The Most Scandalous Age Gaps on Television

We never know who we’re going to fall in love with. When we were kids, the idea of dating anyone even a year or two ahead of our age sent shivers down our spine for one reason or another. But as we grow up, those age gaps become less important – plenty of us have parents or grandparents who were five, ten, or fifteen years difference in ages.
Movie Stills
Movie Stills
And yet, sometimes the difference can get people talking, and Hollywood is no exception. Though we’ve seen many off-screen relationships with major age gaps, there are plenty of on-screen relationships that had viewers raising an eyebrow.  Here are on-screen age differences that didn’t pass the smell test.

Monica and Richard on “Friends”

We certainly can’t blame Monica (Courteney Cox) for having the hots for Tom Selleck, who plays an older friend named Richard. Richard had known Monica all her life (which is weird), and we quickly learn that he already has grandchildren. He’s at least eighteen years her senior.


The age gap was a big part of the second season’s small storyline, but it was never even meant to last as long as it did. Executive producer Scott Silveri commented that Cox and Selleck had such good chemistry that the relationship continued past the one or two episodes they had planned.

Paris and Asher on “Gilmore Girls”

When “E! News” ranked all of the relationships on “Gilmore Girls,” a task that probably required a supercomputer, they gave Paris/Asher simple: Ick. Asher was Rory’s grandfather’s classmate in school. While Asher was a gentleman and the writing of the relationship was realistic and well-done, the age difference was too much for viewers and producers.

Youtube/Hazel Amber

Liza Weil, who played Paris, saw the relationship as a turning point for her character. The actress was a fan of the relationship and thinks that Paris still has Asher’s printing press in storage somewhere. However, such a large age difference wasn’t going to go the distance on such a famous show at the time.

Puck and Shelby on “Glee”

The teens on “Glee” seemed to do nothing other than getting in relationships and sing about them. While almost all of them stayed inside the bounds of high school, one, in particular, broke free – that of Puck (Mark Salling) and teacher Shelby (Idina Menzel). Shelby adopted the child that Puck had with fellow student Quinn, which got Puck looking her way.

Youtube/ Glee Scenes

Salling told “The Hollywood Reporter,” he thought the script was crossing some lines and explained that Puck is hoping to continue to be a part of his child’s life, and that is clouding his judgment. Of course, Puck initially teams up with Quinn to try and get the child away from Shelby, so the relationship was going to go nowhere.

Pacey and Tamara on “Dawson’s Creek”

“Dawson’s Creek” never shied away from drama, and in fact, got the ball rolling on episode one. Yes, the very first episode had Pacey (Joshua Jackson), a fifteen-year-old make-out with Tamara, a forty-year-old teacher. Experts weighed in on the choice, including Kevin Dwyer, an assistant executive director of the National Association of School Psychologists.


He called the choice to put it on TV a “grand mistake,” and he continued to say that the teacher who responded to Pacey’s advances was committing abuse. The whole episode seemed to be trying to set up the make-out session, including Pacey’s odd observations on aging.

Rosita and Abraham in “The Walking Dead”

It’s unknown how old the characters Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) are in the walking dead, but the actors are twenty-four and fifty, respectively. They enter the show in a relationship, but it’s a little more like friends-with-benefits.

Alamy Stock Photo

Cudlitz explained that he thinks Abraham does love Rosita, but it’s war, times are tough, and every day could be their last, so they’re getting some comfort where they can. Eventually, though, Abraham breaks things off in a rather cruel way, saying that when he met Rosita, he thought she was the last woman on Earth, but it’s clear she isn’t. The age difference was obscured under an apocalypse, but it was there.

Rhonda Volmer and Roman Grant in “Big Love”

When Harry Dean Stanton was eighty, he started playing Roman Grant, the patriarch of a polygamous compound on HBO’s “Big Love.” At the same time, one of his relationships was with Rhonda Volmer, a fourteen-year-old played by sixteen-year-old Daveigh Chase. The relationship was not-exactly-equal parts fascinating and uncomfortable, raising questions of consent and legality from viewers.

