A common science fiction and fantasy character type, these are Proud Warrior Race Guy meets The Napoleon, and named for the miniature race encountered in Gulliver's Travels. These are little people, typically antagonistic to humans but not always, who are a source of humor because of the contrast between their Hot-Blooded manner and minuscule size. There's always something amusing about seeing a full grown man having his ass kicked by someone four inches tall. A subtrope of Lilliputians.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The dwarves of One Piece, specifically, the Tontatta Tribe that appears in the Dressrosa Arc, are tiny, strong enough to throw an average man around like a rag doll, fighting a revolt against Donquixote Doflamingo, and so gullible that it's not even funny.
- Aizawa's race in Jitsu wa Watashi wa seems to have a military culture. While they're never seen actually fighting, Aizawa's small body actually seems quite strong for its size, if her taking down a group of rhinoceros beetles in chapter 122 is any indication.
- The mouse police in Fables, which are of course a reference to something else.
- In African Folklore, there is the Abatwa, which ride ants and are gravely insulted if you say they are small. They kill humans with venomous spears which can even pierce a boot if they happen to be stepped on.
- Animorphs had a species of these, the .0625-inch Helmacrons with egos the size of Manhattan. They appeared in #24 and #42 and were referenced in Visser when Visser One followed Visser Three's big speech about the glory of the Yeerk Empire with a comment that Visser Three sounded like he'd been hanging out with Helmacrons (rather than the Yeerks' hated enemies the Andalites, as she had previously claimed). They were made more dangerous by the fact that they could use the blue box as a power source for a weapon that shrank their opponents down to their own size. They were also batshit insane, as they only gave positions of authority to dead Helmacrons (and made Marco grovel to their captain). One male had the line "If you [try to resist] you will be killed. In fact, you may even be made captain!" When first seen, the males were subservient to the females, but Marco proved that they could be just as megalomaniacal as the females at the end of #24, when he goaded them into rebellion. In both books, there were two factions who hated each other for no real reason: #24 had the crews of the Galaxy Blaster and the Planet Crusher (though when one ship was destroyed, the other sang its praises) and #42 had the males and females.
- His Dark Materials has a very similar group, Gallivespians, who are vicious six-inch assassins who ride dragonflies.
- In the fantasy novel The Hounds of the Morrigan, the heroes, Pidge and Brigit, meet a group of Proud Warrior Race Guys who are earwigs. The insect, yes. They're not Funny Animals. Their leader believes himself to be Napoleon.
- Discworld has "the Wee Free Men" or Nac Mac Feegle, who are "The Smurfs as Violent Glaswegians". Despite their tiny size, they're one of the most violent races on the Disc.
- In The Dresden Files, Harry presses a number of small faeries into service as this (through the simple process of pizza bribery). Do not underestimate the impact of dozens of lightning-fast faeries with boxcutters. Working together, they killed a Physical God.
- In Old Man's War, there is one planet inhabited by people who are almost exactly like humans, except they're only an inch tall. They're depicted as being hopelessly outmatched by the human military in ground battles, but at the very least evenly matched in space battles. Tiny ships can only have tiny weapons, but they're also too small to aim at properly.
- Whereas it's the exact opposite in Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison. The Chingers are lizardoids only seven inches high, but as they come from a 10G world, they're able to throw the Space Trooper protagonist easily. Government propaganda portrays them as being seven feet tall so morale won't be affected.
- Time Wars, The Lilliput Legion: the villain genetically engineers an army of tiny warriors.
- The sci-fi short Sodom and Gomorrah in Texas by Raphael Aloysius Lafferty has aliens who are every inch (sorry) this trope. A census taker steals the tax list of a colony of tiny aliens (he'd been told to count everyone, no matter what their size). Their short and angry leader demands the list back, and when told by the dumbfounded mayor that it's been sent to Washington, is so annoyed at having to hike all that way he blows up the town with a bomb the size of a grain of sand.
- The Puppeteer Parasites from the Harry Harrison Space Opera spoof Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers are furious that all other intelligent life is bigger than them despite their superior mental powers, so launch a Evil Plan to take over the entire galaxy.
- The Minunians, the eponymous 'Ant Men', are warring city-states of warriors one fourth the size of normal men in Tarzan and the Ant Men.
- In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, the adorable, tiny Lilties are the warrior race whose harsh rule once encompassed the entire world.
- Final Fantasy XI carries no race-job restrictions, so it is perfectly possible to create a Tarutaru warrior, dragoon, paladin, dark knight, etc. with the proper care and handling.
- World of Warcraft DOES have race-class restrictions, but has gnome warriors as one of the available selections. Unlike other MMORPGs, differences in stat allocation between different races are negligible at best, so you are bound to see one shrugging off blows from a colossal wyrm at one point or another.
- To be fair, all races are Lilliputian Warriors when attacking a colossal wyrm.
- The Lord of the Rings Online allows Hobbit Guardians (plate-wearing main tank class). Dwarves can also be Guardians but their bulk makes them look more "appropriate" than the idea of the diminutive warrior.