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Mister Big

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"Ofttimes, a very small man can cast a very large shadow."
Lord Varys, A Song of Ice and Fire

Since Asskicking Leads to Leadership and Rank Scales with Asskicking, your average Big Bad tends to be (appropriately enough) big — however, a frequent subversion of this is for the big cheese to be a half-pint. Generally this will be taken to an extreme degree, and may be accentuated by giving him two Giant Mook bodyguards.

Almost invariably The Napoleon, with a Berserk Button about their height. Or they might have an Ironic Nickname along the lines of "Mr. Big" — either they're too dumb to notice the irony, their minions are Professional Butt Kissers stroking their ego, or they're confident enough to have a self-deprecating sense of humor. This might be a reference to their sizable reputation and influence, combat skills, or personality. Often got their position due to intelligence or deviousness that compensates for their lack of physical threat — if Shorter Means Smarter, this guy is a genius.

Will often be introduced with a Big Little Man, Hitler Cam, or Big Shadow, Little Creature shot, either as a simple Visual Gag or because his shortness will eventually be The Reveal.

Contrast Large and in Charge. Compare Killer Rabbit, Pintsized Powerhouse, and Depraved Dwarf (and indeed, this trope often overlaps with those ones). Sub-Trope of Weak Boss, Strong Underlings.

Has nothing to do with rock band Mr. Big or the James Bond adversary or the Southtown kingpin or the final boss of NARC or the character from Sex and the City. ...Or the Canadian candy bar.


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  • Inverted in the Red Rock Cider adds, staring Leslie Nielsen doing an expy of his Police Squad! character. Our heroes are on stakeout when a gang of dwarf crooks in Conspicuous Trenchcoats rush past.
    Lieutenant: Forget the little guys. We want Mr. Big.
    Sgt. Doughray: But how will we tell if he's our man?
    [seven foot man wearing a shirt saying R. Mann appears]

  • Wangury from Noonbory and the Super 7 is the shortest of the Pirategurys, but also their leader. He instead wears a large, swanky hat to signal his leadership.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball series:
    • Pilaf's short stature makes him hard to take seriously as Goku's first antagonist, but Goku is just a tiny child himself at the time.
    • The Red Ribbon Army is led by Commander Red, who is extremely short. This turns out to be relevant to why his organization kept clashing with the protagonists in the first place: he is after the Dragon Balls himself simply to wish himself taller.
    • Garlic Jr. is on par size-wise with Gohan as a child. He does have a much larger alternate form, however.
    • Prince Vegeta is the shortest of the Saiyans and at the time of his introduction is easily the most powerful.
    • Freeza is also much shorter and smaller than his closest bodyguards, Zarbon and Dodoria. He grows taller in his second and third forms, but returns to being short in his fourth and true form.
    • The Grand Minister is one of the shortest angels, despite being the most powerful angel and the father of most of the others.
    • Zen'o is about the size of a child, but is the most powerful entity in Dragon Ball. It's especially noticeable next to his bodyguards, who are a good deal taller than Goku, but are also much weaker than Zen'o.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Edward Elric, a bit of a runt, is given the not-entirely-ironic nickname of "Fullmetal" by Fuhrer King Bradley, who knows that Edward's brother Alphonse is a huge walking suit of armor. Colonel Mustang even comments on the Fuhrer's sense of humor when reading the certificate with Ed's Nom de Guerre. The brothers frequently run into people who mistake Al for Ed due to the name, pressing Ed's Berserk Button.
    • Pride is in charge of the other homunculi and, excluding Envy's true form (which he'll try to not use whetever possible), is the shortest of them.
  • Probably one of the most dangerous alien targets that the Gantz team has to kill is Nurarihyon, a child-sized old man who is always accompanied by his two monstrous sub-bosses, an angry-looking Tengu and a giant dog wearing Heian Era attire, who are several feet taller than him. Nurarihyon has the highest point count out of all the previous targets and is a shapeshifter capable of transforming into a variety of different forms, including a 50-foot giant made out of WOMEN. He is also nearly invulnerable and has Frickin' Laser Beams.
  • The Major from Hellsing is very short and fat, but he's easily one of the most effective leaders in the show.
  • In My Hero Academia, Principal Nezu of U.A. High School is an 85 cm tall Super Intelligent mouse(?).
  • One Piece:
    • Capone 'Gang' Bege, a former mafia don who became one of the most infamous pirates of the era, while being only 5'5.5" tall. Not all that short, but we are talking about a world where people with giant's blood aren't particularly rare.
    • Rocks D. Xebec, the captain of the infamous Rocks Pirates, seemed to be a normal-sized man, but several of his famous crewmates were all massively taller than him that he looked small by comparison.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man:
    • One of the earliest examples in comic books is the Big Man. While his costume made him look like he actually was a tall and heavy guy, he was eventually revealed to be a cringing slender lightweight under his padding and elevator shoes. Nonetheless, he was evidently charismatic and intelligent enough to earn the trust and loyalty of the Enforcers, who helped him take over all the other criminal operations in New York City for a while before Spider-Man exposed him.
    • Fancy Dan, a member of the Enforcers, is also a rather small man, albeit highly self-confident and possessing well-nigh legendary martial arts skills. He was also charismatic and intelligent enough to be shown running his own criminal gang many years later in the Spider-Girl comics.
  • Big Figure from Watchmen. He was notably not The Napoleon, as he remains relatively cool despite Rorschach's digs about his height. His bodyguard is not quite so restrained and suffers for it. In the film, Danny Woodburn turns in an excellent performance in this scene as someone who's trying very hard not to show that Rorschach is leaning on his Berserk Button and almost succeeding.
  • Joe Dalton from Lucky Luke, the mastermind of the four Dalton Brothers and easily the worst-tempered, is two heads tall.
  • Batman:
    • Scarface — and the Ventriloquist is still a small man compared to Scarface's mooks.
    • The Dummy inverts this setup, being a small man disguised as a ventriloquist dummy, fooling even his own underlings into believing their boss is an eccentric who insists on speaking through a dummy.
    • Batman villain The Penguin has always been depicted as a small man, sometimes comically so. He is, however, shown to have a good deal of Stout Strength when fighting, and his Mooks, while almost always taller, are often no more physically intimidating than he is. (Exaggerated in the later episodes of the animated series, when the Penguin ran a nightclub and employed a number of leggy dames in snowbunny costumes, he was about the size of a tall child, and even the women looked like titans next to him!)
    • Small Fry, a diminutive crime boss who made his only appearance in one issue of Batman Incorporated, shadowed by his lumbering mook Bully. (Visually based on the title characters of The Dandy strip Bully Beef and Chips).
  • Nappy Klains, The Napoleon of Crime, "They call you that because you're small and evilly ambitious!" in World's Finest #154. He's short enough to pass for a pre-teen boy with the aid of heavy makeup.
  • Grigori "Little Greg" Irinescu, The Don of the Vampire Mafia in Top 10, who has to stand on his desk so people can kiss his ring without getting on their knees.
  • René Goscinny as portrayed by Achille Talon. This hyperactive, yelling, mallet-wielding version was so pervasive and so fitted with what people think of Da Editor that one of the most common things said to him on being introduced in Real Life was "Hey, you're not short!"
  • Mr. Mind in the classic Captain Marvel arc "The Monster Society of Evil", commanded a number of Captain Marvel's greatest villains, including Dr. Sivana, Captain Nazi, Mr. Atom and Herkimer the Crocodile Man, shouting his commands via radio as no one would ever see his face. Turns out he was a telepathic alien worm, roughly 2-3 inches in length.
  • In the Super Gran graphic novel Super Gran in Space, the villain is called Mr Big and is only ever seen as a face on a huge TV screen, until the final scene reveals he comes up to the average character's waist.
  • The intergalactic mob boss Cordyceps Jones in Rocket (2017) is initially shown as a very small green alien. It's eventually revealed he's even smaller; the real Cordyceps Jones is, as the name suggests, a parasitic fungus that the alien was unfortunate enough to inhale.
  • The Transformers (Marvel): Ratbat is a small robotic bat who transforms into a cassette and ends up in charge of the Decepticons in various continuities.
  • In a record based on the Justice League, the Flash faced off against the "Three Faces Of Mr. Big", three powerful robots with super-speed and other varying powers (Kino the Kinetic Man, Magno the Magnetic Man, and Electro the Electric Man), commanded by the unseen but deep-voiced Mr. Big, mocking the Flash by calling him a "little man". In the end, he's revealed to be no larger than a child (albeit with an adult-sized head and brain), with a squeaky voice to match.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • Sony Calabria in Boogie, the feared local don who commands every crime syndicate in the city... and stood up to a normal adult's waistline.
  • Lord Farquaad in Shrek. He's very sensitive about his frankly childlike stature, and tries to appear taller however he can. His palace is also the closest a medieval building could come to being a skyscraper. ("Do you think he's Compensating for Something?")
  • The mob leaders in The Triplets of Belleville are pint-sized dons flanked by bodyguards three times their size.
  • One of the antagonists of Zootopia is an arctic shrew crime lord — played as a clear Expy of Vito Corleone — who is even named Mr. Big. He has polar bear henchmen, the largest of whom (named Koslov in supplementary material) literally carries him on his palm. Fortunately, he ends up owing Judy Hopps a few favors after he learns she was the one who saved his daughter's life and that they're on the trail of a case where his florist and friend was a victim.
  • Migration: Chump is the smallest pigeon in her flock, but also their unquestioned leader.
  • Ratatouille: The antagonistic Chef Skinner is in charge of a restaurant where all of his employees are about twice his height and he needs a footstool to see through the window on the door to the dining room. In contrast his predecessor was Gusteau, an example of Big Fun whom we could safely assume to have been the largest person in the room.
  • King Koo-Koo in Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure is about the size of a squirrel compared to the heroes, and is very, very touchy about it. His ultimate ambition is to be the largest king who ever lived, which he can only achieve by nonstop laughter. In the meantime, he makes up for his diminutive stature by reigning from a throne mounted on several elevated platforms high above his courtroom.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Vizzini from The Princess Bride, especially in comparison to Fezzik, one of his henchmen, who is a giant.
  • Master of Master/Blaster in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, a genius in a small body. Fortunately, he has Blaster to do the musclework, and rides on his back.
  • Mr. Giant from For Y'ur Height Only, a Filipino James Bond take-off in which both the villain and hero are midgets. As per Blofeld, the Big Bad's face (and therefore height) is only seen when he finally confronts the hero.
  • Swan from Phantom of the Paradise. 5'2" Paul Williams' evil multimedia mega-tycoon plays against 6'4" William Finley's naive antihero.
  • Cubby Khan from Pocket Ninjas. Explained by his being very young, so I guess there's one thing in that movie that makes sense.
  • Texas Jack in The Great Race. No berserk button about his height, but all the male main characters and all of his own henchmen are several inches taller than him. However, he's still by far the most feared fighter in the town.
  • Rory Breaker in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, the short but ruthless leader of the black London gangs. He's described as "that psychotic dwarf with an afro." His two massive bodyguards rarely have their heads in frame.
  • Big Tits Zombie features a dwarf Yakuza boss.
  • Forbidden Zone (the Richard Elfman movie) is ruled by King Fausto, played by Hervé Villechaize.
  • Cutler Beckett of Pirates of the Caribbean. While his height is never emphasized, he is notably shorter than every other character.
  • Arliss Loveless in the movie Wild Wild West, is a variation on this — he is an [considers phrasing carefully] average-sized person, but completely legless. Don't say it....
  • Alien from L.A. features a mob boss named Mambino played by Deep Roy.
  • Racket Girls has a few criminal conspiracies running headlong into each other under the specter of a US Senate investigation, with the one led by a man named Mister Big coming out on top... right up until one Senator reveals that the Senate knows exactly who he is, and are coming for him. The movie yawns towards the ending quickly after that, in typical C-list fare.
  • Find Me Guilty: The lead defense attorney for the mobsters is Ben Klandis, played by Peter Dinklage. It's otherwise never really brought up, except when he has to use a podium to address the court. He's clearly the most articulate and competent of the bunch, especially in comparison to Jackie.

  • Isaac Asimov:
    • The Empire Novels' The Currents Of Space: Fife, the most powerful nobleman on his planet, has a Big Secret; despite appearing imposing, their legs are so short that, when they're standing and someone else is sitting, their eyes are on the same level.
    • Foundation Series' "The Mule": Despite rumours and assumptions about the Mule's physical size and strength, he's actually very short and physically weak. He does, however, have Psychic Powers that make him effectively impossible to stop.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • A kind of strange version in Paezhar zo Myraq, better known as 'The Little Pigeon', is a slave owner and general in the Yunkish army. He is only five feet tall, and has his slaves specially bred for height, and wear stilts into battle, making them 8 feet plus. Most of the other regiments in Yunkai have similarly elaborate and impractical gimmicks, since the only fighting they've done for years is mock battles against each other.
    • Tyrion Lannister has dwarfism and is easily one of the most badass characters and effective leaders, though he has trouble actually getting put in a position where he can lead because everyone hates him, including his sister. He's actually the most heroic of the Lannister family (relatively speaking) but suffers from a bad case of Hero with Bad Publicity due to Westeros's ableism, leading to people thinking of him as this trope. This image isn't helped by his entourage of hulking mountain clansmen bodyguards, nor indeed his public perception as an Evil Chancellor due to the fact that most people aren't aware of the royal court's inner workings and blame him for the antics of Joffrey and Cersei when he's actually doing all he can to reign them in.
    • Lady Olenna Tyrell (nee Redwyne) aka The Queen of Thorns probably fits this trope best. She's a Miniature Senior Citizen, accompanied by two towering bodyguards, and is the hidden brains behind House Tyrell.
  • Discworld: A canine example is Big Fido from Men at Arms, the toy poodle Adolf Hitler Expy in charge of a gang of much larger dogs.
  • Picrochole, the diminutive petty king from Gargantua.
  • The fearsome Director Sato from Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol stands at a towering four feet eight inches.
  • Eldest Gruff from The Dresden Files: Small Favor is the elder brother of a gruff approximately the size of an elephant. He has personally killed three Senior Council Members, oneshotted a ginormous demonic bear thing, and makes ominous booming sounds when he walks. He's five foot nothing.
  • Variation in The Wheel of Time: Sammael is one of the most feared of the Forsaken, and the most visible villain for several books in the middle of the series. He's only slightly under average height, but unluckily for him, the people he hates and envies the most (rival Forsaken Ishamael and Demandred, his ancient enemy Lews Therin Telamon, and Lews Therin's reincarnation and current Chosen One Rand) are all very tall, and Sammael is extremely self-conscious about his height as a result, to the extent that Word of God has explicitly said he'd use magic to make himself taller if he knew how.
  • A feline example is Scourge from Warrior Cats. A tiny cat barely larger than a kitten, but also the leader of BloodClan and universally feared by all who know of him, and for good reason. No one is either brave or stupid enough to joke about his size, particularly since he uses it to great effect in combat, by slipping out of holds and generally being faster than his opponent.
  • In The Glove of Darth Vader, Supreme Prophet Kadann is often described as a dwarf by characters and the narration. He is also the primary and final antagonist of the entire series.
  • The title character in Ian Fleming's Goldfinger is all of five feet tall, although this doesn't carry over into the film version.
  • Caroline Lawrence's The Roman Mysteries series: "Magnus", the leader of an international ring of kidnappers and slave traders, first presents himself to the heroes as a shadowy figure behind a curtain, speaking from a towering height in a deep, threatening voice. He is later revealed to have been a dwarf who was perched on the shoulders of one of his bodyguards, but his voice is entirely authentic, as is his intellect and ruthlessness.
  • In the Spellsinger novel The Day of the Dissonance, Jon-Tom, captured by big, ferocious, Funny Animal pirates, expects their captain to be an even bigger and more ferocious animal. He turns out to be an actual Pirate Parrot, who controls his crew through sheer force of will.
  • In The Impossible Virgin, a Modesty Blaise novel, the criminal mastermind Brunel is noted for being under five feet tall and not physically imposing. Unlike some versions of the trope, he's not hot-tempered or at all sensitive about his height; he knows that he has real power and he's got nothing to compensate for.
  • Roald Dahl's The Witches describes the Grand High Witch as shorter than the rest of her Mage Species.
  • Clarence Devereaux, the ruthless American crime boss in Moriarty, is initially Shrouded in Myth, but turns out to be almost the size of a child.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gus, the "Gucci dwarf" from Black Books, a feared London Gangster who's flanked at all times by two massive bodyguards and carries a fold-out highchair in a briefcase.
  • Mr. Big, the main villain from the pilot episode of Get Smart. As with For Your Height Only he actually has dwarfism, which is only revealed when Smart and Mr. Big are in the same room.
    Agent 86: So you're Mr. Big.
    Mr. Big: So you're Maxwell Smart!
    [Reveal Shot of Max towering over Mr. Big]
  • Dr. Miguelito Loveless, a recurring Evil Genius villain on The Wild Wild West. Both he and Get Smart's Mr. Big were played by dwarf actor Michael Dunn.
  • Napoleon in Jack of All Trades (where he is played by Verne Troyer, aka Mini-me).
  • The crime lord Mr. Boss in iZombie can at first come off as a short, unassuming man, but every character is absolutely terrified of him.
  • Downplayed with Domingo Colon in Luke Cage (2016); he's somewhat shorter than the other crime bosses, though not tiny, and is introduced with the standard Hitler Cam-flanked-by-large-bodyguards shot. What's particularly notable in this case is that while he makes no effort to disguise his stature, walking right up to Cornell Stokes and staring him square in the chest, the usually arrogant and bullying Stokes doesn't crack the slightest joke about it, making it immediately clear who has the upper hand. Incidentally, Jacob Vargas, who plays Domingo, is an average sized person at 5'7½", while Mahershala Ali is 6'1½", so editing tricks are used to achieve the effect.
  • Roman Mysteries: In "The Colossus of Rhodes", the criminal mastermind known as 'the Colossus' is revealed to be a dwarf.
  • In Doctor Who episode "Nightmare in Silver", the emperor of all humanity in the distant future is a dwarf, played by Warwick Davis. Most of the characters completely fail to catch on to his identity, despite his face being on their coinage, because they assumed the emperor would be taller.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the CarToon Wars setting for Toon, Harvey Hamster, as his name suggests, a hamster, who has a controlling interest in the dueling circuit and employs two rhinos as debt collectors.
  • The Orcs and Goblins of Warhammer usually subscribe to Large and in Charge, but sometimes especially clever or crazy goblins can end up leading sizable warbands into battle, and manage to keep the bigger strains of Greenskins happy by leading them to bigger and better fights.


    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney: Dahlia Hawthorne is the 155 cm tall (5'1") Big Bad of the third game; she even took advantage of a 190 cm tall (6'2") Dumb Muscle named Terry Fawles!
  • Bosc the Terrible, the main antagonist of Blasto, commands an army of alien invaders, but is comically short.
  • One of the villains in Borderlands 2's "Captain Scarlett and her Pirate Booty" DLC campaign is Sandman, a midget pirate captain. It's implied that he keeps order among his men via his vicious reputation, and the fear inspired by his massive enforcer, the Big Sleep. Interestingly, nobody mentions his small stature except for he himself, and Scarlett is afraid of a one-on-one confrontation with him, describing him as being very strong. Even when you knock out Big Sleep and the regular mook reinforcements, he's still a tough fight.
  • In the Cuphead DLC level "Bootleg Boogie," the villains are an insect organized crime gang, featuring a giant spider and a terrifyingly huge anteater, but led by a tiny snail who is the weakest member of the gang.
  • In Dark Souls III, only one of the five resurrected Lords of Cinder is sitting at his throne, waiting to be sacrificed a second time to keep the First Flame burning to protect the world: Ludleth of Courland. He is a tiny, legless undead man wearing a crown, and proud of it.
    Ludleth: I may be small, but I will die a colossus.
  • ClockUp's Euphoria: Kanae Hokari is the true Evil Genius Big Bad who has been feeding you False Memories and kidnaps Nemu for as she sees that clone as an interesting specimen so that she could rise to the top of her company... and she's a mere 153 cm tall (5'0") woman that makes up for her short height with a big bust.
  • Commander Sith from Ghost Trick is very short, but is in charge of the criminal organization of blue people.
  • LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean emphasizes Beckett's shortness by making him hobbit-sized.
  • The head of the Amaterasu Corporation in Master Detective Archives: Rain Code turns out to be Makoto Kagutsuchi, who is 150cm short maximum. The reason for this height is because he's a clone of the protagonist, who is the same height as him.
  • In MouseHunt for Facebook, the Nerg Chieftain Mouse is the smallest mouse in the tribe. It's also the most difficult one to catch in the Nerg Plains.
  • At the end of level 28 in New Yankee in King Arthur's Court the "Dark Lord" was uncloaked only to reveal a midget on stilts. Destroying his fortress during it earns you the "Napoleon" achievement.
  • Jasper Batt Jr. from No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle starts this way, but ends up growing bigger for the second phase of the fight. And for the third phase, he gets really big.
  • Salazar from Resident Evil 4. He fits the mold spectacularly, being a Napoleon-inspired short guy with two large bodyguards, who are genetically engineered monsters, no less, flanking him. Oddly he breaks a tradition of sorts in video games by sending one after you at once and then fighting alongside the second (as opposed to watching on the sidelines and having both double team the player).
  • The mobile game Star Wars: Uprising has an organization known as the Trade Spine League. Its leader, Shortpaw, is a Chadra-Fan, meaning nearly everybody towers over him. Of course, this helps with his cover, where he disguises himself as an ordinary junk dealer to wave off suspicion.
  • The "Mr. Big" of Target: Renegade. Not only is he short, he also has his own miniature bathroom as seen in the background.
  • The Like a Dragon series has Sohei Dojima, patriach of the Dojima family. In a setting where characters in position of authority tend to be tall, he stands out for being short and rather fat. However, he's also a serious character, a dangerous strategist and a cruel asshole.

    Web Animation 

  • In a Kevin & Kell storyline involving a gang of loan sharks, the heavies demanding payment included crocodiles, bears and snakes, while the boss turned out to be a mosquito.
  • The Starter Villain of Kill Six Billion Demons is Omun Vash, an Affably Evil goblin crime boss with dwarfism. Unlike most examples, nobody really brings up his height (its hardly the weirdest feature to have in Throne).

    Western Animation 
  • Cavitus from 3-2-1 Penguins! is small but wears a suit to disguise it.
  • Duke Igthorn from Adventures of the Gummi Bears isn't exactly short, but most of his henchmen, being ogres, tower over him. He can keep them in line because they all have the collective intelligence of a box of hammers.
  • Downplayed in one episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender where (the female) Avatar Kyoshi tells her side of the story as to her role of Chin the Great/Conqueror, the flash backs are set up to establish Chin as a large and very buff man, until he and Kyoshi meet and Kyoshi is revealed to tower over Chin. He still has an impressive physique and we don't see him standing next to any bodyguards for comparison and Avatar Kyoshi was noted in the episode for being unusually tall for a woman (and hinted that she's one of the physically larger Avatars, and factually stated to have the largest feet of any of the reincarnations). It's still implied that Chin is notably shorter than average, but aside from Kyoshi's boot being larger than a footprint that was attributed to her (but was in fact left by Chin), it doesn't get any comment from Kyoshi, who spoke of him only as a threatening warlord.
  • Scarface in Batman: The Animated Series is a tiny ventriloquist's puppet who controls an entire criminal empire and commands henchmen who are massive compared to him. Granted, the puppet is actually the split personality of Arnold Wesker, but he is tiny as well, being a diminutive, scrawny, elderly man. His henchmen gleefully follow him, even running with his "insane dummy gimmick" and feeding into it to get the reformed Wesker and Scarface back in command, because he's such a good tactician.
  • Beetlejuice featured a recurring villain called Mr. Big, a diminutive gangster with big ambitions. He debuts in the Noir Episode "Ear's Looking at You" and resurfaces as the leader of S.N.O.T.R.A.G. in "Neitherworld's Least Wanted".
  • The Bonkers series has an eponymous Mr. Big, a crime boss mouse.
  • Mr. Boss of Codename: Kids Next Door is generally considered as the leader of the show's B villains separate from Father, he's maybe four-five feet tall, as opposed to his averagely tall minions.
  • In Duck Dodgers, the Klunkins are Klingon Expies and are naturally all tall and buff... except for their leader K'Chutha Sa'am, portrayed by Yosemite Sam.
  • In Goof Troop episode "Lethal Goofin", Douglas Twinkmeyer, the school's "most respected kid", student patrol head and the evil mastermind the heroes are looking for. Max lampshades this trope out-of-universe when talking to him:
    Max: I've got a hunch somebody's behind the scenes!.. A mister... mister... Mister Big!
  • Hey Arnold! has Big Gino, the head of the kid mafia. He's about the same height as Arnold and has goons much bigger than him.
  • Tong Fo from Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness is a loris (about the same height as Master Shifu) who is a criminal mastermind and sometimes has the croc bandits as lackeys.
  • This ends up revealed of King Nixel in Mixels, who, in reality, is the same size as the tiny minions he rules over, but he hides this through a battle suit.
  • Rick and Morty: The episode "The Ricklantis Mix-up" has Big Morty, a drug lord who runs a strip club has the local police in his pocket. He is the same height as every other Morty living on the Citadel of Ricks, and they’re all short. Lampshaded when Cop Morty has him pinned to the ground:
    Cop Morty: Not so big now, are ya?
    Big Morty: I never was! It was figurative!
  • Mr. Big, the shadowy ruler of Pottsylvania in Rocky and Bullwinkle, was actually six inches tall.
  • Plankton in SpongeBob SquarePants is the show's most notable antagonist and by dint of the fact that he is literally a Plankton, he is downright tiny compared to the rest of the cast. Many jokes about his size are made throughout the series, though for a plankton in the series, he's pretty average height as the one episode where we meet his extended family, there's a diverse range of sizes (all of whom are still shorter than the rest of the cast and any height differences aren't notable from their perspective).
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: The Gelrakian leader is shortest person among his species that we see onscreen.
  • Steven Universe: The much-discussed Gem ruler Pink Diamond is revealed in "Jungle Moon" to be completely towered over by the other Diamonds. Granted, she's still something like twelve feet tall.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy: Herbert Dumbrowski (AKA The Chief) is a heroic example, as the commanding officer of T.U.F.F. and a flea who's naturally dwarfed in size by the majority of the cast. He's still able to not only assert his authority (usually via mobile video screen) but kick butt when he's in a good position for it.
  • Wacky Races: The Ant Hill Mob are all vertically-challenged gangsters, yet their boss Clyde still manages to be the shortest one of them all.

    Real Life 
  • Many depictions of Napoléon Bonaparte portray him this way. Napoleon was actually around average height for a Frenchman of his time period and would hardly be considered tiny nowadays. There are a number of reasons for the misconception, including being affectionately nicknamed "the Little Corporal" by his men for his personability with the lower ranks, often being flanked by towering bodyguards who made him look short by comparison, and his height being measured 5'3 in French measurements, which is equal to 5'7 in British measurements. Of course, his rivals the British were all too eager to accept any reason to see Napoleon in a lesser light and began lampooning him as an up-jumped half-pint.
  • James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, the "Father of the Constitution", and the author of The Federalist Papers, who led the nation through the War of 1812, is a heroic variant, with a height of 5'4" and the lightest U.S. president, weighing about 100 pounds.


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