Follow TV Tropes


While You Were in Diapers

Go To

"While you were still learning how to SPELL YOUR NAME, I was being trained TO CONQUER GALAXIES!"

I was describing tropes here while you were in kindergarten.

For some people, looking back at their past achievements is not a sign they are over the hill, but a sign that they've been awesome all along, and that the awesome just compounded over the years. This trope comes into play with them saying to younger people that they were doing awesome things when those younger people were too young to do anything great, or maybe even before they were a gleam in their parents' eyes, often in the form of "I was doing X while you were in diapers."

Sometimes said by old people, but more often than not it is said by any adult character to claim that they have Seen It All, or as a Badass Boast. It is unlikely to find a Chekhov's Gun in those boasts, as those past experiences rarely become plot-relevant later on.

A common variation is a Long-Lived character, or an immortal supernatural being, stating "I was doing X while your ancestors were in diapers." Also, "I've forgotten more about X than you will ever know!"

Cultural Posturing often involves this kind of statement, except that it's "my culture was awesome when your culture was still banging rocks together!"

Compare When I Was Your Age..., Years Too Early.

Contrast Glory Days.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • A variant occurs in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. Hayate, speaking with Auris Gaiz, suggests that Auris' superior, Lieutenant Genderal Regius Gaiz, is somehow involved with the Jail Scaglietti incident. Auris then asks Hayate how long she has been with the Bureau, and the 19-year-old Hayate says she has been with them for 10 years. Auris then says that Regius has been in the Bureau for 40 years, and when Hayate was committing crimes to save her life during the Book of Darkness Incident,note  Regius was upholding the law and defending the people, implying Hayate has no right to question him.
  • Naruto:
    • Kakuzu makes a point of reminding his opponents that he once fought the First Hokage — a man who's at least seventy years dead. Essentially, he fought the most powerful shinobi to ever live before any of the main characters were even born.
    • Interestingly enough, the Edo Tensei reanimated Second Mizukage remembers Grumpy Old Man Ohnoki, the current Tsuchikage, from when he was a child. Though it only ever comes up three times, Ohnoki fought Madara when he was a lot younger and remembers the encounter with fear. (It's implied that his fight with Madara is why he became a grumpy old shinobi as opposed to the Wide-Eyed Idealist he was in his youth.)
  • One Piece: During the Battle of Onigashima, Big Mom boasts to Eustass Kid and Trafalgar Law that she and Kaido have been Emperors of the Sea since before the Worst Generation were "Weaned off your mother's milk."

    Audio Dramas 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who drama The Legacy of Time: Collision Course, when Leela suggests that maybe she'd be the best qualified to lead them through a jungle, the Doctor retorts "I was yomping through jungles when you were still in nappies! Leather nappies!" He immediately walks into a low-hanging branch.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman comics and other adaptations often have Alfred invoke this trope. In the Justice League animated series, Alfred tells the Flash that he had been working for the Wayne family "since Master Bruce was in diapers", and on several occasions when Batman brushes off Alfred's assistance or gets frustrated with him, Alfred is quick to remind Master Bruce that he was an MI6 agent before he was born.
    Batman: You think you know everything about me, don't you?
    Alfred: I diapered your bottom. I bloody well ought to. Sir.
  • Dark Nights: Metal has Kendra Saunders claim that she's been fighting wars back when Wonder Woman was just a speck of dirt.
  • Doctor Strange remarks in The Oath that he was patrolling New York City when "Spider-Man was in diapers." His faithful manservant Wong chimes in "But he still gets lost in the outer boroughs."
  • In the DuckTales comics, Scrooge tells one of the Beagle Boys that "I learned to fence while you were still crawling in diapers!"
  • In Hawkman vol 5 #3, Hawkman, attacked by a flock of Fetherians tells them "You were born to fly. I was flying before your race was born!"
  • In the sixth issue of the Justice League Unlimited tie-in comic, John Stewart tells fellow Green Lantern Zibar to stand down. Zibar responds by snapping that he's worn his ring before Stewart's sun was lit.
  • Lucky Luke:
    • One story features an old-timer character in a wheelchair roping cattle. When Luke congratulates him, the old guy gives him the line.
    • In the climax of the story called Ma' Dalton, the elderly mother of the Dalton Brothers boasts about being a good shooter. Too bad she's about to shoot the hero.
      Ma' Dalton: I can shoot well and I won't hesitate about using my gun, whether you draw yours or not! I was wielding weapons when you were still a baby!
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • Ultimate X-Men: Wraith has been nailing mutants for Weapon X before Cornelius discovered Corduroy.
    • The Ultimates: Herr Kleiser had been fighting Steve Rogers before Bruce Banner was even born.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Pagan Vengeance: Juvage pulls this on himself when preparing to fight Genghis Khan: "He has forgotten more about fighting than I ever knew."
  • In The Secret Life of Dolls, Cleolinda decides to keep The Littlest Edward busy by having him take care of her My Little Ponies. When he protests this, she tells him he'd better look after them and do a damned good job of it, because the ponies are all vintage and "I have friends who are younger than this!"

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A variation, but with upbringing instead of age, is done in Battlefield Earth.
  • In Blue Thunder, Braddock says he was in the police force when new recruit Lymangood was "watching cartoons" and "eating a Fudgesicle".
  • Sheriff Teasle does this to illustrate why he's so determined to find and kill Rambo in First Blood after the latter had accidentally caused his asshole deputy's death:
    Teasle: Look, goddamn it! That's Art Galt, boy; me and him were friends when your mama was still wipin' your nose!
  • "I made my bones when you were going out with cheerleaders!" snarls Moe Greene in The Godfather.
  • From The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp:
    "I was a soldier... when you were nothing more than a toss between a boy and a girl's name."
  • Mandy (1952): When Ackland and Searle are fighting over how the deaf school should be run, Ackland says, "I was working for this school when you were still a boy!"
  • From O Brother, Where Art Thou?:
    Vernon T. Waldrip: I can't switch sides in the middle of a campaign. Especially to work for a man who lacks moral fiber.
    Pappy O'Daniel: Moral fiber? Why, you little pasty-face sumbitch. I invented moral fiber! Pappy O'Daniel was displaying rectitude and high-mindedness when that egghead you work for was still messing his drawers!
  • Parachute Jumper: Bill, an ex-Marine pilot, is trying to get a job with the parachute stunt pilots. He is asked if he has any experience. He says "I was flying airplanes when you thought a joystick was a lollipop!".
  • A variant of this occurs in Point Break (1991) with Angelo telling Johnny "I was takin' shrapnel in Khe Sanh when you were crappin' in your hands and rubbin' it on your face!" He does it again later on to a somewhat older man: "I was in this bureau when you were still popping zits on your funny little face and jacking off to the lingerie section of the Sears catalogue."
  • In The Rock, during his negotiations with the government, General Hummell calls out the White House Chief of Staff, reminding him that he and his men were in combat when the Chief was 9 years old.
  • One elf in The Santa Clause dislikes being mistaken for a kid. "I have pointy shoes that are older than you."
  • In Show Boat, Windy McLain tells Sheriff Ike Vallon, "I was keel-boatin' while you was runnin' bare-foot 'round the landin'."
  • Skyfall: Kincaid, the groundskeeper at the Bond family estate, gives a nicely understated Badass Boast when they hear the dogs barking, showing a bunch of mooks have just turned up.
    Bond: Are you ready?
    Kincaid: I was ready before you were born, son.
  • Star Trek:
    • Encountering Captain Terell and Commander Chekov on Ceti Alpha V in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Khan Noonien Singh tells Terell and Chekov that appealing to Khan's people was useless as these people had sworn themselves to him 200 years before Terell and Chekov were born.
    • In Star Trek: Generations, Kirk says this about Picard's grandfather being in diapers. The problem that many fans noticed was the context of the line was why he should enjoy a form of retirement, which directly contradicts scenes both before and after this, within the very movie. The funny thing about this line is that it's not true. Kirk, for all his recent knowledge that the man he's speaking to is from the future, is only seventy two years older than Picard. While this is no small age gap, he was probably having adventures while Picard's father was in diapers, not his grandfather.
      • Kirk entered service approximately 50 years before Picard was born. If we assume he and at least one of his parents were born when their own parents were in their twenties, it works out.
  • This exchange from Undercover vs. Undercover. The speaker is the elderly bombmaker known as "The Master", and she's taunting one of the comparatively younger heroes while in the middle of a car chase, though the trope somewhat loses its effect when nobody else can hear it over the sound of speeding vehicles and explosions:
    The Master: You think you can arrest me, you punk? I've been racing ever since you're sucking on your mother's tits!
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X2: X-Men United: Colonel Stryker says this to Senator Kelly (or who he thinks is Kelly).
      "I was piloting Black Ops missions in the jungles of North Vietnam while you were sucking on your mama's tit at Woodstock, Kelly." note 
    • X-Men: The Last Stand: Beast pulls one of these on Wolverine, but, unbeknownst to both, the former is approximately 110 years younger than the latter.
      "My boy, I have been fighting for mutant rights since before you had claws."

  • 1632: Paul Santee ends up on the receiving end when he offers to teach Ruth Tippett how to handle a shotgun. Santee is a Vietnam War veteran and the story begins in the year 2000.
    Ruth: Son, I been huntin' pheasants in these here hills since you was in diapers, and you ain't a young man.
  • In Anne's House of Dreams, Miss Cornelia uses this to crush an obnoxious minister.
  • In The Candy Shop War, Nate tells Mr. Stott that Belinda White has claimed that Hanaver Mills is her ancestor. Mr. Stott's response? "Belinda White has been using magic since Hanaver Mills was in diapers."
  • Cradle Series: Ziel advanced through his world's Power Levels at a breakneck pace, so he's able to say something like this to someone only a few years younger than him (with a caveat).
    Ziel: I was fighting with Sages before you were a Copper. Then again, I lost. So never mind.
  • In Flashman and the Mountain of Light, General Gough says to his intelligence officer: "I was fightin', an' gatherin' intelligence, while your grandfather hadn't got the twinkle in his eye yet."
  • Ghosts of Tomorrow: When Griffin tells his boss Phil that he's 20, Phil mutters something about diapers.
  • In I, Cthulhu the title character says it "slimed out of the dark stars when your most eldritch nightmares were suckling at their mothers’ pseudomammaria".
  • Joel Suzuki: In Fable of the Fatewave, Blackspore tells Fireflower, "I was a master Wavemaker long before you knew how to tune your instrument."
  • Meets Older Than They Think in The Junk and the Dhow by Rudyard Kipling, reminding his compatriots that being kings of the sea currently doesn't mean they gave baby Poseidon his first trident:
    But before and before, and ever so long before
    And such contrivances were used
  • In Naked Came the Stranger, Gillian suggests that Ernie drink his martinis slowly instead of downing them in one gulp. Ernie snarls, "I'll drink what I fucking please. I was drinking when you were still using candles on yourself."
  • In Neuromancer, the Finn wearily observes "I gotta pair a shoes older than you."
  • In Northanger Abbey, Catherine is surprised to discover that her love interest Henry Tilney shares her enjoyment of Gothic novels. He cheerfully replies that given how much older he is, he's almost certainly read lots more of them than she has.
  • In the Edmond Hamilton sci-fi tale The Pro, a science fiction writer meets some astronauts — which include his own son — about to go on an expedition to Mars, and there's some banter exchanged.
    "Don't you get smart with me," he said. "I wrote the lot of you. When you were drooling in your cribs I was making you up out of ink and sweat and the necessity to pay the bills. And what did you do, you ungrateful little bastards? You all came true."
  • Reserved for the Cat: Thomas loses patience with Jonathon's snarking.
    "Do not mock me, Jemmie Hightower. And keep a civil tongue in your head. I knew your uncle, and I knew you when you were still in nappies."
  • River Song: "This guy fought fires when you were still sucking on your mother's ***."
  • The Saga of Darren Shan: Mr. Crepsley, while saving the life of one of Darren's friends (in exchange for Darren becoming a vampire), tells Darren to "have some faith in someone who was doing this long before your grandfather was born."
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch, the Ferengi politician Kain has the following retort when criticized by a colleague: "You watch it, boy. I was cheating Yridians when your mother was too young to chew food."
  • In the Warrior Cats series, Mudclaw is told to show more respect to his dying leader, Tallstar, because Tallstar was leader when Mudclaw was a kit mewling in the nursery.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: Blatant lampshading in the episode "Planet of the Slave Girls", when retired 'Commander Gordon', played by Buster Crabbe, the original Buck Rogers, chides Gil Gerard's Buck during a dogfight that "I've been doing this since before you were born, young man." (Literal because the Buck Rogers serials date to 1939, years before Gil Gerard's birth; ironic since Buck comes from the 20th century via suspended animation and his character is centuries older than the 'vintage' fighter pilot Crabbe plays here.)
    Buck: You think so, huh?
    Commander Gordon: Young man, I know so.
  • Chancellor Pasquier says something to this effect in the episode of La Caméra Explore le Temps dealing with the murder of the Duchess of Praslin in 1847:
    Pasquier: I was already a Master of Requests under Louis the Sixteenth. The Sixteenth! It has been forty-one years since Emperor Napoleon appointed me at the head of the Prefecture of Police. I think I have some experience with public matters.
  • During the Celebrity Deathmatch between Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie, Ozzy threatened Rob not to mess with him, saying "I was worshipping the devil when you were still in black leather diapers."
  • Cold Case: Said word for word by the killer to the Victim of the Week in the episode "The Dealer". The episode is a Whole-Plot Reference to Glengarry Glen Ross and the victim is a new but talented used car saleswoman in The '80s, which makes her older male coworkers jealous and eventually leads to her murder.
  • A variant in Daredevil (2015) when Karen Page is talking with Ben Urich about Union Allied:
    Karen Page: I read every big story with your byline. The VA kickbacks, toxic runoff, the Teachers Union scandal. Hell, you pretty much brought down the Italian mob back when I was in diapers! What ever happened to that reporter, Mr. Urich?
    Ben Urich: He got old. And a hell of a lot less stupid.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "An Unearthly Child" has this from the First Doctor, combined with Cultural Posturing.
      First Doctor: For your science, schoolteacher, not for ours! I'll tell you, before your ancestors turned the first wheel, the people of my world had reduced movement through the farthest reaches of space to a game for children!
    • Again in "Genesis of the Daleks", and again with Cultural Posturing.
      The Doctor: What's going on? Don't you realize how dangerous it is to intercept a transmat beam?
      Time Lord: Oh come, Doctor, not with our techniques. We Time Lords transcended such simple mechanical devices when the universe was less than half its present size.
  • The Equalizer: In "Mission: McCall", the title character goes missing, so his son Scott tries to get help from his former boss, Control. Control seems to have his own agenda, but when Scott calls him on his apparent lack of concern he replies thus:
    Control: You think I don't care about your father? Your father and I were covering each other's backs and saving each other's lives before you were born!
  • An interestingly phrased variant in Farscape from Zhaan to Chiana:
    Chiana: ...and when he didn't give it back, we beat the gris out of him. Should I be telling you this?
    Zhaan: My dear, I've kicked more ass than you've sat on.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In "The Ghost of Harrenhal", one of Theon Greyjoy's crewmen, less than impressed by their new captain, goes even further back, saying that "I have been reaving and raping since before you left Balon's balls."
    • In the season five episode "High Sparrow", Lord Janos Slynt refuses to take a post at Greyguard, telling Jon Snow that he was "charged with the defense of King's Landing while you were soiling your swaddling clothes". This defiance earns him a swift death.
    • Bronn smacks the dwarf Tyrion Lannister in the face. When Tyrion complains that his nose is broken, Bronn says it isn't because he knows what that sounds like. "I've been breaking noses since I was your height."
  • In the final episode of Good Luck Charlie, when Gabe tries to stop his may-soon-be new-neighbor, Matt, from moving in to prank Mrs. Dabney, he gives him this quote:
    Gabe: I've been pranking Ms. Dabney when you were in diapers. In fact, I've been pranking her when I was in diapers!
  • Grey's Anatomy: In "The Time Warp", Dr. Richard Addison recalls working with Meredith's late mom Ellis while treating an AIDS patient in 1982.
    Dr. Richard Addison: 1982... you were still in diapers.
  • Subverted in Just Shoot Me!. Nina tries to do this with Adrian, but Nina names a specific year, and Adrian says she wasn't even born then. Nina instantly breaks down.
  • In The Late Late Show with James Corden's Drop the Mic rap battle between Corden and Jeff Goldblum, Corden makes several jokes about Goldblum's age (he was 66 at the time) among other things, but Goldblum ends the second round with the following: "When you were born, I was already 25/Which means I've been a sex symbol longer than you've been alive!"
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: A variation happens in "Adrift". Galadriel angrily tells Halbrand that she has been hunting her foe even before the existence of the first sunrise and that it would take more than Halbrand's human lifespan to even name all the people she lost in that time.
  • In Mama's Family, Mama says to Iola: "I was making booties before you had feet!"
  • In one of Colonel Flagg's M*A*S*H episodes, he showed up insisting that a bombardier who believed himself to be Christ should get "his highly trained thumb" back into action immediately. When he's rude to Colonel Potter, Potter says he doesn't appreciate abuse. "I was in this man's army when the only thumb you cared about was the one you had in your mouth."
  • In Midnight Caller, television mogul Kenneth Miller tells Devon, "I was interviewing presidents when you were in diapers!"
  • In The Pacific, John Basilone takes exception to one of the recruits he's training to be Marines expressing a desire to 'get out there and slap a Jap'.
    "Slap a Jap? That's what the enemy is to ya, huh? A fucking bucktooth cartoon, dreamt up by some asshole on Madison Avenue to sell soap? Let me tell you something: the Jap I know? The Japanese soldier? He has been at war since you were in FUCKING DIAPERS!"
  • In the Starsky & Hutch episode "Iron Mike", the titular character finds out the guys suspect him of being a Dirty Cop. He tells them, "I was busting scum in this division when you two were still playing patty-cake."
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • In "Relics", Scotty angrily remarks to Geordi that he was repairing warp drives when LaForge's great-grandfather was in diapers.
      • In "Redemption", Guinan beats Worf at target practice and tells him that she's been at it since before he was born. Since she's Really 700 Years Old, she's not kidding.
      • In "Unification: Part II", Picard describes Spock's dealings with the Romulans as "cowboy diplomacy" and tells him that the Federation won't tolerate it. Spock retorts that he was involved with such cowboy diplomacy before Picard was even born.
    • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Message in a Bottle", the EMH of Voyager tells the EMH Mark II that "I was saving Voyager from annihilation when you were only a gleam in your programmer's eye!"
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): The episode "He's Alive" has a scene in which Adolf Hitler's ghost tells off a neo-Nazi wannabe.
    "Mr. Vollmer! I was writing speeches before you could read them. I was fighting battles, when your only struggle was to climb out of a womb. I was taking over the world, while your universe was a crib. And as for being in darkness, Mr. Vollmer, I INVENTED DARKNESS!"
  • Artie in Warehouse 13: "Like I don't know how to improvise an electromagnet. I was doing this when MacGyver was still trapped in his crib!"
  • The Wire does this in the season 3 premiere. Major Colvin asks two rookie cops which direction is north. One points to the east, the other points at the ceiling. Colvin immediately orders them to carry compasses at all times until they know their sense of direction. The two officers leave Colvin's office, and as they do so, walk past Herc and Carver, who are sitting at Carver's desk writing up on an arrest.
    Herc: Hey Carv, where you at?
    Ellis Carver: I'm at a desk outside the roll call room on the first floor of 1032 North Mount. My feet are facing west and my dick is pointing south-southwest! [grins]
    Herc: Bunny Colvin's been giving that speech as long as you guys were sucking air.

  • In "Detroit City 2021", Alice Cooper says he's been rocking since "The Kid was in his crib/And Shady wore a bib/And the Posse wasn't even alive."
  • One of the few lyrics in the song "DotEXE - Hipster Cutthroat", with gratuitous amounts of ham added.
  • Dr. Dre's "Forgot About Dre" ends on this image:
    But all you savage cats know that I was strapped with gats
    While you were cuddlin' a Cabbage Patch
  • Subverted in the Pet Shop Boys song "Young Offender": "I've been a teenager since before you were born" sounds like a boast, but is actually an admission that the singer is still emotionally/mentally a teenager.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Mick Foley once told Randy Orton "I was spilling blood on six continents while you were still latched onto your mother’s breast!"
  • Inverted by Wade Barrett, who tried to call Rob Van Dam a has-been by claiming that the last time he held the Intercontinental Title, Barrett was still in diapers. The only problem being that Van Dam's last title reign was in 2006, when Barrett was 25 years old...
  • At WrestleMania 21, during the Piper's Pit segment between Roddy Piper and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Roddy Piper says:
    Piper: I was pissing Vince McMahon off, when the "Red" on the back of your neck was Diaper Rash buddy!
  • Hulk Hogan during his infamous Face–Heel Turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996:
    Hogan: If it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, you people wouldn't be here! If it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff would be still selling meat from a truck in Minneapolis! And, if it wasn't for Hulk Hogan, all these johnny-come-latelies that you see out here, wrestling wouldn't be here! I was selling out the world, brother, while they were bumming gas to put in their car to get to high school!
  • A tweet from The Rock during his feud with John Cena:
    @TheRock: "@JohnCena I was electrifying Topeka when you were sucking on yum rockets in college. My boot. Your Ass. #Wrestlemania."
  • An even more extreme variant when Chris Jericho was arguing with MJF, with Jericho boasting that he'd been wrestling Juventud Guerrera in WCW before MJF had even been born. Supporting his point, MJF didn't even know who "Juvi" was.
  • Speaking of MJF, he got this during his epic promo shootout with CM Punk on a November 2021 edition of AEW Dynamite:
    Punk: ...the timing might not match up, but I was selling out Madison Square Garden when you were marking out for Rosie O'Donnell.Background 

  • Dead Ringers: Sue Johnston, utterly unimpressed with Time and its attempts to be a gritty Scouse drama, tells Stephen Graham that she's been doing gritty Scouse drama since he was in short trousers.

    Video Games 
  • In Destroy All Humans! 2, a frustrated Orthopox-13, calling the Furon homeworld, chews out a space traffic controller for not recognizing him by name alone.
    Orthopox-13: Never heard of... I'm Orthopox-13, man! The Orthopox-13! The conqueror of Zargon 5? The Hero of the battle of Tharsis Mons? The winner of the Xanthrax-47 cruelty award six years running? I'm the second most senior fleet commander in the entire Furon Navy! I was enslaving hyper-dimensional insectoids on the dunghills of Beedleblat while you were still in short pants! And you've never heard of me?
  • One of Cranky Kong's quotes in Donkey Kong Country is "Last time I saw you, you were in diapers!"
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2: During Grunt's loyalty mission, if Gatagog Uvenk gets too uppity with the Shaman, the Shaman will remind him that "I was a warrior before your mother was born!" During a sidequest on Illium, an asari with a grudge against other species says that she was negotiating contracts while Shepard's ancestors were burning witches and enslaving each other.
    • Later done in Mass Effect 3 with Javik, resident Last of His Kind former Precursor Popsicle, who is fond of mentioning what the dominant species of the current cycle were like in his time: humans lived in caves, hanar were like minnows in the ocean, yahg were small and salarians ate flies and licked their own eyes. He also jokes that asari used to be unable to count beyond ten without their toes but then again this is Javik we're talking about...
    • Comes up again in Mass Effect: Andromeda. If Ryder criticizes Sarissa Theris for putting the asari ark at risk by stealing kett navigational data, Sarissa will snidely shoot back that she was studying tactics when Ryder's ancestors were toddlers. Ryder is not impressed.
  • Ravel Puzzlewell does this as part of a Badass Boast in Planescape: Torment.
    "I have forgotten more of the Art than you shall... EVER... KNOW."
  • In the "Kill Killbane" ending of Saints Row: The Third, Final Boss Cyrus Temple boasts to the Boss, "I've been a soldier longer than you've been alive!" This boast loses a lot of its effect if you've made your Boss just as old as or even older than him.
  • In Suzerain, if the player decides to partially or even entirely nationalize Bergia Steel, the company run by the powerful oligarch Walter Tusk, an angry Tusk will threaten President Anton Rayne as he signs away the rights to the company's daily operations. If the player have Anton say that he is not intimidated by Tusk's threats and that it is Tusk who is the one should be worried if he tries anything, he will spit this line at Anton:
    Tusk: Do you know who I am? I've been chewing up and spitting out Sordish politicians since you were in diapers.
  • Warriors Orochi gives us Huang Zhong, who, in spite of the quote below, is not actually senile.
    Huang Zhong: I was being kidnapped by evil snake gods and forced to fight battles before you were even out of the cradle!
  • In World of Warcraft, Xaril the Poisoned Mind, one of the mantid Paragons (heroes sealed in amber and released in times of crisis — although for Xaril, it was in the relatively recent past, as opposed to centuries or millennia ago), says he remembers when Amber Shaper Un'sok, one of the sha-corrupted Empress' minions and the penultimate boss in Heart of Fear, was afraid to mix his first toxin.

  • DM of the Rings, after Frodo cringes at Gimli's IC introduction (not so far back as the others being in diapers, but it counts):
    Gimli: You punks stay in character! I was playing D&D before you got your first Nintendo!
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!:
    Riboflavin: Please! I invented this cloak design when your great great great great great grandpa was a larva, and nobody knows how it works but me. We're fine!

    Web Original 
  • When Richard of RatedRR made a video of failing to blend an iPhone 6 and Tom Dickson successfully did so on Will It Blend?, many of RatedRR's fans accused Tom of faking the results. Tom responded by calling out Richard and even pointing out that he's been blending stuff since 1980, which is years before Richard was ever born. Then Tom challenged him to meet up and do a special together to show Richard that the iPhone 6 actually does blend. Richard stopped too early; the Will It Blend? episode shows the iPhone 6 taking a much longer time to blend than previous models.

    Western Animation 
  • 6teen: Ron the Rent-a-Cop decides to get a job at the Khaki Barn, and starts folding some shirts. When Kristen and Kirsten tell him he's doing it wrong, he responds with a harsh, very loud "I WAS FOLDING SHIRTS IN THE JUNGLE WHEN YOU TWO WERE IN DIAPERS!".
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Captain Rescue took offense at being called an "oldtimer" by Sonic in the episode "Over the Hill Hero", retorting that he had been saving Mobius from bad guys since Sonic was a "hedgehoglet".
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: Baron Zemo tells Baron Strucker, current leader of Hydra, that he "was running Hydra while you were still a child." It should be noted that both characters served in World War II, so they're both pretty old by this point.
  • A segment from Cartoon Network's parody of Survivor has Eustace tell Blossom that "I was setting up camp when your grandpa was in short britches."
  • In one episode of Cow and Chicken, a new school bully starts picking on the kids that the previous bully picked on. After the new bully twists the noses of two kids, the original bully tells him:
    Original Bully: Isn't nose-twisting a little old? My granny taught me that when I was still in diapers!
    New Bully: Oh, just this morning then?
  • As a possible Shout-Out to a similar quote from the source material, the Animated Adaptation of Donkey Kong Country has this quote from the episode, "Best of Enemies", when Donkey Kong tries to stop Cranky from participating in a wing-walking competition against King K. Rool:
    Cranky: There's nothing to worry about, Donkey Kong. I was wing-walking while you were still wearing diapers!
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk feature this exchange when Hiccup is trying to find a job for Gobber:
    Hiccup: I'm glad you're excited. But I still think there are some things in my designs you could use. I mean, you did teach me everything I know.
    Gobber: Exactly. That's why you should let Gobber do what Gobber does best. I've been making saddles since you were in diapers. In fact, I made your diapers.
  • Futurama:
    • Fry's status as a Human Popsicle means he's able to accurately tell Leela, "I was delivering things before you were born!" He may be right, but that doesn't make him competent.
    • Professor Farnsworth tells a former student of his "I was inventing things when you were barely turning senile".
  • Although Invader Zim's diminutive stature allows him to go undercover as a human in elementary school, in "NanoZim" he tells his nemesis and classmate Dib that he's been piloting ships since before he was born. This doesn't stop him from getting outmaneuvered by Dib's younger sister.
  • Jem: One episode invokes this trope with Bobby Bailey's criticism of Jem and the Holograms' version of a song he did back in the The '50s. He told Kimber he did it while her father was in diapers.
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "Something Ricked This Way Comes", after Mr. Needful proceeds to "Zuckerberg" (i.e., backstab) Summer, the former gleefully responds:
    Mr. Needful: I've been Zuckerberging people since before Zuckerberg's balls dropped!
  • The Simpsons: In "Marge Gets a Job", Groundskeeper Willie fights a wolf, and after he wins the two share some hooch while Willie says "Ah, don't feel bad for losing. I was wrestling wolves back when you were at your mother's teat!"
  • In the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode "I Have No Bones Yet I Must Flee," a Romulan Commander tells a subordinate who he suspects of plotting against him that, "I've been stabbing commanders in the back since before your mother killed her first traitor."
  • A railway variant in the Thomas & Friends episode "Over the Hill"; Stephen challenges Glynn to a race, but neither of them move very fast, and this holds up bigger and faster engines like Gordon. When Gordon complains about how slow Stephen is going, Stephen tells Gordon that he was winning races before Gordon was even a sketch on a drawing board.
  • In Transformers: Animated, when Starscream and his clones try to kill Megatron, his Opposite-Sex Clone Slipstream (while not a child per se, but she was formed yesterday) criticizes his tactics, prompting Starscream to try and shut her up.
    Slipstream: What are you doing? Aim for his spark chamber!
    Starscream: "Aim for his spark chamber!" Don't tell me how to slag Megatron! I was slagging Megatron when you were still a dream in my spark!
    Slipstream: And look how well that turned out!
  • In The Venture Bros., Sgt. Hatred uses this when he mouths off to the Monarch in the season 3 episode "Home Is Where the Hate Is":
    Hatred: Look, you scrawny little turd, I was a professional villain while you were trading Garbage Pail Kids!
  • From the WordGirl episode "Becky's Bad-itude", when Mr. Botsford reveals that he got four tickets to the Squishy Funbots Robo-Rama;
    Mr. Botsford: You kids have loved these Squishies since you were in diapers! And you're still in a diaper, Bob, so of course you love 'em.

    Real Life 
  • Sir Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the reign of Queen Victoria, was occasionally attacked for his Jewish heritage. One such attack came in 1835, when the Irish Roman Catholic politician Daniel O'Connell vilified Disraeli in the House of Commons. Disraeli replied, "Yes, I am a Jew, and while the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the Temple of Solomon." This piece of invective makes this trope Older Than Radio—and probably older.
  • George C. Wallace once replied to a group of hippies who called him a fascist, "I was killing fascists when you punks were in diapers."
  • This trope was pointed out when tennis player Kimiko Date-Krumm returned from retirement at the age of 37. She started playing in 1989, before a good portion of her opponents were born and when another portion of them were small children (for reference, Serena Williams was born in 1981 and went pro in 1995, a year before Date-Krumm first retired).
    • In 2019, this trope was flipped for Serena Williams when Bianca Andreescu challenged Williams for both the Canadian Open and the U.S. Open. Bianca, being herself born in 2000, pointed this out to Serena herself (when the latter had to withdraw from the finals of the Canadian Open due to injury) by noting that she grew up watching Serena compete and that Serena was an inspiration for Bianca. Bianca would end up defeating Serena in the 2019 U.S. Open.
  • Also pointed out at the start of the 2019–20 NBA season, when Vince Carter took sole possession of the record for most seasons in the league at 22. Four of Carter's opening-night teammates with the Atlanta Hawks had yet to be born when he was chosen in the 1998 NBA draft, and two others were less than a year old at that time. His youngest teammate wasn't born until about 7 months after Carter played his first NBA game.note 
  • Flat-out invoked during the 2022 NFL Draft, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made Logan Hall, a defensive end out of Houston, the first pick of the second round. Hall was born on April 22, 2000—six days after the the Bucs' starting quarterback Tom Brady was drafted by the New England Patriots. The linked story even stated, "Brady already had a Super Bowl win when Hall was still in diapers."
  • This trope is commonplace in golf, a sport in which top players regularly remain competitive against younger players well into their forties, and sometimes their early fifties. To give just one example on the US-based PGA Tour, the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open saw all-time great Tiger Woods paired for the first two days with Collin Morikawa, marking the first time that Woods had played in a tour event alongside someone who was born after he turned pro.note 
  • After Wesley So insinuated that Tigran L. Petrosian had been cheating at chess, the latter responded with an angry rant containing the sentence "You was doing PIPI in your pampers when i was beating players much more stronger then you![sic]"note