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Rapid Aging
Make a Deal with the Devil, and he'll know what to do if you try to back out.

A trope used when a character undergoes aging more quickly than normal. It can occur anywhere from a matter of seconds to a matter of weeks.

Sometimes as a result of using evil (or sometimes merely questionable) means to preserve youth, or from an encounter with a dark force that causes immediate aging and deterioration, usually resulting in death soon after. This is also a rare but definitely possible result of leaving a Year Outside, Hour Inside setting. Frequently caused by a villain's own mistake or overreaching. Sometimes it happens to the good guys, in which case their comrades must Find the Cure before it's too late.

If someone was using a Fountain of Youth that was destroyed, expect this to happen as they immediately become whatever age they should be. Not to be confused with Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome, a tragic affliction that affects hundreds of characters a year, especially in Soap Operas, usually so as to avoid the hassle of children in the cast or in the plot. Contrast We Are as Mayflies or Time Abyss. Usually a result of Cast from Lifespan. See also Plot-Relevant Age-Up.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • One female Contractor in Darker Than Black, whose power is to assume any human appearance, must as the price of using her power age faster than normal.
    • Inverted with Amber, who appears to grow younger the more she uses her time-based powers.
  • In Rave Master, a Child Mage does this to himself via a Dangerous Forbidden Technique to increase his magical power to fight against one of the most powerful villains in the series. It works, but he becomes an old man and dies.
  • Happens to an unfortunate boy in an early chapter of Rosario + Vampire, after he is bitten by the mermaids and has his life energy sucked out.
  • Halcyform, a wizard who made a deal with Seigram for immortality, suffered this in Slayers when Gourry manages to destroy the Pledge Stone that kept Halcyform immortal. Before he could age completely, he blows up himself, his dead lover, and his mansion to bits.
  • Wrath suffers one of these after he dies in Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • In Bleach this is the core of Baraggan's power. Even in his unreleased state his touch can age his target enough to make their bones snap like twigs. When he unleashes his full power, anything that fails to get out of the way crumbles to dust in a matter of seconds.
  • Cowboy Bebop episode #6. At the end, the villain Wen is shot with a crystal that contains the energy that prevented him from aging. This neutralizes the effect and he quickly becomes his true age.
  • This happens in No. 6 whenever a bee hatches from the unfortunate victim. They age rapidly and die after looking in horror at their old, wrinkled features.
  • In chapter 650 of One Piece, this happens to Hody Jones and his crew after the side effects of using E.S.S. take hold.
  • In the Trigun manga, this is Wolfwood's base state; the experimental treatments that give him a Healing Factor and abnormal strength and reflexes also cause him to age at an accelerated rate, so that when we take him for thirtyish he's actually in his late teens...and given when the treatments were administered, this means he's aged over fifteen years in the last five. Slower than most of these, but quite irreversible.
    • Yet another way in which he serves as a foil to Vash.
  • In Persona 4: The Animation, Naoto's Shadow has an attack that causes its victims to rapidly age. Yu, Yosuke, and Teddie all fall victim to it before Teddie uses his Persona to restore their vigor and youth.
  • Ultear in Fairy Tail suffers this as a consequence of using a Dangerous Forbidden Technique to turn back time. Made all the more interesting that she spent decades of her life to turn time back for a single minute. And, that it actually became the turning point in a critical event.
  • Souji from Snow White And Seven Dwarfs, due to a side effect of his powers. Conversely, his older brother, Souichi, is de-aging.
  • Rem undergoes this in Dream Hunter Rem. She promptly gets better when the Victim of the Week revives her.
  • The Stand power of Grateful Dead in Jojos Bizarre Adventure causes this. It targets specific temperatures; when it's used in the series, it goes after heat because the user is trying to kidnap a woman protected by men, and females are on average a lower temperature than males, so aging targets based on their body heat would kill her guards and not affect her as badly. A side-effect of this is that ice cubes allows victims to restore their true age or protect themselves from the attack.

    Comic Books 
  • Extant in Zero Hour: Crisis In Time used his powers to age most of the Justice Society members to their proper physical ages, some even to their deaths.
  • Xerek is a victim of this in The Incredibles
  • Happens several times in Thorgal - once through No Ontological Inertia, once through Reality Warping by the villain and once when a Timey-Wimey Ball (which allowed the villains to drink the same potion of youth over and over) gets broken. Most of the time the effects are utterly horrifying.
  • The 1945 Marvel Family #1 (the first team-up of all the Marvels) featured the origin story of Black Adam. He originally gained his powers from the wizard Shazam 5,000 years ago. After he gained his superpowers he decided to conquer the world and Shazam sent him into outer space 5,000 light years away. Black Adam spent the next 5,000 years traveling back to Earth at the speed of light, arriving in modern times. The Marvels tricked him into saying the word "Shazam", which changed him back into his non-powered form. Unfortunately for him his accumulated age caught up to him and he aged rapidly, turning into a skeleton.
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Dimitri suffers this when stripped of his Enerjak powers, bringing him back to his true 300+ year age. He had to rely on cybernetics to keep him going, eventually being reduced to a cyborg head in a jar.
  • In the EC Comics story "Death Must Come!" (The Crypt of Terror #17), this happens in the end to a man who has been using special transplants to prolong his youth for fifty years.

    Fanfiction 
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfette's Inner Beauty", Smurfette undergoes rapid aging as Hogatha had cast the Spell Of Syphonia on her to transfer Smurfette's youth and beauty unto herself so she can go on a date with the real Harlequin. Near the end of the story, Empath's True Love's Kiss breaks the spell, restoring Smurfette and Hogatha to their normal appearances.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Yellow Submarine, it happens to The Beatles and Admiral Fred in the Sea of Time - more than strictly necessary to overcome that Fountain of Youth effect.
  • Sophie in Howl's Moving Castle, as a result of an encounter with the Witch of the Waste.
  • This happens in Tangled when Flynn cuts Rapunzel's hair, thus losing its magic power. Since the source for keeping Mother Gothel young is gone, she ages to the point where she becomes a pile of dust in less than a minute. Her fall serves as Gory Discretion Shot.
  • Near the end of Disney's Hercules, Hercules jumps into the River Styx to get Meg's soul back, and being a river that only dead people are supposed to be in, it rapidly ages Hercules as he swims through it in a manner that could easily be Nightmare Fuel. However, this selfless act is what causes Hercules to get his godhood back, so he is unable to be killed when the Fates try to cut his life string, and he emerges from the River with his body back to its usual appearance.
  • In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Johnny Quick became a victim of this when he used his superspeed powers to create a portal for Batman to cross over into the Earth-Prime dimension in order to stop Owlman from destroying all reality.
  • In Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Tawny shows up after Billy and Clark defeat Black Adam and tells him that as punishment for his crimes, he's going to be transported so far from Earth that it will take 10,000 years for him to fly back. Faced with this fate, Black Adam chooses to say "Shazam" and turn back to his powerless form, which instantly ages into a decrepit corpse.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The villainess in The Hugga Bunch 1985 Made-for-TV Movie ages and dies in a matter of seconds when access to the "Young-Berry" tree is cut off. Aesop: You can't hold off death forever.
  • This is the punishment for drinking from the wrong grail in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. "He chose... poorly."
  • The curse placed on Kassandra by the title villain of Warlock causes her to age twenty years each night. Since she was about twenty years old already, this gives her and the warlock-hunting hero only three or four days to find and defeat the Warlock before she dies of old age.
  • Spock goes through this in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, as a consequence of being resurrected by the Genesis planet. His aging stops when he looks like Leonard Nimoy again, though, thankfully.
  • In The Hunger, this is the fate of any human who is turned into a vampire by the immortal Miriam. Upon being turned, their bodies and beauty are unravaged by time so long as they feed once a week and get enough sleep, but once about 300 years have passed, the decay sets in no matter what they do to stave it off — and worse, they can't die. For her current lover John, it takes just two hours for him to age fifty years, and it just goes on from there...
  • The movie Jack starring Robin Williams as a 10-year-old boy who has a disease causing him to age four times the normal human rate.
  • In the 1989 sequel to The Fly, a Half-Human Hybrid protagonist is a fully mature man at age of 5. He also has no need to sleep. And then he hatches. It Gets Better.
  • In Bad Girls From Valley High, the three Alpha Bitch Villain Protagonists suffer Rapid Aging. They believe that it's a curse wrought upon them by the ghost of a girl they murdered a year ago. It turns out the girl's grandmother did it using chocolates laced with a biological weapon. The Token Good Teammate who regretted the deed is the only one who avoids aging to death since she only ate two of the chocolates.
  • The Syfy (still Sci-Fi at that time) film Do Or Die featured a world where a percentage of the population had RAD or Rapid Aging Disease. It could be controlled and slowed with the drug Anzinol, and the 'clean' area infiltrators used Anzinol pumps. If a pump was destroyed, though, aging happened in seconds.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This happens to Dorian Gray when he looks at his portrait.
  • In Snow White & the Huntsman, Queen Ravenna has remained youthful long beyond her natural time, but when her magic power starts slipping, her age starts to catch up to her. She regains youth and magic by draining years from a young woman's life, causing extreme rapid aging to the victim.
  • In The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, this is the price Koura pays for using black magic. Every time he does so (and at least once when a creation of his is destroyed), a part of him visibly withers and ages.
  • Beetlejuice - the Maitlands are summoned by Otho, but his poor casting abilities cause them to quickly age to a dried-out mummy state.
  • The 1945 film The Man in Half Moon Street— and its Hammer remake, The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)— features a man using glandular transplants to extend his life. He ages rapidly when he can no longer get them.

    Literature 
  • Double-subverted in The Picture of Dorian Gray. At first, Dorian's portrait does all the aging for him, letting him live his life as a gallivanting charmer - but when he can't take the portrait's honesty anymore, he stabs it, which causes him to age instantaneously to his true age: a decrepit, hideous old man. And he dies.
  • Babylon Babies, a Cyber Punk novel by Maurice Dantec. A woman is secretly infected with a viral weapon that kills by attacking the genes that control the 'cellular clock'; within minutes hundreds are killed as their internal organs die of old age.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo didn't age at all between finding the One Ring at the age of 51 and giving it up at the age of 111. Over the course of the roughly 20 years between that point and the start of Frodo's quest, he ages to the point he should be at that time. It is believed that this would happen to all Ring-Bearers after the One Ring is destroyed, but it is never really proven, as apart from the Nazgūl all the Ring-Bearers still living when the One Ring is destroyed are either immortal or haven't held their Ring long enough for it to make a noticeable difference to their apparent age (With Hobbits becoming legal adults at 33, jumping to 52 would not be a significant age gap. The Nazgūl jumping from various ages to 3,000 would explain why they all disappeared with their master).
    • Actually Bilbo doesn't age until the Ring is destroyed. After he's passed it on to Frodo, he remains as he was when he parted with it, and may stay that way indefinitely (even Gandalf seems not to know for sure); after its destruction he becomes, in Galadriel's words, "ancient now, according to his kind".
    • For Gollum, the implication is far worse. Being a Fish Out of Temporal Water by 600 years, he instinctly knows what will happen to him if the Ring passes. His last plea to Sam is actually for one more drop of life. He will become dust when the ring is gone.
  • It is implied in Lost Horizon that this happens to Lo-Tsen.
  • Margaret Haddix's novel Turnabout had a scene of this. The protagonists are given an a drug to reverse the aging process and then a second was to have stopped it altogether at a given age. But, the second drug caused those who took it to age in die in seconds.
  • A man uses the power of a demon to do this to Wesley in the first story of the Angel short story collection "The Longest Night". He was dying of an incurable illness and got desperate to see his son grow up. So, he'd been stealing victims' years for himself at first, so he could stay young, and then when Wes comes to investigate, his years are transferred into the man's son, who rapidly ages, allowing the father to see him briefly as an adult, and then de-ages, returning Wesley to his young state, once Angel arrives and breaks the spell.
  • In No6 this is the fate of the hosts of mutated parasitic wasps.
  • The Dresden Files: In Changes, The entire Red Court is wiped out by a ritual. Those who were only half Red Court were cured... but time also caught up to them. Most of them aged and died immediately, but some hadn't been infected for long, and survived.
  • At the end of the first Mistborn book, this happens to the Lord Ruler after his Immortality Inducers are removed, causing him to age a thousand years in a matter of seconds. The heroine puts him out of his misery.
  • It happens to Eppon in Galaxy of Fear. He goes from baby to young adult to slavering monster in hours.
  • In The Tomb after Kolabati looses her anti-aging necklace, age starts catching up very quickly. Donning it again, however, return the wearer to youth.
  • In one of the Captain Future books, a gang was selling water from a radioactive spring which made people young. Too long without the water, and the person died from rapid aging. There was actually an attempt to give a scientific explanation; the body no longer has the resources and regeneration of a young person, but continues expending them like one.
  • In Old Man Khottabych, the heroes release the titular genie's jerkass brother, who states he will kill them, and tells them to choose the manner of their death. One of the boys tries to worm out by saying he wishes to die of old age... guess what spell the genie casts.
  • In Twilight, Renesmee begins aging rapidly as soon as she is born, looking like a little girl in a matter of months. Apparently she will keep this up for about seven years, at which point she'll look about seventeen, then stay that way forever.
  • Trademaster's bargain for transporting Claire to her son in Son is taking her youth, which rapidly turns her into an old woman. She gets better when he is defeated.
  • In one of Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories, a character has a spell put on him that trades 'thirty years of life for thirty years of youth''; when the spell runs out, his years catch up to him.
  • Fred Saberhagen's Book of Swords series. When the Sword named Soulcutter is drawn it causes its wielder to age at a highly accelerated rate.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This happens in Heroes to Adam Monroe when Arthur Petrelli steals his ability.
  • An organism created by a scientist in MacGyver causes plants and animals to rapidly age. This isn't so bad for plants, since it just brings them to maturity faster, but isn't so good for animals since they die of old age in a few minutes.
  • In Stargate SG-1, Jack O'Neill is rapidly (although artificially, and therefore reversibly) aged by nanobots.
  • This happens to anyone the wraith feed on in Stargate Atlantis.
  • In Doctor Who, the Master uses his laser screwdriver to do this to the Doctor.
    • This happens in an early William Hartnell ("The Daleks Master Plan") story as well, except one character exposed to this ages to death. The Doctor doesn't suffer any direct consequences but this is because he's Older Than He Looks.
    • In "The Time Monster", researcher Stuart Hyde is aged to eighty when he is caught in the time dilation field of the Master's experiment. He is restored to his correct age when the field reverses itself.
    • Used by Scaroth to kill Professor Kerensky by aging him to death in "City of Death".
  • Star Trek
    • In TOS, there's an episode called "The Deadly Years" in which several of the crew come down with a form of radiation poisoning that causes them to age rapidly.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation
      • The show recycled the script of "The Deadly Years" in an episode called "Unnatural Selection". Doctor Pulaski aged rapidly due to an accident at a genetic research station that exposed her to a virus that re-wrote her DNA.
      • In the episode "Man Of The People", Deanna Troi starts to age rapidly, and grow violently paranoid, when she's unknowingly used by a villain as a psychic receptacle of negative emotion. When the effect is turned back on the villain, he shrivels up and dies within a few seconds.
    • Also recycled in the fan-created Star Trek: New Voyages episode "To Serve All My Days", though most of the episode turned out to be All Just a Dream.
  • Half of the premise of the Canadian show 2030CE was that the world was afflicted with Progressive Aging Syndrome, a disease that causes aging to accelerate exponentially as one approaches their 30th birthday, where they typically don't live much longer than that.
  • The Twilight Zone TOS
    • "Long Live Walter Jameson". The title character has lived hundreds of years due to an alchemical potion. When he's mortally wounded the potion effect wears off.
    • "Queen of the Nile". A woman uses a magical scarab beetle to drain the youth of men and give it to herself. As a result the men age rapidly and die.
  • In the Warehouse 13 episode "Age Before Beauty," the Artifact of the Week induces Rapid Aging on fashion models, forcing Pete and Myka to go undercover in the industry.
  • An episode of Eureka had Fargo's grandfather awaken from cyro-freeze and then at the end of the episode underwent Rapid Aging as his body suddenly tried to catch up. It was implied that this would eventually lead to his death if not stopped. They did manage to stop, but not reverse the process.
  • One Monster of the Week on Kamen Rider Double had the ability to cause rapid aging, resulting in Shotaro getting a few scenes as a Badass Grandpa
  • Liam Kincaid grows from a baby to 30-some man in less than a day. Given that his father (one of them) is an Energy Being, it is possible this was intentional. Liam is also perfectly mature, although certain social facts (such as why women laugh when talking about sex) don't make sense to him.
  • The Outer Limits TOS episode "The Guests". Several people have been trapped for decades in a house without aging. If they leave the house they will quickly age until they are at their true age, and die.
  • Power Rangers Zeo: Billy ends up suffering from this as a delayed side-effect of the regenerator he used to restore himself to his teens in the previous season. He has to go to Aquitar for doses of water from their Fountain of Youth so that he won't die. And he winds up staying there.
  • Painkiller Jane: In the series, one Monster of the Week was a woman who would drain the youth from others to maintain her own.
  • Kolchak: The Night Stalker episode "The Youth Killer". A woman makes a bargain with the goddess Hecate. She sacrifices young, perfect people by magically causing them to age rapidly until they die of old age, and in return Hecate grants her eternal youth. When Kolchak reveals that her latest victim had a glass eye and thus wasn't perfect, the insulted Hecate cancels the bargain. The woman dies shrieking as the ages catch up with her and she turns to dust.
  • Merlin has a magical version, with Merlin casting a spell on himself that transforms him into his 80 year old self, known to everyone else as 'Dragoon'.
  • Supernatural season five episode "The Curious Case of Dean Winchester" featured an affable Irish witch named Patrick who was the legendary gambler who plays cards for years. He doesn't always win, but he wins enough to have kept himself young and dapper for centuries, leaving prematurely aged corpses when people bet too high. Bobby Singer tracks him down and plays him in hopes of de-aging enough to fix his spinal injury and get out of the wheelchair, but loses twenty-five years. Dean tries to help him and loses fifty note , whereupon they switched actors and Dean for some reason developed a Great Depression-era accent.
    • Sam wins it all back, although the syphilis he got for annoying Patrick had to be treated in the normal medical fashion. Notably, Patrick is one of the foes they don't begin to defeat, although in his case it's not because they couldn't contrive to, say shoot him in the face with a little stealth, but because they failed the first few times and any further attempts would feel like bad sportsmanship. Being Affably Evil can be useful.
    • His girlfriend is apparently only about a hundred and twenty; and gets Patrick to beat her at poker and let her die because she had to watch her daughter reach a great age and die and has decided Who Wants to Live Forever?. Presumably said daughter declined Patrick's years, since he'd clearly have given them quite willingly.
    • "The Slice Girls" focuses on the Amazons. These women find men to impregnate them, and then bear daughters who become full grown teenagers in a matter of days.
  • Happens with Amber in House of Anubis as her hex from Senkhara.
  • The Vampire Diaries had a more low-key example with Katherine who was formerly Immortal and over five-hundred years old but was turned human by a serum. The serum doesn't age her rapidly but having it drained by Silas causes her age to catch up with her and she starts showing signs of old age and will die soon although it is over a few months rather than instantly as in other examples.
  • UFO episode "Identified". After a UFO is shot down one of the aliens aboard it is captured. After he's exposed to the Earth's atmosphere he starts aging rapidly and quickly dies.
  • Fringe: Some years ago, a program was started to create test-tube soldiers. Part of the soldiers' design was rapidly increased growth. Unfortunately, they were unable to stop the aging process once the soldiers got old enough and the program was eventually shut down. Years later it's discovered that one of the soldiers has been surviving by stealing people's pituitary glands. At one point he inadvertently impregnates a woman and passes on his condition to the fetus. The child dies of old age within five hours.
  • Alphas: One episode featured a speedster whose ability caused everything about him to move rapidly all the time. This included, unfortunately, his aging. Though only in his twenties, he appeared to be about middle aged.

    Music 
  • The music video to Stone Sour's "Bother" features two copies of the singer Corey Taylor, one of them ages rapidly and disappears.

    Mythology 
  • A Japanese legend concerns a fisherman named Urashima Taro who visited the undersea Palace of the Dragon God. Before he left to return to the surface world, he was given a box and told not to open it. When he got back to his home village he learned 300 years had passed while he was gone. In his despair he forgot the warning, opened the box, immediately become his true age and died.
  • A recurring theme in European folklore is that someone goes to the land of the Fairies and stays for what seems like a short time (perhaps only a night), but gets back to find centuries have passed. In some of these legends the person will instantly age once they get back.
    • One version even has a fairy wife try to avert this when her husband visits home: she has him ride a horse, since the aging will only activate if he actually touches the ground of the mortal world. Naturally he falls out by accident and dies anyway.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Far Side: "Suddenly, on a national talk show in front of millions of viewers, Dick Clark ages 200 years in 30 seconds."

    Other Sites 
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-224 ("Grandfather Clock"). When it chimes it causes time to speed up in the surrounding area, sometimes causing people within range of the sound to age up to several years in a short time.
    • SCP-429 ("Clockwork Teleporter"). If someone tries to use it without understanding it they will still teleport, but when they re-appear they will be dead and in a state of advanced decay. Monitoring devices sent with it on one of these jaunts recorded over 8 months passing.
    • SCP-723 ("Aging Staircase"). SCP-723 is a spiral stone staircase. When a person climbs it, after the fourth or fifth step they start aging rapidly, with additional aging occurring for each additional step taken.
    • SCP-728 ("The Forever Room"). This can occur due to the time manipulating abilities of SCP-728. During one test only one hour passed on the outside of SCP-728, but when SCP-728 was opened again, the person who had been inside SCP-728 had aged to death.
    • SCP-860 ("Blue Key"). A 27 year old Class D woman used the Key to go through the door into the forest, but she ran off the path and was lost. Some time later she came back through the door, but was now very old.
    • SCP-896 ("Online Role Playing Game"). A researcher who played the game for less than 10 hours straight leveled up many times but then died. An autopsy showed severe arthritis, Alzheimer’s, a cataract and several tumors, indicating death from old age.
    • SCP-983 ("The Birthday Monkey"). Each time the Birthday Monkey sings a verse the person who activated it will age 1 year. If it isn't deactivated the victim will be aged to death. The Monkey will continue singing verses until the victim has been reduced to a skeleton.
    • SCP-1007 ("Mr. Life and Mr. Death). SCP-1007 ages at a rate of 1 year per minute until it reaches age 75, at which point it dies. Then it comes back to life and goes through the same routine again, and again. If a key is inserted in its back and turned, it will age backwards...
    • SCP-1066 ("Instant Education"). When a man signs the SCP-1066 diploma he disappears for 4-10 minutes. When he re-appears he's four years older.
    • SCP-1080 ("The Creche"). When a child less than 13 years old enters the chamber, it closes and locks. When it opens three to five days later, the child is about twenty years old.
    • SCP-1211 ("King in the Castle"). After inhabiting the castle for three months, a man 35 years old will have become about 80 years old. After an additional month (or more) subjects will experience rotting of the skin and muscle tissue and skeletal degeneration, but don't die.
    • SCP-1225 ("The Worst Christmas"). When SCP-1225 is activated, anything within 4 meters and inside a container ages at a high rate: one year in the first 24 hours, and a total of ten years after three weeks, after which the aging stops.
    • SCP-1627 ("Mushroom Wars"). After a person makes skin contact with an example of SCP-1627-A, over the next two weeks the person will age rapidly until they die of old age.
    • SCP-1657 ("MAN EGG"). After they're hatched, SCP-1657 grow to maturity (the equivalent of human adulthood) in only 13 days, and die of old age in 17 days.
    • SCP-1716 ("Imperfect Life Extender"). SCP-1716 causes the Life Energy donor to age 10 years for every year younger the recipient becomes.
    • SCP-1979 ("Relativistic Treadmill"). Time passes faster than normal inside SCP-1979's time acceleration sphere. A person inside the sphere will age at a higher than normal rate, with the rate increasing as the sphere expands. At a radius of 25 meters a person will age at a rate of 10,404 times normal, or 173 minutes per second. As the sphere expands to 30 meters they will age about 9 years. By the time the sphere reaches 35 meters they will age another 48 years. By the time the sphere reached 40 meters they would be long dead.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • From Dino Attack RPG:
    • As a Stromling, Zachary Virchaus aged about a year in a matter of days, serving as a Mythology Gag regarding the Development Hell between Dino Attack RPG and At War's End.
    • Between Baron Typhonus possessing his soulless body and Zachary forcibly turning the Maelstrom's destructive energies against itself, Rex's body rapidly aged and decayed until all that was left was dust. This was an intentional Shout-Out to the previously-mentioned scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Early editions of Dungeons & Dragons.
    • The Longevity potion reduced the drinker's age by 1-10 years. However, each time one was drunk there was a 1% cumulative chance that the effect of all previous potions would be reversed. If a 150 year old human had drunk many such potions and was effectively 50 years old when this occurred, they would suddenly become their true age and possibly die immediately of old age. Old age being one of the few irreversible ways of dying in D&D, this is a very serious threat.
    • Being touched by a ghost would instantly age a character by 10-40 years.
    • Casting certain powerful spells (Alter Reality, Gate, Limited Wish, Restoration, Resurrection and Wish) would automatically and immediately age the caster by a certain number of years.
    • Being affected by a Haste spell or drinking a potion of Speed would age the recipient by one year.
    • If the wielder of a Staff of Withering expended two charges from the staff while hitting a creature, the victim would age 10 years instantly.
    • One of the possible Major Malevolent Effects of using an artifact or relic was to be aged 3-30 years: the longer the user's normal lifespan, the greater the aging.
    • A noble time elemental could age a creature by 1-20 years once per day.
    • Module G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King, section "Temple of the Eye". If the altar is activated correctly and the glowing golden eye appears, one possible side effect of seeing the eye is to immediately age 1-20 years.
    • Dragon magazine
      • Issue #65 Timelord NPC class article. A Timelord could age a creature by 2.5 years for each level of experience the Timelord had. Higher level Timelords could superage a creature, causing it to disintegrate.
      • Issue #201 article "The City of Lofty Pillars", Al-Qadim campaign setting. For each year that a person spends inside the city of Iram, ten years pass outside in the land of Zakhara, the Land of Fate. When the person leaves Iram they immediately become their true "outside" age, which can cause death due to old age.
      • Issue #210 article "Too Evil to Die". A hit by a keres' whip or a hit by a dark lord can age the target by 10-40 years if they fail a saving throw.
    • The elven deity Labelas Enoreth could age any creature by up to 100 years.
    • 2nd Edition supplement Tome of Magic. The 6th level Age Creature spell would age the target creature by 1 year per level of the caster. The aging could be canceled by the spell's reverse, Restore Youth.
    • Basic D&D supplement The Book of Marvelous Magic
      • Anyone who touches the Cane of Aging could be aged 20 years. If used as a weapon, any creature it hits could be aged 10 years.
      • Shaking a Rattle of Youth normally reduces the user's age by 10 years. However, each use has a 10% chance of instantly doubling the user's age, which could possibly cause the user's death from old age.
      • The Thread of Aging, which was normally found rolled up in a ball. The person holding it immediately ages one year for each inch of the thread they unroll from the ball. The aging and its effects can only be neutralized by a Remove Curse or Wish spell.
    • Basic D&D module X2 Castle Amber. At the end of the module, after Stephen Amber's curse is broken the tremendous length of time the castle and its contents have been in stasis catch up to it. All of the creatures inside quickly reach their true age and die, ending up as mummified skeletons.
    • Mayfair Games' Role Aids supplement Dark Folk. Any creature that drinks from the Well of Life will cease aging for as long as the drinking continues. If 1 week passes without drinking, the creature will suddenly become its true age again, possibly resulting in death by old age.
  • Little Fears. A child that comes into physical contact with a ghost ages at a rate of 1 year per 10 seconds of contact.
  • Ghouls in Vampire: The Masquerade stave off aging as long as they regularly receive blood from a vampire. If they go without a certain period of time without drinking vampire blood (which grows shorter as they grow older), they're hit with this trope. Not so bad if they rapidly age from 20 to 30 in one go, but obviously fatal for those that are well older than a human lifespan.
  • Call of Cthulhu
    • The Steal Life spell causes the target to quickly age and die over a period of 1-3 minutes.
    • Cthulhu Companion adventure "The Secret of Castronegro". Bernardo Diaz has lived for 300 years due to the ruby ring he wears. If it's removed from his finger, he will instantly die and his body will shrivel.
    • The Fungi from Yuggoth adventure "By the Bay Part I". Lang Fu's Coat of Life has allowed him to live for centuries. If it is ever removed for more than a few minutes, his body will begin an irreversible aging process that will cause his rapid death.
    • Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign, chapter 3 "Egypt". Omar Shakti, the high priest of the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh, is several thousand years old. If the investigators kill him, his body will immediately crumble to dust.
  • Rolemaster setting Shadow World.
    • Supplement Demons of the Burning Night. While wearing the Helm of Kadaena the wearer accumulates 10 years of aging during each combat, but the Helm prevents the aging from taking effect. If the Helm is ever removed all of the aging immediately takes effect.
    • Supplement Jaiman: Land of Twilight, adventure "Cult of the Third Moon". The Priestess and Sisters (acolytes) of the title cult have remained young for 150 years by Vampiric Draining the Life Energy from sacrificial victims. If the Priestess' amulet is removed she will suffer this trope, become her true age and die. If the amulet is destroyed, so will the Sisters.
  • Shadowrun adventure Bottled Demon. Anyone who uses the Horror-powered idol will age at a rate of approximately 10 years per day.
  • Ars Magica
    • The Perdo Corporem spell instantly ages the victim 5-15 years.
    • 3rd Edition adventure Twelth Night. After the Burial Shroud of Christ is warped by Hermetic magic it gains the special power Circle of Decay, which affects all creatures within a half mile. Any creature less than 35 years old will age at a rate of 1 year per minute. Any creature 35 or more years old ages at a rate of 1 year every ten seconds.
  • Carcosa - Weird Science-Fantasy Horror Setting
    • Performing any sorcerous ritual (except banishing) requires the sorcerer to save vs. magic or instantly age 1-5 years.
    • Being paralyzed by the Spawn of Shub-Niggurath in hex 0712 will invoke the Tentacled One monster, which can cause the victim to age 3-15 years.
    • In hex 2106 the fabric of time is warped and accelerated, causing anyone in it to age 1-5 years for each day spent in the hex.
    • Hex 2215. Performing a ritual with a Serpent Man orb will cause the Sorcerer doing so to fall into a catatonic state. When he wakes up, he may be insane. If so, he will age 30 years in as many days, regaining his sanity at the end of that time.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE: During a clash with Makuta Teridax, the Shadow One received a blow that sent him flying at the unconscious body of his already felled underling, Voporak. Said underling was protected by a force field that rapidly aged anything that touched it, thus the Shadowed One grew 3000 years older in a matter of seconds. Longer exposure would have turned him to dust, which is the fate Makuta's distraction army received earlier.

    Video Games 
  • In Romancing Sa Ga 3 Black was cursed by the clone of the Devil Lord Forneus and lost his youth, however defeating Forneus' clone with Black in your party reverts him back to his original self
  • In Trauma Center: Under The Knife 2, this is the fate of villain Reina Mayuzumi, who was using the Alethia strain of GUILT to preserve her youthful looks. The player discovers this right before the final operation, when Mercer decides to inject her with something else in hopes of learning how to cure his wife. It immediately drains Mayuzumi's body into that of an old woman, as well as causing the GUILT to rampage through her body. Notably, the player saves her life...but not her looks.
  • Old Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4. This is due to Cloning Blues, which gave him Werner syndrome by design. Barely a decade after the Shadow Moses incident, where Snake was still young, fit and handsome, he essentially has the body of a chronically ill 80-year-old.
  • Singularity has the TMD, which can age a living person forward until they turn to dust. Turning the clock backwards, however, has different results...
  • As a result of their powers, Sera from Digital Devil Saga has the body of a teenager when she's actually 7 years old.
  • This is the putty Blizzard uses to fill certain Plot Holes in the Warcraft series. Khadgar the archmage was just turning grey for his character portrait in Warcraft II but looked fairly robust and red-haired for the ending cinematic in the same game, while World of Warcraft depicted him as the stereotypical white-bearded wizard - so it was retconned that he was magically aged during a sorcerous duel. Garona Halforcen was originally introduced as half-human, half-orc, the result of the protracted war between the two races over the course of the original Warcraft. The conflict was drastically shortened in later revisions of the history, so Garona was explained to be the result of forced mating between orcs and draenei, magically-aged and brainwashed to serve as an advance scout.
  • In Brain Dead 13, Lance definitely dies from this if one of the ghosts possesses him and drains the living soul out of him in one death scene.
  • In Final Fantasy V, some enemies can inflict a temporary "Old" status ailment, which makes the targeted character white-haired and physically weak.
  • In Dragon's Dogma, after you kill The Dragon, the Duke ages rapidly when his immortality consequently wears off.
  • Nasus, from League of Legends, can inflict a temporary version of this to slow and weaken an enemy.
  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, ghosts and their variants have an aging touch attack. If you're an elf or a dwarf with a lifespan of hundreds of years, this isn't too big a deal. If you're something with a short lifespan, like a ratling or a troll, well...

    Visual Novels 

    Web Original 
  • ASDF Movie 7 tackles this as only it can.
    First Person: Hey, what did you get for your birthday
    Second Person: I got...older!
    First Person: (Laughs)
    Second Person: (Quickly turns elderly)
    First Person: AAAAAAAAAAH- That is weird...

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Happens to Kevin in the episode "Paradox".
  • Zarm inflicts this on Gaia in Captain Planet and the Planeteers, and she would continue to age until she literally becomes dust. She gets restored later.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door. The Kids Next Door frequently come up against technology that can rapidly age them into adults.
  • In Futurama, everyone had to use the Fountain of Aging to counteract the effects of an anti-aging spa incident and the Professor's botched attempt to reverse it. There's a point where everyone thinks Zoidberg dies but he had just reached the age where his twin brother budded off from him.
  • Nanosec's speed suit in Transformers Animated, when used too much, also caused him to age quickly. In order to finally catch him and keep the city from exploding, Bumblebee ran him into old age. Fortunately, his new partner and possibly love interest Slo-Mo was able to de-age him with her time altering powers and it's assumed that when she's around the suit's effects are temporary at best.
  • Spectra in Danny Phantom rapidly ages when Jazz uses an anti-ghost weapon against her. Since her youth came from absorbing negative emotions from her students, the weapon literally peels off her layers of youth to reveal a shriveled old lady underneath it all.
  • Monty in Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers suffered this thanks to being zapped by a prune powered aging machine.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes has Nick Fury have some of his life force taken, aging him from looking like Samuel L. Jackson to looking like his comic counterpart with darker skin. It looks like it's going to stick, at least for the time being.
  • Implied in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Kids Stuff", where Morgaine le Fey's son Mordred, kept a young child by his mother's spells, was taunted by the youthened Batman to use the magic he acquired from the Amulet of First Magicks to make himself into an adult. However, in doing so, Mordred trapped himself in the same dimension that he trapped all other adults, including his mother. At the end of the episode, Mordred is seen as a very old man being taken care of by his mother.
  • In the four-part "Smurfquest" episode in The Smurfs, the Long Life Stone, which allowed the Smurfs to live long lives through decreased aging, was losing its power, resulting in this trope happening to the Smurfs. However, the Smurflings didn't grow taller as they aged, and Baby Smurf only showed slight wrinkles.
  • Happens to Peter Pan in one of the episodes of Peter Pan & the Pirates when he starts embracing adulthood.
  • Played with to horrific length on Billy and Mandy when they meet Father Time and their hourglasses (assigned to everyone in the Universe... they even break a few) are turned upside down. They start aging down rapidly from children, to toddlers, to infants, to embryos.... and they die, i.e. cease to exist at the end of the episode.
  • The victims of the Vulture in Spiderman The Animated Series suffer temporary Rapid Aging when he drains their youth with technology based on the Tombstone of Time. Crimelord Silvermane went through Rapid Aging (after he had been regressed to an infant in an earlier episode) that restored him to his true age in a matter of seconds when the even older Vulture used the Tombstone of Time to steal his accidental youth permanently.
  • In the Duck Dodgers episode "Duck Codgers", Dodgers and the Cadet are affected by the pollen of an alien flower that causes rapid aging in earthlings. The pollen also has a reverse aging effect on Martians.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Lorelei Signal". The women of the planet Taurus II drain the Life Energy of men to maintain their own youth, which causes the men to age at a rate of 10 years per day.
  • Darkwing Duck. In the episode "Going Nowhere Fast", the title character acquires temporarily Super Speed but also super-fast aging.
  • Pictured above, Johnny Sunspot from Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, along with his two teammates, are aged rapidly whenever Skeleton King is near (Skeleton King has very other-worldly power). It all started because Johnny said to him, "Hey, we have their robot, so we're even more powerful! Maybe we don't need to be taking orders from you anymore."
  • In Samurai Jack, Jack meets a warrior who was defeated long ago by Aku and trapped in stone, denied his warrior's end. Jack fights and defeats the warrior's golem body, freeing him. The warrior immediately becomes an old man and dies as time returns to him.
  • An "Tiger Sharks" episode of The Comic Strip is centered around what looks like a hoard of golden spheres, but is actually dangerous toxic waste causing Rapid Aging in anyone touching it. Both the heroes and one of the major villains have a problem because of it... the other villain learned his lesson many years ago.
  • Played for Laughs (albeit dark laughs) in the movie Epic:
    Grub: What's it like, having such a short life cycle?
    Fruit Fly: (little kid voice) It's great, mister! When I grow up, (man voice) I'm going to (old man voice) wish I had done more with my life, sonny. (dies)
  • ThunderCats has the Cave of Time, which causes anything inside it to rapidly age until it dies or gets out. Cheetara is fast enough to run through the cave without being affected. The heroes take advantage of it in a few episodes to restore people who have been turned into children to their proper ages.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Used by Per Degaton to age Batman and the Justice Society into decrepit old codgers in "The Golden Age of Justice!".

    Real Life 
  • Sadly, there is a rare disease called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, in which a child from an early age exhibits rapid aging of the body, but not the mind. The longest they usually live is to their early 20s.
  • People who have gone through extreme stress can age almost overnight. Among couples who have been together for decades, if one dies the other one can often age and die soon after.
  • The stress of being President of the United States (especially during the Cold War) can age the holder of the office. Just viewing photos of some presidents before and after the term can be startling.


The Problem with Fighting DeathAging TropesSexier Alter Ego
Graceful LoserImageSource/Western AnimationSym-Bionic Titan
Pummeling the CorpseDeath TropesRasputinian Death
Punished with UglyPersonal Appearance TropesRed Right Hand

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