Despicable Me Wiki
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Dr. Nefario, explaining the principle to Gru

The larger the mass of an object, the quicker the effects of the shrink ray wear off! I call It: The Nefario Principle!!! I just came up with it now, actually.

The Nefario Principle is a scientific law that is fundamental to the limits of what a typical high-powered Shrink Ray can do with respect to the object that it acts upon.


Nefario claims to have come up with this principle soon after the discovery that the shrunken objects in his lab are returning to their original size in time scales that are longer for less massive objects.

Nefario likely named the principle on the spot, after himself, as he was the first to discover Gru's airship's restoration after two days. His claims indicate the duration of the shrink ray's effects are inversely proportional to the target's size.

Despicable Me[]

Although Gru's Ship returns to normal far earlier, the Nefario Principle was only directly mentioned moments after Nefario rescues Gru in the ship, revealing it after Gru questions the ship's recovery. Both he and Gru realized they'll have to rescue Agnes, Edith and Margo from Vector before the moon returns to its original size. The expanding moon causes havoc inside Vector's escape pod and eventually destroys it, leaving Vector trapped as it ascends and returns to outer space.