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Height Tropes

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"Being tall has a major impact in general. It takes some courage to be as big as you are — to live up to it and not be intimidated by the graceful tiny people."

These are tropes that all have to do with height. Compiling this list was a tall order, but we made short work of it.

See also Bigger Is Better, Length Tropes, and Tiny Tropes for other tropes about size. For aerial heights and distances, see Dangerous Heights.

Tall Tropes

Short Tropes

  • Big Little Man: An incredibly short character is introduced in a way that makes them seem significantly taller than they really are.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature: A gigantic shadow turns out to come from someone or something much smaller.
  • Cutesy Dwarf: A little person who looks like a child.
  • Depraved Dwarf: A little person who also happens to be chock full of malice.
  • Little People Are Surreal: Little people appear in a work to bring some level of surrealism to a scene.
  • Mister Big: The top authority of a group happens to also be very short.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: When elderly characters are depicted as very short.
  • The Napoleon: Someone who is short in height and short in temper.
  • Pint-Sized Kid: A child is incredibly short even for their age.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: A character who makes up for their short height with an incredible amount of strength.
  • The Short Guy with Glasses: A male character (usually the smartest of the group) is shorter than the others, and wears glasses.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: When the smartest character(s) in a work are also the shortest.
  • Short Teens, Tall Adults: To show that a character is a teenager and not an adult, they are noticeably shorter.
  • Tiny Schoolboy: When instead of being the height they probably should be, a schoolboy is much, much smaller than their classmates.
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: A tiny girl who expects absolute authority over everyone else.


  • At Arm's Length: To hold back a shorter attacker, a taller person just holds them by the head at arm's length.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Two guys — one big, one little — who are paired together.
  • Height Angst: Whether it's because they're too tall or too short, a character is very unhappy with their height.
  • Height Insult: Mocking someone for their stature.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: In a pair (whether platonic or romantic), the guy is very large and the girl is much smaller.
  • Large Runt: A large character who is nonetheless small in comparison to others of their species.
  • One Head Taller: A romantic couple have about a head of height between them.
  • Scully Box: To make an actor appear taller, they stand on a box outside of the camera's view.