Vague Age

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search

Some characters are subject to a strange fluctuating sense of maturity depending on plot necessity, mostly because animated characters can have abstract designs and lack obvious visual cues. We're only left with the personality of the character, which tends to suggest their age. Dawson Casting, leading to a blurring of the line between adults-playing-adults and adults-playing-teenagers, is responsible for several live-action examples.

A TV character may be implied to be some sort of adult compared to other characters who are clearly "kids", or vice versa, but this is largely an illusion in case the writers still want them in plots a younger audience can more easily relate to. The only nominally-aged character is usually the lead, and this only useful to make his same-aged audience feel better, since he will probably not be allowed to get older.

Occasionally, characters are given specific ages along with more obscure and extensive biographies, but are ultimately ruled by audience appeal, Cast Speciation and personalities that fit into the mean age of the audience. Information that runs counter to that turns into the Improbable Age issue, and may be tweaked in other places.

For characters whose age is vague because they get involved in adult activities, see Suspiciously Vague Age.

Examples of Vague Age include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Mireille of .hack//Legend of the Twilight, who can be very knowledgeable at times, sometimes lord it over others, and sometimes just be cute and vulnerable. She actually turns out to be the four-year-old daughter of an identical character from the first game, using her mother's file, and one of the other girls in Shugo's Harem is her home tutor, explaining some of it.
  • Lupin III: The characters of are certainly adults, but beyond that it's anyone's guess. The fact that they have been having adventures since The Sixties can be ignored since the series runs on Comic Book Time. However, Lupin himself is canonically the grandson of Arsène Lupin, who first appeared over a century ago, already an adult. At this point, the timeline would make a lot more sense if it were called Lupin IV or even Lupin V.
  • Baccano! makes it rather difficult to determine Ennis's physical or chronological age, as her origin is somewhat complicated and not too many details are given on her timeline in either the anime or Light Novels beyond three tidbits: she was around before the commercialization of radio (with the given setting, means she can be anywhere from eight to two hundred and nineteen), she's physically the same age as her "mother" was when she unwillingly "donated" some of her cells (nothing is given about this girl/woman other than that she was female, so that gets us nowhere), and that she identifies Firo on sight as "around the same age as her, or a little younger" (which, given that Firo's an eighteen-year-old regularly mistaken to be as young as fourteen or fifteen, also gets us nowhere).
  • Played with in Haré+Guu. When attending The City's school, Haré immediately notices all the kids are separated by grades. His own school is a literal one-teacher and his homeroom consists of every non-adult in the series, including teenagers.[1]
  • Kobato.. She certainly acts a lot younger than a teenager, but from her design and the way other characters treat her she seems to be at least twelve and probably not old enough to be in high school.
  • Applied to Luna the cat in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, who despite sounding identical to the version in Sailor Moon (who was a Vague Age full grown cat until she briefly became a human(oid)), was given the body of a young girl as a occasional human form. She was described by the mangaka as being a year younger than the lead character and became a teenaged girl when human, but also has been alive since the Silver Millenium.
    • Likewise her younger brother's age can fluctuate from between two and four years younger than her depending on whether you're watching the anime, the live-action series, or reading the manga.
  • Sunrise has been rather opaque about the ages of the heroes in Tiger and Bunny. So far, they've only given out two and a half: Barnaby's 24, Kaede's 9, and Kotetsu's kinda sorta probably somewhere between 33 and 39. Maybe.
  • Coby of One Piece appears to be child much younger than Luffy (who is 17 at the beginning of the story), but enlists in the marines as soon as he's saved and then apparently goes through puberty and has a growth spurt by the next time we see him.
  • Satoko and Rika from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. They're noticeably younger than the protagonists but how much younger is never quite stated. Satoko seems to have entered puberty but Rika hasn't yet. The closest we get to an age confirmation is in the original sound novels, and even then all we know is that Satoko is anywhere from 9 to 13 years old.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Asterix: Asterix himself is described as being "older than he looks", which is somewhere between 20 and 60.
  • Donald Duck's nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie in Carl Barks' comics. In one story they are in kindergarten; in another they are shown driving a car! (The "kindergarten" they are attending is a rather unusual one, however; in the background of the first panel, there appears to be an integral equation written on the blackboard.)
    • Also Donald Duck himself. It's obvious that he is not really young or old, but it's not clear (and it depends on the writer) if he's still somewhat young like in his late twenties or he is middle-aged.
  • Franklin Richards, the child of Fantastic Four members Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, is somewhere between four and ten. Whether his reality warp power cause the age vagueness or if the age vagueness causes the reality warping is up for debate.
  • Gaston Lagaffe: Lagaffe is old enough to smoke and have a car, a job, and his own place, but young enough to constantly play around at work and bawl his eyes out over very little.
  • Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Pal, would go back and forth between being old enough to drive, have a pilot's license and drink, and still being in high school, touching on every stage of life in between at least once.
  • Tintin: It's never made exactly clear how old Tintin is. He is obviously young, but has no problems going round the world and getting into adventures without any mention of parents or the like. In response to this, Herge was actually asked to create a character with a family, mum, dad, little sister, pet, etc. in order to have a more "realistic" series of adventures. The result was Jo, Zette and Jocko, a fun, but less successful series. As Herge pointed out, it was much harder to keep track of all those characters. At least good old Tintin was unencumbered. Not everyone gets to be an orphan.
  • Scott Pilgrim lampshaded this all the time with Ramona Flowers. While every other character would have their age blatantly stated every time they were introduced (especially Knives Chau, Age 17), Ramona's introduction was always followed by "Age Unknown." At one point, Scott lampshades the lampshading when Ramona gets mad at him for not knowing how old she is. He defends himself with, "But your age is unknown!"
  • Granted, The Smurfs are defined as 100 years old, but what makes them an example of the trope is the fact that it's unclear which human age equals that; most of them have specific jobs inside the village, yet they frequently play ball and act immature. Maybe one thing or the other may be the consequence of living in a small village led by their father (Papa Smurf is no mere name—he raised the 98 Smurfs). They were more clearly defined as adults when three of them were age-reversed to Smurflings, which made the adult Smurfs behave somewhat more mature and proved that we were better with the vague age.
    • This gets even more complicated with the appearance of Gutsy Smurf with his sideburns in the live-action movie, since most of his fellow Smurfs don't have facial hair.
  • Unlike other versions of the series, Sonic the Comic never stated the age of anyone. Their ages were either left ambiguous or never stated at all. The series goes by its own canon, so we can't assume that most characters fit the game age either. Tails is stuck somewhere between eight years of age and fourteen, while Amy doesn't seem to be as young as she was in Sonic CD.
  • Doctor Strange started out somewhere in his fifties, though the standard depiction is of a man somewhere in his mid-forties. Even so, the only real indication of his greater age are the Skunk Stripes of greying hair at his temples.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Alison Doody was 22 when the movie was filmed, and while Dr. Elsa Schneider has no onscreen age, she has to be at least thirty.
  • Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. In personality and voice, he comes across as being in his late twenties or early thirties, but he's an undead skeleton man, so this has no connection whatsoever to how long he's been around, and aside from being adult-sized it's impossible to gauge his age from his looks. He's probably older than thirtyish, though it wouldn't be impossible for him to be younger.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Vardaman from William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying has no set age, and it is often debated as to whether he is young or just retarded (or both).
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Sunny is exceptionally clever for a baby, and her physical development occurs in a deliberately uneven, contradictory way; for example, even after she learns to walk, she is small enough to sleep in a casserole. Her exact age is never stated, and flashbacks to "before Sunny" carefully avoid giving the other siblings' ages at the time, forestalling calculation.
    • Regarding the casserole dish, it was implied that she was squashed in there. The previous book said that she was too large to fit in a shoe and pretend to only have one foot (don't ask), leading Klaus to comment that it had been quite a while since she was that small.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: Professor Chrontis is described as "pick a number and he was probably a little older than that." He later assures people that he doesn't know his age, due to time travel and an unstated method of longevity.
  • Arguably everyone in The Moomins, though some are more vague than others, and especially Snufkin.
  • Ascanius, Aeneas's son in the Aeneid, is at varying points in the poem young enough to curl up on Dido's lap at dinner (or at least, no one thinks it's weird when Cupid impersonates him to do so), and old enough to fight in the war. He appears to be somewhere between four and fourteen, never specified.
  • Diana Wynne Jones deliberately kept the ages of her child-characters vague unless there was a plot reason not to, to broaden their appeal to child readers. At a certain stage it can be off-putting to find out that the hero of the book you're reading is younger than you are (if you're eleven, nine seems pretty young). In Hexwood, some characters' Vague Age is a plot point in itself.
  • This was done in Animorphs to make the characters more relatable to a wider audience (in universe done to protect their identities). This was changed in the last book when it was revealed that they were aged 13 in the first book and 16 in the last.
  • Garrid from Tales of the Frog Princess. Yes, we know he's old, at least a few centuries, but we don't know how old, and he still looks like a young man.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Medical Dramas and Law Procedurals in general are often populated by extremely pretty young people who look like they just graduated, but are apparently very experienced and often well known and highly regarded in their fields. You usually don't get a specific age for these characters.
    • Somewhat subverted in Harry's Law, where the young-looking characters have noticeably less experience than and not as much of a reputation as their older counterparts, even if their exact ages aren't given.
  • Most of The Muppets, since they tend to have abstract appearances anyway. For Sesame Street characters, this is done for psychological appeal; the regulars are supposed to emulate different stages of childhood development, and each character's 'official' age is just a reflection of that.
  • Lex Luthor of Smallville has the ability to somehow blend in with high school students.
    • Clark himself probably helped. The character of Clark Kent was 15 at the start of the series or close to it, judging by his grade in school, but his actor was 25 at the time.
      • Well, he IS an alien. In-universe at the start of the series, Lex was a few years older than Clark and the characters were good friends. So if Lex showed up at school, a third party might see two twentysomethings hanging around the school, but a teacher or normal student would just see that weird tall kid and a friend who looks about as old as him.
  • Abed of Community is somewhere in his twenties, but where is anyone's guess.
  • Kenneth from Thirty Rock appears a bit too old to be in the age bracket likely to work as a network intern, but there's also quite a bit of evidence that he might actually be older than he appears. No definitive answer has ever been given. Seriously, just check out the Older Than They Look section on the series' main page. If he's to be believed, Kenneth has been working for NBC since 1936.
  • Blue's Clues. How old are the live action cast supposed to be? Apparently Steve is an adult, maybe a late teenage, but what about his brother?

MMORPGs[edit | hide]

  • Maple Story allows your character to marry (For NX, of course,) even if they look like they're not even close to maturity. Some of the quest givers give off the impression of being young (i.e. a student attending a magic school), but appear to be just as tall as your character and don't have a clear age either. In one quest line, you begin by playing hide and seek with children. A few levels later, you're fighting in a revolution.

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • In Little Nemo in Slumberland, Flip's age is perennial a mystery, referred to at different points as a child and 23, and the same height as Nemo with a receding hairline and cigar.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Early in The Legend of Zelda series, Link's age was indeterminate, and his sprite had too little detail to tell. In-manual art drew him like Peter Pan with more hair, making it more unclear how old he actually was. The exception is in Zelda II, where he is explicitly 16 years old. Most of the more recent console games give him a more explicit age, but the handheld games are still vague. In Wind Waker Link's age is never mentioned in the game itself, but the official strategy guide pins him at twelve.Ocarina of Time has Link flip between 10 and 17. His age isn't stated, but is generally assumed to be a between 10 and 17 in Majora's Mask, as he is younger than the 17-year-old model but it is stated to have been a while since the events of Ocarina of Time, at the end of which he stayed 10.
    • Link in A Link to The Past may be implied to be a kid, not only by the AV Famicom commercial (which oddly promotes the cartridge port of the first Zelda game), but also by the GBA port of the game, where he is given young N64 Link's voice.
    • The cel shaded games (Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks) all made Link look rather young because of his chibi model. In both Wind Waker and Spirit Tracks, he appears to be a child, in the care of a guardian and engaging in training for work and coming of age ceremonies. In Phantom Hourglass, which seems to take place pretty soon after Wind Waker, Link is traveling with a band of mostly-adult pirates.
    • Twilight Princess supplemental material confirms his age there as 17. The only thing known about his age in the upcoming Skyward Sword is that he will be an adult -- Word of God says this will be the first fully-fledged adult Link in the series.
  • Princess Peach in the Super Mario series. In the games (especially in her 3D appearances) she has a decidedly mature physique and is even taller than Luigi; however, in the comics she acts more like a tomboyish tween, and her relationship with Mario seems to be one of childish infatuation. Also, in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the Shadow Queen refers to her as a "child".
    • But calling her a child may have just been a reference to the fact that the Shadow Queen is thousands of years old.
    • We do get one age confirmation on the DVD extras of the Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon where she is supposed to be 17-years-old. But the cartoon isn't really canon...
    • This may also apply to Mario, Luigi and Bowser. In Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time, we see the three, plus Peach, as infants; yet in their adult years, Peach hasn't lost her youthful look.
      • The Mario brothers are implied to still be in their twenties, and they're just a bit older then her.
    • What about Yoshi? The official voice was introduced in Yoshi's Story for a group of Yoshi infants, yet in later games, the same voice is used for its grown form.
      • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, it gets even weirder as the Yoshi there apparently hatches out of the egg with vague knowledge of the world ("Is that one of those 'kiss' things? I've go to get me one of those!") and no name, but talks like a teenage punk and generally acts like an adult.
  • The... questionable art skills of Zun, Touhou's creator have made the intended age of most characters unfathomable from their official portraits. Since Word of God stays extremely vague on the subject, this has left the fandom free reign on their age. Even more than the others, Catgirl Orin and Cute Witch/Hot Witch Patchouli (who wears baggy pajamas clothes) have fallen victims to this trope, alternating between Token Mini Moes and fully grown women, Depending on the Artist.
  • Amareus of Yggdra Union is one of only a handful of characters in the game whose age is not explicitly stated somewhere or other. Instead, the official website gives us a ballpark-estimate quote: She's "2? years old".
  • The three main characters of the Professor Layton series all experience this in the original trilogy. Layton himself, judging by what was learned of him in Unwound Future, is in his mid- to late-thirties. His self-styled apprentice Luke insists that he's too old for most toys, but still wears short pants (the games are set in Anachronism Stew England) and is clearly shorter and younger than Flora. The only clue given for Flora's age is that the events of the first game happened after she was "out of childhood," but she's still young enough to require a guardian; most players estimate her to be between fourteen and seventeen.
    • Ages for Layton and Luke, at least, are mentioned in the Japanese version. Layton is 37 in the original trilogy, Luke 13. Still no age for Flora, though.
    • The Last Specter finally states Layton and Luke's ages (but not Flora's, which makes sense as this game takes place before they meet her). Layton became Gressenheller University's youngest professor at the age of 27, which confirms his being 37 in the original trilogy. Luke is 7 in Last Specter, making him 10 - not 13 - at the time of the original three games.
  • Basically everyone in Pokémon, especially the protagonists. The only protagonists with a confirmed age is Red, who's eleven. Leaf and Blue are presumed to be eleven too. Wes is stated to be around seventeen - eighteen, and a spinoff girl is said to be just a bit older then him.
    • The Pokémon Black and White protagonists are stated to be older than previous heroes of the main series, but it's unknown by how many years.
  • Terra, Aqua and Ven of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep are never given official ages, unlike Sora, Riku and Kairi. Though if you take some things into consideration, such as Ventus being physically identical to fifteen-year-old Roxas and Word of God telling us that Xemnas is about thirty, it's not that much of a stretch to assume that Ven is fifteen and Terra is nineteen. All we get for Aqua is that she's younger than Terra and older than Ven.
  • Maxwell from Scribblenauts is never given an age. Or much of a backstory for that matter.
  • Your fellow villagers in Animal Crossing are... mystifying, to say the least. They live on their own, so they're adults, right? But some of them mention still having allowance, and some of their birthday messages imply they're not yet adults. But there are no parents anywhere (and, in fact, the kangaroo villagers have children of their own). The "Grumpy" villagers act older than the others, with some of their dialogue implying they're probably in their early 30's (they mention not knowing what's popular with kids, but aren't implied to be too much older than the others), but with the rest of the clan, it's anybody's guess.
    • The protagonists are equally vague. You look like a child but are implied to be an adult. The newest game has changed from Super-Deformed to a more lanky style, with mixed results.
  • Made a plot point in Golden Sun: The Lost Age. After visiting his homeland, where people age extremely slowly, the characters start asking Piers about his age. Piers refuses to answer, and gets upset when the others start pressing the issue. Fans tend to assume he's significantly older than the rest of the cast, though in some places jokes like "Piers is a million years old" have spawned.
    • In Piers's case, it's also given some on-screen justification: he openly admits to being worried that knowing his age will change how his new friends will see him, and it's also pretty clear that he's just plain embarrassed about it.
    • Additionally, the only thing we know about Felix's age is that he's older than Jenna, who is seventeen.
  • Nobody knows how old the villainous Doctor Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog is supposed to be. Going by his appearance, voice, and personality, he could anywhere from 35 to 65.
  • Characters from Parappa the Rapper. For an example, Parappa himself is old enough to drive a car and go to military but not old enough to work.
  • Kirby was discribed in the Manual of Kirby's Dreamland to be a "little boy" but gave no age, and his age in games since then hasn't really been touched upon.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • The characters in What the Fu are only defined as somewhere in their twenties, mostly because Zac can't be bothered with details.
  • In City of Reality, none of the main characters have defined ages—this is deliberate on the part of the author so as not to trip himself up with potential romantic subplots. The cartoonish art style doesn't help matters. However, it is possible to extrapolate from their statements about graduating high school and the assumptions people on other worlds make about their youth, and they got a visual (though again not textual) age-up between chapters 5 and 6.
  • Cucumber and his sister Almond of Cucumber Quest are, in the author's own words, "A young kid and a slightly younger kid." We do know that Cucumber isn't 9, because that's how old his father thinks he is.
  • Sinfest is pretty weird with this. Word Of God is that Slick is somewhere between 14 and his early twenties, and the other characters rarely (if ever) get their ages touched upon. It's especially weird considering that most of the main male characters look considerably younger than the women (who all look somewhere from their late teens to twenties). It's not helped by the fact that just about every character lives on their own.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Happy Tree Friends: According to the creators, the Tree Friends are whatever age is necessary for the cartoon to work, aside from a handful of characters who are always portrayed as adults (though rarely competent).
  • Homestar Runner has only two or three confirmed "adult" regulars; the others can be, as the plot requires, young enough to be going to preschool or old enough to be drinking Cold Ones. Even the adult regulars aren't too old to play spaceman with tin foil outfits and cardboard spaceships. Don't even ask about Homsar.
  • The flash cartoon series Retarded Animal Babies has mocked this a few times. Despite the name "Babies" the character Bunny claims to have gone to high school and even had several wives (to which the character Puppy says, "Shit man, how old are you?").
  • In Darwin's Soldiers this trope is made explicit by Ariol, Kain, Subject 19, Siren, Breathtaker and Stalker; all have their age listed in their profiles as "unknown".

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In a subversion of this, the personality of Stewie on Family Guy is constantly switching between a naive baby and essentially a forty year old man, despite the fact that everyone around him (with the occasional exception of the dog) consistently treats him like a baby.

Brian: Aren't you a little old to have a teddy bear?
Stewie: I'm one.
Brian:: Still?

  • The Histeria! Kid Chorus is stated to be in middle school (even the clearly teenage Toast and Pepper), but their exact ages are never stated (except for Froggo, who's ten).
  • According to Word of God, the ages of the main characters of Jimmy Two-Shoes are purposly left vauge in order to allow a bigger range of stories. Heloise looks like a little girl, but holds down a job as Misery Inc's top inventor, and all three live without parental supervision. Beezy can still get grounded and gets an allowance, but is old enough to get married.
  • Shego of Kim Possible apparently has a degree in teaching but (when she's not committing crimes For the Evulz) acts like a teenager, her favorite free time activity being lounging around reading fashion magazines. Her relationship with Drakken (who is Kim's father's age) flipped between father-daughter and romantic, even though she had a one-episode romance with Senor Senior Junior, who is apparently young enough to crush on Kim and date Bonnie.
    • In an episode when Shego was mind-altered to be nice, Kim referred to her as a "big sister", marking her clearly as a technical adult. Shego is probably in her mid-to-late 20s, for having a 27 old attracted to both a 22 year old Junior (she acted like "the older woman" to Junior in that episode) and a 41 year old Drakken would not be uncommon in real life, agewise.
    • Word of God is that she was in her mid-20s by the end of the show, so basically between 24 and 26.
  • Don't forget Mickey Mouse and friends. Even in some merchandise where they are shown as school students, they still look the same.
  • The title characters of Phineas and Ferb, as well as their same-age friends, were originally supposed to be nine years (as mentioned in the pilot), but when the creators saw how well various age groups responded to them they decided they were simply "less than fifteen" (their older sister's age). It's hard to get any clearer an example from how they act: Phineas is a Cheerful Child who's Oblivious to Love, while Ferb sounds like a teenager and has hints of being a Covert Pervert.
    • This also makes it hard to figure out if Ferb/Vanessa is just slightly improbable (two years isn't that big a deal!) or potentially pedophilic (a sixteen-year-old can't date someone who's nine!)
  • In his earliest cartoons, Porky Pig fluctuated between being a child and a fully-grown adult, the later easier to relate to from his future mild-mannered personality compared to other Looney Tunes characters.
  • In The Raccoons, Bert acts like a child, but he also seemed to have graduated school and works as both a professional journalist and paperboy.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Spongebob who is sometimes portrayed as a kid, at others as a teenager, and at still others as being college-aged. He has an official birthday of July 14, 1986 that has appeared twice in the show, but it is never stated in what timeframe each episode takes place.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures had the main characters attend "Acme Looniversity"; however, it was never clear exactly what kind of school this was, with elementary, middle, and high schools all suggested by one plot or another, and the name of the school itself suggesting a college.
    • It's vocational. It should be noted that the maturity and actions of the characters will sometimes range from child, pre-teen, or teenager depending on what a given cartoon needs.
    • Furthermore, Babs specifically notes in the pilot episode that she's fourteen years old. Presumably, so are most of the rest of the cast.
  • Spike in Transformers Generation 1 - when he first appeared, he was working on an oil rig, but in a later episode, he mentioned he was too young for a driver's license.
  • Word of God says that Ruby Gloom is in her early twenties, but you'd never guess that from just watching the show.
  • KaBlam!: Henry and June's ages are never stated in the show, but appearance wise, most likely nine to eleven, most fans put them at ten.
  • The titular character in Flip the Frog has a different age in different episodes. Sometimes he's portrayed as a kid, sometimes as an adult.
  • The members of Dethklok on Metalocalypse are of a vague adult age. In the first season, Pickles is said to have run away from home 15 years ago at the age of 16, which makes him 31. However, he also played in a hair metal band in The Eighties. If he was, say, 19 in 1985, that makes him 40 when the series begins.
  • Warner Brothers didn't want the writers to give Bruce Wayne an established age when he and Terry were celebrating his birth in the Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past". They said in the commentary that he would have been around mid to late eighties.
  • We've got no idea how old any of the penguins in The Penguins of Madagascar are. It's worth noting that apparently Private is younger than the rest (but interestingly had at least one earlier identity as the Mini Golf champion Mr. Tux). We're given a clue that Skipper and company weren't alive, or at least were not yet adults, in the 1960s as Skipper wants to go back in time and slap a hippie. It's also worth noting that Buck Rockgut had been down in the tunnel under the zoo for forty-seven years when the penguins found him, and that it's implied that he's much older than they are. That's around twice a normal penguin's natural lifespan.
  • Scooby Doo: The Gang are this incarnate. They're old enough to travel on the road on a consistent basis but still young enough to be considered "Meddling Kids." This would seem to imply that they're in the early 20's. Some episodes of the original series seem to place them in high school.
    • Word of God has Velma (the youngest) at fourteen in the original series and the oldest two being eighteen. In newer series they seem to have aged into their early twenties though, with some direct-to-VHS movies having them in their late 20s. However, in Scooby Doo Mystery Inc they're all explicitly still in high school, and though Shaggy and Velma's exact ages aren't specified Daphne and Fred are both stated to be Seniors.
  • Similarly, The Amazing Chan and The Chan Clan places the older kids in their teens and Flip in his preteens. Only the three youngest are given actual ages in canon.
  • The main cast of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic seem to draw together adolescent and adult qualities. They all live independently and most work professionally, but also often act like teens (with things like slumber parties). Their interactions with explicitly pre-adolescent characters seems to vacillate between slightly older sibling to responsible adult figure. It's complicated even further by one minor who apparently has an explicit "teen as distinct from adult" stage.
    • Spike, who is both younger than the rest of the main cast but apparently older than the other children in the show. He lives with another character and acts basically as their younger brother, but unlike the other younger characters he can be left on his own for long periods of time (even taking over another's duties) and rather than going to school has a job assisting another cast member.
    • Throughout the series itself My Little Pony has fit this. Characters are explicitly referred to as adults and several of them even have children, however they're notoriously immature and love playing with toys.. Then again they are horses.
  • Most of the time Donald Duck is portrayed as an adult, however one short "Donald's Better Self" depicts him as a child.
  • Alvin and The Chipmunks have cycled between being elementary school age kids, middle school kids, and high schoolers.
  • Betty Boop appears to be an adult or young adult, but in "Minnie the Moocher" we see her running away from home because her parents grounded her when she didn't eat her peas.
  • How old Piglet in the Disney versions of Winnie the Pooh is never specified. His name and the fact Tigger often refers to him by childish nicknames should mean he's young, but his voice and mature personality make him seem the same age as the others.
  • HBO Family sometime airs a show in the vein of Dora the Explorer called El Perro Y El Gato. The two protagonists seem like adults but in one episode the dog asks the cat what he wants to be when he grows up, and the dog says he wants to be a veterinarian.
  • Gwizdo of Dragon Hunters. In The Movie (which was a prequel to the series) he's established as a homeless adult; in the series he lives in an inn and has apparently been staying there since the innkeeper's daughter Zoria (who is around 18 now) was a child, which would mean that he's quite old. Yet appearance-wise he barely looks over 20 and in "The Isle of Mist" when he ends up in a Fountain of Youth for a few seconds he immediately reverts to a young child even though the monks before him had to bathe in it for several minutes just to revert to their thirties.
  1. Which incidentally is Truth in Television for extremely low population density areas; a single teacher is able to give individualized assignments for each student based on their age, when there's only a handful of them to begin with.