"What are you trying to feed the child — sanitized pablum? Li'l Death? Li'l Morpheus? Revolting!"Cartoons have a tendency to get spun off into new shows with younger versions of the original characters. No one is quite sure why producers do this, aside from the opportunity to make a new franchise for a new demographic out of an older, successful property. Often the concept of the original show is dropped entirely and replaced, but sometimes it's adapted to an elementary- or middle-school setting. Frequently parodied, due to the absurdity of some of the examples. Note that those are usually not prequels, and not part of the original show's continuity. It's usual for people who supposedly met for the first time in the original show to meet in the "younger" show, or for characters with notably different ages in the original show to be babies/middle-schoolers at the same time. If they are descendants, then it's Spin-Offspring. By the Turn of the Millennium, it basically became a Dead Horse Trope. Nowadays, few if any of these shows are being made. Related to Recycled In Space and High School A.U.. Contrast Time Skip, which tends to make the characters older instead. Compare Young Future Famous People, which does this with real people.
— Cain, The Sandman
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In America, Toonami aired the 1989 Dragon Ball Z five years before the original 1986 Dragon Ball, making it come off as this to some viewers who didn't know the original order. The first thirteen episodes of Dragon Ball had aired in syndication in 1995, but didn't do well.
- The whole manga get a colored Super-Deformed spin-off, called Dragon Ball SD.
- SD Gundam Force is the closest you're going to get with to this trope with Humongous Mecha.
- Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat features an even younger Digiko and Puchiko having adventures on Planet Di Gi Charat. It's not immediately clear if it's actually a prequel, or an alternate continuity. As usual, if a prequel, it messes with the previously-established continuity a bit — they're still known as Digiko and Puchiko, even though these are supposedly just aliases they go by on Earth, and Piyoko appears, even though no-one seemed to have any idea who she was when she "later" appeared in one of the specials for the original series. Also, Dejiko is more optimistic and cheery instead of being a lazy Jerkass, and Piyoko is pure evil instead of just wanting to kidnap Dejiko for ransom. Given how silly Di Gi Charat is, this isn't as big a deal as it could be, though.
- Petit Eva, a Lighter and Softer adaptation of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Kamen Rider SD, a joke OVA that depicted horrifically adorable, super-deformed versions of the Kamen Riders (from Rider 1 to Black RX). In retrospect, it deliberately makes Den-O look like Black.
- Speaking of Den-O, there was also Imagin Anime, which had chibified versions of the Taros Brothers having all sorts of misadventures.
- There's a Mahou Sensei Negima! spin offnote that plays with this trope a bit by featuring note Teenage!Negi as 3-A's kindergarten teacher.
- He and Kotarou (also aged up to late teens) are listed as classmates, so it's likely some sort of work study program. Most of his class still have (age-appropriate for their new age) crushes on him, and as of the fifth chapter, no character who was an adult in the original (including Evangeline) has been seen at all.
- The Adventures of Mini-Goddess is taken from the fact that the Goddesses in Ah! My Goddess have the ability to divide into Fun Size multiples of themselves (great for catching wayward spirits).
- The Tokyo Mew Mew manga contained Omake depicting all the characters in a fantasy kindergarten.
- Attack on Titan has the Middle School AU spin-off manga Attack on Titan: Junior High. It is pure, unfiltered crack involving the main cast going to school with the Titans, and deals with it as a Slice of Life comedy. It gleefully parodies the primary canon, as well as including numerous Shout Outs to popular memes and aspects of the fandom. Eren still hates the Titans, but the trauma of his mother being Eaten Alive is replaced with his cheeseburger lunch being stolen on the first day of school.
- DD Fist of the North Star is a chibified Fist of the North Star where Kenshiro and company live on a peaceful Earth where the nuclear apocalypse never happened.
- Ultraman Kids, a 26-episode Lighter and Softer take on the Ultra Series.
- Possibly the earliest comic book example is Superboy, the young persona of Superman, whose adventures were published as early as the 1940s. This was adapted into Smallville, among other things.
- Archie Comics:
- Archie actually did this YEARS earlier than Muppet Babies (in the 1960s, to be exact) with "Little Archie", taking place in the gang's Elementary School years, but it didn't have many copycats. "The New Archies" (both a cartoon series and a comic, both short-lived) came in the 1980s, and was based around their pre-teen Middle School years. The former appears to actually be in continuity (told nowadays as flashbacks), but the latter, with several replacement characters (Eugene for Dilton, among others), is mostly forgotten.
- One final attempt (so far) of reviving "Little Archie" was New Little Archies in the early nineties, when the concept was redesigned.
- When the Archie characters became superheroes in the so-bad-it's-not-too-bad "Pureheart the Powerful" storylines, their younger selves became superheroes, too.
- There actually was an Archie Babies graphic novel as well, which depicted the characters as toddlers in a daycare.
