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Grow Old with Me
"Thanks for the adventure... Now go have a new one!"

Oh, they say that I'm feeble with age, Maggie; my steps are much slower than then.
My face is a well written page, Maggie, and time all along was the pen.
Oh, they say that we've outlived our time, Maggie, as dated as songs that we've sung,
But to me, you're as fair as you were, Maggie, when you and I were young.

Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.

This trope is when a romantic couple is depicted going on into their golden years. If mortality or mental illness is a theme, this is a sure recipe for tear jerkers aplenty.

May combine with Babies Ever After by also depicting their descendants, who are often numerous.

Compare December-December Romance, wherein the couple meets in their senior years.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The ending of Fruits Basket shows Kyo and Tohru's granddaughter watching them.
  • The Boys Love manga Future Lovers has a dream sequence in its final chapter featuring an elderly Akira and Kento. When Akira wakes up to find he's still young, Kento tells him "I have no intention of dying any time soon. You'll live to be a hundred and I'll be ninety-nine!"
  • In ''Axis Powers Hetalia, the young French soldier whom France befriends discusses Who Wants to Live Forever? with his wife, and then finishes invoking the trope:
    "You're right! Without this plain mortal body, I wouldn't be able to pursue my dream! To grow old together. Until our hands will be full of wrinkles."
  • A Tenchi Muyo! strip had Washu make a camera that would show off everyone fifty years into the future. When she took the picture, the gang found out that the only two growing old were Tenchi and Mihoshi. Ryoko and Ayeka are ready to strangle the poor cop while Sasami sighs out that she wanted to grow old with him.

    Fanfiction 
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Days Of Future Smurfed", Empath sees in his future that his marriage to Smurfette lasts for about four centuries, after which she dies of old age, reverting back to lifeless blue clay.

    Film 
  • Central to the plot of Up. The actual ageing and romance take place in the film's opening montage (as seen in the page image), but remain the driving force of the plot throughout the film.
  • Away From Her
  • Bicentennial Man. Though he doesn't physically age, Andrew does this with Portia. Eventually he even forces himself to grow old in appearance and become mortal so that he can die of old age alongside her.
  • Used as Arc Words in the Christopher Nolan movie Inception... Due to the effects of Year Inside, Hour Outside two lovers do this while trapped within the dream world.
  • The two main characters of The Notebook live together well into old age.
  • In Don Juan DeMarco, the title character helps a therapist & his wife discover the possibilities for passion though their retirement years. Not a bad prospect!
  • In The Wedding Singer, Julia casually mentions wanting to marry someone she could grow old with. Robbie, who of course is in love with her, writes a song entitled "Grow Old With You" and sings it to her at the end to prove how much he cares. It works like a charm

    Literature 
  • Raymond E. Feist likes to follow his characters and their romantic interests well into their twilight years, which leads to more than a few cases of this trope. See Jimmy the Hand/Duke James' death in The Serpentwar Saga.
  • Near the end of Komarr, Ekaterin's Uncle is rather upset at his wife's close call, and Ekaterin is somewhat envious of a marriage that the participants regard as threatened with a premature end after a mere fifty years.
    • Aral and Cordelia Vorkosigan in the same series lasted forty years before he died.
  • Given that life expectancy in Panem had otherwise seemed to be very short, the epilogue to The Hunger Games had this subtext, although the trauma sustained by Katniss in particular is implied to be ever-present.
  • Tommy and Tuppence, who over the course of five books go from "Bright Young Things" to grandparents.
  • Kenny Bruce Williams and Ekaterina Risto in the Left Behind book Kingdom Come grow old throughout the entire Millennial Kingdom period as a married couple, as do all naturals who become believers before their 100th birthday. By the time the Millennium ends, even the longest-living naturals who become believers revert to the prime of their adult youth as they receive their glorified bodies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A possible version of reality in one episode of Farscape; a Reset Button ensured it didn't happen, at least not the way it's depicted.
    • If you're talking about "The Locket", that wasn't necessarily a romantic relationship, though they did grow old together (and the locket contains a picture of "the only man [Aeryn's] ever loved" - Crichton, and Crichton says "I love you" at the end of the episode.)
  • On the series finale of Charmed, Piper and Leo travel to the future and meet themselves as an elderly couple. Grandma!Piper even had fresh- baked cookies ready for them in expectation of their meeting.
  • Saturday Night Live ran a skit that poked fun at Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey when they were married and had a reality show, by showing what things might be like fifty years down the road. In short, Jessica was still a Brainless Beauty, but poor Nick needed to get his eyeballs replaced from rolling them so much over the years.
  • Friends While not actually shown, Monica and Chandler promise they will do this.
    Chandler: You know what the worse part was? I got to see what my life would be like without you... please promise that you will never leave me, that we will grow old together, and be with each other for the rest of our lives.
    Monica: I promise.
  • Doctor Who; in the afterward to the Melody Malone novel "The Angel's Kiss", Amy assured the Doctor that she and Rory met this fate after being Trapped in the Past by the Weeping Angels. Rory also sent a letter to his dad assuring him of the same thing in the mini-epilogue "P.S.".

    Music 
  • Paul McCartney asks his lover if she'll stay with him in "When I'm Sixty-Four". The irony that Paul was in the middle of a nasty divorce from Heather Mills when he was 64 was lost on no-one.
  • Ridiculed in "When You're Old And Gray" by Tom Lehrer.
    While I still appreciate you
    Let's find love while we may
    Because I know I'll hate you
    When you are old and gray
  • The old music-hall song, "My Old Dutch":
    We've been together now for forty years,
    And it don't seem a day too much.
    Oh, there ain't a lady living in the land
    As I'd swap for my dear old Dutch.
  • The old parlor song, "Silver Threads Among the Gold" (beloved of Warner Bros. cartoons):
    Darling, we are growing old—
    Silver threads among the gold
    Shine upon my brow today;
    Life is fading fast away;
    But, my darling, you will be
    Always young and fair to me,
  • Ludo's song from their latest album, "Anything for You," invokes this:
    Anything for you
    All of this is true
    But the best story that I could ever tell
    Is the one where I am growing old with you.
  • Title of one of the last songs John Lennon ever wrote. Sadly averted.
  • Journey's song "After All these Years" is sung from the point of view of a fellow who is Happily Married and utterly delighted that he's had the chance to have a long life alongside his wife.
  • The premise of Stan Rogers' "Forty-Five Years" from his debut album, "Fogarty's Cove".
    I just want to hold you closer than I've ever held anyone before
    You say you've been twice a wife and you're through with life
    Oh, but honey, what the hell's it for?
    After 23 years, you'd think I could find a way to let you know somehow
    That I want to see your smiling face forty-five years from now.
  • The Ringo Starr-George Harrison collaboration "Photograph", which became a major Tear Jerker when Ringo performed it at the Concert for George.
    I can't get used to living here,
    While my heart is broke, my tears I cried for you.
    I want you here to have and hold,
    As the years go by and we grow old and grey.
  • Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe" is a moving reflection on the "mortality" version of this trope.

    Mythology and Religion 

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Pattersons in the epilogue to For Better or for Worse
  • Subverted in a Garfield greeting card with a cover reading, "Come let us grow old together." and the words "You first." inside.

    Poetry 
  • Darby and Joan, from a poem by Henry Woodfall published in 1735.
    Old Darby, with Joan by his side
    You've often regarded with wonder.
    He's dropsical, she is sore-eyed
    Yet they're ever uneasy asunder.
  • Trope Namer is the Robert Browning poem "Rabbi Ben Ezra:"
    Grow old along with me!
    The best is yet to be,
    The last of life, for which the first was made:
    Our times are in His hand
    Who saith, "A whole I plann'd,
    Youth shows but half; trust God: see all nor be afraid!"
  • Robert Burns's "John Anderson":
    John Anderson, my jo, John,
    When we were first acquent,
    Your locks were like the raven,
    Your bonnie brow was brent;
    But now your brow is beld, John,
    Your locks are like the snow;
    But blessings on your frosty pow,
    John Anderson, my jo!

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode "Beware My Cheating Bart", when asked what his goal in life was, Homer replied without hesitation that he wanted to grow old with Marge and live long enough to "be one of those couples who just sit in the park holding hands".
    • And in "Holidays of Future Passed", an episode that took place in the distant future, Homer and Marge do manage to grow old together.

    Real Life 
  • Special mention goes to the couple that currently holds the record for the world's longest marriage (86 years!), Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher. They were married from May 1924 until February 2011, when Herbert died at the age of 105. Zelmyra died in February 2013, also at the age of 105.


Granny ClassicEldersGrumpy Old Man
Babies Ever AfterRomance ArcHappily Married
Green-Eyed EpiphanyLove TropesHands-On Approach
Church of Saint GenericusImageSource/Animated FilmsNever Recycle a Building

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