Bigger Is Better

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    All things are better when they're bigger. You know you wish you had tropes this big. Unless of course, you're Tiny Tropes.

    Subtropes include:

    Examples of Bigger Is Better include:

    Anime and Manga


    Mustang: I can't believe you made yourself a bigger target. You really thought bigger would be better?

    • In Night Wizard, Emotionless Girl Akari usually wields a BFG, but during one of the final episode, she briefly upgrades to a RIDICULOUSLY oversized ANTI-FLEET weapon. It's so big, she needs another wizard to handle the reloading. Rather than firing from the hip as is her general style, she finds it necessary to carry it on her shoulder... did I mention that it's basically the size of an interstate bus?
    • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann takes this trope to its natural conclusion. The final episode features the eponymous mecha, which (according to the art book), is ten million light years in height.
      • The movie version goes even farther, featuring a Combining Mecha formed from several of those. Then plays with it by making this mecha the reincarnation of their founder come back from the grave (again). This is the series that named Beyond the Impossible for a reason.

    Simon: We're gonna need a bigger drill?



    • The Master of Disguise had a major romantic subplot about Pistachio's love for Jennifer Baker despite her "tiny, butter bottom". Given the size of his mother, it looks like the Disguisey family's men think bigger is always Better, when it comes to women, especially their buttocks.
    • Dinosaurs (also Truth in Television):
      • Jurassic Park III's Spinosaurus was bigger than T. rex, because... well... T. rex just wasn't cool enough any more.
        • Interestingly, the Velociraptors in the first movie were much bigger than in reality (they were actually pretty much Deinonychus...) while the dilophosaur was much smaller. But it could spit poison, so...
    • Death Stars in Star Wars. According to The Other Wiki, Death Star I had a diameter between 120 and 160 km. Death Star II was anywhere (depending on the source) from 160 to 900km! Granted, Death Star II had a better laser, but was there really any other reason for it to be so much larger?
      • It probably says something that all of the Original Trilogy movies, along with Revenge of the Sith, opened with a Star Destroyer, which is more than a kilometer and a half long. Other big contenders are the Executor (so big, it used ENGINES bigger than Star Destroyers), Ackbar's five-kilometer-long flagship, the three-kilometer Trade Federation Lucrehulk battleship, and the seven-hundred-meter Acclamator troop transport. And that's just the movies; the EU has things like the Maw Installation, seen in comparison to a prototype Death Star, Centerpoint Station, which was 300 kilometers long, and the Galaxy Gun.
      • Parodied by Spaceball One in Spaceballs.
    • Godzilla is king of the monsters. Are you king of the monsters? No. You're too small.
      • To his credit, Belloc is more open-minded about his successor.
    • In Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey Bill and Ted were nervous about the Station twins knowing what they were doing. The twins did a Fusion Dance, turning into Big Station. Suddenly there were no more worries. Apparently Big Station was more obviously a great scientist than the Station twins?


    • Subverted in Sergey Lukyanenko's novel Genome with the Taii - an ancient galactic superpower whose strength waned after a devastating war with another equally-powerful race. Their colossal ships are still allowed to patrol space that now belongs to younger races, but they are little more than relics of ages past. It is mentioned that a tiny by comparison human destroyer is able to completely incinerate one of these Taii battleships with a single volley.
    • Played completely straight by Bolos, which are remarkably large, AI-guided tanks. Later marks mass more than most battleships.
    • John Keefauver's story "The Great Three-Month Super Supersonic Stack-Up of 1999" satirically depicted a near-future with planes so huge that they could be stacked up for weeks. ("Six feet longer than ten football fields! Six feet wider than three football fields!")

    Live-Action TV

    • The nurses in Cop Rock's musical number say the phrase Bigger Is Better and wear Stripperiffic dresses. Cop Rock - Perfection
    • Played with in Stargate SG-1: Our heroes have discovered that the Tollan have somehow manufactured their own Stargate. In order to stroke his shrinking ego, all O'Neill can manage to say is, "Ours is bigger."
    • In the Victorious episode "Survival of the Hottest", the main characters (minus Cat) get stuck in an RV on a particularly hot day. Tori suddenly remembers that she brought a battery-powered fan, searches her bag for it and presents a tiny, two-bladed fan.

    Tori: Here it is!
    André: Oh, stop.
    Trina: That's it!?
    Robbie: That's your fan?
    Tori: (insulted) Yeah...
    Beck: It's not big.
    Jade: It's an embarressment!
    André: You teased us...
    Tori: Okay... Okay, fine, then I guess I just won't turn it on.
    (Everyone protests desperately)
    Tori: Yeah, yeah, now you like my tiny fan, don'cha!?




    "My parties all have the big names
    And I greet them with the widest smile
    Tell them how my life is one big adventure
    And always they're amazed
    When I show them round the house, to my bed
    I had it made like a mountain range
    With a snow white pillow for my big fat head
    And my heaven will be a big heaven
    And I will walk through the front door!"


    Newspaper Comics

    • FoxTrot: Roger buys a four-foot tall cell phone from "Mobytel" ("I assume the "Moby" is short for mobile"). It turns out to not work out so well as both the ends are too far away to actually have a conversation.
    • Parodied in Over the Hedge with a SUV:

    "How many humans fit into one of those?"
    "Usually... one."


    Tabletop Games

    Board Games

    • This is the basic principle behind the design of most, if not all, weapons, vehicles, and equipment in Warhammer 40,000.
      • Also most, if not all, Orks.

    Card Games

    Tabletop RPG

    • In the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG, there's a simple way to estimate the challenge level of any given starship. Is it a fighter? It's probably low-challenge. If it has a CL of 16 or higher, there's a 99% chance the vehicle in question can cause a nasty localised eclipse, followed by reducing the eclipsed area to ash with its Frickin' Laser Beams.
      • A fan-made, impossibly humongous ship apparently dubbed the Imperium "Ultra" Class Star Destroyer with all the fixin's inspired someone to write a status report concerning the maiden flight of the SDSD Freudian Nightmare and all the problems that would come with maintaining said impossibly huge ship. It's hilarious.

    Video Games

    • Throughout Sword of the Stars. Large guns are better than small guns. Large hulls have better colonisers, sensors, command & control, and tankers than small hulls. Large planets are easier to defend and more productive. Better engine systems are larger, too.
    • Shadow of the Colossus
    • The Valzacard in Super Robot Wars W, which is a Combining Mecha made of two mecha... and two battleships. Lined up with the rest of the Banpreso Originals, the second largest doesn't even come up to it's knees.
      • Before the Valcazard was the Geant Chevalier from Super Robot Wars Destiny. In that case, it was more an instance of longer is better, clocking in at over one hundred meters long. And it's a Real Robot. One longer than Ideon is tall.
    • The fundamental military strategy of the Global Defense Initiative is to build big tanks. Then upgrade and build to bigger tanks. Then put bigger guns on those bigger tanks. Then build a really, really, really big tank to eat up resources at once and then build even more giant tanks. GDI takes the concept of More Dakka and applies it to armor like no other.
      • The fundamental military strategy of the Soviet Union in the Red Alert series is to build big everything.
    • Ork Shoota Boyz specifically say this when having been upgraded with "Big Shootas" in Dawn of War 2. Well, with more of a Funetik Aksent.

    Bigga is Best

    • Heroes of Might and Magic III featured "grail structures" that could be built at only one town on any map. Most of them tended to be very tall (the Colossus, the Warlords' Monument) or very wide (Aurora Borealis). They were easily better than any other non-troop-producing building you could produce, because a) they were free to build if you met the requirements; b) you could build a grail structure as well as a normal structure on the same turn in the same town, c) most of them were very tall; PAY ATTENTION.
    • This list is okay, but The King of All Cosmos wants a bigger, nicer list.
    • Master/Hell Mel from Lunar the Silver Star has, as part of his personal weapons collection, an axe larger than him...and he can wield it one-handed.
    • In most of the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors games (and thus, by extension, in Warriors Orochi), each warrior can obtain 4 different tiers of weapons. Each higher tier has higher attack, awesomer appearance, and a noticeably bigger size—hence, in those games, bigger really IS better. However, as a result, a lot of the warriors winds up with HILARIOUSLY oversized weapons on the fourth tier. For example, "The Devil" Shimazu ends up with a warhammer whose head is bigger than his (impossible muscled and heavily-armored) torso, Sun Ce ends up with a pair of Tonfas that are longer than his legs, Kunoichi's Dual Knives turns into Dual Longswords, and so on....
    • The Nintendo D Si XL, which has 94% bigger screens and is marketed towards old people, but tends to sell better outside such demographic for the sake of bigger being better.
    • Star Ruler both uses and averts this. While it is true that bigger subsystems take more damage, bigger weapons deal more damage at greater ranges, bigger bays can store more stuff etc., there are also downsides to upsizing such as weapons taking longer to reload.
    • Asuras Wrath subverts this. The first of the Seven Deities, Wyzen, starts out as a big Fat Bastard, and at each stage that Asura beats him, he draws upon more Mantra power to become bigger. He goes from being the size of a tank to about a hundred meters tall, and when Asura punts that form into space, he calls upon a huge amount of Mantra to transform into a planet-sized form. He then proceeds to crush Asura with an index finger the size of a small country. Asura, being Asura, just gets pissed and punches Wyzen so hard that the force travelling up his arm makes him explode. Immediately afterward, the rest of the Seven Deities are shown as annoyed and scornful of Wyzen for wasting so much power because he was convinced that being bigger meant he was more powerful.

    Web Comics

    • Played with in Schlock Mercenary. Schlock loses his BFG, and is offered a new model which is much more powerful and doesn't need to warm up. On the downside, it is smaller, and doesn't make an ominous hum when warming up. Schlock manages to find another of the old model. To be fair, Schlock uses both the size and the ominous hum as much for intimidation as he uses the gun for blasting things. Although he does like blasting things.
    • Aylee during one of her transformations in Sluggy Freelance.
    • In The KAMics Gertrude said when she got her Buntline special with 16 inch barrel,

    The bigger it is the more it hurts!
    She's used to swords...

    • In Girl Genius it seems to be the case, and certainly is a matter of much Hypocritical Humor. First we see Gilgamesh Wulfenbach pointing out the error of Dr. Beetle, who - being a small man - created one HUGE, impressive enforcer clank instead of a bunch of smaller and thus put all eggs in one easy to hit bin. Then the Castle Heterodyne says "All the Wulfenbach sparks are known for their oversized machinery, you know. I mean, just look at castle Wulfenbach. What exactly are we trying to say, here?" But then, the Heterodynes also rarely built anything small... and the Castle itself is a huge aboveground building that extends deep down, and counting peripheral devices in its direct control (like the thorn hedge), sprawls well beyond the city walls.
    • In Dangerously Chloe it turns out that a succubus can be much more sensitive about the size of horns than about measurements of other visible parts of her figure. Maybe because the horns themselves are rather sensitive.

    Real Life

    • Popularly, anything from or associated with Texas.
    • Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV)
      • The Hummer and its offspring
      • The Montana
      • If the gasoline crisis hadn't hit, I was looking forward to the rollout of one called "Jupiter".
    • Sex, and a man's worth as a human being.
    • Engines. The bigger, the better, especially if you want the huge block just to cruise around the town. It is possible to squeeze 750 hp out of a little 2.4 liter engine—Formula 1 does it—but doing so needs royal trainloads of Phlebotinum and at least US$3,000,000.
      • Sports cars usually have V-8 engines, twice as much as your average family car.
      • The Bugatti Veyron, the second-fastest production car in the world, has a ~1000 hp W16 engine!
      • The SSC Ultimate Aero TT can make nearly 1300+ hp Take That, Bugatti!
        • The Ultimate Aero TT is also geared to top out at 270 MPH.
      • The Dodge Challenger SRT-8 has a 6.1-liter V8 that comfortably hits 425 hp, while costing less than 5% of what an F1 engine costs.
      • There's also the Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06, which makes 505 hp from a 7-liter V8.
      • Hell, any muscle car fits this trope. There's no replacement for displacement, after all.
      • Formula One in the 1980s subverts this somewhat. Per the rules, forced-induction engine sizes were capped at a minuscule 1.5 liters. Despite this, it was quite common for such engine to be able to produce up to (and beyond) 1,500 hp. The designers simply increased the size of the turbochargers to ridiculous extremes.
    • Buildings
      • Chrysler Building!
      • Empire State Building!
      • World Trade Center!
      • Sears Tower!
      • Petronas Towers!
      • Space Needle!
      • CN Tower!
      • Burj Dubai!
      • And they still keep trying to top it... see this list for several up-and-comming examples, topping out at the 1.25 miles high Shimizu Mega-City Pyramid near Tokyo.
      • Stalin wanted to turn Moscow into a monster city, as evidenced by his plan to build the enormous Palace of the Soviets, which for that time would be the largest free-standing man-made building in the world. Oh, and did I mention that roughly 1/6th of the building was to be a giant statue of Lenin?
        • It would've been built too, if he hadn't chosen a site that turned out to be over an underground river. You really don't want to build a building that large on top of a river. They did dig a massive hole in the ground for the foundation before the project was scrapped.
    • Monuments
      • Great Wall of China
      • Pyramids of Egypt
      • The Colossus of Rhodes.
      • The mythical Tower of Babel.
      • The Colosseum.
      • The pyramids of Teotihuacán and Chichén Itzá.
      • Stonehenge which is, after all is said and done, nothing more than a big sundial.
    • Balls of String. There are multiple places claiming to have the World's Largest Ball of String, and probably a very thriving rivalry among them all.
    • Foil balls.
    • Food
      • Would you like a plain hot dog? Or a foot-long hot dog?
      • How about a hamburger? Or upgrade to a triple?
      • Gaijin Smash: Supersize me!
      • Also why movie theaters don't sell 'small' drinks anymore? The smallest you can get is a medium.
        • They may call the small a medium just so you don't feel so bad paying $4 for a small drink.
    • eBay. Because people will be a lot more interested in buying your item if the name alone takes the whole screen.
      • Also, Time Cube. Insane rambling is much more convincing when presented in huge script and randomly made bold and/or italic.
    • Everything.
      • Even the ENORMOUS RASH ON YOUR NOSE!?!
      • Everything except for things that are bad to start with and things that get just too big...
      • A Cold War American joke said that the USSR boasted on producing the worlds largest microchips, forgetting exactly what the "micro" in the name was supposed to mean.
    • Guinness World Records contains many examples.
      • Hell, Guinness World Records is BUILT on these.
    • The Universe. It's the size of a whole Universe.
    • Inverted with most high-tech devices. Needless to say, people are more impressed with the Macbook AIR than the room-sized behemoth computers of yesteryear (except in a "whoah, they used to be that big?" sense).
    • In an unusual, and clever, application of this trope, the USSR did this with a substantial amount of their military weaponry during the Cold War, making it larger than equivalent NATO weaponry. The difference wasn't large in most cases, and was often limited to ammunition casings, although larger weapons such as main battle tank guns had larger bores. This had the effect of allowing them to use captured NATO ammunition in their weapons with the addition of a simple adapter sleeve or sabot (the latter used for tank and artillery rounds), but prevented NATO from capturing and using any Warsaw Pact ammunition.
    • Hitler would have loved to have invoked this trope further than the Nazis already did, particularly with the Maus heavy panzer and the ridiculously large Ratte, which really can't be described as anything other than a battleship on wheels. The armaments minister Albert Speer realized how impractical they were and strangled the ideas in the cradle.
      • Don't forget the Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster! A tank so big, it was designed to be submersible, not for naval warfare, but because it was too heavy to take bridges, so had to go straight through any rivers it came across.
    • Cuckoos. They lay their eggs in other birds' nests, and their chicks are so large, they monopolize the parents' attention and food supply.
      • It helps that as soon as the cuckoo chick hatches, it kicks the other eggs out of the nest so that it's the only one remaining.
    • Cracked's list of The 6 Most Gigantic Everything in the History of War
    • Computer components are going this way. Take graphics cards for example: at first, all graphics cards took up a single expansion slot, and barely extended beyond the socket. Today, dual-slot coolers are the norm (due to the increase in heat put out,) and the highest-end cards can be over ten inches longs (27 cm seems to be the norm for these long cards), while an ATX motherboard is about 9.5 inches wide. And triple-slot coolers are becoming popular.
      • CPU coolers, as well. They can be so large as to not fit in particularly narrow cases.
        • If you've been tinkering with computers for a while, you can see how heatsinks have grown over the years from being completely absent on a 486DX, through a little one 4 cm wide on on the 200 MHz Pentium MMX, to great big hulking huge 10 cm ones, to hulking huge ones with heat pipes...
      • Motherboards, too. The crowing example would be EVGA's Classified SR-2, a dual socket monster that uses its own form factor, and can only fit in a handful of cases on the market without major modifications.
    • Australia seems rather fond of big things as tourism landmarks, such as the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour. On Pitch segment on The Gruen Transfer had the winning ad use such big landmarks as cooling towers on nuclear reactors to try and sell nuclear power to Aussies.
    • Justified in the case of many animals that seek out the biggest available mates, as a large potential partner is probably older than a small one. If a big mate lived long enough to get big, while eating well enough to grow a massive body, then it's probably got better genes to contribute than some dinky youngster.
      • Also played straight with trees. If one tree in a forest is bigger, it casts a shadow over the ones surrounding it. They, in turn, grow bigger, therefore casting their own shadows, and so on. Bigger is therefore the only way to get full access to light.
    • Telescopes, professional and amateur. The bigger the main lens or mirror, the more light the telescope lets in, the fainter it can see; this trope absolutely applies. In 1789, Herschel constructed a telescope with a main mirror 4 feet wide, in a tube 40 feet long, supported on a huge scaffold frame. It was the world's largest for half a century, until Irishman William Parsons built one with a 6-foot main mirror (weighing three TONS), held up by stone walls looking straight of a medieval castle. In 1917, American Hale trumped that with a telescope main mirror of over 8 feet. Currently the world's largest telescope has a primary mirror over THIRTY-FOUR FEET across, large enough to park a bus on.
      • For amateur telescopes, in the mid 20th century 8 inches was considered fairly large. Now 16-inch telescopes are not uncommon, and there are some as large as 50 inches available to the wealthy amateur astronomer, so big you need to stand on a ladder to look through the eyepiece.
      • And then there's the RB-16, a pair of binoculars where EACH SIDE is 16 inches across. (And you look through them backwards, facing the opposite way to the view you see.)