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The Big Guy
aka: The Big Girl

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Shown with The Lancer for scale.

"It's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don't even exercise."
Fezzik, The Princess Bride

In any decent team, someone's gotta be the powerhouse.

Like the name implies, they're usually the largest and/or the strongest member of the team, in charge of heavy lifting. If someone needs to bust open the door, hold the line against the enemy, break down boulders, or help you move your furniture, they are the one to turn to.

In a fight they're often the one who holds off the army of mooks while the others challenge the Big Bad. While The Leader and The Lancer often fight side-by-side, The Big Guy can be a One-Man Army. Against stronger enemies they might end up suffering The Worf Effect; i.e. getting trounced to set up the villain as an unusually grave threat.

While most are passionate and unflinchingly loyal, what holds them back from leadership among the core team is being Dumb Muscle. They know how to knock heads together but don't do much in the way of strategy. Despite this, as renowned warriors, they may still exercise authority over the supporting troops.


Note: The Big Guy may not necessarily be the strongest on the team (and usually isn't by the end). They just have to be the one who specializes in fighting or physical duties.

Common traits and subdivisions of the Big Guy include:

  • The typical tough guy. Gruff, mean, sometimes scarred and withdrawn warrior. Could go so far as to be a Berserker. In an entire Five-Man Band of ass-kickers, their big guy will most likely be ready to punch you in the face for smiling at him.
  • The Gentle Giant who you don't want to push too far. They can be a calming element in the group, offering both experience and wisdom, or just able to pull two others apart easily. In this case he may show signs of The Heart or The Mentor. Despite, or because of, their size, they're among the least aggressive and nicest of the bunch. In an extreme case they may be a Lovable Coward.
  • The Boisterous Bruiser, whose presence is larger than his physical size. This can range from being Big Fun, to an Emotional Bruiser, Blood Knight, or generally being Hot-Blooded and loud. This guy can be as large as the other types, but those with short and Stout Strength are usually here.
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  • A Genius Bruiser who can also fill the role of The Smart Guy. This character is rare, (presumably also for balance reasons) as The Smart Guy is traditionally unimposing and the Non-Action Guy. The polar opposite of the Dumb Muscle, this version uses their Strength intelligently, and may be diligent in their training and studies.
  • The Pint-Sized Powerhouse, a child or otherwise unimposing person that still packs a punch. If they're not a great athlete their power may come from raw determination. In cases of truly great strength, you may be dealing with a cyborg, mutant, alien, or some other justification for unusual power. This type is more common with female examples who may be a Cute Bruiser or Girly Bruiser.
  • The Brute, an exaggerated tough guy to the point of being a bully, and normally Evil Counterpart to any of the other Big Guys. He may be dumb, or too savage to do anything else for the team, but he's kept around because he's good in a fight.

Powers and skills common to the big guy:

Recently more and more women are filling this role, which used to be a rarity unless the whole team was composed of women. Since physical strength is usually a masculine trait, she may be a tomboy, Lad-ette, or mannish. But you can flip this on its head by making her the Amazon: big, and beautiful.

If she's playing the tough guy straight, her softer side is often a secret cache of girlish habits which she finds embarrassing. On rare occasions, she may be revealed to be a Butch Lesbian, a Tsundere, or even a Violently Protective Girlfriend. When there are Two Girls to a Team, the Big Girl and The Chick commonly form a Tomboy and Girly Girl pair. Most of the time, the Big Girl is the tomboy and the Chick is the girly girl.

Not to be confused with The Strongman (though overlap is not unheard of) or that other Big Guy.

Can have some overlap with Scary Black Man, The Strongman and the Proud Warrior Race Guy especially when dealing with dwarves. Due to their status as the biggest, most physically-dangerous person on The Hero's team, they often fall victim to Big Guy Fatality Syndrome. They often form a Brains and Brawn relationship with The Smart Guy in the group, or will be used as a Foil for them a la Brains Versus Brawn.


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    Comic Books 

DC Universe:

  • Batman:
    • Cass, Batgirl II/Blackbat, is the Class 5 for the Bat-family.
    • Robin Series: In Tim's group of civilian friends Callie Evans is the one the others turn to for protection if they think they are going into a situation where they might be attacked. At least two of her basketball teammates feel the same way, asking her assistance when confronting a football player that tried to rape a classmate.
  • Green Lantern:
  • Brute from Hunter's Hellcats, is a hulking, well, brute of a man with a short fuse whose typical reaction to any problem is to attempt to smash it with his bare hands.
  • Teamed with the Justice League or otherwise, Superman is usually considered the big guy or the big gun for the team, and is a mix of Class 2 and Class 5, although he's simultaneously The Leader and The Hero.
  • Justice Society of America:
    • Hourman, being the physically strongest and toughest of the original line-up, is the original Big Guy of the Genius Bruiser kind (being a genius Chemist who achieves his power through a pill he created) for the team, since Superman was usually little more than cover-decoration. Though the magnitude of his power varies in how it is depicted, within his Hour of Power, the Man of the Hour has even fought Superman toe to toe. And, though not typically showcased, his Miraclo pill also gives him superhuman speed, making him the second fastest JSAer after The Flash himself.
    • After acquiring his atomic powers and his Atomic Punch, the original Golden Age Atom, Al Pratt, also would qualify as the Big Guy of the JSA, of the Pint-Sized Powerhouse variety.
    • During the Post-Crisis years Power Girl spent a long time as the strongest member of the JSA and the most quick to jump to a physical altercation, despite her fluctuating backstory.
    • Atom Smasher (formerly Nuklon) was the Big Guy and Gentle Giant for the original Infinity, Inc., an incarnation of the Justice League of America and much of the Justice Society of America, until he did a Face–Heel Turn (he later turned back). His godbrother Damage has more or less taken up this role in the current JSA, who until Gog repaired his face was definitely a Class 1. Atom Smasher is presumably a reserve member and still drops in on occasion, usually when the team takes on Black Adam.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Diana is this to the Justice League of America by default. While she isn't the only one with Super Strength or martial arts training, her combination of both makes her the best melee fighter on the team.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): While Etta Candy was not the strongest nor biggest of the trio consisting of she Wondy and Steve Trevor that dealt with most villains, she was the one who would confidently charge in and fight rather than try for sneakiness like Steve or talking the villains down or pretending to be captured in order to learn more about their opponents. For this reason she was often kept back to charge in once Steve and Diana's attempts at a less violent solution failed.
    • Wonder Woman (2011): Diana's half-brother Lennox serves this role. He can change his skin to stone and fights with a hammer, making him the team's "tank" character.

Marvel Universe:

  • The Avengers had too many varied line-ups in their history, but their "classic" big guy is Thor.
  • Ben aka The Thing of the Fantastic Four is a Trope Codifier for superhero comics.
    • She-Hulk when she was with the team as well.
  • Whenever the Hulk teams up with other heroes, he generally fulfils this role.
    • The exception being the Warbound, where Hulk is the Leader and Korg is the Big Guy.
  • "Gothic Lolita" from Adam Warren's Livewires miniseries is a textbook Cute Bruiser.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • Ben Grimm/The Thing from Ultimate Fantastic Four is the strongest and largest member of the team. He's also pretty big when he's human, too.
    • All-New Ultimates have Bombshell, whose power is to make things explode.
    • The Ultimates: The whole team combined had a hard time dealing with Hulk, but then Thor came and smashed his head into the pavement.
    • Ultimate X-Men: By far the biggest and strongest of the team. He is the "go-to" guy when physical strength is needed.
  • X-Men:
    • Piotr aka Colossus of the X-Men is the poster child for Class 2, who replaced Class 5 Genius Bruiser Hank McCoy/The Beast when he first appeared. Sometimes they're both on the team which point the bad guys should generally start running.
    • "Strong Guy" of X-Factor, whose name came from him explicitly Lampshade Hanging this trope during a press conference.
  • Hulkling in Young Avengers is a Class 2.

Other Comics:

  • Apollo of The Authority, the team's calm, cheerful Flying Brick.
  • Arthur Korsky from Circles is a Genius Bruiser and a Gentle Giant who is an expert painter and prefers to paint rather than fight. But with his strength, he can chase down criminals and knock them out with a mighty punch.
  • Double Jumpers: Milo The Barbarian from the video game "Dungeon Lords 2" fit this role. Said role fell to Milo Jenkins after the two swapped bodies.
  • In Dynamo5, this role is shared by Scrap and Scatterbrain. Scrap is a Cute Bruiser, while Scatterbrain has sheer size on his side (he's a star football player.)
  • Vlad in Hack/Slash is a classic Class 3.
  • The Four Daves in Rat Queens. Braga of the Peaches is a female version. So is Violet, though she's more a combination of Cute Bruiser and Lightning Bruiser.
  • Bully, a non-Nazi skinhead from German comic Rudi.
  • Marv from Sin City was designed to be one of these. In Frank Miller's words: "Conan in a trenchcoat". He's seven feet tall, he's at least four feet wide, he's big and boisterous and strong. When he teams up with Dwight in "A Dame To Kill For" it's especially apparent.
  • Though only three-apples tall, The Smurfs have Hefty in the comics and the cartoon show and Gutsy in the live-action movie.
  • Jerom, from Suske en Wiske (Spike and Suzy), would be a typical example of a Class 2 character, save for the fact that he's a bit stocky.
  • Tintin: Captain Haddock is a big man, and though he isn't especially skilled in a fight, those he does hit stay hit. He once ripped a wooden chair in half with his bare hands when angered. While the director of the space center was still sitting on it.
  • Channon Yarrow of Transmetropolitan is a relatively subtle Big Girl— to be fair, being physically imposing by comparison with Spider Jerusalem isn't that hard. Still, she doesn't easily fit into any of the subtropes.

    Fan Works 
  • Socrates of Calvin and Hobbes: The Series is easily Class 4.
  • Cross Cases: Sam Winchester is the tallest character in Supernatural at 6'5" (195cm), a fact that he is evidently used to when he first meets the 6'9" (206cm) Harry Dresden and is surprised to have to look up at someone for once. This is Played With a bit in that the shorter of the two, Sam, fights like a brawler and is, in Harry's words, built like a brick wall, contrasting against Harry's aikido fighting style and lanky build. Sam lampshades it in his narration by calling the two of them a pair of scruffy NBA rejects.
    Crowley: "I didn’t think they came bigger than you, but you’ve gone and found yourself a giraffe."
  • Mortality Watson is the Cute Bruiser type, as well as the Gentle Giant (that shouldn't be pushed too far) type. Go ahead. Mess with his friend. He will cause you a life of SERIOUS pain and agony and not show an ounce of mercy while doing it. Uh-oh. Basically, you're dealing with someone who's ruthless if you mess with his friend.
    • Mycroft is taller, but doesn't do the things Watson does, though he is loyal.
  • Hefty and Duncan McSmurf (the Captain Ersatz of Gutsy from The Smurfs film series) in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf.
    • Evac could also be considered this to a lesser extent, though he mostly only qualifies for his size (he's even bigger than Grimlock). He could be considered a Mighty Glacier.
  • Erin Suda, Shun Daimonji, Ban Chosuke and Kamen Rider Amazon for Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, In its sidestory Month of Sundays, this role is filled by Rumi Egawa and Taira Katagiri.
  • Hugh from The Night Unfurls is an unorthodox example, given his lean physique, his usage of skill-based weapons (Threaded Cane, Chikage, Simon's Bowblade) rather than power-based ones like BFSs, axes or hammers, and his graceful fighting style instead of brute force all the way. What makes him firmly this trope is that he is mute ("dumb", but not stupid), and that among the Five-Hunter Band, he is considered the most deadly, due to his proficiency in both swordsmanship and marksmanship that allows adaptability in close-quarters and long-ranged fights respectively.
  • Pokémon's Send Your Original Characters fanfic, Pokemon Take Two, gives us Raion, the protagonist. She may not be anything special when it comes to Pokémon training, but has more physical strength than a ten-year-old child should.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Vix-Lei the minotaur is the biggest and muscliest of the group, relying on raw physical might. Wind Breaker starts as a second one of these for the group, who sometimes fights up close but gradually becomes more of a Long-Range Fighter.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Iris takes this role as the most physically capable member of Ash's group, which is justified as she grew up in the wild raised by Dragon Pokémon. She is a mixture of types 2 and 5, as she's physically the tallest and most athletic of the group, but for the most part very kind and caring in her own way. Over the course of the story she takes to physically train Ash and the others in both physical capacities and the use of their bloodliner powers.
  • Achmed from The Secret Life of the Backyard Kids. He's not "big" or "strong" but he's definitely a Boisterous Bruiser Rock Star, putting him squarely in Class 4.
  • Rika, Ryo, Beelzemon, Kazu and, surprisingly enough Jeri all fit this role in the Tamers Forever Series, being the best straight up fighters on the team.
  • Grimlock is a Class 1 this in Transformers Meta.
  • Ragna is this to Team RNJR in BlazBlue Alternative: Remnant, as he's the most experienced and powerful member of the team by a country mile, being able to best the likes of Team CFVY and Pyrrha Nikos in single combat. The rest of his team even call him their "big gun".

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Myths & Religion 
  • Heracles takes on this role when part of an ensemble, and is one of the earliest recorded Big Guys in human culture. There's a reason why we use the adjective "Herculean" even today.
  • Ajax, being described as a giant of a man towering "head and shoulders" above the rest and incredibly powerful. He is called the "bulwark of the Achaeans" as their strongest warrior and second-best fighter after Achilles himself. He is never described as receiving in injury in The Iliad.
  • Sir Gawain of Arthurian myth is traditionally described as the biggest and strongest of all Arthur's knights (though whether he's the most skilled varies). According to some stories, his strength triples at noon.


    Tabletop Games 
  • The special character Nork Deddog in Imperial Guard Codex of Warhammer 40,000 is definitely a Class 2. While he is proud of his many shiny buttons and is a genius in Ogryn terms (N is for Nork), he remains in the Guard because of the content feeling fighting alongside his fellow troopers gives him.
    • While all Astartes are a minimum of seven feet tall with Power Armor and huge weapons to match, personality-wise the Space Wolves (Space Vikings) best fit the bill, followed by the White Scars (Space Mongols), being loud, proud, and in the Wolves' case, protective of those weaker than them, an attitude which has not gotten them many friends in the Inquisition.
      • The Salamanders and Ultramarines chapters arguably come in before Space Wolves as Class 2 or 3. The former chapter has a doctrine of compassion, duty and self-sacrifice; lives among the people of their homeworld when off-duty (rather than holed up in a mountain fortress); and are the only chapter said to have fought for the people during the 2nd and 3rd wars for Armageddon, defending hive cities, supply lines, and evacuees. Chapter master Tu'Shan even reportedly came to blows with the Marines Malevolent for shelling an invaded refugee encampment. They can also count as Genius Bruisers, even among most other Space Marine chapters, due to their ties and training with the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Ultramarines control a small 'sub-empire' surrounding their homeworld; governed according to the egalatarian ideals of meritocracy and common good instilled in them by their founding Primarch, Roboute Guilliman, and which the Ultramarines despair to find lacking in their brother chapters and other imperial star systems.
  • Giants in Warhammer have a spotty history as allies and mercenaries, usable by most if not all armies. (most notably in the form of the brothers Bologs and Cachtorr from the mist-shrouded isle of Albion) They tend to be more solidly and permanently associated with destructive factions, such as the various forces of Chaos, greenskins, and Ogre Kingdoms. (The latter as the biggest guy in a whole army of big guys.) However, the human Imperial city of Middenheim had it's own resident giant in the background: Thunderball, employed as the loader for Middenheim's giant cannon Ulric's Thunder. He was eventually mutated with warpstone by Skaven infiltrators.
  • In Rocket Age Julandri labourers, Maduri and Venusians tower over nearly everyone else and are often wider.

  • Most Toa of Stone fill this role on their respective teams in BIONICLE. They tend to be Boisterous Bruiser types. Toa of Earth may also qualify, but they tend to be GeniusBruisers and better suited to being The Smart Guy.
  • Transformers: Sludge of the Dinobots, usually serving as the Dumb Muscle of the team, mixed with Gentle Giant (in as much as any Dinobot is "gentle"). His IDW comics incarnation actually is the largest of the team, thanks to an attempt at realistic scale.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Maine of is a classic Class 1. He's huge, terrifying in combat, and can take unbelievable amounts of punishment. And he doesn't much care if you have a nice day or not.
    • Tex and Sheila/FILSS also apply. Both pretty well fit in the Giantess category; one is only ever seen in full body armor and is an AI in a robot body anyway while the other is literally a tank (and a Cool Ship). Sheila is undeniably the toughest and best fighter in the series (she's a tank and a spaceship with an enormous gun), but Tex is one of the best as well.
  • Mister Brave from Dusk's Dawn. He can ram though tornadoes.
  • RWBY: Yang Xiao Long fills this role for the eponymous team of heroines, as she's the tallest, most visibly athletic and (by far) the physically strongest of the group, and is also implied to be their most skilled fighter, if Team RWBY selecting her to be their representative in the Vytal tournament is anything to go by. Yang is arguably a Reconstruction of the trope, as she sidesteps the traditional group muscle baggage by seeming to be just as strong and skilled in combat as her reputation and nearly-unblemished win record suggests, in an Aversion of Informed Attribute - the villains instead opt to bring about her downfall through other means where her raw power is meaningless.
  • Dreamscape: Vampire Lord is The Big Guy of the Five-Man Band. He is very strong and strong-willed, and he's also a bit of a smartass.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick- In most of the agreed Five-Man Band allocations, the role of The Big Guy goes to either Durkon, a hammer-wielding dwarf cleric whose signature spell involves growing to great size, or Belkar, the halfling Heroic Comedic Sociopath. Both fit the 'small guy, big influence' variant as well.
  • Curse Quest: Mogarth the Unbreakable. He towers over Captain Walrus significantly and is definitely the strongest of the team being able to take on three owl-bears single-handedly.
  • In The Sins, The original Envy was The Big Guy of the Gentle Giant kind. Since his departure this role has been filled by Anger, the new Envy filling a very different trope.
  • Bun-Bun from Sluggy Freelance is one of these, despite being the smallest (and arguably cutest) member of the cast. He's the Killer Rabbit trope cranked up to eleven and given a Hammerspace switchblade and glock.
  • Krunch Bloodrage of Looking for Group is a Genius Bruiser example.
  • Yeager from Nodwick. Class 4.
  • Mr. Mighty from Everyday Heroes, at least in his current team. He could be either Class 2 or Class 5; in practice bouts with his teammates, he wins by strategy rather than pure strength. Has often fought solo in the past, and has learned to outsmart opponents.
  • Reginald from Parallel Dementia. Class 2: Gentle Giant and Class 5: Genius Bruiser
  • Eddie from Emergency Exit. Definitely Class 4: The Boisterous Bruiser
    • Alternatively, Bob while in Nefarious form. Not sure which class he'd be though...
  • Pauline from Our Little Adventure is a female Class 4, and Lenny is a male Class 2.
  • Marlene of Jet Dream is a Class 5 Big Girl, both a genius scientist and T-Girl strongwoman after her sex change.
  • Rumors of War has Illyra, a Class 5, who uses her feminine wiles to manipulate and her destructive magic to dominate.
  • Iratu in Slightly Damned is the biggest demon so far in the comic.
  • Homestuck's Equius Zahhak is somewhere between a Type 3 and Type 5.
  • The Water Phoenix King doesn't have a standard Five-Man Band, more an Ensemble Cast with shifting/shared roles, but Commander Corva has proven to be this this, having the size, the strength, the Axe To Grind, the hick accent, but at once the Gentle Giant — usually quiet, almost unprovokable outside of battle with a MAJOR loyalty-to-friends loophole — a Lightning Bruiser in combat, and a Genius BruiserDeadpan Snarker and the leader of her own group, in her own right, with limited but real Theurgy powers as a priestess of the storm god making her practically a Paladin on top of it all. Definitely someone you want on your side and not the other! If it were a Five-Man Band setup she'd take turns with Anthem being The Lancer to Gilgam (except when he's being The Lancer to Anthem) but since it isn't and she's also a Amazonian Beauty without this being at all controversial it's unsurprising that they've ended up the Battle Couple now. More Meet Cutes should involve KillerRobots.
    Corva: Who yelled? What's the trouble? Who needs a hatchet in 'em?
  • Big Ears the paladin in Goblins is stockier and more visibly muscular (if not particularly taller) than the rest of the goblins. He's a type 2.
  • In Consequences of Choice Merror is a class 2 Big Guy. He's a gentle giant and a pacifist.
  • Derk in The Fourth is Class 2, and actually doesn't like violence.
  • Grace and Nanase of El Goonish Shive are both female type 3. Grace because she's a powerful shapeshifter and Nanase because she is a skilled Supernatural Martial Artist.
    • Justin, while not yet physically adept as Grace or Nanase, shows signs of becoming a Class 2 as of New and Old Flames giving him non-illusory magical powers, seemingly related to punching, when he is not acting as a back-up The Smart Guy or The Chick instead.
  • Rocko Sasquatch from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! is the Gentle Giant type. And hey, he punched out a giant robot! (Well, he punched it right in the off-button without realizing it).
  • Adrestia in morphE is a female type 2. She was a gang member before being kidnapped and brought to the mansion and is the only member of the Five-Man Band who is physically strong outside of magic use.
  • Muneca Powell from Pacificators is an interesting mixture of Class 2 and Class 4. She's not quite a Gentle Giant towards people she dislikes, but she's great with children. She's also smart (she knows the rules inside and out - and she can actually tolerate and understand all that legalese)... and dresses like a Proper Lady, complete in Victorian era style. But piss her off, and she'll curb-stomp you with her gravity powers. Oh, and did I mention that she's over six feet tall, fights with a Sword Cane (it's hidden in her Parasol of Prettiness), and actually is pretty strong to boot?
  • About 90% of the cast in Schlock Mercenary. It is a story about mercenaries, after all.
    Kevyn: I've also prepared for nearly every contingency by selecting the grunts with the widest possible range of potentially useful engagement skill sets.
    Tagon: I didn't realize we had that much range among the grunts.
    Kevyn: Mostly it boils down to 'hurting people' and 'breaking things,' but there are a lot of variations on those two themes.
  • Several characters in Tower of God fulfil this role. Giant alligator Rak Wraithraiser is the Big Guy (and also astonishingly keen and intuitive), Kurdan is a really big Big Guy for Yuri's team and Kang Horyang is the Big Guy for the season two team.
  • Orrig from Daughter of the Lilies is an orc, acts as big guy and also as the leader of his band of mercenaries. Partly explained by the fact that the other two fighters lack common sense and the mage is a rather new addition to the team.
  • Runners team has two of those, Bennesaud and Sky.
  • Blizzor from Project Blackfire is 8'5", 865 lbs, has massive super strength and endurance, and is stubbornly loyal.
  • Sleepless Domain: Gwen Morita fills this role in the Magical Girl group Team Alchemical. She's the team's tomboyish physical fighter with control over earth, and she never says more than she has to.

    Web Original 
  • QUINCY from The Last Stage by Nat One Productions is a #1. He has the most amount and most powerful weapons, is physically imposing, and considers himself a tool to be used by the other members of The Detachment.
  • Torq, the Half-Orc fighter from the Critical Hit Podcast, is a bit of #4, though he's not always Boisterous. He is almost a Cloudcuckoolander normally, but becomes a whirling, athletic menace in combat. His player, Matthew, specifically statted him this way.
  • Evan of Everyman HYBRID, who is actually smaller than Jeff and Vince but knows martial arts, is always carrying a weapon, and is by far the most intimidating. Subverted, however, in that the only time the group has been antagonized by a human instead of an Eldritch Abomination, he got stuck holding the camera while Jeff tackled the security guard.
  • Sura Verandis of Ilivais X. Even his Avespia is heavier and more melee-oriented than the others.
  • Lancer of Team Kimba in the Whateley Universe. He's the Flying Brick with no magical or psychic powers. He's the strongest and toughest team member and the one most likely to step in front of an attack to protect someone else.
  • Borky the orc barbarian of The Unexpectables is strong and he hopes you know it.
  • Matthew Santoro: Matt Santoro's clone, Big Shine. He's tough, and beats up anyone who leaves a troll comment on one of Matt's videos.
  • Peter Panda in Past Division wields a giant maul and is the most physically strong of the party. He's also a 350-pound bear.

    Real Life 
  • In historical armies, grenadiers were selected among the strongest and largest soldiers. Early grenades were softball-sized iron balls filled with explosives, and were thus very heavy; the grenadiers, who were responsible for throwing them, needed to be tall and strong enough to hurl them at the enemy without risking the lives of their comrades.
    • The Potsdam Giants were an entire regiment of Big Guys, with a minimum height of 6 Prussian feet (6'2", or 1.88 meters). They were recruited (or drafted, or outright pressganged) from all over Europe and even the Ottoman Empire for their height because taller men could load muskets faster. King Frederick William I of Prussia tried to breed men with gigantism by forcing the Giants to marry taller-than-average women (it didn't work). Subverted in that the health problems associated with gigantism made them less-than-effective soldiersnote , and Frederick the Great ultimately downsized the unit to a battalion. They were eventually defeated by Napoleon and disbanded as a unit in 1806.
  • Charles Barkley was known, among other things, as the Round Mound of Rebound. Despite being listed at 6'6" (1.98 m) and actually standing a little less than 6'5" (1.95 m), which was short for an NBA power forward, he was very thick, heavy, and strong, and would win rebounds and score putbacks by physically clearing the taller, scrawnier players out of the way with brute force.
  • Zdeno "Z Train" Chára of the Boston Bruins is very tall for a hockey player, standing 6'9'' (in fact, he's the tallest player in NHL history). He's also quite strong, even by hockey standards, and is no stranger to fighting when someone starts with him or teammates.
    • The late Derek "Boogeyman" Boogaard was 6'7'', arguably stronger than Chára, and was pretty much a designated fighter.
    • Inverted in hockey player Martin "Mighty Mite" St. Louis. He's 5'8'' and a full 80 pounds lighter than Chára. However, he's earned his nickname by showing he's not afraid to throw his body around and stand his ground against much larger players when warranted.
    • In general, one of the unofficial "roles" in a hockey team is the Enforcer, who basically acts as the Hero Secret Service, both proactively and reactively punishing attempts to injure other members of the team, especially the star player, by both checking, and simply pounding the crap out of them.
  • Pier Gerlof Donia was a Frisian warrior known as "Grutte Pier" - Great Pier - due to his legendary size and strength. Described as "a tower of a fellow as strong as an ox", he was said to be seven-foot tall and wielded a BFS just as large as him in one hand.
  • At 6'7", Lucca Schmerler is by far the tallest member of Mental Cruelty, to the point of being the subject of many memes from the fandom (which the band regularly shares). He lampshaded it in a Digital Tour Bus walkthrough, where he admitted that he had to claim the largest bed meant for two people in the RV that the band was renting because he couldn't comfortably fit anywhere else. A photo that he took with Dave Simonich in front of a height chart showed that he towered over Simonich, who, at 6'1", is not a small man himself.
  • The French expression "faire le mariole" ("acting like Mariole"), meaning "clowning around", is said to have come from an incident where a Big Guy in Napoleon's army was found presenting arms with a small cannon rather than a musket.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Big Guy, Big Girl, The Big Girl, The Big Gal, Big Gal


Trope Talk: The Big Guy

Red talks about the role, in her Trope Talk episode on the Five Man Band.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheBigGuy

Media sources: