Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
The character designer for a cartoon is drawing a woman. For whatever reason, they want her to look more *ahem* "mature" than the average female in this series to visually emphasize her femininity. But the cartoonist won't be giving this character big or even medium sized- breasts. Often they can't because their cartoon is in the Animation Age Ghetto, where big breasts can't get past Network Standards and Practices. Or maybe it's a deliberate stylistic decision.
If you aren't using big breasts, how do you make a character look female? Narrow her waist and enlarge her hips. A lot.
This animated woman will usually have a small bustline, a very narrow waist, narrow shoulders and very large hips. Regardless of the width of the character's waist and hips it's important that her waist look exaggeratedly small in comparison to her hips. The end result should be an exaggerated pear shaped figure.
Named after writer/animator Butch Hartman, whose cartoons often make use of this trope, because Stephen Silver designs many of the characters for his shows.
If they have a large bust size to go along with the hips with a notably smaller waist, they should be considered for Impossible Hourglass Figure instead. Simply having wide hips does not equate Hartman Hips: they must have a small bust and shoulders as well. While this body shape can occur in nature, this is specifically a creator driven animation and artwork trope, so No Real Life Examples, Please!
NOTE: Please only add examples to work or character pages with actual examples of characters with exaggerated pear-shaped figures as meant to denote maturity, considering whether they apply better for Male Gaze or Impossible Hourglass Figure.
open/close all folders
This ad for the Paul Valentine lingerie collection from the February 1962 issue of Sir! magazine.
The GN Archer◊ from Gundam 00 has, along with a ponytail and monoboob, thunderthighs to make it appear more feminine.
The Gottralan piloted by Katejina Loos has a bit of this going on as well. It is actually technologically justifiable, being a close-combat mech. The Gundam Musou variation is less effective with the hipness, being built more like a Hawaiian hula doll to complement its CQC moveset.
Another one would be the OZ-07AMS Aries from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, thanks to its slim lower legs. Justified as its thighs house turbofan engines, along with the necessary intakes, which make the Aries capable of flight in the first place (they're matched with a pair of equally huge turbines coming out of the shoulders). Of note, the only character to pilot an Aries regularly is the only female pilot in the main cast.
As opposed to normally accepted means, the girls of Hayate the Combat Butler seem to sport these. Adding to that impression is that Chaste Hero Hayate seems entirely engrossed in the girls who are less developed in the upper department. Most of the girls are also suitably mature in the mental department, which may explain why Hata decided to use this trope. The normal Joshikousei make it hard to see in most cases.
Despite being controlled by a male pilot, the Tauburn from Star Driver has an very feminine silhouette thanks to it's extremely narrow waist and wide hips.
In Windy Tales, this is a part of the art style, especially on the adult women.
In Elizabethan times the fashionable female body shape was like a bell: a huge lower half, small waist and flat chest.
The Georgian perfect silhouette conformed to this almost exactly- enormously wide (but not round) paniers- frames to hold out the skirt- even more so the 'pocket hoop' paniers, which pulled out the skirt wide while it stayed flat at the front and back.
The round Victorian crinoline also went there (surprisingly it was considered a sensible alternative to what had gone before- achieving the same look with literally dozens of layers of underskirts). Being lightweight wire, it was also a lot more flirty than it looks in drawings, because of the way it moved as the wearer walked.
Tinkerbell from Walt Disney's Peter Pan, to her dismay. Humorously used when her hips get her stuck in a keyhole.
Megara from Disney's Hercules was actually designed to be shaped like a Greek vase.
Helen Parr from The Incredibles. A mother of three who's been retired for 15-20 years (give or take), and had much more svelte thighs in the prologue. Passing a reflective metal surface, she happens to get a glance of her butt and sighs unhappily, showing that she had gained quite a lot of weight in that area. Mirage is pencil-thin, but even her hips are as wide as her shoulders◊. Violet has a more teen-size version.
Chel from The Road to El Dorado, almost to the point of parody. Her waist was, tops, twenty inches and her breasts were rather large, considering. Waltz on down below the waist and her hips are at least as wide as her shoulders. Chel was a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Dorothy Lamour, best known for playing most of the love interests in the "Road to ......" movies, starring Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, of which the entire movie is a homage.
Genndy Tartakovsky seems to really enjoy using this trope for his adolescent and adult female characters. He proved as much in Hotel Transylvania. Mavis◊, Eunice◊ and Wanda◊ all have very wide hips compared to the rest of them. Wanda is at least slightly justified in that she's pregnant with at least three were-pups. Eunice has a pretty large bust, but her hips are still wider than her shoulders. Mavis is the truest case , although it's downplayed because she's still supposed to be barely an adult (by monster standards, anyway).
Surprisingly enough, Queen Elsa and Princess Anna from Frozen. Anna is most obvious in the scene where she's sleeping in on coronation day. Elsa's coronation dress is tight enough to show off her curves, but it's glaringly apparent when she dons her Snow Queen outfit; a slinky, off-the-shoulder gown with a skirt slit up the right side.
Pretty much every adult female in The Book Of Life from Mary Beth to La Muerte, to Maria and Carmen, to incidentals in the background.
In fact, it's less accentuated in the concept art — in the final 3d model◊ she has almost no chest (It's barely perceptible, and then only from the side) and an almost excessively tiny waist.
On Gaia Online, the hallmark of artist o_8's female characters is "LOOK AT DEM HIPS".
Halloween 2009 villain Sentinel wasn't designed by o_8, but should have had a "wide load" sticker on those bumpers anyway.
zOMG!'s Water Spouts and their stronger Sea Spout relatives (and even stronger queen). Three guesses who designed them...
o_8 also designed the vampires for zOMG!'s Halloween 2009 event.
And guess who was chosen to draw a Street Fighter item that just happened to come with a Chun Li companion pose?
Alex "o_8" Ahad, under his real name, is also the lead character designer for Skullgirls (the world, concept and cast having been a pet project of his since roughly high school), with the expected results.
Superman: The Animated Series has the villainous Livewire. She sports a skintight leotard/catsuit, as she's supposed to exude sex appeal (after all, the Diniverse isn't just for kids) but Livewire curiously isn't so well endowed as some of the other women on the show. She even has an extra large V-neck which apparently should sport cleavage, but doesn't (even less than when she was normal). To compensate, the animators gave her a gigantic pelvis and thick legs. Apparently, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm, experimenting with their new art style, wanted to toe the line rather than bring in superhero appearances all at once. They eventually went all the way in Justice League.
Rose Explosion in Metalocalypse, but not in a particularly attractive way. In fact, it's a little worrying how large her hips are- they're practically as wide as her shoulders, while the rest of her is normally proportioned.
Willow and other characters from A Kind of Magic. For a show already named for a Queen song, the female character designs sure bring up the page quote to mind pretty well.
In The X's both Mrs. X and her daughter Tuesday have these.
All of the female characters in Clone High. Lampshaded in one episode, in which Abe draws up a flyer for Joan to get her a date for prom. Among other strange attributes (including "Janeane Garofalo-esque" and "Not religious"), he highlights her "good birthing hips".
One episode of Adventure Time (Go With Me) has Marceline as this; she's normally the skinniest regular female cast member (at least in comparision to Princess Bubblegum, who normally wearing very voluminous dresses), but she's also a Voluntary Shapeshifter and may have simply decided that she felt like having a set of large hips.
Mac and Terrance's mother from Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends. Although she looks like she has an impossible hourglass figure in her business attire, her shoulders and chest look smaller in other attire.
Garnet from Steven Universe has a tiny waist on tops of extremely wide hips and huge thighs. It certainly fits since she's eldest, wisest, and most mature of her team.
Pretty much all the female characters in SWAT Kats, especially Callie Briggs, Ann Gora and Dr. Abby Sinian. Even robot gangster Molly has them! Mostly avoided with Commander Feral's niece Felina, though. In addition to this, male scientist Dr. Zyme has got an hourglass-shaped figure with a tiny waist and very large, wide hips. He's about the only male character in the show to have them.
Lois Griffin in Family Guy has a pretty decent pair of hips, though the exaggeration isn't as extreme as the typical example of the trope. Meg Griffin, in an alternate universe, has a tiny waist and large hips.