Similar to Child Mage, where children are often adept in magic, kids often have telepathy, psychokinesis, and can see the paranormal. Psychic powers tend to be Emotional Powers, Psychoactive Powers, and prone to Power Incontinence, making children, who haven't yet learned to control their emotions and thus tend to experience them more powerfully, both more attuned to their psychic potential and more vulnerable to losing control, which is rife with dramatic potential. Characters with this ability tend to be Creepy Children even if benign, and their experience mucking about in other people's heads may have made them Wise Beyond Their Years (or their preternatural wisdom may have contributed to the development of their powers). Along with psychic powers, these children might also be able to communicate and see ghosts, spirits, poltergeists, and the other paranormal. Because of this, they are often used in teams, to find where they are, eliminate them, or find the cause of suffering for the vengeful ones. These kids are also often used for secret organizations, government agencies, and other groups because of their powers. They can also might be twins and have Twin Telepathy, along with being Creepy Twins. The less lucky ones will end up in a mental institution on account of their persistent hallucinations. In RPGs, expect them to take on the role as a Mystical Waif or Waif Prophet. Related to Child Mage, but instead of having powerful psychic abilities, they are good at magic. Also related to Waif Prophet as they are often frail and act as messengers. Sometimes a product of a Bizarre Baby Boom.
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Anime & Manga
- Pokemon Special: Yellow, who can read the minds of Pokemon and has limited telekinesis. She is the youngest of the first-generation protagonists.
- Nearly ever esper encountered in A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun is a teenager or younger. This is perhaps justified by natural born espers being rare, and all the children in Academy City are students taking part in an esper development program.
- The main characters of Night Head Genesis are all young teens, being students of a boarding school designed to contain their kind.
- Many of the espers in Zettai Karen Children are children, but especially the core Power Trio.
- Mai, the Psychic Girl. Mai Kuju is a 14-year-old girl with powerful psychic abilities. The Wisdom Alliance is a secret organization that wants to control the world. They already control four other psychic children and want to add Mai to their collection.
- Sabrina in the Pokémon anime was this trope for a while. The anime showed her developing her powers very young, around five or six years old. There's quite a creepy subplot involving her her dolls and toys...
- Feature prominently in AKIRA, including the title character. Psychic powers in this setting are at least partially drug-induced, and appear to be less destructive to pre-pubescents, which is why the secret government agency developing them prefers to use children as test subjects.
- Also by Katsuhiro Otomo, Etsuko from Domu, who may or may not be related to the above.
- Pretty much every Gundam universe, with the exceptions of G Gundam, Gundam Wing and Turn A Gundam prominently feature many youngsters with psychic powers of one kind or another, most of whom end up getting turned into as Child Soldiers because of them.
- Hitomi from Puni Puni Poemi is a 3 year old who supposedly has the power to predict the future. Unfortunately, she only "predicts" things that are obviously happening right in front of her. However, one scene where she senses that Poemi is on a rampage implies that her power is not prediction, but an ability to see things that are happening in other places.
- In the Marvel Universe:
- Jean Grey's mutant psionic abilities first manifested when she was a child.
- The Stepford Cuckoos were an attempt by a Mad Scientist (and is there any other kind?) to breed an army of creepy psychic children.
- Liana from A Distant Soil falls under this trope. Though all Ovanans(and half-Ovanans like her and Jason) have psychic powers, she's an avatar and Jason is a disruptor, our two MOST powerful powers. Seren, the current avatar, is not a child, but is certainly very childlike.
- In the film Minority Report, three psychic children are 'harnessed' to foresee and prevent crimes; chief among the kids is a girl who saw through a specific deception (and instrumental in the plot)
- Constantine. The title character and Isabel and Angela Dodson all first displayed their psychic abilities as children. Unfortunately, these abilities helped them to see the half-demons infesting the Earth, resulting in both Constantine and Isabel being forced to undergo psychiatric treatment- Isabel later committing suicide.
- Other than Neo, the Potentials from The Matrix all seem to be children. Their Technopathy isn't strictly a "psychic" power until the sequel, when Neo gains the ability to affect machines even when unplugged, but their ability to manipulate the fabric of the Matrix is accorded similar mystical significance.
- Norman Babcock from ParaNorman given he is a medium.
- Danny Torrance from The Shining has some very strong psychic abilities, at least by the standards of his universe. He has a limited ability to read the minds of those he is close to, an even-more-limited form of precognition, and a special vulnerability to haunted locales such as the Overlook.
- Charlie Mcgee in Firestarter is a pre-pubescent pyrokinetic, inheriting the ability thanks to a government drug trial her parents participated in which also gave them (much more limited) powers.
- Anthony from Jerome Bixby's short story It's a Good Life is only three years old and has complete control of everything.
- In the Maximum Ride series, the youngest member of the group (Angel, at only six) can read minds, often by accident. Later, she also gains the abilities of breathing underwater and mind control.
- John Wyndham did this twice with two different perspectives:
- The Midwich Cuckoos which was later filmed (more than once) as Village of the Damned had the psychic creepy Affably Evil children as the whole point of its plot.
- The Chrysalids had telepathic but otherwise normal children growing up in a community that hated and feared any kind of "deviation" from the norm.
- The Witches of Karres centers on three heavily psychic/magical children, sisters, from the planet Karres. The whole population of Karres are witches, but these three, and especially ten-year-old Goth, are the ones we see most of.
- In Galaxy of Fear, Tash Arranda is an untrained Force-Sensitive. Her powers cause her to be seen as weird and creepy, but they also help her out.
- The Children of the Lens, in the Lensman series. Their parents were the two most powerfully psionic humans in Civilization, their godparents were three Starfish Aliens who were the most powerfully psionic non-humans in Civilization, and Kit and his sisters still left them feeling as confused as a hen who had hatched a brood of ducklings.
- The ability to sense ghosts is limited to children and teenagers in the Lockwood & Co. series. The Talent disappears when children enter adulthood.
Live Action TV
- Pokémon only plays this straight with Mossdeep Gym Leaders Tate and Liza, who look like young children (complete with Twin Telepathy). And maybe Caitlin, depending on which generation you're playing. All the other prominent Psychic-type trainers (eg. Sabrina, Will, Lucian, as well as the Psychic trainer class) are at least in their twenties.
- Some Psychic-type Pokemon, such as Mime Jr, Smoochum, Ralts, Kirlia, Gothita, and Gothorita actually resemble children.
- In the MOTHER trilogy, the protagonists Ninten, Ness, and Lucas along with some of the other main characters are all Kid Heros with psychic powers called PK or PSI in their universe.
- Psychonauts is set in a summer camp full of these.
- In FEAR, Alma and all three of her children are powerful psychics. In the second game, there is an elementary school founded by Armacham that covertly operates a program to both detect and induce psychic abilities in elementary school children. This was so ethically questionable that the school's personnel and all its students were on the list of "evidence" to be destroyed by Armacham's Black Ops troops once the Fairport incident blew up in everyone's faces.
- The Zener Children of Second Sight.
- Due to being heir to the leadership of the First Sons, Alden Tate of InFAMOUS unlocked his telekinetic powers as a child, unlike most of the other Conduits in the game.
- In Final Fantasy V, one of the youngest characters and youngest party member, Krile, is able to see and speak to ghosts on top of moogles, chocobos, and dragons. She's also chosen as the recipient of Sage Ghido's psychic call. It's never explained why. Thankfully she isn't persecuted or exploited, although Ghido does give her a debilitating migraine.
- Generator of the Whateley Universe. She's the youngest member of Team Kimba and looks like she's about ten. Her psychokinesis manifests as the ability to cast a psychic copy of herself into pretty much anything that's not too big. In the dreaded Dark Phase holographic simulation in "Ayla and the Mad Scientist" she takes out more power armor foes than Tennyo.
- The unnamed heroine of The Bully's Bully appears to be able to sense bullying before it happens, so she can be there to try to prevent it.