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One Head Taller

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"Short woman, tall guy... always funny!"
Mr. Ehlert, The Middle

Men are generally half a head taller than women in Real Life; in fiction, it's practically codified that every couple will have the man One Head Taller than the woman. If this is reversed, expect seeing Marshmallow Hells and Funbag Airbags. Taking this to extremes gives you Huge Guy, Tiny Girl and Tiny Guy, Huge Girl. As transplanting traditional gender roles into same-sex couples is popular in fanfiction, the character who could be considered "dominant" (often more serious or reserved) in the relationship is often similarly taller than their significant other. (A noticeable exception is the phenomenon of aggressive and dominant Tsunderes being shorter than their partners. On the other hand, the act of cuddling is designed to show off their cute side.) Either way, being One Head Taller naturally allows you to tuck someone under your chin when surprising them with a hug. This rarely works the other way around, although the "cutesy" partner being taller is usually a deliberate humorous device for the audience to notice. In that case, the grouchier counterpart is hugged the way one would a puppy. Usually, if the shorter partner is doing the hugging from behind, the arms will come around at about elbow-height, and the hugger will either rest their cheek against the huggee's back, or tuck their chin around an arm.


With some skill, this trope can give the illusion of characters being much older (or younger) than they actually are. On the other hand, if one wants to disguise a huge difference, expect a Scully Box to be used.

This is an extremely pervasive trope in Boys' Love works, to the point where shippers drawing doujinshi will occasionally modify the heights of characters to make the taller Seme/shorter Uke stereotype work. An Onee-sama is also very likely to be taller than her relevant object of attention. Bara however, usually has the Seme "shorter and cute" while Uke "tall and handsome" instead.

Fun fact: On Tumblr, this trope is known as "tol and smol."



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    Anime and Manga 
  • A Certain Magical Index: In the rare moments that Mikoto (5'3) hugs Kuroko (5'0), Mikoto is a head taller.
  • A Cruel God Reigns: Ian is over 6 ft while Jeremy is somewhere around 5'5"-5'7". Also Ian, while thin, is muscular as he is a boxer. Jeremy is stick thin from always claiming I'm Not Hungry.
  • Iason is a little more than one head taller than Riki in Ai no Kusabi.
  • Mizuki from Ai Ore! Love Me! is considerably taller than her boyfriend, Akira.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Ymir (5'8) is about two heads taller than Christa. Of course, when Ymir's is in her titan form, she's hundreds of heads taller than Christa.
    • A non-romantic, but Ho Yay, example would be Levi and Eren, Levi standing at 160cm or 5'2 and Eren standing at 170cm or 5'7, despite Levi being so much shorter, he's demonstrated he's immensely stronger than Eren; he's not Humanity's Strongest Soldier for nothing, those of the fandom that supports the pair goes against the "taller is dominant" part of the trope and Levi seems to top more often.
  • Yui, a boy, is considerably shorter than Kei, a girl, in The Beautiful Skies of Houou High.
  • Berserk:
    • Griffith is noticeably bigger than the Midland princess Charlotte (5'4).
    • Guts is also a head taller than his lover Casca... well, more like a head and a half.
  • In Bleach, Ichigo and Orihime have a height difference of around one head throughout the manga, with Ichigo standing at around 181cm or halfway between 5'11 and 6'0 by the time he's 17, while Orihime stayed at 157cm or 5'2. Their height difference is especially emphasized whenever Ichigo physically protects her.
  • Touya & Yukito from Cardcaptor Sakura.
  • Inverted in Casshern Sins. Leda is much taller than her lover Dio (and Casshern himself, and pretty much everyone in the series who isn't one of the Mecha-Mooks).
  • Megumi and Genzo from Cheeky Angel. Really evident during their kiss in the last chapter, where she has to stand on a large piece of brick.
  • Allen from D.Gray-Man is only slightly taller than his probable love interest Lenalee (him being 169 cm/5'7, and her being 166 cm/5'5). But in line with this trope he is the youngest and shortest of the main male cast (with the next closest in height being Kanda at 177 cm/5'10), much to the delight of yaoi shippers.
  • Light Yagami (5'10) from Death Note is quite a bit taller than Misa (4'11.75) and Takada (5'5) — both of which he manipulates so thoroughly he might as well have a remote for them.
  • Digimon Adventure: While she is not short by any means Angemon is this to Angewomon. Also reversing the role Kari is this to T.K..
    • In Digimon Adventure 02, while Arukenimon is quite tall in her human form, her (non-romantic, though he sure would like to be) partner Mummymon significantly towers over her. The height difference shrinks somewhat when they're in Digimon form, although Mummymon still has at least a head over her. Also since they are older than in the previous series T.K. is now this to Kari.
  • Durarara!!:
    • An interesting variation of this: Shinra (5'10) has just about one head over Celty (5'8.5) — not because Celty is particularly short or Shinra is particularly tall, but because Celty is literally missing a head.
    • In addition, Kida (5'7) and Mikado (5'5) are both a head taller than Anri (5'0); incidentally, Shizuo appears to be one head taller than Izaya, but is actually half a head (185cm/6'1 vs 175cm/5'9).
    • Shizuo and Vorona (5'6.5) are also about a head different.
  • In Eyeshield 21 one of the most popular pairings is Seijurou Shin and Haruto Sakuraba; Sakuraba is very noticeably taller than Shin. This also occurs with BL pairings with Sena Kobayakawa, who is pretty short compared to most football players in the series.
  • Free!:
    • Haruka is a head shorter than Makoto, and the two are one of the most popular pairings of the series with all the Ho Yay and moments they have. Although their childhood had Haruka being a little bit taller than Makoto, due to being five months older.
    • The same applies to Nagisa/Rei. Rei is a lot taller than Nagisa and they are also a well-known pairing with few detractors.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Winry seems only a tad bit taller than Ed, but this may be because she wears boots with slight heels for most of the first portion of the series. In fact, it seems like they're basically the same height, until chapter 84 that is. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, he is getting taller... sorta. Ed finally manages the trope in the epilogue, when he proposes to Winry.
  • Gravitation goes in the reverse, and simply makes Shuicihi much shorter than everyone. Granted, he's also the "bottom" of the relationship.
  • Bean Bandit and Rally Vincent from Gunsmith Cats (platonic example). That it doesn't go into Huge Guy, Tiny Girl territory is testament to the fact that Rally is pretty tall herself.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team: Gender flipped: Mariel is one head taller than Taro, despite being the girl.
  • Every two of the three girls in Haruhi Suzumiya is one head smaller than Kyon (5'7) (Haruhi (5'2) only being half a head shorter).
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • The 2 cm height difference between America (5'9.6) and England tends to be exaggerated by both fanartists and the author himself. In fact, England is usually drawn much shorter than he actually is — according to the height info, he's the same height as France (5'9"). (This is possibly because he is a Tsundere who's very reminiscent of The Napoleon.) This is sometimes justified by how much larger geographically the US is compared to the UK.
    • Spain and Romano also fit this (though their height difference is less than 10 cm/3 inches), as do Greece and Japan (5'5). Like America and England, neither are official couples (interestingly, the most official ones have even *more* pronounced height differences), but there's definitely Ho Yay there.
    • This trope is also evident with the semi-canon Germany (5'11) and North Italy (5'7.7) and lamsphaded, though Italy is not exactly one head shorter than Germany. In fact, Japan's height deficiency compared to Germany is much more pronounced.
    • Hungary is 160 cm (5'3) while her former husband, Austria, is 178 cm (5'11). Her somewhat Sitcom Archnemesis and Vitriolic Best Bud Prussia, who is hinted to have a (seemingly unrequited) crush on her is also 178 cm tall.
    • Finland is 5'7" and 12 cm/5 inches shorter than his friend Sweden (5'11"), which tends to get exaggerated in Fan Works pairing them up, sometimes to the extent that Finland is drawn being as short as Sealand, a 4'3" Cheerful Child.
    • Czech Republic and Slovakia have no official heights, but Czech is much shorter than Slovakia. Though they seem to be Platonic Life-Partners in canon, they have received a bit of Ship Tease with Slovakia saying that Czech is "much cuter" as an adult than she was as a child, and Czech being quite flustered by it.
  • In His Favorite, Satou is exactly this to his boyfriend Yoshida whose already the shortest kid in class.
  • In Himitsu Kichi, Kana and her boyfriend. The funny part (or disturbing part for some) is that she is 18 while her boyfriend is a 6th grader. She's so short her boyfriend thought she was in elementary school too.
  • In Iketeru Futari Saji is about normal height for a boy his age, but he towers over his petite love interest, Akira Koizumi.
  • Ilulu from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is one head shorter than her Implied Love Interest Taketo due to her poor transformation skills giving her the relative height of a child.
  • In Inuyasha, any female can expect her love interest to be at least this to her, and if an evil person falls in love with her he will be even taller.
  • Kaze to Ki no Uta plays this rather interestingly. At the start of the manga Serge and Gilbert are about the same height and size. However, a conveniently timed growth spurt ensures that by the time they actually get together Serge is noticeably taller and larger built.
  • Saruhiko is one head taller than Misaki in K. Kuroh and Shiro can also appear this way in the official art. Officially, they're 5'10-11 and 5'6-7, but they're drawn this way even if that doesn't quite equal a head. Weismann returns to his original body, he's actually the taller one of the pair, though only slightly.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War:
    • Kaguya and Shirogane have a several inch height difference between them (her eyes just barely come up to his chin), something that is highlighted the first time the audience sees them post-Relationship Upgrade.
    • For a short while, there was Osaragi and Kazeno. Justified by the fact that there's about a two year age gap between them.
    • Ishigami is taller than both of his primary love interests, although Miko is tipping into Huge Guy, Tiny Girl territory given that she's only 4'10''.
    • In a non-romantic example, the height difference between Shirogane and Miko is emphasized in their first scene together. Shortly afterward, Shirogane ends up shrinking due to the realization that Miko's grades are better than his when he was a first-year.
  • Inverted in Kanokon. Chizuru is one head taller than Kouta. She loved to give Funbag Airbag and Marshmallow Hell to him.
  • Éclair (5'5) from Kiddy Grade is the taller one out of her team and is quick to act, but Lumière (4'1) always manages to keep a cool head.
  • Loveless: Yuiko rejects Yayoi's advances because she doesn't date short boys, which doesn't seem to stop her from having feelings for Ritsuka (who is even shorter than Yayoi).
  • The Boys' Love manga Love Mode has multiple same-sex couples where the Uke barely reaches the shoulder of the Seme.
  • This is in no small part the reason that Hiyori (5'0) of Lucky Star ships Minami/Yutaka. Minami (5'4) is 25 cm/10 inches taller than Yutaka (4'7).
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • Taken to a ridiculous degree by Magic Knight Rayearth, also by CLAMP. For the adult characters, the men are generally one head taller than either their adult or their best friendnote . So Eagle is one head taller than Lantis, Geo is one head taller than Eagle, promotional art of the male cast has to have Lafarga leaning against something so he fits in the frame at all... and since Teens Are Short is also in effect, this results in things like Hikaru (4'9) looking like a kindergartner when she stands next to either of her love interests.
  • In Magical Girl Ore, Sakuyo is a head taller than her unrequited crush, Saki. Not so much in magical boy mode, though, where they both get taller but are the same height. Saki also has this dynamic with Mohiro, which again is leveled out by her alternate form.
  • Sachiko in Maria Watches Over Us is quite a bit taller than Yumi, leading to the impression that their age difference is actually larger than it is.
  • Maya and Reina from Maya's Funeral Procession.
  • Inverted in Nana to Kaoru, as it's an Ugly Guy, Hot Girl comedy.
  • The two main Official Couples of Naruto become this by the time they all reach adulthood.
    • Naruto and Hinata's height difference becomes glaring by the time of the canon movie The Last: Naruto the Movie: Naruto is 180 cm (5'11") and Hinata is 163 cm (5'4") from the movie onward.
    • The same goes for Sasuke and Sakura: Sasuke is 182 cm (5'11½") and Sakura is 164 cm (5'4½") from that movie onward.
  • Although Negi Springfield (4'7) from Negima! Magister Negi Magi is usually shorter than 90% of his class (being 9½-year-old boy teaching 15-year-old girls), when he magically turns 15 while he and Asuna (5'4) go on Not a Date (as she constantly reminds him and probably also herself ) in chapter 77, he is very much one head taller. On the other hand, when Negi is in his normal 10-year-old form he is two heads shorter than when in teen form which means Asuna is one head taller than him. This is parodied in a famous age-progression Image Macro, which states that Negi's adult form is Dark Schneider.
  • Ririka from Nurse Angel Ririka SOS only reaches Nozomu's shoulder. It's justified because she is a fourth-grader while he is slightly older.
  • One Piece has no shipping cough, but Franky (7'10.5) is one head taller than Robin (herself towering at 6'2") and Boa Hancock (6'3) pursues Luffy (5'8.5) despite being two heads taller than him and his complete obliviousness.
    • Robin is also one head taller than Nami (5'7), and Luffy and Usopp (5'9.25), when wearing high heels.
  • In Osomatsu-kun, Totoko is about a head taller than the brothers. This is much more prominent in the 80's adaptation, where they're drawn as shorter and stouter than their lanky manga designs. An episode from that era featuring the cast in old age even still has Osomatsu as the shorter one between him and her. This might be more of a side result of Akatsuka's designs making female characters more proportional than the male ones, though.
    • When the brothers are made more proportional in Osomatsu-san, they're about her height.
  • Haruhi of Ouran High School Host Club is considerably shorter than most of the cast (excluding Honey). Standing at a mere 5'1" (155 cm), her potential love interest Tamaki stands about a whole foot taller than her at 6' (183 cm; he's also the second tallest of the Hosts, Mori only a little taller at 6'4", or 192 cm). Even the twins Hikaru and Kaoru (5'10) who are quite a bit shorter than Tamaki, Kyouya (5'11) and Mori are still about One Head Taller than Haruhi (and both stand at 178cm, or about 5'10"). For the record, Haruhi is only a few inches taller than Honey, who stands at 148 cm, or about 4'9".
  • Alain and Mairin from the Pokémon Mega Evolution Specials. Actually probably somewhere between 1.5 and 2 heads, but not really Huge Guy, Tiny Girl because Alain isn't shown to be particularly huge and actually looks small next to his boss, Lysandre. Mairin's just that tiny.
  • In Polyphonica, Pharon is one head taller than Corti. In her original form, she's the one who's a head taller.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: Male lead Fuutarou Uesugi stands 5'10" over the Nakanos' 5'3" at the start of the story. Though the gap is later a bit closed since the quintuplets grow a couple of extra inches by the time they start their senior year in high school.
  • Aoshi (5'11.5) and Misao (4'10.5) from Rurouni Kenshin practically define this trope. Misao barely reaches Aoshi's chest...
  • Almost everyone is one head taller than Tsuna (5'2) in Reborn! (2004). It so happens that Tsuna is a Launcher of a Thousand Ships in a series in which over 75% of the characters are male, and 95% of those male characters are Estrogen Brigade Bishounen.
  • All of the canon love interests of Usagi (4'11)—bubbly, cheerful, and easy-to-anger—in Sailor Moon are at least a head taller than her. The one who she ends up with is over a foot taller than her, and they play out the hugging tropes several times.
  • In the main cast of Soul Eater:
    • Liz, Patty, and Tsubaki are taller than their respective meisters (though this is possibly because they are older than them), with Maka being about the same height as Soul. Though, this is averted later in the manga when it is shown that Soul and Black*Star have gone through a growth spurt, and possibly Kid too.
    • Soul now appears to be a couple inches taller than Maka, but Black*Star isn't even Tsubaki's height yet.
  • It never gets mentioned, but Lawrence and Holo from Spice and Wolf fit this trope perfectly. This is partially because, as the source material consistently states, Holo has the body of a biological fifteen-year-old.
  • Shizuma and Nagisa, from Strawberry Panic!.
  • Ran from Strawberry Shake Sweet is quite a bit taller than the girl who chases after her, Julia.
  • Cinderella and Prince Charles in The Story of Cinderella. The top of Cinderella's head only goes up to Charles' mouth.
  • Applies to Sora and Sunao, Yoru and Ran, and Shinichirou and Nanami in Sukisho.
  • Tail of the Moon and anything else by Rinko Ueda features female leads who are just tall enough to sniff their lovers' armpits. This author routinely changes her character's height by several inches — or even feet — in order to facilitate a romantic pose.
  • Asada seems to be about one head taller than most of the female cast in Team Medical Dragon.
  • The relative height of Simon and Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann helps to fuel Ho Yay speculation from fans. Most dramatically demonstrated in the first episode when Kamina hugs Simon and tenderly cradles Simon's head against his chest.
  • The Yaoi version of this is played quite straight with Seishirou and Subaru of CLAMP's Tokyo Babylon and X/1999. Dom's Dom Seishirou is MUCH taller than submissive Subaru in Tokyo Babylon, when the former is at full (and considerable) adult height and the latter is only 16 and very slightly built. In X, 9 years have narrowed the difference, but adult Subaru is still almost a head shorter than Seishirou.
  • Ryuuji (5'8) and Taiga (4'8.5) from Toradora!.
  • It seems that every Male character in Vampire Knight is about a Head taller than the protagonist Yuuki (5'0).
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-:
    • Kurogane and Fai, are differentiated in height like this. Both are quite tall, but Kurogane is a full head taller than Fai.
    • Watanuki, the protagonist of Tsubasa's sister series ×××HOLiC is an interesting example. Within his own series, he looks kind of scrawny, as he's shorter than his often-around classmate Doumeki, and is about the same height as his female employer Yuuko. But Watanuki is nearly a head taller than Syaoran. Which is odd, given that they are technically supposed to be the same person/the same existence/clones/twins... it's complicated okay?.
  • In The World is Still Beautiful, Nike is about a head taller than Livius when they first meet. However, she notices in around Chapter 40 that he's gotten taller since then.
  • Masaki from You and Me is short first-year high schooler while Shun is of average height for his age. Masaki doesn't even reach Shun's shoulders. Masaki has a crush on Shun.

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker (6'5) and Harley Quinn (5'7) — he's tall and lanky, while she's a petite (although not tiny) former gymnast. She barely reaches his shoulder, but that doesn't seem to be a problem because she's happy to climb all over him for a kiss should the opportunity arise.
  • Batman (6'2") is canonically 7 inches / 18 cm taller than Catwoman (5'7").
    • Nightwing (who is slightly above average at 5'10") is a Rare Male Example during his relationship with Starfire (who is 6'4" Pre-Flashpoint and 6'1" Post-Flashpoint). Their height difference is sometimes dramatized by having Starfire fly while Dick remains on the ground.
    • Since the New 52 had her regain the use of her legs, Dick's other love interest Barbara Gordon has been depicted as coming up to his chin, even though she is only three inches shorter (5'7" is her usually billed height). This worsened after her "Batgirl of Burnside" redesign; the art style depicted the characters as shorter than how most other artists drew them, so in an attempt to emulate it, artists drew her in other books as if she were barely five feet tall.
    • This wasn't the case when Tim Drake (Red Robin, formerly the third Robin) and Stephanie Brown (Spoiler, formerly the third Batgirl) got together in their mid-teens when they were both 5'5", but since they got back together in DCRebirth, Tim has been drawn as considerably taller than Steph. Reality Ensues as a fifteen-year-old boy can often expect another growth spurt, but a sixteen-year-old girl is usually finished growing.
  • New Gods: Mister Miracle (6'0) is average height, but his wife Big Barda (7'0) is so, well, big that Superman (6'3) has to hover a bit to look her in the eye.
  • Supergirl (5'5) is taller than most of her love interests (such as Brainiac-5) with the exception of Dick Malverne, who is taller than she is.
  • In The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) Etta Candy (5'3) comes up to her love interest Lawrence Stone's shoulders, and that's with heels on.
  • Lenore and Ragamuffin (in his vampire form), from Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: The Wookiee Groznik and his life partner Elscol Loro. When Elscol's husband saved Groznik from Stormtroopers, the Wookiee pledged a life debt to him. When he was killed in combat, after getting revenge by taking down the Imperial shuttle responsible with a rock, Groznik switched the debt to Elscol, and almost never left her side.
  • Psylocke (5'11) from X-Men isn't exactly a shorty herself, but she still finds herself one head shorter in a relationship with Sabretooth (6'6). Of course, given it's Creed, you're considered lucky when you reach as high as his collarbone.
  • The old Marvel collectible cards said Cyclops was 6'2", Jean Grey was 5'6", and Wolverine was 5'2". When Cyclops is shown kissing/holding Jean Grey, he is one head taller than she is. However, when Jean Grey is shown kissing/holding Wolverine, he is also one head taller than she is. And whenever Cyclops and Wolverine are shown together, Wolverine is much shorter than Cyclops. Apparently Jean's height varies in order to accommodate this trope.
  • Jem and the Holograms:
    • 5'5 Jerrica doesn't even reach her boyfriends shoulders. Rio is 6'2.
    • Kimber is a lanky 5'9 woman (without heels) while her girlfriend Stormer is a 5'5 Big Beautiful Woman. Stormer has to lean up to kiss Kimber.
  • All-New X-Men: O5 Angel (6'0) is depicted as a head taller than X-23 (5'1) in All-New Wolverine.
  • Peter Parker is only meant to be about 5'10, but artists tend to depict him like this compared to his love interests, especially Mary Jane Watson; strangely, she's nowadays billed as being 5'8, so she should be the same height when wearing heels (which to be fair, some artists do depict her as). This goes all the way back to the beginning, where John Romita Sr drew MJ as one of the shortest in the cast (which even lead to Stan Lee's writing having 5'7 Gwen Stacy make a friendly barb about her being a 'little one', due to being depicted a couple inches taller than MJ).
  • The Green Arrow is 5'11, though sometimes drawn taller than thatnote . The Black Canary by contrast is 5'4; though some artists will draw the two as the same height or match Dinah's height to the Statuesque Stunners she pals around with, oftentimes the height difference is emphasized.
  • Ibuki (5'3) in her own comic aside from Yuta and Oro was at least one head shorter than pretty much any male in said comic. Even generic male background students were this to generic female students who were around Ibuki's height. It was especially noticeable when she was with her village elders (who were all male).

    Fan Works 
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers there are several examples that aren't canon.
    • Belarus and America. She's is 162 (5'4) cm while he's 177 (5'10).
    • Any guy with Taiwan (who is 150 cm/5'0 in the old height chart). This makes South Korea, two-heads taller than her.
    • Vietnam and Thailand, while their official height is not revealed, is also often portrayed like this in fanon as the former is mid 160 (5'3) and the latter is little below 180 (5'11).
    • Australia and New Zealand also get this treatment once in a while no matter what the latter gender is. This trope also get used when Australia is paired with England (despite Australia being slighty taller than America.)
    • Almost everyone when paired with Netherlands will be this.
  • The Servants of Ungoliant features 25-year-old Jhebdryk and 18-year-old Rhejya. Also doubled with Huge Guy, Tiny Girl.
  • The Bridge gives both a straight and inverted example. All of the transformed kaiju are quite large once turned into their Equestrian forms. Godzilla and Spacegodzilla both being much taller than a normal stallion and easily a head taller than any Equestrian who's name isn't Luna or Celestia.
    • Inverted in the fact the two tallest of the six kaiju are female, Mothra and Destroyah. The latter of towers over the largest of the male transformed kaiju and while leaner, Mothra's Changeling Queen form is taller than the male kaiju.
  • In Ask Hoops and Dumbbell, like its source material, Hoops stands One Head Taller than Dumbbell.
  • Amy's parents are a hedgehog and an elephant in Single Parents Night. Her father, the hedgehog, only reaches the shoulders of his wife.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Ash Ketchum is this to Anabel, who is the shortest of his female companions/future love interests, as depicted in this Christmas fanart.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Book of Life, Manolo and Joaquin are both a full head taller than Maria.
  • Pacha from The Emperor's New Groove is a full head taller than his wife Chicha.
  • Kristoff in Frozen is a full head taller than Anna.
  • The titular character of Hercules is taller than Meg by a head.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Hiccup is now a full head taller than Astrid.
  • In The Incredibles, Bob Parr is just over one head taller than his wife. But in one brief fight between them, Helen grew taller than Bob without realizing it.
  • Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack is taller then Sally, though Sally's pretty tall too. Jack is just really, really tall.
  • Strange Magic: While Marianne's fiancee is a bit taller than her, the Bog King who is her final love interest is actually a full head taller than her.
  • In Zootopia, since Nick is a fox, a larger animal than a rabbit, he tops Judy's height by at least a full head. This is especially noticeable when he comforts her after she apologizes for her Innocently Insensitive comments at the press conference, and her face matches up with his chest, though she's standing almost fully erect.
  • Averted in the final version of Tangled; however, in an earlier script, Rapunzel's love interest was a tall, bulky man named Bastion. Bastion was replaced because they wanted a more attractive looking male lead, though Kristoff from Frozen is influenced by Bastion.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Lampshaded in The Alibi, where the hero, after kissing his love interest at the end, notes "Actually, I've just realized; you're quite a bit taller than me, aren't you?"
  • In Back to the Future, the part of Jennifer was recast because actress Melora Hardin (5'7) was taller than Michael J. Fox (5'4.25). Interestingly, it was the female crew which insisted Marty should be taller than his girlfriend.
  • Inverted in the French film Un Homme a l'hauteur' (English version titled Up For Love'') about a woman in love with a 4'6" tall man. It's based on Spanish film Corazon de Leon).
  • Obliquely referenced in Ocean's Eleven, when Saul (6'1) objects to Tess' (5'9) relationship with Terry Benedict on the grounds that "she's too tall for him".
  • Star Wars:
  • Another example with Natalie Portman is Thor. Chris Hemsworth (6'3") is more than a foot taller than her.
  • In Porky's, during a Prom sequence, Meat (who appears to be about 6'6) is dancing with a tall woman while his short buddy is dancing with a short woman. Another friend interrupts the two couples and forces them to trade partners: "There, that satisfies my sense of proportion."
  • Juno with Michael Cera ten inches taller than Elliot Page who's only five feet tall.
  • During the filming of The Year of Living Dangerously, the director used nearly every trick in the book to not only hide the fact that female lead Sigourney Weaver (5'11") was two inches taller than male lead Mel Gibson (5'9"), but make it look as if he was, in fact, One Head Taller than she was.
  • The DVD extras for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World had some fun with this, with overdubbed lines indicating that Jason Schwartzman's (5'5") character (Gideon Graves) was actually turned on by being shorter than Mary Elizabeth Winstead (5'8" plus shoes)
  • Whenever Rocky Balboa and Adrian (5'4) are standing next to each other in Rocky series, the height difference is pretty noticeable. The top of her head comes up just over his chin, which makes her really short, as Sylvester Stallone is only 5'9".
  • Four Christmases had Vince Vaughn (6'5") and Reese Witherspoon (5'1") as its romantic leads. Witherspoon said that during a scene where they were dancing together, Vaughn was literally picking her up and carrying her. The movie's poster lampshades their height difference by showing the two standing back-to-back but with Witherspoon wearing five-inch heels and standing on a stack of boxes.
  • Considering his height, practically every female lead Vince Vaughn gets paired with ends up as this. It gets lampshaded in Wedding Crashers, where he is paired with 5'3" Isla Fisher.
  • Jason Segel is 6'4" (193 cm) tall. This trope was particularly obvious in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, since Kristen Bell is 5'1" (155 cm) and Mila Kunis is 5'4" (162 cm).
  • Spock and Uhura in Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness, as Zachary Quinto is 6'1" and Zoe Saldana is 5'7". Uhura has to stand on her tiptoes in order for them to kiss.
  • The height difference between Honey and Frisbee in A Song Is Born is lampshaded by the fact that she always has him get a stack of books for her to stand on before she can kiss him.
  • Hulking Anthony Quinn is paired with tiny Giulietta Masina in La Strada—which is appropriate, since his character is a brutish lout that abuses her.
  • Emilia Clarke, being only 5'2", gets subjected to this trope around her male costars. It's thus lampshaded (and Played for Laughs) in Terminator Genisys, when the T-800 (6'2), Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese (6'1) are arrested and get their mugshots taken. Sarah is a full foot shorter than Kyle, yet the camera position doesn't change so she's glaring from the bottom of the screen.
  • French actress Mathilda May (5'7) is noticeably shorter than most of her male costars in Lifeforce so this trope was present quite a bit in the movie. The best example is when her character, Space Girl, confronts Dr Bukovsky (6'2 Michael Gothard) in the autopsy room after attacking the security guard. We get to see that Gothard is easily one head and a half taller than May.
  • Power Rangers (2017): Trini only stands up to Billy's shoulders, since she's played by 5'0 actress/singer Becky Gomez.
  • The Yellow Handkerchief has Brett (William Hurt, at 6'2") and May (Maria Bello, at 5'5"). This only adds to the romance of the final scene, as he holds her close and strokes her hair while she hides her face in his chest. He even gets to lift her off her feet and into his arms for their Reunion Kiss.
  • Janet Gaynor, a huge film star of the silent era, might be the Trope Codifier for film. She was 5'0", which meant almost any leading man paired with her was head and shoulders above her tiny frame. Best observed in Sunrise and 7th Heaven where she's paired with that are 5'10" and 6'2".
  • In Carrie (2013), Chloë Grace Moretz, who played Carrie, was 5'4, while Ansel Elgort, who played Tommy, was almost a foot taller than her as 6'3. As a result, when he picks her up for prom he has to lean down to stay in frame with her as they're talking in the doorway.

  • There are several examples in Harry Potter:
    • Ron is very tall and lanky, and Hermione is average height.
    • Ginny is "the smallest one" out of the six teenagers present at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when she's nearly fifteen and presumably (almost) done growing, and at the beginning of the next book (in which they get together), people begin to comment on Harry's height from his recent growth spurt. He ends up the same height as his father James, whom even Voldemort describes as "tall."
    • Ron and Ginny's father Arthur is tall and thin, and their mother Molly is short and plump.
  • Discussed in Dealing with Dragons: Cimorene mentions that she is considered unmarriageable because she is tall enough to look most men in the eyes without tilting her head and looking up to them through long eyelashes.
  • The Hurog duology has Ward and Tisala. She is uncommonly tall for a woman; if she wasn't, it would be Huge Guy, Tiny Girl, as Ward is ''very'' tall.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden, at somewhere around 6'9", fits with most of his actual or potential love interests, although Murphy at "5 feet and small change" is particularly notable.
  • Septimus and Octavia, slave crewmembers and eventual lovers aboard The Covenant of Blood
  • An Earthly Knight by Janet McNaughton explicitly mentions that Jeanette is a head shorter than Tam Lin.
  • Mentally invoked by Menelaus in Count To A Trillion after Princess Rania's growth spurt: "He hated the fact that the top of her head no longer fit nicely under his chin when they hugged...It seemed obscurely unnatural, as if someone had made a mistake when putting the universe together."2
  • Mix Beer With Liquor And You Will Get Sicker has a play with this trope, averting it for the most part. The protagonist Lauchlan (6'2") towers above his love interest Corbin (5'). Despite this, Corbin's forceful personality makes him the most dominant of the relationship, and he will often climb or stand on things in order to nullify the height difference during intimacy. Intimacy aside, Lauchlan is often so cowed by Corbin's temper that he forgets the height difference completely. He is often described shrinking down and backing away from Corbin, a subconscious attempt to make himself seem smaller and less threatening.
  • In Dragonseye, Zulaya is described as being taller than average for a woman, and has told her current mate, K'vin, she likes that he's a head taller (her previous mate was her own height).
  • In Heart of Steel, Julia comes up to Alistair's collarbone. Her height is not mentioned, but he is stated to be a bit over six feet tall.
  • In Dora Wilk Series, Szelma is a head shorter than Eryk, a fact he lampshades, noting that she's the first person in a long time to make him feel tall (he's about metre seventy).
  • Non-romantic examples: In the Miss Bindergarten series, Adam the Alligator and Christopher the Cat are both shown to be at least one head taller than Brenda the Beaver. It's worth noting that the characters who are some kind of rodent are at least a head smaller than characters who are other kinds of animals.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Both of Shallan's love interests, Adolin and Kaladin, are a head taller than her, though Kaladin has an inch or two on Adolin. The Alethi are noted to be pretty tall in general, which the Veden Shallan finds annoying.
  • In Twilight, every Cullen couple and shifter couple is this, to a ludicrous degree. Every Cullen male vampire is six feet tall or taller, whereas the tallest Cullen female vampire (Rosalie) is only 5'9" (and her mate Emmett is still over a head taller than her at 6'5"). Of particularly egregious note is Alice and Jasper: she's almost a full foot-and-a-half shorter than him. As for the shifters, they all grow to ridiculous heights when they start shifting (all over six feet), whereas their imprintees are of normal human woman height (or literal children as in the case of Claire and Nessie, and so very, very short compared to the shifters). The films, not having access to inhumanly-tall behemoths, downplays this aspect quite a bit.
    • Even the fully-human couples fall prey to this. Charlie and Phil are six feet tall while Renee is only 5'4". Mike, Eric, and Tyler (Bella's "human" options) are all at least half a foot taller than her, and their eventual girlfriends (Jessica and Lauren) are at least half a foot shorter than them. The only inversion seems to be Angela and Ben, as she's six feet tall and he's only 5'7". In the film, where Ben and Eric are combined, Angela is about the same height as her eventual boyfriend.
  • Captive Prince: Damianos looms over Laurent. On a comment from Damianos that his borrowed armor is too small, Laurent suggests that he borrows the armor of a warhorse instead. According to Laurent:
    "My size is the usual. I am not made in miniature. It's a problem of scale, standing next to you."
  • Emi L'Hime in Hands Held in the Snow is almost exactly one head taller than her girlfriend.
  • Another same-sex version occurs with Louis and Angel in John Connolly's Charlie Parker novels. Louis is 6'6" and Angel is 5'6"; coupled with the fact that they're an inter-racial gay couple who have wildly different fashion styles and mannerisms, and are also painfully obviously career criminals, they certainly stand out.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Mindy Project Mindy isn't too short—at 5'4, she's roughly average height for a women, but she's dated some tall men. Her first on-screen partner, Tom (played by Bill Hader) is 6'1, her casual sex partner Brendan is six feet tall, and her fiance, Casey (played by Anders Holm) is 6'4—she even says he's the tallest man she's ever dated. It's not too glaring most of the time, since Mindy often wears heels.
  • In Smallville, Clark (6'2.75) is almost exactly one head taller than both Chloe (5'5) and Lana (5'4). Lois (5'7) isn't as short, though, but she still had to kick some books to his feetwhen she wanted to kiss him.
  • Supernatural had Sam and Ruby. He's 6'4" and she's 5'4".
  • On the original Get Smart, Barbara Feldon (5'9) was actually taller than Don Adams (5'7), which could have highlighted the comic nature of the couple, but the producers insisted their heights be "fixed". Most scenes of Max and 99 talking to each other were staged with Don standing on boxes while Barbara slouched. Their heights sometimes visibly change when they cut to a walking scene. At one point she mentioned that she was the only actress in Hollywood with calluses on her ankles, as she would roll her ankles, throw out her hip, and bow her head to look as short as possible.
  • The X-Files. Agent Mulder noticeably towers over Agent Scully. This was the reason the Scully Box was invented, as David Duchovny is 6' tall, whereas Gillian Anderson is 5'2", meaning they couldn't be shot in a closeup frame unless she was standing on a box. Often if they were shot walking down the street, she was on the sidewalk while he was walking on the street itself, closing their height gap by a few inches.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place. This applies to Justin and Alex Russo in the first and the second seasons. Later, Selena Gomez (5'5) gets taller and she occasionally wears high heels, but David Henrie is still a whole lot taller than her, standing at 6' (180 cm).
  • Kang Hyuk from Flower Boy Ramyun Shop is over a head taller than Eun Bi, but he's nearly a head taller than everybody because he's an absolute giant.
  • iCarly inverted the general gender idea of the trope, then played it straight, with the same characters. Of course, this was because of the wonders of puberty. Freddie (5'7) was very short in the first season, as he was barely 13 years old and might not have even hit puberty when they started filming. They ended up using Scully Box and/or giant platform shoes. Carly (5'6) was the tallest in the early episodes, so any scenes where Freddie and Carly hugged or stood next to each other had Carly towering over Freddie. By Season Two Freddie had hit puberty, and by season three he towered over the girls. Cue the Dance of Romance, with Carly snuggled into Freddie's chest and neck.
  • Taken to the extreme, unintentionally, on The Big Bang TheoryJim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) towers over the entire main cast at 6'1"/185cm. Of course, Sheldon is approximately as likely to voluntarily hug anyone as pigs are to fly, so that aspect of the trope is seldom seen. When Sheldon does eventually get a love interest, he's approximately a head and a half taller than her.
  • John Krasinski is 6 foot 3, so Jim from The Office (US) is quite a bit taller than Pam (5'6). Dwight (6'2.5) used to tower over Angela (5'1) as well, although that had more to do with her being so small she had to buy children's size clothes; Dwight is over a foot taller than Angela.
  • Marshall and Lily on How I Met Your Mother fit this rather well, with 5'5" Alyson Hannigan contrasting against 6'4" Jason Segel. Best part? Marshall is the runt of his family. His mom says something about him and his brothers being not much smaller than Thanksgiving turkeys when born. Ted and The Mother also qualify as she only measures up to Ted's shoulder and she has to stand on her tiptoes to kiss him when he proposes to her.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy and Angel. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is only 5'2" (157cm), actor David Boreanaz is 6'1" (185cm). They often put Buffy in ridiculous heels or made her stand on crates to get them in the same shot together. As Buffy is supposed to be a 16-year-old who falls in love with the older Angel, it comes in handy.
    • The height difference between Buffy and Riley (6'2) was at least as big if not bigger. Marc Blucas' height made scenes where he had to kiss the diminutive Sarah Michelle Gellar a bit awkward. Lampshaded when Riley returns for an episode in Season 6; Buffy gapes at him and says, "Were you always this tall?"
  • Kelso and Jackie in That '70s Show. Ashton Kutcher is 6'2"; Mila Kunis is 5'3" as an adult, and she was just 14 when the show started.
  • Dollhouse, Echo (5'5) and Paul (6'3).
  • Finn and Rachel from Glee fall right into it. Cory Monteith (6'3) is more than a foot taller than Lea Michele (5'2.5).
  • True Blood
    • Sookie, played by the 5'5" Anna Paquin, has been paired with Eric and Alcide, both about 6'4".
    • The 6'5 Hoyt dates Summer, who is about at 5'0".
  • In The Mentalist, 5'4 Robin Tunney (Lisbon) is pretty much a head shorter than everyone. This makes her unquestioned (well, except by 5'10.5 Jane) authority over them all even more impressive.
  • In Lost in Austen The actress playing Amanda is exactly one foot shorter than the actor playing Darcy.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Blade: When Kazuma Kenzaki (6') and Hajime Aikawa (5' 7") happen to stand side by side, their height difference is pretty obvious as Hajime reaches up to Kenzaki's chin. They have been described as big friendly guy and tiny angry guy for a reason.
    • Kamen Rider Drive has Shinnosuke Tomari (6') and Kiriko Shijima (5' 4"), who act so professional towards each other that they haven't noticed they are in love until the end of the story. The two subsequent crossover movies involving Drive show they have married and are expecting a child.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Nico Saiba (5'3") wears platform shoes to make up for her height, but hanging out with the tall and thin Taiga Hanaya (5' 11") only helps her efforts in the way she can physically push him around. It sure suits her Bratty Half-Pint behavior with some traits of The Napoleon thrown in. Their relationship is intentionally played in an ambigious way that can be taken as either lovers or siblings depending on the viewer.
  • Penn & Teller, in a rare, non-ship, two-man example.
  • Another two-man example: Top Gear (UK)'s Jeremy Clarkson (6'5") and Richard Hammond (5'7"). Often becomes an issue whenever Jeremy has to adjust the seats of a car that Richard had previously driven.
Jeremy: Here's our resident elf!
The current (as of 2020) Top Gear UK presenters also exhibit this trope—Chris Harris is a hair over 5'7", while Freddie Flintoff is 6'4". Paddy McGuinness is in the middle at 6'1".
  • Community has 6"4" Jeff and the 5"3" Annie. The decision to pair them up romantically, sort of, resulted in a lot more hilarious shots of them standing close together. A good example can be seen in the Season 4 finale, when a shot requiring a close-up on Annie's face while they were hugging meant that Jeff's head was entirely out of the top of the frame.
    • Abed at one point Lampshades their "two-foot height disparity".
    • Britta's in the same boat with regards to Jeff, but is always wearing tall-heeled boots of some sort so it's less noticeable.
  • The West Wing: Lampshaded in a scene where C.J. Cregg and Annabeth Schott are doing one of the show's "walk-and-talks" together. Cregg (played by 6'0" Allison Janney) asks Schott (played by 4'11" Kristin Chenoweth) how tall she is and then comments it's hard to believe they're the same species.
  • Deconstructed on Lizzie McGuire when a girl turns Gordo (5'3.75) down for a school dance because he's short and "I don't want to go out with a short guy." Gordo takes it very hard.
  • Inspector Lynley (6'1) is almost exactly one head taller than his partner Sergeant Havers (5'5). They're not romantically involved. Really.
  • Jack (5'8) and Rachel (5'10.5) on Boy Meets World. She is quite a bit taller than him, something he was insecure about when they first got together.
  • Babylon 5: John Sheridan and Delenn. Mira Furlan is actually 5'6", but looks quite petite next to 6'2" Bruce Boxleitner.
  • In Phil of the Future, Phil (5'9.25) is actually a few inches shorter than Keely (5'8). This is never acknowledged in universe.
  • Matty and Jenna on MTV's Awkward.
  • In Fawlty Towers Basil towers over Sybil (he's 6'5" and she's 5'3") but she still easily terrorizes him.
  • The page quote refers to The Middle stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, 5'2" and 6'5" respectively. It is lampshaded heavily.
  • In the series Copper, the couple Matthew (6'3) and Sara Freeman (5'3.75) are this with Matthew being the taller one.
  • Nathan (6'2) and Haley (5'4) on One Tree Hill.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Tricia Helfer (5'10.5) as Six is noticeably taller than her series Companion / Love Interest / Butt-Monkey, James Callis (5'8) as Baltar.
  • Almost ludicrously at times in Merlin, Percival (6'4) towers over everyone, including the other knights who are not at all short. More traditionally, Gwen's (5'4) head just about comes up to Arthur's (6'0) shoulders.
  • In Six Feet Under, Ruth Fisher (5'7) was significantly smaller than her new husband George (6'7).
  • The Invisible Man partners the very tall and thin Darien with the much-shorter Hobbes, a contrast sometimes used for comedic effect — especially given that Hobbes is an experienced and quite competent agent while Darien starts out naïve and inexperienced (with this side of the law, anyway). Darien also towers over love interests Alianora and Kate.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • Agent Grant Ward (6'2) who is a head taller than his potential love interest, Skye (5'5.75).
    • He also towers over Agent Jemma Simmons (5'4), another main character on the show.
    • Season 2 has the introduction of Bobbi Morse, portrayed by Adrianne Palicki, who is about 5'11 in flats, an inch taller than her love interest Lance Hunter (5'10), and towers over Simmons in her first appearance.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Invoked Trope in "One Little Ship" when Miles (5'11) and Julian (5'11.75) return from a mission that required them to be shrunk to a miniscule size and are boasting of their adventures to a Dabo girl who's slouching on the bar. Odo (6'0) and Quark (5'6) pull a rare practical joke by claiming they seem a bit shorter than usual. The Dabo girl then straightens up and is revealed to be taller than them. Miles and Julian immediately rush off to sickbay to have themselves checked out.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation had Will Riker and Deanna Troi, played respectively by Jonathan Frakes (6'3") and Marina Sirtis (5'3"). During the last season, Troi got involved with Worf, played by Michael Dorn, who's 6'2".
  • Season 2 of Heroes brings us Sylar (6'1") and Maya (5'4"). When her brother storms out on her, Sylar lets her cry into his chest. Her head fits right in his hand as he comforts her.
  • Taskmaster saw a noticeable height difference when Josh Widdicombe (5'7") collected the winner's trophy from host Greg Davies (6'8").
  • Comes up several times on Chuck:
    • Zachary Levi is 6'3", making Chuck just over a foot taller than Lou (5'2" Rachel Bilson), a head taller than Jill (5'7" Jordana Brewster), and nearly a foot taller than Hannah (5'4" Kristin Kreuk). Lou even remarks about their height differences being one of the reasons she likes Chuck.
    • Jonathan Cake (6'3") and Brandon Routh (6'2") have the same height disparity with Strahovski as Levi.
    • Carrie-Anne Moss is an impressive 5'8", so she's taller than the average woman. She's also paired up with the enormous 6'4" Adam Baldwin, making him right about a head taller.
  • The Last Ship: The CO of the titular ship, Mike Slattery, is 6’4” while his XO, Andrea Garnett, is 5’5” and their height difference is very noticeable whenever the two stand next to each other. This proves to be a great advantage when they are kidnapped by pirates and she needs to slip away to enact part of their escape plan as he can literally turn and block her from view with his body.
  • Penny Dreadful: Although Eva Green is above average height for a woman at 5'7", Vanessa and Ethan still appear as this trope because Josh Hartnett clocks in at 6'3". A repeating motif for these two are Cry into Chest, as Ethan's chest is naturally at Vanessa's eye level. Their size difference is also capitalized on during The Big Damn Kiss when he lifts her right off the ground, when they engage in an intense Held Gaze moment as he's standing some stair steps downward of her so that they are finally at eye-level, and when she dies and he appears to easily carry her.
  • Mike and Gloria Stivic in All in the Family (played by Rob Reiner who is 6'2" and Sally Struthers who is 5'1"). On their first date, they try ballroom dancing, and Mike sings "Cheek to Cheek" (a song from the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movie Top Hat) but he has to change the lyrics to "chest to cheek".
  • Nico and Karolina in Runaways (2017), played by Lyrica Okano (5'2") and Virginia Gardner (5'8"). This is especially visible during their Now or Never Kiss in episode nine, to the point where fans were joking about Karolina's neck cramping.
  • Midnight Caller: Jack Killian and his ex-girlfriend Tina Cassidy, played by Gary Cole (6') and Kay Lenz (5'1").
  • McMillan & Wife: Stewart and Sally McMillan, played by Rock Hudson (6'4") and Susan Saint James (4'11").
  • The Good Place: Tahani (5'10.5) is exactly this to Eleanor (5'1), as seen while they hug in the last episode. Eleanor's head literally is right up to Tahani's chin.
  • Schitt's Creek: David is 5'11" while Stevie is 5'5", so he has to bend down to kiss her in Season One. He's also taller than his boyfriend Patrick, who is 5'8" but it's not as acute.
  • Prime Suspect: In season 2, Tennison (Helen Mirren) has a relationship with DS Robert Oswalde (Colin Salmon). There's a full foot difference in the actors' heights, and in a couple of shots it's clear she barely comes up to his shoulder.
  • Queen Anne is shorter than her Musketeer Aramis in the The Musketeers, particularly noticeable in 2x04 when she has to stand on her tiptoes to kiss him


    Professional Wrestling 
  • The NWA South Atlantic Tag Team Champions, the 5'8" Talon and the 7'1" Tower, The Unholy Alliance. The only reason the Alliance don't make the jump to Huge Guy, Tiny Girl is that Talon isn't tiny, Tower is just that huge.
  • A male example in WWF would be Bam Bam Bigelow in his first WWF run. In his early run as a face the commentators would often talk about how "colossal" he was but he was not all that much taller or even sometimes shorter than a "smaller" opponent. He was often vertically dwarfed against other "big man" heel wrestlers in this era usually half a head taller than him or more.

  • Orlando and Rosalind in As You Like It, though earlier in the play, Rosalind says that the reason she'll disguise herself as a boy is that she is "more than common tall" and very tall for a girl, though of normal height for a boy.
    Jaques: What stature is she of?
    Orlando: Just as high as my heart.
  • In Bullshot Crummond, the script specifically recommends that the actress playing the Damsel in Distress be taller than the Comedic Hero Bullshot.

    Video Games 
  • Odin Sphere:
    • Both artbooks state that Cornelius stands at 183cm (6') while Velvet stands at 166cm (5'4"), with their height difference very noticeable during cutscenes where Cornelius isn't a Pooka.
    • Ingway and Mercedes. Although Ingway's official height isn't listed, Mercedes is said to stand at 151cm (4'11 1/2") in her artbook profiles (whether this includes her wings or not isn't stated). During the cutscene where Mercedes breaks the frog curse on Ingway and returns him to his human form, she quite clearly barely reaches his chin.
  • Team Fortress 2:
  • Grune of Tales of Legendia is one of the tallest characters in the cast at 5'11", and loves to subject the other characters to Marshmallow Hell (at least while she's affected by her Laser-Guided Amnesia; she's not quite so huggy when she has her memories).
  • Cierra from Riviera: The Promised Land, who sometimes acts as an affectionate Onee-sama, appears to be slightly taller than the game's hero and thus half a head to a full head taller than the other female characters. The fan artists have noticed. Les Yay has ensued.
  • Played straight in all Resident Evil titles, but most noticeable in Resident Evil 2, where Leon (5'11) is a head taller than Claire (5'7), and male zombies are a head taller than him. She also does the same to Ashley in 4.
  • In ICO with Ico and Yorda; Yorda is a head taller than Ico.
  • Played with infuriatingly with Yggdra Union's Gulcasa and Nessiah, the darlings of the Yaoi Fangirls. A few height charts have been released by Sting, and while Gulcasa's height is shown to be between 180-185 cm, Nessiah's height has varied every time—one official account sets him at 170 cm (half a head shorter), another at roughly 160 cm (one head shorter, and the same height as Yggdra, the main character), and yet another at 155 cm (quite short indeed for a male character, and just barely reaching Gulcasa's shoulders). The third account of Nessiah's height seems to be accepted as Fanon. He often has a bit of a height complex to go along with it, and coincidentally or not, he displays a few Tsundere qualities when another character brings it up.
  • Rival Schools' known pairings fall into this category for the most part. This includes Batsu and Hinata; Roy and Tiffany; and Hideo and Kyoko.
  • In Atelier Rorona and Atelier Totori, this applies for Sterk (6'1)/Rorona (4'10) shipping.
  • In The Movies, any actor or actress can play any role. In a romantic scene featuring a man putting the moves on a woman, the man will be noticeably taller. However, switching the roles so that a woman is seducing a man, or making it a same sex couple, will preserve the original height difference so that the seducer is always taller than the seducee.
  • City of Heroes:
  • Dragon Age:
    • Averted with same-race couples in Dragon Age: Origins, where gender differences barely affect height. Mixed-race couples are subject to this trope, however, due to how much shorter elves and dwarves are than humans.
    • A female elf can quite clearly take the lead with both Alistair and Leliana, despite being at least a head shorter.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition: plays it much the same way Origins does, with the addition of qunari—who are, as a rule, at least a head taller than people of other races—to the mix.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VII (Dirge of Cerberus in particular), Vincent is notably very tall, at about 6'. Yuffie clocks in at about 5'2, and the height difference is very obvious in their scenes together. It's enough to make one wonder just how much trouble she had hauling him to safety after Rosso knocked him out...
    • Final Fantasy VIII's Irvine (6'1) and Selphie (5'1.5).
    • Final Fantasy XIII's Snow (6'7) and Serah (5'4).
    • Final Fantasy IX has Beatrix and Rusty... Steiner (6'2. She's definitely taller.
    • Final Fantasy X sees Seymour (6'1) do this to Yuna (5'3). It is very noticable in the wedding cutscene.
  • Left 4 Dead: Francis (6'5) is half a head taller and Zoey (5'9) is half a head shorter than Bill and Louis (and most of infected), who are of average height.
  • Valvatorez and Artina from Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten used to be like this, with Val standing at 5'11" and Artina at 5'3". However, centuries of refusing to drink human blood have diminished his stature to a mere 5'5", so now he's instead a head shorter than his Ambiguously Gay Battle Butler, Fenrich (who is 6'1").
  • In the Pokémon series, character heights can be used as a fairly consistent way of judging their ages, at least in Generations I-V.
  • In Touhou Project, Marisa is the shortest adult character in the series, while Alice is said to be taller than average. You would never know this from fanart, where artists Shipping the two together will almost invariably make Marisa taller than Alice due to this trope. Not only is Marisa generally depicted as "the guy" in most of her Ships, but Fanon depictions of Alice often make her Tsundere as well.
  • The morphing system in Fable I gives the player character a looming Heroic Build as his powers grow, so by late game, he towers head and shoulders over his spouse.
  • Lara Croft in the rebooted Tomb Raider continuity is a non-romantic yet glaring example of this trope, with virtually every single man and several women in the series to date towering at least half a head (Tomb Raider) or more (Rise of the Tomb Raider) over her.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening
    • Cordelia an interesting case. She is typically seen as a Statuesque Stunner thanks to her portraits and art, but then there's the Avatar's confession scene with her. Cordelia looks to be one head shorter than the Avatar, making her relationship with him this. However, it's speculated by many that she's kneeling down in the confession portrait (though this is unconfirmed).
    • Flavia and Say'ri are the same deal as Cordelia - the portraits and art make them look tall, but her confession shows them looking much shorter than the Avatar. And unlike with Cordelia, the angles shows that Flavia and Say'ri are definitely not kneeling down.
    • Tharja, Olivia, and Kjelle are all dwarfed by the Avatar in their confessions as well, especially the latter two who almost qualify for Huge Guy, Tiny Girl.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Impa's granddaughter Paya is noticeably taller than Link, inverting the usual gender dynamic. It also doubles as a bit of irony, as Paya is a Shrinking Violet Smitten Teenage Girl in relation to the shorter Link.
  • Dragon Ball Fighter Z: The Artificial Humans #16 and #21 have this dynamic, with the former towering the latter by a mile. While it is definitely not a romantic example, it is very common for sons (even though #16 is merely modelled after Dr. Gero's and #21's deceased son) to be taller than their mothers. However, given how much taller #16 is compared to everyone else on the roster except Broly (9'0) and maybe Cell (7'0), the two give a Huge Guy, Tiny Girl illusion, which makes it hard to tell at first that #21 is actually a Statuesque Stunner.
  • Red Dead Redemption:
    • John Marston towers over his wife, Abigail. However in the prequel Red Dead Redemption 2, he's still signifcantly taller than her but the height difference isn't quite as dramatic.
    • In II Arthur Morgan is about a head taller than his ex, Mary.
  • The Walking Dead: The Final Season has Clementine and Louis, although the animators appear to have toned it down after the first episode or so. Ironically, if you choose to have Clem pursue a romantic relationship with Louis, their relative height difference gets a lot less noticeable, despite the fact that this trope is often played up in order to make a female character look smaller next to a male love interest.
  • Street Fighter X Tekken has this with most official male and female teams, Rolento to Ibuki, Jin to Xiaoyu, Lars to Alisa. Inverted with Elena and Dudley.
  • Dragon Quest IV has Torneko Taloon and his wife, who is one head taller than him according to the Mystery Dungeon illustrations.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Shirou (5'6) is at least a head taller than Saber (5'1), who's the shortest Servant by far.
    • The height difference between Rin and Archer tends to vary in illustrations. Some of them only put him at One Head Taller, while others border on Huge Guy, Tiny Girl. Officially, he's just about 11 inches (28 cm) taller than hernote .
    • Caster (5'4) and Soichiro (5'11) make an excellent example.
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • Hisao (5'7) and the shortest girl, Emi (4'11), are this. At one point while hugging her during her arc, he mentions that he has to resist the urge to rest his head on top of hers.
    • This trope is also touched on with Lilly (5'7), the character who most strongly averts this by being about as tall as Hisao. Hisao once points out that when he's kissing, it's nice to have her head and lips level with his.
  • Kud from Little Busters! is so tiny that she doesn't even reach Riki's shoulders, despite Riki being kind of short for a guy. She doesn't even have the excuse of being younger than him!
  • In To Heart, Lemmy Miyauchi (5'8) is the only female in the cast that is taller than Hiroyuki.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Platonic examples: Phoenix (176 cm/5'9) and Edgeworth (178 cm/5'11) are respectively one head taller than Maya (154 cm/5'1) and Franziska (162 cm/5'4); in one official manga splash page, it's prominently shown.
    • Slightly less platonic examples, Phoenix is one head taller than Dahlia and Iris (155 cm/5'1), and Diego Armando (185 cm/6'1) is this with Mia (168 cm/5'6).
  • Zero Escape series: Sigma and Diana in Zero Time Dilemma. Mostly because Sigma is pretty big.

  • In Drowtales female drows are typically taller then males, so this is invoked in many of the pairs and couples in the setting.
    • Sarnel and Shala post-Time Skip invoke this, with Shala being tall enough to put Sarnel in a headlock and manhandle him about to show her affection.
    • Quain'tana is at least a head taller than her ally/lover Ash'waren, as can be seen here.
  • Mik of Boy Meets Boy is both taller and more built than his slighter, younger lover Harley. Especially noticeable when Harley gets down on one knee to propose to Mik.
  • Played straight and subverted in El Goonish Shive: Shapeshifter Grace's default form is actually slightly taller than Tedd, and no-one (least of all Tedd) has suggested that she adjust it. Played straight when Grace and Tedd are in their gender-swapped forms, Played straight with Elliot, first with Sarah and later with Ashley, then subverted when Elliot deliberately makes himself smaller than Ashley while demonstrating his transformation powers. Played straight when Nanase, Susan and Justin's genders were reversed, but averted with Rhoda and Catalina, who are both quite petite.
  • Everyday Heroes: Mr. Mighty and his wife Jane.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court:
    • Zimmy and Gamma, a fine example of the Tsundere being shorter. Gamma still seems like the dominant one however, just a little more subtle about it than most.
    • Gender-flipped with Parley and Smitty. It's lampshaded in The Rant for the page when they have their first kiss: Smitty's only at eye level because he's standing above her on the stairs.
      Tom: He better carry a footstool around.
  • Silver Bullet Nights pairs hulking vampire Seek with a short, bespectacled nerd named Donovan.
  • Dong-whi over Yun-lee in Nineteen, Twenty-One.
  • Nina and Deirdre in "Webcomic/Threading".
  • Fritz in The Quick and Dirty Life of Fritz Fargo is about five feet tall and therefore at least one head shorter than most of the other characters. However, he tends to dominate most of the people he knows with sheer force of personality. Played more straight in his relationship with Seth, who's his manager as well as his boyfriend, much older, very controlling, and probably about a foot taller than him.
  • The characters in Homestuck are usually drawn in a highly stylized fashion, so they're all more or less the same height modulo hair spikes (or in some cases horns), but in some instances where they're rendered more realistically, this does come into play. The Disciple and the Signless (the two middle figures here) in particular seem to fit the trope; Nepeta and Equius probably do as well though it's hard to tell since there don't seem to be any non-stylized canon images of the two of them together.
  • In Seiyuu CRUSH!, Haruka and Miwa use this trope, and may twist the Seme/Uke rule by having the more innocent Haruka one head taller than Miwa. (although due to his clumsiness, Haruka is often on his knees, which puts him a head shorter than Miwa.)
  • Sun Jing is about one head taller than her crush Qiu Tong in Their Story. Similar situation for Qin Xiong and his upperclassman, though in this case, the upperclassman absolutely towers over him.
  • Magan And Danai is an autobiographical manhua about a short tsundere woman and her taller, teasing girlfriend.
  • In Girl Genius, there's quite a few.
    • Princess Larana and Hoffmann - although they're not technically in a relationship yet, they have an Arranged Marriage and she has an extremely obvious crush on him. She's also at least a head taller than him, possibly more. It's especially noticeable on this page, when she's leaning sideways and is still a head taller.
    • An extreme example in That Naughty Flashback Scene, where Lucrezia leaning against Klaus' chest makes it very clear that she's about a quarter of his size in terms of general mass, and certainly significantly shorter. Not played for the adorable angle though, as she drugs him to get him out of the way and ends up as the Big Bad later.
    • Played fairly straight with Agatha's love interests, despite occasional Art Shift making her the same height on other pages:
  • Bitty and Jack, and Lardo and Shitty, in Check, Please!. Most of Samwell's men's hockey team are average to tall (as is typical for hockey players), with the prominent exceptions of Bitty (the 5'7" male Team Mom) and Lardo (the 5'1" team manager and only female character in the main cast).
  • In Undead Friend Darwin who is currently 6'7" at age 16 is much larger than everyone else at his school and towers over his parents and friends. He doesn't actually like being so tall and has some Height Angst.
  • This trope, ramped up to Huge Guy, Tiny Girl or the inverse levels in fact, is pervasive in Alfie; but the wlw relationship between the title havlin and the vaugely renegade Voch'khari Ozge takes it to another level. They are both of unexceptional stature among their people, which means Alfie's head is roughly on level with Ozge's hips for all that the latter is rail thin and a couple of years younger.

    Web Original 
  • Darcy (6'1) and Lizzie (5'4) on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. He's noticeably taller. Good thing that Lizzie shoots her videos while sitting, having Talking Heads. They get together at the end of the series.
  • In a non-canon video promoting the show's app of The Most Popular Girls in School, when Rachel and Brittnay fall in love due to the voting results and hug each other close, the latter is evidently one head taller than the former.
  • Not a couple, but the Yogscast's Kim Richards is only 5' tall, while her Flux Buddies partner Duncan Jones is over 6' and isn't even the tallest Yog.
  • One contributor to the website Etiquette Hell submitted a story about a "wedding from hell" which was in fact just unconventional; her criticisms included the fact that everybody was dressed goth, the attendants weren't split along gender lines, and there was no champagne at the reception. Perhaps the most bizarre complaint, though, was that the bride overtopped the groom by "about a foot". The bride found the story and posted on the website's forums, sarcastically asking if she should have cut her legs off at the knees to avoid committing such a grave solecism as being tall.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Wife: Simone is a petite woman and her husband Chance is a Big Fun bear of a man. He's almost two heads taller than Simone.
  • The Nostalgia Critic: Doug Walker is 6'1 and main actress Tamara Chambers is 5'1, so there's a noticeable height difference any time they play a romantic couple. This includes the creepy insane Uncle Lies and the perpetually drunk Jaded Washout Aunt Despair, and the loud and excessively manly Devil Boner and the Cute and Psycho Hyper Fangirl. There's also a height difference between Chester A. Bum and his girlfriend / Distaff Counterpart Doe, played by Heather Reusz who's also about a head shorter than Doug.
  • RWBY: Ren is a full 8" taller than Nora. They've been together since a very young age and other characters, even their own team-mates, assumed they were involved with each other from the beginning because of how close they are. They don't kiss until Volume 7 but don't discuss where their relationship is going until Volume 8. They're in love with each other, but temporarily put a hold on getting together until they're both in a healthy headspace; Ren resolves his self-doubt by the end of Volume 8, but Nora needs time to resolve her self-identity issues.

    Western Animation 
  • On 6teen, the top of Nikki Wong's head comes up to Jonesy Garcia's shoulder line.
  • On Adventure Time, the two girls Finn's most likely to end up with are both One Head Taller than him.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Katara is about a head taller than Aang in the show. She's fourteen and he's twelve which makes this Truth in Television because most girls are full grown by fourteen while boys don't stop growing till their late teens. However, by the comics, he's hit a growth spurt and is taller than her. By the time they're adults, he is almost a full head taller than she is (as shown in the "Old Friends" [1] poster).
  • On Chowder, Mung Daal is noticeably taller than Truffles.
  • On Danny Phantom, Jack towers over his petite wife Maddie. Skulker's robotic body is also bigger than Ember, though their relationship happens off screen. His real form is much smaller than Ember.
  • Goofy is seen to be visibly taller than his friends to the point of being several heads taller. This also applies to real life: at the Disney Theme Parks, a person has to be at least 6' to portray him.
  • Hey Arnold!. Helga is about a head taller than her crush Arnold, which is especially noticeable when Arnold hugs her in "Arnold's Hat", "Runaway Float" and "Arnold Visits Arnie". However, they are nine years old and the situation could change later on.
  • Three examples in Jimmy Two-Shoes. Jimmy is taller than the child-sized Heloise (although it's one-sided from the latter since Jimmy's Oblivious to Love); Beezy is taller than Saffi; and Jez is two heads taller than the comically diminutive Lucius.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Mako stands one head taller than Korra.
    • Likewise Tenzin is about Mako's height and Pema's slightly shorter than Korra. He's also significantly taller than his ex Lin.
    • The Red Lotus, where 6'8'' tall P'li towers over her boyfriend Zaheer.
  • The Merrie Melodies short "Wild Over You" features Pepe Le Pew chasing after a "wild cat" that has escaped the zoo and painted herself up as a skunk to avoid capture. In the brief scenes that the two are pictured together, it is readily apparent that Pepe is at least 1/3 smaller than her. Pepe even comments on how there are "acres and acres of her" as soon as he sees her.
  • Marinette (5'1) and Adrien (5'9) of Miraculous Ladybug have this dynamic, and in "Oblivio" she has to stand on her toes when they kiss. Apparently liking taller men runs in the family, because Marinette's parents (4'7 and 6'3) shoot right past this trope into Huge Guy, Tiny Girl.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, Isabella is (usually) a head taller than Phineas. However, the Distant Finale episode "Act Your Age" shows that when they grow up he's a head taller than she is.
  • On Ready Jet Go!, Mitchell is roughly about a head taller than Mindy, who he is implied to have a crush on. Although, animation inconsistencies sometimes render them as the same height.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • The only Official Couple among the main cast consists of Hera (5'9) and Kanan (6'3), and Hera comes to just a hair above Kanan's shoulders when they're standing.
    • Mira Bridger comes to her husband Ephraim's jawline.
  • In Teen Titans, Starfire (5'6") is roughly one head taller than Robin (5'4"), only by a few inches taller.
  • Several examples in Total Drama. Bridgette reaches at about Geoff's shoulders; Izzy is noticeably shorter than her enormous boyfriend Owen; Beth (one of the shortest contestants) has an outside-the-game boyfriend in hunky model Brady; Dakota completely towers over Sam after her mutation; and Shawn only reaches up to about Jasmine's chest.
  • One episode of Totally Spies! has the Villain of the Week attempting to bust her husband out of jail, who was half her height. When this trope was pointed out to her, she responded "Love knows no boundaries."

    Real Life 
  • Jared Padalecki and Genevieve Padalecki - he's 6'4" and change and she's 5'4".
  • Natalie Wood (5') and Robert Wagner (5'11").
  • Another inversion: Dudley Moore (5'3") and Susan Anton (5'11").
  • John Lennon (5'11") and Yoko Ono (5'2") Exactly one head height difference.
  • Mick Fleetwood (6'6") and Sam Fox (5'1") presenting the BRIT Awards in 1989.
  • When it comes to stuff like figure skating and ballroom dancing, it's usually recommended that the man be significantly taller than the woman (eg. Man's height > Woman's height + 2-4ins heels). This is a result of one partner (almost always the man) needing to lift the other partner (almost always the woman) straight over his head, which is easier with a wide size disparity (the Russians termed this "gorilla and flea" pairs). Many partnerships that were formed when the pair were tweens/teens often end when the girl has a growth spurt and the boy fails to grow enough to match. Real life example: Ekaterina Gordeeva (5'0) and her husband Sergei Grinkov (6'0), 1988 & 1994 gold Olympic pairs figure skating champions.
  • Sacha Baron Cohen (6'3") and Isla Fisher (5'3").
  • Yet another inversion: Sonny Bono (5'5") and Cher (5'9").
  • Hayden Panettiere (officially 5'2" but many believe she's shorternote ) and... well, everyone she's ever been with. Although, her relationship with 6'6"/198cm boxer Wladimir Klitschko might be the most extreme example. (Bear in mind she's wearing four inch heels in this picture.)
  • Abraham Lincoln was the tallest President of the US at 6'4". His wife, Mary Todd Lincoln was 5'2".
  • George Washington was pretty tall himself, standing 6'2", compared to his wife Martha Dandridge Custis, who was 5'0". It was said that he would always bend down to speak with her so that she didn't have to crane her neck up to look at him.
  • Today anchors Willard Scott (6'3") and Katie Couric (5'4") when they hosted the Macy's Parade together during The '90s. Would also fall into Huge Guy, Tiny Girl in a way, as Willard is a little chubby especially compared to the somewhat mousy Katie.
  • Willard Scott and his late first wife Mary Dwyer fit this trope as well, as well as him and his current wife (they married in April 2014) Paris Keena.
  • Tom Cruise and almost everyone. Cruise is noticeably on the short side at 5'7" (the average height for American men is around 5'9" or 5'10"), and while he is taller than the average American woman (about 5'4" in height), he's often paired with statuesque actresses (plus the women he's been most linked with - Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes - are all taller than him).
  • Two couples in the world of voice acting fit this trope: Travis Willingham (6'4") and Laura Bailey (5'2"), and Troy Baker (6'3") and his second wife Pamela (5'3").
  • Dan Reynolds (6'3") and his wife, Aja Volkman.
  • As their Stage Names would suggest, Lil' Kim (4'11"/150 cm) and The Notorious B.I.G. (6'2"/188 cm).

Alternative Title(s): One Head Shorter


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