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Resized Vocals

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For reasons that are rarely made apparent, if a character ends up undergoing some dramatic change in size over the course of the story, chances are that their voice might change along with them.

Essentially an extreme form of Voices Are Not Mental, the most common variation of this features shrunken characters speaking in Helium Speech. Occasionally, the process will be inverted by featuring growing characters with deeper voices, overlapping with Power Makes Your Voice Deep. However, there are rarer and stranger variations across fiction, some of them featuring similar shifts in pitch even when transforming into things that shouldn't be able to speak at all.

Now, there is some Truth in Television here: smaller vocal cords vibrate faster and sound has less room to travel in a shorter person, creating a higher pitch than longer vocal cords, which vibrate slower and are longer, allowing sound more room to travel and creating a lower pitch. Of course, there are other factors that affect vocal pitch than just height, and the results probably aren't going to sound like you've just inhaled a lungful of helium.

Contrast Heavy Voice for a character having a deeper voice after gaining weight.

May overlap with Dying Vocal Change if the transformation process ends up being fatal.


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    Asian Animation 
  • Stitch & Ai: When Stitch becomes enormous after his city-destroying mechanism kicks in, his voice gets deeper and more gravelly the more he grows.

    Film — Animated 
  • After Scrooge is shrunk by the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come in A Christmas Carol (2009), he gains a high squeaky voice, which adds another layer of humorous futility to his attempts to fire the vision of his housekeeper after witnessing her selling his stuff.
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, Yzma gets hit with one of her own transformation potions. At first, she laughs sinisterly in a low booming voice, making it seem like she's transformed into a giant monster; but then the smoke clears and she is a tiny kitten. When she first speaks after transforming, she notes that her voice has become high and squeaky.
    Yzma: Looking for this? [Beat] Is that my voice? [clears throat] Is that my voice? Oh, well.
  • In FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Hexxus initially takes the form of a tiny blob of brown sludge that can can only gurgle incoherently and chuckle to itself in a high-pitched voice, but as he feeds on the Leveler's exhaust, he grows progressively larger with every feeding, his voice getting deeper and more comprehensible along the way. In his second scene, he absorbs enough power from the smokestacks to grow absolutely enormous, causing his voice to deepen to a low, basso growl... and then when he has to shrink in order to sneak through a ventilation duct, his voice rises to a higher, reedier tone of voice. After converting himself into a gaseous wraith, he upgrades to using Tim Curry's natural singing voice... up until he accesses the furnace, allowing him to expand into a huge anthropomorphic cloud of evil that practically dwarfs the Leveler, his Evil Laugh plunging to a satanic roar in the process.
  • The Little Mermaid (1989): Once the sea witch Ursula obtains the king's trident, she uses it grow to an enormous size. Her normal voice is lower feminine, about right for a cathouse madam; her giant size lowers her pitch half an octave or more. It's almost masculine to hear her exult: "The waves obey my every whim. The sea and all its spoils bow to my power!"
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In "Ali Baba Bunny", Daffy Duck is shrunken to a few inches tall by a (justifiably) enraged genie, whereupon Daffy's voice becomes high-pitched with an almost chipmunk-like timbre.
    • In "Long-Haired Hare", Bugs Bunny decides to wreak havoc on opera tenor Giovanni Jones. One prank involves prepping the man to go on stage with some throat spray laced with bitter alum powder. As the tenor begins singing "Figaro!" the alum kicks in, shrinking his head by degrees until it's the size of a plum. His Figaros successively pitch upward as his head size scales downward, to the point where this tenor would fit right in with Alvin and the Chipmunks.
    • A similar head-shrinking gag was done a year earlier with Sylvester the Cat in Back Alley Oproar.
    • In "Rabbit Rampage", an off-screen animator torments Bugs by erasing his head, then painting a pumpkin head, and when Bugs protests, he repaints his true head on a much smaller scale. Bugs doesn't notice the change until he tries to eat his carrot, which is now too big for his mouth... whereupon he realizes that his voice is now high-pitched.
  • Onward: Ian accidentally shrinks Barley with a spell, which gives him a helium-pitched voice.
  • Early in the film adaptation of Paprika, Dr. Shima is driven insane by the Big Bad and assimilated into the Parade making its way across the Dream Land. Fortunately, Paprika is able to awaken him from the nightmare by melting into his body, causing him to swell up like a balloon, his voice getting progressively deeper and deeper as he does so until he's become a skyscraper-sized giant mumbling in surprise with a comically deep voice. Then he explodes and wakes up.
  • In the finale of Rock-A-Doodle, the Grand Duke of Owls is defeated by Chanticleer and inexplicably shrunk to the size of a shrew; in the process, his voice is reduced to a childish, near-incomprehensible squeak.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie: True to the video games (as detailed in the "Video Games" folder), the effects of the Mini Mushroom leave the user's vocals higher-pitched than usual. This includes Bowser, although he does get a Double Subversion during The Stinger: he's seen in the mid-credits scene singing a somber reprise of his Villain Love Song with his vocals seemingly back to normal, but then the camera zooms out and it turns out he's still shrunk and trapped in a bird cage, with his voice still sounding squeaky.
  • Turning Red: When Ming turns into a red panda, she becomes even taller than Toronto's SkyDome, resulting in her voice becoming noticeably deeper as well.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Beetlejuice: Having ended up stuck in the afterlife's waiting room following his defeat in the finale, Beetlejuice makes the mistake of stealing the number from a Witch Doctor, who immediately retaliates by shrinking his head to the size of a cue ball; as he does so, Beetlejuice's voice gets progressively higher until he's squeaking like a chipmunk.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: When Mike Teavee uses Willy Wonka's television chocolate machine in the belief that Wonka's created a teleporter, he ends up emerging at the other end of the machine as a miniaturized version of himself with a high-pitched squeaky voice.
  • The Fly (1958): At the climax, the transformed fly with a human head has an extremely high-pitched voice as it screams for help. Of course, Artistic License – Biology comes into play as the fly's head may have been a human's, but the fly's body didn't have the type of lungs that would move air over the human vocal cords. But the fact that it was trapped in a spiderweb and about to be eaten by the spider probably provided a lot of motivation for him to defy biology.
  • In Freaked, George Ramirez's voice becomes a barely intelligible high-pitched shriek as he shrinks in size while talking about the apparent safety of the toxic fertilizer Zygrot 24.
  • Hellboy (2019): Once Nimue decides that Gruagach has outlived his usefulness, she magically shrinks the formerly imposing boar man down to his original size, leaving him helplessly shrieking in a now high-pitched voice, "This ain't fair! Foock you, Hellboy!" These double as Profane Last Words, because seconds after, Gruagach explodes from Nimue shrinking him.
  • Discussed in Justice League of America. Ray Palmer/The Atom refers to resized vocal cords as being one of the drawbacks of his superpower. He finds it especially bothersome in instances where he returns to normal size, but his vocal cords don't regrow at the same rate, causing him to still sound like a chipmunk when he tries to speak.
  • In the climax of Mars Attacks!, General Decker makes a very spirited attempt to take out the Martian Leader in person, despite only being armed with a pair of pistols and yet another enraged speech. The Martian Leader retorts by using one of his weapons to shrink the general to the size of an insect, resulting in Decker's voice rising to helium pitch in mid-rant.
  • Early in Men in Black, Jeebs is shot in the head by Agent K in order to make a point; immediately, Jeebs sprouts another head from the stump, but until the new head is fully-grown, he's left speaking at a helium pitch that slowly deepens back into his normal voice. This crops up twice in Men in Black II, to the point that Jeebs is last seen grumbling in chipmunk-speech that getting shot in the head has ruined his tastebuds.
  • Sky High (2005): When Magenta turns into a guinea pig, her voice becomes high and squeaky.
  • In The Tooth Fairy, when Derek uses shrinking gel for the first time to help retrieve a child's loose tooth undetected, his voice gets very high-pitched as he shrinks down to size.
  • Zig-zagged in The Witches (1990): after being transformed into mice, Luke and Bruno can still use their ordinary speaking voices, as was the case in the original book. In the finale, the same goes for the chef witch when she's exposed to Formula 86. However, when the Grand High Witch herself is finally overwhelmed by the potion and begins to visibly transform, her voice sounds increasingly high-pitched, until she finally shrinks down into a hideous-looking mouse that can only squeak incoherently. Consequently, she can't be understood and is assumed to be just another unwanted mouse in the dining room, leading to her being hacked to death by Mr. Stringer.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: When Mike Teavee gets shrunk to an inch high in the Television Room, his voice is described as sounding like the squeak of a mouse.
  • Monster Blood III: In the final chapter, Evan Ross wakes up in his bed and discovers that his cousin's formula has worked too well and that he's shrunk to the size of a mouse. He is described as now speaking in a high-pitched voice.
  • Averted and commented on in The Witches. When the hero and Bruno are turned into mice, the author comments that you would expect them to have squeaky voices; but actually, they talk exactly as they did before.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Termite of The Boys (2019) is essentially a Sizeshifter a la Ant-Man; however, when he shrinks himself, his voice rises to a helium squeak, making some of his more profane lines even funnier in the process.
    [in chipmunk-speak] FUCKING BITCH!
  • Red Dwarf:
    • In "D.N.A.", Lister tries to get Holly to use a DNA modification machine to turn him into a superhuman so that he can destroy a "mutton vindaloo beast". Unfortunately, he is instead made twelve inches tall, with his voice becoming squeaky and high-pitched to match — accomplished by Craig Charles putting on a silly voice.
    • In "Meltdown", Rimmer's hologram body is temporarily deactivated, leaving him as nothing but the miniscule light bee that normally projects him. He can still speak in this state (allowing him to express horror at Lister cheekily mock-eating the light bee and spitting it out), but his voice sounds tinny and helium-pitched.
  • Sesame Street: In one episode, Cookie Monster says that the smallest one should get a cookie. He proceeds to inexplicably shrink to a minuscule size and he says, "I do anything for cookie" in a squeaky voice.
  • Strange Hill High: In "Big Mouth Strikes Again", Mitchell and Becky meet the Tooth Fairy, who is very small and speaks in a high-pitched voice. They can't contain their giggles because of it (much to his annoyance), so the Tooth Fairy just makes himself bigger and gets a deeper (yet still feminine) voice.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: In "Punch Lines", Gabrielle gets shrunk to just a few inches high whereupon she speaks in a high-pitched voice.


    Video Games 
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, units hit by an Allied Shrink Ray will have high-pitched voices until they return to normal size.
  • In the finale of Day of the Tentacle, Future Purple Tentacle gets extremely trigger-happy with his newly completed Shrink Ray, and with a little persuasion can be talked into using it on Dr. Fred... only for the bolt to rebound off Dr. Fred's ever-present head mirror, hitting Purple and shrinking him to the size of a mouse. Immediately, his voice is reduced to a helium squeak — even though Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne have all been shrunken at least twice and have never demonstrated such a voice.
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: In Chapter 6-4, Writhing Shadow, Laharl is challenged by a gigantic demon (all you see of him is his foot, implying he's easily Kaiju-size), whom speaks in a deep, intimidating voice. When he uses the Doppelganger spell to properly adjust himself to his opponents' heights, he splits into ten smaller copies of himself, all of whom have a noticeably higher-pitched voice.
  • In MediEvil, optional content in the "Enchanted Earth" level gives Sir Dan the opportunity to accept a mission from the local witch: retrieve seven pieces of amber from a nearby ant's nest in exchange for a unique magical weapon. Unfortunately, the witch doesn't tell Dan that he'll have to be shrunk down to the size of an insect in order to begin the mission, leaving the gnat-sized Sir Dan impotently squeaking at her in helium-voiced rage.
  • Halfway through MediEvil 2, Sir Dan learns how to remove his skull and mount it on the disembodied hands wandering around London, giving him the opportunity to access secret areas. As Dan-Hand, the usual grunts he vocalizes when jumping or hurt are a lot higher-pitched than usual... even though he technically hasn't shrunk and his skull is the same size as always.
  • In the Moshi Monsters mission "Lost in Hong Bong", when Captain Buck is shrunk, his voice sounds like he's been inhaling helium.
  • New Super Mario Bros.: When Mario shrinks from using a Mini Mushroom, his voice clips are much squeakier and more higher-pitched.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Being shrunk and enlarged are common status effects, with matching pitch changes to the Voice Grunting.
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield: When a Pokemon Dynamaxes/Gigantamaxes, its cry deepens considerably.
  • One mod for Resident Evil Village shrinks Lady Dimitrescu down to a few inches, complete with chipmunk voice.
  • Psychonauts: In the finale of the visit to Gloria's Theatre, defeating Jasper Rolls causes him to shrink to the point that he's forced to swap his balcony for a popcorn bucket, reducing his voice to a helium squeak. For good measure, with Gloria no longer listening to her inner critic, Jasper continues shrinking from lack of power, his voice growing higher and higher as he issues progressively more childish criticisms until he presumably vanishes altogether.
  • Sly Cooper:
  • Super Smash Bros.: Touching the Mushroom or Poison Mushroom items will not only increase or decrease the size of characters respectively, but they will also change the pitch of their voices to reflect their size changes as well. Giant characters will sound deep while tiny characters will have high-pitched voices.
  • Team Fortress 2: Whenever Merasmus casts a spell that alters the heads of the mercs, their voices change depending on whether their heads shrink or grow.
  • Warcraft: The Demon Hunter's Metamorphosis spell temporarily turns him into a towering pitch-black demon, using the same voice lines but much deeper.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Strong Bad Email episode "unnatural", Bubs somehow becomes giant, with a voice too deep to understand, and chaos results at the emergency town meeting as people try to figure out how to stop him. After recording his roars, playing them back at high speed and finding out that Bubs is warning not to eat his chicken wings, Strong Sad whips up an antidote of what he says is "the culinary opposite of chicken wings", a bowl of Kashi. It worksnote , and as he gradually returns to normal, so does his voice.

