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Vague Age

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Kaiba: This has to be some kind of trick! That's Noah, with my step-father! And according to the imprinted date, this was taken several years ago, but he looks the same age as he does now!
Yugi: Well, this is an anime show. Who knows how old any of us are supposed to be. Serenity looks like she's sixteen, I look like I'm ten.

Some characters are subject to a strange fluctuating sense of maturity depending on plot necessity, mostly because animated characters can have abstract designs and lack obvious visual cues (especially when the characters are non-human). We're only left with the personality of the character, which tends to suggest their age. Dawson Casting, leading to a blurring of the line between adults-playing-adults and adults-playing-teenagers, is responsible for several live-action examples.

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A TV character may be implied to be some sort of adult compared to other characters who are clearly kids or teenagers, or vice versa, but this is largely an illusion in case the writers still want them in plots to which a younger audience can more easily relate. The only nominally-aged character is usually the lead, and this is only useful to make his same-aged audience feel better, since he will probably not be allowed to get older.

Occasionally, characters are given specific ages along with more obscure and extensive biographies, but are ultimately ruled by audience appeal, Cast Speciation or personalities that fit into the mean age of the audience. Information that runs counter to that turns into the Improbable Age issue, and may be tweaked in other places.

Compare Mistaken Age.


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    Comic Strips 
  • The titular character from Kabouter Wesley has a bushy, white beard and a voice that somewhat resembles one of an old man. However, he doesn't show any other physical or behavioural signs that could imply he is any more than middle-aged. He's actually very fit, as he throws powerful punches and kicks and can run fast and for a long period. Most of the time, he comes across as in his 30s, possibly 40s.
  • In Little Nemo, Flip's age is perennial a mystery, referred to at different points as a child and 23, and the same height as Nemo with a receding hairline and cigar.

    Eastern Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: Exactly how old the Supermen are is up for debate, as their exact age is never given. With that said, they're clearly children; they're shown to be in third grade in one episode, and in another, Happy S. mentions being too young to drink wine.
  • Leafie from Leafie, a Hen into the Wild is an adult but exactly what age she is when she leaves the factory farm is unknown. This is muddled further by the English dub, where she has a rather young sounding voice. Leafie ages quickly over the film but it seems to be more from malnutrition and poor living conditions than her aging.
  • In Qumi-Qumi, Juga, Yusi, and Shumadan are obviously young, though their personalities can range from being eight-year old children to eighteen-year old teens in various episodes.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Alice in Wonderland, Tweedledum and Tweedledee wear clothes like schoolboys and behave with childlike exuberance, but they have grown men's voices and their heads are bald beneath their caps. This is in keeping with their description in the book, as "two fat little men" who dress like "a couple of great schoolboys."
  • An American Tail:
    • Tony Toponi is obviously much older than Fievel, but it's not clear if he's in his early teens, late teens or early 20s. His voice is unchanged (being provided by a woman), which would imply that he's 14 at the most. But he has a romance with Bridget, who seems 17 or 18 if not older, and in the sequel, which only seems to take place about a year later, they have cameo appearances as a married couple with a baby.
    • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West makes Tanya's age vague. In An American Tail she's a child, seemingly only slightly older than Fievel (the novelization says she's 8 years old). The sequel doesn't seem to take place more than a year or two later, since Fievel is still a young child and their baby sister Yasha is still only a toddler. But Tanya now looks and acts like a teenager or young adult, definitely older than 9, and her plot line of becoming a singer at a saloon is really only fitting for a teenage character, not a child.
  • The two Token Human characters in Animal Crossing: The Movie look and act like children, but live alone amongst adult Funny Animal characters and drink coffee. In the games the protagonist is heavily implied to be an adult, but the style makes them look younger.
  • Corpse Bride: Lord Barkis looks middle-aged and eloped with Emily some time ago but plans to marry Victoria, who appears to be in her twenties. There's also Mayhew, who could be middle-aged or elderly. In addition, he has asthma due to smoking and later dies from it.
  • Fidget from The Great Mouse Detective is also a tough one. Olivia refers to him as "old", but he is small, somewhat cute and has a high-pitched voice; in one of the spin-off comics, post-Heel–Face Turn, he was implied to be a teenager just a handful of years older than Olivia, if you can believe that.
  • Esmeralda's age in Disney's version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is hard to distinguish. In the original book she was sixteen, but she's clearly older in Disney's adaptation. The way she talks to Quasimodo (who is twenty) implies she's several years older than him.
  • Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure:
    • Scamp looks like a young puppy but has the voice of a teenager. His sisters sound younger despite being his littermates. Scamp and his sisters are all significantly smaller than both of their parents, implying that they're still growing as well.
    • Scamp's love interest Angel is also puppy-looking, but it doesn't seem like she'll grow much more; it's unclear how much of her puppy-like appearance is age and how much of it is simply because she's a Pomeranian. She has a mature voice, and an adult dog seems to be in love with her. It's also mentioned that Angel is old enough to have been through five families.
  • The Lion King:
    • The Lion King (1994):
      • It's unclear whether Scar and Mufasa are twins or whether they're from separate births. We know that Mufasa is older, but whether it's by minutes or by years is unknown.
    • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride:
      • Kovu and Kiara's ages are hard to tell. They could be either teenagers or young adults. Their designs in comparison to other lions, their young-sounding voices, and the fact the film is based on Romeo and Juliet imply the former. The documentary Proud of Simba's Pride also refers to Kovu as a teenager.
      • Vitani is not Kovu's litter mate but doesn't look much older than him.
  • In the educational animated film duology Muzzy, this is played straight for everyone except Bob. The ages of the other characters is anyone's guess, but Bob explicitly states he is 20 when he is asked his age.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:
    • Played with in regards to Sunset Shimmer. She's physically the same age as the others and attends high school alongside them, but when you consider her backstory as Celestia's teenage student who turned to the dark side when Twilight was still a child, she's technically older than the others by a fair margin. Or, at least, she would be if it wasn't for how time seems to pass between the human world and Equestria whenever the portal isn't open.
    • Downplayed with everyone else. As a High School A.U. to Friendship is Magic, the main characters of that show are depicted as high school students. Their grade level and ages are left vague outside of them explicitly not being freshmen, however. This is the case for most of the supporting cast as well, outside the child characters (if they weren't outright infants, they're Age Lifted to become freshmen) and all the older ones (who keep their ages and are school faculty or own businesses around town).
  • Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas is adult-sized and, in personality and voice, he comes across as being in his late twenties or early thirties. But then again, he's an undead skeleton, and supposedly the embodiment of Halloween... so for all we know, he may be centuries old and just seem youthful.
  • The titular Peter from Peter Pan has all his baby teeth (which usually begin to fall out at age five or six) according to both the original book and the Disney Fairies spinoff series, but his design resembles more of a boy between ten and thirteen.
  • The Polar Express: Both the boy and the girl are probably round about ten, but it's hard to tell. Billy is shorter than them, so he's possibly younger, but he's obviously not a preschooler. Sarah, the boy's sister, is also ambiguous, although she's probably older than two.
  • Sing:
    • The younger half of the contestants (Johnny, Ash and Meena) are ambiguous when it comes to their age. None of them are seen attending school, the existence of which is demonstrated by Rosita's piglets getting on a school bus. Ash is called a "teenager" but seems to live without parents and is looking for work with her boyfriend until they broke up, and when they do she kicks him out of their apartment implying her name is on the lease, so she is probably around 18 or 19. Johnny is called a teenager in the script and lives with his father but is designed to look and sound like a young adult. Furthermore, when his father goes to prison, there is no mention of child services or social workers. Meena is called a teenager in the script and other materials, lives with her maternal relatives and acts like a younger teenager (13 to 16), but a picture held up by someone at a party suggests she has graduated from high school. Furthermore, Meena's singing ability surpasses what is normally expected from an adolescent.
    • In the sequel, Porsha Crystal's age is also never specified - her spoiled brat tendencies could paint her as a teenager, although she could be in her late teens or even early 20s. The latter is more likely as, like Johnny, when her father goes to prison, the next morning she gets on the bus with Buster and the gang back to their hometown, with seemingly no issues with child services or social workers.
  • The video game characters in Wreck-It Ralph. While all game characters are technically immortal unless they die along with their game or outside of it, Ralph looks to be in his 30s while Felix and Calhoun appear more in their late 20s. Meanwhile, Vanellope and all her racing rivals are supposed to be about 9 or 10 years old. The games they come from (and by extension, the characters themselves) have different ages. Ralph and Felix have been around for 30 years. Vanellope's game has been around for at least 15 years and Calhoun's game was only installed a week before the events of the movie, making her the youngest character chronologically.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman Film Series:
    • Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Batman Returns is a curious bit of casting. Pfeiffer was 33 years old when filming began, but her character often acts as if she's just out of college. Indeed, Selina comes across more as a stereotypical Gen-X Stepford Snarker than the assertive Baby Boomer career-woman type who was so common in American films of the 1980s and early '90s. Perhaps Pfeiffer (born 1958) helped originate the trope?
    • In Batman Forever, Dick Grayson/Robin is implied to be a teenager, but his exact age is never given and he is played by Chris O'Donnell, who was 24 during filming. The movie is vague as to whether Bruce formally adopts Dick or just offers him a spare bedroom, but when Dick leaves the mansion late in the movie, he's described as "running away" as if he's not a grown man free to move out. In the original comics, Dick was 12 when Bruce took him in, and you can tell his part in the movie was written for someone much younger than O'Donnell.
    • In Batman & Robin, Dr. Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy has a PhD and a career as a botanist, meaning she would be in her late 20's at the youngest but is most likely in her 30's, and her comments toward Robin suggest that she sees him as the proverbial Younger Man. Uma Thurman is only two months older than Chris O'Donnell.
  • Crocodile Dundee: It turns out, not even Dundee knows how old he is. When Sue asks him, he said he once asked a village elder when he was born, and they told him "in the summertime."
  • The Disaster Artist: Lampshaded in regards to Tommy Wiseau, who claims to be about the same age as Greg, who is 19, yet is clearly pushing 40. He refuses repeated efforts to pry his age from him, as well as a variety of other personal details he keeps mysterious. This is based on the real behavior of Wiseau, whose true age is still not publicly known.
  • Four and Eric in the Divergent films. The book states that the initiates take their test when they're sixteen, and Four and Eric's generation are eighteen. In the films they are played by actors in their late twenties, so their ages are left deliberately vague as a result.
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. According to the novelization of the film he's over 10 million years old. Other sources put him at about 800 years old, and he's shown to be a child in the book E.T: The Book of the Green Planet.
  • Fantastic Beasts: Credence is portrayed as younger than protagonist Newt, who's in his late 20s in the first two movies, but how much younger isn't clear. Someone specifically says he's not a child which implies he's probably in his late teens or early twenties. However, there are implications that he could be closer to his mid to late twenties (like the date on his adoption papers). Given how mysterious his background, some conflicting information, and the Ambiguous Ending of the second movie, note  it's possible that no one really knows how old he is. For what it's worth, Ezra Miller turned 23 during the first movie's production.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Alison Doody was 22 when the movie was filmed, and while Dr. Elsa Schneider has no onscreen age, she has to be at least thirty.
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the girls of Castle Anthrax are "all between the ages of 16 and 19½".
  • Obsessed: The young son of the protagonist is of an unclear age. Even though the boy is said to be two years old, he was written as more of an infant who still sleeps in a crib, drinks formula instead of solid foods, and can't talk.
  • The Wizard of Oz never makes it quite clear if Dorothy is supposed to be a child like in the original book, or an adolescent. Judy Garland was sixteen at the time, but costumed to look younger, and promotional materials tend to give the character's age as twelve. A retrospective released for the film's 75th anniversary noted that Judy was told to remember that "she was a little girl from Kansas."

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock: Kenneth appears a bit too old to be in the age bracket likely to work as a network intern, but there's also quite a bit of evidence that he might actually be older than he appears. No definitive answer has ever been given. Seriously, just check out the Older Than They Look section on the series' main page. If he's to be believed, Kenneth has been working for NBC since 1936, and it's been implied that he's immortal.
  • The 100 has an In-Universe example: Word of God is that Grounders don't keep track of birthdays, so their ages can only be given a rough estimate. Most notable with Lexa, the Grounder's Commander. She's young enough that Abby refers to the Grounders as being "led by a child", but it's unclear if that's literal and Lexa really is under 18, or if she's simply unusually young given that she's leading an entire nation.
  • Bewitched: While the ages of the witch and warlock characters are never outright confirmed, the show heavily implies that they live for at least several centuries. Samantha is at least four centuries old when she meets Darrin, and Endora admits to being "over 1,000" according to Serena.
  • The Big Bang Theory, in the earlier seasons: Most of the characters were in their twenties, but nobody knew exactly where. After twelve seasons, their ages have largely been settled on. Out of the main characters, only Amy's age remains unclear.
  • Cheers: Diane's exact age is never given, and she dodges the subject whenever it comes up, though presumably she is the same age as her actress was. One episode has her actually shocked to meet a young-looking doctor who remembers her from med-school, where she was his senior.
  • Community: Abed is somewhere in his twenties, but where is anyone's guess. Several episode imply he's actually in his mid-thirties (matching his actor) and thus much closer to Shirley and Jeff than he acts.
  • FarScape, for much of its run, which is odd considering how often the show mentions time passing. In the first episode, D'Argo's age is given as 30 cycles (young for a Luxan, which means he married very young — a plot point). Everyone else's age stays mostly vague. Chiana is often stated to be "a kid" compared to the others, and acts as though she's in her late teens/early twenties. John's age can eventually be inferred as about 30 when he joins Moya, since he's old enough to drive in 1986 and was presumably born in 1969 or 1970.
  • The Golden Girls has Blanche Devereaux, who prides herself on her looks and as such constantly lies about her age, usually implying herself to be in her early forties or even her late thirties. The other girls of the house however are not fooled despite her overconfident facade, and several jokes have been poked at how they can't pinpoint her exact age. In one episode Rose manages to acquire her birth certificate from her home state of Georgia, only to find her age "Deleted By Authority of the Governor". Adding to this, the season two opener sees Blanche coping with menopause, suggesting she is indeed well into her fifties. All hints aside though, Blanche usually succeeded in keeping herself relatively youthful looking for a woman her age.
  • Merlin: Has never given any definitive ages for its cast, though Word of God has it that of the four leads, Morgana is the oldest, followed by Arthur, with Merlin and Guinevere clocking in as late teenagers when the show begins. When taking into account the Time Skips that occur between seasons, nearly ten years have passed in-show, meaning that the cast (all in their mid-twenties when filming began) went from Dawson Casting to Playing Gertrude.
  • The Mighty Boosh: While Vince is clearly somewhere in his 20's, the show has a lot of fun with exactly how old uncool fussbudget Howard is. Sometimes he's accused of being an old man (to which he responds indignantly), other times he claims to be Vince's older mentor, and flashbacks also establish Howard and Vince as being schoolmates of the same age (though one has him looking bizarrely old for a schoolboy). In the episode "Party", any mention of Howard's age results in an Aside Glance from some character or the other.
  • Mork & Mindy:
    • While Mork the alien is fully-grown and doesn't seem elderly, his real age is a mystery. He has his first birthday in "Mork Runs Down", but in the same episode, he is told he's "not a bleemager anymore" and a "bleem" is said to be two thousand human years. He also claims that on his home planet, birthdays only happen "every two thousand zymes", whatever that means.
    • His son Mearth was born in the last season and has chronologically only aged a year, but it's unknown how old he is in "human years". He learned to speak in full sentences the day he was born but still wore a diaper and there's no mention of him using the bathroom. He goes to school, and at one point his parents think he has a crush.
  • The Nanny has Fran Fine, who is constantly dodging questions regarding her true age, even though in season one she celebrated what was allegedly her thirtieth birthday. Many in the household though have wondered if she's actually older, with her always coming back to insist that she could still be in her twenties. In a later episode, it was revealed that even the FBI agents performing her background check couldn't figure it out.
  • Odd Squad: Averted for all of the main characters except for Otis, Oprah, Omar, Osmerelda Kim, Orpita, and Oona.
    • Since Odd Squad agents can be anywhere from six seconds old (yes, really) to 12 years old, and since Otis appears to be around the same age as Olive (never mind the fact that he's her replacement), it's likely he's 12.
    • Oona, on the other hand, appears to be younger, being the height of Oscar during Season 1. She's also shorter than Oscar (who is implied to be at least 12 by this point) in Season 2. If that's the case, she would be 11, the same age as Olympia.
    • Unlike the other members of the Odd Squad Mobile Unit, Omar's age has not been stated, although it's implied in "The Void" that he's at least 11 or 12, given that Opal and Oswald are both 10 and Orla is 500 and that if Orla were also 10, he would have to change his age to be 10 as well.
    • Osmerelda Kim is the youngest protagonist of the series and the youngest agent of the Odd Squad Mobile Unit to date, but like Omar, her age has not been stated. She seems to be at least 7 or 8, however, given her status as an Audience Surrogate for the target demographic.
    • Orpita is also one of the younger protagonists, but unlike Osmerelda Kim, it's hard to place her age due to her personality of being mostly mature with a childish side. She's without a doubt younger than Oprah, though, who physically appears to be 12 at most, and she appears to be around Osmerelda's age.
    • Oprah's age has been a well-known mystery throughout the series, but "Odd Beginnings: Part 2" confirms that she's at least 231 years old. However, she states that she attempted to use her ability to control her aging to age up a little but didn't like it and stopped, and it's not explained how many years she aged up. Considering that her online bio from PBS Parents stated that she was (physically) 7 years old, it's possible that she could be 238 years old, although it has never been confirmed.
  • In the seasons of Power Rangers where the characters are not high school students, the Rangers' ages tend to be left vague at best. They are often provided in promotional materials (for some characters), though even these are notoriously unreliable: Bridge, the only character in Power Rangers S.P.D. with a definitive age, was listed as 17 on the Jetix website but is explicitly 21 in the show proper.
  • Revolution: The characters have not been given ages for the most part. Captain Riley is apparently the youngest captain the Monroe Republic has. The actor playing the character Omid Abtahi is 34 years old.
  • Smallville:
    • Lex Luthor has the ability to somehow blend in with high school students.
    • Clark himself probably helped. The character of Clark Kent was 15 at the start of the series or close to it, judging by his grade in school, but his actor was 25 at the time.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Guinan says her father is 700 years old, and she is seen as an adult five hundred years ago, making her somewhere between 518 and 682, assuming her species matures like humans.
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody:
    • In the first season, Zack and Cody are presumably the same age as their actors: 12 or 13, while Maddie and London are in their late teens. However, in later seasons (and in the spinoff), they are clearly older teens, while Maddie and London are the same age: In the spinoff the twins and London go to school together.
    • When Zack and Cody graduate in the spinoff, their actors are about 18/19 years old. London graduates at the same time, despite originally being a few grades ahead of them, because she kept flunking grades.
  • In True Blood, only the vampire characters ever have exact/approximate ages given, usually for dramatic effect like Russell being over 3,000 years old or Jessica being 16 when turned in Season 1. The humans' ages are kept vague, not helped by the show's rather fluid sense of time. Lampshaded by Nicole's mother when she objects to her relationship with Sam:
    "You are 23 years old! And may I ask how old you are, silver fox?!" (He doesn't answer but awkwardly looks away. This becomes her "nickname" for him even after they start to get along.)
  • The Vampire Diaries: All of the Originals' ages are unknown. Rebekah and Kol are teenagers, where in their teens they fall is anyone's guess and Klaus, Elijah, and Finn are total mystery. It's also unknown at what age Katherine was turned.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba!: It's averted with Brobee, who is three by the series' start but turns four in his Birthday Episode. Muno, Toodee and Foofa look like they could be 6-8 years old, given that the former two lost their front teeth which fall out around that age group. Plex the robot is the most mature of the gang, making him at least eighteen.

    Music 
  • Melanie Martinez:
    • The protagonist of the "Cry-Baby" Concept Album. She's played by 20-year old Melanie in music videos but the actual character is vague in age. In the "Pity Party" music video there are nine candles on her birthday cake (though fans do argue if it's symbolic of something else) and artwork depicts her as a little girl. She also dresses in stereotypically "childish" attire such as pastel dresses with ribbons, but that's a popular fashion for adults as well. The overall lyrics and tone of her songs makes her sound like someone in her late teens or early twenties. It could be a bad case of Troubling Unchildlike Behavior.
    • Whether Dawson Casting occurs in her music videos is vague, and if so in which videos. In "Pity Party" Melanie can be either an adult or a child. In "Training Wheels" whether she is a child or not is made vaguer by fact the other adult dresses in boyish clothes. In the video to "Cry Baby" Melanie could either be an adult playing a toddler or Cry Baby could have an Abusive Mom who makes her dress like a baby.
  • The music video to Mya's "Movin' On" is vague on how old the characters are. They go to a school called University High that looks like a high school, are played by adults in their twenties, and act like high schoolers. The song itself features lyrics that too mature for most 16-18 year olds (talking about serious relationships, baby mamas, money, etc). The main guy of the video has a son who can't be younger than 5.
  • The Jamster/JAMBA bunny characters Schnuffel and Schnuffelienchen (Snuggle and Snuggelina) both appear to be young bunnies but both live on there own without any parents. Doesn't help that they both have cute high pitch voices (Except in the audio CDs released in Germany where Snuggle and Snuggelina are voiced by actual adults).
  • Eminem's Slim Shady character goes up and down in age, either to represent different scenarios or for a punchline.
    • He tends to act like a teenager, making juvenile line-crossing jokes, fighting with childhood authority figures like teachers, school bullies and his parents, and if he's got a job (other than being a famous rapper) it's usually a stereotypical working-class teen job like burger flipping. He also has a ruthless libido for teenage sources of masturbatory amusement like PG movies or Kid Com shows.
    • At the same time, his persona is blended enough with the life of the real Marshall that he also is frequently portrayed as having adult life responsibilities, like marriage and raising a family. Also, when he socialises with children, it's usually in an authoritative persona like a Depraved Kids' Show Host or a teacher trying to educate them into a life of crime and debauchery (if he's not trying to rape them).
    • In a few songs his age is changed for specific scenarios:
      • In "My Name Is", he gives his age as 34 due to being Held Back in School so much, but in "The Real Slim Shady" (released the following year) he's well under 30 (because he'll need to be in a nursing home by the time he is).
      • He's a prepubescent ten year old in "Brain Damage", but already horny for 'naked nurses'.
      • In "Guilty Conscience" he's an ageless shoulder imp.
      • Throughout the Relapse album he's imagined as an older, weirdly accented Gothic Horror-themed serial killer who lives in a nice house with candles and wooden panelling and mostly preys on younger women and men.
      • On his Nicki Minaj collaboration "Roman's Revenge" in which he rampages with Nicki's Expy of Slim, Roman Volanski, the song ends with Roman's mother Martha interrupting the two of them as if they're a pair of naughty children. In "Moment 4 Life", Martha informs us that she's dispatched Roman and Slim off to a boarding school in Russia.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppets: Most of them, since they tend to have abstract appearances anyway. For Sesame Street characters, this is done for psychological appeal; the regulars are supposed to emulate different stages of childhood development (except the adults), and each character's 'official' age is just a reflection of that. Though The Muppets Take Manhattan shows the main cast graduating from college.
    • Scooter's age is even more vague. In The Muppet Show, most of the main cast refers to him as a kid, his uncle got him the job at the theatre, and in one episode, he mentions still being in school, indicating that he's probably somewhere in his teens. By The Muppets, he's able to go into a bar without getting carded or kicked out, and everyone teases him for living and having a disturbingly close relationship with his mother. Kermit's nephew, Robin, meanwhile, still appears to be a kid.
  • Sesame Street: Though some characters' ages are known (Big Bird is six and Elmo is three for instance), some are not. Ernie and Bert for instance live by themselves but are quite naive, seemingly lack jobs (though Bert's twin brother Bart works as a salesman), play with toys, and take naps. The Grouches seem like adults but their ages are unknown, Ingrid and Humphrey have a baby so they must be adults, but their exact ages are unknown, Grover has jobs but sometimes acts immature, Telly acts like a six-year-old but goes to daycare, Snuffy sometimes acts six (like his pal Big Bird) and sometimes like an adult, and Cookie Monster seems sort of like a kid sometimes and an adult other times.
  • The Sooty Show:
    • It's hard to tell how old Sooty, Sweep, and Soo are. They're all the same size, but Soo acts considerably more responsible than the other two, who behave like rambunctious children, but they could just be rambunctious, irresponsible adults. In one episode, Sweep's identical twin brother Swoop comes over to visit by himself, followed by his parents and two cousins (Swap and Swipe) who all seem to be the same size. In another episode, Soo pretends to be pregnant and Matthew is actually fooled, suggesting she is fully grown.
    • Sooty's cousin Scampi looks like a toddler, but often runs around on his own, and can (and often does) pull very sophisticated pranks.
  • Under the Umbrella Tree: Gloria, Iggy and Jacob are supposed to be children, but have no official ages. Sometimes they seem like six-year-olds (Jacob can't even read or tell time), while other times they seem more like middle schoolers. Then there's the fact that they belong to sophisticated clubs for animals, sometimes give speeches, host parties or get jobs like adults, and lived by themselves until Holly moved in with them.
  • The Puzzle Place: The six main kids sometimes seem like young children about the age of the target audience, while other times their maturity is more at a middle school level. In one episode, though, Leon has a line about Julie not having finished the third grade, which obviously implies that they're about eight.
  • Nearly all the characters in Eureeka's Castle act noticeably childish, but also seem to be adults as they don’t have any real kind of supervision (unless you count Eureeka), and often take care of themselves. The one thing firmly established is that Magellan the dragon is The Baby of the Bunch. Eureeka once noted of how he wants to go to school only for her to inform him that he’s too young.
  • Donkey Hodie revolves around the lives of a group of four animals who act like children, but live on their own. Although there are several references to the age of the characters (for instance, in "Mountain Climb Time", Grampy mentions he climbed Mount Really High Up when he was Donkey Hodie and Purple Panda's age), it's unknown how old they really are. However, Ellen Doherty claimed in an early interview about the show that the characters have no defined age.
  • Bear in the Big Blue House: Tutter's age is a mystery: He has his own mouse hole, which is kind of like living alone, but then again it's connected to the rest of the house. He has his own First Day of School Episode, which logically puts him at around five or six, but maybe mice start their education as adults. And in "When You've Got to Go", he has to learn about not procrastinating with bathroom breaks, yet is able to play checkers, which is a relatively sophisticated game, competently.

    Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • In the Book of Genesis, the story of Isaac's near-sacrifice has him speaking to his father Abraham the way a young child would, asking him, on the way up the mountain, where the sheep was for their burnt offering, and Abraham replying evasively, "God will see to the sheep for his burnt offering, my son," as though to shield him from the horrible truth until the last moment. However, based on the internal chronology of the book, Isaac would've been thirty-seven years old at the time. Thus, the Jewish sages of late antiquity deemed Isaac as old enough to give informed consent to his own sacrifice.
    • Another Genesis example of this trope is Benjamin, youngest son of Jacob, at the time of his family's relocation to Egypt. His birth takes place before his older brother Joseph is sold into slavery, which should make him at least twenty-two at the time of their Egypt reunion. Yet throughout that later part of the story, his father and brothers still refer to him as a "lad," shelter him and barter over him as if he were a child. And yet the subsequent list of Jacob's sons, grandsons and great-grandsons who traveled to Egypt includes the names of Benjamin's many children. It seems likely that two different versions of the story with different chronologies were combined.
    • The ages of Jesus' disciples are never explicitly mentioned in the Bible. They are usually depicted as adult men of assorted ages, often in their 30s since Jesus is stated to have been about 30 when he began his ministry. There are a couple of hints that all but Peter were actually younger, but nothing direct.note 

    Theatre 
  • In Giacomo Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, the Dramatis Personae lists almost every character with his or her age, omitting the usual voice classifications. Buoso's poor cousin Betto di Signa, however, is specifically designated "età indefinibile" (of indeterminate age).
  • Hamlet. He's a university student, he was passed over as heir when his father died, and the play is more or less his Coming-of-Age Story, all of which would seem to put him in his late teens. But the scene with the gravediggers gives his age as thirty (or thereabouts), and he remembers Yorick, who died twenty-three years prior. The historical explanation is that Hamlet was probably originally intended to be a teenager but that Shakespeare changed his age so his usual star Richard Burbage could play the role.
  • Twelve Months: The Stepdaughter is not younger than the approximately fourteen-year-old Queen, and this is all we get (and even that estimate is made by one of the minor characters who might be mistaken). It was probably done deliberately, since the play is extremely popular in Russia and gets produced everywhere from kindergartens to opera houses. In particular, depending on the age of the Stepdaughter (and the target audience), her romance with April can be played up, kept as subtext, or omitted entirely.
  • Westeros: An American Musical: Several factors can make Shireen's age hard to pin down beyond "too young to be considered an adult yet":
    • The actress playing her can pass as a teen, but the canon character is an actual child and one of the few young characters to not get an Age Lift between the canon versions of the story.
    • Robb and Daenerys get their age stated, which in Robb's case clearly makes him younger than the actor playing him. Shireen's age is never stated beyond being called "a child" by Davos (who is closer in age to her father than to her) in her debut scene.

    Toys 
  • Barbie:
    • How old is Barbie? Originally she seemed to be a high schooler, however Mattel has aged her up over time. Throughout the 1980s and into the 2000s she was usually portrayed as an adult, while her sister Skipper was a teenager, but a 2010s decision led to Barbie being aged back into a high schooler on default (but Skipper is also a teen and Barbie does still often get presented as an adult). In the past Barbie has become US president and done other things that imply she's older than her twenties. Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse affectionately pokes fun at, and lampshades, her Vague Age.
    • Skipper is younger than her sister Barbie, Due to Barbie's fluctuating age, Skipper herself is only vaguely 14-17, with some dolls saying she's 16. She was originally introduced as a preteen but was revamped several times in the 1970s and 1980s so that she hit puberty.
  • The Bratz girls are repeatedly implied to be high schoolers yet they dress and behave more like young adults. They can drive, putting them at 16-18.
  • The characters of Milky Way and the Galaxy Girls are human versions of planets so it's likely they don't age like humans. Still, their physical ages are highly ambiguous. They just look... young. They could be anywhere from teenagers to being in their twenties.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, all the kids in the protagonist’s grade have to be 18 (the minimum age for sexual consent and portrayal), but they also have a year left in high school (which would put them between 17 and 18 in most countries).
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Satoko and Rika are noticeably younger than the high school aged protagonists but how much younger is never quite stated. Satoko seems to have entered puberty but Rika hasn't yet. They both use elementary school bags as well. The closest given to an age confirmation is that Satoko is anywhere from 9 to 13 years old, and Rika is officially the same age as Satoko.
    • Keiichi, Satoshi, Rena, and the Sonozaki twins are all of high school age but their exact ages are unspecified. Mion, Shion, and Satoshi were already high schoolers a year ago and are one year older than Keiichi and Rena. Mion is also shown studying for college in one of the Matsuri arcs.
  • A couple of major characters in Melody:
    • Becca’s precise age is unknown, but judging by the fact that she’s a student who’s soon to graduate college, she’s somewhere in her early twenties.
    • Xianne’s precise age is also unknown, but it can be inferred from the point she’s at in her education that she’s 18 or 19.
  • Monster Prom:
    • Polly's age is given as "22(?)". Since she is a ghost, it's possible she died at 22 and continues to appear at that age, despite the fact that she'd've been older by now if she'd lived.
    • Downplayed with Liam. He's Really 700 Years Old, being 400-and-something ("4XX") in his profile, but Liam's exact age isn't specified. Some players have speculated that it's a subtle joke about him being four hundred and twenty.
    • In the Second Term DLC, Zoe's age is given as "4...eva?" due to the fact that she's an eldritch god implied to be somewhat older than the universe itself.
    • In the sequel Monster Camp, Milo's age is given as "23?", much like Polly's in the first game. Since they're a reaper and were likely never born in the traditional sense, it's possible that 23 is meant to be the broad age they present as, despite the implication that they've actually been around for much longer than that.
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, Rosé recognizes an ancient form of battery and claims that she hasn't seen one in a long time. When Akira then asks her how old she is, she playfully keeps it a secret. Her profile lists her age as "20s (so she says)".

    Web Comics 
  • By the end, it's implied that the bunny protagonist of Blue Moon Blossom is actually a youth, given the size difference between them and the other rabbits, especially their parent. (The parent is implied to be middle aged from the wrinkles around their eyes.) Before this, in the absence of other rabbits to compare them to, the bunny was basically ageless. This trope, however, is in effect for virtually all of the characters as it is, since they're stylized Funny Animals.
  • In City of Reality, none of the main characters have defined ages — this is deliberate on the part of the author so as not to trip himself up with potential romantic subplots. The cartoonish art style doesn't help matters. However, it is possible to extrapolate from their statements about graduating high school and the assumptions people on other worlds make about their youth, and they got a visual (though again not textual) age-up between chapters 5 and 6.
  • Cucumber and his sister Almond of Cucumber Quest are, in the author's own words, "A young kid and a slightly younger kid." It is known that Cucumber isn't 9, because that's how old his father thinks he is. The other main characters also have a vague age range assigned to them, only specifying if they're a kid or adult (and in Bacon's case, clarifying he's an adult at all).
  • The Dragon Doctors has this as a deliberate, in-universe social issue due to the fact that society has access to a functioning Fountain of Youth.
  • El Goonish Shive: Even Dan isn't 100% sure when Hanma last reset, only that it was during the anime boom in the nineties. The fact that she looks 14 doesn't help it either.
  • In between story arcs, The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! once did a No Fourth Wall installment to discuss various things, including the fact that Comic-Book Time made the characters' ages very hard to nail down. The author declares that because they are toons, it really shouldn't matter.
  • Nebula: With a complete lack of facial features (and the fact that they have incredibly long lifespans and don't seem to age much), it's hard to say how old any of the main characters are in human terms at all, other than than that they're presumably adults.
  • The Order of the Stick: The print version of No Cure for the Paladin Blues comes with brief biographies that include the age, race, class and gender of all the introduced characters up to that point. Vaarsuvius' age is listed as "130?" while Belkar's age is listed as two question marks.
  • In Pebble and Wren, Pebble leaves home to get a job, so he's probably a young adult, but he also goes to school with Wren. His mother Violet was the monster under Donald's bed when he was a kid, meaning she's probably somewhere in her fifties or sixties (Wren's about eight, so Donald is probably in his thirties).
  • In The Petri Dish, one strip has Thaddeus Euphemism's age said to be thirty-seven, but another strip has Bob point out that he's turning forty. So either, three years have passed in-universe, Bob got Thaddeus's age wrong, or "turning forty" means he's simply close to forty.
  • Polandball: Though countries are assumed to be old as their real-life counterparts, its left deliberate how old they are: for example, the United Kingdom is traditionally considered one of the senior countries in comic, while his "son" USA is depicted as an adult or teen, even though most countries are shown as the same age including Russia (who is naturally older than the USA in real life). Sweden and Norway are also about as old as Britain, and Greece and Egypt is older than all of them, yet they aren't considered as seniors. It gets even weirder when you even begin factoring strips tend to vary as whether a country taking on a new regime (like Prussia becoming the German Empire then Nazi Germany to West/East Germany to just plain Germany) counts as the same nation throughout or is a child of the previous incarnation. Or whether Israelball represents the country (one of the youngest in the world) or the Jewish population in general (which stretches through out history).
  • The author of Schlock Mercenary has confessed that he has no idea how old General Tagon is, guessing that he's somewhere between 18 and 40 years older than his 49 year-old son.
  • Sinfest is pretty weird with this. Word of God is that Slick is somewhere between 14 and his early twenties, and the other characters rarely (if ever) get their ages touched upon. It's especially weird considering that most of the main male characters look considerably younger than the women (who all look somewhere from their late teens to twenties). It's not helped by the fact that just about every character lives on their own.
  • Sock from Welcome to Hell. He looks like a preteen but Word of God is that he is 15-20.
  • The characters in What the Fu are only defined as somewhere in their twenties, mostly because Zac can't be bothered with details.
  • Molly, Golly, and Jolly, the three artificial peanut butter monsters in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! are each less than a year old, superhumanly intelligent, and look vaguely teenaged. The perceived maturity level of each of them can vary tremendously from one moment to the next, but it's justified by their origins.

    Web Original 
  • The Adventure Zone: Ethersea:
    • Hermine is described as a "young girl" in the prologue (twenty-five years before the main campaign), but her actions and influence suggest she isn't literally a child. She's most likely a teenager in the prologue, though whether she's in the 13/14 range or closer to 17/18 is unclear.
    • Zoox is a Brinearr, which are coral bodies inhabited by multiple souls of deceased humans. His emotional age is clearly that of an adult, but it's unclear how mature he is or how old he should be considered, since obviously not every spirit that now makes up his consciousness would've been the same age when they died. It's also murky how long he's been alive for the second time, as it were. His player Clint just says Zoox isn't very old, and Zoox himself doesn't dispute it when Amber says he "just woke up."
  • Spoofed in Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse, where nobody knows what Barbie's age is, not even her closest friends.
    Teresa: She ran for President once! You have to be at least thirty-five for that, so let's see... Carry the One... uh... what am I adding?
    Barbie: Today, I'm officially (gets drowned out by the vacuum)
  • In Darwin's Soldiers this trope is made explicit by Ariol, Kain, Subject 19, Siren, Breathtaker and Stalker; all have their age listed in their profiles as "unknown".
  • In regards to the main characters of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, the antagonists treat them like children, but the photos of them on their wall reads 19/06/55, which makes them quite old if home computers exist. The sixth episode shows a picture of Red Guy in a cap and gown with a diploma and implies that he works at an office, suggesting that he is at least a young adult.
  • Most of the cast of Gaia Online qualifies, especially since the website does acknowledge the passing of years and the characters do have birthdays. They just don't resemble their alleged ages. At all.
  • A majority of the characters in The Grossery Gang webseries have ages that are hard to pinpoint, as they can hold down jobs, yet at the same time have squabbles that a child would. The only characters in an established age group are Stinky (the eldest as a senior citizen) and Egghead (the youngest, as the last to expire, and acts like a young child).
  • Happy Tree Friends: According to the creators, the Tree Friends are whatever age is necessary for the cartoon to work, aside from a handful of characters who are consistently adults and one who is visibly an infant.
  • Hector's World: Constable Solosolave, Senorita Ortega, and the mayor are adults, but the rest are unknown. On the one hand they're just learning about cybersafety and Ranjeet is said to go to school. On the other hand, they can wander around without their parents, Ming is quite snarky (which probably means she's older than seven), and Ranjeet and Aretha know a great deal about computer technology.
  • Homestar Runner has only two or three confirmed "adult" regulars; the others can be, as the plot requires, young enough to be going to preschool or old enough to be drinking Cold Ones. Even the adult regulars aren't too old to play spaceman with tin foil outfits and cardboard spaceships. Don't even ask about Homsar. This Page on the wiki attempts to clear things up a bit. Emphasis on "a bit".
  • Kid Time Storytime:
    • Corny the unicorn. One comment (now erased since kids' videos don't have comments anymore) says that she's 126, but five in human years, the official website puts her at four and a half, and at one point, Eileen the creator of the channel tried to explain away Corny squeaking instead of talking in early videos as her not having learnt to talk yet, despite the fact that none of the other characters have aged.
    • Hooty looks like a full-grown owl and can fly, yet Eileen once claimed he was either four or six, and one video says that he's just starting school. In addition, there's a Shrug of God as to why he can't speak, with one source claiming he's autistic and another source claiming that hooting is his native language and he's just learning English.
    • Gilles's age is listed as "ooh la la" and Octavius's as "no one knows". The former, at least, is consistently portrayed as an adult.
  • Killerbunnies: There's Kamu and Kanran who has a condition that makes them look like babies but they don't seem to let them stop them in being damn near malicious and that both are old enough to smoke but their ages are never stated. In that vein, it's hard to pinpoint how old Jeanne is or whether or not she is even a child or through some means or another just looks like one.
  • Couette from Noob. She's short and acts like a stereotypical teenage girl, but is also the Distaff Counterpart of the franchise Manchild undergoing Divergent Character Evolution. Her actress in the webseries is a short adult, but she also hints to still be going to class in some of her dialogue. The comic shows the other contestants at her beauty pageant to be much taller than her and that she lives in her own house, but has her drawn with the same standards as the Manchild in question, making look her like the youngest of all regular players.
  • The flash cartoon series Retarded Animal Babies has mocked this a few times. Despite the name "Babies" the character Bunny claims to have gone to high school and even had several wives (to which the character Puppy says, "Shit man, how old are you?").
  • RWBY: Very few characters outside the main cast of students whoses ages can mostly be pinned down by the education system they're in have been given defined ages. All the adults have very vague ages, ranging from younger adults who are only a few years older than the main cast to the parent generation, who may be in the 40s — but also may be in their late-30s.
    • Cinder is older than the main characters, but can pass herself off as a 17-21 year old to infiltrate the academies. Her Volume 8 backstory flashback is confirmed by the creators to end when she's aged 15, but there's no confirmation of time passage between those events and the start of the show. She is therefore somewhere between the ages of 21-30. The creators have confirmed that the Maiden boundary is approximately 30 years old, meaning anyone who becomes a Maiden has to be younger than 30.
    • The way Yang discusses when Summer Rose died introduces vagueness about her and Ruby's ages at the time. On two separate occasions, she claims that Ruby was too young to understand Summer's death and couldn't talk yet, even calling Ruby a "toddler", while also stating that she had to pick up the pieces given their father's situation; as Yang is only two years older than Ruby, she effectively implies that they were much older than she's detailing in order to have been capable of looking after a house and sibling in their father's absence.
    • Team CFVY's ages are very vaguely handled. They're upperclassmen to the main characters in a school institution that covers four years from the standard age of 17, which puts them between 18-21. However, their two novels exacerbates the vagueness, which state they've attended Shade for over a year before Team SSSN arrives, despite the main show implying that less than a year has passed for the same period of time (from the end of Volume 3 to the beginning of Volume 6).
    • In Volume 7, the bio of Robyn Hill that is issued to the team trying to capture her reveals she's either in her late-20s or her early-30s. However, she graduated from Atlas Academy, meaning that her age should be precisely known. As part of her bio is redacted, there is an implied mystery to at least some of her past.
    • The Volume 6 character short for Adam introduces vagueness about Adam, Blake and Ilia's ages. Blake and Ilia are implied to be the same age, with Adam a few years older. However, the short is a flashback that covers Adam's ascension through the White Fang and therefore covers an unknown span of time. It begins while Ghira is still the leader of the White Fang, a role he stepped down from five years before the show begins. However, that would make Blake 12 years old or younger because she starts the show aged 17. As the main show's character models are used in the character short, no-one looks five years younger; the time scale of events and character ages are therefore impossible to determine.
  • Jeffy from SuperMarioLogan is obviously a highly unintelligent kid, but it was never stated just how old he is. Even he isn't sure of his age. In the episode, "Jeffy's Birthday!", the only evidence of Jeffy's age is a half-torn piece of paper in his pants pocket, which has the day he was born (August 21) written on it, but not the year. This was soon averted with a couple of his birthday episodes saying he was 12 (Jeffy's Parents) and is 14 (Jeffy's Birthday Surprise), however, this does call into his sister, Feebee's age, into question, as, according to Word of God, she was younger than Jeffy but it's not said how much younger.
  • The main girls of Teen Girl Squad are stated by Strong Bad to be somewhere between 13 and 19, which answers nothing since that age range is the exact definition of a teenager. Some ages have been implied, but most of them are contradictory; one issue claims that Cheerleader and So-and-So are in eighth grade, but another has What's-Her-Face claim she's had her driver's license for a year, yet the members of the group all seem to be the same age.
  • Doki and Nabi from There she is!! are hard to place. On one hand, they are shorter and look a lot younger and more childlike compared to their friends who are clearly adults. Yet on the other hand, both of them seem to live alone, Nabi has a job delivering news papers, and Doki can apparently buy plane tickets.
  • The Trapezoid Kids are deliberately drawn so that they need their Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, exaggerated gestures, outer body colors, and voices for anyone to even tell them apart, much less know exactly how old they are. They aren't even drawn with visible faces.
  • Cecil from Welcome to Night Vale, to go along with his ambiguous appearance and questionable status as a human. His childhood friend claimed to have been a teenager for decades at one point and when questioned it is revealed that Cecil can't actually remember what year they graduated. And considering they both sound around the same age, that only raises more questions. Also despite having memories of growing up in Night Vale, a "Best Of" episode reveals that his first show recounted a group of settlers arriving at a barren wasteland and declaring that they will found a town there called Night Vale, and a later one has him excitedly telling listeners about a new technology called radio that people will soon be able to listen to his show on.
  • The bikes in When Bikes Argue could be literally any age. But only Betsy is described specifically as a child. The other bikes are allegedly between 20 and 50, in keeping with who might be riding them.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series lampshade this in episode 53, Yugi even brings up on how old they're suppose to be.
  • Semi-reoccurring Drawfee character Old Baby Gus is portrayed as being simultaneously newborn and ancient. He frequently mixes traits of babies and old people and the only confirmed age he's been given is negative four.

    Real Life 
  • Charo. She was born January 15 of either 1941 (what her birth certificate says), 1945 (what The Other Wiki says) or 1951 (what she says).
  • Similarly, Ric Ocasek of The Cars was famously cagey about his age. The Other Wiki and several other sources long stated his birthday as March 23, 1949, but some Cars fan sources claimed he was actually older than he himself said. This was confirmed upon his death from heart failure in September 2019, when his age was given as 75, putting his real birth year at 1944.
  • Both BlueStahli and Celldweller. Due to the fact that they never mention their age nor are their ages listed on any website. Klayton is, however, rumored to be 50, of all ages, but he has denied it, but whether or not he's being honest is up to debate.
  • Tommy Wiseau is famously secretive about his age. In 2010, he claimed to be 41, but other sources list his birth year as 1955, which would make him 55 as of that year. Proceedings in a 2016 lawsuit over a documentary on his life would confirm the 1955 date.
  • The author Sydney, Lady Morgan was very vague about her age, maintaining that she was born in 1785 when it was probably 1781. Her death certificate (in 1859) gives her age as "about 80".
  • Idi Amin's birth date is unknown, guessed at maybe 1923, 1925 or 1928.
  • Mariah Carey, though known to have been born in 1969, stopped counting her age numerically at 17, and states that she doesn't have a birthday, she was "just dropped here".
  • Joan Crawford's exact date of birth is unknown, except that it was sometime in the 1900s (1904 at the earliest, 1908 at the latest).
  • Almost the entirety of Blackbeard's pre piratical life, including his date of birth, has been lost to history. Even his "real name" Edward Teach is widely suspected to be a pseudonym. Historians tentatively estimate that he might've been in his late thirties at death. If such an estimate is correct, that means that Blackbeard was probably born somewhere in the early 1680s.
  • Boxing great Sonny Liston was born to a poor sharecropping family in Arkansas either just before or during the Great Depression, and his birth was not officially recorded.note  Statements by him, his mother, and other family members were often contradictory, supporting dates anywhere from 1927 to 1933. He eventually settled on a 1932 birth date for official purposes, but an aged appearance lent credence to rumors of the earliest dates. The mystery of Liston's birth date will almost certainly go unsolved, but it's now most likely he was born sometime in the summer of 1930.Evidence 
  • Often the case for pets and other domestic animals if their owners don't know the animal's full history and only have the vet's best estimate of age to go on.
  • The precise birth date of the late Taliban emir and founder Mohammed Omar is uncertain, though variously estimated anywhere between 1950 and 1966. An offical biography released by the Taliban dated his birth at 1960, though specific detail are still quite lacking. Not helping matters is that Omar was born in a remote Afghan village that never kept reliable records.
  • r/13or30 documents many, many real-life examples.
  • The exact age of the Bocksten Man, a bog perseved body of a medieval Swedish man, has been rather difficult to determine. From dental and skeleton analysis, he could've been as young as 25 to as old as 60 at the time of his death.

 
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Cesare's age

Although Cesare says that he's gotten old, he doesn't really look or sound different from the other characters. When asked by Conrad about how old he is, Cesare refuses to answer.

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