When a bunch of tiny people need to restrain a (to them) giant one, a classic method is to bind the bigger creature to the ground while asleep. Waking up, the large person finds they've been tied down by string — lots of it — stretched over their body between stakes, allowing one of the mini-people to perform a Colossus Climb
onto their chest and make demands.
Prone to Fridge Logic
, as the amount of string used is often far more than a bunch of miniature people would logically have on hand. How they could pound stakes deep enough into the ground to be effective, without
waking their intended captive, is likewise often Hand Waved.
A sister trope to All Webbed Up
, in which the binding is done by Big Creepy Crawlies (or sometimes Spider People
) rather than little people. Subtrope of Bound and Gagged
, minus the gag.
Anime and Manga
Comic Books / Strips
- Chapter 711 of One Piece opens with Robin waking up in exactly this situation after she's captured by the Tontatta. Rather than simply being tied down, however, she's "stitched" to the ground with specialized phlebotinum.
- This happens to Stealth Archaeologist Miss Alice Band when she isn't nearly stealthy enough, and makes the fundamental error of trying to excavate a burial mound in Lancre. The restraint is exercised by the NacMacFeegle in A.A. Pessimal's Discworld fic The Lancre Caper (The Perils of Over-Confidence). Later in the story, student Assassin Deborah Rust thinks she can get away with gassing "little blue vermin" who are stealing sheep on her father's land. A tie-down and intense humiliation is delivered by the Feegle.
- In Army of Darkness, the little Evil Ashes that spring from a broken mirror tie Ash to the floor with twine while he's knocked unconscious.
- In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, a tranquilized T. rex is seen lying on a transport pallet, bound heavily enough to immobilize it. In this case, the tiny (to it) humans had the sense to use metal braces rather than string.
- Happens to Ginormica at the very beginning of Monsters vs. Aliens shortly after being hit by a meteorite full of Quantonium and subsequently mutating into a giant.
- Happens to Mrs. Jumbo in Dumbo as a result of her attacking a mean boy that was threatening her title son, and consequently being locked up for this reason.
- In King Kong (2005), Denham has the ship's crew try to do this to capture Kong, but didn't get the ape tranquilized in time. Kong breaks loose and tosses a lot of crewmen around before finally being knocked out, via a chloroform bottle to the face.
- Gulliver's Travels is the Trope Namer.
- Professor Mmaa's Lecture features a horde of termites catching a drunk human in a ditch and promptly tying him down For Science!, using miniature cement strings (presumably made with their advanced Organic Technology). This includes tying down every single of the man's hairs separately.
- Discussed in Truckers after one of the Nomes sees the illustration in a copy of Gulliver's Travels. Masklin concludes that the most impressive thing about it is the amount of co-operation required; if a group of Nomes tried it, they'd start arguing and never get the job done.
- In Bard Games' Atlantean Trilogy of fantasy RPG books, the bakru are a malicious race of foot-tall jungle faeries who are known to sneak into campsites and tie up sleeping travelers, then rob them blind.
- In The Adventures of The League of S.T.E.A.M. episode, "Bitter Gnomes and Gardens", the gnomes tie up the League's zombie manservant Zed in this way, using a garden hose.
- On Here Come the Littles, a young Big girl has run away from home, and the Littles set up a ruse to convince her to return. They need to delay her long enough to prepare their trick, so one of them ties her clothing to the floor when she stops to nap in a barn.
- Mickey Mouse was subjected to this trope in Gulliver Mickey, and did something like it to a giant in The Brave Little Tailor.
- The Gulliver animated series shows it failing hilariously, with Gulliver effortlessly sitting up and breaking the bonds in the process.
- In The Pagemaster, Horror is tied down by Lilliputians this way.
- Mabel is victim to this in the pilot episode of Gravity Falls.
- Later happens to Pacifica Northwest in "The Golf War," courtesy of the aptly named Lilliputtians.
- In ThunderCats (1985), a race of tiny people called the Micrits tie up Lion-O while he was sleeping, conjuring the strings with magic.
- In the Super Friends episode "Fairy Tales of Doom", Brainiac traps Superman in the story Gulliver's Travels and supplies the Lilliputians with a massive amount of Kryptonite, and they use Kryptonite ropes to tie Superman up. Superman struggles and manages to break free.
- In this commercial for the Acura RDX Gulliver has been tied down by the Liliputians in order to give him a car.