    Web Videos 
  • Moviebob: In his review of Downsizing, Moviebob cuts away from himself quite a times to show still images from the movie. Each time it cuts back to him, he's actually gotten smaller. It doesn't become apparent until quite a bit into the review, and by the middle, the pitch in his voice starts to raise.
  • Vsauce has tackled this trope in their videos about getting shrunk and becoming giant. In the former, Jake got accidentally shrunk to the size of an ant by Paul Rudd, and says that an average man shrunken that small might be talking at a frequency of 12-26 kHz, near the top end of the spectrum of human hearing and what is allowable in digital audio recordings for video due to the Nyquist limit, as demonstrated afterwards by actual speech at that range. The latter video cites this trope as one of the few upsides to becoming a giant comparable in height to The BFG at 24 feet tall, with the pitch of one's voice going down by a factor of 4, near the lower end of the human hearing range, however one's pets probably won't hear their giant owner's voice due to it being below the hearing range of dogs and cats.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs:
    • In "Spell-Bound", Pinky and the Brain are menaced by a Wicked Witch so they use their magic wand to shrink her to the size of a lima bean. After she's been shrunk, she speaks in a voice so high pitched it's incomprehensible.
    • In "Turkey Jerky", the villain is Miles Standish, a pilgrim who is trying to hunt the Warner's pet turkey for Thanksgiving. At one point, they shrink him down to an inch high, and as a result, he speaks in a high-pitched voice.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    • In the cold opening to "Interfection", Dr. Weird has somehow had his head shrunken down to the size of a tennis ball inside his helmet; in a helium-pitched voice, he proclaims, "Gentlemen, turn it on!" A bemused Steve does so, and Weird's head begins growing back to normal size, bringing his voice along with it... but unfortunately, his head starts getting a little too big, resulting in his voice deepening rapidly as he yells at Steven to turn the machine off.
    • In the episode "Unremarkable Voyage", Frylock constructs a shrink ray for the purpose of making giant microchips and shrinking them down. When Meatwad eats the chip, Frylock has Shake shrink him so he can go inside Meatwad to get it; however, Shake just laughs at Frylock's now high-pitched voice, then makes him fight a shrunken Carl — who is also sporting a high-pitched voice. Later, when Frylock, Carl, and Meatwad enter Shake's head by way of revenge, Meatwad's voice has also gone high-pitched.
  • Arthur: In the cold opening of "DW's Very Bad Mood", a giant version of DW rampages through the city and speaks in a deep, reverberating voice.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Ben's voice changes according to the alien he turns into; big aliens like Four Arms, Humungosaur and the gigantic Ultraman Copy Way Big all have deep baritone voices, while turning into Nanomech reduces Ben's voice to a high-pitched squeak. Kevin comments that it's impossible to take Ben seriously with a such a voice; ironically, in "Inspector #13", he ends up getting turned into Nanomech and gains the same little voice.
  • Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island: After having a spell cast on him that makes him large in "Hocus Pocus Lack of Focus", Coconut Fred goes to tell Mr. Greenrind that he has won a prize for the talent show, his voice distorted to sound deeper.
  • Clone High: Lampshaded in the episode "Raisin The Stakes: A Rock Opera in Three Acts". When Gandhi goes on a mystical journey thanks to seriously tripping balls on raisins, he's given some trail mix which he's ordered to eat. When he does, he starts shrinking.
    Gandhi: Wow, I'm shrinking! And somehow my clothes are also shrinking in proportion! And my voice is getting higher in proportion to the shrinkage of my clothes and my body!
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "X Marks The Ed", the Eds get Rolf to provide a home remedy to get rid of a pimple that Eddy got. The end result is Eddy's heading shrinking with his voice also getting pitched up.
  • Family Guy: In "Big Trouble in Little Quahog", Stewie is angry with Brian for deliberately putting a dog whistle where he can't reach, so he shrinks Brian with a ray gun. Brian immediately gets a chipmunk-esque voice.
  • Final Space: When Avocato is bitten by a butterfly-like insect, he shrinks down, and as a result his voice pitches up, though not as high-pitched as other examples.
  • Futurama: In "Fry and the Slurm Factory", Glermo (a sapient slug creature) gets kicked by Leela and immediately splits into two identical, smaller versions of himself. When those two versions speak, their voices are higher pitched and nasally.
  • The Inspector: In "Transylvania Mania", when the vampire shrinks his henchman, the henchman's voice is higher pitched. His voice regains its normal lower pitch when he's enlarged again.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series:
    • In "Short Stuff", a growth ray causes Shortstuff (one of the smallest experiments, hence his name) to become gigantic, and he roars in a deep, gravelly voice.
    • In "Ploot", the eponymous Ploot is a tiny alien with a rather squeaky voice (he also makes dolphin noises). When he becomes enormous as a result of collecting garbage, he roars and later coughs in a monstrous, gravelly voice.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Bridle Gossip", Applejack speaks in a very squeaky voice after the Poison Joke plants cause her to shrink.
    • In "Secret of My Excess", Spike gets a deeper voice when he becomes taller as a result of Rapid Aging. The taller he gets, the more his voice deepens, until eventually, he only speaks in roaring as he becomes a gigantic adult dragon.
  • Noveltoons: A Martian visiting Earth uses his ray gun to shrink a bothersome traffic cop. After he's been reduced to the size of a mouse the tiny patrolman speaks with a high-pitched voice.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In the episode "Nano of the North", the girls have to be shrunken to deal with the nanobots that are about to eat Townville, only to find themselves with a bit of a communications issue: when Blossom tries to speak with Professor Utonium, she can only do so in a squeaky, unintelligible voice, while Utonium's response is so loud that it unwittingly hurts the girls' ears in the process.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • In the B-plot of "The Whirly-Dirly Conspiracy", a heartbroken Summer attempts to rekindle her relationship with her boyfriend by using one of Rick's machines to enlarge her breasts, only to end up going overboard and accidentally turning herself into a giant; in the process, she acquires an incredibly deep voice. Beth's attempts to fix the problem only end up turning Summer inside-out, altering her voice even further to the point of rendering her completely incoherent.
    • In "The Rickchurian Candidate", an ongoing feud between Rick and the President of the United States eventually leads to the POTUS taking a shrinking pill so he can negotiate with the Mega-Gargantuans; on top of shrinking out of his clothes, the President also ends up acquiring a very embarrassing case of Helium Speech along the way, only adding to the humiliation.
  • Rugrats: In "Diapies and Dragons", Tommy shrinks to the size of a mouse after a dragon drops an egg on him and he starts to speak in a higher-pitched voice.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Home Sweet Pineapple", nematodes drink the juice from SpongeBob's pineapple house, causing it and its furnishings to shrink. The foghorn alarm clock is sounding as it shrinks, the foghorn sounding higher and higher the smaller it gets. When SpongeBob calls Squidward for help, the phone starts shrinking, and from Squidward's end it sounds like SpongeBob's voice is getting higher and higher.
    • In "Big Pink Loser", SpongeBob makes himself smaller while explaining to Patrick that he should try something smaller to win an award, ending with him saying "The smallest you can think of" in a high, squeaky voice.
    • Plankton usually has a deep voice to contrast his small size while complementing his massive ego. Sometimes, however, when others hear him talk, his rants will be heard as sped-up, incoherent gibberish as a gag (like in "Walking Small" when he tries to get people to leave the beach so he can build another Chum Bucket).
  • Vampirina: In "Pixie Problem", when Vee uses a shrinking spell on herself, Poppy, and Bridget, their voices become slightly higher-pitched.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: Shrinking down by using the Changing Chopsticks has the perk of making the user's voice higher pitched.


Video Example(s):


Guinea Pig Gal

Magenta's only power is the ability to turn into a guinea pig. A guinea pig still capable of human speech, but otherwise a normal guinea pig. During the climax, her power comes in handy when a small vent is the only way to reach the sabotaged anti-gravity generator.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman

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