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Have you ever had a dream with a dwarf in it? Do you know anyone who's had a dream with a dwarf in it? No! I don't even have dreams with dwarfs in them. The only place I've seen dwarfs in dreams is in stupid movies like this! "Oh make it weird, put a dwarf in it!". Everyone will go "Woah, this must be a fuckin' dream, there's a fuckin' dwarf in it!". Well I'm sick of it! You can take this dream sequence and stick it up your ass!
If you see a little person in a film, or TV show or comic book, chances are whatever you're watching resembles a Disney Acid Sequence.
Little people rarely just appear in fiction. They tend to show up to make sure the audience understands that a story is surreal. More often than not, they dress in overly colorful clothes, or talk in a particularly strange way, or just stare at the other characters to symbolize that someone's having a nightmare. Sometimes, they're magical.
Note that this trope applies only when a little person is shown or perceived to be notably different from the "normal" reality. (Big Figure in Watchmen, for example, would not count — he's actually one of the more non-surreal adversaries in the story.)
Not to be confused with that other kind of dwarf. (Remember: dwarfs are little people; dwarves are fantasy creatures).
Contrast Depraved Dwarf.
- In Trigun (the original manga version), Grey the Ninelives is revealed to be nine dwarfs in a suit.
- Tito in Living in Oblivion is brought in to play a character in a dream sequence, but gets fed up with it and lambasts the writer for how stupid the trope is.
- The King in Forbidden Zone
- The Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz
- Tangina Barrons in Poltergeist.
- Mini-Me in Austin Powers.
- Subverted in Cabaret: Sally, trying to shock Brian, asks whether he's ever had sex with a dwarf. Brian calmly responds with, "Yes. But it wasn't a lasting relationship."
- Deconstructed in Tiny Tiptoes, which stars... erm, Gary Oldman as a little person. The female lead spends most of the film trying to come to terms with the fact that her husband's parents and brother have dwarfism.
- Both Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. Therefore, they can usually be found in Charlie and the Chocolate Parodies.
- Lampshaded, subverted, and played straight in In Bruges.
- Played with in Jackass 3D: an all-little-person barroom brawl is broken up by dwarf cops and dwarf EMTs.
- The title character in The Sinful Dwarf is both surreal and creepy as hell.
- At the ball scene in The Three Musketeers 1973, the King of France is eating hors d'oeuvres off plates balanced on the heads of dwarf servants. This is mainly to emphasize the decadence of his court, and is Truth In Television.
- Mere dwarfs are insufficiently surreal for the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky; his movies El Topo and The Holy Mountain feature amputee dwarfs.
- This trope seems to be the reason for the existence of Percy (played by Verne Troyer) in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
- In Blade Runner, two of the genetically-engineered 'toy-friends' created by J.F. Sebastian are dwarfs in outlandish outfits, one of which has an extremely long nose. Their presence certainly makes the already-surreal clutter of Sebastian's apartment seem even more bizarre.
- Jostein Gaarder's The Secret of the Cards
- Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire includes an Inner Monologue by the main villain about how dwarfs tend to have an air of self-possession about them, even in the role of court jester mid-joke. Interestingly, this is used to increase the surreality of the dwarfs who don't. It's so common for dwarfs to act abnormal, that the relative normalcy is what tips her off that these aren't normal dwarfs. She's just that kind of character.
- The butler in The Prisoner
- Tattoo in Fantasy Island
- Patty Maloney in the Star Trek Voyager episode "The Thaw"
- The staff of the canteen in Teachers
- The dwarf in the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks
- On SCTV, Whispers of the Wolf, a (parody of a) surreal Ingmar Bergman film run by mistake on Monster Chiller Horror Theater, features a dwarf -- about whom the "Swedish"-speaking heroine remarks, "Hmmm...shrimpkin."
- Lexx did Shakespeare on drugs for the fourth-season episode "A Midsummer's Nightmare". To go along with Oberon and Puck's Camp Gay, Titania was a male dwarf crossdresser with a 5 o'clock shadow.
- Samson from Carnivale, played by the same actor from Twin Peaks, is the owner of the carnival and also narrates at the beginning of each season premiere.
- The janitor in Scrubs who's a little person seems to appear more often in J.D.'s Imagine Spots than outside of them.
- Played With on Pit Boss. Several of the jobs that come through Shortywood invoke this, which frustrates its members to different degrees. In particular, this is a big Berserk Button for Ronald, who finds it insulting and degrading to put on costumes like lobsters and Oompa Loompas.
- Subverted in a few episodes of NCIS: Abby dates a dwarf who looks and acts positively button-down compared to Abby.
- Boardwalk Empire also plays with it, as the little people who box on the Boardwalk aren't too keen to play leprechauns at the St. Patrick's Day dinner. But as it's the Twenties and Nucky's offering them good money, they swallow their pride.
- Ginny Weedon from Picket Fences who, despite playing the same kind of character that she did in Poltergeist, kept complaining about "little people" stereotypes.
- German magazine "Cinema" once used this in a Take That against heavily subsidized German True Art movies.
- R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet.
- The videos for Oingo Boingo's "Little Girls" and "Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me".
- A Christmas episode of the Australian talk show Rove Live had a group of dwarfs dressed as Christmas decorations get strung up on a Christmas tree. When viewers complained about the un-PC nature of the act, the dwarfs later returned to the show to explain that they were obviously OK with the act because they agreed to do it in the first place - and that it had paid them better than any other job they had done that year.
- Elfriede Jelinek's Burgtheater.
- In the Australian production of Love Never Dies, one of the "freaks" at the Phantom's Coney Island amusement park is Fleck, a little person in a jester-esque outfit. She is also one of his lackeys. (In the original London staging, this character was of average stature, but also "half-bird, half-woman".)
- Dr. Odine in Final Fantasy VIII, a midget Mad Scientist with a fake German accent who, in the words of the Spoony One, looks like he's wearing the Wheel of Fortune.
- The Mad Midget Five from God Hand are a ridiculous-looking Sentai team with chipmunk voices, and they're mostly treated as comic relief. Averting Mook Chivalry, they attack you all at once. They are hard to beat the first time and even tougher the second. The game also features a psychic midget who is also ridiculous and difficult.
- Futurama: The Slurm factory is manned by the Grunka Lunkas.
- Pawtucket Pat uses Chumba Wumbas on Family Guy.