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Overnight Age-Up

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When "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" gets played too literally.
The reverse of Fountain of Youth, this is a scenario where Applied Phlebotinum (frequently in the form of a wish and/or a Physical Attribute Swap with someone older) turns one or more children into adults. Hilarity Ensues, and the kids either fumble around awkwardly in their post-pubescent bodies, or learn An Aesop about adult responsibilities and/or not being in too big a hurry to grow up.

Can also include a young adult character or one in early middle age becoming elderly. This process may result in an Age-Down Romance when the aged character gets infatuated with someone of their new age or vice-versa.

Supertrope to Plot-Relevant Age-Up. Not to be confused with Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. Sometimes combined with Older Alter Ego or She Is All Grown Up. See also Rapid Aging and Older Alter Ego.


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  • A commercial for GoodNites shows a young boy waking up several years older, his pyjamas having been ripped up due to his increase in size.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Ah! My Goddess, Skuld gets to be an adult for a day due to Phlebotinum Breakdown. Her older sister, Urd, goes the other way. Despite being desperate to return to their original forms, they find ways to make the best of it.
  • In Case Closed OVA: "The Stranger in 10 Years," Haibara finishes an antidote drug to make Conan/Shinichi 17 again, but he was sick at the time. Once he took the drug, he didn't turn back into a 17-year-old Shinichi, he's a 17-year-old Conan Edogawa warped 10 years in the future. Thankfully, it ends up being a dream.
  • In Castle Town Dandelion, Hikari's Royalty Superpower can temporarily manipulate any living organism's biological age. One of the effects of this power is this. (Of course, the other effect will be Fountain of Youth.)
  • Guu from the anime Haré+Guu can appear as an adult when she needs to. Since she normally appears to be the same age as ten-year-old Haré, this counts. Sorta. It's quite possible neither age is her true form.
  • The anime series Himechan No Ribon (Hime-chan's Ribbon) is largely based on this, as Himeko frequently uses the magic ribbon to appear as an adult.
  • Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts; after all, there's a reason Tokyopop released the English translation under that name, and that reason is this trope being a major plot element.
  • A wish of this kind that comes true forms the premise of Living for the Day After Tomorrow — and turns a nearby adult into a kid as a side effect.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • As partially mentioned above, the entire premise of Marvelous Melmo is based around age-changing pills: the titular character, a nine-year-old girl, can use some of those to age herself into a 19-year-old girl or an old lady, as well as turn into a baby.
  • Inverted in Nanaka 6/17, where, thanks to Trauma-Induced Amnesia, 17-year-old Nanaka believes that she's actually six years old and was magically transformed into an adult.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: In a large Shout-Out to Marvelous Melmo, Negi's Non-Human Sidekick Chamo produces a jar of candies that alter one's age (specifically, the red ones for older, blue ones for younger). Of course, when he uses them, several of his students notice that He is All Grown Up without actually recognizing him. Apparently, the pills are based on a spell Evangeline invented to make up for her body being stuck at ten years old. Once the gang gets more friendly with her, she provides them apparently for free (the knock-offs are expensive).
  • In One Piece, this is one of the abilities granted by Jewelry Bonney's Devil Fruit. She prefers to make her opponents younger, though.
    • There is a pill found on Fishman Island that ages whoever takes it by 10 years. Vander Decken, one of the villains, attempted to use it on a child to make her physically old enough to marry, though he ultimately failed to obtain such a pill until ten years later, when the target of his desires naturally reached that age. Related are the Energy Steroids, also found on Fishman Island, that the New Fishman Pirates liberally take to gain Power at a Price, the price being that they age to appear elderly by the time they're defeated and put in jail.
  • While not a true instance of this trope, it's played out exactly the same. An episode of Psychic Squad has Minamoto becoming hypnotized into seeing the three young girls he watches over as five years older — and much more irresistible — teens. This was to test if he really might be falling for them.
  • Lambo from Reborn! (2004) does this in spades with his Ten-Year Bazooka, turning him from a five-year-old Bratty Half-Pint into a suave 15-year-old Bishōnen. In one instance, he does it twice during a battle and turns 25 — and is a veritable powerhouse, to boot. However, the transformations only last for about five minutes. I-Pin has been hit by the bazooka more than once as well, and in one notable misfire, Gokudera actually became younger after accidentally being hit. One can only imagine the utter hilarity that occurred during the five minutes the adult Gokudera was where his younger self used to be.
  • In Rosario + Vampire the Token Mini-Moe Yukari wishes she had the Most Common Superpower the others in the Unwanted Harem has, so she comes up with this magical spell and is aged into a teenager and becomes a Hot Witch whom all of the boys drool over, complete with a large bust (though her boobs are still not as big as Kurumu's).
  • In one episode of Sailor Moon SuperS, PallaPalla switches Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon's ages around as a joke. A similar plot is present in the original manga.
  • Episode 18 of Sgt. Frog revolves around Natsumi being subject to a Transformation Ray that turns her into an adult. She's even more annoyed when she finds it's part of a scheme on Keroro's part to enter her in a beauty pageant/manzai contest and win a rare model kit.
    • In the manga, it's just a straight-up beauty contest, in which Natsumi experiences a Wardrobe Malfunction as she reverts back to her original age — all in front of horny geeks.
    • A later episode has the Bipolar Momoka experience this same growth, at the same beach, but there is no contest for her to partake in. Instead, it's some sort of Iron Man competition.
    • Another manga-only story has Natsumi being hit with the same ray at a ski resort, being hit on by the same creeps from the beach, and another wardrobe malfunction, courtesy of explosives.
  • In To Love Ru Yami, once, use her Shapeshifter abilities to change her bodies size and measurements to look more mature and adult-like. Although her choice to remain in her child-like form is most likely due to the fact that it is comfortable when in combat.
    • Nemesis in the sequel Darkness, most of the time, to tease Rito and give him a taste of Marshmallow Hell.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 10 episode 28, one of Planet Gray's monsters uses an aging gun to turn Careful S. and Kalo into senior citizens.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU Fifth Week Event Sins of Youth combined Fountain of Youth with this, with a combination of Chaos Magic and an "aging ray" turning all the teenage heroes into adults and all the adult heroes into kids.
  • Subversion: Darkdevil from Spider-Girl, according to his origin and mind-trip sequence. Subverted in that he's had to live as a twenty-something for a while and seems to prefer it that way.
  • In Green Lantern, teenage Green Lantern Arisia's power ring responded to her desire to be older and aged her into a twenty-something literally overnight.
  • In the original Guardians of the Galaxy, Starhawk and Aleta have three children. The children are captured by Starhawk's and Aleta's father, and turned into psychic vampires brainwashed to kill them. In the process of draining their parents, the children age to adulthood. Fortunately, they are stopped and realize what they were doing, but the shock starts the aging process again, aging them to old age and then dust.
  • Shazam!: Captain Marvel, a boy who transforms into an adult superhero. This actually causes a problem when he gets involved with a superheroine his own age, and they have to break up because their teammates, who don't know Marvel's civilian identity, would take it the wrong way. That may have been the origin of Major Might's very brief affair with Amazonia in Love and Capes.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • From Kirikou and the Sorceress Karaba, the Sorceress, kisses Kirikou and he goes from a cute boy to a handsome man in a matter of seconds.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Jake in the Animorphs book The Familiar. He wakes up as a young adult in a world where the Yeerks control the Earth. By the end of the book, he's back to being a young teen, though.
  • In Five Children and It by E. Nesbit the older four get annoyed with how they have to chase their baby brother around all the time, so they wish him into a grownup. Unfortunately, he didn't learn all of the lessons associated with growing up, such as not being a total prat, and turns out to be even more annoying this way.
  • In Flossie Teacakes Fur Coat, the eponymous 10-year-old longs for the fun and independence of her older brother and sister. When she puts on her sister's fur coat and does up the magical third button, she becomes the 18-year-old Floz.
    • There's a boys' version by the same author, Hunter Davies, entitled Come On Ossie, featuring a boy called Oswald who turns into an 18-year-old when he borrows his grandfather's medal. There are several sequels to both books.
  • In Freaky Friday, a mother and daughter change places for a day, giving us a Fountain of Youth and an Overnight Age Up in the same story.
    • In the sequel, set several years later, the father and brother also trade places (sequel to the book, not the film).
  • In Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Sophie is cursed by a witch and turned into an old woman.
  • In the children's book Magic by the Lake by Edward Eager, the protagonists are four siblings (three girls, one boy). Two of the girls wish themselves into teenagers and go on a double date, and their brother and sister have to chase them down and undo the wish before the date goes too far.
  • In Replica #16, Happy Birthday, Dear Amy, Amy, Number Seven mysteriously ages into her twenties overnight on her thirteenth birthday. The rapid aging was caused not by Amy's unusual genetics, but by some sort of implant, and she reverts to being a teen when it is destroyed.
  • In A Tale of Lost Time by Evgeny Schwarz, four lazy kids wake up as old people one day as four evil wizards have stolen all of their wasted time for themselves.
  • In The Thief Lord, there is a magical merry-go-round that can act as either a Fountain of Youth for those who ride it, or provide this effect, depending on what animals you ride. At the end of the book, one character chooses to age himself from a young teenager to a young adult — and is stuck that way.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The TV Show Big John Little John was half this trope and half Fountain of Youth as the titular character switched back and forth between childhood and adulthood at least once an episode.
  • Doctor Who: Jo Grant is aged into old age when caught in the effect of the battling time flow analogues created by the Master and the Doctor. She gets better.
  • Isabelle from The 4400 goes from being an infant to being twenty-something over the course of an end-of-season montage. She turns out to be super-intelligent but naive. She begins a relationship with Shawn, which her father finds out about. Father is outraged, taking the view that she is not legitimately an adult.
  • In the Gilligan's Island episode "Meet the Meteor" (Ep.2.32), a meteor lands on the island and emits cosmic rays, causing all of the characters to age rapidly.
  • This is the main power of the Old Dopant in Kamen Rider Double. When the Old Memory is destroyed, the effects are reversed.
  • A variation on Manifest as a plane takes off in 2013 for a simple three hour flight. When it lands, the passengers are rocked to discover it's now 2018. Thus, from their perspective, all the people they meet are now instantly five years older while they stay the same. The biggest example is 10-year old Cal coming face to face with his twin sister Olive, who's now a grown teenager.On the other hand the passengers all look the same as they did before the flight leaving which would understandably seem just as strange to those who know them.
  • Merlin used a spell to turn himself into a white-bearded elderly version of himself a few times—and it wasn't just a glamour, as he became noticeably more crotchety and complained about old-person maladies while under the spell. The last scene of the series finale reveals that he eventually got there the hard way.
  • On Midnight, Texas, a woman dies while giving birth in the supernatural town's church. The main characters are thrown when the child goes from an infant to a toddler in minutes. She's a were-tiger and by the next day, has become a fully grown teenager.
  • Power Rangers:
  • Smallville has an episode where two kryptonite-infected teenagers hook up at a party and have a week later. Clark and Lana end up taking care of the child as he rapidly ages from infant to child before exploding from the effects of rapid aging.
  • "Brief Candle," from season one of Stargate SG-1, finds Jack O'Neill infected by Goa'uld nanites which send him flying into old age.
  • Star Trek:
    • First used in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Deadly Years", in which the Enterprise crew discover a planet where the colonists are afflicted with a rapid aging syndrome and are affected by it themselves.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation does the "adults becoming elderly" version a few times:
      • In the "Unnatural Selection", the Enterprise receives a distress call from the USS Lantree, where they find everyone dead from rapid aging, and must find the cause before scientists on a research colony suffer the same fate.
      • "Man of the People" has Deanna aging as a side-effect of a psychic ambassador using her energies to influence the outcome of his mission.
  • Supernatural:
    • After gaining human form upon her essence's escape from her primordial prison, Amara ages from a newborn to adult woman over the course of a few episodes, consuming souls to fuel the process.
    • The fifth season episode "The Curious Case of Dean Winchester" involves a poker game played using years as stakes; Dean doesn't fare very well in the game and ages rapidly. He gets better.

    Video Games 
  • At the end of Eternal Ring, the God-child understanding what death is due to his sorrow over Lyta's death causes him to instantly physically mature into an adult.
  • The Old status effect in Final Fantasy V continuously lowers the affected character's level, weakening them and turning their hair white. Strangely enough, it also affects Cool Old Guy Galuf.
  • Getting hit by a Magician's spell without armor in Ghosts 'n Goblins turns Arthur into an old man.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time to an extent. Link goes to sleep for seven years, aging gradually, but it's instantaneous to him and the player.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask lets Link turn Cucco chicks into grown roosters in an instant using the Bremen Mask. This is significant because their owner, Grog, felt that not seeing the Cuccos grow up was the only true regret he had in the face of Termina's imminent destruction. The Fierce Deity Mask, when worn, makes Link taller, look more like an adult, and his battle cries are taken from his adult form from Ocarina of Time.
  • Played straight in the video game series The Sims. The characters "poof" from one age group to another once the requisite time has passed. In the first game this only applies to babies becoming children - children never become adults and adults never grow old - but from the second onwards it affects everyone.
  • The Age-O-Matic spray in Tomodachi Life turns kid Miis into grown-ups. There's also the opposite effect in the Kid-O-Matic spray. Kid Miis who want to get married will ask the player to turn them into adults before they can.
    • Done more literally with baby Miis — they age up one year a day. Once they are fully grown, you can choose to have them stay on the island, and thus age like a normal Mii. Before you do so, you have the option to change how old they are. The game sets them as children by default, but you can make them grown-ups. You can even make them older than their parents.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the rebuilt Colony Omega rapidly ages the reborn Miyabi, Cammuravi, Mwamba, and Hakt to be near Homecoming. The process is seen on-screen when the reborn Ethel uses it to become physically old enough to fight again.

    Web Comics 
  • A few downplayed examples in Brother Complex. The first is with Rose, who certainly grew up far more than she should for the one year Jack was abroad. Not just in body, but in intellect as well when the teacher calls her over to write on the blackboard during one session. The second is with Eclaire over the course of three weeks after she takes up Mimi's offer to receive the same benefits she and Rose did.
  • In a storyline in Kevin & Kell, Coney and Nigel use the time machine to age themselves from babies to adults so they can spend one day as adults before Nigel moves away. A funny moment is when Coney spits a whole bunch of teeth and says "Baby teeth".
  • These downloadables (with pay) from DreamTales Comics.
  • Marcy and Francis in PvP both undergo instant age-ups in response to certain events (having sex for the first time, Francis deciding to leave home when the office relocates to Seattle, etc.) They instantly "level up" into their new ages, complete with a display of their changed stats. It gets lampshaded by other cast members.

    Web Original 
  • Known on DeviantArt as "Age Progression", and is fairly common on that website.
    • This entire collection is full of sequences with this trope in effect.
    • Inverted even more commonly with "Age Regression".

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Musta Been A Beautiful Baby", Dr. Robotnik invents the Decrepitizer to age Sonic into a senior so Sonic will be too old and feeble to escape him. Unfortunately, Scratch and Grounder accidentally put the machine in reverse, turning Sonic, Tails, and eventually Robotnik into babies. At the end of the episode, Sonic and Tails are aged back to their normal selves, while Robotnik is aged into a senior.
  • Sunni Gummi is turn into an elderly em... Gummi bear after Lady Bane steals her youth in one episode of Adventures of the Gummi Bears. This is how Bane remains young after more than 100 years.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: After Richard mixed-up the Daisy the Donkey cereal with a muscle vitamin, the Watterson kids experience an accelerate puberty, which ends up with Gumball and Darwin turned into adults.
  • American Dad!: Stan pulls one of these on Steve (who had already been regressed to a young child by Francine) with an aging serum, but adds an extra dose to age him to 21 years old in an effort to dodge dealing with another child going through puberty. He put in too much, resulting in Steve transforming into an old man.
  • Used also by Numbuh Two in Codename: Kids Next Door, who has a crush with Numbuh Five's big (evil) sister and repeatedly ages himself so he can get close to her.
    • Numbuh One was turned into an adult once by the Delightful Children in a particularly sad example: all operatives must be decommissioned when they turn 13, and not being a child anymore means that One must leave the KND. At least until his Big Damn Heroes moment at the end of the episode.
  • Three episodes of Dexter's Laboratory deal with the mental mechanics. In one, he wishes to stay up late to watch scary movies, so makes himself older. But thanks to Dee Dee's antics, he overshoots, becomes elderly, and is unable to stay awake to watch. In the second, he is too small in size to ride amusement park attractions, and ends up giving himself a case of size change instead. And in the third, he becomes a teenager... but instead of becoming a handsome lad, he becomes an absolute nerd with pimples and crooked teeth.
  • Duck Dodgers: In "Duck Codgers", Dodgers and the Cadet are infected with spores from a Martian plant that causes rapid aging in Earthlings, and must find an underground spring on Mars whose waters are the only known cure. Oddly enough, the spores have an opposite effect on Martians, causing Marvin to grow younger when he gets infected as well.
  • In The Fairly OddParents! episode "The Big Problem!", Timmy wishes he were grown up, then almost loses his godparents, who can only grant wishes to children.
    • In another episode, Timmy wishes to be a teenager so he can ride on a rollercoaster. It turns out that his 16-year-old self is so ungodly handsome that everybody, guys and girls chase him constantly. Even his evil babysitter Vicky, who doesn't recognize him, falls madly in love with him!
    • In the Made-for-TV Movie Channel Chasers, Timmy does it to himself on an year by year basis using a magical remote in order to find the hard limit to having Fairy God Parents to remove the magic from another magical remote Vicki took from him. Wanda does it again to restore Timmy to his normal age after Cosmo ends up turning him into a baby.
  • Final Space: In Season 3, Ash gets aged up from a teenager to a young adult courtesy of Invictus in addition to gaining a second eye — the show's animation style makes it a bit tricky to tell, so dialogue from the characters explicitly confirms Ash has aged up.
  • Grossology: In the episode "Oldie But a Goodie", Abby is tricked by Lance Boil into activating a device that causes her to age at 6000 times the normal rate. Initially getting taller and more mature-looking, she eventually develops white hairs and starts becoming elderly. Ty to stop Lance and reverse Abby's change before he uses his new weapon on the rest of the city.
  • Jorel's Brother: After swapping ages with his school bully, he and his friends loses their youth.
  • Jumanji: Happens to Judy and Peter Shepherd in the episode "An Old Story".
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series, "Skip": Tired of being treated like a kid, Lilo uses an experiment that lets her skip ahead 10 years at a time to become a teenager, then a grown woman. Unfortunately, she finds that she's been gone all those years, and after the second time-skip, bad guy Dr. Hamsterviel has managed to take over the Earth.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode Growing Up is Hard to Do, the Cutie Mark Crusaders get magically transformed into adult mares when they wish on a magical flower. If Apple Bloom's wish is anything to go by, it made them as old as their sisters.
  • Peter Pan & the Pirates: In the two-parter "Ages of Pan", some cutting remarks from Captain Hook inspire Peter to try giving growing up a try. Unfortunately, as Peter grows older in a manner of days and stops believing in Neverland, the land starts to fade away.
  • Rocko's Modern Life. Rocko, Heffer, and Heffer's Grandfather are on a cruise filled with senior citizens when they cross The Bermuda Triangle, which alters their ages. Giving us a mix of Fountain of Youth and this trope, all the elderly revert back to young(er) adulthood, the ship's crew become babies, and Rocko and Heffer become elderly.
  • This was the premise of the Rugrats special 'All Growed Up' that spawned the spinoff series All Grown Up!
  • Scruple became and adult after one of Gargamel's spells goes wrong in "Gargamel's Second Childhood", an episode of The Smurfs.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants, Plankton once developed an instantaneous aging ray.
  • In the ThunderCats (1985) episode "Trouble With Time," Tygra wanders into the Cave of Time where he ages into an elderly man. This is reversed by having him drink from the Geyser of Life.


Video Example(s):


A Tragedy of the Ages

The Delightful Children has caught Numbah 1 and turn him into the worst thing he could imagine, into one of the things they've been fighting against... an adult.

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Main / OvernightAgeUp

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