Those who say that age is but a number are probably fans of age gap romance. The main goal of many of these stories is to explore romantic relationships that aren't usually considered normal to the main sectors of society. Films like Lolita and American Beauty showcase inappropriate age gap romances between adults and minors. Other age gap romance films like As Good as It Gets and Edge of Tomorrow take a more subtle approach, featuring adult relationships where one half is much older than the other.
This list focuses on an entirely different sort of age gap relationships: those between characters with age gaps larger than the average human lifespan. Often, these movies and TV shows feature a human mortal and an immortal, or even two different species of supernatural creatures, attempting to build a bridge between their two worlds to make their relationship work.
Though these fantastical romances provide a form of escape for the audience, who gets to imagine what it would be like to be taken for a ride on the Doctor's Tardis, for example, most of the time the challenges the characters meet come down to normal relationship issues. Sookie Stackhouse breaks up with Bill Compton for lying to her. Edward Cullen doesn't want to lose his virginity until he's married. These are everyday issues put in the perspective of beings living outside the rules of a normal human lifespan, which in turn, makes the audience better appreciate the beautiful simplicity of the reality we live in.
Susan Parrish & Joe Black/Death ('Meet Joe Black')Photo: Universal Pictures
Age Gap: At least 3.5 billion years
According to the 1998 film Meet Joe Black, a romantic relationship with the Grim Reaper is unsurprisingly doomed from the start. When Susan Parrish meets a handsome, charismatic stranger in a coffee shop, it seems their lives are fated to be together. He’s a one-woman kind of guy and he’s nice to his kid sister. He even coincidentally uses the same phrase her father uses to encourage an open mind: “Lightning could strike.” But when Death chooses the stranger’s body to inhabit while forcing Susan’s father to escort him around the Earth, Susan unknowingly falls in love with the wrong "man." Despite being potentially as old as time itself, Death is naive to some of the things most important to people, including, but not limited to, peanut butter and falling in love.
Luckily for Susan, the immortal entity learns what love really is and lets her go. Like a tale from Greek mythology, the real “Joe” is returned to Susan as a parting gift, and luckily, he doesn’t ask any questions about what he’s doing at a freshly deceased billionaire’s birthday party.
Age Gap: Millions of years
In Season 4 of Supernatural, Dean and Anna meet while working toward the same purpose: preventing the apocalypse from happening on Earth. What makes them fall in love, however, is the much more relatable mutual discontent they shoulder over having distant fathers. As a fallen angel, Anna hates the blind obedience she is expected to have for God. Dean spent most of his life trying to get close to his own father, only to lose him to hell in exchange for his life.
Like many angel/human love stories, this couple's is short-lived. Anna finds her “grace” and reluctantly returns to heaven. She and Dean continue the same battle against evil on separate planes until archangel Michael vanquishes her in Season 5.
Maggie Rice & Seth ('City of Angels')Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
Age Gap: Millions of years
City of Angels takes the relationship age gap to celestial levels. Guardian angel Seth falls in love with heart surgeon Maggie Rice while watching her lose a patient during surgery. He makes himself visible to her and, not realizing what he really is, she falls for him, too. Their relationship is based on his infatuation with her human anguish and fragility, which is expected. After all, he’s been observing humans since they started walking the Earth.
The tragedy of this is reinforced by Maggie’s unexpected passing after Seth has “fallen” and given his immortality away in order to be with her. Seth, in turn, receives perhaps what he subconsciously wanted all along: a human life.
Lestat de Lioncourt & Queen Akasha ('Queen of the Damned')Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
Age Gap: Approximately 4,750 years
Born in 1758, former French aristocrat-turned-vampire Lestat de Lioncourt wakes from a century-long slumber to become a rock star at the turn of the 21st century. As he rises to stardom under the banner of being a real vampire, he, in turn, wakes the mother of all vampires: the bloodthirsty Queen Akasha.
Possessed by a vampiric spirit in ancient Egypt (roughly 3500 BCE), Akasha takes one look at modern-day humans and decides that she’s going to purge humanity with Lestat at her side. Despite being 242 years old, Lestat enjoys humans in the 21st century and betrays Akasha, leading to her demise. Sometimes, age differences lead to disagreements in relationships, and in this case, their age gap was a deal-breaker.