Created By: Patworx on October 20, 2011 Last Edited By: 69BookWorM69 on December 12, 2011
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Kid Has a Point

Younger character(s) know better than older character(s)

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In Real Life, it is generally accepted as a fact that people grow smarter and wiser as they get older. Therefore, whenever a younger character turns out to be right over an older character, it's considered shocking or hilariously ironic. This trope can come into play if the child in question is Wise Beyond Their Years, but is brushed off or ignored because they're still Just a Kid. It needn't be limited to children vs. adults either; it's just as apt to arise in debates between adults of different generations, complete with references to the age gap.

This may be a case of Truth in Television to some degree. A younger generation often brings a fresher perspective to a situation than their elders, and they may also be more willing to question traditional concepts. What is more, novelty has no particular stigma for them, since for them most things are new.

Compare Adults Are Useless.

Not Now, Kiddo is the inversion of the trope.

Examples:

  • The Emperor's New Clothes climaxes when a child utters the obvious truth that the Emperor has no clothes.
  • The Baudelaire Orphans repeatedly in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
  • The protagonists of South Park tend to invoke this in episodes with An Aesop.
  • The Bible originated the expression, "Out of the Mouths of Babes" that relates to this trope.
  • This is a recurring theme in the Deryni works generally; younger people are seen to question and doubt old ideas: the fears promulgated by the Church hierarchy and the received wisdom (untested) of the High Deryni Lords of the Camberian Council. Some of the younger people even act on their different notions of the proper and the just. In particular:
    • Deryni Checkmate: During the meeting of the Curia on the Corwyn Interdict, Archbishop Corrigan (then Archbishop of Rhemuth and Loris's ally) reacted to the defiance of the younger Cardiel and his allies by "[throwing] up his hands in dismay. 'O Lord, deliver us from men with causes! Are we now to be schooled by our juniors?'"
    • High Deryni: In a meeting of the Camberian Council, Tiercel deClaron (the youngest member) mounts an eloquent defence of Morgan and Duncan when two other members deride them for being half-breeds. Tiercel starts with the proposition that they should be sought out "on bended knee, begging them to share their great knowledge with us" (referring to the pair's rumoured rediscovery of Healing, a talent lost for some two centuries). He goes on to suggest, based on what they know of the powers, that being Deryni may be an all-or-nothing proposition like other traits. After a long silence, Barrett deLaney quietly says, "We are well instructed by our juniors."
  • Talen from the Elenium has a knack for figuring out things before the adults.
  • In the movie 'Gregory's Girl' by Bill Forsyth, Gregory's younger sister Madeline is a classic example of this trope.
  • The Simpsons. There are a lot of episodes where Lisa manages to come up with a solution where adults have failed. She is usually more intelligent than Homer as well.
  • Gher from The Redemption of Althalus. He's not just The Smart Guy, he's a young smart guy.
  • My Little Pony:Friendship Is Magic: In the episode "Bridle Gossip", Apple Bloom is the only one to assume that Zecora isn't evil, contrast to the Mane 6 who are much older than her and guess Zecora is evil. Turns out Apple Bloom's assumption was correct all along.
  • World of Warcraft: Anduin Wrynn is calmer and more diplomatic than his father, which sometimes leads to this trope.
  • The movie Sleepless in Seattle is based on this premise. Jonah wants his sad father to remarry, so the boy takes the initiative to call a radio psychiatrist, setting off the whole sequence of events.
  • The Wesley in Star Trek.
Community Feedback Replies: 40
  • October 20, 2011
    GlennMagusHarvey
    Is this too People Sit On Chairs?

    Discuss.
  • October 20, 2011
    Patworx
    @Glenn Magus Harvey Well if the fact that the person who's right is a kid is an overwhelming theme, than it doesn't really count as People Sit On Chairs.
  • October 20, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    Contrast Not Now Kiddo
  • October 20, 2011
    MorganWick
    The laconic is the opposite of the title, I don't even know where the description stands, and I think the laconic describes Not Now Kiddo in its entirety (which can be played sympathetically to the kid).
  • October 20, 2011
    Patworx
    @Morgan Wick: I've edited the laconic. Will this work?
  • October 20, 2011
    Dcoetzee
    No the laconic still looks like Not Now Kiddo. Here's a draft of an alternative:

    When kids turns out to know better than adults
  • October 20, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Does it only have to be kids? I've seen the point made against young(er) adults by older ones, often by either asking, "Are we to be schooled by our juniors?" or by someone admitting, "We are well schooled by our juniors."
  • October 20, 2011
    Patworx
    @Dcoetzee: I think I'll that if you don't mind.

