Height has a lot to do with how someone interacts with the world. Since people base a lot of first impressions on appearance a height that contrasts with what someone wants to look can cause them to be angsty, which can be expressed in different ways. This can come in two forms:
- These characters are short, shorter than everyone else in the cast, they can't go on rollercoasters, are nearly a head shorter, and they are frequently mistaken for a child, that's how short they are. In extreme cases their shortness makes them unable to function in the world and causes them to frequently get accidentally kicked in crowds, unable to get to high places, or a target of constant bullying. They sometimes compensate for this. In certain cases, the short characters will learn An Aesop that sometimes there are advantages to being small, such as being able to get inside a tight space. Most common targets of a "Down Here!" Shot.
- These characters are tall, they tower over people, nearly a head taller, they constantly bump their heads on low objects (or high objects!), couldn't fit in tight spaces, and have trouble finding clothes that fit. This is much more common in women than men due to how petiteness is associated with femininity.
Subtrope of Appearance Angst. Compare Tiny Tyrannical Girl, Mister Big, The Napoleon, Tiny Schoolboy, Huge Schoolgirl, At Arm's Length. See Weight Woe when a character is self-conscious about width instead of height. See also Height Insult which often results in this trope.
- An advertisement for car wreck lawyer Ben Abbott featuring basketball star Dorian Finney-Smith has Dorian offer Ben a high-five, with the latter unable to reach.
- Edward Elric of Fullmetal Alchemist is so insecure about his short height that it is by far his most well-known Berserk Button, often to the point that he'll assume any "insults" regarding it aimed in his direction are far worse than they really are. At one point he comments that it's lucky he's small enough to fit into a vent for sneaking and goes berserk at himself.
- Sachi Hayashi from the College arc of K-On! frequently shows a sensitivity to her own height, almost to the point of Single-Issue Wonk whenever words like "height," "tall," and "big" are brought up. One of her Character Tics is crouching lower when she starts to get shy.
- Azumanga Daioh: Chiyo and Sakaki cover both ends: The first is a Grade Skipper so she's a lot shorter than the rest of the cast, which is inconvenient, but she doesn't really worry about it. The second is a Huge Schoolgirl with the usual too-tall complex.
- Nitori from Wandering Son becomes dysphoric over her height once she begins hitting growth spurts. Takatsuki is on the opposite spectrum, wishing to be taller.
- Dragon Ball:
- Commander Red of the Red Ribbon Army was so angsty about his height that intended to use the eponymous objects, not to complete his world takeover, but to wish himself taller.
- In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Frieza had a similar motivation to invade Earth, as he planned to use the Dragon Balls to increase his height by five centimeters. He didn't want to be any taller than that since he wanted to give the impression that he's continually growing.
- This is the reason Aisaka Taiga (who is one of THE biggest examples of the Tiny Tyrannical Girl) of Toradora! does NOT like being called the "Palmtop Tiger."
- Kud from Little Busters! is a fair bit shorter than the rest of the cast, a full head shorter than the already short protagonist, and it's one of the things she often comments on in her occasional mumbled insecure rambles.
- A large part of Lovely Complex, with the male and female protagonists being very short and very tall respectively. It doesn't help that several characters are a Shipper on Deck for them.
- Toshiro Hitsugaya is the youngest captain in the series' history, but because Shinigami age much slower than humans he's still physically a child, which irritates him. He's said to frequently take naps because his grandma told him that children who sleep often grow taller. And then, at one point during the Quincy Blood War arc, when Toshiro and Byakuya are fighting against Gerard, Toshiro actually tries to make a height joke about himself... and all Byakuya gives him is a pity laugh.
- Isane Kotetsu is sometimes shown to be insecure about her height, as she's easily the tallest of the female Shinigami.
- In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Hori is a bit insecure about being only 163 cm. He's a head shorter than most of the other male characters, which are extremely tall by Japanese standards.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Yugi Muto occasionally gets annoyed when people mistake him for a pre-schooler, notably when out on a trip to a theme park with Anzu. Yami Yugi, despite being the same size as Yugi when possessing him, never seems to feel the same way, although he's still shorter than the rest of the gang even when drawn taller in Battle City and in the anime.
- Sixteen-year-old Komari from Non Non Biyori is very self-conscious of her lack of height because people keeps on mistaking her as a little girl, although she'd rather be seen as a mature Cool Big Sis to her mostly younger friends.
- Tsurezure from Ojojojo mentions his lack of height as something that bothers him, although it's only ever brought up once. Not helped by the fact that he hangs out with and later dates a girl that's almost a foot taller than him.
- Suzu from Seitokai Yakuindomo actively avoids doing things that would remind herself of her physique. Outside of the sex jokes, it's the most commonly reoccurring gag in the series. This is actually used to show just how bad her fear of ghosts is when she tries to use her height as an excuse to avoid entering a haunted house.
- Satoshi from Bokura no Hentai doesn't seem to generally dislike his height, but his growth spurts were one of the effects of puberty that made him quit crossdressing.
- Short players in Haikyuu!! (such as Hinata, Nishinoya, or Yaku, all of whom are below 166 cm) are shown to be sensitive about or at least affected by their height, with it being a berserk button in the latter's case. Justified as volleyball is generally a sport played by taller people.
- One of the more frequent ways Dazai (181 cm) gets a rise out of Chuya (160 cm) in Bungou Stray Dogs is by picking on his height.
- Hetalia: Axis Powers:
- North Italy is very anxious about the 8 centimeters of height difference between himself and Germany; he has to stand on his tiptoes when he tries to kiss Germany on the cheek in greeting at one point, and still can't quite reach him. It's so bad that he hates wearing military helmets, as they make him feel even shorter.
- Iceland clearly feels this way, no matter how much he tries to deny it:
Iceland: OK. I won't get any taller than this. This is fine.
- One image drawn for the 2010 World Cup◊ has Japan standing with the much taller Denmark, Netherlands and Cameroon, looking very flustered.
- The titular character in The Royal Tutor is constantly mistaken for a young child due to his small frame, much to his annoyance. As Heine likes to remind people, he is actually an adult.
- One episode of Suite Pretty Cure ♪ had Ako Shirabe frustrated that she was so short compared to her teammates (being ten years old) when they went to gather a bunch of scattered Tones since they can easily pluck them out of the sky and she couldn't. She solved that problem with a pair of stilt boots.
- Harukana Receive has it both ways. Haruka finds that her height makes it difficult to shop for clothing, and also makes her stand out in a crowd. By comparison, Kanata is unhappy with her diminutive height and wishes she were taller because it affects her ability to play beach volleyball.
- Karen Kohiruimaki from Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, otherwise known as LLENN. She was bullied constantly over her excessive heightnote and got into virtual reality as an escape mechanism, switching between games hoping to get a short avatar, before eventually settling on GGO where she got the short avatar she desired.
- Popura Taneshima of WORKING!! is very sensitive about her height and is often teased by Satou in ways that aggravate this, such as in the page pic.
- In Pokémon Adventures, Emerald is extremely short, to the point that he possibly has dwarfism, and he's been bullied about it his whole life. He made friends with Pokémon because they didn't judge him for his height — until other people started mocking him for using them as prosthetic limbs. He cut off all friendships with Pokémon after that and insists on doing things himself. He also uses various tricks to appear taller, like ultra-high platform shoes, extendable arms hidden underneath long sleeves, and hair gel to give himself towering Anime Hair. He eventually improves thanks to forming actual friendships with Pokémon and the other Pokédex Holders, and by his reappearance in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire he's given up the height gadgets and the self-reliant attitude.
- Legosi of Beastars dislikes being tall and dreads that he might still be growing. It's not that his height is especially freakish or unusual—a number of his peers even envy it—but it's a constant reminder to him that no amount of willpower will change the fact that he's a dangerous, carnivorous predator who can easily kill one of his fellow students (particularly his tiny rabbit crush) without even intending it.
- Keiichi Morisato of Ah! My Goddess is a college student who barely stands at 1.60 m (5' 3"), which is quite below average and contributes to his already low self-esteem about his looks. In fact, when the local Alpha Bitch Sayoko Mishima rejected him, she even went as far as saying that she would consider if he was 20 cm taller.
- Both Aoyama brothers in I Think Our Son Is Gay are on the small side. A Print Bonus page of Chapter 22 shows Hiroki has this on top of Muscle Angst and thinks he has to choose one or the other, as he heard that muscle training may stunt growth.
- In Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary, Huge Schoolgirl Kyouko Ooki (over 3 meters, and growing daily) and Tiny Tyrannical Girl Chisa Osanai (104.5 cm, and shrinking daily) are best friends, and both are unhappy with their heights Kyouko because she always feels like she's taking up too much space and hitting her head on the ceiling, and Chisa because she feels like most other people don't take her seriously. Chisa used to be taller than Kyouko when they were kids, and still feels protective over her friend 3 times her size.
- She's My Knight: Ichinose is insecure over being shorter than Mogami, especially when she grows even taller. He's seen holding a ruler on top of his head to visualize how much taller she is (4.7 inches, coincidentally the ideal height difference for kissing).
- The Golden Age DC superhero Al Pratt, a.k.a. "The Atom", was only 155 cm tall, constantly being taunted for his size. Even after a boxing coach helps him become stronger, Pratt continues to get teased at his college over his size.
- Ramsey Kole is a 137 cm dancer who's overlooked because of his size. He seeks out Sizeshifter Bill Foster for something to make him taller. Although he's been working on new growth serums he declines Ramsey largely because they're untested. Kole knocks him out and downs several beakers anyway. He gets taller, but disproportionately and freakishly 5 meters tall. He becomes obscure Spider-Woman villain, Daddy Longlegs.
- Similar to Ramsey is Anzhela Federova, an aspiring ballerina whose prospects were dashed when her mutation kicked in which, along with the ability to conjure freezing winds, made her grow to seven feet tall.
- Incredibly understated in Robin but Hudman has a tendency to do things like stand on a higher stair, or sit in a taller chair around Ives who is at least a foot taller than him.
- In Super Sons, thirteen-year-old Damian Wayne is the target of a lot of teasing regarding his short stature for his age, and is continually miffed that his partner Jon Kent is several inches taller despite being three years younger.
Damian: It's time for Robin and Superboy to take a stand!
Jon: Why's your name first?
Damian: I'm older.
Jon: I'm taller.
Damian: Shut up.
- In Batgirl Year One, Barbara Gordon is bothered about her height due to be told repeatedly she does not meet the minimum height requirements to become a cop or a F.B.I. field agent.
- Downplayed in Bait and Switch. Eleya mentions in chapter three that she usually feels awkward on a dance floor since she tends to tower over her partner. In this case, though, her dance partner Gaarra is actually a few centimeters taller.
- In Blue Sky, Wheatley gets upgraded from a spherical, fairly small computer body into a Hard Light humanoid body that is over six feet in height. He doesn't like this — getting used to limbs is hard enough without the excessive length — and he really wants to just fit in with humans.
- Felix in "Good Enough". It's tied up with his concern that he's too "cute" and not good enough for Calhoun.
- Celestia expresses this regarding her own height and mass in the Triptych Continuum. She gains a benefit in that it can be very easy for her to intimidate — but that's it. The other side of the scale contains an inability to easily have an eye-to-eye conversation, looming without meaning to, neck cramps, an entire society built underscale to her comfort requirements, designers who claim her proportions are elegant and then mentally lock up upon having them in a fitting room (followed by charging quintuple for any dubious results), and so on down the line. One of the more comedic moments in A Mark of Appeal has her accidentally admitting that she's created diagrams for use in the unlikely event of her ever having sex, just to make sure nopony gets hurt. (They're apparently rather simple to memorize, have never been seen by the general public and if Celestia has anything to say about it, never will be...)
- In My Huntsman Academia, Pyrrha admits that she's embarrassed by the fact that she's a Statuesque Stunner who towers over her teammates. This is especially pronounced on Team MNVW, as Izuku, the next tallest person, is at least a half-foot shorter than her. He still manages to assure her that she shouldn't worry about her height and that she's beautiful the way she is. He wishes he was taller himself, but his growth was stunted by his lack of Aura until recently, making him shorter than all of his male peers.
- In Live a Hero, Izuku's growth was stunted by years of malnourishment and Training from Hell courtesy of the League of Villains' attempts to turn him into a Tyke-Bomb. Because of this, he's just five feet tall and often mistaken for a ten-year-old at fifteen. Kirishima cheekily teases him for this, only to get kicked in the shin for his troubles.
- In Karma in Retrograde, Touya is annoyed by the fact that both of his younger brothers are taller than him in the present. Shouto is just a few centimeters taller, which Touya attributes to high tops until he sees that Shouto is wearing flat sneakers. Natsuo towers over both of them and loves rubbing this in Touya's face, breaking up an otherwise tender moment between them.
Natsuo: [while hugging Touya] Holy shit, you are short.
Touya: [kicks Natsuo in the shin and pulls away] And that's enough of that.
Natsuo: [grinning] Chill, its just the natural order of things. The older brother is supposed to be taller than the younger one.
Touya: [indignantly with a snort] I'm three years older than you.
Natsuo: Whatever helps you sleep at night.
- The invisible Cute Ghost Girl Galinda of Not Completely, Altogether Here is a bit antsy on the topic of her short height when Elphaba questions her on it:
Elphaba: How tall are you?
Galinda: Tall enough.
- In the The Loud House fic Her Baby Brother, Lori finds out that Lisa has analyzed their genes to predict how tall all the siblings will be when they've finished growing, and Lori freaks out when she finds out Lincoln will eventually be the tallest one in the entire family at 6'5. An interesting case as Lori is less worried about being short, the test predicted she would eventually grow to 6'0. What she is worried about is that if Lincoln grows taller than her then he'll stop seeing her as his big sister and stop needing her.
- Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
- While it doesn't come up often, Anabel is the shortest member of Ash's group at 5'3", whereas Misty and Iris stand at 5'10" and 6'2" respectively, with Ash himself coming close to surpass the latter. She's not very happy with being the only one for whom Teens Are Short is played straight.
- In Belladonna's group, Vedia is also the shortest, to the point she can easily pass off for a child despite being already a teenager. When Misty mentions it to her, she defends herself saying that Belladonna thinks her lack of height is cute.
- Rocketship Voyager. As a veteran spacer Captain Janeway has to wear thick-soled shoes, because with the building of larger rocketships height restrictions have been abolished in Spacefleet and she has to keep craning her neck to look her shipmates in the eye.
- Mad Because Small: As one might gather from the title, protagonist Baby, a minimum-height Lalafell, is mad because small. What's more, she's jealous of tall.
- Lord Farquaad from Shrek is much shorter than other characters in his realm, for which he takes ridiculous measures to compensate. When we first see him he looks like a handsome knight in shining armor... until it turns out his "legs" are hollow and there for ornamentation. His castle is much bigger and impressive than anything else in Duloc, surrounded by much smaller buildings, and placed in a cornfield, presumably to make it look bigger.
- A Hard Day's Night:
- Norm, the Beatles' manager, complains constantly about his assistant's height.
Norm: Stop being taller than me!
Shake: I can't help it.
- Ringo is seen to be concerned about his height as well.
George: What's the matter with you, then?
Ringo: It's [Paul's] grandfather. I can tell he doesn't like me. It's cause I'm little.
George: Ah, you've got an inferiority complex, you have.
Ringo: Yeah, I know, that's why I play the drums — it's me active compensatory factor.
- Norm, the Beatles' manager, complains constantly about his assistant's height.
- French actor Louis de Funès was rather short (1.64m / 5'4½"), and thus a common gag for his characters is to be annoyed by taller people.
- Notably in Delusions of Grandeur, where Don Salluste forces his valet Blaze (Yves Montant, who was 1.85m [close to 6'1"] tall) to kneel next to him while serving breakfast. Also, the other Spanish noblemen all tower above Salluste the actors were deliberately chosen by the director to be as tall as possible, to make De Funès look even shorter in comparison.
- In The Tattoo, an angered Legrain calls him a "Horrible Gnome". While Mézeray has cowered in fear during the scene, he briefly goes ballistic and stand up to Legrain.
- In Jo, Antoine Brisebard has a special spot on his sofa that makes him look taller than people sitting next.
- In the Italian comedy Le Comiche 2, a recurring chew toy character is messed with on a constant basis. Among other things, he is rather short and mocked for his stature on multiple occasions.
- Lawyer: Have we met before?
Renato Pozzetto: It's a small world... like you!
- This is the entire premise of Tall Girl.
- Time Bandits: Napoleon Bonaparte is shown to have the world's worst case of a Napoleon Complex. In the aftermath of a battle, his generals have to assuage his concerns that "Five-foot-one is not short!" to which Napoleon boasts, "Five-foot-one and conqueror of Italy! Not bad, no?" He then gripes about how tall his generals are, saying it's like sitting in a well when they stand on either side of him. When he meets the Time Bandits, who are all little people, he's overjoyed to find people who are smaller than him. He instantly promotes them all to generals and invites them to a feast, where he rambles drunkenly about how all the great men in history were short.
- Where the Boys Are: When TV first expresses an interest in taking Tuggle out, she demands he stop the car, then she stands up straight (it's a convertible) to demonstrate that she is "5-10 and a half." TV doesn't mind, possibly because he is still taller than she is.
- Isaac Asimov's "C-Chute": Randolph Mullen is the shortest of our protagonists. He is about five feet tall, putting him eight inches below average, something he is very aware of. He claims to have had a Napoleon Complex, but realized that outwardly expressing any emotions simply turned him into an object of ridicule, so he trained himself to be The Spock.
"A small man can have no respectable emotions. Is there anything more ridiculous than a man like myself in a state of rage? I'm five feet and one-half inch tall, and one hundred and two pounds in weight, if you care for exact figures. I insist on the half inch and the two pounds." — Randolph Mullen.
- Steven Brust: Aliera from the Dragaera novels is short for her race, and you should never comment on this because she has an incredibly deadly weapon and will end you.
- Ellen Godfrey's Murder Behind Locked Doors/Georgia Disappeared: Jane Tregar, the protagonist, is 5'2" and acutely aware of it. Particularly when most of the people she works with are tall, self-confident corporate executives.
- Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time: Evil general Sammael hates his shortness (with Word of God even implying he'd use the One Power to make himself taller if that was at all possible). This, however, is a case where it's almost all in his head — Sammael is only slightly shorter than average. Unfortunately for him, his enemy Lews Therin Telamon, said enemy's reincarnation Rand al'Thor, and rival Quirky Miniboss Squad members Ishamael and Demandred are all tall guys.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
- In Reaper Man, Mrs Cake's daughter Ludmilla is described as being not just tall, but built to a larger scale than everyone else (she's a werewolf), and is constantly in a slight crouch and trying not to loom at people.
- Dwarfs avert this, one of their religious texts refers to their having the correct height while men left the earth and became too tall. That said, "lawn ornament" is a killing insult in dwarfish, and innocently telling the barman "Mine's a short" in a dwarfman bar is legally considered a suicide in Ankh-Morpork (the troll bar equivalent would be ordering anything on the rocks).
- Rick Riordan:
- The Heroes of Olympus: Leo Valdez is short and skinny, which does a number on his self-esteem, especially with his male compatriots all being tall and muscular save Nico.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Percy is embarrassed throughout the first four books that his love interest, Annabeth, is taller than them. He is relieved in the final book, in which he has finally grown taller than her. Justified as they are young teenagers throughout most of the books, during which time girls tend to be taller then boys.
- Tsutomu Satou's The Irregular at Magic High School: Mayumi is quite bitter about her shortness, and pranks Tatsuya because he mentioned it once. Even admirers compare her to an elf (when she's not listening).
- Dorothy L. Sayers: In the Lord Peter Wimsey novel Busman's Honeymoon, while Lord Peter is getting nearer the solution to the murder, there's this: "If I'd had more inches," said Peter, regretfully (for his height was a sensitive point with him) ..." The immediate context is that the murdered man was taller than Lord Peter, and Lord Peter thinks if he had been the same height or taller he could have figured it out earlier. His being shorter than others may have been mentioned a couple of times previously, but I'm pretty sure his height is given as 5′10″ (average) somewhere.
- Sesame Street: In Don't Cry, Big Bird, Big Bird is upset because he is too big to play games like jump rope, hopscotch, hide and seek, and even seesaw. His friends help him by tying two jump ropes together, making bigger hopscotch boxes, letting him be the seeker, and putting all of themselves on one end of the seesaw while he is on the other end. Big Bird also learns there are advantage to his big size, such as helping Betty Lou get her kite out of a tree.
- Vorkosigan Saga: Miles Vorkosigan is at least vaguely annoyed by his host of deformities and medical issues, but his height is a particular sore spot. It is telling that he noticed and is honestly appreciative of how the people repairing the lethal injuries received during Mirror Dance straightened his spine while they were at it to the point where he now stands four feet ten inches.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder: Laura Ingalls Wilder, of the Little House on the Prairie fame, was short even by the standards of her day, when people in general were shorter than they are now. When she first begins to teach school, she worries that her students won't obey her because she's so small. She does have some trouble, but she manages to handle it. Fortunately she's also a Pintsized Powerhouse: while she's still a student, at one point she manages to rip the bolts out of a bench formerly secured to her classroom floor just by rocking it.
- Lisa Williamson's The Art of Being Normal: Closeted trans girl Kate is 168 centimeters (5'6) and doesn't want to get any taller. She's only fourteen, so it's still possible that she'll grow more (especially if she doesn't go on hormone blockers soon).
