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->''Son of man, look to the sky\\
Lift your spirit, set it free\\
Some day you'll walk tall with pride\\
Son of man, a man in time you'll be!''
--> -- '''''Disney/{{Tarzan}}''''', "Son of Man"

A story featuring an adolescent making the mental leap from child to adult. In real life, this happens over the course of several years. Literature and some television are media that have the space to show the story at a slow pace. But for a movie, things have to be compressed to several months at the most, so expect some ''really'' accelerated character development. Tends to happen to a character anywhere from 13 to 20 years of age.

'''Usually includes some combination of the following:'''
* DeathByNewberyMedal
* DownTheRabbitHole
* TheHerosJourney
* First disagreement with parents.[[note]][[CaptainObvious Outside of things like "I don't want to go to bed", that is.]][[/note]]
* First experimentation with drugs, alcohol, tobacco or any combination of the three.
* GrowingUpSucks
** Having OneLastFieldTrip
* The divorce of the main character's parents.
* SexAsRiteOfPassage
* [[StrengthEqualsWorthiness Combat]] (often replaced with sports in more peaceful times)
* [[ARealManIsAKiller Hunting]] or the main character getting his or her first job

An increasingly popular comedy subversion is the ''Delayed Coming of Age Story'', in which the person has remained mentally a child his entire life and only finally experiences these things sometime between his late 20s and mid-40s.

Mainstream film coming-of-age stories tend toward {{dramedy}}. Independent film or novel stories lean toward drama, sometimes jumping headlong into {{Wangst}}.

The word ''bildungsroman'' (Ger. "educational novel") or ''bildungsgeschichte'' (Ger. "educational story") are sometimes used to describe these kinds of stories. A note on the translation: the terms originated in the Age of Enlightenment, when "Bildung" meant not only "education" but also "self-improvement" (cf. English "building"). In other words, it's not a "novel to educate the readers" but a "novel about the hero becoming someone".

See also AgeProgressionSong.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The entire subplot of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' is essentially Gohan growing up with adventures similar to Goku's, his father, albeit far more violent. Like its predecessor, ''Manga/DragonBall'', the series ends when Gohan [[spoiler:is married and has a family of his own.]]
* ''Manga/CandyCandy'' covers Candy's whole life since she was taken in by Miss Pony and Sister Maria as a baby, until she's at least in her twenties.
%%* ''VisualNovel/EfAFairyTaleOfTheTwo''
* ''[[Manga/{{Naruto}} Naruto Shippuden]]'' shows the title character's growth from the least talented ''and'' least loved ninja in his village to a fully recognized prodigy who has saved thousands of people and faced down some of the worst criminals the world has to offer.
** Also (to an extent) Sasuke, who has matured from being the [[TheRival Rival]] to being homicidally crazy.
* ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' and its sequels, ''Anime/{{Macross 7}}'' and ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'', with Hikaru Ichijo being the first in the franchise to fit this trope. He starts off not wanting anything to do with the military, but the death of [[spoiler:Roy Fokker]] forces him to mature and become a great pilot.
* Amuro Ray of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' was probably the best of the earliest examples in mecha anime. Amuro got [[GetAHoldOfYourselfMan/{{Gundam}} slapped very often by Bright Noa]] and this helped shape him into a man. Even Bright explicitly tells him that a good smacking would force him to become one.
** Kamille Bidan in the sequel ''MobileSuitZetaGundam'' is forced to mature to an even greater extent, as he faces the harsh circumstances of warfare, starts having a romantic relationship, and loses many of his loved ones.
* ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'', but since it's made by StudioGainax, it's a coming of age story combined with HumongousMecha, a MindScrew plot, and [[FreudWasRight loads of confusing and gratuitous sexual symbolism]] and [[RuleOfFunny humor.]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' is a subversion: It's about most of the people ''failing'' to come of age and suffering for it. Really, Shinji learns almost nothing until the very end of TheMovie. And by then it's [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt way too late]].
%%* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', also made by StudioGainax, plays this straight.
* If you boil all the UnwantedHarem bits and leave only the core of the plot, you can see that ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' is basically a story of Negi growing from good-natured and smart but somewhat clumsy and socially awkward kid into a great hero, a true successor to his legendary father. Only with magic and kung-fu. It's also a literal coming of age story, as his constant use of Evangeline's YearInsideHourOutside resort has presumably aged him up by at least a year.
* ''Manga/{{Narutaru}}''. Shiina copes with loss and tragedy and learns a great deal about friendship, love, and the complexities of people and the world. [[spoiler:[[KillEmAll Then she and her partner/ShadowArchetype, Mamiko, wipe out all of mankind together]].]]
%%* ''NowAndThenHereAndThere''
%%* ''Anime/{{Piano}}''
* ''Manga/{{Mokke}}'', where ghosts are being used to illustrate [[AnAesop lessons about life]].
%%* ''Manga/BinbouShimaiMonogatari''
* The main premise of ''Manga/HidamariSketch'' centers on Yuno's desire to be seen as mature. {{Lampshaded}}, as she becomes overjoyed every time someone compliments her on her supposed maturity.
%%* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', {{Lampshade}}d so many times by so many characters you'd think they're paid for it.
%%* ''Anime/WindyTales''
* ''Manga/{{Hitohira}}'': Shy school girl—check. Situation that forces change—check. Affectionate friends to help her—check. It's still very well done, though.
%%* ''Anime/DiamondDaydreams''
%%* ''Manga/FutatsuNoSpica''
* ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'', when it boils down to it. It's really mostly about [[ButtMonkey Tsuna]] being shaped and [[TrainingFromHell trained]] by Reborn into becoming a real man fit for being the 10th Generation Vongola boss.
* ''Anime/AshitaNoNadja'': It starts when Nadja has to leave the only home she has known, travelling with the Dandelion Troupe to find her origins and grow up...
%%* ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' showed the maturation of several characters, even beside the protagonist Renton.
* ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'' seems to be a coming-of-age story for Rosette, particularly in the manga. It might be one for Chrono as well, although he'd be a "late bloomer" example as he's ReallySevenHundredYearsOld.
%%* ''Manga/AoiHana''
%%* Most Creator/StudioGhibli movies, including ''Anime/SpiritedAway'' and ''Anime/TheCatReturns''. Creator/HayaoMiyazaki loves this trope as this can also apply at least partially to ''Anime/PrincessMononoke'', ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'', and ''Anime/CastleInTheSky''.
%%* ''Manga/OnaniMasterKurosawa'', in [[IncrediblyLamePun every sense of the word.]]
* ''Manga/{{Real}}'' heartbreakingly deals with teenagers forced to grow up because of the disabilities that they've suddenly had to accept in order to deal with the world around them.
* ''Manga/FullMoonOSagashite'' deals with the protagonist, Mitsuki, having to grow up while dealing with the fact that she doesn't have much time to live.
* ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' is a coming-of-age story, among other things, for [[RagtagBunchOfMisfits just about all the good guys]]--especially Miaka. While it takes somewhere between a few weeks to a few months for them to finish their journey in the book, it's only [[YearInsideHourOutside two days in the real world]].
%%* ''Manga/CrossGame''.
%%* A main point in ''Anime/NieaUnder7'', at least for [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Mayuko]].
%%* ''Anime/UtaKata''.
%%* ''Anime/NanakaSixSeventeen''.
* ''Manga/SakendeYaruze'' is basically a ComingOfAgeStory for Nakaya that runs parallel to a ChildrenRaiseYou story for his father Shino.
* ''Anime/GunXSword'' is a coming of age story for Wendy. It's not the main plot, but it's a pretty important subplot.
%%* ''Anime/{{Tamayura}}'': The story is centred around Fu and her friends learning of their aspirations for the future, and in Fu's case, coming to terms with her own interests and her father's memories.
* Almost all of the ''Anime/WorldMasterpieceTheater'' series are Coming of Age-stories, but it's played the straightest in ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables'', where Anne visually [[AnimationAnatomyAging gets older]] as the story progresses.
%%* ''Manga/{{Galaxy Express 999}}'' is sometimes described as being a sci-fi bildungsroman.
* ''Anime/{{Megazone 23}}'', at least the first part. It contains elements of most of the examples from the top of this page and [[spoiler:ends on a decidely [[DownerEnding negative]] [[CrapsackWorld note]]]].
* ''Manga/WanderingSon'' has this, but the anime and manga portray it in a different way. The anime seems to be more so about kids learning to be comfortable with their bodies and growing up, apparently changing the protagonists from {{Transsexual}} to simple {{Wholesome Crossdresser}}s. The manga isn't nearly as obvious as the anime, but it's still apparent. The manga began in late elementary, and follows the protagonists to early high school.
%%* ''Anime/TokyoMagnitude8''.
* Once you look past the FanService, many of MasakazuKatsura's works turn out to be this. Specially obvious in ''Manga/VideoGirlAi'' and ''Manga/{{Is}}'': both of them feature highschool students dealing with their friendships, viewpoints in life, and their first romantic and sexual experiences.
* Aside from the UnwantedHarem elements, ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' is this for Tsukune. He starts of as a directionless OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent, but gradually becomes a more mature and confident individual, and dedicates himself to promoting peaceful relations between humans and monsters.
%%* In ''Manga/{{Ciguatera}}'' the main character matures greatly by the end of the story.
* ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'' boils down to the main character growing out of his wimpy kid mold and becoming a man (albeit a rather wimpy man).
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'' features this in the first two generations with their protagonists, Flit and Asemu Asuno, respectively, though their development differs wildly (Flit develops from a MessianicArchetype into [[spoiler:a DarkMessiah]], whereas Asemu develops from a WellDoneSonGuy into [[BeYourself his own person]]).
* ''Manga/ACruelGodReigns'' is very much a coming of age story for not only Jeremy and Ian, but also for many of the supporting characters, like Vivi, Nadia, William, Cass, and Marjorie. However, the story focuses mainly on how Jeremy and Ian break into adulthood after the trauma of Jeremy's RapeAsBackstory and Ian dealing with the fact that Jeremy killed his father.
* ''Manga/SangatsuNoLion'' is essentially one for the protagonist Rei Kiriyama, as many of the story arcs build upon his Character Development with the events that transpire in both the world of shogi and his home life, as well as with the life lessons he learns from them.
* ''LightNovel/FateZero'' has this as a subplot, specifically Waver Velvet, a mage with great potential only marred by his belief of his genetics limiting him and his self-hatred due to how he was treated by others. He learns to stand up for himself, by entering the Holy Grail War and teaming up with a BoisterousBruiser version of Alexander The Great, who functions as Waver's mentor figure.
* This is the main plot for ''Anime/MyDaddyLongLegs'', which chronicles Judy's development from a young teenager to an adult.
* OyasumiPunpun is a particularly dark (and strange) example.
* ''Manga/RingNiKakero'' doubles as this and as a sports manga. Ryuuji and Kiku, the main characters, escape as children from an abusive household and decide to fulfill their shared dream to have Ryuuji become the best boxer in the world. In their way they grow not just as a boxer and his trainer, but as persons as well.
** Come to think of it, more than one sports manga serves as this as well. Many protagonists tend to be kids who are either DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife or have difficulties making friends, then find their life goals and/or new relationships via entering the school clubs.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
%%* Franchise/{{Spider-Man}}, in nearly all his incarnations.
%%* ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}''
%%* ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'', with a heavy dose of PubertySuperpower.
%%* ''ComicBook/AmericanBornChinese'', for all three of the stories.
* ''ComicBook/TheFlash'': Barry Allen died just when Wally West was transitioning into adulthood. Wally's CharacterDevelopment as the the new Flash thus played out like this.
* In ''ComicBook/TalesOfTheJedi'', the last arc, "Redemption," centers around Vima Sunrider when she becomes old enough for Jedi training. She starts as a rash and lonely girl, but with the help of the Force, seeks out Ulic Qel-Droma as her teacher and gains the maturity she needs to be a Jedi.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfTime'' is this for the ''WesternAnimation/SherlockHolmesInTheTwentySecondCentury'' character Beth Lestrade, who is fifteen when we first meet her, seventeen next time... And then we follow her for nearly a year, 'til she finally [[EarnYourHappyEnding Earns Her Happy Ending]] and marries a certain [[Franchise/SherlockHolmes Great Detective]]... Her five episodes constitute a complete [[TheHerosJourney Hero's Journey]].
* This is the plot behind the entire series of Fanfic/PokemonTheGreatAdventure. Ash travels across the régions with a mysterious mentor and learns to become a stronger Trainer and Aura Guardian while growing up and facing the reality of life.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
%%* ''Literature/ALittlePrincess''
%%* ''Film/DrivingLessons''
%%* ''Film/BreakingAway''
%%* ''Film/SLCPunk''
%%* ''Film/EdgeOfSeventeen''
* ''TheApuTrilogy'' of Bengali films directed by SatyajitRay, based on the novels ''Literature/PatherPanchali'' and ''Literature/{{Aparajito}}'', follow the coming of age of the protagonist Apu Roy over thirty years. It is often considered one of cinema's greatest ''bildungsroman'' stories.
%%* A fairly large portion of Australian movies are examples of this. They also tend to be rather samey--''Film/DecemberBoys'' is probably the most notable example of recent years, only because it had Creator/DanielRadcliffe in it, and [[NeverTrustATrailer promoting largely used his role in it even though it was relatively minor.]]
* ''[[Film/ANewHope Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope]]'' and ''[[Film/ThePhantomMenace Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace]]'' for Luke, Leia, Anakin, and Padme. Luke and Anakin Skywalker leave their home and family to begin their training as Jedi Knights while Princess Leia and Padme Amidala have to prove themselves as successful leaders.
%%* ''Film/NowAndThen''
%%* ''Film/TheGraduate''.
%%* 17-year-old Baby goes through this in ''Film/DirtyDancing''.
* The overriding plot of ''Film/ABronxTale'', where teenage Italian-American youth Calogero grows up in the changing and divided world of the 1960s while trying to find his way. Influences pulling him in different directions include, but are not exclusive to his OpposedMentors, (one being his honest, hardworking and poor immigrant father, the other being the intelligent AffablyEvil and wealthy Mafia capo who is like a [[ParentalSubstitute surrogate father]] to him) his racist, thuggish neighborhood friends, and his black love interest.
%%* A perennial subgenre is the teenaged ensemble comedy. Examples include:
%%** ''Film/AmericanGraffiti''
%%** ''CooleyHigh''
%%** ''Film/FastTimesAtRidgemontHigh''
%%** ''Film/StandByMe''
%%** ''TheOutsiders''
%%** ''Film/DazedAndConfused''
%%** The ''Film/AmericanPie'' franchise
%%** Many of Creator/JohnHughes' 1980s films (''Film/SixteenCandles'', ''Film/PrettyInPink'', ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'') could be regarded as examples of this.
%%* Many interpret ''WesternAnimation/TheThiefAndTheCobbler'' as this for the main character Tack, who begins the story skinny, pale, and mute, but by the end [[spoiler: becomes muscular, tan, is much more confident in himself and has the voice of Sean Connery!]]
%%* ''Film/MysteryTeam'' is the Coming of Age Story for three eighteen year old men who still act and behave like seven year olds.
* ''Film/{{Super8}}'' is the tale of a young boy and the girl he likes coming to grips with a shared family tragedy... while a scary escaped alien runs amok in their town.
%%* ''Film/{{Stilyagi}}''.
%%* ''Film/HighSchoolMusical''.
%%* ''Film/MouthToMouth''.
%%* ''Film/BeastsOfTheSouthernWild''
* ''Film/TheWayWayBack'': Summer vacation, first job and a family crisis.
* ''Film/TheWiseKids'' involves CrisisOfFaith and dealing with sexuality in a heavily Christian small town.
* ''Film/RenaissanceMan'' treats several of the Army students in Mr. Ringo's class in this manner.
* ''Film/BlueIsTheWarmestColour'''s more accurate title is ''Life of Adele: Chapters 1 and 2'' rather than ''Blue is the Warmest Colour'' as [[ComicBook/BlueIsTheWarmestColour the comicbook]]. The film is more of a chronicle of how Adele transitions from adolescence to adulthood rather than a lesbian love story even though their relationship is the centerpiece of Adele's life.
* ''Film/TheWayHeLooks'' deals with both sexuality and wanting to be independent, with being handicapped as an obstacle.
* ''Film/SecondhandLions'': A boy is left with his two crotchety uncles while his mother goes out of state to work. At first it's all awkward discomfort, but then they warm up to each other, and one of the uncles tell the boy stories about their "[[UnreliableNarrator past exploits.]]" By the end he has grown from his shy awkward self, to a self-confident young man determined to take charge of his own life.
--> '''Tagline:''' Every boy deserves an adventure.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Most--but not all--winners of the NewberyMedal. %%please add a short list of indented examples, with a brief description for each
* Each book in ''Literature/AnnalsOfTheWesternShore'' is this, for different reasons:
** In ''Gifts'', Orrec and Gry grow up in a society that values magic powers for their ability to dominate and wage war on their neighbors--something neither of them are interested in doing, putting them in an uncomfortable position with their families.
** In ''Voices'', Memer grows up hating the Alds for [[OccupiersOutOfOurCountry their brutal occupation of her city]], but slowly comes to realize that simple revenge won't help, and they're really NotSoDifferent.
** In ''Powers'', Gavir's various illusions about the world and the people in it are shattered when his comfortable HappinessInSlavery is destroyed by war and personal tragedy, forcing him to travel far and wide (and learn even more hard lessons).
%%* ''Literature/ASeparatePeace''
%%* ''Literature/AudreyWait''
%%* ''Literature/CityOfThieves'' is a coming of age story. Takes place in WWII, eastern front. (and no, the main character is not on the front lines)
%%* ''Literature/TheChosen''.
%%* ''Literature/{{Thumbsucker}}''.
%%* ''Literature/RunningWithScissors''.
* Nearly anything written by Creator/JudyBlume.
* ''Literature/TheConfusionsOfYoungTorless'' is one of these, with a heaping helping of expressionism, aristocratic teen angst, and [[BoardingSchoolOfHorrors violence]].
%%* ''Literature/TheSoundOfWaves''.
%%* ''Literature/BlackDogs'' is a version of this trope that takes place in a fantasy setting.
%%* ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain''.
%%* ''Literature/FunnyBoy''.
%%* ''Literature/{{Holes}}''.
%%* ''Literature/BriansSaga''.
%%* ''Literature/AboutABoy''.
%%* ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' features this as a recurring element throughout the various novel series.
%%* ''Literature/TheRottersClub''
%%* ''Literature/StarterForTen'' - verging on Delayed, it's the character's first year at university.
%%* ''Literature/QuantumGravity'' - Both for Lila and Zal, who figure out how to let people in again.
* The Bengali novels ''Literature/PatherPanchali'' and ''Literature/{{Aparajito}}'' follow the coming of age of the protagonist Apu Roy over thirty years. It was adapted into ''TheApuTrilogy'' of films by SatyajitRay.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': The seven books each cover a year of the eponymous Harry Potter's life, primarily showing ages 11 through 17. Although the series is ostensibly about Harry's struggle against the evil wizard Voldemort, his growth from a child through adolescence into adulthood is a major theme, and the bulk of each book is about his time as a student at the strange but wonderful Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
%%* ''Discworld/{{Mort}}'', ''Discworld/SoulMusic'' and ''Discworld/TheWeeFreeMen''. In fact, the Tiffany Aching books are an extended Coming of Age for Tiffany.
%%* ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables.'' She grows the most in the first book, and the last book is a Coming Of Age of her daughter, Rilla.
* ''Literature/JaneEyre'' is all about how the title character transforms from angry, poor, unwanted little girl into an emotionally and financially secure woman who is the equal (and perhaps the better) of her love interest, Mr. Rochester.
%%* ''Literature/{{Sabriel}}'', when it's not a story of a BadassBookworm fighting off killer zombies.
%%* ''Literature/OfHumanBondage''
* ''Literature/FeverPitch'': The book, not the movies. Describes the author's own coming of age through his relationship with [[TheBeautifulGame football]] and his favourite club.
%%* ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'' is this for protagonist Simon, concurrent to his involvement in a cataclysmic war.
* ''Literature/OrangesAreNotTheOnlyFruit'' deals with a young evangelical girl who grows up to find that she's a lesbian, and how this contrasts with her religion.
* ''Literature/PurpleHibiscus'': Kambili and her brother Jaja learn to deal with [[AbusiveParents their father's abuse]], civil unrest and eventually [[spoiler: their father's murder.]]
%%* ''Literature/InheritanceCycle''.
* The ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'' is this in a SwordAndSorcery setting. Garion is a teenager through most of the story, but the first book covers his childhood from the beginning. As Garion is painfully IgnorantOfTheCall, the series deals largely with his coming to terms with being special. LoveInterest Ce'Nedra is also forced to grow up, maturing from spoiled princess to responsible queen.
%%* ''Literature/TheChangeover'' has the protagonist, Laura's journey to womanhood illustrated a bit more literally than some, with a ritual designed to help her 'cross over' and become a witch. It's bluntly stated at some point in the book that being magical is almost solely a woman's domain.
* Everything in the ''Literature/TortallUniverse''.
** ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' has Alanna learning to enjoy being a girl and stop fearing love while she faces numerous dangers to herself and the realm.
** ''Literature/TheImmortals'' is about Daine moving beyond the sudden death of her mother, finding new friends, mastering her wild magic and gaining unlikely allies with animals and the "monsters" invading Tortall.
** ''Literature/ProtectorOfTheSmall'' has Keladry following in the footsteps of Alanna and dealing with misogyny and other kinds of prejudice, teenage crushes, and deciding what chivalry means to her (for the answer, take another look at the title of her series).
** Aly of ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness'' is the daughter of a legend and leads a life that's both idle and frustrated until she's dumped into another country's burgeoning civil war, where she gains a real sense of maturity about spywork.
** In ''Literature/ProvostsDog'', Beka goes from a ShrinkingViolet to a tough cop who manages to get justice despite the corruption, logistical, and bureaucratic difficulties of Tortall's nascent police force.
%%* ''Literature/AShadowGirlsSummerOfLoveAndMadness''
%%* ''Literature/GivesLight for both of the main characters.''
* ''Literature/ZahrahTheWindseeker'' begins with Zahrah's parents celebrating her becoming a woman (her menarche), which is followed by a quest as well as a journey of self-discovery in the [[HungryJungle Forbidden Greeny Jungle]].
* ''Literature/{{Idlewild}}'' is the story of a teenage boy who realizes his world has been shaped by lying adults and is faced with the responsibility to support himself and others. Also, there's an apocalypse.
* ''Literature/APortraitOfTheArtistAsAYoungMan'' follows the struggles of AuthorAvatar Stephen Dedalus as he tries to grow up and not to be shackled down by the political and familial situations he was born into.
* Author SarahDessen specializes in these. All of her novels are coming of age stories for her protagonist, usually following their last school year or last summer before college as they come to terms with their messed up families, gain some true friends and/or fall in love for the first time (sometimes all three).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'': Nellie and Willie Oleson both do this in the later years of the series, shedding their mama's pampering – much to her chagrin – to become responsible, hard-working adults. Nellie did this in the Season 6 finale, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not," while Willie's stories gradually came in the final two seasons over multiple episodes..
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' depicts Franchise/{{Superman}}'s teenage years, and deals with both his and his friends' maturation into adults. Along the way, many a monster is defeated.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' uses this as a common theme. Most of the companions go through a coming of age brought about by their travels with the Doctor. %%Examples, please.
* ''Series/MyMadFatDiary'' chronicles the life of Rae, a 16-year old girl suffering from both mental health problems and obesity. %%Expand a bit, please
* {{HBO}}'s ''Series/{{Rome}}'' contains a few examples. Brutus goes from a half drunk socialite controlled by the whims of fate and his manipulative mother to a self possessed stoic cutting the straps from his armor as he walks alone against an entire platoon. Octavian meanwhile goes from a geeky wimp at the start of the series to a very, very, creepy MagnificentBastard in the close.
%%* ''Series/SugarRush''
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'':
** The series as a whole revolves around the eponymous Malcolm and his journey through adolescence; as a genius-level teenager, he is often under pressure by those around him, and struggles to find a healthy balance between living up to his potential and doing teenager stuff. His older brother, Reese, is an unintelligent bully who gradually comes to realise that his antisocial behaviour won't work in real life.
** revolved around Malcolm trying to help his classmate Dabney get into a paintball match despite the resistance of [[MyBelovedSmother Dabney's overbearing mom.]] Once Dabney unleashes years of repressed aggression, his mom comes around to try to drag him off.
--> '''Dabney''': I'm not your little boy anymore. I'm your little ''man''!
* Troy has one in the ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "[[Recap/CommunityS2E10MixologyCertification Mixology Certification]]". Over the course of the night on his 21st birthday, his idolization of Jeff and Britta is replaced with the realization they can be just as ignorant as he is at times. Jeff even explicitly tells him he is a man now.
* ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' is about an eleven year old who doesn't understand anything about his entire life but is told love is worth it. As he grows up he learns to understand life and love until he reaches the point where he and his life partner set out into the unknown together.
** The SequelSeries ''Series/GirlMeetsWorld'' is about Cory and Topanga's daughter Riley facing the same life challenges that her father did when he was her age.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' had one in the episode 'Holoship'. Rimmer seems to realize that he doesn't want to be an officer. He wants someone who will love him. Hence why he's not super-excited when he becomes one, and he immediately gives it up when he realizes the woman he loves can't be with him.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Mythology]]
* [[ClassicalMythology Persephone’s myth]] is sometimes interpreted as a story of moving from girlhood to womanhood. Persephone leaves her mother’s side (albeit unwillingly) and takes on new responsibilities as a wife and Queen of the Underworld.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop RPG]]

* ''TabletopGame/MisspentYouth'' is a game where you play as a rebellious youth. Predictably, growing up is a central theme, and is even a central mechanic of the game. A player can Sell Out one of his or her Convictions to--amongst other choices--grow up, losing the Conviction permanently, but hopefully winning a conflict. The game ends when a player runs out of Convictions--potentially having grown up completely.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* The musical ''Theatre/AChorusLine'' crams sixteen coming-of-age stories into the montage "Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love".
* ''Theatre/Thirteen'' is the literal version of this since it is about the main character's Bar Mitzvah. Of course he is forced to grow up and figure out who his real friends are when he moves to a new town and tries to have the biggest party ''ever''.
* ''Theatre/Vanities'' follows three women from high school in 1963 to college in 1968, and adulthood in 1974, and the musical version adds a fourth act set in the 1980's.
* Shakespeare's four plays, ''Theatre/RichardII'', ''Theatre/HenryIVPart1'', ''Theatre/HenryIVPart2'' and ''Theatre/HenryV'' either depict the wayward Prince Hal's coming of age and taking the throne as a triumphant warrior king, or it depicts Prince Hal tricking everyone into believing it's his coming of age story.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Videogame/MegaManStarForce'' seems to be one of these, as the main character (Geo) starts out by [[HikikoMori shutting out the world]] in the first game, then grows up through the second game, so that by the third he is able to step up and take charge of the gang when [[ClassRepresentative Luna Platz]] has been [[DisneyDeath datafied]].
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' this is [[BloodKnight Grunt's]] loyalty mission. As a young member of his species, and a tank-bred clone for that matter, finding an identity is important to him. Being a Krogan, Grunt's coming-of-age ceremony relates to him learning to control his innate aggressions; on a more abstract level, he is often seeking the advice and approval of those around him, and interactions with him typically entail helping him sort out his identity and making him a valuable member of his current group.
* Both the A and B routes of ''Videogame/BlazeUnion'', which deal with Gulcasa and Aegina respectively. The A route goes over more of the [[GrowingUpSucks traditional]] [[SexAsRiteOfPassage story]] [[ComingOutStory elements]] covered by this trope, whereas Aegina's path deals more with coming to terms with grief and the truth and finding one's place in the world.
* Some ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games play with this. Ostensibly, a meek kid from a town in the middle of nowhere becomes powerful and confident, growing more mature over their journey and becoming a battle protégé. The first installment in the series even refers to the protagonists journey as this. From the player's perspective, the PlayerCharacter, who is largely [[FeaturelessProtagonist featureless]], is mostly a receptacle for other characters to speak into, with your rival(s) receiving the actual character development; the player is left to imagine the player character's maturation for himself.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' is often seen as one. After all your player character goes from a teenager in a fallout shelter to being the hardened survivor of the wasteland.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' for Luke. He starts out as a self-centered, sheltered brat, goes through phases of {{Jerkass}}, HeroicBSOD, TheAtoner and various identity complexes, and ends up declaring his independence from the quasi-father-figure BigBad and saving the world. Yay!
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces'' is also ''technically'' a coming of age story, due to the prologue-maingame-future arc structure, but the development is spread across five characters - Asbel, Cheria, Hubert, Richard ''and'' Sophie - so it ends up a little less focused.
** "VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia" acts as a moral coming-of-age for all its characters as well.
* ''VideoGame/BeyondTwoSouls'' is essentially a story of Jodie evolving from shy child, through angsty teenager, to badass adult, all the while learning to cope with her otherness and loneliness resulting from it.
* ''VideoGame/BrothersATaleOfTwoSons'' becomes a coming of age story for the younger brother, the catalyst for growth being [[spoiler:his older brother's death.]] Near the end, he overcomes his fear of water [[spoiler:by swimming across a river alone. Made more powerful by the fact that this is triggered by the action button that is normally reserved for the older brother.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'' is largely the story of how Riki, a rather meek and unconfident young man constantly following after his friends, manages to become stronger and more able to handle things on his own. To a slightly lesser extent, the same is also true for Rin.
* All three of ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'''s routes, each corresponding to a different one of the ThreeFacesOfAdam. The first two (corresponding to the hunter and the lord) leave some of his future developments open. The last route, ''Heaven's Feel'' (corresponding to the prophet), follows it to its inevitable conclusion.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' has a rather subtle story arc featuring Brooklyn changing from a wild-hearted hipster into an effective second-in-command and a brilliant strategist, yet a romantically frustrated character. The episode ''Kingdom'' highlights this.
* The CharacterDevelopment of Sokka, Katara, but especially [[KidHero Aang]] and [[WellDoneSonGuy Zuko]] of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' involves a lot of this.
* The main themes of the ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' trilogy revolve around growing up, moving on, and that nothing lasts forever. Andy goes from being a carefree young boy to [[WesternAnimation/ToyStory3 a young man heading off to college]], and his toys realizing, and eventually facing the fact that Andy will inevitably outgrow them.
-->"How long will it last Woody? Do you really think Andy is going to take you to college? Or on his honeymoon? Andy's growing up...and there's nothing you can do about it."
%%* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'' is a college campus coming-of-age story mainly for Mike Wazowski as well as Sully.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** The show has been toying with these in later seasons. "You're Getting Old" and "Assburgers" plays this mostly straight for Stan; "1%" flips this trope around in its handling of Cartman.
** "Smug Alert!" has the town realize that their own smugness caused a terrible storm and that driving hybrid cars was the sole cause of it, even though Kyle points out that it's possible to drive a hybrid without being a douche about it.
* Monsters University. For Mike especially and also for Sulley. Set on a college campus.
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!!Examples of Late Bloomer Subversions:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Like many {{shojo}} manga, ''Manga/GokinjoMonogatari''. Only, since it's Ai Yazawa, the characters' motivations for maturing and growing are mainly their dreams and aspirations of becoming graphic artists and fashion designers.
** The same goes for ''Manga/ParadiseKiss'' and ''Manga/TenshiNankaJaNai''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan'' features a reasonably realistic delayed coming of age story amongst the {{Gendercide}}, war, cloning, cultists and conspiracies going on all over the place.
* ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim'' is the story of a flighty, unreliable, mid 20s slacker who is gradually forced to accept that he can't spend his whole life playing video games and running from his problems after meeting LoveInterest Ramona.
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[[folder:Film]]
%%* ''BlackSwan'' Nina is close to 30, yet acts very childishly.
* ''Film/TheFortyYearOldVirgin''. It's in the title--the question is rather who the truly mature person is: Andy or his partying friends?
%%* ''Film/PineappleExpress''. The protagonists do drugs and have sex, but they're still mentally about fifteen.
%%* ''Film/KnockedUp''.
%%* ''Film/Getting It Right''.
%%* A parody of this version of the trope seems to be found in ''Film/StepBrothers''.
* ''Film/FailureToLaunch''. Doubly subverted. Tripp is presented to the audience as a 35-year old who has failed to transition into adulthood, as are all his overgrown-child friends. By the end of the movie, however, we find that Tripp's apparently juvenile behavior is not "failure to launch" but because [[spoiler: his finacee died]] and his friends' situations are also not as they seem.
%%* ''Film/GeorgyGirl'' is a female version of this.
%%* ''Film/GardenState''. Though isn't as comedic since a lot of drugs kept the main character very detached most of his life.
* ''Film/KickingAndScreaming'' by Creator/NoahBaumbach is about a group of recent college graduates who completely ''refuse'' to move on with their lives.
* The ''Film/IronMan'' movie is basically about Tony Stark going from an extremely rich manchild to an extremely rich man. By building a robot suit and fighting crime.
%%* ''Film/AFairlyOddMovieGrowUpTimmyTurner'', the LiveActionAdaptation of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'', is apparently going to be this for Timmy.
* Simba of ''Disney/TheLionKing'' becomes convinced by Timon and Pumbaa to live a [[HakunaMatata carefree hedonistic lifestyle]] that carries on well into adulthood, avoiding his past and his responsibilities as the future king. Only after Rafiki gives him a rather creative lesson on facing his past does he decide to grow up and go back to reclaim his rightful throne.
* ''Film/TheThirdMan'': [[ManChild Holly Martins has remained mentally a child his entire life,]] his books are [[{{Escapism}} cowboys tales]] with a BlackAndWhiteMorality and only in Viena, at his 35 years, [[HeelRealization he at last will have to face reality]] [[{{Mooks}} of his relationship with]] [[BigBadFriend his best friend Harry]].
* ''GranTorino'': Walter Kowalsky, even when he is a senior who has raised a family, still lives emotionally as [[ShellShockedVeteran the young soldier that crossed]] the MoralEventHorizon at the UsefulNotes/KoreanWar. He must [[HeelRealization assume]] he is a GrumpyOldMan JadedWashout CrankyNeighbor RacistGrandpa who has alienated his own family and now that his wife has died is completely alone, so he can be a real BadassGrandpa PapaWolf.
%%* ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'' has a 16 year old girl at the start of the movie throwing tantrums like a 12 yearold.
%%* ''Film/JeffWhoLivesAtHome'' has two such examples in the form of brothers Jeff and Pat.
* The film version of ''Film/FightClub'' is essentially this, in contrast with the DownerEnding of [[Literature/FightClub the book]].
* ''Film/FrancesHa'' features a 27 year old aspiring (and underemployed) dancer whose life is on autopilot, with her both revisiting her youth and trying to find greater certainty in her future. By the end of the film, her life seems to be on something resembling the right path, but she still has trouble wholly adapting to the adult world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
%%* ''Literature/AdrianMole'', who basically went through an extended 20-year adolescence from age 13 to his mid-30s.
%%* ''Literature/FlowersForAlgernon'', arguably.
%%* Isabel Spellman from ''Literature/SpellmanFiles''.
%%* ''Literature/TheMysteriesOfPittsburgh'' for Art.
* ''Literature/{{Cerberon}}'' features the coming of age of the eponymous unicorn. While already an adult at around twenty years old, he learns through the course of the novel what it takes to be a real unicorn and not just a pretty, well-educated horse with a pointy thing on his head.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
%%* ''Series/TheWinner''.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' is one enormous coming-of-age story (only, you know, with monsters and superpowers) for Buffy, Willow and Xander, and the run of the series is structured to follow specific stages of adolescence.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' is a sitcom focusing on young adults growing into their 30s and settling down with families. %%more, please
* In the ''{{Firefly}}'' episode ''Jaynestown'', the local magistrate, Higgins, has hired Inara to bed his timid son Fess, who is 26 and is not yet "a man". She reassures the naïve Fess that he need not be like his father, only to be himself, which will make him stronger. Afterwords, in Inara's shuttle, Fess expresses disappointment in not feeling different after losing his virginity.
-->'''Inara:''' You're very quiet.
-->'''Fess:''' I'm sorry. I just...I just thought I'd feel... different... after. Aren't I supposed to be a man now?
-->'''Inara:''' A man is just a boy who's old enough to ask that question. Our time together... It's a ritual, a symbol. It means something to your father. I hope it was not entirely forgettable for you.
-->'''Fess:''' No, it was...
-->'''Inara:''' But it doesn't make you a man. You do that yourself.\\
''[Fess ends up proving himself a man by defying his father's attempt to capture the "hero of Canton" who was traveling with Inara.]''
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music]]
* The ConceptAlbum ''Music/AmericanIdiot'' tells the story of the AntiHero protagonist, Jesus of Suburbia, as he matures from a rebellious youth to a [[JadeColoredGlasses jaded adult]]. The musical version of the album [[AdaptationExpansion expands]] on this story by also telling the coming of age stories of Jesus' best friends, Will and Tunny.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''Theatre/AvenueQ''. Princeton is a college grad, but he's still not ready for real adult life.
* The {{Musical}} version of ''Music/AmericanIdiot'' does this with its three protagonists, Johnny, Will, and Tunny, who are in their early to mid-twenties.
* ''{{Company}}'', for Bobby.
--> '''Joanne:''' You're not a kid anymore, Robby! I don't think you'll ever be a kid again, kiddo!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebVideo]]
* In his commentary, Creator/DougWalker called ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'' a coming-of-age story for ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic'', where he goes from impatient manchild to selfless adult.
[[/folder]]

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