Women, on average, are shorter than men. And a good number of men find petite women charming. Because of this, in our society, tall girls and women often feel awkward and out of place, and some men will feel uncomfortable when it comes to having a relationship with a woman who towers over them, similar to someone stronger than them.
But then there are some women for whom this trope applies. These are the women whose overall charm comes from their height. Even if they themselves don't acknowledge it, the story and/or characters make it clear that her height is one of her distinguishing charms. Also, in fiction, tall women tend to be Tomboys and sometimes fall into the Action Girl archetype. Due to their extreme height, they will often have nice, long legs.
They are also quite common in the Superhero genre, where they also often have a Heroic Build and the Most Common Superpower. As with those tropes, tall heroines can be more the norm than the exception. Tall heroines have to be extremely tall to really stand out. Looking at published Canon references like DC's Who's Who and Marvel's Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, one gets the impression that the average height for female heroes is something like 5'10" or 5'11" (and that for male characters, it's about 6'3").
Please note that for a woman to qualify for this trope, she needs to fulfill two criteria:
She must be either taller than most men in her setting or stand at least 5'8" (172 cm) tall.
In Air Master, the eponymous streetfighter—real name, "Maki"—is this, as well as a Huge Schoolgirl and an Action Girl. During the opening, she's seen walking through an average, crowded Tokyo street—heads and shoulders above everyone else. Most of her height is in her legs, which is handy since they're also her main weapon. As for being "stunning"... well, several guys in the show seems to think so, at least.
Nel Tu, in her true, adultform (the former 3rd Espada Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck), stands at a height of 176cm (roughly 5'10"). As such, she's one of the few female characters taller than the 174cm (5'9") hero Ichigo. Befitting of her status, she's also one of the few ladies who rivals (if not equals) Rangiku in terms of cup size.
Sakura from Urusei Yatsura has never been given any height, but once cured of her sickness, she becomes tall, slender and incredibly beautiful, much to the pleasure of Ataru.
Though her height is never revealed, Yuuko Ichihara from xxxHOLiC is almost the same height as Kurogane, which means she's probably about six feet tall.
In the manga Walkin' Butterfly, the protagonist bemoans the fact that she's super-tall until she realizes that most models are actually quite tall.
Mai Kujaku/Valentine of Yu-Gi-Oh! stands almost eye to eye with Katsuya Jounouchi/Joey Wheeler, who is 178 cm (5'10").
An excellent example from One Piece: Boa Hancock, whose official height is a whopping 191 cm (that's over six feet three inches), yet she is very obviously beautiful both to readers and in-universe characters. In fact, she's called the most beautiful woman in the world at one point. It fits, since she's the empress of an island of amazons.
Slayers: Naga is actually taller than Gourry, a fact which her sister, Amelia, mentions offhandedly. And you can't help but see her figure (especially THOSE things), since she wanders around in next to no clothing.
Mahou Sensei Negima! gives us several: Kaede (181cm), Chachamaru (174cm), Mana (184cm), Akira (175cm), Ayaka (173cm), and Chizuru (172cm). Most of them regularly wear fanservicey clothing and/or are prone to being depicted in the nude via either public bathing/hot spring scenes or a misfiredFlans Exarmatio spell* Normally used for disarming foes of their weapons and armor via a strong burst of wind, it also has the unfortunate ability to effectively vaporize normal clothes from Negi, and the only potential Love Interests for them are a couple of 10 year olds. Lampshaded by Chisame on how her class is so abnormal in every aspect including beauties, breast size, and height.
Kagari Ayaka from Witch Craft Works. The male protagonist Honoka barely reaches her chest (although the size seems to change from chapter to chapter), making her at least 6 feet tall. She is also a Kuudere with G-cup breasts, dark, thigh-long hair (except when she is in battle, where it becomes fire-like), and a very nice body. It shows in the many, many, many instances where she carries Honoka bride style.
Tsubaki Nakatsukasa from Soul Eater is about a head taller (anywhere from 5'7" to 5'9") than most of the teenaged Weapons/Meisters. Same goes for Elizabeth Thompson, who's about the same height as Tsubaki or at least just a little shorter.
Mora Bascht of Gundam 0083 stands head and shoulders above most of the cast, regardless of their gender. She becomes one half of the show's Beta Couple with Keith, who is initially put off and intimidated by her size, but later seems quite happy with her.
Though Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing is still dwarfed by Alucard (really not much of an accomplishment), she still sees eye to eye with the more average height male characters in the series and towers over the shorter ones.
The title character of The Legend Of Mother Sarah is a straight example, since Sarah is a tall, athletic woman who wanders the earth, towers over or is just as tall as most men she runs into and often gets in trouble either for being an attractive female, either because she likes to right the wrongs in the places she visits.
Cana and Evergreen from Fairy Tail are 5'8" and 5'9", respectively, according to the official height chart. Since Fairy Tail is a World of Buxom, where pretty much all of the protagonists are goodlooking, they also qualify as stunners.
Big Barda is... BIG. As seen in the trope image, she towers over her husband Scott/Mr. Miracle (see the page image), and indeed over most heroes, male or female. Including Superman. note As originally drawn by Jack Kirby she was not taller than Scott, but is still an example as Scott is 6 feet tall.
Supergirl tends to be portrayed as a woman of roughly above average height at 5'7", but occasionally taller, particularly if shown as her "future self" of Superwoman. Not too surprising, since Power Girl is essentially Supergirl's "grownup" counterpart from a parallel Earth.
Power Princess' Darker and Edgier counterpart from the Supreme Power universe is slightly shorter at 6'3" and while she's always been drawn tall she was originally more of a thin supermodel type. Then Frank Cho started drawing her in The Ultimates.
Storm of the X-Men, at 5'11", certainly qualifies.
As does another mutant, Mystique at 5' 10" - and unlike Storm, they actually cast tall actresses as her in the movies.
Psylocke, also of the X-Men, is likewise 5'11". Her former crime fighting partner Captain UK, real name Linda McQuillan, is 6'2".
Two of the Spider-Women count. Jessica Drew, the first and current Spider-Woman, is 5'10", while Julia Carpenter, the second who now goes by the name of Arachne and later became the new Madame Web, is 5'9".
Aspen Matthews of Fathom measures in at 5' 8", is lithe and curvaceous, and is usually clad in a bikini, tops.
In Echo, the Phi-project is slowly altering Julie Martin's body, making her grow larger and larger until she towers over everybody else in the group. People soon begin to assume that she is an actress or model, and when she denies anything of the sort they refuse to accept that she is not at least somehow a sex icon.
For some reason (probably because it's easy to draw elegant proportions with a taller character), all the beautiful women in Astérix are absolutely huge. Particularly jarring when Asterix asks Obelix if he fancies "little Panacea", when Asterix is absolutely tiny and Panacea is shown to be the same height as the colossal Obelix. The single exception in the entire comic run is Influenza, who is much more cute than she is beautiful and seems to be considered attractive especially because of her unusual smallness.
Camomilla in Asterix and the Picts is also quite short, but that book was drawn by a different artist.
Channon Yarrow of Transmetropolitan is a head taller than everyone else in the cast, and supported herself through journalism school as a stripper. She is the one character who is both depicted and described as classically beautiful.
Meriem, the eponymous heroine of Cavewoman, towers over her boyfriend Bruce and most of the other men in Marshville.
Agent327: Olga Lawina is a tall woman, but also very beautiful.
So does 5'11" Famke Janssen, who was also with James Bond in GoldenEye, and played Jean Grey in the X-Men movies (even if the character was 5' 6" in the comics, with husband Cyclops being One Head Taller... while his actor James Marsden is actually shorter than Famke).
The producers invoked this trope intentionally in Singing In The Rain through a bit of flim-flammery. In her heels, Cyd Charisse is actually taller than Gene Kelley in their dance number together, but in reality, both were only 5' 7" tall. They were shot from upward angles to accentuate their heights.
Ellen Ripley in Alien. (In fact, Sigorney Weaver could qualify too when she was younger, being 5'11''.)
Species stars Natasha Henstridge because such a hot and tall (5' 9½"\1,77 m) woman must clearly be an alien. The sequels followed the same model, with parts 3 and 4 having 5' 8" actresses Sunny Mabrey and Helena Mattsson.
Goldengirl has Goldine (played by 5' 11" Susan Anton◊, though promotional materials advertised her as 6' 2"◊), created through experimental drugs by a Germanscientist which would enhance the test subject into a perfect athlete
Honor Harrington, who at her 188 cm (6'2") is one of the taller characters in the series. The fact that she considered herself a Huge Schoolgirl in her youth, with attendant self-esteem issues, had large implications in the early books.
In Thud!, Nobby's stripper girlfriend Tawnee is described as being over six feet tall.
Evelyn, the narrator and protagonist of "Paper Chains" by Jane Langton, is a six-foot red-head. And her parents have always encouraged her not to slouch.
However, notably averted with the most prominent female of the series: Karrin Murphy is five feet even.
Galadriel of The Lord of the Rings et al. is this. She is said to be 6'4" and one of the most stunning beauties in Middle Earth.
Lizzy of the web-novel Domina is described as bronze-skinned, golden-eyed, and over six feet. Sounds like the description of a Greek goddess.
Patrick Tilley's Star Wartz features Shalimar, who is described as "seven feet of exotic fantasy fodder". A significant chunk of the hero's motivation includes the distant hope of sleeping with her. It later turns out the top eight inches or so are the result of her hairstyle. 6'4" is still pretty tall, though.
Aside from her muscular physique, Amazonian Beauty Monica Figuerola of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest is this too, being described as being 6 feet tall.
In "The Hedge Knight", one of the Tales of Dunk and Egg that are prequels to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, we have the brief romance between Ser Duncan the Tall and a Puppeteer Tanselle Too-Tall. During their exchange of names, Tanselle notes that she often gets reactions regarding this trope because of her height.
Live Action TV
Eliza Dooley of Selfie-tall, beautiful, long legs, played by Karen Gillan.
Lampshaded when the White House decorator tries to get her to redecorate her office to be more like Dolley Madison's.
Decorator: But it's lovely, and feminine.
CJ: Dolley-with-an-E Madison was maybe 5'3''.
CJ: (stands up and stares down at her)
Decorator: ... Of course.
Caused a bit of a problem when C.J. meets a man who is described in-universe as being very handsome. When she meets him she sees that he is, but the actor, Joaquim de Almeida, is not quite 5'6", so Janney had to remain seated throughout the meeting and the scene seemed a little strange.
On How I Met Your Mother, Robin is definitely considered attractive. Marshall once called Robin "freakishly tall."
Of course, she's got nothing on the women in Marshall's home town.
Barbara Feldon on Get Smart had to slump a bit next to star Don Adams.
Catwoman, as played by Julie Newmar on Batman, was 5'11". Wearing heels, she even towered over her own henchmen.
My Living Doll also starred Julie Newmar, this time as a female android who towered over most male cast members.
Ghost Whisperer: Andrea Moreno (Aisha Tyler), Melinda's six-foot-tall Black Best Friend - Andrea mentioned in one episode how being a tall black woman made it hard for her to get dates in Grandview.
Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones, is still in her early teens, and is already taller than most men, made easier by several of the adult male actors not being particularly tall. Gwendoline Christie, who is Brienne of Tarth, is absolutely gargantuan at 6'3" but is far more attractive than the character described in the novels.
Word of God has it that part of what won her the role of Brienne is that she showed up to her audition done up to look as homely as Brienne does in the books (on top of showing up in an actual suit of armor).
Number Six of Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined), played by fanboy-endorsed Tricia Helfer who stands at 5'11". Especially in the miniseries she towers over 5'8" James Callis (Baltar).
Lampshaded by her somewhat more petite successor, Clara Oswald, when she remarks in the mini-episode "Clara and the TARDIS" (upon seeing a photo of the miniskirted Amy), "My God that woman is made of legs!"
Blake Lively is somewhat taller than her Gossip Girl co-star Leighton Meester (she's a touch over 5'10", Leighton... isn't) and many of the rest of the cast, a point acknowledged in "The Magnificent Archibalds":
Aaron: Serena's life is complicated?
Dan: Yeah. I don't know about you but the Serena I know has long, flowing blonde hair, towers over both of us?note While Blake Lively is, in fact, taller than Penn Badgley (Dan) in real life, John Patrick Amedori (Aaron) is a bit taller than her. But not much.
Which would explain why the artwork for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (both movies) tries to play down Blake's height (she towers over the other members of the sisterhood as well, especially America Ferrera).
In an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a perp refers to Casey Novak as "blonde and statuesque." Diane Neal is 5'10 and quite attractive, both in-universe and out.
Steven Tyler committed a serious faux pas on season 11 of American Idol by referring to Shannon Magrane, who is over six feet tall at age 16, as "hot, humid, and happening". Directly to her father's face.
An example of this Trope appeared as far back as Leave It to Beaver, believe it or not. Wally's school was having a formal dance with another school where the boys were matched with girls from the other school (and vice-versa) as dance partners by lottery, and one of Wally's rather sneaky friends - who had obtained the rival school's yearbook - offered to trade with him. At first it seemed like a bargain, because the girl was sweet and a knockout; however, she was very tall. (A handicap for dancing.) Fortunately, the girl was able to switch from heels to flats and get rid of a corset in order to match his size better.
Kristen Johnston is 6' tall, and frequently plays this type of character, but is best known as Sally Solomon. Much of the comedy in the early seasons comes from the conflict between her stunning Earth body and her alien identity as a warrior.
Linda Carter as Series/Wonder Woman, who was both tall and (of course) dressed in a skintight Leotard of Power.
The Kongtourage of TNA was made up of the 5'4 Sojournor Bolt, 5'8 Raisha Saeed, 6'0 Awesome Kong and 6'2 Rhaka Khan, in progressing order. TNA's billed heights are often off by an inch or two(or more in the case of Saeed being billed as the 6 something Alissa Flash despite being visibly shorter than Kong) but those were some large ladies either way, excepting Bolt. And their primary enemy was the 5'3 Taylor Wilde.
At 6'9, Isis the Amazon is possibly the tallest women to ever take up professional wrestling and is noticeably taller than most man wrestlers.
Jessica Love, Finland stands in at 6'1. Hajime Ohara was impressed enough that he chose the then twenty one Love as partner to help him get one over on his long time rival Ultimo Dragon (who was teaming with Yoshihiro Tajiri at the time).
Later, TNA would briefly run with the German born Tag Team of 6'0 Alpha Female and 5'11 Lei'D Tapa(though only Alpha had any hint of being German, Tapa grew up in the Western Hemisphere and was a proud wild Tongan), pitting them against 5'3 Madison Rayne.
In the 3rd Edition sourcebook detailing the gods used in campaigns, all of the Greek gods fit into the Large category (about eight to sixteen feet tall) in their true forms and avatar forms, meaning that any attractive Greek goddess - including Aphrodite, Athena, Hera, and Artemis, to name just four - would qualify in this continuity.
Samus Aran from the Metroid series has a listed height of 190 cm (6'3"), though it isn't specified whether that measurement applies to her or her Power Suit. (In-game sprites for armorless Samus are always depicted a bit shorter than their armored counterparts. The trope holds in either instance, though.)
The female Avatar in Fire Emblem Awakening has the potential to fit this trope, if the player chooses Build 3 for her (Build 1 is average height, and Build 2 is petit).
Standing 5'10, Ivy from Soulcalibur'' is one of the tallest characters, let alone women, in the entire series. Her dominatrix-like outfit is infamous for becoming more and more skimpy with each game.
Fran from Final Fantasy XII towers over most of the cast at 6'1¾". And that's not even taking her rabbit ears or stilettos into account!note And when you do take these into account, she's the tallest playable character in the main Final Fantasy series (the offline games, at least).
Rips from the Dissidia: Final Fantasy renders make it clear that Cosmos, Ultimecia, and the Cloud of Darkness subscribe to this trope: Cosmos scrapes in at an estimated 5'9", Ultimecia qualifies at around 5'10", and the Cloud of Darkness absolutely blows them all away at roughly 6'7" barefoot.
Rival Schools' Natsu Ayuhara, who is a shade under 6 feet tall (182cm) and gets more than her fair share of fanservice shots. Kyoko Minazuki (173cm/5'8.5") and Zaki (175cm/5'9") are also as pretty as they are tall, but their height isn't paid attention to like Natsu's is.
There are quite a few from The King of Fighters: Whip (173cm/5'8"), Shermie (173cm/5'8"), Elisabeth (174cm/5'8½"), Lien (174cm/5'8½"), King (175cm/5'9"), Luise (175cm/5'9"), Leona (176cm/5'9¼"), Mature (177cm/5'9.6"), Vice (178cm/5'10"), Foxy (181cm/5'11⅓"), Vanessa (182cm/6'), Diana (188cm/6'2"), and especially Jun (199cm/6'6.3"). Whip and Foxy (and depending on the game, King and Elisabeth) are more conservatively dressed than most, but their depiction in artwork tends to say otherwise.
Bayonetta has not been given any particular measurements, but has been estimated to stand 12 heads tall from her official art, due in no small part to her ridiculously long legs.
Like with most things concerning Touhou, character height mostly depends on the preference of fans, with two common preferences:
Stage 6 Bosses and those of authority (usually one and the same, except for Satori Komeiji, who is a Stage 4 boss) are usually on the taller side of things, with few exceptions like Remilia Scarlet, Suika Ibuki, Eiki Shiki, Satori Komeiji and Shinmyoumaru Sukuna.
Komachi Onozuka and Yuugi Hoshiguma are universally portrayed as quite tall, with the latter also doubling as an Amazonian Beauty in a lot of fanart.
The Dark Queen from Battletoads stands at 6 feet tall, according to official stats. Although that doesn't explain how she is a giant compared to the Battletoads themselves in the original, who are supposed to be even taller.
Oulan from Suikoden II towers even over Viktor and Pesmerga, who are both over six feet tall, and is in fact the tallest humanoid character in the entire game, only beat out by the large-size beasts. Sid appears taller, but only because of his wings. Jeane also counts (as well as for every other game thereafter), being only slightly shorter than Viktor and wearing pretty much nothing but see-through gauze on her person.
In Rift, female Bahmi are taller than male Ethians, but can be as attractive as any race.
City of Heroes, with its highly customizable character creator, lets players invoke this... however, one dev-created example is the hero Swan, who stands near Manticore (the shortest NPC male), and is about 2 feet taller than him.
Merveille from Solatorobo stands at 180cm/5'11", making her much taller than many of the male characters who have their heights listed. In fact, the only character stated to be taller than her is BigBad Bruno, who is 190cm/6'3". While no one comments on her appearance specifically, the manual describes her as attractive and Béluga seems quite fond of her as well, though he may be interested in her mind as much as anything.
Luminous Arc has resident Ms. Fanservice Vanessa. Though she doesn't have an official height, she towers over the teenage protagonists and has a few inches on all the adults — in fact, the only person taller than her without the aid of a Nice Hat is the Final Boss. The facts she's rather abundantly proportioned only makes her seem even bigger than she already is.
One of the few things you cannot modify about your character in Saints Row is their height. Thus, a female Boss towers above most other characters at over six feet.
In Skullgirls, Parasoul and Valentine. Parasoul stands at 5'10", and her upright posture makes her height very obvious. Valentine is even taller, at a full 6'0", but it's harder to notice because she's usually in a crouching ninja stance.
Mass Effect features a few tall, beautiful women, notably Nyreen Kandros (who, as a turian, is naturally about a head taller than most humans), Tali (who is the tallest female squadmate in the second game; notable as she is a quarian, who are naturally slightly shorter than most humans), and EDI (an artificial intelligence in a robot body in the third game, which is taller than most of the other female squadmates).
BlazBlue: As of third game in the series Chronophantasma, Bullet at 175cm (about 5' 9'').
Princess Peach is sometimes depicted as being this, though it differs from game to game. Sometimes she's the same size as Mario, but other times she's even taller than Luigi, even when you take high heels into account. And she's certainly tall compared to the Toads she rules over.
Rosalina has a lot of elegance going for her, while also being one of the, if not the tallest human in the series; tall enough to be considered amongst the heavy-weights in spin-offs, and to be the tallest female character in Super Smash Bros.. Compared to Peach, Rosalina is a whole head taller, so depending on how you run the numbers note Either by comparing them on their own games, or with other characters in Super Smash Bros, Rosalina stands anywhere between 6'06" tall to 7'07".
Elise Riggs from the SSX series stands at 5'11" (180cm).
Stephanie Rossum in Groovy Kinda stands about 6'5". She's blonde, with a nice figure, and a personality which has been described as "ridiculously adorable." Oh, and she's a robot.
Pretty much any female drow in Drowtales falls under this by default, since female drowolath average around six feet, but Mel'arnach deserves special mention for towering over even the other women and being the Ms. Fanservice. Generally speaking drowolath females are taller than the males, though there are exceptions, including Valo (on the left), who is head and shoulders above almost everyone, and the opposite is true for drowussu, where the males are generally taller than the females.
Di from Fans! is taller than just about everyone, male or female, hot and athletic. For bonus humor, her mentor is Rumiko, who is tiny.
Susan also counts, as due to a growth spurt in the Summer arc has made her able to bump into the top shelf of her locker, making her around 5'8" as per Word of God.
DiDi of Ménage à 3 is as tall as or taller than most of the cast (which includes a few other female characters who'd be considered statuesque and stunning in most contexts), and is frequently called an "amazon", with good reason. She also has an enormous cup size, is considered one of the most beautiful women in the comic, and is the primary Ms. Fanservice of the series (despite some ferocious competition).
Nina in Between Failures. She's the tallest member of the cast (around 6'3", according to the cast page), two of the male characters have actively expressed interest in her, a third admits that he finds her attractive (but didn't chase after her due to Better as Friends), and there are hints that one of the female employees also finds her attractive.
Blanche Ingram in The Autobiography of Jane Eyre. She's a model, a trained dancer, a successful business woman and a great beauty. She's very tall, compared to other ladies like petite Jane or Grace Poole, and she's as tall as Mr Rochester or her friend Warren Danton who are tall guys.