    69BookWorM69: I think I may add that as well.
  • October 20, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    I always hear this trope referred to as "Out of the mouths of babes" (the rest of the phrase is "oftimes come gems").
  • October 20, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Not sure if it counts, but in the Star Trek TOS episode "A Piece of the Action" Kirk says excatly ^ that in reference to a local kid, who is offended by the remark.
    Young street Urchin: You going to hit Krako out here? You open up and you'll be scragged from every window in the street. I can fix it for ya.
    Spock: Young man, this is likely to be quite hazardous.
    Kirk: Hold on, Spock. Out of the mouth of babes..
    Young street urchin: Who are you callin' a babe?
    Kirk: I'm callin' you a babe.
    Young street urchin: You callin' me a babe?
    Kirk: Yeah, I'm callin'- [Urchin produces a knife and holds it upto Kirk's face] I'm calling you a babe, but there's nothing personal in it.
  • October 21, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    @Patworx In that case, I'll dig up the specific examples this weekend.
  • October 21, 2011
    Patworx
    @randomsurfer: No, not quite what we're looking for.
  • October 21, 2011
    Koveras
    There is an idiom that goes something along the lines of "Out of the mouths of babes", which covers this. I believe it originates from Matthew 21:16, but it may be older than that.
  • October 21, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Literature examples (as promised):
    • This is a recurring theme in the Deryni works generally; younger people are seen to question and doubt old ideas: the fears promulgated by the Church hierarchy and the received wisdom (untested) of the High Deryni Lords of the Camberian Council. Some of the younger people even act on their different notions of the proper and the just. In particular:
      • Deryni Checkmate: During the meeting of the Curia on the Corwyn Interdict, Archbishop Corrigan (then Archbishop of Rhemuth and Loris's ally) reacted to the defiance of the younger Cardiel and his allies by "[throwing] up his hands in dismay. 'O Lord, deliver us from men with causes! Are we now to be schooled by our juniors?'"
      • High Deryni: In a meeting of the Camberian Council, Tiercel deClaron (the youngest member) mounts an eloquent defence of Morgan and Duncan when two other members deride them for being half-breeds. Tiercel starts with the proposition that they should be sought out "on bended knee, begging them to share their great knowledge with us" (referring to the pair's rumoured rediscovery of Healing, a talent lost for some two centuries). He goes on to suggest, based on what they know of the powers, that being Deryni may be an all-or-nothing proposition like other traits. After a long silence, Barrett deLaney quietly says, "We are well instructed by our juniors."
  • October 22, 2011
    Antigone3
    Another Literature example would be Talen from the Elenium, who has a knack for figuring out things before the adults.
  • October 23, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    In the description, you might put in a good word for the fresh perspective of youth compared to the tradition-bound views of the elders.
  • October 24, 2011
    yrrw
    Live-action film - in 'Gregory's Girl' by Bill Forsyth, Gregory's younger sister is a classic example of this trope.
  • October 25, 2011
    bulmabriefs144
    Not Now Kiddo is the inversion of the trope.
  • October 31, 2011
    TBeholder
    ^ mostly, since "not now" is not the only route to "disregard it".

  • October 31, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    ^That's true. Do we have a trope for flat out ignoring the kids, as opposed to dismissing them verbally?
  • October 31, 2011
    X2X
    This trope can come into play if the child in question is Wise Beyond Their Years, but is brushed off and ignored because they're still Just A Kid.
  • October 31, 2011
    Afrael
    Obvious example: Detective Conan. Of course, the protagonist keeps having a point because he is secretly a 17-year old super genius.
  • November 19, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Since this one had a skull icon, I tinkered with the description a bit (thanks X2X).
  • November 20, 2011
    ThreeferFAQMinorityChick
    Spirited Away has Chihiro, a child who is the protagonist, repeatedly warn her parents to not take any of the food left out in the place they decide to explore, but they decide to eat it anyway. They end up turning into pigs, kicking off the plot.
  • November 20, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    • Sonic SatAM does this in Sonic And Sally with Tails' intuition about the "Sally" Sonic brought home not really being Sally turns out to be right.
  • November 20, 2011
    Frogger5
    The Simpsons. There are a lot of episodes where Lisa manages to come up with a solution where adults have failed. She is usually more intelligent than Homer as well.
  • November 20, 2011
    condottiera
    This is probably a subtrope of Adults are Useless.
  • November 20, 2011
    Falco
  • December 2, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    Any more hats? More examples?
  • December 2, 2011
    MrTerroFace
    My Little Pony:Friendshipis Magic: In the episode "Bridle Gossip", Apple Bloom is the only one to assume that Zecora isn't evil, contrast to the Mane 6 who are much older than her and guess Zecora is evil. Turns out Apple Bloom's assumption was correct all along.
  • December 4, 2011
    Statalyzer
    Not a new trope. This is Adults Are Useless.
  • December 4, 2011
    Statalyzer
    Not a new trope. This is Adults Are Useless.
  • December 4, 2011
    Stratadrake
  • December 5, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    I'm not convinced this is Adults Are Useless, particularly involving stories that aren't simply putting stuff over on clueless adults/guardians/authority figures. I think there's also something in the intergenerational conflicts that only involve adults. Related to AAU, sure, but I think there's a split here.
  • December 6, 2011
    sxizzor
    World Of Warcraft: Anduin Wrynn is calmer and more diplomatic than his father, which sometimes leads to this trope.
  • December 9, 2011
    Met
    The movie Sleepless in Seattle is based on this premise. Jonah wants his sad father to remarry, so the boy takes the initiative to call a radio psychiatrist, setting off the whole sequence of events.
  • December 11, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    ^^^ This.
  • December 11, 2011
    Trotzky
  • December 12, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    Added another hat. Now it's at 5 hats; unless there's uncertainty as to the definition and/or title it's ready to launch.
  • December 12, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    I'm launching it. No one's raised any more objections to the distinction between this and Adults Are Useless.
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