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->''"Gnomes are not at all like garden gnomes, which are actually dwarves, a mistake that began in early fairy tales."''
-->-- ''FantasyEncyclopedia''

Let's talk about gnomes, shall we?

Just what is a gnome? A short humanoid... how short? How humanoid? They're almost as diverse as [[AllTrollsAreDifferent trolls]] and nearly as widespread in fiction and myth.

In the greater modern pop consciousness, gnomes are pretty well-defined. Specifically, ''garden'' gnomes: tiny (anywhere from two or three inches to a yard high), long white beard, jolly demeanor, and a big pointy (or maybe floppy) red hat. Often seen shilling for vacation deals.

The problem becomes greater in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and other [[TabletopGames role-playing games]], where they share conceptual space with at least two other "short" races, [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame dwarves]] and [[{{Hobbits}} halflings]]. As a result, gnomes tended to go unnoticed and forgotten in ''D&D'' settings; in fact, they were explicitly referred to as "the Forgotten People" in ''ForgottenRealms''.

That began to change with the ''{{Dragonlance}}'' setting and the tinker gnomes of Mount Nevermind: descendants of humans cursed by the god of the forge for being petty and small-minded, the ''minoi'' shunned magic in favor of the sciences, particularly engineering... and were [[BunglingInventor completely incapable of approaching these rationally]], compelled to make everything they built as complicated and [[RubeGoldbergDevice Goldbergian]] as possible, and ''valuing failure above success'' because you couldn't learn anything new once you'd got it right. Tinker gnomes were [[PlanetOfHats played for pure comedy]], and proved fairly popular. Since then, engineering prowess has become a recurring trait for gnomes in various universes. Some of them are as inept as the original tinker gnomes, but other versions are actually much more competent.

Since then, the general trend has been to make gnomes distinctive by making them ''strange'', standing out from their setting because they don't quite fit into it.

Note that while creatures with Gnome-like characteristics have been around for a very long time, the word Gnome as it's currently understood was originally used by the occultist Paracelsus to refer to {{Elemental Embodiment}}s of [[DishingOutDirt earth]]. If a fiction includes elemental gnomes, they usually won't have much character depth or interaction, and may or may not follow this trope.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]

* Travelocity's The Roaming Gnome, played by a gnome statue. He has a nice British accent.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]

* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', [[spoiler:gnomes are the inhabitants of Green Bit to the north of the country of Dressrosa. They are living hidden away from humans, but despite their secrecy, they come off as very trusting. They also seem to possess superhuman strength.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]

* ''Film/AGnomeNamedGnorm'': The gnome managed to be bullet proof.
* ''GnomeoAndJuliet''. It's ''RomeoAndJuliet'', but with [[LivingToys living ceramic ornaments]].
** A sequel has been discussed: ''[[SherlockHolmes Sherlock]] [[PunBasedTitle Gnomes]].''

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]

* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'': [[TheVamp the Green Witch]] uses gnomes, who the protagonists at first think are demons but turn out to be a type of earth elemental, as her slaves. Amusingly, they show more variance than all the other examples on this page combined, differing wildly in height, build, color, number of heads, etc.
* Subverted, of all things, in Creator/GlenCook's Literature/GarrettPI novels. Gnomes are just short people, about four feet tall or so. A history of FantasticRacism makes them touchy about short jokes.
** The things some of them yell at Garrett for disturbing them suggest they have some connection with finance: a possible StealthPun about the "gnomes" of Zurich.
* The book ''Gnomes'' by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet, and its AnimatedAdaptation ''The World Of David The Gnome'' details the society and history of, well, [[TropeCodifier garden gnomes]].
** They also published a ''gnome-sized-version'' of the book, entitled ''[[IncrediblyLamePun Little Gnome Facts]]''.
* As shown in the early drafts of Middle-earth's history, posthumously published as ''Literature/TheBookOfLostTales'', Creator/JRRTolkien initially used 'gnomes' as an alternative name for the Noldor[[note]]Though at that stage that was 'Noldoli'.[[/note]]. Try to imagine FŽanor and Fingolfin from ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'', or Galadriel and Glorfindel from ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' referred to as "gnomes". The reasons were the seeming connection with the Old Greek word ''gnōmē'' ('wise saying') (which, however, is almost surely coincidental), and the association of the gnome with the earth (the Noldor were the only elves that practiced mining). By the time ''Lord of the Rings'' came around, Tolkien had scrapped the idea -- no doubt a wise decision.
* On an unrelated note, Tolkien's ''Silmarillion'' and ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'' feature a race called the Petty-Dwarves who, from what little is known about them, seem rather gnomelike. Closely related to dwarves but smaller, more slightly built and stealthier, and more unsociable. The Petty-Dwarves were all dead by the end of the First Age, ''[[WhatTheHellHero having been hunted for sport by the Elves.]]''
* Gnomes in ''Literature/HarryPotter'' are barely-intelligent garden pests with potato shaped heads. 'De-gnoming' a garden consists of bodily chucking them over the wall, though they inevitably wander back after a while.
* Literature/{{Discworld}} gnomes are six inches high, and manage to have both the strength and the ''leverage'' of six-''foot''-tall humans. They're described as having the same belligerence as a human, only compressed. Gnome Watchman Buggy Swires catches birds and rides them. Their [[TheFairFolk Elfland-refugee]] cousins the Nac mac Feegle share these qualities in addition to being ViolentGlaswegian [[TheSmurfs Smurfs]].
** Their very first appearance was for the sake of a pun, what Twoflower calls "reflected-sound-of-underground-spirits" when trying to explain the concept of insurance and other financial matters (echo-gnomics).
* Creator/TerryPratchett's Literature/NomesTrilogy stars the "nomes", a [[spoiler:stranded alien]] race of [[MouseWorld tiny humanoids]] who move, think, and age at ten times human speed.
** They also believe that garden gnomes are somewhere between grave markers and passed-on spirits of dead nomes. They don't appear aware that humans actually create them-they just see them appear periodically in the garden section of a nearby supermarket.
* In the book ''A Gnomewrench in the Dwarfworks'' and its sequel, ''A Gnomewrench in the Peopleworks'', gnomes are sadistic Lawful Evil shapeshifters, of a certain type -- they're always recognisably gnomes, but they can lengthen or shorten their limbs, turn their arms into swords, etc.
* The Nomes of [[Literature/LandOfOz Oz]] are downright evil underground dwellers with dreams of conquest and an extremely WeaksauceWeakness--eggs.
** ''ReturnToOz'' expands on this: in the film, the Nomes are also earth elementals that dwell in rock and stone, crafting the bodies they require out of those materials.
* The gnomes of the Four Lands in ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' are steppe-dwelling nomads, more like [[OurOrcsAreDifferent orcs]] or a BarbarianTribe in their general nastiness. They're described as short but not tiny, with jaundiced-looking skin and wiry bodies. Some gnomes, such as a tracker named Slanter, distinguish themselves, but for the most part they're cannon fodder.
** In addition, there are also the ''spider gnomes''--freakish, barely-sentient mutants with unnaturally long limbs and skittering gaits that other gnomes hate and fear.
** On the side of good (or Hipocratic Oath neutral) are the healer gnomes of Storlock.
* The alchemist Paracelsus, describing elemental creatures, called earth elementals "gnomes."
* Gnomes in ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' probably are the base species of the People.
** Their rear ends are also known to be extremely large, so much that they get in the way of traffic in the first book. They are probably one of the fairy species that gets the least attention, however, at least in terms of description.
*** Must be weird going through life known only as the "Species with the tremendously large ass". Let us all pray that Haven never discovers cheap Mexican food...
*** Bizarrely, a mention is once made to the fact that highly spicy foods are regulated in Haven, to avoid the dangers of "fumes".
* In the ''MagicKingdomOfLandover'' series, we are introduced to Go Home Gnomes, a race of short (around 3 feet tall) greedy, shortsighted (their eyes work, it's their plans that don't), and stupid creatures.
* In "TheMoteInGodsEye" the watchmakers are somewhat like alien crazy tinker gnomes... small, technically competent, but nonsentient and likely to create weird and dangerous gadgets. The Moties consider them marginally useful vermin who require regular extermination, and to the humans who witness their [[spoiler:takeover and resulting destruction of the ''Macarthur'']], they're horrifying. Well, at ''first'' the humans think they're cute (they even think they may be Motie young), it's only ''later'' that they become horrifying.
* Gnomes in TeresaEdgerton's ''Goblin Moon'' and ''The Gnome's Engine'' are similar to D&D gnomes in stature and in their fondness for gadgetry (which they're quite good at); they also love brain-teasers and geometric puzzles. Their strangeness comes from their anatomy, as these gnomes have curled horns like a sheep's, and huge feet with mole-like digging nails. So they go barefoot, and wear hats with gaps in the brim for their horns.
* Chester in ''Literature/{{Monster}}'' probably takes the cake: he's a being from AnotherDimension, and his body (made especially for him during his stay in our dimension) is made of ''paper.'' As he's able to [[VoluntaryShapeshifting change his shape by folding himself]], he's occasionally called "an origami gnome."
** Incidentally, the villain of the story has a fairly traditional army of gnomes patrolling her garden.
* The gnomes of [[Creator/DaveDuncan Dave Duncan's]] ''AManOfHisWord'' and ''AHandfulOfMen'' are (like all the races of the setting) not a species but a distinct subrace of humanity -- in their case, short, sharp-toothed, and with a cultural and physiological preference for living in dark and filthy environments such as sewers. They're actually fairly intelligent and reasonable people if you get to know them, but very few members of the other races are willing to make the effort.
* In ''Literature/TheDeedOfPaksenarrion'', gnomes are absolute LawfulNeutral with NoSenseOfHumor, believing that only they know and follow the true laws laid down at creation by [[CrystalDragonJesus the High Lord]].
* The gnomes in ''[[Literature/MonsterHunterInternational Monster Hunter Vendetta]]'' live in the projects of Birmingham, Alabama, and they'll bust a cap in yo' ass if you call them lawn gnomes.
* The ''{{Dragonlance}}'' novels describe gnomes the same way as the tabletop games. But their qualities tend to differ DependingOnTheWriter. In the Weis/Hickman novels, Gnomes tend to have absurdly long names beginning with "Gn" and are obsessed with inventing things, though their inventions invariably never work. However, the ''Preludes'' novel ''Darkness and Light'' by Paul Thompson and Tonya Carter depicts gnomes as brilliant and effective, if a bit scatterbrained. The gnomes (who have names referring to their professions such as Woodcut and Roperig and Rainspot) manage to successfully build a device to fly them to the red moon, so they're clearly much more competent than the typical ''Dragonlance'' gnome.
* Gnomes of the lawn variety end up being the antagonists of [[http://www.bloggerbeware.com/2008/06/34-revenge-of-lawn-gnomes.html one of the more infamous]] ''{{Goosebumps}}'' books. They're actually called mischief gnomes, and they live up to the name, pretending to be harmless lawn decorations to make trouble for their neighbours. Some 20-odd years later, they received a sequel in the "Goosebumps Most Wanted" line of books.
* The Gnomes Engywook and Urgl are minor characters in Literature/TheNeverEndingStory, who are important to Atryu's quest to cure the Childlike Empress. Engywook is a GrumpyOldMan who loves science and is dedicated to studying the mysterious Oracle; his wife, Urgl, is just as grumpy, but is more interested in magic.
** In the AnimatedAdaptation, the MagicVersusTechnology aspect of the relationship is played up more, but, though they bicker and quarrel, the gnomes are a loving couple. They also both offer their skills to Bastian when he needs them; Engywook's airplane comes in handy when Falkor is unavailable.
* ''Literature/AFantasyAttraction'' has Stanley, a gnome selling a lava maker, tornado creator, and storm caller. He should send his catalogue out to the [[EvilOverlord evil overlords]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/SpecialUnit2'': Carl the gnome, he's a petty criminal with diamond-hard skin who acts as an informant.
* Paige of the ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' ones had to investigate a death of a gnome in a Magic School library. The gnome is one of the teachers.
* In Series/OnceUponATime Rumplestiltskin is referred to as a gnome, though this is probably more pejorative than taxonomical, considering he's shown to be a former human possessed by the power of....something.
