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Shrink Ray

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Amy: How can we be in here? How do we fit?
Rory: Miniaturisation ray.
Amy: How would you know that?
Rory: Well, there was a ray, and then we were miniaturised.

Examples in various media of a ray (a portable gun or a fixed installation) which can be used to shrink things (or, in some cases, alternately to expand things, probably by reversing the beam polarity). Has been subjected to Science Marches On and is a Discredited Trope; examples that do appear these days are more or less humorous, or else aimed at a target audience of kids.

Most (not necessarily all) such are usually typified by one or more of the following:

  1. The shrunk object doesn't need to be unshrunk; this happens automatically (indeed, it can't be prevented).
  2. The further something is shrunk, the less time it remains shrunk.
  3. The mass of the object changes in proportion to the size change (well, to be pedantic, in proportion to the cube of the size change).
  4. Shrunk objects are more fragile than objects which are naturally of that size; this was handwaved in Fantastic Voyage as being because shrunk objects have loads of miniature atoms crammed into the space normally occupied by one atom.
  5. Shrunk/expanded items, even living creatures, continue to function as normal. (As anyone who's read Haldane's famous essay "On Being the Right Size", about the Square-Cube Law, knows, this is unrealistic; any living creature changed in size by more than a small extent would die in short order, due to being the wrong size for its shape.)

See also Incredible Shrinking Man (which can result from this), No Conservation of Mass, Shapeshifter Baggage.


    open/close all folders 

  • In a commercial for Energizer batteries featuring Boris and Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle, Boris attempts to shrink the Energizer Bunny with a shrink ray. He accidentally shrinks himself and Natasha instead, nearly getting them squished by the Bunny as a result.
  • A commercial for Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters shows a bunch of guys using one of these in the woods so that one of them can shrink and sneak into the girls' tent. Unfortunately, they didn't take the owls into consideration...

    Anime & Manga 
  • Anpanman:
    • This, in the form of a pistol, is Arinkokiddo's weapon, along with a growth gun. He's a tiny ant cowboy, so a zap from his shrink gun will bring the victim down to his size, with the growth gun being the only way to reverse the effects. In return, the growth gun can be used first to grow the victim into a colossal size, with the shrink gun returning them. The guns used to be squirt guns that launched out a liquid that changed sizes, but they now blast lasers. Thanks to his already tiny size, Baikinman has a tendency to nab his guns while he's napping, leaving him defenseless.
    • In her original debut, Dokinchan's spear was also the form of a shrink ray. Like Arinkokiddo it has two color sides; red for shrinking, and blue for enlarging. It was even seen afterwards.
    • Another episode had Bakinman inventing a mobile shrink ray. He originally intended it to shrink Anpanman, but instead gets shrunk himself. Then he gets bigger later after Horrorman and Dokinchan smashed it.
  • One of the recurring gadgets in Doraemon is a "Small Light". A flashlight-like shrink ray which shrinks any object and person down and does wear out eventually. There's also a "Big Light" which does the opposite. The small light getting stolen in Doraemon: Nobita's Little Space War even forms a plot point for the gang are stranded finger-sized most of the film until they can retrieve it.
  • High School D×D: Vali Lucifer's Sacred Gear, Divine Dividing, has a technique called Half Dimension, which causes objects and people around him to become half their size.
  • The Stitch! anime has a living example of this, but since said living example first debuted in Leroy & Stitch, we'll list said example under the Western Animation folder below to keep it with the other examples from its franchise.
  • Ulysses 31: Antipathes' prism in "Temple of the Lestrigones" can shrink anything, from humans to spaceships. The effect can be reversed with the other faces of the prism.

    Asian Animation 
  • BoBoiBoy: Adu Du creates one to shrink the titular character so he can be squashed like a fly.
  • Happy Heroes: An arc in Season 5 features a similar invention - a spray with two buttons on it, one that makes things shrink when sprayed, and one that makes things grow. The shrink spray is what causes the Supermen, Doctor H., Big M., and Little M. to shrink and find themselves in an ant colony.
  • Lamput: The docs invent a shrink ray in "Shrunk Doc" and use it to shrink Lamput, whom they stick into a vial to prevent him from escaping. Said shrink ray causes trouble for docs moments later when it accidentally fires on their vehicle, which shrinks... with Lamput still inside it.
  • Dr. Jhatka invents a big shrink ray in the Motu Patlu episode "Chote Chote Motu Patlu". Motu and Patlu accidentally set it off, causing them to shrink, and they spend the rest of the episode trying to get people's attention so that they can be unshrunken.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In episode 3, Wolffy invents white pills that shrink those who eat them and black pills that enlarge those who eat them.

    Comic Books 
  • All Fall Down: The Order of Despots has one on the Moon, and threaten to shrink the Earth with it. It comes up again later as a possible solution to a Colony Drop-sized asteroid which turns out to be a hoax.
  • Ant-Man: Pym Particles can shrink and grow things. Discovered by Hank Pym, he uses them to both shrink and grow under the moniker of Ant Man/Giant Man/Goliath/Wasp/Whatever he feels like calling himself today. In Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1977), SHIELD contacts Giant Man to provide them with gas that shrinks Godzilla for more manageable size for several issues. This results in Godzilla fighting sewer rats, then growing to human-size and beating up hoodlums in New York. The 'Big' G even gets a snazzy trenchcoat to rip off!
  • The Atom: The Atom had the ability to alter his size and weight at will. Depending on the Writer, he can also shrink other people and objects.
  • Dark Horse Monsters: The protagonist of "Jungle of the Giants!" is shrunk and put in a terrarium by his own son using a shrink ray.
  • Fantastic Four:
  • Justice Society of America: In America vs. the Justice Society, the Brainwave subjects eight members of the JSA to one so he can hold them hostage.
  • Power Pack: The character with the mass powers, usually Jack, has the ability to shrink to miniature size but retains his full mass.
  • The Scrameustache: Renaud, a small-sized human, gives a shrink ray weapon to Khena. When the duo were confronted by Kromoks, Renaud yelled at Khena to shoot. Khena fumbled, not knowing how to operate the weapon. One Kromok suggested pressing the red button which Khena did, shrinking down the foolish Kromok.
  • Sonic the Comic: Nack the Weasel uses size-altering cartridges which fire a ray that can shrink things or make them larger.
  • Starblazer: In the 1980's British comic, the Matter Condensor could shrink a cargo to a fraction of its normal size, enabling a small freighter to carry much more. Upon arrival the process was reversed.
  • Superman:
    • Brainiac is the owner and inventor of one of the oldest ones in mainstream science fiction, which he uses to shrink and bottle cities. In Supergirl's Three Super Girl-Friends, his improved shrinking ray can miniaturize entire planets.
    • In the Silver and Bonze Ages, Superman had one that could be used to allow people to enter the Bottle-City of Kandor (which was originally shrunk by Brainiac using a shrink ray in "The Super-Duel in Space"). Notably, Superman's shrink ray worked by exchanging one full-size person for one shrunken Kandorian, making them swap sizes. It was many years before he could find a way to enlarge all of Kandor on its own, and permanently, in Superman #338: "Let My People Grow!".
    • On the cover of Superman (1939) #365, Supergirl shrinks Superman down to tiny size with a Shrink Ray Gun as shown here.
    • In Superman: Brainiac, Brainiac shrinks and abducts Kandor, Metropolis and an undetermined number of cities with his shrinking ray.
    • "The Phantom Superboy": Clark Kent finds a sealed cache of Kryptonian weapons and decides to test an enlarging ray on one tree. Superboy accidentally hits a tiny lizard, which grows until becoming several times larger than a T. rex.
    • In The Unknown Supergirl, Supergirl uses a shrinking rifle provided by Brainiac's descendant Brainiac 5 to shrink a way-bigger-than-a-mountain monster down to the size of a lizard.
    • In The Girl with the X-Ray Mind, villainess Lesla-Lar uses a shrinking ray cannon to bring her victim Lena Thorul into Kandor.
    • In The Death of Luthor, the eponymous villain builds a portable shrinking ray to and he uses it to steal a bank...literaly, the whole bank.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Queen Atomia uses a kind of gas to shrink down and then enslave humans.
    • The shrinking formula named "Reduso Liquid" in Wonder Woman (1942) issue 31 is used to shrink humans down to microscopic size and was intended by the woman who created it to be used in surgery.
  • X-Force: Fantomex apparently stole Doctor Doom's shrink ray and uses it in Uncanny X-Force to shrink the physical exterior of a kind of pocket dimension called The World for easier transport and storage.

    Comic Strips 
  • Sally Forth (Wood): A shrinking weapon becomes an important plot element in the Flash Gordon parody adventure.
  • Scary Gary: Among Leopold’s many gadgets is a shrink ray. When he holds a yard sale to get rid of his excess lab equipment, he uses it to capture shoplifters.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • Despicable Me has Gru plotting to use a shrink ray to steal the moon. Not only are the effects temporary, but as Dr. Nefario discovers, their duration is inversely proportionate to the subject's original mass (i.e., the bigger the object, the faster it takes before it starts to grow back to normal). Nefario considers naming this principle after himself.
  • Doug's 1st Movie: When Roger learns that Doug and Skeeter have became friends with the monster of Lucky Duck Lake, he hires several science kids to build him a 50-foot Killer Robot to defend himself. They build a 6-foot tall robot instead, then whip out a ray gun to shrink Roger down to the appropriate size.
    Roger: (High pitched) You fools! This is all wrong! Change me back! Change me back now!
    Nerd: (To the others) Can we do that? (The others shrug)
  • In Felix the Cat: The Movie, when the Professor and Poindexter encounter a huge Swamp Monster, Poindexter uses a ray to reduce him to a hundredth his originally size, while commenting that the effects were temporary.
  • Monster Family 2: Mila Starr has one in order to capture large monsters like Nessie and the Yeti. It gets turned against the movie's villains Marlene and Maddox Starr in the climax.
  • Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back: After bringing the scientists back, Comet reprograms the vaporizer to shrink Zartog.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Ant-Man. The Big Bad hasn't perfected the technology to successfully shrink a person and survive the process, so he uses a handgun-like prototype to commit murder and dispose of the body, now a small puddle of Ludicrous Gibs which he flushes down the toilet. Ant-Man also has throwing disc devices that can shrink or expand inanimate objects, which he uses as Improvised Weapons.
  • [1]: The puppet people don't actually attack. They've been shrunk by a puppeteer.
  • Not a ray, but The Devil-Doll featured a shrinkage-inducing chemical process that reduced people or animals to the size of toys. Could be the Ur-Example, from 1936.
  • Downsizing has this as the "miracle cure" for overpopulation and to save the environment as having smaller people means using less resources and having more space.
  • Dr. Thorkel has one in Dr. Cyclops. It's basically a big silver ray gun thing he keeps locked inside of a room in his lab. Anything inside the room when it's activated gets shrunk.
  • Fantastic Voyage features a submarine crewed by surgeons which is sent into a scientist's brain to destroy a blood clot from the inside.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids hits two of the above points — the mass of everything that's shrunk is reduced, and living creatures function perfectly normally. On the other hand, everything that's shrunk has to be manually unshrunk by the same machine, and they're no more fragile than at normal size. Note that non-shrunken characters do take care to never touch the shrunken ones.
  • Mars Attacks!: The Martian leader uses a shrink ray gun on General Decker, then squashes the general under his boot.
  • In Once Upon a Spy, Big Bad Marcus Valorium's plan for world domination centres around his new invention: a cosmic ray powered molecular condenser. Or, to put it another way, a giant shrink ray. He ends up being shrunk by his own device.

  • In Animorphs, the ant-sized Helmacrons use a shrink ray to shrink the Animorphs down to their size.
  • Captain Underpants has the Shrinky-Pig 2000, invented by Professor Poopypants. He also invented the Goosy-Grow 4000.
  • The Television-Chocolate setup in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory involves one. Because the image of an object on television is always smaller than the actual object, teleporting an actual object by television requires the object in question to be much larger than it ordinarily would be — the result is that a chocolate bar the size of mattress comes out on the other end as no bigger than a regular chocolate bar. When Mike Teavee decides to try the system on himself, he winds up small enough to fit in the palm of his mother's hand. Since this ray's effects are permanent by design, Mike has to be stretched out to restore him to anything close to his original height (and winds up quite a bit taller than that).
  • The Harry Potter books feature the spell "Reducio", which has this effect. Not to be confused with "Reducto" which causes them to explode instead.
  • In L'Homme Élastique by Jacques Spitz, a scientist invents a nearly realistic version: it shows shrunk (or enlarged) beings live just as well as regular ones, but at least it acknowledges the problem and tries to Hand Wave it. Notably, mass is conserved, and the scientist gains the attention of the Army when he shows that miniaturized soldiers are tiny, hyperdense juggernauts.
  • Joel Suzuki: In Dance of the Darkeye, the Shellborn, who don't allow themselves to use violence, defeat invading alien ships by using a shrinking cast to shrink them to the size of toys and then trapping them in a special containment unit.
  • In The Last Days of Krypton, Brainiac uses one to reduce the City of Kandor to convenient portable size. He's done this many times before.
  • In The Magic School Bus, a shrinking ray is one of the bus' many features. There is also a portable version called, appropriately enough, the "Porta-Shrinker".
  • The novel Micro, by Michael Crichton, involves one, and is a rare modern example of this trope that is neither a comedy nor aimed at children.
  • The Size Spies by Jan Needle features a shrink ray created by an eccentric inventor, then stolen from its inventor.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat For President has Jim diGriz and his team carry items of miniaturised equipment thanks to a molecular extractor which can remove 99% of their molecules, then restore them to full size by extracting molecules from the surrounding area. Features only the "mass change" item above.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Seen twice so far in the Arrowverse:
    • In Legends of Tomorrow, Ray creates a device that can shrink and expand objects, although the effects are temporary, and the expanding feature was just in case they didn't want to wait for the shrinking to wear off.
    • An episode of The Flash (2014) has a metahuman who can shrink things, which can only be changed back if they're affected by his powers a second time. Also, he just happens to be the man that the team are looking for some information about in that episode. Guess what happens to Cisco and Ralph after they try to stop him escape a confrontation.
  • The Avengers (1960s): The episode "Mission... Highly Improbable" has a device that sends out a ray that shrinks objects or people down to the size of toys.
  • Blake's 7: In "Gambit", Avon and Vila smuggle Orac inside a casino for some gratuitous cheating by using 'molecular reduction'. In this case, no ray is used; the Magical Computer simply does this to himself.
  • El Chapulín Colorado has his chiquitolina pills (chiquito means small, a rough translation will be smalline pills) that shrink him down to the size of an insect.
  • A Plutonian worker makes one in Cybervillage. Turns out to be useful when the workers aren't getting enough money to eat.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Master is armed in many of his appearances with a ray gun called the Tissue Compression Eliminator, which simultaneously kills the target and shrinks the corpse down to a convenient-to-dispose-of size. It kept the rule about shrunk objects having less mass, but mostly averted the one about living creatures surviving the process. The novelizations explicitly state at one point that the death is due to realistic Square-Cube Law effects. The one case where a person miniaturized by the TCE survives is when the Master accidentally miniaturizes himself. Two characters in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip have survived the Tissue Compression Eliminator, Death's Head presumably because he is a robot and less subject to Square-Cube Law (later sources would suggest that he'd been artificially enlarged, and the TCE merely restored his "natural" size), and Izzy for unknown reasons. The TCE makes its new series debut in "Spyfall".
    • "The Invisible Enemy" includes a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot (using a shrink ray based on the same technology as lets the TARDIS be bigger on the inside, allowing a bit of handwaving about the issues of shrinking living things).
    • "The Armageddon Factor", by the same writers, has another shrink ray based on the same technology, built by a Time Lord friend of the Doctor's so the two of them can shrink down and hitch a lift into the villain's base.
    • "Let's Kill Hitler" lampshades it: The episode features a robot that can shrink people and transport them inside itself. When Amy and Rory are captured, Rory explains that they were hit by a "miniaturisation ray" because "Well, there was a ray, and then we were miniaturized."
    • "Into the Dalek" also features the "Fantastic Voyage" Plot, except the Doctor and Clara, plus several Red Shirts, are shrunk in order to go inside an apparently good Dalek and try to help it. Inside, they end up triggering the Dalek equivalent of an immune system (floating Attack Drones). Instead of teaching the Dalek to be good, the Doctor accidentally lets the Dalek absorb his deep hatred for the race, causing the Dalek to turn his innate hatred on its own people. The Doctor is horrified by the implications.
  • Sid and Marty Krofft Productions had an episodic kids' show called Dr Shrinker in The '70s, in which five or six people were shrunk down to less than six inches.
  • An episode of Eureka features a ray designed to shrink small inanimate objects by shunting most of their mass to an alternate dimension. Only... it is miscalibrated, and accidentally shrinks the entire town. Humans thus shrunk are still capable of functioning normally, other than being unusually hungry.
  • Farscape:
    • In "Bone to Be Wild", the villainous Br'Nee shrinks Zhaan in order to vivisect her.
    • Depicted in more detail in "I Shrink Therefore I Am". The crew are shrunk by bounty hunters to make them easier to transport and control. Sikozu immediately starts listing all the reasons why this is impossible (their brains should be too simple to function, and they shouldn't be able to breathe normal-sized air molecules) until Rygel tells her to just shut up and accept that the impossible has happened. The episode ends with a fight between Crichton and the Villain of the Week, with each trying to shrink the other and resize themselves. Needless to say, someone ends up getting squashed nastily.
  • Professor Memelovsky in Odisea Burbujas creates the Mycromacromathic Shower to change the size of things, using it to make his group of small animal assistants into human size.
  • Gerry Anderson's lesser-known (and last) Supermarionation series The Secret Service features a shrink ray that Father Unwin uses to shrink secret agent Matthew to two feet tall. This allows Matthew to infiltrate the enemy's hideouts and learn their plans (allowing the 2-foot tall marionette to appear in full-size sets, occasionally hiding from full-size human arms and legs, or pets). It can also be used to literally bring the enemy down to size.
  • The Dada aliensnote  from Ultraman (and a number of subsequent Ultra Series) are famous for using these to capture humans and take them back home to be used as scientific guinea pigs.
    • Their expies in Ultraman Cosmos, the Gigi, used similar technology. In this case, it was to make room for colonists on their overpopulated planet. Another episode showed that the same shrink rays can also be used to enlarge objects when a friendly Gigi scientist helps EYES and Cosmos fight some evil members of her kind by enlarging Musashi's Robot Buddy Clevergon to kaiju size.
    • The crow-like Raybeaks from Ultraman Tiga used Shrink Rays to kidnap humans and place them in tiny capsules so they transported to their homeworld to become slaves. In the 4Kids dub, they instead intend on turning humanity into collectibles ("You'll be bigger than Pokémon!").
  • The Wild Wild West had an episode where Dr. Loveless built one and used it to shrink Jim West and an Indian woman.

  • Dimension X: In "Beyond Infinity", Dr Winsler has built a prototype shrinking/growing machine. Objects put into the cylinder can be shrunk down smaller than an atom. The maximum shrinkage is measured in angstroms.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Carcosa: Weird Science-Fantasy Horror Setting. Space Alien shrink rays can reduce targets to 1/10th normal size for 24 hours.
  • Champions. When the power Shrinking is given the advantages Ranged and Usable On Others, it works as one of these.
  • GURPS Supers
    • The Shrinking power can be given the advantage Affects Others, allowing it to act as this.
    • The supplement Supertemps. The hero Nucleus' nanosuit can generate a shrink field that affects other living beings.
  • Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (SAGA System) Adventure 3 Fantastic Four: Fantastic Voyages. In the adventure "The Body Perilous", a device is used to shrink the PC heroes to microscopic size so they can be injected into Scott Long's (Ant-Man's) body. Once inside, they must destroy several crystals embedded in his heart.

  • One type of Kanoka disk in BIONICLE has the ability to shrink the target.

    Video Games 
  • The Call of Duty: Zombies map "Shangri-La" has its unique Wonder Weapon, the 31-79 JGb215. Zombies hit by it shrink down to ankle height, and can be killed by walking into them. It is used in the Easter Egg Mission to charge up several crystals which all blast an enormous meteor to shrink it into the Focusing Stone.
  • In Carmen Sandiego: Math Detective, Carmen has invented the Quantum Crystalizer, which shrinks objects and places them inside a gem, in order to facilitate her customary Monumental Thefts.
  • The Purple Tentacle in Day of the Tentacle invented one of these, and used it on the heroes while chasing them. They finally convince him to take out his anger on Dr. Fred instead, but the ray is reflected on his medical headband onto Purple, and that's how they manage to defeat him.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: The Allied air unit, the Cryocopter, has as secondary weapon the Strong Homogenous Residual-Interactive Neutron Kinetic beam, shrinking targets for reduced firepower and range, which also makes them vulnerable to being crushed. Other side-effects include increased speed (which the Allies use in one mission, shrinking their own units to run a blockade) and high-pitched voice.
  • Duke Nukem 3D has the Shrinker, an alien weapon that shrinks organic enemiesnote  for a short time, rendering them unable to attack or go very far; if you step on them, it's a One-Hit Kill, otherwise they'll return to their original size no worse for wear. There are at least two points in the game involving wall-mounted Shrinker ray shooters which Duke has to use to shrink himself so he can fit through very small passages; similarly, in one level you can shrink yourself by firing the Shrinker at a mirror, giving you access to a secret room. The Atomic Edition introduced the Protector Drone, an alien whose ranged attack is a Shrinker ray, and who can easily stomp Duke flat if he's shrunk. In all cases, Duke can No-Sell Shrinker projectiles and immediately come back from being shrunk by using steroids.
  • You use one to steal the Eiffel Tower in Evil Genius. And to subdue a fellow supervillain.
  • A shrinking device consisting of a platform and three laser turrets appears in Grounded, although the player character(s) start out shrunken rather than using it to shrink like you'd expect. One of the unusual side effects of shrinking is amnesia, so you don't remember how you got miniaturized, at least at first. Other Artistic License – Physics tropes apply as expected; you function more or less normally, and can move, carry things and eat normally without any consideration for the square-cube law.
  • Henry can use this in the third Henry Stickmin game, Stealing the Diamond, to make his way into the titular diamond's museum via a small crack, but this leads to a fail where he and a worm get into a fight and Henry loses and gets eaten.
  • In the ZX Spectrum game The Incredible Shrinking Fireman, the titular character, whilst fighting a blaze at a factory, accidentally gets zapped by a shrink ray and must find a way to expand back to full size.
  • The unmodified de-noodlizer in Parappa The Rapper 2 can shrink or enlarge characters (including Parappa) when a certain character presses the button on its remote control, even with help from the Guru Ant, of course.
  • Plants vs. Zombies:
    • Plants vs. Zombies: The Nintendo DS trailer for the game has Dr. Zomboss use this to shrink his zombies, which explains the Small Zombie Big Trouble minigame. Ironically, you cannot play that minigame on the DS.
    • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has an actual Shrinking Violet that can kill all small zombies and weaken the bigger ones. She does so by making them smaller.
    • Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes: This the Zombie Hero Rustbolt's signature superpower, even called Shrink Ray. Using it causes Rustbolt to fire one of these from his Powered Armor at a Plant Teammate, making them lose three attacking strength and even has the visual effect of actually shrinking them too. The Triassic set also features the return of Shrinking Violet as a trick. Due to the changes in gameplay, she now instead reduces the strength of a zombie and its next door teammates by two unless they are untrickable and if said teammates end up with 0 strength, she kills them. Said trick also causes the zombies to get shrunk.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters has one that Ratchet uses to go inside Clank.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, shrink rays are present in Metallic Madness Zone. These allow Sonic to get through small spaces, and Sonic retains his regular jump height despite being smaller. There are also grow rays that return him to his normal size.
    • As Sonic Mania is a love letter to the games from the Genesis era, Metallic Madness Zone and its shrink rays return in that game. The boss of Act 2 is fought when Sonic and/or his friends are tiny.
  • So uh, a spaceship crashed in my yard.: Property of the Mad Scientist. Used to render a statue portable as part of the main quest.
  • In Taz in Escape from Mars, the first world has a shrink ray, and the rest of the worlds have them in edible potion form. These will temporarily shrink Taz, allowing him to through small passages, but also hindering his ability to burrow through the ground. Also in the first world, there is a ray that makes Taz grow.
  • Transistor: Enemies hit by Void() will shrink, applying a debuff which causes them to take 75% more damage with each hit. Stack it up to three times to make them tiny!

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • 3-2-1 Penguins! has the galeezel, which is used to bring Jason and/or Michelle aboard the toy-sized Rockhopper.
  • The Banana Splits: In the segment Micro Ventures, Professor Carter and his two teenagers use a shrinking machine to reduce themselves and their dune buggy to miniature size and explore a Mouse World.
  • Birdman (1967):
    • In "The Ant Ape", Dr. Claw tries to use his Ultra Diminishing Ray pistol on Birdman but hits the Ant Ape instead.
    • In "Meets Reducto", the title villain creates a Reduction Machine with an attached pistol. Any creature or object it is fired at is reduced it to tiny size.
  • Danny Phantom: The Fenton Crammer, which doesn't just work on ghosts, is used to shrink Danny, Dash, and Skulker in one episode. Danny finds out the hard way that the Crammer's secondary effect causes a ghost's power to drain away, which is a problem for him, but not for Skulker's Powered Armor.
  • Dan Vs.: Elise invents a shrink ray. Dan ends up using it to shrink her and his nemesis Gigundo Mart.
  • In the Defenders of the Earth episode "Bits 'n' Chips", Rick invents a "micronizer", a ray gun which can shrink objects to near microscopic size. However, the effect only lasts for an hour, after which the object returns to its normal size. Though it does provide Rick (along with LJ, Jedda and Jedda's panther, Kisa) with a means of getting inside Dynak-X and defeating the electronic maggot which Ming has used to corrupt her.
  • In the Dennis the Menace episode "The Incredible Shrinking Dennis", PeeBee invents a shrink ray called the Shrinkerciser, which he uses to shrink Henry's bowling ball. When Dennis kicks the Shrinkerciser out of anger, it shrinks him. While in his shrunken state, Dennis has to avoid being eaten by Hot Dog, his pet cat, until PeeBee comes back with an antidote.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • On one occasion, Dexter uses one of these to shrink himself and spy on Dee Dee (but with the side effect of gradually altering his perception of reality).
    • In the Animesque Cartoon Network Groovies episode "Dee Dee and Dexter", Dexter uses a pistol-like device to shrink Dee Dee.
  • Dinosaucers has an episode with a size-changing ray device called the 4D lens.
  • In the Eek! The Cat episode "Honey, I Shrunk the Cat", Elmo the elk invents one so he can shrink a watermelon, but he accidentally shrinks both Eek and Sharky (who crash into the melon) instead.
  • The 1968-69 Filmation cartoon Fantastic Voyage, being based on the 1966 film, naturally has examples of this.
    • The CMDF had a large facility with three large devices generating energy beams that shrink the flying submarine Voyager and its crew down to tiny size.
    • In episode 15, "The Perfect Crime", team member Busby Birdwell creates a hand-sized device that can shrink objects.
  • Gilligan's Planet has an episode in which Gilligan discovers an alien size-changing machine shaped like a Rubik's Cube that only operates when the puzzle is solved. Three guesses when this episode was made.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Little Dipper", Dipper makes one out of a flashlight and a magical size-altering crystal.
  • This is Reducto's villain schtick in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.
    "I'll make you fun-sized!"
  • One is used on The Herculoids in the episode "Tiny World of Terror".
  • Julius Jr. has the Shrinkerator, a machine that can be used to shrink items down to minuscule sizes.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Rufus vs. Commodore Puddles", Dr. Draken plans to use one to infiltrate Area 51. It ends up enlarging his dog instead after said dog does his business on it.
  • This trope shows up more than once in the Lilo & Stitch franchise.
    • Lilo & Stitch: The Series has Jumba create two different shrink rays that are used for both shrinking and enlarging in separate episodes.
      • In "Poxy", Jumba uses a "reducer ray" on Lilo and Stitch in the X-Buggy so the human-alien duo can capture a microscopic experiment that causes illness (X-222/Poxy) from within Pleakley.
      • In "Short Stuff", Stitch uses a "Protoplasmic Growth Ray" so he can become big enough to ride a roller coaster, but accidentally goes too far and becomes too big. It becomes more difficult for him to move in his newfound giant size, and not only that but the episode's experiment (X-297/Shortstuff) also gets mistakenly enlarged and defeats Stitch in battle. Stitch is eventually returned to his normal small size to fight back and stop the experiment, who is then given a "one true place" that is based on one of his abilities and his new large size. Additionally, Gantu uses the shrink ray on X-625/Reuben to try to fight back against Stitch and his ʻohana, but the lazy experiment simply ignores them in favor of eating the world's largest sandwich.
    • The finale film Leroy & Stitch reveals that Jumba also created a living shrink ray in the form of his very first experiment, X-001/Shrink, whose ability is shown via newspaper clippings that shows that he once enlarged Jumba's then-partner Dr. Hämsterviel to a giant. However, it wouldn't be until the Stitch! anime that we see him using his abilities in action.
      • "Shrink" has him shrinking the main characters down to a small size, although not to microscopic levels like in "Poxy" of The Series. The episode ends with the characters back to their regular sizes, and him enlarging the alien BooGoo to become bigger than the Earth.
      • "Experiment-a-palooza" has him enlarging Stitch to become a giant. Not only that, because X-210/Retro's abilities were also used on Stitch, the blue experiment is also reverted to his original programming and goes on a rampage.
  • One of the many features of The Magic School Bus. Ms. Frizzle also has a portable version, called the "Porta-Shrinker".
  • Mega Man (Ruby-Spears) has an episode aptly titled "The Incredible Shrinking Mega Man" that involves these. Wily's plan involves using a large shrink ray to shrink whole cities and sell them to wealthy criminals.
  • Almost all episodes featuring the Fmeks in Men in Black: The Series include some sort of size-changing Applied Phlebotinum, as the Fmeks are very small. In one episode, Jay is made small in order to fight them easier, and in another, the opposite happens; a Fmek and one of the Worms increase to Kaiju size.
  • Nate Is Late: The Insect episode starts with Nate and Milika coming across the resident scientist that had made a machine meant to shrink things but figures it's broken and has the duo go to throw it out. Not surprisingly Nate messing with it has it fire on Milika and him and shrink them down to bug size. They manage to reverse the effects but the machine is picked up by the trash men before they can tell the professor about it.
  • In The New Adventures of Superman, as in the comics, Brainiac uses such devices a lot:
    • In "Superman Meets Brainiac", Brainiac uses a pistol-shaped device to shrink circus animals to tiny size so he can steal them.
    • In "APE Strikes Again", Brainiac uses his device to shrink a scientist and Perry White.
    • In "The Return of Brainiac", Brainiac shrinks Jimmy Olson, Lois Lane and Superman.
    • In "Brainiac's Bubbles", Brainiac's master Dr. Hekla (?) tries to use one on Superman, but fails.
    • In "The Cage of Glass", Brainiac shrinks an entire town for the purpose of repopulating the planet Mega.
  • Noveltoons: In "Out of This Whirl", a Martian spends the day with an Earth family. When a traffic cop attempts to write his host mother a speeding ticket, the Martian uses his ray gun to shrink the bothersome officer down to the size of a mouse. The woman and Martian then drive away, leaving the miniaturized patrolman still perched high up on his motorcycle as he yells after them in a high-pitched voice.
  • After a Noodle Dance in the PB&J Otter episode "Bye Bye Bubbles", Jelly has an Imagine Spot in which she uses one of these to shrink away Lake Hoohaw so she and Peanut can find Bubbles.
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar, Kowalski mentions that they are 700 years from perfecting a shrink ray (712 after Skipper destroys the prototype). In a later episode, Kowalski has a working shrink ray, but although the results are shown, you never actually see him use it.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Phineas and Ferb do this twice, once shrinking themselves in a submarine that ends up in Candace, and again later shrinking along with friends to play hide and seek inside.
    • Some of Doofenshmirtz's schemes fall into this trope: the Shrinkspheria, which is a giant metal sphere that broadcasts shrinking ray particles upon specific objects Doofenshmirtz has animosity towards; and his old Shrink-inator, which he turned into a plant display without unplugging first.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Jet Shrinks the Kids", Jet builds a shrink ray so he, Sean, Sydney, and Sunspot can become small like Mindy. It can also be used as a grow ray when reversed.
  • One episode of The Real Ghostbusters has the Ghostmaster sending ghost bounty hunters to capture the Ghostbusters; one of the ghosts makes them small in order to trap them easier.
  • The Simpsons: In the "Treehouse of Horror VII" story "The Genesis Tub", the tiny people grown by Lisa make a "debigulator" which shrinks Lisa down to their size so that she can visit their world. Their world's version of Professor Frink finds the concept of a "rebigulator" to be ridiculous.
  • In Solar Opposites, the two child aliens Jesse and Yumyulack habitually shrink humans in order to dump them into a terrarium in their room, where they have built a primitive scavenger society that forms a secondary plotline to the series.
  • In the Space Ghost episode "The Evil Collector", the title villain uses a "mini beam" on Space Ghost, Jan, and Jace to reduce them to six inches high.
  • The Thundersmall device in the Special Agent Oso episode by the same name.
  • In the Spider-Man (1967) episode "Fifth Avenue Phantom", the title villain has robots disguised as mannequins planted in fancy department stores where after hours they are activated, shoot shrink rays from their eyes reducing furniture down to size in order to smuggle them out to his secret warehouse where they would be converted back to their original size to be sold illegally. Eventually, when Spider-Man catches up to him, the Phantom tries to have his robots use their shrink rays on him, but the hero manages to dodge the rays long enough to overpower the Phantom, seize his control box and deactivate them.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants features a shrink ray twice:
    • In "Mermaidman and Barnacle Boy IV", SpongeBob accidentally comes into possession of Mermaidman's Utility Belt and, being his biggest fanboy, can't resist playing with it. Panicking over getting caught betraying Mermaidman's trust in such a way, he uses it to shrink Squidward, Patrick, Sandy, and everyone else in Bikini Bottom (Mermaidman included) to hide the truth, only to find he can't reverse it. His solution is to just shrink the town along with himself, so everything is relatively the same size as before (except Plankton).
    • "Squidtastic Voyage" has a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot involving Squidward swallowing his reed.
  • The Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Terratin Incident" has the Enterprise crew mysteriously shrinking. It eventually turns out that a tiny, shrunken city on the planet below wanted to attract their attention for help, and could only doing so by subjecting them to the same Phlebotinum that shrank them.
  • In the Superfriends 1973/'74 episode "Gulliver's Gigantic Goof", the villain Dr. Hiram Gulliver uses a shrinking ray on the Superfriends to reduce them to a tiny size.
  • In the TaleSpin episode "The Incredible Shrinking Molly", the main characters meet up with a Mad Scientist who's invented a shrink ray. After Molly accidentally activates it on herself, Baloo and Rebecca search for her by miniaturising themselves inside the Seaduck.
  • In the ThunderCats (1985) episode "The Wolfrat", the titular fellow releases a gas-based variant inside the Cats' lair.
  • In one episode of Timon & Pumbaa, the eponymous pair try to get past a stubborn goat blocking the border into France. One of their attempts is to shrink down and slip underneath it. Unfortunately, the effect wears off too fast, and they end up returning to normal size right under the goat.
  • This is how Tom of T.H.U.M.B. (a segment of 1966's The King Kong Show) got shrunk. He was a janitor at a spy agency when he took a spill down a flight of stairs. His sidekick Swingin' Jack helped him up but hit the switch of a shrink ray doing so.
  • In Totally Spies!, resizing technology is used recurrently by both WHOOP and villains. The dilemma of no less than three episodes involves one or all three of the girls being stuck tiny-sized and having to relocate the trope device so they can grow back (since it always has a reverse setting).
  • The Transformers has the episode "Microbots", which revolves around Bumblebee, Perceptor, and Brawn shrinking down to enter Megatron's body and remove a power enhancing crystal.
  • Transformers: Rescue Bots brings us the Minimizer, which shrinks Blades, Boulder, and Heatwave to a few inches tall, preventing them from communicating with the rest of the team.
  • The Venture Bros.: Rusty Venture has a junky shrink ray gun that makes an occasional appearance. There's something rattling inside of it and the logo on its handle is a picture of the gun itself rather than a visual representation of shrinking. In "Tag Sale, You're It!" Billy and Pete try to buy it, but their jokes at its expense cause Rusty to refuse the sale. It next appears Magic Versus Science competition between Dr. Venture and Dr. Orpheus to see who could successfully shrink someone. (They both fail.) In another episode, it's used to shrink SPHINX's submarine so it could be used in a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot.
  • The Zula Patrol episode about microscopes has the heroes shrunk down by the inhabitants of an "itty bitty city'' in a discarded pizza box. They just wanted to let the heroes know they were there, for fear they would unknowingly throw out the pizza box and destroy their city.


Shrink Staff

The Lemmings find a staff that can shrink anything to the size of a common flea.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShrinkRay

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