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Scully Box

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"[I am] five feet nine. Quite little, really. From a squat tribe, you see. My brothers (and sister) are all taller than me, as are most of the actresses I'm required to smooch. At such times they usually stand me on a box. Sort of keeps your feet on the ground, paradoxically."

When planning out the framing of an image, sometimes the real-life height of an actor can be a hindrance to making the shot look good. If an actor looks too short next to a costar, the easiest thing to do is to have them stand on something to make them taller while making sure the camera can't see their feet. This helps to keep people in frame and sometimes better convey power dynamics, as taller people tend to feel more in control. While boxes are common, this trope refers to a number of different techniques used to bridge that gap including high heels (and not just for women), camera angles, and specialized blocking for (never standing face to face, sitting down a lot, etc.).

A subtrope is when the camera is lowered and placed at a sharp upward angle to create the illusion of height called a Hitler Cam.

Named for a special box from the production of The X-Files. Standing at 5'2" (1.57 m), Gillian Anderson was much shorter than her co-star David Duchovny, who was 6'0" (1.83 m). Consequently, to keep Scully and Mulder on roughly the same plane while shooting them together, they developed a special box for her to stand on (also referred on set as "Gilly-Board" after the actress). Unlike the traditional movie apple box or trench, a Scully Box can be stacked up, or laid out in a runway. It's very versatile and used to accommodate large height differences between cast members.

The term "apple box" is prevalent in the industry for an actor-heightening wooden box of a given dimension, typically: 12" × 8" × 20" or 30 × 20 × 50cm. A Scully Box is an 'apple' and a half and is constructed of aluminum covered with outdoor carpeting for sound-deadening and traction.

An inversion of this, where a character is framed to look smaller in the environment than they should be, is sometimes referred to as "trenching." Compare Cheated Angle. A lack of Scully Box can lead to a "Down Here!" Shot.


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  • An advert for Springfield Armory had the tagline Some shooters can't see eye-to-eye with two famous competition pistol shooters glaring at each other, the shorter one standing on an ammunition crate so he could look the other in the eye. Of course the one thing they did see eye-to-eye on was that they both liked Springfield Armory pistols.
  • Otter Pops features an invoked version. Strawberry Short Kook, being a movie mogul, while also being short, has an apple crate as her Iconic Item, both in reference to her directorial and acting motivations, and to cover up her short height.

    Anime & Manga 
  • One Doraemon comic has Nobita snooping through Doraemon's photobook from the future, including a snapshot Doraemon took with his girlfriend, Noramyako, where they're the same height with only their upper bodies visible. Nobita, using a gadget, makes the photo pan out and reveals that Doraemon was actually standing on a tree stump.
  • In Lucky Star's opening, a zoom-in at waist-level shows Konata's skirt at the same height as the other girls, but she is significantly shorter than them, which implies she was standing on something offscreen.
  • Invoked in Episode 15 of the Ace Attorney (2016) anime; Pearl has to jump onto a box in order to see over the Defense Stand.
  • Played for Laughs in Chapter 36/Episode 8 of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun. Nozaki is so bad at perspective that, when forced to draw his own backgrounds, every scene has at least one character who seems to be hovering in mid-air. He solves this by drawing a box under their feet — every single time. When Hori (the assistant who normally draws the backgrounds) complains, Nozaki tries to justify it In-Universe with a panel where the manga's female lead declares that carrying boxes everywhere is the current fad, prompting Hori to shout "That's not the issue here!"
  • In-Universe example in The Summer You Were There. Since Shizuku is One Head Taller than Kaori, a bonus illustration at the end of Volume 2 that has the two crossdressing as butlers, with the two on the same level, explains that Kaori is standing on a stool.
  • Oshi no Ko: In-Universe, Aqua plays his father Hikaru in a dramatization of his mother Ai's life. They first met when Hikaru was in middle school, but Aqua was already eighteen during filming, so they had the other actors standing on a box offscreen.

    Comic Books 
  • Rorschach invokes this in Watchmen. When the police arrest him, they find he wears platform shoes to make himself taller.
  • On the cover of The Lone Gunmen comic book a publicity shot of the cast is used which due to lack of cropping, the Scully Box used to make Byers and Frohike the same height as the rest is very obvious.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Brave, when Bear Elinor is standing, she is more than twice Merida's height. To fit both characters into the same shot, the animators sometimes sunk Bear Elinor into the floor a bit.
  • In one scene in ParaNorman, Norman's father is made taller than his son in this way in order to emphasize the disconnect between the two. The box is steadily replaced with smaller and smaller boxes as Norman walks away.
  • In Toy Story, since Woody is actually much taller than Buzz, in scenes when they had to talk with each other but their feet wouldn't be in the frame, the animators would actually have Woody's legs clipping into the ground. They called it "Trenching", named for when trenches were dug for the much taller female co-stars of actor Alan Ladd (5'6") to make him appear at the same height as them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Some movies used this to make the already 6'4" Michael Clarke Duncan look superhumanly tall.
    • The Green Mile made his character look much taller, which especially came in handy next to the similarly tall David Morse and James Cromwell who is even taller.
    • Daredevil used this in conjunction with Hitler Cam to make him tower over Ben Affleck who is also 6'4".
  • Inverted in the Scary Movie series when actor Kevin Hart had to stand in a trench in order to be noticeably shorter than the other actors. Since Kevin Hart stands 5 feet 2 1/2 inches tall, it seems that he frequently employs this device, rather than subverting it as he did in this movie.
  • Invoked in Godzilla (1998). Charles Caiman (played by 5'6" Harry Shearer) meets his new co-anchor for the first time while she's sitting in her chair on set. He sits next to her and the top of his head barely meets her chin. With the news starting in a few seconds, he desperately asks the producer for a pillow or phone book, then resorts to holding himself up by the arms on his chair.
  • Happened with several of Ingrid Bergman's leading men:
    • In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart (5'8") had to stand on a box to kiss Bergman (5'9").
    • Similarly, in Gaslight, Charles Boyer — being the same height as his leading lady — stood on a box for head and shoulders two-shots with Bergman.
    • Used in Notorious for the diminutive Claude Rains (5'6") in some of his shots with Bergman, including one scene where he enters a room and ascends a ramp as he approaches the camera (and Bergman).
  • The UK bus-side poster for Four Christmases has Reese Witherspoon visibly standing on a stack of boxed presents, as she's much shorter (5'1") than her co-star Vince Vaughn, who is... really damn tall (6'5").
  • X-Men Film Series
    • In X-Men, James Marsden had to use these when filming around Hugh Jackman and Famke Janssen. At 5'9 1/2", Marsden is not short, but Janssen is 6'0" (not counting heels) and Jackman 6'2". This is especially ironic since Cyclops (Marsden) is canonically about a foot taller than Wolverine (Jackman), whose shortness is one of his most iconic traits.note  The DVD extras reveal Marsden playfully griping about this fact, and when the team arrives at the Statue of Liberty you can see in a wide shot just how big his boots were.
    • In the second and third movies, scenes with Jean and Scott together were carefully framed so that their legs and feet were not visible because he was standing on boxes and she wasn't wearing shoes.
    • While Apocalypse does wear combat boots in the comics, in the case of X-Men: Apocalypse they were used as an aid to make the average-sized Oscar Isaac (5' 7½"\1,71 m) more imposing even if not massive (he looks eye-to-eye with Michael Fassbender, who's three inches taller).
  • In I Love Your Work, Giovanni Ribisi's character kisses a woman while filming a scene in an elevator, then promptly hops off the Scully Box at the end of the take, revealing that the woman is about six inches taller than he is.
  • The Disney Channel movie Double Teamed, which portrayed WNBA twin sisters Heather and Heidi Burge (both 6'5"), had the actresses portraying them (who weren't twins, and in fact weren't even related) using several methods to tower over their teammates, from Scully Boxes to specialized sneakers.
  • This has been done digitally and with camera angles as of recently, most notably with Robbie "Hagrid" Coltrane (who at 6'1" is pretty big, but no giant) in the Harry Potter film series to make him seem like a half-giant.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Pretty much everyone of average height who shared a scene with Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, or any other hobbits in the trilogy, in order to make the hobbits seem shorter, in conjunction with forced perspective and body doubles. The sole exception was John Rhys Davies, who (by sheer coincidence) is as much taller than the hobbit actors as a dwarf is supposed to be, so shots involving only them could dispense with any height trickery. The same trick was used in The Hobbit movies, especially as the Dwarf actors (as well as Martin Freeman) interact with taller characters like Gandalf and Thranduil.
    • Speaking of Thranduil, this happened to practically anybody who shared close-ups with the 6'5" Lee Pace. In long shots, he towers over pretty much everyone but in closer shots, most of the other actors had to stand on something.
    • While Galadriel is frequently shown walking around barefoot, Cate Blanchett (5'8") had to wear platform "disco boots" under her dresses to better match the height of the actors playing the other elves.
  • In Julie & Julia in order to have Meryl Streep (5'6") reflect the height of Julia Child (6'2"). They also used smaller-scale props and hired short actors to be extras in her scenes.
  • In Back to the Future, because Christopher Lloyd (6'1") is much taller than Michael J. Fox (5'4"), director Robert Zemeckis used camera tricks to avoid using one. For example, the two are rarely in the same shot together and, when they are, one is usually sitting down or much closer to the camera than the other. When Doc Brown is talking, he's often moving around so much that the viewer can't really tell how tall he is. Lloyd also improvised a hunch in his posture that helped give the character more of a Mad Scientist look.
  • In the infamous Battlefield Earth movie, John Travolta and Forest Whitaker walked on stilts to appear 10-foot tall as the alien Psychlos.
  • Used in-story by Linda Hunt's character in Silverado. Kevin Kline first meets her while she's in front of the bar. When she goes around to the other side, she's suddenly a foot taller. He leans over and looks behind the bar to see a ramp along the other side for her to stand on and comfortably reach the bartop. She has a very philosophical view of things, though.
    Stella: Life is what you make of it, my friend. If it doesn't fit, you make alterations.
  • In Water for Elephants, Reese Witherspoon at roughly 5'1" shared the spotlight with Robert Pattinson, who is a foot taller. In an interview, she mentioned this was in liberal use for the kissing scenes.
  • An amusing example: Brad Garrett (Robert from Everybody Loves Raymond) was cast as comedian Jackie Gleason in a biographical movie (titled Gleason, naturally). Because Brad Garrett is known for being extremely tall (as in 6'8"!), everybody else in the cast had to wear platform shoes in all their scenes with him. (Never mind the fact that Gleason himself only stood at 5'10"!)
  • In In Time Amanda Seyfried (5'2") is paired up with Justin Timberlake (5'11 1/2"). Rather than use a box or use perspective shots to try and hide the height difference the filmmakers decided to make it part of the character and Seyfried is never seen without a pair of very distinctive towering purple high heels.
  • Marlon Brando (5'8") is always shown from the waist up in Apocalypse Now to seem like the 6'6" Kurtz described in Heart of Darkness.
  • Miley Cyrus is about 5'4", but her love interest in The Last Song was played by (future husband) Liam Hemsworth, who is 6'3", so this technique had to be used on occasion and it can be clearly seen in outtakes from the movie's promoshoot like this one.
  • Inverted by 5'4" Charlie Chaplin, who often cast much larger actors to surround him in scenes, so his Tramp character would appear small and fragile.
  • Famously, 5'11" Boris Karloff wore platform boots and a tall headpiece to appear a towering stature as the Monster in Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein. Subsequently, most performers playing the Monster or a character inspired by it, wore platforms to achieve a superhuman height (see: Fred Gwynne in The Munsters).
  • Used in at least one of the Dirty Harry films, given Clint Eastwood is really tall.
  • Inverted in Judge Dredd, where it's to make Sylvester Stallone tower over the young recruits.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Tom Hardy (5'9") needed three-inch heels to be able to look Christian Bale (6') in the eye, since having Bane be shorter than Batman would severely undermine the dynamic of the characters. Any shot that does show both of their feet is instead using their stunt doubles. This is also why Bane spends the entirety of the notorious opening sequence kneeling, sitting, or getting jostled around by the plane; Tom Hardy is a bit shorter than Aiden Gillen (also 5'9"), which would make the CIA agent's comment about him being a big guy a bit weird. Also employed in the "Do you feel in charge?" scene with John Daggett; Bane towers over Daggett in the sequence, but at 5'11", Ben Mendelsohn is actually a good two inches taller than Tom Hardy on level ground.
  • In From Russia with Love 5'10" Robert Shaw wore lifts to make his character, S.P.E.C.T.R.E. assassin Red Grant, look menacing enough next to 6'2" Sean Connery's James Bond.
  • Inverted in Rocky IV, where Ivan Drago, played by 6'4" Dolph Lundgren is deliberately shown towering over Rocky Balboa, played by 5'9" Sylvester Stallone (Evil Is Bigger).
    • The same effect is also used in a scene in Rocky III, where Stallone faces off against 6'6" wrestler Hulk Hogan.
  • In Superman: The Movie and Superman II, 6'6" Jack O'Halloran wore platform boots, so his character, Non would appear superhumanly tall and tower over 6'4" Christopher Reeve.
  • In Keeping the Faith, 5'6" Ben Stiller is paired with 5'10" Jenna Elfman. In an interview, Stiller said that he "needed shoe lifts and a good sense of humor in bed".
  • Similarly, in Top Gun, 5'7" Tom Cruise is paired with 5'10" Kelly McGillis. A large number of trickeries were used to make Cruise appear taller than his co-star, including camera angles, Cruise wearing lifts, standing on elevated ramps and apple boxes, and McGillis going barefoot and standing in trenches.
  • In Interview with the Vampire, Cruise was placed on an elevated platform in some scenes, interacting with 5'11" Brad Pitt and other actors playing vampires.
  • Star Wars:
    • 5'1" Carrie Fisher stood on an apple box in the famous kissing scene between her and 6'1" Harrison Ford in The Empire Strikes Back.
    • Inverted in The Phantom Menace; the set designers had to spend an extra $150,000 adjusting some of the sets to accommodate Liam Neeson's 6'4" height without making the wise mentor figure look ridiculously oversized in some of the confined spaces.
    • Hayden Christensen (6'0") had to wear lifts in his shoes while portraying the costumed Darth Vader at the end of Revenge of the Sith in order to be closer to the height of the original Vader David Prowse (6'6"). Years later, he did it again for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Robert Downey Jr. is 5'8" and had to wear some truly impressive high heels while playing Iron Man since he spent most of the films sharing the screen with Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, and Gwyneth Paltrow, and all three tower over him. In Gwyneth's case, especially when she's in heels, which is also why she's visibly barefoot in the scene at the tower in The Avengers (2012). The blooper reel of Iron Man 3 shows Downey in a Scully Box while talking with the 5'9 1/2" Rebecca Hall (bonus: Tony's supposed to be in armor, and Hall is only in sneakers!).
    • Scarlett Johansson is 5'3", and while the use of the box wasn't as obvious in The Avengers, it was made more apparent in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where most of her scenes were shared with Chris Evans, who is 6'0".
      • To add, in shots where the two actors were together in full shots or full views of the actors together were required Johansson wore specially modified footwear with built-in heels, most notably during their scene in the mall while in disguise. Look carefully and you'll see Johansson wearing sneakers that have a profile closer to heeled boots while Evan's are proper sneakers.
    • Prior to receiving the Super Serum, Steve Rogers spends the first third of Captain America: The First Avenger as a tiny 5'4" weakling, but still portrayed by Chris Evans with the help of a stand-in (who still wasn't scrawny enough) and digital alteration. Many scenes emphasize this height difference, requiring a lot of forced perspective and actors standing on raised boards (or Evans in a hole).
    • Thor: Ragnarok introduces Valkyrie, who while badass is played by the 5'3 1/2" (1.62 m) Tessa Thompson, much shorter than 6'3" Chris Hemsworth's Thor and 6'2" Tom Hiddleston's Loki. Aside from wide shots - most blatantly when Val and Thor board a ship simultaneously and end up staring at each other - the camera tries to downplay the difference.
    • Natalie Portman required a raised platform to portray Jane after her transformation to Mighty Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder. Portman in real life is the same height as Tessa Thompson at 5'3". But Jane's height as Mighty Thor is whopping 7 inches taller at 6'. This special effect is very noticeable, as Jane is nearly the same height as Chris Hemsworth Thor!
    • Done in-universe in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, where the High Evolutionary's assistants bring in a box so that he can suitably tower over Ayesha, one of his subordinates. (Respectively, Chukwudi Iwuji is 5'9", while Elizabeth Debicki is 6'3"; the height difference was real.)
  • While Danny Trejo is extremely buff, he's only 5'6''. All his movies use tricks to make him look taller.
  • In every close-up shot that the 5'9" tall Mel Gibson shares with the 5'11" Sigourney Weaver in the film The Year of Living Dangerously, he's on a box so that it looks like he's taller than she is.
  • In Kindergarten Cop, Arnold Schwarzenegger (6'1") is often shown sitting in every scene he has with Linda Hunt (4'9").
  • In The Hunger Games films Jennifer Lawrence (5'7") and Josh Hutcherson (5'5"), who plays her main love interest, appear the same height when they are shown side by side. In reality, Lawrence is two inches taller.
    • This is actually parodied in How It Should Have Ended's video of The Hunger Games, zooming out to show Peeta falling off the box after eating poisonous nightlock berries.
  • In The Sound of Music, 5'7" Julie Andrews wore flats and 5'9" Christopher Plummer wore lifts so he would appear tall next to her.
  • Inverted in Capote, where 5'8" Philip Seymour Hoffman was often barefoot, standing in trenches, and filmed from specific camera angles to match the small stature of 5'3" writer Truman Capote.
  • Also inverted in Clifford, where 5'7" Martin Short was made to appear the height of a 12-year-old boy, using camera angles and other tricks.
  • In Young Mr. Lincoln, 6'1" Henry Fonda wore lifts to appear the height of 6'4" Abraham Lincoln.
  • In Of Mice and Men, 6'0" John Malkovich wore platforms and was photographed from specific angles to appear superhumanly tall as the giant character Lennie. There was already a four-inch difference between him and 5'8" co-star Gary Sinise, which was further emphasized.
  • In Spartacus, 5'9" Kirk Douglas wore thick sandals, stood on elevated ground (or had the people surrounding him stand in trenches) to make himself appear taller.
    • Douglas often wore lifts to appear taller in his movies. Frequent co-star Burt Lancaster once found Douglas' lifts during filming and hid them from him as a prank.
  • Aside from the very famous use of Hitler Cam, 6'1" Orson Welles also wore lifts in Citizen Kane to make Kane appear a towering stature. He can be seen towering over 6'2" Joseph Cotten in the film.
  • In Vault of Horror, Tom Baker's character appears the second shortest out of the main cast in the framing story. Some elaborate scaffolding must have been used to achieve this, since he's the tallest out of the actors in reality, at 6'3".
  • Terminator Genisys frequently disguises how Emilia Clarke is so much shorter than Jai Courtney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then averts it in a comedic way when all three take mugshots, and it's clear the men are One Head Taller. Although Emilia is shown measured correctly whereas the men have been given extra height over their measurements.
    • In general for the Terminator franchise, Schwarzenegger (~ 6'1") is above average height and massive but he's not that tall. Conveniently, the T-800 has a strong preference for outfits with boots.
  • Played for Laughs in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. When Elliot gets intoxicated by E.T.'s Psychic Link, he kisses a female classmate. Since she's much taller than he is, he stands on top of a tripped classmate to kiss her.
  • As revealed in the Special Effects commentary tracks for Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem's special edition, this was used to make the 6'2" Tom Woodruff Jr.'s Predalien tower over the 7'1" Ian Whyte's Predator.
  • In Scream 4, Emma Roberts, who at 5'1 1/2" was easily one of the smallest members of the cast (only Hayden Panettiere was shorter), had to wear seven-inch-high boots to avoid being towered over by her co-stars. Since she played the killer, it was extra important that she look like she wouldn't get knocked over by a strong wind.
  • Sofia Boutella requested the costume designer of Star Trek Beyond to put heels on the combat boots she wore as Jaylah. After all, she's 5'4" (1.63 m), and while most of Jaylah's scenes are with the average-sized Simon Pegg (5'9"), the height difference would be worse when the other men appear.
  • Simon Pegg himself wore lifts in his shoes in The World's End because the actor playing his character's younger self was about 2 inches taller than he was.
  • James Whitmore wore lifts in his shoes during the filming of Them! to compensate for the full foot difference in height between him and his costar, James Arness. (One assumes this was common with the six-foot-eight Arness, including in his most famous role on Gunsmoke.)
  • Sophia Lillis had to stand on an apple box when she was filming scenes with Stephen Bogaert in It (2017) because she is only 5'0", and he is around 6'0".
  • Invoked in Ball of Fire when Sugarpuss (5'5" Barbara Stanwyck) stacks and stands on two books to demonstrate "yum-yum" with Bertram (6'3" Gary Cooper).
  • In The Irishman, Robert De Niro wore shoes with humongous soles to tower above Al Pacino. The two actors are actually almost equal in height.
  • For comedy's sake, Jojo Rabbit had the already tall Stephen Merchant (as in 6'8") standing on a box in a scene with Sam Rockwell so he'd be downright humungous.
  • Vin Diesel isn't short by any means at 5'11", but in The Fast and the Furious films, he's been known to use these kinds of tricks to measure up next to Dwayne Johnson, who is around 6'4. In particular, he wears some pretty hefty lifts.
  • In Three Thousand Years of Longing, considering Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton are both very tall (he at 6'2", she at 5'11"), there is judicious use of special effects and camera tricks to make the Genie a few feet taller than Alithea.
  • Hercules In The Haunted World stars Reg Park, who had the Heroic Build to play Hercules, but a fairly modest height at 5'8", and Christopher Lee as the Evil Sorcerer villain, who, at 6'5", would naturally tower over Park. Director Mario Bava decided that, while some villains could be more physically imposing than the heroes, this wouldn't do in a Hercules movie. Therefore, whenever their two characters appear in a single shot, Park is usually standing on a box, or some other photography trick is employed, to make them appear to be about the same height, thus emphasizing Park's weight advantage over the wiry Lee.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 8 Out of 10 Cats host Jimmy Carr has to have a cushion placed on his seat so he can see over his desk. This led to a fairly hilarious scene when guest David Walliams "outed" him by insisting that he stand up, and then removing the cushion, leaving Jimmy about four inches shorter all of a sudden. Also subverted since Jimmy Carr is a good 6 feet tall, so it's more of an issue with the set (or for entirely comedic purposes).
  • Freddie Prinze Jr. complained a lot about his sole season of 24, and apparently the fact they had to disguise how he's taller than Kiefer Sutherland helped:
    "I went and worked for Vince McMahon at the WWE for Christ's sake and it was a crazier job than working with Kiefer. I didn't have to take my shoes off to do scenes with him, which they made me do. Just put the guy on an apple box or don't hire me next time. You know I'm 6 feet and he's 5'4."note 
  • On All in the Family, Sally Struthers regularly wore platform shoes, as she was 5'1" while her TV husband, Rob Reiner, was 6'2". The height difference is played for laughs in a flashback to when their characters, Gloria and Mike, first met.
  • On Arrow, the 5'5" Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak) spends most of her scenes with the 6'1" Stephen Amell (Oliver) and the 6'2" David Ramsey (Diggle). You can see where this is going. In fact, her Twitter bio used to say "I stand on apple boxes for a living."
  • Baby Daddy actually came up with a clever piece of set design for this, no doubt since their cast already existed in the extremes, with the 5'4" Tahj Mowry sharing scenes with the 5'10"-and-heeled Melissa Peterman and the 6'6" Derek Theler. Realizing they had large height differences to deal with, they seemed to design the sets with this in mind, such as the bar set being designed with a staircase in the background for the actors to line up their heights on (this came in really handy when the aforementioned Theler got a love interest played by the 5'2" Lacey Chabert, a full sixteen inches shorter than he.) This only seems to be used for blocking, however, as the show will often use the height differences of their actors as a source of humor.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Bernadette is played by the under 5' Melissa Rauch, but Howard, her boyfriend (later husband), isn't that much taller and thus it isn't that big of an issue. In one episode at her apartment, she got a ring at the doorbell and in order to look through the peephole, she had to use a step stool. Rauch mentioned that most of her family is pretty short and her husband is around 6', so whenever they get together it feels like he is visiting the Shire.
    • Both Leonard and Howard are fairly short, which is commented upon frequently in the show. Leonard and Penny are generally the same height but if Penny wears high heels she towers over him. In one episode the group was having a formal cocktail party and Bernadette was complaining about climbing the stairs in high heels and Howard revealed he was wearing heels as well. After a confrontation, Sheldon comments that Howard seemed taller than normal.
  • On the 9th season of Australian reality show/renovation show/competition The Block, contestant Deanne, married to the much taller, retired pro-sports star Darren (a solid 2 m tall — roughly 6'8"), stands on a Scully Box during the weekly judging. The box can often be seen in the shots showing all contestants.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • While Angel was in the series, Sarah Michelle Gellar (5'4") had to stand on a box just so she could be seen in the same frame as the much taller David Boreanaz (6'1"). The later seasons had her wear high heels to have Buffy appear taller than Dawn.
    • James Marsters, who plays Spike, has admitted that he would wear lifts in his shoes so that he would look about equal height to David Boreanaz.
    • Though it was bizarrely not used during Buffy's romance with Riley, with the 6'2" Marc Blucas (who'd even hoped to become a pro basketball player before getting into acting) having to practically bend himself in half to kiss Gellar.
    • In "Once More, With Feeling", for a scene where Willow and Tara walk through the park, Alyson Hannigan can be seen wearing high heels in order to minimize the three-inch height difference between herself and Amber Benson.
  • Castle: Stana Katic is tall at 5'9" but Nathan Fillion is 6'1 1/2". Even though the show is called Castle, the two actors' roles are basically equal in importance. So Katic almost always wears 3- to 4-inch heels, which are her version of the box. This is Lampshaded quite often on the show as asides from other characters and it is very obvious when she is not wearing heels. This example is also unusual because height differences of only a few inches such as this usually don't cause an issue.
  • Inverted in Columbo, where 5'6" Peter Falk was always slouching to appear even shorter than his real stature, making most people tower over the Lieutenant.
    • In the episode "Fade In to Murder", TV actor Ward Fowler (William Shatner) is revealed to be wearing elevator shoes to increase his height (a technique 5'10" Shatner himself has used before), which serves as an important clue. It's Played for Laughs when Columbo tries on Fowler's special shoes while lurking around in his trailer.
  • In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Scott Michael Foster is 6'2'' making him 11 inches taller than Rachel Bloom. For the most part this is played for comedy and included in the show, but their tango number "Horny Angry Tango" required them to be face to face at several points. As the choreographer puts it "What if she was on a platform that was 8 inches tall and she had 3 inch heels."
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:
    • The raised platform holding the desk serves a similar purpose: observant viewers will note that Jon Stewart, who is 5'6", always shakes the guest's hand before they step up onto the platform. It's just a matter of not looking silly, though; Stewart doesn't hide his height and indeed jokes about it constantly. He explicitly lampshaded the trope by jumping on the platform to briefly look taller than 6'4" Conan O'Brien during a Mêlée à Trois crossover between their shows and The Colbert Report.
      Stephen Colbert: That's the magic of television, Jon.
      Jon Stewart: Can I have a screengrab of that?
    • In 2012, Stewart took part in a televised debate with 6'4" Bill O'Reilly in which he used a platform to obscure the height difference. While this is common in such debates (in part to prevent people from subconsciously deciding the winner based on who's taller, which is absolutely a thing that can happen), you don't usually see one of the participants use a motorized version of the platform during the debate to rise up and tower over an already pretty tall opponent. Stewart mostly did this to defuse tension and get some laughs.
  • Degrassi:
    • Amanda Stepto, who played Spike, was 5'2" during Degrassi: The Next Generation, compared to her on-screen husband Stefan Brogren (Snake)'s 6'3", and so she either wore high shoes or stood on apple boxes to appear taller than she was.
  • Doctor Who:
    • 5'6" Louise Jameson wore knee-high moccasins with a wedge heel as Leela because she was co-starring with 6'3" Tom Baker.
    • Used in the promotional pictures for the TV-Movie to make Paul McGann appear to be taller than Sylvester McCoy. In reality McGann, with his height of 5'8.5" (1.74 meters), is pretty close to McCoy's 5'6" (1.68 meters).
    • During John Barrowman's first five episodes, Billie Piper had to stand on a box whenever she was in a scene with him since he is seven inches taller than she is. This is an unusual example given that John Barrowman and Christopher Eccleston are the exact same height (6'), and she never did so with the latter. It probably has to do with the mystique of the Doctor.
    • Freema Agyeman is below-average height, so Martha Jones is almost constantly wearing heels.
    • Used In-Universe in the Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned", where Kylie Minogue's character stands on a box to kiss David Tennant. It's Played for Laughs.
    • This was needed, but the actual box technique itself was averted, come time for Matt Smith to step into the shoes of the Doctor. For his most iconic enemy, the Daleks, those that remained were tailored for Billie Piper's height previously, but instead of employing any camera trickery or boxes, they simply redesigned a new set of Daleks to match Smith's considerably taller frame. Unfortunately, they weren't very popular with the fans and have since been benched.
    • Jenna Coleman, measuring all of 5'2", has stated that an apple box is required for some shots with 6-foot-tall Peter Capaldi. Her character Clara Oswald's penchant for wearing heels is clearly due to this trope as well.
  • Elementary has the 5'2" Lucy Liu with 5'10" Jonny Lee Miller. This results in Joan Watson wearing quite a lot of heels.
  • It's mentioned several times on the commentaries that filming Game of Thrones could be a logistical nightmare when Peter Dinklage's Tyrion shared a scene with another actor, especially Charles Dance who plays his father Tywin and is a full two feet taller. They often resorted to these sorts of tricks or had Tywin sitting down to make framing easier.
  • In Get Smart, Barbara Feldon was slightly taller than male lead Don Adams. This led to Adams standing on an apple crate or Feldon bending her knees and/or not wearing shoes so he would appear taller than she did in close-ups.
  • Glee:
    • Staging scenes is often difficult because of this, especially when 6'4" Cory Monteith was involved. Monteith was much taller than anyone else in the cast (even the cast members playing teachers), thus he spent a lot of time not only sitting but also leaning forward with his forearms resting on his thighs (otherwise seated cast members behind him still wouldn't be visible). Other times they actually used his height to their advantage; for example, when sharing a scene with Rachel, the camera sometimes switched to a shot closer to her perspective which only served to make him look even taller.
    • Chris Colfer is slightly taller than his on-screen love interest Darren Criss but because Criss' character was meant to serve as a mentor-type figure, efforts were made to make him appear taller than Colfer, even in photo shoots promoting the show.
  • Grey's Anatomy, in-universe: Miranda Bailey is very short and can clearly be seen using a variant in the OR to ensure she is at the proper height when operating.
  • Required quite often on Heroes whenever Hayden Panettiere and Kristen Bell, who are both 5'1", share scenes with Zachary Quinto, who is 6'1".
  • How I Met Your Mother has 6'4" Marshall paired with 5'4" Lily, which is sometimes commented on. But the rest of the male cast is still above 6' and the other female cast member Robin is a fairly tall 5'9", which leaves Lily as often wearing high heels even when lounging around at home.
  • iCarly:
    • Nathan Kress was very short in the first season, compared to the two girls in their power trio. So he had to wear a very visible pair of giant platform boots. By the time season 2 started, he'd hit puberty with a deeper voice (mentioned on the show), and he was as tall as Carly. In the current episodes, he's starting to tower over Carly as well.
    • In Season 4, Miranda Cosgrove has continued to get taller, while Jennette McCurdy has not, so in episodes from Season 4 onward, she starts wearing platform shoes.
  • I, Claudius: Both used and referenced in Claudius' marriage to Plautia, whom he meets on his wedding day. When seated beside her, they're at eye level, but when they stand, Claudius is horrified to discover that she towers a full head taller over him. After gaping up at her for a moment, he looks down at her feet, obviously looking to see if she's standing on something, but she's not. The actress Jennifer Croxton actually was standing on a box, as she's of normal height.
  • Jeopardy! originally used boxes, but has since switched to risers, so that shorter contestants may see over the podiums and to make all contestants roughly the same height to make pan shots easier to manage.
    • This was humorously referenced on the celebrity episode of February 9, 2001, on which Seth Green was a contestant:
      Alex Trebek: We started off the week, ladies and gentlemen, here in Las Vegas with me feeling vertically challenged because one of our contestants was [6'6"/198 cm] Charles Barkley and I felt very short next to him. Seth [who is 5'4"/163 cm] took pity on me.
      Seth Green: [points down] I got this sweet box! [steps down and loses about a foot in height]
      Alex Trebek: He wants to make me feel a lot better.
    • The 1993 College Tournament winner Phoebe Juel recounted that the coordinators had to search the studio for more boxes because the ones which were on hand were still too small for her.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Morfydd Clark (5'3") filmed several key scenes sitting on a box to make sure she is at the same level with her taller co-stars. One such scene is when Galadriel talks to a blinded Miriel; in the behind-scenes, Morfydd is shown sitting on a box while talking to the queen.
    • Notably a number of different techniques and perspectives are used with Clark and her costar Charlie Vickers' (5'11") Halbrand for him to appear only slightly taller. These are dropped in the scene where Halbrand is revealed to be Sauron and it contributes to his utter No-Sell of her dagger attack.
  • Inversion. In the later seasons of M*A*S*H with Major Burns, Burns seems to get shorter, despite Larry Linville being 6'1" to Alan Alda's 6'2", and Mike Farrell's 6'3" (BJ, in particular, seems to be noticeably taller than Burns, while Trapper, played by Wayne Rogers who is also 6'3", did not). It may have been a nod to the movie, where Burns was played by Robert Duvall (5'9"), Hawkeye by Donald Sutherland (6'4"), and Trapper by Elliot Gould (6'2").
  • Spoofed in the Monty Python's Flying Circus skits:
    • In "Scott of the Sahara", an actress is standing in a trench on her own feet, while the actor with her is on a box. The result is a ridiculous height disparity. And then, when the actor suggests that he get off the box and she gets out of the trench in order to bring them more-or-less on the same level, she flounces off in a huff because she never works outside of a trench.
    • In a skit about horse jockeys, several jockeys are so short that only their hats are visible in frame. Another jockey is so short that he has to stand on a box just to make his hat visible.
  • In The Munsters, already very tall (6'5") Fred Gwynne wore platform boots to appear superhumanly tall as Herman Munster.
  • In The Orville, Seth MacFarlane's boots help make him look taller than Adrianne Palicki, even though he's only an inch shorter than she is. Both of them typically tower over the rest of the cast.
  • Inverted on Password Plus, where host Allen Ludden was placed in a depression on the set so as not to appear as tall in comparison to the contestants. One contestant fell in Allen's "pit" upon walking back from the Bonus Round to the tables for the main game.
  • When the Granada Sherlock Holmes replaced David Burke's Watson with the shorter Edward Hardwicke, this trope came into play:
    Jeremy Brett: So he watched the previous thirteen films (and) decided to try and look a little like David Burke, as much as he could, bless him. So he put on a rug, I mean a toupee, and put lifts in his heels. And the first film we shot together was "The Abbey Grange". And we were running across a field, and these heels were too high so he was slipping and sliding. And I said, "Oh, Edward, take them out! I'll bend my knees for the rest of the film!"
  • In She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, for the scenes where Jen Walters has turned into her taller alter-ego, Tatiana Maslany used such trickery (along with a cutout of She-Hulk's face above her head) to give the co-stars reference before she was replaced with a CG She-Hulk.
  • In the episode His Last Vow of the BBC's Sherlock, 6'3" Lars Mikkelsen spends a great deal of his screen time with other characters seated or even at one point on his knees (where he is still nearly the same height as 5'4" Amanda Abbington.) Conversely, the height difference between stars Benedict Cumberbatch (5'11 1/2") and Martin Freeman (5'6 1/2") is highlighted and Played for Laughs.
  • Smallville:
    • Allison Mack (5'4") admits to using either a crate or a lifted "alley board" so she doesn't look short against "ostentatiously tall" Tom Welling (6'2 1/2"). It is the only way they could hug naturally with the 10 inches difference.
    • Cassidy Freeman uses it a bit as well, despite being 5'8 1/2".
    • Parodied in one scene in which Erica Durance kicks a stack of paper next to Tom Welling's feet (on-screen) before running to him. One of the more visible examples, as the moment in question eventually made it into the opening credits.
    • Oddly, in "Upgrade", Callum Blue (6'1") is somehow shown to be several inches taller than Tom probably due to misuse of boxes.
  • Referenced in the behind-the-scenes scenes of the Stargate SG-1 self-parody Show Within a Show Wormhole Xtreme. The male lead requests a "half apple" for the kiss scene with a noticeably taller woman.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, 5'9" William Shatner wore lifts and heels, and was often photographed from specific camera angles to look the same height as 6'0" Leonard Nimoy. In the episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?", they deliberately avoided showing Shatner and 6'3" Michael Forest standing next to each other. In "Court Martial", due to Shatner's complaints, the director re-staged a scene in which a much taller actor was originally supposed to stand next to Kirk and had him sit at a bar stool instead.
    • In the first pilot, "The Cage", short females were deliberately cast as the Talosians, to make 6'0" Jeffrey Hunter (Captain Pike) appear towering height next to them. While Pike physically towers over the aliens, they dwarf him with their intellect and telepathic capabilities.
    • Played for Laughs in "The Gamesters of Triskelion", where 5'6" Walter Koenig (Chekov) faced off against 6'7" Mickey Morton (Kloog), of course, not standing a chance, but providing a laugh for the audience.
    • In "The Ultimate Computer", Shatner, Nimoy, and 5'10" DeForest Kelley stood on apple boxes next to 6'5" William Marshall (Dr. Daystrom).
  • Inverted in Star Trek: The Next Generation, where due to Jonathan Frakes (6'3 1/2") being significantly taller than most of the cast, Riker was often shown leaning forward in a Captain Morgan Pose, simply because it was the only way they could manage to fit him into frame. Heck, an old back injury and the fact that he was even too tall for many of the sets and props led to the so-called "Riker Maneuver" where Frakes would swing his leg over a chair before sitting down, sometimes all the way over the back! 5'3" Marina Sirtis wore heels on the show to appear in the same frame with Frakes.
    • In the episode "Rightful Heir", 5'6" Kevin Conway was cast as the clone of legendary Klingon warrior Kahless. Given that Klingons are usually portrayed as big tall people, and to avoid being dwarfed by 6'2" Michael Dorn, Conway wore (very noticeable) platform boots, boosting his height to 5'11".
  • Similarly, spin-off Star Trek: Deep Space Nine rarely made any effort to conceal height differences between actors by allowing the 6'3" Cirroc Lofton to tower over virtually everyone else and the 5'7" Jeffrey Combs to appear much shorter than most of his costars. Most noticeable when the two share a scene.. They did usually have 5'7" Nana Visitor in heels to lend more strength to her character when dealing with the other main characters, who are all around 6' or taller, including 6' tall Terry Farrell.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager 5'4 1/2" Kate Mulgrew wore heels as Captain Janeway, so she would appear to be more of a commanding presence next to her co-stars, including 5'11 1/2" Tim Russ and 6'0 1/2" Robert Duncan McNeill.
  • In Star Trek: Discovery, 6'3" Doug Jones wears special "hooves" and (when his feet are not visible on camera) platform boots to appear a towering 6'8" as the Kelpien Saru.
  • Supernatural
    • Both Katie Cassidy (5'7") and Genevieve Padalecki (5'4") played the demon Ruby. Since almost all of their screen time was spent in the company of the 6'5" Jared Padalecki (Sam) and 6'1" Jensen Ackles (Dean), tall, spiky heels became a standard of Ruby's wardrobe from the get-go. Cassidy has stated these caused her to lose her balance on more than one occasion.
    • According to Richard Speight Jr.. (Gabriel), he (5'8") had to use four of these while sharing a scene with Padalecki and Ackles. Without them, he wasn't even in the frame.
    • One scene had Rowena (played by the 5'2" Ruth Connell) both wearing heels and standing on a curb while she talked to Sam, who was standing in the road gutter. She still just barely reaches Padalecki's shoulder.
  • In the earliest seasons of That '70s Show, the scenes where 15-year-old Mila Kunis (Jackie) and Laura Prepon (Donna) talked alone had either to portray them sitting, or to have Mila wearing platform heels. Not quite a box, but very close.
  • Top Gear: Richard Hammond was once seen to be standing on a box so he could see over the bonnet of a Cadillac Escalade.
  • Melissa Rauch also had this taken to new levels when she was on True Blood as she spends most of her screentime with 6'4" Jim Parrack.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) uses it with the 7'2" Richard Kiel to push him past any remotely possible human height as an alien in the episode "To Serve Man."
  • Used in-universe in Veep, where the Vice President's assistant has a folding stepping stool in his bag for her to use during speeches when the lectern is too tall. This is understandable, given that her actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 5'3". This causes Vice President Meyer some embarrassment in one episode when it's revealed that her box is made of a special metal alloy and costs $1200.
  • Wheel of Fortune puts the contestants on platforms that may be raised or lowered to fit their height and make spinning the Wheel easier. Sometimes averted with disabled contestants, who are allowed to bring a friend or family member to spin for them (and only spin, except on special weeks with two-player teams).
  • In The Wild Wild West 5'7" Robert Conrad wore large lifts in his boots, and the series had a policy not to cast female guest stars over 5'6".

  • When Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake embarked on a tour together, they did a photoshoot for Rolling Stone to promote the tour where they were eye level. However, because Justin is 5'11 1/2" and Christina is just barely over 5 feet tall, he had to bend down while she had to stand on a step ladder in order for them to be at eye level with the camera.
  • During the 2005 Academy Awards, Prince gave Best Original Song to Jorge Drexler for his contribution to The Motorcycle Diaries. Poor Drexler had to hunch so he could use the microphone set for the 5'2" star.
  • For the band photo featured on the back cover of Black Sabbath's 1980 album Heaven and Hell, 5'3" singer Ronnie James Dio stood on a ledge to appear the same height as his bandmates.
  • The cover of the Ramones' debut album tries to disguise the shortest (Tommy is standing on a ledge) and tallest members (the enormous - 6'6"! - Joey is slightly contorted).
  • In most of Nirvana's music videos, TV appearances, and band photos, 6'7" bassist Krist Novoselic was either crouching, slouching, positioned far away from/behind his bandmates, or shot from specific camera angles, so he would not tower over 5'9" Kurt Cobain and 6'0" Dave Grohl.
  • A similar technique can be seen in many Red Hot Chili Peppers band photos, where 6'3" drummer Chad Smith is positioned in a way so he would not tower over his bandmates, 5'6" Flea, 5'7" John Frusciante, and 5'8" Anthony Kiedis.
  • Stevie Nicks (5'1") adopted the habit of wearing 6" platform heels to avoid looking really short next to her Fleetwood Mac bandmates, especially 6'6" Mick Fleetwood.
  • tool's Maynard James Keenan is 5'7", putting him in the same slightly below average range as Tom Cruise, yet is matched with taller than normal band members Danny Carey (6'5"), Adam Jones, and Justin Chancellor (both 6'). Coincidentally, he's often on a stage platform and/or hunched over to make it difficult to determine his height. However, this is an aversion, since multiple band photos clearly reveal he is shorter than his bandmates, such as this one and this one. He also performs from the back of the stage cloaked in shadows, sometimes with his back to the audience.
  • When Bono (reported as 5'6) from U2 was photographed in 2005 for Time Person of the Year alongside Bill and Melinda Gates, he was made to stand on a box so the heights of all three better aligned.
  • Band shots of Metallica usually disguise how much shorter Lars Ulrich is compared to everyone else, such as the fisheye lens cover of Garage Days Re-Revisited.
  • Both Anya Geraldine and Jefri Nichol reveal on their social media that Jefri stands on some planks to make him taller than Anya in Noah's "Bintang di Surga" music video.

  • President George H. W. Bush made it a personal rule never to be photographed standing next to Ronald Reagan while he was Reagan's Vice President because the 6'2" Bush didn't want to overshadow his boss (Reagan was 6'0").
  • Michael Dukakis, Bush's challenger in 1988, wasn't abnormally short (5'8") but the height difference with Bush, combined with a broader physique compared to Bush's, made him seem short, and Dukakis's sensitivity on the subject came to light when a Boston Herald photographer snuck behind the podium and took a picture of the governor standing on a box inside the lectern during a campaign speech.
    • Parodied in the SNL debate in which Dukakis, played by Jon Lovitz, adjusted his position behind the lectern using a noisy motorized lift.
  • During a debate when Robert Reich was running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 (against the 6'2" Mitt Romney), a camera pan showed he was standing on one of these behind the podium. Understandable since Reich is 4'10" due to a bone condition. He's made fun of this in interviews, notably during one with the famously tall Conan O'Brien.
  • John Kerry, former longtime Massachusetts senator and former Secretary of State, frequently has this device used by people he's posing with, since at 6'4" he towers over practically everyone. This is especially notable whenever he has to stand next to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and is a good head and then some taller.

    It's also thought that this is one reason former President George W. Bush was frequently drawn as a midget in political cartoons, since while the real Bush is actually 5'11" — not small by any means — he wound up looking short next to the outrageously tall Kerry (same with Al Gore, who's 6'2"). There was apparently some behind-the-scenes handwringing by the Bush staff about this (previously, though likely coincidentally given the fairly small sample size, the taller major-party candidate had always been the winner of the presidential election) that resulted in negotiations with his competitor's counterparts about the best way to film them to prevent this, not that it worked.
  • Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy used lifts in his shoes to appear taller. During an event where speeches were given by Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy, several pictures were taken from the side, revealing the... vertically challenged French president had stood on a box, presumably because he wouldn't have reached the microphone — set up for the 6'1" Obama — otherwise. Sarkozy, who is 5'5"note , even needs one of these when pictured with his own wife, an ex-supermodel.
  • In a Swedish election debate in 2014, the state TV channel had Social Democratic leader Stefan Löfven stand on a box when debating incumbent (and taller) Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. The box drew attention among the viewers. In the election, Löfven defeated Reinfeldt.
  • A box is frequently used when interviewing Dutch minister of finance Wopke Hoekstra... for the interviewers.
  • According to The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, Emperor Augustus was shorter than the average Roman male and compensated by wearing elevated sandals. However, he made this a secret by hiding his sandals under his robe. This makes Augustus the first recorded "lifts-wearing" politician in history.
  • At Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration, Sasha, his 8-year-old younger daughter, was provided with a Scully Box that matched the color of the podium. pic.
  • During the 2020 Presidential primary, Sen. Amy Klobuchar — by far the shortest person on the debate stage at all of 5'4" — used a Scully Box behind her podium to at least put her on somewhat of a level with the other candidates.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The WWF's André the Giant frequently employed a crate during backstage interviews; he was already incredibly tall and large, but this served to make him truly tower over the interviewer. This was especially notable when he was doing an interview alongside another big man such as King Kong Bundy compared to their sizes in the ring. Sadly, the condition that caused his large size ultimately led to his early death.
  • When he came into the WWF in the 1990s, Jorge "Giant" Gonzales was 7'7" tall. Despite this, he wore lifts in his boots so the WWF could bill him as being "nearly 8 feet tall".
  • Kane stands at about an impressive 6'6", but because he was supposed to be bigger than his kayfabe brother The Undertaker, who is about 6'8" (billed at 6'10"), he wore lifts in his boots to be closer to his billed height of 7 feet.
  • Inversion: interviewers like the 6'2" Mike Rome and 6' Tom Phillips often have to widen their stance so they don't appear taller than the wrestler they're interviewing. It's especially notable when interviewing the under 6' Finn Balor or Chris Jericho

    Video Games 
  • Sometimes used in-universe in Ace Attorney when somebody is too short for the witness stand, such as Cody Hackins from the first game, who is a young boy. Apollo lampshades this in the fifth game when a witness makes fun of him for being short, while the witness himself needs a box to testify.
  • In Dark Souls, Solaire of Astora's model is blatantly floating in the air to give the impression he's about half a head taller than the player character. Also true of the Crestfallen Merchant in Sen's Fortress, but the layout of the room he's in (including a floor texture that plays with visual perception) make it harder to notice except when close up. By the time of the sequel, the developers overcame the issue, as demonstrated with Vengarl, who's really that tall.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, romantic scenes between a Dwarven Inquisitor and Iron Bull are identical to when you pursue him as any other race, despite Dwarves being half the size of Qunari. But a scene in the game's ending shows the Inquisitor standing on a stool so that Bull won't have to stoop down as much, with the humorous implication that your character is always standing on something when they make out. This was added to solve one of the animation issues that nearly made Bull's Romance Sidequest race-exclusive.
  • Ryoma Hoshi from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is the shortest character in the series at a mere 3'5", and because of this, he has to stand on a stool during class trials. This also happens when the robotic teddy bear Monokuma joins the students in the final class trials of both the first and second games, in which he stands on a vaulting horse to be the same height as the students.
  • Yennefer in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is actually very small compared to most other characters. Her height compared to others can seem inconsistent in cutscenes where her feet aren't visible because she is often levitating off the ground to get the proper angle.
  • Charlotta of Granblue Fantasy is a Harvin who is very sensitive about her height and as such is prone to standing on large wooden boxes to look more dramatic. Her Light variation has her Victory pose as her standing on a stack of boxes that will alternate between putting her at even height with others to having her tower over them.
  • A variation happens in Mortal Kombat II and 3. Shao Kahn is played by bodybuilder Brian Glynn, who may be impressively muscular, but he isn't particularly tall. His digital sprite was resized to tower over the other characters. This is referenced in Mortal Kombat 11, where Frost makes a comment about Kahn being much shorter in person; fans have had a similar reaction when meeting Glynn at conventions.
  • Since the way all characters despite their size take cinematic attacks the same in Street Fighter, in order to fit the frame some of the smaller characters such as Ibuki often are made to float from the ground in ways that can't be seen in camera, while some of the bigger characters actually clip into the ground a bit to fit the same scenes.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Jeremy Hawke in The Critic is apparently very, very short (18" shorter than he appears), and disguises it with heels. When one heel breaks, he starts running very askew.
  • An in-universe example in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode "Rondo in New York" when an action Hollywood star tours the theater to promote his latest film. The actor is really short and has a crew placing apple boxes as he walks by the crowd looking down on them, much to Michelangelo's disappointment.
  • A similar trick was done in Total Drama. Since Sierra is just shy of One Head Taller than her crush Cody, the animators had to cheat whenever she employed a Marshmallow Hell and kept Cody's feet a few inches above the ground.

    Real Life 
  • Tom Cruise is well known for manipulating his appearance to appear taller. Scully Boxes, and in just about every photo where you can see his feet, Cruise wears shoes with lifts to give him those much-needed extra inches. Interestingly, Cruise is 5'7", only slightly below average, but he's so well known for this (and so frequently around other actors, who tend to be tall) that many people assume he's even shorter.
    • In his wedding photos, where Scully Boxes couldn't be used, he had Katie Holmes squat down a bit so that she wouldn't be taller than he was. After divorcing him, Nicole Kidman (who is 6'0") commented "Well, I can wear heels now." on Letterman.
    • A bit of aside trivia, Cruise was the only actor in Top Gun that met the height requirements for a Navy fighter pilot. For comparison, Anthony "Goose" Edwards is 6'2", and was barely able to fit in the backseat of an F-14.
  • After ending her relationship with Rory McIllroy, Caroline Wozniacki made some "high heel" statements very similar to Kidman's, above.
  • This became a source of controversy when 5'11" baseball player Enrique Hernandez stood on a bucket when being interviewed by 6'1" Kelli Tennant, with many claiming it as an example of toxic masculinity in sports. In reality, the post was a joke that Hernandez himself had posted on his Instagram. But like many things on social media, the context was quickly lost.
  • David Miscavige (5'3") uses a box for nearly every speech he makes. He also surrounds himself with short people and has regular-sized and tall people stand in the back for group pictures.
  • CNN reporter Frederik Pleitgen typically ends up with a cameraman on a box. Fred is very tall, and when doing interviews stands with his legs apart to bring himself down to the level of most of his interviewees. This way, they aren't looking up and we don't get a lovely shot of the subject's nostrils. However, to avoid the opposite effect of Fred looking down, the cameraman needs a boost to operate the camera at a suitable height.
  • Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright accomplished the same effect by designing many buildings around his own height of 5'8". Tall people find them notoriously cramped.
  • Many photographers have boxes in their studios for just this purpose. It really comes in handy for couples with large height differences. Some studios also employ phone books (and other thick literary titles).
  • In the BBC's flat racing coverage, Willie Carson, a five-foot-tall ex-champion jockey, employs one of these to be seen in the shot with his much taller co-host Clare Balding (5'7").
  • Paul McGann (perhaps most notably seen in Withnail and I, being short, and Doctor Who, being less so) shares his thoughts on his height and the Scully Box:
    "Five feet nine. Quite little, really. From a squat tribe, you see. My brothers (and sister) are all taller than me, as are most of the actresses I'm required to smooch. At such times they usually stand me on a box. Sort of keeps your feet on the ground, paradoxically."
  • In certain videos and photos, voice-over Creator Couple Laura Bailey (5'2") is shown standing on a chair to reach her husband Travis Willingham (6'4"). In some photos, she's sitting on his knee/lap like she's a child.
    • Another with voice actor Troy Baker (6'3") and his second wife Pamela. There are a lot of photos showing her wearing heels, but it makes little difference to reach her husband's lips. In one of their wedding photos, he had to bend over in order to kiss her on the lips.
  • Much snickering was heard 'round the interwebs when a side photo of Mark Zuckerberg's April 2018 testimony before a Congressional committee revealed he was seated on a booster cushion.
  • Both Prince Charles and Lady Diana were about 5'9" tall, yet all official photographs of the former couple display him as considerably taller than she.

Alternative Title(s): Apple Box