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Mum Looks Like a Sister

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The "mums in aprons" style can be useful in telling the kids from the parents.

"But... even if she had Chitoge at a young age... Come on, she can't be this young! If she told me she was her big sister, I'd believe her!"
Raku about Hana Kirisaki, Nisekoi

Because of either Older Than They Look or Younger Than They Look (or both), a parent looks about the same age as the parent's child, enough to be mistaken for siblings. This happens most often with mothers and daughters, but it can work with any gender combination. This could also simply be a result of the art style, especially with Generic Cuteness.

See also Absurdly Youthful Mother and the other subtropes, especially Adoptive Peer Parent and Mistaken Age. This can be invoked in a Family Relationship Switcheroo, to prevent anyone from realizing they actually are mother and child.


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  • A commercial for Post Grape Nuts shows a man attempting to surprise his girlfriend, only to accidentally catch her similar-looking mother.
    Mrs. Burke: Dale's my teenage daughter. We're often confused.
  • An old commercial for Xenadrine diet pills featured a a teenager flirting with a slim, attractive girl he assumes to be his dorky friend's hotter sister. The dorky friend intervenes, revealing that the "girl" is his mother.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Hahari Hanazono gave birth to Hakari at age 13 through artificial insemination, and in present-day can still pass as a high-school student simply by letting her hair down and changing out of her usual suit. In fact, in terms of personality she's usually less mature than Hakari. A later interview with the creators confirmed that she was composited with a character that was meant to be Hakari's actual sister.
  • Ah! My Goddess:
  • In Air Master, when Maki's friend sees her father for the first time, they mistake him for her big brother. He was only 15 when he had her.
  • In Anne Happy, Anne's mom, Sakura, is absolutely flattered after Botan and Ruri mistakenly identify her as Anne's sister at first.
  • In Asteroid in Love, other than being somewhat taller than her daughters, Mira and Misa's mother Yuuko doesn't look like she's at her mid-thirties (at least), and she's as genki as her younger daughter.
  • Barakamon: Handa Emi, Seishu's mom. She is in her forties, yet she doesn't look much older than her 23 years old son.
  • Valt's mother in Beyblade Burst has three elementary-aged children yet looks like a teenager.
  • In Chained Soldier, Fubuki Azuma, mother of Himari Azuma, looks young enough to be her older sister, and that's despite having at least two older daughters besides Himari. And Tobera Azuma, Fubuki's mother, looks like a middle-schooler due to her powers, making her look younger than her granddaughters.
  • In the opening of Child of Kamiari Month, the protagonist is shown at the age of about 6-8, with her mother who looks like she's probably about 15-17.
  • Sanae Furukawa from CLANNAD looks so young that people are far more likely to ask if she's Nagisa's sister than if she's her mother.
  • In Code:Breaker, Sakura's mother was mistaken as her elementary school sister. It also doesn't help that she likes to cosplay as one.
  • Dandadan: Seiko is Momo Ayase's grandmother and yet has such a youthful appearance, Aira believes she's actually Ayase's older sister.
  • In The Demon Girl Next Door, Seiko, who has a teenage daughter, still looks like she's in the twenties. Justified by the fact that she largely stopped aging when she became her husband's vassal.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Bulma's mother. While Bulma's character model is appropriately updated for her age, as she goes from 16 to 43, her mother's never changes. The result is that in some of her last appearances she actually looks younger than her own daughter. And Bulma herself still looks younger than 43. It's hinted that she used the Dragon Balls between story arcs to make herself younger.
    • Android 18, though she does look a little older by the time GT rolls around. Word of God states that, while she does age, she does so more slowly than a normal human.
    • Once Saiyans reach adulthood, they retain their youth and prime far longer than humans and don't show visible signs of aging until around 80. In this screenshot of Goku and his family, please note that Goku is 47 years old. To the left in that screenshot is his 17 year old son Goten, who looks more like his dad's twin brother with a different hairstyle. Goku looks young enough that Pan (the little girl also found on the left) can pass as his daughter, even though she's his granddaughter.
  • In Engaged to the Unidentified, Hakuya and Mashiro's mother looks like she's in her mid-20's at most (her children are both teenagers) and even then she is almost as tiny as Mashiro. Benio, who is both a lolicon and a siscon, happily calls her a "loli mom."
    Benio: This woman has given birth!?
  • An extreme example in Fairy Tail, with Mavis Vermillion. Since she's immortal and ageless, permanently appearing as if she's 13, she could pass for her son August's granddaughter.
  • Akira's parents in Family Complex could pass off as 17 despite being in their 40s. Lampshaded in the Princess Princess bonus story when Toru and Yuujiro visits the Sakamoto household try to guess who is who in the Sakamoto family. They initially assume Akira's mother to be his sister but can't even tell if she's older or younger than him. Then they mistook his father as Akira's older brother, "the legendary Sakamoto-sama" they were so keen to meet.
  • In Fresh Pretty Cure!, when Inori's mother Naoko is first seen next to her, she looks more like her nineteen-year-old sister than her mother.
  • Miyuki Asaka of Game×Rush falls squarely into this trope; even the mangaka mentions that "I feel like her face and personality are stuck as a little girl forever." Also a borderline Type 1 case since simple math shows she'd have been 18 when she had her son.
  • Late in Goldfisch, it turns out that Morrey's twin brother is actually his father, due to a nasty accident with the local Fountain of Youth. Due to a myriad of reasons, he decided that the best way to remain in his son's life was to live as his brother.
  • Gourmet Girl Graffiti: Shiina and her mother, pictured above. Their maid Tsuyuko is first thought to be Shiina's mother by Kirin.
  • In Haru and Midori, Midori's mother, Youko, looks almost the same as the 31-year-old Midori, even though Youko would be, at minimum, in her mid forties or even early fifties. Haru, who also looks almost exactly like her mother did at her age, makes note of the resemblance.
  • In HuGtto! Pretty Cure, the only cues that Reira is meant to be Saaya's mother and not her sister is that she has more prominent lips (a common sign of adulthood among Pretty Cure women).
  • Mentioned in Episode 4 of the Ikki Tousen anime by Hakufu complaining that this is what people say about her own mother.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Lisa Lisa from Battle Tendency, a fifty-year-old woman who looks no older than her son, Joseph Joestar, thanks to her Ripple training. Joseph's brain takes over two pages to process the idea that she could possibly be over twenty.
    • Jotaro's mother Holly from Stardust Crusaders has the personality and appearance of someone much, much younger than 45, with only a few wrinkles to show for it (even then they only appear in a few panels).
    • Likewise, her father Joseph is youthful enough during Stardust Crusaders thanks to his Ripple training that he could pass off as Jotaro's father instead of his 67 year old grandfather.
    • Both of these are helped out by the fact that Jotaro himself looks more like a man in his late twenties to early thirties than a high school student.
    • Josuke's mother Tomoko from Diamond is Unbreakable can be easily mistaken for his older sister, thanks to her appearance and the way she acts towards him. Though this is justified, as Tomoko was only 19 when she was pregnant with Josuke.
    • Jotaro Kujo himself is 40 years old and a father as of Stone Ocean, but you'd never know it from the way he's drawn. At most, he looks maybe a couple of years older than his teenage daughter. And thanks to the Art Shift, he actually looks younger than his 17 year old self.
    • Also from Part 6 is Jotaro's ex-wife (Jolyne's mother) is no different: We see her in maybe her late 30's, early 40's, and despite all the stress she's been through, she doesn't have a single wrinkle. The only indication she's older is that she doesn't dress as wild as Jolyne and her fellow inmates.
  • Subtly implied in Kaiju Girl Caramelise. When Arata is looking for Kuroe in the second chapter, he runs into what he doesn't realize is her mother Rinko. As he says goodbye and keeps looking, he calls Rinko "onee-san" (big sister), indicating that he doesn't realize how old she really is.
  • Karin:
    • Fumio looks to be about the same age as her sixteen-year old son, Kenta, which is maybe not quite so outrageous when you learn she had Kenta as a teenager. Seeing different characters react to this is a bit of a Running Gag in the manga.
    • Elda takes it even further. With her girl-like body she could probably pass as another younger sister of Karin, and Karin is her granddaughter. This is related to Elda's vampire powers, and contrasts with how her husband became old and frail because he was reluctant to suck the blood of humans.
  • Komi Can't Communicate: The titular protagonist's mom, Komi Shuuko, looks just like her barring clothes and having much shorter hair. When Tadano and Najimi visit her house for the first time, they're at first wondering whether she's her mom or older sister. Not helped by the fact that she's a self-proclaimed "Eternal 17-year old" and even acts like one, much to her daughter's embarrassment.
  • In Love Live! Sunshine!!, Chika's Mother essentially has Chika's body with her daughter Shima's face, which makes her appear younger than her other daughters. This throws Riko for a loop when she and Chika's Mother meet for the first time towards the end of Season 1.
  • In a similar vein to Sanae, Miyuki Takara's mother Yukari in Lucky Star looks like she could pass herself off as an older sister. Then again, it is an Improbably Female Cast. And if Yukari, then certainly Miki, the mother of Inori, Matsuri, Kagami, and Tsukasa. She's claimed to be 47, and although it was a lie (she thought it was cute and expected), a 47-year-old woman could easily have two college-age and two teenage daughters... but she still looks like she could be one of the sisters herself.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Momoko Takamachi. In the first two series, she at least looks old enough to possibly be an Absurdly Youthful Mother to Nanoha, a third-grader... but certainly not old enough to have two children in high school. This is due to the fact that in the original Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever continuity, Kyouya is her step-son and Miyuiki is her niece. Then several Time Skips happen, aging Nanoha up to 23, and Momoko still looks like she's in her twenties.
    • Nanoha could easily pass herself off as Vivio's fraternal twin when Vivio uses her Older Alter Ego, since she both inherited Momoko's youthful looks, and adopted Vivio while still in her teens. Even without Vivio's Adult Mode their subjective age difference is only 13 years, since Vivio was "born" as the equivalent of a six-year-old.
    • Amy mistakes Quint for being Subaru's older sister in INNOCENT. Rather impressive when you consider the fact that — in this continuity — she has given birth to six children. This is because INNOCENT reuses the character designs of the main universe despite the change in setting; in the main universe Quint never gave birth, and has two adopted daughters who are both clones of her, while the other four daughters she has in INNOCENT were adopted years after Quint's death by her widowed husband.
      Amy: How did all the people around me get eternal youth!?
    • Once Lutecia gets into her teens, she's almost impossible to tell apart at a glance from her mother Megane, who (like Momoko) looks like she's still in her twenties. Unlike Momoko, this is justified because Megane spent almost a decade in suspended animation.
  • In Masamune-kun's Revenge, Masamune's mom actually looks younger than him and his sister to the point she looks like their six-year-old kid sister instead. Pretty sure his dad might've been arrested at least once on supposed pedophilia charges. It apparently runs in the family, as her sister and her niece all look the same.
  • Medaka Box plays this one further than many other examples, with Zenkichi's mother Hitomi looking like a preteen girl as an apparent side effect of her Abnormality. She's first introduced when Akune finds her rollerblading around the school and assumes she's looking for her "big brother"; when Zenkichi says "That's not my sister, that's my mom", Akune spits blood in shock.
  • Telne from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid initially introduces herself as Elma's older sister (and looks younger than her), though she's actually her (great-great etc.) grandmother. This is because the spell dragons use to take on human form is a very literal interpretation of Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity, so her childish personality causes her to appear very youthful (her true form on the other hand actually does look the part of a powerful dragon matriarch).
  • In Monster Musume, Miia, Papi and Centorea's mothers all have this going for them. Especially Papi, as the harpy race as a whole is Older Than They Look.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Mitsuki Bakugo is 38-year-old but looks surprisingly young for a woman with a 15-year-old son. Supplementary info states it's thanks to her Quirk which secretes glycerin.
    • Rei Todoroki looks like she could be the older sister of her daughter, yet her daughter and oldest son are in their early to mid-twenties. Justified by the implications that she and Endeavor may have become parents in late adolescence or just barely out of it.
  • My Wife is the Student Council President: The titular Student Council President's mom looks much, much younger than she is.
  • Naruto:
    • Since Naruto's parents, Minato and Kushina were both only 24 when they died, when the 16-year-old Naruto interacts with them as spirits inside his soul, they look more like his siblings than parents. This is Naruto with Minato and Naruto with Kushina. It gets weird in Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja, where they still look the same despite being around in Naruto's life to the present day, as the animators didn't bother to give them an aged up look.
    • The sequel Boruto has Sakura, Hinata and Ino as examples. Naruto, Sasuke, Rock Lee and Sai also look good for their age. This is mainly in the anime, as the manga makes them look more like they're in their 30s.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Naoko and her daughter Ritsuko looked like they were of the same age, although Naoko's hairstyle and manners make her appear more mature. This might imply that either Naoko had Ritsuko at a young age, or she was just Older Than She Looks.
    • Similar to the Naruto example above, Shinji's mother Yui also died at only 27, so when her soul interacts with him, she looks like an older sister of her 14-year-old son.
  • Inverted in New Game!, in which Catherine's younger sister Sophie is mistaken for her daughter — the former is an adult and a businesswoman, while the latter is a grade schooler. It doesn't help that Catherine is fairly close in age to her older sister Christina.
  • In Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary, Ken's mother is in her 50s but looks like a high schooler.
  • In Otaku no Musume-san, Taeko and her mother are respectively Younger and Older Than They Look. Taeko is occasionally assumed to be the mother although she's still in high school.
  • Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea: In the film, May compliments Lizabeth's mother Meredith by saying she thought Meredith was Elizabeth's sister. This is Playing with a Trope because Meredith is clearly an adult and older than Lizabeth as can be seen here.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: Isanari Uesugi sometimes looks more like Fuutarou's and Raiha's big brother rather than their father. The resemblance is even more pronounced when Fuutarou disguises himself as "Kintarou" while wearing a blonde wig.
  • Nana Sawada, mother of protagonist Tsunayoshi from Reborn! (2004), is in her mid-late thirties but looks barely older than her teenage son.
  • Fuyuki and Natsumi's mother Aki, in Sgt. Frog, is another pretty good example: She is drawn with a childish face, which makes quite a contrast with her striking figure.
  • In Silver Spoon, when Yugo first sees Tamako's mother, he assumes she's Tamako's older sister. She's obviously flattered.
  • Kusanagi in The Sky Crawlers looks about twelve to fifteen, but is older than she looks.
  • Zigzagged in Smile PreCure!; Miyuki and Yayoi's mothers hardly look any older than their daughters, while Akane, Reika, and especially Nao's mothers look properly in their 30s/40s.
  • Soul Eater: Spirit Albarn looks more like Maka's older brother. Justified as he was 18 when Maka was born.
  • Suite Pretty Cure ♪ has Kanade's mom Misora. When the fans first saw her on the previews for episode 4, they thought she was a candidate for a possible Sixth Ranger.
  • Tamako Market:
  • In Tomo-chan Is a Girl!, Carol's mother Ferris not only looks like an older sister but acts just as "fluffy" as her daughter; in fact Carol messes with her friends by introducing Ferris as her big sister, then seems a little surprised when they believe her. In this case it's justified since Ferris got pregnant at age 13 — her boyfriend/future husband thought she was older and didn't learn her real age until she announced her pregnancy, prompting a severe Oh, Crap! reaction.
  • In Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure, Aoi looks more like Manatsu's college-age sister than her mother.
  • Umi Monogatari has Miyako, Kanon's mother. She looks young enough to be one of her daughter's friends, and has the personality to match.
  • Mendou and Ryoko's father from Urusei Yatsura looks more like their older brother, he looks exactly like a taller, slightly older version of Mendou with a mustache.
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!:
    • Tsuki Uzaki is over 40 years old, but barely looks older than her 20-year old daughter Hana. Since both are short, but well-stacked women, the only telltale signs are that Tsuki has longer hair, Eyes Always Shut and wears different clothing.
    • Shinichi's own mother Haruko is no slouch. She looks surprisingly young despite having a 22-year old son while pushing 50.
      • Haruko is also in supremely good health, having had baby Nodoka with no problems at 49, and being able to perform a judo throw on men bigger than her.
  • In World Trigger, Osamu's mother Kasumi is this, and people constantly assume she's his older sister. Osamu and Kasumi even correct Karasawa in unison after he calls Kasumi his sister, much to his surprise.
  • In Yankee JK KuzuHana-chan, Hanako Kuzuryu's mother Irina is so youthful-looking the protagonist Saotome believed Irina when she claimed to be Hanako's younger sister.
  • In You're Under Arrest!, Ken's mother looks younger than he is — because she actually is. She's his stepmother rather than a blood relative, though she still insists that he call her mom.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS has Mimi Atachi, the "eternal schoolgirl", who despite looking like she belongs in elementary school is mother to a boy in the fourth grade. She's actually 37.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice: You'd be forgiven for thinking Yuko was the triplets' older sister rather than their mother. Justified since she really was fairly young when she had them (she's 25 and the triplets are 6, meaning she would have given birth to them when she was 19).
  • In Zodiac P.I., Lili's mother mentions in a flashback that she (again) was mistaken as Lili's older sister.

    Comic Books 
  • The Eternals: the Eternals of Earth are immortal and appear as whatever age they want. Thus, Cybelle looks no older than her daughter Thena, although both are several millennia old.
  • The Invaders: Invoked with a blood transfusion from the original Human Torch (1939) that gave Spitfire her super-speed powers. A second transfusion forty years later not only reactivated her then-faded powers, but de-aged her back to sixteen, the age when she first became Spitfire. When her grown son takes her to his favorite pub, the barman jokes "Is your mum old enough to drink?"
  • The Mighty Thor:
    • Asgardians are extremely long-lived with lifespans in millenniums or even megaannums. In Strange Academy, Alvi and Iric Brorson look to be the same age as teenage protagonist Emily Bright. Their mother, Amora the Enchantress, is young by Asgardian standards and appears in her early to mid '20s. Their palace guard father Bror does look to be in his late 30s or early 40s and has a "dad bod".
    • Thor looks to be in his late 20s or early 30s, his mother Firehair is a human mutant cavewoman who became the avatar of the Phoenix. She appears to be late teens to mid 20s and actually looks younger than her son. Of course, she's also technically dead (or as dead as a Phoenix host gets, anyway), which complicates matters a little bit.
  • Robin: Tim's stepmom Dana is young enough to be his older sister, though there'd be a significant age gap that gap is less than 10 years, and she looks younger than her actual age. She is near Dick Grayson's age, and he would eventually become Tim's older brother through adoption.
  • Wonder Woman: Hippolyta looks young enough to be Diana and Donna's sister, but is actually their mother and is a lot older than she looks.

    Comic Strips 
  • In a later Peanuts Sunday strip, Charlie Brown accompanied by Linus goes to return some mittens he bought for the little Red-Haired Girl as a Christmas gift, but wasn't able to muster the courage to give them to her. Surprisingly, the person who he is talking to is the girl's mother. Linus then comments that when they first came in, they thought she was her older sister. She's apparently so flattered by this that she lets them return the mittens without a second thought.

    Fan Works 
  • As the name of Apprentice and Pregnant suggests, the already small Hollyshine is impregnated as an apprentice. Her apprentice-aged kits look the same age, if not older, than her.
  • In Child of the Storm has a number of relatively slow ageing characters, who hit adulthood and then don't age for decades/centuries:
    • While not directly addressed, it's noted that Thor looks about thirty at most, while Harry can easily pass for 18 by the sequel.
    • Wanda Maximoff is about 45, though she looks closer to 30, thanks to her delayed ageing process. Her daughter, the entirely unaware Hermione, is 15 by the sequel, with the apparent age gape only closing.
    • The most prominent example is Alison Carter who is noted as, even with ageing makeup, looking closer to her children's age than her actual age. Without the makeup, she looks about the same age as her oldest granddaughter. This is because she inherited the super soldier serum from her father, Steve Rogers.
  • Inverted with the titular character from the Dangerverse. Gertrude "Danger" Granger is actually Hermione's older sister, despite the age gap between them being big enough that most people assume they're mother and daughter. This is not helped by the fact that, with both their parents dead, Danger is now Hermione's legal guardian.
  • Friends with Everybody: Adagio Dazzle looks like a teenager, but is really thousands of years old... and is the many-times-great-grandmother of Sci-Twi and the human Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie, Rainbow Dash and Rarity.
  • In the Jem fic Glitter Reunion, it's mentioned that Rio sometimes gets mistaken for his 19-year old son's older brother.
  • Inverted in Persephone. Astrid is very close to her younger sister Brenna. Because of their mother’s age and Astrid trying to make up for what (she thinks) happened to Hiccup, Astrid helped look after Brenna as a baby. Brenna began to look up to her, her first word being "sissy." Because of this, Berk's gossip mongers went so far as to believe that Astrid was actually her mother (with this theory also assuming that Hiccup is Brenna's father to "justify" Astrid's grief and account for how nobody else claimed the title), her parents trying to cover up for her by claiming to be Brenna's parents.
  • More than one pony in RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse has thought that Dinky Doo was Ditzy Doo's sister rather than her daughter. Justified, since Ditzy was barely legal when she got pregnant with Dinky.
  • When the W.I.T.C.H. fanfic Ripples introduces future Queen Weira and her mother Allora, it's noted that thanks to the power of the Heart of Meridian keeping the latter in her prime, the two could easily pass for sisters in the same age range.
  • In Rising Powers, Harry's adoptive mother was an eighty-six-year-old dryad who looked sixteen.
  • Things Jade Hates: Tori initially guesses that Jade's mom is her sister.
  • In the Loud House fanfic Unexpected, Lori and Bobby's child is only 2 years younger than Lily, the youngest Loud sister.

    Films — Animation 
  • Anastasia: Based on the few short glimpses we see of Anastasia's family in the prologue, flashbacks and portrait, her mother looks like the oldest of her many red-haired older sisters. (Apparently Truth in Television.)
  • Disney is way too fond of this trope. If a mother can be found in a Disney movie, odds are she'll never look a day over 25, even if her child is in his or her late teens.
    • When Aurora reunites with her parents in Sleeping Beauty, she looks to be her mother's only slightly shorter, slightly finer-featured twin.
    • In comparison to her daughter Wendy, Mary Darling from Peter Pan looks like she could be her older sister.
      • Incidentally, the actresses who played Wendy and Mary, Kathryn Beaumont and Heather Angel, respectively, also played sisters in Alice in Wonderland.
    • The Lion King: When Simba returns to Pride Rock bearing a Strong Family Resemblance to his deceased father, his mother Sarabi doesn't look any different from when he was a cub. (In fact, she shares a similar body model and facial structure to his own childhood sweetheart, Nala.)
    • In The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, Ariel looks almost identical to how she looked in the first film — barely a bit older, at most — and could be mistaken as the older sister of her daughter Melody. Of course, there are factors to consider; she is a mermaid, and mermaids likely don't age the same rate as humans, and she was subject to magic from her father's trident.
    • Treasure Planet: Sarah to Jim. One could be forgiven for thinking she's his older sister rather than his mother. According to the art book, she had Jim when she was about 17.
    • Tangled: Mother Gothel actively tries to invoke this trope by using Rapunzel's hair to keep herself young while posing as her mother. Rapunzel's real mother has no such access to round-the-clock de-aging hair, yet she hasn't aged a day since Rapunzel's birth 18 years before. She also looks like a twenty-something version of Rapunzel post-Important Haircut.
    • Frozen: In life, Elsa's and Anna's mother looked to be a brunette version of their adult selves (21 and 18)... even when they were in their late and mid-teens (18 and 15). She in fact uses a slightly edited version of Elsa's model.
    • Averted for Mulan's and Tiana's mothers, who both look to be middle age by the time their daughters reach late teenhood.
    • Encanto: The main character's estranged uncle Bruno, who is supposed to be 50, looks more like an older brother or cousin in his mid 30. This may be due to his thin complexion, low self-esteem and rather childish mannerisms.
  • Tip's mother Lucy Tucci from Home (2015) looks more like her older sister.
  • Pixar is also fond of this trope, though not to the same extent as Disney above.
    • Toy Story 3: Andy's and Molly's mom looks to be about the same age as her college-aged son, and shares a Strong Family Resemblance with her preteen daughter to boot.
    • Coco gives a rare justifiable In-Universe example of this trope. You’d never guess that Hector was twelve-year-old protagonist Miguel’s great-great grandfather. They look more like brothers. This is because Hector is only biologically nine years older than Miguel because he died when he was only 21.
    • In Turning Red, Ming briefly looks only a few years older than Mei while in the astral realm.
  • Quest for Camelot: Juliana is this for Kayley.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Pluto's mom in The Adventures of Pluto Nash. Dina comments to her that she could be passed off as his sister.
  • Aftersun: Calum had his daughter Sophie two days before his twentieth birthday. When one of the teens at the resort assumes that Sophie is Calum's sister, he has to clarify that she's his daughter and says that it happens a lot when the teen tries to apologize.
  • In Alexander, 29 year old Angelina Jolie plays Olympias, the mother of Alexander, played by 28 year old Colin Farrell.
  • Angela Lansbury was nine years and three months older than Elvis Presley, who played her character's son in Blue Hawaii.
  • Byzantium: Clara looks like Eleanor's older sister rather than her mother, due to being vampires who stopped aging. Clara is shown to have only been around twenty when giving birth to Eleanor anyway. Due to this, in the present both pretend they are sisters.
  • Child's Play (2019) has Andy's mother Karen being mistaken for his sister. This is because Karen's portrayer Aubrey Plaza was 35 but certainly didn't look like it, and the character at a certain point mentions that she "had a very productive sweet sixteen."
  • In Earthquake (1974), Lorne Greene and Ava Gardner — only seven years apart in age — played father and daughter.
  • In the 2007 film version of Hairspray, Mr. Pinky invokes this trope when Tracy and Edna come to sign the endorsement contract, in an effort to endear himself to them. While clearly flattered, Edna responds that it "won't stop Miss Turnblad's agent from reading the fine print", and it doesn't.
  • The Kentucky Fried Movie parodies the Grape Nuts ad mentioned above. A couple is having sex, then the man suddenly realizes that his partner isn't who he thought she was.
    Man: Mrs. Burke! I thought you were Dale!
    Mrs. Burke: (sitting up) People often mistake me for my teenage daughter, Dale...
  • In the 1962 adaptation of The Manchurian Candidate, Angela Lansbury was only three years older than Laurence Harvey, who played her son. In the books it's stated that Eleanor had Raymond when she was only 17, and as a result still looks fairly young, but not that close.
  • In Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest, Cary Grant was 55 years-old. Jessie Royce Landis, who played his mother, was 63 years-old, meaning she would have to have given birth when she was 8 years old.
  • In Nowhere Boy (2009), John Lennon's mother Julia looks way too young to be a mom.
  • In the 2016 comedy film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, rapper Connor 4Real inverts this for laughs in his song "So Humble".
    Connor 4Real: Your mom's old but I'll ask if she's your sister!
  • In the 1975 theatrical adaptation of Tommy, Roger Daltrey is the eponymous lead. His mother was portrayed by Ann-Margret, who was only three years older than Daltrey.
  • In Tommy Boy, Tommy's stepmother Beverly looks too young to be the mother of thirty-something Paul. That's because Beverly and Paul are actually a husband and wife pair of con artists.
  • Vox Lux: Due to having had Albertine in her teens Celeste looks more like her older sister than her mother (they also looked the same when that age).
  • In the film version of Harold Robbins' Where Love Has Gone (1964), Bette Davis plays Susan Hayward's mother, despite being barely ten years older.

  • And You Thought There Is Never a Girl Online?: The only ways to tell apart Ako and her mom is that Mrs. Tamaki is taller and combs her hair. Hideki was rather surprised when he first met her and initially assumed she was Ako's older sister.
  • A Certain Magical Index has Shina and Misuzu, the mothers of Touma and Mikoto respectively. Misuzu in particular has a 14 year old daughter and looks like she's twenty, which caused both Touma and his father to mistake her for Mikoto's sister when they first met her. She's noted to be a bit jealous of Shina, though, because Misuzu has to go to a great deal of effort to look and act that young, while for Shina it comes naturally.
  • Any Danielle Steel character who either is or becomes a mother in the course of the book is frequently said to look more like her child's older sister.
  • DFZ: Opal's mother doesn't look a day over 25, due to judicious application of makeup, a rigorous beauty regimen, no small amount of plastic surgery, and supposedly "just a bit of actual Black Magic." They are mistaken for sisters or cousins on a regular basis. Since Opal herself is 26 and rather average looking, they're fast approaching the point where Opal will look older than her mother.
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?: Masato complains that between her uncannily youthful looks, her clinginess, and her childlike demeanor, there's no way Mamako could be his real mother.
  • Inverted in the Maeve Binchy novel Evening Class, where despite not being much older than her daughter (she had her at sixteen), most outsiders correctly assume that Fran and Kathy are mother and daughter rather than sisters, as the daughter has been led to believe.
  • In High School D×D, Venelana looks like a brunette version of her redheaded daughter Rias, to the point Issei thinks Venelana is Rias's sister. He doesn't get to say anything out loud because Rias sees him staring at Venelana and correctly concludes what he must be thinking in a heartbeat.
  • It's been mentioned a few times in The Hollows that witches age slowly once they reach adulthood, which presumably leads to a lot of this. Case in point: Rachel's mother is past retirement age for a human, but can pass for Rachel's sister with the right clothes.
  • Honor Harrington: Honor's mother, Allison Harrington, still looks like she is in her thirties, even though she is 104 years old. Justified because of the prolong treatments applied to her: Honor herself is in her sixties but looks to be about twenty, and eventually has twins with Earl White Haven.
  • How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom has a lot of these because of having many long-lived races:
    • Thanks to her sea serpent blood, Duchess Excel Walter (at 500 years old) looks more like the older sister of her granddaughters (in their late teens/early 20s).
    • As expected of elves, Aisha's father looks like her older brother despite being 80 years old.
  • InCryptid: In Discount Armageddon, then 22-year-old Verity Price muses on the fact that because both of her grandmothers look much younger than their chronological ages (her paternal grandmother spending the bulk of her time in dimensions where time passes differently and her maternal grandmother being a cuckoo, i.e. a human-looking being evolved from something rather closer resembling a parasitic wasp), they look more like her sisters than her elders, and will probably continue looking young when Verity herself is their current ages (though it's doubtful if anyone at all knows how old Angela Baker actually is). In Chaos Choreography, four years later, we meet Alice Price, and she looks young enough to be a close-in-age sibling of Verity.
  • In the Logan Series by V. C. Andrews, Melody's Missing Mom Haille (in her late 30s) turns out to be living in California, where she is trying to launch a movie career, lying that she's at least ten years younger than her actual age. Not only does she look young enough to get away with this, but has no trouble convincing others that she and Melody are sisters.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Since Elves are ageless, they do not really have a concept of generations as Men do. For example, Elrond looks the same age as his children, and his mother-in-law is Galadriel, who rivals her granddaughter Arwen as the most beautiful living woman on Middle-earth.
  • Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! gives us Yoriko Yasaka, who appears at most to be in her late 20s, an impression aided by her being a hardcore Gamer Chick who loves outdated consoles. The real disconnect comes when you put her alongside her 17-year-old son Mahiro, which makes Yoriko look much more like an overly affectionate Cool Big Sis than a mother. This gets emphasized even further in an episode where Yoriko flashes back to the day her husband proposed; the only visible change after roughly two decades is her hairstyle.
  • In The Riftwar Cycle, Miranda is often commented on as looking younger than her (presumably mid-30s) son. As a kicker, she's at least 300 years older.
  • In the Margaret Weis novel Robot Blues, it's mentioned that one of the characters (who's in his 30s) has a mother who, thanks to extensive plastic surgery, is often mistaken for his younger sister.
  • In Sweet Valley High, Jessica and Elizabeth's mother is in her late 30s-early 40s (thanks to frequent Retcon between different ghost writers, it changes) but it is often stated that she looks like she is in her 20s, and is usually mistaken for the twins' older sister.
  • In War of the Dreaming, Wendy and her mother, Queen Titania, are said to look about the same age, or even that her mother is younger looking. Justified, since she is an immortal who never ages.
  • In Whateley Universe, the Exemplar powerset often slows aging, so it is not uncommon for a woman in her thirties or later to still look 21 (Headmistress Carson, who is in her 70s in 2006, looks to be about 30). Notable instances where mother-daughter pairs are mistaken for sisters include Strega and Envy, Magma and Phoenixfire, and Setup and Knockoff, all of which also are suspiciously similar looking to each other.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ann's mother in Arrested Development — Michael can't believe that Ann's mom is so hot, and covers it by claiming he can believe she's so young. Maeby asks if she looks old enough to play Topher Grace's mom.
  • Inverted on Buffy the Vampire Slayer — in her early twenties, Buffy is Promoted to Parent for her teenage sister, Dawn. In the first episode of Season 7, Principal Wood mistakes her for Dawn's mother, prompting a tiny freak-out. ("It's the hair, isn't it? I have mom-hair.")
  • Burden of Truth: Due to having her as a teenager, Luna's mom Gerrilyn looks more like her older sister.
  • Dark Desire: Due to the small age gap between the actresses playing them (fifteen years) Alma looks more like Zoe's older sister than really her mother.
  • In ER, after Sam drops her son off at school, one of his friends comments to him, "Your sister's hot." This is because she had him at only 15.
  • Gilmore Girls:
    • Lorelai and Rory are so close in age (Lorelai was a teen mom) that they often seemed more like sisters. The beginning of the series even has an unsuspecting male who hits on both of the Gilmore girls, separately.
    • In one episode, Lorelai takes her own mother, Emily, to a bar, and a man Emily's age starts to flirt with her. He claims to be surprised that they're a mother and daughter — but Lorelai warns him that if he finishes that statement with this trope, she'll take it as an insult.
  • In House, Dr House realises that the mother of one of his clinic patients is attempting to invoke this trope to satisfy her own ego and vanity, by convincing her daughter to accept a sugarless birthday cake (which she and all the other kids hate) because "sugar is the leading cause of obesity in America".
    House: Well you know, I feel sorry for those other kids, Wendy, who don’t have a mom like yours – a mom who knows that sugar causes heart disease, appendicitis, and athlete’s foot.
    Mom: That's not fair.
    House: Oh yes it is. No, I get it. You want her to slim down a little, so she can wear pretty clothes like yours. Love the bracelets. Hey! What about matching outfits? You could be twins! She can’t be your daughter, it’s impossible, you look way too young! Happy birthday. Get the kid a damned ice cream cake.
  • On Lost Girl, Fae age considerably slower than humans, so, for instance, succubi Bo and her mother Aife could easily pass as sisters; Inga Cadranel (Aife) is younger than Anna Silk (Bo).
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: In "We're Going to the Catskills!" while Midge and her mother are getting their hair done at the beauty salon, another woman gossiping with them comments that they look like sisters. This in spite of the 24-year age gap between 52 year old Marin Hinkle (Rose) and 28 year old Rachel Brosnahan (Midge).
  • Merlin (2008): Merlin's mother Hunith looked normal enough in the first season, when Merlin himself appeared extremely young and was described as a "young boy" in the Opening Narration. Five years pass in the show's time-line, and when Hunith reappears, looking exactly the same as she did half a decade ago despite her son's sudden growth spurt (and now referred to as "a young man"), she is suddenly this trope. She almost looks younger in her series 4 appearance than in her series 1 appearance, while Merlin has definitely gone from boy to man. Judge for yourself: Hunith and Merlin in Series 1, Hunith and Merlin in Series 4.
  • Midnight Sun: Kahina looks like an older sister to her son Nadji, which is justified as she gave birth to him at 15. This probably helped to have him passed off as indeed being her little brother.
  • On Mom, Bonnie says that this trope is one of the benefits of having a child at an incredibly young age. She used to pass Christy off as her own sister. Christy really does look young enough to pass for Violet's older sister, but acknowledges that she's a mother.
  • Oddly inverted in the sixth season of My Kitchen Rules, where contestants Will & Steve were mistaken by other teams as father & son, even though they are not blood related and Will is only 5 years older than Steve.
  • On Once Upon a Time, due to a curse that left Snow White and Prince Charming effectively frozen in time for 28 years, they look like they're around the same age as their daughter, Emma.
  • Invoked by the mother herself on Providence. As the brother Robbie prepares for his wedding, his fiancee's mother introduces herself to everyone she meets as, "I'm Tina's mother. But don't I look more like her sister?", thus revealing herself to be incredibly vain and self-absorbed.
  • Reign: Anna Walton, who portrays Diane de Poitiers, is less than three years older than Torrance Coombs, who plays her son Sebastian, and it shows.
  • In SeaQuest DSV Tony and Lucas both wig out when they find out the hot babe at the bar is Tony's mother, whose youthful appearance is due to taking cosmetic drugs. Naturally, Tony has the more intense reaction.
    Dagwood: Good looks should please you.
    Tony: I'm pleased. That's what's making me sick!
  • Shadowhunters: Maryse looks like an older sister to her oldest (biological) children, Alec and Izzy, due to their actors being less than a decade younger than actress Nicola Correia-Damude.
  • The Spencer Sisters: Sarita, Victoria's literary agent, says Victoria looks more like the older sister of her daughter Darby than her mother. Darby just dismissively notes that Sarita's working for her so she's flattering Victoria, but other people think so too. They end up calling their detective partnership The Spencer Sisters because of this.
  • Played with in Season 2 of Stranger Things. 43 year-old Cara Buono certainly is old enough to be Natalia Dyer's (20) mother. And while Buono could probably pass for younger, Karen Wheeler nonetheless looks reasonably like the mother of 16-17 Nancy. However, Billy makes use of this trope in the season finale to seduce a lead on Max's whereabouts out of her, flustering her by calling her Nancy's older sister.
  • In Torchwood: Children of Earth, Captain Jack is revealed to have an adult daughter, Alice. But, as he is immortal and doesn't age, she looks a few years older than he does. In order to keep Jack's true nature a secret from Stephen, Alice's son, the boy knows Jack as his uncle.
  • Underground: Due to their actors' close ages, Ernestine appears more like Rosalee and Sam's older sister than really their mother.
  • War of the Worlds: Chloe looks like an older sister of her son, as she gave birth to him at fifteen.

  • Elvenquest: Mentioned when the Questers encounter Penthesilea's mother in the underworld. Apparently Sam tried saying this to her (Sam frequently trying to get with Penthesilea). In a blistering response, she tells him the line is pathetic and sleazy.

  • In Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe, Phyllis sees her 24-year-old boyfriend Strephon embracing a beautiful 17-year-old and assumes he's cheating on her. He hadn't gotten around to mentioning that his mother was a fairy.

    Video Games 
  • Borderlands series: Eye candy Moxxi is the mother of Scooter and Ellie. All three look roughly the same age, even when Moxxi is briefly seen without her exaggerated makeup. She's probably had work done.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, it is possible to make a character with grey hair and wrinkles. Their relatives, including parents and stated-older siblings, may wind up looking much younger (in game files, the Warden's "official" age is noted as 20).
  • In Dragon's Lair 2, Princess Daphne has 13 kids, the oldest of whom looks about 13, and she still looks exactly the same as she did in the first game.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, most of the ladies in the first generation do actually look legit old enough to become mothers. Tailtiu on the other hand is the youngest of the team and keeps her 'childish' face throughout the time she's in your party, though her appearance at the time of her death when she died a broken girl remains unknown. As a result, if she's drawn in a fanart with her daughter Tine, it's kinda easy to mistake Tailtiu as her more outgoing sister instead of her mother.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade has Eleanora, who appears to be in her mid-20s at most, despite having a 17-year-old son in Eliwood.
    • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Almedha appears to be a beorc woman in her early or mid thirties, a bit too young to be the mother of Pelleas (who appears to be in his early twenties). She is neither. Fridge Logic means the same applies to Apostle Misaha, who, due to having the exact same brand as her oldest granddaughter (Micaiah), would have still appeared to be in her early thirties when said granddaughter was born.
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening uses this a lot, but it's justifed due to the children being Kids from The Future. Many Support Conversations lampshade how the children's parents look more like their siblings.
    • Fire Emblem Fates uses this too, but it's also justified since the children were raised in Year Inside, Hour Outside "Deeprealms", and grew to maturity in what seemed like mere moments to from the parents' perspective. It's actually specifically noted that Rhajat is now older than her father Hayato, and she even describes herself as being almost like Hayato's "big sister." There's also Mikoto, who looks rather youthful for someone who had five kids. This is actually a hint that she's not the mother of the four Hoshidan siblings, just the Avatar. However, she still looks closer to the Avatar's age than one would think she would.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses gives us a very interesting example. Sothis is all but explicitly stated to be the mother of Rhea, who looks like a woman in her late 20s both in the present day and even twelve centuries prior, while Sothis looks like a child, and with the other Children of the Goddess, like Seteth, it's not as clear. Sothis' appearance seems to be a mix of Ghost Amnesia and the resulting childish personality, but even at the end of the game, when it's the most likely that she would have regained her memories, she still looks the same.
  • Yuki's mother in Grandia III, who is 34 while he is 16, but looks about 20. For most of the game, they have more of a sibling relationship than a typical parent/child one, made clearest by the fact that Yuki calls her "Miranda" rather than "Mom." Hilariously lampshaded in the X-Play review of the game and in Unskippable. ...heyyukiyourmomishot...
  • In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Big Mama actually looks very well for being almost 80 (and still doing some pretty crazy motorcycle stunts during a highly destructive car chase). Her son Solid Snake also suffers from severe Clone Degeneration and has rapidly aged in the last years to look actually older than her, even though she was over 30 when he was born.
  • Due to the Time Crash driving the plot in Mortal Kombat 11, Cassie Cage and Jacqui Briggs come face to face with the past counterparts of their parents, who appear young enough to be siblings to them.
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon: Despite being over 40, Lusamine could easily pass for a (very tall) teenager, and her children — an eleven-year-old daughter and a slightly older son — look more like her younger siblings.
  • Samurai Warriors: In the third game, Aya looks younger than her generic-faced son, Uesugi Kagekatsu. In the fourth game, where her son has become a playable character with a unique design, they look around the same age.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, Raine Sage and her mother Virginia look identical except for the fact that Virginia has longer hair. Since elves live for a thousand years, this is probably standard for them.
  • Tekken currently has six(!) examples of this trope, though a few are non-canonical.
    • Nina and Anna Williams are the mother and aunt of Steve Fox. While the Williams sisters were placed in cryogenic sleep between the second and third games by the Mishima Zaibatsu for research, Nina's eggs were harvested to create Steve. Thanks to the cryo-sleep, both Nina and Anna look like they are in their 20s despite being in their 40s and could easily pass for Steve's sisters instead of his mother and aunt.
    • Jun Kazama doesn't seem to have aged a day in her return in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, aside of some changes to her facial features to make her better resemble her son Jin. A possible explanation is that whatever transformed her into Unknown preserved her youth, but it's just as possible that, due to not having appeared in a canonical installment since Tekken 2 (and the Tag games existing in their own continuity), Jun's age was frozen at 22 — which would make her only a year older than Jin (who was 21 in T6). Over a decade later, Jun would make a canonical reappearance in Tekken 8, looking as fresh as she did in TTT2, with her case being that she was in a coma to recover from her battle with Ogre and that where she fled for her recovery, the Kazama Sanctum, kept her there for seven years.
    • Michelle Chang is the adoptive mother of Julia Chang. Without this knowledge one could mistake them for siblings if they are seen together. Even stranger is that Julia's ending in Tekken 3 showed an older Michelle (who would've been 39 at the time), only for Michelle's return in Tag 2 to de-age her and give her a new look based upon her appearance in the first two games. Therefore, it can be assumed Michelle's Tag 2 incarnation is roughly the same age as her daughter (20), even though she's treated as if she's still got a couple decades on Julia.
    • Kazumi Mishima actually appears to be younger than her middle-aged son Kazuya as of Tekken 7, even though Kazumi is at the very least 70 years old. The reason why is that Kazumi died in her prime — a relatively younger woman killed while Kazuya was still a child, and she's revealed to be a ghost once you take her down at the end of Arcade Mode. She makes no appearances in the main story outside of flashbacks, suggesting her presence in the present-day events of T7 itself are non-canon.
    • To a lesser degree, Marshall Law is a case of someone who has flip-flopped between looking older or about as young as his son Forrest. In Tekken 3, Forrest replaced his father as the playable Law for the game, and the cutscenes depicting Marshall show him older (complete with notable facial hair) to distinguish him from his son. This look continued in 4, where Forrest was Put on a Bus and Marshall once again became the main Law of the series from that point onwards... only for Tekken 6 to have him shave his mustache and beard off and in turn made him look capable of passing as his son's brother, which can be easily done in Tag 2 with father and son present for the game.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue, Masaya mistakes Mashiro's mother Botan for her older sister.
    • Sanae Furukawa looks like she's only slightly older, at most, than her daughter Nagisa. Fitting, seeing as she's a hot mom. She looks young enough to pass for being the granddaughter of her granddaughter's paternal great-grandmother, who is herself quite young for being a great grandmother.
    • Despite the show/game being filled with Generic Cuteness, Tomoya specifically states Sanae's youthful appearance is strange and mysterious. This is made extremely apparent when you compare her to the midwife who delivered little Ushio. This midwife was actually a classmate of Sanae's in high school.
    • She also genuinely was a young mother, explicitly stated to be fresh out of high school when she got pregnant. Combine it with this subtrope and it comes as no surprise that she is also a hot grandma, who perfectly could to be mistaken by the mother of her granddaughter, at least.
    • Played for Laughs in the anime, where Sunohara is set up on a "date" with Sanae. She introduces herself as Nagisa's older sister, and he actually believes it.
  • In Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, Hiroko Hagakure, the mother of Yasuhiro Hagakure from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, looks young enough to be Hagakure's older sister (Hagakure's older than the other students by a few years), resulting in much of the fandom mistaking her for his sister, and Komaru and Fukawa being confused about her age.
  • A justified example in Daughter for Dessert. Since Lainie died when she wasn’t too much older than Amanda is now, we only see the two of them at around the same age.
  • In Double Homework, Rachel's mom, who is at least in her forties, doesn’t look more than seven years older than her teenage daughter.
  • Emi's mother Meiko in Katawa Shoujo, as Hisao points out:
    Meiko: I'm sorry. Forgive an old woman her amusements.
    Hisao: Old woman? She sure doesn't look that old to me. Clearly Emi gets her youthful features from her mother.
  • Asa's mother Ama from SHUFFLE! looks the same age as Asa. But with Ama's character, her cute hat and her high-pitched voice, she appears even younger than her daughter.
  • In Zero Time Dilemma, Sigma and Phi are actually mistaken for siblings, courtesy of the former being a Supernaturally Young Parent.

    Web Animation 

  • Frigg in Brat-Halla looks to be in her 20s or 30s and takes a lot of turns as the comic's Ms. Fanservice. Justified because she's the Norse goddess of fertility, is very much Older Than She Looks.
  • In Fluttering Feelings, both Seol-A and No-Rae's mothers don't look much older then their youngest children, both 23. No-Rae's oldest brother is in his 30's.
  • In The Gamer, Han Jee-Han's mother is 40, but appears to be 20, while Han Jee-Han himself is in his late teens. Jee-Han thinks she's hiding something important, going by what he can see of her thanks to his abilities.
  • In Jodie Troutman's extended universe, Robyn, the matriarch of the Flint family is 46 but looks 30 because she discovered the Fountain of Youth when majoring in Historical Archaeology.
  • Taken to an impossible extent in the Touhou Project fan comic Four Seasons House, thanks to its central conceit. In this story, Suwako Moriya is said to be Sanae Kochiya's birth mother... and yet Suwako is a grade schooler while Sanae is in high school. This is remarked upon in-universe, and the rest of the cast is just as mystified by it as the reader.
  • Welcome to the pharmacy!: Amusingly Played With; due to a misunderstanding regarding Elena’s nephew and Strong Family Resemblance to her mother, Jessica thinks Elena’s mother is her very elderly sister. Elena is quick to clear up the confusion.

    Western Animation 
  • Francine Smith from American Dad! is in her 40s, and has had two canon kids (three counting Greg and Terry's daughter, Libby), and yet, she can pass for a girl in her 20s. Brought up during "My Morning Straightjacket".
    Jim James: Hey, is this your daughter?
    Stan: Wife.
    Jim: Damn...
  • In the GoodTimes Entertainment cartoon Curly: The Littlest Puppy, Hayley's mother doesn't look too much older than her oldest brother Michael who's stated to be 16 and all together the parents have five kids.
  • On Daria, this was the title character's reaction upon meeting Brittany's stepmom.
    Daria: Um, hi. I didn't know Brittany had an older sister.
    Ashley-Amber: She does? Cool. Maybe we can get manicures together.
  • Queen Glimia from Dave the Barbarian. Same reason as Jane Jetson and Crystal Zilla below.
  • Bean and her mother Queen Dagmar from Disenchantment, this is a justified example as Dagmar had been in suspended animation, having drank poison that turned her into a stone statue and therefore never aged even though 15 years have passed.
  • In a couple of made-for-TV movies about The Flintstones, Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm have grown up and have kids of their own, yet the Flintstones and Rubbles still look very much the same.
    Wilma: We're going to be grandmothers, Betty!
    Barney: Very young grandmothers, I might add. Right, Grandpa Flintstone?
    Fred: Right you are, Grandpa Rubble.
  • A male example in The Great North: Beef Tobin was in his early twenties when his first child, Wolf, was born. As a result, present-day Beef and Wolf, who is himself now in his twenties (and a newlywed to boot), could feasibly pass as brothers.
  • In The Jetsons, Judy's 16 while Jane's in her mid to late-30s, but they look to be more or less the same age.
  • Kim Possible and her mother, Anne, look pretty much identical to each other, with a few exceptions: Mrs. Possible is slightly taller in height, has a more pinkish-color to her skin, her hair's shorter and a lighter shade of red, and she's got blue eyes instead of green eyes. There's also this exchange from the Mother's Day episode;
    Dr. Drakken: And so, Kim Possible and her... sister? Hm?
    Mrs. Dr. Possible: Is he hitting on me?
    Kim Possible: Nah, sidekicks really confuse him.
  • The Legend of Korra: Korra's mother Senna only looks slightly older than her. Senna has some faint wrinkles around her mouth but still looks like she could be Korra's twin. See for yourself.
  • Although nothing really calls attention to it, Rusty and Rocky Spokes' dad in The Loud House easily looks more like their older brother than their dad.
  • Crystal Zilla from My Dad the Rock Star, who looks barely older than her teenager daughter Serenity.
  • Reversed in The Owl House, where Eda is significantly Younger than She Looks due to a curse that causes her to prematurely age as one of its side effects, and thus appears to be just as old as her 70 something mother Gwendolyn.
  • Daphne's mother from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated doesn't look too different than her daughter.
  • Mrs. Ridgemount from Stōked. Let's give an example: look at this picture. One of these women is a middle-aged woman with three kids, the other is a girl in her late teens and the middle-aged woman's daughter. Guess which is which.
  • In Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race, this is what Kelly assumes. Her daughter Taylor is understandably confused.
  • A rather strange case in Totally Spies!. The mothers of the main trio don't start out with too strong of a resemblance to the girls (but you could easily tell who was related to who) in their debut appearance. But by the time of their second appearance, the moms have gone through a major redesign and now look pretty much identical to their daughters (just older). This left many viewers scratching their heads.
  • June Darby of Transformers: Prime has a high school aged son (Jack), but could easily pass for a girl in her twenties.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Keith's mother Krolia could easily pass herself off as his older sister. In a flashback to shortly after her son was born, she only looks a little bit younger than she does now. Her species appear to be rather Long-Lived.

    Real Life 
  • WWE wrestler Alexa Bliss. Any time she posts an image of herself with her mother she gets a lot of comments on how they look like sisters.
  • Brazilian volleyballer Virna Dias had a son at the age of 20, and when he had reached said age, both could easily pass as siblings.
  • Kikuko Inoue and her daughter posed as schoolgirls for an ad promoting headphones specifically made to listen to anime songs. Not only Inoue is believable as a classmate of her own daughter, this also goes on to show why she's called the "perpetually 17" voice actress.
  • Singer Tom Jones fathered a son when he was only 17, but his son could easily pass for being a younger brother.
  • Actress and model Sofía Vergara was only 19 when she had her son (and only child), Manolo, but whenever the mother-and-son are seen together, they could easily pass for siblings — in fact, Vergara has remarked that she actually likes it when people mistake her for being Manolo's sister rather than his mom. She's also remarked that there have been times where people mistook them for being a couple.
  • This picture of a woman and her twin daughters set the Internet ablaze, as many who saw couldn't tell at all which one of them was the mother (the woman on the left, if you're wondering). This was aided by the fact that she's also an Absurdly Youthful Mother — the mother was only 19 when she had her daughters, and at the time that the photograph was taken, the twins were 16 while their mom was 35. The rest [the mother] attributes to good genes and good self-care.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mom Looks Like A Sister, Mother Looks Like A Sister


Mrs. Dr. Anne Possible

Dr. Drakken assumes that Kim's mother is her sister. It's not hard to guess why.

How well does it match the trope?

4.96 (27 votes)

Example of:

Main / MumLooksLikeASister

Media sources: