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I Got Bigger

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He got taller with age, believe it!
"Hey, when the hell did you get taller than me?"
Kamina to Simon, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Puberty, being the race towards adulthood, can do weird things to kids. Hair starts growing everywhere, attraction to other people starts popping up, and, well, you grow up. Some people don't just grow up, though; they get BIG.

This trope describes characters who are seen for the first time after an extended period or time skip, and have grown a few inches up (or out, or both, or a LOT). It usually happens to the guys, and is usually meant to accentuate the amount of time that has passed: the little kid you used to noogie is now big enough to knock you out with one punch. Sometimes, they replace The Big Guy of the last generation. Can be used as a gag if the smallest kid is the one who grew the most.

Pint-Sized Kids tend to end up under this trope due to the major size gap between them and grownups. Tiny Schoolboys, however, aren't always so lucky. Compare to She Is All Grown Up and Breast Expansion. Contrast Comic-Book Time.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: Captain of the 7th Squad, Komamura Sajin, appears to be about the height of his friend, Tosen Kaname, when they first meet, if much wider. By the time the main storyline starts... Well, uh...
  • Bokura no Hentai:
    • Over the summer Satoshi hit a growth spurt. He had to quit his crossdresser ways as he couldn't wear his sisters clothes anymore.
    • Osamu begins growing noticeably as well. The boy he has affections for calls him disgusting now that puberty has made him taller, his voice deeper, and his body left soft. After that they stop talking but Osamu keeps crossdressing.
  • Can anyone recall that runty, skinny, and generally useless kid Raki from Claymore? Guess who is still looking for Clare after the Time Skip.
  • In Danganronpa 3, during the Side: Despair arc, Hiyoko Saionji is introduced as short and childlike as she comes off in the game. After her teacher, Chisa Yukizome, gets back from being reassigned to the Reserve Course for a few months, Hiyoko is much taller, like in the newspaper clipping seen at the end of the game, and Chisa wonders if the kimono-clad young woman is Hiyoko's older sister.
  • In Digimon Adventure, Takeru and Hikari were a few years younger than the other kids and about half their height. Come Digimon Adventure 02 and they're the same age and height as the older kids were back then. (In turn, the older kids are a bit taller too, but the difference isn't nearly as drastic.) Later, in Digimon Adventure tri., they're virtually indistinguishable from the "older" kids in terms of height.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku starts out rather runty. Thanks to his appetite, that doesn't last long. It's revealed in ''Daizenshuu'' that this is a facet of Saiyan physiology, who tend to have growth spurt phases. Note that there isn't much difference between a 12 year old Goku and his 15 year old self, but he grows nearly double the size in the following three years. Although, like humans, this differs from Saiyan to Saiyan. Jaco also notes that Saiyans have longer childhoods than humans. They stay small and then suddenly spurt to their full size when they reached a certain age. This is shown to be the case at least with Goku, Goten, and Kid Trunks as of Super. Future Trunks and Gohan seemed to age and grow gradually in Z.
    • Aversion: Krillin manages to stay the same height across 3 different series after his growth spurt.
    • In Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, Goten and Trunks finally start to look like teenagers with Piccolo being astonished at how suddenly they've grown.
  • Momiji from Fruits Basket. He was originally a short, feminine looking boy who seemed too young to be a high schooler but late into the manga he's shown tall and Bishōnen. He still keeps his bunny backpack though.
  • After a 3-month timeskip in Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed grew noticeably taller (he also did so in the first anime's movie). He still has his Berserk Button though, so tell him that at your own risk. By the end of the manga he's noticeably taller than Winry, compared to the beginning where he was far shorter than her. This is played for laughs early on, as Ed speculates that his automail's weight is preventing him from growing.
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) though he's still considerably short, barely being taller than his biologically fourteen year old brother and is still shorter than Winry. He's considerably shorter than Noah as well.
    • The physically thirteen Alphonse spends most of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa shorter than his eighteen year old brother. After a small timeskip at the end we see Al, now with shorter hair, next to Ed and they're the same height. Edward is short for a man while Al grows up to tower over his brother according to the "Kids" OVA.
  • Lyrical Nanoha fans had grown to love the 9 year old Nanoha Takamachi and her friends. Cue its third season, set 10 years later, with fully grown characters.
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura is a bit surprised to find out that Naruto has grown taller than her in the 2 1/2 years he was gone (he's actually the second-tallest of the Konoha 11 now as opposed to being the shortest).
    • Hinata Hyuga's younger sister Hanabi plays this trope straight. She grows noticeably taller between Part 1 and Naruto: The Last, and she surpasses her sister in the New Era.
  • Coby of One Piece is almost unrecognizable after training under Vice Admiral Garp.
  • Brow in Pandemonium Wizard Village is the smallest character in the story, even compared to the other children. At the end, after a 16 year time skip, he's become slightly larger than his students.
  • In Planetes, Hachimaki's teenage brother Kyutaro becomes larger than him after he returns from outer space, some months to a year later.
  • Ayato Kamina undergoes a slight growth spurt over the course of RahXephon, starting just a smidge shorter than Haruka (166 vs 167cm) and ending up several inches taller than her even in heels. Haruka brings attention to this near the end of the series just before confessing to him.
    Haruka: You passed me.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Usagi's little brother Shingo has something of a growth spurt between the first and second seasons, going from around half her height to only a little shorter than her (she even comments at one point that it's getting harder for her to physically intimidate him). The practical reason for this is to make him look older than the newly introduced Chibiusa (who also takes over his role as Annoying Younger Sibling while he gets a little Character Development).
    • Chibiusa herself plays this trope straight in the anime version. She got bigger between the seasons; in the manga, she had a physically Plot-Relevant Age-Up.
  • A few examples in Saki.
    • In the Achiga-hen spinoff, Ako, as an elementary schooler, is slightly shorter than her friend and year-mate, Shizuno. After they go through separate middle schools, however, Ako is taller and bustier than Shizuno, much to Shizuno's dismay.
    • In the main series, flashbacks indicate that Kasumi of the Eisui team was short and flat-chested as a young girl. By the time in which the story takes place, though, she's relatively tall and has the largest breasts of all the high-schoolers in the series.
  • Simon of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann ends up taller than his mentor and "big bro" Kamina after the mid-series time-skip. Because Kamina was killed before the time-skip, it only becomes apparent when a vision of him helps Simon snap out of the Anti-Spiral's Lotus-Eater Machine. After some words of encouragement, Kamina smiles as he notes that Simon's now towering over him, and the two share a bittersweet laugh before Simon leaves to fight.
  • Riku from Venus Versus Virus starts out a short elementary school boy at the start of the manga but by the last chapter he's almost as tall as his sixteen (or so) sister and taller than several high school freshman.
  • Shuuichi and Riku from Wandering Son. Nitori started growing several inches during the high school chapters, being taller than almost all the girls. Riku even notices she has grown taller than him when originally he had to look down at Nitori.
  • The titular protagonist of Yaiba is a short kid whose height, even with his geta and exaggeratedly spiky Anime Hair, barely reaches Sayaka's shoulder. In the epilogue, which takes place about three years after the final arc, he has now outgrown her.
  • Zatch Bell! 2: Most of the demons have grown significantly over the thirteen years since the first season.
    • Gash, while still shorter than Kiyomaro, now comes up to his chest rather than his thigh. And despite them being identical twins, Gash says that Zeon is taller than him now.
    • Tio and Kanchomé have both grown about as tall as their partners.
    • Brago was previously a head shorter than Sherry. Now, while Sherry is a fully grown woman, Brago is twice as tall.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield has a dream where Nermal after years of abuse comes back for revenge, and is massive! Cue Garfield waking up and giving his breakfast to the confused Kitten. Although it's been implied in other strips that Nermal is really an adult already.

    Fan Works 
  • In Forewarned is Forearmed, Akira starts hitting his growth spurt about halfway into his stay in Inaba. It's far more of a nuisance than anything, as gaining several inches over the course of a few weeks means that he quickly outgrows all of his clothes. The lack of money from his parents to replace them raises additional red flags with Dojima, and Akira is soon too big to use the TV in his and Yu's bedroom to enter the TV World.
  • Downplayed in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines. 15-year-old Ash was already taller than his mother when he began his Pokémon journey, but when he returns to Pallet Town a few months later, Delia finds herself surprised when she hugs him and notices he's a few more inches above her than she remembered (plus having gained some extra muscle from Iris' training).

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The protagonist of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Shadow, starts out as a nerdy runt, blows up over the summer, and decides to hide his intelligence after finding out that people expect someone of his size to be a dumb jock-type.
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog. Pretty much the epitome of this trope.
  • Daddy's Little Girl: Several characters who knew Ellie as a child express surprise at how she looks as an adult; she was always small for her age but over two decades later she stands 5'7. Ellie mentions having had a growth spurt after moving away from Oldham. It also symbolizes how she's no longer a scared little girl, but a grown woman who will stop at nothing to take down her sister's killer.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth the plot features around puberty, and the fact Rowley is maturing faster than Greg. It ends with Greg realizing he could use Rowley's puberty to his advantage. In which he draws a 10-foot Hulk-like Rowley about to cream some bullies.
  • Dune: When he's first introduced as a fifteen year old, Paul Atreides is described as looking small and young for his age. After the Time Skip, he's grown to be very tall and imposing.
  • Bean, from Ender's Game / Ender's Shadow, starts out absolutely tiny, smaller even than Ender was at his age. Doesn't help that he's also the youngest of the group by a fair margin. However, Bean experiences a massive growth spurt around 11 or 12, and grows to be over six feet tall by the time he's 14. Soon enough, people are referring to him as "the Giant". And he keeps growing, never stopping, because of some genetic engineering done to him as an embryo. He expects to die of an overtaxed heart or broken spine in his early twenties, if not sooner.
  • Done subtly in Harry Potter: In the first three books, Harry often complains about being The Runt at the End, with everyone being taller than him, and even Hermione being just as tall. This is quietly dropped during the fourth and fifth books, and in the last two there are a couple of offhand mentions of him being as tall as his father by then, and James was described in the early books as being quite tall. There's one acknowledgement in the sixth book, where Hermione mentions that Harry had a clear growth spurt during that summer.
  • In T. A. Barron's The Lost Years of Merlin, Shim, the very, very, very, small giant commits suicide by jumping into The Cauldron of Death, which breaks, comes back to life, and grows to be the largest giant.
  • The New Adventures of Elektronik by Yevgeny Veltistov take place a year or two after Electronic Boy from The Portmanteau. In the original story, the boy robot Elektronik looks identical to Sergey, a seventh-grader. By the New Adventures, there is a noticeable difference between the two, as Sergey is now taller, allowing the others to easily distinguish the boy from the android. On the other hand, Elektronik is clearly the more mature one.
  • In the Redwall book The Taggerung, before the time skip, Mhera is very young, half the size of her mother. Deyna is just a baby. After the time skip (Arguably implied to be the equivalent of fifteen years) Mhera is taller than her now slightly shrunken mother, and Deyna towers over both of them, not to mention very muscular seeing as he trained his entire life as the prophesied (second) greatest warrior who ever lived
  • In XL by Scott Brown, Will starts out at 4' 11" near his 16th birthday, when he begins to grow rapidly, for unknown (but not magical) reasons. He's 7' 1" and still growing a year later. He's monitored at a clinic for people with various growth disorders and the object of special attention by the other patients in the waiting room at every appointment.
  • Tigerstar of Warrior Cats had been the runt of his litter until getting older. Not only did he get older and bigger, but he also became a giant among the Clan cats. It appears that his sons Bramblestar and Hawkfrost share their father's growth spurt as well.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A season premiere episode of Growing Pains revolved around Ben being afraid to go back to school because on the last day before the summer break, a bully threatened to beat him up when school started back up. By the end of the episode, he's forced to face the bully only for the bully to realize that Ben had a growth spurt over the summer and was now a head taller than he was. Realizing he doesn't have a chance, the bully runs off.
    Bully: You grew!
    Ben: You didn't.
  • Kaamelott: In one episode, the castle is under attack from a barbarian horde, whose leader turns out used to be a weak, athsmatic little runt who's now seven feet tall and weighs two hundred pounds.
  • All the Sutton kids in Lincoln Heights grow a little, but Tay is the most noticeable, and he becomes far less wimpy as a result.
  • Anthony LaRusso, Daniel's short fat little son on Cobra Kai, was a minor character in Season 1 and almost entirely written out of Seasons 2 and 3. He returned in Season 4 as a main character, and by that time he was barely recognizable.
    Johnny: Who the hell are you... Wait, are you the son?? What'd you do, switch over to Whopper Jrs.?
    Anthony: It's called a growth spurt, dipshit.
  • The writers of Lost found out the hard way why you can't have a kid in a show in which one season equates to about a month of in-universe time. Walt had to be written out for that reason. When Locke saw a vision of Walt, he was "taller", with no in-universe explanation as to why.
  • In an episode of Taxi Bobby, a cabdriver/actor, goes to Louie's high school reunion in his place, pretending to be him in order to get back at all the kids who teased Louie in school. Bobby!Louie claims he "shot up" in college.

    Video Games 
  • Inverted in Chrono Trigger as this trope plays out of order. Magus is a very tall, stoic, very attractive-looking wizard. Later on, you time travel to the past and meet his child self, who is, like all kid sprites in the game, very small.
  • Donkey Kong: Tiny Kong was around the same size as Diddy back in Donkey Kong 64. Come Donkey Kong Barrel Blast and the DS remake of Diddy Kong Racing, she's twice as tall as him and proportioned more like a human.
  • Faeries in Dragalia Lost undergo this as part of their life cycle, setting in during adolescence and ending after an undisclosed period of time. When Meene was introduced human-sized during the "Forgotten Truths" event, fans speculated that something similar could happen to Notte as well. As of the second half of Chapter 18, their wish was granted.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, a conversation between the brothers Forde and Franz has the former asking the latter if he's grown taller, which the latter happily confirms.
    • While the younger version is never seen in-game, it's implied to be the case with Camilla in Fire Emblem Fates, as a support conversation with her retainer Beruka reveals that Beruka's armor used to belong to Camilla herself. Beruka is probably one of the shorter females aside from the Token Mini-Moes and seems rather flat-chested, while Camilla is one of the tallest characters of either gender and has massive breasts.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
      • Bernadetta starts out as the second-shortest character, but grows significantly over the Time Skip, becoming taller than Edelgard and Petra.
      • Caspar is one of the smallest male characters pre-timeskip, but after the Time Skip, he's broad-shouldered and at least a full head taller than most of the female characters, although he's still one of the shortest male characters. (Only Cyril and Ignatz are shorter)
      • Ashe grows a full ten centimeters after the Time Skip and fills out in the shoulders, although he's still relatively short and slender. (Only Caspar, Ignatz, and Cyril are shorter amongst the male cast)
      • Lysithea is the shortest character pre-timeskip, but after, she's outgrown Edelgard and is nearly as tall as Petra.
      • Cyril ties with Lysithea as the shortest character pre-timeskip, but he grows twenty centimeters during the Time Skip and has a more athletic build after.
      • Dimitri grows eight centimeters, and puts on a good deal of muscle mass.
      • Ferdinand grows a modest five centimeters and is broader in the shoulders post-timeskip; it's just less obvious than the others due to his hair growing out.
    • Sothe between Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, as well as Ike and Boyd. Many other characters even comment on the radical height increases with all three characters throughout Dawn. Tormod's comments to Ike is the most amusing of them all.
  • Jak and Daxter: In the first game, Jak is 15, and looks 15. But because of his capture between the first two games, he's twice as big when he escapes prison at age 17 in Jak II: Renegade, and resembles a 25-year-old. Though his aging has slowed down, and by Jak X: Combat Racing, he's hardly gotten older as a 19-year-old.
  • Kingdom Hearts protagonist Sora goes in the opposite direction as Jak. He's 14 in the original game, but physically resembles a 10-year-old boy because he's in the early stages of puberty. When he awakens at the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II, one year later, his body has aged significantly, to the point where he's outgrown his original outfit. This is exemplified in a scene where he imagines himself dancing with Kairi, and is just over a full head taller as he’s imagining her as he saw her last(when he finally sees her again, she’s about as tall as he is). He has since aged normally, being 17 in Kingdom Hearts III and looking 17.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • After spending years as preteens, Red and Blue return to the fold as grown men in Pokémon Sun and Moon.
  • In Sonic Generations, through the game's use of Timey-Wimey Ball, it turns out that the original tubby, black-eyed design for Sonic from the first 3 games and CD was a pre-pubescent version of the hedgehog, while the modern sleek, green-eyed design is him post-puberty. However, even though he's a head taller than his younger self, Modern Sonic still only measures to about 1 meter (3"3) tall.
  • Siegfried in the Soul Series. He started out as the shortest playable character in Soul Edge (157 cm at age 16), grew to 165 cm in Soulcalibur (age 19), 168 cm in Soulcalibur II (age 23), and 172 cm in Soulcalibur V (age 40). It's unclear if the time he spent as Nightmare did anything to stunt his growth (what with all the physical deformities), although the fact that he continued growing throughout his time as Nightmare and even after, even past 23, an age when men have stopped growing may mean it didn’t. Retcon may also be in play. Soulcalibur VI, a Continuity Reboot of sorts, opted to cut out the middle man and updated Siegfried's height during the Soulcalibur era to that of his SCV self, likely to account for reusing his model from that game. As such, Retcon may be in play, because he, Mitsurugi who was similarly updated to the height of his SCV self, Kilik possibly so he isn't shorter than Sophitia, Zasalamel, and Hwang are taller than they were during or after the Soulcalibur era. All but two male characters had a height change. Only four female characters, Seong Mi-Na, Hilde, Cassandra and Amy as Viola have height changes. Most of the men are past their mid 20’s, so the designers seem to believe that men can keep growing after their mid 20’s.
  • Tekken: Jin Kazama is already tall and muscular as a teenager in his debut game, but after the two-year Time Skip between 3 and 4, he has become a straight-up bodybuilder.
  • In What Remains of Edith Finch Edith notices that she has a harder time crawling through the doggy door at the age of 17 than when she was 11. It's also because she is 22 weeks pregnant at that point.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles: In the second game, Rex is fifteen years old and small for his age; he's mistaken for a younger child on a regular basis, and he's the shortest character in the main cast (not counting Tora). When he returns in Future Redeemed twenty or so years older, he's tall, built like a brick house, and strong enough to dual-wield two greatswords.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night:
    • In the Unlimited Blade Works route, Shirou (5'6") complains a bit about being on the small side. As the reveal that the 6'2" and very muscular Archer is a Future Badass version of Shirou shows, he has one hell of a growth spurt to expect in the upcoming years.
    • An even more dramatic case from the same franchise is Waver Velvet. At nineteen, he was so short that his Servant suggested that he ought to wish on the Holy Grail to make himself a foot taller. Turns out he was able to manage it entirely on his own several years after Fate/Zero, much to the shock of anyone who's seen him in both stages of life.
    Euryale: Just how much pain do you have to endure to grow into that!?
  • Battler from Umineko: When They Cry notes that he recently underwent a growth spurt that left him noticeably taller than just about everyone else in his extended family. He's a bit embarrassed that they all feel the need to comment on it.


    Web Videos 
  • Toto and Dodo from Cream Heroes have undergone a significant growth spurt under Claire's care. To start with they were tiny kittens who were able to fit on Claire's hand. A year later, they tower over the smaller cats- with Toto tying for third heaviest with Coco, with only TT and DD being heavier.

    Western Animation 
  • Aang, who was The Baby of the Bunch, in Avatar: The Last Airbender grew to be the tallest one of the group as an adult as seen in the "Old Friends" poster. He and Toph were about the same height in the original show and he towers over her in a flashback in the Sequel Series, The Legend of Korra.
  • Averted in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Cooper Daniels, still being a teenager, is now taller and more muscular, stating that he has a growth spurt as compared with his appearance in Ben 10: Alien Force where he is shorter and chubbier.
  • An unlikely case, Dr. Zoidberg of Futurama. Upon returning to his home planet for mating season, he visits the tide pool where he grew up, and plucks out a small hermit crab he claims is named Vinnie and bullied Zoidberg when they were younger. Zoidberg promptly taunts him about being the tough guy now and then eats him.
  • Harvey Street Kids: A flashback from "Girls Just Wanna Save Fun" shows that Lotta, before her growth spurt, used to be even shorter than Tiny.
  • Kim Possible: As part of almost everyone becoming a Future Badass in the Bad Future present in "A Sitch in Time," Kim's younger brothers, Jim and Tim, and Wade all grow up to tower over Kim and Ron (and get ripped). Justified as all three are prepubescent, so growth spurts are very much in order, whereas Monique, who is already a teenager in the present and thus done growing, has aged without becoming taller.
  • In one episode of King of the Hill, Joseph comes back from summer camp having undergone a serious growth spurt, gaining a very deep voice, and having grown some facial hair. Bobby spent most of the episode envious despite having spent his summer doing grown-up things with his grandma at a retirement community. Joseph still ended up being incredibly immature either way, though.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Alix is one of the shortest members of the heroes' class. Her future self, on the other hand, towers over the lot of them when she travels back in time to the present day.
    • Likewise, Chat Noir is significantly taller in his brief appearance in the future.
  • The Owl House: Gus gains a half-head in height and gets a deeper voice in the space between seasons 1 and 2, as a way to justify his voice actor growing up (he refers to it as "Witch Puberty", which apparently works differently). It's still downplayed somewhat, as he remains the shortest among his friends by about an inch.
  • ReBoot:
    • Enzo gets huge post-Time Skip. He went from half the size of Bob to a head taller and far more muscular than Bob. Bob even points out the size change when Enzo is about to run into Bob like Enzo did back in season 1. He's bigger than Megabyte. Thank you, puberty!
      Bob: Whoa! I think you're a little too big for that.
    • Becomes endlessly awkward when the system reboots bringing back an exact copy of kid Enzo, in the same room with huge/buff/adult Enzo.
      Kid Enzo: Who's that big ugly green guy?
  • In any hypothetical future, Recess portrays shrimpy Gus as tall, muscular, and broad-shouldered. This is pretty much what Gus's father looks like and Gus also meets a very large elderly man who looked almost identical to Gus when he was a child, suggesting it's more than wishful thinking.

    Real Life 
  • It's not at all uncommon for adolescents and teenagers to go through dramatic growth spurts in a very short period of time. Over the course of a single year, a kid can go from the shortest member in their family to as tall or even taller than their parents.
  • In adults, this condition is called acromegaly, and results from a benign tumor near the pituitary gland causing an abnormally high production of growth hormone. One of the most extreme cases, Adam Rainer, grew from 111.5 cm (3'8") at age 19 to 218 cm (7'2") at age 33. He died at age 51 at 234 cm (7'8").
  • Patrick Warburton, famous for voice work but also playing the live-action version of The Tick (2001), has said that he was a runty weakling in high school. He sure isn't now!
  • Anthony Michael Hall, who convincingly played small, geeky characters early on, then went on to playing convincingly menacing hulks.
  • Matthew Lewis, i.e. Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter movies. As The Weekly Planet put it, “He is like this weird little grubby kid, who turns into Henry Cavill.”
  • It's the reason why Elle Fanning is now taller than her older sister, Dakota Fanning. At age 11, Elle had an intense growth spurt, where she grew seven inches in a year and a half. Furthermore, during the shooting of Somewhere, right at the start of her said growth spurt, her feet had grown two sizes bigger in just six weeks.


Video Example(s):



In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Rex was a somewhat scrawny 15 year old that got pulled into a conflict greater than himself. Flash forward to Future Redeemed and he's taken the lessons of his companions into adulthood and become a legendary warrior others can depend on in even the most dire of situations, while still keeping the heart of the salvager boy from Leftheria.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / KidHeroAllGrownUp

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