"Hey, when the hell did you get taller than me?"Puberty can do weird things to kids. Hair starts growing everywhere, attraction to other people starts popping up, and, well, you grow up. Some people don't just grow up, though; they get BIG. This trope describes characters who are seen for the first time after an extended period or time skip, and have grown a few inches up (or out, or both, or a LOT). It usually happens to the guys, and is usually meant to accentuate the amount of time that has passed: the little kid you used to noogie is now big enough to knock you out with one punch. Sometimes, they replace The Big Guy of the last generation. Can be used as a gag if the smallest kid is the one who grew the most. Pint Sized Kids tend to end up under this trope due to the major size gap between them and grownups. Compare to She Is All Grown Up and Breast Expansion. Contrast Comic-Book Time.
— Kamina to Simon, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
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Anime and Manga
- Coby of One Piece is almost unrecognizable after training under Vice Admiral Garp.
- Simon of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann ends up taller than his mentor and "big bro" Kamina after the mid-series time-skip.
- Dragon Ball:
- Goku starts out rather runty. Thanks to his appetite, that doesn't last long. It's revealed in ''Daizenshuu'' that this is a facet of Sayian physiology, who tend to have growth spurt phases. Note that there isn't much difference between a 12 year old Goku and his 15 year old self, but he grows nearly double the size in the following three years. Although, like humans, this differs from Saiyan to Saiyan. Jaco also notes that Saiyans have longer childhoods than humans. They stay small and then suddenly spurt to their full size when they reached a certain age. This is shown to be the case at least with Goku, Goten, and Kid Trunks as of Super. Future Trunks and Gohan seemed to age and grow gradually in Z.
- Aversion: Krillin manages to stay the same height across 3 different series after his growth spurt.
- Bleach: Captain of the 7th Squad, Komamura Sajin, appears to be about the height of his friend, Tosen Kaname, when they first meet, if much wider. By the time the main storyline starts... Well, uh...
- Momiji from Fruits Basket. He was originally a short, feminine looking boy who seemed too young to be a high schooler but late into the manga he's shown tall and bishonen. He still keeps his bunny backpack though.
- Anyone recall that runty, skinny, and generally useless kid Raki from Claymore? Guess who is still looking for Clare after the Time Skip.
- In Sailor Moon Usagi's little brother Shingo has something of a growth spurt between the first and second seasons, going from around half her height to only a little shorter than her (she even comments at one point that it's getting harder for her to physically intimidate him). The practical reason for this is to make him look older than the newly introduced Chibiusa (who also takes over his role as Annoying Younger Sibling while he gets a little Character Development).
- Chibiusa herself plays this trope straight in the anime version. She got bigger between the seasons; in the manga, she had a physically Plot-Relevant Age-Up.
- Sakura is a bit surprised to find out that Naruto has grown taller than her in the 2 1/2 years he was gone (he's actually the second-tallest of the Konoha 11 now as opposed to being the shortest).
- After a 3 month timeskip in Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed grew noticeably taller (he also did so in the first anime's movie). He still has his Berserk Button though, so tell him that at your own risk. By the end of the manga he's noticeably taller than Winry, compared to the beginning where he was far shorter than her. This is played for laughs early on, as Ed speculates that his automail's weight is preventing him from growing.
- In the first anime though he's still considerably short, barely being taller than his biologically fourteen year old brother and is still shorter than Winry. He's considerably shorter than Noah as well.
- The physically thirteen Alphonse spends most of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa shorter than his eighteen year old brother. After a small timeskip at the end we see Al, now with shorter hair, next to Ed and they're the same height. Edward is short for a man while Al grows up to tower over his brother according to the "Kids" ova.
- Shuuichi and Riku from Wandering Son. Nitori started growing several inches during the high school chapters, being taller than almost all the girls. Riku even notices she has grown taller than him when originally he had to look down at Nitori.
- Riku from Venus Versus Virus starts out a short elementary school boy at the start of the manga but by the last chapter he's almost as tall as his sixteen (or so) sister and taller than several high school freshman.
- Ayato Kamina undergoes a slight growth spurt over the course of RahXephon, starting just a smidge shorter than Haruka (166 vs 167cm) and ending up several inches taller than her even in heels. Haruka brings attention to this near the end of the series just before confessing to him.
