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Rodents of Unusual Size

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Hey there, big mousey...

Buttercup: What about the R.O.U.S.s?
Westley: Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.
R.O.U.S.: RAGH! [attacks Westley]

Are they so named because they are unusually small, you ask? Heh, heh, heh...

Rats are probably the most formidable and tenacious mammals in existence, being blessed with swift feet, durable incisors, impressive cunning and intelligence, numbers, and an all-consuming sense of self-preservation. The only thing they lack, it seems, is physical size and powernote . Then, given that final boon, they would surely transform from shadow-scurrying scavengers to feared, flesh-rending predators that would have leather-clad barbarians knocking their knees together (but at least they're easier to hit than life-sized rats).

Incidentally, if you don't find the regular-sized rats particularly worrisome already, then we hasten to point out that they are also world-class swimmers, can hold their breath more than long enough to reach the other end of the pipe leading to your toilet and have hinged ribcages allowing them to fit through any sewer pipe. (Thankfully, giant rats can rarely fit through the plumbing.)

(In real life, however, the sheer successfulness of rodents can in fact be attributed to their small size. Being small, they can adapt to a wider range of niches, are able to breed more quickly, and need far less food to survive. If they were as large as most big mammals, they'd be little, if any, more successful.)

Should you encounter these furry freaks, your best defense is to have a Mega Neko or a War Elephant by your side (or a Canis Major in case of giant squirrels). If in a video game, they're likely to be involved in a Rat Stomp. Occasionally, they're conscripted to provide Hamster-Wheel Power for large machines or vehicles. They are usually aggressive and dangerous animals.

At its most extreme, this trope can overlap with Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever. When rodents are not only unnaturally large but also walk upright (at least some of the time) and have human-like intelligence, you have Rat Men. While rats are the most common rodents to show up as giants, others such as mice, squirrels, hamsters and such may also show up for variety or for added features (such as a giant squirrel being also a hyperactive troublemaker or a giant hamster an adept burrower). If the rodents have a high level of intelligence and resourcefulness then Resourceful Rodent can apply.

If you have a pet rat (or any other pet rodent) of such size, chances are it'll be a Gentle Giant, if not Cute Giant.

A Sub-Trope of Animals Not to Scale, Dire Beast. In more cartoonish works, this may overlap with Mocky Mouse.


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  • In an ad for Doritos, a man puts a piece of an extra-cheesy dorito on a mousetrap, then sits down to eat some more. A giant mouse (well, a man in a mouse suit) bursts out of the wall and tackles him, presumably not being satisfied with the tiny tip of one chip.
  • Several Kia car commercials feature giant hamsters, sometimes complete with giant hamster wheels.
  • Orkin's series of Giant Creepy Crawly extermination-service ads now includes one in which a family comes home from a trip to find scruffy human-sized rats hanging out in their living room.
  • There's a commercial for extra-durable work pants which demonstrates their toughness with a giant cartoon beaver, which loses its teeth trying to bite through a pair.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Galaxy Angel had this alien hamster thing which they found in the ruins of a once great city.
  • Overlord (2012): The Wise King of the Forest is very similar to a hamster, with the exception of a long scaled tail that resembles a snake's more than anything. She is also enormous enough for a human to ride her like a horse, and powerful enough to be worshiped as a legendary beast (though no match against our ridiculous main character).
  • Pokémon: The Series: One episode has a giant robot Pikachu. Pikachu himself is also large for a rodent — he stands at sixteen inches (41 centimeters) tall. To say nothing of Gigantamax Pikachu...
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has a monster outright called "Giant Rat". Then there are Nimble Momonga, which is just a very large flying squirrel, and a bunch of other more pathetic low-level monsters, like Beaver Warrior, which looks more like a rat than a beaver, but is a rodent either way. Some, like the Giant Rat, Nimble Momonga, and Super Nimble Mega Hamster, can be useful in swarm tactics.

    Comic Books 
  • Beasts of Burden has a Rat king leading the sewer rats, and his general is a rat larger than the two cats who fight him.
  • In Bone, the Giant Rat Creatures, despite that they are drawn without snouts and that they cut off their rat tails as a cultural ritual.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: In one story, Donald and his cousin Fethry team up to fight giant rat ghosts. Unusually big rodents shouldn't be a foreign concept to Donald, considering whom he used to co-star with early on his animated career...
  • One supporting character in Elementals is a wererat who has a crush on Fathom.
  • The Judge Dredd universe has these. After someone examines the meat from one, they're farmed in place of the regular rats which used to be farmed.
  • The climax of Marvel Two-in-One #6 has the Thing and Doctor Strange fight a giant rat.
  • In Issue #4 of The Pitiful Human Lizard, two of The Majestic Rat's numbers are kidnapped and experimented on by the same doctors who gave Human-Lizard his Healing Factor. They end up as man-sized monster rodents with the ability to spit bile.
  • The Sandman (1989): Neil Gaiman's gag biography in The Season of Mists denies that he was found outside a London sewer unable to say anything more than "Powerful big rats, gentlemen". And then goes on to deny that he had a vestigial tail, played a part in the obviously fictional negotiations between Londons Above and Below, or that there were any tooth marks on the bones.
  • The Spider-Man villain Vermin is a humanoid rat.
  • Superman: Distant Fires is an Elseworld story in which the world comes to an end, non-superpowered humans have become feral, and rats and housecats are now the size of panthers.

    Comic Strips 
  • A Curtis strip had his little brother Barry worrying about some drug dealers trying to set up shop in an abandoned building across the street from their home. Curtis is unfazed because, as he explains to his brother, there are rats the size of collies living in that building. Cue off-panel screams.
  • This is an occasional gag in Garfield. Sometimes, it's Garfield pretending to be a mouse; sometimes, Garfield teases a mouse which turns out to be larger than normal. Then there's the Training Mouse from the arc in which Garfield gets locked out and finds his way back to where Mama Leoni's used to be. There's also a subversion in one strip when it only looks like a really tall mouse — the shot from behind the mouse hole shows three mice standing on each other's shoulders.
  • Prince Raffendorf from SnarfQuest was a human prince before being turned into a giant humanoid rat by an Evil Sorcerer.
  • In an early issue of What's New? with Phil and Dixie, Phil distracts a giant monster rat by throwing a live cat at it.

    Fan Works 
  • Name dropped in First Knight, except the rat in question is only three feet tall and weights about sixty five pounds. When Buffy questions this, the others point out for a rat, that is giant.
  • In Prehistoric Park Reimagined, one of the animals rescued alongside the smilodon populator in Red in Tooth and Claw is the josephoartigasia. Naturally, a reasonable degree of attention is drawn in the narrative to their respectably large size, with the largest amongst the group rescued being described as about the size of a hippo and one of the rescue team members present explicitly referring to the genus as '[the largest] rodent that ever lived'.
  • In The Steep Path Ahead Saito and Luise go on a Rat Stomp to earn money only for the rats to be as large as they are because they had gotten involved in some Alchemy experiments.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Fantastic Mr. Fox, Rat is the tallest of the anthropomorphic animals; his height towers the title character, who's a red fox. Do the math and you'll realize that he's gotta be one big rat.
  • Sandy Cheeks from The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water is a rare heroic example. Usually she's an anthropomorphic squirrel no bigger than someone's hand, but in her superhero form "The Rodent", she, as well as being very realistic looking, is about twice the size of a human.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The film Altered Species (a.k.a. Rodentz) has a giant lab rat released by protesters who thanks them by trying to eat them all.
  • The title dollhouse in Amityville Dollhouse transforms a regular mouse into a giant one. It dies when the dollhouse is tipped over.
  • In Ant-Man, Scott's perilous first experience being shrunken includes a brief run-in with a normal-sized mouse, which pursues him until it runs into a trap.
  • The bizarre movie Black Moon featured a truly massive, cat-sized rat (probably an African Pouched Rat) that could talk.
  • The formerly human rat monster in Bottom Feeder.
  • The Squogers from the 2007 film adaptation of Bridge to Terabithia are shaggy black-furred warrior-squirrels the size of large dogs, which Jesse and Leslie imagine as minions of the Dark Master.
  • In Creepozoids, Jake and Blanca are both attacked by giant mutated rats living in the old laboratory, with one of them attempting to crawl underneath Blanca's shirt.
  • Bunch of rats in Deadly Eyes stow away in a freighter filled with contaminated grain. Once the ship reaches its destination, their diet has transformed them into aggressive mankillers the size of small dogs.
  • Dr. Wai in "The Scripture with No Words": One scene in a mausoleum had a rat being exposed to the titular enchanted scriptures, and subsequently growing giant-sized and attacking Dr. Wai.
  • The movie adaptation of H. G. Wells' The Food of the Gods features giant rats besieging some people in a cabin. Or rather, it features normal rats romping around a miniature set, and a few prop rat-heads that make "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" look like Aliens by comparison.
  • In Joker (2019), a news report on Gotham's worsening garbage crisis and infrastructural deterioration mentions "super-rats" infesting the city. While they don't affect the film's story in any way, they do appear briefly in some background shots, where they seem to be about the size of house cats.
  • One appears in the '60s B sci-fi/horror flick Journey to the Seventh Planet. It has no hair, and one eye.
  • The Killer Shrews features giant shrews. (Well, giant for shrews, at least. They're played by German-shepherd-sized dogs in cheap prosthetics.) Technically, of course, shrews aren't rodents at all. Close enough for this trope's purposes, though.
  • Mulberry Street has a virus break out in Manhattan, one that causes people to mutate into homicidal rat creatures.
  • The Cantina Scene in A New Hope features one, and the Star Wars Expanded Universe comes complete with a wide variety of mostly large rodents, sentient and non. Later in the film, Luke describes "womp rats" as being "not much bigger than two meters."
  • Night at the Museum: Although it's normal-sized, the squirrel in the second movie plays this trope straight from inch-tall Octavius's POV.
  • Nightmares has a segment in which a rat the size of an SUV terrorized a suburban family.
  • In Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, the Professor accidentally creates a giant hamster.
  • Of Unknown Origin is a surprisingly good movie about a New Yorker who's terrorized by one of these. It's not a mutant. It's not an alien or magical. It's just a big, mean, nasty, and EXTREMELY determined Rattus norvegicus, which figures his apartment is its territory.
  • Named after the R.O.U.S. from The Princess Bride. (When Wesley tells Buttercup that he thinks they don't exist - see the quote above - he's lying to convince her to calm down. He had seen the monsters clearly a few minutes earlier.)
  • The Italian movie Quella Villa in Fondo al Parco, a.k.a. The Ratman, has a genetically engineered rat-human hybrid wreaking havoc.
  • Rats: Night of Terror is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the rescuing men in the radiation suits take off their gas masks to reveal that...well you know that they ain't gonna be human on this trope page! Granted they might be a heroic version as they did rescue the survivors from the feral plague rats.
  • The first segment of Trilogy of Terror II, "The Graveyard Rats", has eponymous rats that are big as dogs and have a taste for human flesh.
  • Tyranno's Claw have a gigantic, man-sized rodent menacing the heroes at one point. It was preceded by a Peekaboo Corpse when the female lead stumbles over a maggot-covered body, and then they see more bodies nearby and realize they're in the home of a gigantic prehistoric rat.
  • In the remake of Willard, the role of Ben was played by a Gambian pouched rat, making him far bigger than the rest of Willard's colony.

  • After Man: A Zoology of the Future posits a world 50 million years hence where carnivores have gone extinct in much of the world and many ungulates have as well, letting rodents evolve to fill the niches left open and become ubiquitous members of the smaller megafauna.
    • Most notably, rats are the dominant predators of the new world, and many species have evolved to possess the sizes and dispositions of wolves, large cats and polar bears.
    • Outside of the predator rats, the desert leaper is a kangaroo-like creature around three meters long and the mud-gulper reaches the size of a hippo.
    • Rodents in South America didn't turn predatory since carnivorans still survived there, but did evolve into larger forms filling the niches of antelopes and other smaller ungulates.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front briefly mentions "corpse" rats, which are basically rats that have gotten huge and fat by eating the corpses of dead soldiers. When the men aren't making war on the enemy they are making war on the rats.
  • Book of Brownies has giant rodents in the land of giants. They are big enough as it is, but considering the three protagonists are brownies who's typically smaller than human beings...
  • In The Borrible Trilogy, the race of Rumbles are described as rat-like, and are the size of human children. A Take That! to The Wombles? Surely not.
  • The children's novels The Castle in the Attic and The Battle for the Castle, by Elizabeth Winthrop, are about a kid with a magical miniature castle. Through use of a magic token, he can become small enough to enter the castle—and the entire medieval world beyond it. Battle features a battle with giant rats, which makes sense if you think about it, since the rats in the attic don't have magic tokens...
  • The Chronicles of Narnia:
    • Reepicheep (and the other Talking Mice), who is described to be two feet tall. And he knows no fear.
    • The squirrels too. For some reason, all the Talking Animals in Narnia that would be smallest in our world are slightly larger there, while the biggest ones (like elephants) are slightly smaller. This is lampshaded in The Magician's Nephew.
    • Given that even Peter could enter their home with ease, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver must've been quite a bit bigger than normal as well.
  • In Death Warmed Over, the zombie foreman of a garbage dump has giant rat pets that act like dogs.
  • Discworld:
  • The average rat in Domina is about the size of a small dog. That's what happens when you let mad scientists play with a Bio-Augmentation device.
  • In the Dred Chronicles, there are mutant rats on the Prison Ship Perdition — it's noted that the adults are now too big to fit in the ducts which people use.
  • Technically true in Wayne Barlowe's Expedition, in that environmental degradation on Earth has become so severe that the (ordinary) Norway rat is the largest wild animal left on the planet.
  • Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: The all-too-sapient rats in The Swords of Lankhmar are of standard size — until the right magic comes into play, late in the novel.
  • H. G. Wells' novel The Food of the Gods features giant rats, about the size of wolves, as part of the mutated ecology that the titular food's unleashed. Unfortunately for humans, the rats also have the carnivorous temperament of wolves and quickly become the dominant pack hunters in the hot zones.
  • The Future is Wild:
    • The theoretical Shagrat, sheep-sized at least.
    • The poggle, from 95 million years later, was a Rodent of Unusual Staying-power, having survived to be the last mammal on Earth... not that this did it much good...
  • Henry Kuttner's short story "The Graveyard Rats" involves giant rats serving as thralls to zombies in the tunnels beneath a cemetery.
  • The Graveyard School book Here Comes Santa Claws had sentient rats the size of reindeer that could stand upright. Their names are Bomber and Basher.
  • In the second part of Gulliver's Travels, the titular hero is woken up by two rats on his first night in Brobdingnag. He notes it is a good thing he went to sleep with his sword, otherwise he would have been eaten alive.
  • The Lords of Creation: In the second book, In the Courts of the Crimson Kings, when the protagonist is rescued from a prison, his Martian rescuer warns him that the tunnels under Olympus Mons are inhabited by all manner of unpleasant creatures including rodents of unusual size. They turn out to be thousands of tiny rodents that swarm like army ants.
  • Max & the Midknights: When the Midknights decide to go through a mountain cave, they find themselves having to deal with rats the size of a human being with bat wings. When the battle starts, though, the rats flee soon after because a large dragon shows up.
  • The only non-mutant human creatures seen in the future in Mindwarp are giant rodents the size of a capybara. It is hinted they are descended from rats.
  • Monster Blood II features a 10-foot-tall hamster.
  • Myth Adventures:
    • In Myth Alliances, a big rodent-like beast is seen pulling a cart on one of the visited dimensions.
    • In Myth-Taken Identity, the mall-rats are about the size of spaniels, while their boss Rattila is twice their size.
  • The Night Shift short story "Graveyard Shift" has a lot of rats of usual size... until you go down to the sub-basement, where there are not only rodents of unusual size, but they're mutated as well. Their "queen" is big enough to eat a man.
  • The Doormouse is a once-human businessman in the Nightside, who had himself changed into a giant bipedal mouse because he likes being cute and fuzzy. Not a dormouse; his name came about because he's in the business of renting out use of his Cool Gate collection.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four features enormous rats, apparently capable of chewing straight through a man's head. The Party uses them as a torture device on Winston in Room 101, knowing that Winston is terrified of rats.
  • The rats from The Nutcracker. Although, technically they were no bigger than the Nutcracker...
  • Parrish Plessis has canrats, rat-dog hybrids that are both vicious and intelligent. One of them, the Big One, is the size of a doberman.
  • In an in-'Verse example, the populace at large in Ratman's Notebooks start speculating about a human-sized man/rat hybrid on the loose after the Villain Protagonist begins using his trained Swarm of Rats to commit crimes. Amused, he plays along with these rumors by donning a rat mask on his later criminal forays.
  • While the eponymous rodents of Paul Zindel's Rats are generally of normal size, the book also features the Rat King (no, not that one), which is described as being even bigger than a capybara.
  • The James Herbert trilogy of novels: The Rats, Lair and Domain.
  • Redwall: In The Long Patrol, Big Bad Damug Warfang is a Greatrat, described as twice the size of a normal rat.
  • The novel Rodent Mutation by Lionel Fanthorpe (under the pseudonym "Bron Fane") involves giant beavers menacing mankind.
  • Sherlock Holmes once makes a passing mention of a case involving the giant rat of Sumatra, "a story for which the world is not yet prepared". Many, many pastiche and fanfic writers have picked up this reference over the years and based their own stories on it. Of all the "untold tales" of Sherlock Holmes, this is probably the one that's been told the most often.
  • The Lemming-Men of Yull from Toby Frost's Space Captain Smith books have armed and industrialized themselves, but still retain their love of jumping off cliffs.
  • Alan Dean Foster pulled the same pun as Nightside (see above) in his Spellsinger series, although the doormouse (majordomo in a brothel) was in fact a dormouse. (Spellsinger rodents are much larger than their Earth equivalents, even more so than in Narnia.)
  • The E13 sewers in Super Minion have really big rats.
    Tofu: Tiny fits in my hand, small can jump at your face from the floor, medium is this [roughly human-sized] dead one, and large hits its head on the sewer ceiling.
  • In the first Tales for the Midnight Hour book by J.B. Stamper, a story called Phobia had a woman with a fear of rats going through the worst night of her life in a city park after dark. She's stalked by a shadowy man who seems to be able to attract rats, and ends up hiding at one point in a rat's nest. Eventually, she learns the man is actually a humanoid rat, and even though she gets away, the incident has scarred her for life.
  • In Three Skeleton Key, an abandoned ship, infested with ferocious rats, makes landfall. A life-and-death struggle ensues as the three lighthouse keepers seek to save themselves from the hungry horde, who swarm over the lighthouse.
  • In Uncle Brucker the Rat Killer by Leslie Peter Wulff, while the vast majority of the rats are normal sized there are breeds that can reach 100 pounds. Uncle Brucker himself has an annual wrestling match with the so-called "Wrestling Rat" which weighs 80 pounds.
  • The Underland Chronicles has giant rats and mice as main characters, plus giant insects and bats....
  • In Warrior Cats, rats are basically just normal-sized rats, but they're much bigger to cats than they are to humans, and are fearsome and universally loathed. The authors also have joked that the badgers on the cover of Twilight look like Rodents of Unusual Size.
  • In the Wild Cards novel Fort Freak, Vincent "Ratboy" Marinelli is an effective member of the Department of Internal Affairs, a.k.a. the Rat Squad. He is a "Joker" with the shape of a giant (4-foot) brown rat. For a little more, see another wiki.
  • In Simon Hawke's The Wizard of Rue Morgue, Wyrdrune is ambushed by a rat the size of an elephant in the sewers under Paris.
  • Xanadu (Storyverse): In "Against Type", Nicodemus is transformed into a rat the size of a dog.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", Theatre Phantom Magnus Greel is using specially mutated giant rats to dispose of the bodies of his victims and to deter trespassers. Leela is nearly eaten by one. (The rats are generally considered a Special Effect Failure in actual execution though.)
  • In Grimm, the Reinigen are Wesen Rat Men. However, in "Rat King" it's revealed that some clans of Reinigen have the ability to Fusion Dance into a 20-foot tall rat called a Riesen Ratte or Rat King.
  • In the Land of the Giants episode "The Weird World", the little people encounter a giant gopher. Steve tries to scare it away with fire but ultimately kills it with a bow and arrow.
  • The Wilddeoren in Merlin (2008). Naked Mole Rats Of Unusual Size.
  • Monster Warriors: In "Ratblaster", a sanitation workers strike, a giant rat and Luke's monsterblasting weapon combine to test the Monster Warriors.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: In the Piranha Brothers sketch, Dinsdale Piranha is a notorious gangster, although he often had fears that he was being followed by a giant hedgehog, whom he referred to as Spiny Norman. At the end of the sketch, when the Piranhas escape prison, it turns out Norman is real, and would make infrequent appearances on the programme.
    Spiny Norman: Dinsdale?
  • The New Avengers: In the episode "Gnaws", an experimental isotopic fluid spilled down a drain causes a sewer rat to grow to gigantic size.
  • In the Night Gallery story "Nature of the Enemy", astronauts find a large metal apparatus on the Moon. Just as the staff at CapCom have realized it looks like a mousetrap, the landing party's transmission cuts out, then resumes to show an empty space helmet being inspected by a building-sized rat.
  • Sherman the Ginormouse, a white mouse the size of a two-story house, features in the opening sequence of the Odd Squad TV movie.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Back in the Red: Part 1", Red Dwarf has been built far too large and is returning to normal size. Starbug encounters a huge rat and ends flying into its backside, propelling it along.
  • In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, we hear the Quizmaster on the phone with an exterminator complaining that the rat in his apartment in the Other Realm is making long-distance calls on his phone and listening to his CDs without putting them back. (Whether he pays rent or not is not the point.) They are apparently unsuccessful since we meet the ROUS in another episode when he introduces himself as the Quizmaster's "roommate."
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "The Elevator", Roger and Will learn that their father's super food causes extreme growth when they find several dead giant rats in his factory, each bigger than the one before. They later find a giant cat, giant dog and a Giant Spider.
  • Ultraman Nexus has the Space Beast Nosferu (Nosferatu, get it?), a hideous hairless rodent-like creature with a spear-tipped Overly-Long Tongue and the ability to regenerate From a Single Cell.
  • SPG, the pet hamster of Vyvyan on The Young Ones, was usually played by a puppet the size of a guinea pig rather than the size of a real hamster. In one episode, he scarfed down an entire pot full of lentils and swelled up to volleyball size.

  • A biography of Die Ärzte is called "Ein überdimensionales Meerschwein frisst die Erde auf" ("A giant-size guinea pig eats Earth").note 
  • David Bowie's "Future Legend", the first track of Diamond Dogs:
    Fleas the size of rats sucked on rats the size of cats.
  • The last verse of Genesis's "All in a Mouse's Night" (on the Wind & Wuthering album) has a cat getting beaten up with one blow by a giant mouse.
  • Green Day had an album cover where a gigantic hamster was attacking society.
  • Parry Gripp's Hamizilla, about a hamster Kaiju who seeks vengeance on humanity in the year 2043.
  • The World War I song "The Quartermaster's Store" mentions "rats, rats, as big as bloody cats" (see also Real Life).
  • There's a New York punk band named Rats of Unusual Size.
  • The "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Radioactive Hamsters From a Planet Near Mars".

    Music Videos 

  • There's a Japanese legend called "The Boy Who Drew Cats", in which a city is plagued by a giant demonic rat. Which is eventually killed by the drawings of cats by the boy in the title. It's magical, okay?
  • Also from Japan, Tesso (Iron Rat), a former human noble with Jerkass, ungrateful parents who was cursed by a monk. He's a man-rat hybrid that raids the temples and the houses with a horde of smaller rats and devours everything in his path.

    Print Media 
  • The infamous "Moon Hoax", a series of articles in the 19th century New York Sun, included fanciful accounts of giant civilized beavers living on the moon.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the Jim Henson TV adaptation of Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas , the members of Emmet's band are all similarly-sized Muppets, even though one of them is a muskrat and should be less than a quarter as large as the other three (an otter, a porcupine and a beaver).
  • The UK puppet character Roland Rat, along with all the other rodent characters in the Roland Rat setting, is about four feet tall. And it's not just that the puppet is four feet tall, because he routinely interacts with humans.

  • The Dao of the Awakened has Hua Yin face a pack of dog-sized rats with a leader that can grow as large as a donkey. He survives by the skin of his teeth.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • "Dire rats" are a common low-level monster that often show up in caves and city sewers. They're scavengers who won't hesitate to attack live prey if they think they can get away with it and carry disease more often than not. There are also wererats, humanoids cursed to change into dire rats much like werewolves.
    • The Rylkar from Version 3.5's Monster Manual V are basically a nest of giant, evil rats who are connected via a hive mind to their harridan, the huge, disease and corruption-spreading, blind matriarch of the nest.
    • Spelljammer has Giant Space Hamsters, domesticated and bred by the Gadgeteer Genius Tinker Gnomes of Krynn, and coming in a wide variety of breeds including the "Miniature Giant Space Hamster", which is identical to an ordinary hamster. The good news is, the base breed is relatively docile and non-dangerous (so much as any creature the size of a brown bear can be non-dangerous). The bad news is, the breeders being Tinker Gnomes, sanity and common sense place no limits on the kind of breeds they make (breeding a carnivorous and flying variety was deemed "an understandable line of inquiry").
    • Previous editions of D&D also include giant beavers, giant porcupines, and giant carnivorous flying squirrels.
    • An adventure from the early days of Dungeon magazine shrinks the PCs down to the size of gaming miniatures, making ordinary rats appear enormous by comparison. Other humanoids, who'd previously fallen victim to the same magic, use rats as steeds.
  • The card game Girl Genius: The Works has several cards for "Doctor Monahan's Rats", rats bigger than a human even when walking on all fours. Another card, "Doctor Monahan's Diabolical Rat-stretching Engine", hints at how she makes them giant.
  • Magic: The Gathering has Rat as a creature type, from the classic Plague Rats that only the four-of-a-card deck construction limit really keeps from growing arbitrarily dangerous to the Kamigawa block's nezumi (rat-people complete with their own warriors, rogues, shamans and ninja).
    • Relentless Rats was designed and printed to allow people to enjoy plague rats without the four-of-rule, explicitly stating that it ignores it. Also is much better.
    • The original art of Giant growth featured a giant rat. Now it's a bear.
  • The New World of Darkness has Beshilu, one of the two iconic races of the bizarre half-spirit Hosts (the other being the Azlu). Like their cousins, they start off looking like normal rats, but quickly gain size and sentience as they eat real rats and lesser Beshilu. They then gradually gain the ability to control human corpses and eventually become humanoid, where they become far more social then other Hosts, forming tribal societies. That wouldn't be so bad-they don't prey on humans all that much-except that they also are driven by instinct to gnaw holes in the barrier between the Spirit World and the human one, which, given where they live (i.e., where normal rats live), quickly becomes a haven for disease-spirits, who of course, exist to spread disease. And like other hosts, killing them simply causes a large one to split into a swarm of rats, with one of the component rats containing his soul-which, if left alone, will eventually grow back to full size and power.
  • Pathfinder features the usual assortment of giant rats featured in most tabletops, with a welcome addition; the friendly, gentle capybara (see Real Life, below), also called the donkey rat, is available for use as a familiar by spellcasting classes. It has one of the largest rodents of any D&D setting with the goblin dog, which is a furless, disease-carrying rat so big that goblins ride it like a horse, and the shuln, a four-eyed naked mole rat twenty feet long.
  • In Shadowrun, devil rats are Awakened rodents that are about a meter long and weigh 8 kilos. They're nasty, vicious, disease-carrying, and (for some reason) bald all over.
  • An enemy from Vampire: The Masquerade is called a Ghoul Rat. It is the size of an Irish Wolfhound.
    • There is also a changing breed in the World of Darkness called the Ratkin, that are sometimes born as humans (that have the ratkin genetics) and contract a disease that, should they overcome it, turns them into wererats. They were given the charge by Gaia to help control the human population by eating their food and spreading disease.
      • These Ratkin can take a talent to be able to transform into a giant rat that can stand approx. 4 ft. at the shoulders.
  • Warhammer: Between the Winds of Magic and underground Warpstone deposits, it's no surprise that sewer rats can grow to the size of wolves. Some say there is even an entire race of Rat Men called the Skaven that walk upright and breed ferocious mutant rodents the size of ogres as enormous war beasts, some covered with spikes or with blades instead of arms or with multiple heads, but any credible scholar will dismiss these claims as the raving of lunatics.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Necromunda: The underhive of Necromunda's urban sprawls (and of most Hive Cities around the galaxy, most likely) is infested with these. And not just any giant rats — mutated giant rats. Some are spiky, some have two heads, some may be unnervingly intelligent, but they all are happy to eat lone humans if they think they can get away with it. Of course, humans are more than happy to return the favor. While the uppermost Hive Dwellers might feast on food exported from agri-worlds, the average Underhiver has a distinctly less pleasant variety of foodstuffs to choose between, and rat meat will serve just fine. The Underhive even hosts a faction known as the Ratskin Renegades, whose theme is based on First Nations plains tribes, with ROUS filling in for bison and horses.
    • The Hrud were originally depicted as upright, hooded rats, before their appearance was Retconned to some sort of squiddish thing.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has, uhm, Giant Rat... Pretty self-explanatory and pretty useful for a player who uses Earth-Attribute monsters.

  • In the Russian play The Inspector General by Nikolai Gogol, one character dreams of two "Rodents of Unusual Size" the night before receiving a letter that the inspector is secretly coming to his town — and since he is a corrupt Obstructive Bureaucrat, it's a very bad thing indeed.
    • At least one actor used to hold his fingers a few millimeters apart during the scene - it isn't specified the rodents are unusually big.

  • BIONICLE: the Kuma-Nui, a large combiner figure built of two already decent-sized models, was a rat. A rat with an extendable neck, gorilla-arms and tank-threads for legs that canonically was bigger than a vehicle.
  • Transformers: Rattrap, from Beast Wars, who turns into a rat the size of a person.
  • Giant plushes of rodents are always in demand.

    Video Games 
  • AdventureQuest has BURPS, which stands for "Big Ugly Rat Pests". They're Exactly What It Says on the Tin. And every other year there's a war fighting nothing BUT those guys. They also qualify as Goddamned Bats because they're a pain in the ass to hit, where as the bigger ones deal quite a bit of damage. At higher levels you'll still be fighting the guys, often in groups. It gets better—one of their variants is actually called the ROUS.
  • Giant rats infests the sewers in Apocalypse, as the first Giant Mook-variety of enemies.Their presence is justified by the sewers being located above the prison cell, which also doubles as a bio-laboratory — hence the chemicals being dumped in the sewers turning them into gigantic monsters.
  • Arcanum has rock rats and the larger granite rats.
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • Played with, as Minsc's pet rodent Boo is an unusually small "miniature giant space hamster".
    • Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance features groups of large rats in dungeons.
  • Played for laughs at the start of The Bard's Tale, where the eponymous Bard goes into the basement of a tavern to kill a rat for the hostess. After some patronising dialogue from the narrator, a giant rat emerges from the darkness, and breathes fire on the Bard, forcing him to retreat back above ground. Turns out it was all just a prank, which the drunken patrons got a good laugh out of.
  • In Battletoads, large humanoid rats are the Dark Queen's primary contingent of mooks. There's also "Big Bad Blag" which is a giant, fat anthropomorphic rat even larger than the toads themselves.
  • Beyond Good & Evil: Rattus giganteus is a common creature. While it's not as big as other examples of this trope (nor as its name would suggest), it occurs in such numbers that it's still a hindrance.
  • Bonfire has koshaks, man-sized rodents that appear in weak enemy mobs. They're weak but very fast, and their bites inflict Maximum HP Reduction.
  • Borderlands 2 has enemies called R.O.U.S. (initials abbreviation of the trope name) while playing on True Vault Hunter Mode. They are human experiments with rodent-esque features escaped/released from the Hyperion corporation and usually appear alongside other rat-themed enemies. They're called Lab Rats on the regular difficulty and Mutated Lab Rats on Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode.
  • Breath of Fire I does the small player thing, but with cockroaches. Later games didn't bother with that, and simply had giant roaches.
  • Castle of the Winds has Giant Rat, but it's pitifully weak. No, it's the ants that new characters should watch out for.
  • Chaos Heat have giant, skinless rat monsters as one of the many hostiles spawned by the bio-lab's viral outbreak.
  • Dark Chronicle fills several levels of its sewer with them. They're nearly the size of Max and walk on their hind legs. There are also variants found in Ocean's Roar Cave and The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Dead Estate has Chunks, a giant mutant rat who chases the player down if they take too long on a floor. While he can be taken down with sufficient firepower, it only stops him for that one floor and he's only dealt with in the ending, where he's either the Final Boss or by completing the Alternate Floors he's hit with an antidote that turns him back into a regular rat.
  • Deadly Rooms of Death has lemmings, which only appear in one level of the official level sets. Most of the rest of the time, this acronym stands for "Roaches Of Unusual Size".
  • Demon Stalkers: Giant rats are the most basic enemy type.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has lots of them in the cave levels, especially Rodent Ruckus.
  • Drakensang: The Wolf-Rats. Expecially Mother Ratinsky and Great Chief ''Rat''zinger.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: In the Human Noble origin, you fight a bunch of giant rats who got into the kitchen larder. However, they aren't really that big; a foot, maybe a foot and a half long.
  • DuckTales for the NES had that giant rat boss guarding the Green Cheese treasure in The Moon stage.
  • Duke Nukem Forever has regular-sized rats attacking Duke... after he's been hit by the effects of a shrinking device. Duke then quips "Talk about your rodents of unusual size!"
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • The game has two separate varieties of oversized rats, both found Beneath the Earth: large rats are bigger than an adolescent dwarf, surprisingly quick, and adept food thieves. Giant rats are over three times the size of grown dwarves, likewise steal food, and are used as mounts by goblins during sieges.
    • Savage biomes on the surface world house a large selection of oversized rodents, namely giant chinchillas, giant marmots, giant groundhogs, giant capybaras (which get to around the size of a moose) and the comparatively puny (i.e., a little over three times the size of a dwarf) giant chipmunks, giant red, gray and flying squirrels and giant hamsters.
  • EarthBound (1994) features a Sanctuary Guardian called the Plague Rat of Doom.
  • In the "Down the Tubes" and "Tube Race" levels of Earthworm Jim, the only way to get through several corridors full of tiny bruisers who will slam you around and throw you back where you came from is to ride a giant, foe-eating hamster ("Whoooooooa Nelliiiiiiiie!").
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The series in general has these as a standard for all rats. Most games also include at least one Rat Stomp quest dealing with them.
    • Daggerfall has large rats in the starting dungeon.
    • Morrowind:
      • The game has them as a low level enemy that also frequently carries disease. The Tribunal expansion allows you to buy a trained "Pack Rat" as a pet, who will follow you and help carry your gear/loot.
      • In the Grazelands, there is a bugged creature spawn point that causes creatures spawned there to be twice their normal size. One of the creatures that can be spawned there is a rat, making for a Rodent of Exceptional Size.
    • Oblivion:
      • Rats with the size of dogs are a common encounter in sewers like where you start your adventure, to caves.
      • There's a woman in one of the cities that keeps pet rats. Her rival hates them, and so put out meat to lure them, which had the effect of attracting mountain lions which came and killed a few of the rats. (The lions were surprisingly weak in battle compared to the ones you usually fight in the wild due to being starved.)
    • In Skyrim they're called "skeevers" and looks fuzzier to accommodate the colder climate. Despite being a bit smaller than Cyrodiil's rats, they're so big that people lay down bear traps to catch them. One crazy mage even tries to create an army of them in one quest. At least one NPC notes that the skeevers used to be smaller.
  • Everquest and Everquest II have regular giant rats, usually found in sewers and other dark areas.
  • Giant rats are mentioned in Fallen London, though they aren't as much of a problem for most people as the normal-sized but sentient and mechanically inclined rattus faber (more commonly called "L.Bs".
  • Fallout: Abnormally large rodents — deepening on the game and the specific type, they're referred to as giant rats, mole rats, pig rats or radrats — are a common sight in the wastelands of post-apocalyptic North America.
  • Final Fantasy III had one too. It is unusual, in that it is a normal-sized rat, but your party has to use the Mini condition to reach the Plot Coupon it's guarding. Since the Mini status effect cuts Defense and Attack to 1, you're basically forced to go at it with a party of Squishy Wizards. Best bet is to change your physical fighters into Red Mages for the duration of the dungeon, since you don't have the advanced spells they're locked out of at this point of the game.
  • Five Nights At Freddys: While the franchise has no rat animatronic, one of its many fan-games, Five Nights at Candy's, has one: RAT. His list of crimes include but aren't limited to killing one or two guards, injuring a child, dismantling Chester, which includes decapitation, blaming one of the guard murders on Candy, and if he kills Marylin, the protagonist of the second game, it's compared to a bear attack. Doesn't help that the man who possesses him was an alcoholic Jerkass who thought he kept the show alive before he was accidentally murdered by his coworker.
  • FromSoftware:
    • Dark Souls has Plague Rats. Very predictable and easy to kill but inflict poison. The biggest one is a single Giant Rat in the Depths, which is roughly the size of a bus.
    • Dark Souls II introduces an even bigger rat in the form of the Royal Rat Authority boss. Strangely enough, the actual Rat King is only about the size of a small dog (but is intelligent and capable of speech).
    • Dark Souls III has Hound Rats. Unlike the Plague Rats, they cannot inflict poison.
    • Bloodborne has Labyrinth Rat, malformed rats with enlarged eyes and lumps on their back.
  • Guns, Gore & Cannoli: One side effect of the zombie poison is causing rats, in addition to turning into zombies themselves, to grow to rather large sizes, ranging from dog-sized to being slightly taller than an adult human. The one that takes the cake, though, is Mickey the Rat, implied to be the first rat to have been exposed to the zombie poison, and is absolutely gigantic to the point he makes Vinnie himself look like a rat by comparison.
  • Harry Potter: The Game Boy Color versions of the games feature giant rats as enemies.
  • Hero-U has Dire Rats (or "drats"), which are rats the size of dogs.
  • House (2020): One of the very first perils Tabby can meet is an enormous rat who leaps in from a closed window of the storage room, and who will literally bite the player character in half if it connects with its attack.
  • House Flipper: The mole that can sometimes infest your yard in Garden Flipper is easily the size of a small dog and leaves enormous molehills reminiscent of African termite nests.
  • In Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms, there are large rats attacking the party.
  • Instinct contains white lab rats, larger than most cats, who attacks the players in a frenzy.
  • League of Legends: Twitch, a champion, was a sewer rat who gained sentience and bipedal form from magical runoff. Lonely and a bit maniacal, his goal is to duplicate the phenomenon and create a race of sentient rats to rule over.
  • The Magi-Nation series mostly features decidedly non-real-looking creatures, but the Always Chaotic Evil Core region does get one very large rat-like creature. It's even named "Rous," in a direct Shout-Out to the Trope Namer.
  • In Majesty, giant rats were generally the first monsters to show up in your kingdom. Rat-men were another common annoyance, though they were at least one of the few enemies your city guard could handle competently.
  • Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light feature a number of seemingly rodent-derived monsters among their menagerie of radioactive mutants. Lurkers are small, fast creatures that resemble oversized naked mole rats, while the larger and more vicious nosalises look more like they were originally moles or shrews of some sort. Both mutants are incredibly hostile and have an acute taste for human flesh, with the nosalises in particular having developed massive, fanged maws that can easily rip people to shreds. Watchers/Watchmen are harder to place; they have some rat-like features, like their hairless tails and ability to stand on their hind legs, but overall seem more like wolves instead (hunting in packs, howling, etc...).
  • Miitopia: The Mice monsters are Mii-sized rodents. While much, much cuter than the average supersized mouse, they are not less aggressive than them.
  • Mirror's Edge breaks realism to include one, if you fire at a certain sign with a sniper rifle.
  • Monster Eye has giant rats as enemies in a few stages, the size of Dobermans. And a few Giant Mook rodents larger than most automobiles for good measure.
  • NetHack has giant rats, but even for a newly-created character they're cannon-fodder. The UnNetHack variant also includes Enormous Rats Also, one of the (non-existant) monsters you can see while hallucinating is a literal Rodent Of Unusual Size.
  • Nightmare Creatures: Giant rats are reoccurring enemies in the Wharf areas. They show up somewhat late in the game, and are considerably weaker enemies (especially if you've upgraded your weapon).
  • Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas: The rats in the game are half as big as the Player Character when they're down on all fours.
  • One Dog Story: One of the enemy types in the game is rats that, when reared up on their hind legs, are as tall as human beings.
  • Oriental Legend have the Rodent Demon boss, a giant bipedal rodent monster several times larger than your players. It can also summon a Swarm of Rats on you.
  • Parasite Eve had mutated rodents that tried to kill you. And giant squirrels, too.
  • Pikmin 3: Bearded Amprats are an odd case, as strictly speaking they're around the same size as a real-life hamster. From the point of view of the characters, who are on average no larger than a quarter, they're however colossal beasts and can pose a serious threat to your Pikmin.
  • Pink Panther: Hokus Pokus Pink: While in Siberia, Pink encounters an underground living group of giant, intelligent, anthropomorphic rats. He has to get their help to create an earthquake.
  • Pixel Dungeon: and various mods have these as one of theses as some of the earliest enemies along with giant bats.
  • Planescape: Torment includes the Dungeons & Dragons monsters, cranium rats and wererats, mentioned above.
  • Pokémon has quite a few of these, often Com Mons. Examples include Rattata, Pachirisu, and of course, the Pikachu family. They are usually cute, big eyed and not very menacing. Not even those with teeth bared are all that terrifying.
    • Raticate is slightly more intimidating than some of the others, and extremely annoying if you're up against one with that much hated Super Fang move. That's not getting into Pokémon Sun and Moon where you fight the Totem Raticate...
    • Averted by the Bidoof family, as they are based on beavers, which really do get that big.
  • Project Eden features normal sized rats that transform into giant acid spraying monstrosities
  • Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords has giant rats, scorpions, bats, and wasps. The first two can be captured and ridden, granting the player a different stat bonus and additional spell, depending on which one you choose.
  • Resident Evil: Outbreak File #2 features those rats that spread the T-Virus attacking one of HUNK's men after he'd been felled by Birkin. There was also artwork showing mutant rats that didn't make the game.
  • Nancy Drew: The bonus-content version of the credits in Resorting to Danger includes a clip of Casper the albino squirrel, grown to the size of an elephant, destroying the laboratory by shooting laser beams from his eyes.
  • RuneScape: Giant rats are very common monsters, especially in lower-level areas.
  • Shining Force:
    • The second game has rat enemies of both varieties as the above examples. On the first battle on the field, the party encounters Huge Rats. Later in the game, the party gets shrunk down as part of the storyline and faces normal-sized rats. Your stats don't suffer the debilitating effects of Mini like in FFIII, but those normal rats are still hella strong. And led by a super-rat named Willard.
    • Slade the rat thief, who started the entire mess in the game by stealing the Jewels of Light and Evil. Including him in the fight with Willard causes instant Furry Confusion because Slade is anthropomorphic.
  • The Sims Medieval has dire chinchillas.
  • Spiderweb Software: Every roleplaying game the company has ever made, with the exception of the original Geneforge, has giant rats in it. They're usually the very first enemies you fight before you go on any quests.
  • The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge has giant Hamsters of Doom who provide Hamster-Wheel Power to the entire house.
  • Suikoden II had a giant, mutated Sewer Rat for a boss. Which could attack twice per turn, and hit all of your party with each attack for a lot of damage. Goddamned rats.
  • Mouser from Super Mario Bros. 2 is a gigantic bomb throwing killer mouse boss. Who has probably the most ironic kind of name ever for such a creature (considering the word 'mouser' means 'cat which catches mice').
  • Tales of Symphonia has a similar situation where the party gets shrunk down in a sewer and meets the same itty bitty mice which they can encounter as GIANT KICKBOXING MICE.
  • Titan Quest: The Rat-Men . You first fight the weak, thin ones in Greece and then meet their larger, strongers cousins in Orient.
  • Tomb Raider I has rats that are at least the size of a medium-sized dog once you reach the "Cistern" stage in the Greek section of the game. Given how other animals were generally a believable size up to this point, it was noticeable. Later games made the rats at a more normal size and removed their ability to swim.
  • Ultima Underworld II features giant rats of various types.
  • Wayward: Giant rats are common enemies. They are relatively easy to kill, and their fur is a useful material for crafting.
  • Woolfe - The Red Hood Diaries: The sewer level has rats as big as small dogs.

  • The trope name is evoked in the title of an 8-Bit Theater episode which discusses dire rats... but the resulting rodent isn't one, just an Ax-Crazy dwarf disguised to chase for it.
  • In the Blade of Toshubi we have Toshubi, a human-sized anthropomorphic mouse from a village of human-sized anthropomorphic mice.
  • Crew Dogs: Rodents of Unusual Size live in the ceiling spaces, and are known to feed on Second Lieutenants.
  • Dregs: Ironfang is a rat larger than most humans.
  • Hamstard, the Bastard Hamster mascot of Erfworld's in-character blog, qualifies by virtue of being incredibly fat. Really, Parson should've gotten the little blob an exercise wheel before being swept off to another dimension...
  • In Freefall Sam lists the Earth animals that have tried to eat him, including "... rodents of unusual size, rodents of usual size ...".
  • Girl Genius
    • The Sturmhalten sewer guides are actually surprised to learn from Agatha's would-be rescuers that sewer rats normally aren't giant and glowing. Lars is worried, being used to rats who are 60 centimeters, tops, but as it turns out, he needn't have worried, the monsters the group soon encounters have no rats among their number.
    • Much later, Agatha and Co. do encounter the giant rats who guard the island lair of the English Spark Francisia Monahan.
  • The dungeon rats in Latchkey Kingdom. They'll eat your corpse if you die in the dungeon, sure, but otherwise they're usually friendly and help keep up the place. To an inexperienced observer, they may seem to have developed a culture; in reality, they're just a bunch of animals who like to imitate society.
  • Giant mutant rodents are the signature creation of Narbonic's Helen Narbon. Of course, Helen being a young girl at heart, they happen to be giant mutant gerbils.
  • Secretary, the second arc of Nature of Nature's Art, plays with this trope. All of the important characters are rodents in this arc, and some are bigger than others. In the end, though, the only one who plays the trope straight is the advanced class teacher - he makes degus (SV and NT) and chinchillas (SV's teacher) look small, and early in the arc, a mouse called NT "huge".
  • Sleepless Domain: The monster that tries to break into the safety center where Vedika volunteers resembles a large purple rat, seemingly made up of a cluster of smaller rats stuck together in Rat King fashion. It's not particularly formidable by monster standards, but since Vedika, the only Magical Girl available to deal with it, has no combat powers, even it poses a considerable threat.
  • Not surprisingly, Furry comic Supermegatopia has several larger anthropomorphic rodents, including Distraction Damsel (though she's only really big where it counts), Mighty Mighty Hamster, and of course, the World's Largest Hamster.
  • In Weregeek, when the GM mentions rodents of unusual size attacking the party, they protest that given their statistics of rodent encounters, that size is the usual one.
  • In Yamara, Tim the paladin is turned into a vampire, but messes up his first attempt to turn into a bat, becoming a giant flying squirrel instead.

    Web Original 
  • Actually older than Web Original, as it goes back to Usenet, the Internet Oracle has as his arch enemy Woodchucks. The reason is the infamous Woodchuck question he is constantly asked, "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?". Some of his enemy woodchucks were rather large. After The Princess Bride came out, they were given the official name of "R.O.U.S.".
  • Bosun's Journal: While not directly shown in the artwork, the early civilization used genetic engineering to create rattle, large rodents intended to serve as cattle, which afterwards remain as part of the wildlife alongside nonsapient posthumans.
  • Hamster's Paradise is an online Speculative Biology thought-experiment worldbuilding project about a planet seeded with simple plant and invertebrate life, plus a small colony of Chinese dwarf hamsters, by human terraformers. The humans left and never returned, but the hamsters became the ancestors of an entire biosphere's worth of vertebrate species, megafauna included, with the largest land hamsters being the 21-ton hammoths and the oceans being ruled by the whale-like seavers and the pliosaur-like leviahams.
  • Looming Gaia: Titan rats are rats around the size of small dogs found in Umory-Ond. Pixies use them as mounts and beasts of burden, others keep them as pets, and some eat them.
  • Monster Slayers features these as one of the enemies.
  • Kizzsprite is a chinchilla, resurrected as a kernelsprite. Of course, much weird plot shit surrounds him. We probably shouldn't get any further than that.
  • Mortasheen has a few, including the amoebic, thieving Gravesnitch, the oddly-toothed Gnawful, the cold-loving Abomignash, and the absolutely disturbing Vermoeba (which is based on the Rat King detailed below)
  • Minilife TV: Ratzer, the main antagonist of the episode "Super Mini-Bros.", is a rat that's about twice the size of an average minifigure.
  • Jerma985's video Rat Movie: Mystery of the Mayan Treasure features a mischief of rats led by The Giant Rat that Makes All of the Rules. When said Giant Rat dies, another one of the rats grows in size and becomes the next Giant Rat.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Aladdin: The Series featured rat people, who were only slightly shorter than Jasmine and Aladdin.
  • Played straight with Alvin and the Chipmunks. In addition to possessing human-like faces and ears, the Chipmunks and Chipettes were originally human-sized, making them more like chipmunk-shaped humans in The Alvin Show, 80s TV series and films. This later became averted in the CGI/live action films when they were the size of actual chipmunks in real life.
  • In Back at the Barnyard when everyone got a clone, said clones were all mini-sized... except Pip's, who went the other way.
  • In Beast Wars,note  Rattrap's rat mode is shown being significantly larger than normal rats. This is especially unusual in that Transformers has previously shown a willingness to show characters alternate forms as being significantly smaller than their robot modes would indicate (Megatron, Soundwave, Blaster, etc.).
    • Justified In-Universe in that the purpose of the beast mode is not for disguise (though that could be a bonus for some), but rather to protect from energon overload: as such, size was not a priority.
      • Size-changing is further elaborated on in the IDW comics as having become Lost Technology due to an energy crisis.
    • In the cartoons, the Maximals and Predacons of Beast Wars were smaller descendants of the Autobots and Decepticons. The IDW comics have brought in some Beast-era characters to their G1-based universe, made them Autobots and Decepticons, and sized them up to fit in with the general populace. Rattrap is one of them, meaning his rat mode is apparently the size of a car (though he never once transforms through the course of the comic).
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: Rook picked up his impressive fighting skills defending his planet's wheat silos from the local rodents, which, according to him, "Run fairly large." He wasn't kidding, as they show up in a later episode, trained up as mooks for the Villain of the Week, and they're larger than an adult man.
  • Gorgonzola from Chowder. Also, overabundance of giant rats is apparently why Mung keeps poison in the spice cabinet.
  • In Courage the Cowardly Dog, a Recurring Character who occasionally helps Courage out is a giant anthropomorphic rat named Mr. Mouse.
    Courage: Thanks, Mr. Mouse!
    Mr. Mouse: No prob.
  • One episode of Cyberchase involved The Hacker using a giant hamster called a hamborg (which for some reason resembled a capybara) as part of his evil plan.
  • That Family Guy episode about the world being destroyed by Y2K. The Griffins leave Joe to fight a giant mutant rat. His response? "Bring It On!!!"
  • In the when-nightmares-attack episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Lowlight is revealed to have recurrent bad dreams about hybrid rat/car horrors stalking him at night in his father's junkyard.
  • Godzilla: The Series featured the titular reptile chasing down giant rats in New York City in an episode entitled "Cat and Mouse."
  • Professor Ratigan from the Disney movie The Great Mouse Detective insists on being called a big mouse even though he looks like a rat. In his defense he was a mouse in the original book series.
  • The Hamster King from Hero: 108 is the size of a human and dressed up as a samurai.
  • Invader Zim had Peepi the hamster. Zim used his newfound knowledge of the human weakness to cute things to make Peepi into a virtually unstoppable monster.
    • ...of course, then he realized he had no way to control said unstoppable monster, leading to an Enemy Mine situation.
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes featured a rat bigger than a horse attacking Beezy.
  • Looney Tunes
    • More than one Sylvester cartoon had him thinking he's encountered this trope, but it's really a young kangaroo that keeps swapping places with the mouse he's after and smacking him around.
    • In The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, Duck Twacy follows footprints to a teeny-tiny mousehole and deduces the criminal Mouse Man is inside. He shouts "Come on out, ya rat!" and a HUGE snarling rat-in-a-suit pops out looming over Twacy, who whimpers "*gulp*...go...back...inside."
    • In the Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoon "Chariots of Fur", Wile E. tries to catch the Roadrunner with a giant mousetrap. Instead, he snags a giant mouse, who then turns the tables on him.
  • The Tex Avery classic King Size Canary has a cat trying to make a decent meal out of a puny canary by feeding it fast-growth plant food. It works alarmingly well, and soon the cat, the bird, a mouse, and a bulldog are all taking swigs of the stuff, jockeying for size supremacy. The cartoon ends with the cat and mouse waving goodbye to us, standing on a relative beach ball sized planet Earth.
  • Wilfred of Patrol 03 is a mouse with elephantesque proportions.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar features King Rat, a tall, muscle-bound mutated lab rat who occasionally leaves the sewer to make trouble for the penguins.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In an early episode, Bart is convinced by Sherri and Terri that the Mayflower left England to escape from giant rats.
    • While not a direct example, Homer once fantasized Lisa as a Princess, Marge as a Queen and Bart as a giant rat. Giant rat Bart then chews on the wall, which he was actually doing outside of the fantasy.
    • Though a more literal example would be the Treehouse of Horror segment "Terror of Tiny Toon" in which Bart and Lisa are trapped inside the TV being hunted down by a murderous Itchy and Scratchy. In which Itchy is about the same height as the kids. Though it is averted when Itchy enters the "real world" and becomes the size of a normal mouse.
  • South Park was attacked by giant carnivorous guinea pigs. The guinea pig community was quite full of Squee over it.
  • In one Super Friends episode, Sinestro creates a giant rat to attack the heroes; Green Lantern handles it by using his ring to create a giant cat to chase it away.
  • The Tick had Speak, his pet capybara (see Real Life, below), much to Arthur's dismay.
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • Jerry pulled the same trick quoted above with Sylvester on Tom, with a baby elephant. Tom eventually decides to get a gun to solve the issue, but by that time, the Elephant's mother had shown up, and Jerry convinces her to take up the disguise to trick Tom one last time.
    • One classic had Jerry become a giant at the end because of a growth chemical he had concocted.
  • One episode of CatDog opened with Cat mocking mouse sized Winslow for being small. Suddenly, he and Dog are whisked to a future being oppressed by Winslow's descendant, his ancestor taking the slight to heart and beginning a family tradition of exercise that made each generation bigger than the last. Winslow the 38th is more than a few heads taller than most of the cast and flaunts it.
  • 12 oz. Mouse: Fitz is a human-sized mouse.

    Real Life 
  • The capybara is the world's largest living species of rodent, native to South America. It's basically a guinea pig the size of a St. Bernard. They are also completely harmless note  to humans and have been known to befriend cats, dogs, ducks and - of course - guinea pigs. They are the very definition of the Gentle Giant trope.
  • The prehistoric rodent Josephoartigasia monesi, biggest ever: its incisors were a foot long (roughly 30 cm), it stood five feet at the shoulder (1.52 m) and was ten feet long (3 m) from nose to tail and was estimated to weigh a ton. That is the size of a full-grown cow!
    • Another prehistoric R.o.U.S. is the Phoberomys pattersoni, weighing in at approximately 550 pounds and related to the modern guinea pig. Upon its discovery in the early 2000s, it was given a nickname by the media: "guineazilla."
  • The Bosavi woolly rat, discovered in Papua New Guinea in 2009, is about the size of a full-grown jackrabbit.
  • Trench rats in World War I were often reported to grow to the size of house cats, because of their constant gorging on the corpses in No Man's Land and the soldiers' food. And when feasting on the corpses, these bloated rats ate out the corpses' eyes first. This site has a little article about the trench rats in WW1. Imagine sleeping with overgrown, bloated rats the size of a house cat running across your face. Nightmare Fuel, no?
    • Subverted by an incident described by J. R. R. Tolkien during his service in France. Amid all the horrors he endured in the Battle of the Somme, he once reached for a field phone and a little mouse ran over his hand. Aw.
    • There is an entire episode of the t.v. show Monster Quest that deals with sightings of cat or even dog-sized rats in major U.S. cities like New York, including a homeless man who reported a 3-foot giant in an abandoned subway tunnel.
  • In waterways around the US, (and up to around 2005 in the Norfolk Broads in the UK. Although they are "functionally extinct" there, there still are rumours that a few breeding pairs have survived) Coypu, also known as nutria, (once farmed for their fur) have established breeding populations. These semiaquatic mammals are actually from a different family of rodent than rats, and are supposed to be the size of tomcats. They are similar to beavers but with orange teeth and a rat's tail instead of a flat beaver tail. When the fur trade collapsed, fur farmers turned them loose and they've become quite the destructive pest since, destroying aquatic vegetation, digging out riverbanks and causing collapses, and spreading some rather unpleasant diseases. They're considered one of the worst invasive species in the world.
    • If you ever see a "giant killer rat" in a sideshow, it's probably a coypu. (They used to use capybaras, but those are incredibly high-maintenance, plus coypus look more like rats than capybaras do.)
  • The Gambian giant pouched rat can grow to over 2' long, and is one of the largest rodents to be formally classified as "rats". They've playful herbivores which have been trained to sniff out land mines in Africa, which kinda subverts this trope's "feared, flesh-rending predator" aspect.
  • The tragically critically-endangered Cloud Rats of the Philippines. As cute as living stuff toys!
  • The Indian Giant Squirrel is aptly named.
  • Prehistoric rodents could get absolutely gigantic, aside from the above-mentioned Josephoartigasia monesi: Neochoerus pinckneyi is a Capybara 40% larger than its modern cousin (200-250lbs); Castoroides, a beaver the size of a VW Bug (8ft long, 200+ lbs); Phoberomys pattersoni is one of largest of all known rodents, growing to almost 10ft in length with an additional 4ft of tail, weighing up to 1,500lbs. A lot of these giant South American rodents are basically even bigger capybara.
  • Tehran, Iran, currently suffers from a severe rat infestation, with an estimated 25 million black and Norway rats occupying a city with about half that many people. Some of the rodents reportedly grow to at least 16 inches long and 5 pounds in weight, suggesting these might actually be of a larger species that's begun to displace the others. Iran is what used to be Persia; what animal do we associate with Persia?
  • Ironically, millions of medieval people probably owe their lives to the arrival of rodents of unusual size, namely the spread of the larger Norway rat into territories previously occupied by the black rat. Of the two major rat species that infest human communities, the smaller black rat is far more prone to transmit bubonic plague to humans via its fleas, so the Norway rat's displacement of its weaker cousins throughout much of the world helped to reduce the frequency and severity of plague outbreaks.
  • Breeders of fancy rats have begun developing varieties for the pet trade, including a "goliath" strain intended to be larger than usual. As such breeding programs are just getting started, "goliath" rats will need many more generations before they're even double the size of normal fancy rats.
  • In David Simon's book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets about his shadowing of the Baltimore PD's Homicide Unit during their 1988 working year, the detectives notice an enormous street rat chasing a cat across the street. As this happens right after the infamous Latonya Wallace murder case, which unites the whole neighbourhood and has drug dealers lining up to help the police with their investigation and generally turning the usual "never talk to cops" neighborhood paradigm on it's head, Simon notes the symbolism of the reversal..
  • "Scabby the Rat" is a giant-rat inflatable mascot used by labor unions in the eastern United States as a picketing display. Court cases in defense of the unions' right to display Scabby have ruled that showing him constitutes protected speech under the First Amendment, striking down attempts to ban such inflatable figures' use for non-commercial purposes.
  • Beavers are fairly large, too, standing about 3 feet tall on their hind legs. They're the largest living rodents in the Northern Hemisphere and second largest (after capybara) in the world.
  • Third in size are extant porcupines, the Old World species especially. New World species, however, are no runts as North American species are the second largest living rodent in the N. Hemisphere after beavers.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Rodent Of Unusual Size, Giant Rats


Baelz Defeats Mickey

Guns, Gore, and Cannoli features giant rats as enemies in the sewer area, the boss of which is implied to be the first rat that got exposed to the zombie-making poison that kicked off the game's plot. This giant rat, "Mickey", is a tough, agile, and deadly opponent for even a hardened gangster like Vinnie Cannoli. Here, Hakos Baelz of Hololive English, ironically a rat-girl herself, emerges triumphant after a long, grueling fight with the game's toughest boss yet.

How well does it match the trope?

3.83 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / RodentsOfUnusualSize

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