Follow TV Tropes

Sickly Child Grew Up Strong

Go To

An ill child grows up to become stronger or healthier.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Pichu-kun on Dec 31st 2016 at 12:01:30 PM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Mar 17th 2018 at 9:02:05 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

Not every badass starts out that way. This trope is when a powerful character is shown to have been an Ill Child growing up. It often serves to make the character seem even more impressive — since they've had to overcome adversity, thus demonstrating their willpower and drive — and also more sympathetic — since they were, at least at one point, an underdog.

If the character is heroic, it will usually be revealed as part of an encouraging speech telling another, weaker character that they, too, can become a hero. If the character is villainous, it is more likely to be part of a Motive Rant about how being weak taught the character the importance of strength, made them want to get revenge on those who preyed on their weakness back then, or just generally made them angry at the world.

Compare to I Got Bigger, Throwing Off the Disability, Stronger with Age, and From Nobody to Nightmare.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • Gaara from Naruto was born extremely small and premature. He grew up ostrasized by his entire village and family due to being a jinchuriki. After his uncle (who was the only person who showed affection towards him) tried to kill him, he snapped and turned into an Ax-Crazy Enfant Terrible. After undergoing a HeelĖFace Turn, Gaara becomes an All-Loving Hero while still being as powerful as ever, to the point where he became kazekage by fifteen.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid shows this transition in detail. At the start of the story, its protagonist Vivio is a fragile 10-year-old girl who has a lot of passion for martial arts but is repeatedly told by genuinely concerned friends and relatives that pursuing that dream with her physique may be too dangerous for her health. Over the course of the series, however, Vivio slowly builds up her strength and develops her own fighting style to compensate for her inherent weaknesses. After several arcs, even her mother Nanoha (the overarching protagonist of the series and one of the most powerful combat mages of the series) acknowledges her progress by expressing readiness to spar with her at full power (again, that is — although the last time they fought, Vivio was Brain Washed And Crazy and amped up on Green Rocks).
  • Misugi of Captain Tsubasa was struck with an abnormal heart condition that left him with little stamina and occasional heart attacks, but he's still a clever soccer tactician despite that. Then, as he grows up, he gets his heart treated and he's finally healthy, and resumes his soccer career.

Comic Books

  • Wolverine was a weak, sickly child. As an adult he has a Healing Factor and is quite powerful.
  • In Superman: Red Son, Superman tells Piotr that contrary to popular belief, he was not born with his full powers, and was in fact quite sickly for most of his childhood.
  • Prior to becoming Captain America, Steve Rogers was such a weakling that he was rejected from the military.
  • Fables: Bigby Wolf ¬†was the tiny runt ¬†of his litter and his brothers called him The Big Bad Wolf to mock him. After his mother died and his brothers disbursed he was unable to protect his mother's body from scavengers so he made a vow that each thing he killed would be bigger than the last, this eventually caused him to grow into an elephant sized wolf that went on the kill hundreds and he even took his brothers insulting name as his own.

Fan Works

  • Many Avatar: The Last Airbender fans take Ozai's line about Zuko being "lucky to be born" literally. Thus it's fanon that Zuko was born premature.
  • Pokťmon: Nova and Antica: Winter as a child held no special talents of note, wasn't a good talker, had a weak body, and suffers from an Ambiguous Disorder. Nowadays, while remnants still linger, she nevertheless grew up to be a respectable Lady of War with strong Pokemon and a penchant for battling.

Film — Animation

  • Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon almost died as an infant due to being born prematurely. In the first film he starts off as a scrawny kid and a Black Sheep amongst his village. By the end of the first film, he is the first person to ever tame a dragon and is the best inventor in Berk. By How to Train Your Dragon 2 Hiccup has also grown more into himself.
  • In 101 Dalmatians Lucky actually dies shortly after birth and only a strange bit of spur-of-the-moment first aid from Roger brings him back. After recovering he becomes the most wilful and adventurous of the 15 original puppies.
  • In the two Disney Bambi films, Bambi is portrayed as very meek and slow to adapt compared to other fawns such as Faline, and gains a form of PTSD from the death of his mother by hunters. Under the care and tutoring of the Great Prince however, he starts proving more exceptionally athletic and wilful, becoming the only of the young animals able to stand up to Ronno and even overcome his Trauma Button to protect a doe from hunting dogs. By the time he is a young buck, he is a full grown Bad Ass (if still an Adorkable one), and takes his place as the next Great Prince of the Forest.

Film — Live Action

  • The Mountain Man from Cold Prey is said to have been born stillborn. As a grown up though, he became an Implacable Man, capable of surviving alone in the norwegian mountains and easily performing neck twists on his victims.
  • In Forrest Gump, Forrest is made to wear leg braces as a child to correct a curvature of the spine, with the result that he walks with an unusual gait and is bullied for his perceived disabilities. However, in the famous "Run, Forrest, Run" scene, he escapes his tormentors and reveals himself to be strong and athletic at the same time as his braces fall off- the implication being that having to carry around the weight of the braces long after they were needed (if they ever were) made Forrest very fit.
  • In Man of Steel, Martha described Clark as a sickly child who was weak and struggled so hard to breath they were constantly afraid he was on the brink of death when they put him down at night to sleep. They kept him inside for fear of what he might contract in the outside world. It wasn't until they had exhausted all their ideas that they gambled on taking him outside and letting him sit, hoping the country air would strengthen his constitution. Per Superman lore, he draws strength from the Earth's sun and gradually grew strong enough for his powers to start activating.

Literature

  • Warrior Cats:
    • In a prequel, it is revealed that Tigerclaw, the massive, strong Big Bad of the series, was the runt of his litter: he was too weak even to feed, and wasn't expected to survive his first night. His mother chose the name Tigerkit in the hope that he'd become strong.
    • Scourge, Firestar's half-brother through his father, was born a kittypet runt who was named "Tiny". His siblings often teased him due to his size. After being told that twolegs drown kittens that no one wants, Scourge ran away and became a rogue. As an adult Scourge becomes the feared and fearsome Ax-Crazy leader of BloodClan, though he is still a small cat.
  • In The Shepherd's Crown, Geoffrey's familiar Mephistopheles is a goat who was abandoned by its mother for being too sickly; Geoffrey carefully nursed it back to health, whereupon it became a strong and ferocious yet extremely loyal goat, and also intelligent enough to learn human speech and such tricks as being able to count.
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog: Clifford was the runt of the litter but grew up to be larger than a house.
  • While not particularly strong an adult, Hope from Firstborn was the runt of the litter. She was expected to die but ended up the Sole Survivor of her litter when the others died in a fire. Subverted with her sibling from another litter, who ended up taken by a owl.
  • A twofold example in The Grace of Kings that functions as a deconstruction of Training from Hell in martial arts stories. Phin Zyndu started life as the happy, bookish younger son of a distinguished martial aristocratic family, but all that changed after the family was either slaughtered or sold into slavery after being betrayed and framed for treason. Phin hid during the slaughter and was found by enemy soldiers, and when he cried, they spared him, mocking him as being Not Worth Killing. After this, he fled with the other surviving member, his baby nephew, Mata, and toughened himself up and brought Mata up under this harsh regimen of physical training and little affection, which Phin convinced himself that his brother/Mata's father would have wanted, in part because he hated himself for his former "weakness". The end result is that the older Phin is a Straw M Isogynist with his gentle side so suppressed between his macho "mask" as to be nonexistent, and while Mata loves his uncle and is grateful for the upbringing that gave him a Charles Atlas Superpower, he's deeply emotionally stunted and disturbingly dogmatic in his views as a result of his upbringing.
  • Stirling Howard of the Kit Kittredge series was introduced to be a rather frail, scrawny child, only to show more of his inner strength as the story went on.
  • Fritti Tailchaser from Tailchaser's Song is an abnormally small tomcat. He was dwarfed by his brothers and was the same size as his sisters Softwhisker and Clearsong. Tailchaser is the one who became a legendary hero as an adolescent.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Ghost the albino dire wolf was the runt of his siblings and only given to Jon because the the healthier ones have been claimed but when he becomes an adult he is the largest of his litter and in the tv adaptation he is one of only two survivors out of the litter.

Live-Action TV

  • Doctor Who: Grant in the episode "The Return of Doctor Mysterio" is constantly ill as a young boy, which is why he swallows a crystal the Doctor asks him to hold, thinking it's medicine and grows up to be superhero The Ghost.
  • In the Criminal Minds episode "Zoe's Reprise", the Villain of the Week was often sick as a kid. He grows up to be a serial killer capable of strangling grown men with his bare hands, a feat the BAU profilers say is very difficult because of the amount of strength required over several minutes while restraining a resisting victim. The unsub is caught because he kisses his victims on the forehead, the same thing his mother used to do when he was a child to check for fever.

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer: Gorgers are weak and sickly ogre infants thrown into tunnels beneath the mountains because the tribe dosen't want them, eventually they grow into aggressive scavengers that eat anything in their path and some ogres even utilize them in warfare.

Video Games

  • In Crusader Kings 2 babies can get born with the Sickly Infant trait. This does not prevent them from gaining the Brawny trait or from aquiring a high level martial education when grown up.
  • Fire Emblem Fates: Crown Prince Xander of Nohr admitted he used to be very frail, weak, and unimpressive in his youth. Now, he's one of the finest men of his kingdom.
  • In the prologue of Tales of Graces, Cheria is shown to be a sickly child, needing frequent rest and medicine. The incident towards the end of the prologue, which grants her, Huebert, and Asbel the powers they use throughout the game, gives Cheria healing powers which allows her to deal with her illness and lets her be a full member of your party.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda : According to Drack, his granddaughter Nakmor Kesh was tiny and sickly when she was an infant, when she grew up she would become head engineer of the Nexus and while we never see her fight, it's implied she is more than capable of holding her own.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Theodore Roosevelt, who was sickly and asthmatic as a child and who embraced a strenuous lifestyle to overcome this, becoming a Memetic Badass in the process.

Feedback: 51 replies

Dec 31st 2016 at 1:01:12 PM

  • Theodore Roosevelt was sickly in his youth. By the time he joined the Rough Riders, he turned into a Badass.

Jan 1st 2017 at 12:32:57 AM

  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid shows this transition in detail. At the start of the story, its protagonist Vivio is a fragile 10-year-old girl who has a lot of passion for martial arts but is repeatedly told by genuinely concerned friends and relatives that pursuing that dream with her physique may be too dangerous for her health. Over the course of the series, however, Vivio slowly builds up her strength and develops her own fighting style to compensate for her inherent weaknesses. After several arcs, even her mother Nanoha (the overarching protagonist of the series and one of the most powerful combat mages of the series) acknowledges her progress by expressing readiness to spar with her at full power (again, that is — although the last time they fought, Vivio was Brain Washed And Crazy and amped up on Green Rocks).

Jan 1st 2017 at 5:44:11 AM

  • Doctor Who: Grant in the episode "The Return of Doctor Mysterio" is constantly ill as a young boy, which is why he swallows a crystal the Doctor asks him to hold, thinking it's medicine and grows up to be superhero The Ghost.

Jan 1st 2017 at 5:51:47 AM

See also I Got Bigger.

Literature:

  • In a Warrior Cats prequel, it is revealed that Tigerclaw, the massive, strong Big Bad of the series, was the runt of his litter: he was too weak even to feed, and wasn't expected to survive his first night. His mother chose the name Tigerkit in the hope that he'd become strong.

Jan 1st 2017 at 8:31:30 AM

  • In Crusader Kings 2 babys can get born with the Sickly Infant trait. This does not prevent them from gaining the Brawny trait or from aquiring a high level martial education when grown up.
  • The Mountain Man from Cold Prey is said to have been born stillborn. As a grown up though, he became an Implacable Man, capable of surviving alone in the norwegian mountains and easily performing neck twists on his victims.

Jan 1st 2017 at 9:02:22 AM

  • In One Hundred And One Dalmatians Lucky actually dies shortly after birth and only a strange bit of spur-of-the-moment first aid from Roger brings him back. After recovering he becomes the most wilful and adventurous of the 15 puppies.
  • In The Shepherds Crown, Geoffrey's familiar Mephistopheles is a goat who was abandoned by its mother for being too sickly; Geoffrey carefully nursed it back to health, whereupon it became a strong and ferocious yet extremely loyal goat, and also intelligent enough to learn human speech and such tricks as being able to count.

Jan 13th 2017 at 11:24:13 AM

The Andy Griffith Show: Barney Fife was sickly as a child, but as an adult, he was strong enough to be the town deputy.

Jan 13th 2017 at 12:37:48 PM

Possibly an example?

  • The film The Aviator begins with Howard Hughes as a young child constantly fretted over by his mother, who is afraid he will become sick and die. He grows up to become a famous director, pilot, and businessman, but struggles all his life with germ-related OCD, eventually quarantining himself inside his private movie theater to avoid contact with the outside world.
    Mother: You know the typhus?
    Young Howard: I do, Mother.
    Mother: You know what they can do to you?
    Young Howard: Yes, Mother.
    Mother: You are not safe.

Jan 13th 2017 at 3:56:47 PM

Kaamelott: One sickly athsmatic child sent to the same thermal springs as Arthur is now (offscreen) seven feet and two hundred pounds of barbarian warlord.

May 19th 2017 at 4:27:18 PM

In the little women series Elizabeth "Bess" Lawrence was a sickly infant; so sickly that for awhile her relatives were afraid that she would die like her namesake aunt Elizabeth "Beth" March. She grows out of it between books and by the time she reappears as a preteen nobody mentions it anymore.

May 19th 2017 at 5:59:04 PM

On the That70s Show episode "A New Hope", The gang get a visit from an old schoolmate who used to have asthma and scoliosis, but is now fit and handsome - and to Eric's dismay, a rival for Donna's affection.

May 20th 2017 at 9:10:22 AM

May 20th 2017 at 8:40:17 PM

That Doctor Who example doesn't need a spoiler tag since the events it describes happen before the episode's opening credits sequence and just establish the premise of the episode.

Would the below qualify for this or is it stretching too far?

  • The villainous protagonist of Invader Zim turns his determined arch-nemesis into a crippled, paranoid wreck throughout "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy" by sending rubber pigs back in time to cause hundreds of nigh-lethal accidents to his enemy. By the time he's out of pigs, Zim thinks he's reduced his greatest threat to a crippled child, only for his enemy to bust into Zim's house in a house-sized robotic armor. Apparently, the enemy's dad made it to protect him from all the rubber piggy's that attacked him.

Jun 29th 2017 at 8:26:42 PM

  • Misugi of Captain Tsubasa was struck with an abnormal heart condition that left him with little stamina and occasional heart attacks, but he's still a clever soccer tactician despite that. Then, as he grows up, he gets his heart treated and he's finally healthy, and resumes his soccer careet.

Oct 8th 2017 at 12:26:38 PM

As a real life example, Teddy Roosevelt was sickly and asthmatic as a child, but fairly early on underwent vigorous exercise to remedy this. As per The Otherw Wiki: "Hiking with his family in the Alps in 1869, Roosevelt found that he could keep pace with his father. He had discovered the significant benefits of physical exertion to minimize his asthma and bolster his spirits. Roosevelt began a heavy regime of exercise. After being manhandled by two older boys on a camping trip, he found a boxing coach to teach him to fight and strengthen his weakened body." Later on, following the death of his first wife, he left New York to be a cowboy in North Dakota, and came back as the Memetic Badass Teddy Roosevelt known in popular history.

Edit- Oops. I see Teddy was already suggested.

Edit 2- Also, a twofold example in The Grace Of Kings that functions as a deconstruction of Training From Hell in martial arts stories. Phin Zyndu started life as the happy, bookish younger son of a distinguished martial aristocratic family, but all that changed after the family was either slaughtered or sold into slavery after being betrayed and framed for treason. Phin hid during the slaughter and was found by enemy soldiers, and when he cried, they spared him, mocking him as being Not Worth Killing. After this, he fled with the other surviving member, his baby nephew, Mata, and toughened himself up and brought Mata up under this harsh regimen of physical training and little affection, which Phin convinced himself that his brother/Mata's father would have wanted, in part because he hated himself for his former "weakness". The end result is that the older Phin is a Straw M Isogynist with his gentle side so suppressed between his macho "mask" as to be nonexistent, and while Mata loves his uncle and is grateful for the upbringing that gave him a Charles Atlas Superpower, he's deeply emotionally stunted and disturbingly dogmatic in his views as a result of his upbringing.

And as another example, overlapping with Throwing Off The Disability (which I think is closely related):

  • In Forrest Gump, Forrest is made to wear leg braces as a child to correct a curvature of the spine, with the result that he walks with an unusual gait and is bullied for his perceived disabilities. However, in the famous "Run, Forrest, Run" scene, he escapes his tormentors and reveals himself to be strong and athletic at the same time as his braces fall off- the implication being that having to carry around the weight of the braces long after they were needed (if they ever were) made Forrest very fit.

Oct 13th 2017 at 1:57:12 PM

In the Criminal Mind's episode Zoe's Reprise, the villain was often sick as a kid. He grows up to be a serial killer capable of strangling grown men with his bare hands, a feat the BAU profilers say is very difficult because of the amount of strength required over several minutes while restraining a resisting victim. The unsub is caught because he kisses his victims on the forehead, the same thing his mother used to do when he was a child to check for fever.

Oct 17th 2017 at 9:13:06 PM

Fire Emblem Fates: Crown Prince Xander of Nohr admitted he used to be very frail, weak, and unimpressive in his youth. Now, he's one of the finest men of his kingdom.

Pokemon Nova And Antica: Winter as a child held no special talents of note, wasn't a good talker, had a weak body, and suffers from an Ambiguous Disorder. Nowadays, while remnants still linger, she nevertheless grew up to be a respectable Lady Of War with strong Pokemon and a penchant for battling.

Oct 18th 2017 at 3:55:02 AM

Is the following an example?

  • Pokemon Ruby And Sapphire and their Remakes have Wally, who starts out sickly and anxiety-ridden. You help him catch his first Pokemon and as the game progresses he moves to his relatives' home in an area with cleaner air. There he attempts to challenge the nearby city's gym leader, only for you to show him that he isn't ready with his one, under-levelled Pokemon. Later in the game, you find that he has gone missing from his relatives' homenote , but the first clue that something is up with Wally is that he starts showing up on the list of people that have beaten the gym leaders before you get to challenge them yourself. He finally shows up as the penultimate trainer before the Final Boss Rush, and not only is his anxiety gone, but his team of Pokemon is absolutely one of the hardest challenges you have fought until then.

Reason I ask is that Wally doesn't physically grow older over the course of the game, but he does grow into his own.

Also, this trope might be related to Took A Level In Badass

Oct 18th 2017 at 7:56:57 AM

Real Life

  • Theodore Roosevelt, who was sickly and asthmatic as a child and who embraced a strenuous lifestyle to overcome this, becoming a Memetic Badass in the process.

EDIT: Drat. Somehow I completely overlooked alnair20aug93 giving the same example at the top of the comments.

Oct 19th 2017 at 12:07:02 PM

^^ Wally doesn't count. If I'm interpreting this trope correctly, actual aging must be involved.

Essentially, "sick kid evolves into strong adult/teenager/elder/etc."

Oct 20th 2017 at 3:16:21 AM

^^ That is an even better description that I had.

Nov 13th 2017 at 8:30:04 PM

Webcomics

  • Tsavo from Slightly Damned was a weak child who was frequently beaten by the other young orphaned demons but he eventually grew into one of the most dangerous and highly ranked members of hell's army who's work is integral to capturing living angels to use to bring more demons to Medius.

Nov 13th 2017 at 9:00:25 PM

  • Destiny 2: Ghaul has this as his backstory. As a child, he was outcast from Cabal society due to being a runt and albino. In the present day, he towers over the (already very large) other members of his species, and rules their society after killing his way to the top. However, it's implied that he still suffers from an Inferiority Superiority Complex, hence his insistence on earning the Traveler's approval rather than just taking it's power by force (which he has the technology to do).

Nov 13th 2017 at 11:57:48 PM

Comic Books

  • In Superman Red Son, Superman tells Piotr that contrary to popular belief, he was not born with his full powers, and was in fact quite sickly for most of his childhood.
  • Prior to becoming Captain America, Steve Rogers was such a weakling that he was rejected from the military.

Nov 14th 2017 at 12:25:06 AM

  • Stirling Howard of the Kit Kittredge series was introduced to be a rather frail, scrawny child, only to show more of his inner strength as the story went on.

Nov 14th 2017 at 7:56:37 AM

The description really needs substance.

Nov 14th 2017 at 11:36:45 AM

  • In the two Disney Bambi films, Bambi is portrayed as very meek and slow to adapt compared to other fawns such as Faline, and gains a form of PTSD from the death of his mother by hunters. Under the care and tutoring of the Great Prince however, he starts proving more exceptionally athletic and wilful, becoming the only of the young animals able to stand up to Ronno and even overcome his Trauma Button to protect a doe from hunting dogs. By the time he is a young buck, he is a full grown Bad Ass (if still an Adorkable one), and takes his place as the next Great Prince of the Forest.

Nov 15th 2017 at 11:52:09 AM

  • In the prologue of Tales Of Graces, Cheria is shown to be a sickly child, needing frequent rest and medicine. The incident towards the end of the prologue, which grants her, Huebert, and Asbel the powers they use throughout the game, gives Cheria healing powers which allows her to deal with her illness and lets her be a full member of your party.

Nov 16th 2017 at 11:40:53 AM

Avatar The Last Airbender: Toph was born blind to a rich family, who were so overprotective of her they never noticed her Disability Superpower (she can sense earth around her and "see" objects and people around her by sensing the vibrations they make/their heartbeats) or that she came up with an entirely new form of earthbending by herself by the time she was twelve. In her father's case, it takes until about a year after she helps save the world and seeing her prevent a mine collapse by herself for him to wise up to the fact that his daughter is the greatest earthbender in history.

Nov 18th 2017 at 6:11:35 AM

Nov 18th 2017 at 8:56:37 AM

Surprised this hasn't been launched already.

Dec 1st 2017 at 12:54:42 AM

  • General Riga in The Shannara Chronicles grew up suffering from crippling pains and sensitivity to light from his mother being savaged by a magical beast while he was still in the womb. As an adult, he's become a powerful warrior and a terrifying villain, with a lingering hatred of all things magical.

Dec 1st 2017 at 12:01:19 PM

Scurry: According to the website character page Titan was weak and sickly as a kitten but as he grew older he began to fight the other cats for dominance (and he has the scars to show for it) and is now the largest and strongest of his "herd" which he now leads with an iron fist.

Dec 2nd 2017 at 8:28:45 AM

Someone really needs to update the description so we can launch this.

Dec 14th 2017 at 2:16:56 PM

Does Pichu-kun have to update the description or can anyone do that?

Dec 15th 2017 at 11:49:25 PM

The OP Pichu-kun last edited this proposal on November 16th 2017, less than a month ago. Under Up For Grabs they are still in control of it, which means they must do any substantial editing (such as updating the Description).

Dec 30th 2017 at 8:41:44 PM

Temeraire: When Kulingile hatched he was not only small he was also deformed and had difficulty moving and breathing to the point where the crewmembers and dragon surgeon recommended he be put down. Later it turns out his deformities were due to his unusually large airsacks and when he grew to full size he ended up being the largest and strongest dragon in all Europe who's unique airsacks have him improved stability when flying.

Dec 17th 2017 at 2:55:41 PM

Literature

  • Shadow, in American Gods was this as a child; he had a hard time and was frequently bullied until puberty set in and he gained his adult size and strength.

Dec 27th 2017 at 10:31:51 PM

Suggested expanded description:

Not every badass starts out that way. This trope is when a powerful character is shown to have been an Ill Child growing up. It often serves to make the character seem even more impressive - since they've had to overcome adversity, thus demonstrating their willpower and drive - and also more sympathetic - since they were, at least at one point, an underdog.

If the character is heroic, it will usually be revealed as part of an encouraging speech telling another, weaker character that they, too, can become a hero. If the character is villainous, it is more likely to be part of a Motive Rant about how being weak taught the character the importance of strength, made them want to get revenge on those who preyed on their weakness back then, or just generally made them angry at the world.

Dec 30th 2017 at 11:16:15 AM

In Man Of Steel, Martha described Clark as a sickly child who was weak and struggled so hard to breath they were constantly afraid he was on the brink of death when they put him down at night to sleep. They kept him inside for fear of what he might contract in the outside world. It wasn't until they had exhausted all their ideas that they gambled on taking him outside and letting him sit, hoping the country air would strengthen his constitution. Per Superman lore, he draws strength from the Earth's sun and gradually grew strong enough for his powers to start activating.

Dec 30th 2017 at 8:40:36 PM

Fables: Bigby Wolf was the tiny runt of his litter and his brothers called him The Big Bad Wolf to mock him. After his mother died and his brothers disbursed he was unable to protect his mother's body from scavengers so he made a vow that each thing he killed would be bigger than the last, this eventually caused him to grow into an elephant sized wolf that went on the kill hundreds and he even took his brothers insulting name as his own.

And

Mass Effect Andromeda : According to Drack, his granddaughter Nakmor Kesh was tiny and sickly when she was an infant, when she grew up she would become head engineer of the Nexus and while we never see her fight, it's implied she is more than capable of holding her own.

Jan 12th 2018 at 6:34:55 PM

  • ''Warhammer: Gorgers are weak and sickly ogre infants thrown into tunnels beneath the mountains because the tribe dosen't want them, eventually they grow into aggressive scavengers that eat anything in their path and some ogres even utilize them in warfare.

Jan 12th 2018 at 10:00:55 PM

I think Hayate of Nanoha is also an example, but I don't know the series enough.

Jan 30th 2018 at 7:53:33 AM

Mar 15th 2018 at 6:13:36 AM

  • A Song Of Ice And Fire: Ghost the albino dire wolf was the runt of his siblings and only given to Jon because the the healthier ones have been claimed but when he becomes an adult he is the largest of his litter and in the tv adaptation he is one of only two survivors out of the litter.

Mar 15th 2018 at 1:27:26 AM

^ The direwolf is named Ghost, not Winter, and his owner's name is spelled Jon.

I also wouldn't list "because the larger ones were taken"; that implies the other ones were deliberately chosen before Ghost. What happened in that scene was that they thought there were only 5 at first so those were given to the legitimate children of the Stark family (whose sigil is the direwolf) while Jon is a bastard and not one of his father's heirs; he found Ghost afterward and they were like "hey there's another, you can have it" and he felt it fitting that Ghost was different from the others, like Jon himself.

Mar 16th 2018 at 6:46:26 PM

  • In the Invader Zim episode "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy," Zim uses time-travel to cause his arch-nemesis to turn him into a cripple during his childhood. It works in the past, but in the present, his nemesis has gained a house-sized robotic suit to (over-)compensate for his injuries.

Top