Follow TV Tropes


Little Guy, Big Buddy

Go To
A size-mismatched duo, and a subtrope of Big Guy, Little Guy. The smaller/weaker character gets protection from his naïveté by the larger. What the larger character gets out of the deal varies more, although sometimes he is just a Gentle Giant.

Sometimes overlaps with the Badly Battered Babysitter if the "protected" character is especially given to walking blindly into dangerous situations and environments.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Kenpachi and Yachiru from Bleach, though Kenpachi never seems to be actively trying to protect her. Especially since it's been hinted that she doesn't need the protection (to be more specific, she's the 11th division's assistant captain. Considering how division members are ranked, that means Kenpachi is the only one more powerful than her).
  • On Code Geass, Charles Di Britannia and his "older" twin brother V.V. are a Jupiter and Mercury pair, with Charles being over 7 feet tall and V.V. having the appearance of a prepubescent boy since he physically stopped aging when he gained immortality.

  • Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner fit this. Guy is the larger, older, more experienced and more physically powerful of the two, and while Kyle doesn't exactly need protection, not even God can help you if you hurt Kyle in front of Guy. Kyle is also one of the few people who can bring out Guy's well hidden tender side.

    Film — Animated 
  • Dumbo offers a size inversion, with the small but worldly Timothy Q. Mouse protecting the large but naïve title character.
  • Monsters, Inc. has the big monster Sully become attached to the innocent toddler Boo when she strays outside of the human world into his, including a "Feed the Kitty" homage when Sully thinks Boo has been mashed in a trash compactor.

  • George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men, another inversion where the little guy is the one guiding the bigger guy. At least until the end.
  • In the Sword of Truth, Chase is this to Richard while Richard is growing up. Richard and Gratch both have this role with each other at one point or another. Richard to Warren.
  • In Codex Alera, Max is this to Tavi when they're academs. Subverted in that Tavi saves Max just as much as Max saves Tavi.
  • In The Dresden Files, the Gruffs are a chain of this. (They're based on the Billy Goats Gruff from fairy tales - or more likely in this universe, the fairy tales are based on them.) Some of them are the size of bulldozers. Partial subversion since the Eldest Gruff is five feet tall, and one of the strongest Summer warriors, ranking him in the top few-hundred deadliest creatures in existence.
    • At 6'8" with a crippling Hero Complex, Harry is often a Big Buddy himself. Notably in Dead Beat where he protects the diminutive Waldo Butters for most of the book.
  • Freak the Mighty features the viewpoint character taking the little kid under his wing.

    Live-Action TV 

    Professional Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show has Sweetums and Robin, which is a complete change from their debut in the Muppet version of "The Frog Prince", where Sweetums tried to eat Robin. The name was originally ironic, not the accurate description it would later become.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Ogryns are abhumans used by the Imperial Guard as huge shock troopers, who have the approximate intelligence and personality of a three-year-old child. They're often assigned to bodyguard important individuals like commissars who do the thinking for them.

    Video Games 
  • Bioshock and Bioshock 2 has the Big Daddies and Little Sisters, heavily mutated men grafted into diving suits protecting little girls with slugs in their bellies. In the second game, you play as a Big Daddy and kill others to take their Little Sister. As an unfortunate splicer (and the player) learn in the first game you never mess with a Little Sister when her Daddy is near (unless you have the firepower).
  • Baldur's Gate 2 has Minsc, a cheerfully loud tough guy, and his pet "miniature giant space hamster", Boo. Baldur's Gate also had Minsc protecting Dynaheir, his "witch", as part of a rite of passage. Though she doesn't appear in the second game, a dialogue can occur between him and another female caster, where he decides that now she's his witch. In either case, if his ward were killed in the game, he'd go berserk.
  • Subverted in BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic. Mission is a Twi'lek teenager (using the smallest adult female model) and Zaalbar is a Wookiee - two meters and change of walking carpet (and probably about 80 to 100 years old, given Wookiee lifespans). While the big fellow does back Mission up in a fight, his language barrier and painful shyness means that Mission does most of the talking. She is also the street-smart one, though both of them are naive to varying degrees.
  • Inverted (kind of) with Tae and Bollikin of Lusternia: the former a massive, hulking (but endearingly simple-minded) God, the latter a tiny and extremely intelligent (but also incredibly compassionate) God. They compliment each other perfectly, and are implied to be lovers.
  • Starting from the second Darkstalkers game, we get two: Donovan the vampire hunter, who is accompained by Emotionless Girl Anita, trying to make her emotions return, and Huitzil, the huge Aztec robot who takes care of a young boy named Cecil, thinking Cecil is his new master.
  • Seems to be the intended dynamic for Big the Cat and Froggy, their theme song even referring to a "big guy" and "little guy."
  • Final Fantasy XIV gives us Biggs and Wedge, a Roegadyn and Lalafell duo. Biggs is the combat capable one... until Wedge gets a suit of Magitek armor.
  • League of Legends has Nunu & Willump, a young boy riding atop a four-armed yeti.
  • Junkrat and Roadhog have this dynamic in Overwatch. He's far from helpless what with being a bomb-chucking maniac and all, but Junkrat is an obnoxious loudmouth who's prone to making very stupid decisions and has a target painted on his back due to knowing secrets about a treasure that other dangerous criminals are gunning for. This leads to his hulking, soft-spoken bodyguard Roadhog coming off as an irritated babysitter when he has to jump in and keep him out of trouble.


    Web Original 
  • A Pokémon animated short has the Gentle Giant Snorlax befriending a tiny Cubone, letting the little Lonely Pokemon bounce on its belly and keeping it warm during winter.

    Western Animation 
  • The page illustration is a still of Marc Antony and Pussyfoot, who were the former Trope Namer. They starred together in a series of five Warner Bros. cartoon shorts, the most famous of which was the first, "Feed the Kitty". A big, and strong dog becomes the self-appointed parent figure and protector to a cute kitten.
  • Animaniacs:
    • Rita and Runt have a similar big dog/little cat relationship, although in this case the little one is sophisticated and the big one is dumb (mistaking the cat for another dog).
    • Dog Buttons and baby Mindy are the Badly Battered Babysitter version.
  • Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot: The title characters work like this, the four footish Rusty partnering with the twelve foot tall goliath Big Guy. Rusty is actually more powerful, but he's also inexperienced and young, so Big Guy is there to help train him. Played with in the fact that Big Guy isn't actually a robot, but a mech piloted by a human.
  • Ruff and Reddy. The former is a kitten, the latter is his pal, a dog.

Alternative Title(s): Marc Anthony And Pussyfoot