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Gentle Giant

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"He has to be nice, he's a giant! If he wasn't nice, he'd have villagers coming after him with torches!"
Doug Heffernan, The King of Queens

He's big, muscular, and angry looking. He might even be an actual monster. People are often fearful of him. But he's got a heart of gold. He loves children and puppies and frequently abhors unnecessary violence. He is often rather intelligent, level-headed, and analytical, a voice of reason in the group. He probably has a few unexpected hobbies. He's the Gentle Giant. However, when push comes to shove, he's great to have on your side in battle.

This is a reversal that has become an archetype in its own right. We are all used to thinking of big people and giant creatures as frightening and mean. But the seven-foot shambling hulk of a man may just as well be gentle inside and misunderstood by society at large.

This archetype is so common it's probably more surprising for the musclebound hulk to turn out to be an irreconcilable jerk or bloodthirsty killer. The old subversion has become the new norm.

Two out of three examples of The Big Guy from the Five-Man Band are likely to be this type; he is their Class 2. (The other is usually a Genius Bruiser.) Sometimes has a much smaller friend and companion.

The typical Gentle Giant is quiet and, while not "book smart" (and sometimes outright stupid), is usually closer to Earth. An occasional subversion of this is to make him the most intelligent member of the group, either as a scientist and tech guy or a cynic. He may also like things that other guys will think of as "un-manly", which is one good reason not to push him too far. He will push back.

Gentle Giants will commonly deal with an unwanted version of Tall Is Intimidating, and have to overcome it for people to see their gentle side.

Opposite trope of Depraved Dwarf. Also compare The Grotesque. Contrast The Napoleon and Killer Rabbit. See also Bruiser with a Soft Center, for which being tough and badass is the default, and the sensitivity may be a Hidden Depth. Frequently overlaps with Face of a Thug and sometimes Lovable Jock, as well as Big Fun if the 'giant' part comes from too many dinners rather than too much time at the gym. Not to be confused with the British progressive rock band.

Its most possible Evil Counterpart would be, directly speaking, Evil Is Bigger.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Asian Animation 
  • On his good days, Coldygury of Noonbory and the Super 7 is a dopey but docile fellow who is content to lumber around Winter.

    Card Games 
  • In the Magic: The Gathering storyline, Karn the Silver Golem was so physically powerful he could kill a giant with his bare hands... and suffered a Freak Out after the first time he beat a man to death, after which point he became a pacifist (the kind that refuses to harm any other living thing, and "fights" by grabbing people and holding them still without so much as a bruise... not that other kind of pacifist). Except against Phyrexians. Those he annihilates with extreme prejudice, but they're an evil mix of Undead Cyborgs and other horrors, so that's OK.

  • Pete Holmes often notes his large size, standing 6'6, in contrast to his sweet and wholesome personality, saying that this is the only universe where he didn't become a youth pastor.
  • Gary Gulman stands 6'6 and often notes that he is very athletic but far too timid for physical confrontation. He was heavily scouted for football in school but quit because of the violence. He much preferred basketball, which punishes you for so much as touching another player by forcing you to watch him make free-throws while you think about what you've done.

