Thank heaven for little girls
for little girls get bigger every day!
Thank heaven for little girls
they grow up in the most delightful way!
, "Thank Heaven for Little Girls"
So this guy hasn't seen his childhood friend in a long time. Then they meet again, and she's absolutely stunning. He realizes that his friend that he never thought of "that way" really can be thought of "that way," usually as she starts dating someone else. If he gets her in the end, it will invariably be revealed that she had been in love with him all along; she just needed a new hairstyle and contacts
for him to finally notice her.
A variant of this: the first story part, they're so-so to okay looking. Cue the sequel, and BAM! knockout. There are various reasons for this; sometimes the character was too young to be thought of "that way" in the first part. In live action shows and movies, this can happen to a character when puberty hits the actor or actress like a colony drop
This is Truth in Television
for many girls in their early teens, though it's not often addressed in TV or movies, where girls are absolutely ecstatic about their physical changes and the (male) attention it gets them. This can happen for a variety
Despite the trope's name, it is hardly an always female
trope and gender flips
are pretty common.
Contrast with Lolicon
, and I Was Quite a Looker
. This can sometimes lead to First Girl Wins
. This sometimes overlaps with She Cleans Up Nicely
. Might happen to a Kid Hero All Grown Up
In-universe examples only, please. Although the audience can definitely feel this way about a character, this only applies if the character's change is acknowledged in some way by another character.
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Anime and Manga
- Sin City. John Hartigan saves eleven year-old Nancy Callahan from a pedophile rapist. Eight years later he walks into a bar looking for her, and is dumbfounded when informed she's the buxom stripper (played by Jessica Alba in the movie) up on stage in the cowgirl outfit.
Skinny little Nancy Callahan. She grew up. She filled out.
- The comic strip For Better or for Worse had a slight variation: Michael returned home to find that his sister Elizabeth was actually good-looking, and remarked on this, prompting her to go mark that date on the calendar. In another strip, he noticed that she actually looked similar to his girlfriend Deanna. Brain Bleach may have been needed.
- In The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Fat Freddy goes back to his hometown and meets an attractive teenage girl who invites him home. As they're sharing a bath together, her parents come home - and Freddy realises they're his parents too, having not recognised his now attractive sister.
- Runaways has done this a couple of times:
- In the very first issue, Alex refers to Nico as "that dorky girl" who borrowed his DVDs of The Prisoner the previous year and never returned them. When he sees her again, he is literally speechless. A flashback much later on shows that the younger Nico had shorter hair, glasses, and a much more conservative wardrobe.
- In the second volume, the gang meets a future version of Gert, described in Brian K. Vaughan's script as "busty" and "very, very attractive." The Gert fans know and love is an overweight, bespectacled nerd.
- Layla Miller in X-Factor. She was stranded in the future as a prepubescent girl, and returned as a young woman, with hips and "things" as Jamie observed.
- Gender-swapped in Zot: Short-and-nebbish Woody, who has a crush on Jenny (who of course only has eyes for hero Zot), goes to France for the summer. When he returns, he's six inches taller and quite a bit buffer. Jenny's reaction: "My God, he's adorable!!"
- Archie Comics:
- A story titled "A Date with Suzy Stringbean!" had Betty set up a date between Reggie and an old classmate who had a crush on him, Susan Starn (or Suzy Stringbean, nicknamed because she was the skinniest girl in the class). Reggie fakes an illness to get out of the date, so Betty sends Archie in his place. When Reggie sees Suzy the next day:
Reggie: S-Sue-Suzy! You've filled out! I mean, you've grown up! I mean, I don't know what I mean! [face turns green]
Suzy: Gosh, Reggie! You must still be sick! You're turning a bit green!
Betty: Yeah! Green with envy!
- Another example: The reason Jughead avoids women is because he fears his heart is going to get broken a second time; the first was when his first love and childhood friend Joani Jump moved out of town. Or maybe he who moved away from her. At any rate, in one story, when they reunited briefly, for the first time since they were about five years old, she was a knockout. Even Reggie was a little flustered when he saw her. (Archie had more respect for Jug to leave them alone, dragging Reggie with him.)
- Astérix Legionary has Panacea, who returns after many years studying outside the village.
- Les Légendaires:
- The series takes place in a world where everyone has been turned back into a child because of a curse the protagonists accidentally caused on their world. In Book 6, Danael, after going through a Time Travel, meets with a past, full-grown version of his Love Interest Jadina. He is quick to notice he was used to the child version of her, and forgot how beautiful she was as an adult.
- Later played straight in a minor way with character Toopie, who started out as a regular child and as such was still able to grow up until she reaches 12. When the heroes meet her again, she has reached such age, and Razzia is quick to notice how much she has grown up, pissing his girlfriend Tenebris off in the process.
- Supergirl started out being depicted (and drawn) as a typical teenager, with Supergirl rarely looking more than 13 or 14 in most of her early appearances, only by the mid-1960s to be depicted and drawn as a sexy 20-something woman. Although "eye of the reader" does not apply for this trope, Supergirl becoming a woman is touched on in numerous issues, as well as implied by the comics allowing her to establish relationships with characters other than Sparky the Super Cat, Krypto the Super Dog and Comet the Super Horse.
- A 1967 issue of The Mighty Thor features the first modern encounter of Thor and Lady Sif. He is surprised because he remembers her as a child who he used to dangle upon his knees, and he now sees her as a stunning beauty. He concludes that: "By my mallet-thou art child no longer!" This was also Thor's reaction to meeting the grown-up Lorelei, Amora's younger sister, who is in the process of using magic to seduce and rape him. The last time Thor saw her she was still a child.
- An early-to-mid 60s installment of Peanuts has Linus reading the paper and fretting because...
Linus: Annette Funicello is all grown up!!
- In A Pleasant Surprise, both Fluttershy and Midnight have this reaction to each other, given that they haven't met in years. Fluttershy didn't expect him to have grown up to be adorkable, and Midnight had no idea that Fluttershy had gone from cute to amazing.
- In the Buffy/Stargate crossover fic All Your Base Are Belong To Her, we catch up with Dawn as she approaches her eighteenth birthday. Although she had been cute enough even as a young teen, Dawn has come along nicely in the two and a half years since the end of Buffy Season Five, and is acknowledged by most (though not all) of the characters she meets as being a legitimately gorgeous young woman (as well as being an insufferable brat, but that's another point altogether).
- In the Harry Potter Fan Fic After the End, everyone is surprised to suddenly find out Eloise Midgen has become extremely attractive. Also Colin Creevey has become rather tall and good looking. There are a few fics out there that sometimes depict Neville has having grown out of his awkward younger phase and becoming something of a stud. No doubt, there is some influence the similar transformation of Matthew Lewis, the actor who plays Neville in the films.
- Fans of The Great Mouse Detective who like shipping the titular character with Olivia (canonically a young girl) invoke this trope to enable the pairing without being squicky.
- In the How to Train Your Dragon alternative continuity fanfic, Hitchups has a parental version of this when Hiccup, having fled Berk with Toothless for two years of adventures, returns to help his people against the Red Death. To the Berkians amazement, the clumsy boy named Hiccup has returned as a mighty and tested Dragon Rider warrior on top of being a brilliant inventor and dragon expert favored by Thor himself.
- In the Kingdom of Heaven fanfic, Prelude to Heaven, Balian is tall, gangly, pale and somewhat clumsy. Then after serving in an army, turns into... well, what Orlando Bloom is. This is noted by the girl he was crushing very badly on, who didn't recognise him and had had a bad experience in the intervening years before he sweeps her off her feet as it were.
- Naruto and Hinata in Twice Shy (sequel to Two Halves). Long story short, Tsunade convinced an old student of hers to take Naruto and Hinata for training during the time skip. They come back and well... Hinata has more confidence, doesn't stutter and wears modest clothes that don't hide her figure. Naruto thinks before he talks, eats a balanced diet, is less impulsive and (due to the proper diet and training during time skip) is 6 feet tall and ripped. When they get back to the village Kiba is practically foaming at the mouth at seeing Hinata. Sakura and Ino knock on Naruto's door and look down for when he opens it thinking he's still short... they end up staring at his chest.
- Played for Laughs in the Slayers x Lyrical Nanoha crossover Blood That Flows with Vita, who is now suffering from Laser-Guided Karma for calling Signum a Boob Monster, considering that she is about Hayate's height, with Shamal's bust.
- In the Fullmetal Alchemist fandom, this is extremely common in Roy/Ed fics, though it's likely to show up any time one of the Elric brothers or Winry is paired with an older character.
- Similar to The Great Mouse Detective example above, a subset of the Wreck-It Ralph fandom will age up Vanellope in order to ship her with Ralph, this trope is justified due to a graphics update to her game as a whole or from someone messing with her code.
- Some Homestuck fics feature a grown-up Tavros with wings, like his Famous Ancestor.
