Older Than They Look

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If she tells you she's 26, and looks 26, she's damn near forty!
Chris Rock, "No Sex (in the Champagne Room)"[2]

Sometimes characters look their age. But in this instance, they don't. Whether it was a deliberate artistic choice on the behalf of the creator (usually to make the character more attractive or to legally fulfill a fetish) or something much deeper and linked to their characterization and the plot, this character will be older than they look. Although still within the normal range of the human lifespan (for that setting, anyway), this character will be noticeably younger than their age. Sometimes even improbably younger; it's not unheard of for a seeming teenager to be over the hill chronologically.

This is an extremely common trope in Speculative Fiction, where magic or Applied Phlebotinum can be used to explain the characters appearance being at odds with their age.

When science fiction or fantasy takes this trope to its illogical extreme, it leads to Really Seven Hundred Years Old or a Time Abyss. See also Age Is Relative and Improbable Age. Not to be confused with Older Than They Think. Contrast with Younger Than They Look. If they're just drawn in a way that makes them seem older, it's Artistic Age. When a character is played by a much younger actor, it becomes Hollywood Old unless the difference is justified. When the actor is older than the character they portray, it's Dawson Casting (although the actor themselves may just fit this trope, justifying the Dawson Casting).

Compare Mistaken Age, Age-Inappropriate Dress.

Contrast Animation Anatomy Aging.

Remember, this trope only covers characters who aren't impossibly old, just much older than they look. For characters who are impossibly old, see Really Seven Hundred Years Old and Time Abyss.

Examples of Older Than They Look include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Jotaro Kujo of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure should be over 40 by the time the Stone Ocean arc (whose 17-year old protagonist also happens to be his daughter) rolls around—but he barely looks like he's aged a day since his teen years (though he looked like a guy in his twenties back then). In fact, some say he actually looks younger in the later arcs. Compare his appearance at age 17 to his appearance in his 40s.
  • Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop is much older than she appears, having been cryogenically frozen for 54 years while recovering from injuries she sustained on a space shuttle accident (possibly one of the first public space shuttles).
  • Saito Hiraga from Zero no Tsukaima. He looks no more than 13, but is in fact a 17-year old.
    • Even worse is his Tsundere mistress, Louise who only looks ten at the most and is the same age as Saito.
  • Libra Dhoko from Saint Seiya fills both this and the Younger Than They Look trope (oddly enough). He's over 200 years old, with a body of a 21-year old (after shedding his old skin) OR a 21-year old in a very old body.
  • Mika-sensei in Doki Doki School Hours is a 27-year old woman, though she appears to be ten years old. This doesn't prevent one of her students, Kitagawa, from being attracted to her. In fact, it encourages it.
  • In Please Teacher, Kei is a 18-year old male lead who is functionally fifteen years old due to a coma that resembled suspended animation. Among other things, this also served as Lampshade Hanging to explain the contrivance of him and Mizuho shacking up together, since eighteen is minimum age to marry... And in a plot twist late in the story, he finds out that the Little Miss Snarker in his circle of friends has the exact same condition, and is actually in her twenties.
  • Minnie-May Hopkins from Gunsmith Cats took "growth retarding" drugs in order to appeal to a certain type of clientele in a brothel. However, this is supposed to be squicky to the viewers. It squicked out the American editors so much they reversed it in their translation so she's taking drugs to counter an unnamed medical condition.
    • In the English version, May had tried to make herself look older than she was in childhood in order to not Squick her adult boyfriend so much (he was Lolicon, but understandably had serious issues about the morality of their relationship) but it backfired, leaving her first looking older than she was, but not growing an inch since.
  • Somewhat related cross-cultural example: when Digimon Tamers was translated for Western network television, they raised the kids' official ages by a few years (from ten to thirteen), possibly due to what happens to them and the relations they get into squicking the translators a bit. Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Frontier also had all the kids ages raised a year.
    • The same thing happened with 4Kids' version of Tokyo Mew Mew, presumably for similar reasons; an especially jarring example is Bu-Ling, who begins the series at eight years old, yet the dubbed version managed to make her fourteen. Oddly, Tokyo Pop's manga translation moved the characters down a year to appeal more to a young audience.
  • The title character of Kamichama Karin, as well as her Nakama are all in the seventh grade, but look to be no older than seven, while other characters such as Kirio Karasuma and Kirika Karasuma look to be around sixteen, even though they are only one year older than the main cast.
    • This is more Koge-Donbo's style than anything else. In one panel in the first chapter, Karin is shown drawn as her true age; for almost all of the rest of the series, she and her classmates are drawn as chibis. The same goes for the author's other series Pita-Ten.
  • Hagu from Honey and Clover is apparently 18 at the begining of the series, despite looking and acting like an 8-year old—which doesn't keep some guys from falling in love with her.
    • Which is made worse by the fact that it is openly stated she stopped growing at six and she barely changes by the time she's twenty.
  • Galaxy Angel has Mint, a 15-year old who looks like she's ten.
  • Subverted in My-HiME (which does in fact include a character fitting this trope, just not that one):

Natsuki: How old do you think I am?
Mai: (confused) Aren't you a high school girl?
Natsuki: (annoyed) That's not what I meant. I'm seventeen. I was away from school for a year.

  • Moetan's Ink and Sumi are said to be high school students, but they look about five. This doesn't help the fact that their ex-magician partners appear to have an extreme case of Lolicon.
  • Presumably the first Club President of Genshiken, who later turns out to have been the only Club President the Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture had ever had until he handed it off to Madarame. The members briefly speculated how old the Prez actually was after finding manga books in the clubroom that date back to 1987.
  • Done in Suzumiya Haruhi with Mikuru Asahina, who is described in the series as "Lolita-looking". She's seventeen, while the rest of the cast is sixteen. She also happens to be Ms. Fanservice and have Gag Boobs, yet still manages this title.
    • Then there's the whole Time Travel thing (and her playful refusal to answer any of the Genre Savvy Kyon's inquiries about the matter), which makes her real age pretty much impossible to determine. Given the possibilities of future medicine, she could be in her thirties for all we know.
  • In Welcome to The NHK, one of Satou's "study materials" (i.e. Eroge) has a cover with a big-eyed, small-chested girl... and the title of the game is actually "I Am Not Loli!"
  • There's a rather odd version of this in Zettai Karen Children where the White-Haired Pretty Boy Evil Mentor who looks like a middle school student is really in his 80s. This changes his stated intent to "groom" the titular 10-year olds from weird to squicky.
    • Let's not forget also the said evil mentor's childhood friend and Good Counterpart, three years older Fujiko, who looks and behaves like a horny teenage Kawaiiko, but notwithstanding her looks the titular "children" characters often call her "granny".
  • In the Eureka Seven manga, Matthieu tells Renton that "the thing about Eureka is...she may not look it, but she's actually 30!" much to Renton's shock. This is revealed to be a lie simply to get Renton's goat the very next panel.
  • Asuna Kagurazaka of Mahou Sensei Negima, who looks and is assumed by the people around her to be 14. It isn't clear just how old she is, but flashback chapters later in the manga have confirmed her to have traveled as a little girl with Nagi's company—twenty years ago (it turns out she's over 100 years old). It should be noted that Takamichi, Asuna's adult teacher who also traveled with Nagi, was also a little kid at the same time.
    • It's hinted that Takamichi spent a lot of time training in Evangeline's time condenser, and therefore his actual age may not match his chronological age.
    • Also, Fate Averruncus and Zect Filius, the two White Haired Pretty Boys: While Fate apparently bathed in some Fountain of Youth, Zect is referenced as a "man" despite looking way younger than "Just a little brat" Nagi. And nobody finds this weird, so it may be a racial trait or something.
    • Then we've got the normal (we think) girls like the Narutaki twins, who look ten years old despite being around fifteen like the rest of the class. They're actually the oldest, other than the vampire and ghost. Likewise, the oldest-looking girl (Chizuru) is actually the youngest.
  • Major Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell is age 44 at the time she meets the Puppet Master/the Pupetter and a few years younger in Stand Alone Complex, but her almost completely artificial body looks noticeably younger.
    • And in one episode there's a female Russian assassin with a similar cybernetic body, who is said to be over 80.
  • Every single female character (and males, discounting Konata's dad) in Lucky Star. Puni Plush can do that for you.
  • Cinque in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha looks like she's around ten, but she's one of the oldest members of the Numbers Cyborgs, and is officially the same age as Teana.
    • Fate's familiar, Arf, in the first and second season. She appears to be a grown woman, but since she was created by 9-year old Fate, she logically has to be younger than nine. Inverted in the third season when a ten year Time Skip means she actually is old enough to appear as a grown woman... and she looks like a child in order to conserve energy.
    • And in a less extreme example (also from the first two seasons), Chrono Harlaown looks to be roughly nine or ten years old, just like Nanoha, Yuuno, Fate, etc. In reality, he's fourteen.
  • Near from Death Note looked younger than twenty-one post-Time Skip.
    • Also L, who can blend in with a group of teenagers in his mid 20's.
    • Many don't realize that Misa is older than Light. The folks at Viz Media even make this mistake in one of the DVD commentaries. Justified in that her young looks are accompanied by extremely childish behavior.
  • Tsubasa Shibahime from Kare Kano is a high schooler like the rest of the cast, but looks like she's twelve.
  • Mitsukuni Haninozuka from Ouran High School Host Club looks and acts like a 10-year old to appeal to the Shotacon crowd, but is really 17/18 years old, and therefore, the oldest member of the club.
    • The joke is that his birthday is February 29, which comes around only once every 4 years. Since this is manga/anime, he only ages 1 year for every 4. Also, going by that logic, wouldn't the same go for his chronological age and he be 5?
  • Thorkell from Vinland Saga is a more realistic example then most but he still in no way looks like he's in his fifties.
  • Azuma and Seira Umeda from the manga series Hana Kimi, They both look pretty young despite the fact that Seira is fifty-one and Azuma is fifty-four.
  • The art style of Hidamari Sketch made everyone like this, but Yuno needs some specific mention.Her extreme proneness to childlike mood swings/general childish behavior and her 1.44m height made her seems more like seven than fifteen. Actually part of this series' premise was on her trying to grow out of this.
  • Komoe-sensei in To Aru Majutsu no Index looks very young (no older than ten) and wears bunny pajamas to bed. Yet she is an adult, and her apartment is littered with beer cans and cigarettes. Quite a contrast there.
  • Yun-Ook Jang, the main character in Forest of Gray City is a 25-year old who keeps getting mistaken for a teenager.
  • The manga Double Arts pulled this on one of the main characters. She goes to meet a new found friend's family, and is introduced to a little girl she assumes to be his little sister. But wait! That's his mom!
  • A very similar situation to the one above happens in the manga Code Breaker, although this time with the female protagonist's mom, and the mom being a bit more endowed.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Kaoru refuses to believe that the youthful-looking Kenshin is a whopping 28 years old, although that doesn't stop them from getting together in the end—even though Kaoru is only 17. Likewise, when Yahiko and Misao discover that Hiko is a remarkably well-preserved 43, they wonder if it's a side-effect of the Hiten Mitsurugi style.
    • And speaking of Misao, she's 16, but looks quite a bit younger, something that she doesn't react well to. One particular filler episode had all the female characters poke fun at this, even innocent little Tsubame, who is shocked that Misao is that much older than her.
  • Hinako Ninomiya, from the series Ranma ½. She has the appearance of an innocent child though she is actually much older. When she drains the battle auras of "delinquents", she reverts to her true age and becomes a buxom woman in her late twenties.
    • Also Lukkosai, from the Ranma ½ manga, who is the same age as Happosai but is cursed to turn into a little boy when splashed with cold water.
  • The manga Cardcaptor Sakura's Eriol Hiiragizawa, who though appearing to be around Sakura's age, is actually the same age as her father.
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle: Syaoran is subjectively around 21 when the series begins (Time Travel is involved). He looks like a young teenager. The clones don't look any older than he is at the end, but both of them are in their early-to-mid 30's... yes, the clones are older than their originals. It's complicated.
  • Angelic Layer's Misaki Suzuhara is of 1st year middle school age. Yet she gets mistaken for much younger, at one point elementary 3rd year, much to her shock.
    • A similar thing happened in Magic Knight Rayearth, another CLAMP series: after Hikaru stated that she was fourteen years old, Umi and Fuu were shocked (Hikaru was shorter than the other two by at least a foot), and one of them said that she thought Hikaru was still in elementary school.
  • In Inoue Kazurou's short story Aoi Destruction, the titular father of the main character is 38 years old, yet looks like a little girl. His late wife, in contrast was apparently quite masculine in appearance. The problem with that should be obvious.
  • Main premise of Detective Conan: Million-to-One Chance Fountain of Youth turning Teen Geniuses into Preteen Geniuses.
    • Hiroshi Agasa has fallen victim to this. He dislikes being called "ojisan" since he's only 53 years old.
  • Firo from Baccano! is, according to the novels, regularly assumed to be about three or four years younger than he actually is (eighteen and a half). Of course, now that he's taken the Elixir of Life, that disparity is only going to get bigger over time.
  • Pinoko from Black Jack looks no older than six, but insists that she's at least eighteen due to the very bizarre circumstances up until her "birth". Specifically, she spent the first 18 years of her "life" encased in a cyst within her Twin Sister's body. Black Jack, her legal guardian, argues the exact opposite.
  • God from Maria Holic came upon a long rotted love letter given to her years before, which looked to be pre-War Japan. She looks no different then than she does in the present, and since she looks to have been the dorm leader even then, she would have to be at least 70 or 80. Also, Yonakuni.
  • In Mahoromatic Suguru's teacher is shown to look exactly the same at the series end as at its start the series ended after a twenty year Time Skip where she considered Suguru too old at the ripe age of thirty four. This kinda begs the question; how old was she at the series start?
  • Father Remington in Chrono Crusade. In the manga it's because he's had experiments performed on him and so is half-demon, in the anime he's some sort of fallen angel. Chrono and the other demons somewhat count, although in their case it's closer to Really 700 Years Old.
  • Two of the Sannin in Naruto have this; Tsunade uses a transformation jutsu to keep herself looking like she's in her late twenties or early thirties (however, the use of her other jutsu makes her appearance without it appear even older than she really is). Orochimaru's body-switching jutsu causes him too look like he's still in his early-to-mid-thirties. Both are between 50 and 53 years old. Jiraiya presumably doesn't use any jutsu to keep himself looking young, as he is the only one who looks his age.
    • Ahem- have you seen him shirtless? I wouldn't exactly say he looks his age; guess he just got lucky.
    • In the third movie, Sakura fights a female assassin named Karenbana who appears to be about 12. When Sakura says to her, "You wear too much perfume for a kid", she replies with, "Kid? I'm twenty-two!" to which Sakura replies, "Oops!"
    • Jugo temporarily looks like he is several years younger after transferring part of his flesh to Sasuke to save him from a mortal injury. He later recovered when he takes the body parts of an already dead opponent to survive a mortal injury.
    • Sasori is 35 years old. But because he modified his body to become an unaging puppet, his physical appearance is that of a 15-year old.
    • While it could be probably attributed to the animators, the pioneer shinobi such as Madara Uchiha and Hashirama Senju look far into their late 30s for people who already have grandchildren.
  • Alicia from Aria is 19 years old and pretty much looks that way, which doesn't match well with her supposed long experience as an undine. She lives on Mars though, where the years last almost twice as long as earth's. Do the math.
    • President Aria from ARIA. 20 years have passed and he doesn't look any different, unlike Grandma, who has considerably shortened.
    • Played even straighter by Albert Pitt, who, while one of the eldest members of the main cast, looks like a cute little boy due to his working conditions.
  • Loco from MAR is thirty-two years old, despite looking like she's somewhere around ten. This is because the Darkness Arms she specializes in de-age her every time she uses them. At one point she ends up de-aging herself into infancy.
  • Dragon Ball: The Saiyans, by time they're in their twenties, still look like teens or preteens, and it isn't until well later on in the series that they're looking like adults (though Vegeta goes through this relatively quickly). Even to the degree that in DBGT / Late DBZ it gets highlighted by Vegeta, saying that he might be in his 50s, but he ages slower than the rest of the cast. Bulma does not enjoy this.
    • Also in DBZ/DBGT, Chichi complains of Goku's slowed aging, and is completely horrified after the events of the first DBGT episode.
      • A specific example of this is Nappa, who looks like he's about 25 in Saiyan Saga when he's really 50.
      • And, they also went through training in the hyperbolic time chamber, wherein 365 days inside would be a mere 1 day on the outside, making future Trunks, Vegeta, Goku, Gohan, Trunks, and Goten all at least 364 days older than the rest of the characters.
    • And there's Chaozu, who during his whole lifetime looks like a 10-year old child. By the time of his last major appearance (the Cell saga) 12 years had passed since his debut and he still looks like a child.
      • Kind of explained in that his original design was based on a traditional Chinese ghost.
    • In the original Dragon Ball Goku looks around seven when he's twelve and at age fifteen he looks more-or-less the same.
  • A non-human/Saiyan example might be Frieza. Between flashbacks to the Bardock Special, which occurred at least twenty+ years ago, to the present, he hasn't visibly aged a bit.
  • In Black Cat, because of being shot with a nanomachine Lucifer bullet, Train transformed into a kid (that looks around 7–8 years old), even though he's actually 23.
  • Ranewater Calder from Zombie Powder, leader of the Ash Daughter Gang. Although he looks like a young boy, is actually an old man who manages to retain his youthful looks with Phoenix-Samin. His nickname is actually "Old Man Calder".
  • Mikako Koda from Paradise Kiss is around fifteen years older than her sister Miwako, and they both look like twins.
  • In the anime of Venus Versus Virus, twins Lola and Layla don't look much older than ten, but they're actually much older than Lucia and Sumire, the main characters, as they're ageless dolls.
    • In the original manga, they're just normal (human) girls.
  • Break and Sharon from Pandora Hearts don't age and are at least ten years older than they appear. Break is around 120 years old, though he looks like he's in his twenties. Sharon looks 13, but is really 23. There's also Zwei. Another example is Rufus Barma, who appears to be in his twenties or thirties despite actually being over seventy years old.
    • Given the bizarre way that time works in the Abyss and that most of the characters are contractors, most of the cast actually falls into this. Apart from the above examples, there's Oz, who is 25 though he still looks 15, and Vincent and Gil, who look in their early twenties, were eight and nine years old at the Tragedy of Sablier... a hundred years ago. The Baskervilles also apply as they have been seen in flashbacks over one hundred years ago.And Alice, for that matter. Interestingly, when the lack of aging from first brought up, Break had said that it was a 'possible' side-affect from entering in a contract. So far every contracter has been proven to be older than they look, it makes you wonder why they bothered adding in the 'possibly'.
    • Now in all likelyhood this applies to Riem also due to his contract witht the March Hare.
  • In School Rumble, Yakumo is calm, mature, and the object of Hanai's affection. Tenma is short, Moe Moe, acts childish, and has Expressive Hair. Try and guess which one is older.
  • Seguchi Tohma owns this trope. He's 32 but looks 16. In the flashbacks where he's supposed to be 16, he looks twelve. Same problem appears with a bunch of other characters in Gravitation as well.
  • In Digimon Frontier, Kouichi's mom looks more like his sister.
  • Yugi's childlike appearance is a source of comic relief in both the Yu-Gi-Oh!! manga and the first series. He's supposed to be sixteen years old. He looks about ten. It's played with even more when you consider his child-like innocence, and how physically vulnerable he is compared to everyone else in the cast. It also bugs him a lot when people mistake him for a grade-schooler.
  • Yuuki of Saki. First year high school student who plays the role of Token Mini-Moe since she still looks like a kid. Koromo is even worse, she's manages to look even younger than Yuuki despite being one year older. In fact, Koromo's the oldest member of the Ryuumonbuchi team.
  • In NEEDLESS, Disc is a half-cyborg from the time before the big war. This makes her over 100 years old, despite her appearance as the Token Mini-Moe. When this is pointed out in episode 7, Adam is less than pleased.
  • The age of Road from D.Gray-man is revealed in chapter 187 to be over 35. What isn't known is whether the young form we see is her real body, or an illusion; for example, although we know she is human, we've also seen her in the form of a doll.
  • Yellow from Pokémon Special. All the Johto Dex Holders have a hard time believing that someone a foot shorter than them is in fact a year older.
  • Magical Pokémon Journey has Ginger, who introduces herself as Coconut's sister. She appears to be around 16, which makes her overtones with Grandpa really really creepy...until Coconut reveals that Ginger is her GRANDMOTHER, and Grandpa's wife. Apparently she'd discovered a youth formula.
  • Momiji from Fruits Basket looks and acts like an elementary school kid. When Tohru finds out that he's going to go to her high school, she is shocked.
    • He eventually goes through a growth spurt, and becomes as Bishonen as the rest of the boys (if not more).
  • Souichi Tomoe, Hotaru's dad in Sailor Moon, is in his late thirties, but looks at least a decade younger, not appearing to age since the incident where Hotaru almost died. Whether it's due to Germatoid's possession's effect or it's just because he's a Hot Shoujo Dad, it's unknown.
  • We aren't privy to her real age, but Athena of Hayate the Combat Butler appears to be the same age as the main character, but the time where she's been staying for the years before her appearance has a different standard of time. When she shows up in the current time, she looks to have aged appropriately since she's been locked out of the castle.
    • She also acted rather like an adult back when she was supposed to be six.
    • And her mindset is from even further back. The mindset she instilled in Hayate.
    • And now she's back at her 6-year old appearance while even only given the years we've seen makes her at least 16.
  • Miyu from They Are My Noble Masters looks extremely young for someone in her early twenties—which actually causes her sister Shinra to be attracted to her.
  • The Blade Children of Spiral are all the same age, that is, 17... yes, even Rio. She actually uses her youthful, cute appearance to make unwitting enemies underestimate her. (And by the way, although he looks more his age, Eyes is the youngest of them all, despite being the second tallest of the main five and possibly the most intimidating.)
  • Amber in Darker than Black looks like a teenager. This is because her remuneration is Merlin Sickness; a flashback to five years earlier shows her looking twenty-something. We have no idea how old she actually is.
  • Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-Chan primarily parodies the trope. Dokuro-chan was sent by God to kill Sakura (or make his life worse than Hell itself, YMMV) for the crime of giving humanity immortality. Why? The catch is that all women stop aging at 12, making it a pedophile paradise.
  • The main characters in Otogi Juushi Akazukin (a.k.a. Fairy Musketeers) look more like 7- or 8-year olds than 14-year olds.
    • Juushi could be a pun. In the title, it means "musketeer", but juushi—using different kanji—means "fourteen".
  • Kazan, from the manga of the same name hasn't aged a day since he encountered a water demon. When the story begins he's been 6 for 10 years.
  • Nono from Yotsunoha falls under this when the gang gets back together. Unlike her friends she barely grew over time.
  • Played straight and inverted in Popotan. The girls skip through time, which means anyone they befriend will have aged twenty years or more by the next time they meet—even though they themselves aren't actually any older. Played straight when Mai accidentally gets left behind on one timeskip; she doesn't age.
  • Katsuo of Yakitate!! Japan. When he first appears in the Newcomer Exam, everyone assumes he's a child because of his small stature and boyish appearance. When he makes it to the semifinals, his wife appears to cheer him on, and he reveals that he's actually 31.
  • Goku of Saiyuki is Really 700 Years Old, but is only physically 18 because he was locked in a cage for 500 years in which time stood still. This trope also comes into play, though, since he doesn't even really look 18.
  • Hope Stelar, Geo's mother, in Mega Man Star Force looks more like an older sister. Then again, Geo's only ten or eleven, so she can't be too old. She looks older in the game.
  • Palmtop Tiger from Toradora!?
  • Mina Tepes from Dance in the Vampire Bund is, like most vampires, a definite example. The only question among fandom is how much older she is than the tween she appears to be (lowball estimates place her at her early to mid twenties, while other hints indicate she is at least on the far side of ninety).
  • Meiko Rokudou from Ghost Sweeper Mikami comes to mind. For most of the manga's run, her insecurity, cutesy look, and the nature of her crush on Mikami could easily make a reader think that she's anywhere from 17–19 years old (Mikami's 20-21). Then, in one of the last story arcs, we are shown Meiko's mother while she's pregnant with her. The thing is that this is the beginning of the story arc describing how Mikami's parents met. So Meiko's probably 22-24...
  • V.V. from Code Geass looks like a child, due to immortality, but is actually in his sixties.
  • All the girls from Sky Girls appear to be about 12, though in reality they're aged 15 to 17.
    • Also, the twin mechanics Haruko and Ranko Mikagami are supposed to be older than Ryohei.
  • Luffy from One Piece, the 17-year old hero. He looks older when he is serious (and in some of the earlier arcs he was drawn with a mature look) but with his short stature, big round head and eyes, big mouth and small nose it's hard to believe he is much older than 10 years unless you know better. Doesn't really help on the age estimation that he is also an Adult Child.
  • Martel in the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist looks like she's in her 20s but is actually old enough to be Ed and Al's mom. She has a lot of snake venom to clear her wrinkles.
    • Al is one year younger then his brother, but during The Movie he looks thirteen while his brother is an adult.
      • Justified by the fact that in this version of the story, Al's physical body didn't age at all while inside the Gate. Because he spent 4 years without it, he was thus only 11 years old physically when he got it back and 13 in the movie (5 years younger than Ed).
  • The Affably Evil priest Rezo from Slayers is the century-old great-grandfather of one of the protagonists, Zelgadis; aside from the two barely-noticable boney lines under his eyes, he looks to be more in his late forties or early fifties. Lina lampshades this when he appears in the first Light Novel, describing him as looking "both young and old at the same time."
    • A non-human example would be Hellmaster Fibrizo, who is both the oldest and strongest of the world's five Demonic Lords. He disguises himself in the form of an androgynous young boy in order to decieve people.
    • And from the fourth and fifth seasons of the anime, Pokota the prince has the voice and the demeanor of a 10-year old. In reality, when his kingdom was struck by a plague about a decade before the series proper, his then 10-year old body was sealed away (along with the rest of the country's citizens), and his soul was placed in a stuffed animal. Realistically, he should be a bit older than Lina.
  • In Bakuman。, Natsumi Kato looks like a high school student or young college student, but she's actually around 30.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn invokes this trope with all of the Arcobaleno.
  • 14-year old Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion looks 12 or younger.
    • His guardian Misato is stated as being 29 years old, but she could pass for an in-universe 18-year old (or even younger, if not for her height and figure).
  • Simon of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. He's actually 14, but his stature and attitude makes him look at most 12.
    • Then there's Viral who will become this because of his immortality.
  • Ryouhei Sumi from Future GPX Cyber Formula looked like he's a little kid, but he is in fact 15 (at the beginning of the series) making him a year older than Hayato, the main character.
  • White from Tekkon Kinkreet by the way he looks and acts you'd think he was about 5 years old but he's 11.
  • Nene from Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 is rather short and undeveloped, and tends to act like a young teenager rather than the 20-year old woman she is. It seems to be her Berserk Button, if her reaction when she flirts with her boss (His reply? “I don’t like little kids”) or when 15-year old Makkie comes onto her is any indication.
  • Reiji Miyabi (aka Head) from Star Driver appears to be about 15 to 17 years old. Flashbacks to the time when he fathered his now 15-year old son, Takuto Tsunashi, suggest he's at least twice that age, if not much older.
  • Yuka in Kemonozume is about 30, but looks like she's in her early-to-mid twenties. She seems pleased when someone correctly guesses her age.
  • In the original Cutey Honey, the shape-shifting android Honey was Younger Than She Looked (supposedly 16 but was probably built more recently than that). By the time New Cutey Honey came around, she looked a little older (early- to mid-twenties, probably voluntary aging from her powers), but being over a hundred years old, she had moved to the opposite trope.
  • Natsu from Fairy Tail is hinted to be this. During the Fighting Festival Arc, he gets trapped with Master Makarov by a spell that only affects people over the age of 80... but the confusing part is that he's shown to have grown up normally in the past few years. Actually subverted, as the reason he was blocked by the spell was because his adoptive parent Igneel (a dragon much older than 80) was sealed inside his body.
  • Sun Otonashi in Rosario + Vampire looked like a middle schooler more than a year after graduating from high school.
  • Tooru from A Channel is 16 and in high school, but due to her short stature she looks considerably younger.
  • Hanabusa Seki, Thobari's girlfriend, of Nabari no Ou. She's 40...
  • Atsumi from Recorder and Randsell is 137 cm/4'5 feet tall and looks exactly like an 11-year old kid.
  • Yuka of Blood C. She's apparently old enough to be a politician(Which would put her somewhere in early thirties at least) but can pass as a high school student.
  • The title character of Acony has the body of a twelve or thirteen year old girl, but claims to be 23. Her high school aged neighbor laughs at this, saying that if she's going to lie she should go all out and say she's Really Seven Hundred Years Old, but as far as anyone can tell it's actually true.
  • Okashi Nako of Poor Poor Lips, who looks like a kid despite, well...

Ren: That's odd. I wrote 18 to 25 in the ad.
Nako: I'm 21!!

  • The protagonist of Kuroneko Guardian is 13 but could pass for a 9 or 10 year old.
  • Although it's paired with Really 700 Years Old in their case... for characters who represent nations, the cast of Axis Powers Hetalia doesn't seem to be a day older than 25 at most. Especially blatand example? China.
  • Hitsugi Kirigaya from Akuma no Riddle was mistaken for a grade-schooler by Haru early on, and she's not afraid of using her innocent appearance to her advantage either.
  • Kirameki Project: Kana looks to be the youngest of the three princesses (being mistaken for a 12-year-old at one point), but is actually the middle sister.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Magneto, despite having white hair for most of his adult life, is actually physically in his late thirties/early forties, thanks to being reverted to infancy by Alpha the Ultimate Mutant one of the many times he was Absolutely Finally Defeated, then later re-aged to his physical prime by the Shi'ar agent Eric the Red after the series returned under Chris Claremont. Neither of these events get mentioned much anymore, though. The movies have him the age he'd actually be.
  • Wolverine's son Daken counts (while Wolverine himself, being born in the 19th century, just tips the scale at Really 700 Years Old). Daken was born in 1946, which makes him old enough to be the father of most of his teammates when he served with the Dark Avengers. He barely looks like he's in his early 20s most of the time.
  • Nick Fury was a World War II combat sergeant and hero, heading up the "Howling Commandos". By the time he became "Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." in the 60s, he was taking a special "youth formula" to explain why he he'd barely aged a day since then without some outlandish retcon. Not that youth formula isn't any weirder.
    • Parodied with Nextwave's "Dirk Anger", who was 90 years old and kept alive with drugs and pureed live chickens.
  • Mystique is self-admittedly at least eighty years old, but her Shapeshifting powers greatly mask this fact.
  • Black Widow also has been handwaved as being experimented on with something to keep her young. It explains how she could be a spy during the Cold War and still not look a day over 30.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has Mina Murray, who's immortal due to her bath in the fires of youth at the lost city of Kor (from She: A History Of Adventure), and thus always looks to be in her twenties. This might lead to her becoming Really 700 Years Old after awhile but, at the time of the Victorian-era comic book, it just means she looks really good for her age.
  • Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl looks like she is ten years old and her friend, Ragamuffin, looks like he is a 25-year old guy. She is actually 100 and he is 400.
  • In Planetary, there are certain characters called "century babies", that are born at midnight of a century's initial year(i.e. 12:00 a.m. January 1, 1900, etc.). These characters can still be killed, but once they reach a certain point in adulthood, they stop aging and it's never made clear if they can in fact die of old age. Century baby Elijah Snow looks about 40 but is(at the time of the book) in his late 90's; Jakita Wagner and Anna Hark are the daughters of century babies(Lord Blackstock and Hark, respectively); both are in their mid-70's and neither look a day over 30, with Anna predicting that she will live for at least three hundred years. Spy John Stone has been aging at about 1/5 normal speed since his 40s. Then there's Axel Brass, who figured out how to stop his aging when he was 43. Jenny Sparks from The Authority is also a "century baby" and stops physically aging at the age of 19, though she looks to be in her mid-20's.
  • Jack Knight from Starman looked like he was somewhere in his late 20s, when he was really in his mid 30s. It's not that drastic, but they do lampshade it a few times.
  • Most of the surviving Golden Age DC characters have had a few decades taken off as a result of various adventures and continuity paradoxes. Notably not used with Wesley Dodds AKA The Sandman.
    • At this point, the remaining survivors actually have it built into their powers. Strangely, back when older versions of the Big Three were part of the team, they aged normally despite having the most leeway to excuse slow aging.
    • John Byrne's Generations series had several characters with this including a superpowered immortal Batman.
  • Jessica Drew, also known as the first Spider-Woman, went into cryogenic stasis to speed up the effects of an experimental spider serum her dad injected her with. She went into stasis when she was four, spent at least thirty years in it, and came out looking seventeen.
  • Ed "Baby Brain" Stargard in Seven Soldiers: Manhattan Guardian. In flashbacks to the Newsboy Army he's a superintelligent baby. In the present he looks like a baby who's got old without maturing.
  • Cecil in Ghostopolis at first. He looks approximately 10 years old, despite being the ghost of a 60-to-70-year old man.
  • Neil Nordegraf from the Scott Pilgrim series is generally known as "Young Neil" among his friends due to being the youngest of the gang (atleast before Knives Chau showed up). This was played with to such an extent that when Scott finally acknowledged him simply as "Neil" in the final volume, Neil thought it was the best day of his life. Many people will however argue that alot of other characters in the series look younger than they make out to be due to the comic's art style, and due to Art Evolution, it becomes less and less obvious.
  • Monster Girl from Invincible is 29 and looks about 9. Every time she uses her powers she gets younger but her powers get stronger.
  • Doctor Strange was born in the 1930s but remains 40-something (since that was his age when he met and accepted Death just prior to becoming Sorcerer Supreme).
  • Max from Sam and Max Freelance Police looks, acts, and sounds (in the game and cartoon adaptations) like a child, but he's actually an adult.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • A fandom example: for a while, it was vaguely popular among Harry Potter fanfiction writers to claim that (a few hours per weekday for a year of) Time Travel had sufficiently aged Hermione that it is no longer squicky to have her paired with Snape. Which is silly on the face of it, since two or three extra hours every weekday for an entire year (without even considering summer vacation) adds up to less than thirty days of additional aging. Not to mention she was petrified in her second year for about the same length of time. That's right folks, she broke even.
  • Maoimi in Soulless shell is supposed to be seventeen, but her age isn't mentioned until the final chapter and thanks to the hilariously clumsy writing she comes across as being about seven. The MSTing does not let this go un-riffed.

Romsca: (as Maoimi) C'n I 'ave some candy, pwease, nice mister paedophile?

  • Zigzagged with in Kyon: Big Damn Hero, with Kyon, Mikuru, Kanae, and Yuki aging a year during training every night, but having Yuki de-age them afterwards with added Laser-Guided Amnesia. Then, Kyon time-travels all over the place, running errands for his future self, which makes things more complicated.
  • The Naruto fanfic Hakumei has a jounin-level villain in her late teens convincingly disguise herself as a 12-year old genin.
  • With Strings Attached takes place in 1980; when The Beatles are sent on their journey, they are physically (but not mentally) de-aged from the thirty-something men they are into the ages they were when Beatlemania was at its height.
  • Lady Venus in The Blue Blur of Termina. According to Tatl, despite appearing to be in the human equivalent of her late twenties, she is actually over five hundred years old.


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

  • Baby Herman from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? looks like a toddler, but off-camera acts more like a gruff, cynical, womanizing middle-aged man. As he puts it to Eddy, "I got a 50-year old lust and a 3-year old dinky."
  • W.R. Monger from Monsters vs. Aliens is incredibly spry for a 90-year old.
  • The twins in 9 look and behave like the youngest members of the group, but with the Numerical Theme Naming their names (3 and 4) would imply that they're younger only than 1 or 2, each of which have their apparent ages made a point.
  • Ariel and Eric in The Little Mermaid 2. They look only slightly older than their daughter, Melody.
  • A cut scene from Madagascar revealed that Ridiculously Cute Critter Mort, who behaves and, at least to human eyes, looks like a toddler, is actually 35. Justified in the looks arena because he's a mouse lemur, which are all small, fuzzy, and big-eyed. No excuse for his childlike behaviour beyond Rule of Funny.
  • Sid from Toy Story is probably in his late teens based on what he seems to be allowed to do (buy an explosive rocket, use explosives, etc.), and because of his expert 'skills' with altering toys. Either that, or he has bad parents. However, he doesn't look any older than 15.


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • The pairing of Steve Carrell and his twenty-year-younger costar Anne Hathaway in the movie Get Smart might have made the romantic subplot a bit icky, if not for Hathaway's character explaining that the plastic surgery that completely altered looks also took years off her apparent age and that she was in fact not much younger than him. Fortunately, it also serves to explain their pairing (99's plastic surgery and Smart's lack of experience made them the only two agents KAOS didn't know after CONTROL was compromised.)
  • In Inception, Both Cobb and Mal were in Limbo for around 50 years, making them mentally in their late 70s to early 80s. Saito too. And, depending on how long Cobb was in Limbo hunting him, he may be north of a hundred by now.
  • Austin Powers was frozen in the 1960s, and had to have been in his late 20's. He was frozen for 30 years, and would be in his early 60s by 2002. His dad Nigel appeared about the age Austin would had he not been frozen.
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. As a man who ages in reverse, in the latter half of his life, he always looks younger than he actually is. As an old man, he suffers from dementia and Alzheimer's, but he has the body of a child and eventually degenerates into infancy, at which point he dies, his version of death at old age.
  • In the controversial horror film Orphan, the titular character is a psychotic 33-year old serial killer suffering from a hormonal disorder which keeps her stuck in the body of a young girl. Her M.O. is posing as a young orphan girl, who ends up killing the families who adopt her (to be fair, she doesn't really plan to kill them, she's just got an extremely volatile temper, and becomes homicidal whenever she gets stressed at someone).
  • In Star Wars Episode I, Qui-Gon Jinn was sixty years old when he encountered Anakin.
  • Near Dark: "You have any idea what it's like to be a big man on the inside and have a small body on the outside?"
  • In Swedish vampire movie Let the Right One In, the vampire appears to be a young girl. Asked by the protagonist how old she is, she says "I'm twelve.... but I've been twelve for a long time." The movie never does reveal exactly how long...
  • In Airheads, 36-year old Steve Buscemi plays a twenty-something heavy metal guitarist, and ends up looking more authentic than twenty-somethings Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler. Let's just say metal fans aren't really known for taking care of themselves.
  • While Christopher Mintz, as well as his character in Superbad looks appropriately like a high school student, this trope happens as a in-movie example as the liquor shop clerk implicitly assumes that her 25-year old customer is simply older than he looks.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Longevity (alongside Immortality) is a recurring theme in JRR Tolkien's work, resulting in several instances of this trope in The Lord of the Rings:
    • Humans of Numenorean lineage, such as Aragorn, physically age slower and live longer than normal men. Aragorn, for instance, turned 88 the day he met Gandalf the White in Fangorn Forest. A Deleted Scene in the film of The Two Towers has Aragorn reveal his true age to Eowyn, much to her surprise.
    • Possessing the One Ring also slows down aging; for the 60 years Bilbo carries the Ring he does not appear to age much at all (but it catches up with him after he abandons it), and for the 17 years Frodo has the Ring he experiences the same thing.
    • Alongside Bilbo, normal Hobbits also age slowly - Frodo was 33 when he took up the Ring and considered to have only just come of age, Pippin was 29 during the War of the Ring and is mistaken for an early teenage male. When Aragorn and Legolas ask Eomer if he did not find Hobbits among the slain Orcs, they describe them as small bodied and child-like in appearance. There are many short people in Real Life, but they do not look childlike. By comparison: Frodo is 10 years older than Boromir, and Sam is only two years younger.
  • In Teresa Edgerton's second Celydonn trilogy, Gwenlliant is initially twelve years old (in Castle of the Silver Wheel), and looks it, but thanks to Time Travel is at least a year older than her official age by the time she is technically fifteen (in The Moon and the Thorn).
  • Gets a passing mention in David Weber's Honor Harrington series due to recipients of prolong treatment have a very extended physical adolescence. A visitor from a planet that doesn't have it is disturbed at seeing a combat warship full of what looks like teenagers and even pre-teens. Also mentioned in passing is that sex among crewmembers is something that happens fairly regularly, so...
    • Even newborn babies are Older Than They Look: for a mother who's had prolong treatment, pregnancy lasts eleven and a half months.
    • The trope also occurs in Weber's Empire From the Ashes, as a combination of biological enhancement, suspended animation, and (among the bad guys) outright body surfing.
  • Most of the characters in John Scalzi's Old Man's War, thanks to them being the minds of elderly humans copied into young, super-powered clone bodies. In the same series, a bunch of characters Invert the trope, being instead newborn minds "born" inside the same kind of young adult bodies-- and by sight it's almost impossible to tell which is which.
  • In Garth Nix's Lirael, the 19-year old title character senses her travelling companion Nick (her nephew Sam's best friend), developing a romantic interest in her, so tells him she's thirty-five with a marvelous skin-care regimen. Her Non-Human Sidekick, the Disreputable Dog, backs her up because she thinks it's hilarious.
  • In the latest novel in the Ciaphas Cain series, Cain's Last Stand, Cain is a nearly 100-year old retiree who appears to be in his early fifties or so thanks to regular juvenat treatments. Characters who have been receiving the treatments longer can cross into Really 700 Years Old, such as Alizabeth Bequin in the Eisenhorn series, who's 170 or so but doesn't look any older than her 20s.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant. For example, Tanith Low is eighty, and looks about twenty two.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia, the four Pevensies though they look like children they are in a sense technically adults having spent fifteen years in Narnia though they did de-age once back in England, they are the only people who have gone to Narnia and grew up. This idea is more played with in the fan-fiction universe.
  • In the short story Start the Clock by Benjamin Rosenbaum, a virus that caused humans to stop physically ageing struck the Earth around thirty years ago, making the protagonist, physically nine years old, technically thirty-nine. An interesting facet of this is that characters who are physically children tend to act like children who have had around thirty years extra experience at being them. Then later in the story, the protagonist meets a girl who is mentally the same age as she is physically, having been infected by the virus at the age of two and only just recently been administered a "cure" to allow her to age naturally.
  • In Stephen King's The Stand, Tom Cullen is said to be looking no more than twenty-three; actually he's at least forty-five. The fact that he acts like a kid probably doesn't help.
  • Speaking of Older Than They Look Cullens, all those sparkly vampires are at least 80 years older than they look, ranging from Older Than They Look for the youngest to Really 700 Years Old for the oldest.
  • Several of the secondary adult Harry Potter characters qualify here, in particular Dumbledore and Griselda Marchbanks, each of whom are well over a hundred years old; it's implied that wizards have a somewhat longer natural lifespan than muggles. Voldemort had also ceased aging altogether, being 71 years old by the last book, though his monstrous appearance hardly seems like a fair trade for smooth clear skin.
  • The vampiress Claudia in Interview with the Vampire, the first book of Anne Rice's series The Vampire Chronicles is forever stuck in the body of a 6-year old girl. She would've grown into being Really 700 Years Old, but was killed just a few decades after she was turned. In the 1994 film adaption of the book, her age was changed to twelve. Considering that Anne Rice wrote the screenplay for the movie, we can assume she changed it to reduce the Squick factor of the love story, along with pragmatic reasons concerning child labor laws and acting ability.
  • Willie Wonka is this. While nothing in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory suggests he's a young man, he's actually a very old man. older than he implies, which is why he is Passing the Torch to Charlie in the final scene of the book.
  • Although he still looks pretty old, Jack Holloway in H. Beam Piper's Fuzzy novels is technically 10 years older than he appears physically due to the time dilation effects of hyperspace.
  • In The Picture of Dorian Gray, the character of the title transfers the effects of age and wickedness to a portrait of himself. After twenty years, he hasn't appeared to age a day.
  • In Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, watercrafters have an innate healing ability which causes them to retain their youthful appearances even as they age—Gaius Sextus, for examples, is over 80 but looks around 40. A scene in the fourth book has a cop mistaking the 50-year old Isana for a streetwalker, until she lifts her hood so he can see her graying hair.
    • Mention should also go to main character Tavi. In the first book, Amara guesses he's twelve or thirteen, only to be informed that he's fifteen. Thing is, Isana's been lying to him about his age: he's actually almost eighteen, since he was born the night Septimus was killed. Granted, his apparent youth is due to her magically stunting his growth.
  • Most of the Wilds in Trudi Canavan's The Age of Five trilogy and most of the The White and The Voices are a lot older than they look. Juran, the leader of the White, is actually over 100 years old, his aging having been stopped by the Circle of Gods when he was chosen to be one of their human representatives. They only get older from there.
  • Lakewalkers in The Sharing Knife books tend to be this to some degree. When Fawn Bluefield brings her rescuer/beau Dag Redwing home to her parents her father starts an interrogation about his intentions with a question about his age (everyone, including 18-year old Fawn herself, takes him to be somewhere in his thirties) over the dinner table. When Dag answers (with some hesitation) "fifty-five", Fawn promptly chokes on her cider.

Fawn: (whispering) Pa... is 53!

    • Also Fawn herself. Her entire family is short, and she is best described as petite. She is constantly mistaken for a child and twice the mistake is only realized by seeing or touching her breasts. The misunderstandings increase when she is standing next to the two heads taller Dag.
  • John Geary, the protagonist of Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet series, was a Human Popsicle in a lost escape pod for over a century. After his rescue and revival, his "posthumous" promotion to Captain gives him seniority over every other Captain in the fleet—which he exploits to pull their collective chestnuts out of the fire, whether they like it or not.
  • The protagonist (and questionably sane narrator) of The Tin Drum, Oskar Matzerath, throws himself down the stairs at age three to stop growing. Over the years he exploits his young appearance to get (and get away with) whatever he wants, at the expense of those around him. He forces himself to start growing again when he's in his twenties, after his father dies.
  • In Percy Jackson and The Olympians, Nico di Angelo looks twelve. He's actually seventy-something from being put in the Lotus Casino, which slows down time. A lot. His sister is also the same. Being set in a world where Greek Mythology is true, many of the other characters are at least 2000 years old. Grover, on the other hand, is thirty-two but looks sixteen (satyrs age slower than humans).
  • In Peter Watts's Rifters Trilogy a pedophilic character is captured by a police sting operation which used a man who had been artificially transformed into an apparent child as bait.
  • Serroi, in Jo Clayton's Duel of Sorcery and Dancer trilogies, is tiny and baby-faced enough to pass herself off as a preadolescent at the age of twenty-seven.
  • In the Alliance Union novels by C. J. Cherryh, FTL travels slows down physical aging by around 25%. So spacer teenagers look like middle school kids, twenty-somethings look like teenagers, etc.
  • Posleen War Series: All rejuvenated personnel qualify for this, appearing to be in their early twenties or younger, while dating back, in some cases, to before World War Two. It's occasionally an issue until people start assuming that anybody who looks 20 is probably older. Often a lot older. And you get generation bending, Michael O'Neal Sr's second wife is almost assuredly younger than his son (her age isn't stated, but comparing the children's ages leads to this conclusion).
  • In Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, lead character Lisbeth Salander is mentioned as looking "barely legal", which in Sweden is 15. She's actually 24 at the time of the first book, but is described as an "uncommonly thin and fine-boned" person.
  • The title character in Arthur Machen's short story, "The Bright Boy", looks to be about 7–10 years old, but is actually a man in his 60s. The ending reveals that he was likely conceived by a mortal man and an infernal woman. It also reveals that he is a fugitive rapist who is passing himself off as the son of a wealthy couple. Because of his abnormal nature, he stands out like a sore thumb and there is no other way for him to hide from authorities.
  • In P.N. Elrod's vampire novels, vampires who are older than about 20 revert to that age when they die and return. This was most evident with the once-elderly Gaylen in Lifeblood, and is a frequent annoyance to Jack Fleming, who's chronologically in his late 30s yet is regularly called "kid" by people who don't know this. It also means Jack may never be able to see his parents again, as he doesn't want to tell them he was murdered and his newfound youthfulness would demand an explanation.
  • Scourge of Warrior Cats, mostly because of his small size. Firestar even mistakes him for an apprentice at first.
    • His name was Tiny when he was a kit, to emphasize this further.
  • From the Left Behind books: once the Millennium starts in Kingdom Come, all the naturals who enter this time period experience decreased aging similar to the first several generations of mankind in the book of Genesis, with the children becoming young adults by the time they reach 100. It's not explained how those who were already adults, including those who were already at advanced age, experience this decreased aging at the same rate as the children who enter the Millennium. By the end of the Millennium, however, the longest-living naturals end up really showing their age.
  • The Witcher:
    • Geralt of Rivia, the titular character. Reading between the lines, you can see that he is well into his eighties, and has white hair. However, the mutations he has been exposed to and his active lifestyle give him the appearance and physique of an extremely fit man in his mid-twenties.
    • Geralt's friend, chronicler and drinking buddy Dandelion has been described as being forty, sounding like he's thirty, looking like he's twenty and acting like he's ten.
    • Vesemir, Geralt's mentor and the oldest witcher alive, may be pushing 800 but is still a match for Geralt physically.

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • An episode of Law and Order Special Victims Unit features a girl named Janie Spear with Turner's Syndrome, so even though she is seventeen years old, physically, she looks like a 12-year old child. The episode focuses on her relationship with a 30-year old employee of her father's; since she's seventeen it isn't statutory rape, but none of the detectives are comfortable with what this says about her boyfriend's taste in girls.
    • And in another episode, a girl in her late to mid-twenties not only poses as a 16-year old, but is under the delusion that she is, despite having a complete memory of all the years she has spent going from one foster home to another and creating false identities. Based in the real case of Treva Thornberry.
    • In another episode, there was a young rookie cop who took down a suspected rapist until it was found out that the cop was really a 16-year old wannabe.
  • An episode of Law and Order revolves around a teenager who is arrested for the murder of one of her teachers, followed up by another teacher arrested for sleeping with her. In actuality the "teen" is a con-artist who is in her thirties, and killed the teacher to prevent her from revealing her real age.
    • A very similar plot forms one episode of Psych.
  • In one episode of CSI New York, there is a subplot where one of the suspects was actually raped by a fellow "student" who was really a wanted sex offender. Compare to the examples above.
  • The 1980s hit 21 Jump Street was entirely based around the premise of cops who looked young enough that they could go undercover as high school students.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Rascals", Keiko O'Brien is temporarily turned into an adorable 12-year old. The fact that she still wants to be treated like a wife squicks Miles out a bit. Three other crewmembers - Picard, Guinan, and Ro - are similarly altered, but none of them are in relationships at the time, though they all happily exploited this trope to retake the ship from a hostile Ferengi takeover.
    • The O'Briens seem to get more than their fair share of this trope. There's another Deep Space 9 episode, "Hard Time", where an alien race sentences O'Brien to a 21-years-long virtual prison sentence. He experiences all 21 years of his brutal, tortuous prison term in only a few days, making him mentally 21 years older; 21 really, really crappy years older. And even their daughter gets a Overnight Age-Up treatment due to a Negative Space Wedgie.
  • In Firefly, Malcolm Reynolds looks like he is, at most, in his mid-thirties. However, a comparison of the dates of his birth and the dates of the "present" indicates he is in his late forties to early fifties, which is supported by Mal referring to himself as a "mean old man." This can be justified by the advanced medical technology of the setting, however, or perhaps by Joss Whedon originally envisoning the character as being played by an older actor.]
    • The screenshot that gives us Mal's year of birth might well be a mistake caused by a goof switcharound of the last two digits of his year of birth from 2486 to 2468, which means he ends up eighteen years older than he looks. This makes sense considering everyone else on the show, including Mal's second-in-command, Zoe (whom he is closest to) seems to be aging at relatively normal human rates.
      • Also Mal, as someone who wasn't brought up or living near the Core planets, probably wouldn't have access to advanced anti-aging technology - which points at there being a goof somewhere along the way.
  • Jesse Travis of Diagnosis: Murder got this on occasion. How gracefully he reacted depended on how snotty the other person acted.
  • Nearly all the regular vampire characters in Buffy and Angel are a century or more old but look the same age as when they became vampires. This trope applies to vampires in general, really, though very few in the Buffyverse seem to make it past their first hundred years without getting staked.
  • In the future dystopia of Dollhouse, "Iris" seems to be a 10-year old girl but actually has the imprinted mind of a grown woman—first a woman who pretends to be a girl before pulling a gun on Zone, and later Caroline, whom Zone and Mag upload into the girl to find the way to Safe Haven to avoid the mass mindwiping that has thrown civilization into chaos.
  • Babylon 5 novels reveal that Alfred Bester is in his seventies by the time we first see him.
  • In 30 Rock, it's implied that head page Kenneth is lots older than his callow youthful appearance would suggest.

Tracy: Ken, you don't want to be a page forever?
Kenneth: (alarmed) Who said I've been alive forever?

  • During Degrassi's first Big Damn Movie, while Paige is living up the diva socialite lifestyle, she has herself an 18th birthday party. Which could be chalked up as Blatant Lies. The actress is in her mid twenties and the character is in her early twenties. It also can be counted as a casual jab at Dawson Casting.
    • Clare's schoolgirl attire and hairstyle does a good job of dropping her apparent age from 14 to a tween. Probably as a means to play up her innocence. Her pink outfit in Causing a Commotion has a similar effect, as this before her wardrobe upgrade.
  • An episode of Glee had one character stating that Kurt (who was about 16 at the time) couldn't have purchased alcohol with a fake i.d. because he looked "like a 12-year old milkmaid." She's exaggerating, but not by much. Chris Colfer himself was 19 at the time of filming.
  • In the original performance of Cinderella, 30-yearold Edie Adams portrayed the centuries-old Fairy Godmother.
  • Omar on The Wire: Carries a sawed-off shotgun, dresses in a Badass Longcoat with an impressive physique underneath, makes a living through professional armed robbery of drug dealers, escapes from several deadly firefights like a damned ghost in the night, and is an overall smooth operator. Looks to be in his mid 30s, but a card on his body bag reveals he was 48 years old at the time. The actor playing Omar is actually not much younger than the character.
  • Used in Lost in Oz as a plot point. Princess Ozma is said to be in her 20s, but was enchanted to be an 8-year old forever.
  • Juken Sentai Gekiranger's Gou Fukami looks like he is in his mid to late 20s, but in flashbacks to his brother's childhood looks exactly the same age as he does now, and dialogue implies that he is or should be around the age of the 40-something Miki. It can possibly be implied that he stopped aging physically after turning into a werewolf.
    • A similar example is Masato Jin in Tokumei Sentai Gobusters, who spent 13 years in the subspace and didn't age during that time.
  • In one episode of Boy Meets World when Eric goes to Hollywood to work on a sitcom he meets an actress who plays a little girl on the show but is actually 42 years old. She then hits on him by grabbing his ass.
  • In one episode of Smallville, Lana Lang is haunted by the ghost of a childhood friend, Emily. Emily was stated to be 10 years old, but she looks and acts much younger, with handwriting that looks more like a 2nd grader and interests and speech patterns more typical of a 4 or 5 year old. In flashbacks, Lana appears to have been an improbably immature 10 year old as well, since she didn't act very differently from Emily.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • This generally happens to werewolves once they undergo the First Change. As werewolves have a strong Healing Factor, it's understandable that aging would be somewhat slowed. There's a vignette in one book meant to emphasize this - a werewolf who looks to be in her early 40s is called in for a polygraph test, and completely confuses the cops when she admits to being in her 70s and the test shows she's telling the truth.
  • The same goes for the Sin-Eaters. The fusion of the Geist and human soul causes Sin-Eaters to stay roughly in their prime in terms of energy and ability. They don't necessarily stop aging, but they avoid most of the problems of old age, such as arthritis and organ malfunction, often resulting in this.


Theater[edit | hide]

  • Older Than Radio: In the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta Iolanthe, the hero, aged twenty-five, is caught embracing a woman who is not his fiancée and looks seventeen. She's actually his mother, a fairy, but the other characters think that's a staggeringly improbable cover story. "Her age upon the date of his birth", reasons one, "was minus eight."
  • In the Distant Finale of Vanities: The Musical, the women are in their late 30's or 40's, but are still "lookin' good", as the closing song in the off-Broadway version says.
  • Clara in The Light in the Piazza.
  • Raina Petkoff is 23, but gets mistaken for 17 in Arms and the Man.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is twenty-two years of age. However, in the second case of the game, the police seem to be under the impression that he's of the same age as Trucy (who's fifteen), shooing him away from the crime scene telling him to "go play somewhere else."
    • Likewise, Lamiroir's age is 40 years old according to her profile in the Court Record, despite her looking like a woman in her mid-twenties.
  • B.B. ("Baby Bonnie") Hood (aka "Bulleta" in Japan) from Darkstalkers. The same game has an example of Really 700 Years Old in Lilith.
    • Not quite right, the official guide states her age as being "between 10-14". Around 12 seems about right for her.
  • The character named "Jr." in the Xenosaga series appears to be twelve or thirteen years old, but is actually twenty-eight. His genetically engineered powers caused him to be physically stuck with a kid's body due to a major trauma when he was actually that age. He has a clone twin brother, (well, two, actually, but let's not get into that) who is younger by a small margin but has aged normally, and at one time chides him, "You're older than I am. Try to act like it sometimes." There is a running gag in the series about how one popular rumor is that Jr. is actually the "illegitimate son" of his clone twin. Jr. doesn't seem quite sure whether to be amused or annoyed by this. Being so young in appearance makes it acceptable for Jr. to have a romantic interest in an artificial human girl who is Loli in appearance and is actually about the age she looks...
  • Rose in The Legend of Dragoon. She might look like she's only in her twenties or thirties, but she fought in The Dragon Campaign, which happened at least a thousand years ago.
  • While most demons in Disgaea are definitely in the category of Really 700 Years Old, there is one "mundane" example in Yukimaru, who is twenty years old but looks rather younger.
  • Both Kori and Sox in Time Hollow are frozen in time, so they don't age. Kori is about forty, while Sox is implied to be Really 700 Years Old.
  • If you choose to date her during the summer festival, 15-year old Ayane Matsunaga from Persona 4 is mistaken for an elementary, then middle school student by one of the vendors. To add insult to injury, when she wins a book in a festival raffle, the host politely warns that it may be too difficult for her to read. She doesn't take it very well.
  • According to Grienko's notes in Second Sight, the psychic Zener Children are afflicted with a developmental disorder that has stopped them from aging past puberty. Since Project Zener has been active (if not funded) for several decades, this would place most of them in their forties or fifties.
  • Either this trope or the opposite appears in Resident Evil 4, with Ramon Salazar. While most players assumed he was a child no older than 11 playing dress up, Leon refers to him as old man. Both are wrong, he's in his mid 20's.
  • Pretty much everyone in Bayonetta; the heroine looks about thirty, but she's actually more than six centuries old.
  • Several characters in Tales of Symphonia fall under this trope because of Magitek experiments.
    • Presea Combatir had her biological and mental growth stunted by a magical implant for 16 years, leaving her a 28-year old with the body and (heavily traumatized) mind of a 12-year old. Due to her circumstances, she is treated much like a Human Popsicle by the rest of the cast.
    • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has Alice. While it's never explained how or by how much, in one of the skits Marta explains that Alice, who looks younger than her, is actually much older. Alice flaunts her cuteness constantly, much to Marta's annoyance and Decus' delight.
      • Well, they do give the excuse that she's half-elf (but then, so is Genis and he looks about right for his age.) She's said to be at least eighteen, but she's rather short, and she acts and dresses like she's about six.
    • Beryl Benito in Tales of Hearts is the requisite tiny squeaky thing, but she's supposed to be eighteen.
    • Pascal from Tales of Graces is supposed to be 22 years old. Considering how she looks and acts, this is pretty hard to believe.
      • To say nothing of the 40-year old Malik.
  • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and its sequel, Radiant Dawn, a few characters are described as "Branded", meaning they are a result of a taboo union between the two races in the game: laguz (shape-shifters) and beorc (normal persons). While the branded are most like the beorc, they generally age slower like their laguz forefathers. As branded are shun by laguz and beorc alike, they cannot settle down, and need to hide their brand (which can be difficult if it shows up on, say, the face).
    • While the laguz also generally belong to this trope, their life spans are a lot longer, and a few races (like the dragons) become Really 700 Years Old.
  • Vincent Valentine of Final Fantasy VII appears and is listed in all game materials to be age 27, but that fails to factor in the thirty years he spent sleeping in a coffin. As his age in all future installments has failed to increase like the rest of the cast's, it can be assumed that the bizarre experimentation Hojo subjected him to has sealed his age.
    • Vincent's love interest Lucretia is just about as old as he is but thanks to Jenova cells she still looks just as young.
    • In Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent meets Shelke, a new character (and possibly a new love interest). She's a 19-year old whose body stopped growing at age nine.
    • In Final Fantasy XII, Fran's sister reveals she left the village fifty years ago. This revelation is later played for laughs, with Vaan being utterly (and understandably) confused by this information.
    • Rydia in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is probably in her forties or at least her late thirties, since she was an adult at the end of Final Fantasy IV, and TAY takes place seventeen years later. Nonetheless, she retains much of her youthful appearance and mannerisms.
      • Possibly a side-effect of the time she spent in the World of Summons in the original game, where time flows differently.
    • As of Advent Children, Sephiroth is 32 but stopped physically aging at 25 (that's what you get when you go several years without having a physical body at all).
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask, Kafei is a grown male that is about to be married to his fiancé. He comes across Skull Kid, when Kafei doesn't play with him Skull Kid transforms him into a child, he spends the game in hiding or covering his face with a mask.
    • In Ocarina of Time, the Kokiri don't appear to age over the seven years that Link grows from ten (their apparent age) to seventeen, though it's strongly implied that they are Really 700 Years Old as long as the Deku Tree (or at least a Deku Tree) is close enough to support them. Impa from the same game may be a straighter version of the trope (in the present, that is, and not just the future), but not enough information is given in canon to confirm this.
    • Don't let Malo's cute baby looks fool you—he is actually eight years old and very savvy when it comes to business.
  • Fiona of Arcana Heart, who stopped aging after she was pulled into the Elemental World, so while she's approximately as old as Saki, she still looks like a little girl.
  • In Secret of Evermore this trope extends to all four of the human characters who have been trapped for thirty years in the virtual world of Evermore, since nobody physically ages there, but it particularly comes into play with Elizabeth, who was 10 years old at the time of the experiment. When the present-day hero's accidentally transported into Evermore and meets her, she's become the ruler and protector of a prehistoric village, and has a mature, The Obi-Wan personality that's completely at odds with her appearance.
  • Lymle from Star Ocean: The Last Hope looks and acts around six years old, but really is around 15 due to both the size of her people in general and from an accident with symbology that caused her to fall into a demon portal and suffer so much hate and miserly she cut off all of her emotions. (This is only revealed in the in-game encyclopedia.)
    • She's also supposed to be autistic, but because that's a hot potato topic the word "autism" was left out of the localisation.
  • Akuma from Street Fighter is 50 in the most recent game in the timeline (Street Fighter III). You wouldn't know it by looking at him.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog's rival, is 50, but that's just the time he's accumulated being preserved in a machine on Prison Island. Apparently, he shouldn't even be two. Funny, considering that he curses up a storm in his game...
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Mother/EarthBound series characters Ness and Lucas are depicted as looking very young, when they are actually supposed to be teenagers. It's justifiable in that their original in-game sprites and character models look like children, but it's still pretty funny when you see just how short they are. It's especially evident in the Subspace Emissary scenes where Lucas and the Pokémon Trainer are traveling together. According to the Pokémon series canon, people can apply for Trainer's licenses at 10 years of age, and yet Lucas, who could be at least 3 years older than the Pokémon Trainer, is half his height.
    • That rule applies to the anime only. In the games and most other media, you can become a trainer whenever you can handle Pokémon and they listen to you (in Pokémon Black and White you even fight kindergärtners in the Japanese version; pre-schoolers in the international ones). Pokémon Trainer is eleven, though, since he's based off Red.
  • To an extent, some of the Pokémon protagonists. In canon, most of them are around eleven years old from the looks of it, but several look a bit younger. The Black and White protagonists are supposed to be older, though.
  • Pit in Kid Icarus. It can be gathered by a comment Palutena made in the demo of Uprising that Pit is at least over 24. Being an angel, it's very likely he is centuries old.
  • Jaguar from Space Channel 5 doesn't look much older than Ulala and Pudding who are respectively 22 and 19, though he's actually 35.
  • Carlie of Seiken Densetsu 3 looks like a toddler. She's actually 15, because she's a half-elf.
    • The half-beastman Kevin fits too, although not quite to the extent of Carlie.
  • Tekken has its moments. Marshall Law in Tekken 6 specifically looks younger than 49, and even fans speculated that could be his son Forest in disguise.
    • Lee Chaolan also looks younger, he looks like he's in his late twenties to early thirties. He's actually 49, but it isn't really surprising to fans, since he was in the first two Tekken games, and the newer Tekken games take place 20 years after Tekken 2. But for people new to the games, it's a bit surprising.
    • The queens of this trope for this particular series have to be Nina Williams and her sister Anna. Both are 42 years old biologically, but spent the 19 years between Tekken's 2 and 3 in cryogenic slumber, which explains their early 20's-ish appearance.
    • Jun Kazama, especially in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which came out over a full decade after the first Tag which subsequently was her last appearance. Seriously, for someone who's lived for almost 40 years now, she is glowing. And that's without cryogenic sleep.
  • Most of the human race is this in Mass Effect, due to vastly improved medical technology and genetic engineering. Kaylee Sanders is in her early forties, but appears to be in her early thirties. The Illusive Man looks fairly young but is implied to be much older. Miranda Lawson is in her mid-thirties, but appears to be in her early-to-mid twenties.
    • Liara spends the series messing around with this trope, she looks about twenty, but is really 106/108/109 years old. Normally this would fall under Really Seven Hundred Years Old, but in her later portrayals she's at least as bitter and cynical as the members of the cast who are ten times her actual age.
  • Aya in Parasite Eve is somewhere between her late 20s and early 30s, but her parasite energy powers keep her look at early 20s. She complains about this a few times to herself whenever she goes on about how she just wants to live a normal life and not live forever.
    • Aya is actually stated to be aging in reverse in Parasite Eve 2, which is why when that game comes around, she actually looks younger than she did in the first. She actually mentions how she's worried that the reverse aging won't stop and will make her a kid again.
  • The Jedi Exile from Knights of the Old Republic 2; according to Mira, the Exile's appearance hasn't changed since the Mandalorian Wars, ten years prior to the game. This would put the Jedi Exile in her thirties at least.
  • Most of the 'magical' cast in Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
  • In Narcissu, the female lead Setsumi is 22 years old, but the 20-year old male lead often comments that she looks considerably younger than him. For Setsumi, whose life consists of a hopeless cycle of hospitalization and release, "time has stood still" ever since she was first hospitalized in middle school.
  • Tonnio and Liina in Phantasy Star Universe both look like 12-year old kids but are actually on their late twenties, which came as a surprise in Portable 2 when they are a married couple.
  • Pretty much everyone in Mr. Driller looks older than they look, mostly the teenagers, all of them look like they're 11 years old or so, most of them are already 14 or even 17.
  • Shows up now and then in the Golden Sun games. Isaac and Garet look about ten in the prologue, despite being supposedly around fourteen. They still look fairly young three years later, and join forces with Ivan, who is fifteen but looks around ten. Felix on the other hand looks much older, though his age is never specified.
    • Felix' age is stated to be 18 (post-timeskip) in the manual.
    • Becomes a plot point in Dark Dawn, as Alchemy exposure has caused the major characters of the first two games to age much more slowly. As a result, Isaac and Garet are now in their late forties and look to be in their mid-twenties, and Kraden, while seventy to begin with, only looks about 80, despite being over a century old. And of course, Alex still looks around twenty, despite being in his mid fifties...
      • Dark Dawn still has some straight examples, though: Rief and Himi look like small children but are implied to be teenagers, Amiti looks closer to fourteen than nineteen-ish, and there's no way Eoleo is over thirty (and again, an inversion shows up—Briggs has gone from his mid twenties to looking about Kraden's age).
  • Dixie Kong.
  • While Touhou mostly goes with Really 700 Years Old characters, there are still some that fit this trope. Patchouli, for example, is "only" about a hundred (or has been living with Remilia for about a hundred years; it isn't definite), Rinnosuke merely ages slowly instead of stopping aging all together, appearing identical when Marisa was a child but being laughably young by Gensoukyou standards, and Sakuya appears to be somewhere in her twenties but is noted as being far too mature and worldy to be so young.
  • The Kingdom Hearts trio in their first game, and subsequent gang appearances featuring said designs. Sora and Kairi especially, who are fourteen but could pass for eleven or 12-year olds; it's probably Artistic Age and symbolism. Riku less so, since he's muscular and Bishonen. The biggest contenders for this, however, were Tidus and Selphie. They're the same as as the trio, but look and act years younger; like seven - nine years old, though Tidus does have some muscle on him.
  • Joshua from The World Ends With You is much older than he looks. It's explained in the Secret Reports that this is because he's from a different plane and it causes him to look way younger than he should be. On another note, this plane shift also causes him to lose several abilities, such as fully and properly demonstrating his Composer abilities.
  • The upcoming Soul Calibur V game takes place after a 17 year Time Skip. Between her alchemical experimentation and exposure to the Spirit Blades Ivy (conveniently enough) has not aged at all.
  • Finn from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, is 35 in the second generation and 34 in the related game Thracia 776, but in both he looks like he is only in his early-to-mid twenties. It becomes especially apparent when you compare him to Glade and Oifey, who are in their mid thirties and look their age.
  • The Witcher:
    • All witchers age slowly due to the mutations that make them witchers.
      • Geralt looks like a fit man in his late twenties. By putting pieces of Backstory together, you can place his age at 80 at the youngest.
      • Vesemir, the Old Master of the witchers, looks like about sixty, but has a physique that makes 30-year olds green with envy. Vesemir's age is unknown, but is implied to be pushing eighthundred!
    • Dandelion the Bard. As Triss so eloquently puts it: "You are 40, sound like you're 30, look like you're 20, and act like you're ten!"
  • Ezio Auditore is 48 by the end of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. Although Cesare calls attention to it, calling him an "old fucker", he doesn't really look the part. Revelations fixed this by giving the now 52-year old Assassin plenty of grey in his hair and noticeable wrinkles. Not that it's slowed him down at all.
  • Radio advertisements in Grand Theft Auto Vice City mentions a show called Just the Five of Us, featuring a character called Jimmy who looks 12 but claims to be a 42-year old investement banker. This turns out to be real, in show and out in San Andreas, about 9 years later when we hear the actor who played Jimmy again, still looking and sounding like a kid, even though he's in his fifties.
  • All the deities from Asura's Wrath, To absolutely ridiculous extents. The deities we see in the game look around to be specific ages, but are actually countless Millenia in years of age. And they are all descended from earlier generations of older deities with similar mantra types.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Medic is in in his late forties or early fifties (got his medical license right after World War II, game takes place in 1969), but you'd never know that from looking at him.

Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • Angie in Shikkoku no Sharnoth looks and acts like a little girl, but she's about the same age as the both Mary and Charlie and is the only one with an actual fiancee.
  • From Fate/stay night, Saber is about twenty-five years old (i.e. not counting the centuries since King Arthur's death), but fifteen in appearance (when she stopped physically aging). Ilya, looking about ten years old, is actually older than Shirou (who's about seventeen).
    • In Saber's case, this actually caused her problems. When her subjects realised she didn't age, they began to call her inhuman, and started saying that she, as a apparently unaging immortal, couldn't possibly understand ordinary humans. This eventually lead to The Battle of Camlann, the fall of Camelot and Saber's death.
    • In Fate/Zero, when Ilya actually is around ten, Kiritsugu is worried because her growth is so slow that she only weighs about twenty pounds!
    • And apart from these examples, Gilgamesh drank a youth potion in Fate/hollow ataraxia and is walking around in the form of an adorable elementary school aged version of himself.
  • Every single female in Kanon, AIR, Clannad, etc. It's particularly jarring when we're supposed to believe that characters who look no older than sixteen are mothers and aunts of other characters.
    • In Clannad, Akio and Sanae Furukawa look barely older than their daughter, Nagisa. Sanae is often mistaken for Nagisa's older sister in the anime.
  • Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai has Token Mini-Moe Mayo, 2-F's Class Representative. Joined by Monshiro Kuki, Hideo's younger sister, in the sequel.
  • Emi of Katawa Shoujo is short and has a youthful appearance, but is one year older than Hisao and the rest of the girls, having taken a year off of school while relearning how to walk.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Parodied in the adult Webcomic Ghastlys Ghastly Comic with the character Chibi Sue, a 36-year old woman who appears to be under twelve due to being from a race of Super-Deformed.
  • In Questionable Content, Amir turns out to be about ten years older than he looks.
  • in Errant Story: Meji, age seventeen, looks twelve (she's a half-elf). All kinds of angsting and insecurities ensue.
  • In Order of the Stick, Pompey the half-elf is approximately sixteen both mentally and physically; chronologically, he's forty-three, and complains about being called "kid" when it's revealed that he's taking orders from a (human) 21-year old.
    • Vaarsuvius has two elf children, aged twenty-six, who look and act like small kids and are currently in kindergarten. Both of these are the result of long elf lifespans.
    • Also Redcloak, who still looks like a goblin teenager thanks to the Crimson Mantle despite being over fifty (which, for a goblin, is beyond venerable age).
  • Also a Real Life one, since it's from a Journal Comic, but Shazzbaa from Today Nothing Happened looks a lot younger than her current age at least since she was eighteen.
  • Nearly everyone in Earthsong.
  • Made fun of in Shape Quest, when it is revealed how old Clark is.
  • Hanna (of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name) is twenty-four. Believe it or not.
  • Greg, boyfriend of Kili in The Dragon Doctors, is really 60 but looks about 20-something. However, he's not alone, as apparently quite a lot of people are able to purchase rejuvenation in the setting.
  • Ozy and Millie: Locke is actually Millie's father and in his world, everyone ages backwards. He's actually just a few years away from death.
  • Weijuaru of Juathuur. The thing is... he's a shift user.
  • The T-Girls of Jet Dream are chronologically in their 30s or 40s, but appear to be young women in their early 20s. When the former men of the Thunderbird Squadron were turned into girls by Virus-X, the effect also rejuvenated them.
  • Vinci, of Vinci and Arty, is often mistaken for a child, in spite of being well into adulthood.
  • Miho of Megatokyo has stated outright that she's older than she looks (about seventeen), though Largo thinks she's ancient.
  • Mr. Raven of El Goonish Shive looks fifty-ish, but he's old enough to have taught one of his current student's mother (herself about forty). At one point, we see him unconscious, and he actually looks younger, implying he has some sort of illusion spell going to make himself look older. Oh, and he's an elf.
    • Grace is 18. Not all that implausible, but this has caused some in-story surprise when people found out that she's the oldest person among the main cast.
  • Nina Delacroix of Eerie Cuties looks and acts like the comic's Token Mini-Moe, but she's the same age (14) as her friends and in high school.
  • Angela from Queen of Wands and Punch an Pie. She doesn't seem to mind it much, because hey, ordering off the kid's menu is cheaper and you get to color on the placemats.
  • Torg and Riff of Sluggy Freelance had been old enough to drink for multiple years (They had been giving each other beers for Christmas) at the start of the comic in 1997. Their comic makes note of major holidays, making Comic Book Time and real time correspond to a rough degree. But despite the fact that those two should be close to 40 years old now, neither they (nor anyone else in the strip) has noticeably aged.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • At the Super-Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe, Generator (Jade Sinclair) and Warlocke are both fourteen, but look only ten or eleven. Then there's Headmistress Elizabeth Carson, who looks like a hot movie starlet in her early thirties, but is actually over seventy. And there's at least one teacher there who's Really 700 Years Old: Circe. The Circe.
  • 18-year old Survival of the Fittest character Kimmy Redmond is described as looking about thirteen, which is simply down to physical immaturity rather than anything fantastical. There are also Laeil Burbank, who looks about 16, and Alice Jones, who is commonly mistaken for an elementary school student. A recent addition is V4's Celeste Beaumont, who looks like an under-developed freshman.
  • This trope is in full force in Deucalion Chronicles - to the point where it's easier to name characters that actually look their age. Almost everyone stops aging after a certain point, thanks to either natural magic or the alchemical solution Ambrosia. Some Outsiders barely age past puberty. The only exceptions are certain religious groups that refuse Ambrosia and non-CU worlds where it is unavailable.
  • Enrei Islio, 21 in Chaos Fighters II-Chemical Siege is called an 8-year old man due to this trope.
  • The Nostalgia Critic is 30, but still has the same babyface as he did when he was fourteen.
  • Similarly, while The Angry Video Game Nerd has definitely aged over the last three or so years, he still looks younger than his actual age (32).


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In Code Lyoko, Aelita is chronologically 22-23, but ten of those years were spent in stasis as a Digital Avatar in Lyoko. Because of this, she has far more knowledge and intelligence than any ordinary teenager, but she's still physically and emotionally 12-13, and is in a relationship with Jérémie, who's physically the same age.
  • Judging by the age of her daughter, Susan Vandom of WITCH is about 45 years old and works in IT. Judging by appearances she's about 25 and a professional glamor model. Compared to her, Cornelia's mom and Irma's mom are less mind-blowing, but still look nowhere near what middle-aged women should (or do) look like. Though we do get an idea where their daughters get it from...
    • Halinor, the blonde bombshell of the previous team of Guardians, still looks quite good for her age, with only a few facial wrinkles. She definitely doesn't look like she's pushing 60, and Yan Lin even comments on Halinor's youthful appearance when the two see one another in a second season episode. Similarly, when we meet Kadma (basically a grown up version of the Alpha Bitch) she's supposed to be at least in her sixties, maybe seventies. Physically she has, like, a line under her eyes and white hair...otherwise she maintained her prized assets and slender, youthful looks perfectly. Compared to her contemporaries, Yan Lin (who looks her age) and Narissa (who looks the Universe's age) one has to assume she's been either getting very good plastic surgery over the years or tapping her magic to stay young. Don't even get me started when all four turn into eye-popping teen hotties later.
  • Batman: The Animated Series has Mary "Baby Doll" Dahl, a former actress-turned-criminal who, due to a rare genetic disorder, continued to look like a small child even after reaching adulthood. Her anguish over being an adult trapped in such a body, and the public's refusal to respect and treat her like her true age, is the source of her criminal mindset. In a later episode, "Love is a Croc", she romantically teams up with Killer Croc, a similarly outcast bruiser who looks like a human crocodile.

Batgirl: What do you suppose they do on a date?
Batman: I don't want to think about it.

  • From The Simpsons:
    • Kearney (the bald, fat bully with the white T-shirt, blue pants, and studded wristbands): Even though he looks old enough to be in high school (yet he's been held back to the fourth grade for a long time), Kearney is actually older than that. He was alive when the Watergate scandal and the 1976 Bicentennial happened Lisa the Iconoclast, has a child from a divorce A Milhouse Divided, was in Otto the bus driver's third grade class The Mook, The Chef, The Wife, and Her Homer, is old enough to drink in a bar El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (though he often uses fake IDs Much Apu about Nothing or tricks Homer into getting him alcohol Last Tap Dance in Springfield" and that Mary Poppins parody episode from season 8), was tried as an adult and put in an actual prison "Realty Bites, voted in a U.S. Presidential Election Treehouse of Horror XIX, and has a car Lisa's Date with Density, even though he can be seen on the school bus. Of course, this can be interpreted as a satire on how children grow up too fast and how the most childish of men are somehow fathers before they're emotionally ready (it is The Simpsons after all).
    • Ned Flanders: All outside appearances seem to imply that Flanders is around the same age as Homer (late 30s/early 40s), but in season 10's "Viva Ned Flanders", Flanders reveals that he's sixty years old and looks young because he's never done anything sinful and crazy in his life.
    • One episode has Hans Moleman being 31 years old, but has aged significantly due to alcoholism. Other episodes show him to be a senior citizen due to Negative Continuity.
    • Krusty appears to be the same age as most of the prominent adults on the show, but it's implied that he's actually much older. Considering his harsh lifestyle (and the fact that his father is still alive and well), this is pretty impressive.
  • Shapey from Moral Orel looks, talks and acts like a 3-year old but he is actually seven.
  • Quagmire from Family Guy has been revealed to be 61. His secret is carrots.
    • Speaking of Quagmire, Quagmire's transsexual father from the episode "Quagmire's Dad" barely looks any older than his son. Quite impressive, given that he would have to be in his seventies or eighties.
  • In an episode of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Flapjack encounters what appears to be a creepy, annoying, wide eyed little boy who won't leave him alone. Finally he tells him "You need to grow up", and the "boy" responds "Grow up? I'm 38 years old!", which is followed by a Gross Up Close-Up of his wrinkled face.
  • Probably Mrs. Dr. Possible. In fact, in one episode of Kim Possible ("Mother's Day"), Dr.Drakken truthfully believes that she's Kim's sister.
  • Slurms Mackenzie's party girls from Futurama. Before he makes his Heroic Sacrifice, he says that they have served him well during the past 40 years. The two of them look to be about twenty years old.
    • Bender accuses the Planet Express ship of this because the ship has tubes.
    • And Fry is 1000 years older than he looks.
    • In one episode the entire crew jumped into an alien fountain of youth to reverse their rapid anti-aging and as a consequence all came out physically younger than their original ages (except for the Professor, who got even older). Which explains how after over ten years they all still look roughly the same age.
  • Magneto in X-Men: Evolution is at least as old as his movie counterpart, but looks only middle-aged the first time we see him without his helmet. In a later episode it turns out he uses his knowledge of genetics to maintain vitality and the appearance of youth, and when this fails him he reverts to his true age. Then he uses the Rebirth formula (which granted Captain America (comics) his powers) to de-age himself again, and looks like a young White-Haired Pretty Boy for the remainder of the show (on the rare occasions he's seen without his face-concealing helmet).
  • Mrs. Ridgemount from Stoked. She looks (and behaves) more as the older sister of her daughter Lo that her mother.
  • Mr. Garcia, Jonesy's father, from 6teen. He looks more as the older brother of his children. Heck, he looks younger that his new wife, Emma Masterson, Jen and Courtney's mother.
  • Crystal Zilla from My Dad the Rock Star, who looks barely older than her daughter!
  • Taken to an extreme with Aang in Avatar: The Last Airbender, who, thanks to a century spent in Suspended Animation, is technically 112 years old. He's still not the longest-lived Avatar, though; Avatar Kyoshi lived to the ripe old age of 230, while never looking any older than 40 in her appearances.
  • Henry and June of KaBlam!! are supposedly around 8 to 11 years old...yet depending on the artist for the episode, they look about 5 (could also be Rule of Cute in effect)
  • Invader Zim is described by Jhonen Vasquez as "older than any human alive". Whether that puts him into Really 700 Years Old territory or just Older Than They Look is the subject of much fan speculation.
  • The young adult male Smurfs are really about 100 years old (150 in the cartoon show), while Papa Smurf is 542. Of course, this could also be referred to as the Vague Age where it's uncertain what particular human age their ages are supposed to correspond to.
  • Miss Martian in Young Justice is actually 48 years old in Earth years, but since Martians age slower than humans, she has the mentality and maturity of a 16-year old.
    • Which makes it weird when you consider that her Love Interest is less than six months old.
    • Superboy is a bizarre example - he's technically Younger Than He Looks (being that he is chronologically 5 1/2 years old by the second season) but is mentally 21 in the body of a 16-year-old. It's stated that due to the cloning process, he will look 16 for the rest of his life.
  • Cute, pink-haired assassin Claire from Titan Maximum looks like she's eight, but Gibbs points out she's 24.
  • There was a clever variation in Courage the Cowardly Dog with the episode "Conway the Contaminationist", in which the eponymous Conway is in his 130s and can backflip around at will if he feels good—but, instead of looking distinctly elderly, he just looks bizarrely deformed.
  • Elmyra Duff from Tiny Toon Adventures looks and acts like she's somewhere between 5-8 but she's 13.
  • Cody in Total Drama Island, despite being 16 like his fellow contestants, he looks a little like a 13-year old boy.
    • Likewise, Dawn in Total Drama Revenge of the Island looks like a pre-teen despite being 16 in actuality.
    • A lampshaded example is Chris, who looks about 25, but is actually in his mid-forties.
  • Sarah and Jimmy from Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy look and act like they're around seven or eight, but are apparently old enough to attend junior high.


Real Life[edit | hide]

In General[edit | hide]

  • In general, anyone who is well below average height can fall under this trope. From the examples below, Frankie Muniz is 5'4" (where the average male height is 5'10"), and Senta Moses is 4'11" (average female height is 5'4"). However, below about 5'2" or so, there is a tendency for actors and actresses to look older than their real age, as they seem like adults the size of young children (or else suggest Miniature Senior Citizens). Danny DeVito (5'0") is a good example of this, having looked to be in his fifties since his mid-thirties (when he was working on Taxi). In cases of dwarfism (e.g., Verne Troyer, 2'7", born 1969), the effects of the condition itself can also cause premature aging.
    • Despite the effects of Parkinson's Disease, Michael J. Fox (5'4") still looks to be in his early twenties much of the time. He was born in 1961.
    • Not despite, because of: people with Parkinson's often look younger than they are because of the associated paucity of expression.
    • Daniel Radcliffe is also about the same height as Frankie Muniz—the producers of Harry Potter and Malcolm in the Middle really struck gold with them (especially now that the cast of Harry Potter are considerably older than their characters), as they were both cast as pre-teens, before they knew what height they'd end up.
    • Kristin Chenoweth. Age 43, 4'11", still looks early 20's-ish.
  • Many Asian and African people often look younger than Caucasians. Some Asians of short stature are sometimes mistaken to be teenagers and even in some cases pre-teens. Some Africans in turn look like they're in their early 20's even well above their middle age.
    • This even caused a problem for a Japanese Idol Singer when she went shopping in an American shop. The shopkeeper refused to process her credit card because she looked underage to him (when in fact she was in her 20's).
    • Also, Latina and Italian women tend to age considerably slower than normal.
    • Likewise, Nordic/Scandinavian people also tend to be padeomorphic.
  • People with Primordial Dwarfism look like toddler-sized Gelflings, despite being in their early teens or, in one exceptional case, their early thirties.
  • Often occurs with some female-to-male trans men, particularly if they're not on hormones.
  • Some autistic people are usually legitimately thought to be younger than they actually are, even if the onlooker does not know that they are autistic, strangely enough.
    • This phenomenon has been attributed to many autistics just not emoting much with their faces, so they tend to develop less wrinkles. The equally common wide-eyed expression (or "the autistic stare") many autistics have might also make them seem childlike.
  • Most of the United States' youth this generation. Seriously. For example, look at a high school student from 15–20 years ago and then look at one today. You're almost bound to see a big difference. Also, today's preteens often look barely into grade school.
    • Most of the United States' young and middle-aged adults also look younger today than they did 25–30 years ago. Many believe this is due to such factors as decreased smoking rates, better diet (in spite of the Obesity Epidemic) and better medical care. Watch, for example, Mork and Mindy. It's hard to believe Pam Dawber and Robin Williams were both in their 20's when that show was made, as Williams in particular looks to be at least in his mid-40's by today's standards.
    • The same effect can be seen, despite differences in living standards, diet (which include alcohol intake) and income, throughout the world, from Canada to Far Eastern Russia, while those improvements in lifestyle could not have happened that fast, in just 20–30 years, and they would not have affected people who had been mature by then (the generation who are now in their 50s). There is also, as a strange twist of fate to fulfil the theories of motivational speakers, the effect of voluntary aging or non-aging: if one or two generations ago maturity and old age brought higher respect and social position (there were no young college professors or CEOs) some people would try to gain these by accelerating their aging, changing their habits, facial expressions, voices and mentality to appear older. A lot of younger scientists or entrepreneurs from the pre-WWII years cultivated a fedora- or thick-rimmed-eyeglasses-wearing, pipe-smoking, rather weary image more for social reasons and less for sheer funkiness. If nowadays youth is prized, people would try at all costs to delay aging, by taking care of themselves better, keeping in touch with modern language and manners, keeping a modern appearance. Sometimes, as with Cool Old Guy s, they would be the same people.
    • Some of this is likely a perceptual issue based on the association between certain hairstyles, fashions, etc., and the current age of the people who wore them as teenagers (or whatever age). For example, if you see a Flock of Seagulls haircut on a 17-year-old in an old photo and it is currently the year 2015, you may, even without conscious thought, understand that said 17-year-old is currently approximately 50 years old. The "dated" look of the photo and/or elements of style within it likely artificially "age" the subject. However, put that same exact subject in a contemporary hairstyle and a crisp digital photo and he or she may not appear as "old."
  • Neoteny is an evolutionary process whereby an organism retains once exclusively juvenile traits into adulthood.
    • Humans have this trait. We grow up more slowly than other apes, and spend more time in the learning-conducive childhood stage. As adults, we remain childlike by ape standards, with high foreheads, flat faces, and less powerful physiques.
  • Due to advances in plastic surgery and make-up techniques as well as the nature of their jobs, most celebrities tend to deliberately appear younger than what they really are (see the Specific People folders below).


Specific People A-M[edit | hide]

To keep this section somewhat organized, examples are listed alphabetically by their surname. Do not add combined examples (listing more than one person simultaneously). Additionally, a link to a recent picture of the person is advisable, along with their actual age and perceived age, so that it gets the point across.

  • Danneel Ackles (formerly Danneel Harris) was 26 when she signed on to play 16-year old Rachel Gatina on One Tree Hill, but you never would've guessed just by looking at her, even now in her 30s, she looks barely out of high school.
  • Chris Addison in The Thick of It and In the Loop. He looks about twelve but is closer to forty.
  • The French actress Isabelle Adjani. She was born in 1955!
    • This is particularily striking in La Reine Margot, where she plays a 19-year old princess pretty damn convincingly. Despite being 39.
  • Casey Affleck is now thirty-six but looks about ten years younger. This is usually lampshaded in roles where He is acting alongside actors who are older and look it.
  • Keiko Agena was 27 years old when she signed on to play the 16-year old Lane Kim on Gilmore Girls (only six years younger than co-star Lauren Graham), and many fans couldn't believe it even when they learned her real age. In this case, the Dawson Casting worked out fantastically.
  • Freema Agyeman. She looks like she's in her early-to-mid twenties on Law and Order UK (her character has been working for the Crown Prosecution Service for about two years after law school - which she'd have completed at about 22 or 23 - as of series 4), despite the fact that she was 30 when the series premiered.
  • Also Jessica Alba, who looks almost exactly the same today as she did when she debuted in the late '90s. She blossomed early and maintained it all the way today, as she admitted that she already had "womanly curves" at a young age. Regrettably, the downside of this is that this is likely the reason for her complaint that she can't get the more serious roles that she really wants to have. Luckily, the upside of this is that helps keep her in-demand as a product endorser.
  • Damon Albarn from Blur\Gorillaz. In his late twenties he still could have easily passed for a 20–21 years old, and even today he looks at least ten years younger than his age.
    • Speaking of Gorillaz, 2D looks nowhere near his mid-thirties; even Wikipedia states that he "still looks like a teenager". Possibly to do with his spiky blue hair and seeming lack of ability to gain weight.
  • Christian Alvestam, the guy who sang for Scar Symmetry, is 35, but his bald head is the only thing that gives his age away. If he had hair, he could pass for his 20s. Even some of his fans on his official Facebook page stated this one some of his photos.
  • Jyoti Amge, 16, is the world's smallest girl. She is 1'11" or about the size of a 6 month old baby.
  • Jennifer Aniston. Does she look like she’s in her forties?
  • Shiri Appleby (of Roswell) is 33 years old as of 2012, and has been convincingly been playing teenagers for over fifteen years.
    • Even though she played a grown woman and mother of the main character on Life Unexpected, she still looked like a teenager!
  • Asia Argento is 36, but looks to be about ten years younger than that. Of course, she is Italian.
  • Billie Joe Armstrong looks like he's in his early twenties. He's actually 40.
  • Hirohiko Araki, as in the maker of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, seems to be aging backwards. Seriously.
  • Rowan Atkinson is 57, but could still pass for early-to-mid forties.
  • Adam Baldwin. Did you realize that he's 50? That means he was 40 during Firefly. How many people really look like this at forty?
  • Jamie Bamber is another one of these. He was 25 years old when he did the first Horatio Hornblower films but passed for a very convincing seventeen. This continued when he went on to work on Battlestar Galactica - he was 30 years old to Katee Sackhoff's 23, but they looked the same age (especially since Katee was playing a character a couple of years older than her actual age). Even now at 39 (which in and of itself is still relatively young), he can convincingly pass for someone in his mid-thirties rather than almost 40.
  • Hard rock singer Alex Band of The Calling practically defines this trope. Look at this picture as carefully as you possibly can. Good. Now try to guess how old he is. Check [dead link] these out if you still aren't sure yet. Most of you are probably going to guess that he's around 15-17. That couldn't be further from the truth. He's THIRTY!! I'm not lying. THIRTY!!
    • It's kind of ironic though, because his voice is extremely old and deep for his appearance. Picture this: Jesse McCartney when he was young with the voice of Scott Stapp from Creed except even lower.
  • Paul Banks of Interpol looks like he's in his early or mid 20s. He's 33.
  • Ditto for Drew Barrymore, who in her mid-twenties, was still able to pass as someone in her mid-teens. She's 37.
  • Actor Dante Basco is currently 36 but he doesn't look like he aged much at all since his role as Rufio in Hook and he was 16 back then, and today he still plays and voices teenage roles.
  • Shirley Bassey was born in 1937. And looks 50-ish. Heck, she looks younger than people born after her first hit (The Banana Boat song in 1957)
  • Warren Beatty is 21 years older than wife Annette Bening (who doesn't look too bad for her age). You'd never know it to look at them.
  • Kristen Bell is afraid she'll be stuck like this for a while. A female actress actually complained she may look younger for years to come. The horror.
  • Monica Bellucci is 47, but doesn't look any older than thirty.
  • Justin Bieber is 18, but he looks 15 at most.
  • Kathryn Bigelow is nearly 60 (Kathryn was 58 when she won her Oscar) but could easily pass for a 30-something.
  • Selma Blair of Hellboy fame is pushing 40 but still looks mid- to late twenties.
  • Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls is 30 as of 2011 but looks barely out high school for many years. She was on Conan recently telling him how she actually has to wear makeup to look older when she goes out and that a teenage boy hit on her when she was at the airport!
  • Brian Blessed is in his 70s but looks decades younger.
  • Ernest Borgnine looks like he's in his late 60s or early 70s. As of 2012, he's 95, and still going strong. His secret to longevity is self-explanatory.
  • David Bowie was 69 when he died... he just escaped the aging process.
  • Terry Bozzio (on the right), longtime drummer for Frank Zappa and co-founder of Missing Persons, is 61 -- ten years older than the also pictured John Stannard, president of Hammerax. This picture doesn't really do him justice, though - he must be seen in action.
  • Sarah Brightman is 51. She looks 40 at best.
  • As mentioned above, Steve Buscemi managed to pass as a 20-something metalhead when he was 36. Today, he's 54 but he looks like he's in his 40s.
  • Rose Byrne is 32 but looks to be in her 20's.
  • Actress Dyan Cannon is 75 but she looks to be in her late 30's - early 40's, apparently she's had a lot of plastic surgery.
  • James Caviezel, well into his 40s, looks like he's in his late 20s.
  • Japanese pro wrestler Cherry (no, not the one that was in the WWE) had a gimmick where, when questioned about her age, would claim she was "Forever 18". However she recently lost a match where she would be forced to show her passport and thus reveal her true age: turns out she was born on May 14, 1974... 37 going on 38! Twenty years older than what she was billed at yet looking far, FAR closer to her gimmick age.
  • Leslie Cheung just doesn't look like he ages. Not even after twenty years Leslie at age 46!
  • John Cho is 39 yet can still convincingly play twentysomethings.
  • Greg Cipes just turned 32? Are you serious?
  • Dick Clark, up until his stroke in 2004, looked no older than 45 years old... at 75. There's a reason he was called "America's Oldest Teenager"... His commitment to youth culture is such that he isn't a member of the American Association of Retired Persons. Even after the stroke, he still looks young for 81. Towards the end of his life, he looked about 60-65.
  • Jackie Chan was born in 1954, but nowadays, he looks like he's in his late 30's.
  • Michael Paul Chan (The Closer) looks no older than 45, despite being 61.
  • Kristin Chenoweth [dead link] is 43 years old. Forty. Three.
  • There's a reason people think Stephen Colbert is a Time Lord. He looks exactly the same now as he did in Strangers with Candy TEN YEARS AGO.
  • Gary Coleman had an autoimmune kidney disease, which, combined with the medications used to treat it, limited his growth to 4 ft 8 in, and his face retained a childlike appearance well into adulthood.
  • Monique Coleman (Taylor of High School Musical) is in her early thirties as of 2011. She got away with playing a teenager while in her mid/late twenties. It didn't help that she was the oldest of the main cast.
  • Chris Colfer is 21 but could pass for quite a bit younger.
  • Sean Connery is a subversion, because yeah, he does look old, no denying that, but he simply hasn't changed a bit from the day they shot Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade...and it was twenty-one years ago! See for yourself. Of course, that might not be the best reference point to use, since the production crew went to great lengths to make him look older than he actually was - at 58, he was 17 years younger than the character's implied age, and only 12 years older than Harrison Ford.
  • Alice Cooper is 64, but nowadays, he looks like he's in his late 40s.
  • Anderson Cooper, despite the white hair, looks like he could be in his 20's.
  • Miranda Cosgrove is 18, but could pass for a 9th, or even 8th grader if she tried.
  • Stephanie Courtney, who plays Flo in the Progressive Insurance commercials is 42?!
  • Professor Brian Cox is a 40-something physics professor who looks like a 20-something model.
  • Tom Cruise is pushing 50 but could easily pass for a man of about 35.
  • Benedict Cumberbatch is 35, but can still easily pass for mid-twenties. He is so ethereal and unusual looking that he skews any attempt to classify his age in comparison to more normal appearances.
    • During the UK premiere of War Horse, he asked how old a reporter was because he thought he was about his age. The reporter replied that he was 27, and said Cumberbatch looked even younger than he did.
  • Singer and actress/voice actress Elizabeth Daily is 50 but she looks like she's in her late 20's-early 30's.
  • Matt Damon and Josh Brolin are in their early 40s but anybody who saw them in The Coen Brothers' True Grit (or anything else for that matter) could be forgiven for thinking they're about ten-fifteen years younger.
  • Corina Danila [dead link], Romanian actress and voice actress in Cars, is 39. Her figure has never changed since 1994.
  • Stacey Dash is 46 and looks 26. She was 28 when she first played Dionne in Clueless.
  • Amy Davidson played the younger sister on 8 Simple Rules despite being six years older then her co-star Kaley Cuoco(who played the older sister).
  • Johnny Depp was born in 1963, but looks like he's in his early 30's.
  • Zooey Deschanel is 32, but can convincingly portray a teenage schoolgirl.
  • Khanh Doan, age 35, looks late teen-ish. Then again, she's Asian.
  • Declan Donnelly once revealed in a magazine interview that he was commonly mistaken for being underage by bartenders while in his mid to late twenties. He's now 34 and the effect is less pronounced, but he still looks quite young for his age.
  • Robert Downey Jr looks surprisingly good for his age, given his years of drug abuse and rough living. In Iron Man, He's in his mid forties and could pass for about ten years younger. This is especially odd as He was in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang a few years prior and looked like He was pushing forty.
  • Kirsten Dunst looks hardly any older at the age of 30 than she did when she was a teen star in the late 90s. Go on, look at this - does this look like the face of a woman who's less than a year away from her 30s?.
  • Jason Earles, aka Jackson, is in his 30's and married. He even mentioned on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, that when he takes his wife to dinner fans of the show would go to his wife and say "You must be so proud of your son". Awkward! In the first season of Hannah Montana, he was 29, playing a 15-year old character who looked that age.
    • In The movie "Dadnapped" he looks ridulous trying to play a character who is likely his own age named Merv . Plus coupled with the fact that the primary audience for this movie are people who know him as Jackson from "Hannah Montana" makes it even less believable"
  • Zac Efron (from High School Musical) is in his 20s, but looks teenaged. He said it best in his monologue to his tween girl fans on Saturday Night Live: "If it weren't for you, I'd be some random college student, instead of a college-aged man pretending to be a high schooler." And when he was 14, playing young Simon in a flashback on Firefly (yes, that's him), he looked like he was about 12.
  • Actor Robert Englund, famous for playing horror icon Freddy Krueger, is currently 65. Look at this picture. That is him now. He looks like he's in his early-to-mid-40's at least, and early 50's at most.
  • Anna Faris is in her mid-30s, but she looks at least 10 years younger.
  • Noel Fielding is 37 but looks about 25 and acts like a child.
  • Numerous actors and actresses (almost anyone named in Dawson Casting counts), but Isla Fisher stands out as someone who easily looks ten years younger than her real age.
  • Until very recently, original Ultravox lead singer John Foxx did not look his age. In this video, he's all of 33 (since the single was released in 1980 and he was born in 1947), and in this 1998 VH1 Europe interview he certainly doesn't look fifty-one.
  • Though you hear his voice more than you see his face, voice actor Crispin Freeman totally qualifies. He's 39 as of this writing but looks like he's early- to mid-twenties... just one of many reasons the fangirls love him.
  • There's an entire genre of international porn based on barely-legal girls who appear illegally underage. Obviously, this can get people into messy legal trouble. Columbian-born Lupe Fuentes gained international notoriety when her porn videos very nearly got a Puerto Rican man sentenced to 20 years for possessing child porn. What made the case notable was that it absolutely embarrassed the over-zealous prosecutor who, despite easily available proof online and on-file with the US Federal Government that Lupe Fuentes was indeed already of age, she stubbornly insisted that the actress couldn't possibly be older than 13-14, based on the sworn testimony of several expert witnesses who relied on the Tanner Scale. The defendant was overruled in the presentation of proof-of-age evidence and was only saved when Lupe Fuentes actually travelled from her then-residence in Columbia to personally appeared in court with documentation to prove that she was indeed already 19 years old when said videos were made.
    • The same thing happened in a case involving American pornstar Melissa Ashley.
  • Robert Flynn of Machine Head is 43, but looks like he's in his late 20's at most. Here's proof.
  • Michael J. Fox is 50, but often looks at least 20 years younger. His voice doesn't really help, either; would you believe he was in his 40s when he voiced Stuart Little?
  • Jason David Frank was 31 during the filming of Power Rangers Dino Thunder, but he didn't look like he aged too much since his previous seasons as Tommy and he was in his early twenties back then (well, 19 as the Green Ranger). This was pointed out in the first episode when Cassidy asked if Tommy was really old enough to be a teacher. He responds by saying, 'I can assure you, I'm old enough.'
  • Edward Furlong was 14 years old playing 10-year old John Connor in Terminator, and 21 playing a 16-year old in American History X. Even in his 30's he still has quite a youthful demeanor and high-pitched voice.
  • When Bill Gates was around his twenties, he was often mistaken for being a teen. Even today, he's 57 but could still pass for early-to-mid 40's.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar was 19, nearly 20 in fact, when Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered. She was baby-faced enough to look astonishingly convincing as a 16-year-old. She's now 35, and has only just begun looking like she's not a twentysomething.]
  • Summer Glau is another Whedon favourite whose small size, slender build, and delicate, childish features let her convincingly play characters who are supposed to be a good ten years younger than her actual age. (At the time of writing, March 2012, she's 30.) In The R. Tam Sessions, a then-23-year-old Summer managed to convincingly play a 14-year old girl.
  • Joshua Gomez, best known for playing Morgan Grimes in Chuck, is 36 years old, but looks like he is in his mid 20's. Here's Proof.
  • Selena Gomez, which can lead to some Squick-ish tendencies as this cover for Another Cinderella Story shows (Selena is 15 at this time, her love interest is played by a 25-year old, and Selena looks younger than she is.)
  • Lucas Grabeel, the guy who played Ryan Evans on High School Musical. He's in his late twenties (about 27 or 28), but pictures make him look about half that age. See for yourself.
  • Heather Graham is 42. In The Hangover, she played a role originally written for Lindsay Lohan, who's sixteen years younger than her.
  • Brooke Greenberg has an unknown medical condition that prevents her from aging. She is really 18 years old but still possesses the body of an infant and the mental capacity of a toddler.
  • Seth Green is pushing 40, but looks, acts, and dresses like he is in his later teenage years to early twenties. This is him at age 38.
  • Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy. This is her on the cover of a 2011 magazine. [dead link] She's 37.
  • Another Buffy alumnus, Alyson Hannigan, was 22 when she took the part of 16-year-old Willow, and 29 when the series ended. Not that you'd have known it, looking at her.
  • Singer and Actress Leisha Hailey was born in 1971 but still looks like she is in her mid to late twenties.
  • Tony Harnell of TNT. Nearing 50, looks mid twenties to early thirties.
  • Bob Harper, one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser, is 45.
  • Laura Harring is 48, and looks almost young enough to be her own daughter.
  • Melissa Joan Hart is starting to look older now, but she played teenage roles for a while.
  • Danielle Harris playing the 18-year old Annie Brackett in the Halloween remake when she was thirty. She's about to turn thirty-five and she could still pass off as someone in high school.
  • Popular professional skater Tony Hawk looks as though he's in his 20's, but was actually born in 1968.
  • Salma Hayek, 45, looks like she's in her 20s.
  • Florence Henderson
  • Shirley Henderson was 35 when she first played the eternally 13-year old ghost Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • James Hetfield of Metallica doesn't look a day over 30, even though he's really 48.
  • Actress and voice actress Dana Hill looked like a teenager for most of her adult life, she suffered from Type 1 diabetes which prevented her from growing past a certain age and it tragically took her life at the age of 32.
  • Overlapping with Dude Looks Like a Lady: Hizaki, guitarist for Versailles, is a 33-year-old man who can convincingly pass as a teenage girl.
  • Susanna Hoffs. She's 50 in this picture.
  • Joan Jett absolutely counts. She was born in 1958 and will be 54 later this year (2012). She looks the same age as people who were born when her first band formed.
  • Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage is 41, but looks like he's in his late 20's.
  • Dexter Holland, The Offspring front man - the only thing about his appearance that has changed in the last 25 years is his hair style.
  • Lead singer Hyde of the J-rock band L'arc en Ciel. In this video of one of his live performances, he's the guy in the gray jacket and red tie. Would you believe that he was almost forty in that performance?
  • One of the most common complaints, casting-wise, concerning Modern Family is the character of Haley Dunphy, who's supposed to be 16 but some say her character looks like "a tarted-up 12-year old." The actress portraying her, Sarah Hyland, is 21 years old. According to an interview in Nylon Magazine, she was nearly rejected for the role on the grounds of being too old (she was 18 at the time), only for her manager to assure the casting director, "trust me, she does not look 18." There are even flame wars on her IMDb page regarding her "real age."
  • Koshi Inaba the vocalist of the famed J-Rock band, B'z is currently 47. This is one of his recent photo
  • Hugh Jackman still looks very good for a man in his forties (Born in 1968). In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, his physique is just as impressive as it was when he made the first film ten years ago. Pretty fitting as Wolverine is over hundred years old and still fights like a man in his prime.
  • Samuel L. Jackson, born 1948, certainly does not look like someone who's 64 as of 2012. He looks a good 15 or 20 years younger than that.
    • He wanted to be in the Star Wars prequels because he was blown away watching the first movie in its original theatrical 1977 release when he was twenty-eight.
    • In The Avengers, You would certainly never think he is thirty to thirty-five years older than most of his castmates. Which is especially funny as his character, Nick Fury, took a drug which greatly slowed the aging process and who is still at peak condition.
  • Billy Joel is 63, and he does look kind of old, but that's only because of the hair. The face has stayed the exact same as it was 25 years ago.
  • Vincent Kartheiser, of Mad Men and Angel, was born in 1979 but barely seems to have aged since the mid nineties when he was teen. Even then, he looked younger (Larry Clark asked to see his driver's license before hiring him for "Another Day In Paradise" as he didn't believe he was eighteen at the time).
  • Jens Kidman of Meshuggah, anybody? He's 45 years old as of 2011, but not even his bald head prevents him from looking like he's in his mid-20s. Here's a recent photo.
    • As a bonus, he's the oldest person in the band, but looks the youngest. He even looks younger than bassist Dick Lovgren, who's 14 years younger than him.
  • Aaron Johnson is 22 but could easily pass for a 15 or 16-year old. He's also a dad.
  • Michael Jordan is 49, but he still looks pretty much the same as he did when he started in the NBA, and he was in his twenties back then.
  • Heather Lagenkamp is currently 48 but she doesn't look much older than when she played Nancy in the original Nightmare On Elm Street, during principal filming she was 19.
  • Paul Landers, rhythm guitarist of Rammstein, is in his late 40s, but could easily pass for someone in his early 30s. This what he looked like at age 45. [dead link]
  • Avril Lavigne is 28, but looks and acts at most 18.
  • Nigella Lawson was 44 when this picture has been taken, in 2004. This is a picture from March 2011. She looks even better.
  • Denis Leary hasn't aged noticeably in about twenty years; particularly amazing considering he's a 54-year old Irish chain smoker.
  • Jared Leto is 41. There has to be a picture hidden in his attic.
  • Joseph Gordon Levitt is now 30 but still has the same youthful face he had on 3rd Rock From The Sun.
  • Namgar Lhasaranova looks to be somewhere in her thirties, but her son is twenty, and she claims to have been already singing back in the 1980s. As with many other things about Namgar, her age remains an enigma.
  • Ray Liotta. He was on record saying, "It's the oily skin. It gives you zits when you are a teenager, but then it doesn't wrinkle as you get older."
  • James Lipton may not be the youngest man around, but he certainly doesn't look 86.
  • Heather Locklear is 52, but looks 10 years younger.
  • Alison Lohman could pass off as a teenager, if the dinner party scene in Drag Me to Hell and Big Fish are anything to go by. Her character makes use of this in Matchstick Men.
  • Jennifer Lopez is in her 40s, but she looks at least 10–15 years younger.
  • Ralph Macchio. He was 23 when the original Karate Kid was shot, but looked around 15, and now he is 50, but looks like he's just a bit older than half that age.
    • Even weirder, his voice hadn't even changed yet when the Karate Kid was shot!
  • Gabriel Mann (Nolan from "Revenge") is 40
  • James Marsters, when on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was in his mid-to-late 30's, playing a 20-something vampire. He's still barely aged and is now just shy of 50!
  • Demetri Martin is 38?
  • James Maslow of Big Time Rush looks about 17 or 18, but is actually almost 22.
  • Jessica Erin Martin, famous for voicing Samus Aran in the most recent Metroid game, is about 24, but looks 14, although she somehow was deemed "too old" when she auditioned to play an 18-year old role.
  • Sure he has white hair, but Steve Martin appears to have stopped aging around 30 years ago as of 2010.
  • Chris Matthews of MSNBC appears to be in his early 40s but is 64.
  • Paul Mc Cartney is nearly 70 but doesn't look older than mid fifties.
  • Anthony McPartlin, of the English comedy and television presenting duo Ant & Dec, with the other being Declan Donnelly, was born on November 15, 1975. This picture of him from 2009 certainly does not make him look like he was 34 at the time, looking at least 10 years younger than that.
  • Idina Menzel. One look at this image and I think most would be shocked to know she's almost 40.
  • Eminem (Marshall Mathers) is 40 but could easily pass for half that age.
  • Can anyone believe that voice actor Vic Mignogna is already 49 as of this writing?
  • Andy Milonakis, born January 30, 1976, has a congenital growth hormone condition that makes him look and sound like a teenage boy, despite being 36 as of 2012. Here's a picture of him from 2011, on the set of Waiting.
  • People still have trouble being convinced that Kylie Minogue is 44. Do you believe it?
  • Elizabeth Mitchell is 41, but looks no older than 30.
  • Masako Mizutani. It's no wonder why they're calling her "Japan’s Lady of Eternal Youth."
  • Roger Moore was 45 when he was first cast as James Bond in the 70s. Moore is, in fact, 3 years older than Sean Connery, yet he looked much younger. Though Moore started looking his age by the time his Bond tenure ended over a decade later.
  • Throughout the 90s and early 00s, Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth looked like he was in his early twenties while he actually was in his 30s and 40s, respectively. This applies to his bandmates as well, but then again, given the name of their band...
  • Despite being born in 1953, Rick Moranis looked like he never aged past the age of 26. Being 5'4 in height helps. Nowadays, he's pushing 60, but looks like he's in his forties.
  • RATM and Street Sweeper Social Club guitarist Tom Morello is 46 years old despite not looking older than his mid thirties.
  • Stephen Morris from New Order doesn't look like he's in his fifties.
  • Senta Moses is thirty something, but she could probably pass herself off as a teenager even easier. Her current IMDb photo was taken in 2010...when she was 37.
  • The former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, is 82 and looks like he's in his fifties.
  • Frankie Muniz anyone? He was 17 when he played Cody Banks, Seven-TEEN, playing a 15-year old character who looked like he was twelve. He's now almost 27, and is just starting to look a bit less like a kid in his early teens.
  • Audie Murphy's birthdate is somewhat debated, but it's generally agreed that he had earned all his combat medals by the time he was twenty, looking younger than that, and was probably at least twenty-five when he got his first lead role...as a teenaged delinquent in the b-movie Bad Boy. He spent the next few years as The Trope Kid in various westerns, and then as a thirty-year-old, he played his wartime self moderately convincingly in To Hell And Back. He moved away from late-teens characters after that, but continued to play naive, early-twenties characters fairly convincingly til about 1961, by which point he was in his mid-to-late thirties. He got considerably more weathered-looking after that, due to his outdoorsy lifestyle and the insomnia caused by his PTSD.
  • Cillian Murphy. It is VERY hard to pin his age down. He's 36.
  • Eddie Murphy just turned 50, but he still looks mostly the same as he did in his 20's.
  • In this video is actor Mitchel Musso, who is pranking one of his fans on a TV show. Watch the video and try to guess whether Mitchel or the fan is older. Done? Get this: Mitchel is 20, and the fan is only 15.

Specific People N-Z[edit | hide]

To keep this section somewhat organized, examples are listed alphabetically by their surname. Do not add combined examples (listing more than one person simultaneously). Additionally, a link to a recent picture of the person is advisable, along with their actual age and perceived age, so that it gets the point across.

  • Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers doesn't seem to have aged at all in twenty years. He's now pushing 45 and looks in his early thirties at most. This is despite being a member of two of the hardest rocking bands of the last twenty years and having taking an extreme amount of narcotics.
  • Takanori Nishikawa, aka T.M.Revolution: he is 5'3" and maintains the appearance of someone in their early 20's...but in reality he'll be 40 come September 2010. It's been said that he's so short because he didn't eat properly as a child.
  • Chuck Norris looks like he's in his early 40s but he's 71.[1]
  • Chris O'Donnell of Batman Forever and NCIS: Los Angeles fame is 41 (nearing 42) but his face has hardly aged!
  • Adepero Oduye, star of Pariah (not the videogame), plays a 16-year old girl. She's 33. Her on-screen mom Kim Waynes (AKA The Wayans Sister) could count too, seeing as she's 50.
  • Hayden Panettiere is likely to look like a teenager for a long time to come (she's 22). Being known for her lack of height adds to this.
    • Oddly, during her run on Heroes, when she was 18-19, some people thought she was in her late 20's. This was even alluded to when she was a victim in a Punk'd prank when a teen boy's mom confronted her about dating him.
  • Ellen Page is 25, but she could easily pass off as a teenager (and does, in several of the films she's in).
  • Sarah Palin looks about 30, too young to be Bristol's mother, but is 47.
  • Jeffrey Parazzo (a.k.a. Trent Fernandez) was 26 when he was filming his parts as the White Ranger, though most bystanders would probably assume he was in his late teens. Even today, he's 34 but could still pass for his mid-to-late-twenties.
  • Grace Park is 38 years old as of March 2012... hard to believe, isn't it?
  • Pinetop Perkins, the oldest person to win a Grammy, lived to be 97, but looked like he was in his mid-to-late-60s.
  • Jim Parsons turned 39 in March 2012. He looks, at the most, maybe 25.
  • Alfie Patten. The story of a 13-year old being a father is unsettling enough, but when he looks like he's even YOUNGER than that... But it turned out he isn't the father.
  • Adrian Paul looks pretty good for a man in his early 50's. But then, he IS the Highlander...
  • Pauley Perette is 42. The character she plays on NCIS is at least ten years younger.
  • Bernadette Peters is 64 but doesn't look much older than 40.
  • Russian model Olga Petrova is a Hot Mom who is 41, but looks a lot better than many women half that age.
  • If you go to the YouTube video of Kate Pierson and REM singing Shiny Happy People, you'll almost certainly see a commenter hitting on her. She was 42 when the video came out, and is currently 64.
  • Rene Pinochet, a Chilean voice actor (best known as Aang), is in his mid-30's, yet he still looks and sounds like a child.
  • Brad Pitt is forty eight years old?! WTF?!
    • To put this into perspective, He was in The Assassination of Jesse James and aged up by makeup even though Jesse James was ten years younger than Pitt was at the time (Although James' lifestyle made him look older). Think about that. He had to be aged up to play someone nearly a decade younger than himself.
    • Admittedly, Pitt looks fairly age-appropriate in Moneyball. Maybe not his age when filming (47/48) but definitely middle aged.
    • True and it fits the role very well. Still You'd have a hard time believing his age when he shares the screen with Philip Seymour Hoffman, who looks quite a bit older but is actually four years younger than Pitt.
  • Natalie Portman is 30 now, and still looks and sounds 20 years old.
  • Kyla Pratt. She's 24 (as of this writing) but would you know that if you saw her walking down the street? This actually leads to the "Prisoners of Pollyanna" problem, in that Pratt was a prominent younger actress, but because she looks younger than her age, some people expect her to act younger than her age.
  • Prince is in his 50s (53 to be exact, as of this writing), but he still looks the same way he did in the 1980s (which I'm guessing is around late-20s into 30).
  • Eddie Redmayne, recently 30 as of the time of writing this (February 2012), looks like he could easily be ten years younger than his real age - he plays a 20-year-old in Birdsong, and looks completely convincing.
    • Clémence Poésy, Eddie's costar in Birdsong, is only just 29 but looks like she's in her early twenties.
  • Keanu Reeves doesn't seem to have aged at all since the nineties and sure doesn't look like he was born in 1964. In fact, some people think he is immortal and it isn't as crazy a theory as it sounds.
  • Christina Ricci just turned 32 as of 2012. She once complained she usually feels especially vulnerable in regards to her personal safety and security, as she not only looks like child-like, she remains the size of one per contemporary US standards. In her late-teens, she could still bemistaken as someone a decade younger, if this film poster was any indication!
  • Condoleezza Rice is 57, but she looks much younger.
  • Denise Richards is 40. She just escapes the aging process, too.
  • Alan Rickman is 66 years old. Seriously. 66.
  • Italo-disco diva Tiziana Rivale is 51(almost as old as Madonna), but looks late 20's or 30's.
  • Kimmy Robertson was 36 when she appeared on Twin Peaks and appeared in various commercials throughout the late 80s/early 90s. Because of her high pitched voice and stereotypical 80s hair/outfits, she looked like she could pass for a twenty something. Pushing 60, she looks like she could be in her mid 40s to early 50s. http://www.zimbio.com/Kimmy+Robertson
  • Carol Roscoe [dead link](late 30's/early 40's), who has lately played several Dawson Casting roles, including Sheri in Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World.
  • French comedian Anne Roumanoff [dead link] is 46 and looks a lot younger.
  • Morgan Rowe (a Seattle stage actress, not to be confused with others with the same name), age 41, looks about 15 years younger.
  • This is Paul Rudd in 1995, then almost 10 years later, in 2004, in 2007,in 2009, and now this year (2012). As of this day, the man is 43, and since 20 years the only thing that changed is his hair. Not only can he still pass as being in his mid-twenties: he stopped growing older in his mid-twenties!
  • Winona Ryder just turned forty. If not for her being in the business for over twenty years, it would be easy to think she was closer to thirty.
  • Filipina singer/actress Lea Salonga looked barely into her teens when she originated the role of Kim in Miss Saigon. She was 17 when she auditioned, 18 when the show opened. Now 39, she could easily pass for mid-20's.
  • Andy Samberg is 34, but doesn't look or act a day over 19.
  • Susan Sarandon was born in 1946, and is just as much of a GMILF as Helen Mirren - in fact more so, since unlike Dame Helen she actually has children. And just like Mirren, her tits seem to exist in a place outside space and time.
  • Shakira is 34. Throughout her entire career, she could have easily passed for a teenager. Being barely 4'11" tall also helps.
  • William Shatner is 80 but could pass for 50.
  • Jake Short, the child actor who plays Fletcher from the Disney Channel series A.N.T. Farm. He looks like he's about 10 (see here), but looking at the picture, one would be shocked to know that he's actually 14. This gets confusion from most of his girl fans.
  • Michael W. Smith hardly looks a day over thirty, despite being 52.
  • Slash of Guns N Roses doesn't seem to have aged at all since the 1980's. He's now 46 but doesn't look older than his early thirties.
  • Will Smith still looks remarkably baby-faced in his 40's.
  • Pretty much nobody on the face of this damn planet will ever be 100% convinced that Little Richard is almost 80. This is a recent photo of him. He looks to be in his early 50s at most, despite having no plastic surgery.
  • Identical twin actors Dylan and Cole Sprouse definitely qualify. As of this writing, they are both 19, old enough to be freshmen in college. However, despite this, they barely look old enough to be freshmen in high school. Which is pretty stupid, since they were supposed to be seniors in the later episodes of Suite Life on Deck, but still looked like they were around 14 years old, although able to pass as a little older. And when they were 16 in the first season of the show (playing sophomores), they looked about 11. The fact that their voices took years to crack didn't help either.
    • This led to people believing that they were actually younger than their characters during the third season of Zack & Cody, as their characters were both to be freshmen in high school, but the twins still hadn't hit their first growth spurt and their voices were still undoubtedly childish despite being 15 years old at the time.
  • Ringo Starr just turned 72 years old, but he looks 50 at most.
  • Patrick Stewart is 72, but could easily pass for 50's. Hell, look at the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which he's 47, and you'd be hard-pressed to tell him apart from today. Which is really a subversion, because despite some extra wrinkles and filling out a bit, he looked the like the same old bald man we know and love when he was in his 30's. Which makes the younger, full haired cadet seen in the episode Tapestry hilarious.
  • Sarah Silverman is 41 - this is a 2012 picture [dead link]. She looks a decade or more younger.
  • Gwen Stefani. Does she look like she’s in her forties?
  • Sting is 60 and doesn't look much older than 45.
  • Regardless of whether it's due to expert plastic surgery or really fortunate genes, one would probably be shocked if they knew that the lovely Meryl Streep is 63.
  • Sarah Stiles (Joanne in Vanities: The Musical, as well as Lucy and Kate Monster in Avenue Q) is 32 (30 at the time of the off-Broadway production of the former), but looks and sounds teenage.
  • Could I direct your attention to a certain prominent politician from a certain South East Asian country? This is her in 1995, and this [dead link] is her immediately after release from house arrest in 2010. Did I mention she's 65?
  • Anyone who caught his cameo on 30 Rock would probably be surprised to learn that Aaoron Sorkin is fifty.
  • Taylor Swift is 21 going on 22 this year, although she could easily pass as 16 or 17. If anything, she looks younger now than she did when she was actually young.
  • Mr. T looks exactly the same today as he did over 25 years ago.
  • Arika Takarano, the lead singer of ALI PROJECT. She looks like this.. She was also born in 1963. SHE'S FORTY-SEVEN.
  • David Tennant. Take a nice long look at his picture. He's 40.
  • If Emma Thompson is 52, then whoever posted this is Mickey Mouse.
  • Tiffany Thornton from So Random looks about 16–19 years old, but is actually 26.
  • Jennifer Tilly, 53, looks like she's in her 30s.
  • Ashley Tisdale is 26.
  • Marisa Tomei is currently 48 at this time (2012) but looks much younger.
  • Alessandra Torresani (known from Caprica) looks about 14-15 but is really 25 (born 1987). Oh yeah, she has a black belt in taekwondo and has shown in a video interview with Wired that she's able to kick ass in 6 inch heels, her Combat Stilettos.
  • Jerry Trainor from iCarly. He's playing Spencer, a man in his mid to late twenties, but he looks like a college student and acts like one. Jerry is 34.
  • Alex Trebek is 72, but doesn't look much older than 50. It's probably because his mustache is gone.
  • Tina Turner is now 73 and she doesn't look old in this 2011 photo. Subversion in the fact she never looked young either, even in her pictures from 4 decades ago she has the same fortyish appearance.
  • Sofia Vassilieva (known from Medium) looks almost too young to be a teenager but is really 20 (born 1992).
  • Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance is 33 but still somehow seems to age backwards. This is despite all the drinking, drugs, coffee, and his ridiculous smoking habit.
  • Anyone who saw Avatar thought Sigourney Weaver looked damn fine. She's 62.
  • Betty White is 90 as of 2012, but looks to be in her mid 60s.
  • Porcupine Tree mainman Steven Wilson is 43 but could probably still pass for someone in their mid- to late-twenties.
  • Reese Witherspoon is 36 but looks at least 10 years younger.
  • Weird Al Yankovic is 52, but doesn't look any older than his mid-thirties. In fact, thanks to removing his ridiculous glasses, afro, and mustache he had in the 80's and 90's, he actually looks younger than he did when he was actually young.
  • Who knew Masaaki Endoh, Hiroshi Kitadani and Masami Okui of JAM Project are in their 40's?
  • Jack McBrayer of 30Rock is 38 but doesn't look past his mid-twenties. His character Kenneth is implied to be about 350 years old.
  • Roger Daltrey is 68. This guy is pushing 70?
  • Julianne Moore is 51, and hasn't aged noticeably in almost twenty years. This is especially bizarre when you consider how white her skin is; skin that pale generally doesn't age well. Also, her face tends to emote very well in movies, which is really hell on your skin. The only possible explanation at this point is she's a vampire.
    • On the other hand, it's been said that very pale people (especially redheads) can actually age better. Namely, very pale people are also prone to more frequent and more severe cases of sunburn than the average non-redhead. After a few hellish encounters, most of them realize that's it's probably in their best interest to keep their alabaster backsides indoors and take more preventative measures against the sun. Marcia Cross and Reba McEntire are equally famous for being both pale and immortal.
  • Owen Wilson. 43 years old, looks late-20's to mid-30's.
  • Say what you want about the quality of the movie, or his acting in it, but it's definitely a shock to find out that Tommy Wiseau was 48 when he made The Room.
  • Rachel Weisz is 42? 32, maybe.
  • Elijah Wood, as of the time Part 1 of The Hobbit releases, will be 32 years old. He doesn't look much older than he did when he was 18 years old and working on the Lord of the Rings films.
  • Milo Ventimiglia is 35 but looks 25 at the most. This made his relationship with Hayden Panettiere a little more unsettling in addition to the fact she was playing his niece.
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh is 50! Look at her page picture, that's recent.
  • Reba McEntire looks way too young for 57. Early 40s, maybe.
  • Voice actress Tara Strong is 39, but looks like she's in her late 20s.
  • Doug Hutchison played Percy Wetmore in The Green Mile. Percy is supposed to be 21; Hutchison was 39 years old at the time. He told Frank Darabont that he was in his early/mid 30s. When he went to audition for The Salton Sea, the director told him he was 'too young', resulting in Hutchison having to show him his drivers license which proved his age. He's now in his fifties but still looks like he's maximum in his 30s if not younger. All of this events seems to be even more interesting if we remember that his character in The X-Files, the first Monster of the Week Eugene Victor Toomes was a mutant without aging process who looked absolutely the same in 1930s, 1960s and 1990s thanks to eating human livers ripped off alive.
  • Lead singer of Mindless Self Indulgence, Jimmy Urine (actual name James Euringer) looks like he's at least in his early-to-mid 20's, but he's actually in his 40's. Doesn't stop the fact that he has a massive amount of fangirls.
  • Daryl Hall (b. 1946) and John Oates (b. 1949) of Hall & Oates, pictured here in 2008. Seriously, they look better than most people half their age.
  • Keith Richards, while not the world's most attractive man, certainly doesn't look like he's almost 70. Of course, the reason for this is obvious; he's well preserved.
  • The late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno until about 2007 looked no older than 50, despite being 80 at the time. But injuries from being very involved in practice (despite allegations of him being a powerless figurehead) have allowed for accidents to happen. After a myraid of injuries, he still doesn't look 85, but instead closer to 70.
  • Carrie Paff looks about 15–20 years younger than her actual age (late 30s/early 40's). Blondes don't usually age that well.
  • LL Cool J is in his early 40's, but doesn't look much older then 30.
  • Denzel Washington, a few grey hairs aside, barely seems to have aged since He was in Cry Freedom back in 1987. He's now 58 and seems perfectly at home in action films with actors twenty to twenty-five years younger.
    • The Book of Eli would like to argue otherwise but at the same, it was the post-apocalypse.
  1. (Read from right to left).
  2. The preceding line is "If a woman tells you she's 20 and looks 16... she's 12".
  3. For those of you less familiar with metric, that's 4'8", 4'8¼", and 4'6" respectively