While Peter Pan is not the first of his kind — an eternally young trickster in a Fantasy Land — to grace the world of fiction, Peter Pan can be considered a Trope Codifier for many when it comes to this general character. Many of the criteria for this trope as follows:
- They are Older Than They Look, often taking the form of a child or teenager but staying just below the physical and mental capacity of adulthood, as they Never Grew Up. Sometimes this is in their blood, being some type of The Fair Folk or other magical beings, while in other cases it is in what they eat or whatever world they call home. Being eternally young, they are often stunted behavior wise, making them come across as a Manchild or are Innocently Insensitive, a Sociopathic Hero if it is really prominent.
- They act as The Trickster, with their propensity for playing pranks and other forms of mischief ranging from harmless to questionable to malignant.
- The power of flight. The ability to fly is often used as a metaphor for a child's capacity to imagine, freedom from gravity the ultimate form of rebellion from Earthly concerns and the ultimate way to play. In some cases, they bestow this ability on their companions.
- Usually keeps exclusively to the company of children. In positive terms, they are their protector, looking after them when their parents are unable to and keeping them company when they are lonely, similar to an Imaginary Friend. If negative terms are set-in, their motivations are usually more selfish and malignant, getting children in trouble by tempting them to misbehave, or worse; taking them away from their family and loved ones off to whatever twisted Never Land they hail from, robbing them of their loved ones and their ability to grow-up, possibly for all of eternity.
- References to the Elizabeth Tower (sometimes still called "Big Ben" by the uninformed), because it is iconic to the Disney movie, and the Disney adaptation is the most famous.
Compare with the other Captain Ersatz/Expy Stock Parodies including Alice Allusion and Off to See the Wizard. See also Monkey King Lite for another subtrope of The Trickster that's exuberant and airborne born from a classic fairy tale.
- Played with in The Eternals, where the perpetually young Sprite is clearly designed to reference Peter Pan, and he is aware of this, but claims it's the other way around — J.M. Barrie based Pan on him, after he decided to show off for the mortals one night.
- Invoked in Young Justice, where Superboy compares himself to "Peter flippin' Pan" because the genetic engineering that made him prevents him from aging past puberty.
- In Superboy a bit after learning about his inability to continue aging S.B. comes across an odd disappearing atoll which is home to unaging children and soldiers from across the centuries who "fight" one another with food and other items without trying to actually harm anyone. S.B. is at first glad there are other immortal children he can hang out with while his friends age but he doesn't intend to leave his hero work and stay there so the island is lost to him.
- Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians bears many resemblances to Peter Pan. He is an eternally young youth who treats much of life like a game and has the power of flight. Even his origins — drowning in a frozen lake while saving his little sister from the same fate — is similar to a story that was allegedly the inspiration of the Peter Pan character.
- Word of God confirms that Link's iconic green tunic and elf ears from The Legend of Zelda franchise is a send-up to Peter Pan. This is especially true in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, where he lives among green-clad children who never grow up (though Link himself ages like normal humans) and has a Tinkerbell-like Fairy Companion.
- The titular NiGHTS from the NiGHTS into Dreams games bears many resemblances to Peter Pan, most notably being defined by their ability to fly and the freedom it embodies. In NiGHTS: Journey into Dreams, this is much more prominent, being a carefree trickster with the voice of young boy (according to Word of God anyway) and the Clock Tower iconic to the game resembling the Elizabeth Tower to accent it.
- Homestuck and Peter Pan tie in quite a lot. The troll-ified version, Pupa Pan, is actually pretty similar to our version, up to and including Indians (referred to in-comic as "weird aliens"). Tavros Nitram enjoys the story and dreams that one day Pupa Pan will swoop in and take him on a magic adventure. In-universe, it might be based on the revolution led by Tavros' ancestor, the Summoner, which in turn caused Alternia to become a planet inhabited only by children.
- Tavros himself may count. His lusus is part fairy, after all, and his imaginary friend Rufio is based on the character of the same name from Hook. Tavros' FLARP outfit also seems to have pulled some inspiration from the original Peter Pan's costume. In the dream bubbles, he is functionally immortal, and he's been shown to enjoy his fair share of trolling. Plus, his surname backward is "Martin," the last name of one of the first actresses to play the role of Peter Pan.
- The Summoner and his alternate-universe self, Rufioh, draw pretty heavily from at least one Peter Pan story. They naturally possess the ability to fly, due to large wings. If the name didn't give it away, they're based on Rufio from Hook, just like Tavros' imaginary friend. Curiously, it's been suggested that Vriska's ancestor, Mindfang, played the role of Captain Hook to the Summoner's Peter Pan. She did, after all, lose an arm and an eye, similar to many stereotypical pirates.
- Sister Claire has a character named Magpie that's pretty much based on Peter Pan. When he comes into the story (via the Missing Moments tales), he's the leader of a flock of Bird Witches which are pretty much stand ins for the Lost Boys, quite playful and even helps those that are learning to fly by helping them "find their happy thought".
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- In the episode "The Ember Island Players", the gang see a an epic stageplay based around them and their adventures, starring exaggerated caricatures of themselves with a mildly inaccurate take on true events. In the case of Aang himself, he is played by a woman, similar to how Peter Pan is often portrayed by a woman in Real Life adaptations of Peter Pan.
- This also brings into various similarities between Aang himself and Peter Pan, like having been a child much longer than normal (having been a Human Popsicle for so long), his affinity to mystic forces (him being the Avatar predisposing him to general Spirit World weirdness), is prone to childish jokes (though he tries to keep his carefree actions from hurting anyone, feeling great remorse if it accidentally does), adopting a ragtag group of children as a surrogate family (Team Avatar) and antagonizing (physically) older men in positions of authority (Zuko, Zhao, Long Feng, Ozai, etc).
- Strange Hill High: In "The Lost and Found Boy", Mitchell, Becky and Templeton encounter an immortal schoolboy named Peter Dustpan who has been living in the school's lost and found room for over a century.
- Infinity Train: Grace is a passenger who pointedly defies the intent of the eponymous train (refusing to grow up mentally rather than physically), instead treating it like Neverland, and runs a cult that encourages other passengers to do the same (analogous to the Lost Boys).
- In his later years, Michael Jackson began styling himself after Peter Pan, doubling down on his Glurge Addiction and aiming to be as much of a Friend to All Children as his possibly could. Among other things, he converted his personal ranch into an Amusement Park for underprivileged kids (outright called the Neverland Ranch), motivated largely by his own miserable childhood.