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Fountain of Youth

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There are easier ways to get a Happy Meal.
Scott: We found him like that.
Sheriff: Where? Swimming in the fountain of youth?!
Scott: Derek's been aged backwards. He can't remember anything. We just need to talk to him.


Some form of Applied Phlebotinum results in one or more main characters regressing to an earlier age. It may be the result of a freak accident, a plot on the part of the bad guys to incapacitate our heroes, or done on purpose so the characters can relive their childhood (at least temporarily). It may involve a Physical Attribute Swap with someone younger. Always central to the plot of a Baby Morph Episode, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

For some reason, this plot is often used in Fan Fic where it's called a De-Aging story. Often combined with Raise Him Right This Time.

When it's an actual fountain or similar artifact that exists to restore youth, it's a Sub-Trope of Immortality. These will, of course, be sought out by Immortality Seekers. A downside to this version of the trope is that the fountain is usually stationary and often in a remote region, forcing the newfound immortal to permanently stay close to it or at least return regularly, and to keep it a secret from others due to Immortality Immorality.


When someone dies in his rejuvenated state, expect him to turn back old immediately.

When a Fountain of Youth effect doesn't get reversed and the younger actor replaces the older one in the cast for good, it's also an example of The Nth Doctor.

It's common for characters to overdo it in stories involving this trope, often winding up as babies, or possibly even suffering Death by De-aging. This may or may not be permanent, but if the character in question was a bad guy, expect it to be permanent; well, at least, until they grow back up the old-fashioned way.

If the character's clothes don't change with them in this event (and it's shown onscreen), it's likely to cause Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing. If the event is offscreen and thus a surprise to the audience or one or more characters, Empty Piles of Clothing results. This process may result in an Age-Down Romance when the youthened character gets infatuated with someone of their new age or vice-versa.


Compare Elixir of Life, a Sister Trope with some similarities to this one.

The Trope Namer is the mythical Fountain Of Youth that Ponce de Leon supposedly searched Florida to try and find - although this idea was not actually attached to his name until several decades after his death.

Contrast with Overnight Age-Up and Plot-Relevant Age-Up. Compare Really 700 Years Old, where an individual is vastly older than even the maximum natural lifespan for their species, and looks nowhere near as ancient as they actually are; Merlin Sickness, where the individual's aging progresses in a backwards fashion (i.e. they grow younger rather than older); and Longevity Treatment, where one's maximum lifespan is increased (which does not necessarily come with youth). See also Healing Spring.


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  • In this advertisement, a young man continues regressing from what may be a high-schooler, all the way down to pre-schooler.
  • In a commercial for Nickelodeon in the late 80s, a scientist is trying out a youth potion to make himself a kid again so he can watch "Kids only weekend". But when he drinks it, he turns into a baby which the announcer says "Sorry babies are too young to watch "Kids only weekend"
  • There were a couple commercials for the candy Baby Bottle Pop that featured this trope.
    • Whenever kids were eating the candy their heads became that of a baby.
    • In one, teens at a dance are bored and eat the candy and anyone who ate one is turned into a cartoon baby.
  • In an ad for the PS2, we are shown the aftermath of this. In a nursing home, we see empty halls with discarded clothes with no one in sight. A clock is shown moving backwards and then we see naked babies crawling around.
  • In a commercial for Bojangles, an old man shows off his Bojangles box. An old woman isn't impressed and drinks a water fountain to become young again and says "I found the water fountain of youth". We see the man again and he's not impressed. We then see the woman has turned into a girl around 13 and she walks away.
  • In a commercial for Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo, we see a woman smiling at the camera and bubbles covering the screen. Every time this happens she becomes younger from adult to pre-teen to child and then to baby.
  • A long-running series of commercials on American television for Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal had various adults stating to the camera their "serious adult side" approves of the cereal's nutritional value. Then they'd suddenly become children in oversized clothes and continue explaining, in the same voice, the "kid in them" enjoys the frosted sweetness. Sometimes they'd reverse the bit, with a child becoming an adult.
  • There was a commercial for some sort of body wash where football players showering after a game using the product transformed (off-camera) into infants.
  • This commercial for the South African drink Steri Stumpie suggests that the drink will cause a mother and son to get 10 years younger if they drink it at the same time. Unfortunately, in this case, the son happened to be a bit younger than 10 years...

    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You:
    • In chapter 28, all the girls except Hakari are temporarily turned into babies thanks to one of Kusuri's drugs.
    • Chapter 75 introduces Kusuri's grandmother Yaku, who took a prototype of Kusuri's immortality drug and permanently gained an 8 year old body.
    • Chapter 84 is an invoked repeat of chapter 28, with Hakari and the girlfriends who had been introduced since becoming babies this time.
  • Because Heaven's computer crashed, this happened to Urd for about two chapters in the Ah! My Goddess manga (and one episode of the 2005 animé), with the reverse happening for youngest sister Skuld. Fortunately, she was able to get an interesting advantage out of it.
  • In an episode of Akazukin Chacha, the main trio is tricked by some bad guys into drinking rejuvenation potion, and turn back into babies. Seravy and Dorothy are also reverted to kids. Of course, they all turn back at the end.
  • A plot used multiple times in Anpanman. A couple episodes have had Baikinman make a spray that changes anyone (or anything) in contact with it into babies (with objects becoming earlier stages, like a tree becoming a sapling). He does this as ways to make Anpanman weak against him, but it always gets foiled in the end. One theatrical short showed there's an entire lake, one side red, which turns the victim into a baby, the other side blue, which returns them to normal. Another theatrical short had Hiyariko, an aspiring scientist, create a potion to make Baikinman stronger...only to turn him into a baby. When he runs off, she makes what she thinks is an antidote, and sprays it all around the town...only to turn the entire town into babies. Thankfully, this potion was only temporary, and everyone returned to normal eventually on their own.
  • In Black Cat, Creed (Doctor did in the anime instead) accidentally shoots Train with a Lucifer bullet, causing Train to transform back into a child (around 8 years old). It only lasts one episode (or a few chapters).
  • Black Lagoon: a non-canon omake has the main cast regress to adolescence and, in Balalaika's case, beyond. For the record, loli-Balalaika is the cutest thing ever. The most shocking ones are Yolanda (the old nun), who was a delicious and hot cake at 29 and Balalaika's underling Boris, who was Bishounen to the max.
  • In Bleach, Neliel Tu Oderschvank originally had the appearance of a late teenager/young woman, but after being attacked by her rival Nnoitra and having him crack her Hollow mask, she ended up reverting into a small child. Later Urahara uses his devices to let her return to her original age.
  • In an episode of Brigadoon: Marin and Melan, Marine eats some weird chocolate that causes her to start hallucinating. Among other things, she imagines herself growing into a young adult, then regressing into a baby.
  • Who can ever forget APTX-4869 in Case Closed? It regressed Shinichi Kudo and Shiho Miyano's body by around ten years, causing two Teen Geniuses to live in first graders' bodies. On the other hand, APTX-4869 is employed as a poison and is generally successful.
  • In the early chapters of Chronos Ruler, a teacher in her forties wished to one of the Horologues to get her youth back, and by the start of the series looks like a young woman. Too bad for her, she ends up becoming too young the next day; after she turned into a child, she tried to approach the Horologue in question to ger her time back, only for the Horologue to quickly suck out the rest of it, regressing her out of existence. This serves as a dire introduction to those demons' true nature.
  • Played straight then subverted in the fourth episode of Classicaloid. When Schubert starts playing his music, everyone else present shrinks out of their clothes as they regress into babies frolicking to and fro, but it soon turns out that they're actually perfectly normal, and that the music merely caused them to act like babies.
  • Amber from Darker Than Black has this as her remuneration; she regresses in age every time that she uses her powers. In the end, she ends up fading into nothingness altogether due to overuse.
  • In Death Note, Shinigami can steal the lifespans of humans by writing their names in Death Notes, which kills the human. Humans who use the Death Notes don't get the lifespans of their victims but if a Shinigami uses their Death Note to save a human's life, the Shinigami dies and the human gets all of their lifespan.
  • One of the first monsters in Devil And Devil is a huge tentacled... thing, that sucks time out of people. It turned a young woman and two young girls into babies, and a third young girl into a child, but they all turned back to normal when it got its ass handed to it by Sword.
  • Doraemon:
    • This is one of the Time Cloth's main functions; one of its sides makes everything and everyone who gets wrapped in it younger. Gian ends up briefly turning into a baby because of it in its first appearance. In a later episode of the second anime, Nobita's mom is temporarily turned back into a child around her son's age, taking advantage of it to try and find a secret he's been hiding from her.
    • Doraemon: Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey follows the story of Eiji, an anthropomorphic dog who travels across time to find his ex-owner, Nobita, but the unstable time tunnel causes him to warp into another place and ended up being turned back into an infant. This also happens later with Gian and Suneo, but only temporarily.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • King Piccolo and Lord Slug used the titular MacGuffin to restore their youth, putting their power at prime. Roshi and his sister Baba actually drank from a Fountain of Youth, which, rather than restore their youth, fixed them at that age, unable to die from old age.
    • Goku turning into a child is part of the whole concept of Dragon Ball GT.
    • The concept was used again in the 2013 film Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods where the Pilaf Gang were transformed into children off-screen. This still holds true in Dragon Ball Super, to the point that in a Bad Future shown in Super, Mai has merely grown back into her teens/early twenties instead of her original age.
    • In Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Bulma planned to use the Dragon Balls to wish to be 5 years younger, and is implied to have done this before.
  • In Expelled from Paradise, Angela Balzack has spent her whole life since infancy digitized, living in a virtual world with 98% of humanity in the same boat. She's also Third Officer for System Security. When a real-world hacker potentially threatens the peace and stability of that virtual world, DEVA, she has to go out into the real world. One problem: her original body is long dead. Fortunately, the machines that run DEVA always save a DNA sample of every infant they digitize, in case of just such an emergency, so that they can clone new bodies, and uses age-accelerating incubation pods. However, Angela wants to get the jump on all the other agents being sent into the real world, so she cuts her new body's incubation period short, leaving her body at age 16 instead of... whatever age she is chronologically (we don't actually know). She eventually gets trapped in her teenage body when she rebels against DEVA's cruel and oppressive government. Come on, they deleted ROCK AND ROLL!!!
  • In Fairy Tail, a villain in the Village of the Sun arc named Doriath uses magic that severely weakens people's magical and physical power, and has the added effect of turning them into children. Erza, Natsu, and Gray are hit by it but turned back to normal later. Also, everyone present is regressed briefly in chapter 350 (including Wendy, who becomes an even younger child).
  • In Four Knights of the Apocalypse, the Sequel Series to The Seven Deadly Sins, Ardbeg's Reverse ability allows him to reverse the age of every living thing within a certain radius, rejuvenating them to infancy.
  • Horrifically deconstructed in Franken Fran: The villain from the "Eternal Youth" chapter is an old woman who wishes to regain her youth, but kills many doctors and steals their researches to do so. When comes Fran's turn, it comes back to bite her really hard: At first, it works and she becomes a young woman again, but because Fran's research was still very experimental, she soon afterwards turns into a pulsating mess of cancer cells.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, the trope is invoked when the Time Master Subaru briefly uses her powers on herself and her husband Tokaki so they can help Miaka and the Suzaku Seishi.
  • In Gakkou Kaidan (a Yousuke Takahashi manga that's unrelated to the anime Ghost Stories), a Villainous Harlequin transforms a young girl into a baby and a young female teacher into a kid. Both turn back to normal when the harlequin gets his ass kicked.
  • In the episode "Ultra Hot Kid's Meal" of Galaxy Angel A, the Angel Brigade mistakes a Lost Technology for a box of uirō and turn into children, toddlers, and in Milfeulle's case, a baby. Because The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body, the girls gave the twins a pretty hard time looking after them.
  • The Korean manhwa series Horror Collector depicts Elizabeth Báthory as a young adult who frequently reverts back to her teenage self through her regular Blood Baths.
  • In a chapter of the Japan-exclusive Hyperdimension Neptunia manga (Part of said chapter can be seen here), this happens to Nepgear, Rom and Ram, and Uni, who regress into babies after eating some pills that Neptune accidentally gave them. Of course, Neptune has a pretty hard time looking after them, until Gust gave her the pills to change the girls back.
  • Ichinensei Ni Nacchattara has this as part of its core concept, with main character Iori going from high school to elementary school, and getting gender-bent in the process. However, he retains his original personality, and he's not happy about becoming an elementary school girl. Later on, almost the entire town regresses into kids. This causes mass hysteria across the city since the rejuvenation virus was rather contagious, but since Iori held the antibody, everyone was later returned to normal.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders' Alessi does this to opponents with his Stand, Sethan. The longer a person stands in his shadow (through which Sethan manifests), the younger they get, including their Stand getting weaker, and that's only if the victim developed their Stand at a young age. In one instance he's able to turn a grown woman into a fetus, but when he tries this on Jotaro, he learns the hard way that Jotaro could still easily clobber him, even as a seven-year-old.
  • In Koi Koi 7, after Yayoi Asuka (the one with the eyepatch) goes berserk, she's rebooted in one of Otome's spare bodies as a cute young girl named Gantai-chan who doesn't remember much of what happened before.
  • This is the premise of the Kako Random arc of Kokoro Connect. The heroes find themselves randomly regressing to preteens or young children between 12:00 and 17:00, both physically and mentally. Interestingly, this also causes them to regain some of the memories they had at those ages. This is the work of Number Two, and once the latter's involvement is revealed, the regressions become even more random; lasting from a couple of seconds to almost a full day, and/or going all the way back to infancy.
  • This is part of the premise of Living for the Day After Tomorrow: when they both happen to meet at the same time in front of a wishing stone, a young woman transforms into a little girl, and vice-versa. It is implied they change back at the end of the series.
  • In episode 19 of Maeterlinck's Blue Bird: Tyltyl and Mytyl's Adventurous Journey, the animated adaptation of The Blue Bird, the titular children and their pets are transformed into babies by the villain's powers. The spirits have to watch over them while Berylude turns herself into a young and powerful warrior to fight the villain and return them to normal.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, one of Fabian's devils has a spell that de-ages the target and successfully enchants Sieglinde with it to incapacitate her.
  • In an episode of Magical Project S, this happens to Sasami as an after-effect of an aging potion. The aging initially works well, but after Sasami returns to her normal age, she turns into a baby overnight.
  • Happens briefly in an episode of Magical Warfare, where Kurumi's crying ends up turning her into a baby. However, this doesn't last long, as she's back to normal the next scene we see her.
  • In episode 3 Mamotte! Lollipop, Rokka temporarily transforms Nina into a baby out of jealousy.
  • MÄR: This is what happens to Loco every time she uses her powers. By the time she's introduced, she looks like a child of around 11 or 12, despite actually being 32 years old. She eventually turns back into a baby after a Heroic Sacrifice, and is being taken care of by Chaton and Alan near the end of the series.
  • Marvelous Melmo: Nine-year-old Melmo's magical pills allow her to change her age as she pleases. Depending on the situation, she can change herself into a baby, a nineteen-year-old girl, or even regress back into a fetus in order to be reborn as an animal, should she need to.
  • This is basically the point of Mayonaka Lolita: Mishiru Kachiwabara, a very beautiful young girl, is given a strange juice by a male student (Aoi Makimura) she had never seen before. As it turns out, that juice is a rejuvenation potion, which their teacher had mistakenly given to Aoi as juice, and Mishiru regresses into a little girl. Her teacher tells her the only way to get back to normal is to kiss the person she loves, but tough luck, Mishiru doesn't love anybody. Because she can't go back home as a child, Aoi brings her to his house and allows her to stay there. They eventually do kiss at the end of the first chapter, and Michiru turns back to normal... before turning into a child again.
  • The Nehellenia story is reused in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, but with Michal, the Ill Girl and not-quite-villain.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Weasel Mascot Chamo produces a jar of magical (and illegal) candy that can produce this effect as a sort of illusion (red candy for older, blue for this) both for fun on the part of the girls and as a Strangely Effective Disguise when they become wanted people. It's been implied that The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body, resulting in the aged-down characters acting with far lower maturity than usual, though they retain their intelligence. This doesn't work both ways, so their adult forms behave like giddy teens.
  • In Onegai My Melody, one music teacher wishes his best student would go back to his younger, happier days. Kuromi grants his wish, but Hiiragi overpowers and scatters the spell. Across town, everyone from middle school-age up is turned into kids, throwing the town into chaos.
  • The plot of One Operation Joker is kicked off when Batman falls into the same vat of chemicals The Joker did, and is turned into a baby.
  • One Piece:
    • The supernova Jewelry Bonney's Devil Fruit allows her to change the age of whoever she wants. Guess what she usually does when enemies get in her way?
    • From the twelfth movie One Piece Film: Z, Ain's Modo Modo no Mi powers allow her to rejuvenate her opponents. Unlike Bonney's powers, however, it works on inanimate objects too, and it can only work backwards, whereas Bonney can also age her opponents. Nami, Chopper, Robin, and Brook all got hit by it, regressing the former two into children, Robin into a teenager, and... not altering Brook's physical appearance at all, since he's a skeleton.
    • Nightin from the 3D2Y TV special is an ugly and short 80-year old woman, but by using medicine of her own conception, she can rejuvenate herself into a much more beautiful young woman.
  • Jack Vessalius has this happen to him in PandoraHearts as a result of being rejected by the Abyss. His soul was shattered to pieces during the fight between Alice, Alyss and the Core of the Abyss. As a result, he kept on de-aging in a cycle: every time he reached the age of twenty-five, he will become younger and younger. Jack's mind has disappeared almost entirely due to a result, leaving only B-rabbit!Oz in place of him, who, according to the manga: "Had lost all of his memories and his powers and fell in a deep slumber."
  • In episode 90 of Pokémon Journeys: The Series, a clash between Dialga and Palkia is throwing space and time out of whack. Dialga's powers are reversing the time of Pokémon and humans alike, making them younger until Pokémon turn into eggs and humans turn into young children. The heroes and their alternate universe selves were affected as well, but managed to stop the legendaries' fight before any irrepairable damage could be done, turning everyone and everything back to normal.
  • Pretty Cure
    • In an episode of Smile Pretty Cure!, the main heroines are turned into kids and need to find a way to turn back.
    • The same scenario happens again in Maho Girls Pre Cure, albeit with obviously different protagonists this time.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Lukkosai, who tried to use the spring of drowned child to regain his youth, but instead just goes from way too old to way too young (both about the same size). He then uses this form to get revenge on Happo while pretending to be his own grandson.
    • Another story involved mushrooms that change your age in years to their length in centimeters. Ryoga eats a short one and then makes Ranma eat one. They spend most of the chapter trying to change back by growing mushrooms big enough to return them to their normal ages, while constantly sabotaging each others' mushrooms.
    • And yet another story from the manga has Happosai feeling the pangs of old age. He finds out about a potion that will restore his youth, but first he needs the tears of a beast that is both male and female. The next thing you know, tear gas and onions fly liberally around Ranma. When he finally succeeds (by poking a pressure point that makes Ranma gush out tears like a firehose) he trips, and splashes the tears all over the floor. Kasumi wipes them up with a rag, but since it had been used to clean up soy sauce, the resulting potion regresses Happosai's mind to that of a baby.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The anime has several examples. In the end of the third season (Sailor Moon S), Hotaru, after sacrificing herself to save the world, is brought back as an infant with no memories of her previous life. In the fourth season (Sailor Moon SuperS), PallaPalla casts a spell on Usagi and Chibiusa that briefly exchange their ages for one episode - causing havoc as Chibiusa, having fulfilled her dream of becoming a beautiful adult, is now unable to summon Pegasus and Sailor Moon can't defeat the Lemures without him. In the beginning of the fifth season (Sailor Moon Stars), Hotaru rapidly grows back as her memories return, and the previous season's Big Bad, Nehellenia, is returned to childhood to allow her to relive her life and avoid the mistakes that turned her into a villain in the first place.
    • In the manga, PallaPalla swaps Usagi and Chibiusa's in the first chapter of the Dream arc, which is actually done to depower the two of them. They eventually overcome it and transform into their proper bodies using their henshin phrases. Later in the same arc, Zirconia depowers both Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask in the same manner, turning them into six-year-olds and preventing them from accessing their magic. Pegasus reverses it by transporting them to Elysion, which has enough purifying power to break the spell.
  • Rosario + Vampire has an example of this one. Yukari and Kokoa, after realizing that they're not being taken seriously due to their age, use some of Yukari's age-up pills for a temporary change. When the pills wear off, Kokoa finds herself younger than before. She finds herself in trouble shortly thereafter, only to be saved by the entire Unwanted Harem (sans Tsukune) turned into children along with her. Much cuteness and butt-kicking ensue.
  • Episode 9 of Sgt. Frog features mother Aki Hinata getting turned into a teenager by Kururu's newest invention. In a later episode, the same gun turns Fuyuki into a kindergartner. Even later, Natsumi, Keroro, Giroro, and Kururu also get zapped by this gun. In one episode, the entire planet gets zapped by this gun, setting time back by about twenty years.
  • Happened in Sket Dance:
    • The first time was with Bossun after accidentally drinking Chuu-san's youth potion, mistaking it for a bottle of cola. Himeko absolutely flips over him.
    • The second time was with Himeko and Momoka, several chapters later, at the same time, with the same bottle of cola. Suffice to say, Bossun had a swell time looking after them.
    • In the anime, two girls from the student council drink it on purpose, because "life is an adventure". Needless to say, it makes things even harder. In both versions, when the rejuvenated girls drink the antidote, they get ten years older than normal. And of course, by the time the next episode starts, they're back to their normal ages again.
    • Happened for the third time in Chapter 239, with Tsubaki. Except this time he reverted both in physical and mental state. Everyone, including Bossun and Daisy, gushes over how cute he is.
  • Mosquito from Soul Eater weaponizes this, being able to regress to any point in his extremely long life, which combined with his bizarre, chaotic life cycle gives him plenty of forms to change into, from a comically buff gorilla man to an elongated insectoid, to a humanoid vampire-esque figure, to an amorphous Eldritch Abomination.
  • In Stitch!, Babyfier (a creature that can turn people into babies) makes 3 appearances.
    • In "Rivals stick Together" Babyfier is unleashed at a school turning most of the students and adults into babies.
    • In another episode Babyfier turns the main character and her friends into toddlers.
    • In the third episode, Babyfier is now good and turns a couple of the villains into babies.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins:
    • The setting has a literal fountain of youth that makes the drinker immortal if they drink the entire fountain (which is just a cup). This is how Ban gained his immortality.
  • Washu did this to herself in the Tenchi Muyo! OVA. She was so distraught from her husband using his higher prestige to take away her child and leave her, she used her super-science to reverse her physical age to that of a 12-year-old so she'd never suffer that sort of heartbreak again. She can return at any time and explicitly says she'll do it if Tenchi'll have a child with her. Ryoko is not amused.
  • Some chapters/episodes of To Love Ru and the To-Love-Ru Darkness OVA feature a creature named the "skunk of youth", which regresses some of the main characters, among others, into kids.
    • A trait of Lala's species is that if they exert too much energy, their bodies shrink to a younger state. This happens to her when she tries to stop Yami after being overtaken by her "Darkness" form, where she expends too much energy and shrinks to the size of a little girl.
  • The World God Only Knows:
    • In the "Heart of Jupiter" arc, Keima is sent back to the past via Mental Time Travel and given a mission to save a cute but emotionless and mysterious young girl from committing suicide. If she gets overtaken by despair, she starts getting younger until she's transformed into a baby, which triggers a Reset Button that sends Keima back to the start of the mission. However, he can stop her from getting younger by kissing her before she turns into a baby.
    • The main manga also had a three-chapter spinoff called Magical Star Kanon 100%, focused on, as the name implies, Kanon Nakagawa. In it, she is turned into a child by a Runaway Spirit and has to hide her identity and find a way to get back to her true age. The OVA version even has Elsie turn back into a child.
  • In Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, the landlady's collection includes water from the Fountain of Youth that makes those who get splashed with it turn younger in body and mind. Nadare Tenko uses it in the "Yukemori Targeted Arc" to make everyone in the main cast younger.
  • In the Dark Tournament arc of YuYu Hakusho, Ura Urashima uses a special mist meant to de-age its victims past the point of conception. Unfortunately for him, his target was Kurama, and once his human body went into non-existence, his previous incarnation - full-powered demon Yokokurama - manifested. Ura is so freaked out that it's Kurama rather than someone just using his name his team captain has to kill him to keep him from spilling all the beans.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 9 centers on a fountain of youth when the goats need to save Mr. Slowy from dying of old age (he lied to them as payback for mocking his age) and Wolnie wants to restore her youth. There was no more water left in it because too many animals drank from it.
  • Miniforce X: "The Witch's Curse" and "Go Baby Max!" features a witch alien who uses a pacifier that can turn anyone into a baby, including one of the Miniforce Rangers Max.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Jhoira from one storyline was exposed to time-warped water that dramatically extended her lifespan after a horrible accident at Urza's Academy. By the events of the Time Spiral storyline, she is over 1000 years old but looks like a 19-year-old—an almost literal fountain of youth.
    • Magic has had the literal card Fountain of Youth for the longest time. This is how Jodah, Archmage Eternal of the Academy of the Unseen, came to be several thousand years old by the time he met Jhoira.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Avance becomes younger when donning one of the Nekroz armor. note  He also does this as Zefrasaber, Swordmaster of the Nekroz.

    Comic Books 
  • In the first issue of Super Hero Squad (based off the cartoon of the same name), Dr. Doom plans to use a time machine to go back in time to retrieve the fractal shards. The squadies intervene and the machine malfunctions, turning them all (except for Reptil) into babies (Redwing turns into an egg). Now chaos ensues as the babyfied heroes and villains fight.
  • This was a favorite tactic of the extradimensional media mogul Mojo in the Claremont-era X-Men comics. Since time passes slowly in comic book universes, this is usually not an issue, as most characters' backstories aren't tied to a specific event. A notable exception is Magneto, a holocaust survivor canonically born in the 1920s. To get around this, he was reduced to infancy and then aged back to adulthood sometime in the 80s, putting his age firmly back in the traditional comic book "fucked if I know" category. Magneto has naturally gray hair and was in good physical condition for a man of his age. Different artists either draw him as a physically fit older man or a physically fit young man with gray hair.
  • The DCU Fifth Week Event Sins of Youth combined Fountain Of Youth and Overnight Age-Up, with a combination of Chaos Magic and an "aging ray" turning all the teenage heroes into adults and all the adult heroes into kids.
  • Happens twice from two different sources in Asterix album "Asterix and Obelix All at Sea": First Obelix gets de-aged as an aftereffect of drinking the Magic Potion, then our heroes discover the remnant of Atlantis, where everyone is a child (and happy from it) after having drunk from an actual Fountain Of Youth.
  • The Smurfs:
    • Three of the Smurfs were child-ized when Peyo felt he needed a few child characters. There was no cure for the miniaturization, in a rare case where this trope isn't reset. In fact, they didn't mind their new situation.
    • However, there were two episodes in the 1980s cartoon show where the Smurfs did find a literal fountain of youth that de-aged Papa Smurf and Grandpa Smurf in different situations, both of whom were later restored to their actual ages.
    • And there's "Smurf Van Winkle", where the other Smurfs try to pull a Rip Van Winkle on Lazy to make him think he has slept for a few centuries while his fellow Smurfs have aged incredibly. Lazy works on a potion to bring them back to the same physical age he is, but the whole thing was revealed to be a ruse when they were all de-aged into Smurflings.
  • Batman:
    • Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus pits. While not exactly the same thing, the pits are used at one point in Batman Beyond to restore elderly Bruce Wayne back down to his 40s (as part of a Ra's plot to put his mind into Bruce's body).
    • One Silver Age Batman comic features a mad scientist villain who turns Batman into a toddler. However, he still kept his adult mind, memories, strength, and skills. So pretty much all the villain accomplished was to make Batman a smaller target.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • Dredd a rare example of a comic book character who ages in real time, had a couple of decades taken off in the 1990s after being exiled from the city and getting his face burnt off.
    • Within the comic, there are stookie capsules, which dramatically slow the aging process in humans. Since producing them requires the slaughter of a peaceful and harmless alien species, they are highly illegal.
  • In The Incredible Hercules, Zeus gets reverted back to childhood, both physically and mentally, by drinking from the river Lethe.
  • In a "Gnuff" story in the Furry series Critters, the main characters are stranded on an island divided by a steep mountain range where one side has water that makes you younger and the other has potatoes that make older. So, if you're living off the land on that island, you need to balance these foodstuffs to maintain your true age. Unfortunately, the one pass through the mountain range gets blocked and the characters on both sides realize that they are in terrible danger of eventually overbalancing on one of the materials and dying or disappearing as a result unless they can each get to the other side. note 
  • One Popeye adventure involved a search for the Pool of Youth. While the pool doesn't actually make you physically younger, it extends your lifespan indefinitely and gives you a younger mentality — a man claimed to be over 200, but felt he was 6. The Pool was guarded by the Sea Hag's sister and her army of cavemen.
  • Mina Murray and Alan Quartermain search for the Fire of Eternal Life in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen New Traveller's Almanac. They fail to find it, and Alan dies on the trip. After an indecently short period of time, Mina hooks up with Alan Quartermain Jr. Really, that's what happened. It's in the Almanac.
  • In The DCU, the Fountain of Youth is what gave Detective Chimp the ability to speak to other animals and stopped his aging. It's either magical, radioactive or alien nanotechnology.
  • EC Comics: In the story "A-Corny Story", in issue #28 of Tales from the Crypt, this guy who was fired by his late boss' son for being "too old" sent him a tree from Haiti that was supposed to prevent old age. It started out as this hideously gnarled specimen that kept growing younger, and its new owner started doing the same. On the day the tree finally de-aged into a seed, the guy de-aged into a sperm cell or something and vanished.
  • Spirou and Fantasio had the main characters search for the actual fountain. After the mission ended in failure with the water losing its power permanently, Spirou winks and says Do you really think we need that?
  • Several Disney comics featured either the fountain itself or characters getting younger. For example, in the story "History re-Petes itself", Pete's attempt to turn Mickey into a baby backfires, resulting in Mickey trying to Raise Him Right This Time. Over the two weeks Pete grows up rapidly, Mickey and his friends attempt to make him into a good guy, but unfortunately, as you might have guessed from the title, it fails and Pete remains bad.
  • The Franco-Belgian comic Les Petits Hommes features a story named "Miss Persil". It centers around a young girl who has the mind and personality of a five-year-old, due to entering a coma at that age and miraculously waking up recently. It obviously causes a lot of problems, especially considering her parents intend to place her in a school in the "big world", but the Doctor finds a way to get around that by making her drink an elixir of youth to rejuvenate her so that her body will match her mind. It works well, but she actually takes the elixir with her.
  • The fountain appears in the Marvel Universe in both the original Man-Thing series as well as the first She-Hulk series, with a small village of people from the Conquistador days living there. Drinking the water however isn't what leaves one immortal but regularly bathing in it (drinking it will leave one a shriveled, red-skinned immortal). She-Hulk eventually convinces them to destroy the titular fountain as they've also grown apathetic (when several villagers are killed by wild beasts they ignore it) as strong emotions break the immortality causing one to begin to age again since they've given up living by what they've sacrificed for immortality.
  • Superman:
    • Several Silver Age Mort Weisinger-era Superman Family comics stories feature characters temporarily regressed to infancy via various means, usually retaining their adult minds. Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl were among those regressed at one time or another.
    • In his first Superman-era appearance in the Silver Age, Krypto the Superdog had grown so old he blunders his superheroics. Fortunately, Superman discovers a Fountain of Youth in a Kryptonite valley, and it brings Krypto back to his prime.
    • Legion of Super-Heroes villain Time Trapper's first appearance involved this shtick, when he returned the Legionnaires to infancy. Later affected a number of Legionnaires for a longer period following an ill-conceived attack on Glorith late in pre-Zero Hour v4: Shrinking Violet catches Merlin Sickness from the experience, while the White Witch is merely deaged to sixteen. Brainiac 5, meanwhile, gets stuck with an Overnight Age-Up.
  • A Golden Age Captain Marvel Junior story had the young hero battling his nemesis Sivana Junior, who'd discovered The Fountain of Youth and was using it to regress wealthy businessmen to children he could bully. Captain Marvel Junior is temporarily regressed as well, but finds the cure and turns the tables on the villain.
  • Happens to Giles in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff Angel and Faith, the result of a resurrection spell that doesn't go quite according to plan. The twist is he still has all his adult memories, but they're now at the mercy of a pubescent, hormone-addled body.
  • This becomes a plot point in Astro City. When the hero Crackerjack starts becoming incapacitated due to his advancing age, he desperately seeks something to reverse the effects.
  • In a Pink Panther comic book story, Pink helps somebody who holds him up at gunpoint find the legendary Fountain of Youth, but the person who drinks from its water ends up as an infant, unable to do anything with the wealth he acquired earlier in the story through the same means. Pink takes it upon himself to name himself the man/child's official legal guardian, which allows him to have access to the man's fortune.
  • An example from Bunty was "My School Chum Mum". After trying an anti-aging potion, Mrs. Todd was turned into a schoolgirl and forced to attend school with her daughter, posing as "Cousin Emily".
  • The trope shows up in a few stupories of the German comic anthology Gespenster Geschichten. Being a horror comic, it always ends badly for the victim:
    • In the story "Das Geheimnis der verhexten Kamera" (The Secret of the Haunted Camera), young actor John Steven is tired of only getting to play roles as an extra, and becomes so desperate to make his own movie that he attempts to rob a bank. In trying to escape the police, he ends up in an old, decrepit warehouse studio, where he finds an old director. After Steven vents his rage on him, the director pushes a button on a magic camera, making the young actor regress in age until he disappears offscreen, with the film screen representing his life burning away.
    • In "Das Geheimnis des Zaubertrankes" (The Secret of the Magic Potion), Tibetan monks have managed to develop an elixir of youth, but have yet to test it on humans. When a young monk tries to drink it to test it, he gets kicked out before he can swallow a sip. Angered, he plots with an old English explorer to try and steal the potion, but they get cornered; with nowhere left to go, the Englishman drinks the entire elixir and becomes younger until he vanishes, only leaving his clothes behind.
    • In "Wen die Stunde Schlägt" (When the Hour Strikes), an old man named Colin is approached by the Grim Reaper. When he laments that he hasn't even written his will yet, the Reaper accepts to give Colin three minutes so he can write the will, leaving an hourglass by his side that symbolizes how much time he has left. Feeling he has nothing to lose, Colin flips the hourglass over, and upon seeing that the Reaper hasn't come back after the allotted three minutes and the fact that he's become a young man again, rejoices in the fact that he essentially found eternal life... until he later becomes too young and turns into a child, unable to reach the hourglass before it is too late. The Reaper comes back just in time to see Colin turn into a baby and vanish, and reclaims his hourglass.
    • In the story "Die Uhr des Sensenmannes" (The Clock of the Grim Reaper), a young woman named Samantha is lamenting the fact that her father is dying from an incurable disease, with the Grim Reaper on his way to claim his soul. As he arrives, Samantha manages to steal his hourglass, threatening to destroy it; left with no choice but to relent, the Reaper leaves, and the father makes a miraculous recovery. Samantha keeps the hourglass to use as leverage, but when rats come and topple it, she realizes time is flowing backwards, causing her to get younger by the second before disappearing. The Reaper comes back, reclaims his hourglass and claims the father's soul, ensuring that Samantha can never be born again.
  • In Athena Voltaire and the Isle of the Dead, it's recounted that a Spanish explorer discovered the Fountain of Youth. The effects lasted a while but had to be refreshed from time to time. Eventually, however, he noticed that the Fountain was showing signs of depletion; rather than risk returning one day to find it gone, he filled up as many barrels as he could. The ship he put them on, however, was sunk — setting up the plot.
  • One Star Trek comic story published by Gold Key Comics had aliens who invented a de-aging ray and used it on Enterprise crewmembers.
  • The eighth issue of the Madballs comic book published by Star Comics (a subsidiary of Marvel Comics that is now defunct) had Dr. Frankenbeans and his bumbling assistant Snivelitch discover the Fountain of Youth. Frankenbeans attempted to use it to his advantage by tricking the Madballs Horn Head, Wolf Breath, and Touchdown Terror into diving into a pool of the water, causing them to become the Madball Babies. In the end, Frankenbeans found infant Madballs to be even more difficult dealing with, so he had them restored to their normal ages by asking them to dive into the toxic pond where the Madballs were originally created. In retaliation to being reduced to infancy, the age-restored Madballs expose Frankenbeans and Snivelitch to the Fountain of Youth, turning them into children.
  • Spider-Man had to deal with a few incidents like this:
    • Silvermane, a Maggia crimelord, had feared death due to his age and blackmailed Dr. Curt Connors into making a serum with the aid of a special tablet that was discovered. It worked too well and he ended up being de-aged out of existence temporarily.
    • The Vulture, who had learned his original flight harness had given him terminal cancer, obtained a new suit that allowed him to steal the life-force of his victims. Spidey would temporarily lose his vitality to this and his Actually a Doombot mother had her own vitality drained. The Vulture would lose this suit soon after along with the cancer.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Volume 1: In issue 7 Hippolyte shows Diana a possible future in which Di and Etta Candy invent the Life Vitamin "L-3" when Etta's mother Sugar is dying of old age. When Sugar drinks a glass of water with the vitamin in it her age regresses until she's physically in her twenties and the rest of the vision shows that the vitamin was made available to the public and essentially erased death of old age as a concern, allowing Diana and Steve to live together for centuries.
    • Volume 2: When Villainy, Inc. tried to take over Skartaris the villain Trinity is somehow able to spread a "virus" which deages a bunch of the inhabitants into infants, and even further for some which outright kills them.
  • Agents of Atlas: Present-day Jimmy is left horribly burned, with no higher brain function, after his first Atlas investigation goes wrong. Bob restores him using his last recording of Jimmy's physical pattern. However, Bob's last meeting with Jimmy was about five decades ago — so Jimmy gets reset, physically and mentally, to how he was in 1959.
  • Silverblade: As part of their bargain, the falcon restores Jonathan Lord to being physically 30, the age he was when he made The Silver Blade.
  • In the Spongebob Squarepants comic "Spongebob Babysitterpants", Spongebob accidentally turns Mermaid Man into a baby when he plugs in one of Man Ray's old machines. At the end of the story, Barnacle Boy, the Swashbuckling Sidekicks and Man Ray are also turned into babies.
  • In the Iznogoud comic story "The Malefic Hopscotch Grid", anyone who uses the titular hopscotch grid is turned into a child. Iznogoud tries to use it on the Caliph, but by the end of the story, the Caliph is the only person who has NOT been turned into a child.
  • In one Gyro Gearloose comic, he tries to invent a youth potion for Scrooge. When that fails, the two of them locate the actual fountain of youth and drink from it, turning back into children. However, they soon find that being young isn't all it's cracked up to be, and take Gyro's failed youth potion to become their former ages.
  • One Golden Age Captain Marvel story had Dr. Sivana invent a liquid that reduced the age of the victim by as much as thirty years. Naturally, he wastes no time using it for crime.
    • Another Captain Marvel story has Sterling Morris drink a youth serum after feeling old and tired, only for said serum to make him younger and younger until he reaches the age of sixteen. Luckily, he takes an antidote before he can get any younger.
  • One Bugs Bunny comic story has Bugs and Porky go looking for the Fountain of Youth. An old witch tries to trick them into thinking that a random spring is the fountain, but it turns out to be the REAL fountain, although they lose track of its location in a storm.
  • Scooby-Doo and the gang, in a Marvel comic story, are hired by an obsessive millionaire in looking for the Fountain of Youth, which is guarded by the (supposed) ghost of a Spanish conquistador. The conquistador turns out to be a midget who believed that he was still working for Ponce de Leon. The millionaire pays the guy a bundle for the Fountain, and it turns out to be real. He regresses to infancy.

    Comic Strips 
  • In a strip for Liō, Liō uses a time machine to go to the beginning. As a result, he is sent back to the womb.
  • In one JumpStart comic, Marcy and Joe are buying both their infant twins a toy. They comment that because they have twins they have to buy two of everything. They then mention they have four kids, and the next panel shows them and their two older kids as babies the same age as the twins. They then comment they are a family of sextuplets.
  • One Charles Addams cartoon shows a group of children standing next to a fountain in a jungle, all holding metal cups and dressed as Spanish conquistadors. One of them is saying "So, great. We found the Fountain of Youth. Who's gonna sail the old tub back?"
  • A Pocahontas tie-in comic has "Poncito" de León, the 80-90-something son of Ponce de León reaching Virginia in the fruitless search for the trope namer started by his father. He thinks he has finally found it when he mistakes Pocahontas for a rejuvenated local old woman that he saw earlier.
  • In one Dream of the Rarebit Fiend comic, an old man dreams that he takes some rejuvenating pills, but accidentally takes too many and ends up becoming a baby again.
  • In one The Far Side comic, an old man drinks from a drinking fountain labelled "Fountain of Youth" and regresses back to a baby - or at least his head does.

    Fan Works 
  • Jonathan Joestar, The First JoJo: Jonathan, courtesy of a surprise attack from Alessi, is reverted to his 6-year-old self. It lasts for most of chapter 9 before it's finally reversed.
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Nagato provides this function for Kyon, Mikuru, and Kanae. Otherwise, the Year Inside, Hour Outside training would make them age by over a year every night.
  • In With Strings Attached, the four awaken to find themselves on another planet and 16 years younger—their 1980 minds in 1964-age bodies. They think they've been genuinely de-aged, but at the end, they find out they're in cloned bodies. The Fans wanted to give them fresh new bodies as payment for going through all the hassle on the planet; they were going to age the bodies, give them appropriate scars, etc., after the adventure was over. However, things got out of hand, and a whole lot of magic got dumped on the clone bodies. Because the Earth universe has no magic, this meant that the four had to be transferred back to their original bodies in order to return home.
  • The Youth Restoration Spell from My Little Alicorn reverts any pony it's used on to any prior age for two hours, after which they are supposed to turn back to normal. Naturally, Luna thought it would be a great idea to use it on Celestia as a prank, not realizing that it works a little bit differently on Alicorns.
  • The Star Trek: The Original Series fics Insontis and Insontis II detail this happening to Kirk and Spock, respectively.
  • The Facing the Future Series features a story where Danny and Sam revert to five-year-olds in homage to a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode entitled "Rascals."
  • Happens to Data in Small Packages by RebeccaOTool, via an unoccupied android body left by his late father. Played for laughs. At first.
  • Loki turns the Avengers and himself accidentally into toddlers in this story. Unlike most others in this genre, the children retain their memories and powers, leading to more than the usual Badly Battered Babysitter plot.
  • Getting Back on Your Hooves: This is what Poison Joke does to Trixie. Interestingly, it also affects her mentally (and since she didn't have a happy childhood...)
  • The Manehattanverse story "Fillie's Play" focuses on this, as a magical mishap during one of Twilight's experiments turns her and the rest of the Manehattan 6 back into fillies. And has the opposite effect on Orange Sherbet's daughter, Tangerine.
  • Twilight accidentally turns herself into a filly in Diaries of a Madman, after one of her spells backfires.
  • Pony POV Series:
    • When Princess Gaia tries to take over the world and turn it into a utopia, she de-ages the citizens into foals, thinking they would be happier that way. Princess Celestia was horrified and feared that the pregnant mothers' unborn children had been erased. Fortunately, they weren't, and once the mothers were returned to normal, their pregnant bellies returned.
    • The fragments of the Rainbow of Light can do this to their holders, but not forever. Patch used them to stay young for a really long time. The elderly dragon Basil used one to return to his physical prime while keeping his power boost from his extreme age.
    • In the Dark World Timeline, when Celestia and Luna are freed from their statue state... they've been turned into foals with Celestia having forgotten her life as an adult in the process from having lived a 1000 years in an idealized mental world made by Discord as a gift. Luna's mind is the same and she spent the thousand years astral projecting.
  • In the second story of the Gensokyo 20XX series, we have this happen to Reimu, due to the side effects of a hibernation spell Ran cast on her. This also results in a Mode Lock, as she stays like that until the final chapter of 20XXV, where it's implied she's full grown.
  • In The Two Sides of Daring Do, spells and potions that can alter your age are mentioned, but they do not actually affect your lifespan. For example, if an old pony became young again, he would still eventually die of old age in a few years. In one of the endings, Daring Do chooses to start life over as a filly. Since she was technically only a few days old, she still had a full lifespan ahead of her.
  • In Falling Backwards Rainbow Dash receives a serious brain injury that leaves her mentally a child who Twilight is forced to care for. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way of curing her, so in as a desperate measure, Celestia uses an age spell to regresses her back into a child, so she at least has a chance of growing back into her old self.
  • Kitsune: Conner Jeremy Fox, a 39+-year-old man, age-regressed into a teenage girl.
  • Ma'at: 70+-year-old Doctor Daniel Edward O'Neill transforms into Dani, a 20-something female priestess of Ma'at.
  • The God of Destruction comes to Remnant:
    • In a way, this happens to Rexy. In Jurassic World, she was in her twenties, making her elderly by T-Rex standards. Then she is transported to the world of Remnant and transformed into a Faunus woman, still in her twenties and now a smoking hot Statuesque Stunner.
    • Gojira is really old, but his new body looks like a teenager.
    • Leo and Junior should be at least in their twenties, and Minya should be far older than that, but when they arrive in Remnant, they turn into children.
  • This Sweet Blue Flowers fanart has Fumi, having turned back into her 5-year-old self, being consoled with a (sweet blue) flower by the present-day Akira.
  • The main premise of Karma in Retrograde is that Dabi gets reverted to his sixteen-year-old self as Touya Todoroki with none of his memories in the past five years, leaving him an innocent, but troubled U.A. student.
  • RWBY: Epic of Remnant: Gudako and her Servants get transported to Remnant. To their chagrin, they have been turned back into teenagers.
  • In Slice of Heaven, Rover accidentally de-ages Nadia into a child. He hasn't seen humans in a long time, so he goes off his memories of children when changing her looks.
  • In the Ranma ½ fanfic Ranma Restart: Bid for Freedom, Cologne uses the newly-created Spring of Ranma to make herself young again so that she can serve as the template for the new Spring of Drowned Girl.
  • In the second part of Alliance of Amazons and Izuku, Recovery Girl is attacked by a villain with a de-aging Quirk who tries to age her out of existence. Luckily for her, he underestimates her age, and ends up turning her back to her 20s.
  • In The Decepticons Revenge, the Decepticons use a special gun to turn Elita One, Chromia, Ironhide, Ratchet and Skyfire into sparklings. Starscream later uses the gun on himself.
  • This happens to all of the main characters at various times in the Avantasia Protag AU series due usually to Aaron's invention research accidents. There are two "types". The most common is when the character de-ages into a mini version of themselves as they are currently, complete with recognizing the others and retaining their personalities and relationships (although child-ified i.e. clinging to their (when adult) romantic partner a lot and wanting to be held). The second, less common, type is when the character becomes who they actually were as a child, seeing the other characters as strangers and showing personality traits they might've grown out of and can appear quite different from the first type.
  • In the Friday Night Funkin' fanfic Wearing Skin Too Small, Pico is turned into a child after making a deal with Daddy Dearest.
  • In Second Sunrise, a malfunctioning weapon turns several of the Autobot frontliners into sparklings.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Boss Baby: Family Business, Tim and Ted are given a serum that reverts them back to their ages from the first movie for the next 48 hours.
  • Kronk's New Groove: Yzma claims to have created a youth potion which she has Kronk sell to the old people in the village. Subverted in that the potion is a fake and the old people stay old.
  • Secret Magic Control Agency: Among the potions at Ilvira's warehouse is one called Fungus Shrinkillus. Hansel, Gretel and the cookie dog all get splashed with it, turning them into children and a puppy. This creates a large hurdle in completing their mission, since they can't get any help from the rest of the SMCA due to just being mistaken for random kids.
  • In Tangled, originally it was the magic flower that Mother Gothel used to keep her young. But after the Queen drank the flower and gave birth to Rapunzel, Gothel got her Fountain of Youth from Rapunzel's hair.
  • In Yellow Submarine, The Beatles and Old Fred regress to childhood and young adulthood respectively after travelling backwards through the Sea of Time. When they end up reversing the change, they end up reversing it a bit too much.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The MacGuffin weapon of the Big Bad in Sky High (2005) did exactly this. The Pacifier seemed to have only a 6-to-12-month-old baby setting, or that's what Royal Pain had it locked on.
  • Miss Granny: 74-year-old Mal-soon, depressed about being old, goes into a photography studio for a picture. The photographer promises "I'll make you look 50 years younger," and he does, by casting some sort of spell that turns her to her 20-year-old self.
  • The Fountain involves a story within a story about a Conquistador's quest for the Tree of Life, which can theoretically grant immortality. Outside the frame, there is a tree which essentially de-ages a cancer-ridden monkey and presumably grants immortality to the main character.
  • This is the point of 17 Again. Mike falls into the river, and comes out of it in his 17-year-old body.
  • Also the plot of the 1986 Disney made-for-TV Keanu Reeves movie Young Again, from which 17 Again seems to be heavily drawn. A mysterious man grants Michael Riley's wish to be young again. It doesn't work out the way Michael expects, and like many a Disney film, Michael's only way to return is to be content with what he had.
  • The Sequel Hook at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ends with (the immortality-seeking) Jack unfolding a map to something called the "Agua De Vida". The book that the next movie is based on revolves around the Fountain, so...
  • The Fountain in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is played with. It doesn't make you any younger, but instead adds years to your life. However, you need someone to take the years from...
  • The MacGuffin in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. Professor Sherman Klump creates a fountain of youth formula which lasts temporarily.
  • In The Three Stooges short "All Gummed Up", the boys are druggists who invent a youth serum and give it to their elderly landlord's abused wife. Predictably, she turns into a beautiful young woman. But when the landlord tries it, he turns into a little kid (who still has a beard!). Chasing after the Stooges, he trips and falls and throws a tantrum with dubbed-in baby crying.
    • In the remake "Bubble Trouble", the landlord turns into a gorilla.
  • Beautifully played with in the finale of the IMAX short Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man: When The Everyman middle-aged hero accepts the old bowler hat of his youth from a little Vagabond Girl and ducks offscreen so she can put it on him, the voiceover narration explains "Years turned to dust. I was young again." He rises back into frame as an old man but it's clear he's as full of life and joy as he's ever been, having regained his youthful spirit, making this an example of this trope and Overnight Age-Up at the same time!
  • The pool house in the movie Cocoon, by way of Alien Phlebotinum.
  • The planet Baku in Star Trek: Insurrection. The fact that it remains unused by the rest of the Federation and is only used by the Baku makes it seem much like a Not So Hidden Elf Village
  • Smurf-essence becomes this in The Smurfs when Gargamel used it on Odile's mother, which makes Odile want to get her hands on it.
  • In the new version of The Shaggy Dog. Kozak's plan is to obtain the DNA of the dog Shaggy, to create an immortality serum and make humans have eternal youth.
  • Early on in the French film Les Visiteurs, a witch forces an old woman to drink one of her potions. This causes her to inflate slightly and rocket through the roof (And judging from the other holes in the roof, she wasn't the first victim), only to fall back in the house a minute later, as a younger woman.
  • In Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies, one of the burglars who broke into a museum meets the Djinn, who grants him one wish. The burglar, scared out of his wits, wishes he were never born. The poor guy really should have known better than to ask that of a Jackass Genie. The Djinn is all too eager to grant his wish, causing the guy to age backwards until he flat out disappears, only leaving his clothes behind.
  • HOUBA! On the Trail of the Marsupilami: A special orchid's juice can be distilled into a youth potion. The Marsupilami being apparently linked to those orchids, the Big Bad is after it. He eventually gets his youth back, plus interest.
  • The Little Rascals short Shrimps for a Day involves a wealthy young couple who find a magic lamp and wish themselves into kids so they can play with the Rascals, who are visiting from an orphanage. Naturally, things go horribly wrong, and they get a first-hand view of how badly the orphanage is really run.
    • In the last scene, Spanky wishes the mean headmaster into a little kid his own size, and proceeds to give it to him but good.
  • In Jupiter Ascending, a special fluid called RegeneX restores your youth when you bathe in it. Unfortunately, it's produced by killing and processing people. Kalique takes Jupiter to her bathing chamber to demonstrate it to her, submerging herself into a pool and then slowly emerging from it, now young and beautiful.
  • In Faust, Faust, who is an old man, makes his original Deal with the Devil for altruistic reasons, to save the people of his town from The Plague. When the townsfolk figure out the demonic source of Faust's powers and cast him out, he gets a lot less altruistic, demanding youth so he can enjoy sensual pleasures. He gets it and does.
  • In The Dark Crystal, the Skeksis use the light of the Crystal, focused by a reflector, to drain the vital essence of other creatures into a liquid form that they can consume to restore their youth. Podlings restore youth for a handful of seconds. Gelflings restore it for a longer period, but the rejuvenation is still ultimately fleeting. The Skeksis exterminated nearly the entire Gelfling race due to a prophecy, resulting in a shortage of supply.
  • Twice-Told Tales: In "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment", Heidegger believes that the water dripping into Sylvia's coffin has the power to preserve. He tries it on a withered rose and it comes back into full bloom. Carl and Alex drink it and become young again. Carl injects the liquid into Sylvia and she comes back to life.
  • Once Bitten: Blood from a virgin keeps vampires looking young. The female vampire antagonist needs a male virgin, and they're in very short supply in her area.

  • In Diana Wynne Jones' House of Many Ways, the grown wizard Howl became the Deliberately Cute Child Twinkle partly as a disguise and partly (he said) because he felt he deserved a better childhood than the one he'd actually had.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
    • In The Last Continent, combined with Overnight Age-Up, the wizards travel to a place (Fourecks), where, due to morphic instability, Ponder Stibbons becomes an eighty-year-old, and the Dean becomes a thirteen-year-old. And then there's Mrs. Whitlow...It wears off within a few minutes.
    • In Eric Ponce da Quirm is an old man who's spent his entire life searching for the Fountain of Youth. Rincewind doesn't quite have the nerve to ask him whether it would have been better to just have a life in the first place. When they later encounter him in Hell, they learn that he did find it, but there's one thing all the legends forgot to mention about the water of the fountain of youth - boil it first.
  • K.H. Metzger's Skye Sparkler is all about this. A woman in her thirties designs a little-girl superhero character and subsequently, permanently becomes her.
  • In The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, there is an example of this trope in the form of the elderly Conte and Contessa, who use a magical merry-go-round to become children again.
  • In the Blackcollar books by Timothy Zahn, a drug called Idunine can reverse many of the effects of aging. In fact, taking heavy doses of it is once used to disguise several characters, as they now look much younger.
  • Robert A. Heinlein
    • In his Future History series, medical rejuvenation therapy works to reverse the aging process through a variety of techniques, from swapping the body's entire blood supply to cloned tissue transplants. In extreme cases, a human at near-death can be completely rebuilt to look and feel twenty years old again, complete with a fresh brain that's had the memories from the old one copied into it. This plus a program of applied eugenics designed to extend the natural lifespan has resulted in a subrace of near-immortals, of whom Lazarus Long (featured in Time Enough for Love and The Number of the Beast) is by far the oldest.
    • Glory Road, while set in a different continuity than the Future History series, also features medical rejuvenation, known on Center as "Long Life" treatment.
  • In Gilded Latten Bones, the King of Karenta is discovered to be shielding a trio of necromancers who have been keeping him and themselves unnaturally young. Unlike most examples, users of this age-reversal effect retain their gray hair, so they must wear wigs to suit their youthful bodies.
  • The Rapture becomes this for older Christians in the Left Behind book series when they receive their glorified bodies, while for children and teenagers it brings them up to the same age level as the adult believers. At the end of the Millennium, even the longest-lived naturals (who are at that point all believers) are restored to the prime of their youth.
  • Willy Wonka invented Wonka-Vite, an invention that makes people younger. It's used in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator on Charlie's three still-bedridden grandparents. Unfortunately, they don't listen to his instructions and take too many — one pill takes 20 years off, and each takes four pills. That renders two of them babies, and since Grandma Georgina was seventy-eight and thus becomes negative two years old, her spirit winds up in the dreary Minusland. Luckily, Mr. Wonka also created a Rapid Aging counterpart, Vita-Wonk...
  • Due to a quirk in their physiology, the Cheela in Dragon's Egg can rejuvenate. Under particular conditions, when their body has been battered enough, it will revert to the plant the Cheela evolved from and heal itself, taking the best part of a lifetimenote  in the process. Then the plant turns back into a Cheela in its prime. In the sequel, Starquake, this very rare and risky process has been harnessed and rejuvenation machines are in use.
  • The carousel in Something Wicked This Way Comes can function as either this or as an Overnight Age-Up, depending on whether it runs backwards or forwards. Carnival co-owner Cooger uses it to go incognito as a preteen boy.
  • A literal fountain drives the plot of Dirge for Prester John. It's nothing like what the characters expected it to be, but it does the trick.
  • In Tales of Kolmar, lansip leaves and fruit, very difficult to get to and already a potent Panacea, can be distilled into a liquor which can make the drinker younger. There's a tale about an elderly merchant who was found after drinking an overdose, with the body of someone in his twenties. Berys is much more careful with his supply, taking a little at a time and prudently using makeup to make himself still look old, and arrives at mid-twenties without dying of it.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: During the battle of the Department of Mysteries, a Death Eater's head turns into that of a baby when he falls into a magical clock.
  • On one of the unknown islands visited by Máel Dúin and his companions in the medieval Irish Voyage of Máel Dúin, the voyagers observe a giant bird rejuvenating itself by bathing in a magical lake. Diuran the Rhymer tries it too and emerges permanently rejuvenated.
  • In Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, The Lord Ruler pulls this off by being both an Allomancer and a Feruchemist. To elaborate, Feruchemists can store youth in the metal atium, which causes them to look and feel older than they really are for a time in exchange for allowing them to look and feel younger than they really are for the same amount of time later on. Allomancers can "burn", or Allomantically metabolize, various metals to gain specific superpowers: tin grants Super Senses, brass allows you to dampen someone's emotions, etc. The Lord Ruler discovered that if you burn Feruchemically charged metal you get back ten times the Feruchemical charge you put in. Effectively, the Lord Ruler had an infinite supply of youth.
    • However, the atium he needed to burn needed to be charged with his youth, not someone else's. This is how the trick was kept under wraps for as long as it was - there were no Allomancers who were also Feruchemists besides the Lord Ruler who could stumble upon it. (Vin actually burned an allied Feruchemist's "metalmind," just to see what would happen, and could see but not access the power it gave off)
  • In the "Instrumentality Of Mankind" stories and novels, the source of both the longevity of the citizens of the Instrumentality, and the vast wealth of Norstrilla, is the Santaclara drug (called 'stroon' in its raw form), which comes from their diseased, massively oversized sheep.
  • In The Fourteenth Goldfish, Ellie's grandfather, Melvin, discovers a new species of jellyfish that he dubs "T. Melvinus". After using an extract from it to create a new serum and injecting it into himself, his body physically reverts from 75 to 13.
  • This is the main premise of The Summer I Shrank My Grandmother. Nelly Brown finds an old chemistry set while visiting her grandmother for the summer, and manages to mix up a formula that will make her grandmother young again. Unfortunately, she continues to get younger with each passing day, so Nelly has to find a way to reverse the effects of her formula before her grandmother de-ages out of existence.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, jumping over the edge of Tellos and passing the bottom edge of the universe normally loops you back to the top like a game of asteroids, but if you're physically touching either a piece of darkstone or sunstone when you reach that point, you instead just die. Daylen, in an attempt to commit suicide, does this while holding one of each, which turned out to have quite a different effect, namely granting him a form of Lightbinding magic, as well as reversing his physical age to about 17. The only explanation for this de-ageing ever offered comes from Daylen himself, who basically just shrugs and says "I dunno, Divine Intervention?"
  • Frank Stockton's The Queen's Museum and Other Fanciful Tales, short story "Old Pipes and the Dryad". A dryad is the spirit of a tree, which takes human form. Each time one of them kisses a human being, the human's age is reduced by ten years. If done enough times, the person will become young again.
  • The Scum Villain’s Self-Saving System: Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong: In the Return to Childhood extra, Luo Binghe qi deviates and is temporarily turned into a child. Shenangians are had when people mistake the now young Luo Binghe as Luo Binghe and Shen Qingqiu's love child, or when Luo Binghe tries to go on his usual activities.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 4400: In "Daddy's Little Girl", it is revealed that Cora Tomkins, who disappeared in 1950, has the ability to produce a chemical which makes whoever drinks it younger. Richard wants for Isabelle to be able to start her life over without all of the guilt that she feels for the terrible things that she has done. To that end, he kidnaps her from Promise City and gives her the chemical in water. Overnight, she becomes about fourteen or fifteen years old. After another few hours, she is an eight-year-old and is already beginning to lose her memories, being unable to remember Shawn's name. Isabelle eventually decides to drink the rest of the chemical and reverts to about three, the age that she would be if not for her Plot-Relevant Age-Up. In the following episode "One of Us", Richard has Cora reverse the process.
  • In one 1965 episode of Bewitched, Junior Executive, Endora turns Darrin into a young boy.She does the same thing in 1971's Out of the Mouths of Babes, though Darrin still has his adult voice. He has to talk in falsetto to keep the illusion. An additional episode, Just a Kid Again, has a store clerk who wants to be a child again getting his wish.
  • The short-lived American Saturday morning TV series Big John Little John revolved around an elementary school teacher who, after accidentally sipping from the Fountain of Youth, unexpectedly shifts from adult to child size and back again. Only his wife and teenage son know his secret and his younger self is passed off as a visiting relative while he tries to learn how to control the changes.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Band Candy", in which all of the adults ingested chocolate bars that had spells inside of them that did not physically de-age the characters, but made them act as they had as teenagers. The episode is filled with hilarious examples of the Scoobies becoming more and more horrified by their parents, teachers, and even the stodgy Giles, as they act in irresponsible and (in the case of Giles) criminal ways.
  • In Charmed, one is being guarded by nymphs, but is really more of a Healing Spring. Another one shows up, and this one actually looks like a stone fountain. Irritatingly enough, Piper says "But that's just a myth!" when confronted with the second one, even after having come across the first one, possibly because she and her sisters had promised the nymphs from the first fountain that they would keep its existence a secret.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Time Monster" has Sergeant Benton temporally regressed to babyhood by a time-eating monster. He is eventually returned to adulthood, in front of everybody else, stark naked.
    • "The Leisure Hive" ends with the villain Pangol reduced to infancy, and his mother Mena promises that she'll Raise Him Right This Time.
    • "Boom Town": Blon Fel-Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen is a member of the Slitheen family of the alien Raxacoricofallapatorian species. In the episode, is it explained that members of the family are raised from infancy to be sociopathic criminals. When Blon is exposed to the Heart of the TARDIS, it turns her into an egg; she will be returned to her planet's nurseries, where she will have a chance for a new life.
    • "The Lazarus Experiment" is about the titular scientist inventing a device that restores cells to a previous state. Being an old man, he tries it on himself first, becoming young. That is until the horrible side effects of the device are discovered. The Master later uses the technology in reverse to make the Doctor old.
  • In Dracula (2020), drinking blood keeps Dracula young. When we first see him, he appears sickly and old, but he quickly becomes a young man again due to Jonathan.
  • Fantasy Island (2021): Ruby and Mel become young again on the island, as a result of her wish. They even get into a pool to do this. When their visit is over, Mel convinces Ruby to stay behind since she's dying of cancer, and still live indefinitely there in a young body. She agrees, and becomes Elena's assistant.
  • In The Flying Cestmir, Cestmir gains seeds for six magical flowers. One of them causes people to de-age for a certain period of time until the effects wear off. The old professor uses it, but apparently nobody else does.
  • Happened in The Genie from Down Under, where Penelope, after abusing her long-suffering Genie, Bruce, with over 200 wishes in an hour, he intentionally made a wish of hers backfire, turning her into a baby. Oddly though, due to the nature of the wish, nobody seemed to be surprised by her age regression, as though she was supposed to be an infant.
  • In the Haven episode "Reunion", the thirty-something Robert Taylor occasionally reverts to a teenager who goes on murderous rampages, then later wakes up as himself with no memory of what he had done. His teen self also has the ability to turn other people back into teenagers via touch.
  • One of the few permanent examples comes from Kamen Rider Den-O, which did this out of necessity. Hana's actress left unexpectedly in the middle of the seriesnote , but her character was too important to the story to write out. So the producers replaced the twentysomething actress with an eight-year-old. The official explanation was that this was a side effect of Den-O's efforts pushing the future closer to Hana's home timeline rather than the Bad Future the villains wanted to create.
    • After the third movie, the show's star moved on to other projects, and thus this happened to protagonist Ryotaro as well. In this case, however, they simply brought back the actor who played the preteen version of him from the first film. It's given a Hand Wave when he remarks that this sort of thing happens on occasion when you mess around with time travel, which may also explain why there hasn't been a mad scramble for a cure for either him or Hana. Interestingly, Kid!Ryotaro's actor was a regular on Kamen Rider Ghost, showing that much like Case Closed, he could have returned to his normal age via The Slow Path at this point.
  • In episode 16 of an old Sentai series called Kyodai Ken Byclosser, the villains use a weird gun to revert a couple of children (Yeah, children, strangely enough) to infancy, convinced that it will (somehow) make world domination easier. They also turn them into old people with another gun. A young woman is also regressed into a baby. Obviously, all of them are eventually turned back to normal.
  • In the children's series LazyTown it occurs in the episode "Little Sportacus" where Sportacus is de-aged by Robbie Rotten's machine. This episode shows Sportacus being just as active and agile as his adult self and sends the message to kids that it's never too early and children no matter how young are capable of amazing things.
  • The protagonists of The Legend of Dick and Dom stumble onto the Fountain of Youth (or fall into the Muddy Puddle Of Youth, anyway) and are regressed to childhood just in time to meet a bunch of witches who... really like children. Naturally, the witches end up falling in themselves by the end.
  • Legend of the Seeker: Zedd is turned into a young man by Shota in "Wizard" so that he can do her bidding. Doesn't work out as intended, when it all goes to his head. Both Zedd and Shota can make anyone, including themselves, young, which means that they can live forever if they wished. Shota appears to make use of this power, as she's implied to be Zedd's age at least, while Zedd does not. She's shown to be very old when her magic is lost to her in "Reckoning".
  • At the end of the Merlin (1998) series, when the titular character is a Cool Old Guy complete with beard, his last act of magic is to restore the youth of himself and his love, returning them to their younger personas seen years earlier in the story.
  • The Mighty Boosh: In "Fountain of Youth", Howard and Vince visit Naboo's home planet, Xooberon, in search of their own Fountain of Youth, but the Hitcher is looking for it, too.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers:
    • The Alien Rangers half-season was an extended plot arc in which all the regular characters were age-regressed to young children.
    • This happened in a season 2 episode. In both cases, it seemed to be a strange mix of this and Time Travel- all the high-school-age heroes were now in elementary school, but they had the same teachers and principal. All the characters who were originally from out of town were still there as well.
  • Once Upon a Time: August has turned back into a young Pinocchio, though he reverts back two seasons later.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Last Supper", an elderly scientist is tracking an immortal woman in the hopes that her blood will restore his youth. After all, he tried it on his (literal) guinea pig the last time he had her in custody and it's been alive for decades. In his desperation, however, he doesn't think his plan through and just scales up the dosage relative to body mass. He gets his youth, plus interest.
    • In "The Balance of Nature", Dr. Noah Phillips developed a cellular regressor which can, in theory, rejuvenate cells and return the subject to their youth. When he uses the device on his wife Meredith who is in the last stages of terminal skin cancer, she is initially restored to perfect health with has no memory of the last 17 months. However, within less than a minute, the process reverses and kills her. Noah is fired and narrowly avoids a manslaughter charge. He resumed his work in secret about a year later. His attempt to regress a frog results in it reverting to a tadpole but it soon dies in the same fashion as Meredith. After his new neighbor Barbara Matheson refers to the balance of nature, he realizes that he must create a natural equilibrium; in order for one organism to regress in age, another must become older in tandem. He goes over to Barbara's house to tell her the good news but finds her barely alive on the floor, having been beaten severely by her husband Greg. As she is bleeding internally, he doubts that she will survive long enough for him to bring her to a hospital so he uses the cellular regressor on her. The 65-year-old Barbara regresses in age about 40 years so that she is once again a jazz singer in her early 20s named Barbara Spencer (with the stage name of Barbara Dumont). She is under the impression that it is 1957 and that she is engaged to Greg, a kind, sweet man. She does not initially believe Noah, who has aged in tandem when he tells her that it is 1998 and her youth has been restored but she is convinced when he shows her a photograph of her marriage to Greg. It turns out that Greg has been secretly observing them and wants Noah to restore his youth. However, he doesn't believe Noah when he says that the polarity reverses each time that the transfer is made and sits in the wrong chair. As a result, Greg ages to death while Noah is restored to his youth, having lost all memory of everything that has happened since Meredith's death. Barbara takes care of him and it is suggested that the two of them will live happily ever after.
  • In Sanctuary, all of The Five had unnaturally long lifespans due to the infusion of pure vampire blood. Helen became a proper immortal, Tesla became a (quasi) vampire with the perks of immortality, and Watson had a technological device he created (as a result of his increased intelligence). Druitt meanwhile was forced to steal blood from other members of The Five to keep is youth. Griffin, the Invisible Man, managed to keep his youth up until WWII, only to die of old age between then and the present day. So whatever he had eventually stopped working.
  • Second Chance (2016): A 75-year old man is given a "second chance" when he is de-aged to his 35-year old self. He's not the first person this has happened to either, just the most successful.
  • An episode of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World had the gang meet a woman with water from the fountain of youth. Unfortunately, her supply runs out and she reverts to her true age and dies. Professor Challenger drinks a little of the water, and while it doesn't make him look younger, it heals his wounds and makes him temporarily strong, agile, and energetic like a teenager.
  • On an episode of Smallville, an old man takes a spill into the koi pond at his retirement home, which turns out to be lined with Green Rocks that make him physically 50 years younger. Unfortunately, he turns out to be a sociopath with a long list of scores to settle, one of which is against the Kent family.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • The Goa'uld Sarcophagi can greatly extend life as well as healing wounds (but at the cost of negative psychological effects). However, this isn't that important to the Goa'uld, as they can just take another human host anyway. Though as Lord Yu demonstrates Goa'uld symbiotes age and go senile on their own, and without the sarcophagus have a lifespan of about two hundred years.
      • This appears to be the case when 15-year-old O'Neill shows up in the episode "Fragile Balance." In actuality, he was an Asgard-designed clone that did not mature properly. The real O'Neill was held captive by the rogue Asgard the entire time.
    • A mild example happens in Stargate Atlantis when Sheppard's tenuous Wraith ally returned the years he had, um, borrowed, plus a bit. Possibly an attempt to balance out the six months he spent in a time dilation field.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • The episode "Rascals", in which a transporter malfunction turns Picard, Keiko, Ro and Guinan into children, during which time the Enterprise is captured by hostile aliens. Despite the fact that they clearly keep their adult minds, they still have to save the day using childlike cleverness rather than their usual methods. As children, they would lack the strength and speed to do many of the physical actions an adult could perform.
    • The episode "Too Short a Season" has an old Admiral who must negotiate a hostage situation. He seems to have taken a drink from this Fountain as he keeps getting younger. We find out he takes an alien drug that does this too well—-the strain on his body kills him.
  • In the Supernatural episode "About a Boy", Hansel goes around kidnapping people and rejuvenating them to young teens for Katja the witch to feed on, as actual children are too protected by the law for her to kidnap them without being found. Dean and a woman named Tina end up falling victim to this, but while Dean managed to turn himself back before finishing the witch off, Tina didn't. However, that didn't bother her; Dean offered to try to find another way to return her to normal, but she opted to stay as a kid and get a second, better chance at life.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "Kick the Can", Charles Whitley convinces the other Sunnyvale Rest Home residents, with the exception of his lifelong friend Ben Conroy, that playing kick-the-can in the street is the key to recapturing their lost youth. When he and the superintendent Mr. Cox investigate, Ben finds that Charles and the others have regressed to young children. After this transformation, the young Charles fails to recognize Ben.
    • In "A Short Drink from a Certain Fountain", Harmon Gordon is desperate to keep up with his wife Flora, 40 years his junior, and asks his brother Raymond to test an experimental cellular serum on him in the hope that he will become young again. Although it has been successfully tested on animal subjects and human glands and organs, Raymond says that it will be 20 years before it is ready for human testing. However, he reluctantly agrees to inject Harmon with the serum after his brother threatens to commit suicide. The next morning, Harmon has the appearance of a man of about 40 and regresses to 30 in front of Flora and Raymond. It soon becomes clear that the effects of the serum are out of control. Within hours, Harmon has become a toddler.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Aqua Vita", Christie Copperfield learns of the bottled water company Aqua Vita from her friend and co-worker Shauna Allen. By drinking it on a daily basis, a person can look years younger than their actual age. At first, Christie feels wonderful as she has gotten her confidence back and the ratings for her news show are up. However, she soon discovers that missing even one daily glass of Aqua Vita causes her to age rapidly and the only way to reverse it is to drink some more. This becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on because each bottle costs $5,000. After the Aqua Vita runs out, Christie looks as if she is in her 70s. Shauna, who is seven years older and has been taking Aqua Vita for longer, appears to be over 80 when her own supply runs out.

  • The video for Foster the People's "Helena Beat" has the frontman's character getting kidnapped by a pack of wild children and strapped to a contraption with an old man at the other end. The machine saps whatever youth the old man had left and transfers it to him, turning him into a child. One wonders if all the other kids in the pack didn't arrive by similar fates.
  • The Fountain of Youth is alluded to in "Loving You's a Dirty Job (But Somebody's Gotta Do It)" by Bonnie Tyler.
  • Daniel Amos: In the short story that accompanies the album ¡Alarma!, one scene involves an entire church congregation reverting to babies before the narrator's eyes. This was meant as a satire of certain real-life Man Children.
  • Faith No More: The music video to "Sunny Side Up". Apply The Power of Rock to a retirement home...and the pacemakers blow to kingdom come. General Surgeons Warning: Won't last forever.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Nart Sagas: eating the special apple from atop the golden tree will cause a person to grow younger with each passing year instead of older, among other powers.

  • The four players in the Cool Kids Table Harry Potter-themed game Hogwarts: The New Class are de-aged back to eleven so that they can go through Hogwarts and learn magic naturally.

  • The Alien Worlds episode "Time Clash" had Jon Graydon and Buddy Griff becoming children again while using a time machine.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Mentioned in the backstory of Heroscape as one of the side effects of drinking from a Wellspring, the other perks being enhanced strength, magic, and prophetic visions.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • The older editions featured the Potion of Longevity and Elixir of Youth, which do what their names indicate. The former is more powerful - de-aging by up to 10 years instead of just 4 - but overuse can cause all of that lost age to be brought back at once, whereas the latter rejuvenates legitimately and permanently.
    • Dragon magazine
      • Issue #5 article "Witchcraft Supplement for Dungeons and Dragons". The Priestess witch spell Youth reduces the age of a living creature by forty years or two creatures by twenty years each.
      • Issue #60 article "Gods of the Elves". The elven deity Labelas Enoreth can reduce a creature's age by up to 100 years, but only once in its lifetime.
    • Priest spells. The spell Curse of Yondalla causes a living creature to become an infant again. Unless the curse is somehow removed, the creature will grow up normally.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Civilization V features a Fountain of Youth as a Natural Wonder. All units that move adjacent to it gain the Double Healing promotion for free.
  • Gilgamesh from Fate/hollow ataraxia did this with a youth potion because, apparently, "this whole mess is stupid, screw you all". All the more hilarious, considering that he's been a tyrant (in the past), not to mention a dog-kicking Knight Templar and Big Bad who wanted to unleash a terrible curse on humanity because only those who could survive it were worthy of being ruled over; when he reverts, he turns into a cute little boy that everyone loves.
  • A fountain of youth is present on Easter Island in the Sam & Max: Freelance Police game Moai Better Blues, the reason that the island is populated by babies.
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, Guybrush is age-regressed to the form of a young child when he is trapped in the Carnival of the Damned by LeChuck. This also happens to him at the end of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, but is actually an illusion to trick him rather than physical.
  • In Brain Lord, in the second magic shop you come across, you find it is run by three old women. If you go into the kitchen and talk to the old women there, she'll offer to let you try a new youth potion. Drink it, and instead of you being youthened, all three of the elderly women change to teenagers.
  • The Golden Suit in Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure grants youth to whoever wears it. Henry's in his sixties/seventies, so when he dons it, he is restored to young adulthood. Cole, unfortunately, is only ten or so - so when he dons it in The Stinger, he's reduced to infancy.
  • The "Babality" finishing moves in the Mortal Kombat games, in which the victor would somehow turn the loser into an infant.
    • Seeing as how this is a franchise known for its violence, programmers wisely fixed it so the winning player lost control of their character the instant their opponent became a baby; the victor would immediately go into their win pose. The idea behind the babalities was to provide a more innocent alternative to the infamous fatalities. Unfortunately, a glitch was later discovered that, when exploited, allowed you to viciously attack the baby.
    • Despite being unpopular with most fans of the series, the finishing move made a return in the 2011 reboot. This time instead of the opponent turning into a baby and sitting while crying, the babified opponent would now do a funny animation suiting their character. In fact, now, even the bosses can have a babality done on them.
  • At the end of Emerald City Confidential, Petra deliberately does this to William to save him from life imprisonment and his memories of having been a Phanfasm spy.
  • Borf's weapon in the full-motion video game Space Ace turns people into infants. He had already used it on the main character, which turned him into a rather weak teenager, but at certain points in the game, the player can temporarily restore Space Ace to his proper age. And of course, he ends up being Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • In the King's Quest series, there have been 2 cases of this trope.
    • In King's Quest II +: Romancing the Stones you will stumble upon a youth potion. If you drink it, you will turn into a baby and it will be game over. At the end, if you give it to the villain she will become a young woman again (good or bad depends on what you do). Trying to use it on Possum or Valanice yields unique sentences, but no penalty.
    • In King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, the female villain is turned into a baby.
  • In Radical Dreamers, this is an important plot point: Kid is revealed to be Schala from the previous game: After the Ocean Palace incident, she was overcome by grief and guilt over what her actions had caused. The Frozen Flame picked up on those emotions, and responded by transforming her into a baby, erasing her memories, and sending her to the modern era, where Lucca found her and raised her. Granted, this game is not canon anymore, but an easter egg from Chrono Cross implies that the events of Radical Dreamers actually happened in another dimension, and one of the many ending cutscenes in Chrono Trigger DS actually does show Lucca finding baby Schala/Kid and adopting her
  • In My-HiME Fuuka Taisen, Yukariko's Child turns her opponents into young children.
  • Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident revolves around magical dust that has the power to rejuvenate people and that was the source of the curing properties of the once lively Malgrave Island's thermal waters. The elderly Winston Malgrave wants it to collect some his dying wife, although it turns out he wanted the dust for himself, so he could regain his youth.
  • The Sims 2 had the Elixir of Life Aspiration reward, and the "milk" produced by the cowplant available in the University expansion after it eats a sim, which is a more potent version (making a sim 5 days younger per dose rather than three). The Generations expansion for the third game added the "Young Again" reward, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and the Age Freeze reward, which is also Exactly What It Says on the Tin. And then there's the Fountain of Youth (literally a fountain) that came with the Hidden Springs neighborhood...
  • In the Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Heihachi Mishima has found a way to rejuvenate himself back to his prime thanks to a serum made from Ogre's blood. This was brought about by Daisuke Gōri's unfortunate suicide, likely to justify a voice actor change, but didn't stick to the main plot as Tekken 7 shows Heihachi old again.
  • In Magical Drop 3, the Final Boss Wheel of Fortune is sent back to the past and transformed into a baby after she is defeated.
  • In Tomodachi Life one of the random rewards you can get from granting Miis their requests is a Kid-O-Matic spray, which turns an adult Mii into a kid. There's also the Age-O-Matic spray, which does the opposite. Though if you use it on an old wrinkly, grey-haired Mii, they will still be grey and wrinkly, just shorter.
  • In Super Robot Wars Z3: Tengoku-hen, everybody is weirded out by the fact that Noriko's "big sis" who Noriko told them was a middle-aged woman, appears to almost the same age as Noriko. Kazumi giggles at this, and says that she somehow has the body of when she first piloted Gunbuster with Noriko. Kazumi thinks that after being pulled into the black hole, she wished and wished to see Noriko again. And that perhaps that wish overcame time itself, and thus she was reborn. Lelouch goggles at the mysteries of the universe and even C.C. comments that despite having lived a long time, she's still surprised by all this stuff that keeps happening lately. Noriko calls it a miracle born of Kazumi's feelings.
  • In Chaos Rings III, Dorothy the kindly old caretaker and 'retired' adventurer who has been looking after the protagonist and his sister since their parents' deaths having the same name and voice actress as a much younger looking character is not a coincidence. Humorously enough, her youthful form looks younger than one of her sons, who looks older than his actual age.
  • In the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube versions of Donald Duck: Goin' Qu@ckers, Merlock becomes a child after he is defeated.
  • In Blaz Blue Chrono Phantasma, about half the results of Amane Nishiki's Astral Heat turns his opponents into children. The other half of the results turn them merely younger (as in, from adult into adolescent or so). The only exception is Platinum, a youngish Magical Girl who instead turns into Trinity, her (sort-of) previous self.
  • Twisted Metal 2 plays this for laughs with Warthog's ending. Upon winning the tournament, Warthog's 105-year-old driver asks Calypso to give him the body of a twenty-year-old. So, Calypso gives him the body of a twenty-year-old. His head, on the other hand...
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Kafei from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was turned into a young boy by the Skull Kid not long before he was set to marry Anju. He was going to seek advice from the local Great Fairy about how to reverse this change when Sakon, a thief known to prey mainly on children and old folks, snatched from him the Sun's Mask that he planned to use in the wedding ceremony. He spends several months hiding from his loved ones in the backroom of the Curiosity Shop, not because of any current shame over his physical condition, but because he felt he needed to find the Sun's Mask first.
    • Purah from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. An elderly Sheikah who is the sister of Zelda's maid Impa, she had developed a magical rejuvenation process with the intent of increasing the number of young, able-bodied soldiers who could fight against the forces of Calamity Ganon. She decided to test it out on herself first, only to find herself physically a six-year-old. She has largely isolated herself with her assistant Symin in the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab, too embarrassed by her condition to face Impa or fellow Sheikah scientist Robbie.
  • In Discworld II, the Fountain of Youth appears late into the game, as part of a puzzle where we have to find a way to prevent Death from dying. Subverted in that it's not the water we need, but the sand that lies at the bottom of the basin, so that we can refill Death's hourglass.
  • Kliff Undersn from Guilty Gear had the ability to use his ki to temporary regress to a younger form, when he was at the height of his strength. In-game, this only activates during his Overdrives.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, Alessi is able to use his Stand, Sethan, to revert certain characters to their youth. While this usually makes the characters weaker, it backfires on him when he uses it on Joseph. Due to Joseph already being very old, it only regresses him into his late teens. Unfortunately for Alessi, that was the age when Joseph was at his prime and beat the Pillar Men, who were FAR stronger than any of the Stand users in Stardust Crusaders. In Young Joseph's story mode, he maintains his youth for a while after beating Alessi, but it eventually wears off and he returns to normal, with him wishing it could've been permanent.
  • Ninjala has the prototype ninja gum which turned the three scientists working on it back into kids.
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 ends with Ravonna taking Kang's time crystal to prevent him from undoing his loss to the combined forces of the Avengers, the Inhumans, and the Guardians of the Galaxy and, after being unable to destroy him, uses it to turn him into a baby so he'll grow up to be less evil.
  • In remakes of Final Fantasy IV, a mist in Rydia's section of the Bonus Dungeon will turn her back into her younger version from earlier in the game, meaning she will not have her adult abilities available during this time, such as her summons.

  • In Opplopolis during Luke Dugans' interview with Shirley Kidd about a mysterious movie she appeared in called Marvedyne (that word being the series' MacGuffin), the latter suddenly de-ages from 60-ish to 20-ish with thus far no explanation, though there was a conspicuous cup of coffee earlier in the scene.
  • When Mingmei in The Wotch discovers that she used to be Dr. Sorgaz, everyone assumes that she would want to be turned back... except the Sorgaz persona himself, who basically takes it as a second chance in life, and instead opts to merge with Mingmei permanently.
    • Not to mention 21-year-old Evan's frequent temporary escapes into a 4-year-old (female) body, called "Lily".
    • Seriously, what about the entirety of Adventures in Babysitting? Even though Evan turns into an adult female, Anne, Robin (Robyn?), and Jason were turned into children (Okay, they turned into the opposite gender too, but that hardly matters!)
  • Emily from Misfile suffers from this, though she was only regressed by two years rather than the usually much larger amount. Since she was just about to turn 18 and had received her acceptance letter from Harvard these were a rather vital couple of years though.
  • In one strip of Hetalia: Axis Powers, England de-ages Korea to make him less annoying. In a later April Fool's Day event he does it again to France.
  • The Dragon Doctors:
    • A team of magical robbers are trying to steal a large drum of rejuvenating fluid in the "Thieves of Life" arc. An acid booby trap cracks open the drum, however, exposing one of the thieves to an overdose of the fluid, immediately transforming her into a baby.
    • A Backstory chapter features a lake of youth that is responsible for the 'deaths' of several colonists. It's basically a Deconstruction of the Fountain of Youth: the lake is hidden because everyone who goes near it dies. Nothing grows around it because it causes everything to un-grow, so it's a desolate wasteland. Even contact with the vapors from it can erase years or decades of age from someone, so most people who get close wind up vanishing into Empty Piles of Clothing (which, incidentally, is the Trope Namer for that). The discovery of that lake was actually what enabled the development of the previously mentioned rejuvenating fluid after people figured out how to harness its effects.
  • Morgan of Gender Swapped after pestering Sven long enough to bend the rules for the two of them
  • In El Goonish Shive, Dr. Germahn invented one.
  • Ponce de Leon and his companion look for one in Oglaf, but only come across the fountains of Doubt, Death Water So Good Even Dead People Want It, and Girl (NSFW).
  • In Kevin & Kell, the vulture family has a time machine where they sometimes travel to the past. But in some cases, if used right, it can affect someone's age.
    • Dolly, a clone of Corrie, begins to age faster than usual. A new identity is created for her and she gets a job as a cleaning lady for the vultures. While cleaning she accidentally activates the time machine and is turned into a baby where she remains still.
    • In other strips the characters are briefly turned into babies for laughs, but these are probably not canon.
  • The Kids arc of Roommates where the resident magical troublemaker Schmuck Baits ("What does this glowing orb do?!") the other main cast members into this and we learn that some people changed a lot... others not so much. Thank god the magic only lasted thirteen hours.
  • In Doc Rat, heavy duty anti-ageing cream regresses a bird back to an egg.
  • Karin-dou 4koma: Seren and Elza's independent attempts at weight-loss magic actually turn them into children. Seren eventually turns herself back, but Elza prefers her new form.
  • In Jix one of Lamerix's inventions instantly changes one's age, she loses it in the couch cushions and Lauren is accidentally turned into a child after sitting on it, though she eventually reverses it. Later on, she uses it to turn Aragara, who had been artificially aged by growth hormones back into a kit.
  • in True Villains, old, wizened Evil Sorcerer Bayn Pheonix is transformed into a kid by demon Xaneth Antaris so Bayn cannot surpass him in power.
  • Mini Mari!! kicks off when Marisa Kirisame eats a mushroom that reverts her back to the body and mentality of a child.
  • In Decrypting Rita, after Rita the Hat Lady re-emerges into her native universe from the depths of the Panopticon, she ends up in a body much younger than her previous one. She even gains a new hat to match.
  • Duncan/The Annihilator from The Young Protectors literally becomes a youth for his end of the deal desiring youth with Laampros.
  • A Meta heavy instance happened in Level 30 Psychiatry. With the assistance of Carmen Sandiego and her Impossible Thief skills, Dr Gardevoir removed the popularity of the Gardevoir species from the internet so she could browse in peace. Unaware that she is in a webcomic, this led to her De-Evolving into a Kirlia.
  • In Autumn Bay, Captain Jack Bishop, leader of a team of specialists dedicated to containing supernatural threats, is turned into a teenage girl by one of their targets.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: The "It's a literal fountain people seek" form is deconstructed in "Life":
    "Would you like to go back to the angry teens, the confused twenties, the anxious thirties, the crisis forties, the cynical fifties, or the aching sixties?"

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe example: retired U.S. Navy officer Sam Everheart was injured trying to save a Hot Scientist from bad guys. The 'hive' of nanites infected him and saved him... by turning him into someone a lot younger. He now looks like his deceased 17-year-old daughter.
  • ''The Innocent: In the end, Thai children build a missile containing this to throw onto Saudi Arabia. They also sell one to French children, who throw it onto the Czech Republic.
  • SCP Foundation:
  • In the aptly-named "Baby Boom" episode of Gotham Girls, Harley is accidentally regressed into a baby.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic abridged series Friendship Is for Adults, Luna is reduced to taking the form of a child, after the Elements cleanse her of evil in the pilot. (In the original she became relatively small, but that had been her earlier form anyway.) Unlike canon, she is also left with amnesia and instead of being back to her adult form in her next appearance, she seems to be stuck like this and Celestia is left to take care of her now juvenile sister.
  • Renegade Rhetoric, a Character Blog for Cy-Kill from Challenge of the GoBots with many posts consisting of describing the events of episodes from a non-existent second season of the cartoon, featured the legend in the post describing the fictional episode "Going Loco", where the Robo Rebels and the Guardians' human allies visit a ranch that turns out to be where the fountain of youth is located and the staff turns out to be historical figures Wild Bill Hickock, Davy Crockett, Calamity Jane, Jesse James, Annie Oakley and Ponce de Leon, having all used the fountain's water to keep from ageing.
  • Rufus finds it in Episode 23 of World's Greatest Adventures... it's a sink. One tap for aging water, one tap for rejuvenating water. Guess which one he drinks from.
  • The abridged series Ultra Fast Pony reveals that sexual reproduction itself has been rendered obsolete by the ability to just turn adult ponies back into babies if need be. Naturally, after three little fillies learn this, they immediately turn The Mane Six back into children for fun.

  • Boochi is an NPC from a random event on the virtual pet site Neopets. He is a Baby Bruce who has a ray gun that turned players' active Neopets to the Baby paintbrush colour on a successful hit. As of March 29, 2014, Boochi can no longer turn Neopets the Baby colour, although he still appears as a random event. He just always misses.

    Western Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: In the episode "Fountain Of Youth", Cruella believes that the water on the Dearly Farm is this, due to a series of misunderstandings.
  • In Adventure Time, the (apparently) 18-year-old Princess Bubblegum suffers an accident in which she loses some of her body mass. Being a sentient wad of bubblegum in a generally princess-like shape, she is saved by being reconstructed in the shape of an apparently 13-year-old princess. Since The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body, this also causes her personality to take on the traits of a 13-year-old. The situation is, of course, temporary. note 
  • The focus of The Adventures of Puss in Boots episode "Fountains", where the crew looks for the Fountain of Youth to restore a Retired Badass to his prime. Although they find it, he is forced to return to his old age to escape, and the fountain can only be used once.
  • In an episode of Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Robotnik plans on defeating Sonic by making him so old, he won't be as fast. As usual, Scratch and Grounder mess things up by putting the device into reverse, turning Sonic into a toddler and Tails into a baby. Later, Robotnik is too turned into a toddler. At the end, Robotnik is turned into an old man.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In the episode "The Rerun", Nicole and Richard are regressed to infancy, causing their children to retroactively never have been born. Gumball himself comes dangerously close to disappearing, but he manages to fix things and turn everything back to normal in the nick of time.
  • The American Dad! episode "1600 Candles" had Francine giving Steve a CIA drug that turned him into a kid so she wouldn't have to accept him growing up. The attempt to get him back to normal works too well and instead makes him an old man.
  • The Angry Beavers episode "Act Your Age" had Norbert and Daggett become children again after consuming the wood of a tree that had been around since the dawn of time. It's then taken taken to its logical extreme when they eat the acorn that came off that tree, regressing back through several time periods untill they eventually become cellular lifeforms.
  • Apple & Onion: In "Ferekh", Falafel's molokhia seems to reverse ageing, but it turns out it only redirects the age to one part of the user's body and makes the rest appear younger.
  • Archie's Weird Mysteries: In "Twisted Youth", a meteorite falls into a lake and causes its waters to make any adult who touches or drinks it become a teenager again. Dilton finds out the water has no effect on teenagers or children because of their different hormones. The transformed adults have no memories of their adult lives and most of them become hedonistic and reckless, while the transformed Miss Grundy tries to hit on Reggie, who is creeped out because he remembers she is his teacher, but is taken in by her beauty. Dilton and the others manage to find a cure for the water, then fish the meteorite out of the lake to end it.
  • Happens to Batman (again) in Batman: The Brave and the Bold after he is zapped by Dr. Sivana starting as a teenager, then a toddler, and then a baby.
  • Ben 10 also features the literal Fountain of Youth (though it's more of a natural pool or spring), being sought by Hex who is inexplicably decrepit for the episode. Max turns into a 10-year-old and is revealed to be similar to Ben at that age. Ben and the aliens turn into toddlers. Its effects are temporary and Ben ends up evaporating the whole thing as Heatblast, which leaves the last of Ponce's crewmen free of having to guard it to live his life while Hex ended up reverted to toddler age caught in the blast. Also, when Max chemically analyzes the water, it somehow has six times the amount of hydrogen and oxygen in its makeup.
    • Ben 10: Omniverse has a de-aging ray used against Ben and Rook. Tara Strong returns to voice young Ben, and li'l Rook is ridiculously adorable... with a tail, which his species is born with but sheds at puberty.
  • In one Betty Boop cartoon, the patent medicine she and her pals are peddling turns an old bearded man into a large baby — and the baby accompanying him into a tiny old bearded man.
  • The plot of the 1985 miniseries Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines revolves around the search for, discovery of, and destruction of, the fountain. The villain Adrian Ravenscroft manages to use it to restore his youth, but the rejuvenation wears off after the fountain's destruction, leaving him as an old man wandering into gator-infested swamp.
  • The 2006 revival of Biker Mice from Mars had this happen in the episode "Bringing Up Vinnie", where Vinnie was regressed to infancy because of Dr. Catorkian's age-reversing experiments. Throttle, Modo, and Charley then have to take care of baby Vinnie while looking for a way to restore him to his normal age.
  • In the Brandy & Mr. Whiskers episode "Blind Ambition", Brandy establishes shiny rocks as currency in the jungle and seeks to get rich by selling youth tonic. Using too much of the supplement that goes into it causes the users to turn into babies and she's forced to turn to Gaspar for an antidote.
  • In the Bump in the Night episode "Baby Jail," Bumpy accidentally swallows some baby formula while trying to feed a baby and becomes one of them.
  • Camp Candy: Chester accidentally finds it and becomes a kid again, but the effects are only temporary. Rex DeForest sees it as a chance for Chester to destroy the camp from the inside.
  • An episode of Care Bears (1980s) features it, with the heroes going on a quest to find it and the villains not far behind. Shreeky eventually does drink from the fountain, but because she's a little girl to begin with, she turns into a baby.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door had an episode where the Fountain was revealed to be under the school, kept secret by one "girl" who had been using it for years. The Delightful Children from Down the Lane were naturally opposed to its existence and wanted to destroy it.
    • An episode had senior citizens using anti-aging cream to temporarily deage themselves into teenaged supervillain personas so that they can steal tapioca pudding.
    • One episode had an adult mind in a baby's body, who is the CEO of a major television network, use his fleet of transmission satellites to broadcast a deagging ray across the whole world to turn everyone into babies so he'll never be called a baby again. He's thwarted when hit by his own ray and is mentally regressed to infancy to match his body, leaving his assistants to reveal they're his parents and vow to raise him better. The central component of his plan, a gadget resembling a cigar, comes back into play in another episode where it's used to manipulate the ages of the characters.
  • The "Little Muriel" episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog has Muriel being turned into a mischievous little girl by a freak tornado. It then turns out the only way to undo the effect is to throw her into a tornado spinning in the opposite direction of the original one — which entails flying to the southern hemisphere.
  • There have been a few episodes in Darkwing Duck that feature this.
    • An elderly villain attempted to actually make one of these so as to regain his youth and become immortal. His plan worked and he was restored to his prime. Unfortunately, in a fight with Darkwing Duck and Herb, they all became babies. In the end, the fountain was destroyed and his henchmen were turned into babies as well while Darkwing and Herb turned back.
    • In "Disguised the Limit", Darkwing is framed for a crime he did not commit. So a scientist blasts him with a ray gun that will turn him into anything he sees. At one point he turns into his daughter and a baby.
    • In one episode, Darkwing becomes super fast but the more he does it, the older he becomes. In the end he fixes it by running backwards to become one point a little too much and becomes a kid.
  • In one episode of Dexter's Laboratory, one of Dexter's experiments turned virtually everyone but him and Dee Dee into babies and they had to look after their parents until Dexter could reverse it.
  • Donald Duck tries to trick his nephews into believing they've found the fountain in "Don's Fountain of Youth."
  • In the Donkey Kong Country episode, "Ape Foo Young", Cranky makes a potion that will make him 40 years younger, with the help of the vision of his past self. However, the effects of the potion are only temporary. Donkey Kong drinks the potion and de-ages into a baby. Diddy gets Candy to look after him until the effects wear off by telling her he's DK's nephew. At the end of the episode, King K. Rool drinks the potion and de-ages into a baby as well.
  • The Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop episode "I Was a Teenage Zitbag" had Dr. Zitbag de-age himself into a teenager to try and prove he's cool to Officer Deadbeat's son Damian and the Exorsisters' nieces Listeria and Salmonella. At first he mistakenly de-aged himself into an infant, but his skeletal canine companion Horrifido helped him grow a bit older into adolescence. He reverts back to adulthood by the end of the episode.
  • The Duck Dodgers episode "Duck Codgers" has Dodgers and the Cadet infected with spores from an alien plant that speeds up their aging, and must seek out a fountain on Mars whose waters are the only known cure. The spores turn out to have the opposite effect on Martians, as Marvin gets infected and regresses to a teenager, a toddler, and eventually a baby before he gets cured as well.
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Sweet Duck of Youth," Scrooge looks for the literal Fountain of Youth so that he can live longer. It turned out that the fountain only made a person look younger when reflected in its waters.
    • The Fountain of the Foreverglades is this in DuckTales (2017); only that this version of the fountain water drains a person's youth when touched and imbues it when consumed. Which Ponce de Leon has been using to steal youth from others for the past 500 years after finding it years ago, by luring unsuspecting guests to his hotel.
  • The prologue to the Earthworm Jim episode, "Opposites Attack" has Evil Jim use his Chrono-Laser to age Jim and Peter Puppy into seniors. The elderly Jim spits out his false teeth, putting the Chrono-Laser in reverse and causing it to de-age him and Peter into babies. The infant versions of Peter and Jim then use their Sickeningly Sweet cuteness to scare Evil Jim away.
  • Egyxos had one episode that had a literal fountain (actually a pool) hidden in a cave. It was used to restore and maintain the youth of one man for years.
  • The Emperor's New School features the actual Fountain of Youth in one episode. Yzma uses it to become a (surprisingly attractive) teenager in order to trick Kuzco. It also features Pacha and Chica becoming teenagers, and ends with Yzma and Kronk becoming (somewhat freaky looking) babies.
  • An episode of The Fairly OddParents had Timmy wishing Vicky was a six-year-old so he could babysit her as payback.
    • A later episode called "Poof's Playdate" involved Timmy wishing that Cosmo and Wanda's fairy friends were babies by inviting them to his house under the pretense of a "pancake party". Trouble arises when Cosmo poofs himself and Wanda into babies to join in on the fun.
  • In a cutaway gag on Family Guy, Ponce de Leon Griffin finds the Fountain of Youth and takes a dip, keeping his head above water. When he emerges, his body is the size of an infant, but his head is still adult-sized; he promptly topples over.
  • The Filmation's Ghostbusters episode "Back to the Past" had Jake, Eddie, and Tracy de-aged into five-year-olds as part of a scheme to scare them to the point that they wouldn't want to be ghostbusters anymore by the time the spell wore off and they became adults again.
  • The final The Fox and the Crow cartoon, "Punchy De Leon" has Fox and Crow as con men who claim to have found the Fountain, hoping to get rewarded by the King of Spain. When the King wants them to bring it for real, they set off to Florida to find it.
  • Futurama did this in "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles", where overexposure to rejuvenating tar resulted in Professor Farnsworth going back to late middle age, and the rest of the Planet Express crew (including the robot Bender) becoming teenagers. An attempt to reverse the process made things worse, which instead just sped up the regressing, and everyone but Leela (who opted out of the cure, in order to relive the childhood she never had) started regressing into early childhood, most of the characters went so far back that they turned into fetuses (blueprints in Bender's case).
    • And then the trope is inverted and parodied when they seek to be cured at the Fountain of Aging.
  • In an episode of Hercules: The Animated Series, Pain and Panic try to kill Hercules (again), this time by using water from a spring that reverses aging. They accidentally get water on not only Hercules, but on Icarus, Adonis, Pegasus, and Pain himself. Panic and Cassandra have to watch them since they're all infants until they can find a cure.
  • In the Jake and the Never Land Pirates episode "Pirate Sitting Pirates", Captain Hook as usual is being chased by Tic Toc Croc. As a result they both take a tumble knocking themselves as well as Jake and his friends into the pirate pool of youth, which can turn pirates into wee pirates. As a result they are all turned into babies. Now Smee and the other pirates must look for a flower that can turn them back.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • The Dog Talisman gives its holder immortality. While it doesn't make the holder look younger, it makes him feel younger. Thus Uncle becomes incredibly strong and agile like he used to be.
    • Characters sometimes get turned into children by spells.
    • One episode had the fountain belonging to a hidden tribe of people. They used it to preserve their ages for centuries but the source of the magic was stolen by the unscrupulous man that paid Jackie to find it. When he and his butler drank some water, because the village was of such advanced age, they regressed into babies.
  • An episode of The Jetsons "Boy George" has George turn into a kid, though his voice is exactly the same. Another episode inverts it by having Elroy turn into an old man.
  • Johnny Bravo: In one episode, Johnny drinks a potion that reverts him to infancy- physically, at least- to the delight of his mother... until she gets busy and sends him off to daycare with an attractive caretaker, to his delight. In the end, he's restored to his adult body.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Kid Stuff", Morgan Le Fay's son Mordred gets his hands on a powerful amulet and, in a fit of pique after his mother insists he's too young to be responsible for it, banishes all the adults in the world to a pocket dimension. Morgan gets around this by turning some of the Justice Leaguers (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern) into 8-year-old children so they can get the amulet back. Eventually, Mordred is tricked into breaking the spell that keeps him a child, and he vanishes into the pocket dimension as per the rules of his earlier spell. In the end, it turns out that breaking the spell meant he still had eternal life but without eternal youth, and was now thousands of years old and effectively immobile, basically a vegetable that his still-young mother will care for — Forever. Harsh. Of course, one wonders if Morgan can't just cast it again... or just won't.
  • The Karate Kid: In "Over the Rainbow" Miyagi, Daniel, and Taki stumble on a hidden community with one fueled by the shrine.
  • Two instances in Kim Possible:
    • The first in the Made-for-TV Movie "A Sitch in Time", when the teamed-up bad guys, having possession of a time-traveling idol, use a device to make themselves toddlers so they can infiltrate the title hero's youth.
    • The second is in an episode where Ron is continuously sent through a machine that turns adults into babies. He goes through so many times that when he finally gets back to his own age, he is wearing a diaper.
  • Happens in The Legend of Korra episode "A New Spiritual Age", when Korra's emotions cause her to age down into a child while in the Spirit World.
  • One episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series involved an experiment known as the "Babyfier" that turned its victims into infants.
  • In The Mask episode "Little Big Mask", The Mask creates an anti-aging cream that winds up working a little too well, and causes him (and Stanley) to get younger by the minute, and he must find a way to fix it while Peggy tries to keep him focused.
  • In the Close Enough episode "The Weird Kid," Emily wishes on a magic pendant to be closer to her daughter, Candice. The next morning he wakes up in the body of a five year old, closer to Candice in size.
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse:
    • The episode "Goofy Baby" revolves around Mickey and the gang trying to care for Goofy when he gets turned into a baby by Ludwig von Drake's Tick-Tock Time Machine.
    • The same issue is dealed with in "Goofy Babysitter", only this time, Mickey and all his friends but Goofy get transformed.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Age spells can only be performed by the highest-level unicorns. Trixie is able to turn Snips into a baby and Snails into an old stallion with her magic boosted by an Alicorn Amulet; Twilight Sparkle, on the other hand, is unable to reverse it. In order to rid Trixie of the corrupting amulet, Twilight fakes it by claiming to have an equally powerful artifact while having Granny Smith and Sweetie Belle impersonate Applejack and Rarity respectively.
    • Twilight pulled it off for real in "The Cutie Mark Chronicles", though, but not intentionally; during her entrance exam to magic school, she was startled and lost control of her magic, turning the not-yet-hatched Spike into an adult dragon.
  • The New Adventures of Superman: In "Merlin's Magical Marbles", Lex Luthor and his henchman use the aforementioned marbles to transform themselves into children to allow them to escape undetected from the scenes of their crimes.
  • The Oggy and the Cockroaches episode "Back to the Past" features Oggy, Jack, and Bob accidentally facing the wrath of a witch and turned into elementary school-aged kids, with Olivia and Joey forced to track the witch down to reverse the spell, while Dee Dee and Marky watch over the three. In the end, the same ends up happening to Joey, Dee Dee, and Marky.
  • PAW Patrol: In "Pups Save Baby Humdinger", Tracker has a dream that Mayor Humginder turns into a baby. Now it's up to the pups to find the special coconut to reverse the spell.
  • In a relatively rare example of kids getting younger, the Phineas and Ferb episode "Agent Doof" has the titular characters being turned into babies. Needless to say, Candace ended up a Badly Battered Babysitter in record time. And at the end of the episode, even their mother and the Fireside Girls are turned into babies. Candace is obviously exasperated, and openly hopes it wears off by the next episode (which it also obviously does).
  • The Problem Solverz episode "Time Twister" features a roller coaster capable of traveling through time, which Alfe takes advantage of by going back in time to eat pizza over and over again, and he becomes younger as a result.
  • Quack Pack has the episode "Can't Take a Yolk" where Donald really is regressed to youth— represented here by an Art Shift to his original character design from the 1934 short "The Wise Little Hen".
  • In the Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty episode "Fountain of Too Much Youth", Miguel learns his favorite malt at Mythic Malts is on the kids' menu, so he and Felicity go on a quest to find the Fountain of Youth. When they find it, Miguel takes a huge gulp and turns into a toddler, but since he was supposed to swim in it and not drink it, he starts getting younger and younger, so Felicity has to babysit him while he gets progressively younger on a journey to the Wheel of Aged Cheese. After a back and forth between baby and teen/adult, Miguel is restored, but Felicity is splashed with the water and becomes a baby herself. She's turned back to normal, but all four of the main characters get wet and the episode ends with them as babies.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: Rocko, Heffer, and Heffer's grandfather are on a cruise filled with senior citizens when they cross The Bermuda Triangle, which alters their ages. This causes a mix of Overnight Age-Up and Fountain of Youth-all the elderly revert back to young(er) adulthood, the ship's crew become babies, and Rocko and Heffer become elderly.
  • The second-to-last episode of Rugrats "Fountain of Youth" has Tommy, Chuckie, and Kimi think that the Fountain of Youth exists. They are happy until Angelica tells them that she will be in charge when its powers take effect on the adults and tricks them into thinking that the fountain in the lake has said powers. After several unsuccessful attempts at preventing the adults from going into the lake, they decide to drain the lake... by pulling on a chain that's attached to a boat, which is far too heavy for them to move by even an inch.
  • The cartoon version of Space Ace:
    • The Infanto Ray made some appearances; one of them was episode 3, in which the victim was Borf. Another example is episode 6, where the Infanto Ray was just a round circle. However, it made its return in episode 11, in which Borf uses it on the victims, and one of them was Kimberly, but after Dexter was brainwashed with the brainwashing device, Kimberly turned back into her adult form right after Dexter grabbed Kimberly while in the prison.
    • Another ray, the Age Ray appeared in another episode before episode 11. The Age Ray was meant to be used on Dexter so that Dexter can remain as Ace, but when Borf gets hit by the Age Ray, he does not turn into a baby, but rather into a teenager, and Borf energizes at random times throughout the entire episode like Dexter.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: The aged crime lord Silvermane's long-standing goal was to find a way to restore his youth. Unfortunately, the Applied Phlebotinum worked a little too well, and he reverted to infancy. A later attempt to fix it also works too well, restoring him to his original old age instead of to his target age.
    • Adrian Toomes, the Vulture, shares the same goal and even uses the same Applied Phlebotinum as Silvermane. It works out considerably better for him, to the point that he is the only villain in the entire series who gets everything he wanted in the end. He's also the reason Silvermane's attempt to undo his infancy works too well.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Goo Goo Gas", Plankton develops both a super-aging gas (a senior citi-spray if you will) and a de-aging gas (the title Goo Goo Gas). The latter ends up working a bit too well, turning him into an even smaller protozoa.
  • One Star Trek: The Animated Series episode had the Enterprise get sucked into a parallel universe where entropy was reversed and things aged backwards; they quickly started getting younger and younger, leading to an adorable 7-year-old Spock trying to hold the mission together.
    • Luckily, the (non-canon) first captain of the Enterprise, Captain Robert April, was on-board. He de-aged from an elderly man to roughly Kirk's true age.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In "Conquer", Miss Heinous/Meteora is changed into a baby thanks to a combination of Star's and Eclipsa's magic, giving Eclipsa the opportunity to give her daughter a better, happier life.
  • Steven Universe: In "Steven's Birthday", Steven tries to fake a growth-spurt on his fourteenth birthday after realizing he hasn't physically aged since he was around eight years old. Unfortunately, the strain of making himself taller with his Gem shape-shifting abilities causes him to temporarily revert to infancy. Connie comforts Steven by assuring him she'll be his friend no matter how long it takes to get him back to normal, and by the next day Steven is back to his old self. And as a bonus, he's grown his first facial hair!
  • Princess Toadstool got turned into a baby in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! after falling in the Fountain of Youth. To get her back to her real age, the brothers had to make the waterfall in the fountain go up instead of down and put her in the fountain.
  • Super Sunday: The entire series "Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines" was built around a young journalist, the members of a traveling monster truck show and a ruthless elderly billionaire named Adrian Ravenscroft searching for the Fountain of Youth. When Ravenscroft gets to it first, he turns into a young, 30-something man, vowing to destroy his adversaries. But the good guys destroy the fountain of youth, and it isn't long before Ravenscroft reverts to his elderly self ... fleeing but unknowing running into a swamp infested with hungry alligators.
  • Superfriends:
    • The All-New Super Friends Hour segment "The Mysterious Time Creatures" had Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman turned into children by the episode's villain Dictor.
    • The Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show episode "Uncle Mxyzptlk" has exposure to red kryptonite turn Superman into a Bratty Half-Pint. After the de-aged Man of Steel, nicknamed "Superbrat" by Firestorm, causes trouble for the Super Friends, things get worse when Mr. Mxyzptlk shows up and the reality-warping fiend from the Fifth Dimension exploits Superman's state of immaturity by encouraging him to use his powers to create further havoc.
  • Happens a few times in The Superhero Squad Show all due to messing around with time manipulation.
    • The first time occurred in "Fate of Destiny!", where Thanos uses the Time Stone to de-age all of the occupants of a Skrull Ship and Captain Marvel into babies for his own amusement.
    • Happens again when Iron Man's time machine in "Revenge of the Baby-Sat!" backfires and turns Iron Man, Scarlet Witch and Falcon into toddlers, where Wolverine (to his dismay) has to babysit them, while the childish Hulk enjoys it. The opposite happens to Ms. Marvel and Thor when Dr. Doom gets control over time, but H.E.R.B.I.E. then reverses all of the inappropriately aged squaddies back and in the process turns Dr. Doom into a toddler as well.
  • Leave it to Superjail! to come up with a twisted, disturbing take on this one. When the Warden is feeling old and decrepit on his birthday, Jared buys him some "ancient Chinese mystery butter" that's supposed to restore someone's youth. It ends up getting put on the birthday cake, though, leading to a bunch of inmates regressing to toddlers. Toddlers who then proceed to violently kill each other.
  • In the Tangled: The Series episode "You're Kidding Me!" Cassandra finds an enchanted top, which turns her and Lance into young kids, while Shorty is turned into a baby with a beard.
  • In the Teen Titans episode, "How Long is Forever?" after a battle where his time suit is dmaged, Warp is reduced to infancy.
    • In the Season 4 finale, Trigon uses Raven as a portal to enter Earth's dimension. While this initially appeared to destroy Raven, Robin later found her, now a child with no powers, and (aledgedly) no memories.
  • Two episodes of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dealt with this; in "Back to the Egg" it happened to Leonardo and Michaelangelo, and in "Adventures In Turtle Sitting" Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello turned into children and the slacker of the group Michaelangelo had to look after them.
    • Another episode "Leatherhead Terror of the Swamp" when the mixture of the leftover mutagen that affected the Punk Frogs and Leatherhead is concentrated creating the Fountain of Youth. Shredder accidentally fell in the fountain turning him into a baby.
  • ThunderCats (1985):
    • In "Time Switch," Lion-O is exposed to gases from a Suspension Capsule that make him grow younger over the course of the episode. This is reveresed by entering the Cave of Time, where you age many times faster than normal.
    • In "Thundercubs," Panthro, Cheetara, Tygra, Snarf, and Snarfer wander into the Canyon of Youth, were they are regressed to children. As before, this is remedied using the Cave of Time. In "Return of the Thundercubs," Panthro, Cheetara and Tygra fall victim to the Valley of Youth again, but this time are restored by the Mirror of Truth.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In the episode "Love Disconnection" (and within that, the segment called "The Amazing Three"), Shirley the Loon tries to make the moves on an older male duck at a senior dance by asking him what his astrological sign is. Out of his beak comes Antiquated Linguistics as he belittles her, telling her how childish and unfounded astrology is. However, she has such a hard time understanding him that she reverts into a baby! Prior to that, Shirley said that she would impress the duck with her "keen wit and intellect".
      Shirley: Like, umm, what's your sign?
      Duck: Ah! A devotee of the unseen world. The universe fantastique. Almost amusing in an infantile sort of way, though terribly childish and laughably unfounded.
      (Shirley reverts into a baby)
      Duck: I believe Voltaire put it best when he likened astrology to astronomy as the mad daughter of a wise mother. Don't you agree?
      Shirley: I go like, nappy-poo now. Goo googoo gaa gaa gaa? (she crawls away)
      Duck: Quite.
    • The episode "Fields of Honey" reveal that laughter keeps toons young. This is shown where upon having people laugh at her cartoons after so many years, an elderly Honey is restored to her prime.
  • Transformers:
    • In the episode "Forever Is A Long Time Coming" from The Transformers, because of the effects of the Quintessons' time travel device, female captain Marissa Faireborn is zapped by a ray and temporarily transformed into a baby.
    • Transformers: Rescue Bots: Dr. Morocco stole a mechanical Fountain of Youth that he uses to stay young but he must use it very often due to the effects of the machine which make him age much faster than usual.
  • The T.U.F.F. Puppy episode "Pup Daddy" has an invention of Keswick's end up turning Keswick, the Chief, Kitty Katswell and Snaptrap, and later Snaptrap's underlings Ollie, Francisco and Larry, into teenagers. As time goes on, the characters affected continue to get younger, regressing to childhood and infancy, with Dudley having to keep his de-aged allies and enemies out of trouble and reverse the effects before they all undergo Death by De-aging.
  • The 8-minute pilot of Twelve Forever has the Butt Witch create a potion that turns people into babies. The protagonist Reggie is tricked into using it on Tristan, a boy she angered. After Reggie and her friend Shane restore Tristan to his true age, the Butt Witch falls victim to her own concoction and has to be carried away by her henchman.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald had this happen in the video "Birthday World", which sees the McDonaldland gang go to an amusement park called Birthday World where Ronald and his friends are turned into toddlers and babies by a Mad Scientist named Pinchworm.
  • In the Wacky Races (2017) episode "Formula Racing", an accident causes Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, I.Q. Ickley, and the Gruesome Twosome to become babies. Dick Dastardly gets stuck looking after them while Brick Crashman and P.T. Barnstorm search for a way to return the racers to their normal ages.
  • Winx Club:
    • In one episode of the third season, the Winx had to retrieve water from a magical stream that was capable of turning back time so they could save Faragonda who had been transformed into a tree by Valtor. However, they had to be careful not to touch the water, realizing that doing so could cause them to turn back into children. Near the end of the episode, after Flora earns her Enchantix after saving her younger sister from the Trix, she then throws the Trix into the water, turning them into preteens. Of course, the Trix are back to normal in later episodes, so Valtor must've been able to restore their true ages.
    • In Season 5's "The Gem of Empathy", Stella is magically transformed into a 3-year old when she gets her hands on a pin with an age changer spell in it.
    • Season 7's "Baby Winx" does this with all the Winx thanks to a spell being placed upon them by Brafilius; they even transform into fairies as youngsters as well.
  • In the Woody Woodpecker short Born to Peck, this is added in at the last second by the animator to save the life of an elderly, suicidal Woody.
  • In an episode of the cartoon Yogi's Treasure Hunt called "Secret Agent Bear", Yogi and his pals spoof James Bond movies. In it they accidently fall into the fountain of youth and the adults become little kids and the kids become babies. Later the villian uses the water to turn world leaders into kids and then is turned one himself at the end.
  • Zeke's Pad: In "Portrait of a Young Artist", Jay manages to help Zeke draw himself younger following his brush with Rapid Aging before it is too late, and Zeke is back to 14. But this time, Zeke continues to become younger! He behaves like a child too, stuffing his face with chocolate and throwing a tantrum. Even worse, his parents are about to come home, and they do not want to see Zeke as a 3-year-old kid.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Rejuvenation


11 Year Old Ben

Billy Billions turns Ben and Rook into kids.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / FountainOfYouth

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