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Fun Size

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Want to make something cuter? Just make it smaller. Look at kittens and puppies. Don't you just want to hug and squeeze them and call them George? Okay, perhaps not that far, but they are cute. And it's not merely being smaller, but also having a "rounder" shape than adult dogs and cats, and usually having bigger eyes.

Naturally, this is used in certain character designs to achieve a cute effect. Take how in Comics, Anime and Manga, younger characters have bigger eyes. This can be seen in shows where we see a character grow from childhood to adulthood. Some even have normal eyes when they're past their mid-20s.

In anime and manga the most common method of making something cute is the Super-Deformed look (a.k.a. "Chibi").

In some cases however, it's primarily done to cram a recognizable variation of the character into a smaller space, such as a map screen, and the cuteness is just a bonus.

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Fun Size characters frequently take the form of Ridiculously Cute Critters, and may be Spinoff Babies or Sleep-Mode Size versions of normal-sized characters. When cuteness is pushed too far, it may Taste Like Diabetes.

The trope's title is from 'Fun-sized' candy bars, the smallest size typically seen as Halloween treats. It has nothing to do with the Nickelodeon movie.

Compare Animation Anatomy Aging, Only a Model.


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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Shana-tan from the Shakugan no Shana omake.
  • Yugi Mutou and Yami Yugi are among the most clear cases of big eyes when smaller.
    • Yami Yugi used to remain the same size in the first manga, but then got a case of import and started getting a growth spurt like his anime counterpart after the transformation. Can be seen clearly in Yu-Gi-Oh! R.
  • MarineAngemon is definitely Digimon's take on this trope. Also, this Kapurimon is one of the third-grade-equivalent students at a school in one episode of Digimon Frontier. (He's existed in other media for much longer, and it appeared briefly in Digimon Tamers.) In-Training level Digimon are almost always toothachingly cute. (But if he hits you with his tail, you will feel it.)
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
  • The chibi episodes in The Prince of Tennis.
  • Lyrical Nanoha: The puppy and chibi forms of Arf and Zafira's first attempt at using the former in the third Sound Stage of the second season earned him many squealing, cuddle-happy girls, much to his annoyance.
    • In the same vein, Reinforce is a lean, mean, living killer machine. Reinforce Zwei, on the other hand, is a 6-inch tall, supremely cute and flat chested. However, she still carries a large dose of ass kicking (when properly...ahem, "used", since she's still technically a living weapon). Although Zwei can "upsize" to roughly Vita's size, as mentioned in the Sound Stages and demonstrated visually in Force (the mana drain from having a larger body makes it impractical for combat situations, so she mostly only uses it while off duty). The same thing applies to Agito.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has Chibi-Setsuna, the adorable shikigami Setsuna pulls out when she has to accompany someone but needs to be somewhere else at the same time.
    • Aisaka Sayo also counts when she is possessing the Voodoo doll.
    • There are also the magic de-aging pills that allow the girls to turn themselves into lolis. Chisame in particular says that she prefers her "Chibi-Chiu" form to her normal self.
  • Lucky Star Pocket Travelers, which takes the already quite moe cast and inexplicably shrinks them. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Lumiere of Kiddy Grade has the ability to create cute, miniature search subroutines. When Tweedledee sees this, she remarks on how cute they are, and creates her own version.
  • Medabots. Full-powered combat robots... in a three-foot tall package (well, except for that one that Ikki disabled in one episode, that qualified as a Humongous Mecha). Did I mention that Medabots are kid's toys?
  • In Soul Eater, Medusa possesses the body of a little girl, and twists her appearance into a copy of her original one. Uses the cuteness to her advantage in the manga when she got herself imprisoned by Shibusen (similar in the anime, but the reaction isn't quite the same). Usually looks cute in this form, but not always.
  • The opening to Macross in chibi form.
  • The Adventures of Mini-Goddess was designed specifically for and around this trope.
  • In the (non-canon) Pilot Chapter of Bleach, a side-effect of Rukia transferring her powers to Ichigo was being shrunk down to a small enough scale that she could comfortably take a bath in Ichigo's coffee mug.
  • Played for Drama in chapter 40 of Franken Fran. Veronica gets cut in half by Gavrill, and Fran has to make a a smaller version of her body with the very few parts that were still left. This is unfortunate for Veronica, but does come in handy later.
  • The laptop-model Persocoms in Chobits! Sumomo (aka Plum; there's a little debate as to whether or not the name should be translated) is smaller than your forearm but several times as cute as human-sized Chii. Her Cheerful Child personality adds to it, though Kotoko is also insanely cute despite her quite serious personality.
  • Bite Size! Mini Ika Musume.
  • Beta Mechazawa from Cromartie High School.
  • Petit Eva Evangelion @ School is an official chibi spoof of Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • In One Piece, Luffy turns chibi for a time after using Gear Third.
    • Played with in that one time that Buggy the Clown failed to assemble all of his Bara Bara Parts
  • The main plot of episode 8 of Onigiri.
  • Seems to be the case with Taneshima Popura in WORKING!!
  • All the comedy around Hagimura Suzu from Seitokai Yakuindomo seems to be this too.
  • In Mini Moni The Movie Okashi Na Daiboken, the fairies' spell shrinks Mini Moni and Takahashi into chibi versions of themselves. This also happens to Queen Nakajalinu when she eats cake.

    Comic Books 
  • One arc of Superman/Batman featured a chibi Justice League.
  • Comic books: WaRP Graphics' ElfQuest had elves that were about half as high as humans. They were adorable.
    • Yeah, that wasn't quite the point, although the Pinis did mention in an interview that giving them large heads and eyes made audiences feel more protective toward them.
      • And there were also the "Tiny Toon Elves" self-parodies, drawn IIRC by some of the original Tiny Toon Adventures artists.
  • The extradimensional X-Men villain Mojo, in an effort to keep his world's television ratings high after their (presumed) death, created Fun Size versions of the titular mutants — the X-Babies. Hilarity Ensues when the babies prove to be less restrained than their adult counterparts.
    • Despite (or perhaps because of) hilarity destructively ensuing, it was apparently a ratings success, because he later brought out the Mitey 'Vengers (Fun Size Avengers) and a team of Fun Size Age of Apocalypse villains, including the terrifying four-armed head-for-a-torso Sugar Man.
    • And now there are A-Babies vs. X-Babies, a spin-off of Avengers vs. X-Men produced by Skottie Young and Gurihiru.

    Fan Works 

    Film 
  • In Ant-Man and the Wasp, while infiltrating Cassie’s school to find her trophy, which is hiding Scott's old suit, the regulator in Scott’s new suit malfunctions. While hiding in the janitor's closet, Hope tries to fix the rugulator, but while it works for a second, it malfunctions again, and ends up leaving Scott the size of a fourth grader. Hope and Hank find it hilarious.
    Scott: (Sarcastically) Awesome.
    Hope: If only Cap can see you now.

    Literature 
  • While nearly all fairy species in Artemis Fowl are small at around a metre tall, pixies specifically are said to be cute, rather fragile, and similar in appearance to human children.
  • Harry Potter has Dobby, the small, cute house elf.
  • A Certain Magical Index has Othinus get turned into a 15 cm tall fairy. She can easily fit in a pocket in this state, but also becomes the literal Chew Toy for a cat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Series 3 finale of Doctor Who, the Master makes the Doctor look as old as he is (900 and something years old), and he turns into an adorable tiny creature. The thing that made the Doctor look cute was his huge eyes, which completely makes you look past his grey, withered skin, and bony hands.
  • An episode of Will and Grace made mention of the "Pocket Gay" when Will was set up on a blind date with a guy who was quite short. Jack basically described him as "all the perks of a boyfriend in convenient travel size."
  • Bernadette is the sweetest, cutest member of the gang in The Big Bang Theory. At under five feet she's also the shortest.
    Bernadette: I love this dress. How come I never see you wear it?
    Penny: ‘Cause when I wear it, it’s a shirt.

    Tabletop Games 

    Toys 
  • Hasbro's various "Heroes" series, including the Marvel Comics Super Hero Squad, Transformers Robot Heroes, Star Wars Galactic Heroes, and the recently released Indiana Jones Adventure Heroes and G.I. Joe Combat Heroes.
  • In the original Transformers cartoon, Galvatron is an Evil Overlord who is death and destruction incarnate, but so far out of his processor that he's as dangerous to his allies as his enemies. In the Japanese MyClone toyline, on the other hand, he looks like this. As TF Wiki puts it, "He will kill you with adorability."
  • The Nendoroid product line and general design (the same template is used by more than one manufacturer). Anything added to the line becomes a Moe-fied version of itself through the tried-and-true process of "inflate head until it's roughly the size of the rest of the body." (Contrast with figmas, a related series of toys that uses normal humanoid proportions.)
  • Choro Q (Penny Racers), which is marketed as a smaller, chubbier, and cuter version of licensed car and tank models.

    Video Games 
  • The Mini Marios in Mario vs. Donkey Kong, as pictured above.
    • Later games add in Mini Donkey Kongs, Peaches, Paulines, and Luigis among others.
  • The entire premise of Kirby Mass Attack is based upon this: Kirby gets split up by the Big Bad into ten parts, each with only a fraction of his full power.
  • Name a Pokémon that's under a couple of feet high; good chance it'll be completely adorable. Shaymin gets bonus points for not only being one of the smallest of the many, many pocket monsters, but a Mythical as well. Screw the Sky Forme, cute hedgehog is cute.
    • Every generation has a miniature Olympus Mon or two, like Mew, Jirachi, and Manaphy.
    • Joltik and Flabebe are tied with being the smallest of all Pokémon (four inches), and are ridiculously cute to match.
  • The Super Robot Wars series. To really hammer the point home, the entire opening movie of Super Robot Wars Alpha is this trope Up to Eleven.
  • World of Warcraft does this with Lil' Ragnaros, the Moonkin Hatchling, Lil' XT, and Lil KT; all vanity pets obtainable from the microtransaction shop.
    • Also, Lil' Deathwing from the Collector's Edition of Cataclysm.
    • The quest giver (and later companion) Pebble, and various lizard critters (miniature versions of the hostile Warp Stalker beast).
  • Metal Gear Mk II in Snatcher is terribly cute, despite having a design inspired by nuke-launching superweapons. Snatcher SD makes Metal Gear even smaller.
  • Kingdom Hearts II does this to Yuna, Rikku, and Paine by turning them into fairies.
  • Ōkamiden's Chibiterasu. Sure, Amaterasu was already a Badass Adorable, but just look at them!
  • Team Fortress 2 gives us the mini-sentries, which are basically the standard sentries at a smaller size and significantly less firepower, with a police siren duct taped on top of it. Of course, this is lampshaded by the Engineer himself, as he sometimes calls it a "cute little gun".
    • Taken further with Dungeon Defenders, if purchased from Steam you also get the Engineer/Pyro/Heavy/Medic as a pet.
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo has chibi versions of the Street Fighter and Darkstalkers characters.
    • A formula that was followed through in Pocket Fighter.
  • Suika Ibuki from Touhou is short and cute to begin with, but the numerous Fun Size duplicates of herself she can create to attack with are just adorable.
  • The main trio from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness get drawn this way in promotional artwork.
  • The Mobile Suits/Armors of the SD Gundam G Generation series, which also doubles as Badass Adorable.
  • In ''Chantelise;;, after Chante is cursed by a witch into becoming a small fairy, her sister Elise finds her adorable. Chante herself is not happy, and will kick people in the shins if they piss her off.
  • Ah those teeny tiny servbots, doesn't matter that they can pilot machines that can drop highly explosive bombs, they are just so darn cute!
  • Burnout Paradise's Toy Cars DLC. But here's the not fun part : Toys car retain same strength stat of it's original cars...
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series is fond of using little chibi versions of the characters as icons. In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic (and Tails in the digital remake) and Knuckles in Sonic Mania are shrunk down into chibi forms in Metallic Madness zone.
  • Freedom Planet uses this kind of art style, with rounder, more compact designs to invoke 16 bit limitations, though the sequel does away with it for longer, much more detailed character sprites. Lives in both games however are even smaller, and look like little caged animal heads.
  • The Downsize status ailment in the PS2 remake of Tales of Destiny does this to your characters by making them take on their tiny Super-Deformed sprites from the original version of the game.
    • A mob of tiny, squeaky voiced Chelsea clones is also fought in the bonus dungeon.
  • The mobile version of Five Nights at Freddy's features adorable little plushies of the creepy killer animatronics that just sit in your office while you play.
    • The fourth game features three miniature versions of one of the animatronics. While the bigger thing is utterly terrifying, the plush versions are more Creepy Cute.
  • Konami's baseball game making team Powapuro Production has been making two series of NPB licensed games in parallel: Pro Baseball Spirits and Live Powerful Pro Baseball. While Pro Spirits is a serious and realistic baseball simulator akin to EA Sports games, Live Powerful Pro Baseball is a Fun Size series featuring Super-Deformed characters, Visual Novel story modes, and all-out wackiness.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Scamps are the weakest known form of lesser Daedra, and also the smallest, standing just over half the height of an average man. Appearances earlier in the series, particularly the Scamp merchant Creeper in Morrowind, gained Scamps some fans for their "cuteness", though their Looks Like Orlok appearance in Online is much more ugly and demonic.
    • Rieklings (a blue-skinned race of humanoids native to Solstheim) stand only about half the height of an average man. While their exact appearance has changed with each entry in the series, their diminutive size and gibberish language tends to get them the Ugly Cute treatment.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Chibi Rorschach. That is all.
    • Could also apply to the movie version. Next to the other actors, Jackie Earl Haley's Rorschach looks rather small. Fans quickly took to calling him "Tinyschach."
      • Totally appropriate. In the comic, Rorschach was fairly short, and wore elevator shoes when in costume to look more intimidating.
    • Another Chibi Rorschach.
    • And another.

    Western Animation 
  • The Super Hero Squad Show, with the entire Marvel Universe (minus Spider-Man) chibified. Even the dread Dormammu can be made cheek-pinchingly adorable (while powerful enough to end the world.)
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has Super Deformed Shorts!
    Tiny!Katara: Tiny Zuko! He looks so cute!
    Tiny!Zuko: (attempts to resume normal form) I AM NEITHER CUTE NOR TINY!
    Tiny!Iroh: You are pretty cute, my tiny nephew.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants has the Krabby Kiddie Patty which is "thirty percent cuter" than a normal krabby patty.
  • Chibi versions of the characters are used for gags in Totally Spies! In one episode, Alex finds Clover adorable after she is shrunk to insect size.
  • Spike in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is the youngest dragon we see, and is appropriately tiny. He's even smaller than the foals in the series who can also count as this
  • In the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Damage", Spider-Man accidentally hits Nova with a Shrink Ray used to aid in clean-up after super-hero battles (by reducing the debris to more manageable sizes); Nova is stuck at action figure size for the rest of the episode.
  • In Mulan, Mushu is a very tiny dragon. He says he's "travel sized", but he really is that small. He is still not a lizard.
  • Played with in Batman: The Animated Series with the literal White-Dwarf Starlet "Baby Doll" - an actress afflicted with "systemic hypoplasia" that caused her to always look like a 5-8 year old girl, even at 34 years old.
  • Steven Universe: Reoccurring foe Peridot is revealed in the episode "Catch and Release" to be wearing "limb enhancers" on her arms and legs. Without them, she's barely taller than Steven.
  • In PJ Sparkles, after PJ magically returns to Earth she shrinks to the size of a doll and has to use magic to be normal-size again.

    Real Life / Truth in Television 
  • Fan Art tends to do this.
  • Again, kittens and puppies.
  • Various breeds of animals are bred for size, presumably because of cuteness: dwarf cats, chihuahuas, poodles...
    • Japanese culture is obsessed with cuteness, and this is a part of it.
    • Shelties are adorable mini-sheepdogs that were bred for an adorable reason: to herd tiny sheep!
    • Miniature horses (often called ponies). Originally they were for hauling mine carts, now they are now being tried out as a substitute for guide dogs. (There are vastly less people allergic to horses than dogs, and horses have very long life spans.)
    • Pomeranians were bred specifically to be small after Queen Victoria both popularized the smaller types, and led a breeding program to decrease their size. And then there's the Pomsky (all the beauty of a Husky in a mini package).
    • Miniature dachshunds. When they're nasty, they're really nasty... but when they're nice, they're sweethearts!
    • Poodles actually do come in normal-dog size (Standard Poodle) as well as yappy-dog size (Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle). Standard poodles are actually quite intelligent, and can be aggressive. The infamous "poodle cut" that the smaller versions are known for is actually a perverted, decorative mutation of the more functional haircut they used to be given in their capacity as hunting dogs.
    • The Alaskan Klee Kai, a relatively new breed of dog created specifically to be an apartment-sized version of the Alaskan Husky.
    • Welsh Corgis, herding dogs that usually stand less than a foot tall on average, made famous by Queen Elizabeth II's long-standing fondness for them.
  • An unfortunate Deconstruction of miniature pets: many "teacup" breeds, especially dwarf cats, suffer from genetic and physiological diseases due to inbreeding and severe dwarfism.
  • Babies.
  • In biology, this is termed neoteny (the appearance of being youthful) and is one reason men are often attracted to women who appear younger than them (ie. being shorter and having smaller features overall). The inverse is Amazon Chaser.
  • In the United States, small candybars mostly given during Halloween are marketed as "fun size."
  • The Aussie Racing Cars series, a series featuring silhouette race cars (eg. every car runs the same equipment, in this case a turbocharged 1.2L Yamaha motorbike engine mated to a sequential transmission) with body styles that resemble scaled down versions of famous cars that have participated in the V8 Supercars series at some point in history.
    • Also Go-karts.
  • Narrow-gauge trains, especially the old steam engines that look like big toys. They are about the same height as a person, and their form of railroading feels much more personal than that of the big trains.
  • T-shirts saying, "I'm not short, I'm fun sized."
  • The Trope Namer expression itself is a direct result of marketing genius by candy manufacturers. Most kids would be rather peeved at receiving a candy bar a quarter of the size as normal; introducing the "Fun Size" expression made it more acceptable to sell small-sized candy bars in bulk, both for special occasions such as Halloween and Valentine's Day, and in general as a "dessert" item for pre-packaged kids' meals.
  • Miniature bonsai trees.
  • Thor's Littlest Hammer.
  • Ocleots are small cats that look exactly like a miniature leopard, and are in fact a distant relative of them.
  • Miniature Food, that's actually also edible too (not that they'd make much of a meal). This channel even shows how it's made.

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