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Top-Heavy Guy

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"I should tell you right now, I'm kind of hard to fit. I wear a 66 long and a 31 waist."

A caricature style of drawing the human male figure as having a huge torso and arms, but legs that appear too skinny and/or too short to support the upper body. This trope is an exaggeration of male bodybuilders (or any reasonably toned man with low body fat) having the ideal "triangle" figure of a broad chest and shoulders with a narrow waist. The drawn form of this can range from a moderately large torso and legs that are just a bit too skinny, to legs that are short and stubby and the torso is freakishly huge to keep the guy still at normal height.

Anthropomorphic bipedal animals can also look like this. When it involves Super Heroes, it overlaps with Heroic Build. Also commonly seen in Captain Space, Defender of Earth!.

This still requires legs being proportionately small compared to the torso, not simply a guy with a big, muscular chest and/or arms. Real Life humans are unlikely to be Top Heavy Guys note ; though some animals such as penguins as well as bears and some apes when they stand on their hind legs would count as real-life examples.


Compare Heroic Build, Super-Deformed, Lantern Jaw of Justice, Hartman Hips, Most Common Superpower.

No Real Life Examples, Please!


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  • The cartoon firefighter in the Zantac antacid commercials is built like this.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo has some pretty long legs, but they're ridiculously slim for such a muscular guy, and there's seemingly not enough room in the area they come together in to actually fit a groin. It's the least odd thing about his appearance, really, considering the seventies attire, blond afro, and grill-mark tattoos lining his arms.
  • Elfman of Fairy Tail post-Time Skip. His arm muscles have grown so huge that they dwarf the rest of his body.
  • Gluttony in Fullmetal Alchemist is extremely deformed, with huge arms and absolutely tiny legs, However, his gut is still a lot wider than his torso.
  • The eponymous mecha of Neon Genesis Evangelion are odd case where the legs and arms are similarly lean, but they still have incredibly bulky torsos and shoulders several times the their width of their waists.
  • One Piece: In general this is Oda's art style for musclebound characters, especially prominent for anyone Hulking Out.
    • Franky was a prominent example before the timeskip. Afterwards, it became absolutely preposterous. Why he looks like that is justified in that he's a cyborg who built himself; how he can stand is left to the imagination.
    • Bartholomew Kuma has an enormous chest, but his arms and legs taper quite heavily, giving him a profile strangely similar to a starfish.
    • While normally Lean and Mean, Rob Lucci's leopard Zoan Fruit gives him a hybrid form with a profile similar to Kuma. In fact, this is usually the case for Zoan hybrid forms in general. For example, Zoan characters such as Jabra, Who's Who, Kaku, and Page One also go from having humanly muscular bodies to outright muscle monsters with torsos that dwarf their legs.
  • Soul Eater has Mosquito, while normally a puny old guy, has the ability to bulk himself up to fight. However, his legs do not increase in size, leaving them to dangle while he supports himself by his arms. This is lampshaded, as the first people to see it found it quite disgusting. But when he starts rolling back the clock on his age, then his body starts to look more proportionate.

    Asian Animation 
  • The title character of Gaju Bhai is an anthropomorphic elephant with a large body that has short legs. Bhagat, Gajrajpuri's military general, has the same kind of body build.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, Brother Tai has quite the beefy upper body, to the point that his legs don't even take up one fourth of his total length.

    Comic Books 
  • Every Roman centurion (not the grunts, except in the Olympics one and the palace guard-types) in Asterix has a massive torso and arms and tiny wiry legs.
  • Krakkaboom of the '80s Astro City Irregulars, whose bombastic proportions are evidently a side effect of his powers.
  • Eddie, the gangster protagonist of Black Cherry.
  • The Goon has the titular character, who has a body that can only be described as "ape-like"; when he's standing upright, his knuckles nearly brush the ground, his legs are that short compared to his powerful upper body. It's even lampshaded in the first issue, when the Goon, having had to struggle to catch up to a runaway train, asks why he has to be built like a gorilla.
  • Groo the Wanderer has massive, if slightly flabby, arms, and torso... and skinny little rubber-hose legs that don't look like they should be able to support the top half of his body, being the same diameter from ankle to thigh.
  • Hellboy has a bit of this look. Considering that he's not human, this might not just be artistic exaggeration.
  • Mr. Hyde in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is muscled all around, but his torso is still too large for his legs.
  • Savage Dragon’s torso became bigger and bigger as a result of Art Evolution and the creator trying to keep up with the huge characters his co-workers were making.
  • Strong Guy from Marvel Comics has a massive torso but regular legs. It isn't stylistic, his body was deformed by his powers overloading.
  • Amusingly parodied in one of Jhonen Vasquez's Meanwhile strips, which features a pair of dimension-hopping travelers arriving in a parody superhero universe, and end up fighting two heroes there: a woman with ridiculous boobs, and a man with tiny, squat legs, and an upper body so enormously over-muscled that he can't lift his own arms. One of the travelers jumps on his back (which he can't reach), and proceeds to stab him over and over again, exclaiming with glee that he can keep stabbing all day, as there's so much muscle, he isn't getting anywhere near any vital organs.
  • Rufo, the former boxer from Mesmo Delivery.
  • In Tebo's Smurfs tribute album "Qui est ce Schtroumpf? (Who's That Smurf?)", Hefty Smurf is drawn with a massive torso and equally huge arms. Considering how he usually looks like any average Smurf even when he has his heart tattoo, this really makes him stand out all the more.
  • Jerommeke of the Belgian comic Suske en Wiske.
  • Tom Strong acquired this physique in adulthood, having been much leaner as a boy. Several characters compare him to an upside-down triangle ("You wonderful, triangular man!") — which, incidentally, is also his Chest Insignia. Evidently, it's a result of his upbringing in a high-gravity environment, coupled with the emphasis on the miracle food goloka in his diet. Tom Stone, an alternate version of Tom who wasn't raised in high gravity, is just a regular muscular guy.

    Eastern Animation 

    Film — Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast: The titular Beast is a downplayed example, with broad shoulders and long, but toned, legs. More noticeable in Kingdom Hearts due to being less hidden by his cape.
  • As part of the distinctive art style of The Book of Life, several male characters' Heroic Builds are exaggerated to this, giving them enormous, muscular shoulders and tiny skinny legs.
  • Max from Cats Don't Dance is enormous and very strong, and his legs are really small. Most of his body is his torso.
  • As quoted above, Kronk from The Emperor's New Groove has legs that are long, but are only slightly larger than broom handles.
  • Globehunters: An Around The World In 80 Days Adventure: The hunter pursuing Eddie, Sasha, and Trevor has an upper body bigger than his lower body.
  • Rattigan from The Great Mouse Detective has this build. Being a... um... big mouse RAT!!! he has very broad shoulders, a wide chest, and overall is extremely muscular in the upper body. However, he has a teeny tiny waist and very short legs, easily fitting into a triangle shape. His head is also quite small compared to his shoulder width, despite his genius IQ.
  • In the Hellboy Animated movies, Hellboy is drawn with a huge upper body but mere human-sized legs.
  • From The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible has puny legs, whether his torso is flabby or muscular.
  • Kai from Kung Fu Panda 3 has absolutely tiny legs, making up less than about 25% of his total height and his extremely bow-legged stance makes them look even shorter. Po actually has pretty short legs as well, though not nearly to the same extreme.
  • Mitch from ParaNorman. His legs are noticeably smaller and shorter than his muscular arms. Despite this he can punt a zombie head 100 yards.
  • Don Bluth's The Pebble and the Penguin has Big Bad Drake who fits this trope to the point of exaggeration.
  • Chanticleer the rooster from Rock-A-Doodle. Justified since such proportions are normal for a rooster.
  • Shrek is a slightly downplayed version of this. Although his proportions are less exaggerated than usual for this trope, his legs are still fairly short compared to his barrel-sized torso and broader arms.
  • Kingpin in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has a build that can best be described as "brick wall with arms and legs." The legs aren't as skinny as many examples of this trope, but they make up about a quarter of his height and are about the same size as his biceps. In the comics, he normally has a more realistic build, with the film's design being based on Bill Sienkiewicz's take.
  • Humorously inverted in The Triplets of Belleville. Having cycled for most of his life, Champion has a rail-thin torso with overly developed legs.
  • Wreck-It Ralph is a bit more brick-shaped than conventionally triangular, but he definitely has far, far more upper body and arm mass than his short, stumpy legs should be able to support. His hands have more physical mass than his legs. Justified by both his nature as a video-game character designed in the '80s 8-bit era, and being a physical Expy of Donkey Kong in particular. He does not revert to the expected Primal Stance his physique would imply, due to being more intelligent than he appears.
  • Abraham van Helsing of Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation has quite the gargantuan upper body in contrast to his tiny legs... at least, in his prime.
  • Baymax of Big Hero 6 is a squishy example. His tall, soft, slightly beanbag-like body is perched atop stubby marshmallow legs that mostly work by virtue of Baymax being more of a friendly balloon construct instead of a solid entity with mass—therefore, only able to be a Top Heavy Guy only because his top portion is actually quite lightweight.

  • There's a joke about employees of a clothing store assuming that a person who is buying a shirt for one man and a pair of pants for another is actually buying a complete outfit for one guy who fits this trope.
  • The "skipping leg day" meme is about this.

  • Old Kingdom: Played for squick and Uncanny Valley in Sabriel. In the reservoir, Kerrigor appears inhabiting a magically created construct body he's tried to model to resemble his living appearance — emphasis on tried. Apparently, 200+ years of undeath leaves one's memories of what being human is like rather foggy, and the construct resembles a twisted parody of a man more than anything, complete with having a grotesquely over-sized chest matched with spindly limbs. As Mogget points out, it's not a body that a vain man like Kerrigor would really want people to see.
  • Lord Carnuss' Bonecrusher in Trial of Champions, a gigantic monster with a muscular, nigh-impenetrable upper body and laughably spindly legs. Fighting it with a sword and shield is borderline suicidal, but using a trident and net will take it down in no time.
  • The supervillain Torso from Ward takes this to the point of near-parody. His costume is basically a concrete vest that makes his chest look huge and makes him extremely top-heavy, to the point he is frequently tripping over his own feet. It's implied that his body may be similarly malformed. However, his teammates (barely) forgive him for it, since his power, when he manages to land a blow, imparts enough force to the target to floor a 10-story tall Edritch Abomination and cause cracks in the fabric of reality. His favored attack? A headbutt, which takes advantage of his power and odd physique.
  • Played straight (huge torso and stubby legs) and inverted (incredibly skinny torso and massive legs) in the beach scene in Where's Waldo?.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of Are You Being Served? implied this about an unseen man when a set of his pajamas are found to consist of a huge shirt and a tiny pair of pants.
  • Saturday Night Live once did a skit depicting a show called "How Much Ya Bench?", with Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, Jay Mohr, and guest host Emilio Estevez as bodybuilders — who were totally not on steroids — with tiny stick legs.
  • Ultraseven has a Mechanical Monster kaiju, Crazygon, who looks like a walking house on two thin pillars serving as legs.

  • "Particle Man" by They Might Be Giants has been subject to a wide array of interpretations over the years, but Word of God suggests that it was partly based on this trope:
    John Linnell: Triangle Man was based on a friend's observation that Robert Mitchum looked like an evil triangle when he took his shirt off in Night of the Hunter. Nothing else not explicitly stated need be inferred.
  • Big Bad John is described thusly by Jimmy Dean:
    Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
    And everybody knew you don't give no lip to Big John

    Tabletop Games 
  • Kings of War ogres have over-muscled upper bodies and small legs. Trolls take those proportions up to eleven.
  • From the 3rd Edition of Warhammer 40,000 onwards, Orks have typically been depicted in artwork and models as having large, heavily muscled torsos with broad shoulders and well developed arms sitting atop a pair of legs that are relatively short and stubby by comparison. Prior to this, Orks had a more humanlike, though still heavily built, appearance.
  • Prior to its rework, BattleTech's Baboon Battlemech featured stubby back-canted legs that were grossly out of scale to its preposterously broad upper torso and its zippy 120kph top speed.

  • A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder: In the Broadway production, Major Lord Bartholomew D'Ysquith's costume included a massively padded upper body, which combined with actor Jefferson Mays' natural legs to give this effect; you can see it here, along with Mays' commentary.

    Video Games 
  • Bacon Man: An Adventure: The titular character's upper body is larger than his lower body.
  • Double H from Beyond Good & Evil.
  • Blasto, a third-person action platformer for the original Playstation, had a protagonist whose upper torso to lower body proportions can only be described as preposterous even by top heavy standards, with a hugely exaggerated chest, shoulders, and biceps, but comically tiny hands and legs...and that chin. Even with his stance braced for balance, you get the feeling he's going to tip over any second now.
  • Brick the Berserker from Borderlands isn't one of the most extreme example of this trope, but his legs are noticeably thinner than the rest of his body, which keeps his body distinctly triangular. Bandit Bruisers have similar builds, as well.
    • Salvador the Gunzerker from Borderlands 2 is a much truer example of this trope, with legs that look as if they were placed onto the wrong body due to steroid abuse stunting his growth. His huge barrel chest and beefy arms perched on stumpy legs gives him a distinctly Dwarven appearance, which inspires Tiny Tina to make all of her Bunkers and Badasses Dwarves look like him.
    • Bullymongs are large gorilla-like creatures with four massive, muscular arms and a torso that tapers into a very small set of legs; their thighs are about the size of any one of their fingers.
    • Goliaths are huge lumbering lumps of Dumb Muscle, boasting misshapen but heavily built upper bodies (with varying levels of fat and muscle) placed onto very short legs with unflatteringly tight belts struggling to hold their pants on. Normally they that stump around firing twin rifles like a wanna-be Gunzerker, with heavy implications of even worse steroid use than Salvador.
  • Buddy Toss: About 80% of the thrower is his bulky upper body and 20% is his legs.
  • Burrito Bison, from the game of the same name.
  • Carrie's Order Up! has a few in the form of shark and whale people (and one particularly round koi fish). This actually has an effect on gameplay, as trying to spin past them will consume more of your Sprint Meter than usual.
  • Clockwork Aquario: Gush the robot has shoulders broader than his waist, so the sides of his torso are sloped accordingly.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • Koala Kong, especially in his appearances from Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy onward where his pecs are so enormous they almost engulf his head and arms that are bigger than many entire characters.
    • Kong's successor Tiny Tiger is this except in Crash of the Titans (which redesigned him to give him relatively realistic proportions); though never quite as big up top as Koala Kong, he is still really big and has really tiny legs. Bizarrely, his boss battles tend to have him jumping a lot with said tiny legs.
    • N. Brio turns into this at the end of his boss fights, Hulking Out into a massive musclebound form (or a frog) with tiny legs.
    • Crunch Bandicoot is the only heroic example and is built very similarly to Tiny, though like Tiny his appearance in Crash of the Titans is an aversion. Even in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled he is much shorter than Tiny and completely dwarfed by Koala Kong but retains his tiny legs and big upper body.
  • Crossbow Warrior - The Legend of William Tell: William Tell's upper body looks bigger than his lower body.
  • Donkey Kong:
  • Minotaurs in Dragon Nest have this appearance. They drop an item called Joint Treatment that lampshades it. After all, their poor tiny knees have to support gargantuan tops.
  • Evil Genome has a robotic Killer Gorilla boss, Scarlet Storm, whose muscular upper body is already huge enough, even without taking into account it's gigantic shoulder-mounted laser turrets and power fists. It's legs in comparison is hilariously dinky.
  • Exorcist Fairy has a Rock Monster boss whose upper body is huge. It's spindly lower legs though? Not so much.
  • Juan from Guacamelee!.
  • Potemkin from the Guilty Gear series. Both his legs together are smaller than one of his gloves!
  • Hamsterdam: The giant rabbit Mooks in the game have MASSIVE upper bodies, but also stumpy little legs.
  • The defeated warrior who appears in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Jak himself when he enters Dark Giant mode in Jak II: Renegade.
  • In Kirby Star Allies, King Dedede becomes possessed by a Jamba Heart at the start of the game. Under its influence, he hulks out in the middle of his boss fight and grows a pair of enormous muscular arms and a ripped torso... but his legs remain the same tiny nubs as before. The final update for the game repeats the same trick with Parallel Dedede, a vicious Evil Knockoff of the real Dedede.
  • Krazy Ivan has one of the bosses, Fireball, a gigantic robot whose upper body is bristling with turrets, missile launchers, and all sorts of weaponry... and supported by two dinky legs. Surprisingly, it can leap over you easily In a Single Bound.
  • The Tank from Left 4 Dead has a massive upper body, supported by fairly normal-sized legs. Its bulk is so great its lower jaw has either been forced off, or crushed, by massive pectoral muscles; it actually walks like a gorilla, using its massive arms to help support itself.
  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: The Golem has an odd body structure with a huge, broad-shouldered torso ending with a comparatively small pelvis, four insectile legs which looks inadequate to support its body, and an extremely long tail. This is a leftover from early development, which envisioned it as a sort of giant earthen scorpion monster.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Gorons have burly arms, big guts, and short, spindly legs. Of course, the fact that their preferred method of travel involves curling themselves up and rolling about does help to justify this somewhat.
    • Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has his legs obscured most of the time because he's wearing a robe, but the waist is low enough to make it clear his legs are small.
    • Also true of almost all male minor characters in this game. Everyone's got bitty little legs, and the men have relatively gigantic torsos. This also carries over to its sequels, particularly Byrne from Spirit Tracks.
    • Even some of the humanoid enemies are top heavy guys too, like the Darknuts, Wizzrobes, and Moblins.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
      • Groose's Heroic Build can look this way in-game. His head looks rather tiny compared to his torso, even with his over-the-top hairstyle. A bit of a Downplayed example, though, since his pants are baggy enough to make his legs look appropriately sized for his physique.
      • During a boss battle, it's revealed that Koloktos, boss of the Ancient Cistern is this.
      • Also Demise, despite being a serious character, though it's offset by the wide skirt he wears, making his lower portion look much bigger.
    • Dark Beast Ganon in Hyrule Warriors is a downplayed example, being built like a gorilla.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, King Dorephan of the Zora looks to be 90% torso, and given how large he is, that is a lot of torso. His son Sidon is a less drastic example.
  • Type-8 Construction robots from Machine Hunter have legs the same size as humans, but their upper body is huge. As is their arms, which contains built-in bazookas.
  • The Genie in Miitopia has a gigantic upper body while his legs are very tiny and almost completely invisible, hidden within the smoke cloud he constantly rides.
  • Mountain Troll: The upper half of the troll's lower body is larger in size than the lower half.
  • Odin Sphere: Both the Demon King Odin and Lord Brigan have torsoes that are roughly twice as tall and at least three times as wide as their waist and legs. This gets accentuated even further by the fact that both of them keep their legs bent when they walk, further emphasizing the size difference. Oddly, they are the only humans in the game with these strange proportions, as all other humans - including Odin's own daughters - are more realistically proportioned.
  • Overwatch:
    • Reinhardt is a little more accurately proportioned that most examples, but he still stands 7'4" (taller than resident war machine Bastion and moon-gorilla Winston, who both stand 7'3" at their tallest) and has an infamously wide chest in some official art.
    • Roadhog stands 7'3", with most of his height in his gut.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, Torbjörn, the shortest hero who canonically gets mistaken for a dwarf, is only 4'7" and has incredibly short legs.
  • Persona 4 has the very effeminate Shadow Kanji. The strange thing is, Shadow Kanji has two bodies (sort of); Shadow Kanji's first body resides in a top heavy black and white body while resting in a bouquet of roses.
  • Darkrai from Pokémon normally has a triangular torso and a thin, spindle-like waist, with a pair of clawed arms but no legs, but when Darkrai actually does show its legs, they're actually very thin and bony.
    • The GameCube RPGs have the Bodybuilder trainer class, as well as Duking, Battlus/Somek, and Agnol (who are all based on Bodybuilders).
    • Timburr, Gurdurr and Conkeldurr from Black and White have huge muscular arms and torsos, but tiny legs. Especially Conkeldurr.
    • Necrozma from Sun and Moon has large, clawed arms, small legs with claws on them and a relatively large head. Though its "body" is merely its true form's prism armor arranged to make a cohesive body.
  • Inspector Grosky of the Professor Layton series has a huge chest. His pecs are so big, the collar of his shirt is actually down near nipple level, tie and all, with his prodigious bush of chest hair poking out.
  • Psychonauts:
    • Edgar Teglee has a wide upper body but skinny and small legs.
    • Inverted with Fred Bonaparte, whose has extremely long legs but an incredibly small torso.
  • Though averted as far as graphical representation of the hero goes, Quest for Glory IV lampshades the trope in an instruction manual emphasizing the need for proper legwork with cautionary tales about top-heavy would-be-heroes. Naturally, it's also the first time any game allowed the hero to do any sort of exercise with his legs.
  • Captain Qwark of the Ratchet & Clank series, and a few enemies and bosses, such as Shellshock, the Thugs-4-Less leader, and Captain Slag.
  • Mayor Wilson from Raging Justice, the Hidden Villain, whose body is a mountain of fat and lard on two ridiculously skinny legs. It's even funnier watching him fight.
  • Ring Fit Adventure:
    • Dragaux, the body-building dragon Big Bad. His oversized, muscular arms and upper torso dominate his form, while his waist and legs are a footnote in comparison. That said, while small, his legs are also clearly well-muscled.
    • Armando, the Four Masters' expert in arm exercises, is a barrel-chested man with massive muscled arms, but comparatively tiny legs.
  • Cranking the "Weight" slider to max in the first two Rock Band games will turn a male character into this.
  • Tim Schafer is fond of this character design; he's used it for Full Throttle, Brütal Legend, Psychonauts, and the non-muscular skeletal protagonist of Grim Fandango has it.
  • Scrapland has the police, who all have very large chests supported by tiny legs.
  • About half of the male cast of Shovel Knight are this to varying degrees. Notable major examples include Shovel Knight himself, Black Knight, King Knight, Polar Knight, and Treasure Knight. Mole Knight has particularly short & skinny legs even among that crowd, though rather than having a broad chest and shoulders he has a big belly.
  • Ariana from Sin and Punishment: Star Successor after her blood goes on fire.
  • Skullgirls :
    • Samson's independent form, detached from his host, Filia. Filia is also a downplayed, female version; she has a very heavy midsection (chubby abdomen, large breasts, big thighs, and muscly forearms) but has legs so spindly its a miracle they can support her in the first place. What makes it stranger is that they fight as a team, and most of their strongest attacks are kicks.
    • Big Band shows up later as DLC and, while his overall appearance doesn't suggest it, he is in fact built like this: beneath that Badass Longcoat, he turns out to be a normal sized human head protruding from a huge, bell-shaped iron lung, resting atop two relatively small and slender legs. This is easiest to see when he does his Double Sax snapback.
  • Skully has Skully's first golem form, Strong Silent, with a massive upper body, muscular arms, and legs roughly the same size as the other two smaller golems Fleet Footer and Jolly Jumper.
  • Sly Cooper: Muggshot has such an atrophied lower body that his legs don't reach the floor. He walks on his knuckles, and therefore has to stand still to shoot.
  • Kumbhakarna and Cabrakan in Smite. Cabrakan has a very broad muscular torso with arms longer and thicker than his legs, an exaggeration of the bodybuilder V-taper. Kumbhakarna is built like an orangutan, with an enormous heaving belly, looooong arms, and wee little stubby legs that account for slightly less than a third of his height. Sobek, too: broad, muscular upper body with a narrow waist and very stumpy legs — about half as long as his arms!
  • Sonic the Werehog from Sonic Unleashed has puny legs.
    • As of Sonic Boom, Knuckles also qualifies. He has a reason for this; he doesn't like legs day.
    • The bigger characters in general such as Vector The Crocodile, Storm The Albatross and Bark The Polar Bear tend to have big, routound upper bodies and stubby legs.
    • Of course, who can forget Eggman with his rather round belly and pencil-thin legs? Some designs give him fatter legs, though those designs tend to play this trope even MORE straight by making his legs significantly shorter compared to his arms and torso.
  • Nigel from Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier has a huge upper body and very skinny legs, as best demonstrated when a behavior-modifying chip causes him to go into a striptease.
  • Bouncer from Spyborgs, the Token Robot playable character, have a massive upper body larger than his human-sized teammates, and human-sized legs.
  • Agent Zero from Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! has extremely tiny legs.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Downplayed with Bowser. His legs are fairly short compared to his arms and torso, but also broadly built and perfectly able to support the rest of his body.
    • Wario’s legs are small, yet quite muscular in order to carry his massively built body.
    • Petey Piranha is an unusual example. His legs are tiny compared to his torso, but the true bulk of his body comes from his ginormous head that should be way to big for either his legs or torso to support.
    • O’Chunks' legs are small and skinny, in addition to having a blocky upper body and long muscular arms.
  • Team Fortress 2 has the Heavy, which an achievement image points this out.
  • Craig Marduk in Tekken is built this way (even moreso starting with Tekken 5). Tekken 7 newcomer Gigas also has this appearance (in addition to being Ambiguously Human in the first place). The various Jack robots throughout the series are a downplayed version: they don't actually have small legs, but they have huge arms and shoulders.
  • Ranger Ken, Uber Frills, and Blue Tongues (both regular and Uber) from Ty the Tasmanian Tiger have this build. (So does Bull the boar, but the effect is lessened by his quadrupedal stance.)
  • Undertale:
    • Greater Dog has a very large upper body carried around on stumpy legs. The tiny dog face helps complete the look. Turns out it's a normal-sized dog in a sort of mechanized suit of armor, so the actual dog is not that top-heavy at all.
    • Asgore, the King of the monsters, has huge arms and a big torso, making his already short legs look small by comparison.
  • Vanillaware's games almost always utilize this trope in their art designs:
    • The proportions featured on the Fighter and Dwarf in Dragon's Crown are nothing short of terrifying in this regard.
    • The titular character in Odin Sphere has arms that comprise over half of his body weight.
    • The adult Oni enemies from Muramasa: The Demon Blade are another extreme example.
  • A common complaint about male draenei and worgen in World of Warcraft.
    • Hell, half of the playable races fall under this trope.
  • Some of the Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 have this appearance. One of the common Blades has this body shape, while the rare Blades Newt and Wulfric also have this. Wulfric has an enormous torso with large arms on top of a narrow waist; although his legs are also fairly muscular. Newt is a normally proportioned female with two extra, gigantic arms; she does push-ups no problem, but the weight distribution makes sit-ups nearly impossible.

    Web Animation 
  • La Golda: Malcom is the top-heavy one of the kids.
  • The Rhino and the Redbill: Niles is built like this, which isn't much of a surprise since real-life rhinoceroses also have relatively thin legs that support their massive bodies. Despite this, they are surprisingly nimble, and the same goes for Niles himself.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In 3-2-1 Penguins!, Zidgel's and Midgel's upper bodies are longer than their legs. Justified in that they are penguins.
  • The Hacker from Cyberchase is an extreme version of this — a 200-to-300 pound torso on top of legs that couldn't be more than 6 inches.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Dash, Kwan, Vlad's ghost form, and Skulker's battle suit all have arms and chests wider than their legs or waists, the last one being the most extreme. Vlad's human form also has a large torso, but his arms are thinner.
    • Jack Fenton also has thin legs, but his hips are as wide as his shoulders, so he's more of a walking rectangle.
  • Dave the Barbarian, even though he's not exactly the heroic type.
  • A natural part of the Timm Style seen in the DC Animated Universe, most of it comes from having enormous shoulders and slender legs. Even characters who are supposed to be more trim like The Flash have a similar design. It is downplayed in the original show Batman: The Animated Series, where the character designs weren't as exaggerated.
  • One of main characters of Dragon Hunters, Lian-Chu, has massive body and arms, but very small and thin legs.
  • Launchpad McQuack from DuckTales (1987) and Darkwing Duck has this body type.
    • Gizmoduck's form also invokes this with the tiny unicycle wheel. Fenton himself, however, has a body type more like normal ducks in the series'.
    • Taurus Bulba takes this ludicrous extremes, wherein his lower body, legs and feet are so small as to be almost nonexistent, whilst his upper body is like that of a champion body builder. A pretty standard build for cartoon bulls, all things considered.
    • Comet Guy's design is the most exaggerated of all; he has a huge muscular torso and arms, and teeny tiny legs that would never hold him up if he didn't have Super-Strength.
  • Mrs. Beakley from DuckTales (2017) provides a Rare Female Example: she's given a Heroic Build with relatively short legs, opposed to the more granny-like figure she had in the original show.
  • Family Guy:
    • Joe Swanson. Even in the scenes where his legs work fine (such as flashbacks) his legs are kinda small.
    • Stewie Griffin falls under this trope in the episode "Stew-Roids" when he started using steroids.
  • Hoss Delgado from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021): He-Man's design in this show falls squarely into this trope — his hips are about half as wide as his shoulders and his thighs aren't anywhere close to being as thick as his forearms.
  • Coach McGurk has the smallest legs and the largest torso of anyone on Home Movies.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: When Jade uses the Ox Talisman, she becomes very muscular, but only in her upper body.
  • Jade Armor: The Crimson Lord has a very muscular upper body but thin legs.
  • Johnny Bravo, as can be seen here.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Hego, Shego's super-strong brother. The cartoon style makes you wonder how he stands up.
    • Steve Barkin, Brick Flagg, Pain King and Steel Toe, Dementor's minions (Dementor himself has short legs, but is more boxy), and Drakken to a lesser extent (almost normal-proportioned, but still with shorter-than-average legs, although this is best seen when he's not in his usual lab coat; re: "Dimension Twist" and "Rappin' Drakken"). In fact, any male character who's not rail-thin (like Ron) is almost guaranteed to have short legs.
    • Even female characters weren't exempt from this build. It's most noticeable on a heavyset character like DNAmy, but even slim characters often have long torsos and short legs.
  • A Kind of Magic leans into Exaggerated Trope with Gregore the Ogre. He has a very massive upper body and ridiculously tiny legs, that barely encompass 1/6th of his full body height. A one-episode Prince Charmless has a similar build (he does mention that there are some ogres in his family tree).
  • Lampshaded by the normally Cloudcuckoolander, Lola Bunny, in The Looney Tunes Show when she and Bugs encounter a bodybuilder at the gym.
    Lola: Your body is crazy. You should do more cardio and less weights.
  • Several burly Giant Mook-ish henchmen (and occasional Big Bad for a skit) are drawn in this style in both Looney Tunes and later Tiny Toon Adventures. The most well known might be the Arabic henchman Hassan ("HASSAN CHOP!") from Ali Baba Bunny.
  • Middlemost Post: Angus has a wide torso and skinny legs.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic does this to a few of its characters.
    • Iron Will, the minotaur from the episode "Putting Your Hoof Down", is built like this.
    • Bulk Biceps (the Memetic Bystander heavily muscled white pegasus most known for his "YEAH!" face) is a quadruped version of this trope, with an enormous head, neck, and torso tapering down to shins and hooves demonstrably smaller than most of the cast, and even smaller than some of the foals. His occasional bipedal moments reveal that he's just as ludicrously proportioned in that stance too. His human counterpart from My Little Pony: Equestria Girls averts it, though, his torso being muscular but his legs more correctly proportioned. Ironic given the opposite effect in the standard bodies.
  • In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Paw and Order", the fictional/imaginary villain Nasty Jack is a bipedal horse with a massive chest and and arms but really tiny legs. The other horse thieves aren't as massive but they also have tiny legs.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes
    • Several of the male characters, including Radicles, Mr. Gar, and K.O. himself to a more minor degree, have huge, muscular upper bodies with spindly legs. There's even some female characters who qualify for this trope, such as Punching Trudy.
    • Inverted somewhat by Enid, who has a slender upper body and massive thick legs; occasionally her legs are both drawn thicker than her waist.
    • Deconstructed in the episode "Gar Trains Punching Judy", wherein before the final round of a fighting tournament, Mr. Gar tells Punching Judy that because of Trudy's muscular arms and thin legs, she'll be easier to knock down compared to Judy's thin arms and muscular legs. When Judy fights defensively, Trudy gets tired out quickly because her tiny legs aren't good at running. This trope is lampshaded at the end, with K.O. saying that he and Mr. Gar should start doing squats.
    • In the series finale an adult K.O. (now a level 100 Hero) has a build similar to Mr. Gar's to highlight how much stronger he's become.
  • Ivan/Ice Cub, the polar bear themed superhero who debuts in the sixth season of PJ Masks, has a kid version of this. Since he is paralyzed from the waist down, he has to rely on his upper body strength to get around, hence having a bulkier torso and arms compared to his legs. Averted in his daytime form, where his top half is the same size as those of his allies.
  • Mojo Jojo, the Arch-Enemy of The Powerpuff Girls, has very broad shoulders and muscular arms combined with a tiny waist and ridiculously stumpy legs, and his redesign in the movie and seasons 5-6 further exaggerates this.
  • Hack and Slash, from ReBoot although technically robots who roll around on single ball bearings, they fit the mold by their shape and movement.
  • Ren & Stimpy features a number of characters with this build, most notably the Salesman. Other characters, such as Anthony's Dad, are similar but more boxy.
  • Skips from Regular Show isn't as triangular as most examples, but he still has massive arms and straw-thin legs.
  • In contrast to his rotund main-series counterpart, Dr. Eggman in the Sonic Boom universe has this kind of build. He's still shaped like an egg, but an upside-down one.
  • Eddie Brock in The Spectacular Spider-Man. It becomes a lot more exaggerated once he becomes Venom.
  • Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick fell under this trope in "The Fry Cook Games."
  • Commander Feral from SWAT Kats has a very bulky upper body that contrast his rather skinny legs.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Leatherhead the mutant alligator falls squarely into this trope. Literally, as his upper body down to about the point where his rib cage ends just squares off and sits on a pair of legs and hips that look like they should belong to someone about one third of his size. That could actually be why he's depicted as being powerful but extremely ungainly.
  • Time Squad's Buck Tuddrussel is probably the most extreme version. His waist is practically nothing. His Distaff Counterpart/ex-wife Sheila has the exact opposite body structure.
  • In Total Drama, most of the guys are drawn this way. A full height chart reveals that the boys' waists begin much lower on their body than the girls'. In particular, Duncan tends tower over most of the other characters when they're all sitting down, but since his legs are less than a third of his total height, he's actually one of the shortest males on the show.
  • Transformers: Animated has Grandus.
  • Brock Samson of The Venture Bros., who is deliberately drawn with the upper body of a gorilla but stick-like legs. It's more exaggerated in the Pilot.
  • Vikingskool has instructor Hammerson, a guy with a huge torso and arms and teeny tiny legs.
  • Wacky Races: Rufus Ruffcut, of the Buzzwagon, has a wide frame, especially around his chest, and thick, muscular arms. His legs, however, are short and comparatively thin.


Video Example(s):



Muggshot's boss fights in the series all revolve around finding something capable of actually hurting the big lug since his massive muscles make melee weapons or punches simply bounce off Muggshot with no effect. You either have to use methods that outright bypass his defense (the aforementioned sunlight or shock pistol rounds) or hit him with something tougher than he is.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / PuzzleBoss

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