Some of the cinema's toughest, bravest, and most badass boys and babes managed to stand just as tall as the big boys, even though most of them wouldn't be big enough to go on the bigger rides at a county fair. These are the short people who kicked lots of ass, even if they had to do it from the top rung of a stepladder.
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10. Marty from the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies
It's not easy to be a pirate. You spend 364 days of the year at sea with a group of sweaty, unclean guys who consider dental hygiene a "luxury." Your meals consist of whatever you can pull out of the sea and your marinades consist of grog and poop deck squeezings. And to top it all off, your job description requires you to lay down your life in the heat of battle for the good of your crew, your officers, and your ship...and you don't even get a 401(k).
Imagine how hard of a life it must be if you're at crotch level. It doesn't seem to be that big (no pun intended, I'm funnier than that) of a problem for Marty, the shortest member of Jack Sparrow's crew. He's always at the front of every battle and staring down his enemies right in the eye, even though he often suffers from arthritis of the spine from having to spend so much time looking up at them, but enduring that searing neck pain only makes him twice as tough.
9. Marcus from Bad Santa
Source: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Toughness doesn't just come from bulging pecs and double body weight bench presses. Toughness can't just be measured by one's ability to absorb the recoil of a .700 caliber Nitro Express rifle cartridge or the blow of a two-by-four to the face.
Some of the hardest pressures any man can endure start from within whether it's finding the strength to endure an annoying person or having the cojones to stand up to them when they finally cross the line of no tolerance. Marcus, Willie's long suffering partner-in-crime, had to put up with all sorts of drunkenness and botched jobs and did everything he could to keep him in line. He also has the gumption to stand up to people who think they can step on him, even if they can literally step on him.
8. The Leprechaun from the Leprechaun Movies
Source: Trimark Pictures
Out of all of the fantasy characters in the known universe, leprechauns definitely have it the hardest. They not only have to spend every waking minute fearing their impending capture for a few measly trinkets, but they also have to endure some of the most cruel, unfair, and unfunny stereotypes simply because of their size and heritage.
Here's one little green guy who don't just chase you down for your Lucky Charms. He's after you to take out your soul and perhaps a vital organ or two. He's so tough that he's been stabbed and shot multiple times, blown up even more times, and has somehow managed to climb out of the depths of hell for five movies. Chances are he had to climb up on some demon's shoulders in order to do, but that's still pretty tenacious.
7. Thumbelina from Total Recall
Source: TriStar Pictures
Her part may have been a small one, but she left twice as big of an impact and an image burned into our minds (not mathematically, mind you, but metaphorically).
The famed "midget hooker" from this schlocky '90s action flick doesn't let the big boys push her around. She's a scrappy little whore with access to some hard hardware to boot. She not only stabs some poor schlub in the stomach with a blade that's half her size (literally, insert rimshot here), but she also manages to take out more than a few security squads in a spray of random gunfire. The only thing she's short on is height.
6. Mini-Me from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Source: New Line Cinema
This supervillain might be super small, but his animal tenacity and willingness to fight dirtier than Mike Tyson in a Jell-O wrestling tournament makes him a fierce opponent.
He has a furious temper and tiny fists of fury to express it. He doesn't just repeatedly punch you in the face. He will scissor kick you flat on your back, toss your body around like a floppy full-body stunt doll, and even bite you right in the junk. He's an extremely short version of Andy Dick, only more huggable.
5. The Dwarves from Time Bandits
Source: Handmade Films
If you're going to steal the greatest historical artifacts in the entire universe and take on the embodiment of all that is evil, you better be short on brains or big on guts. The dwarves from this Terry Gilliam flick have plenty of both, even though they barely add up to an average human height.
These six short employees of the "Supreme Being" loot and pillage their way through time to obtain some of the most sought after artifacts in all of history and end up fighting the ultimate battle against an evil being so evil that he's named "Evil" with everything their grubby little paws can steal. I assume they also had to take a couple of phone books as well, just so they could reach the steering wheel.
4. Jason "Wee Man" Acuña from Jackass and Jackass Number Two
So far, every mini-man or woman on this list has been a fictional character. They've been judged solely on their characters' actions, deeds, and kick-assometers (one of which is the metric equivalent of 5.2 ballsograms, according to the U.S. Department of Weights and Measures).
Skate punk Jason Acuña, better known by his Jackass handle "Wee Man," is the only one on the list who actually takes on the physical and emotional pain he's receiving in his films. In the course of two films, he's been thrown from a giant speeding shopping cart and run over by a raging bull. Still not impressed? He's also wrestled a giant anaconda, bungee jumped off of a falling fat guy, and fought off a swarm of angry bees in a locked limo. A third Jackass film is on the way, so just imagine the kind of twisted tortures he'll have to endure for our morbid amusement.
Try not to imagine them during dinner.
3. The Limo Driver from Me, Myself and Irene
Nothing makes me smile more than watching a scrappy underdog fight back against a seemingly insurmountable mountain of suck. Of course, I'm talking about the midget limo driver who picks a fight with Jim Carrey and not only kicks the holy living hell out of him, but also steals his girl and leaves him with the illegitimate brood.
It's a shame that Hank, the tough alter ego of Jim Carrey's character in this Farrelly Brothers classic, doesn't have a big balls-out showdown with this larger-than-life little guy who appears in the opening scenes of the movie. Their epic battle could cause a mushroom cloud of awesomeness that registers in at 359 million megaholyf***tons.
2. Gimli from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Source: New Line Cinema
Dwarves of fantasy lore are always scrappy little bastards. They have to be. It's either learn how to wield an axe twice the size of your head or get carried off by some giant eagle with a bear's head and become lunch for its brood of flaming jellyfish.
Gimli, played by the quite tall John Rhys-Davies in an ever-present kneel, has enough toughness for guys three times his size and twice the number of axe-wielding arms. He doesn't just enjoy giving some scaly schmuck a good ass-kicking. He craves it. He wants it. He needs it. He's a methadone addict for mayhem, even if he has to ride piggyback on another soldier's shoulders just so he can cut off his enemies' heads.
1. Willow from Willow
Source: Imagine Entertainment
True toughness isn't just possessing the physical prowess of a warrior or the mental dexterity of an Ivy League scholar to face the toughest challenges that life can throw your way. The toughest of the tough have both...and this short stack has more than enough of both.
He not only has the gumption to return a prophesied child to her rightful place, but also to take on the full embodiment of evil, mega-bitch Queen Bavmorda, even though he knows he probably couldn't knock her over if she was half in the bag and he was barreling down on her in a runaway Toyota that's engulfed in fire.
For a little squirt, he's a mighty big man.