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Sleep-Mode Size

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Sure, he's big and scary when he's awake...but don't you just wanna cuddle the sleeping Demon Lord?

"You sure are strange though. Were you this small before?"
Zeromaru, Digimon V-Tamer 01

When an immensely powerful character has to have their power sealed for some reason (only to have their true powers unleashed at some point), the artists (usually overly fond of Super-Deformed or "chibi" characters) will represent this by drawing the character in their depowered or "sleep mode" state as a tiny, delicate, and incredibly doll like version of their normal self with the wardrobe to match. This can vary, be it Elegant Gothic Lolita or a more standard Kawaiiko. A normal sized character can be turned into Sleep Mode Size if they have their powers temporarily drained.

Another version is the character just looking like a child version of themselves. Sometimes the cast knows only that version despite the suggestion. The Reveal will show them to be extremely powerful...and probably really good looking.

This can also be done with dragons or other large monsters; they may enter Poké Balls or turn into playing cards, an adorable baby, or a plushy form. Just to name a few examples. The small form may be their normal form and they can only power-up for short periods of time or if given a special stimulus, much the same as a Transformation Sequence.

Super Robots tend to do the reverse with Telescoping Robot. For weapons, see Retractable Weapon.

Compare with Eyepatch of Power, Idiosyncratic Mecha Storage, Power Limiter, and Statistically Speaking.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Many magical characters in Ah! My Goddess can do this, usually to save energy; Urd is often seen making many copies of herself, so long as it doesn't tax her concentration.
    • The bonus manga strip and spinoff series, The Adventures of Mini-Goddess, features the tiny-sized girls having adventures within their own house.
    • In both the manga and television series, the demon queen Hild leaves behind a tiny fraction of her power after visiting, which is still enough to take the form of a little girl. While Hild's daughter Urd finds it embarrassing, Hild's introduction suggests that simply appearing in the mortal world without throttling her power somehow would easily take out a few city blocks.
  • In Bakemonogatari, Shinobu Oshino used to be a powerful over 500-year-old vampire with the body of a tall, buxom and imposing woman. After she was destroyed and had almost all of her power sealed, she was reduced to the form of a little girl.
  • Bakugan: In the human world, the titular beings can only exist as tiny spheres that open up into a toy-like version of the Bakugan. When they are thrown in battle and land on a field card, they return to their natural giant sizes.
  • Tanaka-san from Black Butler usually appears as a chibi tea drinking Miniature Senior Citizen since his real form drains a lot of energy.
  • Black Clover: After making a contract with Asta, when Liebe gives Asta his power he takes on a tiny form, small enough to stand on Asta's shoulder.
  • Sana-kan in Blame! takes the form of a creepy little girl when she's not fighting.
  • Bleach:
    • Kon is a borderline example. Technically, he doesn't HAVE a body, but for the most part, he inhabits an animated, lion-like teddy-bear belonging to Ichigo's sisters. However, if he inhabits a human body, he can supercharge its legs, providing tremendous running, jumping and kicking abilities...
    • Neliel "Nel" Tu, formerly the third Espada, was locked into a child's body after receiving a serious head wound that cracked her Hollow Mask (robbing her of full access to her powers) and losing her memories. In the Thousand-Year Blood War arc, Urahara manages to create a device to give Nel her adult form back.
    • Zanpakuto that have a sealed state can count as this when sealed. If someone is about to transition their zanpakuto to its bankai state, a common reaction from the opponent is a priceless "oh, crap!", because even if the zanpakuto is harmless in shikai, now they have to be ready to fight the wielder at full power! Averted with Ichigo's original Zanpakuto, as his inability to control his immense spirit energy made his sword huge, but later on never got much larger.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura:
    • Kerberos is supposed to look like a lion, but since his power is sealed for most of the series, he usually resembles a small, golden teddy bear with wings. He recovers his powers and original form towards the end of Season 1, but stays in the smaller one for practical reasons unless it's really needed.
    • Season 2 takes this even further with Spinel Sun, who usually has the form of a super-cutsie black cat with wings. Logically, when it's time to get serious, he takes his actual form — a really cool winged panthera who looks a lot like Big Kerberos.
  • Chrono in Chrono Crusade is another sealed-into-child-form demon, thanks to a crippling (for demons) injury suffered in the past; though he can temporarily re-adopt his adult form, he is loath to do so, since it requires draining time from his partner's lifespan.
    • Amusingly, he looked fairly cool in his chronologically first appearance in this shrunken form, with a serious face and tattered mod on his nineteenth-century Indian leathers, but during the main storyline he seems to have chosen a 'ridiculously cute' tailcoat and shorts style. Possibly for harmlessness points, since he's a known demon working with a Church organization.
  • Fleonell in The Dark Queen and I Strike Back has spent ten years sealed by the Holy Sword. After being unsealed, she's stuck in a childish and weak form due to her power being taken by the Holy Sword. However, she can revert to her true form and power by touching Ryou, the Holy Sword's wielder.
  • In Demon Love Spell, the youkai Kagura is sealed by the priestess Miko and ends up as this, in the form of an adorable chibi. He can only regain his fully grown (and very Bishōnen) body when he's in Miko's dream space.
  • Digimon:
    • Belphemon, the Trope Namer and one of the main antagonists of Digimon Data Squad, literally has a form called "Sleep Mode" that it spends most of its time in, that looks like an adorable demonic koala bear chained up (albeit Sleep Mode is nonetheless about the size of an elephant). It only awakens once every 1000 years. When it does, it transforms into its giant, bestial demon form called "Rage Mode" that mindlessly wreaks destruction.
    • "Tamed" Digimon are capable of assuming three or four (depending on the individual) extremely powerful, often gigantic battle forms by feeding off their partner's energy. Most seem incapable of maintaining these states for any extended periods, forcing them to spend their non-combat time in their Rookie/Child stages: usually small, animal-like creatures that represent the lowest stage when they are capable of fighting.
  • Inverted in Etotama, the Eto-musume are actually more powerful in their super-deformed "Pretty Mode" than they are normally.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Panther Lily has his own version of this. Normally the size of a tall, well-built man in his home universe of Edolas, he becomes the same size as his fellow Exceed when he goes to Earth-land. While he can assume his original form whenever he wants, it also runs on magic power, and he defaults back to his tiny size when he runs low.
    • Carla later gains a human form herself that likewise works on the same principle (though she's built more like a typical Cat Girl), as does a filler-only Exceed character Samuel. It's implied that all Exceeds can do this if they train their powers enough.
  • Envy and Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist go into this when beaten to the verge of death: Envy becomes a creepy worm-thing with way too many teeth, while Pride becomes a maybe even more creepy human baby that's small enough to fit on your palm which keeps saying "Mama". The former spends ages in this state, gets blasted down again, and commits suicide out of spite toward Mustang and resentment at Ed understanding his personal issues. The latter is taken home to his former adoptive mother to raise, hopefully, properly this time.
  • Any monster significantly larger than a human in Future Card Buddyfight is required by Earth's authorities to transform into one of these with the rationale given being that their default forms are intimidating to humans. It just looks like a Super-Deformed version of the monster and in the dub, it's called either a mini form or an SD form depending on the season.
  • Mic Sounders the 13th looks like a giant child's toy, but when he unlocks his limiter, he turns into the Humongous Mecha embodiment of The Power of Rock.
  • The titular character in The Great Jahy Will Not Be Defeated! has to assume a smaller body ever since she's cut off from the Demon Realm's magic. She can assume her original form for a limited time only, so she has to reserve it for important matters. Like doing her part-time work to make ends meet.
  • Haré+Guu has a "mysterious pink-haired woman" according to Guu who no one recognizes except Hare, who loudly complains is obviously supposed to be her. That the two interact certainly doesn't clarify matters.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de has the Great Tengu of the Kita Mountain, who, after one battle with Yasuaki, gets reduced to a cute Sidekick Creature Nuisance, dubbed Kotengu ("small tengu") by the central cast. He continues to stick around, repeatedly trying to get Yasuaki to turn him back. He eventually does have his powers unsealed, only to get killed in the battle he was sent into; although in the anime adaptation this ends up being a Disney Death.
  • Himouto! Umaru-chan: Umaru turns into a tiny form of herself when she gets home.
  • Biske looks and acts like a 12-year-old girl in Hunter × Hunter. In reality, she's about 3 meters tall, and incredibly muscled. She uses the smaller form most of the time, because her real form is 'too bulky'. And not feminine or cute at all, which she does not like.
  • Kirara of Inuyasha goes into battle as a flying giant saber-toothed cat but she spends most of her time as a cute little kitten, often riding on her mistress Sango's shoulder.
    • The Inuyokai have their true forms as massive white dogs but spend most of their time in a humanoid form with white hair, long fingernails as claws, and marking across their faces.
  • The spirits in Kiba normally exist as small marbles called shards which the owner stores somewhere on their body and are sent into battle by pulling them out and throwing them.
  • In Kill la Kill, Ryuko's Scissor Blade is, at first, quite large and held in a guitar case when she's not using it. But soon after beginning her quest, she learns how to shrink the weapon to the size of a keychain, and from then on does this instead when not in battle.
  • Same, the titular Killer Shark In Another World is capable of this. When not a gigantic monstrosity, Same turns into a smaller, Super-Deformed shark the size of a large dog, and acts more like an affectionate pet towards his summoner Shiromi.
  • Kishin Douji Zenki is about a demon prince sealed into a childlike form in order to control his powers. His handler can transform him into his bad-assed adult self with the help of a magical bracelet.
  • The whole premise of Kurohime. The titular heroine is stuck in the body of a child at the start of the series but, if given enough love power during a crisis, will allow her to morph into a full grown and very powerful witch. As the series goes on, she's does grow a bit more into a pre-teen then teenager before finally able to regain her true form.
  • Shiron the Windragon in Legendz is a large blue and white dragon with white feathered wings and an aviator's cap and goggles. However, he prefers to spend his time in the form of a small blue and white hamster-like creature who retains a small version of his cap and goggles. In this form he can only speak by making 'ga-ga-ga' noises. His saga often calls him "nezuccho" meaning "small rat".
  • In addition to more or less suffering from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, Arf from Lyrical Nanoha takes a puppy form to "conserve energy" for Fate, which also reduces her usefulness to that of "Babysitter".
    • Caro's pet dragon Friedrich spends most of his time the size of a large cat. In serious fights however, he can be unsealed to about the size of a truck.
    • And then there are Vivio, Einhard, Rio and Fabia. While their normal forms are that of kids, they can use their magic to take up older forms. Vivio says that this form is much better in terms of fighting, as three of them use martial arts, compared to Nanoha and Fate at their age.
    • Inverted with Reinforce Zwei and Agito, whose true forms are only about a foot tall. They do have the ability to take on larger forms while off duty (about the size of preteens), but they never use them in combat due to the increased mana drain.
  • In Macross Frontier Klan Klein is a Zentraedi whose natural form is a thirty-plus-foot tall, well-endowed adult woman. Like all Zentraedi she can "micronize" her body to human-size, but due to a genetic defect her micronized form resembles a short pre-teen girl. Though this is often Played for Laughs, it plays hell with her love life: as her childhood friend and love interest Michael points out, no adult would be caught dead making a move on poor Klan for fear of getting arrested because of her youthful looks.
  • Maranosuke: The title character's mother is really a thousand-years-old, but defaults to appear the age of an 8-year-old that only turns into a Hot Amazon adult to calm down her son's one-time berserker reaction to her presence by having sex with him, implying that Mara may otherwise stay looking that young or else remain a Broly-looking hulk just like his Big Bad Evil Twin who's permanently obsessed with being together with their mother for good and has spent the last millennium taking out such sexual frustration brutally doing women to death.
  • In Mission: Yozakura Family, Nanao developed a drug that shrinks him down to a size more suitable for someone his age, making him shorter than both Taiyo and Mutsumi when he normally towers over them. However, it's becoming harder and harder for him to maintain this "normal" appearance, and he needs regular injections of his drug to avoid hulking out in class. By the time Taiyo hears about it, he needs to get the shot multiple times a day, even during class.
  • In Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok, Loki looks about ten most of the time. If he gathers enough power by draining the evil from people's hearts, he can transform into an adult for a while.
  • Nyanko-sensei from Natsume's Book of Friends takes the form of a maneki neko (lucky cat statue) when he's not in his true one.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Evangeline A.K. McDowell, a powerful vampiress, was captured, de-powered and cursed with "School Hell", stuck to remain a middle-schooler to atone for her sins. Funnily enough, her "sleep mode" is her real appearance (she was vampirized as a child) and her full power form is an illusion that makes her look like an adult woman with a curvy body.
    • The half-dog demon Kotarou changes into a small dog when his powers are sealed. At his full power, he takes the form of a large wolf.
  • One Piece: If Luffy uses Gear Third, he gains gigantic limbs capable of smashing walls like eggshells. After using it, he reverts to a form where he is incapable of using his Devil Fruit ability for an amount of time roughly equal to Gear Third time. This form, of course, is about two feet tall. He loses this after the time skip.
  • The default form of Zygarde in Pokémon the Series: XY is Zygarde Core, a small, green blob-like cyclops creature. One such Zygarde Core travels with the heroes (nicknamed Squishy by Bonnie). If Squishy is threatened, it will summon other Zygarde Cells to transform into 10% (a dog-like creature), 50% (the serpentine Zygarde seen in the games), and eventually, Complete/100% Forme (a gigantic Humanoid Abomination). Squishy prefers not to display its power if at all possible, usually only going to 10% for a quick escape. The other encountered Zygarde Core, by comparison, is mostly seen in 50% Forme and prefers force.
  • Polyphonica's Corticarte Apa Lagranges is when introduced, originally depicted in her true form as a tall, beautiful, mature woman. However, for the majority of the series, her massive destructive power is sealed away, and this causes her to take the form of a young girl barely into her teens
  • Touhou Fuhai from Rosario + Vampire has one that makes him look like a Miniature Senior Citizen. That, or he's just powerful enough to regain his youthful appearance at will.
  • In Sailor Moon, the attractive and probably powerful mentors of the senshi are forced to take the form of adorable cats while on Earth.
  • Thanks to a special blessing bestowed to him by a past incarnation of the goddess Athena, Shiryu's teacher/Libra Saint Dohko from Saint Seiya has been in powersaving mode for centuries... until the beginning of Hades' saga. Then he goes from an quiet Old Master to a very handsome and very powerful Gold Saint.
  • Cz (yes, that is her actual name) from Scrapped Princess is introduced as an innocent-looking 7- or 8-year-old girl. However, her true form as one of the Peacemakers is that of a fully-grown adult woman.note 
  • Two examples from Soul Eater:
    • Ragnarok becomes a smaller and cuter version of himself after a Heel–Face Turn, justified by the fact that they apparently removed all the good souls he had eaten.
    • Medusa, who after being cut in half, took over the body of a little girl named Rachel and apparently twisted her appearance into a younger version of herself. She then says she's temporarily borrowing the body until she recovers her power, but then again she's a liar. However, she keeps her word this time, after taking her sister Arachne's body for her own, of course.
  • Mashiro in Tayutama first appears in the form of a young girl. Only some of her power is intact, though she can still command her group of spirits and use her hammer. After getting married to Yuuri, she comes into her true adult form, though still goes into her young form sometimes.
  • From Tenchi Muyo!, Washu is an extraordinarily powerful entity, perhaps even a literal goddess, who can change her appearance at will. For whatever reason, almost all the time she chooses to look like a precocious red-haired 9-year-old girl. She is quite capable of looking like a very attractive adult woman when she feels like it, though she doesn't do it very often.
    • The OVAs have a reason — she was badly burned in a relationship when her husband ditched her and took their child due to their social standings. She decided that she'd rather be a child and not worry about those responsibilities than deal with that again. Of course, she'd throw that away in a heartbeat to be with Tenchi...!
    • From the same series, Ryo-Ohki. Normally a cute fuzzy "cabbit", she can transform into the universe's most powerful space battleship. This is doubled up in the OAV, after she gains a Humanoid form. Though it has an adult size (which basically looks like Ryoko, except with brown fur and animal ears), she normally shrinks it down to a little kid's when she uses it. She has trouble walking bipedally in a form so top heavy, y'see. The manga spinoff even featured a storyline where she practiced how to walk with boobs.
  • Maya from Tenjho Tenge passes as a child to conserve her chi. Amusingly, her clothes don't change size. They're designed to (barely) fit both sizes; in child mode they look like a kimono, while in adult mode they become a miniskirt and barely-there shirt.
  • Gid, the Devilukan Emperor from To Love Ru, is currently stuck with the appearance of a 4-year-old after using up most of his powers to win a series of galactic wars prior to the start of the series. Of course, even his weakened form can still destroy planets unaided.
    • In the spin-off To Love-Ru Darkness, his daughter Lala expends enough power holding off the Brainwashed and Crazy Yami that she reverts to a similar state.
  • After using half of her soul to resurrect Kazuto Tokino in the first episode, the Space-Princess Valkyrie of UFO Princess Valkyrie is more-or-less permanently stuck as a 6-years-old girl. By connecting to the half of her soul stored in Kazuto (read: kissing him), however, she can temporarily assume her full-sized, superpowered form.
  • In CLAMP's manga Wish, all but the most powerful angels take on a Super-Deformed, powered-down form at night, while demons do so during the day.
  • Mugetsu from Xxx Holic. There's an interesting inversion in that it generally takes less effort to keep him in his larger form, as "shrinking" him requires a massive purifying aura. So why do they bother doing it? Because having a massive, taloned kitsune of death is generally not a good idea when said kitsune also happens to enjoy giving bear hugs.
  • The demons from You Are Being Summoned, Azazel become this when they enter the human world.
  • Koenma from YuYu Hakusho has a "toddler" form (for which he is teased mercilessly) and a "teenage" form that he begins to adopt more and more frequently as the series progresses.
    • Mind, the latter is an illusion — he's hundreds or thousands of years old, but gods take a long time to grow up. His ascension to being King Enma after a coup toward the end of the manga may or may not have accelerated the maturation process.
    • He also displays considerable power as a floating baby, but none whatsoever in his first 'human form' arc, and in the second he still has no combat ability, just 'raise dead' and 'force field of destiny' (which doesn't even work). The power for both has been stored up in his pacifier.
      Yusuke: You're not ready to die. You've just stopped teething.
    • Likewise, bishie demon warrior Shishiwakamaru is shown (in his re-appearance in a later arc) to have a vaguely bird-like imp form small enough to sit on his teammate's shoulder. The nature of this form compared to his usual bishie self is never commented on and never explained. The most sensible theory is that the imp form is his natural form, but he has the capacity to take on the other form because he likes the Bishōnen look and because it allows him to use his favorite weapon: a blade that summons disenfranchised souls. His imp form does not compromise on power, though, as he advanced in the Makai tournament after being engulfed by a large demon by going imp and exploding his opponent from within.
  • Zarame from Zombie Loan has been reduced, after a human tricked him, into a cranky chibi whose squeaky noises no one can understand (except for Michiru and Koume) and who is small enough to sit on Michiru's shoulder — but he's still capable of throwing chibi-sized scythes at the forehead of whoever pisses him off without fail, and most he says are threats and insults. While Chika and Sotetsu were rightfully weirded out, Michiru could only say one thing.

    Comic Books 
  • In Ninja High School, Kudasai Ichinose is usually drawn to be a Miniature Senior Citizen. However, in the prelude to the first chapter, when Ichi-kun challenges him for leadership of the Ichinose ninja clan, he suddenly grows to be roughly double her height, with muscles on top of muscles. Made fun of in a later short that Dunn did about the immediate aftermath; when Ichi-kun tells her sister about what happened, she imagines the form with a "Body by Liefeld" sign on it.

    Comic Strips 
  • Rose is Rose:
    • Pasquale has a gentle guardian angel who is a regular member of the cast. Most of the time he looks just like a floating, robed, and winged version of Pasquale. However, if he senses any threat to Pasquale, or is caught off guard, he instantly transforms into a 300+ foot tall colossus with an enormous, mountain-cleaving sword and a huge spiked buckler.
    • Likewise, Rose herself ordinarily looks like your basic American housewife. But given the right provocation, her alter ego, a Badass Biker woman who relishes jalapenos, fast cars, and other "dangerous" things, will emerge (invisible to everyone but Rose).
    • Alternatively, the adult characters in the strip (notably Rose and Jimbo) sometimes revert to child-form if they're doing something childlike.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Hobbit fanfic I'll Make a Dwarf out of You, Smaug spends most of the story lizard-sized due to a curse that was placed on him. He eventually returns to his normal size.
  • Junketsu had this in Natural Selection. Due to his full outfit being too much for the then 4-year-old Ryuko to wear on a regular basis, he was downsized into a scarf until she was old enough. Being worn by her in this mode is also how he came to obtain a grasp of language and even allowed him to gain a semblance of humanity.

    Films — Animation 
  • Baymax in Big Hero 6. When deactivated, Baymax goes back to his charging pad and deflates until he fits into a small box about the size of a small filing cabinet.
  • Mulan has a little quote from Mushu to the title character after his Big Shadow, Little Creature moment. It is heavily implied that Mushu is lying to seem more impressive. We never do see any evidence that he can change size.
    Mushu: I'm travel-size for your convenience. If I was my real size, your cow here would die of fright.
  • This happens to Bunnymund in Rise of the Guardians when children no longer believed in them. They go from a six-foot badass to a one-foot cute critter, much to their annoyance. Once children believed in them again, they reverted back to their usual form.

  • Olloch the Glutton from the Fablehaven series. To contain him, he was shrunk into a tiny stone statue of himself. If you feed him, he awakens, starts eating anything in his path, and grows at an incredible rate. He only reverts to statue form if he eats the person who fed him (though he apparently doesn't shrink again after that). At the beginning of the second book, Seth gets tricked into feeding Olloch, who eventually catches up with him and swallows him. Fortunately, at the time he gets eaten, Seth is wearing an impenetrable cocoon, so Olloch reverts to statue form and Seth passes through the digestive system and escapes with his life.
  • The Heartstrikers: An almost literal example. Ghost, Marci's bound spirit, spends most of his time as a ghostly cat that in turn spends most of its time sleeping. It's specifically noted that spirits normally don't sleep; the only reason he does so is because he is extremely low on magic, even considering his more efficient form. His more normal form is a ghostly Roman centurion. He is the Empty Wind, Spirit of the Forgotten Dead, and one of humanity's ancient gods risen again. But most of Marci's friends still know him primarily as a cat, so when Marci and Ghost curb-stomp one of Julius's more annoying brothers, his other brother Justin bursts out laughing that "a little girl and her pet cat" managed to take the pompous jerk down to size.
    Marci: Who are you calling "little girl?" I'm a year older than you are! And Ghost is not just a cat. He's a fearsome and powerful spirit.
    Justin: He's fluffy!
  • Malazan Book of the Fallen:
    • Dust of Dreams, the ninth book, reveals that the Nachts, small ape-like creatures, are pocket versions of Venath Demons as long as they stay in The 'Verse's main realm. When Sandalath and Withal enter Kurald Galain and take the Nachts along, the Nachts change form and become hulking Venath. They speculate that the Jaghut specifically bred the Nachts for this purpose, though nobody knows why and the Jaghut are famously taciturn when it comes to explaining anything.
    • Also in Dust of Dreams, Curdle and Telorast temporarily assume their true forms when Fiddler's reading of the Deck of Dragons draws power into Letheras. Turns out they are, true to their claim, dragons whose souls have been stuffed into tiny velociraptor skeletons.
  • Old Kingdom: Mogget and the Disreputable Dog from Lirael are both considered to be similar types of Eldritch Abomination that have been forced into much smaller, handily compact, forms.
  • Wearing the Cape: Japanese superspy Kitsune is a shapeshifter who may or may not be a literal mythological kitsune. While he can take on a seven-tailed fox form at will, usually when he does so he is nearly human-sized and obviously supernatural. When he's injured, he's the size of a normal fox and stays close to Hope, as their bond helps him heal.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Barney the Dinosaur starts every episode as a small inanimate dinosaur plush toy who grows to the size of an adult by the power of kids' imaginations and returns to his toy form when the episode ends.
  • Super Sentai / Power Rangers:
    • In the original series, Rita Repulsa is shrunk to the size of a Barbie doll after Lord Zedd removes her powers.
    • In Power Rangers Time Force, just about every Monster of the Week was "captured" as a tiny doll in a container.
    • Starting around 2010, it's become a minor trend for the Rangers' mecha to be stored as smaller forms when not in battle.
    • A reversal of this happens with Gosei Knight from Tensou Sentai Goseiger. Instead of being a human or humanoid who powers up into a ranger, he is actually a sapient mecha in his true form, so he becomes much smaller when he turns into a ranger and returns to his giant form by powering down, and he is stuck in his giant form when his ranger powers are being used by the Gokaigers.
  • The Spark Dolls from Ultraman Ginga and Ultraman X fit this trope, as they are the Ultra heroes and kaiju reduced to action figure size.

    Video Games 
  • Misha from Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia spends the entire first half of the game looking like a twelve year old girl. It's later revealed that her body reverted to this form when Bourd extracted the Hymn Crystal Chronicle Key from her.
  • In Blue Dragon, Deathroy aka Destroy is actually the biomechanical warrior who wiped out the Ancients' civilization, trapped in a powerless form. He spent the entire game biding his time with Nene and acting as his "pet". All the while waiting for a chance to consume Nene's soul since he needed the soul of an Ancient to unlock his true power.
  • Peco from Breath of Fire III is a little wobbly and sleepy onion creature, but when attacking he briefly transforms into a taller battle-capable form resembling his "father", the large Mutant plant.
  • Epic Seven: There's Arky, a small, round and fluffy blue fox which is the first Guardian that accompanies Ras and his allies, that can transform into a mystical fox form Arkasus when you summon him as a Guardian in the gameplay.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Beast IV, also known as Primate Murder needs to accumulate negative feelings to reach its full form. If not enough has been accumulated, you get Team Pet Fou.
    • Oberon can turn himself in a small chibi version of himself called "Robin Goodfellow". In this form, he can ride on his moth fast enough to travel all of Fairy Britain in two days, but he also becomes an airhead.
  • Happens with monsters a lot. One example: In Final Fantasy XII, one of the hunts is for a giant tortoise monster that turns out to be someone's escaped pet. While you're fighting it, it's enormous — twice as tall as your party members and just as wide — but after you defeat it, it returns to its owner (a moogle) and is suddenly only about a foot high.
  • The Harvest Goddess in Harvest Moon The Winds Of Anthos spends most of the game much smaller and child-like than she actually looks because she used up a lot of her powers to keep the towns safe from a volcano's eruption some time ago. She's appropriately referred to as 'Tiny Harvest Goddess' in the dialogue boxes.
  • The Ice Titan from Kingdom Hearts. Taller than the colosseum when you're fighting it, but once you beat it, it suddenly becomes so small that it has to run away lest Sora kill it by stepping on it.
  • From The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Midna's true form is a striking blue-skinned woman slightly taller than Link, but she spends most of the game small and impish, due to a curse placed on her. When wearing all four Upgrade Artifacts, she turns into a giant octopus-looking monstrosity.
  • Pokémon:
    • Aside from the general Poké Ball sequences, there's Darmanitan in Gen V, which turns into a smaller statue of itself when it goes into Zen Mode to conserve energy (occurs when over half its HP is gone).
    • Zygarde mentioned above, is the defender of Kalos region and to this end will even observe invasive species of other regions, just in case. It is less "sleep mode" and more spreading its body around to cover more area, with pieces gathering together to match perceived threats they locate.
    • The default form of the event exclusive Pokémon Hoopa resembles that of a young mischievous child or imp. However, if you restore its power by using the Prison Bottle introduced in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on it, it turns into its Unbound form, a form greatly resembling that of a powerful djinn.
  • The main character of Shadow Hearts: From The New World spends most of the game looking like a 12-year-old boy — albeit a boy with the mysterious ability to manifest an Energy Blade from an ordinary knife — but towards the end, his true form awakens, turning him into an adult — and an unstoppable badass at that. Which makes it somewhat more acceptable that he ends up dating the VERY adult ensemble babe in the ending. To be fair, he would be in the same age as the said chick had he not died once. It took five years for his father to gather everything required to revive him and his body didn't age during that time.
  • Touhou Project fanon holds that this is the reason Suwako Moriya appears as a little girl, either because she was defeated and her domain conquered by Kanako Yasaka in the past, or because her followers stopped following them both in the present. Canonly, Sanae Kochiya is Suwako's descendant, which would have implications if Suwako doesn't have an adult form (or it was a Virgin Birth from a Mystical Pregnancy, which wouldn't be surprising either).
    • Shiki Eiki is similar because she both appears as an adult and a child at different times in official works (her first appearance in Phantasmagoria of Flower View saw her as quite adult, while The Grimoire of Marisa portrays her as very child-like), so it is reasonable to assume that this trope is in action when she's not doing her job of judging sinners.
  • In Under Night In-Birth, Vatsita is revealed to have originally been an adult woman wielding seven blade-like wings before she sacrificed one of them which would eventually become Hyde's Insulator. This resulted in her current appearance, which she has maintained for several hundred years since.
  • In Undertale, Tsundereplane (a fighter jet which considers itself a Cute Machine) reacts to being Spared by retreating into the corner of the battle screen as a half-scale version of itself. Flavor Text takes note of this if the battle continues.

    Visual Novels 
  • The dragon in Dra+Koi takes on a human form after getting beaten up by the dragonslayer to conserve energy, which naturally turns her into a cute girl. Which is, of course, lampshaded.
  • Arco from Marco & the Galaxy Dragon can’t stay in her true draconic form for long. She instead spends most of her time either as a tiny dragon the size of a housecat or as a humanoid girl with limited shapeshifting abilities, switching between the two forms based on her hunger level.

    Web Animation 
  • Dreamscape:
    • When Keedran is brutally injured, she reverts to a form that resembles crumpled white tin-foil as she either heals or turns into her other form.
    • Snowball is usually a bear cub, but can become a ferocious adult bear.

    Web Comics 
  • Red from Mystery Babylon has one. When he lived with Kick Girl and Kill Boy, he took the form of a tiny cherub who slept in their closet. When he appears to Zero, however, he takes assumes a human-sized angelic form.
  • The Order of the Stick: Bloodfeast the allosaurus gets polymorphed into a small lizard by an enemy during a battle and the Order decides to leave him that way until his true form is needed due to it making him a lot easier to feed and transport.
  • Slightly Damned: Demons have a normal form and a berserk form they can enter when in a life-threatening situation but doing so usually kills them. Buwaro was born with a birth defect that causes his berserk form to be his default form while awake and so as a baby he had to be kept in a magical sleep at all times until he was given a pendant that allows him to maintain his normal form.
  • In the Animesque Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki, this happens to the Auroch, who ends up as Chiaki's pet.
  • Rak of Tower of God is really a giant 15 foot tall lizard man, who towers over just about every single cast member. Because he is so tall, the organization controlling the tower has given him the special ability to make himself extremely short to get around in areas he otherwise wouldn't fit. When he enters combat though, he instantly changes back to his true height.

    Web Original 
  • Dragonrider of the Whateley Universe has a dragon. A massive thing with a thirty-foot wingspan that can claw through granite. His normal form is a cuddly little critter the size of a housecat.

    Western Animation 
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983): In "Daimar the Demon", Daimar starts out as a cute little demon kid about Orko's size. The book about him said that he'd fall asleep, and that when he awoke, he'd lead the demon armies to conquer Eternia. When he woke up, he was HUGE.
  • King from The Owl House is a small and adorable dog-like creature who claims that he is the king of demons but lost his powers. It is eventually confirmed that this was all a fantasy he got lost in. He never had a larger form, since he really is a child. Though his adult form will no doubt be quite intimidating, since he's a Titan...
  • Robotboy: Robotboy's sleep mode size is an actual sleep mode. In it, he is inanimate and The Kid with the Leash passes him off as an action figure. His 'normal mode' is also similar to this in many respects, looking very cute and no bigger than his 10-year-old owner. It isn't until he needs to kick ass that he extends into his largest form.
  • Plasmus from Teen Titans was a normal looking man when asleep. They kept him that way as much as possible.
    "I'm awake? I should never be awake! I'm only human when I'm sleeping!"
  • In Xiaolin Showdown, Dojo the dragon spends most of the time more or less Mushu-sized. When he needs to ferry the heroes across the world, he shifts into a huge serpent. Though on a certain night every thousand years it's crucial he stay in this form while locked up as the lunar cycle turns him evil and you can imagine how he acts when going full dragon.


Fwench Fwy's True Form

"Still so cute!"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / SleepModeSize

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