Dr. Evil: Breathtaking. I shall call him... Mini-me.
A visual gag where an extremely short character is introduced in a manner that makes them appear much taller than they actually are. Also the inverse, where someone (or something) of great size or height is made to appear normal-sized at first, or perhaps introduced in a shorter or chibi-like form.
Sister trope to Profile View Gag. A subtrope is Big Shadow, Little Creature, where this is done via a large shadow cast on the wall. Depth Deception is the Super-Trope — all examples that don't involve people should go there. May involve the use of Hitler Cam. See also Mister Big. Contrast with "Down Here!" Shot.
- An advert for Thinkbox features an alien named Zod taking control of the world's TV broadcasts to (presumably since it's in an alien language) express its intent to invade Earth. Huge amounts of people gather at its landing point and the alien triumphantly exits it's ship...only for its landing to have gone unnoticed as its ship actually about the size of a mouse and its ship is then ran over by the camper van of an alien conspiracy theorist, who naturally didn't see it and is left staring at the empty sky waiting for the alien to arrive. This all causes Zod to facepalm at how much of a failure it all was. It can be viewed here.
- In the first episode of Urusei Yatsura, after being knocked down by a ball Ataru appears to have an enormous monk towering over him; it's only when he gets to his feet again that we realize the monk is half his size.
- At the way end of the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! anime, It turns out that Nightmare Enterprises' salesman, seen only chest-upward on a screen up to that point, has little more than feet beyond that.
- There was a yonkoma omake of Fullmetal Alchemist invoking this, in which Edward claims he's about 160 cm in height. The next panel immediately zooms out to show that he has an "antenna" in his hair and is wearing elevator shoes.
- The first episode of Slayers doesn't give any way of determining Lina's height until she meets up with Gourrey.
- In Yaiba, the titular character is exploring a dungeon and must go through a floor guardian whom his guide is reluctant to describe, beyond the fact that it has Super Strength. Yaiba is initially worried about what horror awaits him... The unholy creature delivers a hammy Badass Boast as Yaiba approaches, only to get completely ignored by the party because it turns out to be ant-sized.
- Thrud The Barbarian: A couple of thugs enter the bar and push Thrud away, thinking him to be their size. Turns out he was sitting.
- In one Lucky Luke comic, a Mexican thinks he's spotted two little Indian kids spying on him from a boulder (only their heads are visible). When they come out, it turns out they were standing behind it, and are easily seven feet tall.
- Watchmen. While in his prison cell, Rorschach is apparently menaced by two large criminals. Turns out the one doing the threatening is standing between them outside the frame, the inappropriately-named crime boss Big Figure.
- One of Alan Moore's "Tharg's Future Shocks" from 2000 AD features alien nomads in search of "The Chariot of the Gods". When their leader insists that they've found it, they wait for the Chariot to descend to the ground from above them... and then they all get crushed by Neil Armstrong as he makes his first step on the Moon.
- In one L.E.G.I.O.N. '96 story, L.E.G.I.O.N. gets a new recruit named Gigantus, the greatest hero of his home planet. He is introduced with his own publicity video which makes much of his towering over everyone and has the refrain "Look up there! It's Gigantus!" Then the L.E.G.I.O.N.naires actually meet him and it turns out that he might be a giant by his planet's standards, but he comes up to the average humanoid's waist.
- Mushu from Mulan put a lot of effort into his big entrance. He's the size of a small lizard.
- Monsters vs. Aliens:
- Susan Murphy is captured by the government after growing to a height of 49 feet 11 and 1/2 inches and wakes up in a large, empty room with furniture the same scale as her. At first she (and the audience) is unsure whether she is normal size or not, until she steps on a normal-sized chair and crushes it.
- The inverse happens a short time later when a vast door opens on a dark space and two menacing red eyes... and General W. R. Monger (tiny compared to the 49'11 1/2" Ginormica) comes out. The two glowing eyes were just the lights of his jetpack.
- And it happened a third time when Dr. Cockroach is trying to shrink Susan back to normal with electricity. When she comes to, she sees the others standing over her and she thinks she's small again. Turns out they were just standing over her face.
- Shrek. Our first glimpse of Lord Farquaad involves him striding dramatically along a corridor, camera focused on his face or body at a strange angle, then when the camera and scenery go still, he's revealed to be maybe half the height of the guards. The gag is repeated when princess Fiona first meets Lord Faarquaad: he arrives on horseback, propped into a sort of prosthetic armor that apparently enables his controlling the horse, and makes him look like he has normal-sized arms and legs. Then arrives a guard who helps his lord dismount by picking him up like a teddy bear. Her previously favorable reaction... dies.
- Finis Everglot in Corpse Bride is first shown talking face to face with his wife. Then the camera pans out and it turns out he is standing on a stool and is really half her height.
- One of The Twelve Tasks of Asterix is to fight Cylindric the German. Asterix and Obelix are taken to an arena where there's an enormous pair of doors... which open to reveal a very short judo expert.
- In Penguins of Madagascar, Dave at first appears to have been turned into a giant towering over New York City, but in reality he is now tiny and trapped in one of his snow globes.
- In the Filipino James Bond parody For Your Height Only, the dwarf secret agent tracks down the unseen Mr Big, but discovers the Big Bad is a dwarf himself.
- Men in Black II. Serleena's spacecraft, which flies around blowing up planets, turns out to be smaller than a dog. And let's not forget how our entire universe is inside an airport locker.
- In The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, the Baron and friends fall on a pit and see Vulcan, the God of Fire, towering above them. It's only when he pulls them out of the pit that they see that Vulcan is a head shorter than the Baron.
- Bad Boys. A hacker is helping the heroes and gets into an argument with one of them. When he stands up to start shouting, it's revealed that he's much taller than "the short one" who's arguing with him.
- In Kung Fu Hustle, the cowardly hero Sing is facing down a hostile crowd, and looking for an easily beatable opponent to prove his nonexistent skills against. He first calls out a runty-looking fellow who turns out to be extremely tall when he stands up. He then calls out a nerdy-looking guy who is standing behind some people....and that guy is revealed to be quite broad and muscular when he steps out in front of the crowd. Finally, he calls out an actual child to fight him and, of course, the kid turns out to have the physique of a bodybuilder. Sing just gives up at that point and tries a different bluff.
- In the Buster Keaton film Three Ages, caveman Buster tries to grab a woman lying on the ground by the hair and drag her away, as cavemen were apt to do back then. The woman stands up and turns out to be a good two feet taller than Buster.
- Black Robe. Father LaForgue is harangued by the shaman Mestigoit, who is filmed close to the camera — it's only when he comes face-to-face with LaForgue (who is sitting down) that we realise how short he is.
- Played with in Transporter 3. Frank Martin battles his way through a gang of mooks; after a disposing of them another man enters the room, shown via the standard Hitler Cam to make him look big, but in close-up so we don't see how big. Frank says, "Let me guess. You're the smart one." The mook replies, "No. I am the big one." and knocks Frank across the room. Then we see he's not just the standard big mook, but a Giant Mook One Head Taller than Frank!
- In Ichi the Killer, Jiji is a small old man who wears baggy clothes. When a thug threatens him at the end of the film, he strips off his clothes and reveals that he's ludicrously muscled, then breaks every bone in the thug's body.
- Done via a Feet-First Introduction in Elf, plus lots of awed looks from onlookers as legendary writer Miles Finch (played by Peter Dinklage) enters the room. We only see his height when Miles pushes away a chair so he can stand at the conference table that everyone else is sitting at.
- Done with a ship in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, first showing Captain Jack Sparrow on the crow's nest, and immediately revealing that he is not commanding a galleon but a tiny, leaking sailboat.
- Spaceballs. Our introduction to the villainous Dark Helmet. His height isn't obvious as he strides across the bridge of his Mile-Long Ship, as no-one's close to him and we keep cutting to Reaction Shots of his terrified crew. After an Anti-Climactic Unmasking reveals the face of geeky comedian Rick Moranis, he's then shown shouting up at the towering Colonel Sandurz.
- Happens In-Universe in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Two hoods (a short white guy and a tall black guy) enter a bar where our hero Jack Spade sits. The short guy jabs Jack hard in the shoulder. Jack turns round with a big grin, only to have an Oh, Crap! look on seeing the Giant Mook next to the short guy.
- At the start of Jurassic World, two wicked claws slam down like Giant Feet of Stomping. What terrible creature do they belong to? An ordinary bird.
- At the start of Star Trek Beyond, a monstrous alien ambassador is roaring away at Captain Kirk from an alcove high above. The alien loses patience with Kirk's bumbling attempts at peacemaking and charges down to kick his ass... only to turn out to be the size of a small dog. Unfortunately all the other aliens pile onto Kirk as well, so he has to quickly beam out of there before they bite him to death.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp.
- Scott Lang is stunned unconscious by Hope van Dyne and wakes up in her car driving away from his house. He starts to panic that someone will see he's broken house arrest, then really panics when a Giant Eye of Doom looks through the car window. Turns out Hope's car has been shrunk to miniature size so no-one will see Scott leaving, and some curious pigeons are checking them out.
- The same gag is repeated at the end of the movie when they're apparently at a drive-in theatre watching Them!. Then a giant moth lands on the movie screen and we get a Reveal Shot that shows they're in a shrunken car, with a bunch of other shrunken cars to create the drive-in feel, parked in front of a laptop that's playing the movie.
- In Return of the Jedi, on the forest moon of Endor, the very, very first look at an Ewok approaching the unconscious Princess Leia is, in a way reminiscent of an encounter in the ice caves in the previous movie, shot to make him look like a huge furred creature, not a tiny furred creature. Then she gets up in a state of irritation, and that's the end of that idea.
- Inverted in The Lord of the Rings, where various characters like Frodo and Gandalf suddenly appear larger than they really are when commanding. It's especially true when Frodo claims the Ring at the climax.
- The The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy gave us the G'Gugvuntt and Vl'hurg, who spent thousands of years sending their fleet across space to attack Earth, only to be swallowed by a small dog.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has Oz, the Great and Powerful.. and vertically-challenged.
- In Callahan's Crosstime Saloon one character is nicknamed Long-Drink, for being a long drink of water. "When he sits he looks like he's standing, and when he stands he looks like three other guys."
- In Eric, the demon Quetzovercoatl is the patron god of the Tezumen, to whom he's appeared in dreams. Their shrine to him features a gigantic statue of their patron; however, when he's actually forced to manifest himself, it turns out he's six inches tall.
- Toward the end of Small Favor, Harry is about to be attacked by the Eldest of the Gruffs; the youngest ones he faced were human-sized, while the one identified as Elder Gruff was roughly the size of a semi, so he expects Eldest Gruff to be gigantic. He picks a spot where he'll get line of sight and hears the figure walking ponderously toward him. With each step, Harry raises his blasting rod to where he thinks the head will be, then Eldest Gruff comes into sight...
Harry: He was five feet tall. Five-two, tops.
- In the pilot episode of Get Smart, KAOS is run by the mysterious "Mister Big" (as opposed to Siegfried). It's only when Mr Big and Maxwell Smart are in the same room do we realise that Mr Big is actually a dwarf.
- There's an episode of Quantum Leap where Sam leaps into a guy who works at a carnival. While he's checking out his new reflection in a funhouse mirror, one of the other carnies walks up and starts a conversation. At first we only see his reflection, which looks the same height as Sam, but when Sam turns to reply to him, he's revealed to be a dwarf.
- The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Fear, Itself" had Gachnar the Fear Demon... who is 4 inches tall. Buffy stomps him like a bug.
- A particular variation seen is a woman is chatting up a man, sitting down, and then realizes he's very short when he stands up, thus inducing uncertainty over whether she should continue with him. It happened to Jessie in Saved by the Bell (she angsted about how she can't date a shorter man, because it makes her feel tall and awkward), Samantha on Sex and the City (she agrees to give him a chance, but ends up going back and forth on him, but sticks with him when she realizes he's really funny and great in bed), and Roz on Frasier (he realizes she's pregnant at the same time, and they both turn and walk in opposite directions).
- Likewise an episode of The Golden Girls had Rose meeting a man at a bar and making a date with him, then he gets off the barstool and is revealed to be a dwarf (leading to the date becoming a huge round of Ignore the Disability).
- Star Trek:
- Star Trek: The Original Series: In "The Corbomite Maneuver", the Enterprise encounters a alien vessel, and is able to get a video feed revealing the bridge, which shows the alien captain, Balok, to be a scowling monster that looks to be about 7 feet tall. However, later they manage to get onboard, revealing they had actually been watching an elaborate puppet show, and the real Balok is no larger than a child.
- Done intentionally in-universe in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Bashir and O'Brien are just back from a mission that involves them being miniaturised. They stand at the bar boasting about their exploits, when Quark and Odo both note that a waitress seems oddly tall next to them, sending them scurrying away to check their height in sickbay. The waitress then stands down, off the step she'd been put on by Odo and Quark, revealing the entire thing to be a gag.
- Star Trek: Voyager. Happens twice in "Virtuoso". The Emergency Medical Hologram is shown treating an ill-mannered alien apparently seated in front of him; turns out the alien is also The Napoleon and is standing up. Then the EMH becomes famous among the aliens for his singing. We see the EMH apparently singing an opera, but it turns out to be a small holographic figurine souvenir when the real EMH sticks his head next to it to sing a duet.
- Doctor Who:
- Done as a Cliffhanger reveal in "Planet of Fire", where it turns out the Master has accidentally shrunk himself to a small size, and has been directing the shapeshifter robot that everyone thinks is him from a control box.
- In "Destiny of the Daleks", Romana is trying out different bodies into which to regenerate, while the Doctor is crouched on the floor fixing K9. Romana reappears as a silver-skinned alien babe, towering over him.
Romana: I thought I'd try this one, but it's a bit short.
[the Doctor stands up, revealing Romana is the size of a child]
Doctor: Well lengthen it then, go on.
[Exit Romana; the Doctor crawls along the floor for a while and then bumps into a toga-wearing beauty; he stands up... only to find he only goes up to Romana's shoulders]
Doctor: Too tall, take it away!
- In "Nightmare in Silver", only one person realizes the waxwork model of the Emperor of the Known Universe has the same features as the dwarf Porridge.
- Game of Thrones. Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) is first seen from the chest up, receiving a blow job from a prostitute. Only when the prostitute stands up do we see that Tyrion is a dwarf.
- In the first episode of Taxi, Louie (Danny DeVito) spends most of his time in the dispacher's cage. When he exits it the better to yell at someone and we see how short he really is, it's a big joke.
- In a sketch on The Benny Hill Show, Benny and Jackie Wright (a small man, under 5 feet tall) see a pair of wallflowers sitting at a dance. They decide to ask the girls to dance — Benny will ask the tall one and Jackie will ask the short one. The girls accept and stand up, revealing that — due to how the chairs they were sitting on were designed — the "tall one" is short and the "short one" is tall.
- The NCIS episode "Once a Hero", where Abby goes to a government-oriented science exhibition to look for someone who can lend her usage of a very specific device of... some kind, required to identify a particular evidence, and this trope happens, as the person at the stand is revealed to be much smaller than he looks. Abby doesn't look surprised.
- In one episode of My Hero, the main characters spend a while worrying about the dreaded (*glances around* *whispers*) Grand High Arbiter of Misuse of Power coming from Ultron to punish George for cheating in a lottery. The arbiter eventually arrives preceded by an earthquake and we see a figure in a black robe, seen from below, filling the screen and taking menacingly in a booming voice. Then we see that he's two inches tall and standing on a table. Janet squashes him.
- Sledge Hammer!: Sledge threatens to beat a confession out of a suspect and pulls him out of his chair, only to find he's One Head Taller than him. Dori wisely tries persuasion instead.
- Kamen Rider Decade: When Momotaros gets his body back thanks to a Final Form Ride card, it's shot like a monster-growing-giant scene (even though Kamen Rider doesn't normally use giant monsters). Then we cut to show Decade standing right next to him, showing that he was just being his usual hammy self.
- In one episode of Good Guys Bad Guys, Elvis has an enforcer sitting on the other side of his desk threatening him. Elvis does not find him particularly intimidating, until he stands up. In an action that can only be described as unfolding himself from the chair, he keeps standing up till he is looming over Elvis. It helps that the enforcer is played by the 6'8" actor Bruce Spence.
- In The Secret World, Harumi is introduced pointing a gun at the player from behind a chained door; the gun is held at eye-level, so it's initially made to look as though the attacker is more-or-less the same height as you... up until the scene cuts to the opposite side of the door, and it's revealed that your assailant is a rather unimposing preteen girl. For good measure, the gun is actually a water pistol.
- Rusty and Co.: Madeline the Paladin is hit by a spell meant to pull out the evil in her and materializes it as an Enemy Without. Cue the apparition of a dark figure clad in armor and wielding a scythe, making a profanity-laden Badass Boast while flames rise behind her... and then the next panel reveals that Anti-Madeline is about two inches tall. Apparently, Madeline never had much evil in her to begin with (and she apologizes for this).
- Futurama. When Bender wonders what it would be like to be 500 feet high, we're shown a towering Bender... who then turns out to be a normal-sized robot constructing the giant Bender.
- Looney Tunes:
- In one short, Beaky Buzzard finds a small reptile peeking through some rocks. Noting that the creature seems shorter than him, Beaky tries to grab it and take it home for dinner. Turns out "Shorty" is just the small head of a huge dragon.
- The "Inki and the Mynah Bird" shorts often introduce the Mynah Bird with ominous shaking, mountains cracking, animals heading for cover... and after all the commotion, out comes a 5-inch bird hopping at a leisurely pace.
- This is Elmer Fudds intro in "What's Opera, Doc?". We see a shadow messing with the sky and think its some massive viking- but its quickly revealed to be Elmer testing out his new magic helmet, confirmed when he sings his catchphrase.
- The Simpsons:
- In one episode, Moe has a date set up with a dwarf girlfriend, but he thinks she's bigger since her online photo was of her looking tall in front of the Empire State Building (actually the one in Lego Land).
- Inverted in the episode when a hobo was telling Simpson versions of American folk tales. Homer as Paul Bunyan first sees Marge at a distance and she sees him, assuming he's normal size. Cue them running towards each other but when she realizes he's a giant, she runs away.
- In a Treehouse of Horror special where Bart and Lisa are Trapped in TV Land, they are the size of Itchy, and Scratchy towers over them. Then Itchy and Scratchy break the TV's screen and get out in a sequence that makes them look even bigger thanks to Hitler Cam, but they are soon revealed to be now the size of a common mouse and house cat, thus making them harmless in the "non-animated" world.
- The reveal at the end of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Blackjack". Throughout the episode SpongeBob is freaking out about his cousin Blackjack (who used to beat on him when they were kids) coming out of prison and every time SpongeBob thinks of him he's at least twice as tall and wide as SpongeBob... until we see him. As it turns out Blackjack hasn't grown an inch in years: he's only as big as SpongeBob's big toe.
- On the Goofy short "Double Dribble", a basketball coach is berating one of his players. At first, the coach appears to be One Head Taller, but as the camera pulls back it turns out he's just standing on a stepladder and is, in fact, half the player's height.
- In the Adventure Time episode "Conquest of Cuteness", Finn and Jake are ineffectually attacked by a horde of cute little monsters. Finally, a large number of them combine into a huge creature that's shot from a low angle, with intimidating music... and then turns out to still only come up to Finn's knee.
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
- In the episode "Red Belt", Marco has to fight the clerk of a VHS store to get a rare tape. Marco accepts, since the clerk looks like a fat, dumpy nerd. But then the clerk stands up from behind the desk, revealing himself to be tall and muscular.
- Ludo's father is first on-screen through a doggy door, making him look as small as his son. Then he opens the door and stands up so tall he has to duck under the door frame. We then find out Ludo's actually short because of a birth defect.
- In OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, Lord Boxman sends a robot named Jethro to attack Lakewood Plaza. At first he appears tall and menacing, but then the camera pulls back to reveal that he's really about a foot tall. Ironically, there later turns out to be another version of Jethro that is enormous.
- Used in episode 14 with Moon's entrance, with shadows and a close-up obfuscating temporarily the fact that the monkey is normal-sized rather than King Kong-sized, as expected.
- Also when Rubilax is freed from the sword in episode 22; it isn't immediately obvious that he's half Sadlygrove's height. He doesn't stay that size for long, though.
- In the The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Prehistoric Stimpy" the Tyrannosaurus Ren is hyped up as being the biggest dinosaur ever only to be shown to be smaller than a flower. All the other dinosaurs laugh at him for being so puny.
- In an episode of Les Dalton, during a Shotgun Wedding plot involving Joe Dalton and an Indian tribe, the bride is often longing after her missing fiancé, who is shown in a flashback to have a Heroic Build. When he finally reappear to challenge the marriage, he's at first given the Hitler Cam treatment to look more impressive. When the camera finally pulls out, he's revealed to be no taller than Joe Dalton.