You were a kid in TheEighties and grew up watching your favorite MerchandiseDriven cartoon but lost interest as you grew older. Suddenly it's TheNineties, and you're bored, flipping through the channels one day, and what do you see? A DarkerAndEdgier revamp of the show you used to watch! It's good! You get sucked right into it! Fast forward to the TurnOfTheMillennium, and you hear news that this show is being adapted into a big budget LiveActionAdaptation. You go into the theaters, and what do you notice? All the other moviegoers are in their 20s like yourself and probably grew up watching the show like you did. This isn't a coincidence; whoever created the show made a decision to gradually increase the target audience's age as its fans grew older. This trope is one of the biggest sources of OldGuardVersusNewBlood trouble around. It's absolutely great for the old guard, but the new blood often feels it just isn't the same if they came in late.

For instance, when ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'' aired, a lot of old-school Degrassi fans wished the show had stuck to the old characters (who were now adults), while the new ''Degrassi'' fans were annoyed that adult characters had their own storylines in a TeenDrama. Later, when the Next Generation cast got too old to stay in HighSchool, the producers were stuck either following them to college and on (which didn't really fit the format) or switching to a new bunch of kids (who nobody cared about). The producers did ''both'' and satisfied nobody.

Contrast FleetingDemographic, where the series/franchise switches to a younger audience as the former audience matures.


* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' started as [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers a daily syndicated cartoon]] based on a line of toys, TheNineties brought the DarkerAndEdgier ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', and the 2000s-2010s saw the Creator/MichaelBay live-action movies, ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' (a mix of goofy, mature and ContinuityPorn), and the mature TV cartoon ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''.
* Creator/JKRowling has stated that she intentionally wrote the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series to encompass more mature and scarier themes as the young readers got a little older for each book. This took something of a hit during the "Three-Year Summer" after the fourth book; the audience grew quite a bit older than Harry, and so the reception began to decline.
* Creator/WarrenEllis wrote a DarkerAndEdgier treatment of ''Franchise/GIJoe'' called ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeResolute'', which premiered as a WebOriginal series. While hardcore current fans [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks did not really appreciate the changes]], It did receive positive reviews from casual fans who had grown up with the series.
* ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}: Shattered Soldier'', the ''VideoGame/BionicCommando'' sequels, ''VideoGame/FinalFight Streetwise'', and pretty much the entirety of ''Franchise/PrinceOfPersia'' in the last decade.
* One word: ''Franchise/{{DCAU}}''. Especially ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''.
* Creator/JohnKricfalusi tried this with ''WesternAnimation/RenAndStimpy Adult Party Cartoon'', and didn't exactly get a positive response.
* The entire American comics industry has fallen into this over the past 20 years or so, with about 90% of title out there right now focusing on the teen/twenty something male demographic.
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' has been growing with its initial audience through out the entire trilogy, most notable in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' where main-character Andy is set to go to college. No points for anyone who can guess where most of the original Toy Story fans are or getting ready to go to.
** Keep in mind that the ''Toy Story'' movies are aimed as much at the parents of the kids in the audience as the kids themselves. The stories are told from the viewpoint of the toys that are being left not from the viewpoint of the kid who is leaving them. And that viewpoint is closer to what a parent experiences as their child grows up, develops interests outside the family, and eventually leaves home.
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'' did something similar. The prequel, ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'', which focuses on Sulley's and Mike's college days, came out when the audience for the original movie were in college.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' fits this trope because when it first aired it was a children's show that focused on the exploits of toddlers. However when the show passed the ten year mark, it was revamped into ''WesternAnimation/AllGrownUp'', aging the protaganists to the status of pre-teens to appeal to the aging original audience of Rugrats.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' with respect to ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''.
* When Creator/{{Toonami}}, originally aired during the daytime with programs aimed at kids and pre-teens, was {{uncanceled}}, it received a new placement on the Creator/AdultSwim {{watershed}} hours as it's primary audience are now full grown adults.