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Pick on Someone Your Own Size

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"Sideshow Bob? (groan) I'm only ten, and I already got two mortal enemies!"note 
A situation where an adult villain fixates on a teenager or an even younger kid as his Arch-Enemy because of some twisted logic that only makes sense to them. It's not a smart reason, but it's there, and it's convincing. It's not because of some past personal grudge, not Because Destiny Says So, not because he wants the hero's MacGuffin, and definitely not because Luke, I Am Your Father (Fan Fiction notwithstanding). Somehow, someone half their age (or less) has really gotten under the villain's skin, so the only thing they can do is return the favor. And if the heroes have a habit of resisting and defeating this villain, expect them to become even more fixated on them as they struggle to comprehend their defeats. This trope may exist to ensure that the audience takes the villain seriously, rather than laughing it off as merely two kids fighting. For the protagonists, it's also very intimidating to be pitted against a grown-up who would have far more power, resources and experience than they do.

If this trope is said by another character, said villain may turn their attention to them and retort with a simple "Like you?", leading said character to realize they were in over their heads with their remark. This phrase is often used in the context of the strong picking on the weak, but that isn't exactly this trope: this is specifically about adult villains fixated on kids and teenagers.

Prone to persuade the impressionable hero "We Can Rule Together!"

Expect "Not So Different" Remark and If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!.

Although most villains tend to focus on teen heroes of their own sex, intergender examples are more common than you might think, as many of the examples below show.

Often a sub-trope of Driven by Envy. The Dean Bitterman or Sadist Teacher can cross into this territory if they have it in for a specific student in particular. Naturally, if a series focuses a lot on the Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World and/or Recruit Teenagers with Attitude Trope, bad guys like this will likely appear. See Intergenerational Rivalry and Animal Nemesis. Contrast Older Hero vs. Younger Villain, where the age relationship is reversed.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Gundam:
    • Ramba Ral from Mobile Suit Gundam is shocked when he discovers that the White Base's crew, including Gundam pilot Amuro Ray, are so young.
    • Kamille and Jerid in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Camille is also the victim of a beating by a Titans MP in the first episode. Later in the episode, he steals a Humongous Mecha and comes after the MP, saying "Wanna know how it feels to be picked on by somebody bigger than you?".
    • Chronocle Asher is mocked for being beaten by the 13-year-old Uso Evin in Mobile Suit Victory Gundam. This troupe also led to the suicide of a Zanscare pilot, who couldn't handle the shame of being defeated as well as the fact that a mere child had been forced to fight.
    • Setsuna and Ali in Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Ali manipulated Middle Eastern children so that they would kill their parents, become Child Soldiers, and fight a jihad that would eventually destroy their own country, the Kurdish Republic. Setsuna was one of the children who survived. Years later, Setsuna has grown up to pilot a powerful mech, Ali has become a mercenary, and it goes without saying they're not too pleased to see each other. When season 2 comes round, Graham gets into the act as well, so Setsuna now has two people "his own size" picking on him.
  • Gozaburo Kaiba molded Seto into filling the role for him in Seto Kaiba's Backstory to Yu-Gi-Oh!.
  • Gauron's fixation on Sousuke in Full Metal Panic! takes this trope to irrationally extreme levels. Killing Sousuke or being killed by him — either suits him just fine. It should probably be mentioned that it's worse than that — it's irrational to the point where he actually wanted to kill Sousuke when he was eleven and canonically wanted to rape his dead body. C'mon, the boy is at least forty years younger than him — you'd think he'd cut Sousuke some slack. It also gets even creepier when one realizes that their countless encounters are most likely not entirely coincidence... and that Gauron is heavily implied to be stalking him, actively choosing missions/jobs that would put him in a position to see his "precious boy."
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Team Rocket has an obsession with defeating Ash and stealing his Pikachu. He's a ten-year-old, and they're in their early twenties.
    • May was unlucky enough to get on the bad side of prima donna coordinator Harley, who subsequently became fixated on humiliating her and beating her in every contest she participated in. Like Ash, May is only ten, while Harley is no younger than his late teens.
    • Pokémon Adventures is logically better since it's actually Team Rocket's Leader offering Red a lieutenant's position in Team Rocket since Giovanni realizes that Red kicks ass and would be a valuable asset.
  • Hisoka from Hunter × Hunter towards Gon and Killua. Although he is shown trying to resist the urge to kill them, and "enjoy the fruit" when they become stronger and "ripen". And if that sounded creepily like a pedophile that's waiting for young boys to grow up, it's supposed to.
  • In D.Gray-Man, Tyki is noticeably older than Allen (who is 15), but is very obsessed with killing him. Sure, The Earl ordered him to eliminate Allen, but he is quite noticeably very eager and excited with the idea of fighting and killing him; during their fight on the Ark, he said, "This is giving me the thrills! I'll break you, one more time, with this hand!"
    • An interesting case shows up with Road and Allen. In terms of appearance, she looks younger than him, but in reality, she's actually older than him. And has kissed him once on the lips.
  • In Get Backers, Takuma Fudou (age 28, and called an "old man" by a lot of other characters) towards Ban Midou (age 18). Fudou became obsessed with Ban back when Ban was, at oldest, 16 years old. Initially, Fudou's obsession with Ban is simply explained by Ban to be because he's mad at Ban for ripping his arm off. the series goes on, it becomes more and more evident that Fudou's obsession stems from much more than just being pissed off about losing a limb from a fight. In fact, later on, he even manages to get a fully functioning, good-as-new arm from Kyouji Kagami...which Kagami even tells him is really what he wants, right? Except even after eliminating the reason he should be so obsessed with Ban, he still goes after Ban and tells him his greatest happiness and desire is to continue to fight him forever. Fudou's obsession with Ban is so irrational, he even tells Ginji that he hates him because "when you're around, Midou doesn't even notice me. Midou's eyes are not on me, because you're around!"
  • In One Piece, since Luffy is just a teenager, many of his opponents are usually much older than him. There's Buggy the Clown, who in addition to despising Shanks (Luffy's friend/mentor) also hates Luffy for beating him in battle once.
  • Moriaki-sensei sees Hotori as her "second natural enemy" in And Yet the Town Moves.
  • Yuu of Seraph of the End has the centuries-old vampire Ferid fixate on him at age 16.
  • Assassination Classroom: Akira Takaoka fixates on Nagisa Shiota, a middle-schooler, as an Arch-Enemy just because the kid beat him at his own game and humiliated him in his introduction arc, even going as far as trying to murder half of Class 3-E with a deadly virus in retaliation.

    Comic Books 
  • Albion: Invoked by Ian Eagleton, once the Kid Hero known as Eagle-Eye, Junior Spy in the pages of the British comic book Smash! in the 60's and 70's, regarding his relationship with his adult Arch-Enemy Grimly Feendish. While Played for Laughs in the original comics, since it was a humor strip, Eagleton was badly traumatized from having spent his childhood fighting a gleeful, sadistic murderer, to the point that as an adult, he's become an agent for the British government tasked with imprisoning not just Feendish, but every other extraordinary individual in Britain, evil or not, all in the name of social stability.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin uses this trope in one strip against Barbaric Bully Moe. Moe's response is that he doesn't pick on other kids his own age, because they fight back. Calvin acknowledges that there's a certain immoral logic to that answer.
  • While the adult Green Goblin originally fixated on the then-teenaged Spider-Man because he thought Spidey would be an easy target, the Goblin soon became obsessed with the idea of making the much younger Peter Parker the "heir" to his legacy as the Green Goblin, seeing in Peter Parker the traits he wanted his heir to carry on, but found lacking in his own son.
  • The Time Trapper of the Legion of Super-Heroes first appeared to have no reason to menace the Legion other than a severe dislike for teenage superheroes. Later, this evolved into several elaborate retcons. These retcons include that he was fighting Mordru in a game of 4th-Dimensional chess and that he was Cosmic Boy.
  • A rare example of an adult male villain and a teenage female heroine can be found in Spider-Girl, where the adult Hobgoblin that used to clash with her dad returns to torment May Parker.
  • Having already become extremely wealthy with his inventions, the brilliant Wizard sought a new intellectual challenge and decided that capturing the then-teenaged Human Torch would be a worthwhile test of his abilities. Although he initially started out just hating Johnny Storm, it didn't take long for the Wizard to develop a mad-on for the entire Fantastic Four, particularly Reed Richards.
  • Inverted in the Darkhawk comics, where the teenage Chris Powell makes it his mission to make life hell for crimelord Phillip Bazin, who's harassing his district attorney mother and policeman father for investigating Bazin's illegal activities.
  • While Deathstroke of the DCU is an equal opportunity criminal mercenary, he holds a personal grudge against the Teen Titans (and former Teen Titans) who are all much younger than him — especially Dick Grayson. This all started when the H.I.V.E offered him a contract to kill the Teen Titans. He dismissed the contract out of hand, and the H.I.V.E. passed the contract onto his estranged elder son, Grant. Grant, blaming the Titans for everything that had gone wrong in his life, accepted chemical enhancements that would make him equal or surpass Deathstroke. The effects of the drugs caused Grant to die, even as Deathstroke had been trying to talk him out of the job. Blaming the job, and by extent the Titans, for the loss of his son, Deathstroke swore to take up the contract Grant had died trying to fulfill.
  • The premise of Avengers Arena is Arcade trying to re-establish villain cred by trapping a bunch of teenage superheroes in Murderworld and make them fight to the death.
  • There was a period in The '90s, mostly but not entirely in comics by Chuck Dixon, where Two-Face decided he hated Robin more than Batman. While this mostly meant Nightwing, he wasn't averse to taking shots at Tim Drake.
  • Spider-Gwen features Cowboy Cop and Inspector Javert Frank Castle develop an obsession with capturing Spider-Woman and bringing her to "justice".
  • Crazy Quilt started out battling the Boy Commandos, before shifting his focus to Robin: not realising that more than one teen wore the Robin costume. Of course, given Quilt's motivation for becoming a criminal involves him being almost blind, perhaps this isn't surprising.
  • Ultimate X-Men: After Wolverine's death in Ultimatum, Sabertooth started going after the clawed Canuck's son Jimmy Hudson.
  • Justice League of America: Dr. Arthur Light began his villain career as one of the earliest foes of the Justice League, but gradually became better known as an enemy of the Teen Titans as well as a few other child or teenaged heroes. Rather than menacing, it served to make Light look pathetic, with his lowest point being his defeat at the hands of the nonpowered Little Boy Blue and his Blue Boys. This eventually caused Light to develop an intense resentment against junior heroes, culminating in him killing a Kid Hero named Sparkler during a mission as part of the Suicide Squad.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In another rare intergender example, the ''Quirk of Fate'' fanfiction series, a Spider-Man Alternate Universe Fic where Mary Jane Watson was bitten by the radioactive spider instead of Peter Parker, has the teenage heroine becoming first the object of lust of an adult Doctor Octopus, and then becoming his archenemy when she flatly rejects him.
  • Mary Jane seems to have really bad luck with this whenever she becomes a superhero. Another series, Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With The Light, set in a separate universe, has the Brothers Grimm develop a weird, Batman/Joker-like fixation with her as the "straight woman" in his performance art, and deliberately stages kidnappings and robberies to attract her attention and force her to fight him.
    • And the Brothers Grimm isn't necessarily even the only one. Jack O'Lantern, alias Steven Mark Levins, has developed a psychopathic obsession with his teenage nemesis for continually interfering in his fun and coming to represent everything he hates about the world.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Election, Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) is a high school student who is running for school council. Her ambitious, over-achieving personality grates on one of her teachers, Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick), who becomes obsessed with ruining her run for election, and by extension her life.
  • A female example comes from the film version of The Wizard of Oz when the adult Wicked Witch of the West becomes obsessed with destroying the teenage Dorothy Gale, who accidentally killed her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East. Since the Witch of the West also wants the Witch of the East's ruby slippers, which just happen to be stuck to Dorothy's feet, she has double the reason to want Dorothy dead.
  • In a distinctly non-humorous example, Christabella, the leader of the evil cult in Silent Hill, is revealed near the end of the movie as having had an extreme vendetta against her sister Dahlia's daughter, who was born out of wedlock. After ten years of her daughter being put through hell by the children of other cult members, Dahlia decides to allow Christabella to 'purify' her daughter. This ends exactly how you would expect.
  • Taken to an extreme extent in Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, which initially features the villain against a newborn baby.
  • The Hitcher:
    • The original film is a textbook example of this. After young teenager Jim Halsey manages to thwart serial killer John Ryder's attempt to add him to one of his list of victims, Ryder becomes completely obsessed with stalking Halsey and killing or being killed by him. Ryder himself looks to be around 40 - 50 years old.
    • The 2007 remake turns this into an intergender example by adding Jim's girlfriend Grace Andrews to the mix. Ryder eventually murders Jim and puts all his focus on Grace.
  • The film I Know What You Did Last Summer features an intergender example with the crazed fisherman killer Ben Willis obsessed with killing the teenage Julie James and her friends for accidentally hitting him with their car.
  • A female example occurs in the film Drop Dead Gorgeous when beauty pageant contestant Amber Atkins is targeted by her jealous rival Becky Leeman. When Becky's attempts to drive Amber out of the competition get her killed, her mother Gladys goes crazy and becomes obsessed with trying to murder the teenage Amber.
  • Despite having apparently unlimited power over sleeping people, Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street typically only goes after teenagers. And even when he was human, he targeted young children.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off: Ed Rooney's disproportionate obsession with taking down Ferris Bueller is pretty much the only thing that makes him a proper villain; if he stayed within his jurisdiction as Ferris's principal and just punished Ferris for constantly skipping school and breaking rules, you'd have to side with him.
  • A female example occurs in Teaching Mrs. Tingle, with the title character having it in for teenage student Leigh Anne Watson for having many of the opportunities she never did, and trying to make Leigh Ann's life miserable as a result.
  • An intergender example occurs in the Jamie Lee Curtis / Lindsay Lohan remake of Freaky Friday, where Lohan's character is being taught by an old flame of her mother. Said teacher never got over being dumped by Curtis's character, and he takes out his grudge on her daughter. Curtis's character doesn't believe her daughter's claims until their bodies are switched and then experiences it for herself.
  • Patchi from Walking with Dinosaurs 3D tries invoking this when he sees the Hesperonychus attacking an Alphadon. But they decide to go for him instead only to be chased off by his mother.
  • The Karate Kid Part III: The main villains of this movie are Terry Silver and John Kreese, two adult karate senseis who conspire to psychologically terrorize teenager Daniel LaRusso as revenge for Daniel defeating Kreese's protégé back in the first film which lead to all of Kreese's students walking out on him and his dojo closing down.

  • Snape and Harry in the Harry Potter books, due to Harry's being the spitting image of his dead father in numerous ways, whom Snape did not get along with at all because they both had a crush on the same girl. In spite of this, it turns out that Snape, who has been one of the good guys after all, had been watching out for Harry and helping him all along. Helping Harry survive and get to the point that he can defeat Voldemort, that is; Snape still very much wanted to make life unpleasant for Harry.
    • Lord Voldemort on the other hand thinks that it's Because Destiny Says So, not realizing that the prophecy that drove him to hunt down the boy was the self-fulfilling kind and that it's precisely his obsession with it that makes him engineer himself a perfect Arch-Nemesis. His unhealthy conviction in the boy's significance and threat leads to some increasingly stupid moves, each of which makes the boy more and more dangerous, which in turn feeds the obsession until this chain reaction explodes right in V's noseless face.
    • Snape seems to have no excuse when it comes to Neville, but if you think about it, had Voldemort gone after Neville's parents that night instead (the prophecy could have been about either Harry or Neville; Harry ended up as the Chosen One because Voldemort chose him), Lily would still be alive. Yes, that's messed-up logic, but Snape is a messed-up character.
    • Similar with Lucius and Harry, as he does seem to pick on Harry. Like father like son, eh?
  • Valkyrie Cain seems to piss off almost all the evil hit-men in Skulduggery Pleasant, such as the Vampire Dusk (who is pissed because she gave him a permanent scar across his face), the Hit-man Billy-Ray Sanguine (who hates her because she stole his razor blade and later gave him an ability removing injury) and the attempted murderer Vaurien Scapegrace (who blames her for his arrest). Interestingly, all three men eventually lost interest in killing her for different reasons.
  • An intergender example is between the adult Mr. Hagen and the teenage Jenny Jeffers in R.L. Stine's The Babysitter series of novels.
  • Mrs. Dubose in To Kill a Mockingbird.
    • Bob Ewell attacking Scout.
  • Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights focuses his revenge on the children of his rivals once the latter are dead.
  • Miss Havisham in Great Expectations uses Pip as a proxy for the man who left her at the altar. Only at the point of death does she realize just how unfair she has been to both Pip and Estella. Not only age and gender but also social class factor into the power disparity: Havisham is a very wealthy dowager; Pip an orphan apprenticed to a blacksmith.
  • A Little Princess: All the adults and Sara.
  • Warrior Cats: In the novella Redtail's Debt, Tigerclaw orders Redtail to attack the WindClan apprentice Sorrelpaw, who's accidentally strayed across the border. When her mentor arrives, he rightfully calls out the two full-grown warriors for attacking a young apprentice on her own who's just made a mistake.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A rare adult female to male youth example comes on Married... with Children, of all places, where a bitter middle-aged librarian becomes the enemy of a young Al Bundy. Thirty years later, when Al returns to the library to return an overdue book, the now elderly librarian is still there and ready to renew the enmity with the now middle-aged Al.
  • Female example: Corrupt Corporate Executive Danielle Atron becomes obsessed with locating the teenage Alex Mack and exploiting her mutation for scientific purposes on The Secret World of Alex Mack.
  • There are multiple female and intergender examples on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of the most memorable being Principal Snyder who openly admitted to getting a "warm, tingly feeling" from making life hell for Buffy.
  • In Japanese drama Shōkōjo Seira, based on the book A Little Princess, Sadist Teacher Mimura Chieko practically takes delight in bullying Seira, screaming and slapping Seira when she does something that she doesn't like. She even admitted right to Seira's face that she despised her. However, we can see where this irrational hate of Seira comes from. Chieko was once a classmate of Seira's late mother and had an inferiority complex about her. Seira's mother was well-loved, kind, pretty, and popular and it really didn't help that Seira is very much like her mother in every way.
  • 30 Rock has an intergender example where the older one is a main character: Jack regards his boss' teenage granddaughter Kylie Hooper as the main obstacle to him becoming CEO of Kabletown, and when asked about their relationship simply identifies himself as her nemesis. She shares his attitude.
  • In Raising Hope Jimmy's young daughter Hope and his great-grandmother "Ma-Maw" frequently fight over the last piece of taffy. Jimmy's father Burt says that he wants to have a baby rival when he's Ma-Maw's age.
  • In Quantum Leap, one rather unbalanced woman named Leda Ader made life hell for a little girl named Abigail Fuller because she believed that Abby was involved in her own daughter's disappearance. She wasn't. Leda was so persistent in her efforts to destroy Abby that Sam had to Leap into her life three times in a row to save her. In the end, Leda snuck into Abby's house and slit her own throat with Abby's kitchen knife to frame her for murder. Sam as Abby's attorney proved her innocence, ending the threat Leda posed to Abby for good.

    Video Games 
  • Kingdom Hearts II: Axel is initially a bit too keen on becoming best friends forever with Roxas (who is only 15- or rather, his soul is 15, Roxas himself is only less than a year old). After Roxas left, Axel goes into this trope full throttle, and many many scenes where it looks like Axel is unhealthily obsessed with defeating and taking Roxas back. This was eventually explained in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days: The relation between Axel and Roxas (and Xion) is shown to be more of a Big Brother Instinct of Axel's towards his younger cohorts, who are both only a few days old at the beginning of the game. By the end of the game, however, Axel's role as the "big brother" of the gang starts to get rather murky ...
  • Metal Gear: although Solid Snake isn't a teenager (he was in his thirties), Revolver Ocelot is a lot older than him, and is really really obsessed with fighting and defeating him. Some of that obsession might be due to the obsession he had with Big Boss, but that was understandable because everyone wants Big Boss.
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness: Vyers (also known as Mid Boss) constantly challenges Laharl to fights, and sees him as a rival (though Laharl hardly thinks of him as such). This is because he was testing Laharl, trying to get him to become a strong and caring overlord because Laharl was still quite young.
  • In Xenosaga, this is what the relationship between Albedo and Junior looks like. Of course, it turns out that Junior is actually the same age as him.
  • When Hinoken/Mr. Match is defeated by Lan/Netto in the Mega Man Battle Network series, he becomes determined to beat the kid in a rematch and becomes a recurring foe throughout both the anime series and the games they're based on.
  • Present in some form or another in pretty much every Final Fantasy title. To demonstrate, the Massive Multiplayer Crossover Dissidia Final Fantasy, starring the main hero and villain from the first 10 titles: The oldest hero with a known age is 21. The youngest villain with a known age is 24.
  • Happens twice in the Jak and Daxter series:
    • Said word-for-word by the villain to Daxter in Daxter, while the villain is transforming into a monster twice his original size. Daxter's response is a nervous chuckle and the comment, "Yes, well... technically, you are actually a lot bigger."
    • In Jak X: Combat Racing 31-year-old Razer has it in for 19-year-old Jak. Jak literally tells him to pick on someone his own size.
  • Present in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, where adult Ganondorf takes on child Link years after he was defeated by the Hero of Time in Ocarina Of Time.
  • Dr.Eggman, an elderly Mad Scientist is the arch enemy of the 15 year old Sonic the Hedgehog.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: The heroine, Ruby Rose, is a 15-year-old Little Miss Badass who thwarted a store robbery perpetrated by Roman Torchwick, a man in his late twenties/early thirties. He really doesn't like her for that.

  • In Elwood, D.W. (yes, that D.W.) and her friends, who are around eight years old, occasionally have to deal with Baron Nefario, a fully-grown villainous nobleman who is their enemy for a reason which is never revealed to the readers. Although the comic leaves it ambiguous whether he is a real person or a figment of D.W. and co.'s imagination, and if he is real, whether he is actually an evil person or if that is a figment of their imagination.
  • One of the stranger examples comes from Sonichu, where the evil Mary Lee Walsh is obsessed with ruining the "Love Quests" of Christian Weston Chandler, to the extent of sending evil super-powered monsters and brainwashed mind slaves after him. Her motivation for doing this is because...because...uh...For the Evulz...?

    Web Original 
  • While Dream from the Dream SMP (21 at the time) started out as an antagonist to L'Manburg as a whole, in Season 2 he became completely fixated on TommyInnit, who was 16 at the time. He started seeing Tommy as the source of all attachment on the server, believing that, by controlling Tommy, he could control everyone else as well. This led him to make Tommy's life a living hell by forcing his best friend to exile him, psychologically torturing and gaslighting him for weeks, constantly threatening to destroy his discs if he didn't obey, destroying L'Manburg, destroying his house, framing him for the destruction of the Community House, taking him and Tubbo hostage, and if Punz and the others hadn't intervened, he would have killed Tubbo in front of Tommy after he outlived his usefulness, and locked Tommy up in Pandora's Vault to ensure he wouldn't be able to escape Dream's torture again.
    Tommy: Our story isn't over Dream, but it will be.
    Dream: I don't think it'll ever be over. You're too fun.

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: While one could say that the immensely powerful adult Captain Planet is the eco-villains' Arch-Enemy, he's around relatively rarely, and it's no secret that they absolutely hate the Planeteers. Most of the group are teenagers (Kwame, Linka, and Wheeler) or children (Ma-Ti). Gi, who is implied to be in her early twentiesnote  is the only exception. None of this keeps them from doing nasty things to their underage nemeses (up to and including attempted murder) constantly.
  • South Park:
    • Rather than an adult opposing a teenager, we instead get a little kid opposing a teenager. It's also inverted, in that Kid Hero Cartman is the one who's determined to get even with the teenage villain Scott Tenorman.
    • This is inverted again when at the end of the episode everyone realizes that Cartman, embodying the Not-So-Harmless Villain trope, is not a Jerkass with occasional cruel moments like everyone thought, but rather a complete psychopath.
  • Fairly common on Teen Titans, partially due to the fact that they're kid heroes. Sometimes their villains actually are old people (Mad Mod being a prime example).
    • Slade has an obsession with Robin based on both spite and admiration. At first, he wanted to blackmail Robin into becoming his apprentice. After that fails, Slade seems to just want Robin dead, but still seems fascinated at the same time.
    • After Cyborg infiltrates HIVE, Brother Blood sees him as his archnemesis. Unlike Slade, Blood just straight up hates the kid and covets his power because Cyborg is the only one Blood could never mind control. It had a bit of irony in that Cyborg was one of the larger characters in the series while Blood was rather wiry.
    • Melvin says the trope name upon confronting Monsieur Mallah and then commands Bobby — a giant teddy bear — to beat the crap out of the killer gorilal.
  • Plasmius and Danny on Danny Phantom— Apart from being Jack and Maddie Fenton's son, Danny was the only human apart from Vlad with ghost powers, which was reason enough to attract Vlad's attention.
  • Zhao and Prince Zuko on Avatar: The Last Airbender. What, does Jason Isaacs just hate kids with scars?
  • Present but with a twist with Dr. Drakken and Kim Possible. The gender relationship is quite uncommon, and Drakken discovered much later that she's the daughter of the former best friend who was the main cause of his descent into villainy. This doesn't come to light until Kim's self-starting heroism has made her his Arch-Enemy on her own merits.
    • Another twist is that the conflict is sharper and more personal between Kim and Shego (whose exact age is unclear but definitely closer to Kim's), who does the actual fighting on Drakken's behalf.
    • Also there is the rivalry between Ron and Monkey Fist who hates Ron for being the true chosen one rather than himself.
    • Not to mention, Ron's battle with both Warhok and Warmonga.
  • Sideshow Bob and Bart in The Simpsons, quite literally.
    • The reason why Bart specifies that he has "two" mortal enemies? Due to some Noodle Incident, he has apparently also made an enemy of Dr. Demento.
    • On a lesser scale, Principal Skinner is another of Bart's enemies, with their rivalry being compared by Lisa to the enmity between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty, or between Mountain Dew and Mello Yellow.
    • An episode has Lisa being antagonized by a substitute teacher (Amy Poehler) because she thinks Lisa is one of the "popular girls" that pick on bookworms like her (not knowing Lisa is one herself). After hearing that, Lisa forgets her problems because now she knows that someone actually thinks she's popular.
  • Female example: Vexus' obsession with Jenny on My Life as a Teenage Robot.
  • An intergender example occurs in the Phantom 2040 cartoon with the heroic young Kit Walker Jr., son of the previous Phantom, and the villainous adult Rebecca Madison, widow of the man who killed Kit's father. To be fair, Kit does pose a serious threat once he becomes the Phantom himself.
  • Zim to Dib in Invader Zim qualifies, although not in the literal sense — they are the same size. Even by Irken standards, Zim isn't a child, though you could make the case he should be considered one mentally, and while it was Dib who actually kicked off their conflict it has become apparent that Zim's fixation goes beyond merely considering him a threat. Without that conflict, he loses all motivation.
  • Vicky to Timmy (or children in general) in The Fairly Oddparents, and Mr. Crocker towards any child.
  • Van Kless towards the titular Generator Rex.
  • Ben 10: Vilgax initially had a very logical reason to go after then ten-year-old Ben - he wanted the Omnitrix from him for his own purpose, and couldn't care less about what happened to Ben once he would have it. However, after accumulating several failures against him, he ends up hating Ben and wanting to kill him as much as to get the Omnitrix.
    • Similarly, Hex developed a grudge on similarly young Gwen/Lucky Girl, and made her his Arch-Enemy after she foiled his original plot.
    • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: It's unclear exactly what Ben Tennyson did to piss off Will Harangue, but the pundit seems single-mindedly determined to make his life a living hell.
  • Danger Mouse uses this phrase to a gorilla who was conjured as a proxy to DM's evil alter ego (episode "The Good, the Bad and the Motionless"). The gorilla shrinks to DM's size, which gives him the idea to defeat it by saying "Pick on someone bigger than you."
  • Bob's Burgers: Louise Belcher is only 9 years old. Her Sitcom Archnemesis, Logan, is in his mid- to late teens. That doesn't stop Logan from openly threatening Louise physically. "Large Brother, Where Fart Thou?" has Logan chase Gene and Louise down to give her a painful (and smelly) wrestling hold; the only reason he lets her go is because Gene takes it for her.
  • The Cuphead Show!: The Devil, an adult, wants to steal the soul of Cuphead, who is (at most) an adolescent. As time goes on, the repeated/failed attempts to obtain said soul result in Cuphead becoming a huge Berserk Button for the Devil.