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%% Image moved here from OneOfTheKids per Image Pickin' thread:
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[[quoteright:286:[[Film/{{Elf}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/elf6_1177.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:286: Exhibit A. [[BaitAndSwitchComparison The character he's playing counts too]].]]

-> ''"I see a grown man enjoying cartoons."''
-->-- '''Brian Griffin referring to AdamWest''', ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''

Sometimes people just fail to develop into social or intellectual maturity. Maybe it's due to a very loving but confining {{m|yBelovedSmother}}other or [[OverprotectiveDad father]]. Or maybe they just didn't want to [[MommasBoy leave the nest]]. Maybe they've been [[NotAllowedToGrowUp intentionally secluded]] from learning about the world. Maybe it's the result of brain damage or something [[ThisIsYourBrainOnEvil more sinister]]. Perhaps they just never had [[InnocenceLost a life-changing moment]] involving [[DeathByNewberyMedal a shotgun and a beloved pet]]. Maybe it's just a form of MarsAndVenusGenderContrast. Who can say?

Although the causes might not be clear, the effects are. The Man Child, a term invented by WilliamFaulkner, is usually an adult who possesses a very childlike or childish demeanor. He's emotionally both simple and fragile; he prefers (although does not always ''need'') to have a parent figure to look after him. He usually [[WideEyedIdealist isn't very worldly]] and is typically pretty [[TheIngenue gullible]]. The Man Child's interests are usually what most people consider to be immature or childish, sometimes even in comparison to actual children.

The character is almost AlwaysMale. This is (presumably) to contrast the differences between him and "normal men" with the normal responsibilities and wisdom of adulthood. The female version is usually split between TheIngenue, the GenkiGirl, or other tropes which highlight an adult woman's child-like attributes rather than her grown-up persona. Manchild has many more negative connotations than TheIngenue; the manchild's immaturity and lack of outward adult behavior is emphasized as being a bad thing versus being an emphasized good thing like TheIngenue's purity and idealism. On the BrainChain, the Man Child occupies a space between The CloudCuckoolander and TheDitz, but without necessarily becoming TheFool. He usually does not have TheFool's [[BornLucky luck]], but he doesn't necessarily play the role of the ButtMonkey either. Although the Man Child is commonly portrayed as being mentally challenged he does not necessarily have to be. In many cases, the character may be very intelligent, and even leave the [[WideEyedIdealist idealism]] aside and be very shrewd in business or career, but this only throws him deep in the UncannyValley when others [[PsychopathicManchild find out his emotional immaturity]]. Alternatively, his childlike qualities/way of thinking, when intelligently applied, can be a ''basis'' for his success as a businessman, in which case he's also TheWonka.

In [[ComedyTropes comedic works]], he usually plays the role of TheDitz. In [[DramaTropes dramatic works]], he could be the JerkWithAHeartOfGold due to his simplicity or immaturity, or he could be [[EnsembleDarkhorse the sympathetic character]] we come to love. Sometimes the Man Child embarks on a late-in-the-day ComingOfAgeStory, which ushers him into true adulthood. Note that usually SexAsRiteOfPassage works only some of the time. In many instances, A Man Child [[AManIsNotAVirgin is not necessarily a virgin]], but only sees sex as a tool of pleasure and does not recognize its emotional significance.

OneOfTheKids is related, in where their childishness is caused by spending a lot of time around children.

Does not relate to NeverGrewUp, because they physically did grow up - but never outgrew being attached to immature or childish things or behavior. SisterTrope (perhaps) to AdultsDressedAsChildren, although that trope is almost always played for laughs or borders on the [[UncannyValley grotesque]]. Compare {{Keet}}, OneOfTheKids, KiddieKid. For a villainous version, see PsychopathicManchild. Compare BasementDweller. Not related to ''Series/{{Manchild}}'', the British TV series, either. Compare and contrast the ThreeFacesOfAdam.

[[noreallife]]
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!!Example subpages:

[[index]]
* ManChild/AnimeAndManga
* ManChild/ComicBooks
* ManChild/{{Film}}
* ManChild/{{Literature}}
* ManChild/{{Live-ActionTV}}
* ManChild/VideoGames
* ManChild/WebComics
* ManChild/WebOriginal
* ManChild/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]

!! Other examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Fanfiction]]
* In ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar'' Cloud Kicker, one of main heroines, has a very childish personality most of the time.
* Downplayed in ''{{A Growing Affection}}'' by Naruto. Most evident when he's giddy at the prospect of building sand castles. At age 16. However when Ino tries to lampshade it, Naruto points out his [[AllTheOtherReindeer childhood.]] Ino immediately [[ShuttingUpNow shuts up.]]
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8651221/1/Batshark Batshark]]'', a FusionFic combining a [[{{Crossover}} cartoon crossover]] with ''{{Franchise/Batman}}'', [[OpenSeason Elliot the deer]] plays Two-Face as a half-adult-half-manchild as opposed to a half-lawyer-half-criminal. And then there is the fusion of TheJoker and [[{{WesternAnimation/Superjail}} The Warden]]...
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6506780/9/Death-s-Design-Fate-s-Plan Death's Design, Fate's Plan]]'' Hermione referred to Sirius as a "man child without the ability to grow up." Sirius replied that Harry's mother once said something very similar to him and Remus commented that every female he knew had said something similar at one time or another.
* Likewise, in ''Fanfic/TheLifeOfTheLegendaries'', [[OlympusMons Legendaries]] Mew and Jirachi are ''extremely'' immature and have many, many childish habits.
* The Grand Ruler from ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn''. He likes to play hopscotch.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6780275/1/The-Last-Casualties The Last Casualties]]'' Voldemort put Harry's parents into suspended animation in a pocket dimension for thirteen years instead of killing them outright. Lily called James a man child in exasperated affection when he gave Snape a "welcome back present" by turning his robe pink.
* In ''Fanfic/PokeWars'', [[OlympusMons Mew]] is depicted as being ''incredibly'' immature. As evidenced by his words upon meeting Latias.
--> '''Mew:''' Hi. I'm Mew. Wanna play?
* In ''The Power of the Mind'' Remus referred to Sirius as "special" while apologizing for his behavior to a Muggle salesclerk. Harry later asked if there was any truth to that because Sirius was the biggest man child he'd ever met.
* Beelzebub from ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'' is an immature drug-fueled hedonist that would easily be the poster for a man child if he wasn't also [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy incredibly]] [[AnythingThatMoves dangerous]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* Sparadrap in ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'', to the extent of making him more of TheCutie than a female character that was his DistaffCounterpart before her characterization diverged but didn't completely split off. His top priority in a fantasy MMORPG is collecting non-combat pets, his TrademarkFavoriteFood is a dessert home-made by his grandmother and he tries to make friends with every single player he meets despite the game having a faction system. This is more than enough for both his guildmates and his ''younger'' brother to consider they need to keep an eye on him... or in the case of the ManipulativeBastard among his guildmates, pull some of her easiest scams ever. [[spoiler:He starts maturing after an enemy player decides that it would fun to destroy the bag contaning his pets in front of him]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/RingoStarr's persona in Music/TheBeatles. They generally gave him rather sweet, childish songs to sing, like "With a Little Help From My Friends", "Yellow Submarine", and "Octopus's Garden" (which he wrote himself).
* Music/{{Blink182}}'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7l5ZeVVoCA&ob=av3e "What's My Age Again?"]] is about a 23-year old who is about to get laid, but he gets distracted by the TV, so the girl leaves, and he prank calls her mother in retaliation.
* {{Buckethead}}, the stage persona of musician Brian Carroll, is generally built around being both childish and a little creepy. It's common for {{Buckethead}} to play with toys and trade them with the audience during his live performances. He'll also avoid talking or giving interviews in general, except in a few recorded ones where he uses his scary mask / puppet Herbie to "speak for him".
* Music/CountingCrows' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAe3sCIakXo "Round Here"]], is about not having a conception of what being an adult means, "Round here we're never sent to bed early, no one makes us wait. Round here we stay up very, very, very, very late"
* The Idle Race's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG7_S3nv7uY&feature=related "I Like My Toys"]], which deals with a thirty-one year old man's desire to play with his childhood toys instead of looking for a job, much to his parents' chagrin.
* In the movie ''Music/TheWall'', it's implied that Old Pink is one. For example, when a girl seduces him in his hotel room, he responds by trashing up the place; in "The Thin Ice" he's seen watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon on the TV; and, in "Is There Anybody Out There?" when he's building a mandala/replica of a military barracks/whatever it's supposed to be, a battery-powered toy robot is visible among the props.
* {{Music/Weezer}}'s song "Dreamin'".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* ''Radio/CabinPressure'' gives us Arthur Shappey, the relentlessly cheerful and optimistic steward of the aeroplane who is gullible to the point of idiocy, gets ridiculously excited over Christmas, [[MommasBoy still lives with his mother]], genuinely thinks it's possible for something to be [[CloudCuckoolander bigger than the box it's in]], has discovered the secret to true happiness, and thinks everything and everyone is utterly [[CatchPhrase ''brilliant'']]. And who once killed a man.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* The clown in Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's ''Theatre/{{Saltimbanco}}'', Eddie, is quite childlike as he pulls pranks on others and engages an audience member in a pantomimed Wild West shootout. In fact, he might actually be the adult form of the Child seen early on, if a transitional scene is anything to go by.
* Tobias Ragg from ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'' can be played several ways, and this is one of them. Bonus points if he is still childish because of insanity and/or mental retardation, both common portrayals. TheMovie made him an actual pre-pubescent boy, a method that is much harder to pull off on-stage, mostly because labor laws require underage performers to be doubled.
* The Green Role from the Reduced Shakespeare Company's RagtagBunchOfMisfits. Being the Man Child of the group is his defining characteristic.
* [[Theatre/HolyMusicalBatman Batman loves the circus.]]
--> '''Alfred''': You can't stay in your pillow fort and cry forever.
* Willy Wonka in the 2013 musical version of ''Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' is a downplayed version. He has a distinctly adult air of authority and elegance, but at the same time has childlike wonder, enthusiasm, impatience, creativity, and -- to a lesser extent -- innocence, rather AmbiguousInnocence at that.
[[/folder]]
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