Height Difference

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Trope · Genre
Related: Size Kink, Big Guy, Little Guy
See Also:
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Height Difference is a trope in which one character is emphasized to be taller than another. This is often a ship-related trope, seen as a romantic dynamic. However, it can also be used a 'cute' aspect of platonic and familial relationships too.

Some fandoms even make 'height charts' of their characters to show their headcanons for who is taller and who is shorter.

Some fans argue that shipping characters with height differences, whether canonical or fanon, are an attempt to normalize pedophilia.[1] Others point out:

generally speaking, height difference only matters if a ship is already determined to be a 'bad' ship. then the height difference is equated to 'pedophilia' and treated as additional proof that the ship is 'bad'.[2]


Mundane height differences

It is common for height differences between human characters of the same age to be emphasized. This trope occurs in slash, femslash, and het fanworks. However, due to the fact that cis men are on average taller than cis women, this trope is less common in het fanworks. When it occurs, it is usually because the female character is taller than the male character, or the male character is significantly taller than the female character (a foot or more).

Ships featuring a human dwarf and an average-height human will often fall into this trope by default regardless of the respective ages of the characters.



Relationships involving characters of different species will often emphasize natural height differences between them. This trope is common in fandoms with diminutive races like hobbits and dwarves. It is notably popular in the Lord of the Rings fandom, in which hobbits are often shipped with taller dwarves, elves, and humans. Dwarves are also shipped with taller elves and humans. The interspecies height difference trope also occurs in fandoms with alien species that are naturally taller or shorter than humans. It may thus sometimes be an example of Alien Kink or Xeno.


Age Differences

Relationships involving characters of different ages may emphasize their height difference. This can occur in underage fanworks that pair a fully-grown adult with a still-growing teenager. It may also feature in fanworks where an adult character is De-Aged through some means.



Depending on the source material, there have even been times where fans demanded a height difference between actors to properly represent a relationship on screen. [citation needed]

For the IT fandom, it became a pertinent part of the casting discussion before the cast of Chapter Two was announced. Many were satisfied with James Ransone and Bill Hader's height difference, but many would have appreciated an Eddie Kaspbrak who was even shorter.



Bilbo/Thorin (The Hobbit)

Jaime/Brienne (ASoIaF/GOT)

Kíli/Tauriel (The Hobbit)

Reddie (IT)

Sherlock/John (Sherlock (TV series))


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Art Gallery


  1. ^ [1], Archived version
  2. ^ [2], Archived version