[[quoteright:350:[[Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sabrina1_5901.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:348:[-The one in the middle is the matriarch. Clearly-].]]

Imagine that you are making a show which features teenagers alongside adults. You want to avoid DawsonCasting, so you try to hire actual teens for these roles. But wait, these kids are taller than half the adult cast! The boys even have stubble and beards, and the girls... Basically, they don't look immature ''enough''. [[RealityIsUnrealistic Half of the audience won't even believe that they are real teens]]. So how do you make them look definitely younger than those middle-aged adults? Let's hire the shortest ones possible!

In RealLife, the exact opposite is (usually) true. Most people reach their full height at adolescence, which can exceed their parents' if genetics dictate, while diet and nutrition during the formative years are also important. They might not be a whole head taller than their parents, but usually not a head shorter. Also, note that the issue here is that they are shorter than the adults around them, not that they are short in general.

Part of this can be the visual effect of a show shot from a child's or teen's perspective. The adults tower over our protagonists in terms of authority, and the best way to demonstrate that is make them physically much taller (or the child physically much shorter) than they actually are or conceivably would be. This is especially true in animated shows, which can oftentimes have the [[PintSizedKid child reach no higher than the parents' knees despite almost nearing adolescence]]. Again, it's a visual clue as to the power dynamic.

Contrast: DawsonCasting. Or compare, as shorter/petite babyfaced actors can make a career off of it well into their thirties (even if [[NotAllowedToGrowUp they'd rather not]]).
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* All the pilots in ''Anime/GundamWing''; especially weird in [[ArtisticAge how they otherwise look way older]].
* ''Anime/GundamSEED'' and its various sequels and spinoffs also has this happen a lot. It's especially noticeable in ''Anime/GundamSEEDDestiny'', in which the teen characters are still short despite there having been a two-year time skip.
* All but one of the teen characters in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. Shinji is especially noteworthy; his father is 6'1"/185 cm (which is extraordinarily tall for a Japanese male), yet Shinji's fourteen years old and about the same height as an eight year old. One might reasonably expect him to be at least 5'6" or 5'8", but Japanese female adults of average height (5'3" or so) loom over him. The only recurring teenage character who actually looks fourteen years old is a minor character, the guy from Osaka.
* ''GunXSword'' contains several teens who are notably shorter than the adults around them. Compare Joshua to his older brother Ray for a good example. Joshua's age is never given, but he's probably in his mid to late teens.
* ''Manga/DragonBall''
** At the beginning the 12-year old Goku doesn't seem to even stand up to (normal height) 16-year old Bulma's waist. Bulma herself is rather short compared to adults in the series.
** Krillin was also pretty short as a 13 year old. It's also noteworthy that when Goku and Krillin were young teenagers, they were still shorter than Bulma and the others, especially Krillin.
** By the time ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' hits, this trope is averted. Teenaged Future!Trunks is almost as tall as Goku, and the 16-year old Gohan (seen closer to the end of the series) is one of the taller members of the cast, despite being 5'9.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Assumedly, in the ''Anime/CodeGeass'' universe, you don't quit growing until you hit 30.
** It's surprising to see the 17/18 year old Lelouch, Kallen, and Suzaku compared to the 24 year old Clovis and the 28 year old Schneizel, Cornelia, and Jeremiah.
** Charles (who's a towering 6'8") started out super small, and had kids who barely [[OneHeadTaller reached his collarbone]]. [[http://a.imageshack.us/img89/4838/geassheightimprovedcd7.jpg Here's a collage]] of the official height charts, for reference.
** Lelouch is almost 180 cm, which isn't really anything to laugh at. He just looks short compared to other people in the Britannian royal family who are unreasonably large. It seems that they indeed don't stop growing until much later in life.
* In ''Anime/GurrenLagann'', if you didn't have WordOfGod to tell you that Simon is supposed to be 14, you'd swear he was ''at most'' ten, which isn't helped by his MoeStare or TaremeEyes. Apparently he just didn't have a growth spurt until later on, since other teens in the series are more realistic in their heights.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' ping-pongs the issue, depending on the characters. Jotaro, Kakoyin and Josuke are tall and buff, but Koichi (nearly the same age as Josuke, or possibly the same) is a waist-height midget. One teenaged antagonist starts out tall but ''shrinks'' to Koichi's height after being beaten, as does another (presumably) adult antagonist.
* {{Averted}} for the most part in the ''VenusVersusVirus'' manga. A noticeable example happens to one of the younger side characters, Riku. He [[http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/9243/ivenusversusvirusv01ch1.jpg starts out]] as an elementary student, maybe ten or eleven. By the end volume he's grown quite [[http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/2396/mvenusversusvirusv08p19.jpg tall over]] the one year or so, being taller than several of the 14 - 15 year olds and almost as tall as his older sister.
* Almost entirely averted in ''TheMelancholyOfHaruhiSuzumiya''. The girls are [[OneHeadTaller fairly shorter than the guys]] on average, but Kyon, Itsuki, and Taniguchi are as tall as most adults, if a bit skinnier and lanky (which is still fairly appropriate for teenagers).
* Like in Evangelion, the teens in {{Mahoromatic}} are somewhat short, as seen in the group shot of the first season's opening. Seems to be a Gainax thing.
* In ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', this is often averted, as Hana is slightly taller than her mother, and Miho, at 16, is about as tall as the family maid, Kikuyo. Interestingly enough, in many shots with adults and children present, one of the two groups will be sitting.
* Exaggerated in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. While Edward Elric is short, he's the shortest of all of the teenage characters, which are taller than him. It's eventually revealed that the reason is because Alphonse's body is absorbing nutrients from his own, which is keeping him from growing. After the FinalBattle he starts growing a lot taller, to the point where he's taller than Winry. He's also 14 or 15 when the series starts.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Any issue of ''Comicbook/YoungJustice'' that had them standing alongside the Justice League. Assuming that Superman and the rest were around 6 feet tall, the YJ kids looked like they were closer to 4 feet. Disconcerting, given that most of the cast was about 16.
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'', Peter Parker is shown to be about the same height as Aunt May, though most other people tower over him. Hilariously addressed when someone tells Flash Thompson that he thinks Peter Parker may be Spider-Man; Flash dismisses the idea out of hand because "Spider-Man is like, 6 feet tall!"
* Inverted somewhat disturbingly in ''ComicBook/{{Darkchylde}}'', where the title character looks like she could pass for a Sweedish bikini model, despite only being 16. Her clothes often being turned into ModestyRags doesn't help.
* Averted in ''{{Zits}}'', where there's a gag that Jeremy would tower over his mother if he weren't constantly slouching. The creative team has stated that they deliberately made Jeremy the same height as his parents to create a symbolic "power struggle".
* Poor [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Billy Batson]] is sixteen years old, and despite the fact that he's supposed to grow into his "Marvel" form at some point, he still looks like a short, skinny kid.
* Usually averted in FoxTrot, but in one storyline, Paige invites all of her friends to Peter's Halloween party. Her friends are all ''ridiculously'' short and - as Peter keeps reminding us - high school freshmen, meaning they're all about 14 years old.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Rapunzel in ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'' -- supposed to be 18, and still shorter than all the adults.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3''; 17-year-old Andy is a couple inches taller than his mom. Given the prevalence of this trope, this aversion is kind of jarring in fiction.
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''. Not only are the teens shorter than the adults, all but two of them are lanky and noodly. It doesn't help that the adults are all stereotypical gigantic vikings, even [[BrawnHilda the women.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'', 16-year-old Merida is shorter than both of her parents. Not surprising with her father, a hulk of a man who's king of the Scots. A little surprising with her mother, though she's only half a head shorter. [[spoiler:At least, when her mother's in human form.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Probably how MichaelJFox got away with playing teenage parts into his late twenties. Interestingly, ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' partially averted this with Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson, both of whom are over six feet. However, they also had to play middle aged versions of their characters, so they needed to appear taller than teenage Marty in 1985.
* For ''Film/Halo4ForwardUntoDawn'', casting specifically chose short actors to play the Corbulo cadets with the intention that Master Chief would tower over them in shooting, though this is justified by the Chief being a roughly 7'0" SuperSoldier. Ironically enough, [[spoiler:the Chief and his fellow Spartans are revealed at the end to be roughly the same age as the cadets]].
* Both used and averted in British comic-action thriller ''Film/FourThreeTwoOne'': of the four female leads who around 18 or 19 two are if anything tall but the petite Ophelia Lovibond and Emma Roberts certainly fall under this. Lovibond in particular has [[DawsonCasting less than a two year age gap]] between her and the older villain played by Michelle Ryan but because Ryan is much taller, Lovibond ''seems'' much younger.
