In today's fiction you find a lot of characters who are based off iconic characters from classic or modern-day works. One such character who gets a lot of references is Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol, the ill son of Ebenezer Scrooge's employee Bob Cratchit.
A Tiny Tim Expy will usually have some or all of the following traits:
- A British accent.
- Being dirt poor.
- Ragged attire consisting of a jacket, hat, and a scarf, with visible patches.
- Some kind of illness (specified or not) or injury such as a broken leg. They are commonly depicted as requiring crutches or a cane.
- Finally, the character is sometimes depicted as being a Butt-Monkey, Extreme Doormat, or Cosmic Plaything to other characters in the setting so you can expect to see them suffer a bit of abuse. Nevertheless, they will always come out of it with a positive attitude, whether it's real or not.
No relation to that Tiny Tim. Possible subtrope of Yet Another Christmas Carol. Often overlaps with Heartwarming Orphan and Littlest Cancer Patient.
See also The Scrooge.
open/close all folders
Film — Animated
- An All Dogs Christmas Carol has an animal version in the form of Timmy, a puppy suffering from a broken hind leg who the other dogs are trying to raise money for his operation.
- Christmas is Here Again: The main protagonist Sophiana is an orphan whose parents were killed in a car crash. Said car crash also injured her leg, forcing her to walk with a cane, which gets her a lot of bullying from other orphan kids who know of her condition. She also grew up not knowing what Christmas is, and the orphanage she lives in is run by a woman with a fairly dim view of the world who subjects the kids to harsh treatment. In spite of all of this, Sophiana manages to keep a positive attitude even when more hardship is thrown her way throughout the movie.
- One of Mickey's nephews plays the role of Tiny Tim in Mickey's Christmas Carol. In this universe, Tiny Tim appears as a poor boy walking with a crutch, who is in need of assistance.
Film — Live Action
- Scrooged is a Setting Update of A Christmas Carol, setting it in then-modern New York City. Thus, Tiny Tim is replaced by Calvin, a young boy who's gone mute ever since he witnessed his father's murder. In the Bad Future, he ends up institutionalized. Frank, the Scrooge expy, is horrified by this and starts asking the Ghost of Christmas Future for reassurance that this is only a possible outcome, and there's still time to help him, right? He even starts babbling about various ways he could help get him treatment. Fortunately, in the ending, Calvin winds up being able to speak, whispering, "God bless us, every one," and Frank's Heel–Face Turn all but states he's going to help him, just like he promised.
- The film A Special Sesame Street Christmas involves Oscar adopting a cat named Tiny Tim, so-named because he broke his leg around Christmas.
- The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids's ''Christmas Carol'' homage, A Copper-Colored Christmas Carol, managed to cast a baby Eldritch Abomination in this role, as "Tiny Thymon". Complete with a crutch, or, rather, some extra-dimensional object filtered to its nearest equivalent in our perception range, which is a crutch. It should be stressed that despite some tongue-in-cheek framing about the sheer use of the "Christmas Carol homage" trope, this story is not a parody, and Tiny Thymon manages to be genuinely endearing.
- In the Team Fortress 2 machinima "End of the Line", the boy from the orphanage is dressed in Dickensian clothes, including the hat, and uses a pair of crutches as he's missing a leg.
- In the Yet Another Christmas Carol episode of Gridiron Heights, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence gets the Tiny Tim treatment (though he rebukes the Tiny Trevor moniker, given that he's 6'6") with Chip Kelly, the ghost of Urban Meyer present, warning Urban Meyer that one bad coach could potentially ruin his career. It also helps that Lawrence, like most rookies in the series, has a literal baby voice. Urban, however, is unmoved.
Trevor Lawrence: [Coughs] I'm not being developed right.Chip Kelly: You see, Tiny Trevor-Trevor Lawrence: -I'm 6'6"!Chip Kelly: -May not make it because of one bad coach!Urban Meyer: Next!
- In the Arthur episode "Prunella Gets it Twice", Prunella is rude to Francine for getting her a birthday present she already has, then has a guilt-induced nightmare similar to the Christmas Carol story where ghosts tell her that Francine worked hard to earn the gift, including "looking after her little brother Tiny Tim"— which Prunella points out is untrue, since the only sibling Francine has is an older sister Catherine.
- Bobby's World: When Uncle Ted muses that some financial problem is "a trip to the poorhouse," Bobby imagines himself as one of these, complete with threadbare, patched attire and Cockney accent.
- Numbuh 1 from Codename: Kids Next Door is a British boy who is bald, which created a fan-theory that he has cancer. He also has his moments of bad luck happen to him.
- Fanboy and Chum Chum features a minor recurring character named Retchy Lintpockets, who is a British street urchin in ragged clothes.
- Futurama has Tinny Tim, a robot kid who has one leg shorter than the other and one of his arms is a crutch.
- Looney Tunes: The episode "Bugs Bunny's Christmas Tales" tells the story of A Christmas Carol with Tweety Bird playing the role of Tiny Tim, although he lacks most of the usual traits other than Bugs considering him to be small for his age.
Bugs: Kinda puny, isn't he?Tweety: If you had to live on birdseed, you'd be puny too!
- Numb Chucks has Little Timmy, who wears part of the attire, has the accent, and also speaks in Third-Person Person.
- The Simpsons:
- In "Miracle On Evergreen Terrace", Lisa introduces a pair of sickly orphans in ragged clothing named Patches and Poor Violet to Bart, who give him a ragged one dollar bill they had been saving when everyone at their orphanage heard what had happened, which unfortunately does not help his extreme guilt over the truth. When the truth does get out, the orphan duo are just as furious as the rest of the townsfolk, as the dollar they gave Bart was their vitamin money.
- In "Homer Vs. Dignity", there is a British boy wearing an outfit resembling that of Tiny Tim's, and he is excited to see the Santa Claus float at the parade. He however, does not appear to be disabled, and is quite happy. One unlucky thing that happens to him though is that the guy who dressed up as Santa Claus (who is really Mr. Burns) throws fish guts at him.
- Slugterra has Shinny Sim, a character who appears in the Christmas Episode "Slug Day", a resident of the Eastern Caverns who is this in all but name.
- South Park: Pip Pirrup has shades of this, being a British-voiced orphan (though he originally wasn't) based off a Charles Dickens archetype, and tends to suffer a lot of abuse from everyone in town, although he has no permanent visible injuries on him. Nevertheless, he still manages to keep a chipper attitude despite all of his bad luck.
- In the Thomas & Friends episode, "Diesel's Ghostly Christmas", Sir Topham Hatt parodies the character of Tiny Tim by spending the entirety of the episode on crutches, having twisted his ankle sometime before the episode's events. After Emily, Salty, Paxton, and Thomas convince Diesel to help others when they need it by parodying the four ghosts of A Christmas Carol, Diesel takes Sir Topham Hatt to Sir Robert Norramby's Christmas lunch when Sir Topham Hatt gets left behind at Knapford Station.