Follow TV Tropes


A Minor Kidroduction

Go To
Over a decade later, and you still gotta deal with it.

Screenwriter: So now that we’ve established that both main characters were once children, we can move on.
Producer: I guess it will be helpful moving forward to know that these were once children, and that they weren’t born fully grown men.

Sometimes a work begins by showing us the main character as a child. It can also show us an important supporting character, but it's usually the main character. These kinds of introductions are barely longer than a few minutes at most, and they seldom affect the plot in any way other than being a way to highlight some basic character motivation, or perhaps provide the origin of some Catchphrase. After the introduction is done, we are transferred to the present day (often via Age Cut) where the main character is grown up (and played by the featured actor or actress).

May show them playing with a Weapon Jr. See also Kid Hero All Grown Up. It might show us some Early Personality Signs. Subtrope of Distant Prologue.

Truth in Television considering it's pretty universally true that people's most formative experiences tend to happen in their childhood.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Afro Samurai gives us one of these, introducing us to kid Afro and providing him his motivation for the rest of the gore-fest to come.
  • The Anthem of the Heart starts with a young Jun discovering her father's infidelity.
  • The Asteroid in Love anime starts with how Mira and Ao, then as children, made The Promise at a campsite.
  • Attack on Titan has one thats a bit longer than most examples. The first two episodes show Eren, Mikasa, and Armin as children, on the day their home village is destroyed by the Titans.
  • Bakuman。 begins with Mashiro Moritaka getting a visit from his uncle Mashiro "Kawaguchi Taro" Nobuhiro (who is dead by the time the main story begins), who praises him for his artwork and suggests that he will be an artist when he grows up. Moritaka then notes that he wasn't referring to him becoming a mangaka.
  • Black Fox begins with Rikka at 10 years old or thereabouts, and hints at her future struggle with her family's tradition as ninjas, and her desire to follow her father's footsteps as a scientist.
  • Code Geass:
    • Code Geass starts with a little kid version of Lelouch and Suzaku surrounded by smoking debris, implied to be the result of a Britainnian attack. Lelouch vows to oppose Britannia for as long as he lives. Cue opening song.
    • Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally begins similarly, showing Nunnally and Lelouch at some point not long after their exile, with Lelouch promising to protect Nunnally.
  • The first Fatal Fury OVA starts off with Terry and Andy (and Lily) as kids, and shows us the source of their motivation for the remainder of the cartoon.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Fullmetal Alchemist starts out with a page of ten-year-old Ed, right after his failed human transmutation.
    • The 2003 anime version likewise begins with said failed transmutation; two episodes later, we get the whole story.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler begins with a flashback to Hayate's childhood where Santa tells Hayate that he wouldn't ever bring him a present, and provides one of the reasons why Hayate is so strong-willed.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure starts off with Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando meeting as grade-school boys. Just a couple chapters later and we see them again as young adults.
  • Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! opens with a scene showing how main character Midori Asakusa first discovered her passion for animation, having been fascinated with the movies she watched as a young child and incorporating it into her already-present love of drawing and worldbuilding. After this, the story flashes forward to the start of her first year in high school (not exactly adulthood, but a great chronological leap from early childhood nonetheless), from which point the rest of the plot carries on.
  • Love Hina. It features two of the protagonists; later it has a bit of a retcon that adds a third one.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • The first chapter of the One Piece manga does this with Luffy. (The anime however changes it into a flashback episode just after Zoro joins the crew.)
  • The title sequence of the Sailor Moon SuperS movie features the five main Sailor Soldiers as children.
  • Saint Seiya Omega begins with the main character Kouga as a baby being taken care of by Saori, before Mars interrupts the family moment.
  • Sound of the Sky's first scene has Kanata, the main character, dreaming of the time from her childhood when she met a certain military bugler that gave her the idea to become a bugler herself.
  • Special A begins with kid Hikari practicing martial arts with her father, and then kid Kei comes and defeats her easily, realeasing plot.
  • The first chapter of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee shows a seven-year-old Lag Seeing being delivered to Cambel Litmus, establishing his goals of finding his mother and meeting Gauche again. By the end of the chapter, he's five years older, and ready to set out to become a Letter Bee.
  • Tekken: The Motion Picture begins with a flashback with Kazuya Mishima and Jun Kazama as kids. This scene is very important for the plot later in the movie.

    Comic Books 
  • Tim Drake is first subtly introduced as a young kid in a flashback in Batman 436 to the night of the Grayson murders which establishes a backstory and origin for him when he shows up following Batman four issues later.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Diana is a child in the first issue, which establishes the changes made to Themyscira and the Amazons for this Elseworld and that there is a looming threat over the island which most of the other Amazons do not notice. There is then an Age Cut while she trains under Alcippe which brings her to the young adult age she is at when Steve Trevor crashes onto the island and she ends up leaving to the wider world.

    Fan Works 
  • Rose of Pollux's Doctor Who works have two for Jamie, Great Things and This All Happened Once Before. In the former, he first meets the Doctor at the age of two months old, and is around ten in the latter.
  • In Which Guzma Is Frustrated starts with a young Guzma being frustrated because he wasn't chosen to be his island's kahuna. It then leaps two years into the future with Guzma trying to become a different island's kahuna.
  • Let Us Be Your Poison begins with a flashback of Ruby, her sister Yang, and their mother Summer back when she was a little kid. It shows Ruby's last interaction with Summer before her Public Execution.
  • The first portion of the first chapter of The Masks we Wear (JiggleWigs) takes place 15 years earlier. It starts with the attempted Ruling Family Massacre of the Fire Nation when Azula was a baby and Zuko was a toddler.
  • Several sidestories of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines begin with their protagonists as children. Examples include the Cynthia, Skyla and Misty Gaidens.
  • Symbiosis begins with a two-year old Ash being hidden in the Viridan Forest by his father's Mareep to escape the people who killed Ash's parents and him settling into life there with his adoptive pokemon father, Poison Lance. It then Age Cuts to Ash entering and leaving elementary school and finally to him leaving Viridan Forest at age ten to become a Pokemon trainer.
  • Team Rocket Roots starts with Jessie's mother Miya giving her to foster care as a toddler because she can't keep Jessie at the headquarters. It then timeskips to 23 years later, with Jessie now being an adult.
  • Warmth starts over a decade ago, with Nyamo and Yukari's "love letter" Noodle Incident from high school.

    Film — Animation 
  • Anastasia begins ten years before the main story, establishing the title character's relationship with her grandmother and showing how she survived the Russian Revolution, albeit with a head injury that results in Identity Amnesia. We also briefly see her Love Interest, Dimitri, a palace servant who helped them escape from the revolutionaries.
  • In The Book of Life, La Muerte and Xibalba first make The Bet when they see Manolo, Maria, and Joaquin playing together as children.
  • Brave shows Merida as a young child at the beginning. Her three mischievous brothers aren't shown because they aren't born yet.
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs opens with eight-year-old Flint showing off one of his first inventions, and later receiving his trademark labcoat from his mom.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Atlantis: The Lost Empire begins with a young Kida crying for her mother, the former Queen of Atlantis as she is sacrificed by the Crystal to save her kingdom from a tidal wave. This fails, and as a result the Queen dies and Atlantis ends up underwater. Milo was also briefly shown as a child in both an old photograph of his as well as on an old film reel just right after the titles appear.
    • Bolt starts up with the titular dog as a puppy getting adopted - whether this scene is a part of the Show Within a Show is left unclear, since the show's director heavily favors Enforced Method Acting.
    • Cinderella briefly shows the titular heroine and her stepsisters as little girls during the film's prologue.
    • At the very beginning of Dinosaur, Zini is actually shown as a baby lemur alongside with a pregnant Plio during the scene where Aladar's egg is shown landing in a small bush on Lemur Island and immediately hatching out of said egg.
    • At the beginning of The Emperor's New Groove, Kuzco is briefly shown as a baby right after he is introduced in his llama form. It then cuts to his teenage human form prior to his transformation.
    • Frozen opens with Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Sven as children, setting up the back story for why Elsa is reclusive, Anna feels unwanted, and why the sisters are separated.
      • Frozen II opens on a flashback of Anna and Elsa as children, with their father telling them the story of the enchanted forest of the Northuldra people.
    • The first half of The Lion King (1994) centers around Simba growing up prior to becoming a full grown lion.
    • Moana begins with the titular Moana listening to a relevant background story, having a special relationship with the sea and voyaging, and being chosen by the Sea to find Te Fiti's Heart as a toddler. It segues into an Age-Progression Song that shows her growing up and her peers trying to dissuade her from her fascination with the ocean.
    • The Princess and the Frog opens with Tiana and Charlotte as little girls, hearing the story of... well, guess.
    • At the very beginning of Sleeping Beauty, we see Prince Phillip as a young child and baby Princess Aurora (well, it's implied since we don't actually see her,) at Aurora's Christening.
    • Tangled begins with Rapunzel as a baby, then briefly shows her as a toddler and a young child before starting the main plot on her 18th birthday. These scenes are relevant, though, as they show Mother Gothel kidnapping Rapunzel from the castle and Rapunzel developing her obsession with the lanterns, both of which drive the plot throughout the entire movie.
    • Tarzan has the first half or so of the movie be about Tarzan growing up, with the first sixth being about the apes finding him and the second sixth being about him meeting Terk and Tantor. It culminates with the Age-Progression Song "Son of Man".
    • Treasure Planet starts with Jim and his mother reading a bed-time story about Captain Flint and the planet where he hid his treasure.
    • Zootopia opens with scenes of Judy participating in a play about the savage beginnings of their world and later has her defending her sheep friends from a fox bully.
  • Inside Out opens with the main human character, Riley, as a baby and then shows a few scenes of her life growing up before reaching the main events of the film, in which Riley is a pre-teen girl who has just moved to a new town.
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, unlike the original, only briefly shows Kiara as a cub on the day she meets Kovu.
  • Ariel and her sisters were briefly shown as little girls at the very beginning of The Little Mermaid III: Ariel's Beginning.
  • Megamind starts out with the title character narrating how both he and rival Metro Man landed on Earth as infants and then later encountered each other again in elementary school which sets up their rivalry.
  • The Prince of Egypt naturally begins with a scene where Moses is put in the river by his mother Yocheved, accompanied by young Miriam and Aaron. Miriam even gets a solo in the song. We also see toddler Ramses, who is with the Queen when she finds Moses.
  • Robots begins with the construction of the film's main character, Rodney Copperbottom, by his soon to be parents, and then follows him as he grows up from a baby to a young kid to a teenager and eventually to his graduation from college.
  • Shaun the Sheep: The Movie opens with a teenaged Farmer bottle-feeding Shaun the lamb, while Blitzer the puppy runs up to play with them.
  • Superman: Red Son starts with a childhood flashback of Svetlana and Somishka. Somishka reveals his Super Strength to Svetlana.
  • Andy at the very beginning of Toy Story 3, portrayed as footage from a Happier Home Movie.
  • Titan A.E. begins with Cale being escorted to an evac ship by his father who later says goodbye for the last time before boarding the Titan as the entire population of Earth abandons the planet before the Drej obliterate it.
  • Up opens with Carl and Ellie meeting as little kids, and it does set up the rest of the movie... by showing how important they were to each other, and their united dream of seeing the wilds of South America.
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman: A brief flashback at the start of the film shows a puppy Peabody that nobody wants to adopt, and then a scene of a grown-up Peabody finding a baby Sherman abandoned in a cardboard box and adopting him.
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa opens with Alex as a cub, showing how he was separated from his family in Africa and wounded up in the Central Park Zoo, where child versions of Marty, Melman and Gloria are also seen.
    • Likewise, the first four minutes of the spinoff film Penguins of Madagascar opens with baby versions of Skipper, Kowalski and Rico in Antarctica along with a newborn Private, before picking up from the third movie.
  • One Stormy Night begins with Mei (still a kid) being forced to run away when his mother is mauled to death by wolves. A "kid" is actually a baby goat.
  • Quest for Camelot introduces Kayley in this way along with Garrett as a stable boy in Camelot.
  • Trolls: Poppy, the main protagonist, is seen as a baby in the beginning after her father led the Trolls to escape from the Bergens. Gristle Jr. and Bridget are also seen as young toddlers during the intro.
  • Pokémon: The First Movie originally lacked one. However, later television airings and home releases included The Birth of Mewtwo sequence. It tells Mewtwo's backstory and is an adaptation of a radio drama.
  • Spies in Disguise: The opening scene of the movie focuses on a young Walter and his mother.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 27 Dresses starts with Jane and Tess at their first wedding as kids. They see the bride in the bathroom with her dress ripped, so Jane takes Tess's hair ribbon to fix it. The bride then asks Jane to hold her train, showing the first time with her fate as a bridesmaid.
  • Almost Famous begins with the protagonist as a 10-year-old before fading to him as a teen.
  • Amélie: a large portion of the first act is relating Amelie's childhood, in which she begins showing her defining characteristics.
  • American Splendor: The film opens in Halloween 1950 when a woman asks a young Harvey Pekar why he doesn't wear a superhero costume like the kids he is with.
  • Anger Management starts with Dave Buznik as a 12-year-old in 1978.
  • Art School Confidential opens with Jerome as a kid.
  • Firefighting movie Backdraft begins with the main characters, Stephen 'Bull' McCaffery and Brian McCaffery, as kids.
  • Big, a bit of an untraditional example, follows a young boy named Josh Baskin, who is shown in the opening of the film as a kid before wishing on a Zoltar machine and waking up the next morning as a fully-grown adult.
  • Inverted in Billy Elliot. The plot takes place during Billy's childhood, but ends with a brief flash forward of him as a professional ballet dance.
  • The Boss starts with a five-year prologue of Michelle Darnell being rejected and returned to the orphanage by various foster parents.
  • Boyz n the Hood opens up with Tre moving to Crenshaw to live with his father, where he's reacquainted with his local friends, Chris, Ricky and Doughboy. Ricky loves football and is the younger brother of Doughboy. The childhood scenes end with Chris and Doughboy being sent to juvenile hall for shoplifting, before fast forwarding seven years later.
  • Broadcast News: All three main characters are famously introduced as kids - with their main personality quirks being established.
    Young Tom: What can you do with yourself if all you do is look good?
  • Carrie would have started out like this had the special effects necessary for the scene worked properly. They didn't, and so the scene was scrapped. The remake, thanks to the advance of CGI, was able to include this scene, albeit not at the very beginning.
  • Cinderella (2015) opens when Ella is five and both her parents were still around.
  • The Cobbler opens with a scene showing Max as a little boy watching his father at work. The rest of the movie deals with Max in his adult life.
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982) began when Conan was just a little boy being taught about the riddle of steel. However this would be an aversion since the movie shows Conan in various stages of his upbringing until he reaches manhood.
    • The 2011 film goes a step further, showing him in the womb—just before his mother is stabbed in the stomach, necessitating a battlefield C-Section by his father.
  • Contact begins with with the lead heroine losing her father in a traumatic way early in life.
  • The DC Extended Universe does this a fair bit:
    • Man of Steel begins with Clark's birth, and we see him being sent to Earth as a baby.
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we see Bruce as a child as he witnesses the murder of his parents, then him running off in grief at their funeral and accidentally discovering what will one day become the Bat Cave.
    • Wonder Woman (2017): Diana is introduced to the audience as a child to establish the Amazon's society before she ages up to a teenager and later the young adult she is when she leaves the island to try and help protect the world after learning about WWI from Steve Trevor.
    • The opening of Aquaman (2018) shows how Arthur's parents met, conceived him, and eventually separated. We get to see the young Arthur in an aquarium and later in the film through flashbacks.
    • SHAZAM! (2019) puts a spin on this, as the kidroduction is for the Big Bad rather than The Hero. The film begins with Thaddas Silvana as a child being brought to the Rock of Eternity and tested by the wizard Shazam whether he is worthy of becoming the wizard's champion. He fails, leading to his Start of Darkness.
  • The Doors (1991) opens with a rather traumatic episode from Jim Morrison's childhood.
  • The Eddie Murphy version of Dr. Dolittle.
  • The opening to the Live-Action Adaptation of Dudley Do-Right opens with Dudley, Nell and Snidely as kids. Even back then, Snidely wore his trademark black hat and cape.
  • Ever After begins this way, with Drew Barrymore's character as a little tomboy who, quickly on, loses her father to heart attack, then the main plot takes place ten years later.
  • The Evil Karate: This Taiwanese kung-fu movie probably had the longest example: the protagonist is a little girl for the first 45 minutes of the film! We didn't see her proper as an adult until the end of the second act. Justified that her martial arts training requires its practitioners to begin with their ages at single digits.
  • Fantastic Four (2015) opens with Reed as a kid trying to build his quantum teleporter and befriending Ben Grimm. We then cut to "seven years later", where Reed and Ben have finally got the thing to work.
  • The movie Fighting with My Family begins in 2002 with 10-year-old Paige (AKA: Saraya) and her 12-year-old brother Zak arguing over the TV.
  • The 2004 film The Final Cut does this.
  • Fireproof opens with the heroine having a Mother, I Want To Marry My Father conversation in voiceover.
  • Apart from a short segment from near the end of the film, Float Like A Butterfly begins with a scene of Frances as a younger child that establishes her love of boxing and her mother's tragic death.
  • Forrest Gump starts off with fifteen minutes of scenes of Forrest's childhood.
  • Four Sisters and a Wedding: The prologue shows the sisters as children hoping for a baby brother before cutting to the present when they're all grown.
  • GoodFellas starts showing how Henry Hill enters the mafia world during his childhood. It age cuts to Ray Liotta after a few minutes.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone starts with a baby Harry Potter being left as a Doorstop Baby at the Dursleys while McGonnagal protests and quickly jumps nine years forward to the rest of the story.
  • Interestingly, both of the Hellboy films first show the title character this way, the first time just after he's conjured to this world as a toddler and the second when he's a young child being told a bedtime story.
  • The opening scene of He's Just Not That into You has the child version of Gigi, one of the characters, is abruptly pushed off a jungle gym by a boy. When she tearfully asks why he did that, he yells, "Because you smell like dog poo!" In trying to comfort her, her mother claims, "Do you know why he did that? Because he likes you!" As an adult, Gigi angrily points out that telling girls this sets them up for years of ill-treatment at the hands of men because of being conditioned to believe that it's actually a form of affection.
  • Hidden Figures: The film begins with a young Katherine being moved into an elite school on a full scholarship while also moving her from the sixth grade into the eighth grade. While there, she impresses the entire classroom by solving a complex mathematical equation on the chalk board.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade starts off with an extended sequence featuring Indiana as a teenage Boy Scout. It ends when he loses the Cross of Coronado, and there's a cut to the adult Indiana on a ship trying to recover the Cross.
  • It's Pat! begins with the title characters birth and a scene from when Pat was in school.
  • In Jack the Giant Slayer Jack and Isabelle are introduced to us as kids being read a bed time story about giants.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back starts with the titular duo, as infants, being left by their mothers in front of the convenience store where they would later spend almost all of their time. Also, we see young Jay learning his favorite word.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service we first see Eggsy as a young child when Galahad goes to inform his mother about his father's decease.
  • Comedy film Kinky Boots opens with drag queen Lola dressing up as a girl when he was a little boy. After his brief introduction as a child, he spends the rest of the movie as an adult.
  • Like Normal People opens with Roger's infancy, with his family worried by his unresponsive behavior. It follows him during his childhood as he is diagnosed with intellectual disability and bullied by the other kids.
  • Lion has an exaggeratedly long one, following young Saroo's journey through being a Street Urchin in the slums of India and eventually Happily Adopted. Only after about half the movie has passed do any of the main stars make an appearance.
  • The movies Little Giants and Big Bully both begin this way - with the same child actor playing the young version of Rick Moranis' character.
  • The opening scene of Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent shows Alan and Becky as kids, stealing the voodoo stick. After Alan's father is dragged away by the serpent, it cuts to the adult Alan waking from a nightmare of these events.
  • Mandy (1952) opens with Mandy as a two-year-old, when her parents realize she's deaf. The movie then skips ahead to when she's six.
  • Man on the Moon as a whole is introduced by the adult Andy Kaufman (Jim Carrey), but he kicks the story off by showing the audience some "home movies" that segue into this trope by showing Andy as a kid, performing impromptu TV shows to a wall in his bedroom. His father tells him that, contrary to what Andy might believe, there are no cameras in the walls and if he wants to perform it has to be in front of real people. So little Andy starts performing for his little sister with an Audience Participation Song ("The Cow Goes Moo"). Cue a Match Cut to the audience of a comedy club about 20 years later, where the adult Andy is performing the exact same routine.
  • Midnight Mary: Mary and Bunny are introduced as kids rummaging through a garbage dump.
  • Miss Congeniality begins showing that Gracie to be quite "masculine", even as a girl. She physically defends a boy from bullies, but he thanks her by telling her to get away from his face.
  • The wuxia The Mighty One has a Downer Beginning where a little boy witnesses his father and sisters getting killed by the main villain, Abbot Long, before passing out from being flung aside with Blood from the Mouth, seemingly dead. In a few scenes later, it turns out a Time Skip had occured, and the new, mysterious wandering swordsman called the Water Knight is that little boy from the beginning. In a twist of fate that borders on Bait-and-Switch, the Action Girl sidekick that tags behind Water Knight is actually his younger sister, who seemingly died in the opening scene as well!
  • Mo' Better Blues opens with Bleek being forced to practice his music instead of playing with friends. Interestingly, his son, played by the same actor as young Bleek, goes through the same thing as Bleek-only, this time he is allowed to play with them.
  • Mulan: The live-action remake adds scenes from Mulan's childhood at the start of the film to establish her natural ability to use Qi as well as to establish that as a daughter, she would be looked down upon for using it in public.
  • Nathan's Kingdom opens with nine-year-old Laura telling fourteen-year-old Nathan about their kingdoms after their father left. The movie then jumps ahead ten years.
  • National Treasure starts with the main character being given a clue by his grandfather, 30 years before the rest of the movie.
  • Pearl Harbor begins with Rafe and Danny as young boys, their love of flight, and Rafe protects Danny, setting up the central action of the film.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl begins with a shipwreck scene where Elizabeth and Will are both children.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time opens with Dastan as a kid, establishing him as a rebellious and athletic character. After three minutes there is a Time Skip to him being in his 20s.
  • In Princess of Thieves, Gwyn first appears a young girl before an Age Cut takes us to her as a teenager.
  • Before the opening credits of Queens Logic, we see Al as a teenager climbing the Hellgate Bridge, while the younger versions of Carla, Dennis, Patty, Ray, and Vinnie watch and cheer him on. Then, in the credits, the movie does a Time Skip to Al (and eventually the others) as a grown-up. This also serves as a Chekhov's Gun, as Al tries to climb the bridge again near the end of the movie. He doesn't succeed this time.
  • The Rage: Carrie 2, starts with a scene of Rachel's mother trying to "protect her from demons" before Rachel is taken by social services and her mother is taken to a mental hospital.
  • Regeneration: The opening scenes feature a 10-year-old Owen dressed in rags, living in a filthy tenement, made a quasi-slave by his neighbors after his mother's death leaves him orphaned. Then there's a time skip to Owen at age 19.
  • In The Ribald Tales of Robin Hood, Robin is introduced as a boy who is watch to as Prince John murders his father, and orders his mother and sister raped. The film then jumps to when Robin is an adult and a permanent thorn in John's side.
  • Rogue One features a rather dark variation. A young Jyn Erso witnesses Lyra, her mother, get gunned down by Imperials, and her father Galen get captured by them. When the Death Troopers start searching for her, Jyn is forced to flee her home and ends up hiding for her life. Saw Gerrera finds her, and the movie jumps to the present.
  • Shallow Hal begins with the death of Hal's father while deliriously preaching about titties.
  • Sister Act: Deloris Van Cartier shows her disrespect against Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholic convents by naming the apostles John, Paul, George, and Ringo. The nun says that Deloris will be doomed to a life of sin if she doesn't change her ways. Cue the grown-up Deloris being involved in a relationship with a married mob boss in Reno.
  • The prologue of Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) introduces Sonic as a child peacefully living on his planet with his guardian Longclaw. It ends with Longclaw giving Sonic her bag of portal rings to protect himself from enemies, kicking off the events of the film.
  • Space Jam begins with a young Michael Jordan, before fast-forwarding to him as an adult—-played by himself.
  • Splash begins when the main characters were kids.
  • Star Trek (2009) starts with Kirk's birth and gives childhood scenes for both Kirk and Spock. The scene with Kirk's birth is important to the plot; the other scenes are not, but they do help establish what kind of people the two characters are.
  • Superman: The Movie: Following the origin, we first get introduced to Supes while he's still a baby getting sent to Earth.
  • Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny starts out with young JB leaving home for Hollywood to become a rock musician.
  • Thor begins with a young Thor and a young Loki being told the story of Asgard's fight with the Frost Giants by Odin, with both Thor and Loki showing elements of their personalities: Thor eagerly promising to wipe out the Frost Giants once he's old enough and Loki eagerly seeking their father's approval.
  • The Three Stooges opens with the trio being left at the orphanage, with the three babies already having their recognizable hairdos.
  • Tommy Boy opens with the young Tommy Callahan being told he's late to school - and he promptly runs face-first into the sliding glass door, with young Richard Hayden teasing him for being late.
  • TRON: Legacy opens up with Sam Flynn as a child, talking with his father about the plot of the original TRON the night before he mysteriously disappears. Also notable for being the only real-world scene where CGI is used to make Jeff Bridges look younger.
  • Twister begins with the lead heroine losing her father in a traumatic way early in life.
  • Underworld U.S.A., opens with Tolly as 14 year-old punk who witnesses his father being beaten to death by four mobsters in an alley. A brief montage shows various criminal acts of his over the years, finishing with him as adult in prison where the main story starts.
  • The movie Untamed Heart opens with Adam as a child at an orphanage, where we see how sickly he is, and where the nuns who run the orphanage first tell him the story about his heart (or what they claim is the story).
  • The movie Us begins in 1986 with a seven-year-old Adelaide/Red at the Santa Cruz boardwalk where she encounters her doppelgänger for the first time.
  • During Watchmen's opening sequence, we see a very young Rorschach staring balefully at his prostitute mother's clients. And we see a young Laurie walking in on her mother arguing with her stepfather.
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? begins with the sisters as children in the 1910s.
  • Wild in the Streets opens with Max Frost's conception, followed by scenes from his childhood.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men starts with Magneto as a boy in a concentration camp.
    • X-Men: The Last Stand begins with a younger Professor X and Magneto visiting Jean Grey as a child. We also see a young Warren Worthington III.
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine starts with Wolverine and Sabretooth as children.
    • X-Men: First Class begins with Charles Xavier and Raven Darkholme as children, and recaps a young Erik Lehnsherr in the concentration camp.
  • The Young Poisoner's Handbook opens with Graham as young boy, as his narration explains how he developed a fascination for science, and chemistry in particular, at young age. If flashes forward to him at 14, where the story really starts.

  • Bravelands begins with Swiftcub getting his "adult name" in a Naming Ceremony, right before his father Gallant is murdered and he's ran out of his pride. The next chapter starts off a year later, with Fearless being a yearling raised by baboons.
  • The first four chapters of Doglands tell of Furgul's life as a puppy and shows how he escaped Dedbone's Hole. Part II tells of his temporary life as a pet dog and spans several months.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone starts with Harry being left to the Dursleys as a Doorstop Baby. The second chapter skips forward almost ten years to the preteen Harry we'll follow for the rest of the novel.
  • Discouraged and mocked as "The Long Runway" in How NOT to Write a Novel.
  • Lords and Ladies opens "fifty years or more before the ever-moving now" with a teenaged Esmeralda Weatherwax's first encounter with The Fair Folk. The young man who gets mentioned as having been walking with her, but who has managed to lose her by this point, later turns out to be Mustrum Ridcully.
  • Shadow of Doubt begins by introducing Alinadar at age eight, just before she's forced to murder her first victims in service to the Space Pirates who kidnapped her.
  • Smith of Wootton Major: We first meet Smith at age nine, when he acquires the star, but the rest of the story happens in his adulthood.
  • The first Survivor Dogs book begins Yap and Squeak talking with their Mother-Dog as puppies. It then segues to Yap, now an adult named "Lucky", in a shelter right before an earthquake hits.
  • The young adult editions of The Wheel of Time have a special prologue not present in the adult editions where we see the main characters as children listening to Tam's story of the Dragon. It's told from Egwene's point of view, but we see all the Emond's Fielders.
  • Books in the second series of Wings of Fire all have a prologue featuring the main character as a younger dragonet. The prologue of Moon Rising goes further and shows Moonwatcher's birth.
  • The Wolves of Paris starts with a half-grown protagonist being hunted by humans.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The first episode of Cloak & Dagger (2018) opens with a young Ty hanging around with his brother and his friends, while a young Tandy gets picked up from ballet class by her father. Then things get bad. There are further flashbacks to the events immediately following this throughout the series.
  • The first episode of Daredevil (2015) opens with the car accident that blinds Matt.
  • The first episode of Dharma & Greg opened on a subway with both characters with their parents just happening to be there at the same time, though they didn't actually meet.
  • Amy Pond is introduced this way in Doctor Who, and boy, does it have a lasting impact on her life!
  • One episode of Firefly begins with a flashback to when Simon and River were children, mainly showing how close they were and how River was a playful, imaginative girl before her brain was hacked up. There are several other flashbacks, mainly dealing with Simon trying to rescue River, but none have them as children.
  • A few episodes of Frasier open with Frasier and Niles as children, generally to establish that whatever behavior will drive the plot of the episode has been going on since childhood.
  • Many episodes of Jane the Virgin focuses on the titular character as a child that associate with the episode's plot.
  • The Lone Gunmen frequently used this.
  • A handful of Lost episodes have a childhood flashback in the first act, followed by a later-life story in the remaining flashbacks. "White Rabbit" begins with a scene from Jack's childhood, "He's Our You" with Sayid's. "White Rabbit" actually keeps the child story going for a few flashbacks, probably because it shows Jack's relationship with his dad, who is dead for the rest of the episode.
  • Never Wipe Tears Without Gloves introduces Benjamin and Rasmus as children.
  • Scenes between young Jaron and Younger Sydney (the latter still played by Patrick Bauchau) were close to a Once an Episode feature on The Pretender.
  • Nearly every episode of Psych starts with a "Young Shawn" sequence. One episode even began with a "Young Juliet" sequence.
  • Each episode of Pushing Daisies typically starts with a look into the childhood of one of the characters. For most of the first season it was Ned, but later they added flashbacks of Chuck, Olive, Emerson, and even, in the last episode, Lily and Vivian.
  • Smallville: The first episode's prologue is this to Clark Kent and Lex Luthor.
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: Voyager. Two episodes focusing on Tuvok and Chakotay had an introduction showing them as Former Teen Rebels who rejected their cultures.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise: The first person we see in the pilot episode is a young Jonathan Archer, about thirty years before he assumes command of Enterprise.
    • Star Trek: Picard: In "Absolute Candor", Elnor is introduced in a flashback which takes place fourteen years prior as an orphaned boy being cared for by the Qowat Milat sisterhood. He and Jean-Luc Picard have a surrogate father-son relationship. Seeing Elnor first as a child is meant to elicit an "Awww!" reaction from the viewers because he's the first major Romulan character in the franchise who's fully on the side of the heroes (as opposed to his species' traditional depiction as villains), so it's important to establish from the get-go that he's sympathetic.
  • The pilot episode of Supernatural begins with Dean as a kid and Sam as a baby, on the night that their mother was killed.
  • Although it's not the very first scene, the first episode of The Umbrella Academy has a flashback to the Hargreeves siblings as preteens using their powers to stop a bank robbery - the first time the titular Umbrella Academy was made known to the world.

  • Sound Horizon's Moira begins by showing the twins of fate as children. In the span of one song they turn from kids to adults.

  • Mystery Show started its first episode with a monologue from Starlee about how she and her sister found an old safe as kids, and how that sparked her love of mysteries.
    • Subverted in episode six when Jonathan asks if he should start from the beginning, and Starlee asks if "beginning" means childhood.
    Jonathan: Not that beginning.

  • The radio adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde opens with Jekyll at age 12, following him through his life up to death.

  • Similar to its film entry above, the musical version of Kinky Boots opens with Lola and Charlie as children, emphasizing how shoes have played a formative role in both of their lives. Charlie is aged up before the end of the opening song, while adult Lola shows up a few scenes later.
  • Although it roughly halfway during the first act, Les Misérables features Cosette and Eponine as children during the song Castle on a Cloud (and are featured in the songs Master of the House and The Bargain, although neither speaks). Two songs and a time skip later, and they're both grown up.
  • Once On This Island begins with Ti Moune as a young child who is found in a tree after a hurricane. During the song "One Small Girl", she grows up to a teenager.
  • The first scene of the musical On Your Toes shows Phil Dolan III as a child doing a vaudeville act ("Two-a-Day for Keith") with his parents, Phil II and Lil. The rest of the play takes place 15 years later.
  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee opens with Rona winning the 3rd Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which is revealed to be a flashback as the adult Rona prepares to host the 25th Annual.

    Video Games 
  • The entire first segment of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time centers around Link's adventures as a child before he seals himself inside the Temple of Time, where he lays dormant for several years and later emerges as an adult.
  • Assassin's Creed II has Ezio's introduction as a new-born where we get to move our arms and legs a bit.
  • Assassin's Creed III similarly introduces Connor as a child.
  • In Breath of Fire II, the player starts out as a child, who goes to find his sister Yua and protects her from monsters, only to return and find out that no one in the town remembers him because Aruhamel wiped everyone's memories and abducted his father and sister. He meets his fellow orphan, Bow, and the two become Rangers together years later.
  • In Breathof Fire III, the player starts as a child who is adopted by other orphan children who steal to get by.
  • In Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle, the first chapter features the titular Morgane as a child. The chores her mother gets her to do serve to introduce the basic game mechanics.
  • In the 2016 reboot of Downfall, the prologue of the game stars Joe Davis and his future wife, Ivy, as children.
  • Dragon Quest V opens with the main character's birth, and starts you off playing as a five-year-old.
  • Both Fable games set up the plot this way. The first with your town being destroyed and your father getting killed while your mother is sent to prison and your sister kidnapped by bandits, the second when your sister is killed in front of you.
  • Fallout 3's tutorial starts with the player character's birth and there's a short section where one must play as a baby. It's one of the greatest examples of a Justified Tutorial in all of gaming: The game teaches you how to walk because you are a baby, and as you grow from a newborn to an infant to a preteen to an older teen to a young adult, you learn to interact with things, talk to other people, use items, and (yes) use weapons.
  • Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition opens with a "Ten Years Ago" sequence showing young Terry and Andy. It's the day when Geese Howard killed their father.
  • Fire Emblem Gaiden: The Echoes remake includes a prologue that takes place seven years before the story officially starts, letting you control child versions of Alm, Celica, and the villagers from Ram.
  • Golden Sun started with Isaac and Garet as kids, during the tragedy in which Isaac's father, Jenna's parents and Jenna's brother lost their lives but it turns out they actually lived.
  • The Godfather begins with Aldo witnessing his father's murder and the destruction of their family bakery by the Barzinis and Don Corleone's promise that he'll be able to take his revenge. Flash forward nine years...
  • After the prologue where you control Maxim and his allies, Lufia & The Fortress of Doom cuts to a very young main character, and shows how he first meets a similarly young Lufia.
  • The first chapter of Old School Musical takes place during Tib and Rob's childhood, with them being ten and three years old respectively. At the end, it skips forwards to 13 years later, from where the rest of the game happens.
  • Overlord II opens up with the Overlad, the son of the previous Overlord. We take control of him as he spends the evening terrorizing the other children of the village, responding to their snowballs with lightning, and hanging out with his only friend Kendra. Then the Anti-magic forces of the Glorious Empire and the Minions find him at the same time, bringing him to Gnarl. One years-long Time Skip later and Gnarl has raised the creepy little tyke into a fearsome new Overlord ready to topple the Empire.
  • Tales of Graces has its entire first chapter focus on several of the playable characters as kids, followed by a Time Skip after a key plot event.
    • Tales of Berseria starts with a scene of 9-year old Velvet and 4-year old Laphicet running away with their brother-in-law Arthur during the Scarlet Night.

    Visual Novels 
  • Tsukihime's intro is about when Shiki met Sensei right after his accident at age nine, an immensely important time in life for a bunch of reasons. The non spoiler one is that this is when his eyes activated and got his Mystic Eye killer glasses. And learned slicing stuff in half for shits and giggles wasn't nice.

  • In Drowtales, Ariel is introduced as a baby in the first page of chapter 1. Next time we see her, she is a 10 years old child.
  • Fetch Quest: Saga of the Twelve Artifacts first introduces us to young Saffron Lachesis, when she gets the gift of a cane sword from her father, the King of Strife.
  • Joseph & Yusra's first chapter deals with how the two became friends around the age of six before jumping to their teenaged years.
  • The Order of the Stick book Start of Darkness begins with a single page showing us a four-year-old Xykon crying over the death of his pet dog. By the end of the page, he's zombified the dog by accident, then delighted as it devoured a bird's brain.
  • Parimetra: Somewhat of a subversion seeing as it takes place in chapter 2, but otherwise played straight.
  • Star Impact opens with a nine-year-old Aster at a title fight featuring the Legend, an illustrious boxer who she would idolize for the rest of her life.
  • Suihira has an entire first chapter devoted to showing Princess Protagonist Wahida (and her sister) grow up from adorable little kids into ladies.

    Western Animation 
  • The Codename: Kids Next Door TV movie "Operation: Z.E.R.O." opens with a flashback on two brothers discovering The Book of KND and overthrowing Grandfather. Those boys turn out to be Monty Uno (aka Numbuh Zero) and his brother Benedict (aka Father).
  • The Disney short Feast begins with James finding Winston all alone as a puppy and adopting him.
  • The Legend of Korra introduces Korra as a pudgy, spirited four-year-old Child Prodigy who has already begun to bend water, earth, and fire, proving beyond a doubt her Avatar status to the Order of the White Lotus. "I'm the Avatar, you gotta deal with it!" A scene of her lighting a small, candleflame-sized fire Age Cuts to her at seventeen in a training duel against three firebenders, clearly having mastered firebending.
  • Samurai Jack begins with the title character as a child. After he has to flee his home, we see a montage of him going all over the world, training with various people and cultures, until he returns home as an adult.
  • Like the original films, Superman: The Animated Series begins its 3 episode pilot with the Man of Steel as a baby. We don't see him full grown until halfway through part two.
  • In VeggieTales, this is done as a tribute to Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella" starts off with Minnesota, Marten, and the Scallions as kids.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Minor Kidroduction


Zootopia - Opening Scene

In the opening scene of this movie, a child version of Judy and some friends put on a play that explains the history of the Zootopia world.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / AMinorKidroduction

Media sources:

Main / AMinorKidroduction