Follow TV Tropes


Kid Hero All Grown-Up

Go To
Never change, Aang.

What happens to a Kid Hero after they save the world? Kid Hero All Grown Up is a common play on the Kid Hero trope, showing what happens to our hero many years later. This trope can be a permanent change, by having a Kid Hero grow up in the story, or a temporary look into the future. It can also be used as backstory by introducing an adult character and then revealing that they used to be a Kid Hero.

Some common outcomes are:

This is also common as a Back Story for the hero's mentor or parent. If the villain is revealed to be a former Kid Hero, they may also fall under Used to Be a Sweet Kid, Fallen Hero, or A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil.

See also: Former Child Star, School Yard Bully All Grown Up, Sidekick Graduations Stick, Early Personality Signs, Future Badass, and She Is All Grown Up. Compare A Minor Kidroduction and Retired Badass. A Prequel may show the childhood adventures of an adult character in the original, and any movie about the heroes Spin-Offspring will feature this. A Generational Saga will often feature this.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball: At the start of Dragon Ball, Goku is only 12 years old, though two Time Skips age him up, first to 15, and then to 18. There's another time skip of 5 years between Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, so by the time Z starts Goku is in his mid-20s and has a 4-year-old son, Gohan... who by the end of Z is in his 20s.
  • Mazinger Z: Kouji is sixteen at the beginning of the story. When he comes back to fight the Mykene army in Great Mazinger, he's eighteen. When he allies himself with Duke Fleed to fight the Vegans in UFO Robo Grendizer, he's nineteen. By the time of Mazinger Z: Infinity, Kouji's 28 and a respected scientist.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam stars 15 year old Amuro Ray. When he reappears in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, it's eight years later and he's 23. When he reappears one last time in Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, he's 29.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ's protagonist is one 14 year old Judau Ashta (a common starting age for Gundam protags, apparently). After the end of that series and a nearly fifty-year long time skip, he reappears in Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam: Skull Heart as the 62-year old Grey Stroke. A third release, the manga Mobile Suit Victory Gundam: Outside the Heart features Judau/Grey Stroke at an even more advanced age, assisting Victory protag Uso Evin despite now being almost 80 years old.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: The first generation starts with 14-year-old Flit Asuno. In the second generation, he's 39 years old and the Vice Admiral of the Earth Federation while his son, Asemu, is 17 years old. In the third generation, Flit is a 64 year old Retired Badass who mentors his grandson, Kio, while Asemu became a Space Pirate.
  • Naruto: At the end of the series, Naruto has grown up, married Hinata, had two children with her (Boruto and Himawari), and achieved his dream of becoming Hokage. Spin-Offspring Boruto stars his eldest child.
  • Both Buggy and Shanks of One Piece were cabin boys on the Pirate King's ship as kids. Their success afterward was a bit different though.
  • Sailor Moon: Usagi Tsukino turns from a childish crybaby in junior high, woefully unprepared for her tenure as a Magical Girl, into the elegant, regal, powerful Neo-Queen Serenity of the utopian Crystal Tokyo. Even when she hasn't ascended, Eternal Sailor Moon (high-school age) is way more grown up than her past self. Her future daughter, Chibiusa, was especially shocked at the disparity between Usagi and Serenity.
  • The second arc of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann features grown-up versions of Simon, Nia, Rossiu, and the Black siblings, as well as teenage versions of Gimmy and Darry. The Grand Finale also shows what becomes of the surviving cast 20 years down the line.
  • Yo-kai Watch: Shadowside:
    • Nate Adams is ten years old in the first Yo-Kai Watch anime and game, but in the fourth movie and in Shadowside he's 40, married to his childhood crush Katie, and has two kids who are the main characters in Shadowside. He has since lost the ability to use a Yo-kai Watch and see youkai. He now works as a normal salaryman.
    • The Cute Kitten Series Mascot Jibanyan has grown into a scraggly looking, deep-voiced adult in the past 30 years. He can now transform into a huge bipedal form that destroys trucks (when as a kitten his Running Gag was that he'd always get hit by them). The second mascot, Komasan, also matured.
  • Van Flyheight of Zoids: Chaotic Century starts out as a 12-13-ish boy who is rather rash and reckless, and at first only manages to get by as a Zoid pilot thanks to the power of his Organoid Zeke. Come Guardian Force, he's grown more mature and serious, keeping a level head during combat.
  • Lyrical Nanoha. Nanoha starts being a hero at age 9, grows up into a teenage asskicker in the A's manga, and then to a professional adult asskicker from StrikerS onward.
  • In Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, Sinbad was introduced as a well-known king and adventurer. He later got his own Spin-Off, The Adventure of Sinbad, which chronicles his adventures in his teenage days.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Used darkly in the first episode of Kai. It features a now adult Rena in contemporary times. It also reveals that everyone in the village died over 20 years ago except for Rena, who was taken out of town for trying to bomb the school.
    • A manga-only arc, Yoigoshi-hen, has a group of teenagers meeting a now-adult Mion. It turns out to actually be her identical twin Shion, with Mion's spirit controlling her.
  • Ever since Go! Princess Pretty Cure, we tend to see our heroines living normal lives after saving the world. Of note is Maho Girls Pre Cure, where Mirai is devastated at being normal because it meant never seeing her best friend Riko again. Thankfully, The Magic Comes Back and they reunite.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Joseph Joestar is 19 during the events of Battle Tendency. By Stardust Crusaders he's 69 and has a daughter and grandson (plus an illegitimate son in Josuke), though still spritely enough to keep pace with his younger companions. By Diamond is Unbreakable, he's 79 and has allowed old age to take its course, with him barely able to move about without his cane.
    • Jotaro Kujo is a 17 year old high-schooler during Stardust Crusaders. In Diamond is Unbreakable he's a 28 year old Marine Biologist, his brief cameo in Golden Wind has him at 30, and by Stone Ocean he's entering his 40s, had married, divorced, and had a daughter, Jolyne Cujoh, who's the protagonist of that story.
    • Koichi Hirose is 15 in Diamond is Unbreakable, 18 in Golden Wind and 22 in "Rohan at the Louvre".
  • Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High's Competitive Dance Club has Hirari, Eri and Tsuchiya after the Time Skip. Granted, they are now third years so they're still young, but all three look more mature as to how they started.
  • (Moto) Takagi-san takes place ten years after the main series, Teasing Master Takagi-san. The middle school-aged characters are now young adults with a daughter.
  • Ginga Densetsu Weed takes place ten years after the events of Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin. Gin is now an adult dog who has even sired his own cub.
  • Basilisk: The Ouka Ninja Scrolls: After the Joujinshuu's attack on the kids, there are two timeskips of several years. The second takes us back to the Kouga and Iga kids as young adults practicing their improved techniques on each other again.
  • Lapis Re:LiGHTs has Angelica, formerly "Ange". 3 years ago, she was part of one of the most powerful, talented, and legendary witch/idol units of Flora Girls' Academy, Ray. Among other achievements, she helped save an entire country from eradication by hordes of magical monsters. In the intervening time, she grew tired of the life of a celebrity, lost the innocent youth and cuteness she banked on as her main appeal, and became much more cynical and jaded overall, but when her old friend Chloe calls her back to the Academy she obliges.
  • Walter C. Dornez in Hellsing was a teenager when he fought in WWII against Millenium (though Child Soldier would better describe him), and in the present he is the Battle Butler to Sir Integra. That is, before it is revealed he was a spy for Millenium.
  • The Digimon Adventure tri. movies show the original Digidestined in high school and college (Tai was 10 in the original Adventure, 13 in 02, and around 16/17 here). Tai discusses this with Matt in the first film where he's conflicted that while they do still need to save the world, they're not reckless kids not caring about what the public thinks about their giant monster battles anymore.
  • Daicon III & IV: Both shorts have the same protagonist. While she is a little girl in III, IV is presumably set years later and portrays her as a grown woman (accentuated by her Playboy Bunny costume).

