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Lilliputian Warriors

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A common science fiction and fantasy character type, these are Proud Warrior Race Guy meets The Napoleon, and named for the miniature race encountered in Gulliver's Travels. These are little people, typically antagonistic to humans but not always, who are a source of humor because of the contrast between their Hot-Blooded manner and minuscule size. There's always something amusing about seeing a full grown man having his ass kicked by someone four inches tall.

A subtrope of Lilliputians.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, Keicho Nijimura's stand, Bad Company, is an army of toy-sized US army soldiers, helicopters, and tanks. Their individual ordnance may not be much stronger than firecrackers, but their sheer number makes them lethal.
  • Aizawa's race in My Monster Secret seems to have a military culture. While they're never seen actually fighting, Aizawa's small body actually seems quite strong for its size, if her taking down a group of rhinoceros beetles in chapter 122 is any indication.
  • The dwarves of One Piece, specifically, the Tontatta Tribe that appears in the Dressrosa Arc, are tiny, strong enough to throw an average man around like a rag doll, fighting a revolt against Donquixote Doflamingo, and so gullible that it's not even funny.

    Comic Books 
  • The mouse police in Fables, which are of course a reference to something else.
  • Judge Dredd has the Banzai Battalion. A group of 3-inch high robots who protect a garden from pests as if they were fighting a real Bug War. They also prove effective at subduing a group of criminals who take their owners hostage.
  • Marvel Adventures: The Avengers: Krage the Conqueror arrived on Earth with his army of robotic jellyfish with the intent to conquer it but realized that the terrestrial were greatly bigger than him, and then he was easily defeated by Captain America and Iron Man
  • All of the heroes of IDW's Micronauts (and their enemy Baron Karza), but especially Acroyear, who's capable of singlehandedly destroying a human car.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Queen Atomia's Nutrons are an interesting take. While they spend most of their time microscopic their Queen can easily shift them to any size between their normal and regular humans sized and they're also her almost entirely mindless warriors who have no purpose but fight for her and were actually human before she got her hands on them.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Leafmen and the Boggans from Epic (2013) . The Leafmen is a military regiment comprised of a race of tiny human-like beings who live in the forest with their job being to protect their home and the queen from their enemies, the Boggans. Boggans are a race of froggish, insect-like goblin beings who want to destroy the entire forest.
  • Moana: One of the threats Moana and Maui face are the Kakamora, a band of fierce little people whose bodies are completely covered in coconut-shell armor, leaving only their arms and legs exposed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Disney remake of Bridge to Terabithia have Jess and Leslie re-imagining dragonflies as insect-humanoids, who backs them up in their battle against the squogres.
  • The title characters of the movie Small Soldiers would probably count although they fit A.I. Is a Crapshoot rather than being a species. They're the right size, and they're very much armed.

  • In Zulu folklore, there are the Abatwa, who ride ants and are gravely insulted if you say they are small. They kill humans with venomous spears which can even pierce a boot if they happen to be stepped on.

  • Animorphs had a species of these, the .0625-inch Helmacrons with egos the size of Manhattan. They appeared in #24 and #42 and were referenced in Visser when Visser One followed Visser Three's big speech about the glory of the Yeerk Empire with a comment that Visser Three sounded like he'd been hanging out with Helmacrons (rather than the Yeerks' hated enemies the Andalites, as she had previously claimed). They were made more dangerous by the fact that they could use the blue box as a power source for a weapon that shrank their opponents down to their own size. They were also batshit insane, as they only gave positions of authority to dead Helmacrons (and made Marco grovel to their captain). One male had the line "If you [try to resist] you will be killed. In fact, you may even be made captain!" When first seen, the males were subservient to the females, but Marco proved that they could be just as megalomaniacal as the females at the end of #24, when he goaded them into rebellion. In both books, there were two factions who hated each other for no real reason: #24 had the crews of the Galaxy Blaster and the Planet Crusher (though when one ship was destroyed, the other sang its praises) and #42 had the males and females.
  • The inch tall toy soldiers come to life in Stephen King's short story "Battleground". Adapted into an episode of the TV series Nightmares and Dreamscapes.
  • Whereas it's the exact opposite in Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison. The Chingers are lizardoids only seven inches high, but as they come from a 10G world, they're able to throw the Space Trooper protagonist easily. Government propaganda portrays them as being seven feet tall so morale won't be affected.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia has the mice. An unusual example as they don't look like little humans. They're also much more chivalrous than most examples - they see themselves as an order of honourable knights. They're also very much on the side of good. Their combat style in battle involves getting under an enemy's feet and tripping them, then attacking while they're down. But nonetheless they - or at least the head mouse, Reepicheep - are quite happy to engage in one on one duels. On one occasion the king had to sternly order Reepicheep not to challenge a dragon to a strategically pointless single combat!
  • Discworld has "the Wee Free Men" or Nac Mac Feegle, who are "The Smurfs as Violent Glaswegians". Despite their tiny size, they're one of the most violent races on the Disc.
  • In The Dresden Files, Harry presses a number of small faeries into service as this (through the simple process of pizza bribery). Do not underestimate the impact of dozens of lightning-fast faeries with boxcutters. Working together, they killed a Physical God.
  • Around the midpoint of the Garrett, P.I. series, a race of tiny Winged Humanoid creatures, the Mor-Cartha, arrive in the city and become serious pests. Tribal natives from the wilds of thunder-lizard country, they continue fighting their inter-tribe wars in the skies over TunFaire, when they're not stealing everything that isn't nailed down. After a while they're all hired as mercenaries for the Cantard War, and their aerial scouting and skirmishing proves so effective that they finally win the war for Karenta: something generations of soldiers and sorcerers had failed to do.
  • His Dark Materials has the Gallivespians, who are vicious six-inch assassins who ride dragonflies. They make up for their relative lack of strength by having venomous spurs on their heels, which is potent enough to kill a full-grown human in minutes (though they have to "recharge" their poison reserves after stinging someone: a second sting in rapid succession will only make their second victim groggy).
  • In the fantasy novel The Hounds of the Morrigan, the heroes, Pidge and Brigit, meet a group of Proud Warrior Race Guys who are earwigs. The insect, yes. They're not Funny Animals. Their leader believes himself to be Napoleon.
  • In Old Man's War, there is one planet inhabited by people who are almost exactly like humans, except they're only an inch tall. They're depicted as being hopelessly outmatched by the human military in ground battles, but at the very least evenly matched in space battles. Tiny ships can only have tiny weapons, but they're also too small to aim at properly.
  • The sci-fi short "Sodom and Gomorrah in Texas" by Raphael Aloysius Lafferty has aliens who are every inch (sorry) this trope. A census taker steals the tax list of a colony of tiny aliens (he'd been told to count everyone, no matter what their size). Their short and angry leader demands the list back, and when told by the dumbfounded mayor that it's been sent to Washington, is so annoyed at having to hike all that way he blows up the town with a bomb the size of a grain of sand.
  • The Puppeteer Parasites from the Harry Harrison Space Opera spoof Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers are furious that all other intelligent life is bigger than them despite their superior mental powers, so launch a Evil Plan to take over the entire galaxy.
  • The Minunians, the eponymous 'Ant Men', are warring city-states of warriors one fourth the size of normal men in Tarzan and the Ant Men.
  • Time Wars: In The Lilliput Legion the villain genetically engineers an army of tiny warriors.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The halflings (Hobbits) of the Dungeons and Dragons setting of Eberron are dinosaur riding barbarians. Rule of Cool.
    • Halflings of other campaign settings can also be hot-tempered warriors, just not as a culture.
  • The realm of Segovia in the Magic: The Gathering universe is a plane about 1/100 the size of the main world of Dominaria. Which explains why its leviathans are a mediocre 3/3.
  • One of the many unusual races from the Mystara setting are the Kubitts: two-foot-tall humanoids originally created as stealth assassins by a powerful wizard. They killed their creator and escaped rather than be slaves, which impressed a warrior-Immortal enough that she preserved them in one of the Hollow World's secluded valleys. Although they prefer to hide from bigger intelligent races, they are great fighters against wild predators and construct formidable defensive traps to guard their territory.

    Video Games 
  • In Battleborn, it's implied by one of Caldarius's lore that he may in reality be an 18 inch alien, and that his armor that resembles a typical mecha really is a giant mecha from his prospective. Even another piece of lore of his seems to imply this as it mentions him having fought an Ankrosa warrior, something stated to be nearly thrice his size, and that some had described him as an angry hornet.
  • Final Fantasy XI carries no race-job restrictions, so it is perfectly possible to create a Tarutaru warrior, dragoon, paladin, dark knight, etc. with the proper care and handling.
  • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, the adorable, tiny Lilties are the warrior race whose harsh rule once encompassed the entire world.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online allows Hobbit Guardians (plate-wearing main tank class). Dwarves can also be Guardians but their bulk makes them look more "appropriate" than the idea of the diminutive warrior.
  • In Overlord II, the Gnomes declare war on the titular Villain Protagonist over a slight and spend large portions of the game heckling him. Though despite coming at him with force and fury, they're... very ineffective, with their only real attack being to suicide bomb with firecrackers, and it becomes a quest after the first encounter to wipe out a thousand of the annoying buggers.
  • World of Warcraft DOES have race-class restrictions, but has gnome warriors as one of the available selections. Unlike other MMORPGs, differences in stat allocation between different races are negligible at best, so you are bound to see one shrugging off blows from a colossal wyrm at one point or another.
    • To be fair, all races are Lilliputian Warriors when attacking a colossal wyrm.


    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs (2020): The short "Starbox and Cindy" is about the leader of a band of ruthless alien conquerors who turn out to be doll-sized compared to humans, and who ends up the highly reluctant playmate of a little girl while the rest of his fleet waits for the command to invade.
  • Gravity Falls: "The Golf War" introduces the Lilliputtians, who are tiny golf-ball-headed folk who live in the local miniature golf course. Regardless, one of their cultures is pirate themed, another is knight themed and still another is cowboy themed. Even the more peaceful Lilliputtian cultures are fierce fighters, and they all come together to attack the protagonists near the end of the episode. The Lilliputtians later join the resistance in the Grand Finale "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls".
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes has the ant-sized Gnomans, who dress like ancient European warriors and possess Super Strength to the point where their colonel was able to grab Beezy and toss him around like a ragdoll when he ticked him off.
  • Looney Tunes: Chuck Jones's cartoon short "To Itch His Own" featured the Mighty Angelo, the strongman from a flea circus, who is barely visible without a magnifying glass but able to tote around objects that most humans would consider heavy. When his vacation is cut short by a bulldog bullying his vacation home (a smaller dog), Angelo unleashes his wrath on the nuisance, who finds himself soundly trounced by someone he can't even see.
  • The Fmeks in Men in Black: The Series; they are of very small sizes and a very aggressive Proud Warrior Race. This in Played for Laughs because of their small size and goofy behavior, though. Nevertheless, they do tend to represent a real danger in most episodes they're in.
  • The Minutians from My Life as a Teenage Robot are similar to the Helmacrons from the Animorphs example, however their main threat is their ability to multiply. They may also be super-strong, but if so it is offset by the Conservation of Ninjutsu.
  • The Uphorns and the Downhorns in The Smurfs (1981) Season 9 episode "Big Shot Smurfs" are belligerent Viking-like fellows who are even smaller than the Smurfs.