Inter Generational Friendship
A 10-year-old and a 21-year-old just chilling.
Two people are good friends. Only, one is about twice, or even three times the other person's age! Considering their differences in life experiences and worldviews, how do they relate? What could they possibly have in common? Assuming this is actually a platonic friendship and not something far more sinister
, or for that matter an overtly stated mentoring situation, intergenerational friendships can be pretty weird. As the Real Life
section indicates, while not everyone finds older or younger people completely unapproachable, there's still frequently a gap there.
This can take the form of a young adult from one generation befriending someone old enough to be their parent or even grandparent, such as in the comedy Finding Forrester
. It can take the form of an adult befriending a misguided or vulnerable youth, as in the French film Leon
. Sometimes, the two happen to have more in common than they think, such as having surprisingly similar life experiences. Sometimes the younger generation is more mature, or the older generation is less mature - the latter especially helps writers to dodge away from worrying questions being asked about sexual attraction.
As for how they become friends, it could well be contrived circumstances that bring them together, or a shared life experience. Sometimes it's a teacher trying to help a troubled teen, leading to them becoming close friends. Either way, the situation that leads to their friendship would often be something out of the ordinary, since in real life, people of two widely different age groups generally do not reach out to each other.
If it's an adult and a child who are friends, in modern stories, expect someone to misinterpret it as being sexual
, and violence to possibly result.
Sometimes the younger one will have an innocent Precocious Crush
on the older one.
This trope does generally not apply if it's a parent-child relation
between the two.
A subtrope of Odd Friendship
. Contrast May-December Romance
, in which there is a generation gap between romantic partners. Sister Trope
to Mayfly December Friendship
, which involves friendship between beings of vastly different lifespans.
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Anime and Manga
- In the anime version of Sailor Moon, the no-more-than-eight Chibi-Usa is good friends with Setsuna, who is at least in her late teens, but more likely early-to-mid twenties. Then throw in the fact that the Setsuna Chibi-Usa is friends with originally is the thousand-year-old (AND reincarnated) Sailor Pluto, and the gap is a bit bigger. In the manga, on the other hand, Chibi-Usa herself is over nine hundred but looks like a child, and even then Setsuna is significantly older than her.
- Rei Hino (14) and Kaidou-san (early/mid 20's) in the manga. He actually was Rei's first love, but he married a girl his age and it didn't go beyond a kiss.
- Many relationships in Tower of God, due to the different life spans of the races and the life-prolonging characteristics of Shinsoo.
- Kids like Koon and Hatsu are in their late teens while their good friend Ship Leesoo is in his 30s, whereas Baam is probably several hundred years old.
- Anak has an Odd Friendship going on with her aunt Androssi, who is actually much younger than her.
- From Bleach, Kenpachi Zaraki met his lieutenant when he was at least a 20-something-year-old (apparently) killer and she was a little baby. She's still very young relative to him, and almost totally opposite. And she likes him. Go figure.
- Mind you, she's basically his adoptive daughter and their relationship reflects that.
- We also have an interesting case with Nel, who is a child, and Ichigo, a teenager. Then, we find out that Nel is in fact the 3rd Espada and much older than Ichigo.
- Captain Hitsugaya is the Shinigami equivalent of a Teen Genius and looks like a 15-year-old. Captain Ukitake is at least a 30-something-year-old in looks. Ukitake wants to strike one of these with Hitsugaya. Hilarity Ensues.
- Similarly, Hitsugaya is rather close to his liutenant, Rangiku Matsumoto. When they met he was a kid no older than the equivalent of a 10 year old, whereas she was the equivalent of a girl in her late teens and already a Shinigami. Matsumoto also strikes one with Orihime, a human girl who's around 15-17.
- Gene Starwind (aged about 20) and Jim Hawking (aged 11) in Outlaw Star.
- Bear (middle-aged writer) and Mimiru (high school student) in .hack//SIGN. Gamers from different generations playing a virtual reality MMORPG. "You know, when I was your age, we actually had to use graph paper to map out the mazes in games." "You are old."
- Watanuki (about 16) and Yuko (in her late 20's or so it seems), and Watanuki and Haruka in Xxx HO Li C.
- Negi (10) and Takahata (mid 30's) in Mahou Sensei Negima!. Kind of makes sense as Takahata was a friend of Negi's father Nagi.
- Within the Ala Rubra, Eishun is at least 10 years older than Nagi, and Albireo is implied to be even older than that. Jack Rakan is also probably at least a decade older than Nagi. And Takahata was about Negi's age back then. The only one within his same age range was Kurt Godel, who was no older than 14.
- Chisame (14 as much) and Jack Rakan also seem to have a bit of an Odd Friendship going, as well, especially judging by her reaction to his death. Not to mention Chisame's seeming addiction to age-changing pills to make her a loli further emphasizes this.
- Simoun gives us the deep and mutual bond between sixteen-year-old Yun and Time Abyss Onashia, possibly the ultimate example in terms of actual age difference.
- Fate and Signum of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, who first became friends back when Fate was just 9 while Signum... looked and acted to be around 19 but is actually a few hundred years old.
- Sousuke (16) and Kalinin (40-50+ ?) from Full Metal Panic!. Kalinin doesn't quite make it as Sousuke's father figure (Majid took that role), and is more of a intergenerational Heterosexual Life Partner (though this is most notably during their backstory where they spent more time together - Kalinin shows up a lot less in the present time of the series).
- Professor Oak (about 50) and Ash (10 for the past ten years or so) in Pokémon are fairly close even though the former taught Ash's mother in school. Possibly averted in that, at least on Oak's end, he first met Ash when he was the same age due to some accidental Time Travel.
- Kurogane (mid-twenties), Syaoran, Sakura (teenagers), and Fai from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle might count as this.
- Fai would definitely qualify as this with just about everybody. Yuuko mentions in Acid Tokyo that he has already lived many times Kurogane's lifespan. In other words he is not exactly in his early twenties anymore, no matter how young he looks. In fact, he is most likely closer to Yuuko's age than most.
- Himura Kenshin and Sagara Sanosuke in Rurouni Kenshin are 28 and 19 respectively, yet they gamble, drink, and occasionally swap war stories (from the same war, no less). Sano tends to act more grown up most of the time (outside of combat situations).
- Kenshin and 17-year-old Kaoru even more so. They eventually get married.
- More vitriolic, but also quite loyal: Sanosuke and 10-year-old Yahiko.
- Yuzuriha Nekoi (14) and Shiyuu Kusanagi (about 40) in X1999. The girl is in love with the man, but it's implied that he cannot be anything more than friends with her due to their age difference and squick factor. They get together in the anime, though.
- An example from the same series is Subaru and Seishirou. It's not as obvious in X1999 where both are clearly adults, but in the semi-prequel Tokyo Babylon the age gap is much more visible, Seishirou being 25 while Subaru is only 16. Then Subaru falls in love with Seishirou.
- Also, Kotori (high school student, around 16) and Kakyou (in his mid-to-late 20's). The second goes as far as possessing her body briefly when she dies to take her horrifying physical pain into himself, and then he says goodbye to her as she goes to Heaven, becoming the depositary of her Famous Last Words.
- For that matter, this is the bond that Karen (20-something Hooker with a Heart of Gold) and Seiichirou (30-something manga editor) strike with the younger Dragons of Heaven. (High school age, or in the aforementioned Yuzuriha's case, middle-school age.)
- Heero Yuy (14-15) and the little girl (no older than 8) and her dog in Gundam Wing. It doesn't end well. Holy crap, it doesn't.
- Eclaire Tonerre (16-17) and Tamaki's mother (most likely in her fourties) in Ouran.
- Mamoru Amani (9) and Gai Shishioh (20) in GaoGaiGar.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has Misato (29) and Shinji (14).
- Several of Luffy's True Companions in One Piece. Up until the Grand Line, all of the crew were in their late teens. Then came Chopper (15), Nico Robin (28), Franky (34), and Brook (88).
- Also Luffy's friendship with Shanks.
- Let's not forget Mr. 2, who is very keen on making speeches about his friendship with the Straw Hat Pirates. His age hasn't been revealed - actually he's a case of Vague Age - but it can probably be assumed that he's about twice as old as Luffy and the other five younger Straw Hat Pirates.
- Gohan and Krillin in Dragon Ball Z, particularly in the Namek saga, where they spend a lot of time working together trying to think their way around the much more powerful villains. The weird thing is that Krillin isn't much taller than the six-year-old Gohan. Piccolo and Gohan could also count, though it's more master/student than friend.
- Fullmetal Alchemist has cute, Plucky Girl Xingese princess May become good friends with the Hero Killer, Ishvalan ex-priest Scar, who is on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. It helps that May is a Horrible Judge of Character.
- Roy Mustang, age 29, mentored by and (at least to appearances) pretty good friends with General Grumman, who is old enough to be his grandfather. (Which is definite, since he is the grandfather of Mustang's close friend Hawkeye.)
- Selena Schezar/Dilandau Albatou (around 6 years old at first, later 15) and Jajuka (age unknown, but presumably in his twenties) in Vision of Escaflowne.
- Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service, who befriends three women, all of different ages. There was the pregnant baker lady, the teenaged artist and an elderly woman.
- The Yorozuya trio in Gintama. There's Kagura (14), Shinpachi (16) and their boss/comrade/friend/sorta-like-big brother Gintoki, who's somewhere in his 20s. Kagura even sleeps in Gintoki's closet.
- Also Okita (18) and his beloved captain Kondo (30ish). Hijikata falls somewhere in-between.
- From Hikaruno Go: Hikaru Shindou who is around 12 years old at the beginning of the story, and Fujiwara Sai, who is a couple hundreds years old ghost.
- Suzu (12) and Akira (somewhere in her 20s) in Rakugo Tennyo Oyui. Suzu spends the great majority of the series hanging around high school students and old famous people from Japanese history. If it weren't for the tanuki, Ponta, she'd be the only person of her age around.
- In Durarara!!, Shizuo Heiwajima (24) tends to develop friendships with people that are out of his age range, such as Simon (late 40s to mid 50s), Akane (10), the Orihara twins Mairu and Kururi (15), and Celty (200+).
- Cardcaptor Sakura has Sakura (10) and Kaho Mizuki (20s). All of Eriol's friendships might count as well, taking Really 700 Years Old into account.
- Iceland (ageless nation with the looks of a 17-year-old) and Turkey (also ageless nation, looks like in his mid-to-late 30's) in Axis Powers Hetalia. More exactly, the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010.
- Also France (ageless nation who looks like in his late 20's) and 19-year-old American tourist Lisa, the reincarnation of another 19-year-old girl he was friends with... Joan of Arc.
- Rome (dead ageless nation with the looks of a man in his 40's) attempts to strike one with his grandson's best friend/boyfriend, Germany (another nation who looks like a 19-20 year old but may be "older" than that). Hilarity Ensues.
- Any of Break's friendships in Pandora Hearts count as this as although he doesn't look it he's nearly forty. His closest friends are Reim (26) and Sharon (23, although she looks 13) they've been friends since he was 24.
- In Wandering Son, Shuichi and Yoshino both make friends with two adults in their twenties or thirties when they're around nine years old.
- Yugi and his friends in Yu-Gi-Oh! (all around 16) with Pharaoh Yami/ Atem (over 3,000).
- Persona 4: Nanako Doujima (6) and all of her cousin Yuu's friends (around 15-16), but specially 15-year-old Naoto. We don't know how strictly old Teddie is, but his human form has the looks of a 15-year-old boy.
- Eyeshield 21 has Sakuraba (a high school student) and Torakichi (a grade schooler) who is Sakuraba's biggest fan and one of Sakuraba's main motivators for improving himself.
- In the prequel Saiyuki Ibun, it is played with Toudai (who will be known as the Goudai Sanzo) and the youkai Tenkai who would inherit the Maten Sutra before Koumyou Sanzo. Physically, Toudai appears much older than Tenkai who looks like a young child. But as a youkai, Tenkai could be easily be years older than Toudai while retaining his youthful appearance.
- Aoki-sensei (22) and the three girls (10 each) from Kodomo no Jikan act like this from time to time. Kuro (10) and Shirai-sensei are an even better example.
- Naruto and Killer Bee, with the former being a teenager and the latter in his mid-thirties.
- There's also Itachi Uchiha and Kisame Hoshigaki. Itachi met Kisame while he was in his early teens and Kisame was in his mid twenties, and yet, they get along very well. Especially for Akatsuki partners, who kind of have a reputation for bickering. Even the guy whose partner is himself.
- Captain Tsubasa: Roberto (late 20's/early 30's) and Tsubasa (12 at the start of the series).
- Also Hyuga (12-13 at the start) and Kouzou Kira (mid to late 30's).
- Mu La Flaga (late twenties/early thirties) and Kira Yamato (16) in Gundam SEED. Later, we get Andrew Waldfeld (late thirties/early forties) and Kira.
- Also Murrue Ramius (late twenties) and both Kira and his friends (15-16). By the end Natarle (same age bracket as Murrue and Mu) strikes one with Fllay (15) when she becomes her Bridge Bunny after her Character Development.
- Hatori and Momiji in Fruits Basket. They seemed to bond after Momiji was forced to leave his parents as a child (when Hatori was 20), and they remain close at least until the beginning of the series. Hatori probably took it upon himself to be a Parental Substitute, but oddly enough, Momiji still sees him as a friend, not a father figure. They turn out to have quite a bit in common.
- Also, Tohru (14) with Shigure, Ayame (same age as Hatori)and Ritsu (a collegue student). Her mother with Arisa Uotani, Tohru's friend.
- In Kare Kano, Maho Izawa (mid-teens) and Yuusuke Takeshi's (late 20's) relationship starts off as this when she was lecturing her friends, and he notices her leg was bleeding, and he claims he saw see a vision of a lovely schoolgirl holding flowers. This later becomes a May-December Romance when they started to fall in love and get married at the end of the manga.
- In the first series of Jewelpet, Keigo Tatewaki (early 20's) with Rinko and her friends (14).
- Black Butler has it´s fair share:
- Vincent Phantomhive (late 20´s?) with Undertaker (at least a century) and Baron Kelvin (in his 50´s).
- Ciel (13) has a villainous friendship with Sebastian (a demon). Also he´s at least in good terms with the aforementioned Undertaker until the Campania Arc and Lau (early 30´s?)
- Agni (an adult) with his master Soma (late teens) and tries to be a friend with Sebastian
- In Nanatsu No Taizai, princess Elisabeth (16) is friends with the Seven Deadly Sins, all of which are older than her, especially Meliodas (who´s hinted to be older than he looks) and King (who´s at least over 700 years old).
- In Magi - Labyrinth of Magic, there's Aladdin (10) with his numerous friends and allies: Alibaba (17), Morgiana (14), Sinbad (29), Yamraiha (23), Ugo (originally 62 but became ageless), Sphintus (17), Kouha (18) and Yunan (unknown)
- The relationship between Johnny and Squee in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is something like this, with Johnny regarding Squee as a friend/little brother figure. It's entirely one-sided however, as Squee doesn't feel anything other than sheer terror towards him, and with VERY good reason.
- Lenore and Ragamuffin from Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl is one of the most extreme cases. Biologically, Lenore is 10 years old and Ragamuffin is between 20 and 30 years old. The thing is that Lenore has been 10 for 100 years and Ragamuffin has been 20-30 for 400 years. So they are like 4 generations apart and Lenore is still the one who manipulates him like he is her toy... which he is, practically, since he is trapped in a small cotton doll.
- And even when he transforms into his old vampire self, he still follows her like a devoted
- Dennis The Menace (US), when Mr. Wilson is friendly.
- Wolverine and every teenage girl to join the X-Men. In particular Jubilee in the 80s-90s, Kitty Pryde, and Armor more recently. In fact, he appears to get along with teenage girls better than any other type of person.
- Lampshaded in an old Wolverine issues, "do you wonder, why this need for adolescent girls?" - to which Jubilee replies "coz we don't screw his heart and backstab him after like you [adult] cows always do".
- X-23 has one with Gambit in her current ongoing series. It's not as pronounced as there's only a decade between them at most, but X-23's vulnerability is presented as a sharp counterpoint to Gambit's street smarts and maturity.
- In the excellent but very grim Dark Horse Comics series Kings In Disguise, involving hobos in the Great Depression, the main character is a young boy who ends up teaming up with a much older man while searching for his father. There's nothing sinister at all about their friendship, but many other hobos traveling with young boys are in exactly that sort of relationship, and they assume that these two are as well. That's not even mentioning the incredibly creepy old guy who tries to assault the protagonist at one point.
- Oliver Queen has this relationship with the current Speedy, Mia Dearden. She had a small crush on the Emerald Archer in her early days as his sidekick, but then along came G.A.'s son, Connor Hawke...
- This trope is pretty common in superhero books in general, with adult heroes taking child or teenage sidekicks under their wing. Special mention goes to Batman, who had five Robins and three Batgirls before the reboot.
- Superman's relationship with Superboy and Supergirl is something like this in Post-Crisis DCU. While they'd both take time being raised by the Kents, and thus making them sorta-adopted siblings, Clark generally let them have their own lives but remained close friends with them regardless.
- Astérix's closest friend besides Obelix is the druid Getafix, who had his long white beard when all the rest of the cast (save Geriatrix) were children.
- All of Tintin's friends are either much older (Captain Haddock, Cuthbert Calculus) or much younger (Chang) than he is.
- Yoko Tsuno (early 20's) and Aoki (60/70's) in Daughter of the Winds. It ends in tears when Aoki, an ex-war veteran, pulls an Heroic Sacrifice for her sake.
- In volume 1 of Werewolf by Night, 19-year-old Jack's best friend is Buck, a writer in his 40s. Jack occasionally wonders if Buck isn't a surrogate father to him, but then comes to the conclusion that, no, he simply is a very good friend. Later he grows to be best friends with Michael Morbius, who was already an M.D. with at least one PhD and a Nobel prize under his belt before Jack had even turned 18.
- My Little Pony Micro Series: Their age difference is never specifically mentioned, but its clear that Twilight and Jade learn to appreciate each other across a generational gap. Jade and Princess Celestia are also old friends, and Celestia is at least a thousand years old.
- Kieron Gillen's Uncanny X-Men run depicted Hope and Namor as this. Hope's a 16 year old Child Soldier and the messiah of the mutant race who grew up in a Bad Future, Namor is an Older Than He Looks Atlantian king who's been around and active since WW2; together they trade snark when paired up on a mission and connect as friends, something both of them rarely do with anyone else.
- The Second Try has one develop between 4 year old Aki and 14 year old Rei. This is especially interesting because Aki technically hasn't been born yet when the two meet. And because she is also the child of Asuka and Shinji, therefore she's Rei's niece. Sorta.
- ''A Cup of Kindness'' has another example.
- Getting Back on Your Hooves has Trixie form one with the Cutie Mark Crusaders after she saves them from a Ropen in the Everfree Forest (though Sweetie Belle already liked her before then).
- Flippy and Flaky from the Happy Tree Friends in a lot of fancomics, fanart and stories, especially their anime versions. Bonus added with the Wife Husbandry that happens later.
- In the Dark World timeline of the Pony POV Series, Twilight forms one with Pinkie's descendant Apple Pie. This is even more so than initially apparent, as one remembers that Twilight is over a thousand years old by this point.
- Lots of Lord of the Rings fanfiction portrays Legolas befriending Aragorn as a child, such as in Healing Hope.
- In Scar The Unsung Hero, Scar (who must've been in his 60's in lion years at least considering it takes place after the movie) befriends a teenage boy. What's weird is that he ends up considering him not only an adopted brother but a "big brother".
- TD of The Non-Bronyverse gets along extremely well with children, but he's especially close friends with the CMC.
- Gravity Falls fic Home Is Where The Haunt Is has one between Mabel and OC Mr. Mason. It doesn't end well.
Film - Animated
- Vanellope and Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph. Somewhat murky since as video game characters they don't age normally, but Vanellope certainly looks and acts the part of a small child and Ralph is definitely an adult, and he looks like he'd be old enough to be her father. Also, Ralph's game is much older than Vanellope's, so it works on that level as well.
- Hogarth and Dean in The Iron Giant.
- Carl (an elderly man, and the main protagonist) and Russell (a kid) in Up.
- Jack and North in Rise of the Guardians. Jack is a little over three hundred years old but North, being Santa Claus, existed even longer. And that is not taking their physical appearances into consideration where Jack is a teenager and North is around his fifties or sixties.
- In The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie, the main protagonist George befriends a princess named Eloise. George is a rather old man and he has children back home who are around Eloise's age. Eloise is eight.
- Alice and Tati from The Illusionist. Alice is a teenager, and Tati is at least 60. Doubles as Odd Friendship because of their language barrier; Tati is French, and Alice can only speak English.
- Toothless and Cloudjumper in How to Train Your Dragon 2. Toothless is stated to be Hiccup's age (about 20), while Cloudjumper was an adult when he accidentally left a scar on the newborn Hiccup's chin. The friendship mostly consists of Toothless behaving like a kitten/puppy trying to play with Cloudjumper, only for Cloudjumper to be mildly annoyed and grudgingly playing back. At the end, Cloudjumper bows down to Toothless, after Toothless has proven himself to be an Alpha.
Film - Live Action
- Will, the isolated, delinquent, genius teenager from the slums of Boston, and Sean, the middle-aged, dissatisfied and lonely community college psychology professor form a relationship that makes up most of the plot of Good Will Hunting.
- Finding Forrester is about a high school student, Jamal, who meets reclusive author Forrester, and the two become friends. This leads to funny moments such as when Forrester tries to act "hip" by speaking slang, leading to the infamous "You're the man now, dog!" phrase.
- Home Alone and its sequel involve friendships with Old Man Marley and the Pigeon Lady, respectively, both of who save his life from the villains.
- Lawn Dogs is about two disaffected outsiders, a 10-year-old girl and a 21-year-old lower-class man, who become unlikely friends after a chance encounter.
- Leon (aka The Professional) involves an assassin who befriends a 12-year-old girl.
- Taxi Driver is about a man who befriends a 12-year-old girl as well.
- The City of Lost Children has a 9-year-old girl who befriends an intellectually disabled man whose younger brother was kidnapped.
- Beautiful Girls has a very young girl (played by Natalie Portman from The Professional) and an older man.
- In Back to the Future, high school senior Marty McFly is probably elderly scientist Dr. Emmett Brown's only friend in town. At least in the movies, how they met and became friends is not explained. That relationship simply exists before the first movie begins.
- An early shooting script for the film says that in 1983, Doc came by the McFly place and offered Marty $50 a week plus free beer and use of his record collection to clean up his garage; this explanation is typically discredited by fans because it clashes with the characters as seen in the movie. In the end, the film's creators decided not to bother expanding on the history.
- Wordof God later explained that the friendship started when Marty was around 13-14 years old. After being told for years that Doc Brown was a dangerous, crackpot, lunatic, he snuck into Doc's lab to see for himself and instead was fascinated by what he saw in there and thought Doc's inventions were cool. Doc found him and was happy Marty thought he was "cool and accepted him for what he was". Doc then gave Marty a part-time job helping out with experiments, helping in the lab, and feeding Einstein. Read for yourself here.
- Later it was established that Doc actually sought Marty out when the timing was right due to his knowledge of their future friendship.
- Middle-aged accountant Henry "Mutant" Weston and nine-year-old Eric from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium.
- Plus, Mahony and Mr. Magorium himself. Sure, she might be about 20-30, but he claims to be 243 years old.
- The Fall centers upon the relationship between Alexandria (5), a young immigrant with a broken arm, and her reluctant father-figure Roy Walker (unknown — based on the actor's age, mid-20s), a paralyzed stuntman. Surprisingly, no one ever suspects anything "funny" between them; the fact that he's a paraplegic may be a factor, but even after hospital officials find out that Roy conned Alexandria into stealing him morphine, he's still allowed to see her.
- The film Scent of a Woman is about a poor prep school student slowly developing one of these with a blind, medically retired ex Lieutenant Colonel who has hired him as aide.
- Lost in Translation is about Bill Murray's character and Scarlett Johannson's character striking up a friendship in Japan, in part because they are both in unsatisfying relationships with their spouses. The ending is ambiguous over whether it is a romantic relationship, but it does not have to be. It's an even bigger gap seeing Johansen was 17 when she was filming it though her character was somewhere in her 20's
- The Man without a Face features a disfigured recluse (played by Mel Gibson) who agrees to tutor a troubled young boy over the summer. Their friendship sparks suspicion amongst the town residents. (Of course, in the book... )
- About a Boy. Will Freeman, a 36-year-old bachelor, and Marcus, an eccentric, introverted, bullied 12-year-old with a suicidal mother end up close, and Marcus benefits and gradually becomes more confident and "normal" as a result of Will's guidance. In keeping with modern concern about such relationships, Marcus's mother initially thinks Will must be a paedophile and has a go at him in public.
- Walt and Tao in Gran Torino.
- Mr. Ibrahim and Momo in Monsieur Ibrahim Et Les Fleurs Du Coran
- Indiana Jones and Short Round in Temple of Doom
- The Ultimate Gift has the rich twenty-something guy befriend the Littlest Cancer Patient.
- Rigoletto, a man who's at least in his forties and probably older, is reluctently befriended by a young girl to whom he ends up giving music lessons. The other kids from her town end up befriending him as well, with some pushing from the young girl. The adults are pretty wary, due in large part because the man is pretty badly disfigured. It all blows up when it appears that Rigoletto attacked a child. In reality, the child had fallen off a small dam into a river, and Rigoletto jumped in after and rescued it. When he carried the child into the town, all people saw was a monstrous man carying what looked like a dead child. It... Didn't end well.
- It's worth noting that Rigoletto is implied to be fae.
- Uptown Girls included one of these.
- Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Kesuke Miyagi in the The Karate Kid movies. Also Miyagi and Julie in The Next Karate Kid.
- Buster with Elwood and Mack (and later, Cab), in Blues Brothers 2000.
- The beautiful film Yaaba is about two African children befriending a very old woman, an outcast who is accused of being a witch.
- Max Fischer and Herman Blume in Rushmore.
- In Finding Neverland, James Barrie strikes up a friendship with the Llewelyn-Davies boys despite being old enough to be their father. It helps that James is very much in touch with his inner child and that two of the boys (Peter and George) often act mature beyond their years.
- And since the movie is loosely based off of the real life friendship between James and the Llewelyn-Davies family, this would be Truth in Television.
- Rebellious Princess Jen from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon strikes up a sisterly friendship with Lady of War Shu Lien, who is at least twice her age.
- Mary and Max is a film about the friendship between an 8 year old girl and a 44 year old man.
- Prominent in the Terminator franchise. In Judgement Day, John Connor (10, or possibly 13) and T-800 (ageless, being a robot, but looking like a man in his 40's) develop this kind of dynamic. In ''Terminator: Salvation", Kyle Reese (ca. 16) and Marcus (ca. 35) become not only friends, but real battle brothers.
- In Push, the 13-year-old Cassie and Nick, who is in his mid-20s, are reluctant partners when they are chased by the Division and the Triads. By the end, though, they develop a friendship. Of course shippers see something more
- The Fellowship in Lord of the Rings, all with varying ages. Gandalf and Legolas were definitely the oldest of the group, with Pippin being the youngest and Aragorn's age is stated to be 87.
- In fact, this even occurs between the Hobbits themselves. Pippin is still in his "tweens", (the age between 20 and 33 when a Hobbit comes of age), when the Fellowship set out from Bag-End. In comparison, Frodo is 51.
- This continues in The Hobbit where Gandalf becomes friends with Bilbo (who was fifty-ish). Also, Bilbo with the dwarves, particularly Thorin and Balin, who are both nearing the two hundreds. Even the younger dwarves like Fíli and Kíli are above their seventies.
- In Montreal Main, a photographer in his late 20s becomes best buds with a 12-year-old boy. Whether or not there's some attraction there is ambiguous; Word of God states that the man "doesn't know what he wants".
- Allan Quatermain and Tom Sawyer develop one of these in the film version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
- Henry Travers who plays the heroine's father in Shadow of a Doubt was about seventy at the time of filming. Hume Cronym, who played his best friend, Herbie, was about thirty. Originally Herbie was supposed to be played by a must older actor but they liked Cronym so much they they cast him. What results is a charming Intergenerational Friendship.
- Twelve and Holding has Gus (unknown age, but probably in his late twenties or older) and Malee, who has a Precocious Crush on him. While it's entirely platonic on his side, she takes it a bit too far... eventually culminating in her setting up a romantic candlelight dinner, complete with a robe which she drops to reveal herself to him. Fortunately, Gus doesn't feel the same way, and promptly calls her mother to take her home.
- The nature documentary Chimpanzee observes the developing bond between Oscar a three-month-old orphan and Freddie the troop leader (likely in his twenties or thirties.) This bond is especially noteworthy as while Chimpanzees are considered capable of adopting orphans this was the first time it was captured on film and even rarer seeing as it was an adult male and the alpha male no less.
- Paper Moon has Moses Pray and the recently-orphaned Addie Loggins bonding in their various con games against suckers.
- In Sling Blade a grown man and a young boy become close friends.
- Eventually, the father-and-son relationship that existed between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker evolved into a very close friendship, despite the sixteen year age gap.
- Other movies: On Borrowed Time, Just You and Me, Kid and Butterfly
- From The Counterfeiters, Sally, who is in his forties, and Kolya, who is around 20.
- Tiger Bay revolves around the friendship between a Sympathetic Murderer and the 11-year-old girl he kidnaps after she witnesses his crime. Eventually, Love Redeems and he lets her go.
- In G.I. Joe: Retaliation General Joseph Colton develops one with Lady Jaye.
- Could be considered a case of the trope in "Star Trek", with Spock Prime and Jim Kirk- considering Spock Prime is about 155 and Jim is 25.
- In the film Sophie Scholl - The Final Days, the 21-year-old title character strikes up a friendship with her cellmate Else Gebel, who is in her late thirties.
- More or less the entire point of My First Mister, where 17-year-old Jennifer becomes friends with 49-year-old Randal.
- In Everything Must Go, Nick Halsey befriends a neighborhood kid named Kenny who he teaches to play baseball and how to make sales.
- In Bad Words, 40-year-old Guy Trilby is befriended by 10-year-old Chaitanya Chopra.
- Ray and Dave in Off The Black. Over forty years separate the two of them, but they bond over baseball and the fear of never accomplishing anything in life.
- In The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Bartimaeus is a demon, thousands of years old and was pretty close friends with Ptolemy and, in the end, is pretty close friends with Kitty and especially Nathanael; all three of them are/were in their teens at that time.
- In The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Charlotte is 13, while Zachariah is in at least his 60s. It makes sense to Zachariah, though:
"I can assure you," he said with a slight smile, "Zachariah can be a fine friend."
"And I can assure you," I returned, "that the captain will have made arrangements for my social needs."
"Ah, but you and I have so much in common."
"I don't think so."
"But we do! Miss Doyle is so young! I am so old! Surely there is something similar in that."
- David and Jonathan in The Bible.
- Jim and Huck in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- In My Sweet Orange Tree, Zeze is 5, while Portuga, the Cool Old Guy he befriends is in his mid-40. Not quite a friendship, but certainly a case of Parental Substitute.
- Low Men in Yellow Coats, the first story in Stephen King's book Hearts in Atlantis (later made into a Film of the Book) is about a young boy who develops a friendship with the much-older psychic Ted Brautigan. The boy's rather self-centered mother harbors strong suspicions about Brautigan's intentions for her son, which figures heavily into his eventual capture by the inhuman creatures hunting for him at the end of the story.
- Another King example is Jake and Roland in The Dark Tower series. Jake is not quite a teen when they first meet, and Roland is well over fifty.
- King again, in Pet Sematary, with the Crandalls (both eighty-something) and the Creeds (in their 30s, with two young children who also bond with their elderly neighbors). When they first meet, the narration describes Louis Creed's relationship to Jud Crandall by saying "he called this man a friend, as a grown man must do when he finds the man who should have been his father relatively late in life".
- Sandor Clegane and Sansa Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire. Not quite a friendship, but certainly a case of Strange Bedfellows.
- The Tales of Dunk and Egg features the friendship between a 19 year old tall Knight and a young boy named Egg, which isn't a great deal of a age gap, but for the fact that the Knight is a lowly reformed street urchin and the boy is a Prince of the Ruling Family of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Many books by Russian author Vladislav Krapivin feature this trope, with friendships between a child and a young adult, or a young adult and an elderly character.
- Cap'n Bill and Trot in Frank Baum's Oz books. She's the daughter of his first mate from when he was a sailor, they now wander around Oz together.
- Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island, even more unusual when you consider that they spend at least half the book as antagonists. Silver is almost explicitly a replacement father figure. At least it explains why Jim, whose own father recently died, takes a liking to Silver despite having been warned about a one-legged pirate.
- The friendship between Antonio and Ultima (not only old enough to be his grandmother, but also helped his mother birth him) is one of the central points of Bless Me, Ultima.
- Harry Potter and Hagrid, Harry Potter and Sirius Black, Harry Potter and Dumbledore, Harry Potter and...
- And Sirius Black is his godfather and closest tie to a father that he very much admires (and never really knew).
- Dumbledore (116 when he died) was a good friend of Nicolas Flamel (600)and Hagrid (in his 60´s)
- In The Lord of the Rings Bilbo is nearly 80 years older than Frodo, yet they have a very close relationship.
- Other examples from the books (and films) include the several hundred years old Legolas and the 140 year old Gimli, and the friendship bordering on father-son relationship between Merry and King Théoden. However, one of the most prominent examples is the bond that forms between Gandalf (the "grandfather" of the Fellowship) and Pippin (the "baby" of the Fellowship) when they ride off to Minas Tirith together.
- Frodo is in his fifties whereas Merry and Pippin are still very young; Pippin is still in his Tweens (the age between 20 and 33 when a Hobbit comes of age). The Fellowship ages vary wildly, therefore they all sort of fit this trope.
- Quite unexpected bonds fitting this trope are found in Conn Iggulden's Emperor series between Caesar/Brutus and Renius, the elderly gladiator who trained them and tried to kill them in their early teens. The bond between Caesar and Renius is founded almost immediately after the older tried to kill the younger, and lasts to the point where Renius dies trying to protect Caesar during the Battle of Alesia. The bond between Brutus and Renius is somewhat shakier at first, with the former vowing to kill the latter for what he did to Caesar. Though after traveling with Renius to Greece, Brutus comes to view him as the father he never knew. It is however unclear if Renius ever really feels any stronger bonds towards Brutus.
- Another such bond in the series is between Caesar and Octavius.
- Julius' friendship with Cabera. Caesar was all of 14 when he first meet Cabera, who was pushing eighty at the time, but is still strong and spry. When Cabera dies in the third book, it is close to twenty years later, though he had spent most of the decade-long campaign in Gaul partially disabled from a stroke suffered after using his quasi-magical healing gift on one of Julius' lieutenants.
- In The Frog King, the main character Harry has a friendship with a homeless girl called Birdie.
- Nearly every kids' novel written by John Bellairs features a relationship like this. Usually it is between a smart preteen who doesn't fit in with his/her peers and an eccentric elderly person who treats the kid like an equal, and they face the supernatural menace of the week together. Later on in each series, the kid usually brings in one or two new friends his/her own age who also become fast friends with the old person. Lewis Barnavelt had his Uncle Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmermann, who he introduced to Rose Rita Pottinger. Johnny Dixon had Professor Roderick Childermass, who he introduced to Fergy. Anthony Monday became friends with the elderly Miss Ells and her brother Emerson.
- In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Armor of Contempt, Dalin Criid and Merrt are stuck in a training/punishment brigade and forge a friendship despite Dalin's being a new recruit, just old enough to join, and Merrt's being a battle-hardened soldier from the founding of the regiment. It continues in Only In Death. In Blood Pact, Merrt comes along to give Dalin moral support when he tells Hark about the twin.
- Canadian teen novel Jack's Knife has a 14-year-old boy who lives with his overprotective mother, and an elderly man who served as a police officer and is also very knowledgeable about survival skills, as friends. The mother doesn't want her son hanging around this Cool Old Guy, and is completely against the relationship, always suspecting the worst.
- A feature in the Haruki Murakami books The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Dance Dance Dance, both which feature a thirty-something year old man befriending a young teenage girl.
- In The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden and the Archive develop one of these.
- After Proven Guilty, Harry and Molly are also this trope. They bond over their shared interest in magic and rebellious teenage years.
- In the Warrior Cats series apprentices almost always end up being good friends with their mentors.
- Horace Harkness and Scotty Tremaine in Honor Harrington. The former is a grizzled veteran, brawler and smuggler of a noncom, and the latter a 20-year-old Ensign Newbie fresh out of Saganami Island in the first book. Twenty years and innumerable adventures later Master Chief Warrant Officer Sir Horace Harkness and Captain Prescott Tremaine are still together, with Sir Horace Harkness even hacking the Navy personnel files just to be with his younger friend.
- The un-named 20-something protagonist of Kokoro befriends a much, much older man whom he calls Sensei, as well as Sensei's wife.
- Ted and Colin from Two Weeks with the Queen, who strike up a friendship over both having to deal with loved ones being seriously ill.
- 14-year-old Blacky is friends with his elderly next-door neighbour Darcy in the books Deadly Unna? and Nukkin Ya.
- In Great Expectations, Pip and Joe, his sister's husband.
- From Where The Heart Is, Novalee, a teenaged girl, meets Sister Husband, a woman at least in her late thirties/forties. We also have Novalee and Lexie, the nurse who took care of Novalee after giving birth to Americus.
- In The Book Thief, the girl Liesel (ranging from age 12 to 14) becomes friends with a Jewish man Max, who is twice her age.
- Beyond the Western Sea has Nathaniel (17) and Mr. O'Connell (50), also Maura O'Connell (15) and Mr. Drabble (30).
- Sayuri and Mameha in Memoirs of a Geisha, who have a sisterly/mentor-like friendship between them.
- In the Tiffany Aching sub-series of Discworld, Tiffany and Granny Weatherwax develop something along these lines, though Granny would probably be hard-pressed to admit it.
- While most of the inhabitants of the magical worlds from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There were pretty rude and dismissive of her, the White Knight temporarily befriended Alice, rescuing her from the Black Knight and escorting her to the end of the chess board. Some believe that the White Knight was Lewis Carroll's Author Avatar, given his own friendship with Alice Liddell.
- Lawrence Block's detective character Matthew Scudder has a scrappy urban (read: black) 16-20-something kid following him around, and eventually helping him do things that a 60 something white guy can't get done. Matt even gives TJ his rent controlled apartment, in New York!
- In Anne of Green Gables, Anne becomes friends with her best friend Diana's Great-Aunt Josephine, Mrs. Allan (the minister's wife), and her teacher Miss Stacy. In the sequel Anne of Avonlea, as a teacher she befriends her pupil Paul Irving, and Miss Lavender, who becomes Paul's stepmother. In Anne of Windy Poplars, she becomes friends with a young girl named Elizabeth, and in Anne's House of Dreams, she becomes friends with Captain Jim (who is in his seventies) and Miss Cornelia, who is fifty.
- Most friendships in Twilight.
- In Moses, Man of the Mountain, Moses's two closest friends are his father-in-law Jethro, who is at least twenty years older than him, and his second-in-command and eventual successor Joshua, who is some forty years younger than him.
- after the quake. Landscape with flatiron. Junko, a girl past highschool-age and Miyake, a man in his mid-forties.
- In Susan Cooper's King of Shadows, 11-year-old actor Nat is transported back in time to 1599, where he forms a loving friendship with 33-year-old William Shakespeare. Nat's father killed himself and Shakespeare's son died at Nat's age, which is why they are drawn to one another.
- In There is a Happy Land by Keith Waterhouse, the 10-year-old Nameless Narrator becomes friendly with "Uncle Mad", a homeless, mentally simple adult man (implied to be at least in his thirties or forties.) Becomes crucial to the plot when Uncle Mad is accused of the murder and (suggested) rape of a local girl, and the narrator helps him escape.
- The Belgariad, by David Eddings: Most of Garion's friendships in the series are this, due to the fact that he is a teenager on a quest with a group of people who are all experienced warriors. Special mention should go to his friendship with Durnik (which formed before setting out on the quest, when Garion did have children his own age to play with) and with Silk (which was noted as being an especially close friendship compared to Garion's other relations).
- Also, in The Elenium, there is Intergenerational Marriage between Sparhawk (the middle-aged Pandion knight, and the protagonist) and young queen Ehlana (on eighteen years old).
- Diario de un Zombi has Erico (23) and Paula (8).
- Mistborn. After joining Kelsier's oddball team of older men (most of them in their 30s at least), Vin (who is only 16) forms friendships with most, if not all of them.
- Valkyrie and almost everyone else in Skulduggery Pleasant. With the exception of Fletcher, all her friends are 60-400 years older than she is.
- In the Star Trek novel Paths of Disharmony, Eklanir th'Gahryn reflects on the value of these. In particular, his friendship with his much younger aide ch'Drena is highly important to him.
- The relationship between the captured Russian officer Ivan Zhilin and his master's daughter Dina in Leo Tolstoy's short story A Prisoner of the Caucasus. Though the age difference was never specified, Zhilin was old enough to be married and Dina was stated to be about 13, this impliying a significant one.
- Melecio (mid 20's) from Eva Luna is in two of these: one with a much older woman nicknamed La Señora, the other with a 13-year-old Eva. When Melecio fully transitions and reinvents herself as Mimi, both friendships stay, and in Eva's case it's even stronger as they live together.
- Also Eva and Elvira, the cook of the first house she worked in, who becomes her unofficial grandmother.
- In His Dark Materials, Lyra Belaqua seems to only make friends with adults, besides her friendship with Roger. Notably the Giant Armored Polar Bear King, The Witch Queen Serafina Pekkala, Lee Scoresby and The Gyptians. She improves in the whole "working with people her age thing" when she meets Will Parry.
- Haymitch develops this with both Peeta and Katniss in The Hunger Games.
- 8-year-old Papelucho strikes one with an old man at least in his 70's, when they're both hospitalised. Papelucho is there after the birth of his little sister Jimena and being operated on by mistake, the old man pretty much lives in the hospital since he has no living family. It turns out the geezer was actually loaded in cash, and leaves his riches to Papelucho and his family when he dies. To a smaller degree, Papelucho also befriends Berenice, the Hospital Hottie in her mid 20's who works as the specific caretaker of the old man.
- And we also learn that said old man once had a much older friend, a rough Big Brother Mentor whom he worked with when he was around Papelucho's age. The older man disappeared all of a sudden, leaving behind a letter in which he promised to return some day and introduce him to his future family, but he never came back. One of the reasons why the older man cares for Papelucho so much is that he believes the kid to be the grandson of his long-lost friend.
- In Little Lord Fauntleroy an old man gets to bond with his estranged grandson.
- Bodger with both Luath and Tao in The Incredible Journey, though he's closer to the cat.
- During Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn trilogy, Eisenhorn develops the sentiment that, had he and Pontius been born at around the same time, and had Pontius not been evil, they would probably have become incredibly good friends.
- Eragon and any of his elf friends. In particular, Arya, who's about 80 years older than him.
- The Malazan Book of the Fallen can take this to extremes, such as the middleaged/old human Whiskeyjack, who's about 50, striking up a friendships with Anomander Rake, who's a few hundered thousand years old.
- Young Dr Aziz and Adela's friendships with both the elderly Mrs Moore and 45-year-old Cyril Fielding in A Passage to India.
- In The Last Dragon Chronicles David and Lucy forge a bond over trying to rescue a squirrel named Conker.
- The Power of Five: Matt and Richard's friendship could be viewed this way. It doesn't end well.
- The titular, middle-aged Tom of ''Uncle Tom's Cabin and six-year-old Eva.
- The Three Musketeers: At the beginning of the story, D'Artagnan is 19 and Athos is said to be twice his age. The age gap is explicitly noted in-universe, as well as the father/mentor role played by Athos. Throughout the story arc they become Fire-Forged Friends and part of a Band of Brothers.
Live Action TV
- In "Cory's Coming" by Harry Chapin, a young man frequently visits Old John Joseph.
- "Clair" by Gilbert O’Sullivan. He wrote the song about the young daughter of his then-manager, whom he often babysat. It’s actually a lot less creepy — and more heartwarming — than it sounds.
- "Better People" by India Arie. She basically sings that if people would connect with other people older and/or younger than them, the world would be better off.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, while the fairy Ciela rightfully calls out 20s-30s Linebeck for being a coward, he seems to develop a real friendship with the twelve-year-old Link, even helping him save the world.
- The Child Prodigy Sunny (eight years old) and the ever morally ambiguous medical worker Naomi (late thirties/early fourties) form something of a friendship in Metal Gear Solid 4.
- Depending on how far you consider the term; inter-generational to apply to Space Marines, the relationship between Thaddeus and the rest of your strikeforce in Dawn of War II would count a great deal.
- BioWare and this trope are good friends:
- The Player Character and Mission in Knights of the Old Republic (technically, Mission and everyone), as well as Jolee and everyone.
- In Mass Effect, Shepard and Tali, and Shepard and Liara. In fact, for Liara and Shepard it is both ways. Liara is 106, the asari equivalent of being barely out of her teens, and Shepard is in his/her early thirties. Anderson and Shepard also are like this, with Anderson being 46 in the first game.
- Wrex from ME1 and Samara from ME2 (both roughly 1,000 years old) also count. The Shepard/Anderson friendship also has as Anderson acting as a father figure to Shepard. Joker (late 20s/early 30s) and Dr Chakwas (late 50s/early 60s at the youngest) seems similar.
- Alistair and Wynne of Dragon Age: Origins have a warm, somewhat flirty relationship with May-December subtext, though remains platonic.
- Wynne also counts with Leliana and the Warden him/herself (who is usually stated as being relatively young). Though his age is not clear, Sten and the Warden may also count.
- Kingdom Hearts. Sora's constant companions Donald Duck and Goofy are more or less adults, though this is a little obscured with them being anthropomorphic animals. Although his strongest feelings are for Riku and Kairi, who are his age.
- The games also have a similiar friendship between Riku and Mickey.
- And Axel's friendship with Roxas, as Axel is an adult and Roxas is in his early teens.
- His relationship with Roxas and Xion is very like this in 358/2 Days, with the two both looking at Axel kinda like a big brother for his knowledge on the opposite sex, emotions, relationships... he in turn is very protective of them, and his anger at being forgotten makes a lot more sense considering this.
- And again with Aqua, Ventus and Terra, which is all the more symbolic, considering the Theme Naming going on, and the fact that Ven' heart is sleeping inside Sora, and Terra and Aqua are the ones who chose Riku and Kairi to be the next Keyblade wielders (accidentally so in Aqua and Kairi's case).
- Tales of Symphonia: Really depends on how you define "Intergenerational". The straight use of this comes with Lloyd (17) and Regal (33). But Lloyd is also good friends with Raine (23), Zelos (22) and his best friend is Genis (12). Kratos (27) doesn't really count seeing as he's not only about 4000 years older than he claims, but also Lloyd's father.
- Zelos and Regal would count as well.
- And to really screw with your head, Presea is biologically and mentally twelve, but chronologically twenty-eight.
- In Tales of the Abyss, this is pretty much true for Jade (mid-thirties) and the entire rest of the party, who are in their teens (except for Guy, who's in his early twenties). It's the most pronounced with Anise, who is thirteen and is frequently paired up with him when the party splits up in cutscenes and plot events.
- Tales of Vesperia (noticing a theme here?) does this too; Karol (12) strikes up a good friendship with most of the party, but in particular his guild subordinate (and main protagonist) Yuri (21), who calls Karol 'Boss'. With one exception, none of the playable cast is over 21; that exception being Raven, who at 35 gets the somewhat sarcastic nickname "Old Man".
- Several examples are possible in the Fire Emblem series, thanks to the support system. Among the more notable ones is Amelia (~15) and Duessel (old enough to be her grandfather, likely in his mid 50') from The Sacred Stones, who even get a double-ending where Amelia becomes Duessel's "most trusted companion". The fact that Duessel reunites Amelia with her Missing Mom Melina, whom he rescued from the bandits who kidnapped her when Amelia was a child, probably helps a lot.
- Considering Duessel's age, he's very prone to this trope. He also has good relationships with Ephraim (around early 20's), Cormag and Knoll (both in their mid 20's). No double endings, tho.
- Also in Sacred Stones, Ewan (13-14) and his magic teacher Saleh (age not stated, but most likely in his mid to late 20's). They also get a double-ending.
- There's also Gilliam (likely around his late 30's) and both Franz and Neimi (around Amelia's age, if not slightly older).
- In the case of Neimi, she also has this with Garcia (late 30's/early 40's, and the father of Ross who is around Neimi's age)
- Some of the other games have this as well. Two prominent cases are Blazing Sword's Serra (a 16 year-old cleric) and Oswin (a knight in his mid 30's), albeit they can also become a couple, and from Fire Emblem Awakening, two platonic supports include Frederick (Chrom's knight and steward, probably in his 30's) and Henry (a cheerful Dark Mage, mid-maaaybe-late teens at the most), and Gregor (a mercenary in his 40's/maybe even 50's) and either Lon'qu (early-to-mid 20's Master Swordsman) and Ricken (a pre-teen/early teenage mage).
- In Princess Maker 2, the main character's daughter can have these dynamics with... a centuries-old dragon who lives the desert. The dragon is an old friend of the girl's father figure, back when he was a wandering warrior, and being a Chivalrous Pervert as well he endlessly teases the girl about her figure (and can give her the Dragon Tights, one of the outfits required for the dancing competition in the Harvest Festival).
- Additionally, the dragon has a young and reckless grandson. If the heroine beats said grandson in battle when she's older than 15, the young dragon falls in love with her and the old one can give the main character the chance to have their kids engaged. It's interesting to point that said dragon is one year younger than the main character.
- In Mother 3, almost all of the 13-year-old Lucas' party members are older than him. (OK, so Boney is a dog.) Kumatora's age is vague, but she seems to be in either her early or late teens. Duster's age is also vague, but he seems to be in his late twenties to early 30s. All three of them depend on and trust each other.
- Chopin and Polka in Eternal Sonata. They're so close that fans try to pair them together even though Polka's twenty-five years younger than him (and officially paired with Allegretto).
- Felicia and Klonoa in Namco X Capcom are made of this. She is a Catwoman who's somewhere in her late teens or early 20s, while he is a Kaze no Neko ("Cat of the Wind") in his early to mid teens. Both of them are cheerful, positive and playful people who decided to be friends and stick together just because both of them are cat people with long hair.
- Much for King's wall-banging dispair, they try to make him join their group, no matter how many times he tries to explain them that he's just a short-haired human Luchador wearing a jaguar mask.
- Ace Attorney has quite a few examples.
- The biggest being Kay Faraday (17) and Dick Gumshoe (32), who end up acting like children when the other is around (they first met at 10 and 25, respectively). To an extent, Edgeworth (26) and Kay, Phoenix and Maya (24 and 17 when introduced), Nick and Pearl (8/9) and Gumshoe and Maggey (22/23) all count as well.
- Machi and Lamiroir in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, although that one's more like a case of Parental Substitute.
- The Judge seems to develop, over time, an odd friendship with much of the main cast (especially Phoenix, as seen in Apollo Justice.) That doesn't stop him from giving you penalties, though.
- Professor Layton, especially in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, features Layton (34/35 in the prequels, 37 in the sequel/main trilogy) and Luke's (10 in the prequels, 13 in the sequels/main series) friendship. Unwound Future features a statue of a man with a top hat resembling Layton, and a young boy who looks like Luke, and the story on it describes a similar friendship between an author and a sick young boy until the boy died of his illness.
- Sengoku Basara has several examples. There's Masamune (19) and Kojuro (30ish), who are sometimes joined by Itsuki (12); Yukimura (17) and Sasuke (mid 20s); Ieyasu (15) and Motochika (20s); Yoshihiro (60s/70s) and Keiji (22); and Mitsunari (19ish) and Yoshitsugu (prob 30s).
- Yukari and Yuyuko in Touhou, the former several millenia-old at the very least and the latter (originally) an ordinary human. Even after Yuyuko has spent about a thousand years as a Cute Ghost Girl Yukari is still many times her age and outclasses her in every way possible, but they remain close friends.
- Yukari also has a Vitriolic Best Buds-style relationship with Reimu, who still is human and whose age is a double-digit number. Frankly, most youkai with human friends are like this.
- Kraden is friends with all of the player characters (most of whom are Kid Heroes) in the Golden Sun games. Piers may or may not be Really 700 Years Old, so his friendship with Felix's group likewise fits the mold— in fact, he says that he'd rather not admit his age so it doesn't affect how they see him. Obaba becomes friends with the heroes of The Lost Age and Dark Dawn, as does her baby great-grandson Eoleo (on the younger end of the relationship in TLA, and the older end of the one in Dark Dawn).
- Persona 3 is full of these with both the male and female protagonists. This is the case for Tanaka, the Devil Social Link, the eldery couple (Mitsuko and Bunkichi), who have the Hierophant Social Link, and Mutatsu the monk, who serves as the Tower Social Link, but also with Maiko, the Hanged Man Social Link, who is an elementary school student in comparison to the junior in high school protagonist, and your mutual friend Sun Social Link Akinari Kamiki, a writer in his twenties. In addition, party members 10 year old Ken Amada and 18 year old Akihiko Sanada become good friends over a mutual love of beating things up.
- Persona 4, alongside the already mentioned case of Nanako and the main character's friends, we have the MC and the persons holding the Death (a Widow Woman in her 60's), Temperance a stepmon in her ealry/mid 30's) and Devil (a Hospital Hottie in her late 20's) S-Links. They're also seen in The Anime of the Game, but they're sorta out of focus.
- Ib has the titular Ib, a nine year old girl, and Garry, who seems to be a young adult. The two become good friends due to having to work together to survive being in a really strange art gallery.
- In The King of Fighters there are several examples:
- The Japan team is formed by Kyo (20), Benimaru (21)... and Daimon (29). The latter started as more or less The Mediator between the two others, then they became True Companions.
- Also K' (age unspecified, but seems to be 18 tops) and Maxima (29). As well as Kula (14) and Chin (mid 80's); this one was lampshaded when Kensou (who's 19 by the way) mistakes them as having a May-December Romance.
- This trope becomes a huge plot point in the Tales Of Ash saga. 16/17 years old Ash Crimson had this with 27-year-old Elisabeth Blanctorche, who doubled as his Only Friend. So to protect the only person he truly loved and cared about, Ash staged a massive Batman Gambit that involved attacking and depowering both Chizuru and Iori, making himself the most hated fighter all around and go against everyone and everything he knew... to keep Elisabeth sage and make sure she won't have to fulfill her destiny to fight the current Nebulous Organization, Those of the Past. So yeah, for his much older friend, Ash staged the whole last arc and ended up ret goned. It's lampshaded by Kim in XIII, even: if Kim fights Ash he will refer to Elisabeth as Ash's "guardian" and ask him to return to her side, threatening to drag him back by force if needed; Ash will not just refuse to leave, but he will correct Kim on how "Betty" isn't his caretaker.
- Also the Ikari Warriors Ralf (39) and Clark (34) are much older than their fellow fighters/mercenaries Leona (19) and Whip (16-17 apparently, but the four have extremely strong bonds and both Ralf and Clark treat the orphaned Leona like a younger sister (in addition to her being the adoptive daughter of Heidern, their boss.)
- The Psycho Soldiers team is formed by Athena and Kensou (both around 18 years old) and their master Chin (an old man). Later on they are joined by Bao, who is 12.
- In Borderlands 2, Tiny Tina, a troubled and demented thirteen-year-old Demolitions Expert, has this with Roland (somewhere in his 30s), Brick (around the same), and Mr. Torgue (in his 40s). Roland serves as a Parental Substitute, while Brick and Mr. Torgue are enablers to her love of explosives and bringing destruction upon the bandits of the waste. In the Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep DLC, Lilith plays the role of a Cool Big Sis to Tina while Mordecai simply just puts up with her (though they bond over the fact that they both love the same show).
- Downplayed with Amy and Cream from the Sonic the Hedgehog games, as they are both children, but still present as Amy is twice Cream's age (Amy is twelve, and Cream is only six).
- Sonic and Knuckles are also this for Tails. Him being eight and Sonic and Knuckles being 15 and 16 respectively.
- Swaine to Oliver and Esther in Ni No Kuni. Oliver is about twelve and Esther is about fourteen. Swaine is about twenty-five to thirty ( judging from the fact that when the party meets his younger self fifteen years in the past, he looks slightly younger than Oliver), but looks even older due to his extremely unkempt appearance.
- Clementine from The Walking Dead mostly has parental figures in the first series (with the possible exception of Ben, who's about six years older than her) but in the second game her relationship with Luke and Nick takes place on far more equal terms. She actually spends a lot of time parenting Nick, who's likely well into his twenties.
- Tomodachi Life doesn't really have an age distinction beyond "adult" and "kid". That being said, an Adult Mii and a Kid Mii can develop a friendship, or even become best friends.
- Narcissu ~ Side 2nd: Setsumi (15) and Himeko (23). The trope is invoked in this case, as Himeko was trying to finish the list of the 10 things that she wanted to do before her illness killed her, with one of the items being that she wanted to become friends with somebody significantly younger than herself. This trope applies even more with regards to Himeko and "Nello" in flashbacks, although the other girl's exact age is never given.
- Shirou and Ilya in Fate/stay night. In appearance. In reality, the age difference is less than five years, with Ilya being the older one. There are some pretty twisted reasons why this whole situation came about. Their relationship is very much that of the brother and sister kind; ironically, Shirou's adopted father Emiya Kiritsugu is Ilya's biological father, making them actual siblings by adoption. Ilya appears to be aware of this from the start, Shirou only learns of it in one route.
- Riff and Dr. Schlock from Sluggy Freelance (in their late 20's and late 80's, respectively) bond over their shared love of Mad Science.
- Alcolla (preteen) and Yakuv (unspecified, but at least mid-30s) in Reliquary.
- Julian Sands (adult camel) and Jarrad Dryandra (numbat child) in Doc Rat. Their friendship comes under scrutiny when Julian comes out of the closet.
- Bob (probably in his twenties) and the elderly Mrs. Primrose in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!.
- Richard and Cale from Looking for Group. Richard is apparently hundreds of years old.
- In Aki-chan's Life (which is the sequel to the above mentioned fan fiction The Second Try) the titular Aki Ikari and former pilot Rei Ayanami are best friends, despite (or perhaps, because of) the big and weird differences in age between the two.
- In Alfdis And Gunnora Alfdis and her teacher Lord Frey appear to have as much a friendship as a Mentor/Student relationship.
- In Girl Genius, Agatha Heterodyne and the Jaegermonsters who follow her. And possibly just about everybody with Airman Third Class Axel Higgs "the Unstoppable".
- Werewolf Carson Stone and Kid Hero werewolf Jake Segerstrom in the upcoming Guardians Of Luna.
- Essentially any cartoon in which a child and a cartoon animal are friends. The animals are often adult characters.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender features three cases:
- A strange friendship forms between Toph (12 years old) and Iroh (64 years old) before they realize they're both on opposite sides; Toph, who has joined the Gaang since they last saw Iroh, encounters him while having a brief falling-out with the others. And when they do realize they're on opposite sides, they don't care.
- Aang and Monk Gyatso, which not only crossed generations, but incarnations as well: Gyatso was a friend of Avatar Roku, too. Though arguably, this was less a "friendship" as a case of Parental Substitute.
- Aang and Bumi (a 12 year old boy and a man well over 100 respectively), though in this case they became friends while they were both kids (Human Popsicle complicates many things, except maybe friendship).
- One in its sequel The Legend of Korra between Korra, the new Avatar, and Tenzin, the previous Avatar's youngest son. It's also kind of funny when Tenzin develops a Papa Wolf personality towards Korra.
- Joshua Jones features one of these between the 20-somthing title character and the 10 year old Ravi.
- Monster High Draculaura is 1600 years old, Frankie Stein is (when they met) 16 days old.
- Pretty much all Transformer - human friendships are like this, due to the near-immortality of the Transformer race (bar accident or murder). It's slightly mediated in the sense that many of them (such as the Kid-Appeal Character) have childish personalities.
- This tends to happen amongst the robot characters as well, due to their extensive lifespans. The main cast of Transformers Animated includes Ratchet, who fought in the original war against the Decepticons, Prowl, old enough to have tried to dodge the draft, Optimus, Bumblebee, and Bulkhead, all relatively young, and Sari, who is eight.
- Tintin and Captain Haddock. They fall in together during the derring do of The Crab With the Golden Claws and are constant companions from then on. It's difficult to determine when Tintin moves in with Haddock and Professor Calculus but it seems to be some time after the Moon adventure. The sheer oddness of their relationship has led to many snide remarks and speculation down the years, not least because neither are interested in women (the Captain's plain terrified), but theirs is a very sweet and lasting friendship where they continually lay down their lives for each other.
- The Boondocks is rife with these:
- Riley and Gangstalicious
- Riley and Thugnificent
- Riley and Ed Wuncler III, and Gin Rummy
- Huey and Tom DuBois
- Tom DuBois and Robert Freeman
- Mac and Frankie from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, with Mac at 8 and Frankie at 22. Overlaps with a Precocious Crush on Mac's part.
- In the Russian cartoon Smeshariki, there is a large number of intergenerational friendships since all nine cast members are friends and are of different ages (it can be inferred from their manner of speech, interests and mannerisms that 2 are seniors, 3 are middle-aged and 4 are youngsters).
- Bart and Otto from The Simpsons.
- And certainly Lisa and the late great Bleeding Gums Murphy.
- Freakazoid! and Sergeant Cosgrove. There was even a Running Gag involving Sergeant Cosgrove pulling up to Freakazoid in his car and asking him if he wants to do something together like bumper cars.
- Jade and Torhu of Jackie Chan Adventures. Many times, Jade would ride the much larger Torhu on his shoulder. She even gave him half of a yin yang necklace to show their bond. On a similar vein, Paco and El Toro Fuerte.
- Chowder and Gazpacho from Chowder.
- Mary and Max, from the film of the same name, a lonely nine year old girl in Australia and a 44 year old man with Asperger's Syndrome in New York.
- Jonny and Race from Jonny Quest have more of a father/son dynamic; however, in one episode of Real Adventures, Race says that Jonny is his new best friend. Jonny's 13/14 and Race is in his late thirties.
- He-Man and Duncan in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). Take into account that Duncan is also He-Man's father's advisor/best friend and He-Man's main love interest is Duncan's daughter Teela.
- The title character of WordGirl was once good friends with Steven Boxlitner who was much older than herself. Even though Steven is now Two brains Wordgirls still has some sort of Friendship with him.
- Terry McGinnis and Bruce Wayne in Batman Beyond.
- Lydia and Beetlejuice in the Animated Adaptation. The 12 year old befriends the several hundred year old Man Child (who was probably in his late 30s at his time of death).
- To make things squicky, however, it is implied that Beetlejuice does have a crush on Lydia (including having a part of his mind being an actual shrine to her). And, yes, the pairing is canon.
- In Adventure Time pilot Finn is twelve and Jake is twenty-eight, while in the series Finn is 13 and Word of God specifying Jake is twenty-eight in "magical dog years"—which could possibly make him younger than Finn in absolute terms but he's certainly of adult age for his species. They're also adoptive brothers, Finn having been raised by Jake's parents.
- Technically Finn and Marceline, since she's Really One Thousand Years Old (though she looks more like a teenager or young adult).
- Most recently, Marceline and the Ice King, though comparatively closer in age to each other than to the rest of the cast. It used to be intergenerational, though, when she was a child.
- Noodle with all her bandmates from the Gorillaz. At least, they're all clearly more attached to her than to each other.
- Kim Possible and Shego ("Stop Team Go"), Shego and Drakken (sometimes).
- Recess: Spinelli, who's nine, and Miss Grotke, who's implied to be in her early 30s. Because of this, Spinelli looks up to her like a mother figure (as Spinelli's real mom embaresses her to extreme levels and forces her into girly activities, which she hates). It's adorable.
- In Sonic Sat AM it's most of the Freedom Fighters and Sir Charles "Uncle Chuck" Hedgehog. Of course, it's most because his nephew is the show's star. The same could also be said with Tails and the rest of the Freedom Fighters.
- In Transformers Prime, the Autobots are much older than their human allies, who have an age range from 12 to 16.
- Apple Bloom and Zecora in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- Both Princesses act the most "adult" out of any of the characters on the show, being both in their twenties to thirties emotionally and at least a thousand years old each and are also good friends with the Mane Cast. Luna also gets this with Pipsqueak in her focus episode.
- And now we have Fluttershy being friends with Discord who is at least a thousand years older than her.
- Danger Mouse, the world's greatest secret agent, and Penfold, his schoolboy-aged assistant.
- Carl and Russell eventually forge this in Up.
- The Cool Old Guy Jacob is this to the teenage Burners in Motorcity. Texas might also be this to the rest of the Burners, as he appears to be out of his teens.
- Monty and Chip, Dale, and Gadget grow into this over the course of "To The Rescue"; although ages are never made explicit, Monty is known to be an old friend of Gadget's father, Geegaw, and the boys don't seem to be much different in age from her. It does help that she seemed to remember him from when she was "knee-high to a knee", though.
- Brian and Stewie are pretty much this in Family Guy considering Brian is an adult dog and Stewie is a baby.
- Herbert and Chris also technically count as this trope (even if Herbert wishes it were more than that)
- The eponymous duo of Rick and Morty.
- Message boards, online games and other websites where people who share a common interest gather. Sports, video games, politics and TV shows are just a few of the subjects that can provide common ground for people who become close friends long before they even learn each other's relative age.
- Or gender, race, or religion. The internet has a lot of problems, but damn if it doesn't bring us together.
- Young people who like older music often make good friends with people who were around when that music came out. This is especially true if they frequent second hand record stores - they may well come in just for the conversation.
- For that matter, retired people or stay-at-home parents with internet connections and exposure to new music (be it through the radio or Pandora or YouTube) will often stumble across message boards full of liked-minded teenagers talking about that great new song that just came out.
- Similarly, Real Life social clubs are often this. They attract people of a wide range of ages. However, given that the people all share whatever common interest the club is themed on, intergenerational friendships are quite common within them.
- Common among socially awkward or shy individuals. Making friends with someone much younger or older is often easier because someone from a different generation won't be held up to as high a social standard. For example, a teenager might reject another teenager for being a Star Trek fanatic, but a thirty-year-old probably wouldn't... Someone in their late teens might take a tween with similar interests under their wing to show them the ropes. A ten-year-old might be rejected by her peers for being painfully shy; but chances are the kindergartners think she's pretty hot stuff. A 5 year old might not be the envy of his similarly aged peers; but to 7-12 year olds he's either adorkable or just plain cool. Etc.
- Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley (who is 24 years Dern's junior) became close friends during filming The Fault in Our Stars. They are so close that Woodley lives part time in Dern's house.
- Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev. Best friends, best ballet partners... and she was 19 years older than him. In fact, Dame Fonteyn was about to retire when they started dancing together, but then she decided otherwise and they were a ballet duo for fifteen more years.
- The whole Judd Apatow Production Posse is made up of actors in their early 30s to 40's. Paul Rudd is pushing 45 compared to Seth Rogen who pushing 32 and Jonah Hill, barely 30. Not a huge gap, but generation wise its large enough to fit this.
- Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper. Despite their age difference of 32 years, they get along very well; Gaga considers Cyndi to be a Cool Big Sis figure, and Cyndi feels as though she can be as weird as she likes when she's with Gaga.
- Gaga is also friends with Danny Trejo a 42 year age difference.
- And with Elton John (39 years), even becoming the godmother of his adoptive kids.
- Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney (difference of 28 years)
- Michael Jackson and either Dame Elizabeth Taylor (difference of 26 years) or Diana Ross (14 years).
- Jackson was also good friends with Macaulay Culkin a 21 year age difference.
- Most workplaces in general can end up being this.
- Emma Roberts and Jennifer Aniston a 22 year difference
- Animal example: A baby hippopotamus that was rescued after floods in Kenya made news everywhere when it befriended a 100-year old tortoise in a wildlife sanctuary.
- Also, a 47-year-old gorilla and a much younger rabbit.
- For that matter, Koko the gorilla, and her kitten. Unfortunately, it ended rather tragically.
- When Christopher McCandless, the subject of book and film Into The Wild, was traveling to Alaska, he briefly stayed with and befriended an old man (given the pseudonym "Ronald Franz" in the book). Franz became deeply attached to McCandless, and prayed for his safety when he left. He became an atheist after Chris's death, believing that any god who would let him die wasn't worth believing in.
- Sigourney Weaver and Carrie Henn (Newt) became very good friends during and after the filming of Aliens, despite Sigourney being 37 years old and Carrie only a 9-year-old child.
- Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto, the two Spocks with an age difference of 47 years.
- Basketball star LeBron James and billionaire Warren Buffet.
- Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain
- Disney star Zendaya Coleman and country singer Wynonna Judd, with an age difference of 32 years.
- Mara Wilson and Danny De Vito, as a result of the two appearing closely together in Matilda.
- Chuck Norris and Justin Bieber. No, really.
- Celebrity chef Robert Irvine and his mentor Chef Harold Hillard. The latter is 43 years older than the former.
- Conventions, anime conventions in particular, can have these spring up. You're a thirteen year old at your very first con and have no idea where to start or what to do first? Not to fear—if you just ask, some friendly college-aged (or older!) veterans who've done this a thousand times will be happy to show you around.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn were firm friends for decades, in spite of the fact that they were very different people, and that Haydn had several children who were older than Mozart.
- Indie rocker Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses was friends was 1940s Hollywood actress Betty Hutton for the last two decades of Hutton's life despite a 45 year age gap.
- Thanks to Arrow, John Barrowman has struck something like this with most of the cast. Being 47, he's over ten years older than Stephen Amell (the lead of the show), and twice the age of Colton Haynes, Emily Bett Rickards, and Willa Holland, yet, going from videos they've made on set, he seems to be best friends with the kids on set.
- Jonah Hill is apparently close friends with Dustin Hoffman, who even got him a role in I ♥ Huckabees.