In the present work, we use atomic force microscopy nanomanipulation of 2D-material standing folds to investigate their mechanical deformation. Using graphene, h-BN and talc nanoscale wrinkles as testbeds, universal force–strain pathways are clearly uncovered and well-accounted for by an analytical model. Such universality further enables the investigation of each fold bending stiffness κas a function of its characteristic height h 0. We observe a more than tenfold increase of κ as h 0increases in the 10–100 nm range, with power-law behaviors of κ versus h 0 with exponents larger than unity for the three materials. This implies anomalous scaling of the mechanical responses of nano-objects made from these materials.