Really Seven Hundred Years Old

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Left: Colin in 125 A.D. Right: Colin in 2187 A.D.


Anya: Gimme a beer.
Bartender: I.D.
Anya: I'm 1,120 years old! Just gimme a frickin' beer!
Bartender: I.D.

Anya: (sighs) Gimme a Coke.

You're as old as the stars themselves and might possess the power to destroy them. While some entities like you might enjoy terrorizing others and warping their minds with improbable non-Euclidean frames, you prefer to be a bit more... subtle in your interactions with humans. Or you might have a good reason for not wanting your powers and potential to be immediately obvious.

And what better way is there to hide your identity and throw off suspicion than by taking on the form of a perky prepubescent girl who looks like she's barely out of elementary school?

Really Seven Hundred Years Old is an extreme version of Older Than They Look, which covers ancient, perhaps immortal beings, and (usually) the total opposite of Really Was Born Yesterday. Subjective age only—a form of suspended animation alone does not count. Elves tend to fall into this trope quite a bit in modern fantasy thanks in part due to the fact that their Beauty Is Never Tarnished. If it's purely artistic rather than biological, it's Artistic Age. For characters who look far younger than they are, but haven't yet lived longer than a human possibly could (say, an 80 year-old woman who looks 20), they're Older Than They Look. See also Immortality Begins At Twenty, Not Growing Up Sucks and Time Abyss, for the really, really extreme version. For the inverse, see Really Seventeen Years Old. Optimistic characters will say this trope is sweet.

For ways in which works show off that a character is Really 700 Years Old, see Exposition of Immortality.

Examples of Really Seven Hundred Years Old include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Tobi from Naruto, kind of. before we find out that he isn't Madara and possibly the sage of six paths and things just got very complicated.
  • This trope takes its name from the tongue-in-cheek fan logic to explain the popularity of Sasami in Tenchi Muyo!, who is otherwise joked to be the best choice for the lead. Because she is technically "seven hundred years old", this supposedly made her fair game for fans. This of course ignores the fact the writers always give her the appearance and personality of a little girl and that most of that time was in hyper-sleep, but why worry about the details...
    • Pretty much Tenchi's whole family aside from him. His sister who looks to be in her mid to late 20's is 80. His father is 200 and looks like he is in his early 40's. His Grandmother (whom no one should ever call her by that name) looks maybe mid 30ish and is well over 700 years old (As does his Grandfather, but he keeps a disguise up to make him look 60-ish). And his great grandmother looks to be in her mid 30's too. The parents of Azusa, emperor of Jurai, Tenchi's great-great-grandparents, show up in GXP and look to be in their 40's. Tenchi's other great-great-grandparent, Seto, shows up in the OVA and GXP and looks to about mid 30's despite being 5,000 years old.
    • Also from Tenchi Muyo!, supergenius Mad Scientist Washuu (who's actually either several thousand or several billion years old, depending on perspective) can change her appearance at will, and most often looks like a very precocious red-haired twelve-year-old girl.
      • Going back to Sasami; who fused with a being sister to Washu! (Ie; beginning of time-years old), and Tokimi. Heck, Tenchi himself, considering he created the beings that created the universe (Sasami, Washu and Tokimi) which makes him pre-beginning of time-years old.
    • In the spinoff Tenchi Muyo: GXP, Neju turns out to be more than two thousand years old. And she plays to the lolicon fetish, teasing Seina (and indirectly all the other girls), such as calling Seina onii-chan. In her case, she's doing it deliberately, partly because she's feeling her years. But she's also being naughty because she's had to be a proper court lady for a couple of millennia, and now she's out of the harness and feeling frisky.
    • Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari, another spinoff, is also rife with it. Aside from the references to Kenshi's relatives, Wahanli, a cute teenage (apparently) Wrench Wench is actually 97, for example.
  • Koenma from Yu Yu Hakusho is exactly seven hundred years old, and appears to be a toddler. He can transform into a bishonen teen form for a few minutes at a time... but doesn't remove his pacifier when he does so.
    • Kurama also counts; while in his human form he looks to be somewhere in his late teens. His demonic form makes him look like he is somewhere in his early to mid twenties. However, we know he was Yomi's partner close to a thousand years before the events in the series.
      • Except Kurama's body really is a teenager. He fused with a fetus to escape death, and as a result is more of a Half-Human Hybrid with memories of his past life than Really Seven Hundred Years Old.
    • Koenma stays in teenage form continuously later in the series when it gets more serious. Eventually the pacifier is explained away as a device to store energy. He keeps the the pacifier in his mouth even after using up its stored energy, presumably because that's how he recharges it.
  • Lady Kayura from Ronin Warriors is roughly a millennium old, appears to be in her mid teens, but is physically 12 years old.
  • In Magic Knight Rayearth, the Guru Clef is appalled by the fact that the Knights are "mere children." When Umi accuses him of the same, he informs her haughtily that he is actually 745 years old, though he looks about 10.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima: Evangeline was turned into a vampire when she was about ten and consequently has not aged at all in the hundreds of years since. She actually expresses a desire to become and be seen as a beautiful, mature woman rather than a child, and projects an illusion of such a form whenever she can.
    • It also seems that Zect, the Cute Shotaro Boy from the flashbacks was Nagi's master, and was several centuries old himself.
    • Fate Averruncus also claims to be several hundred years old, although in his case it's unclear whether he's referring specifically to his current incarnation or his past lives as well.
    • Asuna turns out to be over 100 years old. We don't really know how much over hundred years old she is, but she could very likely be 700 years old.
  • Like Sasami, the manga version of Chibi-Usa from Sailor Moon is supposedly 900 years old with the body and face of a 10 year-old, although this is largely thrown out in other media.
    • For that matter, Sailor Pluto's association with relative Time Travel makes it very difficult to pin her age down, although her given age says she's in her twenties.
    • Any of the fey-like characters are possibly quite old, like Helios, Perle, etc. None of them look to be over their early twenties, and most of them look like teenagers.
    • The entire main cast also qualifies, or rather their future selves in Crystal Tokyo, all of whom are over 1000 years old. (While the Outer Senshi don't appear here other then Pluto in the anime and Manga, The Sera Myu inculdes them, and has their future versions fight alongside the inners from the past during the Black Lady musicals)
  • Kiddy Grade has Eclair and Lumiere, who physically look 16 and 10 respectively And it turns out they're both approximately 200-250 years old.
    • This one is arguable, as the girls are quantum reincarnated into new bodies periodically, so their current bodies, despite looking 16 and 10, are actually younger than that. In addition, Lumiere should have a 16 year old body, too, but she seals her Particle power, which also traps her body in a convenient young-looking form.
  • In Trinity Blood, Seth, the empress of the Methuselahs, is at least 900 years old, despite looking like a "cute young girl", by her own description.
    • Being her older brothers, Abel and Cain are a bit older than her. They only look in their twenties, though.
    • And to lesser extent, the Methuselah from the same series, whose life expectancy averages around three centuries or so, but their appearance stops aging once their powers awaken. Suleyman, for example, looked to be in his late twenties but was Really Three Hundred Years Old.
    • Ion. He looks like a Cute Shotaro Boy and is probably older than half the other characters.
  • Libra Dhoko from Saint Seiya is 247 years old. While he looks like an old man, that is just a form to hide his young body.
  • The physically nine years old Furude Rika in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, thanks to the Groundhog Day Loop. Unlike Hanyu and most other examples, maturity matches mental age, though this is deliberately hidden so as to not freak people out.
  • The dolls in Rozen Maiden are supposedly more than a century old. Being dolls, they nevertheless look and act much like children.
  • Though not expected to be a romantic interest, Hellmaster Phibrizzo of The Slayers sort of falls under this trope, as the demon lord was created at least a thousand years ago, yet continues to appear as a ten year old boy. Admittedly, though, demons such as himself can take any shape they please, but we never see him look like anything else even in flashbacks.
    • He briefly takes on his true form in the last episode of Slayers Next shortly before he is destroyed by the Lord of Nightmares. Also, Fibrizo was created before Shabranigdu was split, so it's at least five thousand years ago.
  • Enma Ai from Hell Girl looks like a little girl, albeit a creepy one. However she has been dispatching people to hell for many a century.
  • C.C. from Code Geass looks to be 16 or so, but is apparently old enough that she was on a first-name basis with George Washington and Ben Franklin... and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
    • To be precise she was born in the medieval times.
  • Eriol Hiiragizawa of Cardcaptor Sakura has a double case of this; he's the reincarnation (complete with memories) of a centuries-old magician, and in his "new life", he stopped himself from aging physically for decades.
    • Yukito. He's Yue's alternate form, and Yue was created by Clow in his original life. And for those not in the know, the centuries-old magician mentioned above is Clow. Kero is approximately (if not the exactly) the same age. It's unconfirmed how old Spiniel Sun and Ruby Moon are, but they could also be this trope.
  • Bleach: All the shinigami have lifespans far beyond the human norm. Child characters such as Yachiru and Hitsugaya are biologically children but chronologically could compete with human grandparents. Shinigami that are biologically comparable to Ichigo and his classmates have, in Rukia's words, been around for ten times the amount of time Ichigo has. Yamamoto may look like an 80-year old, but he's actually confirmed to be over 2,000 years old. Of course, spirits are technically dead humans. Even so, they do age and die, just at a much slower rate than living humans. It would seem that some shinigami age even more slowly than others, but this isn't entirely clear.
    • The Bount arc introduces Ran Tao. She is much older that all the other shinigami and yet she looks like she is in her thirties. This is because she uses science to lengthen her lifespan at the expense of greatly increased sleep requirements.
  • Holo from Spice and Wolf is a centuries-old wolf god who assumes the form of a teenage girl.
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, while we do not know just how old Akio and Anthy are, it is clear that they have been around for a long time, possibly as long as the very concepts of 'Prince', 'Princess', and 'Witch'. Same goes for Mikage, though he may have been Dead All Along.
  • Son Goku in Saiyuki was been imprisoned in a rock for 500 years without aging before being freed by Sanzo. Goku's apparent age is supposed to be 18, but he looks 12.
  • Deconstructed in Mermaid Saga. Because the immortal Masato is stuck with the body of a young boy, he can't get by in society without a caretaker, which he often quickly outlives. He can't stay in one place for more than two years for risk of raising suspicion to his nature. He eventually goes nuts over having to deal with this for over eight hundred years.
  • Chizuru in Kanokon is 400 years old, yet looks (and acts) like an 18 year old. After all this time, she's still a virgin.
    • Don't forget about Nozomu, who is stated to be 200 years old, despite looking like an elementary student.
  • The Mu in Toward the Terra can keep a youthful appearance despite living much longer than normal humans. Namely Blue who is 300 years old.
  • In Kyou Kara Maou the Mazoku live many a century and age at a much slower rate than humans do. A radical example would be Ulrike who is 800 years old yet looks like a little girl. Somewhat subverted in Ondine's sister who does look quite old despite the fact that her sister, who is even older than Ulrike, still seems very much like a kid. An interesting case is Murata who looks like a teen yet has memories from several reincarnations going back millennia.
    • In the anime, at least, we are told that ordinary Mazoku age about 1 human year for every 5 years they live (hence Wolfram is in his 80s but seems to be about 16 or 17). Ulrike and Ondine's positions as Genshi Miko (basically high priestesses) seem to have allowed them to age even slower, hence Ondine appearing so much younger than her own twin sister.
  • Miyu in Vampire Princess Miyu is tragic example of this trope. She looks thirteen years old, but her growth was magically stunted by the Shinma so she can hunt the ones who ran away to the human world and take all the time in the world to do so.
  • Czeslaw Meyer of Baccano! looks like he's ten years old. In hindsight, he probably should have waited a little longer before drinking the elixir of immortality in 1711...
    • Of course, he's far from the only one, even if he's the most extreme case. There are quite a few characters (Huey, Elmer, Maiza, etc.) that drank the same concoction, making most of them at least 250 years old by the time the series starts. There's also Firo, who already had enough trouble passing for his actual age before immortality...
    • However, unlike the others, the only thing Czeslaw really gained from his immortality was the ability to survive years of torture. Added on to 200+ years of eternal childhood and, well... sucks to be him. In comparison Sylvie, who while still immortal, deliberately waited until she was in her twenties to become so to avoid spending eternity as a teenager. Look at Czeslaw's experience and say that this wasn't a good move.
  • Master Karin of Dragon Ball looks like an ordinary house cat (albeit a walking, talking house cat) but is really over 800 years old.
    • Master Roshi (aka Muten Roshi), despite looking in his 70s since the start is actually 300 years old, as is his rival the Crane Hermit and his brother Mercenary Tao. Roshi and Crane are old enough to have been young monks when King Piccolo ravaged the Earth 300 years ago. Garlic and his son Garlic Jr., nemeses to Kami in a Non-Serial Movie and anime filler are also at least 300 years old. And if you think that's astounding, Roshi's older sister Uranai Baba, is 500 years old. In anime Filler, Roshi's turtle celebrates his one thousandth birthday. Mr. Popo has been attendant to every Guardian of Earth (or at least a large number), so he's much, much older.
    • The Nameless Namekian separated into Kami and King Piccolo 300 years ago, having already been about 200 when this happened. Non Serial Movie villain Lord Slug and Namekian elder Guru (who actually does look his age) is also from this time. Oddly enough, prior to remerging with Kami, Piccolo Jr., King Piccolo's reincarnation was about 14 years old (though he had already merged with an older Namekian in the Frieza saga). Namekian merging is... complicated.
    • The Kais are in the millions of years old. The Eastern Supreme Kai killed Bibidi, the creator of Majin Buu, five million years ago, making Bibidi's son Babidi at least that old. Numerous other demons and deities from both the original manga and anime filler are likely at least as old.
      • Old Supreme Kai takes the cake here, as he's ridiculously old even by Kai standards. He actually does look pretty old, but he counts his age a "15 generations". Logically, he'd be talking about Kai generations. Considering that Eastern Supreme Kai has not visibly aged in 5 million years, this would be an unbelievably long time indeed.
  • Trigun has Vash and Knives, who look in their mid-twenties despite being over 130 years old in the anime and over 150 years old in the manga. It's also unspecified just how old (manga only) Chronika/Kronika and Domina are, but they might be over a century (they also look in their mid- to late twenties, while the twins still looked like teenagers when they were 'only' eighty years old).
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has the Really Four Hundred Years Old Hohenheim, who perpetually looks in his thirties or forties. The manga also has Father, who looks about twenty years older than the former, and the anime has Dante, Hohenheim's repudiated wife. Most of the homunculi count too, especially Envy in the anime (400+ ), Pride/Selim/Salem in the manga (400+ but the body of a little boy), and Greed (200+ ) in most of his incarnations.
    • Ironically, in the manga, the oldest Homunculus, Pride, has the appearance of a 6-year-old, whilst the youngest Homunculus (Discounting Ling as the second Greed), is Wrath, the oldest-looking of the Homunculi - who happens to be the only one that actually looks his age.
  • The eponymous character from Immortal Rain looks to be in his twenties, but has been alive for the past 200 years. Same goes for the villain, the literal Methuselah, who has been endlessly reincarnated since the beginning of humanity.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has Lordgenome, who looks to be no older than his early forties, but is actually at least 1000 years old.
    • This is the case for all the Beastmen, considering that Cytomander can be referred to as a fledgeling despite being over 200 years old and Guame is only a few years younger than Lordgenome. (Although Guame at least looks elderly, at least as far as one can tell with an anthropomorphic armadillo)
  • Claymore has Isley and Riful, who look like a handsome young man and a little girl respectively despite being centuries old, not to mention not even human.
  • The trope name is pretty much exactly true for Caerula Sanguis from Battle Angel Alita: Last Order. Her age is actually quite significant. She has spent most of them learning and refining both her wu shu straightsword techniques and her comprehensive combat strategies in the service of protecting humankind.
  • Subverted in episode two of otherwise softcore (by modern standards) The Elven Bride. When The eponymous elf was asked about her age, she replies seventeen, in which the girl pointed that seventeen elf years is long in comparison to human years. She promptly explains that she has only spend 17 human years since she was born.
  • Many of the protagonists from Tsutomu Nihei's Blameverse stories, due to being advanced cyborgs. Sosono Musubi of Noise goes on to live for millennia after being upgraded by The Safeguard. Killy from Blame! is at least 3,000, but he doesn't realize it due to the fact that his brain has run out of space several times and had to be overwritten.
  • Taikoubou from Houshin Engi, despite looking like a teenager, is revealed right in the beginning to be an immortal who is 72+ years old. However, it is later revealed that he is much older than even that when he returns to being Fukki, one of the First People (an ancient alien race).
  • Axis Powers Hetalia isn't very clear about how age applies to its characters, but China's profile says that he's 4,000 years old and he doesn't look much older than his mid-twenties.
    • "I've loved you since the 900s." -Holy Roman Empire to Chibitalia.
      • Since the nations have been shown in different historical events at different times, it's safe to assume that they're more than a century or two old.
    • The author has explicitly stated that China is immortal.
    • There are also Word of God "human ages" for several of the characters, placing most of the characters biologically in their twenties – for instance, America is 19, Italy and Germany are both 20, and England is 23 – but China alone is listed as 4,000 years old and immortal. Countries seem to age according to both how old they are and how quickly the country develops; Italy was a small child for (presumably) centuries, but England received quite a shock when he left a tiny America and came back after a couple of years to find one that was taller than him.
  • All the demons in Chrono Crusade fall under this, but Chrono in particular. Thanks to a need to conserve his spiritual energy, his typical form makes him look like twelve years old, and even in his true form he looks like he's in his early twenties. However, there's at least about 60 years that he's confirmed to have lived, and it's likely he's much, much older. His former comrades, the sinners, all appear to be in their late teens or early twenties, but they're all near the same age. There's also Father Remington (who appears to be in his early thirties at the latest but is seen dueling Chrono half a century prior in a flashback), and in the manga finale Fiore/Floretta and Satella (due to Suspended Animation).
  • Beelzebub, the most feared demon (behind Dabura) in the Sand Land is somewhere around 2,000 years old but is still considered a child and has a bed time.
  • Mito of Space Pirate Mito is an alien that is over ten thousand years old, but looks like she could be in third grade.
  • Alucard of Hellsing. He's a 567-year-old vampire at the start of the series, and he looks to be in his early forties at most.
    • This depiction of his age is rather fitting. The historical Vlad Dracula died in battle in 1476 at the age of forty-five.
      • In the prequel manga series Hellsing: The Dawn, Alucard takes the form of a 14 year old girl.
    • Don't forget Helena from the anime. She appears to be a prepubescent girl somewhere between twelve and fourteen years old, apparently because she was turned into a vampire at a very young age, and has been around for a very, very long time. Just how long is never determined, but it's implied that she is one of the oldest vampires ever seen in the series.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ayanami Rei has a 14-year-old body, but the soul of an entity that is billions of years old. So does Kaworu.
  • Inuyasha: Youkai have lifespans that are vastly in excess of human lifespans. Even child characters such as Shippou have been around for decades despite their biological youth. Teen characters such as Sesshoumaru have been around for centuries. Even a Half-Human Hybrid has an unnaturally long lifespan. The Canon never gives Inuyasha's age, but a flashback to his mother shows she wore the clothes of a Heian noblewoman, and that era died out 500 years before the story's setting (the anime gives him an age of 200). Naraku himself has been around for decades at least.
  • Yuko Ichihara from xxxHoLic and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle never mentioned her exact age, but she was on a first name basis with Clow Reed, several hundred years ago. Clow accidentally warped reality so that the universe would ignore her death. Once this is undone, 99% of people's memories are edited so that it is as if she died when she died as far as everyone but close friends are concerned.
    • Fai from the same continuity looks to be in his twenties, but isn't. His real age is never said, but Yuko commented that despite his apparent youth he had already lived several lifespans.
  • Washuu Ryuugasaki, the school principal in Cyber Team in Akihabara.
    • Don't forget Crane Bahnsteik and Cigogne Ratspieu.
  • Cassian from Godchild is really thirty-five, but a medical condition caused his body to stop growing just before he hit puberty.
  • The entire Arcobaleno of Katekyo Hitman Reborn apparently.
  • All the vampires and dampirers from The Record of a Fallen Vampire, with the exception of Laetitia, who's only in her 60s.
  • Cheza in Wolf's Rain looks to be about 13 or so, but is actually around 200 years old. Lord Darcia and his lover Hamona are also several centuries old, but appear to be in their 20s.
  • In Chronicles of the Cursed Sword, Dr. Laobi looks like she's in her mid-twenties, but is late found to be about 150 and the mother of the Badass Grandpa and Old Master. She keeps herself looking young with Science.
  • Melchisedec, Carmichael and the Emilys in Soukou no Strain.
  • Elda Marker from Karin. In fact, she looks younger than Karin herself, despite being unspeakably old.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Dartz looks twenty despite being 10,000 years old.
    • Yami and Bakura might fall under this trope as well, but technically, they're spirits inhabiting the bodies of two 16-year-olds.
  • Klan Klang from Macross Frontier is an odd example. In her natural Zentraedi state, she looks the right age (Boobs of Steel aside), but when micronized to human size she looks like a 10- or 12-year-old because of a genetic defect. This actually inhibits a potential relationship with her crush Mikael, who points out that if they got together, he'd be arrested - which earns him a Dope Slap from the unhappy Klan.
  • Xellos from Slayers looks to be somewhere from 16 to 20. He is... if you add about 1000 years to that. Being a member of the demon race does help though.
  • The Big Bad Liselotte Werckmeister from 11eyes has been around for 800 years due to her immortality.
  • Mephisto Pheles of Blue Exorcist is said to have been working with the exorcists for around 200 years at this point. He is probably even older than that. He looks more like he's in his thirties - sometimes a little younger or older.
  • One chapter of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei shows a brief glimpse fifty years into the future in which the former students have noticeably aged (Nami and Mataro are white-haired and wrinkled, Usui is almost completely bald, Kaede is shown in silhouette but has a granddaughter). Then there's Kafuka, who hasn't changed. At all.
  • Akasha Bloodriver from Rosario + Vampire looked to be in her late twenties at the oldest... and looked exactly the same 200 years ago. Same goes for the other Dark Lords, though Fuhai plays with this a bit by having a Sleep Mode Size body that looks like a Miniature Senior Citizen.
  • The Wolkenritter of Lyrical Nanoha have existed for centuries at least but don't look over 40. Vita is an extreme case.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss looks to be in his late teens, early twenties but has been around for over five centuries.
  • Demons in The World God Only Knows are several hundred years old, but look and act like teenagers; except for Elsea, who acts like an eight-year-old.
  • In Dragon Crisis Maruga, the White Dragon Empress looks to be in her late teens/early twenties, but she knew her uncle, who died over a hundred years ago, which means she is over a hundred years old. Onyx, who was Maruga's childhood friend would also be over a hundred as well.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Fables, by Bill Willingham, subverts this in a departure from the source material: it seems the Blue Fairy was a little too literal when it came to Pinocchio. As he puts it, "I want to get laid!" He aspires to someday meet the over-literal fairy that granted his wish, so that he can "kick her blue ass". At one point, they blackmail a columnist by taking compromising photos of him with Pinocchio while he's passed out, then threaten to use them to "prove" he's a pedophile.
    • Neil Gaiman's take on the Eternals did this too: Sprite is the ONLY child Eternal, and he's ticked off enough about it to set in train the events that turned all the Eternals into ordinary humans and made everyone forget they ever existed. He's particularly ticked that Sersi has slept with every male Eternal except—guess who?
  • Elf Quest occasionally gets flack because of the slim, large-headed, waifish proportions of the centuries-old protagonists. This does occasionally get lampshaded in the plot; for instance, on one occasion Tyleet meets a human couple who can't believe she's old enough to be pregnant.
  • Ragamuffin from Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl.
    • Lenore herself, too. She looks like she's ten (which she was in the moment she died), but she's actually a 100 years old dead girl.
  • Arisia, a Green Lantern who originally appeared to be in her late teens (at the oldest) and who had a romantic relationship with Hal Jordan, was recently revealed to be several hundred years old and a member of a species that ages much slower than humans. This was a retcon to lower the Squick factor; originally there was a plotline where her feelings for Hal, combined with her power ring, caused her to go through puberty ahead of time so that she could appear to be of acceptable age.
  • Wolverine's healing factor also slows his aging; he was born in the late 19th century and fought alongside Captain America (comics) in WWII.
  • Several characters in Neil Gaiman's Sandman, including Mad Hettie and Hob Gadling, are otherwise normal humans who live for several hundred years.
    • Not to mention several of the Endless, those of human appearance, that is. For example, Morpheus and his sister Death, along with their estranged brother Destruction. All three have been around since the beginning of time, yet none look older than late thirties or early forties. Death in fact looks like she is still in her twenties (supposed to appear about sixteen, at least according to Gaiman's original idea of her).
    • The witch Thessaly (later known as Larissa) is several millennia old and one of the last of her kind, but looks to be in her late twenties or early thirties.
    • Don't forget Shivering Jemmy, who is a Lord of Chaos (and therefore presumably pretty old), but takes the form of a little girl in clown make-up.
    • This Quote: There are not many of them, all things considered: the truly old. Even on this planet, in this age, when people consider a mere hundred years, or a thousand, to be an unusual span. There are, for example, less than ten thousand humanoid individuals alive today who have personal memories of the saber-toothed tiger, the megatherium, the cave bear. There are today less than a thousand who walked the streets of Atlantis (The first Atlantis. The other lands that bore than name were shadows, echo-Atlantises, and they came later.) There are less than five hundred living humans who remember the human civilizations that predated the great lizards (There were a few; fossil records are unreliable. Several of them lasted for millions of years.)There are roughly seventy people walking the Earth, human to all appearances (and in some cases, to all medical tests currently available) who were alive before the Earth had begun to congeal from gas and dust. How well do you know your friends, your neighbors, your lovers?Walk the streets of any city and stare carefully at the people who pass you, and know this: They are there too. The old ones.
  • In Marvel's old Conan the Barbarian-continuity, the necromancer Thulsa Doom has been around since before the Valusian era. Although visibly undead, this should still make him a rather extreme example, as it means he's well over 20,000 years old.
  • Vandal Savage was born roughly 50,000 BC. He's an immortal caveman who's spent his time with world domination plots. And he invented cannibalism.
  • A Star Wars Expanded Universe comic set in the Clone Wars introduces us to Fay, a centuries-old Jedi who understands the Power of Love and has used it to end and prevent wars, doesn't use a lightsabre and doesn't need to, is kept from physically aging past her twenties by her strong connection to the Force, and who if she hadn't given her reserves of Force energy to Obi-Wan to allow him to escape would have recovered from a fatal lightsabre wound. If not for her Heroic Sacrifice Fay would have lived forever. Let us hope she joins the ranks of Expanded Universe characters with action figures.
    • Fay's sacrifice has consequences far beyond saving Obi-Wan. Details here.
  • Several characters from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series fulfill the trope, at least in later installments of the comic, such as Black Dossier. Mina Murray is given immortality by her encounter with Dracula, Allan Quatermain is rejuvenated after bathing in a pool of eternal youth, and Orlando is millenia-old and has changed his/her sex numerous times during the centuries. None look older than their late thirties; in fact, only Quatermain even comes close to looking even that old.
  • The Shade, of Starman fame, was born sometime in the early 1800s, and hasn't aged since the event that gave him his powers. His potential futures see him living for millennia to come.
  • Zeke Vicker from Star Raiders.
  • Perhaps the hardest-invoked of all in Marvel continuity is the X-villain Selene, the External former Black Queen of the Hellfire Club. It's long been established that she's immortal, despite appearing to be in her mid-30's at most. Turns out she's really 17,000 years old.
  • Ra's al Ghul looks to be about in his 50s, but is really over 600 years old. This is due to his continuous revivals in the Lazarus pits (magical pools of... stuff... that can restore the dead to life).
  • Alpha One of The Mighty looks like he is in his twenties but he had been operating since he appeared in 1952. It turns out that he's much older than that. He is an alien who had been around since the Revolutionary War.
  • Knuckles in Sonic the Comic. He was born during Tikal's time, which was several hundred years before the beginning of the story. He was put into suspended animation for those years.
  • The vast majority of the depictions of Superman in any future time period show that he ages significantly slower than humans do. In the elseworld's tale "Generations" Superman does fit this trope, Batman gets in on the act as well and Superman's granddaughters do as well (in fact, one of them is stuck in her early teens for over a century before finally getting it fixed so that she can age to adulthood.)
  • Adam Destine is about eight hundred years old and looks more like twenty, having been granted Complete Immortality by his beloved, the djinn Elalyth. Their children do age, but very slowly, so the older ones count for Long Lived. Gracie, for example, is four hundred and looks about sixty or seventy.
  • Father Time in Frankenstein Agent Of Shade is commander of a super-secret covert-ops agency and whose latest incarnation is a little Japanese schoolgirl.
  • Jenny Sparks from the Wildstorm universe looks like she's in her 20s, when she's actually over 100, which gets repeated a lot. She's the spirit of the 20th Century, eventually gets rebirthed into a new form as the spirit of the 21st Century too repeat the process again.
  • Rip Van Wink a character in early issues of The Beano had as his main gimmick that he had been asleep for 700 years which easily makes him 700 years old at least.


Fan Fiction[edit | hide]

  • Princess Jody from Super Milestone Wars looks ten but she's actually over 1000 years old.
  • Bag Enders features the Fellowship of the Ring living in early-2000s England. Technically all the characters fall under this heading, being Really Six Thousand Years Old, but the hobbits in particular are constantly mistaken for children. This gives them problems when being carded in pubs, but allows them to get away with childrens' fares on trains and infiltrate the Boy Scouts.
  • Chaos from the Tamers Forever Series fits the trope

Takato: So you're older than the Big Bang, huh?
Chaos: Yeah, pretty much…hard to believe, huh?
Ruki: Yeah, anyone would think you'd have matured by now…
Chaos: Hey!

  • This comes up in The Man With No Name when River mentions that the Doctor is too old for her. Mal, believing himself to be about the same age, feels rather put out by this (funnily enough, Nathan Fillion and David Tennant are less than a month apart age-wise. Were the Doctor human and both of them the same age as their actors, Reynolds would be right on the money).
  • In Fallout Equestria Pink Eyes, the lead character Puppysmiles is a little filly. She's also was ghoulified at the start of the Great War, and though it's been two centuries since, she's still the same hyperactive foal, only with new skills.
  • In Noir Ange, a Soul Eater fanfic, Zelda Kitsune is this literally, but she looks like a 17-year old girl. There's also Yuuki and Yuuka, and all of the other Witches count as well.


Films[edit | hide]

  • Dorian Gray, in the film version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. His exact age isn't given, but curmudgeonly old Allan Quartermain (played by Sean Connery) mentions that as a boy, he saw Gray giving a lecture at Eton College. In the original novel, Gray is never said to be immortal or invulnerable, he just retains his youthful appearance.
  • In 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, the eponymous doctor is technically an example of this trope, in that he looks rather old, but not nearly his true age of seven thousand, three hundred and twenty-two.
  • John from The Man From Earth looks like your regular guy. Not like the 14,000 years old caveman he actually is.
  • Sam, the Creepy Child in Trick 'r Treat.
  • The title doctor in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.
  • In the Lord of the Rings films, like the books, many characters are Older Than They Look, but the elves are all hundreds or thousands of years old. Elrond, for example, is featured in the opening prologue, which happens three thousand years before the story proper starts. When he appears again later on, he looks exactly the same.
    • Galadriel, as explained in the books, is a lot older; she's the only elf remaining in Middle-Earth who is mentioned before the first rising of the Sun, over 6000 years ago. She's played by Cate Blanchett who was in her early 30's at the time of filming.
    • Legolas is the youngest elf to have a significant role in the books, and one ambiguous remark implies that he's more than 500 years old.
  • The villainess in Kull The Conquerer, leading to this exchange:

Monk: She's 3,000 years old.
Kull: She said she was 19!

  • In the film version of The Green Mile, Mr. Jingles the mouse is still alive, albeit very elderly, after an unprecedented sixty years. Mice normally only live for one to three years, making the little guy older than Methuselah when adjusted for species.
  • Mother Gothel from Tangled is stated to be several centuries old.
  • The 2000 Dungeons and Dragons film had this little interaction between Snails and Norda, the elf, when Snails is chatting her up:

Norda: How old are you?
Snails: Twenty-three. Yeah, I know I'm a little young for you, but what if I get my hands on an aging potion, huh? I'll sacrifice a couple of years for you.
Norda: I'm two hundred and thirty-four.

  • In The Santa Clause, all the elves are played by children, one of whom informs Scott that she has "pointy shoes that are older than you". Judy, one of the head elves, looks to be about ten years old. When she mentions that it took her 1,200 years to perfect her cocoa recipe, Scott Calvin/Santa Claus tells her, "You know I must say, you look pretty good for your age," to which she hilariously responds, "Thanks... but I'm seeing someone in wrapping," eliciting a stare, a look of shock and a silently-mouthed "ooookay..." from Scott/Santa.
  • Although WALL-E is seven hundred years old, he is actually still working even after the day humanity left Earth.
    • Somewhat justified in that he's seen replacing damaged parts using components from other robots of the same model, of which there are hundred or thousands lying around. It's likely he's replaced every part of himself many times over, save for his motherboard, RAM and memory.
    • Also, Crush from Finding Nemo. He's a hundred fifty years old, and is still young.
      • Truth in Television for large turtles; even snapping turtles can live over seventy-five years, and tortoises and sea turtles have been known to live to 200.
    • And Sheriff Woody from Toy Story, who just happens to be the leader and the oldest member of Andy's toys (he was created in the 1950s).
  • Two minor examples occur in The Tin Drum with further discussion therein. The main character, Oskar, willingly stops aging, resulting in an adult male in the body of a toddler. Towards the end of the film, he meets a dwarf who appears to be an adult but he reveals that he's really close to one hundred years old. Like Oscar, he decided to stop aging and mentions that there are others like him. They mention that they could essentially become immortal if they wanted, invoking this trope.
  • Wolverine in the X-Men movies as in the comics is mentioned by Jean Grey to likely be older than Prof. Xavier due to his Healing Factor.
    • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, they're even more explicit. Logan and Sabretooth were born in the first half of the 19th century, and fought alongside one another in The American Civil War.
  • Andre Linoge, from Storm of the Century. It's never made clear how long he's been around, but it's implied to have been at least since Biblical times. Toyed with in that, though he is old and still has at least another century to live -- stating to the town that he will still be alive when the youngest among them has grown old and died -- even others of his kind consider him to be nearing death. Which makes sense -- if you've been around for at least 1000 years, another 100 is going to seem like just a few months.
  • All of the vampires and Lycans in the Underworld series are centuries old. The main character, Selene, is explicitly stated to be roughly 600. None of the others have their ages stated even in ballpark figures, though it's obvious that most, if not all, of the other named vampires and Lycans are at least older than Selene.
  • All the vampires inTwilight movies
  • Miriam and John in The Hunger, since they're both vampires. She turned him, and the trouble in the movie starts when his years begin to catch up with him, as eventually and invariably happens to all her companions...
  • In Darby O'Gill and the Little People we are told that King Brian is around 5,000 years old.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Vampire Chronicles: As vampires, most protagonists fall under that trope, but Claudia most of all, being at least one century old with the appearance of a little girl.
  • The book Down and Out In The Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow, which includes rejuvenating technology, includes the line: "My girlfriend was 15 percent of my age, and I was old-fashioned enough that it bugged me."
  • Used in David Eddings' Belgariad, where all the sorcerers are at least 3,000 years old. Nobody points out that when Polgara marries Durnik, who is around thirty, that he is approximately one hundredth of her age. Of course, a few pages after the wedding we learn that he, too, is now a sorcerer, so all's well and good. Or something like that.
    • Nobody explicitly points it out, but Polgara gave up on dating early in life, and then it was just for a couple of weeks to irritate her father and bask in male attention. Early in the first book a boy suggests her marrying a normal man (who obviously loves her) and Polgara's reaction makes it clear the discrepancy is definitely in the front of her mind. And when she's finally ready to try marriage, the Gods give her reason to believe that it means giving up magic and an extended lifespan... just to make sure she really means it.
      • "Gave up on dating" may be an overstatement. It's not her fault she never married Count Ontrose (who was only 900 years younger than her).
    • Her father, Belgarath, the oldest man in the world, and all his brother sorcerers appear old at first glance, but are all as healthy and hale as young men, because looking venerable is important to them subconsciously. Polgara is young-seeming because looking old for her is unacceptable.
    • Also, the dryads from the same series. There's a fairly hilarious scene towards the end of the series when one character learns Garion and Ce'Nedra are likely to be young and, er, fruitful for a long, long time.
  • Also, in Strata by Terry Pratchett, the heroine is not only several hundred years old, but also wealthy enough to buy herself a practically endless amount of extended life (while still physically appearing as a well-preserved 30-something).
    • Aside from the hair. That's always the first thing to go, apparently.
  • JRR Tolkien's Elves and various other beings in the long-lived/immortal category who of course can not be visually categorised chronologically.
    • At one point Legolas reflects that he has lived longer than the country of Rohan has existed.
    • Tom Bombadil and Goldberry are as old as the world itself (at least ol' Tom is) and don't look much older than the elves.

Tom Bombadil: Eldest, that's what I am. Mark my words my friends: Tom was here before the river and the trees: Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn. He made paths before the Big People, and saw the little People arriving....When the Elves passed westward, Tom was already, before the seas were bent. He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.

    • Fangorn/Treebeard probably is the only creature still living in Middleearth that comes remotely close to the age of Bombadil, as he's referred to as the oldest living being that still walks under the sun.

Ere iron was found or tree was hewn,
When young was mountain under moon;
Ere ring was made, or wrought was woe,
It walked the forests long ago.

    • And Gollum is over 500, having had his lifespan greatly increased by the One Ring. Of course he doesn't look young, or even his original species. And he went mad and ugly from the Ring's powers.
    • Elrond himself was a child during the War of Wrath against Morgoth and counted almost 3500 years when he fought alongside King Elendil (his distant grand-nephew approximately 30 generations removed) in the War of the Last Alliance. Elrond is the 6,500 years mentioned above.
      • Elros, his brother who decided to live as a human, lived for 600 years as well and was, together with the remaining folk of the Edain, the founder of the long-living line of the Númenórians.
      • His daughter Arwen, born about 250 years after the War of the Last Alliance, eventually marries the Númenórian Aragorn—who is 2,690 years her junior.
    • Galadriel is even older. She was approximately 8,300 when Frodo departed from the Gray Havens, having been born in Valinor before the beginning of the First Age. She is therefore actually older than the entire race of men. And the sun.
    • All beaten by Círdan. He was probably one of the elves who woke up at Cuiviénen, meaning he's over 10,000 years old. He even has a beard.
    • And then there's the Istari, made up of Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast and the Blue Wizards, who may or may not be dead; all of them are effectively minor gods. They look like elderly men, but that's still not bad for someone older than the universe.
  • Also by Tolkien, Father Christmas in The Father Christmas Letters is as old as Christmas itself, giving his age as the then-current year (about 1,930). And his father, Grandfather Yule, is still around too.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia the Pevensies are all older than they look, all having lived to at least 40 within Narnia before returning to England at the same age as they left it. Also a case of Expecting Someone Taller.
  • In The Eyes of Hisenburg by Frank Herbert there is no reference to how far in the future it is. So you read through the book looking at the technology available and history mentioned and sort of assume that all this happens a few thousand years in the future. At the end, however, there is an implication that that is off by magnitudes and that the entire civilization has stratified for hundreds (or more) of thousands of years.
  • In Anne McCaffrey's Crystal Singer series, all Crystal Singers have extended lifespans (along with a healing factor and varying degrees of super senses: in other words, Wolverine without the claws and violence) due to the native symbiotic organisms that permeate the atmosphere of Ballybran, the source of the crystals. At the end of the third book, the protagonist, Killashandra, is revealed to be over 230 years old. (Her first appearance in the first book has her in her early 20s.)
  • In the Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds, Captain John Brannigan is several hundred years old, due to extreme modifications to his body and prolonged time in cryogenic sleep; he is by far the oldest human character in the series. The Captain was employed by NASA and was involved the Mars landings, yet the series takes place around 2600-2700 A.D. where Earth is rarely ever mentioned.
  • In The Inheritance Cycle, Eragon and Arya are supposedly an unsuitable match because Arya is a century older.
    • Angela is apparently quite old, but those who don't know better mistake her for an ordinary middle-aged woman, Nasuada and Roran, to name just a couple.
      • How has Rhunön not been mentioned? She's old enough to have been alive before the first dragon-elf union as Dragon rider and elves became immortal. That's about 9000 years ago. Oh, and the Menoa Tree. it's even older. An elderly elf (before the elves became immortal) sang herself into the oldest tree in the (really old) forest. She's still alive.
  • From The Dresden Files, there is the Archive (otherwise known as Ivy), a child (seven when we first meet her, twelve at her last appearance) who has the memories of everything that was and is, plus the memories of all the previous Archives including her mother. This results in behaviour more suited to a 100-year-old, though she does break into kid mode in the presence of Harry Dresden's cat, Mister. She also writes her office's official letters in crayon and watches the otters at the aquarium.
    • Dresdenverse wizards also live longer and age more slowly than ordinary humans. Warden Donald Morgan, Harry's parole officer, looks about fifty but has been in wizard law enforcement for over a hundred. Ebenezar McCoy, Harry's mentor, looks to be in his sixties and is really over two hundred.
    • Luccio has a particularly strong case of this, being over two-hundred years old but looking in her mid-twenties due to a wizard with a fondness for Grand Theft Me.
  • In Isaac Asimov's Robot novels, the "Spacers" (human colonists of extraterrestrial planets) are universally the beneficiaries of extremely extended lifespans: in The Caves of Steel, a man of about 160 is described as looking, at most, 60, and much later, in The Robots of Dawn, the plot briefly features a man of more than 400 (who looks old, but obviously, not that old); this is indicated to be just about the maximum for these people.
    • Then in Foundation and Earth there is R. Daneel Oliwav, who looks middle-aged but pushes 10.000 when the protagonists meet him.
  • In Tuck Everlasting, Jesse tells Winnie he's 104 years old. She doesn't believe him. He then explains that he's really 24 years old. He was telling the truth the first time.
  • In C. J. Cherryh's Alliance Union universe:
    • Cyteen discusses how rejuv has affected society, as people can now live past 130 and still appear forty, and consequently keep control of family businesses and live to see their great-grandchildren grow up. The only Union citizens who really look old (apart from possible hair color changes) are those in rejuv failure.
    • In Serpent's Reach, the two oldest Family members in the Reach are effectively immune from assassination, as their younger relatives want to know what the practical limits are on their rejuv technique.
  • In the Roger Zelazny novel This Immortal, the main character Conrad Nomikos looks to be a powerfully-built man in his twenties. But we keep meeting people who know he's older... and older... and older... By the end of the book, the best guess is that he's between two and three hundred, and may never get any older.
    • Zelazny loved to play with the concept of immortality and agelessness: Lord of Light, Isle of the Dead or the Amber series have really 700 (or 7,000, or 70,000...)-years-old characters.
      • And A Night in the Lonesome October, Jack and his dog Snuff have both been to several of the meetings to determine the fate of the world. These happen when there is a full moon on Halloween, which happens only five or six times a century. At the very least this puts Jack past his early-30s appearance, and Snuff well past the expected lifespan of a moderate-to-large dog. Rumors about the pair are mentioned to have been floating around for several of the meetings, indicating they are older still; one of the theories espoused is that Jack is Cain himself.
  • The Wheel of Time: Channelers enjoy a drastically extended lifespan, the extension likely dependent on power and usage. The oldest living Aes Sedai—and a powerful one at that—is approximately 300 years old. The oldest living channeler met in the series (the Aes Sedai Oath Rod drastically reduces their lifespan) is about 800.
    • Not to mention the fact that the Forsaken are all several thousand years old, although it is a technicality of sorts, given that they are Type II immortals and have been stuck with the Sealed Evil in a Can for most of that time.
  • The Night Watch series is rife with this, since all Others except certain witches stop aging when they are initiated, and nearly all Others can change their appearance through magic.
  • Subverted in Bloodsucking Fiends. After discovering Jody is a vampire, Tommy immediately assumes that it means she's also hundreds of years old. Jody is then forced to spend the next ten minutes explaining that she was turned into a vampire just days ago and she's just twenty-six—physically and chronologically.
  • Almost all the vampires in Twilight fall under this category. For example, Carlisle Cullen, who appears to be ~30, is actually over 300 years old.
    • The most extreme example in the series would be the Volturi twins Jane and Alec who appear to be in their mid-teens (are played by 17-18 year old actors in the film version). Though their actual age is never stated in the books, the date when they were turned to vampires has been ballparked to have been around the year 800, which would make them roughly 1200 years old.
    • The Quilete "werewolves" are not this as most of them are actually stated to be slightly younger than the physically appear (Jacob is only 15 in the books, but appears to be in his early 20s). However, it is stated at one point that they will remain at that same physical age as long as they continue to regularly phase into their wolf forms, meaning that they would legitimately qualify for this trope after a few years.
  • While prolong treatment in Honor Harrington has a working limit of about 250–300 years, it still tends to produce some really squicky effects. Like you could be 25, a seasoned military veteran controlling weapons capable of vaporising frakking planets, but you still would look (and, biologically, be) twelve.
    • The series normally seems to avoid calling attention to it except at odd moments; as when one of Honor Harrington's personal guard is musing that the Steadholder they're guarding is older than any of them... but looks like someone's teen sister. The first time a Grayson admiral (whose planet doesn't have prolong) boards a Manticoran ship, he has to fight back his gut reaction that the ship appears crewed by kids.
      • Namely, in the latest novel she looks about 22-25, but is actually 63, while her father and husband, both centenarians, look like they're in their early forties. At the same time her mother, at the same age, but an offworlder with a more advanced prolong, looks early to mid-thirties.
    • When one considers that it has been mentioned that all naval personnel have contraceptives (usually implanted) as a requirement of serving in the field, almost all navies have mixed-sex crews, and that most are pretty liberal when it comes to what crew do off duty...not mentioning that the people cheerfully having sex look like pubescent kids and young teens (not to mention the rapes inflicted on female prisoners in The Honor of the Queen), not mentioning it much is probably the better part of discretion.
  • Aphrael from David Eddings' Elenium and Tamuli is a goddess who incarnates herself into five-year old child forms.
    • Her true form is actually more like sixteen - Sparhawk is very insistent that she remembers the clothes when she uses it - but she apparently finds "cute" easier to work with than "sexy".
    • She's actually about 30,000. She still hasn't grown up, though.
  • Brian Jacques' Castaways of the Flying Dutchman: the heroes are a boy and his dog who were given eternal life for being the only good souls aboard the Flying Dutchman when it was cursed. Ben, the boy, has effectively been fourteen since the year 1620.
  • The title characters in Diana Wynne Jones' The Homeward Bounders effectively do not age and are invulnerable. Jamie Hamilton, the youngest of them, became a Homeward Bounder at twelve, and appears no more than a year older as he begins to narrate the book, but as he says, "You wouldn't believe how old I am." He eventually realises that he's met his little sister's grandchildren, who are older than he is.
  • The 'family' in Diana Wynne Jones' Archer's Goon gives birth order and the fact that by the time the youngest was born the older four were already grown and flown, but not ages. However, they all look various forms of young, and Archer mentions offhandedly that 'my family don't age at the rate you people do.' Awful at her most perceptive also accuses Dillian of being thousands of years old, but this seems unlikely given the aging bizzarrities provoked by Venturus and Hathaway's time-travel experiments. Never made clear exactly what they are, since they're not from Earth or Outer Space and seem to be wildly magic with technology very handy and even necessary in the application thereof. Uhm...don't look behind this spoiler tag if you might want to read the book. Seriously, don't, even if it's a habit. It'll ruin the whole point. Jones does a lot of reveals and twists as policy. The number she put in the original Howl's Moving Castle was impressive.
  • In Elizabeth Moon's Familias Regnant series, one of the major plot drivers is "rejuv", which reverses aging and brings you back to a biological 25 or 30 years old. You then age normally, but can do it again when you start feeling old. This causes no end of problems, including having successful parents continue to run companies instead of turning them over to the next generation, having the military be loaded with senior sergeants and admirals instead of having them retire to make way for the next generation, etc. This means that the current generation of people will never take over responsibility, since their 30 year old parents are doing fine. Further, this is scaring the heck out of neighboring groups who fear the resultant population explosion of perpetual 30 year olds, with the attendant pressure to take over the planets of the neighboring groups.
  • In Larry Niven's Known Space stories, every human in the universe above the age of 40 takes a longevity drug called Boosterspice as a matter of course. This has affected humanity's attitudes and prejudices to the point that when hero Louis Wu (himself 250 years old in the body of a 20 year old) meets a human being who hasn't taken Boosterspice (and thus is "suffering" from wrinkles, gray hair, a missing tooth or two, and the scars one normally finds on a person of 40+ ), he thinks the other man is a member of a human-like alien species.
    • Jerome Corbell, the hero of Niven's A World Out Of Time starts the story waking up after spending 220 years in suspended animation. By the end of the novel, because of time-dilation caused by a close encounter with a black hole, he's at least five billion years old.
  • In the Night Huntress books, vampires do not age after being turned. So, Bones is around 200 years old and looks like he is in his mid-twenties, and Mencheres is nearly four thousand and looks like he isn't much older than Bones.
  • In Discworld, we have the Abbot of the History Monks, who through the process of advanced reincarnation wound up in the body of a young baby—with most of his knowledge intact. Hard to say precisely how old he is, if he's gone around a few times like that. Of course, the History Monks play with time anyway, so...
    • On the other hand, Lu-Tze the Sweeper never bothered with reincarnation and is still quite spry for someone over 800 years old.
    • The High Priest Dios in Pyramids is really many thousands of infinite years old.
      • Most history monks don't bother with reincarnation. It's the Abbot who can't get the hang of "circular aging"...
  • Dead Boy from the Nightside books looks seventeen but is chronologically in his 40s or 50s.
  • In the story Child of All Ages, the protagonist, having lived several hundred years as a permanent child, is quite happy to continue life. Even if she is stuck as a child. She does bemoan the fact that modern society makes it pretty hard to be independent as a child, but she still can't wait to see what life brings next.
  • In John Ringo's Council Wars series, Bast the Wood Elf is over a thousand years old but looks 14. A very well developed 14 mind you if the cover art is anything to go by.
  • Durzo Blint of the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks fits this rather well by actually being seven hundred years old.
  • Roland Deschain of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series turns out to be Really Seven Hundred Years Old due to the space time continuum of his world being ripped apart. He managed to survive the destruction of his entire civilization.
    • It's actually a bit unclear whether or not this trope truly applies to Roland. Although the books seem to imply that he has really been kicking around for centuries, the companion guidebook The Road to the Dark Tower suggests that due to the breakdown of spacetime, though he was born hundreds of years ago, Roland has actually lived a subjectively normal lifespan.
      • However he did pull a major Rip Van Winkle when he slept long enough for Marten to go from alive and kicking to a skeleton fragile enough to turn into dust at the slightest touch.
      • King later revised this to be a fake skeleton placed there to make him think he'd slept that long.
  • Averted by Miles Vorkosigan, who's rumored to look seventeen because he's an old man who's undergone high-tech rejuvenation therapy. He's actually 17.
    • Note that it's possible to have this played straight in that universe, but the most practical way for this is brain transplant.
  • Let the Right One In, a Swedish horror novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, features Eli, a vampire that was 12 years old when transformed. Eli can't remember exactly how long it's been, but it's implied to be around 200 years.
  • The Piper's Children from Keys to the Kingdom. They were brought to the House by the Piper, and in the House one doesn't age. They've been stuck as kids for several hundred years.
    • Don't forget pretty much every House Denizen before the remake of the multiverse has been around for thousands of years.
  • John Carter of Mars has been thirty for as long as he can remember, and is stated to have dandled the unnamed narrator's grandfather on his knee when said grandfather was an infant. The nature of his immortality is never explained.
    • Asides from that, the average lifespan for a Barsoomian is 1,000 years, and they don't start looking old until they start hitting the end of their life.
      • There are also a few instances of people lasting even longer than that due to suspended animation or body-hijacking.
  • in The Alchemyst, Nicolas Flamel is known to be 678, and Dee is over 400, but it doesn't stop there. Although the date is not given, Scathach is 2,000+, and Morrigan is old enough to have been an ancient egyptian god, while Hekate is supposedly as old as time itself.
  • Zoe Nightshade from Percy Jackson and The Olympians. In fact, any of the Hunters who have been members for a long time. Artemis herself prefers to appear as a 12-year-old girl when she's traveling with them. And then there are the rest of the gods and mythological characters...
  • Deth in The Riddle Master of Hed trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip.
  • Many of Robert A. Heinlein's reoccurring characters are members of the Howard Families, and blessed with natural longevity on the order of a couple hundred years, but none more so than Lazarus Long. By his last appearance Lazarus is several thousand years old, though he appears to be in his thirties due to both being a Howard and future medicine. At one point someone tells him he cannot die when he seems to be mortally wounded. The reader is left to decide whether that is the plea of a distraught spouse or a prescient statement.
    • Long claims he met another Heinlein character, a doctor who had invented a machine that could predict when you'd die, and got no answer. It is implied but not made explicit that Lazarus would live forever; the doctor's machine might also have indicated Lazarus' death during World War I thanks to Time Travel.
  • The White and the Voices of Trudi Canavan's "The Age of Five" trilogy are frozen at the ages they were chosen by their respective gods. The Wilds are also an example, as the second youngest immortal Mirar appears to be in his 40s, despite being at least 1000 years old. The Gull is an even better example: he's the oldest surviving immortal in the world despite appearing to be no more than seven or eight years old.
  • In Neal Stephenson's Anathem, Fraa Jad offhandedly makes it known that he is at least several hundred - and possibly several thousand - years old.
    • Another Stephenson example: Enoch Root, who appears in both the Baroque Cycle and Cryptonomicon, despite the combined storyline spanning about 300 or 400 years.
  • In Sewer Gas and Electric, Kite is a former Sweet Polly Oliver veteran of the American Civil War ... and is still alive, and fairly healthy, in the early 21st century. No magic, super-science, or non-human blood involved: she's just a statistical outlier for lifespan. Most people assume she's in her nineties, and nuts.
  • In Perry Rhodan most of the main cast is a bit older than they look. Perry Rhodan was born in 1936 and now it is 5050. He stopped aging when he was 39. Atlan da Gonozal was born 8044 bc, but he did sleep about 10,000 years while waiting for the earthlings to invent spacetravel.
  • The Canes, a whole race of werewolves in Codex Alera may fit in these trope. They can live up to 1000 years and still have the appearance/strength associated with youth.
  • In the Mortal Instruments series Magnus Bane is said to look like he stopped aging at age 19, but is thought to be over 300 years old. in the book City Of Glass it is revealed when he is having an argument with Alec Lightwood that he is in fact MUCH older than previously thought.

Magnus: I'm seven hundred years old, Alexander. I know when something isn't going to work. You won't even admit I exist to your parents.
Alec: You're seven hundred years old?
Magnus: Well, eight hundred. But I don't look it. Anyway, you're missing the point.

  • In Harry Potter, witches and wizards can live quite a while past their first century: Dumbledore is 116 years old and still Badass enough to take on Lord Voldemort, and during Harry's fifth-year examinations there's a witch who lived long enough to give Dumbledore his exams (exact age isn't stated, but she would presumably be about 150).
    • And of course there's Nicholas Flamel. Though never seen, he is stated to be over 600 years old. (Although this is specifically because he can make the Philosopher's Stone, unlike most people).
  • In L. Frank Baum's Queen Zixi of Ix—Queen Zixi of Ix. Except that she can see her real age in her reflection.
  • In David Weber's Empire From the Ashes, the Imperial military uses cybernetic enhancements which have a side effect of increasing the recipient's lifespan to an average of 600 or so years. Horus and the original crew of the Dahak are chronologically over 50,000 years old, counting time spent in stasis.
  • The wizard Nevyn of the Deverry novels swore an oath in his youth that he would not rest until he had set right the mistakes that resulted in the deaths of three of his friends. The gods made him keep his oath, he lived to be about 450. This actually turns out to be good for his official profession: He makes and sells medicine for a living, and a doctor who appears to be roughly seventy (in a society where fifty is old) and is still in perfect health would presumably be very good at maintaining his (and by extension, his customer's) health.
  • The Galactic Milieu had technology that allowed people to rejuvenate to a younger age. Thanks to a certain gene complex, most members of the Remillard family rejuvenated automatically, leaving most of them looking like twenty or thirty somethings indefinitely. Rogi (The oldest member of the family not counting Mark as Atoning Unifex) still looked like he was in his early fifties at 150.
  • In the Starfire series of novels, a few individuals are lucky enough to be selected for the very expensive "Antigerone" treatment. They'll look and feel like they're still in their prime at age 60, and can live for over two centuries.
  • Played with Marianne Engel in The Gargoyle. She claims to be this, but given her extremely irrational behavior, the narrator is convinced that she's just crazy. Not that it stops him from falling in love with her.
  • In Octavia Butler's Fledgling, Shori is a 53 year old vampire (or Ina, as they call themselves) in the body of a 10 year old, because Ina age slower than humans. This leads to some squick, due to the Hemo-Erotic tendencies of the Ina, which means that Shori's 23-year-old human symbiont is having sex with a 10-year-old.
  • In The Excalibur Alternative the alien captors infuse the English with technology to make them age slower. Granted, they also used "sleep" to help.
  • In Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles the druid Atticus O'Sullivan tells people that he is twenty one. People naturally assume that he means years rather than centuries. He uses a magical potion to maintain a youthful appearance but he predates Christianity. The vampire Leif is around a thousand years old and the local warevolves have members a few centuries old. The various gods and demi-gods can be virtually immortal.
  • The witches in His Dark Materials. Serafina Pekkala appears to be a young woman, but is at least three hundred years old.
  • The wandering storyteller Norna-Gest of the Old Norse "Tale of Norna Gest" reveals himself as a three-hundred years old immortal.
  • In the Kim Newman Dark Future novels, Elder Nguyen Seth, The Summoner. In Demon Download it's stated that Seth first came into contact with Roger Duroc's family during the Albigension Crusade. That took place in the 13th century, and it's hinted by Seth that he's much older.
"I remember a hundred years ago as if it were the last minute. A thousand, two thousand, ten thousand years ago."
Elder Seth, Comeback Tour


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Munsters: Grandpa Munster was 597 years old when the series premiered in 1964; daughter Lily was 137 while Herman Munster was 152 years old. By comparison, Marilyn was in her 20s and Eddie was 10 during the series' first season.
  • I Dream of Jeannie: Although she looks like a 30-year-old babelicious blonde, Jeannie is at least 2,000 years old (her age coming thanks to being trapped in a bottle by the Blue Djinn (in retaliation for rejecting his marriage proposal).
  • Bewitched: Samantha is at least 400 years old, although she appears to be someone who is 30.
  • In Power Rangers, count on any alien, even Human Aliens, to number their ages in at least four digits. This is especially true for any mysterious children you run into. They tend to be the spirits of ancient Humongous Mecha.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch seems to age incredibly slowly. Hilda and Zelda claim to be somewhere in the 500-700 age range, but both actresses were in their mid-30's.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Fourth Horseman", a love interest of Sam Carter's retakes bodily form as a boy to be able to retain his ascended memories. Even though the character is much older than his physical age, Carter gets weirded out when he speaks of his love for her and the relationship ends.
    • Another example are the Goa'uld human hosts themselves. While the Goa'uld symbiotes can switch host bodies at will, they prefer to use a single host, along with Applied Phlebotinum to keep them young and healthy for centuries. Apophis appears to be in his twenties, and Ra looked like a young teenager, though both their human hosts were originally abducted from ancient Egypt. As seen when Apophis's host temporarily regained control of his body, the mental torment of being turned into a living puppet for millennia far outweighs the benefit of eternal youth and beauty.
    • To clarify, Goa'uld hosts retain their mental faculties when playing host - Goa'uld, if they wish, can allow a host to control the body and such. Aside from the good Tokra, though, they don't, meaning all a host can do is watch helplessly from inside their body.
      • Also note, that while the symbiote does give extended life, without the Applied Phlebotinum the symbiotes cannot sustain the bodies if they have inhabited said body for thousands of years. A typical Tok'ra host lasts about 200 years, after which the host typically dies and the symbiote has to find a new host (frequently someone suffering from an incurable disease, such as Sam Carter's cancer-ridden dad).
      • Lt. Colonel John Sheppard has a knack for getting himself aged up. For instance, he gets stuck in a stasis pod for 700 years, but doesn't look a day older.
  • In Stargate Atlantis, it's implied that Todd the Wraith is at least ten thousand years old. Even considering that Wraith hibernate for long periods, he's very old for a Wraith, and remembers firsthand the war with the Ancients.
  • Parodied in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where 1,000-year-old ex-demon Anya is unable to buy a beer in a bar, since she doesn't have the ID to prove it.
    • And of course, vampires like Angel, Drusilla, and Spike are hundreds of years old but still look like sexy 20-somethings.
    • Same goes for Glory, the Big Bad of Season 5.
    • And Dawn existed as the Key for millennia before becoming a 14-year-old human at the beginning of season 5.
  • The Conduit, Mesektet, in Angel liked to take the form of a ten year-old little girl, but was actually an ancient and evil being and one of the incarnations of Ra.
  • Jadzia Dax (and her successor Ezri Dax) on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is an interesting case because, due to the symbiotic nature of her species she is both in her late 20s and hundreds of years old.
    • Indeed, Sisko's teenage son Jake is quite pleased when urbane Jadzia turns into a ditzy twenty-something.

Jake Sisko: She is so cute.
Benjamin Sisko: She is also about 300 years too old for you.

  • Guinan of Star Trek: The Next Generation is at least 500 years old. At one point, Data's transported to the 19th century, where he spots Guinan having a conversation with Mark Twain at a dinner party. He assumes she was somehow sent back in time as well, only to quickly learn that this is actually her 19th century self. In the episode Rascals, set in 2369, she says her father is 700.
    • Tolian Soran, a member of the same race as Guinan and infamously the man to kill James T Kirk, was described as being "over 200 years old" by Dr Crusher (although interestingly he looked older than Guinan).
  • At the end of the famous episode of Star Trek: The Original Series "Arena" (the one with the Rubber Suit monster Gorn), the Metrons are revealed to be Human Aliens.

Kirk: You're a Metrone?
Metrone: Does my appearance surprise you, Captain?
Kirk: You seem more like a boy.
Metrone: I am approximately 1,500 of your Earth years old.

    • Also in Miri. She's a prepubescent girl, but about 300 years old.

Janice Rand: Miri... she really loved you, you know?
Capt. Kirk: Yes.
Janice:...
Capt. Kirk: I never get involved with older women, Yeoman.

  • Hinted on 30 Rock with Kenneth multiple times. One episode had a flash-forward to his tombstone, with a branch covering most of his date of birth. It looks like the date is 17--.

Kenneth: I've had that bird for over sixty years!

  • On 3rd Rock From The Sun, "teenager" Tommy Solomon was actually the senior member of the alien team. Of course, his real age (and that of the rest of the family) was never revealed, so there is no way of knowing how much older Tommy was.
  • An episode of The Twilight Zone had a College Professor of about 25, preparing to marry the roughly 18-24 year-old daughter of another professor, set in the then-contemporary world of the early 1960s; what we discover is that he took a treatment which caused him to stop aging when he was 25, from an alchemist back around the time of Julius Caesar, and has been alive for over a thousand years.
  • Lorien in Babylon 5 looks to be an elderly man (okay, okay... an elderly alien man) in his 60s or 70s, but he was the first being in the galaxy to achieve sentience. Given how old some of the races that look up to him are, he's very, very old indeed.

Sheridan: How long have you been here?
Lorien: A long time. So long -- I was old when the molecules of your world joined and called themselves land and sea and fish and man.
Sheridan: You're one of the first ones.
Lorien: No -- not one of the first ones. I *am* the first one.

    • Even ordinary humans in B5 may be a mild example of this trope, as the average human lifespan is ~100 years. Presumably the healthier ones would live decades longer than that.
  • The Doctor in Doctor Who currently looks to be in his mid-twenties (or even younger), but is over a thousand. Stated onscreen as 1103 as of 2011, though Fanon maintains that it's been well into the quadruple digits long before that, with his age decreased from 953 to 900 in 2005. It's often assumed he's lying about his age. Steven Moffat has said that the Doctor doesn't actually know his true age.
    • To quote the Fourth Doctor in the 1976 story "The Stones of Blood" - "I've known hundreds of people who've lived for hundreds of years!"
    • Jack Harkness appears to be in his early 40s but is, as of the series 2 finale of Torchwood, well over 2,000 years old. And if his comment about the Face of Boe is accurate, he lives for well over a few billion years. And even if not, the Face of Boe is referenced in the year 200,000 and 200,100 and dies in 5,000,000,053.
    • The Weeping Angels (in 2007 and the 51st century), Carrionites (in 1599) and Satan himself, we think, (circa the 42nd century) go as far back as the early years of the Universe. Prior to leaving the universe from the fires of the Last Great Time War (according to a Doctor Who Annual), the Eternals were, well, eternal.
    • Doctor Who has a lot of this. Ood Sigma from "Planet of the Ood" has barely aged a day a century on in The End of Time. In series 5's "The Beast Below" The Star Whale, carrying the United Kingdom for 200 years is described by Amy as "very old and very kind", much like someone else. Due to slowing down her biological systems, Queen Elizabeth X of the UK is 300 years old in the same episode (and lives at least another 2,000). Despite their mayfly-like lifespan in their normal states, if a member of the Family of Blood took the lifespan of a Time Lord, he could live as long (it's unknown if regeneration ability comes with it, or if they can take the lifespan of other creatures.)
    • In the series five finale Rory waits by the Pandorica guarding it for over eighteen hundred years thanks to being a plastic Nestene duplicate with Rory's memories. Although history gets repaired in the end, human Rory retains fragments of Nestene Rory's memories so in some ways he's older than the Doctor. What's more impressive is that despite all that time spent guarding it he doesn't get a single scratch.
  • Highlander featured two episodes about an immortal with the appearance of a 10-year-old. (Immortals stop aging whenever they are "killed" for the first time.) In his first appearance he claimed to have been immortal for only four years, but it turned out he was Really Eight Hundred Years Old and engaged in a repeated con job to gain other immortals' trust and take their heads. (This was his way of making up for combat disadvantage.)
    • Of course almost every Immortal in Highlander follows the trope, because you just can't go around telling people you were born in 1592 when you look 30. If anything, the trope is sometimes reversed with some pretending they're older than they really are (eg, the man who pretends to be Methos).
  • Sanctuary: Helen Magnus used to date Jack the Ripper; she's 157 years old at the start of the series. For that matter, Tesla, Watson, and Jack the Ripper are also all older than they look for various reasons. The only member of the Five that isn't (The Invisible Man) is dead with a grown up granddaughter. Magnus' father is even older, and probably in his 180s-190s or so.
    • In the 2011 season, Magnus goes back in time to the 19th century to stop a time-traveler from attempting to change the timeline. She succeeds, but has no way to return to present day other than simply going off to live in seclusion (so as not to mess up "history" herself), finally rejoining her friends when 2011 rolls around again. At the start of the next episode, she's *another* 123 years older (now about 280).
  • Richard Alpert from Lost looks to be a normal guy in his 30s or 40s. Until in season five we see flashbacks and jumps through time from the 1950s through the 1990s where he looks exactly the same as he does in 2004. Season 6's "Ab Aeterno" states his age as about 170 in 2007, having made landfall on board the Black Rock in 1867.
    • Considering the dresses during their Whole-Episode Flashback, Jacob and The Man In Black aka the smoke monster were born during the Roman Age, making them about 2000 years old. Though it's later revealed that the Man in Black is actually a shapeshifter taking on the form of his long-dead body (among others, including Locke). God knows how old their adopted mother, who grants the immortality power to the brothers (and indirectly, Richard), was at that time.
  • Naboo from The Mighty Boosh looks and acts like a teenager, but was apparently born in the 16th century, making him at least 400 years old.
  • The vast majority of the non-human characters in Kamen Rider Kiva fit this trope. Ramon is a particularly egregious example, since he looks no older than 14 (the others are all played by actors in their 20s or 30s), and he even says to Yuri, "I'm 105 years old." She doesn't believe him.
    • Kamen Rider OOO has the five Greeed (Ankh, Kazari, Uva, Mezool and Gamel) all of whom are over 800 years old. Their human forms all look early to mid-20s, except for Mezool, who resembles a pre-teen girl. Later, the "lost" Ankh adopts the human form of a small child.
  • On Battlestar Galactica, Galen Tyrol, Sam Anders, Tory Foster, Saul Tigh, and Ellen Tigh are really two thousand years old, though this is because of travelling on a relativistic ship. Even without that, they are Older Than They Look, because their ship finished its journey at a time when Bill Adama was a teenager.
  • Some of the vampires in Being Human (UK) fit this; Mitchell is over a century old, but looks mid-20s. His sire, Herrick, is even older, but looks middle-aged. Hal is considered one of the Old Ones and is over 500 years old but looks to be in his 30s.
  • The League of Gentlemen strongly implies this in the case of Papa Lazarou, who shows up in a flashback set about 30 years earlier, and he looks exactly the same.
  • There was an episode of Smallville where a seemingly middle-aged mechanic turns out to be Dax-Ur, a Kryptonian who moved to Earth around the beginning of the 20th century.
  • This was the basis for a ploy by the IMF on Mission Impossible. They convinced a bad guy that they had access to a fountain whose water had miraculous healing powers, including keeping people perpetually young. As part of their plan, he befriends Casey, then finds evidence that she is over a hundred years old.
  • While most GELFs on Red Dwarf are assumed to be descendants of the genetically engineered creatures created 3 million years ago, it seems likely that the super soldier Polymorph from the episode of the same name had been sealed away by humans for a very, very long time before wreaking havok on board the Dwarf.
  • In Chouriki Sentai Ohranger, Kingranger is mentioned to have been around more than 600 million years ago yet looks like an eleven or twelve-year-old boy. At least partly explained by the fact that he has been in suspended animation for some time.
    • Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger's Shirogane is 1062 years old and looks to be around 25.
    • In Mahou Sentai Magiranger, Heavenly Saints Hikaru and Rin are implied to be hundreds of years old but appear to be in their mid-20s and late teens respectively.
  • John Amsterdam, from New Amsterdam: He's four centuries old.
  • The vampires on True Blood but most notably, Russell who is supposed to be 3000 years old, but only looks like he's in his mid-forties and Godric, who at 2000, looked about 18.
    • The maenad Maryann is ancient, supposedly predating ancient Greece, which would put her at over 4000. She, however, looks to be in her forties, and looked the same over a decade before entering the series.
  • H.G Wells in Warehouse 13 , Thanks to being bronzed for 110 years, is estimated to be 140 something years old even though she looks like she is in her early 30's or late 20's.
  • Alphas has Stanton Parish, an Alpha whose history has been traced as far back as the US Civil War. It has not been revealed yet how old he really is.
  • On Supernatural many of the supernatural beings who appear human can be quiet old
    • Angels are older than humanity and need a human vessel while on Earth
    • Demons are human souls that were sent to hell and can be very old when they return to Earth and posses a person. Lilith became the first demon shortly after the Fall.
    • Death appears as an older gentleman but is so old that he could predate God.
    • The Leviathans are even older than angels.
    • Many ancient deities and monsters survived to the modern age by appearing as normal humans.
    • Powerful witches can live for centuries. The Starks have had marital spats since at least the 15th century.
    • Due to time flowing faster in Hell we really do not know how much time Sam actually spent there. Dean spent around 40 years in Hell. Their bodies were recreated at their correct age when they returned to Earth so physically they have not aged.
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place, Juliet, being a vampire, looks around 16 but is actually over 9500, and her parents look like they're in their 40's. Mason also looks like a teenager, but is older than the United States of America (no exact age is ever given). Rudy Tootie looks around 47, but is over 2000-and he's spent all that time mocking Prof. Crumbs's age.
  • Nick and the other vampires of Forever Knight.
  • Parodied on Canadian teen sitcom Mr. Young, where this is Mrs. Byrne's whole joke. They've never stated her exact age but it's clear that she's very, very old. Maybe the best example is in the spring break special, where she says she misses the days when you didn't have to put on sunscreen because there was no sun, and also mentions that she never thought she'd crawl back into the ocean.

Music[edit | hide]


Myths, Legends and Religion[edit | hide]

  • In The Bible, before the great flood, men lived to be over 900 years old, the oldest being, of course, Noah's grandfather Methuselah.
    • According to some midrashim, Cain died in the Flood aged 1656, making him the longest-lived human.
  • Changeling folklore often includes the changeling (who looks like a baby or small child) revealing that it's actually several hundred years old or 'as old as Wester Wood'.
  • Pick a deity. Any deity. Unless special circumstances require it they will always appear in a form that is at least recognisably human, if not necessarily young, despite ages being anywhere from centuries to as old as the universe, or even older.


Plants and Animals[edit | hide]

  • This tree in Sweden may look like a mere sapling, but the above-ground portion is just the latest offshoot of a root system that has been growing continuously since the end of the last Ice Age.
    • While not quite that extreme, Olive trees are well known for that. While the tree itself might die, the root system will live on and produce several trees. Root systems being thousands of years old are not rare, especially in parts of the Middle East.
    • That's nothing compared to "Pando", a clonal colony of Quaking Aspen in Utah has a root system that is estimated to be about 80,000 years old. There might even be other, less well-studied Quaking Aspen-systems in the area that are one million years old.
    • For that matter, there are several such instances of very long-lived plant-based organisms.
    • Not to mention fungal mycelia, which are typically as old as the forests they grow under.
  • The Turritopsis nutricula is, theoretically, biologically immortal. After sexual maturity and reproducing, the creature reverts to a polyp (younger) stage. The cells and biology of the creature change completely as opposed simply mimicking the younger stage. The process of developing sexual maturity, reproduction, and returning to polyp stage than repeats.
  • There is evidence that hydras may age very slowly or not at all, making them potential candidates for being biologically immortal.
  • Sea turtles never age. They can die only by violent death or by an illness not caused or hastened by old age.
    • Not the case. They do not age outwardly past maturity, still making them candidates for this trope. The more long-lived ones last about 80 years.
    • Even more true of some tortoises — the Galapagos variety can supposedly live to 200 or more!
      • One of the three giant tortoises taken from the Galapagos Islands by Charles Darwin, named Harriet, was 176 years old when she died in 2006.
        • Most turtles and tortoises can live to be 80 to 100 years old this includes small land turtles and tortises which are kept as pets. However, because of the way people treat these creatures most die of either abuse, malnutrition, or neglect within one year. Statistics given by a member of the Colorado Reptile Humane Society board.
  • Females of many species of spiders, at least those who do not die of debilitation after laying eggs, continue to grow and molt throughout their entire lives. They generally die from predation, duels with rivals of their own species, or molting problems that can affect older individuals (who, like the turtles, do not differ visually from their younger selves). Female tarantulas can live to be 30 while continuing to mate with males who seldom reach 2.
  • In the Bristle Cone Pine page info in the Wikipedia entry, there is also a link to the Arctica islandica, an ordinary-looking mollusk actually found to be 405 to 410 years old. This made it the longest solitary animal on record which forms accretionary skeletons.
  • And then there's the Yew, a major contender in the Oldest Living Thing stakes. In Britain, many parish churches have yews in the grounds and there are many folk explanations, the most common being that they were planted to provide the close-grained, flexible timber required to make longbows for the English army. However, given how painfully slowly yew trees grow this is clearly nonsense. The trees weren't planted in the churchyard, the church and churchyard were planted in the yew groves that were already very old and sacred to the kind of guys who built Stonehenge.
  • Many trees, left to themselves, will age and eventually die but if humans intervene by coppicing, as they have for millennia for the production of charcoal, fencing poles and other trappings of industry and agriculture, there seems to be no limit to how long they can survive. Coppicing keeps the tree eternally youthful.
  • Given that there are different branches of medical science that are separately working on coming up with ways to someday make it possible to maintain a youthful appearance for years as well as have longer life expectancies, it is be safe to say that medical science is ultimately working toward making some form of Really 700 Years Old possible for humans.
  • Most people don't think of humans as particularly notable for their age, but while the average lifespan of a human is fairly normal in the mammal world, their record age (122 years old, if not more) is the longest of any mammal. It's possible one woman once lived to 160, but this may be a case of being confused with his grandmother, who she was named after.
  • A koi by the name of Hanako was determined to be over 215 years old through studies of her scales, which grow rings like tree trunks. She died in 1970. By comparison, koi are usually said to not live beyond 50. Sort of gives new meaning to the koi's reputed longevity, huh?


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • In third edition Dungeons and Dragons, a 110-year-old elf is said to be equivalent to a 15-year-old human. However, the sourcebooks have disagreed on whether this is their physical age, or simply the age where they reach full emotional maturity and are considered adults by their culture. In the fourth edition, elves and eladrin reach adulthood in the same time as humans, but stay in their prime for as long as 200–300 years.
    • Edition 3.5 also has two races that are technically immortal and don't have a maximum age; Elan reach venerable age at 1000 (an elf's venerable age is 350...) and don't have a maximum age, while the Killoren only reach 'old' age at around 500 and don't have a venerable age category or a maximum age.
      • Elan, as a created race, are made to be effectively immortal. The first creator of the Ectopic Adept prestige class (From Complete Psionic) supposedly is still wandering the planes, after a few thousand years.
    • The second edition module Darklords for Ravenloft had a vampire child ala The Vampire Chronicles
    • This trope also applies to several of Ravenloft's human darklords, owing to the Dark Powers' keeping them around to torment.
    • There are a number of people in the Forgotten Realms setting who are much order than they look. The Seven Sisters are more than 700 years old but appear to be in their thirties. Elminster Aumar and Halaster Blackcloak are more than a thousand years old but appear to be just old men.
    • In the 2nd Edition Birthright setting, one of the inheritable blood abilities (drops of divine power left in the mortal world) is Long Life, allowing someone to live up to five times, twenty times or one hundred times longer. One seemingly middle-aged character is widely rumoured to have gained his long life at the very battle where the Old Gods died!
  • Slaanesh from Warhammer 40000 is easily older than 10,000 years old, but whenever s/he chooses to reveal itself to a mortal will take a form that person considers the most attractive. The Emperor himself looks like a human male in his thirties or something, but is actually some fifty thousand years old (more precisely, he looked like that before being put on life support for the last ten thousand years. What he looks like now is anyone's guess...). Space Marines in general have a life expectancy closer to a thousand years, but certainly don't look like that, while their Chaos equivalents can live practically forever—and even if they kinda look like shit, it has nothing to do with their age.
    • Also in the Warhammer 40000 universe, there's the Apex Twins, a pair of psychic twins who are alpha-level psykers. They have the appearance of two 6-year-old girls and project an aura of incredible cuteness and harmlessness, inspiring anyone nearby to protect them, even if they were originally supposed to be killing them. Their true age is unknown, but it is known to be measured in millennia.
    • Due to the existence of rejuvenat treatments, everyone (well... everyone with either lots of money or the right connections) in the Imperium can retain their youthful looks for quite a while. One novel has an assassin in her late teens impersonate a fictional noble somewhere past 150.
    • According to most (non-battle) fluff (which isn't a lot), Eldar don't leave school until they're 100, and, according to the codex, show no signs of age until they're about 1,000. If that means what I think it means...
      • And given that Farseers actually get tougher as they get older...
      • Eldrad Ulthran was an ancient and respected seer 10,000 years ago and was a young trainee during the Fall; which was at least 100,000 years ago (If not older, one of the Codices has a passage from an Eldar poet who mentioned that the Eldar have sung their songs of lament since before humanity's first ancestors crawled on their bellies from the sea). Asdrubael Vect is at least as old, but he uses dark sorcery and blood sacrifice.
    • Yriel is at least a thousand years old, but pictures of him and his model make him look more like he is 30-ish.
    • The Phoenix Lords might be an extreme example, as they are conglomerates of the souls of everyone to have worn their armor dominated by the consciousness of the first and greatest, which suggests that they are biologically three hundred or so while mentally over a hundred thousand.
    • Yarrick is, what, four hundred? And still disassembling Orks with an old power klaw. Badass Grandpa indeed.
    • Eisenhorn is at least 190 years old, but isn't slowing down yet.
      • He was 42 in Xenos, 140 in Malleus, and 256 in Hereticus. Hereticus ends in the 7th century of M41, so he'd be pushing 500.
    • Eisenhorn has nothing on Kryptmann, who is rumored to still be at large hunting Tyranids around the Galaxy, despite being more than 2000 years old and on the run for much of this time.
      • Hive Fleet Behemoth arrived in the 5th century of M41, and I'm pretty sure that he wasn't 1500 years old by then.
    • Commissar Ciaphas Cain, HERO OF THE IMPERIUM! is around 200 in his first story but doesn't seem to have shown any effects yet.
      • This is dubious and is probably a misinterpretation of the text reference. In other places it was said that Cain was 200 to 2500 when he died'. Though the nature of his career led to rampant fan speculation that his death was only a ruse to hide his promotion to the ranks of Inquisition.
  • Warhammer Fantasy has its elves following this very well, along with many of their vampires. The Slann seem to look the same no matter how many thousand years they have lived, and daemons do not age.
    • Arguably, daemons aren't alive, being at best quasi-sentient magical constructs formed from the emotions of sentient races. That being said, there are a number of Chaos-related things which fall into this trope (if not Time Abyss): the dragon ogres made a pact with Tzeentch for immortality in exchange for servitude (and sterility), and only seem to age and grow when woken by thunderstorms. The sorcerer Udolpho traded his soul for immortality (apparently for himself and his household), with the proviso that he was never bored.[1] The one who really takes the cake, however, is the Great Enchanter, Constant Drachenfels; thanks to his habit of body-surfing, he is/was old enough to remember the coming of the Slann to the Warhammer world, which means that he, personally, was older than every other sapient species on the planet.
  • The Vampire: The Masquerade RPG by White Wolf has tons of examples of this, of course. One of the more notorious should be Ur-Shulgi, who looks like a small child but is thousands of years old. There's even one über-ancient vampire, the progenitor of the mad Malkavian clan, that appears at one point as 12 small girls with glowing eyes.
  • Most of the Exalted age extremely slowly beyond a certain point, which normally results in Immortality Begins At Twenty and the occasional Badass Grandpa. However, Abyssal Exalted stop aging at all, regardless of what age they were when they exalted. One of the Deathlords (the Dowager) is specifically mentioned as having a(n apparently) 10-year-old girl as a Deathknight servant. Her name is Shoat of the Mire and she's a Dusk caste, which means she will kick your ass.
    • Of course, let us not forget the slightly older-looking, more well-known Raksi and, since Second Edition, Mnemon. Whether because you were scarred by the formless chaos your people fled to at the fall of Atlantis or because you screwed up at wizarding school and they had to build another one, ending up a sixteen year old-looking redheaded hottie for the rest of your unnaturally long life ain't so bad an outcome. Of course, it wouldn't be meaningful if it didn't also make you a cannibal or (one of) The Chosen One(s).


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • The title character of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe is a fairy who looks like a 17-year-old girl. In the backstory, she married a mortal and had a son, Strephon; in the play, his age is 25. This causes problems for Strephon when he is seen in Iolanthe's company, since no one will believe that's she's his mum.
  • The opera singer Emilia Marty, in Karel Čapek's play (and Leoš Janáček's opera) The Makropulos Affair, is really 300 years old. She gets more than a bit tired of life, however.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The World Ends With You: Who knows how old Joshua really is? (Which makes it all the more creepy that he's constantly hitting on Neku....
    • Or Hanekoma, for that matter.
  • Sonic Unleashed has Light Gaia AKA Chip who is the same age as the Earth.
  • Lilith from Darkstalkers, whose consciousness is 290 years old — but it could also be seen as a subversion, since she didn't actually have a body until the game.
    • The body in question is a barely-clothed loli succubus in spandex.
  • In Nippon Ichi's Disgaea, Demons and Angels in the netherworld and Celestia age 100 times slower than humans, making Laharl's group biologically 13, 14, and 15 despite them being that many centuries old. Demons in the human world Veldime mature like humans but maintain their life span, explaining why these Demons look and act older than the characters from the first game despite being significantly younger. The only characters this doesn't explain are Lamington (is 9000+ despite looking 30) and druids who look old as a result of being a druid despite age.
      • Well, according to the Dark Records, a druid appears to be old because of the gem embedded to their forehead.
    • Also from Nippon Ichi, the characters Croix and Alouette are much older than their teenaged appearance would suggest.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Mithos, Kratos and Yuan are about 4,000 years older than they look because of their use of magiscience implants.
    • The Big Bad of Symphonia wins this trope because he makes himself look as he did when he was the same age as Genis.
  • The Suikoden series is full of this trope, given that anybody with one of the 27 true runes is ageless. If they don't fit this trope yet, they likely will. Goes along with Immortality Begins At Twenty and Who Wants to Live Forever?.
    • Ted looks like a teen, but is actually 300 years old in the first game and 150 in the fourth game (a prequel).
    • Not to mention Sierra Mikain, who likes like a young woman and is actually over 800 years old in the second game, making her one of the oldest things alive.
    • Slightly more believable is Geddoe, who appears to be a middle aged man but is actually 111 years old.
    • Dont forget Leknaat, although look like middle age women, she's actually 400 years old. By association Zerase from the fifth game also likely applies, but she may be a ghost...
    • The mysterious and sexy Rune Mistress Jeane has been in every Suikoden game. Even the ones that are separated by many centuries. Unlike Viki she does not have the excuse of teleporting through Time Paradox. She also seems to know Eresh in the fifth game, and it is suggested that she too is Really Seven Hundred Years Old despite being the complete opposite of Jeane.
    • The Harmonian Emperor Hikusaak (an unseen character, but since Luc and Sasarai are his clones we have pretty good idea what he looked like as a teenager) is somewhere around 500 years old as of Suikoden III, the chronologically latest game in the series.
  • Most of the cast of the Touhou games is made up of ancient spirits of one kind or another (ghosts, demons, vampires, guardian spirits, etc.) who just happen to look and act like young women or adolescent or pre-adolescent girls.
    • By far the best Touhou example (and perhaps the best example ever) is Suwako Moriya, a cheerful little girl with cute froggies on her dress and an adorable hat to match, who is over two thousand years old. At the very least.
    • Lunarians are canonically Really Seven Hundred Years Old in respect to their age but young in appearance, all of them. "Brain of the Moon" Eirin Yagokoro is said to be old even by their standards and says of herself that her true age, divided by 500, would mathematically be equivalent to zero.
  • Elws like Mariel, Crimson Nobles like Marivel, Demons like Beatrice, and characters like Anastasia who are trapped somewhere beyond the Event Horizon in the Wild Arms series. All of them have the appearance of 10- to 16-year-old girls. All of them have lived ever since the time of legends.
  • Fire Emblem has plenty of these regularly recurring throughout the series, and they are almost always some type of dragon in human form. Which is hilarious as they are some of the strongest units in the game, so naturally they must appear as 9-year-old girls for every dialog scene. Fa in The Binding Blade, Ninian in Fire Emblem, and Myrrh in The Sacred Stones. Nils, Ninian's little brother, would be a shota example of this.
    • Most of the dragon laguz in FireEmblem: Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn, as none of them are younger than a few centuries (dragon laguz children are exceptionally rare, to the point that when Ena gives birth to one in Radiant Dawn's epilogue it's cause for celebration). While other laguz rarely reach their 700s, it has happened on rare occasions, though they generally look like humans in their 90s.
      • Specifically, Dheginsea, the King of the dragon laguz country Goldoa, participated in the fight against Yune, the Goddess of Chaos around 800 years ago and has hardly changed or decreased in power since. Even other dragon laguz, easily in their 700s, are surprised by this.
      • Then there's the around 1000 year-old (or possibly much more) heron Sephiran, mainly due to him being favored and blessed by the goddess, who actually passes as a beorc (equivalent of human) in his 20s until The Reveal near the end of the game. In the Good Ending, we see him again 1,200 years after the events of the game, looking as young as ever.
  • Piers of Golden Sun is several hundred years old because he is from a land where they use alchemy to age more slowly.
    • This explains why Babi lived so long — he stole some Lemurian Draught. Babi was cut off due to his departure and inability to find Lemuria again, and Felix's party is informed in the second game that the guy died when he finally ran out.
      • What is tragically ironic about all of this is that finding an alternative to Lemurian Draught to preserve Babi was part of Kraden becoming a scholar. Well after Babi died (again, after running out of draught), the Golden Sun rose above Weyard, and those most directly exposed age slower than normal people. Kraden, as a result of this, doesn't look a day older than he was at the end of The Lost Age. The guy who wanted to find a solution to his master winds up bearing it instead. Babi must be emulating Whirlwind Psynergy from simply spinning in his grave.
    • It also makes for a Crowning Moment of Funny. When leaving Lemuria, Sheba and Jenna grill Piers, trying to get him to tell his real age. Kraden also insists that he tell, because he says "they might have been as respectful" to him as they should have. Piers retorts that he wants them to treat him as they have all along (as someone their age). After further prodding, it is revealed that they really did just want to know how old he is. Piers then tells them (in essence) to stuff it. We (the players) never do learn his real age.
  • Subverted in Amnesia the Dark Descent, where Alexander actually does look like a really old dude. It may vary, however, if he'd managed to impersonate his own 'descendants' for generations.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, Aribeth in the main campaign is around 130. Needless to say, being an elf, she looks more like she is in her mid twenties.
    • Safiya, in Neverwinter Nights 2, is biologically around 20 but technically a splinter of a personality dating back around a thousand years.
    • The same applies with Linu and Nathyrra in the first game and Elanee and Kaelyn in the second.
    • Of course, your character can be a hundred-plus-year-old elf too.
    • Soraevora Aeravand, a sun elf you can recruit as a cohort in Storm of Zehir, is a mild subversion in that she's so old she's actually starting to look her age.
  • In Mortal Kombat, nearly everyone who isn't originally from Earthrealm or, possibly, Seido (Orderrealm), is actually several centuries old. This includes Princess Kitana, Sindel, possibly Bo' Rai' Cho, Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung, Quan Chi, Goro (who had been Mortal Kombat Champion for almost a millennium), and Raiden (who, at least, is a god).
    • Shang Tsung is actually from Earthrealm. He just uses his ability to steal souls to stay young, with some extra help from Shao Kahn in the second game.
  • Mir and Shurelia in Ar tonelico are, respectively, 380 years old and an unspecified advanced number of years old (it's mentioned in canon materials that Shurelia lies about her age). However, when their true forms are revealed, they both turn out to be among the youngest-looking characters in the game. Mir also returns in the second game as a love interest, not really looking any older. The game also features Misha, who is Older Than She Looks due to a magical-strength-sapping incident.
    • This trope continues in Ar tonelico II, with the Reyvateil Administrator of Metafalss, Frelia, both looking and acting like a thirteen year old girl. Unlike Shurelia, however, Frelia's young appearance is stated to be unnatural and was caused by the removal (several centuries ago) of an important component of her artificial body that regulates a Reyvateil's growth. Since the component is returned to Frelia at the end of the game, she might very well begin to age again and eventually take on a more mature appearance.
  • The vahnatai in Exile/Avernum live for a few thousand years and spend several centuries as children.
  • Rose in Legend of Dragoon. She was a part of the first group of Dragoons...over ten thousand years ago.
  • One of the endings to Shadow of Memories reveals Hugo and Dana's father was granted eternal youth by Homunculus before sealing him in the Philosopher's Stone; when the smoke clears, the father is shown to be an amnesiac Eike.
  • Night Elves in Warcraft games were granted immortality 10,000 years ago, so most of them are several millennia old, despite looking quite young. They sacrificed their immortality to stop the Burning Legion's invasion in Warcraft 3, but even the mortal elves live for several centuries.
    • Draenei are another long-lived race. Several young-looking ones can recall Argus, their home planet they left 25,000 years ago. Some were adults when they left and most don't appear old at all. They might be immortal (or just incredibly long-lived), or their spaceship might have put them in some sort of stasis.
    • Everyone in Warcraft who uses arcane magic has an extended lifespan. Races that have a particularly close connection to it, such as the elves and the Draenei, have much longer life spans than the other species.
      • With all their experience with arcane magics, and divine intervention from the Naaru, Draenei actually are immortal, in that, a Draenei would never die of old age.
  • Arcueid in Tsukihime is actually 800. She might not count due to sleeping most of the time, but she doesn't age, either. Her sister is at least as old as Arcueid is, has probably spent the entire time active and looks only about 14, making her perhaps a better example.
    • Len from the pseudo-sequel Kagetsu Tohya appears to be a little girl of about ten, but at the very least has lived several human lifespans.
  • In Aveyond, Jack from Ahriman's Prophecy is more than 200 years old by the time the party in Aveyond 2 free him from a stone statue curse despite the fact that he's physically 14. Also after Aveyond 1 and after Galahad gets turned into a vampire, he's around 200 years old in Aveyond 2 and by the time he appears in Aveyond 3: Lord of Twilight and Gates of Night, he's at least 337 years old even though he looks like he's around 30. And to mention that Te'ijal is around 831 years old in Aveyond 3 despite her appearance.
  • In addition to being a race of blue-skinned alien space babes, Mass Effect's Asari are universally long-lived. Liara is embarrassed at her own lack of experience (she is a mere 106 years old), while her mother, Matriarch Benezia, is around 1,000.
    • Lampshaded by Ashley, who remarks that she hopes she looks that good when she gets to Liara's age.
    • The Krogan are also implied to live for centuries.
      • However, the Krogan barely resemble humans at all, leaving there no point of reference for them being Older Than They Look.
  • The minions of Overlord, surprisingly enough. According to the developer's FAQ, no one knows how old minions get because no minion has ever died of natural causes. Gnarl, in particular, is by his own account old enough to remember what the long-extinct dragons were really like, and Giblet has served at least three different Overlords.
  • In the Fallout 3 DLC Mothership Zeta, the playable character meets a young girl named Sally, who was abducted by aliens... during the nuclear war that took place 200 years prior to the game's events.
    • Sort of used with most of the other "Mothership Zeta" characters. Aside from one Wastelander they've all been in stasis for a while. They may not have lived all that time, but the medic from a battle some years before the nuclear war, the cowboy and the samurai are still all hundreds of years old.
      • There is also the matter of Ghouls, many are over 200 years old (post war ghouls), but have not changed much since their initial 'transformation'.
  • Blaz Blue's local Elegant Gothic Lolita Vampire, Rachel Alucard is at least 100 years old physically. By the True End of Calamity Trigger, she remembers 72,500 years of time-looped history.
    • Similarly, Guilty Gear has Sol Badguy and Slayer, both of which have been around for a while. Slayer is a vampire from a different dimension that likes to interact with people in Sol's world from time to time, even founding the Assassin's Guild hundreds of years before the plot of the first game.
    • Sol is so old even he's forgotten how old he is. He doesn't even remember his birthday. He saved Kliff Undersn's life back when Kliff was only seven years old.
  • Super Mario Galaxy has Rosalina, who left the Mushroom Kingdom as a child and comes back on a comet every hundred years.
  • The Breath of Fire games have this in bucketloads:
    • In I-III (which are per Word Of Capcom in the same universe) we have Deis aka Bleu. Justified in her case due to being an actual goddess, but just based on the timelines noted, Deis is potentially several thousand years old.
    • In IV (which may or may not be an Alternate Universe), we have Fou-lu (in a case of Immortality Begins At Twenty and justified by the fact he is a literal God-Emperor) and the entire town of Chek (a city full of summoners whom Never Grow Up and it is implied some are very old indeed despite their pre-pubescent good looks; justified in that being near the summoning temple for the gods of that world keeps 'em young).
    • In Dragon Quarter (which per Word Of Capcom is an Alternate Universe), we have Elyon (whom, besides being a Fou-lu Expy, is also explicitly One Thousand Years Old; justified in that he essentially stopped aging after a merge with the dragon Odjn.) Mildly subverted in that Elyon is dying and ends up picking the protagonist--a very low-caste individual--to accomplish the mission he couldn't of opening the gates to the sky.
  • Secret of Mana features a 200 year old example in the shape of a lady sage.
  • Sophie, Lambda and Emeraude of Tales of Graces are all at least 1000 years old.
  • Fran and her entire Viera sisterhood from Final Fantasy XII all appear to be in their mid to late twenties, and their leader might just pass for thirty. However, since they never actually age, they're all actually very old. Their lifespan is about least three times that of humans. For example, Fran, is at the bare minimum fifty.
  • Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana's friendly witch Zeldalia is approximately 120 years old (having said that she is "probably five times Delsus' age").
  • In Command & Conquer there is Kane who IS biblical Cain.
  • A number of Pokémon, including a few that aren't Legendaries, apply. To name a few, Ho-oh and Lugia guarded the two towers in Ecruteak City 150 years ago, presumably residing there for centuries. Kyogre and Groudon are said to have created the seas and continents. Mew and Arceus throw all of those to shame as they're both contradictorily claimed to be the progenitor of all known Pokémon, with Arceus forming all of the universe out of nothing.
  • Ogmo, from the Jumper series, is no younger than 116 years old when we first meet him in Jumper One, and then, there's Jumper Three, which takes place no earlier than 5000 years after Jumper Two.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de 3 has Hakuryuu, originally the dragon-like deity powering up the main heroine, who now lost most of his strength along with his original appearance. Going from the series' chronology, as a deity he must have been around for at least 400 years, but when the characters first meet him, he is in the form of a human child aged about ten. Later, as he partially regains his powers, his appearance changes to (a more appropriate) one of a Long-Haired Pretty Boy in his mid-twenties... still fitting this trope, as his chronological age remains the same.
  • Girls Love Visual Novel Akai Ito has Asama Sakuya, who is 17-centuries old despite looking early 30s. She says that she's old enough to drink alcoholic beverages and rent adult videos.
    • The sort-of sequel Aoi Shiro has Kohaku, who is about 1000 years old despite looking like a young boy. Unfortunately, due to having a flawed immortal body, she spend most of that time in torpor. However, that is nothing compared to her estranged foster father, Ba Rouryuu, who was there during the age of the gods (i.e. at least as old as Sakuya, above).
  • Ys has the two goddesses,Feena and Reah, who have the appearance of teenage girls. In actuality, they're both over 600 years old.
  • Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier EXCEED has quite a few, Suzuka seems to be a child but she's over 100 years old. The well rounded Neige Hausen seems to be 20 but she's actually 117 years old and Xiaomu originaly from Namco X Capcom raises the party's average age by A LOT. She is actually 765 years old despite looking like around 18.
  • A case could be made for Okami's protagonist, Amaterasu. The game's backstory extends 200 years, and she was around then. Of course, half of that time was spent as Sealed Good in a Can, but she's definitely more than 100 years old, even more if you account for dog years. The moon tribe also live for an unbelievably long time, they were almost eliminated over 200 years ago. There are 2 left, Waka and Kaguya, who both look like they're in their late teens. Who knows how old they are.
  • In Bayonetta, Witches and Sages live for an extremely long time. Bayonetta herself is around a thousand years old, despite looking like she's in her twenties. Cereza looks like she's around five, but is a hundred times older than that.
    • Considering her parents met in the 14th century (It's on the lipstick tube) and her mother was executed soon after she was born, Bayonetta is closer to 650 and spent 500 of that in suspended animation. Point still stands for Jeanne, who was not in stasis and looks 30 at the oldest; and Balder, who actually is a thousand or so and appears to be a very fabulous 40.
  • Alucard from Castlevania looks like a teenager or young adult in every game he appears. But he's been around from 1476 (Castlevania 3) to 2036 (Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow)
  • Due to the Triforce of Power's influence, Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda lives through several incarnations of Links and Zeldas—several hundred years, at the very least, and probably much longer—but he usually looks like a normal-ish 40-year-old human. Of course, it helps that he has been brought back from the dead several times.
    • Ocarina of Time vaguely implies that Ganondorf's people, the Gerudo, may age slower than Hylians in general. The two witches, Koume and Kotake, do look like decrepit, old women, but the player probably wouldn't have guessed they were 400 years old. The rest of the Gerudo are all very beautiful women who look no older than twenties or early thirties at best, but it seems dubious to assume all of them are really that young.
  • Flemeth in Dragon Age looks like she's about 70, which is even partially true, but she really is several centuries old. But she's cheating.
    • At the end of her youth, she abducts herself a suitable man to have a daughter which she then raises to be a witch like her to be her apprentice. When she's nearing her death, she simply steals her daughters body and is once again in her late 20s. She has pulled this trick many times in the past, but also has other means to reincarnate herself if she is slain in battle.
  • The four goddesses of Hyperdimension Neptunia are this trope. Not that you can tell really.
    • Special mention goes to Histoire who is as old as the world itself.
  • All the Fate/stay night Servants, as they all appear using bodies based on their prime of life despite coming from time periods any time from a few years into the future to 6000+ years old. This is kind of explained by the Root pulling them out of our traditional sense of time, and holding them in a kind of suspended animation between each Summoning.
  • Introduced in Jak II Renegade is Pecker, who is a moncaw, a monkey-macaw mix. While it's not unheard of for macaws to live past the age of 75 in the wild and some monkey can live up to their sixties, it doesn't explain how Pecker is really 118 years old in Jak X. Especially considering he and teenage Daxter bicker like children.
  • Babette, one of the members of the Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim, is a 300+ year old vampire who was turned when she was ten years old. She still looks and sounds like a child, aside from the creepy fangs and eyes, which she uses to her advantage during her missions. She'll tell you that she's no more a little girl than you are.
  • In Solatorobo, the paladins Elh and Béluga are really just over 300 years old. Also Baion, who woke up from suspended animation 350 years ago.
  • The deities of Asura's Wrath take this to really ridiculous extents, in that despite some of them looking around certain ages as described in their profiles, they are actually countless millenia in age. In fact, the entire civilization they come from take this trope to new heights, in that the deities are descendants of previous deities that protect the Shinkoku Civilization are even older, and their are at least over 100 generations of Deities that have protected their home.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • MAG-ISA -- Claudita is a lot older than she looks. She has been around... since the dawn of time.
  • The Jägermonsters in Girl Genius look fairly young — well within the range of a human lifespan. However, they remember events of over a hundred years ago, and one of them (who looks like he's in his late 20s, maybe) has an adult human great-great-grandson. (Jägermonster-ness is caused by a potion and not passed on in genes, so even if his kids were born after he transformed they'd be fully human.) And The Secret Blueprints say that Jaegers are nearly indestructible and many of the original company are still around, so the oldest Jaegers may well be some unknown number of centuries. No Sparks (Mad Scientists) are known to be so old, which raises questions.
    • To be fair, they've mentioned several previous Heterodyne family members as masters of theirs, and have bloodline loyalty, so how old a Spark could be doesn't really matter.
    • No Sparks reach that age because sparks tend to be...well...stark staring mad, and many end up meeting a horrible end as a result of either personal overconfidence (taking on an entire army with a faulty death ray) or experimental screw-ups ("There have been three explosions so far.")
  • Most of the cast of Charby the Vampirate look like children but are hundreds of years old or at least Older Than They Look with few exceptions. Of course this sort of complicated when it comes to love even if some of the cast were not already kind of messed up.
  • The demons of Heartcore can possibly live forever if they can consume Heartcore on a regular basis and not have their head or their own Heartcore destroyed, and they are good-looking. Protagonist Ame, herself, is almost 400 years old, while her father, Royce, is millenia old, and doesn't look like he's a day over 25.
  • The butterfly-like Nemesites in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob are extremely long-lived (a useful trait for a starfaring people without faster-than-light travel), but use shapeshifting technology to look like humans—typically, like young and very attractive humans.
  • In Fallen, Void can't buy cigarettes. She also happens to be as old as the planet.
  • DDG doesn't specify how old Netta is, but she predates the discovery of electricity by a fair bit
  • In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, almost all Creature species have average lifespans measured in centuries. For some it's measured in millennia. Dragons and Fae outlive civilizations.
    • The Fae are essentially immortal, since they exist until they get tired of being around and release their spirit to be reincarnated into a new Fae. It's also been hinted that they don't experience time as other beings do, as they refer to other races as "linear beings".
  • Angels in Misfile. Rumisiel introduces himself as being 437 years old, but looks about 18–20. Vashiel is his older brother who doesn't look older than 25. And Rumisiel dated Cassiel for 50 years.
  • The One Electronic from Rice Boy has roamed Overside for thousands of years. The number "three thousand" gets tossed around.
  • In The KAMics, ex-valkyries Gertrude, Brunhilda and Nikki are several thousand years old, although they appear to be in their 20s.
  • In Order of the Stick, Redcloak is kept from aging by the Crimson Mantle. Unlike most examples of this trope, it's indicated that he still has the mind as well as the body of a teenager. Of course this isn't visually all that apparent, due to being a stick figure.
    • Vaarsuvius the elf is over 100 years old, but doesn't look any older than the rest of the Order. Apparently OOTS elves take a very long time to reach adulthood, as well as aging slowly once they're there; V's children, who are in kindergarten and look the part, are stated to be 26.
  • The three main characters in the furry webcomic At Arms Length appear to be in their late 20's, but are actually closer to three hundred years old. Ally's mother appears to to be in her late 40s/early 50s, but is actually several thousands of years old.
    • The dragon characters Kaige and Kiley appear to be young adults, but Kiley perkily comments at one point that she and Kaige have been working together for more than 400 years.
  • Jade's Guardian, Becquerel in Homestuck, arrived on earth from a meteor impact during the Carboniferous period, which puts his age at somewhere around 300 million years old.
    • 413 million, to be exact.
  • Corpral Vog from Schlock Mercenary estimates his age at 12 million years with a 1% margin of error. Notably, that rounding error is longer than the history of human civilization even accounting for the series being set a thousand years in The Future.
    • Also, this little gem (from a member of the same species):

Fobottr Tenant: Are you claiming that your people have been on the surface for over ten million years?
Rod: Oh, my people have been down there for much longer than that. No, I was just talking about me, personally.

  • The golem girls from Wapsi Square don't look like they could be any older that mid-twenties, but they are thousands of years old even before you factor in the Groundhog Day Loop.
  • In 8-Bit Theater, Word of God said Vilbert von Vampire could be anywhere from 16 to 1600 years old. Towards the end, he says he's 700 years old (though due to his roleplaying, it's hard to discern the truth of his statements).
  • Liz the vampire from Blip is about 5 centuries old. She lost count after the first two. It's hinted that Mary is even older.
  • In Wooden Rose, Aidan is five hundred years old.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Pandora Raven is an Immortal and has lived for at least 300 years in her current incarnation. Despite this the most common form she chooses to interact with humans with is that of a little girl.
    • Adrian Raven, her half-immortal son, is also a good deal older than he looks, though he at least has the deceny to make himself look middle-aged when in public. His true form appears to be somewhere in his mid-twenties.
  • Nigel from Fey Winds also has this. He's about 150 yrs old and looks in his late 20's. you could also say it for the sylphe as she's over 200 and really doesn't look it but maybe not because she's far less human than nigel...and dead...mostly.
  • The Sages in Elf Blood are the only survivors of the original Kingdom of Alfheim, the elves' homeland and were among the last generation blessed with longevity. Although they do look to be in their 70s, they are around 600 years old or so, and may have used magical means to extend their lives given that no non-sage long-lived elves have been seen.
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic has the case calling for a Beat Panel. Past the first century one can't tell exactly how old those elves are...
  • In American Barbarian, the scientists.
  • In The Water Phoenix King, several species like the Wyrds do this, but Vish inverts it, looking like a young adult but having come into existence 17 years ago.
  • Elves in Ears for Elves live into their 900s, and don't look old for any part of that. Luero is only a young adult, and in his prime at 77.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Several characters in Marvels RPG are demons, angels, aliens, or just really long lived... while looking like they are still in their prime.
  • Turns out Foamy the squirrel is in fact over 400 years old and maybe even older.
  • Valentine of Last Mage is very old. In specifics, we know he was there at the founding of the United States, so he's at least 235 years old.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Paradox from Ben 10 Alien Force looks to be in his forties but has actually existed for a hundred thousand years.
  • A major chunk of the cast of Gargoyles can claim this, although most of the eponymous gargoyles were stuck in a thousand-year stone sleep. Now, Demona and Macbeth, on the other hand...
    • In one episode, Goliath does mention that gargoyles age only half as fast as humans (because they don't age while they are stone). Even discounting the millennium he spent as a statue, this could make him easily old enough to be Elisa Maza's father.
  • Invader Zim has the physique (and personality) of a ten year old, but he looked identical fifty years ago and Fanon puts his actual age in the centuries. (Word of God tells us he's "older than any living human".)
    • This seems to be true of most of the Irken race.
      • Case in point: the Tallests. They may well be centuries old, but they still behave like a couple of spoiled teenagers.
  • Wuya from Xiaolin Showdown was imprisoned for 1,500 years, and in an early episode claims to have been around when the Earth was still young, and mankind was just crawling from the mud. Yet, she is very voluptuous, nubile and attractive. She even makes suggestive poses on the hood of a car she made for Raimundo after he joined her. Ironically, the other characters still refer to her as an old hag.
    • Don't forget Chase Young, who is 1,000 years old but looks like he is in his early twenties, if that.
  • Misery from Ruby Gloom looks like she's in her mid-teens, and so does most of her relatives and ancestors. However, it's been implied that some of them must be much older. During a family reunion, we are introduced to Mayhem, a relative who is old enough to remember the dinosaurs. Granted, that whole family reunion might have been a dream, but prior to that, she speaks of Mayhem as if she was still alive. She speaks the same way of Migraine, a relative who was aboard the Titanic. In another episode, Misery looks exactly the same in a flashback from seven years ago.
  • Shake's "son" Ezekiel lived to 4,000 years old. Before the dragon got him.
  • Kida in Atlantis: The Lost Empire is said to be old enough to forget her original written language, whatever that means.
    • Milo estimates her age as somewhere around 8,500 years. She replies "yes", as though this isn't anything to be surprised about.
    • One Atlantean year is acutally equivalent to 300 human years. This would mean that if Kida's age was compared to that of a normal human's, then she would approximately be 28 years old.
  • Several characters in Wakfu: the dragon Grougaloragran, Big Bad Nox, Moon the monkey, and Goultard the barbarian.
  • The Nibblonians and Brainspawn from Futurama have been arch nemeses since the dawn of the Universe. The Nibblonians, and the planet-tentacle monster Yivo are even older than the Universe. It's fairly common for humans to reach 160 years of age, which, while still looking very old, appears to be far closer to 80-90.
    • Though it isn't a straight shot across the centuries (his age comes from the fact he's traveled back in time then waited until the present rolled around again), Bender is well over 10,000 years old as of the first Futurama movie (this is taking to account he already waited under the Roswell sands for over 1000 years during "Roswell That Ends Well").
  • In The Simpsons, while normally considered (and looking) about 104, Mr. Burns sometimes becomes this for the purposes of a joke, such as entering his age as a 4 digit PIN, or giving his place of birth as Pangaea. In the (presumably non-canonical) clip show "Gump Roast", Kang and Kodos state they have been judging the Earth since it was created "Five thousand years ago, by GOD!"
    • In a flashback of Homer in High School Homer picks up a pamphlet promoting jobs at the Nuclear Power Plant on the back is a picture of Mr. Burns Looking non older than he regularly looks in the present.
  • Lucius Henious VII from Jimmy Two-Shoes looks like he's in his mid-thirties at the oldest. However, according to one episode it took him four hundred years to grow his horns. Since he's essentially Satan, it's likely he's immortal.
    • In flashbacks where Lucius VII has fully grown horns, Lucius VI doesn't look a day over 90.
    • Sammy apparently used to work for Lucius VI before he worked for Lucius VII.
    • Beezy neither looks nor acts particularly old, but he appears to be a fully grown Heinous, "fully grown" in this context meaning over 100 years old.
  • The World's Oldest Woman from Histeria!, of course (she dated the 'Missing Link' and she can assure you that you're not missing much).
  • Marceline from Adventure Time is 1,000 years old, but looks 15 to 16.
    • The Ice King was a human from before "The Mushroom War".
  • Regular Show: Following the events of "The Night Owl", Mordecai, Rigby, Muscle Man, and High-Five Ghost are over 2200 years old, having been frozen with liquid nitrogen, unfrozen in the year 4224, and then time-traveled back into the past.
  • Aaahh Real Monsters: The monsters evidently live very, very long lives.
  • The Smurfs mixes this trope with Vague Age in the case of Papa Smurf, who's 542 years old (546 in the live-action movie), and Grandpa Smurf, who's said to be twice Papa Smurf's age.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: Princess Celestia's at least a thousand years old. Princess Luna may qualify too (it's unclear how old the royal sisters are, and what state Luna spent her thousand-year imprisonment as Nightmare Moon in).
    • The season 2 villain Discord ruled Equestria before Celestia and Luna, making him over 1000 years old at the least.
    • Subverted with Princess Cadence, Celestia's niece, who was at first believed by many fans to be the Alicorn princess from an ancient myth revealed in "Hearts and Hooves Day", but from what's shown is actually as old as she looks.
  • Justice League: Diana, Wonder Woman: despite her sheltered and almost childlike demeanor towards the world away from her home island, she is really over two thousand years old, and at one point, upon seeing an urn in a museum from the 6th century B.C.E., recognizes the handiwork and cites the artist's name as if she'd known the artist personally.
  • The Fairly Odd Parents:
    • Cosmo sunk Atlantis nine times and destroyed Pompeii.
    • "Cosmo, we've been married for thousands of years" - Wanda.
    • Jorgen was the one who taught Cosmo magic.
    • And therefore, Mama Cosma and Big Daddy, as Cosmo and Wanda's parents.
    • Logically also Anti-Cosmo and Anti-Wanda, being the same age as their fairy versions.

Notes

  1. his family were forced to act out an endless succession of Soap Opera style melodrama, as was everyone else who spent time at the House