Wick cleanup: Absurdly Youthful Mother

Total posts: [99]
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Absurdly Youthful Mother is currently about three tropes in one: "Actual parent-child relations with small age difference," "Parent and child ages (or looks) are somehow modified," and "No actual small age difference between the characters." And the first two have their own subtropes under that!

This is all just too much for one trope. We need to split them off, and turn Absurdly Youthful Mother into the supertrope.
This should be an easy split. They're already split on the main page!
I agree that we should split, but there seems to be even more than three types

Cutting and pasting the various headers:

  1. Pregnancy at a young age is clearly implied or stated
  2. Parents remarried, adoption, or gained custody through other means
  3. Children are born, then their age is retconned: These examples are listed under Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome.
  4. Time Travel, Magic, Bizarre Alien Biology or Immortality are involved
  5. The parent *looks* younger, or the child looks older
  6. Parents that were young but still considered adults when the child was born
  7. Faked parentage
  8. Unclear if it is one of the above or a case of Writers Cannot Do Math
  9. Clear Cases Of Writers Cannot Do Math

edited 26th Nov '13 4:42:15 PM by Catbert

4 SeptimusHeap26th Nov 2013 01:02:38 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
The core trope here is "parent looks too young in comparison to their children". I would agree with the split, and leaving the current page like Tomboy is.
5 Willbyr26th Nov 2013 06:41:25 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
[up] I agree.
I agree with the split, but I think we should not leave what's left as a supertrope. Unlike "tomboy," it's not a trope or concept of its own. It doesn't describe what something is - it describes what something isn't.

For comparison, it would be like if tomboy were "woman doesn't act traditionally feminine" and were soft-split into the following:

  1. The woman is a tomboy
  2. The woman is lesbian
  3. The woman is secretly a man in disguise
  4. The work was written by a culture that has different definitions of "feminine"
  5. The author originally intended the character to be a man
  6. The theme of the story is the reversal of gender roles
  7. Wildly inconsistent characterization

Those aren't subtropes of a single concept - those are unrelated concepts that happen to have results that can be described using the same phrase.
So it seems everyone agrees on a split. Do we need a crowner to decide between turning it into a supertrope or an exampleless disambiguation? For the record, I'm in favor of the former.
8 shimaspawn2nd Dec 2013 04:20:47 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
Supertropes are always good things. Not everything is going to fit clearly into one of the subtropes.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
If something doesn't fall under any of the tropes we're splitting this into, that's fine. We don't have to note it, unless it follows a trope of some kind.
10 shimaspawn2nd Dec 2013 05:38:24 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
Just because something doesn't fall into a specific subtrope doesn't mean it doesn't fit a trope. Supertropes exist for a reason.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Yes, we should have a supertrope - when the thing we're describing is a trope. But several tropes can fall under a common umbrella term without that umbrella term being a trope.

A fine example would be Hot Mom, which we recently converted to an exampleless definition page. Due to the conversion, many examples of hot mothers may no longer have a clear place on the wiki. And that's fine. Not just because of No Lewdness, No Prudishness but because "hot mother" is not a trope.

"Mother who is younger than she could realistically be" is also not a trope. It certainly sounds like a trope, but a look at the current page reveals that is just an umbrella term covering many independent and unrelated concepts.

Could you list some examples that would have no page after the split but that should have a page?

edited 2nd Dec '13 5:51:04 PM by AmyGdala

12 shimaspawn2nd Dec 2013 05:58:41 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
The ones under other and combination on the current page are good examples of it being a significant plot creating trait, without necessarily falling into one of the more specific divisions.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
"Other" contains exactly three examples, all under the subheading "Faked Parentage." You'd think "Faked Parentage" would deserve its own page, whether or not a mother appears absurdly youthful.

"Combination" lists two works. Two. Both concern adoptions. And labeling either of them "Absurdly Youthful Mother" shows quite well how useless a label that is. In one of them, two teenagers adopt a robot (?) who is two but looks eight. Is this an example of the absurdly youthful mother trend, or the absurdly youthful mother storybuilding tool? No! It's an example of... well, I guess robots looking older than they are, and the trope about having a robot as the kid of the family, and probably a whole lot more I could list if I knew this story. But calling it "absurdly youthful mother" doesn't tell us anything about the story or link it to any wider trend.
14 johnnye2nd Dec 2013 08:27:01 PM from Brighton, UK , Relationship Status: If it's you, it's okay
Yikes, this is a mess.

And "absurdly" is a misnomer in most cases. An absurdly youthful mother — so impossibly youthful it's funny — would be, like, six. 8-12 is merely impossibly youthful, 12-16 uncomfortably youthful, 16-18 awkwardly youthful.

But all of those would be maybe two tropes, "someone's mother is too young to have had them by normal means" and "someone's relationship with their mother is made awkward by how small an age gap there is".

What other tropes would we be splitting off?
"We don't harm little girls in Dorne."
— Oberyn Martell
15 SeptimusHeap2nd Dec 2013 11:11:37 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I am inclined to leave it a supertrope, under the stipulation that a trope can have more than one meaning.
That's where I strongly disagree! A trope can't have multiple meanings. A trope is its meaning. A phrase can have multiple meanings - that's why we have disambiguation pages. And when a trope's name suggests multiple meanings, we change it to one with a single clear meaning.
17 SeptimusHeap3rd Dec 2013 12:10:57 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
I do not see a problem at all. Only when some versions had no meaning but I don't see that argument here.

I am sorry.
Oh, you meant "meaning" as in "significance." I thought you meant "meaning" as in "definition."

With this page, the different types have not just different significance's but different definitions. "In the land of Popopo, women age backward" is a different thing from "due to a continuity error, Mary must have been just 12 when her daughter was born." It's not the same thing played two different ways, or the same thing for two different purposes. They're unrelated things and the only reason they're linked is because we named this page "absurdly youthful mother."

19 SeptimusHeap3rd Dec 2013 12:26:03 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
All of them have the common element of "parent looks too young compared to their children", tho'.
20 shimaspawn3rd Dec 2013 11:49:25 AM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
It's normal for Supertropes to cover a wide variety of things. For example knight quests to retrieve the holy grail, and doctor searches for the cure to a deadly outbreak are both examples of The Hero. Even though they aren't really doing anything alike.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Sure, because they're both still heroes. They're protagonists, they're leaders, they're well-rounded in attributes, they succeed in most of their endevors, they-re in charge of the main plot, theirs are the story's most important relationships. The current The Hero page doesn't just say, "He is sometimes a knight, or he could be trying to heal people. He may even have superpowers." It instead says a lot about the way the trope plays out the majority of the time, even if examples differ in specifics.

We can't do the same for Absurdly Youthful Mother. Beyond the definition, which describes what the mother isn't more than what she is, there's nothing we can say that covers the majority of examples because the examples are such unconnected things.

Let's look at the current description.

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

Okay, that's the definition. Unclear, but that's not relevant right now.

Typically done to justify a hot mom

A relic from when "Hot Mom" was a trope. The page image itself isn't an example of this. None of the other/combination entries are examples of this.

But sometimes, she really was that young when she gave birth (or the other gender around).

What? Yes, this is true, hot mom or not. This just repeats the definition.

Sometimes she only appears this way because of the art style.

Covers just a small fraction of the examples.

In Real Life, a girl can conceive as soon as she has her first menstrual cycle, generally around 11 or 12 years old... although in rare cases this can occur at an even younger age, such as five years old.note Lina Medina, the girl in question is an example of a case of extreme precocious puberty i.e. puberty at an absurdly young age, and reportedly had started getting her period while she was still an infant. She is the youngest mother ever in recorded history, though she was too young to fully remember the pregnancy and her parents raised the baby as her brother. While the girl's father was eventually cleared of rape charges, there's still the Fridge Horror question of who the parents allowed around their daughter.

Real-life information that says nothing about how this plays out in fiction.

Somewhat justified if set in the past when girls might get married at 12-14 and boys at 15-19.

Again, doesn't apply to the majority of examples. And if it makes sense and is realistic in context, what's the point in labeling it "absurd"?

In modern times, it depends on your country and the culture you live.

This applies only to stuff like "mother is 14 years older than daughter," which might have been the trope's original meaning. It doesn't apply to all those many subtypes about adoption, time travel, retcons, errors, illusions etc.

Avoid posting examples of why you believe a relationship is squicky unless it is declared as such in-universe by the author or the characters themselves. This trope isn't about the morality of Teen Pregnancy or what is considered statutory rape.

Posting advice. We still have nothing to say about how this trope normally plays out - because we don't have a trope that plays out.

Compare Playing Gertrude if the actress playing the mother is absurdly youthful.

And, closing by directing to something that's not this trope, because there's nothing more to say about this trope.

edited 3rd Dec '13 12:30:23 PM by AmyGdala

22 SeptimusHeap3rd Dec 2013 12:34:03 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
The fact that they stand out as too young looking in comparison to their children is what connects these two things.
Yes, we established that several years ago when someone first coined the term "absurdly youthful mother." The question is: is that a trope?

Just posing a definition that covers several significant examples does not mean we have a trope. For example, I could propose a page called Absurdly Tall Mother, It would be for when the parent looks too tall in comparison to her children.

Teens Are Short is a trope, in which parents unrealistically appear taller than teens to highlight the age difference and difference in status. But I'd insist that my Absurdly Tall Mother "supertrope" cover not just that but also the case of George giving his mother a potion to make her 30 feet tall. I'd include the example of Hagrid and his much taller mother, who is a giant. I'd include Honey, I Shrunk the Kids', where the normal-sized parents tower over the shrunken children. And I'd include the documentary about Robert, the world's tallest man, and his many health complications.

All of those examples would follow my arbitrary definition of "parent looks too tall in comparison to her children," but they wouldn't be a trope.

edited 3rd Dec '13 12:45:09 PM by AmyGdala

24 shimaspawn3rd Dec 2013 12:46:32 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
Exactly. There is a clear line that connects these two things. The exact details of how it plays out narratively in each scenario varies just like it does with The Hero.

Supertropes are hard for a lot of tropers to wrap their heads around. That's why we have such an issue with them missing, even when they show up all the time. It's easier to see the similarities in their subtropes than when they've been abstracted a step.

You'll get it eventually. It just takes some more troping experience.

As for why Absurdly Tall Mother isn't a trope, it's because mothers in media tend to be average height. They aren't absurdly tall. So of course we can't call it a trope.

edited 3rd Dec '13 12:48:41 PM by shimaspawn

Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
25 SeptimusHeap3rd Dec 2013 12:49:13 PM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
The only reason why I agree with you on Absurdly Tall Mother is that there already is Teens Are Short. A "Not tropeworthy" concern is different from "already exists a similar concept".

ninja, and I overlooked the "average height" bit.

edited 3rd Dec '13 12:49:55 PM by SeptimusHeap

Alternative Titles: Mum Looks Like Your Sis
25th Feb '14 11:45:50 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:

Total posts: 99
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