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A type of Match Cut that shows a character aging, sometimes from A Minor Kidroduction. Often, different actors are used for the young and old version of the character. By showing both in the same position and location, it is shown that it is the same person, only older.

One common version of this trope starts with a slow zoom in on a characters eyes, which then cuts to the older version and zooms out. Another is to dissolve from one version to another.

The same technique can be used to start a Flash Back, in which case the character gets younger.

Examples of Age Cut include:

Film (Animated)

  • Lady and the Tramp uses a series of dissolves to show Lady growing from a puppy to an adult as she sleeps on the Darlings' bed, both establishing her aging and the Darlings' affection for her (when she first slept there, Mrs. Darling said "Only for tonight"; obviously, they didn't stick to that).
    • Disney does this again in The Lion King, during the Hakuna Matata song and dance number.
      • Which is then parodied in The Lion King 1 1/2. As Timon walks across the log that was in the 'Hakuna Matata' song, he says, "I'm going to get old walking across this thing."
    • And again in Tarzan, during the "Son of Man" number.
  • One song sequence in the second Care Bears movie consists of a number of these.
  • Also used in Treasure Planet to transition from the young Jim Hawkins in his bed to the older Jim riding his hoverboard.
  • Near the end of Chirin no Suzu, the wolf actually throws Chirin into a puddle during a test to prove that the lamb will become a fearsome predator like him. When Chirin gets back up, there are two small horns now growing out of his head.

Film (Live Action)

  • As seen at the start of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, the scene cuts from young Elizabeth Swann to her older counterpart, where, suddenly, all her freckles have disappeared.
  • This happens with Elrond in the first Lord of the Rings movie, as he talks to Gandalf about the past. Note that in this case, both Elronds look exactly the same age, despite several thousand years passing. Elves age more slowly than Men.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy's hat momentarily blocks his face for this cut.
  • The ending of Zardoz involves an extended Age Cut of Zed (Sean Connery, in his most pantless role), his wife, and child. Of note is that the child is conceived, born, and ages and leaves over the course of this particular Age Cut.
    • There's a strangely similar extended cut (including child growing up and leaving) with the Talking Heads' Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz (her RL husband) in the "Road to Nowhere" video.
  • The ending of Kung Fu Hustle does something similar.
  • Played at the ending of the film Saving Private Ryan. The beginning also seems to be one, since we don't know if the old man is Tom Hanks (Miller) or Matt Damon (Ryan). But it cuts to Miller, and he is Ryan.
  • Ghost Rider combines a close up on the eyes with digital morphing. The effect is ultimately bizarre: the two actors have different eye colors (ditto National Treasure). And the generic-looking actor turning into the much more distinctive-looking Nicolas Cage.
  • The zoom on eyes version happened to Rose in Titanic, when she was being painted.

  Bill Corbett: He drew me for seventy years.

    • Also happens to the eponymous ship at the beginning of the film.
  • The Departed does this with Colin Sullivan.
  • At the beginning of Tommy Boy, exhaust billows from the school bus, covering the screen completely. When the smoke clears away, it shows the grown-up Tommy standing there having missed a smoking commuter bus.
  • This is done at the beginning of Casanova, with a dissolve from the child Giacomo to the adult Casanova, portrayed by Ledger. The little boy actually looks enough like Heath Ledger to be plausible, which isn't always the case.
  • In Matilda, this is done with the eponymous character going through two Age Cuts.
  • Almost Famous showed the 9-year-old protagonist's focus on a spinning record, dissolved to him doodling in class, and pulled back to reveal that he's now 15.
  • In the Robin Hood spinoff Princess of Thieves, we see Robin Hood's young daughter folding the blanket at the bottom of her bed, then we see the same scene with Kiera Knightley in the place of the young girl.
  • City of God has a "flashback/cuts to younger self" example, with the camera spinning around Rocket and stopping when he's a child.
  • Eragon appears to have this, with the young Saphira flying up behind a cloud and the adult Saphira flying down - but it's inexplicably averted, as the film implies that this massive growth happened in real-time, as the scene continues where it left off and the fast growth is not even handwaved.
  • Gypsy has a flickering dissolve during which June, Louise, and the boys are replaced by their older counterparts as they dance.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back began with one of these for its eponymous characters.
  • In The Lovely Bones, there is a scene where a picture of Susie as a toddler is shown which then cuts to a picture of her at fourteen.
  • In Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, the 1981 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, the main character sets her alarm clock and goes to bed. The film cuts to the alarm clock ringing to wake her up—twenty years later.

Live Action Television

  • Every episode of Cold Case shows one or more two-second Age Cuts of each major player in the case, in conjunction with (though not as part of) a flashback.
  • Used often in Lost flashbacks involving a Timeshifted Actor. Frequently, these flashbacks will begin the episode, and then cut to the character on the island in the present.
  • Subverted in an episode of Scrubs: J.D. is imagining growing old with his girlfriend, and the shot fades into that of them in heavy old-people makeup. They take off the makeup onscreen a few seconds later, and it turns out they just wanted a picture of what they would look like old.
  • How I Met Your Mother subverts this. The main characters wonder if they're going to be waiting around a courthouse forever; it then fades from a shot of them sitting around to a group of similar-looking old people in the same clothing and positions. The characters walk around the corner a second later and complain that the old people took their seats.
  • The Growing Pains opening does this, once the show's been around long enough for the cast to have aged significantly between their introduction and that season (some for three or more distinct stages!).
  • Happens both in The Pacific and Band of Brothers, when the actual veterans memorize their war memories.

Newspaper Comics

  • Funky Winkerbean used this trick to start off Time Skip II by zooming in on the younger Summer and Les' hands. The next panel showed a teenaged girl's hand holding Les', and the final panel showed a teenaged Summer and a middle-aged Les.


  • The stage version of this is done in the musicals Damn Yankees and Mame by having the main character sit down to write at a desk with his back to the audience, and dimming the lights for a few moments so the actors can change places. (In Damn Yankees, Joe ends up younger due to his Deal with the Devil.)

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • This happens to Pebbles in The Flintstone Comedy Hour (later called The Flintstone Comedy Show in syndication) during one of "The Bedrock Rockers'" musical numbers. Specifically, it happens while she's on a swing.
  • Lampshaded in a Daffy Duck short.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode where Spongebob sells Pretty Patties, he apparently falls asleep and dreams one of these. He shouts to the world, "I'm ready!", and it cross-fades to a middle-aged Spongebob with a mustache saying "I'm ready!" with a nasally voice, then to an elderly Spongebob who gasps "I'm ready!" as his pineapple house rots away, and finally to a tombstone with the inscription "I'm ready", and an empty patch where his pineapple was.
  • The Futurama episode Jurassic Bark ends with cut after cut to follow Fry's dog waiting for him to come back, driving home the rather depressing ending.
  • In the The Legend of Korra episode "Welcome to Republic City," four-year old Korra, demonstrating her status as a Child Prodigy, affects an intense expression as she Firebends directly into the camera, obscuring the scene with a burst of flame, which seventeen year-old Korra then disperses, wearing a matching expression.
  • In the ThunderCats (2011) episode "Into the Astral Plane" Broken Ace and The Lancer Tygra is bitterly glowering when a closeup on his face begins a Flash Back, fading into a smiling, big-eyed, gawky, Adorkable adolescent version of himself.
  • Happens on Invader Zim with older teenaged Dib becoming an adult in Zim's simulation.