Supernaturally Young Parent
Time Travel, Immortality, magic aging (or de-aging), a child looks significantly older than their biological parent, or at least far too old to be their child. This can occur on either side of the relationship; maybe it's a Kid from the Future, come to warn their parents about some apocalypse before they're even born. Or maybe the parent has Ageless Immortality, and still looks twenty despite having a child thirty years ago. See also Absurdly Youthful Mother and the other subtropes.
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Anime and Manga
- Dragon Ball GT:
- Goku is de-aged to childhood as the result of the Dragon Balls, making him approximately the same age as his granddaughter, 10-year-old Pan.
- Even before that, Goku was looking young to be the father of his professor son Gohan (also keeping in mind that Gohan's own kid brother, Goten, is a teenager) but this is because Saiyans remain in their prime longer than humans. Neither Bulma nor Chi Chi are thrilled, and you can guess how the latter reacts to her husband's further de-aging.
- Also, Goku's age was stilted by about 8 years (which is about the difference between Goku and Vegeta's dates of birth to begin with) due to times he spent dead. And he was only 19 when Gohan was born to begin with.
- Irisviel "Iri" von Einzbern is a Happily Married mother who looks like she is in her early twenties. Her daughter, Ilyasviel aka "Illya", looks like she is five, at the very most. During the main storyline of Fate/Zero, Irisviel's age is around nine when her daughter is eight. Justified, as they both are homunculi whose distorted growth rates make them look older and younger than they actually are, respectively.
- Lyrical Nanoha has Hayate and the Wolkenritter, Hayate acts as a mother figure at age nine, while the Wolkenritter are likely centuries old.
- Their "official" ages in A's, most likely determined by physical appearance, are 8 for Vita, 19 for Signum and 22 for Shamal. Zafira seems to pose as the family dog.
- RahXephon has Quon, Ayato's "mom", who has been kept in stasis. Making her the same age as he is, and about alf the age of his twin brother Itsuki (Ayato too was kept in a kind of stasis)
- Moka's mother Akasha in Rosario + Vampire is well over 200, but looked like she was in her early twenties (she looked like just like her daughter's good side, in fact). Justified, since her species are said to be immortal. Her daughter really is 17, though.
- Mito from Space Pirate Mito looks like she's around 5 or 6 years old (though we don't find out about it later, since she wears a Mobile-Suit Human to look older), while her son is only about 15 when the series starts. Turns out she's Really a few thousand year-old alien who had a child with a human.
- Tenchi Muyo! has several of these, perhaps most notably Washu being Ryoko's mother, despite the fact that Washu actually looks younger than Ryoko. In actuality, while Ryoko is merely a child at 7,000 or so, Washu is, depending on who you ask, either 20,000 or older than the universe. She cheats via
magicalscientific age modification.
- In Sailor Moon, there's Chibiusa (who looks no older than 8, or 10 after she starts becoming Sailor Chibimoon) to Usagi (who is 14). Chibiusa is actually Usagi and Mamoru's Kid from the Future, born into a future a thousand years from the series' present day where the latter two have ascended to rule the world from Crystal Tokyo as Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion. Also, due to the extended lifespan of the future people, Chibiusa is actually 901.
- In Star Driver, up until the reveal, the best evidence against the theory that Reiji Miyabe/Head was Takuto's father was that he didn't look like he was out of highschool himself, much less old enough to father a fifteen-year-old son. Turns out that he ages really well. Or not at all, apparently.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has Lisa Lisa, mother of Joseph Joestar due to her mastery of Ripple energy. Joseph's brain nearly breaks when he discovers that his twenty-something Sexy Mentor is actually fifty.
Joseph: If you were a baby fifty years ago... How old are you?
- Due to being the fully human child of an immortal parent, Chane Laforet of Baccano! is more often assumed to be Huey Laforet's sister or lover than his daughter.
- Blood+: Diva was 170+ years old when she gave birth to her daughters, but biologically sixteen.
- In one Sandman volume it's remarked that Orpheus' mother doesn't seem old enough to be his mother. This is understandable, since she is Calliope, an immortal muse from Greek myth.
- Cable is about twice the biological age of both his parents, Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor; he was born in the present but was spirited away and raised in a distant future. Additionally, his mother was a clone of Jean Grey, and chronologically only a couple of years old when he was born. (It's complicated)... Just remember that he's a time traveler.
- Same goes for X-Man (Alternate Cable. He's made from Scott and Jean's DNA by an Evilutionary Biologist, grown to adulthood, looks 20 while parents are getting toward 30) and Rachel Summers (Scott and Jean's daughter presumably through normal means, returned from a Bad Future that may or may not still occur.)
- Ladies and gentlemen, Rachel Summers◊ meets◊ the timely-displaced (younger and teenager) version of her mother Jean Grey.
- Both Cable and Rachel even attend Scott and Jean's wedding◊.
- In the Yoko Tsuno book The Three Suns of Vinea, Khany is reunited with her mother, who was put in suspended animation at the same age Khany is now. As a result, mother and daughter now have the same biological age, prompting the former to try to make things less awkward by insisting that Khany consider her her sister rather than her mother.
- Adam Destine of ClanDestine hasn't aged since the genie Elalyth made him invulnerable when was about twenty... eight hundred years ago. Since then, he and Elalyth have had a great many children, all of whom age normally until adulthood, then slow way down. Most of his children actually look older than him, except for the twins (twelve years old) and Samantha and maybe Dominic (who look about the same age as he does).
- From the Hulk comic, the organization known as The Pantheon is lead by centuries-old, but adolescent looking Agamemnon. His immortality kicked in while young. His many sons, grandsons and grand-grandsons looks older than him.
- However, he usually takes the appearance of a towering old man with a long, white beard when he appears at the Pantheon.
- A popular strip in the British comic Bunty involved a scientist who invents a miraculous anti-ageing cream that turns her into a 15-year-old, forcing her to go to school with her daughter so the welfare authorities will not ask questions.
- In Big Bang Comics, the goddess Venus looks maybe 28, and has for thousands of years. For some reason her son Cupid, equally immortal, is white-haired and balding, looking twice his mother's apparent age if not older.
- Wanted: The immortal African supervillain Adam One (who looks about middle-aged) is briefly seen spending time at his oldest son's deathbed along with his other non-immortal descendants.
- A Crown Of Stars: During the first chapters, Shinji and Asuka find their counterparts of several alternate universes... and the daughter of one of their alternate selves, Misato Ikari. They are nineteen, she is over fifty, and she has children older than them.
- The Neon Genesis Evangelion web comic fanfic Aki-chan's Life (a slice of life/ illustrated epilogue to another, very well written, fanfic called The Second Try) has a somewhat... complicated example. Aki the daughter of Asuka and Shinji, conceived after the events of the third impact was born when her parents were about 16 or so. Pretty young to begin with. Four years pass, then everyone was swept back in time and her parents returned to the age they were in the anime (14) while she remained unchanged (she's a very precocious 4). They still remain loving, mature parents, but the awkwardness of the whole situation is... well you get the idea.
- Higher Learning: Kaoru is in his twenties. Shinji and Asuka are his grandparents and they are sixteen. Time Travel is involved.
- Another Eva fic, Nobody Dies, has two examples: the Reego and the Keiworu. The Reego are virtual constructs made by Iruel for Rei's Lotus-Eater Machine, as theoretical offspring of her and Evangelion Unit 05 (yeah, Iruel was squicked too). Unit 05 "saved" them from deletion when Iruel was defeated and now they exist as AI's in the real world (technically, they've been revealed as Iruelim-class Angelic lifeforms), and consider the 16-year-old Rei and the... much younger Unit 05 to be their parents. The Keiworu are AI copies of Kei Ayanami's mind randomized with elements of Kaworu's mind (both of them being 16), and also consider the two to be their parents.
- The Return, Sunshine comes across as one of these to Muggles due to the complicated nature of Succubae relationships (in purely chronological terms she could actually be younger than 2 of her kids).
- In Not Normal Harry's mother, not trusting Dumbledore, set up a complicated spell intended to swap her, James and Harry with transfigured pig corpses as soon as a potentially-lethal spell hit them, leaving them in blood-sealed medical stasis afterwards. For unknown reasons this only worked on the adults, leaving a fourteen-year-old Harry to encounter his still-in-stasis twenty-year-old parents.
- In Child of the Storm, Thor and Loki both look like they're in their mid twenties, and probably will for the next two thousand years. Harry, Thor's son (he was incarnated as James Potter. It Makes Sense in Context), is thirteen and growing up fast.
Films — Animated
- Mavis Dracula becomes this in Hotel Transylvania 2—she and Johnny have a son named Dennis, but Mavis looks more like his sister than his mom. This is because Mavis is a full-blooded vampire and she doesn't age as quickly as humans do.
Films — Live-Action
- The 2011 sci-fi thriller In Time:
- The premise of the film is that humanity has discovered the technology to freeze everyone's age at 25 and now live on internal "time-clocks" which expire after a set period, and people who don't work or don't buy units of time die. The extremely wealthy can purchase enough units of time to indefinitely remain the same age for years (or even decades) - in the film's trailer, a man introduces his wife, daughter and mother-in-law, all of whom are the exact same age.
- This also sets up a little mini-twist in the trailer. A young woman is angry at a young man for coming home late, and demands to know where he was spending his time. He pulls out a bouquet of flowers and proclaims "Happy eightieth, mom!"
- Interstellar: After travelling in the vicinity of the black hole Gargantua and being subjected to its Time Dilation effects, Cooper visits his daughter Murph on her deathbed decades later (from her perspective) when she's already an elderly woman and he's still a middle-aged man.
- In the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, the Eighth Doctor at one point mentions being a grandfather — he appears to be in his mid-thirties at the time. His companion Fitz, who doesn't know about regeneration, is a bit confused. He later adopts a young girl named Miranda, who ages rather normally, so he looks about forty (and claims to be thirty-six) when she's sixteen, which other characters see as slightly unusual. But after she leaves to have her own life and they're later reunited, several decades have passed since the last time they met, so she actually looks older than he does.
- In Everworld, Goewynne, an elf, is described as looking just as young as her Half-Human Hybrid daughter Etain.
- In The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus and its adaptations, Claus is a mortal raised by a wood nymph named Nicele; by the end of the book he appears old while she still looks young, though he then gains immortality himself.
- In the Codex Alera series, watercrafters often, in addition to being able to sense emotions and act as medics, seem to age slower, so that some that die of old age in their 80s or 90s look no older than someone in their late 30s or 40s. Most of the watercrafters we see aren't parents, but there are a couple. Lord and Lady Antillus, Crassus and Maximus's parents, are prominent examples. Isana is revealed as Tavi's mother and starts the series approaching 40 and by the end is still described as looking like a girl of 20 aside from her grey hair. Gaius ends up being an Absurdly Youthful grandfather. He's well over 80 by the time the series starts, but outwardly appears to be a man in his 40s.
- A really bizarre case in Twilight with Bella Swan-Cullen and her daughter Renesmee. She gave birth to her just before her nineteenth birthday, but since she got turned into a vampire at the same time AND her daughter's Immortality Begins at Seventeen eventually they'll look about the same.
- At one point in To Sail Beyond the Sunset, Maureen mentions her 150th birthday. Her son, Lazarus, is well over 2000 at that point. She was collected from 20th century Earth and brought to another planet, skipping a couple of millennia of time that Lazarus simply lived through.
- The Amir Kabal in Brandon Mull's The Beyonders have a peculiar form of looped immortality. When an Amir Kabal dies, his body is regrown with all memories intact from the "seed", a small cyst-like growth at the back of the head, which detaches on death and must be planted in the ground to regrow. The First Death locks the Amir Kabal's current physical state as the template for all future regrowths, so most Amir Kabal deliberately kill themselves around twenty-five or so. This can easily result in a father and/or mother being the same biological age as their child, or sometimes even younger.
- In the Sholan Alliance, Rezac and Zashou had a son around the time of the Cataclysm. To protect him, Kaid is put through a time portal, so a thousand years later, he has grown into an adult. His parents spent the intervening time on The Slow Path in Suspended Animation, so when they are awoken, they are younger than their son. It gets worse when Kaid realises that his son, Dzaka, is also older than they are.
Live Action TV
- The main character of New Amsterdam is 400 years old but looks 35 (the age at which he became immortal via magical means); he sometimes seeks advice from one of his still-living sons, who is a naturally-aging 65-year-old.
- Kamen Rider Den-O:
- Takeru Sato, the lead actor, left the franchise after the TV series; so for future movies and spin-offs, they de-aged Ryotaro into an 11 or 12-year-old boy, making him younger than his grandson Kotaro who is around 18.
- Due to the characters being taken from different points in their timelines, 19-year-old Yuto Sakurai is around the same age as his daughter, Hana. Hana's mother, Airi, is in her late 20s and thus only a decade or so older than Hana.
- Kamen Rider Kiva:
- Thanks to time travel, father and son Otoya and Wataru meet when they are 23 and 18 years old respectively. In the finale, Wataru meets his own teenage son from the future.
- Wataru and Taiga's mother Maya who, being a Fangire, doesn't age at the same rate as a human and looks around 20 years old; appearing younger than Taiga, who is in his mid-to-late 20s.
- In Rentaghost, ghosts manifest as they age they were when they died. So Hubert Davenport's mother, who died in her twenties, looks much younger than her son, who died when he was much older (his late fifties or early sixties).
- In Angel, the title character's son Connor is kidnapped as an infant and trapped in Another Dimension where time passes much more rapidly, so when he reappears a few months later- from the perspective of the other characters- he is already in his teens. Angel also only looks young; as an immortal vampire, he is Really Three Hundred Years Old.
- Doctor Who:
- Due to a mixture of time travel, regeneration, and slower ageing, Melody Pond, aka River Song is physically in her 40s in most of her appearances, while her parents are physically in their 20s. Even in an earlier (and younger) regeneration, she's still the same physical age as her parents, and was in fact one of their friends from school as her parents didn't know who she was.
- When we first meet the Doctor, he is an old man played by William Hartnell, and realistically has a teenaged granddaughter played by Carole Ann Ford. For the show's 20th anniversary special Susan returns, but the Doctor is now Peter Davison, so his granddaughter looks significantly older than he is (Ford was eleven years older than Davison).
- In Torchwood: Children of Earth, the immortal Jack's daughter Alice is upset that she looks older than him.
- Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena was presumably in her 30s when she had her daughter Eve. Shortly after Eve's birth, she and Gabrielle were frozen in ice for two decades. When she emerges unaged, she doesn't look that much older than the 20-year-old Eve.
- Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger: Asuka and Mahoro are both around their early 20s, but due to their infant daughter being used as a host for the soul of the Big Bad, she first appears as a child of around seven and then a young woman in her late teens, while her parents remain the same age.
- In Once Upon a Time we have three generations of women, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), her mother Snow White/Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin), and Snow's stepmother Regina (Lana Parrilla), who are all played by actresses within five years of each other. However, Mary Margaret's and Regina's aging were frozen by the curse (It's complicated), and Regina is certainly implied to be closer in age to Snow White than her actual mother was.
- Lampshaded at the beginning of series two by Henry calling Charming "Grandpa" for the first time - Henry is ten years old while Charming is in his early thirties at the most.
- Also Rumplestiltskin's father Peter Pan, who looks young enough to be Rumple's grandson. Pan gained eternal youth in Neverland, while Rumple aged normally until he became the Dark One
- In Red Dwarf, Kochanski is roughly the same age as her son. She conceives him after meeting him as an adult, and the baby is taken back in time by his adult self. Her son is Lister, who is also his own father.
- In Fringe, both Olivia Dunham and Peter Bishop wind up as absurdly youthful parents of their now-grown daughter after they are trapped in amber for 21 years.
- Katherine from The Vampire Diaries had a daughter prior to becoming a vampire (allowing the Petrova bloodline to carry on until today, with Elena being the only remaining descendant of this daughter). And then said daughter, Nadia, shows up in season 5. She got turned into a vampire in her early thirties (at least) to search for Katherine, which she has been doing for five hundred years. Funny thing is, Katherine looks even younger than Nadia!
- Bo in Lost Girl is 28 years old in the first season, while her mother looks like she's in her late thirties (she is actually Fae and hundreds of years old). Anna Silk, who plays Bo, is actually four years older than the actress playing her mother.
- In an episode of Warehouse 13, Mrs. Frederick (who looks about 60) introduces Claudia to her grandson, who looks to be in his 80s, meanwhile she hasn't aged a day since at least the 1940s. This is a harsh lesson that being a Warehouse Caretaker has a negative side (i.e. she will outlive all her friends and loved ones).
- On Resurrection, Barbara looks about the same age as her daughter, since she didn't age all those years that she was dead. It can work in reverse too—Henry and Lucille look like they should be grandparents, but their resurrected son Jacob is still only eight.
- In season two, Henry and Fred's mother Margaret comes back. It's mentioned that she was 54 when she died; it's not clear how old either brother is supposed to be in-universe, but both actors are older than Margaret's actress.
- In The Second Hundred Years, Luke Carpenter was a prospector buried in a glacial avalanche in Alaska in 1900 and turned into a Human Popsicle. When he was thawed out in 1967, he had a 67 year old son and a 33 year old Identical Grandson (played by the same actor who played Luke).
- In Forever, Henry looks about 40 (i.e. the age of the actor playing him). However, being immortal (both of The Ageless and the Resurrective Immortality kinds) means that the son he adopted in the 1940s as a baby (after rescuing him from a Nazi concentration camp) now looks twice his age. Some people misinterpret their relationship and assume that Henry is Abe's son.
- In Sleepy Hollow, Henry Parrish aka Jeremy Crane looks decades older than his parents, thanks to his father having been technically dead for the last two hundred years, while his mother was trapped in purgatory, so neither have aged. There's also weird stuff with actual ages going on, since both Henry and his mother are witches while his father is human, so as well as looking older Henry is physically two hundred years old than his father.
- The Outer Limits (1995): In "Vanishing Act", a man finds himself unstuck in time when Starfish Aliens with no concept of time use him as a host to explore the Earth, only to transport him 10 years into the future every time they return him to his planet. He fathers a son in 1959 when he's physically 25, and the last time they meet in 1990 his son is already 4 years older than him.
- In the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe, the hero Strephon is half-fairy. Fairies are unaging and Strephon has a hard time explaining to his beloved that these nubile women he is seen embracing are, in fact, his mother and his aunts, all of whom look younger than him.
I wouldn't say a word that could be reckoned as injurious
But to find a mother younger than her son is very curious
- Golden Sun's player characters, along with Alex and Kraden, were all exposed to age-slowing amounts of Alchemy at the end of The Lost Age. So thirty years later, in Dark Dawn, the former player characters all appear to be in their mid-to-late twenties, with teenage or young adult children. Alex was exposed to more of Alchemy's power than anybody else and is basically immortal: The only reason he looks older than his child at all is because the kid in question doesn't look nineteen.
- Karis complains about the ramifications of this trope... which makes sense when you remember that her father, Ivan, was the youngest of the original protagonists, and probably doesn't look much older than Karis herself now (and probably far younger than her mother).
- From Tales of Symphonia, Kratos has been physically been around 28 for 4,000 years, which helps him hide the fact that he is Lloyd's father from the child, or else it would have appeared that he had fathered him at the age of 11.
- Nina Williams from the Tekken series is 22 years old, and thanks to a 19-year-long cryogenic sleep, is only 2 years older than her son, 20-year-old Steve Fox.
- In Touhou, Sanae Kochiya is a distant descendant of the goddess Suwako Moriya. Suwako actually looks much younger than Sanae, though since she's a goddess who's been around for a long time it's likely that she didn't always appear to be so young.
- Dragon Quest V: While the hero and his wife have children at around 16-18 respectively, they are turned into stone the day after the birth, and aren't freed until eight years later by the kids. Which is why they're about ten years apart in appearance.
- The Kid from the Future variant occurs in Fire Emblem Awakening. In fact, one occurs for each pair of units that reaches S-rank.
- The Kid from the Future version also happens at the beginning and end of Space Quest IV with Roger Wilco and Roger Wilco Jr. This also creates a Stable Time Loop, as Roger Jr. shows his father a holo of his mother, thus compelling Roger Sr. to go after Beatrice when he finally meets her for real.
- Fantasy Life has the de-aging variant for King Erik who looks like a young boy but has an at least teenage daughter. It turns out that his rival in magic based prank war did this to him.
- Tsugumi in Ever17 doesn't look much older than her sixteen-year-old children, as she stopped aging at seventeen. You's mother is a more conventional really-young-looking parent... because her "daughter" is really a clone of herself that she had made when she was diagnosed with a terminal illness in her teens, and You'haru stopped aging too, at the age of twenty.
- In Higurashi: When They Cry, it's revealed in the TIPS/Rei OVA that Hanyuu, who looks about anywhere from 8-12, in fact had a daughter way back when. She was actually an adult when she had her child in life but appears as a young girl in order to get Rika to better relate with her.
- You might not suspect it, but Drowtales' Queen Diva is a great-great-great (times x) grandma and well over 1000 years old by the time the story starts, which isn't unusual since fae (dark elves, drow, drowussu, etc.) stop aging at the human equivalent of 30 years old, so parents often end up looking the same age as their children and vice-versa. Additionally, Diva's Fusion Dance, Ragini/Liriel, makes her look about 12 once she fully manifests, which leads to a hilariously awkward moment where Diva meets two of her grandchildren and looks the same age as her granddaughter, to the point that Chrys'tel's clothes (from 22 chapters earlier) fit her perfectly.
- Eerie Cuties:
- Maria Delacroix and her husband, Eugene, don't look a day older than their late 20's, despite being over two centuries old. She's even raised 13 children, yet you'd never know it from looking at her. Justified since they're both vampires, who're capable of having children, like humans can.
- Then we meet Adora Love, though Chloe's mom said herself that an adult succubus have free choice as to her body's age.
- In Homestuck, in every session of Sburb, it is predestined that the players will almostnote all really be paradox clones created by one of the players during that session. While this process isn't explicitly shown in the Trolls' session (though the end result is), in the kids' session, we see that John first created Nanna Egbert, Grandpa Harley, Bro Strider, and Mom Lalonde and then created the children themselves by combining this quartet pairwise, thereby making them essentially just a few minutes younger than their biological parents, whom in most cases were also their acting parents due to having been sent to different points in time. John, however, is quite a bit older than his "father", who is actually his half-brother. On top of that, if you consider creating the paradox clones to be a form of parenthood, this means that John is, at age 13, either a father of eight or a father of four and a grandfather of four, or both, depending on your perspective as to whether the second generation should be considered children as well or grandchildren. In short: Stable Time Loops and genetics should never mix.
- In The Order of the Stick, when Roy meets his mother in the afterlife, he doesn't recognize her because she's no older than he is. His father, meanwhile, looks like an old man. Sara explains that his father always was an old man at heart, while she thinks of herself as a young woman still.
- In Sailor Sun, 20 year old Bay Smith alternatively plays mother to two versions of her daughter Brady Honey Smith that were snatched from alternate futures: 18 year old Honey and kindergartner/preschooler Brady.
- Vampire Cheerleaders: Applies to both Stephanie and Charlotte by the comic's final volume, where they've both become parents:
- Stephanie became the newly appointed Moth Queen, which greatly extended her natural lifespan and prevents her from aging. Which allowed her to help the Mothmen replenish their Dying Race by breeding with them and bearing dozens upon dozens of their offspring.
- In Charlotte's case, it was due to Stephanie using her powers as Moth Queen to permanently lock her age at 32. Thereby greatly extending her lifespan as well, much like her husband's and their son, who're both Dhampyrs.
- In Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, Frankenstein and Elizabeth's two sons, Heinrich and Gustav, are doddering, senile old men while Victor and Elizabeth, due to an immortality potion, are still physically young adults.
- On Gargoyles, Goliath and Demona both look too young to be Angela's parents due to a bizarre combination of magical circumstances: he was Taken for Granite and she gained Immortality from a Deal With The Fair Folk. As a bonus, Angela was raised on an island where one hour passes for a day in the normal world, so really, all of them should have died centuries ago.