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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

  • Big Little Brother: The younger sibling is notably taller than their older siblings.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: A character's appearance doesn't match up with what was expected of them.
  • Gentle Giant: A character who is tall, muscular, and very strong, but is also gentle and kind.
  • The Giant: In wrestling, this person is so much larger than everyone else that it's their gimmick.
  • Giant Woman: A woman who isn't simply tall, but rather several stories high.
  • Huge Schoolgirl: A young girl still in school, but is also very large.
  • Impossibly Graceful Giant: Instead of being held by by real-world physics, something huge moves with great speed and grace.
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  • Large and in Charge: The leader of a group is quite large and physically intimidating.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: When a woman's superior strength is a dealbreaker for a guy.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: The work features giants.
  • Statuesque Stunner: A female character who is both very tall and very pretty.
  • Stealthy Colossus: Something ginormous manages to be quiet and sneaky despite their size.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: A description for an attractive male character—tall, dark-haired (possibly in dark clothing), and very good-looking.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: A character is tall, dark-haired, and constantly being snarky.
  • Totem Pole Trench: Two or more children (or just very short people) stack on top of each other, don a trench coat, and pretend to be one adult.
  • Weight Taller: When gaining weight increases a character's height as well.
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  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: Children are not allowed to ride an amusement park attraction due to being too short.

Short Tropes

  • 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.
  • Teens Are Short: 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.
  • 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.
  • Small Parent, Huge Child: A child is larger than one or more of their parents.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Instead of it being the other way around, the guy is the smaller one, and the girl is much taller.