Follow TV Tropes


Grow Old with Me

Go To
"Thanks for the adventure... Now go have a new one!"
"Oh, they say that I'm feeble with age, Maggie; my steps are much slower than then.
My face is a well written page, Maggie, and time all along was the pen.
Oh, they say that we've outlived our time, Maggie, as dated as songs that we've sung,
But to me, you're as fair as you were, Maggie, when you and I were young."

Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.

This trope is when a romantic couple is depicted going on into their golden years. If mortality or mental illness is a theme, this is a sure recipe for tear jerkers aplenty. (Expect a chance of Together in Death, for instance.)

May combine with Babies Ever After by also depicting their descendants, who are often numerous.

Compare December–December Romance, wherein the couple meets in their senior years.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 2 episode 20, to counteract him coming down with an incurable disease, Doctor H. uses one of his Three Wishes to make him and Miss Peach live to be 100 years old. The wish is granted, and Doctor H. finds that he's been with Miss Peach for that long... only to realize that Miss Peach was more attractive when she was younger.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • The Pattersons in the epilogue to For Better or for Worse
  • Subverted in a Garfield greeting card with a cover reading, "Come let us grow old together." and the words "You first." inside.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Central to the plot of Up. The actual aging and romance take place in the film's opening montage (as seen in the page image), but remain the driving force of the plot throughout the film.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Away From Her
  • Bicentennial Man: Though he doesn't physically age, once Andrew convinces Portia that she's in love with him, he stays with her forever. Eventually he even forces himself to grow old in appearance and become mortal so that he can appear to die of old age alongside her.
  • Big Fish. The whole film is about the main character telling stories about his whole life, and his favorite story is how he met and proposed to his wife. They are both shown young and old.
  • Used as Arc Words in the Christopher Nolan movie Inception... Due to the effects of Year Inside, Hour Outside two lovers do this while trapped within the dream world.
  • The two main characters of The Notebook live together well into old age.
  • In Don Juan DeMarco, the title character helps a therapist & his wife discover the possibilities for passion though their retirement years. Not a bad prospect!
  • In The Wedding Singer, Julia casually mentions wanting to marry someone she could grow old with. Robbie, who is in love with her, writes a song entitled "Grow Old With You" and sings it to her at the end to prove how much he cares. It works like a charm.
  • The end of A Beautiful Mind fast forwards to John and Alicia Nash's old age and gives the impression that they had been married the whole time. In real life they divorced in 1963 after four years of marriage and remarried in 2001, remaining married until their deaths in 2015.
  • Buster Keaton's College ends rather cynically with a short montage of the two newlyweds, then as a family with children, then as two old people, and finally two graves.

