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Incredible Shrinking Man

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"To God there is no zero. I still exist!"

Waldorf: Aww, a great little actress.
Statler: Yep, and getting smaller all the time!
Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!

Bees and moths whirr above you like helicopters. Flowers and blades of grass loom over you. Familiar household objects are like huge, immovable obstacles. Your fellow human beings blot out the sky with their immense, towering girth. Sound like a bad case of the Mondays? Think again: you've been shrunk!

The plots of Shrinking Man stories tend to involve hapless victims of Applied Phlebotinum suddenly becoming one finger tall (Magic Pants included), struggling to navigate a formerly friendly environment (such as a house or yard) and spending the rest of the episode trying not to get killed or eaten while attracting the notice of normal-sized folks who might be able to change them back to normal. Don't expect the message to get across to normal people immediately, but do expect those same people to become unwitting hazards to the tinies - after all, people don't just shrink randomly, so why should they be concerned about something like that happening?


As it generally violates the Square-Cube Law, this is usually an example of Rule of Cool.

A subset of being a Sizeshifter. Often times this is how the human protagonists are introduced to (and/or imprisoned in) the Mouse World. When used in a video game, can be the setup for a Macro Zone.

If the characters are shrunk down far enough, they could embark on a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot.

Depending on how the shrinking works, they may or may not get their clothes to shrink with them—resulting in Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing if they do, or Empty Piles of Clothing if they don't.

See also Sizeshifter. Contrast with Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever. See also Shrink Ray. For characters who are naturally small, see Lilliputians.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Chapter 72 of The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You, Nano falls victim to this thanks to one of Kusuri's drugs. As taking the neutralizing drug would be lethal to her in her current state, she has to wait for it to wear off naturally.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, this happens to Chiyo (who's short to begin with!) during Sakaki's Dream Sequence in episode 8.
  • Buso Renkin: In the manga version of the series, both Victor and Tokiko are shrunk after getting hit Madoka Maruyama's Bubble Cage buso renkinnote . While Victor isn't shrunk by much, Tokiko was reduced to the size of a doll until she defeated Maruyama.
  • Happens in the Cardcaptor Sakura TV episode where Sakura is shrunk by the Little card.
  • Doctor Slump: The "Big-Small Ray Gun" is one of Senbei's inventions that can make any object big or small. It reappears several times later, like in a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot where Midori was ill because of a mosquito in her body. Senbei and Arale use the invention to shrink down to very small sizes in order to enter Midori's body and get rid of the mosquito.
  • Doraemon has various gadget with this effect like the "Small Light", a lamp similar to a flashlight that can shrink objects and people to minuscule sizes. Another tool that is used in a similar capacity is the "Gulliver Tunnel", which causes a person to grow or shrink depending on which entrance he takes; however, its ratio of shrinking and enlarging is fixed.
  • In one episode of the original Dragon Ball, Bulma develops an invention that can shrink anybody. Master Roshi decides to use it to watch Bulma go to the bathroom. He doesn't get to see her go, but he does get flushed down the toilet.
  • Fate/Grand Order - Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia: In episode 12, each gate of Kur shrinks Ishtar due to taking away part of her divinity. By the sixth gate, she's small enough to ride Fou.
  • Happens in Ghost Sweeper Mikami, when the eponymous Action Girl is hit by a dart from a spirit and in few hours she's shrunk to the size of a Barbie doll. She and her assistants must find the culprit and exorcise him, lest she will keep shrinking and disappear.
  • Hiroshi from Hell Teacher Nube wakes up one day to find himself no larger than a mouse. Of course, the reality of the situation is stranger still.
  • In Himechan No Ribon, Himeko Nonohara gains the ability to do both this and Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever later on. Of course, since she doesn't want to give away her secret, she uses the latter a lot less than the former.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Golden Wind: Happens to Narancia when he's attacked by Formaggio, whose Stand, Little Feet, has the ability to shrink his victims by stabbing them with his dagger-like index finger. Formaggio can even turn the Stand on himself for narrow escaping!
    • Stone Ocean: This also happens to Jolyne after coming across Gwess, whose Stand, Goo Goo Dolls, shrinks anyone Gwess wants to shrink so she can keep them as pets. Anyone who rebels against her gets torn apart by the Stand.
  • Happens in one episode in the anime adaptation of Kochikame when the main character Ryotsu was shrunk by the wizard from Heaven. He goes through mishaps in the police box and later helped taking out criminals holding up hostages.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, this happens to most of the main cast in the chapters where the Arc Villain reveals herself and has her minion shrink her targets for capture.
  • In Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, this happens to Elma in a chapter of "Elma's Office Lady Diary" after she eats a mysterious apple she found lying on the ground.
  • A One Piece filler character, Lily Enstomach, has the ability to become smaller than humans, despite being a giant.
  • An episode of Pokémon features a Xatu using its powers to shrink Ash, Dawn, and Barry, leaving them small enough to ride on Pikachu, Piplup, and Heracross respectively.
  • One episode of To Love Ru has Rito at the receiving end of Lala's shrinking machine. Considering this is To Love-Ru, you can expect what comes from Rito's new perspective.
  • Happens to the 5 main girls in Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo! when one of the villains gives them a fake version of the Rose Pact that shrinks them.
  • One episode of Urusei Yatsura has Lum's cousin Jariten trading an ice cream for a bottle that can shrink big things. When he shows it to Lum, she becomes the size of a mouse, forcing him to find the scarecrow he got it from to get a bottle that will return her to normal size.

    Asian Animation 
  • Boonie Bears: The Big Shrink centers around Logger Vick attempting to use a Shrink Ray on Briar and Bramble to stop them from stopping him in his attempts to cut down trees. Vick does succeed in landing a shot on the bears, but only when he himself was near them, putting all three of them at heights shorter than grass blades. They subsequently have to work together to find a way back to normal size.
  • Flower Fairy: In Season 2 episode 39, a fairy casts a magic spell that inverts the sizes of the main characters, causing An'an and her human friends to become small while An'an's fairy companion Kukuru grows to the size of a normal human. An'an and her group find that they've been shrunken to the point that they're smaller than an earthworm, as they encounter one on the ground.
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 5 episode 47, Doctor H., who is being mind-controlled by Big M., uses a shrinking spray on the heroes, which also gets on Big M. and Little M. by accident. The three episodes following it form a short Story Arc about the heroes interacting with a bunch of ants in an ant village.
  • Lamput: In "Shrunk Doc", the docs use a shrink ray to make Lamput tiny. A bump during the drive back to the lab causes the ray to shrink their vehicle; Lamput is still inside the car and drives it to evade his pursuers.
  • In the Motu Patlu episode "Chote Chote Motu Patlu", Motu and Patlu accidentally get themselves shrunk by Dr. Jhatka's new shrink ray. The two spend the episode trying to get others' attention so they can return to normal.
  • There are several instances of this trope in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf.
    • Wolffy invents shrinking pills in episode 3, as well as enlargement pills to go with them.
    • In The Movie, Mr. Slowy invents a ray to shrink the goats to microscopic size.
    • In the season Marching to the New Wonderland, the goats and Wolffy are shrunken down to the size of a bug. They help an actual bug to deliver energy seeds to the top of a tree, since those are the life force of the sun.

