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[[quoteright:250:[[Film/{{Watchmen}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/big_figure_4723.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:[[KnownOnlyByTheirNickname Big Figure]]... [[{{Pun}} small world]].]]

->''"Ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow."''
-->-- '''Lord Varys''', ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''

Since AsskickingEqualsAuthority and AuthorityEqualsAsskicking, your average BigBad tends to be (appropriately enough) ''[[LargeAndInCharge big]]'' -- however, a frequent subversion of this is for the big cheese to be a [[{{Pun}} half-pint]]. Generally this will be taken to an extreme degree, and may be accentuated by giving him two GiantMook bodyguards.

Almost invariably TheNapoleon, with a BerserkButton about their height. Or they might have an IronicNickname along the lines of "Mr. Big" -- either they're [[StealthInsult too dumb to notice the irony]], or their minions are {{Professional Butt Kisser}}s stroking their ego. This might be a reference to their sizable [[BigBad reputation and influence]], [[TheBigGuy combat skills]], or [[LargeHam personality]]. Often got their position due to intelligence or deviousness that compensates for their lack of physical threat -- if ShorterMeansSmarter, this guy is a [[EvilGenius genius]].

Will often be introduced with a BigLittleMan, HitlerCam, or BigShadowLittleCreature shot, either as a simple VisualGag or because his shortness will eventually be TheReveal.

Contrast LargeAndInCharge. Compare KillerRabbit, PintsizedPowerhouse, and DepravedDwarf (and indeed, this trope often overlaps with those ones). [[IThoughtItMeant Has nothing to do with]] rock band Music/MrBig or the [[Film/LiveAndLetDie James Bond adversary]] or the [[VideoGame/ArtofFighting Southtown kingpin]].

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Franchise/DragonBall series'':
** Pilaf's short stature makes him hard to take seriously as Goku's first antagonist, but Goku is just a tiny child himself at the time.
** The Red Ribbon Army was led by Commander Red, who was extremely short. This would turn out to be relevant to why his organization kept clashing with the protagonists in the first place: [[spoiler:he was after the Dragonballs himself simply to wish himself taller.]]
** Garlic Junior is on par size-wise with Gohan as a child. He does have a much larger alternate form, however.
** Vegeta is the shortest of the Saiyans and at the time of his introduction easily the most powerful.
** Freeza is also much shorter and smaller than his closest bodyguards, Zarbon and Dodoria.
** Zen-O, the TopGod of the series is extremely short in comparison to his bodyguards.
* The Major from ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' is very short and [[FatBastard fat]], but he's easily [[TheChessmaster one of]] [[CrazyAwesome the most]] [[MagnificentBastard effective leaders]] in the show.
%%* "The Baby" (real name unknown) from ''{{Anime/Monster}}''.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': [[spoiler:Pride]] is in charge of the other homunculi and, excluding Envy's true form (which he'll try to not use whetever possible), is the shortest of them.
* Probably one of the most dangerous alien targets that the ''{{Manga/Gantz}}'' team had to kill was Nurarihyon, a child-sized old man who was always accompanied by his two monstrous sub bosses, an angry-looking Tengu and a giant dog wearing Heian Era attire, who are several feet taller than him. Nurarihyon had the highest point count out of all the previous targets and was a shapeshifter capable of transforming into a variety of different forms, including a 50-foot giant made out of WOMEN. He was also nearly invulnerable and had FrickinLaserBeams.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'':
** One of the earliest examples in comic books is the Big Man. While his costume made him look like he actually was a tall and heavy guy, he was eventually revealed to be a cringing slender lightweight under his padding and elevator shoes. Nonetheless, he was evidently [[InformedAttribute charismatic and intelligent]] enough to earn the trust and loyalty of the Enforcers, who helped him take over all the other criminal operations in New York City for a while before Spider-Man exposed him.
** Fancy Dan, a member of the Enforcers, is also a rather small man, albeit highly self-confident and possessing well-nigh legendary martial arts skills. He was also charismatic and intelligent enough to be shown running his own criminal gang many years later in the ''ComicBook/SpiderGirl'' comics.
* Big Figure from ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}''. Averted somewhat as he remains relatively cool despite Rorschach's digs about his height. His bodyguard is not quite so restrained and suffers for it. In the film, Danny Woodburn turns in an excellent performance in this scene as someone who's trying very hard not to show that Rorschach is leaning on his BerserkButton and ''almost'' succeeding.
* Joe Dalton from ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'', the mastermind of the four Dalton Brothers and easily the worst-tempered, is two heads tall.
* Franchise/{{Batman}}:
** Scarface -- and the Ventriloquist is still a small man compared to Scarface's mooks.
** The Dummy inverts this setup, being a small man disguised as a ventriloquist dummy, fooling even his own underlings into believing their boss is an eccentric who insists on speaking through a dummy.
** Batman villain, The Penguin, has always been depicted as a small man, sometimes comically so. He is, however, shown to have a good deal of StoutStrength when fighting, and his {{Mooks}}, while almost always taller, are often no more physically intimidating than he is. (Exaggerated in the later episodes of [[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries the animated series]], when the Penguin ran a nightclub and employed a number of leggy dames in snowbunny costumes, he was about the size of a tall child, and even the women looked like titans next to him!)
%%* Odin Quincannon from ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}''.
* Nappy Klains, TheNapoleon of Crime, "They call you that because you're small and [[AmbitionIsEvil evilly ambitious]]!" in ''World's Finest'' #154. He's short enough to pass for a pre-teen boy with the aid of heavy makeup.
* Grigori "Little Greg" Irinescu, TheDon of the Vampire Mafia in ''TopTen'', who has to stand on his desk so people can kiss his ring without getting on their knees.
* Creator/ReneGoscinny as portrayed by ''ComicBook/AchilleTalon''. This hyperactive, yelling, mallet-wielding version was so pervasive and so fitted with what people think of DaEditor that one of the most common things said to him on being introduced in RealLife was "Hey, you're not short!"
* Mr. Mind in the classic ''[[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]'' arc "The Monster Society of Evil", commanded a number of Captain Marvel's greatest villains, including Dr. Sivana, Captain Nazi, Mr. Atom and Herkimer the Crocodile Man, shouting his commands via radio as no one would ever see his face. Turns out he was a telepathic alien worm, roughly 2-3 inches in length.
* In the ''Literature/SuperGran'' graphic novel ''Super Gran in Space'', the villain is called Mr Big and is only ever seen as a face on a huge TV screen, until the final scene reveals he comes up to the average character's waist.
[[/folder]]

%%[[folder:Comic Strips]]
%%* The King in ''ComicStrip/TheWizardOfId''.
%%[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Lord Farquaad in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}''. He's ''very'' sensitive about his frankly childlike stature, and tries to appear taller however he can. His palace is also the closest a medieval building could come to being a skyscraper. ("Do you think he's [[CompensatingForSomething compensating for something]]?")
* The mob leaders in ''WesternAnimation/TheTripletsOfBelleville'' are pint-sized dons flanked by bodyguards three times their size.
* One of the antagonists of ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'' is an arctic shrew crime lord who is even named Mr. Big. He has [[BearsAreBadNews polar bear]] henchmen. Fortunately, [[spoiler: he ends up owing Judy Hopps a few favors after he learns she was the one who saved his daughter's life and that they're on the trail of a case where his florist and friend was a victim.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Sing}}'' [[DuelingMovies also]] features a tiny gangster, a mouse voiced by Creator/SethMacFarlane.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Vizzini from ''Film/ThePrincessBride'', especially in comparison to Fezzik, one of his henchmen, who is a giant.
* Master of Master/Blaster in ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome'', a genius in a small body. Fortunately, he has Blaster to do the musclework, and rides on his back.
* Mr. Giant from ''For Your Height Only'', a Filipino ''Film/JamesBond'' take-off in which both the villain and hero are midgets. As per Blofeld, the villain's face (and therefore height) is only seen when he finally confronts the hero.
* Swan from ''Film/PhantomOfTheParadise''. 5'2 PaulWilliams' evil multimedia mega-tycoon plays against 6'4 William Finley's naive antihero.
* Cubby Khan from ''Film/PocketNinjas''. Explained by his being very young, so I guess there's one thing in that movie that makes sense.
* Texas Jack in ''Film/TheGreatRace''. No berserk button about his height, but all the male main characters and all of his own henchmen are several inches taller than him. However, he's still by far [[PintsizedPowerhouse the most feared fighter in the town]].
* Rory Breaker in ''Film/LockStockAndTwoSmokingBarrels'', the short but ruthless leader of the black London gangs. He's described as "that psychotic dwarf with an afro." His two massive bodyguards rarely have their heads in frame.
%%* Dark Helmet in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}''.
* ''Film/BigTitsZombie'' features a dwarf {{Yakuza}} boss.
* ''Film/ForbiddenZone'' (the Richard Elfman movie) is ruled by King Fausto, played by Hervé Villechaize.
* Cutler Beckett of ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean''. While his height is never emphasized, he is notably shorter than every other character.
* Arliss Loveless in the movie ''Film/WildWildWest'', was a variation on this -- he was an ''[considers phrasing carefully]'' average-sized person, but completely legless. [[TheAlcoholic Don't]] [[IncrediblyLamePun say]] [[NeverHeardThatOneBefore it...]].
* ''Film/AlienFromLA'' features a mob boss named Mambino played by Creator/DeepRoy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The Mule in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series. Played entirely seriously. He does however have psychic powers that he uses to control people.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** A kind of strange version in [[NoPronunciationGuide Paezhar zo Myraq]], better known as 'The Little Pigeon', is a slave owner and general in the Yunkish army. He is only five feet tall, and has his slaves specially bred for height, and wear stilts into battle, making them 8 feet plus. Most of the other regiments in Yunkai have similarly elaborate and impractical gimmicks, since the only fighting they've done for years is mock battles against each other.
** Then there's Tyrion Lannister, a dwarf who's easily one of the most BadAss characters and effective leaders, though he has trouble actually getting put in a position where he can lead because everyone hates him, including [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen his sister.]] He's actually the most heroic of the Lannister family ([[BlackAndGreyMorality relatively speaking]]) but suffers from a bad case of HeroWithBadPublicity due to Westeros's prejudice against people with dwarfism, leading to people thinking of him as this trope. This image isn't helped by his entourage of hulking mountain clansmen bodyguards, nor indeed his public perception as an EvilChancellor due to the fact that most people aren't aware of the royal court's inner workings and blame him for the antics of [[TheCaligula Joffrey]] and [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Cersei]] when he's actually doing all he can to reign them in.
** Lady Olenna Tyrell (nee Redwyne) aka The [[ScrewPolitenessImASenior Queen of Thorns]] probably fits this trope best. She's a MiniatureSeniorCitizen, accompanied by two towering bodyguards, and is the hidden brains behind House Tyrell.
* A canine example is Big Fido from ''Discworld/MenAtArms'', the toy poodle {{UsefulNotes/Adolf Hitler}} {{Expy}} in charge of a gang of much larger dogs.
* Picrochole, the diminutive petty king from ''Gargantua''.
* The fearsome Director Sato from Creator/DanBrown's ''Literature/TheLostSymbol'' stands at a towering four feet eight inches.
* Eldest Gruff from ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles: Literature/SmallFavor'' is the elder brother of a gruff approximately the size of an elephant, and makes ominous booming sounds when he walks. He's five foot nothing.
* Variation in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'': [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Sammael]] is one of the most feared of the Forsaken, and the most visible villain for several books in the middle of the series. He's only slightly under average height, but unluckily for him, the people he hates and envies the most (rival Forsaken Ishamael and Demandred, his ancient enemy Lews Therin Telamon, and Lews Therin's reincarnation and current {{Chosen One}} Rand) are all very tall, and Sammael is extremely self-conscious about his height as a result, to the extent that WordOfGod has explicitly said he'd use magic to make himself taller if he knew how.
* A feline example is Scourge from ''Literature/WarriorCats''. A tiny cat barely larger than a kitten, but also the leader of [=BloodClan=] and universally feared by all who know of him, and for good reason. No one is either brave or stupid enough to joke about his size, particularly since he uses it to great effect in combat, by slipping out of holds and generally being faster than his opponent.
* The title character in Creator/IanFleming's ''Literature/{{Goldfinger}}'' is all of 4'11", although this doesn't carry over into the film version.
* In the ''Literature/{{Spellsinger}}'' novel ''The Day of the Dissonance'', Tom-Jon, captured by big, ferocious, FunnyAnimal pirates, expects their captain to be an even bigger and more ferocious animal. He turns out to be an actual PirateParrot, who controls his crew through sheer force of will.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Gus, the "Gucci dwarf" from ''Series/BlackBooks'', a feared LondonGangster who's flanked at all times by two massive bodyguards and carries a ''fold-out highchair in a briefcase''.
* Mr. Big, the main villain from the pilot episode of ''Series/GetSmart''. As with ''For Your Height Only'' he's actually a midget, which is only revealed when Smart and Mr Big are in the same room.
-->'''Agent 86:''' So ''you're'' Mr. Big.
-->'''Mr. Big:''' So '''''you're''''' Maxwell ''Smart''!
* Dr. Miguelito Loveless, a recurring EvilGenius villain on ''Series/TheWildWildWest''. Both he and ''Get Smart'''s Mr. Big were played by dwarf actor Michael Dunn.
* Napoleon in ''Series/JackOfAllTrades'' (where he is played by Verne Troyer, aka [[AustinPowers Mini-me]]).
* The crime lord Mr. Boss in ''Series/IZombie'' can at first come off as a short, unassuming man, but every character is absolutely terrified of him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the ''[=CarToon=] Wars'' setting for ''TabletopGame/{{Toon}}'', Harvey Hamster, as his name suggests, a hamster, who has a controlling interest in the dueling circuit and employs two rhinos as debt collectors.
* The Orcs and Goblins of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' usually subscribe to LargeAndInCharge, but sometimes especially clever or crazy goblins can end up leading sizable warbands into battle, and manage to keep the bigger strains of Greenskins happy by leading them to bigger and better fights.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Jasper Batt Jr. from ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'' starts this way, but ends up growing bigger for the second phase of the fight. And for the third phase, he gets '''really''' big.
* Salazar from ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4''. He fits the mold spectacularly, being a Napoleon-inspired short guy with two large bodyguards ([[spoiler:genetically engineered monsters, no less]]) flanking him. Oddly he breaks a tradition of sorts in video games by sending one after you at once and then fighting alongside the second (as opposed to watching on the sidelines and having both double team the player).
* In ''Videogame/MouseHunt'' for Facebook, the Nerg Chieftain Mouse is the smallest mouse in the tribe. It's also the most difficult one to catch in the Nerg Plains.
* The LEGOAdaptationGame for ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' turns Cutler Beckett into one of these as a caricature of the movie character's rather less extreme shortness.
* One of the villains in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'''s "Captain Scarlett and her Pirate Booty" DLC campaign is Sandman, a midget pirate captain. It's implied that he keeps order among his men via his vicious reputation, and the fear inspired by [[TheBrute his massive enforcer, the Big Sleep]]. Interestingly, ''nobody'' mentions his small stature except for he himself, and Scarlett is afraid of a one-on-one confrontation with him, describing him as being very strong. Even when you knock out Big Sleep and the regular mook reinforcements, he's still a tough fight.
* At the end of level 28 in ''New Yankee in King Arthur's Court'' the "Dark Lord" was uncloaked only to reveal a midget on stilts. Destroying his fortress during it earns you the "Napoleon" achievement.
* In ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'', only one of the five Lords of Cinder is sitting at his throne, waiting to be sacrificed to keep the First Flame burning to protect the world: Ludleth of Courtland. He is a tiny legless undead man wearing a crown, and proud of it, saying ''"I may be but small, but I will die a colossus."''
* Commander Sith from ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'' is very short, but is in charge of the criminal organization of blue people.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Galactamaru from ''WebAnimation/GirlChanInParadise'' is portrayed with a extremely muscular build and a deep, booming voice, and is always shot via HitlerCam...until the third episode, where he's finally put in the same shot as the heroes, revealing that he's less than a foot tall and easily defeated by [[ButtMonkey Yusuke.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Bonkers}}'' series has an eponymous Mr. Big, a crime boss ''mouse.''
%%* Bigtime Beagle from ''WesternAnimation/{{DuckTales}}''.
* King Koo-Koo in ''WesternAnimation/RaggedyAnnAndAndyAMusicalAdventure'' is about the size of a squirrel compared to the heroes, and is very, ''very'' touchy about it. His ultimate ambition is to be the largest king who ever lived, which he can only achieve by nonstop laughter. In the meantime, he makes up for his diminutive stature by reigning from a throne mounted on several elevated platforms high above his courtroom.
* Clyde from the Ant Hill Mob in ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces''. Slightly subverted in that his henchmen are just as vertically challenged as him.
* Mr. Big, the shadowy ruler of Pottsylvania in ''WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle'', was actually six inches tall.
%%* [[spoiler:Skulker]] from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''.
* Cavitus from ''WesternAnimation/ThreeTwoOnePenguins'' is small but wears a suit to disguise it.
%%* As does Grizzle from ''[[WesternAnimation/CareBearsAdventuresInCareALot Adventures in Care-a-Lot]]''.
* The BigBad in ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' was basically a brain with a face, stored ''inside'' a GiantMook.
%%* King Malbert from ''WesternAnimation/{{Igor}}''.
** The [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles second series]] does it again, with their Shredder a tiny alien blob of sorts [[MobileSuitHuman posing as a human]].
* Mr. Boss of ''WesternAnimation/CodeNameKidsNextDoor'' is generally considered as the leader of the show's B villains separate from [[BigBad Father]], he's maybe four-five feet tall, as opposed to his averagely tall minions.
* Duke Igthorn from ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGummiBears'' isn't exactly short, but most of his henchmen, being ogres, tower over him. He can keep them in line because they all have the collective intelligence of a box of hammers.
* Tong Fo from ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness'' is a loris (about the same height as Master Shifu) who is a criminal mastermind and sometimes has the croc bandits as lackeys.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Many depictions of UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte portray him this way. Napoleon was actually around average height for a Frenchman of his time period, and would hardly be considered tiny nowadays, but soldiers tended to be larger and burlier than the average man for obvious reasons, causing him to look fairly undersized around his fellow soldiers. This effect was amplified by the fact that he was most often seen around the elite (i.e. larger and taller than average for soldiers) Imperial Guard. He was given the affectionate nickname "The Little Corporal" by his men. Britain, his sworn enemy, seized upon the perception and lampooned him in propaganda cartoons as a [[TheNapoleon midget tyrant.]] [[note]]In French, the word "petit" is usually interpreted to mean "little", but it can also mean modest or thin. The play-on-words was likely intentional among his soldiers (for endearing effect) as well as British propaganda (for slanderous effect)[[/note]] Further confusing issues for the British, Napoleon was 5'3 tall in French measurements, but due to the fact that French feet were longer than Imperial feet this equated to 5'7 in British measurements.
[[/folder]]
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