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Younger-and-hipper 2530

As Yogi Bear's age decreases, so does his fashion sense.


When a work is revamped, relaunched, or reconceived with a young (or younger, at any rate) cast, despite the ages of the characters in the original source material. This happens because it is commonly believed that no one in the audience wants to watch "old people" (defined as anyone over the age of 40 or thereabouts). Often, this happens to supposedly allow Character Development, because the older character has "nowhere to go" and thus making him young again "opens up story possibilities" or, putting it bluntly, just makes him "relevant". Your Mileage May Vary as to the truth of this opinion.

Occasionally, this trope will be inverted when the characters are young children in the source material. The characters will be aged to their teens in order to fit the "younger and hipper" ("older and hipper?") mindset.

This is a type of Tone Shift. The moral opposite of Dawson Casting. Spinoff Babies is a subtrope. If done poorly, can result in Totally Radical.

Parallel to Darker and Edgier, Lighter and Softer, Bloodier and Gorier, and Hotter and Sexier.


Examples:


Advertising

  • Younger and Hipper is practically the religion worshiped by every advertising agency around, who have this strange idea that a consumer's money loses all its value once he turns 35. Unless the product in question is directly aimed at "senior citizens" (read: anyone on the long end of the 18-34 demographic), expect the people in commercials to all be young.
    • This may have something to do with the fact that 35-year-olds typically have better things to do with their money than to buy luxury goods advertised on TV (such as taking care of their children). When they become senior citizens, they no longer have dependent families and can buy useless luxuries again (if they have a generous retirement), and often have failing health, which means that they must buy very expensive (and profitable) medical supplies.
  • The resurrection of Wendy's "Where's the Beef" slogan. In the original ads an old lady screams this angrily at servers of Brand X burger joints, in the new version a twentysomething Hipster finds a vintage T-shirt with the slogan and various strangers repeat it until they've pointed him to a Wendy's.
  • Advertising in general really got like this in the early-90's, when the MTV Generation finally caught up with television advertisers. Watch any kid-oriented TV commercial from 1981 and then watch any from 1991. The 1981 commercial is bound to be sentimental and cutesy, while the 1991 commercial is bound to have loud heavy metal guitar music and aggressive Totally Radical speak from the kids.


Comicbooks

  • Many of the DC Universe characters in the 2011 New 52 relaunch, including Superman. The stated reason is to make the characters more modern and relatable.
  • The Post-Crisis Superboy's initial presence in Reign Of The Supermen was probably a nod to this trope, much like Steel represented the Affirmative Action Legacy, the Eradicator represented Darker and Edgier Sociopathic Heros, and the Cyborg Superman represented gratuitous artificial limbs.
  • The infamous "Teen Tony" era of Iron Man. They turned adult Tony Stark evil and so they got a teenage version of Tony from the past and had them fight. The whole thing was rebooted and no one ever talked about it again.
  • The "Batch SW6" clones in the Legion of Super-Heroes; they were even given a title of their own to allow this trope to coexist with the original Legion in the TMK era. The Continuity Reboot of the Legion after Zero Hour also resulted in this trope.
  • The objective behind the One More Day arc of Spider-Man, based on Joe Quesada's belief that no-one can relate to a married superhero. Further casualties are Jean Grey (with Scott and Emma kissing over her grave) and the Wasp (killed to "make Ant-Man more interesting," just like Spidey.) That some of the love interests that get the bridge dropped on them are established characters in their own right and have people who actually care about their treatment is entirely lost on him.
  • Kyle Rayner, whom DC trumpeted as "the One True Green Lantern" while Dropping a Bridge on Hal Jordan and the rest of the Corps. Eventually reversed for the most part, as Hal and the Corps came back 10 years later.
  • Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle is another case in addition to being an Affirmative Action Legacy.


Films -- Animated

  • Defied by Pixar with Up. They were asked about audiences possibly not connecting with a plot about a senior citizen, but they weren't too concerned about it. This has worked out for them.


