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Shoulder Teammate

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Kenpachi never goes anywhere without his Yachiru.
Too bad they have no idea where they are going...

"I always have to respect a man who knows the importance of a shoulder loli."
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Whenever someone carries a small kid, their speaking animal sidekick, or a very small friend on their shoulder wherever they go. Maybe it is to help the smaller one travel faster, or a sign that the two characters share a close (figurative or literal) familial bond. Not to be confused with Parrot Pet Position, which is about Loyal Animal Companions, rather than actual characters.

Often overlaps with Morality Pet and Badass and Child Duo. See also Head Pet.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Baby Beel, alias Beelzebub, tends to favor Oga's shoulder whenever they travel together. Which is pretty much always, given you can't really afford to let the Demon King's son wander around.
  • Bleach:
    • The trope image is Kenpachi carrying his adoptive daughter Yachiru. She only leaves his shoulder for three reasons: To eat, to play, or to play. Worth mentioning that he actually carries pretty much everyone this way. Ask Orihime.
    • Ichigo followed his example for a while with Nel.
  • In Chobits Sumomo (a miniature persocon) is often carried this way.
  • In Claymore, Riful (in her human form) sometimes sat upon the shoulder of her boyfriend Dauf (in his much larger awakened form).
  • Much like the books Fili rarely leaves Jasmine's shoulder in Deltora Quest.
  • In Dragon Ball, even though Puar can fly, he'd rather stay on Yamcha's shoulder.
    • Kid Gohan is often seen taking a ride on his father Goku's shoulder in the anime openings.
    • Android 16 is large enough that 18 can ride his shoulder pad on the manga cover.
  • Fist of the North Star, Lin is occasionally seen taking a ride on Kenshiro's shoulder, he also does it with a nameless little orphan boy earlier on.
  • In a flashback in One Piece, Tony Tony Chopper is seen a few times hanging on Hiriluk's shoulders while in his cutesy, chibi-sized "Brain Point".
    • Chibi-Chopper does the same thing with Zoro as well as Sanji and Franky in the main story.
    • Nami does it with Luffy while flying on Billy in Strong World. Later in Whole Cake Island she does it more comfortably with Jimbei.
    • Robin is seen sitting on General Franky's shoulder in One Piece Film: Z.
    • Mansherry rides Rebecca's shoulder in the epilogue of Dressrosa.
    • Perospero rides on his mother Big Mom's shoulder during her Unstoppable Rage towards the Strawhats at the end of Whole Cake, pretty brave considering she could kill him at any moment.
  • The first two mooks (a huge one with a hammer, and a very fast midget) in Samurai Deeper Kyo are introduced this way.
  • Yui in Sword Art Online, when in Navigation Pixie form, likes to ride on Kazuto's or Asuna's shoulders when she's not in their pockets for fast travel or going as a Head Pet.
  • Martial artist Jim Mazinger and his young spotter Kouji Kabuto of Violence Jack. While they are indeed close allies, it is also justified as Jim is blind and needs Kouji to see for him. This, in turn, references their original source material, Mazinger Z, where Kouji would pilot the title robot in a similar fashion.
  • In Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, Sabnock Sabro seems to be a sort of magnet for these. At first it only seems like Valac Clara does so because she's a Cloudcuckoolander, but then we find out his sister does it too. Also, when Clara asked if Iruma wanted to climb Sabro as well, he didn't exactly shut it down, just state he had better things to do. It appears that Sabro's tall, mountain-man physique makes this trope an attractive idea. Additionally, he's initially averse to them doing this, but eventually stops bothering and just lets them keep doing it.
  • One episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX features this with two guest characters, the small and timid Briar and the much larger Beauregard.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho: The elder of the two villainous Toguro brothers is often seen riding around on his much larger (but younger) brother's back. Kuwabara even insults him by calling him a "shoulder monkey" at one point.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Aladdin Abu the monkey and Iago the parrot are commonly seen perched on Aladdin and Jafar's shoulders respectively .
  • In Batman: Assault on Arkham, King Shark carries Killer Frost on his shoulder while the squad is threading through the sewers. Used for Ship Tease.
  • The Iron Giant occasionally carries Hogarth on his shoulder. It helps that he's, well, a giant.
  • In The Lion King, Zazu occasionally sits on Mufasa's shoulder.
  • In Shrek 2 Puss in Boots gets to ride on titular ogre's shoulder after Shrek takes a liking to him. Donkey even gets jealous.
  • In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, after losing her Mini-Mecha in the Final Battle, Peni Parker takes a ride on Spider-Man Noir's shoulder.
  • In Tangled Pascal the chameleon rarely leaves Rapunzel's shoulder and at one point sits on top of her head.
  • One of the alien pirates in Treasure Planet is revealed as two when the "head" gets off the shoulders of his larger companion, who has his face in his chest.
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    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Poplock, an intelligent toad in The Balanced Sword, often rides on Tobimar's shoulders (he switches shoulder regularly) once they team up.
  • An adopted (or more properly mind-bonded) treecat in the Honor Harrington books prefer to ride on the shoulders of their human companion. They started as borderline examples of the Parrot Pet Position, but their in-story development puts them clearly within this trope.
  • In Jingo a gnome joins the Watch; Vimes first sees him when he's sitting on the shoulder of a troll.
  • After a new healer joins the titular guild in Log Horizon, she's usually seen glued to the back of the tank.

     Tabletop Games 
  • One of the variant lizardfolk cultures from the Role Aides 3rd-party Dungeons & Dragons supplement, Lizardmen, consists of two physically and mentally distinct subtypes: brawny, dull-witted warrior/laborers and puny Evil Genius masters/planners. The latter ride around on the shoulders of the former.

    Video Games 
  • Big Daddies in BioShock do this with their Little Sisters but only when you attack them. Big Sisters in BioShock 2 also carry the Little Sisters but in a cage attached to their back as they're not as big as their counterparts.
  • In Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight, two of the Big Bad's minions follow this trope, with Pic (the diminutive Fragile Speedster part of the duo) riding on the shoulder of Gorc (a huge Mighty Glacier).
  • Used as a gameplay mechanic in a late Dark Souls III boss. Sickly Prince Lothric rides around on the shoulders of his giant brother Lorian during the second phase of their boss battle. Also played with in that by this point, Lothric's magic is all that's holding Lorian up.
  • In Devil May Cry 5, V can ride on the shoulder of his Guardian Entity Nightmare, allowing the player to control it's actions.
  • Barret frequently gives his adoptive daughter Marlene a ride on his shoulders in Final Fantasy VII.
  • When Yuna summons Ifrit in Final Fantasy X, it bursts from underground and catches her this way before setting her down.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, General Raubahn, a burly Highlander Hyur, often carries his Sultana Nanamo, a Lalafell, on his forearm.
  • The Girl And The Robot: The robot can carry the girl around on its shoulder.
  • Atreus scrambles onto his father Kratos's shoulders during the climbing sequences in God of War (PS4).
  • In the Jak and Daxter series, the latter of the titular characters has the habit of riding on the shoulder of the former. Though, considering what kind of a person Daxter is, you might disagree about him being cute in the true sense of the word.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Felicia takes a ride on Haggar's shoulders in the trailer for Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Ferra and Torr from Mortal Kombat X are a symbiotic pair, where Ferra constantly rides on Torr's back.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: A Gargantuar is rarely seen without an Imp on his back. One variety of Gargantuar in the sequel carried three Imps on his back instead of one. In Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes, there were other variations on this team-up— one with just Gargantuars, one with just Imps, and even one with the Gargantuar being carried by the Imp.
  • Big carries Amy and Cream on his shoulder in Sonic Heroes.'
  • Starting from Gun-Jack, the killer robots created by Jane in Tekken carry her this way. We actually see her jump on Gun-Jack's shoulder as soon as she realizes he won the King of Iron Fist Tournament in his ending cutscene.

    Web Comics 
  • Bleach: Happy to Serve You, The page quote is Zaraki (who also provides the page image) approving of Starrk and his Shoulder Loli Lilynette. Ichigo is also a member of the Shoulder Loli club with Nel, and when Zaraki was young, he was the Shoulder Shota to Unohana.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Snail on Franklin, for convenience, usually on Franklin's shoulder. Snail is fully anthropomorphic in his own right, not a pet.
  • While he only rode on Groot's shoulder once during the movie, Rocket can be frequently seen riding on Groot's shoulder in the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series, even to the point where posters and other promotional materials show him frequently being on Groot's shoulder.
  • In The King Kong Show, cartoon Kong carries his kid buddy Bobby Bond sitting on his shoulder.
  • In Mighty Man and Yukk!, Mighty Man is an Atom-like tiny superhero who travels on his dog Yukk!'s shoulder. (The exclamation point is a part of his name.)
  • This briefly happens in the Steven Universe episode "Back to the Moon." When Pearl and Garnet fuse, Amethyst is hanging out on Sardonyx's shoulder.
  • The title character in the Classic Disney Short "Morris the Midget Moose," a small moose with full-grown antlers, meets Balsam, a regular-sized moose with tiny antlers. With Morris standing atop Balsam's shoulders, they both become one complete moose.

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