Misused: Absurdly Youthful Mother

Deadlock Clock: 13th Oct 2012 11:59:00 PM
Total posts: [19]
Pika is the bombchu!
This trope's first line is:

"When you subtract the age (or apparent age) of a child from that of their parent, this results."

Or in other words, parents who had their children while in their teens. Sometimes this is made explicit, sometimes it is left to the viewer to Do The Math and arrive at a surprise.

But do all of the examples fit this description? No. We need to make this a subtrope of a supertrope called Absurdly Youthful Caregiver.

Variants found in the examples:
  • 1. The mom was a pregnant teen.
  • 2. Parents who adopt children who are too old to be their natural children, i.e. the adoptive parents are significantly younger than the biological parents.
  • 3. Actor Allusions where the math is shocking if we use the actor's ages, but we aren't given the character's (i.e. the characters could well be 5-10 years older than their actors)

And so forth. I'm sure there are a few more variants, but I have to go do something now.

In any case, only Scenario One should be this trope.

mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really.
2 32_Footsteps4th Jun 2012 11:51:02 AM from Just north of Arkham , Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
I think the entire second section on the trope page (in which retcons, magic, technology, or the like) should be zapped, and there should be a note on the top saying that those examples go under Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome, Fountain of Youth (for said newly-young parent), Older Than They Look, or good old-fashioned Time Travel shenanigans (which is the canon explanation for the trope picture). Said parents aren't actually absurdly youthful; some monkey business has gone on that's covered by other tropes.
Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
Pika is the bombchu!
Yeah, the section called "Parent Remarriage, Adoption, or Gained Custody Through Other Means" has to be split off altogether. The Bizzarre Alien Biology section has to go, too.

I wouldn't be opposed to making this a human-only trope.

The Really 700 Years Old examples have to be split off, too. If you stop aging at twenty, and thus look the same age as your kids, that's just looking Absurdly Youthful, not being Absurdly Youthful.
mudshark: I don't expect Nate to make sense, really.
Youthful is often used to mean "looks (or acts) young" regardless of actual age. If that is to be excluded, it should be explicit.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
5 32_Footsteps4th Jun 2012 09:58:19 PM from Just north of Arkham , Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Think of the mooks!
From the description, it seems like it should only be about parents that were teens when their children were born (since this trope also covers the case when the father is also rather young).

I think what might help is to list all of the tropes that might cover the cases that are being thrown in here.

  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome - When the child's age is changed by the production, but the parent's age isn't.
  • Playing Gertrude - When the actor playing the parent isn't that much older than the actor playing the child (the character ages may still be appropriate).
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up - When science/magic/time travel/other phlebotinum causes the child to age faster so as to make it appear to be this trope.
  • Fountain of Youth - When phlebotinum makes the parent appear/become younger.
  • Older Than They Look - When the child appears older than they are; the parent didn't necessarily have the child young. Can be combined with...
  • Younger Than They Look - When the parent looks younger than they are; same deal as immediately above.

Which am I missing?
Reminder: Offscreen Villainy does not count towards Complete Monster.
6 peccantis5th Jun 2012 01:03:44 AM , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
I was under the impression this was supposed to be about absurdly small apparent age difference of parent and child, not plausible ones (teenage mother/fatherhood for instance).

That is, cases where parent and child look more like siblings than what they are.
before the darkness arrives
[up] I agree. There are a lot of examples on the page that don't even fit. The poster says "Do the math" and you do and the mother is 19 (or 18, or, in the most egregious example, in their 20's) when the child was born. Not only is that not absurd (considering that puberty is in the early teens and the prevalence of teen pregnancy), the mother was an adult and would have been when the child was conceived. I mean, honestly, someone waiting until they're in their late 20's or early 30's to marry and reproduce is an incredible recent trend. I don't like deleting stuff off a trope page (except in rare circumstances), but everything under borderline examples doesn't belong in the catergory!
8 Xtifr17th Jul 2012 02:32:51 PM , Relationship Status: Having tea with Cthulhu
World's Toughest Milkman
I strongly endorse the suggestion to list related tropes. In my experience, that is a major help with certain forms of misuse.
The polyamorous time-traveler may have trouble with a pair o' doxies.
IOU one title
What if it was called Absurdly Youthful Parent?
So would it help to add something to the effect of an actual upper age difference limit? Say 15 and younger?
Rule of fanworks reviews: The amount of constructive criticism a work receives is in inverse proportion to the amount it needs.
11 Heatth2nd Aug 2012 01:14:31 AM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
Didn't we have a thread for this one before? I really remember opening it in the past.

Also, I believe the definition was changed a bit since then. For instance, I really do not remember the trope being so explicit about teenage parenthood. Instead it focused on parents who are unusually young without a proper explanation, which can be tied as a form of fanservise.

I think my original proposition was to separate the tropes, since they don't mean the same thing in media at all. As said, a young parent who is young for the sake of being young, without explanation, is a type of fanservice. A explicitly teenage parent, however, is commonly more used for drama, to tell a certain kind of story. A time travel thing is also, obviously, a completely different beast.

Anyway, there was quite a bit discussion in the previous thread, so I think it would be nice if we could find it. It is not on the "see the stale discussions report", so I guess have been locked since then.

Edit:Found it.

edited 2nd Aug '12 1:21:07 AM by Heatth

12 Clarste2nd Aug 2012 03:55:29 AM , Relationship Status: Non-Canon
One Winged Egret
Hasn't this always been about the appearance of being young? Being actually young is not only unnecessary, it kind of defeats the point really. And it would be a completely different trope even if it didn't.

It's more of casting trope than anything else. The other side of Dawson Casting.

edited 2nd Aug '12 3:56:41 AM by Clarste

13 Heatth2nd Aug 2012 04:12:11 AM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
[up]Yes, that was what I meant, sorry. Instead of "unusually young" I should have said "vaguely young that may lead to Fridge Logic" instead.

Though it is not necessarily a casting trope. It may be an art style trope instead. I am more familiar to this through anime/manga, for example.

Anyway, the page get all kind of examples, which is why I opened the previous thread. There are more than one trope in here.

edited 2nd Aug '12 4:14:28 AM by Heatth

Highly visible
[up][up] But we already have Playing Gertrude, which is the inverse of Dawson Casting as well.
So, are you saying there is a trope for characters who are DRAWN looking more youthful than they should be but are not actually Older Than They Look in universe and another for people who are actually just very young parents in universe?

Rule of fanworks reviews: The amount of constructive criticism a work receives is in inverse proportion to the amount it needs.
16 Heatth2nd Aug 2012 05:18:35 PM from Brasil , Relationship Status: In Spades with myself
[up]Not necessarily drawn. Just vaguely looking too young in a way that, even if possible, leads to implications. This trope exist purely to provide extra eye candy. The writer/director/whatever, is probably not even thinking too deep on the issue. S/He just wanted a pretty character as a parent. But this may lead to Fridge Logic when the viewer start questioning their age.

A actually too young parent is a completely beast. If the age is explicitly stated, however, most likely it will have an impact in the plot. I believe we should focus on the impact on the plot, in this case, not the age. If it lead to a Teenage Pregnancy story, it is one trope. If it is because of time shenanigans, it is another, for example. It can also be Writers Cannot Do Math, though I doubt this is a trope on its own.

Oh, yeah, I guess Playing Gertrude is a subtrope to the eye candy trope I am suggesting. Though I would emphasize said trope doesn't need to be about real actors. Furthermore, it doesn't even need to be about actually young actors. Younger Than They Look also count, I think. Reality Is Unrealistic and all. What is important is the viewer feel the parent looks too young.

edited 2nd Aug '12 5:20:46 PM by Heatth

Let me see if I can do a mock-up rewrite to something a bit more specific then we can start working on removing the examples that don't actually match. Moving those that don't already show up on the correct page?

Edit: Whoops. Just reread it. It really does seem to be fairly easy to understand. Just need to add a note about this not being Older Than They Look, I think.

[up]AA And just reread what you said. A lot of that can be fairly subjective. Judging someone's age correctly is fairly tricky as it is, but when you add in the mental trick of aging itself on how young/old you think a certain age group looks. When you're in high school, your fellow graduates look mature and worldly to you. Once you add a couple of decades, all graduates look too young to drive, let alone be old enough to vote. ;)

edited 2nd Aug '12 5:32:07 PM by Doxiedame

Rule of fanworks reviews: The amount of constructive criticism a work receives is in inverse proportion to the amount it needs.
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Total posts: 19