troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Shameful Shrinking
A character who is often a Large Ham or a Small Name, Big Ego will often brag about how no one or nothing is better than he is. Unfortunately, just as soon as he says this, another character tells him that the boss wants to have a word with him about his lack of progress. As a result, the braggart literally shrinks in shame because of this.

Put more simply, this is when a character literally shrinks when either embarrassed, ashamed, or humiliated about something. Expect this to show up very often in Comedy or Western Animation.

Examples

Advertising
  • In an anti-sexual harassment PSA, a man talks to a woman at work, and as he tells her she should Show Some Leg etc., she shrinks smaller and smaller; until she says "that's sexual harrasement and I don't have to take it" she regrows to full size. [1]
  • An old commercial for Maaco auto re-painting shows a couple shrinking to 3 feet tall out of embarrassment because of the shameful condition of their car.
  • A man shrinks out of embarrassment in this Finansbank commercial

Anime and Manga
  • In Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, in the Detective Noir world, anyone who gets shot with a gun doesn't die, but turns in a Chibi version of themselves, thereby cementing themselves as the shameful comic relief character who will never be taken seriously again. Others shun those who become this.
  • Clefairy does this in the Magical Pokemon Journey manga when someone criticizes it for running as fast as they can to deliver a message, which still took them all morning long.

Comic Books
  • In an Archie Comics story, Veronica invites Archie to a "high society" party. She berates him like crazy while briefing him for the event, e.g. "You have nothing in common with these blue-bloods, but there's no point in advertising it". At the end, Archie is barely up to Ronnie's socks. Then Archie runs into Betty, who tells Archie what a great guy he is. Arch walks away literally 10 feet tall.
  • In Maus II, Art Spiegelman is shown shrinking smaller and small as reporters torment him with questions about Maus I. At the end he is a small crying child. A helpful talk with therapist about coming to terms with his guilt lets him get bigger again, but then listening to recordings of his father's speech causes him to shrink back into a child.

Newspaper Comics
  • Happens to Jon in this Garfield strip.
  • Played with in a Mafalda strip. When Felipe is called to talk in front of the class, he gets smaller as he walks down the aisle. After the teacher congratulates him on a good job, he walks back to his desk as a giant.
  • An arc of Pearls Before Swine comics had Rat and Pig discussing the differences between their egos. Pig's ego was as tiny as a mouse, while Rat's ego was even bigger than any of the characters, showing that Rat has a Small Name, Big Ego. However, at the end of the arc, Pig's germophobic sister Fantina shows up and tells Rat that she's leaving him for Dilbert because he's a much better man than Rat. This causes Rat's ego to shrink down to the same size as Pig's ego, as Pig steps on it.

Live-Action TV
  • Happens to Benny Hill (via bluescreen) in a 1980s sketch where a girl chews him out for being sexist - obviously intended as a Take That to RL critics who claimed he was.
  • On The Muppet Show, guest star Madeline Kahn is in a park talking about how beautiful everything is, when a monster comes and starts destroying whatever she mentions as being beautiful. She turns to the monster and tells him how horrible he is... and how that makes him beautiful, and as she goes on how beautiful his horribleness is, the monster shrinks down to the size of a croquet ball. She tells the audience how "sometimes you have to talk your problems down to size" before hitting the monster away with her umbrella.

Puppet Shows
  • In an episode of the PBS series The Puzzle Place, Ben chews out at least two characters while he's trying to work out a puzzle. They visibly shrink as he yells at each one.

Video Games
  • In Breath of Fire IV, some of the cast attempt to hijack a vehicle (long story). The merchant who owned it gave them a dressing down (before deciding to lend them the money to buy their own), causing the members of the party who did it to shrink.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Lord Crump tries to talk down the Punie Elder. She explodes on him and gives him a considerable dressing-down as he gradually shrinks until he's smaller than any of the Punies.

Western Animation
  • Cassie from Dragon Tales had a tendency to shrink when she felt upset or ashamed about something.
  • Believe it or not, this actually happened to the already-tiny Mr. Bogus once.
  • Once on Xiaolin Showdown, when Raimundo's most recent joke fell flat, his entire head literally deflated and sank into his neck.
  • A Donald Duck cartoon has him cast as a truancy officer, out to catch Huey, Dewie, and Louie skipping school. When he finally captures them, it turns out school was out for summer. Donald shrinks in shame as a result.
    • In another cartoon, Donald catches his nephews with cigars and makes them smoke the whole box as punishment. When he realizes the cigars were his birthday present, he shrinks down until he falls through a knothole on the floor.
  • Goofy shrinks after being caught outside in his nightgown in the cartoon "Father's Week End".
  • Happened quite often on The Flintstones:
    • In one episode, Fred goes to Mr. Slate's office after attending a masquerade party where he thinks he was schmoozing up to Slate, expecting a pay raise. Instead, Fred discovers that Slate was the guy at the party to whom he was bad-mouthing the boss, and as Slate hurls back the insults Fred gave him, Fred gets smaller and smaller, still holding the (non-shrinking) cigar Slate gave him. This after Fred had told Barney to "Think big and be big."
    • In another episode (titled "My Fair Freddy"), Fred, under the tutelage of the Great Gazoo (who for once isn't using magic to help him), does ballet in a tutu. He unknowingly attracts attention from various people throughout Bedrock, even those from the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes. Fred finishes and discovers he had been watched the whole time, and promptly shrinks. Believe it or not, things end well.
    • Another example: After Fred and Barney go behind Wilma's and Betty's backs, quitting their jobs, opening their own drive-in restaurant, and hiring cute waitresses, neither Wilma nor Betty lets them live it down, and embarrass them by re-enacting the waitresses' song-and-dance routine at dinner, causing Fred and Barney to shrink in humiliation.
    Fred: Well, Barney, it's like you said, some wives will find a way to make a guy feel small.
    Barney: Yeah, ain't it the truth.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "In Your Footsteps", Jake used his shape-shifting powers to do this literally when attention was called to him for making Finn think a bear was trying to steal his identity.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Ponyville Confidential", when Twilight reads the "Fluttershy Has Tail Extensions" headline, Fluttershy sinks behind an inner window sill. She's crying Ocular Gushers when we next hear from her.
    • In "Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 2", Discord shrinks when Fluttershy angrily warns him not to try anything just because the Elements of Harmony have been returned to the Tree of Harmony.
  • Who Killed Who?: The detective aims a shotgun at the door, demands the person behind it to show themselves, and begins counting to ten. A ghost promptly enters, causing the detective to literally shrink with fear and run away while still counting in a squeaky voice.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In the cartoon, "The Return of Pluck Twacy" from the episode "New Character Day", Ticklepuss (based on the obscure Looney Tunes character, Sloppy Moe) shrinks when he is unable to tickle Plucky, as Plucky has deliberately hit himself on the head with a hammer repeatedly.
    • Another episode, "Music Day" has a cartoon where Li'l Sneezer practices his trumpet in the basement while eating limburger cheese during lunch, causing assumed flatulence. When Plucky blames Hamton, Hamton shrinks to the size of a mouse and hides behind a milk carton.
    • In the Summer Vacation movie, Buster shrinks when he finds out he's about to be forcibly wed to all three of Big Daddy Boo's daughters.

Power Dyes Your HairStock Visual MetaphorsThunder Shock
Scavenged PunkTiny TropesShoulder-Sized Dragon
Shamed by a MobIndex Of ShameShameful Source Of Knowledge
Safety In IndifferenceEmotion TropesSongs of Solace
Sexy StewardessAdded Alliterative AppealShape Shifter Showdown
Shake Someone, Objects FallComedy TropesShaped Like Itself

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
18695
38