    Comic Books 
  • The Atoms have this as their power; some plots involve them or other characters shrinking and then having the size controls taken away/break.
    • And of course, there was the appearance of Ray Palmer's Atom at the end of Identity Crisis, wherein he shrinks out of existence after finding out his ex-wife killed Sue Dibny.
    • In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Batman rescues Ray from a deserted island in a strange universe full of monsters. Except that he's actually trapped in a Petri dish, fighting what would normally be micro-organisms.
    • Ray's also lampshaded some of the oddities of his powers. When questioned about how people can breathe when they're barely the size of a cell, he admits that he has no idea how and he just goes with it.
  • Bumblebee from the Teen Titans and Doom Patrol was accidentally reduced to the size of a small toy. Unlike most shrinking superheroes, she has yet to find a way to regain her original size.
  • Superman:
    • The Super Duel In Space reveals that the Kryptonian entire city of Kandor was shrunk to microscopic size by Brainiac. Superman retrieved it and he kept it in what appeared to be a five gallon water bottle. Whenever Superman and Supergirl wanted to go in there, they had to shrink their bodies.
    • In Supergirl (1972) #2, Kara shrinks herself and one of her teachers to go in the Bottle City of Kandor and find a cure for her professor's illness.
    • In Krypton No More, Supergirl shrinks her body to meet up with the Kandorian council and hear about the J'ai invasion.
    • War World: Alien overlord Mongul kidnaps Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and another Superman's friend, shrinks them and traps them into a crystalline energy cube.
    • Let My People Grow: Superman shrinks down to mouse-size when he is hit by Brainiac's shrinking ray. Brainiac himself becomes too tiny to be seen by the human eye after getting hit by his own ray.
  • Many comic book characters have shrinking (or size-changing in general) as their primary superpower (i.e. Ant-Man, The Wasp...)
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • This happens to Donald Duck, Scrooge and the nephews (along with Scrooge's whole money bin) in several different comic books by Carl Barks and Don Rosa. One of these was also "adapted" into a DuckTales (1987) episode, except that the episode had almost nothing to do with the story aside from the premise of the characters getting shrunk.
    • One quasi-educational story from the early '60s had Donald take his nephews (through an uncannily prescient virtual-reality device) on a trip through the mundane everyday world while shrunk increasingly smaller to encounter phenomena more fantastic than any make-believe reality the nephews could think of.
  • Happened to Bart, Milhouse and Homer in an early issue of The Simpsons ("I Shrink, Therefore I'm Small").
  • Almost every incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a story of this type. The first cartoon (and subsequently, the Archie comic book based on it) did this during the "Eye of Sarnath" arc in an episode called "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles". The Mirage comic book has this as Donatello's current status quo (as of May 2009). The second cartoon had the episode "The Incredible Shrinking Serling", where time travel (don't ask) makes him the size of an action figure.
  • The Fantastic Four found themselves in a variant situation when they are captured by Doctor Doom and placed in a machine where their consciousnesses were transferred into miniature duplicates of themselves in a tiny simulation of a town called Liddleville. Eventually, they break out, manage to defeat Doom in their mini-versions and restore their consciousnesses to their real bodies.
  • In the Marvel Universe in general, anyone who shrinks below a certain limit (apparently somewhere between cellular size and molecular size) shifts into a "microverse" - the theory is that a shrinking person is actually displacing their mass extradimensionally, and when 99.99999999999999% is over there, the rest (and consciousness) follows. Among the notable inhabitants of microverses are Psycho Man, Jarella (a lover of the Incredible Hulk for a while), and the (now Exiled from Continuity) Micronauts.
  • Colossal Boy has this power in the 2004 relaunch of Legion of Super-Heroes. So why's he called Colossal Boy? Because he's from a race of giants, and has the power to "shrink" down to six feet tall. He insists on being called "Micro-Lad."
    • More traditionally, Legion regular Shrinking Violet, who comes from the planet of Imsk where everyone has shrinking powers.
    • Also from Imsk is her evil counterpart Micro Lad, part of a group of radicals that were responsible for kidnapping Violet and replacing her with Durlan actress Yera. In the Reboot continuity, there was another Imsk hero named Ion who was a candidate for Legion membership before Micro Lad killed her.
  • The graphic novel In The Small features this happening to every human on Earth due to a mysterious blue flash. Shrunken, terrorized by animals and unable to use most technology, they need to rebuild everything in miniature.
  • In the revived Xombi series from 2011, John Rozum introduced Nun the Less, a nun who gained shrinking abilities after she ingested bad shrimp when she was 16.
  • In Big Bang Comics, the Captain Ersatz equivalent of the Atom is the Hummingbird, who was shrunk by an alien ray that was destroyed before he could be re-enlarged. As such, he's stuck permanently at a maximum height of six inches, though among his powers is the ability to temporarily shrink even smaller.
  • In the Dark Horse Monsters story "Jungle of the Giants!", an Absentminded Professor who is guilty of Parental Neglect is shrunk down by his vengeful son and placed inside of a terrarium to fight for his life against a huge (to him) lizard he genetically engineered.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Queen Atomia's "hydroxo gas" can shrink people to microscopic size.
    • Paula von Gunther developed a liquified form of the hydroxo gas to shrink people and Gerta's Enlarging Machine to bring them back to their normal size.
  • The eleventh issue of the Ewoks comic book had Kneesa shrunk by the Fleebogs.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes features several strips in which Calvin, usually with no explanation, finds himself either changed to the size of an insect, or acting out the role of a bug itself. Since these episodes, from what we can see, are entirely within his imagination, they usually end in an anticlimax when a parent interrupts his reverie.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Pedro has one storyline in which Ordep hatches a world domination scheme that involves shrinking everyone else in the world, including Pedro.

    Fan Works 
  • In Huge Success, Tony decided to look at Dr. Pym's pym particles without permission and ended up being 6 inches tall.
    • Some form of shrinking happens in many of GirlX2's stories, often due to "Lilliputian Syndrome."
  • In With Strings Attached, the four get shrunk on their quest for the second piece of the Vasyn, though George fixes himself as soon as he has a lot of room to do so.
    • Actually, all of the humans in the chapter have been shrunk. The four manage to find a gun that will unshrink everyone.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, one of the magic potions they take from some muggers turns out to be a shrinking potion. Paul, obliquely referring to his scene in Help!, jokes that he'll probably be the one who has to use it. Sure enough, later on, he does.
  • The Mega-Shrinker 5000 from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series invokes this.
  • In Loved and Lost, an alternate version of the 2nd season finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle defeats Queen Chrysalis and her Changelings by using a power-consuming spell that can shrink multiple beings at once. All the Changelings are turned tiny enough to trap the entire army in a glass jar. They're soon back to their normal size and locked up in cells, though.
  • In The Loud House fanfiction The Nightmare House, Lori's nightmare ends with her being shrunk and put in a jar.
  • In Living Dolls Harry and Snape's four-year-old grabs Draco's wand during a domestic argument and wishes that they were living happily together like her dolls, resulting in their becoming doll-sized.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Ant Bully centers around the ants that main character Lucas Nickle bullies finding a way to get even, by shrinking him with a specially-brewed potion while he's asleep. Though Lucas is initially standoffish towards the ants, The High Queen suggests that he live among the ants at his new diminished size. Lucas obliges, and eventually begins making friends with a few of them - which is good, because before he was shrunken, Lucas was goaded into signing a contract by an exterminator who's going to be coming by in a few days. Thus, the lives of Lucas and all of his compatriots are at stake unless they can band together and fight back.
  • In the Dot and the Kangaroo sequel Dot and Keeto, Dot goes to eat the root that enables her to talk to animals so she can apologize to some ants her brother was tormenting, but she accidentally eats the root next to it, which makes her shrink down to the size of a bug (and makes her able to talk to them). After trying to get the attention of her brother and mother, she goes on an adventure among the bugs until her friend Kangaroo shrinks down, too, and brings her some of the root that will restore her to her normal size.
  • Happens to MK after she witnesses the death of the queen of the leaf-people in Epic (2013).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The most famous film examples are The Incredible Shrinking Man with Grant Williams and its Distaff Counterpart with Lily Tomlin.
    • It should be pointed out that the Square-Cube Law may have been somewhat averted in this particular movie because Scott Carey very slowly shrinks, thus giving his body a chance to adapt to his changing size.
    • Except that wouldn't help at all. The primary problem posed by the Square-Cube Law for shrinking characters is accelerated loss of body heat, due to greater proportional surface area. That's not something the body can just adapt to.
    • Both films were based on the novel by Richard Matheson, who also wrote I Am Legend and scripted the two Kolchak TV movies. Matheson also wrote an unfilmed sequel where Scott's wife shrinks and engages in an Action Girl quest to find him, then their adventures getting back to the house as they both start returning to normal.
    • As noted in Stephen King's Danse Macabre, Richard Matheson originally made the eponymous man shrink a constant rate of 1/7th of an inch per day rather than by a given proportion, resulting in the Fridge Logic of what happens when he gets to that height.
    • The Lily Tomlin vehicle The Incredible Shrinking Woman made her decreasing size, caused by exposure to too many household cleansers, food additives, and hygiene products, a parable about out-of-control consumerism.
  • The Marvel character Ant-Man gets his power from being the Incredible Shrinking Man, demonstrated to great effect in his eponymous film.
  • This was the basis for the plot of the live-action movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, along with its sequel, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves and the TV series that followed, also called Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
  • In The Beatles movie Help!, a character uses a special injection to shrink Ringo's finger in order to remove a sacrificial ring naming him an offering to a Hindi god, but misses and hits Paul in the leg, whereupon the scene cuts away to a card reading "The Exciting Adventures of Paul on the Floor".
  • Fantastic Voyage, in which a submersible is shrunk to microscopic size to be injected into a comatose spy to laser away the clots that are killing him. This has been pointed out, more than once, leads to a stupid conclusion where the people abandon the ship and swim to safety, being extracted from the tear ducts before they return to normal size automatically. No mention is ever made of the sub growing to normal size and exploding the patient.
    • The Novelisation of Fantastic Voyage was written by Isaac Asimov, who insisted on writing in that the sub did get removed at the end specifically to avoid the whole "sub expanding and killing the patient" issue.
  • The Phantom Planet, where an astronaut lands on a tiny planetoid and, as soon as he breathes their air, shrinks to six inches tall (without his clothing). He later grows back to normal by breathing the air in his spacesuit tank. (This caused the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew to riff ,"So people are just balloons?")
  • In Innerspace Tuck is shrunk down to microscopic size for an experimental fantastic voyage through the body of a rabbit, but winds up injected into Jack when all hell breaks loose at the lab.
  • Done for horror in The Devil-Doll, wherein the Anti-Hero protagonist takes advantage of a Mad Scientist's research by shrinking people to a height of eight inches, smuggling them into the homes of his enemies, and using them to take revenge.
  • The (semi-)titular villain in Dr. Cyclops shrinks the protagonists down to doll size For Science! and terrorizes them, leading to a David Versus Goliath style climax wherein the tiny people drop "Dr. Cyclops" down into a uranium mine. They eventually return to normal size at the end.
  • The Uncanny: In "Quebec province, 1975", Lucy uses black magic to reduce her cousin Angela to the size of a mouse.
  • In Downsizing, people voluntarily undergo permanent shrinking as part of a plan to extend the Earth's resources - if we're smaller, we use less!
  • The Troma film Getting Lucky is a Sex Comedy that uses this to put the main character Bill into an otherwise-impossible sexual scenario - he attempts to fix the bicycle of his crush Krissi, but his wish-granting drunkard leprechaun friend Lepkey trying to shrink a tool that's too large results in him and Bill shrinking down with it. The two are left stranded on Krissi's bike seat just moments before Krissi herself gets on the bike and rides to school, resulting in Bill ending up inside her panties. His attempts to climb up her crotch to escape only result in him bringing her to a screaming orgasm during class (and getting himself covered in her juices), and Bill subsequently gets tossed around her underwear during cheerleading practice and then smuggled into the girls' locker room.

  • Happens twice in Animorphs. Once, a tiny (ant-sized, with inversely proportional egos) alien race called the Helmacrons shrinks some of the Animorphs. The second time, the Helmacrons enter Marco's body, so the Animorphs have to shrink themselves in order to enter Marco's body and stop the Helmacrons from killing Marco. Unfortunately, they anticipated this, and sabotage the ray so they're even smaller (Rachel morphs an elephant that's still smaller than a Helmacron boot).
  • The Incredible Adventures of Karik and Valya has two kids drinking some liquid and shrinking to insect size, then being whisked into nature by a dragonfly. Needless to say, the whole thing is very dangerous.
  • Shrinking is one of the less bizarre experiences Alice has in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants has the titular Professor use the Shrinky-Pig 2000 on the entirety of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, building and all, after everyone laughs at his Unfortunate Name, and forces them to change their names in response. George and Harold (Fluffy and Cheeseball at the time) eventually escape by using that device's inverse, the Goosy-Grow 4000, to enlarge a paper airplane and fly away.
  • Used in one of the Danny Dunn children's scifi adventures, Danny Dunn and the Smallifying Machine. Danny and his friends are shrunk to a quarter-inch in height and must deal with finding sustenance, surviving nature, and eventually attracting the attention of one of the scientists who created the machine in order to return to normal size.
  • Two books in the Eerie, Indiana series use this. The Incredible Shrinking Stanley, in which Stanley gets splashed with special soap from the Eerie laundry mat and starts shrinking, and The Dollhouse That Time Forgot where Marshall, after exploring a house that looks suspiciously like the dollhouse his sister just bought, finds himself getting smaller and smaller.
  • The Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson, on which the movie The Incredible Shrinking Man was based (almost all modern editions of the novel even add the "Incredible" part to the book's title, as the movie is more famous).
  • The 1936 short story He Who Shrank takes this beyond all limits: a Mad Scientist injects his assistant with a serum that will make him shrink indefinitely. Said assistant shrinks to subatomic sizes, discovers that every atom is actually a solar system, lands on a planet, shrinks below the size of the atoms of that planet, and so on without end. It's a handy way of visiting innumerable planets without a spaceship.note  The end of the story has the protagonist visit our Earth.
  • The plot of the young adult book "The Sixty-Eight Rooms" by Marianne Malone. Complete with a fight with a cockroach.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, when Rachel and Kirsty turn into fairies they shrink in size.
  • The two kids in Sixty Eight Rooms are shrunken to five inches. They are regular size when in the miniturized rooms and leave to enter into the past.
  • This is Mike Teavee's karmic comeuppance in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when he fools with the Television-Chocolate Room's setup so he can be "sent by television". After all, if an image one sees on TV is smaller than the actual object was.
  • People who visit future worlds via the mystical Solstice in James P. Blaylock's Land of Dreams emerge into a later era to find themselves much smaller relative to things around them. Human beings gradually "acclimate" and expand to an appropriate size for humans in the world they're visiting, but their clothes stay small; when Jack and Skeezix travel into future Rio Dell, they're forced to borrow some dolls' dresses or else go naked when they outgrow the garments they'd arrived in.
  • Evelyn Sibley Lampman's The City Under the Back Steps details the adventures of two children in an ant colony after they're shrunk to ant size.
  • Mr. Men:
    • Mr. Uppity's story involved him getting shrunk down by a goblin's magic to teach him a lesson to not be a Jerkass.
    • The last spell that Little Miss Magic casts on Little Miss Bossy to stop her being bossy involves shrinking her down after she insults Mr. Small.
    • "Adventure With Minibeasts" involves Little Miss Inventor, Mr. Happy, Mr. Strong, Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Bossy, Little Miss Tiny and Mr. Tickle getting shrunk down to find Miss Tiny's thimble.
  • In "Unjust Desserts" of the Nintendo Adventure Books, Mario has to shrink himself down and enter Yoshi to rescue Luigi, whom Yoshi swallowed after eating a cursed cherry on a birthday cake.
  • The Golden Age science fiction novel The Girl In the Golden Atom involves a scientist and his friends who find a way to shrink and re-enlarge themselves, and discover a subatomic world inside one atom of a gold ring. Naturally, given the title, the hero meets a pretty girl there and they fall in love, while he and his buddies also help the locals overthrow a tyrannical regime.
  • In The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, the eponymous hero gets shrunk to a few inches tall by the tomte.
  • The Graphic Novel: In The Small has this happen to the entire human race as they are reduced to six inches tall after an unexplained Blue Flash Cataclysm, the plot follows Two Teens as they forge a community in the now much larger (and more dangerous) world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Aliens in the Family: One of Snizzy's experiments causes Heather to shrink.
  • Mexican comedic superhero El Chapulín Colorado had his Pastillas de Chiquitolina (Tinyline Pills), which he could take to shrink in size. It usually led to more grief for him, since before he takes them he's a mediocre hero and after he takes them he's a mediocre hero who's also tiny and helpless.
  • Happens in Power Rangers Zeo ("A Small Problem") and Power Rangers Turbo ("Honey, I Shrunk The Rangers").
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch has one of her "magic diseases" where her guilt causes her to shrink.
  • Family Matters did this once, too.
  • In one episode of The Greatest American Hero, Ralph gets another copy of the suit's manual from the original aliens - but shrinks himself while experimenting, gets scared by an ant, panics and goes back to normal size, leaving the manual shrunk... I guess they also gave him an Idiot Ball to go with the replacement manual.
  • This was the premise of Dr. Shrinker.
  • In Doctor Who, a specific component of the TARDIS can change the size of things, and presumably relates to how a TARDIS can be bigger on the inside.
    • The early serial "Planet of Giants" featured the First Doctor and companions trying to stay alive in a typical suburban home after a TARDIS malfunction reduced them to the size of bugs.
    • In "The Time Meddler", the First Doctor permanently crippled the TARDIS of the Meddling Monk by removing the "dimensional control" so the other Time Lord couldn't get back into his (brand new, more advanced) TARDIS; afterwards, the console room was too small for him to fit inside.
    • In "The Invisible Enemy", the Fourth Doctor temporarily removed the "relative dimensional stabilizer" from his TARDIS to shrink clones of Leela and himself so they could be injected them into the doctor's brain to fight a virus (in an homage to Fantastic Voyage).
    • Later, another rogue Time Lord weaponized one in "The Armageddon Factor" (but wound up shrinking himself and the Doctor instead of the enemy).
      • The Master similarly uses a "Tissue Compression Eliminator" weapon which kills people by shrinking them, possibly the same technology but without the normally associated life support mechanisms allowing subjects to still breathe and such.
      • In "Planet of Fire", they meet a minaturised Master who had an accident while working on his TCE.
    • Some similar non-Gallifreyan technologies showed up occasionally.
      • In "Carnival of Monsters" the Third Doctor accidentally landed the TARDIS inside a "compression field", where the people on the outside were giants in comparison. Anything removed from the compression field returned to normal size within a few seconds. (The first thing so removed was the TARDIS, because it was interfering with the compression field. A giant hand reached in and picked it up.)
      • In "The Pirate Planet", the Fourth Doctor encountered a bad guy who kept the shrunken remains of planets he'd destroyed as trophies.
      • In "Last of the Time Lords" the Master transforms the Doctor to physically represent his current age (around 900), with the Doctor becoming a gnome-like 5 inch tall man. (This may not count because it's shrinking by old age, but it's still shrinking nonetheless).
      • In "Flatline", aliens from a 2-dimensional universe steal "dimensional energy" from the TARDIS, resulting in the TARDIS shrinking to a size where Clara can pick it up and fit it in her purse. This only affects the exterior shell of the TARDIS though, the interior is still the same size due to being Bigger on the Inside. This does result in the Doctor being trapped inside though (since the exterior is too small for him to fit through the exit). The exit is still large enough for the Doctor to fit his hand through the opening and pass objects to Clara though, which results in some amusing scenes where a hand comes out of her purse holding a hammer that couldn't have possibly fit in said purse.
  • Land of the Giants was a variation on this trope; while the main characters didn't shrink, they found themselves In a World… of 72-foot people, so the effect was the same.
  • Farscape "I Shrink, Therefore I Am". The crew are shrunk by bounty hunters to make them easier to transport and control. Sikozu immediately starts listing all the reasons why this is impossible (their brains should be too simple to function, and they shouldn't be able to breathe normal-sized air molecules) until Rygel tells her to just shut up and accept that the impossible has happened. The episode ends with a fight between Crichton and the Villain of the Week, with each trying to shrink the other and resize themselves. Needless to say, someone ends up getting squashed nastily.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "One Little Ship": A runabout is sent to study a Negative Space Wedgie whose shrinking effect is already known (the fact that the explorers will be shrunk is a matter of great amusement to those staying behind). Unfortunately the Defiant is captured by Jem'Hadar and the now miniscule explorers must help the crew take back the ship. One scene has Bashir and O'Brien having to exit the runabout to alter a circuit — because they can't breathe the full-sized air molecules outside, they beam a bubble of the runabout's air inside the circuit's casing. The episode ends with Odo and Quark pulling a rare practical joke on Bashir and O'Brien, by pretending they haven't "quite" returned to full size.
  • On Misfits of Science, seven-foot-tall Dr. Elvin Lincoln had been working on a treatment that would make him shorter; he overdid it a bit and wound up with the ability to make himself six inches tall at will. The clothes issue is Lampshaded, as he keeps a set of doll clothes with him to change into when he shrinks.
  • "The Mighty Mites" segment of Owl TV revolved around a group of kids who shrink themselves at will to study insects and other small creatures.
  • The first half of the two-part Mork & Mindy episode "Mork In Wonderland" centers on Mork shrinking after taking a cold capsule (the explanation is that the capsule is supposed to shrink the nasal membranes in humans, but Orkans are entirely membrane). In fact, he shrank so small that he ended up inside a micro-universe that had an analog of Mindy in it.
  • In the Lois & Clark episode "It's A Small World Afterall", Lois' high school classmate shrinks her rivals with the help of a special perfume, and holds them captive in a dollhouse. Clark also gets shrink to 6 inches tall. Thankfully, he still has all of his powers.
  • In the Charmed episode "Size Matters", the Charmed Ones get shrunk by a demon with a shrink wand.
    • Later on in the episode "Scry Hard", after witnessing his newly mortal father get injured by a demon's plasma blast, Wyatt shrinks Leo and Piper, and locks them in a dollhouse replica of the Halliwell Manor, to keep them safe.
  • Sesame Street had a two-part story in which Big Bird was shrunk to about the size of a Twiddlebug.
  • In The Wild Wild West episode "the Night of the Raven", Dr. Loveless shrinks James West and a Native American princess.
  • Done with Magellan in the Eureka's Castle special Don't Touch That Box!.
  • The episode "My Incredible Shrinking Master" of I Dream of Jeannie has Tony shrunk to 6 inches tall. He must climb to tabletops and avoid a huge cat (whose meows sound like lion roars).In another episode, Jeannie's bottle is missing; she says she'll sleep in Tony's bed then shrinks Tony to six inches tall inside a drawer.He will sleep there, on top of a book.
  • The 1950s series World of Giants had a secret agent who had been shrunk to 6 inches tall. In the first episode he must get past a cat then climb to a desk top and dial an immense phone.
  • The Avengers (1960s): Steed gets shrunk down to a few inches tall by a shrink ray in "Mission...Highly Improbable". He still manages to save the day.
  • British children's show Grandpa in My Pocket revolves around a boy whose grandfather can turn three inches tall at will whenever he wears a magic cap that he owns.
  • In Arrow's third season finale, Ray is making some adjustments to his Atom suit, which causes an explosion, and he is presumed dead. In the fourth season, he is revealed to have been shrunk, and somehow survived for many months before being captured by the Big Bad. He is returned to his normal size after being rescued, and his suit now allows him to shrink at will.
  • In the fourth season of The Flash (2014), this happens to Cisco and Ralph after an encounter with a metahuman who can shrink things. Their powers still work, but are proportional to their sizes. They return to their normal sizes after getting affected by the metahuman's powers again.
  • Parodied on the Late Night with David Letterman sketch "The Incredible Shrinking Guy", with Chris Elliott in the title role. The sketch shows Chris encountering a mouse. He is unable to find an object to defend himself with until he grabs a nearby bottle and smashed it over the mouse's head. When Dave asks him about the bottle, Chris has a hard time explaining how he found an object small enough for him to handle.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Four O'Clock", the fanatical Conspiracy Theorist Oliver Crangle plans to shrink all of the so-called evil people whom he believes are trying to destroy the United States at four o'clock. When the time comes, Crangle is shrunk himself.
  • Hey You! What If...: "You Could Shrink Yourself?" has Zigi being shrunk down to the size of a mouse to retrieve the remote control from and under the couch, and then explains all of the physical changes this would actual entail.
  • Odd Squad:
    • The episode "The Potato Ultimato" revolves around Otto shrinking due to accidentally eating Olaf's potato salad, which was made with a Shrinking Potato, with Olaf, Olive and Oren forced to journey through Precinct 13579's Potato Room to get a Growing Potato to reverse the effects.
    • "Substitute Agents" has the Mobile Unit be shrunken and trapped inside of a snowglobe souvenir and gradually being turned into plastic figurines by Sue Venir, a villainess who turns various things and people into souvenirs for her own amusement.
  • A German TV movie Großer Mann ganz klein! sees a woman's boss shrunk by a special fish she had bought for him, and thus she and her daughter have to take care of the now tiny man, while she finds herself falling in love with him, and vice versa.
  • Strange Days At Blake Holsey High: In an episode fittingly titled "Shrink", the short-statured Josie - frustrated with her height - inexplicably shrinks to the size of an action figure. She uses her new stature to investigate one of the show's conspiracies before growing back to her normal size.

  • Daniel Amos have a song named "Incredible Shrinking Man", which uses the imagery as a metaphor for feelings of insignificance and powerlessness in modern society. The album with that song, Vox Humana, also has a short story in the liner notes, where the narrator suddenly finds himself shrinking until a small pebble becomes, from his perspective, an impassible mountain.

    Music Videos 
  • In ABC's "Poison Arrow" video, Martin Fry gets shrunk by the unattainable love interest's magic face powder.
  • In the Preschool Popstars video for "I Didn't Mean to Burp", the Asian girl shrinks, runs around in an area full of ice cream cones, eats one, grows back to normal, then shrinks again after drinking something but goes back to normal for the chorus.

  • Balrasht from The Fallen Gods is a forest giant who's been shrunken down small enough to fit in Tuatha's hand. The party gets hit with this in episode 4 as well, and end up having to do battle with a group of slugs and a flail snail in order to return to regular size.
  • In The Adventure Zone: Balance, one of Lucas's elevators does this, allowing those who enter to view a diorama as if it were actual size.


    Tabletop Games 
  • One memorable scenario from the early days of Dungeon magazine involved the player characters being shrunk down to the size of gaming miniatures by a malfunctioning magical orb. Unusual in that, aside from the usual small animals posing a deadly threat, many previous groups of travelers had already fallen prey to this effect, forming themselves into Wacky Wayside Tribes that feud over the resources of a small garden.
  • In Crimestrikers, one of Gadgeteer Genius Esperanza Sixtos' inventions is the Shrinksphere, a kind of reverse Pokéball that absorbs people into a sphere, where they stay in what amounts to a luxury hotel room. It's used to capture villains and smuggle the heroes in or out of enemy territory. In the episode seed "Shrunk and Disorderly", a Phlebotinum Breakdown with the Shrinksphere causes several Crimestrikers to get stuck at 15cm/6" tall.

    Theme Parks 

  • In Twice Charmed, Franco DiFortunato shrinks Cinderella to the size of a mouse.

    Video Games 
  • This happens in Snowboard Kids 2. The main characters were shrunk down, turning Wendy's house into a snowboard track.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Link is able to shrink down to the size of a Minish thanks to Ezlo, a member of their species that accompanies him. It only works if there's particular platforms Link can stand on, but it allows him to access places normal Hylians can't and can be reversed the same way it's initiated.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Any game in the series that relies on the "Small" → "Super" powerup system introduced in the first Super Mario Bros. will have the player characters shrink from Super to Small upon taking damage, making them shorter and stumpier. This puts them one hit from death and removes their ability to break Brick Blocks, but also makes it easier to fit into tight spaces - at Super or higher form, one-block tall paths usually require spamming crouch jumps, crawling, or rolling.
    • Mario Kart:
      • Lightning is an item that is often received by players who are lagging behind. When used, it zaps everyone but the user with a bolt from the skies, making them spin out and drop any items they have. When shrunken, drivers' top speeds are reduced, and they're vulnerable to being Squashed Flat if a normal-sized driver runs over them, cutting their speed as well.
      • Super Mario Kart has the Poison Mushroom, exclusive to Toad and Peach, shrink anyone who touches it, rather than just dealing damage and shrinking by proxy as it did in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. This shrinking behaves the same as Lightning's, slowing the driver and making them vulnerable to being flattened.
      • Mario Kart: Super Circuit features Thunder Clouds as hazards on its Rainbow Road, which has the same effect on characters that drive underneath them.
      • The Thunder Cloud (unrelated to the ones from Super Circuit) is an item in all three Arcade GP titles as well as Mario Kart Wii. When received, it's used automatically and gives you a Personal Raincloud; this cloud gives you a higher top speed and lets you drive offroad without penalty, but hold onto it for too long and it'll zap you with lightning that has the same effect as the Lightning item. If you ram somebody else's car before the lightning strikes, you transfer the cloud to them, making it a risky item.
    • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins has the trope-naming Macro Zone, an otherwise ordinary house. The only paths to it on the world map require entering a large hole in a hill and exiting from a small hole on the other side, resulting in Mario being temporarily reduced to the size of an ant whenever he passes through them.
    • Wario Land 2 features a wizard enemy that can zap Wario, turning him into Tiny Wario.
    • In the Piranha Grove level of the Jungle page in Yoshi's Story, there is a subspecies of Piranha Plant that will shrink you after it eats you. Thankfully, the shrinking effects only last for a few seconds.
    • Mario Party:
      • Mario Party 4 introduced the Mini Mushroom, a white-spotted pink mushroom that's primarily used to grant access to certain passages and events exclusive to being small. Unfortunately, it also reduces your Dice Block from a 1-10 count to a 1-5 count, making it harder to reach such goals with it.
      • The 1-vs-3 minigame "Crate and Peril" in Mario Party 6 and The Top 100 has the solo player suck the trio into a crate they're holding, shrinking them in the process. The minigame has the solo player tilt the box in an attempt to slide Spiny shells into the three of them, while the trio's goal is to survive until the 30 seconds are up.
      • The premise of Mario Party DS has Bowser baiting the playable characters into a trap and shrinking them with a magic staff called the Minimizer. Thus, almost everything in the game is a Macro Zone, with boards such as DK's Stone Statue (actually Donkey Kong himself turned to stone) and Bowser's Pinball Machine (Exactly What It Says on the Tin), and minigames like Study Fall (a Game of Chicken where the goal is to stop as low as possible on a blackboard) and Rail Riders (where the players get speed sliding down a staircase bannister to see who can jump the farthest across a foyer). Donkey Kong shattering the Minimizer near the end of the story results in the effects reversing, and ultimately the final boss battle and ending sequence have your character at normal size for the first time since the introduction cutscene.
    • New Super Mario Bros. introduced the Mini Mushroom into a platforming game, and standardized its design as blue with white spots. This makes Mario and anyone else who can use it smaller than a Goomba, giving them a much floatier jump, and letting them fit through small gaps and pipes, run on water, and in New Super Mario Bros. U and New Super Luigi U, run up and down walls. The tradeoffs are that they'll die in one hit, and they have to do a Ground Pound to deal any damage to enemies.
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, the titular duo acquire a Shrink Ray very early into the game. Throughout the game, this allows them to enter "Grind Locks" which can only be unlocked by finishing the miniature grinding courses contained within, and also allows them to engage the antagonistic-yet-small Technomites directly. A good few levels are set with Ratchet and Clank at a tiny size, and one lategame level has Ratchet enter Clank himself to fend off an invasion of Technomites attacking the robot from the inside.
  • Appears in a level in Ōkami where the eponymous wolf is shrunk down by magic to the size of her companion, Issun, and has to dodge such mundane dangers as spiders and Japanese housewives with brooms.
  • This happens in a scene to the heroes of both Breath of Fire I and Breath of Fire II.
  • This also happens to the heroes in a Shining Force II scene.
  • In Disney's Magical Mirror Starring Mickey Mouse, Mickey can get shrunk by interacting with a wizard doll and he explores the area mini-sized before being subsequently chased by a toy duck.
  • The 'Mini' spell and debuff in most Final Fantasy installments, which induces a status where all physical attacks are reduced to Scratch Damage and defense is lowered.
  • The move Minimize in the Pokémon games (which is banned in competitive play) has the user compress their bodies to make themselves smaller and increase their evasion, thereby making their opponents' moves less accurate. However, various kinds of attack that involve crushing the recipient onto the ground (historically only Stomp, but others such as Steamroller, Flying Press and Heavy Slam have been added in later generations) bypass this evasion check and deal double damage against the target if they used Minimize.
  • The indie game Inch By Inch is centered on a scientist who mistakenly drank a potion that made them slowly shrink, and the goal of the game is to make an antidote before they become too small to do anything.
  • In South Park: The Stick of Truth, The New Kid gets shrunk down by elves and chases them around his house to turn back to normal. He later gains use of their magic dust to shrink and enter small areas.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, Guybrush uses one of the buttons on De Singe's Auto-Trepanation Helmet and gets shrunk a bit smaller than the size of a lab vole for a bit before growing back to normal size.
  • In Wonder Boy in Monster World the "Pygmy" equipment allows you to shrink to half your size and enter small passageways.
  • One section in Duke Nukem Forever features Duke shrunken to miniature size by an enemy's Shrink Ray. He then proceeds to kick ass against similarly-sized aliens.
    • Duke Nukem 3D also had a shrink ray weapon that worked both ways. At a few points Duke was required to be shrunk to enter small passageways.
  • Happens a few times in World of Warcraft (although only slight effects), with this quest being an exception: you're shrunk to the size of a rat.
  • In Space Quest II, Roger is shrunk by Vohaul's Shrink Ray and trapped in a glass jar, then in Space Quest VI, he shrinks down again for the "Fantastic Voyage" Plot in the game's last act.
  • Some of the later levels in Byteria Heroes: Crimson Gem of Order have a potion that shrinks you, so you can run through small passageways. You then have to reach another potion to reverse the effect before you can exit the level. You cannot attack in this state, either, which is why the final boss loves to cast a shink spell; it wears off by itself in this case.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has the Shrinking Violet, which shrinks zombies in a 3x3 area. This causes them to receive double damage and deal half damage thanks to reduced size. Against the already-tiny Imps and zombie animals, it turns into a One-Hit Kill by shrinking them into oblivion.
  • One of the DLC dramas for The Idolmaster SP involves Yukiho inexplicably shrinking to 1/6 size.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, Nord mythology holds that drinking the blood of a Giant results in "diminution".
  • In Fate/Grand Order, the heroes have to journey with Ishtar through the underworld at one point. Each time Ishtar passes through one of the gates, she shrinks. By the time they make it to Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld, Ishtar is so small she is almost impossible to see. The creators have noted that in the original myth, Ishtar was stripped of an article of clothing at each gate until she was rendered naked, but the game would have never gotten away with depicting that, plus this way was funnier.
  • The Lightning Bolt item from the Mario Kart series (as detailed above) was also featured as an item in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and all subsequent titles from there. When a fighter touches it, it may temporarily shrink all of the other fighters on the stage, drastically reducing their damage output and weight. However, it may also backfire by making only the fighter who touched it shrink instead, or by making all of the other fighters grow! Additionally, any fighter that picks up a Poison Mushroom (which, while similar-looking to the size-increasing Super Mushroom, is slightly darker in coloration and bears an angrier expression) will get temporarily cut down to size.
  • Milon's Secret Castle: Milon can do this with a potion and a boxing glove.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, the levels inside Cortex's space station. One hit equals instant death for Crash or Coco as they shrink beyond sight.
    • In Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, Cortex invents a planetary minimiser to shrink the entire planet. Amusingly since not just Crash but everything else is shrunk as well, it has no real affect on the gameplay, and you spend the whole game collecting crystals as per formula to power a machine Coco is making to reverse it.
    • Not one but two of Coco's podium animations in Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled involve her shrinking in some way. Her space age animation involves her using her teleporter belt, only to react with annoyance when she comes out wrong, with all but her head shrunk. Another is Alice in Wonderland themed, with Coco unable to resist eating a nearby mushroom, with the expected homage.
  • Rayman:
    • In Rayman: Raving Rabbids for the Game Boy Advance, certain levels in the Child world and Sweets world have objects that shrink Rayman: pencil sharpeners in the former, and ice cream cones in the latter. This allows Rayman to enter areas with small entrances, but the lower size makes it nigh-impossible to platform across things intended for Rayman at his normal size, making it more of a downgrade. Touching a Magic Star will put Rayman back at his normal height.
    • In Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends, Rayman and his friends have the ability to shrink. It's earned in the former game upon rescuing Edith Up in Polar Pursuit, and is retained in the latter like all of their other abilities. The skill activates automatically when entering a structure with a large opening on one end and a small one on the other. In this state, the characters' normal attacks are replaced with an aerial dash punch and Goomba Stomps don't damage enemies, but the rest of their movesets remain intact.
  • Red Alert 3: The Allied Cryocopter has the ability to temporarily shrink down any ground vehicle, making them faster but also making them vulnerable to being run over.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Several spell effects reduce the target's size and can sometimes make them vulnerable to being stunned if another player steps on them.
    • The Return to Karazhan mega-dungeon has, after a very long drop through time and space, the group ending up in the library shrunken to the point that they're too small to take Falling Damage and can ride rats. The boss of this part is a regular-sized mana wyrm who is significantly more dangerous thanks to the adventurers' reduced stature, then once it's defeated, they return to normal size and encounter more wyrms who are now a minor annoyance.

    Web Animation 
  • In Banana-nana-Ninja!, Seppuku is eaten by an opponent and his size continually shrinks as he makes his way through her body, finally escaping and returning to his full size when she sneezes.
  • The Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse episode "The Shrinkerator", where Barbie and Raquelle are shrunk by Ken's shrink ray.
  • In the Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers episode "Mini Italians", Mario, SMG4 and X eat a Poison Mushroom and shrink down in size. Mario figures out the trio can go swimming in toilets with this ability, however the other two want to go back to normal. And that's how they spent most of the episode trying to find a Mushroom.

    Web Comics 
  • In U.F.O., Queen Pamela's hostages are shrunk down to the size of small rodents and put in a gerbil cage.
  • Unsurprisingly, shrinking shows up a number of times in El Goonish Shive:
    • The "Germahn Labs" Q&A strips frequently feature Shrink Soda, which is exactly what it sounds like. The original recipe shrinks people out of their clothing, although Amanda later attempts to invent a version that shrinks your clothing too. It's not entirely successful, in that it does shrink clothing, but not as much as it does people..
    • Rhoda later gains access to a spell that allows her to shrink people, although she is eventually able to solve the clothing issue.
    • Tedd also created wands that allow people to shrink down to half scale. In this case, the spell does shrink clothing with the person, so no one shrinks out of their clothes.
  • In Emergency Exit, Saya accidentally gets shrunk by Eddie's shrink ray.
  • Teeko from Chirault gets shrunk by an accidental spell from an unlicensed mage. Finding a way to return her to her former size seems to be a major plot point.
  • Dream Tales has a whole series of comics featuring shrinking men and women.
  • Magick Chicks once had Melissa shrunk by upset Hekate. Out of clothes, not that she did wear a lot in the first place. And then turned into a flying pixie wearing only laced wings.

    Web Original 
  • Some size warpers in the Whateley Universe can do this. Sizemax can either be a 30-foot giant or a couple inches high.
  • Small Problem is a blog ostensibly written by Debby Small, who's 6½ inches tall.
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-881 ("Little People"). SCP-881 is 9,891 humans, animals and plants shrunk down to tiny size by the side effects of the destruction of another SCP. They initially ranged from 2 millimeters to 15 centimeters high, but over time some were created that were even smaller. Being so small however, many of the men of the towns had been sneaking out and causing pregnancies with normal sized women by crawling inside them.
    • Deconstructed with the resizing device SCP-1056. Shrinking or resizing people with it usually results in their brains and internal organs undergoing re-arrangement or ceasing to work correctly. (In particular, if you're shrunk, your brain becomes smaller and thus you become dumber.)
  • Operation Mikroorganisation is a 13-episode German web series about a teenager who shrinks after drinking a potion he purchased through a television shopping channel.

    Western Animation 
  • In The All New Popeye Hour short "The Incredible Shrinking Popeye", Popeye shrinks to the size of a mouse when he's exposed to a weed-shrinking mist in the park. It doesn't affect the flowers he's picked for Olive, who has invited him to dinner at her house.
  • The Alvin and the Chipmunks episode "Funny We Shrunk the Adults," is one where Dave and Miss Miller are shrunken by Simon's "matter compacting" ray. At the same time, the Chipmunks and some neighbor kids who they are trying to impress are wrecking the house with their rowdy playing and bringing in things like a circus, including the animals. In fact, it was the rowdy playing that made the shrink ray turn on and zap Dave in the first place.
    • Inverted in an earlier episode with Dave walking from a dream about him shrinking.
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Frylock invents a shrink ray to shrink down a huge microchip, which is eaten by Meatwad. Out of options on how to get the chip out of Meatwad, Frylock gets Shake to shrink him, but Shake abuses the ray for his own amusement.
  • Happens in Arthur several times. First, Buster is scaled down to make him appear tiny on the TV in Buster's imagination. Second, there is a Magic School Bus–esque sequence. And other times, characters imagine they are little in bad dream sequences.
  • The Avenger Penguins episode "Big City Little City" had Caractacus P. Doom use a shrink ray on the Avenger Penguins.
  • Occurs at least twice on Captain Planet and the Planeteers:
    • On the episode "An Inside Job", four of the Planeteers are shrunk by Dr. Blight. The episode becomes a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot when Kwame accidentally drinks them and they must fight parasites inside of him.
    • In "No Small Problem", Sly Sludge shrinks the Planeteers and leaves them in a dump.
  • The Challenge of the GoBots episode "Cy-Kill's Shrinking Ray" had Cy-Kill use a shrink ray on Leader-1, Turbo and Scooter.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers features this reversed in one episode by Professor Nimnul to make ordinary bugs huge to fake an alien invasion, and more-or-less used straight in a later episode when some mob goons steal his device to shrink and steal buildings. In both cases, the Rescue Rangers, remaining their normal size (apart from Zipper in the earlier episode), thwart the bad guys.
    • Finally both played straight and reversed in another episode, where Chinese big bad used shrinking ray to increase size (and luxury) of cars, and then import sell them. By the end of the episode, Rescue Rangers grow to the size of a human, and then back.
  • Danny Phantom episode "Micro Management" where Jack shrunk Danny, Skulker, and accidentally, Dash down to size. Had the added bonus of Danny slowly losing his powers because of it, risking his Secret Identity to the local Jerk Jock as the two tried to make their way up with a Hunter of Monsters in pursuit.
  • This happened in the Darkwing Duck episode "Getting Antsy", where a crook was using a shrink-ray to loot the city using ants. Darkwing ends up getting zapped and reduced to the size of an ant for most of the episode and gets shrunk a second time near the end, where he ends up coming up with an unusual way of saving the day.
  • Defenders of the Earth has two episodes in which some of the regulars are shrunk. In "Bits n' Chips", Rick's new micronizer provides the teenaged Defenders with a means of getting inside Dynak-X and defeating the electronic maggot which Ming has implanted in her. And, in "The Carnival of Doctor Kalihari", the four oldest Defenders are exposed to a shrinking potion and face a race against time to find the antidote before they shrink away to nothing.
  • The Drak Pack episode "Dr. Dred is a Shrinker" featured the heroes Drak Jr., Frankie and Howler getting shrunk.
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Micro Ducks from Outer Space", Scrooge tries to use the alien ducks' ray to enlarge his gold, but it ends up shrinking him and the kids instead.
  • In the Ed, Edd n Eddy music video ''The Incredible Shrinking Day'' (which isn't canon), Sarah makes a shrinking potion, spikes a pitcher of lemonade with it, and offers some to the Eds, who drank the concoction and shrunk so that Sarah can play with them. It wears off after they hid from Sarah.
  • In an episode of Eek! The Cat called "Honey, I Shrunk the Cat", both Eek and Sharky were accidentally shrunken down by Elmo the elk's shrinking machine. After a failed attempt to grow back to their normal sizes, Eek and Sharky put some astronaut suits on and go to a sick president's nostril and travel inside his head to get a raisin off his brain (despite growing a little bigger amount every single time). After Eek and Sharky remove the raisin, the president sneezes them out of his nose. They did grow back when they eventually fly out the window and crash into the ground.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • The early Season 1 episode "Tiny Timmy!" had Timmy wishing to be small and exploring Vicky's body.
    • There's also the episode "That's Life!" where he shrinks down to have a chat with his long-lost pet gerbil Eddie, who (not making this up) was accidentally brought Back from the Dead as a zombie gerbil when Timmy wished for everything in his mom's garden to be full of life. Problem is, the undead Eddie is Ax-Crazy and out for revenge on Timmy and his parents, all three of them having had a role in Eddie starving to death.
    • There's also the episode "Boy Toy" where Timmy wishes he could have one last adventure with his Crimson Chin doll, upon which Cosmo and Wanda shrink him down to toy size. Much of this episode is very reminiscint of the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
  • Spoofed in the Fanboy and Chum Chum episode "The Incredible Shrinking Fanboy", where Fanboy only thinks he's shrinking, after the flower where he marks his growth grows overnight. Yo uses this to her advantage, giving him a helmet with magnifying lenses to help with the illusion while she takes Chum-Chum to her room to play with.
  • The Fantastic Four (1967) took this to a whole new level in "The Micro World of Doctor Doom", shrinking the heroes until they wound up in a subatomic universe, then shrinking them some more, making them tiny within that context.
  • Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes did a shrinking episode in "World's Tiniest Heroes", where they were able to reverse the effect with help from Ant-Man. Incidentally, it helps Reed win a bet with Ant-Man on who could shrink the furthest and gives him a chance to directly observe an atom.
  • The Filmation's Ghostbusters episode "Little Big Bat" had Prime Evil trick Belfry into using an amulet to shrink Jake, Eddie, and Tracy.
  • In The Flintstones episode, "Itty Bitty Fred", Fred's homemade reducing formula shrinks him to mouse size.
  • Princess Gwendolyn being magically shrunk by the Evil Duke is the event that kickstarts the plot of Gawayn.
  • Final Space: In episode 5, Avocato ends up shrinking after being bitten by an alien butterfly. He spends a good part of the episode being barely tall enough to reach up to Gary's foot.
  • The Garfield Show: In "Honey, I Shrunk The Pets", Nathan, the Mad Scientist kid, does this to Garfield.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Little Dipper", Dipper finds a crystal that can make things shrink or grow when light shines through them, which he attaches to a flashlight. Dipper plans to use it so he's no longer shorter than Mabel, but Gideon Gleeful gets his hands on it and shrinks Dipper and Mabel. The miniaturized Mystery Twins have to stop Gideon from using the shrink ray on their Grunkle Stan and stealing the Mystery Shack.
  • Godzilla of all characters, becomes a variation of this after being exposed to a Pink Fog in an episode of The Godzilla Power Hour.
  • This is the fate of anyone who messes with Reducto on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Back off!
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) did this plot twice. In "No Job Too Small", Evil-Lyn shrinks several of the heroes with her Reducto Ray. Also see Inside a Computer System below.
  • Happens to The Herculoids in the episode "Tiny World Of Terror".
  • In the Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi episode "Small Stuff", our duo is shrunk after going through the dryer.
  • In the Hoze Houndz episode "Hoze I Shrunk the Houndz" four of the protagonists overdose on their colleague's homemade power drink and shrink to the size of mosquitoes.
  • Inch High, Private Eye was a 1970s series about a very short detective.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1982) used this in the episode "The Incredible Shrinking Hulk", where Bruce Banner shrunk because of an experiment gone awry and spent the episode trying to get Betty Ross and Rick Jones to notice him and help him with his predicament until the shrinking wears off by the end of the episode.
  • Inspector Gadget: "The Incredible Shrinking Gadget" sees Gadget getting shrunk by MAD agents. Naturally, Gadget gets the wrong end of the stick and assumes he's in a giant version of his house populated by giant robot versions of his family.
  • Happened in one episode of Jackie Chan Adventures. A miscast "disappearing" spell shrunk both Jackie and bad guy Hak Foo.
  • Happens in The Jetsons once. It's George who gets shrunk.
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy accidentally gets shrunken in the episode "Let's Play Happy Rotter"note  after he uses the wrong magic spell.
  • The Karate Kid episode "A Little World of His Own", in which a boy uses the shrine to shrink Daniel, Taki, and Mr. Miyagi.
  • The Owl House: In "Really Small Problems", Tibbles uses a potion to shrink things and put them on display for his act, and intends to do this to Eda and the others as revenge for destroying his stand in a previous episode.
  • Krypto the Superdog: The aliens from planet Teeniton do this to Kevin and Krypto in "Teeny Tiny Trouble".