Haruka: "You passed me."
- In Digimon Adventure, Takeru and Hikari were a few years younger than the other kids and about half their height. Come Digimon Adventure 02 and they're the same age and height as the older kids were back then. (In turn, the older kids are a bit taller too, but the difference isn't nearly as drastic.)
- In Planetes, Hachimaki's teenage brother Kyutaro becomes larger than him after he returns from outer space, some months to a year later.
- A few examples in Saki.
- In the Achiga-hen spinoff, Ako, as an elementary schooler, is slightly shorter than her friend and year-mate, Shizuno. After they go through separate middle schools, however, Ako is taller and bustier than Shizuno, much to Shizuno's dismay.
- In the main series, flashbacks indicate that Kasumi of the Eisui team was short and flat-chested as a young girl. By the time in which the story takes place, though, she's relatively tall and has the largest breasts of all the high-schoolers in the series
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha fans had grown to love the 9 year old Nanoha Takamachi and her friends. Cue it's third season, set 10 years later, with fully grown characters.
- Bokura no Hentai:
- Over the summer Satoshi hit a growth spurt. He had to quit his crossdresser ways as he couldn't wear his sisters clothes anymore.
- Osamu begins growing noticeably as well. The boy he has affections for calls him disgusting now that puberty has made him taller, his voice deeper, and his body left soft. After that they stop talking but Osamu keeps crossdressing.
- This is lampshaded at the beginning of Diary of a Wimpy Kid in which Greg doesn't recognize any of the background characters, because of everyone going through puberty over the summer.
- Mentioned during the climactic Sword Fight in Hook, between the now-adult Peter Pan and aging Captain Hook.
Pan: I remember you being a lot bigger.Hook: To a ten-year-old, I'm huge.
Live Action TV
- All the Sutton kids in Lincoln Heights grow a little, but Tay is the most noticeable, and he becomes far less wimpy as a result.
- The writers of Lost found out the hard way why you can't have a kid in a show in which one season equates to about a month of in-universe time. Walt had to be written out for that reason. When Locke saw a vision of Walt, he was "taller", with no in-universe explanation as to why.
- In an episode of Taxi Bobby, a cabdriver/actor, goes to Louie's high school reunion in his place, pretending to be him in order to get back at all the kids who teased Louie in school. Bobby!Louie claims he "shot up" in college.
- Kaamelott: The castle is under attack from a barbarian horde, whose leader turns out used to be a weak, athsmatic little runt who's now seven feet tall and weighs two hundred pounds.
- In T. A. Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin, Shim, the very, very, very, small giant commits suicide by jumping into The Cauldron of Death, which breaks, comes back to life, and grows to be the largest giant.
- The protagonist of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Shadow, starts out as a nerdy runt, blows up over the summer, and decides to hide his intelligence after finding out that people expect someone of his size to be a dumb jock-type.
- Dune: When he's first introduced as a fifteen year old, Paul Atreides is described as looking small and young for his age. After the Time Skip, he's grown to be very tall and imposing.
- Tigerstar of Warrior Cats had been the runt of his litter until getting older. Not only did he get older and bigger, but he also became a giant among the Clan cats. It appears that his sons Bramblestar and Hawkfrost share their father's growth spurt as well.
- Clifford the Big Red Dog. Pretty much the epitome of this trope.
- In the Redwall book The Taggerung, before the time skip, Mhera is very young, half the size of her mother. Deyna is just a baby. After the time skip (Arguably implied to be the equivalent of fifteen years) Mhera is taller than her now slightly shrunken mother, and Deyna towers over both of them, not to mention very muscular seeing as he trained his entire life as the prophesied (second) greatest warrior who ever lived
- In Diary of a Wimpy Kid - The Ugly Truth the plot features around puberty, and the fact Rowley is maturing faster than Greg. It ends with Greg realizing he could use Rowley's puberty to his advantage. In which he draws a 10-foot Hulk-like Rowley about to cream some bullies.
- Bean, from Ender's Game / Ender's Shadow, starts out absolutely tiny, smaller even than Ender was at his age. Doesn't help that he's also the youngest of the group by a fair margin. However, Bean experiences a massive growth spurt around 11 or 12, and grows to be over six feet tall by the time he's 14. Soon enough, people are referring to him as "the Giant". And he keeps growing, never stopping, because of some genetic engineering done to him as an embryo. He expects to die of an overtaxed heart or broken spine in his early twenties, if not sooner.
