Shrinking - El

El's ability to shrink comes from an experimental growth serum he had been developing as part of his research at Humanidyne. He gave himself a large dose of the drug, but instead of merely changing his size – the effect it had had on the test bunnies – it gave him the ability to shrink down to an eighth his original size for a quarter of an hour before automatically returning to normal.

To activate the release of the hormone into his system, El presses on the gland at the back of his neck with his hand, a "neurological reflex". This spot can be pressed by others if need be, or be pressed against something hard, like water pipes or Billy's head.

El can lift small things when he's shrunk, like pencils and wires, but as a whole he has to strategize differently when he's little and compensate for the reduction in his height and strength by solving a problem creatively. Such as when he pushed the door release button that was too high up for him by swinging on the twine and using his weight and momentum to push it with his feet.

Sometimes the imposition of shrinking gets to El – having his clothes get forgotten or having to dress on the run – and he'll complain about it. He also doesn't want to use his shrinking in any way that seems demeaning, like the dancing puppet routine Billy asked him to do as part of their cover.


—Small Size

El can get through small spaces that nobody else can, and he can get inside of things that would otherwise be unreachable to the Misfits, such as the reactor control box at the nuclear plant. He has to be very careful about what he crawls into – he didn't judge the tiny exit hole out of the underground room very carefully and almost grew back to his normal size while stuck inside it.


El's tiny height is perfect for tasks that involve not being seen. He was able to cross Harry's backyard without getting noticed by anyone, and he was able to eavesdrop unnoticed in the back of Nate and Heddy's hot dog place.

—Convincing Measure

Seeing El shrink will prove to someone, without a doubt, that when the Misfits say freaky stuff works they're telling the truth.


Ropes and handcuffs can't hold El. As long as he can trigger the shrinking hormone, he can't be restrained at all. This is pretty useful since he and Billy get tied up together a lot. Though just because El shrinks out of the bonds, it doesn't help Billy get out – his hands are still going to be trapped.


Ironically, it's sometimes El growing back to his normal height that helps out, since it's extremely effective as a distraction.


El's height when he's shrunk is 11 inches. That's how come he fits into Ken doll clothes.

El will only remain shrunk for "about 14 minutes". That’s how long it takes for the hormone to wear off.

El can only shrink once an hour.

El's voice doesn't go through any change when he shrinks; it doesn't sound tiny to others, nor do their voices boom to him.

El's normal weight is somehow compensated for, because Billy and others easily hold him in their palms, and he didn't tear through the manila envelope when it was being carried around either.


El's clothes don't shrink with him when he shrinks, so he has to keep doll outfits on hand to change into. This also means one of the other Misfits has to mind his normal clothes so he can put them back on once he grows back. Since this often happens when the Misfits are leaving the scene, El has learned to dress quickly.

El's shrinking can be triggered accidentally, when he isn't expecting it.

Because El is so much smaller when he shrinks, heights are that much higher to him, and he has to be extra careful when he needs to climb around. Animals also become much larger in comparison to El; he could get into some sticky situations with them if he wasn't careful. The supercharged Boy Charles was more the comparative size of a lion than a lab mouse when El had to contend with her.


01-02. Deep Freeze

  • To show Billy that he shrinks
  • To help convince Johnny B
  • To get through the small window in the military lab

Convincing Measure

Small Size

03. Your Place Or Mayan?

  • When sealed in the underground room to get through the tiny exit

Small Size / Distraction

04. Guess What's Coming To Dinner?

  • In Harry's backyard to get across unseen and activate robot
  • In the van, tied with Billy, to get out of their bonds



05. Lost Link

  • Accidental   When Deanna throws her arms around his neck
  • To fit into the manila envelope and get 'mailed' to Logger

Sneaking / Distraction

06. Sort Of Looking For Gina

  • Accidental   When doorman grabs him and Billy by the neck
  • To get through opening in fountain doors and reach their locking mechanism

Small Size

07. Sonar... And Yet So Far

  • In the Flamingo Club to get through the vent into Chuck's office
  • Off-screen   When he and Billy are tied to the toilets, to get out of his bonds

Small Size


08. Steer Crazy

  • To get inside the reactor's control box and get the power back to the doors

Small Size

09. Fumble On The One

  • To hide on the serving tray when trying to get past guard and into cellar

Sneaking / Distraction

10. Twin Engines

  • Accidental   When Billy slaps him on the back

11. Grand Theft Bunny

12. Grand Elusion

  • To do a dancing puppet routine as part of Nikolai's magic act

Small Size

13. Once Upon A Night

  • When he and Billy are in the embassy to get out of the handcuffs


14. Center Of Attention

  • To help convince The Fly

Convincing Measure

15. Against All Oz

[only repeats in the flashbacks]

16. The Avenging Angel

  • To get into the back of Nate and Heddy's hot dog place and eavesdrop
  • Accidental   In Billy's wrestling nightmare when Billy tags him


17. Three Days Of The Blender

  • Accidental   In home movie when he's swatting at his collar

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