Created By: Ambi Valent on October 14, 2009
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Absurdly Youthful Mother

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When you subtract the age (or apparent age) of a child from that of their parent, Fridge Logic results. Typically done to justify a Hot Mom, but can sometimes lead to Unfortunate Implications.

In Real Life, if a girl is able to conceive this does not imply she is physically able to sustain the pregnancy and give birth without danger to her health. Also, even though she might have a crush at that age, she probably cannot emotionally handle having sex well, let alone pregnancy and motherhood. That being said, in the USA the average age for the first menstrual cycle is 12.5 years.

Please abstain from adding examples for teenage motherhood in Real Life here. Thank you.

Case I: A pregnancy at a rather young age is clearly implied or outright stated.

  • Anime: In Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu, Hale is 10 while his mother Weda is 24. It's the reason she lives in the jungle: Her city family kicked her out.
  • Webcomics: In El Goonish Shive, when Elliot's mother meets his female duplicate Ellen, she immediately accepts her as part of the family. She admits to herself that she always wanted a daughter, and that this time, she doesn't have to drop out.
  • Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail has Nailmi and Wydoncha Jugg, a mother-and-daughter pair of country/western singers who look almost identical. This being Leisure Suit Larry, the game hangs a lampshade on this, implying that Nailmi gave birth to Wydoncha at an improbably young age.
  • In the first episode of Gilmore Girls it is explicitly stated that Lorelei had Rory out of wedlock at age 16.
  • Kodomo no Omocha: Sana's birth mother was eleven when she gave birth.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: Kunio Murai's mother was 13 when she gave birth to him. (It was a Surprise Pregnancy.) The Live-Action Adaptation ups the age.
  • In Prince Of Tennis, Taka-san's friend Akutsu Jin from Yamabuki is fourteen, and his mother Yuuki is about 28. She insists on being called 'Yuuki-chan', even by Taka, leading to the other Seigaku regulars believing he has an older girlfriend. When they find out the truth, they freak and remark that she's a 'young mother'.
  • Atsuko Urameshi gave birth to Yusuke when she was just 15.
  • The mother in Go Nagai's Delinquent In Drag (not sure what the Japanese title was) gave birth to the title character in her early teens, explicitly stated in dialogue.
  • Gender reversed in The Shipping News, where the protagonist calculates that his grandfather must have been about 11 when he fathered a child. His aunt's reply is simply: "You don't know Newfoundlanders."

Case II: A parent apparently remaried, to someone much younger.

  • From Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure:
    Ted: [whispering to Bill] Your stepmom's cute.
    Bill: Shut up, Ted.
    Ted: Remember when she was a senior and we were freshmen?
    Bill: Shut up, Ted!

Case III: The ages are normal, but the parent looks younger.

  • Yuki's mother in Grandia III, who is 34 while he is sixteen, but looks about twenty. For most of the game, they have more of a sibling relationship than a typical parent/child one, made clearest by the fact that Yuki calls her "Miranda" rather than "Mom."
  • Seen It a Million Times in advertising.

Case IV: Children are born, then their age is Retconned.

This is SORAS.

Case V: Reasons like Time Travel, Magic, Bizarre Alien Biology or Really 700 Years Old characters.

  • You might not suspect it, but Drowtales' Queen Diva is a great grandma.
  • Tenchi Muyo! has several of these, perhaps most notably Washu being Ryoko's mother, despite the fact that Washu actually looks younger than Ryoko.
  • RahXephon has Quon, Ayato's "mom", who has been kept in stasis. Making her the same age as he is, and about half the age of his twin brother (Ayato too was kept in a kind of stasis)
  • In the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe, the hero Stephron is half-fairy. Fairies are unaging and Stephron has a hard time explaining to his beloved that these nubile women he is seen embracing are, in fact, his mother and his aunts, all of whom look younger than him.
  • Tsugumi in Ever17 doesn't look much older than her sixteen-year-old children, as she stopped aging at seventeen. You's mother is a more conventional really-young-looking parent... because her "daughter" is really a clone of herself that she had made when she was diagnosed with a terminal illness in her teens.
  • In one Sandman volume it's remarked that Orpheus' mother doesn't seem old enough to be his mother. This is understandable, since she is Calliope, an immortal muse from Greek myth. Less understandable is that despite being the child of Dream of the Endless and Calliope, Orpheus seems to be aging normally for a human...
  • Cable is about twice the age of both his parents.

Case VI: Unclear if it is one of the above or a case of Writers Cannot Do Math.

Compare Playing Gertrude if the actress playing the mother is absurdly youthful.
Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • October 12, 2009
    foxley
    case IV drives the plot in the Gilbert And Sullivan operetta Iolanthe. The hero Stephron is half-fairy. fairies are unaging and Stephron has a hard time explaining to his beloved that these nubile women he is seen embracing are, in fact, his mother and his aunts, all of whom look younger than him.
  • October 12, 2009
    KJMackley
    There is another case of Bizzare Alien Biology. The child grows faster than the mother.
  • October 12, 2009
    random surfer
    "Pregnamancy?"
  • October 13, 2009
    Chabal 2
    Snopes.com has an article about a girl getting pregnant and giving birth... at age five.
  • October 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    • Leisure Suit Larry: Love For Sail has a Case I example with Nailmi and Wydoncha Jugg, a mother-and-daughter pair of country/western singers who look almost identical. This being Leisure Suit Larry, the game hangs a lampshade on this, implying that Nailmi gave birth to Wydoncha at an improbably young age.
  • October 13, 2009
    Arilou
    Case V: Time travel or similar: Rah Xephon Has Quon, Ayato's "mom", who has been kept in stasis. Making her the same age as he is, and about half the age of his twin brother (Ayato too was kept in a kind of stasis

  • October 13, 2009
    FreezairForALimitedTime
    • There's a Case 1 in Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu. Hale is 10. His mother, Weda, is 24. In fact, she did get pregnant as a teenager and it's the reason she lives in the jungle: Her city family kicked her out.
  • October 13, 2009
    bluepenguin
    Tsugumi in Ever17 doesn't look much older than her sixteen-year-old children, as she stopped aging at seventeen. You's mother is a more conventional really-young-looking parent... because her "daughter" is really a clone of herself that she had made when she was diagnosed with a terminal illness in her teens.

    @random surfer: It's like pregnancy, only A Wizard Did It.
  • October 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    The Jetsons fall under case five: Jane is thirty-three and Judy is sixteen.
  • October 13, 2009
    Desertopa
    Yuki's mother in Grandia III, who is 34 while he is sixteen, but looks about twenty. For most of the game, they have more of a sibling relationship than a typical parent/child one, made clearest by the fact that Yuki calls her "Miranda" rather than "Mom."
  • October 13, 2009
    Prfnoff
    Don't we have this as Playing Gertrude?
  • October 13, 2009
    Freezer
    Playing Gertrude is more an actor trope along the lines of Dawson Casting. This refers to the characters themselves.

    Two Type III examples

  • October 13, 2009
    random surfer
    ^^That'd be Trouble not Mischief, unless Marvel used the exact same story (and same cop-out) twice.
  • October 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    • In one Sandman volume it's remarked that Orpheus' mother doesn't seem old enough to be his mother. This is understandable, since she is Calliope, an immortal muse from Greek myth. Less understandable is that despite being the child of Dream of the Endless and Calliope, Orpheus seems to be aging normally for a human...
  • October 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Gilmore Girls is of type I. In the first episode it is explicitly stated that Lorelei had Rory out of wedlock at age 16.
  • October 13, 2009
    dotchan
  • October 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Another type 1 anime example. In Prince Of Tennis, Taka-san's friend Akutsu Jin from Yamabuki is fourteen, and his mother Yuuki is... 28, I think? She insists on being called 'Yuuki-chan', even by Taka, leading to the other Seigaku regulars believing he has an older girlfriend. When they find out the truth, they freak and remark that she's a 'young mother'.
  • October 13, 2009
    Ambi Valent
    How should we deal with real life examples in this trope?
    • Don't include any at all
    • Only if the person in question went public, as in Riding In Cars With Boys
    • (other, less strict, demands)
    • Pick well-know examples without restrictions

    (I lean towards option 2)
  • October 13, 2009
    animeg3282
    I lean towards option 1.

  • October 13, 2009
    iwintheinternets?
    In Aliens: Female War, Ripley appears not at all older than the teenaged Newt. Despite being in her thirties when Newt was about six. Hrm.
  • October 13, 2009
    Sir Psycho Sexy
    Option 1.

    Also: Atsuko Urameshi gave birth to Yusuke when she was just 15.
  • October 13, 2009
    animeg3282
    In Fruits Basket, Ren has a child, Akito, who is in her twenties, but Ren looks 35, at most...

    Thinking about it, Kyoko might have had Tohru pretty young, as well.
  • October 13, 2009
    SKJAM
    • The mother in Go Nagai's Delinquent In Drag (not sure what the Japanese title was) gave birth to the title character in her early teens, explicitly stated in dialogue. So Type 1.
    • Unfortunately, this is an Eighties anime OAV I haven't seen in a while, so I'm blanking on the title. It's a Type 3; the protagonist's buddies point this out with "Our moms look like, well, mothers--yours is a total babe." Indeed, she's so young-looking and attractive that the protagonist is getting some uncomfortable feelings around her. The real fun starts when Mom sees a chat show "expert" who claims that the rise in juvenile delinquency is caused by boys not getting enough "motherly love"....
    • A Regency Romance I read the first couple of chapters of subverted this trope--the mother thinks it's in play, and dresses young to be mistaken for her daughter's sister. Sadly, while Mom is well-preserved, anyone who gets within arms' length can tell she's no spring chicken.
  • October 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    This trope shows up, albeit gender reversed, in the novel The Shipping News. The protagonist calculates that his grandfather must have been about 11 or so when he fathered a child, which the protagonist expresses as impossible. His aunt's reply is simply: "You don't know Newfoundlanders."
  • October 13, 2009
    Arilou
    Should Cable be mentioned here? He's about twice the age of both his parents.
  • October 14, 2009
    DoKnowButchie
    No, since both parents should have proper ages when they birthed him--although now that you mention it, where does SORAS fit into this? Where the ages look similar because the child itself was rapidly aged?

    On another note, I'm not sure Case II has much grounds to be here; stepmoms are a whole other kettle of fish from parents, and is often used for different tropes. Given that the trope itself is rather category heavy, I think it could stand to be eliminated, for now.
  • October 14, 2009
    Unknown%20Troper
    I guess the current categories can all remain, but some could contain just a link to the correct trope for the case (eg SORAS)
  • October 14, 2009
    dotchan
    Ahh, the Onizuka example - the character's name is Kunio Murai, his mother was indeed 13 when she gave birth to him. (It was a Surprise Pregnancy.)
  • October 14, 2009
    Known Unknown
    Given the prevalence of this in real life, I'm not so sure it's necessarily "absurd" anymore, at least not nowadays.
  • October 14, 2009
    Ambi Valent
    It's just more in the news these days, the actual teenage birth rate has declined over the last century.
  • October 14, 2009
    Ambi Valent
    I'm launching this now, since every time I edit, the system cuts off more text (and links) that I have to re-add. As a full trope, this limit wouldn't apply.
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