They were invented by 18th century writer Jonathan Swift for his novel Gulliver's Travels. In the novel, Lemuel Gulliver was attacked by an army of Lilliputians and tied to a sled. (TNG novel: Gulliver's Fugitives)
In 2266, an experience similar to that of Lemuel Gulliver in Lilliput being tied to a sled by tiny ropes by Lilliputians was had by James T. Kirk on the planet Kujal. Tiny General Kwy led an aerial assault of a dozen aircraft which fired bolas that whipped around Kirk and dragged him to the ground. He was gassed and hoisted by cranes onto a wheeled cart. (TOS comic: "Dwarf Planet")
In 2269, Kirk referred to the miniature Terra 10 city on Terratin as a Lilliputian city in his official log. The Human colony population had been shrunk by spiroid epsilon waves. (TOS episode: "The Terratin Incident")
In the 2340s on Rampart, a young girl named Amoret discovered a page from Part 1 of Gulliver's Travels. It thrilled her with its drawing of Lemuel Gulliver and description of Lilliput and Lilliputians, stories which were contraband on Rampart. (TNG novel: Gulliver's Fugitives)
In 2366, Deanna Troi had a waking dream in which Gulliver appeared at the last moment and heroically saved Jean-Luc Picard, William T. Riker, Data, Troi and a group of Dissenters from being killed on the planet Rampart. Gulliver appeared 100 feet tall and had tiny ropes hanging off his arms and legs, as if he'd just freed himself from the Lilliputians. (TNG novel: Gulliver's Fugitives)
In 2376, Picard was reminded of Lilliputians and Gulliver when he approached the USS Enterprise via a shuttlecraft and saw the thousands of Elaysians swarming over the ship. (TNG novel: Gemworld, Book One)
- TOS episode: "The Terratin Incident"
- TNG episode: "Evolution"
- TOS comic: "Dwarf Planet"
- TNG novel: Gulliver's Fugitives
- TNG novel: Gemworld, Book One
- VOY - Gateways novel: No Man's Land
- NF novel: After the Fall