    Comic Books 
  • Some comic book characters are gentle giants by necessity. Captain Britain is constantly aware that a slip-up could turn a handshake into a crushed hand.
  • Sam Simeon, the ape of Angel and the Ape, is a 249 kg talking gorilla, but he's more of a thinker than a fighter and would rather just draw comic books anyway; his lovely partner Angel O'Day is a crack shot who can take care of herself.
  • Marmaduke "Moose" Mason from Archie Comics. Unless he thinks someone's messing with his girlfriend.
  • Obelix from the Asterix comics is huge, has superhuman strength, and terrifies all the bad guys. He's also a sweetie that often gets described as "a big kid." Sure, he always beats up Romans, but he sees it as a game and is surprised because they don't seem to like it. Don't hurt his dog or imply anything about his weight; you'll be fine. And don't touch the wimpy blonde kid he's trying to train to be a great warrior, or he will enter Papa Wolf mode and will wipe the floor with your entire village, even if Vikings are "Much more fun than the Romans! We should invite them to invade our village sometime!". Essentially, don't threaten anyone he likes or is protecting because he will mess you up.
  • Nuklon/Atom Smasher in The DCU started out this way... until he did a brief Face–Heel Turn and helped Black Adam invade Khandaq, murdering a bunch of people along the way, frequently by stomping on them. He's back on the right track, though.
  • Calibretto, the bird-loving War Golem from the comic Battle Chasers.
  • Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, is also this. Sure, he's a Super-Soldier and a One-Man Army, but he's possibly the biggest Nice Guy in the Marvel Universe.
  • Deadpool even shows this trope. He's a 6' 2" unkillable mercenary, but despite his psychopathic nature and all-around nutty behavior, he's very sweet to people who aren't his targets (especially children).
  • Fantastic Four: Ben Grimm, a.k.a. The Thing, is a hulking rock monster capable of lifting tanks with one hand... and the sweetest guy you're ever likely to meet, and a great uncle to boot. Even before his transformation he counted (albeit in a less extreme way). He's not called "the Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing" for nothing.
  • Stumbo the Giant from Harvey Comics, probably the most literal of this trope if not the most famous. Not only was he a very friendly, good-natured guy, but he had to take special care to do simple things (eating, yawning, sneezing, playing ball, etc.) as gently as possible because he didn't want to disturb his friends in Tinytown below with loud noise and earthquakes.
  • Incandescence: 750-pound crocodile woman Mari is soft-spoken and kind when saving a family from a zombie attack, letting them ride on her back while the kids poke her eyes. Later on, she even apologizes to a zombie while putting her back to rest in her grave.
  • The Incredible Hulk can sometimes be the epitome of this trope. Sometimes. He can be very innocent, loyal, and well-intentioned.
  • His Distaff Counterpart She-Hulk is this trope too, possibly even more so than the Hulk.
  • Kuga the Lion Killer from Jack Kirby's Satan's Six. The name might be off-putting, but he secretly loves animals far too much to harm them or let any harm come to them.
  • Martian Manhunter is very strong, tall, and creepy looking but is sweet and warm on the inside.
  • In Alejandro Jodorowsky's Megalex, Ram generally has a kind and compassionate personality, but he is capable of violence when necessary.
  • The Mighty Thor:
  • Supergirl, muscular, inhumanly strong, short-tempered... and she's also a kind-hearted, compassionate, and optimistic Friend to All Children.
  • Superman has the strength of a god, can fly through stars without breaking a sweat, can block bullets with his bare skin, can fly across galaxies... and he'd rather give you a hug than a punch if he can help it. There's a reason one of his nicknames is The Big Blue Boy Scout, he's just that nice. And that is a great thing for everyone. As both a Physical God and an All-Loving Hero, Supes is undeniably this. Many incarnations of Clark Kent have this reputation as well, his "mild-mannered" affect standing in contrast to his 6'3, 220 lb, heavily muscled physique.
  • Transformers (2019): Leviathan, a massive bot who prefers spending her time in her alt mode, an ore harvesting machine of collossal proportions, slowly driving across the metal surface of Cybertron harvesting the metals by which new Transformers are forged. When some members of the Rise (the terrorist group that would become the Decepticons) decided that her peaceful nature made her harmless, she showed them just how bad an idea it is to pick a fight with someone large enough to manhandle you as if you were an action figure.
  • Wonder Woman:
  • Guido Carosella a.k.a. Strong Guy from X-Factor. Overbulging with muscles due to malfunctioning superpowers. Has to sit on the floor a lot because he's just too tall to function in most rooms. Brainwashing had him kill a man, and he took it badly until the victim's own wife forgives him. Like the others in this sub-list, nice and sweet until innocents/his friends are threatened, and then things get smashed. He's also in pain most of the time but conceals it by joking around so people won't take pity on him.
  • X-Men:
    • Hank "The Beast" McCoy is a good example of the super-intelligent giant subversion.
    • Similarly, Piotr "Colossus" Rasputin is a young mountain of a man even before he turns into steel, but at heart is a gentle-souled artist unless brain-damaged or provoked.
  • The shapeshifting Hulkling of the Young Avengers is more often than not a big guy and is generally the nicest, sweetest person on the team. Unless you hurt and/or threaten his boyfriend.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Luann, there's Oxford ("Ox" for short), a really big, muscular kid who's a friendly guy who hates bullies and defends students like Gunther from them.
  • Mandrake the Magician: In one story Mandrake encounters Qork, a giant almost as big as a moon but who means no harm and is very nice. He is dying of thirst and would like to drink water from the Earth's ocean, but he refuses to endanger any people and prefers to sacrifice his own life.
  • Georgie The Giant from Popeye. He is a benign being who lives alone on a small island because he does not want to accidentally hurt anyone around him. Popeye has to fight him once when he is under the control of an evil sorceress.
  • The skinhead (no Nazi, though) Bully from Rudi.
  • Big Stoop from Terry and the Pirates.
  • Henry, the Wizard's pet dragon in The Wizard of Id; he wouldn't hurt a fly. (Well, at least not on purpose.)

    Eastern Animation 
  • Shumadan from Qumi-Qumi. He's still young, but his other tribemates treat him like a formidable and strong adult thanks to his size...when he's the kindest and most innocent member of his short and short-tempered colleagues.

    Fan Works 
  • Mendacity: The Bugul Noz is a towering, monstrously powerful being, but is also very restrained in how he uses his powers and personable towards strangers.
  • A New Chance Series: A New Chance for Adventure: Skailyn, a one hundred foot long black Rayquaza with a mouth full red, sharp teeth. She is described as very kind and peaceful and tries to act as discreetly as possible... until she sees a horrible injustice done to Pokémon.
  • The Bridge (MLP):
    • Godzilla Junior is this so long as lives aren't in jeopardy, in sharp contrast to his father and grandfather. This was because he was raised with love by Azusa and then mentored by the likewise human-loving Kong.
    • Mothra Lea is as Mothra, her being this when not in combat is a given.
  • Mike Van Garrett from Ebott's Wake is a muscled giant who has broken a man's femur with a single punch. However, he prefers to downplay his strength and cultivate his appearance more in favor of the Genius side than the Bruiser side. Not that this stops him from being able to look appropriately threatening when the situation calls for it.
  • In Worm crossover Echoes of Yesterday, Kara is over six foot tall, superhumanly strong, and the nicest and most empathetic person in the setting. Even someone as jaded and cynical as Taylor Hebert is astonished at how "she didn't seem to have a mean bone in her body."
  • In Eleutherophobia, Tom is a 6 foot 4 jock who spent his late teens possessed by a murderous alien, but his biggest priorities in life are watching out for his little brother and helping anyone else who was hurt by the Yeerks.
  • Epic Unicorn History The Beards Of Harmony: Hushbeard is a large pony who wouldn't hurt a fly.
  • Greenfire: Greenfire is that giant, but he's easily taller than most ponies. He's also one of the nicest dragons out there.
  • GS-260: Rini, who has grown into a six-story tall girl, is helpful to people and uses her size for good.
  • It's not the Raptor DNA has Elise the Indominus rex, especially after she finds out she loves entertaining children, whom she decrees she shall never scare or hurt. She is gentle enough that her threat level is lowered from red (Very High) to green (Low). Just don't make her angry; she is part T. rex and Velociraptor.
  • Kaiju Revolution:
    • Mothra, her larvae, and Titanosaurus are fairly peaceful for kaiju, while Baragon and Anguirus are downplayed examples. Their aggression is listed as medium, and they typically won't seek out conflict but are very violent if provoked. Some of the large herbivorous creatures of Skull Island also qualify.
    • While the Watchuka aren't kaiju, they are large when compared to humans, as they can reach heights up to 12 feet and are a race of peaceful monks.
    • Kong, while ferocious in combat, is actually an empathetic being who avoids unnecessary harm. It's mentioned that he went out of his way back to Skull Island to avoid heavily populated areas.
    • Frankenstein is a timid and curious creature that only lashes out when attacked.
  • In Our New Sister, Chickpea is huge compared to her adopted siblings, but is the most gentle and reserved of them.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • Fauna Luster's true form is so huge that she's larger than the universe...and Empathy Personified and loves every living thing. Just don't do something to legitimately tick her off.
    • Dark World!Spike is a fully grown dragon, and as massive as that implies, but he's still Spike and one of the most gentle dragons on the planet. He's more than willing to fight for a good cause and dangerous if he does, but he'd prefer just being a good friend.
  • Skyhold Academy Yearbook has Coach Bull, who is this for his students and fellow teachers. For those who get on his bad side, not so much. This makes perfect sense, given that he's the human version of the Iron Bull from Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  • Total Drama Legacy: Link. He's the tallest camper at 7'0" and has a somewhat monstrous appearance (what with his tail, sharp teeth, and shoulder spikes). However, he's one of the most affable campers, especially towards his girlfriend Katherine (whom he loves with all his heart).
  • The Unexpected Rookie: Zig-zagged. The Autobots tower over the residents of the world of robot form. In their alt-modes, they are roughly the same size as most of the world's denizens. No matter their form, though, they are as kind and polite as can be with the Radiator Springs crew (unless someone makes Prowl or Ratchet mad).
  • The Victors Project: Orchus won the 3rd Hunger Games by standing around and doing nothing but staring at butterflies that passed until his final competitor charged him and he shoved her back reflexively into a Pit Trap. A few years later he keeps Ahenobarbus from killing an Avvox during a knife-throwing contest and is implied to have become a Friend to All Children in his old age.
  • We Must Be Killers: Odin is one of the burliest Victors, but since his Games, mostly just gardens and acts like a grandfather to everyone in his Master-Apprentice Chain (although he does still enjoy the occasional good-natured fight).

    Films — Animation 
  • Butcher from Animal Soccer World. The biggest, strongest dog in town. Absolutely terrified of getting hit with a soccer ball. He uses his status as a desirable player to help snag Krummel a spot on the team.
  • Beast from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, after he is moved by the love of a beautiful woman.
  • Baymax from Big Hero 6 is large, squishy, and pear-shaped but is also humble, naive, ridiculously friendly, and (as described on the work's Heartwarming Moments page) essentially a robot version of Winnie the Pooh. Even after Hiro adds Kung-fu to his programming, he remains gentle as a lamb. The same cannot be said when Hiro removes his caretaker programming, although Hiro was fully aware of this.
  • Carmelo from The Book of Life is the biggest of the Sanchez and one of the most light-hearted.
  • A Bug's Life:
    • Dim is a big, scary-looking, friendly rhinoceros beetle.
    • Heimlich, the caterpillar, is also larger than the other bugs but is a kindhearted Fat Idiot.
  • Chicken Little has Runt of the Litter, who, despite being the smallest of his porky family, is the largest of the kids at school. His size doesn't stop him from being dorkily cute.
  • The Emperor's New Groove:
    • Pacha, being the patriarch of his family, is the tallest among them, and is also a very loving father. He even becomes a father figure to the namesake Kuzco, as well, where he subtly teaches the young emperor about the importance of humility.
    • Kronker "Kronk" Pepikrankenhitz, Yzma's ex-assistant, is actually this, too, given that he's really a very softhearted muscular guy who has a strong passion for cooking and runs a squirrel-themed scout. He even gets his own spin-off movie, where it primarily tackles about him trying to impress his shorter (and more short-tempered) father Papi.
  • Ferdinand: The title character is an enormous and intimidating bull who wants nothing to do with bullfighting or any other kind of fighting. He would much rather go look at and smell pretty flowers and feels much happier as the pet of an adorable little girl than in an arena.
  • Hercules. For all his muscles and incredible strength, Herc remains a kind-hearted soul who doesn't want to hurt anyone. Given that this version is basically a Superman expy, and in a Disney adaptation that couldn't very well be faithful to the original myth, this is only to be expected.
  • The Hotel Transylvania franchise has Tinkles, the very excitable pet canine of the Dracula-Loughran family who towers over most of that franchise's characters.
  • Valka's Bewilderbeast/Alpha in How to Train Your Dragon 2. The Good King of the dragons (a counterpart to the Red Death from the first film and Drago's Bewilderbeast). He has created an icy haven for dragons, helps Valka free captured dragons, allows baby dragons to play on him, catches fish for all the other dragons, and is ready to defend his nest from Drago's army. Unfortunately, Drago's Bewilderbeast proves stronger and gores him to death.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Quasimodo is an interesting example, as due to his physical deformity, he stands shorter than most men, but he still counts specifically because a lifetime of ringing the bells of Notre Dame Cathedral have left him strong enough to shatter iron chains with his bare hands.
  • Manfred the mammoth from Ice Age, fellow mammoth Ellie, and sloth-like creature Cholly from the sequel. Mama T. rex from the third movie could also count as long as you aren't whoever she wants for dinner...
  • Female example: Eva from Igor. She's a lumbering giant but very sweet.
  • The Incredibles: Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible is a 6'7, very buff man endowed with super strength. As a superhero, he's certainly not above using his strength in battle, and his anger can sometimes get the better of him, but he still has a very sweet, goofy personality and is friendly and welcoming to everyone he meets until they give him a reason not to be. He genuinely loves helping others and is shown to be very kind, gentle, and loving towards his wife and children.
  • In The Iron Giant, the eponymous giant is a rather wistful, sweet robot who is horrified when a deer dies in front of him, declares himself not a gun, and gets a lesson on souls from his young human friend, Hogarth. However, threatening to attack him or hurting Hogarth is not advised, as he can very well be a walking arsenal.
  • Po from Kung Fu Panda is a big, chubby panda with a friendly, enthusiastic fanboy personality.
  • Pumbaa from The Lion King (1994), as well as Mufasa. Just don't call Pumbaa a pig or threaten Mufasa's son in front of him.
  • Sully from Monsters, Inc., especially considering he takes advantage of his fearsome appearance to scare kids to collect their screams as energy. The difference between his job persona and amiable personality is pulled off very well; when we've become used to him as an Ugly Cute fatherly figure, it's quite a shock to see him in full-on scare mode.
  • Ginormica and Insectosaurus from Monsters vs. Aliens.
  • Chien-Po from Mulan is soft-spoken and loves to eat more than anything, but his Stout Strength is such that he can lift the weight of several fellow soldiers and a horse, all at once. He's even a bit of a Cuddle Bug, too.
  • Corporal of the North Wind from Penguins of Madagascar is a polar bear who coos visibly whenever he sees a penguin.
  • Shrek:
    • Shrek is a misanthropic loner who never hurts anyone unless they deserve it.
    • Dragon; seemingly vicious at first, turns out to have a soft side and is even open to being Donkey's girlfriend.
  • Sing:
    • Meena is a gigantic elephant with a Shrinking Violet personality.
    • Johnny the gorilla is also one of the larger contestants and a Nice Guy who doesn't want to work in the criminal gang of his Killer Gorilla father.
  • Super Kid: Big Boy weighs 160kg and is 170cm tall, and he's described as a gentle person in his bio.
  • Tarzan: Tantor is a giant red elephant who is also a Lovable Coward.
  • Toy Story: Rex may look like an intimidating dinosaur, but he is a kind toy with a very sensitive heart. He is also considered the kindest character in the films.
  • Treasure Planet:
    • First mate, Mr. Arrow. He's an enormous creature apparently made out of rock, yet he's the most approachable member of the crew. Until he gets killed, that is.
    • To an extent, old Silver himself from the same movie, though his level of "gentleness" is questionable, given that he's something of a villain character. He's not the most villainous character in the movie, though. That'd be Scroop, the scorpion...thing.
  • In Turning Red, Mei transforms into a huge red panda whenever she experiences strong emotions but remains a sweet, caring, loyal, dorky kid and makes for a fantastic hugger in this form.
  • Ralph of Wreck-It Ralph. Nine feet tall, 643 pounds, and a bit of a temper on him, he possesses Super-Strength that lets him utterly demolish the Nicelanders' apartment building, can split open a jawbreaker which Vanellope said was unbreakable, lifts and trashes much of the racing stadium, is rather Hot-Blooded and will utterly thrash anyone who threatens someone he cares about... but outside of this, he's the kindest, friendliest, most sympathetic and gentlest of guys you could meet, or want as a friend.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Many characters played by the late John Candy fit this trope, such as the Chewbacca stand-in Barf from Spaceballs. Uncle Buck and Del from Planes, Trains and Automobiles are honorable mentions, given they mean well, but are too weird or clumsy and therefore considered nuisances.
  • Avengers: Endgame makes this out of the Hulk, as after Bruce Banner manages to merge his two personalities ends up as his calm scientist self in the muscular body of his alter-ego. He even gets ashamed after time-traveling and seeing the Hulk's savage and uncontrollable smashing.
  • The Blind Side: Michael is a very sweet man who loves his adoptive siblings and is built like an American football tackle.
  • The short film Dennis fits the bill with Kim Kold, a professional bodybuilder, playing a very shy man who lives with his mother.
  • Most dragons from the Dragonheart series count as long as one stays on their good side.
  • Frankenstein's Monster has been portrayed this way in many movies, though in the source material, bitterness at being rejected by his creator and fearful responses from the Muggles turned him bitter and vengeful.
  • Frankenstein from Frankenstein Conquers the World. When he's kid-sized, he quickly warms up to Sueko and gets along with her and the other scientists. After he becomes a giant and goes on the run, the two-story-tall and still-growing Frankenstein mostly avoids people, and he even happily watches villagers go about their day at one point. He shows his loyalty to Sueko by returning to her apartment to see her again after escaping the lab and later coming to her rescue when Baragon is about to eat her. The 66-foot-tall Frankenstein goes on to risk his life to protect humanity from the ravenous Baragon. If one wants to stay on his good side, just don't shine bright lights in his face, attack him, or threaten Sueko or people in general.
  • Gamera is a rather interesting example, as while he's plenty docile around just humans and will go out of his way to protect them whenever possible, introduce another Kaiju into the mix, especially one that explicitly seeks to kill or eat humans on a mass-scale, and he pretty much drops the "Gentle" part almost entirely. Just ask Barugron, Gyaos, Guiron, Viras, Jiger, Zigra, Legion, Iris or Zedus
  • The Giant Of Thunder Mountain's title character easily fits this trope. He's massive enough to take on a giant bear that previously killed both his parents with his bare hands to protect a little girl he's befriended —Non-romantically fulfilling the Huge Guy, Tiny Girl trope — and while he doesn't work very well in social situations, it's purely from inexperience because he grew up all alone in the woods, he's as gentle and kind as can be as long as his Berserk Button doesn't get pushed. Namely, if you don't want a mega-sized Papa Wolf giving you a beatdown like nothing you've ever seen before-don't mess with the little girl. You will regret it.
  • Hulk's titular character only shows his soft side to Betty Ross.
  • Mothra is the most peaceful monster from the Godzilla long as you don't kidnap her fairy companions or babies. It may be worth noting that Mothra is sometimes one of the smallest Kaiju in the series.
    • Godzilla's son has grown to this in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. Although he's now 40 meters tall, Godzilla Junior is much more mellow than his dad towards humans and has a friendship with Miki Saegusa.
  • The eponymous character of the 1920 silent movie The Golem suddenly turns into this in the end, just after going on a rampage and nearly incinerating the town — thus revealing that he is, after all, only a misunderstood Non-Malicious Monster.
  • "Sloth" Fratelli from The Goonies.
  • John Coffey from The Green Mile is a quintessential example of this trope. He is a messianic figure played by Michael Clarke Duncan, with camera tricks to make him look even larger.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Groot. Tender and gentle with everyone. Unless you get on his bad side.
  • Jack the blacksmith in Gunless — who is played by former wrestler Tyler Mane — imposing and very tall, yet very friendly and goes out of his way to help a horse with its broken shoe, unfortunately, The Montana Kid thought he was stealing it, and it leads to him calling him out.
  • In Hellboy (2004), Hellboy is given a Jerk with a Heart of Gold makeover. While he's gruff and his job involves battling evil demons, he also has a sweet side, as shown by his fondness for cats and his almost childish crush on fellow BPRD team member Liz.
  • The Brachiosaurus in Jurassic Park (1993). The biggest dinosaur in the whole park, but so docile that they allow people to get close to pet and feed them.
  • Dagonet from King Arthur (2004). Ray Stevenson is a very big and scary man, but he also comes across as the most thoughtful and gentle of the knights. It helps that he also seems to be The Medic.
    Dagonet: (To a small boy he's just rescued) "You must not fear me."
  • King Kong, especially in the 2005 remake. Showing just how tender — and close to human — the great ape could be makes the ending even more tragic.
    • When Kong in Kong: Skull Island doesn’t have to fight threats to the balance of skull island, he becomes a peaceful giant.
  • A Knight's Tale has Roland, a big bearded guy who sews and is implied to do all of Will's tailoring and clothes-making. In a deleted scene he mentions that he does embroidery and invites Christiana to see it.
  • The eponymous giant gorilla of Mighty Joe Young is even gentler than Kong, on whom he's based.
  • Ricky Linderman of My Bodyguard is a tall, silent hulk of a teenager who keeps to himself, constantly wears a scruffy army jacket, smokes in school, and carries a reputation of being a dangerous psycho who once blew a kid's brains out (which is sadly true; he accidentally shot his little brother while playing with a loaded gun). Once Clifford finally manages to befriend him, he discovers that Ricky is actually a kind-hearted kid who isn't particularly interested in fighting but is still willing to protect his new buddy, and if sufficiently pissed off, is quite capable of beating the shit out of a bodybuilder.
  • My Giant is about a man who is really like this but becomes famous by playing evil characters. The story was seemingly inspired by André the Giant, and the character in question was played by 7'7" (2.31 m) Romanian NBA player Gheorghe Mureșan.note 
  • The aptly named Rock Biter from The Neverending Story is massive but has a Tear Jerker scene where he laments being unable to hold onto his tiny friends.
  • Mose in Open Range, played by Abraham Benrubi, is a hulking cowboy with a gentle disposition. When his friends discover that he singlehandedly fought a whole bar full of patrons and is being accused of starting the fight, they note suspiciously that Mose is never one to start a fight, he's just the one to finish it.
  • Moses Hightower from the Police Academy movies, so long as you stay on the right side of the law. His soft side is best demonstrated in the sixth movie where he poses as a milkman in a sting operation, and uses one bottle to feed a hungry kitten.
  • Fezzik, from The Princess Bride. Massive and strong (he doesn't even work out!), but a gentleman who will go easy on opponents because "...I just want you to feel you're doing well." After he teams up with Wesley he just uses his size for intimidation purposes and later keeps Inigo from getting into too much trouble.
  • Hercules (aka The Beast) from The Sandlot. The kids spend most of the movie assuming he's a crazed kid-eating dog, when he's just Big Friendly Dog who really likes baseballs.
  • Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger: The troglodyte that the heroes encounter in the mythical land of Hyperborea looks like a mixture of a fantasy ogre and the Frazetta Man, but is described by the wizard Melanthius as actually being a primitive human ancestor. Despite initially scaring the women (who had gone bathing in a nearby stream), it quickly becomes apparent that the giant is more scared of the humans than they are of him. He can also understand the baboonified Kassim and becomes a helpful ally after a little convincing, and in the film's finale he pulls a Heroic Sacrifice trying to protect the heroes from the Zenobia-possessed saber-toothed tiger.
  • Chewbacca from Star Wars. While he has his moments of Wookie rage, he is mostly a very loving and gentle creature, even snuggling with Han Solo during Return of the Jedi. Performer Peter Mayhew explained that this is largely due to his own experience because as a large person he was always taught to be nice to people smaller than him.
  • The prisoner Grossberger in Stir Crazy starts off very scary but becomes friendly and protective towards the characters played by Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. He also has a beautiful singing voice.
  • Stroker Ace: Arnold, Torkle's personal driver. Everything he says is a polite suggestion, and he bears no malice toward anyone in the film. Yet he towers over every other character and is strong enough to lift one side of a racecar so that the pit crew can replace the tires. Did we mention he's played by the same man who played Hightower above?
  • Tank Girl: Booga, the title character's Ripper love interest with the mind of a child.
  • The T-800 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. After John Connor asks him not to kill others, he ends up very caring of John and Sarah, who in the film's closing monologue downright notes that if a Terminator (who might we remind you, is the same type of robot who was the first film's villain) can learn the value of human life, maybe the future is not lost.
  • Little George (Merlin Olsen) in the 1969 John Wayne/Rock Hudson post-Civil War flick The Undefeated would much rather play with the kids than perform as the unit's undisputed champion at fisticuffs.
    Biggest Reb I ever saw.
    That's the biggest anything I ever saw.
  • Sanda from War of the Gargantuas. Unlike his savage "brother" Gaira, he is benevolent and kind to humans, coming to his mother figure Akemi's rescue twice. He even tries to protect Gaira (while ensuring he doesn't hurt anyone). However, upon realizing Gaira's actions, Sanda abandons his will to protect him and fights him for humanity's sake. Unfortunately, it doesn't end well for either of them.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • Beast is huge and animal-like but on the good guys' side.
    • Colossus is also on the good guys' side. Deadpool (2016) plays up both the "gentle" and "giant" sides of the equation.
  • The titular Yeti from Yeti Giant Of The20th Century. After the two orphan siblings Jane and Herbie befriend him, the Yeti "adopts" them, making them the only ones capable of reasoning with him and calming him. Of course, anyone dumb enough to threaten the siblings after that point is in big trouble.
  • Private Thomas, one of the Welsh soldiers in Zulu, gets chewed out for taking care of a calf instead of being on duty early in the film.