- In Children of Time, Sherlock Holmes first meets Beth Lestrade when she's a fifteen-year-old, Hot-Blooded tomboy. When he sees her next, she's seventeen and has matured quite a bit in the past couple of years, acting far more like an adult than a kid. He's left unsure of how to handle it.
- Played with/subverted in a number of Steve/Bucky fics that portray Bucky as having already fallen in love with Steve before he became considerably taller and buffer (although here, it's not the result of natural growing-up but the result of a super-soldier serum) and consequently needing some time to get used to Steve's new body and/or feeling jealous/insecure about how Steve gets a lot of attention from women now and doesn't need Bucky to look after him anymore. There are a number of AU fics for them too, though, that tend to play this trope straighter.
Film — Animation
- Nala in The Lion King. In the sequel, Kiara seems to react more to "he's grown up" than Kovu does to her when the first reunite.
- A somewhat wacky version in Brother Bear 2. By the time Kenai meets his childhood friend Nita again, she's a pretty young bride-to-be, and he's a bear. It works out in the end; Nita becomes a bear in order to stay with him.
- A platonic variation: In The Princess and the Frog, Charlotte's reaction to Tiana in the blue dress (which Charlotte loaned her after a costume ruining) is half this, half She Cleans Up Nicely.
"Look at you. Why, you're just as pretty as... a magnolia in May."
- The Book Of Life:
- The main plot is kicked off when Maria returns to San Angel after several years studying abroad.
- Maria herself has a moment like this when she sees Manolo singing "Creep."
- In The Swan Princess, the attempts of Derek and Odette's parents to get them to fall in love with one another as children fail with them only annoying each other. Then an older Derek sees that the gangly, temperamental girl he knew as a kid has grown up into a stunning beauty and, well, he's suddenly not so against them getting married anymore.
Film — Live Action
- Sabrina, the Audrey Hepburn movie, later remade with Julia Ormond, builds a story around this trope.
- In 13 Going on 30, the main character finds out that her pudgy best friend grows up to be a pretty good-looking guy. Unfortunately, he's also engaged to someone else.
- Slums Of Beverly Hills, puberty hits Vivian fast and hard, that she almost grows enormous breasts overnight.
- In The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick (and the audience) discovers that "Jack", now Kyra, not only grew up and filled out, she also Took a Level in Badass (and was very annoyed to find out that her role model had been feeding her BS).
- Just Friends stars Ryan Reynolds as the fat, nerdy teenager in love with his best friend, Amy Smart, who loves him "as a brother". He runs away and 10 years later is rich, cool, and good looking. He comes back into town where she immediately is struck by his new appearance.
- The movie The Namesake, based on the book of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri, has an example of this when Gogol/Nikhil meets Moushumi Mazoomdar again after meeting her in high school. They eventually get married, but Moushumi has an affair with a friend from college.
- Gigi. The plot pretty much turns on the fact that the male lead falls in love with the female lead without even knowing it because he considers her a child, and therefore discounts her charm and appeal until it is all-but shoved in his face (so to speak)!
- This trope can be inferred in Lord Steyne's attraction to Becky Sharpe when he meets her as an adult after having had an interesting encounter with her as a child in The Film of the Book of Vanity Fair.
- In Rush Hour 3, we meet Ambassador Han's daughter again after almost ten years. Carter mentions that they should get her a teddy bear, then he sees her and adds "or a bra!". Surprisingly though, for a film series about as bawdy as PG-13 can get, it doesn't play up her attractiveness very much beyond that.
- In She's Out of Control, dowdy Katie gets a makeover where she gets contact lenses, a new hairdo at a professional hair salon, a new wardrobe, and her braces removed while her father is out of town. He returns to be shocked and horrified that Katie is now being chased by practically every teenaged boy.
- Norrington noticed this in Elizabeth in the first Pirates of the Caribbean.
- A male example in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, when Padme sees Hayden Christensen-era Anakin for the first time. He replies "So have you, grown more beautiful... for a senator, I mean."
- Enrique's and Ignacio's reunion as adults after not having seen each other after grade school in Bad Education has shades of this.
- Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again (released on video as Archie: Return to Riverdale): This live-action TV-movie is about the high-school reunion of the comic book characters, now adults. Jughead spends most of the movie trying to avoid Big Ethel, but he decides to confront his fears and goes to her house. She's now a supermodel.
- During the first The Fast and the Furious movie Mia mentioned this as having happened to her brother Dom in regards to his relationship with his girlfriend Letty.
Letty grew up just down the street. She was into cars since she was like ten years old. Dom always had her attention
. Then she turned sixteen... Brian:
And she had Dom's attention. Mia:
Yeah, it's funny how that works out.
- In X-Men: The Last Stand, Bobby Drake has certainly noticed that Kitty Pryde's grown into Ellen Page. Even more so◊ in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
- Its A Wonderful Life: George Bailey has to strong-armed into dancing with his friend's "kid sister" Mary at the graduation party, and reluctantly agrees only as a favor to his friend. Then he sees what Mary looks like now, and isn't reluctant any more.
- In most variations of The Phantom of the Opera, Christine and Raoul are childhood friends, becoming involved after Christine's musical enhancement by the Phantom. In the musical version by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Raoul actually sings the line "Can it be? Can it be Christine?/What a change! You're really not a bit the gawkish girl that once you were!" in the song 'Think Of Me'.
- Spoken nearly word for word by Joe Keller about Ann Deever in Arthur Miller's All My Sons, though it's his son that's interested in her.
- Eddings uses the trope in The Elenium, with Sparhawk not being sure how to deal with the now-adult Ehlana (once she's out of the crystal).
- The pre-reviz Magic: The Gathering novel featured the initiate druid Greensleeves, in her late teens, being spirited away by an archdruid for a crash course in advanced magic. Her brother and some trackers took a week or two to find where she managed to get to in a single night. When they arrived he saw she had grown taller, gone from a skinny youth to being, as the cliche goes, a woman with curves in all the right places—perhaps older than her brother (in his early twenties)—and lost her stutter. The implication is that her mentor did a magical version of SORAS, compressing time for her so she could learn what she needed before she needed it, which she wouldn't have if she had been taught the traditional way, over years.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has the returning Theon Greyjoy flirting heavily (and we mean heavily; there is groping aplenty by both parties) with a local ship builder's wife while talking about his little sister Asha, who was a skinny little thing with knocky knees and who allegedly has grown into chain mail and leather underclothes. Surprise; the ship builder's wife is Asha, who was deliberately fucking with him. Theon is none too pleased.
- One Star Wars EU novel features Wes Janson (who flew back seat with Wedge Antilles at Hoth) flirting with a female pilot, who he later finds out she's Han Solo's daughter.
- Invoked in Keith Laumer's Retief's War, when Retief meets a very attractive girl he has no memory of ever seeing before ("Sorry — and I do mean sorry"), although she clearly knows him. Subversion, or maybe not, since she turns out to be his cousin.
"You couldn't be over twenty-one," Retief said. "It would take more than twenty-one years to forget that face."
The girl tossed her head, her eyes sparkling. "Perhaps you'll recall the name Fianna Glorian...?"
Retief's eyes widened. "You mean little Fifi...?"
- Invoked in the Protector of the Small quartet by Tamora Pierce. When the pages come back from holiday after Keladry has started developing breasts, Owen has this to say:
"Mithros' spear, Kel, you're a girl!"
"I've always been a girl."
"But a girl girl! With a chest and everything!"
- Molly Carpenter of The Dresden Files. Harry met her first when she was "somewhere between training wheels and training bra" and doesn't realise she's turned into a complete stunner until she calls him to help bail her boyfriend out of jail...
- In The Dragonlance Chronicles, Tanis notices this after he pulls Laurana down on top of him. Especially justified as he is a half-elf and she is a full elf, so he hit puberty at least a decade before she did. Also happens with Caramon and Tika. He remembers her as a little freckled brat and is stunned by what she's grown into (and what has grown onto her, if you know what I mean...) after he's been gone for five years.
- In the first Gotrek & Felix novel, the main characters save a young girl named Kat from a Chaos warlord. When they return to the region a couple decades later in Shaman Slayer, she has become a badass Beastman hunter and quite an attractive young woman.
- An interesting variant happens to Cosette in Les Misérables. Fresh out of a convent school, she's a mousy little thing who Marius (her future husband) and Courfeyrac just think of in passing as 'Mademoiselle Lanoire' for her plain black dress. Then she herself notices she's gotten pretty, and makes more of an effort to dress accordingly, turning heads wherever she goes and causing Valjean, her adopted father, a lot of anxiety. Courfeyrac notices the change immediately, but Marius doesn't - until he meets her eyes.
- Invoked several times in The House of the Spirits:
- Clara del Valle, the soon-to-be matriarch of the Trueba family, was a kinda ugly little girl at age 12 when Esteban's fiancče and the World's Most Beautiful Woman Rosa died. Some years later Esteban, now a Self-Made Man, asks the Del Valle family for Clara's hand in marriage... and is stunned to see that the 20-year-old Clara has grown into her looks quite a bit.
- Esteban and Clara's eldest daughter Blanca was rather ugly when she was born, average-looking as a child, and a total beauty as a teenager/adult.
- Blanca's love interest Pedro Tercero was a Country Mouse as a boy, then borderline Tall, Dark and Handsome as a teen/grown man. Then he loses three fingers, but has the charisma and the singing/songwriting skills to be still very attractive in the eyes of the women around him.
- In Youth in Sexual Ecstasy, in the protagonist's backstory when his big sister started to grow up and develop, their then stepfather started to harass her and molest her, until one night after coming home drunk, he attempted to rape her but was stopped by their mother. Later the protagonist sees a recent picture of her and sees that she further grew into a real beauty.
- In Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt, Edvard suddenly has a realisation of this kind about his cousin Beatrice. And being the sociopath that he is, it only makes him across as a total creep.
- In Shimmering Splendor, a retelling of the Eros/Psyche myth, Psyche was very plain-looking when she was young and her family and neighbors grew so used to her plain looks that they didn't realize how much she changed as she grew older until a newcomer to the town tried to abduct her in the middle of the night.
Live Action TV
- The Brady Bunch: Season 5's "Peter and the Wolf" has Greg (desperately) trying to get one of his buddies to date his girlfriend Sandra's cousin, Linda (on a double date to the drive-in movie theater). All of them say no. Why? Because when Sandra last saw Linda several years ago, she was a nerdy girl in pigtails and thick horn-rimmed glasses, and wearing braces. Greg then talks Peter into posing as one of his buddies ... and then needless to say, on date night, Linda had grown up -- hotter and sexier than ever!
- In Boy Meets World Cory and Shawn are stunned when they find out Topanga went through puberty during summer vacation.
Shawn: "That's a nice blouse." (stares at Topanga's chest)
Topanga: "Thanks, I got it over the summer."
Shawn: "Summer was very good to you."
Topanga: "At least what I grew is real." (Rips Shawn's fake sideburns off)
- The Wonder Years;
- It happens with Kevin's cousin in an episode starring Soleil Moon Frye.
- Reappears in the sitcom Working, when the two Wonder Years actors meet in this setting.
- Parodied in The Monkees episode "The Monkees in Texas". Mike visits his aunt in the Lone Star State and meets his cousin Lucy, whom he has not seen in years and of course is now gorgeous. He marvels over how the knock-kneed girl with bad teeth he used to hang around with is now a beautiful swan, until his aunt informs him that he is confusing Lucy with his other cousin, Clara, who still looks the same.
- Gender flipped in Sister Sister. Tia and Tamera's neighbor Roger was always trying to get a date/a kiss/SOMETHING from either one of them and they'd always blow him off with "Go home, Roger!" Over one summer, however, he goes through puberty, turns into a hunk ("from AS IF...to ALL THAT!"), and the girls spend an episode fighting over him before realizing they'd still rather just be friends with him.
- Twisted in an episode of Two and a Half Men, where a homely childhood friend of Alan's shows up, now a knockout. As Alan and Charlie compete for her affections, she reveals she had starved herself and had plastic surgeries to make herself beautiful, so she could rub it in their faces for teasing and ignoring her in high school.
- The second episode of Blossom is called..."Blossom Blossoms". Three guesses as to what it's about.
- Towards The Republic: When Sun Yat-sen first met little Song Qingling, she was a seven-year-old girl. And when he met her again years later, she had grown into a nubile young woman whose childhood crush on him had become full-fledged love.
- In the first episode of The Steve Harvey Show, Steve realizes that Regina Grier, the fat girl he tormented in high school is no longer fat, and is now his boss at the high school he teaches at.
- Malcolm in the Middle:
- There's an episode where Malcolm meets a female friend after the summer holidays, and can't work out why she's suddenly slouching around in baggy jumpers snapping at people. Turns out she... filled out, and isn't used to the male attention she's started getting because of it. Malcolm tries to be understanding, but can't quite concentrate... Particularly funny because the last time she appeared, Malcolm's mom confidently predicted she would ''fill out'' in front of Malcolm, his friend, and her parents.
- Another episode featured an incredibly sexy babysitter hired for the boys, who turned out to have been an old classmate's of Francis'. Francis calls them from military school, and we see his image of her as an obese, awkward nerd.
- "Oh my God, it's Casey Kelso and he's so DREAMY!"
- An episode of Cheers has Sam reuniting with an "old" flame and her daughter, who was a child when he knew them before, but now not so much. He tries to sleep with both mother and daughter.
- Growing Pains:
- Mike, on the first day of school, spots an incredibly beautiful girl in the halls and spends the day following her around trying to get her to tell him her name. She seems to know him already. Turns out that she's "Buck-Toothed Becky," whom he used to mock for getting corn stuck in her braces.
- Mike's friend Boner catches Carol in her night gown, ogles her chest, then says to her "Well, they're growing quite nicely."
- Doctor Who:
- Amy Pond in the episode "The Eleventh Hour". The Doctor meets her first when she's seven, and after accidentally time travelling 12 years doesn't recognize the older Amy at first since she's understandably grown since five minutes ago.
- The cricket bat to the head may not have helped.
- "The Girl in the Fireplace" features a similar time jump with the Doctor first encountering Madame de Pompadour at the age of 7. When he meets her again — a few minutes later by his reckoning — she is played by the gorgeous Sophia Myles.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- In the episode "Him", Xander and Willow come to the simultaneous realization that the girl they've both been ogling is Buffy's kid sister Dawn.
- The Mayor gets all teary-eyed seeing Faith go on a torture/kill date with Angelus. "She's not a little girl any more."
- In the episode "Making the Girl", Castle runs into a model who knows him from somewhere, but who he doesn't remember. She gives him her phone number anyways, much to Beckett's chagrin. His teenage daughter informs him that the model in question is in fact the gangly girl who used to babysit her years before, making Castle feel like a Dirty Old Man.
- Castle has this reaction to his own daughter while at a sci-fi convention. After cooing to Beckett about how cute Alexis was dressed as a little Princess Leia, he later freaks out when she walks by (under)dressed in a stripperiffic cosplay outfit.
- Inverted on Friends when Monica is all grown down between her first and second meeting with Chandler. There's only a year gap but she loses a ton of weight and he's totally gobsmacked.
- On Maury, he will often feature people who used be nerdy or obese (or both) who improved their looks (usually with plastic surgery). The girls are often Stripperiffic and the guys are usually muscle-bound beefcakes.
- In Teen Wolf, Kate made a predatory "this one grew up in all the right places" comment towards Derek, implying his physique was gained during the six years when he and his sister were away from Beacon Hills. It implies that he wasn't considered "grown up" when she sexually manipulated him.
- After listing off the varying ways in which America isn't doing to well at the moment, Stephen Colbert consoles the crowd at the Clinton Global Initiative by pointing to Matthew Lewis's successful conquering of puberty.
And, most importantly, Neville Longbottom
now looks like this
. I think we can all agree that that is a real message of hope.
- On a recent episode of Glee, Kurt is seen looking significantly buffer and flexing muscles previously not seen in his stage combat class at college, joking with his friends that he's "finally hit puberty." Several people, girls and guys alike, look on appreciatively while Blaine, his fiancé, jealously eats Cheetos in the background.
- On an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter, Juan Epstein's slightly younger sister puts in an appearance. Barbarino remembers her—but not quite like that.
Barbarino: So, Carmen... you've filled out!
- Subject of the songs "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" and "Next Door To an Angel" by Neil Sedaka.
- "Little Sister" by Elvis Presley
- "Come on Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners can be interpreted as this.
- Easily interpreted in the song "Valleri" by The Monkees.
"She's the same little girl who used to hang around my door
but she sure looks different than the way she looked before..."
- "Shout" by the Isley Brothers.
- "The Little Girl I Once Knew" by The Beach Boys
- "Big Girl Now" by New Kids on the Block featuring Lady Gaga
- "Daddy's Money" by Ricochet
- "One of the Boys" by Katy Perry
- "All Grown Up" by Johnny Horton
- Well, we used to play when we were three—how about a kiss for your "Cousin Dupree"?
- Gorillaz's Noodle caused rampant Viewer Gender Confusion in her Phase 1 preteen days, became more obviously feminine (if still with a tomboyish style of dress) in Phase 2 at the age of thirteen and fourteen, and is now a pretty and more obviously-feminine young woman in "On Melancholy Hill".
- Control by Janet Jackson from the first person point-of-view.
- "She Hasn't Always Been This Way" by Doc Walker combines this trope with Unrequited Love Switcheroo, as the singer realises that his friend's sister (who used to have a crush on him) has now grown up into a very attractive young lady who won't give him the time of day.
"She hasn't always been this way. I really can't believe how much that girl has changed. She's out of my life, she's out of my reach, I'm out of her mind, she's out of my league..."
- An angle in ECW between Tommy Dreamer and Raven revolved around a fat girl named Beulah McGillicutty whom Dreamer and Raven had both known at summer camp. Dreamer had made fun of her at the time for her weight, see, and so she fell in with Raven. Beulah grew up not just to be a hottie, but according to many wrestling fans, the most classically beautiful valet of all time. She ended up with Dreamer in both the storyline and real life.
- The film musical, and later stage musical, Gigi is built on this trope. Whether it's creepy or not depends on how it's handled; in the original, Gigi is fifteen and her erstwhile suitor is in his fifties, and has had Gigi raised to be his eventual mistress.
- In a more sentimental and nostalgic way, in Fiddler on the Roof. In the song "Sunrise, Sunset", the older characters come to terms with a young couple getting married. "Is this the little girl I carried, is that the little boy at play? I don't remember growing older, when did they?"
- Played with in The Yeomen of the Guard. To avoid execution, Col. Fairfax masquerades as Leonard Meryll, who's been away in the army for years. When Leonard's sister Phśbe greets him in front of everybody, Fairfax is baffled and has to be told who she is. He quickly covers with "Why, how you've grown! I did not recognize you!"
- The comedy Two and Two Make Sex spends the entire second act establishing this fact then sitting back and watching the consequences. George discovers that Jane, who he's been having an affair with, is in fact Janey, a girl he hasn't seen since she was three. He was reminded of this fact by his old football friend, Jack, who just happens to be Janey's father.
- Barbie has not one, but two kinds of dolls with "growing up" mechanisms that give them taller statures and larger breasts.
- El Presidente's Daughter to Juan in Guacamelee!.
- Sera is amazed how much older Hope is in Final Fantasy XIII-2. Justified, since she travelled 10 years into the future and sees the young teenager "suddenly" aged by a decade into a young man. A Live Trigger option during the game can also be used to lampshade her reaction.
- In Fate/stay night, Shirou mentions early on that lately he's been getting this feeling for Sakura.
- Waver Velvet in Fate/Zero: short, scrawny, wimpy nerd. Waver Velvet ten years later: Officially voted #1 TILF of the Mage Association.
- There's a weird "instant" version that happens in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games with Nick's spirit medium sidekicks Maya and Pearl. In The Verse, whenever somebody channels a spirit, they take on the physical appearance of said spirit. Naturally, when Nick's very busty Spirit Advisor Mia gets summoned by either her teenage sister or her 8-year-old cousin, the... er, maturity is very noticeable. In Trials and Tribulations, the third game, an old man who goes to a coffee shop to ogle the waitresses refuses to talk to Phoenix, who then semi-concocts a scheme to get Maya employed at the coffee shop. He then convinces her to come with him to meet the old man, who looks at her uniform with obvious lechery...until deciding that she's too "small". Cue the spirit possession, and the much more "developed" Mia begins questioning the old man, who is only too happy to provide answers. Lampshaded afterwards when Mia states she "can't believe Maya called [her] for this!" before dispossessing her sister. It's played straight in Dual Destinies, in which we see Pearl again after nearly 8 years, though she still looks just as adorable.
- One of the most interesting bits of Tokimeki Memorial 2. The game features an interactive prologue where the protagonist is in grade school, and meets the various female characters as children. After the prologue, the protagonist moves out of town, and is only reunited with his childhood friends when he starts high school (the game proper): naturally, they're all grown up. The protagonist and Hikari, his closest childhood friend, regularly have discussions of how much and in which way they have changed, throughout the storyline. Also, if the protagonist is a Track & Field Club member, and sees Hikari if he peeks at the girls' bathroom during Summer Training Camp, he'll make a comment on how much she has grown physically.
- In the words of Umineko no Naku Koro ni's Battler Ushiromiya: "Jessica has breasts now!" Much of the family is surprised too to see that Battler's a tall bishonen now (if a horny, immature one).
- "Uncle" Kunihiko in My Forged Wedding does not have an immediate reaction to seeing the protagonist again once she arrives in Tokyo from Kyushu after graduation from university. Instead, he continues to think of her as the little girl he used to babysit, and only begins to become aware of her as a woman halfway through his route, with a sudden corresponding change in the way he treats her once the realization hits him.
- Played with in If My Heart Had Wings: Aoi did already confess to Childhood Friend Ageha before he left, but he'd merely innocently mistaken his worries about leaving for love and didn't really have a crush on her yet. And in process of confessing, he inadvertently offended Ageha by claiming that he wants to go out with her because she's One of the Boys, meaning that in the meantime until they meet again Ageha deliberately tried to invoke this trope by making herself into a cute girl in the hopes that he'd be shocked and humbled when he returns. He's definitely surprised to see his young, boyish friend having turned into a such a pretty girl... but he doesn't remember the comment, and as soon as they start interacting again they fall into familiar patterns. It's not until they get caught in the rain one day and see each other half-naked and wet that it hits the both of them that they're the opposite gender and damn attractive, too.
- In Super Dangan Ronpa 2, Saionji is a classical dancer who looks like a child despite being the same age as the rest of the cast. However, the only reason she looks like that is that the cast is trapped in a simulation and look the same as they did when they first entered Hope's Peak academy. Later on, the main character, Hinata, finds a newspaper clipping from the real world that shows how Saionji really looks, and she's definitely grown up, looking taller and much more mature.
- Parodied on Homestar Runner in episode 4 of Teen Girl Squad. So-and-So's "imaginary" boyfriend apparently compliments her on how nicely as she has filled out over the summer. She says the same about him.
- Scary Go Round did a particularly obnoxious round of this trope in early 2008 - after a three-year absence, the hero's former student-exchange partner becomes worthy of his romantic attentions after straightening her hair and getting contact lenses. She has also become magically cool, interesting and something of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, the latter probably due to the fact that she is French. Meanwhile the audience is encouraged to laugh at her little sister, who is as ugly now as she was three years ago. But hey, if it follows, said sister will probably grow out of it too.
- Dream Tales comics, "A Tale of Two Sisters," "The Big Splash" and "Regression to the Mean" feature a younger sister outgrowing her older sister.
- Gordito in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, as Doc himself put it, "got handsome" over the course of the Bad Future.
- In El Goonish Shive, Elliot notes this about Sarah's older sister here.
- Kingdom Hearts: "Hey Sora, I have boobs now!"
- In Kubera, Leez is a gonk (though she's usually drawn with Generic Cuteness in deference to her status as a main character) who gets scowls all the time. Flashforwards and a temporary Plot-Relevant Age-Up show that in a few short years she will be a curvy Statuesque Stunner who turns heads everywhere she goes. And she'll die shortly after. The Plot-Relevant Age-Up was a warning: It was showing her guardian what she would look like twelve hours before her death.
- Dragon Ball Multiverse: One of the early fights features a version of Dende's little brother, Cargo, who by this point in time is an adult.
- Questionable Content plays with the idea in this strip, though in this case the "she" in question is a daydreaming robot.
- The Nostalgia Critic:
- The host went through all the stereotypical downfalls of puberty at about thirteen, but as he's bragged, thankfully grew "handsomener— han— hand— han— ner, prettier" when he got older.
- A lot of commenters on the A Simple Wish review seemed to have this reaction to Mara Wilson when she confronted the Critic at the end.
- The Nostalgia Chick's Nella greets Mara Wilson with the following:
"Holy shit, Matilda
, you've got a great rack!"
- Happens in the Kim Possible movie A Sitch in Time, to both Kim's little brothers and Wade.
- Happens to Princess Odette in the animated version of The Swan Princess. With the added twist that she and Prince Derek were engaged from an early age, but couldn't stand each other because she was an incorrigible tomboy and he thought girls had cooties. It then gets deconstructed as Derek wants to marry her straight away. Odette then asks him if her beauty is all that matters to him, to which he replies "what else is there?" so Odette calls off the marriage. Derek essentially has to spend the rest of the film proving that his love for Odette is based on more than just noticing how she filled out.
- Parodied with Stewie and his old dancing school rival Olivia in Family Guy. Stewie falls in love with her because "she's all grown up," but she looks just the same as before.
- On Phineas and Ferb Baljeet has this reaction when his old childhood friend Mishti comes to visit; he refers to her transformation as "turning into a girl" (given the flashback of them playing soccer in the mud, she seems to have been something of a tomboy). Somewhat like the Family Guy example, because both Baljeet and Mishti seem to be preteens who last saw each other as children.
- In the five-part story that begins Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Monterey Jack had known Gadget when she was younger; when he and his two friends first meet her in the story, he exclaims that he hasn't seen her "since you were knee-high to a knee!" (Slightly inverted because Jack shows more a paternal attitude towards her than anything else, since he was friends with her dad and she probably thinks of him as a favorite "uncle".)
- In Goof Troop, Max hasn't seen his (now college age) cousin Debbie in a while. By his own admission, she's now super hot.
- Kessie the blue bird Rabbit adopted in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. He raised her until she's ready to fly south. She returns in her next appearance and she's all grown up. Rabbit unable to admit she's grown and Kessie calls him "Rabbit" instead of "Rabbie" like before.
- Portrayed in South Park episode "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society", where the male fourth-graders behaved like apes when they saw Bebe's naturally-developing chest.