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Prince Zuko: I've spent years preparing for this encounter... training, meditating... you're just a child!

Aang: Well, you're just a teenager.

Common theme running through initial seasons of shows featuring a Kid Hero. The young hero meets a series of dismissive characters who assume ineptness because (wait for it) — "You're just a kid." The dismissive characters can be good or bad, but will meet their comeuppance by the end of the episode (or the season, if it's a multi-episode arc).

Requires a show built around the concept of a hero who is stronger or more competent than they appear.

Because the conceit of this trope wears thin after two or three years, it often quietly fades, only to reappear in another character.

Variation: a character is being dismissed as being just a woman (i.e., Wonder Woman) or girl. Frequently found in plots based around athletics, or the Macho Disaster Expedition.

Such a character may frequently be on the receiving end of Not Now, Kiddo.

Not to be confused with Just a Kid, the Australian name for Caitlin's Way.

Examples of Just a Kid include:

Anime & Manga

  • Nue of Air Gear is the Thunder King making him one of the top riders of the series and is also one of the youngest of the Kings.
  • The Girl part of Gunslinger Girl means that this is the usual reaction to them, even from people who have heard of their existence. The gunslinger part means that said people die soon after making this mistake.
  • Lampshaded by almost all the villains Gohan fights in one-on-one battle in Dragonball Z. Goku also suffered from this in the Dragon Ball series and in GT, which annoyed him even more, as he was reaching his sixties and was one of the strongest beings in the universe.
    • Subverted with gleeful enthusiasm in Dragonball Z Abridged whenever they can get some footage to support it.

 Gohan: I'm not going to back down. I might be younger than you, smaller than you, weaker than you, and much less experienced, but I learned more about peach farming than you... I think this was a horrible decision.

Recoome: Recoome agrees.

  • Prevalent in Nasuverse works. Then again, the one saying it is usually far beyond mere humans.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Lieutenant Ross and Sergeant Brosh lecture Ed and Al on how their youth means that they should give adults some more responsibility in the story. Of course, Ross is effectively shut down by Maes Hughes, who, Genre Savvy man that he is, knows who the main characters are.
    • In the manga, though, Ed takes it quite well (despite his temper).
  • The Prince of Tennis: Ryoma's rivals often comment derisively on him being just 12-to-13 years old and in his first year of junior high. And they end up losing to him soon.
  • Notably averted in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, where the Time-Space Administration Bureau will recruit anyone sufficiently skilled and responsible (or plot-important), regardless of age. No one magical ever looks down on, underestimates, or refuses to fight Nanoha or her peers because of their ages. Even her Muggle parents are surprisingly understanding and permissive.
  • 17-year-old turned 7-year-old Shinichi Kudo in Detective Conan finds this a serious problem as no-one will take his deductions seriously. Then again, he still makes the best of the situation by constantly exploiting his ability to be underestimated by the culprits.
    • He's not immune to the trope in his teenage body either. In a recent chapter, police detective Satou confidently told her partner that the two "high school detectives" would get stuck and come running back to the police. She was immediately struck speechless when they arrived to announce that they had whittled down 50 cars to just three suspects.
  • Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs: Fireball is often the butt of jokes because he's 18 years old and his teammates are all over the age of twenty. 24-years-old Colt is the one who treats him like a child the most.
  • Saying that cute Genki Girl Ninja Misao of Rurouni Kenshin is "Just a kid" is a good way to get yourself kicked in the head.
  • Both Firo and Luck from Baccano! have a history of dealing with this. Because he started in the upper ranks of The Mafia at an age no greater than fifteen (and potentially as young as thirteen) thanks to family connections, Luck spent much of his career building up a front more ruthless than he actually is to counter it. Meanwhile Firo, while attaining his position at a somewhat later age and solely through his own skill, looks quite a bit younger than he may be and tends to get written off as a brat because of it.
  • The title character from King of Bandit Jing is also a victim of this; you'd think by now the bad guys would learn that the infamous "Bandit King" is no more than 16 years old.
    • His age is somewhat debatable - in the manga, due to the art style, he looks younger, at least in the beginning.
  • Daisaku gets this a lot at the beginning of Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still, especially from Tetsuoko, who is jealous of Daisaku's mature manner (for a kid) but also of the close bond he shares with Ginrei.
  • Gundam Wing. Noin is bitter at having been defeated by "just a kid". To which Wufei retorts she underestimated him because he was young.
    • Of course, he 'just a woman'ed her.
  • Victory Gundam. Usso gets this a lot, given that he's only 13. He's Genre Savvy enough to use this to his advantage several times, because he knows people will underestimate him, or hesitate to harm a kid in battle. Of course, some of his opponents get Genre Savvy right back and treat him as as much of a threat as any adult soldier.
  • Sagara Sôsuke from Full Metal Panic gets this from time to time. Especially noticeable in the arc where he had to cooperate with other soldiers to assassinate Gauron. None of them (except Gray) were willing to listen to his advice or input, because they were so insulted that Mithril would send a "kid" to help. They were proven wrong within an episode, and it ended very badly for them because of it.
    • Plus they were really shocked when they found out that Sôsuke was an Afghan guerrilla when he was eight. Prior to that, he supposedly was a highly trained KGB assassin. Now he's 16 and the only man at Mithril who can use the Lambda Driver.
    • Talking about the Lambda Driver, episode 12 shows what happens if you think of Takuma as a harmless kid. Hint: it involves a 50-meter-tall mecha and Tokyo.
  • Many warriors have this reaction to Thorfinn in Vinland Saga. They mostly end up dead as a result.
  • During the elimination round of the Mahora Fesival Tournament Arc of Mahou Sensei Negima, most of the other fighters were treating Negi, Kotaro, and Evangeline as silly little kids that seem to have lost their way. The jokes stopped the moment people more than twice their size started getting effortlessly knocked around.
    • Evangeline's opponent in the first round tried to avoid this by treating her as an equal and not to be underestimated; of course since Evangeline is one of the strongest characters in the setting even while depowered, she still took him down in a split-second with a half-hearted punch while distracted.
    • The Thousand Master himself, and a bit of a sore point. When a threat level of Ala Rubra was placed, with Zect and Eishun listed as the most dangerous... then Nagi was mentioned as, "oh, and this kid is pretty good too," complete with his own picture, which is suddenly scowling. Oh, and Zect looks like an eight-year-old while Nagi was fifteen or so.
  • Digimon Tamers is notorious for this, as every single one of the main characters' families plays the Just a Kid card. Jenrya's mom was probably the most memorable — she was the only one who never really supported the idea of her son fighting, even after seeing him in action.
    • "Tamers" wasn't the only season to have a Just a Kid situation. Iori/Cody got this treatment from his older teammates, two of whom (T.K./Takeru and Kari/Hikari) conveniently forgot that Iori/Cody is two full years older than they were during their first adventure with the Digimon (at least that's the age gap in the American version. Correct me if that isn't universal).
      • Issuing requested correction: Iori is one year older than Takeru and Hikari were when their adventures began.
  • In Highschool of the Dead, despite most of the main cast being high school age and obviously competent from the reader's perspective, they receive this treatment once they reach the Takagi mansion. This mostly speaks towards a cultural stigma in Japan that you're not really an adult until you're 20 and are dismissed as a kid up to that point. Fortunately, the cast gets their chance to prove themselves.


  • The Amazing Spider-Man: Spidey gets unmasked by Dr. Octopus in an early issue, but thanks to Peter Parker's youth (and Spidey's poor performance in the proceeding fight) neither Ock nor the assembled crowd believe Parker is really Spidey, assuming that Peter just donned a Spider-Man costume to play the hero. Years later, when Spidey unmasks on national TV, Doc Ock goes on a rampage fueled by the humiliation of being constantly beat by a high-schooler.
    • Subverted a lot in Ultimate Spider-Man, where Spiderman is normally a well-respected threat to the bad guys until he begins to quip. His talking points normally date him (making pop-culture references or naïve assumptions), prompting the bad guy to reply along the lines of "Wait, how old are you?"
  • Teen Titans is built on this trope.

Films — Animation

  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie: "Well yeah, I'm a kid. And I'm also a goofball, and a wingnut, and a knucklehead mcspazitron! But most of all... I'm a GOOFY GOOBER!" ROCK!

Films — Live-Action

  • The Neverending Story. The Prime Minister (or whoever he's supposed to be) didn't want Atreyu the child, he wanted Atreyu the warrior. Atreyu just shrugs and says he is the only one of his tribe with that name and they can take it or leave it. They take it.
  • In X-Men: First Class, when Magneto, of all people, suggests that he and Xavier train the young mutants to fight Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club.

 Xavier: They're just kids.

Erik: No. They were kids.



  • This trope is generally inverted in Duumvirate because everyone knows how dangerous young engineereds are, but one poor fool messes with a certain four-armed boy escaping from an Amusement Park of Doom. The kid's a fraction his size, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Prince Caspian: Trumpkin doesn't even try to hide his initial disappointment to find that the powerful kings and queens who ruled Narnia during the Golden Age have come back as children (Year Inside, Hour Outside complicates things that way).
  • In the Night World series, made vampires are frozen at whatever age they are turned at, and lamia (vampires that can eat, have children, etc.) can stop their physical aging at any time they want. This ends up meaning that several people who have to fight vampires have to silently recite something along the lines of, "They're not really kids." Amusing, considering even vampire kids who are young would still be rather dangerous to a human.
  • In Hunger, the second book in the Gone series, by Micheal Grant, this is the excuse of almost everyone for not working, because every character is under 15.
  • Harry Potter saves the day about once a year, but the good adults, with the exception of Dumbledore, treat him like a child until the sixth book or so. In particular, using this trope was Umbridge's modus operandi.
    • To be fair, even disregarding the number of near-death experiences, hairs-breadth-escapes, and hideously one-sided battles Harry's had to face, you can't blame the adults for trying to prevent him from getting blown up or having his soul sucked out.
    • But you can blame them for not sharing critical information which directly concerns him simply because they think he can't handle the Awful Truth. Especially when they do this over and over again and Harry always finds out anyway.
  • Appears a lot the Young Wizards series, mostly used by parents. But in book 4, 14-year-old Nita uses this trope on a month-old kitten bard; the kitten is not amused, and starts lecturing....
  • "A terrorist doesn't let strangers into her flat because they might be undercover police or intelligence agents, but her children bring their mates home and they run all over the place. The terrorist doesn't know that one of these kids has bugged every room in her house, made copies of all her computer files and stolen her address book. The kid works for CHERUB."
  • The frequently-underestimated eleven year old chemistry genius and proto-goth-chick Flavia de Luce solves mysteries in books like "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" and "The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag." In the latter, the constabulary are infuriated she is always better informed than they are and put it down to the fact that as a kid, people open up to her. (The fact is, she's also smarter than they are.)
  • Thorin Oakenshield was equivalent in age to a fourth or fifth grader when he fought at Nanduhirion and earned his nickanme. Daín Ironfoot was even younger at that battle, where he slew an orc-chieftan. And not just any orc chieftain but Public Enemy Number Two[1] Azog!
  • Children under fifteen are by default looked down on in A Song of Ice and Fire, but they can definitely prove themselves and gain a following if they're strong enough. Women are treated the same way. Being both of these things, Daenerys likes to twist this trope to her own benefit whenever an advisor or commander voices some opinion that she disagrees with or believes is short-sighted.

  Daenerys: I am only a young girl and know little of such matters, but it seems to me that [voices an opinion she has no intent of changing].


Live-Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy, at least during the high school years. It disappears largely after then, because everyone in Sunnydale (and beyond) has apparently heard of Buffy and is no longer surprised at her abilities. The trope was back in full swing during season seven, with the training of Dawn and the Potentials.
  • Doogie Howser, M.D.: The premise: medical doctor who is just a kid. Faintly based on a real-life example.
  • Sliders: Quinn Mallory
  • The Wire: Omar Little, one of the lead characters, dismisses many young players in the Baltimore drug trade because they're "just kids", including using the phrase exactly to describe Michael, who is meeting with Marlo, in late season four. One such child, Kenard, is looked at by a Baltimore police officer as an example of how Omar's influence and brazen antics have spread to young, impressionable children, who view him as a hero. Near the end of the series, Omar is unexpectedly gunned down by Kenard, and had dismissed the child as a threat when he walked into the store.
    • The trope is then used word for word in the season five finale. Michael has become a stick-up boy in Omar's mould, and when he holds up Marlo's "bank" is told "Shit, you just a boy!"; {{[AC|blam}}] "And that's just your knee."
  • Game of Thrones: Tywin Lannister dismisses the 18-year-old Robb Stark as a threat because of this, figuring that he'll probably run back home to the North at the first sight of battle. He is oh so very wrong. When the dust settles, his son is a prisoner of war, and half his army has been destroyed. Turns out that Robb is actually quite the tactician.

Myths & Religion

Video Games

  • In the NES version of Final Fantasy III, one of the villagers in Ur thinks the four Onion Kids are crazy because they want to save the world.
  • In Dissidia 012 Duodecim Final Fantasy, Vaan thinks that the Onion Knight is way too young to be fighting with the rest of them, and elects to be his "older brother". This mainly consists of him trying to get Onion Knight to take it easy at every term which really ticks off the Onion Knight, who's surprisingly mature and strong for his age.
  • Mission Vao in Knights of the Old Republic is constantly wary of this trope. She's just fourteen and sounds like a typical teenager, except for the part that when she demands to be taken seriously, she has good reason. You can avert actually treating her like this, though.
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin: Charlotte Aulin. Everyone treats her like a kid... even her partner.
  • Fire Emblem

 Sylvia: My name is Sylvia, but you can call me 'Sylvie'!

Sigurd: Huh? Just a little girl. You better find a place to hide, it's dangerous here.

Sylvia: Little... GIRL!? You ever see a little girl with THESE!?

    • Later played for laughs in the second half. If Patty's not in love with anyone yet she gets a talk with Coirpre, in which she expresses her shock that "General Hannibal's son is just a child." He points out that she's basically a kid, too. They get 100 love growth points from that exchange.
  • Played straight in Fire Emblem 8 with Ewan, his older sister and mentor still tend to see him as a little boy (the latter less so than the former, however, Saleh is shown to acknowledge and praise Ewan's skills despite the scoldings).
    • Also played straight with Rolf in Fire Emblem 9/10 (less so in the sequel since he does get older) by his brother Boyd, and the majority of the people on his support list, excluding the sickly priest Rhys and his mentor Shinon, for the most part. Some of his support conversations basically begin with someone telling him that he's too young to be on a battlefield, while he denies it vehemently, and later proves them wrong at the A support level.
    • Played straight yet again with Ricken in Awakening, whose first appearance has Chrom telling him to stay behind while the Shepherds go rescue Maribelle. His other supports have his potential spouse thinking of him as a child, and Ricken doing his damndest to prove he's becoming a man worthy of them.
    • Hayato from Fates (who's basically Ricken's expy) is the same way, including trying to act older than he truly is and getting offended when his support partners point out his childlike aspects, such as his fear of the dark and love of sweets. Worse? His own daughter is older than he is due to the Deeprealms shenanigans that come with the child mechanic.
  • The Legend of Zelda series: The younger Links occasionally get this treatment. Apparently, even after thousands of years of legends about boys in green saving the world, nobody has realized that you should let boys in green do what they want.
    • In the defense of the general populace of Hyrule, wearing the Hero's clothes doesn't necessarily make someone the Hero — they could just have strange fashion sense or be obsessed fanboys. And it's not exactly unusual for children to dress up as heroes from old stories. Even Adult Link isn't immune to such skepticism — there's a scene in Twilight Princess where several people seem to think that Link is just dressing up as the Hero to make himself seem tougher.
      • Or, put another way, letting boys in green do what they want could lead to a Tingle-shaped nightmare.
      • Or the Wind Waker example: EVERY kid HAS TO wear the green clothes of the hero when they reach certain age, usually on their birthday. Now, would you let them do what they wanted?
    • In the Majora's Mask manga Link also has to deal with this when he's traveling the world. He's invited to show a group of soldiers in training how to fight; the guy in charge knows that Link is a little badass, but the trainees mock him. Until he beats them up, of course. It's then commented that he fights like a man but when it comes to food, he acts like a kid. Majora's Mask itself (as well as the manga) uses this trope when Link is turned into a Deku Scrub, too.
      • Amusingly averted after Link regains his normal Hylian boy form. Children aren't allowed outside the city walls, it's too dangerous, but since Link has a sword the guards will let him do whatever he wants, despite the fact that he's ten and barely comes up to the guards' waist. The best part about that is that the guard apologies for treating him like a child.
    • In Link's Awakening, a pair of boys playing catch will give you tips on what to do in the game, followed by "I don't know what that means, I'm just a kid".
  • Mega Man 8: Tengu Man looks down (literally) on our hero and says, "It's just a kid. Don't make me laugh." in some instances in the English releases.
    • Which is kind of a silly case, when you think about it. Mega Man might look and act like a child at some points, but he's actually older than every other robot in the franchise save Proto Man.
    • If playing as X in Mega Man X 4, Frost Walrus says this pre-battle: "They sent a kid like you after me? I promise to end this quickly".
    • Also from the metaseries is Hope Stelar of Mega Man Star Force, where she calls her own son (and the hero of the game) "Just A Boy" in the third game.
    • In Mega Man ZX Advent, Atlas, the Mega (Wo)Man of Fire, tells young Thetis, Mega Man of Ice and fellow member of a Quirky Miniboss Squad that he's just a kid and wonders why he was picked to be Model L's Biomatch [2]. Slightly irked, Thetis is quick to mention that as a teenager, there isn't much of a gap between them age-wise.
  • NES Ninja Gaiden (For NES): Ryu Hayabusa mistakes MIB agent Irene Lew as "Just a girl. Get out of here." He is promptly shot and captured.
  • Used frequently in the Pokémon games. Every evil "team" has at least one member that says some variation of this, despite the fact that physical age has no effect on battles. Even Team Rocket continues to do this in the second generation games, which is surprising, considering that it was a kid who caused them to disband three years before.
  • Sonic Adventure 2. Eggman taunts Tails: "You're just a kid. You couldn't beat me in a hundred years!" This was extremely stupid of Eggman seeing that Tails may have managed to see him off once before in that story and actually managed to defeat him decisively when he was attacking station square in the previous game in a head to head... without his mecha. Whether Eggman ends up eating his words depends on whether you're playing the hero or dark story.
  • Happens in the Tales of Symphonia games with Genis, the Kid Genius Squishy Wizard of the party.
  • Laharl of Disgaea has gotten quite a bit of this from both Etna and Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth! Etna uses it to legitimately call him out on his brattiness and emotional immaturity while He Who Has No Indoor Voice is just incapable of believing that some tiny little punk is stronger and smarter than him.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, Shinra responds to questions he doesn't know the answer to with "I'm just a kid."
    • At one point, Yuna actually calls him out directly on this. She wants to communicate with the cactuars in the Cactuar Nation, but Benzo, the Al Bhed kid who understands their speech, isn't around. She asks Shinra if he can communicate with them and Shinra gives his standard excuse, to which Yuna responds that Benzo is also just a kid. Shinra seems very put out by this.
  • Earthbound
    • Considering the protagonists are all in their early teens: "At times like this, kids like you should be playing video games!"
    • Also in Earthbound, the sea captain who is ferrying the group to Scaraba exclaims that he thought that the foursome were just a group of kids upon them defeating the Kraken.
  • Backyard Sports: This is the way Sally Dobbs acts toward her brother Ronny.
  • One of the motivating factors behind Naoto's shadow in Persona 4.
    • Also seen in the Good Ending when Adachi taunts the team by saying things along the lines of "Students should stay home and study." (As opposed to, you know, bringing him to justice.)
  • A Running Gag in the fourth case of Ace Attorney Investigations was that everyone was dissing the young Miles Edgeworth and Franziska Von Karma as just kids, even though Edgeworth was already a prosecutor.
    • Starts off even earlier than that in Apollo Justice where almost everyone in the cast brushes off Apollo and Trucy as kids trying to play as grown ups, which is weird for Apollo since he IS a Defense Attorney and is almost the same age Phoenix Wright was (24) when he first started and no one called Phoenix a kid then.
  • In Star Fox Assault, Wolf continually calls Fox a "pup". Nowhere do they explain they have retconned Wolf's age to be 6 years older than Fox.
  • In the non-canon Yu-Gi-Oh GX! Tag Force 1, Kagemaru say this to the player during their second duel (after going from being stuck in a machine to being youthful, a glowing aura, and eight-pack abs) when he's losing.
  • Paige tries treating the others as kids in The Colour Tuesday, at which point Alex points out that she's the same age as the rest of them.

Web Animation


 1-Up: Hey, Stinkoman! Everybody says you're the guy, but I want to be the guy too!

Stinkoman: No way! You're just a kid! Maybe when you're older!

    • And then flipped around in Stinkoman 20 X 6, where 1-Up himself says that he can't rescue Pan Pan alone because he's just a kid. (Maybe when he's older...)

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Both the five protagonists and two of the antagonists of the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes fit into this trope.

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender, despite the topmost Quote, averts this in that Aang is instantly recognized as the most important person on the planet by most people he encounters, and will react to him by either giving him respect, wanting him to complete a dangerous task for them, or attacking him on sight, and will usually result in Aang's pursuers homing in on his position regardless. This aversion is a distinctly mixed blessing to say the least.
    • Ironic for two reasons: 1) He's technically more than a hundred years old and 2) Avatars normally aren't so young. Normal Avatars have their true powers revealed to them as teenagers, not preteens.
    • It's simultaneously averted and played straight (by Yue and Aang respectively) in the season one finale (which, coincidentally was aptly named "The Siege of the North").

 Aang: I must have taken out a dozen Fire Navy ships, but there's just too many of them. I can't fight them all.

Yue: But, you have to! You're the Avatar!

Aang: I'm just one kid. (buries his head in his arms)

      • Played straight by Aang in that he later goes on to use his Avatar powers (with a little help) to destroy the entire fleet. "Just one kid" indeed.
  • Ben 10: Ben occasionally runs afoul of this, though never for very long: Voluntary Shapeshifting helps you escape this trope. Rather bizarrely, though, he often does find himself falling victim to this response all over again after a battle, when he changes back into his human form and the supporting character of the week realizes that he's a "just" a shape-shifting, superpowered kid rather than an alien.
  • Justice League Unlimited: Spoofed when Flash laments the rest of the League's reluctance to take him seriously... while playing Rock'em Sock'em Robots. It's also played straight in the season finale when Flash answers Luthorac's/Brainthor's taunt of "Are you going to fight me, boy?" by deciding to get dangerous for once. Epically.
  • Danny Phantom gets this a few times; twice from Vlad, once from Clockwork, although the latter is justified since he was trying to explain (in short) the nature of time to someone who's probably barely passing pre-algebra.
    • Also referred to in the opening theme. ("...Danny Fenton, he was just fourteen, when...")
  • A huge theme of Phineas and Ferb is the fact they are just kids, yet still manage to do so many bizarre and amazing things; this is the main reason that their mother never believes Candace when she tries to bust them.

 "I'm only fourteen!"

  • The Amazing Chan and The Chan Clan: "You're not old enough, Scooter."
  • Max and Ruby: The character Max, despite being about four and not being capable of saying more than a few words at once, shows himself to be quite capable of either outwitting his older sister or helping her to get what she wants.
  • Underestimating a Kid Hero? How about a kid VILLAIN? Stewie, from Family Guy, shows signs of developing into a Diabolical Mastermind, yet his parents tend not to take him seriously. For example, he likes to read books like The Prince and The Art of War, yet his mother interrupts him telling him those books are not for toddlers and he should be watching The Teletubbies instead. (Of course, he somewhat likes the show, but still...)
  • Averted hard in "Dragon Booster" where not only are the mian cast all 16 or under (Moordryd being debatably 17), and no one even calling out that Artha's 10 year old brother is going on the adventures with the, Possibly explained by hte only adults we see being Artha and Moordryd's fathers and officials that are presumably upper class, but it's strange to only see adults in situations that simply could not be done by children (security heads and teachers), and no one thinks it's strange for the Down City racers to be primarily under 20.
    • Of course, on the flip side, the Down City races are the lowest ranked races, and so of course the competitors would be younger. If we had seen some higher-ranked racers, they might have been adults who might even have taunted the heroes for being "just kids".
    • Which still doesn't excuse no one being shocked that Lance (the above mentioned 10 year old) went on all the missions with Artha's team and the only person to even say "he's just a little kid" was Artha's Anti-Villain rival Moordryd, and even then only after Lance was attacked. Other than that people only refer to him as short. Clearly the standards are different in Dragon City.
  • This was the main plot of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. SpongeBob got this from nearly everyone in the movie as a reason he's not capable of doing what he sets out to do. Of course, he does prove himself.
  • Glimmer in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power faces this a lot. She's a general, a princess, later the queen, a dangerously competent tactician and has potent teleportation powers. But as she's a very short young adult, even by Teens Are Short standards, that's all anyone sees when she tries to put her foot down.
    • Frosta. Though a good deal more justified than Glimmer as she actually is eleven years old.

Real Life

  • Truth in Television: There are some children who are really, really good chess players. If you see a kid playing chess in a park, you underestimate him at your peril.
    • The same could be said about kids playing the most brutal Fighting Games in arcades.
  • Several notable bands who are known as extremely talented have had teen members, Primus among them.
  • There were those that thought that about Charles XII. It Seemed Like a Good Idea At the Time.
  • All of Europe thought that about Maria Theresa. They proved mistaken.
  • No matter how old your are or how much experience or education you acquire you will always be a child in your parent's eyes.
  • If you have any elder siblings, they will always think of you as the baby, even if you qualify as a genuine badass Crazy Awesome.
  1. Smaug was Public Enemy Number One at the time.
  2. The Biometals are the Legacy Characters of X, Zero, X's Four Guardians, and Dr. Weil, FYI.