If there’s one kind of character that seems to resonate with all kinds of women, it’s the angsty teen. Whether she’s mad at her family, her object of affection or the world, she’s an eyeroller worthy of our adoration. There are so many to choose from! (And a lot of redheads, apparently!) So, let’s hear it: Who is your favorite young adult in need of an attitude adjustment?
Bridget McManus: Claire Danes‘ character Angela Chase in My So Called Life is the ultimate teen angsty character of all time! I blame her raging hormones and Jordan Catalano, but mainly Jordan.
Mia Jones: The angsty girls were my teenage equivalent to Victoria’s Secret models. Honestly, where do I even start? Buffy? Brenda Walsh? Yeah, that’s right — I liked Shannen Doherty better than Jennie Garth!
Veronica Mars? Jaye Tyler from Wonderfalls? Georgia from Dead Like Me? The gorgeous Carly Pope playing Sam McFerson on Popular? Her character may have gotten a little annoying at times, but she was hot in spite of that chocolate colored lip-liner she wore in half of the episodes. Shouts out to Spike and Caitlin from the original Degrassi Junior High. I’m pretty sure they were the ones who popped my after-school special angst cherry.
Grace Chu: Everyone in Foxfire. I may need a refresher because watching it now is just painful. I don’t care who is in that film — I don’t, for the life of me, understand why I thought that movie was SO KEWLIEZZZ back in the day.
Heather Hogan: I sometimes wonder if there will ever be a day when my answer to every question isn’t “Naomi Campbell!” But that day is not today. Especially because Naomi really is the greatest angsty teenage daughter of all time, and the episode of TV in which she is the greatest angsty teenage daughter of all time is the greatest episode of TV in the history of this wide world. Skins Series 3, episode six: NAOMI. It starts with her asking her mum, “Has anyone ever told you what a complete f–king cow you are?” And ends with her mom just knowing Naomi has met her soul’s match in Emily Fitch and saying, “The people who make us happy are never the people you expect. So when you find someone, you’ve got to cherish it.”
Actually, you and I and all the best people in the world know the episode really ends with the cat flap, but there’s a whole lot of angsty teenage daughter shenanigans leading up to, “Can’t we just sit like this, for a bit?” (“Yeah, we can. For a bit.”)
Ali Davis: I have to go with Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club. She’s so weird and funny. OK, yes, she has the obligatory Girl Wears Makeup and Suddenly She’s Pretty scene, but she doesn’t stop being weird and funny after that — Sheedy plays it as a temporary style makeover, not a personality makeover.
And don’t tell me you haven’t thought about making her sandwich and adding snow to your drawings the way she did.
Sheedy also gets retroactive bonus points for making High Art years later.
Emily Hartl: My favorite angsty teen is forever Graham in But I’m a Cheerleader. I mean, what a ball of fury that little lady was, with the pent up “more than friends” feelings for Megan and her sometimes self-loathing homophobia. Sigh. To have been by her side in 1999! We would have been quite the pair.
The Linster: When I think “teen angst,” I see Molly Ringwald in my head. Those lips were born to pout. The three most angsty movies ever — Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink — all feature Ringwald front and center. Nobody worries or sulks or turns a gazillion shades of red quite like Molly.
It’s only fitting that Ringwald has grown up to play the mom of another angsty teen in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I just wish it were a better show. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is just waiting for her to run into her room, slam the door, and cry herself to sleep.
Trish Bendix: When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to become Zoey on Cybill. Alicia Witt was a sarcastic snot to her mom (Cybill Shepherd), but she was so cool. She had this slightly amused smirk on her face all the time while delivering one-liners at the expense of whoever else was in the room. “Mom, can we number these useless platitudes so next time we can just say ‘Zoey, 7.’”
Who is your favorite angsty teen?