Absurdly Youthful Mother

"I wouldn't say a word that could be reckoned as injurious,
But to find a mother younger than her son is very curious."

When you subtract the age (or apparent age) of a child from that of their parent, this results.

Often done to justify a Mrs. Robinson or Stacy's Mom, but sometimes, the mother in question really was that young when she gave birth. Sometimes she only appears this way because of the art style.

In Real Life, a girl can conceive about two weeks before her first menstrual cycle, which commonly occurs (on average) at around 11 or 12 years old these days (although carrying a child to term before physical maturity is risky and has a higher chance of death in childbirth; Henry VII's mother was thirteen when she gave birth to him and couldn't get pregnant again because of the damage to her reproductive organs) and in rare cases this can occur at an even younger age, such as five years old.note 

See also:

Subtrope of Hollywood Old. Compare and contrast Playing Gertrude, where the actor playing the parent is absurdly youthful although the character may not be.


Examples:

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Faked parentage

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Our Miss Brooks episode "The Wrong Mrs. Boynton", Miss Brooks unwittingly offers to masquerade as Mr. Boynton's mother. This is in spite of the fact she is actually a couple of years younger than her Love Interest. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • In Only Fools and Horses, Del wins a family holiday for the Trotters by entering a children's art contest with a picture painted by Rodney when he was 14. In order for them to be eligible to claim the prize, Rodney (who's in his early 20s) has to pose as a 14-year-old boy, with Del (who was 16-17 when Rodney was born) pretending to be his father. Del at least has the sense to claim Cassandra, about the same age as Rodney, as a stepmother.
  • Tracy Jordan's adult son on 30 Rock is far too old. In an aversion, Tracy sees through the deception immediately (while his friends assume the Cloudcuckoolander was actually taken in).
  • Discussed in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "T.R.A.C.K.S", when Agents Coulson and Simmons are posing as father/daughter family. Simmons comments that Coulson is "far too young to have a daughter my age." (Though it would seem she's just being polite: the official website states that Coulson was 49 and Simmons 26 at the time the mission took place, meaning that they could easily be father and daughter at their respective ages.)

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender season 3, Sokka and Katara fake being Aang's parents at a Fire Nation school. The two of them are barely older than he is and wear unconvincing disguises (Sokka wore a fake beard, Katara wore a pillow stuffed under her shirt to make her look pregnant) to pass themselves off. To really blow some heads, just remember that in terms of pure chronological age, he could be their great-great grandfather.


Writers Cannot Do Math

    Anime and Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: It is never stated how old Syaoran's mother Yelan is, only that she looks very young and beautiful enough to stand out in a universe populated by The Beautiful Elite. She is, however, thought to be somewhere in her mid-to-late 30's, and possibly married as a teenager. This is never confirmed, because she is only seen in the first OVA.
  • As mentioned above, in the dub of Digimon Tamers, Ruki/Rika's age was altered, but the age of her mother was left alone. Ruki is implied to have been the result of a teen pregnancy in the original. The dub's numbers indicate that Rumiko gave birth at thirteen. Oops.

    Comics 
  • Kill Killer features a story with a "Dirty Callahan"-like killer of pedophiles who, after a lengthy period in prison for beating the supposed killer of his five year old child, reunites with his partner, the mother of the child... a 19 year old teenager. Someone obviously couldn't make a subtraction... Or maybe that was the point.note 

    Literature 
  • In Harry Potter, the official Black family tree includes birth and death dates; if followed exactly, Sirius' grandfather had his mother when he was only 13. J. K. Rowling is on record that math isn't her strong suit, so many fans assume she just misplaced a decade. Then again, given the Blacks' status as a Big, Screwed-Up Family, it could conceivably be accurate....
    • A more subtle but still prominent example would be with Harry's parents. Going by the birth and the death dates, Lily Potter gave birth to Harry when she and James were 20, and both of them died when only 21. While not completely out there (they were crazy for each other by the end of school, and James had both a good job out of school and a good bit of old family money that Harry himself later inherits, so providing for Harry wasn't a challenge), it does still feel jarring, especially given how old they're portrayed as in the movies. Rowling does acknowledge this later on.
      • They were in the middle of a way of life altering war so it's not unlikely that they got married, and Harry came along, at a young age because they never knew if either would be killed before they got round to it. It happened a lot during the First and Second World Wars, and Mrs Weasley alludes to it as something that happened a lot during the First Wizarding War when fretting about how Bill and Fleur (the former in his twenties, the latter 21/22 at the very most) are getting married so quickly. Of course this by implication includes her and Mr Weasley, as her children point out.
  • In W.E.B. Griffin's OSS series, one of the major characters is the son of a Hollywood star, who, if one believes her official studio biography, gave birth to him at thirteen. However, this is entirely due to the studio claiming that she's younger than she actually is due to the fact that she always plays The Ingenue, and they need to make her look as if she's young enough to plausibly play that role (They try not to draw attention to the fact that she has an adult son - who is only legitimate because she married the father for one year to avoid any possible scandal connected to the pregnancy - whenever possible).
    • In fact, they did everything they could to cover up or erase the evidence, and the mother ends up believing her own "official" bio. When he confronts her, she not only flatly denies that he's her son, but that she could possibly have a son in the first place.

    Live Action TV 
  • In One Life to Live, Greg is explicitly stated (in courtroom testimony, no less) to have ten years' experience as a fully licensed practicing neurosurgeon, putting him in his early 40s at the youngest. His mother is played by an actress in her late 40s, and to make things interesting he has a 15-year-old sister. All the characters were introduced during 2009 so SORAS isn't involved.
  • Supernatural. John Winchester may be ruggedly handsome with a beard, but this hardly hides the fact that he looks MAYBE ten years Dean's senior.
  • In the third episode of Girl Meets World, Topanga tells a small child that she's 30. Topanga and Cory have a daughter, Riley, in 7th grade. If Riley is normal age for her grade (12-13), Topanga had her when she was 17-18. Given that Boy Meets World goes through Topanga's second year of college and she had no children up until that time, clearly someone didn't do the math. That or she was simply lying about her age.
  • According to That's So Raven, Chelsea was born in 1989. That makes her 28 at the start of Raven's Home. She has a 4th grade son and her similarly aged friend Raven has 6th grade twins. Either Raven's Home takes place 20 Minutes into the Future, Writers Cannot Do Math, or the two had kids really young.

    Video Games 
  • Dead or Alive: Ayame, the mother of Hayate, Kasumi, and Ayane. She's had three kids, Hayate being in his early twenties and Kasumi and Ayane being in their late teens (17 and 16, respectively, in the original game), and in her every appearance so far, she doesn't appear to be much older than Kasumi.
  • In The Sims 3, Boyd and Susan Wainwright are 11 days until Elder while playing in normal lifespan (AKA they're 62 SimDays old), while their daughter, Blair, is in her very first day of Young Adult (31 SimDays old), meaning that Blair was born while both her parents were in their very first day of Young Adult, and thus she would have been conceived when her parents were teens in "normal gameplay". In the meanwhile (a completely different family/household but still in Sunset Valley) Leighton Sekemoto is 19 days until Adult (basically middle-aged) while his son, Sam, is on his first day of toddler. This is because, while 1 SimDay = 1 Year in the Child, Young Adult, Adult, and Elder Stage, it equals 6 months in the Baby, Toddler, and Teen lifestage.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Not the case anymore; but the Koopalings were once considered to be Bowser's children along with Junior. Bowser himself is only a few years older than Mario (who is 24); and the Koopalings are all teenagers or young adults. If they're considered Bowser's children; Bowser would only be about ten years older than Ludwig (the eldest).
  • Due to poor translation rather than poor math, an NPC in the first Mega Man Battle Network says that ten-year-old Lan's grandfather, the famous Dr. Tadashi Hikari, is forty-five years old. Yikes. Later games in the series clarify that Tadashi died at forty-five (of a genetic heart problem), before Lan was born.
  • In Yakuza 6, Haruka Sawamura, adopted daughter to the main playable character Kiryu Kazuma, is revealed to have given birth to a newborn son, Haruto, while Kiryu spent three years in prison, as a result he goes out on a wild goose chase to find the father for a majority of the game's plot.

    Webcomics 
  • Homestuck. Bro Strider. Most fans think of Bro as being in his early/middle 20s, until you sit down and do the math. He was at least an adult - 18 - when he adopted baby!Dave. Dave is thirteen now, making bro at least 31. The same might apply to Mama Lalonde and Dad Egbert, but Mom and Dad seem to be thought of as "older" than Bro, so I don't know. The whole lot of them don't seem to change in appearance between adopting their children and thirteen years later.
    • The Egbert Family. Nana was born in 1910. John was "born" in 1996. Dad appears to be a regular middle aged man, but if Nana had Dad around age 20 (as was normal for a woman of her time period) Dad would have to be in his sixties when John is "born." If Dad is about, say, 40 when John is 13, Nana would have had to have given birth to him in HER fifties-sixties. It's unclear how old Dad is SUPPOSED to be, but so far it doesn't seem to add up when considering Nana's and John's ages.
  • All the main heroines in How I Became Yours.
    • Katara would have become a mother at age 15 had Mai not induced a miscarriage, and in the epilogue (taking place when she's 23), she has several children who look to be at least 5 years old.
    • Toph would have been 21 at the time of the epilogue, and she also has seemingly kindergarten-aged kids.
    • Azula, since she got pregnant during the comic, would have been 17/18 when her child was born.

    Western Animation 
  • On Gravity Falls, the Whole Episode Flashback establishes that Dipper and Mabel's grandfather, Shermy, was only a baby when Stan was kicked out of the house. "More than ten years" pass before Stan meets Ford again, then another thirty years before the main events of the show. So at this point, Shermy would be a little more than forty years old, but with twelve-year-old grandkids? Even if you assume that "more than ten years" is closer to twenty, that's cutting things pretty close.


Combination/Actually That Young/Other

    Anime and Manga 
  • Diva from Blood+ looks, sounds and even acts very youthful, if not childish and immature. She becomes this after she rapes and kills Riku., who happens to be 13 years old. She does mature slightly a year after the Time Skip.
  • In Sword Art Online, Kirito and Asuna adopt the AI Yui as their daughter. At the time, Kirito and Asuna are 16 and 17, respectively. Yui, by virtue of being an AI, is like an 8-year-old despite in fact being 2.
  • Konata's mother Kanata from Lucky Star looked incredibly young throughout her life and (sometimes) acted accordingly. This fact gave fuel for some interesting speculation about the preferences of Konata's father Soujirou.
  • Tomo-chan wa Onnanoko! gives us Carol's mother Ferris. An extra chapter shows Carol's father Eddie proposing to Ferris, who says she can't get married because she's 13; Eddie freaks out because he thought she was older than him due to her working as a waitressnote  and being ridiculously overdeveloped for her age. And then after Ferris accepted the proposal, she mentioned "the little one inside me", triggering a Heroic B.S.O.D. in poor Eddie.

    Fan Works 
  • Past Sins
    • Twilight adopts the magically generated Nyx. Biologically, they're a late teennote  and child respectively, and that's not even going into the newly-made or millennium-old question with Nyx. And things get even weirder when Nyx is artificially aged up to an adult horse...
    • There's also the fact that some of Twilight's blood was used in the ritual to resurrect Nightmare Moon (due to her status as the Element of Magic), possibly making her a Truly Single Parent or some weird case of Has Two Mommies with Princess Luna.
  • Aki-chan's Life is a particularly extreme example, with fourteen or fifteen year-old Asuka and Shinji being parents of a four year-old girl. Time travel was involved.
    • Of course, even in the previous story, Asuka was probably only about fifteen or sixteen when she gave birth to Aki. Even that's just a guess on her and Shinji's part as they weren't bothering to keep track of time after the apocalypse.
  • The Child of Love: Asuka gave birth Teri when she and Shinji were fifteen. During her birthday she admits she is too young to be a mother.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Kyoko is only a few years older than her daughter because she was a bodiless soul for twenty years.
  • In RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse, Ditzy Doo was just barely legal when she got pregnant with Dinky.
  • Bait and Switch: When Yui returns from EVA-01 (actually Shinji in his mother's body), she's only twenty four due to not having aged after spending a decade without a body.
  • The Differentverse: Twilight hatched her adoptive son Spike when she was eleven. She's 21 in the present day.
  • The Oversaturated World: While Ditzy Doo presumably gave birth to Dinky at a more normal age, she subsequently decided to send Dinky back in time to spend time with her teenage self, ending up in this trope.
  • This is a plot point in Red Jewel Diaries when Fate tells Lindy that a DNA test said that her biological father is Clyde. Lindy instantly points out that it's impossible since Clyde was only 10 when Alicia (the girl Fate was cloned from) was born. When Fate does some investigating, she finds out that her father was actually an aged up clone of Clyde who was (at most) three years old.
  • Black Sky: Dorea Black gets herself married after her fifteenth birthday and immediately gets pregnant with twins. Her husband also is an example since he was only sixteen when she conceived, and almost six years spent in cold storage ensured he stayed sixteen while the kids are now five years old, which logically would mean he fathered them at eleven, almost twelve years old.
  • Child of the Storm has the canonical Harry Potter case of Lily and James Potter, with the author calculating that Lily would have got pregnant at 19 and a half. Of course, the case is a touch odder here, since James was Thor in mortal form (and entirely unaware of it), meaning that he was technically 1500 when Harry was conceived.
    • Minerva Mc Gonagall was no more than 20 when she got pregnant with Clint's mother, by Bucky Barnes.
  • Dragonstone features a wedding between Jon Stark and Margaery Tyrell, both being thirteen years old only - the agreement was that they would wed after Margaery's first period, and she's older than Jon. She gives birth to their firstborn son Duncan when she's only fourteen.

    Jokes 
  • Gender Flipped in an old 19th Century lawyer joke, in which a defense lawyer serves as advocate for a ten-year-old boy in a paternity case. Angry and disgusted to no end that such an absurd case even made it to trial, the lawyer finally calls his client to the stand to testify, instructs him to drop his trousers, and proceeds to hold the boy's hairless Teeny Weenie up for inspection. As he goes on an angry rant about how every dimension of it calls into question how the lad could even have the capacity to father a child, let alone sufficient motive, the boy rises up on the tip of his toes and grumbles softly to his lawyer: "Mister, if you don't take your hand off my member right now, we're gonna lose this case!"

    Literature 
  • A Brother's Price justifies this trope by changing the definition of "mother". All sisters of a child's birth mother who are still part of the same family groupnote  are her mothers. This makes possible a situation in which someone's mother is the same age as her, or possibly even younger.
  • Seems to be pretty heavily implied as the norm in Allegiant, given that Natalie and Andrew were together before they entered Abnegation together, and that the Bureau requires that all persons entering the experiment promise to have a minimum number of children to ensure the survival of their "corrected genes".
  • In Die Alchimistin, Sylvette gives birth at eight. It isn't clear whether it was fully natural or the Big Bad stimulated her puberty somehow (he was probably able to do that).
  • In Alice, Girl from the Future the Pirate Queen first appears as a strikingly beautiful woman in her twenties. She is also the mother of Rat who is definitely much older than that, which is lampshaded by the hero. Then her young face turns out to be a mask, and what lies beneath is so horrid that the author doesn't even describe it.
    • Although we never know for sure whether she is his real mother, as she is only shown in human form and he is a shapeshifting scorpion-like alien. We only have his word that he inherited the shapeshifting from his father, but the author is rather vague on the question of alien/human interbreeding.
  • In Magic or Madness, all magic-user parents were absurdly young when they had their kids, because magic is Cast From Life Span (and if you don't use it, you go insane). This causes several problems, since said mothers weren't mature enough to properly raise children.
  • Played for Drama in We Can't Rewind: Denise is indicated to have given birth at eleven. Later, due to a "Freaky Friday" Flip, her daughter Jaymee also manages to give birth at age ten, albeit from her mother's adult body.

    Theater 
  • In Romeo and Juliet, Lady Capulet offhandedly mentions that she was the same age as her daughter when she gave birth to Juliet, meaning that she's only 26 to 28-years-old at the very least.

Alternative Title(s): Absurdly Youthful Father, Absurdly Youthful Parent, Absurdly Youthful Parents

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AbsurdlyYouthfulMother