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Don't ask how Aisaka Taiga is able to hit a guy that much taller than her without jumping. Seriously. Don't. She might hit you next!

"You may inhabit a laughably small frame — Really tiny. Borderline miniature. — But the point is that it's filled with rage!"
Tiny Duke of Wellington, The Daily Show

The natural counterpart to the Gentle Giant. While the Gentle Giant is large and kind-hearted, the Napoleon is Hot-Blooded, aggressive and short. These characters come in a variety of flavors: they might be physically belligerent or merely pushy; they might be compensating for their lack of height by acting "big", or it might just be an incidental part of their character. By and large, small things are Acceptable Targets, so expect the Napoleon to be a villain, a Knight Templar or the Butt-Monkey. If portrayed as one of the good guys, consider him as an Anti-Hero, Good Is Not Nice, Jerk with a Heart of Gold or Hidden Heart of Gold, which is also what makes this trope significantly different from the Depraved Dwarf in terms of general morality.

The name comes from "Napoleon complex" (popularly known as "short-man syndrome"), an inferiority complex said to be suffered by short people. Aggressive or dangerous people who are short are often labeled as such to mock them. This was most famously done to the legendary French emperor, Napoléon Bonaparte. Although Napoleon was of average height for his nationality and time period, a number of different factors created the widely held urban legend that he was quite short — mostly stemming from a discrepancy between English and French measurement systems that got Lost in Translation and the fact he often surrounded himself with tall bodyguards. British cartoons of the period seized on the perception and portrayed him as comically short to deflate his image.

Thanks to many people associating "short" with "young," this trope often becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy because short people are often treated like children/teenagers (whether from genuine mistakes or outright condescension) well into their adult years, and they get fed up with not being taken seriously.

Most characters, usually males, with this complex are known for having a Hair-Trigger Temper, or at least a big Berserk Button concerning their height. Females may overlap with Tiny Tyrannical Girl, Little Miss Badass, Cute Bruiser, and Small Girl, Big Gun.

Related to Height Angst. See Mister Big for when a short character is the head of a villainous organisation, Mister Muffykins for the canine version, and Cats Are Mean for the feline version of this trope. Compare A-Cup Angst, when a female character feels inferior due to a lack of outward growth, and Tiny Tyrannical Girl for a specifically-female version of this who's not only angry but downright dictatorial. Napoleons might use a Hitler Cam and/or Scully Box to appear taller.

Not to be confused with Napoleon Delusion.


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  • In 2013, Ford Motor Company ran a series of TV advertisements that illustrated "and is better" by cutting away to what would happen if "and" in a well-known conjoined figure of speech were replaced with "or". One such spot illustrates "large or in charge'' as a Lilliputian chief executive standing on a desk in a meeting and demanding that things be done his way.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Michael from Angel Sanctuary. Yes, that Michael. He's prone to causing violent explosions whenever anyone mentions his height. Naturally, that's the first thing Setsuna says upon meeting him.
  • Mushibaikinman from Anpanman is one of the shortest characters on the show, yet has one of the quickest fuses as well, lashing out at others with his cavity-causing spear without notice. Also in the show is Arinkokiddo, a little ant cowboy, so everyone towers over him. Before he changed to the good side, he would lash out at anyone that called him "tiny" or "cute", zapping them with his shrinking pistol to bring them down to his size.
  • From Apocalypse Alice, Gunjou Mizuiro is only about 150 cm and 35 kg—and a classic example of a Hot-Blooded Tsundere.
  • Levi of Attack on Titan, the stoic, domineering, hyper-badass captain of the Survey Corps. He's so ridiculously skilled and authoritative, it's easy to overlook his shortness (5'3").
  • Nakahara Chuuya from Bungo Stray Dogs is 160 cm tall officially, and the ones shorter than him are all children under 15. He also has a pretty short temper , especially when Dazai is around.
  • Rebecca in Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is a Small Girl, Big Gun whose short stature is only matched by her short temper, and she's the most violent and foul-mouthed of the entire crew. Her response to a bouncer assuming she's underage is to pull a gun on him.
  • In DARLING in the FRANXX, the Tsundere squad leader Ichigo is easily its shortest member. The tallest is her partner, Goro, whose (comparative) serenity and compassion often offset her bossiness.
  • Kanta Mizuno, the eponymous Desert Punk is one of the shortest people in the series and rather ugly (this isn't particularly rare in the series). These qualities contribute to him being a jerkass who is determined to prove himself the best bounty hunter there is.
  • In Dominion Tank Police, Leona Ozaki calls her miniature tank Bonaparte - it's small, but it definitely leaves a lot of destruction in its wake when she's in a bad mood.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Commander Red of Dragon Ball. He planned to gather the Dragon balls and ask Shenron to make him taller. Which, when his right hand man finds out, gets him shot in the face. Red had led the entire organization to believe that he was using the Dragon Balls to achieve world domination, which was Metaphorically True: he felt that his men didn't respect him due to his height, and believed that being taller was all he needed to do to conquer the planet (completely ignoring that he had their respect already).
    • Krillin is one of the shortest characters in the series, despite being a year older than Goku. In his teens, Krillin was really upset to be called small or something. In his adulthood, not so much, but he doesn't like it.
    • Vegeta of Dragon Ball Z. It's extremely noticeable during his first appearance, and not only because he's standing next to Nappa. Vegeta seems to grow in comparison to the other characters as the series moves on, though this can be attributed more to added muscle mass and aging rather than physically growing taller. He consistently remains one of the shorter fighters in the show, with the only other adult Z fighter shorter than him being Krillin.
    • The Dictator from Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn is barely taller than either Goten or Trunks. Even then, the two kids hardly take him seriously.
    • Freeza is also one of them, considering Dragon Ball Super: Broly reveals he killed anyone who called him short. In fact, he planned to use the Dragon Balls not for immortality or not taking any damage, but to grow 5 centimeters taller, to make it seem like he was still growing (but not enough to make it obvious).
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Edward Elric. He's an okay guy, but he takes comments about his height way too personally, and interprets them as being much more vindictive than what the person originally said. For example, were someone to comment that Ed is "small", he would interpret it as "so small you can crush him like an ant", usually followed by the other person saying something like, "I didn't say that much!" He even assaults people for making a comment about his height, and eventually causes a catastrophe in the manga when he recklessly attacks Envy, who was coming in "peace" and just called him "pipsqueak" without thinking. And Envy even tries to talk him into stopping.... He also keeps track of the exact number of times Envy called him pipsqueak.
    • He also takes at face value figurative comments such as "Grow up a little!" and misinterprets Hohenheim's innocent question, "Do you still hate milk?" He once gets mad at himself when he thinks that being small enough to fit inside air vents is a good thing. Two other twists on this Running Gag: Two Lady of War characters, Izumi Curtis and Olivier Mira Armstrong, both call Ed short, but he doesn't respond in his usual manner, because he's terrified of them. Another instance is with two characters who start beating Ed up because he basically said they were his slaves. They actually do call him a pipsqueak who is an inch tall, and his response is "I'm not small, it's the world that's big." Although, unlike most listed here, due to his nature as a teenager, he does grow taller as the story goes. Never becomes what you'd call "tall", but does become a decent height. He also speculates, rather grudgingly, that he may be growing slowly because most of the nutrients he eats go to maintaining Al's body, which would otherwise be unable to eat.
    • Pride actively attempts to invoke this trope on Ed during their final encounter by pointing out that since Ed always tries to prove his worth by picking fights with people bigger than him, he shouldn't have much, if any, experience fighting people who are even smaller than him... only for Ed to defy it instead by pointing out that it's because he's small that he knows exactly what to expect from a "runt".
  • Girls und Panzer:
    • Katyusha, the commander of Pravda High School's tankery team, is 127 cm (4'2") tall, and is a bossy, boastful loudmouth. She often compensates for her stature by sitting on the shoulders of her tall teammate, Nonna.
    • This also fits her character as a possible expy of Joseph Stalin, who was also bossy (to say the least) and self-conscious about his height.
  • Haikyuu!!:
    • Yaku from Nekoma is this to a tee. At 165.2 cm (5' 5"), he's one of the shorter players, which he's incredibly self-conscious about. His height is said to be a taboo topic among his teammates, which everyone but Lev seems to respect as commenting on it often results in violent outbursts. Another thing that ticks him off is whenever Lev (again), attempts to skip practice with him. It's gotten to the point, that Kuroo refers to him as a "demon senpai".
    • To a lesser extent, the main character Hinata (who's 162.8cm (5' 4.1"). While he often gets intimidated by taller guys, he picks fights with them just as often, especially when he feels like they don't take him seriously. The best example of this is his first meeting with Lev.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • England, though stated to come from his shortness, as he's actually the same height as France and his official height would set him only two centimeters shorter than America and at the same height as France. However, sometimes America looks One Head Taller next to him, almost to Huge Guy Tiny Other Guy proportions at times, so it's suspected that the author made him shorter in comparison to play up this trope.
    • Switzerland would be a straighter example. Though his height is never directly addressed, he's shorter than Italy, has a Hair-Trigger Temper and quickly resorts to shooting. He's very much a Jerkass except for when it comes to his adoptive sister Liechtenstein and sometimes Austria. To boot, he's voiced by Romi Park.
  • The protagonist, Kankichi Ryotsu, of Kochikame is like this. He's shown to have a short temper and excels physically. His height is depicted at 167 cm, shorter than most of the main cast, but sometimes appears shorter. His boss, Daijiro "Bucho" Ohara, is slightly taller and has a short fuse temper mainly towards Ryotsu goofing off on his job.
  • Vita of Lyrical Nanoha. Tsundere, Fiery Redhead with a giant hammer and approximately half the height of most of the cast permanently. Gets annoyed whenever someone mistakes her for a child. Tends to be exaggerated in fan works where she's shown looking for ways to get taller.
  • Atsushi Otani from Lovely★Complex, who clashes a lot with the equally temperamental Huge Schoolgirl Koizumi.
  • Buchi from Mekko Rarekko is the shortest of the main characters standing at only 4'6/143 cm while the rest of the cast is much taller than him. Although his best friend and the other main character Taishou isn't too tall either, only standing at 5'1/157 cm. It's justified though since the characters are all anthropomorphic dogs and not humans. Buchi doesn't mind his height however and he wasn't ever bullied because of it.
  • Masayuki Hori from Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun to his chagrin, stopped growing at 5' 4". It's not something he seems to dwell on too much, but if he's teased about it he does not take very well. Additionally, as the Drama Club president he's a hard working no-nonsense sort of person, and in general will blow a gasket in the face of too much horsing around or incompetence.
  • Tastumaki, the "Terrible Tornado" and powerful esper from One-Punch Man. She HATES to be reminded of her short stature and to be mistaken for a kid.
  • Promare: Lio Fotia is one of the shortest characters in the movie and next to the tall and muscular Galo, he looks positively ''tiny‘. Though, while less aggressive than most examples, Lio is not fond of being mistaken for a child and is occasionally prone to loudly voicing his frustrations, such as when he admonishes Galo for doing a poor job piloting the Deus Ex Machina. On a less comedic note, there's also his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Emerald from Pokémon Adventures initially appeared to be of average height, but later turned out to be very short and trying to compensate with long sleeves hiding extendable arms and ridiculously high platform shoes. To be fair, you can't really blame him, since he's shorter than Yellow (who does not, however, have the same problem, though she does usually Sweat Drop every time one of the GSC gang realizes that she's older than them, despite being shorter).
  • Teen Genius Suzu Hagimura is Seitokai Yakuindomo's resident shorty. Never call her kid unless you want to hear a long tirade about the strength of her intelligence. That goes double if you're a foreigner: it'll be the Cluster F Bombs for you.
  • Shana from Shakugan no Shana is an excellent example, being very small, very strong, and very temperamental.
  • A milder example is Ryota Miyagi from Slam Dunk. While he's smart enough to use his lack of height to his advantage in his sports team, he's still somewhat sensitive about it. Then again, being a member of the basketball team as well as the shortest of the regulars will make you this.
  • Black Star in Soul Eater has a bit of Napoleon in him. While about average height with the rest of the cast, he places much, much emphasis on how "big" he is.
  • The short but bossy Kokoro-chan from Tantei Opera Milky Holmes. Perhaps to compensate, she's especially fond of flaunting her IQ. In the OVA, she gets a side job of... being a loli idol.
  • Train to the End of the World: The Boss of Sayama is an ill-tempered man who is actually somewhat shorter than high school girls. After discovering the residents of Sayama had been shrunk, he used his superior height to rule them as a tyrant and treat the military base as his personal toy.
  • The Wind Rises. Kurokawa is a short man with a shorter temper, always shown scowling and barking at his employees. However this is only because he wants to get the best out of them and he's protective of Jiro Horikoshi, putting him up at his house when the Secret Police are looking for him, and (along with his wife) acting as a witness to his impromptu wedding.
  • Aisaka Taiga from Toradora! provides the current trope image. Her shortness and temperament has earned her the nickname of "Palmtop Tiger". Do not speak this nickname in front of her.
  • Tamagotchi: Among the main characters, Memetchi is this, although she is a kind person, she is also very hot-headed and prone to throwing tantrums, she can also be very bossy sometimes.
  • Ayato from Tokyo Ghoul:re is shown to be insecure with his height as shown in an omake in the form of haiku.
  • Anaak Jahad from Tower of God. Small, strong and straight to the point (or punch).
  • To an extent, Hiei from YuYu Hakusho. He's never shown as being especially sensitive about his height, but he is diminutive, snarky, and on the tempermental side.

    Asian Animation 
  • Jetybory from Noonbory and the Super 7 is the shortest of the Super Sensors, and the most hotheaded, especially if you point out her small stature.

    Comic Books 
  • The Big Figure, the dwarf kingpin in Watchmen. Rorschach is also a small man who wears lifts in his shoes while in costume to appear taller. In a subversion, Big Figure isn't too bothered by his height; it is actually his Giant Mook henchman who blows a gasket when Rorschach keeps making height puns.
  • In Love and Rockets, Carmen is very small and extremely aggressive, though she isn't as nasty as many examples on this page.
  • Despite what Hugh Jackman's portrayal may have you believe, Wolverine is 5'3" and has a legendary temper and mean streak.
  • Joe Dalton in Lucky Luke. While his height isn't a problem for him, he is described as a "hysterical midget" and lives up to that description.
  • Suske en Wiske: Krimson is a small villain, Arch-Enemy to the cast, who wants to take over the world.
  • Gilles De Geus: Admiral Lumeij is a vain, self-important man of short size, always trying to get himself noticed.
  • De Kiekeboes: Timothea Triangl is a dwarf who plots for world domination. He underwent a sex change at one point because he would be able to walk on high heels and look taller and be able to use the ladies' toilets, instead of being unable to reach the urinals in the men's room.
  • Iznogoud: Iznogoud is vertically challenged ("5 feet tall in his pointy slippers", to quote the characters page that opens each volume), and overcompensates with his ambition and bad temper.
  • Jose of Cybersix, the bratty, bossy son and second-in-command of Von Reichter. The only thing shorter than him is his temper.
  • Ivy the Terrible from The Beano is a short aggressive pre-school aged child. Who occasionally seems to be more aggressive and destructive than some of the older and larger characters in the comic.
  • Tom Thumb in Supreme Power is minuscule in the extreme, standing only about an inch tall if that, and ridiculously irritable. It's virtually impossible to have a conversation with him in which he doesn't repeatedly threaten you.
  • Batman:
  • Cerebus the Aardvark has this as one of Cerebus' defining traits. He's a dwarfish talking aardvark who stands several heads shorter than practically all of his allies and enemies, but he compensates for it with a fiery temper, a fierce sense of pride, and wicked fighting skills. This is initially Played for Laughs, but Cerebus' deeply rooted anger and ego would eventually become a major source of drama as the comic took a Darker and Edgier tone. (There's a reason it's the Trope Namer for Cerebus Syndrome, after all)

    Comic Strips 
  • The King in The Wizard of Id. His reaction to his height seems to vary wildly between Wangst, ruthlessness, and Disproportionate Retribution — a joke about "short stories" can lead to time on the rack.
  • Libertad from Mafalda. Her name means "Freedom" and she's completely aware people will make stupid jokes about it.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin has been known to have issues with his height. It's particularly frustrating for him that shorts in fact actually touch his feet. Then again, it's possibly subverted by the fact that he's only six years old.... It may just be a a riff on his character design, since his legs are cartoonishly short.
  • Blondie (1930): Mr. Dithers, the Mean Boss to Dagwood. He's much shorter than the latter and has a far nastier temper.

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin is still this in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series: one of the reasons he reluctantly saves Sherman in "Time Terror" is that he doesn't want to be the shortest of the Five-Man Band.
  • The boy who commands the Human Village guard in FREAKIN GENSOKYO. When he's not ordering innocent people to their deaths or getting piggy-backs from shrine maidens, he's shooting people for insubordination.
  • While Valkron from Warriors of the World is not the shortest person in his party, he is certainly the shortest when standing next to any of the other men. He's the most aggressive and short-tempered in the party, and bringing up his height in any context whatsoever provokes him into making threats of violence for pointing it out.
  • The Trope Namer is summoned as an Archer-class Servant in Nerve Damage. His Master points out that 5'2" is historically inaccurate, but it's canon that Heroic Spirits appear according to legend rather than fact. Napoleon's Noble Phantasm Napoleonic Complex even grants him extra ranks in several stats if his opponent is significantly taller than him.
  • Ice Man in Mega Man Recut.
  • In It's not the Raptor DNA, Queen Anne the Baryonyx is about a few feet bigger than a Velociraptor, making her rather unimpressive compared with the other carnivores of Jurassic World. She has a nasty temper and actively frightens her much bigger cousin Bark into submission.
  • The personification of the city of London in Paris Burning, whose political ambition is explained in part by her desire to "make herself tall in people's eyes". She probably wouldn't take kindly to being lumped in with Napoleon, of course.
  • The Pokémon Squad:
    • June is the shortest member of the squad (to the point that she has the looks of a prepubescent girl despite being about 30), and also by far the most aggressive, constantly beating up anyone who pisses her off.
    • Ash's Pikachu as well. The size of a normal Pikachu, but his personality is MUCH closer to that of Plankton (who is covered in the Western Animation folder). Word of God is that the crew actuallyimagines Plankton's voice whenever Pikachu speaks in this series!
  • Rainbow Dash in A Dance on the Mats. She's the shortest of her friends, and definitely the most temperamental and stubborn.
  • DNMC: D'Arg Forrest. He's five-foot-two, Hot-Blooded, aggressive, and the leader of the titular team. As if to drive the point home further, he makes himself seem bigger by wielding a pair of BFSs/shotguns that are just as long as he is tall.
  • A Certain Droll Hivemind: Aino Sumiko, 11111's roommate with the Meltdowner power, is very short and very angry. She spends most of her time yelling, especially at Abe Eiko, who clearly finds it funny to rile her up. 11111 openly wonders if her being smaller makes her louder (partly because her very tall roommate is very quiet). Sumiko's mood is not helped by the self-destructive nature of her power. She spends a significant amount of time covered in mild but painful radiation burns from her uncontrolled energy discharges.

    Films — Animation 
  • Flit, Pocahontas' hummingbird companion. He's very distrustful of strangers, and initially acts very hostile toward John Smith, though he comes around eventually.
  • Lord Farquaad from Shrek is the totalitarian ruler of Duloc who rounds up and exiles all fairy tale creatures in his kingdom. He takes great lengths to appear taller, such as by attaching false legs to his stirrups. Upon seeing Farquaad's massive tower, Shrek suggests that he's Compensating for Something, which could actually go a few ways. Doubles as Irony as She Is Cast because Farquaad is voiced by John Lithgow, who stands approximately 6'4" and is one of Hollywood's tallest actors.
  • Kadaj from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, while not especially short, is noticeably shorter than his two brothers, as well as Cloud and Sephiroth, and out of all of them tends to act the most over-the-top.
  • The Incredibles:
    • Mr. Huph, Mr. Incredible's boss at the insurance company, is extremely short and short-tempered and looks even smaller next to Bob. He's voiced by Wallace Shawn, who often plays these types of characters.
    • Edna Mode is even tinier, and she's also noticeably rude and hot-tempered. Unlike Mr. Huph (who's just an asshole), she's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Chef Skinner, the hot-tempered head chef in Ratatouille.
  • All of the mob bosses in The Triplets of Belleville are tiny and always flanked by two much larger bodyguards.
  • Mr. Sykes from Shark Tale. He's a short-temperd pufferfish who rules the Whale-Wash with henchmen Ernie and Bernie.
  • Yao from Mulan is one of the more fierce and Blood Knight-ish soldiers on the heroes' side... and is also the shortest of them.
  • Mr. Aloysius O'Hare is the vertically-challenged Corrupt Corporate Executive from the movie version of The Lorax. Like Farquaad, he's voiced by a tall actor: namely Rob Riggle, who stands about 6' 2½''. The Lorax himself is another example, but unlike O'Hare, his voice actor (Danny DeVito) is famously short.
  • P.T. Flea, the circus bugs ringmaster in A Bug's Life.
  • Reggie from Free Birds. However this justifies the fact that he get no respect and he's not a jerk (at least not until Jake aducts him), just an outcast.
  • The Land Before Time XI: Invasion of the Tinysauruses: "Big Daddy", the leader of the titular mini-longneck herd—with the deep booming voice of Michael Clarke Duncan.
  • Anger from Inside Out is both the grumpiest and the shortest of Riley's emotions. He would be— he's the embodiment of a Short Temper.
  • Zootopia:
    • Nick's partner in crime is Finnick, a diminutive hot-headed fennec fox. Not helping his temper is that Nick's pawpsicle hustle requires Finnick to play the part of Nick's young son wearing a cute elephant costume.
    • "Mr. Big", one of Zootopia's most notorious crime bosses, turns out to be a diminutive arctic shrew. Subverted in that he's actually quite the legitimate threat and played as an Affably Evil Cold Ham instead of a bossy Jerkass.
  • Gene from Wreck-It Ralph. It's also quite fitting that he (along with the other Nicelanders) spends most of his time belittling Ralph, someone who is much bigger than them and could utterly pound him with his fists if he were so inclined.
  • Mike the Mouse from Sing, who speaks up to everyone who is much bigger than him. He also spends most of his time belittling Meena, until he witnesses her singing.
  • King Koo Koo from Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure. His Villain Song even mentions that Napoleon would look tall compared to him. He is able to make himself bigger by laughing at other's misfortune, swelling up like a balloon.
  • Turning Red: Meilin's friend Abby Park is both the shortest and most Hot-Blooded member of their friend group. She's introduced angrily yelling in Korean at a fellow student for littering.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Swan in Phantom of the Paradise, played by a 5'2 Paul Williams, has shortened doorways at the Swanage/Death Records.
  • Vizzini from The Princess Bride hires the strongest giant and most deadly swordsman he can find, but feels no fear in constantly browbeating and threatening them.
  • Napoleon's entire personality in Time Bandits was based around his abhorrence of tall people and obsessiveness about being short.
  • Gus, played by Mickey Rooney, from the film Night at the Museum. The real Napoleon appears in the sequel, Battle for the Smithsonian.
  • 5'3" Joe Pesci's characters often have a Hair-Trigger Temper. See: Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas, Harry Lime in Home Alone or Nicky Santoro in Casino.
  • 5'7" Dennis Hopper often played characters of this type, such as Frank Booth in Blue Velvet and King Koopa in 'Super Mario Bros. (1993).
  • Mini-Me from Austin Powers. He doesn't really say anything about it, though... just makes a lot of mean faces if you make fun of his height.
  • Miles Finch of Elf. Buddy the Elf decides to call him an elf from the North Pole. Finch does not take that well,
  • Lord Cutler Beckett from the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films. He's the closest thing to an outright-evil character in the films. He has no fear of gods, and no sense of honor; he's cold, heartless, tyrannical, and severe. Exaggerated in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, where he is so small he doesn't have any leg joints (something normally reserved for LEGO children. Or Yoda.)
  • Francis Begbie of Trainspotting. Although the character in the book was described as a large, musclebound bruiser, director Danny Boyle chose to cast 5'7" Robert Carlyle on the belief that shorter men are more dangerous.
  • Rory Breaker, the leader of the black gang in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. He's described as a "psychotic dwarf with an afro" who once lit a man on fire for changing the channel away from something he was watching. His short height is accentuated by his two mammoth bodyguards, whose faces are sometimes not even visible as they stand beside him.
  • Bobby Mercer in Four Brothers played by Mark Wahlberg, is hotheaded and the shortest of the four brothers.
  • This is a staple for most roles played by French comedic genius Louis de Funès — short, bossy and bad-tempered. For example, in Delusions of Grandeur, Don Saluste finds his valet Blaze (played by Yves Montand) to be too tall and orders him to serve his master while half-crouched. The actors for the "Grands d'Espagne" in the same movie were specifically chosen as very tall to make Saluste look shorter.
  • Scarface (1983) gives us Tony Montana, who's around 5'6" and is almost always prone to unpredictable rage. It certainly isn't helped by his cocaine addiction.
  • Teardrop in Winter's Bone is a scrawny, middle-aged and physically unimpressive man who commands a healthy respect from the meth dealers in his town. Judging by the fact that he goes literally Ax-Crazy on a car and wins a Mexican standoff with the local sheriff, he's no stranger to violence.
  • Kevin Hart's character in Think Like a Man, when confronted with a very tall man who wants to play on the basketball court that he and his friends were just about done with, refused to give it up and instead challenged the man and his equally tall friends to play him and his friends for the right to use the court. Kevin and friends lost really badly.
  • Ottilio Panza, an assassin in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, wears elevator shoes. He also lies down next to his victims after killing them, comparing his height with theirs.
  • Roger Brown in Headhunters. During his opening narration, he announces that he's 5'6" and that he's obviously overcompensating for it.
  • Dark Helmet from Spaceballs is a satirical Darth Vader Expy played by the famously short Rick Moranis.
  • Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), being a raccoon, is way smaller than his other teammates but also has the biggest attitude problem in a team made up of people who all except Groot aren't particularly nice to begin with.
  • In Crooked House, Posthumous Character Aristide Leonides is described as being 'almost a midget'. This is implied to have fuelled his aggressive nature, leading to his ruthlessness in business, his fanatical anti-Communism, and his need to dominate and control his family.
  • The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz: The colonel in charge of local State Sec operations is a short man with a Hair-Trigger Temper. He dishes out regular death threats and stands on a stool to look down on his subordinates.

  • The Helmacron species from Animorphs are roughly the size of a grain of sand, but they're constantly proclaiming that they rule the galaxy and feared by everyone. They're generally regarded as an nuisance, with Visser One mockingly comparing Visser Three to a Helmacron at one point.
  • Curly from all incarnations of Of Mice and Men is very short, and becomes very jealous of tall individuals, causing him to act out aggressively. Naturally he tries to go after Lenny at one point unaware that Lenny is also very strong, and it's heightened when he gets scared. Lenny, out of panic, grabs Curly's hand and crushes it.
  • Discworld
    • The Nac Mac Feegle, who are basically Violent Glaswegians with the bodies of Smurfs. Likewise, Wee Mad Arthur from Feet of Clay is six feet of angry in a six-inch body. He's actually an orphan Feegle raised by gnomes.
    • Corporal Strappi from Monstrous Regiment is another example. He constantly bullies any Borogrovian recruit that can't tear his head off, and by the end of the first day of marching he was able to get "Wazzer" Goom to throw up just by shouting.
    • Big Fido, feared canine psychopath and charismatic leader of Ankh-Morpork's Dog Guild, was a small fluffy white poodle.
  • Aliera e'Kieron from the Dragaera series. She goes as far as levitating to appear taller, which provides a handy excuse for a duel when someone points it out. She seems to have dropped the practice later in the series's timeline.
  • The idea that Napoleon was extremely short is a plot point in Harry Stephen Keeler's X. Jones of Scotland Yard. Midget-hating tycoon Andre Marceau is found strangled to death in the middle of a freshly rolled croquet lawn. The only footprints, other than Marceau's own, are some tiny, baby-sized footprints. These do not lead out to the body but merely describe a small arc around it. The police suspect a Flying Strangler-Baby. X. Jones is called in to help crack the case! The culprit is Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon seduced an ancestor of the victim and passed on a gene that causes people to die suddenly with symptoms that cannot be distinguished from strangulation. The same gene also causes hallucinations — in the victim's case, of a demonic baby. That was not an unusual plot for Mr. Keeler, either.
  • Lessa in the Dragonriders of Pern series is tiny but fearsome, made all the worse by her massive, jet plane-sized dragon Ramoth.
  • A mild example in the Doctor Who Tie In Novels starring the Eighth Doctor. He's not exactly short — at 5'8", he's only an inch or two below average height for a 21st-century British man. But that's not especially tall for a hero with his enormous reputation. He hardly seems to know or care what he looks like to anyone, but sometimes meets people who were Expecting Someone Taller, and another character comments on the fact that "he acts tall," which he does. His companion Anji is even more of an example; fellow companion Fitz reflects upon how silly she looks trying to boss around some thirteen-year-old girls whom she is "several inches shorter than", but decides she probably "shout[s] so much" because, "It must be a bummer to be short." He wouldn't know; he's the opposite of this trope, being tall and laid-back.
  • Scourge in Warrior Cats. Although replace "belligerent" and "pushy" with "mass-murdering psychopathic dictator". He's described as being no bigger than a sixth-month old kitten.
  • Sammael (whose name means "The Destroyer of Hope") of the Forsaken in The Wheel of Time was one of several formerly prominent light side generals and Aes Sedai during the war against the shadow in the Age of Legends, whom was intensely jealous of the leader, Lews Therin Telamon, The Dragon (but not The Dragon), for one because he was a head shorter than him. He is extremely irked the same is true of his opponent's Reincarnation Rand Al Thor, and sometimes uses a projection to appear taller. It should be noted that he probably isn't all that short really, as Rand is explicitly said to be much taller than is average thanks to his Aiel heritage, around 6 1/2 feet. It's explicitly stated in the books that Sammael is only slightly shorter than average. Doesn't help that the two Forsaken most often contrasted with him (Demandred, who shares his military skills and personal enmity for Lews Therin, and Ishamael/Moridin, who holds the job Sammael wants) are also tall guys.
  • Willie Dick, the 4'7" Tlinglit cop in The Yiddish Policemen's Union rides a 2/3 scale motorcyle, wears a bearskin he killed himself, and is generally described as a badass bordering on Folk Hero notoriety. Naturally, when Gentle Giant Berko Shemets used to be a cop in Tlinglit territory, the two of them were partners.
  • D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers is described as quite short, but it doesn't seem to bother him. He is extremely Hot-Blooded in the first book, but even in Twenty Years After, when he's matured a lot, he challenges two of his best friends to a duel because they bruised his ego.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Miles Vorkosigan is ahem-mumble-something under five feet tall, and with fragile bones to boot (well, until he gets synthetic replacements, anyway). He's an Admiral rather than a General, but his Napoleonic tendencies are described several times by other characters, and even he acknowledges that he's driven by his physical condition; he has to prove, day after day after day, that he's a smartass bastard who can think rings around the opposition, and thus force people to accept the body that his brains happen to be in. The Vorkosigan Saga Universe should probably be very, very thankful that he had really good parents, because otherwise he'd have probably conquered it twice over by now.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Karrin Murphy. Tiny (especially when she's surrounded by men who are pushing six feet like Harry, Sanya and Thomas) and can probably kick your ass twelve ways from midday. As Sanya put it, "Tiny, but fierce."
    • A more Villainous example is the Red King the leader of the Red Court. Whereas all his deputies the Lords of the Outer Night are extremely tall he's barely over five feet. He's also a bloodthirsty psychopath, and is one of the most powerful individuals encountered in the series thus far.
  • The Legionnaire who goes by the name of "Super Gnat" in Robert Asprin's Phule's Company books. She's a wee little thing with an explosive temper about anything that even hints that someone is calling her "short." Once she's partnered with Tusk-anini (a 7.5 foot tall, warthog-looking alien who is also a really peaceful type), she starts to develop some self-control and get less touchy about her height.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Petyr Baelish is called "Littlefinger" in part because of his short stature. He's half Napoleon and half Gatsby, having grown power-mad as a result of the humiliation he received as a pint-sized and poor noble's son.
    • Tyrion Lannister has dwarfism in a culture that believes that anyone with a disability like his is better off killed at birth. He develops a forceful personality and keen, educated mind to deal with the abuse and prejudice. While generally a moral person, he's also not afraid to straight up murder people who get in his way. It's worth noting that he's described as a "giant" several times in poetic ways when his integrity, personality or sexual prowess out-does his physical stature.
  • Isaac Asimov's The Complete Adventures of Lucky Starr: Bigman's forceful personality is well-established throughout the series, and his constant reference to his capabilities and emphasis on his middle name, "Bigman", all contribute to his status as Plucky Comic Relief.
  • Musket from Lloyd Alexander's Westmark trilogy suffers from dwarfism, yet is one of the fiercest fighters and most forceful personalities in the series.
  • Hilda Mae Burroughs in Robert A. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast is short, but is by far the most aggressive of the four protagonists. She will not suffer an insult to herself or her family without exacting revenge, is ruthless in protecting her interests, and is the only member of the (by the end) enormous cast to successfully stand up to Lazarus Long's overbearing attitude.
  • Percy Wetmore, the main villain from The Green Mile, is described as being very cruel, very sadistic and very short.
  • Base from Star Trek: Millennium, the galaxy's shortest and most angrily homicidal Ferengi.
  • James Bond:
    • In Ian Fleming's original novel of Goldfinger, the title character is depicted as one of these (though The Film of the Book cast the fairly tall Gert Fröbe to play him).
      Bond always mistrusted short men. They grew up from childhood with an inferiority complex. All their lives they would strive to be big — bigger than the others who had teased them as a child. Napoleon had been short, and Hitler. It was the short men that caused all the trouble in the world. And what about a misshapen short man with red hair and a bizarre face? That might add up to a really formidable misfit.
    • Dr. Anton Murik in Licence Renewed is barely five feet tall, but he has an aura of authority and is described as a born leader. The narration, from Bond's point of view, notes that men born that way will either side with angels or the devil.
  • Horace Rangoon, the villain in The Rio Hondo Kid by J.T. Edson.
  • Paul Tallutto of the First Reformed Church of the Antichrist in Mr Blank and its sequel is an extra-short example of this trope.
  • Parker: Little Bob Zelig in The Seventh. Less than five feet tall, Zelig has a serious case of 'small man's syndrome', and Parker notes that he deliberately says things that no taller man could ever get away with. He even picks fights with Parker which, as his boyfriend points out, is tantamount to suicide. After he finally snaps and starts trying to kill Parker, Parker dispassionately shoots him in the back of the head.
  • The Duke of Taunton, in the Village Tales novels, is described as being the precise height of the Old Father Time figure on the weathervane at Lord's. Which is 5' 4" (for the non-cricket-minded among us). He's the biggest personality in the series. (Equally, Edmond's mum the Health Visitor is five foot even, and no one messes with Matron.)
  • Roald Dahl's The Witches describes the shrieking, genocidal Grand High Witch as shorter than the rest of her Mage Species.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Minor example. Shallan is slightly envious of her already head taller fiancee riding beside her on a massive Ryshadium war horse, exacerbating their height difference.
  • Ratburger has the Stern Teacher Miss Midge, who's so short that people call her "Miss Midget" and she's obsessed with things like the Black Death and other gruesome parts of history.
  • Time Out of Time: Balor's Puppet King Tristan is a very short, bossy man who struts around the Travelers' Market like he owns it.
  • Constance Contraire appears to fulfill this in The Mysterious Benedict Society. Out of the main four kids, she’s the shortest (with her being introduced as “looking very, very small”, and able to fit into a suitcase), and the most belligerent, being excessively stubborn, grumpy and rude. Turns out to be subverted, though, as she’s revealed at the end of the first book to be two years old, just turning three, making her the appropriate height and possessing the appropriate behavior for her age, and she only seemed to be a similar age to the others due to her significantly advanced intelligence.
  • Asuka from Girls Kingdom is about 4'8" and full of attitude. She's not really villainous but she does have a temper unrelated to her height, will rant and rave at anyone who pisses her off, and is incredibly stubborn to the point of trying and failing to take over the Sky Salon every six months, the minimum amount of time one has to wait before challenging the same salon again in order to try to take it over, despite losing every time. She is a good girl at heart, though, trying to keep her Seraph from being too masochistic, though mostly because it's embarrassing. This makes her a great contrast to her good friend and fellow shortie Erisu, who is always calm and sweet, even when she's being mean.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Criminal Minds had the episode "Brothers in Arms", where the Villain of the Week was a small guy who finally snapped after years of bullying over his size.
  • The pompous and authoritarian Captain George Mainwaring in Dad's Army is at least a head shorter than most of his platoon, and is often called "Napoleon" by the local ARP Warden. In one episode he had a Dream Sequence in which he was Napoleon.
  • Top Gear (UK)'s Richard "Hamster" Hammond, although he isn't actually very short. The Napoleon stuff comes from working with a "seven foot oaf" who is big on the mockery. Nonetheless, at about 5'7", he's the smallest of the hosts and also probably the most foul-mouthed and adventurous.
  • El Chapulín Colorado can't get five minutes straight without being called "short" in a way or another, to the more insulting. The most memorables takes on it involve the famous "Pastillas de Chiquitolina" (Smallinium Pills), who can turn anyone who gulps them into Fun Size.
    Chapulín: (showing the bottle) With one of these pills, I can become incredibly tiny! Just see!
    (El Chapulín swallows one pill and instantly shrinks to Action Figure size)
    Helped: Whoa! This is amazing! I though that you couldn't get smaller, but I figure I was totally wrong!
    Chapulí­n: They take advantage of my nobility...
  • The Daily Show: Jon Stewart was accused of being one of these. He decided to grab the idea and run with it.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: In the "Puma Man" episode Tom Servo, who is the smallest of the 'Bots, started trying to act tough and macho after catching what Mike called "Short Man's Disease".
  • An episode of the reality show Tool Academy features a contestant accused by the entire cast of being a Napoleon due to his short height and arrogance. Other contestants repeatedly assert that he is jealous of their larger physiques and wonder what a short man could possibly be arrogant about.
  • Chanel #1 Oberlin of Scream Queens (2015) is an excellent female example of a Napoleon.
  • Ben Linus of Lost gets extra points for being implicitly compared to Napoleon once or twice. At 5'8'', he's just Napoleon's height, too, and while quite the gentleman, certainly dangerous and power-hungry enough to qualify.
  • Blaine Anderson from Glee shows flashes of this from time to time. Being 5'7" in a cast ranging from 5'10" to six feet, he'd be pretty average in real life, but looks short compared to the other leads. The crew tries to use camera tricks to make Blaine seem appropriately tall compared to his boyfriend Kurt, but it's getting less frequent (and some fans like it more than traditional height conventions).
  • M*A*S*H: Colonel Potter is a heroic example. Though shorter than average and with a slight build, he's a no-nonsense leader and A Father to His Men who ensures everyone knows he's the final authority of the 4077th, including to officers his rank or above.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Rumplestiltskin (and by extension Mr. Gold) fits, given he's the shortest of the male cast and is still the person everyone fears because he's one of the most powerful beings in the series. Considering the actual fairy tale version of Rumpelstiltskin is an imp (and Rumple's called that numerous times), it makes sense.
    • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland has its Big Bad Jafar who oddly enough is average-height, unlike the one in Aladdin who was the film's tallest human character. It's especially evident in the finale, when nearly all of the soldiers he raises from the dead tower over him. If anything, though, he's more of a hot-tempered, power-mad villain than the original. (This does not apply to the main show, which re-cast Jafar; the new one is likely tall enough to match the original.)
  • Seinfeld:
    • George Costanza approches 1.64 m and is the shortest compared to his friends. While he was a bit calmer in the early seasons, the show had him flanderized into a complete asshole who can't control his rage.
    • Mickey is Kramer's dwarf-sized friend or 'little person', but he has an explosive temper and always flies off the handle at the littlest of things.
  • Supernatural:
    • Gabriel is a slight subversion because he's actually quite jovial, if a bit of a dick, but considering the average height of the main cast of this show, any person under 6'0 (actor Richard Speight Jr. is 5'8) who can physically hand Sam and Dean their asses when he lets his temper fly is noteworthy. (Being an angel helps)
    • Crowley. Short and as power-hungry and temperamental as a Napoleon. The fact that he even looks a bit like Napoleon helps.
  • It's all relative: in Everybody Loves Raymond, Frank Barone is by no means a short man, approaching six feet tall. But both his adult sons are taller still. Frank therefore tries to exert dominance and alpha-male status over Raymond and Robert - especially the hulking six-foot-eight Robert - at every possible opportunity. An unfulfilled working life as an accountancy wage-slave, low on the employment totem pole, didn't help. Frank also has military fantasies expressed through American Civil War re-enactment. But his Josephine generally gives him short shrift.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Amy's Choice" featured Toby Jones (5'4"/163 cm) as the cruel, bullying Monster of the Week.
  • Marion Moseby from The Suite Life series. He's played by 1.68 m Phil Lewis and is very Angrish so much that he always spazzes out when annoyed, mainly because of Zack. His height is even a Running Gag on the show.
  • From Star Trek TNG and DS9, is Gowron. At 5'10", he's average for a human, but a runt by Klingon standards. As a result, he tends to be louder and more bombastic than most others of his race. Done as a Planet of Hats in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Virtuoso". The Qomar are very short and very full of themselves. When people act rude in response, they get indignant.
  • Bernadete Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory is 4'11" and although she was originally nice and cute with only an occasional bout of anger or snide comment, she was later flanderized into becoming quick-tempered, highly-competitive, domineering, rude and sarcastic more often than not, to the point where everyone outside her husband and circle of friends fears and/or hates her (and even Howard and her friends have their limits when dealing with her). It's eventually addressed that Bernadette developed her mean streak due to insecurities about her height as a result of being bullied.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Like the book version noted above, Tyrion Lannister is a man with dwarfism surrounded by people who think people with disabilities like his are better off dead, and he's been hearing these beliefs pretty much his entire life. He's also easily the most dangerous Lannister due to his mind and skill for politics, and it's shown a few times he's deceptively quite good in a fight, using his height to surprise people with his skill.
    • Arya Stark is the second-shortest castmember after Tyrion (Maisie Williams is 5'1), but is also probably the most skilled in combat of the Stark children, due to being trained by the Faceless Men, and often uses her short stature to her advantage due to being hard to hit. And though she developed a more restrained personality due to her training, before that she was very hot-headed and prone to aggression, and more than capable of retaliating physically when verbally bullied by her older, much taller sister Sansa.
    • To a lesser extent, her older brother Jon Snow, is one of the shortest males (Kit Harington is 5'8) besides Tyrion, and occasionally this is commented on by one of his best friends, Tormund (who is almost literally a giant). He's got a foul temper and is very moody, though a lot of this stems from his angst over being a bastard rather than his height, and despite his short stature he's one of the best fighters in the series and the closest it has to a traditional hero.
    • Daenerys Tagaryen is probably the best example after Tyrion himself. As the second-shortest female lead (Emilia Clarke is 5'2, just barely taller than Maisie) who is often dismissed as a child by her usually much taller enemies, Dany has one of the most destructive tempers due to the fact she commands three dragons and several highly regarded and extremely loyal armies. She's the shortest contender for the Iron Throne, but is easily the scariest.

  • "Small Man Big Mouth" by Minor Threat asks, "What the fuck are you fighting for? Is it because you're five foot four?"
  • Peter Tosh's "Stepping Razor" is one long Badass Boast from an example:
    If you wanna live, live
    I beg you treat me good
    I'm like a walking razor
    Don't you watch my size
    I'm dangerous

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The Dynamite Kid's competitiveness, and his cruelty, stemmed from the knowledge that he wasn't as big as he wanted to be. He'd pass on this obsession with size to Chris Benoit.
  • Upon arriving in Pro Wrestling ZERO1, Low Ki lashed out at all the established wrestlers for supposedly looking down at him because of his (lack of) size.
  • Jackal, the lightest of the Gateway Championship Wrestling Light Heavyweights, a distinction he shared with Daizee Haze, but while she was sweet n' spirited(and smelled of daisies) Jackal was a unwashed hooligan. (however, Haze herself was a straight example in Chikara, tight rolled dynamite indeed)
  • Zip Zap, the fastest man alive. Forget that he isn't the tallest man, he's number one, number one, number one!
  • Rhyno is usually one of the largest men around but in WWE, where every other guy is sumo worthy, has muscles on top of muscles or tall enough to be a basketball center, he sometimes looks tiny. His matches with Kane and Rosey show he never got used to not being the big man.
  • "The Highest Paid Free Agent In All Of Sports Entertainment" Montel Vontavious Porter, is another used to being among the largest men on any given roster till he showed up in WWE. Averted previously in Future Of Wrestling, where Antonio Banks teamed with FOW's second largest man, Punisher.
  • During their WWC encounters, Razor Ramon accused Carlito Colón of ebbing such, referring to him as "Mini Razor".
  • Standing at 5 feet one inch, the dynamite queen of wrestling Nikki Storm SHIMMERS brighter than any other figure in the galaxy! She is from Scotland!
  • Ring Warriors's first Battling Bombshells tag team title holders. Brittney Savage is billed at 5'3, Solo Darling is billed at 5'7 despite being shorter than Savage and they agreed on a "win at all costs" strategy as soon as they were put together. Outside of Ring Warriors Darling would be billed at a more "realistic" 5'3, but as stated, she was shorter than Savage...
  • Kyle O'Reilly, squarely in the "Super Junior" bracket of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, consistently takes advantage of the promotion's partnership with Ring of Honor, which lacks weight classes, to get matches against New Japan's heavyweights, unwavering in his belief he can make them tap out and convinced the IWGP Heavyweight Title is the most prestigious belt in wrestling.
  • Ivelisse Vélez came off this way as she ranted about Mia Yim's inferiority and large shoes to fill while at the same time being forced to look up to her because of their difference in height.
  • Alexa Bliss is only 5 ft 1 and while a Cute Bruiser as a Face, she was this all the way once she turned heel. A Combat Pragmatist who used every dirty trick in the book, she would also mock and belittle her opponents until they finally got sick of it and smacked her. Naomi once mockingly nicknamed her "Lexi Boo Boo", drawing the comparisons between Alexa and a Bratty Half-Pint.
  • A.J. Lee likewise is an inch taller than Alexa and played a heel for the majority of her career. While also a Yandere, she was well aware that her size allowed bigger opponents to beat her up. She just employed a bodyguard or a Girl Posse in order to continue talking trash.

  • Our Miss Brooks: Invoked in the first season radio episode "Easter Outfit". In a prime example of Early-Installment Weirdness, Walter Denton mentions that Principal Conklin's nickname amongst the students is "Napoleon", due to his pompousness, irascibility and bad temper. A few months later, that nickname was RetGoned, the radio version of "Mr. Conklin's Carelessness Code (later remade for television) forever established Conklin's nickname amongst the students and faculty as being "Old Marblehead".

  • In international football (soccer), quite a number of the truly great centre forwards were of below-average height with a somewhat squat figure that belied their talent for explosive speed and ability to jump higher than taller defenders to head a ball.
    • Ferenc Puskas of Hungary
    • Uwe Seeler (known to his teammates as "Dicker" = "fat one")
    • Gerd Müller (fondly known as "kleines dickes Müller" = "little fat Müller") of West Germany.
    • Romário is 5'6 and fits the trope perfectly: huge ego, got into a few field brawls (in this he's the guy that arrives when his teammate gets punched and falls). Even his style of play puts him here: he didn't avoid contact or dive (that much), rather getting deep into the area to score.
  • Rugby hookers tend to be the smallest member of the "tight five." The two locks are locks because they're tall, the two props are props because they aren't quick lock tall, but aren't short and are usually the heaviest players on the field, while the hooker is a hooker because he's shorter than the props, while being strong enough to push forwards around and crazy enough to volunteer to play hooker. Hookers also have a reputation for being more crazy and violent than typical Rugby players. Front row positions (hooker and props) are the most violent positions, particularly due to the force of scrums, in addition to the usual forward duties of constant rucking and tackling everything that moves. The hooker has it particularly bad in scrums, where his arms and shoulders are stretched back around the props' backs in a position that lends itself to injuries if the scrum collapses. The hooker also has to do all of this against guys who typically outweigh him by 20 pounds, partly due to height differences. This led to the creation of a Venn Diagram calling rugby hookers crafty hobbits with psychopathic tendencies.
  • Current NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is known amongst certain parts of the fandom as the "NHL Napoleon" due to his short stature, a more-than-passing resemblance to Napoleon Bonaparte, and an annoyingly smug, condescending nature that has made him a Hate Sink for hockey fans.
    • As far as players go, 5'9 Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins is not only known as one of the scrappiest, dirtiest and most annoying players to face, but once got into a fight in practice over a chirp about his height
    • Hockey Hall of Famer Dougie Gilmour stood just 5'8 and had a chip on his shoulder, with his personal motto being Too Small, Fuck You
    • Theo Fleury, one of the toughest and scrappiest players of the 90s and 2000s is just 5'6
  • Alabama Football head coach Nick Saban is known for his tough, disciplinarian attitude and business-like approach to the game, so much so that many players and fans regard him with nervous awe. In hilarious contrast, he stands at just 5'6'' and is frequently seen on TV surrounded and dwarfed by his star players.
  • Baseball Hall of Fame manager John McGraw stood 5'7". However, his scrappy and fearless nature was an ideal fit for him as a player on the 1890's Baltimore Orioles teams that were known for their aggressive (and sometimes dirty) style of play. His temper did not abate when he became manager of the New York Giants; he was known as "The Little Napoleon" for his diminutive stature, his feisty temperament, and his managerial acumen (with the Giants, he won 10 National League pennants and 3 World Series titles).
    "McGraw eats gunpowder every morning and washes it down with warm blood." - Arlie Latham, Giants coach

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the BattleTech universe, Victor Steiner-Davion may be the most obvious example (mostly because he regularly gets accused of this by his detractors). In reality, he's not overly sensitive about his height... but he is physically short, has to live up to being the firstborn son of two of the most famous and popular rulers in the recent history of the Inner Sphere, and doesn't suffer fools gladly, so, close enough.
  • A good number of Dwarves in Shadowrun have this problem. As one guy in Third Edition's writeup of the Dwarves will tell you, "You spend a day getting patted and pinched, and see how calm you are." It doesn't help that Dwarves that don't have beards are often mistaken for children.

  • Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream seems to have this as her Berserk Button. Sure, she's angry because she thinks Helena stole her boyfriend, but what really gets her riled are the short jokes.
  • Subverted in the song "Napoleon" from the Guy Bolton-P. G. Wodehouse-Jerome Kern Have a Heart:
    Napoleon was a little guy,
    They used to call him Shorty.
    He only stood about so high,
    His chest was under forty.
    But when they started joshing him,
    His pride it didn't injure.
    He'd simply say, "Ah, fade 'way!"
    He knew that he had ginger.
  • I and You: Caroline is short enough to need a stepladder to get things off her own shelves, and before she warms up to Anthony is overflowing with pushiness and belligerence. Anthony outright asks her to lay off the "small dog rage".

    Video Games 
  • Ratchet & Clank: Ultimate Supreme Executive Chairman Drek from Ratchet & Clank (2002), and Emperor Percival Tachyon from Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Tachyon emphasizes the trope even further by always riding around on a very tall robotic throne, and in Zordoom Prison the punishment for mocking his size (or his name) is execution by firing squad.
  • Ramon Salazar, the insane Castellan dwarf person from Resident Evil 4, who also dresses in period clothing to make the connection even more obvious. Of course, he's also got progeria and a creepy laugh.
  • Laharl from Disgaea is relatively shorter than his two subordinates and would likely (and literally) skin you alive for saying such.
  • Roger S. Huxley in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time. Obsessed with proving himself to be "a real man", and three feet tall. Admittedly, he's twelve years old, but judging by his father's height, he's not likely to get much taller.
  • Largo La Grande from Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, the former right-hand man of the previous game's Big Bad, who uses his reputation to boss around an entire island as he wishes.
  • Kingyo-hime from Onmyoji is constantly mocked by the tall and statuesque Lord of the Arakawa River for her petite size. Now her biggest dream is to "conquer the world" in order to get even with the "big useless idiot".
  • Manuel Calavera of Grim Fandango is a protagonist example. He has stubby legs that force him to wear lifts while acting in his official capacity as a reaper, and has a nigh-indomitable will which takes him from one end of the Land of the Dead to the other and from deck-swabber to captain of a ship within a year. While he doesn't appear to be good at fighting, he has only lost to Domino Hurley (once in backstory and once in Year 3) and managed to lay out Nick Virago with one punch in Year 2.
  • Psychonauts:
    • Inverted when one of the minds the player enters belongs to Fred Bonaparte, a direct descendant of Napoleon. Unlike his ancestor he himself is tall, and completely lacking in ambition, and as such is haunted by a fear of not living up to his family's reputation.
    • Played straight with Coach Oleander, who starts the whole "take over the world with psychic death tanks" thing because he was refused military service because of his height.
  • Baldur's Gate:
  • Shoma Sawamura from Rival Schools is a hot-headed baseball player who does not like being reminded of his small height. It doesn't help that his on and off girlfriend Natsu is a Huge Schoolgirl. Or that Momo, the Clingy Jealous Girl who crushes on him, is even shorter than he is... but loves to use both her cuteness and short stature to her advantage.
  • Zack Temple from Mega Man Star Force seems to be this only without the personality. He's definitely self-conscious about his height, standing less than four feet tall, and is constantly looking for ways to make himself taller (at least on the same level as Geo, and Luna and her hair).
  • Ripto from the Spyro the Dragon series. He typically rides on a dinosaur to make himself appear taller, and the heroes often make jokes about his height.
  • Final Fantasy II: One of Emperor Palamecia's dragons, Count Borghen, fits this trope, and even kind of looks like the dictator himself. He has no real bearing on the story, other than offing one of your more useful party members.
  • Granblue Fantasy: Being a Harvin (an entire race of short and stout people, like dwarves), General Furias has a height complex and takes offence to anyone who mentions it.
  • Kirby: The title character, who is 8 inches tall, has his moments were he isn't being the cute puffball he normally is, and that's not because of his more angry expressions in the North American covers. Kirby: Squeak Squad, for example, has him nearly destroying the universe when someone stole his cake.
  • Atelier Series:
  • Bully gives us the main protagonist, Jimmy Hopkins, who is rather short for his age and his height pretty much plays a hand in his belligerence.
  • Grand Theft Auto has a few:
    • Ricardo Diaz in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, who is not only one of the most powerful drug barons in the city, but is notable by then for his Hair-Trigger Temper and penchant for violent Disproportionate Retributions (even towards inanimate objects and birds), and, of course, his short stature.
    • Ryder in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an Informed Deformity variant, as he is often called a "midget" in the game, even though he is about as tall as everyone else in the cutscenes. Of course, he also has a short fuse and a mean streak difficult to match.
    • The Ax-Crazy Mori Kibbutz from Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony. He is notably shorter than any of the other characters, including his younger brother, Brucie, whom he regularly bullies and belittles. He strongly believes that he is superior to everyone else and will constantly brag about the size of his penis and his military training, especially if is his height is mentioned.
  • The eponymous player character in the Adventure Game Ceville is a three-foot-tall tyrant.
  • The Soda Poppers from Sam & Max: Freelance Police are former child stars who are short and vow vengeance on Sam and Max after the duo disrupts their birthday party.
  • Doctor Neo Cortex of the Crash Bandicoot series. When the series began, he was so short that his in-game model couldn't even walk properly due to the insufficient length of his legs. It is implied in the introduction of The Huge Adventure that abuse related to his height (along with They Called Me Mad!) was what drove Doctor Cortex towards a life of trying to Take Over the World. It should be noted that he has gotten taller in later games; his official height is given as 5'3" in the Nintendo DS version of Crash of the Titans, and he now has visible knees.
  • League of Legends:
  • Date Masamune as portrayed in Samurai Warriors is fairly small compared to others (especially in the first game) and is the resident Smug Snake who wants you to know that you are an imbecile!
  • Luna in Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility is the shortest bachelorette, being nearly half the size of the protagonist and having to jump in order to kiss him during the wedding. She gets quite angry when anyone mentions her height. Her Harvest Moon: Animal Parade design is much taller, possibly to avert accusations of her being underage or pandering to lolicons.
  • Super Smash Bros. has Little Mac portrayed as this in his introduction video, delivering a Megaton Punch to tall girl Samus who compared both their heights.
  • Fire Emblem: Awakening gives us Ricken, a Child Mage who is seriously embarrassed by his lack of height and has a massive complex about being shorter than almost everyone, even kids who are around his age.
  • In the credits of Carrie's Order Up!, Skipple the fish has "boasting" among his likes. Under dislikes? "Being short".
  • Salvador of Borderlands 2, who is a dwarf due to a lifetime of excessive steroid abuse. He is also a furious little man, whose considerable anger management issues make him far, far more dangerous than the average Pandoran citizen. A properly specced Salvador is almost unkillable when he is at his most enraged, usually while going Guns Akimbo and shouting incoherently.
  • Twisted Wonderland
    • Riddle Rosehearts is the shortest known character in Heartslabyul dorm and third-shortest character overall, but holds a respected position as the dorm leader with a fierce personality to match, being easily angered whenever someone breaks one of the dorm's many rules even unwittingly. He calms down a bit after the events of Chapter 1, but still contains a short temper.
    • Epel Felmier is the shortest main character (not counting Ortho) and can get quite aggressive in pursuing becoming physically strong and tough, and shaking off a Pretty Boy image that he's been picked on for.
  • Admiral Razorbeard from Rayman 2: The Great Escape. The game website listed his height as 120cm (3'9"), even with his arms raised. It also said that he is very sensitive about the subject of his height. True to form, he's shown to be really short tempered, constantly threatening his underlings with punishment if they fail. He also sits in a very tall throne so he can stand eye-to-eye to his mooks and scream on their faces.
  • From Neptunia, there is Blanc/White Heart (The CPU of Lowee). Out of all of the CPUs — in both civilian and HDD form — she is the shortest, only being beaten by Peashy, and while she's normally The Stoic, she's prone to anger and has a dirty mouth, although she's more concerned about her lack of assets than her height. This is ironic since Nintendo is (mostly) a family friendly company.
  • Batman: Arkham Series: At 4"10, the Penguin is the shortest character in the series (beating the Mad Hatter by a single inch). He's sadistic mob boss constantly talking about owning things, proving himself, and "getting what's his". In Batman: Arkham City Professor Strange actually asks him if he's ever heard of a Napoleon Complex. He hasn't. In Batman: Arkham Knight, the Riddler goes for an even less subtle "How's that Napoleon Complex working out for you?"

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night: Even though he doesn't really fit this trope in terms of personality (or height for that matter), Shirou Emiya seems to be quite conscious about being "too short", even though he's actually normal height. It seems like he'll eventually go through an insane growth spurt, but chances are that this spurt is of unnatural causes.
  • The 4th case of Ace Attorney Investigations is set 7 years before the rest of the cases. Various jokes are made about the then-13-year-old Franziska von Karma being short. Any of the comments that are said aloud end in a lash from her riding crop (presumably she is too short at this age to properly handle her trademark whip). This is the only place these jokes are made, as in the main setting she's in her late teens or early 20s and isn't (as) short.
  • Cosette Cosmos from Sunrider is the (seemingly) child leader of a band of Space Pirates. She has a complex about her height and apparent age, to the point where calling her little sends her into a frothing rage, and she's quite a violent individual besides.
  • Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. As the heir to a Yakuza crime family, he wants to give off the image of a tough, badass gangster who would sooner kill you than look at you. Problem is, he's the second-shortest male in the cast and has an adorable babyface on top of that, which he absolutely loathes.
  • Min-seo of Butterfly Soup. Short for her age and the shortest of the cast, with an absurdly short fuse to match. She gets into fights, she charges people at the slightest provocation, and she always carries multiple knives on her person, at least one butterfly knife.
  • Natsuki from Doki Doki Literature Club!. She's so short that she looks like an older child, rather than 18 as she actually is. Of course, she's also a Tsundere. Both of these things are implied to be because she's malnourished.
  • Touchstarved has snarky monster-hunter Mhin. Shortest of the romanceable characters at just 5'6", they're quick to prove that their small size doesn't make them weak.

    Web Animation 
  • Fawful from A Day With Bowser Jr. He may be under four feet tall, but he's considered to be such a threat that the Koopa Kingdom celebrates his defeat even 15 years later.
  • Moxxie from Helluva Boss is the shortest member of the cast, and in a Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy pairing with his wife to boot while also being frequently called "little man" by people deliberately trying to wind him up. As a result of all of this he has a massive inferiority complex, not helped by his status as The Chew Toy.
  • Strong Bad from Homestar Runner, even though he's really the second shortest character and of course the shortest is The Cheat, his Non-Human Sidekick.
  • In Battle for Dream Island', Firey Jr. has a tendency to act blunt and insensitive towards and will say anything on his mind.
  • Paul Hammerbro from Bowser's Kingdom. The only one shorter than him is Jeff and Paul has a temper to match.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Implied with Psycho Man, since he gets very mad when Killer calls him 'short'.
  • RWBY Volume 6 gives us Caroline Cordovin, an Atlesian Military who happens to be a Miniature Senior Citizen. What she lacks in height, however, she makes up for in bombastic personality and Patriotic Fervor.

  • Pella Brightwing from Twice Blessed is a pixie princess. She's also incredibly hot blooded and seems enjoy beating/blowing up things much bigger than her, especially if they make a crack about her size.
  • Belkar Bitterleaf from The Order of the Stick is short even for a halfling. He's also a Chaotic Evil Ax-Crazy Blood Knight who will kill anyone or anything if given the chance, not just people who make fun of his height. He at one point claims this was inspired by other halflings making fun of his height, but he was just trying to get some roleplaying XP at the time so this may just be a convenient lie.
  • Jordan from Smoke Fur And Stone. Despite being tiny (and surrounded by werewolves nearly twice her height), Jordan is extremely aggressive.
  • Permission Sam, arch-nemesis of Dominic in the Magic: The Gathering webcomic UG Madness, is a condescending jerk who plays solely control decks. He's also just 5'1", a fact that Dominic frequently uses to get on his nerves.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!:
    • Agent Jerry is foul-tempered and quick to fire off his gun (fortunately, he's a terrible shot).
    • Fellow short person Floyd Fitznewski, on the other hand, isn't really mean, he just has too much energy and likes to start fights for the heck of it — especially if it involves a flying tackle.
    • Meanwhile, Galatea seems to have a crush on the actual historical Napoleon. "He's so complex, they named one after him!"
    • The Mowanians are a race of Lilliputians who are said to have an inferiority complex because of their size. They compensate by being loud and combative, and building very big and impressive spaceships.
  • Lord Stanley in Erfworld. "I'll ignore one height crack. One."
  • Girl Genius has Dr. Beetle, who was one of most brilliant mad scientists around, but his little issues sped up his fall.
  • Donna from Invincea and the Warriors from Hell is the smallest character in the main cast, and also the bossiest. She frequently is pushing around Hadinn, a grown man, and Galavant, a towering behemoth who is capable of punching through solid stone walls. Naturally, they don’t argue with her. Most of the time.
  • Pixie and Brutus: In one strip, Brutus meets a very aggressive Chihuahua, who threatens him if he doesn't get out of his yard and then lunges at him. Of course, Brutus easily fends off the attack.
  • "Shorty" from Skullkickers is a dwarf with a Hair-Trigger Temper, described by the creators as being 'always one step away from and explosion of emotional rage'.
  • Ufo himself in Captain Ufo: he's short, aggressive and his dream is to become the emperor of the galaxy.
  • Karkat Vantas from Homestuck has overweening ambition, short temper, and nubby little horns, as well as being slightly shorter than the rest of the cast. His overcompensation is based more on his low position in the Hemospectrum, however.
  • Drive (Dave Kellett): Emperor Cruz might be a ruthless galactic tyrant, but he doesn't have the most imposing figure in the Empire, hence his propensity for larger-than-life holograms.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Azha is teased about his height by his familiar, Misha, and more rudely called out as being short by Yokoka:
  • Downplayed in Anecdote of Error. Luntsha, is sensitive about her height, because a second year who is shorter than all the first years. She jumps for joy when she meets Atshi and finally knows a first year who is shorter than her.
  • When Narancia takes over this Tumblr askblog usually run by Abbacchio, he gets a pile of comments in the askbox asking why he's so tiny, calling him cute, and questioning how he's able to reach the computer because he's so shortnote . His answer is an image of him sitting on top of a pile of anons who've been stabbed to death, with a pouty face and the text, "I'm taller than you assholes."

    Web Videos 
  • The Nostalgia Chick, scary-tempered sociopath that she is, gets fairly insecure about being the shortest on Channel Awesome and wears high heeled boots everywhere to combat it.
  • Turkish YouTube star Köksal Baba is a four feet tall man with a high pitched voice who is set off from the slightest provocation and his videos frequently show him attacking men twice his size.
  • Notably averted with the Trope Namer in Epic Rap Battles of History; despite his opponent, Napoleon Dynamite, making multiple digs at his heightnote , Napoleon Bonaparte doesn't even bring the subject up once.
  • Although Jeremy Dooley of Achievement Hunter has a longer fuse than Michael Jones's notorious Hair-Trigger Temper, he's just as aggressive and easy to rile up during gameplay or other videos. He can get especially annoyed if jokes about his 5'4" height are involved. Conversely, he was offended when he discovered that one "biography" website listed his height as "unknown", since his height is his defining physical characteristic.
  • Lulu and Lala from Cream Heroes are short legged cats with larger than life personalities. Both of them are big eaters and incredibly active. Dodo would also be this since he shares similar traits with both but has gotten significantly larger over the past few months.

    Western Animation 
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • Gary, the hot-headed truck driver from "Christmas in the Car", turns out to be a rather short fellow.
    • Boo Boo, the youngest and shortest member of Boyz 4 Now, is rather sensitive about his height. It carries over into his solo career in "Bye Bye Boo Boo", where his first single is "Tall Enough to Ride Your Heart" and is promoted with a publicity stunt that serves as an excuse to showcase that he's now tall enough to ride roller coasters.
  • Centaurworld: As a finchtaur, Ched is the smallest member of Wammawink's little herd, but he also happens to be the most aggressive and belligerent.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • Eddy is the shortest member of the titular trio and has the shortest temper, as well as the biggest ego.
    • Sarah is significantly shorter than Eddy, but she's much more hot-blooded than he is, especially supported by the fact that she's a Spoiled Brat herself, not just in front of her Gentle Giant brother Ed.
  • Numbuh Four from Codename: Kids Next Door is the shortest boy of Sector V, but he is also the most impulsive and mostly relies on brute force.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
  • The ultimate example might be Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants, who is minuscule compared to the rest of the characters, whose height is typically less than 10 inches.
  • Kaeloo: Olaf, the shortest of the main cast, wants to Take Over the World and frequently gets angry. The rest of the cast do nothing but make fun of him.
  • The latter half of Pinky and the Brain. He was even mistaken for Napoleon in one episode, securing him control of France. That is, until the real deal walked under the "You must be this tall to enter" signs Brain set up at the border specifically to keep him out.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Yosemite Sam and Rocky the Gangster (both sport hats nearly as tall as they are, and they were both created by Friz Freleng!).
    • Henery Chickenhawk in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons is an aggressive Pint-Sized Powerhouse who has little issue making short work of Foghorn or the Barnyard Dawg.
    • One time Bugs Bunny went up against the actual Napoleon himself, or as Bugs called him, "Nappy".
    • Babyface Finster (aka Ant Hill Harry) from Baby Buggy Bunny is a dangerous criminal who is small enough to successfully pass as a baby. According to his mugshot, he barely surpasses two feet.
  • Invader Zim is from a society that determines rank from height, and is the size of a human child. As a result he's perpetually eager to please his leaders, but being a Too Dumb to Live Genius Ditz he only succeeds in making things worse.
  • Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show. It helps that he's a Chihuahua, well-known in Real Life for yapping impotently at people as if they were the boss. And he's well-known for going psycho. Ren has been described thusly: "He would rip your heart out, if only he had the strength."
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Toph Beifong Brutish and short, but a good girl (if snarky).
    • The episode "Avatar Day" has a flashback showing Chin the Conqueror, a cruel, and rather short, warlord who took over most of the Earth Kingdom before being humiliated and defeated by Statuesque Stunner Avatar Kyoshi (who's the tallest Avatar of all time).
  • Jade from Jackie Chan Adventures may qualify. Usually she's just an over-enthusiastic kid, but then she also utters such gems as "If you harm one hair on his head, you're gonna hafta answer to me!" and totally means it. Whatever you do, do not call her a shrimp.
  • In The Venture Brothers, Tim-Tom and Kevin are Dr. Girlfriend's "Murderous Moppets" from her days as the Au Pair. They're a pair of creepy midgets who always want to stab things, though their personalities are purely servile to Dr. Girlfriend and they act like her pets. They were even like this to The Monarch (Dr. Ex-Girlfriend Mrs. The Monarch's husband by then) until he got fed up and put the fear of The Monarch into them. They still act like this to nearly everyone else, though.
  • Xiaolin Showdown:
    • Omi is smaller than his friends and can be pretty bratty and selfish at times.
    • Hannibal Roy Bean is... well, a bean. But it doesn't stop him from being one of the most evil and dangerous forces in existence.
  • Transformers:
    • Cliffjumper from Transformers: Generation 1. Basically, he's the same as Bumblebee as far as physical appearance goes (except red in colour), thus making him one of the smallest of the Autobots. Yet the dude is constantly in the middle of fights. He also has the habit of pulling a BFG literally out of nowhere.
    • Dirt Boss, the third Constructicon from Transformers: Animated. While Mixmaster and Scrapper were Punch Clock Villains who followed whoever had the tastiest oil, this guy was planning to take over Detroit minutes after his creation.
  • Scrappy-Doo from the Scooby-Doo franchise. The other characters had to constantly restrain him from making patently suicidal frontal attacks on much larger opponents.
  • George's Mean Boss Mr. Spacely in The Jetsons is less than half George's size, but nobody can best him in a shouting match. (Well, other than his wife.)
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes gives us Lucius and Heloise. The two shortest members of the cast are also the two most aggressive.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • Mojo Jojo. He even gives a rant on how great Napoleon was just to rub the point home (though he was a little deluded about how well he did).
    • Arturo is the shortest member of the Gangreen Gang and is just as cruel and nasty as the rest of the gang.
    • Princess Morbucks is a Bratty Half-Pint who attempts to destroy the titular superheroes over petty reasons and whines whenever she doesn't get what she wants.
    • The 2016 series gives us Manboy, who has "all the power of a man in the body of a boy".
    • A heroic example would be Buttercup, who has the shortest temper of the three. She is also known to take her brute strength a little too far, as one episode shows her beating Fuzzy Lumpkins well beyond brutal, which even her sisters called her out on.
  • In one Animated Adaptation of Lucky Luke, specifically the The New Adventures of Lucky Luke besides Joe Dalton, General Custer is portrayed as a raving, megalomaniacal, racist midget.
  • Marcia the marsupial mouse from Blinky Bill can be downright nasty at times.
  • Mr. Mufflin from Fanboy and Chum Chum. No taller than 11-year-old Fanboy, a Perpetual Frowner, absolutely uncaring for his job (frequently reminds himself that it's only 12 years until his retirement) and prone to treating students inequitably.
  • Lynn Loud from The Loud House, who's 13, seems to have a bit of a Napoleon complex—aside from being bossy, aggressive and quick to anger, she also appears to be rather small for her, considering she and Lucy (her sister-roommate who's 8) and their only brother, Lincoln (who's 11) are all roughly the same height and build.
  • Winslow and Eddie the Squirrel from CatDog, the most diminutive characters and also two of the biggest Jerkasses on the show.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Bullseye!" one of the contestants in the Pageant of Evil is a Dr. Diminutive, who introduces himself by saying, "I don't have a Napoleon complex! Napoleon had a me complex!" He's quickly disqualified for being too short.
  • Bart Simpson in The Simpsons episode "Radioactive Man", in an attempt to get the part for Fallout Boy for the titular film being made, did several things indicative of the trope, including wearing elevator shoes, wearing a pin-stripe suit with vertical lines, and having a chihuahua as a scale for comparison. He ultimately doesn't get the part only because he was still a few inches too short. Milhouse got the part instead.
  • The title character of Dan Vs. is short and hot-headed, whose magnum opus is enacting a Roaring Rampage of Revenge in response to any slight he experiences. He doesn't like being reminded of his height or lack thereof.
  • Penny from The Mighty B! is slightly shorter than Bessie and can get very moody sometimes.
  • South Park:
    • Eric Cartman is quite possibly the most notorious example in animation, being not only angry, but sociopathic and even murderous. He's even like this to his own mom!
    • Shelly Marsh is short for her age and is just as spiteful as Cartman.
    • Sheila Broflovski is not only the most hotheaded and vindictive of the town's parents, she's also the shortest.
  • Ludo from Star vs. the Forces of Evil is a diminutive Evil Overlord who seeks to steal Star's magic wand and use its power to conquer the universe (and make himself taller). He's also not above nagging his minions, all of whom are at least three times as tall as him, about not doing enough training after Star and Marco kick their butts. It's not quite as funny when we find being the runt of the Avarius family and growing up desperate to prove himself was what made him a bad guy.
  • Eric Needles from Sidekick, while sometimes filling the whole of the Only Sane Man, rarely gets any respect from anyone and tends to whine. To reflect this, he is drawn much shorter than his three friends.
  • Joe Dalton from The Daltons is the shortest of the titled groups. He also has a bad temper.
  • Dragon Tales The Giant of Knod is actually very tiny. He is the leader of small elf-like creatures called "Knozzlings". But he has a deep booming voice. And, to top his Napoleon complex off, he constantly uses a megaphone.
  • The title character of Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil not only dislikes anyone who mocks him for his height, he also dislikes anyone who calls him "cute".
  • Peridot from Steven Universe is revealed to be barely taller than Steven without her "limb enhancers." She's sensitive about it and gets upset when he calls her cute. Humorously enough, she's loosely inspired by another diminutive green character on this list.
  • Nom Nom from We Bare Bears. He's an adorable little koala and viral video star who's also a total egomaniac and a complete jerk to the bears.
  • Rondo Jr. from Yakkity Yak is a short napoleonic bully who has a beef with the titular character.
  • The Mayor's son, Gil from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2017) is basically just as strict and sadistic as his father.
  • Ernie Potts in Hey Arnold! is shorter than the title character, works in demolition, and has a really bad temper as shown when he gets into arguments with the other members of Arnold's boarding house. He's also insecure about his short height as shown when he dates a tall model in "Ernie in Love".
  • Wander over Yonder: Implied with Commander Peepers, since his present in "The Gift II- The Giftening" is a pair of platform boots that make him twice as tall as his boss.
  • Final Space: Lord Commander is as diminutive as he is Ax-Crazy, and when one of his captives laughs at him for his size, Lord Commander telekinetically strangles him.
  • Mitchell from Ready Jet Go! is both short (only being taller than Mindy and Lillian), and short-tempered. It's very easy to make him mad and can be an Attention Whore on occasion.
  • How to Catch a Cold: Common Sense is very small, and he has a snappy attitude, saying things like, "Your luck's good enough; it's your judgement that's bad!" and "Where was your common sense?!".
  • Dave the Barbarian: Princess Fang, the youngest sister of Dave, is the smallest member of the main cast but also the most aggressive and short-tempered. Unlike her older brother, Fang's got the attitude and the mentality to be a "real" barbarian, but is ultimately too weak and scrawny to do anything about it.
  • King from The Owl House, like his name suggests, is the self-proclaimed king of demons, and spends most of the first season trying to subjugate anyone who even looks at him. He's also about the size of an average dog, and most characters (Luz especially) enter Cuteness Proximity when they see him, considering his Ugly Cute appearance. King finally gets what he wants when Lilith starts practically worshiping him once she learns he's a Titan, but he's incredibly put off by this behavior, and eventually realizes he doesn't actually WANT to be treated like a fearsome creature.
  • Rocky Kwaterner: has Professor Edgar Torpedo; he is a short guy, barely taller than the kid characters, and besides being the shows main villain he is also an impatient, easy to anger hothead.
  • Family Guy: Stewie, being a baby, is the smallest of the cast. He's also an Enfant Terrible with a short fuse and matricidal tendencies. He Took a Level in Kindness, but he's still a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.

    Real Life 
  • The Trope Namer Napoléon Bonaparte was 5'6"/168cm, above average height for an 18th century Corsican (5'5"/165 cm). However, cartoons from Britain, his foremost rival, created his reputation as a miniature, petty tyrant. A number of misconceptions have aided in perpetuating the image to this day.
    • First, the pre-metric French foot was longer than the English foot (equivalent to about thirteen English inches), causing his height to be numerically smaller than it would have been in Britain – he was 5'2" on the French scale.
    • Also, his nickname le Petit Caporal ("the Little Corporal") actually referred to his humble background and modesty around his troops, rather than his physical size.
    • During the Egyptian campaign, he was sometimes mistaken as a subordinate to the particularly tall Frontline General Dumas (father of Alexandre Dumas), as in the Middle East it was no surprise to see a black man in position of power.
    • Finally, he was often seen during war time on foot, surrounded by hulking bodyguards (who had a height requirement) and men on horses, making him look short by comparison. He also came from upper-class stock, who at this time were noticeably taller than most people. The other men of power at the time would have been closer to modern averages — particularly in Britain where most of the "Napoleon is short" propaganda came from.
  • Ironically, one of the most celebrated British heroes of The Napoleonic Wars, Horatio Nelson, was small for an Englishman, especially of his class – only 5'4"/163cm. He was also very slightly built, probably little more than a hundred pounds (7st,2lb/45kg). His fame was assured by his habit of not only 'showing his chest on the quarterdeck' as officers were expected to (and thus exposing oneself to both cannon and enemy snipers) but covering his chest in official regalia to make it clear to the enemy exactly who he was (including in the devastating and incredibly dangerous attack his ship made at Trafalgar, sailing cross-wise though a line of enemy vessels). However, Nelson flaunted his small stature and disabilities – he had lost a hand and was blind in one eye after a head injury – believing that his physical disadvantages underlined his bravery.
  • Male politicians and political leaders often go to great lengths to prevent themselves from appearing short.
    • Louis XIV, who has a very similar reputation to Napoleon himself as a powerful warmonger, was about 5'5"/162.5cm, which was considerably shorter than the average aristocrat in France at the time. He regularly wore high heelsnote  and extremely tall wigs to make him appear much taller than he really was. He also carefully ensured that paintings would depict him as being the largest and most notable figure, if there were others in the painting.
    • Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (5'5"/165cm) is infamous for his attempts to hide his short height. While former US President George W. Bush is six inches (15cm) taller than him, they appear the same size at press conferences. There are also some official pictures of French governments where he can be seen on the tips of his feet in order to look taller. Some people actually compare him with Napoleon for this reason. One of his nicknames among his opponents is "Naboleon" (translation: "Midgetoleon"). Ironically, few people would care about his height if he didn't go to such embarrassing lengths to conceal it: many recent world leaders like Vladimir Putin (5'6"/168cm), Dmitry Medvedev (5'4"/163cm), Hu Jintao (5'8"/173cm), and Sarkozy's successor/rival François Hollande (5'6"/168 cm) are also relatively short, and their height is almost never commented upon. In fact, his temper about his height is so famous that songs have been written about it. The French Political System page has a few examples.
    • Josef Stalin was around 5'6"/168cm, which isn't too shocking considering he came from a poor family in 19th-century Georgia (Europe). His statues and portraits take care to make him appear taller (and to conceal his smallpox scars and withered arm). He didn't like being around men who were taller than him in general; almost all his deputies were noticeably shortnote  Vladimir Lenin and Nikita Khrushchev were short too (5'5"/165cm and 5'3"/160cm respectively), but they didn't make a fuss about it.
    • Augustus was around 5'7"/170cm according to his secretary (5'9" in Roman units and average for a 1st century AD male), but biographer Suetonius says this is slightly inflated and he was known for wearing thick-soled shoes.
    • North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il (5'2"/157cm) was infamous for wearing platform shoes and a bouffant hairstyle to make himself seem taller. When asked about Kim's height, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (who is famously short) noted that without his lifts, she stood eye-to-eye with him.
    • At 5'2"/157cm, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the same height as Kim Jong-il.
    • While George W. Bush (5'11"/180cm) is not short, in the 2004 American presidential election he faced the much taller John Kerry (6'4"/193cm). A minor news story broke revealing the back-and-forth negotiations between the two presidents' camps on how to film the debates. The Bush camp was particularly concerned about Bush appearing too short while standing near Kerry. Despite their efforts it became fairly common to portray Bush as child-sized in political cartoons, which already existed because of Bush's The Ditz image and the fact that as a president's son he was often compared to a small spoiled kindergartner wearing his father's suits in cartoons. This image may also have contributed to the idea that he was much smaller than he was.
    • Inverted by George W. Bush's father, George H. W. Bush, during his tenure as Ronald Reagan's vice president. Bush was an inch taller than Reagan and took pains to avoid standing next to him in photos until after Reagan's term of office was over.
  • Small dogs are generally more aggressive than large dogs because they have to work so much harder to maintain their place in the hierarchy, and more likely to feel threatened yet still retain the instincts of their larger ancestors to fight rather than flee. Their higher metabolism also gives them more forceful personalities in general, whether friendly or mean. Even the tiniest and cutest dogs have the instincts of hunters. In fact, many small dog breeds (like terriers) were specifically bred to hunt and kill vermin. Compounding the problem, many owners fail to train their small dogs properly, believing that their Mister Muffykins is harmless.
  • Ponies, especially in comparison to horses. "The shorter the pony, the closer to hell", as they say; they tend to be much more irritable than horses at all times, clever enough to figure out how to escape just about any enclosure and still strong enough to kick your shins in half if they really want to.
  • Smaller breeds of animals in general are more excitable and aggressive than larger breeds due to increased metabolism. Social animals also maintain hierarchies, so smaller individuals need to work much harder to maintain their place.
  • Honey Badgers are notorious for being vicious and bloodthirsty, using their claws to kill other animals (even the bigger ones). There are also the smallest animals at only 3 feet tall.
  • Similarly, Wolverines are at least 1 feet tall (which makes them shorter than Honey Badgers) and are also violent, though not to the extent of Honey Badgers. Their aggressive nature and small height may have inspired their superhero namesake.
  • Harlan Ellison was of short stature (5'2½"/159cm) and was known for his forceful personality. In the documentary Dreams With Sharp Teeth he describes himself during his days in the military as a "mean little dog" who, though "86 pounds [39kg] soaking wet", refused to give up and never collapsed during training. Contrary to the trope, he avoided confrontations with the other soldiers by volunteering to help them write letters to their girlfriends.
  • Scientology's current leader David Miscavige (5'1"/155cm). If the accounts from ex-members that he frequently beats his staff and encourages other high-ranking officials to do so and manipulates promotional pictures so that he looks taller are to be believed, then he most certainly qualifies as this trope. Could also be considered a Mister Big depending on your personal opinions of Scientology.
  • Alexander the Great was purported to be 5'4"/163cm, although considering what time period he lived in that isn't that small. Average height for Mediterranean men of the time was around 5'7"/170cm, but his enemies the ancient Achaemenid (Persian) royalty and nobility were reputedly big men with huge physical strength. Hence the famous story of Emperor Darius's throne being far too tall for Alexander when he conquered the Persian Empire.
  • Attila the Hun was documented to be a rather small man and may have suffered from dwarfism.
  • Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann, the stars of Withnail and I, once had not-quite-an-argument — apparently more of a friendly debate — about whether Real Classic Movie Stars are generally short, according to Grant's memoirs. McGann, who's 5'9"/175 cm, thought so; Grant — 6'2"/188 cm — didn't. Score one for the little guy; McGann won.
  • Several criminals:
    • Famed eighteenth-century burglar Jack Sheppard was around 5'4"/163 cm.
    • Depression-era bank robber Lester Gillis, better known by the alias "George Nelson" and the nickname "Baby Face", was seriously unstable and had a whole keyboard full of Berserk Buttons, but the biggest was his height: he was only 5'4"/163 cm.
    • Bonnie and Clyde, contemporaries of Baby Face Nelson, were respectively 4'10"/148 cm and 5'6"/168 cm.
    • Infamous Jewish mobster Meyer Lansky was only five feet (152.5 cm) tall, but never made remarks about his height.
    • Charles Manson was 5'2"/157 cm.
    • The late mob boss Nicodemo Scarfo headed The Mafia in Philadelphia and Atlantic City from 1981 to 1991. He was 5'5"/165 cm, hence why he earned the hated Embarrassing Nickname "Little Nicky". Arguably the most violent boss in the history of the American Mob, he ran the Philly Mob like a brutal dictator even while imprisoned, ordered as many as 25+ murders during his tumultuous reign, and possibly more before becoming boss. He was willing to have anyone killed, including his own men, if he even suspected them of disloyalty. Even his own nephew Phil Leonetti was scared of him for this reason.
    • Averted with mob boss Carlo Gambino, who was 5'6"/168 cm but never made a fuss about his height and was a relatively low-key mafioso. Not only was the Gambino crime family the most powerful one at the time, but Gambino was the de facto Boss of Bosses of the mob despite the title being abolished.
    • Another aversion to this is Tommy Lucchese, who was 5'2"/157 cm but chose to keep a low profile. Not only that, he was an ally of Gambino, as the two became the dominant forces of the New York mafia in the 1950s and 1960s.
    • El Chapo, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, is 5'6"/167.5 cm, though that's pretty normal in Mexico.
  • Although he was portrayed by 6'2"/188cm Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia, in real life T. E. Lawrence was 5'5"/165 cm.
  • Prince was 5'2"/157cm and also infamously hard to work with. He also sometimes wore massive platform shoes when performing.
  • When Prince Eugene of Savoy-Carignan (1663-1736) requested to be appointed to be given command of a regiment, King Louis XIV of France refused because he said Eugene was too scrawny and too little. Refusing to accept this, Eugene entered the service of the Holy Roman Emperor and eventually rose to supreme command of the Austrian Army. Napoleon himself considered Eugene to have been one of the seven greatest generals in history. Especially during the War of Spanish Succession, in which Eugene together with the Duke of Marlborough led the main Allied Army, Louis must have deeply regretted judging the man once known as the "little abbé" by his appearance.
  • Chimpanzees are ridiculously savage and aggressive compared to the other members of the great ape family (humans, gorillas, and orangutans), while also being the smallest members of said family by far.
  • Ragnar Lodbrok and His Sons details the life of a Viking warrior chief known as Ivar the Boneless whose lifestory suggests strongly that he was born with brittle bones, which would have made his legs not only very short but too weak to stand on (the saga says that he was borne into battle carried on a shield by 4 attendants, and used the very un-chieflike longbow (which would not have recoiled on his body).
  • In the American Civil War, General Philip Sheridan was relatively short for a cavalry officer, but that certainly did not prevent him from scoring a great victory clearing out the Shenandoah Valley of Confederates, which Lincoln wrote a playfully congratulatory letter, "General Sheridan, when this particular war began, I thought a cavalryman should be at least six feet four inches high, but I have changed my mind. Five feet four [163cm] will do in a pinch."
  • During World War II, short men led both sides. The Allies had Winston Churchill (5'6"/168 cm) and the aforementioned Josef Stalin (also 5'6"/168 cm). The Axis had Benito Mussolini (5'7"/170 cm), Emperor Hirohito (5'5"/165 cm), and Hideki Tojo (somewhere within the range of 5'0"/152.5 cm and 5'4"/163 cm). With the exception of Hirohito, these men were known for being bombastic and aggressive. Churchill was often called "the Bulldog", a creature known for its small size and for its toughness and tenacity.
  • Stanley Kubrick was 5'6½"/169 cm and had a well-deserved reputation as a Prima Donna Director who was demanding and hostile toward anyone who worked with him. "Do another take and get it right a hundred twenty-seven times!"
  • George Lucas is 5'6"/168 cm, and many fans consider him a micromanaging Control Freak due to his ruthlessly tight grip on the Star Wars reins… at least until Disney bought him out.
  • George R. R. Martin, another famously cantankerous George, is the same height as Lucas. He's known for writing gritty stories in which Anyone Can Die, meticulously perfecting his books over long periods of time regardless of the fans' wishes, and trolling and lying to his readers. When people wondered if he'd die before finishing A Song of Ice and Fire, he responded by saying "Fuck you, to those people" and Flipping the Bird.
  • Several Hip-Hop artists fit this profile quite well:
    • Lil Wayne is 5'5"/165 cm and is also an arrogant ladies' man famous for his boastful, coarse raps.
    • Eazy-E, the Godfather of Gangsta Rap, was only 5'3"/160 cm — and with a gat, it don't matter if he's smaller or bigger.
    • Fredro Starr from the hardcore rap group Onyx from Queens, New York is around 5'5"/165 cm. He also seems to play the stereotypical angry/thuggish character in a lot of the films he appears in.
    • Lil' Kim and Nicki Minaj are respectively 4'11"/150 cm and 5'2"/157 cm and (like the aforementioned Lil Wayne) are known for their aggressive lyrics and sexually provocative public images.
    • Bushwick Bill of Geto Boys fame is an even more extreme example, as he has literal dwarfism — but be warned, 'cause "Size Ain't Shit." His group pioneered horrorcore and named the trope Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!, and he did his fair share of horror-rapping (in the persona of a Depraved Dwarf) on tracks like "Chuckie" and "Murder Avenue." What's more, he was severely messed up in the head in the early nineties, in no small part due to the Everclear he was drinking at the time. The weirdest part of all is that he's begun to venture into gospel music in recent years!
  • Also in the field of music, Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera are respectively 5'1"/155 cm and 5'2"/157 cm. Like many of the rappers mentioned above, they're known for their outrageous, sexually explicit, and larger-than-life personas.
  • Queen Victoria. Monarch of a powerful and ruthless empire. Proposed to her husband at a time when that was virtually unheard of. Obsessively watched over and micromanaged her children's lives. Stern and grim in public (even if she never said "We are not amused"), but a loose cannon at home. And she was at most five feet (152.5 cm) tall.
  • Rod Serling of The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery fame was 5'4"/163 cm and had a reputation as the "angry young man" of Hollywood, though this stemmed from his hatred of injustice rather than physical insecurity.
  • J. Edgar Hoover, legendarily paranoid head of the FBI, was 5'7"/170 cm.
  • European robins are small, round, cute little birds, much beloved of Christmas cards, but they're also extremely territorial and will attack and kill not just other robins (especially males) but other species of bird.
  • Adélie penguins, mostly when compared to the Emperor penguins they often share territory with. At least one documentary calls them "the feistiest penguin in the world", and considering they regularly pick slapfights with Emperor penguins and their chicks (both of which are bigger than them), and are known for scaring off Petrels (large predatory birds known for attacking Emperor chicks) by sheer dint of aggressiveness, it seems well deserved.
  • Jon Anderson, the Cloudcuckoolander New-Age Retro Hippie frontman of the Progressive Rock band Yes, acquired the nickname "Napoleon" in the band's early days due to his short stature and habit of chewing out band members who showed up late to rehearsals.
  • Mark Collett is a literal Neo-Nazi who hates everyone who doesn't exactly fit is idea of how people should be. Here is a picture of him next to his girlfriend.
  • The late Yitzhak Shamir, former prime minister of Israel, was a leader of the pre-statehood Zionist militant group Lehi, robbed banks, and escaped from British prisons twice. As prime minister he was notorious for causing both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush to reach for the Excedrin because he did not give a fuck and was infamously stubborn. His distinctive appearance - he was just under five feet tall, with huge and bushy eyebrows - was lampshaded in the New York Times where it was proclaimed that "in America, this man could not be elected to a school board in Poughkeepsie." (Shamir apparently found the remark Actually Pretty Funny.)
  • Hummingbirds are another tiny, beautiful bird species who can be notoriously aggressive and territorial; they often fight over flowers to secure their food source, so people who enjoy their visits need to put several feeders in the garden and space them well apart to avoid needless fighting.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Napoleon Complex


Teeny Tiny Tony

The smallest of Arlo's friends has quite a temper on him.

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

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Main / TheNapoleon

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