"...and the hero is old hand Chris Redfield, whose tiny, dorky head on absurdly muscled body looks like someone left a Chia Pet on top of a fridge."Exactly What It Says on the Tin, when a huge creature is shown to have a small head not proportionate to its body. If this creature is on the side of good, it will indicate that this creature is a Dumb Muscle, but if it's on the side of evil, it will serve as The Dragon or The Brute to the Big Bad. This is often used with large scary characters, because it makes them look that much bigger and intimidating (muscle-building works anywhere but the head, so they'll look even bigger by comparison). Compare: Top-Heavy Guy and Gonk. The exact opposite is Waddling Head and Big Head Mode. Not to be confused with Shrunken Head.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- One theory about The Sphinx is that it originally had a well-proportioned head, but the face eroded away, so a new, smaller head was carved out of the existing one. Specifically, that head was most likely a lion head. If put in a computer simulation and turning time backwards, the Sphinx would have looked into the constellation "Lion" — 8000 years ago.
- A basic principle in art is that human heads are all about the same size, and that height is best communicated by the size of the head compared to total height (about 6.5 heads for an average man), and in the pre-photography days, it was common for portraits to exaggerate the stature of the men who commissioned them by manipulating head size. George Washington was a particular abuser of this, and some of his portraits depict him as over 7 feet tall.
- Comics in general: During The Dark Age of Comic Books this was a very common art style. Some characters were designed during this period, thus it's part of their character design, others used to have normal proportions, but Depending on the Artist got drawn this way.
- Thrud The Barbarian is fitting, since the point of the comic is to parody the Barbarian Hero genre.
- The Astérix volume Asterix and the Roman Agent features Magnumopus, a hulking Roman legionaire whose pointed head required a tiny helmet. Convulvulus, the titular agent, uses him as part of his plan to sow discord among the Gauls. He has Magnumopus sneak behind Geriatrix, knock him out with his club, and leave the helmet behind, leaving Geriatrix to believe he was felled by a tiny Roman, confirming the other's belief that the Romans have the magic potion.
- Subverted in The Boys: as the comic shows the various horrible ways superpowers can backfire without Required Secondary Powers (holding your own eyes that just melted out of your head, for example), one guy is shown with a wizened, shrunken body and an enormous, angular, greenish head.
- Alice the Goon (and all other Goons) from Popeye. Their heads are about the same size as their shoulders (which admittedly are larger than average).
Films — Animation
- In The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water, Plankton's superhero form takes this trope to its zenith - he's seriously built, but you can barely see his head in some shots.
Films — Live-Action
- In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the Mountain Troll is described as having a head that looks like a coconut perched on a boulder.
- L. Frank Baum's The Emerald City of Oz. The Whimsies are one of the groups that conspires with the Nome King to conquer the Emerald City. They are huge, hulking humanoids who have heads that are very small for their bodies. They wear large, garishly painted masks to cover their heads.
- In Moving Pictures, the traditional troll concept of masculine attractiveness is said to be something along the lines of a monolith with an apple perched on top.
- According to the Monty Python's Flying Circus theory about the Brontosaurus, it was thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Depending on the Artist, this will happen to the Space Marines of (who are never seen outside their Power Armor), especially if they go overboard with the Shoulders of Doom.
- Also, the biggest tau battlesuits like the Riptide have the same heads as battlesuits half their size. It's not the pilot's actual head anyway.
- The Scorponok toy of Transformers Generation 1 is the largest Decepticon toy of its generation, and still one of the largest toys in the entire franchise, but Lord Zarak, the Headmaster who transforms into Scorponok's head, is still the same size as the ones for smaller toys, which makes his head comparatively small. However, his visored helmet makes up for the discrepancy.
- The Brute from Mass Effect 3 is a husk composed of krogans and turians that has a small head on a stalk, attached to an enormous ape-like body.
- Borderlands 2's Goliaths have what appear to be shrunken heads under their massive helmets. Shoot the helmet off and their head will spring out and wobble around freely on its elongated, rope-like spine, making headshots even harder than the tiny target would be on its own.
- This detail is mentioned in regards to the Tank in Left 4 Dead. The virus that turned everyone into zombies accelerated it's muscle mass to obscene proportions, forcing it to run like a gorilla since it's arms were now almost as long as the body. However, it's head is still the same size, and it no longer has any neck to speak of because of the muscle growth.
- The Meat Head enemy in Yakuza: Dead Souls has a ridiculously buff, armored upper body, with his only weakness being his normal-sized head and the surrounding tissue.
- Blunderbores from Diablo 2. Alchemical enhancements increased the physical muscle mass of those warriors far beyond normal proportions. Apparently they didn't bother to make their head proportional to the rest of their body.
- BioShock Infinite: The cybernetic Handymen enemies have normal, human-sized heads on their massive, ape-proportioned bodies.
- The Bouncers from Brütal Legend are giants with disproportionately small heads, and disproportionally large fists.
- Ruby Weapon, a Bonus Boss in Final Fantasy VII.
- In Team Fortress 2, the giant robots that appear periodically in Mann Versus Machine have disproportionately small heads in comparison to their massive size.
- A few of the Kremlings from the Donkey Kong series, especially Klubba and Kudgel from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest.
- Darksiders has main character War, whose gargantuan, terrifying-looking armor covered in demon faces is offset by his teeny-tiny head set in a red hood.
- Pretty much every possible player character in the Demons / Dark Souls series. It's less severe than most examples, since you're usually in full armor that makes things look a bit more proportionate, but the character creation screen roughly resembles the page picture.
- Played straight with the Ultralisks of Starcraft, but subverted with the campaign-only Brutalisks: it has a massive upper body and head, but its lower body looks far too small to carry its own weight.
- Montana is the most notable case of this in the game. He's a mountain of a man whose shoulders, arms, and hands, basically his entire upper body, is absurdly massive. His head however is comically small. This along with his equally small legs makes him what even the game itself notes as "biologically improbable".
- Attikus is a big fat beast with a prominently large and thick neck but his head is actually comparatively small to the rest of his body.
- El Dragón though not to an exasperatedly comical degree like Montana, has a head that's comparatively small to the rest of his body as well.
- Taken to ludicrous extremes in Plague of Gripes's Huge Quest animation.
- In Worm, Lung's head doesn't grow as quickly as the rest of his body when his power activates, resulting in this during prolonged fights.
- In Tex Avery's King Size Canary, as the characters get bigger from drinking Jumbo-Gro plant food, their bodies become huge and bloated while their heads and limbs remain relatively small.
- Looney Tunes:
- In "The Bashful Buzzard", Beaky tries to wrestle what he thinks is a small lizard out from between some rocks, behind which lie the enormous body of a dragon.
- A similar reveal is used in the earlier "Prehistoric Porky" with Porky's pet dinosaur, its terrier-sized head peeking out of a small doghouse while the rest of the body lies behind it.
- In "Thumb Fun", Daffy Duck confronts the driver of a tiny car. When the driver steps out, however, he's a seven-foot, 300-pound thug with a tiny head hardly visible atop his broad shoulders.
- Certain dinosaurs, such as the Diplodocus. Stegosaurus is a particularly famous example as well.
- Giraffes. Ginormous body with a ginormous neck to match, tiny head not bigger than a horse's.
- Ostriches, rheas and emus, whose heads are so small that a 350-lbs ostrich can be blindfolded by putting a paper lunch sack over its head. The extinct elephant birds and moas were even more extreme. Just to illustrate how tiny an ostrich's head is, know this: one of an ostrich's eyes is about the same size as its entire brain.