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Rapid Aging

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"[placing a hex on his victim] Tout, tout, through and about, your callow life in dismay. Rentum, Osculum, Tormentum. A decade twice a day."
The Warlock, Warlock

A trope used when a character undergoes aging more quickly than normal. It can occur anywhere from a matter of seconds to a matter of weeks.

Sometimes as a result of using evil (or sometimes merely questionable) means to preserve youth, or from an encounter with a dark force that causes immediate aging and deterioration, usually resulting in death soon after. This also isn't unheard of when leaving a Year Outside, Hour Inside setting. Frequently caused by a villain's own mistake or overreaching. Sometimes it happens to the good guys, in which case their comrades must Find the Cure! before it's too late.

If someone was using a Fountain of Youth that was destroyed, expect this to happen as they immediately become whatever age they should be. Not to be confused with Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome, a tragic affliction that affects hundreds of characters a year, especially in Soap Operas, usually so as to avoid the hassle of children in the cast or in the plot. Contrast We Are as Mayflies or Time Abyss. Usually a result of Cast from Lifespan, sometimes a result of Clone Degeneration. See also Plot-Relevant Age-Up. Rapid Hair Growth might ensue.


Note that the effect tends to be hard to justify in a strictly science-fictional setting. Hair, in particular, is essentially dead tissue; the grey or fine white hair that we associate with aging appears as old hairs grow and fall out, and new hairs grow in.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Bleach this is the core of Baraggan's power. Even in his unreleased state his touch can age his target enough to make their bones snap like twigs. When he unleashes his full power, anything that fails to get out of the way crumbles to dust in a matter of seconds.
  • At the end of episode six of Cowboy Bebop, Spike shoots Wen with a crystal that contains the energy that prevented Wen from aging. This neutralizes the effect, and he quickly becomes his true age. And since said age is hundreds of years old, Wen dies almost immediately after he's been shot.
  • One female Contractor in Darker Than Black, whose power is to assume any human appearance, must as the price of using her power age faster than normal.
    • Inverted with Amber, who appears to grow younger the more she uses her time-based powers.
  • Rem undergoes this in Dream Hunter Rem. She promptly gets better when the Victim of the Week revives her.
  • Ultear in Fairy Tail suffers this as a consequence of using a Dangerous Forbidden Technique to turn back time. Made all the more interesting that she spent decades of her life to turn time back for a single minute. And, that it actually became the turning point in a critical event.
  • Wrath suffers one of these after he dies in Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Vento Aureo:
      • Giorno Giovanna can inflict this onto plants via his Stand infusing them with life energy, as seen when he causes a tree to age and wither away.
      • The Grateful Dead, Prosciutto's Stand, unleashes a mist that causes those affected to age in mere seconds. In addition, its ability is heat based, meaning it affects men faster than it does women, as men have naturally higher body heats. However, this also means it's useless when used in cold areas, and ice cubes are an effective way of undoing the effects of the ability.
    • In Steel Ball Run, Gyro Zeppeli, through use of the Super Spin, is able to use the Stand, Ball Breaker, which has the ability to rapidly age anything it hits.
  • This happens in No. 6 whenever a bee hatches from the unfortunate victim. They age rapidly and die after looking in horror at their old, wrinkled features.
  • In One Piece:
    • This happens to Hody Jones and his crew after the side effects of using E.S.S. take hold. Vander Decken also attempted to use it in the past on Shirahoshi, who was 8 years old at the time, to try to age her up to be physically old enough to marry (even if not chronologically so).
    • Jewelry Bonney ate the Age-Age Fruit, allowing her to accelerate and reverse the ages of herself and anyone within her range at will.
  • In Persona 4: The Animation, Naoto's Shadow has an attack that causes its victims to rapidly age. Yu, Yosuke, and Teddie all fall victim to it before Teddie uses his Persona to restore their vigor and youth.
  • In Rave Master, a Child Mage does this to himself via a Dangerous Forbidden Technique to increase his magical power to fight against one of the most powerful villains in the series. It works, but he becomes an old man and dies.
  • Happens to an unfortunate boy in an early chapter of Rosario + Vampire, after he is bitten by the mermaids and has his life energy sucked out.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, Gray Lord's special ability, Pacifism, makes it so anyone who kills another in her presence rapidly ages until death. As both Ban and Merlin are The Ageless, they are immune.
  • Halcyform, a wizard who made a deal with Seigram for immortality, suffered this in Slayers when Gourry manages to destroy the Pledge Stone that kept Halcyform immortal. Before he could age completely, he blows up himself, his dead lover Rubia, and his mansion to bits.
  • Souji from Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, due to a side effect of his powers. Conversely, his older brother, Souichi, is de-aging.
  • Happen in Time Bokan series Zenderman. After Nyaravolta (the real Big Bad, an immortal cat that in the past has drank the magic elixir gaining a long life) was defeated, the Akudaman trio then took his container away from him and drank the elixir. Shortly afterwards his immortality wore off, and he instantly withered up and died.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, a Half-Human Hybrid born of a Ghoul and a human being a One-eyed Ghoul (essentially a Ghoul with only one kakugan and implied stronger abilities) is actually extremely rare. The more likely outcome is a child who is more or less human that lacks a Ghoul's need to eat human flesh and has greater physical capabilities...and a sharply decreased lifespan due to their genetics. They internally age at a faster rate than normal humans or Ghouls — they apparently have a far lower Hayflick limit. Arima for example suffers conditions associated with the elderly like glaucoma even though he's only about thirty.
  • In the Trigun manga, this is Wolfwood's base state; the experimental treatments that give him a Healing Factor and abnormal strength and reflexes also cause him to age at an accelerated rate, so that when we take him for thirtyish he's actually in his late teens...and given when the treatments were administered, this means he's aged over fifteen years in the last five. Slower than most of these, but quite irreversible.
    • Yet another way in which he serves as a foil to Vash.
  • This appears to be what happens to titan shifters in Attack on Titan. They seem to be Younger Than They Look (at least in the cases of Uri, Zeke and arguably Reiner) and since they only have a 13-year lifespan, rapid aging could have something to do with that.
  • In Yaiba, the Barrier Maiden Sayaka Mine survives being given a Kiss of Death by Princess Kaguya, but in exchange she gets drained of her Life Energy and is hit with this, along with many other women. She only recovers when Yaiba slays Kaguya in battle.
  • Used in Princess Mononoke. Plants rapidly grow and die in the Forest Spirit's footsteps.
  • Space Dandy episode "We're All Fools, So Let's All Dance, Baby". While dancing to the music from an old vinyl record, several characters age rapidly into old age.
  • Used as a plot twist towards the end of one episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Section 9 are on an abandoned oil rig converted to a lawless base for a paramilitary group, pursuing a girl named Eka Tokura—recipient of one of the first cybernetic implants—who had been kidnapped by them years ago (the paramilitary group are Technophobes) and now appears to be their leader. There are several questions surrounding the mission, such as the fact the girl in the picture doesn't seem to have aged in the decade or so since her kidnapping. The Major eventually captures the leader and discovers she's not augmented. The old woman who is with her—apparently her mother—is Eka Tokura. Though not clearly explained, it seems her early implants caused this trope as a side-effect, a result of the lack of knowledge of man-machine interactions at the time.
  • Played around in Sailor Moon SuperS with Queen Nehenelina. As the backstory reveals, the one thing she feared the most (as revealed by her Magic Mirror) is losing her beauty to age. Her Start of Darkness (and the corruption of her kingdom into what would become the Dead Moon) was her reaction to this. One of the effects of this was the creation of Zirconia: an "externalization" of her nightmares which allowed Nehelenia to maintain her youthful appearance. After Chibi-Moon undoes her magic with the Golden Crystal, Zirconia is forced back into Nehelenia, revealing that Nehenelia's true appearance is exactly like Zirconia's: an old, withered hag.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: Demihumans age differently from humans, growing as they become stronger and level up. Raphtalia, who begins the story looking like a ten-year-old girl, becomes a young woman in her early twenties after a few weeks of killing monsters.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: The cast ages rapidly in the episode where the Earth begins spinning uncontrollably fast when the aliens' spaceship gets caught in its orbit.

    Comic Books 
  • The vast majority of clones in comic books are rapid-aged, usually to match the cloning subject as part of a villain's plot (such as attempting to fool the heroes with a duplicate). It's tied into Cloning Blues and Clones Are People, Too since clones are often grown in test tubes, rapidly aged, and imprinted with personalities and memories. Exceptions (such as X-23) do exist, however these are indeed less common than the rapid-aged variety.
  • Extant in Zero Hour!: Crisis In Time used his powers to age most of the Justice Society members to their proper physical ages, some even to their deaths.
  • Xerek is a victim of this in The Incredibles
  • Happens several times in Thorgal — once through No Ontological Inertia, once through Reality Warping by the villain and once when a Timey-Wimey Ball (which allowed the villains to drink the same potion of youth over and over) gets broken. Most of the time the effects are utterly horrifying.
  • The 1945 Marvel Family #1 (the first team-up of all the Marvels) featured the origin story of Black Adam. He originally gained his powers from the wizard Shazam 5,000 years ago. After he gained his superpowers he decided to conquer the world and Shazam sent him into outer space 5,000 light years away. Black Adam spent the next 5,000 years traveling back to Earth at the speed of light, arriving in modern times. The Marvels tricked him into saying the word "Shazam", which changed him back into his non-powered form. Unfortunately for him his accumulated age caught up to him and he aged rapidly, turning into a skeleton.
  • The West Coast Avengers once fought a villain called Halflife, one of three superhumans recruited by Graviton as partners, along with Quantum and Zzzax. who could create an odd variation of it; if she touched a victim, the victim would age halfway to the point where he'd die of old age. Doing it several times in succession could age a victim such that he'd die within minutes. Fortunately, this effect had No Ontological Inertia, and a victim would regain his true age if Halflife was knocked out.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Dimitri suffers this when stripped of his Enerjak powers, bringing him back to his true 300+ year age. He had to rely on cybernetics to keep him going, eventually being reduced to a cyborg head in a jar.
    • In Sonic Super Special #8, Sonic falls victim to this. Snively zaps him with a ray that allows him to run even faster, but at the same time, ages him every time he uses his "Super-super speed". Also qualifies as a variant of Puff of Logic, as he doesn't start rapidly aging until Rotor informs the team of the ray's effects.
  • In the EC Comics story "Death Must Come!" (The Crypt of Terror #17), this happens in the end to a man who has been using special transplants to prolong his youth for fifty years.
  • Griffen Grey, a Glory Hound superhero and rival of The Flash found that his powers were causing him to age rapidly. He deliberately created a disaster so he could go out in one last burst of glory. Instead he died after learning his rival hero was his friend Bart Allen, and apologising to him.
  • Although not mentioned within the book, interviews with Tom Taylor confirmed that The Sisters were rapid aged to a particular point before being allowed to age normally.
  • Impulse: When Bart was born, his Speed Force connection did this to him. He was physically a teenager when he was chronologically two years old. His grandmother Iris later took him to the present day in order for Wally to "speed-steal" the source of his rapid aging.
  • Lucky Luke: In "The bride of Lucky Luke", Luke is hired to escort a convoy of women to their long-distance husbands. This is explained to him by the organizer, while a decrepit, cackling old man in a rocking chair listens in.
    Luke: What's so funny, old-timer?
    Old man: (angry) "Don't call me old-timer, I'm only thirty!" (dejected) "But this one time, I escorted a women's convoy..."
    • And he kind of has a point, as Luke has to deal with Women Drivers, mice, an escaped convict masquerading as a woman, tornadoes, and Irish cooking.
  • Max in Amulet. After being kept alive for fifty years thanks to his Amulet's Spirit, he ends up letting himself rapidly age to death after a combination of turning on the Spirit, and being called out by the memory of his deceased best friend.
  • In Spirou and Fantasio, the Count of Champignac has created a serum that makes people or animals injected with it age 70 years in an hour. Two thugs are tricked into taking it and end up as old men. The count tries to age them back, but decides to stop after turning them back into children.
  • Lori Lovecraft: This is what happend to Raoul Reichmann's victims when he drains Life Energy from them in Into the Past. If he drains enough, they age to death.
  • In Major Bummer, entering the time stream without protective equipment can cause this, as the protagonist finds out.
  • Elfes et Nains: Alyana reaches adulthood in the span of a few days after her birth.
  • In Legion of Super-Heroes storyline The Great Darkness Saga, the wizards of the Sorcerers' World summon a mysterious baby to help the Legion fight the Master of Darkness. In a matter of hours the newborn baby becomes a toddler, then a young child, and he doesn't stop growing fast until he has turned into a fully adult, white-haired Highfather.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: In the possible future in which Diana and Etta Candy find a way to derive the "L-3 Vitamin" from the spring water of the Amazon's Fountain of Youth which allows everyone who drinks it to regain and retain their physical youth, thus eliminating death from old age, Etta also develops an anti-L-3 formula which causes the effects of L-3 to rapidly reverse until the imbiber is their actual age.
  • In The Warlord, Jennifer Morger cuts off Vain Sorceress Motalla's access to magical energy. With no more power to keep her going, Motalla instantly ages into an old crone.
  • In Sasmira, Bertille starts aging faster as a result of traveling into the past.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side: "Suddenly, on a national talk show in front of millions of viewers, Dick Clark ages 200 years in 30 seconds."

    Fan Works 
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfette's Inner Beauty", Smurfette undergoes rapid aging as Hogatha had cast the Spell Of Syphonia on her to transfer Smurfette's youth and beauty unto herself so she can go on a date with the real Harlequin. Near the end of the story, Empath's True Love's Kiss breaks the spell, restoring Smurfette and Hogatha to their normal appearances.
  • In the Pony POV Series:
    • In the Dark World Arc, it's revealed Apple Bloom was inflicted with the Sunny Town Curse by Discord and, while able to do a lot of good with immortality (including redeeming Sunny Town and allowing them to all pass on), eventually asked Applejack to break the curse as she couldn't bear the negative effects of it any longer. Applejack does so and she rapidly ages to dust as her true age catches up with her.
    • This would happen to any of the Chaos Six in the same arc if they lost their Element of Chaos, as difficult as that is to happen. Twilight begins rapidly aging when Angry Pie takes her Element until Trixie's spirit gives her her own Element as a replacement, and the reformed Pinkie Pie begins aging rapidly, though much slower, after her Element is damaged and eventually dies from it, but not before using her remaining time to help as much as possible.
  • Justified in You Can Only Use Your Own. Since Chara never fully recovered from the buttercup poisoning, the years hit them really hard.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: In An Awkward Talk, when it's discussed how a "necromantic withering spell" works:
    The spell speeds up the organism’s metabolism and supercharges its cells, causing them to divide at a vastly accelerated rate, but the influx of nutrients from the environment remains the same.” Upon seeing the confused looks her explanation had earned her, she shifted mental gears and put it into words that Usagi would have understood, too. “The spell makes the plant age rapidly, but it doesn’t get enough food to fuel its growth, so it dies.”

    Films — Animation 
  • In Yellow Submarine, it happens to The Beatles and Admiral Fred in the Sea of Time - more than strictly necessary to overcome that Fountain of Youth effect.
  • Sophie in Howl's Moving Castle, as a result of an encounter with the Witch of the Waste.
  • This happens in Tangled when Flynn cuts Rapunzel's hair, thus losing its magic power. Since the source for keeping Mother Gothel young is gone, she ages to the point where she becomes a pile of dust in less than a minute. Her fall serves as Gory Discretion Shot.
  • Near the end of Disney's Hercules, Hercules jumps into the River Styx to get Meg's soul back, and being a river that only dead people are supposed to be in, it rapidly ages Hercules as he swims through it in a manner that could easily be Nightmare Fuel. However, this selfless act is what causes Hercules to get his godhood back, so he is unable to be killed when the Fates try to cut his life string, and he emerges from the River with his body back to its usual appearance along with the divine light that gods have.
  • In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Johnny Quick became a victim of this when he used his superspeed powers to create a portal for Batman to cross over into the Earth-Prime dimension in order to stop Owlman from destroying all reality.
  • In Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Tawny shows up after Billy and Clark defeat Black Adam and tells him that as punishment for his crimes, he's going to be transported so far from Earth that it will take 10,000 years for him to fly back. Faced with this fate, Black Adam chooses to say "Shazam" and turn back to his powerless form, which instantly ages into a decrepit corpse.
  • Played for Laughs (albeit dark laughs) in the movie Epic:
    Grub: What's it like, having such a short life cycle?
    Fruit Fly: (little kid voice) It's great, mister! When I grow up, (man voice) I'm going to (old man voice) wish I had done more with my life, sonny. (dies)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has an infamously creepy scene of the evil queen humanshifting herself into a hag as a disguise.
  • The villainess in The Hugga Bunch 1985 Made-for-TV Movie ages and dies in a matter of seconds when access to the "Young-Berry" tree is cut off. Aesop: You can't hold off death forever.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Dark Crystal:
    • Whenever creatures are drained of their essence and free will by the Skeksis, they appear older than they really are.
    • After getting some drops of her essence drained before the draining machine gets stopped thanks to the animals jumping at the Skeksis Scientist, Kira appears slightly older than before, being weakened and looking paler. She gets her essence back, but not all the effects are reversed. Her later resurrection by the urSkeks heals her back to normal.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, this is how Donovan dies when he drinks from the wrong Grail. "He chose ... poorly."
  • The curse placed on Kassandra by the title villain of Warlock causes her to age twenty years each night. Since she was about twenty years old already, this gives her and the warlock-hunting hero only three or four days to find and defeat the Warlock before she dies of old age.
  • Spock goes through this in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, as a consequence of being resurrected by the Genesis planet. His aging stops when he looks like Leonard Nimoy again, though, thankfully.
  • In The Hunger, this is the fate of any human who is turned into a vampire by the immortal Miriam. Upon being turned, their bodies and beauty are unravaged by time so long as they feed once a week and get enough sleep, but once about 300 years have passed, the decay sets in no matter what they do to stave it off — and worse, they can't die. For her current lover John, it takes just two hours for him to age fifty years, and it just goes on from there...
  • The movie Jack starring Robin Williams as a 10-year-old boy who has a disease causing him to age four times the normal human rate.
  • The Hong Kong film Wait 'Til You're Older starring Andy Lau, featuring a child protagonist who desperately wishes to grow up, and getting his hands on a prototype experimental potion that causes him to grow up overnight into Andy Lau. (Said potion also spilled on a small shrub, which turns into a gigantic tree whose roots spills into the middle of the streets the next morning, much to the surprise of the public).
  • The Fly films:
  • Ben 10: Race Against Time: Eon ages the Plumber guarding him in his Cryo-Prison to near-death, leaving him in a dissect green-greyish zombie-like state "in the blink of an eye".
  • In Bad Girls from Valley High, the three Alphalady Villain Protagonists suffer Rapid Aging. They believe that it's a curse wrought upon them by the ghost of a girl they murdered a year ago. It turns out the girl's grandmother did it using chocolates laced with a biological weapon. The Token Good Teammate who regretted the deed is the only one who avoids aging to death since she only ate two of the chocolates.
  • The Syfy (still Sci-Fi at that time) film Do Or Die featured a world where a percentage of the population had RAD or Rapid Aging Disease. It could be controlled and slowed with the drug Anzinol, and the 'clean' area infiltrators used Anzinol pumps. If a pump was destroyed, though, aging happened in seconds.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. This happens to Dorian Gray when he looks at his portrait.
  • In Snow White and the Huntsman, Queen Ravenna has remained youthful long beyond her natural time, but when her magic power starts slipping, her age starts to catch up to her. She regains youth and magic by draining years from a young woman's life, causing extreme rapid aging to the victim.
  • In The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, this is the price Koura pays for using black magic. Every time he does so (and at least once when a creation of his is destroyed), a part of him visibly withers and ages.
  • Beetlejuice - the Maitlands are summoned by Otho, but he accidentally casts an exorcism that causes them to quickly age to a dried-out mummy state.
  • The 1945 film The Man in Half Moon Street— and its Hammer remake, The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)— features a man using glandular transplants to extend his life. He ages rapidly when he can no longer get them.
  • In Excalibur, Morgana uses the magic she stole from Merlin to keep her looking young and beautiful. However, on the eve of the final battle, Merlin (in dream form) tricks her into repeating The Charm of Making, which ages her to an ugly old hag, so much that her son, Mordred, kills her on sight.
  • In Forever Young, the main character is cryogenically frozen for several decades. After he's thawed out, his age quickly catches up to him. It's all good, though; by the end of the film he's the same age as, and reunited with, his Love Interest whose apparent death 50 years ago triggered his decision to be frozen in the first place.
  • The clone troopers from Attack of the Clones are engineered to age twice as fast as normal humans. This way, they can be mass-produced as cannon fodder.
  • In Hercules Against the Moon Men, when Hercules stops the resurrection of the queen of the Moon Men near the end of the film, her body rapidly ages and decays into dust.
    Joel: This film has aged me...
    Crow: I know how she feels!
  • In When Evil Calls, Karen has has a crush on her teacher Mr. Dale, but he tells her that so long as she is his student, he will regard her as a child. She wishes to be older, and the wish ages her into decrepitude.

  • Double-subverted in The Picture of Dorian Gray. At first, Dorian's portrait does all the aging for him, letting him live his life as a gallivanting charmer - but when he can't take the portrait's honesty anymore, he stabs it, which causes him to age instantaneously to his true age: a decrepit, hideous old man. And he dies.
  • Babylon Babies, a Cyberpunk novel by Maurice Dantec. A woman is secretly infected with a viral weapon that kills by attacking the genes that control the 'cellular clock'; within minutes hundreds are killed as their internal organs die of old age.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Bilbo didn't age at all between finding the One Ring at the age of 51 and giving it up at the age of 111. Even after that, Bilbo doesn't begin to age again until the Ring is destroyed; after he's passed it on to Frodo, he remains as he was when he parted with it, and may have stayed that way indefinitely so long as the Ring continued to exist (even Gandalf seems not to know for sure, since Bilbo's situation is unique); after its destruction he becomes, in Galadriel's words, "ancient now, according to his kind".
    • It is believed that this would happen to all Ring-Bearers after the One Ring is destroyed, but it is never really proven, as apart from the Nazgûl all the Ring-Bearers still living when the One Ring is destroyed are either immortal or haven't held their Ring long enough for it to make a noticeable difference to their apparent age (With Hobbits becoming legal adults at 33, jumping to 52 would not be a significant age gap. The Nazgûl jumping from various ages to 3,000 would explain why they all disappeared with their master).
    • For Gollum, the implication is far worse. Being a Fish out of Temporal Water by 600 years, he instinctively knows what will happen to him if the Ring passes. His last plea to Sam is actually for one more drop of life. He will become dust when the ring is gone.
  • It is implied in Lost Horizon that this happens to Lo-Tsen.
  • Margaret Peterson Haddix's novel Turnabout had a scene of this. The protagonists are given an a drug to reverse the aging process and then a second was to have stopped it altogether at a given age. But, the second drug caused those who took it to age in die in seconds.
  • A man uses the power of a demon to do this to Wesley in the first story of the Angel short story collection "The Longest Night". He was dying of an incurable illness and got desperate to see his son grow up. So, he'd been stealing victims' years for himself at first, so he could stay young, and then when Wes comes to investigate, his years are transferred into the man's son, who rapidly ages, allowing the father to see him briefly as an adult, and then de-ages, returning Wesley to his young state, once Angel arrives and breaks the spell.
  • In No. 6 this is the fate of the hosts of mutated parasitic wasps.
  • The Dresden Files: In Changes, The entire Red Court is wiped out by a ritual. Those who were only half Red Court were cured... but time also caught up to them. Most of them aged and died immediately, but some hadn't been infected for long, and survived.
  • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy: At the end of the first book, this happens to the Lord Ruler after his Immortality Inducers are removed, causing him to age a thousand years in a matter of seconds. The heroine puts him out of his misery. This is due to the method of immortality used and the Anatomy of the Soul in this universe. He survived by compounding his youth infinitely, keeping himself eternally young. But souls have an Identity, and part of that is age. His soul knew how old he was supposed to be, so he had to stretch less and less youth farther and farther. There are ways to manipulate Identity in this magic system, which result in a far more efficient and sustainable form of immortality, but unfortunately he didn't seem to be aware of them.
  • It happens to Eppon in Galaxy of Fear. He goes from baby to young adult to slavering monster in hours.
  • In The Tomb after Kolabati loses her anti-aging necklace, age starts catching up very quickly. Donning it again, however, return the wearer to youth.
  • In one of the Captain Future books, a gang was selling water from a radioactive spring which made people young. Too long without the water, and the person died from rapid aging. There was actually an attempt to give a scientific explanation; the body no longer has the resources and regeneration of a young person, but continues expending them like one.
  • In Old Man Khottabych, the heroes release the titular genie's jerkass brother, who states he will kill them, and tells them to choose the manner of their death. One of the boys tries to worm out by saying he wishes to die of old age... guess what spell the genie casts.
  • Twilight: Renesmee begins aging rapidly as soon as she is born, looking like a little girl in a matter of months. Apparently she will keep this up for about seven years, at which point she'll look about seventeen, then stay that way forever.
  • Trademaster's bargain for transporting Claire to her son in Son is taking her youth, which rapidly turns her into an old woman. She gets better when he is defeated.
  • In one of Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories, a character has a spell put on him that trades 'thirty years of life for thirty years of youth''; when the spell runs out, his years catch up to him.
  • Fred Saberhagen's Book of Swords series. When the Sword named Soulcutter is drawn it causes its wielder to age at a highly accelerated rate.
  • In Something Wicked This Way Comes, this happens to Mr. Cooger when Will causes the magical merry-go-round to spin forward so rapidly while he's on it that he can't get off in time to avoid aging to a nearly-dead mummified husk of a two-hundred-year-old man. The other carnival members manage to keep him alive by pumping him full of electricity but he still disintegrates into dust close to the book's climax.
  • H. Rider Haggard's She has this happening to Ayesha at the end, although she promises she'll come back. She does.
  • In Stardust, the witch assigned to pursue and kill a falling star (who are human-looking in this universe) eats the saved-up remnant of the heart of the last star she and her two sisters killed which restores her youth and beauty. However, this remnant gives her only a limited amount of magical power and the more magic she uses, the more her restored youth fades, and she ends up using so much magic that she winds up appearing even older than she was at the start of the book (though she doesn't die).
  • In Homecoming (Drizzt), Yvonnel Baenre II was infused with the memories of the original Matron Mother Yvonnel Baenre. As a result, she was born a self-aware and powerful priestess and mage. Yvonnel II grew weary of her infanthood quickly and used an older version of the Haste spell with the side-effect of aging the caster one year with each use to become a beautiful young woman.
  • Under the unforgiving high background magical field of Fourecks, this happens to young Wizard Ponder Stibbons in The Last Continent. He goes from (presumed) middle twenties to over ninety in seconds – and gets a taster of what it will be like to be one of the old men of the Faculty. He does not like it very much.
  • In The Tale of Lost Time by Yevgeny Shvarts, four lazy children age about seventy years overnight after four wizards curse them and steal their life years. When they manage to reverse the curse, the wizards, in turn, turn from kids to decrepit old people in a minute. The Aesop is that you won't notice your own aging if you waste your time pointlessly.
  • Wizard of Yurt: King Haimeric is in fact much younger than he looks. However, he aged rapidly in a mere four years due to a spell. Daimbert's first task is to find out who's behind it.
  • In Gelsomino in the Land of Liars by Gianni Rodari, Benvenuto ages rapidly every time he sits or lies down. He often sits down to help other people in need and, in the biggest Tear Jerker moment of the book, ends up dying at the age of ten while physically being in his late seventies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Half of the premise of the Canadian show 2030CE was that the world was afflicted with Progressive Aging Syndrome, a disease that causes aging to accelerate exponentially as one approaches their 30th birthday, where they typically don't live much longer than that.
  • The 4400: In "The New World", it is revealed that Isabelle's Plot-Relevant Age-Up (as seen at the end of the preceding episode "Mommy's Bosses") caused her mother Lily to age just as rapidly, going from 29 to about 75 overnight. Dr. Burkhoff discovers that mother and daughter are connected and that Lily grows weaker as Isabelle grows stronger. Lily develops arthritis, diabetes, emphysema and various other conditions that Shawn is able to heal but she is on borrowed time and she knows it. She dies shortly after she and Richard arrive at the cabin where they lived in the months leading up to Isabelle's birth.
  • Alphas: One episode featured a speedster whose ability caused everything about him to move rapidly all the time. This included, unfortunately, his aging. Though only in his twenties, he appeared to be about middle aged.
  • American Horror Story: Coven: In the first episode, Fiona Goode drains the life out of a doctor when he decides to resign and insults her age. This causes him to rapidly age to death, allowing Fiona to temporarily appear younger.
  • Blake's 7. Happens to the Villain of the Week in "Rescue" and "Orbit". The first has a The Picture of Dorian Gray plot, so the villain ages and disintegrates to dust after his death. In "Orbit" exposure to Hoffal's radiation for a millionth of a second was enough to age a young research assistant into a old man, who later uses it to kill off his abusive partner in a Murder-Suicide.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Earth: Final Conflict. Liam Kincaid grows from a baby to 30-some man in less than a day. Given that his father (one of them) is an Energy Being, it is possible this was intentional. Liam is also perfectly mature, although certain social facts (such as why women laugh when talking about sex) don't make sense to him.
  • An episode of Eureka had Fargo's grandfather awaken from cryo-freeze and then at the end of the episode underwent Rapid Aging as his body suddenly tried to catch up. It was implied that this would eventually lead to his death if not stopped. They did manage to stop, but not reverse the process.
  • Griffen Grey in The Flash (2014) has accelerated aging as a side effect of his superhuman strength, just like his comics counterpart.
  • Fringe: Some years ago, a program was started to create test-tube soldiers. Part of the soldiers' design was rapidly increased growth. Unfortunately, they were unable to stop the aging process once the soldiers got old enough and the program was eventually shut down. Years later it's discovered that one of the soldiers has been surviving by stealing people's pituitary glands. At one point he inadvertently impregnates a woman and passes on his condition to the fetus. The child dies of old age within five hours.
  • Gilligan's Island. In the episode "Meet the Meteor" a meteor lands on the island. Anyone near the meteor ages at an accelerated rate.
  • On Gotham, one of the Arkham inmates Professor Strange experiments on develops the ability to inflict this. Among his victims is Ivy Pepper who goes from a child to a young woman.
  • This happens in Heroes to Adam Monroe when Arthur Petrelli steals his ability.
  • Happens with Amber in House of Anubis as her hex from Senkhara.
  • One Monster of the Week on Kamen Rider Double had the ability to cause rapid aging, resulting in Shotaro getting a few scenes as an old man.
  • A newborn infant on ''Killjoys ages rapidly to his early teens before his condition is stabilized. In a nod to actual biology, he eats a ton of food rather than just gaining mass from an unknown source.
  • Kolchak: The Night Stalker episode "The Youth Killer". A woman makes a bargain with the goddess Hecate. She sacrifices young, perfect people by magically causing them to age rapidly until they die of old age, and in return Hecate grants her eternal youth.
  • An organism created by a scientist in MacGyver causes plants and animals to rapidly age. This isn't so bad for plants, since it just brings them to maturity faster, but isn't so good for animals since they die of old age in a few minutes.
  • Merlin has a magical version, with Merlin casting a spell on himself that transforms him into his 80 year old self, known to everyone else as 'Dragoon'.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: Alder owes her youth to her entourage of biddies, witches who age in dog years to prolong their general's lifespan.
  • The Orville: In the first episode, scientists invent a device that fires a beam that accelerates time in the area it hits. One of the scientists is knocked into the beam and ages about 100 years in 10 seconds, which kills her.
  • The Outer Limits (1963) episode "The Guests". Several people have been trapped for decades in a house without aging. If they leave the house they will quickly age until they are at their true age, and die.
  • Painkiller Jane: In the series, one Monster of the Week was a woman who would drain the youth from others to maintain her own.
  • Power Rangers Zeo: Billy ends up suffering from this as a delayed side-effect of the regenerator he used to restore himself to his teens in the previous season. He has to go to Aquitar for doses of water from their Fountain of Youth so that he won't die. And he winds up staying there.
  • Stargate:
    • In Stargate SG-1, Jack O'Neill is rapidly (although artificially, and therefore reversibly) aged by nanobots.
    • This happens to anyone the Wraith feed on in Stargate Atlantis. They can also reverse it, as demonstrated by Todd on Colonel Sheppard.
  • Star Trek
    • In TOS, there's an episode called "The Deadly Years" in which several of the crew come down with a form of radiation poisoning that causes them to age rapidly.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation
      • The show recycled the script of "The Deadly Years" in an episode called "Unnatural Selection". Doctor Pulaski aged rapidly due to an accident at a genetic research station that exposed her to a virus that re-wrote her DNA.
      • In the episode "Man Of The People", Deanna Troi starts to age rapidly, and grow violently paranoid, when she's unknowingly used by a villain as a psychic receptacle of negative emotion. When the effect is turned back on the villain, he shrivels up and dies within a few seconds.
    • Doctor Bashir does it in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Distant Voices", although it turns out that the whole aging thing is all in his mind (literally) because he was in a coma.
    • Also recycled in the fan-created Star Trek: New Voyages episode "To Serve All My Days", though most of the episode turned out to be All Just a Dream.
    • Jem'Hadar soldiers have a very rapid "childhood", going from birth to combat-ready in three days.
    • In one Star Trek: Voyager episode, Harry Kim is trapped in an evil "circus" and a Monster Clown quips that Harry doesn't know what's going on but the two people who'd been his (the clown's) prisoners for a while did, because "you're new and they're old", so he decides to make Harry "old" by literally turning him into an old man. It's only for a few seconds though.
  • Supernatural season five episode "The Curious Case of Dean Winchester" featured an affable Irish witch named Patrick who was the legendary gambler who plays cards for years. He doesn't always win, but he wins enough to have kept himself young and dapper for centuries, leaving prematurely aged corpses when people bet too high. Bobby Singer tracks him down and plays him in hopes of de-aging enough to fix his spinal injury and get out of the wheelchair, but loses twenty-five years. Dean tries to help him and loses fifty note , whereupon they switched actors and Dean for some reason developed a Great Depression-era accent.
    • Sam wins it all back, although the syphilis he got for annoying Patrick had to be treated in the normal medical fashion. Notably, Patrick is one of the foes they don't begin to defeat, although in his case it's not because they couldn't contrive to, say shoot him in the face with a little stealth, but because they failed the first few times and any further attempts would feel like bad sportsmanship. Being Affably Evil can be useful.
    • His girlfriend is apparently only about a hundred and twenty; and gets Patrick to beat her at poker and let her die because she had to watch her daughter reach a great age and die and has decided Who Wants to Live Forever?. Presumably said daughter declined Patrick's years, since he'd clearly have given them quite willingly.
    • "The Slice Girls" focuses on the Amazons. These women find men to impregnate them, and then bear daughters who become full grown teenagers in a matter of days.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • "Long Live Walter Jameson". The title character has lived thousands of years due to an alchemical potion. When he's mortally wounded, the potion effect wears off. He is subject to accelerated aging and ends up being Reduced to Dust.
    • "Queen of the Nile". A woman uses a magical scarab beetle to drain the youth of men and give it to herself. As a result the men age rapidly and die.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Aqua Vita", the 40-year-old Christie Copperfield has the appearance of a woman in her 70s after she neglects to drink her daily glass of Aqua Vita.
    • In "Our Selena is Dying", Debra Brockman, who is in her late 20s, has her Life Energy drained by her aunt Selena. Afterwards, she appears to be in her 70s. The same is true of her cousin Diane, whose youth was drained by her own mother Martha.
  • UFO episode "Identified". After a UFO is shot down one of the aliens aboard it is captured. After he's exposed to the Earth's atmosphere he starts aging rapidly and quickly dies.
  • The Vampire Diaries had a more low-key example with Katherine who was formerly Immortal and over five-hundred years old but was turned human by a serum. The serum doesn't age her rapidly but having it drained by Silas causes her age to catch up with her and she starts showing signs of old age and will die soon although it is over a few months rather than instantly as in other examples.
  • In the Warehouse 13 episode "Age Before Beauty", the Artifact of the Week induces Rapid Aging on fashion models, forcing Pete and Myka to go undercover in the industry.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: This happens to vampires when they get scratched by werewolves.
  • The X-Files: In the episode "Død Kalm", Mulder and Scully board an abandoned ship where people (themselves included) rapidly reach old age. Scully traces the effect to contaminants in the seawater.

  • The music video to Stone Sour's "Bother" features two copies of the singer Corey Taylor, one of them ages rapidly and disappears.

  • A Japanese legend concerns a fisherman named Urashima Taro who visited the undersea Palace of the Dragon God. Before he left to return to the surface world, he was given a box and told not to open it. When he got back to his home village he learned 300 years had passed while he was gone. In his despair he forgot the warning, opened the box, immediately become his true age and died.
  • A recurring theme in European folklore is that someone goes to the land of the Fairies and stays for what seems like a short time (perhaps only a night), but gets back to find centuries have passed. In some of these legends the person will instantly age once they get back.
    • One version from Ireland even has a fairy wife try to avert this when her husband visits home: she has him ride a horse, since the aging will only activate if he actually touches the ground of the mortal world. Naturally he falls out by accident and dies anyway.

  • Welcome to Night Vale: After a couple of decades of being 19, Earl Harlan wakes up one day with a mortgage and a teenage son he doesn't remember.
  • Alice Isn't Dead: When The Narrator first meets Jacky in "The Factory By The Sea" he is no more than 18. After she follows him inside the factory she finds he is in his 40s and says he is Jack, hasn't been called Jacky in a long time. Not long after on the beach he is older again, 60s or 70s. Then as he drifts out to sea in the coffin she helped him build, all she sees is a tiny, frail hand, suggesting he is now 90 or more. All this takes place over just a few hours.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • From Dino Attack RPG:
    • As a Stromling, Zachary Virchaus aged about a year in a matter of days, serving as a Mythology Gag regarding the Development Hell between Dino Attack RPG and At War's End.
    • Between Baron Typhonus possessing his soulless body and Zachary forcibly turning the Maelstrom's destructive energies against itself, Rex's body rapidly aged and decayed until all that was left was dust. This was an intentional Shout-Out to the previously-mentioned scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • 1st/2nd edition Advanced D&D
      • The Longevity potion reduces the drinker's age by 1-10 years. However, each time one is drunk there is a 1% cumulative chance that the effect of all previous potions will be reversed. If a 150 year old human had drunk many such potions and was effectively 50 years old when this occurred, they would suddenly become their true age and possibly die immediately of old age.
      • 2nd Edition Planescape setting supplement A Guide to the Astral Plane. While on the Astral Plane, creatures do not age. If they ever leave the Astral Plane all of the delayed aging catches up to them, causing them to become their true age. Returning to the Astral Plane doesn't reverse the aging.
      • Being touched by a ghost will instantly age a character by 10-40 years.
      • Casting certain powerful spells (Alter Reality, Gate, Limited Wish, Restoration, Resurrection and Wish) will automatically and immediately age the caster by a certain number of years.
      • Being affected by a Haste spell or drinking a potion of Speed ages the recipient by one year.
      • If the wielder of a Staff of Withering expends two charges from the staff while hitting a creature, the victim ages 10 years instantly.
      • One of the possible Major Malevolent Effects of using an artifact or relic is to be aged 3-30 years: the longer the user's normal lifespan, the greater the aging.
      • A noble time elemental can age a creature by 1-20 years once per day.
      • Module G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King, section "Temple of the Eye". If the altar is activated correctly and the glowing golden eye appears, one possible side effect of seeing the eye is to immediately age 1-20 years.
      • Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II. On the world of Athas, undead can have the power of Accelerated Aging, which ages any creature they touch by 5-30 years.
      • The elven deity Labelas Enoreth can age any creature by up to 100 years.
      • 1E Fiend Folio. The vision monster can cause aging in any creature that sees it, at a rate of 1-10 years per minute of observation.
      • 2nd Edition The Complete Book of Necromancers. Both the caster and recipient of the Death Pact spell will age five years: the caster when the spell is cast, the recipient when it takes effect.
      • The Greyhawk setting deity Iuz can take the form of an old man. While in that form he can spit at creatures within 10 feet. If the spittle hits, it causes the victim to age 1-6 years.
      • The Complete Psionics Handbook. The psionic ability Aging can cause its victim to age up to 20 years. If it backfires, it cause the psionic using it to age up to 10 years.
      • 2nd Edition Forgotten Realms supplement Elves of Evermeet. One of the possible side effects of an elven High Magic wizard casting a 9th level spell is the wizard aging up to 100 years.
      • 1st Edition supplement Unearthed Arcana. The new spell Dream can only be safely used once per week. If it is used more often, the caster will age 1-10 years.
    • Dragon magazine
      • Issue #5 article "Witchcraft Supplement for Dungeons and Dragons". The Secret Order witch spell Wither will cause any living plant or creature within a 50 foot radius of the spell's impact point to rapidly age and die.
      • Issue #42 article "Demons, Devils and Spirits". The hamaculi is a horse-like demon. Any creature hit by its right front hoof will immediately age 3-30 years, with no saving throw.
      • Issue #65 Timelord NPC class article. A Timelord can age a creature by 2.5 years for each level of experience the Timelord has. Higher level Timelords can superage a creature, causing it to disintegrate.
      • Issue #201 article "The City of Lofty Pillars", Al-Qadim campaign setting. For each year that a person spends inside the city of Iram, ten years pass outside in the land of Zakhara, the Land of Fate. When the person leaves Iram they immediately become their true "outside" age, which can cause death due to old age.
      • Issue #210 article "Too Evil to Die". A hit by a keres' whip or a hit by a dark lord can age the target by 10-40 years if they fail a saving throw.
    • Dungeon magazine
      • Issue #30 adventure "Thiondar's Legacy". The Stone of Gul is a divine artifact of incredible power. One of its abilities is to stop its owner from aging. If the owner should ever be separated from the Stone by more than one mile for more than one day, the owner will become their true age, which may make them either very old or even dead from old age.
      • Issue #36 adventure "The Sea of Sorrow". There is a ghost ship that haunts the Pirtel system. If anyone comes within 50 feet of the ghost ship, they must make a saving throw against spells or age ten years.
      • Issue #42 adventure "The Lady of the Mists". When the "immortality" (actually delayed aging) potion wears off, the recuipient quickly ages to their true age, causing death from old age.
      • Issue #50 adventure "The Vaka's Curse". The touch of the variant wraith named Vindr can instantly age the victim by 1-4 years. If done repeatedly, the victim could be aged to death in minutes.
    • White Dwarf magazine
      • Issue #24 adventure "The Lair of Maldred the Mighty". A magical mace created by Maldred can drain Life Energy from creatures it hits. If it drains 1 Character Level the wielder ages 1 year, if it drains two Character Levels the wielder ages two years.
      • Issue #28 article "Fiend Factory". When a birch spirit grabs a target's heart, over a period of 1-4 minutes the target will age 10% of its initial age per minute. For example, if a creature 20 years old were affected for 3 minutes, it would age two years per minute for a total of six years.
      • Issue #37 article "Bloodsuckers". One of the proposed alternate rules is that instead of draining two Character Levels, a vampire's kiss ages the victim by 10-40 years instead.
      • Issue #69 adventure "Plague from the Past". The bite of a ghost spider causes the victim to age 2-12 years. A series of bites in combat could cause the target to suffer death from old age.
    • Imagine magazine, adventure "The Guardian of the Key of Time". The Player Characters will encounter six magical mirrors that are doorways to the memories of the wizard Alquhol. After they pass through all of the mirrors, they will have aged a total of 7-19 years.
    • Polyhedron magazine #82, article "Magnificent Magic". If someone who possesses one of the Roses of Ravenloft loses it or tries to get rid of it, they will age 1 year per minute the Rose is out of their possession. Only a Wish spell will allow the owner to be free of a Rose of Ravenloft without this effect.
    • 2nd Edition supplement Tome of Magic
      • The Age Creature spell ages the target creature by 1 year per level of the caster. The aging can be canceled by the spell's reverse, Restore Youth.
      • When a creature passes through the gate created by a Dimensional Folding spell, there is a chance that it will instantly age up to ten years.
    • Basic D&D supplement The Book of Marvelous Magic
      • Anyone who touches the Cane of Aging can be aged 20 years. If used as a weapon, any creature it hits can be aged 10 years.
      • Shaking a Rattle of Youth normally reduces the user's age by 10 years. However, each use has a 10% chance of instantly doubling the user's age, which could possibly cause the user's death from old age.
      • The Thread of Aging, which is normally found rolled up in a ball. The person holding it immediately ages one year for each inch of the thread they unroll from the ball. The aging and its effects can only be neutralized by a Remove Curse or Wish spell.
    • BECMI (Basic/Expert/Companion/Master/Immortal) D&D
      • Companion Set, "Dungeon Master's Companion: Book 2". The monsters known as Haunts can age a victim by hitting them in combat. The banshee and ghost age the target by 10-40 years per touch, the poltergeist ages the being touched by 10 years.
      • Master Set, "Master DM's Book". One possible handicap/penalty for artifacts is Aging. The user (and possibly those nearby) are aged a number of years proportional to the Power Point cost of the artifact power used.
      • Immortals Rules boxed set "DM's Guide". When a jumper monster attacks a mortal being, the mortal instantly ages 10-40 years. Repeated attacks can cause death by old age in seconds.
    • Basic D&D module X2 Castle Amber. At the end of the module, after Stephen Amber's curse is broken the tremendous length of time the castle and its contents have been in stasis catch up to it. All of the creatures inside quickly become their true age and die, ending up as mummified skeletons.
    • Mayfair Games' Role Aids supplement Dark Folk. Any creature that drinks from the Well of Life will cease aging for as long as the drinking continues. If 1 week passes without drinking, the creature will suddenly become its true age again, possibly resulting in death by old age.
    • The Tome of Mighty Magic, a North Pole Productions supplement compatible with Dungeons & Dragons, has a number of spells that cause aging.
      • The Age Spell causes the target to age 20-50 years.
      • The Aging Gaze spell causes the targets to age 10 years per minute that the caster gazes upon them.
      • The Summon the Dastardly Filingricerixersifed spell summons a powerful psionic monster to help out but ages the caster by one year.
      • The Death's Speed spell allows the recipient to move at 10 times normal speed but also causes them to age four years.
      • The Whole spell causes its caster to age 1 year.
      • The spell For Your Benefit makes the recipient age 12 years.
      • Casting the Petition spell ages the caster by 5 years.
    • Judges Guild supplement The Fantastic Wilderlands Beyonde
      • Desert Lands hex 3731. At the top of a high mountain is a small shallow pool full of contaminated green water. Anyone who looks into the pool under moonlight must make a saving throw or age 10 years.
      • Lenap Idyllic Isles hex 3617. Any creature within 10 feet of a petrified pterodactyl ages at a rate of 1 year per ten minutes.
    • Judges Guild Pegasus magazine #5 article "Potions Perilous" (side effects of drinking potions).
      • Normally a Potion of Longevity reduces the drinker's age by 1-10 years. One possible side effect of drinking a Potion of Longevity is for the drinker to immediately age 1-10 years instead.
      • A Potion of Speed ages the drinker by 1 year. One side effect given in the article is for the drinker to age 1 year per hour until a Dispel Magic spell is cast on them.
  • Little Fears. A child that comes into physical contact with a ghost ages at a rate of 1 year per 10 seconds of contact.
  • Ghouls in Vampire: The Masquerade stave off aging as long as they regularly receive blood from a vampire. If they go without a certain period of time without drinking vampire blood (which grows shorter as they grow older), they're hit with this trope. Not so bad if they rapidly age from 20 to 30 in one go, but obviously fatal for those that are well older than a human lifespan.
  • Call of Cthulhu
    • The Steal Life spell causes the target to quickly age and die over a period of 1-3 minutes.
    • Cthulhu Companion adventure "The Secret of Castronegro". Bernardo Diaz has lived for 300 years due to the ruby ring he wears. If it's removed from his finger, he will instantly die and his body will shrivel.
    • The Fungi from Yuggoth adventure "By the Bay Part I". Lang Fu's Coat of Life has allowed him to live for centuries. If it is ever removed for more than a few minutes, his body will begin an irreversible aging process that will cause his rapid death.
    • Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign, chapter 3 "Egypt". Omar Shakti, the high priest of the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh, is several thousand years old. If the investigators kill him, his body will immediately crumble to dust.
  • Rolemaster setting Shadow World.
    • Supplement Demons of the Burning Night. While wearing the Helm of Kadaena the wearer accumulates 10 years of aging during each combat, but the Helm prevents the aging from taking effect. If the Helm is ever removed all of the aging immediately takes effect.
    • Supplement Jaiman: Land of Twilight, adventure "Cult of the Third Moon". The Priestess and Sisters (acolytes) of the title cult have remained young for 150 years by Vampiric Draining the Life Energy from sacrificial victims. If the Priestess' amulet is removed she will suffer this trope, become her true age and die. If the amulet is destroyed, so will the Sisters.
  • Shadowrun
    • Adventure Bottled Demon. Anyone who uses the Horror-powered idol will age at a rate of approximately 10 years per day.
    • Supplement Shadows of Europe. One of the survivors of an outbreak of shedim (evil spirits that can possess living beings) says that a shedim sucked the Life Energy out of a friend of his, causing them to be aged until they became old-aged in seconds.
  • Ars Magica
    • The Perdo Corporem spell "Bane of the Decrepit Body" instantly ages the victim 5-15 years.
    • 3rd Edition adventure Twelfth Night. After the Burial Shroud of Christ is warped by Hermetic magic it gains the special power Circle of Decay, which affects all creatures within a half mile. Any creature less than 35 years old will age at a rate of 2.5 years per minute. Any creature 35 or more years old ages at a rate of 10 years per minute.
  • Carcosa — Weird Science-Fantasy Horror Setting
    • Performing any sorcerous ritual (except banishing) requires the sorcerer to save vs. magic or instantly age 1-5 years.
    • Being paralyzed by the Spawn of Shub-Niggurath in hex 0712 will invoke the Tentacled One monster, which can cause the victim to age 3-15 years.
    • In hex 2106 the fabric of time is warped and accelerated, causing anyone in it to age 1-5 years for each day spent in the hex.
    • Hex 2215. Performing a ritual with a Serpent Man orb will cause the Sorcerer doing so to fall into a catatonic state. When he wakes up, he may be insane. If so, he will age 30 years in as many days, regaining his sanity at the end of that time.
  • Arduin RPG
    • Arduin Grimoire. The druidic spell "Chastarade's Spell of the Stone That Weeps in Silence" causes a creature to turn into a boulder. If the target makes its saving throw, it ages 20 years instead.
    • The Compleat Arduin Book 2: Resources
      • The spell Larissa's Conjuration of the Singing Sands of Time creates a whirlwind. Any creature that touches or is touched by the whirlwind immediately ages 1-10 years.
      • After several minutes in direct sunlight a Vampyre will suffer Rapid Aging to its true age and will crumble into dust if it's older than its maximum lifespan.
      • The Greater Demon Caphaoryn, The Death Angel/Beautiful Fiend. When a creature touches or is touched by Caphaoryn it will wither and age 11-20 years. Any creature that dies because of this aging will rise as a ghost under Caphaoryn's control 13 minutes later.
      • Greater Demon Ralkul, the Lord of the Flies. Any living creature he touches ages 1-10 years.
      • One of the random results of Table 81A Whimsy and Table 93 heck Spiral Transit Failure is to add the result of (maximum lifespan x 1-100%) to the creature's current age. E.g. Bob is 30 years old, has a maximum lifespan of 120 years and rolls a 50 on d100. He adds (.5 x 120) = 60 to his current age and instantly becomes 90 years old. If he had rolled a 75 or higher he would have added 90+ years to his current 30 years, thus exceeding his lifespan and immediately dying of old age.
  • Anathema. Shrouds with the dominion of Atrophy can make people age several decades in a few seconds.
  • GURPS, Challenge magazine #47 article "The Ultra-Tech File". If it works, the 2 day long Rejuvenation process lowers the character's age. If the process suffers a critical failure, the recipient's age increases by 6-36 years.
  • Gamelords, Ltd.'s Thieves' Guild 8 adventure "The Secret of the Crystal Mountains". Centuries ago the adventurer Giles acquired a Lissar crystal, which kept him young until it was recently stolen from him. With the loss of the crystal he's aging at a rate of 10 years per week and will soon be dead.
  • Marvel Super Heroes Advanced Set boxed set, Judge's Book. The Norse Mythology goddess Hela can fire Aging Rays that instantly age the target by 100 years. If done repeatedly, this can destroy even other Norse gods.
  • Avalon Hill's Powers & Perils RPG, Heroes magazine Volume 2 #2 article "Shadow Magic". The Wasting Hand spell can age the target by (1-10) x (EL + 1) months. So if the caster's magical Experience Level is 9, the target will instantly age up to 100 months (about 8 1/3 years).
  • Avalon Hill's boardgame "Kremlin" represents the political power struggles within the Soviet Politburo. A key element of the game is tracking the effective ages of the various politicians controlled by the players — in addition to aging one year per game-year, they may by aged further by performing extra actions or hostile actions (such as subjecting them to KGB investigations) by opponents.
  • Gamma World. The mutation Hands of Power has four variants. The fourth one is Withering Hands, which causes any creature touched to immediately age 1-10 years.
  • Pathfinder: A carmine dragon's Breath Weapon is infused with the Wind of Death, and causes its targets to age to death and their equipment to rust into nothingness as if millennia had passed in the span of seconds.
    • The Scepter of Ages, a dangerous artifact that can be wielded as a +4 heavy mace and causes targets struck and damaged by it to instantly age by 1 year per point of damage taken, or double this rate if its scores a critical hit, permanently and not allowing any saving throw.
    • The Sands of Time spell instantly ages a creature to its next age category for 10 minutes per caster level.
    • The curse of the ages causes the afflicted to age by one year per day.
  • Imagine magazine #29, Traveller/Star Frontiers adventure "The Sarafand File". One of the adventure involves an ancient biological weapon. If the game system being used is Traveller, characters infected by the disease age at a rate of 1 year per hour using the standard aging rules (loss of Strength, Dexterity and Endurance). This will cause them to die within a couple of days unless they find some way of curing the disease.
  • Changeling: The Dreaming: House Leanhaun has a particular frailty where its members will age rapidly unless they manage to reap deep bursts of Glamour. In keeping with their namesake, the best way to do so is to inflict Rhapsody on artists, which typically either kills them or burns out all their verve so they can never create again.
  • The Dragon Tree Spell Book. The spell Speed Growth causes the recipient to age one year per level of the caster. This aging will not increase the recipient's age to more than their maximum lifespan.
  • Champions supplement ''Champions Universe" (2002). The monks in the city of Shamballah are immortal, but only as long as they remain in the city. If they ever leave, they will immediately become their true age, leaving only crumbling skeletons.
  • GDW's Dark Conspiracy main rules. The Dark Race known as the bleak feeds on human beings by draining their Life Energy. When they do so, the victims age by up to twenty years depending on how successful the bleak's attack is.
  • West End Games' DC Universe Roleplaying Game supplement Metropolis Sourcebook. A character with the Temporal Manipulation power at the 15D or higher level can cause a living creature to suffer accelerated aging until it dies of old age.

    Theme Parks 

  • BIONICLE: During a clash with Makuta Teridax, the Shadowed One received a blow that sent him flying at the unconscious body of his already felled underling, Voporak. Said underling was protected by a force field that rapidly aged anything that touched it, thus the Shadowed One grew 3000 years older in a matter of seconds. Longer exposure would have turned him to dust, which is the fate Makuta's distraction army received earlier. Still, it's definitely a case of Time Dissonance...because due to the already enormous lifespans that the characters have, it would be the equivalent to a human aging less than a decade.

    Video Games 
  • In Romancing SaGa 3 Black was cursed by the clone of the Devil Lord Forneus and lost his youth, however defeating Forneus' clone with Black in your party reverts him back to his original self
  • In Trauma Center: Under The Knife 2, this is the fate of villain Reina Mayuzumi, who was using the Alethia strain of GUILT to preserve her youthful looks. The player discovers this right before the final operation, when Mercer decides to inject her with something else in hopes of learning how to cure his wife. It immediately drains Mayuzumi's body into that of an old woman, as well as causing the GUILT to rampage through her body. Notably, the player saves her life...but not her looks.
  • Old Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4. This is due to Clone Degeneration, which gave him Werner syndrome by design. Barely a decade after the Shadow Moses incident, where Snake was still young, fit and handsome, he essentially has the body of a chronically ill 80-year-old.
    • This is, however, foreshadowed in earlier games, as different characters remark on how age hasn't slowed him down, or how he hasn't aged well. Despite this, a majority of the rapid aging appears to happen in the five year gap between the second and fourth games, which adds even more horror to the situation.
    • His brother Solidus Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2. Like his brother Solidus also has Clone Degeneration, which gave him Werner syndrome like his brother, by the Patriot's design. Despite being 30 year old he essentially had the body of a 60 to 70 year old.
  • Singularity has the TMD, which can age a living person forward until they turn to dust. Turning the clock backwards, however, has different results...
  • As a result of their powers, Sera from Digital Devil Saga has the body of a teenager when she's actually 7 years old.
  • Warcraft:
    • Khadgar was the young apprentice of the Guardian Medivh, but when Medivh turned out to be the host of the demonic Sargeras, Khadgar was forced to kill him, and in the ensuing fight, Medivh artificially aged Khadgar.
    • Garona Halforcen was originally introduced as half-human, half-orc, the result of the protracted war between the two races over the course of the original Warcraft. The conflict was drastically shortened in later revisions of the history, so Garona was explained to be the result of forced mating between orcs and draenei, magically-aged and brainwashed to serve as an advance scout.
    • Rapid Aging was actually a prefered method of recruitment in the Old Horde. Gul'dan would have his warlocks use their Life Drain magic to force orc children into early adulthood so they could fight on the front lines that much sooner.
  • In Brain Dead 13, Lance definitely dies from this if one of the ghosts possesses him and drains the living soul out of him in one death scene.
  • In Final Fantasy V, some enemies can inflict a temporary "Old" status ailment, which makes the targeted character white-haired and physically weak.
  • In Dragon's Dogma, after you kill The Dragon, the Duke ages rapidly when his immortality consequently wears off.
  • Nasus, from League of Legends, can inflict a temporary version of this to slow and weaken an enemy.
  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, ghosts and their variants have an aging touch attack. If you're an elf or a dwarf with a lifespan of hundreds of years, this isn't too big a deal. If you're something with a short lifespan, like a ratling or a troll, well...
  • This is the punishment Mortal Kombat antagonist Shang Tsung suffers if he does not frequently kill people and take their souls onto his one.
  • Some of the titular Creatures can fall victim to this, dying of old age less than an hour into life — the most extreme cases in Creatures 3 and Docking Station don't even live a full minute. The root cause varies between different games, depending on how aging is handled and what mutations can affect them: Either the creature in question depletes its Ageing/Life chemicals by converting it into another chemical, or it's born with no Ageing/Life chemical at all and will burn through every lifestage immediately after hatching.
  • In Mystery Case Files: The Black Veil, the Scottish town of Dreadmond is plagued by a mysterious force that drain the townpeoples' lives, aging them from approximatively sixty years in a heartbeat.
  • Miis in Miitopia can be affected with this condition during battles. Thankfully, this is not permanent.
  • In Street Fighter, Balrog's ward and Only Friend Ed is affected with a bad case of this. When he first appears in Super Street Fighter IV he's a pre-teen boy, but when Street Fighter V hits he alrady has the looks of an older teenager, and when he's Promoted to Playable his sprites and model are those of a heavily-muscled adult (though his in-story illustrations are still proper of an older teen). It's a very justified since poor Ed was kidnapped by the S.I.N. division of Shadaloo, and experimented on in order to become a replacement body for Bison.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series' backstory, Wulfharth Ash-King was the legendary ancient King of the Nords and noted Shezarrine who has died and come back to life at least three times. After Alduin and Orkey turned everyone in Skyrim into children, Wulfharth used the Thu'um to age them all back up. However, he aged himself up too fast and died for the first time.
  • In Zanki Zero, the characters go from child to adolescent to adult to old man/woman in a span of 13 days as a side effect of them being clones.
  • In Bioshock Infinite it's revealed that the Lutecce device, which offers the ability to see into alternate dimensions has caused Zachary Comstock (aka: Booker deWitt,) to look like he's in his late fifties despite being in his late thirties, as well as sterility.
  • The Watchmaker (2018): As a result of time being sabotaged, Alexander has begun aging more quickly than normal, until he reaches 90 years old and dies. He can restore himself to his normal age by collecting pieces of time.
  • One of the main threats in Death Stranding is the Timefall, a mysterious and supernatural rainstorm that rapidly ages any living creature caught in it. Porter suits are designed to protect people from the effects, but can fail if damaged too badly. The Girl from FRAGILE turns out to have the head of a young girl and the body of an elderly woman, as a result of Higgs stripping her and forcing her to run through the Timefall with nothing but a Porter mask to protect her.
  • In Blasphemous, a young woman named Viridiana will show up to offer assistance in certain boss fights. If you accept her help, she'll provide a powerful buff during the battle, but will be aged each time. After three times, she will die of old age. She does not mind the price she pays for helping you, considering it Worth It to be of aid in your quest.
  • Grumples and Everfore from Yo-Kai Watch turn people old as their inspiritment.
  • Metroid II: Return of Samus: Eight hatched Metroids progress from infant to larval stage in the time it takes Samus to move from one room to another but the final infant stays an infant in the time it takes for Samus to leave the planet and fly to a research station.
  • In Dark Devotion, the player character ages from a young woman to an emaciated crone in seconds after beating the final boss, and she barely has time to take in her withered state before she drops dead.

    Visual Novels 

  • In Girl Genius the first few creatures Gil's researchers pull out of the time stopped Mechanicsburg rapidly age, decay and turn to dust. When they refine the process a bit and pull out Vole he ages hundreds of years in a matter of seconds. Luckily the information gained from their experiment with Vole allows them to figure out how to pull people out without the aging side effects.
  • In Kill Six Billion Demons, the demiurge Mottom owns ''The'' Tree of Life, whose fruits can restore a withered crone to her pre-teen glory yearsnote . However, the fruit's main effects only last a few hours, and she rapidly degenerates to a middle-aged woman within the span of hours. Allison destroys the tree to stop the blood sacrifices of virgins powering it, and Mottom ages even faster as she draws upon her powers in a fit of rage.

    Web Original 
  • ASDF Movie 7 tackles this as only it can.
    First Person: Hey, what did you get for your birthday
    Second Person: I got...older!
    First Person: (Laughs)
    Second Person: (Quickly turns elderly)
    First Person: AAAAAAAAAAH- That is weird...
  • In the second installment of the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared series, the puppets are taught about the concept of time by a talking clock. Somewhat. When they start to question it too much, said clock responds by making them undergo rapid aging... and then rotting them alive.
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-119 ("Timecrowave"). SCP-119 is a microwave oven which can speed up the flow of time inside of it. Its power setting can be set in a range of 1-5. The time (in seconds) that the microwave is on is raised to the exponential power of the setting to determine the actual time that passes inside SCP-119. So if the power setting is 5 and SCP-119 runs for 30 seconds then (30 x 30 x 30 x 30 x 30) seconds (or 281.25 days) pass inside it. Anything inside SCP-119 suffers the increased aging that occurs.
    • SCP-224 ("Grandfather Clock"). When it chimes it causes time to speed up in the surrounding area, sometimes causing people within range of the sound to age up to several years in a short time. In one case a person was affected by 7 chimes, aging them approximately 70 years in a matter of seconds.
    • SCP-429 ("Clockwork Teleporter"). If someone tries to use it without understanding it they will still teleport, but when they re-appear they will be dead and in a state of advanced decay. Monitoring devices sent with it on one of these jaunts recorded over 8 months passing. The creator of SCP-429 died of old age after using it too often.
    • SCP-723 ("Aging Staircase"). SCP-723 is a spiral stone staircase. When a person climbs it, after the fourth or fifth step they start aging rapidly, with additional aging occurring for each additional step taken.
    • SCP-728 ("The Forever Room"). This can occur due to the time manipulating abilities of SCP-728. During one test only one hour passed on the outside of SCP-728, but when SCP-728 was opened again, the person who had been inside SCP-728 had aged to death.
    • SCP-896 ("Online Role Playing Game"). A researcher who played the game for less than 10 hours straight leveled up many times but then died. An autopsy showed severe arthritis, Alzheimer’s, a cataract and several tumors, indicating death from old age.
    • SCP-983 ("The Birthday Monkey"). Each time the Birthday Monkey sings a verse the person who activated it will age 1 year. If it isn't deactivated the victim will be aged to death. The Monkey will continue singing verses until the victim has been reduced to a skeleton.
    • SCP-1007 ("Mr. Life and Mr. Death). SCP-1007 ages at a rate of 1 year per minute until it reaches age 75, at which point it dies. Then it comes back to life and goes through the same routine again, and again. If a key is inserted in its back and turned, it will age backwards...
    • SCP-1066 ("Instant Education"). When a man signs the SCP-1066 diploma he disappears for 4-10 minutes. When he re-appears he's four years older.
    • SCP-1080 ("The Creche"). When a child less than 13 years old enters the chamber, it closes and locks. When it opens three to five days later, the child is about twenty years old.
    • SCP-1211 ("King in the Castle"). After inhabiting the castle for three months, a man 35 years old will have become about 80 years old. After an additional month (or more) subjects will experience rotting of the skin and muscle tissue and skeletal degeneration, but don't die.
    • SCP-1225 ("The Worst Christmas"). When SCP-1225 is activated, anything within 4 meters and inside a container ages at a high rate: one year in the first 24 hours, and a total of ten years after three weeks, after which the aging stops.
    • SCP-1627 ("Mushroom Wars"). After a person makes skin contact with an example of SCP-1627-A, over the next two weeks the person will age rapidly until they die of old age.
    • SCP-1657 ("MAN EGG"). After they're hatched, SCP-1657 grow to maturity (the equivalent of human adulthood) in only 13 days, and die of old age in 17 days.
    • SCP-1716 ("Imperfect Life Extender"). SCP-1716 causes the Life Energy donor to age 10 years for every year the recipient's life is extended.
    • SCP-1979 ("Relativistic Treadmill"). Time passes faster than normal inside SCP-1979's time acceleration sphere. A person inside the sphere will age at a higher than normal rate, with the rate increasing as the sphere expands. At a radius of 25 meters a person will age at a rate of 10,404 times normal, or 173 minutes per second. As the sphere expands to 30 meters they will age about 9 years. By the time the sphere reaches 35 meters they will age another 48 years. By the time the sphere reached 40 meters they would be long dead.
    • SCP-2647 ("Premium"). Anyone who signs up for a SCP-2647 life insurance policy will stop aging for as long as the policy continues in effect. If the person cancels the policy they will quickly grow older until they are their true age, which could cause them to die of old age.

    Western Animation 
  • A Treasure In My Garden: In the episode "Boxes", when the box he boy is riding in gets sucked up by a tornado, he starts spinning around it. He's seen as a man, then an old man.
  • Adventure Time: Jake and Lady Rainicorn's puppies reached maturity incredibly quickly, seemingly faster than either of their parents' species. This appears to apply at different rates between the five of them as they're all different ages despite them having been born at the same time.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Happens to Kevin in the episode "Paradox" when he encounters a strange temporal monster. Paradox is somewhat affected, he claims he can feel the eons on him, but existing outside of normal space and time, it doesn't do anything to him.
  • Zarm inflicts this on Gaia in Captain Planet and the Planeteers, and she would continue to age until she literally becomes dust. She gets restored later.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door.
    • The Kids Next Door frequently come up against technology that can rapidly age them into adults. Eventually, they come up with "birthday suits", armor that protects them from such effects in one hour-long episode, but presuming Father is going to do that proves a mistake - his true goal is to turn them into animals.
    • This is Grandfather's primary ability is Operation: Z.E.R.O.. He can age anything he touches into his army of Senior Citizombies. These victims still hold some level of their personalities, but are completely under Grandfather's control.
    • One episode featured a Fountain of Youth hidden within a school that one girl had been using to stay young for centuries. The catch was that the effects were temporary—if she goes too long without exposure to it, this trope results.
  • In the Daft Planet episode "The New Me-Kinda", Ched's clone seems have the lifespan of a week. As a teenager, he goes on a date with a girl Chet likes, and by the end of the movie they're watching, he's already an adult.
  • In Family Guy episode "Secondhand Spoke" has this happen to Peter when he starts smoking.
  • In Futurama, everyone had to use the Fountain of Aging to counteract the effects of an anti-aging spa incident and the Professor's botched attempt to reverse it. There's a point where everyone thinks Zoidberg dies but he had just reached the age where his twin brother budded off from him.
  • Nanosec's speed suit in Transformers Animated, when used too much, also caused him to age quickly. In order to finally catch him and keep the city from exploding, Bumblebee ran him into old age. Fortunately, his new partner and possibly love interest Slo-Mo was able to de-age him with her time altering powers and it's assumed that when she's around the suit's effects are temporary at best.
  • Spectra in Danny Phantom rapidly ages when Jazz uses an anti-ghost weapon against her. Since her youth came from absorbing negative emotions from her students, the weapon literally peels off her layers of youth to reveal a shriveled old lady underneath it all.
    Danny: Talk about having nothing within.
  • Monty in Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers suffered this thanks to being zapped by a prune powered aging machine built by Dr. Norton Nimnul. The heroes discover that they can reverse the process by loading it with plums.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! has Nick Fury have some of his life force taken, aging him from looking like Samuel L. Jackson to looking like his comic counterpart with darker skin. It looks like it's going to stick, at least for the time being.
  • Implied in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Kids Stuff", where Morgaine le Fey's son Mordred, kept a young child by his mother's spells, was taunted by the youthened Batman to use the magic he acquired from the Amulet of First Magicks to make himself into an adult. However, in doing so, Mordred broke the spell that gave him eternal youth, leaving him only with eternal life. At the end of the episode, Mordred is seen as a very old man being taken care of by his mother.
  • Oh No! It's An Alien Invasion: In the episode "The Stache", Shakes is blasted with a ray that Briiian developed to use on Nate. Shakes is an old man by the time they get the ray to turn him back to normal.
  • In the four-part "Smurfquest" episode in The Smurfs, the Long Life Stone, which allowed the Smurfs to live long lives through decreased aging, was losing its power, resulting in this trope happening to the Smurfs. However, the Smurflings didn't grow taller as they aged, and Baby Smurf only showed slight wrinkles.
  • Peter Pan & the Pirates: In "Ages of Pan", this happens to Peter when he starts embracing adulthood. Unfortunately, his fading belief in Neverland causes it to fall apart.
  • The victims of the Vulture in Spider-Man: The Animated Series suffer temporary Rapid Aging when he drains their youth with technology based on the Tombstone of Time. Crimelord Silvermane went through this process (after he had been regressed to an infant in an earlier episode) that restored him to his true age in a matter of seconds when the even older Vulture used the Tombstone of Time to steal his accidental youth permanently.
  • In the Duck Dodgers episode "Duck Codgers", Dodgers and the Cadet are affected by the pollen of an alien flower that causes rapid aging in earthlings. The pollen also has a reverse aging effect on Martians, and Marvin ends up temporarily turning into a kid.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "The Lorelei Signal". The women of the planet Taurus II drain the Life Energy of men to maintain their own youth, which causes the men to age at a rate of 10 years per day.
  • Darkwing Duck. In the episode "Going Nowhere Fast", the title character acquires temporarily Super Speed but also super-fast aging.
  • Johnny Sunspot from Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, along with his two teammates, are aged rapidly whenever Skeleton King is near (Skeleton King has very other-worldly power). It all started because Johnny said to him, "Hey, we have their robot, so we're even more powerful! Maybe we don't need to be taking orders from you anymore."
  • In Samurai Jack, Jack meets a warrior who was defeated long ago by Aku and trapped in stone, denied his warrior's end. Jack fights and defeats the warrior's golem body, freeing him. The warrior immediately becomes an old man and dies as time returns to him.
  • In Teen Titans episode "Revolution", Robin becomes an old man, after getting his youth drained by Mad Mod.
  • A "Tiger Sharks" episode of The Comic Strip is centered around what looks like a hoard of golden spheres, but is actually dangerous toxic waste causing this in anyone touching it. Both the heroes and one of the major villains have a problem because of it... the other villain learned his lesson many years ago.
  • ThunderCats (1985) has the Cave of Time, which causes anything inside it to rapidly age until it dies or gets out. Cheetara is fast enough to run through the cave without being affected. The heroes take advantage of it in a few episodes to restore people who have been turned into children to their proper ages.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Used by Per Degaton to age Batman and the Justice Society into decrepit old codgers in "The Golden Age of Justice!".
  • Birdman episode "Versus the Speed Demon". The title villain can travel at Super Speed. While trying to escape a pursuing missile he travels too fast and ages so quickly that he becomes an old man.
  • Steven Universe. In "So Many Birthdays", Steven broods over whether or not he should act more mature (or his definition of mature). Because his powers are tied so closely to his emotional state, this causes him to age up to the point of near death.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Pineapple Fever", Patrick has difficulty comprehending that there's only one place the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle can go, to the point that his rate of brain activity increases and ages him by 30 years per second, and he becomes around 200 years old over the span of 5 seconds.
  • In Visionaries, Darkstorm's Power of Decay causes its victims to age rapidly, though this can be reversed. In the second episode, Darkstorm uses it to show his power over his subjects, forcing them to say: "Darkstorm is master of all" twice before he restores his victim to his true age. Later in the series, Darkstorm uses his Power of Decay on Leoric, ironically while the Spectral Knights are travelling to the Eternal Spring which they hope will help them to counter Darkstorm's power. The Darkling Lords destroy the Eternal Spring to make sure Leoric stays old and feeble, but, towards the end of the episode, Feryl forces Darkstorm to restore Leoric to normal.
  • In the Popeye short Popeye, the Ace of Space, Popeye is abducted by aliens and is used as a test subject for their experiments, one of which is an aging machine that turns him old and decrepit. He regains his youth by eating some spinach, but he overshoots the dosage and turns into a child, so he spits some out.
  • The Rupert episode "Rupert in Timeland" had Rupert Bear and his friend Podgy Pig having to help Father Time repair his machine after Podgy accidentally broke it. On their journey to help Father Time fix the machine, they end up straying from the path they were supposed to follow, which causes the two to flash forward through various parts of their futures and eventually end up becoming senior citizens. Thankfully, Father Time has fixed his machine by then and is able to return Rupert and Podgy to Nutwood in their normal ages.
  • In the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command episode "Ancient Evil", the villain Natron the First steals Warp Darkmatter's life force, causing him to become extremely elderly.
  • The Superhero Squad Show episode "Revenge of the Baby-Sat!" had Doctor Doom gain control of time and use his newfound power to rapidly age Thor and Ms. Marvel.
  • In Peter and the Magic Egg, Peter ages one year per month during the first year of his life. Fortunately, he ages normally after that.
  • In the Josie and the Pussycats episode "Don't Count on a Countess", the Countess uses a rapid aging mist on most of the cast. Everyone gets better and the Countess becomes the victim of her own mist at the end.
  • In the Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels episode "The Creepy Claw Caper", a aging ray was used to turn a member of a band into an old man as ransom for a chest of gold coins. Later the Teen Angels are aged by the same ray. They all return to normal at the end.
  • The Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa episode "Skull Duggery Rides Again" had Skull Duggery and his men rapidly aging the denizens of Cowtown and turning them into senior citizens. Cody was one of the people affected, but became an adult instead due to being a child.
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 191, Kaeloo finds out that Stumpy hasn't had a birthday party since he was five years old and throws him a "multibirthday" party to make up for all the lost years. Unfortunately, she overdoes it and somehow winds up turning him into an adult who keeps getting older.
  • Zeke's Pad: In "Portrait of a Young Artist", tired of having restrictions because he is young, Zeke decides to draw himself older. After the draw is complete, Zeke is transformed into an older version with a moustache and a deeper voice. He becomes the head of the house when the parents are not home. Even Ike listens to him! However, not all is good. Zeke continues to age, and in 6 hours, he is almost 90! Soon, he will be too old to reverse the condition.

  • The graphics on the screens of the stage during Russia's performance in the 2009 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest shows the Russian performer (which is only seen as her face) aging throughout the course of the song while singing the lyrics, in sync with the actual performer's, joined by five backing singers wearing folk-inspired costumes.

    Real Life 
  • Sadly, there is a rare disease called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, in which a child from an early age exhibits rapid aging of the body, but not the mind. The longest they usually live is to their early 20s.
  • People who have gone through extreme stress can age almost overnight. Among couples who have been together for decades, if one dies the other one can often age and die soon after.
  • The stress of a high-intensity position such as, say, being President of the United States (especially during the Cold War) can age the holder of the office. Just viewing photos of some presidents before and after the term can be startling.
  • Drug abuse can produce this effect, as seen from the "Faces of Meth" public service announcements, and from Lindsay Lohan's descent into addiction (though her appearance became less decrepit during The New '10s as she got better at staying out of trouble).


Video Example(s):


Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Walter Donovan chooses poorly.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (29 votes)

Example of:

Main / RapidAging

Media sources:

Main / RapidAging