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Kid Hero

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Real superheroes... only smaller.
"I don't, I don't, uh, think crime fighting takes any specific age... OK, I mean, even babies could save the day if they had to."

They'll fight off hordes of monsters with techniques the likes of which master swordsmen would never equal. They'll wield weapons spoken of only in the oldest of legends. They'll Save the World and everyone in it from destruction five times over.

And they'll do all of this while not even being old enough to drive.

The Kid Hero is, as the name implies, a child, a teenager, a young adult. The exact age varies up and down the scale, from 8 to 17, 18 or 19, but they're never an adult by whatever the local standards are. The "base age" seems to be between 10 and 15 or thereabouts, though their numeric age may not be revealed.

Your standard Kid Hero has a strong streak of immaturity in them. They might well regard the adventure as a game, albeit one with slightly higher stakes. And if they aren't savvy to the world yet, expect them to be blown away by everything they see. Expect this to be scrubbed out of them in short order, usually when they finally meet an antagonist capable of matching their skill.


Kid Heroes DO have some things going for them, though: their idealism and youth. Anyone trying to perform a Breaking Speech on a Kid Hero is in for a rude awakening when they get it thrown back in their face. Kid Heroes, quite simply, have a very clear view of right or wrong. Some may call it naïve, but it serves them well, as they are basically impossible to corrupt. They're also at that age where their self-image is intricately intertwined with their friends, so they often kick ass through The Power of Friendship.

A Kid Hero will commonly, but not universally, have two primary adversaries; their most dangerous opponent is usually an adult villain who serves as the hero's Arch-Enemy, while their second most dangerous opponent will usually be a younger antagonist, closer to their own age or slightly older, who serves as the The Rival or Evil Counterpart of the hero. These two are rarely affiliated, but if they do work together, the adult will almost certainly be the Big Bad with the younger character as an extremely reluctant and rebellious Dragon.


Most commonly seen in console and computer role-playing games, as it allows for character growth to feel natural and skips the question of why they aren't properly equipped for the job. Also appears in the vast majority of animated action-adventure, both Western and Eastern.

If a television show is specifically focused on this character, then the description will most likely be along the lines of "Saving the world, and doing homework!"

If particularly well executed, The Brigadier and others won't look like monsters or weaklings for sending a kid to do their heroics for them. This is Older Than Feudalism; examples include the Biblical hero David, and several Greek and Hindu mythic heroes (e.g., Hercules, who killed two large snakes sent by Hera to kill him in his crib).

See also Child Soldiers, the darker form of this trope. This can easily overlap with the Kid-Appeal Character - kids like to see fellow kids like them save the day, after all. Compare Kid Samurai. Contrast Enfant Terrible, Kids Are Cruel, and Teens Are Monsters. Naturally a requirement for Kid Hero All Grown Up.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Nanoha Takamachi who became an adult over the course of the series. She started her "career" at the age of nine and later is in command of several teen heroes.
  • Astro from Astro Boy is the Ur-Example in manga. He's a Robot Kid who is socially and mentally a little boy (having been created to resemble a dead 8-year-old boy), and is constantly saving people.
  • Asta, Yuno, and Noelle from Black Clover are the Main Characters of the story and the youngest members of their squads due to recently receiving a grimoire at the age of 15 in the beginning of the story.
  • Summed up in one line from Bleach; when Chad is offered the chance to end the battle and drink with Shunsui Kyōraku, he refuses. When asked why, he points out, "It's illegal for minors to drink;" it's quite easy to mistake Chad for an adult. Along with Chad, Ichigo, Orihime, and Ishida are all 15. (17 now.) The shinigami most associated with them are Rukia and Renji who are biologically-speaking age-group peers of them, and Hitsugaya who, despite being a captain, is actually biologically younger than them all (around 13-14).
  • Blue Exorcist: Rin Okumura is an Anti-Antichrist version of this trope.
  • The Bokurano kids thought they would become this. They were wrong. Played most obviously with Waku: he comes off as a stereotypical, boisterous Hot-Blooded shonen Kid Hero who is gleeful to ride the Humongous Mecha... And he is the first to die, not even making it to the end of the first manga volume, and serves as the Decoy Protagonist.
  • The shows in the Brave Series are technically this, except in The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird, GaoGaiGar and the OVA sequel GaoGaiGar FINAL, where the heroes are an Android, a Cyborg and an Evoluder, respectively.
    • One of the main characters of GaoGaiGar, Mamoru Amami, is a rather interesting example of a normal boy who develops into one over the course of a series. Originally an ordinary grade school student, Mamoru becomes the Tag Along Kid to the heroes of the Gutsy Geoid Guard because he's the only one who can purify Zonder cores and turn them back into humans. Apart from flight and a rather potent shield which he can't consciously manifest (at first), he has no combat ability whatsoever, and his first attempt at purifying a Zonder on his own nearly gets him killed. At some point, however, the sheer awesomeness of his coworkers began to rub off on the little guy, and by the end of the tv series he'd achieved a lot despite still not having any real combat ability, and goes up against Humongous Mecha-sized opponents on more than one occasion without getting squished. Then FINAL rolls around, and Mamoru comes back after a extended absence on Earth with several shiny new Levels In Badass; his healing powers have developed into a full-blown Holy Hand Grenade, his shield is capable of tanking direct hits from mecha-scale energy weapons, and he gets a Final Battle with his very own Evil Counterpart. And just to put the cherry on the kid's Awesome Cake, Mamoru's courage and refusal to surrender single-handedly tips the scales of the Final Battle by powering up the G-Stones of all of 3G's giant robots, giving them the energy for a chain of My Name Is Inigo Montoya moments. Not bad at all for an eight-year old.
      • The planned though sadly cancelled crossover between Betterman and GaoGaiGar would have had him finally promoted to piloting a mecha along with Kaidou.
  • Hyoma Aoi and his group from Combattler V were all teenagers.
  • Kazuya Ryuuzaki from Daimos also seemed a teenager... even though he was an astronaut. Then again his Disappeared Dad and his Parental Substitute were scientists.
  • Every protagonist of all Digimon series, both anime and manga, except Digimon Data Squad (and even it still has a few).
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku for most of Dragon Ball. Child Goku was so popular in Japan, that they tried to bring him back for Dragon Ball GT by having him wished into a child with the Dragon Balls.
    • In Dragon Ball Z, the role was filled by Gohan, and after the Cell saga, Trunks and Goten. All three are deconstructions. Gohan was put through Training from Hell shortly after being kidnapped by his father's archenemy, at the age of four. During his first battle a year later, he spends some vital moments paralyzed with fear. After losing her husband and her son for a year, Gohan's mother forbids him from fighting (even though he always has to). Goten and Trunks take the opposite route. While they are much more powerful than Gohan was at their age (7 and 8 respectively), they treat fighting like a game. As Gotenks, they aim for Showy Invincible Hero and act out anime tropes like Heroic Second Wind just because it's cool. When fighting against Majin Buu, their desire to show off and prolong the fight results in them missing chances to deal the finishing blow, and even accidentally traps them in an alternate dimension.
  • Renton Thurston from Eureka Seven. Mind you that this character is voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch instead of Yuri Lowenthal in the English dub (he was originally though).
  • Edward and Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. Edward joined the military at the age of 12, and during the events of the series, he's 15 (turns 16 at some point). Alphonse is one year younger.
  • Fushigi Yuugi and its prequels have some cases:
    • The Priestesses tend to be junior high/early highschool students. Miaka and Yui are seen fretting over their highschool admission exams in the original, while Takiko's first appearance in Genbu Kaiden shows her at school (more exactly, at naginatajutsu practice). Suzuno turns out to be the youngest one of them all, entering the World of the Four Gods for the first time when she's eight years old since her father sent her there to protect her from the Great Kanto Earthquake. While she gets out of there soon, near all the Byakko-related artwork shows her as a young girl no older than 14/15...
    • Some of the Senshi are also in the child/pre-teen/teenager age range, with Hatsui from Genbu Kaiden and Chiriko from the original as the two youngest — at the age of 12-13.
  • Hayato Kazami from Future GPX Cyber Formula is a youngster who just entered Cyber Formula racing at the start of the TV series and in the end he won the championship, all at the age of 14. He ages throughout the series, and by the time of SIN, he reaches adult age and is 21 years old.
  • In the Galaxy Angel games, the player character is 21 and only one Angel is over 18. Galaxy Angel II has a 16-year-old player character and Angels from ages 11 to 21 (not counting Nano-Nano, who, as a Robot Girl of sorts, is probably about two).
  • Ryoma, Hayato, Musashi, Benkei and Michiru from Getter Robo were high-school students when the series began.
  • Gin in Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin. While Gin becomes a Living Legend in Ginga Densetsu Weed, his son Weed takes over this role.
  • Takeru Myojin/Mars from God Mars is stated to be seventeen years old.
  • 15-year-old Garrod Ran, an ex Street Urchin, becomes the pilot of the titular Gundam X Real Robot, with his also 15-year-old love interest Tiffa Addil following him in his adventures. His Team Dad and mentor as well as Tiffa's adoptive father, Jamil Neate, used to be one as well... but he actually had a complete breakdown after the war, which didn't let him pilot a mecha in more than 15 years.
  • Joey Jones from Heroman, more appropriately, The Kid with the Remote Control.
  • Hunter × Hunter has Gon Freecss and Killua Zoldyck, both of them were twelve when the series started. It's a deconstructed trope; on the one side, Killua was tortured with poison and electro shocks since his birth due to his family assassin training, resulting he has become immune against them. When he is about to kill or threat someone, his personality becomes pretty cold and dark. On the other side, Gon started as a Goku Expy, but when the series progress, he has become more aggressive and deadly, even taking a innocent hostage to force his enemy to heal his mentor, only to learn that his mentor was already dead. This triggers Gon's ultimate Nen and he enforce himself to grow up into an adult, so that he can finally kill his enemy.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure: Due to their mature appearances, it's easy to forget that some of the JoJos are still in high school during their respective parts. The most impressive example would be 15-year-old Giorno Giovanna, who ends up becoming Boss of Passione by the end of Vento Aureo.
    • Special mention goes to 11-year-old Emporio Alniño, who is the one to ultimately defeat the Big Bad of his respective part, Enrico Pucci
  • Kimba from Kimba the White Lion combines this trope with A Child Shall Lead Them.
  • Hiroshi Shiba from Kotetsu Jeeg was also underage. And an amateur car racer. And Cyborg capable transforming into the head of a Humongous Mecha. And he looked after his mother and little sister after his father's murder.
  • Kouji Kabuto from Mazinger Z was sixteen when began the series. His Battle Couple, Action Girl Sayaka Yumi and their friend Boss were the same age, and his brother Shiro was roughly ten-years-old. Tetsuya Tsurugi and Jun Hono from Great Mazinger were slightly older (although you would be hard-pressed to tell with Tetsuya, since he might be quite immature sometimes). It is hard to tell if Duke Fleed from UFO Robo Grendizer was underage or not, but Hikaru Makiba and his sister Maria were still teenagers.
  • While several of Miyazaki's films feature kids or teens as protagonists, Pazu and Sheeta from Castle in the Sky arguably come off as the most heroic. Though Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service has her moment, too.
  • In Monster Rancher, Genki is said to be around ten or eleven (The clearest indication comes from something a dragon says). It goes without saying that Genki is a complete and utter badass. His very first fight starts with him kicking a genetically modified velociraptor in the face. And not a little kick either, hell no. He is portrayed as being an uber, uber, powerful chosen-one who can do things nobody else can even the monsters, however.
  • In My Hero Academia, the students of U.A. are 15 when they begin attending to become licensed superheroes and the protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, is introduced as a 14-year-old in his last year of middle school.
  • Naruto:
    • In Naruto, the main characters start around 12, in part II they're 15 and by the end (excluding the Distant Finale) Naruto's age is 17. They're all ninja but the series usually shys away from portraying them as outright Child Soldiers.
    • In Boruto, Boruto and his friends start off as ninja academy students. Their exact ages aren't mentioned but they're clearly between 10 and 12.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Nagi Springfield during his youth certainly qualifies. At age 10, he wins the Mahora Tournament, and could fly without a staff and essentially teleport. Gathering a team of badasses and becoming a war hero, he receives the title of Thousand Master at age fifteen. His son and series protagonist, 10-year-old Negi aims to be just like him - he's already led his side to victory in the Battle of Mahora "game", and was able to go toe-to-toe with one of his father's contemporaries in an all-out fight.
  • Deconstructed in Neon Genesis Evangelion. 14-year old Shinji has a complete breakdown under the pressure of being the designated hero, whereas Asuka suffers a similar breakdown and Rei suicides all over the place. And Touji either gets mauled and crippled or dies, depending on which continuity you go. One of the episodes is even titled "And he was aware he was just a child". Indeed, one of the Central Theme of this anime is that the idea of putting the entire world's safety on a bunch of kids' shoulders is suicidally stupid and impratical in Real Life.
  • Hattori and Kenichi of Ninja Hattori are both child protagonists.
  • Nurse Angel Ririka SOS: Multiple:
    • On her tenth birthday Ririka receives a gift from the mystery New Transfer Student which allows her to become the Magical Girl "Nurse Angel". Her friend Seiya eventually begins tagging along as well.
    • There is a legend on Queen Earth that specifically states a ten year old girl called "Nurse Angel" will protect the universe in times of crisis. Ririka is a reincarnation of Nurse Angel.
  • Luffy from One Piece barely counts at age 17, but many people look at him as younger. Word of God wants to reinforce that minors still shouldn't drink. He's still treated as one after the Time Skip, even though he's now 19.
  • Panzer World Galient: Jordy Volder, Crown Prince of Arst, swordsman, Humongous Mecha pilot is a twelve-year-old kid and this story's hero (not that the circumstances give him much of a choice in the matter).
  • In the Pokémon universe you're allowed to become a trainer at age 10, or younger in the games. Ash Ketchum Jumped at the Call at this age. Most heroes, including the ones from Adventures and the original games start at 10 to 12. Still, people don't have to become trainers then; it is possible to become a trainer later, as demonstrated in Pokémon Black and White. However, it is worth noting that since Comic-Book Time is not in effect in Adventures, the first gen heroes are now in their twenties.
  • The whole theme of the Pretty Cure franchise is a group of teenagers saving the world from evil. The ages of the protagonists range from 10 to 17, with the average age being 14.
  • Akira Hibiki from Raideen was a high-school student.
  • Haru Glory from Rave Master (no surprise who voices this character in the English dub).
  • Tsuna Sawada from Reborn! (2004) is around 14-15, and so are most of his guardians. Special mention to Lambo, who's 5.
  • Almost all of the Solar Sailor Soldiers from Sailor Moon at the very least start out as "hero kids".
    • The exception being Setsuna Meioh AKA Sailor Pluto, who is already in her twenties when she appears.
    • Sailor Uranus (Haruka Tenoh) and Sailor Neptune (Michiru Kaioh) technically start out in this group, being 16-17 when they appear, but both live like adults by the 5th season (not going to school, living on their own, and co-adopting Hotaru Tomoe along with Setsuna.
    • The most extreme examples are Chibiusa AKA Sailor Chibi Moon who in the Anime version ranges from the age 6 to about 8, Hotaru Tomoe AKA Sailor Saturn who starts out as 12 but after she is killed in Season S is reborn as a baby and ranges from physically an infant to about the size and stature of an 8 year old, and Chibi-Chibi who's only 2 or 3 years old and can't even talk in complete sentences yet.
  • In Shōnen Onmyōji Masahiro, the grandson of Abe no Seimei, defeats hordes of demons from China, patrols the Japanese imperial capital for evil demons at night, and prevents the world from being over run by the armies of hell at the ripe young age of thirteen.* The student meisters and Weapons in Soul Eater are mostly around the age of 13, which is either stated or can be deduced from various comments and flashbacks. Those who are noticeably older are the Thompsons (Liz, at least) and Tsubaki. Thunder and Fire are by far the youngest Weapons, or at least it appeared so until they are briefly 'aged' via a power-up. There may have been some sort of timeskip following the Baba Yaga arc, but the art evolution and absence of a clear timeline make it difficult to tell.
  • Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, like Shinji, starts out as a cowardly boy; however, since his mentor is Kamina the Determinator, instead of Gendou the cold-hearted, Magnificent Bastard, Simon later becomes a badass Kid Hero.
  • Kenichi Go and his team -two of which were his brothers- from Voltes V were also underage.
  • In Yo-Kai Watch: Wakuwaku Nyanderful Days, Katie is a fifth grader who befriends various yokai and goes on adventures with them.
  • The Hero Club in Yuki Yuna is a Hero is made up of four (later five and then later six) middle school girls who volunteer around town. Unknown to most of them, they have to become Magical Girl Warriors and save the world. It's later revealed they're more like Child Soldiers than normal Kid Heroes, since they're chosen by the government to protect their land from monsters.
  • Yusuke Urameshi from Yu Yu Hakusho, is 14 throughout most of the series. Kuwabara is around the same age.
  • Deconstructed with Zambot3. The three main characters are pre-teenagers were pushed by their families to pilot a Humongous Mecha and fight a genocidal psychopath intended to wipe all humans off Earth. At the same time they were hated by the people they were intending protecting. Needless to say, they were through serious breakdowns, emotional abuse and several of them died before the survivor got a final mind-screw. This series went to extreme lengths to show children should not be used like soldiers, depicting infant abuse in a way unparalleled until then.
  • Jin, Kouji and Asuka in Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh, there are also Kenichi, Hiromi, and Shinobu in Nekketsu Saikyo Go Saurer; in fact, pretty much every main character in the Eldoran series apply, since all of them are 5th or 6th grader elementary students.

    Asian Animation 
  • The main protagonist of Chhota Bheem is Bheem, a hero who's only nine years old.
  • The superheroes in Happy Heroes are revealed to be in 3rd grade in one episode, placing them at around eight years old (at least mentally; they presumably haven't been revived for that long).
  • The goats in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf are implied to be children, based off of several episodes such as "Candy House Fantasy". Weslie in particular seems to be either primary or middle school age.
  • Samosa of Simple Samosa is the main character of the series and a kid who acts and talks like a real kid.

    Card Games 
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, there's actually a monster called "Hero Kid", which acts as an unofficial member of the "Elemental Hero" archetype.

    Comic Books 
  • Age of Bronze: Achilles since, according to the story, he was "on the verge of manhood" at the start of the war. That said, he's old enough to have fathered a son even before leaving (and still without anyone finding out his gender).
  • Batgirl:
    • Although originally Barbara Gordon was an adult woman, it was later retconned out that she was a high-schooler when she started out her hero career.
    • Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe, one of the many girls who took up the mantle during Barbara Gordon's retirement, was barely a teenager.
    • Cassandra Cain, the first Batgirl after Babs who had her approval and got to hold on to the mantle for more than two outings, was about sixteen when she first donned the costume.
  • The titular character of Benoit Brisefer is a young, incredibly well-behaved and polite kid with super strength.
  • In The Books of Magic the central figure is Timothy Hunter, a poor adolescent British boy with messy, dark hair and coke-bottle glasses, who is destined to be the supreme avatar of magic of the age.
  • The prepubescent Billy Batson became Captain Marvel, and subsequently the most popular character in comic books. A lawsuit from DC eventually ended his reign, but the incident proved that children, likeso many demographics, react best to people like themselves.
    • Captain Marvel has the twist that he becomes an adult in his super powered form.
    • One retelling of Captain Marvel's origin deconstructed this somewhat. Big Bad Doctor Sivana got some intel that Billy Batson (homeless and living in a subway tunnel at the time) was Captain Marvel and sent assassins after him. Billy defeated them, but his best friend was fatally shot in the process. Billy was so enraged that he nearly violated Thou Shalt Not Kill with regards to Sivana. When Superman confronted him about it, Billy decided to show him his true nature.
      Billy (after reverting back): My name's Billy Batson. But maybe it's too dangerous to be Billy anymore.
    • Needless to say, Superman was pissed and he called out Shazam for handing all of the responsibility and danger that comes with life as a superhero to a little boy.
      Superman: He's a little boy. He should be worrying about homework and school and the crush he has on the girl sitting next to him in class! Not worrying about assassins killing his best friend! He's just a boy. This is a burden meant for men.
    • Though Shazam had pointed out that Billy was the only person on Earth who could be entrusted with the power of the gods. So he countered Superman's statements with "He's a boy...who could use some guidance." Cue Superman revealing his Clark Kent identity to Billy and the two becoming true friends.
  • The Fantastic Four's Human Torch was this back in the Silver Age, when he was a student around the same age as Spider-Man, and the quartet's youngest member.
    • Franklin and Valeria Richards, children of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, have recently become full-fledged heroes and adventurers alongside their parents (during the same time period that brought us Kid Loki and Miles Morales - so perhaps as part of a wider comeback for younger superheroes).
  • Garth from Ghostopolis looks to be around 10 or 11.
  • Jo, Zette and Jocko: Jo and Zette, who are brother and sister, save the day in their stories.
  • Jommeke: Jommeke, his best friend Filiberke and their female friends Annemieke and Rozemieke often save the day.
  • De Kiekeboes: Konstantinopel, a nifty ten year old boy sometimes has the brains to come up with the solution nobody else could.
  • Loki was reincarnated as a kid. He skips most of the negative tropes because he's got a focused mission (save Thor from the Serpent), it's pointed out that he's in a lot of danger (he's a god, but a god in the body of a kid without his magic), and most of all, he's not acting like Scrappy Doo and charging into situations (at least physical situations) that he can't handle. His book is considered one of the best Marvel is putting out.
  • Jason in Long Ago And Far Away was the legendary Child Knight who saved the land of Elvenwood. But that was a long time ago.
  • Barring Katharsis and Tremor, none of The Movement's members are over 17. In fact, their leader, Virtue is only 16.
  • Ms. Marvel (2014) stars 16-year-old Kamala Khan, a Legacy Character to the title originally used by her idol, Carol Danvers. Kamala has since become a Breakout Character in Marvel Comics, and has been described as being to twenty-first century teenagers what Peter Parker was to the kids of the Baby Boom.
  • Nero: In some stories Adhemar the boy genius finds the scientific solution to a problem. Petoetje and Petatje are also clever enough to help out in some stories.
  • There is also New Warriors who started off having mostly teenage members, although, like the X-Men, they all grew up. In fact, two of the founding members, Nova and Speedball were originally created as solo heroes in an attempt to duplicate what Marvel had done with Spider-Man, who'd moved on to college and grad school.
  • The Marvel Universe superteam Power Pack all got their powers before the age of thirteen, and one of them had already retired from adventuring (more than once) by the time she was seventeen. Not to mention the fact that Katie, the youngest power sibling, was five.
  • All the Robins! Especially Tim Drake and Damian Wayne who had their own solo books while they were Robin.
  • Most of the cast of Runaways are teenage superheroes, though Molly Hayes probably epitomizes this trope best. She's 11 years old and has super-strength, plus invulnerability. However, like a young child, she tires easily and has to take naps when she's over-exerted. (In other words, she could probably go a round or two with the Hulk, but would probably fall asleep mid-battle.) Her idea for a superhero name? Princess Powerful (Hey, she's 11, give her a break!).
  • Sonic the Comic's main characters are a part of a group called the "Freedom Fighters". The characters are all teenagers, besides Tails who is somewhere between eight and twelve.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) consists of a bunch of teenagers, and some preteens, who are a part of the Freedom Fighters. Their initial goal was to save Mobius from the evil Doctor Robotnik.
  • Stan Lee took a wild shot by making Spider-Man one of the first true teen solo superheroes (i.e. non-sidekick; there was the Star-Spangled Kid back in WWII, but he didn't sell as well). The eventual widespread popularity of Spider-Man quite possibly is the root of the trope within the West. The Ultimate Marvel version of Spidey remained in the 15-16 age for the duration (160 issues) of his run. His successor, Miles Morales, is only 13 when he gets his powers. Just to hit Miles' age home, Nick Fury holds his hand when showing him around the Triskelion. Neither Miles nor Fury seem to be bothered by it. Both Spider-Men are realistically proportioned, so there tends to be a David vs. Goliath dynamic with many villains. Though it’s worth noting that due to Comic-Book Time, Peter Parker is now in his late twenties or early thirties, and Miles is sixteen.
  • The Golden Age Star Spangled Kid and his modern age namesake are both teenage superheroes (with adult sidekicks). Courtney Whitmore, the modern Stargirl and second Star-Spangled Kid, still wears braces on her teeth. At 17 years old, she is the youngest member of the JLA.
  • Examples from Superman comics:
    • Pre-dating Spidey by almost two decades was Superboy ("the adventures of Superman when he was a boy"), who debuted in More Fun Comics #101 in 1945, and soon moved to a lengthy run as the lead feature in Adventure Comics, plus gaining his own self-titled series (Superboy) in 1949.
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl was fifteen when she landed on Earth and started out her superhero career. Her Post-Crisis and Post-Flashpoint incarnations also started out as teen heroes.
  • Static, created by Dwayne McDuffie was intended to be inspired as a modern (well, for the 1990s) version of Spider-Man. Virgil Hawkins, the main character becomes Static after being affected by a mutagenic chemical at age 15.
  • Suske en Wiske: Suske and Wiske, who are orphans who live at the same house, often do heroic deeds.
  • The Teen Titans, at least in their original run, were composed of the teenaged sidekicks of adult superheroes. Later versions of the Titans were mostly composed of college age superheroes, but still had members who were barely old enough to shave (like Beast Boy).
  • Carthoris in Warlord of Mars, the Half-Human Hybrid son of John Carter and the alien princess Dejah Thoris. He is a teenager by the time he meets his father, who disappeared for a decade after being sent back to Earth, and is such an accomplished fighter due to inheriting his father's Super Strength and is always fighting in the frontlines along with the adults.
  • The protagonists of W.I.T.C.H. became Guardians of the Veil in middle school.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): While the Holliday Girls are all in college they and Wondy teamed up with a much younger individual to help them solve a crime or find a missing person that the kid was already in the process of sorting out before the adults arrived.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Cassie Sandsmark was just starting high school when she became the second Wonder Girl
    • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): Peony McGill is a young girl who acts as the superhero Star Blossom.
  • People forget that the X-Men started off as teen heroes in a school for gifted youngsters. After they grew up, various young mutants would join the team. Grant Morrison brought back the school concept during his run. X-Men spin-offs also include New Mutants, Generation X, and to a lesser extent, X-Force in its original roster (the team consisted of the aforementioned New Mutants with older members such as Cable). Interestingly enough, all the heroes mentioned have grown up, something that does not happen much in comics.
  • The Titans' successor Young Justice was also a group of Kid Heroes, even younger than the original Titans.
  • The All-New Ultimates are a team of teenager superheroes from the Ultimate Marvel universe.
  • Zot!: At the beginning of the series, the titular protagonist is only fourteen.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: Shinji, Asuka, Rei and Hikari are fifteen-year-old giant mecha pilots and soldiers.
  • In Brilliant Lights Will Cease To Burn, Izuku is just thirteen when he comes the Cardcaptor and subsequently the vigilante Deku. Combined with his already busy schedule, it's little wonder that he ends up sleep deprived and exhausted. At the same time, he can act with the same amount of maturity and cynicism as someone much older.
  • Jack is 16 in Cave Story Versus I M Meen and is obviously the big damn hero of the story, evolving from a Ridiculously Average Guy into a Badass Adorable Nerd Action Hero; although he wasn't exactly a hero in the original Cave Story, the story implies that he was probably about the same age back then as well.
  • Child of the Storm and its sequel harshly deconstruct, demonstrating the psychological consequences. Harry, for instance, is The Hero of the story, Chronic Hero Syndrome and all, and is intelligent, brave, resourceful and - on his level - very capable. However, he's also 13 (to start with), impulsive, and completely out of his depth against Avengers-level opponents who won't hesitate to kill him. Unusually, the Avengers recognise this, and do their level best to keep him out of trouble, with limited success (trouble and Harry tend to go hand in hand, even if he isn't looking for it). This is for good reason. Even after Harry gets the powers (and to a lesser extent, skills) to fight in the same weight-class, his inexperience is repeatedly and brutally exposed on multiple occasions, two near the end of the first book, the third at the start of the sequel. Respectively, they nearly kill him, actually kill him, and put him through a Fate Worse than Death. While this leaves him as a much more competent hero who can more than look after himself against Physical God level threats, it also leaves him with textbook PTSD at 14 (15, physically, thanks to Year Inside, Hour Outside) and a lot of cynicism.
    • The same happens, to a lesser degree, to several of his friends - Carol, for instance, has Past Experience Nightmares and similar residual trauma at the start of the sequel, which are magnified after a particularly traumatic arc later on. As a result of this, Harry makes a point of trying to keep Ron and Hermione (so far relatively untouched) out of trouble as far as possible, recognising how damaged his experiences have left him, and making very clear that he does not want that for them.
  • Children of an Elder God: Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Touji, Hikari, Anna... are fourteen. They are only ones capable of piloting Evangelions and defeating the Elder Gods by killing them and stealing their powers.
  • Beth Lestrade in Children of Time, fifteen in her first appearance and then a physical age of seventeen throughout the events of the "season finale". Justified in her being the daughter of a New Scotland Yard detective inspector.
  • Crimson and Emerald: Hawks' backstory viciously deconstructs the concept as Hawks was railroaded into becoming a pro hero and had very little agency growing up.
  • In The Devil Does Care!, when Trevor finds Adrian, who at this time is barely in the toddler stage, he assumes he was kidnapped to be eaten by Dracula later and tries to run off with him in-spite of his injuries.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, Rebecka Smith-Rhodes is forced to confront and stare down the Dungeon Dimensions, aged around eleven. She realises that when Witchcraft wants you, there is no minimum entry age. Either you're good enough or you aren't. Later on her younger sister Famke sets a record at the Assassins' Guild School which is unlikely ever to be beaten; a month or two shy of her twelth birthday, she annoys Miss Alice Band so spectacularly that she becomes the youngest student Assassin ever to be sent on the Vimes Run. Sam Vimes notes that she manages to get inside Ramkin Manor before the inevitable failure, and notes her as One To Watch.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami:
  • HERZ: Shinji, Asuka and Rei started out their piloting careers in their early teens.
  • Hope and Sayaka from Justice Society of Japan.
  • Chloe Cerise of Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail is ten-years-old who finds herself thrown into the Infinity Train, teams up with a corgi king and a living book, to bring down a dangerous cult called The Apex.
  • In Last Child of Krypton Shinji, Asuka, Rei, Touji and Kaworu are fourteen-year-old mecha pilots and super-heroes.
  • The Lion King Adventures: Simba. Until he realises that he's actually the age of an adult in The End.
  • Marissa Picard: The titular main character commands a starship, vanquishes the Romulans, negotiates an interplanetary peace accord, and wins the Triple Crown — all before she's old enough to legally drive.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: In addition to the canonical teen pilots, Keiko is a fourteen-year-old mecha pilot.
  • Deconstructed in Once More with Feeling. Shinji and his two teammates are fourteen-year-old mecha pilots. Shinji is NOT happy about it, and he often states that they're nothing but child soldiers.
    Shinji: With the greatest of respect, Sir, the twin of that toy you are transporting took out that Angel in sixty three seconds, with no civilian casualties, no military casualties and minimal collateral damage to the city it was fighting in. Us ‘kids’ have to pilot these things because there isn’t anyone else who can. While our classmates at school are worrying about who they’ll invite to the dance, we are wondering if tomorrow we’ll die as we’re ripped to pieces by something nuclear weapons barely slow down, knowing if we fail, out entire race is going to die. So, respectfully, I’d ask you to show some fucking respect.
  • The Portal: The main character, Thomas Smith, is nearly 16 when he is pulled into the Dragon Realms.
  • Tales Of Termina viciously deconstructs this trope, the numerous traumatic adventures Link has had at such a young age has turned him into an emotional wreck with severe PTSD.
  • Saved is a Once Upon a Time AU that reinvents Emma Swan as one, as she and Pinocchio/August go through the wardrobe when Emma is four rather than as an infant, allowing her to return to Storeybrooke when she's eight years old; the fic ends with David and Mary Margaret aware of their true histories.
  • The Second Try played it straight with fourteen-year-old Rei and Touji, and subverted with Shinji and Asuka, since due to time-travel shenanigans, they’re physically teenagers but they’re mentally adults.
  • Calvin and Andy from Swing123 and garfieldodie's Calvinverse, the former to extreme lengths.
  • In Thousand Shinji, Shinji and Rei are fourteen, and Asuka is thirteen. They pilot mechas and have -very nasty- super-powers.

    Films — Animation 
  • Hiro Hamada of Big Hero 6, a young Teen Genius that had already graduated from high school at the start of the movie.
  • Coco stars 12-year-old aspiring musician Miguel. Through a set of incredible circumstances and his own passion and determination, he ends up restoring his great-great-grandfather’s honor and remembrance, and proving that one of Mexico’s most beloved musicians was a thief and a fraud within the span of a single year.
  • Coraline stars a girl as she discovers a portal to another world in her new house. She has to save herself and several ghosts from the Other Mother.
  • All three children in The Incredibles. Interestingly, they start off with attitudes fairly realistic to children their age, just with superpowers. But by the end of the movie, the whole family is happy to take even the tiny baby with them on life-or-death fights against super-villains.
  • The Iron Giant: The nine-year old protagonist Hogarth Hughes acts as the father of the titular Gentle Giant. His overall appearance could be considered as handsome for a kid.
  • The title character from Kirikou and the Sorceress is actually a BABY hero.
  • Kubo, the titular hero of Kubo and the Two Strings, is twelve years old, and has already lost and eye in infancy and has to play a magical shamisen to earn a living for himself and his ill mother. During the movie, he sets out in a dangerous quest to find his father’s missing armor, while chased by his vicious supernaturally powered aunts.
  • Norman of ParaNorman is a boy with the ability to speak with the dead, and must use this ability to save his town from a witch’s curse.
  • Pinocchio: The young puppet has to earn his happy ending to Become a Real Boy.
  • Maruti/Hanuman from The Return of Hanuman is considered as this.
  • For Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, we have a three-fer! Miles Morales is prepubescent and in middle school, making him 13 at most. Gwen Stacy states she's "15 months older" than Miles, putting her in the 14-15 year-old range, and SP//dr's Peni Parker, a young girl whose age is not stated, but who looks, sounds, and acts even younger than Miles.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Oskari, one of co-protagonists in Big Game, turns thirteen during the film's action.
  • Home Alone features 8-year-old Kevin singlehandedly defending his home from a pair of pesky burglars through a series of booby traps.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Spider-Man is only fourteen/fifteen years old when he makes his debut in Captain America: Civil War.
  • The Soviet sci-fi two-parter Moscow — Cassiopeia involves a group of teenagers being sent on a decades-long journey to one of the stars in the Cassiopeia constellation. Had adults been sent, they could have grown old by the time the ship arrived. The original plan is for the teens to be adults at arrival time, but a freak accident results in the ship accelerating to near-light speeds, so Time Dilation keeps them young (which doesn't stop one's family back on Earth from celebrating his 30th birthday (in absentia) before someone points out that, from his viewpoint, he's still in his teens). Since they're still in school, they have to attend classes while in flight (through a Subspace Ansible of some kind). They end up saving a dying Human Alien race and depart on their journey home.
  • Dannie of Pathogen is only 14 years old.
  • Spy Kids stars a brother and sister team trying to rescue their super-spy parents. By the second film, there are various kid heroes.
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Anakin Skywalker, who single-handedly won the Boonta Eve race with a home-made podracer and (accidentally) won the Battle of Naboo at the age of nine. In the EU, his grandkids are also examples. His children are not, however, with one wanting to go to the Imperial Academy when he starts his adventures and the other having already served as a Galactic Senator. Just like her mom at her age...
  • 3 Ninjas: The three brothers are varying ages but all of them are school kids fighting bad guys with ninja tactics.
  • Wrath of Daimajin features a quartet of kid heroes who set out to rescue their fathers who've been enslaved by an evil warlord.

  • Viciously deconstructed in the Alex Rider series. The eponymous protagonist is bullied into a job as a spy that he doesn't want and the awful psychological toll on him is so bad that it's unlikely he will ever recover.
  • The six main characters of the Animorphs series start out at the age of 13, with the exception of Ax (though he's still basically the Andalite equivalent of a teenager, since he's an aristh, or cadet).
  • Garion from David Eddings' The Belgariad kills a god at the age of sixteen. And then marries the spoiled princess, which is at least as daunting.
  • Biggles is a borderline example, being eight months shy of his claimed seventeen years when he arrives as New Meat at the Air Training School in Biggles Learns To Fly. Most of the franchise is set some time after he reaches adulthood, however.
  • Astra from Cakes In Space is a little girl who has to save the spaceship her family is on because it's veered off-course, is being looted by aliens, and has hostile living cake monsters infesting it.
  • The four Pevensies in The Chronicles of Narnia are schoolchildren when they save the land and become monarchs.
  • In Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novel Cain's Last Stand, the students at the schola. Starting with Sprie who is piloting Cain's shuttle when the attack comes and analyzes it for Cain. At one point, Cain observes that the schola could pass for an Imperial Guard post if the faces weren't so young.
  • The protagonists of Roald Dahl's books are typically young boys around eight or nine years old (Charlie, George, James, etc.), In a few cases, young girls were used as main characters instead (Matilda, Sophie and the nameless heroine of The Magic Finger).
  • Ender's Game - except becomes a partial subversion and deconstruction when Ender has a massive mental breakdown after discovering that the game was real.
  • The Extreme Monsters book series revolved around the adventures of five monster athletes, whose ages ranged from 9 to 12.
  • Tiffany Aching in the Discworld is around eleven when she has to rescue her brother from a river monster, armed only with a large cast-iron frying pan and a willingness to look the creature straight in the eyes for long enough to measure her swing. Then it escalates and over the course of four books she realises that if you're a Witch, age is just a number. The pointy hat knows no minimum age.
  • Done somewhat differently in the Grey Griffins book series, in that while the main heroes are four children, adults frequently end up having to rescue them or help out, and are also the ones who do the overwhelming majority of the actual fighting. On the other hand, the kids tend to do much adventuring on their own, usually using their wits.
  • Sarah from Greystone Valley is twelve years old and the valley's best hope to be rid of the evil warlord Baelan.
  • Harry Potter had his first adventure at the age of eleven and in the last book he defeated Lord Voldemort at seventeen. In addition to Harry himself, the series includes his friends and classmates. On the other side, Draco Malfoy became an official Death Eater at sixteen.
  • Heroics: The field members of the titular team are all between 13 and 17 years old. The youngest, Kara, is the most optimistic, though most of them do still have a childish nature to them. (Though team leader Kate is well on her way to losing it by the end of the book.)
  • Rue from The Hunger Games is 12, the youngest age you can be chosen as a tribute. Katniss and Peeta are both 16, while Rue’s District partner, Thresh, is 18, which is the oldest a tribute can be.
  • Eragon in the Inheritance Cycle, though, in fairness, Eragon really isn't too far off from what his people consider the age of maturity when the series begins.
  • All of Diana Wynne Jones' work directed towards a younger audience, such as the Chrestomanci series, Eight Days of Luke, The Homeward Bounders, Power of Three, and The Dalemark Quartet. (And sometimes, as in Dark Lord of Derkholm and The Magids series, they share the spotlight with adults.)
  • Journey to the Morning Star, being a children's novel, naturally has kids as protagonists, although they are accompanied by an old wizard. The three boys' names are even lampshaded by the wizard, who compares them to the three classical Russian bogatyrs. As expected, the girl (the wizard's granddaughter) ends up being little more than a Damsel in Distress.
  • The League of Secret Heroes: Katie O'Malley, Akiko Nakano, and Mae Crumpler are a trio of pre-teen girls who gain superpowers from The Stretcher's costume and use them to help a secret organization known as Room Twelve assist the war effort by thwarting plots by spies and villains.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: Benji is ten years old and desperately wants to be this trope to emulate his Action Mom and impress his Four-Star Badass crush, but he fails repeatedly until the climax.
  • Miles Taylor, the titular main character of Miles Taylor And The Golden Cape becomes a superhero after inheriting the golden cape from its previous owner.
  • The main characters in The Mysterious Benedict Society are on the thin line between traditional kid heroes and being Child Soldiers. They're all under thirteen, with Constance being the youngest at age three. Mr. Benedict recruited children because he needs them for his dangerous missions that only kids can go on, however would ideally avoid putting kids in harms way.
  • Most of the Oz books have a child as at least one of the protagonists. Dorothy Gale is the most famous, but the books also include Tip, Princess Ozma (when she takes part in the action), Betsy Bobbin, Ojo the Unlucky, and others.
  • All the half-bloods and Grover in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It's debatable whether or not the Hunters of Artemis count too - technically they are immortal and therefore mostly in their hundreds or thousands, but physically are prepubescent.
    • Grover's thirty-two in the last book, he just looks sixteen (and acts that way because satyrs age half as fast as humans).
  • Peter Pan is a kid, though a very old one who never grew up.
  • Tamora Pierce's protagonists grow up with the books, but:
  • Most of the protagonists of The Prophecy of the Stones are in their teens. The three main girls (four, counting Joa) are 14, Love Interest and leader of La Résistance Adrien is 16, and the Supporting Leader and Big Good Elyador is 18.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, Rachel and Kirsty are young, though their exact age isn't specified.
  • Most of Redwall's heroes are the Talking Animal equivalent of about twelve-to-fifteen.
  • Seeker Bears has all of the main characters. They're a group of bear cubs who, by the end of the second book, are all on an environmental-themed journey together. They're noted to still be too young to even be away from their mothers.
  • Septimus Heap: Septimus and Jenna are both 10 year old by the first book.
  • Everyone in Someone Else's War, which is a book about Child Soldiers trying to rebel and escape from the Lord's Resistance Army.
  • Robb Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire. The guy commands a good percentage of the continent's armed men while barely old enough to grow a beard.
    • The series is full of these. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are such examples, with the former becoming one of the youngest Lord Commanders in the Wall's history, and the latter becoming a queen and conqueror of slaver cities while just fifteen years old.
    • Arya is a deconstruction of the trope. Her coldly calculative personality is extremely disturbing to those she meets, as she has not even hit puberty yet and she's already a successful assassin.
    • Robb Stark wins all his battles but proves terrible in handling the political side of ruling and ends up getting murdered at the age of 16.
    • Daenerys finds ruling a city incredibly difficult and ends up fleeing on her dragon.
    • Daeron I became King at the age of 14 and conquered Dorne, which his ancestors had failed at despite having dragons. However, similar to Robb Stark, ruling proved more difficult then fighting, and he died four years after becoming King in the Dornish wars.
  • The protagonist of Strength & Justice is 15. So's his girlfriend, who occasionally shares the spotlight.
  • Stephen King is pretty fond of this trope. Jack in The Talisman, the kids in It, Mark in 'Salem's Lot, Jake in The Dark Tower series, even Danny in The Shining.
  • The hero of the Time Machine gamebook series. The exact age is unclear, but seems to be somewhere around 13. Which doesn't stop people from occasionally treating him as someone older for sake of the plot; for instance, he can end up becoming a full-fledged astronaut.
  • In Treasure Island, teenager Jim Hawkins does a good job of screwing up with the pirates' plans - starting with his taking the map and accidentally eavesdropping on Silver's mutiny plans.
  • Gratuity in The True Meaning of Smekday, though she is a bit more mature at the start of the book than most Kid Heroes.
  • Varjak from Varjak Paw is the youngest in his family and is described as a kitten. He doesn't however look too young, so presumably he is more of an adolescent than a young child.
  • The main characters of Warhammer Adventures are able to run around the grimdark worlds of Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar having adventures while aged between eleven and fourteen.
  • Warren the 13th may just be a kid, but he manages to save the hotel, and even the world, from his wicked aunt Annaconda's wrath.
  • In Warrior Cats, several of the heroes are apprentices when we first see their points of view - the feline equivalent of 10-18 years old - and some POVs start even younger.
  • We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier has one of the few true subversions of this trope. The hero is introduced as an idealistic kid who calls himself "the Avenger" and daydreams of being a Vigilante Man, getting his chance after watching a break-in and rape. He's fully adult and completely insane.
  • Wings of Fire starts with a group of dragonets that are still a year from being adults, meaning they're adolescents by human standards. They've been raised to fulfill a prophecy and bring peace to their land.
  • The Young Wizards series. Justified by several reasons:
    • The younger a wizard, the more raw power they have available.
    • A wizard is first offered his/her power by the Powers That Be when s/he is the best (or the only) solution to a particular problem, a problem which was directly or indirectly caused by the Lone Power, the Big Bad of the series. Thus, whatever a wizard does after first getting his/her powers is always important, and often dangerous.
  • In R.S Belcher's King of the Road, there's a "secret club" consisting of well-meaning geeky kids of junior-high age living in Valentine's Trailer Park. One thing they do is warn newcomers to "never go to the train graveyard and to stay away from the southeast of the park". These kids are instrumental in saving the life of a scientist of the Brotherhood of the Wheel from the Harlequin serial killer cult and it's implied that when they grow up, they'll be joining the Brotherhood.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Beetleborgs: 3 preteen kids becoming henshin heroes to defend their town against various monsters.
  • Power Rangers Turbo had Justin, the youngest ranger yet at age 11. He somehow gained an adult-sized body when morphed however (except for scenes where he removed his helmet, then he became kid sized again), but mentally remained very much a kid.
  • Power Rangers parent show Super Sentai used the same idea earlier for Kō, the Kiba Ranger in Gosei Sentai Dairanger. And again for Kotaro, Koguma Skyblue in Uchu Sentai Kyuranger (except Kotaro stays kid-size when he morphs, except when he uses his special ability to temporarily grow gigantic). The Ressha Sentai ToQger team, meanwhile, act like kids despite looking like they're in the franchise's usual late-teen age range because they are kids that have been magically aged up; they return to their normal ages at the end of the series and participate in some spinoffs as their child selves.
  • Stranger Things has about half a dozen of them. They are aided by adults and a few older teenagers, but the main protagonists of the show start out at barely twelve years old.
  • Raising Dion stars a seven year old boy who finds out he has superpowers.


    Tabletop Games 
  • In d20 Modern, the minimum age for starting occupations is 15 years old. In D20 Apocalypse, most starting occupations see their minimal ages being reduced, some to 12 years old. And upon reaching their 12th birthday, kids take their first level in one of the basic classes, and have no attributes adjustment. Cue 12 years old battling radroaches, raiders, scavenging pre-apocalypse ruins for spare ammo...
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the minimum age for a human player character is 16 years old. In Fifth Edition, the rules specify that there are no age restrictions, nor are there any penalties for playing a very young (or old) character- but it's suggested that the character's age could justify their existing stats.
  • Perfectly playable in Rocket Age, as there is a secret society of child spies among the Martian royalty known as the Yondari. Older members can be as old as 16, but the majority are under 10.
  • In fitting with the source material, this is not uncommon among the titular Hopeful of Princess: The Hopeful. It's mentioned that most adults (including fellow Princesses), would really rather that children not have to deal with the kinds of problems and monsters Princesses face, but given the kind of people who Blossom, it's generally an exercise in futility trying to persuade them to stay safe.

    Video Games 
  • The protagonist of Among the Sleep is one of the more extreme examples; a two-year-old who's navigating a surreal, horrifying landscape and trying to avoid a terrible monster! The game's tearjerker ending reveals the landscape is just the boy's own house, and the monster is just his inebriated mother, the fantastic elements only being the boy using his imagination to cope with the trauma of living with an abusive, alcoholic parent.
  • Marco Van de Land from Battle Fantasia is one of the main characters, fitting the trope to a T. Following in his father's footsteps and wielding an oversized zweihander, he has a habit of crying and whining, much to the annoyance of the rest of the cast. His brother Urs may also qualify as a Kid Hero, but with different quirks.
  • Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg: All the main characters are young children not more than 10 years old, apparently.
  • Thomas in Boogeyman and the little girl in Boogeyman 2 are both young kids who have to spend each night fending off the titular monster with only a flashlight.
  • Boy in A Boy and His Blob is this in both the NES and Wii version. The latter is even labeled in the unlockable sketches to be around six years old.
  • Computer technician Lance Galahad of Brain Dead 13 can be this, since it is implied that he is in his teens, around 16 or 17 years old at the most.
  • Ryu from Breath of Fire III and Breath of Fire II's Ryu, who starts the game (along with Bow) as a young tyke literally equipped with a tree branch. His attacks even do a measly one damage to rub it in.
  • Children of Mana has Ferrik, Poppen, and Tamber, with Poppen the youngest of them all, at nine years old.
  • Crono from Chrono Trigger and Serge from Chrono Cross. Both still living at home with their mommies (and said home surprisingly does not blow up.)
  • Kid genius Commander Keen, of The '90s video games of the same name. He even saves his own babysitter in one game, and it's discovered that the Big Bad who keeps trying to blow up the galaxy is Mortimer McMire, the kid who always bullies Keen at school because his IQ is one point lower — at 314!
  • Crusader of Centy begins with the hero Corona receiving a sword on his fourteenth birthday.
  • Cuphead: Although the sibling protagonists Cuphead and Mugman are adolescent boys who live under the watchful eye of their guardian Elder Kettle and end up getting in trouble in the Devil's casino, they seem to fit the bill quite nicely when they are fighting for their souls. In fact, the only way for them to be true Kid Heroes is when they can save the Inkwell Isles from the Devil himself... if they play the cards right.
  • In Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey, the heroine is younger than any of the princesses.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong Jr starred in his self-titled game where he was on a quest to rescue his father from Mario.
    • Diddy and Dixie Kong in the Donkey Kong Country series, especially in the sequel games where Donkey Kong is kidnapped and Diddy (in 2) and Dixie (in 3) are forced to become the hero to save him. Also Kiddy Kong in 3.
  • Perhaps taken to its extreme in Dragon Quest V, where the protagonist begins his heroic career at the age of five, and stores stock steel weapons and iron plate armor for children that age. In the final chapter of the game, the destined hero is not the main character, but his eight year old son. This includes legendary armor only the young boy can wear. Luckily it fits, despite having been worn by older heroes in chronologically earlier games.
  • The playable characters of ESP Ra.De. are all adolescents: Yusuke is 17, J-B 5th is 15, Irori is 11, and the console port-exclusive Alice is 15. e
  • Ellia of Eternal Darkness is 16 years old, and she was originally 13 during the game's early stages of development.
  • Fallout has a few interesting variations.
    • In Fallout 2, it is possible to design a character as young as 16. This has no bearing on the rest of the game, though, and the character is still very capable of performing the things other characters can. These things include drinking, doing drugs, having sex for various reasons, having a shotgun wedding, and becoming a pornstar (or fluffer, if lacking in talent). Oh, and killing your way through the game by various, interesting means.
    • Children of the Wasteland, a Game Mod for Fallout 3, goes to great lengths to alter the story so that the Lone Wanderer is chased out of Vault 101 at the tender age of eleven. It's surprisingly well-done, too, with all original interactions talking about the player's age being re-worked, a model pack to expand on the inventory available for children - which includes an exclusive shop in Megaton -, and even a milk crate item to allow access to interactions normally too tall for kids to reach.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • The lords in the Fire Emblem saga are more often than not over 18, but some are young enough to be kid heroes:
    • Marth is 16 in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.
    • When the characters of Fire Emblem Gaiden were given canon ages in the remake, Echoes, Alm and Celica were both said to be 17 years old. Some of their companions are in a similar age range: the youngest is the 13-year-old Delthea, followed by Kliff, Mae and Genny at age 15.
    • On the same league, Seliph from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War is 16 years old when he becomes the leader of La Résistance against The Empire. In addition, almost all of his companions are around his age: his cousin Leif (also the hero in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776), his best friend and potential girlfriend Lana, the twins Ulster and Larcei, etc.
    • Roy from Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade is 15 years old and has to command the troops after his father, Eliwood, falls gravely sick and cannot do that himself. Some of Roy's companions, like archers Wolt and Sue, Fragile Speedster Shanna, White Magician Girl Clarine, Child Mages Lugh and Ray, and Magic Knight Lilina are also around his age.
    • Lyn's original age in the Japanese version of Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade is 15 (16 after the timeskip). She was 18 going on 19 in the NA release, though. Eliwood and Hector are 17 in their own tales (16 in Lyn's tale, which took place a year earlier) as well. Wil is also 17, Serra and Priscilla are both 16, Rebecca and Erk are both 15, and Nino is 14.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, while the Avatar has quite the case of Vague Age, their second build can give them the looks of a pre-teen/young teen no older than 15. Additionally Lissa, Ricken, Maribelle and Donnel are pretty much stated to be in the 13-15 age range. And the Future Children tend to be around the same age range if not a bit older (save for Lucina, Laurent and probably Gerome), with Cynthia, Nah and the Morgans as the biggest examples.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has the Avatar as either a young teen or an older one. They also have younger brothers (Leo and Takumi) and younger sisters (Sakura and Elise) on both sides of the conflict, plus potential companions of similar/younger ages like Mozu or Hayato. The Second Generation tends to be made of older teens, but some of them fit in here thoroughly: the Kanas, Percy, Midori, Kiragi and probably Selkie.
  • Fortune Summoners: Stella, Arche, and Sana are all prepubescent and face a threat that attacked cities and survived. On a smaller scale, Arche and Stella also go on a medicine run for a sick girl. That's Sana.
  • Frosty Nights has you playing as a child who needs to fend off kid-eating Snowlems every night.
  • Ghoulboy stars Thulgar, son of Galdar the warrior.
  • Golden Sun:
    • The heroes are another example. Isaac, Garet, Jenna and Mia are 17 years old and Ivan only 15. They're referred to as "children" by most of Weyard's populace.
    • In the sequel, however the party still features the under-age girls Jenna (still 17) and Sheba (14), the main hero is 18 years old and Piers might be several centuries or even millenia old.
  • Both Justin and Sue from Grandia - with a surprising dose of realism thrown in towards the end of the game, when Justin is forced to realize the seriousness of his quest, and Sue is forced to leave the party and return home after becoming ill, thanks to being unable to cope with the exhausting pace of the adventure.
  • The main cast of Higurashi: When They Cry consists of three (later four) high schoolers and two (later three) elementary schoolers, though Hanyuu actually died as an adult. Usually they're not heroes, and often they're Villain Protagonists, but they play this in the final two Answer arcs.
  • Holy Umbrella has an ordinary schoolboy Trapped in Another World who soon proves himself more competent at mounting a rescue mission than the local troopers, who are astonished that a "mere child" has outdone them.
  • The hero of I Wanna Be the Guy is literally named The Kid, and the hero of the sequel is named The Lad.
  • The titular protagonist of ICO is a young boy locked inside of a castle because of his horns. Ico makes it his mission to escape with Yorda in tow, using his wits and whatever weapons he can find.
  • In Illusion of Gaia, Will (the hero) appears to be approximately 12-15 years old, with everyone in the game referring to him as a "child". The game story spans over half a year, and naturally he does grow up quite a lot by the end of the game... but he was already fairly mature to begin with, unlike most kiddie heroes.
  • The Inazuma Eleven series revolves around a group of junior-high soccer players saving the world and soccer society from wannabe gods, aliens, and invaders from the future... with soccer games.
  • It's really common in visual novels, like the ones done by Key/Visual Arts and Leaf: the protagonist is his mid-teens and is an Ordinary High-School Student. His Love Interests are almost all the same, usually.
  • Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series; he starts puberty between the first and second games, apparently immediately after the first one, if you go by his voice in Re: Chain of Memories. Although naturally that has to do with the fact that Haley Joel Osment only recorded it after Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Kirby, from the eponymous series of games, is described as being a "little boy" (though his age is never directly given).
  • Klonoa, the star of his game series, is stated to be twelve in Lunatea's Veil, therefore in its prequel he must be the same age or younger in Door to Phantomile—at least before it got remade, he looks older in the Wiimake of DtP. Though, since he's not human, the years might work differently for him.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Link is usually being around 10-11 years old (according to the Hyrule Historia, he is only ten years old in The Legend of Zelda) with the exceptions of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (16), A Link to the Past (he seems to be in his early- to mid-teens, and may be even younger if his high-pitched voice is anything to go by), Ocarina of Time (16 via time travel, though he starts at 9 and is back to 9 at the end), Twilight Princess (17), Skyward Sword (17 and a half), and Breath of the Wild (implied to be 17). In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap it's even a plot point, since the Minish can only be seen by children.
    • Notably, Link and Zelda in the childhood arc of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are deconstructions. While Zelda is very clever and knowledgeable, her plan actually ends up aiding the villain because she didn't know as much as she thought she did. And while kid Link racks up an impressive kill count, Ganondorf painfully establishes that he's still not strong enough to take down the powerful sorcerer. The kids thought they could be heroes and save the day, but they were defeated by their inability to acknowledge the gaps in their understanding. Perfectly understandable kid behavior. Zelda acknowledges all of this when she returns after the Time Skip, and Link fixes the problem properly when sent back in time to before everything started (that is, by blowing the whistle on Ganondorf to the proper authorities).
      • This specific Link's problems don't end there, either, as his adventure continues in Majora's Mask. The now-Wise Beyond Their Years Link is still an adorable kid that kicks plenty of ass, but the expanded lore that Majora's Mask brought to the table highlights just how incredibly screwed up his life really is, you just never see it in-game due to Heroic Mime (and possibly Heroic Safe Mode) being in effect as usual. Being one of the most iconic characters in gaming at the time means this did not go unnoticed by the fanbase: "Young Link" is a very popular target of the Deconstructor Fleet and the Fix Fic.
    • In Hyrule Warriors, Agitha, Young Link, Toon Link, Tetra, Toon Zelda and Medli can all join the fight despite them being noticeably preteens.
  • Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken has Daigo Raioh, a 14-years young martial artist, and descendant of a legendary Hero who defeated and sealed away the Demon King Dragless 450 years before the game's proper. Dragless being about to free himself, Daigo goes on a journey to defeat him for good.
  • In the Madou Monogatari series, Arle starts her adventures while in kindergarten. This also applies to some of the Puyo Puyo games.
  • Rave, the little monster boy from Math Blaster Mystery: The Great Brain Robbery establishes himself as a Badass Adorable before the game actually begins. After hearing that famous mathlete Big Brain has his brain stolen, Rave immediately deduces the person responsible was local Mad Scientist Dr. Dabble. Rave then takes it upon himself to rescue said brain, hops out his bedroom window on the second floor of his house onto his bike like it was nothing, and then heads over to Dr. Dabble's mansion.
  • Both Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Star Force follow this trope, with the main characters Lan and Geo being both fifth-graders (this also goes for their friends, especially in Battle Network's case).
  • Tetto in Metal Walker saves his dad and the Rusted Land with the help of his robot companion.
  • Every main character of all three Mother games, except Duster, Boney and possibly Teddy. Exemplified by main protagonists Ninten, Ness and Lucas.
  • In Mushihime-sama, Reco is 14 years old and turns 15 for the sequel Mushihimesama Futari. Futari also introduces Palm, who is 9 years old.
  • The Night of the Rabbit's protagonist is Jerry Hazelnut, a twelve-year-old boy. The game's events take place just two days before summer vacation ends for him.
  • Pac-Man: Jr. in Junior Pac-Man.
  • Orta in Panzer Dragoon Orta is only an early- to mid-teenager. Iva Demilcol is even younger (not even ten) and he was recruited into the Imperial army.
  • The Persona series makes frequent use of this, since each game frequently has a high school as one of its major settings, and high schoolers (usually in their 1st and 2nd years) make up most of the playable cast. Persona 3 has a more obvious example in Ken Amada, who's a 10-11 year old elementary schooler.
  • Pokémon:
    • As mentioned before in the Anime & Manga section, most of the protagonists in Pokémon are teenagers or preteens when starting out; ranging from the 11 of Red to the (at the very most) 16 or 17 of the Pokémon X and Y protagonists. The only ones to be even in their late teens are the protagonists of the Pokémon Ranger series and Wes from Pokémon Colosseum, who are all hovering around 17.
    • Pokémon-centric spinoffs such as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and PokéPark Wii give Pikachu and various starter Pokémon the chance to become strong enough to defeat legendary opponents without even having the opportunity to evolve first.
  • Raz in Psychonauts is a prodigy at a summer camp for psychics. The adults have their competence either power dampened from the beginning, or Deus Exit Machina'd before anyone has a clue something is going wrong.
  • Punky Skunk: Punky and his friends are said by Badler to be kids.
  • Brian of Quest 64 is said to be 10 years old...or 5 years old according to the time period in which it took place.
  • Cody from Robopon gets put in charge of his grandfather's company at the start of the game, and becomes the number 1 Robopon battler on Porombo Island and Majiko.
  • Guybrush Threepwood can be this in The Secret of Monkey Island, since he is implied to be around 16 or 17 years old.
  • Secret of the Stars had its action divided between a group of warrior children tasked with saving the world, the Aquatallion, and a group of adults, the Kustera, whose only purpose is to provide support for them.
  • The protagonists of A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) are all children with the oldest being fourteen and the youngest being an infant. You have to help the Baudelaires escape Olaf and his plan to take their fortune.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic himself is 15 years old, with a majority of his allies being below 18 and his oldest allies are barely even in their 20's. Tails is 8 and one of the most competent characters in the entire series. Deconstructed with the youngest, Cream and Charmy (both 6) who while pretty competent in a fight, lack the emotional maturity of the others and are often treated as the Tagalong Kid.
    • Sonic Generations and onward had a very interesting time with this trope. In Generations, Sonic and Tails teamed up with their classic selves, who were 10 and 4 1/2 respectively. This game suggested that Sonic and Tails had been fighting Eggman since their youth. Later, both Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces retconned this Sonic, along with his friends, to part of another universe altogether, creating a whole new group of Kid Heroes.
  • The most well known North American commercial for Splatoon hammers in the fact that the you're not just a squid, but you're a kid as well. Most Inklings are content with engaging in turf wars against each other, but the game's adventure mode sees your Inkling take up the role of Agent 3 of the New Squidbeak Splatoon as (s)he infiltrates Octo Valley alone to stop the uprising of the Octarians. Canonically, the Inklings are at minimum fourteen years old.
  • Yo-Kai Watch has an Ordinary Elementary School Student 11-year old finding a mystical watch that allows them to see youkai. They proceed to go on various adventures with their yo-kai friends, admittedly behind their parents backs.
  • The Tiamat Sacrament: Az'uar is the protagonist of this game, and he's a newly hatched dragon whelp. This is deconstructed in that while he has Blood Memory to make himself intelligent, his lack of experience causes him to be reckless and his more experienced allies have to remind him to choose his battles more wisely. After his siblings are hatched, he trains in preparation for fighting Lord Nephron and Darius.

  • '32 Kick-Up has Patrica-Marie, 12, and Calloway, 10, as it's two leads.
  • Justified in City of Reality, as the titular city is sufficiently peaceful that they deliberately recruit kids to be members of SUEPR.
  • Several of the main characters in El Goonish Shive have become this. Nanase has a super powerful angel form which Ellen can now duplicate. Elliot has his female superhero form, Cheerleadra, along with three secret identities to go along with. Susan is a natural vampire hunter, as is her Doppelganger aunt Diane. However, her powers have not yet awakened.
  • Heroes of Thantopolis Champion of the Queen of Ghosts Cyrus, aged 11.
  • All sixteen protagonists of Homestuck are thirteen-year-olds or the alien equivalent. However, none of them act like it most of the time, some more so than others.
  • While Huckleberry's exact age hasn't been revealed, he was born during the relatively recent Heroic Age, and everyone calls him a kid. He also survived many encounters with supervillains or powerful creatures.
  • Parisa's main heroes are Gwen and Logan. Logan is ten years old, and Gwen's implied to be around his age, but they are shown to be more than capable of saving people on several occasions.
  • Lampshaded in this Scandinavia and the World strip.
  • The Dragon to a villain in Super Stupor is Genre Savvy enough to be terrified when a little girl in spandex shows up at their headquarters. The less Genre Savvy Big Bad gets instantly vaporized.
    Frog Ninja: Heroes don't send kids to do the job unless they're little tanks. And most kids are, for some unknown reason, ten times stronger than adult heroes. It's like the younger and cuter they are, the worse they're gonna kick your ass. If that was a four year old playing with a kitten out there, I'd offer her your dead body just to be on the safe side.
  • Played glaringly straight in Tales of the Questor; it is even lampshaded in one strip when the Mayor said he wanted Quentyn to mature before sending him out.
  • Deconstructed in We Are The Wyrecats. Despite having good intentions, building the XAG suits and playing at being superheroes has practically ruined the team members' lives.

    Web Original 
  • Deviant: The main protagonist of the story, Cassandra Jansen, is not only a superhero, but she's also only 15 years old. There's a number of other kid heroes as well, most prominently the Newborns, a team of them.
  • RWBY: Ruby Rose is a perky, quirky 15-year-old girl who wants to be a professional monster slayer because her older sister Yang read her bedtime stories about great heroes saving and protecting people; she wants to emulate them and make the world a better place. She is pushed ahead two years, so her team-mates (Team RWBY) and companions (Team JNPR) are all two years older. An in-universe year later, they're joined by Oscar Pine, who is two years younger than Ruby and the inheritor of a divine mission to save the world.
  • The members of Team Kimba at Superhero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. They start out with most of them being fourteen.
  • The Wards in Worm are an organization of Kid Heroes. But remember that in Worm, Anyone Can Die still applies…

    Western Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: The main cast are all puppies who constantly foil Cruella's evil plots and go on rescue missions.
  • Adventure Time has Finn, Flame Princess, and several other borderline examples. Finn, the main protagonist and card-carrying hero, is a somewhat more realistic take on this trope, as he is genuinely nice and has good intentions but often screws up out of ignorance or impulsiveness. He doesn't always do the right thing, either, although he does when it counts. Even though Finn ages during the series (he begins at 12 and celebrates his 17th birthday in the final seasons) and grows up quite a bit, he never quite abandons his boyishness.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long stars a preteen/teenage boy with the ability to transform into a dragon. There are numerous kid heroes around the world with powers just like him.
  • Captain Flamingo is the caped and cowled alter ego of an appoximately 10-year-old suburban kid named Milo Powell. His specific superhero mission is to help other kids his age in trouble — usually because they've done something self-inflicted, like they got lost while hiking or accidentally flooded their own house. His missions may not exactly save the world, but they are extremely important to those he helps. And he does have a recurring adversary (The Warrior Monkey).
  • You think one Kid Hero, or a small group of Kid Heroes is something? The Kids Next Door (from, where else? Codename: Kids Next Door) is a worldwide organization full of them! No one over thirteen is allowed except for a few double agents.
  • Danny Phantom: "Young Danny Fenton, he was just 14 / When his parents built a very strange machine..."
  • Whenever the titular character of Dennis the Menace wasn't causing chaos for his next-door neighbor, Mr. Wilson, he was often ruining the plans of everyone from human criminals to evil space aliens.
  • Dr. Dimensionpants: Kyle, a 12 year-old boy who defends his dimension from all sorts of threats.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Ten year old Timmy Turner, while he often fits the trope Designated Hero because he causes as many problems as he solves, there have been cases where danger has occurred through no fault of his own, and he does step up to the plate and become a genuine hero. Wishology is the most known example of this.
  • Twins Dipper and Mabel from Gravity Falls are 12, celebrating their 13th birthday in the series finale. Once Dipper finds the journal describing the oddities of Gravity Falls, he and Mabel get involved with increasingly weird phenomenon.
  • Fangbone!: Fangbone and Bill are Bash Brothers who fight together to prevent Venomous Drool from getting his evil magic toe back, taking down all sorts of monsters and other Skullbanian villains.
  • Dib from Invader Zim is a school age boy, though he's more of a Hero Antagonist.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Kim and her best friend Ron. They graduate from high school in the Grand Finale and they've been saving the world since middle school.
    • Shego was also a former Kid Hero. Her brothers are now mostly adults, but the twins (Wego) don't seem much older than Kim's little brothers.
  • The Lion Guard is about a lion cub and his group of similarly aged friends protecting the Pridelands. Kion is gifted with the Roar Of The Elders at least.
  • Max of Mighty Max wasn't intended to be one. Skull Master just arose earlier than planned, forcing Virgil and Normal to get his destiny in gear before he had time to mature. As such, his acts of heroism are mostly through quick thinking and outwitting enemies rather than powers or fighting and he attempted a Refusal of the Call before accepting he didn't really have a choice.
  • The two protagonists of Miraculous Ladybug, Marinette and Adrien, who are both roughly fourteen years old, become superheroes who save the city on a near-daily basis.
  • Jenny is a teenage crime-fighting robot from My Life as a Teenage Robot.
  • My Little Pony Friendshipis Magic:
    • Spike is a teenage dragon who is very dedicated to helping his pony friends.
    • Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo are three young foals who are members of the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
    • Season 8 introduces Sandbar, Yona, Gallus, Silverstream, Ocellus and Smolder, who are children of multiple species.
  • Oh Yeah! Cartoons featured three shorts where the protagonist was a child superhero.
    • The title character of "Thatta Boy", who gets the short end of the stick when his Older Sidekick Polly decides to become evil and set free all the criminals he captured.
    • The title character of "The Tantrum", who uses crime-fighting as an outlet for his frustration at not getting what he wants.
    • "Younstar 3" stars a super-powered boy named Youngstar, who fights crime alongside his grandfather Old Man and a Fembot named Shero.
  • PAW Patrol gives us Ryder, a tech whiz who can drive an ATV (among other vehicles), fix said vehicles, and is brave enough to jump off a moving vehicle onto another moving vehicle and wrestle a monkey for control. He's ten years old.
  • PJ Masks: Resolves around 3 six-year-old Animal themed superheroes; Catboy, Owlette, and Gekko. Season 2 introduces a fourth member, Armadylan, though he doesn't appear in every episode.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • In the original seriesThe Powerpuff Girls, the titular girls are five year olds (physically, chronologically they're younger) who regularly fight villains and save their city.
    • The reboot makes their ages harder to tell. They're at minimum eight according to the TV movie. Their long-lost sister Bliss is a teenager but is also a superhero.
    • Five year old Princess wants to be one of these, but the girls won't let her become one. So instead Princess becomes a Kid Villain.
  • Princess Natasha is the pre-teen daughter of the king of Zoravia who sends her to the United States as a secret agent under the guise of an exchange student to keep eyes on her evil uncle Lubek at the school where she attends. Natasha's mission is to stop Lubek's plans to take over Zoravia.
  • Rainbow Brite seems no older than twelve, and the Color Kids seem similarly aged. They regularly fight evil.
  • Randy Cunningham from Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja. He's a teenager and also the only one keeping the Sorcerer from taking over the world.
  • ReBoot deconstructed it when Enzo took over Bob's role as guardian. He's nowhere near as good as Bob was and fails four episodes in, losing an eye in the process. One Time Skip later and Enzo is a cynical hair-trigger temper Anti-Hero who hates the kid he used to be, preferring to be addressed on a Last-Name Basis.
  • Zak Saturday of The Secret Saturdays. Of course, in the second season finale, he's revealed to be the reincarnation of a malevolent, world-ending god...
  • South Park: Often the day is saved by the boys, but played more traditionally in the Mysterion arc.
  • Steven Universe stars Steven, a prepubescent boy (starts the series at age 12, ends it at age 14) who protects the Earth with his mother's team of Magical Girl Warriors, all of whom are ageless alien gemstones.
    • The sequel series (Future) deconstructs the trope, revealing that everything Steven experienced has given him PTSD, and that saving the universe two years prior has left him an anxious wreck who's struggling to understand what to do with his life now that no one needs him to be the hero.
    • Connie, who's canonically a year and a quarter younger than Steven, later becomes a full-fledged member of said team of Magical Girl Warriors after taking sword lessons from Pearl.
    • Teenaged Lars also becomes one after he Took a Level in Badass in season 5. To wit, he goes from a cowardly Jerkass to a Guile Hero and Space Pirate, as well as the Arch-Enemy of a high-ranking Homeworld Gem.
    • Sadie also has a couple of Badass Normal moments, the most major being when she took down a giant, invisible corrupted Gem by herself, while already injured and armed with nothing but a crude wooden fish spear.
  • Chiro, an average teenage boy, fits this trope in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!.
  • The three main characters in Teamo Supremo are grade schoolers battling the forces of evil.
  • The Teen Titans source material actually had the heroes as young adults overcoming the fact that they weren't kids anymore and continuing their heroic exploits regardless. However, since the cartoon series was being directed towards children, they were de-aged to around 15-17 and 16-18.
  • Dave, in the VeggieTales episode "Dave and the Giant Pickle." After all, it is a retelling of the story of David and Goliath.
  • Wakfu has Evangyline (17), Tristepin/Sadlygrove (16), and Amalia (14). But the real standout is Yugo, who is 12 but defies some aspects of this trope by being more cheerful and positive, as well as *gasp* capable of handling Teleport Spam responsibly instead of just being a Bratty Half-Pint.
  • Ivy and her brother Zach from Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? are two teenagers tasked with tracking down and catching the world's best thief.
  • The Guardians: Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia, and Hay Lin from W.I.T.C.H., who are also a team of Magical Girl Warriors.
  • WordGirl. A 10-year-old superhero defends Fair City with her superpowers and exceptional vocabulary.
  • Young Justice with occasional deconstruction. The kids go through all sorts of hell; some deal with it better than others.

    Real Life 
  • The Royal Navy permitted newly-minted midshipmen to go to sea and at least nominally command enlisted men from the age of twelve in the era of Wooden Ships and Iron Men, and it was not unheard of for men to reach lieutenant before their 18th year. The minimum peacetime recruitment age for enlisted men in all three services remains a relatively tender 16 years to this day.
  • Many, many underage boys lied about their age to serve in the First World War, rather fewer in the Second. Some ended up promoted or decorated for courage under fire, though for most things ended rather worse.
    • Audie Murphy, of To Hell and Back fame was a mere 14 years old when he enlisted and was about as close to some of the wilder fictional examples of this trope as you're probably going to get in Real Life.
  • Budapest's Corvin Square has a memorial for several young boys who joined to protest against communist oppression, and were killed by the Soviets.
  • According to legend, Genghis Khan was 13 when he took control of his tribe and slowly built up his forces and conquered the most land mass of any military leader to date.
  • While his accomplishments may not be as epic as some of these others, Steven Stayner qualifies. Abducted at age 7 by a child molester and held captive for seven years; when he learned that another boy had been kidnapped and was about to be similarly victimized, Stayner escaped with the boy, 5-year-old Timmy White, and hitchhiked 40 miles to White's hometown, taking the boy to the police. There are commemorative statues of 14-year-old Stayner rescuing 5-year-old White in both of their hometowns.
  • Andrew Jackson fought as an irregular at the age of 13 during the Revolutionary War.


Video Example(s):


The ToQgers

Despite being de-aged into children, the ToQgers can still kick as much ass as the adult Kyoryugers can.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / KidHero

Media sources:

Main / KidHero