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Playing With / Pint-Sized Powerhouse

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Basic Trope: A small person who is very strong.

  • Straight: Bob is 5'2" and weighs 120 lbs. But he can bench-press 400 lbs.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Bob is two feet tall and has Super Strength; he can lift a house and toss it over his shoulder.
    • Bob is ant-sized, yet can bench-press mountains or even landmasses.
  • Downplayed: Bob is below average height and weight but has above average strength.
  • Justified:
    • Strength and size aren't always the same.
    • Advertisement:
    • Bob is a superhero or magic-user.
    • Bob takes advantage of the Square-Cube Law.
  • Inverted: Bob is 6'4" and 200 lbs, but is Weaksauce Weakness personified.
  • Subverted: Bob claims to be stronger than he looks, but is beaten easily.
  • Double Subverted: I Am Not Left-Handed.
  • Parodied: Bob is smaller than an electron and he can move mountains beneath anyone's notice until it's already conspicuously gone from the landscape.
  • Zig-Zagged: Bob has the ability to grow or shrink himself; he's super-strong when tiny and super-weak when big, or vice versa.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: The author wants to deliver An Aesop about the power of personal effort.
  • Lampshaded: "I know size doesn't always matter, but something about Bob seems to take that line too far."
  • Advertisement:
  • Invoked: Bob works out in secret.
  • Exploited:
    • Bob enters a contest of strength, and he's up against big bodybuilder types.
    • Bob's strength gives him a slight advantage in physical combat, but what really gives him an edge is the fact that his opponents don't expect it.
  • Defied: Bob is small and doesn't do much physical activity. Instead, he prefers intellectual hobbies like art, music, and chess to sports.
  • Discussed: "Damn! Did you just see Bob?" "Yeah! Picked up that car like it was nothing!"
  • Conversed: "I'm glad this is just a cartoon. Bob could never do that in reality."
  • Implied: Bob is locked in a confined space alone with a heavy object and no mechanical aids with which to move it. When Alice checks on him moments later, she finds that the object has moved and Bob isn't even sweating.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Bob's small size makes him a Glass Cannon who can't take the pummeling bigger characters can.
    • Advertisement:
    • Bob suffers from Power Incontinence and always pushes at things with dangerous amounts of force far out of proportion to his stature.
  • Reconstructed: Fortunately, his size makes him a small target that's hard to hit.
  • Played for Laughs: Bob (a midget) bests Goliath (a huge bodybuilder type) in a wrestling match, then juggles an elephant, a kitchen sink, a toilet, a barbell, and a car to show off.
  • Played for Drama: Bob wishes for Super Strength, but it causes problems for him. Like accidentally crushing his infant daughter.

Back to Pintsized Powerhouse.

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