  • Raymond E. Feist likes to follow his characters and their romantic interests well into their twilight years, which leads to more than a few cases of this trope. See Jimmy the Hand/Duke James' death in The Serpentwar Saga.
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • Near the end of Komarr, Ekaterin's Uncle is rather upset at his wife's close call, and Ekaterin is somewhat envious of a marriage that the participants regard as threatened with a premature end after a mere fifty years.
    • Aral and Cordelia Vorkosigan lasted forty years before he died.
  • Given that life expectancy in Panem had otherwise seemed to be very short, the epilogue to The Hunger Games had this subtext, although the trauma sustained by Katniss in particular is implied to be ever-present.
  • Tommy and Tuppence, who over the course of five books go from "Bright Young Things" to grandparents.
  • Kenny Bruce Williams and Ekaterina Risto in the Left Behind book Kingdom Come grow old throughout the entire Millennial Kingdom period as a married couple, as do all naturals who become believers before their 100th birthday. By the time the Millennium ends, even the longest-living naturals who become believers revert to the prime of their adult youth as they receive their glorified bodies.
  • Indira and Tendai in Alien in a Small Town.
  • In Annie on My Mind, Liza mentions wanting to grow old with Annie with a bunch of cats in Maine.
  • This Trope is actually inverted in the book Elsewhere where because of the way aging works in the afterlife the main character Liz and her love interest Owen grow young together but still hit all the hallmarks of a couple growing into their twilight years. Up until the day Liz becomes a baby and is sent back to earth to be born again.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the series finale of Charmed, Piper and Leo travel to the future and meet themselves as an elderly couple. Grandma!Piper even had fresh-baked cookies ready for them in expectation of their meeting.
  • Doctor Who
    • The impossibility of this happening has been addressed directly in the series several times, due to the Doctor being able to, barring accidents, live forever and the tragedy that he cannot ever "grow old" with anyone he loves.
      Tenth Doctor: I don't age. I regenerate. But humans decay. You wither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone who you... You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. Alone. That's the curse of the Time Lords.
    • In the afterward to the Melody Malone novel "The Angel's Kiss", Amy assured the Doctor that she and Rory met this fate after being Trapped in the Past by the Weeping Angels. Rory also sent a letter to his dad assuring him of the same thing in the mini-epilogue "P.S.".
  • In the first season of ER, Doug Ross sincerely tells his current girlfriend, "I hope we'll grow old together" when she asks him where their relationship is going. Unfortunately, as he was still deep within his womanizing phase, within weeks, he cheated on her and she ended it.
  • Farscape: Played with in "The Locket". Aeryn becomes trapped on the opposite side of a "stellar mist" from Moya and the resulting Time Dilation means she's there for several decades, enough time to marry and start a family. John eventually goes in after her and also becomes stuck. The pair then spend several decades aging together but it's unclear whether their relationship became romantic. During that time Aeryn tells John the titular locket contains a picture of "the only man I've ever loved", which he assumes means her late husband. Eventually a Reset Button restores them both to their youth at the cost of their memories of the whole incident. It's only then that we learn the picture inside the locket was actually John all along.
  • Forever: Though Henry can't physically grow old, this is essentially what he wants with Abigail. He's happy to spend the rest of her life with her, no matter what the rest of the world may think. Eventually he learns that Abigail came to the same decision, and had found an isolated little home in the country where they could have lived out the rest of her days in peace, but she died before she could mail him the letter asking him to come join her there.
  • Friends While not actually shown, Monica and Chandler promise they will do this after Chandler has to spend a day with his newly-divorced boss.
    Chandler: You know what the worst part was? I got to see what my life would be like without you... please promise that you will never leave me, that we will grow old together, and be with each other for the rest of our lives.
    Monica: I promise.
  • Good Omens (2019): Played with.
    • As supernatural entities, angels and demons do not grow older, but this is what Crowley wants for him and Aziraphale, as it was revealed at the end of series 2 during his Anguished Declaration of Love:
      Crowley: (on the verge of tears) And I would like to spend- (voice breaks)
  • Highlander: The Series: In the first episode, Tessa is turning 35 years old, the age that her immortal love Duncan appears to be. She's saddened by the fact that from now on, every year she'll look older and older than him. She wonders if someday Duncan will want someone younger to match his physical age — or maybe she will want someone she can grow old with. Duncan sadly tells her that she'll know he wanted the same thing, to grow old with her.
  • The third episode of The Last of Us (2023) follows the couple Frank and Bill from when they first meet each other to 17 years later, as they grow old and eventually, due to Frank's terminal illness, kill themselves to be Together in Death.
  • Mork & Mindy: When the titular couple get married Mindy's vows include asking Mork to grow old with her and promising that "the best is yet to be".
  • Saturday Night Live ran a skit that poked fun at Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey when they were married and had a reality show, by showing what things might be like fifty years down the road. In short, Jessica was still a Brainless Beauty, but poor Nick needed to get his eyeballs replaced from rolling them so much over the years.
  • WandaVision tragically has a post-mortem version of this trope. The Vision willed Wanda a plot of land in Westview, New Jersey, to build a home "to grow old in" (sic). She only realizes this when she looks at the plot, where Vision had left his short final message.

  • Paul McCartney asks his lover if she'll stay with him in "When I'm Sixty-Four". The irony that Paul was in the middle of a nasty divorce from Heather Mills when he was 64 was lost on no-one.
  • Subverted in "When You're Old And Gray" by Tom Lehrer, on the album Songs by Tom Lehrer.
    While I still appreciate you
    Let's find love while we may
    Because I know I'll hate you
    When you are old and gray
  • The old music-hall song, "My Old Dutch":
    We've been together now for forty years,
    And it don't seem a day too much.
    Oh, there ain't a lady living in the land
    As I'd swap for my dear old Dutch.
  • The old parlor song, "Silver Threads Among the Gold" (beloved of Warner Bros. cartoons):
    Darling, we are growing old—
    Silver threads among the gold
    Shine upon my brow today;
    Life is fading fast away;
    But, my darling, you will be
    Always young and fair to me,
  • Ludo's song from their latest album, "Anything for You," invokes this:
    Anything for you
    All of this is true
    But the best story that I could ever tell
    Is the one where I am growing old with you.
  • Title of one of the last songs John Lennon ever wrote. Sadly averted.
  • Journey's song "After All these Years" is sung from the point of view of a fellow who is Happily Married and utterly delighted that he's had the chance to have a long life alongside his wife.
  • The premise of Stan Rogers' "Forty-Five Years" from his debut album, "Fogarty's Cove".
    I just want to hold you closer than I've ever held anyone before
    You say you've been twice a wife and you're through with life
    Oh, but honey, what the hell's it for?
    After 23 years, you'd think I could find a way to let you know somehow
    That I want to see your smiling face forty-five years from now.
  • The Ringo Starr / George Harrison collaboration "Photograph", which became a major Tear Jerker when Ringo performed it at the Concert for George.
    I can't get used to living here,
    While my heart is broke, my tears I cried for you.
    I want you here to have and hold,
    As the years go by and we grow old and grey.
  • Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe" is a moving reflection on the "mortality" version of this trope.
  • In Paul and Storm's "Extremely Old With You", the narrator sings to his new bride about all the tribulations of old age that they'll eventually face together. It's both funny and genuinely sweet.
  • George Strait's "Check Yes or No"
  • Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud"
    When my hair's all but gone and my memory fades
    And the crowds don't remember my name
    When my hands don't play the strings the same way
    I know you will still love me the same
  • Also by Ed Sheeran, "Nancy Mulligan", which about the singer's grandparents. The song alternates between their dramatic elopement and their happy old age sixty years later.
  • A line in "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers states that the protagonist wants to grow old with the person they're singing about.
    And if I grow old, well I know I'm gonna be
    I'm gonna be the man who's growing old with you
  • "The Gambler" by Fun is about a couple growing from when they meet to when they're middle aged. The narrator takes note of them growing old together.
  • "Rockin' Years" by Dolly Parton and Ricky Van Shelton.
    Rockin' chairs, rockin' babies, rock-a-bye, rock of ages
    Side by side we'll be together always
    And if you'll hold me tight when you love me
    That's all I'll ask of you
    And I'll stand by you through our rockin' years
  • Bastille: "Laughter Lines" is about a couple vowing to stay together until they're both old; considering the usual, much gloomier tone in their songs, it's pretty heartwarming.
    Cross my heart and hope to die
    I'll see you with your laughter lines
  • "Prettiest Eyes'' by The Beautiful South features an old man looking back on the long relationship shared with his partner, which still seems to be going strong.
    Let's take a look at these crows' feet, just look,
    Sitting on the prettiest eyes.
    Sixty 25th of Decembers,
    Fifty-nine 4th of Julys
    Well, my eyes look like a map of the town,
    And my teeth are either yellow or they're brown,
    But you'll never hear the crack of a frown when you are near.
    You'll never hear the crack of a frown.
  • "I Swear" by John Michael Montgomery, especially the second verse (which was changed in the All-4-One cover):
    And when there's silver in your hair
    You won't have to ask if I still care
    'Cause as time turns the page
    My love won't age at all.
  • "These Are the Days of Our Lives" by Queen depicts a couple reminiscing over their younger days.
    Those days are all gone now, but one thing's still true
    When I look, and I find, I still love you.
  • Implied in He is We's "I Wouldn't Mind":
    Forever is a long time
    But I wouldn't mind spending it by your side
    Tell me every day I get to wake up to that smile
    I wouldn't mind that at all
    I wouldn't mind that at all
  • The Chinese song "The Most Romantic Thing", as translated:
    The most romantic thing I can think ofnote 
    Is to get old with you graduallynote 
    Until we are too old to go anywherenote 
    I still treat you as my honeynote 
  • "Dreams Go By" by Harry Chapin tells the story of a couple from high school through old age.
  • "From the Ground Up" by Dan + Shay:
    Someday we'll wake up
    With thousands of pictures
    Sixty-five years in this little house
    I won't trade for nothing, the life that we built
    I'll kiss you goodnight and say I love you still
    And we'll build this love from the ground up
    For worse or for better
    And I will be all you need...
  • Tragically averted in "You Said You'd Grow Old With Me" by Michael Schulte. The singer is mourning a loved one who committed suicide. Lines like "You've got your peace now, but what about me?" and "We had plans, we had visions" really hit hard for people who've experienced this in real life.
    Thought we had the time, had our lives
    Now you'll never get older, older
    Didn't say goodbye, now I'm frozen in time
    Getting colder, colder
    Just one last word, one last moment
    To ask you why you left me here behind
    You said you'd grow old with me
  • Voltaire's "Anniversary" is about an aging couple whose love for each other has only strengthened with time.
    And they said our love would fade
    It gets stronger everyday...
    Some say things worth having take some time
    As they get older they get better

    Myths & Religion 

  • Darby and Joan, from a poem by Henry Woodfall published in 1735.
    Old Darby, with Joan by his side
    You've often regarded with wonder.
    He's dropsical, she is sore-eyed
    Yet they're ever uneasy asunder.
  • Trope Namer is the Robert Browning poem "Rabbi Ben Ezra:"
    Grow old along with me!
    The best is yet to be,
    The last of life, for which the first was made:
    Our times are in His hand
    Who saith, "A whole I plann'd,
    Youth shows but half; trust God: see all nor be afraid!"
  • Robert Burns's "John Anderson":
    John Anderson, my jo, John,
    When we were first acquent,
    Your locks were like the raven,
    Your bonnie brow was brent;
    But now your brow is beld, John,
    Your locks are like the snow;
    But blessings on your frosty pow,
    John Anderson, my jo!

  • Nora McInerny, host of podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking, discussed being jealous of old couples holding hands after her husband died in their early 30s.

    Video Games 
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The Avatar of Fire Emblem: Awakening references this in idle dialogue with their spouse.
      "I’ll stay safe if you promise to do the same. I want to grow old together."
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, the trope is alluded to in Azama and Effie's S-Support:
      Effie: What do you mean? You protect me all the tending to my wounds.
      Azama: I want to protect you BEFORE you get injured. Because I want to live a long and happy life... with you by my side.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Sylvain uses these words to propose to Dorothea, who was desperately looking for someone to take care of her as she grows older and loses her looks because she doesn't want to return to being dirt-poor. Compared to his previous pick-up lines, this was the one that made Dorothea accept his proposal and leads to the two of them being Happily Married in their paired epilogue.
  • WarioWare Gold: In this game's version of the microgame "Rocky Reunion", there's a chance that a level might have the lovers very old instead.

    Web Comics 
  • xkcd: "Together"
  • As part of the Distant Finale to Dominic Deegan.
  • If Mickey Mouse had a boyfriend instead.
  • Omocat's short comic Pretty Boy follows the relationship between a jock and his boyfriend, the eponymous "Pretty Boy"; from their first meeting and the romance that grows from it, to them getting married and adopting a child, to the now-elderly jock visiting Pretty Boy on his deathbed and then visiting his grave with their son. The final panel shows a photo of the couple on their wedding day, with the caption "And they lived happily ever after..."

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Arthur: The Flash Forward ending of "And Now Let's Talk to Some Kids" shows Arthur and Francine having grown old together.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: A Deleted Scene in "Take This Ed And Shove It" has an elderly Eddy finding out he and the other Eds married to the Kankers, honeymooned in the junkyard, and had lots of kids.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Beware My Cheating Bart", when asked what his goal in life is, Homer replies without hesitation that he wants to grow old with Marge and live long enough to "be one of those couples who just sit in the park holding hands".
    • In "Holidays of Future Passed", which takes place in the distant future, Homer and Marge do manage to grow old together.
  • One episode of The Fairly OddParents! has Timmy telling his crush Trixie about his dream life with her. It includes going steady (in elementary), being High-School Sweethearts, going to college together, getting married, growing old together and traveling together, and be together as atoms forever after they die.
  • In the Color Classics cartoon "Musical Memories", the nameless old couple have been together for many, many years and spend the short reminiscing about their lives together.

    Real Life 
  • The couple that currently holds the record for the world's longest marriage (86 years!), Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher. They were married from May 1924 until February 2011, when Herbert died at the age of 105. Zelmyra died in February 2013, also at the age of 105.


Video Example(s):


Fry and Leela's honeymoon

After marrying themselves, Fry and Leela grow old together in a world they froze in time.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / GrowOldWithMe

Media sources: