Follow TV Tropes



Go To
They rarely operate heavy machinery.
"Ah, yes. "Concerning Hobbits". Hobbits have been living and farming in the four Farthings of the Shire for many hundreds of years. Quite content to ignore and be ignored by the world of the Big Folk. 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 pipeweed."

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, furry 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 he is credited as such in 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 rights in 1976) are notoriously litigious about themnote . Halfling serves as the copyright-free default.

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.

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, and The Hobbit for the film.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Grassrunners from Record of Lodoss War 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.
  • The Prums in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? were modelled after the Hobbits and were originally called such. As the J. R. R. Tolkien estate complained, the race was renamed after "parum," the Latin word for "small". Prums have normal human builds, but tend to have youthful appearances.
  • Half-feet is one of the races in Delicious in Dungeon. Physically, they look like human children with bigger ears (Chilchuk, a half-foot in the main party, looks around 10 years old, but is actually 29). They're weak in combat, but they possess sharper senses, allowing them to detect dangers and traps earlier.
  • Given that the world of Goblin Slayer 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 theives.
    • 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.

    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, while those of Shadowmoor (a sort of Bizarro-Lorwyn) are violently xenophobic castle-dwellers with unnaturally large, blank eyes and a Hive Mind.
    • They're only in a post-apocalyptic wasteland after the apocalypse. They debuted on a card in Legends (which in design was called "Hobbit"), although they weren't seen again until Time Spiral.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • A week of strips in FoxTrot was 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.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Hobbit (animated) is the source of the trope image, of course.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit of course.
  • The Nelwyns from the 1988 fantasy film Willow, made by Ron Howard and George Lucas. 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.
  • The Gelflings from the movie The Dark Crystal 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 
  • Although considerably furrier than usual, the Ewoks of Star Wars certainly count.
  • The porn parody, The Lord of the G-Strings: The Femaleship of the String, features Throbbits, with the protagonists being three females of these diminutive race.

  • 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). Part of the reason is Hobbits were originally created for The Hobbit only; in the early drafts they were even more like modern humans (Bilbo owns a clock, 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, particularly the One Ring. Hobbits were the only ones capable of handling the One Ring 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.
    • Technical note: Tolkien himself explained that Hobbits are actually not an entirely separate race, 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 descendants 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 Men, but they're mistaken.
  • Hilariously parodied by the Boggies of Bored of the Rings who are gluttonous, cowardly, slovenly, and slothful. And mentally handicapped even by the standards of the setting.
  • The Warrows from Dennis L. McKiernan's Mithgar books 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 Witcher plays them entirely straight, with a helping of Beware the Nice Ones.
  • R.A. Salvatore's Crimson Shadow series has halflings. Especially the awesome character of Oliver deBurrows.
  • David Weber's WarGod series 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.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin's works:
    • The Fiia of Rocannon's World fit this trope to a T: a small child-like race that just wants to enjoy a simple communal life free of care and fear.
    • The Athsheans of The Word for World Is Forest are also something like this (they are described as looking rather like Ewoks, only green). They're a peaceful bunch until humans turn up.
  • Jody Lynn Nye's 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.
  • Subverted by Michael de Larrabeti in his Borribles novels, in which 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.
  • The Minnipins in Carol Kendall's The Gammage Cup. Their short stature is not really made clear until they encounter (presumably) regular-sized humans in the sequel.
  • Parodied in The Soddit by A.R.R. Roberts. The opening paragraphs take everything in Tolkien's description Up to Eleven (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.
  • 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).
  • 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.

    Live-Action Television 

    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 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:
    • "Halflings" started life as Tolkien's Hobbits with the Serial Numbers Filed Off; indeed, the game originally used "hobbit" back in the 1970s, but Tolkien Enterprises (the independent company in charge of licensed materials, no association with Christoper Tolkien) waved its lawyers at TSR and the term was changed. Traditionally, halflings are separated into three subraces, all transparent Captains Ersatz of Tolkien's three strains of hobbits: the standard hairfoots, the forest-dwelling tallfellows, and the crafty stouts or deep halflings.
    • 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.
    • Starting with Third 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.
    • Eberron took it even further; some halflings are dinosaur-riding barbarians, even though they still get the inoffensive dragonmarks.
    • Nowhere went further than Dark Sun, which featured savage, jungle-dwelling cannibal halflings — about as far from Tolkien's hobbits as you can get. Not to mention genetically engineering near universal mutation of every creature. Creating magic based on either killing the world, or killing people en-masse. Actively orchestrating the extinction of any other sentient race. And doing all this to fix the problem of having brutally screwed the world up in the first place. Except not really. It was mostly the work of Rajaat, who was himself the sole evil member of a race of mystical caretakers of the world (not halflings). He did intend for halflings (Athas's first sentients) to be the sole surviving humanoid species, but they themselves had no idea, and his main pawns were humans. The only thing halflings had to do with is about a third of the mutation bit, which gave rise to other intelligent beings after a major SNAFU that destroyed their first civilization.
    • Mystara's halflings have some well-hidden magical aptitudes that work only in their homeland, which explains why such little guys haven't been conquered recently. They kick out their misfits and thugs (yes, there are such things), who head off to become swashbuckling pirates. These things happen when you let Ed Greenwood write your country's game supplement.
    • 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.
    • Fourth Edition splits the difference, with Halflings being half thieving nomads and half simple Louisiana-style bayou and swamp-dwelling rednecks. Really.
    • Depending on the Artist, Fifth Edition halflings look more hobbit-like than in the third and fourth editions, with unseemingly slender limbs and disproportionally-large heads. They also return to their kindly and pastoral culture from previous editions.
    • As mentioned above in Literature, the original halflings were pigeonholed into the Thief class, which led to the creation of Kender. Although subsequent editions lightened up on this, their traits still tended to force them into certain roles, via Square Race, Round Class. This was increasingly lessened, until 4th and 5th editions made it possible to effortlessly play halflings as Pintsize Powerhouses.
    • One supplementary sourcebook for 3E, the "Book of Vile Darkness", adds extremely rare evil hobbits, the Jerrens. They're basically imperfect prototype halflings with violent mood swings. In an early war against the goblins, the jerrens gleefully sank to levels which disgusted said goblins.
  • 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.
  • Warhammer:
    • 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 strain of Abhuman in Warhammer 40,000 called 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. A pair of Ratlings also appear among the heroes in the 2018 Gaiden Game Blackstone Fortress.
  • Old 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.
  • The Swedish RPG 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.
  • The One Ring features Hobbits, of course. 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.
  • 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).

  • The Matoran of BIONICLE. They 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 
  • Zigzagged in the Baldur's Gate series. It's based on Forgotten Realms, mentioned above, and it 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.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
    • Moogles from the Ivalice Alliance count, too.
      • Curiously, although moogles do have several rogue-ish classes, Moogle Knights are among the hardest hitting fighters in the Tactics Advance games.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has the Lalafell, who are an expy of the Tarutaru. Though, race has no mechanical effect in XIV.
  • The Toads of the Super Mario Bros. series are essentially fungal versions of hobbits.
  • Grunts of Halo can generally be thought of this way. They're 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.
  • Hurthlings in Ancient Domains of Mystery are mostly this. Short, stealthy, good archers, and have Cooking skill for free. Also they, like Tolkienesque ones, dislike footwear — i.e., move faster without boots of any kind.
  • Hobbits are less than gracefully shoehorned into Lufia: The Ruins of Lore.
  • The Kokiri of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time live hundreds of years but never mature past childhood. They are able to live comfortably and innocently in their Lost Woods because of their steward, the Deku Tree. While Link himself is not a Kokiri, his upbringing among them makes him temperamentally closer to them than to Hylians.
  • 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 Halflings of Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura are basically Hobbits. You meet a Halfling adventurer who states that there are very few like him.
  • The Halflings in Age of Wonders are a variety of Hobbits. They value happiness above all, but as its definition varies by individual, they include selfless priests and eccentric pranksters and roguish adventurers. And then 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.
  • There are Halflings in the Overlord series. In the first game they're 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.
  • Ewoks in LEGO Star Wars not only have the "Shortie" skill of sneaking through vents (the only two non-Ewok Shortie characters are children), but also use slingshots.
  • In the Mass Effect series, 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.
  • The orlans in Pillars of Eternity 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.
  • 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.
  • Halflings showed up multiple times in the Heroes of Might and Magic Series, always as fairly weak sling-using burrows-dwelling short people. (II and III take place on separate continents, "IV" is a different planet entirely)
    • In II they were connected to the (wasteland-associated) Wizards.
    • In III's Armageddon's Blade expansion, they were unaligned, but the story had them waging a guerrilla war against the devil ( actually alien) invaders that had taken over and turned their homeland of Eofol into a volcanic waste.
    • In IV they are back with the Wizards in the Academy faction.
  • Halflings show up in The Witcher and its sequels. They 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.
  • The Trykers of Ryzom 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).
  • Halflings are one of the playable races in Tales of Maj'Eyal. 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.

    Web Comics 
  • Wombats in Digger 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.
  • There's a side in Erfworld 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.
  • 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 is a gourmet chef though. And can identify ingredients by scent, as well as people too somehow.
    • He does maintain 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!")
  • Lambert from Irregular Webcomic! 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.
  • In the erotic webcomic Alfie the title character's people are technically called Havlin. Other races refer to them as halflings as a Fantastic Slur

    Web Original 
  • In 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.
  • Mahu: In "Frozen Flame" prince Arius fights halfling rogues during his quest to bring order to the colonies.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Homo floresiensis have been nicknamed "hobbits", and were often barely over 3ft 7inches. It has been debated whether they were just Homo sapiens which had undergone insular dwarfism, but with further evidence they do seem to be a separate species of hominid. Evidently they and modern humans did coexist on the island for thousands of years without much evidence of conflict, and oral tradition very likely based folk memory of the extinct hobbits largely holds they were relatively inoffensive.

Alternative Title(s): Halfling


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: