"Being paper thin, I'll just slip in quietly through the crack in the door! Hahahahahaha!
This is when a character is quite literally paper-thin, as if they were a paper cutout. This can also apply to normally three-dimensional characters who have been flattened
as a result of, say, a 300-pound weight being dropped on them
Not to be confused with Flat Character
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Anime and Manga
- In chapter 12 of Dr. Hitomi's Infirmary, Usui becomes one of these when a giant falls on her. It also turns her into a Fourth Wall Observer
- Calvin once imagined he had become two-dimensional, allowing him to escape notice by turning sideways.
- Flat Man of the Great Lakes Avengers
- One robber / rapist crushed by a millstone in a story by Wilhelm Busch. Other than typical for this trope, he doesn't exactly revert.
- Two minor characters in Flaming Carrot got turned into "one-dimensional (sic) cartoon characters" by alien invaders, and folded up and stuffed under a rock. "Well, at least you can park in handicapped spaces now..."
- The Narrowegians of the Rufus Crustbuster comic strip of Jack & Jill magazine were living pancake creatures that turned the title character into one with a machine.
- Mortadelo y Filemón do this on a normal basis. A couple of times, it is an actual invention by Professor Bacterio that allows them to be paper thin so that they can infiltrate some place.
- What do you get when you run the Dynamic Duo over with a steamroller? Flatman and Ribbon.
- Flat Stanley is about a boy who is flattened by a falling bulletin board.
- Flatland has an entire paper-thin WORLD.
- In one scene in A Wrinkle in Time, Meg finds herself transported briefly into a two-dimensional world, where she can't breathe ("a paper doll cannot gasp"), and her heart can't pump blood properly ("a knife-like, sideways beat"). It was, Mrs. Which explains, an oversight on her part (apparently she and her two companions were perfectly comfortable there).
- In Pyramids, one of Ptaclusp's sons accidentally becomes this trope due to the twisting of dimensions by the grossly-oversized Great Pyramid. He also tends to drift horizontally at a steady rate, as the "fourth dimension" of Time now runs that way for him.
- The Beautiful Culpeppers is a children's book about a family of paper dolls owned by a little girl. They also have a 2-D paper house, which is tacked to a wall; they can go inside it, but we never get any details about what it's like in there.
- Grimm has the flat folk — people who were crushed under the falling Beanstalk but weren't killed by it, and were squashed into two-dimensionality. Well, physical two-dimensionality. Humans native to the Grimm Lands are always two-dimensional in the literary sense.
- The second edition of Dungeons & Dragons has the Duo-Dimension power, which lets a character use this trope. The follow-up power Duo-Dimensional Blade gives you a blade that has been Sharpened to a Single Atom. The latter power appeared in later editions as well.
- This Whole Movie is built off this trope.
- "The Reddish Radish" animation from Homestar Runner.
- Mister Origami, a World-War II-era supervillain from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, was paper-thin and could fold himself into many different paper animal shapes... and assumed the abilities of the animal in question.
- Flatworms: They are what they say they are. Also: for a substantial proportion of them (the planarians, at minimum), cutting them up just gives you as many worms as pieces.
- Ediacaran biota: So far as we can tell from the limited fossil record, these were also thin. Note that some believe that some Ediacarans were (at minimum) proto-mollusks, proto-echinoderms, and proto-chordates, and were thus more substantial.
- Trichoplax adhaerens, sole member of the phylum Placozoa. These organisms are completely flat, composed of about three layers of cells.
- Plane trees
- More generally, the practice of espaliering, which trains trees to grow in a flat pattern.
- Many artists enjoy making paper children, which, while not quite as alive as most examples of this trope, are photographed so as to appear to be interacting with the otherwise-three-dimensional world.
Horace: It's like we're cartoons! How horrible!