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Romantic love that arises between two elderly or senior characters. If mortality or mental illness is a theme, this is a sure recipe for tear jerkers
aplenty. However, it can also be used optimistically, as proof that there's no age limit on love. In that case, it frequently turns into a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
. Compare May-December Romance
and Grow Old with Me
. Often overlaps with New Old Flame
, if the two characters were lovers earlier in life but quarrelled or grew apart. The opposite of Puppy Love
, in which two unusually young characters have a romance — although in the New Old Flame
case, the same pair of characters may have been both.
However, don't count on seeing any same-sex relationships like this; it's well-known that Nobody Over Fifty Is Gay
. Aversions of this may note that the couple were unable to admit to their love in less enlightened times, but are making up for lost time now.
Definitely a case of Truth in Television
, as many people do remarry or have long term relationships that begin very late in life.
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Anime and Manga
- An episode of Sailor Moon Super S features a snippy but secretly kind old woman named Mayako, who strikes an Inter Generational Friendship with Chibi-Usa and Mamoru. It turns out that the reason why she looks so bitter is that she lost her old boyfriend twenty years ago, which made her a borderline Broken Bird. Said boyfriend, the famous Supreme Chef Ichiro Ohno, returns into her life towards the end of the episode (after Mayako is saved from Hawk Eye by the Senshi) and apologies to her for the hurt he caused her, and they get together again and open a restaurant - like they had sworn to do many years ago.
- Chief and the title character's mother in Doug TenNapel's Earthboy Jacobus, which actually gets more focus than the title character's romance.
- Aunt May and J. Jonah Jameson Sr in Spider-Man.
- Also, Aunt May and Edwin Jarvis. However, it didn't end well because it turns out that "Jarvis" was actually a Skrull impostor, and had been for a while. The real Jarvis has likely never met her. And well, let's not forget the fate of her first husband, Ben Parker. Just in case you thought the Parker romantic luck was restricted to Peter.
Film - Animated
- In The Swan Princess there's Queen Uberta and Lord Rogers. There's also some hints at Queen Uberta/King William but King William goes and dies.
Film - Live-Action
- In The Princess Diaries 2 (the Disney film, not the books), Joe the chauffeur falls in love with the dowager queen. Their dialogue suggests that they've had some UST for quite a while, but are only now admitting it... ...and they finally decide to get married in the end.
- Grumpier Old Men, the sequel to Grumpy Old Men, has Grandpa Gustafson having a romance (in his own way) with Mama Ragetti, the mother of Maria Ragetti. When God finally remembers him, Mama is among the mourners at the funeral, and tosses a flower into the grave with him.
- Something's Gotta Give has Jack Nicholson's character opposite Keanu Reeves's, competing for the affections of the beautiful older woman played by Diane Keaton. Even worse/better, she's the mother of his last girlfriend's.
- Arguably Ivan Simanov and Victoria in RED. They're well into their sixties and clearly enamoured of each other, which qualifies them. The only possible exclusion criterion is that they were originally lovers as young adults before their jobs - and the fact that they were on opposite sides of the Cold War!!! - separated them. December/December rekindling, perhaps?
- Guillaume Blerot and the Widow Audel in Chocolat.
- Claire and Lorenzo in Letters to Juliet, who were separated when they were teenagers, married other people and after fifty years, were reunited and married.
- In Robot And Frank there is clearly a spark between retired jewel thief Frank and Jennifer the librarian, played by Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon. she is his ex-wife, but his memory loss is so bad that he no longer remembers her.
- In Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, the delivery of a letter results in two childhood sweethearts, now elderly and widowed, getting married after all.
- Paul and Elaine in The Green Mile.
- Eleni Cooper and Sir Myles in the Song of the Lioness quartet. Very sweetly portrayed.
- In Memory, Lady Alys Vorpatril (age 55) and Simon Illyan (age 60, perhaps older) get together after Illyan's medically forced retirement. At some point in the series, it's also mentioned that Miles' Betan grandmother (who is 90 if she's a day) is in a similar relationship with a gentleman in his 80s.
- In the Jeeves and Wooster story "Indian Summer of an Uncle", Bertie's Uncle George has an "indian summer" and goes after a girl much younger than himself. Then he meets the girl's aunt, who turns out to be the lost love of his younger days, and marries her instead.
- The Westing Game: Otis Amber and Crow.
- 1632: Schoolteacher Melissa Mailey and Dr. James Nichols. Both are in their late fifties at the time of the Ring of Fire, and they're both pleasantly surprised to find that they haven't... lost the capacity for enjoying each other. Which they do. On a regular basis. It's a mark of Melissa's Character Development that she throws propriety to the winds and starts openly living in sin with him.
Live Action TV
- Happened on Golden Girls when Sophia fell in love with a man she met on the boardwalk. Sadly, it was hinted at during the episode and revealed at the end that he had Alzheimer's, so they had to cut it short because he was going to be put in a home.
- In another episode she falls in love with her late best friend's husband.They get married but realize it won't work out between them so they decide to become seperated.
- Britcom As Time Goes By - young lovers, a soldier and a nurse, lose contact when he's shipped off to the Korean War. They're re-united in their golden years. Counts as both a case of this trope and Grow Old with Me.
- Another example from the same show is Lionel's father Rocky and his lover Madge, who get married in their eighties.
- Happened with a couple of guest characters (both widowed) on Good Times. It was mentioned that as a married couple they could get more from social security than if they were single.
- Happens to Karen McCluskey in the 6th season of Desperate Housewives.
- Admiral Adama and President Roslin in Battlestar Galactica. Also Fire-Forged Friends, since they did not get along well at first. Hell, he even deposed her once. (And re-posed[sic] her another time.)
- Tom and Diana in Waiting for God.
- Elka in Hot In Cleveland has multiple romantic interests just in the first season.
- Mr. Feeny and Dean Bolander in Boy Meets World (played, incidentally, by husband and wife William Daniels and Bonnie Bartlett).
- Major Garreau and Sergeant Pepper in China Beach with a bit of an eventual tearjerker implied late in the last season when it's mentioned that Sarge has had/has cancer and may not be long for this world.
- Gaius and Alice on Merlin (even though they had met, nearly married, and broken up prior to the episode, it was still a late-in-life relationship).
- Silver Foxes Agent Gibbs and Dr. Ryan on NCIS.
- A weird example in the Doctor and the TARDIS on Doctor Who. The first time they met in human form, they were both several hundred years old. On the other hand, they had been "together" for several hundred years before that too, without the Doctor really grasping how explicit the relationship was. On the other hand, when they first met, they were both instantly smitten with each other and ran off together, the TARDIS was already very old (an antique in fact) at that point, and it's implied the Doctor's first incarnation may have been rather old at the time too (although he was young by Time Lord standards). On the other hand, she's a sentient starship/time machine and he has a case of The Nth Doctor going on, so when they first meet in human form, his body appears to be in its late twenties and hers appears to be around forty-ish, so it's debatable whether it qualifies for this trope. On the other other hand, it's debatable whether a couple this bizarre properly qualifies for any romance trope, so....
- Last Tango In Halifax is about a couple in their seventies who, due to miscommunication, never got together in their teens, meet again on Facebook and get engaged the day they reunite in person.
- In one episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, Debra's father is shown to have remarried and wants to bring his new wife to Thanksgiving. Debra is upset, although Ray points out that if her mom is happy, she should be happy. Everyone is expecting a May-December Romance, only for the woman to actually be older than him (the age is never stated, but Debra's father looked to be in his 60s and his new wife looked to be in her 80s).
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has Zek and Ishka, i.e. the (Squick-inducing) romance between the leader of the entire Ferengi Alliance and Quark's mother.
- In Marshall Karp's Squabbles, Abe and Mildred fall into this trope by the end of the play.
- During the "The Book of Love" quest in Skyrim you play the role of matchmaker while observing different kinds of love. At one point, you are tasked with pairing up the fairly old court mage (who might be really old since he's a High Elf) and the Jarl's Housecarl, who looks like she's in her fifties. The priestess of Mara questgiver describes this as a "seasoned" love.
- Avatar The Last Airbender: While never shown onscreen, it is implied that such is the case between Kanna and Pakku, who do marry.
- Even more! They were in an Arranged Marriage when younger, but Kanna ran away from the Northern Water Tribe since she didn't want to be burdened by their traditions. Pakku was so hurt that he grew into an embittered Straw Misogynist, until he met Plucky Girl Katara — Kanna's granddaughter. So it's a mix of this and New Old Flame, strictly speaking.
- Wanda's dad and Cosmo's mother in The Fairly OddParents.
- Rugrats has one with Grandpa Lou and Lulu. They even got married.
- Grandpa has had these a couple of times on The Simpsons. In one case, Marge tried to hook him up with her widowed mother (then Mr Burns came along). In another, he dated a woman who lived in the same old folks home who died and left him a large sum of money.
- DuckTales features Scrooge McDuck and Glittering Goldie in a Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship, but it's notably sweeter and stabler than their comic counterparts.
- In Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Neighbor Pains": It turns out the crotchety Old Man Rivers, who seems resentful of Foster's Home, actually has feelings for Madame Foster. He takes Mac's advice and actually tries talking to her and the two seem to be hitting it off . . . until they resume fighting at the end of the episode.