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Age-Gap Romance

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"Mr. Rochester was about forty, and this governess not twenty; and you see, when gentlemen of his age fall in love with girls, they are often like as if they were bewitched."

This is a romantic relationship where there is a big difference in age between two lovers.

The age difference usually causes some raised eyebrows or disapproving comments from other characters in the story, like these: "He's old enough to be your father!" — "You could be his mother or much... much older sister."

The age gap is often presented in the work as an obstacle that the couple must overcome as they might be judged by others. Some characters can assume that the younger one is only in it for the money or nice gifts, or that the older one only wants to score a hot piece of ass and is not interested in anything else. And it often can be precisely the case.

The age gap is often not significant because of the specific number of years, but because of the relative size of the disparity in age. As a general rule, when an older character is dating a character less than two-thirds of their age, it becomes notable; for example, 9 and 14 is notable, 19 and 24 not so much; 18 and 30 is notable, 38 and 50 again not so much. Naturally, this means that as the characters grow older, their age gap becomes less and less significant. Generally, the man is the older one and the woman is the younger one, though it can be reversed as well. When the woman is older, she may be Mrs. Robinson. As a general rule, the difference should be noted in-universe as unusual. It may often overlap with Unequal Pairing if the age difference overlaps with a difference in authority/status as well.

Sub-Tropes include the following:

  • Age-Down Romance: A character experiences a dramatic change in age (typically down, but aging up also applies), and begins a romance with someone else of the same (apparent) age.
  • Mal Mariée: A young woman (and it's always a woman) marries an older man because of the socioeconomic advantage, but soon comes to regret the union, which in most cases, cannot be dissolved.
  • May–December Romance: The mundane Logical Extreme version. There is over 30 years difference between the lovers, and the younger is in the spring of their life, while the older one is a senior citizen, and they could easily be mistaken for a grandparent with their grandchild.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: The fantastic Logical Extreme version. One of the lovers is either extremely Long-Lived compared to the other or is outright Immortal, and thus the former will eventually outlive the latter several times over.
  • Wife Husbandry: One of the lovers has raised the other from childhood, and the former has fallen in love with and has been deliberately grooming the latter to be their future spouse, or the latter has independently fallen in love with the former, or both. May overlap with either of the above sister tropes.

The Jailbait Wait can be related if the younger one in the couple is below the legally defined age of consent.

The ways in which these relationships can occur in media can vary:

See Precocious Crush, when the younger one is a child with a (usually one-sided) crush on a teenager or adult, and Old Man Marrying a Child, a far less consensual take on the trope with an Arranged Marriage twist.

Much less Truth in Television, than many people think, at least in North-Western Europe and its offshoots (including America), due to the Western European marriage pattern. The extremely young ages/age disparities people usually associate with marriage in Premodern Europe were actually only common among the nobility, and then for political/diplomatic reasons. Among commoners, the average age of marriage for both men and women was in their mid-twenties, with a ten-year-or-so period of service before marriage was financially possible, during which they were not allowed to marry.

It's also worth noting that in fiction, issues that can arise with age-gap romances in real life are often glossed over. More neutrally, it is seen as arbitrary due to other factors making it a meaningless difference in a given fictional setting. At worst, some portrayals can end up romanticizing/fetishizing creepy or predatory behavior, especially if the older partner is in a position of authority over the younger (it's not unheard of in real life for abusers to intentionally seek out younger partners with less life experience and a lack of financial security to more easily control them).

It's more common now for fictional works to address these concerns and sometimes outright deconstruct the trope, as a reflection of society's shifting attitudes towards relationship dynamics. More recent works that do play it straight tend to opt for a reconstructed approach, with the couple discussing and working through the potential pitfalls of their age difference, and creators treating the subject with all necessary care.

For platonic relationships with significant age-gaps, see Intergenerational Friendship and Mayfly–December Friendship.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Rentarou is a first year in high school, which makes him around 16-years-old. Hahari, his sixth girlfriend, is 29, making for a 13 year age difference.
  • After the Rain (2014): Akira, a 17-year-old highschool student, has expressed a romantic attraction toward Kondo, the 45-year-old manager at her waitressing job. In the end, Akira confesses to Kondo, who turns her down.
  • In Beauty and the Feast, Yamato is a 15-year-old high schooler and Yakumo is a 28-year-old widow at the start of the story, and there's clear indication that Yamato is interested in her beyond being friends.
  • Healer in training Jessie of Blue Ramun just turned 15, and she falls in love with Captain Eagle of the city guard, who is 24. Eagle also develops feelings for Jessie, but the drama in their Ship Tease is exacerbated by Jessie's Arranged Marriage to another member of her clan and Eagle's unresolved guilt over the death of his wife three years previous.
  • In Kaoru Mori's A Bride's Story, the bride Amir is a 20-year-old female Country Mouse and her arranged husband Karluk is a 12-year-old boy. Though the age gap is only considered big in-universe since she's the older one.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, there is a couple where their age gap is explicitly stated in order to portray its depth, Kagaya Ubuyashiki, the lord of the Demon Slayer Corps married his wife Amane when he was 14 years old and she 17 years old, while Amane is three years his senior Kagaya’s maturity has always been of a man far older, it was stated Amane wasn’t apprehensive of her husband being younger at all.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • Katsuya Honda was a student teacher when Kyoko Katsunuma was still in middle school and he became her Big Brother Mentor, helping her to heal from her severe emotional troubles. He deliberately held off until she was out of school to propose to her. And he did that right on time, since when he went to talk to her, Kyoko's Abusive Parents were throwing her out of the house for being a delinquent and bringing them bad rep. Katsuya then took Kyoko into his home, they married and their daughter Tohru was born.
    • Arisa Uotani and Kureno Sohma. Arisa even worries if their 9-year age difference is illegal once she learns of Kureno's age.
  • Godannar: 29 year old war hero Goh Saruwatari marries 17 year old high school student Anna Aoi and they team up as robot pilots to fight an alien invasion. The series is all about balancing taking on the monsters with handling their own personal struggles as newlyweds.
  • In the light novel series/anime Holmes of Kyoto, protagonist Aoi and title character Holmes are only five years apart in age - however, she's a 17 year old high schooler and he's a 22 year old grad student. Because of this, when Holmes falls in love with Aoi he resolves not to say anything until she graduates high school, until a near death experience pushes him to confess to her sooner. Holmes' grandfather, Seiji, is a more classic example: he's in his sixties, while his long-term girlfriend is in her early forties - and looks to be in her early thirties.
  • Howl and Sophie, the Official Couple from the movie Howl's Moving Castle, exhibit a nine year age gap with Howl being twenty seven and Sophie being eighteen.
  • Junjou Romantica: It is a major point of conflict in the Junjou Terrorist sections featuring the 35-year-old Miyagi and his boss' son, the 18-year-old Shinobu. Miyagi worries about the relationship ruining his career and reputation if it gets out and Shinobu is self-conscious about his relative lack of sexual experience and the fear that Miyagi isn't taking him seriously.
  • The main characters of Koi Kaze are twelve years apart in age, with Koshiro being 27 and Nanoka only 15 at the start of the story. They also happen to be brother and sister.
  • Miss Sunflower is the story of a relationship between Matsuri, a girl who starts high school at the start of the series, and Miss Sunflower, a young woman who runs the local bookstore and has been out of school for several years. Matsuri's crush on Miss Sunflower is blatantly obvious from the beginning, and while Miss Sunflower's feelings are less clear, she seems to gradually reciprocate Matsuri's feelings over time.
  • Ian Vashti and his wife, Linda, in Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Ian is even called out on how young his wife is, causing him to defensively note he waited until she was legal to marry her (or try anything else), before demanding they focus on the important reasons they're there and not on his young wife. They are 57 and 32, respectively, in the second season (which is when Linda first appears); it's also worth bearing in mind that they have a 14-year-old daughter, the Bridge Bunny Mileina.
  • Mr. Right Turned Out to Be a Younger Woman!? is about a 33-year-old woman named Haruki Shiina who's desperate to get married before it's too late getting together with her 23-year-old kohai Risa Takagai. Upon hearing that Takagai's mother is 45, Shiina is shocked that she's almost closer to Takagai's mother's age than she is to Takagai's age.
  • A time travel-related case happens in My Younger Senpai. Nanasawa has an unrequited crush on her sempai Seto, who's a year older, one that persists until Nanasawa, at 25, learns that Seto divorced her husband and gave up on romance. Nanasawa then ends up traveling back 10 years in the past, and hopes to use this as a second chance to get together with the teenage Seto.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Middle school student Natsumi is crushing hard on the 10-year-old Kotaro, but she's in denial about it because she doesn't want to think she's a pedophile. According to the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, Natsumi and Kotaro marry when they're both in their twenties.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
  • While the nine year difference between Alice Sakaguchi and Rin Kobayashi of Please Save My Earth may not, relatively, seem like a lot, it's much weirder when you consider that Rin was seven when he asked to be engaged to the 16-year-old Alice. They were around the same age as Shion and Mokuren, the Star-Crossed Lovers from their past lives. Mokuren died of illness many years before Shion did, though, explaining why he was reincarnated much later.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena: Academy Chairman Akio Ohtori romances and has sex with 14 year old protagonist Utena Tenjou. While his true age is unknown, he's at the very least clearly an adult and is Really 700 Years Old. It is strongly implied that he has done this with many students in the past.
  • In RIN-NE, Shinigami are The Ageless, and it's almost impossible to tell their ages. So when Sabato and Otome get married, she hides that while he's in his thirties, she's only two years younger than his Really 700 Years Old mother. However, once she reincarnates as an elementary school girl, they decide not to continue their marriage.
  • The 28-year-old Himura Kenshin and the 17-year-old Kamiya Kaoru form the Official Couple of Rurouni Kenshin. A gap this size was fairly typical of Japan in the period, though not usually in a love match. Not true of Kenshin's first wife, Tomoe, who was actually slightly older than him (he 15, she 18 when they married).
  • There's a gap of about three or four years between 14-year-old Usagi and university student Mamoru in the Sailor Moon anime. It's a deal big enough that Usagi worries about her father's reaction.
  • Kotori from Tonari no Kashiwagi-san is six years older than her husband Takuya, despite looking young enough to be his child. While it might not seem like a big deal now (he's twenty-six and she's thirty-two), Kotori offhandedly mentions that they were already dating when she was taking her college entrance exams.
  • Violet Evergarden:
    • In one episode, Violet assists the fourteen year-old Princess Charlotte in writing letters to her betrothed, Prince Damian, who is twenty-four years old, where their marriage is arranged by their countries. Charlotte reveals to Violet that she is actually in love with Damian years before the marriage arrangement but she worries that their age difference will be an issue and that Damian isn't really interested in her. He shares the same feelings and he and Charlotte end up in a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
    • There is also Violet and Gilbert's relationship with a near 15 year age gap. Violet's age is left vague as she estimates she is roughly 14 years old at present time, meaning when she met Gilbert, she was younger than that. The light novel indicates that Gilbert was already falling in love with her during the war and was well aware how inappropriate this was, as she is both his subordinate and underage.
  • Jiro from The Wind Rises is about a decade older than his wife Naoko. When they first meet, he's a university student (late teens/early twenties) and she's a pre-teen. Although since it's set in the 1930s mostly, it certainly wasn't out of the ordinary at the time.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America: Sin and Crossbones, the daughter and right-hand man of the Red Skull respectively, are together; Sin is physically in her late teens/early twenties, but was artificially aged from childhood, while Crossbones is well into his thirties. Since they’re both ruthless killers and Neo-Nazi terrorists, this is the least uncomfortable thing about their relationship.
  • Judge Dredd: In the story "Terror", a 35-year-old female college professor becomes romantically involved with a 21-year-old male terrorist. When she's under interrogation by the Judges, they inquire if she "likes them young", but she points out that it's not a crime.
  • Tim Drake (Robin III/Red Robin III) is the son of Jack and Janet Drake, and Janet was at least ten years younger than Jack. After Janet's murder Jack marries a much younger woman within a few months, whom Tim notes to Dick is young enough to be Tim's sister while Jack is more than twice her age.
  • Top 10: We learn in the prequel The Forty-Niners that this was the case when Captain Traynor ("Jetlad" at the time) and his partner got together. They're now both old men, so the gap isn't really noticeable anymore, but at the time Traynor was still in his teens.
  • Donna Troy (the original Wonder Girl) was in her late teens when she met her future husband Terry. He was 29 at the time, and her professor at that. Terry frequently joked about their age gap. Their marriage was short-lived as Terry didn't like how invested Donna was in being a superhero, so he divorced her and took full custody of their kids. Terry and the kids were later Killed Off for Real in a car crash.

    Fan Works 
  • Downplayed in Ask the Famous 8!, where Edward is 44 while James is 34. Unlike other examples on this list, nearly everyone is completely supportive of their relationship.
  • Eden, by Obsessmuch: As Ron and Draco point out, Lucius is old enough to be Hermione's father. The squickiness of the situation is not overlooked. Lucius is the father of her school bully and started out with a Villainous Crush he denied. He ends up raping her, became sexually involved with her and got her pregnant, but ranges from caring to being abusive.
  • The Forever Captain series: In His Part to Play, when Howard Stark is getting together with Maria Carbonell, Peggy cannot help but note that Howard is thirteen years Maria’s senior.
  • In Frostbitten Flower, Celia is eighteen and Marlin is thirty-two. Their age gap comes up a few times. When Celia was fourteen, Vesta asked her brother to marry Celia in four years, but he declined in heavy part due to their large age gap combined with Celia's youth. This didn't stop him from falling for Celia as she aged.
  • In Pain And Blood: There's a ten year age gap between Elsa and her husband. It's mentioned that the gap is unusual but Elsa is attracted to Halvard's maturity.
  • Izuku's Pro Hero Harem Life!: Given the author's stated goal to create the ultimate harem fic for My Hero Academia, there is a dizzying number of women in Izuku's eventual harem roster with a few years on him. Including, but very much not limited to, Rumi Usagiyama (Mirko), Nemuri Kayama (Midnight), Tomoko Shiretoko (Ragdoll), Ryuko Tsuchikawa (Pixie-Bob), Shino Sosaki (Mandalay), Moe Kamiji (Burnin'), and Kaoruko Awata (Bubble Girl).
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: In one timeline, Danny Fenton becomes good friends with the Sailor Guardians. Like in their home series, he learns there's at least a 3 year age distance been Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba. Both Danny and Ben Tennyson, respectively dating Makoto Kino and Ami Mizuno, are still rather unsettled that someone in college is dating a girl who counts as a minor.
  • Murder Most Horrid (Harry Potter): When Hermione and Bellatrix begin their relationship, Hermione is 18 while Bellatrix is in her 40s.
  • My Father's Son: Due to the weakening of the Tyrell's grip on the Reach due to Mace's suicide, Olenna arranges a marriage of her eldest grandson Garlan with one Melissa Fossoway (Nee Blackwood). Garlan is almost 15 at the time, while Melissa is 31. While an inversion from the stereotypical dynamic of the trope, the two actually make for a decent couple. Garlan is young enough to keep a youthful honor to treat his wife properly, and Melissa is coming off a not so great marriage and is more experienced in many things so as to help build bonds between them.
  • Opalescent has an interesting example. As agents who age slowly, Opal is physically around 10 or 11 years old, but she is legally supposed to be 25 years old, while Otto is legally supposed to be ten years old. It's a fifteen-year age gap, but the story doesn't pull punches in mentioning how weird the gap is and both agents decide to take it slow for the time being until they feel it's okay to enter a full-on relationship.
  • People Like Us: Travis is 31 while Arthur is in his mid-forties, but in their dynamic it is often Travis who's the more experienced partner in many different ways.
  • Saintly Phantom has Danny and Luz. Danny is in his late teens while Luz is old enough to have been married for 20 years. The only one who has any sort of reaction to the couple is Troy, and that's only to express disbelief at their incredibly kinky sex life.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: Jack O'Neill is nearly old enough to be Willow's father, and thinks he should take their relationship slowly as a result, but Willow is having none of that. Alex's family are initially concerned, but conclude that they're both adults and they make each other happy.
  • Between Cadoc and Rukhash in Splint. He's forty-two at the beginning of the story, while she puts her age at around twenty-three (she never really bothered keeping track), making a for a gap of nearly two decades. It never really seems to be an issue for them, although on one occasion Cadoc has to reassure Rukhash that although he's quite a bit older than her, he probably won't die for several decades yet.
  • In Tithing Love, Carter tries to use the excuse that him being 30 and Claire being 22 is one reason they shouldn't marry. Elli puts down the excuse by saying it's not that big of a gap.
  • One of the most popular m/m ships in Voltron: Legendary Defender Fan Fic is Shiro/Keith, which is a 25/18 age gap. This is one of the deepest divisions in the fandom, with some fans seeing the ship as a simple vanilla romance between two legal adults who have mutual admiration and respect for each other, and other fans seeing it as grooming.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 40 Carats focuses on the relationship between forty-year-old Ann and twenty-two-year-old Peter. Ann is very embarrassed about the age gap and takes a lot of persuading from Peter before she enters the relationship, and the two face a lot of disapproval from other people. In a subplot, a rich widower about Ann's age romances her seventeen-year-old daughter Trina; everyone is much more laid-back about it, even though the age gap is even more dramatic.
  • All About Eve: Discussed, as Margo is forty and her boyfriend Bill is thirty-two. He doesn't care, and Karen points out that this really isn't that much of a difference at all, but to Margo, it's a big deal. Her age in general is a bit of a sore spot for her; as an actress, she knows that older women are less valuable and have fewer roles for them, and she feels like a fool playing twentysomething ingenues when she's in her middle age and looks it. (Though, as Bill repeatedly points out, she's just as gorgeous as she ever was.) She's very paranoid that Bill will leave her for a younger woman—like, say, Eve. He doesn't, and they get married.
  • Deconstructed in All Too Well: The Short Film, where the lovers are played by actors about a decade apart in age. The boyfriend is dismissive and manipulative of his younger girlfriend and takes advantage of her inexperience and naivete. The accompanying lyrics indicate that this becomes a pattern for him.
  • Alto: Heather slept with Caesar, Nicolette's dad, who's her own father's age, to his dismay. She points out he also dated a much younger woman on breaking up with her mother.
  • American Beauty: Deconstructed and subverted. Lester Burnham, while going through a mid-life crisis, starts to lust after his daughter's teenage friend Angela and decides to seduce her. However, when they're actually together, she reveals that all her talk of having been with multiple boys was just bragging and she's really a virgin. Lester, who realizes how inappropriate he's been, refuses to take advantage of her.
  • Ammonite: Winslet was forty-five at the time, while Ronan was twenty-six, so their characters' romance qualifies as this (contrary to history both regarding a romance and ages of the people portrayed).
  • Beneath Hill 60, set in 1916, during the First World War. There is an obvious spark between Woodward and Marjorie, but he points out that he's ten years older than her, and she's only sixteen, to which she replies "I'll be seventeen next month." Then he goes off to war. They marry after the war, by which time she would be about twenty.
  • Bodies, Bodies, Bodies: Greg and Alice are in a relationship together, despite the former being twenty years older than the latter. This age discrepancy is one of the many reasons he's a Red Herring.
  • In Carol, Therese is indicated to be much younger than her love interest Carol; in real life Rooney Mara is sixteen years younger than Cate Blanchett (Mara was 29 and Blanchett was 45 when they filmed the movie). Therese is quite unworldly, has never had a serious relationship (she has a boyfriend but doesn't seem overly besotted with him) and is still figuring out what she wants to do with her life, while Carol is more experienced and mature, is currently getting divorced and has a young child. Despite this they fall head over heels and the main obstacle to their relationship is actually the fact they're both women and it's the 1950s; Carol in particular is concerned she could lose custody of her daughter because of her relationship with Therese.
  • Crimson Peak features a ten-year age gap between newlyweds Thomas and Edith- 34 and 24 respectively. His age is never explicitly given in the dialogue, though it can be worked out from a newspaper clipping of an event when he was 12, and the characters look relatively close in age. Given the Edwardian setting, almost no-one bats an eye, but his sister Lucille briefly objects to the engagement because Edith is "just a child." Of course, that pales in comparison to the fact that Thomas and Lucille (who've been sleeping together since adolescence) have killed Thomas' three previous wives and are slowly poisoning Edith...
  • The movie adaptation of Divergent technically has this between Four and Tris. In the first book, Tris has recently turned 16 and Four is 18, averting this trope. However, in the movie Four looks much older than Tris. The characters' ages aren't specified in the movie though according to Tris' actor Shailene Woodley, Tris is still supposed to be around 16 while Four was aged up to 24 or 25 to accommodate Theo James' casting, as he was 28 during filming and looked it; Woodley was 22 but could pass for a teenager. Going by Woodley's statement, Four is around eight to nine years older than Tris. The age gap isn't commented upon, although their romance develops whilst the more experienced Four mentors Tris as a Dauntless initiate. It's worth noting that in the setting, people come of age and are allowed to choose the Faction they want want to join permanently at 16, so in-universe they're likely viewed as two adults in a relationship despite them being nearly a decade apart.
  • Flashdance: Nick is considerably older than Alex. She's only recently become a legal adult, he's old enough to be an established industrialist and already gone through a divorce. Pointed out by critics who say that the age difference is WAY too big for both the characters and the actors to be believable.
  • In Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks, Count Frankenstein has an affair with his daughter Maria's school friend Krista (who is literally young enough to be his daughter). Krista seems quite infatuated with the Count, and Maria makes a joke about the possibility of Krista becoming her mother.
  • The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love: Before she hooks up with Evie, Randy is having an affair with an older married woman named Wendy, much to the irritation of the latter's husband Ali. She's ten years Randy's senior (who's seventeen).
  • In the Heights: Carla is about a decade younger than her girlfriend Daniela.
  • In the Line of Fire: Clint Eastwood is 24 years Renee Russo's senior. Their characters get involved.
  • Irresistible: Defied. Steve Carell's character Gary has a few romantically charged moments with Diana, played by Mackenzie Davis. Carell was 56 during filming, while Davis was 32, though her character is even younger. Near the end, Gary suggests that there's "something between them," and Diana protests, "I'm 28. Where would that ever be acceptable?" During the credits, however, Diana embraces Gary lovingly, suggesting that they did get together. But that turns out to be a Credits Gag, and Gary is simply day-dreaming a fantasy. The real credits play after revealing who Gary did end up with.
  • James Bond:
    • The title character is somewhat notorious for romancing women much younger than him. Statistically, the average age for Bond actors is 42/43 years old, while the average age of the actresses playing his love interests is 28, making for an average age-gap of 14/15 years. In some cases, the age-gap borders on thirty years between the couple; the studio tends to keep the same Bond for roughly a decade at a stretch, while the actresses tend to stay in the same age range in every movie. The page image is from A View to a Kill, where Roger Moore was literally old enough to be the father of the primary Bond Girl - he was actually older than her mother! Learning this was a major part in Moore deciding that he was getting too old for the role and needed to hang up the tux.
    • There have been exceptions to this, though: Ursula Andress was 26 years old when she played Honey Rider, making her just five years younger than 31-year-old Sean Connery in his first outing as Bond; Pussy Galore was actually five years older than Bond (Honor Blackman was 39, Connery was 34); Diana Rigg was 31 when she played Tracy Draco, a year older than 30-year-old George Lazenby; and Monica Bellucci became the oldest Bond girl in history when she played Lucia Sciarra at the age of 51, making her four years older than Daniel Craig (who was 46/47 during filming).
  • Liar Liar: The soon-to-be ex-couple Richard and Samantha Cole are this. Richard Cole's age is never stated, so we don't know if this crosses into May–December Romance, but Samantha is thirty-one and Richard looks to be in his late forties to early fifties. It turns out that Samantha was only seventeen when she married Richard, but changed her birthdate on her driver's license so that she'd be able to legally get married without parental consent. The fact that she was a minor when she got married meant that the prenup was void, and thus she was still entitled to half of Richard's assets, since they were together long enough to be considered a common law marriage.
  • Liberal Arts follows the Unresolved Sexual Tension between 35 year-old Jesse and 19 year-old Zibby. He also had a one night stand with his former professor, who is at least twenty years his senior. Ultimately, he ends up with the more "age appropriate" (as he calls it) Ana.
  • Love Is Not Perfect: One of Elena's two Love Interests is Ettore, a man who's a decade at least older than her. The actors are eighteen years apart.
  • Malcolm & Marie: Malcolm is older than Marie is (they met when she was 20 and he was implied to be in his late 20s or early 30s), which factors into the imbalance in their relationship (as being younger contributes to how superfluous and used Marie feels).
  • Woody Allen's Manhattan is probably the most iconic example, with the forty-something (and twice-divorced) comedy writer Isaac Davis (portrayed by Allen himself) dating 17-year-old film student Tracy.
  • The French film One Wild Moment is about a divorced man who falls in love with his daughter's 18-year old friend during a holiday trip. Naturally, they try to keep it a secret from other people.
  • Memoirs of a Geisha: The Chairman is in his 40s when he first meets Sayuri when she is a pre-teen, and yet she pines for him. Likewise, Nobu has one-sided affection for Sayuri and is about the same age as the Chairman.
  • In Mermaids, 15-year-old Charlotte develops a huge crush on 26-year-old handyman and bus driver Joe, who reciprocates. She does feel guilty about her feelings for him early on, though it seems to be more about believing lustful thoughts are sinful (she's obsessed with Catholicism) and fearing she'll turn out like her mother Rachel than just the eleven-year age difference. They eventually sleep together. No one explicitly mentions the age gap being an issue despite Charlotte being under the age of consent in Massachusetts (it's set in the 1960s) although Rachel is not happy when she finds out. They don't work out as a couple in the long term and Joe ends up moving away, with the scandal of the age gap and him technically being guilty of statutory rape possibly being a factor.
  • Prime: A 37-year-old divorced woman falls in love with the 23-year-old son of her therapist. They have a wonderful time together, but ultimately break up because of their fundamental differences in their life—she's divorced, established in her career, he's just starting out in life, etc.
  • The Reader: As a teenager, Michael has his first sexual experiences with Hanna, a woman in her thirties. He later admits that it was a borderline abusive relationship fueled more by hormones and didn't really help his psyche. Moreover, he's rightly shocked when he later finds out that she used to work at a concentration camp, which she kept hidden from him.
  • Rear Window: There's a 21-year age gap between James Stewart and Grace Kelly. No one acknowledges the age gap, though several characters imply that her character is way out of his league.
  • In The Rebound, Sandy and Aram have a fifteen year age difference; he's 25 and she's 40. Sandy was a married housewife for many years with two children, recently getting divorced after learning of her husband's infidelity and focusing on re-establishing her career to support herself and her kids. Aram is a recent college graduate who doesn't really know what he wants to do with his life (he is married but is estranged from his wife, as she only wanted to marry him for a green card). It ends up being deconstructed as the differences in their age cause problems that lead to their break-up, especially from Sandy's end, although it's then potentially reconstructed: Sandy manages to get promoted and so is far more stable, while Aram leaves to see the world and matures a lot; when they meet up again five years later it's implied their relationship will work out far better now.
  • Red Rocket: The fortysomething washed-up porn star Mikey enters into a relationship with Strawberry, who as a 17-year-old is legal in the state of Texas but is not yet out of high school. His motive is a self-serving one: he sees Strawberry as a potential star in the adult film world and as a ticket to his own comeback. Although Strawberry shows interest in an adult film career out of her own volition, it’s still icky to see Mikey grooming her with promises of fame and wealth in Hollywood.
  • Between Caroline and Struensee in A Royal Affair, with the latter being visibly older than the former (during filming Mads Mikkelsen was around 46, Alicia Vikander was around 22). In real life, Caroline was around 18 years old and Struensee was around 33 years old when they began their affair (it's unclear when exactly they became lovers, it being a secret affair and all, but by the middle of 1770 people had started to notice their closeness). Caroline clearly admires Struensee's maturity and life experience, greatly preferring him to her actual husband who is closer to her age (Christian being a spoilt and mentally unstable manchild more interested in prostitutes than her).
  • Star Wars:
    • Anakin and Padmé have a slight one in the prequel trilogy, with a 5-year age gap between nine-year-old Anakin and 14-year-old Padmé in The Phantom Menace. However, this becomes significantly less of an issue come Attack of the Clones, where Anakin is nineteen and Padmé is twenty-four. Considering that they do not officially get together until Episode II, this example is downplayed.
    • Leia and Han Solo have one in the original trilogy, wherein Leia and Han Solo are twenty-three and thirty-six respectively in Return of the Jedi. They stay together until Han's death in The Force Awakens, though, which takes place thirty years after, by which time the Age Gap has become far less significant.
    • In the Sequel Trilogy, Rey and Kylo Ren get Foe Romance Subtext starting in The Last Jedi and in The Rise of Skywalker they have a Big Damn Kiss. There are at least ten years between them; Rey is nineteen at the beginning of the trilogy while Kylo is around twenty-nine, with the entire trilogy taking place just over a year. It's downplayed though as there's never explicitly a romantic relationship between the pair especially given Kylo dies immediately after they kiss.
    • According to expanded material Lyra Erso is nine years younger than Galen Erso; she was around 22 while he was around 31 when they got married. It's never really commented on, although the age-gap is definitely visible in Rogue One due to the actors' ages (Valene Kane and Mads Mikkelsen actually have a gap of twenty-two years between them). According to the Expanded Universe, they met and fell in love while Lyra was serving a cave guide for Galen and his research team. By tragic irony, Galen outlives Lyra, who is fatally shot in the opening scene trying to prevent her husband from being abducted by stormtroopers.
  • Steam: Laurie dates her son's coach, who's about half her age. She has reservations about it, and her ex-husband Tom attacks her for doing this (though he has a much younger wife himself).

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian: Arnold's parents met when his father was five and his mother was thirteen.
  • Angela Nicely: Discussed in "Matchmaker!", where Angela considers pairing Miss Darling (an adult) up with Bertie (a seven-year-old). She stops when she realises that he's her crush, and besides a boyfriend needs to be the same age as his lover. Then, she suggests pairing her with Mr. Grouch, but Maisie points out that Mr. Grouch is "ancient".
  • Jane Austen:
    • Sense and Sensibility: Colonel Brandon, 35, falls in love with young Marianne Dashwood, 17. She thinks that he is extremely old and uninteresting, pointing out with pity that he must wear a flannel waistcoat to keep himself warm. She also has absolutely no idea that he's into her. Her sister Elinor agrees that 17 and 35 is indeed a significant gap and not an ideal age difference. When her mother starts supporting the relationship, she acknowledges the age difference as well but thinks it might be a good thing that his principles are steady and fixed. After being disappointed with her First Love, Marianne eventually marries him, and the narrator wryly notes that they're a happy couple even though he wears a flannel waistcoat.
    • Emma: When they decide to marry, Emma is 22 and Mr. Knightley about 38, and the text suggests it's slightly unusual. Previously, when Mrs Weston observes that Mr. Knightley might marry Jane Fairfax (who is the same age as Emma), she says there is "a little disparity of age" between them.
  • In Blood and Chocolate, the loups-garoux appear to have looser attitudes towards this compared to humans in the 1990s United States.
    • Esme and Astrid are both in their late 30's/40's, yet are attracted to 24 year old Gabriel, with Astrid actively competing to become his mate, though this is partly because he's the most likely candidate to become the pack's next leader.
    • People find Astrid being in a sexual relationship with Rafe, who is of a similar age with her teenage son, a bit weird and distateful, but not seriously wrong.
    • 24 year old Gabriel romantically pursues Vivian, who is eight years younger than him at 16. She spends most of the novel rejecting him in favor of Aiden, a boy from her school but in the end she happily agrees to become his mate, realizing he can understand and accept her more than Aiden ever could.
  • John Buchan:
    • In Mr. Standfast, Richard Hannay and Mary Lamington meet and fall in love when he's approaching forty and she's seventeen. Hannay is somewhat self-conscious about the age gap, and Mary occasionally tweaks him about it, but nobody regards it as a serious obstacle. It's noted that Mary is mature for her age compared to what she might have been if she hadn't spent the last few years as a wartime nurse and an agent of British Intelligence. In the sequels, they're married and the age difference is never mentioned.
    • In The Courts of the Morning, Sandy Arbuthnot and Barbara Dasent meet and fall in love when he's in his early forties, and she's twenty-four. They don't start a relationship until the last page of the novel, with the age gap being one of the factors that make both of them reluctant to admit their feelings. In the sequel, they're happily married.
  • Appears in a few books by Mary Higgins Clark:
    • In Daddy's Little Girl, one of the many questionable things about Andrea and Rob's relationship is that he was nineteen while she was just fifteen when they started dating. Rob claims - not very convincingly - that he didn't have a relationship with Andrea and that she was just a kid who had a crush on him. From Ellie's perspective, Rob used his seniority as one of several methods to control Andrea.
    • In I Heard That Song Before, protagonist Kay Lansing is twenty-seven when she marries her husband, forty-two-year-old Peter Carrington. The age gap between them, in addition to the fact Peter is very wealthy and that they married after only dating for a short time, leads many people to assume Kay is a Gold Digger, though in actual fact she's Not with Them for the Money and genuinely loves Peter.
    • In I've Got You Under My Skin, Betsy and Robert had sixteen years between them; Betsy was 34 and Robert was 50 when they got married. Betsy was specifically looking for a husband with wealth, and Robert had built up a great deal of money managing a hedge fund over the decades. Robert - who had been married and divorced once - was quickly taken in by Betsy's beauty and wit.
    • In Stillwatch, the heroine nixes her budding romance with a politician given that he's 25 years older than she and married. They rekindle things after his wife dies and agree to work through any qualms about their age difference.
    • While My Pretty One Sleeps:
      • Myles Kearny was around fourteen years older than his wife, Renata Rossetti; they first met during World War Two when he was a 24-year-old soldier fighting in Italy and she was a 10-year-old local girl who led him to shelter. Fourteen years later, when Myles was 37 and Renata was 23, they were reunited, quickly fell in love and got married. Although their daughter Neeve and eventually Myles himself note that Myles coming from an older generation made him a bit old-fashioned and chauvinistic at times, he and Renata were happy together until she was murdered.
      • 68-year-old Myles later develops a mutual attraction to Kitty Conway, a 58-year-old widow. He at one point grumbles to himself that he doesn't know why a pretty woman like her would be interested in a retiree ten years her senior with a busted heart, but Kitty herself never brings up the age-gap as an issue and thinks Myles is very attractive. The ending strongly implies they will start a relationship.
  • John Hamilton and Petra bint Miden in Caliphate. Though his age is not specified, he is introduced as an Private Cadet implying that he is at least in his mid-20s while she is 9-years old. They only meet each other 8 years later when she is 17 and he is implied to be middle-aged. In any case, the age difference is enough for him to initially feel bad about being attracted to someone so young which is why he only proposes to her after she turns 18.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has a very twisty and complicated example with Benjamin and Hildegarde. They meet and marry when they're both in their twenties but since Benjamin ages backwards, he has the physical appearance and mentality of a 50-year-old which causes observers to tut about how a young and beautiful lady like Hildegarde shouldn't be marrying a middle-aged man like him. After about thirty years pass, Benjamin and Hildegarde's roles have become flipped with Benjamin reverse-aging to his twenties and Hildegarde normal-aging to her fifties, and observers are now clucking their tongues about how a young and spry man like Benjamin shouldn't be tied down to a nagging older woman whose beauty has long since faded.
  • Eighteen Days To Graduation: Miranda is 17 when she starts dating 30-something Jeff. This disgusts many of her friends.
  • In Emily of New Moon Emily and Dean have a romantic relationship when Emily is in her late teens and Dean is in his early 40s.
  • A slight example between Bianca and Lucas in Evernight. When they first get together she assumes he's sixteen or nearly seventeen, the same age as her. However, she subsequently learns he's actually "nineteen and change", making him three years older. Three years isn't that big a deal (and she herself doesn't find it to be the most shocking thing he hid from her considering he turns out to be a vampire hunter, while she's part vampire) though they only just qualify for the "half your age plus seven" rule. It's worth noting she's legally over the age of consent for Massachusetts (sixteen years old) and they don't actually have sex until she's nearly eighteen, by which time Lucas is almost twenty-one and the gap isn't so notable anymore (Their First Time happens in the state of Pennsylvania, where the age of consent is sixteen, so they're still legally in the clear as well). Considering Bianca's own parents have centuries between them and her other love interest Balthazar is chronologically around three hundred years older (and physically nineteen), it's unsurprising she doesn't find it that weird, while Lucas himself never got to have much of a childhood/adolescence before meeting Bianca.
  • In the Fairy Oak series:
    • Vanilla and Jim meet for the first time when she's 10 and he's 16. He proposes to her not long after and they remain engaged while he is away. They officially start acting as a couple when she is 15 and he is 21.
    • Dahlia Periwinkle is 10 years younger than her husband, Cicero. They started dating when he was in his early twenties, but mentioned feeling attracted to her before, making him an adult eyeing a pre-teen. .
  • Ginger Pye has Mama and Papa, who met at the ages of seventeen and thirty-five, respectively. They had a Crash-Into Hello when Papa was running up the down escalator just to see if he could manage it and Mama was too busy reminiscing about an opera to get out of the way, hit it off almost instantly, and got married not long after. As her own grandmother had Mama at a fairly young age, she actually had a second kid, a son, who is three years old at the time of the book—making him younger than the two Pye children despite being their uncle.
  • Girls Don't Hit: Joss gets involved with Echo, who is about fifteen years her junior.
  • In Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Chips is 48 and Kathie is 25 when they fall in love. The phrase "young enough to be his daughter" is used by the narrator. Chips is surprised at first to find so much in common with a member of a generation that usually makes him wonder what the world is coming to, and vice versa, but they get past that quickly and the age gap doesn't cause any real problems.
  • In Harry Potter, Tonks and Lupin have an age gap of around thirteen years; she's in her early twenties and he's in his late thirties when they fall in love. Lupin spends some time angsting over it, believing he's too old for Tonks and she'd be better off with someone closer to her own age (plus he's, you know, a werewolf), but they ultimately end up together.
  • A slightly strange example in Honor Harrington. There's a 39-year gap in age between Honor and Hamish Alexander, Earl White Haven (her mentor in the early books, their relationship turning to romance after she returns home from being a prisoner-of-war). Add to that, he's a first-generation "prolong" recipient while she's a third-gen, so he looks like a healthy man in his fifties or sixties, while she looks about twenty (their actual ages when they become a couple are respectively 100 and 61, both having probably 200-300 years left).
  • The Host (2008):
    • Jared and Melanie have nine years between them; they first met and began a relationship when Melanie was 17 and Jared was 26. By the present day, Melanie is 21 and Jared is 30. It's mentioned that they waited until Melanie was eighteen before having sex.
    • Wanderer and Ian are a complicated case. Ian is in his mid-twenties and Wanderer is inhabiting 21 year old Melanie's body when they meet, although in human years Wanderer is actually around a 1000 years old. In the end, Wanderer gets put into a another, permanent host body, who is around 17 years old, nearly a decade younger than Ian, though she still has all of Wanderer's life experience.
  • In The House of Night, sixteen year old Zoey develops romantic feelings for her twenty-five year old teacher Loren Blake; she eventually loses her virginity to him, cheating on her teenage boyfriend Erik in the process. It ends up being deconstructed to an extent, as it's revealed that Blake was just using Zoey and only romanced her on the villain’s orders to isolate her from her friends; strangely enough, it's the fact that Blake betrayed Zoey and never loved her that's most focused upon, more so than the utter inappropriateness and creepiness of the relationship.
  • Hybrid × Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia: Kizuna (age 17) becomes involved in an incestuous relationship with his 27-year-old sister, Reiri. The age difference and the difference in rank creates an ethical issue, since Reiri would likely lose her position if anyone among the top brass were to find out she's sleeping with a minor, whereas Kizuna would likely be expelled from the academy. So Reiri uses her authority to give Kizuna days off so they can be together, without fear of being caught.
  • The Immortals controversially ends with the sixteen-year-old Daine finally winning over the thirty-year-old teacher she'd been crushing on since she was thirteen. It should be noted that in the context of her world, by this point Daine is considered an adult woman, and has been through more than most people twice her age (including fighting in a war and several years as a self-supporting single mother to a baby dragon. One persistent critique about Daine is that even when introduced as a thirteen year old she acts four or five years older). It's still a little bit weird, though.
  • InCryptid:
    • Thomas Price meets Alice Healy when she's 16 and he's 26. They don't marry until she's 22, though, and they finally admit their feelings.
    • Theodore Harrington is 33 years older than his wife Jane Price (they married when she was 23).
  • Island in the Sea of Time: Marian Alston is a captain in the Coast Guard and she is in her late thirties. Her love interest Swindapa is around 19 when they meet. They eventually get married according to their own rules since neither of their countries allows gay marriage.
  • Jane Eyre: When they fall in love, Jane Eyre is 18 and Mr Rochester is over 40. Another problem is the Uptown Girl aspect of the relationship because she is a governess and he is a rich gentleman.
    "Mr. Rochester was about forty, and this governess not twenty; and you see, when gentlemen of his age fall in love with girls, they are often like as if they were bewitched."
  • In the Little House on the Prairie, real-life Laura and Almanzo are ten years apart, marrying when she's 18 and he's 28. Interestingly, in the books themselves, he's aged down to only five years older, except in The First Four Years. (It possibly wasn't the age gap itself, which wasn't uncommon in that time and place, but the fact that she was 15 when he started courting her. Ma, at first, protests that Laura's too young to be courted.) Laura herself at first finds it strange that a "grown up" (because she assumed, at the time, that he was 21 or so) would want anything to do with a schoolgirl. Somehow, none of this actually comes across as skeevy.
  • Between Nikki and Jake in Lola Rose. Nikki's daughter Jayni is shocked when she's first introduced to him, due to him being a twenty year old college student and much younger than she expected. She at one point comments to her mother that he's "more my age than your's". Nikki's own age is left somewhat ambiguous, though as she had Jayni when she was seventeen and Jayni is indicated to be around ten or eleven, she's likely in her late 20s. The relationship doesn't work out for various reasons, with Jake citing the fact he's only 20 and doesn't want to be tied down with a partner and stepkids as just one of the reasons.
  • Deconstructed in My Year of Rest and Relaxation:
    • The 20-something Reva is The Mistress to her married middle-aged boss Ken, who strings her along and eventually dumps her.
    • The narrator met Trevor when she was 19 and he was 33, and it is consistently shown that Trevor takes advantage of her and exploits her when a romance with a woman his own age goes awry.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera, Erik (the Phantom) is implied to be in his fifties while his Love Interest Christine is around twenty, with a heart "as pure as that of a fifteen-year-old", bordering on May–December Romance. The age gap is probably the least messed up thing about their relationship, though.
  • Presidential: Connie is fifty, while Emily's about thirty seven when they begin dating.
  • In Rebecca, the unnamed narrator is around 20 and her new husband Maxim de Winter is in his 40s. Her former employer states the age difference as a reason that the relationship will not work.
  • Sisterland: Violet and Kate's parents, Earl and Rita, were born about seventeen years apart. When they first met, he was 39 and she was 21.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire features a few examples, mostly due to Deliberate Values Dissonance (for example, girls are considered women the moment they begin menstruating for the first time, so they can be married off pretty young):
    • Daenerys Targaryen is only thirteen when she is married off to Khal Drogo, who is said to be around thirty. Her brother Viserys even wonders if Drogo will be interested in her at all because she's so young. Surprisingly, they end up having a Perfectly Arranged Marriage until he gets rendered comatose by a healing spell gone wrong and Daenerys smothers him to put him out of his misery. In the TV adaptation, this is toned down slightly by aging Daenerys up to sixteen, but it's still a pretty significant age difference.
    • Speaking of Daenerys, Ser Jorah Mormont, a knight sworn into her service, is completely head-over-heels for her and he's even older than Drogo, being around forty-four (a gap of over thirty years). Dany, however, only views him as a friend. She later starts a relationship with mercenary Daario Naharis, who is in his thirties, when she is fifteen/sixteen (in the show, she's closer to eighteen).
    • Cersei Lannister, who is in her early thirties, has an affair with her younger cousin Lancel Lannister, who is approximately sixteen, although for her it's just a distraction while her real lover is away from King's Landing, who is much closer to her age given he's her twin brother.
    • Tyrion Lannister has an Arranged Marriage with Sansa Stark; he's in his mid-twenties while she is only thirteen. However, neither of them are happy about it and he ultimately refuses to consummate the marriage because she's just a child. In the TV show, the gap is even more significant despite Sansa being aged up to fourteen, as Tyrion is also aged up to about forty. The two do start to bond a little bit in spite of everything, but then the Red Wedding happens...
    • Euron Greyjoy is thirty at his youngest and takes seventeen/eighteen-year-old Falia Flowers as his mistress. She is deeply in love with him and believes he will marry her. Unfortunately for her, this is Euron we're talking about...Euron also plans to marry Daenerys, who is in her mid-to-late teens.
  • Split Heirs: Ludmilla is around a decade older than Odo, and they had an on/off affair for many years.
  • Warren and Verna from the Sword of Truth books are actually both the same age, but due to Warren spending more time in a spell that slows aging, he looks much younger. Verna was at first really self-conscious about her apparent age.
    Verna: Warren, I love you. I mean I really truly love you.
    Warren: You have no idea how long I dreamed of hearing you say those words, Verna. I love you, too.
    Verna: What about my wrinkles?
    Warren: Someday, when you get wrinkles, I'll love them, too.
  • Timeline-191: Hosea Blackford is around 30 years older than his wife Flora.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alma Gêmea:
    • After Luna reincarnates into Serena, it takes about 20 years for her to reach adulthood and move to Roseiral, so Rafael is naturally much older than Serena. She's barely younger than his son Felipe.
    • Olívia is significantly older than Vitório. He teases her by saying she's too old for him, prompting her to spend half of the money she was supposed to invest on the restaurant to revamp her wardrobe in order to look more youthful.
  • Avocado Toast: Elle sees her mother kissing a much younger man, and she learns he's around her own age. She gets very upset by it all, but her mother's flippant. She learns her mom's in a committed relationship with him, and also leaving her husband, Elle's dad. The pair are still together in Season 2.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210: In the episode "Wild Horses", Dylan enters into a brief affair with a woman at least 20 years his senior. It's not stated how old she is, but it's roughly late 40s/early 50s.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Leonard and Penny are around five years apart in age.
    • Later in the series, Bert ends up getting into a relationship with a Gold Digger who was younger and more attractive than him. Sheldon even compares Bert and his girlfriend to Leonard and Penny.
    • After Raj's parents get divorced, Raj's father begins dating a 22-year-old grad student.
  • The Bisexual: Leila gives Gabe all kinds of (half-joking) crap about dating Francisca, who's his student and younger than him (by around eight years). She herself though was with Sadie, who's also older than her too (their actresses are ten years apart).
  • Bob Hearts Abishola:
    • The titular couple. Bob is fifty, and while Abishola's age is never stated, she appears to be in her thirties (Abishola's actress, Folake Olowofoyeku, was 36 during the first season). While the age gap is briefly mentioned a time or two, it tends to be overlooked due to them being an interracial couple.
    • Seeing as Kemi has three grown children, grandchildren and a deceased husband, she's likely much older than Chukwuemeka. Kemi mentions that Chukwuemeka's mother Ogeche objects to the age difference (Because she wants grandchildren), further corroborating this. According to "My Successful Lawyer Son", Chukwuemeka is only three years older than Kemi's titular son.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Vivian Ludley is a professor whom detective Charles Boyle meets at Captain Holt's party and they hit it off. She's twenty years older than Charles (he's in his forties). Charles' friend Jake and the squad discuss it as unusual and somewhat weird, but ultimately they're happy for him because he was particularly unlucky in love before. They get engaged really quickly, but break up soon after because Vivian wants to move to Canada for her work and forces Charles to retire early from NYPD.
    Jake: Man, Charles has been so happy and confident ever since he hooked up with that professor at the captain's party. She has tenure, and also has ten years, times two... older than him.
    Rosa: That sucked.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer seems to have a yen for older men, having relationships with Angel, Spike and The Immortal (and possibly Dracula) who are all hundreds of years old, also dating seniors Owen and Parker and principal Robin Wood and professing attraction to George Clooney. Willow, Anya and even Tara seem to have a thing for Giles, especially when they see him sing and Cordelia has an attraction to Angel and Wesley. Faith comments on Giles' "youth and beauty" and puts the moves on her "sugardaddy" Mayor Wilkins (although he turns her down) and beds Principal Wood. Xander is attracted to Buffy's 40 something mother, Joyce.
  • A recurring sketch on The Catherine Tate Show involved a woman who would be introduced to people at parties and say something tactless or make an insulting assumption about them. In one sketch, she offends a man in his 20s by assuming his girlfriend, around her mid-40s, is his mother.
  • In Charité at War, Doctor Margot Sauerbruch is near to thirty years younger than her husband, much closer in age to his son Peter than himself. This is never even commented upon; the two are unquestionably very Happily Married.
  • Community:
    • There's a series-long Ship Tease between Annie (eighteen in the first season) and Jeff (a thirty-something guy). In the first season, Jeff states that Annie is too young to sexualize, but by the end of that season and for the remainder of the show, they have a number of romantically charged moments. In the second season, Annie is already complaining that Jeff will act like he desires her one moment and then firmly state that she's too young for him the next moment. Subverted because they never got to have a real romance.
    • Evil Annie & Evil Jeff are together in the Darkest Timeline. When Evil Annie asks if he has a problem with the age difference, Evil Jeff says he wishes she were younger.
    • In the second season, Annie briefly flirts with dating Rich, a friendly doctor who, like Jeff, is in his thirties. Rich ultimately declines to date her because she's too young for him.
    • Annie also dates Britta's ex-boyfriend, Vaughn, who is implied to be roughly Britta's age, or late 20s in Season 1.
    • Britta dates Troy, who turns 21 in season 2, making him the better part of a decade younger than Britta, and significantly less mature.
  • Conversations With Friends: Frances is 21, with Nick being at least a decade older.
  • Grissom and Sara on CSI. He was also her supervisor. Grissom is at most in his early 50s, and Sara is either late 20s or early 30s at most. The age gap isn’t their main obstacle though, it’s their work relationship as supervisor and employee and different desires later in the series.
  • Dark Desire: Alma has an affair with Darío, who's about her daughter's age. After Esteban finds out, he gives her as much of a hard time due to their relative ages as that it was adultery. This comes off a bit hard to believe as the actors are only about twelve years apart. She's apparently supposed to be twenty plus years his senior, though their exact ages are unstated.
  • In Dexter, Deb and Special Agent Lundy start a relationship. In real life, actors Keith Carradine and Jennifer Carpenter have a 30 year age gap.
  • Downton Abbey:
    • Lady Edith Crawley (in her 20s) and Sir Anthony Strallan (in his 50s, and widowed). Within her family, this was actually considered a fairly decent match for Edith before the War, in large part because her family thought Edith, being "less pretty" than her sisters and a bit tomboyish and abrasive, couldn't do any better than a middle-aged widower. After the War, though, Sir Anthony came back with a crippled arm, and the family decided—and Sir Anthony recognised—that the match was no longer any good, as Edith would have to be a nursemaid to him rather than a wife, and their age difference was discussed as well. Edith refused to believe this until Sir Anthony jilted her at the altar.
    • Anna Smith, a head maid, falls in love with and later marries John Bates, the valet to the Earl. He is about two decades older than her. He is troubled by his past, but they are both very happy together. In one scene, one of the ladies asks Anna about their marriage, especially if their age difference causes any problems.
  • In The Dropout, Sunny Balwani is about two decades older than Elizabeth is, with their actors (Amanda Seyfried and Naveen Andrews) having a similar age gap. The age gap is only one half of what makes it an Unequal Pairing.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman:
    • Jack Slicker (a young guy in his late twenties, early thirties) falls in love and courts Dorothy, a woman in her late forties. The town people don't particularly approve. Dorothy enjoys the attention and encourages him, but she's courted by Loren at the same time, too, who is closer to her age and did in fact love her when she was a young girl.
    • Loren (an older guy) has a brief passionate relationship with Mike's sister Marjorie (in her late thirties, early forties). Mike's family doesn't approve, even the ever open-minded Michaela. note  Tragically, Marjorie dies of a sudden illness and the romance is cut short.
  • On Empire, Hakeem, who is in his early twenties (judging by the fact that he was a baby when his mother went to jail in the '90s) is in a relationship with Camilla, a middle-aged fashion designer. His parents are not pleased.
  • The First Lady: Eleanor is clearly older than Hick. The real Eleanor was eight years older. Gillian Anderson (Eleanor) is in fact thirteen years older than Lily Rabe (Hick). The series portrays them having an affair.
  • Flowers (2016): Abigail and George are actually a couple, but they pretend that he's her father which is plausible as George's much older (27 years for the actors).
  • Frasier:
    • It is offhandedly mentioned in the pilot that Niles is five years younger than his wife Maris. He mentions this fact again in a later episode when asked about the prospect of having kids with her. After his divorce, Niles had a brief fling with a twenty-something barista at Cafe Nervosa, while Niles would have been in his mid-forties at least by that point.
    • Frasier himself had a few flings with younger women. One was in an early episode where a twenty-two-year-old sales associate at the department store he shopped at made a pass at him. Frasier was forty-one at the time. They ultimately decide that the age difference is too much (plus the woman had daddy issues, something she recognized as a psychology student) and don't go through with it. Another younger woman Frasier dates turns out to be a complete weirdo, but the sex is so good that he sticks around a little longer for this one.
    • Roz ends up pregnant in the fifth season as a result of a tryst with Rick Garrett, a twenty-year-old college student. Roz is nearly the same age as Rick's mother (though to be fair, Paula Garrett was only seventeen when Rick was born). Rick was willing to drop out of college and marry Roz, but Roz turns him down, not wanting him to throw away his future for her sake.
    • In the show's final season, Martin gets together with Frasier and Niles' former babysitter Ronee Lawrence. Her exact age is unknown, but there is probably at least a fifteen year age gap between them.
  • A French Village: Daniel has relationships with two women significantly younger than him. Hortense isn't quite as much (her actress is twenty years younger than Daniel's). Sarah definitely was though (a nearly thirty year age gap between the actors).
  • Friends:
    • In "The One with the Ick Factor", 26-year-old Monica dates a guy the others call Young Ethan. He's a senior in college. Monica originally tells him she's 22, but admits her real age when they sleep together. He has a little confession himself: he's a senior in high school. Monica freaks out and breaks up with him because it's icky.
      Monica: What we did was wrong. Oh god, I just had sex with somebody that wasn't alive during the Bicentennial.
      Young Ethan: I just had sex.
      Monica: Ethan, focus. How could you not tell me?
      Young Ethan: Well, you never told me how old you were.
      Monica: Well, that's different. My lie didn't make one of us a felon in 48 states. What were you thinking?
    • Monica's boyfriend Richard was "a person who can drink" older than her and is friends with her parents. His friends are impressed that he's dating a twinkie. Her friends freak out at first, but Rachel and Phoebe admit that he's very hot. They eventually break up because they were at such different stages of their lives. Specifically, Monica really longed to have children and Richard was only willing to consider it because of her wish.
      Monica: I'm dating a guy whose pool I once peed in.
    • Phoebe's younger half-brother Frank marries his former teacher Alice. He is 18 and she is 44. When Phoebe found out about them dating, she tried to break it off and wanted to convince Frank he needs to have fun and enjoy his youth, but he was just too unhappy without Alice.
    • Ross and Elizabeth, who was ten years younger than him and was his student to boot. Rude jokes aside, Monica eventually pointed out that there were legitimate issues despite such a small age gap, namely that Ross was established in his life and career while Elizabeth was still in college and hadn't even started out yet.
    • Rachel ends up dating Elizabeth's father Paul, played by Bruce Willis. Ross made lots of jokes about their age gap, but the others never saw the difference as much of a problem.
    • Rachel dates and later decides to break up with her much younger boyfriend Tag. She's 30 and he's 24. 6-year gap doesn't look that huge and she really likes him, but she realizes he's rather immature and absolutely not ready to even start thinking about settling down and having a family; meanwhile, she feels it's high time for her to start working on it for herself.
    • In high school, Ross made out with the 50 year old librarian. According to Ross's friend Will, she also made out with their foreign exchange student friend who was supposedly the same age.
      • Ross also made out with Chandler's mom, and is revealed to have hooked up with the lady who cleaned his and Chandler's room in college before losing his virginity to Carol.
    • Phoebe generally finds older men attractive, including Jaccues Costeau, Monica and Ross's dad, Richard (she is Richard and Monica's biggest Shipper on Deck) the old guy whose phone she and Rachel found, Parker (played by Alec Baldwin) and the affromentioned Paul Stevens. This might be because of her daddy issues.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Lord Petyr Baelish aka "Littlefinger" is creepily obsessed with Lady Sansa Stark, and loves her in his twisted way. She is the daughter of his first love, Catelyn Tully, and he views Sansa as a suitable replacement.
      Shae: Men only want one thing from a pretty girl.
      Sansa: Littlefinger's not in love with me.
      Shae: Love is not the thing he wants.
      Sansa: He's too old.
      Shae: They never see it that way.
    • Tyrion Lannister (about 40) and Sansa Stark (14) are forced to get married. Tyrion is unsettled that she is so young, and she is unhappy that she has to marry a dwarf from a family that killed her father and holds her hostage. He promises her not to force her to consummate the marriage unless she decides it's what she wants. They later start to bond, but the relationship suffers another blow when his father orchestrates the murder of her eldest brother and mother.
      Tyrion: She's a child.
      Bronn: She's a foot taller than you.
      Tyrion: A tall child.
    • Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo. He's about thirty, while she's nearly seventeen, though they end up having a (more or less) Perfectly Arranged Marriage. In the books Dany was only thirteen when they got married, with the series opting to age her up to avoid having underage actors in sexual situations. At the age of around eighteen, she begins a romance with Daario Naharis, who's in his thirties. Notably, Daenerys' third romance with Jon Snow is also her first where there isn't a significant age difference. Instead, it's weird because she's his aunt, although neither of them actually know that.
    • Jorah Mormont, who is forty-four when the series starts, falls in love with Daenerys while she's still in her teens and remains utterly devoted to her even though she views him only as a friend and trusted advisor.
    • Tommen Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell. He's seemingly in his early teens (his exact age is a bit iffy to determine) while she's in her early 20's when they get married. They still consummate the union. Despite the disturbing implications of this, Tommen adores his wife and even worried about hurting her during sex. Margaery for her part is likely just manipulating Tommen as he's her Meal Ticket to queenhood, but does seem genuinely fond of him too. Considering she was briefly married to his psychopathic brother Joffrey before he was sadly assassinated, Tommen is comparatively a vast improvement. When she's murdered in the bombing of the Sept, Tommen commits suicide out of grief.
    • House of the Dragon: King Viserys Targaryen chooses Alicent Hightower as his next bride, though she is around the same age as his own daughter. In Westeros, though, it's considered socially acceptable. In fact, he turns down a more politically prudent marriage to an even younger girl, Laena Velaryon.
  • In the made-for-HBO movie The Girl in the Cafe, the girl from the title (in her early 20s) falls in love with a 46-year-old diplomat. They are in denial of this until the very end, even though he invites her to a conference in Iceland with him. They pull a bit of She Is Not My Girlfriend until they admit their feelings.
  • Quinn from Glee was shortly involved with one of her professors at Yale, hinted to be at least middle-aged while she was barely 19. It ended so poorly it chased her away from all men and into Santana's hotel bed .
  • Grey's Anatomy:
    • Intern Meredith Grey begins dating attending Dr Shepherd, and eventually marries him. Their age gap is no more than 10 years, but it still causes amusement with Shepherd's friends, who call her "the 12-year-old". The age difference between the actors is only four years, thanks to Dawson Casting, so by later seasons it's hard to remember there's even supposed to be a gap.
    • One of Dr Shepherd's friends, Dr Sloan, starts dating Lexie Grey, Meredith's little sister. There's a twelve year age gap between them, but they joke that they have to call her "the fetus".
  • On Halt and Catch Fire Joe MacMillian and Cameron Howe are about 13 years apart; Joe is 35 at the start of the series and 45 by season 4, Cameron is 21-22 at the start of the series and 32 by the final season.
  • In the British House of Cards, there is a distinctly creepy relationship between Francis Urquhart (53 at the beginning of the series) and Mattie Storin (23 or 24). She actually calls him "Daddy," and although he's clearly using her for his own ends, it seems both are into this whole father/daughter dynamic for their own, twisted reasons (although we never quite fully figure out what they are).
  • How I Met Your Fathers: In "I'm His Swish" 30-year-olds Sophie and Valentina partake in such relationships: Sophie dates Robert, a guy who could be her father, and Valentina dates Swish, a college boy. Valentina constantly infantilizes Swish and finds his ignorance of things amusing; Sophie is horrified at the possibility that Robert sees her the same way. He doesn't, but they mutually end their relationship after realizing that he literally could be her dad, i.e. he didn't sleep with her mom, but they were handsy at the concert Sophie was conceived at.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • In one Thanksgiving episode, Robin (in her twenties) dated Bob (about forty). However, as Ted is telling the story, he pictures him much older and he's portrayed by Orson Bean who was 79. Robin also hints at a past relationship with one of her high school teachers who later went to prison for tax evasion "amongst other things".
    • In a flashback, viewers learn that Barney's first serious girlfriend Shannon broke up with him to be with an older suit. She was around twenty and Greg the suit was about forty. Barney tells the story to the gang and at first, he says Shannon talked and started to make out with her dad. Presumably, when he saw her, he thought she was making out with was her father.
      Barney: We're breaking up? But what about the Peace Corps?
      Shannon: Yeah, all this granola business, it was just a phase. Greg's older. He's successful. He buys me all this cool stuff. (smiles and laughs)
      Barney: But I love you.
      Shannon: He has a boat.
    • Barney also dates numerous young girls, sometimes picking them up whilst disguised as an old man and in a fantasy sequence Marshall realises that his 18 year old schoolgirl stripper daughter will inevitably hook up with an aged Barney.
      Barney: Who's your daddy?
      Marshall's daughter: YOU ARE! What with all the sex we keep having!
    • Ted dates Carly, and while they barely fit this trope (he's in his early 30s, she's 21), she seems to only be dating him because she thinks he's really old (remarking that he "still goes at it like he's in his 50s"). She describes being turned on by watching 60 Minutes with him and playing shuffleboard.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • In the series, there is a 117-year difference between Lestat de Lioncourt (who was born in 1760) and Louis de Pointe du Lac (who was born in 1877). In the novel, Lestat was older by only 6 years.
    • The age difference between the show's Armand (who was born in 1508) and Louis is 369 years, which is an even larger gap than in the books (286 years).
  • In The Last Kingdom, middle-aged father Beocca tries to help a young traumatized girl Thyra who was imprisoned as a sex slave to Sven, and he falls in love with her. She seems to have found her safe place with him. Uhtred advises his friend Beocca to ask her to marry him. Beocca is anxious about the age gap as he says that he knows he could be her much, much older brother. Another obstacle for them is their origin: he is a Saxon while she is a Dane. They get married and seem very happy together.
  • In Legends of Tomorrow, a demon possessing a young man and his Dragon and lover, a magical creature who normally takes the form of an old woman, share a kiss and it's played for laughs. Eventually, she reveals that he is actually much, much older than her.
  • Luke Cage (2016): Mariah and Hernan are a couple with at least twenty years between them. This reflects the actors' age difference, which is twenty-three years.
  • The L Word:
    • Kit is at least twenty years older than her boyfriend Angus.
    • The same goes for Phyllis with Alice, who inspired her to come out as a lesbian.
  • Mad Men:
    • Office manager Joan Holloway and Roger Sterling (one of the firm's partners) have a long love affair. She's in her early thirties, he is in his mid-to-late forties. Most people in the office don't know about it. Bert Cooper advises Joan she could "do a lot better" — She thinks he means a professor she had a date with and Joan explains "he's just a friend", Cooper insists, "that's not what I'm talking about, my dear. Don't waste your youth on age."
    • Roger started an affair with Jane Siegel, a college graduate and new secretary, and later they got married. One day she told him that their souls were the same age. At a country club party hosted by Roger to help Jane socialize with his colleagues and friends, Jane becomes wildly drunk and expresses her frustration at not being accepted. Roger's mother confused Jane with his similarly-aged daughter Margaret from his first marriage. Margaret was very upset by Jane's attempts to befriend her.
    • Don Draper and Megan. After they get married and Megan throws Don a surprise birthday party, we find out that Don is forty while Megan is in her mid-to-late twenties. Don is not super excited about Megan's younger friends and her modern ideas.
  • The Masterpiece Theatre Mini Series Reckless features a young doctor falling in love with his boss' wife. This is the main focus and conflict of the story. That she's 10-15 years older than him is completely unimportant to him. She's more affected by it in the sequel where she's reluctant to marry him, lest he dump her for a younger woman like her husband did.
  • In episode "Something's Rotten in Redmund" of The Mentalist, a high school drama teacher had a love affair with her student. She killed the victim of the week (a fellow teacher) because he saw them making out and wanted to report her.
    Ms. Austin: I know what I did to Mr. McTierney is unforgivable, and I wish to God I could undo it, but you have to understand. What Billy and I have is special. It's real. I'm not some pervert. I love him, and he loves me. Is... that wrong?
    Agent van Pelt: Yes.
  • At the beginning of Modern Family, senior citizen Jay is somewhere in his 60s, and his second wife Gloria (mother to elementary school-aged son Manny) is around her late 30s.
  • Subverted on Modern Love. Maddy estimates that Peter is about 30 years older than her. He already has a young grandson. Subverted, however — Peter and the audience are led to believe that Maddy's intentions in getting close to him are at least partially sexual, but it turns out that she's just seeking a father figure.
  • Mohawk Girls: Caitlin's dad gets involved with Vicky, who's her age or so.
  • The Nanny: Fran is deliberately obtuse about her age but the evidence suggests she is in her early thirties. Maxwell appears to be approximately ten to fifteen years older, and has three children, two of whom are college-aged by the end of the series.
  • The Nevers:
    • Formerly between Frank and Mary, whose actors have a 22 year age gap. Or at least so it appeared: Frank's really gay.
    • This also occurred between Frank and Hugo, with a 15 year age gap.
  • Northern Exposure: Holling is a man in his 70s who comes from a line of men who live to extreme old age. Seeing so many of his relatives spend the last few decades of their lives as widowers, he gets married to Shelly, a vivacious and beautiful 20-something. Even still, he fears he'll outlive her.
  • In Parks and Recreation, Andy gets together with April, who's almost nine years younger than him, just after she turns 21. While he had some minor angst about the gap in the beginning, he quickly gets over it and no one else minds it (probably because his mental age at best is around 21).
  • The Plot Against America: Evelyn is clearly much younger than Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf (the actors are fourteen years apart, though he looks older on the show). Nobody really comments.
  • Reba: Reba's ex-husband Brock married Barbra Jean, who's roughly fifteen years younger than him.
  • Romper Stomper: Blake is about twenty years older than his wife Zoe.
  • Rubicon: Kale turns out to have a boyfriend who's at least twenty years his junior.
  • Saturday Night Live: Parodied in the skit "Meet Your Second Wife", in which three male contestants are introduced to the girls who will become their second wives in a number of years. Already distraught at the idea that they're going to leave their wives, the men are even moreso at seeing how young the girls currently are—the first is only 13, the second only 5. The third contestant is relieved that his next wife is currently a college sophomore, but is then told that she isn't the second wife, she's three months pregnant with the girl who is.
  • The episode 'The Man, the Myth, the Viagra' in Sex and the City sees Samantha dating a man in his 70's. He's wealthy and fairly kind to her, so at first she doesn't mind the age gap. One night, she sees his shrivelled behind, and leaves in horror.
  • Schitt's Creek: An on-the-rebound Alexis dates a man who is around her father's age named Artie. Johnny is not at all thrilled with his daughter dating a man with grandchildren, especially since Artie is trying and failing to be young and hip. Thanks to Johnny's meddling, Artie breaks up with Alexis, who tearfully admits to Johnny she was only seeing the older man to distract from her heartbreak.
  • The Sopranos: A 20-year old AJ starts a relationship with Blanca, a 30-year old single mother. His parents disparage the relationship (Tony because she's Puerto Rican, Carmella because of the age gap), but figure it's a good thing that she's at least Catholic. The relationship doesn't last; it's implied that while Blanca recognizes that AJ has a good heart, she was better off with someone her own age. AJ becomes so depressed that he attempts suicide.
  • Switched at Birth:
    • Sixteen-year-old Daphne starts a romance with her boss, the much older Chef Jeff, to her family's disapproval. In fact, it's later shown that he was interested in her at first because he thought she was in college; it's only when she tells him that she wants it to happen that he gives in and kisses her.
    • In season 5 Regina dates Luca, a college student.
  • Played with and double subverted in The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain" where an old man takes an experimental rejuvenation serum to keep up with his younger wife's lifestyle. He's rejuvenated to her age, but keeps regressing due to the serum being faulty. By the end, he's been fully rejuvenated to an infant and his wife now also has to raise him as his mother.
  • On True Blood: Middle-aged Sam Merlotte seems to only date girls at least a decade his junior, and ultimately marries college student Nicole, whose mother sharply disapproves when Sam declares his love.
    Mary: Nicole, you are only 22 years old! *turns to Sam* And may I ask how old you are, silver fox?
"Silver Fox" became her nickname for him.
  • The Tunnel: Though not commented on, Karl is obviously much older than his wife Laura. He's played by Stephen Dillane (born 1957) opposite Angel Coulby (born 1980).
  • You Me Her: Jack and Emma are in their mid/late 30s, while Izzy is in her mid/late 20s. This leads to their lives not fitting together super seamlessly.
  • Young Sheldon:
    • In "A Lock In, A Weather Girl And A Disgusting Habit", seventeen-year-old Georgie Cooper becomes involved with a woman named Mandy, who claims to be twenty-five, but later confesses that she's actually twenty-nine. Georgie also lied about his age, claiming to be twenty-one, but kept the lie up even after she confessed. He eventually tells her his true age, which horrifies her and she immediately breaks up with him. When Georgie returns to apologize, Mandy informs him that she's pregnant. And unlike many instances of younger boys scoring with older women, Georgie isn't congratulated and is instead condemned for taking advantage of someone for easy sex and told he now has to pay the consequences.
    • It had been suggested since The Big Bang Theory that there was a fairly large gap in age between George Sr. and Mary (For one, George was said to be fifty years old when he died, and Sheldon was fourteen at the time. Mary looks to be in her fifties in the present day). Missy confirms it in "Ruthless, Toothless, and a Week of Bed Rest", saying that Mary was in highschool and George was in his twenties when they met.

  • The Spanish songwriter Jose Jose has a song called "Cuarenta y Veinte" ("Forty and twenty"). The song is about the protagonist who is in his 40s and has fallen in love with a young twenty-something girl, and it deals with the obstacles the couple has to face, including other people's disapproving comments.
    "Cuarenta y veinte, cuarenta y veinte. Es el amor lo que importa y no lo que diga la gente.
    Forty and twenty, forty and twenty. It's the love that matters and not what people say."
  • The '90s Chilean group Sexual Democracia has a song called "Profanador de Cunas" (in English "Cradle Desecration"). The song tells a story of a guy (and a friend of the narrator) that likes to date young girls in high school, but this guy is implied to be over thirty. The chorus has various local expressions about these relationships, including the Title Drop "profanador de cunas".
  • "Hey Nineteen" by Steely Dan is about the speaker's disappointment with dating a 19-year-old. The speaker, presumably a man in his 30s much like the singer's age at the time, gripes that he has nothing in common with his young lover and "can't talk at all" with her.
  • "Our Ages or Our Hearts" by Roberta Flack is about a woman in a relationship with someone much older (or younger) than her. This age gap is large enough to be deemed inappropriate by society, but the woman doesn't care. She asks her lover if they will stay with her or leave her due to judgment from others and the pressure of societal norms.
  • "Oah" by Alexander Rybak, while the song isn't mainly about this trope, it still does mention that she's significantly younger than the singer.
    "Singing oah
    I love you moah
    You're way too young for me
    But I don't mind."
  • "Does Your Mother Know?" by ABBA is about a man feeling conflicted about a significantly younger woman who is interested in him.
    "And I know what you mean when you give me a flash of that smile
    But girl, you're only a child
    Well, I can dance with you honey
    If you think it's funny
    Does your mother know that you're out?"
  • In a similar vein to the ABBA song above: “Young Girl,” by Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, is a song about a man who discovers that his new girlfriend is not as old as she claimed, and is actually under the age of consent. He’s telling her to leave before things go too far.
  • The music video of Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved" is centered around the male protagonist's affair with his girlfriend's mother. The mother herself is shown to be in a May–December Romance as her husband is old enough to be her father.
  • "29" by Demi Lovato is a deconstruction, as the narrator, now twenty-nine years old themself, looks back on a relationship they had with a twenty-nine-year-old when they were seventeen. With the benefit of hindsight and adulthood, they realize they were groomed, and their ex never should've been interested in a teenager to begin with.
    Finally twenty-nine;
    seventeen would never cross my mind.
    Thought it was a teenage dream, a fantasy.
    But it was yours, it wasn't mine.
    Seventeen... twenty-nine.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Dustin: Among their many differences, the main character's parents have almost a whole decade between them, which is sometimes exaggerated—at a restaurant, the waiter asked for their I.D.'s: he wasn't sure if Dad qualified for a senior discount and had his doubts about Mom being old enough to drink.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • Ruth and Boaz in The Bible. While the exact difference between them isn't given, Boaz is old enough to call her "my daughter" at one point before they're romantically involved, and thanks her for not pursuing a younger man when they are.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Battletech: As part of a particularly inspired piece of Altar Diplomacy, 18-year old Melissa Steiner married 45-year old Hanse Davion (the marriage was arranged when Melissa was 12 and Hanse 39), creating an Inner Sphere power couple with 27 years' age difference. Melissa consented to the marriage and even went on a secret state mission to meet with her husband-to-be beforehand, and their marriage was genuinely happy.

  • Hedda Gabler: Thea Elvsted's husband is twenty years older than her, leaving them with little love between them and nothing in common. The gap is one of the causes for Thea's departure from the house and her romance with Lovborg, a man her own age.
  • In the Mrs. Hawking play series: In part four, Gilded Cages, we see Reginald Hawking falls for Victoria Stanton when he is 31 and she is 19. Though not an unusual age gap in the Victorian period in which the story is set, it is made clear to the audience that he is an adult and she is still a child— one of many subtle indicators that the match is a bad one.
  • In the William Shakespeare play Othello, the title character (age unspecified, but getting up there) marries the young beautiful Desdemona. Their age difference is one of the many reasons Othello suspects her of cheating on him: The man he thinks she's sleeping with is closer to her own age. She's actually perfectly loving and innocent, but the play is a tragedy and they all end up dead.
  • Downplayed in The Sound of Music. The real Maria von Trapp was twenty five years the junior of Captain Georg von Trapp and only six years older than her eldest stepchild. They married when she was 22 and he was 47.

    Video Games 
  • Clock Tower 2:
    • Harris is clearly attracted to Jennifer; he's in his thirties while she's just fifteen (the game is set in Norway, where the age of consent is sixteen). His attraction to her is both one-sided and presented as extremely creepy.
    • Twenty-six year old Nolan likewise has a crush on Jennifer. She reciprocates his feelings and in one ending she kisses him, with the implication they may start dating. Strangely, the narrative doesn't present this as being as creepy as Harris' attraction to Jennifer despite Nolan also being an adult man attracted to an underage girl. In fairness, Nolan is not as blatantly predatory as Harris and tries to help Jennifer throughout the game, it's never confirmed that they do have a relationship, and the game's creator also stated that he thought a romance would never work between them precisely because of the age-gap.note  Notably, in the novelization Jennifer's guardian Helen is wary of the possibility of them developing a relationship because Nolan is over a decade older.
    • In the novelization it's mentioned that Helen had a brief romance with her boss Samuel Barton eight years ago; there are twenty-two years between them, meaning Helen was twenty-two and Barton was forty-four. Helen ended up breaking off the relationship after realizing how incompatible they were and appears to regret the whole thing. Although they continued working together their relationship is frosty, with the novelization revealing the full details. Helen further remarks in the novelization that one of the reasons she left Barton was because he reminded her of her father...and it's revealed she was physically and sexually abused by her father as a child.
  • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Haar is old enough to have served in the Begnion army under Shiharam before they both fled to Daein and Shiharam settled down and had a daughter, Jill (making Haar at least 20 years older than Jill). In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, if Jill and Haar have an A Support together, they get married.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, some of the pairings for Hanneman (56) and Manuela (whose age is listed as a secret on her profile, but datamining actually lists her as 41) fall into this category, as most of their paired endings have them being involved with their former students in some capacity. While most of Hanneman's student endings (Annette, Lysithea, Marianne) are platonic, his endings with Edelgard (23) and especially Dorothea (24) are not; He can also - like with the rest of the cast - marry a female Byleth (26). Manuela, on the other hand, will marry almost all of her romantic prospects - Lorenz (23), Ferdinand (24), a male Byleth (26), and, even Dorothea. In a similar vein, the DLC student Balthus, who's 26 during Part I and 32 during Part II, has Lysithea as one of his love interests; Lysithea is 15 during Part I and 20 during Part II.
    • There are two pronounced aversions: While Byleth can also S-Support Gilbert (60) and Alois(49), they're both framed platonically, and any other paired endings those two can achieve are also strictly platonic, as both men are already married with children.
  • The Galaxy Angel trilogy may have this between Tact Mayers and Vanilla H if her route is pursued. Tact is 20 and Vanilla is 13 at the beginning of the first game, giving them a 7-year gap. It's less prominent with the other Angels given their respective ages (Milfeulle and Chitose are 17, Ranpha is 18, Mint is 16, and Forte is 22).
  • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life has 30-year-old Muffy being able to marry the 20-something-year-old protagonist. Muffy is quite self-conscious about being an Old Maid. If you don't marry her, her age will constantly ruin her love life as men end up leaving her due to it.
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist: Marz's "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue can mention Utopia, who is twelve years older than her, among her romantic relationships. A specific set of choices can result in the Player Character, who is around the same age as Marz, having a relationship with Utopia later in life.
  • Puyo Puyo's Dark Princenote  is a 100,025-year-old demon who, more often than not, constantly pursues Arle, who in canon has been established to be a 16-year-old girl. Considering that the latter could possibly be the reincarnation of his deceased wife, Lillith, it probably makes a little bit of sense.
  • Love & Pies:
    • Joe went on a date with Edwina, who is the same age as Amelia's mother, long before Amelia returned to Appleton. Amelia and Joe were in high school together. After Joe quit his job at Clean Bean Café, his twin brother and replacement, Sam, is rumored to have started dating Edwina.
    • On Day 26, Sebastian tells Amelia that he is her father. Amelia is a bit skeptical of this at first because of his age; he is also Edwina's father and is 30 years older than Freya, making him old enough to be Amelia's grandfather. Sebastian says that her mother didn't care about the age difference. Esme is disgusted, calling him a creep and a slimeball.
  • Given that the girls in love with the 17 year old Yuuki in Princess Connect! Re:Dive range anywhere from 8 years old to 27, this is inevitable. Particularly notable is Christina, who is not only one of the oldest girls interested in Yuuki, but also one of the most aggressive in attempting to woo him into marriage.
  • Star Ocean: Ronyx Kenny is thirty-eight years old and has been married once before, while his Second Love Ilia Sylvestri is twenty-three, a fifteen year difference. The series' official timeline implies that Ilia was pregant with their son during the game's final stages.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Gender Flipped with the female Bounty Hunter PC and Torian Cadera. He's eighteen when they're first introduced; her canonical age is unclear but she's an Experienced Protagonist and old enough she may refer to him as a "boy".
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Remarked on with Gray and his wife Rozana, who have a thirty year gap between them. Their marriage is portrayed as stable and loving, with nobody really remarking on the difference as noteworthy.
  • Xenogears
    • Original Abel ( Fei's first incarnation) fell in love/imprinted on the adult original Elly as a minor, although every other incarnation of them throughout the game has been a same-age romance and the original is (for good reason) usually glossed over by fans as a Continuity Error or Plot Hole.
    • The occasional subtext between Fei (18-20 in game present time incarnation over the two years it spans) and Citan (29-31) and the resultant shipping of both as a couple can be highly uncomfortable for some fans due to the age gap, due to canon having both in very plot-important hetero couples, or some combination of both - especially in regard to Plot? What Plot? Fan Fic with zero plot development to address the issues of the age gap or the potential infidelities.

    Visual Novels 
  • Being A DIK has a few significant characters who can be romanced by the MC, who spends the game as an 18/19-year-old college freshman.
    • The most prominent example is Isabella, implied to be in her mid-to-late 30s.note  She does angst over her growing attraction to him, not just because of the age gap but also because of the complications in a Teacher/Student Romance after Cathy leaves B&R and she begins teaching the MC, along with her attachment to James; hers is easily among the most brittle romance paths in the game.
    • Jade, whose age is unknown but appears to be old enough to be the MC's mother, can also be romanced, though her path is less a "romance" and more of her using him as a method to vent her frustrations with her failed marriage.
    • Nicole is a somewhat downplayed example (she is only 30), but she is old enough to have a child. If the MC has a good relationship with her, they can start a romantic relationship in "Vixens".
  • Beyond Eden allows 26-year-old Villain Protagonist Alex Wake to pursue and eventually romance the once-divorced 46-year-old doctor Morris Bell. Even after Morris gets past his initial horror at possibly taking advantage of Alex, who he'd cared for in childhood, he still wonders why Alex would be interested in an old man like him. Alex reassures him that he specifically Likes Older Men.
  • In Cafe Enchante, Rindo is in his forties and almost has a twenty-year gap between him and Kotone. In his route, Kotone has some insecurity and angst about this as she sees Rindo as more adult and mature than her and wonders if he sees her more as a kid or a little sister than as a partner.
  • Besides being in a relationship with his 19-year-old daughter, the protagonist of Daughter for Dessert also has the options of dating Kathy and Lily, who are of similar ages.
  • Long Live the Queen: The game's nobility only contains so many people and people getting married just long enough to produce a heir before divorcing and having a love match is far from being unheard of, so significant age gaps happen all over the place. In addition to this, Elodie's options whose age is mentioned in-game range from a friend's younger brother (six years Elodie's junior) to another friend's divorced father (said other friend is a little older than Elodie).
  • In Melody, MC can have this with most of the girls. Becca is in her early twenties, Melody and Sophia are both 19, and Xianne is about 18 or 19. MC, meanwhile, is in his mid- to late thirties. Sophia actually discusses this with Melody, saying that older men are better because of their greater life experience.
  • My Vow To My Liege allows the 19-year-old protagonist to romance her 37-year-old mentor and minister Wu Zixu, who loves her deeply and selflessly regardless of route, just not necessarily romantically. He doesn't even consider himself a potential match for the protagonist initially; when he urges her to find someone to marry, he's shocked when she suggests him. She has to be noticeably more forthright and active in pursuing him than for her other love interests.
  • In Hanzo's route in Nightshade, this occurs between him and Enju. She is sixteen and while his age is never given, he mentioned he was childhood friends with Enju's mother and his last meeting with Enju's mother was when she was already pregnant with Enju, meaning at the very least, he is over sixteen years older than her.
  • Piofiore: Fated Memories:
    • Previous Key Maiden Chloe is revealed to have been in love with Dante's father Silvio who is said to be more than ten years their senior. Regardless, Silvio treated the former more as a sibling due to this age gap, which the former did not take well.
    • Henri/the Direttore reveals he is older than Nicola and is already in his early thirties, making him at least ten years older than Lili.

    Web Animation 
  • Etra-chan saw it!:
    • One episode features Karin being married to Katsura, who is significantly older than her.
    • Another episode features Karin as a high school teacher and Hiiragi as one of her students. They get married and have two kids by the end.
  • Manga Angel Neko Oka: Kawasaki, a high schooler fell in love with the 30-year old Eiji. He resisted dating her and told her that they couldn't pursue the relationship until she finishes high school. When she graduated she and Eiji began dating.
  • Otakebi: Hitomi, who is 25 years old, is married to an older man named Shinichi, who is 20 years older than her.
  • Uta's RomCom Manga Dubs: A little girl named Elena fell in love with Ginji, who was significantly older than her because he was in his early 20s at the time, though she had to move out as her family was there to take care of her sick grandmother. Ten years later, she returns to Japan with her family and and meets Ginji again.

  • Age Matters: Rose Choi is 29 and Daniel Yoon is 23. The power dynamic is reversed because Daniel is the CEO of Lime and Rose is his secretary, though they don't start dating until the contract nears its end. Many people associated with Daniel criticize them because they think a woman who's going nowhere in life is dating a young CEO for his money. Rose's family and friends, on the other hand, give their blessing shortly after finding out about their relationship.
  • Beloved: Ding Yi is sixteen years old while her lover is thirty-four. Wei Wei thought she was older because they were both at a bar when they met. A lot of the comic revolves around troubles that their age gap gives them as they try to hide their Secret Relationship.
  • A Fake Affair:
    • 30-year-old Shoko Hama meets 25-year-old Jobanni on a trip to Korea and accidentally lies that she's married. They end up having an "affair", but Shoko is so afraid of admitting she's really single because she believes Jobanni wouldn't fall for an Old Maid and is only interested in the thrill of an affair. He really does like her, but he specifically went after a "married" woman because he's Secretly Dying and doesn't want her to be heartbroken when he dies.
    • Yoko, Shoko's older sister, cheats on her husband with Futa, an MMA fighter in his early- to mid-twenties. Futa Likes Older Women because girls his age are too immature and superficial. They used to meet in secret because Yoko claimed the age gap would make it uncomfortable in public, but she was actually trying to hide the affair from everyone.
  • M9 Girls!: Any, a college undergrad in her early twenties, develops a crush for the Professor, who has two Ph.D.s and must therefore be in his late thirties. Her feelings are later shown to be reciprocated.
  • In Smoke Fur And Stone, Caliban is in his early-mid 20s and Skoll is about 42. What makes it interesting is that Caliban is the one actively pursuing the romance despite Skoll's misgivings.
  • Unsounded: Mallory is a couple hundred years older than Roger. Their lifespans are about 400 years so Mallory is considerably older than Roger.
  • Yumi's Cells:
    • 32-year-old Yumi has a crush on her coworker Wook, who is six years her junior. Her love rival draws attention to the age gap to make her feel like a fool for going after Wook. It seems that Wook reciprocates Yumi's feelings, but when it looks like he is going to ask Yumi out, it's subverted as he reveals that he's gay and sets Yumi up with a friend who is her age.
    • One to two years later, Yumi is dating Babi, who is also her age. Yunhee and Da-eun, two women in their early twenties, develop a crush on him during this time. Yunhee quickly forgets about Babi when she meets and falls in love with Yumi's Hopeless Suitor, who is also Yumi's age, and they become the steadiest couple in the whole series. Da-eun makes Yumi jealous because Babi is getting swayed by this cute younger woman, and they break up even though Da-eun quits working for him to avoid interfering. A few years after the breakup, Da-eun and Babi find each other again and get married.

    Web Original 
  • A running gag on The Hard Times is Pop Punk frontmen inappropriately dating underage girls, as seen in "Pop Punk Frontman Tired of Homeschooling Girlfriend" and other articles.
  • In you could make a life, the 35-year-old Mike is very reluctant to get into a relationship with the sexually inexperienced 18-year-old Liam who looks even younger than his age. The fact that the age/size difference actually turns Mike on makes him feel even dirtier. Even when he inevitably gives in to Liam's persistence, he lives with the constant belief/fear that Liam will eventually outgrow his crush on him. He doesn't.

    Web Video 
  • In CollegeHumor web video series Hot Date, Murph and Emily play various date scenarios. One sketch is titled "Dating a College Girl Isn't as Sexy as It Seems" ("Big Age Gaps"). Leon is 38 years old and has a date with Carissa who is supposed to be 21 and in college, but she acts more like a wild teen. The guy says later it's not gonna work because he's really feeling the age gap, but enthusiastically agrees when Carissa wants to hook up at her place.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: Hayley has dated a few older men throughout the show. The most prominent being Avery Bullock and Stan's body double Bill.
  • BoJack Horseman:
    • Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter have an age gap minimum of 15, she is at 34 at the beginning of the series and he is in his early 50s. As everything else, this does end up with them facing troubles in their marriage as she is facing her last chances to try new things in her life while he is already used to a certain lifestyle and has a hard time adapting to her younger way of thinking.
    • This gets deconstructed in Season 5. In general Mr. Peanutbutter has a pattern of dating women much younger than him, which Diane explains in "Mr. Peanutbutter's Boos", may be the reason why all his marriages fail, since these women keep growing whereas he has stopped doing so, eventually, they outgrow him.
    • Penny and BoJack at the end of season 2, in which she falls for him and they briefly almost sleep together. She is 17 and he is in his early 50s. Although nothing ends up happening, the event severely made them feel guilt-ridden.
    • BoJack and Sarah Lynn briefly sleep together on season 1, the age difference is around 20 years. He knew her when she was a child actor before she hit puberty. They get together in the episode "Prickly Muffin", but their relationship is a short one.
  • In Central Park, Season 1 "Live It Up Tonight", Molly and Cole sees a couple like this and mistakes them for a father and daughter. Even when they start kissing, they still think they're related and they're way too close to each other.
  • Code Lyoko: A rare case where the woman is the older one. Aelita is ten years older than Jeremie, although because Aelita is Older Than She Looks, no one really questions them about it.
  • DC Animated Universe: Some time between Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon were in a relationship. Bruce is at least a decade older than Barbara, who had previously been in a relationship with Bruce's adopted son, Dick Grayson.
  • Luanne from King of the Hill married a redneck known as "Lucky", she's 21 while he's in his late 30's-early 40's.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Phineas' mom is described to be in her late 30s while Ferb's dad is described to be in his mid-to-late 50s, having actually been an explorer in the 1970s and 80s.
  • Rick and Morty: "Ricksy Business", Birdperson was 40 while Tammy was 17 though her identity was a cover.
  • The Simpsons: "Rome-Old and Juli-Eh" revolves around the romance and marriage of Abe Simpson and Selma Bouvier, their ages separated by nearly four decades (Selma is in her forties, while Abe is at least 80). Their marriage didn't work out, due to Abe's senility leading to the ruination of their kitchen and Selma finding her new job as a department manager too stressful.
  • Eugene Fitzherbert aka Flynn Rider and Rapunzel from Tangled he's in his mid-late twenties and she's 18, a flashback in Tangled: The Series shows that when he was a teenager he stole from Rapunzel's mother long before she was born.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Big Age Gap Between Lovers


Jesse does the math

35-year old Jesse Fischer finds himself attracted to 19-year old Zibby but their 16-year age difference bothers him. He then starts calculating their would be ages and finds himself more comfortable with the idea.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / AgeGapAlgebra

Media sources: