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The Jail Bait Wait
aka: Jail Bait Wait
As good a 17th birthday present as any.

"The only reason to wait a month for sex is if she's 17 years 11 months old."
Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother

When an adult expectantly waits for the day a minor will reach the age of consent and be fair game for legal sexual conquest. A key component in any good Wife Husbandry plan. In many cases, there might be no sex involved and it's just the age where one can admit to finding a teenager attractive without sounding like a pervert. Nonetheless, it can become very Squicky very easily. For instance, if there's a daily countdown or a clock ticking down the seconds, then it is officially creepy. This person is too interested in exactly how long they have to wait before they can legally deflower their target.

In Real Life, the age of consent varies from place to place, but in fiction it is almost always 18, largely due to SoCalization.note  For example, the above quote from How I Met Your Mother has it wrong; that series is based in New York where the age of consent is 17. However, sex with a minor, even one that's technically of age in the jurisdiction in question, is still a moral grey area, so many people would rather play it safe by waiting till their crush is 18, when there are no questions of legality.

See also Ephebophile, someone who doesn't necessarily wait for legal age.

Sometimes goes in the opposite direction with a Precocious Crush.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Sort of alluded to in Hunter × Hunter, where Hisoka's impatient waiting for Gon and Killua is made out to be a parallel to a ephebophile waiting for his target to become legal. His wording of how he can't wait to "pluck the fruit that hasn't ripened yet" doesn't help his case. At first he was very definitely just looking for good fights and they had potential, but after Greed Island where he unabashedly got a (speech-bubble-covered) erection after they found him bathing and ogled their butts, he's apparently equal-op. Especially remarakable in that Gon was probably aware of this (and Killua definitely was) when Gon produced a plan to win at extreme dodgeball that involved Killua being driven face-first into Hisoka's crotch. (By Gon and a super-sonic dodgeball, so mostly it's just a matter of owch, but still.) Hisoka cackled about it.
  • In the Japanese version of Pokémon Brock said this towards Casey, the baseball obsessed girl from Johto. Brock said she'd be 'fun' in eight years.
  • In FAKE, Carol promises to go on a date with Dee in five years (when she turns 18). However, she later cancels because she's going out with Bikky. (The whole thing was a joke meant to tease Bikky in the first place, since Dee only has eyes for Ryo.)
  • In My Wife is a High School Girl, High-schooler Asami marries her physics teacher Kyosuke, but Asami's father forces them to sign a contract that forbids them from having sex until Asami graduates high school or else the marriage is null-and-void. Incidentally, most of the Unresolved Sexual Tension that results is on Asami's side.
  • Happens in Cardcaptor Sakura with the Teacher/Student couple. Note that the student is in fourth grade. A fair bit of a wait. This was changed in the anime, where the love is completely one-sided by the little girl and is therefore treated as nothing more than a childish crush.
  • In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Dr. Irie says he's waiting for Satoko to become older. How serious he was when he said he wanted to marry her is a matter of debate.
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni Battler several times makes passes at Maria and promises to make good on them when she's old enough. How serious he was is also subject to debate, but Maria gladly and without hesitation takes his offers as sincere.
  • Happens twice in Kare Kano. The first is comparatively normal, between Maho and Takashi. But the second, between Asaba and his "soul mate" Sakura, is extremely Squicky due to the fact he's been one of her father figures since birth. Made hilarious since he wants to back out because her confession creeped him out and is convincing himself he loves her like a "Father". Unfortunately for him, she's having none of that.
  • Occurs in Loveless. College-age Soubi engages in an (as of yet) unconsummated relationship with twelve-year-old Ritsuka. Dialogue suggests that Soubi intends to wait until Ritsuka is of age. Still kinda squicky, since that doesn't stop Soubi being extremely physically affectionate with the kid. There's also a degree of Fridge Brilliance as to why Soubi's decided to wait (besides the obvious): His teacher Ritsu did not wait the wait, and the resulting sexual abuse left Soubi a very disturbed adult, so Soubi doesn't want to inflict that on Ritsuka, who already has enough problems.
  • From SHUFFLE!, "Would you go out with me in about 5 years?"
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund
    • We see a variant with the Royal Three. It is not that Dukes Ivanovic, Li, and Rozenmann are waiting for Mina to become legal (she is at least 80 years past that point) so much as for her to become pubescent.
    • A straight example is used later on between Mina and Akira during the former's Lotus-Eater Machine-induced no-supernatural-creatures dream sequence in volume six.
  • InuYasha has several examples.
    • Inverted with Ayame, who is the jailbait who received a Childhood Marriage Promise from Kouga, but she waits until She's All Grown Up to seek him out and take him up on the offer.
    • There's also a bunch of girls Miroku asks out, including one who was 11 years old who he promised to meet again when she was older. Interestingly, after 4 years they meet again and she tries to take him up on the offer noting how she's become much more mature in the time. Miroku is notably shocked (he had forgotten) while Kagome mentally notes how awesome girls in this time period are.
  • Subverted in the case of Van Der Decken IX and Princess Shirahoshi in One Piece. The Stalker with a Crush first noticed Shirahoshi when she was six years old, but Decken had no interest in marrying a six year old. One of his crew suggested that if he got a certain magical artifact held by the royal family, he could magically age Shirahoshi to his preferred age and it would be a better, if weird, sort of sped-up of Wife Husbandry. note 
    • Interestingly, he doesn't want to marry her for love, but because Shirahoshi has the power to control Sea Kings (basically sea monsters like giant sharks). Though he does go through the Jail Bait Wait simply because she's kept away from him for all that time.
  • In Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Demon King knew about Yuusha since the day he was born. She loved him since that day, and waited until he grew up to ask him to be hers.
  • A declared example from Super Gals are Yamato Kotobuki and Miyu Yamazaki: they have been together since Miyu was 14, but, with Yamato already being a cop at the time, they decided to wait until marriage, and are still of this opinion when they get officially engaged (Miyu is 16, by then). The manga ends with Yamato's family springing a surprise marriage on them.
  • In The Circumstances Leading To Waltraute's Marriage, the Valkyrie Waltraute and the human Jack Elvan are married when he completes her Engagement Challenge. As Jack is a little boy who doesn't even know about sex, Waltraute tells the others she will wait until he comes of age to consummate their marriage. Freyja snarks that such a wait is boring.
  • The various sex bots in Yuria 100 Shiki are programmed not to have sex with anyone under the age of 18 (although they have a pretty strict idea about what counts as sex). Since they become "imprinted" on the first man they have sex with, Julia decides to wait for her chosen "owner" to come of age.
  • Interestingly invoked in High School Dx D, where Issei instates this for Koneko. While Koneko is already well over the age of consentnote , physcially she's still an underclassman, yet also already fertile. A pregnancy would be disastrous, and Issei doesn't want to risk it any more than she does.

