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I'll make you fun-sized!

Want to make something cuter? Just make it smaller. Look at kittens and puppies. Don't you just want to hug and squeeze them and call them George? Okay, perhaps not that far, but they are cute. And it's not merely being smaller, but also having a "smoother" shape than adult dogs and cats, and usually having bigger eyes.

Naturally, this is used in certain character designs to achieve a cute effect. Take how in Comics, Anime and Manga, younger characters have bigger eyes. This can be seen in shows where we see a character grow from childhood to adulthood. Some even have normal eyes when they're past their mid-20s.

Of course, the best-known anime and manga method of making something cute is the Super-Deformed look (a.k.a. "Chibi").

In some cases however, it's primarily done to cram a recognizable variation of the character into a smaller space, such as a map screen, and the cute is just a bonus.

The trope's title is from 'Fun-sized' candy bars, the smallest size typically seen as Halloween treats. Has nothing to do with a certain other Fun Size.

Fun Size characters frequently take the form of Ridiculously Cute Critters, and may be Spinoff Babies or Sleep Mode Size versions of normal-sized characters. Compare Animation Anatomy Aging and Only a Model. When cuteness is pushed too far, it may Taste Like Diabetes.

Examples of Fun Size include:


Anime and Manga

  • Shana-tan from the Shakugan no Shana omake.
  • Yugi Moto and Yami Yugi are among the most clear cases of big eyes when smaller.
    • Yami/Atem used to remain the same size in the first manga, but then got a case of import and started getting a growth spurt like his anime counterpart after the transformation. Can be seen clearly in Yu-Gi-Oh R.
  • Name a Mon that's under a couple of feet high; good chance it'll be completely adorable. Shaymin gets bonus points for not only being one of the smallest of the 493 pocket monsters, but a Legendary as well. Screw the Sky Forme, cute hedgehog is cute.
    • But you're forgetting Mew! And Jirachi, and Celebi, and Manaphy...
      • And Joltik! It's the smallest of all Mons, and is ridiculously cute to match.
      • The other chibi legends aren't the size of a Diglett (8 inches tall).
      • BLASPHEMY!!! How has no one mentioned Togepi? Cute egg that squeaks and has tiny legs is cute!!!
    • Talking about Mons, MarineAngemon is definitely Digimon's take on Shaymin (or is it the reverse, since MarineAngemon came first?). Also, this Kapurimon is the Fun-Sized version of Wolfmon.
  • Tsuruya-san was cute enough already, with her cute little fang and speech impediment and her Genki Girl personality. However, someone then had to make Churuya...
    • Churuya even has her own mini-show.
    • Don't forget tiny Asakura. (Achakura)
  • The chibi episodes in The Prince of Tennis.
  • The puppy and chibi forms of Arf in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Zafila's first attempt at using the former in the third Sound Stage of the second season earned him many squealing, cuddle-happy girls, much to his annoyance.
    • In the same vein, Reinforce is a lean, mean, living killer machine. Reinforce Zwei, on the other hand, is a 6-inch tall, supremely cute and flat chested. However, she still carries a large dose of ass kicking (when properly...ahem, "used", since she's still technically a living weapon). Although Zwei can "upsize" to roughly Vita's size, as mentioned in the Sound Stages and demonstrated visually in Force.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has Chibi-Setsuna, the adorable shikigami Setsuna pulls out when she has to accompany someone but needs to be somewhere else at the same time.
    • Aisaka Sayo also counts when she is possessing the Voodoo doll.
    • There are also the magic de-aging pills that allow the girls to turn themselves into lolis. Chisame in particular says that she prefers her "Chibi-Chiu" form to her normal self.
  • This Lucky Star manga, which takes the already quite Moe cast and inexplicably shrinks them. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Lumiere of Kiddy Grade has the ability to create cute, miniature search subroutines. When Tweedledee sees this, she remarks on how cute they are, and creates her own version.
  • Medabots. Full-powered combat robots... in a three-foot tall package (well, except for that one that Ikki disabled in one episode, that qualified as a Humongous Mecha). Did I mention that Medabots are kid's toys?
  • In Soul Eater, Medusa possesses the body of a little girl, and twists her appearance into a copy of her original one. Uses the cuteness to her advantage in the manga when she got herself imprisoned by Shibusen (similar in the anime, but the reaction isn't quite the same). Usually looks cute in this form, but not always.
  • The opening to Macross in chibi form.
  • The Adventures of Mini Goddess was designed specifically for and around this trope.
  • in the (non-canon) Pilot Chapter of Bleach, a side-effect of Rukia transferring her powers to Ichigo was being shrunk down to a small enough scale that she could comfortably take a bath in Ichigo's coffee mug.
  • Played for Drama in chapter 40 of Franken Fran. Veronica gets cut in half by Gavrill, and Fran has to make a a smaller version of her body with the very few parts that were still left. This is unfortunate for Veronica, but does come in handy later.
  • The laptop-model Persocoms in Chobits! Sumomo is smaller than your forearm but several times as cute as human-sized Chii.
  • Bite Size! Mini Ika Musume.
  • Beta Mechazawa from Cromartie High School.

Comic Books

  • Comic books: WaRP Graphics' Elf Quest had elves that were about half as high as humans. They were adorable.
    • Yeah, that wasn't quite the point, although the Pinis did mention in an interview that giving them large heads and eyes made audiences feel more protective toward them.
      • And there were also the "Tiny Toon Elves" self-parodies, drawn IIRC by some of the original Tiny Toon Adventures artists.
      • Dobby.
  • The extradimensional X-Men villain Mojo, in an effort to keep his world's television ratings high after their (presumed) death, created Fun Size versions of the titular mutants -- the X-Babies. Hilarity Ensues when the babies prove to be less restrained than their adult counterparts.
    • Despite hilarity destructively ensuing, it was apparently a ratings success, because he later brought out the Mitey 'Vengers (Fun Size Avengers) and a team of Fun Size Age of Apocalypse villains, including the terrifying four-armed head-for-a-torso Sugar Man.

Live Action TV

  • In the Series 3 finale of Doctor Who, the Master makes the Doctor look as old as he is (900 and something years old), and he turns into an adorable tiny creature. The thing that made the Doctor look cute was his huge eyes, which completely makes you look past his grey, withered skin, and bony hands.
  • An episode of Will and Grace made mention of the "Pocket Gay" when Will was set up on a blind date with a guy who was quite short. Jack basically described him as "all the perks of a boyfriend in convenient travel size."

Literature

  • While nearly all fairy species in Artemis Fowl are small at around a metre tall, pixies specifically are said to be cute, rather fragile, and look very much like human children.

Toys

  • Hasbro's various "Heroes" series, including the Marvel Comics Super Hero Squad, Transformers Robot Heroes, Star Wars Galactic Heroes, and the recently released Indiana Jones Adventure Heroes and G.I. Joe Combat Heroes.
  • Does anyone have a link to the Galvatron toy? There's a picture of a super deformed Galvatron that Teletraan I caption, "He'll kill you with adorability."

Real Life / Truth in Television

  • Fan Art tends to do this.
  • Again, kittens and puppies.
  • Various breeds of animals are bred for size, presumably because of cuteness: dwarf cats, chihuahuas, poodles...
    • Japanese culture is obsessed with cuteness, and this is a part of it.
    • Shelties are adorable mini-sheepdogs that were bred for an adorable reason: to herd tiny sheep!
    • Miniature ponies. Which are now being tried out as a substitute for guide dogs.
    • Pomerianians were bred specifically to be small after Queen Victoria both popularized the smaller types, and led a breeding program to decrease their size.
    • Miniature dachshunds. When they're nasty, they're really nasty... but when they're nice, they're sweethearts!
    • Poodles actually do come in normal-dog size as well as yappy-dog size. The infamous "poodle cut" that the smaller versions are known for is actually a perverted, decorative mutation of the more functional haircut they used to be given in their capacity as hunting dogs.
  • Babies.
  • In biology, this is termed neoteny (the appearance of being youthful) and is one reason men are often attracted to women who appear younger than them (ie. being shorter and having smaller features overall). The inverse is Hot Amazon.
  • In the United States, small candybars mostly given during Halloween are marketed as "fun size."
  • The Aussie Racing Cars series, a series featuring silhouette race cars (eg. every car runs the same equipment, in this case a turbocharged 1.2L Yamaha motorbike engine mated to a sequential transmission) with body styles that resemble scaled down versions of famous cars that have participated in the V8 Supercars series at some point in history.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

Web Original

 Each time a name's spelled wrong in Rings, a mini-Balrog gets its wings.

Web Comics

  • Hello Cthulhu
  • The Chibi Kia arc in Krakow.
  • The premise of Lil Formers.
  • Girl Genius has fun with this. Played straight by the Dingbots. Inverted by the "Fun-Sized Mobile Agony and Death Dispensers" -- old Heterodynes did everything very... FUN sized (they probably heard about miniaturization, but thought it's about Shrink Ray).
  • Discussed in This Girly strip.
  • Zig-zagged in Two Kinds. Bastins are more-or-less short versions of Keidrans, but they're really not that cute. At least, not while they're not trying to take your head off with a Blade on a Stick.
  • Snuggleninja, found here is so little. But that doesn't stop him from doing what he needs to do.


Western Animation

 Tiny!Katara: Tiny Zuko! He looks so cute!

Tiny!Zuko: (attempts to resume normal form) I AM NEITHER CUTE NOR TINY!

Tiny!Iroh: You are pretty cute, my tiny nephew.

  • SpongeBob SquarePants has the Krabby Kiddie Patty which is "thirty percent cuter" than a normal krabby patty.
  • Chibi versions of the characters are used for gags in Totally Spies. In one episode, Alex finds Clover adorable after she is shrunk to insect size.
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