Rebellion is another good example of a common theme in
teen dramas. In real life, nearly all teenagers go through a
period of rejecting all things authoritarian, resulting in
conflict with teachers, parents and police, underage
drinking, sex and violence. This has therefore become
quite a relatable topic for teenagers as they all go through
this stage which makes the film relatable and therefore
A good example of a teen film based on rebellion is The
Another common theme in teen dramas is sexuality
because for lots of people, they realise the nature of
their sexuality when they become teenagers. This has
become an issue because of the possibility of
discrimination from parents, peers and society in
general.As so manystruggle with their sexuality, it could
be seen as a good focus for a teen drama.
An example of a film based on teen sexuality is Get
Underage sex is a common theme in teen dramas, mainly
because it is an issue adolescents struggle with when
growing up. For example, teenagers are faced with
dilemmas such as pregnancy scares, knowing the right
age to have sex and with who? Because teenagers can
relate to this so well, it acts as a topic that that would
prove to be popular in films for teenagers. It also proves
to be quite a comedic topic as well, making it even more
appealing to teenagers.
An example is American Pie, the movie brings up issues
such as pressure to lose your virginity, safe sex, the
Drug use plays a big part in growing up as quite a lots of
teenagers either use or have been pressured into
experimenting with drugs. Teen dramas often feature drugs
and portray them in different ways. For example in some
moviess, drugs are presented as something exciting and
risky which creates an appeal; something that makes the
character a ‘loser’ and isolates drug users as ‘stoners’ and
sometimes they’re even portrayed as a rite of passage for
teenagers. An example is 21 Jump Street, it highlights just
how common it is among teenagers and why its so
Mental health has on recently become a popular theme in
teen dramas, mainly because mental health is being taken
more seriously and is being recognised as a sickness
which genuinely needs treatment. Anxiety, eating disorders
and depression etc. are some of the most commons among
teens, therefore mental is an ideal topic for a movie as so
many teens can relate.
An example is The Perks of Being A Wallflower.
Often in teen movies, dance and party mysuc is used to
portray their carefree attitude towards life and responsibilty
and rules. This happy music is often linked to dance which
is basically a celebration which can make the audience feel
equally as euphoric as the characters.
An example is Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO in 21 Jump
Street, during the party scene. The upbeat music makes
the audience feel what the characters are feeling.
Rap is often used in american teen drama films, particularly
gang films. They also represent rebellion but are mainly an
expression of anger, struggles and hardships. However for
british teen dramas such as Kidulthood, trap and grime
music is the more popular- probably because its more
representative of british culture.
An example is Changes by Tupac in Freedom Writers.
In teen movies, indie and accoustic music is used to
portray emotional or sad scenes as the soft tones can
portray the characters pain or melancholy and thus allow
us the audience to feel it too. For example, in The Edge of
Seventeen, when Nadine feels isolated we hear a soft
instrumental which allows the audience to empathise with
Another example is Wonderwall by Oasis in My Mad Fat
Rock music is often used in teen dramas to represent
rebellion and excitement. For example if a teen character
goes to a party and experiments with drugs, rock music
would be appropriate. Rock music itself is about rebellion
and losing control so is a perfect fit.
An example is Bad Reputation in the film Easy A
CHARACTERS- THE LOVE
Almost every teen drama involves a love interest for the
protagonist/antagonist. This is to create a sense of
romance- a feature which attracts a lot of the target
audience (particularly female members). Sometimes there
can even be more that one love interest, causing an issue
for the protagonist and a love triangle.
An example is the love triangle in The Duff. Bianca is in
love with Toby but slowly, her friend Wesley begins to fall in
love with her.
CHARACTERS- THE BEST
This character is in nearly all teen dramas. The best friend
acts as a sidekick and and advisor to the main hcaracter.
This character isnt usually very interesting so as not to
distract from the protagonist’s appeal. They act as as a fill
character to make the film seem more realistic and are in a
lot of the main scenes. Sometimes, they can become the
love interest for the protagonist or even the antagonist.
An example is Rhiannon in Easy A. She starts off as Olive’s
best friend but eventually ends up turning against her and
becomes one of the antagonists.
The antagonist is the bad guy in a teen drama. It is usually
a rival, teenage or could even be figurative-such as a
mental health issue. The antagonist normally causes the
issue for the protagonist and sometimes is the main
character. The antagonist is one of the most important
characters in the film because without them, there would be
no issue and therefore no story line.
An example of an antagonist is Cancer in the Fault in our
stars or Harriet in Wild Child.
CHARACTER- THE WISE
In teen dramas, there always seems to be a specific adult
character with a significant role without posing as a threat. The
character gives advice or acts as a parent or friend to the
An example is Ben in The Fundamentals of Caring. He’s the carer
to Trevor but acts like a friend, swearing and joking around with
Crevor, giving him advice, teaching him lessons etc.