But much like Swift above, when Jubilee transitioned into the ''ComicBook/NewWarriors'' relaunch, she lost her mutant powers, but gained two cup sizes in the bargain. (Granted, she was 13-14 for most of her comic history.) [[http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/5717/002b4g7c.jpg Entertainingly lampshaded]] in ''Uncanny X-Men'' #268 -- Jubilee is listening in to a conversation between Wolverine and the [[MostCommonSuperpower more commonly-endowed]] Psylocke and Black Widow. She glances up at the two women in their skintight costumes, peers down her vest to see how she matches up, and then drops her head in her hands with a frustrated expression.
* Yelena Rossini from ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'' is just a bit touchy on the subject, which makes a certain amount of sense when you consider that she spends most of her time in close proximity to [[BoobsOfSteel Channon]].
* Vanessa, a teenage supporting character in the old ''Franchise/WonderWoman'' comics, tended to bemoan her lack of breasts and was stated on one occasion to stuff her shirt.
* Udda Von Schteppenslammer from ''Comicbook/TankVixens'' has "itty bitty mousie titties" and the members of the 101st battlion are so endowed.
* ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'':
** Wilhelmina "Will" Vandom, the teenaged leader of the interdimensional Guardians, is quite explicit about it. She frets about her scrawny appearance, and prefers to be in her older, more [[MostCommonSuperpower tittacular]] Guardian body. As most of the art seems to show her [[http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l56/khacking/WillGuradianform.jpg arching her back]] and [[http://www.marge.it/haylinpage/personaggi/np_will.gif sticking out her chest]] in Guardian form, you can guess why. Actually if you look at the second picture there, she's clearly staring down at her enhanced breasts with excitement in the middle image!
** Taranee and Hay Lin to some degree, implied by their Guardian forms being just as large-breasted as Will's and them liking it. She too shows she likes her Guardian form. This is driven home in one episode: Cornelia's mother embarrasses her in front of the others by jokingly implying she stuffs her bra after seeing Hay Lin transformed and buxom, believing it's a Halloween costume with false breasts. Hay Lin suddenly looks angry and humiliated, and puffs up her chest some more to (over)compensate.
** {{Subverted}} with Cornelia: while petite (and, in the cartoon, the first one to notice the breast enhancement of the Guardian forms), she's perfectly OK with her body. In the comic this is shown by her Guardian form being merely an OlderAlterEgo, in contrast to Will, Taranee and Hay Lin having larger breasts (and [[BigBreastPride Irma]] being slimmer).
* [[McNinja Ninjette's]] cheerily drunken confession to ComicBook/{{Empowered}} as to the reason she was in the employ of various thugs rather than a member of the Superhomeys summed this trope up (and unlike many artists, when Adam Warren invokes lack of the MostCommonSuperpower he does not use half-measures).
-->'''Ninjette:''' I can't be a goody-goody heroine 'cause I don't have a nice, big rack! *urrp* Can't be a ''good girl'' without a ''good set'', right?

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Kitten Braden, the heroine of ''Film/BreakfastOnPluto'', although she prefers to call herself a "svelte gamine", as she indignantly informs the peep show customer who complains about her lack of endowment. Although in Kitten's case, this is only to be expected, since she's a [[{{Transgender}} trans woman]] and not on any sort of hormone therapy.
* A flashback in LookWhosTalkingNow has a young Mollie yelling at her mother "I'll never have breasts!". Adult Mollie, played by Creator/KirstieAllie, did get them.
* In ''Creator/ElviraMistressOfTheDark'', one of the town residents, Patty, is this. She uses a variant of bra stuffing (falsies) to make herself seem otherwise, and keeps her small breasts a secret from the entire town... [[spoiler:until TheReveal at the picnic!]]
* In the medieval comedy ''Gladiatrix'', the heroine's newly acquired French husband is disappointed over her lack of breasts. When she magically acquires breasts during the course of the movie, she's able to return home and [[IHaveBoobsYouMustObey tell her husband to carry out numerous household tasks]].
* ''They Call Me Bruce?'': The title character comments on the fact that the nude woman sent to massage him has "breasts like a boy". She seems rather embarrassed by this.
* The song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3MzTTsF4y8 "Itty Bitty Tittie Committee"]] from the film ''Junior High School''.
* Samantha "Sam" Baker from Creator/JohnHughes' ''Film/SixteenCandles''. According to his little brother, she's "only eating carrots to increase the size of her breasts." Sam later says about her bridesmaid dress: "I don't have one-tenth of the bod to fill the stupid bust up."
* In the first ''Gidget'' movie, Sandra Dee is doing some sort of exercise to help pump her chest out.
* Bridget Fonda has this in ''Film/{{Singles}}''.
* Cameron Diaz's character in ''Film/BadTeacher'' suffers from this.
* In ''Film/MyGirl2'', Vada asks her stepmother Shelly when she got breasts.
-->'''Shelly''': I was a very late developer, they used to call me "Shelly Two Backs". All my friends had real bras, not like the training ones I had.
* In ''Film/NowAndThen'', Teeny stuffs her top with [[{{FakeBoobs}} pudding-filled balloons]], as they have a similar consistency to human breasts. As an adult, she proudly tells her friends that she is a [[{{BuxomIsBetter}} "36D, and worth every penny!"]] On the other hand, tomboy Roberta is shown binding her breasts with masking tape, while lamenting [[{{DCupDistress}} "No matter what I do, they just keep getting bigger!"]]
* The main character in ''Film/TheToDoList'' often laments her lack of large breasts. At one point, she tries to get her crush's attention by swimming in a pool while wearing a bikini. The top falls off, but she does not realize it at first, so the entire pool gets an eye full. Her crush turns away in embarrassment her JerkAss boss starts making fun of her, and the kids in the pool steal her top to join in on the mockery. After that, she has no recourse but to just walk away from the situation, completely topless while shouting at children and horrified mothers in impotent rage.
* The main character in ''Wanda the Wicked Warden'' (one of the sequels to ''Film/IlsaSheWolfOfTheSS'') checks into a mental health hospital. The nurses begin undressing her and start mocking her small breasts.
* In ''Film/AmericanBeauty'', Jane is seen suffering this due to her crippling self-esteem problems. She's shown in the start of the movie looking up breast surgery websites and she's been saving up her babysitting money for said surgery.

* There's a mean-spirited joke that plays off this trope in RealLife:
-->"I just heard a joke so funny it'll knock you flat! ''(looking at chest)'' Oh, I see you've already heard it."
* A woman is looking at herself in the mirror, sighing about her breasts being too small. Her husband overhears and says he has a solution. "What's that?" "Rub 'em with toilet paper!" "Toilet paper? How will that help?!" "Well, look at what it did to your ass..."
* There was a form of this joke on the film "Queens of Comedy" where Sommore (who admits she's blessed with a C cup and a flat stomach but lacks the weight on her behind) tells of a flat chested and stomached woman with a generous posterior asking her about how she can make her "titties grow without silicone" and Sommore recommended toilet paper.


* In 2017, [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/earth-chan Earth-chan]] was invented, a MoeAnthropomorphism of the Earth, who keeps complaining that people are calling her flat. The whole thing started as a jab at Flat-Earthers.


* "I Must Increase My Bust", by Music/LordsOfAcid:
-->There I found out that I'm not alone\\
Suffering from this flat chested syndrome
* Averted in "Whenever, Wherever" by Music/{{Shakira}}, who doesn't mind her small chest size and in fact takes pride in it:
-->Lucky that my breasts are small and humble\\
So you don't confuse them with mountains

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{n|ew world order}}Wo Girl April Hunter said that growing up, she was teased for her barely visible bust. Then after she was all grown up, Hunter was teased by the likes of Alere Little Feather for [[GagBoobs the exact opposite reason]].[[/folder]]

* Parodied in the stage play ''Psycho Beach Party'', where the female lead laments her figure to the audience while topless ("It's like I have the body of a boy!")... and while played by a boy.
* ''Theatre/AChorusLine''
** "Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen" has lines like this:
--->"Tits! Where are my ''tits''?"\\
"Honey, you're too young to wear a bra - you've got nothing to hold it up!"\\
"Having to go through high school without growing ''tits''"!
** Val gets a song all about this ("Dance: Ten, Looks: Three"). She never grew the womanly attributes necessary for Broadway success, so she went to a plastic surgeon and got them installed. One dancer says she wishes she had ''one'' breast just like her. Val's advice, "Have 'em ''all'' done!" (In the film adaptation, she advises, "Well, go out and ''buy'' them!")
---> Flat and sassy,\\
I would get the strays and losers.\\
Beggars really can't be choosers.\\
That ain't it, kid. That ain't it, kid.\\
Fixed the chassis; "How do you do!"\\
Life turned into an endless medley\\
Of "Gee it had to be you!"

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'':
** Played with in the Ayla stories, where Ayla helps one person at powers testing get implants to fix this, and get the guy she likes. When one of her own close friends wants Gag Boobs to become a stripper... Ayla rejects that whole-heartedly.
** Jade Sinclair (Generator) is closer to the flat girl who worries about her lack of size and maintains that childishness too. In fact, she ''still'' looks like she's about eleven.
** The otherwise [[OnlySaneMan level-headed]] Jadis Diabolik quietly seethes with envy towards the likes of Fey and Majestic over the fact that she is only modestly endowed herself, despite being an Exemplar (a power that adjusts the mutant's body to fit their ideal self-image, which in women usually leads to the MostCommonSuperpower).
* When in costume, Bungie of the [[Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse Global Guardians]] uses her RubberMan powers to increase her bust size as part of her "disguise". She's normally rather small-breasted, and figures if people are looking at her chest when she's in costume, they won't be looking at her face.
* [[LetsPlay Foxy]] from Zorak's let's play of [[GameMod Pokémon Quartz]] after a certain trainer told her to take off her pants and jacket and then losing:
-->'''Roker(sic) Travis:''' All the small things...\\
'''Foxy:''' Hey, Iím not that old, I know Iíll fill out later.
* Taylor, the protagonist of ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', wears her hair long specifically because she feels herself to be lacking other feminine features.
* In the videos she uploads on Website/YouTube, Creator/TessMasazza - creator of the Italian webseries ''Insopportabilmente donna'' - seems to have a bit of a complex for her small breasts. The only moment when we see her happy [[AllPeriodsArePMS during her period]] is when she realizes that as a side-effect they have spontaneously inflated (and she immediately starts shooting selfies in her bathroom).
* Heather Foreman on ''WebOriginal/TheWarComms'' is one of the few A-cups over 13 in the entire cast and as a result feels ugly compared to the other girls. Inverted with Lucy, who thinks breasts are ugly and freaks out when other girls tell her that she'll have "big lumpy things on her chest" when she gets older.
* Ruby from ''Roleplay/RubyQuest'' is flat as a board.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Sharon Spitz, the title character of ''WesternAnimation/{{Braceface}}'', is constantly and excessively insecure about her chest, being completely flat-chested. So much so in fact that she tried on one episode to increase her breast size with a pneumatic pump.
* ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'':
** An episode revolves around Courtney Gripling taking a high-school French class. She wants to get closer with an older boy who she has a crush on, but doesn't want to look too young, and her breasts make this obvious (she is 12 years old at the time). She stuffs her breasts to make herself look older.
** Another episode has her stuff her bikini top for a pool party. Ginger knows that some other kids are planning to steal her top, and the fact that Courtney stuffs is treated as at least as humiliating as the possibility that she could wind up flashing everybody what she ''does'' have
* This is one of the reasons that Hayley on ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' is such a bitch, as she's apparently bitter about not "filling out" the way she wanted. One episode had a flashback to her early teens when she angrily screams at her parents "''This is as big as they're gonna get''?!".
* A throwaway line hints that Angelica is this on ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}: WesternAnimation/AllGrownUp''. Apparently she's a little bitter that her bra-stuffing campaign didn't turn out the guys like she wanted. Considering she practically ''has no breasts'' even when she stuffs her bra, one wonders if her chest is concave without it.
* Connie on ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' is revealed to be jealous of [[InnocentFanserviceGirl Luanne]] in "Naked Ambition," to the point where, having apparently caught Bobby and Joseph trying to [[ThePeepingTom peep]] at her, she's disappointed to learn that Joseph was trying to see Luanne instead.
--> Why would anyone look at ''me'' when they could look at ''her''?
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Sixteen}}''
** Despite not being flat-chested, Jen is this (especially around her sister, who is much more buxom).
** Conversely, Caitlin ''is'' flat-chested, and is revealed to pad her bra.
* Parodied in the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society" when the underaged Wendy gets jealous of the male attention Bebe's receiving due to her early breast development. Wendy goes as far to get implants, but unfortunately for her the boys get over their preteen obsession at the end of the episode and she's laughed at.
* Subtly done in ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''. Candace goes to Jeremy's pool party, but when she sees him there, he's chatting with a blonde, busty, curvy girl who's wearing the same swimsuit as her. When Stacy tries to calm her down after she freaks out, Candace responds with "She wears [the swimsuit] better!".
* This trope is done [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything in a metaphorical way]] in the ''WesternAnimation/CowAndChicken'' episode "Horn Envy". In this case, Cow is bitter about her ''horns'' not being big enough to get the attention of the boy she likes, but the whole thing plays out as if she was a human girl who's unhappy with her cup size. It's made particularly obvious when one of Cow's friends encourages her to wear [[FakeBoobs a bra padded with toilet paper over her head to give the illusion of bigger horns]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This angst is very common. Wiki/TheOtherWiki says that, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedure in the United States. More than 300,000 ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_implant you read that right]]) were performed, only in 2007, only in the USA. Some of the pictures on the webpage are {{NSFW}}, some are pure {{Squick}}.
* Kelly Ripa often comments on her small breasts during the host chat segments on ''LiveWithRegisAndKelly''.
* Creator/SalmaHayek suffered from this in her teens, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToQQorOYDy4 as she related]] on Creator/DavidLetterman's Late Show and then again [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwCUB5VisU0 years later]] on ''Series/TheGrahamNortonShow''.
* This Mexican fifteen year old girl [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19pmap7naC0 is crying about being A-Cup]]
* Pornstar Kitty Jung, pre-implants.
* The Thai government is concerned about nationwide A-Cup Angst that compels many women to go under the knife. In response, they have endorsed an alternative to breast enlargement surgery known as the "Thailand Breast Slap" said to enlarge feminine assets by one to four inches. [[AllMenArePerverts For those of you that would like to know,]] four inches of growth would enlarge small A-cups to full D-cups.
* Dutch dancer and courtesan [[UsefulNotes/MataHari Mata Hari]] was reportedly self-conscious about her small bust, and was rarely if ever seen topless.
* [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001176/ Nicole Eggert]] got implants during her run on ''{{Series/Baywatch}}'', which she later revealed was due to her desire to "compete" with her co-star Creator/PamelaAnderson.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' star Creator/SarahMichelleGellar was for several years dogged by rumors that she'd had breast-enhancement surgery. Since even while nursing her children she was a C-cup at best, she found this amusing.
-->Seriously, if I'd paid for these, ''*pointing to her chest*'' don't you think I'd want them to look better?
* Gigi Edgley (Chiana on ''Series/{{Farscape}}'') is very small-breasted, though you perhaps wouldn't know it from looking at her in costume. In an extra on one of the ''Farscape'' DVD's, she recounted telling her family about the makeup.
-->My dad was like, '''"How long does that makeup take?"''' About three and a half hours. '''"Oh, so they spend half an hour on your face and three hours on your tits?"''' Thanks, dad...
* Creator/NoraEphron wrote a humorous essay on having small breasts and her neurosis about it in the 1970 book "Wallflower at the Orgy" where she claimed that she was the only female working in the Kennedy White House that the president did not flirt with.