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Big Guy, Little Guy

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"Don't mess up again, ya lunkhead."
"Duhhh, okay Rocky!"

"The little one is called Master. He's the brains. He runs Underworld. The other one is Blaster. He's the muscle. Together they can be very powerful."

A classic, almost timeless, character pairing, among The Oldest Ones in the Book.

Two guys who are often Heterosexual Life-Partners, and usually embody the Fat and Skinny trope. That's just the start of the bundle of tropes these two embody.

This trope describes a pair of guys who always fight together, are best friends forever, and quite often have a very obvious hierarchy: the Little Guy is typically the one in charge — unless, of course, he's a "Mini-Me" to the Big Guy. The Big Guy usually plays the Dumb Muscle role, but there's a catch, and this is important: oftentimes, the Big Guy will have some pretty good ideas. The Little Guy often ignores the Big Guy's suggestion, only to come up with the idea himself just a split second later, as with Timon and Pumbaa of The Lion King (1994) fame. Even if he's not obfuscating, meaning he really is just a big dumb lug with occasional brainstorms and he often Does Not Know His Own Strength, the Big Guy has many a flash of insight.

The Little Guy is usually listed first, since he's the leader, and they are always listed together, as if they are one entity. In fact, some episodes may center on the fact that they can't live without each other. Although these guys are seen most often in kid's shows, they are also played seriously.

If this is a case of Brains and Brawn, the Big Guy is usually the Brawn, and the Little Guy the Brains. It's almost never the other way around, but in some cases the Big Guy can be rather smart too.

Almost always a case of Smart Jerk and Nice Moron as well. See also Those Two Guys, One Head Taller, Huge Guy, Tiny Girl, and Tiny Guy, Huge Girl. Super-Trope for Little Guy, Big Buddy, where the bigger of the two protects/looks after the smaller, and Bully and Wimp Pairing, where the bigger one bullies and manhandles the shorter one. Add a skinny guy and you've achieved a Big, Thin, Short Trio.


    open/close all folders 
  • The burglars Bruiser and Browser from SafeTouch Security radio commercials appear to be this.
  • In 2003, Apple ran an ad for its PowerBook G4 with two men sitting next to one another on a plane. On one side: Verne Troyer, an actor with dwarfism who stood all of 2'8" (81 cm), best known as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers franchise. On the other: Yao Ming, then-current NBA star, at 7'6" (229 cm). The ad also includes an inversion, in which Troyer reaches for his 17" PowerBook and Yao for a 12" version.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo: the first people he kills are a giant with a comically oversized hammer and a midget nicknamed "Wind".
  • Baccano! has Jacuzzi Splot's bodyguards, Nick and Donnie. This might be a case of Big Guy, Bigger Guy, Little Guy. And of course Nice.
  • The Butler Zakenna from Futari wa Pretty Cure. The tall one even has a long Forehead of Doom to emphasize his height!
  • Edward Elric (the little guy, but don't tell him we said that) and Alphonse Elric (the big guy) from Fullmetal Alchemist. Notably, Alphonse is only big due to extenuating circumstances and they are both quite consistently smart.
  • Vegeta and Nappa from Dragon Ball Z were this, at least until Vegeta killed him.
    • Pretty much every group after them that showed up together would be this. Though the Big Guy wasn't always Dumb Muscle, but he was always in a supplementary role, usually an enforcer, bodyguard or sidekick. The Little Guy would be the brains and the leader, and would often be revealed to actually be stronger since Muscles Are Meaningless in this series.
      • Zarbon and Dododia (Big Duo) and Frieza (Little) - King Cold (Big) and Mecha Frieza (Little) - Android 16 (Big) and Androids 17 and 18 (Little Duo) - Kibito (Big) and Shin (Little) - Spopovitch (Big) and Yamu (Little) - Dabura (Big) and Babidi (Little) - Fat Buu (Big) and Babidi (Little) - Kibito Kai (Big) and Old Kai (Little)
      • While the Ginyu Force generally appear to be good friends with each other, among them Jeice and Burter in particular come off as Heterosexual Life-Partners. Burter is a head taller than the Captain, and Jeice is about Vegeta's size.
      • Even heroically during the Other World Tournament arc you had Goku (Big) and North Kai (Little) and Pikkon (Big) and West Kai (Little). Tien (physically bigger than any Z-Fighter except Piccolo) and Chiaotzu (smaller than Krillin) were introduced together way back in Dragon Ball, and are rarely seen apart. Up until Gohan hit a growth spurt between the Cell and Buu sagas, he was Piccolo's trainee, and came up to Piccolo's waist.
  • Gian and Suneo from Doraemon. Though the leader role usually belong to Gian, since Suneo is scared shitless of him.
  • Meryl Strife and Millie Thompson from Trigun are rare female examples.
  • Waver Velvet and Rider from Fate/Zero. Of course, since Rider is a legendary warrior king on top of being a seven foot bear of a man, he doesn't settle for being the subservient one of the pair and dominates Waver from the moment he's summoned by him.
  • In one episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX there was Ohara and Kohara, two Ra Yellow students who became partners to get revenge upon the Obelisk students by assuming the identity of the "Duel Giant". (Ohara was a big guy who wasn't the best duelist, while Kohara was a real little guy who was good, but had stage fright; so the plan involved Ohara disguising himself with a mask and Kohara directing his moves with a radio headset.)
    • Also, part of their strategy as duelists mirrored this situation: They used Giant Orc (a big, dumb guy) and Second Goblin (a little guy who helped Giant Orc).
  • Most recurring and regular human characters in Pokémon: The Series can be considered a Big Guy when using whatever Pokémon he or she is most associated with. Ash with Pikachu naturally, Gary with Umbreon, and Brock with Croagunk. There are a few exception, however,like when Brock uses Onix, which is much larger than he is.
  • Captain Tsubasa: Jitou and Sano.
  • In Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, Edward Grant is the youngest of the five kids. His biocode is linked to Power-class heroes, and he's paired up with the Hulk, who can literally fit Ed's entire torso in one hand. Later on, he gets Power Man.
  • The Funk Brothers, Bobby and Kelly, in One Piece, is an unusual variant on this trope: The smaller Kelly is smarter and wiser, and the much bigger Bobby has incredible strength (to where blades snap when swung against his back) but can't strategize the way Kelly can. However, Bobby is an Actual Pacifist who is afraid to fight. Instead, Kelly developed a sort of Grand Theft Me power where he takes over Bobby and does the fighting as him.
  • Angelica and Lucifer of Lapis Re:LiGHTs are a gender-inverted example, being a magical girl/idol duo. Angelica is the taller one at and often towers over the much tinier Lucifer when they stand side-by-side, which is almost all of their appearances.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes features the villainous duo Big M. and Little M., whose names fit their contrasting sizes pretty well.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: The titular characters and his friend Obelix. As in the asterisk sign* and Obelisk.
  • Messrs. Shlubb and Klump from Sin City. Both have Delusions of Eloquence (and used to be the trope namer), but little guy Klump suggests the more sensible ideas (read: not taking the getaway car for a joyride, or not pulling boots of a corpse they've been paid to disappear).
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police. Possible inversion, since Sam is the Big Guy but still the voice of reason holding Max (the Little Guy) back from indulging in "unnecessary violence" (loosely defined, since both Sam and Max are quite fond of solving problems with violence and gunplay).
  • Franky and The Goon. As in Sam and Max, Goon is the big guy but also the more sensible leader who reigns in his manic little partner(sometimes).
  • Newspaper Comic Jumpstart has a big guy who has nearly a dozen other big guy brothers, one of whom is in the NFL. Their highly intimidating (single!) father is at least 200 pounds lighter and one head smaller.
  • Hercules and Amadeus Cho from The Incredible Hercules.
  • Mickey Mouse Comic Universe: Idget the Midget and Dangerous Dan McBoo. Idget is slightly smarter than Dan, but they in general seem equal partners in crime — sometimes employed by others, sometimes working on their own.
  • Tom Poes: Bul Super and Hiep Hieper.
  • Suske en Wiske: Lambik is one head taller than Jerom.
  • Jommeke: Kwak, who is short and fat, and Boemel, who is tall and slender.
  • Mary Marvel 1945: Issue #4 has Slippery Slyke and Hugo, a gang of shoplifters. Hugo is brawny and stands at least two heads taller than his smaller and slimmer boss.
  • New Mutants: For a while Anole and Rockslide were often paired up together. They even moonlit as a street-level hero duo. Rockslide is the Big Guy of most teams he's on, especially because his powers allow him to alter the size of his body by adding more of the surrounding earth to it. Anole is significantly smaller, and can easily fit on Rockslide's shoulder. They edge a bit closer to Vitriolic Best Buds, and play with Heterosexual Life-Partners as Anole is in fact gay.
  • Red Menace has Lamont and Mitner, former supervillains turned FBI goons. Their superior Krueger calls them "the Mountain and the Mole" — Lamont is enormous, super strong, and (judging from his huge word bubbles with large bolded font) has a deep booming voice. Mitner is very short and skinny. They're the best of pals; it's Krueger they don't get along with.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: In the Silver Age the dwarf Dr. Psycho acted as the brains to Giganta's brawn.
  • The original New Warriors had Rage and Speedball. Rage was a super-strong young teenager in the body of a giant adult man; Speedball was a Fun Personified smaller and skinnier guy in his late teens with kinetic-energy powers used for bouncing.

    Films — Animated 
  • Combined with square and round from Pixar:
  • The Lion King (1994) does this with Timon (a meerkat) and Pumbaa (a warthog).
  • Tito and Francis, Einstein, and Dodger in Oliver & Company
  • Bobble and Clank from the TinkerBell movies.
  • Treasure Planet: John Silver and Jim Hawkins, subverted in that John is actually the more intelligent of the two while little Jim is the bruiser.
  • The two-headed dragon, Devon and Cornwall in Quest for Camelot, though that may be more Fat and Skinny.
  • Gwizdo and Lian Chu from Dragon Hunters.
  • Beauty and the Beast has Gaston and Lefou. In this case, the big guy (Gaston) is the main one and the little guy (Lefou) is the bumbling sidekick — although Gaston isn't particularly bright either.
  • Dumbo the naïve elephant calf is the Big Guy to Timothy Q. Mouse's Little Guy.
  • Robin Hood (1973) has the titular protagonist (Little Guy) and his trusty sidekick Little John (Big Guy).
  • Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, a similar example to Dumbo and Timothy. Also, Honest John and Gideon, though in an inversion of the usual roles the big guy is the brains and the little guy is the muscle.
  • Another inversion is the Walrus and the Carpenter from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Flushed Away: Whitey and Spike are henchmen to the nefarious toad. Neither are smart, but Spike is smaller and more logical, but ends up being the butt of the slapstick joke in most situations.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Absurd Accident: The two jewel thieves who stop at the inn for noodles and wind up getting ensnared in the murder and mayhem. The short one is aggressive and pugnacious and clearly in charge. The other one is much taller and heavyset, and also meek, deferring to his skinny buddy and calling the short one "boss."
  • Master and Blaster from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome! TOGETHER ... they FORM ... MASTERBLASTER!!! Master is an engineer with dwarfism (played by Angelo Rossitto, who also appeared in Freaks over fifty years earlier) and Blaster is his mentally challenged bodyguard. A similar pairing shows up in Mad Max: Fury Road in the form of Immortan Joe's two sons; Rictus Erectus, who's huge but implied to not be very bright, and Corpus Colossus, a Genius Cripple with osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease).
  • The Star Wars movies introduce three such duos: C-3PO and R2-D2, Han Solo and Chewbacca, and Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. It's worth noting that C-3PO, Solo, and Palpatine are all around average human height (and Han is actually a few inches above average). C-3PO is only the big guy compared to R2-D2, a 3'7" (109 cm) Tin-Can Robot. Solo and Palpatine are only the little guys compared to Chewie and Vader, who are respectively 7'6" (228 cm) and 6'8" (203 cm). Meanwhile in the sequel trilogy, R2-D2 himself plays the big guy to the even smaller droid BB-8.
  • The Princess Bride gives Inigo Montoya and Fezzik. Again, a matter of comparison: Inigo Montoya is actually 6'1" (185-186 cm), but Fezzik is played by André the Giant, who was billed at 7'4" (223-224 cm).
  • Groot and Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014); Rocket is a three-foot-tall uplifted raccoon, while his partner Groot is a ten foot tall alien tree-creature.
  • The Back to the Future movies give us Doc Brown (6'1" Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (5'4" Michael J. Fox).
  • Midnight Cowboy: 5'5" Dustin Hoffman (Ratso Rizzo) and 6'3" Jon Voight (Joe Buck).
  • Easy Rider: 5'7" Dennis Hopper (Billy) and 6'2" Peter Fonda (Wyatt).
  • The fraternal twin brothers Julius and Vincent in Twins (1988), played by 6'1" Arnold Schwarzenegger and 4'10" Danny DeVito.
  • Children of the Corn (1984) features a villainous example with the Big Bad Isaac as the little guy and his Mook Lieutenant Malachai as the big guy.
  • The male and female M.U.T.Os from Godzilla (2014) have this dynamic with the male being small and airborne and the female being large and landbound. On their own the male can avoid and harass Godzilla but not actually injure him while the female is strong enough to hurt Godzilla but isn't quite strong enough to beat him one-on-one before he overpowers her so they tag team him.
  • The small and wiry Herbert West (5'7") and his tall and buff friend/assistant Dan Cain (6'0") in Re-Animator and Bride of Re-Animator.
  • The Quest revolves around a martial arts tournament whose participants are from all around the world, supposedly the best fighters representing their respective countries, and somehow Japan is the only nation with two participants. The main Japanese combatant is a Sumo wrestler, and the second is a karateka from Okinawa barely half the Sumo wrestler's size. Ironically, the tournament's first day pits them against each other, and the Sumo guy dishes out a Curb-Stomp Battle easily.
  • The Smokey and the Bandit films have Big Enos Burdette (played by 6'5" Pat McCormick) and his son, Little Enos (played by 5'2" Paul Williams.) They're both rich con artists and very cunning, though Little Enos' Napoleon complex contrasts his calm and collected father.
  • A variation in The Spy Who Loved Me when the Big Bad summons his henchmen. First a stocky, heavyset man lumbers into the room, looking like the standard thug. Then Jaws, played by seven-foot-high Richard Kiel, and we get a sense of just how big he is from the way he towers over the first guy.
  • The comedy duo of Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall (who did a lot of movies together in the '40s and '50s) had this dynamic. Gorcey has a stocky little guy, while Hall was tall and skinny.
  • On the Buses has big Vera and little Ruby, the first two female bus drivers to turn up at the depot.
  • Up Pompeii has big Villanus and little Odius, Prosperus Maximus' strong-arm men.

  • Of the H.I.V.E. Series, morbidly obese teenager Franz Argentblum and his scrawny, geeky roommate Nigel Darkdoom demonstrate. May be subverted later as we know Nigel's father, Diabolus Darkdoom is tall and handsome, and Nigel may lose his sickly appearance as he ages.
  • George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men are a good serious example. These character types are also seen in big. slow-witted Tom Cullen and scrawny deaf-mute Nick Andros in Stephen King's The Stand.
  • Discworld has Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs, and Mr Pin and Mr Tulip.
    • Note that Colon actually outranks Nobby, which inverts the usual ranking of this trope. The puny Nobby is somewhat less dumb than the overweight Colon, however.
    • Vimes and Carrot too, although it's more a case of big guy, normal guy.
  • Fletcher and Red in Half Moon Investigations to almost an extreme point, Fletcher "Half" Moon being small for his age and Red having been held back a year.
  • Freak and Max in Freak the Mighty.
  • Lousewort and Sneezewort, the Punch-Clock Villain duo in The Long Patrol.
  • In Dougal Dixon's Man After Man, some of the large, yeti-like tundra-dwellers evolve a partnership with small, nimble forest omnivores. The clever little omnivores scout out terrain and catch small game for their lumbering partners, and the tundra-dwellers carry their smaller companions across vast distances, hugging them close so they're kept warm by their big friends' thick fur.
  • Locke and Jean in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence, though Jean is a Genius Bruiser and has just as important a role as Locke in the brains area of their operation.
  • Inverted in The Dark Tower by the Hitler Brothers. The bigger brother, "George" is the brains compared to "Lennie" who is impatient and fairly stupid.
  • Mack and his friend/bossman Eddie Lui in the Emberverse. Also John Hordle and Alleyne Loring.
  • The Crane brothers, Little Mickey and Big Billy, in The Mental State definitely qualify.
  • Neverwhere has Croup and Vandemar, with the respective Animal Motifs of a fox and a wolf.
  • Over the course of The Lord of the Rings, Gimli and Legolas go from bitter rivals to Vitriolic Best Buds to Heterosexual Life-Partners.
  • Rick Brant: Spindrift scientists Hobart Zircon (a towering Genius Bruiser physicist) and Julius Weiss (a short mathematician) frequently appear together.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the hulking manservant Hodor is the big guy to the young, paraplegic Bran Stark.
  • Will and Horace from the childrens'/YA series Ranger's Apprentice, although Horace is less fat, more muscle.
  • In Warrior Cats, the two main BloodClan cats are Scourge and Bone. Scourge is the leader, and is unusually small because he was born a runt, while Bone is his massive, brutish second-in-command.

    Live-Action Television 
  • The CBeebies show Big Cook Little Cook follows this trope to the named T.
  • Shawn Hunter and Cory Matthews in the first season of Boy Meets World, during which Rider Strong was at least One Head Taller than Ben Savage. However, Savage went through a growth spurt and by late season 3, he was actually taller than Strong.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand has Agron (played by 6'2 actor Dan Feuerriegel) and Nasir (Played by 5'6 actor Pana Hena Taylor) although they were way more than HoYay
  • Only Fools and Horses has Del Boy, who is at least a head shorter than his younger half-brother Rodney. In a making of book, series creator John Sullivan states that he is grateful for this trope otherwise Del's constant put-downs towards Rodney would have seemed much more like bullying.
  • King Mondo's henchmen Klang and Orbus from Power Rangers Zeo. Klang is a robot the size and shape of a human, Orbus is doll-sized. Their size difference was a key part of Mondo's strategies using the Monster of the Week; to enlarge it to giant size; Orbus' arm extended with a cord and Klang would swing him like a bullroarer and launch him at the monster. Orbus would then apply a gizmo installed within him to complete the process.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Prime Mover", Ace Larson bosses the much larger and nicer Jimbo Cobb around so that he will use his telekinesis to help Ace's gambling. However, Jimbo eventually fakes the loss of his power so that Ace loses and moves on from his Greed.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: 6'3" Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and 5'6" Michael Hurst (Iolaus).
  • In Seinfeld, 6'3" Kramer has an occasionally-appearing friend in 4'0" Mickey Abbott, an actor with dwarfism. The contrast is made funnier by the fact that the two barely seem aware of it, with (for instance) Mickey choosing Kramer as his partner for a dramatic audition in which he plays a hardboiled cop and Kramer plays the suspect he's interrogating.
  • Kyle and Ezra in The InBESTigators.
    • Inverted with Ezra and Maudie; Ezra actually notes that he’s not used to being the taller one of the duo.
  • Tatort has police inspectors Till Ritter and Felix Stark, the latter a good nine inches shorter than his partner and often getting to hear quips about it.


    Newspaper Comics 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This trope is used frequently with Tag Teams. Examples include Giant Baba and The Destroyer, Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty, Chris Jericho and Big Show, the British Bulldogs (the Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith; in Stampede, Dynamite teamed with Loch Ness), Spike Dudley and Balls Mahoney, and Lord Humongous (Sid Vicious) and Shane Douglas and Enzo and Cass.
  • Luke Gallows has paired with 3 little guys such as Jesse (as Festus), CM Punk (in Straight Edge Society) and currently with Karl Anderson.
  • GLOW had a female set with Face wrestlers Mt. Fiji and Little Fiji, the former portrayed as a Cool Big Sis to the latter, plotwise.
  • AAA's Mascot division requires a pairing between a mini estrella and another wrestler too tall to be one, though a lot of examples fall under the "mini me" type.
  • The Gateway Championship Wrestling version of Nightbreed, Jackal being the smallest man on the roster, smaller than most of the women on the roster, Cabal being one of the largest men.
  • Donovan Dijak and Jay Lethal were a classic example during the House Of Truth's second Ring of Honor incarnation. It was somewhat subverted with Dijak's former partner Joey Daddiego, who was also much shorter than Dijak but a real power house wrestler while Dijak was towering but was like a super junior scaled up.
  • AJ Styles and his "personal colossus" Omos. AJ's 5'11", Omos is 7'3".


    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: It's common for ogres to be teamed up with smaller races like orcs (who tend to be the big guy in most other evil humanoid pairings, and generally not that smart, but are smarter and weaker than ogres), goblins, or hobgoblins. This usually lasts until the ogre gets bored, hungry, or angry and forgets that it isn't supposed to eat its smaller companions.
  • Necromunda: The Stig-Shamblers employed by 3rd Edition House Cawdor gangs as Brutes, consist of a massive but mentally challenged behemoth and a frail but intelligent rider with dwarfism that are represented by a single model. Working together, the two stigsnote  are far more powerful than they would be alone, providing additional muscle and firepower for their gang.

  • Transformers: Generation 2: Dreadwing is a massive Decepticon who transforms into a large stealth bomber or a tank and combines with his smaller partner Smokescreen, who transforms into a jet.

    Video Games 
  • 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim: Takatoshi Hijiyama - a tall, brawny, honest and kinda simple-minded young soldier - is the Big Guy. And Tsukasa Okino - a short, androgynous, intelligent and playfully devious trickster - is the little guy. They also overlap with Brains and Brawn and Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple.
  • Arcanum: Half-ogres are employed by gnomes as bodyguards (this becomes a plot point later on).
  • Banjo-Kazooie: There're, well, Banjo and Kazooie, a big bear and a smaller bird who work as partners.
  • Castlevania: In a number of the earlier games, the Creature is often accompanied by Igor, an invincible flea-man that only dies when you kill off the Creature.
  • Dark Souls: Dragonslayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough show just how deadly these two guys can be. Ultimately subverted, at least in the case of Smough as it's strongly suggested that he'd held a hidden disdain for Ornstein as a result of being denied membership into the Knights of Gwyn. If you happen to bring down Ornstein first, Smough will finish him off instead.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Donkey Kong is the big guy to little guys Diddy, Dixie, and Cranky Kong. All three can stand on his back.
  • Drakengard: Seere (a six-year-old) and Golem (Who's so big his attacks come from the sky)
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: Ran Ran and En, the diminutive but powerful disciple of Master Wu and the large but taciturn youkai who protects her.
  • Final Fantasy X: Kimahri and Yuna. Less noticeable now, but Kimahri is over seven feet tall (still short for his race) and probably wasn't much shorter when he traveled with Yuna when she was a child. Also, when summoning Ifrit, she sits on his shoulder for a second, then gives him orders.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has Biggs and Wedge, a Roegadynnote  and Lalafellnote  duo from the Garlond Ironworks who team up with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn after you first join a Grand Company.
  • Gekido have a recurring Dual Boss duo, RK21 and RK22, two robots always seen together. The former has yellow armour and towers over the players, while the latter is red and roughly the player's size, and a lot faster than it's comrade.
  • Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II: The bosses Gorc and Pic are a Dark Jedi pair consisting of a huge Gamorrean and a tiny Kowakian Monkey-Lizard.
  • Jitsu Squad have this dynamic between the Big Bad, Lord Origami, and The Dragon, Dash Kobayashi. The former is a gigantic demon mask that takes up the entire background, while the latter is roughly the same size as your character. It's especially evident in the Final Boss battle, when Origami attacks as a Background Boss spamming projectiles, and as you fend off his attacks and try retaliating, Dash will attempt getting in your way and repeatedly distract you.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Zexion and Lexaeus. They both possess copious amounts of Brains and Brawn, seeing as Lexaeus is a Genius Bruiser and Zexion is a Badass Bookworm.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Mission (a slightly-built Twi'lek teenager) and Zaalbar (a BIG Wookiee adolescent) look like Little Guy, Big Buddy, but they're really closer to this trope. Zaalbar isn't stupid by any stretch, but he's painfully shy and can't speak Basic or Huttese (understands them, but his species lacks the ability to speak them), even remarking to the player character that he can't be much help unless you need something broken. This leaves Mission to do most of the talking and planning and "Big Z" to back her up when brute force is needed. Mission also has the least hit points of the party while Zaalbar has the most. They are, indeed, a shoutout to Han and Chewie above.
  • The King of Fighters: Chang Koehan (a large chubby man with a big iron ball on a chain) and Choi Bounge (a midget with Freddy Krueger-esque claws). To be precise, according to their official bios Choi is five-foot-nothing while Chang is seven-foot-eight. Most evident in Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark Of The Millennium where you control Chang and Choi together as a single character (with Choi occasionally performing some of his special moves).
  • Love & Pies: Sven is the tallest character in the game, towering over everyone else. His husband, Angus, is very short, barely coming up to his waist.
  • Mad Rat Dead: While Mad Rat is small (being a rat and all), his companion Heart even smaller, to the point where he can fit in Mad Rat's chest cavity with room to spare, due to being Mad Rat's heart. However, the end of the game reveals that Heart is a cat, thus reversing the positions of the dynamic.
  • Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy: Pepperoni (a giant fairy) and Goto (who resides in a suit that is barely half of the main characters' height).
  • Mortal Kombat X: Ferra/Torr. Torr is the big brute and Ferra is the chirpy little girl. A unique situation in that this is a Fighting Game, but both characters work as a team, Ferra riding on Torr's back most of the time and combining their attacks against their opponent.
  • Of Orcs and Men: The protagonists are Arkail, a massive orc barbarian who functions as a tank and Styx, a goblin rogue who functions as the Glass Cannon.
  • Outlast II: Nick and Laird are the big guy and little guy respectively, with Laird being a Depraved Dwarf riding on the Dumb Muscle Nick.
  • Overwatch has Junkrat and Roadhog, two Australian outlaws who wreak havoc wherever they go. While Junkrat is fairly tall at 6 ft 5 in, he's also scrawny and constantly hunched forward, while Roadhog is 7 ft 2 in and 550 lbs.
  • RIFT has a similar pair in Zaerist Orro (a wiry Kelari elf) and Rodan Ismos (a hulking bahmi).
  • Sam & Max: The titular characters follow this trope. Only it's Sam (the big dog) who's the wise one and Max (the short rabbit) is the muscle.
  • Sonic Adventure: Big the Cat and Froggy. Their personal theme song, "Lazy Days (Livin' in Paradise)" even names the trope word for word in the lyrics:
    "'Hey big guy!' 'Hey little guy!' 'Can you tell me who came first?'..."
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Bros. themselves, Mario (the little guy) and Luigi (the big guy). Ditto for their evil counterparts, Wario and Waluigi.
  • Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon: The two main characters, Jim Hawkins and his First Mate, Mr. Onyx. Jim Hawkins is normal-sized, while Mr. Onyx is an 8 foot tall Rock Monster.
  • Undertale has the skeleton brothers: Sans, short, big boned and clever yet lazy, who speaks in all lowercase letters, and Papyrus, tall, lean and an energetic ditz, whose speech is ALL UPPERCASE.
  • Warcraft:
  • Warhammer Online: The Greenskins faction leaders, Grumlock and Gazbag, are a hulking Orc warboss and a diminutive Night Goblin shaman who rides on his shoulder.

    Web Animation 
  • A Day With Bowser Jr: in the episode Rise of Fawful, the villainous duo of Fawful and Midbus can be considered exactly that.

  • The Bug Pond: Played with with Flash and Eldwin. While Flash is the smaller of the two and often orders Eldwin around, Eldwin is obviously the more competent.
  • Cucumber Quest: Mutemaster and Noisemaster are a villainous Big Guy and Little Guy, respectively. They are the two Disaster Masters of the Melody Kingdom, and they were created at the exact same time, meaning that they have a special bond compared to other Disaster Masters. The difference between the two doesn't really seem to be in intelligence, though—rather, it's how many lines they have. Mutemaster (as the name suggests) doesn't really speak as much as talks in "mmm"s and grunts (through Noisemaster seems to have no problem understanding him). Noisemaster (again, as the name suggests) is the talkative one, putting on a DJ-like persona to have fun with people while also talking about leveling cities and killing thousands.
  • Goud: Al and Vincent, washed-up psychic soldiers. Al makes up for his much smaller size with sheer ruthlessness. Vincent often goes along with Al's schemes in order to placate him.
  • Paranatural: School Bully Johnny (small guy) and his sidekick Ollie (big guy). Note that although Johnny has most of the ideas, Ollie is actually much smarter. Not that that's difficult, with Johnny.
  • S.S.D.D.: Anne compared Norman and Richard, when they were kids to "the big guy, ordered around by the little guy in Mad Max three". Richard grew out of it but Norman didn't and still sticks around. To a lesser extent Norm has resumed playing the "big dumb thug" to his lawyer, Gary Hart, when they go out doing dirty work for the Oracle. In the future arcs, subverted by Adviser Krutz and his bodyguard.
  • tinyraygun: Tork and Vector, a pair of thieving Geckoids. Unusually, Vector, the smaller one, only thinks he's in charge, while his larger, smarter partner Tork doesn't take him particularly seriously.

    Web Original 
  • Played with by Welcome to Night Vale, which very much has this dynamic with a pair of shadowy secret-agents who cameo in a couple of episodes, and get A Day in the Limelight in "A Story About Them". Except in this case, they're only called 'The Man Who Is Not Short' and 'The Man Who Is Not Tall', so it's unclear how big the height difference really is.
  • Rhett & Link, although 6'0" Link can only be considered a "little guy" when next to extremely tall people like 6'7" Rhett.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time features Jake the dog and Finn the human.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Scratch and Grounder overlap this with Fat and Skinny, with Scratch being a tall, skinny robot, and Grounder being a short, fat robot.
  • Duke Igthorn and Toady in Adventures of the Gummi Bears albeit, in this case, the boss was the big guy, Igthron.note 
  • Mayor Toadstool and his assistant Toadie in Amphibia.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: The Mooninites, Ignignokt being the large, soft-spoken leader and Err being a tiny, short-tempered pottymouth.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has The Duke and Pipsqueak. Their names are purposefully misleading, however, as the big guy is actually Pipsqueak.
  • Dragon Hunters: Gwizdo and Lian-Chu.
  • Pinky and the Brain. It's a little hard to tell who's who: Brain is shorter but has an enormous head, while Pinky is taller but much skinnier, and he's the one who gets hit on the head all the time.
  • Mugsy and Rocky from Looney Tunes, pictured above.
    • Spike and Chester
  • Spongebob Squarepants: Spongebob and Patrick. Although, especially in later seasons, Spongebob is not much smarter than Patrick.
  • Arguably Buford and Baljeet from Phineas and Ferb, except big/dumb Buford seems to be in charge of their relationship.
  • George and Junior from the Tex Avery shorts.
  • Steven Universe has a few rare female examples. Such as Jasper and Peridot, the former being larger, and the brawn, while Peridot is the smaller Gadgeteer Genius, and of course the brains. Another case being Topaz, a large Dumb Muscle, and Aquamarine, a smart Bratty Half-Pint.
  • Noah and Owen from Total Drama and its spinoff series The Ridonculous Race.
  • Wacky Races (1968):
    • The Gruesome Twosome, individually known as Big and Little, riding the Creepy Coupe. In the 2017 reboot, their names are respectively changed to Tiny and Bella.
    • Rufus Ruffcut, the driver of the Buzzwagon, has this respective dynamic with Sawtooth, his pet beaver.
  • Yuzu and Nonki from Maryoku Yummy.
  • Mordecai and Rigby as well as Muscle Man and High Five Ghost from Regular Show.
    • Worth noting that Mordecai and Rigby invert the normal dynamic. Mordecai, the taller, is usually the smarter and saner of the two, while Rigby plays the idiot who sports occasional bursts of competence.
  • Ren & Stimpy usually play this trope to a T.
  • Mikey and Gus from Recess, who spend more solo time with each other than with any other members of the main gang, although their intelligence is about equal and neither one is the "leader" (that would be T.J.)
  • Heffer and Rocko from Rocko's Modern Life.
  • Charlie and Pim from Smiling Friends.
    • Alan and Glep, also.
  • In SWAT Kats, T-Bone (Chance Furlong) and Razor (Jake Clawson) play with this as well. T-Bone, the Big Guy, is not just the muscle of the group, though he is portrayed as the more juvenile of the two, and given that Razor's Gadgeteer Genius tendencies make him as smart as he is, T-Bone is definitely the dumber of the two.
    • In a more standard version, the asshole garbagemen, Burke and Murray, who deliver junk to Chance and Jake each day, fit the bill.
  • Touché Turtle and Dum Dum: Dum Dum is at least a full head taller than Touché.
  • The Transformers went a little nuts with this late in the series when the Nebulan arc started, with many big Transformers having a pint-sized partner for some reason. The Headmasters were big guys with a little guy - the driver of the vehicle form for Autobots, the trainer of the monstrous form for Decepticons - who turned into the head of the big guy's robot form. With Target Masters, the little guy turned into the big guy's weapon. Power Masters were little guys who provided a special engine for the big guy that enabled said big guy to transform.
  • Niblet and Squirt from Pound Puppies (2010).
  • Lugnut and Blitzwing from Transformers: Animated. Also Bulkhead and Bumblebee.
  • Knockout and Breakdown from Transformers: Prime.
  • Hoppopotamus and Butterbear from The Wuzzles.
  • Bull Gator and Axl from Taz-Mania.
  • Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo. While Yogi is "smarter than the average bear", Boo-Boo seems to have more common sense, often playing Straight Man to his friend.
  • The enormous gorilla Grape Apenote  is always found with his little canine pal Beegle Beagle. (Also a case of Brains and Brawn, Beegle being the Brains.)
  • Hip-Hip and Hurra from Polish animated series Hip-Hip and Hurra.
  • In Underdog, the hero's Arch-Enemy is the Mad Scientist Simon Bar Sinister, a nasty, green-skinned guy who appears to be only two feet tall. He has a huge, hulking henchman named Cad Lackey. (Who's actually a lot smarter than he looks, often pointing out flaws in his boss' plans.)
  • Female example: Pretty and Eugly from Kaeloo.
  • Col. Spinot and Dunder in TaleSpin.
  • The alligators Floyd and Jolene in Kissyfur.
  • The wolves Huff and Puff in Piggsburg Pigs!.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle are respectively a clever little squirrel and a lanky, dim-witted moose.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum: Fanboy is the tall guy and Chum Chum is the short guy.
  • Rataxes and Basil in Babar, the two main antagonists of the series. In this case, Rataxes is the leader (as he's the king of rhinos) but other than that Basil is smarter as is normally portrayed.
  • 2 Stupid Dogs: Big Dog and Little Dog. Unusually, the big one is the smarter of the two, though that's not saying much.
  • Trinket and Cissy from Pepper Ann, the closest this series has to an Alpha Bitch (they're vain rather than mean, and lack the numbers and power to constitute a posse). Cissy is a Dumb Blonde Huge Schoolgirl. Trinket is short, although compared to her other classmates not by much; and as the one with the most common sense of the two (which again is not saying much), she's undoubtedly the leader. And you can count with one hand the number of episodes where they don't show up together, or at least one alongside the other.
  • Bozo: The World's Most Famous Clown had Bozo and his young sidekick Butchy Boy. Some episodes featured two thugs, Short Biggie and his stooge Big Shorty.
  • Square Bear and Bubi Bear from The Hair Bear Bunch.
  • Lord Hater and Commander Peepers from Wander over Yonder. In this case, the former is the physically powerful and visually terrifying face of a Galactic Superpower while the latter is the mastermind behind it—though it's implied that Lord Hater was himself no slouch of a conquerer before he became subject to In-Universe Villain Decay, and now and then that side of him still comes out.


Video Example(s):


Buster and Sonny

Buster, a shark the size of a great white and, Sonny, a yellow tang a few inches long. They're always seen together, commenting on what the human cast is doing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / BigGuyLittleGuy

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