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: We get to see the goats grown up in Ultimate Battle: The Next Generation and get a glimpse of what their careers are like; Tibbie is now a news reporter searching for Weslie and Wolffy, Paddi becomes a professional foodie, Sparky is a firefighter, and Jonie becomes a singer.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Dick Grayson aka Robin aka Nightwing, is probably the most prominent example in comic books, having started as Batman's Kid Sidekick before eventually becoming a successful independent hero.
      • On Earth-Two, the Golden Age Dick Grayson continued to use the Robin name, but adopted a more "grown up" costume (initially a Batman costume without the cowl and with a yellow cape and an R over the batsymbol, then a version of the Robin costume with long sleeves and pants, and a green cowl).
    • Jason Todd, like Dick Grayson, was a boy when he started his partnership with Batman. After being brought Back from the Dead and making his way back to Gotham as the Red Hood, he's a young man, though a bit less of a hero.
    • The third Robin, Tim Drake, adopted the Red Robin identity before the reboot after having Robin taken from him. Post reboot he is shown as the last surviving Teen Titan who eventually becomes Batman.
    • Pre-Crisis Batgirl was a full-fledged adult when she first became a crimefighter with no outside input, but Post-Crisis retconned Barbara Gordon into becoming Batman's student during her teenage years and Oracle as an adult.
    • Several stories, beginning with "Batman in Bethlehem" in Batman #666 and including the Damien, Son of Batman miniseries, have shown a possible future where Damien Wayne is a trenchcoated Batman who has abandoned Thou Shalt Not Kill.
  • Much like his best friend Dick, Wally West a.k.a. The Flash is another iconic example in the comic books, starting as the sidekick of the second Flash (Barry Allen), before growing up and taking the mantle himself.
  • Bucky Barnes is this zig-zagged: He was originally a Kid Sidekick, then died, then got ret-conned into a 17-year-old highly trained commando, then became a villain, then became The Atoner.
  • In addition to Dick Grayson and Wally West, the other Teen Titans (from both its first and second generations) are no longer teens as well (which is why the title is often changed to simply "Titans"):
    • Cyborg, Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy, Bumblebee, Aqualad, Flamebird, Terra, and many others have all grown into young adults. Some have taken on new codenames to reflect the fact that they're no longer children, such as Aqualad changing his moniker to Tempest.
    • Wonder Girl Donna Troy has grown up, gotten married, had a child, become a widow and outlived her child. And that's just skimming the surface. Gal's had it rough.
    • Speedy likewise has grown up, gained and kicked a heroin addiction, had a child, became a single father, and changed his name from Speedy to Arsenal to Red Arrow and then back to Arsenal. Like Donna, his daughter was also killed off eventually (before she was retconned completely).
  • Spider-Man, along with Dick Grayson, is one of the most prominent examples in comics. In his case, he was one of the first solo Kid Heroes, and thus one of the few to retain a starring role in his own series. At the very least, ten years have passed in the main Marvel Universe despite the floating time scale, and Peter's gone from the age of 15 to being around 29 at the end of Dan Slott's run to, as of Nick Spencer's run, his "mid 20s".
  • Fantastic Four: Johnny Storm began the series as a teen, but is now somewhere in his mid-to-late twenties.
  • X-Men has several:
    • The original five X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Angel, and Iceman) started as teens in their first appearance.
    • Jubilee and Kitty Pryde were Wolverine's kid sidekicks at different points in the comic's cycle. Notably, when Kitty grew up and became too old to tag along with Wolvie, Jubilee became his new sidekick. Later on, Jubilee was herself replaced by either Armor or X-23, depending on the series. Then after Logan died X-23 assumed his mantle in All-New Wolverine.
    • The original New Mutants (Sunspot, Cannonball, Dani Moonstar, Karma, Wolfsbane and Magik) were teens when first introduced, but later aged into young adulthood, with several members later joining the main X-Men or the various spin-off teams like X-Force and X-Factor. Sunspot and Cannonball notably went on to join the Avengers with Sunspot even leading two incarnations.
    • Firestar and Warpath were originally part of the Hellions, a team of teen supervillains assembled by Emma Frost who effectively acted as the New Mutants' evil counterparts. Warpath grew up to join X-Force, while Firestar became a founding member of the New Warriors and eventually joined The Avengers alongside her boyfriend Justice. Justice is himself an example of this, as he was originally a teen hero known as Marvel Boy.
    • This also goes for some of the members of Generation X, a team Jubilee was a part of. Aside from Jubilee herself, the most prominent example is Monet St. Croix, who grew up and joined X-Factor Investigations and the X-Men proper.
    • Battle of the Atom features a grown-up version of Kid Hero Molly Hayes.
  • The Richard Rider version of Nova is similar to Spider-Man, in that he was introduced as a teen hero who eventually grew to adulthood over the years. These days he's a seasoned veteran who acts as something of a mentor to Sam Alexander, the newest Nova.
  • Superman:
    • The original Superboy is the prequel version of the trope, which tells the adventures of a younger Superman.
    • Lana Lang, however, is a straight example, as Lana started as a Lois Lane analogue in the Superboy books before the adult version appeared in the Superman books.
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl began her hero career when she was fifteen. Through the duration of the Pre-Crisis era she grew up, graduated college, changed jobs several times... by the end of the 70's she was in her late twenties and a seasoned crimefighter and world-savior.
    • Chris Kent is a little kid when he is introduced in Last Son. Several plot-relevant artificial agings later and he's an adult hero who goes by Nightwing in New Krypton.
    • The DC Rebirth Jon Kent Superboy goes off to spend some time in space with his grandfather at the age of twelve and, due to time travel shenanigans, returns as a sixteen year old.
  • Life With Archie: The Married Life was created in order to invoke this with the Archie Comics characters, who never age. There were three separate universes—the one where Betty married Archie, the one where Veronica married Archie, and a short spinoff where Valerie from Josie and the Pussycats married Archie. The comic dealed with more mature issues than the classic comics. It ended with Archie dying after Taking the Bullet for his friend Kevin after a man tried to kill him.
  • Jason in Long Ago And Far Away was the Child Knight who saved the land of Elvenwood in his youth. Now he's a 30-year-old jackass running a comic book store.
  • In the new La Ribambelle books, Phil, Grenadine and Dizzy all grew up into teenagers. Archibald, Atchi and Atcha are still small, though they did gain a few inches in height.
  • In Young Justice, Old Justice were a protest group of Golden Age kid sidekicks (except Doiby Dickles, who was the GA Green Lantern's adult sidekick) who felt being kid heroes had ruined their lives and wanted to stop Young Justice for their own good. Apart from Doiby, they comprised the Cyclone Kids (Red Tornado), Second Sweep (Hourman), Merry the Gimmick Girl (Star-Spangled Kid) and Dan the Dyna-Mite (TNT). They were partly responsible for the Sins of Youth Crisis Crossover, but eventually realised their concerns were misplaced.

    Fan Works 
  • The Child of Love: The epilogue and sequels happen several years after the War. Shinji and Asuka have grown up and got married, and they live mostly peacefully while raising their two children, although they have to pilot war mechas occasionally.
  • Child of the Storm has a case in the sequel, where a deeply cynical 14-year-old Harry who's ended up Resigned to the Call, meets his older self (and older by at least a millennium) - or at least, an older counterpart who opts to go by Nathan to avoid confusion, since their timelines diverged before the series began. Refreshingly, for all the prior indications that Harry could take the He Who Fights Monsters route and become the next Magneto (before he pulled Heel–Face Turn) or, worse, the Dark Phoenix, Nathan is perfectly sane, extremely powerful, cultured, and rather philosophical in a Dumbledore-ish sort of way - though, like Dumbledore, he also enjoys winding up his younger counterpart. Later on, Harry starts taking on more of Nathan's personality traits, becoming a Knight of Faith after he Took a Level in Idealism once more.
  • HERZ: Shinji, Asuka and Rei were fourteen-year-old mecha pilots during the Angel War. Twelve years later, they are in their late twenties and they keep being soldiers.
  • The Bridge shows up what happened to Godzilla Junior had we gotten to see him age into an adult since the 1990s. Now in his prime, he's became his world's Big Good, saving it numerous times from more malign kaiju and alien invaders.
  • A Crown of Stars happens several years after the Angel War. Shinji and Asuka -who were teenagers back then- are now in their early twenties.
  • In The Second Try, Shinji and Asuka were teenagers when they fought for first time in the original timeline; in this story they're in their early twenties (although due to the complexities inherent to time-travel they still look teenagers).
  • In the third arc of Hellsister Trilogy, Supergirl meets the grown-up versions of the ''Legion of Super-Heroes, eighteen years older than the teenager heroes she used to team up with.
  • A Pokemon Black and White comic depicts an adult Dawn challenging Hilbert and his Zekrom with her Giratina. She wants to see what two legendary gods fighting is like.
  • Don't Haze Me is a Kim Possible oneshot where the former teen superhero Kim Possible has trouble adjusting to adult life. Her enemies are becoming increasingly violent and her viewpoint is quickly changing. Eventually this leads her to join up with Shego and become an Anti-Hero.
  • Several of the Hasbroverse heroes were children when their adventures began, and their lives have gone on since.
    • The Williams siblings, heroes, caretakers and founders of Equestria when they were just mere pre-teens, have gone on with their lives after their pony adventures came to an end. Molly became a veterinarian, Danny became a teacher, and Megan became an author, works part-time at her ranch, and started a family.
    • Spike Witwicky wasn't old enough to drive when he met the Autobots; now he's Earth's ambassador to Cybertron. Similarly, the wheelchair-bound Chip Chase is now chief scientific advisor to President Abernathy.
    • The kids from Dungeons & Dragons (1983) appear a few times in sequels and side stories, none the worse for wear. Most prominently, Albert "Presto" Preston works at the White House as President Abernathy's magical expert, and appears several times in the sequel United We Stand. Eric now runs a company named Aegis Security, Bobby joined the Marine Corps (and gained about 100 pounds of muscle in the process), Diana's a gold medal gymnast, and Hank and Sheila got married. Oh, and they still have their magic weapons.
  • In Lost Tales of Fantasia, Christopher Robin has become old enough to fight in a war.
  • In the Legend of the Spider-Man, Jason was in his later years of high school into his college years. In the sequel Legendary Spider-Girl, he is an adult, married with a teenage daughter.
  • Stoneybrook Revisited: A Baby-Sitters Club Fan Series is a fan-series based on The Baby-Sitters Club. It's about the adulthoods of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn.
  • In Another Rainbow in Another Sky, Megan has grown into an adult and only has vague, often subconscious, memories of Dream Valley. Her siblings Molly and Danny also forgot. However, the story ends with Megan reunited with the ponies.
  • In Imaginary Seas, the Percy Jackson summoned to the Atlantis Lostbelt is in his early 20s, a few years after the events of Heroes of Olympus.
  • Like in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, Ken Amada is this in Ace In The Hole (Persona 5), currently a year older than the Phantom Thieves' Leader Ren and in the same year as Makoto and Haru. His age is the reason Minako suggests to Mitsuru to have Ken transfer to Shujin Academy (the site of their debut mission), so he can investigate the Phantom Thieves and find out if they were Persona Users, while avoiding immedient conflict with Shido's conspiracy since Ken wasn't one of Mitsuru's subordinates.
  • In Legends Collide! Alola's House of Champions!, most of the titular Pokémon Champions are the young Player Characters grown into young adults. The exceptions are Yuki (the Alola Champion, who's 12) and Nora (the Galar Champion, who's 16).

    Films — Animated 
  • In the Peter Pan sequel Return To Never Land, Wendy and her siblings have grown up and lived normal lives, while Peter and the Lost Boys have remained the same age.
  • In The Incredibles, Buddy tried to be a plucky kid sidekick for Mr. Incredible, although he was rejected by his idol, who claimed he worked better alone. It didn't turn out well.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The entire Star Wars film series is this to Anakin, who is a child in the first chronological film. The story chronicles his descent to the Dark Side, his reign of terror as the Dark Lord of the Sith, and his ultimate redemption by his son.
    • Although they skate the line of "kid" hero, the Sequel Trilogy has shown this for Luke and Leia Skywalker, who were 19 in the events of the A New Hope. The Force Awakens shows that Leia has kept the Rebellion alive in the New Republic's covert ops organization, the Resistance, while The Last Jedi showed that Luke went to live in hermitude after his nephew Ben Solo destroyed the Jedi Temple.
    • Many, many characters in the Star Wars Expanded Universe fit this trope, particularly the children of the main cast, such as Ben Skywalker, Jacen Solo, Jaina Solo and Anakin Solo. Their infancy, childhood, and young adulthood are all chronicled throughout the saga.
  • In Hook Robin Williams plays Peter Banning, who unbeknownst to himself is Peter Pan who left Neverland, grew up, and has forgotten all about his time there.
  • Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010) takes place many years after the original story it is based on. It's also a Darker and Edgier take on the original Mythos.
  • In Galaxy Quest, Tommy Weber (Daryl Mitchell) played Lt. Laredo on the show, a parody of kid prodigies like Star Trek: The Next Generation's Wesley Crusher. At the time of the movie, he's 20 years older, and being put in the position of being that prodigy he played on the series two decades earlier.
  • A bizarre kaiju example in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. Godzilla dies at the end and his adoptive teenage son, Gentle Giant, Raised by Humans Junior grows into his final form as the new Godzilla.
  • Christopher Robin is a Human-Focused Adaptation of Disney's animated Winnie the Pooh-franchise centered around a now grown up, married Christopher Robin who became a workaholic and has to rekindle with his daughter with the help of his childhood stuff animal friends.

  • Animorphs:
    • At the end, we learn what happened to the heroes after the first book. It's not very pretty. Jake is a Shell-Shocked Veteran, Rachel died just before the war's end, Tobias retreats to the woods to mourn her, Ax becomes a prince but is captured and infested by a mysterious new being, and Marco becomes a materialistic celebrity. Cassie becomes an ambassador, and is possibly the only one to survive the Bolivian Army Ending later.
    • A previous book has an alternate universe where the Yeerk invasion succeeded. Jake became an infested drone, Cassie was also infested but with a Yeerk fighting the empire, Rachel was crippled too badly for morphing to heal her, Marco is controlled by the dictator of Earth Visser Two, Ax is dead, and Tobias has trapped himself in morph as Ax pretending to be Elfangor back from the dead.
  • The Saga of Larten Crepsley is a prequel to Cirque du Freak and tells of the childhood adventures of the hero's mentor.
  • At the end of Harry Potter (specifically in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) we get to see what happened to the heroes. It's a pretty cute domestic scene, what with them all being Happily Married and sending their kids off to school. It was expanded upon in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, especially the tense relationship between Harry and his reformed bully Draco and their children.
  • A Hero At The End Of The World is set five years after 17-year-old Oliver Abrams defeats the evil tyrant who has terrorized Britain. He's become a national hero since and works for the government.
  • The Hunger Games. Haymitch was a winning tribute of the Hunger Games as a teen but has since become a depressed alcoholic, but eventually returns to heroism as a leader of the rebellion in the final book.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia has two: The children heroes of the first books grow up to be royalty in Narnia, but return to our world and get de-aged. Later in the prequel book The Magician's Nephew we see Diggory's childhood adventures in Narnia.
  • The Camp Half-Blood Series: At the start of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Percy was 12 years old and already standing toe-to-toe with gods. By the time of The Trials of Apollo, Percy is 18 and attending university in New Rome with his girlfriend Annabeth.
  • The Edge Chronicles has a very heartbreaking one: The fourth book takes place after a massive timeskip and we find out that Twig never found his friends and grew old wandering the great forest.
  • Speaker for the Dead and its sequels tell the story of a grown-up Ender Wiggin from Ender's Game. Similarly, the Ender's Shadow series is a spin-off following Bean and Petra from the same book as they grow up on Earth.
  • Warrior Cats begins with Rusty, a kitten-hero, and his adventures growing up into Firestar. Eventually the sequel series focuses on the first generation's children and grandchildren.
  • Edgar Cantero's Meddling Kids (2017) applies this trope to Scooby Expies "The Blyton Summer Detective Club." The Velma/Daphne combo is an alcoholic who can't get into grad school. The tomboy has become a military washout and fugitive from the law. The Shaggy expy has checked himself into the Arkham Country Mental Hospital, and the Fred expy was a child star who OD'd in young adulthood. It turns out most of this trauma came from repressed memories of encountering real Lovecraftian horrors on their final case together and when it comes time to face them again they're more than capable of shaping up and pulling themselves together.
  • In Whateley Universe (what, you thought there might be some Superhero Tropes that they didn't checklist?), the long-serving headmistress (and Big Good) of Whateley Academy is Elizabeth Carson, who is the former Miss Champion, and currently goes by Lady Astarte. She has been a superheroine since she was 14 (in 1943), and because she ages very slowly, she was seen as a Kid Sidekick by most people for almost twenty years.
  • The Tiffany Aching novel I Shall Wear Midnight has an unexpected appearance by the Discworld's first teenage witch character, Eskarina Smith, now a mother and the magical equivalent of a theoretical physicist. Tiffany herself goes from nine to eighteen over the course of the books.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy Summers begins the show at age 16, and has been slaying since she was 15. The show ends when she's in her early twenties, and by the time of the Season 12 comics, she's hit 30.
  • This is the premise of The Umbrella Academy. The main characters are adoptive siblings who were part of a crime-fighting Super Family Team as children, but quit hero work after one of them died, another one of them disappeared, and their father's physical and emotional abuse became too much to handle. Now they're estranged, emotionally stunted 29-year-olds note  who have to come together as a team one last time to stop the apocalypse.
  • Cobra Kai is a Distant Sequel to The Karate Kid, where Daniel LaRusso is now middle-aged and has to deal with things like being a father, running a business and mentoring a new generation of karate students, as Mr. Miyagi once did for him. Problems arise however when his old bully and rival Johnny shows up again in his life and re-establishes the Thug Dojo Cobra Kai...

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Mexican wrestling, due to the Mini Estrella Division of promotions such as CMLL and AAA, allows anyone under 153 centimeters to compete so long as they work well enough and has many weight classes so that anyone who gets too tall for the minis can usually work with those of similar size and thus transition through various divisions as they grow older. The most famous of these is Rey Mysterio Jr., who began at age 14. he's wrestled a technico style his entire career and is also spent nearly all of it as what they call a babyface in the USA, where he was a mainstay of nearly every major promotion of his time: WCW, ECW and WWE.
  • Parodied at the expense of Matt Sydal, who debuted at age 17 but was treated as a twelve year old by Gateway Championship Wrestling. He did some growing though, gaining anywhere from 9 to 31 kilgrams (or 20 to 70 pounds) over the course of his career.
  • Paige is of course Brittani Knight all grown up, though Brittani wasn't a "hero" to most audience outside of the UK, she was wildly popular at home and debuted at age 13.


    Video Games 
  • The Kid Hero of Digimon World returns several years later in Digimon World -next 0rder- under the nickname "Mameo".
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • This is a major point with Link in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Not only does he grow up (albeit in some kind of limbo), but he has the ability to go back to his childhood to do things there that he can't do as an adult.
    • Doubly so in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess where the new protagonist encounters a mysterious specter of a warrior, who turns out to be the same "Link" from Ocarina of Time.
    • The Zelda example is played even straighter in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, which is the same Link as the one in the first game, now 16. This was the first game to portray an adult Link.
  • The Fire Emblem series naturally has these if major time skips are involved:
    • Possibly the best example is Shanan from the fourth game. In the first generation, he's just an NPC who stays out of the action due to, well, still being a kid. Come the second, he's now the prince of Isaac, leader of La Résistance and wielder of a Legendary Weapon that makes him a One-Man Army on the battlefield.
    • Oifey in the same game is the army's young tactician in the first generation, who goes on to become a senior knight and the game's Crutch Character in the second.
    • From the Tellius games, Sothe (first game, second game) and Tormod both qualify... though Tormod didn't grow up as much as he'd hoped.
    • Tiki is an odd example. She features in the first and third games, and while she's Really 700 Years Old due to being a naturally long-lived manakete, she looks and acts like a young child because she's had to sleep most of her life until then. In Fire Emblem: Awakening, we meet Tiki 2000 years later, and she physically looks like a mid-20s human, as well as being far more wise and mature.
  • Ken in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax. He's not that much older, but he's certainly not a Kid Hero anymore. He's actually a Deconstruction of this trope, in that he really wants to be the "living a normal life" type, but going through the kind of adventures he did as a kid pretty much destroyed his chances of ever having a normal childhood. While he does go through with saving the world again when he's called up, in the end he turns in his badge, feeling he needs time to actually live normally before he goes back for it.
  • In Grandia, Justin, Sue, and Feena are young adventurers (although Feena is the eldest and Sue is by far the youngest). The Distant Finale (shown from Sue's perspective) showcases a now-adult, beautiful and Proper Lady Sue meeting the married Justin and Feena as they return to Justin's hometown. We never see the couple, but we meet their entire LITTER of kids that look and act like them.
  • All of the main playable characters from the first two games in the Golden Sun saga become this by the start of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (although Kid Hero is pushing it, they were all in the 15-17 range except the Really 700 Years Old Piers). About 20 to 30 years have passed since the world was saved and the kid heroes are now adults who have either settled down and had kids of their own or are helping out with the still changing world (though due to the Immortality Inducer effects of the Golden Sun's formation, they barely look older than their kids: Isaac and Garet have teenaged sons, but if they shaved their beard/mustache they'd look exactly like the same). Felix is the only playable character in the previous adventure who has gone missing and no one knows exactly what became of him.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon features young adult versions of Red and his former-friend-turned-rival-turned-friend-again Blue from Pokémon Red and Blue/FireRed and LeafGreen as post-game Superbosses; considering how last time they were seen (that showed any change in them at all, that is), at about age 14, their friendship being all but implied to be very strained, with Red apparently having lost contact with the rest of civilization, it's a pretty big improvement for both of their situations. It's also shown in both in this game and a brief mention of him in Pokémon X and Y that Blue at least has become a sort of part-time assistant in his grandfather Professor Oak's research.
    • To a lesser extent their aforementioned appearances in Gold and Silver/Crystal/the remakes, which take place 3 years after the first games and their remakes. Blue had become the Viridian City gym leader in the absence of Giovanni, after said man went into hiding after the first games, while Red is the quiet True Final Boss waiting on top of Mt. Silver, having apparently revoked his champion title to Lance. The change in Blue is especially apparent, having matured from a bratty, cocky Jerkass who sees his Pokemon in a very childlike manner, to a calmer, much wiser, and even kind of philosophical young gym leader who is actually slightly Wise Beyond His Years.
    • New Pokémon Snap has an adult Todd (the protagonist of the original game) as one of the supporting characters. Just as Professor Oak helped him when he was doing research, he'll give you some tips and hints on how to get better photos.
  • Two child characters from Fallout 3 reappear in Fallout 4 all grown up. Squire Arthur Maxson, precocious Brotherhood of Steel initiate, has grown up and is now leading the Brotherhood's conquest of the Commonwealth. RJ MacCready, the bratty, foul-mouthed head of Little Lamplight, meanwhile, has grown up and is now putting his skills to use as a mercenary in the Commonwealth.
  • Mega Man ZX Advent has a part where you fight either Vent or Aile, the protagonists from the first game, who have grown up. Which one you fight depends on who you picked to play as.
  • Spider-Man (PS4): Like most incarnations of the character, Spider-Man began his superhero career at age fifteen. The game begins eight years in, with Peter in his mid-twenties and showing no signs of slowing down.
  • It happens to three of the four protagonists of the Trails Series: Estelle Bright, Lloyd Bannings, and Rean Schwarzer all first start their adventures of their respective arcs (Liberl, Crossbell, and Erebonia respectively) in their late teens. When all three finally meet at Pantagruel, the same ship that the Noble Alliance took Rean into custody in Cold Steel II in Cold Steel IV, Estelle and Lloyd are twenty-one years old while Rean's twenty years old and all three are tempered by their experiences.
  • Clementine turns 9 years old in The Walking Dead: Season One, is 11 in season two and is 13 in A New Frontier. The Final Season takes place when Clementine is 16. In Episode 3, Lee even notes in Clementine's dream how much she's grown and how he's proud of what she became.
  • An interesting example in Dead by Daylight, with the Guest Fighter Yoichi Asakawa. In the original novels and movies, Yoichi was a child who managed to survive Sadako's cursed tape thanks to his mother. In this game, he's now in his adult years studying marine biology.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, main character Rex is a 15-year-old scrawny teenager shorter than many of other characters in the game, including his Blade partner and eventual love interest(s) Pyra/Mythra, as well as Shulk, the hero of the previous game who shows up in the DLC. A photograph shown during the ending of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 shows that sometime after the events of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Rex went through a massive growth spurt, and the DLC story Future Redeemed further shows that he's also bulked up significantly and now has a goatee; notably, he's now taller than Shulk is.

  • Emi in Metacarpolis was a Magical Girl Warrior since she was a kid. But after her team defeated the final villain became celebrities, she decided to move away and live a normal life, hiding her previous identity.
  • Although not confirmed, it is implied that Rick Spender in Paranatural was a Kid Hero. He's either the “continues to have adventures” type or the “goes to the dark side” type, since he's kind of Ambiguously Evil .
  • Emergency Exit shows in a flashback that Eddie used to be part of a team of Kid Heroes. That we've never seen any of them since (not to mention what happened to Eddie), hints at his Dark and Troubled Past.
  • xkcd. In this strip. Kid hero goes to another dimension, saves a kingdom, and now has to live with that knowledge for the rest of his life here on boring ol' Earth.
  • IDGet. Early in the comic's run, storylines occasionally focused on fowl superhero Chicken Guy, and his faithful and helpful sidekick Chicken Boy. After a year or so, such storylines were eventually phased out, and Chicken Guy was reduced to an occasional Recurring Character as part of the comic's main cast, though certain plots and storylines would put Chicken Guy back into his superhero status, minus Chicken Boy. Years later in 2012, Chicken Guy found himself in a new situation which required his sidekick, who is now known as Chicken Teen, and actually mocks Chicken Guy's old trademarks such as his old battle cry.
  • Strong Female Protagonist stars Allison Green, formerly as Mega-Girl one of the most powerful superheroes in the world, now grown-up and going to college. Doesn't exactly fit as the Jaded Washout, she still wants to change the world even if she doesn't believe super-heroics are the best way to do so. Nor is it entirely a normal life, since she unmasked and is thus a celebrity and isn't shy about using her powers in her daily life.
  • Miss Melee was a teenage heroine who retired to have a family but got back into the game as an Action Mom.

    Western Animation 
  • Aang and Katara in The Legend of Korra, the former of whom provides the page picture. Most of the heroes from the first series, in fact, became powerful and successful leaders before they died/retired. Toph Beifong taught metalbending to any who would come to learn it, and shaped the Republic City Police Department as its chief in its nascent days, before resigning and settling down in the Foggy Swamp. Sokka became a Republic City councilor. Zuko's reign as Fire Lord redeemed the Fire Nation in the eyes of the world in the wake of the Hundred Year War his three predecessors prosecuted, before he abdicated the throne in favor of his daughter, Izumi, and moved to Ember Island. The only member of the Gaang not mentioned is Suki, who became a recurring character late into the series and was also Sokka's girlfriend.
  • Batman Beyond
    • After going through a horrifying Break the Cutie process towards the very end of his tenure as Robin, Tim Drake quit and took up a normal life. Unwittingly, by use of a microchip implanted with the Joker's genetic material, he also was turned into a future incarnation of the Joker off and on. This was eventually discovered and removed.
    • In one of the sequel comics, Tim was later called to (very reluctantly) help coordinate movements of Batman and companions during a mass suicide bombing of Gotham. In the same comic, Dick Grayson was shown to be helping find and stop bombers under his own identity (ie not wearing a mask).
    • Barbara Gordon, who was Batgirl as a teenager, quit the vigilante gig, became a police officer, and followed in her father's footsteps as Gotham's Police Commissioner.
  • In The Venture Bros. Rusty Venture is very much of the "washed up loser" variety - a former Jonny Quest parody who grew up into a bitter and incompetent Mad Scientist who heaps abuse on his own sons. The show also features parodies of other heroes, including one "Action Johnny", who are all in a support group along with Rusty, who eventually left after deciding that even they were too pathetic for him.
  • Monty Uno from Codename: Kids Next Door, as a child, revolted against the oppressive Grandfather who forced him to work in Grandfather's tapioca factories, and became founder of the Seventh Age of the Kids Next Door, thereby setting the stage for the series' story. In the present day, Monty is an adult (and therefore no longer an official Kid Next Door) and the rarely-appearing father of Nigel Uno, though he does get recommissioned into the KND a couple of times.
  • A darker, more pessimistic variation comes from Teen Titans (2003), episode "How Long Is Forever?". Starfire pursues a time-traveling villain 20 years into the future, where she finds that, shortly after she disappeared, the other Teen Titans disbanded and went their own separate ways. In this future Cyborg is stuck hooked up to Titans Tower's power supply since his enhancements are failing, Beast Boy is balding, overweight and has a miserable job as a one-man zoo, Raven has locked herself up in a mental asylum, and Robin is the only one who's still a hero, having taken on a new identity, Nightwing. Near the end of the episode, however, all the Titans band together again to defeat the villain, and Starfire returns back to her time.
  • Partway into season three of ReBoot, when Enzo enters a game he can't win, he, AndrAIa, and Frisket change their icons to game sprite mode and ride the game out of Mainframe. The game's accelerated time causes a time skip, bringing them to adulthood. The following episodes focus on them as they search for a way back to Mainframe. Enzo, now going by Matrix, is a muscular badass, and AndrAIa, is now an Action Girl.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Barnacle Boy, who started as a kid sidekick to superhero Mermaid Man, is now old enough to live in the same retirement home as his mentor. He still goes by Barnacle Boy though.
  • Every iteration of the Ben 10 series has featured at least an adventure with Ben meeting himself as an adult, usually going by "Ben 10,000". Gwen as an adult is usually featured in such stories.
  • Young Justice (2010): The second season takes place after a five-year timeskip, so all of the teen heroes of the first season are now in their early twenties. A new cast of teens has been introduced to be the new Young Justice team, as well.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • Star Wars Rebels has Ahsoka Tano, the Kid Hero of the previous series as a recurring character. In the roughly fourteen years between the series, she's become a leader in the early rebellion and has matured into a warrior and mentor for the next generation. Another couple of years pass when she survives the Original Trilogy, though given the circumstances, it is unknown if she aged or not.
    • One of the Twi'lek rebel fighters in the episode "Homecoming" is Numa, the child picked up by Waxer and Boil during the Ryloth arc of The Clone Wars.
    • The show's finale takes place nearly a decade after the show's beginning. Sabine, who was sixteen at the beginning of the show, ends the show nearing her mid-twenties. So does Ezra, but he isn't shown.
  • Steven Universe: Future is a sequel miniseries to Steven Universe, starring a now 16 year-old Steven. Future has a different take on this trope, showing how the events in Steven's youth have traumatized him both physically and mentally, and how it affects the relationships with the people around him.
  • Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island starts out as a sequel to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. Mystery Inc are all in their late twenties now, working different jobs and living seperate lives. They reunite to look for 'real monsters' for Daphne's show.
  • The What A Cartoon! Show short Captain Sturdy: Back in Action and its [adult swim] follow-up Captain Sturdy: The Originals both had the titular Old Superhero work with his grown-up sidekick Ultra Boy.
  • DuckTales (2017) reveals that Donald and Della Duck began adventuring with their Uncle Scrooge when they were the same age that the triplets and Webby are at the start of the series. However, Donald had retired from adventuring and is focused on raising his nephews after Della's disappearance.
    • Two more kid heroes from another Disney Afternoon series appear as adults — Kit Cloudkicker and Molly Cunningham from TaleSpin. Kit took over the Higher for Hire service (though he's not as good a pilot as Baloo), while Molly decided to live up to her "Danger Woman" nickname and became a stuntswoman.
    • Bradford Buzzard turns out to be a darker version of this trope, beginning as one of the first first Junior Woodchucks brought along by his grandmother, Isabella Finch. However, while Isabella enjoyed her adventures, Bradford came out of them as seeing the world as dangerous and unpredictable, growing up to found F.O.W.L. with the goal of eradicating all mysteries and enforcing order upon the world.


Video Example(s):


(Spoilers) Sasha & Marcy

Ten years after their adventures in Amphibia, Marcy returns to Los Angeles to reunite with her friends for Anne's 23th birthday. Sasha picks up Marcy at the airport and takes her to the Aquarium of the Pacific, where Anne is currently working in.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue

Media sources: