Puppy Love

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Awwww! And they aren't even in high school and probably never hit puberty (except their voices getting lower)! Aren't they cute?

We played Nintendo!
This was her very first date
I didn't wanna make it seem too fly.
We ate cereal!
She couldn't stay out at late
Her mother told her to be home at nine!

Awww! Don't they make a cute couple? C'mon! You know they were totally made for each other!

What do you mean they're both only eight years old?

Sometimes it happens that two characters display a startling amount of chemistry, even though they're both barely old enough to be interested in the opposite sex—heck, they might even still be in the "Boys/girls have cooties!" stage. (Which may help explain their proness to the Crush Blush; it's embarrassing!) It may be attempted by the authors if the show deals with characters of that age group, but still wants to add in a romantic subplot. Because the couple hasn't reached puberty yet, there's no sexual component to the romance. Expect nothing more than hand holding and maybe a chaste kiss.

This trope is Older Than Television. It can also be Truth in Television as many people get their first Precocious Crush sometime during Elementary School.

Please note that this does not automatically qualify as Squick since most examples involve innocent childhood crushes between the two. Most writers let these characters age a bit before making moves. Some... don't.

Sometimes this is referenced as happening in the past, when (usually the woman) says she started chasing the man back when they were six (or eight or whatever), and "it took me [X] years to catch him -- but it was worth it." Often a result of a Victorious Childhood Friend. Can be quite sad if she's trying to encourage an Unlucky Childhood Friend. See also Childhood Marriage Promise and Kidanova. Opposite of December–December Romance.

For the Shipping version, see Toy Ship.

Compare/Contrast: Lolicon and Shotacon. May be due to a Relationship Writing Fumble or the fact that Most Writers Are Adults. See also Father, I Want to Marry My Brother.

Examples of Puppy Love include:

Anime and Manga

  • Chris and Joy, in Superbook of all places. She even mentions that they will get married when they grow up.
  • Similarly, hints of Justin and Angie in Flying House.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Erio and Caro are set up as this, up to and including their Crash Into Hello. This would make it one of the few overt (and straight) relationships in the fandom, and yet the theme of True Companions is so strong in the series they aren't even aware of being set up for a date at one point. Then again, Erio also doesn't seem to notice he's the only boy either... Subsequent stories make it clear that Caro was aiming for him all along, and has been managing a three-year plot to get him. She succeeds.
  • Bu-ling and Taruto in Tokyo Mew Mew. She kisses him at the end of the manga.
  • Mamoru and Hana in GaoGaiGar. One episode even mentions a possible Childhood Marriage Promise... even though they're still in their childhood. At the end of the anime, all the other little kids get Hana into full wedding regalia and 10-year-old sister because she gets to work alongside Mamoru.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura Sakura and Syaoran. Then again, this type of pairing is child's play for CLAMP (pun intended).
  • Inuyasha: Kagome's brother Souta and his girlfriend Hiromi (might be Anime only).
    • More definitely, Kohaku and Rin, though the ending is ambiguous.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Chibitalia and the Holy Roman Empire. They even kissed in canon. And lots of hints point at them being together again as adults, Laser-Guided Amnesia and HRE apparently mistaking Chibitalia as a girl thanks to the maid outfit notwithstanding.
  • Daa! Daa! Daa! includes Momo, age 3, who has a crush on Ruu (or Luu), a baby. Ruu's inability to speak in sentences makes it hard to say whether he reciprocates. Somehow, Ruu also...involved with his Not Blood Siblings in the Sequel Shin! Daa! Daa! Daa! (set after huge Time Skip).
  • Inverted in Black Lagoon with Hansel and Gretel. While they are two young kids in a pretty loving relationship, it is played purely for Squick value.
  • Kisa and Hiro in Fruits Basket. Hiro had even confessed his love for her to Akito. Alas, Akito did not approve of the relationship... and severely injured Kisa. That was the start of Hiro's problems...
  • Al and May in Fullmetal Alchemist. May is understandable since she looks to be about eight and girls usually have crushes by that age. He's 14, but his voice and mind are stuck at 10 due to his soul being trapped in a suit of armour.
  • Fairy Tail's Natsu and Lisanna play family. It won't go much further than that, though. Even after she came back from Edolas, nothing much else has happened between them so far, and lately she seems to have gotten rather close to Juvia.
  • In Candy Boy, Kanade and Yukino have this going on during the flashbacks of their early childhood.
  • Keitaro and Naru started this way in Love Hina when they met and fell in love they were both BELOW grade school age. Naru however later forgot. Also Mutsumi and Keitaro or perhaps even Mutsumi and Naru considering she may well have been in love with both.
  • Sonic X had Tails and Cosmo, and it ended tragically.
    • Either this or Shotacon is implied with Chris' family in Sonic X (or poor planning on the writer's part). His paternal grandfather was only 12 when Chris' dad was born.
  • Hayate and Athena in Hayate the Combat Butler had this when they were six. (Or at least he was. She might be Really Seven Hundred Years Old.) When they met again ten years later, Hayate still loved her.
  • Takumi and Akira (both 12-13 years old) in My-HiME is another "becomes canon" case. This only applies to the anime, as in the manga, Takumi, once possessed by the Obsidian Lord, shows off his newfound power by attempting to strangle Akira to death.
  • Outlaw Star episode 20, "Cats and Girls and Spaceships," has Jim (11) have a short lived romance with a girl about the same age named Hanmyo. It ends in tragedy; serious Tear Jerker.
  • Naota and Ninamori in FLCL. It helps that out of all his possible love interests, she's probably the only one sincerely in love with him, as well as being the only one who's remotely sane.
  • Along with the three official main couples, Junjou Romantica periodically does stories for "Junjou Minimum" about Usagi and Hiroki when they were kids and living next door to each other. Despite the fact that the audience knows from the start the relationship is doomed, it's still adorable.
  • At the start of Cross Game, 11-year-old neighbors Wakaba and Koh are treated as all-but-girlfriend-and-boyfriend by their families, with Wakaba even kissing him on the cheek as a reward for favors. The only person more annoyed by this than the boys in their class is Wakaba's just-younger sister, Aoba. Too bad Wakaba dies at swimming camp before the end of the first volume/episode, leaving Koh with an unfulfilled relationship overshadowing his life for the next several years, including his friendship with Aoba.
  • Future Boy Conan: Conan and Lana, both "around ten," according to one character.
  • Yahiko from Rurouni Kenshin and his love interest, Tsubame. Both are around the same age, with the former around 10 years old during his introduction in the series.
  • Esteban and Zia in The Mysterious Cities of Gold.
  • Obama-kun and Hilary-chan in Yatterman. Yes.Really.
  • Link and Zelda, in the manga adaptation of Four Swords Adventures; he brings her flowers, they hold hands, and it's painfully adorable.
  • Hanamaru Kindergarten has this between Yuu and Koume. They're both kindergarten students, and it's really quite adorable since it comes from Koume.
  • Haré×Guu in Haré+Guu. Likewise Haré×Mari and Haré×Rita. Yumi's interest in Haré is another matter entirely.
  • Nike (13) and Kukuri (12) in Mahoujin Guru Guru.
  • Baba Lamune (12) and Miruku (may be 12) in NG Knight Lamune & 40.
  • July and Suou from Darker than Black.
  • Sara Crewe and her carriage driver, Peter, from Shokojo Sera. She's nine, and Peter is probably around the same age. Not only does he remain loyal to her after she loses her fortune, he also insists on addressing her as "Miss Sara", gives her a gift whenever she can (including a rose and an apple), helps her out of tight corners several times, and gets a bad attack of the blushes whenever she expresses her gratitude to him. Near the end, when Sara is sent away from Miss Minchin's Seminary, he even gives her a home with his parents for a while, and helps her find work as a matchgirl.

Comics

  • Amelia Rules, despite being great in most other respects, abuses this trope and seems to have built later parts around it. Although occasionally averted or lampshaded, this trope is mostly played straight; the eponymous character (who is nine years old) has two love interests (also nine).
  • In the early strips of Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin and Susie Derkins, despite all of their fighting. They are 6. See her first and second mentions. Calvin even breaks the fourth wall at some point after some verbal sparring to admit, "It's shameless the way we flirt."
  • Jason Fox and Eileen Jacobson in FoxTrot. They're 10.
  • Dennis the Menace US: Dennis Mitchell and Gina Gillotti.
  • Love Is... is ostensibly cutesy expressions of love illustrated by cherubim. However, it also fits Homer Simpson's description: "It's about two naked eight-year-olds who are married."
  • Little Nemo in Slumberland: Nemo and the Princess.
  • Nancy and Sluggo.
  • Ten-year-olds Viola D'Amore and Petey Otterloop in Cul De Sac.
    • And Dill has already said that he plans to marry Alice when they grow up. They're four!
  • Peanuts has several, although they're all unrequited crushes.
    • Charlie Brown is in love with the Little Red Haired Girl.
    • Lucy is in love with Schroeder, to the point of fantasizing about them being married.
    • Schroeder is in love with his piano.
    • Sally is in love with Linus.
    • Linus for his teacher and for the girl who keeps changing her name.
    • Marcie is crushing on both Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty, Peppermint Patty is crushing on Charlie Brown and doesn't appear to have noticed Marcie's crush on her, and Charlie Brown can't figure out why both of them keep calling him, having awkward conversations, and hanging up...
  • Journey Into Mystery has kid Loki and the mistress of Hel's handmaiden, Leah. Like Calvin and Susie, they also show a degree of sexual tension, though Loki insists that they're "B.F.F."s.
  • Sophia and Carl in The Walking Dead.
  • In PS238 it's Tyler, who's completely normal, and Julie, a.k.a. "84" (the eighty-fourth Flying Brick). He compliments her by saying she'll be a great hero and she responds with a near-bonecrushing hug -- both of them have had problems with self-esteem and standing out, so why not?
    • Reinforced later on when she gives him a life-saving blood transfusion.
    • And further still in the trip to Argos, where in order to bring him along she names him her consort, not exactly knowing what it means.
  • Franklin Richards and Katie Power, the youngest Power Pack sister.
  • Ariella Kent and Klarion the Witch Boy.
  • Heart and Dean of Heart of the City are pretty much the comic's Official Couple, as far as it has one.

Fan Works

  • Franklin Richards and Maria Stark in All That Remains, an Avengers fanfic by Kijikun.
  • There exists a fanfic of Cody and Penny from The Rescuers and Down Under titled Adventures in the Outback.
  • Lian Harper and Ceridian (Tempest's little boy) in DC Nation.
  • A combination of reveals around series 4 of Skins has resulted in a clutch of fics exploring Naomi and Emily's Toy Ship potential (the book notes that Emily's been in love with Naomi since middle school (approx. ages 8 to 12), while the S4 finale reveals that Naomi fell in Love At First Sight when she was 12).
  • The KaBlam! story Goodbye June. The fact that Henry and June (also listed under Western Animation) like each other was mostly hinted at on the show, but this story has them separated and heartbroken because they miss each other so much. It ends with them reuniting, at which point they declare their love for each other (Henry's only recently started crushing on her, but June's crushed on him since preschool!) and kiss. They even propose marriage to each other in advance, although Henry does mention that it's a ways off and they're way too young to be having this conversation. Though if the characters aged in real time, they would probably be in their early teens around the time this story is set.
  • Phoenix's SSBB Case Files has a case where Pearl has an obvious crush on Pit.
  • Deserving, by way of an epic Relationship Writing Fumble, introduces one between two toddlers.
  • It's fairly common in Harry Potter fanfics for an original character to start crushing on, if not outright dating one of the main characters (usually Harry or Draco), despite the fact that they've just started school and are therefore only eleven. Admittedly, this is not limited to relationships. In fics that fall into this trap, the eleven year old children tend to act more like eighteen.
  • A number of Heroes fics pair Micah with Molly. They do have a fair amount in common, especially after Micah's parents are both killed.

Films -- Animation

Films -- Live Action

Wednesday: Joel, I may never see you again. There are forces tearing us apart - Gary, Debbie, 7th grade.

  • Peter Pan The 2003 movie. A lot of critics were creeped out. To be fair, this one is in the book. Peter never grew up so he doesn't understand this, but Wendy and Tinkerbell are not competing to be his best friend... hence the whole thing with the "kiss".
  • The Phantom Menace gives us 9 year old Anakin and 14 year old Padme. This, of course, gets reciprocated; but not until he's much older.
  • Little Manhattan is Puppy Love: The Movie, as it's about a 10-year-old boy who falls in love with his 11-year-old friend.
  • A Little Romance is also Puppy Love: The Movie. Lauren and Daniel are about twelve and attempt to conduct their affair as mature partners would, even going to Venice with an adult friend. One of Diane Lane's first pictures, and some still think her best.
  • Francois Truffaut loved this and used it in Small Change and Peppermint Soda.
  • The Blue Lagoon (film, more than book) starts out this way.
  • Hook: Peter's reason for leaving Never Land and wanting to grow up was when he saw Wendy's granddaughter, Moira. His physical age was revealed to be 12 at the time, and she appears to be the same age.
  • I Could Never Be Your Woman: The movie's main plot involves Michelle Pfeifer's character dating a much younger man, while the sub-plot revolves around her daughter being involved in this trope.
  • Independence Day: Patrcia Whitmore, the President's daughter, and Dylan Dubrow, Steven Hiller (Will Smith's character)'s stepson, though it's kept very chaste.
  • The Karate Kid, the 2010 remake. Dre Parker and Mei Ying are both about twelve. It's cute for the most part, though some reviewers found the speed with which they get to kissing each other on the lips disturbing.
  • Knowing Caleb and Abby.
  • Little Manhattan. This is the entire plot. Cutest. Romantic comedy. Ever.

"Mom, it's not a play date."

Daniel: Aren't you a bit too young to be in love?
Sam: No?

  • Forrest Gump has Jenny and Forrest as children.
  • In Mean Girls Cady (Lindsay Lohan) reveals in her narration that before meeting Aaron, her crush in the film, that she only had one other crush in her life, a boy named Nfume, when her family was in Africa. A flashback briefly shows her telling him she likes him. She then says it didn't work out.
  • Spy Kids 2: Juni and the President's daughter.
  • When I Turned Nine: Done here and in several other Korean romantic-comedy or drama films.
  • Guest From the Future: Alisa and Kolya.

Literature

  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is loaded with this, seeing as it's a book about puberty.
  • The Baby Sitters Club In a Valentine's Day-themed book, the girls discuss how cute the crushes that a couple of kids they regularly sit for have on each other are.
  • The Encyclopedia Brown series has several cases that Encyclopedia solves involve friends of his or other kids around the same age as him and their love interests.
  • His Dark Materials: Will and Lyra—At the close of The Amber Spyglass, they are (implicitly) thirteen, and their daemons have just "settled", indicating they are on the verge of puberty. Some fans are a little put off by this, especially because, to fulfill The Power of Love, after a slow, tense, sensuous buildup to their First Kiss, the two touch each other's daemons, a powerfully forbidden and intimate act on par with having sex.
  • How to Get Married... by Me, the Bride, a picture book, by Sally Lloyd Jones and Sue Heap.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Bran and Meera. She's sixteen, and he's nine. Although this might count more as a Precocious Crush on Bran's part, since Meera doesn't seem to treat him as anything more than a friend.
    • Jaime and Cersei. Well, technically.
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien's semi-autobiographical novel, features the story of Timmy and Linda, quite possibly the saddest story in a novel centered around The Vietnam War.
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians starts off this way between Percy and Annabeth in the beginning, but their relationship doesn't actually begin until they're both sixteen.
  • Matteo and Ruth in Someone Else's War, though it's by no means the main focus of the book.
  • A. A. Milne. Christopher Robin and Anne in a few works of his, for example "Buttercup Days" in Now We Are Six.
    • Note that, like C. R. Milne, Anne was a real person; Now We Are Six is dedicated "To Anne Darlington, Now She Is Seven And Because She Is So Speshul". In fact, when Christopher married Lesley de Selincourt at the age of 28, his parents disapproved at least partly because she wasn't Anne. One True Pairing indeed.
  • Below the Root mentions this -- very obliquely -- as a fact of life in Green-sky. In the overpopulated underground city, of course, it's taboo.
  • Brave New World It's thought of as odd if children don't explore sexuality with one another. Arguably justified because it's obvious Huxley intended the work as a dystopia and a satire, but still.
    • Truth in Television (or Literature, whatever) as most child psychologists will tell you that things like playing doctor are perfectly normal and to be expected. A child who has no interest in such is often considered out of the ordinary. The only real difference between Real Life and Brave New World is that the state facilitates this sexual exchange in the novel while playing doctor is usually done in secret IRL.
  • The Fudge series by Judy Blume entry, Fudge-A-Mania. Fudge and Mitzi. Earlier, the third and previous book, Superfudge featured sixth grade Peter at the movies with a girl named Joanna, in which they end up holding hands and his friend tease him about it afterwards, but he and Joanna aren't mentioned as continuing it afterwards.
  • Stephen King's novel IT is the king of this trope. During the 1950s section of the story, the six main male characters (all 11 years old at this time) all have crushes of varying degrees on Bev Marsh (also 11 years old). For most of the book it seems pretty typical for a coming of age story... until Bev decides that they all need to lose their virginities, and has sex with each of the boys one after another.
    • To make things particularly Squicky, the book describes these events with some amount of detail. Remember, these are child characters at the time.
  • Let the Right One In: 12-year-old Oskar and eternally 12-year-old androgynous: born a male, castrated before puberty then made into a vampire Eli, sharing kisses and secrets and eventually running away together.
  • The Little Vampire series by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg has Tony and Anna. He likes her, and she certainly likes him, but Anna is a 150 years old vampire, and Tony neither wants to become a vampire, nor does he want to get involved in a Mayfly-December Romance. The Movie solves this problem when the vampires become human in the end.
  • Petaybee: In the earlier books Diego and Bunny qualify, though by the later ones they have probably grown too old to fit.
  • Peter Pan and its various adaptations qualify, as Wendy's age and Peter's physical age vary depending on the version, as does Tiger Lily's.
  • Redwall: Word of God about Matthias is that he was thirteen during the time period of the book, and Cornflower was about the same age. (Which makes the bit where Redtooth and Cluny grin at each other and make comments about her being a "pretty mousemaid" insanely Squicky.) By the end of the book, they're married, and they have a baby by the same time next year. However, they're mice, and in the later books the animals are described as ageing in ill-defined "seasons" (it's not really mentioned in the first book, it seems to be assumed that they age in years, but Continuity Drift is rife anyway), so if one wants to reduce the squick one can say they could have been the equivalent of seventeen by the time they had the baby.
  • Young Wizards: Roshaun and Dairine have a little bit of this given that Dairine is 11 when she meets Roshaun, and Roshaun is... well from another planet where time reckoning is different. Helped by the fact that Dairine has experienced a lot in her life and is more mature then your average 11 year old (the same can be said for Roshaun)... then again, she's not mature at all.
    • Due to the... admittedly wonky timeline of the books, Kit and Nita are only eleven and twelve when they meet, respectively, and though they're older now that this ship has become canon, shipping speculation by fans for the two started early on.
  • The Xanth series. Ted and Monica by Piers Anthony had people playing matchmaker for them since they were three.
  • In the Just William books, 11-year-old William has a couple of occasional love interests, including Dorinda and Joan. Some readers ship him with Violet-Elizabeth Bott even though she is his nemesis.

Live Action TV

  • El Club de los Tigritos was big at this. Venezuelans old enough to have been a kid in The Nineties would remember all the tween soaps this show spawned, especially the ones done as kid salsa orchestra Salserín vehicles. It seemed that once you surpassed the eleven years old mark you could engage in your first Love Triangle.
  • Carrusel and other Mexican kid soapies since it, while more subdued than other examples, tend to have a sub plot of this kind.
  • Everybody Hates Chris Chris and his big love, Tasha (although the other Wiki describes their relationship to be deliberately platonic). To strengthen their newly-forged friendship (which he had been looking forward to for more than a season), he invites his notary public with a stack of documents. Ironically, it is Chris, who ultimately breaks up with Tasha. In the same episode.
  • House The episode "Two Stories" subverted its usual formula of opening with a scene of someone doing something and then someone (sometimes the same person, sometimes someone else) falling extremely sick, instead focusing on a pair of kids about to make out behind the school at recess when a teacher catches them...and then when they get taken to the principal's office, Dr. House is there as well and is in trouble for some shenanigans at Career Day. Most of the episode is then told in flashbacks, and upon seeing the class that House was talking to, it becomes quite obvious that this is an elementary school. (It eventually comes to light that these characters-of-the-day are fifth graders, which is actually about the right time for kids to begin putting aside their "girls/boys are yucky" feelings from when they're younger.) The kids then manage to show that they're much more mature than House when it comes to handling relationships.
  • Malcolm in the Middle Although he doesn't star high school until the 4th season, Malcolm has quite a few girlfriends and love interests before then.
  • The Nanny occasionally has moments of this with Grace and boys her age, as well as with Brighton while a pre-teen and girls his age.
  • Dårfinkar & dönickar (Loonies & Phonies), a Swedish TV series from 1989 about a 12-year-old girl, Simone, who goes to school as a boy. Simone and her classmate Isak fall in love, while another classmate, Kattis, crushes on the boy she thinks Simone is, and Isak and Kattis have a brief flirtation. Two other kids in their class, Anna and Pepsi (yes, Pepsi is a nickname, not an actual Swedish name) also seem to have a thing.
  • Livet enligt Rosa (Life According to Rosa), another Swedish kids' TV show, portrays its 12-year-old protagonist having crushes on five guys and relationships with three of them before she realises her best friend Ville was the one for her all along.
  • In Ebba och Didrik, also a Swedish kids' TV show, 9-year-old Ebba and her best friend and sweetheart Philip love one another devotedly. They are building a house together in the woods and plan on living there, till Ebba meets Martin, a poor little rich boy with lots of flashy toys.
  • Eva & Adam, yet another Swedish kids' TV show, follows the romantic fortunes of its title characters, about 11–13 years old, who become a couple early on. Their classmates have various romantic entanglements too; indeed, Eva and Adam ship their respective best friends as a couple and try to get them together. It...almost works. Yes, Swedish kids' TV loves this trope.
  • The Mexican Soap Opera Carrusel has several, seeing that around 80% of the cast was formed by kids no older than 10-12. The most notorious ones are Cirilo's onesided crush on Maria Joaquina as well as David and Valeria (and the brief love triangle with Margarita).
  • Hannah Montana: Lily and Oliver, while there was plenty of normal shipping for them, and they did become a couple, one episode revealed that they had known each other since kindergarten and that they had held hands one day, though Lily insisted it was just because she had wanted to borrow Oliver's crayons.
  • iCarly: Carly/Freddie in the earliest episodes. The 3 kids are just barely starting puberty, whilst it's probably Freddie still hadn't considering how massive the change was when he did, his change from pre-puberty to teen is startling and dramatic.
  • That '70s Show: A flashback revealed that Eric started crushing on Donna as soon as they met, when they were about five or six. Also, in the same episode, Jackie and Kelso are shown to have been playing doctor around the same age. Kelso considers this their first date because he got farther with her at that time, then on their actual first date.

Music

  • A Lambada by Kaoma. The little blonde waitress and the dark-skinned percusionist boy featured in the video.
  • Iesha by Another Bad Creation, the song quoted above. One of the stranger examples. ABC were a preteen quartet discovered by Michael Bivins, and the song recounts the lead singer meeting Iesha at the playground and falling in love with her "on the monkey bars". It's a little... odd.
  • 'Tighten Up by The Black Keys.
  • "Europa and the Pirate Twins" Thomas Dolby, a song about very young lovers separated by war. Possibly allegorical.
  • "Rebecca Lynn" by Bryan White. It's about two children, including the title character, who fall in love "long about the start of second grade", and grow up to become each other's Victorious Childhood Friend.
  • Concrete Angel by Martine McBride. The little neighbor boy falls for the little girl protagonist. It doesn't end well. Or it might.
  • "Anne Marie and Jean Pierre" by the Smothers Brothers tells the story of two young lovers in France who decided to run away and get married. After they get hungry and darkness falls:

They came home, but not too late
For Anne Marie was seven, Jean Pierre was eight.

Theater

Video Games

  • Castlevania 64 One of the imperfect endings suggests a likely relationship between Carrie and Malus. It would be cuter if Malus wasn't, you know...
  • EarthBound has Ness/Paula. MOTHER 1 has Pippi strongly hinting a crush on Ninten.
  • Harvest Moon/Rune Factory In some of the games, you essentially take part in this yourself if you decide to ship your first character's child with another child.
    • There are more conventional examples throughout the series: Stu and May in Back to Nature and Friends of Mineral Town, Hugh and Katie in A Wonderful Life and HM DS, Charlie and Eliza in Island Of Happiness, Rahi and Ying in The Tale of Two Towns, Cecilia and Nicholas in Rune Factory and Candy and Marco in Rune Factory: Frontier.
    • In Rune Factory 2, you can invoke this for your own character - the game's second half has the progatonist's child as the player character. He or she can "get married"[1] to one of their friends. One of your options is a pair of Cloudcuckoolander twin sisters who don't really get the whole thing and think "marriage" has something to do with toast.
  • The Legend of Zelda series: This is partly what has earned Link (at least the Ocarina of Time version) his reputation as a Kirk-level ladies' man. Saria and Princess Ruto both had crushes on him (though how much he reciprocated those crushes varied, he seems more afraid of Ruto than anything). There is also the fact that one of the Gossip Stones talks about how Malon is waiting for a "Knight in Shining Armor" to come sweep her off her feet. Link carries a shield and sword and is possibly either the founder or related to the Knights of Hyrule.
  • Psychonauts Lili and Raz end up kissing, even though both are 10 years old. Lili and Raz far from the only pairing. It almost makes one suspect that psychic powers accelerate development. After all, understanding other people would be much easier and you'll probably pick up details from nearby adults.
  • Sengoku Basara -- Ranmaru Mori and Itsuki often hang around together and Itsuki sometimes does scenes on him. She acts bit of Tsundere, fighting him and in the end making him dinner (in Sengoku Basara: Battle Heroes).
  • Secret of Mana an SNES game, one of the towns has a house with a pair of married children.
  • Super Robot Wars manages to take this up a level by mixing it with Les Yay. Latooni Subota and Shine-hime have some very interesting dialogue, not to mention their combination attack in the Faerlions.
  • The Tales (series). Tales of Symphonia Genis and Presea. Although, Presea is actually 28 (30 in the sequel). However, she's still got the body of a 12/14 year old. This really didn't stop Genis too much after he found out.
  • Pac-Man Junior fell for a ghost named Yum-Yum in one game. It's also a case of Star-Crossed Lovers, since the two species hate each other (and ghosts apparently eat Pac-people).
  • Final Fantasy
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Young Cloud and young Tifa in the past. Also, Denzel and either Moogle Girl or Marlene in the compilation.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: Young Selphie and young Irvine during the orphanage flashback.
  • Fire Emblem: Crops up from time to time, but gets taken to extremes in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, where you have Amelia, who looks about 10, but may be anywhere from 10-14. She has three possible romantic supports, each with another young-looking boy, though Ewan looks the younges of the three, and as such, woos her with poetry in their A support. Ross gives her his (dead) mother's necklace, and She and Franz (who looks the oldest) make a promise to each other that's strikingly similar to a marriage vow. Make of that what you will.
  • In Folklore we have Cecilia and Herve, who are very close to each other, even as young children. Cecilia gave Herve, who was suffering from a terminal disease, hope for the future and helped him overcome his fear of death; Herve was Cecilia's best friend and companion and eased the loneliness of her mother always being away. And look at the sacrifices they made for each other -- Cecilia risks her life in a prayer to the faeries to cure Herve's terminal illness, and when she's at the point of death, Herve demands to have his own blood drawn and donated to her to save her life, knowing that it could kill him (which it did.)
  • From League of Legends 8-year old pyromancer Annie likes depressed child mummy Amumu. They're even getting matching Prom Queen and Prom King skins. (Well, nearly. Annie is getting a Prom Queen skin. Amumu is getting an Almost Prom King skin.)
  • There's a quest in which The Hero does together with Bianca in Dragon Quest V during their childhood days. While there's no obviously romantic thing going on from hunting a ghost, the arc ends with both promise to go adventure together again some day, and since she's possibly and heavily suggested to be his wife, the developers of the original game probably had this thing on their minds from the beginning.

Web Comics

  • Kevin and Kell: Nigel and Coney, seemed to have this (until Nigel was written out of the comic).
  • Max Overacts: Max and Janet. And Max towards Auryn.
  • From The Whiteboard, Jinx and Kasi, though at present[when?] the feeling is somewhat one-sided on Jinx's part.
  • Drowtales has Ariel×Faen. And had a bit of implied Ariel×Yaefin. Both of which started when the characters in question were ten.
    • Not only implied but it has been explicitly stated that Ariel had it going with both of them at one point. It was also stated that such behavior is not only normal but encouraged in Drow society. Which also included parents training their kids. Of course that was before the politically correct Retcon.
  • Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi has the pretty early-showing pairing of Blossom and Dexter, apparently as fourth graders. Surprisingly, it works.
  • Sandra and Woo has a (no longer just implied) toy ship involving the first title character and her best friend, Cloud, and it even includes a side plot where Sandra's best friend Larisa shows an interest in Cloud, thus making Sandra jealous.
  • The now-dead comic Life on Forbez subverts this with the Normadites, who are married at birth. The two Normadites in the story, Bane and Romana, are still children, and despite being married, do not get along.

Web Original

  • A recent[when?] Google logo made for Valentine's Day featured a short animation about a young boy who was trying to impress a girl jumproping outside by looking up Valentine's Day-related items and gifts like flowers and chocolate, but the girl refuses them and continues to jumprope. The boy continues to give the girl more items, but she still refuses and continues her jumproping, until finally the boy gives up and brings his own rope to jumprope with when the girl immediately drops her jump rope, hugs him, and start jumproping together with the boy's jump rope.

Western Animation

  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears Cavin and Calla is actually canon. They have a mutual fondness for each other anyway.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron Sheen and Libby are implied to be dating (to some extent) during the last season.
  • Batman: Gotham Knights / The New Batman Adventures had Tim Drake's Robin and a one shot character named Annie in the episode "Growing Pains." It might have worked out if she hadn't really been part of Clayface.
  • Chowder Panini takes her attraction to Chowder to frankly unhealthy levels.
  • Code Lyoko has Hiroki Ishiyama pursuing Milly Solovief; they are around 11 and 12 respectively. The other kids at least are teenagers; Jérémie and Aelita thread the line but both are Teen Genius (and Aelita is older than she looks).
  • The Simpsons has Lisa and her ongoing Belligerent Sexual Tension with Milhouse, yet both of them have been through plenty of other relationships, one well known one being Samantha Stanky in the episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love".
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has the Official Couple, Aang (12) and Katara (14), though technically Aang is 112 due to being trapped in an iceberg.
  • Ben 10 has Kai, the girl Ben had a crush on for one episode despite being of the opinion that Girls Have Cooties most of the rest of the time.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door loves this trope (it has to, with all its heroes under the age of 13). As the show usually parodies action and sci-fi movies and shows, it would not be complete without romantic subplots.
    • Numbah Four/Numbah Three, which is Canon.
    • "Operation: I.T" is a Battle Couple-heavy story featuring Nigel and the KND supreme commander Numbah 362.
    • KND even has a rare villain example of this trope: Numbah Three's mean baby sister Mushi and the self-proclaimed King Sandy. They get bonus points for being even younger than the other couples.
    • They even have a cross-faction couple, with Numbuh 2 and Cree—actually shown when Numbah 2 finds a way to assume a teenage form and goes on several dates with her.
  • Doug had Doug and Patti, who were both in sixth grade when the series began and just finishing up seventh grade when it ended. There was also Skeeter and Beebe.
  • The Fairly OddParents Timmy Turner, despite being ten-years-old (and mentally even lower), repeatedly sought a relationship with the resident Rich Bitch Trixie and was sought after by two other girls, Tootie and Veronica. Trixie and Tootie are the two most likely to get Timmy, and they've both had their moments with him. According to Word of God, both are likely candidates.
  • KaBlam!: Henry and June, it's rather obvious that they have crushes on each other.
  • South Park: A canonical example would be Stan and Wendy, who actually are "boyfriend and girlfriend".
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost Casper and Wendy anyone? In the old comic books, they're ambiguously canon.
  • The Flintstones: Pebbles and Bam-Bam, neither of whom can even speak yet. Thing is, according to one of the spin-off movies, they did get Happily Married. When they grew up, obviously. Another movie deals with a pregnant Pebbles about to give birth, and they have twins.
    • And they are all but Dating in the Spin-off series where they're teenagers (and their respective fathers were cops).
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Mac and Goo. Hilarious given that it was the other characters who assumed a relationship while Mac had no idea what they were talking about, and Goo probably never even realized that someone thought they were a couple.
  • Gormiti: The Lords of Nature Return Jessica's best friend Gina has an all-too-obvious crush on Lucas. Now, if only the normally sharp Lucas would take a clue...
  • Hey Arnold!! has plenty of pre-teen UST, especially between the Mad Love-ing Helga and Arnold. There are even whole episodes where it gets damn STEAMY. Arnold's ambiguous perspective on the whole relationship was given greater clarification when Word of God later claimed he had always been in love with Helga since the beginning (it would have been revealed in the unproduced second Hey Arnold! movie).
    • Despite the fact they are only nine, all of the characters are played older. The sixth graders are played as though they're seniors in high school.
    • Helga's love/obsession with Arnold aside, there's quite a few others, and the writers didn't exactly pair the characters up (some episodes would give a character scenes with someone, while other episodes might give them scenes with someone else)- understandable, given that the characters are all (except Harold) nine, and, with a few notable exceptions, don't really think that way yet - the only other characters who had consistent Ship Teases only with each other throughout the entire show besides Helga and Arnold were Phoebe and Gerald, whose scenes were much more subtle.
      • There are lots on a less constant basis, though: Rhonda/Harold, Harold/Patty, Curly/Rhonda (which was a running thing for Curly... not always reciprocated by Rhonda), etc.
  • Home Movies Brendon and Jason each imagine they'll be married to Melissa in the future, but they're all merely friends with each other. Meanwhile, Brendon had a one-sided crush on Cynthia who hangs out with the band, Melissa has one on goalie Cho, and Jason has one on new girl Penny. None of these work out.
  • Justice League In the episode "Kid's Stuff", Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and Green Lanturn were reverted back to kids. And Wonder Woman is clearly seen nursing a crush on Batman, which she also did as an adult-but she was much more blatant about it as a kid.
    • Hilariously, the only one who doesn't get it is Superman, prompting GL to say "Man, for somebody with, like, fifty different kinds of vision, you are so blind"
  • KaBlam!! Henry and June (see above picture) could be considered canon. Here are some examples:
    • In the episode, "Won't Stick to Most Dental Work!", after Henry returns to the show after he quit, he and June do a Meadow Run and hug. A second later, they let go, with Henry saying, "Let's not get gross, here.", and June said "Right." What does she do? She jumps right back into his arms.
    • In episode 29, June kisses Henry. How the fans complained when Nicktoons didn't re-run it!
    • In 'Your Logo Here!" Henry is playing a rock song on his guitar to get Ed the Educational Otter into a trap, when we see June looking at Henry, she has a loving look on her face.
    • The episode "The Ka Blair! Witch Project" had a scene where the duo high five, and then Henry starts giggling after (they touched hands, after all).
    • In "Great For Paper Training!", Henry looks rather intrested when he sees June without her sweater on.
  • King of the Hill Bobby has numerous relationships throughout the series, most prominently Connie, as does Joseph.
  • The Monster Allergy comics hinted that the 12-year-old main characters, Zick and Elena, have crushes on each other.
  • Phineas and Ferb Isabella has a rather obvious crush on Phineas, but it seems that Phineas is somehow completely unaware of it (in "Out to Launch", for example, she invites him to a dance with her...and then he invites Ferb so they can all go together, to Isabella's obvious disappointment). Fans of the show still believe he eventually will notice it, though.
    • One episode has Phineas looking for an adorable alien with a cute meter. Isabella keeps hinting that maybe she should leave because she might throw off the readings but Phineas says that's not possible. He later explains that this is because he'd already accounted for Isabella's cuteness. This may or may not suggest that Phineas is into her, aware of the feelings and just playing it super cool.
      • When asked one of the creators said that even if Phineas and Isabella never get together on the show, they would start dating sometime in high school. A time-travel episode upped this by revealing that Isabella will marry one of the brothers, though it isn't guaranteed to be Phineas.
    • The episode titled "That Sinking Feeling" featured Baljeet and his childhood friend from India, Mishti, as well as more Phineas and Isabella Ship Tease. Bonus points for the episode being set on a cruise ship.
    • The episode "Isabella and the Temple of Sap" gives us Ginger, one of the Fireside Girls, and her quite vocal crush on Baljeet.
      • The Christmas Episode, meanwhile, gives him romance with a girl named Wendy, while he has also expressed interest in Isabella in at least one episode. Seriously, he's quite the Kidanova for someone so nerdy.
    • It should be noted, though, that Phineas and Ferb is only a partial case, as while the characters involved are ostensibly 10 years old, Word of God has said to not hold them to those ages too heavily, saying that canonically, they are intended to be "under 15".
  • ReBoot Enzo and AndrAIa in the second season. If you doubt this, understand that AndrAIa is a game sprite, and couldn't leave the game with him in her introductory episode. So she made a complete copy of herself and hid her on him, so she'd at least get to be with him on some level.
    • This is all out confirmed in the fourth season when she (as an adult) admits that when she met him, it was love at first sight for her.
  • Recess has TJ and Spinelli, which even had some Ship Tease in the form of Spinelli's mom claiming that the girl once had a crush on TJ. Then there's that episode where they gave each other their First Kiss in front of everyone as an experiment of sorts. One episode was essentially a Star-Crossed Lovers plot between Gus and Corn Chip Girl, due to the Interservice Rivalry between the former's Army man father and the latter's Navy man dad.
  • Jonny Quest: The 80's animated series had two tv movies Jonny's Golden Quest and Jonny Quest vs. The Cyber Insects both of which featured Race's daughter Jesse. She and Jonny appear to be about 10 to 12 years old. She kisses him in both movies.
  • Rugrats:
    • ...And the Rugrats Newspaper strip, as well as the episode "Angelica's Cousin" (where Angelica poses as a much nicer, Swedish version of herself to "fool" the babies), hinted that Angelica was in love with Chuckie and vice versa. The AGU episode "Project Chuckie" likewise reignited hope that Chuckie and Angelica would find it's way into that series, the episode provided new flashbacks that revealed Angelica "helping" Chuckie to overcome anxieties as they grew up together. She encourages Chuckie to join her own group, but he rejects them when they speak ill of his friends. A few extra moments following this episode kept the option viable until the series was cancelled.
  • All Grown Up! It's revealed near the end of the series that Kimi had a crush on Tommy when they were eight, and there seem to be hints that she's not quite over it... Lil has also hinted she likes Chuckie a few times.
  • The Secret Saturdays: There is a girl named Wadi that's been in two episodes and appears to have a thing for Zak Saturday, his parents seem to think he has something for her too, something puberty related. The two are about the same age but the chemistry is there, bigtime.
    • A bit lampshaded too, Wadi says Zak was cute, cue the fanfiction...
  • Tale Spin: Kit and Molly, similar to the Ozy And Milli example above.
  • Timmy Time, the Wallace and Gromit spin-off. Timmy the lamb and Mittens the kitten.
  • Transformers Animated fandom has a fair following for Sari×Bumblebee. He may be the size of a small car, but she practically made it official through a declaration of love (of sorts) in the opening pilot movie, and the "Human Error" two-parter shows Bumblebee to be of about the same mental age as her (and as of season 3 she looks older than her mental age, too). It may look like Interspecies Romance or Cargo Ship at first, but...
  • WITCH Irma's brother Christopher and Cornelia's sister Lillian have a bit of cute chemistry in the episode "W for Witch". Lillian is annoyed with Christopher at first (and Christopher calls her a "dopey witch"), but Christopher shares his trick-or-treating strategy with her and she becomes extremely eager to go trick-or-treating with him.

Other

  • The Chilean series of daily planners Pascualina and its spin-off Artilugia has had this as part of their ongoing plots. In the Artilugia series, the heroine, Aldonza della Calabaza, managed to get engaged with her crush Bruno when they were about six years old, and when she came back after a year out of the town and saw him with other (prettier) girl, she became so scared that he stopped loving her that she created the Secret Identity of "Artilugia", just to conquest his heart again. All of this, at the apparent age of nine-ten years old. Since then, she regularly goes on several more image and identity changes, just to see if he can fall in love again with her, even falling in Loves My Alter Ego dilemmas. The funny thing is that Bruno indeed still loves Aldonza because of her unique personality, and before catching on the Secret Identity Identity thing he also fell in love with every one of her strambotic self-reimaginings, even asking to his father if someone can be in love with two people at the same time.
  1. explicitly referred to as "playing married", however