- In July 2013 Archie Comics announced yet another effort at this, with a cartoon series called It's Archie, once again setting the gang in middle school. It ended up only being a pitch.
- Still Archie Comics, but not Archie-centered: Sonic the Hedgehog had two specials devoted to the concept of "Sonic Kids". These were stories of the Freedom Fighters as kids, before they went around smashing Robotnik's robots.
- Tiny Titans is an elementary school themed spin off of Teen Titans. It even had a crossover title with another spinoff babies comic, Tiny Titans/Little Archie.
- Zbeng!, an Israeli comic about a group of teenagers (featured in a teen magazine), had a children spin off called "Zbengale" (which featured in a children's magazine).
- Le Petit Spirou is a spin-off of Franco-Belgian comic Spirou and Fantasio, starring a younger, and markedly more impertinent and irreverent version of the main character. Some of the one page gags are flashbacks to the protagonist years as a toddler (rather than an elementary school kid) which centers mostly on the many hazards awaiting the dangly bits of a small child running half naked around the house. Has a bad, bad case of Comic-Book Time, the first albums were set in the 60s/70s with a grandfather who'd been in WWI, nowadays the gags are modern (and the grandfather still the same age).
- The French Comic Book Sillage (Wake) has a spin-off series called Nävis, which is about the title character's childhood on a jungle planet and is written and drawn in a more humorous style than the parent series.
- Even older than the Archie example, Disney did a young Davy Crockett comic series in the 1950s called "Lil' Davy" that even teamed him up with Jiminy Crockett.
- Brazil inverted this trope, by making Spinoff Teenagers of two Not Allowed to Grow Up series: local work Turma da Mônica◊ (Monica's Gang◊) and the internationally known Little Lulu◊.
- While baby versions of the Monica characters do exist, they don't really have a spinoff of their own, being mostly featured in a line of baby care products.
- After the X-Men temporarily died, evil alien TV mogul, Mojo, filled their broadcast spot with the chibified X-babies, with much Leaning on the Fourth Wall invocation.
- Back in 2004 there was talk of "Marvel Babies◊"; infant versions of Marvel characters such as Spider-Man and Captain America. The most baffling part of the whole thing (and there was plenty to choose from) was the decision to have Spidey villain the Rhino as the Big Dumb Guy. Because there isn't a major Marvel hero the general public have actually heard of who could have fit that role. Thankfully, the concept seems to have died (although not before they sold the rights to "Marvel Babies" brand clothing), and been replaced by The Superhero Squad Show.
- And then that was later subverted by the Skottie Young and Gurihiru produced spin-off to Avengers vs. X-Men, A-Babies vs. X-Babies.
- Which also got a 4 issue mini in the Secret Wars (2015) event titled Giant-Size Little Marvel - AvX.
- Played with in All-New X-Men which stars the original X-Men as teens, except that they've been brought into the current day alongside their modern, adult incarnations.
- Chris Giarrusso's Mini Marvels series. To hammer the point, Spidey is never called "Spider-Man" because, well, he's not a grown-up man yet. Plus, instead of a paid photographer, he's a paperboy for the Daily Bugle.
- In the late 1970s, DC Comics introduced the "Super Juniors," baby versions of the Justice League of America. While these characters only appeared in comics once (a digest-sized one-shot), they appeared on a considerable number of licensed products (toys, linens, nursery furnishings, etc.) in the early 1980s.
- Switch (2015) is a high school retelling of Witchblade centered around a teenager named Mary.
- Ultimate X-Men re-envisioned the team as teenagers, including members who were adults when they joined in the proper canon. The one exception is Wolverine, who, like his X-Men: Evolution counterpart, is still 150 years old, which made his affair with 16-year-old Jean a tad bit creepy. It's worth remembering that the original X-Men were teenagers, so with the Ultimate Universe being a Continuity Reboot, having the team start at that age while shuffling the original lineup makes sense.
- The Doctor Who Adventures kids' magazine has a strip called "Alien Babies" with main characters Blun the Slitheen, Simon the Cyberman, Strup the Sontaran, Eldast the Silurian and Chas and Chelsea the Weeping Angels. Other babies come and go, often a baby version of the monster in the previous week's episode (taken to a ridiculous extreme in the issue following "The Rings of Akhaten", which featured a character actually called "Baby Grandfather").
- Some comic books feature Itty Bitty Hellboy.
- A volume of Gen13 featured the Authoriteens, in mockery of Spinoff Babies tropes. Their equivalent of the Doctor is the Intern, they travel "The Gutters" instead of the Bleed, teen Jack Hawksmoor, the king of cities, is now Jack Hatfield, spirit of small towns (his costume includes a stalk of straw and denim overalls), and the Midnighter's equivalent, Daybreaker, is a Totally Radical motor mouth whose relationship with Kid Apollo is no more than Ambiguously Gay (and implied to have gone no further than the 'funny feelings' stage yet).
- Strangers in Paradise had a four-issue spin-off called SIP Kids.
- Sensational She-Hulk spoofs this in issue #50, when John Byrne proposes to Jen a comic about the adventures of "Li'l She-Hulk". After reading only two pages of the cutesy first story, she dismisses the proposal, and tosses Byrne out a window.
- Mini-Jon's Experiments is a particularly odd example, as it is a spin-off for the Canadian comic Super Agent Jon Le Bon!, which revolves around a kid clone of Jon having experiments while making life hard for Henry. As it turns out, he was born from Tiberius' attempt to make super soldier clones of Jon, so Mini-Jon was adopted by the Agency after destroying the lab.
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Paperino Paperotto, a Italy comic book series starring the life and childhood of Donald Duck and his friends in stories. Young Donald, lives in Quacktown, a country village on the outskirts of Duckburg located where there is the farm of Grandma Duck with the little goat Billy. This representation of childhood Donald is easily compatible with versions of other authors, in accordance with the genealogy of Don Rosa.
- Dynamite Comics published a series of one-shots, Li'l Dynamites, featuring various characters they hold the rights to as kid versions of themselves, including Battlestar Galactica, Vampirella, The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman, Evil Ernie, and Red Sonja. They were rather adorable.
- Disney has been publishing a line of pre-teen-orientated Pirates of the Caribbean novels about Jack's teenage years since 2006.
- Young Sherlock Holmes was a pastiche of Sherlock Holmes supposedly telling the early life of Holmes and Watson when they first met as teens. And apparently before Holmes figured out how to solve crimes by logical deduction.
- The Danish (original) movie series Olsen-banden (Olsen gang) and the Norwegian Olsenbanden and Swedish Jönssonligan (The Jonsson gang) remakes had spin-off movies with the titular gang as kids. It was set in The '50s even though the characters were middle aged during original films - which were released and took place in The '70s and The '80s. It might just work for Benny, who was quite younger than Egon and Kjeld (in the Danish version at least), but that just screws up the premise further.
- The original James Bond novels spun-off into the book series Young Bond by Charlie Higson.
- A variation is Disney's successful line of preteen-oriented novels about the adventures of the teenage Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Sweet Valley High has spun-off two "kiddie" versions of the characters: Sweet Valley Twins (set when the characters were in middle school) and Sweet Valley Kids (when they were in elementary school). The former was well received and heavily promoted via a retcon character Amy, who was Elizabeth Wakefield's best friend in the "Twins" book but her mortal enemy in the main "Sweet Valley High" book and ultimate led to a villain-based spin-off series based off of the "Unicorn Club". The later was reviled by fans as being soulless tie-in. Reversed with Sweet Valley University, which put the twins in college.
- The Star Trek Starfleet Academy novels focus on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine cast members as Starfleet officers in training.
- Star Wars has the "Darth Vader and Son" parody series, which depict Vader as the father to a toddler-aged Luke.
- The Hardy Boys have two, the discontinued Clues Brothers and the currently running Secret Files, which feature Frank and Joe at 9 and 8 years old.
- Nancy Drew got in on it as well, with "The Nancy Drew Notebooks" and "Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew."
- Max and Ruby creator Rosemary Wells made a few books titled "Baby Max And Ruby"◊ which has Max as a young infant while Ruby is a young child.
- Andy Lane has written a series of Young Sherlock Holmes novels, unrelated to the movie.
- Example that never was: The CBBC wanted the current production team to make them a Young Doctor Who, which presumably would have been titled Moffat Babies. The idea horrified Russell T. Davies, so he pitched The Sarah Jane Adventures to them instead.
- Fan Web Comics example Torchwood Babiez also starring Rose and The Tenth Doctor, putting a Peanuts and Rugrats spin on things. Though technically they're clones.
- Meta Fic Fan Fiction example: Look Who's Talking, the Doctor Who day care center outside continuity, with toddler versions of every Doctor Who character, from the This Time Round setting. Best known for the Story Time series, casting the adult Who characters in fairy tales for the kids...
- In possibly the most bizarre example, long-running British sitcom Last of the Summer Wine spawned a spin-off called First Of The Summer Wine, featuring the main cast as teenagers in the 1930s. This included both (at the time) Suspiciously Similar Substitutes for the third man of the Comic Trio, despite the fact that, in Last, Compo barely remembered one of them was at the same school, and the other one was clearly established as a newcomer to the village. Since this is a show about drunk and arguably senile elderly Brits, you could chalk it up to Unreliable Narrator.
- Indiana Jones movies got the TV spin off The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which showed Indy as a young lad working alongside his father.
- Sesame Beginnings, a direct-to-DVD Edutainment Show for kids younger than the Sesame Street demographic (ie the under-2s), starring Baby Big Bird, Baby Cookie Monster, Baby Elmo and Baby Prairie Dawn.
- Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway had a segment featuring "Little Ant And Dec". Thankfully not an Unusual Euphemism, this featured a pair of kids who slightly resembled Big Ant And Dec interviewing somebody in a faintly rude fashion.
- The short-lived Young Hercules, directed at teen and younger viewers, featured the semi-sterilized adventures of an adolescentish Hercules through ancient high school.
- Psych got two of these. There was a set of short cartoons between the shows where it showed Shawn and Gus as children. Then at the next season, Shawn and Gus appears in shorts clips as teenagers during the mid 90's during the commercials.
- Junior Masterchef is a kids version of MasterChef, where the contestants are children.
- Gotham is in many ways this, where classic Batman characters are either much younger or in most cases children.
- The Big Bang Theory is getting a spinoff centered around the character of Sheldon as a child.
- Sesame Street: Plush dolls, targeted to infants and babies, have been sold of Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Prairie Dawn, Big Bird and Elmo. Picture books for babies and toddlers, depicting the Muppet characters as babies, have also been sold.
- 'Newborns' is a popular way for characters in a line of toys to get even smaller and cuter, e.g. Pound Puppies and Puppy In My Pocket.
- Teenie Beanies, which were available at McDonald's for several years, were this to Beanie Babies. Some Teenie Beanies were even given diminutive names of their larger counterparts; e.g., the Teenie version of Ants the Anteater was called "Antsy."
- My Little Pony's "So Soft" line, which oddly styles the baby ponies more after human infants instead of equine ones. This is even the case in the toys based on Friendship is Magic, which explicitly shows ponies, babies or otherwise, to be quadrupedal.
- In one of the most bizarre examples (which in hindsight, was also tactless and kinda stupid) the already-young Cabbage Patch Kids had a line of Cabbage Patch Preemies, even smaller versions of the dolls. In a move that everybody except the Cabbage Patch People saw coming, making a cute little doll out of frail and weak premature babies infuriated a lot of people. Discussed in number 2 of this article.
- Suzy's Zoo has been spun-off into Little Suzy's Zoo. The show on BabyFirstTV? Yeah, it's actually the latter.
- DC Superhero Girls stars DC characters as high schoolers.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Yoshi's Island features the Yoshi tribe trying to keep baby versions of the regular Mario characters safe from Kamek and Baby Bowser. Its sequel has the current-day Bowser and Kamek traveling to the past in a search for MacGuffin Babies, terrorizing the Yoshis and babies (including himself) of that time period in the process. No, the plot doesn't make any sense.
- Incidentally, Yoshi's Story was all about Baby Yoshis saving the day for the grown-ups.
- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time stars the older Mario Bros. teaming up with their baby selves to save the past, present, and future from Alien Invaders.
- Spin off baby versions of Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy and Rosalina have appeared in the Mario Kart series. Baby versions of Wario, Donkey Kong and Bowser have appeared in other titles.
- Pokémon often introduces pre-evolved forms of certain Mons in each new expansion of the Pokedex. Who gets a baby form seems to be dependent on the character in question. Some get them based on their popularity, and others received them because they appear too "big" or "advanced" to hatch out of an egg as is.
- Virtua Fighter Kids is a combination of this and Super-Deformed. It leans more towards the latter.
- Ecco Jr. features a younger version of Ecco the Dolphin exploring the ocean, completing such tasks as herding seahorses, swimming through rings, and finding lost balls for sea lions along the way. The game was created to appeal to younger gamers as part of the "Sega Club" line of games in response to the difficulty of the original Ecco game and its sequel, Tides of Time that those gamers experienced.
- In Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, IF and Compa, two of the playable characters in the previous two games now appear as babies due to Neptune traveling back in time.
- Square Enix did this with a couple of Final Fantasy characters in the Kingdom Hearts series. Most of these characters were originally in their late teens or early 20s in their respective Final Fantasy games, but their Kingdom Hearts counterparts are in their early to mid teens. This includes Zack from Final Fantasy VIInote , Selphie, Seifer, Fuu (Fujin), and Rai (Raijin) from Final Fantasy VIII, and lastly, Tidus and Wakka from Final Fantasy X. Squall Leonheart is an exception, as he is instead aged up to his twenties.
- The Twisted Metal series is normally about a vicious, high-octane demolition derby where contestants blow up each other to win a wish of their choosing. Then there's Twisted Metal: Small Brawl, where instead every character is a little kid and they drive RV vehicles in playgrounds and other urban areas.
- The Book of Biff had a week of comics showing Biff as a kid as that week's theme. Unlike most examples of this trope, it was actually funny. See for yourself.
- From Narbonic comes Li'l Mell.
- One Li'l Mell story appears to suggest her class also contains Li'l Julie Rome, Li'l Tip, Li'l Virginia Lee and Li'l Nick Zerhakker (and L'l Shaenon and Li'l Jeffrey Channing Wells in the back row). Probably not really, though, especially since later strips in the same storyline show Shaenon and Jeff as teachers. Earlier, there was a cameo by Li'l Dave.
- The substitute teacher in the first arc of Li'l Mell was quite obviously Artie* , presumably researching for his study on violent tendencies in early childhood as mentioned in the last arc of Narbonic.
- There was also a guest week of Narbonic Babies, in which Dr Narbon was looking after Toddler Dave and Baby Mell at Narbonic Babies Daycare. Coincidentally, Artie ends up travelling back in time to that one as well.
- Little Saiyalings (here), which is what you get when you put Dragon Ball together with a little bit of Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes.
- JL8, formerly 'Little League', gives the Justice League this treatment, relocating the main cast (and villains!) to elementary school. However, the style is more evocative of Calvin and Hobbes than the more cliché recycled IN SCHOOL!
- Least I Could Do follows the newspaper comics tradition of Sunday features alongside weekday strips; the Sunday version is called LICD: Beginnings and features a pre-adolescent Rayne and his family. The art is different too, done by the same artist but in a rougher, cozier style, so as to firmly separate the two iterations.
- Muppet Babies, the example that kicked off the trope, features pre-K versions of the core cast of The Muppet Show, though to increase the ratio of female characters to male, they gave Scooter a tomboyish fraternal twin sister named Skeeter.
- The whole series is actually based on a scene in The Muppets Take Manhattan, where Piggy wonders what things would have been like if they knew each other as children.
- And Muppet Babies is surprisingly awesome (its opening credits actually features Darth Vader's TIE Fighter and Indiana Jones; this is not a common feature for a kids' TV show).
- The Flintstones became The Flintstone Kids.
- "Those meddling kids" from Scooby-Doo went from their late teens to their preteens for A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. A surprisingly good example of the trope, largely due to the vigorous lampshading of every single trope that the Scooby-Doo franchise was famous for.
- The painfully hip Yo Yogi! had pre-teen versions of Yogi Bear and a few other Hanna-Barbera characters, hanging out in Jellystone Mall and working as amateur detectives.
- Done very well to the Looney Tunes with Tiny Toon Adventures (though the Tiny Toons were technically early-teen counterparts of the original Looney Tunes, with the originals teaching at their school and making cameos), and not so well with Baby Looney Tunes (which was actually just a ripoff of Muppet Babies but with less humor and more Anvilicious Aesops).
- For the record, Baby Looney Tunes started off as a line of merchandise, further exemplifying the need to wring every dollar out.
- There are at least two shorts where the Elmer/Bugs rivalry started as kids. One of them is part of a movie, in which Bugs thinks they must have been the youngest... and then sees a baby Coyote in diapers chasing a Road Runner egg with legs.
- Done in 1944 in Bob Clampett's "The Old Gray Hare" and in 1980 in Chuck Jones' "Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Bunny". And arguably even earlier in 1943 in Clampett's "A Corny Concerto" - depends on whether the Ugly Duckling character is a representation of Daffy as a baby or not (and that's up to you).
- One other short starred a baby Wile E. Coyote and baby Road Runner called "Little Go Beep", though unlike Baby Looney Tunes's show, it was more in the spirit of the actual cartoons from the Golden Age.
- For the record, Baby Looney Tunes started off as a line of merchandise, further exemplifying the need to wring every dollar out.
- Tom and Jerry in Tom and Jerry Kids became this.
- Pink Panther and Sons focused on that character's two offspring and their friends.
- Inverted in the Rugrats Time Skip spin-off All Grown Up!, by having the main Rugrats characters age 10 years from being babies.
- Done straight when All Grown Up itself got spun-off as Angelica and Suzie's Pre-Skool Daze.
- For those of you who missed it, the Rugrats was already about babies, it got a spin-off in the form of All Grown Up and then that got its OWN spin-off, completing the vicious cycle of over-milking a once good idea.
- Done straight when All Grown Up itself got spun-off as Angelica and Suzie's Pre-Skool Daze.
- And then there's the James Bond spin-off series: James Bond Junior, though in that case Bond, Jr. was the original Bond's nephew.
- The weirdest example ever: there was an animated spin-off of this kind from the colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea. Where almost all the characters were elementary students, and had wacky adventures in Off-Model animation. If you don't believe it see a sample and brace yourselves.
- The 2000s series of George of the Jungle changes George from a full-grown man to a teenager.
- When the producers of Batman: The Animated Series were told to do a "teenage Batman" show, at first they seriously thought about quitting but instead they came up with Batman Beyond (a sequel series featuring Bruce Wayne's successor).
- The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Goo Goo Gas" provides a variation: Plankton invents a gaseous substance that turns anyone who comes in contact with it into a baby. Naturally, this results in Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob, Squidward, and the rest reduced to adorable babies for most of the episode.
- The Disney Hercules cartoon, who was technically that age during the movie, but not for most of it (it happens in-between Hercules being accepted as Phil's apprentice and the completion of his hero training).
- One episode acutally featured Hercules, Icarus, Pegasus, and Pain being turned into babies, with Panic and Cassandra having to scramble for the cure.
- X-Men: Evolution, in which most of the featured characters are re-imagined as teenagers attending high school. This wouldn't completely count considering that many of the characters in the show were teenagers when first introduced in the comics (especially the original five), and some of the older characters (Professor X, Wolverine, Storm, Magneto, etc.) retained their canon ages.
- Clifford the Big Red Dog had Clifford's Puppy Days. As a grown up, he was bigger than a house but as a pup he was so small that fits inside a cup of tea.
- Sabrina: The Animated Series featured the adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch at about age twelve, with Melissa Joan Hart's little sister as the title voice. Harvey was a skateboard nut (that could explain a few things, actually), and replaced the live action show's Alpha Bitch with a new alpha bitch named Jem Stone, who was the old antagonist, but twelve and vaguely gothy. The theme song is eager to point out that Sabrina's "the greatest" and has "super magic", but, since she's the protagonist of a show directed at preteens, she's predictably sort of a loser.
- As with many examples of this trope, the series also ignored the original canon. In the pilot special, Sabrina didn't even know she was a witch until she was sixteen.
- Well, the actual original canon, the Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic book, shows that Sabrina had her powers and was a witch since at least grade school (per several "Little Archie" stories).
- Disney's Jungle Cubs which was a spin off of The Jungle Book featuring the animal characters as preteens and Kaa and Shere Khan as their allies.
- Little Rosie, Not Quite Starring an animated Roseanne Barr and featuring, in one episode, an animated John Goodman. Let Us Never Speak of This Again.
- They tried taking this tangent with Strawberry Shortcake a few times, most notably in with the 2003 series by way of the launch of the Strawberry Shortcake Baby line, featuring baby Strawberry Shortcake, kitten Custard, a younger puppy Pupcake and an unnamed teddy bear being prominently displayed on products meant for infants and toddlers. The show tried going down the path with just one episode hand waved to be Apple Dumplin's dream, but featured baby Ginger Snap, baby Orange Blossom and baby Angel Cake. The baby books added baby Blueberry Muffin. A baby Huckleberry Pie was designed, but very infrequently used.
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures: Tony, Pepper, Rhodey, and the Big Bad The Mandarin are all re-imagined as teenagers in high school.
- My First Disney Princess, which essentially portrays the Princesses as toddlers.
- In Ewoks, the characters are in their preteens/early teens (Wicket being about 12 and the others slightly older), in contrast to those of them appearing in Return of the Jedi being young adults.
- Jake and the Never Land Pirates was originally intended to be one for Pirates of the Caribbean, but they tossed that out the window and made it a Peter Pan setting instead.
- Robin Hood: Mischief in Sherwood is about a pre-teen Robin Hood and his friends John, Marion, Scarlet (who's a gir) and Tuck battling the adult forces of a pre-teen Prince John.
- Paul Frank's Julius got this treatment when turned into a cartoon and toyline. The end result, Julius Jr., is actually very watchable if you're into Slice of Life shows with the classic That Reminds Me of a Song Earwormy music trope, and the toys from Fisher-Price are said to be decent. It airs on Nick Jr. In the US and is available on Netflix elsewhere.
- The New Archies is a terribly 80s cartoon that has the normally-teenage Archie characters as middle schoolers.
- A project that was abandoned by Warner Bros was Gotham High; an animated series showing Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon and Batman’s Rogues Gallery in teenage versions attending the same high school. Artwork of the concept can be found online.
- WWE released a new adult animated show called "Camp WWE" in which current and past WWE stars are portrayed as kids (John Cena, R-Truth, Big Show, Stone Cold, Rock, Undertaker, Mark Henry, and the Bella Twins) or camp counselors (Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Ric Flair, and Sgt. Slaughter) all while Vince McMahon runs the camp.
- The WWE's previous animated series, Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling, had a one-off episode, "Small But Mighty," where the wrestlers were transformed into kids, thanks to Hillbilly Jim's secret chili recipe and granny's magical herbs. The kids wreak havoc, of course, but end up foiling a car-stripping ring by episode's end.
- Timmy Time is a spin-off of popular British Stop Motion series Shaun the Sheep but with baby farm animals and directed towards a toddler audience.
- The Smurfs in latter seasons they introduce kid versions of other characters: the Smurfling; Nat, Snappy and Slouchy that were magically de-aged of their original adult form, Sassette, a little girl version of Smurfette also created by Gargamel and Scruple, Gargamel's apprentice, several episodes were focus on them.
- The Mini Monsters in the animated series The Comic Strip are the kid's version of the classic Universal Horror monsters.
Anime and Manga
- In the Gag Dub of Sgt. Frog, at the end of episode 9 the narrator wonders if the still-deaged Giroro heralds the beginning of a spinoff called "Sgt. Frog Babies."
- One of the Omake of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd As is a Real Trailer, Fake Movie called Iryou Shoujonote Medical Shamal, a Magical Girl parody featuring the normally adult Shamal as a 10 year old.
- The Mojo/Longshot arc of the X-Men comics, which featured the mad ruler of a world based around film and television creating the "X-Babies".
- The X-Babies were largely based on (and identically drawn as) a brief appearance of the actual X-Men reverted to childhood forms in the original introduction of Longshot to the team (Annual #10). They did a decent (though not perfect) job of keeping the relative ages of each member scaled to the others. Created two annuals later, the "official" X-Babies (who are clones, not altered originals) were cheekily introduced with a "they're back" blurb on the cover.
- Eventually, X-Baby villains were created, and an X-Baby version of Apocalypse destroyed the Mojoverse.
- ElfQuest included some self-parody strips featuring the regular characters drawn in the style of Tiny Toon Adventures.
- Gail Simone's Gen13 introduces The Authoriteens; Kid Apollo, Daybreaker, Nestling, the Contractor, the Intern, and Jack Hatfield (the Spirit of Small Towns). They turn out to hail from an entire universe of Spinoff Babies.
- Pre-dating Tiny Titans was Teeny Titans, an in-universe parody from the early 1990s involving babified versions of Nightwing, Starfire, Pantha, Changeling, and Baby Wildebeest (turned into a magic transforming doll) and their battles against evil Mr. (Slade "Deathstroke") Wilson. The fictional "Teeny Titans" came about when the New Titans were strapped for cash and decided to whore themselves out via merchandising deals and was largely played for shock value as far as the team being horrified at how their cartoon show was a slapstick kiddie show.
- A popular riff of Mystery Science Theater 3000, in which the riff would be "Jim Henson's <blank> Babies". They have even quipped, "Solarbabies Babies!" and "Muppet Baby Babies!"
- A Muppets Tonight sketch, where two tapes of old network shows got tangled together, resulting in the creation of "Seinfeld Babies".
- An episode of Wonder Showzen features a sketch titled "Wonder Showzen Preemies" with the regular cast as babies in an obvious Muppet Babies spoof (Nanny even appears, shown from the socks up as a large pair of lips on legs — in keeping with the style of Wonder Showzen, the preemies actually have "two nannies"). At the end of the sketch, the children watch their own favorite show, "Wonder Showzen Embryos".
- A TV Funhouse sketch, "Fetal Scooby-Doo", in which fake hauntings were exposed by a gang of prenatal detectives.
- On Community, Abed imagines a baby spin-off of the study group, Greendale Babies.
- In the music video of "The Invisible Man" by Queen from the album The Miracle the band members are played by children, dressed up as them.
- Pop group A-Teens began as an the Abba Teens, who covered Abba songs for a late 90s/early 2000s tween audience. This gimmick only lasted on album before they broke off into a reasonably successful standalone group.
- One of the stranger examples of this was Devo 2.0, a Disney-backed music project of preteens covering Devo songs, which are all about such family-friendly topics as the de-evolution of human intellect, the shallowness of consumerism and The End of the World as We Know It. Devo presumably either wanted the kids to start thinking of these things at a young age or just found the concept hilarious.
- Homestar Runner
- Parodied in the Strong Bad Email highschool, where Strong Bad claims he, Homestar, Strong Mad, and Marzipan were "a team of super sleuths" in high school, then goes on to claim "In middle school, we were a bunch of melon-headed babies with giant eyes and enormous imaginations!" Then he gets carried away and adds "And going even unnecessarily further back, we were all a bunch of plucky parameciums living in Free Petri Dish, USA!" and "Before that we were... Romans. In Roman times. And Don Knotts was always showing up."
- Episode 7 of Strong Bad's "independent comic" Teen Girl Squad was "Teeny Tiny Girl Squad", which featured the girls as preschoolers (though still prone to comical deaths, as seen when new boy character Tompkins "died somehow").
Little What's Her Face: I can count to G!
Little Cheerleader: That's nothing. I can count to purple backwards.
- The Adventures of Lil' Cthulhu by Zachary Murray.
- Smosh Babies depicts the cast of Smosh, namely Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, as infants.
- Parodied in this filler strip from Exterminatus Now, depicting a Spinoff Babies version of the webcomic starring Lothar. Because Lothar was artificially grown, the result isn't very exciting.
- Motherly Scootaloo has Lightning Blitz Answers, with a donation-based update system.
- This sketch from the makers of Girl Genius. "Little Klaus" is especially awesome.
- Ironically, September 2009 brings flashbacks featuring Little Gilgamesh and Little Tarvek.
- T-Rex and Utahraptor disagree on how good an idea "Dino babies" is.
- Given a Darker and Edgier treatment in this Something*Positive strip.
- Parodied in Insecticomics, with ''Michael Baybies", featuring a combination of kids-friendly action and huge explosions in an obvious jab at Michael Bay.
- Baby Sinfest!
- Narbonic had a Narbonic Babies guest week, as well as Li'l Mell.
- Potluck Comics had a WatchBabies comic.
- Two comics in the original Cat Nine.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Kaiba has a flashback to his and Mokuba's childhood in the orphanage. Upon the cut-away from the present, you see the title Jim Henson's Kaiba Babies and hear littlekuriboh singing the Muppet Babies theme song.
- The Guild posted a joke trailer for a spin off for "The Guild Babies". But because Bladezz is so much younger than the rest of the characters already, he is a fetus.
- There is a parody nostalgia website for the nonexistent show The Adventures of Li'L Bill & Hill And Friends. What makes it actually funny is the executives' claim that any resemblance to a Presidential administration is entirely coincidental, although we the fandom are too smart to fall for that!
- Comedy Central's series Lil' Bush turns George W. Bush and other figures from American politics into grade-school kids, and in doing so it works according to exactly the same rules as other examples of this trope.
- In the spirit of the above, but played straight in Europe with of all people, Pope John Paul II and Padre Pio, in Piucci and Lolek. For no real reason they're still dressed the same but now in boyish form, offering spiritual help to troubled children.
- An episode of The Simpsons, in which Milhouse asks Alan Moore to sign his copy of Watchmen Babies In: V For Vacation. (pictured above)
Milhouse: Mr. Moore, will you sign my DVD of Watchmen Babies? Which of the babies is your favorite?
Alan Moore: You see what those bloody corporations do? They take your ideas and they suck them! Suck them like leeches until they've gotten every last drop of marrow from your bones!
- In Codename: Kids Next Door's "Operation C.A.B.L.E.T.V.", the show lineup for a TV network is shown to be Rainbow Monkeys followed by Rainbow Monkey Babies followed by Rainbow Monkey Teens.
- I Am Weasel had this as a part of an episode focusing on parodying outdated animation tropes, as the animated actors heavily protested against using them in their show.
- As did Taz-Mania.
- Drawn Together did a Spinoff Babies episode, complete with theme song. Since this is Drawn Together, it's actually one of the more horrific episodes.
- Parodied in Looney Tunes: Back in Action with Lethal Weapon Babies, described by an executive as "A Lethal Weapon I can take my grandkids to."
- The Powerpuff Girls spoofed this in the "City of Clipsville" episode by depicting a flashback where Professor Utonium accidentally turns the girls into babies, then he does it on the rest of Townsville. There's another flashback later on that spoofs the Time Skip variant, by having the girls speed up time and give up fighting crime to become air-headed teens, as have the Rowdyruff Boys.
- Satirized in a South Park episode, a questionable incident that occurred in pre-school prompts the boys to flash back and look adorable◊.
- One Robot Chicken sketch parodied this with Terminator. "Come with me, the Terminator Baby, if you want to live!" At the end, Sarah Connor comments about how Skynet must be running out of ideas for terminators.
- Robot Chicken also did Lil' Hitler which was semi-accuratenote , well from the US perspective.
- Lampshaded in one episode of the Garfield and Friends animated series. Jon was looking into marketing Garfield for TV. Using Applied Phlebotinum and a Magical Computer, the network executive Jon was talking to showed off various ideas of TV shows he has to Jon, among them a baby Garfield complete with Lorenzo Music making cute cooing sounds. The executive also mentions that it was the latest craze.
- Family Guy did this in the "Li'l Griffins" short story in "Family Guy Viewer Mail 1" parodying The Little Rascals.
- There was also the Stand by Me parody where the Spooner Street neighbors are childhood friends.
- In Sheep in the Big City they ran a fake commercial for Secret Military Organization Babies wherein General Specific, Private Public, and the Angry Scientist were babies.
- Sort of parodied in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Kids' Stuff". Four of the main heroes get turned into 8 years olds and act like smaller versions of themselves mixed with typical little kid archetypes. It's a funny episode for a lot of reasons.
- Parodied in American Dad! with Lil' Entourage.
- An In-Universe example in Rugrats reveals that Chuckie's favorite TV show is "Space Trek Babies". Tommy absolutely cannot stand it.
- Sam and Max consider the flashback versions of themselves to be "cute" and "marketable".
- Parodied in the Uncle Grandpa episode "Uncle Grandpa Babies", complete with Giant Realistic Flying Tiger as a cub and Pizza Steve as a pile of dough.