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Film / Little Man

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Little Man is a 2006 comedy film from the Wayans Brothers.

The plot centers around a diminutive criminal named Calvin Sims (Marlon Wayans) and his accomplice Percy (Tracy Morgan). After a diamond heist goes wrong, Calvin is forced to ditch the diamond inside a nearby woman's purse. They follow the couple home and discover wannabe dad Darryl Edwards (Shawn Wayans) and his overworked wife Vanessa (Kerry Washington). Calvin and Percy hatch a plot to pass Calvin off as a baby left on the couple's doorstep in order to retrieve the diamond. Calvin plays his way into the couple's life while laying off the suspicions of Vanessa's paranoid father Francis, aka "Pops" (John Witherspoon). Meanwhile, Walken (Chazz Palminteri), the mafia boss Calvin pulled the heist for, grows impatient.

The movie has the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Darryl and Vanessa believe Calvin to be the victim of some, going by his tattoos and appendectomy scar. Added to the fact that Calvin's own parents have not ever thrown him a birthday party does imply that they did not pay that much attention to him as a kid, if at all.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: While it is Played for Laughs, any doctor can fully differentiate between a dwarf and a baby. Even without his facial hair, there are still many signs that Calvin is clearly an adult, his fully developed genitalia and strong body structure being a few of them.
  • Ass Shove: Calvin learns the hard way that babies have their temperature taken rectally.
  • Berserk Button: Calvin does not like having his height brought up.
  • Cassandra Truth: Vanessa's dad, Pops, discovers the truth about Calvin, but when he tries to tell her, she thinks he's gone senile.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The toy airplane.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: While at a diner, Pops catches a news report about the diamond heist, and sees a mug shot of Calvin.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Calvin is a dwarf, jewel thief that dresses like a baby to retrieve a diamond from a married couple that (at least the dad) wants a baby and a diamond for the wife's engagement ring.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Pops tries to tell Vanessa and Darryl about Calvin being a jewel thief but they don't believe him until he uses a teddy bear video camera and Darryl watches the footage of Calvin as his true self.
  • Daddy's Girl: Vanessa. Made worse by the fact that her dad is paranoid and judgmental, and constantly belittles Darryl.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Pops makes it clear that he does not approve of Vanessa and Darryl's relationship and even encourages his daughter to dump him.
  • Dinky Drivers: Calvin gets in a car and drives it by using a toy bat to move the pedals.
  • Doorstop Baby: How Calvin manages to get in the Edwards household.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite all the chaos he caused during his time in the household, Calvin gets off scot-free after he saves Darryl’s life and does the right thing by turning over the diamond to the authorities. Afterwards, Darryl basically shrugs off the whole ordeal and embraces Calvin as his new best friend. Calvin later moves in with the family permanently, acting as an uncle figure to Darryl and Vanessa’s real baby.
  • Expy: Dinosaur Rex, from the children's show Calvin is not very happy with, is an obvious spoof and/or parody of the dinosaur I'm sure some of you know and love, and are already familiar with.
  • Freudian Excuse: Calvin didn't have a family growing up, which explains his criminal ways and getting too used to being Darryl's friend.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Darryl tries to play a game of peekaboo with "baby" Calvin. Eventually, Calvin gets tired of it and whacks Darryl on the head with a frying pan, knocking him out. He then drags Darryl's unconscious body to the den and places him on the couch to make it look like he was sleeping there. Vanessa then walks in and awakens Darryl and berates him for "sleeping while watching Calvin", leaving poor Darryl completely baffled.
  • Gag Penis: Darryl and Vanessa find out that Calvin has one during a diaper change.
  • Gilligan Cut: When Calvin insists he isn't dressing like a baby to get the diamond, the very next scene is Calvin, fully shaved, in baby clothes and a dog basket.
  • Goo Goo Getup: The premise.
  • Groin Attack: Calvin is fond of this maneuver. Happens so often to the point of it being a Running Gag.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Calvin, after realizing Darryl and Vanessa truly care for him.
  • Honorary Uncle: Calvin becomes this to Darryl and Vanessa’s real baby. Though, given the Rape as Comedy Calvin performed earlier, it may be a case of a Brick Joke coupled with Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe.
  • Jerk Jock: Darryl's friend, Greg.
  • Non Sequitur, *Thud*: Calvin's partner, Percy, after getting smacked in the face with a trashcan lid.
    "Who's Mike Jones?"
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Calvin can bring down normal-sized people with just one or two blows.
  • Rape as Comedy: Played with. Calvin has sex with Vanessa in the dark, and it's played for laughs because she thought it was Darryl going for round two. Weirdly enough, Calvin still ends up takes a platonic liking to her as a maternal figure.
  • Spit Take: Calvin and Darryl both do this when Vanessa tells them the milk they are drinking her friend's breasts.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Greg is so much of a Jerk Jock that he has no problem manhandling his or other people's children, as shown in the football scene.
    • Also, the Big Bad threatens to harm Calvin, unaware that he's actually an adult.


Video Example(s):


Little Man

(For the record, the trailer version of this scene is FAR more comedic than the final cut.)

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / FryingPanOfDoom

Media sources: