23 Things You're Too Old for Now That You're 23

Recently, an old VICE article popped up on my Facebook newsfeed, loudly proclaiming all the things that the author believes people are far too old for once they blow out the candles on their 25th birthday. If you're too lazy to read the article, or if you're adverse to VICE's "how hard can we appeal to that sweet, sweet, 20-something-year-old-college-kid demographic" brand of journalism, the article basically says that once you've hit that quarter-century mark, you're too old for fun, friends, fast food, and any recreational activity that isn't enjoying a carefully portioned bowl of Bran Buds while watching a reasonable political debate.

And the comments went crazy.

This is life after 25, apparently. Deal with it.

Outraged people over the age of 25 took to the comments section with their torches and pitchforks out, loudly proclaiming that the author was a humourless old fart, and that they themselves were still armpit-deep in cocaine and lengthy text messages, thank you very much. So while the original author of the VICE article plans to live out the rest of his 20s parked on a rocking chair with shotgun in hand, waiting for children to venture onto his lawn, I've decided to write my own list of things that my peers and I are far too old for, now that we're 23.

So let's all agree that we're too old for:

1. Huggies Pull-Ups

In addition to being bad at literally everything they attempt, small children are terrible at, shall we say, bodily control. That's why we force them to spend part of their formative years in Huggies Pull-Ups, which, as far as I can tell, are just diapers that they aren't actually supposed to pee in.

The design fades like your parents' hopes for your future. 

Huggies come in a range of sizes, but it's not that wide a range. If you want the freedom to pee yourself on the go, you 'll have to forego the princess and Pixar designs and pick up some plain old adult incontinence diapers. Totally not worth it. 

2. Those Bucket Swing Seats

Almost every swing set of your childhood had two types of swing seats: regular ones, and those weird bucket ones where you could stash your baby for a bit while you tried to coax your dog into going down the slide.

These fucking things.

Look, there's no easy way to say this, so I'm just going to come right out and say it, okay? You don't fucking fit in these any more. Here's how this is going to go down: your friends are going to stand around laughing while you struggle to climb up on top of it and it struggles to get away from you like a childhood pet escaping your overzealous love. Best case scenario, you fall off of it and sprain your back. Worst case scenario, you actually succeed at jamming your legs into the tiny leg holes, get stuck, and have to call the fire department to cut you out of the plastic diaper on chains that you're suddenly entombed in. 

3. Ordering a Kids' Meal

Remember Happy Meals? I don't, because my parents loved me enough to cook me real food. But I hear that Happy Meals were just the shit. 

Ba da da da daaaaa.

Well, I've got sad news for you, friend: you can't order happy meals anymore. I mean, you can, if you really want to, but trust me when I say that you've outgrown children's menu options. At this point in your life, you're a ravenous wolverine of a human being, bemoaning the fact that the 48-piece nugget bucket is only offered in Japan. You aren't going to be satisfied with a skant 4 nuggets and a plastic bottle of drinkable yogurt. Save yourself the embarrassment of ordering four of them and just get adult food.

Plus, they come with apple slices now. Gross.

4. Riding Public Transit for Free

In most major cities in the world, children under the age of about five don't have to pay to ride the bus or light rail, confirming my long-held suspicions that small children aren't actually people. 

Your chariot awaits.

In all likelihood, you rode the bus for free until you were eight and a half, while your unscrupulous mother shamelessly declared to the bus driver that 'he's so big for his age!' And she got away with it back then. But now you're 6'2 with a five o' clock shadow and you smell like sadness and failure. No one is going to believe that you're under the age of six. Pay the $3 in bus fare. 

5. Not Filing Income Tax

If you're over 18 and you make money somehow, you have to file income tax. Like, legally you have to. It's not a choice.

Welcome to adulthood, fucker.

I mean, sure, tax evasion is a thing. But if federal tax agencies can take down Al Capone, they can sure as hell nail you for setting your T4 on fire on the lawn. Just send all your tax forms to your dad, and whine until he files them for you. I said you had to file taxes, I didn't say you had to be an adult about it. 

6. Playing in the Ball Pit at Fast Food Restaurants

When you were a kid, you probably remember having a blast in the ball pit every time your mom was too overwhelmed to cook and packed you into the car to get some nugget-shaped chicken parts for dinner. Since you lacked the emotional maturity to handle soda and ketchup dispensers, you were banished to the ball pit to play while she wrestled all of your paper containers of cholesterol to a table.

As a child, you could frolic in one of these things with reckless abandon, safe in the childlike knowledge that a large corporation had your health and safety as their #1 priority. Today, your cynical 23-or-older self knows full well that the average ball pit is comprised of 18% used band-aids and 14% urine. 2% of all missing children are actually stuck to a piece of chewed gum at the bottom of a ball-pit. Your well-honed adult instincts for disease won't let you go near one of these things. Also you're pretty sure a concerned parent will call the police if you do.

7. Asking Your Parents Before Going Online

You ever seen a commercial for a children's website, or some toy with an online component? You're going to hear the phrase "ask your parents' permission before going online", because the legal departments of large companies need to give themselves plausible deniability, just in case they accidentally lure a child into interacting with Club Penguin's thriving pedophile underground.

Although, let's be real, you're definitely already banned from Club Penguin.

Now you're too old for pedophiles to want you. They're not interested. You don't need to ask your mom's permission to go online, because if she was worried you'd get snatched up by a balding stranger in an unmarked minivan, she wouldn't have forced you to move out three years ago.

8. Enrolling in the Second Grade

When you were 6 or 7 years old (or an 8 year old half-asser), someone enrolled you in the second grade. You might have done it at a public school, a private school, or a "private" school that taught you nothing but yoga poses and chanting. Regardless, you legally had to do it. It wasn't an option. 

Pictured: you in a second grade class today.

Today, that's just not an option for you. Even if you half-assed your way through school so hard that you aren't finished the second grade by age 23, there's no way the parents are going to let you sit in class with their kids. While your seven-year-old classmates are learning the proper names for their private parts, you'll be squirming in your seat from the wicked case of gonorrhea you refuse to get checked out. It's weird, man. 

9. Thinking Audiocassettes are Cool

Audio cassettes were the shit back in 1996, mostly because CDs were expensive back then and your parents didn't trust you not to get your fingerprints all over the shiny side. But it was okay, because you had your tapes. You could use them to record off the radio. You could take them with you in your awesome walkman. Man, tapes were cool.

All the gradually worsening quality of a CD, with the added fun of rewinding!

Yeah, it's 2015 now. Audio cassettes are bullshit. Approximately 17% of my early childhood was spent rewinding these things to the exact spot where my favourite song actually started, and another 12% was spent standing over them with a screwdriver, trying frantically to stuff all eight feet of snarled plastic tape back on the little wheels. Half my songs started with a four-second clip of some idiot radio jockey reminding me that I'm listening to a radio station that no longer exists. 

Youtube exists now. Be thankful. 

10. Measuring Your Self-Worth By Comparing Yourself to a Bratz Doll

Every year, millions of little girls will wake up on Christmas morning to find Bratz dolls nestled under the tree, despite the fact that parents and teachers agree that these things give young girls crippling self-esteem issues at least three or four years earlier than we would like.

I have seen the face of God, and He was weeping.

At age 6, it's easy to look at a Bratz doll and think that that's what a human woman should look like, because 6-year-olds are stupid. At 23, your reaction to this grotesque plastic abomination is one of utmost disgust. Look at that thing. Her eyes say "I come to this planet in peace", but her lips say "anaphylactic shock". If you witnessed a human Bratz doll tottering down the street on 14-inch heels with a 12-inch waistline, you'd keep a priest on speed dial for the rest of your life.

11. Not Comprehending the Ever-Looming Spectre of Death That Hangs Over Us All

When you were a kid, nothing really died. Spot went off to live on a farm. Grandma took a long vacation to heaven. Unless you grew up in a tragic Lifetime movie, your family and friends were immortal - just as immortal as you.

Honestly, the first five years of your life were just one long attempt to kill and/or maim yourself.

Ha, guess again, fucker. Everything you love is fleeting and doomed to die; you're always just one tiny misstep away from being run down by a drunken ambulance driver rushing to the scene of an auto-erotic asphyxiation. Now, every time you forget to text your mother back, a little voice in the back of your head says "she's going to die someday, and you'll never get to talk to her again". Every time your partner is late coming home, you'll immediately worry that they've been killed in a freak accident, and the last words you ever said to them were "by the way, we're out of toilet paper". You're old enough to know that death is never far away, and there's nothing you can do to get rid of that knowledge. You're just going to think about it every now and then until you die. 

12. Being Sentenced as a Juvenile

Getting charged as a juvenile is awesome, as far as the whole "facing criminal charges" things go. Your name gets kept out of the press. In most cases, your record gets sealed when you're 18. You're a whole lot less likely to go to prison in the first place, and even if you do end up there, you're still less likely to have to share a cell with a 48-year-old serial child molester named "Bubba".

Or perhaps this upstanding gentleman.

But the thing about facing charges as a juvenile is that you have to be, well, a juvenile. Which you aren't, and haven't been for at least five years. If you get drunk and rob a 7/11 with a can of Axe body spray and a barbeque lighter, you're going to big boy prison.

Bubba is waiting. 

13. Holding Your Mom's Hand When You Cross the Street

When you were little, you probably had to hold on to an adult's hand to cross the street. No one actually enjoyed coming into contact with your grubby little fingers, but this was a necessary practice to prevent you from hurling yourself under the wheels of an oncoming semi-truck.

Because, as we previously discussed, kids suck at keeping themselves alive.

Now, there's no way you can hold your mother's hand in public. No, not because it'd embarass you, you dumbass. You embarass her. Are those the sweatpants she bought you in the 9th grade that you're wearing? How do you even still have those? And when was the last time you showered? Did you really think that side-shaved haircut was a good idea?

Nope, cross the street by yourself. If you get hit by a car, it'll serve you right. 

14. Flying as an Unaccompanied Minor

When you were a kid, if you had to take an airplane trip by yourself, the stewards, stewardesses and airline staff were instructed to check on you once in a while, just to make sure you got on the right plane and weren't accidentally stabbing yourself to death with the airline-issued cutlery that came with your dinner. 

Now you're on your own, fucker. If you somehow manage to accidentally board a flight to Zimbabwe and open up your jugular with a badly-executed fork manoeuvre, that's your own damn problem, because the lady in the third row needs another tiny glass of $20 wine and you are a goddamned adult. Your days of unaccompanied minorhood are over, because the airlines literally won't give you that designation anymore. 

15. Gleaning Safety From Sitting in Rear-Facing Car Seats

When you were a small child, the safest way for you to travel was in a rear-facing car seat. I think it has something to do with cushioning the impact on your tiny neck in a head-on collision; I don't know, I don't study baby physics. What I do know is that rear-facing carseats are no longer a safe option for the over-23.

Pictured: a human who requires much less legroom than you do.

For real, it's not safe. You don't even fit in that thing anymore. If you get in an accident, you're just going to get launched out the front windshield and probably kick the driver in the face on the way by. All your friends will die, because you couldn't let go of the fact that being strapped to a baby seat is no longer your safest option. Sit in your big boy seat. Yes, with the seatbelt on. 

16. Not Catching the Sex Jokes in Cartoons

The cartoons you watched as a child were magical, flawless paragons of wholesome entertainment. The good guys won, the bad guys lost, the hero got the girl, and you played that Lion King VHS tape over and over again until your parents wanted to abandon you in the middle of the actual serengeti. Every so often, in the middle of your cartoons, your parents would chuckle at a comment you didn't think was a joke, but you never really thought much of it. Adults are strange.

Also known as "Jokes You Stumbled Across While Stoned Out of Your Gourd in Your Dorm Room at 3AM".

Adults are also gross, and it was a whole bunch of gross adults who wrote, directed and animated all those childrens' shows you used to watch. Apparently, working on a kids' show in the 90s was an endless slog of monotonous pandering to children that could only be relieved by tossing in a reference to the eight-year-old protagonists boning. Long gone are the days when those jokes sailed right over your head, and no longer will cartoons be your safe haven from the depravity of the world.

17. Singing Taylor Swift's '22' and Really Meaning Those Lyrics

I don't know about you
But I'm feeling 22
Everything will be alright
If you keep me next to you
You don't know about me
But I'll bet you want to
Everything will be alright
If we just keep dancing like we're
22, ooh-ooh
22, ooh-ooh

You know who really means the shit out of those lyrics? 22-year-olds.

Or the 25 year old who recorded them.

Sure, you can still sing along to this song. But deep down, in your heart of hearts, you know it just felt a lot more authentic last year, when you were actually 22 years old. And it'll never quite feel right to you ever again. 

18. Believing that Santa Brings Your Christmas Gifts

Believing in Santa Claus was awesome. All you had to do was be less of a little shit than usual every December (because let's face it, Santa's performance reviews were less than comprehensive), and bam, a magical fat bearded man would break into your house and leave you a bunch of shit. It was great.

Best. Home invasion. Ever.

But now that you're older, it's time to realize that "Santa" is not a literal being, but a role that adults have to play during the holidays. There's no way that one man could deliver gifts to every Christian-ish house on Earth in a single night, because it's going to take you all of December to purchase, wrap and deliver gift for the three or so people on your list. Leaving the work to Santa at this stage of your life is just going to lead to a whole lot of disappointment all around.  

19. Sitting in Your Uncle's Lap

You spent most of your early childhood seated in the laps of various relatives. This was partly because you were still adorable back then, and partly because your parents didn't want to spend money on teeny-tiny chairs for you. And in every family, there was one Uncle in particular who enjoyed having you in his lap.

This Uncle. It was this one.

Today, there's no way that would fly. For one, your microwaved-burrito-and-pizza-pop diet has long since caught up to you, and you can't sit on anyone's lap without cutting off circulation to their lower legs. And for two, it's weird now. You'd shift around to get comfortable. He'd clear his throat. You'd avoid eye contact at family events for the rest of your lives. 

20. Not Being Able to Buy Alcohol

Remember high school? When you couldn't get into a bar, and the only way you could get your much-needed underage drinking done was to go to befriend that one kid with rich parents who liked to go out of town waaaay too often and leave the liquor cabinet unlocked.

It was that, or wait for somebody's "cool mom" to just buy it for you.

Unless you live in select areas of rural India, those days are long over. If you want to get shitfaced on $8 vodka, just go to a liquor store and buy some. You have ID and you smell like a student loan. You can do it. 

21. Expecting Your Every Achievement to be Posted on Your Parents' Fridge

Childhood achievements didn't really matter unless they made it onto the Fridge Door. Your parents told you that your macaroni picture was good, but if your parents didn't post it in a place of honour on the fridge, you knew it was a piece of shit.


But at your age, it's not reasonable to expect your parents to display your achievements on their fridge, mostly because you haven't achieved anything in years. Yeah, okay, that diploma in art history looks nice on the office wall, but what have you done since then? You expect them to hang up that one Visa bill you actually managed to pay on time? Pathetic. 

22. Peeing Your Pants in Public

We already established at the beginning of this list that you're physically too large for Huggies Pull-Ups. So what's the 23-year-old-or-older to do when he wants to void himself in public?

Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope.

You can't. I'm sorry. That's the hard truth of it. Unless you're battling some rare and awful bladder condition, the public will have no sympathy for you when you wet yourself at the movie theatre. When a four year old does it, it's almost kind of cute. When a 23-year-old does it, it's reason to call the police. 

23. Taking Life Advice From Goddamn Lists

Look, at the end of the day, you're an adult. You can have Skittles for dinner if you want to. You can marry a 67-year-old sex offender you've only met through prison correspondence. You can invest your entire life savings in stockpiling cans of spray cheese. None of these things are good idea, but you can do them if you want to, because you're an adult and no one can stop you.

Tastes like sweet, sweet freedom. 

So if you want to say 'screw you' and hold your mother's hand while you cross the street to your nearest elementary school to drop off a registration form for Mrs. Applewood's second grade class, you do you, you magnificent animal. Don't let me stop you. 

Because taking advice from online lists is dumb. 


  1. I remember gushing with pride to my dad about an electrical bill in my name that got an "early payment rebate" type thing, just to have him say, "Oh, WOW. Well done, you. Now, just make sure to do that every month, for the rest of your life. Or go live in a tree. PROUD OF YOUUUUU."

    Damn it, Dad, can't you just buy me an ice cream with sprinkles and tell me how good I'm being?!

    1. Great comment on a fantastically funny article! I can just here a father's voice here. Not mine, though, I'm happy to say. He probably would still buy me ice cream with sprinkles, maybe because I'm the baby of the family. :) And I'm waaay over 23.

  2. New Diet Taps into Pioneering Plan to Help Dieters Lose 20 Pounds in Only 21 Days!


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