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  • In 30 Rock
    • Jan Hooks plays Jenna's mother despite being only eleven years older than Jane Krawkowski.
    • This trope was lampshaded and parodied in other instances.
      • In season three, Tracy discovers a son who looks far too old and is later discovered to be a con artist who is two years older. Tracy still refers to him as his son "who is two years older than me".
      • Liz pretends to be Kenneth's mother despite only a three-year difference in actors. She even points it out, though the man being lied to says he could believe it.
      • Jenna is cast in a mother/daughter drama, thinking she was going to play the daughter. However, Jenna was cast as the mother of a younger actress, though obviously not young enough to actually be her daughter.
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  • On 8 Simple Rules, Kaley Cuoco, who played Bridget Hennessey, was six years younger than her on-screen little sister Kerry, played by Amy Davidson. Justified because Kaley is taller, and hey, shorter is younger, right?
  • A storyline on All My Children in the early '90s featured a "scandalous" affair between single mom Dixie and college-age Brian. Matt Borlenghi, who played Brian, was actually older than Cady McClain, who played Dixie.
  • On 'Allo 'Allo! Rose Hill, born in 1914, played the mother of Carmen Silvera, born in 1922. Their advanced ages made this less obvious than most.
  • Arrow,
    • John Barrowman is only fifteen years older than Colin Donnell, who plays his son. It's not helped by Barrowman looking younger than forty-five. At times, they looked more like brothers.
    • Regarding the Lance sisters, Laurel is supposed to be two years older than her sister Sara. Katie Cassidy (Laurel) is, in fact, older than Caity Lotz (Sara,) but only by a single month. Their father Quentin is right on the cusp, with Paul Blackthorne being 17 years older than them (their mother Dinah doesn't apply, as Alex Kingston is a respectable 23 years older.)
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  • On Awkward., Nikki DeLoach is only 13 years older than Ashley Rickards, who plays her on-screen daughter. Like Strong Medicine this is justified in DeLoach's character having been a teen mom.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon's older brother Georgie is played by Jerry O'Connell who is actually a year younger than Jim Parsons, who portrays Sheldon. Parsons is also five years older than Courtney Henggeler, who portrays Sheldon's twin sister Missy.
  • Male example: On Blackish, Anthony Anderson is only nine years younger than Laurence Fishburne, who plays his character's father. He also is only 13 years younger than Jennifer Lewis, who plays his mother.
  • The Blacklist features an episode, The Mombasa Cartel, where Peter Fonda and Phyllis Somerville are 8 and 4 1/2 years older than Carel Struycken who's playing their son.
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  • A rare male example is Len Cariou from Blue Bloods, who plays the father of Commissioner Frank Reagan, even though Tom Selleck is only 6 years younger than Cariou.
  • Gretchen Mol playing Michael Pitt's mother in Boardwalk Empire. Mol is only 9 years older than Pitt. This is a combination of Pitt playing a 22-year-old and Mol's character having had a son at a very young age. Her surprising youth, in spite of being a grandmother, is a part of her character.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • L. Scott Caulfield plays Laverne Holt, Captain Holt's mother. Caulfield was born in 1950 - the actor who plays her son, Andre Braugher, is only twelve years younger than her.
    • Was, there are only 18 years separating Andy Samberg, who plays Peralta, and Bradley Whitford, who plays his father.
  • The Caesars: Sonia Dresdel (Livia) was only three months older than André Morell, who played her son Tiberius.
  • Camelot: Claire Forlani (Igraine) is only 16 years older than Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays Arthur, her son. The two look even closer in age while performing on the show. Of course, real noblewomen in some cases did have children that young.
  • Vicki Lawrence played Mama in The Carol Burnett Show and Mama's Family despite being 16 years younger than daughter Eunice (played by Burnett) and son Vinton (played by Ken Berry), and 27 years younger than her other daughter Ellen (played by Betty White). Lawrence herself loved playing an older woman because, according to her, it was liberating to come into work every day and have the makeup people make her look uglier.
  • Charmed:
    • There is a twelve-year difference between Finola Hughes who played Patty and Jennifer Rhodes who played her mother Penny. This one has a quasi-justification that Rhodes first appeared as the girls' grandmother in the present - and later episodes also had her play Penny in flashbacks. This caused problems when an episode featured Paige going back in time to the 60s and meeting past Penny. Jennifer Rhodes was too old to convincingly play her at age 30 so a visibly younger actress was cast. The problem was that only ten years separated the events in that episode from one that took place in the 70s (that had Rhodes playing Penny).
    • There's also eighteen years between James Read who played the girls' father and his oldest daughter Shannen Doherty. It works because Read was already grey-haired when he first appeared on the show. Finola Hughes is also 13 years older than Doherty. Semi-justified since she only appears as Patty before she died.
  • On Class, Shannon Murray was only 14 years older than Sophie Hopkins who played her daughter.
  • Commissioner Tony Scali, the title character of The Commish, was generally implied to be close or around 40. Michael Chiklis was only 28 when the show first began.
  • Clair, the mother from The Cosby Show, was played by Phylicia Rashad, who was only 36 years old in the first season despite playing a mother of five with her eldest child in college (Bill Cosby himself was a more realistic 47). Said eldest, Sandra, was played by Sabrina Le Beauf, who almost didn't get the role because she was only ten years younger than her onscreen mother. There was also the grandfather Russell, played by Earle Hyman, who was only 11 years older than his onscreen son (Cliff's mother Anna was played by Clarice Taylor, who was the appropriate age).
  • Dark Desire: Maite Perroni, who plays Alma, was born only fifteen years before Regina Pavón, who portrays Alma's daughter Zoe.
  • Dark Matter: In-Universe, Two pretends she's Five's mother, though the characters look around a decade apart at most (the actresses have only six years between them).
  • Desperate Housewives was accused of this when it cast Mike Farrell as John Slattery's father. Though in fact, the two are just barely far apart enough in age for this to be reasonable (there's a 23 year age difference between the two); it's just that Farrell looks very good for his age.
  • In dinnerladies, Bren's mum Petuna is played by Julie Walters, who is three years older than Victoria Wood.
  • There are several examples from the revived series of Doctor Who:
    • Companions and their relatives:
      • Billie Piper is only 17 years younger than her onscreen mum Camille Coduri.
      • Freema Agyeman is only 16 years younger than her onscreen mum Adjoa Andoh.
      • Tosin Cole is only 26 years younger than his onscreen grandmother Sharon D. Clarke.
    • Other characters:
      • "The Girl in the Fireplace": Sophia Myles was 25 when she played Madame de Pompadour. At the climax, where it's a plot point that Reinette is 37, nothing was done to make her look older than in the earlier scene where Reinette is 22.
      • "Rosa": Rosa Parks was 42 in 1955, but is played by 33-year-old Vinette Robinson. It's averted in the prologue which takes place 12 years earlier, however.
  • Discussed in-universe on Drop Dead Diva. One client is a former Hollywood celebrity (played by Elliott Gould), and jokes that the actress who played his TV wife was only three years older than the actress who played his daughter.
  • When EastEnders began, 29-year old Gillian Taylforth played 34-year-old Kathy Beale, the mother of 14-year old Ian, played by then 16-year old Adam Woodyatt. When casting for the character of Kathy, Gillian convinced the show's producers she could "look older" - and won the part.
  • On Empire, Taraji P. Henson (Cookie) and Terrence Howard (Lucious) are only about 13 years older than two of the actors playing their sons.
  • Frasier:
    • Played with in Frasier's agent Bebe (played by then 49-year-old Harriet Samson Harris) is shown to have a son that's at least 40. However, the preceding conversation was about Bebe praising her plastic surgeon in order to convince Frasier to get some work done so he'd be ready for TV. Seeing the older son (and realizing Bebe is probably older than he ever imagined) is what convinced him to go see the plastic surgeon. It's also implied several times that Bebe is one of Satan's minions (or at least sold her soul).
    • John Mahoney played Kelsey Grammer's father, even though he was only 15 years older than him and eight years younger than Martin Crane is supposed to be.
  • Frequency: Julie in 2016. Given that Devin Kelley is less than a year older than Peyton List, she and Raimy look more like sisters than mother and daughter, no matter how much aging makeup and gray they add to her hair. When the timeline is restored and Julie is alive again, they don't even bother trying to age Kelley.
  • On Friday Night Lights, Lyla Garrity is played by Minka Kelly, born in 1980, while her mother, Pam Garrity is played by Merrilee McCommas, born in 1971. So mother and daughter are played by actresses just nine years apart in age.
  • Parodied in the titular Show Within a Show of Garth Marenghis Darkplace. The character Thornton Reed is futilely passed off as older than the others with a 70s-style mustache, mentions of Korean War service, and usage of phrases like "young bucks". In-universe, his actor's clearly just as old as the other actors. Out-of-universe, his actor's considerably younger than the others.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays Gregor Clegane from Season 4 onwards, was only 25 when he took up the role. Notably, he's about 19 years younger than Rory McCann, who plays his character's younger brother. In his case, he was chosen due to his size, as Björnsson is one of the largest men in the world and the producers felt that was a more important aspect of the character than his age. He also wears a helmet in most of his scenes, which makes his age difficult to ascertain, though it's definitely distracting when his face is shown.
    • The guy playing Euron is actually a year younger than the actress playing his niece Yara and just four years older than the actor playing his nephew Theon. And nearly forty years younger than the actors playing his brothers Balon and Aeron, the latter of whom is supposed to be younger than him. In the novels themselves, when Euron returns to the Iron Islands other characters are surprised that he doesn't look like he has aged a day, almost unnaturally so — hinting that this might be due to the black magic he dabbles in. In both the TV show and books, Euron's hair doesn't show even a day of his age, being totally untouched by gray.
    • Out of the Baratheon brothers, Stephen Dillane (middle brother Stannis) is actually the oldest, though only a couple years older than Mark Addy (eldest brother Robert). Meanwhile, Gethin Anthony (youngest brother Renly) is by far the youngest of the three, over 20 years their junior. What makes this less noticeable is that the three brothers are never onscreen together, so you're never able to directly compare them.
    • Iain Glen was Jorah Mormont, whose father Jeor is portrayed by James Cosmo. They look close in age, as Glen is only thirteen years younger than Cosmo, though it's mild compared to some of the examples above from the series.
  • A grandmotherly version on General Hospital. In the mid-'90s, when the Ward family was introduced, actress Rosalind Cash was only 20-something years older than the actors playing her 20-something/30-something-year-old grandchildren, meaning it would have been far more appropriate for her to be playing their mother instead—indeed, she was only a few years older than the actors who did play her (grown) children.
  • Belita Moreno, who plays George's mom Benny in The George Lopez Show is only 12 years older than George Lopez. However, since Benny is a teen mom, it's not that big of a difference. Emiliano Diez, who plays Vic, is also only 12 years older than Constance Marie, the actress who plays his daughter Angie. However, unlike Benny, Vic was likely a grown man when Angie was born.
  • In The Golden Girls, Estelle Getty, who played Sophia, was actually the second youngest of the girls despite Sophia being the eldest. This means she was actually younger than Betty White, who actually was the eldest of the actresses, and older than Bea Arthur, who played Sophia's daughter, Dorothy.
  • In Guest from the Future, Tatyana Bozhok, playing Kolya Gerasimov's mother, is only twelve years older than Alexey Fomkin, playing Kolya, and it definitely shows. This has led to fan speculations that she is a Struggling Single Mother and Kolya is the result of a Teen Pregnancy.
  • The Good Place: Leslie Grossman plays Donna Shellstrop (Eleanor's mom), and is only nine years older than Kristen Bell playing Eleanor.
    • In fact, both played high school students within a few years of each other. Grossman was on Popular which ended in 2001 and Bell was on ''Veronica Mars which began in 2004. Both were cases of Dawson Casting.
    • Justified, though, because Eleanor's mom appears primarily in flashback sequences to when Eleanor is a child or teenager. Not at all unreasonable to have a fortysomething actress cast as the mom of a teenager.
  • In Good Times, John Amos was only 34 when the show began, making him only 8 years older than his "son" Jimmie Walker (J.J.) and 19 years younger than his "wife" Esther Rolle (Florida).
  • On Green Acres, Oliver's mother was played by Eleanor Audley, who was only a year older than Eddie Albert.
  • The 1996 TV adaptation of Gulliver's Travels Peter O'Toole plays the Emperor, whose sons are played by John Standing and Edward Fox. He was only slightly older than them both.
  • In Hope & Faith Nicole Paggi was 26 at the time she played 15-year-old Sydney. There are thirteen years between her and Faith Ford, who played her mother. Also, Kelly Ripa is seven years older than her and she played her aunt. The show also had a male example in Ted McGinley who played Paggi's father - nineteen years age difference. Megan Fox played Sydney for the show's next two seasons, making the age difference 22 years (for her mother) and 28 (for her father).
  • On the final season of Homicide: Life on the Street, Giancarlo Esposito joined the cast as Gee's son Michael. Esposito is only fourteen years younger than Yaphet Kotto. Possible, but there was no reference to Gee getting his future wife pregnant in high school.
  • On House of Payne, the character of Janine is played by Demetria McKinney, who was born in 1981. Janine's son, Malik is played by Doc Shaw who was born in 1992. In addition, Allen Payne (C.J.) was born in 1968. Cassi Davis (Aunt Ella) was born in 1964, while Lavan Davis (Uncle Curtis) was born in 1966.
  • In How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), Brad Garrett and Elizabeth Perkins (both age 52) play the mother of Polly, played by Sarah Chalke, who is 36.
  • I, Claudius:
    • Siân Phillips (Livia) was two years younger than George Baker, who played her elder son Tiberius, and ten years older than Ian Oglivy, who played her younger son Drusus.
    • Margaret Tyzack (Antonia) was only seven years older than Derek Jacobi, who played her son Claudius.
    • BRIAN BLESSED (Augustus) was only two years older than Frances White, who played his daughter Julia.
  • The Indian Detective: Anupam Kher is only fifteen years older than Russell Peters, who plays his son. Meanwhile Hamza Haq and the actress playing his sister look around a decade older than Akshay Kuman as their nephew and son.
  • Iron Fist (2017): David Wenham, who plays Harold Meachum, is only 17 years older than Tom Pelphrey who plays his oldest son Ward, and only 21 years older than Jessica Stroup who plays his daughter Joy. Justified, though, as it's said that Harold hasn't aged a day in 13 years since he died and then got resurrected by the Hand, so he's actually in his mid-60s despite looking like a 51-year-old (which explains why he looks the same in present-day scenes as he does in the "We are Rand" ad from over 15 years ago).
  • Kath and Kim has an interesting version of this. Kath is supposed to be in her 50s, though her actress is about a decade younger. Her daughter Kim is supposed to be in her mid-to-late 20s but is played by an actress who is pushing 50.
    • Also done in the U.S. remake in a more traditional way, Molly Shannon as Kath was only 8 years older then Selma Blair, who played her "daughter" Kim.
  • On The Last Kingdom, due to the amount of time that passes during/between seasons, by season 4, Alfred's wife Aelswith (Eliza Butterworth) should be at least in her 40s (and historically had been dead for 8 years by the Battle of Tettenhall), seeing as she is old enough to have two adult children with older children of their own. However Eliza Butterworth is in her 20s.
  • Another male example: In Last Man Standing, Robert Forster (born 1941) plays the father of Tim Allen (born 1953).
  • Tony Goldwyn played Vincent D'Onofrio's older brother on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Goldwyn is a year younger than D'Onofrio.
  • In Life Unexpected Shiri Appleby is 12 years older than Britt Robertson who plays her daughter. Of course, it's forgivable considering her character was 16 when she gave birth.
  • Kevin Tighe and Swoosie Kurtz play Locke's parents on Lost. They were both born in 1944. Terry O'Quinn, who plays Locke, was born in 1952. Locke's mother was supposed to be sixteen when she had him, but his father is said to have been roughly twice her age at the time.
  • Magnificent Century subjects pretty much all the adult characters to this because of the time skips and the Sehzades' Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. Mahidevran's actress is only five years older than the actor for the adult Shezade Mustafa, while Meryem Uzerli was thirty while playing the mother of a twenty-nine-year-old (Mihrimah). Barring Hürrem, the characters that appeared as adults since the beginning of the series kept the same actor, and the adult actors of the Sehzades remain in their roles, like in Mihrimah's case.
  • Mama's Family: Thelma is played by Vicki Lawrence, who is younger than all the actors who played her children. She's only 11 years older than Karin Argoud, who played her oldest grandchild.
  • Reno Wilson is only 7 years younger than Cleo King, who plays his grandmother on Mike & Molly!
  • In Mildred Pierce Kate Winslet is only 12 years older than Evan Rachel Wood, who plays the older version of her daughter.
  • In The Mod Squad episode "Cry Uncle", Theodore Bikel played Captain Greer's uncle. Bikel is three years younger than Tige Andrews in real life.
  • On Monk, Dan Hedaya guest starred as the title character's father. He is only 13 years older than series star Tony Shalhoub, and 17 years older than John Turturro, who played Monk's brother.
  • On Mystery Science Theater 3000, Pearl Forrester was played by Mary Jo Pehl, who was two years younger than the actor who played her son Clayton, Trace Beaulieu. They at least tried to give her a frumpy late middle-aged housewife appearance in season seven, but, at the beginning of season eight, when she took over fully for her departed son, her look was updated to make her look more her actual age. This was stated to have been something done by Bobo and the rest of the apes.
  • On The Nanny, Ann Morgan Guilbert, who plays Grandma Yetta, is just five years older than her onscreen daughter, Renee Taylor, who plays Sylvia Fine.
  • On Neighbours, Shane Connor (b.1959) and Carla Bonner (b.1973) played father and daughter. Again, Dawson Casting is at work here too — Bonner's character was born in 1979.
  • In The Noddy Shop, the toy character Granny Duck, who is said to be around human character Noah Tomten's age, was voiced by the then 46-year-old Noreen Young, compared to Noah being played by the then 62-year-old Sean McCann.
  • NOS4A2: Vic's parents in the series are played by actors only eleven and fourteen years older than her actor, respectively.
  • In The O.C., Kirsten turns 40 in the series run, meaning she had Seth at 19. This wouldn't be as much of an issue if they hadn't specifically stated that Sandy and Kirsten were living in a mail truck at that age... So was the baby in there with them?
  • In Once Upon a Time Lana Parrilla, who plays Ginnifer Goodwin's stepmother, is only one year older than her. At first, this wasn't an issue - except when it came to Regina's backstory episode. It takes place when Snow White was ten, where Bailee Madison plays her now. Parrilla however still plays Regina, meaning that her character is meant to be about ten years older than Goodwin's. This created an odd paradox when it comes to Regina's mother Cora. In her first appearance, she's played by Barbara Hershey (in the aforementioned backstory episode). But when we meet Cora's younger self, she's now played by Rose McGowan. Said episode shows that Cora giving birth to Regina, meaning it only takes at least fifteen years for her to turn into Barbara Hershey.
  • In the British sitcom On the Buses, this trope was first averted in season 1, the character of Stan Butler's mother was played by Cicely Courtneidge, who was 22 years older than Reg Varney who played Stan Butler, but in seasons 2-7, the trope was played straight when they brought in a new actress (Doris Hare) to play the mother. She was only 10 years older than Reg Varney.
  • Orange Is the New Black: Elizabeth Rodriguez, who was 33 years old when the series started, plays Aleida who is a mother of the 24 year old Daya (played by actress Dascha Polanco, who is just under two years her junior).
  • Outlander: This happens in season 3 after the Time Skip to 1968. Claire is supposed to be 50 years old, but Caitriona Balfe was 36 at the time, although she wears a salt-and-pepper wig to make her look older. Balfe is also only 15 years older than the actress who plays her daughter Brianna, who is 23. The same thing with Jamie, played by Sam Heughan, who is the same age as Balfe. Unlike her, however, they make no effort to make him look any older than 36.
  • In Parks and Recreation it is mentioned that Tammy One, Ron's first wife, was also a nurse who helped deliver him. Patricia Clarkson, the actress who plays her, is only 10 years older than Nick Offerman, who plays Ron. She's also only two years older than Megan Mullally, who plays Tammy Two and is married to Offerman in real life.
  • The Partridge Family: In "Aspirin at 7, Dinner at 8," Shirley dates a doctor (Gerald Hiken, age 45) and meets his mother (Nancy Walker, age 50).
  • The Pillars of the Earth: William smothers his mother after too many creepily "affectionate" gestures.
  • In The Mysterious Affair at Styles, an episode of Poirot, 50-year-old Gillian Barge (Mrs. Inglethorp) is only two years older than Michael Cronin (Mr. Inglethorp, whose being twenty years his wife's junior is a plot point) and eight years older than David Rintoul (John, Mrs. Inglethorp's elder son).
  • Prodigal Son:
    • Michael Sheen (Martin Whitley) is a mere thirteen years older than Tom Payne, who's playing his son Malcolm Bright. It isn't very noticeable though, since Sheen is made to look older and Payne appears youthful enough to be around a decade younger than his true age.
    • The same goes for Bellamy Young, who plays Malcolm's mother Jessica and is also only 13 years older than him. It's more noticeable in her case, as she doesn't look old enough to have children in their 30s, unless she had them in her very early 20s or had a lot of plastic surgery.
    • On the other hand, Halston Sage is twenty four to twenty five years younger than her on-screen parents. It seems that her character is meant to be older (just a little younger than Malcolm). She's actually a decade younger than Payne, portraying her brother.
  • Pure: Anna Funk is played by Alex Paxton-Beesley, who's only nine years older than Dylan Everett and Jessica Clement, who play her children.
  • On Quantico, Anna Khaja plays Priyanka Chopra's mother, despite being only seven years older than Chopra.
  • On Reign, the actor playing Sebastian (Torrance Coombs) was born in 1983 - the actress playing his mother, Anna Walton, was born in 1980. It's noticeable, they look pretty much the same age.
  • Runaways has Brittany Ishibashi (Tina Minoru) as the mother of Lyrica Okano (Nico Minoru), who's only 14 years older than her... and to make it worse, Tina also had an older daughter, already dead when the series started. This was somehow the only case in a series full of Dawson Casting - Lyrica, as with all but one of the six title characters, was in her 20s playing a high schooler, but the other parents were at least 17 years older than their on-screen kids.
  • On The Sarah Jane Adventures, Daniel Anthony, who played Clyde Langer, was only eight years younger than Jocelyn Jee Esien, who played Clyde's mum. Also, the actors who played Maria Jackson's parents were only 17 years older than Yasmin Paige.
  • On Schitt's Creek the actress who plays Jocelyn Schitt (Jennifer Robertson) was born in 1971, while the actor playing her son Mutt (Tim Rozon) was born in 1976.
  • This naturally occurs in The Secret Circle with Dawson Casting. The most egregious examples are Cassie and her mother and Charles Meade and his mother, both only thirteen years apart. To be fair, Cassie's mother did have her in high school so this isn't that bad.
  • Shadowhunters: Nicola Correia-Damude (born 1981) plays the mother to Matthew Daddario (born 1987) and Emeraude Toubia (born 1989). Even taking into account that Alec and Isabelle are at least seven years younger than their actors, this makes Maryse a very young mother. For comparison, Paulino Nunes, who plays their onscreen father, was born in 1968.
  • On Six Feet Under, Frances Conroy, who plays Ruth Fisher, is eleven years older than Peter Krause, who plays her oldest child.
  • Stargirl (2020): 32 year old Hina Khan plays Anaya, mother of Isaac. Max Frantz, who plays him, looks like he's in his early twenties.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: Played straight and averted with Spock's parents. Mark Lenard was only about six years older than Leonard Nimoy while a healthy twenty-one years separated Spock and his mother. (Since Vulcans have a much longer lifespan than humans, it's reasonable for Spock's Vulcan father to appear younger than his human mother.)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In "Inheritance", Fionnula Flanagan (who plays the woman who helped Dr. Soong create Data and calls herself his "mother") is only seven years older than Brent Spiner. Justified in that he's an android ...and she is, too, although one designed to age and die.
    • "Bloodlines": Jason Vigo, Picard's fake son, is stated to be 23, but the actor playing him is 18 years younger than Patrick Stewart.
    • In "Inheritance", Ben Vereen, who plays Geordi La Forge's father, Cmdr. Edward La Forge, is only 11 years older than LeVar Burton. Downplayed with Madge Sinclair, who played Geordi's mother, Capt. Silva La Forge, who was 19 years older than Burton.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: One of the actresses who plays Ishka is nine years younger than the actor who plays her character's son Quark. Plus, thanks to Dawson Casting, she's only 11 years older than the actor that plays Ishka's grandson Nog. Due to the extensive use of makeup, it's not very noticeable.
  • Star Trek: Picard: A minor case where Peyton List is two years younger than Harry Treadaway, but her character Narissa is the older sister of his character Narek.
  • In the 2012 Steel Magnolias TV movie remake, 42-year old Queen Latifah is only 17 years older than the actress playing her daughter. Adding to the problem is that Queen Latifah is also a classic example of Older Than They Look. It's not as extreme an instance as the others listed, but you still have to basically assume that M'Lynn was a teen mom.
  • On Strong Medicine, actress Rosa Blasi, who played Dr. Lu Delgado, was only 11 years older than the actor playing her son. This is Justified by the fact that Lu was a teen mom, even though she explicitly states that she gave birth at 16.
  • On Suburgatory, high schooler Tessa's mom is played by Malin Åkerman, who at the time was 34, meaning that she would've had to have been a teenage mother. The Dawson Casting of Tessa makes this trope even more obvious since Jane Levy (Tessa) was 23 at the time.
  • Parodied in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. When producers want to make a TV show about the twins, they cast an actress who is twenty-two to play their mother. The twins are about twelve at this point.
    "Don't worry; I've played old before."
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • Erica Durance, who plays Supergirl's birth mother Alura Zor-El as of Season 3, is only a decade older than Melissa Benoist who plays Supergirl/Kara. Laura Benanti, who played Alura in the first two seasons, was even younger at only 9 years Melissa's senior. The same actress also plays Kara's aunt Astra - whose youth is handwaved by the prison she was in being outside the normal progression of time. Both actresses were alright since Kara's mother is supposed to be long since dead and was last seen alive when she was 12. However, at the end of season 3 it appears her mother's been alive the whole time and is still played by Durance.
    • There's also eighteen years between Helen Slater and her on-screen daughter Chyler Leigh. Alex is possibly meant to be a few years younger than Chyler's actual age though.
    • Superman is supposed to be twelve years older than Kara, physically speaking. His actor, Tyler Hoechlin, is only a year older than Melissa Benoist. This is explained In-Universe that Earth's yellow sun slows Kryptonians' aging.
  • In Supernatural, 43-year-old Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays 31-year-old Jensen Ackles' father. He was also unconvincingly aged-up, leading viewers to think of John Winchester as a teenage daddy until his actual age was given. Since Morgan was pulling double-duty on Supernatural and Grey's Anatomy at about the same time, many jokes were made about the fact that his TV son (Ackles) and TV girlfriend (Katherine Heigl) were the same age.
  • In an episode of Taxi, Victor Buono played Jim Ignatowski's father, even though he was born the same year as Jim's actor, Christopher Lloyd.
  • In Teen Wolf we have Malia Tate, played by 28-year-old Shelley Hennig, whose father is revealed to be Peter Hale, played by 38-year-old Ian Bohen, meaning there's a ten year age difference between father and daughter from the actors.
  • Thanks: Polly Winthrop is played by Kirsten Nelson, who is only 12 years older than Erika Christensen, who played her daughter Abigail.
  • On This Is Us, 32-year-old Mandy Moore and 39-year-old Milo Ventimiglia play the parents to 40-year-old Sterling K. Brown, 39-year-old Justin Hartley, and 36-year-old Chrissy Metz. Justified in that the parents' story is set in the 1970s and 1980s so the actors who play their children don't actually interact with them. However, Moore has to wear old-age makeup for her character's scenes in the present day because the show's creators couldn't find an older actress who could resemble her enough.
  • Timeless: Pooja Batra, who plays Denise Christopher's mother, and Karen David, who plays the young Denise, are only six years away from each other in age.
  • Troy: Fall of a City: Bella Dayne as Helen is only seven years older than Grace Hogg-Robinson, who's playing Helen's daughter Hermione here. Unsurprisingly she looks more like her older sister.
  • Mild male example in Two and a Half Men. Despite Charlie being the older brother of Alan, Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer in real life were actually born in the same year, and Cryer is also actually older by a few months.
  • Underground: Amirah Vann as Ernestine was only around 5-6 years older than the actors playing her children, Jurnee Smollett (as Rosalee) and Johnny Ray Gill (Sam).
  • Averted, inverted or subverted (according to viewers' taste) by the reboot of Upstairs Downstairs. The original series ran for five seasons beginning in 1975 and covered the years 1903-1930. note  The reboot, made in 2010, begins in 1936. Jean Marsh’s character — the only one carried over from the old series — was, therefore, six years older than last seen, played by an actress who was 30 years older. But the total elapsed time, from 1903 to 1936, agreed very well with the real-life span from 1975 to 2010.
  • On V (2009), Anna (Morena Baccarin) is the mother of Lisa (Laura Vandervoort). In real life, Baccarin is only five years older than Vandervoort. Worth noting however that they are alien reptiles and that their human appearances are artificial.
  • The Vampire Diaries TV show has Aunt Jenna, who's supposed to be in her late twenties, but is played by an actress who is only a year older than the actors who play her teenage niece and nephew.
    • David Anders, who plays John Gilbert, Elena's biological father is only 8 years older than her. His character was supposed to be young for a man with a 17-year-old daughter, but not that young.
    • Jasmine Guy was only 47 when she started playing Sheila "Grams" Bennett, who was supposed to be in her mid-50s to early 60s. She is only 10 years older than Persia White and 27 years older than Katerina Graham, who plays her daughter Abby and granddaughter Bonnie respectively.
  • Vikings: Due to the series taking place over the course of about 20 years, this happens when children grow into adults while their parents continue to be played by the same actors.
    • Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha) and Alexander Ludgwig (Bjorn Lothbrok), playing her son, are only fourteen years apart. In this case though it's due to a Time Skip, since Bjorn is aged up from a child to an adult. Travis Fimmel, who plays Ragnar, Bjorn's father, is even closer-twelve years older.
    • The actress who plays Queen Judith is only 10 years older than the actor playing her son Alfred in the fifth season.
  • Watchmen (2019):
    • Cal's year of birth is stated to be 1976, making him a whole decade older than the actor who portrays him. The revelation of him really being Doctor Manhattan means he's much older than that, and can appear however he wants.
    • Will Reeves is 105 years old. Louis Gossett Jr. is in his early 80s.
    • Adrian Veidt is 80, whereas Jeremy Irons is 71.
  • By Part Three of the 2002 adaptation of White Teeth, because of a combination of Dawson Casting and Time Skips, Archie Panjabi (twenty-nine-year-old playing thirty-four) is only three years older than the actor playing her son (twenty-six-year-old playing fifteen).
  • In The Wire Chris Bauer plays James Ransone's father despite being just under thirteen years older.
  • On The X-Files, Rebecca Toolan plays Mulder's mother. In reality, she is only two years older than Mulder, and only a year older than the actor who plays him.
  • You, Me and the Apocalypse: Jenna Fischer (Rhonda) is 9 years older than the actor playing her twin brother, Kyle Soller (Scotty).
  • The Young and the Restless: Lily Winters is the 29-year-old mother of twins in their mid-teens.
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