Films -- Live-Action

  • The unintentional side effect of changing the actor playing James Bond. George Lazenby and Roger Moore were younger and hipper than Sean Connery. Timothy Dalton was (much) younger and hipper than Roger Moore. Pierce Brosnan was younger and hipper than Timothy Dalton. Daniel Craig is younger and hipper than Brosnan.
    • In a bit of a subversion, Roger Moore is actually three years older than Connery -- he only looked younger at the time (as Connery was having difficulty concealing his rapidly thinning hair). He was definitely hipper.
    • The unintentional here comes at least partly from the fact that the 'younger' aspect compares with the last movie with the old actor, not the first -- Sean Connery was actually one of the youngest actors to take the part (only Lazenby has him beat).
  • In the cartoons, Inspector Gadget was voiced by then-sixty-something actor Don Adams, and the character himself was portrayed as if he was in his late 30s or early 40s. When it came time to cast him for the live-action version, they went with babyfaces Matthew Broderick and French Stewart, neither of whom look like they were in their late 30s or early 40s.
  • The Thomas the Tank Engine film cast the younger, hipper Alec Baldwin as Mr. Conductor rather than the fifty-something Ringo Starr or George Carlin.
  • The 2009 Star Trek movie recast all the original series characters, partially out of necessity.
    • There were plans to make Star Trek VI out of this: the movie would've been called Star Trek: The Academy Years and centred around younger and hipper (and cheaper salary-wise) versions of Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty. The plans ultimately fell through and they decided to make one last original-cast movie instead.
  • The Shakespeare adaptations of the 1990s.
  • Clueless was Jane Austen's Emma reworked with a high school cast.
  • The City of Ember used the "older and hipper" inversion. The lead characters are twelve in the original book, but are teenagers in the film.
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians used the "older and hipper" inversion as well. The The Chosen One lead is also twelve in the original book, with age progression that is intertwined with a prophecy that spans the entire series. They are teenagers in the film to allow for romantic entanglements.
  • In the original Dawn of the Dead, the survivors are all in their 30s to 40s. In the remake, they're all twenty-somethings, with only one guy who looks like he's on the far side of 35.
  • Joe Leland, the hero of the novel Nothing Lasts Forever is in his sixties and is as solemn and serious a character as can be found. When the novel was turned into the movie Die Hard, Leland was transformed into the young, hip snarky jokester John McClane, played by the young, hip snarky jokester Bruce Willis.
    • Likely justified in that the film has far more action than the source novel, and it's hard to find older actors willing to do those kinds of stunts (at least, it was back then).


Live-Action TV

  • Reality shows rarely have contestants who are older than about 45 anymore. The days of Rudy Boesch (Survivor) and "Chicken" George Boswell (Big Brother (USA Edition)) are well and truly over.
  • Remember when Saturday Night Live didn't have that "25 or under only" rule and the show would book hosts based on their comedic talents? Yeah, we miss that, too.
    • Actually, most of the comedians on SNL are in their 30's.
  • Parodied in the Stargate SG-1 episode "200".
    • And executed in reality with the young cast and relationship-centric nature of Stargate Universe. Ironic, frighteningly prophetic, or the writers of "200" parodying what their executives were perhaps discussing, or all or none of the above? You decide.
  • As it went on for longer and longer, ER replaced pretty much all of its older actors with younger hipper ones.
  • In season one of Mork and Mindy, the main characters were Mork, Mindy, Mindy's father Fred, and Mindy's grandmother Cora. The series was a huge success. For season two, the producers decided to change the timeslot, and eliminate the older characters of Fred and Cora, replacing them with a brother and sister from New York who run a deli that the two leads are now regulars at. However, this backfired in that it caused ratings to fall. In season 3, the producers tried to fix their mistakes and return to their original premise, but this failed. For season 4 they attempted to make the show more interesting by having the two leads, who were originally just friends, get married, and end up with a kid played by the much older Jonathan Winters.
    • Let's not forget the new theme song in Season 2, which was a disco-fied rendition of Season 1's theme song. Season 3's version of the show's theme was more like the Season 1 version (if a little harsher), while Season 4's version was a more upbeat and comical version of the theme.
  • Although not always the case, overall new incarnations of the Doctor in the old series of Doctor Who tended to be younger than the previous. Then came the 2005 revival, and while the Ninth Doctor's actor Christopher Eccleston was in his forties, the following two actors were dramatically younger, with Matt Smith having grown up during the 1989-2005 hiatus.
    • Explained in universe as the Doctor wanting to look older when he was young, and wanting to look younger as he ages.
    • Moffet specifically wanted an older actor for the 11th doctor, but then met Smith and decided he'd be perfect for the part.
  • This is the trend that's being followed by both the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises. The earliest seasons had their protagonists typically somewhere within their mid-twenties but somewhere around five years ago, the protagonists tend to either be in their very early twenties or late teens. As it stands, the protagonist Kamen Rider Fourze is a high school student, so this trope is more or less in full effect with the franchise at this point.


Music

  • The Music Age Ghetto: The media, in general, seems to have picked up this weird notion that, once you get to be about 26, you're no longer supposed to be interested in modern music. Rock journalists, for example, will often lump fans of popular bands as being "teenagers and young adults" (ie. anybody 25 or under), as if implying that anybody older would have no interest in them. Whether this is Truth in Television is up for arbitration. Many people in their thirties, middle ages and, yes, even senior ages listen to modern rock radio and are fully aware of the latest bands and music fashions. At the same time, there are many teenagers who listen mostly to oldies, classical music, etc. and have only a mild interest in the latest bands or fashions.
  • Defied by bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica, which still sell albums by the truckload and get tons of radio play, despite their core band members pushing 50.


Video Games

  • Humorously portrayed in Donkey Kong Country. Cranky Kong was Donkey Kong in the classic arcade games of the early-80's. The then-current DK (who was, presumably, Donkey Kong Junior in the 80's) is, of course, young and hip. While Cranky is a bitter old geezer who obsessively pines for the glory days of his time as DK in the 80's.


Webcomics

  • Subverted with the Ciem book series adaptation in the works, based on the Ciem Webcomic Series. Candi starts out at the same age as her webcomic self (19 going on 20). But she's... shorter and darker-toned, and more Indian. Promotional art bases her design more on the Teen Sim group from The Sims 2, and Teen Candi is used much more frequently this time than Young Adult Candi. The new one also aims to be Hotter and Sexier; while remaining just-old-looking-enough to avoid Lolicon territory.


Web Originals

  • Parodied in the Strong Bad email looking old where a fan asks if Strong Bad needs an image overhaul and he just ends up looking older.


Western Animation

  • Deconstructed in an episode of Batman the Animated Series with the villainous Calendar Girl. She was a former model who was "past her prime" (that is, she had turned 30) and wanted revenge against the fashion industry that abandoned her. There was a scene where a company was pitching TV ideas such as something about a 'teen cop' and 'girls at a modelling college' etc. to drive the point home. In the end, it was revealed that Calendar Girl was still quite beautiful, but all she could see were the "flaws" that came with age.
    • The irony? Calendar Girl herself is a younger-and-hipper update of Calendar Man, a somewhat lame C-List Fodder bat-rogue.
  • Batman Beyond owes its entire existence to this trope, as the stated concept of the show was "Batman In High School". They never specified it had to be Bruce Wayne in High School, though.
    • Though the trope was played very straight (not only was Batman in high school, it was also set in the future), it was also inverted with Bruce Wayne himself, who (being too old to be Batman himself) became The Obi-Wan to his successor, growing into a Badass Grandpa Cool Old Guy.
    • The show demonstrated an inherent fact about the trope: it can work and be well received, but the concept can't crutch entirely on characters being just younger.
  • Extreme Ghostbusters was a younger hipper version of The Real Ghostbusters, replacing all of the "old" Ghostbuster characters except Egon Spengler, who stayed around as The Mentor. The "Extreme" Ghostbusters were a bunch of college-age kids (including a Token Female Perky Goth).
  • All Grown Up inverted this trope by presenting an Older and Hipper version of the Rugrats characters. Although not as well liked as Rugrats, it still had a decent fanbase
    • Quack Pack also did this by turning Donald Duck's nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie into teenagers.
  • Whereas the original Transformers featured a team of grizzled veterans and a couple of rookies, Transformers Animated features a team of brash rookies with one grizzled mentor.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures has Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, and Rhodey all in high school and fighting bad guys. When it was announced, the fanfic-like premise and memories of Teen Tony made people cry Ruined FOREVER, but the final product has proven this wrong. Word of God was that, with Tony's post-movie Flanderization as pretty much nothing more than a hard-drinking jerkass, making an alternate, younger and (most of all) cleaner Tony Stark was the only way to get the show on the air.
  • The Disney Channel inverted this with its "Zoog Disney" block by way of aging up the Zoog characters into "older" and hipper versions of themselves through an Animation Bump.
  • The page image is from Yo Yogi, the spinoff of Yogi Bear made during the 90s, taking the 'hipper' part to cringe-worthy levels.
  • For a much better example than the one right above, Goof Troop doesn't de-age Goofy, but introduces his son, Max, and focuses on his life as well as Goofy's.
  • The 1996 Flash Gordon 1996 cartoon took a character who had, in the past, been a world-champion polo player and professional football player, and turned him into a skateboarding teenager.
  • Muppet Babies half-played this trope. The characters were definitely "younger" but were by no means "hipper" than their adult counterparts. They were basically more naive and imaginative versions of their adult selves.
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