Getty Images Photo by Kevin Winter

The “New York Times” even weighed in, stating that though the show tried to normalize polygamy, it really just showed that what was happening onscreen was abuse.

Lady Edith and Sir Anthony Strallan in “Downton Abbey”

Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) was a divisive character on “Downton Abbey,” but it’s impossible to not feel something in your heart when her much older fiance Sir Anthony leaves her at the altar. It was, in fact, his uncertainty over the age gap that created this character’s action.


The scene was so gut-wrenching that Carmichael admitted to “Vanity Fair” that she gave up hope that her character would ever find real happiness. It turns out that writer Julian Fellowes had a fairytale ending waiting in the wings for Lady Edith, but she had to earn it first.

Aria and Ezra in “Pretty Little Liars”

The age gap isn’t as wide as some of the other examples on this list. With Aria (Lucy Hale) at eighteen and Ezra (Ian Harding) finishing college in ten or even five years, nobody would have batted an eye. However, Aria hasn’t yet graduated, and Ezra is about to become a teacher, which makes things much touchier here.


Ezra targeted Aria because of her friendship with his missing friend Alison, and he’s even trying to write a book about the event and had a romantic relationship with her as well. Multiple outlets weighed in and said that this was, arguably, romanticizing illegal relations.

Archie and Miss Grundy in “Riverdale”

It’s not just Betty or Veronica anymore. For some bizarre reason, the writers added an illicit and illegal relationship between Archie (K.J. Apa) and high school teacher Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel). In the comics, she was a white-haired spinster, but in the television show, she became a music teacher that Van Halen could write about.


Members of the cast have done their best to try and okay the on-screen relationship, but it falls on deaf ears to a world that has seen teacher-student violations increase in visibility if not actual frequency in recent years.

Hayley and Rainer in “Modern Family”

One of the points of “Modern Family” is that love takes numerous different forms. Yet viewers couldn’t stomach the relationship between Hayley (Sarah Hyland) and Rainer (Nathon Fillion), a friend of Hayley’s father. There were just too many decades for it to work on television, and Hayley was, while a consenting adult, far too young.

Getty Images Photo by Richard Cartwright/Walt Disney

Even Hayley’s father Phil (Ty Burrell) was aghast at the relationship, despite his hand in accidentally getting the two together. After a marriage proposal went sideways and ended the relationship, fans of the show flocked to social media to express their relief. It was, at least, a legal relationship, but still a bit icky.

Gloria and Jay in “Modern Family”

“Modern Family” broke new ground when it came to on-screen relationships, but the relationship between Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Jay (Ed O’Neill) began to retreat behind tired stereotypes. Jay is nasty with his ex-wife but supposedly has a deep relationship with Gloria.

Getty Images Photo by Danny Feld / Walt Disney

However, Gloria just barely escapes trophy-wife status. O’Neill once addressed the topic during a talk at The Paley Center, saying it was odd for him, too. Vergara commented that despite their real-life twenty-seven-year age gap, the two of them have similar personalities and have an easy time portraying the relationship on-screen. With a little bit better writing, this relationship would be fine.

Carrie and Aleksandr Petrovsky in “Sex and the City”

The relationships in “Sex and the City,” as well as the show as a whole, are hardly realistic. One of the relationships was distasteful to almost everybody, and it was the relationship between Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Aleksandr Petrovsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov), who was also known as The Russian.


He’s old enough to be her father, and he does nothing but put down her lifestyle and career. Nobody was rooting for the relationship to succeed, even before the show heightened the relationship to even more uncomfortable levels, as the show is wont to do. The relationship became ugly, sad, and strangely realistic.

Alan and Kandi in “Two and a Half Men”

The relationship between painfully boring Alan (Jon Cryer) and dimwitted beauty Kandi (April Bowlby) was never played for anything other than a laugh, and it barely got that. She was a young woman who had already been with Charlie (Charlie Sheen), and the age gap is just one of the things the show tweaked.


Kandi also compared the “skills” of Charlie and Alan and seeing how the two are brothers; it just continued to get worse and worse. Incredibly, Alan and Kandi get married, yet the relationship later dissolved.

Detective Andy Sipowicz and Detective Connie McDowell in “NYPD Blue”

There was no way this relationship wasn’t going to send shivers down the spines of viewers. Even ignoring the age gap, the circumstances of the relationship will have you worried. McDowell, played by Charlotte Ross, is trying to bond with a daughter she had to give up, and that maternal instinct attracts Sipowicz, who is a new widower with a young son.

Alamy Stock Photo

Executive producer Bill Clark said that the relationship was like walking onto a minefield. Every single beat was obsessed over while writing and filming. “I can say I don’t think in all of the years on the show any decision has had as much effort put into it like this one.”

Debra and Lundy in “Dexter”

We shouldn’t be all that surprised that a show that made us care for a serial killer had some other offbeat writing choices. In that manner, the relationship between Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) and Lundy (Keith Carradine) was well-regarded by fans. While Lundy was old enough to be her father and was even a superior officer, if at a different enforcement agency, at least he wasn’t a crazed killer.


It wasn’t even the weirdest relationship for Deb, seeing as how she hooked up with her own brother, if at least after discovering he wasn’t her biological brother. At the very least, the writers tried to make the relationship about “deep love.”

Lord Walder Frey and his Wives on “Game of Thrones”

Unlike most of the other members of this list, we aren’t meant to sympathize with or agree with Lord Walder Frey (David Bradley), a lecherous old man who continually takes new wives as previous ones get too old.

The first time we meet him on the show, he introduces Caitlyn Stark to his newest wife, Joyeuse (Kelly Long), who is a mere fifteen years old, standing meekly next to her nearly-ninety-year-old husband. He also has other wives. Among the gross men of “Game of Thrones,” Frey stands out, and that’s saying something.

Hannah and Joshua in “Girls”

While most of the hookups Hannah, played by Lena Dunham, has on the show “Girls” are of reasonable age differences, her tryst with Dr. Joshua (Patrick Wilson) does make our list. Hannah follows Joshua back to his home, knocks on his door, and sparks fly.


That’s how the relationship starts. There are so many questions about this interaction; this happened in New York City, which is also where “Law & Order: SVU” is set. Coincidence?

Blanche and Dirk in “The Golden Girls”

We’ve finally flipped the script on the Hollywood tradition. For this entry, it’s Blanche (Rue McClanahan) who has a romantic relationship with the much younger Dirk (Charles Hill), a Jazzercise instructor. The relationship is played for laughs by ending when Dirk says Blanche reminds him of his mother.


While the relationship never got physical, we still get plenty of cringe-worthy descriptions of what Blanche is feeling while she’s thinking about the man. Something about “succumbing to Mount Vesuvius,” which is a great mental image to have. It was the only time the show made this kind of age gap relationship.

Bridget and Mr. Donellen in “Ray Donovan”

Relationships between students and teachers rarely end up well, and the relationship between Bridget (Kerris Dorsey) and Donellen (Aaron Staton) is no exception.

Alamy Stock Photo

Yet neither side is pure here – Bridget manipulates the older Mr. Donellen due to her father Ray’s absentee parenting. Bridget’s crazy life infected Donellen, and her desire for a father figure ended up making both of their lives worse.

Frank and Alice on “Friends”

Nobody who was watching “Friends” when Frank, Phoebe Buffay’s half-brother played by Giovanni Ribisi, introduced his wife, Alice, his high school home economics teacher. They hit it off, get married, and even ask Phoebe to be a surrogate mother, as Alice is too old to safely be a mother.


The show is coy on when exactly the wedding happened, so we’re going to hope everything was, at least, legal. To everyone’s surprise, both in and out of the show, the relationship works out, even if it is a little weird. Just another one of the odd relationships that “Friends” have subjected us to.

Julie and Luke on “The O.C.”

At least “The O.C.” didn’t do the standard and have it be an older guy. Most of the student-teacher relationships, or at least those of that age, on this list are male students with a female teacher, and we wonder what that means. This one is between Luke (Chris Carmack) and Julie (Melinda Clarke).


She might not have been a teacher, but she certainly taught Luke plenty. Ugh. Luke even starts dating Julie after her daughter, Marissa, breaks up with him. Double ugh. When Marissa discovers the relationship, Luke decides to skip town, which is when his character disappears from the show. Probably a good idea.

Buffy and Angel on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Angel (David Boreanaz) was a smoldering hunk who had plenty of teens buying posters, but having him start a relationship with Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a high-school student – while Angel is a two-hundred-year-old vampire – was a misstep. Buffy still had homework and tests and lived with her parents.

Alamy Stock Photo

Angel was two-hundred; he should know by now that sixteen-year-old girls are attractive to exactly one group of people: sixteen-year-old boys. It is supernatural, but this is by far the biggest age range on the list, and we never hear people talking about it. At least it’s better than “Twilight.”

Belle and Rumple on “Once Upon a Time”

“Once Upon a Time” is mostly for adults who are still addicted to Disney schlock and definitely tries to get the female viewers. Classic Disney fairytales are jumbled up and then insert into the real world. Belle, played by Emilie de Ravin, instead of being captured by the Beast, is instead taken away by Rumplestiltskin, or Rumple as he is called.


They are torn apart and fall in love over and over again, which is strange not only because Rumple is more than a hundred years older than Belle (but there’s magic, so it might not mean as much), but he’s also an out-and-out bad guy, and seeks to corrupt her.

Shelly and Holling on “Northern Exposure”

When a young doctor is forced to practice in the middle of nowhere in Alaska, we get a sitcom that is funny, memorable, and intricate. A lot of the characters are interesting, but few more than Shelly (Cynthia Geary) and Holling (John Cullum). While there is a wide age difference between them, the problems aren’t as apparent thanks to the show’s understanding of writing.


The two run The Brick Bar at the center of the show’s small town, and there are plenty of questions that come up about their relationship during the show’s run, but it works out, much to the delight of the characters and the show’s fans.

Dan and Rachel on “One Tree Hill”

If you’ve ever tuned in to “One Tree Hill,” then you’re familiar with Rachel Gatina (Danneel Ackles) and probably didn’t like her. She goes through substance abuse and rehab multiple times during the show and at one point accepts money from Dan Scott (Paul Johansson) in exchange for her “company.”


The older Dan ended up being, the bigger man, breaking the marriage off when he realizes Rachel’s feelings for him are false. Rachel was cheating on him and just using him to get illegal substances.

Gabrielle and John on “Desperate Housewives”

While in real life, Eva Longoria is never desperate for any kind of affection, her character on “Desperate Housewives” has a tryst with her gardener, John Rowland, played by Jesse Metcalf. His entire arc on the show is him pursuing Gabrielle.

ABC via Getty Images

While we’re always happy to see Gabrielle showing off when she’s with John, she’s a married woman nearing thirty, and John wasn’t even into his twenties. While the age gap wasn’t insane, the maturity gap was, with Gabrielle eventually realizing the affair wasn’t right, thanks to John’s immaturity. It was an interesting dynamic, but it wasn’t going to go anywhere.

Hakeem and Camilla on “Empire”

The age gap is really nothing special between Hakeem (Bryshere Y. Gray) and Camilla (Naomi Campbell) on “Empire,” but the ick comes from when we see them about to get intimate, and Hakeem calls Camilla “Momma.”

Getty Images Photo by FOX Image Collection

Camilla is nothing but malicious and thorny, and the relationship ended up damaging Hakeem, even ignoring the mother issues that seem to need a good dose of therapy and thought. When Camilla left the show, we were sad to see her go due to how interesting her character was, but it ended up being a good thing for Hakeem.

Sansa and Petyr in “Game of Thrones”

While these two were never actually a couple, Petyr Baelish (Aiden Gillen) was clearly trying to push it in that direction. Sansa (Sophie Turner) was the daughter of his old flame, Caitlyn Stark, and it looked like he was simply late a generation, which is a weird sentence I hope I don’t have to type again.


Petyr is a creepy character the whole way through the show and is trying to force Sansa Stark into a relationship the whole time, even kissing her when they are at the Eyrie. While she doesn’t pull away, she is a very broken bird by that time. She ends up manipulating Petyr, and before long, the producers end the relationship.

Daenerys and Drogo in “Game of Thrones”

When George R.R. Martin first wrote the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books, he had young thirteen-year-old Daenerys be wed to substantially older Khal Drogo. In the show, while the ages have shifted, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is still only sixteen.


It definitely made things uncomfortable, despite sixteen being the age of consent in numerous areas, but the fact that Drogo (Jason Momoa) takes her as his wife can be difficult to watch.

Jackie and Michael in “That 70s Show”

Here’s an interesting one. The characters Jackie and Michael were of relatively similar ages, even as high schoolers, but the actor and actress weren’t. Ashton Kutcher was twenty when filming started, and Mila Kunis was only fifteen – at least, that’s what she told producers. In truth, she was only fourteen, and she only revealed the truth after she had been cast.


When it came time for the two characters to kiss, Kutcher was reluctant. He once recounted that he didn’t feel right kissing the much-young Kunis, especially since she hadn’t even hit sixteen yet. “She was fourteen! She was like my little sister.”

Angela and Shawn on “Boy Meets World”

Here’s another example of the characters being of similar ages, but those portraying them weren’t. Angela on “Boy Meets World” was played by Trina McGee and was nearly thirty when she appeared on the show.


Her character’s main love interest, Shawn, played by Rider Strong, was only seventeen, a full thirteen years younger, and still legally a child. Hollywood, do we need to sit down and have a talk?

Archie and Josie in “Riverdale”

“Riverdale” seems to have a problem with getting ages right. This entry is from when KJ Apa as Archie and Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy hook up. Both of the characters are high school students, so no problem there – at least compared to Archie hooking up with oh I don’t know how about HIS TEACHER –, but Murray is more than ten years older than Apa.

Alamy Stock Photo

Both are adults, thankfully, but even with TV edits and makeup magic, it was impossible not to see Murray as an older woman pretending to be a highschooler.

Fox Mulder and Teena Mulder on “The X-Files”

The interesting thing here is that David Duchovny, who played Fox, and Rebecca Toolan, who played Teena Mulder, only had a single year of age difference between them when the show ran.

Alamy Stock Photo

Well, now, too, but that was when it was important. Thanks to some makeup (on both of them), it was easy to believe Teena was Fox’s mother whenever she appeared. While it’s a little disturbing to think about, they were playing their characters.

Walt and Victoria on “Longmire”

The Western crime show “Longmire” teased viewers with a relationship between Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) and Deputy Victoria “Vic” Moretti (Katee Sackhoff) for years. The two characters are at least twenty years apart in age, just like the actor and actress portraying them, and few viewers found the relationship to their liking.


Vic had a past of sleeping with a superior officer, which makes it a bad choice for her character, and Walt’s other romantic interests all seemed to disappear without fanfare just to continue the drama. It was poorly thought-out on a show that had mostly good writing and was a common nit to pick for detractors of the show.

Fizz and Bunny in “Eldorado”

Produced by the BBC, “Eldorado” followed the lives of several British families that moved to Costa Del Sol in Spain, but numerous problems derailed the show, canceling it after only a single season. Seeing as how this was a British show, that means a total of six episodes, most likely. One of the biggest problems for viewers was the storyline of Bunny and Fizz.


When the show started, they were already married, even though Bunny (Roger Walker) was in his forties and Fizz (Kathy Pitkin) was seventeen. In addition, Fizz seemed to try and dress and do her makeup to appear even young. It was just one of the many problems with the show.

Bud and Miss McGowen in “Married… With Children”

The Bundy family from “Married… With Children” was plagued with problems that most viewers found hilarious. Al was trapped in an unhappy marriage, and his children were all bound to get that same luck in their relationships as the show went on. It seemed as if one of the children, Bud (David Faustino), had escaped the curse when he had an affair with a substitute English teacher, Miss McGowen (Linda Gibboney).

The affair is discovered, and somehow McGowen escapes punishment, running off with a pro football player. Bud manages to get a real girlfriend out of the situation, somehow, so it all worked out for the best despite the relationship’s illegality.

Francis and Mattie in the UK “House of Cards”

Much like the US version of the show, the UK “House of Cards” deals with conniving members of government to rise to greater heights of power. Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson) has plenty of dirt to dish out about the current Prime Minister, and his contact in the press is Mattie Storin (Susannah Harker).


Over the course of the show, Francis and Mattie engage in a relationship, despite Francis being more than thirty years older than Mattie. It’s one of the reasons Mattie was attracted to him. However, Mattie becomes a liability, and Francis ultimately pushes her off a roof to her death.

Nathan and Stuart in the UK “Queer as Folk”

The original version of the show “Queer as Folk” from the UK was a hotbed of controversy, in part because of the hot scenes that took place. The very first episode also caused a stink due to the ages of two characters involved in one of the scenes. Stuart Jones (Aiden Gillen) is a twenty-nine-year-old gay man who, in a nightclub, meets the fifteen-year-old Nathan (Charlie Hunnam).


Even after learning Nathan’s true age, the two continue the relationship, and while the show took place at a time when many thought the age of consent was discriminatory toward gay couples, the relationship was still illegal no matter what people thought.

Dean and Anna on “Supernatural”

It’s going to be really hard to beat the age difference here. We’ve had old men and young women, young men and old women, high schoolers, and two-hundred-year-old vampires, but what about a mortal man and an angel who is millions of years old? Such is the case with Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) and Anna Milton (Julie McNiven).


The actor and actress are around the same age, but seeing as Anna is actually a fallen angel – millions of years old at best and timeless and unaging at worst – it raises some questions. Lots of questions. Do angels age? We shouldn’t be surprised that “Supernatural” would play fast and loose with angelology.

Malcolm and Nikki on “Malcolm in the Middle”

Their characters might have been of similar ages, but that doesn’t stop this on-screen relationship from having a mild dose of the creep factor. Frankie Muniz, who played Malcolm, was born in December of 1985, while Reagan Dale Neis, who played Nikki – Malcolm’s girlfriend for some time on the show – was born in September of 1976.


That makes them a full nine years different in age, and the on-screen relationship, including kisses, began when Muniz was seventeen. Even dressed up and acting as a teenager, it’s hard to see someone that old kissing someone that young and not squint at it. In fact, dressing up as a teenager might make it worse.

Devi and Paxton in “Never Have I Ever”

Based on and produced by Mindy Kaling, “Never Have I Ever” had the main character Devi Vishwakumar learn about life, love, high school, and plenty more, including what it was like to be with an older man.


Not too much older in the grand scheme of things, but when Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Devi’s actress, was cast, she was only seventeen. Darren Barnet, who played love interest Paxton Hall-Yoshida, was more than ten years older than her, closer to thirty than to twenty-five.

Bridget and Kerry on “Eight Simple Rules”

No, of course, these two on-screen sisters didn’t date, but there are still some interesting facts to reveal about these two. Bridget Hennessy, played by Kaley Cuoco long before she was world-famous for “The Big Bang Theory,” was the same age as her character, starting as a young teen and growing into a college student.

Alamy Stock Photo

Amy Davidson, who played Kerry Hennessy, the younger daughter, is actually six years older than Cuoco. They gave Cuoco a little bit more makeup to make her appear more grown-up, and the height she had on Davidson was also a big help.

Rory and Lane on “Gilmore Girls”

One of the most important things about growing up is learning how to make and keep friends. Rory Gilmore’s constant friend Lane Kim is a frequent character on the show. As Alexis Bledel played Rory, starting out as a teen and slowly learning what it takes to be an adult, eventually going to college.


Lane Kim is played by Keiko Agena on the show, and while Bledel was mostly age-correct – only three years older than her character – Agena had quite a bit more experience to draw from. She’s a full eight years older than Bledel, meaning if their characters were the same age, then she was already an adult by the time Lane became a teenager.

Andrea and All Her Boyfriends on “Beverly Hills, 90210”

“Beverly Hills, 90210” was not a show that required all of the teen and college-aged actors and actresses to be that age. Far from it. One of the biggest examples is that of Gabrielle Carteris, who played Andrea Zuckerman, a high school sophomore.

Alamy Stock Photo

The problem is, Gabrielle Carteris was twenty-nine when she started playing the character, almost twice the age she was supposed to be. This makes it a bit weird for some of the younger actors on the show, including Jason Priestly as Brandon Walsh, who was a full ten years younger than her.

Scott and Kira on “Teen Wolf”

When Arden Cho started playing the young Kitsune Kira Yukimura on MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” she, the actress, was twenty-eight years old and playing a teenage high schooler. By the time she left the show, she was in her thirties, and her character was, yes, still in high school.


While not one of the main characters, Kira is still on the show plenty and has the chance to start a relationship with Scott McCall, played by Tyler Posey. Posey was an adult when he started on the show (just barely), but the age-divide is still six years. Nowhere near the range, we’ve seen before but still noteworthy.

Dorothy Zbornak and Her Mother on “Golden Girls”

Again, this one’s just a familial relationship, but it could be one of the oddest examples on the list. Bea Arthur played Dorothy Zbornak, one of the fab four leading ladies on “Golden Girls,” and her mother Sophia Petrillo, played by Estelle Getty, was obviously old enough to have married, borne, and raised the young Dorothy, though we never find out exactly how far apart they are in age.

Getty Images Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI

However, in real life, it’s Arthur who is the older of the two, by a full year over her “mother” Getty. The tiny Getty (topping out at only 4′ 10.5”) had the old-woman face, and thanks to a little bit of makeup, could pass for a much older woman.

Cordelia Chase and Jenny Calendar in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

As we’ve seen, it’s incredibly common to get some ages mixed up while casting. A thirty-year-old might have the look of a teenager; a twenty-year-old might end up a preteen. It happens. One interesting tidbit comes to us from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” involving the characters Cordelia Chase (played by Charisma Carpenter) and Jenny Calendar (played by Robia Scott).


Jenny was Chase’s teacher in high school, and while Scott is older than Carpenter, they were not only born in the same year, 1970, but Scott is only sixteen days older. Both actresses were born in July.

Teddy Montgomery and His Girlfriends in “90210”

The original show cleared the path, and the revival show is walking it. Trevor Donovan, who played Teddy Montgomery in “90210” from 2009 to 2013, was only about a month from turning thirty-one when he started playing a junior in high school on the show, which was so incredibly obvious to anyone who watched the show.


If you watched the show, no doubt you remember Teddy as a player, meaning that Jessica Lowndes, who played Adrianna, and Jessica Stroup, who played Silver, were getting some on-screen action with a guy who was almost ten years their senior.

Dayanara Diaz and Her Mother Aleida on “Orange Is the New Black”

Elizabeth Rodriguez and Dascha Polanco play a pair of mother-daughter inmates at the same prison, which we’re pretty sure don’t happen in real life, but whatever.


Despite playing mother and daughter – and even allowing for an early birth from Rodriguez’s character, Aleida – it seems unlikely that the characters are the actresses’ ages, seeing as how Rodriguez is just under two years older than Polanco. Some people just look older, and some just look younger. We do wonder if this changes the acting dynamically.