    Comic Books 
  • In DC Comics, an alien Green Lantern named Arisia had a crush on human Green Lantern Hal Jordan. He could not reciprocate because she was only 13 years old. When her feelings for him caused her ring to age her body into adulthood, though, Hal was okay with it. Then about a decade later it was retconned into being okay when it was revealed that 13 years on Arisia's home planet was over 200 Earth years. She still acted like a kid, though . . . and the writers never specify whether Arisia was 'old enough' by her home planet's standards.
    • He does, however, get called on it almost immediately by basically the entire Green Lantern corps.
  • In the Lobo - Authority Jingle Hell crossover, Lobo starts one of these. For a toddler.
  • After Infinite Crisis, teenage Supergirl started a flirtatious relationship with twenty-something Anti-Villain Captain Boomerang, with no invocation in sight. Then suddenly enforced with a vengeance when, after a Journey to the Center of the Mind storyline had kept her away for a few months, Boomer, Beast Boy and every other Y-chromosome who so much as glanced at her suddenly went out of their way to confirm that they had no intention of acting upon their attraction to this stunningly hot super-babe. Must have been a few letters. That or her cousin let everyone know she was off limits, and nobody argues with the Man Of Steel.
  • An issue of Archie Comics takes place a couple of centuries in the future, and Archie helps Betty babysit her young cousin. Among the cool devices they have in the future is a mirror that can show what you'd look like at any age. The cousin uses it to show what she will look like when she is sixteen, and Archie quips that he might just put him self into cryo-freeze to wait until then.
  • In Incorruptible, Max Damage breaks off his relationship with his sidekick Jailbait after his Heel-Face Turn, citing this reason.

    Fan-Fic 
  • Common trope in Star Trek XI fanfiction regarding Ensign Jailbait Pavel Chekov. Who is, as he loves to remind us, only seventeen.
  • Lord Archive subverts the Cardcaptor Sakura trope with mentions in his fic Becareful What You Wish For. with the third grader aged up considerably, but not enough. She even mentions they have been trying to get pregnant, even though she's only thirteen.
  • This is a point in the Avatar: The Last Airbender fic People in the Mirror are Closer Than They Appear. Zuko hurriedly mentions that he'll be sixteen in two months (sixteen being the age of legal majority in the Fire Nation), and the result is both funny and sad.
  • Appears in modified form in the Harry Potter fanfic Backward With Purpose, an AU in which Harry, Ron, and Ginny travel back in time to prevent the gruesome deaths of their friends and family. Only their minds travel back in time, so that they wake up as 11-year-olds with adult minds. Harry and Ginny are married and the fact that they have the minds of sexually-active married adults but the bodies of prepubescent children is a source of great tension (and is a recurring issue throughout the story).
  • A common theme in Laurence/Emily Roland fan-fics for Naomi Novik's Temeraire series. Especially emphasized since Laurence is 31 as of 1805, while Emily is, consequently, only 10 years old as of the same year. Even with aging both characters, that's a massive 21 year age difference...not to mention that Laurence slept with, and even proposed to, Emily's mother, Jane Roland, the fact that Laurence is old enough to be Emily's father, and and other squick factors.
  • In the Death Note AU Change Of Circumstances Light assumes that this would be his present from L on his 18th birthday. L was clueless. Hilarity Ensues.
    L: Light-kun, is there a particular reason you presumed I would show up unannounced at the stroke of midnight the moment you became legal to ravish you?

    Film 
  • In Waiting, Monty.
  • In The People Vs Larry Flynt, Flynt meets his future wife Althea at one of his clubs, and asks her to pose for Hustler...even though she's 17 at the time.
  • In Hard Candy, it was proposed at one point the character Hailey reveals she's really 18. This was rejected by a few (including actress Ellen Page), as this would greatly diminish the impact of the movie.
  • Big ended with this possibility being mentioned.
  • In Beautiful Girls, Marty tells Willie to wait 5 years until she's 18. He turns her down but very sweetly...
  • The film Blank Check has a bit at the end where the thirteen year-old protagonist asking the woman he has been pursuing for the film when he might see her again. She says to give her a call in ten years (though he argues her down to six). Then she kisses him (as in, an actual kiss on the lips).
  • Real Genius:
    Sherry: Mitch Taylor?
    Mitch: Who?
    Sherry: I'm Sherry Nugil. And I've been waiting three years for this.
    Mitch: For what?
    Sherry: For you to be old enough.
    Mitch: For what?
    Sherry: For this. [kisses him]
  • In Drowning Mona, Jeff Dearly is a little too friendly with the daughter one of his and Bobby (Casey Affleck) Calzone's clients (they're landscapers). This leads to the following exchange between Bobby and Jeff:
    Bobby: Dude, she's like thirteen.
    Jeff: Finally!
  • In Kick-Ass, Todd, Dave's lanky friend, instantly falls for Hit-Girl after seeing her slaughter several gangsters, much to Marty's disgust.
    Todd: I think I'm in love with her dude.
    Marty: She looks like she's about eleven years old, but...
    Todd: I can wait! I solemnly swear to save myself for her.
    Marty: I can see how that would be really difficult for you.
  • In The Princess and the Frog: Played for Laughs
    Charlotte: Who would have thought the prince had a younger brother? How old did you say you were?
    [looks down towards her feet]
    Little boy she's dancing with: I'm six and a half.
    Charlotte: Well, I've waited this long.
  • Mentioned, if not seen directly, in the first The Fast and the Furious movie. When Mia is telling Brian about the ins and outs of the relationships among her friends and family, she summarizes her brother and his girlfriend's relationship thusly:
    Mia: 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 Womb, the protagonist's boyfriend is killed in a car accident. She then gives birth to his clone. It starts out creepy, and then gets even creepier when the child reaches adulthood and Mom is jealous of his girlfriend.

    Literature 
  • In The Ground Beneath her Feet by Salman Rushdie, Ormus proclaims melodramatically that he won't touch Vina until she's sixteen years and a day old. And he doesn't.
  • In Teresa Edgerton's second Celydonn trilogy, Gwenlliant is married to her cousin when she is twelve; he is more than a decade older and would have preferred to wait at least four years before courting her, but her father forced the issue by setting up an Arranged Marriage for her with a Domestic Abuser. A long period of Innocent Cohabitation follows. At one point Gwenlliant spends about a year longer in the Inner Celydonn than has passed in the real Celydonn, which has two unintended side effects: reducing the wait, and of separating them for so long that a Wedding Deadline is introduced.
  • Robert A. Heinlein:
  • In the Talent series by Anne McCaffrey, Sasha (who is in his thirties) is patiently waiting for Tirla (who is approximately 12) to grow up. It seems to be mutual. We get this again with Afra and Damia later in the same series. In the case of the former, definitely mutual. They marry on her sixteenth birthday (the minimum legal age to do so in their society), and it's implied that it was Tirla who was pushing to get married so quickly. In the case of the latter, Afra was waiting not for Damia's legal status, but for her to see him as something more than "Good ol' Afra; Mom's best friend."
  • Twilight. The teenage wolves who imprint on a 2-year-old and a newborn. And then Renesmee (said newborn) will be physically 18 in 7 years, so Jacob doesn't have as big of a problem. Apparently Meyer doesn't understand the difference between physical maturity and mental maturity, as the 100+ year-old vampire dating a 17-year-old demonstrates. Although, considering Renesmee learns to talk in about a week, it could be inferred that her mental maturity is accelerated as well. In any case, the imprinting isn't sexual; it only becomes that when they're old enough.
  • Done by the main characters in The Time Traveler's Wife. The female lead is a bit impatient about it, but the time traveler wants to avoid any Squick.
  • In Katherine Kurtz's In The King's Service, we learn that Jessamy MacAthan was made to marry her husband at age 11. Sief MacAthan thought waiting to consummate the marriage until Jessamy turned 12 was generous, but Queen Dulchesse pulled rank and made him wait till Jessamy turned 14.
  • Subverted in Lolita, when Humbert plans to impregnate his already underage Lo so that once she gets too old for him, there'll be another one on the way.
  • In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Colonel Aureliano Buendia falls in love with Remedios Moscote when she's only about ten or so, but waits to marry her on her father's prompting until she reaches puberty— when, in fact, she's still only about fourteen....
  • In Meg Cabot's 1-800-Where RU series, teen psychic Jess falls for older bad boy Rob... who turns her down. Of course, he later explains that he turned her down because he had a criminal record and was on probation until he turned 21 for trespassing in a swimming pool. He didn't want to get in further trouble for dating a minor. However it is later revealed that Rob was planning to propose to Jess pretty soon after she turned 18. Except she joined a war instead.
  • Justified in the Morganville Vampires series. Shane insists on waiting the few months until Claire is legal, but they're no more than a year apart.
  • In the Black Jewels series, Daemon and Jaenelle meet when he's 1,700 and she's '12.' However, circumstances keep them apart until she's 25 and he's ... still a hell of a lot older.
  • Pages could be written on this for the works of Piers Anthony - well, perhaps not, given that some of them don't wait - but a particular note needs to be made of the sixty-plus-year-old judge and the fourteen-year-old drug addict prostitute in And Eternity. She spends a few days in Heaven, during which two years passes on Earth, so it's legal (at least in that jurisdiction) - but she's still fourteen in body and mind! And they don't entirely wait, either - they get it on during a camping trip while the girl is possessed by a (to be fair, much older) ghost.
  • Subverted in the Danielle Steele novel Family Album which had a 15-year old girl falling in love with her best friend's father. They actually do consummate the relationship while she's still underage, but can't marry until she's 18. Her outraged family is resigned to this.
  • This was a long-running plot in the Emily books by Lucy Maud Montgomery (of Anne of Green Gables fame). In the first book, Emily of New Moon, Emily Starr first meets Dean Priest, a distant relative who went to school with her father, when he is 36 and she 12. On that first meeting he explicitly tells her, "I think I'll wait for you," though Emily doesn't understand what he means. In the second book, Emily Climbs, in which Emily is an adolescent, a local man tells Emily that Dean is "just biding his time till ye get old enough for coorting," an idea Emily finds ridiculous with someone old enough to be her father. In the final book, Emily's Quest, they are engaged when Emily is about 20 or so, though she breaks it up when she realizes her feelings for her childhood friend Teddy.
  • With the May-December Romance pairing of Tom/Rose in the Casson Family Series, this is something of a given, but McKay handles Rose's Precocious Crush on Tom delicately and Tom's hints of attraction toward her so subtly, causing their relationship to be one of the least Squickiest examples of the trope around. Oddly enough though, this implication doesn't appear in many of the fanfics in the Casson Family Series archive at Fanfiction Dot Net, although it would make a good plot point in story. But then again, the trope is employed so subtly most people probably aren't even aware of its existence in the books.
  • In the Mercedes Lackey book When Darkness Falls, the hero's sister makes a Heroic Sacrifice in the books climax. She then reincarnates. Her lover from her previous life arranges to be betrothed to her infant self. Note that 1: The lover (and the girl in her new incarnation) are both elves, so the wait isn't that long compared to the lifespan of either of them, and they will still be able to spend centuries together after the wait ends (This also resolves the Mayfly-December Romance concerns that caused problems with the relationship earlier in the trilogy), and 2: She was reincarnated as a noble-born elf, and their culture saw nothing wrong with betrothing newborns.
  • Queen Margaery Tyrell (16) of A Song of Ice and Fire is waiting for the day she can bed her husband, King Tommen Baratheon (7). Played with in that she's as much interested in the political aspects as any sort of sexual desire. In the meantime, she's getting him wrapped around her little finger.
    • Like most marriages in the ASoIaF series, this one was arranged, with Margaery's hand being the price for the Tyrell's continued support of the throne. The rule regarding marriages in this setting is that they can be set aside so long as they haven't been consummated. So it's the Tyrells who are eagerly counting down the years for the Rose's flower to be plucked, as that would cement Margaery's queenship when Tommen comes of age, while Tommen's mother Cersei is so paranoid about the expanding Tyrell power in the royal court that she spends much of the fourth book searching for and manufacturing evidence of Margaery's infidelity so as to dissolve the marriage. As far as the two lovebirds themselves, they seem to get along well, with Tommen looking up to Margaery like a Cool Big Sis.
    • A vast majority of A Song of Ice and Fire marriages among the nobility assume an age of consent of sixteen, give or take, with early twenties being looked on as Christmas Cake and hitting puberty being a good baseline in a pinch. Much angst goes into Sansa Stark having her period at thirteen, as that means she can be wedded and bedded by King Joffrey. One off-screen Arranged Marriage involves a landed knight taking control of a minor house by marrying its sole surviving heiress, who happens to be an infant. When he dies in a later battle, there's a bit of Gallows Humor about how the little lady is the first bride in the Seven Kingdoms to be wed and widowed before she'd been weaned.
  • In the 1632 series, a rather non-squicky example between Princess Kristina of Sweden (9) and Prince Ulrik of Denmark (28), who were set up in an arranged marriage. As it happened, Kristina turned out to be Wise Beyond Her Years, and Ulrik is looking forward to their future marriage. If nothing else, their marriage will never be boring.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Lydia tells Benji to wait until he's eighteen to start a relationship with her because he's ten and she much older than that. Sex is not mentioned or even alluded to, making this a G-rated Puppy Love example.
  • In The Host Jared refused to sleep with Melanie until she turned eighteen. Wanderer took note of this, and lied about her age so that Ian wouldn't have the same scruple.
  • In The Hunger Games, it turns out President Snow and the participating Capitol citizens do have certain standards (at least publicly) concerning the Victor prostitution ring, so after Finnick won at 14, "they couldn't really touch him for the first year or two. But ever since he turned sixteen..."
  • The short story Bombshells has a protagonist note  who invoked this on herself. After the man she confessed to rejected her on the basis that she was underage, she decided to wait. Not give up on the idea- just wait several years.

    Live Action TV 
  • Lampshaded, or possibly subverted, by Lee Nelsons Well Good Show by a gag about implied sex, or at least the intention, following a local girl's 16th birthday.. "yesterday..pedo!! today... LEGEND!!" Lee's cheerful inanity, sentimentality ( especially about "his nan" ), naivety and imperviousness to Squick when he is committing it, versus his sensitivity when someone else is the culprit, make him the perfect vehicle for this sort of gag
  • On How I Met Your Mother, after Ted reveals that he and Victoria have decided to date for a month before having sex, Barney comments, "The only reason to wait a month for sex is if she's 17 years 11 months old." This, and the Friends example below, are examples of SoCalization, as New York's age of consent is 17.
  • A Friends episode that aired in 2001 had Joey hit on a woman who revealed she was 16 years old. His response? "See you in 2003."
  • In an episode of House, a 17-year-old is smitten with House and gives him a calendar counting down the days 'til she's 18.
    • This being and example of the aforementioned SoCalization, since the age of consent in New Jersey is sixteen.
  • On 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dick mentioned that a French film released years ago was finally coming out in the U.S. because "they had to wait until the actress was of legal age."
  • This describes part of the relationship between Jude and Tommy in Instant Star. Kind of ick.
  • There was a guy like this in the The Mentalist episode "Red Tide".
  • One episode of Off Centre revolves around the main cast talking about how they lost their virginity, while Euan is waiting for his latest conquest to turn 18.
  • Explictly stated in the episode of Steven Spielberg Presents "Taken" when Dr Chet Wakeman and Mary Crawford do it the day she turned 18.
  • In an episode of Reno911!, the deputies appeared in a commercial for a pocket guide to the various U.S. states' legal age of consent.
  • Done with a musical number in Mongrels.
  • A MADtv sketch parodying an Olsen Twins movie featured all the men in the high school faculty counting down until the twins' birthday, taking numbers to determine the order they'd take their turn... "befriending" the girls.
  • Inverted in The Thorn Birds. Meggie growing up and being of legal age is what makes Ralph start to push her away, knowing he can no longer hide his feelings for her or pretend that they're innocent.
  • Done rather adorably in a Not the Nine O'Clock News sketch where a suspicious policeman knocks on the window of a parked car and ask how old the occupants are. The boy in the front seat says he's seventeen. The cop asks if the girl knitting in the back is sixteen, and he checks his watch and says, "Not yet... in about ten minutes."
  • The Olsen Twins referenced this trope in their Saturday Night Live appearance the week before their birthday. Also on a MADtv skit about the Olsen's new movie. The co-stars are terribly excited at the twins turning legal.
  • The Brazilian Soap Opera Xica da Silva's many nude scenes with leading actress Taís Araújo were shot when she was seventeen, but couldn't be screened before she turned eighteen. According to the actress herself, some tabloids kept countdowns to her eighteenth birthday, so they could see a half naked seventeen-year-old. The actress considers this work an Old Shame for this reason.
  • Lampshaded by Bill Maher in a Real Time segment about Emma Watson when he said: "Wow, she was just a cute little eleven-year-old girl in that first movie, who would have dreamed that eight short years later, she'd turn out to be nineteen?"
  • Soap: Billy has an affair with his teacher, but they wait until his 18th birthday before she gives him her "present." She also quit her job so they could be together without any ethical problems.

    Magazines 
  • A men's magazine (GQ or some such) had a calendar in one of their 1999 issues with June 9th marked "Natalie Portman, whom we admire solely for her acting ability, turns 18 today."
  • Some British newspapers such as The Daily Sport were known to count down the days until a girl would pose topless on her 16th birthday - Lindsey Dawn McKenzie in 1994 is an example.
    • Additionally several models began their careers at sixteen, posing as Page 3 Girls in The Sun - Samantha Fox, Debee Ashby and Maria Whittaker.

    Music 
  • The title and chorus of "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" by Neil Diamond seem to indicate this but the verses don't mention it.
  • "Pop Star" a parody of Nickelback's song "Rockstar," has a line that says "my listeners will be people in their 'tweens/and old perverts who can't wait 'til I turn 18."
  • Lil' Bow Wow had a song called "Just Playin' With Ya" in which the (then 12-ish) singer was macking on a woman old enough to be his mother. One of his lines includes: "I'll call you up when I turn 16."
  • The song "Does Your Mother Know?" by ABBA is about this trope, and Mamma Mia!'s use of it (actually, Tanya in general) resulted in a rare female example.
  • Referenced by Eminem in his song "Ass Like That":
    Hilary Duff is not quite old enough, so I ain't never seen a butt like that, maybe next year I'll say "ass" and she'll make my pee-pee go "doing doing doing!"
  • Mack Maine in the song "Every Girl" raps "And in about three years, holla at me Miley Cyrus."
  • A concert promoter once asked Lemmy of Motörhead if he'd sign an autograph for his daughter. Lemmy asked how old the daughter was. Promoter said "three." Lemmy wrote:
    Soon, baby.
    • Additionally Motörhead has a song called "Jailbait", Lemmy sings that "you're jail bait and I just can't wait."
  • The Vandals made a song called "Fourteen", which was about someone falling in love with a fourteen year old girl.
    "I wanna hug and kiss you nearly every time I see ya,
    but I don't want the neighborhood to get the wrong idea.
    But the day will come when a love like ours is not a crime.
    Just give it time!"
  • Nas' "Big Girl", where he basically proclaims his excitement over a girl now being old enough to legally pound into submission.
  • "Nřrgaard" by The Vaccines: "Her mind's made up, she don't wanna go steady / She's only seventeen so she's probably not ready."
  • Metro Station's "Seventeen Forever". Coincidentally the band is fronted by the brother of Miley Cyrus (who was once the subject of more than a few jailbait countdowns). It's sung from the perspective of a guy lamenting about how the girl he likes is still underage.
    We're one mistake from being together/Let's not ask why it's not right/You won't be seventeen forever/And we can get away with this tonight.
  • "Come Up The Years" by Jefferson Airplane.
  • "Come Back When You Grow Up" by Bobby Vee.
  • "Wildflower" by Cee Lo Green seems to be about this:
    I'm just proud to say that I was there to pull her out of the ground
    Standing out in the crowd, oh my, how she's grown
    Hold her with both my hands and put her right on the table when I get her home
  • Carol by Smokie: when the narrator makes a move on Carol, she says "I'm not 16, if you know what I mean", so he's "counting the nights and days".
  • A Question of Time by Depeche Mode. "Your 15, and you look good".

    Radio 
  • A radio interview with Billie Piper when she was 15 had the host, Chris Moyles, openly (albeit humorously) commenting on her attractiveness, along with the statement that the men of Britain (including himself) were eagerly awaiting her 16th birthday, when she'd be legal in the UK.
  • Radio hosts Lex and Terry kept a daily countdown for several years. When the Olsens finally turned eighteen, they threw a birthday bash for them. They sent an invite to the girls, which was never answered.
  • Opie And Anthony also kept track of the Olsen twins' countdown to adulthood, albeit not daily.
    • "Ashley's the goer!"
      • The twins turned 18 in-between radio gigs (fired from WNEW, and waiting to work for XM Satellite Radio). When the show finally returned, they were asked about the Olsen twins. The pair revealed that they lost interest in the twins the day they turned 18.

    Theatre 
  • Uncle Peck does this in Paula Vogel's play How I Learned To Drive. Complete with daily countdown. Complete with SENDING the daily countdown to Li'l Bit in the mail. Which is pointless after the Anachronic Order of the play reveals he molested her when she was eleven.

    Video Games 
  • Referenced in two off-hand jokes in Final Fantasy VI, both involving Edgar.
  • Referenced in Jam Kuradoberi's win quote against Bridget in Guilty Gear XX: Upon finding out that Bridget's a guy, she suggests that he come see her again in five years.
  • In Megaman Starforce series there is a Fan Nickname for Queentia, one of the antagonist for good amount till near the end called "Jailbait". Why? Cause her age is 17 and well, various reasons.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Handsome Lech Zelos is caught being nice to a little girl, and claims that it's 'so she'll remember him fondly in fifteen years or so'. This is probably part of his Obfuscating Stupidity persona, though.
  • The Sims 2 has a sort-of version of this. Teen sims can have romantic relationships with other Teen sims (although they cannot WooHoo), but cannot have romantic relationships with Young Adult, Adult or Elder sims. When one of the Teen sims Grows Up, the game will automatically turn their relationship into a platonic one. If you want them to stay together, you have to wait until the other Teen sim Grows Up and then rekindle their romance from scratch. This gets annoying, since sims only age if you play them, so if you want a teen romance to keep going, you have to juggle the families to keep both sims at relatively the same age, or else one will outage the other. This is even worse if your sim romanced an NPC teen, since NPCs never age, and so the relationship is doomed.
    • Until The Sims 2 University came out, that is... The "Send Sims to College" option can be used to instantly age up any Teen NPC in a town to a Young Adult and turn them into a playable character in the process.
    • An even later expansion (probably Free Time) adds a prompt whenever a playable sim ages that enables a few local sims in their age range to age as well. This can even be used to age Townies and other NPCs your sims have relationships with, fixing the problem with romancing NPC teens.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 features a druid stalker who seems to have been watching the player since he was a child.
    • Potential differing races and aging rates combined with different interpretations of some vague dialogue could make this much less creepy by way of putting a teenage elf to work keeping an eye on another teenage elf, who she develops a crush on; the timeline in Neverwinter Nights 2 and the age of puberty of elves in Forgotten Realms can be inconsistent.
  • Played with a bit in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. A young (10-12ish) Link meets the Gerudo leader, Nubile Savage Nabooru. She enlists his help, promising a reward. Once Link (at the age of 16) saves Nabooru and she becomes a sage, she says "It's a shame. If I had known you'd become such a handsome man...I would have kept my promise!"
  • In Persona 3 Portable, Ken Amada asks the Female Protagonist to do this when he realizes that he can't be her ideal man while he's still a child. However in the original Japanese version, he still gets the "You spent a long time" phrase when maxing out the social link. The English version edits it slightly in order avoid controversy. Note that this is a Mature rated game already.
  • Zig-zagged in Sengoku Rance. Rance is very specifically not a pedophile, so he decides he'll wait for Kouhime to grow up before making a move. As they grow into a more brother/sister dynamic, it just becomes a joke between Rance and Nobunga, Kouhime's brother: Rance implies he's waiting for Kou to grow up, Nobunga cheerfully says he won't allow it, and Kou is confused. One of the first things that clues Rance into the fact that Nobunga is possessed is he jokes that he's going to take Kou's virginity...and Nobunga says yes.
    Rance: ...what?
    Nobunga: Kill the Tenshin Sect, and I'll give you Kou.
  • Referenced and Played for Laughs in The King of Fighters XIII. If you pit Chivalrous Pervert Benimaru (in his early 20's) against Cute Bruiser Kula (14), he laments that she's too young for him and say something about how it would've been much better if they met five years later. Kula hears this and naively asks "what will happen in five years?", and Benimaru is horrified.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Ricken is the youngest male among the Shepherds but is able to marry most of the female charactersnote . His S support with Cordelia addresses this, by having her accept his proposal but wait until he's a little older for them to actually marry.
  • Played with in Hatoful Boyfriend. Yuuya points out that birds can reach sexual maturity in a year, implying that age-of-consent is a non-issue for them. This makes the human protagonist the only underaged member of the cast, despite Ryouta's route saying that she's chronologically far older than most of her love interests. Long story short, Kazuaki's route ends with him promising to wait until the heroine is older.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Whenever a teenage starlet makes headway, you can be sure to find a website somewhere on the internet counting down—in seconds—to the day she turns 18. The more satirical of these websites will pointedly include pictures of said starlets from official sources that are obviously sexual in nature (e.g. Britney Spears as Catholic School Girls Rule in her "Hit Me Baby One More Time" video, or the cover of Rolling Stone where she appeared in lingerie, both taken when she was 17), commenting on the hypocrisy of considering someone perverted for being attracted to a media figure that has been overtly fetishized in the media. The rest of the sites are just plain creepy.
  • A running joke regarding Hermione Granger in The Editing Room's "abridged scripts" for the Harry Potter movies:
  • More than one Web pagenote  collects information on age of consent and related laws in the U.S. states, Canada, and the rest of the world.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "The Thin White Line" mega-pervert Quagmire asks Meg if she's 18 yet. When she says no, he quickly moves on to talk to someone else (an example of SoCalization, since the age of consent in Rhode Island is 16). What's really bizarre about Quagmire in this case is that he's willing to have sex with underage girls, including a 12-year old crossing guard and Connie D'Amico. but is willing to wait for Meg. Word of God suggests that since Peter's his best friend, he respects his daughter slightly more than most women.
    • In the episode "Barely Legal", Meg is confused about romance as she's developed a creepy crush on Brian because he's nice to her. Quagmire advises her to come to his house so he can "set her straight". When she arrives, Quagmire puts on some romantic music, takes off his robe (revealing his tiger print bikini briefs banana-hammock underneath)... and gives Meg some heartfelt advice to help her work things out, before sending her home with a children's book he remembered fondly, being an almost-perfect gentleman the whole time. Go figure.
    • In the episode "Quagmire and Meg", Meg did turn eighteen, and Quagmire was trying to seduce her from the get-go. Peter and Lois' enraged reactions at finding their daughter in a love shack with Quagmire border on the out-of-character.
    • In the episode "Deep Throats" Meg is romantically involved with Mayor West, who has no problem waiting for Meg to turn 18, 21, or 25 (the age at which Meg could legally rent a car).
    • In the episode "Hannah Banana" Stewie tells Brian that Miley Cyrus is sixteen, and Brian responds, "I'm eight." Though it turned out to be a moot point since she was actually a robot.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • Had men counting down until the Olsen Twins were of age, then referred to the fact that the girls would never do those guys anyway.
    • Another episode did this with Britney Spears in a parody of Citizen Kane
  • In the Home Movies episode "School Nurse," Nurse Kirkman, having been soured by an earlier date with Coach McGuirk, tells Jason (who has made clear his Precocious Crush on her) that she would like to be his girlfriend, but not until he turns 30. Jason realizes that she'll be in her 60s by that time, and he quickly loses interest.
  • Word of God is that Beetlejuice in the Animated Series is effectively waiting for the 12-year-old Lydia - carefully toned down enough for kids to watch his borderline Stalker with a Crush activities, of course.

    Other 
  • In Greek Mythology, Theseus kidnapped Helen when she was a young girl, intending to marry her when she gets old enough. However, she was rescued by Castor and Pollux.
  • Modern concepts on age of consent often find their way into fictional works centered on pre-modern historical periods, in large part due to Values Dissonance and Society Marches On.
  • There's a joke that goes that an officer finds a couple in the car just sitting there not doing anything. It being almost midnight, he asks the couple as to what they are doing and the male driver responds that they are waiting for the stroke of midnight to celebrate the girl's eighteenth birthday.
  • The Romeo and Juliet laws are specifically used in order to help teenagers not be persecuted if they break this trope. For instance, if a teenage guy at 17 and a teenage girl at 16 start a sexual relationship theoretically he could be accused of statutory rape when he turns 18 (or reaches whatever the area's age of consent is), despite the small age difference. The laws help act as a defense against teenagers who are accused of statutory rape (often by disapproving parents).


Invention PretensionSublime RhymeJurisdiction Friction
I Want My Beloved to Be HappyLove TropesJumping the Gender Barrier
Jail BaitSex TropesJizzed in My Pants
I Would Say If I Could SayComedy TropesJapanese Ranguage
I Was Quite a LookerAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Jar Potty
Treading GroundImageSource/Web ComicsThe Trenches

alternative title(s): Jail Bait Wait
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