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Miniature Senior Citizens

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"Of course, I was much taller in those days... six foot three..."
Basil Makepeace (clearly fibbing to impress a new resident), Waiting for God

Something about aging shrinks people. Maybe it's the effect of old age on posture, or cartilage compression, or maybe it's just how kids these days shoot up like beanpoles with how much they eat. Either way, most senior citizens — especially the skilled, powerful ones that can kick the crap out of younger folk — are rarely over three or four feet tall.

In real life, there is a basis for shrinking in scientific lore. Some people develop hunchbacks due to severe arthritis, a lifetime of malnutrition, or other medical problems. Except in cases of severe osteoporosis, however, most healthy people will only lose a couple of inches from their tallest height over their lifetime. Note, however, that each generation has been, on average, taller than the last throughout the 20th century even in the West thanks to heartier diets rich in protein that their peasant ancestors could not enjoy, while Japan in particular (and Asia in general) is currently going through an accelerated version of this phenomenon since the end of World War II. Also, from a point of view of today's Japanese, people who were children during WW2 would also have been hit hard by malnutrition, food rationing and the outright starvation of 1944-45; malnutrition as children inevitably stunts growth. Place the undernourished child of 1944, now no younger than their middle seventies, against more fortunate post-war Japanese generations - i.e. the first wave of Generation X, who were born and grew up during the start of Japan's post-WWII economic miracle - and you will inevitably see a huge height difference. Taller people tend to have shorter lifespans, which accounts for elder characters in general being shorter, but not individual height loss.

Since this tends not to be noted as anything peculiar by younger characters, it's also an instance of Cartoonish Companions. See also Pint-Sized Kid and Short Teens, Tall Adults for when people on the opposite end of the age spectrum have their size difference exaggerated. If the elderly character is a parent, see Small Parent, Huge Child.


