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They rarely operate heavy machinery.
"Concerning Hobbits". Middle Earth being, after all, full of strange creatures beyond count, hobbits must seem of little importance, being neither renowned as great warriors, nor counted amongst the very wise. In fact, it has been remarked by some that Hobbits’ only real passion is for food - a rather unfair observation, as we have also developed a keen interest in the brewing of ales and the smoking of pipe-weed. But where our hearts truly lie is in peace, and quiet, and good tilled earth. For all Hobbits share a love of things that grow.

"Hobbits" are a subtrope of the Little People popularized by J. R. R. Tolkien and now frequently found in a Standard Fantasy Setting. While The Lord of the Rings has defined the modern interpretation of most of the races in fantasy fiction, hobbits are unique in the sense that they were nearly completely Tolkien's own creation. They were adopted to other fantasy worlds via the general influence of Tolkien's works on the Standard Fantasy Setting and particularly via Dungeons & Dragons, which called them "Halflings".note  Their oddly specific traits tend to include very high magic resistance, good luck, ability to move about unnoticed (though not invisible) and good sling, slingshot and rock-throwing abilities. Tolkien's original Hobbits were known for their tough, extremely hairy feet, which led to them not requiring or enjoying footwear — this is not necessarily carried over to later versions.

Tolkien was never sure if he invented the word "hobbit" (for the novel The Hobbit, first published 1937), though his fictional race provides the definition for the Oxford English Dictionary. After his death, people unearthed an earlier appearance in print dating from 1853 in the "Denham Tracts", a Long List of fantastical creatures by folklorist Michael Aislabie Denham. "Hobbits" appears next to "hobgoblins" and more arcane terms such as "cowies", "dunnies", and "wirrikows". Tolkien could have read the Denham Tracts somewhere along the way, since he taught at Oxford and the library has a reprint of the Tracts from 1895 (through which it was rediscovered), and his mind could have stowed it away unknowingly. Later, even earlier occurrences of "hobbits" were unearthed where it was an early synonym (plural unchanged) for "howitzer" or "howitz" in the 1700s. There are also dozens of fringe theories, ranging from hobaid, an old Welsh word for a measure of grain, to (of all things) "rabbit", a source Tolkien vehemently denied. Still, Tolkien's hobbits — their appearance, character and habits — were his own invention. He also invented his own Old English derivation for "hobbit", from holbytla, "hole-builder".

Nevertheless, the term hobbit is trademarked. It is common for non-Tolkien works to come up with a different name for their hobbit-like race because the holders of the trademark, "Middle-earth Enterprises" (formerly "Tolkien Enterprises" and actually a division of The Saul Zaentz Company, who bought certain merchandising rights in 1976) are notoriously litigious about themnote . Halfling serves as the trademark-free default (despite, ironically, also being coined by Tolkien).

Referencing their Fae origins, the film version of The Lord of the Rings gives them pointy ears. Their part Fae, part human nature, in addition to their height, is part of the reason why they are also known as "Halflings". It is easy to assume hobbits are stand-ins for the audience as they tend not to have combat prowess and lack magic (other than the "ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly") or other flashy gimmicks. Paradoxically, this can make them seem more like "modern" humans than the humans in their settings.

They are usually a small, "innocent" version of people who only want to enjoy life without big plans or complications. Hobbits also tend to be small — 3'6" on average. This possibly makes younger audiences easily identify with them. It is an easy way to make them seem less threatening to other characters. Jerks will get frustrated with them. If your cast is otherwise filled with fantastic and lordly people, you know people who treat them nicely are good at heart. When they're thrown into the world suddenly, they have to survive on their wits and luck and may find out they have qualities they were unaware of. They occasionally are the ones to get the Golden Snitch. At the beginning of a given story, a hobbit character will usually also be naive, unworldly, and illustrate the difference between wisdom and intelligence; they usually have a fair amount of the former, with none of the latter.

If the Hobbit/Halfling is a member of The Team (and you will find them either there or as a walk-on character, not a central protagonist) then expect him to act as The Sneaky Guy, (more specifically, the Thief from the Fighter, Mage, Thief trio, or a "burglar" in the Trope Maker) He will also periodically overcome his apparently fearful nature and get dangerous, with a resulting Super Weight of 1, edging towards 2 in some cases. Character development usually revolves around them learning Waif-Fu, becoming less naive, (simply because their native environment usually isn't dangerous at all, but the world outside it is) and taking a level in badass in general terms.

It is common in anime for Hobbits to appear literally like look like young children, regardless of age. Tolkien also noted that he frequently had to correct artists who presented hobbits as humanoid rabbits, to varying ratios of rabbit-to-human, after reading his notes on what hobbits were like.

As mentioned under the examples from Dungeons & Dragons below, much like how Orcs have seen a re-interpretation as a more noble, if savage, warrior race, more recent fantasy works inspired by D&D have also been keen to reinterpret hobbits. They tend to be less overweight, more often resembling small elves. They tend to be more actively badass, adventurous, often nomadic in nature compared to their very sedentary, pastoral original interpretations. To the point where this interpretation of hobbits and halflings tends to be the most common one encountered in modern times.

Among fans of various fantasy JRPGs it has become common to refer to the setting's hobbit-like race as "potatoes", particularly if they follow the classic rounded and pudgy model rather than the "miniature elf" one. This bit of slang apparently started with Final Fantasy XIV's lalafells, and has since spread to other popular games.

If the heroes encounter an entire town of Hobbits, it is to protect such a place from encroaching forces of evil.

See The Hobbit for the book by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit for the live-action film and The Hobbit for the animated TV movie.


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    The Trope Namers - Tolkien's Hobbits 
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: The trope name comes from the race of small people who act as surrogates for middle-class Englishmen in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien (just in case you've been skimming through the page thus far or ignoring the films). Hobbits were originally created for The Hobbit only; in the early drafts they were even more like modern humans (Bilbo owns a clock, and all the hobbits have "normal" surnames and given names even in LotR). Frodo's friends occasionally grumble how Hobbits are left out of most legendary stories they've heard, which some fans have taken as a reference to how difficult it might have been for Tolkien to bring them in line with a larger epic fantasy.

    However, this trope is also downplayed by Tolkien's description of Hobbits seeming soft because they lead comfortable lives, not that they're inherently weak. Much like Englishmen, they are just about as likely to be adventurous (Frodo's crew) as they are to be assholes (Lotho Sackville-Baggins), although at the time the story takes place there's quite a bit of social / cultural pressure to be more stay-at-home. Early role-playing games featuring halflings banked on Tolkien's description that used to wander from place to place and that their skill in games and sports has a lot to do with being pretty tough.

    Hobbits within the Tolkien mythology are also curiously resistant to the effects of The Corruption caused by Sauron's powers, with them being able to survive and bounce back from the Black Breath or significantly delay the effects of the cursed Morgul blade. The most famous of the One Ring: Hobbits were the only ones capable of handling it without being completely ensnared by its power, though they aren't immune to its effects; for example, Sméagol/Gollum was consumed by the One Ring's power when he found it, and at the climax of The Return Of The King the One Ring is able to prevent Frodo from throwing it into Mount Doom. Not to underrate their resistance, however, as only three beings to possess the One Ring EVER voluntarily gave it up; two were Hobbits, and one was Tom Bombadil, who was ... something that was somehow immune to the Ring's effects.

    The immunity of the Hobbits was due to their upbringing causing most of them to think small and only reach for what was close at hand. This relative lack of ambition (compared to the other sentient races) meant that the One Ring didn't have a lot to tempt them with — Sam saw himself making the entire realm into his garden, which even he thought was too far out. Of course, there were exceptions and in the end Frodo may have been vulnerable due to a less sheltered upbringing from his uncle Bilbo's influence. Bilbo himself had rather benign inclinations even after feeling the Ring's influence.

    Another aspect of Tolkien's Hobbits that is not often reflected in their many Expy races is that Hobbits are actually not an entirely separate species but a distinct off-shoot of Men (humans). That is, different "races" in Middle-earth each have a distinct mythological origin (Elves, Men, Dwarves, etc.), and Hobbits are a subgroup of Men who just branched off and got really short. Everyone including the Hobbits then forgot their own origins, and they came to think of Hobbits as a distinct "race" separate from "the Big Folk", but they're mistaken.
    • It's also worth noting that "Hobbit" is not what the Hobbits call themselves. Tolkien's Framing Device is that he translated the stories from an ancient manuscript called the Red Book of Westmarch, and part of that was changing some names to make it more palatable to a contemporary audience. In their native Westron, Hobbits call themselves kudugin (singular kuduk), which derives from kûd-dûkan, meaning "hole-builder". In Old English hole-builder is holbytla, which became hobbit.
    • Another point of trivia - though many works use "halfling" as a trademark-free substitute for hobbit, it was actually also a Tolkien coinage. Specifically, the hobbits were dubbed "halflings" by the Dúnedain of Arnor, who averaged about 6'4", or two rangar in their Númenórean units. Hobbits (specifically the Harfoots, the first hobbits they met) averaged about 3'2", or one ranga, and so were exactly half as tall as the Dúnedain.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Delicious in Dungeon: Half-feet look like human children with bigger ears (Chilchuck, a half-foot in the main party, looks around 10 years old, but is actually 29 and thus middle-agednote ). They're weak in combat, but they possess sharper senses, allowing them to detect dangers and traps earlier. They also only live to be about fifty, subverting the usual "humans are the shortest lived race" trope.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering
    • When designing the Lorwyn block, a fairytale setting that focuses heavily on the races and jobs of creatures, the design team didn't feel quite ready to make a card that cared about the "Human" type. Their solution? The kithkin, who are — take a guess — short, quick villager-types. They are a bit more fighty than the standard model, but this is Magic: The Gathering we are talking about, non-fighty groups don't get cards printed. (For the sake of originality they threw in a dash of dwarf as well. The actual dwarves of Lorwyn are called Duergars.) Kithkin actually originated a decade earlier in Legends with the card Amrou Kithkin... which in development was named "Hobbit".
    • Magic also has two kithkin cultures which diverge from the standard Hobbit theme: The kithkin of Amrou on the world of Dominaria are close-knit nomads in a post-apocalyptic wasteland (at least, in Time Spiral; as noted above Amrou Kithkin was originally the Hobbit Classic), while those of Shadowmoor (a sort of Bizarro-Lorwyn) are violently xenophobic castle-dwellers with unnaturally large, blank eyes and a Hive Mind.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • FoxTrot: A week of strips consists of an Imagine Spot showing what might have happened if Jason and Marcus had been cast as hobbits in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Jason gets a little too into his role.

    Fan Works 
  • The Night Unfurls: Half-lings are basically what happens when cutesy Dwarves and this trope are mixed together in a pot. The half-ling fighters are tiny, fierce, and have a rudimentary resistance to magic.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Hobbit is notable for being the first major film adaptation of Tolkien's works and the first film to codify the trope. The depiction of the film is quite accurate to the book, if somewhat stylized visually due to essencially being an early example of anime.
  • The Return of the King uniquely gives a fate to the hobbits after the Third Age of Middle Earth. Leaning into the implications made by Tolkien about hobbits being a sort of subspecies to humanity (see Literature), Gandalf notes at the end that each successive generation of hobbits are getting taller. The wizard speculates that eventually they'll be indistinguishable from humanity as a whole and merge into them, leading to modern descendents perhaps hearing the stories of the Third Age and wondering if they have hobbits in their bloodline.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Dark Crystal: The Gelflings are equal parts elf and hobbit. Gelfling women actually have fairy-like wings. The Podlings in the same movie are a more traditional example. They're much smaller than all the other people in the setting, and they are definitely merry.note 
  • Willow: The Nelwyns. Although an otherwise straight example, Willow himself takes on the Big Bad on in the end and wins. Although this is through a bluff about his level of power (and some practiced sleight-of-hand), by the end of the sequel novels (a.k.a. the Shadow trilogy) he is probably the most powerful mortal magic user in the setting. He retires; having decided it's Lonely at the Top and goes back to his community.

  • Bored of the Rings: Boggies are gluttonous, cowardly, slovenly, and slothful. And mentally handicapped even by the standards of the setting.
  • The Borrible Trilogy: The eponymous human-offshoots are urbanized, adventurous, scruffy, and tough; they live in a world much like ours, but with fantastical elements. They share stereotypical hobbits' small size, stealthiness, distaste for authority, compassion for animals, and tendency to steal whatever's not nailed down.
  • Discworld: Actually hobbits/halflings/etc. don't appear as such but, according to The Discworld Atlas, the Foggy Islands (Fantasy Counterpart Culture New Zealand) are rumoured to be home to "a small, pipe-smoking people with hairy feet", in allusion to the the Tolkien movies having been shot in New Zealand.
  • Dragonlance features the Kender, who are... pretty much nothing like hobbits at all, despite being Krynn's version of the halfling (D&D hobbit) species. They're a race of small humanoids who resemble sylvan children in both appearance and personality; an entire species of Fearless Fools who literally can't feel fear without magic being employed, are eternally curious, easily bored, and naturally adept at thieving, as they combine innate speed, dexterity and gentleness with a childhood tradition of learning to pick locks and pockets so they can sate their insatiable curiosity. They're supposed to be seen as sweet, innocent and adorable, with setting information often talking about their Incorruptible Pure Pureness, and explaining their quirks as being cute and harmless... In reality, most people In-Universe find them immensely irritating, while readers/gamers regard the whole species as The Scrappy. They are, in a nutshell an entire race that spends its entire lifespan in the combination of the two most annoying phases of childhood; the Curious as a Monkey phase and the Sticky Fingers phase. The reason why they're that way is a case of Gameplay and Story Integration. The original Dragonlance novels were made to promote the modules/campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons, and in that edition, halflings were basically limited to always being thieves as a Shout-Out to Bilbo's role in the adventuring party in The Hobbit. The authors created kender as a way to believably explain why such a race would always produce thieves, yet not be either Always Chaotic Evil or simply wiped out due to being obnoxious. For example, their thieving isn't "really" thieving but just them borrowing interesting stuff and then forgetting to give it back, a result of their insatiable curiosity and their short attention span. Likewise, their thieving skills are all trained as the result developing the skills necessary for sating their curiosity; a kender always has to see what interesting new things they can find inside people's pockets or behind locked door.
  • The Gammage Cup: The Minnipins. Their short stature is not really made clear until they encounter (presumably) regular-sized humans in the sequel.
  • Goblin Slayer: Given that the setting is a bog-standard Japanese D&D placeholder setting, it of course has a halfling race with Serial Numbers Filed Off; here they are apparently named "Rheas" and are often stereotyped as rogue-types and thieves. One particular specimen even goes so far as to be a clear Grimdark Captain Ersatz of Bilbo Baggins, all the way down to being known as "Burglar" and having a magic ring that makes him invisible. He's the one who nurses the child Goblin Slayer back to health and subjects him to Training from Hell for five years, and he wears the skin of a goblin's face as a mask.
  • Hainish:
    • Rocannon's World: The Fiia are a small child-like race that just wants to enjoy a simple communal life free of care and fear.
    • The Word for World is Forest: The Athsheans are also something like this (they are described as looking rather like Ewoks, only green). They're a peaceful bunch until humans turn up.
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: The Prums are modelled after the Hobbits and were originally called such. As the former Web Serial Novel gets a publishing deal, the race was renamed after "parum," the Latin word for "small", to avoid the wrath of the J. R. R. Tolkien estate. Prums have normal human builds, but tend to have youthful appearances.
  • The Marvellous Land of Snergs: The eponymous Snergs are round-faced, short and stout people. They also are good archers and love partying and building eccentric architecture.
  • Mithgar: The Warrows fit Tolkien's Hobbit mold. One of them is even named Pippin! They tend, though, to be more adventurous than Tolkien's Hobbits, are more quick to defend themselves and have a well-organized militia. The term "Warrow(s)" is itself derived from Tolkien's coinage of an alternate plural evolution of "dwarf": "dwarrows" or "dwerrows", akin to "goose/geese" or "man/men", which he used only once as a place-name. McKiernan's contribution to the Tolkien tribute anthology After the King, examples of this trope meet up at a wayhouse reserved for little folk, along with some smaller members of The Fair Folk. Some are named, while others are Brand X-style imports from the sources listed above.
  • Record of Lodoss War: The Grassrunners fill the halfling niche, but have a bit of The Fair Folk about them as well: Maar, the heroes' token smallfellow, has a playful exterior but is capable of treachery and subterfuge and sometimes wields magic underhandedly. The Grassrunners are separate from Halflings in the published RPG, though.
  • Small Medium introduces Halvens who are very much like hobbits in stature, appetite, throwing ability, and general desire for a quiet life (hampered in part by that one of their racial traits adds their Halven levels to Fate checks, which often throw them in the middle of big events if they're not careful), with a dash of Expressive Ears for flavor.
  • The Soddit: Parodied. The opening paragraphs exaggerate everything in Tolkien's description (except the tough feet, which is inverted), and note that, with all their disadvantages and conservatism, it's really weird that they seem to have reached a 18th-19th century level of technology when everyone else is in Medieval Stasis.
  • The Sundering by Jacqueline Carey, which is explicitly modeled on The Lord of the Rings, has the Yarru-yami. The Yarru-yami, in contrast to Tolkien's hobbits, are dark-skinned and inhabit a desert. The two who go on a quest are portrayed as rather naive.
  • An Unexpected Apprentice features the race of "smallfolk", who are Tolkien's hobbits in all but name. The main difference is that instead of having large, hairy feet, the smallfolk have no toes.
  • Villains by Necessity:
    • Arcie has most of the hobbit or halfling characteristics, though his people are still humans, simply smaller ones from the north (with Scottish accents), being a short, hairy and mischievous man. He is a thief and a black sheep, as the others are said to be honest, more down-to-earth folks. In fairness though, Tolkien stated hobbits were just pigmy humans too originally.
    • On a minor note, the wilderkin somewhat subvert this as they're not standard (although the one that we see the most is a bit like a hobbit), as short, somewhat hairy woods-dwelling folk who are fierce and territorial in their own homeland (hunting with fox dogs).
  • The War Gods plays up the thieving, cowardly image for its version of Halflings. Except the Marfang Islander halflings who are brilliant sailors and brave to what the other races consider reckless insanity. They've all got small horns on their foreheads as well to set them apart physically.

