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Psychic Children

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She was hovering blocks before she could read them.

Similar to Child Mage, where children are often adept in magic, kids often have telepathy, psychokinesis, and can see the paranormal. Psychic powers tend to be Emotional Powers, Psychoactive Powers, and prone to Power Incontinence, making children, who haven't yet learned to control their emotions and thus tend to experience them more powerfully, both more attuned to their psychic potential and more vulnerable to losing control, which is rife with dramatic potential. Characters with this ability tend to be Creepy Children even if benign, and their experience mucking about in other people's heads may have made them Wise Beyond Their Years (or their preternatural wisdom may have contributed to the development of their powers).

Along with psychic powers, these children might also be able to see and communicate with ghosts, spirits, poltergeists, and the other paranormal. Because of this, they are often used in teams, to find where they are, eliminate them, or find the cause of suffering for the vengeful ones.

These kids are also often held in captivity by sinister secret organizations, government agencies, and Mega-Corp firms in a Black Site because these organizations want to exploit their powers. They can also might be twins and have Twin Telepathy, along with being Creepy Twins.

The less lucky ones will end up in a mental institution on account of their persistent hallucinations.

In RPGs, expect them to take on the role as a Mystical Waif or Waif Prophet.

Related to Child Mage, but instead of having powerful psychic abilities, they are good at magic. Also related to Waif Prophet as they are often frail and act as messengers. Sometimes a product of a Bizarre Baby Boom.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • These feature prominently in AKIRA, including the title character. Psychic powers in this setting are at least partially drug-induced, and appear to be less destructive to pre-pubescents, which is why the secret government agency developing them prefers to use children as test subjects.
  • Nearly ever esper encountered in A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun is a teenager or younger. This is perhaps justified by natural born espers being rare, and all the children in Academy City are students taking part in an esper development program.
  • Crayon Shin-chan has an AU-story where Shin-Chan and Himawari obtains ESP powers as result of a passing meteorite, and needs to do battle with a villain with psychic abilities of his own. Being Shin-Chan, his best means of attack is to send mental projections of skimpily-clad young girls in bikinis at his opponent as a distraction.
  • In Code Name Wa Charmer, Naomi, Makoto, Yuji, and Kaede all have psychic powers of some sort and make up the Supernatural Phenomenon Research Group of their school.
  • Kusuo Saiki from The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is a high-school student with every psychic power imaginable. He's less than happy about it.
  • Doctor Slump: Possibly one of the oldest examples when it comes to popular mainstream manga/anime, the Anime Chinese Girl Tsururin has psychic powers and is able to use telekinesis on herself and objects.
  • Dragon Ball: Chaouzu, who has an appearance somewhere between a Chinese Vampire and a baby, has telekinesis, though since his appearance remains constant over time, he might not be a child even in his first appearance.
  • Esper Mami is about an Ordinary High-School Student who one day manifests supernatural powers, including teleportation, telepathy, and telekinesis.
  • Yuuki from Fukai Nemuri No Hana is a teenager who carries the disturbing power of foresight in her dreams.
  • Pretty much every Gundam universe — with the exceptions of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing and ∀ Gundam — prominently feature many youngsters with psychic powers of one kind or another, most of whom end up getting turned into as Child Soldiers because of them.
  • The titular character of I.O.N gains the powers of telekinesis and levitation when she touches a strange blue stone.
  • Mai, the Psychic Girl: Mai Kuju is a 14-year-old girl with powerful psychic abilities. The Wisdom Alliance is a secret organization that wants to control the world. They already control four other psychic children and want to add Mai to their collection.
  • Toni and Mika from Miracle Girls are identical twins with the ability to teleport and communicate telepathically.
  • Night Head Genesis: Psychic abilities appear to manifest at birth. The brothers had trouble fitting in with other children as Naoya gets easily overwhelmed with being to hear everyone's thoughts (via touching people and objects). Naota is more in control of his powers due to being older but he loses his temper quickly and has a penchant for shattering windows and roughing people up with his powers when upset.
  • In Oshiete Nanoka, Nanoka discovers that she has the ability to hear other people's thoughts.
  • Pokémon:
    • Sabrina from Pokémon: The Series is this trope for a while. She's shown developing her powers very young, around five or six years old. There's quite a creepy subplot involving her dolls and toys...
    • Yellow from Pokémon Adventures can read the minds of Pokemon and has limited telekinesis. She is the youngest of the first-generation protagonists.
  • Many of the espers in Psychic Squad are children, but especially the core Power Trio.
  • The titular heroine of Psycho Trader Chinami is a young girl who possesses a psychic blast power, the ability to create barriers, and also develops a teleportation ability during the final battle. However, she can't control her powers and often causes explosions.
  • In Psyren, Ordinary High School Students Hiryuu and Ageha develop psychic powers after being exposed to Psyren's atmosphere.
  • Hitomi from Puni Puni☆Poemi is a 3-year-old who supposedly has the power to predict the future. Unfortunately, she only "predicts" things that are obviously happening right in front of her. However, one scene in which she senses that Poemi is on a rampage implies that her power is not prediction, but rather an ability to see things that are happening in other places.
  • One-shot character Satori from Ranma ˝ possesses the ability to read minds and has a habit of announcing what a person is thinking in order to cause trouble. He's based on a Youkai of the same name.
  • Spy X Family: Anya Forger is a very young girl who gained telepathy from a lab experiment. She can read the thoughts of people and animals around her, allowing her to know her adoptive parents' secret identities, eavesdrop on enemies, and cheat at school tests.
  • The protagonists of Thou Shalt Not Die are high school students with psychic powers who are forced to use their powers as Child Soldiers.

    Comic Books 
  • Liana from A Distant Soil falls under this trope. Though all Ovanans (and half-Ovanans like her and Jason) have psychic powers, she's an avatar and Jason is a disruptor, our two most powerful powers. Seren, the current avatar, is not a child, but is certainly very childlike.
  • Fantastic Four: Franklin Richards, son of Reed and Sue, exhibits full-on Goo-Goo-Godlike psychic powers from early childhood.
  • The heroine of the Misty annual story "Moonchild" is a young girl who possesses telekinetic powers like her grandmother before her.
  • Wonder Woman (2006): The sons of Ares from one story arc are a group of creepy kids who are quickly aged up from infancy and use their mental abilities to turn the people around them against each other.
  • X-Men:
    • Jean Grey's mutant psionic abilities first manifested when she was a child.
    • The Stepford Cuckoos are an attempt by the Weapon Plus Program and a sentient bacterial life form (It Makes Sense in Context) to breed an army of creepy psychic children to capture the Phoenix Force and wipe out all mutants.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm: Harry, Jean, and Maddie's powers all manifested in early childhood. In the former case, it mixed up with his accidental magic, and they didn't properly find their way out until he was 13. In Jean's case, they activated at the age of six and were felt across the globe, she was that strong, and spent the rest of her childhood working out how to control them. In the last case, she was raised as a Living Weapon.
  • Know Thyself: the Prelude: Before he was unplugged, at only nine years old, Harry could sense the general presence of Agents, had a feeling of Trinity's status as a redpill, somehow manages to make him and Trinity invisible to agents looking for her and has had multiple experiences that imply to him that the Matrix is a false reality.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Black Phone, the main character’s younger sister has a history of prophetic visions (inherited from her mother), which become useful when her brother is abducted by a serial killer.
  • Constantine (2005): The title character and Isabel and Angela Dodson all first displayed their psychic abilities as children. Unfortunately, these abilities helped them to see the half-demons infesting the Earth, resulting in both Constantine and Isabel being forced to undergo psychiatric treatment, Isabel later committing suicide.
  • Other than Neo, the Potentials from The Matrix all seem to be children. Their Technopathy isn't strictly a "psychic" power (until the sequel, when Neo gains the ability to affect machines even when unplugged), but their ability to manipulate the fabric of the Matrix is accorded similar mystical significance.
  • In Minority Report, three psychic children are "harnessed" to foresee and prevent crimes; chief among the kids is a girl who sees through a specific deception (which is instrumental in the plot).


By Author

  • Stephen King is a pretty big fan of this trope, with many of the Creepy Children featured in his books also having some form of powers to give a supernatural element to their creepiness. He's arguably one of the big popularizers of it in Western media.
    • His very first novel, Carrie, had the titular Anti-Villain Protagonist Carrie White as a teenage example of this trope, albeit one who had been so sheltered growing up that she didn't even know what menstruation was until she had her first period, and as a result thought she was bleeding to death. She also had nobody to teach her how to control her telekinetic powers except to fear them — and given that she's a bullied outcast at her high school, this ends in disaster for everybody. The Stinger reveals that a little girl down in Tennessee has similar powers.
    • Danny Torrance from The Shining has some very strong psychic abilities, at least by the standards of his universe. He has a limited ability to read the minds of those he is close to, an even-more-limited form of precognition, and a special vulnerability to haunted locales such as the Overlook.
    • Charlie McGee in Firestarter is a pre-pubescent pyrokinetic, inheriting the ability thanks to a government drug trial her parents participated in which also gave them (much more limited) powers.
    • The beginning of Dreamcatcher has Douglas "Duddits" Cavell, a boy with Down's Syndrome who has a power called "the line", which he winds up granting to the four protagonists after they save him from a group of bullies and befriend him. The rest of the book follows those four boys after they became grown men.
    • Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, follows Danny Torrance as an adult, his powers having been suppressed by alcoholism but coming back after he gets clean. The book also introduces a new psychic child in Abra Stone, a young girl with "shining" powers similar to Danny's.
    • All the inhabitants of The Institute are children with various psychic abilities (telepathy, telekinesis, etc). The protagonist possesses telekinesis (although he's only powerful enough to snuff out a candle without touching it).
  • John Wyndham did this twice with two different perspectives:

By Title

  • The protagonists of From the New World are children with the power of telekinesis.
  • In Galaxy of Fear, Tash Arranda is an untrained Force-Sensitive. Her powers cause her to be seen as weird and creepy, but they also help her out.
  • Anthony from It's a Good Life is only three years old and has complete control of everything.
  • Lensman: The parents of the Children of the Lens were the two most powerfully psionic humans in Civilization, their godparents were three Starfish Aliens who were the most powerfully psionic non-humans in Civilization, and Kit and his sisters still left them feeling as confused as a hen who had hatched a brood of ducklings.
  • The ability to sense ghosts is limited to children and teenagers in the Lockwood & Co. series. The Talent disappears when children enter adulthood.
  • Matilda: The titular character is a bright young girl who manifests psychic powers because her intelligence is being suppressed by her horrible parents, who try to keep her as dumb as possible. Her powers fade in the end when she's finally able to challenge herself academically.
  • In Maximum Ride, the youngest member of the group (Angel, at only six) can read minds, often by accident. Later, she also gains the abilities of breathing underwater and mind control.
  • Ubik is set a world where psychic powers are so common and well-studied that there are companies dedicated to recruiting psychics. It's stated if the parents are psychic, the children usually are too. However, they don't necessarily inherit their parents' powers. On the contrary, they often develop Anti-Magic to cope with the overwhelming effects of their parents' psychic fields, e.g. if a parent can see all the possible outcomes for an event, their child might have powers that make it harder to make accurate predictions. (This world works on Multiple-Choice Future, and people with precognition can see all the possible futures, with the most likely one being highlighted in some way. The corresponding Anti-Magic version still lets them see those futures, but without any indication which one is most probable.)
  • The Witches of Karres centers on three heavily psychic/magical children, sisters, from the planet Karres. The whole population of Karres are witches, but these three, and especially ten-year-old Goth, are the ones we see most of.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bo Adams from Believe possesses levitation, precognition, telekinesis and telepathy, among other powers.
  • In Firefly, it is implied that River had telepathic abilities at a young age, and that this was why the Academy "recruited" her in her early teens.
  • Olivia Dunham from Fringe was this as a child, although only after being treated with a pharmaceutical drug named Cortexiphane.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Bran Stark. It comes with being a warg.
    • Rickon Stark is not one to the same degree as Bran, but he does have a prophetic dream.
    • Like Bran, Jojen is a greenseer... but not a warg.
  • Pre-Island flashbacks in Lost imply that Walt Lloyd has nascent psychic powers, and that his stepfather feared him for this reason. This wound up becoming an Aborted Arc when he and Michael were written out of the show.
  • Stranger Things: Literally the entire plot of the first season revolves around either Eleven/Jane's escape or the disappearance of her non-psychic counterpart Will Byers. Her powers were granted by the government, who kidnapped children and experimented on them so that they'd develop psychic powers. Kali is another such example of this. In subsequent seasons, Will's experiences in the Upside Down have given him a psychic connection with the Mind Flayer.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions: The villain organization PSI (Parapsychologial Studies Institute) kidnaps children with psychic powers and brainwashes them into loyal minions.
  • Pathfinder: Yoon, the iconic kineticist, is a pyrokinetic preteen.
  • Shadowrun: Technomancers are a relatively recent phenomenon, and as such most of them are teenagers or even younger. Certain parties, such as Horizon Corp, are terrified about how their powers will only get stronger as they age.

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: The Omega program took in thousands of "undesirable" children and tested them for psychic potential, resulting in the Empire's psychic commando Yuriko being cloned over and over (in a less-powerful version) to augment their forces.
  • One of the classes of invader in Deception is the Psychic, which is made up of young girls who can telekinetically throw knives at you.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce has Emerald of the PMEC team and Sonar of SPICA, who seems to share a similar origin as Emerald. Sonar is SPICA's resident telepath and uses her powers to detect biological signatures. Emerald is so powerful that she actually becomes targeted by the Dark Force Army, who are seeking out items of magical power as part of their invasion of the Earth.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has the Forecaster, a kid living in the 188 Trading Post who can be paid to give ominous "forecasts" about the future, ranging from the climax to the player's personal fate.
  • In Final Fantasy V, one of the youngest characters and youngest party member, Krile, is able to see and speak to ghosts on top of moogles, chocobos, and dragons. She's also chosen as the recipient of Sage Ghido's psychic call. It's never explained why. Thankfully she isn't persecuted or exploited, although Ghido does give her a debilitating migraine.
  • In Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, a pre-teen Oracular Urchin named Sara can hear the thoughts of whichever person has been cursed by the cursed "Stone" spell tome, as she is the key to counteract it (only if she possessed the National Treasure "Kya" staff). In fact, she introduces herself to Leif by stating that she heard a voice pleading for help and telling her to join him: the voice belongs to Leif's Parental Substitute Eyvel, who's been turned into stone.
  • In First Encounter Assault Recon, Alma and all three of her children are powerful psychics. In the second game, there is an elementary school founded by Armacham that covertly operates a program to both detect and induce psychic abilities in elementary school children. This was so ethically questionable that the school's personnel and all its students were on the list of "evidence" to be destroyed by Armacham's Black Ops troops once the Fairport incident blew up in everyone's faces.
  • The entire party in Hoshi wo Miru Hito are youths that are capable of using varied psychic powers known as ESP, ranging from barriers to teleportation, in battle.
  • Due to being heir to the leadership of the First Sons, Alden Tate of InFAMOUS unlocked his telekinetic powers as a child, unlike most of the other Conduits in the game.
  • In the Mother series, the protagonists Ninten, Ness, and Lucas (along with some of the other main characters) are all Kid Heroes with psychic powers called PK or PSI in their universe.
  • Pokémon:
    • This trope is only played straight with Mossdeep Gym Leaders Tate and Liza, who look like young children (complete with Twin Telepathy), and maybe Caitlin, depending on which generation you're playing. All the other prominent Psychic-type trainers (e.g., Sabrina, Will, Lucian, as well as the Psychic trainer class) are at least in their twenties.
    • Some Psychic-type Pokémon (such as Mime Jr, Smoochum, Ralts, Kirlia, Gothita, and Gothorita) actually resemble children.
  • Psychonauts is set in a summer camp full of children with psychic abilities, with the explicit intent of training them to control their powers and finding candidates to become agents for the eponymous organization. Psychonauts 2 features some older kids who are in the Psychonauts' intern program.
  • The Zener Children of Second Sight are the primary (unwilling) research subjects for a program attempting to copy their abilities into adult super soldiers. However, adults can spontaneously develop psychic powers as well, as is the case with the main character.
  • Despite being only four years of age, Jung from The Secret World is one of the most powerful psychics in the game. Among other things, he's capable of sensing events all over Tokyo, reading thoughts quicker than he can speak, warding off roaming monsters by will alone, taking characters on a journey to the Collective Unconsciousness, and forcing any unwelcome visitors to forget how to breathe. Also, he has an extremely swollen-looking skull that he's a little bit sensitive about.
  • Silver the Hedgehog from the Sonic the Hedgehog series is an expert psychokinetic at 14 years old. That's young even by Sonic standards.

  • Awful Hospital: Willis claims that he can sense the 'pulses' of others and seems to possess other senses and abilities outside the range of human perception.
  • The Bully's Bully: The unnamed heroine appears to be able to sense bullying before it happens, allowing her to be there in time to try to prevent it.
  • Freakangels: Most of the action takes place long after they've reached adulthood, but the main cast used to be this and appear as such in flashbacks. They are in fact very much The Midwich Cuckoos as cynical, disaffected Millenials... during The Apunkalypse. This being a Warren Ellis work, it just gets weirder from there.
  • Mob Psycho 100: 14-year-old Shigeo "Mob" Kageyama possesses telekinesis, can make psychic barriers and imitate any ability he sees his opponents perform. Other child espers exist alongside him and showcase a variety of special abilities.
  • Mousou Telepathy: Aya is a high-school student who possesses the power of Telepathy.

    Web Original 
  • Generator from Whateley Universe is the youngest member of Team Kimba and looks like she's about ten. Her psychokinesis manifests as the ability to cast a psychic copy of herself into pretty much anything that's not too big. In the dreaded Dark Phase holographic simulation in "Ayla and the Mad Scientist", she takes out more power-armored foes than Tennyo.
  • Edgar and Eva, a.k.a. The Zimmer Twins, share these powers with their pet cat.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Psychic Child


Anya the Telepath

Anya has the ability to read peoples minds. This, however, also makes her find out about Loid's secret as a spy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / Telepathy

Media sources: