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Tiny Schoolboy

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Then it all went downhill
You grew tall, I stayed the same
I guess that's just puberty
Making us boys always play a losing game
— "School Uniforms", The Wombats
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Puberty can affect a teenager in many ways, and in the case of the Tiny Schoolboy, it's not always good. Males are expected to be taller than females, so this character is rather strange.

These small teenage boys (particularly in high school) are the target of bullying and teasing from other students for being below-average, (probably) struggle to find a girlfriend because many girls want a Tall, Dark, and Handsome boyfriend, and dread falling into the Tiny Guy, Huge Girl category.

This causes some of them to lash out and become aggressive, short-tempered and loud-mouthed to show everyone that they're just as good as any normal-sized guy for any normal-sized girl. Expect some of them to have a taller best friend as a human shield or as a good tool for threatening people he's rubbed the wrong way (usually for being insulted about their height), although these characters usually end up as the Dumb Muscle, meaning that this Tiny Schoolboy is probably a pariah to everyone except for the ditzy characters.

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Some versions are usually the Attention Whore and can be all mouth and no legs. In many cases, it's seen as either annoying to others or just Endearingly Dorky. If their boasts turn out to be true, they become the Pint-Sized Powerhouse or just Badass Adorable. In some cases, expect these versions to befriend the Huge Schoolgirl, or be dating the Huge Schoolgirl because they're the only ones that understand each other and see the person instead of the height.

Other versions of these characters are usually the Nice Guy who respects others and is a Friend to All Living Things. Unlike the aggressive version of their characters, these Tiny Schoolboys actually get the attention from the girls... but not for being studs. Expect these types to be constantly the target of the school bullies and the jocks that struggle to get girls.

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The one thing that the types can relate to is that they’re constantly confused with children by adults, or are too short to do certain things that other teenagers can do (expect them to be rejected from theme park rides).

The inverted Distaff Counterpart to Huge Schoolgirl. Not to Be Confused with Dawson Casting. A Sister Trope to Teens Are Short. Also see Pint-Sized Kid for the preteen/children idea as a whole. If they're lucky, they eventually go through the I Got Bigger trope.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Though only in Junior High, Haruyuki Arita, lead protagonist of Accel World stands at barely half the height of many of the other characters even at the age of 14. This, combined with his obvious weight problem, was what resulted in him being such a popular target for local bullies. Whether he'd retain this aspect when he enters High School is actually something of a minor concern for his girlfriend Kuroyukihime. This is an anime-only element as Haruyuki is of average height in the light novel.
  • Nagisa Shiota from Assassination Classroom is 159 cm tall, which coupled with his androgynous appearance leads some to mistake him for a girl. The fact that his mother wanted to rear him as a girl may or may not have factored into this. The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue shows that time was not kind to him. He only grew one measly centimeter over the past seven years, leaving him only three centimeters taller than Kayano.
  • Connie from Attack on Titan is the nice guy type, even though there are technically no schools in their universe. He shown to have gotten taller post-time skip, however.
  • Dan from Bamboo Blade is within the age range of most of the teenage characters, but is a head taller than the shortest girl Tamaki. Strange to some, he is the only character with a real relationship — dating the much taller Miya.
  • Valt from Beyblade Burst is tiny for an eleven-year-old. Shu and Rantaro are his age but look older because they're quite a bit taller than Valt. While not an Attention Whore, Valt is very loud and Hot-Blooded.
  • BREAK THE BORDER: Sei is 156 cm (5'1") due to being a trans boy. He's the shortest member on his all-girls basketball team but makes up for his height with his ability and energy.
  • Another old series called Dash Kappei has Kappei who plays basketball despite standing at less than one metre tall.
  • Sena Kobayakawa from Eyeshield 21.
  • In Fate/Zero, Waver Velvet is all of 5'2" at 19, which doesn't help his inferiority complex over being a less powerful mage than most of his classmates — even the Servant he summons suggests early on that he ask the Holy Grail to make him taller if he wants people to respect him. Fortunately for poor Waver, he does turn out to have been a late bloomer, and sometime in the ten years between Fate/Zero and Fate/StayNight he shoots up to 6'1".
  • Naota from FLCL, although it's kind of justified in that he's in 6th grade before going to 7th grade at the end of the series.
  • Latvia of Hetalia: Axis Powers is physically 15 years old, and roughly 4'7" tall. It's implied that his small size is due to his former boss Russia's smothering influence leaving him unable to develop properly, as well as Russia's affectionate head pats crushing part of his spine.
  • Hitomi-chan Is Shy with Strangers has Yuu Usami, a second-year high schooler who is mistaken for much younger thanks to his short height. The focus of the series is his relationship with Hitomi Takano, a girl who is taller than him despite being a grade below his and is also much scarier-looking than the diminutive Yuu despite being a Shrinking Violet.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable has two:
    • Koichi Hirose is a zigzagged example. Koichi's actual height is 5'2", a plausible height for a 15-year-old high schooler. However, he's always depicted as shorter than he actually is, at one point being shown to be barely taller than 11-year-old Hayato. It doesn't help that the rest of the main characters in the series usually stand at over 6 feet tall, making him look even shorter by comparison.
    • Shigekiyo "Shigechi" Yangu is almost the same height as Koichi, at 157 cm or so, though his neotenous proportions make him look even shorter. What's bizarre is that Shigechi's weight is listed as 110kg, or 240 pounds, 60 pounds heavier than the 6'4" Jotaro.
  • Ootani from Komori-san Can't Decline! is the shortest teenage member of the cast, which stands in contrast to the 6 foot tall Komori. Ironically, the first character of his name translates to "large".
  • Featured in the trope image is Kotoura-san's Dai'chi Muroto, who is often compared to an elementary schooler.
  • Given that Tiny Guy, Huge Girl is the story's core premise, Lovely Complex has two Tiny Schoolboys vying for Risa Koizumi's affections; the male lead, Atsushi Otani, and one Romantic False Lead, Kazuki Kohori.
  • Minoru Mineta of My Hero Academia is ridiculously tiny, coming in at a whopping 3'6" and a half. Being a pervert, it's perfect for staring at girls' butt. But for things like playing an electric guitar? Nope.
  • Naruto from Naruto starts out like the Attention Whore and dorky type and is shorter than his two friends. However, as an adult, he's one of the tallest characters and is easily One Head Taller than Hinata (who was taller than him in Part 1).
  • Shinji in Neon Genesis Evangelion is the shortest boy out of the teenagers we meet. The only human character that's shorter than him is the mysterious girl Rei by three centimeters.
  • Ouran High School Host Club features Honey-senpai, whose childlike appearance, stature, and personality are explained as him being a leap-year baby. He is really 17 and caters to girls who are into a male Moe archetype.
  • 10-year old Ash from Pokémon was originally short for his age, which fit his bratty and immature personality in the Original Series. He was dwarfed by his similarly aged friend Misty. However, since his Character Development in Hoenn, his proportions have changed so that he's almost the same height as Misty (but he's still shorter than Gary).
  • Umino from Sailor Moon is slightly taller than the 145 cmnote  Usagi... but is at least a head shorter than other male students at their school.
  • Fuuta from Spirit Circle, who has Height Angst and hopes that the new student will be much shorter so the attention will be on someone else.
  • The 152 cm Yugi Mutou from the manga and anime Yu-Gi-Oh!, who's sixteen, goes to high school, and is shorter than all of his teenage friends — even Anzu/Tea. When he becomes Dark Yugi, it makes him grow, and there's a rather glaring difference, and he's nearly as tall as Jonouchi/Joey.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks suffer from this in the second live-action movie The Squeakquel. Being the size of normal woodland chipmunks (unlike in other parts of the franchise, in which the chipmunks were the size of the children they were classmates with), in their high school, one of them is nearly run over by a skateboarding student in the hallway, and all three were inches away from being stepped on. Naturally, they are brought to the attention of giggling female students in their classes that coo over their cuteness, making the school's American football team jealously target them for their bullying pranks.
  • Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy is the nice guy/dorky type, portrayed by the (at least) 5'4" Michael J. Fox.
  • Harry Potter becomes slightly smaller than Hermione throughout the years that the trio hit puberty as the Harry Potter series progresses because his actor Daniel Radcliffe is 5'5".

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Adam-12 has a two-part episode about a boy who is 14 but hadn't done much growing yet and is getting picked on at school because of it. He was acting out and getting in trouble and is sent to a police-run summer camp with Malloy as a counselor. He gets in trouble there, too, and Malloy hopes he can be steered in the right direction before he does something that lands him in juvenile hall.
  • Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in the seasons when he's in high school. His much-taller cousin Will constantly uses it to shut him down whenever he tries to get his point across.
  • 4'8" Arnold from Diff'rent Strokes, due to his actor Gary Coleman's suffering from congenital autoimmune kidney disease. It's rarely a plot point, once Arnold moves out of the "cute kid" phase and into his teens.
  • Vinnie from Doogie Howser, M.D. was so upset by his short stature he looked into a medical procedure to try and stretch his legs.
  • Blaine from Glee, which is rather glaring when he stands next to his much-taller Love Interest Kurt, considering he's at first a Mentor Archetype to him (which is a character that is usually taller than their student). Coach Sylvester sometimes points out his height in her usual Flowery Insults, and Brittany at one point calls him a gnome. Speaking of Brittany, she and Blaine get some sweet moments with each other in the glee club and other lessons but aren't constantly attached to each other's hip, making this a mild version of the Huge Schoolgirl befriending the Tiny Schoolboy. (You wouldn't really be able to tell because they're the same height.)
  • In Even Stevens, Ren dates a boy in her grade and is made fun of by everyone in her class. When she asks her friends why everyone is acting strangely around her, they tell her that everyone saw her being asked out by him and cannot believe that she didn't know he was short. She tells them that she doesn't see people for their height and doubts that there's a glaring difference, but when she turns up to the date, the boy stands up to escort her, showing her that she is head and shoulders taller than him, making her rather embarrassed that she's unknowingly fallen into the Tiny Guy, Huge Girl trope, and struggles to accept this and consider going out with him ever again.
  • Supernatural: In several flashback episodes, the exceptionally tall Sam Winchester is played by diminutive child actors, indicating the character had a growth spurt sometime after his freshman year in high school. In an episode featuring Sam's freshman year, he's tormented by bullies and older brother Dean towers over him.

    Roleplay 
  • In the online roleplay game Academy of Merlin, you have the 4'8 greedy teenager Magnus, and the 4'4 Rowan, who's got Height Angst and is often mistaken for a child. He is also dating the much-taller Potato.
  • Even as a teenager, Kenny is the shortest of the main four boys on the blog Ask The Main Four. Maybe that's what happens when you're constantly killed off.
  • Michal from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues is only 4'9" at 16 years old, which makes him one of the smallest members of the cast. It's mentioned that his shortness is what's stopping him from asking Luna or Zia (6' and 5'10" respectively) out.

    Video Games 
  • Despite being one of the most skilled athletes around, Pablo Sanchez is consistently designed as the smallest boy in Backyard Sports.
  • In Ensemble Stars!, the three shortest characters are Tori, Shinobu, and Nazuna at 152, 159, and 160 centimeters respectively. Tori explicitly utilises his position as Token Mini-Moe by taking on a Deliberately Cute Child persona, and Shinobu admires tall people (such as his friend Midori, the tallest first-year) but due to his shy personality is happy to stay somewhat below notice. Nazuna however is actually a third-year, and is very much unhappy about how cute his short appearance makes him look.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Robbie Dobbs from Eddie at The LMV is the shortest member of the band — even the girls tower over him.

    Web Comics 
  • There are five boys in SWAP Ensemble who stand less than five feet tall. The shortest is Patrick Tempo, at four feet flat, who is easily mistaken for an elementary school kid and is barely taller than one girl's kneeling height. In fact, he is shorter than an actual elementary schoolgirl, whose 4'6" stature makes the other short boys insecure about being mere inches taller than her.
  • Larson from Venus Envy is only 5'4" due to being a transgender boy. He makes up for it in feist. The first time he meets Zoe (who is trans herself) and her date, he tries to get into a fight with them before noticing the girls are 5'10" and 5'6" respectively.

    Western Animation 
  • Although not a human boy, nice guy Theodore from Alvin and the Chipmunks is the shortest of his brothers and the canon universes that they interact with human children in.
  • Ben from Ben 10 isn't the shortest boy of his age (in some cases, he meets kids his age that are shorter than him), but when he is denied access to a water slide because he isn't tall enough, cousin Gwen laughs gleefully as she's let through with no hesitations. Ben spends most of the episode trying to sneak on the ride with his alien transformations until the villain of the episode shows up.
  • Big Mouth: Nick is the only one of his friends who hasn't undergone puberty, leaving him much smaller than the other boys and a bit insecure about his masculinity.
  • Aqualad from the TV series incarnation of DC Super Hero Girls 2019 is a high school freshman, "but one of those poor kids who's still waiting for puberty."
  • Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory isn't exactly the shortest person in his circle of friends his age, however, Dee Dee's friends have the "I'm Taking Him Home with Me!" mentality whenever they visit his sister.
  • Eddy from Ed, Edd n Eddy. Although his height isn't really used to be insulted by the neighborhood kids (except in one of the earlier episodes where his height is a plot point), he's short-tempered and has Ed and Edd as his friends/sidekicks.
  • Bobby from King of the Hill is considerably shorter than the other kids on the show, having not hit puberty yet. Part of this is because the producers didn't want to replace his voice actress Pamela Hayden.
  • Exaggerated with one of the middle school students in Mixels. He is a Glowkie that is so tiny, a sports ball is bigger than him. Meanwhile, Booger is taller than him, though still ridiculously short compared to the other middle schoolers.
  • From Phineas and Ferb:
  • Morty of Rick and Morty is significantly shorter than his classmates, male and female.
  • Played for Drama in the Steven Universe episode "Steven's Birthday". Connie is shocked to learn that Steven's turning fourteen, despite him looking maybe ten. It turns out Steven hasn't visibly aged in years, possibly due to his mother being an ageless Magical Girl. He begins worrying about the implications of this for the first time.
  • Teen Titans: It's unclear if Beast Boy is the same age as his other teammates, but he is considerably shorter than any of them (by default), the Plucky Comic Relief, and the closest friends with Cyborg, the largest of them.
  • Pidge Gunderson from Voltron: Legendary Defender is dwarfed by the other Military Academy students and dropout that make up the bulk of his fellow paladins. This is understandable given that Katie Holt is on the petite side for a girl and may have falsified her age as well. It should be noted that the original Pidge was just as short.
  • Omi from Xiaolin Showdown. He is the smallest member of the Xiaolin Dragons, beginning as the Nice Guy, but ends up as a hybrid of The Napoleon and Attention Whore by the end of the show. Not to mention, he's an Adorably Precocious Child.

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