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Something that seems small is revealed to be very long when viewed from a different angle.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
DrNoPuma on Jul 26th 2017 at 7:18:48 PM
Last Edited By:
DrNoPuma on Oct 23rd 2017 at 2:53:50 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

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This example presented by a present.

Often Played for Laughs, this is when something seems small when viewed from the front, but when you turn it to the side, it turns out to actually be very long. The fun thing about this trope is that it can be done with almost any object. A big part of this trope's comedy value comes from the Oh, Crap! reaction that other characters may get from it, if they were hoping that the object really was small.

Subtrope of Depth Deception and sister trope to Big Little Man.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • There was a commercial for a lawn mower brand where a woman we see from the front tells her husband "It's time." He takes this to mean it's time to mow the lawn and uses the advertised mower to do so. She tells him again and he continues his lawn mowing. Finally, she yells "It's time!" and turns to the side to reveal she's heavily pregnant. He finishes quickly and takes her to the hospital.

    Comic Books 
  • One Rubrique-a-Brac strip was a Fractured Fairy Tale where a handsome prince sees a beautiful sheperdess (always from the front, as does the reader), but never manages to get close enough to talk to her. He finally approaches her from the side, suddenly mumbles an apology and gets the hell out of there, the confused sheperdess turning her head to look at him and revealing her nose juts out of her face like a trireme's ram. The dejected prince then laments that you can't see people from the side and the front at the same time... and turning his head to face the audience for the first time, revealing his own face is half-handsome, half-ugly.

    Film - Animated 
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie: According to Professor Poopypants, the human brain contains a lobe called the "Haha-Guffaw-Chucklomatus", which controls laughter. He builds a ray to destroy this lobe in whoever it zaps so that people will stop laughing at him. When he shoots it at George and Harold, it doesn't work like it did with the other kids. Poopypants is dumbfounded, so he flips around his diagram of George and Harold's brains to find that their Haha-Guffaw-Chucklomatuses take up most of their brains, with the other parts flat on one side.
  • In Toy Story, the toys are watching the kids attending Andy's birthday party, and see one kid with what appears to be a small, cube-shaped present. But then the kid turns to the side, revealing that the present is really long.

    Live-Action TV 

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy: In "Brian Griffin's House of Payne", Brian meets with two network executives who look normal when facing front, but their profiles reveal they have extremely long noses. They're Italian, by the way.
  • The 1937 Warner Bros. cartoon Speaking of the Weather, which spoofs popular books of the day, depicts a caricature of actor William Powell in his role as detective Nick Charles from The Thin Man. When viewed from the front, Powell seems normal, from the side, however, he's drawn stick thin to where he could hide completely behind a pencil.
    • The gag was repeated in another "books-come-to-life" short, Have You Got Any Castles; only this time, Powell walks into a cookbook to eat, and he emerges with his side view now having a very large bulge in the back.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, the Simpsons walk by Apu, who is facing the camera, wearing a baby carrier pouch with one of his babies. But then he turns to the side, revealing that the pouch actually extends outwards to carry all eight of them.
  • At one point in Swing, You Sinners!, we see a creature that looks like a circle with a face and legs dancing. Then it turns to the side, and we see that not only is its body long rather than sphere-shaped, but there are two identical creatures behind it.

    Real Life 
  • Panniers from the 18th century can have this effect. Sideways, they're pretty unnoticeable. Up front, they can be as wide as two dinner tables. Cartoonists from the 18th century had a field day with this.


Feedback: 13 replies

Jul 27th 2017 at 7:39:24 AM

Advertising

  • There was a commercial for a lawn mower (I forget which brand) where a woman we see from the front tells her husband "It's time." He takes this to mean it's time to mow the lawn and uses the advertised mower to do so. She tells him again and he continues his lawn mowing. Finally, she yells "It's time!" and turns to the side to reveal she's heavily pregnant. He finishes quickly and takes her to the hospital.

Jul 27th 2017 at 2:01:33 PM

^ Little Big Man doesn't seem to exist as a trope. It's just a cut redirect page.

Jul 27th 2017 at 2:21:56 PM

^^The trope you're looking for is Big Little Man.

Oct 1st 2017 at 7:29:25 PM

Need a little help remembering which cartoon this is, but it's definitely Leon Schesinger produced for Warner Bros.

Western Animation

  • The 1938 Warner Brothers cartoon Have You Got Any Castles that spoofs books of the day depicts a caricature of actor William Powell in his role as detective Nick Charles of The Thin Man, based upon the book by author Dashiell Hammett. Viewed from the front, Powell seems normal. From the sides, however, he's drawn stick thin to where he could hide completely behind a pencil.

Oct 1st 2017 at 4:14:20 PM

  • Family Guy: In "Brian Griffin's House of Payne", Brian meets with two network executives who look normal when facing front, but their profiles reveal they have extremely long noses. And no, they're not Jewish!

Oct 1st 2017 at 7:28:53 PM

Used with soccer boots larger than expected in this short scene from the The Benny Hill Show.

Oct 1st 2017 at 7:26:20 PM

^ Actually, not quite. It's "Have You Got Any Castles" from 1938, directed by Frank Tashlin. Also, I got one of the details wrong; it has been corrected.

Oct 6th 2017 at 1:05:07 AM

  • Panniers from the 18th century can have this effect. Sideways, they're pretty unnoticeable. Up front, they can be as wide as two dinner tables. Cartoonists from the 18th had a field day with this.

Oct 7th 2017 at 5:45:01 AM

One Rubrique-a-Brac strip was a Fractured Fairy Tale where a handsome prince sees a beautiful sheperdess (always from the front, as does the reader), but never manages to get close enough to talk to her. He finally approaches her from the side, suddenly mumbles an apology and gets the hell out of there, the confused sheperdess turning her head to look at him and revealing her nose juts out of her face like a trireme's ram. The dejected prince then laments that you can't see people from the side and the front at the same time... and turning his head to face the audience for the first time, revealing his own face is half-handsome, half-ugly.

Oct 21st 2017 at 12:22:21 PM

Final bump before launching, just to see if there are any more suggestions or comments.

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