The Actual Ages Of TV And Movie "Teens"

This will make you feel better about being awkward in high school. Teens on screen are always played by graceful twentysomethings.

1. In Smallville, Tom Welling played a character 10 years younger than himself. Here’s Tom’s actual teenage yearbook photo.

I get that he’s Superman, but I’m 27 and I’m still not as put together as 14-year-old Clark or any of his high school freshman friends. Neither was the guy playing Clark.

2. How about Mean Girls?

Kevin Tang

Regina George is intimidatingly graceful as a Mean Girls’ ringleader. At that age, Rachel McAdams was nothing like that.

3. The Fonz: original greaser rebel RUDE TEEN.

No wonder The Fonz is still cooler than anyone I know.

4. And Pitch Perfect?

Late twenties Anna makes a plausible college freshman. But still.

5. The O.C.’s teens were always suspiciously presentable.

Kevin Tang

6. Dear 90210: There’s no way a teen’s this mature and confident.

Andrea was 90210’s idea of an awkward geek. She’s a high school newspaper editor. My idea of awkward geek at age 16 was playing Diablo II for 26 hours a day.

7. And here’s the high school tennis star in 90210:

Not even wearing a Big Dog T-shirt and cargo pants.

8. One Tree Hill?

No pimples.

9. And Dawson’s Creek?


Nary a set of braces in sight.

11. Friday Night Lights?

12. So this is why you’re still not as cool and assured as the “teens” on TV. Remember, this is what real teenagers look like:

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