Kaiba: This has to be some kind of trick! That's Noah, with my step-father! And according to the imprinted date, this was taken several years ago, but he looks the same age as he does now!Some characters are subject to a strange fluctuating sense of maturity depending on plot necessity, mostly because animated characters can have abstract designs and lack obvious visual cues. We're only left with the personality of the character, which tends to suggest their age. Dawson Casting, leading to a blurring of the line between adults-playing-adults and adults-playing-teenagers, is responsible for several live-action examples. A TV character may be implied to be some sort of adult compared to other characters who are clearly "kids", or vice versa, but this is largely an illusion in case the writers still want them in plots a younger audience can more easily relate to. The only nominally-aged character is usually the lead, and this is only useful to make his same-aged audience feel better, since he will probably not be allowed to get older. Occasionally, characters are given specific ages along with more obscure and extensive biographies, but are ultimately ruled by audience appeal, Cast Speciation, and personalities that fit into the mean age of the audience. Information that runs counter to that turns into the Improbable Age issue, and may be tweaked in other places. Compare Mistaken Age.
Yugi: Well, this is an anime show. Who knows how old any of us are supposed to be. Serenity looks like she's sixteen, I look like I'm ten. What do you think, Téa?
Téa: I have no idea what is happening because I am a—
Yugi: Téa agrees.
Yugi: Well, this is an anime show. Who knows how old any of us are supposed to be. Serenity looks like she's sixteen, I look like I'm ten. What do you think, Téa?
Téa: I have no idea what is happening because I am a—
Yugi: Téa agrees.
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Anime & Manga
- Mireille of .hack//Legend of the Twilight, who can be very knowledgeable at times, sometimes lord it over others, and sometimes just be cute and vulnerable. She actually turns out to be the four-year-old daughter of an identical character from the first game, using her mother's file, and one of the other girls in Shugo's harem is her home tutor, explaining some of it.
- Lupin III: The characters are certainly adults, but beyond that it's anyone's guess. The fact that they have been having adventures since The Sixties can be ignored since the series runs on Comicbook Time. However, Lupin himself is canonically the grandson of Arsčne Lupin, who first appeared over a century ago, already an adult. At this point, the timeline would make a lot more sense if it were called Lupin the Fourth or even Lupin the Fifth.
- Baccano! makes it rather difficult to determine Ennis's physical or chronological age, as her origin is somewhat complicated and not too many details are given on her timeline in either the anime or Light Novels beyond three tidbits: she was around before the commercialization of radio (with the given setting, means she can be anywhere from eight to two hundred and nineteen), she's physically the same age as her "mother" was when she unwillingly "donated" some of her cells (nothing is given about this girl/woman other than that she was female), and that she identifies Firo on sight as "around the same age as her, or a little younger" (which, given that Firo's an eighteen-year-old regularly mistaken to be as young as fourteen or fifteen).
- Played with in Haré+Guu. When attending The City's school, Haré immediately notices all the kids are separated by grades. His own school is a literal one-teacher and his homeroom consists of every non-adult in the series, including teenagers. note
- Kobato. She certainly acts a lot younger than a teenager, but from her design and the way other characters treat her she seems to be at least twelve and probably not old enough to be in high school.
- Applied to Luna the cat in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, who despite sounding identical to the version in Sailor Moon (who was a Vague Age full grown cat until she briefly became a human(oid)), was given the body of a very young girl as a occasional human form. She was described by mangaka Naoko Takeuchi as being a year younger than the lead character and became a teenaged girl when human, but also has been alive since the Silver Millennium.
- Sunrise has been rather opaque about the ages of the heroes in Tiger & Bunny. So far, they've only given out two and a half: Barnaby's 24, Kaede's 9, and Kotetsu's kinda sorta probably somewhere between 33 and 39. Maybe.
- Coby of One Piece appears to be child much younger than Luffy (who is 17 at the beginning of the story), but enlists in the marines as soon as he's saved and then apparently goes through puberty and has a growth spurt by the next time he is seen.
- Shakky is an even better example. She mentions that she was chased by Garp and stopped pirating 40 years ago, which would probably make her more than 60 (at least not a day under 55). But she looks like she is in her late twenties or early thirties, and the characters have questioned her age several times. So she could be anywhere from 60 to more than 100 since it would be unrealistic for an older woman to look like a 30-year-old no matter what.
- Satoko and Rika from Higurashi: When They Cry. They're noticeably younger than the protagonists but how much younger is never quite stated. Satoko seems to have entered puberty but Rika hasn't yet. The closest given to an age confirmation is in the original sound novels, and even then all is known is that Satoko is anywhere from 9 to 13 years old.
- Amae Koromo from Saki. Though she appears very child-like, she is a second-year student as opposed to the majority of Kiyosumi High's players like Saki, Nodoka, and Yuuki who are first-years, and it's been hinted that she's older than Nodoka.
- Satsuki Hyoudou from Maid-Sama!. Despite looking like a teenager, she is actually 30 years old.
- Mikuru Asahina from Haruhi Suzumiya. Although she looks like a moe teenager, when Kyon asked her how old she really is after she revealed her true origin and purpose, she merely responded, "That's classified."
- Levi (and a few others) from Attack on Titan. Levi is noticeably smaller than many character, including the adolescent protagonists, and looks younger than a few of the trainees, but in reality he has to be anywhere from three to ten years older than them. Word Of God says he's "surprisingly old", later clarifying the age is past 30.
- Kikyo is accepted to be in her mid-to-late teens, but her exact age is uncertain. The InuYasha Profiles book states that she was eighteen when she originally died, whereas Rumiko Takahashi said she was "around seventeen" when it happened.
- Likewise, the exact ages of all youkai and hanyou characters is left deliberately ambiguous.
- In Fairy Tail, Natsu's age hasn't been revealed even though most other members have a known age. Because he couldn't pass through Freed's barrier in the Battle of Fairy Tail, he is either 80+ years old (which seems a bit weird since he obviously has aged as he looked like a kid 6 years ago and a teenager now) or a stone statue (which makes even less sense). In terms of personality and appearance, he is probably supposed to be seen as being Lucy's age (17 years), as he looks a bit younger and acts more immature than 18-year-old Gray. Later chapters reveal that he is at least 400 years old, a fact that he himself is unaware of. Natsu is actually Zeref's dead younger brother brought back to life as a demon powered by Etherious. It later turns out that he is physically as old as he looks, but by technicality he and the other true dragon slayers are 400 years old due to being born 400 years ago and sent forward in time via the Eclipse Gate.
- This was the case for most of the 00 cyborgs in Cyborg009, as Ishinomori never gave them established ages- with the exception of 009, who was 18 and 001 who was of (vague) infant age. The anime adaptations settle on 007 being the oldest (except for the '60s incarnations which made him a 9-year old Kid-Appeal Character) and in his '40s, 006 being a little younger than that, 005 and 004 either being in their late '20s or early '30s, 008 being in his early '20s, and 002 being in his early '20s or being 18 like 009. 003 either winds up younger than 009 in the earlier anime adaptations, being 16 or 17, or she's older in the '01 incarnation (physically 19, but chronologically much older due to being cryogenically frozen in the '60s).
- None of the Gunslinger Girl cyborgs have a given age. Henrietta seems to be between eleven and thirteen while Triela is a little older. To make it more confusing they seem to be stunted at the age they were Conditioned at and possibly years have passed between their backstory and the final chapter, so that leaves it vague what their biological ages are.
- Kaitou Joker seems to be a world of characters with ambiguous ages.
- High School Dx D is rife with this, thanks to reincarnated devils having their aging slow down dramatically from the moment they're reborn. Rias is a high school senior, but as a pure-blooded devil it's plausible she's pushing quadruple digits. Akeno looks exactly the same age, but is significantly younger. Issei, Asia and Xenovia are exactly the age they look thanks to having been recently reincarnated, but Kiba is heavily implied to be decades older despite being in the same school year. And all three of them are stated to be much younger thank Koneko, a tiny underclassman who could well be over a century old, and Gaspar, whose Dhampir nature only further muddies the waters.
- While she's clearly older than Tsutomu, the age of the title character of Birdy the Mighty was never stated in the OVA or Decode. In the OVA series, Tsutomu chastises Birdy for drinking alcohol due to a combination of the possibilty of getting drunk while on duty and her being underaged, which given the legal drinking age in Japan is 20, suggests Birdy in the OVA series is at the oldest 19. However, in Decode, Birdy's age is easier to determine as flashbacks to her are shown when she was 10, a friend of hers while she was that age says he hasn't seen her since she seen her for 14 years, and Tsutomu only reprimanding her for getting drunk, but not her age suggests at the youngest, she's 24 there.
- Unlike the games, the protagonists are given clear ages of ten years old however the Pokemon themselves are a mystery. Meowth is apparently an adult but everyone else is up in the air. Do Pokemon age when they evolve? If a baby Pokemon never evolves are they always considered a child? Is Donphan a Man Child or a large child? Bulbasaur and the others are largely assumed to be 'child Pokemon' but an early joke had them drunk and their species can breed. Whether Pikachu is an adult Pokemon or the equivalent of Ash's age has been debated.
- Most characters besides the protagonists have no age. Brock is fifteen according to supplementary material and Misty is ten like Ash, but unless their ages are given in the games it's unlikely anyone's age is given in the anime.
- Jessie and James. The only certainty is they're older than any of Ash's tagalongs. Jessie once said she was seventeen but that's probably her trying to seem younger than she is, and flashbacks imply she finished high school. The Japanese version has implied they're twenty-five once and according to The Birth Of Mewtwo Radio Drama Jessie is over twenty. The radio drama supports Jessie being in her mid-twenties as the first part takes place twenty years before the series and Miyamoto (Jessie's mom) states her daughter is starting school.
- Captain Harlock: He is said to have a reputation that would have to have been years in the making. He usually seems to appear no older than about thirty. In Endless Odyssey, one of his old comrades assumes that "he must be dead by now" and is genuinely suprised when he shows up, many years after their old adventures (Endless Odyssey is allegedly meant to pick up many years after the 1978 series left off). Also, if one were to even attempt to fit all or even some of his appearances into a coherent timeline (especially Arcadia of My Youth, Galaxy Express 999, the 1978 series, and Endless Odyssey), you would end up with a Harlock that appears to have been active for decades.
- With the exception of three characters- Maka, Kilik, and Black*Star who are all confirmed to be 13 years old in the first half of the series- none of the cast in Soul Eater are given specific ages. This is not helped by the fact that the DWMA doesn't sort its students out by age, but instead by when the student enrolled and what skill level they are at. Tsubaki and Liz are hinted to be at least 2-3 years older than them, while it's unclear if resident Shinigami Death the Kid is either Older Than He Looks or ages just like them. When it comes to the adult cast, given that Spirit had Maka when he was 18, it can assumed that they are around their 30s. If the character is either a Witch or related to magic, they're even harder to pin down given that they can live for centuries.
- Astérix: Asterix himself is described as being "older than he looks." Between the art style used for all the characters, and the features of Asterix himself, he looks somewhere between 20 and 60. What that actually makes him is anyone's guess. Lampshaded in The Cauldron, where he's working for a wrestling promoter who actually describes him in his 'roll-up' pitch as being 'of indeterminate age'. (One short story strip of dubious canoninity (due to being outside of an official volume and containing some inconsistencies with other stories) states Asterix and Obelix are 35 "when their adventures begin".)
- Donald Duck's nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie in Carl Barks' comics. In one story they are in kindergarten; in another they are shown driving a car! (The "kindergarten" they are attending is a rather unusual one, however; in the background of the first panel, there appears to be an integral equation written on the blackboard.)
- Also Donald Duck himself. It's obvious that he is not really young or old, but it's not clear (and it depends on the writer) if he's still somewhat young like in his late twenties or he is middle-aged.
- Franklin Richards, the child of Fantastic Four members Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, is somewhere between four and ten. Whether his reality warp power cause the age vagueness or if the age vagueness causes the reality warping is up for debate.
- It has also been suggested that he is the source of whatever effect it is that has kept the Fantastic Four's maiden flight "about ten years ago" for the last thirty years or so.
- Gaston Lagaffe: Lagaffe is old enough to smoke and have a car, a job, and his own place, but young enough to constantly play around at work and bawl his eyes out over very little.
- Spirou and Fantasio: Spirou spent the 1950s stuck in a limbo where he looked like a teenager (being one head shorter than his adult friend Fantasio), but drove a car and had his own apartment. He finally became unambiguously adult shortly before or after Andre Franquin left the series.
- Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Pal, would go back and forth between being old enough to drive, have a pilot's license and drink, and still being in high school, touching on every stage of life in between at least once.
- Tintin: It's never made exactly clear how old Tintin is. He is obviously young, but has no problems going round the world and getting into adventures without any mention of parents or the like. It is known that he works as a reporter, but he's not seen actually performing this job. He does live together with Captain Haddock in his castle, along with Professor Calculus. In response to this, Herge was actually asked to create a character with a family, mum, dad, little sister, pet, etc. in order to have a more "realistic" series of adventures. The result was Jo, Zette and Jocko, a fun, but less successful series. As Herge pointed out, it was much harder to keep track of all those characters. At least good old Tintin was unencumbered. Not everyone gets to be an orphan.
- Scott Pilgrim lampshaded this all the time with Ramona Flowers. While every other character would have their age blatantly stated every time they were introduced (especially Knives Chau, Age 17), Ramona's introduction was always followed by "Age Unknown." At one point, Scott lampshades the lampshading when Ramona gets mad at him for not knowing how old she is. He defends himself with, "But your age is unknown!"
- Granted, The Smurfs are defined as 100 years old, but what makes them an example of the trope is the fact that it's unclear which human age equals that; most of them have specific jobs inside the village, yet they frequently play ball and act immature. Maybe one thing or the other may be the consequence of living in a small village led by their father (Papa Smurf is no mere name — he raised the 98 Smurfs). They were more clearly defined as adults when three of them were age-reversed to Smurflings, which made the adult Smurfs behave somewhat more mature. This gets even more complicated with the appearance of Gutsy Smurf with his sideburns in the live-action movie, since most of his fellow Smurfs don't have facial hair.
- Unlike other versions of the series, Sonic the Comic never stated the age of anyone. Their ages were either left ambiguous or never stated at all. The series goes by its own canon, so it's not possible to assume that most characters fit the game age either. Tails is stuck somewhere between eight years of age and fourteen, while Amy never really did seem to be as young as she was in Sonic CD (which was eight). Sonic and Knuckles can visit bars so they're probably adults.
- Doctor Strange started out somewhere in his fifties, though the standard depiction is of a man somewhere in his mid-forties. Even so, the only real indication of his greater age are some lines on his face and the Skunk Stripes of greying hair at his temples.
- The pygmies in Pocket God may appear to be small children given their size, but most of them don't act like it. They don't even know their own ages or how long they've been around; probably as a side effect of their Resurrective Immortality.
- Thanks to her Healing Factor being forcibly activated at the age of seven, X-23's age becomes much less clear. She looks about 17, but because her aging process is slowed by her mutation, she can easily be years older than this. However a closer look at the dates given in her various solo appearances does confirm an age of 17 by the time she joins the X-books proper: She escaped the Facility at 13, was 14-15 while staying with her cousin and aunt (which can be verified because Megan was still in high school, and is known to be a couple years older than Laura), and 15-16 during NYX.
- Kitty Pryde is the original example of this in X-Men comics. Introduced the Tagalong Kid of the team, she slowly appeared to age up. This came to a head when Warren Ellis took the reigns of Excalibur and decided he wanted Kitty to be in a relationship with the very much adult Peter Wisdom. This sent the Marvel Offices into a panic because in their minds, Kitty was still a "teenager". Eventually, they found middle ground and decided to portray the romance as being like "Leia and Han Solo." Since then, writers have been extremely vague with exactly how old Kitty actually is, especially considering there's been other characters who were introduced as teenagers after Kitty up rapidly aged up to be the same age as her or even older.
- Batman's butler, Alfred Pennyworth is typical older than Bruce Wayne, but it's not really clear how old he's supposed to be, and adaptations can wildy vary in his age. Promotional materials for The Batman painted his age at around his early 50s, yet if Sean Pertwee's age is anything to go by, the Alfred in Gotham is around that when Thomas and Martha Wayne died. Michael Caine was 71 during the fimling of Batman Begins, which features a Bruce Wayne (who's 30) starting out as Batman, whereas Jeremy Irons was 65 for the filming of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which features a Bruce Wayne in his 40s resuming his career as Batman.
- Squirrel Girl was 14 years old when she was first introduced in 1992, but since it's nearly impossible to measure the passage of time in the Marvel Universe, subsequent writers couldn't seem to agree on how old she should be. New Avengers hinted at a past sexual relationship with Wolverine, implying that she was an adult and probably in her 20's, while Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has her as a college freshman, which would indicate she's around 18.
- In Little Nemo, Flip's age is perennial a mystery, referred to at different points as a child and 23, and the same height as Nemo with a receding hairline and cigar.
- In Qumi Qumi, Juga, Yusi, and Shumadan are obviously young, though their personalities can range from being eight-year old children to eighteen-year old teens in various episodes.
- Most of the main cast of The Bunker, In some episodes the gang is shown driving, In some episodes ACF appears in, she looks like a Powerpuff Girl.
- The Agents in Akatsuki Kitten Phoenix Corporation Overhaul are implied to be somewhere between mature teenagers and in their twenties. This is muddled by the fact that they don't live in a linear timeline, and some of them simply look older in a relative manner to the others. For instance, Agent Diamond is less than five feet tall (despite her impressive bosom), and is a bit of a Psychopathic Manchild, while her boyfriend, Agent Chimera, is six foot three and generally quite mature. All but one of the Agents are stated to have been born within two years of each other.
- Averted in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf series, as Empath and his fellow Smurfs are depicted as being in their early adult stage around 150 years of age, with Homnibus commenting on how young Empath looks for his age.
- In Kill la Kill AU, there's this with Ragyo and Soichiro, which would be hard to figure out, as they (then) have three kids who were eleven, nine, and eight and both Ragyo and Soichiro's parents are shown to have grey hair when they're first seen, along with being married for at least seven years prior to their divorce, thus at the most they would probably be in their late thirties at the least, if not early forties at the most. In that vein, there's also Rei, the drunk secretary, although, apparently, she is old enough to drink and can be seen doing so Note .
- From the Gensokyo 20XX series, there's this with the kids but more explicitly with Yume Ni, An, Maribel, Renko, and an age-regressed Reimu. What is known so far is Yume Ni and An are fairly close in age, with Yu being at least a toddler at the time of An's birth and Reimu being at least in her formative years age-regression wise, with Maribel and Renko being a little unable to say their names correctly, as well speaking more on the level Reimu spoke at. The best estimate for the kids in general would be that their ages are vague, although Reimu and Chen would be older than they are chronologically, as biologically the former's a child, where as chronologically, she would at least in her twenties, and Chen is a youkai definition of a child, as far as that goes. From a branch off, Foundling, Reimu again is supposed to be a toddler or, as the narration seemed to suggest, as she is shown to be past walking age, yet she is described as not being old enough to articulate (or rather, converse).
- There's this with a Kill la Kill fic, titled Asuka, particularly, when the titular (who are implied to be either Ryuuko or Satsuki, never made clear which) "Asuka" dies of her illness, however, she is described as being "so young" when she was diagnosed and presumably didn't make it to her teens, according to her sister's narration.
Narrator: She would have been eighteen
- Kiryuuin Chronicles has Satsuki, Ryuuko, and Nui's ages. Their ages are not mentioned, however, Satsuki is stated is to have been too young to comprehend what was going on between her parents and then later her mother's mental illness, as her recollections of the past support, and she states that Ryuuko and Nui were too young to understand death and neither were they old enough to remember the events leading up to the house being burned down and them fleeing from it.
- Similarly, this occurs Train Tracks, with Rei, Satsuki, Ryuuko, and Nui's ages, although, Rei's implied to be a teenager, at least to Satsuki's understanding. Semi justified as Satsuki doesn't quite remember how old they were at the time she narrated.
- Due to her mother's treatment in Cellar Secrets, Ryuuko's age is a hard to gauge, as her growth was stunted, however, it was mentioned that she was younger that Nui but how much younger isn't known. To elaborate further, Nui is 16 and Satsuki is at least 21 by the time chapter 12 comes around.
Films — Animation
- Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas is adult-sized. In personality and voice, he comes across as being in his late twenties or early thirties, but as he is undead, it is impossible to gauge his exact age from his looks. He is probably in his thirties, but it is still possible for him to be younger.
- The video game characters in Wreck-It Ralph. While all game characters are technically immortal unless they die along with their game or outside of it, Ralph looks to be in his 30s while Felix and Calhoun appear more in their late 20s. Meanwhile, Vanellope and all her racing rivals are supposed to be 9 - 10 years old.
- The games they come from (and by extension, the characters themselves) have different ages. Ralph and Felix have been around for 30 years. Vanellope's game has been around for at least 15 years and Calhoun's game was only installed a week before the events of the movie, making her the youngest character chronologically.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls generally seems to hint that the Humane Five are 17, as this is Twilight's age when she goes to the human world. However, many child characters are age-lifted to be freshmen as well. To make it even more complicated, Sunset Shimmer (confirmed in the comics to be older than Twilight by a fair margin) seems to be the same age when they become human.
- Kovu and Kiara from The Lion King II can be anything from the equivalent of teenagers to being young adults. Their designs, voices, and the fact it's based on Romeo and Juliet imply the former but that is still vague.
- The two Token Human characters in the Animal Crossing movie look and act like children but live alone amongst adult Funny Animal characters and drink coffee. In the games the protagonist is heavily implied to be an adult however the style makes them look younger.
Films — Live-Action
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Alison Doody was 22 when the movie was filmed, and while Dr. Elsa Schneider has no onscreen age, she has to be at least thirty.
- Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz is supposedly meant to be under ten years old, but Judy Garland couldn't pass for a little kid even with Suppressed Mammaries. Most people who watch the movie think Dorothy's meant to be between twelve and fifteen.
- ET The Extra Terrestrial. According to the novelization of the film he's over 10 million years old. Other sources put him at about 800 years old, and he's shown to be a child in the book E.T: The Book of the Green Planet.
- Apparently done deliberately in casting Malcolm McDowell as Alex in A Clockwork Orange. The character is revealed to be fifteen in the book, while McDowell appears to be somewhere in the rage of late teens to early twenties.
- In A Brother's Price, the ages of the younger princesses are left vague, but they are not "of age" and still play with toy soldiers, which due to them being Royals Who Actually Do Something is not as good a hint on their actual age as it could be - they could deliberately continue to play war with their younger sisters in order to learn about strategy and line of command. There also are some older noblewomen mentioned in the backstory, who are "ancient", but there's still no word about their actual age, they could simply have aged badly.
- Vardaman from William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying has no set age, and it is often debated as to whether he is young or just retarded (or both).
- In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sunny is exceptionally clever for a baby, and her physical development occurs in a deliberately uneven, contradictory way; for example, even after she learns to walk, she is small enough to sleep in a casserole dish. Her exact age is never stated, and flashbacks to "before Sunny" carefully avoid giving her older siblings' ages at the time, forestalling calculation. The thirteenth book stated that Sunny was about three, which would mean she was about six months at the most in book one, meaning that eighteen months have passed since.
- Also Carmelita Spats. In the book where she is introduced, she seems old enough to be the leader of a Girl Posse and to be one of the most popular girls in school — but, in the latter books, she acts much younger.
- Everyone in The Moomins, though some are more vague than others, and especially Snufkin.
- It was initially unclear how old Harry Potter s parents were when they died. While their friend Sirius (who is the same age) is referred to as "young Sirius Black" in the first book, his friendship with the Potters isn't revealed until the third book, and the "young" could easily be taken as Early Installment Weirdness. In a 2001 interview, however, it was indirectly confirmed that they did indeed die young—-less than four years after graduating (the interview in question was about Snape's age). However, the first movie, which was released the same year, contradicted this to make them appear middle-aged, and until the final book, their age at the time of their deaths was something you'd have to be pretty observant to know.
- Ascanius, Aeneas's son in the Aeneid, is at varying points in the poem young enough to curl up on Dido's lap at dinner (or at least, no one thinks it's weird when Cupid impersonates him to do so), and old enough to fight in the war. He appears to be somewhere between four and fourteen, never specified.
- Diana Wynne Jones deliberately kept the ages of her child-characters vague unless there was a plot reason not to, to broaden their appeal to child readers. At a certain stage it can be off-putting to find out that the hero of the book you're reading is younger than you are (if you're eleven, nine seems pretty young). In Hexwood, some characters' Vague Age is a plot point in itself.
- Applegate used this trope in Animorphs to make the titular group more relatable to a wider audience. In-universe, this was justified as part of the characters' many attempts to protect their own identities. In the last book, it was revealed that they were 13 in the first book and 16 in the last.
- The Bible:
- In the Book of Genesis, the story of Isaac's near-sacrifice has him speaking to his father Abraham the way a young child would, asking him, on the way up the mountain, where the sheep was for their burnt offering, and Abraham replying evasively, "God will see to the sheep for his burnt offering, my son," as though to shield him from the horrible truth until the last moment. However, based on the internal chronology of the book, Isaac would've been thirty-seven years old at the time. Thus, the Jewish sages of late antiquity exploited this ambiguity, portraying Isaac as old enough to give informed consent to his own sacrifice.
- The ages of Jesus' disciples are never explicitly mentioned in the Bible. They are usually depicted as adult men (sometimes even with gray hair), but evidence in the Gospels suggests that they were actually much younger—probably between 15 and 18. The exception is Peter, who has a wife and is depicted paying the temple tax (imposed on men 20 and older).
- Chichi deliberately invokes this in Akata Witch. She refuses to tell anyone how old she is, except when she's teasing an older man. After she gets him excited, she tells him she's twelve (or whatever age she feels like being), laughs at his horror, and runs off.
- Ozma's age in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is never concrete. Some illustrations have her as an adult, some as a child. Typically she's depicted as being Dorothy's age though.
- In the Rainbow Magic series, it's never stated how old Rachel and Kirsty are supposed to be. They could be anywhere from very young to middle school aged.
- Professor Cole in Murderess, who can transform into a teenage boy and back.
- Coraline is hard to pin down. Illustrations make her seem anywhere from 11 to 14 and she's stated several times to be small for her age so she could easily be a teen. Mentally she can be similar to a middle schooler but at other times seems more like an 8 year old. The film pins her age at 11.
- In Dragon Bones, this is something of a plot point. Axiel's exact age is not known, and he is later revealed to be half dwarf, and much older than he looks. While ages are given for younger characters, this is often not the case with the older generation. Aunt Stala, for example, might be a Cool Old Lady, as her hair is already grey, but she is the half-sister of Ward's mother, who gave birth to him when she was about sixteen, and therefore could be about thirty-six. Though of course Stala could be a lot older than her sister, being illegitimate.
- Thirty Rock: Kenneth appears a bit too old to be in the age bracket likely to work as a network intern, but there's also quite a bit of evidence that he might actually be older than he appears. No definitive answer has ever been given. Seriously, just check out the Older Than They Look section on the series' main page. If he's to be believed, Kenneth has been working for NBC since 1936.
- Blues Clues: How old are the live-action cast supposed to be? Apparently Steve is an adult, maybe a late teenager, as he eventually leaves for colllege but what about his brother?
- Community: Abed is somewhere in his twenties, but where is anyone's guess.
- Merlin: Has never given any definitive ages for its cast, though Word Of God has it that of the four leads, Morgana is the oldest, followed by Arthur, with Merlin and Guinevere clocking in as late teenagers when the show begins. When taking into account the Time Skips that occur between seasons, nearly ten years have passed in-show, meaning that the cast (all in their mid-twenties when filming began) went from Dawson Casting to Playing Gertrude.
- The Big Bang Theory: Most of the characters are in their twenties, nobody knows where. Subverted with Howard, who is said to be 26.
- Revolution: The characters have not been given ages for the most part. However, Danny Matheson is supposedly 19 years. This is reasonably close the character's actor Graham Rogers's age, which is 17 years old. Captain Riley is apparently the youngest captain the Monroe Republic has. The actor playing the character Omid Abtahi is 34 years old.
- Danny Matherson said he was 18, if you take in the fact Neville whom barley know Danny said he was possibly 19, it meant be better to believe Danny.
- Lex Luthor has the ability to somehow blend in with high school students.
- Clark himself probably helped. The character of Clark Kent was 15 at the start of the series or close to it, judging by his grade in school, but his actor was 25 at the time.
- The Suite Life of Zack and Cody:
- In the first season, Zack and Cody are presumably the same age as their actors: 12 or 13, while Maddie and London are in their late teens. However, in later seasons (and in the spinoff), they are clearly older teens, while Maddie and London are the same age: In the spinoff the twins and London go to school together.
- When Zack and Cody graduate in the spinoff, their actors are about 18/19 years old. London graduates at the same time, despite originally being a few grades ahead of them, because she kept flunking grades.
- The Vampire Diaries: All of the Originals ages are unknown. Rebekah and Kol are teenagers, where in their teens they fall is anyone's guess and Klaus, Elijah, and Finn are total mystery. It's also unknown at what age Katherine was turned.
- In the seasons of Power Rangers where the characters are not high school students, the Rangers' ages tend to be left vague at best. They are often provided in promotional materials (for some characters), though even these are notoriously unreliable: Bridge, the only character in Power Rangers S.P.D. with a definitive age, was listed as 17 on the Jetix website but is explicitly 21 in the show proper.
- FarScape, for much of its run, which is odd considering how often the show mentions time passing. In the first episode, D'Argo's age is given as 30 cycles (young for a Luxan, which means he married very young — a plot point). Everyone else's age stays mostly vague. Chiana is often stated to be "a kid" compared to the others, and acts as though she's in her late teens/early twenties. John's age can eventually be inferred as about 30 when he joins Moya, since he's old enough to drive in 1986 and was presumably born in 1969 or 1970.
- In True Blood, only the vampire characters ever have exact/approximate ages given, usually for dramatic effect like Russell being over 3,000 years old or Jessica being 16 when turned in Season 1. The humans' ages are kept vague, not helped by the show's rather fluid sense of time. Lampshaded by Nicole's mother when she objects to her relationship with Sam:
"You are 23 years old! And may I ask how old you are, silver fox?!" (This becomes her "nickname" for him.)
- The 100 has an In-Universe example: Word Of God is that Grounders don't keep track of birthdays, so their ages can only be given a rough estimate. Most notable with Lexa, the Grounder's Commander. She's young enough that Abby refers to the Grounders as being "led by a child", but it's unclear if that's literal and Lexa really is under 18, or if she's simply unusually young given that she's leading an entire nation.
- The protagonist of Melanie Martinez's "Cry Baby" Concept Album. She's played by 20-year old Melanie in music videos but the actual character is vague in age. In the "Pity Party" music video there are nine candles on her birthday cake (though fans do argue if it's symbolic of something else) and art draws her like a little girl. She also dresses in stereotypically "childish" attire such as pastel dresses with ribbons, but that's a popular fashion for adults as well. The overall lyrics and tone of her songs makes her sound like someone in her late teens. It could be a bad case of Troubling Unchildlike Behavior.
- The Jamster/JAMBA bunny characters Schnuffel and Schnuffelienchen (Snuggle and Snuggelina) both appear to be young bunnies but both live on there own without any parents. Doesn't help that they both have cute high pitch voices (Except in the audio CDs released in Germany where Snuggle and Snuggelina are voiced by actual adults).
- Musicals in general tend to have a case of this. Unless it is plot relevant, a character's age will probably be vague enough to allow actors spanning a decade to play them. Possibly more.
- Hamlet. He's a university student, he was passed over as heir when his father died, and the play is more or less his Coming-of-Age Story, all of which would seem to put him in his late teens. But the scene with the gravediggers gives his age as thirty (or thereabouts), and he remembers Yorick, who died twenty-three years prior. The historical explanation is that Hamlet was probably originally intended to be a teenager but that Shakespeare changed his age so his usual star Richard Burbage could play the role.
- How old is Barbie? Originally she seemed to be a high schooler however Mattel usually portrays her as a young adult while Skipper is the teenager. Still, she has become US president and done other things that imply she's older. Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse mercilessly pokes fun of, and lampshades, her Vague Age.
- MapleStory allows your character to marry (For NX, of course,) even if they look like they're not even close to maturity. Some of the quest givers give off the impression of being young (i.e. a student attending a magic school), but appear to be just as tall as your character and don't have a clear age either. In one quest line, you begin by playing hide and seek with children. A few levels later, you're fighting in a revolution.
- It says something that Link's age alone in The Legend of Zelda has spanned a large Flame War among fans:
- Early in his series, Link's age was indeterminate, and his sprite had too little detail to tell. In-manual art drew him like Peter Pan with more hair, making it more unclear how old he actually was. The exception is in Zelda II The Adventure Of Link, where he is explicitly 16 years old. Most of the later console games give him a more explicit age, but the handheld games are still vague. It wasn't until much later when Link in The Legend of Zelda was confirmed to be 12 years old from the same source that stated that Ocarina of Time Link was 9 years old as a child. Link in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past may be implied to be a prepubesent kid, not only by the AV Famicom commercial (which oddly promotes the cartridge port of The Legend of Zelda), but also by the GBA port of the game, where he is given young N64 Link's voice. His design however is more reminiscent of a teen in his early teens according to official art though.
- In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Link's age is never mentioned in the game itself, but while the official strategy guide pins him at twelve, the game itself states that Link starts his quest at the same age that Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (9 as a child, 16 as an adult). The games that follow The Wind Waker, namely The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, both made Link look rather young because of his chibi model.
- His age isn't stated, but is generally assumed to be a between 9 and 16 in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, as he is younger than the 16-year-old model but it is stated to have been a while since the events of Ocarina of Time, at the end of which he stayed 9.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess supplemental material confirms his age there as 17. He's the same age in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, though Miyamoto had suggested during development that he would be even older.
- Zelda herself is an oddity. Her age is never given but she rarely, if ever, seems too different in age than Link. Twilight Princess Zelda is the lone exception - supplemental material confirms her to be 20. This has not stopped fans from debating her age, however.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Princess Peach. In the games (especially in her 3D appearances) she has a decidedly mature physique and is even taller than Luigi; however, in the comics she acts more like a tomboyish tween, and her relationship with Mario seems to be one of childish infatuation. Also, in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the Shadow Queen refers to her as a "child" (though the Shadow Queen is a 1000 year old demon and could be using "child" metaphorically). The fan does get one age confirmation on the DVD extras of the Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon where she is supposed to be 17 years old. But the cartoon isn't really canon, so the question still remains.
- This also applies to Mario, Luigi and Bowser. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time shows the three, plus Peach, as infants; yet in their adult years, Peach hasn't lost her youthful look. The Mario brothers are implied to still be in their twenties, and they're just a bit older than her.
- Mario was confirmed 26 in his Japanese trophy description for Super Smash Bros. Melee. Luigi is his twin brother (but born after him) so he is also 26. Peach and Bowser still remain a mystery, but since Peach couldn't even walk as an infant in Partners in Time and Bowser could talk as an infant, which the baby Mario Bros. can and can't do, respectively, Peach is implied to be a year or so younger (around 25) and Bowser a year or so older (around 27).
- Yoshi. The official voice was introduced in Yoshi's Story for a group of Yoshi infants, yet in later games, the same voice is used for its grown form. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, it gets even weirder as the Yoshi there apparently hatches out of the egg with vague knowledge of the world ("Is that one of those 'kiss' things? I've go to get me one of those!") and no name, but talks like a teenage punk and generally acts like an adult.
- Kamek. He's presumably pretty old given how he was an adult back in the Yoshis Island series (and is still around now), but how old? Who knows, he hasn't even changed design in the 20 odd year time skip. Only thing that ever changed for him was the colour of his robe and wizard hat (and by one shade of a blue at that).
- Rosalina. She looks to be in her 20's or maybe early thirties, but visits the Mushroom Kingdom every 100 years. She is implied to be immortal, but that doesn't explain why she physically appears younger in the optional flashback story.
- The questionable art skills of Touhou's creator ZUN have made the intended age of most characters unfathomable from their official portraits. Since Word Of God stays extremely vague on the subject, this has left the fandom free rein on their age. Even more than the others, Orin and Patchouli (who wears baggy clothes) have fallen victims to this trope, alternating between cute girls and fully grown women, Depending on the Artist. Even limiting it to the humans, whose ages presumably matter more, it's extremely unclear how old Marisa and Reimu are supposed to be, with the range often being given as things like 10-20. And even if their precise age is given at one point, it's unclear if they're aging or not. If each change of the seasons indicates a year passing in-story, they'd be somewhere in their 20s by now. A justified example comes from Sakuya, who has Time Master powers. Though she's been described in-game as looking to be in her late teens or early twenties, she displays skills and knowledge far beyond someone of that age, and her boss Remilia has said that Sakuya's been serving her so long that it's hard to think of her as a human being anymore. Since one game shows her demonstrating the ability to accelerate an object's aging (making a bamboo flower bloom instantly rather than the 60 years it normally takes), it's generally assumed that she has the corresponding ability to decelerate aging as well, which would explain her appearance perfectly.
- Amareus of Yggdra Union is one of only a handful of characters in the game whose age is not explicitly stated somewhere or other. Instead, the official website gives the viewer a ballpark-estimate quote: She's "2? years old".
- Flora in Professor Layton. The only clue given for Flora's age is that the events of the first game happened after she was "out of childhood," but she's still young enough to require a guardian; most players estimate her to be between fourteen and seventeen.
- Many in Pokémon, especially the protagonists.
- The only protagonists with a confirmed age is Red, who's eleven. Leaf and Blue are presumed to be eleven too. Wes is stated to be around seventeen to eighteen, and a spinoff girl is said to be just a bit older than him.
- The Pokemon Black And White protagonists are stated to be older than previous heroes of the main series, but it's unknown by how many years. The sequel protagonists are even worse, looking younger than Hilda and Hilbert but older than characters like Red or May.
- Many people assume the player characters are around 10 thanks in part to the anime making Ash 10, but again, the only characters in the games with outright stated ages are a year older than that. Also, Michael is identified as "an unknown teen" in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, so he could be at least 13, yet he looks about the same as the characters from the main games (not to mention he's about a head shorter).
- The Pokémon X and Y protags muddy these waters even further; thanks to the Virtual Paper Doll feature of the games, their clothing and hairstyles can make them look older or younger. On one extreme, "cute" outfits can make them look like the ten-year-olds everyone associates with Ash and Misty (Serena even getting some Misty-like outfit options), while on the other end of the scale, outfits from Snowbelle or Lumiose can make them look like early college students. Even more confusing is that your character has to bend down to talk to young children, but not all children. A character who is roughly the protagonists' height is identified as being sixteen. And said character is Older Than They Look and the protagonist is implied to be older than them.
- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire averts this with many characters, as the news you see on the PokéNav confirms ages for several characters (for example Wally is 10 and Professor Birch is 35). The protagonists' age is still mysteriously absent despite the news discussing them quite often.
- Terra, Aqua and Ven of Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep are never given official ages, unlike Sora, Riku and Kairi. Though if you take some things into consideration, such as Ventus being physically identical to Roxas (Nobody of fifteen year old Sora) and Word Of God telling fans that Xemnas is about thirty, it's not that much of a stretch to assume that Ven is about fifteen and Terra is about nineteen. It IS told that Aqua is younger than Terra and older than Ven.
- Maxwell from Scribblenauts is never given an age, though Scribblenauts Unlimited establishes he's still a kid.
- Animal Crossing:
- Your fellow villagers in are... mystifying, to say the least. They live on their own, so they're adults, right? But some of them mention still having allowance, and some of their birthday messages imply they're not yet adults. But there are no parents anywhere (and, in fact, the female kangaroo villagers have children of their own). The "Grumpy" and "Snooty" villagers act older than the others, with some of their dialogue implying they're probably at the youngest, in their early 30's. With the rest of the clan, it's anybody's guess. It gets even more confusing with the bear villagers as there are both full grown bears and cubs and they're treated as different species.
- The protagonists are equally vague. You look like children but are implied to be adults (They live on their own, pay mortgages and drink coffee). New Leaf made the player characters more lanky and less Super-Deformed, but they still resemble children in some aspects (while also making them mayors of the town). Super Smash Bros. 4 makes it even vaguer as they refer to Villager as a "young man" in his trophy. He doesn't have a voice so you can't tell his tone either.
- Golden Sun: The Lost Age:
- Made a plot point with Piers. After visiting his homeland, where people age extremely slowly, the characters start asking Piers about his age. Piers refuses to answer, and gets upset when the others start pressing the issue. He worries on-screen that knowing his age would change how his new friends see him (and it's also possible he's just embarrassed about it). Fans consequently tend to assume he's significantly older than the rest of the cast, possibly bar Kraden.
- None of the Proxians have stated ages, but Karst gets this the most due to being noticeably shorter than the others (though still about as tall as Felix) and having more humanlike features. In-universe, the only thing that is said about her age is that she's younger than Menardi. Fans have estimated her to be anywhere between 15 and 30. And that's assuming that they age at the same rate as normal humans, which also isn't clear.
- Nobody knows how old the villainous Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog is supposed to be. The only clue about his age is that he was alive when Professor Gerald Robotnik perished 50 years ago, implying he must be at least that old.
- Despite the characters all looking a couple of years older in the spinoff series Sonic Boom, they are still the same ages as their main series counterparts.
- Characters from Parappa The Rapper. For an example, Parappa himself is old enough to drive a car and join the military but not old enough to work.
- Kirby was described in the Manual of Kirby's Dreamland to be a "little boy" but gave no age, and his age in games since then hasn't really been touched upon.
- Some of the characters in the WarioWare series fall into this. Ashley's the most obvious example (her 'official' age is supposedly around 15 according to the US website, but might be different in Japan), and her design is so vague that it's kind of hard to tell what age the character is outside of 'looks fairly young'. Same deal with 18 Volt, who looks like anything between a high school student and adult, who's somehow still in elementary school.
- Don't Starve: Willow. Psychopathic Womanchild, or Enfant Terrible? The art style makes it hard to tell how old she is, though Word Of God says that she's the same age as Wilson, who's at least old enough to grow a beard.
- The cast of Harvest Moon games tend to be this.
- One of the few games where all of the characters have defined ages is the "Forget-Me-Not Valley" series of games (A(nother) Wonderful Life, DS (Cute)), where the manual gives the characters' ages. This can be especially confusing given that there are certain characters who state that they're older than the protagonist, especially when they're romanced, but who look exactly the same as everyone else due to the cutesy art style. A prime example is Muffy, who is in her early thirties but looks as young as the twenty-somethings.
- Luna in Tree of Tranquility is so short she resembles the other children on the island, but is of marriageable age. This naturally caused a bit of Squick, so in Animal Parade, she got a height boost. She's still on the younger side, especially in the way she dresses, but how much so still isn't clear.
- Calvin from Tree of Tranquility/Animal Parade is an especially confusing case. When romanced, he alludes to there being an age difference between him and the protagonist. However, his character profile explicitly refers to him as a young man. Either the protagonist is really, really young, or she's older than she looks.
- Soseki from A New Beginning is another odd case. He also alludes to being decently older than the protagonist. However, most of the other Silver Fox bachelors in the series had Animation Anatomy Aging to indicate them being older—Soseki doesn't. This leads to the common fan theory that he's not that old at all, but he's extremely self-conscious about it. It wouldn't be out of character.
- Ann from Harvest Moon 64 and other future games looks like a teenager but can be married. The Japanese strategy guide to the game gives everyone's ages but otherwise they're not stated.
- Nina from the SNES series looks absurdly young in the official art and has a more childish persona than even the neighborhood kids but apparently is an adult. Harvest Moon: Magical Melody remedies this by making her look like someone who is at least eighteen, despite the chibi art style.
- Updated has 70 characters, all without definite ages. The only definite thing is that Reizo and Oren are probably the oldest of the bach.
- In Endless Ocean: Blue World, nobody's age is pinned down, but of note are Professor Sakurai, who is said by Oceana to be "too young" to have done all she's done; Oceana herself, who, at least in the NA version, has to be at least 15 since her father's accident is stated to have been 15 years ago, and is more likely to be 17 or so, as she was "very young" at the time rather than "not born" or "just a baby"; and the player character, who joins the diving service while taking a break from courses.
- Usually this isn't an issue with main characters in the Tales Series, but Judas's age is a problem. Leon was 16 when he died, and Judas still looks young, but considering he was revived at some undetermined point between the Eye of Atamoni incident and the present in Tales of Destiny 2, and he's treated like the old guy of the group, he could be anywhere from 16 to 34.
- Spyro the Dragon is a Kid Hero but how old he is is never specified. Considering the fact that, according to Spyro: Year of the Dragon, dragon eggs only hatch once every twelve year he could be twelve, but it is unknown if dragons even age comparable to humans.
- The CPUs in Neptunia are immortal goddesses, throwing any relevance of their exact age out the window to start with, but there's still the question of how old Rom and Ram are intended to be. On one hand, they look about 10-12, can go out on Lowee's streets unsupervised, and have basic reading ability fitting that age. On the other, Rom still prefers to have picture books read to her and can't walk to the bathroom alone at night, and Ram boasts about being above such things.
- The time travelling future children in Fire Emblem Awakening are never specified to be any particular age, other than "looking almost the same age as their parents" (due to Time Travel). We know Lucina is slightly older than most of the other children, as supports confirm she was born before them, and Laurent is physically 3 years older than her due to a time travel accident sending him back further into the past than the others, but other than that, nothing. This is actually necissary for gameplay though, as it's possible for the kids' fathers to fall victim to Final Death, meaning exactly when the mothers would have to get pregnant could be anytime, so it had to be left as vague as possible.
- The Jump Start franchise zig-zags this trope. Token humans Polly Sparks and Jo Hammet are clearly a third grader and a fifth grader respectively. The original incarnations of Mr. Hopsalot and Frankie were obviously an adult rabbit and an adult dog. On the flip side, the Funny Animals in the 2001-2004 games play this trope straight. They all appear childlike, and this incarnation of Hopsalot mentions in Advanced 2nd Grade that finding clues "gives [him] an excuse to stay up past [his] bedtime". However, none of them give any signs of being enrolled in school or college, no parents are seen or even mentioned and they all seem really self-sufficient. C.J. Frog is the worst case in any continuity. The current continuity is pretty confusing too. That being said, the original version of this franchise actually has a straight case of vague age in Jump Start Preschool. In this title, the featured Funny Animals speak in childlike voices, but Casey Cat wears a necktie, so it is difficult to tell whether they are supposed to be the students or the teachers.
- As per Nintendo norms, no one in Splatoon is given an exact age. The closest we get are the fact Inklings can only become perfectly humanoid at roughly fourteen so that's the minimum age for the main character, Judd is over a thousand years old, and Capt'n Cuttlefish is implied to be over 100 years old.
- Almost nothing is known about the Fairy Tale Detective, the hero of the Dark Parables, except that she's a woman. However, one bit of information allows for an educated estimate of her age. Thus far, the only attempt at a timeline for the series is confirmation that the third game takes place ten years before the seventh; it can be approximated, therefore, that the series has been happening for at least roughly fifteen years in-universe, which would put the detective at the time of the tenth game in at least her thirties. She could possibly even be older than that, depending on how old she was intended to be when the series began, but since she was already established as a professional detective in the first game she must have been an adult.
- The characters in What the Fu are only defined as somewhere in their twenties, mostly because Zac can't be bothered with details.
- In City of Reality, none of the main characters have defined ages — this is deliberate on the part of the author so as not to trip himself up with potential romantic subplots. The cartoonish art style doesn't help matters. However, it is possible to extrapolate from their statements about graduating high school and the assumptions people on other worlds make about their youth, and they got a visual (though again not textual) age-up between chapters 5 and 6.
- Cucumber and his sister Almond of Cucumber Quest are, in the author's own words, "A young kid and a slightly younger kid." It is known that Cucumber isn't 9, because that's how old his father thinks he is.
- Sinfest is pretty weird with this. Word Of God is that Slick is somewhere between 14 and his early twenties, and the other characters rarely (if ever) get their ages touched upon. It's especially weird considering that most of the main male characters look considerably younger than the women (who all look somewhere from their late teens to twenties). It's not helped by the fact that just about every character lives on their own.
- The Dragon Doctors has this as a deliberate, in-universe social issue due to the fact that society has access to a functioning Fountain of Youth.
- The author of Schlock Mercenary has confessed that he has no idea how old General Tagon is, guessing that he's somewhere between 18 and 40 years older than his 49 year-old son.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series lampshade this in episode 53, Yugi even brings up on how old they're suppose to be.
- Happy Tree Friends: According to the creators, the Tree Friends are whatever age is necessary for the cartoon to work, aside from a handful of characters who are always portrayed as adults (though rarely competent).
- Homestar Runner has only two or three confirmed "adult" regulars; the others can be, as the plot requires, young enough to be going to preschool or old enough to be drinking Cold Ones. Even the adult regulars aren't too old to play spaceman with tin foil outfits and cardboard spaceships. Don't even ask about Homsar. This Page on the wiki attempts to clear things up a bit. Emphasis on "a bit".
- The flash cartoon series Retarded Animal Babies has mocked this a few times. Despite the name "Babies" the character Bunny claims to have gone to high school and even had several wives (to which the character Puppy says, "Shit man, how old are you?").
- In Darwins Soldiers this trope is made explicit by Ariol, Kain, Subject 19, Siren, Breathtaker and Stalker; all have their age listed in their profiles as "unknown".
- Most of the cast of Gaia Online qualifies, especially since the website does acknowledge the passing of years and the characters do have birthdays. They just don't resemble their alleged ages. At all.
- The Trapezoid Kids are deliberately drawn so that they need their Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, exaggerated gestures, outer body colors, and voices for anyone to even tell them apart, much less know exactly how old they are. They aren't even drawn with visible faces.
- The bikes in When Bikes Argue could be literally any age. But only Betsy is described specifically as a child. The other bikes are allegedly between 20 and 50, in keeping with who might be riding them.
- Spoofed in Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse, where nobody knows what Barbie's age is, not even her closest friends.
Teresa: She ran for President once! You have to be at least thirty-five for that, so let's see... Carry the One... uh... What am I adding?Barbie: Today, I'm officially (gets drawn out by the vacuum)
- Toki and her twin sister Doki are older than they appear but how old they are is never stated, though, going by Doki's Chronicles, they should be about either in their late eighties to early nineties, as the setting of one of the stories was in the nineteen twenties to thirties and their clothing from that point in time seems to suggest about that.
- There is also Eglantine and presumably she is a toddler, as she is still in diapers and young enough to attend nursery school, though, if the passage of time is to go by, she should be four if not five and what is known is that she still a young child. Justified, in this case as no one has no clue as to how old Eglantine is because they don't know her birthday, thus they wouldn't know the year in which she was born in.
- Brownieis stated to be "likely to be in early to mid twenties" though she was about twelve or thirteen when she met Toki, making that a tad more appropriate.
- Magnolia is stated to be about 2-4
- There's Kamu and Kanran who has a condition that makes them look like babies but they don't seem to let them stop them in being damn near malicious and that both are old enough to smoke but their ages are never stated. In that vein, it's hard to pinpoint how old Jeanne is or whether or not she is even a child or through some means or another just looks like one.
- Couette from Noob. She's short and acts like a stereotypical teenage girl, but is also the Distaff Counterpart of the franchise Man Child undergoing Divergent Character Evolution. Her actress in the webseries is a short adult, but she also hints to still be going to class in some of her dialogue. The comic shows the other contestants at her beauty pageant to be much taller than her and that she lives in her own house, but has her drawn with the same standards as the Man Child in question, making look her like the youngest of all regular players.
- Cecil from Welcome to Night Vale, to go along with his ambiguous appearance and questionable status as a human. His childhood friend claimed to have been a teenager for decades at one point and when questioned it is revealed that Cecil can't actually remember what year they graduated. And considering they both sound around the same age, that only raises more questions. Also despite having memories of growing up in Night Vale, a "Best Of" episode reveals that his first show recounted a group of settlers arriving at a barren wasteland and declaring that they will found a town there called Night Vale, and a later one has him excitedly telling listeners about a new technology called radio that people will soon be able to listen to his show on.
- The Histeria Kid Chorus is stated to be in middle school (even the clearly teenage Toast and Pepper), but their exact ages are never stated (except for Froggo, who's ten).
- According to Word Of God, the ages of the main characters of Jimmy Two-Shoes are purposely left vague in order to allow a bigger range of stories. Heloise looks like a little girl, but holds down a job as Misery Inc's top inventor, and all three live without parental supervision. Beezy can still get grounded and gets an allowance, but is old enough to get married.
- Kim Possible:
- Shego apparently has a degree in teaching but (when she's not committing crimes For the Evulz) acts like a teenager, lounging around the Supervillain Lair reading fashion magazines. Her relationship with Dr. Drakken (who is Kim's father's age) flipped between father-daughter and romantic, even though she had a one-episode romance with Senor Senior Junior, who is apparently young enough to crush on Kim and date her high-school rival Bonnie. Word Of God is that she was in her mid-20s by the end of the show.
- The ages of Kim and Ron (and by extension, their fellow students) are also never really addressed beyond Word Of God describing them as "high school age". Although given a few details throughout the series (moving to senior year, being able to drive, graduating etc.) it can be reasonably assumed that they start out in the series at 14/15, before ending up at 17/18 in the final season.
- Mickey Mouse and friends. They're typically to be portrayed as adults, Goofy even has a son, but some merchandise and cartoons can easily portray them as students without changing much of anything. Of course even when they're portrayed as adults their ages are hard to pin down. Goofy is old enough to have the aforementioned college aged son, but Mickey and Donald seem much younger than that most of the time.
- The title characters of Phineas and Ferb, as well as their same-age friends, were originally supposed to be nine years (as mentioned in the pilot), but when the creators saw how well various age groups responded to them they decided they were simply "less than fifteen" (their older sister's age). It's hard to get any clearer an example from how they act: Phineas is a Cheerful Child who's Oblivious to Love, while Ferb sounds like a teenager and has hints of being a Covert Pervert.
- In his earliest cartoons, Porky Pig fluctuated between being a child and being an adult. The latter is easier to relate to, considering his future mild-mannered personality compared to the other Looney Tunes characters.
- The main characters of Tiny Toon Adventures are clearly young enough to be the offspring of the original Looney Tunes, even though they are actually unrelated to their predecessors. Acme Looniversity has a prom as well as spring and summer breaks, and the Tiny Toons appear to be quite independent, but most of them still live with parents and are expected to obey their rules. These facts would suggest that they are high schoolers. However, the majority of the cast do not look like they are going through puberty. In fact, Montana Max and Elmyra Duff behave more like elementary schoolers. Only Fifi La Fume and Arnold the Pitbull resemble teenagers. Some fans assume the characters are 13, even though their ages are never stated, because of an episode called "13something". The title was actually a pun (referring to the sitcom 30something.)
- In The Raccoons, Bert acts like a child, but he also seemed to have graduated school and works as both a professional journalist and paperboy.
- Spike in The Transformers - when he first appeared, he was working on an oil rig, but in a later episode, he mentioned he was too young for a driver's license. In the same episode, he begins a romance with a girl who is in college.
- KaBlam!: Henry and June's ages are never stated in the show, but appearance wise, most likely nine to eleven, most fans put them at ten.
- The titular character of Flip the Frog has a different age in different episodes. Sometimes he's portrayed as a kid, sometimes as an adult.
- The members of Dethklok on Metalocalypse are of a vague adult age. In the first season, Pickles is said to have run away from home 15 years ago at the age of 16, which makes him 31. However, he also played in a hair metal band in The '80s. If he was, say, 19 in 1985, that makes him 40 when the series begins.
- Warner Brothers didn't want the writers to give Bruce Wayne an established age when he and Terry were celebrating his birth in the Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past". They said in the commentary that he would have been around mid to late eighties.
- Who knows how old any of the penguins in The Penguins of Madagascar are? It's worth noting that apparently Private is younger than the rest (but interestingly had at least one earlier identity as the Mini Golf champion Mr. Tux). We're given a clue that Skipper and company weren't alive, or at least were not yet adults, in the 1960s as Skipper wants to go back in time and slap a hippie. Skipper recalls an adventure where he woke up in a bed covered in Deutchmarks (the German currency that was discontinued by 2002). It's also worth noting that Buck Rockgut had been down in the tunnel under the zoo for forty-seven years when the penguins found him, and that it's implied that he's much older than they are. That's around twice a normal penguin's natural lifespan. The Movie has a flashback to the time when Skipper, Rico, and Kowalski meet a newborn Private. The character designs of the very young penguins reflects the fact that they themselves were definitely not yet adults at the time and have not yet begun their adventuring. But then again, Word Of God indicates that the movies are an Alternate Continuity.
- Scooby-Doo: The gang are old enough to travel on the road on a consistent basis but still young enough to be considered "Meddling Kids". This would suggest that they're in the early 20's, but some episodes of the original series seem to place them in high school.
- Word Of God has Velma (the youngest) at fourteen in the original series and the oldest two being eighteen. In newer series they seem to have aged into their early twenties though, with some direct-to-VHS movies having them in their late 20s. However, in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated they're all explicitly still in high school, and while Shaggy's and Velma's exact ages aren't specified, Daphne and Fred are both stated to be Seniors.
- Similarly, The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan places the older kids in their teens and Flip in his preteens. Only the three youngest are given actual ages in canon.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- The main cast seem to show whatever level of maturity is required to make this episode's plot work. They all live independently and most work professionally, but also often act like teens (with things like slumber parties). Their interactions with explicitly pre-adolescent characters seems to vacillate between slightly older sibling to responsible adult figure. It's complicated even further by one minor who apparently has an explicit "teen as distinct from adult" stage. The only hard numbers that exist on any characters' ages are that Celestia, Luna, and Discord are well over a thousand years old, Sweetie Belle looked significantly younger during a flashback to when she was five years old, and Fluttershy is a year older than Pinkie. And then there's Spike...
- The mane cast's age was given in one episode by showing Applejack as a baby at the Apple reunions (held every 100 months, with the reunion in the third season), leading to a large in-fandom argument about whether the ponies are 17 or 25. Their maturity level indicates the lower number, while their roles in society clearly requires the older, especially as that would require three of the main 6 to be business owners at 15.
- Popular fanon HandWaves include the possibility that ponies mature faster than humans, or that Equestria's year doesn't directly correspond to our own; heaven knows the rest of their natural laws don't.
- The birth-iversary cake in "Pinkie Pride" seems to suggest that a) Rainbow Dash is 21, b) Rainbow Dash is 31 (if the candles go all the way around the tiers, or c) the decorator(s) just like(s) putting candles on a cake without regard for representing years by them.
- Spike, who is several years younger than the rest of the main cast but apparently older than the other children in the show. He lives with Twilight Sparkle and basically acts as her younger brother, but unlike the other younger characters he can be left on his own for long periods of time (even taking over another's duties), and, rather than going to school, has a job as Twilight's assistant. All the while still being considered a "baby" dragon.
- Cheerilee was a teen in The '80s but was a filly when Rarity was. Despite Rarity's appearences she's not implied to be much older than the other Mane 6. Of course since this is an alt. universe it's possible their equivalent of the 80s was a few years ago instead of several decades.
- Throughout the series itself My Little Pony has fit this. Characters are explicitly referred to as adults and several of them even have children, however they're notoriously immature and love playing with toys. Then again they are horses.
- Ponies in general are hard to pin down in terms of age. The ones you might assume are all about the some age when in the present day may be either adults or foals in flashbacks. There are even characters who are adults in pre-Rainboom events such as the Summer Sun Celebration that inspired Twilight Sparkle to study magic, but fillies in post-Rainboom events such as the party that inspired Cheese Sandwich to become a party pony.
- Most of the time Donald Duck is portrayed as an adult, however one short "Donald's Better Self" depicts him as a child.
- Alvin, Simon and Theodore, as well as Brittany, Jeanette and Eleanor are obviously young enough to be under the care of legal guardians. Also, they do act like children and they all lack Secondary Sexual Characteristics. What makes the Chipmunks and the Chipettes fall under this trope is that throughout the franchise's history, they have cycled through all three stages of schooling (elementary, middle, high) with no visible signs of aging.
- Betty Boop appears to be an adult or young adult, but in "Minnie the Moocher" she is running away from home because her parents grounded her when she didn't eat her peas. She is implied to be a teenager, and she can be between 16 and 19 in most shorts.
- It is difficult to tell how old Piglet in the Disney versions of Winnie-the-Pooh actually is. His proper name, combined with the childish nicknames Tigger uses for him, should imply that he is young, but his relatively mature personality suggests that he is in the age group as the others.
- HBO Family sometime airs a show in the vein of Dora the Explorer called El Perro Y El Gato. The two protagonists seem like adults but in one episode the dog asks the cat what he wants to be when he grows up, and the dog says he wants to be a veterinarian.
- Gwizdo of Dragon Hunters. In The Movie (which was a prequel to the series) he's established as a homeless adult; in the series he lives in an inn and has apparently been staying there since the innkeeper's daughter Zoria (who is around 18 now) was a child, which would mean that he's quite old. Yet appearance-wise he barely looks over 20 and in "The Isle of Mist" when he ends up in a Fountain of Youth for a few seconds he immediately reverts to a young child even though the monks before him had to bathe in it for several minutes just to revert to their thirties.
- Jimbo, Dolph, and Kearney from The Simpsons. They are implied to be teenagers, but apparently attend Springfield Elementary. Kearney on the other hand, while he has a very screechy voice and acts like a teenage bully, he also has a son of his own, is divorced and according to Otto, they were in 3rd grade together.
- Kearney, oddly enough, was shown in an early episode trying to buy beer with a fake ID and assumed name. Later, he's shown to remember Watergate and is also able to openly go for a drink at Moe's. Of course, the first incident was before they decided that his advanced age and apparent multiple failures to complete the sixth grade were a Running Gag.
- Also, one episode shows that Jimbo is bald under his knit cap.
- Beverly Hills Teens:
- Chester McTech is younger than most of the cast, but by how much is never specified.
- Whilshire looks like a teenager like the rest of the cast, but he's almost never seen attending school with them and apparently has a full time job as a valet/chauffeur. This was most likely done to make his crush on the obviously teenage Bianca less squicky.
- It's hard to pin an age onto the Strawberry Shortcake characters. They look like preteens both in their 2003 and 2007 designs, despite the fact Apple Dumplin' aged noticeably at least six years. It's made even more confusing by the fact the later episodes involve the characters getting jobs, moving out, and driving cars. The 2009 is equally bad, with the characters owning their own stores but looking no older than fifteen. Even prior to this, they lived in their homes, planned their own sleepovers, and otherwise generally managed their own lives and there were no parent characters shown.
- In "Baby Takes the Cake" from the 2003 series, Strawberry Shortcake warns viewers to leave certain dangerous things related to cooking like using knives or handling a hot stove to an adult. Which would seem to be her way of suggesting that she is one.
- Ami and Yumi from "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi"', they are assumed to be adults like their real life counterparts but the art style makes them look like children and they act like teens.
- The Popeye character don't have their ages revealed, though "Goonland" and "Popeye, the Ace of Space" imply that Popeye himself is around 40, while "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" has Olive being called "a maid in her teens". Also in "Puttin' on the Act" (from 1940), it's shown that Popeye and Olive had an 1890s vaudeville act.
- Total Drama has a mild example with Blaineley, who's clearly supposed to be an adult, but winds up competing in the show with teenagers. She gets Ship Tease with both adult Chef and teenage Owen, and admits to having a crush on Justin.
- In The Beatles cartoon, the Fab Four themselves are in their moptop-era designs, meaning they're meant to be very young adults. However, a few episodes have them refer to themselves as teenagers, and yet another episode has them at a legal drinking age.
- It should be noted that it is possible to be all three simultaneously in Britain, where 18 is the drinking age and the age when one becomes an adult.
- It's never stated how old the human main characters of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy are supposed to be, and their school seems to combine elements of elementary school and junior high.
- The chalk drawing characters in ChalkZone are technically as old as when they were first drawn (for example, Snap turns two in "Lost in Chalk" because it marked two years since Rudy first drew him), but most of their physical/mental ages are still left vague. While Snap lives on his own and has been shown driving in a few episodes, he appears to be around eight to ten physically and mentally.
- The fairies in The Fairly OddParents are immortal and have been alive for millions of years, however it's unsure how old most of the characters are in "human" terms, as well as physically and mentally. Also, Tootie's age seems to be a bit debated. In one tie-in book from 2004, she's stated to be eight (making her two years younger than Timmy). However in some material, she's stated to be ten.
- While most of the characters on Recess are given ages, what age Cornchip Girl is and what grade she's in was left ambiguous. In "One Stayed Clean" she's shown among the kindergarteners, though this may have been accidental as she was shown running away from them earlier. Most episodes suggest she's in between grades first and third, but has been confirmed not to be in the same grade as the main six. Most fans tend to place her around seven.
- On Maisy the characters, a cute female mouse and her friends, go where they want, do what they want, drive cars, fly planes, take their own baths, etc. Really, there's nothing explicitly indicating that they aren't adults, other than their very childlike appearance, childlike babble speech and tendency to play with toys and stuffed animals (not that adults don't ever do that last one, of course.)
- Steven Universe:
- Steven and Connie's ages were debated for a long time among fans, and generally thought to be somewhere between 8 and 12. They're both very short and Steven is also quite immature. More than a year passed in-universe, without either visibly aging, before "Steven's Birthday" specified their ages: Steven is 14, but hasn't physically aged since he was about 8 as a result of being a Half-Human Hybrid. Connie is 12.
- Sadie and Lars have been working at Big Donut for two years, and in America most chain stores will only hire people older than sixteen. The two can be anywhere from their late teens to early twenties.
- Gems technically have no physical ages, however most look like adults. Ruby and Sapphire are both the same height as Steven, Ruby is hot-headed and unstable like a child, and unlike Amethyst they have childish bodies. Fans are torn whether they're supposed to look like little kids or are short, small chested women. It doesn't help that their fusion, Garnet, is clearly an adult.
- Amethyst's age is pretty vague too. She's short and childish, but her voice and figure suggest she's at least the equivalent of a teenager and "Story For Steven" revealed she appeared vaguely less mature around when Greg Universe met Rose Quartz. Interestingly, she is the only Gem so far who's actual chronological age is roughly given: around 6000 years, making her the youngest known full gem so far, yet even this is just an educated guess. All that's known so far is that the Kindergarten Amethyst was born in was shut down 6000 years ago and that she wasn't present at a certain battle that took place 5000 years ago, leaving her exact age ambiguous.
- Peridot is The Napoleon, has an immature personality, and is younger than the other Gems. This leaves an ambiguity to how old she is supposed to be. Amethyst's age? Younger? Older?
- None of the Jem characters have confirmed ages. All that is given is Kimber is the youngest and the others are somewhere in their 20s. The series bible states Kimber is three years younger than Jerrica but that doesn't say much. We never see her show signs of being in high school so we can assume she already graduated and is either eighteen or nineteen. The IDW comic reboot averts this trope by clealy showing ages in the character bios.
- Ember from Danny Phantom has been suggested to be in her twenties despite her general persona and looks seeming more like a rebellious high schooler.
- On Toot & Puddle, Toot and Puddle live together on their own and do stuff like travel the world. Yet they seem to have a childlike quality about them and sometimes don't seem to know stuff that an adult should already now. For example, in "The Legend of Pocket Hollow," when Otto tells Puddle that a story of his is "just a legend," Puddle asks what a "legend" is.
- In 3-2-1 Penguins!, it's never explicitly stated or even implied how old the Penguins are. Since they're penguins, their ages can't be determined by their appearances alone. If their ages are determined by their voices and how long it's been since Bert Bertman graduated from the Federation Academy, their ages would be from late twenties to early thirties.
- Kion and Kiara from The Lion Guard. They're not littermates but appear to be of similar ages, despite Kiara explicitly being older. Kion has a tuft of mane growing already and has gotten The Talk however both siblings have the same generic 'cub' design.
- Rainbow Brite barely reaches ten year old Brian's hips but is old enough to have Ship Tease with him. She and the other Color Kids act awfully mature for their looks and live alone. There are implications that Rainbow has lived in Rainbow Land for years which brings to question if she even ages.
- The main characters of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers qualify, most notably Gadget Hackwrench. The closest the series ever gets to specifying the characters' ages is that two episodes imply that Monterey Jack is much older than Gadget, Chip, Dale, and Zipper.
- Charo. She was born January 15 of either 1941 (what her birth certificate says), 1945 (what The Other Wiki says) or 1951 (what she says).
- Both BlueStahli and Celldweller. Due to the fact that they never mention their age nor are their ages listed on any website.
- Tommy Wiseau is famously secretive about his age. In 2010, he claimed to be 41, but other sources list his birth year as 1955, which would make him 55 as of that year.
- The author Sydney, Lady Morgan was very vague about her age, maintaining that she was born in 1785 when it was probably 1781. Her death certificate (in 1859) gives her age as "about 80".
- Idi Amin's birth date is unknown, guessed at maybe 1923, 1925 or 1928.