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->''If she tells you she's 26, and ''looks'' 26, she's damn near forty!''
-->-- '''Creator/ChrisRock''', "No Sex (in the Champagne Room)" [[note]] The preceding line is "[[YoungerThanTheyLook If a woman tells you she's 20 and looks 16... she's 12]]."[[/note]]

Sometimes characters look their age. But in this instance, they don't. Whether it was a deliberate artistic choice on the behalf of the creator (usually to make the character more attractive or to legally fulfill a fetish) or something much deeper and linked to their characterization and the plot, this character will be older than they look. Although still within the normal range of the human lifespan (for that setting, anyway), this character will look noticeably younger than their age. Sometimes even improbably younger; it's not unheard of for a seeming teenager to be over the hill chronologically.

This is an extremely common trope in SpeculativeFiction, where magic or AppliedPhlebotinum can be used to explain the characters appearance being at odds with their age.

When science fiction or fantasy takes this trope to its illogical extreme, it leads to ReallySevenHundredYearsOld, TheAgeless, or a TimeAbyss. See also AgeIsRelative and ImprobableAge. Not to be confused with OlderThanTheyThink. Contrast with YoungerThanTheyLook. If they're just drawn in a way that makes them seem older, it's ArtisticAge. When a character is played by a much younger actor, it becomes HollywoodOld unless the difference is {{justified|Trope}}. When the ''actor'' is older than the character they portray, it's DawsonCasting (although the actor themselves may just fit this trope, justifying the DawsonCasting)

Compare MistakenAge, AgeInappropriateDress. Contrast AnimationAnatomyAging.

Very TruthInTelevision. In fact, some scientists believe that this is increasingly becoming the norm as people in North America, Europe, and certain parts of Asia are living longer lives (many people, especially if they are women, can now not only hope, but ''expect'' to live to be 80 or older): the body is responding by slowing down the aging process to match the increased time span. Unfortunately, according to the theory this phenomenon also applies to mental and psychological maturity: the PsychopathicManchild is becoming a reality in certain individuals because the frontal lobe (the area of the brain that regulates social behavior), which used to fully mature in the teenage years, is now remaining undeveloped in some people until well into the twenties.

Remember, this trope only covers characters who aren't impossibly old, just much older than they look. For characters who are impossibly old, see Really700YearsOld and TimeAbyss.

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!!Examples

[[index]]
* OlderThanTheyLook/AnimeAndManga
* OlderThanTheyLook/ComicBooks
* OlderThanTheyLook/FanWorks
* OlderThanTheyLook/{{Film}}
* OlderThanTheyLook/{{Literature}}
* OlderThanTheyLook/LiveActionTV
* OlderThanTheyLook/TabletopGames
* OlderThanTheyLook/{{Theatre}}
* OlderThanTheyLook/VideoGames
* OlderThanTheyLook/VisualNovels
* OlderThanTheyLook/{{Webcomics}}
* OlderThanTheyLook/WebOriginal
* OlderThanTheyLook/WesternAnimation
* OlderThanTheyLook/RealLife
[[/index]]

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