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Spin-Off Babies

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This is why Alan Moore doesn't want us to have nice things.

"What are you trying to feed the child — sanitized pablum? Li'l Death? Li'l Morpheus? Revolting!"

Cartoons have a tendency to get spun off into new shows with younger versions of the original characters. No one is quite sure why producers do this, aside from the opportunity to make a new franchise for a new demographic out of an older, successful property. Often the concept of the original show is dropped entirely and replaced, but sometimes it's adapted to an elementary- or middle-school setting. Started to become a Dead Horse Trope in the early 2000s and is now frequently parodied, due to the absurdity of some of the examples. This trope is named after Muppet Babies.

Note that those are usually not prequels, and not part of the original show's continuity. It's usual for people who supposedly met for the first time in the original show to meet in the "younger" show, or for characters with notably different ages in the original show to be babies/middle-schoolers at the same time. If they are descendants, then it's Spin-Offspring.

If any of the voice cast of the original series is still alive, expect them to have occasional-to-recurring guest roles as the parents of the younger versions of their original roles (e.g. Henry Corden, the regular voice of adult Fred Flintstone at the time, was the voice of young Freddie's dadnote  on The Flintstone Kids). Related to Recycled with a Gimmick and High School AU. This is not about spin-off shows where characters have kid-like proportions as they are still otherwise treated like adults despite being lighter in nature. The main draw of this spin-off is that they are younger, with sensibilities aimed at them being of a young age.

Contrast Time Skip, which tends to make the characters older instead. Compare Young Future Famous People, which does this with real people. If the characters start displaying hints of their main-series personalities, see Early Personality Signs.


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  • In the Planters Super Bowl ad campaign, Mr. Nut is reincarnated into a baby version of himself.
  • Chuck E. Cheese: At some locations near the Toddler Zone area in the 2000s, there was a picture that had all five members of Munch's Make-Believe Band as babies.


    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan has the Middle School AU spin-off manga Attack on Titan: Junior High. It is a rather surreal manga involving the main cast going to school with the Titans, and deals with it as a Slice of Life comedy. It gleefully parodies the primary canon, as well as including numerous Shout Outs to popular memes and aspects of the fandom. Eren still hates the Titans, but the trauma of his mother being Eaten Alive is replaced with his cheeseburger lunch being stolen on the first day of school.
  • Despite Felix the Cat being an American property, Baby Felix and Friends was made in Japan. It serves as a prequel to the 1959 series, though adult Felix appears often.
  • Godzilland is a children's Edutainment Show about Godzilla and friends as babies living on an island together, with Mothra (the sole adult among them) acting as their caretaker. A lot of the Toho kaiju are featured, namely the big G himself, Anguirus, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Gigan, Mechagodzilla, etc. as is a new character named Gojirin, a female counterpart and love interest for Godzilla. It also features live action segments depicting the adult Godzilla relating these stories to his human sister (don't ask).
    • Would later receive a Spiritual Successor in the form of the web puppet show Godziban, focused on the adventures of a young Showa Godzilla with his siblings Minilla and Littlegodzilla.
  • There's a Negima! Magister Negi Magi spin-off manga that plays with this trope a bit by featuring note  Teenage!Negi as 3-A's kindergarten teacher.
  • Otenba Peach-hime is a gag manga based on the Super Mario Bros. characters as kids and focuses mainly on Princess Peach.
  • Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat features an even younger Digiko and Puchiko having adventures on Planet Di Gi Charat. It's not immediately clear if it's actually a prequel, or an alternate continuity. As usual, if a prequel, it messes with the previously-established continuity a bit — they're still known as Digiko and Puchiko, even though these are supposedly just aliases they go by on Earth, and Piyoko appears, even though no-one seemed to have any idea who she was when she "later" appeared in one of the specials for the original series. Also, Dejiko is more optimistic and cheery instead of being a lazy Jerkass, and Piyoko is pure evil instead of just wanting to kidnap Dejiko for ransom. Given how silly Di Gi Charat is, this isn't as big a deal as it could be, though.
  • The Tokyo Mew Mew manga contained Omake depicting all the characters in a fantasy kindergarten.
  • Ultraman Kids, based on the Ultra Series (and with characters more or less "inspired" by Doraemon, the latter's anime adaptation becoming popular at the time). While the kids in question are Ultraman, Ultraseven and Ultraman Taro (and a new character, Ultragirl Piko who's a blatant Shizuka expy), various monsters and aliens from the show appears as classmates as well, with Alien Baltan and Alien Guts (respectively expies of Gian and Suneo) being the resident school bullies.

    Comic Books 
  • 2000 AD's occasional "Regened" all-ages issues are headlined by Cadet Dredd.
  • Archie Comics:
    • Archie actually did this YEARS earlier than Muppet Babies (1984) (in the 1960s, to be exact) with "Little Archie", taking place in the gang's Elementary School years, but it didn't have many copycats. "The New Archies" (both a cartoon series and a comic, both short-lived) came in the 1980s, and was based around their pre-teen Middle School years. The former appears to actually be in continuity (told nowadays as flashbacks), but the latter, with several replacement characters (Eugene for Dilton, among others), is mostly forgotten.
    • One final attempt (so far) of reviving "Little Archie" was ''New Little Archies'' in the early nineties, when the concept was redesigned.
    • When the Archie characters became superheroes in the "Pureheart the Powerful" storylines, their younger selves became superheroes, too.
    • There actually was an Archie Babies graphic novel as well, which depicted the characters as toddlers in a daycare.
    • Still Archie Comics, but not Archie-centered: Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) had two specials devoted to the concept of "Sonic Kids". These were stories of the Freedom Fighters as kids, before they went around smashing Robotnik's robots.
  • The DC Comics middle-school imprint DC Zoom has several books like this, including a teenaged Lois Lane, Bruce Wayne, Zatanna, Dinah Lance and, of all characters, John Constantine!
  • Disney Babies featured Mickey, Minnie and friends as toddlers.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Paperino Paperotto, a Italy comic book series starring the life and childhood of Donald Duck and his friends in stories. Young Donald, lives in Quacktown, a country village on the outskirts of Duckburg located where there is the farm of Grandma Duck with the little goat Billy. This representation of childhood Donald is easily compatible with versions of other authors, in accordance with the genealogy of Don Rosa.
    • Another spin-off of Paperino Paperotto is titled Young Donald Duck which focus the lives of Donald and his friends as teenagers going to middle school.
  • The Doctor Who Adventures kids' magazine has a strip called "Alien Babies" with main characters Blun the Slitheen, Simon the Cyberman, Strup the Sontaran, Eldast the Silurian and Chas and Chelsea the Weeping Angels. Other babies come and go, often a baby version of the monster in the previous week's episode. (This was taken to a ridiculous extreme in the issue following "The Rings of Akhaten", which featured a character actually called "Baby Grandfather".)
  • Even older than the Archie example, Disney did a young Davy Crockett comic series in the 1950s called "Lil' Davy" that even teamed him up with Jiminy Crockett.
  • Dynamite Comics published a series of one-shots, Li'l Dynamites, featuring various characters they hold the rights to as kid versions of themselves, including Battlestar Galactica, Vampirella, The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman, Evil Ernie, and Red Sonja. They were rather adorable.
  • Gaston Lagaffe had a 2011 spin-off titled Gastoon, about Gaston's young nephew and his elementary-school-aged friends Jeanne, Jules, Bertrand and De Mesmeaker, who were also younger equivalent of characters from the main series (without the likeness being explained). It was a critical and commercial failure, and stopped after two albums.
  • A volume of Gen¹³ featured the Authoriteens, in mockery of Spinoff Babies tropes. Their equivalent of the Doctor is the Intern, they travel "The Gutters" instead of the Bleed, teen Jack Hawksmoor, the king of cities, is now Jack Hatfield, spirit of small towns (his costume includes a stalk of straw and denim overalls), and the Midnighter's equivalent, Daybreaker, is a Totally Radical motor mouth whose relationship with Kid Apollo is no more than Ambiguously Gay (and implied to have gone no further than the 'funny feelings' stage yet).
  • Itty Bitty Comics is a Dark Horse Comics preteen line made by the creators of Tiny Titans where they made PG adventures for Hellboy, B.P.R.D. and The Mask.
  • Lucky Luke has Kid Lucky since 1995.
  • Mini-Jon's Experiments is a particularly odd example, as it is a spin-off for the Canadian comic Super Agent Jon Le Bon, which revolves around a kid clone of Jon having experiments while making life hard for Henry. As it turns out, a story exclusive to the first collected volume reveals that he was born from Tiberius' attempt to make super soldier clones of Jon, so Mini-Jon was adopted by the Agency after destroying the lab.
  • Chris Giarrusso's Mini Marvels series. To hammer the point, Spidey is never called "Spider-Man" because, well, he's not a grown-up man yet. Plus, instead of a paid photographer, he's a paperboy for the Daily Bugle.
  • Le Petit Spirou is a spin-off of Franco-Belgian comic Spirou & Fantasio, starring a younger, and markedly more impertinent and irreverent version of the main character. Some of the one page gags are flashbacks to the protagonist years as a toddler (rather than an elementary school kid) which centers mostly on the many hazards awaiting the dangly bits of a small child running half naked around the house. Has a bad, bad case of Comic-Book Time, the first albums were set in the 60s/70s with a grandfather who'd been in WWI, nowadays the gags are modern (and the grandfather still the same age).
  • The French Comic Book Sillage (Wake) has a spin-off series called Nävis, which is about the title character's childhood on a jungle planet and is written and drawn in a more humorous style than the parent series.
  • Strangers in Paradise had a four-issue spin-off called SIP Kids.
  • Possibly the earliest comic book example is Superboy, the young persona of Superman, whose adventures were published as early as the 1940s. This was adapted into Smallville, among other things.
    • In 1950, Superboy's own comic then introduced Superbaby - the adventures of Clark Kent when he was a super-powered toddler.
  • In the late 1970s, DC Comics introduced the "Super Juniors", baby versions of the Justice League. While these characters only appeared in comics once (a digest-sized one-shot), they appeared on a considerable number of licensed products (toys, linens, nursery furnishings, etc.) in the early 1980s.
  • Suske en Wiske had a spin-off series in which the 2 main characters are five-year olds rather than (pre)-teens. It consists of one page gag comics, while the main series is one with album long stories. It also ignores the continuity of it's parent series, since it has Suske already living with Wiske and her aunt Sidonia at age 5, while in the main series both he and Wiske were already pre-teens when they first met.
  • Switch (2015) is a high-school retelling of Witchblade centered around a teenager named Mary.
  • Titans: In-universe example. In the one-shot Titans Sell-out Special, the team signs off their likenesses to be explored by television studios and toy companies. One of the projects is a cartoon with some of the heroes as babies: Nighty-night (Nightwing), Presto-Change'o (Changeling/Beast Boy), Daddy's Little Princess (Starfire), Kitty Litt'r (Pantha) and Beesty (Baby Wildebeest).
  • Tiny Titans is an elementary school themed spin off of Teen Titans. It even had a crossover title with another spinoff babies comic, Tiny Titans/Little Archie.
  • Ultimate X Men re-envisioned the team as teenagers, including members who were adults when they joined in the proper canon. The one exception is Wolverine, who, like his X-Men: Evolution counterpart, is still an adult. It's worth remembering that the original X-Men were teenagers, so with the Ultimate Universe being a Continuity Reboot, having the team start at that age while shuffling the original lineup makes sense.
  • Wonder Girl (and the even younger Wonder Tot) began life as stories of Wonder Woman's younger days, until the writers threw continuity out of the window and put her in the Teen Titans (contemporary with her older self).
  • X-Men:
  • The X-Files had a limited comic-book series titled The X-Files: Origins about child Mulder and Scully.
  • Zbeng!, an Israeli comic about a group of teenagers (featured in a teen magazine), had a children spin off called "Zbengale" (which featured in a children's magazine).

    Comic Strips 
  • There exists an extremely rare educational computer game called Young Dilbert's Hi-Tech Hijinks that features Dilbert (of all characters to get an example of this trope) as a pre-teen boy travelling into his virus-ridden computer to eliminate the viruses.
  • Spy vs. Spy has Spy vs. Spy Jr., which ran in the short-lived MAD Kids magazine.

    Fan Works 
  • Littletale, an Undertale AU that casts the monster characters as rambunctious kids around Frisk's age.
  • Toddlerstuck, a Homestuck AU in which the Alpha Kids, Beta Kids, Cherubs, and Alternian Trolls are children at a daycare center.
  • Rainbow Dash vs the Toilet is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction where the six main characters, Princess Luna, and Big Macintosh are toddlers, but Princess Celestia (who, in canon, is only a bit older than Luna and Luna in canon is way older than the protagonists) is the same age as she is in canon and Twilight is still literate.
  • Total Drama Kids, a fancomic by Deviantart user Kika-ila that has the teenage contestants of Total Drama Island, World Tour, and Revenge of the Island as children attending elementary school together. With the debut of Total DramaRama, the whole thing becomes Hilarious in Hindsight.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Not only did the Danish movie series Olsen-banden get a spinoff of this nature called Olsenbanden Jr.Translated, so did both the Norwegian and Swedish Foreign Remakes. (In the latter case the child spinoff got the name Lilla JönssonliganTranslated to accomodate for the titular character's Dub Name Change.) What's more, all three spinoffs take the characters who were mostly middle-aged in the original continuity (The '70s/The '80s) and depict them as school children of roughly the same age in The '50s. While the setting may have worked for Benny, who was noticably younger than Egon and Kjeld (at least in the Danish and Swedish versions), the spinoffs depict all three of the characters as the same age, throwing continuity out the window.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes was a pastiche of Sherlock Holmes supposedly telling the early life of Holmes and Watson when they first met as teens (which contradicts the novels, since A Study in Scarlet has Watson meet Holmes for the first time when both are already adults). And apparently, before Holmes figured out how to solve crimes by logical deduction.

  • A Dog's Purpose has a spinoff novel series called A Dog's Purpose Puppy Tales. It consists of Ellie's Story, Bailey's Story, Molly's Story, and Max's Story. The stories expand upon the puppy years of the various reincarnations of the A Dog's Purpose protagonist.
  • Earth Children Are Weird focuses on Mulder and Scully from The X-Files as children, even though they met as adults in canon.
  • Ghostbusters: A Paranormal Picture Book: The main cast of Ghostbusters (1984) are written as children in a school.
  • Goldilocks and the Three Potties focuses on Goldilocks from Goldilocks and the Three Bears being potty-trained.
  • The Hardy Boys have two, the discontinued Clues Brothers and the currently running Secret Files, which feature Frank and Joe at nine and eight years old.
  • The original James Bond novels spun-off into the book series Young Bond by Charlie Higson.
  • In late 2019 a spin-off book to the Llamas with Hats web series was released, featuring Carl and Paul as babies.
  • Max and Ruby creator Rosemary Wells made a few books titled "Baby Max And Ruby" which has Max as a young infant while Ruby is a young child.
  • Nancy Drew got in on it as well, with "The Nancy Drew Notebooks" and "Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew."
  • A variation is Disney's successful line of preteen-oriented novels about the adventures of the teenage Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • Several Sesame Street books about characters as babies:
    • "Me Cookie" is about how Cookie Monster got his name.
    • "Too Big For Diapers" is about Ernie being potty-trained.
  • The Star Trek Starfleet Academy novels focus on The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine cast members as Starfleet officers in training.
  • Star Wars has the "Darth Vader and Son" parody series, which depict Vader as the father to a toddler-aged Luke and Leia.
  • Sweet Valley High has spun-off three "kiddie" versions of the characters: Sweet Valley Twins (set when the characters were in sixth grade), Sweet Valley Junior High (when they were in eighth grade) and Sweet Valley Kids (when they were seven years old and in elementary school). The former was well received and heavily promoted via a retcon character Amy, who was Elizabeth Wakefield's best friend in the "Twins" book but her mortal enemy in the main "Sweet Valley High" book and ultimate led to a villain-based spin-off series based off of the "Unicorn Club". The later was reviled by fans as being a soulless tie-in. Reversed with Sweet Valley University, which put the twins in college.
  • The Grim Darkness of the future has just skewed to the 8 - 12 set with Warhammer Adventures. It's more heroic Rogue Traders and Space Marines with kid heroes and less cleansing heretics with fire and steel. Warhammer Adventures has books for Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar.
  • Inspired by the success of the Young Bond series (see above), Andy Lane has written a series of Young Sherlock Holmes novels, unrelated to the movie.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway had a segment featuring "Little Ant And Dec". Thankfully not an Unusual Euphemism, this featured a pair of kids who slightly resembled Big Ant And Dec interviewing somebody in a faintly rude fashion.
  • Example that never was: The CBBC wanted the current production team to make them a Young Doctor Who, which presumably would have been titled Moffat Babies. The idea horrified Russell T Davies, so he pitched The Sarah Jane Adventures to them instead.
  • Gotham is in many ways this, where classic Batman characters are either much younger or in most cases children.
  • Indiana Jones movies got the TV spin off The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which showed Indy as a young lad working alongside his father.
  • Reality TV franchise spinoffs with pre-teen/teen competitors include:
  • Game Show TV franchise spinoffs with pre-teen/teen competitors include:
  • In possibly the most bizarre example, long-running British sitcom Last of the Summer Wine spawned a spin-off called First Of The Summer Wine, featuring the main cast as teenagers in the 1930s. This included both (at the time) Suspiciously Similar Substitutes for the third man of the Comic Trio, despite the fact that, in Last, Compo barely remembered one of them was at the same school, and the other one was clearly established as a newcomer to the village. Since this is a show about drunk and arguably senile elderly Brits, you could chalk it up to Unreliable Narrator.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 used this line no less than three times during "The Killer Shrews"; Joel's invention exchange was Jim Henson's Edgar Winter Babies, and during the short "Junior Rodeo Daredevils", they mention "Jim Henson's Misfit Babies" and "Jim Henson's The Last Picture Show Babies".
  • Psych got two of these. There was a set of short cartoons between seasons featuring Shawn and Gus as children. Then during the commercials in the next season, Shawn and Gus appear in short clips as teenagers during the mid 90's.
  • Sesame Beginnings, a direct-to-DVD Edutainment Show for kids younger than the Sesame Street demographic (ie the under-2s), starring Baby Big Bird, Baby Cookie Monster, Baby Elmo and Baby Prairie Dawn.
  • In the 200th episode of Stargate SG-1, the titular team briefly imagine being replaced with younger, hipper versions of themselves. They aren't pleased with the result.
  • The short-lived Young Hercules, directed at teen and younger viewers, featured the semi-sterilized adventures of an adolescentish Hercules through ancient high school.
  • Young Sheldon is a spinoff of The Big Bang Theory centered around the character of Sheldon as a child.


  • In one of the most bizarre examples (which in hindsight, was also tactless and kinda stupid) the already-young Cabbage Patch Kids had a line of Cabbage Patch Preemies, even smaller versions of the dolls. In a move that everybody except the Cabbage Patch People saw coming, making a cute little doll out of frail and weak premature babies infuriated a lot of people. Discussed in number 2 of this article.
  • DC Super Hero Girls stars DC characters as high schoolers.
  • Dracco Heads, a series of collectible figurines made to trail off of the popularity of Gogo's Crazy Bones, had a set of figures called "Baby Dracco Heads" where all the characters from the first Dracco Heads set are babies.
  • Kindi Kids features the Shopkins Shoppies characters as kindergartners.
  • My Little Pony's "So Soft" line, which oddly styles the baby ponies more after human infants instead of equine ones. This is even the case in the toys based on Friendship is Magic, which explicitly shows ponies, babies or otherwise, to be quadrupedal.
  • 'Newborns' is a popular way for characters in a line of toys to get even smaller and cuter, e.g. Pound Puppies and Puppy In My Pocket.
  • Sesame Street: Plush dolls, targeted to infants and babies, have been sold of Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Prairie Dawn, Big Bird and Elmo. Picture books for babies and toddlers, depicting the Muppet characters as babies, have also been sold.
  • Suzy's Zoo has been spun-off into Little Suzy's Zoo. The show on BabyFirstTV? Yeah, it's actually the latter.
  • Teenie Beanies, which were available at McDonald's for several years, were this to Beanie Babies. Some Teenie Beanies were even given diminutive names of their larger counterparts; e.g., the Teenie version of Ants the Anteater was called "Antsy."

    Video Games 
  • Ecco Jr. features a younger version of Ecco the Dolphin exploring the ocean, completing such tasks as herding seahorses, swimming through rings, and finding lost balls for sea lions along the way. The game was created to appeal to younger gamers as part of the "Sega Club" line of games, partially in response to the difficulty of the original Ecco game and its sequel, Tides of Time.
  • A handful of Dragon Quest spinoffs feature party members from mainline titles going on adventures when they were kids. Terry and Milly and later Kiefer were monster tamers, Yangus engaged in dungeon crawling, and Erik and Mia went treasure-hunting.
  • Square Enix did this with a couple of Final Fantasy characters in the Kingdom Hearts series. Most of these characters were originally in their late teens or early 20s in their respective Final Fantasy games, but their Kingdom Hearts counterparts are in their early to mid-teens. This includes Zack from Final Fantasy VIInote , Selphie, Seifer, Fuu (Fujin), and Rai (Raijin) from Final Fantasy VIII, and lastly, Tidus and Wakka from Final Fantasy X. Squall Leonheart is an exception, as he is instead aged up to his twenties.
  • In Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, IF and Compa, two of the playable characters in the previous two games now appear as babies due to Neptune travelling back in time.
  • Neopets:
    • In this Neopian Times article, Darigan, Kass, Adee, Fyora, Sloth, Jhudora, Illusen, Edna and Eliv Thade as kids, even though Sloth and Fyora are way older than Illusen, Jhudora, Darigan, Kass, and Eliv, who in turn are way older than Adee.
    • this Neopian Times article is about Edna as a kid.
  • In the web-game Nick Jr Babies you take care of infant versions of Oswald, Dora, Blue, and Bill from Oswald, Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues, and Little Bill.
  • Pokémon often introduces pre-evolved forms of certain Mons in each new expansion of the Pokedex. Who gets a baby form seems to be dependent on the character in question. Some get them based on their popularity, and others received them because they appear too "big" or "advanced" to hatch out of an egg as is.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Yoshi's Island features the Yoshi tribe trying to keep baby versions of the regular Mario characters safe from Kamek and Baby Bowser. Its sequel has the current-day Bowser and Kamek traveling to the past in a search for MacGuffin Babies, terrorizing the Yoshis and babies (including himself) of that time period in the process. No, the plot doesn't make any sense.
    • Incidentally, Yoshi's Story was all about Baby Yoshis saving the day for the grown-ups.
    • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time stars the older Mario Bros. teaming up with their baby selves to save the past, present, and future from Alien Invaders.
    • Spin off baby versions of Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy and Rosalina have appeared in the Mario Kart series. Baby versions of Wario, Donkey Kong and Bowser have appeared in other titles.
  • The Twisted Metal series is normally about a vicious, high-octane demolition derby where contestants blow up each other to win a wish of their choosing. Then there's Twisted Metal: Small Brawl, where instead every character is a little kid and they drive heavily-armed RC vehicles through playgrounds and other urban areas.
  • Virtua Fighter Kids is a combination of this and Super-Deformed. It leans more towards the latter as you got characters who have facial hair and developed breasts, despite being called children.

    Web Animation 
  • Mameshiba, of all things, has launched the Babyshiba shorts, which feature baby versions of the titular beans.

  • The Book of Biff had a week of comics showing Biff as a kid as that week's theme. See for yourself.
  • JL8, formerly Little League, gives the Justice League this treatment, relocating the main cast (and villains!) to elementary school. However, the style is more evocative of Calvin and Hobbes than the more commonly-used; recycled IN SCHOOL!
  • Least I Could Do follows the newspaper comics tradition of Sunday features alongside weekday strips; the Sunday version is called LICD: Beginnings and features a pre-adolescent Rayne and his family. The art is different too, done by the same artist but in a rougher, cozier style, so as to firmly separate the two iterations.
  • Little Saiyalings is what you get when you put Dragon Ball together with a little bit of Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes.
  • From Narbonic comes Li'l Mell.
  • Si Juki has Kisah Usil Si Juki Kecil, portraying Juki and his college-aged friends from the boarding house as small children in The '90s.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • When the producers of Batman: The Animated Series were told to do a "teenage Batman" show, at first they seriously thought about quitting but instead they came up with Batman Beyond (a sequel series featuring Bruce Wayne's successor). Bruce Timm has stated that before doing Batman Beyond, the network had initially wanted them to do a series focusing on Batman mentoring teen versions of the Justice League. That particular idea did come up again in the form of Young Justice, which instead used Legacy Characters.
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog had Clifford's Puppy Days. As a grown up, he was bigger than a house but as a pup he was so small that fits inside a cup of tea.
  • Cartoon Network adquired the rights of Condorito to make a preteen version of the eponymous character and his friends called Condorito Jr., made as 1-minute shorts series.
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood focuses on the preschool-aged offspring of characters from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
    • The same thing can be said about Donkey Hodie, which focuses on the granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie (now named Grampy Hodie) from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
  • The aforementioned DC Super Hero Girls spawned two animated continuities: the web series where the protagonists go to Super Hero High and the television series in which core groups of heroes and villians maintain secret identities while studying at Metropolis High School.
  • In Ewoks, the characters are in their preteens/early teens (Wicket being about 12 and the others slightly older), in contrast to those of them appearing in Return of the Jedi being young adults.
  • The Flintstones became The Flintstone Kids.
  • The 2000s series of George of the Jungle changes George from a full-grown man to a teenager.
  • Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series:
    • The whole series takes place while Hercules is in his mid teens. Hercules was technically that age during the movie, but not for most of it (it happens in-between Hercules being accepted as Phil's apprentice and the completion of his hero training).
    • One episode features Hercules, Icarus, Pegasus, and Pain being turned into babies, with Panic and Cassandra having to scramble for the cure.
  • The WWE's previous animated series, Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling, had a one-off episode, "Small But Mighty", where the wrestlers were transformed into kids, thanks to Hillbilly Jim's secret chili recipe and granny's magical herbs. The kids wreak havoc, of course, but end up foiling a car-stripping ring by episode's end.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures: Tony, Pepper, Rhodey, and the Big Bad The Mandarin are all re-imagined as teenagers in high school.
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates was originally intended to be one for Pirates of the Caribbean, but they tossed that out the window and made it a Peter Pan setting instead.
  • Paul Frank's Julius got this treatment when turned into a cartoon and toyline. The end result, Julius Jr., airs on Nick Jr. In the US and is available on Netflix elsewhere.
  • Disney's Jungle Cubs which was a spin off of The Jungle Book (1967) featuring the animal characters as preteens and Kaa and Shere Khan as their allies.
  • Kangoo has Kangoo Juniors.
  • Kid Lucky, adapted from the eponymous spinoff comics of Lucky Luke, featuring Luke as a little boy.
  • Little Rosie, Not Quite Starring an animated Roseanne Barr and featuring, in one episode, an animated John Goodman.
  • Done to the Looney Tunes with Baby Looney Tunes, which started off as a line of merchandise.
  • Madagascar: A Little Wild is set during Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria's child years at the zoo, before the events of the film series.
  • The Mini Monsters in the animated series The Comic Strip are the kid's version of the classic Universal Horror monsters.
  • Muppet Babies (1984), the example that codified the trope, features pre-K versions of the core cast of The Muppet Show, though to increase the ratio of female characters to male, they gave Scooter a tomboyish fraternal twin sister named Skeeter.
    • The whole series is actually based on a scene in The Muppets Take Manhattan, where Piggy wonders what things would have been like if they knew each other as children.note 
    • A reboot series premiered in 2018.
  • My First Disney Princess, which essentially portrays the Princesses as toddlers.
  • My Little Pony: Newborn Cuties, an offshoot of G3, is an infamous example of this kind of series, portraying the Core 7 as babies in a desperate struggle to maximize profits.
  • The New Archies is a terribly 80s cartoon that has the normally-teenage Archie characters as middle schoolers.
  • Playdate with Winnie the Pooh is a Disney Junior series focused on younger versions of the 100 Acre Wood's animals.
  • Robin Hood: Mischief in Sherwood is about a pre-teen Robin Hood and his friends John, Marion, Scarlet (who's a girl) and Tuck battling the adult forces of a pre-teen Prince John.
    • An older series made by Hanna-Barbera in 1991 called Young Robin Hood. It featured the Merry Men as teens and Robin also gained a messenger hawk named Arrow.
  • Rugrats:
    • Inverted with the Time Skip spin-off All Grown Up!, by having the main Rugrats characters age 10 years from being babies.
    • Done straight when All Grown Up itself got spun-off as Angelica and Suzie's Pre-Skool Daze. For those of you who missed it, the Rugrats was already about babies, it got a spin-off in the form of All Grown Up and then that got its OWN spin-off.
  • Sabrina: The Animated Series featured the adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch at about age twelve, with Melissa Joan Hart's little sister as the title voice. Harvey was a skateboard nut (that could explain a few things, actually), and replaced the live action show's Alpha Bitch Libby with a new alpha bitch named Gem Stone, who was the old antagonist, but twelve and vaguely gothy. The theme song is eager to point out that Sabrina's "the greatest" and has "super magic", but, since she's the protagonist of a show directed at preteens, she's predictably sort of a loser. As with many examples of this trope, the series also ignored the original canon. In the pilot special, Sabrina didn't even know she was a witch until she was sixteen. Well, the actual original canon, the Sabrina the Teenage Witch comic book, shows that Sabrina had her powers and was a witch since at least grade school (per several "Little Archie" stories).
  • "Those meddling kids" from Scooby-Doo went from their late teens to their preteens for A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. This is technically a straight example, though the writers of the series used the new format as an excuse to do a Self-Parody of the franchise's most notable tropes, which by the time of the show's airing, had been done to death for twenty straight years.
  • Slippin' Jimmy, the animated prequel series to Better Call Saul, portrays Jimmy McGill and his childhood best friend Marco Pasternak during their days as fledgling con artists in Cicero.
  • Spidey and His Amazing Friends is a show based on Spider-Man by Disney Junior which is aimed for highschoolers. The main trio of spider heroes - Peter Parker, Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy - are depicted as pre-teen children rather than teenagers as in the original comics and most adaptations. Likewise, many other heroes of the Marvel Universe as well as most of Spidey's villain that appear in the show are portrayed as pre-teens here.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants prequel series, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years, which details SpongeBob's experience at summer camp as a 10-year-old, along with younger versions of other characters.
  • They tried taking this tangent with Strawberry Shortcake a few times, most notably in with the 2003 series by way of the launch of the Strawberry Shortcake Baby line, featuring baby Strawberry Shortcake, kitten Custard, a younger puppy Pupcake and an unnamed teddy bear being prominently displayed on products meant for infants and toddlers. The show tried going down the path with just one episode hand waved to be Apple Dumplin's dream, but featured baby Ginger Snap, baby Orange Blossom and baby Angel Cake. The baby books added baby Blueberry Muffin. A baby Huckleberry Pie was designed, but very infrequently used.
  • Tom and Jerry in Tom & Jerry Kids became this. It's worth noting that in its Three Shorts format only Tom and Jerry were kids. Other characters like Droopy or Spike and Tyke remained unchanged.
  • Total DramaRama is a Spin-Off series of the Total Drama series that features eleven of the original 22 teenagersnote  (and Jude from 6teen) as 4-year-olds at a daycare run by Chef Hatchet.
  • We Baby Bears is a We Bare Bears spin-off taking place during the childhood of Grizz, Panda, and Ice Bear as they travel in a cardboard box, looking for a place to call home. Notably, the original show also had several episodes depicting the bears' childhood.
  • WWE released a new adult animated show called Camp WWE in which current and past WWE stars are portrayed as kids (John Cena, R-Truth, Big Show, Stone Cold, Rock, Undertaker, Mark Henry, and the Bella Twins) or camp counselors (Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Ric Flair, and Sgt. Slaughter) all while Vince McMahon runs the camp.
  • A rather strange example: there was an animated spin-off of this kind from the Colombian telenovela Yo soy Betty, la fea. Where almost all the characters were elementary students, and had wacky adventures in Off-Model animation. If you don't believe it see a sample and brace yourselves.
  • The painfully hip Yo Yogi! had pre-teen versions of Yogi Bear and a few other Hanna-Barbera characters, hanging out in Jellystone Mall and working as amateur detectives.


    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • ElfQuest included some self-parody strips featuring the regular characters drawn in the style of Tiny Toon Adventures.
  • Gail Simone's Gen¹³ introduces The Authoriteens; Kid Apollo, Daybreaker, Nestling, the Contractor, the Intern, and Jack Hatfield (the Spirit of Small Towns). They turn out to hail from an entire universe of Spinoff Babies.
  • The Sensational She-Hulk spoofs this in issue #50, when John Byrne proposes to Jen a comic about the adventures of "Li'l She-Hulk". After reading only two pages of the cutesy first story, she dismisses the proposal, and tosses Byrne out a window.
  • Pre-dating Teen Titans was Teeny Titans, an in-universe parody from the early 1990s involving babified versions of Nightwing, Starfire, Pantha, Changeling, and Baby Wildebeest (turned into a magic transforming doll) and their battles against evil Mr. (Slade "Deathstroke") Wilson. The fictional "Teeny Titans" came about when the New Titans were strapped for cash and decided to whore themselves out via merchandising deals and was largely played for shock value as far as the team being horrified at how their cartoon show was a slapstick kiddie show.
  • The Mojo/Longshot arc of the X-Men comics, which featured the mad ruler of a world based around film and television creating the "X-Babies."
    • The X-Babies were largely based on (and identically drawn as) a brief appearance of the actual X-Men reverted to childhood forms in the original introduction of Longshot to the team (Annual #10). They did a decent (though not perfect) job of keeping the relative ages of each member scaled to the others. Created two annuals later, the "official" X-Babies (who are clones, not altered originals) were cheekily introduced with a "they're back" blurb on the cover.
    • Eventually, X-Baby villains were created, and an X-Baby version of Apocalypse destroyed the Mojoverse.

    Fan Works 
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Kaiba has a flashback to his and Mokuba's childhood in the orphanage. Upon the cut-away from the present, you see the title Jim Henson's Kaiba Babies and hear littlekuriboh singing the Muppet Babies theme song.


    Live-Action TV 
  • On Community, Abed imagines a baby spin-off of the study group, Greendale Babies.
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! has done sketches featuring a children's version of its network's hit reality franchise The Bachelor, The Baby Bachelor—which is exactly what it says on the tin (with Kimmel's nephew playing the title role). There's also been Baby Bachelorette (complete with "The Boys Tell All") and Baby Bachelor in Paradise sketches.
  • A Muppets Tonight sketch, where two tapes of old network shows got tangled together, resulting in the creation of "Seinfeld Babies."
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • A popular riff of theirs, under the formula "Jim Henson's <blank> Babies". They have even quipped, "Solarbabies Babies!" and "Muppet Baby Babies!"
    • In "The Killer Shrews", Joel's invention exchange of "Jim Henson's Edgar Winter Babies" even stopped Dr. Forrester from blowing up the Earth!
  • Nickelodeon once pulled an April Fool's Day joke in which there were elderly-aimed spin-offs of SpongeBob SquarePants and All Grown Up! featuring older versions of said characters called Nick Sr.
  • Among the spoof titles mentioned in the Roundhouse episode "New Kid in Town" are "Infant Schmuppets", "Premature Schmuppets", and "Schmuppet Zygotes".
  • A TV Funhouse sketch, "Fetal Scooby-Doo", in which fake hauntings were exposed by a gang of prenatal detectives.
  • An episode of Wonder Showzen features a sketch titled "Wonder Showzen Preemies" with the regular cast as babies in an obvious Muppet Babies (1984) spoof (Nanny even appears, shown from the socks up as a large pair of lips on legs — in keeping with the style of Wonder Showzen, the preemies actually have "two nannies"). At the end of the sketch, the children watch their own favorite show, "Wonder Showzen Embryos."

  • Pop group A-Teens began as an the Abba Teens, who covered Abba songs for a late 90s/early 2000s tween audience. This gimmick only lasted on album before they broke off into a reasonably successful standalone group.
  • One of the stranger examples of this was Devo 2.0, a Disney-backed music project of preteens covering Devo songs, which are all about such topics as the de-evolution of human intellect, the shallowness of consumerism and The End of the World as We Know It. Devo presumably either wanted the kids to start thinking of these things at a young age or just found the concept hilarious.
  • In Nolan Thomas' 1984 video "Yo Little Brother", Thomas (who was about 14) appears with his sibling and friends: kids dressed up as Billy Idol, Cyndi Lauper, Ric Ocasek, and Prince.
  • In the music video of "The Invisible Man" by Queen from the album The Miracle the band members are played by children, dressed up as them.

    Web Animation 
  • The Adventures of Lil' Cthulhu by Zachary Murray.
  • The Cyanide and Happiness short "The Lil' Dics" parodied this by having a time traveler named Tim attempt to kill Adolf Hitler and other notorious dictators during their infancies, ultimately deciding to instead adopt them and rear them himself in hopes that doing so will make them better people in adulthood. The sketch ends with Tim answering the door to see his aged future self, who glumly informs his past self that his efforts didn't work before shooting him in the head and proceeding to set the house on fire with his past self's corpse and the baby dictators still inside.
    Future Tim: It was a good premise, though.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Parodied in the Strong Bad Email highschool, where Strong Bad claims he, Homestar, Strong Mad, and Marzipan were "a team of super sleuths" in high school, then goes on to claim "In middle school, we were a bunch of melon-headed babies with giant eyes and enormous imaginations!" Then he gets carried away and adds "And going even unnecessarily further back, we were all a bunch of plucky parameciums living in Free Petri Dish, USA!" and "Before that we were... Romans. In Roman times. And Don Knotts was always showing up."
    • Episode 7 of Strong Bad's "independent comic" Teen Girl Squad was "Teeny Tiny Girl Squad", which featured the girls as preschoolers (though still prone to comical deaths, as seen when new boy character Tompkins "died somehow").
      Little What's Her Face: I can count to G!
      Little Cheerleader: That's nothing. I can count to purple backwards.
  • Smosh Babies depicts the cast of Smosh, namely Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, as infants.


  • There is a parody nostalgia website for the nonexistent show The Adventures of Li'L Bill & Hill and Friends. What makes it actually funny is the executives' claim that any resemblance to a Presidential administration is entirely coincidental, although we the fandom are too smart to fall for that!
  • For April Fools' Day 2018, The Muppets fansite Tough Pigs: For Muppet Fans Who Grew Up celebrated Muppet Babies by reinventing itself as Tough Pigs Babies: For Muppet Fans Who Didn't Grow Up, and reviewed such never completed (or begun) cartoons as Sam and Friends Babies and Wilkins Coffee Babies (turns out babies shouldn't drink coffee). They even inverted the trope with "Muppet Elders", depicting the characters of the original show as elderly people living in a retirement home.

    Web Videos 
  • The Guild posted a joke trailer for a spin off for "The Guild Babies". But because Bladezz is so much younger than the rest of the characters already, he is a fetus.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake had the gang visit an alternate dimension where everyone is a baby and tended by the Gumball Guardians. Adam Muto says this was meant as a parody of a potential Spin-Off Babies Adventure Time series he dreads having to one day make.
  • An April Fools 2021 announcement from [adult swim] shows off a fake trailer for [adult swim jr], featuring shows with aged down characters. Titles include The Venture Nephews, Superjuvie, Harvey Birdman: Junior Associate, along with some others.
  • Parodied in American Dad! with Lil' Entourage.
  • A 2023 April Fool's video from Disney features the intro to a Big City Greens spin-off created for Disney Junior called Baby City Greens, featuring the show's cast (save for Gramma Alice) as babies. Yes, Bill is about the same age as his two children, Tilly and Cricket.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door's "Operation C.A.B.L.E.T.V.", the show lineup for a TV network is shown to be Rainbow Monkeys followed by Rainbow Monkey Babies followed by Rainbow Monkey Teens.
  • Drawn Together did a Spinoff Babies episode, complete with theme song. Since this is Drawn Together, it's actually one of the more horrific episodes.note 
  • Family Guy did this in the "Li'l Griffins" short story in "Family Guy Viewer Mail 1" parodying The Little Rascals.
    • There was also the Stand by Me parody where the Spooner Street neighbors are childhood friends.
    • "Dearly Deported" had CSI Babies, in which the detectives are babies and cannot solve crimes. Both Stewie and Peter are horrified of the show.
  • Lampshaded in one episode of Garfield and Friends. Jon was looking into marketing Garfield for TV. Using Applied Phlebotinum and a Magical Computer, the network executive Jon was talking to shows off various ideas he has, among them a baby Garfield complete with Lorenzo Music making cute cooing sounds. The executive mentions that it was the latest craze.
  • In the credits of the The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy spinoff Underfist, included among many possible sequel and spinoff ideas is "Underfist Babies".
  • I Am Weasel had this as a part of an episode focusing on parodying outdated animation cliches and tropes, as the animated actors heavily protested against using them in their show.
  • Sort of parodied in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Kids' Stuff". Four of the main heroes get turned into 8 years olds and act like smaller versions of themselves mixed with typical little kid archetypes.
  • Comedy Central's series Lil' Bush turns George W. Bush and other figures from American politics into grade-school kids, and in doing so it works according to exactly the same rules as other examples of this trope.
  • The Patrick Star Show: "Big Baby Patrick" gives some big Take Thats towards the phenomenon. The episode points out that there's not a lot babies can actually do, so they're not that interesting to watch.
    • Captain Quasar in Diapers is a spin-off about baby Quasar and Pat-Tron, who are too short to operate their spaceship without teamwork, and whom their enemies find too cute to want to attack.
    • The show turns into Baby Stars, with the cutesy theme song pointing out that babies "can't be held accountable for their actions!" The entire skit consists of the babies deciding to "pretend" to be adults.
  • In Europe with of all people, Pope John Paul II and Padre Pio, in Piucci and Lolek. For no real reason, they're still dressed the same but now in boyish form, offering spiritual help to troubled children.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998) spoofed this in "City of Clipsville" by depicting a flashback where Professor Utonium accidentally turns the girls into babies, then he does it on the rest of Townsville. There's another flashback later on that spoofs the Time Skip variant, by having the girls speed up time and give up fighting crime to become air-headed teens, as have the Rowdyruff Boys.
  • One Robot Chicken sketch parodied this with Terminator. "Come with me, the Terminator Baby, if you want to live!" At the end, Sarah Connor comments about how Skynet must be running out of ideas for terminators.
    • Robot Chicken also did Lil' Hitler which was semi-accurate,note  from the US perspective.
  • An In-Universe example in Rugrats reveals that Chuckie's favorite TV show is "Space Trek Babies". Tommy absolutely cannot stand it.
  • Sam and Max consider the flashback versions of themselves to be "cute" and "marketable".
  • In the Sheep in the Big City episode "Baah-dern Times", they ran a fake commercial for Secret Military Organization Babies wherein General Specific, Private Public, and the Angry Scientist were babies.
  • An episode of The Simpsons, in which Milhouse asks Alan Moore to sign his copy of Watchmen Babies In: V For Vacation. (pictured above)
    Milhouse: Mr. Moore, will you sign my DVD of Watchmen Babies? Which of the babies is your favorite?
    Alan Moore: You see what those bloody corporations do? They take your ideas and they suck them! Suck them like leeches until they've gotten every last drop of marrow from your bones!
  • Satirized in a South Park episode, a questionable incident that occurred in pre-school prompts the boys to flash back and look adorable.
  • Parodied in the Uncle Grandpa episode "Uncle Grandpa Babies", complete with Giant Realistic Flying Tiger as a cub and Pizza Steve as a pile of dough.
  • The Wander over Yonder episode "The Matchmaker" spoofs this in one of the transformations experienced by Sylvia and Wander when the former tries to prevent the latter from mailing a love letter to Lord Dominator to make her fall for Lord Hater. One of the titles the pair are accompanied with is "The Babies", where Wander and Sylvia appear as infant versions of themselves riding in baby carriages.


Video Example(s):


CSI: Babies

Stewie offers Isabella's twin sons to watch a "baby thing" with him, flipping through channels to discover a babified version of the CSI series, much to Stewie and Peter's horror.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpinoffBabies

Media sources: