For testing the correctness of SQL queries, e.g., evaluating student submissions in a database course, a standard practice is to execute the query in question on some test database instance and compare its result with that of the correct query. Given two queries $Q_1$ and $Q_2$, we say that a database instance $D$ is a counterexample (for $Q_1$ and $Q_2$) if $Q_1(D)$ differs from $Q_2(D)$; such a counterexample can serve as an explanation of why $Q_1$ and $Q_2$ are not equivalent. While the test database instance may serve as a counterexample, it may be too large or complex to read and understand where the inequivalence comes from. Therefore, in this paper, given a known counterexample $D$ for $Q_1$ and $Q_2$, we aim to find the smallest counterexample $D' \subseteq D$ where $Q_1(D') \neq Q_2(D')$. The problem in general is NP-hard. We give a suite of algorithms for finding the smallest counterexample for different classes of queries, some more tractable than others. We also present an efficient provenance-based algorithm for SPJUD queries that uses a constraint solver, and extend it to more complex queries with aggregation, group-by, and nested queries. We perform extensive experiments indicating the effectiveness and scalability of our solution on student queries from an undergraduate database course and on queries from the TPC-H benchmark. We also report a user study from the course where we deployed our tool to help students with an assignment on relational algebra.