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Is That Cute Kid Yours?

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A character or pair of characters are seen with a kid and are asked if the child is theirs, even if, due to age, there's no way it could be.

Sometimes used as a way of showing that the "parents" are a compatible couple, but more often just for laughs. If the person in question is too old to be the parent, it may imply a compliment (even flirtation, if the person asking is of similar age).

Truth in Television, especially amongst siblings with a significant age difference.

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Subtrope to Mistaken for Related. May be combined with She Is Not My Girlfriend. Contrast Family Relationship Switcheroo, where someone pretends their child is a younger sibling or other relative.

Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer!: In season 2, when Chiho arrives at McRonalds with Alas Ramus during Maou's shift, their co-workers think that Alas is Maou's and Chiho's child (in actuality, while Alas see's Maou as her father, she sees Emi as her mother). Their manager Mayumi brings up this trope to the duo, pointing out how society will often jump to conclusions and rumors will spread fast, especially since Chiho is a teenager and Maou is a grown adult.
  • Haganai: During a live show on their visit to a theme park, both Kodaka and Sena are mistaken to be the parents of Kotaka's sister, Kobato, which flusters Sena to no end.
  • In Hitomi-chan Is Shy with Strangers, the Tiny Guy, Huge Girl dynamic between Yuu and Hitomi is so noticeable that Hitomi is often mistaken for Yuu's mother (or at least his older sister). Ironically, Yuu is the older one. Some people also mistake her younger cousin Ai for her daughter, but Ai herself points out that she's only ten years younger than Hitomi.
  • Early in Kotaro Lives Alone, Shin and his four-year-old neighbor Kotaro leave their apartments to go grocery shopping and several people think they’re father and son. This almost convinces Shin that Kotaro could be his son until Kotaro denies any possible relation.
  • Love Hina:
    • Otohime Mutsumi asks if Narusegawa Mei (about 10 or 12 years old) is Narusegawa Naru's (17) and Urashima Keitaro's (20) child. Of course, Mutsumi acts rather dim much of the time.
    • In the manga Naru also asks Keitaro, upon first meeting Sara, if she is one of his many love children, or if he kidnapped her. She is just joking though.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Ironically, numerous people comment on Chibi-Usa (8, or 900+), depending on source) being Mamoru's (17-19) and Usagi's (14-16) child. The irony being she is their child... but not yet.
    • Chibi-Usa and Usagi have been mistaken for sisters more than once.
      Mimet: Oh... are these your sisters?
      Mamoru: No. They are my future wife and daughter.
    • Also played with in R before Chibi-Usa showed up. They were taking care of a baby boy: Minako said called the kid "their child" in good tease spirits, but An/Natsumi was peeved.
  • Uniquely invoked in Ranma ½: When Ryoga (16) is turned into a five-year-old, he's introduced to the Tendo's as his own son by Ranma as a prank.
  • In Bleach, mortals sometimes pose this question to Rangiku Matsumoto concerning Toshiro Hitsugaya, the subversion being that not only is Hitsugaya Matsumoto's superior, they're both Really 700 Years Old. On the other hand, Hitsugaya is canonically a child prodigy, and very young for a shinigami. It's easily possible that Matsumoto is several times his age. The fact that he's her boss, and the more responsible of the two still stands, though.
  • In Gakuen Alice, Sakura Mikan asks the elementary-school-age Hyuuga Natsume if the 3-year-old Hijiri Youichi is his. Then again, Mikan's a little dumb.
  • In Kimagure Orange Road, Hikaru mistakes Kyosuke's cousin Kazuya for his child.
  • Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry has an interesting twist, although it looks the same as other examples of the trope. For one, the apparent 16-year-olds are technically much older due to a Techno Babble-explained paradox with sub-lightspeed travel. For another, the apparent little girl is Really 700 Years Old.
    • It's surprising for them in another way, since the little girl in question showed up at their table when they weren't looking.
  • Parodied in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, the girls mistake Itoshiki's nephew for his son and proceed to accuse him of children neglect. Understandable since the kid called Itoshiki "Dad" and asked for food when they first met. He also looks like a child version of Itoshiki right down to the glasses and fashion sense.
  • Possibly a variation: In Kyo Kara Maoh! a young girl shows up claiming to be Yuuri's daughter, and his fiance Wolfram flips out, thinking that Yuuri has "cheated" on him...without considering the fact that Yuuri is 15, and the girl is about 8.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann during the Hot Springs Episode, Kiyal asks Yoko (who she just saw a couple weeks ago, and who is 14 years old) whether Darry and Gimmy (who are about five to seven) are her kids. Cue Spit Take.
  • In the fourth volume of You're My Pet, Sumire and Momo are taking care of six-year-old genius for a few days and people in the park comment on cute those young parents are.
  • Used a bit more seriously in Bunny Drop, with the nearly-thirty Daikichi and six-year-old Rin. A slight subversion in that they are related—Rin is biologically Daikichi's aunt. Daikichi is also Rin's father figure and the person who raises her. The only reason he doesn't officially adopt her is because she didn't want to be.
  • In Gintama, Saa-chan mistakes the baby with Gintoki (who looks remarkably like him) to be his child with Otae, who just happens to be there at the time. It ends badly (for Gintoki). But the kid is really cute.
  • In the Descendants of Darkness manga, Tsuzuki meets Doctor Muraki in a Meet Cute version, when Tsuzuki catches a fainting little girl and Muraki treats her and asks if she's his daughter. Of course, as it's Muraki, it's a deliberately Invoked Trope.
  • In Honey and Clover, a ryokan receptionist asks Professor Hanamoto if the gang are here for a family reunion and if Hagu is the Prof's middle school age daughter (She isn't).
  • Celine from To Love Ru is an alien plant that eventually turns into a humanlike toddler. She's occasionally mistaken to be Rito's daughter and whatever girl he's with as the mother. Though Celine's essentially is Rito's adopted child, even calling him "papa" and his sister Mikan "mama".
  • Baby Be'el of Beelzebub is constantly mistaken for Oga's son. This is another occurrence where it is a natural assumption. Oga is a 15/16-year-old, while Beel looks a year old, or less. Plus, Oga is supposed to raise him, and they look very similar.
    • Aoi is often mistaken for her baby brother's mother whenever they go out. It really annoys her since the gossiping housewives think that she's an irresponsible teenage single mom.
    • Aoi is also mistaken for Be'el's mother when she and Oga are together. The fact that Be'el is quite fond of her is part of it.
  • One of the epilogue side-stories to Emma: A Victorian Romance shows that Grace Jones is occasionally mistaken for Colin or Vivian's mother. She does not take it well.
  • After the Lord of Terror arc in Ah! My Goddess, Megumi meets Skuld for the first time, and asks if she's her brother and Belldandy's kid. This despite the fact that Skuld is biologically around 12, and Keichii has known Bell for maybe a year and a half at this point.
  • Happens several times in Kokoro Connect after one of Heartseed's associates causes the group to de-age at increasingly random times.
  • In A Certain Scientific Railgun, Mikoto finds a little girl named Febri sleeping in the park and picks her up. Kuroko assumes the child is Mikoto's daughter, even though Mikoto is 14 and Febri is about 8. Everybody rolls their eyes.
  • In Yotsuba&!, when Yotsuba succeeds in delivering milk to Fuuka, someone thinks she's Fuuka's child. For clarification, Fuuka is 16 (hence why she gave her "15 years old" shirt to Yotsuba for recycling), and Yotsuba is 5 (and even if they don't know that, she's clearly able to converse somewhat), so while it wouldn't be impossible, it's very improbable.
    • Also mentioned when Jumbo makes a reservation at a BBQ restaurant and asks for a separate room, stating that he will have a kid with him. The woman asks if the kid is Jumbo's, Jumbo replies with a nonchalant no.
  • In Berserk, Casca finds a mysterious boy on the beach and the group brings him back to their lodging. While there, antics ensue which ends with the child being simultaneously held by Casca and Guts. The others in the group remark how family-like the three of them look before Guts and Casca split apart (at this point of the story, Casca was very fearful to be around Guts which made the display all the more surprising). However, it's widely insinuated that the child in question is Guts and Casca's biological child that was lost due to miscarriage two years prior, brought back by supernaturally-induced events.
  • Inverted in Dragon Ball Z. When Goku's friends see Gohan the first time, they think Goku is babysitting someone else's child. They're left completely shocked to learn that the cute little boy is Goku's son.
  • In the Motto Love Love Sakusen Desu! 4koma spinoff of Girls und Panzer, Nonna and Katyusha are sometimes mistaken for mother and daughter.
  • My Hero Academia: When Togata shows up at the school festival with Eri, multiple people ask if she's his daughter. He refuses to answer, even though she's not (and indeed, he'd have been 12-13 when she was born).
  • Tokyo Godfathers is about three homeless people, one of them a fifteen-year-old runaway, finding an abandoned baby. She's a little freaked out when a nurse assumes that she's the baby's mother.
  • Played with Real Mo Tamani Wa Uso Wo Tsuku when Nanami and Kaoru find a lost child at the arcade they frequent. The little girl initially calls Nanami "Mama", leading Kaoru to have this reaction (to Nanami's annoyance, since they're both around 16-17 years old and the little girl looks to be 5). When the girl continues to address Nanami as "Mama," Kaoru teases her leading her to retort that if "I'm the Mama, you're the Papa, you know?" Alas, this leads the little girl to now address Kaoru as "Papa", leading to awkward stares from people around them because of the implications. The narration mentions they got stared at until they managed to find the little girl's parents.

    Comic Books 
  • In ElfQuest: Siege at Blue Mountain, Cutter pays a visit to the human couple Nonna and Adar and assumes that the three children living with them are theirs even though they are too old. His misunderstanding is due to the elves' low birth rate, and their general ignorance of human gestation periods and growth rates.
  • In The Smurfs story "The Baby Smurf", the Smurfs are all wondering whose child Baby Smurf is, and Brainy has the audacity to suggest that the child could be Smurfette's, which she rewards with throwing objects at Brainy.
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    Fan Works 
  • DC Nation: Troia was asked several times if Lian was "hers". Because of her Truth Sense, she would have to answer "no", but Lian would cheerfully answer "Yup!" Part because Lian cannot stand her super-villainess mother, and part because Donna's been "Mom... in all the ways that count!" They met half-way; Donna is now Lian's stepmother.
  • Lost to Dust: Tamamo Vitch mistakes Chloe von Einzbern for Cinder Fall's daughter, then comments on how Chloe is already so big when Cinder looks so young to taunt her about her real age before being corrected.
  • In the Ace Attorney fic Out of Time, Mia has traveled from right before her canon death in 2016 to 2028 (following the events of Spirits of Justice) and encounters the Phoenix and Maya of that time. Not that long after, Phoenix's daughter Trucynote  enters, and Mia thinks that she's both Phoenix's and Maya's child before Phoenix quickly clarifies that Trucy is adopted solely by him.
  • Avengers: Darkness in Kingdom Hearts sees Spider-Man and Scarlet Witch sent travelling through various Disney realities acting as guardian to a young Sora when a malfunction in Kang the Conqueror's equipment allows Sora's future enemy to try and attack him in the past. As they explore these new worlds, not only do the various characters they meet assume that Peter and Wanda are Sora's parents, but when the Avengers, Doctor Strange, and the Brotherhood of Mutants manage to catch a glimpse of Wanda, Sora's age and the time since Magneto last spoke with his daughter cause him to speculate that Wanda left to conceal a pregnancy.
  • The White Mage: Upon meeting her, Soren mistakes an orphaned elf child named Mira for Callum and Rayla's child, despite the fact that not only have the couple only been away for a short couple of months, but she would have been born before they even met, being approximately four years old. Slightly justified with her green eyes, brown hair, and elven features, making it so she can easily pass as their biological daughter.

    Film — Animated 

    Literature 
  • William Laurence gets subjected to an age-appropriate variant twice concerning the same child over the course of the Temeraire books.
    • In Empire of Ivory when he, Temeraire, several uniformed crewmen, and a twelve-year-old girl attend an Aerial Corps fundraiser. His father Lord Allendale, after the latter cheerfully admitted to Laurence and Temeraire personally tutoring her, cornered his son and quietly made diffident, embarrassed, and evasive inquiries as to the health of the young girl's mother. To deny the unspoken accusation would have made Laurence look even worse, he could not reveal her true status in public without causing a scandal (it’s the 1810s in Great Britain), and his attempt at a bare bones/true-as-far-as-it-went explanation ("She is the natural daughter of... a gentlewoman living in Dover, whose education I have taken as my charge") did nothing to allay suspicionnote .
    • In Blood of Tyrants, after losing the last eight years of his memory and being (re)introduced to his crew (including 16-year-old Midwingman Roland), Lawrence tries to piece together his history with the correspondence in his cabin and finds A) a letter from his mother mentioning a gift sent to one "Miss Emily Roland"; B) a decidedly casual and friendly note from an Admiral Jane Roland; and C) records of him paying a hired chaperone for the younger Roland out of his own pocket. His first reaction is to consider how many holes there may be in the parts of his memory he thought he retained. His second reaction is to ask Temeraire if Emily is indeed Jane’s natural daughter (she is), because his sense of propriety makes it impossible for him to ask flat-out if Emily is his natural daughter, which just makes matters worse.
  • More or less inverted in Twilight: the Cullen parents always present the teen vampires as their adopted children, because the ages wouldn't fit. Then Bella and Edward pretend they adopted Renesmee, because even assuming Bella and Edward had a shotgun wedding, it's impossible for Nessie to have been born so soon when the pregnancy was not visible at the wedding.
    • Not to mention the fact that Edward wasn't even in the area during the time she should have theoretically been conceived.
  • In Fifth Chinese Daughter, the narrator's little brother is often mistaken for her son, since she's about twenty years older than he is.
  • Happens in Ye Little Hills Like Lambs in the Village Tales series, when a (perfectly nice) footballer in a pub assumes Canon Paddick and Sher Mirza are a same-sex couple and that the Canon's wee niece is theirs.
  • In the background of Sense and Sensibility, Mrs. Jennings assumes (and probably other characters we never meet do likewise) that Colonel Brandon's ward, Miss Williams, is his natural daughter. Only to Elinor does he confide the truth - she is not his daughter, but rather the daughter of his first love, his cousin Eliza, who died when Miss Williams was a little girl. At Eliza's request, he took charge of the child and oversaw her education and upbringing. He is essentially her father figure, but not her biological father.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lucy from 7th Heaven took the twins out for a stroll and was mistaken for their mother, which opened her eyes to the plight of single mothers.
  • Played With on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy has been Promoted to Parent of her teenage sister, Dawn. In "Lessons", she's mistaken for Dawn's mother despite only being 5-6 years older than her (biologically). Naturally, she's a little disturbed.
    "It's my hair. I-I have mom-hair."
  • In the season 2 premiere of One Day at a Time (2017), a snack vendor asks Schneider if Elena is his daughter. This leads to Elena freaking out that she, a latina, is being mistaken for white.
  • In Supernatural, Dean is Sam's older brother by four years, but after a run-in with a witch in Season 10, he's de-aged to fourteen. Thus, after he helps an elderly lady with her keys, she tells Sam "your son is so polite".
  • In The Umbrella Academy (2019), Klaus and Diego were mistaken for the dads of their brother Five, who is mentally much older than them but looks much younger due to Time Travel issues. Naturally, Five responds with his characteristic tact.
    I'd rather chew off my own foot!

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show: In episode 319 (Elke Sommer), Statler is seen with a baby in the theater box; Waldorf is the one to ask the trope question.
    Waldorf: "Is that your kid?"
    Statler: "Of course not. I'm just babysitting. This is my grandson."
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    Video Games 
  • The Last of Us: Early in the game, Joel and Ellie meet two brothers who mistake them for father and daughter, but they explain they're just traveling together. Though as the months pass, they end up bonding and developing a father-daughter relationship anyways.
  • Ace Attorney:
  • In The Walking Dead, Lee gets this in regards to the girl he's protecting, Clementine, a lot. It helps that he's a 37-year-old black man and she's an 8-year-old black girl. In one of the epilogues of Season 2, Randy awkwardly assumes Clem is an Absurdly Youthful Mother and attempts to break the ice by asking her if Alvin Jr. is her child.

    Webcomics 
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: One of the comic's running gags is people who know Antimony's mother, Surma, assuming that James Eglamore is her father and reacting with varying levels of surprise and disbelief when they find out her true parentage.
  • Homestuck: Trolls are raised by monsters called lusii instead of by their biological progenitors. As such, Terezi mistakes the horse Maplehoof for an infant Dave's lusus.
  • Ménage à 3: In these strips, Sandra manages to mistake the petite Zii for the daughter of the Amazonian DiDi. Zii enjoys the mistake.
  • Questionable Content: In one strip, Padma asks Marten if Robot Girl Momo (who appears to be a teenager) is his daughter (after her first guess that she's his sister). Marten is surprised that Padma thinks he's old enough to have a daughter that age.
    Momo: Technically I am only 2.7 years old.
    Marten: You're a robot.
    Padma: You got a robot pregnant?!

    Web Original 
  • Not Always Right: More along the lines of "why the hell are you having kids?", there are cases where a customer sees another person with a child and berates them for having children at a young age. In nearly every case, the customer is so wrong.
    • Like here. A woman accuses a 15-year-old babysitter of having a child after seeing the babysitter and the three-year-old neighbor being watched in the park. Never mind that it would have been impossible for them to be parent and child, given the ages. Also, not the same nationality.
    • Luckily, the younger sister of this sibling pair points out the age problem and puts the nosy customer in their place.
    • Another kid shaming attempt here, but an employee intervenes and allows the accused to set the whole record straight. Amusingly, the employee was only expecting something along the lines of "none of your business".
    • Here too. Turns out, the kids are hers, but she's very well off.
    • This customer somehow assumed a guy was a teenage mother.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Siblings Sokka (15) and Katara (14) pose as the parents of their friend Aang (biologically 12) when he enrolls in a Fire Nation school because he wants to be normal for a little bit and find out some things about the Fire Nation. They manage to pull it off by way of Sokka wearing a fake beard/mustache and Katara stuffing her shirt to make it look like she was pregnant.
  • In Family Guy, Meg gets mistaken for her brother Stewie's mother, and then goes along with it to get a job and tips. Stewie initially protests being used this way but changes his mind after the diner's fry cook gives him some pancakes. Stewie develops a bit of an addiction for them. Meg then fabricates hardships to increase her tips, which gets Stewie taken away by Child Services.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Plane to Sea", Squidward wins a free "family" trip to a tropical resort. He ends up taking SpongeBob and Patrick dressed as children with him. Before boarding the plane, the receptionist wants to take a picture of the "family" for the in-flight brochure, to Squidward's embarrassment.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
    • In an absurd example, a woman asks Marco (who is fourteen) which of the kids at the playground are his. Marco points at Star (also fourteen) and Mina (who looks like an adult, and is actually much older) as a joke on how childish and bizarre they were acting. The woman expresses worry about his responsibilities.
      Mother: [seriously concerned] Bless your soul.
      [later in the scene...]
      Mother: Y'know, when they turn eighteen, they're the government's problem.
    • In the episode "Britta's Tacos", after Star and Marco return to Earth, nearly all of their friends from school mistake Marco's infant sister Mariposa for being their daughter. With some of them thinking this was the reason they'd left Earth for a year.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Inverted in "Lethal Trackdown". When Aurra Sing shows up at Hondo Ohnaka's hideout with Boba Fett in tow, Hondo takes one look at the boy and says: "Not mine, I take it?"
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