  • Fighting Fantasy: Hobbits turns up in Creature of Havoc. In a series of over 60 books, this is the sole installment featuring Hobbits. Unfortunately for them, they happen to be the titular monster's favorite food.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance again features gelflings and podlings. Specifically, the series introduces Hup, a podling who leaves his comfortable life to try and become a paladin, armed with a wooden spoon. Naturally he turns out to possess great reserves of bravery and resourcefulness nobody expected.
  • Kamen Rider Kiva: One of the Twelve Demon Races is the Hobbitsnote , a race of Lilliputian beings (about 10 centimeters tall) who hate conflict and actually knuckled under to the Fangire, becoming servants and informants. They're only detailed in official side information and never show up in the series proper, presumably because they didn't want a visit from Tolkien's lawyers.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: One of the storylines follows a group of Harfoots, a nomadic group who will eventually settle and become Hobbits in a few thousand years. The Harfoots are small and close to nature which, coupled with their frequent migrations, allows them to hide from outsiders. The downside of this is that anyone who can't migrate, either due to injury or accident, is left behind so the larger clan can survive.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Hob, hobthrush, hobthrust and hobgoblin are all English names for "little people" similar to brownies who can be either helpful or mischievous. One story from the Runswick bay area even has the local hobthrust living in a "hobhole".
  • Hobbit appears on a list of supernatural creatures compiled by folklorist Michael Aislabie Denham (third edition, 1853), though no description of what exactly they are is given. The only other known use of the word hobbit at the time would have been a Welsh unit of measurement for weight or volume of grain.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Chronicles of Aeres has an interesting take on halflings which could be casually described as a cross between the Stronghearts from Forgotten Realms and the Vistani from Ravenloft. Created by the Goddess of Fate, Gipta, the halflings originally were a race defined by their strong predilection for divination magic, relying heavily on a ruling caste of oracles to guide them. When their homeland was invaded, their visions of the future became blurry, and this drove many of the race's diviners and oracles to a panic; convinced that You Can't Fight Fate and that their homeland was doomed, they packed up as much as they could carry and fled, leaving behind those who refuse to concede their homeland. The defenders actually won and to this day there is bad blood between the two factions. The diviners continue to roam as the nomadic "Wanderlings", whilst the martial faction who stayed to fight, now calling themselves the "Hinterfolk", have only doubled down on their martial training — and their disinterest in relying on magic, especially divination magic.
  • The Dark Eye: The hill dwarves are hobbits in everything but name. They have long since abandoned the traditional dwarven lifestyles of warfare and hardship, instead settling rolling hill-lands where they live in round earth houses. They pointedly avoid combat and adventure, which they view as extremely unpleasant, prefer to lead lives of gregariousness and pleasure, and are very fond of fine food and drink.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Hobbits debuted as a playable race in the first iterations of D&D in the 1970s, ported 1-for-1 from Tolkien's works. Naturally, Tolkien Enterprises (the independent company in charge of licensed materials, no association with Christoper Tolkien) waved its lawyers at TSR and the name was quickly changed to the unlicensed "Halflings". Despite this, early halflings were transparently based on Tolkien's works. The race was heavily associated with skills in thievery and the use of thrown weapons, and was soon even divided into subraces based on Tolkien's three hobbit ethnicities; Hairfoots, Stouts, and Tallfellows — the first two names were even literal translations of Tolkien's Harfoots and Stoors, while the third is clearly meant to sound like Tolkien's Fallohides. The BECMI halfling race-class functioned as a kind of proto-ranger, being largely a fighter with an adeptness at throwing stones and some heightened stealth skills in wilderness settings. In AD&D, halflings were overwhelmingly associated with the Thief class, but could also be Fighters and Clerics, but no other classes.
    • Starting with Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, halflings got a major overhaul and became much less Tolkienesque; in the process becoming more adventurous and less innocent; the default subrace became the lightfoots, who were portrayed not as jovial homebodies but tricksy nomads. Over time they have physically become "sexier" and less hobbitlike, to the point that some now see them as short elves. The "cuter", more provincial traits of the "old" halflings were mostly given to the gnomes, who were described as living in cozy burrow-towns. Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition would partially walk this back, maintaining the Lightfoot name, but bringing back a focus on the older, more hobbit-like lore. 5e artwork also has a more clearly "hobbitesque" aesthetic.
      • Part of the shift away from their hobbit roots was the decreasing of Square Race, Round Class pigeonholing them into the Thief class. In 4th and 5th edition in particular, it's possible to effortlessly play halflings as Pintsize Powerhouses, when they were traditionally terrible at any direct martial class.
    • Dark Sun has a particularly dark spin on halflings. The millennia-long campaign of genocide led by Rajaat that devastated the ecology of Athas has irrevocably broken the Halfling race, turning them from laid-back, ale-loving riverfolk to violent, xenophobic cannibals that will happily kill and eat anyone who trespasses on the few remaining forests and jungles. Ironically, they were also the earliest rulers of Athas, being the dominant race of the "Blue Age" when most of the planet was ocean.
    • Greyhawk largely set the standard for halfings as hobbits with the Serial Numbers Filed Off; they were quiet, unassuming, comfort-loving homebodies divided into three subraces; Hairfoots (the "pure" halfling), Stouts (who were suspected of having dwarf blood and were hardier, with an affinity for mining) and the Tallfellows (associated with elves, taller, longer-lived, and keener senses). Some AD&D sourcebooks would even offer mechanics for playing halflings with mixed ancestry. It did introduce the biggest distinction between D&D halflings and their hobbit ancestors by creating their racial pantheon, which centers around a benevolent divine matriarch called Yondalla and a racial hero named Littleman.
    • Mystara would offer one of the earliest twists on the halfling archetype. Whilst their homeland of the Five Shires is a peaceful, pastoral homeland, young halflings experience an intense period of wanderlust and thrill-seeking known as yalarum, and are sent off into the wider world to become adventurers and get it out of their system, meaning that every settled adult in the Shires has at least a few class levels. Some either never get it out of their system or are just too mean to get on in polite society, and these defend the Shires' coast as a privateer navy. Mystaran halflings, or hin as they call themselves, also have access to a unique Anti-Magic ability when in their homeland, and also produce fonts of mystical Blackfire that they use to produce magic items. For added protection, the Shires also tends to be a popular retreat for older wizards.
    • Spelljammer introduced the most obscure of the halfling subraces in the form of the Furchins; Stone Age tribals native to an ice-world called Falakyr, who appeared in an adventure in "The Legend of Spelljammer" boxed set, but whose lore was largely defined by "The Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings" sourcebook. The race hasn't reappeared officially since AD&D 2nd edition, but the 3rd editioon sourcebook "Frostburn" does contain a "Tundra Halfling" race which seem to be a Spiritual Successor.
    • Eberron has two separate cultures of Lightfoot halflings, who are heavily involved in the medical and culinary institutions of their world; the "civilized" clans, and those who maintain their people's traditional lifestyle as nomadic dinosaur-riding barbarians.
    • Forgotten Realms: Halflings are divided between Lightfoots, Stronghearts (a culturally tweaked version of Stouts), and the Ghostwise; a primitive, electively mute race of nature-worshipping nomads who can communicate telepathically with animals and use this ability to tame them as steeds and companions.
  • Ravenloft: Halflings tend to follow the Tolkien model of settled stay-at-homes, as they're the most tolerated demihumans in the Land of Mists and prefer not to rock the boat. Plus, y'know, it's Ravenloft, so unless you're a Vistani, living like a gypsy is bound to get you eaten by something out there on the roads at night.
  • Birthright had its own twist on Halflings: they were refugees from the World of Shadow, a mirror world inhabited by the dead and The Fair Folk (of which they were a subrace).
  • Dragonlance (unfortunately) introduced the Kender. Kender are basically halflings but defined by their very, very poor grasp of the concept of personal property — a Kender will often pick other people's pockets and rifle through their bags to stave off boredom and then getting offended when people accuse them of being thieves. In canon they're actually treated as a good race and their manic kleptomania is treated as a sort of childishly innocent curiosity; whenever the Kender rogue swipes the wizard's spellbook or the cleric's prized holy symbol, they really just don't know any better, hence why killing them is canonically treated as the same as child murder. Characterized by the fandom as pathologically lying, terminally stupid and sticky-fingered Chaotic Stupid little troublemakers and sociopaths with a massive case of Protagonist-Centered Morality, the phrase "I wanna roll a Kender character!" is an insta-ban offence in many tabletop groups. After the world was almost destroyed by Chaos, a new type of Kender emerged, the "Afflicted" Kender. Not actually a new race, they were instead Kenders who reacted to the horrors of the Chaos War by effectively becoming psychologically mature, losing their immunity to fear and their race's innocent kleptomaniac nature. In-universe they tended to freak everyone out.
  • Nentir Vale, the core setting of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, takes the path of the 3rd edition halfling another few steps. Whilst the characterization of these halflings is largely based on the Lightfeet, they are notably taller (averaging 4' 6"), they are associated primarily with rivers, swamps and wetlands rather than riding in overland caravans, and they no longer have a distinct racial pantheon. Instead, they devote themselves primarily to three goddesses; their creators Melora (goddess of nature) and Sehanine (goddess of moon and mischief), and their adoptive patron Avandra (goddess of luck and adventure).
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition: The sourcebook Book of Vile Darkness introduces the Jerren, an Always Chaotic Evil halfling subrace. Originally lightfoots, when their territory was invaded by goblinoid forces, the Jerren turned to extreme measures to fight back, eventually leading to a cultural embrace of poisoned weaponry, torture, corpse-defiling and cannibalism. The precise levels to which they'll stoop have never been fully defined, but it's noted in their backstory that the things the Jerrens began to do horrified the goblins, and that eventually every last goblin either fled or was tortured, killed and eaten by the Jerrens.
  • In 2nd edition, monster lore for the brownie, characterized in D&D as a small, helpful fairy race that covertly lives alongside and assists humanoids, postulated that halflings may be either a subrace of brownie who have become more mortal-like, or a Half-Human Hybrid of brownie stock.
  • Eon has Misslas being the stand-in for Hobbits. Pysically, they are around 80-100 cm "tall" humans with long, pointy ears (think "anime elf ears" and you've got the idea). Mentally they're typically very cheerful and have an adventurous spirit that's easily roused. They're rather child-like, a bit naive and considered odd-balls by most races since they're Literal-Minded, Sarcasm-Blind, have some difficulty understanding arbitrary and abstract concepts like monetary values and their standard reaction to being told to beware of something is to seek it out so they can learn how to beware of it. Their culture puts most of its emphasis on simple things like song, dance and storytelling and they're quite well-known for their culinary skills. The Misslas are also able to telepathically exchange thoughts, memories and feelings with other Misslas by making physical contact. Interestingly, the Misslas are, according to legend, not native to the setting's universe: About 2000 years before the RPG's present time, some Misslas fell into Mundana through a hole in the sky after a climatic battle with an evil wizard.
  • Fellowship: The Halfling playbook casts halflings as cunning tricksters who are quite brave despite their diminutive size. Courage is their core ability, and their special abilities involve the ability to act unnoticed when doing something particularly cunning or clever ("The Little Folk"), and the ability to get bonuses from distracting enemies with the "Keep Them Busy" move ("Sting Like a Bee"). Possible archetypes for halflings are Clever Storytellers (who can use tales and games to get more info out of others when Speaking Softly), Determined Survivors (who can replace a failed roll to Get Away with a moderate success to Keep them Busy, and vice versa), Mischievous Tricksters (who can use their Sting Like a Bee ability more effectively), and Traveling Nomads (who start with extra Gear).
  • Godforsaken: Halflings stand about three feet tall and tend to be personable and easy to get along with. They prefer to lead quiet lives at home, either in their own villages or in mixed communities with humans, but are taken by the itch for adventure every now and again. When they do join adventuring groups, they often do so as burglars and scouts.
  • The One Ring: Hobbits have a large store of Hope points, which makes them capable of turning failure into success, and are good at giving their companions more Hope points as well. They are also particularly resistant to fear and evil magic.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Halflings are one of the game's core playable races. Pathfinder halflings tend to be cheerful opportunists who prefer to avoid the limelight (and the problems that come with it). In many human nations, halflings are prized as servants and, in less enlightened kingdoms, slaves.
    • The "Obsidian Twilight" campaign worlds has halflings who are essentially garbage-dwelling CHUDs. For some reason.
    • Second Edition has the Shoonies, who are less human-looking than the usual hobbits (they're anthropomorphic pugs) but otherwise fit the trope very well, being small, peace-loving people who live in idyllic farming villages and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
  • Sword World RPG: Grassrunners are carefree nomads who look like children even as adults and are Constantly Curious, with little regard for other people's property if they just happen to find it lying around. They're the only race that doesn't have magic naturally, only being able to use skills from magic wielding classes by spending mako stones in place of their own mana, but this also leaves them more resistant to magic attacks than other races potentially being able to No-Sell them with a good enough dice roll.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Abhuman strain called the Ratlings fit the bill as Space Hobbits. They don't get much play in the lore or game, possibly due to Games Workshop viewing many of the setting's Recycled In Space fantasy elements as something of an Old Shame. Mostly, Ratlings serve in the Imperial Guard as cooks, quartermasters, and snipers, and in keeping with 40K's grimdark tendencies they're greedy, thieving, fornicating little bastards. In Only War they get a bit more spotlight, being playable in their sniper role.
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • This version is much closer to Tolkien's Hobbits, although their land — the Moot — is pretty much a buffer state between the Empire and the Vampire Counts, making them the first ones on the chopping block when some bloodsucker gets thirsty. They're stereotyped as being either thieves or excellent cooks, but also tend to make plucky rangers, fur-trappers and gamekeepers and sometimes even send regiments of spearmen and archers to fight in the Imperial army. Like Tolkien's hobbits they tend to exhibit the characteristics of sedentary English country folk, though occasionally mixed in with those of early new world frontiersmen — the famous Halfling mercenary regiment led by Lumpin Croop, for instance, uses a weathervane as its standard and a pub dart board as its leader's shield, but wears a mixture of Davy Crockett fur hats, German peasant caps and English flat caps. Their cookery skills have also been weaponised in the past. Most famously Gambo Hartstock's Hot Pot Catapult — a makeshift war machine consisting of a wooden spit rest strung with elastic that throws cauldrons of boiling soup over the enemy. In one fan-made citadel journal all-halflings army list they were also given a Steam Tank, converted into a mobile camp kitchen. Beware the Nice Ones indeed.
    • They also naturally appear in Blood Bowl, where they are essentially the Joke Characters of the game: nearly all of their recruitable players are Stunty, meaning they can't block or throw worth a damn, and they lack the gimmicky weaponry of the Goblins to make up for their genetic shortcomings. On top of that, the Halfling team is so bad in the fluff that they once managed to lose a game where the other team failed to show up.
    • In some Warhammer material, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay especially, halflings are resistant to Chaos warping or immune to mutation. They are also presented as voracious omnivores who are not above eating you out of house and home. And they may be of the same stock as Ogres, who are tougher, hungrier, and much bigger. Specifically, the Old Ones, whose intervention created the "good" races of the Warhammer World at the dawn of history, seem to have created Ogres and Halflings last of all their children, in a rush thanks to the impending collapse of the world under the Chaos incursions. Unlike Elves, Dwarfs and Humans though, they are rushed and incomplete races — crude and brutish on the one hand, docile and defenseless on the other (more or less). They are both, however, resistant to both magic and corruption, which is perhaps why they were made in the first place — to resist the encroachment of Chaos. The ogres even seem to have a subconscious awareness that they are supposed to work with the halflings, but since the two live in vastly different areas, they've adopted a breed of goblin known as "gnoblars" to fill the void (and occasionally their stomachs).
  • The World of Darkness:
    • Changeling: The Dreaming features boggans, a kith of short, sociable folk who are very good at craftwork and reading any social gathering and understanding all the connections therein.
    • Changeling: The Lost has some Wizened kiths with similar abilities, though overall the seeming has more in common with gnomes.

  • BIONICLE: The Matoran have no powers to speak of in a world where superpowers are the norm and Applied Phlebotinum is used on a daily basis. They are, however, extremely hardy and can take pretty much whatever the world throws at them. Their personalities, though, can range from the hot-headed Fire tribe to the cool, collected Ice tribe, and from the wise, sensible Earth tribe to the fun-loving Air tribe. They do most of the manual labor in their world and are often overlooked by more Genre Blind villains. They can also be transformed into Toa, Bionicle's default hero, by Power Crystals, space lightning, or the Powers That Be, usually Because Destiny Says So.

    Video Games 
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery: Hurthlings are short, stealthy, good archers, and have Cooking skill for free. Also they, like Tolkienesque ones, dislike footwear — mechanically, they move faster without boots of any kind.
  • Age of Wonders: The Halflings value happiness above all, but, as its definition varies by individual, they include selfless priests, eccentric pranksters and roguish adventurers. They mark the Hidden Depths box when they join Keepers en masse, not for gain, revenge or even necessity, but simply a place in songs and a chance to do a good deed.
  • Baldur's Gate is based on Forgotten Realms, and thoroughly averts the Square Race, Round Class trope due to the 2nd edition Dungeons & Dragons rules, and the first game includes a perky Halfling rogue. On the other hand, your player character can be a Halfling and be perfectly badass, the first game also includes Montaron (a Neutral Evil assassin who is surly, vicious, bad-tempered, and sociopathic) and the second game introduces Mazzy Fentan, a brave and bold Lawful Good warrior who comes as close as she can possibly get to being The Paladin.
  • Dark Souls II: The Bell Keepers are a race of puppets brought to life by the Prince of Venn. They look and talk like hobbits and are pathologically joyful, but also happen to be bloodthirsty warriors at the same time.
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth: The Brouni are very similar to hobbits, being a naturally short race who are in tune with nature and whose stats lean more towards being Support Party Members than frontline fighters. Unlike most examples, they were also once a Proud Merchant Race, as the Brouni shopkeeper Syrik mentions that every male Brouni used to be expected to become a merchant, but they're more open-minded about such things in the present day.
  • EverQuest: Halflings are a playable race. They're cribbed almost directly from Tolkien, down to the furry feet, big appetite and big belliesnote . Before statflation reached the point that starting stats became irrelevant, Halflings were best suited to playing agility based classes such as rogues and rangers.
  • Final Fantasy: Two subversions in the metaseries. In XI, the tiny Tarutaru are actually the game's best spellcasters, while in Crystal Chronicles, Lilties are hardcore fighters who nearly took over the land in ages past.
  • Granblue Fantasy: Harvins resemble cute plump children with large pointy ears. They tend to be rather self-conscious about being the shortest humanoid race around, and have affinity for both magic and academics.
  • Halo: Grunts are shorter than all the others, standing at a mere five feet, and are mostly for comic relief and they suck at fighting. They are somewhat childlike and naive compared to the other races of the Covenant, but are not as isolated from danger as other examples here. Their home world is a frozen wasteland that has occasional spontaneous fire tornadoes due to the methane atmosphere. Freezing and/or burning to death are daily occurrences. Despite all that, though, they still tend to be hobbit-like in mentality.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic: Halflings show up multiple times, always as fairly weak sling-using burrows-dwelling short people. They're usually low-level ranged units associated with the Wizard faction, although they're also often replaced by Gremlins, which fill the same role.
    • In II they're connected to the wasteland-associated Wizards.
    • In III's Armageddon's Blade expansion, they're unaligned, but the story has them waging a guerrilla war against the devil invaders that had taken over and turned their homeland of Eeofol into a volcanic waste. Halflings are arguably the strongest tier 1 creature, with great stats and a ranged attack. Their only downside is, being neutral, their weekly growth rate can't be increased so they tend to fall behind town creatures in the mid to lategame.
    • The Horn of the Abyss Game Mod for the third game moves Halflings to the Cattle Punk Factory town, and outfits them with grenades instead of slings. This is a callback to Heroes II, since Factory is situated in Wasteland terrain.
    • In IV they are back with the Wizards in the Academy faction. They're given the ability to deal extra damage to high-level creatures, referencing David vs. Goliath.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: The Kokiri live hundreds of years but never mature past childhood. They are able to live comfortably and innocently in their Enchanted Forest because of their steward, the Deku Tree, and are further guided by Fairy Companions. While Link himself is not a Kokiri, his upbringing among them makes him temperamentally closer to them than to Hylians, though like the Bagginses from the Trope Namer, he was considered the odd one out among them even before the revelation that he wasn't one of them.
    • The Koroks from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are a more unusual variant in that they are both a race of Hobbits and a race of Plant People. They are a race of baby-sized living shrubs, who use crudely decorated leaf-masks to give themselves the semblance of humanoid faces. They can fly on helicopter-like leafy rotors and are able to become invisible to most mortals. In the Wind Waker, they travel the Great Sea and plant trees in hopes of one day regrowing a new continent from the many islands. In Breath of the Wild, they inhabit the Lost Woods, guarding the Master Sword.
  • LEGO Star Wars: Ewoks have the "Shortie" skill of sneaking through vents (the only two non-Ewok Shortie characters are children), and also use slingshots.
  • Lufia: The Ruins of Lore has a village of hobbits. Playable character Bau is a hobbit who became a Beast Man.
  • Mass Effect: The Volus fill this to varying degrees. Short, chubby aliens in space suits, they tend to be very skilled and adventurous businessmen (and occasional comic relief). While they are outmatched by most other things in the galaxy in a one-on-one fight, they do have a surprisingly powerful navy (complete with one of the most heavily armed dreadnoughts in Council Space), and they are close allies with the Turians.
  • Overlord: In the first game, the Halflings are the first group of fantasy races you fight and conquer. The live underground and are heavily focused on food — each of the seven Fallen Hero antagonists is associated to a different one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and the Halfling hero's vice is gluttony.
  • Pillars of Eternity: The orlans blend the Tolkien/D&D hobbit with gnomes. They're short humanoids with two-toned skin and large, hairy ears (or hair all over in the "wild" orlan's case). They've been victimized and enslaved repeatedly by other cultures they've come in contact with and have either progressively retreated deeper into the wilds or resorted to guerrilla warfare, which is probably a Mythology Gag to Tolkien's statement that hobbits would have faced that fate had the ring been used to fight Sauron. None of orlans the player recruits fit the "hobbit" stereotype, either — the first game's Hiravias is a wandering Lovable Sex Maniac druid, while both orlans recruitable in the second, Serafen and Mirke, are pirates who dress, talk, and swear the part.
  • Ryzom: The Trykers are half as short as everyone else and are pretty playful and childlike in nature (though that doesn't stop them from being fairly powerful fighters themselves).
  • Shining Wisdom has a kingdom of Hobbits within the kingdom ruled by man. Oddly enough they appear to be the same size of normal people and the only defining characteristic is that they can dig underground. In other Shining Series games, they are closer to Tolkien lore; squat, beardless and good natured.
  • Tales of Maj'Eyal: Halflings are one of the playable races. Unlike most depictions, halflings in Eyal are a militaristic race whose slings are terrifyingly deadly, despite the halflings' small size. In the past, they forged the racist Nargol Empire through military prowess and magical mad science, enslaving humans, yeeks and the first orc tribes, and creating a lot of the problems that beset Eyal to this very day. Modern halflings are equal partners in the Allied Kingdoms, and most of them have settled down to be peaceful farmers, but halfling adventurers are still respected and feared for their ability.
  • Ultima had the Bobbit race as more or less a direct Expy of Tolkien's creation, with an aptitude for classes which required Wisdom. They were wiped out during the cataclysm that followed Exodus' defeat.
  • The Witcher: Halflings are taken directly from the Tolkien mold, down to not wearing shoes and having hairy feet. Not only are their feet hairy, their hands are as well and quite possibly their entire bodies. Though unlike dwarves and elves they're mainly limited to being minor background NPC's. One NPC in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt even has the throwaway line "Don't you dare call me a Hobbitson."

    Web Comics 
  • Alfie: Alfie's people are technically called Havlin. Other races refer to them as halflings as a Fantastic Slur.
  • Digger: Wombats are sensible, practical, and Nay-Theist, very much different from every other race introduced. The protagonist gets lost and finds herself in a world full of magic and gods: Culture Clash ensues.
  • Erfworld: There's a side called "Hobbit™". It's unknown what type of units it has, or if Tolkien Enterprises will be undeterred by the Trade Snark and press charges.
  • Irregular Webcomic!: Lambert is an RPG-style halfling who, like the rest of his party, is a walking stereotype. Despite this, he's always referred to as a hobbit, with the author at one point invoking Insistent Terminology that he's not a halfling.
  • The Order of the Stick: Belkar's race is 'halfling' but he does not fit any of the above character traits (sneaky, innocent, jolly etc) and is instead a Heroic Comedic Sociopath and the only evil protagonist. He still uses Halfling racial abilities to his advantage such as jumping around or throwing objects (daggers).
    Belkar's (former) Shoulder Angel: He's a halfling. He's supposed to be jolly...
    Why isn't he jolly?
    • He does maintain a few traditional traits — he's is a gourmet chef though and can identify ingredients by scent, as well as people too somehow; he just considers cooking for other humanoids to be a waste of time and ingredients. He also maintains the ability to throw rocks, as evidenced by this episode, when he causes an angry mob to flee in terror the moment he picks up a small pebble.
    • He also actually uses the word "hobbit" on rare occasions, and his usage indicates that it's the halfling version of N-Word Privileges (e.g., "Hobbit, please!")

    Web Original 
  • Mahu: In "Frozen Flame" prince Arius fights halfling rogues during his quest to bring order to the colonies.
  • Tales of MU: Hobbits and gnomes are the same race, "halfling" is a slur. Culturally, they're divided into shirelanders, who live in gentrified holes in the ground, and the more fun-loving riverfolk.

    Western Animation 
  • Dexter's Laboratory: In one episode, Dexter, Dee Dee and three other guys are playing a Captain Ersatz of Dungeons & Dragons, and Dee Dee gives Dexter a character named "Hodo the Furry-Footed Burrower", who actually digs tunnels à la Bugs Bunny. And his only "weapon" is his deadly... mandolin?
  • Johnny Bravo: "Johnny Bravo Goes to Hollywood" has Johnny auditioning for a Hollywood role. He is shown around the studio by a group of stars, including a hobbit.
  • Smiling Friends: Mip, the magical creature whom Charlie and Pim meet while going to help the Princess of the Enchanted Forest, is clearly drawn to be based on the Rankin-Bass Bilbo design and, on the surface, appears to share many qualities with Bilbo, Frodo, and Willow. However, it is revealed in the Twist Ending that Mip (who the guys accidentally killed along the way) was actually a sociopathic Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who had been stalking the Princess for a while. The gift he had Charlie and Pim take to her as his dying wish was actually a bomb he intended as revenge for her blocking him on social media, a la Ricardo Lopez, and only the Princess' quick reflexes save her and the Friends from an explosive demise. Whether Mip was even a hobbit at all is up for debate as, in his death throes, he briefly transforms into a screaming, haggard monster that dissolves into black goo that looks nothing like his usual self.

    Real Life 
  • Homo floresiensis have been nicknamed "hobbits", and were often barely over 3ft 7inches. Hailing for the island of Flores in Indonesia, it has been debated whether they were Homo sapiens or Homo erectus which had undergone insular dwarfism or if they were a different branch on the Hominid family tree; with most recent studies supporting the latter. They were tool makers despite still being adept climbers and largely resembled humans, but with preportionally larger eyes, hands, and feet. Evidently they and modern humans did coexist on the island for many thousands of years without any evidence of conflict.
    • Oral tradition of the island talks of beings called "Ebu Gogo", which roughly translates to "Old folk who eat anything" due to often eating anything people offer them. The legends of Ebu Gogo are considered to be potentially based on folk memory of the extinct hobbits. Tales largely hold that they were relatively inoffensive, mostly keeping to the forest, and speaking their own language though with the ability to parrot and perhaps learn words spoken to them.

Alternative Title(s): Halfling