* ''Film/MammaMia''. While technically not playing a ''teen'' (her character is 20) Creator/AmandaSeyfried is considerably shorter than MerylStreep (who plays her mother.) She doesn't get it from her dad either - ''all three'' potential fathers are over 6 foot.
* In her 2012 film ''Film/{{Gone}}'' Seyfried actually takes advantage of this trope and her height in-universe. Her character is twenty something but while trying to avoid cops looking for her she joins a group of teens and successfully blends in thanks to her lack of height.
* MarkWahlberg's earliest roles were teens, despite his acting career beginning in his early twenties. The man is, depending on the source, no taller than 5'8".
* In ''Film/{{Hairspray}}'', the main teen cast members are all significantly shorter than the actors playing their parents -- compare Nikki Blonsky (4'10") with Christopher Walken (6') and John Travolta (6'2"), Amanda Bynes (5'7") with Allison Janney (6'), Elijah Kelley (5'6") with Queen Latifah (5'10"), and Brittany Snow (5'4") with Michelle Pfeiffer (5'8" and towering in stilletos). Not to mention Zac Efron with everybody.
* Inverted in ''Film/WereTheMillers'' with Kenny, who is played by 5'11 Will Poulter. Played straight by the 5'2 Creator/EmmaRoberts.
* Subverted in TigerEyes, 15 year-old Willa Holland is at least 5'5" while her mother played by AmyJoJohnson, is 5'2".
* Inverted in DeckTheHalls, where Danny DeVito (5'0") and KristinChenoweth (4'11") have teenage daughters played by 5'9" Kelly and Sabrina Aldridge.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* Averted then used and justified in ''Literature/ABrothersPrice''. Almost-sixteen-year-old Jerin Whistler is taller than his older sisters. Later he meets Cullen Moorland, who's about the same age and shorter than said sisters, but by the end of the book has had a growth spurt. The Whistlers are all inclined to be tall, and boys stop growing later than girls do.
* In TheMortalInstruments, almost all teen characters with living biological parents are described as looking exactly like one of them, only shorter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* While a good casting choice otherwise, it is hard to believe that {{Badass}} {{Ladette}} Sam Puckett from ''Series/{{iCarly}}'', whose actress JennetteMcCurdy is 5'2'' max, could be the daughter of Pam, played by six-foot-tall Jane Lynch. HollywoodNerd Freddie is also significantly shorter than his mother.
* In the ''iCarly''/''Series/{{Victorious}}'' spinoff ''Series/SamAndCat'', Miss [=McCurdy=] is paired with the even shorter (barely over 5') ArianaGrande as Cat.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' is a serious offender:
** '''Everyone''' from Claire's schools as shorter than 5'6", with the exception of West. Claire herself is only 5'1" (if that). The only characters shorter than Claire are Micah and Molly, simply due to the fact that they're still below the age of puberty.
** Elle is 24 and the same height as Claire, but tends to wear heels so she looks taller. In the online comics Elle got away with posing as one of Claire's classmates despite being eight years older than the rest of the class.
* Kim from ''Series/TheParkers'' is significantly shorter than both her parents (Countess Vaughn is 4'11'', Monique is 5'9'', Tommy Ford is 6'4''). Lampshaded by an EnfanteTerrible in one episode who, when told by Kim that her father was also tall, responded with MamasBabyPapasMaybe.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'': GillianJacobs and Creator/AlisonBrie are the same height (and differ in age by all of 78 days), but Britta (late twenties to early thirties) always wears heels so she is taller than late teens to early twenties Annie.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': 5'9" Robin's teenage sister is played by 5'2" Lucy Hale
* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'': Melissa Joan Hart is 5'2" making her much shorter than both of her aunts. This could, at least, be handwaved that she probably takes after her mother's family.
* ''TheSarahJaneAdventures'':
** Clyde was [[DawsonCasting cast]] because of Daniel Anthnony's short stature.
** Averted with Rani with Anjli Mohindra being [[DawsonCasting cast]] despite being significantly taller than you'd expect a teenager to be. She's easily the tallest member of the main cast.
** Tommy Knight as Luke Smith is the only one of the teens to be played by an actual teenager and prove that real teens aren't short.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'' averts this tropes by realistically having the teenagers heights span a wide range, although some of the shorter members (like Rachel at 5'2") may have used this trope to [[DawsonCasting pass as teens]]. However, "Freakishly Tall" Finn is the tallest member of the cast (6'3"), taller than even the teachers and parents. Ironically (or not), Finn's actor is the eldest amongst the student cast.
* Also averted on ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' since all the actors were close to the ages of the characters they were playing Cory and Shawn quickly caught up to their parents in the height department once they entered high school and Eric (who was fifteen at the start of the series) was already almost as big as the actor playing his father and taller than William Daniels.
* The daughters on ''Series/ModernFamily'' look like homunculi compared to the actors playing their parents. This is especially notable with Haley, who is about 16 when the series begins so in real life should be already as tall as her mom. In reality, the actress playing her is actually now 23 but is petite.
* Unintentionally done in ''Series/FamilyTies''. Michael J. Fox almost didn't get the role of [[DeadpanSnarker Alex P. Keaton]] because the producers at NBC didn't think it was realistic that the 5'4" Fox could be the son of 6'4" Michael Gross, who played his father Stephen Keaton.
* Also unintentionally played straight in ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'', as David Faustino was cast as Bud Bundy when he was 13. By the time the show ended, he was 23...and was ''still'' a head shorter (5'3"-ish) than his family on TV.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' has ''two'' instances of straight use followed by unplanned subversion:
** Cirroc Lofton was fifteen but could have passed for twelve when he began playing 14-year old Jake Sisko; by the end of the series, when the character was about twenty, he was a shade taller than Avery Brooks.
** Five-foot-tall, twenty-something Aron Eisenberg was cast as the teenager Nog specifically so that Nog would look young compared to other Ferengi (who tend, in turn, to be shorter than other humanoids). A much older Nog appears in an alternate timeline, still played by Eisenberg, and is of course the same height.
* ''{{Greek}}'': All of the main cast pledges are shorter than their bigs (Rusty to Cappie, Rebecca to Casey, Calvin to Evan). Averted with Lizzi, who's shorter than most of the ZBZ pledges despite being older than everyone in the sorority.
* In ''TheGeorgeLopezShow'', this is averted with Carmen, who is about the same height or maybe a little shorter than her mother. However, Max is very short, probably about 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall.
* Averted on WhatILikeAboutYou. Teenage Amanda Bynes was 5'8, making her taller than adult Jennie Garth who was 5'5. Many episodes would actually have Garth wearing high heels and Bynes in sneakers so that they would appear to be the same height (sometimes even making Garth look taller).
* Played straight on Series/PartyOfFive. At the height of 5'1 (at that time), Lacey Chabert was shorter than all of the adult cast members.
* Averted on ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'': At the height of 5'8, Miriam Mcdonald was taller than her on-screen mother, Amanda Stepto. Stepto is only 5'2.
** Later on, Zig (Ricardo Hoyos) is 6' as a high school freshman (age 14-15); he tends to play standing closeup scenes pretty awkwardly because [[FridgeBrilliance a kid that age wouldn't be used to being tall yet]].
** Mostly the issue is pushed aside as casting real teenagers gets a nice variety of heights. Most of the early cast were much shorter before they were on the show for six years. Miriam Mcdonald and Cassie Steele were, at one point, the same height (give or take an inch).
* Godric and Tommy from ''Series/TrueBlood''. One is [[Really700YearsOld really 2,000 years old]] but was turned into a vampire [[UndeadChild at a young age]], while the other is an actual teenager. Both are played by shorter adult actors.
* ''Series/HomeImprovement'' featured an aversion, as the boys all grew up to at least equal their parents in height -- Brad and Mark grew so tall that an eventual gag in the show's opening was to have them stand in front, with their parents having to shuffle around to see past them. The exception was middle child Randy, played by Johnathon Taylor Thomas, who stood at five foot four and was utterly dwarfed by his younger and older brothers, as well as both parents.
* Averted in ''Series/FreaksAndGeeks''. Nick, played by then eighteen year old Jason Segel, is six-foot four and towers almost all other cast members (Except Dave Allen). The others are of average height and played by real teens or young adults. The only real instances of this are Linda Cardellini who is just over five feet tall and John Francis Daley who is at least noted as being short for his age (and he grew several inches soon after the show ended; had it been renewed for a second season, he actually would have been quite tall for a high school student).
* ''ANTFarm'':
** Played straight with the [=ANTs=], being that they are preteens ([[DawsonCasting being played by actors that are 13-15 years old]]) going to a high school, but not only are they shorter than every adult, but also regular high school students. Paisley and Lexi are taller than the [=ANTs=] but narrowly avert this compared to Principal Skidmore who is about their height. While all extras who are high school students are, for the most part, taller than the [=ANTs=]. Except for Cameron.
** Also played straight with Cameron, whose actor is 19 years old, yet about the same height as his sister who has to be at least three years younger, while their father is over 6 feet tall, and the mother is also taller than both kids, but not exactly tall. Gibson is around the same height as Chyna's father.
* The main cast of ''AustinAndAlly'' sets up another aversion - Austin's another 14-year-old six-footer at the start, Dez is about the same height, Ally's barely OneHeadShorter and hasn't shown any HugeSchoolgirl issues and Trish isn't ''that'' short.
* This is how Jason Earles got away with playing teenage Jackson on HannahMontana despite being in his late 20s. He's only 5'5". Though it eventually led to his little sister played by MileyCyrus outgrowing him, reaching 5'6" by the end of the series.
* In how Jason Earles's ''KickinIt'' role he plays the AdultChild BigBrotherMentor alongside a group of kids, half of whom are taller than him.
* On ''Series/GilmoreGirls'', it varied.
** Jess is 5'10", which is actually the average height for young men his age. So part of the trick to convince audiences that he was 17 was to dress him in over-sized clothing, adopt a sloppy posture, and then play his scenes off Dean and Luke, who were both around 6'3".
** Played straight with Lane (5'1") and Paris (5'4"). Rory herself is of relatively average height at 5'7".
* Averted in ''Supernatural''. Flashbacks have teenage Dean look roughly the same size then as when is an adult and Sam is portrayed in the same flashbacks as being exceptionally short and looking much younger than his actual age. This is mostly for the contrast to Sam as an adult where he is played by 6"5" Jared Padalecki and often has jokes made about his unusual size.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Averted in ''{{ComicStrip/Peanuts}}'' where Snoopy visits his sister Belle and finds her teenage (in dog years) son is lubriciously tall and lanky.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* In ''Theatre/SpringAwakening'':
** The teenage characters are all supposed to be 13-15 years old, but in reality it's rarely feasible for actors near that age range to be hired, particularly with the amount of sexual content in the show. To disguise this they make sure the majority are short in comparison to the adult actors.
** Averted in Hungary; many of the actors playing teen boys were hired due to being long, lanky, and gawky-looking.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims 2'', Sims at the "teenager" stage of life are shorter than those at the "adult" stage. Though Young Adult (seemingly about 17-21) is just as tall as the Adult stage, within an inch or at ''most'' two. The Teen stage does include all of puberty, though, and since the Sims don't grow within individual stages, it would have to be somewhere in the middle of the range (so it wouldn't look weird growing from Child or to [=Young Adult/Adult=]) and is thus [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality reasonably]] justified.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** Main characters Sora, Kairi, Roxas and Naminé, ages 16, and Riku, 17, as of ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance''. They are by far some of the shortest human characters in the entire series, reaching, at times, ''crotch-level'' of other characters.
** This is [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] however when they first arrive in the Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean world, with the main trio noting that things look ''really'' different (as it's rendered in a more realistic style). While Sora and the rest are still ''human'', it's implied they may be a different '''variety''' of human than people from other worlds, explaining different appearances and heights.
* ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'':
** You don't notice it until an age 17+ character is in the same frame as one of the [[KidHero 15-year old heroes]], but damn are those 15-year olds tiny. Beat initially appears to be quite tall, but you later realize that the entire cast of adults positively ''towers'' over him. Even given the fact that the average height of Asian women is 158cm (5'2"), Uzuki and Konishi are also absurdly tall compared to the tallest of Neku's gang.
** In the ending cinematic we see that [[spoiler:[[http://pics.livejournal.com/cherubi/pic/0011aq3p/g146 real Shiki]]]] is much taller than Neku and [[HugeSchoolgirl even rivals Beat in height]], but not so much as to obfuscate that adult height is still insurmountable for even the tallest of 15-year olds.
* In VideoGame/{{Bully}} the main character Jimmy seems to be constantly shrinking and growing as the scene demands it. For the majority of the game he looks to be a reasonable height for a 15-year old who is perhaps a bit of a late bloomer - he's a few inches shorter than the other teenage characters, and not quite a head shorter than the adults. However, in the cutscenes he's very clearly shown to be at about armpit-level to the principal and his secretary.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' is an interesting example. The trope is averted by Raine and Lloyd; 17 year old Lloyd (at 5'8) is a good few inches taller than Raine, his 23 year old teacher (who is 5'5), however (though we don't know what his mother looked like) his father, [[spoiler:Kratos]], is 6'1, leaving him in the dust by nearly half a foot. At age twelve, Genis is 4'7.5 to Raine's 5'5, however by ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'' he's ''allegedly'' 4'11, which means he's approaching Raine's height at a roughly normal rate, assuming he's going to be about her height and isn't going to shoot up. Trouble is, his character model hasn't changed at all, so though he should only be 6 inches shorter than Raine at that point, he still looks positively pint-sized next to her, giving the impression of this trope. There's a Z-Skit in the first game where Raine talks about how tall Lloyd is, and a C-Skit in the latter game where Genis wants Raine to notice that [[LampshadeHanging he grew a sixteenth of an inch]].
* ''{{Solatorobo}}'' seems to want us to believe PettingZooPeople grow a foot between nineteen and twenty. Of the characters with given ages and heights, the teenagers are all 160cm/5'3" or less and the adults are 170cm/5'7" or more. This can't even be justified by breed: Opéra, a Russian blue cat, is taller than her two servants, Gren the kishu inu and Calua the ocelot.
* Michael from ''VideoGame/PokemonXDGaleOfDarkness'' is implied to be around 13, or at least no younger than your typical Pokémon protagonist. However, not only is he shorter than most adults in the game, he's also shorter than the link battle models for the characters from the [=GBA=] games, who are all about 11.
* Big Town in ''VideoGame/Fallout3'' is filled with short teenagers that are refugees kicked out of the settlement of [[ThereAreNoAdults Little Lamplight]] after reaching 16 years old. The vast majority of them are noticeably shorter than the Lone Wanderer. Despite the Wanderer being only 19 him/herself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{PHD}}'' takes this trope even further. One graduate student acquires a posse of tiny ''undergraduates''.
* The ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' kids are 13, but are about half the height of their adult guardians. However their regular appearances are not supposed to be realistic, and the guardians' appearances are more an effect of how they kids perceive them than actual true appearance. When shown in "Hero Mode", they are significantly taller.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Inverted in ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'''s fourth version; most male characters turned out to be around six feet, which is pretty tall for a teenager. The girls, however, seem to have fairly normal heights in comparison. This, of course, has been [[LampshadeHanging lampshade hung]] both in and out of character.
* [[WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick Lindsay Ellis]] is 27 years old, but can pretty easily play a BrattyTeenageDaughter in flashbacks because she's only about five feet high.
* [[WebVideo/TheNewAdventuresOfCaptainS Brett Vanderbrook]] played [[DawsonCasting a 16-year-old when he was 25]] in ''The New Adventures of Captain S'' and he was the shortest of the male actors. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlxuVmGhsXk an outtake]] of the non-canonical Christmas episode:
** '''Lunk:''' You're too short, preppy!
** '''Chad:''' I just haven't hit my growth spurt yet.
** '''Lunk:''' And you never will.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Despite being a spin-off of the trope picture, SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries subverted this with Hilda and Zelda, who are portrayed as teenagers (they are still centuries old, they are under a curse for undisclosed reasons), appear to be the tallest characters in the cast. While Sabrina and her friends are still significantly shorter than the rest of the cast, they are portrayed as much younger than the original show.
** The show's own spin-off, however, SabrinasSecretLife, goes back to playing this straight. Hilda and Zelda are back to being adults (presumably their sentence was lightened) and are still taller than Sabrina.
* Ben and Gwen play this trope in WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce and Ben10UltimateAlien. Both are at least a head shorter than both of their parents despite being 15 and later 16. Cooper also played this straight as well in Alien Force as a 14 year old, but in Ultimate Alien he subverts it stating he "got a growth spurt". Kevin and Max (as a teen) averted this trope as both are almost as tall or exactly as tall as most adults.
* Straddling the line between this and ArtistsAreNotArchitects, even 15- and 16-year old boys in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' find themselves more than half a head shorter than almost all but the oldest and most bent over adults. This is most obvious in when Hakoda is onscreen. He's clearly shown to be about average when compared to the other Water Tribe men, and he's more than a head taller than his son (15 or above), daughter (14 or above), and Zuko (16 or above).
* ''WesternAnimation/Daria'' graduates high school without ever outgrowing her parents
* Despite being seniors and probably past puberty, neither Kim nor Ron in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' pass an adult's shoulders in terms of height.
* Most of the main characters in ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'' suffer from this, most notably Cornelia, who is the tallest of the 5 girls, but still a head shorter than her mother.
* Also the case in ''CodeLyoko''. Most of the teens are between 13 and 14, yet they are all very much shorter than the adults. Even Yumi, who's reaching 15, is smaller than her parents (though she comes close to her father, who's probably of typical height for a Japanese male -- her mother on the other hand is quite tall). Also of note is that the girls are often taller than the boys, or about the same size.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', 14-year old Bobby seems to be 3-and-a-half feet tall compared to his parents. All the kids are like this at first, but soon the others begin to grow to average height (note Joseph's growth spurt), leaving people to wonder if Bobby is a late bloomer. It turns out the animators didn't want to put him through puberty simply because they would have had to cast a man as his voice actor, and they had grown attached to his current actress [[CrossDressingVoices Pamela Adlon]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Candace says explicitly that she's five-eight. Despite this, she and her teenage peers are still shorter than every adult in the show (except the humorously short old people).
* Mostly averted in ''TotalDramaIsland'', where many of the teens are as tall as, if not taller than, the adult host Chris, which is {{Lampshaded}} by Beth ("wow, you're much shorter in real life!"). The few adults mentioned on the show are usually the same height as the average height teens, with the exception of [[ScaryBlackMan Chef Hatchet]]. Some contestants, such as Cody, Beth, Dawn, and Cameron, do play the trope straight.
* Most of the 14-year olds in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' are ridiculously short for their age in comparison to their parents. All except bullies Dash and Kwan who are both at least as tall as Maddie Fenton. Danielle is an even worse example: apparently twelve years old and she's ''[[ArtisticAge half the height]]'' of Danny himself.
* This is also present in ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', though the Vicky being more than a head shorter than either of the Turner parents isn't nearly as noticeable as the enormous difference between teenagers and younger children.
* ''WesternAnimation/EdEddnEddy'': The main kids are supposedly around 12 years old (except Jimmy & Sarah who are obviously younger, Rolf and the Kanker Sisters are also probably older), so you'd think they'd be catching up to their invisible parents by now (Ed, the largest character besides Eddy's brother claims to be 5'9")...except looking at their offscreen parents' arms in Mission Ed-Possible, the adults seem to be 4-5 ''METERS'' tall!
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'': Both used and subverted. Steve and Haley are both towered by their parents. Same goes for Steve's friends and Haley's boyfriend/husband Jeff. Other teens depicted in the show are typically depicted as having realistic proportions, so an argument could be made that Steve is just a late bloomer. Haley though is a ''college student.'' If the cover of volume 6 is anything to go by, Hayley is just barely 5 feet tall.
* Both parents in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' tower over Meg and Chris, despite them being 16-17 and 14, respectively. Chris is a few inches taller than Meg, but still nearly a head shorter than his mother.
* Despite being about 14, Penny and her friends are at least a foot or more shorter than most of the adults in ''WesternAnimation/TheProudFamily''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'': A minor character, Alisa Carmichael (Susie's oldest sister) is 16, but shown to be a head shorter than her parents.
* The main characters of ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' are supposed to be teenagers. But as the title makes clear, they're ''tiny'' compared with the Looney Tunes characters that mentor them (Tweety excepted, of course.)
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** Teen starlet Music/SelenaGomez was potrayed as barely taller than Cartman and tiny compared with the adults when she 'appeared' on the show, apparently solely due to this trope (in real life Gomez is 5'6 which is actually noticeably ''taller'' than the average American adult woman.)
** Shelley Marsh is 13, but she's about as tall as the average ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' fifth grader.
* Laney Penn of ''WesternAnimation/{{Grojband}}'' may be short in stature, but her tall ambition more than makes up for it.
* [[WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead Beavis and Butt-head]]. They're shorter than most of the other Highland High School students (Save for Daria) and all of the adult characters in the show.
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