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    Anime and Manga 

  • Parodied in The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You. Yaku Yakusen looks like an 8-year-old because of an immortality drug her granddaughter Kusuri invented.
  • Hikari's grandmother in Amanchu! is a mild case, but she's still quite a bit smaller than Hikari, who isn't that tall herself.
  • Akino Ametsuchi a.k.a. Grandma from ARIA, who shrunk considerably compared to the fairly tall, lean woman we see in flashbacks of her.
  • Cowboy Bebop: The elders of the Black Dragon Syndicate are all tiny- half the size of characters like Spike and Vicious.
  • Dragon Ball goes back and forth on this, depending on what species is shown. Muten Roshi is below average height even taking his hunched posture into account, with his sister Uranai Baba being so small she's Ambiguously Human. Piccolo Daimaō and the Eldest Namekian are both 2-3 times the size of an adult. Ditto King Cold and Chi-Chi's father Gyū Maō. Babidi is a million years old and is barely 2 feet tall. Dr. Gero (or at least his android body) is the only elderly character of a normal height.
  • Master Makarov Dreyar of the eponymous wizard guild Fairy Tail. Ironically, one of his more used magic abilities, Titan, lets him turn into a giant. A photo in the anime shows he was short even in his youth and a flashback in the manga shows he was short by the time he was about forty, but he's shrunk considerably in the present. Oddly his son Ivan and grandson Laxus are very large men and his father Yuri was pretty tall as well.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Winry's grandmother, Pinako, seems to barely come up to most character's waists. Nonetheless, she still makes fun of Ed for being short. Notably, when Dominic recalls Pinako as a young woman, she's a great deal taller than she is when we see her in the show's present; whether she really was that tall or the character recalling her is exaggerating (he's terrified by the mention of her name) is not made clear. It should be noted that a young Pinako appears in a photograph with Hohenheim and really is a great deal taller.
    • In a Fullmetal Alchemist artbook, Arakawa draws Ed going through Animation Anatomy Aging. As Ed matures, she draws him like his father, but once he reaches an elderly age, she draws him as tiny as Pinako.
  • Joey's grandma in Heroman; that woman cannot be taller than 2 feet.
  • Enya Geil from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. She's seen in a photograph carrying the Bow and Arrow; the bow in question is a normal-sized recurve bow, but she has to put her body through the curve to carry it, because it's as tall as she is.
    • Averted with Joseph Joestar in Part 4. First off, he is now 79 years old and time has clearly caught up to him, losing the physique and vitality he had since he was at least 18 (Part 2), keeping said attributes even at 67 (Part 3). However, he is seen walking next to his grandson Jotaro in Chapter 347 and they're the same height. Officially, Jotaro and Joseph are both 195cm/6'4" tall, but the latter hasn't shrunk in his old age, at all.
  • Kengan Ashura: Erioh and Metsudo are the oldest characters in the series, and are the shortest men, height-wise. Their age definitely contributed to their diminutive stature, as they were as big and strapping as the other characters in their youth, as shown in the flashback chapters.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Gran Torino is a straight example. In flashbacks he's as tall as Nana Shimura. In the present he's half the height of Midoriya, who is himself one of the shortest boys in his class. The fact that present-day Gran Torino was inspired by Yoda explains a lot.
    • Recovery Girl, the U.A.'s resident School Nurse is even shorter, though we have yet to see her when she was young.
    • Midoriyas's mother, Inko Midoriya, is a downplayed example. She's not elderly yet, but in flashbacks, she's notably taller than she is now. The implication likely being that she will be a straight example of this trope in her 60s and 70s.
  • Naruto:
    • Onoki, the current Tsuchikage is an old man so tiny that he's only about 1.5 times as tall as his Kage head piece is long. It turns out that Onoki was always tiny, though.
    • Sabu is also pretty tiny, especially compared to his giant raccoon and his giant axe.
    • In the Spin-Offspring series Boruto, either Hiashi has shrunk compared to in Naruto or he's Off-Model. Naruto should only be a few centimeter taller than him, however he towers over Hiashi.
  • One Piece:
    • 78-year-old Miss Bakkin is 68 centimeters tall, just over two feet. This is in sharp contrast to her 35-year-old son Edward Weevil, who's 680 centimeters tall, approximately twenty-two feet.
    • Back when Hyogoro of the Flower was a prominent yakuza boss at age fifty, he was of comparable height to Kozuki Oden, who's twelve feet tall. After twenty years of hard labour at Udon's Prisoner Mine, seventy-year-old Hyogoro has shrunk to just over three feet tall. He regains his former height when infected with the Ice Oni virus, which increases a person's physical strength at the cost of putting a deadly strain on their body.
  • Pryce in Pokémon Adventures, who is confined to a wheelchair to boot. Agatha and Bertha are lighter examples. Averted in the games, where Pryce is taller than the player. Also averted with Professor Oak, Professor Rowan, Blaine, Wattson, Drayden, and Alder. Agatha and Bertha are still somewhat short in the games, though definitely not miniature.
  • Touhou Fuhai from Rosario + Vampire is a subversion. He looks like one at first, but that's only his Sleep-Mode Size body. He's actually a Really 700 Years Old Bishōnen.
  • Rei's grandfather in the first Sailor Moon anime is highly diminutive, standing to only about the girls' waist. This is barely recognizable compared to the manga, where he's the same height as any adult, his age just indicated by his mustache and white hair.
  • Samurai 7's village elder, and Kirara's grandmother, are both Miniature Senior Citizens.
  • Libra Dohko, the Hermit Guru in Saint Seiya. He's about 140 cm tall and purple when we first meet him. Considering he's 261 years old, it's understandable that over time he's managed to shrink, turn purple, lose all his hair and gain elf ears. But as we find out later on, he really was quite a looker when he was younger. Also, he's awesome.
  • In Servant × Service, the elderly ladies who constantly go to Miyoshi to ramble about their days are all drawn as short and diminutive—they have to jump to reach their seat at the office and their heads barely reach the top of their desk even then.
  • Slayers has, in at least Slayers NEXT (the second season of the anime), Auntie Aqua, a little old woman who's barely waist-high on Amelia. She turns out to be the last remaining fragment of the soul of the Water Dragon King, one of the five gods who serve the Dragon God Ceiphied.
  • Most of the more famous examples come from Rumiko Takahashi's work:
  • Zigzagged in Maison Ikkoku, as Yukari Godai is as short as Takahashi's later senior citizens, but Mr. Otonashi is of normal height. As Otonashi is merely Kyouko's father-in-law, however, he may be younger than he acts.
  • Cologne and Happôsai from Ranma ˝. Lampshaded in a flashback which showed that Cologne was normal height in the past but Happôsai was a younger version of what he looks like now. In Cologne's flashback, anyway. In Happôsai's flashback, he was tall and extremely pretty. Although it's much easier to believe Cologne than Happôsai.
    • The anime lampshades this in a different way; one episode has them travel to the past when Happôsai and Cologne were teens themselves. Happôsai tries to claim to have been a tall, blond Bishōnen, but nobody believes him and, to nobody's surprise, the 18-year-old Happôsai turns out to be an ugly little dwarf. Cologne then claims that a beautiful, dark blue-haired girl sweeping in the village is her past self. Ranma outright tells her to make her lies more believable, and Cologne promptly proves that, yes, that really is her younger self. In the English dub, this nets a dumbfounded "Oh my god!" from all of the others present, even Shampoo herself.
    • Lampshaded again when Happôsai explains why he can't hit the pressure points on Hinako to nullify her Energy Absorption power: it involves hitting points on her front and back simultaneously and his arms are too short to do that.
    • As well as Cologne and Happôsai, Ranma ½ has other Miniature Senior Citizens as well. The manga has Happôsai's old partner/rival Lukkosai, who has managed to get himself a Jusenkyô Spring of Drowned Child curse—his child form is conveniently the exact same height as his elderly one. The anime has Happôsai's old friend Chingensai, who basically looks like Happôsai with a massive head of brown hair that, coupled with his thick beard/moustache, covers his whole head, and a trio of unnamed others who show up in an early seventh season episode.
    • Finally, a Filler episode in the first season gives us Kin Ono, the diminutive mother of Dr. Tôfû Ono. Unlike these others, she's only a "normal" old person, about 60 or so, but she seems to have been fairly tiny even when she was a young girl.
  • Also lampshaded in Inuyasha, in which Miyoga is smaller than the younger characters for a reason — he's a flea. Kikyo's sister Kaede and Kagome's grandfather are also both shorter than most of the rest of the cast, although with somewhat more realistic proportions.
  • Shibiretta from Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO! and Majorina from Smile Pretty Cure! are evil old ladies who are less than half the size of their younger fellow villains. The latter can eventually transform into a younger, taller, more attractive form of herself.
  • Doctor Torataro Shima in Paprika is noticeably shorter than most of the other characters.
  • Yugi's grandpa Sugoroku in Yu-Gi-Oh!. It should be noted, however, that Yugi's not much taller, so it could be an inheritable condition...except that he used to have a normal height when he was in his 40s. However, since that flashback was from his perspective, he could have imagined himself taller. Although the manga shows another kind of flashback where he looked taller than he's now.
  • Genkai in YuYu Hakusho is a subversion, as flashbacks to her youth show that she's always been short and it's not something caused by old age.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: Downplayed; a recurring elderly lady in a yellow shirt is noticeably shorter than adults younger than her, including 29-year-old Doctor H., but she doesn't deviate from the heights of the other characters too much. It's slightly less downplayed in the seasons after the art shift, which changed the characters to look more lanky but didn't change the elderly lady's height by much.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: The elderly Geriatrix is even shorter than Asterix himself, and about half the height of his hot wife.
  • Bamse: Inverted. Bamse is a family man (OK, anthropomorphic bear) with four children. Three of them are half his height, very reasonable since they are supposed to be around eight years old, and the fourth is a toddler. Bamse's parents are one head taller than him, and his grandmother is again one head taller, meaning that Bamse just about reaches granny's waist, and Bamse's toddler daughter is shorter than granny's foot is long! This is interestingly true for more or less every single family in the series. Despite Bamse's friends Ola, Mickelina and Annika being well into their twenties, they are about a head shorter than their parents.
  • Douwe Dabbert: Douwe is a very old and very short man. It should be noted that he stands out among other characters from the comic — most other old people are depicted as having normal length.
  • Ms. Marvel (2016): Harold, a WWII veteran living in a retirement home, is about half the height of the teenaged main characters.
  • Noob generally has the size of gaming avatars proportional to the avatar's level, sometimes adjusted for the player's actual talent. The only elder among the players is implied to be on the higher end of the scale (and confirmed to be there in All There in the Manual), yet is drawn as much shorter than younger players of similar level; the only other characters with similar proportions are the avatars of players just getting started and the two less talented players among the protagonists.
  • Momma: Sonia Hobbs seems to have very little in the way of legs or torso. Just about all parental figures in the strip are drawn like this.
  • Werner: The unnamed old lady who provides Werner and his buddies the opportunity to brew their own beer; Werner's grandma from the movie
  • Wonder Woman (1987): H'Elgn is elderly and hunched and comes up to about Wonder Woman's waist.

    Fan Works 
  • Nozomi from ''Kill la Kill AU in this pic doesn't look like she could be any taller than Shiro, actually his head comes up to about hers. According to the Kiryuuin family picture, she's actually petite, as her oldest son is about her height.
  • Their Bond: Zelda is surprised by how short Impa's grandmother Impaz is. Considering Impa's talk, Impaz might have been short even in her youth.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Bad Guys (2022): At one point during the movie, Mr. Wolf bumps into an almost comically tiny elderly woman and saves her from falling down the stairs. Notably, she is the only human character in the movie with such exaggerated proportions. It turns out to be a Justified Trope, as she is later revealed to have been the movie's guinea pig antagonist in disguise.
  • Coco: Miguel's great-grandmother Socorro is markedly shorter than most of the other adults, as are her daughter Elena and her dead husband Julio. Oddly, her mother Imelda towers over the rest of the family in the land of the dead; presumably she died before arthritis set in.
  • Madame Souza in The Triplets of Belleville is small enough to ride Bruno (the dog). However, the titular Triplets are still as tall as they were in their youth.
  • Mr. Fredrickson in Up was always pretty short; not much shorter than or the same height as his wife, and significantly taller than a large 8-year old, but his large head makes his shortness more prominent. Other adult characters seem to tower over him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Benjamin Button from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was born a baby-sized old man (not a spoiler) and gets younger as the story progresses while growing in stature the same way a normal child does as they get older. In the original story, he might be the size of an aged adult (he's explicitly described as too big for the crib). Don't think too much about the birth.
  • In David Lynch's Mulholland Dr., Diane Selwyn is attacked by literally miniaturized old people. They're about three inches tall.
  • Yoda from Star Wars. He's 900 years old, and his species features many standard traits of human aging, such as whispy white hair, large ears, a wrinkled face, and a small, stooped stature.
    • In the prequel trilogy, Yoda loses the white hair and stands slightly more upright, but he's still tiny and wrinkled and he still carries a cane.
    • Yaddle, another Jedi Master who shares Yoda's species and is seen in Phantom Menace, is of similar stature to Yoda though about half his age. This suggests that their species is naturally a short one.
    • The Sequel Trilogy has Maz Kanata, an old Space Pirate who runs her own castle-based cantina on Planet Takodana. She appears to be being set up as the "new Yoda".

  • Camp 30: When they stop at a grocery store for a soda, George and Jack meet a man who apparently works there, who is describes as "small and wrinkled and his face quavered with age".
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
    • Rule One, according to Lu Tze, is "Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man!"
    • Cohen the Barbarian and his Silver Horde are the bent-over variant.
    • In Making Money, Topsy Lavish is a tiny old lady with an oversize personality; when Moist first meets her he can't see her over the top of her ridiculously large bank desk until she sits up a little more and speaks to him.
  • Franny K. Stein: Franny's grandmother is introduced in the 10th book Mood Science and is described as being very short. Franny even jokes that at the rate her grandmother is shrinking between their visits, she'll one day be small enough to bathe in a spoon.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Professor Flitwick. Word of God is that he had a goblin ancestor somewhere in the family, which may have contributed to his height.
    • Proffessor Griselda Marchbanks, the Governor of the Wizarding Examinations Authority who would have been at least 118 when Harry first met her in Order of the Phoenix is described as "the tiny, stooped witch with a face so lined it looked as though it had been draped in cobwebs".
    • Bathilda Bagshot, who's at least in her 130s, is described as only coming to Harry's chest.
  • In The House of the Spirits the viciously evil Esteban becomes convinced he's started getting shorter (no matter what the doctors say). This is deliberately symbolic of what he believes is a loss of power and influence due to age.
  • Journey to Chaos: As a three thousand year old mage, Old Man Aaloon has shrunk enough to pogo on his Magic Staff.
  • King of the Bench: Spirou T. Agnew Middle School's principal, Pricipal T, is a very small elderly woman.
  • In the T.S. Eliot poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" he refers to elderly people losing height: "I am old, I am old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled".
  • La Menou from Malevil. She's often referred to as a petite skeleton and she is Known Only By Her Nickname which means "tiny".
  • A very extreme example: Úrsula Iguarán from One Hundred Years of Solitude lives to be 120 years old, and by that time she has shriveled to the size of a fetus.
  • Reuhurinteen ala-aste: Aapeli Käki's grandma is described as ridiculously small multiple times.
  • The earliest draft versions of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, documented in The Book of Lost Tales, gave elves a very weird version of immortality. Instead of aging as they got older, they shrank. Very old elves degenerated into the tiny fairy people of European folktales. This was the author's attempt to explain how the old Norse concept of the alfar gave rise to tiny Disney-fied fairies. Later, he dropped the idea.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Last of the Time Lords": When the Master uses a reversed form of the Lazarus machine on the Doctor it leads to him following this trope.
    • The immortal but still ageing Captain Jack Harkness apparently mutates into just a (gigantic) head... maybe.
  • On ER, the term "LOL" was shorthand for "little old lady". Presumably they didn't encounter many six-foot-tall elderly women.
  • Marie in Everybody Loves Raymond.
  • Sophia on The Golden Girls is the oldest and smallest of the main characters. This is frequently brought up by the other characters, especially her daughter Dorothy.
  • Frank Reynolds in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks' elderly landlady, Mrs. Davis, is shorter than the other characters - including the teenagers. Mrs. Davis' sister, Angela, is also short.
  • The Janitor from Scrubs once said to his girlfriend Lady that he didn't want children — he just wants to adopt a little old man.
  • Mikey's elderly great-grandmother in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is so small, she's a puppet
  • In the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, newsman Les Nessman frequently voices concern over his aged mother's chronic shrinking.
    • In a later episode, however, we finally see Les's mother, and she's the same height he is (by dint of being played by the same actor), perhaps implying that it's due to Les growing rather than his mother shrinking.
  • In the sitcom Taxi, The Sunshine Cab Company Dispatcher Loui De Palma (Danny DeVito), lives with his elderly short Italian mother who while normally only spoken off but never seen does makes an on-screen appearance in two episodes (played by DeVito's real-life mother Julia).

    Myths & Religion 
  • This is Older Than Feudalism, thanks to the Greek myth of Eos, goddess of the dawn, and her mortal lover Tithonus. Granted immortality but not eternal youth, Tithonus eventually degenerated into a cricket according to late Classical writers. Who Wants to Live Forever?, indeed?
  • Similar fate befalls the Cumaean Sibyl in Ovid's Metamorphoses. She is granted near-immortality by Apollo, but forgets to ask for eternal youth. In the end, her shriveled body fits inside a jar.

  • BIONICLE regularly had small, middle and large sets as part of its release schedule, and the first line of small sets sold at normal retail were the six Turaga elders. A seventh Turaga toy, Dume came out some years later, taller than the originals but still short in its own series. Their size is reflective of their power level: regular Matoran are generally the smallest and have either no or minimal powers, mighty Toa warriors are tall an imposing, and Toa who give up their power for the greater good become weaker and smaller Turaga. The six small Rahaga were portrayed as elderly in the third movie, though their size was actually due to a mutation.

    Video Games 
  • Professor Yoolip from Awesomenauts is no taller than his little granddaughter, Ayla.
  • Iva from Battlerite is the oldest human character, and the smallest.
  • When Cranky Kong used to be the original Donkey Kong, he was a very large and intimidating gorilla whose sprite was 4 times bigger then Mario's sprite. The Cranky Kong of today is much shorter. Just small enough so that he can comfortably ride on today's Donkey Kong's back in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
  • Kliff in Guilty Gear comes up to the waist of most of the younger cast; he's even a touch shorter than May, the second-youngest character in the game (Dizzy, the actual youngest character, is taller than either). Some of his special moves restore his youth, doubling his height in the process.
  • Double Dragon Hiruko the Fortune Teller of the third game reaches up only to the Double Dragon's knees. This is weaponized during the battle against Hiruko as she's a small target to hit.
  • Old man Strago from Final Fantasy VI is 4'11" (151 cm), the second shortest character in the game, with his 10 year old granddaughter Relm being taller than him (5'0"/153 cm) and the only shorter character being the non-human Mog (4'0"/122 cm).
    • Their respective sprites, however, are just as large as the sprites for the other characters. For Relm this is accomplished through a distinctive hat, but Strago makes up for lack of height with an abundance of Mohawk.
  • Most of the older characters in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (such as the bird lady and Jak's uncle) are tiny and reach only to Jak's waist. Samos the Sage is significantly shorter than his daughter Keira, though apparently his younger self was short as well.
  • Inverted in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, for the Lilties. Typically small in their prime, the average never going taller than four feet (excepting the princess and those train conductors), Lilties grow much larger as they age; Cid is nearly as tall as Layle and quite wide to boot, and Jegran could easily pass for a basketball player. The elderly Lilties are large enough to toss bystanders aside as they run.
  • Harvest Moon:
  • Chin Gentsai in The King of Fighters is a diminutive man (he's just about as tall as Choi Bounge — himself a midget) well into his eighties, who drinks a lot, and still he can kick your ass and spit fire.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The twin witches Koume and Kotake in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (where they are boss characters) and Majora's Mask (where they are helpful NPCs) appear to be hunched and withered, but they still manage to be taller than adult Link.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Most Gorons are so huge Link comes up maybe to their chin. Most of the elders, however, are shorter than him.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: The old woman watching over the Sealed Ground is notably short and hunched over. What makes this stick out more than most examples is that she is actually Impa thousands of years older, and we see her younger self as a result of time travel; she was once a very tall and athletic beanpole.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • Muzu of the Zora and all the elderly Gerudo are withered, bent and short in their old age. They're still eye level with Link, but Zora and Gerudo adults are otherwise several heads taller than he is.
      • The +100-year-old Impa and Robbie play this even straighter (both of them barely coming up to Link's waist), while Purah subverts it due to a botched anti-aging experiment resulting in her having the body of a child. Much like the aforementioned old woman, Impa and Robbie are both shown to have been of normal height 100 years ago. Impa in particular is shown to have looked almost identical to her normal-height granddaughter Paya back in the day.
  • In Love & Pies, some of the elderly characters such as Betty and Esme are half as tall as the adults, only reaching up to their waists.
  • Dr. Goodall in Megaman Star Force. She's even shorter than Zack (if you don't count her hair), and he's a middle schooler noted to be short for his age.
  • While most elder Wyverians in the Monster Hunter series play this straight, very very rarely you have ones like the Great Elder of Dundorma Town, a 6-meter+ giant appropriately referred to as His Immenseness.
  • Zhang Li in Perfect Dark Zero, until his Graal-induced transformation near the end (and even then his transformed body is somewhat misshapen, such as a noticeably buff right arm with a still-withered left). Ironically, Jack Dark and Daniel Carrington are actually older than he is, and both are twice his height.
  • Pokémon: The Orre games, Colosseum and XD, feature the Fun Old Man and Fun Old Lady trainer classes — senior Trainers who have retired and might possibly challenge the player for the thrill. They're considerably shorter than Wes and Rui of Colosseum, and about equal with Micheal of XD. There's also Mayor Es Cade of Phenac a.k.a. Evice, the Puppet Boss of Cipher from Colosseum, who is about on par with the aforementioned trainer classes, and Mr. Verich a.k.a. Greevil, Cipher's Grand Master from XD, who is even shorter than Micheal's little sister Jovi.
  • Psychonauts 2:
    • Compton Boole is an elderly man who is barely taller than Raz, who is canonically 4'4. However, flashbacks to his youth show that he was the same exact size before.
    • Raz's Nona is smaller than her son and daughter-in-law. When she was an adult, she was taller and skinnier, just only a little bit above Ford Cruller's height.
  • Hans Voralberg of Syberia is a head or two shorter than Kate Walker and most of the other adult characters. However, it's implied to be because the childhood injury that explicitly gave him his mental disability also impeded his physical growth.
  • Archibald from Triangle Strategy is shown in the ending card for the Golden route to come up to Anna's waist (and she, in turn, is about shoulder-height to Benedict). While it's unclear exactly how much height he lost, Archibald's profile art in his flashback makes him look significantly taller. He does walk with a cane in the present day, so at least part of it could be due to poor posture in his old age.

    Web Animation 
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: While the rest of the Yukino family is of average height, Vivi's grandmother doesn't even come up to her waist.
  • RWBY has Maria Calavera, who barely reaches the waist of the main cast. She's taller in a flashback, where she was a famed Huntress before being blinded in battle and going into hiding.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Zigzagged all-around in Adventure Time. The Old Lady plays it straight, being much shorter than a pre-teen boy, whereas the Ice King averts it, being about as tall as younger adults. Totally inverted with Billy, who is a literal giant.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: Jake's grandfather is so small several people during the Halloween Episode mistook him for a kid dressed like an old Chinese wise man. Then again, it was shown in flashback he wasn't much taller than that during his prime, implying he may be suffering a case of dwarfism. Jake's Mom should be glad the dragon powers weren't all that skipped her.
  • Arcane: Justified in that he's a yordle, but between his white bushy mustache and being the oldest member of the Council at 307, he comes across as a little adorable old grandpa.
  • While not as extreme as some of the other example on this page, Lo and Li from Avatar: The Last Airbender are still fairly short. A portrait of them painted in their youth, shown in the Beach Episode, shows that they were not always that small. Nor that ugly.
    • Played straightish by Iroh, though he was pretty short in flashbacks too.
    • In one episode, Aang, while entering Omashu, tries (and succeeds) in passing himself off as one of these. Technically, since he's 112 years old, he actually is one.
    • The Sequel Series The Legend of Korra also plays this straight with Katara (who has become noticeably shorter than when she was a teenager) and Mako and Bolin's grandmother Yin (who's nearly a head shorter than Korra). While Toph was never particularly tall (she's only 12 in the first series, and while she did get a growth spurt she was still noticeably shortest of the cast as an adult), age seems to have also taken a bit off her height as well (though her hunched-over Reverse Arm-Fold posture doesn't help). This could also be explained as them having grown-up in the fantastical equivalent of the Industrial Revolution and just being shorter than later generations because in real life, human height really shot up during the period as overall quality of life drastically improved.
  • A time-travel episode of Ben 10 saw that in a couple decades, Max Tennyson aged to about half his height (and width).
  • The Box: The old man is a tiny, gnome-like figure, barely half the size of the younger adults at the bar.
  • A textbook example of this occurs in the Dexter's Laboratory movie Ego Trip, where child Dexter looks about two feet tall, teenage Dexter has a gangly five- or six-foot frame, Future Badass Dexter looks like an eight foot tall, six-foot-wide musclebound gorilla, and elderly Dexter is a wrinkled little senile prune that's shorter than child Dexter.
    • Dexter's grandfather isn't much taller than the boy.
  • Quetzal from Dragon Tales. Despite being one of the oldest dragons in Dragon Land, he is only the same height as a human like most of the younger dragons. The adult dragons are all giants.
  • The Dungeon Master, from the Dungeons & Dragons (1983) animated show. Especially when you consider the towering Venger is his son!
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Madame Foster is pretty short. A photo album has its pages flipped through, resulting in a flipbook-like image of Madame Foster shrinking while Frankie grows taller.
  • Hilda: Hilda's elementary school teacher Ms. Hallgrim is an elderly woman who is barely taller than the kids in her class. And since Pint-Sized Kid is also in effect in this show, that means she is notably smaller than other adult characters.
  • In a particularly strange spin on the trope, Hank's father Cotton in King of the Hill had his legs below the shins surgically removed after a war injury, then had his feet attached to the bottom of his legs. He was tall enough before this (6'4'') that he's still taller (5'0'') than most examples on this page.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: While not tiny, Master Fu is shorter than the fairly petite middle-schooler Marinette.
  • Mr. Magoo is a short old man.
  • Exaggerated in My Freaky Family. The grandmother is not only short, but she's tiny. She's half the size of her son.
  • Subverted in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Granny Smith is shorter than Applejack, but a series of flashbacks indicate that she was always small.
  • Head dog catcher McLeish's mother Agatha from Pound Puppies (2010).
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • The Mayor of Townsville is an old man and is only slightly taller than the titular heroines Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup.
    • In the 2016 series episode "The Wrinklegruff Gals", the Powerpuff Girls drink an aging serum invented by the Professor in hopes that growing older will earn respect from the other kids at school, but end up becoming elderly because they consume too much. Though they have gray hair, wrinkles, and other signs of growing old, they remain the same height they were when they were little girls.
  • Rolling with the Ronks!: The Ronks' chief Mama is an old woman and is barely taller than Mila, who is a young girl.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Radioactive Man", when Bart tries (and partially succeeds) in growing an inch overnight in order to win a movie role, he's told that he's growing at the same rate that Grandpa is shrinking. Grandpa then wanders by, his hair barely poking up above the table, saying "I'm as tall as I ever was!" (Of course, he's his normal height the next time we see him.)
    • Although he does once claim to be only 31, Hans Moleman at least looks elderly and is very short.
  • Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird: Tweety is by no means elderly (that is, if The Looney Tunes Show has nothing to say about it), but if his size in Baby Looney Tunes is to be believed, it means that he actually shrunk as he got older.
  • Mumm-Ra from Thunder Cats and Thunder Cats 2011 is this when in Shapeshifter Default Form.
  • In Wakfu, Old Master Baker Ratafouine and his assistant Chouquette, as one of the show's many Animesque aspects.
    • Also Ruel Stroud's grandmother, who is even shorter than Yugo (without her giant afro).
  • Wander over Yonder: Trudi Traveler— no taller than Commander Peepers.

Alternative Title(s): Miniature Senior Citizen


The Four Wise Men

Technically three men and a woman.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / MiniatureSeniorCitizens

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