This is basically the SpinoffBabies trope applied to real people. The idea is to take {{Historical Domain Character}}s and depict them in their youth. It can be played for laughs--implying that people we normally think of as reserved, stoic, or even evil [[FormerTeenRebel were once young and reckless themselves]]. (Or the opposite, where they are shown to possess the same traits and interests that later made them famous, even if realistically these would have come much later.) Of course, it may also be played straight.

If the person lived long enough ago that details of their adolescence or youth are obscure or even nonexistent, then this trope may be used as an excuse to ground an entirely fictional story in reality. Sometimes these characters are the leading characters, other times they may only serve as a fictional {{cameo}} or a ShoutOut to a HistoricalInJoke.

Obviously a standard trope in HistoricalFiction.

A SubTrope of HistoricalDomainCharacter.

A SisterTrope to InThePastEveryoneWillBeFamous, LiteraryAgentHypothesis (can overlap when a minor character in a movie turns out to be the author of the book the movie is based on).

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!!Young Future Famous People as lead characters:

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* #2 of the ''ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' spin-off comic ''Spike Versus Dracula'' features a young boy who goes to see Creator/BelaLugosi in a stage production of ''{{Dracula}}'' only to wind up in the middle of an attack by the real Dracula. When he tells this to his teacher later, he's punished for telling stories. As he writes lines, [[Creator/EdWood Edward Wood Jr]] secretly vows to make monster movies when he grows up, and then steals his teacher's angora sweater.
* ''ComicBook/XMen: True Friends'' features Kitty Pryde and Rachel Summers being sent back in time to 1936, where Kitty befriends an imperious little girl named Lilibet, whose cousin teasingly calls her "Princess". [[spoiler:She's the future Queen Elizabeth II]].

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[[folder: Film ]]

* ''1814'' is a Russian movie about several key figures of the Golden Age of Russian Literature, such as Pushkin, Delwig and Kuchelbecker (as well as the ''Russian'' Iron Chancellor, Gorchakov, often considered Bismarck's [[TheRival archrival]] in international politics) when they were students at the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, aged [[TitleDrop from 14 to 18]]. The same applies to the first part of the Yuri Tynyanov novel ''Kyuchlya'', which partly inspired it.
* Creator/JaneAusten in ''Becoming Jane''
* Creator/JohnKeats in BrightStar. Though he was already a poet, technically he got the 'fame' part posthumously.
* ''Coco Before Chanel''
* ''AKnightsTale'' has Creator/GeoffreyChaucer as a freelance SmartGuy with a gambling problem. Ends with an IShouldWriteABookAboutThis.
* ''Max'' is a film about an art dealer in 1918 Germany who attempts to encourage a young fellow war veteran named UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler to focus on becoming an artist. [[ForegoneConclusion He ends up becoming more interested in politics.]]
* ''The Motorcycle Diaries'' is about young UsefulNotes/CheGuevara.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePiratesInAnAdventureWithScientists'' includes a young CharlesDarwin, who has yet to make it big (and [[NerdsAreVirgins has yet to get a girlfriend]]). He's on his way to being famous by the end of the movie, [[BeenThereShapedHistory with a little help from the main character.]]
* ''Film/NowhereBoy'' is about the teenage years of Music/JohnLennon.
* ''Film/ShakespeareInLove''
* ''Young Edison''
* ''Young Einstein''
* ''Film/YoungMrLincoln'' and, arguably, ''Abe Lincoln in Illinois''.
* ''Young Mr. Pitt'': A slight subversion, since UsefulNotes/WilliamPittTheYounger was twenty-four when he became Prime Minister for the first time.
* ''TheYoungVictoria''
* ''Young Winston''
* ''QuestOfTheDeltaKnights'' is, plot- and structure-wise, basically a rip off of ''StarWars'' as a fantasy movie. The Han Solo character is a young Leonardo da Vinci (though it's not made clear that he's ''that'' Leonardo until [[HistoricalPersonPunchline late in the movie]]).
* [[http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/oct/22/chairman-mao-3d-cartoon-animation-zedong-chinese China's making one about]] MaoZedong. Animated. In 3D.

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[[folder: Jokes ]]

* In Poland, in 1944, a young priest-in-training is hunted down the street by a Hitler Youth. The priest trips and falls, and the Hitler Youth proceeds to kick him while he's down. The priest shouts: ''Stop it! When I am old, I am going to be ThePope!'' The Hitler Youth just snorts and says: ''Yeah right. And I'm gonna be your successor.''[[note]] This is actually anachronistic. John Paul II didn't become a priest until after the war.[[/note]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* This is the purpose of ''Literature/TheRoyalDiaries,'' a series of books that depicts the youthful days of several famous royal women.
* Literature/WillOfHeaven follows the ancient Chinese general Han Xin from his dirt-poor adolescence to his rise to power, and then to the cusp of his fall. The later chapters also offer glimpses at [[spoiler: Zhang Liang's and the First Emperor's]] younger years.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''{{Leonardo}}''
* ''Film/{{Hawking}}'': features Stephen Hawking when he was an ambulatory, [[{{Adorkable}} oddly cute]] 21 year old university student.
* ''Series/TheSecretAdventuresOfJulesVerne'' has not only the titular character before he wrote his novels but a few others, such as a brilliant young boy named Al, who reveals that it's short for his middle name [[ThomasEdison Alva]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''Little Amadeus or Wunderkind Little Amadeus'' features a young Mozart, who has already developed a strong musical reputation but isn't yet famous.
* LilBush applied this trope to the entire Bush administration cabinet.
* ''CloneHigh'' lives on this trope, but [[JustifiedTrope justified]] because they are all clones of the originals.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''BackyardSports'' has many pros as kids, who are playable characters in the games. Originally just ordinary characters, but then became the SpotlightStealingSquad.

!!Young Future Famous People as supporting characters:

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[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* In ''Manga/BlackButler'', a young eye specialist and insignificant writer named Arthur was invited to Ciel's dinner party, only to be caught up in a murder mystery. After he finds out [[spoiler: Ciel works for the Queen, Sebastain is a demon and they framed a man for someone's murder and they let Arthur live with this knowledge]], it is heavily implied Arthur does become [[Creator/ArthurConanDoyle a famous mystery writer]], though his middle and last name are never revealed.
* ''AfterschoolCharisma'' is basically ''CloneHigh'' [[/folder]]

[[folder: [[Recycled INSPACE IN JAPAN ]]
]] (and not quite so wacky). It's got teenage clone versions of Joan of Arc, Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie, Einstein, [[FreudWasRight Sigmund]] [[AllPsychologyIsFreudian Freud]]...

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[[folder: Comics ]]

* A pre-teen Creator/AleisterCrowley briefly appears in the graphic novel ''Comicbook/FromHell''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/ForrestGump'': Elvis, learning how to dance from a kid with leg braces.
* ''Film/JohnCarter:'' Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs is John Carter's adoring nephew and heir.[[labelnote:*]]In some of the JohnCarterOfMars novels, Burroughs presents himself as Carter's friend and [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis literary executor]][[/labelnote]].
* ''Film/ShakespeareInLove'' again, with John Webster making a couple of appearances as an adolescent boy fond of {{Gorn}} in plays.
* ''Film/ShanghaiKnights'':
** A young Charlie Chaplin as a supporting character.
** Ditto a young Creator/ArthurConanDoyle
* In the film ''Film/{{Troy}}'', Aeneas makes a cameo as the civilians escape through the tunnel. A charming little addition considering the movie is basically a big "eff-you" to accuracy of any sort.
* ''TheTudors'' has the future Mary I, Elizabeth I, and Edward VI as supporting characters.
* As does ''Film/TheKingsSpeech'' with the future Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret.
* At the end of ''Film/TheGrandmaster'', a little boy enlists in the titular master's kung-fu academy. He has the trademark grin of a certain BruceLee.
* ''Film/KermitsSwampYears'', a DirectToDVD Muppet film about Kermit the Frog's childhood, features a scene in which Kermit is knocked down in the road and a young human boy helps him up. The boy is standing in front of a mailbox throughout the brief scene, and when he is called in for dinner, the name painted on the side is revealed: ''[[spoiler:Henson.]]''
* ''Film/TheNativityStory'' takes this UpToEleven with most of the movie being about what happened to {{Jesus}} while He was still an ''unborn baby''. The film's climax is [[AwayInAManger His birth]], making Him a very young future famous person indeed.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* From the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series by Creator/EricFlint:
** Has a cameo appearance by an infant Baruch Spinoza[[labelnote:*]] actually quite tragic; his parents(were killed in battle) and community abandoned him the moment they realized who he'd grow up to be due to philosophical disagreement[[/labelnote]], and a young-ish Oliver Cromwell who is thrown into prison by Charles I for a regicide he had yet to commit.
** Young Rembrandt becomes a famous artist when people learn that in the future-that-was, he was a famous artist. This happens to quite a few people who haven't done anything yet, and most of 'em are driven ''crazy'' by the attention and expectations. Rembrandt though does decide not to paint the paintings that are going to be famous, instead painting new ones.
** An eleven year old Blaise Pascal ends up becoming a ward of Grantvile and becomes a frequent source of headaches as he attempts insanely dangerous experiments.
* The cyberpunk short story ''Mozart In Mirrorshades'' featured a young WolfgangAmadeusMozart being introduced to synthesizers and electronic music by time-travelers from an alternate dimension. A young MarieAntoinette also makes an appearance.
* In Creator/NealStephenson's ''Literature/TheBaroqueCycle'', in which InThePastEveryoneWillBeFamous is heavily in action, it is a kid named [[Creator/BenjaminFranklin Ben]] who brings Enoch Root to Daniel Waterhouse, after the former has arrived in Massachusetts. Then, cue the flashback to Enoch visiting IsaacNewton's school when Isaac was a kid...
* Possibly the ''youngest'' Future Famous Person occurs in M.J. Trow's ''Lestrade'' novels. The inspector points at a baby in a pram and sarcastically declares the child could play Franchise/SherlockHolmes at least as well as William Gillette. It is then strongly hinted that this is a pre-verbal Basil Rathbone.
* The ''Literature/AxisOfTime'' series by John Birmingham features accidental time-travelers from TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture going back to UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, where their revelations about the future course of movies and music leads entrepreneurs to find young Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, among others, and present them with contracts to buy the rights to their future creative output.
** Prince Harry, when he's not kicking Nazi ass, takes walks with his grandmother, the future Queen Elizabeth II, who is in her early teens, and finds Harry calling her "granny" funny. By the same token, Elizabeth's future husband is still in the Royal Navy, and is constantly the subject of jibes like "Your Highness".
* In ''Literature/TimeCat'', one of the adventures takes place in UsefulNotes/{{Italy}}, where the protagonists meet a young LeonardoDaVinci and help discover his painting talent.
* Played with in ''Literature/AWorldOfLaughterAWorldOfTears'', set in an AlternateHistory so while some of the figures famous, they aren't famous for the things they are in the real timeline. For example, one viewpoint character, a young UsefulNotes/BillClinton will grow up for an important role for his work in civil rights but will never become President. Meanwhile another important viewpoint character, a young UsefulNotes/JerryBrown, ''will.''
* In "North and South" by John Jakes, many prominent figures of the Civil War (both military and political) are mentioned. Especially any of those who attended West Point.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* On the show "Do Over", the main character loses a baseball game to a young Greg Maddux.
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' features gangsters like AlCapone, Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano and Mayer Lansky in 1920 at the beginning of the Prohibition. They will not reach the height of their infamy for at least another decade.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E4TheGirlInTheFireplace "The Girl in the Fireplace"]] from the new series features young Madame de Pompadour.
** While the Creator/ColinBaker episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS22E5Timelash "Timelash"]] features a young man called Herbert, whose full name is revealed at the end to be [[spoiler:[[HGWells Herbert George Wells]]]].
* A creepier version happens in ''Series/ForeverKnight''. During a flashback, Lacroix is sitting on a train next to an unshaven German soldier returning from [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne the western front]] after the cease-fire. He seriously considers turning him and comes within seconds of taking a bite as he is shaving, but something tells him that adding vampirism to the darkness he already sensed in his soul would be a Bad Idea... just as the soldier turns around to reveal ''that'' [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler mustache]]. Which is a bit of an inaccuracy as photos of Hitler show that he had a handlebar moustache when he was younger.
** Not to mention that Hitler was in a military hospital in Northeast Germany, hundreds of miles from the Western Front when he heard of the November Revolution and the armistice.
* This happened from time to time in ''Series/QuantumLeap'', due to Sam [[BeenThereShapedHistory just having amazing luck]]. For example, on one occasion, he met a nerdy teenager named Creator/StephenKing. Bigger list [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Leap_(TV_series)#Brushes_with_History on Wikipedia]].
* The two-part ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Time's Arrow" featured a young [[spoiler: Jack London]], although the audience isn't aware of this until his last appearance in the episodes, before which he'd always been referred to by his first name only.
* The TV miniseries ''Young Catherine'' featured a young Catherine The Great, played by Julia Ormond, during her rise to power in Russia.
* The [[GermanMedia German television series]] ''L÷wengrube'' (''Lion Pit'') bases on this, as it tells the history of the Munich middle class Grandauer family from the 1870s to the 1960s, following them through two world wars and the post-war episodes. One of the various examples would be the start of the first world war. In the police station (where the father works) [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler a certain Austrian artist]] applies for German citizenship because he feels very German. At the same time, the Grandauer's young son is seen being buddies with a dorky bespectacled kid from his class, called [[spoiler:Himmler, Heinrich]].
* The Russian miniseries ''Series/{{Dostoevsky}}'' features ''DaddysDaughters'' actress Music/LizaArzamasova as a young Sofia Kovalevskaya, who would later become Russia's first female mathematician.
* This is a staple of ''TheYoungIndianaJonesChronicles'', though the titular character was not an example.
* In the series ''Series/TheTimeTunnel'', the main characters are trying to escape [[TheFrenchRevolution Revolutionary France]] and in the final scenes must get past a young, low-ranking officer who turns out to be NapoleonBonaparte.
* In an episode of ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'' Rob & Laura discover a hidden treasure inside a desk bequeathed to him by his [[IdenticalGrandson Identical Grandfather]]: a picture of Grandpa as a baby. What makes it valuable (and this trope) is the [[AbrahamLincoln young tall, beardless man]] who happens to have been standing on the stairway behind Gramps and his parents when the picture was taken.
* ''[[Series/{{Spartacus}} Spartacus: War of the Damned]]'' features GaiusJuliusCaesar as a young lieutenant in the army of Marcus Crassus, and a rival of Crassus' son Tiberius, during the Third Servile War.
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' features numerous examples of either contemporary famous or soon-to-be-famous people. In one season six episode, the Wright Brothers are interviewed (offscreen) three years prior to the Kitty Hawk flight, while WinstonChurchill - at the time newly famous for his actions in, and accounts of, the BoerWar - is a murder suspect in another episode
* ''Series/{{Vikings}}'' does this constantly. Side characters include [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollo Rollo of Normandy]], who begins the series as an enormously badass but unsophisticated warrior with vague and unrealistic dreams of greatness, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B6rn_Ironside Bjorn Ironside]], who would go on to sack cities as far away as Italy, first shows up as an 11 year old who tries to talk his parents out of domestic squabbling, and later we have the rest of Ragnar Lodbrok's famous/infamous sons like Ivar the Boneless and Ubba, who would nearly conquer all of England for the Northmen, as cute little kids.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' has LeonardoDaVinci in his younger years as an ally of protagonist Ezio.
** ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'' has Suleiman TheMagnificent as a 17-year old prince and grandson of Beyazid II, [[spoiler:though his father Selim I takes the throne by the end]].
** We also see Niccolo Machiavelli as an Assassin before his banishment and subsequent publication of [[ThePrince a rather famous book]].
* ''CallOfJuarezGunslinger'': at the end of the game, the teenage boy listening to Silas' story turns out to be DwightEisenhower.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In ''TheDreamer'', a young Alexander Hamilton is a supporting character in the series, as well as Nathan Hale, since he technically became famous posthumously. Benjamin Tallmadge also makes an appearance.
* ''Webcomic/TimesLikeThis'': Hey, if you had a time machine, you'd want to see what your favorite celebrities were like as little kids, wouldn't you? Like Cassie did with [[http://timeslikethis.com/?id=12 Britney]] [[Music/BritneySpears Spears]] and [[http://timeslikethis.com/?id=694 Miley]] [[Music/MileyCyrus Cyrus.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', a flashback to Fry's childhood reveals that Mr. Panucci's delivery boy was a young law student named [[BarackObama Barack]]. Young Fry mentions that he doesn't want to end up like ''that'' loser.
--> "Oh man, I have ''got'' to go back to law school."
* In the FairlyOddParents episode Father Time, it appears the previous child Timmy's Fairy God Parents belonged to was a bespectacled boy named Billy. After Present Cosmo and Wanda show that computers displaying lava lamps on the screen are more entertaining than actual Lava Lamps to the Past Cosmo and Wanda, Billy passes by and mentions the idea of having all computers connected through something called "The Internet", but Present Cosmo tells him it should be called "The Timmy". Past Wanda then mentions little Billy Gates (Bill Gates) has the craziest ideas. It does end up being called The Timmy, and his name changes to Internet.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGuardiansOfTheLostCode'', the protagonists meet the last Chinese emperor, Puji, as a toddler.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Other ]]

* A common AlternateHistory trope: expect to see a lot of people who only became famous in TheSixties in our history to appear as young soldiers in WW2, for instance.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* On occasion a picture or video include (often as a bystander or generally not the main subject) a person who would achieve fame later. [[http://www.flickr.com/photos/44042852@N04/4902736400/ Here's]] WinstonChurchill in 1918 in a Victory Parade in France. While Churchill was already famous then, the Army officer in ''front'' of him is a then-unknown Bernard Law Montgomery, who would achieve great fame in WW2.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0uErdlyTUo Here]] is a news-report about a Boys Nation visit to the JohnFKennedy White House. One of the boys who shakes hands with the President? A teen-aged BillClinton.
* A Website/{{Cracked}} [[http://www.cracked.com/article_14876_before-they-were-famous-10-most-regrettable-celebrity-commercials.html list]] of 10 commercials done by present day celebrities before they made it. Overlaps with OldShame.
* [[http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/photocredit/achievers/pow0-038 This]] is a picture of a young Lt. Colonel meeting the Secretary of Defense. Nothing strange about it, except the young Lt Colonel is Colin Powell. Moreover, the Secretary of Defense? Donald Rumsfeld, which makes it...very funny.
* They're out there right now. Getting conceived, being born, in school, doing normal things. No one knows when or who they will be, but in 20 years, more or less, the newspapers, magazines, and the Internet will be throwing out their name left and right without even having to explain who they are - eventually someone's going to be making a TVTropes page for them!
* Books dealing with the Mexican-American war often mention minor things done by very junior officers that would not normally make it into descriptions of battle. This is because the officers would have names like Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.
* Averted with WWI. Although almost all the leaders of the protagonists in the second round were involved in it, the sheer scale of the conflict meant that being involved in the war was expected for people of the age: the participation of a future famous person is usually taken for granted. There are exceptions made for unusual or notable cases: Monty appeared in that photo with Churchill (above), Hermann Goering was the deputy squadron commander of the Red Baron's squadron and succeeded him, Patton was the commander of the US Tank Corps, de Gaulle was a POW, [=MacArthur=] was the youngest general in that war, the senior Civilian from the US to visit the front was FDR and Hitler's gassing and subsequent spending of the last weeks of the war in hospital are often mentioned, in passing.
* A WWI documentary averts...the usual aversion. In its last chapter it airs the thoughts (as recorded in letters or diaries) of certain young future famous people who fought in that war, about the ending of the war. It mentions something along the lines of; they went home,the world still did not know their names, but for reasons which began in WWI, it soon would. Some of those included, were Hitler, Hess, Goering, Harry S Truman (a young artillery captain), Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin and others.
* During the Versailles peace conference a young waiter and a political activist who had been witnessing proceedings attempted to talk to UsefulNotes/WoodrowWilson about decolonisation. Wilson rebuffed him. The man's name? Ho Chi Minh.
* In a well known anecdote, when informed before UsefulNotes/WorldWarI that there might be a revolution in Russia if a general war breaks out in Europe, the Austrian foreign minister supposedly said "And who will lead this revolution? Perhaps Mr. Bronstein sitting over there at the Cafe Central?" Mr. Bronstein, a few years later, became much more famous as [[spoiler:Leon Trotsky]].
* Depending on the season, ''SaturdayNightLive''[='s=] cast may or may not be composed of future famous people.
** And the [[TheWindyCity Chicago]]-based {{Improv}} troupe ''Second City'' is likely composed partly of future SNL cast members.
* The officers responsible for clearing out the Bonus March: UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, Douglas [=MacArthur=] and George S. Patton.
* The Battle of Fort Necessity, which marked the start of the [[SevenYearsWar French and Indian War]], saw the Virginia militia commanded by Lieutenant Colonel GeorgeWashington.
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