  • The Magic School Bus featured many episodes in which at least some (if not all) of the students shrinking to explore nature and its phenomena up close.
  • There was an episode of the Mega Man cartoon where Dr. Wily plotted to shrink cities so he could hold entire populations hostage. Naturally Mega Man and Rush were shrunk also.
  • The animated version of Mork & Mindy did this plot as well; when Mork shrunk, he found himself in a microverse populated with warped (or even evil) duplicates of his friends.
  • Happens to Applejack in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Bridle Gossip".
  • The New Adventures of Superman: In "The Return of Brainiac", Superman, Lois and Jimmy are shrunk down to insect size by Brainiac's shrink ray.
  • Nightmare Ned did this where Ned was being tormented by a pair of Enfant Terribles.
  • Phineas and Ferb do this to themselves in "Hide and Seek" to make the game more enjoyable, but Baljeet gets trapped in front of the air conditioner, and Candace has the shrinking machine.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Nano of the North", the girls are shrunk down to fight the Nanobots.
  • In the Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders episode "Full Circle", after the villainess Lady Kale tries to harness the ultimate magic of the Crown Jewels, it becomes too much for her and the power ends up shrinking her in size before she fades out to dust.
  • This is the plot of the Ready Jet Go! episode "Jet Shrinks the Kids", where Jet shrinks himself, Sydney, Sean, and Sunspot to become Mindy's size. Things go awry, however, and they become the size of mice. Mindy spends the episode trying to reverse the shrink ray, while Jet, Sydney, Sean, and Sunspot try to evade Mitchell and Cody. This episode is also unusually quite scary for a show targeted towards kids.
  • The Real Ghostbusters episode "Short Stuff" had the Ghostbusters shrunk by one of the Ghostmaster's bounty hunters. They then try to evade the bounty hunter while Janine and Slimer look up a spell to reverse the change.
  • ReBoot did this several times. First for a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot, then twice more in games where everything but the main characters is scaled up to make them appear shrunk.
  • This happens to The Robonic Stooges in "Flea Fi Fo Fum".
  • The Rupert episode "Rupert and the BIGsmall Machine" involved Rupert Bear, his friend Podgy Pig, and the Professor being shrunk by the titular BIGsmall machine.
  • In Sabrina: The Animated Series episode "Shrink to Fit" Sabrina and Chloe use a shrinking spell to fit into some tight jeans. Though they continue to shrink until they're practically microscopic. Magic Pants is averted at first, until they find some doll clothes, which continues to shrink with them for the rest of the episode.
  • The Smurfs (1981)
    • The episode "The Incredible Shrinking Wizard", which combines this trope with a Green Aesop. Gargamel shrinks after drinking from a muck pond polluted with his potions, and negative emotions cause him to shrink even further. Only by doing good deeds can he grow back to his original size.
    • Another episode, where Slouchy wishes to be the tallest Smurf, also causes the other Smurfs to be shrunk to bug size.
  • Spider-Man
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV", when SpongeBob is left with Mermaid Man's utility belt, he ends up shrinking everyone in sight.
    • This is also the main plot of the episode "The Incredible Shrinking Sponge", where SpongeBob himself gets shrunken due to the intense heat coming from the grill.
    • And used as a gag in "Big Pink Loser" where SpongeBob has to suggest smaller and smaller goals to Patrick so he can win an award without "defeating the giant monkey man and saving the 9th dimension".
  • Staines Down Drains: A shrunken Stanley and Mary-Jane have had to face full-sized foes a few times. And there's also an episode titled "Land of Giants".
  • Happened on Super Friends as well. And then there was Atom, though how he got so small was never explained.
  • Superjail!: The Warden used a special serum to shrink five of the inmates in "Terrorarium" and placed them in an insect-infested snow globe in a race to find a serum that would bring the victor to normal size.
  • Happened on Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Terratin Incident". In this one, it also affects the dilithium crystals that are crucial to the ship's warp drive as well.
  • Happened to Mario and Luigi in an episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!.
  • In the TaleSpin episode "The Incredible Shrinking Molly", Molly runs afoul of a wacky Mad Scientist and his shrinking machine. The scientist eventually shrinks Baloo, Rebecca and the Sea Duck so they can save her.
  • In the Taz-Mania episode "The Amazing Shrinking Taz and Co.", one of the Platypus Brothers' inventions causes Taz, Bull Gator and Axl to shrink down to ant size.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) has the appropriately titled "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles," where Shredder uses an alien crystal to shrink the foursome down to the point where things like a tiny fish are now dangerous hazards to the pint-size teens. A second episode also involves shrinking, though only Michelangelo gets shrunk this time around.
  • On an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures, the cast shrinks down to rescue one of Furrball's fleas from a vicious bedbug, but not without Lampshade Hanging.
  • Totally Spies!, both WHOOP and many villains utilise size modifying technology in their methods. No less than three episodes feature one or all of the girls stuck tiny sized and having to find the device needed to change back. Taken to extremes in one episode where the three of them are made microscopic.
  • The VBirds are shrunk to fit into the Dance Machine as part of their exile to Earth.
  • One episode of The Venture Bros. cartoon has a shrink-ray gun Dr. Venture designed being sold at his yard sale. A later episode has Venture and Dr. Orpheus squaring off and betting over whether science or magic was better, deciding on shrinking as a challenge. Orpheus's incantations only shrink furniture, and Venture's shrink-ray gun is defective...testing it on Billy Quizboy has disturbing results.
    • The shrink-ray has reappeared a couple of times. In "Handsome Ransom", a shrunken Sgt. Hatred stows away in a briefcase of money (complete with Benjamin Franklin camouflage) to foil a ransom scheme. The raygun fails to regrow him at the critical moment. In "The Diving Bell Vs. the Butter-Glider" the ray is used for a straight-up "Fantastic Voyage" Plot.
    • Then there is the case of Paul Entmann, a parody of Marvel's Ant-Man. He was accidentally shrunk to a few inches, ironically in an attempt to cure his also-accidental "super-gigantism" (he was also known as Humongoloid). Then he was accidentally forgotten and locked away for thirty years in an evacuated fallout shelter, left to fend off ants with a sewing needle. For some reason, he remains tiny until accidentally killed by a rocking chair a few years after being freed, even though Dr. Venture's shrink ray has a "grow" setting that has been known to actually work.
  • The Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa episode "How the West was Shrunk" had Bat Blastagun and his gang shrink the C.O.W.-Boys (and subsequently the rest of Cowtown) using a shrink ray powered by a fragment of the comet that created Moo Mesa that was built for them by Dr. Wolfenstein.
  • Wild Wild West had an episode where Jim shrank and had to face a cat.
  • The fairies in Winx Club who have earned their Enchantix form can shrink into tiny versions of themselves. Bloom initially doesn't have this power since her Enchantix is incomplete, but she gains it after The Secret of the Lost Kingdom.
  • Practically every episode of Wild Kratts features the brothers shrinking themselves so they can investigate the lives and environments of small animals. While it's usually just a convenience, on several occasions the Miniaturizer gets broken, lost or stolen while they're small, leaving them stuck in mini-form.
  • Xiaolin Showdown did both this and its opposite: Lead character Omi uses the Changing Chopsticks and the Reversing Mirror to make himself huge in order to defeat the giant Cyclops and loses. When he tries to go back to his normal size using the Changing Chopsticks only, Omi ends up much smaller than he normally is and can only shrink further. He needs the Reversing Mirror as well to fully restore himself to normal.
  • Used for two schemes by the bad guys in The Dreamstone:
    • In "The Shrinking Stone", Urpgor invents a Shrink Ray so the Urpneys can sneak into the Dreammaker's home unseen and then shrink the stone as well. The plan backfires when Albert accidentally swallows the ray, his burping fits causing a growing/shrinking war between them and Rufus. Rufus and the stone are changed back, but the still shrunken Urpneys, outsized and cornered, are forced to retreat so Urpgor can reverse the spell, with the threat Albert will eat them if they don't leave.
    • "The Dream Beam Invasion" has Urpgor once again using a shrink device on the Urpney troops, though this time so they can slip into the dreams themselves and sabotage them. When the heroes catch them in the act, Rufus, Amberley and Albert follow suit and shrink into the dream to inflict some payback. Unfortunately for them, Frizz and Nug's spell wears off while doing such, making them giant to the still-shrunken Noops and terrifying them into retreating this time, in what is perhaps the only time the two got the last laugh on the heroes.


Video Example(s):


Cutting Koopzilla Down to Size

While the oversized Koopa does battle with an equally large Mario, the others the oversized villain with a needle full of shrinking serum to return him to his normal size. As he shrinks, Koopa at firs thinks the city is growing, before realizing what is actually happening.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / IncredibleShrinkingMan

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