open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In One Piece, most of the evil guys tend to be veritable behemoths of muscle or fat, or at least very tall and imposing. Our heroes, except for Franky and Brook, are average sized and Luffy himself is a bit on the short and scrawny side, though that doesn't hold him back one bit.
- Guts from Berserk is no shrimp himself, but the Apostles and other monsters he faces tend to be gorilla-sized at the very least; plenty are the size of a house once they go One-Winged Angel, and the very biggest are more like mountains.
- Bleach. Almost all Soul Reapers are human size, while most hollows are larger than human size (some of them are a lot larger than human size.
- Many Arrancar hollows have Resurreccion forms that are much larger than their normal human-like forms.
- The climactic battles Goku faces against both Demon King Piccolo and his Reincarnation namesake in Dragon Ball involve the latter supersizing themselves - and Goku wasn't all that big to start with.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam The Federation focuses its resources on producing one kind of mobile suit. The Principality of Zeon, in contrast, squanders its resources on the construction of a number of huge mobile armours, including the Brau Bro, the Elmeth, and the colossal Big Zam (itself piloted by seven-foot tall Admiral Dozle Zabi).
- In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, the Titans are the ones who build the Psyco Gundam and the Psyco Gundam Mark II, both of which stand the height of a small skyscraper. Those mobile suits designed by Paptimus Scirocco, while not as huge, still tend to be larger than average, with his final ride, the PMX-003 The O being a hulking Lightning Bruiser taller than any AEUG mobile suit and two or three times as wide.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny the Destroy Gundam is put into action by Blue Cosmos, the coalition of racist groups behind the Atlantic Federation. A combination of the aforementioned Big Zam and Psyco Gundam, the Destroy is a walking Weapon of Mass Destruction that burns its way across Eurasia before being halted in downtown Berlin.
- In Mobile Fighter G Gundam, the Devil Gundam is extremely large for a mobile suit, and is the principal antagonist of the series. Interestingly, it is largely immobile, so its lieutenants do most of the real fighting.
- In Fist of the North Star, Kenshiro is roughly 6 feet tall and 220 lbs. Raoh is roughly a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier but is at least realistically large unlike the assorted giants such as Zeed, Mr. Heart, Mad Sarge, Devil Rebirth, and Uighur. Fudoh inverts this during his final battle with Raoh.
- Played with in Claymore. The Youma are bigger than people; the awakened beings are even bigger(some being 100+ metres tall/long) with one exception, and yet the heroines are normal-sized, if taller and a lot thinner than average, women; any fashion model could pass for one with the right makeup and contacts. The tallest, Galatea, is pegged at 185cm officially.
- But the most evil/dangerous villains are smaller than them. Priscilla is south of average for a Claymore in human form and about 2m and with a shape that might pass for human if fully clothed and her horn sawed off, awakened. The Organization's men are all creepy runts in black.
- In Pretty Cure, the Pretty Cure are teenagers, most of them are around 14, a few are younger or older. The villains are either adults or humanoid beings who are taller than average people or Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever.
- Seiren from Suite Pretty Cure ♪ is a black cat fairy, but she's taller than fairy mascot Hummy. Seiren's human form Ellen is as tall as the heroines Hibiki and Kanade. And Eas from Fresh Pretty Cure! is as tall as Love, but smaller than Huge School Girl Miki.
- Ira and Regina from Doki Doki Pretty Cure are smaller than the heroines, unless you count Aguri's human form who is smaller than them.
- Discussed Sgt. Frog, where Space Detective Kogoro (average human height) is about to fight Keroro (about two feet tall), but stops because he can't fight Keroro without looking like a huge bully. Keroro solves this by putting on a Mobile-Suit Human to give them approximately equal size.
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, if a card is considered magical, evil, dangerous, and/or cursed, odds are that the monster it summons is big. (In fact, when Yugi first summoned Osiris in his duel against Bakura, Jonouchi yelled "It's the most humongous Duel Monster ever!") It was the same with the Wicked Gods, the Sacred Beasts, and the Earthbound Gods. The Numbers in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL are a partial exception, as not all of them are big, but one of them, Number 9: Dyson Sphere, holds the current record for physically biggest monster in the anime, being the size of a small star.
- In Attack on Titan, regular Titans are anywhere from 5 to 15 meters tall with the Colossal Titan dwarfing everyone at 60 meters.
- In Future Card Buddyfight, both Big Bads fit this trope. In a game where the Limited Loadout restricts you to monsters whose sizes sum to three, Azi Dahaka is size four. And when Yamigedou went One-Winged Angel, the resulting monster took up two cards.
- Several of Superman's most powerful enemies, like Darkseid, Mongul, Doomsday and even Lex Luthor in his power suit, are notably larger than him, although Luthor's typically smaller than him without the suit.
- Kept in Smallville despite Clark Kent played by the 6'3'' Tom Welling - Alder, Doomsday and Titan are portrayed by Dave Batista (6'6''), Dario Delacio (6'8'', and his exoskeleton added a lot of size) and Kane (7' 0"(!)), respectively.
- While they are both powerfully built, highly experienced warriors with super-human powers, the fact of the matter is that Wolverine is 5'3" (160cm) and his Arch-Enemy/Evil Counterpart Sabretooth is 6'6" (198.1cm)
- The Mighty Thor averts this with Loki who is typically drawn as being smaller than Thor, though some of the Thor's other enemies, like Surtur, Kurse and Mangog play this straight.
- Iron Man nemesis Titanium Man towers over our hero, in a colossal battlesuit that, Depending on the Artist, has been anywhere between 8 and 11 feet tall.
Films — Animated
- The closest thing Brave has to a villain is an enormous demon bear, so any fight between him and a human will obviously have this dynamic. However, even in the final battle between the demon bear and the Baleful Polymorph queen turned into a bear, the Big Bad is noticeably much bigger than the Mama Bear (which is justified, since male bears are bigger than females).
- Jafar in Aladdin is at least a head taller than everybody else in the movie that he interacts on-screen with.
- In The Great Mouse Detective, the good guys are mice, but the villain is a ra... big mouse.
Films — Live-Action
- Star Wars:
- Darth Vader stands over 2 meters tall (though the good guys have Chewbacca, who is even taller).
- The Empire also has much larger war machines; the largest Rebel ship, the Mon Calamari cruiser, is absolutely dwarfed by the largest Imperial ships, the Death Star and the Executor. Even the standard Star Destroyers, the smallest Imperial ships seen in the movies, are larger than all but one of the Mon Calamari cruisers.
- In The Force Awakens, all the main antagonists are over six feet tall. The tallest main hero is 5'9".
- The final battle of Avatar zig-zags this trope; Big Bad Colonel Quaritch is bigger and much more physically dangerous than the wheelchair bound Jake, but is smaller than Jake's Avatar form, which is smaller than the Mini-Mecha Quaritch pilots.
- Many tall actors made a career for themselves playing monsters (usually as People in Rubber Suits). Standout examples:
- The Alien. The first actor to portray him was 7' 2" (2.18 m)! (though the current actor of choice for the role is 6' 2" - 1.88 m).
- The Predator as well. He dwarfs Arnold Schwarzenegger. The original actor, 7' 2½" (2.20 m) Kevin Peter Hall, also played the antagonist in Monster in the Closet.
- Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th. Most noticeable next to Freddy Krueger in Freddy vs. Jason.
- Regularly happens in Star Trek films:
- Star Trek Into Darkness: The Vengeance is twice the size of the Enterprise. In fact, if you look at a size comparison she is the biggest Federation ship ever built thus far.
- The Narada in 2009's Star Trek similarly dwarfs the Enterprise, the Kelvin, and any other Federation or Klingon ships. Justified, at least in part, because Nero originated from over a century into the future.
- The Scimitar from Star Trek: Nemesis made the Enterprise-E look tiny by comparison.
- The Son'a vessels in Star Trek: Insurrection were somewhat bigger than the Enterprise-E; however, this was taken Up to Eleven in the same film with the collector vessel built to harvest the Ba'ku planet's rings.
- The Borg cube and sphere from Star Trek: First Contact played this trope straight as well, even if they didn't last long into the film.
- The whale-probe in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and V'ger's vessel in Star Trek: The Motion Picture are huge in their own right, though not specifically evil.
- Specifically averted in Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan — the first three were standard-issue Klingon birds-of-prey and the last was a stolen Federation ship that's pretty much the same as the Enterprise but in a different configuration (that makes it seem smaller; put the warp engines on the back underneath and you get the Reliant, roughly the same mass but more compact than the Enterprise.) In each case, the villains and their tactics are what make their vessels dangerous to the protagonists.
- Emperor Xerxes of 300 is a nine feet tall androgynous God-King, towering over both his opponent King Leonidas and his own men.
- Even if James Bond is tall (only Daniel Craig is below 1.80 m) many times The Dragon is huge - best example is Jaws, but Oddjob, Necros, and Stamper also qualify.
- While Godzilla is by no means a small guy, many of his opponents are often even bigger than him (e.g. King Ghidorah [image◊], Destoroyah [image◊], Orga [image◊]). In such cases where the rival monster is not bigger than him (e.g. Terror Of Mechagodzilla, the 2014 film) he usually has two opponents.
- In Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!, the one film in the franchise where King Ghidorah is the heroic monster and Godzilla the villain, Ghidorah's substantially smaller than normal, and is now shorter than Godzilla. Justified in that the King Ghidorah is still young and therefore not as much of a threat as he would be if full-grown as he's usually shown.
- Iron Man has Tony Stark in his human-sized Iron Man suit facing off against Obadiah Stane in his fifteen-foot-tall Iron Monger suit.
- Iron Man 2 has the same human sized Iron Man (and War Machine) vs. the Iron-Monger like Whiplash.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron has the title robot, whose Prime form is 8-9 feet. This proved troublesome on-set: Elizabeth Olsen was instructed to look at the red balls hanging from antennae over James Spader as those would be Ultron's eyes, but Spader's intense performance made this really hard.
- Sabretooth in X-Men, as Tyler Mane is 6' 9" (2.06 m). In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, not so much as Liev Schrieber is only 3 cm taller than Hugh Jackman (who is himself fairly tall at 6'3"/1.91m).
- In Innerspace the villains have their own sub specifically designed to intercept and combat Tuck Pendleton's sub. The pod appears to be equal or less in total mass, yet it is taller and darker.
- This gets inverted when the pilot ejects from the sub and, in a diving suit, tries to drill a hole in Tuck Pendleton's sub.
- In Pacific Rim, the Kaiju are larger than the Jaegers, although not so much that it's noticeable. However, Slattern, the largest kaiju to appear, is 596 feet tall, more than a hundred feet taller than anything else in the film.
- The Terminator plays this straight, having the title character being played by the big and muscular Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, the subsequent Terminator films with Arnold's character as a good guy (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and Terminator Genisys) invert this by having the bad guys be smaller than him (though all are fairly tall, with the only one below 5'11" being Byung-hun Lee). The discrepancy which might otherwise result is avoided by having them be far more advanced Terminator models than his with more abilities.
- The alien monster from It Conquered the World was originally conceived as short and squat, due to the harsh gravity of its native planet. Actress Beverly Garland was unimpressed by the vertically-challenged villain — approaching it within hearing of director Roger Corman she cried "So, you plan to take over the world do you? Take that!" and kicked it in the head. Corman therefore told the prop guy to do something to make it bigger and scarier. Well, he made it bigger, anyway.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice pushes Doomsday even further: while in the comics he's 8' tall, in the movie the Kryptonian beast is as massive as the Superman statue in Metropolis.
- Sunday, from The Man Who Was Thursday is described as "too big to process." He's not more than eight feet tall, however, but his terrifyingly jolly personality can't possibly hurt...
- Gregor Clegane from A Song of Ice and Fire, AKA "The Mountain that Rides", known to some fans as "The Mountain that Rapes", possibly the worst ordinary human in the series (out of quite a lot of competition), and also the largest.
- In Redwall, Vermin are invariably larger than Redwallers, though badgers tower above all others (and are good guys).
- Inverted in Animorphs, where the major villains, the Yeerks, are actually slug-like Puppeteer Parasites who require hosts to stand against the other species (both humans an aliens), who are both much taller than them. This doesn't make them less dangerous in anyway.
- One of Odium's primary minions in The Stormlight Archive are the thunderclasts, giant stone dogs several times bigger than a human.
- Tolkien described Sauron's physical form in The Lord of the Rings as, "Very terrible. The form that he took was that of a man of more than human stature, but not gigantic."
- In The Dinosaur Lords, the Grey Angels are all not only omicidal, but also over three metres tall.
- In the various Stargate series, bad guys always have big armies, big ships, big empires, and big egos.
- Played straight fairly often in Star Trek, where the usually very impressive Enterprise will be dwarfed by the bad guys' starships◊ (some expanded-universe materials indicate this was invoked by the Romulans, who designed their D'Deridex class with a lot of empty space, resulting in a ship that is much larger than Starfleet's Galaxy class but only somewhat larger in actual mass, crew and decks). Within the TV series (as opposed to the the movies) the most overt examples are TOS's Planet Killer and TNG's Borg Cube.
- The word "Titan" is usually synonymous with giant, and while not all the Titans in Greek Mythology were evil, many were. Cronos broke his promise to his mother by refusing to free the Hekatonkheires after overthrowing his father, ruled as a tyrant, and consumed his children to prevent them from turning against him; it was only due to his wife Rhea's intervention that Zeus was spared and was able to defeat him. The Titans who sided with him were hardly innocent either.
- In Norse Mythology, the Jotuns, or frost giants, were the eternal enemies of the gods of Asgard. Although their actual size varies depending on the story, the most powerful ones (like the illusionist sorcerer Utgard-Loki) tended to be the biggest.
- Taken Up to Eleven with Ymir, the progenitor of all Jotuns and trolls, and one of the first living things in the universe. He was so big, that the blood pooling from his corpse formed a huge flood that drowned almost everything, and the Aesir created the world from parts of his body. To give you a sense of scale, the sky is actually the inside of his skull!
- Most of the factions in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 are taller than humans: the Elves / Eldar, Orcs / Orks, the forces of Chaos (especially Khornates), Lizardmen, Kroot... An exception in 40K is the Tau, who are shorter and less physically capable than humans (which is why they prefer to shoot their enemies from miles away) - but by the standards of the setting, they tend to be a lot nicer than humans. The Skaven in Warhammer Fantasy are also smaller but have far, far greater numbers... and definitely count as evil (the Skaven also play this trope straight with some of their units - the Stormvermin are a rare breed of Skaven that are bigger and stronger than normal humans and then there's the various bio-engineered monsters like the Rat Ogres).
- Take to extreme levels in 40k (as usual) with the C'Tan star gods, who were so massive outside their necrodermis shells that they didn't even notice planets.
- In most Sci-Fi FPS shooters the evil alien race is usually 7 or 8 feet tall on average, with their Giant Mook members being even larger. Often this makes them easier to shoot, without really making them any stronger.
- The Elites and Brutes (the Covenant's two main Elite Mook species) respectively average at about eight and nine feet tall, while the Hunters are twelve feet tall. By contrast, even the tallest of humanity's heavily-augmented Spartan Super Soldiers are only a little over seven feet tall.
- Averted with the Covenant's Grunts, who are on average somewhat smaller than normal humans, though slightly stronger.
- The Covenant's Jackals/Skirmishers and Drones play with this; both species are on average somewhat taller than baseline humans, with the former also generally more agile and the latter stronger and more resilient, but both species are small, weak, and frail compared to the augmented and power-armored Spartan protagonists of the series, and the Jackal/Skirmishers are even more fragile than baseline humans due to their hollow bones.
- While the Covenant's main political leaders, the Prophets, average at about seven feet, as a rule they're frail and a bit hunchbacked due to their sedentary lifestyle.
- The Big Bad of Halo 4, the Ur-Didact, is over 11.4 feet tall, as befitting the former leader of the Forerunners' Warrior-Servants. Additionally, his main Elite Mooks, the Promethean Knights, average about ten feet tall. Most of the other mechanical Forerunner Mecha-Mooks in the series are also pretty big, but, with the exception of the vehicle-sized Enforcers and the Spartan-sized Soldiers, are dwarfed by the main protagonists.
- The Warden Eternal, introduced in Halo 5: Guardians, controls a bunch of giant robot bodies who absolutely dwarf the Spartans.
- Halo's predecessor, Marathon, featured the Pfhor, an organization of alien slavers and their slaves. Most Pfhor are slightly taller but thinner than humans, however their Hunters are much larger. Humans stand at about the abdomen of the average hunter, while the largest ones are over twice as tall as a human. Then there are the enormous Pfhor juggernauts, which are flying cybernetic tanks. Meanwhile, the S'pht, a species that the Pfhor enslaved, are relatively small. Averted with the largest creature in the Pfhor, the Drinniol, which, being a slave, bears no ill will towards its victims.
- Half-Life: Alien Grunts are also around eight feet tall. Again, subverted by the Alien Slaves and Alien Controllers, who are as big or smaller than a human. Played straight again with Gargantuas and Manta Rays, but those are living tanks and living fighter-bombers respectively.
- Resistance: Chimera units are taller than normal humans.
- Ganon of The Legend of Zelda is always bigger than Link and Zelda combined. Even in his human form, he can be up to twice as tall as them regardless of whether Link and Zelda are adults or kids.
- Ghirahim in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword plays this straight when he goes One-Winged Angel, where he's about a head taller than Link and noticeably bulkier (in his normal form he and Link are the same size). Demise plays it straight even in his humanoid form where he's around the same height as Ganon's human form, but is also much bulkier with his arms alone being thicker than Link's torso.
- Bowser of the Super Mario Bros. series is always bigger than Mario and the other protagonists despite his varying size from game to game.
- In the Gradius series, bosses are gigantic, no exceptions. Your fighter has to fight giant spaceships a hundred times its size, huge statues, giant fiery dragons, and brain-like abominations of the Bacterion Empire the size of small planets.
- Archimonde in the final level in Warcraft III is far larger than any other unit and is basically invincible. In addition, all the demonic units have far more health than the player's units or his computer allies', are physically larger, and do "chaos damage" which is resisted by none of the armor types.
- Present in World of Warcraft with dungeon and raid bosses. Anywhere from five to forty players need to be able to target and track their actions so the bosses are bigger. This ranges from bosses being twice as tall as normal (even if there something that's normally human sized) to behemoths so large they don't fit on the screen unless you're as far away as possible.
- In Infinity Blade, almost everything is bigger than you, except the final boss.
- M. Bison of Street Fighter is a man of very large stature, especially in the Alpha series, though Zangief and Sagat are always bigger than him.
- In the 2D Final Fantasy games, enemy sprites were always bigger than the player sprites.
- This is the general rule of Final Fantasy, that villains are, on average, larger than heroes. It's thrown into sharp relief for Dissidia: Final Fantasy: the only villain/hero pair where the villain is smaller/shorter than the hero is Squall and Ultimecia, because Squall has movie-star proportions while Ultimecia may be tall, but still a woman.
- In Shank, every boss is bigger than Shank in gameplay. Averted in cutscenes for most of them.
- In Sword of the Stars II, the Suul'ka, Liir Great Elders gone mad, even the smallest of which are bigger than any other races' Leviathans.
- The Reapers in Mass Effect are absolutely massive in size, with the largest Reapers being nearly twice the size of the Destiny Ascension, the largest non-Reaper ship in the galaxy. And they also have firepower and defenses to match. Reaper Destroyers are much smaller, but compared to the ground forces they go up against, they practically hit Kaiju proportions, and also have defenses to match. Anything less than constant orbital bombardment or reengineered Reaper weapons to a Destroyer's weak point are basically the equivalent of throwing rocks at them.
- As a general rule, if there are two forces involved and one of them has something huge - a Brute, Praetorian, YMIR mech, Geth Colossus or Atlas mech, just to name five - then the force with the huge thing is the bad guy.
- The Space Pirate Ridley of Metroid is always much larger than his Arch-Nemesis, Samus Aran. His size usually varies between each game in the series, sometimes reaching up to almost twenty feet in Metroid: Zero Mission, but even in his smaller appearances (like Melee, for example) he still towers over her. He's still dwarfed by other pirates such as Kraid or Phantoon, as well as his boss Mother Brain.
- Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron averted this due to the Autobots and Decepticons sharing animation models for characters and enemies, which meant they were usually typically close in size, and in the case of the latter game, the Autobots had the larger GiantMooks with their Titans and also had Metroplex who was by far the largest character in either game, and also had one of the few cases of Optimus Prime being larger than Megatron.
- In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt the Warriors of the titular Wild Hunt stand a head and shoulders taller than normal humanoids. At one point one of their ranks is seen outside his suit of armour, confirming that this is indeed the natural size for some of the Alder Folk, accentuating their otherworldly nature.
- As apex predators, the monsters of Evolve are definitely large, with the smallest among them being six meters tall and the largest nearly four times that. Their size is directly proportional to the threat they pose, since they get a power and health boost every time they grow.
- Justified in most versions, as most of the Decepticons tend to favor larger military vehicles for their alt-modes as opposed to the smaller civilian vehicles favored by most of the Autobots.
- One exception is the movies, which in an attempt to keep a realistic scale, led protagonist Optimus Prime (whose alternate mode is a HUGE truck) to be taller than most Decepticons. That said, Megatron is generally depicted as noticeably bigger than Prime◊.
- Beast Wars subverted this in its final season where Optimus Primal's Optimal Optimus form was much larger than Megatron. Transformers Prime played this trope straight in its first two season with Megatron being the same height as Optimus while being bulkier, but subverted it in its third season when Optimus Prime was upgraded to be both taller and bulkier than Megatron.
- Unicron takes this up to 11, as he's the size of a small planet. It's even lampshaded in this action figure commercial
- Played straight in Transformers Animated, although to an inconsistent degree - Your Size May Vary is a franchise-long issue for Transformers. The Decepticons are typically presented at least as being a head taller than Optimus Prime, but in some shots they're over twice his height.
- In Codename: Kids Next Door, the heroes are children who fight evil adults, so this Trope is usually applied by default, except in the cases with child villains. (And some of them, like the Delightful Children, have adult-sized Mooks most of the time.)
- The Smurfs are really small, so pretty much every villain in the cartoon is bigger than they are. (But then, so are most of their allies.
- Adventures of the Gummi Bears took this a step further. Not only is the Big Bad (and most humans in general) bigger than the heroes, but the villains' Mooks are a group of ogres bigger than he is, which he is somehow able to keep in line.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Most of the major antagonists are bigger (or in Tirek's case, end up bigger) then the average pony. In fact, the only one who is normal sized is Sunset Shimmer! She becomes good though as of the second movie, Rainbow Rocks. When Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon out of jealousy, she made herself Celestia's size to go with the rest of the Evil Costume Switch; she's normally larger than mortal ponies but smaller than 'Tia. Starlight Glimmer is also an aversion, but, just like Sunset Shimmer, she also turns good.