- Winnie-the-Pooh: In A Perfect Little Piglet from the picture book series Out and About With Pooh, Piglet is upset about his height after knocking down some honey pots from Pooh's shelves from being too small to reach. Then later he gets Eeyore's tail from under a bush, admiring the view while doing so, and feels better after Eeyore comments on how wonderful it must be to be small.
- The AI Gang: Ray Gammand is once mentioned as having "never forgiven his body for choosing his mother's genes for height instead of his father's" (Hugh Gammand is over seven feet tall). It doesn't help that he believes he needs to be taller in order to play basketball, which is his favorite sport. Wendy, while also short, doesn't angst about her height — she just gets mad if someone mentions it.
- Barney Miller: Officer Carl Levitt is only 5′6″ and believes that this is the main reason he's never made Detective. Played with in one episode where the perp is a little person note who complains to Levitt that "you tall guys get all the breaks."
- Leonard from The Big Bang Theory is always complaining about how short he is, and is often mocked for it. Howard and Bernadette are also shorter than average and made fun of for that at times, but Leonard is the only one who openly angsts about it.
- The Brady Bunch: Bobby had this in one episode, hating that he was little. But in the end, he and Greg got locked in Sam's meat locker while picking up meat for one of the boys' delivery job and only Bobby fit through the window to get out and get help.
- Chummy from Call the Midwife is taller than just about everyone else in the show, including her husband. She doesn't spend a lot of time angsting about it, but it comes up from time to time that she's always felt clumsy and awkward in part because of her height.
- Degrassi Junior High episode 5, "The Great Race." The B-plot was Arthur and Yick being jealous of how tall Snake was, while he found his height made him unable to play soccer.
- Ruth Buzzi had this in a Donny and Marie sketch, where she and Patty Maloney were applying for a secretarial position at a cardboard box company. While Patty had no trouble with her equipment during the typing test, Ruth's tiny desk and chair collapsed under her weight.
- The Goodies. Tim and Graham aren't above mocking Bill's lack of height during their nasty moments. In the South Africa episode he even becomes a second-class citizen thanks to the government's Apart-height policy along with other short people, mainly jockies (which becomes the new Fantastic Slur).
- In an episode of Home Improvement later in the show's run, Randy complains to his father that his "little" brother is taller than he is.
- George Jefferson from The Jeffersons is visibly shorter than his wife Louise, and their maid enjoys needling George about his size. Calling him "runt" is George's Berserk Button.
- M*A*S*H: Radar is periodically embarrassed by or ashamed of his shortness; combined with others teasing him, this makes him very angry.
- Jennifer Mosely from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide has a whole subplot dedicated to her being much taller than the other girls at school. This becomes meaningless later in the series, when the other characters get older.
- C.J. Cregg throughout The West Wing. Lots of jokes through the seven seasons, but a few that come to mind are the episode when Sesame Street comes to the White House resulting in Big Bird jokes toward CJ, and when CJ takes over as Chief of Staff and she chides the interior designer who tries to give her a small desk.
- On The Mentalist Jane invokes this trope when he is transferred to another team despite his objections. One of the agents on his new team is a short guy who has some residual anxiety over his height. No one in the office actually cares about the guy's height but Jane makes the guy think that the others are mocking him behind his back. Jane stages some height-related pranks and the short guy snaps and attacks the agent he thought was responsible. This combined with other conflicts instigated by Jayne results in the team breaking up and Jane is reassigned back to his old team.
- How I Met Your Mother pairs the 5'2 Alyson Hannigan with the 6'4 Jason Segel. It's played for laughs more than legitimate angst, but there is one occasion where Hannigan's character has a dream about Marshall leaving her for a woman he describes as "more height appropriate." Part of the reason for this is that Marshall's entire family is very tall. They tease him for being "the runt." When Lily visits, she's shown in a sea of midsections.
- Lizzie McGuire: In "A Gordo Story", Gordo develops a case of this after Parker says that she won't go to the school dance with him because he's short.
- In "The Twenty-Foot Root" on Johnny and the Sprites, Root is upset by being the smallest sprite and then is magically grown to 20 feet tall, only to find that this is problematic also. Johnny eventually reassures him in song...
Johnny: Just think while you're the little one / You can have more than a little fun / Small's the perfect size to do / So many great big thingsRoot: Really?Johnny: You bet.
- The Daily Show: Jon Stewart is about 5'7 and would occasionally make self-deprecating jokes about being concerned with his height, most notably when he "debated" the 6'4 (and vain about his height) Bill O'Reilly. Stewart had a pneumatic lift installed on his lectern that he would dramatically raise so as to look O'Reilly in the eye.
- The Golden Girls: Dorothy is sometimes shown to be self-conscious of her tall height making her come off as unfeminine, as she was played by the 5'10 Bea Arthur.
- Odd Squad:
- The beginning of "The Potato Ultimato" has Olive seeing Otto shrunken to the point where she towers over him instead of it being the inverse (where he towers over her as well as Oprah and Oscar) and expresses delight over it, believing that she grew a couple feet. However, she begins to question how her uniform fits if she grew that much and comes to the shocking realization that Otto shrunk drastically, which is why he's shorter than her. She then becomes disappointed that she didn't grow any taller. Later on in the episode, Otto tells Oscar that he used to be 150 centimeters (5 feet in the US version of the episode) when the Scientist measures his height and finds him to be 120 centimeters tall (4 feet in the US version of the episode) and expresses his dislike for it. The reason is eventually found to be Otto accidentally eating Olaf's Shrinking Potato salad, but Otto is unable to go with Olive to retrieve a Growing Potato to turn himself back to normal due to him being too small. At the end of the episode, the Growing Potato is retrieved and Otto eats it, but ends up eating too much of it, causing him to grow to the extent where he can barely stand up straight in the lab and develops a more baritone voice.
- In "Trading Places", Olive is aged up into a 21-year-old woman by Odd Todd, who uses the Flip-Flop-inator gadget on her and reverses the digits in her age to make her an adult. While the age-up is certainly not welcomed by any of her co-workers, her height causes her strife as well, as she manages to bang her head on the steel beam hanging above the door connecting the tube lobby and the Trophy Room and has to dodge objects inside Headquarters she never had to be mindful of before due to Headquarters being built specifically to accomodate kids' heights, not those of adults.
- In the Bear in the Big Blue House episode, "As Different as Day and Night", Tutter suffers from this at first because he is much smaller than Bear and his favorite things are out of his reach. When Bear accidentally drops his spoon, it falls under the refrigerator, and Tutter is the only one small enough to recover it. When he does, he finds out there are advantages to being small.
- The episode, "Biglet" from The Book of Pooh features Piglet getting fed up with being short, and starts wearing stilts, giant gloves, and an amplifier in his mouth. He soon finds out there are advantages to being small when he is the only one small enough to recover Eeyore's tail from a hole.
- In the "Beach: The Musical" episode of "Elmo: The Musical" from Sesame Street, a tiny shrimp suffers from this at first and sings a song about how her height prevents her from doing many things that she likes. When a wave washes King Crab's crown into a narrow cove, the Shrimp is the only one small enough to recover it. She does so, and finds out there are advantages to her diminutive size, making her feel proud.
- Connie of A Chorus Line suffers from this:
"Four foot ten, four foot ten
That's the story of my life
I remember when everybody was my size
Boy, was that great! But then everybody started moving up, and there I was, stuck at
Four foot ten, four foot ten
But I kept hoping and praying...
I used to hang from a parallel bar by the hour
Hoping I'd stretch
Just an inch more..."
Judy: And why am I so tall?
- Judy also has a brief moment of this during "And..."
- AkaSeka: Nakahara Chūya is The Napoleon in spades, an extremely short-tempered man of humble 156cm who flies into a rage every time "short", "tiny", "chibi" or any synonym, actual or alleged, is within his earshot.
- Ricken from Fire Emblem Awakening is the shortest cast member, even shorter than his own child if you make him a father. The Future Past DLC even hangs a lampshade on this if you have him talk to his kid, though it turns out they're surprised by his size because in the future, Ricken did grow and they remember him looking like an adult man rather than a child.
- Veigar from League of Legends being an Evil Overlord-wannabe yordle... dislikes his short size that he would constitute a lot of things with the word "short" to be a "short joke" and get pissy about it.
- Implied with Naoto from Persona 4. While not remarked upon by anyone, Naoto is the shortest member of the cast, and wears platform shoes and rolled up pant sleeves, presumably in an attempt to look taller. Being as she's masquerading as a guy, it's likely an attempt to hide possible suspicion from a man being as short as she is.
- Namu Amida Butsu! -UTENA-: Miroku is the second shortest character in the game at 152cm, beaten only by Fudō at 145cm, and thus one of the game's biggest Running Gags is his constant and relentless searching for ways to make himself taller.
- Little Mac's reveal trailer for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U has Samus Aran measure out their considerable height difference; Mac is about half her height. He gets so angry about this that he punches her into the air.
- Midori and Shinobu from Ensemble Stars! are on opposite sides of this: Shinobu is the second shortest at school (beat only by Token Mini-Moe Tori) and wishes he could have a more cool and imposing figure, while Midori is by far the tallest first-year and really hates the way his height draws attention to him.
- Zagreus of Hades doesn't appear to have any insecurities over being the House of Hades's only mortal-sized deity... until he runs into Asterius, who immediately takes to addressing him as "short one" and greatly aggravates him.
Zagreus: You know, you hurt me with this 'short one' business almost as much as with that axe. Why isn't Theseus 'short one'? We're the same height!
Asterius: No; the king is greater.
- According to Tetsu Katano, Komachi Oba from Sakura Wars (2019) designed the wallet she wears around her waist with the last two characters of her given name "machi" because she has a complex regarding her small stature.
- Genshin Impact: Sayu is one of the few playable characters with the "young girl" body type and laments that she's still at her current height while all of her peers are growing taller. As a result, she's constantly sleeping in the hopes that it will expedite her getting a growth spurt.
- Young Fransizka von Karma does not take kindly to being used as an example of someone who wouldn't reach the window in the flashback case of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth.
- Fate/stay night:
- Shirou Emiya says he's a little insecure about being only 167 cm, or 5'6" tall. Considering his Future Badass self Archer is 187 cm, or 6'2", he should just be patient.
- In the Heaven's Feel route, Rider reveals she is a little insecure about being 172 cm, or 5'8" tall. Fate/hollow ataraxia reveals this is because her older sisters, who didn't age and remained little girls for the rest of their lives, bullied her and called her ugly for being tall.
- Oddly, despite Iskandar's jokes about it in prequel series Fate/Zero, Waver doesn't actually show much anxiety about his height... That is, not until Fate/Grand Order, where his Third Ascension reverts him back to his painfully short teenage self after he'd long gotten used to being Tall, Dark, and Handsome. The Gorgon sisters (including, ironically, Medusa) and the protagonist are quite happy to tease him over it in his third interlude.
Medusa: You'll be small for a statue... At least I can use you as a paperweight.
Waver: Ha ha. I see that Riders sure are professional at pressing all my buttons.
- In Virtue's Last Reward when Sigma call Phi a "little punk" she reacts with angry "Don't call me little!".
- From the MLP Analysis community:
- Lightning Bliss is a midget alicorn. She dislikes being called cute, but her true Berserk Button is being called short. Which happens about all the time. She usually responds by unleashing her magic at the offenders, sicing her pet rainbow monster Twink at them, or — mostly in the TF2 Analysis series — going ballistic with her heavy weaponry.
- Keyframe has the reverse problem, being a quite tall and lanky unicorn. While not as touchy as Lightning Bliss, she still doesn't like being reminded that she towers over most ponies, and can get nasty in response to too much mockery.
- While Susan in El Goonish Shive isn't abnormally tall, she does end up at 5'9" after a magical awakening; she started at 5'6". One of the signs of this is a loud WHAM as she hits her head on a locker shelf she'd normally cleared. Nanase, meanwhile, has at times tried to get herself taller, being at 5'3". (Fortunately, they can at least short-term adjust things, with some magical assistance.)
- Flore from Frivolesque stiffens (or even faint) anytime she meets someone who's overly taller than she is. Even though she's never talked about it, she seems to have some unexplained complex about her short stature.
- Cookie from Furry Fight Chronicles is a squirrel, making her shorter than the rest of the cast. Pointing out is a Berserk Button for Cookie, who will yell that she's tall for a squirrel. Justified as Cookie's short height prevented her from achieving her dreams of becoming a Combagal.
- It's unknown how short Bree Kay from Kurami actually is, but Dr. Oz, Kurami's large stuffed rabbit toy, is taller than her. And she's not happy about it◊.
- Weak Hero:
- Alex used to be taller than Ben when they were kids. He's shown pouting when Ben starts to outgrow him, and drinking many a milk carton in the hopes of growing taller. All he gets is a long trip to the bathroom with Ben laughing at him.
- Played for Drama with Gerard, whose unusual height for a middle schooler made him an easy target for bullying, gossip, and insults, eventually leading to him taking on the Mad Hound persona so people would leave him alone. He's significantly mellowed out about it now that he's reached high school, and instead uses his height to his advantage by fighting almost exclusively with his legs.
- During The Cinema Snob and Diamanda Hagan's crossover review of Myra Breckinridge, when standing side-by-side the Snob is quick to point that he's not small, it's just that Diamanda is really tall.
Cinema Sob: I am not short! You're just freaking Richard Kiel!
- In Flander's Company season 4, Georges Trueman from the alternate universe is a small Mean Boss. At one point, he forces his secretary Kevin to kneel when next to him at his desk, due to Kevin being taller than him. This is probably a Shout-Out to Louis de Funès in Delusions of Grandeur (see Films above).
- In "How to Start Off 2012 Right!" by Matthew Santoro, Matthew tries to follow the New Year's Resolution of standing tall. When someone taller than him stands next to him, he gets mad, says "Fuck you," and walks away.
- In Kurtis Conner's video fact-checking cheap articles written about him, he gets very sensitive when a website claims he's five foot seven, since he's actually five foot nine (almost five foot ten, he swears). According to him, when you're a guy under six feet, every inch counts. He swears he's not insecure, though.
- Mad Because Small deals with this as Baby's main drive; she's a Lalafell portrayed as a kid, extremely jealous of everyone else being taller than her and being reminded of it is a Berserk Button for her - she chased down and beat up Thancred for teasing her with it.
- Cosmo G. Spacely from The Jetsons is barely one-third of George Jetson's height, which adds to the triggers for Spacely to fire Jetson once per episode.
- In the "Ewww, That's Growth" episode of Dexter's Laboratory, Dexter and his family want to go on a really big rollercoaster, but Dexter is denied due to being too short. The resulting angst drives him to become as tall as possible, eventually allowing him to finally go on the rollercoaster by the end of the episode. This backfires when he becomes so tall that he hits the ceiling at the very end.
- In the episode, "A Very, Very Large Animal" from The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, when Piglet suffers from this, his friends tie backwards binoculars over his eyes and boxes on his feet to make him think he's grown overnight. His newfound height soon goes to his head and ends with him confronting some large crows, who dismantle the disguise and expose the truth. In the end, Piglet comes to accept his size after he helps out some ants, making him realize that he's not as useless as he thought.
- In the episode "A Pinch to Grow an Ed" of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Ed and Edd try to help Eddy become taller when he is unhappy with people mocking his short height.
- An episode of Gravity Falls titled "Little Dipper" deals with Dipper's height insecurity after realizing his twin sister Mabel has recently become one millimeter taller than him. He finds a size-altering crystal in order to make them the same height again, which just leads them to being shrunk down instead, but eventually decides to give Mabel back her extra millimeter upon realizing that he tends to best her at everything else.
- In Steven Universe, Peridot sees her smallness as a weakness. She makes up for this by being able to control metal.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: Jimmy Neutron suffers from this a couple times and was made a plot in the episode "The Incredible Shrinking Town" where Jimmy's attempt to get revenge on a bully that makes fun of his height ends up shrinking the whole town instead.
- In "One Big Wish" on Dragon Tales, Max is upset because he can't do certain things because he's always smaller than Emmy and the dragon friends. He makes a wish on a wishing well to become bigger, but doesn't specify a size limit, resulting in an Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever situation.
- All Fmeks have this problem in Men in Black as they are very aggressive and sensitive about their height. They even want to destroy the Arquillian's planet because it is bigger.
- Mikey from Recess is normally a Gentle Giant and perfectly fine with his size, but the episode "Big Ol' Mikey" revolves around this trope. Gretchen uses her pocket computer to calculate the gang's adult heights, and they're shocked to discover that according to the data, Mikey is destined to grow 15 meters tall! That night, he has a nightmare about himself as a giant, unstoppable monster terrorizing the city and becomes desperate to somehow impede his growth, but is mollified somewhat the next day when he uses his height to save Cornchip Girl from falling off the jungle gym. At the end, we find out that the data they were using had been thrown off by the compass Mikey wears as a lucky charm, and he's not destined to be a monstrous giant at all.
- Big Hero 6: The Series:
- Honey Lemon isn't happy when Karmi dubs her superhero identity "Tall Girl".
Honey: I'm really not that tall...
- Also, Hiro is 14 and only 5 feet tall. In the Big Chibi 6 short "Road Trip", he dreams of being the tallest person he knows. Played for Laughs when Bluff Dunder makes fun of his height in "Something Fluffy":
Hiro: I just haven't hit my growth spurt yet!
- Honey Lemon isn't happy when Karmi dubs her superhero identity "Tall Girl".
- In Ready Jet Go!, Mindy expresses angst about being small in the episode "Jet Shrinks the Kids", which kickstarts the main plot of the episode.
- In the Muppet Babies episode "One Small Problem", Summer Penguin is tired of being the shortest one in the nursery. Bunsen offers to make her taller with his Enlargo ray, but it breaks down and makes her even smaller instead. After having an adventure getting Kermit's toy car from under the couch, she gets turned back to normal, but refuses an offer to be taller because she now feels more confident being the way she is.
- DC Super Hero Girls: In one episode, Karen feels uncomfortable with her short stature due to bullies. She tries to upgrade her Bumblebee suit to make her bigger, not shorter, but it doesn't work. In the end she learns to accept her height.
- In the Mickey Mouse episode, "New Shoes", Mickey starts to suffer this while in Goofy's body. He barely fits into his house and none of his clothes fit him anymore.
- In "Measuring Up" from Timothy Goes to School, Charles suffers a bit of this when Claude calls him a "shrimp" after everyone takes their measurements and he's found to the shortest in the class. Doris cheers him up by telling him that she's the tallest at school, but the shortest in her family and inviting him to play with her at her place after school. Later, Charles chastises one of Doris's brothers when he calls her a "shrimp."
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Attack of the 50 Foot Sister", Candace is told that she is 2 inches too short to be a Flawless Girl and is clearly upset about it, crying about being "2 inches too ugly". She attempts to use a growth elixir that the boys made in order to grow an extra 2 inches. No prizes for guessing what happens to her.
- Reducto in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is a weird example. He's short and nervous and built a shrink gun which he uses on everything he considers a threat and bigger than him. But if he runs into someone genuinely smaller than him like Inch High, Private Eye he goes full Ax-Crazy and tries to kill them.
- Apparently Silvio Berlusconi is sensitive about his height in real life, and is always careful about camera angles and so on. When the playwright Dario Fo played him in his work Two Headed Anomaly, he wore a dwarf puppet-suit to make it extra insulting.
- The same applies to Nicolas Sarkozy. Except for the play part. In contrast, his successor François Hollande, while pretty much the same size, never made a big deal of it.
- Stephen Merchant believes his 201cm (6'7") height should qualify him for disability.
- Achievement Hunter member Jeremy Dooley is the shortest member of the team, thus there are times where the other members will (playfully) mock him for being so short. However, he's also affectionately referred to as "Lil' J" by himself, the team and the fans and a lot of the team names usually incorporate his stature into it.
- During the 2004 United States Presidential Election, George W. Bush was very careful to avoid standing next to the 6'4" John Kerry during their debates so as to avoid looking short. Bush is also shorter than his 2000 opponent Al Gore, but only by a couple of inches, not enough to have been a distraction on camera.
- North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il was infamous for wearing platform shoes and a high hairstyle to make himself look taller.
- Robert Downey Jr. often wears specially made shoes with built-in lifts to bring him up closer in height to his co-stars in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. These shoes are what allowed Tony Stark to appear taller than Peter Parker, even though there's a negligible difference between Downey and Tom Holland.
- Tom Holland is somewhat short (5'8") but found himself very self-conscious around other MCU actors because many of the men are over six-feet in heightnote .
- Japanese ex-Idol Singers Ayami Muto and Aiko Yamaide are extremely tiny even by that country's standards and have angsted publicly about it. Ayami 149cm/410⅔ is more likely to resort to Self-Deprecation these days, especially since the other two girls her age with whom she worked are both 57 supermodels. Aiko 151.1cm/411½ plays this much straighter, often wearing absurd platform shoes and insisting she'll start growing again any day now.
- Aki Toyosaki is among the taller female voice actors at 169 cm but generally prefers to draw as little attention as possible to that. Even when someone for example compliments her long legs she can try to change the topic.
- Alese Watson said she liked doing the voice-acting for Claes in Gunslinger Girl because she hates being so small, so playing a Little Miss Badass is a great alter-ego. "I would love to be able to go whack-whack-whack!—take somebody out."