    Music Videos 
  • Miserable by Lit: Pamela/Val, the Giant Woman comes off this way. Throughout the video she lets the guys in the band walk all over and perform on different parts of her body as she lounges around. While they do this, rather than get upset, she just smiles at them, waves, and generally comes off as very flirty towards them. It's all just a ruse, however. She's really just pretending to be friendly and playing the flirt to get the guys' trust. As soon as one gets too close to her mouth she eats him, then proceeds to toy with and devour the other guys as well.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • Older Than Print: According to the Golden Legend (c. 1260 A.D.), Saint Christopher became one of these after years of being an arrogant Genius Bruiser who swore he'd only serve the greatest king ever. His perspective changes a bit when he decides that the greatest king ever is Jesus, specifically Baby Jesus.
  • Most depictions of Santa Claus... but some of them no one's entirely sure.
  • Bigfoot and its kin are sometimes thought of as this, though with creatures like the Yeti or the Yowie it's often a lot more debatable. With Bigfoot at least, it's very rare to hear about eyewitness reports where it gets violent — indeed, many reports end with the creature being just as afraid of the witness as the other way around!
  • Despite their imposing size, the Basanajauc note  of Basque mythology are represented as very gentle beings; However, the stories of the wicked basejaun are not unheard of.
  • In the Book of Job, Job is told of two Kaiju named Behemoth and Leviathan. Whereas Leviathan is a ferocious sea serpent to be feared by man, the Behemothnote  spends its days peacefully in the fields and swamps, eating grass as the smaller beasts play around it.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Surprisingly, this has been used on occasion in pro wrestling. When André the Giant got older and couldn't wrestle anymore because of his gigantism, he became this trope. Also, the Oddities (Golga, Kurrgan, and the Giant Silva) from the late 90s WWF were pretty much this trope after their Heel–Face Turn from a Circus of Fear to a bunch of happy-go-lucky lets-have-fun dudes. This ultimately led to Badass Decay and Redemption Demotion.
  • The Great Khali post-face turn. You still wouldn't want to fight him, though.
  • Even The Big Show has dabbled into this trope whenever he's teamed with the smallest guys on the roster such as Spike Dudley or Rey Mysterio. Harshly adverted as a heel. Played straight in real life, however. Just witness him bawling during the announcement of Eddie Guerrero's death or his interaction with Randy Orton's daughter en route to the ring.
  • While Giant González, the tallest professional wrestler to ever live, portrayed a vicious monster, he was one of the nicest guys in the business, to the point where it hindered his ability to be a "mean heel" type.
  • Big John Studd was said by Bobby Heenan to be "too nice for the business."
  • Yokozuna was a 6'3" behemoth Evil Foreigner Fat Bastard on screen, but in real life, he has been described as one of the nicest, most caring people in the business. Just ask his real-life best friend The Undertaker, who himself qualifies for this trope out of character, playing the role of Team Dad and A Father to His Men backstage.
  • The Rock. 6'5", muscled like a comic book superhero; and impossibly charming and friendly, widely considered one of the nicest guys in show business.
  • John Cena. About on par with the Rock in terms of Heroic Build and even stronger in his prime (he once lifted Edge and the Big Show onto his shoulders at the same time); and he's famously a Friend to All Children and just about as friendly with grownup fans.
  • Braun Strowman. Massive even by the WWE's standards and endearingly good-humored, dorky and cute when out of character.
  • Tor Johnson was known for his role as a Heel and for his immense size before his B-movie career, having been six feet and three inches tall, and weighing 440 pounds. Those who knew him in person describe him as incredibly friendly, with actress Valda Hansen characterizing him as a "big sugar bun."

    Puppet Shows 
  • Junior Gorg from Fraggle Rock.
  • Sweetums from The Muppet Show is one of the show's larger characters, standing at about 8 feet, with angry-looking yellow eyes, but ultimately lives up to his name as he's incredibly friendly and eager to please. He also has an Odd Friendship with Kermit's nephew, Robin. Subverted, however in his original appearance, Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince, where he is Fluffy the Terrible.
  • Big Bird on Sesame Street. His foreign counterparts also play the trope straight, including:
    • Abelardo from Plaza Sesamo (Mexico and Latin-America in general)
    • Pino — Big Bird's blue cousin — from Sesamstraat (Netherlands)
    • Moshe the giant meerkat from Takalani Sesame (South Africa)
    • Kippi Ben Kippod the hedgehog from Rechov Sumsum (Israel)
    • Boombah the lion from Galli Galli Sim Sim (India)
    • Two bears: Samson the Brown Bear from Sesamstraße (Germany) and Basil the Polar Bear from Sesame Park (Canada; the character showed up in segments on the earlier Sesame Street Canadanote  in its last few years)
    • Big Bird's friend, Mr. Snuffleupagus counts, too.
  • Bear from Bear in the Big Blue House is an easygoing Friend to All Children. He's also the largest character on the show (being a bear and all).
  • Snook from Itsa Big Big World is similar to Bear, very laid-back, easygoing, and the show's largest character.
  • Both Magellan and the Giant from Eureeka's Castle. Magellan, a dragon, towers over everyone, but he's also the nicest character of the show and essentially the kid of the group. The Giant is even larger and often watches in amusement as his friends in the castle get into crazy antics.
  • Heath The Thesarus from Between the Lions.
  • Don't Eat the Neighbours: Bear is a polite and affable fellow, but everyone besides Lucy are too terrified of his size to appreciate his hospitality.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • At 6'2", Ivan is the tallest of the teenage cast and one of the most gaunt-looking. He's also one of the most quiet and patient, and is shown to be a conscientious guy with a sense of humour about his vocal disability.
    • Benjy was transformed by his superpower into a giant bug monster- 9'8" in its humanoid form, and even bigger when he hulks out. When he's not driven into a rage, however, he retains his gentle and kind-hearted personality from when he was a human.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Daven and Ismail, despite their size, are quite gentle guys outside combat.
  • Marcus Roddy of Survival of the Fittest — he is massive, yet wouldn't hurt a fly. However, due to various exceptions, it's easier to say that when dealing with very large characters in Survival of the Fittest, roughly half are subversions of this trope, and the other half are played straight. Vesa Turunen started as straddling the border between playing this straight and subverting it but eventually turned into a Blood Knight and Death Seeker.
    • Craig Hoyle in season four of Survival Of the Fittest also certainly counts. He's one of the tallest students at Bayview High and probably the heaviest, at 6'7" and well over 300 pounds. His main interest? Drawing. Craig joined the football team, but only because he wanted to be more popular; to boot, he's horrible at any part of the game besides being a wall of meat.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Changeling: The Dreaming: Seelie Trolls often turn out the same way. Built on dreams of honor, they're both the most accomplished warriors of fae kind and some of its most noble, gentle protectors. Break an oath to one of them, though...
  • Changeling: The Lost: While the Ogre Seeming has the reputation of being violent, they can some times simply be gruff.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Cloud Giants are literal Gentle Giants who mostly care about philosophy and the arts, but woe to the evildoer who pisses one off. Well, the half of the race that's good-aligned counts, anyway. The half who are evil? Yeah, there's nothing gentle about them at all.
    • Except for 4th Edition, storm giants were generally very pleasant people in most settings. They're also the most powerful of the main giant races (Cloud Giants come in second).
    • Metalic dragons, particularly Silver and Gold Dragons, tend to be this. They're certainly ferocious fighters when provoked, but they prefer nonviolence and will often attempt to find diplomatic solutions to problems. Golds are famous for being among the largest and most steadfastly virtuous beings in existence, and the stereotypical ancient gold dragon is basically a kindly grandpa/grandma who just so happens to be the size of a mountain and the owner of several dozen doctorates in philosophy.
  • Shadowrun 3rd ed. states that trolls are less likely to be violent than other races simply because most people try to avoid Bullying a Dragon.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Salamanders Space Marines. As with all marines they tower over an unmodified human. Unlike other marines, they have literal coal-black skin and bright red eyes due to their Father Primarch Vulkan and the radiation of his home planet of Nocturne. Their use of flame weapons and fearsome looks stopped more than one rebellion before it started. Despite this, they and their Primarch have a lot of empathy and compassion towards normal humans and will butt heads with other marines, such as the Space Wolves if innocent lives are threatened. All of these qualities stem from Vulkan himself.
    • You don't get to see it often, given the nature of the setting, but the backstory says that Ogryns, when not in combat, are generally this. Particularly ones that have been assigned to protect an Imperial Guard officer.
    • Despite being powerful enough to fight Giant Mecha hand-to-hand, Vorgh are peaceful begins when others aren't hostile towards them.

  • Hercules Mulligan in Hamilton was an Irish American war revolutionary played by the tall, imposing-looking, buff, and deep-voiced Okieriete Onaodowan. He swears, drinks, and raps about sex with women. But he's also a Tailor's apprentice and was the flower man at his best friend Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler's wedding.
  • The remarkable brawn of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables becomes a significant plot point when he single-handedly lifts a crashed cart off an injured man and Javert recognizes him as a result, remarking that he's only known one man capable of such a feat of strength. But despite being a desperate escaped criminal, the most violent thing he ever does is threaten to fight back against Javert if he tries to prevent him from saving Cosette... after which he runs away instead.
  • McCarthy in The Time of Your Life:
    "I'm a longshoreman. And an idealist. I'm a man with too much brawn to be an intellectual, exclusively. I married a small, sensitive, cultured woman so that my kids would be sissies instead of suckers. A strong man with any sensibility has no choice in this world but to be a heel, or a worker. I haven't the heart to be a heel, so I'm a worker."

    Visual Novels 
  • Will Powers from the Ace Attorney series. When people first meet him, they look at his face and presume he's guilty. After spending five minutes with him, they'll insist he's innocent. He took his job as a suit actor in a henshin hero show to use his impressive physique while hiding his face so that he'll make children happy.
  • Muriel from The Arcana is a 6'10, scarred, muscle-bound former gladiator who hates violence, loves animals, and is very shy around people.
  • Danganronpa:
    • Sakura Ogami of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc towers over her fellow students, is bulky and muscular with the Face of a Thug and encyclopedic knowledge of how to beat someone down (due to being a martial artist), and is one of the most polite, kind, and noble souls in the school. Down to her suicide to protect her friends, as she'd rather die herself than be forced by the Mastermind to kill another.
    • Nekomaru Nidai from Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is tied with Gonta as the tallest character in the series at 1.98 meters, and is also a massive sweetie who doesn't have a mean bone in his body and is always helping others out. In Chapter 3 he uses his own body as a shield to prevent Akane Owari, who had broken a rule, from being killed by Monokuma. Surprisingly he survives, and has his kindness rewarded by being placed in a robotic body that prevents him from dying from his incurable illness, only to die in Chapter 4 in another Heroic Sacrifice where he and Gundham fight to the death to prevent the rest of the group from starving to death.
    • Gonta Gokuhara from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony comes off as intimidating at first (and can be quite scary when angry), but in reality, he's very friendly, and would never use his strength to hurt others, but he's also rather gullible. Since he's been disconnected from civilization up until high school, he tries to make himself a "perfect gentleman" to fit in with society. Unfortunately, the "Gentle" part gets averted in Chapter 4 when he murders Miu, but he apologizes while killing her and the circumstances of the murder make him a Sympathetic Murderer.
  • Little Busters! has Masato, who is big and tall and always working on his huge muscles, but also one of the kindest, most innocent, and most friendly characters in the whole series.
  • Minotaur Hotel: Once he fully recovers, Asterion is a tall half-bull person whose appearance scares off most people. However, once you get to know him, he's a deeply kind and considerate man who wouldn't hurt a fly if given a choice.
  • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors has Seven, a hulk of a man who is the largest character outside of Ace and easily the strongest. While he has a bit of a temper, Seven frequently acts as the voice of reason for the main eight, is one of the most concerned whenever anyone dies as a result of the Nonary Game, and his backstory was actually as a detective trying to save the kids from the previous iteration of the Nonary Game.

    Web Animation 
  • Strong Mad from Homestar Runner. He is big, he is muscular, and he is hostile, but he nevertheless has a soft side and a big heart. He is especially gentle towards his best friend, The Cheat, of whom he is quite protective and he loves arts and crafts. Also, despite being the oldest of the Strong brothers, Strong Mad is also the most childish and naive, and a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Helluva Boss: Stolas is the Goetic prince of Hell, and is very tall and imposing. Despite this, he's one of the most affable and least malevolent demons in all of Hell. His hobbies include pajama movie nights with Blitzo, bonding with Moxxie, bringing coffee to I.M.P., and generally being incredibly nice to everyone around him. He's also very carefree about shrugging off robbery, kidnapping and murder attempts from random imps at a carnival, who he doesn't even lift a finger against, so long as he gets to spend time with Blitzo. Even Charlie is quicker to resort to violence than Stolas. Just don't mess with his daughter.

  • Tuesday Titans: The majority of Titans we've seen have all been allies and defenders of humanity fighting against outside threats. They seem to share close, personal connections with their human partners, and even when Excel is going all out against the Autocarrier, she tries to avoid causing unnecessary destruction.
  • Five Nights At Freddy's: Lost Souls: The animatronics tower over the humans, but they're all friendly and would never intentionally hurt someone. Though it's implied it wasn't always that way.

    Web Original 
  • Bosun's Journal: The rippers are hulking Super Soldiers strong enough to tear a human in half, capable of shrugging off small arms fire, and prone to berserk rages. They're also surprisingly peaceful beings when not in the throes of their genetically engineered blood crazes, are extremely gentle towards others of their kind, and prefer to keep to themselves when not driven into waging war.
  • Caseoh is a plus sized man who is actually very nice and optimistic, he even doesn't actually ban anyone unless they say something against the rules.
  • Kittisaurus:
    • DD is the largest of all the cats. He's also a very calm and patient cat compared to some of the others. He took care of a sick TT when they were both kittens and has been a Parental Substitute for all the cats that have followed; most notably newcomers Toto and Dodo to the point where he is sometimes referred to as a "daDDy."
    • Toto has grown to rival DD in size, but he can be just as patient and gentle, often caring for TT and generally getting along with the other cats {well, apart from his brother Dodo, who he has a tendency to be a bit mean to on occasion.)
  • raocow said in one video that he's 6'5". Yet he has such a gentle, easygoing personality (among other things, he's a Kindhearted Cat Lover and frequently promotes a positive attitude).
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-516 is a sapient T-55 battle tank. A picture was taken of it by SCP-978 (a polaroid camera that produces a picture of the target doing whatever they want to do) and it produced an image of 516 in a meadow, underneath some trees, with birds perched on its main gun and flowers growing all over it. In other words, 516 dreams of a world where tanks don't need to exist. It has never attacked an unarmed being, and only fires upon people who fire at it with weapons that can harm it first, with only one notable exception:
    Testing Log: 516-01j
    Target: Two (2) D-class personnel (D-101, D-521) handcuffed together. 2kg of C4 plastic explosive strapped to D-101, instructed to approach SCP-516 and detonate explosive. D-101 fitted with 'dead man's switch' to induce explosion if D-101 killed.
    Result: As Dr. ██████ detailed instructions to D-101, SCP-516 [DATA EXPUNGED]
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device has Rogal Dorn and Vulkan. The former wears Centurion power armor (usually power armor over power armor), acted as the Emperor's teddy bear, and (as horribly blunt as he is) does speak up for the common citizen (such as Boy, the vox-serf) whenever anyone bad mouths them. The latter is considered by his father as " too fucking nice" and it's true: he's constantly going on about friendship, loving his friends, and giving hugs to all his friends even Magnus but the problem is he's huge and he's strong. Many of his sons have had their backs broken after being given one of his spine-breaking hugs and Magnus winds up killing him again after having his already broken back being hugged for a little too long. He got better in quick order but still.
  • There was a meme perpetuating the stereotype of big muscular men being aggressive, specifically showing an image of Bodybuilder Søren Falby and a taunt involving him slapping mothers. Having heard that his photo has been used in the meme, Søren Falby hit back at the stereotype by using a photo of him with his mother, saying that he doesn't hit women and his mother would be angry at him if he does so.
  • Stephen Georg is a staggering 6'6", and is also one of the most chipper people you'll ever meet; not to mention Happily Married to Mal.
  • Camp Counselor Jason is a Friday the 13th AU series of Lighter and Softer comics where Jason survived drowning in the lake. He's a towering, muscular giant of a man who wears a hockey mask to hide his disfigured face... He's also a Friend to All Living Things who wouldn't hurt anyone (and in fact does his best to keep people safe from accidents) that works at Camp Crystal Lake as a counselor to ensure no kid drowns in the lake.
  • Caduceus Clay from Critical Role is a firbolg, and as such stands at about 7 feet tall, towering over the rest of the Mighty Nein. He's also by far the most moral person in the group, leads with kindness in nearly every interaction he has with others, and is the first person the rest of the Nein go to when they need spiritual or life advice. He rarely, if ever, raises his voice, and it takes a lot to get him angry. It's telling that out of all the shady figures the Nein have encountered, the only one Caduceus has ever openly despised is Trent Ikithon, the man who tortured and abused a teenaged Caleb for years and is later confirmed to be psychologically incapable of feeling empathy.


Video Example(s):



The lone Salamander lives up to his chapter's reputation for being the most compassionate of the Emperor's Space Marines, when he comes across a group of survivors in a desolated city.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / GentleGiant

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