"I always have to respect a man who know the importance of a shoulder loli."Whenever someone carries a small kid, their speaking animal sidekick, or a very small friend on their shoulder wherever they go. Maybe it is to help the smaller one travel faster, or a sign that the two characters share a close (figurative or literal) familial bond. Not to be confused with Parrot Pet Position, which is about Loyal Animal Companions, rather than actual characters. Often overlaps with Morality Pet and Badass and Child Duo. See also Head Pet.
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Anime & Manga
- Baby Beel, alias Beelzebub, tends to favor Oga's shoulder whenever they travel together. Which is pretty much always, given you can't really afford to let the Demon King's son wander around.
- The trope image is Kenpachi carrying his adoptive daughter Yachiru. She only leaves his shoulder for three reasons: To eat, to play, or to play. Worth mentioning that he actually carries pretty much everyone this way. Ask Orihime.
- Ichigo followed his example for a while with Nel.
- In Claymore, Riful (in her human form) sometimes sat upon the shoulder of her boyfriend Dauf (in his much larger awakened form).
- In Dragon Ball, even though Puar can fly, he'd rather stay on Yamcha's shoulder.
- Fist of the North Star, Lin is often seen taking a ride on Kenshiro's shoulder in the anime and video games.
- In a flashback in One Piece, Tony Tony Chopper is seen a few times hanging on Hiriluk's shoulder(s) while in his cutesy, chibi-sized "Brain Point".
- Chopper does the same thing with Zoro (to his annoyance), Sanji and Franky in the main story.
- Nami does it with Luffy while flying on Billy in Strong World.
- The first two mooks (a huge one with a hammer, and a very fast midget) in Samurai Deeper Kyo are introduced this way.
- YuYu Hakusho: The elder of the two villainous Toguro brothers is often seen riding around on his much larger (but younger) brother's back. Kuwabara even insults him by calling him a "shoulder monkey" at one point.
- Martial artist Jim Mazinger and his young spotter Kouji Kabuto of Violence Jack. While they are indeed close allies, it is also justified as Jim is blind and needs Kouji to see for him. This in turn references their original source material, Mazinger Z, where Kouji would pilot the title robot in a similar fashion.
- One episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX features this with two guest characters, the small and timid Briar and the much larger Beauregard.
- In Chobits Sumomo was often carried this way.
Films — Animation
- The Iron Giant occasionally carries Hogarth on his shoulder. It helps that he's, well, a giant.
- One of the alien pirates in Treasure Planet is revealed as two when the "head" gets off the shoulders of his larger companion, who has his face in his chest.
- In Batman: Assault on Arkham, King Shark carries Killer Frost on his shoulder while the squad is threading through the sewers. Used for Ship Tease.
Films — Live-Action
- Master and Blaster in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. Together, they are MasterBlaster!
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- In Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon climbs on top of his teammate Groot during the prison escape, first to seek protection against the drones, and then taking advantage of the higher viewpoint to indulge in More Dakka once he gets his paws on a gun.
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: In an inversion of their dynamic in the first movie, now it's Baby Groot's turn to ride on Rocket's shoulder while the rambunctious raccoon delivers More Dakka. Groot later finds a nice lil' perch on Yondu's shoulder, too.
- An adopted (or more properly mind-bonded) treecat in the Honor Harrington books prefer to ride on the shoulders of their human companion. They started as borderline examples of the Parrot Pet Position, but their in-story development puts them clearly within this trope.
- Poplock, an intelligent toad in The Balanced Sword, often rides on Tobimar's shoulders (he switches shoulder regularly) once they team up.
- In Jingo a gnome joins the Watch; Vimes first sees him when he's sitting on the shoulder of a troll.
- After a new healer joins the titular guild in Log Horizon, she's usually seen glued to the back of the tank.
- In Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight, two of the Big Bad's minions follow this trope, with Pic (the diminutive Fragile Speedster part of the duo) riding on the shoulder of Gorc (a huge Mighty Glacier).
- Felicia takes a ride on Haggar's shoulders in the trailer for Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Used as a gameplay mechanic in a late Dark Souls III boss. Sickly Prince Lothric rides around on the shoulders of his giant brother Lorian during the second phase of their boss battle. Also played with in that by this point, Lothric's magic is all that's holding Lorian up.
- Barret frequently gives his adoptive daughter Marlene a ride on his shoulders in Final Fantasy VII.
- When Yuna summons Ifrit in Final Fantasy X, it bursts from underground and catches her this way before setting her down.
- In the Jak and Daxter series, the latter of the titular characters has the habit of riding on the shoulder of the former. Though, considering what kind of a person Daxter is, you might disagree about him being cute in the true sense of the word.
- Starting from Gun-Jack, the killer robots created by Jane in Tekken carry her this way. We actually see her jump on Gun-Jack's shoulder as soon as she realizes he won the King of Iron Fist Tournament in his ending cutscene.
- Big carries Amy and Cream on his shoulder in Sonic Heroes.
- Big Daddies in BioShock do this with their Little Sisters but only when you attack them. Big Sisters in BioShock 2 also carry the Little Sisters but in a cage attached to their back as they're not as big as their counterparts.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- In The King Kong Show, cartoon Kong carries his kid buddy Bobby Bond sitting on his shoulder.
- In Mighty Man and Yukk!, Mighty Man is an Atom-like tiny superhero who travels on his dog Yukk!'s shoulder. (The exclamation point is a part of his name.)
- The title character in the Classic Disney Short "Morris the Midget Moose," a small moose with full-grown antlers, meets Balsam, a regular-sized moose with tiny antlers. With Morris standing atop Balsam's shoulders, they both become one complete moose.
- Snail on Franklin, for convenience, usually on Franklin's shoulder. Snail is fully anthropomorphic in his own right, not a pet.
- This briefly happens in the Steven Universe episode "Back to the Moon." When Pearl and Garnet fuse, Amethyst is hanging out on Sardonyx's shoulder.
- While he only rode on Groot's shoulder once during the movie, Rocket can be frequently seen riding on Groot's shoulder in the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series, even to the point where posters and other promotional materials show him frequently being on Groot's shoulder.