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Tiny Tyrannical Girl

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She's small. Short. Petite. Vertically challenged. Yet, she acts like the worst of dictators.

She tells everyone what to do, and expects them to obey. Threats ensue if people don't. Sometimes even physical violence. Maybe she's Compensating for Something?

Perhaps it's the incongruity of a small young girl ordering people around as if she were the big alpha male, but it's a pretty common character design. Some people think she's cute. Others think she's annoying. Either way, this is a visually and verbally striking character and is rarely forgotten. Making large men the target of her orders just adds to the fun.

Often justified by having her be a spoiled rich kid or even royalty. Other times, she's just the only daughter in a family full of males, and her older brothers spoil her immensely. At others, she's a mostly normal girl but either has a serious lack of social skills or is scared of being steamrolled by taller/older/etc. people, so she covers up her insecurities with aggressive behavior. She's usually pre-puberty age, but sometimes it can creep up into the teen years. There's a good chance when someome acts bossy and aggresive to them, she'll hate being so without as hint of irony. It's possible for her to have character development and learn either humility or wisdom, but other times she'll never learn.


Certainly some Truth in Television, as plenty of parents and grandparents can confess to being amused by their daughter ordering them about in a very decisive manner.

Compare The Napoleon and Bratty Half-Pint. A gender-bent version could also be Tiny Schoolboy, but there are nicer forms of the character as well. The Shana Clone archetype is a notable subtrope.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • The first request of Aria the Scarlet Ammo's titular character to Kinji is to become her slave. She later orders the same thing to Shirayuki, and sometimes talks about how she has to "train" them. Don't try to disobey, or she'll make you full of airholes. She also gets very jealous whenever Kinji gets too close to another girl.
  • Louise from The Familiar of Zero is super-aggressive, prone to violent outbursts, and fond of physical abuse, near-exclusively towards her familiar Saito. She's also very short and Compensating for Something, namely her A-Cup Angst.
  • Katyusha of Girls und Panzer is a highschooler about half the size of every other character with a personality best described as channelling Stalin's ghost.
  • Nonon Jakuzure of Kill la Kill looks like a petite Rose-Haired Sweetie who surrounds herself with stuffed animals, but is actually this, and totally domineering and aggressive when fighting. A big clue is that, of the Elite Four's Animal Motifs, hers is a snake.
  • Dalian from The Mystic Archives of Dantalian appears to be shaping up to be this, ordering Huey around like he's a servant, or she's a little girl he should be doing everything for, though she's a more subdued example.
  • Ikkyu Tensai from Nanana's Buried Treasure is a combination of this trope and Sherlock Homage. While she has a tendency to boss other people around, it manifests most often when she's trying to show off her genius.
  • Evangeline and Anya from Negima! Magister Negi Magi. Evangeline is a Really 700 Years Old vampire who rather enjoys being the Token Evil Teammate, while Anya is Negi's Childhood Friend who has A-Cup Angst and takes it out on other girls.
  • Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary: Chisa Osanai is the shortest in the class, actually shrinking day to day, and she has quite the Height Angst about it. She's rather bossy and blunt, though it's only because she cares so much about her best friend Kyouko (she actually used to be taller than Kyouko before puberty).
  • One Piece:
    • While Nami is older than most examples (18 years, 20 after the Time Skip), she still has the traits - she is the shortest and (probably) physically weakest member of the Straw Hat crew, but she is certainly also the most bossy and hot-tempered member, and she more or less becomes the de facto captain during the crew's daily life on their ship because Luffy cannot be relied upon to do this himself.
    • Sugar to the Donquixote Family. She's a little girl (but is actually a young woman), who's enough of a Spoiled Brat that she routinely bosses her minder around, even though he's one of the top 3 executives. There is a good reason for the family to keep her safe, though. Her Devil Fruit power to make enemies into toys and Ret-Gone them from people's memories has helped keep a lot of the Family's secrets hidden.
  • Jane Turner from Onegai! Samia-don had more than one inkling of this, being small and pudgy but very stubborn and prone to tantrums when things didn't go her way... which always sent the Psammead into fits since her tears could potentially kill him.
  • Tatsumaki (Tornado) from One-Punch Man. Only problems? She's 28, the older of two sisters and the second-best hero around. She believes she's compensating for her younger sister, Fubuki (Blizzard), but Fubuki is quite capable in her own right.
  • Shinku from Rozen Maiden treats Jun like a manservant despite being a just over two-foot-tall porcelain doll who is dependent on him for the energy to move and fight and for a roof to stay under.
  • Toradora!: Known around school as the "Palmtop Tiger" for her short, "doll-like" body and violent disposition, Taiga Aisaka is truly a force to reckon with, despite standing only 4'9". She also happens to be a walking deconstruction of the trope — her stature and lack of curves badly screw up her sense of self-worth, thus her aggressive approach to other people (which is combined with other factors) turns her into a kid with deep emotional scars.
  • The Twelve Kingdoms has Shushou, Empress of Kyou. Once the spoiled but also determined daughter of a rich merchant, she decided to save her run-down country by making the dangerous pilgrimage needed to see if she had what it took to become the Queen. Not only she turned out to be the real deal, but she has reigned very wisely and shrewdly over her lands — yet none woulde guess it upon seeing the orders come from a tiny, bossy, still spoiled girl in frilly clothes.

     Comic Books 
  • Princess Morbucks in The Powerpuff Girls. In the comic book story "Spare Tyrant," she buys a small country called Splatvia, proclaims herself as ruler, establishes a militia and holds sway over the citizens after neutralizing the girls' powers.

     Films — Live-Action 
  • In Remember the Titans, pretty little blonde Sheryl Yoast yells at the football players as she assists her father coach.

  • And I Darken has Lada, the main character, who isn't just bossy but will get violent if you don't obey her. Once her little brother Radu (by now far taller than her) watches with amusement how, when planning an attack, all the men in the room listen to her despite the fact she's the shortest one there.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Karrin Murphy is a detective in charge of a small department in the Chicago PD meant to investigate and handle supernatural threats. As an expert marksman and swordsman, she is a true terror on the battlefield. Using a holy blade, she once chopped the head of an elder vampire and didn't stop to break a sweat. Knight of the Cross Sanya's epithet for her is "Tiny... but fierce."
    • The Archive is the living repository of all knowledge that is written or typed. The Archive has existed since ancient Greece and is passed down from mother to daughter on a family line. She is a Power with a capital P on the level of some gods. She once killed hosts of fallen angels using the bare minimum of magic. She did this when her current incarnation was just twelve years old. When she was five, she had enough power to set off Harry's warning system a few blocks away. Her bodyguard and surrogate father is a world-class assassin who can find her a bit spooky.
  • In A Feast for Crows, ten-year-old Willow rules the inn she lives in, and all the other children that work in it, with an iron fist.
  • Tara the Terrible in the Goosebumps book The Cuckoo Clock of Doom REALLY lives up to her name. She's seven years old and makes her older brother, Michael's life a living hell by making him step in a huge wad of gum, embarrassing him in front of his crush, ruining his birthday party, and even gets him beat up by an older kid. What's more is that not only do his parents condone all of their daughter's sordid deeds, they even refuse to believe Michael when he tells them about Tara's true nature.
  • Mary from The Secret Garden, mocked as "Mary Mary, quite contrary". It's seen as a negative trait, but one that allows her to go toe to toe with her cousin, the rich Spoiled Brat.
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events book 5, The Austere Academy, the Baudelaire siblings go to a Boarding School of Horrors and meet Carmelita Spats, a girl who's a year or so behind Violet, significantly shorter, sweet to adults, and an absolute terror to other kids. To the point where she teams up with Count Olaf himself to keep tormenting the Baudelaires after Prufrock Prep is shut down. And even he usually accedes to her demands if they don't get in the way of his own schemes.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Bernadette in The Big Bang Theory. She's under 5 ft but still scares the bejesus of her friends, husband, and co-workers (this includes her boss).
  • Lucy from the Criminal Minds episode "Supply & Demand" is a non-humorous example. A tiny, fine-boned young woman in her twenties, Lucy maintains total control over a human trafficking ring made up of huge, heavily muscled thugs.
  • Mad Men: While not as scary and commanding as her taller work peers Joan Holloway Harris and Don Draper can get, 5'3" Peggy Olson went from a Shrinking Violet Secretary to a commanding to the point of prickliness Copy Chief.
  • 9-year-old Sarah in the first season of Masterchef Junior US shows this when she was the loudest cheerleader during the whipping cream challenge.
  • Odd Squad is an organization run by kids, most of whom are a few years shy of their teens. The youngest kid at Odd Squad (not counting baby Agent Orson) is Ms. O, the Cute, but Cacophonic Little Miss Badass Black Boss Lady in charge of Precinct #13579. She's loud, tough, and every agent in her precinct is terrified of incurring her anger. Later episodes play with this, showing that beneath all the yelling is a Reasonable Authority Figure and her more tyrannical tendencies are downplayed.
  • The Office: Angela, in all her bossy, judgmental, diminutive glory.
  • Several of the not-yet school-aged divas on Toddlers & Tiaras. One show had a 4-year-old ordering her mother around and haranguing her for not doing things right. Cut to the Confession Cam as her mother praises the behavior for showing her daughter's "dominance".
  • Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger: Umeko/Deka Pink has elements of it. She has the shortest stature of the Dekarangers, but is by no means small. She's much more hotblooded than her female companion Jasmine, but she's in no way abusive. Also? She tends to claim herself as the leader of Dekarangers, but whenever she did that, things just never go her way.

     Video Games 

     Visual Novels 

  • Bad Moon Rising has Madison, who is noticeably shorter than almost everyone else in the cast, and gleefully bullies everyone about to get what she wants.
  • Katamari features Ichigo; she only comes up to The Prince's waist, and Macho is even taller, yet she bosses them around with ease. The Future Prince explicitly describes her as 'fierce'.

     Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender is a champion of an underground earthbending ring and regularly both defeats and trash-talks grown men several times her size. When she's teaching Aang earthbending, she becomes a Drill Sergeant Nasty in the process and nicknames him "twinkletoes" soon after meeting him. And she hasn't changed her demeanor in The Legend of Korra.
  • Sarah from Ed, Edd n Eddy, who is one of the most violent kids in the Cul-de-sac (her older brother is absolutely terrified of her), and about the second smallest overall.
  • Pistol on Goof Troop. Though she doesn't threaten much beyond tattling, her persistence at trying to persuade people to give her what she wants causes everyone in her family to either cave or pass the baton. She's just as good at bossing her older brother around as her father is.
  • Mandy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is tyrannical, bossy and mean. In fact, almost everyone in the show is afraid of her.
  • Heloise from Jimmy Two-Shoes is not merely bossy and mean, but a sadistic psychopath. Even her boss, Lucius Heinous VII, knows better than to get on her bad side.
  • Vendetta from Making Fiends, an evil little green girl and the maker of the titular fiends with which she uses to force the people of her home town of Clamsdale to cater to her whims, while terrifying them For the Evulz. The only one in town she doesn't have under her thumb is her "friend", Charlotte, a Nice Girl too innocent and naive/dumb to even register Vendetta's attempts at intimidation/to kill her.
  • Little Suzy Johnson of Phineas and Ferb. She emotionally and physically abuses those who threaten to take attention from her family, then gaslights the people she's manipulating by acting docile and cute when said family appears.
  • Princess Morbucks in The Powerpuff Girls is the same age as the titular superheroes and also one of the main villains of the show.
  • Angelica from Rugrats, although she seems like a big bully rather than tiny since she's three and the protagonists are babies.

     Real Life 
  • This poor boy knows you're doomed when one of these girls decides to marry you. You'll find plenty more like this on YouTube. Demonstrating that it's not just amusing in fiction (as long as she's focused on bossing someone else).
  • One of several anecdotes about Patty Maloney:
    Mike Collins: I grew up with her in the forties and have known her and have been in contact with her ever since. My parents and I lived next door to the [Maloney] family in Orlando. The whole family was the best and I considered them my second home. Patty was actually the baby sitter for her sister, Diane, and myself, when her parents and my parents would go out together. She [Patty] was smaller and a few years older than we were, but she ruled us with an iron fist. We were actually afraid of her. Of course, we deserved her wrath, since we were somewhat mischievous.
  • It should go without saying that this is Truth in Television.