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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_youmustbethistalltoride.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"Looks like you came up a bit short, Ben."]]
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Amusement parks are the thrill of children everywhere and the bane of adults seeking to keep them under control. With rides filled with excitement, thrills, and a bit of danger, these areas are a kid's paradise.

However, due to pesky safety regulations, equipment and seats made to accommodate adults, not to mention pesky liability issues and lawsuit-happy parents, park regulations dictate that younger children can't ride the most intense, exciting and popular rides. In RealLife, these safety concerns are perfectly valid and are there to protect children - safety harnesses that fit an adult may be too large to properly restrain a child. In fiction, this is rarely if ever pointed out. Though rarely mentioned, the inverse of this is also true of RealLife: child-scale rides are often too small to be safe (or at least comfortable) for adults (and some adult-scale rides are too small for adults of exceptional size).

This trope is prevalent across various media, though will rarely occur in works not set between the middle of the 20th century and TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture. Generally, usage of this trope is followed by said kid desperate to find a way onto the ride, and doing so may be considered a RiteOfPassage into becoming a teenager. This trope may either be played for laughs in order to highlight the zany schemes that the children will take in order to sneak onto the ride, or for drama if the kids end up getting hurt due to neglecting the precautions of a very ReasonableAuthorityFigure.

In contrast, it may also be used as an excuse for a child or young teenager who is legitimately scared of said ride. Of course, the plot requires that said child actually be tall enough to ride, in which case elaborate, wacky hijinks are played in order to avoid the ride, before finally admitting his fear, going on anyway, and generally enjoying himself. This variant is almost always played for laughs.



[[folder: Advertising ]]

* This sets off the plot of a Skechers' commercial for their Pretty Tall children's sneakers, which make girls one inch taller.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'': Hayate's absurdly rich mistress has an entire amusement park that was given to her as an elaborate KickTheDog--all the rides require a height she is as yet unable to reach...and she may never grow into it.


[[folder: Film ]]

* The plot of ''Film/{{Big}}'' is sparked by a 13-year-old boy being told he wasn't tall enough to go on a roller coaster.
* In ''Film/FinalDestination3'', a couple of boys who've ducked past the "You Must Be This Tall" sign are kicked off the Devil's Flight coaster by the attendant.
* Walter in ''Film/TheMuppets'' is shown being unable to go on a carnival ride.
* In ''Film/AlvinAndTheChipmunks: Chipwrecked'', Alvin goes on a waterslide during the cruise by jumping above the height of the "You Must Be This Tall" sign. No, really.
* In ''Film/ProblemChild 2'', during the fair scene, Junior tries to get on the Crazy Dance ride, but is told that he has to be as tall as the tentacle, which he just barely isn't ("But it's only a millimeter!"). After getting the usual teasing from the local bully, he encounters Trixie, the girl who's just as bad as Junior is, who wears elevator shoes in order to get on the ride. This gets Junior mad enough to mess with the speed of the ride to make everyone barf.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MickeyDonaldGoofyTheThreeMusketeers'', when Mickey is in a dungeon that's rapidly filling with water, a sign reads "You must be this tall to survive this dungeon".


[[folder: Literature ]]

* One ''Literature/CuriousGeorge'' book has George go to an amusement park but being too small ride on a roller coaster or play with bunnies in the petting zoo. He then has a dream that he grew to five times his previous size, only to find he's now too big to fit on the roller coaster and too large to play with the bunnies safely.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* A little person on an episode of ''Series/MurphyBrown'' complained about how embarrassing it was to be shooed away by MickeyMouse at [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disneyland]].


[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* Parodied in ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'': A [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever giant monster]] encounters a sign even taller than itself reading "You Must Be This Tall To Attack The City".
* ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} and Odie [[http://www.garfield.com/comics/vault.html?yr=2011&addr=110818 wore Jon's shirt to get past that.]]


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D: Atomic Edition'' level "Babe Land" has a sign with Duke's likeness before a ride entrance, saying "You must be 48 pixels tall to enter".
* In ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'', the poster for the Dark Carnival campaign (which is set in an AmusementParkOfDoom) reads "You must be this tall... '''TO DIE'''!"
** Within the campaign itself, there are two separate jokes the survivors can make.
-->'''Nick:''' You've gotta be this tall to get in, Ellis. Sorry buddy, you'll be missed.

-->'''Coach:''' "You must be this tall to ride." Well, at least there won't be any jockeys.
* ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'': When Guybrush is trapped in the Carnival of the Damned, all he has to do to escape is go out through the gate leading to the roller coaster -- but the roller coaster has a You Must Be This Tall restriction, and he's also been magically reverted to childhood, so he's too short to be allowed through.
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'', Harley Quinn's message on the speaker radio in the Steel Mill starts off with: "Welcome to Mr. J's Carnival. You must be 74 inches tall to ride." (Note on the specificity: [[ContinuityNod Batman's height is 6 foot 2 inches - 74 inches on the nose]].)


[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* In the Strong Bad e-mail "theme park" in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'', The Cheat tried to be tall enough to ride the Bowels of Trogdor roller coaster, but was unable to do so even when standing on tiptoes and wearing a top hat, so Strong Bad recommended he go to Sweet Cuppin Cakes Land instead, much to his disappointment.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In [[http://www.loadingartist.com/2012/06/04/vomitron/ this]] ''Webcomic/LoadingArtist'' strip, the protagonist is denied the right to ride on a roller coaster because of height. The protagonist makes accordion-like shoes which give him added height. Played with in that he instead uses the shoes to kick and knock out the ride attendant.
* ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'': In [[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=375 "Founding Fathers (stuck in an amusement park)"]] James Madison argues about such a sign with a carny.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' episode "[[Recap/Ben10S1E11ASmallProblem A Small Problem]]", Ben is told he's too short to go down a water slide, which he immediately decides to rectify by [[VoluntaryShapeshifting turning]] into [[FishPeople Ripjaws]]. Maybe it's for the best that he ended up as the less-noticeable [[IncredibleShrinkingMan Grey Matter]] instead.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheClevelandShow'' Rollo is exited to go to an amusement park because he's finally tall enough to ride on the roller coaster. But when he gets there they measure him not counting his [[FunnyAfro Giant Afro]] and he's still too short.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'': The episode "Ewww That's Growth" is about Dexter being upset about his pint-sized height; one of the ways his stature makes his life harder is that he's denied going on a rollercoaster with his family. After he makes himself very tall with an invention of his, he is allowed onto the ride ([[spoiler:during which he crashes painfully into a wall.]])
* ''WesternAnimation/KickButtowski'' has this problem with a ride. The ride operator takes pity on him.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyB'': Bessie is too short (by one-sixteenth of an inch!) to go on the ride, but her dog threatens the operator and he bends the rules so the dog won't rat him out.
* Subverted and lampshaded in the ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch "Attack of the Giant Midget". A dwarf, turned into a giant by a MadScientist, goes on a rampage through an amusement park. It comes to a "you must be this tall" sign, then [[{{beat}} pauses a moment]] to let the irony sink in before continuing on its rampage.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'':
** The ''Literature/SinbadTheSailor'' segment of ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooInArabianNights'' has the captain (who is depicted as a dwarf, similar to [[WesternAnimation/TheJetsons Mr. Spacely]] or [[WesternAnimation/MagillaGorilla Mr. Peebles]]) being too short for [[ItMakesSenseInContext a log ride filled with the treasure he's after]]. He reacts by destroying the measurement sign and gets on the ride anyway.
** The ''WesternAnimation/WhatsNewScoobyDoo'' episode "Roller Ghoster Ride" featured a few scenes that had a young boy being told that he was too short to go on certain rides (such as the Sky-Diving Simulator, the Slingshot and the Rocket Coaster). In the end, after the villain of the episode was caught, he asks the gang why he wasn't considered a suspect (despite having a decent motive to do it), Velma explains that it was because he was too small to actually fit in the costume. In the end, the boy gets to ride with Shaggy and Scooby on the food-based ride that was built for the amusement park.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Bart attempts to subvert the trope in "Selma's Choice" by applying ice cream bars to the bottom of his shoes to meet the height requirement. It gets played straight when the ride starts and he nearly falls out going through a loop because he is not big enough for the safety bar to catch him.
** In "Lisa the Vegetarian", Bart faced the opposite problem at a ride for not being ''short'' enough. But he did make the Mother Goose train more fun for the preschoolers, though!
** Becomes a plot point in Universal Theme Parks' ''Ride/TheSimpsonsRide'' as a way to remind riders of the actual safety restrictions! The preshow video reveals that Maggie is too small for the new Krustyland ride, and left with Grampa, who has ''all'' the prohibited health conditions (heart problems, etc.). Alas, he falls asleep, she wanders off...and it becomes a BrickJoke in the ride itself.
* On ''WesternAnimation/BrandyAndMrWhiskers'', Whiskers and Gaston le Gecko launch a protest over the shorter animals not being allowed on a water park ride called "Flumes of Fury." The lifeguard who kept preventing from going on the ride explains that the rules are supposed to prevent people from getting hurt, and even Brandy points out that there are some things you just might be too small for. Whiskers and Gaston, however, refuse to the listen to them and force themselves onto the ride...where they get injured due to their short stature.
* One ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse'' short has Donald's nephews try to make themselves taller to go on a fast ride, but are constantly sidetracked by their uncle.
* In one ''WesternAnimation/HiHiPuffyAmiYumi'' episode (The Ride Stuff), Kaz is too short to go on a roller coaster, so Ami and Yumi disguise him as a British rock star lady by [[TotemPoleTrench Yumi standing on top of Kaz]]. Kaz even lets out a SneezeOfDoom...and the guy operating the coaster isn't suspicious! The plan works, and he gets on.
* A devil once persuaded ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'' into raising the minimum required height to make children suffer. The ride turned out to be dangerous and they actually ''saved'' the kids from harm.
* ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'': Lilo tried to use one of the experiments to get past this limitation only to learn there's maximum height requirements as well.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': L.O.V.E.-M.U.F.F.I.N. once held a contest to pick a leader and there was a rule like that for the entrants. Sorry, [[TheNapoleon Professor]] [[MeaningfulName Diminutive]], they can do that 'cause [[CardCarryingVillain they're evil]].
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/CuriousGeorge'' has George being told he's too small to go on a ride at an amusement park and he does everything he can to make himself grow. He's later told that as a monkey, he won't get bigger or taller than he already is, so the ride attendant takes out a sign that reads "You Must Be This Tall If You're A Monkey".
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/UncleGrandpa'' has Pizza Steve trying to get on a ride based on him. He actually succeds, [[TraumaCongaLine only to find out why such regulations exist]].
* In "D.W. & Bud's Higher Purpose" on ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', D.W. and Bud spend most of the story trying to figure out a way around one of these restrictions to ride "The Buzzard." When they actually finally succeed, they end up making the surprisingly mature decision that it's too much for them and end up heading off to ride a more kiddie ride.