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A size-mismatched duo. The smaller/weaker character gets protection from their naivete by the larger. What the larger character gets out of the deal varies more, although sometimes he is just a Gentle Giant.

Sometimes overlaps with the Badly-Battered Babysitter if the "protected" character is especially given to walking blindly into dangerous situations and environments.

Examples of Little Guy, Big Buddy include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kenpachi and Yachiru from Bleach, though Kenpachi never seems to be actively trying to protect her. Especially since it's been hinted that she doesn't need the protection (to be more specific, she's the 11th division's assistant captain. Considering how division members are ranked, that means Kenpachi is the only one more powerful than her).
  • On Code Geass, Charles Di Britannia and his "older" twin brother V.V. are a Jupiter and Mercury pair, with Charles being over 7 feet tall and V.V. having the appearance of a prepubescent boy since he physically stopped aging when he gained immortality.
  • Ilya and Berserker from Fate/stay night.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Supposedly a pilot and his or her Evangelion unit.

Film -- Animated

  • Dumbo offers a size inversion, with the small but worldly Timothy Q. Mouse protecting the large but naive title character.
  • Monsters, Inc. does this with Sully and Boo, including a "Feed the Kitty" parody when Sully thinks Boo has been mashed in a trash compactor.


  • George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men, another inversion where the little guy is the one guiding the bigger guy. At least until the end.
  • In the Sword of Truth, Chase is this to Richard while Richard is growing up. Richard and Gratch both have this role with each other at one point or another. Richard to Warren.
  • In the Codex Alera, Max is this to Tavi when they're academs. Subverted in that Tavi saves Max just as much as Max saves Tavi.
  • In the Dresden Files, the Gruffs are a chain of this. (They're based on the Bill Goats Gruff from fairy tales. Since they're Fae, the stories are somewhat accurate.) Some of them are the size of bulldozers. Partial subversion since the Eldest Gruff is five feet tall, and one of the strongest Summer warriors, ranking him in the top few-hundred deadliest creatures in existence.

Live-Action Television

Puppet Shows

  • The Muppet Show has Sweetums and Robin, which is a complete change from their debut in the Muppet version of "The Frog Prince", where Sweetums tried to eat Robin. The name was originally ironic, not the accurate description it would later become.

Video Games

  • Baldur's Gate 2 has Minsc, a cheerfully loud tough guy, and his pet "miniature giant space hamster", Boo. Baldur's Gate also had Minsc protecting Dynaheir, his "witch", as part of a rite of passage. Though she doesn't appear in the second game, a dialogue can occur between him and another female caster, where he decides that now she's his witch. In either case, if his ward were killed in the game, he'd go berserk.
  • Inverted (kind of) with Tae and Bollikin of Lusternia: the former a massive, hulking (but endearingly simple-minded) God, the latter a tiny and extremely intelligent (but also incredibly compassionate) God. They compliment each other perfectly, and are implied to be lovers.

Web Original

Western Animation

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