It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
When a creature or species essentially comes into the world in an adult body. This may result from the creature having been deliberately created by someone else, or it just may be the way their species works. A given for robots
(aside from the occasional Robot Kid
), as they are not technically "born", they are built.
If the character is lucky, he, she, or it will be born with the skills to survive in the world. If not, the character is probably in for a very rough and awkward time.
Such a character is potentially subject to Merlin Sickness
— being born old but then proceeding to age backwards. It's also possible that the character Really Was Born Yesterday
Subtrope of Younger than They Look
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Dragon Ball, King Piccolo's children as soon as they hatched they were fully grown and ready for battle. Piccolo Jr. was the only one who was a baby when he hatched, and even then he aged to an adult in a few years.
- In a scene from Gall Force, this is suggested to be the case with the Solnoid species.
- In Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi, gravekeepers, beings who can grant true rest to the deceased, come down to Earth fully formed as adults. The protagonist Ai is the only exception, being half-human and half-gravekeeper.
- Mewtwo from Pokémon: The First Movie, was genetically engineered and only emerged from his tank when he was full grown. Although in an intro cut from the American release we do see Mewtwo as a "child" interacting telepathically with the other clones in the facility, though he doesn't remember this as an adult.
- DC Comics: Kon-El/Superboy was cloned and 'born' as a teenager with some knowledge implanted inside his head. Apparently the same went for his clone, Match.
- In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf series, Psyches are grown in gestation chambers for a year until they become the equivalent of 50-year-old Smurflings. No specific reason is given for this.
- Judge Dredd. The clones Rico created in the lab would have been full grown if they had lived.
- In the film Repli-Kate, the hero scientist unintentionally creates a clone of Kate, a Hot Scoop who was doing a story on his research. The clone, which they name Repli-Kate, is physically an adult but doesn't know anything, so the hero and his friend educate her, and thanks to her fully developed brain, they manage to teach her language and how to behave like an adult inside of a few days.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show: Rocky.
- The egg-born Uruk-hai in the film of The Lord of the Rings.
- Benjamin Button is born as a very elderly man.
- Samourais - a Japanese woman is pregnant with a demonic entity, and she, as well as the main characters, is trying to stop it from being born. They fail. She gives birth to a cocoon-like sac, which a fully grown man rips out of.
- In the horror movie Embryo, Rock Hudson is a scientist who develops a way of fast-aging fetuses in incubators, so they're adults by the time they become conscious. Said fetuses also have super learning skills, allowing them to become an Instant Expert in anything they study. Unfortunately the development process has some unfortunate side effects...
- In Wicked, Yackle turns out to have been born well past full-grown from the Grimmerie.
- Disney Fairies: Fairies come into being appearing to be young adults.
- The modified cloned super-soldiers of the Ghost Brigades in the Old Man's War series.
- The golems in the Discworld novels are created (forged) in adult form. And they stay that way for a long, very long time.
- Frankenstein's Monster.
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
- The protagonist of "Second Person, Present Tense" by Daryl Gregory. More or less.
- In The Kalevala, where Väinämöinen is born at the age of 700. The pregnancy took that long too.
- There's a side story to the Tortall Universe in which a tree is accidentally "born" as an adult man (a sorcerer unwittingly did this when he transformed an enemy into a tree). While the tree-turned-human is magically given knowledge of the human world by the sorcerer to help him get along in the world, he himself has virtually no firsthand experience and finds himself depending on a "young man" he meets.
- One of the Doctor Who New Adventures novels claimed that Time Lords have lost their ability to reproduce naturally, so new Time Lords are made by genetic engineering and emerge fully-grown. This doesn't seem to have held in the TV series.
- In the two The Elder Scrolls novels, everyone on Umbriel is born as an adult.
- Not literally the case for the Tendu of The Color Of Distance, as they have a tadpole stage and a land-dwelling semiadult stage, tinka, which can last them into their thirties before they're picked, if they're picked. But those first two stages are not seen as people - tadpoles are eaten and allowed to escape into rivers, tinka wander into villages to get worked like slaves and are often killed in rituals or by wandering animals. However, a tinka that's undergone metamorphosis into the first sentient stage is much more independent than a human child, being able to speak well and use complex tools. Bami are essentially apprentices setting out to learn the more complex details of Tendu life, not children at all.
Live Action Television
- In Angel, Jasmine is born as a full-grown woman. She's of the "born with world survival skills" variety (or in this case, world-destroyer skills).
- Doctor Who: The cloned soldiers in the episode "The Doctor's Daughter" begin life with an adult body and full military training. On that note, the Sontaran clone soldier race are implied to be this - they're born in "muster parades" and skip anything we'd call childhood, deeming twelve an impressive age to live to.
- Kyle in Kyle XY (also, Jessi too).
- Lexx season 3 might count: nobody on the planets Fire or Water recalls being a child; they just woke up one day and there they were. (This might be explained by the implication that the two planets are actually Hell and Heaven).
- On Mork and Mindy, Orkans age backwards, thus they are born as adults and become children as they get older. In the final season, Mork and Mindy had a son who hatched from an egg as a full grown man (played by Jonathan Winters).
- One Saturday Night Live skit had this happen to Will Ferrell.
- In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode, "The Trouble With Tribbles", Dr. McCoy states that tribbles are "born pregnant", which implies an adult reproductive system.
- There's a type of Real Life mite that has a reproductive cycle exactly like this. Every female is born pregnant; males aren't born at all, because they impregnated their sisters before any of them were born, and once he's mated his usefulness is over, so he just kind of dies inside his mother. Aphids are also born pregnant, but such offspring are clones of their mothers.
- In the original series episode, "I, Mudd", the androids are apparently "born" as fully functional adults.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Mr. Data's "species", the "Soongian androids", are apparently born with adult bodies, but rather robotic personalities. As their positronic neuroprocessors age, they develop childlike personalities before becoming fully adult.
- In Once Upon a Time, dwarves are hatched from eggs as fully clothed adults.
- Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined): The humanoid members of the robotic Cylon race are all born as adults, and upon death of their physical body can regenerate into new ones, effectively making them immortal. There are also many copies. Their emotional maturity can range, though. Cavil in particular is more like a sadistic, petulant teenager who happens to have been born in the body of an old man, which he is particularely cranky about.
- The Bible: Adam and Eve.
- Greek Mythology
- The goddess Athena was "born" out of her father Zeus' head fully grown and armored! Some versions state that she was actually born and nurtured by her mother in Zeus' stomach (Zeus had swallowed Metis to keep her from having children who would overthrow him) and only emerged later once fully grown.
- Aphrodite is another Greek goddess who was born an adult: she was created when Cronus severed Uranus' genitals and threw them into the sea, and Aphrodite sprouted full-formed from the sea foam.
- Monkey of Journey to the West was born full-grown from a stone egg cut out of a mountain. Not much explanation is given for this.
- In Hawaiian Mythology, Hi'iaka hatches fully-formed (although very much a Naïve Everygirl) from an egg that was carried to the islands by her big sister Pele.
- In the Mahabharata, Draupadi is born from a sacrificial fire.
- Dungeons & Dragons.
- If the Clone and Stasis Clone spells were used on adults, the clones they created would be adults too.
- In the Forgotten Realms setting, Living Constructs (Alias and her "sisters") were based on one of their creators' modified clone and thus created in adult form. The first has escaped after receiving Fake Memories, but the second generation was released as is and thought they had an incurable amnesia. Their built-in protection from divination magic prevented anyone from discovering the truth.
- Gamma World adventure GW1 The Legion of Gold. The cyborgs in the SAMURAI underwater laboratory are created full-grown and then have their brains programmed.
- Paranoia sometimes has clone bodies quick-grown to an adult state.
- Promethean: The Created: The vast majority of Prometheans come into the world as adults. In fact, it's a necessity for the creation process that the body used has to have undergone puberty. Mind you, when they're born, all they have is a rudimentary understanding of the old body's main language and a set of autonomic functions.
- It's possible to use a child's body (Reuben Trimble, mentioned in Strange Alchemies, is one example), but the Divine Fire doesn't take as well to a body that hasn't reached adulthood, so the odds of creating Pandorans shoots up. Even if it works, it's considered monstrous to create a being cursed with all a Promethean's Blessed with Suck that's also trapped in the body of a child.
- Guild Wars 2 will do this with Sylvari.
- Grunt in Mass Effect 2, grown in a lab tank and educated through neural downloading
- Klaymen himself in The Neverhood was created in his current form.
- The Murakumo units including Noel Vermillion of BlazBlue.
- In the Pokémon video games, evolutionary levels primariy denote Power Level, not age. Especially noticeable with baby forms introduced after Gen II that only happen during special circumstances, like Snorlax that are born as Snorlax instead of Munchlax (making the one or the other some type of birth defect?) and Kangaskhan that hatch from eggs with 'babies' in their pouches (maybe it's actually a baby-shaped external organ?).
- Most Pokemon that hatch from eggs can be bred as soon as they hatch.
- In Tales of the Abyss replicas are identical to their originals as they were at the moment of creation. In However, their minds are complete blank slates, save for a limited capacity to be programmed with basic commands.
- In Something, some of the Yoshi eggs in Kinder Surprise hatch into fully grown Pidgit Bills, Masked Koopas, and Caped Koopas.
- Everyone in Erfworld 'pops' full-grown - one of the first things to really bend Parson Gotti's mind - he asks a sorceress what she was like as a child, and gets a blank look. (This fact, by extension, also means that Erfworld has a much more casual attitude towards sexuality than a medieval society normally would, as well as general equality of the sexes since women aren't held back by pregnancy.) Regardless, this is of the 'it's just how it works' variety - presumably because their entire world is designed around warfare, so there's no room for kids (or civilians, for that matter).
- All of the Senkari were created full-grown.
- In Schlock Mercenary, there is a very interesting case. The titular Sergant Schlock is an example. His species, the amorphs, reproduce asexually, and normally bud off little amorphs with pre-made personalities based off of friends or lovers of the parent. Schlock was born when Two powerful amorphs battled by trying to assimilate the other. The resulting draw wiped the personalities of both parents, leaving a fully-grown, newborn amorph with the knowledge of an adult, but with the innocence, complete lack of life experience, and morality (or lack of...) befitting a child.
- Thumbelina: When she is born she is at least a teenager.
- Smurfette of The Smurfs, created by Gargamel and changed into a real Smurf by Papa Smurf as an adult female Smurf.
- Double Subverted in Gargoyles by Thailog. When first created, he was just a hatchling. However, he was placed in a nutrient bath which sped up his aging for as long as he stayed in it.
- In Monster High, this is suggested to be the case with Frankie Stein, who starts attending high school at the tender age of 15. Days old, that is.
- In one episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants, Sandy brings home a flea. After she, SpongeBob, and Patrick fight over Sandy's flea collar, the flea lays eggs on her head. Two fully-grown fleas come out - and then the fleas continue to multiply.
- Superboy in Young Justice looks to be in his late teens, but he was essentially 'born' in the first episode. In his case, because he's a clone of Superman, grown in a pod.
- Across various series, Transformers are almost always shown to be "born" in adult bodies. Of course, that's probably a result of them being Mechanical Lifeforms.
- Bender (and probably all the other robots) in Futurama.
- The series kind of ping-pongs on this; sometimes it depicts him as being "born" as an adult, but having a baby-like mentality until he received his bending programming, while other times it depicts him as an actual baby robot, of baby scale (once it showed his "fetal" form as a disc containing bending unit software).
- Earl of Lemongrab of Adventure Time was made in a laboratory, and he appears to be in his late teens or early twenties, at least eighteen years of age. (However, he acts like a very stupid seven year old most of the time.)
- There is at least one species of frog that remains in their egg for the entire tadpole period and only emerge once they reach adulthood.