- The New Adventures of Elektronik by Yevgeny Veltistov take place a year or two after Electronic Boy from The Portmanteau. In the original story, the boy robot Elektronik looks identical to Sergey, a seventh-grader. By the New Adventures, there is a noticeable difference between the two, as Sergey is now taller, allowing the others to easily distinguish the boy from the android. On the other hand, Elektronik is clearly the more mature one.
- An actual plot point in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as Link time-skips seven years and grows up.
- Sothe between Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn.
- Ike and Boyd both grew a lot taller between the games as well. Many other characters even comment on the radical height increases with all three characters throughout the second game. Tormod's comments to Ike is the most amusing of them all.
- In Sonic Generations, through the game's use of Timey-Wimey Ball, it turns out that the original tubby, black-eyed design for Sonic from the first 3 games and CD was a pre-pubescent version of the hedgehog, while the modern sleek, green-eyed design is him post-puberty.
- Somehow, Calli from Final Fantasy X goes from about eight to seventeen in the course of two years.
- Inverted in Chrono Trigger as this trope plays out of order, Magus is a very tall, stoic, very attractive looking wizard. Later on you time travel to the past and meet his child self. Who is like all kid sprites in the game very small.
- After spending years as preteens, Red and Blue return to the fold as grown men in Pokémon Sun and Moon.
- Snails from Slice of Life, who went from a lanky foal in the cartoon to a muscular motorcycle-riding jock.
- Between her final year of high school and the three year timeskip, Haru from Cross Heart hit a surprise growth spurt.
- Nimue is introduced to the modern arc of Arthur, King of Time and Space in July 2004 at the age of six and about waist high to the adult and teen characters. She suddenly shoots up to slightly shorter than Ector in April 2005, since Adult Nimue is actually one of the tallest characters.
- Battler from Umineko: When They Cry notes that he recently underwent a growth spurt that left him noticeably taller than just about everyone else in his extended family. He's a bit embarrassed that they all feel the need to comment on it.
- In the Unlimited Blade Works route of Fate/stay night, Shirou (5'6") complains a bit about being on the small side. As the reveal that the 6'2" and very muscular Archer is a Future Badass version of Shirou shows, he has one hell of a growth spurt to expect in the upcoming years.
- An unlikely case, Dr. Zoidberg of Futurama. Upon returning to his home planet for mating season, he visits the tide pool where he grew up, and "meets" a small crab-like animal named Vinnie who apparently had bullied Zoidberg when they were younger. Zoidberg promptly taunts him about being the tough guy now and then eats him.
- Enzo from ReBoot got huge, post Time Skip. He went from half the size of Bob to a head taller and far more muscular than Bob. Bob even points out the size change when Enzo is about to run into Bob like Enzo did back in season 1.
Bob: "Whoa! I think you're a little too big for that".
- He's bigger than Megabyte. Thank you, puberty!
- Becomes endlessly awkward when the system reboots bringing back an exact copy of kid Enzo, in the same room with huge/buff/adult Enzo.
Kid Enzo: Who's that big ugly green guy?
- In one episode of King of the Hill, Joseph comes back from summer camp having undergone a serious growth spurt, gaining a very deep voice, and having grown some facial hair. Bobby spent most of the episode envious despite having spent his summer doing grown-up things with his grandma at a retirement community. Joseph still ended up being incredibly immature either way, though.
- In any hypothetical future, Recess portrays shrimpy Gus is as tall, muscular, and broad-shouldered. This is pretty much what Gus's father looks like and Gus also meets a very large elderly man who looked almost identical to Gus when he was a child, suggesting it's more than wishful thinking.
Truth In Television
- It's not at all uncommon for adolescents and teenagers to go though dramatic growth spurts in a very short period of time. Over the course of a single year a kid can go from the shortest member in their family to as tall or even taller than their parents.
- Patrick Warburton, famous for voice work but also playing the live-action version of The Tick, has said that he was a runty weakling in high school. He sure isn't now!
- Anthony Michael Hall, who convincingly played small, geeky characters early on, then went on to playing convincingly menacing hulks.