24 Overused Teen Movie And Show Tropes That Get On My Last Millennial Nerve


If you know me, you know I LOVE a good teen TV show or movie. Cliché as it may be, there’s just something so entertaining about watching 25-year-olds play rich high schoolers who have more exciting lives than the Kardashians.

Freeform

It’s a guilty pleasure, okay?!

When you’ve watched as many teen shows and movies as I have, you start to notice just how many times the same exact tropes happen.

Disney / Pixar

I’m not complaining, I’m just saying…there’s room for new material!

Here are 24 things that happen in literally every high school movie and show to the point where I’m sick of seeing them:

Mild spoilers ahead!!

1. Everyone having time for a full breakfast spread before school:

Hollingsworth family eating breakfast by the pool on "Degrassi"

TeenNick

Bonus if they eat by the pool.

2. The new girl finding a new group of friends — usually the popular clique — on her first day of school:

Paramount Pictures

3. Everyone getting into top-tier colleges and only applying to super difficult schools as backups:

Peter from "To All the Boys" wearing Stanford gear

Netflix

I’m sorry, there is no way Peter would have gotten into Stanford without lacrosse. And yes, I know Lara Jean didn’t get into Stanford, but you’re telling me UC Berkeley was her backup?!

4. Student-teacher romantic relationships being considered fine and normal:

Aria and Ezra from "Pretty Little Liars"

Freeform / Everett Collection

My favorite Pretty Little Liars ship is Ezra x jail.

5. Super dramatic slow-dance scenes where a big secret is finally revealed and one half of the couple storms off the dance floor:

Archie tells Veronica about cheating on her with Betty on "Riverdale" and Brooke finds out about Lucas and Peyton kissing on "One Tree Hill"

The CW / The WB

It’s still Brucas > Varchie, though. Fight me.

6. Everyone losing their virginity on prom night (and having no problem getting a hotel):

Eli and Clare about to have sex for the first time on "Degrassi"

TeenNick

7. Characters getting pregnant the very first time they have sex:

CTV

Don’t get me wrong, Manny’s storyline was iconic. But sheesh, just how many times did a Degrassi character get pregnant after their first time?

8. Parents dating their kid’s significant other’s parent:

9. A couple sharing a secret half-sibling:

Dan and Serena's half-brother on "Gossip Girl" alongside Betty and Jughead's half-brother on "Riverdale"

The CW

There’s no way this is that common!!

10. Random people showing up at the characters’ doors claiming to be their long-lost sibling, but really they’re an imposter:

Derek on "One Tree Hill": "I guess I'm your brother"

The WB

11. Jumping on a motorcycle just purely out of angst:

Summit Entertainment

12. Love triangles that involve the guy cheating on the girl with her best friend:

The WB

13. Characters choosing their college based on how close it is to their significant other:

Troy chooses to go college near Gabriella

Disney

I know this definitely is a thing in real life, but trust me, the boy is NOT worth it!!!

14. The main girl suddenly becoming “hot” after a makeover that just involves, like, straightening her hair and taking off her glasses:

"Princess Diaries" makeover

Disney

15. Characters putting on school plays that are literally just about their own personal drama:

Miles' play on "Degrassi"

Netflix

What school would allow students to write plays about each other?

16. The main guy being portrayed as super nice, likable, and reasonable, but really, he’s kind of a dick and rarely gets called out for it:

meme of how terrible Lucas Scott from "One Tree Hill" really is

The WB / Buzzfeed

17. Fan-favorite characters being killed off just for shock value at the end of a series:

Justin dies on "13 Reasons Why"

Netflix

Nobody asked for this!!!

18. Toxic LGBTQ couples staying together just because they’re the only queer characters on the show:

Netflix / Freeform

I’m sorry, but neither of these couples should have lasted longer than a few episodes. Let LGBTQ characters date around and fall in love with multiple people like the rest of the characters! Don’t just give them a half-developed love interest they’re not remotely compatible with and call it a day.

19. Characters magically having access to tons of alcohol (and usually good quality too):

Sophie and Max drinking at party on "Ginny & Georgia"

Netflix

Justice for #Sophine.

20. If it’s a supernatural show or movie, a character dying and coming back like 6 million times:

Landon dies again on "Legacies"

The CW

21. Couples breaking up to “protect” each other or just pretending to be broken up:

The CW

22. A character hooking up with their friend’s sibling and it being seen as the BIGGEST betrayal of all time:

"The Kissing Booth" rule #9: "Older brother off limits"

Netflix

I mean, I guess I would be weirded out if one of my friends hooked up with my sibling and probably upset if they lied to me about it (although I don’t think I’d want to know in the first place, tbh). But betrayed? It feels a little dramatic.

23. A character getting out of a toxic relationship, dating someone who treats them way better, and then deciding to get back with the first crappy significant other because they’re “meant to be” or whatever:

Noah Elle and Marco love triangle from "Kissing Booth 2"

Netflix

To be fair, sometimes the chemistry is just superior…but not in every case.

24. And finally, queer-baiting audiences with super flirty scenes and no intention of actually turning it into anything:

Veronica and Betty kiss in "Riverdale" pilot alongside Hope and Josie flirting in "Legacies"

The CW

What are some high school movie and TV tropes you’re tired of? Tell us in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *