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Immaturity Insult

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Ronan: I only ask that you take this matter seriously.
Thanos: The only matter I do not take seriously, boy, is you.

To describe an adult — or an adolescent — as a child is an insult. Besides the direct approach, telling someone it's past his bedtime, offering toys, asking after his parents or refusing to let a character participate on this grounds all fall under it.

Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! and Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids! are subtropes. Arguing with the insult often brings up I Resemble That Remark!, especially for the Manchild. Trying to disprove can prove to be either the Call to Adventure or Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb.

Compare Years Too Early, where one character tells another that they're too immature to challenge them, Not Now, Kiddo, when someone doesn't want to listen to a kid, and Boring Insult. For immature insults, see Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head. The trope can also invoke Insult to Rocks if the insulter has a lot of respect for children. Supertrope to Just a Kid.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: In this strip, 5, Sally and Lucy yell at someone who they refer to as a "little kid". The final panel reveals that it's Charlie Brown.
    Charlie Brown: Actually, I'm bigger than any of them. What they're referring to is my emotional immaturity!

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • Incredibles 2: During Evelyn's Motive Rant, she calls Winston a child (though not to his face) for conflating the time of superheroes with the time he spent with their parents.
  • The LEGO Movie: When Batman deals with Bad Cop in the Old West, he calls him a big, dumb baby and rebuilds his car into a baby carriage.
  • The Lorax (2012): Ted's mother calls O'Hare a "crazy baby man" when he searches her house to find the Truffula seed.

    Film — Live Action 
  • In Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott is sneaking around a school when his suit malfunctions, leaving about the size of a child. Hank and Hope tease him mercilessly.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Ego at one point yells, "Oh, grow up!" at Quill as they fight. Granted, Quill is an unapologetic Manchild, but attacking the man who just revealed he murdered several thousands of his children and your mother (via brain cancer) is understandable.
  • Let It Shine: During the "Moment of Truth" rap battle, one of Bling's insults is that Cyrus has to "Hold his Mommy's hand" before he crosses the street.
  • Looper: Joe is a temporal assassin assigned to kill his older self, sent back from 30 years in the future. Old Joe is quite bitter at his younger self for all the various mistakes he knows he'll make, and during a tense meeting tells Young Joe "Shut your child mouth."

  • Adrian Mole: In Growing Pains, when Adrian is fifteen, his parents selfishly choose a "no under-eighteens" bar, and spend hours there. Adrian wanders off, and is summoned back by an announcement "would Adrian Mole aged fifteen please go to the lost children's centre, where his mummy and daddy are waiting for him".
  • Captain Underpants: Melvin's catchphrase is "You are so immature."
  • The Famous Five:
    • In Five Run Away Together, Julian tells Anne that she is a good little girl for keeping their cave so tidy. Anne enjoys the praise, but does not like being called a little girl.
    • In Five Go To Smuggler's Top, their host Mr Lenoir tends to speak to the children as if they are very small.
      Mr Lenoir: Ah, you are enjoying your dinner, and eating it all up, like good children.
    • In Five On Kirrin Island Again, pompous Julian talks down to Dick and George when they are brawling about George wanting to be a boy.
      Julian: Let me tell you, you're both behaving like babies, not like boys or girls!
  • Junie B. Jones: In "Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed", Paulie Allen Puffer says only babies drool and sarcastically asks Junie B. if she's a baby when she admits she's woken up with drool on her pillow.
  • The Magicians: During Alice's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Quentin, she points out that he's too much of a Manchild to have a stable adult life.
    Alice: You really are a child, aren't you? You're obviously not enough of a real man to have a real relationship. You're not even enough of a real man to end a real relationship. Do I have to do everything for you?
  • Ramona Quimby: The older students frequently use the term "kindergarten baby" to diss the kindergarteners. Ramona takes offense to this when she's in kindergarten, but does it herself when she moves on to first grade.
  • The Silver Chair: Jill is indignant when the giant Queen treats her like a young child.
    Giant Queen: Give her lollipops, give her dolls, and possets, and comforts, and lullabies, and lovely cuddly toys. Now, little girl, don't cry, or you won't be good for anything when the Feast comes.
  • The Wheel of Time has an accidental version thanks to Culture Clash. Faile's Hot-Blooded Saldean culture expects couples to resolve disagreements through the occasional lively shouting match, so Perrin's efforts to stay calm and polite with her make her feel like he's insulting her by deliberately treating her like a young child.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Boardwalk Empire:
    • Throughout the series, the young Charlie Luciano and Meyer Lanksy are magnets for these kinds of insults. In his first meeting with Chalky White, Lansky is mockingly called "short-pants" (not helped by the fact that he's a head shorter than everyone in the room), while during an argument with Gyp Rosetti, Luciano is told to "go sit in the corner." Even their employers and mentors regard them with a degree of condescending paternalism: Arnold Rothstein clearly sees his two henchmen as promising students in need of "civilizing influences", while Joe Masseria treats Luciano like a wayward child who needs to stop hanging around with the wrong crowd, patting him on the knee and publicly demeaning him as "a good kid". This ultimately backfires when the two partners in crime set out to take power, assassinating Masseria and his successor, humiliating Nucky Thompson, then forming the modern Mafia.
    • Jimmy Darmody is also treated like a child by his detractors, especially galling for him considering he's a war veteran. Notably, Manny Horvitz affectionately refers to him as boychik, even remarking "aw, he's just a baby!" when they first meet; however, as the second season goes on and Jimmy fails to pay his debt to Manny, the relationship turns sour and "boychik" is used more and more belittlingly - until Manny sneeringly indicates that Jimmy doesn't have the maturity to take over the Commodore's organization. Unfortunately, Jimmy ends up proving him right by arranging for Manny to be assassinated so that he doesn't have to pay up; Manny survives - adding yet another problem to Jimmy's growing list.
  • Booth does this to Sweets a lot on Bones after his season 3 introduction. Sweets is a genius who got to be an FBI psychologist in his mid 20s and Booth made several remarks about him being a kid or 12 year old.
  • Drake & Josh had an episode where Josh calls Drake a child while they are spying on their dad when they think he's committing infidelity.
  • Downplayed in House of Anubis, where Nina calls both Amber and Alfie out for being immature. She tells Alfie he's "just a big kid" when he tells a dumb joke and bumps into her, and when Amber's unable to focus on her ping-pong game due to the cute competitor on the other team, Nina tells her to "grow up a little". Though both of these statements were innocent and light-hearted, they ended up with disastrous results, as the comments accidentally cursed them to age down and up, respectively.
  • Loki: In "The Variant", Mobius calls Loki a "scared little boy" when Loki asks him why he still tries to convince Renslayer to let Loki work with them. Loki later tells Mobius that Mobius is wrong about it because he knows things that children don't: That nobody is wholly bad or good. He implicitly suggests that [[No, You Mobius is the immature one ]{or blindly believing in the benevolence of the Time Keepers despite never meeting them. Then, he says that he thinks that Mobius went too far by calling him that, saying that he found it patronizing.
  • Supernatural: Happens a lot to Dean Winchester over the course of 15 Seasons, especially by his younger brother Sam. One notable example is in Season 6 when the brothers are driving separate cars to a case and Sam notices his brother is racing him. "Very mature."

  • Bo Burnham: In "Right Brain, Left Brain", Right Brain and Left Brain get into a fight that ends up with both of them calling the other immature: Right Brain outright calls himself the adult and Left Brain the child, and then Left Brain mocks Right Brain for still playing with toys.
  • In the Girls Aloud song "On My Way to Satisfaction", the narrator tries to convince someone to join her in the party girl lifestyle, moving to taunts of this nature when ordinary persuasion doesn't work.
    ''Run to your mama, hide up in your bedroom
    I've got you cornered, and it's no use
    I know I heard that your sister still has to babysit you
    You've gone red in the face...''
  • Played for Drama in Kelsea Ballerini's "Peter Pan," which derisively compares her ex's Commitment Issues to that of the eponymous character, implying that not only is he acting like a child, he's doing so deliberately, as the character is.
    Always gonna fly away, just because you know you can
    You're never gonna learn there's no such place as a Neverland
    You don't understand
    You'll never grow up
    You're never gonna be a man
    Peter Pan

  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown: One scene starts with Lucy and the others laughing at Linus for carrying around his blanket and sucking his thumb, calling him a baby. Offended, he tries to prove that he can just walk away from his blanket...before freaking out and running back to it, proving their point.

    Video Games 
  • Battle Bears -1: In the final cutscene of Wil's campaign, Abbi says that she could hear Wil wailing "like a fat baby".
  • Bug Fables: Vi is a bee in her mid-teens, but she is frequently mislabelled as a child, which angers her to no end. In fact, in her very first appearance, she was initially denied entrance into the Explorers' Association because Eetl thought of her as a child and told her that children are not allowed to explore, much to her irritation. Leif also tends to tease Vi for her immaturity, though once he did have a valid point by explaining that she is mad at her sister over petty things, and Jaune, the aforementioned sister, treats her as a kid more maliciously in response to Vi insulting her art skills in the past.
  • In Deus Ex, if you fool around in Manderley's office, he may call you out on it with, "Grow up, J.C."
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Ganondorf frequently makes a point of mockingly referring to Link as "kid" even after the Time Skip where Link is an adult.
  • Mortal Kombat X: Johnny Cage and Erron Black can have this exchange. Notably NOT Played for Laughs as Erron's final response is clearly meant as venomous contempt.
    Erron Black: What ill wind blew you here?
    Johnny Cage: Ha! You said blew!
    Erron Black: Child.
  • In Mass Effect, this happens in one conversation between Garrus and Wrex. Wrex, the oldest party member, doesn't think much of Garrus' prejudiced views against his species.
    Garrus: I'd been raised to see krogan as bloodthirsty thugs, but you've surprised me, Wrex. You are different.
    Wrex: The genophage is a lot easier to swallow when all krogan are savage monsters, isn't it? Why don't you head back to the Normandy, kid? If you stay here in the real world, you might have to learn something.
  • In Night in the Woods, Mae Borowski is on the receiving end of this a lot, from a running gag of her asserting she's 20 years old after being called "kid", to more direct criticism from the more responsible amongst her friends, and her parents (who aren't impressed she dropped out of college). Bea and her parents go back on this a little when she comes clean about her mental health issues.
  • Persona 4: Shadow Naoto's last insult toward Naoto is "You're just a lonely child."
  • Sonic Riders: At the beginning of the Babylon Rogues story of Zero Gravity, Wave spots a shooting star and makes a wish, with Storm laughing at her, questioning her age, and telling her to grow up. He then looks to their boss, Jet, for approval, only to realize that he's doing the same thing, with Storm about to follow suit just as three more crash down, causing a rumble.
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Heavy is fond of calling his enemies babies.
    [Domination] Go ahead and cry, baby.
    [duel start]] Let us fight. Man versus tiny baby man.
    [looking for Merasmus] Show yourself, little baby wizard!
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Space Marine Assault Sergeant Thaddeus is the most naive and idealistic squad leader in a Crapsack World defined by endless war, and his inexperience gets insulted by characters like Avitus and Jonah Orion calling him "child", Araghast the Pillager calling him "stripling", and a daemon-possessed Orion calling him "infant." Note that this is entirely relative, as his biological age is around 80, much of it spent training to fight the aforementioned endless war.

    Web Animation 


    Web Video 
  • Joueur du Grenier: In the 3rd Let's Play for Hitman 3, Fred and Seb act as though 47 is a boomer making judgmental comments on all the young people at a night club, asking why they don't have jobs and telling them they're going to have to grow up fast.

    Western Animation 
  • As Told by Ginger: In "Come Back, Little Seal Girl", Ginger, Dodie, and Macie were planning on performing a dance routine based on the in-universe children's television show "The Little Seal Girl"...That is until popular girls Courtney and Miranda hear about it and mock them for how 'babyish' that sounded. While Ginger and Dodie are shamed into dropping out of the talent show from the embarrassment of being considered 'immature', Macie goes forward with the dance anyway.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Eddy's older brother once sent him what appears to be a care package, and much to Eddy's embarrassment it's all baby related items including diapers and a rattle, providing an early glimpse that his older brother doesn't respect him in the slightest.
  • In an episode of Family Guy, when Peter falls for a scam and loses a wad of cash, Lois calls him a child, to which Peter fires back by saying that if he's a child then she's a pederast.
  • Franklin: In "Franklin and the Turtle Lake Treasure", Samantha often calls Franklin a "little kid", like during her introduction when she hears that she has a similar name to Franklin's stuffed dog Sam.
    Samantha: Oh, that's okay. Most little kids I know have dolls.
  • Hey Arnold!: At the end of "Stoop Kid", Harold calls Stoop Kid a baby for having been scared to leave his stoop before bursting into Mocking Sing-Song. Stoop Kid then starts chasing him.
  • Kim Possible: Shego constantly addresses Kim with childish nicknames like "Kimmie", "Pumpkin", and "Princess".
  • In The Loud House episode "No Bus, No Fuss", some eighth grade bullies call Lincoln a baby to rub in the fact that he's younger than him.
  • Mission Hill: Andy calls out his seventeen-year-old brother Kevin for acting like a "pampered little baby" when Kevin complains how drastically different living in the inner city with his older brother is from how things were done while living with their parents in the suburbs.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In "Toast of the Town", Professor Utonium rants at the Mayor after the latter doesn't heed his orders not to touch anything in the lab, calling him "a big baby".
  • Rugrats: The kids often tell Chuckie not to be a baby (despite being babies themselves).
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Mid-Life Crustacean", one of the insults that Mr. Krabs hurls at SpongeBob and Patrick is that they're "babies". They then start sucking their thumbs, thus proving his point.
  • Steven Universe: While having a tantrum following Steven reuniting with his Gem after being forcibly separated from it and learning that Pink Diamond/Rose Quartz is truly gone, White Diamond exclaims in frustration that Steven is "acting like a child". Steven's response?
    Steven: I am a child. What's your excuse?
  • Time Squad: One of Larry's go-to insults directed at Tuddrussel is that he behaves "worse than a child" and has called him a big baby, or brought up his usage of a night light and teddy bear in public to taunt him.

  • Miss Manners once demanded to know how someone could be so childish and was forced to admit the justice of the retort: "I'm a child."
  • Any white person referring to a black man as "boy" tends to be seen in a rather poor light.
  • One of Rowan Atkinson's live sketches has him as a schoolmaster reading aloud a list of student's names, all of them dirty or innuendos. At one point the audience's laughter grows too loud, so he snaps at them to grow up.



Serena will cry about anything, a LOT.

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