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Man Child / Western Animation

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  • Adventure Time:
    • The Earl of Lemongrab is an interesting version of this. Physically he's eighteen at the youngest, but because he was born in a laboratory, he's only about one year old chronologically. He acts like a bratty little kid trapped inside the body of an adult, mainly because he IS a very young brat who happens to be an adult, too.
      • He and his brother/clone/boyfriend have kids together... and they're STILL immature manchildren.
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    • Jake also very much resembles this at times, to the point where one wonders if he's an English Bulldog, as he closely resembles physically, or if he's a Golden Retriever. His son Kim Kil Wan even says that Jake acts like a child.
    • Ice King also acts like this as he throws tantrums and treats being grounded literally. Unfortunately due to the magic of the Ice Crown which made his way.Pretty much "sadness and madness" accompany anyone who uses magic,and it's notable that wizards are technically their own race.
    • Cinnamon Bun is shown to be "basically 30" yet he owns a night light and cries a lot like a child while looking up to Kid Hero Finn. Turns out this is because he wasn't finished developing, as in he was literally undercooked. Going to help Flame Princess by moving to the Flame Kingdom allows him to grow by literally being able to finish baking. He becomes much more competent and mature (also a lot bigger, going from Finn's height to about twice that .) He's still kind-hearted and he still looked up to Finn to emulate him as he grew (he named his giant fire wolf steed Jake II for starts.)
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  • Richard Watterson from The Amazing World of Gumball. If anything, he's even more immature than his own offspring. Justified in that this was how his mother raised him. After his father Frankie Watterson, a conman left, Jojo Watterson raised Richard to be unable to do anything himself and instill a fear of everything in him, hence why he is the way he is today. In the episode we discover this, she attempts to this to her grandchildren (as a result of her disagreement on Nicole raising them), but Nicole put a stop to that.
  • American Dad!:
    • Stan Smith as he is 42 years old but he has shades of acting childish at times. It's revealed that this the result of being forced to grow up fast as his father left when he was eight, and thus had to be man of the house. When he goes into a bounce house to put a stop to Steve's party, he enjoys it so much he remains there for days. Roger himself notes that Stan's inner child is screaming to get out.
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    • Also Roger the alien. He was revealed to be over 1600 years old yet he throws tantrums and some of his personas and disguises are that of children.
  • Sterling Archer in Archer, despite being a world-class secret agent, it also a brainless and immature Momma's Boy who is often more interested in things like pirate lacrosse or Aliens-style space robots than the safety of his companions.
  • King Bumi from Avatar: The Last Airbender also qualifies for this. He is an old man who is slightly crazy. He also sometimes says that it is simply fun to make nonsense. He has not changed since when he and Aang were children
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker:
    • The Joker points out that for all the fear he invokes being The Cowl, Batman is really this trope:
    "I must admit, it's sadly anti-climactic. Behind all the strum and batarangs, you're just a little boy in a playsuit, crying for mommy and daddy! It'd be funny if it weren't so pathetic... Oh, what the heck, I'll laugh anyway! (Mad Laughter)"
    • Years later the second Batman, Terry McGinnis, throws the Joker's insults right back at him by pointing out that the Joker himself is also this trope as his fixation with the original Batman was childishly pathetic and, once you take away all the garish make up and fancy props, the Joker was really nothing more than a stupid, overgrown kid trying to make people laugh at a joke that wasn't all that funny to begin with, angering the Clown Prince of Crime greatly.
  • Several characters in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, most notably Plastic Man.
  • The animated version of Beetlejuice. The majority of the inhabitants of the Neitherworld are fairly mature. Beetlejuice most likely expired in his late 30s, but he's mentally about eight, and a childish prankster who hangs around with a twelve-year-old Lydia in an Intergenerational Friendship.
  • CatDog: Despite being an adult, Dog acts like a kid, for example he likes reading comic books, playing in the park, throws tantrums, and is rather naive and innocent. Cat even describes him as being "like a little puppy".
  • The Eeyore of ChalkZone, Mr. Wilter. Lampshaded in his Evil Teacher roles.
  • Mr. Delmas of Code Lyoko has shades of this—plays games on his computer, for instance.
  • The eponymous protagonist in Dan Vs. acts this way a lot. He dislikes vegetables, refuses to get a job even at the risk of eviction, can't keep his place clean in 20 minutes, has Chris and Elise pay for his meals as if they're his parents, throws a temper tantrum when he doesn't get his way, and of course, instigates vengeance against anyone (and anything) over minor incidents. Fitting considering it's a show aimed at children with subtle adult humor.
  • Dexter's Laboratory
    • Dexter's Dad tends to behave immaturely and isn't above playing childish pranks on the rest of the family.
    • Ratman, a one-shot character from the Justice Friends segments, is self-described as "a mere child of 30". A jab at Batman being considered this, he was living with his parents until they abandoned him. He was then raised by rats (who actually put him through community college or technical college) and thus, he became Ratman.
  • Captain Hero from Drawn Together is revealed in the pilot episode to be a 28 year old superhero yet he wears diapers, wets the bed, and throws tantrums. He also crosses into a psychopathic version of this frequently and is considered to be very dangerous through this tripe.
  • The Fairly Oddparents:
    • Timmy Turner will apparently become this in the future, according to his show's Live-Action Adaptation. He does this intentionally so he can remain with Cosmo, Wanda and Poof.
    • Every adult in Dimmsdale is this.
    • Cosmo, despite being thousands of years old, he acts immature at times, and still wears diapers.
  • Peter Griffin from Family Guy wavers between this and Psychopathic Manchild.
    "I wanna be the baby!"
  • While he technically isn't this yet, Debbie Douglas expresses hope that her son, Duncan becomes one of these in Freakazoid! because he's not exactly opposed to it.
    Debbie: "You'll be a big strong man-child, still lifting weights in your room when you're forty!"
    Duncan: "Cool! That way I can really buff up, and save some money!"
  • Futurama:
    • Philip J. Fry plays video games, watches TV, drinks soda by the gallon, does anything if he's dared to do it, and has no ambition in life except for love. He's that flat mate that you knew who just can't seem to truly grow up (...and is often fully aware of it. Refer to his one ambition for why this is a source of gloom for him often), but at least he's cool to hang out with.
    • Doctor John A. Zoidberg is over 80 years old, yet he plays with toys and throws tantrums whenever Hermes is mean to him.
    • Lrrr, ruler of Omicron Persei 8, throws tantrums, loves eating junk food, and at some point has a childish love for animals, which Ndnd likes.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Soos is described as this by the show's promotional material and website. Given that he's a semi-Cloud Cuckoolander who's One of the Kids, this is a given. Even said so by Grunkle Stan in the season 1 finale, saying "you're a good man...child, Soos".
    • Deputy Durland and Sheriff Blubs also qualify as they both love reading spooky ghost stories and making friendship bracelets and went candy hunting on Halloween. They also giggle like children a lot. Durland is shown to be a bigger one than Blubs.
  • Glickenstein and King Malbert from Igor.
  • Lucius Heinous VII from Jimmy Two-Shoes. Despite being Satan (or at least an expy), he's very much like a spoiled brat. He whines whenever things don't go his way, throws tantrums for petty reasons, wears bunny pajamas, and values his childhood stuffed rabbit more than his own son.
  • The titular character of Johnny Bravo. He's in his mid to late 20s, still lives with his mother, throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants, spends much of his time playing with toys, has a lot of childlike interests, and he sleeps with a teddy bear and baby blanky often while sucking his thumb. On the other hand, he's pretty perverted and constantly hits on women.
  • Johnny Test:
    • Dukey is an 11 year old dog (he should be 77 in dog years) yet he sounds like a 20 year old. He plays video games, cries whenever he thinks his birthday is forgotten, dresses like a teenager, and often whines.
    • Hugh Test, Johnny's dad has some traits of this as he freaks out over the smallest things, obsessively cooks meatloaf, and is revealed to secretly love video games.
    • Mr. Black and Mr. White are federal agents in their 30's yet they both love candy and are very irresponsible as whenever they screw up in something, they rely on the Test family to help fix whatever messes Mr. Black and Mr. White themselves create
    • Most of the citizens of Porkbelly also fit into this.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Luanne Platter from the later episodes when she began dating and eventually married a moronic, middle aged, hillbilly "Lucky" to the point where she acts like a five year old most of the time.
    • Peggy Hill was once described as a woman-child, possibly due to her self-centeredness.
    • Most of the adults are immature in some way, to the point where Bobby snaps after his grandpa and step-grandma leave him to care for grandpa's infant son and Luanne and Lucky prove to be ridiculously irresponsible parents (Luanne is pregnant at this point).
    • Hank's boss, Buck Strickland, is so childlike to the point where Hank always have to bail him out whatever trouble he gets into.
  • King Rollo's daily schedule is indistinguishable from that of a five-year-old boy. His kingdom doesn't seem to suffer too much from his behaviour, though.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Despite having grown up an orphan living on the streets, Bolin is pretty immature for his age and circumstance. Justified in that his older brother Mako has done a lot to shelter him from the worst aspects of their lives, and essentially raised him on his own. There's a tinge of deconstruction to Bolin's treatment because it shows the consequences of raising a manchild on the person who shelters them from reality. Mako is emotionally stunted due to having fixated for so long on raising Bolin. His romantic relationships feature him playing the part of a protective figure, and when a girl proves she doesn't need his help he loses interest. They both eventually get better.
    • Also Aang and Katara's son Bumi although he's a middle aged man he acts like a hyperactive, childish prankster, his sister Kya lampshades this at one point:
    Kya: Even though you're the oldest you've always acted like the youngest.
  • Word of God on Madagascar and The Penguins of Madagascar is that Ridiculously Cute Critter Mort the mouse lemur, who looks and acts like a child, is the lemur equivalent of a thirty-five-year-old. Julien has tendencies this way as well; he's constantly demanding attention and throws tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants, but at the same time gets very upset and starts talking to his plush toys when he's lonely, and it's revealed via the magic of the Golden Squirrel that his greatest desire is simply to have his friends near him.
  • While it's not clear how old the Ferocious Beast in Maggie and the Ferocious Beast is, he appears to be relatively physically mature. However, he acts more like a four-year-old, and six-year-old Maggie is far more levelheaded and responsible in comparison.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack:
  • Toki Wartooth from Metalocalypse. He has a teddy bear, eats candy, collects model airplanes, says "Wowee", and has a childish naivety for certain subjects such as sex. He also drinks, swears, and goes on the occasional murderous rampage.
  • Moonbeam City: Canadian-born police officer Rad Cunningham. So. Very. Much, to the point that it actually becomes weaponized by several characters in multiple episodes in order to resolve the plot.
  • Texas and Tooley in Motorcity. When the former is telling the latter about "his" exploits, Tooley even lies down like a kid would.
  • Mr. Bogus.
  • The main characters of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are all responsible young adults, more or less, setting aside when they need to be relatable to young children. That said:
  • Oggy from Oggy and the Cockroaches.
  • Kyösti Pöysti in Pasila.
  • Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb is physically in his 40s, but mentally around 10.
  • The Mayor from The Powerpuff Girls eventually wound up becoming this.
  • Ray Stantz, one of The Real Ghostbusters, is a more subdued version of this trope. While mature and perfectly capable of looking after himself, Ray still possesses an almost childlike idealism and enthusiasm for life. Ironically, this actually helps the Ghostbusters lure the Boogieman when they learn that the monster is attracted to people who think like children.
  • Recess: Principal Prickly may think he's a Child Hater, but many episodes show that he is rather childish himself. He gets into arguments with his equally immature older brother Paul, he gets absolutely flustered when things don't go his way, and, in one episode, he is accidentally hypnotized to think he's a first grader. The movie confirms that he is a Manchild because he misses his own childhood.
  • Regular Show:
    • Pops save the fact that he's the opposite of Literal-Minded.
    • Rigby is this too. He may be 23, but he acts like an out of control teenager most of the time.
    • Mordecai, to a lesser extent. He's a lot more level-headed and less impulsive than Rigby, but just as eager to slack off and do childish things.
  • The title character of Terrytoons' Sidney the Elephant shorts is 44 years old, but often show to be extremely childish in demeanor. The short "Sidney's Family Tree", for example, has him beg other animals in the jungle to adopt him as their son. He is eventually taken in by a monkey, much to the dismay of her husband.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer Simpson. Originally he was just a stereotypical Bumbling Dad but eventually developed into, in the show's own words, "a drunken, childish buffoon". A combination of low intelligence, emotional immaturity brought on by a neglectful father and absent mother, and simple Character Development turned him into this trope.
    • Bart encounters a former student of Springfield Elementary who's basically an adult version of him. He never matured beyond being a 10-year old prankster. He still lives with his mother well into his late teens, doesn't have a job, dresses like a child, and spends all his time and energy on childish pranks. Bart attempts to help him by getting him a job for Krusty The Clown, but what really turns him into a mature person is getting a girlfriend.
  • Randy Marsh, Stan's father from South Park, has become this in recent years.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The titular character. He's old enough to hold down a job and live on his own, but doesn't drive, doesn't pay the electric bill, doesn't have any money of his own, and he's been referred to as a kid on multiple occasions.
    • Patrick Star even more so.
  • The Warden of Superjail!. Even lampshaded by the Mistress.
  • Super Noobs:
    • Memnock and Zenblock look like brutes as they are aliens and virus warriors who are apparently in their early 20's yet they are shown to be very immature and childish. They both love going to amusement parks to ride rollercoasters, went on a kids monorail ride at the space zoo, become very excited when going on rides, especially in situations that were not rides at all. They went trick or treating, love eating candy and junk food, went to a build a bear knockoff store to craft their own plush puppies, played with dog toys, played a cooking sim video game meant for little kids, which they got addicted to, throws tantrums, and fought and bickered at each other very immaturely. Of course some of this is understood as they have a desire to understand Earth culture and Memnock in particular appears to be the more childish of the two as he seems to not care whether a particular activity is masculine, feminine, or childish. Zenblock in particular also likes taking naps and sleeps with a teddy bear in his arms occasionally.
    • General Blorgon, Hedies, and Tecknut also have shades of this as they love Earth culture as much as Memnock and Zenblock do.
    • Count Venamus literally goes into his 12 year old self in "Noob vs Venamus 12". Because of this, he gets fascinated with light up sneakers and candy.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Amethyst. Some of her antics are reminiscent of a teenager acting out. Her yelling "I don't wanna!" when Garnet tells her to go back to the temple in "Tiger Millionaire" is a good demonstration. She's actually quite young in comparison to the other Gems, having been created on Earth instead of hailing from the Gem Homeworld. This is further enforced by the fact that during Greg's flashback in "Story for Steven" she's much younger in appearance than she is now.
    • Greg was definitely this in his earlier years, refusing to work to support himself and mooching off other people for food. He's matured somewhat, but still prefers living in a van to a house and keeping a relatively unkempt appearance.
    • "Jungle Moon" reveals Pink Diamond to have been this, trying to get attention from Yellow Diamond in the same manner a child would do with his or her elder and throwing a tantrum if she doesn't get what she wants. She eventually grows out of it.
  • ThunderCats (1985): At the beginning of the series, Lion-O was placed as a child in a stasis pod to keep him from aging while Jaga drove their spaceship to the third planet. His pod was damaged and functioned imperfectly, so unlike the others he still physically matured inside and he eventually left it as an adult, thus making it a case of Justified Trope.
  • The Ridonculous Race:
    • Surfer dudes Geoff and Brody are 19 years old yet they both act like children.
    • Owen becomes this in the show as he is also 19 yet he carried a teddy bear around with him until he accidentally ate it.
    • Daters Ryan and Stephanie are said to be in their 20's yet they both throw tantrums and it was exaggerated after they became the haters in which their insults towards each other were immature.
    • Rock and Spud, who form the Rockers team are said to be in their late teens yet they are implied to be rehearsing music in the garages of their families and Spud in particular is shown to be very lazy and motivated by junk food such as Choco oinks.
  • Time Squad: Buck Tudrussell is shown to be a man somewhere in his 30's yet he frequently acts much like the age of his 8 year old time traveling partner, Otto, as Tudrussell sometimes throws tantrums, sleeps with a teddy bear, and sucks his thumb. His other time traveling partner, Larry 3000 even calls Tudrussell a man child in " Ex Marks The Spot".
  • Total Drama: Brick also has shades of this as he is a military cadet who refuses to leave anyone behind but he Screams Like a Little Girl, wets his pants, and sleeps with a night light on.
  • Uncle Grandpa takes this to extremes. He's shown be a very bizarre man who lives in his large R.V. and takes children on adventures to solve their problems.
  • We Bare Bears has two of the three titular bears, Grizzly and Panda. Growing up as orphans with extremely poor guidance towards adult life makes them as this. Grizzly generally acts childish and can be seen playing with children's toys at times, focusing more on socializing than responsibilities, while Panda acts as a Phoneaholic Teenager who often whines and complains about his medical problems and love life. Ironically, they are biologically the oldest brothers and usually have the youngest brother Ice Bear provide for their food and money. Interestingly enough, it's more pointed out with Panda since Grizzly and Ice Bear are protective of him.
  • Xiaolin Showdown:
    • Jack Spicer is a young man who is apparently in his early 20's there have been many signs of him acting very childishly. These hints include girly screaming , constant whining, and he was revealed to often sleep with a night light on. He also plays with the shen gong wu as if they were toys. This is mostly due to the fact that his rich parents did not raise him as much as they should as they often send him money in a vain attempt to make up for this.
    • Kimiko's Dad is a child on the inside as she told her friends. When we meet him, he's a exciteable man who is also a very famous video game developer (which may explain a bit.) Despite this, he knows when to foot his foot down (like when he discovers his new associate is actually Pandabubba, a mobster. He is zombified as a result.)
  • As with the comic example above, Captain Marvel in Young Justice is really a kid. However, none of the teens know his real form, so he definitely comes off as being this trope.


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