Henry: I'm sorry sir, did you say 1770s?
Mr. Magorium: Yes sir. So, as you can imagine, accounting is a brand new concept for me...
Henry: You realize that would make you at least 240 years old, sir?
Mr. Magorium: You're already hired. There's no need to show off.
You're as old as the stars themselves and might possess the power to destroy them. While some entities like you might enjoy terrorizing others and warping their minds with improbable non-Euclidean frames, you prefer to be a bit more... subtle in your interactions with humans. Or you might have a good reason for not wanting your powers and potential to be immediately obvious.
And what better way is there to hide your identity and throw off suspicion than by taking on the form of a perky high school student?
An extreme version of Older Than They Look, Really 700 Years Old covers ancient, perhaps immortal beings, and (usually) the total opposite of Really Was Born Yesterday. Subjective age only—a form of suspended animation alone does not count. Elves tend to fall into this trope quite a bit in modern fantasy in part because their Beauty Is Never Tarnished. Same with Vampires and other undead subspecies who are unaging/dying beings who get to keep their mind and body. If it's purely artistic rather than biological, it's Artistic Age. For characters who look far younger than they are, but haven't yet lived longer than a human possibly could (say, an 80 year-old woman who looks 20), they're Older Than They Look. See also Immortality Begins at 20, Not Growing Up Sucks. For the really, really extreme version, see Time Abyss. Optimistic characters will say this trope is sweet.
For ways in which works show off that a character is Really 700 Years Old, see Exposition of Immortality.
- In Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Marigold the unicorn has supposedly seen "oceans become forests become deserts".
- Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Like in canon, all the countries are this. Germany, Italy, and Japan all look 20 despite them being 1054, 2484, and 3284 years old respectively. That, and they are also really hard to kill.
- Princess Jody from Super Milestone Wars looks ten but she's actually over 1000 years old.
- A Crown of Stars: All people Shinji and Asuka meet in the Empire of Avalon are at least several hundreds of years old, but neither of them seems older than forty. Ching is 432. Daniel, the God-Emperor of Avalon is 452,388 years old and it is due to his protection that aging is not an issue in the empire. When Asuka tells Shinji about it in chapter 40, he has a very hard time coming to terms with their longevity.
Shinji: Asuka, I want to ask you a question.
Asuka: So spit it out, Third.
Shinji: Well, you said I didn't want to know.
Asuka: [thinking] Oh, that. Well, better now than some comically awkward future moment. [aloud} Try not to freak out. Ching told me yesterday that she was envious of me, for meeting you when we were so young. She said she's "waited centuries" and not been lucky enough to have met anyone that... feels for her the way you do for me.
Shinji: Centuries? How old is she?
Asuka: Four hundred thirty-two. She'll be four thirty-three in five months.
Shinji: She's four hundred thirty-two and she's a Lieutenant?
Asuka: She did say she had a few decades of practice as a psychiatrist before she joined up. But see why they don't mind years between ranks?
Shinji: And Lord Verfico is a Senior Marshal... how long would that take?
Asuka: A long damn time is my guess. Given what Ching told me next about Daniel's age, I can make a fair guess as to Lord Verfico's.
Shinji: Do I want to know? [sighing] You did warn me. Alright, hit me.
[Asuka grins, and punches him in the shoulder]
Shinji: Ow! Hey!
Asuka: Oh, dont be a baby, Third. [grinning and kissing him] You just gave me a straight line, and I had to use it. It took your mind off the strangeness of their crazy long lives, didn't it? Alright, Lord Verfico is probably at least four hundred thousand years old, given that Ching said Daniel is 452,388 years old if my math is right, which of course it is.
- Bag Enders features the Fellowship of the Ring living in early-2000s England. Technically all the characters fall under this heading, being Really Six Thousand Years Old, but the hobbits in particular are constantly mistaken for children. This gives them problems when being carded in pubs, but allows them to get away with children's fares on trains and infiltrate the Boy Scouts.
- Snowmaiden plays it for comedy, when the title character asks an elf if he's not a bit young to romance her. His response is that the question is rather whether she doesn't consider him too old, as he's roughly ten times as old as she is.
- Chaos from the Tamers Forever Series fits the trope
Takato: So you're older than the Big Bang, huh?
Chaos: Yeah, pretty much... hard to believe, huh?
Ruki: Yeah, anyone would think you'd have matured by now...
- Child of the Storm has a number, including just about every adult Asgardian. Thor, Loki and Sif are about 1500, Fandral is implied to be a few hundred years older, as is Hogun. Volstagg, meanwhile, is a fair bit older than either, making him well over 2000.
- Gravemoss is over 1500.
- Doctor Strange is over 400 years old and looks like he's in his early 40s, having looked that way since he first came on the scene in the early 17th century. Due to the fact that he's a time traveller, he's probably quite a lot older - Odin's private estimate is that he was born around the same time as Thor and Loki, and that with time travelling, he's about Odin's own age of 5000 plus. The real answer is that even Strange doesn't even know, because he stopped counting at 100,000 years old. His own private estimate is around 500,000, pushing him into the Time Abyss trope.
- Wizards of the White Council can live up to half a millennium - though Dresden, a White Council Wizard himself, remarks that this is really pushing it. They also get a bit elderly.
- Sinister hasn't aged in at least a century, and comments he makes about having travelled the Silk Road suggest he's much, much older.
- This comes up in The Man with No Name when River mentions that the Doctor is too old for her. Mal, believing himself to be about the same age, feels rather put out by this. (Funnily enough, Nathan Fillion and David Tennant are less than a month apart age-wise. Were the Doctor human and both of them the same age as their actors, Reynolds would be right on the money).
- In Fallout: Equestria - Pink Eyes, the lead character Puppysmiles is a little filly. She's also was ghoulified at the start of the Great War, and though it's been two centuries since, she's still the same hyperactive foal, only with new skills.
- In Noir Ange, a Soul Eater fanfic, Zelda Kitsune is this literally, but she looks like a 17-year old girl. There's also Yuuki and Yuuka, and all of the other Witches count as well.
- In Mass Effect Human Revolution, Adam Jensen is actually 190 years old, though this is partially due to his augments and partially due to being cryogenically frozen for a century.
- In the Pony POV Series, the entire Dark World mane cast, as Discord made them immortal and have lived for a thousand years old. Derpy also is, due to the curse Discord put on her.
- To note, the only member of the good guy's group who isn't a thousand years old or older is Apple Pie, Applejack and Pinkie's multiple times great niece and the new Element of Laughter, and Spike's the only one who's that way naturally.
- In Cadance of Cloudsdale, Princess Cadance, actually. Not that she remembers much of it.
- Justice League of Equestria:
- Rainbow Dash/Supermare is technically a thousand years old, but due to the Timey-Wimey Ball of Kryptonian Magitek, is biologically the age she appears to be physically.
- Diana was born/created about a year before the Nightmare Moon incident, making her about a thousand years old as well. However, she is physically the same age as the Mane Six.
- For that matter, Cadance was born shortly before Diana, meaning she's just as old, but again, doesn't look that much older than the Mane Six either.
- Lelouch in Soul Chess is an unusual example. While all shinigami age slower, Lelouch doesn't age at all for almost 150 years due to a Timey-Wimey Ball sending him back roughly that far after he dies. Which makes it pretty funny when people he knew as children start looking older than him.
- Hivefled; thanks to a magical life-extending kiss from Condesce, the Grand Highblood has remained an adult in his prime since before the birth of a now-elderly troll a blood caste above him (thus with a lifespan which should be significantly longer than his).
- Given that the length of Homura's "Groundhog Day" Loop in Puella Magi Madoka Magica is fairly ambiguous, some portrayals of her veer into this. In Persephone's Waltz, Homura claims to have "lost count in the four-eighties," which would make her 74 at least. A Thousand Years gives its take in the title. All The Time in the World cuts off after one million and one, which would make her hundreds of thousands of years old. The non-canon-but-official Tamura Magica claims in a joke that Homura has aged to the point of having an unnaturally-fast perception of time, viewing a loop as being only a few days. Given that such effects are thought to be dependent on proportion, this would probably make her around fifteen times older, or 210. Word of God offhandedly suggests her to be around 26.
- To the Stars explicitly notes that Puella Magi have no need to age (a fairly common piece of fanon, based on the above). Consequently, it has characters from the original series sticking around in the 25th century.
- A Hero; Homura has gone through enough time loops to memorize every single relevant event in the city, and is old enough that she can barely even remember what she was like before accepting Kyubey's deal. The fact that Puella Magi don't age severely rattles Madoka. Then there's Dalek Sec, who takes pride in being over 250,000 years old (since, as an Intergalactic Space Nazi, that denotes many years of combat and experience).
- In The Light Never Goes Out the Mane Six are really 200 years old while they look like they're in their 30s or 40s thanks to the Elements of Harmony.
- In Song of the Serpent lamia tended to live rather long lives while not looking it, due to greatly slowed aging after they hit fifteen. According to Harry's uncle his great-great grandfather died at the age of six hundred and thirteen.
- In Sonic X: Dark Chaos, Jesus Christ (yes, that one) is still in his thirty year old body despite being two thousand years old. Most of the Angels count as this, since they're all ageless Human Aliens. Some of the non-human Angels like Tephiroth take it up to eleven - several of them are trillions of years old.
- A lesser example is Tsali the Ultimate Weapon, who is actually forty years old but in an ten-year old body. It's also justified, as he was roboticized into a combat android when he was ten.
- In A.A. Pessimal's Good Omens fic The Viennese Job, the two Immortals, demon Crowley and angel Aziraphile, are in Austria in the year 1908. Crowley's job is to befriend a struggling young artist and steer him in the wrong direction. Thirty-seven years later, in the hell of Auschwitz, Crowley is genuinely guilty at what he helped bring about and in need of the sort of drink he last had on seeing the Inquisition at the height of its powers. He helps the Angel spring a death camp survivor from what has now become Soviet captivity. Ahaseurus, the Wandering Jew (see religion asd mythology folder below), whose Jewishness means he has suffered in the death camps, but whose immortality means he has been unable to die.
- This is a Fandom-Specific Plot for Naruto crossovers. Most of the time Naruto becomes The Ageless by becoming the Juubi jinchuuriki and living to see the end of the Elemental Nations. Some examples are Shinobi of the High Seas (Naruto/One Piece crossover), True Warriors Never Die (Naruto/Bleach crossover) and Ashikabi No Shinobi (Naruto/Sekirei crossover)
- Keitaro Urashima in Ancestor is actually over 1300 years old. His original name is Taro Urashima and he's pretending to be Haruka's nephew for fun despite being her many-greats-grandfather.
- Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm: Jason Shepard may appear to be an ageless human adult (and quite a handsome one, given Sailor Moon's description of him), but in Lightning Round he tells Sailor Jupiter that he's 1,073 years old. He also says that the same thing could happen to her if nothing kills her.
- Butterflied: Due to a Sith's experimentation, Xander is a few centuries older than Yoda. This, along with having the memories and skills of Raksta Lsu (who is widely considered one of the best lightsaber users in history), make Xander the greatest lightsaber master ever.
- A Long Journey Home: after a Stable Time Loop, Jasmine is something like five thousand years old.
- In Fail better, a Battlestar Galactica fanfic, Lucia is a 780 years old goddess when the story begins and looks like she's in her early 30s. When she becomes human, her new body applies to this and she starts her new life being physically 30-something.
- In Jackie Chan Adventures fanfiction The Ultimate Evil, while the age of the Demon Sorcerers was never revealed in canon, Shendu reveals that if his memory serves him right, then he and his siblings (they were all eight born around the same time) reach 1500 years in a decade or two.
- All the Loopers in The Infinite Loops eventually end up as Really Millions Of Years Old (or more), but it's most noticeable and jarring with physically immature characters like Harry Potter (who happens to be one of the Original Seven loopers and is thus "breathtakingly old" even by the standards of Loopers) and the Cutie Mark Crusaders.
- Thousand Shinji: Shinji's teacher Khenmu is over 10,000 years old. He's ageless due to being a genetically-engineered human.
- Children of an Elder God: When Ritsuko wakes up from a coma and sees Maya, she thinks that she's in her forties. Maya informs her that she's nearly six hundred years old thanks to advanced aging-slowing technology.
- Last Child of Krypton: Ra's Al Ghul's real age can't be guessed based on his physique. He vaguely looks like a middle-aged man, but in reality he's lived several centuries.
I am nearly seven hundred years old. Give or take. Perhaps it is five hundred. I forget so many things, having lived so long.
- In Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts, Diana is centuries old but looks like she's in her twenties and acts that age, or even younger when she's in the grip of her enthusiasm about discovering new things they didn't have on Themiscyra. In "Christmas in Kansas", there's a running gag about Clark's parents considering Diana one of the youngsters and her reminding them she's actually older than they are.
- Cloud Strife in Once More With Feeling still looks to be in his 20s when he's 105. Likewise, Vincent and Nanaki/Red XIII look the same as they did some eighty odd years ago. While Nanaki just comes from a long-lived race, for Cloud and Vincent it's due to the experiments performed on them.
- Most of the characters from the Blooming Moon Chronicles are this.
- The epilogue of Hecate's Orphange takes place at least a hundred years after the story itself, yet the characters do not seem to have aged.
- The Melinda Chronicles is a Highlander crossover so this predictably happens with the Immortals in the cast. Melinda herself takes this up to 11 by appearing to be around 19-20 despite being born sometime in the very early ninth century. Sonic even mistakes her for Tails older sister instead of his adopted mother when they first meet.
- In Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters, Daolon Wong is eventually revealed to have been born at the end of the 15th century. Nimue and Harold Hale/King Arthur, being who they are, are presumably even older.
- The Bridge: Quite common between the kaiju and various magical Equestrians. Just about the only ones who look their age are Godzilla Junior, Xenilla, Mothra, Destroyah, and the Mane 6.
- Anguirus (looks 30, actually 77,000), Rodan (looks 16, actually 70,000), Queen Chrysalis and the alicorn sisters (look 25-30, actually >1,000), The Sirens (look 18-23, actually 1,000), Monster X and Gigan (look 23-27, actually 300-200), and Megalon (looks 19, actually 150).
- Mother Gothel from Tangled is stated to be several centuries old.
- Although WALLE is seven hundred years old, he is actually still working even after the day humanity left Earth. Somewhat justified in that he's seen replacing damaged parts using components from other robots of the same model, of which there are hundred or thousands lying around. It's likely he's replaced every part of himself many times over, save for his motherboard, RAM and memory.
- Crush from Finding Nemo is a hundred fifty years old, and is still young.note
- Sheriff Woody from Toy Story just happens to be the leader and the oldest member of Andy's toys (he was created in the 1950s).
- Kida in Atlantis: The Lost Empire is said to be old enough to forget her original written language, whatever that means.
- Milo estimates her age as somewhere around 8,500 years. She replies "yes", as though this isn't anything to be surprised about.
- One Atlantean year is actually equivalent to 300 human years. This would mean that if Kida's age was compared to that of a normal human's, then she would approximately be 28 years old.
- Rise of the Guardians:
- Jack Frost in is at least 300-years-old — but he barely looks past his late teens. He sacrificed himself to save his little sister as a human — because of this, he gained immortality and the power to control ice and snow.
- All of the Guardians and Pitch are said to be several centuries old.
- Mavis Dracula in Hotel Transylvania is a 118-year-old "teen".
- Minions hints that at least some of the titular creatures may be as old as the Cretaceous period, if not older.
- Doctor Baron Volmer is almost 300 years old and Hannah is around 200 in A Cure for Wellness.
- Dorian Gray, in the film version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. His exact age isn't given, but curmudgeonly old Allan Quartermain (played by Sean Connery) mentions that as a boy, he saw Gray giving a lecture at Eton College. In the original novel, Gray is never said to be immortal or invulnerable; he just retains his youthful appearance.
- In 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, the eponymous doctor is technically an example of this trope, in that he looks rather old, but not nearly his true age of seven thousand, three hundred and twenty-two.
- John from The Man from Earth looks like your regular guy, not like the 14,000-year-old caveman he actually is.
- Sam, the Creepy Child in Trick 'r Treat.
- The title character in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
- In the The Lord of the Rings films, like the books, many characters are Older Than They Look, but the Elves, Ents and Wizards are all hundreds or thousands of years old.
- Elrond is featured in the opening prologue, which happens three thousand years before the story proper starts. When we meet him in the "present", he looks exactly the same.
- Galadriel (as explained in the books) is even older; she's the only Elf remaining in Middle-earth who is mentioned before the first rising of the Sun, about seven thousand years ago. She's played by Cate Blanchett, who was in her early thirties at the time of filming.
- Arwen was 2901 years old when she died. She didn't look any older than her mid-twenties. Likewise, Legolas was probably around her age when the Fellowship was active, and... well, there is a pattern.
- The Wizards (and Sauron) are all Maiar, and so are literally older than the universe, having sang it into being.
- More a case of Older Than They Look, Aragorn: in an Extended Edition scene from The Two Towers, Eowyn is surprised to learn that he is actually 87 years old. He doesn't look ageless, however: he looks like a very fit and active man in his late 40's, his hair flecked with a little gray. This is because he is a Dunedain, "blessed with long life" - but not eternal life. The books explain that the Dunedain live about three times longer than regular humans (Aragorn ultimately lived to be over 210 years old).
- Thor: Asgardians can live hundreds, if not thousands of years and still be physically capable of feats of strength. The same thing applies to Frost Giants. If Loki was born about the same time as the battle in the prologue, that makes him over 1040 years old. In the sequel, he comments that Asgardians can live for approximately 5000 years. In Infinity War Thor states he's 1500 years old, Loki is likely about the same age.
- The villainess in Kull the Conqueror, leading to this exchange:
Monk: She's 3,000 years old.
Kull: She said she was 19!
- In the film version of The Green Mile, Mr. Jingles the mouse is still alive, albeit very elderly, after an unprecedented sixty years. Mice normally only live for one to three years, making the little guy older than Methuselah when adjusted for species. Paul Edgecomb is 108 years old at the end of the movie, which is nothing too impressive yet, but the implication is that he may live to see his thousandth birthday, a thought that keeps him up at night.
- The 2000 Dungeons & Dragons film has this interaction between Snails and Norda the elf, when Snails is chatting her up:
Norda: How old are you?
Snails: Twenty-three. Yeah, I know I'm a little young for you, but what if I get my hands on an aging potion, huh? I'll sacrifice a couple of years for you.
Norda: I'm two hundred and thirty-four.
- In The Santa Clause, all the elves are played by children, one of whom informs Scott that she has "pointy shoes that are older than you". Judy, one of the head elves, looks to be about ten years old. When she mentions that it took her 1,200 years to perfect her cocoa recipe, Scott Calvin/Santa Claus tells her, "You know I must say, you look pretty good for your age," to which she hilariously responds, "Thanks... but I'm seeing someone in wrapping," eliciting a stare, a look of shock and a silently-mouthed "ooookay..." from Scott/Santa.
- The Tin Drum: The main character, Oskar, willingly stops aging, resulting in an adult male in the body of a toddler. Towards the end of the film, he meets a dwarf who appears to be an adult, but reveals that he's really close to one hundred years old. Like Oscar, he decided to stop aging, and says there are others like him. They mention that they could essentially become immortal if they wanted, invoking this trope.
- Wolverine in the X-Men Film Series, because of his Super Healing Factor. He was born in 1823, but as of today, he still physically appears to be a buff as hell mid-to-late 30s. His powers constantly rejuvenate his cellular integrity rendering him seemingly ageless. He's not by any means immortal, he just ages at an incredibly slow rate, if at all.
- Pai Mei from Kill Bill, maybe. If the story about him causing the Shaolin massacre in the year 1003 AD was completely true and not a case of In-Universe case of Memetic Mutation, yes.
- Andre Linoge, from Storm Of The Century. It's never made clear how long he's been around, but it's implied to have been at least since Biblical times. Toyed with in that, though he is old and still has at least another century to live (stating to the town that he will still be alive when the youngest among them has grown old and died), even others of his kind consider him to be nearing death. Which makes sense; if you've been around for at least 1000 years, another 100 is going to seem like just a few months.
- Vampires and Lycans in the Underworld series can be centuries old without looking it. The main character, Selene, is explicitly stated to be roughly 600. None of the others have their ages stated even in ballpark figures, though it's obvious that most, if not all, of the other named vampires and Lycans are at least older than Selene.
- All the vampires in the Twilight movies
- Miriam and John in The Hunger, since they're both vampires. She turned him, and the trouble in the movie starts when his years begin to catch up with him, as eventually and invariably happens to all her companions...
- In Darby O'Gill and the Little People we are told that King Brian is around 5,000 years old.
- Hancock: Hancock and Mary are both several thousand years old.
- Star Wars:
- Yoda is 900 years old in Return of the Jedi.
Yoda: When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not, hm? [chuckles]
- The vampiric Anzati, who appear in many Expanded Universe novels, are an entire race who qualify. They can live to be up to a millennia.
- Special mention goes to Chewbacca, who by the time of A New Hope is 200 years old.
- Yoda is 900 years old in Return of the Jedi.
- The giants from Jack the Giant Slayer are long-lived, with many being the original invaders during their first invasion of Earth.
- Near the end of the first Blade film, the titular character discovers that his mother (Vanessa Brooks), who he thought died during childbirth, is still alive and is a vampire, not looking a day older from when she gave birth to him. Indeed, her actress is actually 9 years younger than Wesley Snipes, Blade's actor, and one year younger than the actress playing Dr. Karen Jenson, the film's female lead who reminded Blade of his mother.
- Additionally, his nemesis Deacon Frost turns out to have been the one who attacked Blade's mother all those years ago, while he looks to be about Blade's age. Of course, since the films are about vampires, it's pretty much a guarantee that this trope will be in effect for a good number of them.
- The third film introduces Drake, the first vampire, capable of Voluntary Shapeshifting, who has been around since ancient times.
- The titular character in Dracula 2000 is significantly older than Bram Stoker's version, being about 2000 years old, as he's actually Judas Iscariot.
- All the Abrasax siblings in Jupiter Ascending, and potentially any monied character Jupiter encounters in space. Kalique in particular just turned 14,004 years old and her mother was in her 91st millennium when she died (and not of old age).
- The Captain Ersatz for Vulcans in the german comedy Traumschiff Surprise can get up to 400 years old. It's how Mr Spuck is still alive after they jump from the 21st to the 24th century.
Mr Spuck: I am a Vulcanette Vulgaris and they can age to 400 because they belong to the same genus as the Galapagos Tortoise!
- The main character of The Last Witch Hunter is eight hundred years old in the present day part of the plot, thanks to immortality he gains in the flashback part. He has surprisingly little trouble fitting in with modern society.
- Everyone in In Time to some extent, since the aging gene has been disabled and Immortality Begins at 20. The average lifespan hasn't actually gone up that much, though; due to lifespan replacing money it's only the rich that really live forever.
- We Are the Night: Louise is more than two hundred years old, but appears to be at most forty. Charlotte is over a hundred, but looks around thirty. Nora is thirty seven, but still appears to be about twenty.
- Violent J in "I Want My Shit".
- Fans of Neil Young sometimes joke that he is this. In 2002 Blender, a music review magazine associated with Maxim, published a photo of him looking Older Than Dirt with the caption "When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not!"
- Woody Guthrie's "The Bragging Song (The Great Historical Bum)."
I was born about ten thousand years ago
There ain't nuthin' in this world that I don't know
I saw Peter, Paul and Moses playin' ring-around-the-roses
And I'll whup the guy what says it isn't so
- They Might Be Giants' "O, Do Not Forsake Me."
O, do not forsake me, my indolent friends
O, do not forsake me though you know I must spend
All my darkest hours talking like this
For I am one thousand years old
- Brazilian singer Raul Seixas wrote (with Paulo Coelho) and recorded a song named I Was Born 10,000 Years Ago.
- The legend of the "Wandering Jew" claims that a certain Ahasver was cursed for laughing at Jesus on his way to Golgotha, so that he cannot die until Jesus' Second Coming. Supposedly this Ahasver has been Walking the Earth for centuries and never looks any older than he was at Christ's Crucifixion.
- Changeling folklore often includes the changeling (who looks like a baby or small child) revealing that it's actually several hundred years old or 'as old as Wester Wood'.
- Pick a deity. Any deity. Unless special circumstances require it they will always appear in a form that is at least recognisably human, if not necessarily young, despite ages being anywhere from centuries to as old as the universe, or even older.
- Some of the Akkadian texts on Mesopotamian kings have said kings living for 25,000 years and up.
- Welcome to Night Vale:
- Due to time working funny in Night Vale quite a few citizens are substantially older than they look. An episode showcasing some recordings of radio host Cecil's past shows has his first broadcast at the settlement of the area sometime in the 18th century, and later ones on the invention of radio, Pearl Harbor, and Bill Clinton's presidency.
- Recently (in the novel), attention is paid to Jackie Fierro, who runs the local pawn shop at the young age of nineteen, and has been nineteen for "several decades".
- Several characters in Marvels RPG are demons, angels, aliens, or just really long lived... while looking like they are still in their prime.
- Many characters on both sides of the war taking place in Rplegacy's fantasy crossover RPG are a lot older than they look: Princess Zelda is anywhere in the range of hundreds or thousands of years old but looks like a young adult, the various Ainur on both sides have been around since the dawn of time, Thor is essentially immortal, and the Pevensies are technically many decades old after spending a lifetime in Narnia as royalty and then returning to England at their original ages. There are also some races present which exhibit great longevity, such as the Númenóreans, who are longer-lived than other Men, and the Yngvi (elves) native to Caranom, whose age cap is at about a thousand years but age very slowly.
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- In third edition, a 110-year-old elf is said to be equivalent to a 15-year-old human. However, the sourcebooks have disagreed on whether this is their physical age, or simply the age where they reach full emotional maturity and are considered adults by their culture. In the fourth edition, elves and eladrin reach adulthood in the same time as humans, but stay in their prime for as long as 200-300 years.
- Dwarves tend to be long-lived, and can live to be over 700 years old if they're lucky. Their close cousins the gnomes can live a few centuries too, but not as much (except forest gnomes, who have been known to live a very long time, some as old as 800 years).
- Giants tend to be very long-lived in some sources. Stone giants live the longest, up to 800 years. Storm giants can live to be 600, while cloud giants can average 400. Other giants aren't so lucky, but can still live anywhere from two to three centuries.
- Edition 3.5 also has two races that are technically immortal and don't have a maximum age; Elan reach venerable age at 1000 (an elf's venerable age is 350...) and don't have a maximum age, while the Killoren only reach "old" age at around 500 and don't have a venerable age category or a maximum age. Elan, as a created race, are made to be effectively immortal. The first creator of the Ectopic Adept prestige class (from Complete Psionic) supposedly is still wandering the planes, after a few thousand years.
- The second edition module Darklords for Ravenloft has a vampire child à la The Vampire Chronicles
- This trope also applies to several of Ravenloft's human darklords, owing to the Dark Powers' keeping them around to torment.
- There are a number of people in the Forgotten Realms setting who are much order than they look. The Seven Sisters are more than 700 years old but appear to be in their thirties. Elminster Aumar and Halaster Blackcloak are more than a thousand years old but appear to be just old men.
- In the 2nd Edition Birthright setting, one of the inheritable blood abilities (drops of divine power left in the mortal world) is Long Life, allowing someone to live up to five times, twenty times or one hundred times longer. One seemingly middle-aged character is widely rumoured to have gained his long life at the very battle where the Old Gods died!
- Warhammer has its elves following this very well, along with many of their vampires. The Slann seem to look the same no matter how many thousand years they have lived, and daemons do not age. Arguably, daemons aren't alive, being at best quasi-sentient magical constructs formed from the emotions of sentient races. That being said, there are a number of Chaos-related things which fall into this trope (if not Time Abyss): the dragon ogres made a pact with Tzeentch for immortality in exchange for servitude (and sterility), and only seem to age and grow when woken by thunderstorms. The sorcerer Udolpho traded his soul for immortality (apparently for himself and his household), with the proviso that he was never borednote . The one who really takes the cake, however, is the Great Enchanter, Constant Drachenfels; thanks to his habit of body-surfing, he is/was old enough to remember the coming of the Slann to the Warhammer world, which means that he, personally, was older than every other sapient species on the planet.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Slaanesh is easily older than 10,000 years old, but whenever s/he chooses to reveal itself to a mortal will take a form that person considers the most attractive.
- The Emperor himself is provably older than Slaanesh and claims (with debatable evidence) to be five times older, but looks like a human male in his thirties or something. Or rather, he used to look like that before being put on life support for the last ten thousand years; now he looks like what you'd expect him to look like after being strapped to a chair for one hundred centuries.
- Space Marines in general have a life expectancy closer to a thousand years, but certainly don't look like that, while their Chaos equivalents can live practically forever — and even if they kinda look like shit, it has nothing to do with their age. The life expectancy of a marine is based on Commander Dante Chapter Master of the Blood Angels who is the oldest living Space Marine (outside of Dreadnoughts), and even that is a low figure, considering the the only indication of his age we are given is a quote in one codex where he says he's "served as lord of the Blood Angels for 1,100 years". Considering the most chapter masters are already several centuries old when they take office, it's plausible that Dante's actual age is at least half again that number. However, no Space Marine has ever died of old age and they're ultimately genetically related to the Emperor so their lifespan could be limitless. The Horus Heresy novels even outright say that Space Marines are functionally immortal. Space Marines in Dreadnoughts take this Up to Eleven, they're kept in hibernation between battles Bjorn the Fell Handed fought during the Horus Heresy 10,000 years ago.
- Also in the Warhammer 40000 universe, there's the Apex Twins, a pair of psychic twins who are alpha-level psykers. They have the appearance of two 6-year-old girls and project an aura of incredible cuteness and harmlessness, inspiring anyone nearby to protect them, even if they were originally supposed to be killing them. Their true age is unknown, but it is known to be measured in millennia.
- Because of the existence of rejuvenat treatments, everyone (well... everyone with either lots of money or the right connections) in the Imperium can retain their youthful looks for quite a while. One novel has an assassin in her late teens impersonate a fictional noble somewhere past 150.
- According to most (non-battle) fluff (which isn't a lot), Eldar don't leave school until they're 100, and, according to the codex, show no signs of age until they're about 1,000. If that means what I think it means...
- And given that Farseers actually get tougher as they get older...
- Eldrad Ulthran was a young trainee during the Fall which was at least 10,000 years ago (If not older, one of the Codices has a passage from an Eldar poet who mentioned that the Eldar have sung their songs of lament since before humanity's first ancestors crawled on their bellies from the sea).
- Asdrubael Vect is at least as old as the fall, and possibly far older. He is able to claim that he himself laid the foundations of Commoragh and, while false (he was but a slave back then), no one else is old enough to verify his claims.
- Yriel is at least a thousand years old, but pictures of him and his model make him look more like he is 30-ish.
- The Phoenix Lords might be an extreme example, as they are conglomerates of the souls of everyone to have worn their armor dominated by the consciousness of the first and greatest, which suggests that they are biologically three hundred or so while mentally over a hundred thousand.
- Dark Eldar plays it straight to the casual outside viewer, but to anyone with decent psychic powers or Daemons, this is horrifically averted; they extend their lives by feeding off of the suffering of others, sending their damned souls to Slaanesh in their place. This results in their bodies still aging well past the point of reason and only their sorceries can keep their appearances presentable. However Daemons and Psykers can (must) see through this. For the average human psyker, this is apparently brain bleach enough to make them go insane.
- Yarrick is, what, four hundred? And still disassembling Orks with an old power klaw. Old Soldier indeed.
- A common theory is that he is sustained by the fact that the Orks believe that he will always be around to fight them. Since Orks generate a psychic field that can cause things to be true if enough Orks believe it this is not unreasonable.
- Eisenhorn is at least 190 years old, but isn't slowing down yet.
- He was 42 in Xenos, 140 in Malleus, and 256 in Hereticus. Hereticus ends in the 7th century of M41, so he'd be pushing 500.
- Eisenhorn has nothing on Kryptmann, who is rumored to still be at large hunting Tyranids around the Galaxy, despite being more than 2000 years old and on the run for much of this time.
- Hive Fleet Behemoth arrived in the 5th century of M41, and I'm pretty sure that he wasn't 1500 years old by then.
- Commissar Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM! is around 200 in his first story but doesn't seem to have shown any effects yet.
- This is dubious and is probably a misinterpretation of the text reference. In other places it was said that Cain was 200 to 250 when he ''died'. Though the nature of his career led to rampant fan speculation that his death was only a ruse to hide his promotion to the ranks of Inquisition.
- Commander Farsight of the Tau looks like he's in his mid 40's. This is misleading for two reasons; He's actually several hundred years old now and Tau generally only live to around 40-50. The Dawn Blade, a unique weapon he found on Arthas Moloch, is able to suck the life out of whomever he kills and adds the years they would have left to live to his own. Given that he's been killing everything from Orks to Space Marines (neither of which has had a single member canonically die of old age yet) he's probably not gonna die of old age anytime soon. Unfortunately he has no idea that this is why he's been living this long, and the fluff implies if he ever knew why, he would immediately kill himself in horror and regret.
- The Vampire: The Masquerade RPG by White Wolf has tons of examples of this, of course. One of the more notorious should be Ur-Shulgi, who looks like a small child but is thousands of years old. There's even one über-ancient vampire, the progenitor of the mad Malkavian clan, that appears at one point as 12 small girls with glowing eyes.
- In the New World of Darkness, Vampire: The Requiem features a number of examples.
- Hunter: The Vigil features the head of the Malleus Maleficarum, who's a rogue ghoul sustained by vampire blood, and a number of members of the Lucifuge (including its leader, also called the Lucifuge), who qualify through their status in the organization.
- Most of the Exalted age extremely slowly beyond a certain point, which normally results in Immortality Begins at 20 and the occasional Old Master. However, Abyssal Exalted stop aging at all, regardless of what age they were when they exalted. One of the Deathlords (the Dowager) is specifically mentioned as having a(n apparently) 10-year-old girl as a Deathknight servant. Her name is Shoat of the Mire and she's a Dusk caste, which means she will kick your ass.
- Of course, let us not forget the slightly older-looking, more well-known Raksi and, since Second Edition, Mnemon. Whether because you were scarred by the formless chaos your people fled to at the fall of Atlantis or because you screwed up at wizarding school and they had to build another one, ending up a sixteen year old-looking redheaded hottie for the rest of your unnaturally long life ain't so bad an outcome. Of course, it wouldn't be meaningful if it didn't also make you a cannibal or (one of) The Chosen One(s).
- Rook Catchfly in Nobilis appears to be ten, but she's actually from the nineteenth century and thanks to the nature of Afflictions, she is totally unable to age. She has been known to protest that she's "not young, just stuck!"
- A perk in Deadlands: Hell on Earth called "Veteran of the Weird West" allows your character to have somehow survived the 200 years between the original Weird West Deadlands and the Wasted West of Hell on Earth. It adds a good number of extra starting points, however, is fairly well-balanced by the chart of Bad Stuff that's happened to you along the way.
- Most BIONICLE characters have lifespans that can reach triple digits, yet many of them are seen acting like kids. In the case of the Matoran Universe races, this makes some sense, since they were created that way and most of them don't visibly age, at least normally. Outside that universe, where beings are born fully organic, this gets a little strange. Especially Gresh, a rookie fighter who acts like a teenager, despite also being a few dozen millenia old.
- The title character of Iolanthe is a fairy who looks like a 17-year-old girl. In the backstory, she married a mortal and had a son, Strephon; in the play, his age is 25. This causes problems for Strephon when he is seen in Iolanthe's company, since no one will believe that's she's his mum.
- The opera singer Emilia Marty, in Karel Čapek's play (and Leo Janáček's opera) The Makropulos Affair, is really 300 years old. She gets more than a bit tired of life, however.
- Damn Yankees:
Lola: Joe, you make me feel girlish — and I'm 172 years old.
- Hap the Golden in The Hammer Trinity.
- Arcueid in Tsukihime is actually 800. She might not count due to sleeping most of the time, but she doesn't age, either. Her sister is at least as old as Arcueid is, has probably spent the entire time active and looks only about 14, making her perhaps a better example.
- Len from the pseudo-sequel Kagetsu Tohya appears to be a little girl of about ten, but at the very least has lived several human lifespans.
- All the Fate/stay night Servants, as they all appear using bodies based on their prime of life despite coming from time periods any time from a few years into the future to 6000+ years old. This is kind of explained by the Root pulling them out of our traditional sense of time, and holding them in a kind of suspended animation between each Summoning.
- Girls' Love Visual Novel Akai Ito has Asama Sakuya, who is 17-centuries old despite looking early 30s. She says that she's old enough to drink alcoholic beverages and rent adult videos.
- The sort-of sequel Aoi Shiro has Kohaku, who is about 1000 years old despite looking like a young boy. Unfortunately, due to having a flawed immortal body, she spend most of that time in torpor. However, that is nothing compared to her estranged foster father, Ba Rouryuu, who was there during the age of the gods (i.e. at least as old as Sakuya, above).
- The physically 9-11 (no one knows) years old Furude Rika in Higurashi: When They Cry, thanks to the "Groundhog Day" Loop. Unlike Hanyu and most other examples, maturity matches mental age, though this is deliberately hidden so as to not freak people out.
- This also applies to Hanyuu to a lesser degree due to her not being in her true form to begin with.
- Beatrice in Umineko: When They Cry looks 20 but is a 1000 year old witch
or so she claims. She is actually a 19-year-old human, and all her stories about her "distant past" are either invented, romanticized, and/or refer to her defunct mother and grandmother, who both had the same name.
- There's also the other two 1000-year-old witches, Bernkastel and Lambdadelta, though the question remains as to whether they're actually real or not.
- In Code:Realize, the Apostles of Idea - whose number includes Saint-Germain - have been granted Resurrective Immortality by Omnibus for the purpose of monitoring and guiding humanity's development to keep them on "the correct path." Omnibus, their leader, is implied to be the Biblical Eve. As such, they're all a lot older than they look; Saint-Germain claims to have been around for thousands of years.
- Aside from The Endless in Sandman, there are a few other examples. One being Hob (who later went by Robert) who boasted to fellow tavern patrons in 1389 that he had decided not to die. Everyone does it just because everyone else does, but he wasn't going to go along with it. The personifications of Death and Dream happened to be sitting nearby incognito, and decided it would be amusing to take him at his word. (His curmudgeonly reaction to the Ren Faire he visits five hundred years later is amusing.)
- Diego in Havenfall Is For Lovers looks about thirty, but is actually a vampire who's been around for about five hundred years, long enough to have taken part in the Spanish invasion of the New World. Razi and JD may likewise be much, much older than they seem; their profiles only state that Razi "looks 35" and JD "looks 25," with no indication of how long either of them has actually lived.
- Neurotically Yours: Turns out Foamy the squirrel is in fact over 400 years old and maybe even older.
- Ozpin in RWBY has been cursed to reincarnate for thousands of years, as divine punishment for failing to stop Salem. His Odd Name Out hints at this; the Colorful Theme Naming is an in-universe tradition, which Ozpin long predates. Salem herself is also as ancient as Ozpin, but in her case it is due being cursed with immortality and being left alone on a planet with no other humans for ages, as a punishment for trying to disrupt the natural order of life and death.
- DSBT InsaniT: Waterfall Girl looks like a young woman, but that woman is just a vessel she uses to communicate with the mortal world.
- Dreamscape: Melissa has lived for several lifetimes due to mastering the cycle of death and rebirth, giving her Resurrective Immortality.
- Valentine of Last Mage is very old. In specifics, we know he was there at the founding of the United States, so he's at least 235 years old.
- April, in The Lay of Paul Twister, apparently has a very extended lifespan, even for a magic user. When Paul hears about her, he takes it as confirmation that she is like him, except that his aging got slowed down at a much earlier point.
- There are many, many characters in Orion's Arm who are hundreds or thousands of years old due to a huge variety of technologies ranging from advanced medical technology to mind uploading. Regardless of age most people in the Sephirotic Empires appear to be whatever age they want to be.
- In WarpZone Project, this is the case of Eve Bones. She's been alive at least since Renaissance times, as she mentions that one of her rings dates from that period.
- Like most vampires, the title character of Carmilla falls into this trope. She was born in 1680, but she looks like a college student.
- The Sources Lys and Sin in Noob. Lys is described as a young woman in the novels and called a "kid" by a character describing her at some point. Sin looks like he's twelve according to his own descriptions. Both get somewhat of a physical Age Lift when they show up in the movies (mostly because the person planned for Sin had to hit puberty sooner of later), but still looks quite young for their multiple-millennia age.
- This tree in Sweden may look like a mere sapling, but the above-ground portion is just the latest offshoot of a root system that has been growing continuously since the end of the last Ice Age.
- While not quite that extreme, olive trees are well known for that. While the tree itself might die, the root system will live on and produce several trees. Root systems being thousands of years old are not rare, especially in parts of the Middle East.
- That's nothing compared to "Pando", a clonal colony of Quaking Aspen in Utah whose root system is estimated to be about 80,000 years old. There might even be other, less well-studied Quaking Aspen-systems in the area that are one million years old.
- For that matter, there are several such instances of very long-lived plant-based organisms.
- Not to mention fungal mycelia, which are typically as old as the forests they grow under.
- The Turritopsis nutricula is, theoretically, biologically immortal. After sexual maturity and reproducing, the creature reverts to a polyp (younger) stage. The cells and biology of the creature change completely as opposed simply mimicking the younger stage. The process of developing sexual maturity, reproduction, and returning to polyp stage then repeats.
- There is evidence that hydras may age very slowly or not at all, making them potential candidates for being biologically immortal.
- Sea turtles never age. They can die only by violent death or by an illness not caused or hastened by old age.
- Not the case. They do not age outwardly past maturity, still making them candidates for this trope. The more long-lived ones last about 80 years.
- Even more true of some tortoises the Galapagos variety can supposedly live to 200 or more!
- One of the three giant tortoises taken from the Galapagos Islands by Charles Darwin, named Harriet, was 176 years old when she died in 2006.
- Most turtles and tortoises can live to be 80 to 100 years old; this includes small land turtles and tortises which are kept as pets. However, because of the way people treat these creatures, most die of either abuse, malnutrition, or neglect within one year. Statistics given by a member of the Colorado Reptile Humane Society board.
- Females of many species of spiders, at least those who do not die of debilitation after laying eggs, continue to grow and molt throughout their entire lives. They generally die from predation, duels with rivals of their own species, or molting problems that can affect older individuals (who, like the turtles, do not differ visually from their younger selves). Female tarantulas can live to be 30 while continuing to mate with males who seldom reach 2.
- In the Bristle Cone Pine page info in the Wikipedia entry, there is also a link to the Arctica islandica, an ordinary-looking mollusk actually found to be 405 to 410 years old. This made it the longest solitary animal on record which forms accretionary skeletons.
- And then there's the Yew, a major contender in the Oldest Living Thing stakes. In Britain, many parish churches have yews in the grounds and there are many folk explanations, the most common being that they were planted to provide the close-grained, flexible timber required to make longbows for the English army. However, given how painfully slowly yew trees grow, this is clearly nonsense. The trees weren't planted in the churchyard, the church and churchyard were planted in the yew groves that were already very old and sacred to the kind of guys who built Stonehenge.
- Many trees, left to themselves, will age and eventually die but if humans intervene by coppicing, as they have for millennia for the production of charcoal, fencing poles and other trappings of industry and agriculture, there seems to be no limit to how long they can survive. Coppicing keeps the tree eternally youthful.
- Given that there are different branches of medical science that are separately working on coming up with ways to someday make it possible to maintain a youthful appearance for years as well as have longer life expectancies, it is be safe to say that medical science is ultimately working toward making some form of Really 700 Years Old possible for humans.
- Most people don't think of humans as particularly notable for their age, but while the average lifespan of a human is fairly normal in the mammal world, their record age (122 years old, if not more) is the second longest of any mammal. It's possible that one man once lived to 150, but this is almost certainly a case of him being confused with his grandfather, whose name he shared.
- The bowhead whale lives for longer than any other mammal, with some estimated to have reached over 200 years old. A male was recently killed and shown to have a harpoon manufactured in the 1890s embedded in his blubber, showing that he survived an attack by whalers (when he was presumably already an adult). The whale seems to be able to resist cancer, contributing to its longevity.
- A koi by the name of Hanako was determined to be over 215 years old through studies of her scales, which grow rings like tree trunks. She died in 1970. By comparison, koi are usually said to not live beyond 50. Sort of gives new meaning to the koi's reputed longevity, huh?
- The Greenland shark puts all other vertebrates to shame. Some specimens are up to five hundred years old. That's almost twice as much as the oldest sea turtle!
- In addition to their incredibly long lifespan, they can take 150 years to reach maturity. A Greenland shark born during the American Civil War may not even be able to breed yet!