Impossible Hourglass Figure
"How'd you come up with the [bottle's] design?"
"It just came to me, from who knows where!"

A woman in comics or cartoons doesn't have ribs like a real actress does. Thus she can easily have a far narrower waist than would be possible with even the strictest of corsets — and usually without even wearing one!

A woman with an Impossible Hourglass Figure has generous curves, with an impossibly narrow waist as an unproblematic part of how she just happens to look. Thus taking the classic "hourglass figure" beauty ideal Up to Eleven. She's always designed to be attractive, even in the cases where she's not Ms. Fanservice or Hello, Nurse!: Monsters with insect-like narrow waists do not count, even if the shape reminds of an hourglass.

For more realistic hourglass figures, see instead Of Corsets Sexy and Of Corset Hurts. Compare Noodle People and Hartman Hips; contrast Pettanko (which is what most Hollywood Thin women are without the help of padded bras or implants; the female breast is largely fat when not nursing).


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Gender flipped version of America in Axis Powers Hetalia.
  • Quite a few of the female characters have this type of figure in Code Geass.
  • Miss Doublefinger from One Piece.
    • Not to mention Boa Hancock, Nico Robin, and Nami, for starters, or for that matter pretty much every single female in the entire universe who is not horrendously obese. One would get the idea that this is one of the author's many fancies.
      • It wasn't really that prominent until after the Time Skip, allegedly Oda venting his horniness over his sexy wife. Most females at the beginning of the manga (including Nami) were simply thin, not curvy.
    • In 2016, Oda admitted that his usual method of drawing women is "two circles and an X", with the X obviously being the waistline.
  • Similar to the One Piece example we have several female characters from Fairy Tail and Rave Master. Mashima states that he actually doesn't find it especially appealing and he mainly uses the design to please young male fans.
    • As of 2013-2014, Hiro has lessened this trope, giving the girls larger breasts, but a more curvy figure and a evened out midsection.

  • Winx Club is notorious for these. All females have impossible waists (yes, even the elderly), and in the case of those of the characters who are supposed to be young and attractive, one finds oneself wondering if their waists could even accommodate both the spine and a single pass of intestine, diaphragm and all those pesky not-liver organs be damned.
    • In the entire universe. Only one character is not built like this, and she is supposed to be ugly.
  • Madame Mirage was specifically designed in-universe to have this body type — her real identity is a small, athletic blonde with a body as flat as a board from every angle, so (with the help of hologram technology) she disguises as a tall, "impossibly-endowed brunette" based on her dead sister. It's also hinted that there's at least some degree of wish fulfillment behind the Madame Mirage persona's appearance.
  • Just about any female character drawn by Rob Liefeld. It almost borders on parody until you realise that's just how he does art.

    Fashion Design 
  • This Stella McCartney dress creates the optical illusion that the wearer has one of these.
  • Fashion from Victorian Britain seems to have been striving towards this at times, with all the corsets and padding and whatnot.
    • Dior's New Look replicated this look as well, it was claimed that Christian Dior found waistlines above 18 inches to be "disgusting".
  • Barbie is notorious for this. The reason this is under fashion design: the narrow waist is allegedly intended to compensate for the heavy seams in such small clothing. Whether this is actually true or not, around 2000 Mattel chose to switch to a wider waist design.

  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Mad Madame Mim sports this when she makes herself pretty in The Sword in the Stone.
    • Ariel from The Little Mermaid has a very slim hourglass figure, both as a mermaid and a human.
      • Idem her sisters, especially in the prequel. Subverted with Adella in the Tv series where she is more chubby.
    • Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. Along with Ariel, she has the most exaggerated figure of any Disney Princess or heroine. Bonus points for actually getting trapped in an hourglass.
      • Idem the harem girls in "Friend Like Me", the belly dancer and the girls in "Prince Ali" ... let's just say there's a lot of pretty girls in sheer, low-cut fabric.
    • The Bimbettes trio from Beauty and the Beast
    • Four of the muses and Aphrodite, from Hercules, have waists so tiny they could probably wrap one hand around them. Oddly enough, Megara ends up with Hartman Hips, despite being the only female to make use of her womanly charms.
  • Holli Would from Cool World.
  • Miss Forcible, in her youth, and the Other Miss Forcible from the film version of Coraline
  • The evil stepmother Frieda from Happily N'Ever After.
  • Francesca from Mad Monster Party.
  • Sita from Sita Sings the Blues.
  • Both main female characters, Maria and La Muerte from The Book of Life.
  • The famous unfinished animated film The Thief and the Cobbler provides a pretty remarkable example.
  • Mrs. Toad From Thumbelina who has huge Non-Mammal Mammaries on top of a near nonexistent waist, and wide hips to match.
  • Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of the more famous and extreme cases of this trope. She was originally designed with more (relatively speaking) realistic proportions, but the creators decided that they wanted an unrealistic quality about her sexiness. She's a toon, after all.
  • The Princess in The True Story of Puss 'N Boots has this body type, complete with a large bust and wide hips. It doesn't really help that the human characters look somewhat realistic, thus making her look a little strange.

  • Deconstructed in Body By Harmani. The woman had herself genetically altered to have a designer's body. One of the alternations involve this. Unfortunately, it's dangerous to her health since her internal organs are wedged in tight and she has to do constant exercises just to move at all.
  • In Bubble World, everyone on Bubble World has a perfect body, causing major shock for Freesia when she enters the real world and sees that not only does everyone seem fat, so does she.

    Live Action Television 
  • An episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia actually deconstructs this trope. Dennis takes up fashion designing, and specifically designs his clothes for someone with an exaggerated hourglass figure. Of course, since no one in real life actually has one...

    Newspaper Comics 
  • All the women in Li'l Abner, except Mammy Yokum.

  • The woman standing next to Spock on the playfield for Bally's Star Trek pinball has a waist only slightly wider than her head.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The female characters from Kingdom Death have these proportions, most notably the pinup variants. It appears to be a trademark of the artist, Lokman Lam.

    Video Games 
  • Grunty from Banjo-Kazooie's Game Over screen.
  • Barbie in Barbie Super Model has a perfect, impossible figure. Well, it is a Barbie game, after all.
  • The Dark Queen from Battletoads.
  • Vivi from Brain Dead 13.
  • Solange, the protagonist from Code of Princess.
  • Taldeer, Macha, and the unnamed Farseers in the first Dawn of War game.
  • Candy Kong is noticeably the only Kong with this body type, bordering right into Fanservice.
  • Jessica Albert in Dragon Quest VIII. Ditto for the elf maiden Rajah and the Witch-type enemies.
  • The Sorceress from Dragon's Crown is the shapeliest of the three female playable characters.
  • The beautiful Queen of Tumblers Salina from Drakensang.
  • The F-Zero series has two: Mrs. Arrow (debuting in X) and Princia Ramode (GX/AX).
  • The weapons select screen for Mass Effect 3 reveal that quarian women don't have Hartman Hips, but have this instead; Tali's hips are not significantly wider than Fem!Shep's or any other female squadmate's hips, but her hourglass figure is much narrower.
  • Mind Your Manors's third boss, to the extreme; she's literally an outline of a shapely woman with no features aside from an alluring smile. The secret ending reveals she had such a figure when alive too.
  • Both Ringford Queen Elfaria and Queen Odette from Odin Sphere have pencil thin waists sandwiched in between huge breasts and wide hips. In Queen Odette's case it makes sense considering aside from the breasts she is literately just skin and bone.
  • Betilla and the rest of the nymph sisters of Rayman Origins surely fit this trope. Fortunately they've got wings, otherwise they'd probably snap right in half.
  • All the main girls of Roommates have extremely slim waists, slim-to-moderately-curvy hips, and enormous breasts. Exactly how thin their waists are varies, from Sally and Isabella being Hollywood Thin to Anne being downright anorexic everywhere but her chest. Your Hollywood Pudgy classmate Carmen is the only one whose body even begins to look like it ought to have such a large bra size, but she's only a minor character.
  • Iroha from Samurai Shodown.
  • Most females from the Shantae series, including the titular protagonist.
  • Aeon from Skullgirls takes this trope to extreme levels where her midsection is literally a hourglass.
  • Valentina from Super Mario RPG, who has about the same proportions as her martini glass she's always carrying and is one of the few Mario characters with noticeable breasts.
  • Morgan LeFlay from Tales of Monkey Island.
  • Veran from The Legend of Zelda Oracle games.
  • Almost everyone, in The World Ends with You has a pretty thin physique. Yes, even the some of the boys, including the main protagonist Neku.
    • It only becomes even more noticeable when the main cast appears in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Though still heavily stylized, Sora and Riku's proportions aren't nearly as extreme, making Neku and some of his friends look downright anorexic. It's arguably even weirder considering the characters for both games were designed by the the same guy.
  • Lara Croft in the early installments of the Tomb Raider franchise had a waist slightly thinner than her head and half the width of her waist with large breast to match. Later installments have been progressively averting this trope by widening her waist and shrinking her breasts. Since Tomb Raider: Underworld, she now has a realistic hourglass figure.
  • Suzy from Tonic Trouble.
  • Carmelita Fox from Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time has a really thin waste compared to her appearances in the previous games.
  • Belladonna is a story of a woman who woke up part machine on an operating table. She comments on her figure and wonders what organs if any are left in her.


    Web Original 
  • This picture from Wikipedia. It's called "Condition of Cut-in Waist".
  • Escher Girls posts and mocks some pretty jarring examples of this or illustrations with just the impossibly small waists. Most of the works do this in spite of having an otherwise realistic art-style.

    Western Animation 
  • Black Widow from Avengers Assemble especially in season 2. Zarda also counts as well during her close ups.
  • Hello Nurse from Animaniacs, as seen on the picture above.
  • Betty Boop was described in a 1934 court case as: "combin[ing] in appearance the childish with the sophisticated a large round baby face with big eyes and a nose like a button, framed in a somewhat careful coiffure, with a very small body of which perhaps the leading characteristic is the most self-confident little bust imaginable.".
  • Clarice from the Chip 'n Dale classic cartoons managed to get away with both having generous hips and an ample bosom, and little in between.
  • Elise from Dan Vs.
  • Morgana Macawber from Darkwing Duck.
  • Virtually every female in the DCAU. Bruce Timm clearly loves him some hourglass curves.
  • Dennis' mother, Alice Mitchell, from Dennis the Menace.
  • Panty the Panther from El Arca.
  • Princess Mandie from The Fairly OddParents.
  • Princess Aura from The New Adventures of Flash Gordon.
  • Turanga Leela from Futurama. She's even been described as having 36-24-36 body measurements, the supposed "perfect" female body.
  • Pete's wife and Pistol and PJ's mother, Peg from Goof Troop is probably among the curviest females in Disney history, with hips wider than her shoulders and a bust that, whilst not as wide as her hips, still exceeds her shoulders.
  • Cousin Mel from Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. She's got quite a curvy figure and is very buxom (is probably the only because the cartoon is remembered), which adds well to the fanservice.
  • Miss Information and Lydia Karaoke from Histeria!.
  • Jez from Jimmy Two-Shoes.
  • Certain female characters from Kim Possible. Notably, Shego and Bonnie Rockwaller as the most prominent examples among recurring characters.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Vanessa. She's the only female non-adult character in the show with serious curves and her outfit hugs them tightly.
    • All the background dancer in Doff's musical.
    • When Candace is shown as an adult, her figure has gone from literally pencil-straight to improbable hourglass. The mother of three has Hartman Hips naturally enough, but unnaturally has a thinner waist than her much lighter teenage self.
  • Angelina Kerplopolis-Awesome, mother of Les Awesome and Thera Kerplopolis-Awesome, from Rated "A" for Awesome.
  • Charlotte Pickles from Rugrats appears to be the most conventionally attractive woman of the show.
  • One episode of Samurai Jack featured the Sirens. You know you have a winner when you realize that even their arms are thicker than their waists!
  • Kimmy from Sym-Bionic Titan. She's got plenty of curves and evidently likes to show them off.
  • "Red" (or "Lou") from Tex Avery's cartoons.
  • Eris from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
  • Miss Sara Bellum and Sedusa from The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Trudy Proud from The Proud Family. Also Suga Mama on one episode when she lost weight before her wedding.
  • Virtually every girl on Total Drama, especially Lindsay. In fact it's easier to list the one's who aren't: Beth, Leshawna, Sadie, Jo, Staci, and Sugar. Lindsay, however, is apparently, the most attractive female character on the show.
  • The entire Winx Club... look at those girls! Is it even possible for waists that skinny to support their boobs and hips?! Supermodels clearly try to get figures like those girls.

Alternative Title(s): Hourglass Hottie