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Absurdly Youthful Mother

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"I wouldn't say a word that could be reckoned as injurious,
But to find a mother younger than her son is very curious."

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

Often done to justify a Mrs. Robinson or Stacy's Mom, but sometimes, the mother in question really was that young when she gave birth. Sometimes she only appears this way because of the art style.

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In Real Life, a girl can conceive about two weeks before her first menstrual cycle, which commonly occurs (on average) at around 12 or 13 years old these days (although carrying a child to term before physical maturity is risky and has a higher chance of Death by Childbirth; Henry VII's mother was thirteen when she gave birth to him and couldn't get pregnant again because of the damage to her reproductive organs) and in rare cases this can occur at an even younger age, such as five years old.note 

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See also:

Subtrope of Hollywood Old. Compare and contrast Absurdly Elderly Mother, where a mother conceives a child at a post-menopausal age, and Playing Gertrude, where the actor playing the parent is absurdly youthful although the character may not be.

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Examples:

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Faked parentage

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Our Miss Brooks episode "The Wrong Mrs. Boynton", Miss Brooks unwittingly offers to masquerade as Mr. Boynton's mother. This is in spite of the fact she is actually a couple of years younger than her Love Interest. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • In Only Fools and Horses, Del wins a family holiday for the Trotters by entering a children's art contest with a picture painted by Rodney when he was 14. In order for them to be eligible to claim the prize, Rodney (who's in his early 20s) has to pose as a 14-year-old boy, with Del (who was 16-17 when Rodney was born) pretending to be his father. Del at least has the sense to claim Cassandra, about the same age as Rodney, as a stepmother.
  • Tracy Jordan's adult son on 30 Rock is far too old. In an aversion, Tracy sees through the deception immediately (while his friends assume the Cloudcuckoolander was actually taken in).
  • Discussed in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "T.R.A.C.K.S", when Agents Coulson and Simmons are posing as father/daughter family. Simmons comments that Coulson is "far too young to have a daughter my age." (Though it would seem she's just being polite: the official website states that Coulson was 49 and Simmons 26 at the time the mission took place, meaning that they could easily be father and daughter at their respective ages.)
  • Good Luck Charlie: One episode has Gabe trick his elderly teacher into believing that his teenaged siblings PJ and Teddy (in thinly veiled disguises) are his parents. It almost works.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender season 3, Sokka and Katara fake being Aang's parents at a Fire Nation school. The two of them are barely older than he is and wear unconvincing disguises (Sokka wore a fake beard, Katara wore a pillow stuffed under her shirt to make her look pregnant) to pass themselves off. To really blow some heads, just remember that in terms of pure chronological age, he could be their great-great-grandfather, and somehow, Aang could pass himself off as a Miniature Senior Citizen when entering Omashu.


Writers Cannot Do Math

    Anime and Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: It is never stated how old Syaoran's mother Yelan is, only that she looks very young and beautiful enough to stand out in a universe populated by The Beautiful Elite. She is, however, thought to be somewhere in her mid-to-late 30s, and possibly married as a teenager. This is never confirmed because she is only seen in the first OVA.
  • Justified in Broly where Bulma intends to use the dragon balls to make herself five years younger and Goku guesses she's probably done this a few times before.
  • As mentioned above, in the dub of Digimon Tamers, Ruki/Rika's age was altered, but the age of her mother was left alone. Ruki is implied to have been the result of teen pregnancy in the original. The dub's numbers indicate that Rumiko gave birth at thirteen. Oops.

    Art 
  • The Blessed Mother in Michelangelo's Pieta hardly looks like a middle-aged widow; she looks just as old as her 33-year old son. This dissonance between her appearance and age is intentional since Mary's unusual external beauty is a sign of her immaculate soul.

    Comics 
  • Kill Killer features a story with a "Dirty Callahan"-like killer of pedophiles who, after a lengthy period in prison for beating the supposed killer of his five-year-old child, reunites with his partner, the mother of the child... a 19-year-old teenager. Someone obviously couldn't make a subtraction... Or maybe that was the point.note 

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter:
    • In the official Black family tree includes birth and death dates; if followed exactly, Sirius' grandfather had his mother when he was only 13. J. K. Rowling is on record that math isn't her strong suit, so many fans assume she just misplaced a decade. Then again, given the Blacks' status as a Big, Screwed-Up Family, it could conceivably be accurate...
    • A more subtle but still prominent example would be with Harry's parents. Going by the birth and the death dates, Lily Potter gave birth to Harry when she and James were 20, and both of them died when only 21. While not completely out there (they were crazy for each other by the end of school, and James had both a good job out of school and a good bit of old family money that Harry himself later inherits, so providing for Harry wasn't a challenge), it does still feel jarring, especially given how old they're portrayed as in the movies. Rowling does acknowledge this later on.
    • They were in the middle of a way of life-altering war so it's not unlikely that they got married, and Harry came along, at a young age because they never knew if either would be killed before they got round to it. It happened a lot during the First and Second World Wars, and Mrs. Weasley alludes to it as something that happened a lot during the First Wizarding War when fretting about how Bill and Fleur (the former in his twenties, the latter 21/22 at the very most) are getting married so quickly. Of course, this by implication includes her and Mr. Weasley, as her children point out.
  • In W.E.B. Griffin's OSS series, one of the major characters is the son of a Hollywood star, who, if one believes her official studio biography, gave birth to him at thirteen. However, this is entirely due to the studio claiming that she's younger than she actually is due to the fact that she always plays The Ingenue, and they need to make her look as if she's young enough to plausibly play that role (They try not to draw attention to the fact that she has an adult son - who is only legitimate because she married the father for one year to avoid any possible scandal connected to the pregnancy - whenever possible).
    • In fact, they did everything they could to cover up or erase the evidence, and the mother ends up believing her own "official" bio. When he confronts her, she not only flatly denies that he's her son, but that she could possibly have a son in the first place.

    Live Action TV 
  • In One Life to Live, Greg is explicitly stated (in courtroom testimony, no less) to have ten years' experience as a fully licensed practicing neurosurgeon, putting him in his early 40s at the youngest. His mother is played by an actress in her late 40s, and to make things interesting he has a 15-year-old sister. All the characters were introduced during 2009 so SORAS isn't involved.
  • In the third episode of Girl Meets World, Topanga tells a small child that she's 30. Topanga and Cory have a daughter, Riley, in 7th grade. If Riley is normal age for her grade (12-13), Topanga had her when she was 17-18. Given that Boy Meets World goes through Topanga's second year of college and she had no children up until that time, clearly someone didn't do the math. That or she was simply lying about her age.
  • According to That's So Raven, Chelsea was born in 1989. That makes her 28 at the start of Raven's Home. She has a 4th-grade son and her similarly aged friend Raven has 6th grade twins. Either Raven's Home takes place 20 Minutes into the Future, Writers Cannot Do Math, or the two had kids really young.
  • On Charmed (1998), one episode shows a family tree of the Warren clan, which is a mess of continuity and logic errors. Among them is that Grams would have been 13 when Patty was born.
  • Pearl Forrester on Mystery Science Theater 3000 is played by an actress who is actually two years younger than the actor playing her adult son Clayton. In fact, she actually raised him to adulthood twice due to him being turned into a baby at the end of season 7. Even following the Time Skip, she appears no more than middle aged. Needless to say, the mantra is in full effect here.

    Video Games 
  • Dead or Alive: Ayame, the mother of Hayate, Kasumi, and Ayane. She's had three kids, Hayate being in his early twenties and Kasumi and Ayane being in their late teens (17 and 16, respectively, in the original game), and in her every appearance so far, she doesn't appear to be much older than Kasumi.
  • In The Sims 3, Boyd and Susan Wainwright are 11 days until Elder while playing in normal lifespan (AKA they're 62 SimDays old), while their daughter, Blair, is in her very first day of Young Adult (31 SimDays old), meaning that Blair was born while both her parents were in their very first day of Young Adult, and thus she would have been conceived when her parents were teens in "normal gameplay". In the meanwhile (a completely different family/household but still in Sunset Valley) Leighton Sekemoto is 19 days until Adult (basically middle-aged) while his son, Sam, is on his first day of toddler. This is because, while 1 SimDay = 1 Year in the Child, Young Adult, Adult, and Elder Stage, it equals 6 months in the Baby, Toddler, and Teen life stage.
    • The Sims 2 has a few as well; Brandi Broke of Pleasantview is 22 days away from elderhood and Andrew Martin of Riverblossom Hills is 27 days away from elderhood, and both have teenage sons. This would indicate that they were teen parents, but this, of course, is impossible in-game and their memories clearly show them as becoming parents after reaching adulthood.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Not the case anymore; but the Koopalings were once considered to be Bowser's children along with Junior. Bowser himself is only a few years older than Mario (who is 24), and the Koopalings are all teenagers or young adults. If they're considered Bowser's children; Bowser would only be about ten years older than Ludwig (the eldest).
  • Due to poor translation rather than poor math, an NPC in Mega Man Battle Network 1 says that ten-year-old Lan's grandfather, the famous Dr. Tadashi Hikari, is forty-five years old. Yikes. Later games in the series clarify that Tadashi died at forty-five (of a genetic heart problem) before Lan was born.
  • Professor Oak is around 47 in Pokémon Red and Blue. He already has a grandson that is around 11 and a granddaughter that is several years older than that. This means that both Oak and his son had kids in their teens, which is not likely what Game Freak intended.
  • Most of the playable characters in Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors are in their prime age, even those with adult children. The most egregious is probably the Cao family. Cao Cao, the patriarch, is stated to 34, while his son Cao Pi is 27. Cao Pi himself has a son, Cao Rui, who serves as an NPC. This means that Cao Cao was 7 when he had Cao Pi, and Cao Pi himself must still be a child when he had Cao Rui.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck. Bro Strider. Most fans think of Bro as being in his early/middle 20s, until you sit down and do the math. He was at least an adult - 18 - when he adopted baby!Dave. Dave is thirteen now, making bro at least 31. The same might apply to Mama Lalonde and Dad Egbert, but Mom and Dad seem to be thought of as "older" than Bro. The whole lot of them don't seem to change in appearance between adopting their children and thirteen years later.
    • The Egbert Family. Nana was born in 1910. John was "born" in 1996. Dad appears to be a regular middle-aged man, but if Nana had Dad around age 20 (as was normal for a woman of her time period) Dad would have to be in his sixties when John is "born." If Dad is about, say, 40 when John is 13, Nana would have had to have given birth to him in HER fifties-sixties. It's unclear how old Dad is SUPPOSED to be, but so far it doesn't seem to add up when considering Nana's and John's ages.
  • All the main heroines in How I Became Yours.
    • Katara would have become a mother at age 15 had Mai not induced a miscarriage, and in the epilogue (taking place when she's 23), she has several children who look to be at least 5 years old.
    • Toph would have been 21 at the time of the epilogue, and she also has seemingly kindergarten-aged kids.
    • Azula, since she got pregnant during the comic, would have been 17/18 when her child was born.

    Western Animation 
  • On Gravity Falls, the Whole Episode Flashback shows a baby that is probably meant to be Dipper and Mabel's grandfather, Shermie (whom we never see as an adult). "More than ten years" pass before Stan meets Ford again, then another thirty years before the main events of the show. So at this point, Shermie would be a little more than forty years old, but with twelve-year-old grandkids? Even if you assume that "more than ten years" is closer to twenty, that's cutting things pretty close.
    • Gets Lampshaded in Gravity Falls: Lost Legends, where Shmebulock's String Theory includes the possibility of Blendin's Time Travel being involved.
    • Granted, this is all based on the assumption that the baby is Shermie. A common fan explanation is that Shermie is actually older than his brothers and the baby was Shermie's child (presumably the twins' brothers).
  • The Jetsons: Jane Jetson, mother to 16-year-old Judy, is only 33 years old according to the first episode.


Combination/Actually That Young/Other

    Anime and Manga 
  • This is often the case for most of the parents in Jojos Bizarre Adventure, who are usually married and/or have children by the time they're in their very early 20s. One of the few exceptions would be Holly Kujo née Joestar, who had Jotaro at the reasonable age of 28.
  • Diva from Blood+ looks, sounds and even acts very youthful, if not childish and immature. She becomes this after she rapes and kills Riku., who happens to be 13 years old. She does mature slightly a year after the Time Skip.
  • In Sword Art Online, Kirito and Asuna adopt the AI Yui as their daughter. At the time, Kirito and Asuna are 16 and 17, respectively. Yui, by virtue of being an AI, is like an 8-year-old despite in fact being 2.
  • Konata's mother Kanata from Lucky Star looked incredibly young throughout her life and (sometimes) acted accordingly. This fact gave fuel for some interesting speculation about the preferences of Konata's father Soujirou.
  • Tomo-chan Is a Girl! gives us Carol's mother Ferris. An extra chapter shows Carol's father Eddie proposing to Ferris, who says she can't get married because she's 13; Eddie freaks out because he thought she was older than him due to her working as a waitressnote  and being ridiculously overdeveloped for her age. And then after Ferris accepted the proposal, she mentioned "the little one inside me", triggering a Heroic BSoD in poor Eddie.
  • Masamune-kun's Revenge: The title character's mother, Kinue Makabe, looks, acts, and dresses like she's about 9-or-so years old... despite being 42 with two teenage kids.
  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms: Maquia is from a tribe where Immortality Begins at 20 with fifteen years old being the aging-stopping age. Adopting a normal human baby at age fifteen technically makes her a Supernaturally Young Parent, but she is also passing as a normal human and her son's biological mother, causing many to mistake her for having had him quite early in life.
  • My Hero Academia: Endeavor is 45 at the start of the series, and his second oldest child is 22. On it's own that's not particularly remarkable, but his others kids are three or four years apart (Shoto is 15 and Natsuo is 19), and his oldest child, Toya, would be at least 23, more likely 26-27 if the pattern is followed. This would make him a potential teen parent, and has ramifications over perceptions of him, especially with the knowledge that Toya was his original successor and All Might was likely starting out in America at the time.
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really Really Really Really Really Love You: Hakari's mother, Hahari, gave birth at age 13, via artificial insemination because her lover was about to die from an illness.

    Fan Works 
  • Past Sins
    • Twilight adopts the magically generated Nyx. Biologically, they're a late teennote  and child respectively, and that's not even going into the newly-made or millennium-old question with Nyx. And things get even weirder when Nyx is artificially aged up to an adult horse...
    • There's also the fact that some of Twilight's blood was used in the ritual to resurrect Nightmare Moon (due to her status as the Element of Magic), possibly making her a Truly Single Parent or some weird case of Has Two Mommies with Princess Luna.
  • Aki-chan's Life is a particularly extreme example, with fourteen- or fifteen-year-old Asuka and Shinji being parents of a four-year-old girl. Time travel was involved.
    • Of course, even in the previous story, Asuka was probably only about fifteen or sixteen when she gave birth to Aki. Even that's just a guess on her and Shinji's part as they weren't bothering to keep track of time after the apocalypse.
  • The Child of Love: Asuka gave birth to Teri when she and Shinji were fifteen. During her birthday she admits she is too young to be a mother.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Kyoko is only a few years older than her daughter because she was a bodiless soul for twenty years.
  • In RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse, Ditzy Doo was just barely legal when she got pregnant with Dinky.
  • Bait and Switch: When Yui returns from EVA-01 (actually Shinji in his mother's body), she's only twenty-four due to not having aged after spending a decade without a body.
  • The Differentverse: Twilight hatched her adoptive son Spike when she was eleven. She's 21 in the present day.
  • Oversaturated World: While Ditzy Doo presumably gave birth to Dinky at a more normal age, she subsequently decided to send Dinky back in time to spend time with her teenage self, ending up in this trope.
  • This is a plot point in Red Jewel Diaries when Fate tells Lindy that a DNA test said that her biological father is Clyde. Lindy instantly points out that it's impossible since Clyde was only 10 when Alicia (the girl Fate was cloned from) was born. When Fate does some investigating, she finds out that her father was actually an aged up clone of Clyde who was (at most) three years old.
  • Black Sky: Dorea Black gets herself married after her fifteenth birthday and immediately gets pregnant with twins. Her husband also is an example since he was only sixteen when she conceived, and almost six years spent in cold storage ensured he stayed sixteen while the kids are now five years old, which logically would mean he fathered them at eleven, almost twelve years old.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Lily and James Potter, with the author calculating that Lily would have got pregnant at 19 and a half. Of course, the case is a touch odder here, since James was Thor in mortal form (and entirely unaware of it), meaning that he was technically 1500 when Harry was conceived.
    • Minerva McGonagall was no more than 20 when she got pregnant with Clint's mother, by Bucky Barnes.
    • The Carter-Danvers-O'Neill family has the high end of this (i.e. children being born between 19-21 years old) in several generations, as [1] admitted that he didn't realise until too late that he was trying to fit too many generations of adults into too short a time-span for more standard gaps. Jack O'Neill is the second child of Alison Carter, Peggy Carter's little sister (actually, her daughter by Steve Rogers), who was born in 1945, and is a Brigadier (1 Star) General and has a young adult daughter, Sharon Carter (who reverted to her grandmother's maiden name to make a point) who's a qualified SHIELD Agent when the story starts in late 2006. This means that he was born 1966 at the very latest, when his mother was 21, implying that she was at most 20 when her first child, Marie, was born, and that he was about 20 or so when Sharon was born - a nod is given to this when it's mentioned that Sharon was 'something of a surprise to her parents' in how early she arrived.
  • Dragonstone features a wedding between Jon Stark and Margaery Tyrell, both being thirteen years old only - the agreement was that they would wed after Margaery's first period, and she's older than Jon. She gives birth to their firstborn son Duncan when she's only fourteen.
  • In Arcadia or Bust, Claire is mistakenly thought of being NotEnrique's teen mom by Bill Miller as he is threatening her.
  • In Married to the Koopa King, Bowser has eight kids and several are preteens but he's not even thirty. He was married at fifteen to a slightly older girl and began having kids right away.
  • Zinnia in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, while her age isn't explicitly stated, is heavily implied to be somewhere in her mid-teens, and her daughter Aster is already a toddler. In this case, it's justified, as a later side story reveals she was raped.
  • Warm Milk and Galaxies parodies the famous The Empire Strikes Back scene where Vader is revealed as Luke's father, crossing over with My Hero Academia, where All for One as The Emperor reveals to Izuku as Luke that Shigaraki as Darth Vader was his father. Shigaraki seems to be in his mid-20s, while Izuku's 15. It turns out to be All Just a Dream of Izuku's, and his real father gets a kick out of it when Izuku tells him.

    Literature 
  • A Brother's Price justifies this trope by changing the definition of "mother". All sisters of a child's birth mother who are still part of the same family groupnote  are her mothers. This makes possible a situation in which someone's mother is the same age as her, or possibly even younger.
  • Seems to be pretty heavily implied as the norm in Allegiant, given that Natalie and Andrew were together before they entered Abnegation together, and that the Bureau requires that all persons entering the experiment promise to have a minimum number of children to ensure the survival of their "corrected genes".
  • In Die Alchimistin, Sylvette gives birth at eight. It isn't clear whether it was fully natural or the Big Bad stimulated her puberty somehow (he was probably able to do that).
  • In Alice, Girl from the Future the Pirate Queen first appears as a strikingly beautiful woman in her twenties. She is also the mother of Rat who is definitely much older than that, which is lampshaded by the hero. Then her young face turns out to be a mask, and what lies beneath is so horrid that the author doesn't even describe it.
    • Although we never know for sure whether she is his real mother, as she is only shown in human form and he is a shapeshifting scorpion-like alien. We only have his word that he inherited the shapeshifting from his father, but the author is rather vague on the question of alien/human interbreeding.
  • In Magic or Madness, all magic-user parents were absurdly young when they had their kids because magic is Cast From Life Span (and if you don't use it, you go insane). This causes several problems, since said mothers weren't mature enough to properly raise children.
  • Played for Drama in We Can't Rewind: Denise is indicated to have given birth at eleven. Later, due to a "Freaky Friday" Flip, her daughter Jaymee also manages to give birth at age ten, albeit from her mother's adult body.
  • In the Colleen McCullough novel The Touch, heroine Elizabeth gives birth to her daughters Nell and Anna at 16 and 17, respectively. When Anna is raped and impregnated at 13, she becomes an example of this too and makes Elizabeth an absurdly youthful grandmother.
  • In The Giver, Jonas mentions that "birthmothers", like everyone else, have their profession chosen for them at the age of twelve, and that they start having babies not long after that.
  • In the Earth's Children series, Ayla gives birth to her son, Durc, when she is eleven years old. It's worth noting that this is normal among the Clan, since they mature faster than the Others. However, since Ayla is one of the Others, having a baby at such a young age puts a considerable strain on her and she nearly suffers Death by Childbirth. Jondalar later tells her that most women of the Others are at least in their early teens when they give birth for the first time:
    . . . and some think that's too young.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Waco, Michelle was twelve when Koresh had a 'vision' that she would be his second wife. She is fourteen at the time of the series, with a toddler named Serenity.
  • In Shameless, Ethel has a Child by Rape from her 65 year old husband Clyde at the age of 13.

    Religion and Mythology 

    Theater 
  • In Romeo and Juliet, Lady Capulet offhandedly mentions that she was the same age as her daughter when she gave birth to Juliet (thirteen), implying that she's only 26- to 28-years-old at the very least. However, at one point, Lord Capulet implies they had other children who died. Juliet may have been the youngest of several offspring, all the rest deceased.
    • Given how much blood is shed due to the feud, it's not hard to believe that several Capulet siblings were killed by Montagues before the action of the play began.
  • In Next to Normal, Diana and Dan both claim that, when their son was born, they were each "a child, raising a child". During a flashback, it's revealed that Dan was 21 when Diana got pregnant, but it's never actually stated how old Diana is.
  • In Elisabeth, Archduchess Sophie takes charge of her oldest grand-daughter from her mother Elisabeth, claiming that it was because a child couldn't raise a child. In real life, Sisi gave birth at the age of 17, ten months after her wedding. Her other children (Gisela and Rudolf) were born when she was 19 and 21, and was also whisked away by Sophie senior for the same reason. The musical featured what amounted to a custody battle, which Sisi won at the end of act 1.

    Video Games 
  • In HuniePop, Jessie is 36, but has a daughter (Tiffany) who is 20. Jessie makes no secret of the fact that she got pregnant at 16, and in fact, this is why she dropped out of high school and went to work in the adult entertainment industry.
  • Supplementary material for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia reveals that King Lima IV became king of Zofia at a fairly young age, and the given timeline means that he was at most in his early/mid-thirties at the time of his death. Hidden data in the game also gives his two surviving children's ages as 21 and 17. This means that Lima couldn't have been much more then 12-13 at the time of Conrad's conception if one is incredibly generous with the description of "young." Considering Lima was a notorious womanizer and implied Royal Brat, it's unclear if the writers actually meant for him to be that young of a father or if they simply didn't realize the implications.
  • In The Last of Us, Joel tells Ellie that he didn't go to college because he already had his daughter. That means he wouldn't have been older than about 18 when she was born. Sarah was twelve when she died in the prologue, which means his birthday the day before she died would have probably been his 28th, 29th, or 30th.
  • In Yakuza 6, Haruka Sawamura, adopted daughter to the main playable character Kiryu Kazuma, is revealed to have given birth to a newborn son, Haruto, while Kiryu spent three years in prison, as a result, he goes out on a wild goose chase to find the father for a majority of the game's plot.
  • In Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair, Rihatsu Shinpuku was born on March 10, 1975, while her daughter Raiko was born on August 14, 1996, making Rihatsu less than 21 years old when she got pregnant with Raiko. Raiko's older sister, Reiko, was born on November 5, 1992, meaning that Rihatsu gave birth to her at 17.

    Western Animation 
  • Exaggerated in Drawn Together, Foxxy Love, despite being 20, has a teenage grandson. Of course, since it's established that cartoons don't age and since she is from the 70s, it could be a justified situation.

Alternative Title(s): Absurdly Youthful Father, Absurdly Youthful Parent, Absurdly Youthful Parents

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