Want to make something cuter? Just make it smaller. Look at kittens
. Don't you just want to hug and squeeze them and call them George
? Okay, perhaps not that far, but they are cute. And it's not merely being smaller, but also having a "rounder" shape than adult dogs and cats, and usually having bigger eyes.
Naturally, this is used in certain character designs to achieve a cute effect
. Take how in Comics
, younger characters have bigger eyes. This can be seen in shows where we see a character grow from childhood to adulthood. Some even have normal eyes when they're past their mid-20s.
Of course, the best-known anime and manga method of making something cute is the Super-Deformed
look (a.k.a. "Chibi
In some cases however, it's primarily done to cram a recognizable variation of the character into a smaller space, such as a map screen, and the cute is just a bonus.
characters frequently take the form of Ridiculously Cute Critters
, and may be Spinoff Babies
or Sleep Mode Size
versions of normal-sized characters. When cuteness is pushed too far, it may Taste Like Diabetes
The trope's title
is from 'Fun-sized' candy bars, the smallest size typically seen as Halloween
treats. Has nothing to do with a certain other Fun Size.
It also has nothing to do with the Nickelodeon movie
Compare Animation Anatomy Aging
, Only a Model
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Anime and Manga
- Shana-tan from the Shakugan no Shana omake.
- Yugi Moto and Yami Yugi are among the most clear cases of big eyes when smaller.
- Yami/Atem used to remain the same size in the first manga, but then got a case of import and started getting a growth spurt like his anime counterpart after the transformation. Can be seen clearly in Yu-Gi-Oh! R.
- Name a Mon that's under a couple of feet high; good chance it'll be completely adorable. Shaymin gets bonus points for not only being one of the smallest of the 649 pocket monsters, but a Legendary as well. Screw the Sky Forme, cute hedgehog is cute.
- Every generation has a miniature Olympus Mon or two, like Mew, Jirachi, and Manaphy...
- Joltik's the smallest of all Pokémon (10 cm/four inches), and is ridiculously cute to match.
- Talking about Mons, MarineAngemon is definitely Digimon's take on Shaymin (or is it the reverse, since MarineAngemon came first?). Also, this Kapurimon◊ is one of the third-grade-equivalent students at a school in one episode of Digimon Frontier. (He's existed in other media for much longer, and it appeared briefly in Digimon Tamers.) In-Training level Digimon are almost always toothachingly cute. (But if he hits you with his tail, you will feel it.)
- Haruhi Suzumiya:
- The chibi episodes in The Prince of Tennis.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: The puppy and chibi forms of Arf and Zafila's first attempt at using the former in the third Sound Stage of the second season earned him many squealing, cuddle-happy girls, much to his annoyance.
- In the same vein, Reinforce is a lean, mean, living killer machine. Reinforce Zwei, on the other hand, is a 6-inch tall, supremely cute and flat chested. However, she still carries a large dose of ass kicking (when properly...ahem, "used", since she's still technically a living weapon). Although Zwei can "upsize" to roughly Vita's size, as mentioned in the Sound Stages and demonstrated visually in Force.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! has Chibi-Setsuna, the adorable shikigami Setsuna pulls out when she has to accompany someone but needs to be somewhere else at the same time.
- Aisaka Sayo also counts when she is possessing the Voodoo doll.
- There are also the magic de-aging pills that allow the girls to turn themselves into lolis. Chisame in particular says that she prefers her "Chibi-Chiu" form to her normal self.
- This Lucky Star manga, which takes the already quite moe cast and inexplicably shrinks them. Hilarity Ensues.
- Lumiere of Kiddy Grade has the ability to create cute, miniature search subroutines. When Tweedledee sees this, she remarks on how cute they are, and creates her own version.
- Medabots. Full-powered combat robots... in a three-foot tall package (well, except for that one that Ikki disabled in one episode, that qualified as a Humongous Mecha). Did I mention that Medabots are kid's toys?
- In Soul Eater, Medusa possesses the body of a little girl, and twists her appearance into a copy of her original one. Uses the cuteness to her advantage in the manga when she got herself imprisoned by Shibusen (similar in the anime, but the reaction isn't quite the same). Usually looks cute in this form, but not always.
- The opening to Macross in chibi form.
- The Adventures of Mini-Goddess was designed specifically for and around this trope.
- In the (non-canon) Pilot Chapter of Bleach, a side-effect of Rukia transferring her powers to Ichigo was being shrunk down to a small enough scale that she could comfortably take a bath in Ichigo's coffee mug.
- Played for Drama in chapter 40 of Franken Fran. Veronica gets cut in half by Gavrill, and Fran has to make a a smaller version of her body with the very few parts that were still left. This is unfortunate for Veronica, but does come in handy later.
- The laptop-model Persocoms in Chobits! Sumomo (aka Plum; there's a little debate as to whether or not the name should be translated) is smaller than your forearm but several times as cute as human-sized Chii. Her Cheerful Child personality adds to it, though Kotoko is also insanely cute despite her quite serious personality.
- Bite Size! Mini Ika Musume.
- Beta Mechazawa from Cromartie High School.
- Petit Eva Evangelion @ School is an official chibi spoof of Evangelion
- In One Piece, Luffy turns chibi for a time after using Gear Third.
- One arc of Superman/Batman featured a chibi Justice League.
- Comic books: WaRP Graphics' Elfquest had elves that were about half as high as humans. They were adorable.
- Yeah, that wasn't quite the point, although the Pinis did mention in an interview that giving them large heads and eyes made audiences feel more protective toward them.
- And there were also the "Tiny Toon Elves" self-parodies, drawn IIRC by some of the original Tiny Toon Adventures artists.
- The extradimensional X-Men villain Mojo, in an effort to keep his world's television ratings high after their (presumed) death, created Fun Size versions of the titular mutants — the X-Babies. Hilarity Ensues when the babies prove to be less restrained than their adult counterparts.
- Despite (or perhaps because of) hilarity destructively ensuing, it was apparently a ratings success, because he later brought out the Mitey 'Vengers (Fun Size Avengers) and a team of Fun Size Age of Apocalypse villains, including the terrifying four-armed head-for-a-torso Sugar Man.
- And now there are A-Babies vs. X-Babies, a spin-off of Avengers vs. X-Men produced by Skottie Young and Gurihiru.
- While nearly all fairy species in Artemis Fowl are small at around a metre tall, pixies specifically are said to be cute, rather fragile, and similar in appearance to human children.
- Harry Potter has Dobby, the small, cute house elf.
Live Action TV
- In the Series 3 finale of Doctor Who, the Master makes the Doctor look as old as he is (900 and something years old), and he turns into an adorable tiny creature. The thing that made the Doctor look cute was his huge eyes, which completely makes you look past his grey, withered skin, and bony hands.
- An episode of Will and Grace made mention of the "Pocket Gay" when Will was set up on a blind date with a guy who was quite short. Jack basically described him as "all the perks of a boyfriend in convenient travel size."
- Bernadette is the sweetest, cutest member of the gang in The Big Bang Theory. At under five feet she's also the shortest.
Bernadette: I've never seen you wear this dress, it's adorable!
Penny: That's because on me, it's a shirt.
- The entire premise of Kirby Mass Attack is based upon this: Kirby gets split up by the Big Bad into ten parts, each with only a fraction of his full power.
- The Super Robot Wars series. To really hammer the point home, the entire opening movie of Super Robot Wars Alpha is this trope Up to Eleven.
- World of Warcraft does this with Lil' Ragnaros, the Moonkin Hatchling, Lil' XT, and Lil KT; all vanity pets obtainable from the microtransaction shop.
- Also, Lil' Deathwing from the Collector's Edition of Cataclysm.
- The quest giver (and later companion) Pebble, and various lizard critters (miniature versions of the hostile Warp Stalker beast).
- Metal Gear Mk II in Snatcher is terribly cute, despite having a design inspired by nuke-launching superweapons. Snatcher SD makes Metal Gear even smaller.
- Kingdom Hearts II does this to Yuna, Rikku, and Paine by turning them into fairies.◊
- Ōkamiden's Chibiterasu. Sure, Amaterasu was already a Badass Adorable, but just look at them!
- Team Fortress 2 gives us the mini-sentries, which are basically the standard sentries at a smaller size and significantly less firepower, with a police siren duct taped on top of it. Of course, this is lampshaded by the Engineer himself, as he sometimes calls it a "cute little gun".
- Taken further with Dungeon Defenders, if purchased from Steam you also get the Engineer/Pyro/Heavy/Medic as a pet.
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo has chibi versions of the Street Fighter and Darkstalkers characters.
- Suika Ibuki from Touhou is short and cute to begin with, but the numerous Fun Size duplicates of herself she can create to attack with are just adorable.
- The main trio from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness get drawn this way in promotional artwork.
- The Mobile Suits/Armors of the SD Gundam G Generation series, which also doubles as Badass Adorable.
- Ah those teeny tiny servbots, doesn't matter that they can pilot machines that can drop highly explosive bombs, they are just so darn cute!
- Burnout Paradise's Toy Cars DLC. But here's the not fun part : Toys car retain same strength stat of it's original cars...
- The Minis in Mario vs. Donkey Kong, as pictured above.
- The Sonic the Hedgehog series is fond of using little chibi versions of the characters as icons. In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic (and Tails in the digital remake) are shrunk down into chibi forms in Metallic Madness zone.
- The Downsize status ailment in the PS2 remake of Tales of Destiny does this to your characters by making them take on their tiny Super-Deformed sprites from the original version of the game.
- A mob of tiny, squeaky voiced Chelsea clones is also fought in the bonus dungeon.
- The mobile version of Five Nights at Freddy's features adorable little plushies of the creepy killer animatronics that just sit in your office while you play.
Real Life / Truth In Television
- Fan-Art tends to do this.
- Again, kittens and puppies.
- Various breeds of animals are bred for size, presumably because of cuteness: dwarf cats, chihuahuas, poodles...
- Japanese culture is obsessed with cuteness, and this is a part of it.
- Shelties are adorable mini-sheepdogs that were bred for an adorable reason: to herd tiny sheep!
- Miniature horses (often called ponies). Originally they were for hauling mine carts, now they are now being tried out as a substitute for guide dogs. (There are vastly less people allergic to horses than dogs, and horses have very long life spans.)
- Pomerianians were bred specifically to be small after Queen Victoria both popularized the smaller types, and led a breeding program to decrease their size. And then there's the Pomsky◊ (all the beauty of a Husky in a mini package).
- Miniature dachshunds. When they're nasty, they're really nasty... but when they're nice, they're sweethearts!
- Poodles actually do come in normal-dog size (Standard Poodle) as well as yappy-dog size (Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle). Standard poodles are actually quite intelligent, and can be aggressive. The infamous "poodle cut" that the smaller versions are known for is actually a perverted, decorative mutation of the more functional haircut they used to be given in their capacity as hunting dogs.
- The Alaskan Klee Kai, a relatively new breed of dog created specifically to be an apartment-sized version of the Alaskan Husky.
- An unfortunate Deconstruction of miniature pets: many "teacup" breeds, especially dwarf cats, suffer from genetic and physiological diseases due to inbreeding and severe dwarfism.
- In biology, this is termed neoteny (the appearance of being youthful) and is one reason men are often attracted to women who appear younger than them (ie. being shorter and having smaller features overall). The inverse is Amazon Chaser.
- In the United States, small candybars mostly given during Halloween are marketed as "fun size."
- The Aussie Racing Cars series, a series featuring silhouette race cars (eg. every car runs the same equipment, in this case a turbocharged 1.2L Yamaha motorbike engine mated to a sequential transmission) with body styles that resemble scaled down versions of famous cars that have participated in the V8 Supercars series at some point in history.
- Narrow-gauge trains, especially the old steam engines that look like big toys. They are about the same height as a person, and their form of railroading feels much more personal than that of the big trains.
- T-shirts saying, "I'm not short, I'm fun sized."
- The Trope Namer expression itself is a direct result of marketing genius by candy manufacturers. Most kids would be rather peeved at receiving a candy bar a quarter of the size as normal; introducing the "Fun Size" expression made it more acceptable to sell small-sized candy bars in bulk, both for special occasions such as Halloween and Valentine's Day, and in general as a "dessert" item for pre-packaged kids' meals.