Not Allowed to Grow Old

Ah the Time Skip. Some fans' favorite moment of the series. Everyone is stronger, smarter, more attractive. The kids are teens, the teens are adults and the adults, still adults.

This is somewhat Truth in Television; if only a few years have gone by, the difference between how much an adult changes and how much an adolescent does can be drastic. There's a much more visible difference aging from 10 to 15 than there is aging from 35 to 40.

However, this gets particularly noticeable when after reaching a certain age, adults in a series stop showing signs of aging at all. No wrinkles, no gray hairs, no change in build, and often no costume changes or new hairstyles, either.

See also Absurdly Youthful Mother.

Not to be confused with Not Allowed to Grow Up; may overlap with SORAS.


  • Acknowledged and lampshaded in Naruto Shippuden: All the kids are older but most of the adults don't even get new costumes. In one post-show explanation, they note how Kakashi's only difference between then and now is that he's reading a different book.
  • In CLANNAD, none of the characters seems to age after the Time Skip. Nagisa's mother still looks as young as she was back when was able to pass as a Highschool girlnote .
  • After the time skip(s) in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Leeron still looks the way he was in early episodes, even when the other older characters during the early episodes are already geezers and grandmas.
  • This is sadly common with anime and manga, as a lot of anime/manga artists don't know how to draw "old people," so often they'll have adult characters look and/or continue to look fairly young (20-30) even if they're supposed to be pushing 40-70.

Comic Books
  • Inverted and Played for Laughs in Astérix: When there were flashbacks to Asterix's birth or childhood years, the village's oldest resident Geriatrix appeared unchanged.

Western Animation
  • In Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne is allowed to grow old, but not to die. This leads, in the Distant Finale, for an incredibly ancient-looking Bruce Wayne, who must be at least over a hundred, to still be kicking around the Batcave.
  • Disney's Frozen: By the end of the prologue (just before their deaths) Elsa and Anna's parents still look like they're in their early twenties, despite their daughters now being 18 and 15. The mother in particular just looks like a taller, brunette version of her teenage daughters.
  • The Lion King has a few examples. Most are justified because lions age differently from the other animals in the film.
    • Most noticeable in the timeskip sequence when Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa are walking across the log, Simba goes from lion cub to adolescent to adult. Timon and Pumbaa don't change at all. It takes around 2-5 years for a lion's mane to grow.
    • The most triumphant example is probably Zazu, who presumably had been employed by Mufasa for sometime before the series began, but from Simba's presentation ceremony as a cub at the start of the 1st film, to his full-grown daughter finding a mate and inheriting the kingdom at the end of the 2nd. He hasn't aged a day. However the lifespan of a wild lion is about 10 years, where wild hornibills can live for up to 45 years. He probably still has at least one or two more generations left in him before he turns gray.
    • On the other hand, Simba looks pretty much the same from Hakuna Matata (where he would be about age 5) to the finale of Lion King II a full generation later (about age 10 and should be getting old or at least significantly weaker than Kovu in his prime).
  • The Prince of Egypt: While the adult male characters are shown to noticeably age after the second time skip (Moses, Rameses, and Aaron especially), Miriam and Ztipphorah don't age at all.
  • Also happens in Sleeping Beauty: None of the characters who were adults during Aurora's baby shower look any older sixteen years later. This is possibly justified for Flora, Fauna, Merryweather, and Maleficient since they're fairies, but there's no excuse for King Stephen, his queen, or King Hubert.
  • Tangled: Rapunzel's birth mother. This is especially noticeable because her husband has grown a few more wrinkles and grey hair since their daughter's disappearance eighteen years before, while she hasn't aged a day (apart from maybe a few tired lines under her eyes).
  • And Disney's Tarzan. Kerchak, Kala, and the other adult gorillas don't look or move any differently from when Tarzan was a baby, despite Tarzan looking to be in his early twenties by the time Jane arrives.
  • In The Flintstones specials that take place when Pebbles and Bam-Bam are teenagers and adults their parents Fred, Wilma, Barney, and Betty look exactly the same as they did in the original series when they were babies.

Video Games
  • Dragon Age II: Despite the game taking place over the course of seven years, none of the characters so much as change outfits or hair cuts, let alone age.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition takes place around ten years after Dragon Age: Origins, but few of the returning adult characters look like they've aged at all. (Leliana and Loghain in particular have been accused of looking younger.)
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • As far as we can tell, none of the Disney characters age at all - Huey, Dewie and Louie have been selling stuff to heroes for at least a decade, and are still kids, without even updating to their Quack Pack designs.
    • The Original Generation characters like Ven, Terra, and Aqua look the same before and after a 10+ year timeskip, while Sora Riku and Kairi all look different after only a 1 year skip. Magic is involved in some of these cases, however: Ven's been in stasis in Castle Oblivion, while Aqua is trapped in the Realm of Darkness.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - After the seven-year skip. only the kids are shown to have changed to adults. Only exceptions are Ganondorf, and to a small extent Ingo who received a new costume
  • Between the third and fourth generations of Record Of Agarest War, Alberti grows from a teen to middle age. Between the fourth and fifth generations? No change, even though there was a nearly 20-year Time Skip both times.