"Ta-ta-ta-ta-tata! Puberty power!"A trope closely tied with the Magical Girl and some Western superheroes, this is a character with the ability to turn into a noticeably older counterpart of themselves. The most famous use is the "Magic Idol Singer", a pretty blatant piece of innocent wish fulfillment. The wholesomeness (or otherwise) of this idea is its main feature; that characters would run into rather squicky situations if they found boyfriends or girlfriends while changed is surprisingly common, and thus this trope is often combined with Loves My Alter Ego. Occasionally overlaps with Superpowered Alter Ego. Compare with Dual Age Modes, Overnight Age-Up, Sleep-Mode Size. When the change is more permanent, you have a Plot-Relevant Age-Up.
— Yugi Mutou during transformation, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series
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Anime & Manga
- Probably used first in manga in the first ever Magical Girl manga (though not the first anime - that was another show) Himitsu no Akko-chan, which first appeared in 1963. The Cute Witch female lead, Atsuko Kagami aka Akko, had a Magic Mirror that allowed her to take up the appearance of other people. Obviously, more than once she aged herself up to help the rest. In fact, she invoked the trope in the very first time she used her mirror by wishing to become "the Queen of the Stars" - the result was her becoming a beautiful older girl in a sparkly gown.
- Marvelous Melmo is another early Magical Girl example, in which the 9-year-old heroine uses magic candies to age into an attractive 19-year-old Panty Shot-tastic version of herself.
- Magical Angel Creamy Mami in which a young girl became an idol singer.
- Sailor Moon had a wand similar to Minky Momo, used several times in the first 10 or so episodes, and then was promptly forgotten about after the Filler Arc in the second series.
- This was the premise of Full Moon o Sagashite. In addition to Mitsuki going from 12 to 16, she also temporarily loses the throat cancer she has as a 12 year old which prevents her from singing loudly. And in order to properly disguise herself during her first transformation she dyes her hair blonde. After that it's just assumed that Takuto and Meroko include the dye when they transform her each time.
- In Love Hina Kaolla Su becomes older under the semi-mystical "red moon" and when her "big brother" visits.
- This seems to be Evangeline's power in Mahou Sensei Negima!; however it's revealed that her "adult form" is just an illusion. Of course, it's played around with... due to the fact that she's Really 700 Years Old and stuck in her current form because she's a vampire, Evangeline's illusion actually makes her appear younger than she really is... it's just her true form looks even younger than that.
- Later in the manga "Age Changing Pills" start appearing, which are stated when introduced to just cast the same illusion Evangeline uses. Evidently, this illusion is fully tactile, extends or reduces actual reach and height, and doesn't cover your clothes (which can end up falling off or getting very tight).
- Jungle de Ikou!, in which a young student gains the power to become a fertility goddess with the powers of Mother Earth in her breasts.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: When Yugi calls upon his mystical Millennium Puzzle to evoke the spirit of an ancient pharaoh into him, his voice deepens and he grows about a foot in height without raising comment from anyone. Since the cameo of the older Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has him look largely the same, this is probably just a visual aid to the audience indicating his maturity.
- In Chrono Crusade, Chrono is usually to be found in the form of a teenage boy. However, in his full demon form, when getting power from Rosette's seal, he is a fully grown and not-unattractive man.
- In Tenjho Tenge, Maya is usually portrayed as a really young girl, almost chibified. It seems unlikely that such a child would be sword master; however, when she gets serious she transforms into well-endowed and shapely woman, capable of making members of the male species goggle. This is actually a reversal of the trope: The buxom beauty is Maya's true form. She regularly transforms into the tyke to conserve her strength.
- When schoolgirl sportscaster Tsukuda Miina becomes the Space Rabbit Girl Warrior Tsushiro Miina in Getsumen to Heiki Mina, she takes on a notably more... "mature" form.
- The last episode of Dai Mahou Touge uses this as part of a power upgrade.
- Hono and Yuki from the Master Of Mosquiton OVA both have an adult form, which seems to be the form in which they can most effectively use their elemental powers. It's used as an excuse for blatant fanservice in the case of Yuki.
- The manga Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts is centered around this trope. In a terrifyingly creepy manner.
- Ayashi no Ceres has an odd partial example—Aya's friend and fellow ten'nyo Chidori is in her late teens, but physically looks about ten. When she transforms into her ten'nyo form, however, she looks her actual age.
- Klein Klan in Macross Frontier does this in reverse. At normal Zentradi size, she's a physically developed adult, but when Miclonised (shrunk to human size) she becomes a physical and mental preteen.
- ChaCha in Akazukin Chacha can use the power of her brooch (and Riiya's bracelet, and Shine's ring) to turn into a "Magical Princess" who looks to be about 16 years old. She herself looks to be about 7-8.
- Nanaka 6/17:
- This is the explanation given to the main character after she suffers a severe brain injury that leaves her with no memories beyond the age of six.
- The main character of the show within a show Magical Domiko does this when she uses her powers.
- In YuYu Hakusho, Koenma normally looks like a baby despite being Really 700 Years Old. When in the human world, in order to be taken seriously, he appears in the form of a handsome young man... with a pacifier in his mouth. He actually has a good reason to always carry the pacifier.
- Both Jiyu and Freesia from Jubei-chan have adult alter-forms for serious butt-kicking.
- In the Devil May Cry 3 manga, Alice (who resembles the protagonist from Alice in Wonderland) actually goes so far as to trade her innocence to demons for the sake of becoming older and more attractive.
- Vivio in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid. If you've seen StrikerS it's the same one she used in the final battle, though with less black in the Barrier Jacket. Like her mom, however, she takes a very responsible approach to life-altering magics and readily promises her to never use her adult form for fun and mischief. She also displays acute awareness of the fact that suddenly growing breasts doesn't actually make her an adult. Other characters also have a similar Adult Mode, like Einhart Stratos, her rival and maybe something more.
- In Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, Illya appears about 17 when she becomes a Heroic Spirit.
- Played straight with Dark Magical Girl Pixy Misa in Pretty Sammy. This is presumably a reflection of Misao wanting to be a daring, attractive grown-up. Meanwhile, the heroine Pretty Sammy is basically Sasami in a silly costume (the cast-offs of her Cloudcuckoolander sponsor). Sasami doesn't want to be someone else, being rather well-adjusted.
- Spoofed in a bonus manga chapter of Kodomo no Jikan that came with the 2nd OAV DVD. Poor Kuro remains flat-chested even in adult form, and poor Mimi gets even bigger.
- Aram of Meru Puri transforms from a 12 year old kid into a 17 year old teenager by coming in contact with darkness.
- There's a borderline example in DNAngel—the main hook of the story is that Daisuke transforms into his alter-ego, Dark, when he experiences the feelings of being in love. Dark looks older and is much taller (to the point that Daisuke gets into the habit of wearing clothing that is too big for him). However, Dark is also presented as his own individual, who has appeared in the men of Daisuke's family for over four hundred years.
- When Ahiru transforms into Princess Tutu, she looks noticeably older, and also becomes several times more graceful, with a melodious voice and stunning dance skills.
- In Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown, Molly decides she'd like to be older, and they make it so.
- Hime Chen Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri Being magical idol singers, this isn't surprising.
- In Haré+Guu, Guu can change into a beautiful young woman who is strong enough to defeat a bear.
- This is how Digivolving works in Digimon Xros Wars, as opposed to the usual Evolutionary Levels.
- In Dorothy of Oz, Mara ages ten years and gains the powers of a witch whenever she uses the boots given to her by Selluriah. Her hair also turns white and her eyes turn gold, for some reason.
- This happens in Beyblade of all things with BEGA member Ming-Ming who goes through some kind of magical girls transformation and like Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh! appears taller and has sharper eyes and slightly different hair. It's a very odd case as she was introduced in the later half of the last season. Notably, the small, cute Ming-Ming is the Idol Singer while the taller, sexy Ming-Ming is the Beyblader.
- Although very rare in Pretty Cure, it does happen:
- Tsubomi's grandmother in HeartCatch Pretty Cure! has an inversion: her one time transforming back into Cure Flower, she looks no older than her twenties.
- Aguri Madoka from Doki Doki Pretty Cure is a fourth-grader, while her 17-looking alter-ego Cure Ace is considerably older than her 14-year-old companions.
- All three members of Maho Girls Precure are slightly younger than the norm for their franchise, but age up to the standard 14-ish appearance when transformed. Other incidents with age-changing magic show that their Cure forms are identical in appearance regardless of their current age.
- Koneko from High School D×D has one in her Shirone mode, where she overclocks her senjutsu; not only optimizing its power but temporarily aging her to the body she will have once she matures to the point of saying that that will be the body she will have when she becomes Issei's bride. Unfortunately, It's very exhausting to the point of being a final sweeper attack.
- Subverted cleverly in Magic Knight Rayearth. Princess Emeraude is always seen in the form of a pre-teen/young teenager... but that's because her growth was stunted when she became the Pillar of Cephiro. Once Zagato is killed, Emeraude completely breaks and reverts to her actual age and form - that of a beautiful Lady of War who is completely broken and a borderline One-Winged Angel.
- In Umi Monogatari, Sedna possessing Urin causes her to age to a young woman.
- Hinako Ninomiya from Ranma ˝ switches from a little girl to a tall, buxom and beautiful Hot Teacher through a ki-absorbing technique. Although it is implied that she's Older Than They Look as a little girl, and that her adult form shows her true age.
- Souji Mitsuka, A.K.A. Tail Red, from Gonna be the Twin-Tail!! is an inversion — he is a Super Gender-Bender who transforms from a teenage boy to a little girl.
- The protagonists of Brave Beats age up after transforming, going from elementary school kids to athletic teenagers in an instant.
- According to Space Patrol Luluco's Word of God, this is what Miss Trigger is in relation to Luluco. She ages up from 13 years to 17 whenever she transforms.
- In Flowering Heart, the girls' magical girl forms are adult women.
- In the Korean cartoon Sophie Ruby, 13-year-old girl Ruby is given the power to transform into the 19-year-old Sophie in order to collect "good deed stamps".
- The trope was formerly named, perhaps ironically, after one of the exceedingly few western examples of it: DC comic hero Captain Marvel. The "awkward situations with adults of the opposite sex" was played straight with Beautia Sivana, but inverted in Justice Society of America in which Captain Marvel reveals his identity to and begins dating a fellow superhero the same age as Billy Batson, and is later forced to break up with her due to misunderstandings from others who didn't know he was actually 16. His twin sister, Mary Marvel, has exactly the same power in some versions. (In the original Fawcett comics she gets the powers but doesn't age, like Captain Marvel Jr. In Jeff Smith's Shazam and the Monster Society of Evil and Mike Kunkell's Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam, Mary doesn't get older and is also noticeably younger than Billy).
- Becomes a plot point in Young Justice when he is able to travel between all-kids and all-adults parallel worlds.
- Similar thing happened to his Malibu Comics Captain Ersatz, Prime from The Ultraverse. He tried to use the older form to get together with a girl he had a crush on, which really creeped her out. Meanwhile, an adult heroine was nursing a crush on Prime.
- Ultimate Spider-Man does this... sort of. He's actually 16, but usually tells people he's in his twenties when he's in costume. No-one really buys it. Except Black Cat, who had once kissed him. She threw up later when she found out he was really a kid.
- Archie Comics Superhero The Fly (also known as Fly Man) was originally one of these. Young orphan Tommy Troy was given a magic ring that allowed him to transform into an adult with insect-based powers. Unusually for this trope, the age differential didn't last. By the fifth issue Thomas Troy had aged a good ten years, gaining a law degree along the way, and was drained of any lingering trace of originality. (This was concurrent with the departure of the original Joe Simon/Jack Kirby creative team.) When The Fly and other Archie Comics heroes were revived under DC Comics' Impact imprint, this trope was re-established for the character.
- Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld is another western comic book example. Because time passed at different speeds between Earth and Gemworld, she was older when she visited the other world. (Plus, of course, she had magical powers! And a flying horse!)
- A victim of the Scarecrow's experiments, an orphan named Colin can willingly become the hulking vigilante Abuse (with reverse-embossed knuckle-dusters to match).
- Aside from Prime (see above), The Ultraverse also had Elven, a teenage girl who transformed into an adult female elf.
- Tod Holton, Super Green Beret. Check it out.
- As created by Mick Angelo, Marvelman originally had this, being a Captain Ersatz of Captain Marvel. When Alan Moore wrote the character, he had Micky Moran grown up.
- Inverted with Kevin Trueblood/Maximum Man in Welcome to Tranquility, a Captain Ersatz of Captain Marvel who is now an old man, but, when he remembers his magic word, still turns into a thirty year old superhero.
- One arc of Superman/Batman has the titular duo encounter a team of expies of The Ultimates. The Incredible Hulk expy is a cute little girl who turns into a big blue monster.
- In Colt Noble and the Megalords, an Affectionate Parody of Masters of the Universe, Colt Noble (the equivalent of He-Man) is the older alter-ego of the 13-or-so Prince Jaysen. The original one-shot starts with Jaysen fruitlessly trying to gain entry into a strip club, and ends with him enjoying himself at the club as Colt.
- In both the comic and animated version of W.I.T.C.H., the girls' transformation to their Guardian forms take them from middle school-age (13-15) to somewhere older (18 tops). The comic version of Will prefers her transformed state since she looks much more attractive than she does normally while the cartoon version of Hay Lin is accidentally insulted by Irma's mom when she mistakes her Guardian form for a Halloween costume and claims that she didn't know that costumes had "that kind of padding".
- This is one of the powers of the Grass Guardian in Guardians of Pokémon. Later, Pikachu also gets the power to temporarily age up using the Thunder Stone... but after the transformation has run out, she temporarily becomes even younger than usual.
- One particular That Guy with the Glasses Slash Fic casts Lewis Lovhaug as a high school student who uses a Power Rangers transmorpher to become the superhero "Linkara". While the age difference isn't major, Linkara is stated to be five years older than teenaged Lewis (making him roughly Mr. Lovhaug's actual age).
Films — Animation
- In The Transformers: The Movie, this happens when Hot Rod opens the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, which has him grow about a foot and half, sounds much older and he becomes a RV truck in his alternate mode. Though this ends when Rodimus Prime gives the Matrix back to a fully restored Optimus Prime and becomes Hot Rod again. Of course, in the Japanese continuation Rodimus Prime gets the Matrix back and regains the larger form when Optimus sacrifices himself again
- In Gene Wolfe's Wizard Knight series, the hero is a young kid who is transformed into a brawny Knight in Shining Armor in a fantasy world but is still as naive as your typical Kid Hero.
- Flossie Teacakes: The 10-year-old main character finds a magical coat that magically transforms her into the young woman she dreams of being whenever she wears it.
- Come On Ossie: Oswald turns into an 18-year-old when he borrows his grandfather's medal.
- Average Joe: Whenever Joe takes some of his dad's experimental anti-aging serum, he turns into a 22-year-old man for two hours.
- In Out of This World, Evie once turned herself into an adult, becoming "Evie's older cousin Yvette," to attract a boy. Attempts to reverse it rendered her seven years old.
- In Smallville, an enchanted comic book turned a boy into an adult superhero. Chloe seemed semi-interested in him (with a Flight of Romance, no less) until she found out he was really about ten years old. Turns out, though, that the comic wasn't about a hero, but a villain's Start of Darkness, and the kid was cursed to go Ax-Crazy the moment he felt betrayal.
- Justin in Power Rangers Turbo, mostly as a result of the suit-actor being the same age as the rest of the suit-actors, while the character actor was about half the age of the other character actors, with no actual in-story handwave. He even shifted back to twelve-year-old size when he removed his helmet. (We never saw that happen directly, sadly. When the Rangers would be suited but unhelmeted around the base, Justin would be wearing a kid-sized suit, all size-shifting happening offscreen.)
- This pertained not only to Power Rangers, but in Super Sentai. Gosei Sentai Dairanger features a 9-year-old that became the Kiba Ranger with the same circumstances. His living sword speaks for him while he is hiding his identity from the other Dairangers.
- The main characters of Big Bad Beetleborgs are all kids who thanks to a Phantasm called Flabber become their favorite heroes. (Note the only the Dairanger example has to get around adult-sized heroes sounding like kids. Even people who know the kids and meet the heroes don't ever say a word about the voice thing.
- The titular character of Merlin uses an aging spell rather regularly to turn into an 80-year-old version of himself, known as "Dragoon" most of the time, though Morgana may know him as Emrys due to her vision. Also, when Dragoon's compromised, he has Dolma, a female older alter ego.
- Johnny Garland from Shadow Hearts: From the New World. His actual age is... complicated, but he looks about ten years old most of the time. Towards the end of the game, however, he unleashes his hidden power, and gains the ability to temporarily transform into a rather adult-looking bishonen with a bitchin' double-ended lightsaber, unstoppable superpowers, and no pants. Which goes a long way towards justifying the fact that, in the Best Ending, he ends up living with Shania, a RIDICULOUSLY attractive and voluptuous Native American woman. And yes, he still looks like a kid most of the time. I guess most people choose not to bug them about it, since their combined power is enough to Punch Out Cthulhu.
- Will from Illusion of Gaia can transform into Freedan, an adult swordsman. They look nothing like each other, though.
- Anna, Pintsized Powerhouse of Mana Khemia Alchemists Of Alrevis, uses this trick in her Finishing Move.
- From the first Bloody Roar game, the Final Boss is Uriko, a cute but creepy little girl who, due to being Brainwashed and Crazy, turns into a young woman to fight you.
- Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory:
- Yellow heart is actually a forceably age-adjusted Peashy; her CPU form was artificially made an adult to best capitalize on her strength. She later gets her child body back, but still becomes "the big me" when she transforms.
- And then there's also Neptune and Plutia who also transform from looking like early teenagers to fully fledged adults.
- Ace Attorney: When channeling their dead sister/cousin Mia, Maya and Pearl Fey become vessels for her spirit. All this really means is that the full-sized Mia, bust and all, turns up wearing the younger Feys' clothes. It's bad enough when she turns up in Maya's body, but with Pearl, it gets downright Stripperiffic. This is actually invoked in one case, when Phoenix is trying to interrogate a witness who's a Dirty Old Man. To get the witness to talk, he brings in Maya, wearing a waitress outfit that the witness considers fetish appeal. The witness just takes one look at her and says for her to "come back when [she's] older". Cue her channeling Mia, and the witness starts talking immediately.
- Prince Adam's transformation sequence to He-Man in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) has him go from a slender teenage prince to as badass and big as ever. This is different from the original series, where Adam didn't look any different besides clothes.
- Steven Universe: Steven and Connie are two children that can fuse into Stevonnie, who has the appearance of a young adult, and is capable of driving a car. Although regular gems are The Ageless, their fusions can look vaguely older: Ruby and Sapphire look somewhat child-like, but Garnet is clearly an adult.
- Numbuh Two in Codename: Kids Next Door uses his technology to turn himself into a teenager, and ends up in love with Cree. Unfortunately, the transformation is only temporary, and when Cree finds out, she is disgusted that she was on a date with a kid.
- In Banana Man, Eric is an ordinary schoolboy who can transform into an adult superhero by eating a banana. An exaggerated version of this trope was used in different ways in the comic and in the animated series. In the comic, part of his Multiple-Choice Past showed him getting his powers as an infant and being able to transform into a fully adult Bananaman (wearing a nappy and with the brain of a baby). In the animated series, he exploited this to his advantage (or rather Hypercompetent Sidekick Crow did) when he was regressed to a baby and eating a banana once again turned him into an adult Bananaman.