* One of the more wacky monsters of ''MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' was the Gnarly Gnome, whose arsenal included a mesmerizing accordion and a rake.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', gnomes as a species are almost always good or neutral (though evil individuals crop up occasionally). Generic gnomes (called ''rock gnomes'' to distinguish them from other [[UndergroundMonkey subraces]]) are pranksters, [[MasterOfIllusion illusionists]], and craftsmen; they [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway have the power to talk to small burrowing mammals]]. There are also svirfneblin, or ''deep gnomes'', who are just about the only deep-cavern-dwelling humanoid race who haven't gone evil; they spend too much time keeping out of the way of everything else to have developed much else in the way of a racial identity. Finally, the ''forest gnomes'' are small even compared to the others, live in hollow trees, and are generally [[NewAgeRetroHippie woodsy hippie-types]]. Gnomes of ''{{Greyhawk}}'' and ''ForgottenRealms'' both conform to these stereotypes. As for the other settings:
** In ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'', as stated, minoi (or tinker gnomes) are more or less the TropeMaker. Of note are the "original" ''gnomoi'' (or ''thinker'' gnomes) to be found on the [[ExpansionPackWorld continent of Taladas]], ''sane'' tinker gnomes who regard the minoi as slightly retarded cousins to be cared for and kept from hurting themselves (conversely, the minoi think the gnomoi are insane for ''not'' being manic inventors and call them "mad gnomes").
** The tinker gnomes are, disturbingly enough, the ''default'' gnome subrace in ''{{Spelljammer}}''. It turns out that a group of minoi from the ''TableTopGame/{{Dragonlance}}'' world found their way into outer space and, much to the chagrin of the rest of the [[strike:galaxy]] Flow, multiplied. These spacebound gnomes are responsible for creating the famed Giant Space Hamsters, used to power their starships (yes, exactly how you're picturing it), as well as their better known cousins the [[BaldursGate Miniature Giant Space Hamsters]].
** The gnomes of ''TableTopGame/{{Eberron}}'' are merchants, newshounds, crafters of elemental-powered vehicles, and just happen to have the most sophisticated intelligence network in the world. Oh, and they're believed to have evolved from rodents.
** Fourth Edition, gnomes are sneaky [[TheFairFolk fey creatures]] rather than normal humanoids. They can turn invisible now, but otherwise haven't changed much... unless one counts the new racial story of being slaves to the hideously deformed giant Formorians in the Feywild, which has driven them into often-paranoid hidden villages and lifestyles. They're treated as monsters in the first release of the game, but become a core race in ''Player's Handbook 2''.
** The ''TableTopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' setting does Fourth Edition one better by having their gnomes be ''crazy'' fey, no longer properly connected to the First World of the fair folk and having to obsess about trivia and experience interesting things in order to remain relatively stable (and to top it off, gnomes don't really understand how non-fey operate, and tend to imperfectly ape humanoid customs in ways that take observers straight into the UncannyValley).
*** Pathfinder Gnomes also suffer from "The Bleaching", a loss of color and life that Gnomes stave off through a lifelong search for new knowledge and experiences. Otherwise, Gnomes can literally be bored to death.
** The gnomes of ''{{Mystara}}'' are split between the generic variety (earth gnomes) and ''competent'' tinker gnomes (properly known as skygnomes). How competent? They built a MagiTek ''flying city'' and invented World War I biplanes with [[{{Magitek}} magic engines]] and ''machine guns'' to protect it.
** Gnomes in {{Ravenloft}}, like all demihumans, are rare, but their size makes them not very threatening to superstitious humans, so they're less persecuted than any other nonhumans except halflings. They tend to be well-educated, and have had a hand (along with human Lamordians and Dementlieuse) in turning the northwestern Core into a proto-{{Clockpunk}} setting.
** In ''ForgottenRealms'', as noted above, the gnomes conform to the standard ''D&D'' archetype. They're a race in diaspora, with no homeland or recorded place of origin, though a very large number of gnomes are concentrated on the island kingdom of Lantan, where they coexist with humans. Since even human Lantanians tend to be a bit like tinker gnomes (their patron deity is Gond the Wonderbringer, god of smiths and craftwork) the gnomes naturally follow suit.
** A few core ''D&D'' supplements have introduced some new and different subraces. The ''whisper gnomes'' from ''Races of Stone'' are incredibly stealthy rogues with subdued, suspicious personalities that clash with other gnomes and find easy employment as spies. ''Chaos gnomes'' or ''imago'', from the same book, are cheerful nomads who possess uncanny luck and crank the other gnomes' flamboyance UpToEleven. An issue of ''Magazine/{{Dragon}} Magazine'' introduced the ''arcane gnomes'' and ''river gnomes''--pompous spellcasters and simple fisher-folk (with webbed fingers) respectively. ''Frostburn'' introduced the arctic ''ice gnomes'', who have an affinity for [[AnIcePerson ice magic]], while ''Stormwrack'' gave us the island-dwelling and seafaring ''wavecrest gnomes''.
* In D20Modern Urban Arcana, gnomes could pretty accurately be described as mildly [[MadScientist mad scientists]]. A bunch of gnomes designed the self-winding pasta, automatic hat tipper, and a [[KillSat fully functional orbiting laser cannon platform]].
** And the Gnomes of Zurich are literal gnomes who discovered that no-one actually wanted instant mildew, but their talent for finance and accounting ''was'' in high demand in their new world.
* Gnomes in ''{{GURPS}} Dungeon Fantasy'' look similar to thin dwarves and are expert craftsmen. Their entry also notes the possible existence of Hell Gnomes, which is more fitting with this trope.
* There were gnomes in the earliest incarnation of the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' world--they were given stats in the first edition of the ''Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game'' and the first three editions of the original wargame. They were pretty bland, though, being basically short dwarves without the cool warrior vibe. As of the release of the 4th edition in 1992 there have been no gnomes in Warhammer at all, with Dwarfs and Halflings providing all the short-folk action deemed necessary.
* In ''Tabletopgame/MagicTheGathering'', Gnomes started out with the red card [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=1588 Quarum Trench Gnomes]], but after the inclusion of [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=2901 Clockwork Gnomes]] in ''Homelands'', a trend started of concepting them as {{Clockwork Creature}}s. Realizing that this made no sense at all, WizardsOfTheCoast eventually put a stop to this practice, and gnomes haven't been seen in the game since.
* "Nockers" (named for mine spirits from Eastern European folklore) from ''ChangelingTheDreaming '' were very much like tinker gnomes... though usually taller.
** The Wizened of ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' also have many aspects of this.
* RuneQuest calls its earth elementals "gnomes".
* [[Blog/ThingsMrWelchIsNoLongerAllowedToDoInAnRPG Mr. Welch]] has gnomes that defy description.
--> 3. There is no Gnomish god of heavy artillery.
--> 39. Gnomes do not have the racial ability 'can lick their eyebrows'
--> 40. Gnomes do not have the racial ability to hold their breath for 10 minutes.
--> 41. Gnomes do not have the racial ability 'impromptu kickstand'
--> 128. Polka Gnomes exist only in my mind.
--> 148. There is no Gnomish Deathgrip, and even if there was, it wouldn't involve tongs.
--> 260. Gnomes do not have a racial bonus in bobsled.
--> 553. No matter how well I make my disguise check, my gnome cannot convincingly pass for any member of Rush.
--> 559. Even if the Ranger offers his sword, the elf his bow and the dwarf his axe, my gnome can't offer his accordion.
* [[TabletopGame/LegendSystem Hallow Gnomes]] have low-level mind control and emotion-reading abilities, and like to be ruled by non-gnome monarchs (with the idea being that a ruler without mind control powers, when surrounded all day by creatures with mind control powers, will inevitably be on his or her best behavior). Furthermore, some of their weirdness is in the form of ObfuscatingStupidity - gnomes will often disguise their best inventions as ridiculous luxury novelties, such as garish sets of decorative rainbow armor (that gain active camouflage abilities when one more piece is added) and high-quality opera glasses (that happen to make excellent sniping scopes).
* In the NewWorldOfDarkness, specifically the God-Machine Chronicle, a Gnome of Zurich is not a Jewish, Swiss banker, but they are mystically-skilled human ones who work for an immortal Babylonian hero (in the Ancient Greek, amoral badass sense) named Zur. The term was just a bad joke that they've since adopted.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The "Hidden People" in ''[[NelsonTethersPuzzleAgent Puzzle Agent]]'' are a rather unsettling bunch with a tendency to [[StealthHiBye appear and disappear in the blink of an eye]]. [[spoiler: They're also apparently moon spirits who are being kept from their home on the Moon by a government mind-control ray, and their attempts to communicate with the people of Scoggins have driven many of the locals to become obsessed with puzzles.]]
* Gnomes in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' (and, briefly, in ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} 2'') are heavily based on ''{{Dragonlance}}'' tinker gnomes; they have advanced technology all the way up to ''nuclear reactors'' in a world where most other races are still [[SteamPunk fiddling with steam engines]] (not that it really matters that much, 'cause RockBeatsLaser whenever needed).
** Unlike the ''Dragonlance'' gnomes, ''Warcraft'' gnomes are actually pretty professional when it comes to engineering, and tend to meticulously plan and test their inventions (unlike goblins who tend to throw something together on a whim, and then either promptly forget about it or [[MadeOfExplodium make it explode]]). Doesn't stop them from deciding to build completely crazy inventions just to see if they would work, though. Also unlike Dragonlance gnomes they are fairly competent magic users...Of course they still think its a good idea to NUKE their capital city when it gets invaded from a nasty case of DiggingTooDeep and end up causing more trouble then the invaders themselves could have caused (they irradiated a good chunk of their population and you know what's worse then invaders from below? RADIOACTIVE, NUCLEAR ENERGY SHOOTING invaders from below) granted, this was stated to have been caused by an evil advisor, but STILL you think one of the higher ups would have thought it was a BAD idea to nuke their own city.
** In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', gnomes also have a friendly but fierce [[FantasticRacism racial rivalry]] with their fellow pint-size technophiles, the [[OurGoblinsAreDifferent goblins]], as the two races approach engineering from opposite ends. Goblins are function before form, where gnomes are form before function. This translates into more concrete forms with the engineering player profession: a gnomish engineering specialist gains access to unique schematics for a wide array of wacky gadgets with disturbing tendencies to backfire, where goblin engineering specialists gain access to an assortment of practical explosives (which backfire too).
** The reason why the gnomes have such an affinity for technology is revealed in the ''Wrath of the Lich King'' expansions, where it is found that the gnomes, much like the dwarfs were originally created by [[{{Precursors}} the titans]] to help them shape the world. While the dwarfs were created as labourers and craftsmen, the gnomes were created to build and maintain the titan machinery.
** Not to mention that they were originally ''robots'', until the [[EldritchAbomination Old Gods]] gave them the "Curse of Flesh," Similar to how the [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame dwarves]] were originally made of stone until their millennia-long slumber, which caused them to grow skin and lose their rock-manipulating abilities.
* ''EverQuest'' gnomes are also pretty much tinker gnomes. Aside from having technology, they get a race-exclusive tradeskill, tinkering.
* ''{{Runescape}}'', Gnomes are masters of treepunk or BambooTechnology rather than steampunk; Dwarfs are the steampunk masters.
* In ''{{Arcanum}}'', Gnomes have a knack for money and trade and thus are [[SpaceJews used in the same role as Jews generally were in Victorian fiction]]. They have also [[spoiler:engineered the serial rape of human women by ogres to breed half-ogres to use as body guards]].
* Gnomes show up in the ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' games as a playable race, characterized as the intellectual, studious race. Oddly enough, they also excel as priests -- Piety, the stat representing the ability to study intensively for long periods of time (among other things) is the priest's main attribute, and the gnomes have the highest base Piety in the game.
** In the spinoff ''ClassOfHeroes'' gnomes are disembodied earth spirits that need to possess a physical shell to interact with the material world -- they also get along fairly well with all the other races in a setting rife enough with racial tensions that it's an aspect of the game mechanics. This was ''so'' weird that the Atlus translation renamed them Erdgeists. (Rather unimaginatively, German for "Earth Spirit.")
* The Gnomes of ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'' are more or less tiny beards with legs and funny hats and glowing eyes that can only say "eep", also some can explode by humping your legs and [[spoiler: are planing to kill you in the end]]. They declare war early on against the EvilOverlord and you're given a sidequest to kill 1000 of the little buggers, which is reasonable since their only gameplay purpose is to be farmed for Lifeforce (your reward for doing so earns you an Achievement/Trophy and a NiceHat for your minions). They're also an [[EvilCounterpart Good Counterpart]] to your minions -- both are numerous, individually weak creatures that come in color-coded elemental varieties.
** And by "declare war" we mean one bumped into you.
* While stranger-looking than most, the Asura of ''GuildWars'' are basically similar to ''[=WoW=]'' gnomes. They're good with magic, technology, and combinations of the two. They also build giant (relative to players and even more so to themselves) magical Golems. They're even playable in ''VideoGame/GuildWars2''.
* In the ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' games, Gnome is the elemental spirit of earth.
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' features two species of gnome, though they universally act like primitive, savage dwarves: Mountain gnomes live in enchanted mountains and steal your alcohol, while Their more dangerous cousins, the dark gnomes live in haunted mountains. They kill you, and then steal your alcohol.
* Gnomes in ''KingdomOfLoathing'' are drawn as circles with arms and legs, rather than traditional stick figures like everybody else. They are desert dwellers living in a ''MadMax''-inspired ScavengerWorld, although for the most part it's nowhere near as crapsacky. They're technologically a bit advanced, but their main [[PlanetOfHats hat]] is that they use "gn" in place of "n" in all their words. Gnorm the Gnome teaches the skill "Torso Awaregness", for example. There are also the Sk8 Gnomes, who sk8board.
* Gnomes in ''{{Majesty}}'' are tiny, live in junkheaps, and invite their buddies rather quickly if allowed to move into your kingdom. They also speed up construction of new buildings and repair of damaged ones. Unfortunately, elves and dwarves are no fonder of gnomes than they are of [[ElvesVsDwarves each other]].
* ''CityOfHeroes'' has the [[TheFairFolk Red Caps]], which are [[DemonicSpiders terrifyingly dangerous]] for their level. Also, Red Cap bosses are larger than most heroes.
* In the TalesSeries, Gnome is the spirit of earth, which fits the ElementalEmbodiment part. There are small creatures that are presumably also Gnomes in the first installment, ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia''.
** He takes the form of a mole with a propeller on his head in VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia. The dungeon where he lives is also occupied by a horde of Gnomelettes, six-inch-tall lumps of childish belligerence in pointy hats. They usually want something from you, and they won't let you pass until you give it to them-even if it means you have to backtrack out of the dungeon to fetch it.
* ''VideoGame/DragonFable'' features Popsproket, a gnomish city run entirely by gnome steampunk technology. They have a long-standing grudge against Dr. Voltabolt [[FelonyMisdemeanor because he took up dentistry]].
* ''[[GaiaOnline zOMG!]]'' has, in its first area, Animated lawn gnomes. They've learned how to plan and prepare for war by observing humans. They even have mushroom cannons and employ lawn flamingos as beasts of war.
* In ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow'', there are five rhyming Sense Gnomes in one of the islands that can kill any human who sets foot on the island. And their naming features are based on the five senses (with their names in parentheses): The Gnome with the Jumbo Nose (Smell; Old Tom Trow), the Gnome with the Monumental Ears (Hearing; Hark Grovernor), the Gnome with the Gigantic Mouth (Taste; Grump-Frump), the Gnome with the Huge Hands (Touch; Trilly-Dilly), and the Gnome with the Enormous Eyes (Sight; Old Billy Batter).
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' takes the "Weirder" part to an extreme with Grobnar Gnomehands. He's a bard, {{omniglot}}, and mechanical genius. He's also an unabashed CloudCuckooLander that most players find [[TheScrappy unbelievably annoying]].
* Yordles fill the role of gnomes in LeagueOfLegends but combine this trope with RidiculouslyCuteCritter for great effect.
* VideoGame/LarryAndTheGnomes: the eponymous creatures actually vary wildly in size, going from ridiculously small to almost human-sized. Many of them look like small ugly humans, others are similar to dwarves. Gnomes are stated to have once been peaceful creatures until [[TheManBehindTheMan a mysterious influence]] turned them vicious, mean-spirited, murderous and overall ''[[FelonyMisdemeanor very, very naughty]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'', Orlans are a blend of D&D-style gnomes and [[{{Hobbits}} halflings]] according to WordOfGod. They're short humanoids with two-toned skin and large, hairy ears. They've been victimized repeatedly by other cultures they've come in contact with and have either retreated progressively deeper into the wilds or resorted to guerrilla warfare.
* In ''VideoGame/FableIII'', a man brings a bunch of garden gnomes to life... Things don't go well.
* The Gnomes of ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'' are the typical tinkerers; one of them even created the Well of Souls that brought [[PlayerCharacter The Fateless One]] back from the dead. Their society also [[FantasyCounterpartCulture borrows quite a bit from Ancient Rome]].
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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In ''Literature/TalesOfMU'', gnomes are the same as halflings in older ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and Tolkien's {{Hobbits}}, but with typical MU-twists. The natural stealth associated with halflings and gnomes works like a WeirdnessCensor, and it gets stronger the more of them are standing in one place. A gnomish professor has to remind her class she's there and is completely ignored by the administration. In a setting where WordOfGod is that [[MagicVersusScience technology doesn't work]], they get away with clocks and pianos, but nobody notices. The gnomes themselves don't appear to have noticed they have this power.
* [[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Rich Burlew]] created his own spin on gnomes in his essays on world-building, turning them into [[http://www.giantitp.com/articles/Y2BEzifZZgrsSdReVf4.html a shadow conspiracy group which doles out arcane secrets in the trappings of religion to keep the humans in line]].
* In ''The Adventures of Theatre/TheLeagueOfSTEAM'' episode "Bitter Gnomes and Gardens", the gnomes are of the garden gnome variety, with the peculiar weakness that they can only move if not seen, similar to the Weeping Angels of ''Series/DoctorWho'' ([[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in a ShoutOut).
* Angel Bloodright of ''WebVideo/TalesFromMyDDCampaign'' is a gnome, but doesn't play very much like any of the gnome stereotypes: She's a bloodthirsty and greedy assassin [[spoiler: who works for [[MurderInc The]] [[LaResistance Organization]], a secret society devoted to harassing the evil [[FishPeople Kua-Toa]] occupation forces, which more recently has branched out into assassination and bounty-hunting.]]
** The setting also features the Ytarrans, a gnomish society which is based off the Tinker Gnome archetype, but are ridiculously capable [[GadgeteerGenius artificers]], legendary for creating the race of sentient golems known as Warforged and for generally producing artificing an order of magnitude greater than anything invented before or since. Unfortunately, their efforts to produce a PortalNetwork to get around this setting's limits on teleportation backfired, infecting them with the mysterious Astral Plague, which wiped out every Ytarran within a single generation.
* In [[http://twentyquidamusements.thecomicstrip.org/ 20-Quid Amusements]], gnomes look like garden gnomes, but [[http://twentyquidamusements.thecomicstrip.org/comics/74/ tangle controller wires]] for some reason.

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[[folder:Webcomics]]

* The gnomes in ''WebComic/LookingForGroup'' are depicted as being subterranean inventors who were locked in ongoing combat with the warlike trolls.
* ''{{Nodwick}}'' had a series where it was revealed that all three of the "short races" were the same species and had been running a centuries long scam, the gnomes were just halflings with fake beards and evening classes, and dwarves had fake beards and steroids. (In a later strip a gnome invented an instant messaging service. When Nodwick tried to point out that this didn't fit with the previous story, he was told to be quiet.)
* Gnomes in ''OurLittleAdventure'' are small, yellow and each have a long pointy tail.
* In ''TalesOfTheQuestor'', gnomes, also known as brownies, are small bald humanoids, barely six inches tall, with an apparently primitive tribal culture and fantastic, magically enhanced leaping ability. They live in the walls of larger creature's homes and hunt rats and mice and other vermin as part of their tribal tradition. They also apparently do NOT get along well with hobgoblins, another diminutive race...
* ''ComicStrip/WhatsNewWithPhilAndDixie'' offers us [[http://www.airshipentertainment.com/growfcomic.php?date=20100124 this take on exactly why there's no consensus on gnomes]].
* ''Webcomic/FairyDust'''s gnomes are described in unflattering ways, but in truth, the worst they've shown was rudeness. They are short, pointy toothed, and ugly, and their fashion sense includes very random costumes as casual wear.
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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''TheWorldOfDavidTheGnome''; see Literature above.
* The Underpants Gnomes of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' are... let's just say obsessed and leave it at that.
** They're really just trying to make money and have a [[MissingStepsPlan poorly thought-out business plan]]. Which kind of fits the gnome stereotype, really.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'' had a one-shot ''Gargoyles'' parody where the protagonists were Lawn Gnomes. In this version, Gnomes were the scourge of norwegien forests because of their annoying habit of mugging people [[RuleOfFun for the fun]] [[ForTheEvulz of it]], until they picked on the wrong wizard's viking brother and were thusly cursed to turn stone by day until they changed their wicked ways.
* Garden Gnomes have a very...''strange'' place in the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' universe. Everyone in [[{{Ruritania}} Drusilstein]] literally seems to believe they protect the gardens from evil spirits, and failure to have one is SeriousBusiness. How serious? Well, when Doctor Doof's family's one got repossessed as a child, [[HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood he was forced to stand for hours in the cold dressed like one]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' gnomes are an [[OneGenderRace all-male race]]. They are capable of piling on top of each other and work in unison to function as a much larger creatures--like a "giant gnome" so to speak. They also puke rainbows.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': Ron Stoppable was scarred as a young child by a lawn gnome, thinking something was not right about it. However, [[ProperlyParanoid he might be onto something]] as not even a BigEater BlobMonster would touch it.

[[/folder]]

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